Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics


Rebuilding NYC October 2002

City Council Issues Report on Downtown Greenmarket - Oct 31, 2002
Among the myriad ideas for how best to develop the former site of the World Trade Center and revitalize the downtown economy, add marketplace. A study issued last week examines the feasibility of several types of markets, ultimately suggesting a 42,000 square foot market hall be built as part of the WTC redevelopment project. (Downtown Express)

9/11 Families Enter GA Senate Race - Oct 31, 2002
A group of Sept. 11 victims' families has entered a tight U.S. Senate contest in Georgia - running ads against one candidate, charging he doesn't back a sweeping probe into the attacks. (New York Daily News)

Small Firm Figures In LMDC's Plans - Oct 31, 2002
While six teams of world-renowned architects were hired to develop new visions for the World Trade Center site to great acclaim, a seventh team is quietly developing its own plans for the site. The two-person firm of Peterson/Littenberg Architecture & Urban Design, hired in May to serve as in-house architects to the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., will draw up plans using the same guidelines as its competitors. (Newsday)

WTC Planners Taking International Memorial Tour - Oct 30, 2002
City officials, civic leaders and Sept. 11 victims' families are heading to Europe to look at how cities abroad planned rebuilding efforts - and created memorials. The 50-person trip will come a month after lower Manhattan planners toured memorials around the U.S. (New York Daily News)

Student Caught With 9/11 Hero's FDNY Parking Permit - Oct 30, 2002
A Pace University student was arrested yesterday for stealing the FDNY parking permit of a legendary firefighter who died on Sept. 11, officials said. Fire marshals caught Vadim Reznikov, 20, near the university - which is across from City Hall - after noticing the stolen permit on his car, officials said. (New York Post)

Despite 9/11, Survey Finds NYC Best City to Visit - Oct 30, 2002
Despite the terror attacks, this is the best U.S. city to visit, according to a Zagat survey to be released today. Zagat, best known for its restaurant guide, said New York took 41% of consumer votes, and second-place San Francisco received 23%, with Los Angeles a distant third at 10%. (New York Daily News)

New Yorkers Among Pentagon Design Finalists - Oct 30, 2002
When they learned of the competition to design a memorial at the Pentagon, Brooklyn architects Edwin Zawadzki and Mason Wickham finally found a way to assist in the recovery after Sept. 11. The Fort Greene couple and two other New York City teams have been named finalists in the Pentagon memorial competition, three of six chosen from 1,126 eligible submissions to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. (Newsday)

Material from 9/11 Insurance Case Shows a Graphic Look at Towers' Collapse - Oct 29, 2002
Last week, a federal judge in the World Trade Center insurance case made it clear that he had no objection to the public release of a trove of material, including videotape, compact discs, witness accounts, mathematical analyses and high-tech imagery. Taken together, the dozens of boxes represent the largest single repository of raw data and expert analysis on the Sept. 11 attack in Lower Manhattan, dwarfing the analysis compiled by the government in its first examination of how and why the towers collapsed. (New York Times)

9/11 Family Member Appears in Nassau Political Ad - Oct 29, 2002
The father of a World Trade Center victim who has made tighter immigration controls a personal quest will appear in a televised political advertisement this week, endorsing a Nassau County Republican candidate for Congress. Political analysts and officials of both parties said they believed this was the first time a family member of a Sept. 11 victim has been used so directly in a partisan campaign. (New York Times)

9/11 Storefront Memorial Moved to New York Historical Society - Oct 29, 2002
A time capsule from Sept. 11, 2001, the last memorial to stand as testimony to what was left when the smoke lifted at the World Trade Center, was removed yesterday by a team of experts in respirators and hazardous-materials suits. The Chelsea Jeans memorial, a glassed-in collection of dust-covered, flag-bearing Ralph Lauren sweaters and Levi's jeans, was painstakingly dismantled, and workers began moving it to the New-York Historical Society. (New York Times)

List of 9/11 Transit Projects Sent to Washington - Oct 29, 2002
The first batch of lower Manhattan transit projects to be paid for with post-9/11 federal aid has been quietly sent to Washington for approval, sources said yesterday. The transit wish list was compiled after months of sometimes contentious meetings among the Port Authority, Lower Manhattan Development Corp., state and city transportation officials and elected leaders, including Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). (New York Daily News)

DNA Test On Hold for WTC Victims - Oct 29, 2002
A groundbreaking genetic procedure expected to identify the remains of more victims of the World Trade Center attacks is still being scrutinized for approval by the city. The medical examiner's office had hoped to start using the testing method, which looks at tiny variations in the smallest building blocks of DNA, as early as last month. But the medical examiner is still trying to perfect the test. (New York Daily News)

Parents And Teachers Oppose Office Tower Near Ground Zero School - Oct 29, 2002
Fearing more terrorist attacks, parents and educators have spoken out against construction of a 32-story corporate tower next to an elementary school near Ground Zero. PS 234, on Greenwich Street between Chambers and Warren streets, is about five blocks from where the Twin Towers stood. Students and staff fled for their lives when the skyscrapers toppled. (New York Post)

Port Authority, City May Clash Over Rebuilding Office Space - Oct 28, 2002
A new set of guidelines for Ground Zero, meant to reduce square footage on the site, has set the battle lines for a potentially bitter real-estate fight between the Port Authority and the city. With pressure growing to peel office space from the trade center, the authority has insisted that any reduction below 10 million square feet be made up by allowing the agency to build elsewhere in lower Manhattan. But city officials are adamantly opposed to letting the bistate agency extend its reach beyond the 16 acres of Ground Zero. (New York Post)

Intrepid Museum Gives Memorial for 9/11 Hero Dog - Oct 28, 2002
The golden retriever whose World Trade Center heroics earned him a citation in The Guinness Book of Records was honored at a memorial service yesterday at the Intrepid Museum. (New York Post)

Study Faults Bolts in WTC Collapse - Oct 27, 2002
Single-bolt connections in the framework of the World Trade Center's Twin Towers contributed to their collapse in the Sept. 11 attacks, according to the findings of a team of top engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (New York Post)

9/11 Aid Forms Are Becoming Minibiographies of the Dead - Oct 26, 2002
For many people, applying to the federal Victim Compensation Fund figured to be something of a clinical exercise, a statistical blur in which thousands of families would compute the lost earnings of loved ones who died on 9/11, then wait for the government to mail out checks. But for many families and friends of victims, and lawyers who did not even know them, the application process has given the create intimate minibiographies about the dead, based on interviews, photos or videotapes. For the families, the most important motivation to assemble these narratives may not be the push for more compensation, though they certainly may have that effect. Instead, the real value may lie in their timeless and therapeutic resonance in telling the full story of life, love and loss beyond cold, raw numbers. (New York Times)

Ground Zero Couple Sue Port Authority for $20 Million - Oct 26, 2002
A couple who live two blocks from Ground Zero sued the Port Authority for $20 million yesterday, saying they fear they may get lung cancer from the soot and ash they breathed for a year. (New York Post)

Airport-Related Business Here Hit Hard by 9/11, Costing 10,000 Jobs - Oct 25, 2002
Since the World Trade Center attacks, La Guardia and Kennedy Airports have suffered larger economic losses than most other major hub airports in the country, a new study by the Center for an Urban Future has found. Those losses permeate almost every aspect of the two airports' business, from cargo and passenger traffic to hotel vacancies, and have caused the elimination of 16.5 percent --10,000 jobs--of all airport-related jobs in the city since 9/11. That is by far the largest percentage loss of any industry in the city, including the securities industry, which has lost 9 percent of its jobs since then. (New York Times)

Buildings With Code Violations Rejected From 9/11 Residential Grant Program - Oct 25, 2002
Anyone who lives in an apartment near Ground Zero and hopes to cash in on a $281 million federal grant program had better make sure the building is up to code. Lower Manhattan redevelopment officials are rejecting or deferring grant applications from tenants in nearly 200 buildings because of outstanding fire and building-code violations. (New York Daily News)

Critics: 9/11 Aid Program Unfair - Oct 25, 2002
City advocacy groups and congressional representatives are looking at ways to improve a federal 9/11 assistance program that they say is floundering. The Individual and Family Grants program falls short of meeting applicants needs, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan) said at a news conference. The grants average $1,039 in individual aid, less than half of what similar disaster programs elsewhere provide - and the New York program's arduous application process and short deadlines keep aid from many who need it, Maloney said. (New York Post)

Planners Urge Decisions on Downtown - Oct 24, 2002
Last night, a half-dozen chairmen and chairwomen of the New York City Planning Commission, past and present, whose experience goes back to the days before the World Trade Center was built, said that the planning process in Lower Manhattan must begin showing results soon if it is to counter the very real threat that downtown could lose the financial-service industry, its economic backbone. (New York Times)

Officials Seek Changes in Rules for Sept. 11 Business Program - Oct 24, 2002
Businesses that were in the World Trade Center should get more money than other businesses from a program granting relief from the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, a group of officials said yesterday. Under the current rules for the aid plan, called the World Trade Center Business Recovery Grant Program, small businesses that were in the trade center when it was destroyed are treated the same as small businesses on the blocks around them, the officials said as they called publicly for different rules for the program. (New York Times)

FEMA Gives Schools $80.5M Grant - Oct 23, 2002
Yesterday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency gave a grant of $80.5 million to city schools. FEMA responded to local elected officials who had appealed for the assistance. The money is to be used to add 15 hours of instruction for students throughout the city and 30 hours for students in lower Manhattan who remained out of school for several days after the terrorist attack, said Schools Chancellor Joel Klein. (Newsday)

Apartments Tested Downtown Are Ruled Free of Asbestos - Oct 23, 2002
The vast majority of the apartments in Lower Manhattan that have been cleaned and tested over the last few months had no asbestos contamination from World Trade Center dust, federal Environmental Protection Agency officials said yesterday in releasing the first results from the cleanup program. (New York Times)

Families: Return Ash at Fresh Kills Landfill to WTC - Oct 23, 2002
Relatives of people lost in the Sept. 11 attack told a City Council panel yesterday that government officials should collect dust and ash taken to the Fresh Kills landfill during the recovery and return it to the World Trade Center site as part of a future memorial. (Newsday)

Comparing 2 Sets of Towers: In NYC and Kuala Lumpur - Oct 22, 2002
Charles H. Thornton, one of the world's most renowned engineers, has been both asking and answering the question that most have carefully avoided: could another building have stood longer than the twin towers did, let more people escape or perhaps never collapsed? In statements that some experts see as bold and others as self-serving, Thornton has argued that at least two enormous buildings would have withstood the Sept. 11 attacks far better than the World Trade Center towers did: the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the world's tallest buildings and, in a structural sense, alter egos of the trade center. (New York Times)

Expert Report Disputes U.S. on Trade Center Collapse - Oct 22, 2002
Experts commissioned in a $4 billion insurance case involving the World Trade Center have come to conclusions that fundamentally contradict a federal investigation into what caused the twin towers to collapse. The new analysis, according to several experts who have examined the confidential findings, holds that the unusual engineering design of the towers did not contribute to the collapses, and that the damage caused by the planes and the resulting fires made the failures of the buildings inevitable. (New York Times)

Federal Government Giving $700 Million Less in 9/11 Aid - Oct 22, 2002
Remember that $21.4 billion in federal aid New York was promised after the Sept. 11 attacks? Well, subtract about $700 million. It was quietly taken off the books by the White House and Congress in recent months. (New York Daily News)

Governor Criticizes Wall Street Relocation Plan - Oct 22, 2002
Gov. Pataki vowed to do everything in his power to kill a doomsday plan drafted by federal regulators that could force the flight of thousands of Wall Street jobs. Authored by the Federal Reserve Board, Securities and Exchange Commission and Office of the Controller of the Currency, the plan urged 15 to 20 major banks and five to 10 major securities firms - most of which have headquarters or key operations here - to consider relocating backup sites as much as 200 to 300 miles out of town. (New York Daily News)

9/11 Mental-Health Funding for City Schools Stalls - Oct 22, 2002
Students haunted by the terror attacks will have to wait for extra mental-health counseling as the feds and the state dawdle in getting money to city schools. So far, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has distributed up $8.9 million of the $40 million that school officials deem necessary to deal with the emotional fallout from Sept. 11, according to Education Department records. (New York Daily News)

Federal Disaster Proposal Could Cost City Billions - Oct 21, 2002
Fears of another major attack on New York City could force the exodus of thousands of Wall Street jobs and billions of tax dollars if a doomsday plan quietly drafted by federal regulators takes effect, the city's business leaders say. The disaster contingency plan could push as many as two dozen major banks and securities companies to their backup operations as much as 200 to 300 miles out of town. (New York Daily News)

New York Times Book Review: 'American Ground' - Oct 20, 2002
William Langewiesche's book "American Ground" is a "slim but powerful account of the dismantling of the wreckage of the World Trade Center," writes Jeffrey Goldberg in the New York Times today. The book's strengths are its use of the "truth, unclouded by sentiment," and "capacity to surprise: it is a work of original reporting, and its pages are filled with astonishing observations." (New York Times)

Family Business Still Waiting to Reopen Downtown - Oct 20, 2002
More than a year after terrorists struck the World Trade Center, two of James Costalas' businesses have closed for good. The Costalas family, who have run a business in lower Manhattan for four decades, is still unable to reopen their remaining one, a takeout food shop and cafeteria called the Food Exchange at 112 Liberty Street. The shuttered row of shops sits in the shadow of an overhead platform, built to protect pedestrians during the repair and cleaning of the buildings after the fires and collapses across the street had damaged and contaminated them. (New York Times)

Violations by Buildings May Delay Tenant Grants - Oct 20, 2002
Residents of nearly 200 apartment buildings in Lower Manhattan could find their applications for Sept. 11-related housing grants denied or delayed because of outstanding violations of building or fire codes, according to officials of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. (New York Times)

Workers Injured on 9/11 Not Getting Compensation - Oct 20, 2002
Hundreds of workers who claim injuries from the World Trade Center attacks or aftermath have been having difficulty obtaining workers' compensation benefits, according to physicians and lawyers who work with them. (Newsday)

Dangerous Side Affects to 9/11 Antidepressant - Oct 20, 2002
A popular antidepressant drug widely prescribed to New Yorkers affected by the Sept. 11 attacks could trigger suicidal thoughts and cause severe withdrawal problems in some patients, experts say. Paroxetine, marketed in the U.S. as Paxil, is prescribed for those suffering depression, panic attacks, anxiety and post-traumatic stress. But some experts say the top-selling drug may increase the risk of suicidal or violent behavior in some patients when they start using it. (New York Post)

9/11 Families Upset That Landfill Could Be Final Resting Place - Oct 20, 2002
Diane Horning won't allow the ashes of her son and other Sept. 11 victims to be treated "like garbage." She was stunned recently to discover that soil and ashes containing cremated remains of many killed on 9/11 remain at the Fresh Kills landfill. They have been covered with dirt and sprinkled with grass seed. Horning and her family are leading a drive to return the remains to what she and others believe is their rightful resting place: Ground Zero. (New York Post)

U.S. to Give New York Schools $80 Million in Sept. 11 Aid - Oct 19, 2002
New York City schools will receive an $80 million reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to cover lost instruction time after the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001, an official familiar with the discussions said yesterday. (New York Times)

Sept. 11 Altered New York's Political Landscape - Oct 19, 2002
On September 11, 2001, the political landscape in New York changed in an instant, just like everything else. Gov. George Pataki suspended primary voting. It would resume two weeks later. By then, term-limited Mayor Rudolph Giuliani had become a hero to his battered city and beyond. The approval ratings for Pataki, constantly at the mayor's side, soared. (Associated Press)

City Runs Fifth Disaster Drill - Oct 18, 2002
Mayor Bloomberg and more than 40 city, state and federal officials put their heads together at the Con Edison Learning Center in Queens yesterday to figure out how the city would respond to a radioactive bombing. This was the fifth mock disaster hosted by the Mayor's Office of Emergency Management. Others have focused on bioterror attacks and coastal storms. (New York Daily News)

After 9/11 U.S. Customs Service Avoids Tall Buildings - Oct 18, 2002
The U.S. Customs Service, which lost its home at 6 World Trade Center on Sept. 11, has not moved back downtown because its employees are now reluctant to work in tall buildings. At a City Council subcommittee yesterday, Customs brass said they were "avoiding high-rise office space." (New York Daily News)

McCall: Pataki Using 9/11 to 'Divert Attention' From Problems - Oct 18, 2002
Carl McCall yesterday made Sept. 11 a campaign issue - accusing Gov. Pataki of using the trade center attacks "to divert attention" from other problems facing the state. (New York Post)

9/11 Family Members: New Guidelines Give Back Seat to Memorial - Oct 18, 2002
Relatives of World Trade Center victims are speaking out against the new guidelines for the rebuilding of Ground Zero - fearing a memorial to their loved ones continues to take a back seat to commercial development. (New York Post)

Transit Hub Plans May Raze Broadway Buildings - Oct 17, 2002
A plan to build a new Fulton Transit Center to better connect downtown subway lines may include razing some buildings on Broadway. Merchants on a commercial stretch of Broadway near ground zero expressed their dismay last week at a transit proposal to raze their block to make room for a renovated subway complex at the Broadway/Nassau St./Fulton St. station. (Downtown Express)

3 Plazas Could Border WTC Site - Oct 17, 2002
Three new public spaces could be created along the edge of Ground Zero within the next five years under a preliminary concept being put together by a prominent architect hired by the Port Authority. The inviting open areas would take in 7 World Trade Center, St. Paul's Chapel and 1 Liberty Plaza, helping to reconnect the disaster site to the rest of the city. (New York Daily News)

New Medical Aid for 9/11 Workers - Oct 17, 2002
Hundreds of workers and volunteers injured at Ground Zero will receive ongoing treatment through Health for Heroes, a new program at Mount Sinai Medical Center. The treatment is being funded by a $1 million grant from the Bear Sterns Charitable Foundation. (New York Daily News)

Anti-terror Shop Opens Downtown - Oct 17, 2002
In what might be considered a sign of the times, a boutique selling anti-terror gear opens today a few blocks from Ground Zero. The Nassau Street store, known as "Safer America," is being touted as the "first anti-terrorism store in America." (Newsday)

Fire Dept. Retiree Campaigns for Skyscraper Safety - Oct 17, 2002
Retired deputy fire chief Vincent Dunn has wound up in the center of a campaign calling for fire safety improvements in the city's skyscrapers. (New York Times)

Debate Over Atlantic Monthly Author's Ground Zero Account - Oct 16, 2002
On Tuesday, Oct. 15, North Point Press, an imprint of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, shipped out copies of American Ground: Unbuilding the World Trade Center, by journalist William Langewiesche, an account of the cleanup at Ground Zero by the only reporter granted unrestricted access to the site. But just in time to complicate the publication of this otherwise highly praised book, an unlikely protester named Rhonda Roland Shearer has appeared. Ms. Shearer, a 48-year-old artist and the widow of the Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould, is on a personal crusade to debunk LangewiescheÕs reportage, derail his Pulitzer hopes, and see the book recalled and destroyed. (New York Observer)

With No Single Leader, Rebuilding Officials Fight Private Battles - Oct 16, 2002
The public controversy swirling around the World Trade Center design process is nothing compared to the growing bickering behind closed doors. The lack of a definitive leader has created competing lines of authority, complete with personal and bureaucratic animosities, sources said. (New York Daily News)

Battery Park City "Green" Building May be a Sign of Downtown's Future - Oct 15, 2002
20 River Terrace, begun early last year just a few blocks from the World Trade Center, was to be the world's most environmentally correct residential high-rise, its developers said Ă‘ an air-purified, solar-paneled monument to the marriage of mother earth and technological gee-whiz. Now as construction resumes after a 10-month break during the cleanup of ground zero, the 27-story tower has become even more than the sum of its ambitions, builders and environmentalists say. (New York Times)

Threat of Deportation Is Eased for Husband of a 9/11 Victim - Oct 15, 2002
An illegal immigrant who faced deportation after he lost his wife in the World Trade Center attack will most likely be allowed to stay in this country with his two sons, Senator Charles E. Schumer said yesterday. (New York Times)

Brooklyn Battery Decks Could Be Used for Apartments - Oct 15, 2002
Downtown planners may build a deck over the entrance ramp to the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, reclaiming the space for apartment buildings. Decking over the tunnel entrance and exit ramps - and replacing the Battery parking garage - would make usable some three square blocks that could eventually hold more than 1,000 apartments, said sources familiar with the idea. (New York Post)

Firehouse Memorial Honors Its Heroes - Oct 14, 2002
Made with granite, stained glass and love, a memorial to 10 firefighters from Engine 8/Ladder 2 who died in the terrorist attack now fills their midtown firehouse. Relatives of the 10 men broke into applause seeing the 9-foot-high memorial and then wiped away tears as they placed single red roses upon it. This scene was repeated in many of the city's 75 firehouses during the FDNY's weekend dedicated to its fallen. (New York Daily News)

Lessons From A Memorial Tour - Oct 13, 2002
Officials who toured memorial sites last week learned about remembering the little things. The five-day, five-city tour of 18 memorials early this month both startled and comforted the officials and the relatives, giving them, they said, fresh perspectives on their efforts to create a memorial to the victims of Sept. 11. (New York Times)

Firefighters Honor Fallen - Oct 13, 2002
A ceremony at Madison Square Garden yesterday honored the memories of the 343 firefighters who died on September 11, 2001. The memorial service included all those lost since November 2000 and included a 6 1/2 minute standing ovation from the crowd. (Newsday)

Immigrant Families Face 9/11 Mystery - Oct 13, 2002
With persistence and swabs of DNA, Rosario Arrazola is trying to piece together the life of her husband and prove he died at the World Trade Center. The woman, from Tlachichuca, Mexico, is among a handful of Latin American family members who say their missing loved ones were lost while working in or near the Twin Towers -- but left no trace here because, as undocumented immigrants, they led lives cloaked in silence. (Newsday)

Architects Get WTC Site Plans - Oct 12, 2002
Six teams of architects set off Friday on an eight-week course to plan the future layout of the World Trade Center site, as officials released a new set of program requirements, including a range of office space and a large transit station at Fulton and Greenwich Streets. The teams received a day-long briefing Friday from officials and a tour of Ground Zero. (Newsday)

Debate Rages Over Transit Downtown - Oct 12, 2002
A pitched battle over the $4.55 billion set aside for transit in Lower Manhattan is already being waged behind the scenes, fueled by a debate that many say could determine the future of downtown: Should the money be spent only to improve the transit lines already there? Or should it also be used to bring in new train service, for the first time making downtown as accessible to suburban commuters as Midtown has always been? (New York Times)

Public Frustration Persists Over 9/11 Relief Program - Oct 12, 2002
Seizing a rare opportunity to confront officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, scores of Lower Manhattan residents expressed frustration and continuing anger yesterday over the relief agency's financial assistance programs for those affected by Sept. 11. In a forum at City Hall, the residents said FEMA had done a poor job of communicating timely and accurate information about eligibility criteria and guidelines. (New York Times)

Firefighters Rally for Wages - Oct 12, 2002
Thousands of soggy firefighters gathered in a muddy field in Central Park yesterday to demand a bigger pay raise from the city than the 11.5% offer their union rejected this week. Politicians, union leaders and celebrities such as Susan Sarandon, Denis Leary and Steve Buscemi invoked the sacrifice of 343 FDNY members in last year's terrorist attacks and repeatedly implored Mayor Bloomberg to come up with more money. (New York Daily News)

New WTC Airtrain Plan - Oct 11, 2002
Travelers could hop on a train at the World Trade Center and speed to Kennedy Airport, under an ambitious and costly proposal being considered by downtown planners, rebuilding officials said yesterday. The idea, under study by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. and the city Planning Department, is part of a broader concept to market lower Manhattan as an "international center" that would draw companies wanting quick access to Kennedy and Newark airports. (New York Post)

Firefighters' Union Turns Down City's Pay Offer - Oct 11, 2002
New York's Bravest said "no" to the city's pay-raise offer yesterday, setting the stage for heated contract negotiations between firefighters and a city facing its most serious fiscal crisis in the aftermath of Sept. 11. (New York Post)

Chinatown Park, Ad Campaign Get 9/11 Grants - Oct 11, 2002
A Chinatown park and a marketing campaign to lure tourists downtown got the first grants yesterday from a $200 million federal program to help nonprofit groups near Ground Zero. (New York Daily News)

Rebuilding Official Sleeps Through Meeting - Oct 11, 2002
The World Trade Center design process has been lambasted as a giant snooze - and yesterday, it put a top official to sleep. A Lower Manhattan Development Corp. board member actually dozed off during early morning discussions about planning a permanent memorial to the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. (New York Daily News)

Trinity Church Struggles With Memorial Fence - Oct 11, 2002
The Sept. 11 memorial fence surrounding St. Paul's chapel, while once lauded as a tapestry of love and support, is now being called an eyesore. The elements have dulled bright inks and softened new cloth into sagging rags. The fence, at a certain angle, could be mistaken for a camp for derelicts. The Trinity Church leaders, de facto caretakers of the tattered collection, are struggling with what to do with what started as an outpouring of grief and support. (New York Times)

LMDC: Fewer Offices, More Options in Planning for Ground Zero - Oct 10, 2002
Officials overseeing the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan agreed yesterday to give designers more flexibility in planning the future of the World Trade Center site, reducing by 40 percent the amount of the commercial space that must be included in plans for it. The new instructions are to be given tomorrow to six new teams of architects, artists and designers selected last month to work on innovative plans to rejuvenate the symbolic heart of the financial district. (New York Times)

WTC Site's Near Future Looks Alot Like Current Construction - Oct 10, 2002
Wrangling over long-range master planning Ă‘ commercial space, commuter rail links, the memorial itself Ă‘ has obscured the reality that the trade center site is being rebuilt now, without town hall meetings, architectural competitions or much public debate. The new PATH station and viewing wall being built right now will be the physical reality experienced for years by hundreds of thousands of visitors and workers in Lower Manhattan. (New York Times)

No Plans to Fix or Demolish Deutsche Bank - Oct 9, 2002
Across the street from ground zero, a 50-story, black-netted, damaged and contaminated building hovers over the site as well as the rest of the Lower Manhattan. No one has any idea what is going to happen to the building at 130 Liberty St., but executives working with the owners, Deutsche Bank, recently told Community Board 1 officials that even if the bank decides to demolish the building, it would take two years to do. (Downtown Express)

No More Discount Rents At 53 Park Pl - Oct 9, 2002
No one wanted to live at 53 Park Place. The ashes, construction, and tourists that filled Lower Manhattan in the aftermath of Sept. 11 caused the flight of 80 percent of the tenants who lived in this 12-story apartment complex, one of the closest residential buildings to the World Trade Center site. Discounted rent and a grant program for residents brought the first wave of tenants back to the buidling. But now, the owners of 53 Park Place are offering two-year leases, but at an increased rent. (Downtown Express)

Big Push on School 9/11 Aid - Oct 9, 2002
School officials are inching toward an agreement to win millions of dollars in post-Sept. 11 emergency funds - but congressional representatives aren't taking any chances that the cash won't come through. (New York Daily News)

Thousands Will Honor Fire Department's Dead - Oct 9, 2002
Tens of thousands of firefighters, some traveling from as far away as Ireland and Japan, are expected to fill Madison Square Garden and the surrounding blocks on Saturday as the Fire Department holds an official memorial service for members who died in the attack on the World Trade Center. (New York Times)

Citing 9/11, Appeals Court Upholds Secret Hearings - Oct 9, 2002
The federal appeals court in Philadelphia ruled yesterday that the Bush administration had acted lawfully in holding deportation hearings in secret based on its assertion that those detained might have links to terrorism. (New York Times)

After 9/11, City's Police and Fire Depts. Question a Central Command - Oct 9, 2002
The city's police and fire commissioners said at a City Council committee hearing that a central command system was not needed, and that neither department was qualified to seize control of the other. The statements, coming after a consultant's report told the city that a unified command was necessary in catastrophes as big as the World Trade Center attack. (New York Times)

Schumer Criticizes U.S. Customs on N.J. move - Oct 9, 2002
Sen. Chuck Schumer blasted the U.S. Customs Service yesterday for planning to move its operations out of lower Manhattan to create a new "international trade center" in Newark. (New York Daily News)

LMDC: Fewer Offices at Site - Oct 9, 2002
The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. expects "a substantial reduction" in office space required for the World Trade Center site to allow for less density and more freedom in redesigning the site, its president said yesterday. (Newsday)

Silverstein: Still Wants Entire WTC Office Space Rebuilt - Oct 9, 2002
World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein insisted yesterday that there is "an enormous need" to rebuild every inch of office and retail space destroyed by the terrorist attacks. (New York Daily News)

Downtown Transit Funds Spark Battle - Oct 9, 2002
A battle over federal funds for downtown transportation projects has broken out among City Hall, the Port Authority and the MTA - stalling key decisions on transit issues considered central to reviving lower Manhattan. (New York Post)

Small Businesses Just Outside Aid Boundaries Get Much Less - Oct 9, 2002
The World Trade Center Business Recovery Grant Program provides compensation for lost revenue to companies with up to 500 employees that are situated from 14th Street to the Battery. The highest compensation is given to businesses that were in the World Trade Center and have reopened elsewhere and those in the neighborhood closest to the site. However, the way the program has drawn its boundaries frustrates the businesses just outside them. (New York Times)

Hundreds of Downtown Residents Paid to Stay - Oct 8, 2002
Checks will go out this month to more than 300 downtown residents who were among the first to be approved for a series of federal grants aimed at keeping people in lower Manhattan, development officials said yesterday. (New York Post)

Lower Manhattan Residents Will Be Exempt From Tax on Aid - Oct 8, 2002
The Internal Revenue Service plans to exempt Lower Manhattan residents from most if not all taxes on government money given to them to stay in or move to the area, the office of Senator Charles Schumer said last night. A Schumer spokesman said, however, that the I.R.S. had not decided whether to exempt businesses near ground zero from taxes on government aid they receive or compensation for lost revenue related to the terrorist attack. (New York Times)

9/11 Victim Count Drops - Oct 8, 2002
The number of people listed as victims of the World Trade Center attack has dropped below 2,800, after three people were found alive and one duplication was cut from the names read at the anniversary ceremony, a city spokeswoman said yesterday. (Associated Press)

Borders to Return to Lower Manhattan With New Store - Oct 8, 2002
Borders Books and Music, whose flagship downtown store at the World Trade Center was destroyed in the attack last year, is returning to Lower Manhattan, where it signed a lease last week to open a store in a landmark building on Broadway. The Borders store was the largest single retail tenant at the World Trade Center complex and was one of the chain's highest grossing stores. (New York Times)

Underground Concourse Idea For Transit Hub Criticized - Oct 7, 2002
Ambitious plans for an underground concourse linking new downtown transit centers and the Hudson River have met with quiet but growing criticism that could doom what was once billed as a centerpiece of the rebuilding effort. "The glory of New York is the streets,"said Hugh Hardy, an architect who examined the concourse idea for the civic group New York New Visions. "These gruesome tunnels ought to be reimagined as public space, not just transportation connections." (New York Post)

Memorial Tour Yields Ideas For World Trade Center Site - Oct 7, 2002
A memorial first, a museum later. That was the suggestion of a special panel, which just returned from touring memorials around the country to help plan the future of the World Trade Center site. The group also looked at some of the practical pitfalls of memorial design, such as using material that wears away too quickly, and advised on the need to hear many voices and represent a variety of interests in selecting a jury to judge competing memorial designs. (New York Daily News)

Size Not Important For Memorial, Officials Say - Oct 7, 2002
The memorial to victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks that rises at Ground Zero must be driven by the power and clarity of its message, and not the amount of land it stands on, rebuilding officials said. "The power of a memorial is not related to its size," said Lower Manhattan Development Corp. President Lou Tomson, sitting in the airport at Montgomery, Ala., after his entourage visited the Rosa Parks Museum and the Civil Rights Memorial - the last stop of a five-day national tour. Anita Contini, who's overseeing the LMDC memorial process, said most people felt "the more simple ones had more power." (New York Post)

New York Life Happy With Move Downtown After September 11 - Oct 7, 2002
New York Life, one of the largest mutual funds companies in the country, was ready to sign a lease to move downtown to 120 Broadway on the morning of September 11. Despite the attacks, the company has settled down in lower Manhattan and has not regretted the decision at all. (Newsday)

After 9/11, New York Is America's De Facto Capital - Oct 6, 2002
While New York has long been the nation's center of culture, finance, fashion and media, the city in the aftermath of Sept. 11 cohered into something more than the sum of its perennially celebrated parts. After its highest towers were taken down, New York rose from its initial shock to illustrate in real time what America actually is, a huge and resilient democracy animated by citizens of every conceivable stripe, pursuit and ethic. (New York Times)

City's Bomb Squad is Busier Than Ever - Oct 6, 2002
Since Sept. 11 2001, New York City's Bomb Squad is picking up a lot more suspicious packages than usual -- on some days 200 percent more, as many as 50 a day. The squad also has to look out for "dirty bombs," which spread radiation. (New York Times)

A WTC Survivor Offers Thanks to Therapists - Oct 6, 2002
World Trade Center survivor Lauren Manning thanked the occupational therapists who helped her, in front of a crowd of therapists gathered at the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University for their annual state conference. (Newsday)

Washington Tribute for Firefighters - Oct 6, 2002
Hundreds of firefighter families gathered yesterday in the nation's capital to comfort each other and to honor 446 of the country's firefighters - the vast majority from New York - who gave their lives last year while battling blazes. (New York Daily News)

Bloomberg: Firefighters' Rally Poorly Timed - Oct 6, 2002
The Bloomberg administration criticized the Uniformed Firefighters Association yesterday for organizing a rally seeking higher pay one day before 50,000 firefighters from around the world attend a massive memorial service in New York. (New York Daily News)

Husband of 9/11 Victim is Told He'll Be Deported - Oct 5, 2002
Vasiliy V. Ryjov, an illegal immigrant who lost his wife in the World Trade Center attack, is facing deportation back to his native Georgia, a former Soviet republic. Last month, the Immigration and Naturalization Service rejected his application for permanent residency, saying he had falsely claimed to be married to another woman, Dora Tobias, in 1993. (New York Times)

Steel-Beam Cross Considered for Memorial - Oct 5, 2002
A cross made of steel beams from the World Trade Center that has stood for a year at ground zero will be considered for inclusion in a permanent memorial to the victims of the attack on the World Trade Center, officials overseeing the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan said today. (New York Times)

Oklahoma City and New York: Two Cities Visited By Disaster - Oct 5, 2002
As Lower Manhattan Development Corp. officials visited Oklahoma City Friday, as part of a six-day memorial-research trip across the country, they found a city with plenty of experience to share. A major piece of advice development corporation officials heard was "include everyone." Oklahoma City lost 168 people when Timothy McVeigh bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995. The outdoor memorial, featuring 168 empty chairs and a shallow pond, opened in 2000. A museum opened in 2001. (Newsday)

Families of NYC Victims Want Mention at Pentagon Memorial - Oct 4, 2002
Families of the World Trade Center victims reacted with disapproval at reports Thursday that the Pentagon memorial will list only the 184 victims who died in the attack on the Pentagon. The Pentagon's design competition already has narrowed its search from more than 1,100 entries to six finalists, with the final selection planned for December. "The families said they want to focus on this small group," said Carol Anderson-Austra, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project manager. "They're a little sensitive because New York gets an awful lot of press." (Newsday)

West Street Tunnel Not As Expensive As People Think, Says One Landowner - Oct 4, 2002
A West Street tunnel could be built in lower Manhattan for far less than the $2.8 billion estimated by development officials -- making it feasible to create a grand promenade from the Battery to Ground Zero, a major downtown landowner says. Engineering consultants working for Brookfield Properties, which owns the World Financial Center across West Street from Ground Zero, said one method of building the tunnel would be faster and cost less than other plans, and West Street could be buried from the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel to Murray Street in 31/2 years at a cost of $1.2 billion, a Brookfield official said Wednesday in a presentation to Community Board 1. (New York Post)

Doctoroff Blocks Battery Park City WTC Aid - Oct 3, 2002
Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff is blocking $15.6 million in disaster relief for Battery Park City tenants and homeowners - even though City Hall agreed to the cash payouts.Doctoroff said yesterday that the grants no longer "seem appropriate" because a much larger federal aid program has been created to help people living near Ground Zero. (New York Daily News)

NY Congressional Delegation Asks For WTC Health Aid - Oct 3, 2002
Fourteen members of the New York congressional delegation asked President Bush yesterday to sign off on $90 million in federal aid to monitor the health of Ground Zero workers. A month has passed since several members of the bipartisan group asked Bush to meet with them. (New York Daily News)

Vietnam Memorial Team Advises a Slow Pace - Oct 3, 2002
The founder of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund cautioned visiting New York officials yesterday not to make the "mistake" of rushing to design and build a Sept. 11 memorial. "I think they're moving at the speed they have to move at, because this plays so big on the world stage," said Jan Scruggs, a former infantry corporal. (New York Daily News)

New York Congressional Delegation Proposes Direct Aid To New York - Oct 3, 2002
Some of the government's Sept. 11 aid to New York should go directly into city and state coffers, Democratic lawmakers said yesterday. Citing "gaping holes" in the city and state budgets, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called for a law allocating some of the $21 billion to replace lost tax revenue. "Right now, even though the money is there, we can't use it," Schumer said in Washington, where he was joined by Sen. Hillary Clinton and Democratic Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney of Manhattan. "And so, what we're seeking to do here is untie the hands of the federal government." (New York Daily News)

Senator Schumers Backs Away From Criticism Of Use of Transit Funds - Oct 3, 2002
Sen. Charles Schumer is backing off his wish that a pot of federal money for lower Manhattan go only to a "Grand Central Station" downtown instead of a string of other pricey projects, officials said yesterdaySchumer's apparent change-of-heart came after he met with officials overseeing rebuilding downtown, aides said. "It seems there's enough money for both," Schumer spokesman Phil Singer said. (New York Post)

Senator Schumer Criticized For Remarks About Federal Funding For Transit - Oct 2, 2002
Senator Charles Schumer came under fire from other New York officials yesterday for his unexpected attempt to block federal disaster funding for several lower Manhattan transit projects. Public comments from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority hinted at behind-the-scenes wrangling among federal, state and city officials who are trying to divvy up the transit aid, sources said. (New York Daily News)

Women Taking Key Roles In LMDC Rebuilding Effort - Oct 2, 2002
Half the top leadership posts at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation are held by women, including 21 of the 41-member staff. Four of six vice presidents are women, working on the memorial and cultural programs, community outreach and government relations, and corporate development and legal affairs. Each woman has a distinctly different resume, and they say gender doesn't matter in their workplace. (Newsday)

Rebuilding Officials Begin Tour At Shanksville, Pennsylvania - Oct 2, 2002
In the abandoned coalfield where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed, the wall of impromptu remembrances overflowed with hundreds of flags, police patches, little angels and firefighter caps. It resembled many such tributes that sprang up in New York City a year ago. And it supported one lower Manhattan development official's desire to link somehow the three Sept. 11 memorials -- in Pennsylvania, at the Pentagon and in Manhattan. Lower Manhattan Development Corporation memorial director Anita Contini sees many similarities among how the three Sept. 11 memorial sites will be created -- from talking to the families to including other interested parties. (Newsday)

Port Authority Gives Pope a WTC Memento - Oct 1, 2002
Port Authority cops presented Pope John Paul with a cross yesterday made out of metal and other debris from the rubble of Ground Zero. The cross was presented to John Paul during his weekly public audience by a delegation of the Port Authority Police. (New York Daily News)

Downtown Residents Concerned About Safety Amid Endless Construction - Oct 1, 2002
Few things are certain about the future of Lower Manhattan expect perhaps one: residents will be living with massive construction projects for years to come. Already some people say they find themselves tiptoeing around giant cranes wondering just how safe they are. (Downtown Express)

Silverstein Sending Tower Data to U.S. Agency - Oct 1, 2002
A day after disclosing that their engineering experts had produced an important body of analysis on why the twin towers collapsed on Sept. 11, lawyers for Larry Silverstein, whose companies own the lease on the World Trade Center, said yesterday that they had abruptly begun shipping the material to a federal investigative agency. (New York Times)

Plans For Chinatown Arts Center - Oct 1, 2002
A new multimillion-dollar Asian culture and performing arts center modeled after the Lincoln Center would anchor Chinatown and help revitalize an area still recovering from the World Trade Center attack, according to a community-based plan announced Monday at City Hall. (Newsday)

Poor Transit Connections Lead Companies to Leave Lower Manhattan - Oct 1, 2002
Companies near Ground Zero are beginning to hire more employees - but still may bolt from lower Manhattan because of poor transit connections, a survey revealed yesterday. The poll, by the Alliance for Downtown New York, found that financial problems downtown have stabilized, but could worsen as companies' leases expire. (New York Daily News)

Without Resources to Sue, Widow Takes Federal 9/11 Award - Oct 1, 2002
Erma Bourdier, whose husband, Francisco, was killed in the Sept. 11 attacks, could have sued for tens of millions. But left with a 2-year-old daughter to raise alone and lacking the deep pockets to hire a lawyer with enough juice to take on the airlines or Port Authority, Bourdier agreed yesterday to accept a monetary award from the federally funded Victim Compensation Fund. (New York Daily News)

A Call for Release of Data on Collapse - Oct 1, 2002
Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn) demanded yesterday the release of court-sealed documents that could shed new light on the collapse of the World Trade Center. The documents include extensive studies done after the collapse by both sides in a suit brought by Larry Silverstein, the businessman who held the lease on the Trade Center, against insurance companies. (New York Daily News)

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