Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics


Rebuilding NYC November 2002

Federal Disaster Bill Could Bring More Aid To City - Nov 29, 2002
Mayor Bloomberg is hoping Congress will pass a law that would let the cash-strapped city snag $650 million in additional payments from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Congress will take up the issue when it resumes work in January and takes a second look at the appropriations bill that includes FEMA's budget. (New York Post)

Henry Kissinger Appointed Head of Commission To Investigate 9/11 - Nov 28, 2002
President Bush today named Henry A. Kissinger, a Republican who has been one of the most respected but polarizing figures in foreign policy and Washington for more than three decades, to lead an independent investigation into the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The 10 member-commission will conduct a wide-ranging inquiry into the causes of the attacks, whether they could have been averted and what changes are needed to prevent a similar occurrence. The commission is required to complete its work within 18 months. The leaders of the two parties in Congress must appoint the rest of the members by Dec. 15. (New York Times)

Federal Agency Urged To Extend Deadline To Apply For Aid - Nov 28, 2002
Politicians and community groups urged the Federal Emergency Management Agency yesterday to extend Saturday's deadline for grants for people affected by the terror attacks. The Individual and Family Grant gives cash to people who lost jobs or property Sept. 11, 2001. "To enforce this deadline and shut all these people out would be a slap in the face and a terrible injustice," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan). (New York Daily News)

Outspoken 9/11 Widow Joins Memorial Panel - Nov 28, 2002
Monica Iken, the widow of a Sept. 11 victim and one of the most outspoken advocates for victims' families during the rebuilding process, has been appointed to one of the two committees overseeing the planning of a memorial. Iken was notified of the appointment by letter this week, more than a week after the committees were announced. Some family members had complained publicly that rebuilding officials were ignoring people who have sometimes criticized the rebuilding effort. (New York Times)

Critics Knock E.P.A.'s Downtown Cleanup Plan - Nov 27, 2002
Three months into the Environmental Protection Agency's cleanup of Lower Manhattan apartments, many area residents remain frustrated with the program and the agency's response to their concerns. More than 6,000 Lower Manhattan households have registered for the voluntary asbestos testing and cleanup since the program began in August, said E.P.A. spokesperson Mary Mears. To date, just over 10 percent of the registered apartments, 627, have been tested, cleaned and received results. Of those, 617 have been cleared for asbestos and one has not. Nine were classified as undetermined. (Downtown Express)

State D.O.T. Skeptical of Long West St. tunnel - Nov 27, 2002
State Transportation officials, without burying the idea explicitly, nevertheless expressed skepticism last week that a long tunnel on West Street would make economic sense. Tim Gilcrest, the state Department of Transportation's director of planning, did not say he had ruled out a tunnel under the roadway, but he cited two numbers which presumably would make it hard to convince D.O.T. to build the tunnel. One is the cost, which his agency estimates to be $3 billion, not the $2 billion some tunnel proponents cite. The second is the fact that the state estimates only 30 to 40 percent of the Downtown 9A traffic would choose the tunnel over the at-grade roadway that would be built above. (Downtown Express)

New M.B.A. Program Helps Downtown Businesses - Nov 27, 2002
MBAs4NYC, a new non-profit volunteer organization that provides free financial consultation to small businesses affected by the W.T.C. attacks. MBAs4NYC is the brainchild of Colleen Galvin, a former Chase Manhattan and Citibank officer who was involved with several outreach programs after the Sept. 11 attacks. The organization draws on a pool of M.B.A. students and alumni from schools such as Columbia, Harvard and M.I.T., all of which have committed to helping promote the program within their New York alumni associations. (Downtown Express)

FEMA, Clinton, Schumer Announce $4.1 Million Pace Center - Nov 27, 2002
The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently granted $4.1 million to Pace University to pay for its facilities damaged in the attack on the World Trade Center. The announcement came at a ceremony attended by senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton, who joined Pace University president David Caputo and FEMA chief-of-staff Reynold Hoover last Friday at the university's main campus at One Pace Plaza to celebrate the grant. (Downtown Express)

FEMA's Latest Bungle: P.O. Box for 9/11 Aid Shut for Nonpayment - Nov 27, 2002
For more than a year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has had no end of problems with its stewardship of the Sept. 11 aid programs. Now comes a bureaucratic bungle of a new magnitude. Last week, a FEMA post office box in Albany was closed after the agency failed to pay the rent for almost three months. The agency had set up the box to handle applications for a major reimbursement program. After the box was closed by the Albany post office, about 300 people who had mailed in applications potentially worth hundreds of thousands of dollars received their packets stamped "Return to Sender." (New York Times)

Fire Captian Invents Powerful New Radio - Nov 27, 2002
A fire captain toiling in an FDNY lab crafted a powerful new radio from $1,000 worth of parts that might help overcome widespread communication woes that contributed to firefighter deaths in the Sept. 11 attacks. (New York Post)

Lower Manhattan Site Picked for New High School - Nov 26, 2002
A new city high school - envisioned as part of lower Manhattan's renaissance - finally has a home near Ground Zero, sources said last night. School officials concluded their search for permanent digs for Millennium High School yesterday by getting space in a large office building at 75 Broad St., sources said. (New York Daily News)

Federal Bill Secures LMDC's Role in Memorial Planning - Nov 26, 2002
The federal government would guarantee the future of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. under recent congressional legislation to create a World Trade Center National Memorial. Introduced earlier this month by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan), whose district includes Ground Zero, the bill requires the development agency's public planning process to determine the memorial's design and location, with eventual administration by the National Park Service. (Newsday)

Inquiry Clears F.B.I. Agents in Egyptian's False 9/11 Confession - Nov 26, 2002
An internal inquiry has cleared the F.B.I. agents who obtained a false confession from an Egyptian student in the Sept. 11 attacks, and has raised new questions about the value of lie-detector tests. The student, Abdallah Higazy, was detained after investigators were told that an aviation radio, capable of communicating with commercial airline pilots, was found in his Manhattan hotel room overlooking the World Trade Center soon after Sept. 11. (New York Times)

Firefigher's 9/11 Story Doubted - Nov 26, 2002
Battalion Chief Richard Picciotto, who wrote the best-selling book "Last Man Down," about surviving the collapse of the World Trade Center's north tower is being ripped by firefighters for allegedly exaggerating his role in the Sept. 11 rescue efforts. (New York Daily News)

Investigation Finds Weak Security at NYC Tunnels and Bridges - Nov 25, 2002
Spotty security at the city's bridges and tunnels leaves them wide open to truck bombs and makes it easy for terrorists to transport explosives into Manhattan, according to a Post investigation. A week after the FBI warned of "spectacular" attacks - and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority issued a special alert on rented box trucks - a Post reporter rented a yellow box truck and drove it over a dozen crossings multiple times. It was rarely challenged. (New York Post)

Port Authority Won't Be Part of Ground Zero Design Display - Nov 23, 2002
A lower Manhattan planner asked the Port Authority yesterday to unveil its master plan alongside other new designs for Ground Zero next month - but the bistate agency turned him down. Lower Manhattan Development Corp. board member Roland Betts, head of the agency's site-planning subcommittee, told the Gotham Gazette in an online interview that he has invited the Port Authority to present the work at the Winter Garden next month, when as many as nine plans for the World Trade Center site will be unveiled. Port Authority spokesman Michael Petralia insisted the agency is working jointly with the corporation on the plan and that it simply isn't done yet. (New York Daily News)

Bookstore Cancels 9/11 Author's Reading - Nov 23, 2002
The Harvard Square bookstore WordsWorth abruptly canceled a scheduled reading Thursday night by William Langewiesche, author of ''American Ground: Unbuilding the World Trade Center,'' after angry firefighters announced they'd picket the event. It was the store's first such cancellation, prompted by security concerns. An angry storm has swirled about Langewiesche since the book was published last month. Besides other criticisms of firefighters at Ground Zero, the book suggests that some might have engaged in looting before the twin towers collapsed Sept. 11. (Boston Globe)

F.B.I. Report on Student in 9/11 Case to Be Public - Nov 23, 2002
In a sharp reversal, federal prosecutors in Manhattan said yesterday that they no longer opposed the public release of a report on how the F.B.I. obtained a confession from an innocent Egyptian student who was detained last year in connection with the World Trade Center attack. The office of United States Attorney James B. Comey, which had submitted the report to a federal judge and asked that he not release it, told him in a letter that it had re-evaluated its position, given the intense public interest in the matter involving the student, Abdallah Higazy. (New York Times)

Schumer Urges Feds to Scrap Wall Street Disaster Plan - Nov 23, 2002
Calling a new Wall Street disaster plan a "dagger pointed at the heart of New York," Sen. Chuck Schumer urged federal regulators yesterday to scrap it and start from scratch. The plan recommends that financial firms build backup facilities as far as 300 miles out of town - and move thousands of jobs with them. (New York Daily News)

Rebuilding Official Praises Designs For World Trade Center Site - Nov 22, 2002
Seven architecture teams commissioned by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to design plans for Ground Zero have created work that is "astoundingly innovative, creative and exciting," according to Roland W. Betts, a Lower Manhattan Development Corporation director. Memorials on the tops of buildings and below ground, a formal 19th-century-style garden and the tallest building in the world are among the elements included in several new sets of plans being drawn up for the World Trade Center site, according to rebuilding officials who have seen them. (New York Times)

Port Authority Releasing Their Own Master Plan For Ground Zero - Nov 22, 2002
The Port Authority will release its own master plan for the World Trade Center site by February, detailing the memorialÕs size and location and transportation improvements, the agencyÕs executive director said Thursday. The master plan, being developed by architects hired by the Port Authority, will include mass transit, vehicular and pedestrian access and the minimum and maximum square footage of the commercial space. (Newsday)

Terrorism Driving Up Commercial Insurance Rates, Says City Comptroller - Nov 22, 2002
Commercial insurance premiums have risen up to 73 percent in the city since the World Trade Center attack and insurance for commercial property has become much more difficult to obtain, according to a report issued last week by city Comptroller William Thompson. (Downtown Express)

Rebuilding Agency To Look At Chinatown Traffic Problems - Nov 22, 2002
State and city officials are asking consulting companies for ideas on how to fix Chinatown's transportation woes, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation announced last week. The study will identify the major transportation issues in Chinatown and suggest ways to remedy the problems, officials said. Sections of Park Row, a major thoroughfare connecting parts of Broadway to Chinatown, have been closed since Sept. 11 for security reasons. (Downtown Express)

Design Announced For 7 World Trade Center - Nov 21, 2002
Developer Larry Silverstein released his designs for a new 7 World Trade Center on Wednesday. The 750-foot glass and steel office tower will have reinforced concrete walls, increased amounts of structural steel, double the required fireproofing materials and wider staircases than required by code. Located across Vesey Street from the trade center site, the $700-million tower will be the first building to rise again at Ground Zero. (Newsday)

Planners Commit To Doubling Retail Space At Ground Zero - Nov 21, 2002
The chairman of the company that holds the rights to build retail stores at the World Trade Center site said yesterday that officials assured him that his company, which has been quiet in public discussions about the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan, will now have a more active role in planning the effort. Frank Lowy, chairman of the Westfield Group, an Australian operator of shopping malls, said that in a meeting yesterday, senior officials from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation also committed to trying to build more than twice the amount of retail space that existed on Sept. 11, 2001. (New York Times)

Congressman Nadler Slams Federal Cleanup Program For Downtown - Nov 21, 2002
tacking an apartment cleanup plan in lower Manhattan as a ÒcharadeÓ, Congressman Jerrold Nadler said Wednesday the federal government is avoiding stringent testing and cleanup measures and using inadequate methods to rid homes of World Trade Center dust. (Newsday)

NYC Bridges Getting Security Cameras - Nov 21, 2002
The NYPD will position surveillance cameras on several of the city's bridges as part of its expanding war on terror, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said yesterday. The cameras will augment the cops already positioned at the crossings to inspect vehicles that could be carrying explosives. Kelly declined to say which crossings were getting the cameras. (New York Post)

Larry Silverstein To Announce Plans for 7 World Trade Center - Nov 20, 2002
Marking an important step in the rebuilding of ground zero, developer Larry Silverstein is set to release plans on Wednesday for a new 7 World Trade Center, just north of where the twin towers stood. The 52-story lower Manhattan office tower will incorporate "cutting-edge safety and environmental features," Silverstein's spokesman, Howard Rubenstein, said Tuesday. The new building will be narrower than its 47-story predecessor so that Greenwich Street, formerly cut off by 7 World Trade Center, can be restored. (Newsday)

Federal Victims Fund Master Insults Staten Island - Nov 20, 2002
The man in charge of doling out federal funds to Sept. 11 victims' families called Staten Island a "Third World country" - prompting cries yesterday for his firing. Representative Vito Fossella urged Attorney General John Ashcroft to fire Kenneth Feinberg, the Victim Compensation Fund's special master. But Feinberg insisted last night he has no plans to leave -- even after issuing an apology for the slur. (New York Daily News)

Insurance Companies Revisit Terrorism Insurance For Transit Authority - Nov 20, 2002
If a terror attack were to strike the city's subways or any of the MTA-run bridges and tunnels, the agency's policy would cover only $100 million in property damages, officials said yesterday. "Anything over that figure, we are not covered for," said Gary Caplan, the MTA's director of budgets and financial management. The MTA said the $100 million terrorism policy, which has a $30 million deductible, was the most it could afford. Pre-Sept. 11, the MTA had a policy with $1.5 billion in coverage for all disasters, including terrorism. (New York Post)

127 Airport Workers Face Charges of Hiding Past - Nov 20, 2002
127 current and former workers at La Guardia and Kennedy International Airports who were recently arrested, or who face arrest, have one thing in common, federal, state and local authorities said yesterday: they received security clearances at the airports either by lying about their criminal histories or by presenting fake identification. (New York Times)

Chinatown Still Struggling After September 11 - Nov 19, 2002
More than a year after the terrorist attacks, Chinatown is struggling to recover economically, according to a report by the Asian American Federation of New York. The neighborhood's largest employer, the garment industry, has been particularly slow. Before 9/11, there were about 250 garment factories in Chinatown; a year later, a quarter, or 65 factories, have closed. Restaurants and jewelry stores are suffering as well with business over the summer down 40 to 60 percent. Most of the dislocated workers in Chinatown are women between the ages of 41 and 54. (Asian American Federation)

Talks On Airport-Ground Zero Land Swap Not Progressing - Nov 19, 2002
A land swap proposal that would have given the city control of Ground Zero and a much-needed cash infusion is dead, according to the Daily News. The general outline of the deal, first floated in August, called for the city to trade Kennedy and LaGuardia airports to the Port Authority for the 16-acre World Trade Center site. But the short-lived talks never progressed far enough to involve specific financial terms, officials said. (New York Daily News)

Critics Pan Commuter Subway - Nov 19, 2002
A superfast subway train for Long Island commuters going downtown won't save enough time to be worth the multibillion-dollar price tag, critics say. The Civic Alliance to Rebuild Downtown, a coalition of more than 75 business, community and environmental groups, voted last week to oppose the plan floated by Brookfield Financial Properties, which could take five years to build. About two-thirds of potential commuters using the so-called "supershuttle" would only save three minutes or less, according to their analysis. (Newsday)

Fuel in Storage Inside Buildings Raises Security Concern - Nov 19, 2002
Tens of thousands of gallons of diesel fuel, used for huge backup generators and air-conditioners, are stored in a half-dozen big buildings in Manhattan, posing a potentially lethal hazard in the event of an accident or a terrorist attack. The city's Buildings and Fire Departments are investigating the fuel tanks at the buildings because of the similarities to the situation at 7 World Trade Center, where thousands of gallons of burning fuel may have contributed to the collapse of that skyscraper after the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001. (New York Times)

Subway Workers Lack Terror Training - Nov 19, 2002
Despite repeated requests, subway workers have gotten no training in what to do if the transit system is hit by a chemical or biological attack, union leaders charged yesterday. "If a terrorist attack were to happen in the subways, our workers wouldn't know what to do," said Jimmy Willis, a top official of Transport Workers Union Local 100. He said his union has asked the MTA to train its subway employees - especially in evacuation procedures. Those requests, he said, have fallen on deaf ears. (New York Post)

Officials Debate How To Unveil New Ground Zero Plans - Nov 18, 2002
Ground Zero planners are grappling with how best to show the public the new round of World Trade Center designs set to be unveiled next month. The designs, replete with memorial and office spaces, will be completed before the middle of December. The possibilities for exhibiting the new designs include a live broadcast at the glass atrium Winter Garden, which overlooks the site. Each design team would be given about 20 minutes of air time to detail its work. A tape of the broadcast then could be distributed to TV outlets. (New York Daily News)

Post-9/11 Immigrant Treatment Protested - Nov 17, 2002
About 200 people marched yesterday in lower Manhattan against the government's post-September 11 treatment of immigrants. Wearing signs such as "Stand Against Racial Profiling," demonstrators sloshed from One Police Plaza about four blocks to the Jacob Javits Federal Plaza, chanting against detentions and deportations. (Newsday)

More Trouble in Chinatown as Job-Training Effort Fails - Nov 17, 2002
The organization that provides most of the nonprofit job training in Chinatown has eliminated its program for dislocated workers, causing worries in a community still reeling from a battered economy and the aftershocks of the Sept. 11 attack. The organization, Chinatown Manpower Project, sent a letter to the New York City Department of Employment in September, saying it would not continue its four-year contract with the city because it could not meet its performance goals. (New York Daily News)

Firefighters To Protest Claims of Looting From Book - Nov 17, 2002
Furious FDNY members are gearing up for a protest on Monday against a book claiming New York's Bravest looted World Trade Center stores while the twin towers burned. William Langewiesche, author of "American Ground: Unbuilding the World Trade Center," accuses firefighters of loading pairs of jeans from a Gap store in the mall beneath the twin towers onto their Ladder 4 truck while the terror attacks unfolded. (New York Daily News)

Street Renamed To Honor Firefighter - Nov 17, 2002
A Bronx street was renamed yesterday in honor of a firefighter whose voice is heard extensively on the audio tape of the Sept. 11 response recently released by the Port Authority. (New York Post)

Some Victims' Families Feel Influence on 9/11 Memorial Slipping Away - Nov 16, 2002
One of the most potent political forces to rise from the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center -- the widows and other family members of those killed last year on Sept. 11 -- has found its influence over the rebuilding and memorial efforts gradually but significantly eroding. (New York Times)

September 11 Tape Recording of Firefighters Stirs Controversy - Nov 16, 2002
A 73-minute recording of firefighter conversations in the south tower of the World Trade Center was released yesterday, heightening the dispute between the city and firefighters over whether crucial communication equipment failed Sept. 11. The tapes seem to suggest the signal-boosting repeater used to amplify and retransmit radio signals worked in the south tower -- while few radio conversations in the north tower are heard. An earlier study endorsed by Mayor Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta had blamed malfunctioned equipment for contributing to the deaths of the 343 FDNY members who died in the terrorist attack. (New York Daily News)

IRS to Tax $281 Million in 9/11 Aid - Nov 15, 2002
The IRS is going after $281 million in post-Sept. 11 aid being used to entice people to live near Ground Zero. The Internal Revenue Service said yesterday tax bills will vary depending on where a tenant or homeowner lives and which type of housing aid granted. (New York Daily News)

Two Boards Are Appointed to Guide Sept. 11 Memorial - Nov 15, 2002
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation appointed two committees this week to oversee the 9/11 memorial effort, as part of what the agency's chairman called a "new phase" in rebuilding downtown. He also said yesterday that the public would be able to see exhibits next month showing the new plans for the World Trade Center site. Advertisement (New York Times)

Whitehead Defends LMDC Record - Nov 15, 2002
Lower Manhattan Development Corp. chairman John Whitehead defended his agency's record yesterday, claiming it has laid a strong foundation for downtown's redevelopment. Site plans being developed by reputable architectural teams will be publicly displayed by year's end and a memorial competition will follow, said Whitehead, fending off reports that he might leave. (Newsday)

Scarcity Of Jobs, Housing Threatening Chinatown - Nov 14, 2002
More than a year after the Sept. 11 attacks, a new study presents a bleak assessment of Chinatown and says its existence is threatened by a lack of jobs and affordable housing.The unemployment rate was 12 percent among those surveyed in the area, almost double the city average, according to the Rebuild Chinatown Initiative, a coalition of community groups. (Newsday)

Downtown Questions Olympic Plan - Nov 14, 2002
Two of the leading representatives of Lower Manhattan say they are concerned that the city's push to capture the Olympics in 2012 may divert attention from Downtown transportation and rebuilding projects. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Madelyn Wils, chairperson of Community Board 1 and a board member of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., both said they saw potential problems with the Olympic bid, during separate telephone interviews. (Downtown Express)

WTC Families Angry at New Process for Planning Memorial - Nov 14, 2002
A group of World Trade Center families is lambasting a new process for crafting the Ground Zero memorial - charging that officials in charge of rebuilding are trying to silence the more vocal relatives. "There's not an open process and there should be," Jack Lynch said yesterday. Lynch, who lost his son Sept. 11, slammed the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. for creating two 11-member committees to plan memorial guidelines in virtual secrecy - without telling its larger family advisory council. (New York Daily News)

26 Arrests Made In WTC Charity Scams - Nov 14, 2002
Twenty-six people have been arrested in recent days on charges they tried to scam charity money or goods meant for victims of the World Trade Center attacks, the Manhattan district attorney's office said yesterday. The arrests involved a variety of alleged scams, including a morgue employee at Bellevue Hospital Center allegedly selling coffins that were donated for those killed by the terrorists, prosecutors said. (Newsday)

WTC Widows Demand Answers On 9/11 Probe - Nov 14, 2002
The White House insisted yesterday that it still wants an independent commission to probe the Sept. 11 attacks - but angry World Trade Center widows weren't buying it. World Trade Center widows were outraged to learn that the commission was stripped from President Bush's compromise homeland security bill, which the House passed last night by a 299-to-121 vote. (New York Daily News)

Comptroller: Insurance Industry Hiking Premiums for High Rises - Nov 14, 2002
The insurance industry is socking New York's landmark high-rises with premium hikes of 73% or more - out of fear that terrorists may strike again, city Controller William Thompson charged yesterday. (New York Daily News)

Silver: More Input on Rebuilding - Nov 14, 2002
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver expressed concern again yesterday that the agencies in charge of the redevelopment of lower Manhattan are making key decisions without seeking input from the legislature and the public. But Alexander Garvin, the chief planner of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., disagreed during an exchange between the two men in a public hearing yesterday. (Newsday)

Designs Unveiled for Transit Hub at Ground Zero - Nov 13, 2002
Demonstrating the speed with which planning at the World Trade Center site is taking place, Port Authority officials showed early designs for a permanent transportation hub at the site today, incorporating many elements of the temporary PATH station that is already being built. The preliminary designs include a soaring glass atrium that would allow subway and rail passengers to see skyscrapers towering overhead from several floors below ground level, enabling them to orient themselves to where they are in the downtown landscape almost as soon as they step off the trains. (New York Times)

Victims' Kin Find Fault With Overseer of 9/11 Fund - Nov 13, 2002
With greater frequency and deepening anger, the relatives of the victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks are growing disenchanted with the man who oversees the federal Victim Compensation Fund. They say he breaks promises, delays decisions repeatedly and provides conflicting guidance for a program that is intended to pay out billions in awards. (New York Times)

9/11 Families Back a Federal Role for Memorial - Nov 13, 2002
A group of World Trade Center victims' relatives backed a proposed federal bill yesterday to bestow national memorial status on the Ground Zero memorial. The bill would give the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. up to three years to create a memorial design - but would grant federal officials final approval. It also calls for the federal government to fund half the tribute's construction cost and pick up all the maintenance tab once it's done. The National Park Service would maintain the memorial. (New York Daily News)

Temporary PATH Hub Will Become Permanent - Nov 13, 2002
A temporary PATH station being constructed on the bedrock of Ground Zero may not be so temporary after all. A top rebuilding official revealed yesterday that the bare-bones temporary hub between Greenwich and Church Sts. will be used as the foundation for a permanent station. (New York Daily News)

Federal Study Finds that 9/11 Cost NYC $36 Billion - Nov 13, 2002
A new federal study estimates the World Trade Center attacks cost the city up to $36 billion - a number that's drastically lower than the city's figures. The Federal Reserve Bank's findings, published in the November issue of its Economic Policy Review, said it will cost $11.2 billion to rebuild the twin towers as they existed before the attack. (New York Daily News)

New Study Will Examine Firefighters' Mental Health - Nov 13, 2002
The union representing city firefighters announced yesterday that it has launched a massive study of nearly half its members to examine their mental health and the factors that cause excessive stress on and off the job. The Uniformed Firefighters Association said the study will be conducted by Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, which will poll 3,000 firefighters and 300 retirees. (New York Post)

Families Propose WTC 'Tomb' - Nov 12, 2002
Still reeling from the creation of a new committee structure to develop a memorial at the World Trade Center site, a coalition of 9/11 families is proposing a tomb-like structure to house unidentified remains of those lost Sept. 11. (Newsday)

Tall Tower Near Ground Zero Is Proposed - Nov 12, 2002
A developer who has built a dozen residential towers in the relatively safe environs of the East Side now wants to plunge into uncertain waters downtown, with a new 90-story skyscraper that would be the second-tallest building in New York City Ă‘ and only a block from Ground Zero. Trevor Davis has designs for a building that would be 1,050 feet tall, 4 feet taller than the Chrysler Building, but 200 feet shorter than the Empire State Building, on a block at Broadway and Fulton Street. (New York Times)

9/11 Tape Reveals a Gripping History - Nov 12, 2002
A recently released tape of 9/11 rescue efforts not only provides facts about a particular 78 minutes on Sept. 11, 2001, but also exposes what many see as a lingering diffidence toward searching inquiries into whatever broke down on that day, whether building codes in New York City or spy codes at the National Security Agency. (New York Times)

Congressman Calls for Federal Role in 9/11 Memorial - Nov 11, 2002
The federal government would help pay for the Ground Zero memorial and the U.S. Park Service would run it under a bill proposed by Manhattan Congressman Jerry Nadler. The legislation answers at least some of the concerns of a group of relatives of trade center victims, who have been pushing for a federal role. (New York Post)

Downtown Planners May Give FDR Drive a New Design - Nov 11, 2002
Planners overseeing lower Manhattan's comeback from the terror attacks are considering new designs for a portion of the FDR Drive south of the Brooklyn Bridge, officials said. The east waterfront access design has become a critical concern of planners -- and it is expected to be included when Mayor Bloomberg unveils his vision for lower Manhattan next month. (New York Daily News)

9/11 Funds Could Go to Cash-Strapped City Groups - Nov 10, 2002
Government officials are looking for ways to tap the $2 billion pot of cash controlled by the Ground Zero rebuilding agency -- the only act in town with money to spend. At a time when both the state and city face multibillion-dollar deficits, the federal funds given the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. have become increasingly attractive as a way to lessen the blow. Sources said city officials have discussed the possibility of allocating some of the agency's money -- some of which is required to be given to cultural organizations -- to groups that will have their city funding slashed. (New York Daily News)

9/11 Tape Raises Added Questions on Radio Failures - Nov 9, 2002
For much of the last year, New York City has said the devastating breakdown in fire communications at the World Trade Center was largely caused by the failure of an electronic device in the complex called a repeater, which was designed to boost radio transmissions in high rise buildings. Now, however, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's analysis of its 78-minute tape of firefighter communications from Sept. 11 flatly contradicts the city's version of what went wrong. It raises the possibility that different factors Ă‘ failure of other equipment, design of communications consoles in the tower lobbies, or a simple mistake made at a moment of high stress Ă‘ might have accounted for the communications breakdowns. (New York Times)

WTC Planner Quits in Conflict - Nov 9, 2002
A Ground Zero rebuilding official quietly stepped down from his post this week because of a conflict of interests, the Daily News has learned. Howard Wilson resigned from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp.'s board because his law firm represents twin towers leaseholder Larry Silverstein in his billion-dollar insurance case. (New York Daily News)

Memorial Fence at St Paul's Chapel Being Cleared - Nov 8, 2002
A grass-roots memorial to the victims of the World Trade Center attack that grew in the last year from a few remembrances on the fence surrounding St. Paul's Chapel to a cluttered collection of tributes is slowly being cleared, one flag, one shirt, one doll at a time. One day a week, workers will clear away memorial tributes on 10 feet of the fence, five feet in each of two sections. The fence should be clear shortly after New Year's Day. (New York Times)

Pataki Plans Larger Rebuilding Role - Nov 8, 2002
After remaining largely removed from the details of the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan over the last year, Gov. George Pataki plans to take a more direct role in the process, state officials say, starting with considering major changes in the leadership and structure of the rebuilding effort. (New York Times)

Ground Zero Officials to Hire Mediator - Nov 8, 2002
Ground Zero officials are broadening their memorial planning process beyond victims' relatives - and hiring a special mediator to help put together the permanent tribute. The move, expected to be announced as early as today, follows Gov. Pataki's reelection - and leaves some victims' relatives worried that their input will be devalued. (New York Daily News)

New WTC Designs To Be Directly Shown to Public - Nov 8, 2002
The latest designs by Ground Zero architects will be brought directly to the public next month in two exhibits set up by curators from the Museum of Modern Art, officials said yesterday. Models and pictures of the designs will be displayed at the World Financial Center in mid-December, probably at the Winter Garden. At the same time, MoMA will display some of the same materials in its temporary space in Queens, said Terrence Riley, the chief curator for architecture and design. (New York Post)

Future Role of LMDC in Rebuilding Unclear - Nov 7, 2002
One year after its creation, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. faces serious questions about its future - from who will head the agency to whether it will continue to exist. While it's unclear whether LMDC president Lou Tomson will leave by next year, critics say that the overall World Trade Center redevelopment effort lacks clear leadership. (Newsday)

Firefighters Sue Over Arrests in WTC Protest March - Nov 6, 2002
Eight firefighters have filed a lawsuit against the city, senior officials of the Giuliani administration and several police officers, accusing them of false arrest and imprisonment in a violent confrontation a year ago during a protest march to the ruins of the World Trade Center. On Nov. 2, 2001, more than 500 firefighters took part in the protest, which was called in response to the Giuliani administration's decision to reduce the number of Fire Department personnel assigned to a search-and-recovery operation at ground zero. (New York Times)

LMDC President Likely to Leave After Elections - Nov 5, 2002
Lou Tomson is widely expected to step down as president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. after this week's elections. Insiders say the decision would be a personal one: Tomson, a top aide to Gov. George Pataki during his first term, has been commuting on weekends to the Albany area, where he lives. Tomson's departure could set off a turf battle for control of LMDC between Charles Gargano, chairman of LMDC's parent agency, Empire State Development, and Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's point person for rebuilding lower Manhattan. (Crain's New York Business)

Many Insurance Claims for Losses Caused by 9/11 Have Not Yet Been Paid - Nov 5, 2002
Within five months after terrorists struck the World Trade Center, insurance companies paid more than $16 billion in claims for damage from the attack, providing a sharp boost to New York's struggling economy. But the flow has slowed: so far this year, the insurance companies have paid $3 billion in claims. The payments have slowed, industry experts said, because insurance companies and their customers have taken care of the easiest claims, and now they are dealing with the most complicated ones, some of which may take years to resolve. (New York Times)

Lessons Drawn From Attack on Pentagon May Stay Secret - Nov 5, 2002
The World Trade Center report was completed and released last spring, but the Defense Department, fearing that the strengths and perhaps vulnerabilities of its headquarters were too clearly drawn, has held up the Pentagon study in a classification review and may never allow it to be publicly released. (New York Times)

City Says Olympic Plans Won't Hurt WTC Rebuilding Efforts - Nov 4, 2002
The city's $5-billion commitment to the 2012 Olympic Games will not overshadow its commitment to the World Trade Center site, promised government and labor leaders, who applauded the economic impact of the summer games. Rather than taking resources from the redevelopment of lower Manhattan, the bid will help the city rebuild long after the "extraordinary spirit" generated by the Sept. 11 attacks has faded, said Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff, who leads the downtown rebuilding effort and the Olympic bid. (Newsday)

Sept. 11 Death Toll Declines as 2 People Are Found Alive - Nov 3, 2002
Two more names have been removed from the count of World Trade Center victims after a Florida man and a New York City woman were found alive, discoveries that bring the death toll from the Sept. 11 attack in New York City down to 2,795. (New York Times)

WTC Families Call for Half of Site to Be Used as Memorial - Nov 2, 2002
Worried that rebuilding officials haven't heard their wishes, a group of Sept. 11 victims' families implored architects designing new Ground Zero plans yesterday to use roughly half the site for a permanent memorial. In a letter sent to the six teams recently charged with crafting new visions for the site, the relatives asked them to honor the "bathtub" area, a 9-acre swath of land that includes the twin towers' footprints. (New York Daily News)

Vocal Groups Continue to Call for Rebuilt Towers - Nov 2, 2002
Politicians and planners have repeatedly dismissed the idea of rebuilding the World Trade Center towers, saying it is not economically feasible because few people want to work 100 stories above ground, especially at ground zero. But a few vocal groups of tower supporters insist that a large segment of the public is on their side. These small groups, which say they have gathered thousands of names on petitions in support of their goal, have continued to put up billboards, manage Web sites, speak and pass out leaflets at public hearings, often generating enthusiastic responses (New York Times)

Officials Accused of Distorting 9/11 Aid Statistics - Nov 1, 2002
New York's Congressional delegation and the leaders of several lower Manhattan organizations have accused federal and state officials of distorting the statistics of a major Sept. 11 aid program to make it appear that it had done a better job of distributing cash grants. The accusations involve the Individual and Family Grant program, which had been promoted by Gov. George Pataki as the ultimate safety net for people who had lost their jobs, had property damaged or needed to be reimbursed for air-quality equipment. (New York Times)

Assembly Speaker Says Lack of Accountability Is Slowing Rebuilding of Lower Manhattan - Nov 1, 2002
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver yesterday accused officials overseeing the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan of avoiding public accountability by failing to publicly discuss and vote on proposals to spend billions of dollars in federal aid promised after the Sept. 11 attack. (New York Times)

Port Authority Continues Plans for Underground Walkway on WTC Site - Nov 1, 2002
Port Authority planners are still considering running an underground walkway below the footprint of one of the Twin Towers - even though families of World Trade Center victims and some development officials oppose it. (New York Post)

WTC Site Designers Including Much Office Space - Nov 1, 2002
Several Ground Zero architects are thinking bigger may be better - offering surprising designs that increase the office space on the site well beyond guidelines intended to trim the trade center's square footage, a development official said yesterday. (New York Post)

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