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Rebuilding NYC - News
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Rebuilding NYC

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May 2002

Ceremony Honors Those Lost As Recovery At WTC Site Ends - May 31, 2002
A solemn and wordless procession punctuated by tears, the tolling of bells and muted applause rose out of Ground Zero and up into the sunny streets of lower Manhattan yesterday on a morning as bright as the September day terror shattered the city. There were no speeches by the many elected officials and dignitaries present. The only words uttered aloud called those assembled to attention. The removal of debris remaining after the clearing of nearly 2 million tons of rubble is expected by the middle of next week. (Newsday)

Focus Turns To Pataki As Recovery Process Ends - May 31, 2002
The end of the recovery phase at Ground Zero will focus new attention on election-bound Gov. Pataki and the city-state agency controlling rebuilding over which he wields great influence. With all eyes turning to Pataki and the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., the agency is already hard at work on a series of land-use options for the 16-acre site. The power over the site's future is heavily in Pataki's hands - and he's the man with the most invested in the short-term outcome of the process, as his bid for a third term in office will be decided in just five months. (New York Post)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Find World Trade Center Air OK In Weeks After 9/11 - May 31, 2002
The air at Ground Zero was free of hazardous levels of toxic contaminants, such as asbestos, just a week after the twin towers collapsed, U.S. health officials said yesterday. The study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that none of the 1,174 air samples taken by city and federal officials between Sept. 18 and Oct. 4 showed asbestos levels exceeding federal safety levels. (New York Daily News)

Heartbreak, Anger, Timing Keep Many Away From Ceremony - May 31, 2002
As the city paused yesterday to remember the 2,800 innocent lives lost at the World Trade Center, families of several hundred victims stayed away from the tribute at Ground Zero. Their reasons varied. A few boycotted what they called a political event. Many couldn't make it because the tribute was scheduled on a weekday. Others were too overcome with grief (New York Daily News)

Schumer Sees Excess Cleanup Aid Paying for Rail Links to New Hub - May 31, 2002
Senator Charles E. Schumer said yesterday that he believed that the federal money allocated for rebuilding Lower Manhattan included enough to pay for the extension of the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North commuter lines into a new downtown transportation hub. (New York Times)

Ceremony Without Words Marks End Of Recovery Effort at World Trade Center Site - May 30, 2002
There were no prayers, no speeches, and no words spoken. But the symbolism of the 20-minute ceremony sounded loud and clear as one last stretcher, carried by 10 people, was slowly removed from the World Trade Center site this morning, marking the official end of the recovery effort. Hundreds of people gathered to witness the ceremony, which included a slow-marching bagpipe unit whose progress was marked only by the muted sound of drums and an empty stretcher draped in an American flag that symbolized the victims of the terrorist attack whose remains have not been either found or identified. (New York Times)

Ground Zero Ceremony Stirs Emotion - May 30, 2002
The place where the World Trade Center once towered evokes a flood of contradictory emotions. The recovery effort ends today, but no matter what building, park or memorial is erected on its site, Ground Zero will never disappear from New Yorkers’ collective consciousness. People whose lives changed forever at that spot describe what’s being left behind. (Newsday)

Recovery Effort Goes To The Last Minute - May 30, 2002
Ground Zero crews worked into the early hours this morning, and they will be back again tonight, combing through the final, shrinking pile of debris in the search for human remains. Recovery work at Ground Zero has moved far faster than anyone could imagine - but not quite fast enough to be done in time for today's ceremony to mark the end of the massive effort. (New York Post)

Infrastructure Repair Before Memorial, Says Bloomberg - May 30, 2002
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said yesterday that Lower Manhattan's most immediate need was infrastructure repair, and that a memorial and rebuilt office space would come later, after some wounds had healed. (New York Times)

Artists Aim to Energize Downtown NYC - May 29, 2002
What was once an indoor mall at the World Financial Center will become artist studios under a program designed to draw tenants and visitors back to the battered complex. This fall, the nine artists moving into the space will exhibit works ranging from a computer-rendered history of downtown development to handcrafted artificial trees. (Associated Press)

Last Steel Column From the Ground Zero Rubble Is Cut Down - May 29, 2002
Column No. 1,001 B of 2 World Trade Center, the last symbolic piece of the recovery effort, was cut down at 8:17 p.m. yesterday by operating engineers, ironworkers, teamsters, laborers and dock builders. The 58-ton piece of steel from the south tower was laid on a flatbed truck, wrapped in black muslin and an American flag, and tucked in a corner of the pit. (New York Times)

City Pushes for Flexible Use of FEMA Disaster Aid - May 29, 2002
In a letter sent last week to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and members of New York's congressional delegation, Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff argued that the agency should be allowed to pay for such basics as police overtime related to the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Doctoroff said federal money also should be used to recoup some $650 million in lost business and tourism-related revenues - a move that could help the city plug a $5 billion gap in next year's budget. And rather than just paying to replace destroyed subways, bridges and tunnels — as FEMA regulations dictate — some $4 billion in agency dollars should be used to "enhance" lower Manhattan's infrastructure, the letter said. (New York Daily News)

More Drinking and Smoking in 9/11 Study - May 29, 2002
Manhattan residents drank more alcohol and smoked more tobacco and marijuana after the Sept. 11 attack, researchers say. The researchers, at the New York Academy of Medicine, surveyed nearly 1,000 residents in the two months after Sept. 11. A quarter of respondents said they drank more than usual in the five to eight weeks after the attack on the World Trade Center; nearly 10 percent said they had been smoking more cigarettes and more than 3 percent said they had been smoking more marijuana. (Associated Press)

Last Girder Coming Down At Ground Zero - May 28, 2002
The last girder from the World Trade Center at Ground Zero will be removed at a somber ceremony that will be the first of three major tributes over the next few days marking the end of recovery efforts at the World Trade Center site. Sometime before 8 p.m., a procession of workers is scheduled to march from Vesey St. down to the bedrock floor of the 16-acre plot before cutting down the girder and carrying it from the site. (New York Daily News)

The Battle For Ground Zero - May 28, 2002
Time Magazine provides a general survey of the rebuilding process, detailing the different sides involved and the roles the different government agencies have played up till now. The piece also discusses the architectural challenge of rebuilding, as designers struggle to come up with an appropriate solution. (Time)

Memorial Day Celebrations Recall September 11 - May 28, 2002
Nothing felt entirely familiar across the New York region as cheering crowds and quiet prayer commemorated the first Memorial Day after the Sept. 11 attacks. The shadow of Sept. 11 fell across Memorial Day this year in many ways. A number of those who attended holiday parades yesterday said they had never attended Memorial Day celebrations before. "The difference is night and day," said one man. "We were attacked, and while I never paid much attention to the military, today I welcome this parade." (New York Times)

Details Announced For Ground Zero Closing Ceremony - May 28, 2002
The 20-minute ceremony is scheduled to begin at 10:29 a.m., a time chosen to mark the fall of the last piece of steel after the collapse of One World Trade Center at 10:28 a.m. Attendance at the ceremony is limited to families of the victims, uniformed personnel and those directly involved with the recovery effort, including construction workers and agency personnel. Family members should bring their case number to gain entry. The general public can stand along West Street from Chambers Street to Canal Street to view the procession. (Newsday)

At Ground Zero, Uneasy Agreement on Final Rite - May 27, 2002
Suggestions from construction workers, firefighters, victims' relatives and anyone else with a direct link to the disaster site helped inform Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's final decision to hold a simple ceremony on Thursday, with an empty stretcher, a truck carrying the last girder, a little music and a lot of silence. But some family members have accused the mayor of increasing their pain by choosing to hold the ceremony on a weekday, rather than on a weekend. Some have even suggested that he simply did not want his weekend disrupted. (New York Times)

President of Redevelopment Group Sees Consensus Emerging on Memorial, Overall Plan - May 27, 2002
Louis Tomson, president of Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the agency charged with rebuilding the World Trade Center site, said that a broad consensus is emerging to develop the site as a cultural, business and transportation hub, including a "reverential" memorial that could take up almost half of the 16-acre site. (Newsday)

Fighting to Live as the Towers Died - May 26, 2002
The New York Times traces the last 102 minutes of the victims within the World Trade Center in a comprehensive investigative piece. The minute-by-minute account includes recounts some of the harrowing stories of those who were able to escape and the final moments, heard through phone calls and answering machine messages, of those who did not survive. (New York Times)

Elderly Get Help Coping With 9/11 Stress - May 26, 2002
North Shore University Hospital at Forest Hills plans to begin a program early next month to help the elderly cope with the stress of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. People described as most susceptible to post-9/11 stress include Holocaust survivors, veterans, emigres from the former Soviet Union, victims of crimes and those suffering otherwise from mental distress, said Robert Hettenbach, executive director of the hospital. (New York Daily News)

Hundreds Attend Public Hearing On Future of World Trade Center Site - May 24, 2002
A crowd of more than 800 people packed a downtown auditorium last night to sound off and listen to a multitude of plans and ideas for rebuilding the World Trade Center site and its surroundings. Many complained that the LMDC, which is charged with overseeing the redevelopment of downtown, had not given enough consideration to the revitalization of Chinatown and the Lower East Side, affordable housing and assistance for displaced workers. Many speakers called for constructing buildings as high or higher than the Twin Towers, while some described ideas for memorial designs and held up drawings of their designs. (Newsday)

Alternative Ceremony For Victims' Families Planned - May 24, 2002
Members of several families who lost relatives in the Sept. 11 terror attack plan to hold their own ceremony on June 2, a Sunday, to mark the end of efforts to recover remains from ground zero. The city, which will hold its official ceremony next Thursday, will issue a permit to the group as long as it complies with safety regulations, Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday. Bloomberg has pointed out that next Thursday was chosen because it will not interfere with religious observances, while the families want a weekend observance. (New York Times)

Changes to Sept. 11 Fund Would Extend Aid to Victims of Past Terror Bombings - May 24, 2002
Democrats and Republicans in the Senate are nearing agreement on changes in the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund that would allow scores of American families from past terrorist attacks to receive hundreds of millions of dollars collectively in compensation. The deal calls for providing compensation to the families of the six people killed in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, as well as the families of the 168 killed in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. (New York Times)

City Simulates Bioterror Disaster - May 23, 2002
In preparation against biological terrorism, city officials yesterday simulated an attack and conducted a six-hour medication dispensing drill at Pier 92 in Manhattan. John Odermatt, commissioner of the Office of Emergency Management, said the goal was to treat and prescribe medication to 1,000 people per hour. (Newsday)

Rebuilding Officials Emphasizing Fast Paced Schedule In Selection Of Design Group - May 23, 2002
Sources told the New York Post that officials from the Port Authority and Lower Manhattan Development Corporation focused heavily on the fast-track schedule in approving a planner for the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site. "They were quite interested in how the team was organized and how it would manage itself. These are big teams and a very tight time frame," said Graham Wyatt, a partner at the Robert A.M. Stern architectural firm, one of six finalists interviewed for the design post. (New York Post)

Senate Committee Approves $5 Billion in Federal Funds, Bringing Pledged Total To $20 Billion - May 23, 2002
A Senate panel approved more than $5 billion in aid to New York yesterday -- the balance of $20 billion promised by President Bush after the Sept. 11 attacks. The new spending okayed by the Senate Appropriations Committee includes $2.66 billion for transit infrastructure repair, $1.8 billion for transit upgrades, $750 million for utility repairs and $167 million for the state Highway Department. It also would provide $90 million to monitor the health of Ground Zero workers. (New York Daily News)

Design Firm Chosen to Oversee Rebuilding of Lower Manhattan - May 23, 2002
Beyer Blinder Belle, the design firm that oversaw the restoration of Grand Central Terminal and converted Ellis Island into the National Museum of Immigration, was chosen yesterday by the Port Authority and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation as the urban planning consultant to oversee the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan. Beyer Blinder will be assisted in the project by Parsons Brinckerhoff, a transportation consulting firm, and 11 other specialty design and engineering firms. (New York Times)

Congress To Hold Session in New York City On September 6 - May 22, 2002
Congress is planning to hold a special session in New York City on Sept. 6, just days before the anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks. But some Jews are objecting that the schedule will intrude on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, which begins at sundown on Sept. 6. The visit to New York will likely be more symbolic than substantive, according to a spokesman for House Speaker Dennis Hastert. Instead of bringing all 100 Senators and 435 House members to the city, each state would send at least one member from each house. (Newsday)

Two Firms Now Finalists To Develop World Trade Center Site - May 22, 2002
The architectural firm that renovated Grand Central Terminal and the designers of downtown Brooklyn's MetroTech development are the two finalists to plan the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site, sources told the Daily News yesterday. A committee from the Port Authority and the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. reviewed 15 proposals and narrowed its search to Manhattan firms Beyer Blinder Belle and Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn, the sources said. (New York Daily News)

Federal Emergency Management Agency Gives City $132 Million Grant For Long-Term Therapy - May 22, 2002
Crisis-counseling programs for New Yorkers affected by 9/11 received a huge dose of cash therapy yesterday after the feds approved a record-high $132 million grant. The grant is the largest for long-term counseling that FEMA has ever approved. Project Liberty, which was set up after the Twin Towers attack and run by the state's Office of Mental Health, will administer the grant in New York City and 10 nearby counties using local mental health programs to provide services. (New York Post)

Former World Trade Center Tenant Moving To Midtown - May 22, 2002
In what could be a loss for downtown, Aon, one of the largest tenants in the World Trade Center, is in talks to sign a major office lease in midtown, the Daily News has learned. Aon, a Chicago-based insurance brokerage that lost 176 employees in the Sept. 11 attack, is negotiating to sign a lease for 270,000 square feet of office space at Park Avenue Plaza, a 44-story building at 55 E. 52nd St., according to real estate executives. After Sept. 11, Aon pledged to remain downtown and searched for office space there. But the company apparently has decided to divide its operations, moving top executives to midtown while maintaining a smaller presence in lower Manhattan. (New York Daily News)

Security Tighter in New York After Vague Terrorist Threat - May 22, 2002
Federal and local law-enforcement officials yesterday issued a warning of vague and uncorroborated threats against the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty as the city imposed security measures not seen since the first months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The police began operating checkpoints at many of the city's major bridges and tunnels on Monday night, and the Coast Guard established a 200-yard restricted zone around any United States vessel that is moored or anchored in the harbor during Fleet Week. (New York Times)

Selection of Consultant in Rebuilding is Questioned - May 21, 2002
A committee working on the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan and the World Trade Center site has recommended that a prominent architectural firm, Beyer Blinder Belle, be selected as the urban planning consultant to work with state and city officials on the redevelopment, officials involved in the planning process said yesterday. The officials also said questions had been raised about the scoring by one of the six committee members involved in the selection, Alexander Garvin, a vice president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. (New York Times)

Feds to Fund Firetruck Cleanup - May 21, 2002
FDNY officials, faced with alarming asbestos-test results suggesting some rigs are dangerously tainted by World Trade Center debris, yesterday said they would have 600 vehicles professionally cleaned - after the feds agreed to pick up the tab (New York Post)

9/11 Charity Grifter Got 260G, Feds Say - May 21, 2002
Federal prosecutors charged that a Queens man took advantage of the Sept. 11 attacks to raise money for a phony police charity, and pocketed most of the $260,000 in donations. He was arraigned on two counts of mail fraud, which could put him behind bars for 10 years. (New York Daily News)

Kin Uniting on Memorial - May 21, 2002
A broad consensus is emerging for the first time among families of those killed Sept. 11 on how much of the World Trade Center site should be used for a permanent memorial. The families recently presented a proposal that calls for the memorial to consist of the footprints of the twin towers and the Marriott World Trade Center Hotel, as well as the land inside the site's retaining wall. (New York Daily News)

A Subway Interrupted Awaits Its Imminent Resurgence - May 21, 2002
For more than two months, a few hundred workers have been rebuilding the 1 and 9 subway lines damaged on Sept. 11. When the workers are done at the end of September and trains with passengers are rumbling through the tunnels once again by November, it will be very hard to tell where old meets new, exactly where it was that 1,300 feet of subway tunnel were crushed and pierced by falling skyscrapers and then rebuilt in little more than seven months. (New York Times)

For Emergency Officials Touched by 9/11's Horrors, Fears of Creeping Complacency - May 21, 2002
Thomas Von Essen, the city's former fire commissioner, re-examined the shortcomings of the Fire Department's emergency response on Sept. 11, saying that the response should have been slowed down. Von Essen also voiced fears that politicians are not focusing on preventing a future attack. He spoke as part of a panel discussion on the first day of a three-day conference at the Sheraton New York Hotel in Midtown, "9/11: Looking Back and Moving Forward," which was attended by hundreds of emergency management professionals from 35 states and several other countries. (New York Times)

Rodin Sculpture That Survived September 11 Now Missing - May 20, 2002
An authentic cast of the sculpture "The Thinker" by Auguste Rodin that was housed in the World Trade Center survived the Sept. 11 attacks, but now has vanished. It, and other pieces of artwork by Rodin, were being exhibited in the lobby of the firm Cantor Fitzgerald, which lost 658 of its 960 employees. (New York Times)

Decision On Group For Redeveloping Downtown Coming This Week - May 20, 2002
As recovery efforts are wrapping up, officials overseeing the site will decide this week which group of consultants will help shape plans for the 16-acre former World Trade Center site. The Port Authority, which owns the site, and the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. - the city-state agency charged with revitalizing the area - spent last week interviewing the six finalists, sources told the New York Post. (New York Post)

Police Department Visits Israel To Learn About Suicide Attack Preparations - May 19, 2002
The New York Police Department is being trained by experts from Israel's military and municipal police forces, who have had to respond to scores of human bombs in the last 18 months. "We were invited by Israel to be the only police agency at a symposium focused on suicide bombers and lessons learned," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly confirmed. Five investigators from the counterterrorism and intelligence bureaus flew to Israel last week for the symposium, which began Friday. The cops will return this week. It is the first time the NYPD has sent its members to a foreign country for instruction. (New York Daily News)

New York City Water Facilities Fail Security Checks - May 19, 2002
Security at city water facilities fails to meet federal and state guidelines, making them vulnerable to potential biological or chemical attacks, according to a report released Sunday. The report, compiled by the New York State Assembly Committee on Oversight, Analysis and Investigation, found that security at the facilities failed more than half of the federal Environmental Protection Agency and state Department of Health guidelines. (Newsday)

Bloomberg Defends Date For Ground Zero Closing Ceremony - May 18, 2002
Mayor Bloomberg yesterday defended his choice of May 30 - a weekday - for a ceremony honoring the end of recovery work at Ground Zero, saying he's trying to accommodate as many people as possible. Bloomberg said May 30, a Thursday, will avoid interfering with religious observances. But several terror victims' relatives pressed to have the ceremony honoring both those lost in the attack and the workers who stayed around the clock at the site moved to a Sunday. (New York Post)

Senator Clinton Unveils Ground Zero Health Assessment Plan - May 18, 2002
Senator Hillary Clinton unveiled a $12 million federally funded program yesterday to monitor the health concerns of Ground Zero rescue workers and volunteers. The program, which will be administered by Mount Sinai Medical Center's Irving J. Selikoff Center, is expected to treat 8,000 people. (New York Daily News)

Victims' Families Criticize Choice of Weekday For Ground Zero Ceremony - May 17, 2002
Mayor Bloomberg announced plans yesterday for a May 30 ceremony to mark the "symbolic end" of cleanup work at Ground Zero and immediately faced stiff criticism from victims' families for not scheduling it on a weekend. Some family members complained that although City Hall told them of the May 30 date this week, they were given no chance to suggest alternatives. And they -- as well as some Port Authority cops -- were angry at having to choose between going to work and honoring their loved ones. (New York Daily News)

Developer of 7 World Trade Center Argues With Port Authority About Rent - May 17, 2002
Mr. Silverstein is squabbling with a potential tenant for his proposed 52-story glass tower: the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the land the building would sit on. Mr. Silverstein wants to charge the agency $42 a square foot, or about $14 million a year more than the Port Authority wants to pay. (New York Times)

Tribute Ceremony To Mark End Of Cleanup And Recovery At Ground Zero - May 17, 2002
On May 30, families of World Trade Center victims and workers who toiled for the past months at Ground Zero will take part in a ceremony held by the city to commemorate the dead and signal an end of the recovery and cleanup. At 10:29 AM, the time the second tower of the World Trade Center collapsed, the last steel beam will be removed from the site and a stretcher symbolizing the unrecovered remains and draped with an American flag will be carried out of the site into an ambulance. (New York Times)

Public Hearing Announced For Rebuilding - May 16, 2002
For the first time this year, officials overseeing rebuilding at Ground Zero will hold a major public hearing at which people can speak out about what should replace the former World Trade Center. The hearing - organized by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the Port Authority, and planned for next Thursday, May 23 at Pace University at 6 p.m., is the first opportunity the public will have to speak directly to the rebuilding planners. (New York Post)

$350 Million Is Approved to Retain Businesses - May 16, 2002
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation approved a $350 million expansion of grant programs yesterday to encourage businesses to stay in downtown Manhattan or move there, raising the total available for those programs to more than $1 billion. The approval was less than half what city and state economic development officials had requested, however. (New York Times)

Housing Subsidies To Extend To Chinatown - May 15, 2002
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation is expected to announce today that families who commit to living in Chinatown for at least a year can get a one-shot $750 bonus from a federal pot of cash earmarked to help lower Manhattan. (New York Post)

Transfer Of World Trade Center Debris To Barge Near High School Ending - May 15, 2002
Debris from the World Trade Center site will no longer be transferred to barges at a pier behind Stuyvesant HS officials said yesterday, drawing cheers from parents who said the operation put their kids at risk. Dept. of Design and Construction spokesman Matthew Monahan said the cleanup will begin immediately. "We'll be restoring the Pier 25 area to pre-9/11 condition over the next weeks," he said. (New York Post)

Air Quality Testing Downtown Proving To Be Complicated And Inconclusive - May 15, 2002
The many scientific and medical investigations into the effects of Sept. 11 are revealing an unforeseen complexity -- in the nature and consequences of the disaster, as well as in the underlying environment in a part of New York that they say has never really been examined. Many scientists and physicians say the accumulated evidence so far suggests that there is likely no permanent damage despite the rise in respiratory problems for those near or around the site. Others say it is too soon to tell. (New York Times)

Closing Date For Ground Zero Cleanup To Be Announced By Mayor's Office - May 14, 2002
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city may announce Wednesday the anticipated final day of debris removal at Ground Zero, but he stressed that notifying the families of those killed on Sept. 11 must come first. The city is also planning a “final day” ceremony, which will likely involve thousands of relatives of those lost on Sept. 11 and workers who labored at the site over the past eight months. (Newsday)

Hundreds Of Cars Around World Trade Center To Be Demolished - May 14, 2002
890 vehicles towed from the streets around the World Trade Center and pulled from the collapsed complex's garages will be destroyed because of asbestos contamination, federal officials said yesterday. The city and the EPA have determined that these cars - the vast majority of which are stored at Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island - are contaminated with asbestos, based on dust samples. (New York Daily News)

A Third Of Public School Children Surveyed Will Need Mental Health Assistance After September 11 - May 14, 2002
N.R. Kleinfield profiles individual children to illustrate the conclusions of a recent study by the Board of Education. The study found that "roughly 200,000 of the 712,000 public school children in grades 4 through 12 were candidates for some sort of mental health intervention - at least a visit with a mental health professional - because of the lingering trauma of September 11." (New York Times)

Part of Staten Island Recovery Area For World Trade Center Debris Closing Soon - May 14, 2002
The Hill, an area of the Fresh Kills landfill connected to the recovery effort, is soon to shut down. The operation, "created in the genius of desperation, has sorted through 1.6 million tons of material removed from the World Trade Center disaster site. That work has uncovered more than 4,100 body parts, helping to identify more than 150 victims. Now, there are only 25,000 tons to be carted to the landfill from Lower Manhattan, a small fraction of what was. In the next few weeks their mission will be completed, their future certain only to the extent that it will be nothing like what they have just gone through." (New York Times)

Plan For 7 World Trade Center Unveiled - May 14, 2002
Architects for Larry A. Silverstein yesterday provided the first public glimpse of plans to replace the destroyed 7 World Trade Center. The new building would be 52 stories tall (five stories taller than the one it is replacing), a transparent, "light-emanating shaft" designed as a gateway to the planned World Trade Center memorial. The building is scheduled for completion at the end of 2005. (New York Times)

American Express Returns To Downtown - May 13, 2002
American Express, which had been away from its offices in lower Manhattan since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, returned to the World Financial Center this morning. The financial services company has been slowly returning its 4,000 workers to the area across the street from Ground Zero. The staff at 3 World Financial Center, also known as the American Express Tower, will continue to come back gradually until September. American Express has maintained offices in the area since 1850, with offices on Wall and Hudson Streets over the years. The tower has been home to the company for the past 15 years. (Newsday)

Mural and Garden At Staten Island School Pays Tribute To 9/11 Victims - May 13, 2002
A mural and a garden at Intermediate School 51 in Staten Island pay tribute to the victims of September 11.The mural, painted by IS 51 graduate Marco Cammayo, 23, was inspired by the famous news photo of three firefighters raising the American flag at Ground Zero. Below the mural, students planted a garden. (New York Daily News)

Local Business During One-Year Anniversary Of September 11 Expected To Slow Down - May 13, 2002
Although Labor Day typically marks the kickoff of the fall business season, event calendars are empty on and around the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Major trade shows, product launches and events -- including the MTV Video Music Awards -- are being scheduled to avoid the solemn day. The Jacob Javits Convention Center has zero shows for the entire week. Many businesses involved in catering or events hosting will see a slow week during that time. (New York Daily News)

Report on Mental Health of City Children After September 11 Prompts Consideration of Treatment - May 13, 2002
A recently published study by the city's Board of Education found that about 75,000 of the more than 710,000 public school students in grades 4 through 12 are suffering symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, and as many as 190,000 have mental health problems, both related and unrelated to 9/11. The study and the underlying reality have spurred an intense debate about how to proceed. Psychologists who specialize in trauma want the Board of Education to screen students and find those with emotional problems -- especially those suffering in silence, crying themselves to sleep or having nightmares or getting psychosomatic aches and pains. (New York Times)

Arts Festival Planned To Revitalize Downtown - May 13, 2002
A new $7.6 million arts festival, created to help spark the renaissance of Lower Manhattan, will seek to attract more than a million visitors to nearly 500 events at 20 locations over the next five months, and will feature performances by 300 artists including Sheryl Crow and Wynton Marsalis. The mostly free festival, billed as the city's largest in terms of the number of events and projected eventgoers, will be called Downtown N.Y.C. River-to-River Festival 2002, and it will begin later this month. (New York Times)

Business Still In A Slump Due To September 11 - May 12, 2002
Businesses in Queens are struggling to survive in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks and an economic recession — both with impacts that have rippled through the borough. Queens lost nearly 21,000 jobs from October through December, and analysts predict it will take a year for businesses to recover. Not just the larger businesses are affected. Many local mom-and-pop shops have had to lay off workers, scale back production and revamp operations to stay afloat. (New York Daily News)

City Awaits A September 11 Baby Boom - May 12, 2002
Hundreds of women around the city became pregnant in the days and weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks and are now due to give birth in the next three months.Some obstetricians say they will perform twice as many deliveries in each of the summer months than in the past. Demographic experts say it will take years to validate the boomlet, but widespread anecdotal evidence suggests it is real. (New York Daily News)

Rebuilding Infrastructure and Wiring Downtown Is A Huge Undertaking - May 12, 2002
In this feature from the New York Times Magazine, author Robert Sullivan explores the mammoth effort of rewiring Lower Manhattan after September 11 by taking a look at one particular street. The article discusses the intricacies of wiring underground among decades-old structures and the efforts of Verizon and other communications companies to make sure one of the world's busiest telecommunications areas stays connected. (New York Times)

Federal Agency Reports Of Respiratory Ailments At High School Near Ground Zero - May 11, 2002
More than half the employees at Stuyvesant High School suffered respiratory problems after returning to their school on the edge of Ground Zero in October, according to an upcoming federal report. The study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, found that between 50% and 60% of the school's staff reported a range of respiratory symptoms connected to the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. The full report is expected to be completed by May 31. (New York Daily News)

National Guard Troops Being Pulled From New York Airports - May 10, 2002
After seven months, New York Army National Guard troops are being pulled out of the state's airports, Governor Pataki announced yesterday. The U.S. Department of Defense and the Transportation Safety Administration have established May 31 as the close of the National Guard airport mission across the nation. New York will gradually stand down troops to meet the May 31 target, Pataki said. (New York Post)

Recovery Effort At Ground Zero To Be Declared Over In A Couple Weeks - May 10, 2002
Mayor Bloomberg announced yesterday that the relentless recovery effort will be declared over in three to four weeks. He said he expects to reveal the date of the official closing ceremony in a few days. A meeting of victims' families and state and city officials is to take place next week to finalize details of the last solemn day. (New York Daily News)

Fire Department Seeks Feedback From Around The Country About Their Response To September 11 - May 10, 2002
New York City fire officials and their outside consultants are traveling the country asking other large fire departments in cities like San Francisco to critique how the city responded to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Feedback from the visits will be used by consultants from McKinsey & Company, who are drawing up recommendations on how the Fire Department can improve its response to a major catastrophe, the officials said. (New York Times)

Debate Surrounds Building A Transmission Tower In The City - May 9, 2002
Three decades have passed since New York was the home of the world's tallest anything. Now plans are being contemplated by the 11-station Metropolitan Television Alliance for a transmission tower that, at 2,000 feet, would be as tall as a structure can go before the Federal Aviation Administration considers it a hazard to air navigation. Possible sites for this new tower include Governors Island, Red Hook in Brooklyn, Jersey City and Lower Manhattan. (New York Times)

Federal Emergency Management Agency Says Board of Ed Never Formally Requested Relief Funds - May 9, 2002
Joseph Allbaugh, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, called members of New York's congressional delegation this week to say the agency was not stonewalling city schools - but that school officials never officially asked for money to make up class time lost after Sept. 11. School officials counter that they made repeated pleas for aid — in a Sept. 21 document submitted to the city and forwarded to FEMA on behalf of all agencies seeking help, and in private meetings with FEMA staffers. (New York Daily News)

Firefighters Union and Victims' Families Clash Over Relief Fund Distribution - May 9, 2002
The Uniformed Firefighters Association is sitting on more than $60 million donated to a fund for widows and children of fallen firefighters - setting off a messy battle between the union and grieving relatives who say they're being cheated. While the fund will be distributing $20,000 initially, with annual payments of at least $5,000 to each family, they will still retain most of the $60 million. (New York Daily News)

Spring Returns To Battery Park City After A Couple of Dour Seasons - May 9, 2002
Rebirth and memory intertwine these days in Battery Park City, the community hat was laid to waste when the World Trade Center fell. While reminders of September 11 linger everywhere, there are signs of a comeback. The residential buildings are now nearly 90 percent full. The Embassy Suites Hotel and the neighborhood movie theater reopened last week. Pizza delivery has been restored. West Street is open, making it possible once again to catch a cab uptown. (New York Times)

Excavation at 7 World Trade Center Beginning Today - May 8, 2002
In the first rebuilding effort at the site of America's worst terrorist attack, workers will begin excavation at the Seven World Trade Center site today, said John Whitehead, chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Newsday has a diagram of where the excavation for the foundation will be in relation to the rest of the site. (Newsday)

Fungus Infestation Threatens A Building Still Standing At Ground Zero - May 8, 2002
A 40-story skyscraper at the edge of Ground Zero withstood the terrorist attacks -- but could be demolished because of a gross infestation of foul mold. While engineers have deemed the heavily damaged tower as stable, the outgrowth of fungus has spread such that Deutsche Bank, which owns the building, could end up knocking down the building. (New York Daily News)

Search For Bodies At Ground Zero Near The End - May 8, 2002
Crews at Ground Zero have found no human remains other than a few small bones in the past two weeks, officials said yesterday -- signaling that the recovery effort is drawing to a sad end. Firefighters, cops and construction workers continue to rake painstakingly through the last heaps of debris at the 16-acre World Trade Center site. (New York Daily News)

Construction Underway For New 7 World Trade Center - May 8, 2002
Larry Silverstein, the developer who owned the World Trade Center before its destruction, yesterday began the first step in erecting a new skyscraper on the site where 7 World Trade Center once stood. Workers erected a construction fence around the site, on the north side of Vesey Street, not long after Silverstein learned that the company insuring that building would not contest his $851 million claim. (New York Times)

Environmental Protection Agency to Lead Cleanup Effort of Homes Close to Ground Zero - May 8, 2002
The federal Environmental Protection Agency will announce today an effort to clean up and test apartments south of Canal Street in Lower Manhattan that were fouled by the dust and ash from the destruction of the World Trade Center. This is a sharp reversal in policy from an agency which, to this point, had said that assessing air quality indoors was not under its responsibilities. (New York Times)

Thirteen Groups Submit Proposals For Rebuilding World Trade Center Site - May 7, 2002
When the deadline to apply for one of the most crucial urban design jobs in city history expired yesterday, a total of 13 groups had submitted applications to the Port Authority to craft a development plan for the World Trade Center site. Because no single company has all the expertise needed for the vast job, the proposals came from teams of firms that pulled together to vie for the contract. The applications include more than 50 urban design, architecture and transportation planning firms, said officials from the Port Authority and Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. No comprehensive master plans were submitted. Instead, the teams offered development outlines, listed their qualifications and pegged their fees. (New York Daily News)

City Council Hearing Reveals Role of Technology In Recovering From September 11 - May 7, 2002
A City Council hearing about technology and the lessons learned from September 11 revealed how computer systems and satellite mapping were integral to the recovery after September 11. Among the notable mentions: a database system to catalog a library's worth of information about possible victims; a satellite mapping system used to catalog where human remains and other debris were scattered at Ground Zero; a computer system for families to report missing family members; and a late night raid that salvaged computers critical to restoring trading on the New York Stock Exchange. (New York Times)

Families of Undocumented Workers Killed On September 11 Struggle For Relief - May 6, 2002
Undocumented immigrants who were the breadwinners for families died in the collapse of the World Trade Center. But in the aftermath of a tragedy in which terrorism was the great equalizer, the survivors of these victims have encountered unique problems in navigating the bureaucracy of death, say lawyers, immigrant groups and consular officials. And many are also being denied significant financial assistance, because more often than not, they are also here illegally. (New York Times)

Chinatown and Lower East Side Residents Complain Of Lack of Relief - May 6, 2002
Chinatown and the Lower East Side have been shortchanged by the federal government and private relief agencies doling out emergency assistance after the World Trade Center attacks, residents complained at a town hall meeting yesterday. (New York Post)

Blueprint for Ground Zero Beginning To Take Shape - May 4, 2002
Although public deliberations have only recently begun over the future of the site known as ground zero, crucial components of what will occur there appear to have already been settled upon by city and state officials. No 100-story office towers are likely to grace the former site of the World Trade Center. Nor is it probable that the entire 16-acre parcel will be set aside for a memorial to victims of the attack on Sept. 11. (New York Times)

Senate Committee Seeks Inquiry Into Emergency Agency After September 11 - May 4, 2002
A Senate committee has asked the General Accounting Office to undertake a broad examination of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's response to the Sept. 11 attacks, including a review of the way the agency has determined eligibility for its programs, the amount of money the government expects to spend on the recovery effort and the steps it is taking to safeguard public funds. (New York Times)

Cultural Institutions Downtown Coming Back To Life - May 3, 2002
For all the raw emotion and the painful reminders, the small inconveniences and the continuing repair, there is unmistakable evidence that Lower Manhattan is coming back to life. New restaurants are opening, old clubs are hosting concerts again, art galleries continue to exhibit, and a new film festival promises to bring revitalize residents there even more. (New York Times)

State To Give Tax Refunds To 9/11 Victims' Families - May 3, 2002
Part of a new state budget agreement is a plan to give full state tax refunds for 2000 and 2001 to those killed in the World Trade Center attacks. The Pataki administration estimated the estates of about 2,500 individuals will be eligible for the refunds, which should average about $10,000 each and cost the state a total of $25 million. (New York Daily News)

Rival Shopping Mall Companies Come Together To Help Provide Aid For 9/11 Victims - May 3, 2002
The United We Stand alliance, a coalition of companies that own shopping malls throughout the metro area, came together to raise more than $500,000 for the families of victims of Sept. 11. "We are a loose coalition of companies, all competitors, getting together to do something as a group," said Robert Minutoli, senior vice president of The Rouse Company, one of nine members of United We Stand. (New York Daily News)

Workers Finishing Search For Remains In The Rubble - May 2, 2002
With officials predicting that recovery work at Ground Zero will wind up by the end of the month, workers will be sifting through the final bits of debris to find more human remains. After the final debris pile is removed from Ground Zero, recovery workers will still have one last task - lifting and cleaning the timbers that line the base of the 16-acre site to make sure every piece of human remains is saved. (New York Post)

Federal Officials Propose More Comprehensive Investigation Of Collapse of Twin Towers - May 2, 2002
Federal officials proposed today an expansive new effort to determine exactly why the towers fell and how other buildings might be protected. The proposed investigation, which would begin with taking in more data from the scene of the collapse and use sophisticated computer analysis for a more detailed look at the collapse, would be led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Maryland, a federal agency with long experience in studying building disasters. (New York Times)

Thousands Of Children Throughout Five Boroughs Showing Signs of Mental Stress After September 11 - May 2, 2002
Tens of thousands of public-school children throughout New York City, not just near Ground Zero, are experiencing chronic nightmares, fear of public places, severe anxiety and other mental health problems months after the World Trade Center attack, a study conducted for the Board of Education has found. The study estimates that 10.5 percent of the children in the 4th through the 12th grades suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after Sept. 11. Even more (15 percent) suffered agoraphobia, or fear of public places. (New York Times)

Federal Government Will Reconsider Some Applicants Rejected For 9/11 Aid - May 2, 2002
The director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency promised members of the New York Congressional delegation yesterday that the agency would immediately reopen more than 7,000 applications for housing assistance that the agency denied after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Those who were rejected included hundreds of Chinatown seamstresses and Manhattan hotel workers, many of them with claims to aid that seemed legitimate. (New York Times)

Federal Report on World Trade Center Collapse To Be Released Today - May 1, 2002
A federal study, to be released today during a congressional hearing, concludes that the towers of the World Trade Center behaved "remarkably," and states that no structural problems were found with the buildings. The study team recommends that funds should be used to improve aircraft security, rather than hardening buildings against airplane attack. "Buildings are not designed to withstand any event that could ever conceivably occur," the report states. The study concludes that the buildings could have remained standing following the plane impacts alone, if not for the enormous fires that ensued. (Newsday)

Relatives of Victims Criticize Government Investigation of September 11 - May 1, 2002
Victims' relatives and Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn) will be at a news conference today to criticize a report detailing the federal government's investigation of September 11. "Many families don't have confidence in the ... report because of how sloppy the investigation was at the outset," Weiner said. (New York Daily News)