Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics


Rebuilding NYC May 2004

Dispute Over Libeskind's Pay - May 29, 2004
Daniel Libeskind, the master planner for the World Trade Center site, and Larry A. Silverstein, the commercial leaseholder, are fighting over how much Mr. Libeskind should be paid for his work on the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower. Mr. Libeskind submitted a bill for $800,000. Mr. Silverstein countered with an offer of $125,000. And though the sides are still talking, they remain far apart (New York Times)

WTC's Angry Genius - May 29, 2004
Architect Daniel Libeskind is threatening to sue Ground Zero developer Larry Silverstein Ă‘ claiming he's owed a "genius fee" for his work on the Freedom Tower, sources told The Post yesterday. (New York Post)

9/11 Commissioner Apologizes for Comments At Hearing, Says Giuliani - May 28, 2004
A week after saying that communication failures between the Police and Fire departments on 9/11 were "not worthy of the boy scouts," 9/11 commission member John Lehman apologized in person to former Mayor Rudy Giuliani this week. At least, that's the version offered yesterday by Giuliani, who said Lehman came to his Giuliani Partners office on Wednesday to meet with him and two top aides, former Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen and former Office of Emergency Management Chief Richard Sheirer. (New York Daily News)

Inspired by 9/11, NYPD Officer Helps Crack Terror Case - May 28, 2004
Hero Detective George Corey couldn't wait to join the ranks of the elite FBI-NYPD joint terrorist task force after the 9/11 attacks on his beloved city. He knew it might cost him weeks, even months, away from his wife and kids on Long Island while he tracked leads from Alaska to Cuba. Yesterday, Corey's tireless work paid off. (New York Post)

Mistress of 9/11 Victim Sues His Widow For Greater Share of Benefits - May 28, 2004
The mistress of a Port Authority officer who died in the attack on the World Trade Center is suing his widow, seeking a greater share of benefits for a child from their affair (New York Post)

Businesses Face Eviction To Make Way for Station - May 28, 2004
For the businesses in buildings that will have to be knocked down to make way for the Fulton Street Transit Station there is more resentment than excitement. (NY1)

Poll Gauges Downtown Residents' Thoughts on Rebuilding - May 28, 2004
A new survey of Lower Manhattan residents gathered opinions on how to redevelop the World Trade Center site and the surrounding area. (NY1)

With Rebuilding Money, New Sports Fields Being Built on Downtown Pier - May 28, 2004
The Hudson River Park TrustÕs board of directors at their May 20 meeting approved $5.5 million in contracts to build a three-and-a-half-acre, interim sports field at Pier 40. The Trust will pay for the work out of its general funds, plus $1.6 million from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. that had previously been slated for an ice-skating rink at Spring St. and the tennis courts. (Downtown Express)

Some Firefighters Leaving Their Wives for 9/11 Widows - May 27, 2004
If 9/11 was the earthquake, the families of firefighters are still, nearly three years later, trying to ride out the aftershocks, the painful, unforeseeable shufflings and reconfigurations that follow any death, much less hundreds within a single professional community. Unlikely though her story seems, Susan Zazulka is not the only wife of a firefighter whose husband left her for a 9/11 widow. There is also Mary Koenig, who lives in upstate New York, whose husband left her for a Staten Island widow named Madeline Bergin. And there is Christina Garger, a teacher on Long Island whose husband, Richard Garger, started seeing a 9/11 widow. One widow who wouldn't use her name said that she briefly dated a firefighter until she found out that he was still officially married. Fire Department sources say there are 10 or 11 such love triangles. (New York Times)

Police Fear Attack in New York - May 27, 2004
Police officials fear that New York will be hit with another Al Qaeda terror strike, according to an NYPD memo obtained by the Daily News. (New York Daily News)

City, Federal Government Debate Use of $4 Billion in Rebuilding Funds - May 27, 2004
The White House, city officials and lawmakers have held private talks to see if they can reallocate unused money President Bush promised the city after the 9/11 attacks, The Daily News has learned. The secret negotiations have focused on giving the city more flexibility to spend some $4 billion in unused funds. (New York Daily News)

Glass And Steel Dome For New Fulton Street Station - May 27, 2004
The new $750 million Fulton Transit Center will feature a 110-foot-high glass-and-steel dome that will allow sunlight to filter into what is now a dingy, maze-like subway complex, according to plans unveiled yesterday. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority hub, at Broadway and Fulton St., also would preserve the 115-year-old Corbin Building and use its arches as another entrance point. (New York Daily News)

New Yorkers Shrug Off Terror Warnings - May 27, 2004
New Yorkers took the latest terror warnings in stride. They believe the city is a likely terror target, particularly when the Republican National Convention is at Madison Square Garden this summer. But they have lived through too many alerts in recent years to do anything different. (New York Daily News)

Officials Tell New Yorkers Not to Worry About Warnings - May 27, 2004
Relax, New York - and leave the worrying to us. That was the message of calm delivered yesterday by Gov. Pataki, Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, even as the White House warned of possible terror attacks against the U.S. in the coming months. (New York Daily News)

Fulton Street Subway Station Calls For Huge Glass Dome Downtown - May 26, 2004
Add another transparent polymorph to downtown's future landscape. If blueprints can be believed, office towers, apartment houses, commuter rail terminals - and now, even a subway station - will shimmer luminously as they taper and soar. Astride a tangled labyrinth linking four stations on the A, C, J, M, Z, 2, 3, 4 and 5 lines, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority proposes a tapering, conical, 110-foot-tall steel-and-glass dome that would emerge from within a 50-foot-high glass-box pavilion at Broadway and Fulton Street. This translucent and transparent structure would, in effect, harvest daylight and send it as far as possible underground, opening new vistas and brightening what is now a dank warren of platforms and passageways. (New York Times)

Worry Grows That Cultural Plans for Ground Zero Are Off-Track - May 26, 2004
With needed fund-raisers backing away and decision making stalled on the cultural component of a redeveloped World Trade Center site, a growing chorus of critics are questioning the effectiveness of the process and whether the project has gone off track. Lost in the debate over whether an opera house can fill its off-season or whether a dance and theater space could together attract sufficient funds, some arts leaders and planning experts say, is the more fundamental question of whether either of these options lives up to the grand plans for Lower Manhattan's hallowed ground. (New York Times)

News Program Offers Cops Federal Terrorism Information - May 26, 2004
Cops on the beat in New York and Vermont will be able to instantly check suspects against the U.S. government's terrorist watch lists under a first-of-its-kind, FBI-coordinated program announced Tuesday. FBI Director Robert Mueller said the system will give state and local police a way of checking 12 databases maintained by federal agencies, and provide officers with a direct line to federal agents to report suspicious activities. (Associated Press)

Ground Zero Workers With Cancer Face Legal Challenge - May 26, 2004
In the agonizing hours after the towers collapsed on Sept. 11, Brooklyn Firefighter Pete Strahl was on his belly, crawling in a tunnel of debris under 7 World Trade Center to reach an injured civilian. Strahl is now battling a deadly throat cancer. His lung tests are also showing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, dubbed the "World Trade Center cough" by medical experts. The difficulty for Strahl and other first responders at the World Trade Center is that they must prove their illnesses are job-related. So far, there is no medical evidence linking Ground Zero to cancer. (New York Daily News)

Governor Nominates 9/11 Widow for Port Authority Board - May 26, 2004
Christine Ferer, widowed when the 9/11 terror attacks took the life of Port Authority chief Neil Levin, was nominated yesterday by Gov. Pataki for a seat on the 12-member PA board. Levin, killed in the collapse of the Twin Towers, was executive director of the PA at the time. Before that, he served as state banking superintendent and later as state insurance commissioner. Ferer is currently a Pataki-appointed board member of Lower Manhattan Development Corp., which was created to oversee rebuilding in the wake of the attacks. She also serves as liaison for Mayor Bloomberg to families who lost relatives on 9/11. (New York Post)

Ridge Warns of Summer Attacks; Does Not Name NYC Specifically - May 26, 2004
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said Wednesday that new information on a terrorist threat against the United States "talks about an attack" but said there is no need to raise the national alert level. New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said city officials had not been advised that terrorists were plotting an attack there. (Associated Press)

Generators at Ground Zero Producing Power For First Time Since 9/11 - May 25, 2004
Early on Sunday, May 16, with no fanfare, power began flowing through the Con Ed substation at the World Trade Center for the first time since 4:33 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2001. Tomorrow, Gov. George E. Pataki, speaking by phone from the substation to Con Ed's energy control center uptown, will make it official: one more vital piece of the infrastructure around the trade center site is back in place, following the restoration of the subway tunnel for the Nos. 1 and 9 lines in 2002 and the opening of the temporary PATH station last year. (New York Times)

Ground Zero Workers Developing Cancer - May 25, 2004
The Daily News revealed yesterday that many cops and firefighters assigned to Ground Zero are developing serious illnesses, including cancer. And though no direct link between Ground Zero and cancer has yet been established, more victims came forward yesterday to tell their stories. (New York Daily News)

All But 9 of 1,700 Ground Zero Worker Lawsuits Have Been Dropped - May 25, 2004
In a glaring front-page blunder, The Daily News yesterday reported that a staggering 1,700 cops and firefighters have filed lawsuits against the city for health problems stemming from 9/11 - when only nine such suits are in the courts. The embarrassing goof prompted an unprecedented effort by the city's Law Department to set the record straight by firing off an e-mail "clarification" to reporters and editors across the city to rebut the false claims. (New York Post)

'Missing' Radio Worker Will Testify for 9/11 Commission - May 25, 2004
The World Trade Center official accused of failing to answer letters asking him to testify at the 9/11 commission hearings says he'll meet with commission members today. Lloyd Thompson, deputy fire safety director at 1 World Trade Center, insists he never got the panel's invitations. (New York Post )

9/11 Widows Moving On - May 25, 2004
A circle of firemenÕs widows have a secret: TheyÕre getting on with their lives. (New York Metro)

Pension Bill Would Help Ill Ground Zero Workers - May 25, 2004
City workers would be eligible for a tax-free disability pension - even if they've already retired - if they can prove their illnesses were caused by the terror attacks, under a controversial bill. Last year, the World Trade Center Presumption bill was passed by the state Senate and Assembly, but was canned after Gov. Pataki vetoed the measure at Mayor Bloomberg's urging. (New York Daily News)

In Time of Terror, Police Commissioner Gains Power - May 24, 2004
At a time when New York finds itself on the front lines in the worldwide battle with terror, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly is emerging as the city's top general, a city official with unparalleled influence in the Bloomberg administration. Perhaps the most powerful police commissioner in a generation, he wields enormous clout in City Hall as he strives to oversee the city's response to the terror threat and the safety of its streets, say former city officials and senior aides to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. (New York Times)

1,700 Cops, Firefighters Sue City Over 9/11 Sicknesses - May 24, 2004
In a dramatic sign of escalating health problems stemming from 9/11, more than 1,700 cops and firefighters have filed lawsuits against the city claiming they were sickened by work at Ground Zero or the Fresh Kills landfill. To handle the unprecedented legal overload, the city's Law Department set up a special division to tackle 9/11 claims and appointed attorney Kenneth Becker as chief of the World Trade Center unit. (New York Daily News)

Kelly, Bloomberg Question 9/11 Commission's Judgement - May 24, 2004
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly took a parting shot at the 9/11 commission, labeling comments by panel member and former Navy Secretary John Lehman as "ludicrous" during a TV interview aired Sunday. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, speaking at Sunday's Salute to Israel Parade on Fifth Avenue, questioned the panel's right to pass judgment on New York officials. (Newsday)

Developing New Standards for Emergency Preparedness after 9/11 - May 24, 2004
NewsweekÕs Jennifer Barrett spoke with Arthur E. Cote, of the American National Standards Institute and the National Fire Protection Association two groups working together to establish national emergency preparedness standards. Cote spoke about what went wrong on September 11 and how the new standards will address those problems. Excerpts: (Newsweek)

Commission Believes City Still Isn't Prepared - May 23, 2004
Hard feelings persist in the wake of the 9/11 hearings in Manhattan, with one panel member insisting that the city's disaster planning "sucked." The two days of emotional hearings last week were punctuated with outbursts from audience members, tense exchanges between former city officials and the commissioners, even spats among people in the audience. (New York Daily News)

It May Take 2nd Attack To Fix Intelligence Problems, Says 9/11 Commissioner - May 23, 2004
It may take another catastrophic attack on America before there is the political will to fix problems with the nation's intelligence and counterterrorism efforts, the chairman of the 9/11 commission told the Daily News. The commission, which completed two days of emotional hearings in Manhattan last week, is drafting a blueprint for how Congress and President Bush can revamp the system that allowed 19 hijackers to conduct the most deadly terror attack in U.S. history. (New York Daily News)

Senator Recommends Military-Like Communication for NYC's First Responders - May 23, 2004
Police, firefighters and EMTs should adapt military communication techniques and technology when responding to emergencies, Sen. Chuck Schumer said yesterday. Schumer is introducing a bill to establish a new agency responsible for keeping rescue workers on the same wavelength. (New York Post)

Man Sought by 9/11 Commission Emerges to Speak of Chaos - May 22, 2004
For several months, the national commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks has been searching in vain for a man it believes could help answer some of the most critical questions of what happened inside the World Trade Center that day. His name is Lloyd Thompson, and for much of that morning two and a half years ago he was posted at the epicenter of chaos. Yesterday, weeks after the commission began sending him letters, interviewing former colleagues and checking with employers, Mr. Thompson emerged to tell his story. (New York Times)

Police Commissioner Criticized 9/11 Commission - May 22, 2004
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has slammed the Sept. 11 commission's criticisms of the city as "uninformed." New York's top cop also said the city was prepared for further terrorism - and that the likelihood of another attack has increased. (New York Daily News)

NYPD on Alert for Truck Bombers - May 21, 2004
Cops will begin checking trucks entering the Big Apple and other major cities today after the FBI received information that terrorists may use truck bombs to attack high-profile targets like the Empire State Building, The Post has learned. NYPD and Port Authority cops will check trucks entering the city via bridges and tunnels, sources said. They will also check trucks already in the city if they look suspicious. (New York Post )

9.11 Commissioner Admits that Giuliani Got Off Easy in Hearing - May 21, 2004
A member of the Sept. 11 commission expressed regret yesterday over the questioning of former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani on Wednesday and said the panel should have pressed him on failures in the city's response to 9/11 instead of praising him so lavishly. (Newsday)

City Tests Inter-Agency Radio for Emergencies - May 21, 2004
The city's emergency agencies have begun to test a device touted as a possible solution to radio communication gaps revisited in this week's 9/11 Commission hearings. (Newsday)

'Missing' Fire Safety Officer From 9/11 Hiding in Plain Sight - May 21, 2004
A World Trade Center fire safety officer the 9/11 commission couldn't find Ă‘ but who could shed light on why a crucial FDNY radio channel appeared to fail Ă‘ is hiding in plain sight. "I live right here and I go to work every morning," said Lloyd Thompson, 48, outside his apartment in a large complex in Yonkers yesterday. (New York Post )

Giuliani Defends City's Response to 9/11 - May 20, 2004
Rudolph Giuliani's appearance yesterday before the 9/11 Commission was the first time that, under public inspection, the finely wrought legacy that he had acquired could be called into question. But Mr. Giuliani's measured and courtly performance, unruffled by conspicuously gentle questioning from the commission, left his reputation essentially unscathed. In unscripted testimony, he led the panel through his personal Sept. 11, a poignant narrative that captivated the audience. Every question from the panel was framed with praise and expressions of gratitude (New York Times)

Bloomberg: Lack of Funding Increases Likelihood of Terrorist Attack - May 20, 2004
Michael R. Bloomberg told the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks yesterday that the federal government is placing New York City in greater danger by providing too little money to defend the city against future terrorist attacks. Describing the nation's counterterrorism budget as "pork barrel politics at its worst,'' Mr. Bloomberg told the commission that under current spending formulas, states and cities with little threat of being attacked are getting far more in federal subsidies per capita than New York. "It's the kind of shortsighted 'me first' nonsense that gives Washington a bad name,'' the mayor said, and "has the effect of aiding and abetting those who hate us and plot against us." (New York Times)

Giuliani: Firefighers Heard Evacuation Order, But Stayed to Help Civilians - May 20, 2004
In the epic accounts of Sept. 11 provided over the last two days by former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and his aides, the Police and Fire Departments bravely worked together, and no catastrophic failure to communicate doomed scores of firefighters inside the World Trade Center. Instead, Mr. Giuliani testified, those firefighters heard an evacuation order, but still did not leave the building. They were "standing their ground" to make sure civilians got out, he said. (New York Times)

9/11 Families Object to Congratulatory Tone at Hearing - May 20, 2004
Families of Sept. 11 victims are furious at what they call the failure of the 9/11 commission to investigate the disaster that cost more than 2,700 lives. "Today was a joke," widow Beverly Eckert said of yesterday's wrap-up of two days of hearings into how city officials responded to the World Trade Center attacks. (New York Post)

Giuliani Recounts 9/11 in Vivid Detail - May 20, 2004
Rudy Giuliani held the 9/11 commission spellbound yesterday as he recounted a day in New York City that began like any other - "a clear, beautiful day" - and ended in untold horror. In a detailed and moving recollection of Sept. 11, 2001, the former mayor said he'd just had breakfast with an aide and was headed to City Hall when he got the word. (New York Post)

Giuliani Concedes Flaws - May 20, 2004
The panelists' questions were nothing but deferential, and his own benedictions about the heroes of that day were lengthy. But several times before the Sept. 11 commission, former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani starkly conceded planning and communication flaws in the city's response to the World Trade Center attack. The acknowledgments came almost off-handedly, with the rationale that "no one ever had encountered an attack like this." (Newsday)

Fire Union Complains of Being Ignored by 9/11 Commission - May 20, 2004
The federal commission investigating the 2001 terrorist attacks left here Wednesday without hearing public testimony from a single firefighter, police officer or other city emergency worker who was at the site that day. Fire union officials were particularly angry at what they considered a snub. They argued that if commission members wanted to get to the bottom of what happened, they should have let emergency workers tell them and the public about problems at the scene. (Newsday)

9/11 Commission Criticizes Emergency Response on 9/11 - May 19, 2004
The independent federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks came to New York yesterday and offered the most detailed public accounting yet of how the heroic response of police officers and firefighters was undermined by poor planning, inadequate equipment, faulty communication and generations-old interagency rivalries. At an emotional hearing about a mile from the site of the catastrophe, several members of the commission said the city's emergency-response plan was badly flawed at the time of the attack and suggested that 32 months after the attacks, the nation's largest city remains dangerously unprepared to deal with another terrorist strike. (New York Times)

For Deputy Fire Chief, Panel Hearing Highlights Tragic Decision - May 19, 2004
As the television and radio murmurs of the 9/11 commission hearing flowed through Fire Department headquarters in Brooklyn yesterday, no one listened more intently than one thin, unassuming man with a notebook in his lap. Sometimes he jotted notes, sometimes he nodded and sometimes he just shook his head. In many ways, Sept. 11 now defines this man, Deputy Assistant Chief Joseph W. Pfeifer. He witnessed the first jet hit the north tower, and immediately reported that "it looks like the plane was aiming toward the building." He arrived very early on the scene, and stayed long after. At one point, he and his only brother gazed at each other for a few moments before Fire Lt. Kevin Pfeifer went up some stairs, never to return. (New York Times)

Panel Assails Agency Turf Battle and Lack of Communication - May 19, 2004
The 9/11 commission took a hard look at how the city handled the World Trade Center attack and found systemic flaws may have proved fatal that day. The commission discovered bravery and courage, but they also found communication breakdowns and dysfunctional coordination within and between agencies. (New York Daily News)

Questions About Radios Go Unanswered as Operator Cannot Be Found - May 19, 2004
The communication failures in the north tower on Sept. 11 have been widely blamed on technical problems. But the cause of the radio failure may have more to do with human error, not mechanical - and the human's name may be Lloyd Thompson. The only problem is, Thompson is nowhere to be found. Thompson is a former fire patrol officer for a private security company hired by the managers of the World Trade Center at the time of the attacks. (New York Daily News)

Former Fire, Police Chiefs React With Anger to Criticism at Hearing - May 19, 2004
The 9/11 commission hearing yesterday in Manhattan turned into a series of angry finger-pointing exchanges Ă‘ and one panel member ripped the city's response to the World Trade Center attack as "not worthy of the Boy Scouts." The over-the-top charge from commissioner John Lehman drew a furious response from former Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen, who branded it "outrageous" and "despicable." (New York Post)

Family Members Suffer Through 9/11 Once More - May 19, 2004
Grieving relatives of Sept. 11 victims yesterday were pierced once again with unspeakable pain and raging anger as the 9/11 commission presented graphic evidence about the World Trade Center attack. As family members braced themselves by holding hands or wrapping their arms around each other, the hearing began with a minute-by-minute reconstruction of the catastrophe, including video of the planes' impact with the towers and the skyscrapers' collapse. (New York Post)

Giuliani Left in Tough Spot After Testimony From His Former Commissioners - May 19, 2004
Three top aides to Rudolph Giuliani left the ex-mayor with much to explain today when he faces the Sept. 11 commission. Giuliani's last police, fire and emergency management chiefs bumped and weaved their way through the panel's questions, in the bureaucratic style they once honed before the City Council. (Newsday)

9/11 Commission Will Focus on Lack of Coordination on 9/11 - May 18, 2004
Members of the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks say current and former city officials in New York will be confronted at public hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday about why New York was not better prepared to deal with a catastrophic terrorist attack and why the city is still struggling to coordinate the disaster-response plans of its police officers and firefighters. The commission members said that many of the questions would center on the city government's failure before Sept. 11 to insist on greater cooperation between the long-feuding Police and Fire Departments, especially since the city had been the victim of earlier terrorist attacks, including the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. (New York Times)

Police Department Gives Officers Guide for Identifying Terrorists - May 18, 2004
The Police Department has issued a pocket-sized reference card for patrol officers detailing guidelines it says are designed to help them spot terrorists. The department tells its officers to watch out for people with drivers' licenses from more than one state, passports from more than one country, and identification papers with different names and people videotaping or photographing bridges, tunnels, utilities, landmarks and government facilities. (New York Times)

Many 9/11 Family Members Fear What Awaits Them At Hearings - May 18, 2004
Many relatives of people killed on Sept. 11, 2001 dread watching the latest round of hearings by the federal commission probing the attacks. Those hearings begin this morning at the New School with a recounting of the city's response. Even before the hearings convened, 9/11 families prepared to have raw wounds reopened. Family members say they sleep badly, have nightmares or are experiencing increased stress in anticipation of the graphic retelling of the worst terror attack in U.S. history. (New York Daily News)

Mayor Will Testify at 9/11 Commission Hearings - May 18, 2004
In a last-minute decision, Mayor Bloomberg will testify before the 9/11 commission tomorrow, amid indications the city's response to the attacks on the World Trade Center will come in for more praise than blame. (New York Post)

Profiles of Those Testifying at 9/11 Commission - May 18, 2004
The Sept. 11 commission convenes in New York City on Tuesday and Wednesday to examine the city's emergency response to the attacks. Here are some of the people scheduled to testify. (Newsday)

Strict Format for Hearings - May 18, 2004
Working under a rigid format, city officials will get to tell the country in a formal setting Tuesday what happened in the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001. The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States will hear from former and present police and fire commanders Tuesday and Wednesday, but it will limit formal statements from the witnesses to just a few minutes, according to those who have been invited to testify. (Newsday)

History of 9/11 in Cultural Events - May 18, 2004
May 28, New York City will be obliterated onscreen for the first time since September 11. Trailers for Roland EmmerichÕs $100 millionÐplus environmental-disaster flick, The Day After Tomorrow, are already hyping the carnage: ÒWhat you see is happening now,Ó a news announcer warns, as locals panic, and waves of water crash through city streets. ÒLower Manhattan is virtually inaccessible!Ó EmmerichÕs film has nothing to do with terrorismÑthe apocalyptic gimmick here is global warmingÑbut its marketing nod to September 11 is unmistakable. A time line of cultural responses to terror in the post-9/11 era: (New York Magazine)

9/11 Evacuation Instructions Will Be an Issue at Commission Hearings - May 17, 2004
As part of its hearings this week in New York, the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks will report on one of the most contentious issues of that morning: the contradictory evacuation instructions given in the World Trade Center, particularly public-address announcements made by an official in the south tower urging tenants to stay in the building even though fire was raging in the other tower. (New York Times)

Police Commissioners Offer Different Perspectives to Panel - May 17, 2004
When the city's top cop and his predecessor testify tomorrow before the Sept. 11 commission, they will bring two very different perspectives on the NYPD's role in a terror-plagued world. (New York Daily News)

City Stages Anti-Terror Drill Downtown - May 17, 2004
More than 1,000 emergency workers descended on the Bowling Green subway station before dawn yesterday as two explosions ripped through the tunnel. In this staged nightmare, 40 people were killed and 170 injured - triggering a coordinated response from 20 city, state and federal agencies. (New York Daily News)

Sanitation Workers Seek Compensation for 9/11 Health Problems - May 17, 2004
In pending lawsuits filed in federal and state courts, 57 sanitation workers at Fresh Kills claim that city officials misled or did not inform them about the dangers of the World Trade Center dust and failed to train them and provide respirators for as long as two months. Their throats, lungs and stomachs, they said, were coated with the corrosive dust, causing mild to severe respiratory discomfort, such as asthma and persistent heartburn, and exposed them to potential future illness. Because they did not work at Ground Zero, the men could not qualify for the federal Victim Compensation Fund. (Newsday)

Will Bloomberg Testify at 9/11 Commission? - May 17, 2004
The chances that Mayor Michael Bloomberg will testify before the panel investigating the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks this week are "about 50-50," according to an official familiar with the situation. Bloomberg, who testified before the panel more than a year ago, is considering a reprise at the prompting of commission member former Democratic Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey. (Newsday)

Families Brace For Difficult Days at Commission Hearings - May 17, 2004
Families who have never stopped imagining their loved ones' last moments inside the burning World Trade Center are preparing to watch officials reconstruct that horrific day when the Sept. 11 commission comes to Manhattan this week. The panel will convene just miles from ground zero on Tuesday to examine the emergency response to the disaster, and officials are warning families that video footage of the attack and collapse of the towers will accompany detailed witness testimony. (Associated Press)

Mayor Assails Critics of Emergency Response Plan - May 17, 2004
Michael R. Bloomberg yesterday attacked critics who say his new plan to coordinate the city's response to emergencies does not go far enough to prevent squabbling and confusion between the Police and Fire Departments. "I don't know what they do for a living, but they should probably go back to whatever they do," Mr. Bloomberg said in his first public remarks since the new incident command system was announced Friday. (New York Times)

9/11 Commission Questions Fire Chief on Radio Use During Attacks - May 16, 2004
Questions about the radio system used by the Fire Department during the World Trade Center terror attacks are being raised anew by the 9/11 commission, which has grilled a hero FDNY chief whose brother died when the buildings crumbled. (New York Post)

Emergency Plan Will Likely Get Federal Funding - May 16, 2004
A federal official responsible for approving the city's plan for responding to emergencies said yesterday that, while he had not reviewed the plan in detail, he believed it would meet the standards required for federal funding to be granted. (Newsday)

Environmental Protection Agency Looks For 'Fingerprint' of Ground Zero Dust - May 16, 2004
Did the collapse of the World Trade Center produce dust with a particular imprint that distinguishes its origins beyond a doubt, and if so, what are its defining characteristics? That was one of the issues tackled during a May 12 conference call among experts charged with reviewing the Environmental Protection AgencyÕs response to the World Trade Center disaster. The panel held the two-hour telephone conference to prepare for its next public meeting, to be held on May 24 in Lower Manhattan. (Downtown Express)

A Park at Ground Zero: Architects' Ideas - May 16, 2004
The 1,776-foot-high Freedom Tower, which promises to become the tallest building in the world, is slated to begin construction this summer. But many of the other large office towers planned for the World Trade Center site may need to be scaled back; it is possible that they will not be built at all. So why not a park -- a grand urban park for downtown Manhattan? Earlier this spring, The New York Times Magazine asked several leading landscape-architecture firms to consider the question, and the proposals that are illustrated on the following pages offer a provocative variety of responses. (New York Times)

Giuliani's Testimony at 9/11 Commission Could Hurt Ties With Bush - May 16, 2004
More than two years after leaving office, former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani will testify before the Sept. 11 commission this week in an appearance that could put him in the awkward position of criticizing fellow Republicans in the Bush administration just as he is seeking a more prominent role in the party. Giuliani will probably be asked by the commissioners whether the city was aware President Bush had reviewed an intelligence briefing a month before the attacks that said terrorists might be casing buildings in New York. (Associated Press)

Ground Zero's Top Fundraising Post Remains Unfilled, Threatening Delays - May 15, 2004
After being turned down by several top business executives, Gov. George E. Pataki is struggling to find someone prominent to lead the campaign to raise as much as $600 million for a memorial and cultural buildings at the World Trade Center site. Mr. Pataki's inability so far to find a leader for the campaign has contributed to a delay in deciding which cultural organizations will occupy the site, these people said. (New York Times )

Mayor Announces Plan to Coordinate Agencies During Emergencies - May 15, 2004
Mayor Bloomberg announced a new set of protocols yesterday that seeks to define which agency assumes control at emergency situations. Called the Citywide Incident Management System, the plan was released just days before the 9/11 Commission is set to convene in New York, in part to explore how emergency responders coordinated their efforts after the Sept. 11 terror attack. (New York Daily News)

New Emergency Plan Favors Police Over Fire Department - May 15, 2004
The Police Department - not the Fire Department - will take charge of the response to terrorist attacks like 9/11 under a new emergency plan released yesterday by City Hall. (New York Post)

Critics Say Emergency Plan Doesn't Answer Toughest Questions - May 15, 2004
Bracing for next week's appearances before the Sept. 11 commission, the Bloomberg administration Friday outlined a command structure for disaster scenes that left critics still questioning who's in charge when. (Newsday )

Senator Clinton Tells New Doctors of Ground Zero Health Problems - May 15, 2004
About 35,000 people who worked at ground zero still face health problems from the dust and debris, but government is not offering enough help to those who risked their lives for others, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton told new doctors who graduated on Friday. (Associated Press)

9/11 Worker Meets Elementary School Pen Pal - May 15, 2004
Sgt. Maj. Mike Hughes returned to his cot after a long day of dealing with the debris from the terrorist attacks on New York's World Trade Center and found a small note and drawing sent to him by a little Kansas boy. "I picked it up, read it, looked at the drawing of the plane crashing into the trade center, and it just hit me," said Hughes, of Egg Harbor, N.J. "It was just a real nice note from a kid, and it really hit home. So I kept it with me for the entire seven weeks I was there." Hughes came face to face with the note's author, a fourth grader named Hunter Basye, Thursday when he and his wife, Joan, made a surprise visit to Basye's school. (Associated Press)

Council: MTA Dragging on Terror Plans - May 14, 2004
The MTA's counter-terrorism plans are unfolding too slowly, according to City Council members who say the pace jeopardizes safety. Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials testified in a council hearing Thursday that the agency plans to spend at least $200 million of $591 million in available security funds. But they could not say when they would spend the rest of the money, triggering criticism from council members. (Newsday)

Liberty Bond Extension Moves Through Congress - May 14, 2004
A five-year extension of Liberty Bonds for post-Sept. 11 construction in New York is headed to congressional negotiators after the Senate unanimously approved it as part of an international tax bill. The program to provide $8 billion in tax-exempt bonds, originally estimated to cost the government about $1.2 billion as part of more than $20 billion in federal aid to the city, is set to expire at the end of 2004. (Associated Press)

9/11 Commission Draft Report Faults Lack of Coordination Among Rescuers - May 14, 2004
Draft reports from the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks praise the bravery of New York's emergency responders while two of the largest buildings in the world were crumbling, but say their efforts were severely hampered by institutional problems, according to people who have seen some or all the findings. (New York Times)

Architects Compete to Design Church Destroyed on 9/11 - May 14, 2004
It is the smallest building planned at ground zero. But the architects who will compete to design the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church may face the biggest challenge. They will be asked by Archbishop Demetrios, the primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, for a design at once unmistakably ecclesiastical yet in harmony with the bold secular architecture around it, one that captures unearthly mystery in tangible dimensions and conveys a sense of something outside human experience. (New York Times)

Port Authority Asks Silverstein How HeÕll Rebuild - May 14, 2004
The owner of the World Trade Center site wants details from leaseholder Larry Silverstein on how he plans to pay to rebuild the site following a loss in a court case that had aimed to double his insurance payout. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is committed to working with Silverstein Properties ``to find out what their financial plan is for the rebuilding of the entire site,'' authority spokesman Steve Coleman said. (Associated Press)

Gang Members Charged With Terrorism Under New State Law - May 14, 2004
Five members of a Bronx gang of violent Mexican soccer enthusiasts have been charged with terrorism and other offenses under an anti-terror law that went into effect a week after 9/11, cops said yesterday. The five - members of the so-called St. James Boys - are accused of murder, manslaughter, weapons possession, assault and robbery, among other crimes. The gang members were the first suspects charged with terrorism under the state law, which went into effect Sept. 17, 2001. (New York Post)

Many Still Struggle To Get Workers' Compensation for 9/11 Ailments - May 13, 2004
Thousands of workers' compensation claims related to 9/11 have been filed, and many more, some people say, have gone unfiled because of a lack of faith in the system. To be sure, some workers were compensated without argument - for an arm that was broken or an ankle that was burned. Some recovered back wages after months of frustration and financial hardship. And some have not received any of what they believe they were owed. (New York Times)

9/11 Commission Wants to Hear From Bloomberg - May 13, 2004
Bob Kerrey, a member of the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, said yesterday that New York has unique status as the only city in the country to be a repeat target of foreign terrorists and that the panel should hear from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg when it meets here next week. (New York Times)

Fire Union Head Wants to Testify At 9/11 Commission - May 13, 2004
The city's top fire union officials have asked to testify at 9/11 commission hearings next week, but the commission says the hearings are "reserved for people in authority." (New York Post )

9/11 Commission Prepares for Trip to New York - May 12, 2004
The independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks is coming to New York next week with plans to provide a definitive account in words, sounds and pictures of what happened that day, a process that will tread on sensitive ground and unsettled history. (New York Times)

9/11 Commission Won't Hear From Rescue Workers - May 12, 2004
When the federal commission investigating the events of Sept. 11, 2001 meets here next week, it will not hear the voice of rank and file emergency workers who responded that day. The unions representing the city's firefighters and other emergency workers said they had not been invited to testify. A spokesman for the commission, however, said at least 50 members of the fire service had given statements to commission staff, and that staff had also reached out to the unions but had gotten no response. (Newsday)

City's Building Safety Legislation Stems From 9/11 - May 12, 2004
The City Council is expected to vote next week on the building safety legislation stemming from the city's technical inquiry into the World Trade Center collapses. Councilwoman Madeline Provenzano (D-Bronx), chairwoman of the housing and buildings committee, said the latest version of the bill, which requires high-rise building owners to install emergency signage, sprinklers and other safety measures, will pass committee and come to a full council vote next Wednesday. (Newsday)

Council Speaker Wants Volunteer Disaster Worker Program - May 11, 2004
Council Speaker Gifford Miller wants to enlist an army of City University students to help cops and firefighters in case of another disaster. "During a disaster, first responders may not be able to address every emergency in every neighborhood," Miller told a workshop on preparedness, held yesterday at one of CUNY's campuses, Baruch College in Manhattan. (New York Post)

First Lady Dedicates Garden To 9/11 Vicitms - May 11, 2004
First Lady Laura Bush yesterday dedicated a garden in Battery Park to victims of 9/11, invoking a beauty tip from a past First Lady. "Flowers in the city are like lipstick on a woman," said Bush, quoting Lady Bird Johnson, the wife of former President Lyndon Johnson and an avid horticulturist. "It just makes you look better to have a little color." (New York Daily News)

East River Tunnel May Crowd Out Other Transportation Projects - May 10, 2004
A proposed East River tunnel that would connect the AirTrain to lower Manhattan has raised concerns from transit advocates that funding will run out for two MTA projects already in the works. "The MTA has no extra money to give out," said Gene Russianoff, staff lawyer for the Straphangers Campaign. "With such limited resources, something's got to give." (New York Post)

Security Guards Attempt to Arrest Man For Photographing Building - May 10, 2004
Camera buff Ram Porat didn't think twice about snapping pictures of an Upper West Side housing complex - until he was surrounded by security guards with post-9/11 jitters who put him under "civilian arrest." Now Porat, 43, has filed a lawsuit against the Lincoln Towers complex and the city, saying his rights were violated by the guards who demanded he stop taking pictures and the cops who charged him with trespassing at their request. (New York Post)

Manhattan Wind Studied to Defend Against Chemical Attack - May 10, 2004
Researchers are reportedly planning to release a harmless gas in Manhattan to study how chemicals might disperse in the event of a terrorist attack. According to Newsday, a time and place have not been set, but the experiment could take place around Madison Square Garden and the Empire State Building. (NY1)

Ground Zero Environmental Impact Statement Still Lacking, Says Community Board - May 09, 2004
For all its 2,000 pages, a report on rebuilding the World Trade Center site did not go far enough in addressing specific public concerns, members of Community Board 1 said this week. In mid-April, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation released its final generic environmental impact statement on the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site. The document was a revised version of a draft released in January, and in addition to repeating the expected impacts of the decade-long rebuilding effort it individually addressed some 671 comments submitted in response to the first draft. (Downtown Express)

9/11 Victim's Remains Will Go to Estranged Father - May 08, 2004
For nearly two years, the ex-wife of Sept. 11 victim Michael Trinidad has been battling in court with his eight sisters and brother over his remains. Now it appears that the precious few bones will not go to any of them - but instead to the father Trinidad barely knew. (New York Daily News)

Stock Exchange May Remove 9/11 Plaque Bearing Former Chief's Name - May 08, 2004
The New York Stocc Exchange may remove a plaque commemorating victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks because it features disgraced former chairman Dick Grasso's name, sources close to the matter told The Associated Press on Friday. (Newsday)

MTA Failing on Antiterror Measures, Says Ex-Engineer - May 07, 2004
The MTA could be doing a "faster and cheaper" job of protecting the subway system from a terror attack, and has failed to focus on the system's most vulnerable spots, such as the East River tunnels, a former transit engineer said yesterday. (New York Post)

Giuliani: World Safer Than Before 9/11 - May 07, 2004
The world is a safer place than before the Sept. 11 attacks because the threat of terrorism is being dealt with head on, former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said Thursday. (Newsday)

In Rebuilding Update, Governor Backs New Tunnel Under East River - May 06, 2004
Governor George E. Pataki threw his political weight yesterday behind a plan to dig a new tunnel under the East River as part of a $6 billion rail link from downtown to Kennedy Airport and points east along the Long Island Rail Road. Mr. Pataki said the rail link would offer travelers a "one-seat ride to their terminal at J.F.K. in just 36 minutes" from Lower Manhattan. As an economic and political matter, the link would be even more important as the downtown gateway for up to 100,000 Long Island commuters, greatly expanding the capacity of businesses in the financial district to attract suburban workers who now live at least two train rides away. (New York Times)

Freedom Tower Draws First Tenants - May 06, 2004
The Freedom Tower got a vote of confidence yesterday from a pair of young entrepreneurs who plan to be the building's first private-sector tenants. Ronn Torossian and Adam Brecht committed to rent a 35,000-square-foot floor for their midtown firm 5W Public Relations at the 1,776-foot skyscraper at Ground Zero. "What happened on 9/11 was a terrible thing," Torossian, 29, told the Daily News. "We want to stand up and say we're not afraid of terrorists." (New York Daily News)

Freedom Tower Will Break Ground on July 4 - May 06, 2004
Groundbreaking for the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower - the signature new building at Ground Zero - will take place on the Fourth of July, Gov. Pataki said yesterday. (New York Daily News)

Giuliani, Kerrey, and the 9/11 Commission in New York - May 06, 2004
The real high drama when the 9/11 Commission comes to New York will be a low-key confrontation between two of New YorkÕs most compelling, albeit nonpracticing, politicians, Bob Kerrey and Rudy Giuliani. (New York Magazine)

Miller Blasts Mayor for Personal Anti-Missle System - May 06, 2004
Council Speaker Gifford Miller charged yesterday that Mayor Bloomberg is sending a mixed message by reportedly equipping his corporate jets with a missile defense system while insisting everyone is safe. "This is a mayor who tells New Yorkers to go about their business," said Miller, who is considering a mayoral run in 2005. "But not every New Yorker can go about their business with a $5 million anti-missile system. If he knows something we don't, he should tell us before we book our next flight," Miller added. (New York Post )

Jury Deals Another Blow to Silverstein in Ground Zero Insurance Case - May 04, 2004
A federal jury in Manhattan said yesterday that the single largest insurer at the World Trade Center was limited to a single payout of $877 million, not the double payment sought by the developer Larry A. Silverstein in his long-running legal battle over the downtown complex. It was another blow to Mr. Silverstein's 29-month campaign to collect $7.1 billion for rebuilding the trade center site and one that could ultimately force him to settle with 10 remaining insurance companies. Last week, the jury ruled that eight of the two dozen insurers at the trade center were not liable for double payments. (New York Times)

Governor Considers Two Options for Downtown/Long Island Rail Link - May 04, 2004
Searching for a rail link from Lower Manhattan to Kennedy Airport and Long Island, the Pataki administration is poised to choose between building a new tunnel or using the existing Montague Street tunnel on the M, N and R subway lines. The cost of a Long Island-Lower Manhattan link using the Montague Street tunnel has been put by officials and business executives at $5 billion to $5.5 billion. A new tunnel might add $1 billion to the cost. (New York Times)

New Report Examines Health Effects of 9/11 - May 04, 2004
The Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center caused ``the largest acute environmental disaster that ever has befallen New York City'' and could lead to long-term health problems in rescue workers and city residents, according to a new report. The report -- an overview of work by six research centers that have studied health effects of the attacks -- found that dust from ground zero had caused a rise in cases of asthma and severe cough, particularly among firefighters and other rescue workers. In one study of 183 cleanup workers, 33 percent were found to have new-onset cough, 18 percent had a wheeze and 24 percent experienced phlegm production, the report said. (Associated Press)

Anti-Muslim Bias Reports Rise - May 04, 2004
In New York, the anti-Muslim atmosphere has not dissipated since a spike after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. In New York state, the number of harrassment or profiling incidents went from 48 in 2002 to 191 in 2003, a 296 percent increase, according to a report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations Research Center, Unpatriotic Acts. Most of those took place in the city. 1,019 incidents were reported nationally. (Newsday )

Two Men Detained After 9/11 Sue Justice Department For Abuse - May 03, 2004
In a federal lawsuit to be filed today, two immigrants who were detained after 9/11 charge that they were abused in the harsh maximum-security unit of a federal detention center in Brooklyn - the one cited by the Justice Department's inspector general last year for widespread physical abuse of its detainees. The accusations are similar to those now being made against military officers guarding prisoners in Iraq. (New York Times)

Ground Zero Priest Retires - May 02, 2004
With memories both fond and profound of how his little chapel came to be shrine, Rev. Dr. Daniel Matthews, rector of St. Paul's Chapel, is retiring today after 17 years. His last act as the rector of Trinity Church on Wall St., to which St. Paul's belongs, will be to cut the ribbon on a new exhibit at St. Paul's called, "Unwavering Spirit," which chronicles the grief and love shared inside its walls after Sept. 11. (New York Daily News)

Next Anti-Terror Drill Planned For Subways - May 02, 2004
The city's next high-profile disaster drill will simulate a subway incident in lower Manhattan, sources said. The mock mishap is planned in and around the Bowling Green station for early on May 16, a Sunday, when mass transit use is relatively sparse. (Newsday )

Over 33,000 Sign Up For 9/11 Health Registry - May 02, 2004
The World Trade Center Health Registry has now enrolled more than 33,000 people who may have inhaled harmful debris following the collapse of the twin towers. Health officials want even more to sign up, and they are making a special appeal for parents of children who attended school below Canal Street to register. Residents below Canal Street, rescue and recovery workers and anyone who was south of Chambers Street on September 11, 2001, are also encouraged to sign up. (NY1)

St. Paul's Chapel To Open Lasting Exhibit Dedicated to 9/11 - May 01, 2004
Just as it comforted rescue workers after Sept. 11, 2001, St. PaulÕs Chapel now brings solace to those who want to remember and commemorate the terror attack that happened in its backyard. On May 3, the chapel will unveil ÒUnwavering Spirit: Hope and Healing at Ground Zero,Ó an exhibit of artifacts that highlight the rescue and recovery efforts. (Downtown Express)

High School Damaged On 9/11 Moves Towards Rehabilitation - May 01, 2004
Nearly three years after 9/11, the black shroud will soon be lifted from one of the few Downtown buildings still undergoing structural rehabilitation following the World Trade Center collapse. The 14-story building at 90 Trinity Place, home to the High School for Leadership and Public Service, remains covered with scaffolding and black netting as workers reinstall massive granite panels on its facade. (Downtown Express)

Assembly Speaker Weighs In On Downtown Transportation Projects - May 01, 2004
The scene has been fairly typical over the last year. The governor or mayor or both call a press conference to make a big announcement about development in Lower Manhattan or the Far West Side. It usually hinges on a transportation investment, but the person who often is not there for the ceremony is Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. It is a curious omission particularly since Silver, AlbanyÕs most powerful Democrat, represents Downtown and as Assembly speaker, he has effective veto power over all Metropolitan Transportation Authority capital projects. (Downtown Express)

Over One Third of 9/11 Injury Claims Rejected - May 01, 2004
More than a third of the injury claims to the government's Sept. 11 victim compensation fund have been turned down, mainly for lack of medical proof or because ailments had cleared up. The fund has received 4,419 injury claims, significantly more than administrators expected when the application period ended late last year. Fund officials said 1,595 have been rejected. (Associated Press)

Rebuilding Officials Say Insurance Verdict Won't Limit Development - May 01, 2004
A court decision may have left World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein billions short of the cash he needs to redevelop Ground Zero, but officials said yesterday plans will move along - with or without him. (New York Daily News)

World Trade Center Insurance Verdict May Limit Site's Development - May 01, 2004
Though it is neither their purpose nor their charge, the jurors in the insurance case involving Larry A. Silverstein, the commercial leaseholder at the World Trade Center site, may be reshaping the future of downtown. By significantly limiting the insurance proceeds to Mr. Silverstein, and therefore his construction financing, they have made it more likely that only one skyscraper, the Freedom Tower, will rise at ground zero in the foreseeable future. (New York Times)

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