Hiya Ray. God bless you and everyone else who are doing all they can to make sure all of us NEVER FORGET
Hiya Ray. God bless you and everyone else who are doing all they can to make sure all of us NEVER FORGET
April 23, 2009 -- WASHINGTON - The push to win long-term help for the heroes of 9/11/01 inched forward in Congress on Wednesday with an impassioned display meant to prod forgetful lawmakers to act. Several New York legislators are trying to reopen the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund to aid thousands of responders and others who have gotten sick since the fund closed in 2005.
But their colleagues have balked at the potential cost, leaving the measure to languish without a vote.
In testimony meant to finally move the bill, New Yorkers admitted the cost is high, but said it pales next to the sacrifices made by people who answered the call on Sept. 11, 2001 - many of whom packed a House hearing room. "The solutions ... are neither easy nor inexpensive, but they are part of our country's moral obligation," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens). "We must take care of the people who took care of us." "There is really no reason to delay this any further," said Long Island Rep. Pete King, a Republican, who noted there are people ill from their 9/11 service in 431 of the 435 congressional districts. "We are so close to the finishing line," he said. "I really think it would be outrageous and disgraceful not to get the job done." Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are working on the measure in the Senate, where its future appears even less certain.
Thanks to whoever made this a sticky, and thanks Ray for continually updating this, I cant imagine how hard that must be at times.
Pete King has been a friend of ours for a while now, and Im not sure it as everything to do with just votes either.
May 4, 2009 -- It was New York's great good fortune to see the smiling face of Fire Lt. Martin Fullam on his release from the hospital last week after a lung transplant. "I'm the luckiest man in the world," Fullam said as he left New York-Presbyterian Hospital Columbia in Manhattan. While luck played a role in Fullam's survival, he is also a hero whose story reinforces the pressing need to establish a coordinated health program for 9/11 rescue and recovery workers. Fullam, now 56, raced to Ground Zero that terrible day and worked 10-hour shifts for weeks at The Pile, inhaling toxic dust and destroying his lungs in the same way that so many others destroyed their lungs. Robbed of 70% of his lung capacity by pulmonary fibrosis, he needed an oxygen tank to breathe. His only hope was a transplant and, miraculously, a lung became available. The procedure is costly. Fullam had the benefit of a federal program for Trade Center responders that has operated hand-to-mouth for years. At the same time, Fullam also suffers from an exceedingly rare autoimmune disorder that attacks muscles, called polymyositis. It shows up in five of every 100,000 people in the general population, but the Fire Department, with 12,000 members, has recorded six cases. Doctors are certain pulmonary fibrosis is Trade Center-related. But not whether WTC exposure triggered polymyositis. The question demands research and answers. Newly confirmed federal Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius ought to take a close look at Fullam's history. For it documents why the federal government must get fully behind health care for the forgotten victims of 9/11. The effort needs proper funding as well as leadership by an expert who can monitor 9/11 health trends and treatment advances with an eye toward spotting emerging WTC-linked diseases. That person should be the indomitable Dr. John Howard. As head of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Howard was the first federal official to recognize that WTC rescue and recovery workers were really and truly sick. Named by President George W. Bush as the nation's 9/11 health coordinator, he advocated forcefully for monitoring and treatment programs - and was fired for those efforts. Howard was, and is, the best physician for the job.
I am curious to see the results of the examination of his old lung and could be evidence and proof that these lung problems are not BS.
Glad he is doing ok. We need to do more those people who were there.
May 9, 2009 -- The long-delayed project of dismantling a toxic tower across from ground zero has fallen behind schedule again because of an electrical fire. The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. says the small fire in a power distribution box stopped work for most of April at the former Deutsche Bank tower. Contractors now say it will be January 2010 when the tower is completely dismantled, about three months behind its latest schedule. The 40-story building was heavily damaged in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks when the World Trade Center's south tower collapsed into it. Its removal has been plagued by legal battles, the discovery of human remains and several accidents, including a 2007 fire that killed two New York City firefighters.
May 9, 2009 -- Seven of the eight Q1 construction milestones at the World Trade Center redevelopment site were completed on schedule, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says in its quarterly progress report released Monday. The quarter was also highlighted by the signing of the first private tenant at One World Trade Center, aka the Freedom Tower.
Milestones for Q1 included a $339-million contract award for 22,000 tons of steel for the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, the installation of more than half of the 4,550 pieces of steel for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and the start of construction on the Vehicle Security Center. Among other milestones, construction was begun on the Fulton Street deck for One World Trade as the future office tower reached 105 feet above street level. The eighth of the Q1 milestones, completion of pavilion/spot network footings that will support the memorialís pavilion, was completed on April 24.
By the end of the current quarter, the Port Authority expects to accomplish another 20 milestones, according to the report. Among these are: beginning the Route 9A underpass excavation for the future WTC Transportation Hubís east-west connector; completing interior design for the memorialís pavilion; building the shearwall for the north core of One World Trade up to level B1, the last level before grade; and completing a series of slurry panels for the WTC Vehicular Security Center.
With the signing in March of Beijing Vantone to 190,810 square feet at One World Trade, the tower has reached 50% occupancy including prospective state and federal government tenants, according to the report. Vantoneís lease for 20 years and nine months will take effect upon One World Tradeís completion, scheduled for late 2013.
In a letter to Gov. David Paterson that prefaced the report, executive director Christopher Ward wrote that the authority will continue to be confronted with "the challenges of rebuilding on such a crowded and complex site." However, he added, "Our greatest challenge going forward will be responding to the effects of an economic recession, which has depressed the cityís real estate market and tightened the nationís credit market. Just as we have gotten the public construction on track, we have seen that, like everything else, the rebuilding effort is not immune to the economic crisis." The progress reports have been prepared on a quarterly basis since an assessment of the mega-projectís construction schedule was issued last October.
May 11, 2009 -- Silverstein Properties via Bloomberg
Mayor Bloomberg plans WTC summit next week WTC project won't be finished until 36 years after 9/11 - PA Dream job for Silverstein: $21.5M - to do nothing at all! WTC survivors up in arms over Stump Towers plan The incredible shrinking World Trade Center will be cut back from five iconic skyscrapers to just two signature towers under a new Port Authority plan, the Daily News has learned. Bludgeoned by recession and a war with developer Larry Silverstein, the Port Authority is proposing halving the office space it will build at Ground Zero - from 10 million square feet to 5 million, sources familiar with the plan say. The sources say the agency's new vision for the site calls for scrapping one tower that would have been taller than the Empire State Building and nixing two others that would have dwarfed the nearby Woolworth Building. In place of two Silverstein behemoths, each designed by a British lord and soaring 79 stories, the PA would erect a pair of short, squat buildings no taller than four or five floors - coined "stumps" - that could be used for retail shops, according to the proposal. The vastly scaled-back site plan was disclosed to The News hours before Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on Friday branded budget-busting delays and cost overruns at the 16-acre site an "embarrassment to our city, our state and our nation." Mayor Bloomberg promptly followed up by inviting all warring parties to a summit meeting this week.
End of master plan
Revamping the sacred spaces where nearly 3,000 people were killed on 9/11 marks a dramatic break from the original 2003 Daniel Libeskind master plan, which called for a row of cascading office towers to replace the 10.4 million square feet of office space destroyed by terrorists. Although the Freedom Tower will still climb to its symbolic 1,776 feet, and the Memorial will occupy the heart and soul of the site, the showcase buildings designed by world-class architects - on which Silverstein has already spent hundreds of millions of dollars - will be absent. "It's getting smaller and smaller and smaller," said Enrique Saurez, a dishwasher from Venezuela who worked at Windows on the World, where 73 employees died. "What happened to their so-called master plan?" What happened was a calamitous credit crisis that dried up bank financing for Silverstein and a fiscal crunch that has led to falling revenues at PA bridges, tunnels and airports - all amid an increase in borrowing costs. With a squeeze on cash, lenders, Wall Street tenants, the agency and the builder launched a new round of heated talks to determine exactly who will build what - and on what terms it will be financed.
The result is a PA proposal that would:
- Reduce Tower 2, a planned 79-story, 1,270-foot Silverstein building designed by Lord Norman Foster, to a glorified, prettied-up stump.
- Effectively strip control of 71-story, 1,137-foot Tower 3, designed by Lord Richard Rogers, from Silverstein and reduce it to another stumpy building.
- Abandon all plans for Tower 5, slated to go on the toxic Deutsche Bank building site, for the foreseeable future.
- Underwrite about $1 billion in financing costs and rent abatements for Silverstein on 64-story, 975-foot Tower 4, which is the only building he'd get to construct.
- Go full steam ahead on Tower 4 - but force Silverstein to surrender most of his development fees, insurance proceeds and fine revenues in return.
The PA wouldn't comment on its specific proposals.
"We're committed to rebuilding downtown," said Stephen Sigmund, the authority's chief spokesman. We said limited public resources were being directed toward "keeping the memorial and other public projects moving forward" - and that office and retail space would be built "to meet the market."
Screws put to Silverstein
Silverstein was initially entitled to build five buildings and 10 million square feet on the site, but agreed in 2006, under enormous political pressure, to surrender the Freedom Tower and one other building. He was also ready to give up one more tower - but not two. "Our compromise proposal - under which we would own two buildings with [up to] 4 million square feet - is fair, especially since the Port Authority has collected more than $2 billion from Silverstein since 9/11," said Janno Lieber, president of Silverstein's World Trade Center Properties. "Completing two buildings will assure that the WTC site is a finished, attractive and exciting place that helps - rather than hinders - downtown's revival," he added. Sources familiar with Silverstein's position complained that the PA is acting unfairly both in setting the financial terms and in mothballing two Silverstein buildings. A hefty chunk of Tower 4, the lone remaining building built solely by Silverstein, would be occupied by the PA, which would pay below-market rent, they point out. The agency is offering to hike its payments as part of the deal. New delays to the long-stalled project loom, these sources warn: The PA's plan for stumps - to support retail and serve as stand-ins for towers that could one day be built on top of them - could take some two years to redesign and reengineer. Since stump construction would take place in the same area as below-grade work on the $3.2 billion Transportation Hub, it could push back that project, now slated for completion in mid-2014, even further, these executives predict.
Thanks Ray...I miss ya Bro! I'm no longer at 66th and Columbus...but my heart is with the Cavemen!
July 14, 2009 -- Larry Silverstein and the Port Authority are locked in a mortal impasse over financing for Silverstein's Ground Zero office towers. But "no way out" doesn't have to mean "no way forward." Properly tweaked, a proposal to speed up retail development could rapidly bring life and commerce to the 16-acre site. Retail developer Westfield Group, a consultant to the PA, proposes delaying two giant office towers -- while building two low-rise shopping malls, with a half-million square feet of retail space, on the sites. At first glance, the idea looks like a nonstarter. It needs Silverstein's cooperation when he's already at odds with the PA. Plus, canyons of Manhattan retail space already stand vacant even at prime locations. But a modified version of the plan could do wonders. Instead, have the PA build just one mall at the Tower 3 site (where the skyscraper would be postponed but not canceled) and then lease the space to Westfield to manage and sublet. To win Silverstein's assent for the change in plans, help him out with his financing problems for Tower 2. This would provide swift delivery of what Ground Zero desperately needs as soon as possible: a fully above ground project. (Much of the Memorial is deep beneath the earth, as is the Santiago Calatrava-designed "World Trade Center Transportation Hub.") And it would break the current standstill over building the office towers -- which is even worse than it appears. Four office buildings are supposed to be built inside Ground Zero. The PA is responsible for the tallest, 1 WTC (the former Freedom Tower) at the site's northwest corner, which it took off Silverstein's hands under a 2006 agreement. Silverstein still has Towers 2, 3 and 4, which are to rise along the east side. Steel for 1 WTC's core is rising very slowly. Silverstein is in an even earlier stage on Tower 4. He's eager to get Tower 2 moving, but can't start until the PA finishes readying the site for construction and financing is in place. Tower 3 won't likely rise for years. But the entire redevelopment clock needs to be reset. The PA has already paid Silverstein more than $100 million in penalties for missing its deadlines on delivering the Towers 2 and 3 sites in shovel-ready condition -- and it faces further charges until it finishes the job. Meanwhile, Silverstein has his own problems. The credit freeze has forced him to postpone even a smaller hotel/condo project a few blocks off Ground Zero. In search of financing, he's asked the PA for loan guarantees of up to $2 billion for Towers 2 and 4. But the PA counter-offered to help him finance only Tower 4 -- where he doesn't really need help: Deals are in place for the PA and city agencies to take space there, making the project far less risky. Why won't the PA bail Silverstein out on Tower 2? Forget its claim to need the cash for more critical projects: It just fears the competition as it tries to find office tenants for the tower it will control, the 2.6 million square-foot 1 WTC (formerly the Freedom Tower). In a leasing war, Silverstein would clean the PA's clock. His towers have better floor plates and are better located than 1 WTC, which also faces fears that it's the logical target for another terrorist attack. The PA might never agree to a co-financing arrangement that would undercut its own position. Now, enter Westfield. The global retail development and management company says it "stands ready" to spend up to $1.3 billion to build six-story retail "podiums" housing 500,000 square feet on the Towers 2 and 3 sites. The towers theoretically could later be built atop the podiums when the office market recovers. Yet the PA can't just make Silverstein's towers go on hiatus and put malls in their place. He totally controls the sites under a 99-year leasehold. Even so, a shopping mall could be built far faster and more cheaply than a 1,000-foot office tower. And Silverstein has already indicated a willingness to back-burner Tower 3. But a shopping mall at the site would force him to create a "sky lobby" above the stores when he eventually gets around to building the office tower -- a complex, uncertain redesign that might also make office leasing more difficult. Happily, a sign of potential compromise appeared last week: The PA offered to help Silverstein with up to $1.2 billion in financing for Tower 2 if he first raises $625 million elsewhere. It seemed a joke -- if Silverstein could do that, he wouldn't need the PA's help. But that $625 million happens to be the exact amount that Westfield said last year it would put into a joint venture with the PA to own and manage the retail space Ground Zero. The PA and Westfield seem to have something up their sleeves -- for example, agreeing to Silverstein's loan request if he lets Westfield in on the action. But, whatever's going on behind the closed doors of the propaganda factories, it's time for all parties to make concessions. Tower 3's short-term future is off the table anyway; the site could remain empty indefinitely. And putting up all the skyscrapers at once makes no sense in this grim economy. So it's in the general interest to build retail space there. Silverstein should let the shopping mall go forward at the Tower 3 site, but without relinquishing his right to build the tower later. Reconfiguring its design to accommodate the retail base will take some doing -- but the office floors can't rise for years, so he'll have time to figure out how. But Tower 2 must rise soon -- lest reconstruction stall after having restored little more than half the 11 million feet of offices demolished on 9/11. A deal to jumpstart Tower 2, holding off only on Tower 3, would yield 8.5 million feet. That's nearly comparable to the lost space, thanks to greater efficiencies provided by today's engineering. Which means the PA and Westfield must give ground, too. Westfield must accept only one retail podium. And, most crucially, the PA should do the building itself -- because the mall must go up whether store tenants are pre-signed or not. The PA can't simply sell Westfield an option on land that could remain barren if Westfield doesn't pre-sign enough tenants. So the PA must build the mall without preconditions, then turn it over to Westfield. A glass-wrapped retail podium actually in the ground will be a lot easier to fill than one that remains frozen on paper. Making all the moving parts mesh is a long shot -- one requiring good faith on all sides and forceful political leadership. But, considering the bleak outlook otherwise, does anyone have a better idea?
You can't tell the players without a scorecard............. :rolleyes: Ray, THANK YOU for all that you put into this work. I'm not much on figuring out all the twists and turns here, but I can say that Westfield does a decent job in their area of expertise. Some years back, they bought a Mall here that was heading downhill pretty quick. Remodeling, Aggressive Leasing, REAL Marketing, and some Additional Floor Space, and now they've got a very successful operation going there..........:)
July 16, 2009 -- The Port Authority's latest offer to increase its financial support for Larry Silverstein's World Trade Center office towers by $1.2 billion doesn't go far enough for the developer -- making it all but certain the stalled negotiations will go to arbitration next week. In exchange for increasing their share of the financing for Tower 2, PA officials insist it must be matched by $625 million from Silverstein. Janno Lieber, of Silverstein's World Trade Center Properties, told members of Community Board 1 that credit is "just not available."
August 6, 2009 -- Ground Zero's projects lag far beyond schedule and the area is a giant construction site, but enough concrete has been poured over 2,400 tons of steel near the towers' footprints to permit special access for the families, officials say. Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward revealed that the upper level of the plaza would be temporarily opened during the morning's commemoration ceremonies. "We have made enough progress on the memorial that the 9/11 family members will be allowed to walk out onto the Memorial Plaza for the first time during this September's anniversary - something few thought would be possible this time last year," Ward said in a letter to Gov. Paterson. On the seventh anniversary in 2008, families were ushered down the long construction ramp into the pit below for the somber ceremony. Since then, the ramp has been removed, The Pit is being transformed, more than 70% of the memorial's steel is in place and the pools, parapets and plazas are quickly taking shape, officials say. Ward's upbeat assessment came the day after the Daily News disclosed a secret government report that predicted every blockbuster project at the site would be years behind schedule.
FYI -- Eight years ago, a terrorist attack levelled the twin towers of the World Trade Centre, yet, according to a new study, even years later, it continues to cause new cases of asthma and post-traumatic stress. Asthma and post-traumatic stress disorder years after the World Trade Centre disaster, continues to trouble and traumatise the passersby, tourists and commuters who chanced to be in the area at the time the towers fell. Over 71,000-people, were exposed to the fire, smoke and debris mushrooming over lower Manhattan on 11th September 2001, and scientists finding the lingering effects, predict problems will continue to persist far into the future. The largest post-disaster database compiled in U. S. history, the registry is the first non-combat data scientists are using to discover how a single incident can result in ongoing physical and mental health issues. Post-traumatic stress symptoms are not only real, they continue to be pervasive, as well. An estimated 25,000 people in the World Trade Centre Health Registry have developed asthma, with 61,000 reporting post-traumatic stress symptoms, with a small number of them also having asthma. For many, especially passersby, tourists and others at Ground Zero, post-traumatic symptoms have worsened over time, researchers say. Registrants answered questions online, on a mail-in form, or by telephone, with the study, covering years from 2006 and 2007. It is the first of WTC studies that details symptoms that are persisting so many years after the disaster. Investigators reported their findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association, an issue devoted to the effects of violence on the human condition.
Some of the studyís findings are as follows:
∑ 10% of participants with no history of asthma reported a new asthma diagnosis during the follow-up survey.
∑ Intense dust cloud exposure was linked with an increased risk of asthma. Of those with a new diagnosis of asthma, 19% reported intense dust exposure vs. about 10% without exposure.
∑ Risk for asthma was highest among rescue-recovery workers.
∑ Residents who did not evacuate reported higher asthma rates than those who did.
∑ Passersby had the highest levels of symptoms (23%) and residents the lowest (16%).
∑ Spouse loss related to the attack was also associated with symptoms of traumatic stress.
August 20, 2009 -- The two giant waterfalls that will thunder into the abyss where the World Trade Center once stood will open in time for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, the Port Authority vowed Wednesday. Described as the biggest manmade falls in North America, the twin torrents will drop 46 feet in two stages into two reflecting pools in the inner void that will be the heart and soul of Ground Zero. "It's not a pit anymore," said Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward. "With all the progress that is taking place on the site, it's not even Ground Zero anymore." In testimony before the City Council, Ward said the falls and fountains will be fully flowing by 2011 - and that 75% of the swamp white oak trees that will grace the Memorial Plaza will be planted. It will be a somber place for mourning and remembrance: Each cascade will drop 40,000 gallons of water per minute into twin reflecting pools in the footprints of the twin towers - and each pool will hold some 165,000 gallons of water. The subterranean Memorial Museum, which will display 9/11 artifacts and relate the horrors of the worst day in U.S. history, will open in 2012, Ward said. The news about "Reflecting Absence," the memorial's official name, came moments after City Councilman Alan Gerson (D-Manhattan) had tough words about delays that have plagued the site: "It's incomprehensible and unforgivable that not a single project at the World Trade Center site has been completed," he said.
August 24, 2009 --It became a makeshift memorial to the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Now a massive steel column has been returned to ground zero as a symbol of rebirth. After more than seven years in storage at a hangar at Kennedy International Airport, the 58-ton, 36-foot-tall beam was delivered before dawn Monday to the World Trade Center site. Column No. 1,0001 B of 2 World Trade Center, as it's officially known, will become part of the planned National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the site. Dubbed the "Last Column," it became the final standing steel column removed from ground zero, and a steel canvas for tributes from recovery workers and victims' families. It was adorned with firehouse patches, police logos and union stickers, and spray-painted with the shorthand messages FDNY 343,PAPD 37, and NYPD 23 and in honor of firefighters, Port Authority and city police officers who died in the 2001 attacks. It was cut down, wrapped in black muslin and an American flag, and taken out as part of a ceremony marking the end of recovery efforts on May 30, 2002.
WASHINGTON - A group of Sept. 11 responders finally got an answer from the White House to their plea for help: a thank you card.:confused:
A year ago, members of the Fealgood Foundation delivered that plea to the future President and other lawmakers in a DVD telling the tale of four ailing heroes. One of the four, Greg Quibell, had just died of 9/11-linked leukemia. Another, former FDNY firefighter John McNamara, died of cancer last month. They wanted to show Congress why it must pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, an $8.4 billion bill to help ailing Sept. 11 workers. But the act has languished. What the responders have gotten are thank you's, not just from the White House, but from members of Congress who also got copies of "Save the Brave." "One congressman's office sent it back with a letter that said we're sorry, we don't accept gifts," said John Feal, who lost half his foot at Ground Zero. Feal got the note from the White House saying "Thank you for your kind gift" last week. Quibell's widow, Theresa, said the off-tone response was "disturbing," but would forgive it if the President delivers. "My God, at least take care of these guys now," she said. Adminstration officials say Obama remains committed to those who answered the call on Sept. 11, and the days after. He reaffirmed his pledge Friday in the Daily News. Congressional leaders insist they're committed as well, and the House could finish its bill this month - and vote by November. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan) blamed the glacial pace on the GOP. "The previous administration denied there was even a problem," she said. Rep. Pete King (R-Nassau) called it a bipartisan disgrace. "This is a clear breach of faith by the government," he said. "This is the same as leaving people on the battlefield." Even if the House passes a bill, the Senate has barely started. "We have an undeniable moral obligation," said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who is sponsoring the Senate bill. "I am optimistic that with President Obama in the White House and a Democratic Congress we can ... act." After eight years, 9/11's heroes are left with little more than thank-you notes - and pain. "The only gift I've received was the gift of cancer," said former FDNY firefighter Kenny Specht, who battled the disease in his thyroid. "I don't need a letter thanking me for my gift." New Yorkers want something more tangible. "My son is dying," said Stephen Grossman after visiting his son, Robert, 41, in the hospital where the ex-cop is losing a battle to cancer. "Whatever passes through Congress will be too late for him. I hope it's not too late for other people."
That's so disheartening. :mad: :(
Ray, I just got finished watching the Gaudet brothers 9/11 documentary that you sent me. Bawled my freakin' eyes out. Lord only knows why I thought I was ready to watch it. But I had to continue even though I was sobbing hard enough to give myself a headache ... I felt I needed to finish it in honor of the 343 firefighters and others killed September 11th and who have lost their battle in the eight years since. And for those who survived and are living with the pain daily. :( :( :( NEVER FORGET.
Thank you Ray for supplying us with that link to the report.
I think it's going to get much worse as time goes on. I read the entire thing and it mentioned PTSD but they didn't mention the impact of it related to the suicide rate if it went up, went down, or stayed the same. Also, why is only 80% of the FDNY claims approved and covered? That my friend is BS!
So now what is the mayor going to do with report?