The 9/11 health-care-for-aid-workers debate rages on. Â According toÂ NBC New York and The Associated Press, supporters of a bill that would offer health care aid to workers who came down with various illnesses after working in the wreckage of the World Trade Center are hoping to garner support by displaying the badges of 29 members of the NYPD who were immersed in rescue efforts and later died from 9/11-related sickness.
The badges were put on exhibit on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on Monday.
The bill would provide free health care and compensation for 9/11 rescue and recovery workers, who inhaled hazardous materials after the Twin Towers fell; workers subsequently suffered from ailments like asthma, sinuses and reduced lung capacity.
The bill passed the House during Congressâ€™ lame duck session, yet a cloud of scientific doubt hangs over the bill, though. Doctors arenâ€™t sure how many people are sick or how many of these illnesses are actually linked to the dust from Ground Zero.
Case in point: 34-year-old police detective James Zadroga, for whom the legislation is named. Some say he died from respiratory disease, which he contracted from working at Ground Zero; the NYC medical examiner posed a different theory, saying that Zadrogaâ€™s lung issues were the result of his abuse of prescription drugs.
Additionally, some Republicans oppose the bill, which would cost $7.4 billion over 10 years, deeming it a move that would increase taxes and eliminate jobs.
What is your opinion of this bill? Is it unfair to deny 9/11 rescue workers aid after they risked their lives to try and save others?
Consumer Affairs reports that 95% of the 10,000 rescue workers from the 9/11 attacks accepted a settlement providing payouts for health-related claims that were a direct result of their service for the months, even years, after the terror attacks. The rescue workers spent years entangled in litigation, but their resolve should pay off, as the agreement payout could total between $625 and $815 million when all is said and done.
A ranking scale was devised in order to determine which workers got how much. Depending on the severity and nature of their injuries and ailments, the rescue workers are divided into four tiersÂ Â and will receive payments ranging from $3,250 to$1.8 million. The lower end of the scale represents workers who endured no injury but who are forced to live with the mental and psychological trauma and stress over the fact that will eventually get sick, whereas the higher end of the scale is reserved for those with more severe health issues. Of the four tiers of injury ranking,Â Â more than half of the plaintiffs fall into the most severely injured category and will account for 94 percent of the payout.
How much a plaintiff is financially rewarded depends on how closely their condition can be correlated to exposure to toxins present at the Ground Zero site; in what would seem counterintuitive on the surface, someone with asthma could be awarded a larger sum than someone with cancer, but that’s because asthma is a condition more closely linked to the site’s contaminants.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg deemed the settlement “a fair and just resolution of these claims, protecting those who came to the aid of this city when we needed it most.”
Does the settlement sound fair to you? Do you think the scale of injury and ratio of payout is fair or is it not scientific enough for your liking?
In response to the continued Homeland Security cuts, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and Chairperson of Community Board 1 Julie Menin have joined forces to make a public outry against the cuts.
According to an article published in this week’s Downtown Express the pair asks, “Why does New York City, one of the top terrorist targets in the world, continue each year to face cuts to its homeland security funding? Just this year, the Obama Administration, several days after the attempted plot to bomb Times Square, cut New York Cityâ€™s transit security by 27% and its port security by 25%.Â While the Administration argued that the $53 million in budget cuts to the cityâ€™s homeland security funding would be made up by stimulus dollars, those are one-shot funds. When the stimulus money runs out in two years, replacing those missing dollars will be a Herculean task.”
Both claim that controversy surrounding the Park51 Islamic community center has taken away the focus and concentration towards general safety in our area.
“Instead of arguing about the precise location of the Islamic center, why donâ€™t we put aside our differences and focus on the common goal of keeping our children and all of us safe?” asks Stringer and Menin.
We can’t help but agree. The rest of the article can be read here.
Women in our area who were pregnant during the September 11th attacks were not found to have at risk births according to a recently published study.
Extensive studies have been held to determine the long and short term effects of the 9/11 attacks on mental and physical healths, but this study is one of the first to demonstrate a little to no effects on unborn babies during that time. Â This is in contrast to a previous study that had found that children exposed to the 9/11 attacks in our area were found to be developmentally vulnerable.
Researchers examined the birth outcomes of 446 women who had worked or lived in our area and were pregnant at that time.
Because the income levels of the women were higher than most New Yorkers, they were compared against women in a similar income bracket who did not live in the area, excluding women who were on Medicaid.
Of those mothers who claimed to be suffering from post traumatic stress symptoms, some were found to have given birth to more low-weight and premature babies than those without.
Tonight, Jeremy asked,
“I know it might sound strange, but tonight when I was a couple of blocks away it looked like thousands of birds flying in them. Did they add sparkles or something like that?”
As much as we love them, as beautiful and revered as the Tribute in Light are as part of our nation’s 9/11 commemoration rituals… Jeremy brings up an excellent point.
Those are not sparkles, but thousands of migrating birds — lost within the beams of light, blinding their direction off course.
The migration patterns of birds during this time has caused their advocates to call for major skyscrapers to turn off their lights in order to alleviate bird collision deaths during migration. The most famous example is the Chrysler and Empire State Building, have recently agreed to shut off their lights at night until the end of the migration season on November 1st. Yet, it hasn’t stopped the Tribute in Light from being cast every September 11th.
The NYC Audubon society has conducted studies in which their findings indicated that birds fly at lower altitudes at night, causing them to collide into well-lit or glass fronted high buildings.
The Tribute in Light causes another concern as the lights have been found to blind the birds. According to the group, “September is a peak month for many of the 200 or so species that head south over New York City. The majority of these fly during the night, and under certain conditions they can be placed at extreme risk. Birds can be strongly attracted to artificial lights, perhaps because some species use natural light-the stars, the moon-to navigate. When natural light is absent-during cloudy conditions, for example, or when the moon is new-artificial lights can have an amplified and sometimes deadly effect.”
If anything, it’s a good thing for our fine feathered friends that the tribute is only a night long event.
Lower Manhattan Vehicle and Pedestrian Restrictions
Tuesday, September 7, 2010 to Sunday, September 12, 2010
The City of New York has implemented the following street closures, parking rule changes and restrictions for vehicular and pedestrian traffic in preparation for the September 11 commemoration at Zuccotti Park (south of One Liberty Plaza at Liberty Street between Broadway and Church Street/Trinity Place).
The Cityâ€™s advisory is as follows:
The commemoration for family members will take place on Saturday, September 11 from 6:30 AM to until late afternoon. Following a moment of silence at 8:46 AM, the names of the victims will be read with music as a backdrop throughout the program. There will be additional moments of silence at 9:03 AM, 9:59 AM and 10:28 AM. During the ceremony, families will be allowed to visit the WTC site.
The Tribute in Light, originating at the Battery Garage, will begin at sundown.
Given the limited vehicle and pedestrian access in the immediate area of Zuccotti Park and Lower Manhattan vicinity, we ask that you encourage your fellow residents, tenants, employees and outside guests to do the following in preparation:
Avoid scheduling deliveries on September 11 until after 5 PM.
Use public transportation whenever possible to stations outside the event area.
Minimize car-service pickups on September 11 until after 5 PM. Traffic along Broadway and West Street is expected to be heavy.
Below is the Cityâ€™s outline for vehicle and pedestrian access information:
Zuccotti Park will be closed in part starting at 7 PM Tuesday, September 7. It will be completely closed on Saturday, September 11 and will reopen on Sunday, September 12. The Greenmarket in Zuccotti Park will be open on Tuesday, September 7 as scheduled. Vendors will not be allowed to operate in the park on Saturday, September 11.
The R train station at Cortlandt and Church streets will be closed the evening of Friday, September 10 and on Saturday, September 11.
Liberty Street between Broadway and Church Street/Trinity Place will be closed to vehicles, parking and traffic from 7 PM Tuesday, September 7 to 11:59 PM Saturday, September 11. Pedestrian access will be very limited. There will be no pedestrian access on Saturday, September 11. Liberty Street between Broadway and Nassau Street will be closed to parking from 12:01 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, September 11.
The Liberty Street Pedestrian Bridge will be closed from 12:01 AM to 11:59 PM on Saturday, September 11. To cross West Street, pedestrians will be directed to use the Vesey Street Pedestrian Bridge or go south to cross at street level at Albany and Carlisle streets.
Albany Street between Greenwich and West streets will be closed to vehicles, parking and traffic from 9 PM Friday, September 10 to 11:59 PM Saturday, September 11. Pedestrian access will be very limited.
Carlisle Street between Greenwich and West streets will be closed to vehicles, parking and traffic from 9 PM Friday, September 10 to 11:59 PM Saturday, September 11. The street will be open for pedestrians only.
Thames Street between Broadway and Greenwich Street will be closed to vehicles, parking and traffic from 9 PM Friday, September 10 to 11:59 PM Saturday, September 11. The street will be used for pedestrians only.
Cedar Street between Broadway and Church/Trinity Place will be closed to vehicles, parking and traffic from 12:01 AM Thursday, September 9 to 11:59 PM Saturday, September 11. Pedestrian access will be very limited. Cedar Street between Broadway and Nassau Street will be closed to parking from 12:01 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, September 11.
Church Street/Trinity Place between Battery Place and Dey Street will be closed to vehicles, parking and traffic from 12:01 AM to 5 PM Saturday, September 11. Traffic will be diverted to West Street. Pedestrian access will be very limited. Church Street between Chambers and Warren streets will be closed to parking.
Cortlandt Street between Broadway and Church Street will be closed to parking from 7 PM Tuesday, September 7 to 11:59 PM Saturday, September 11. It will be closed to all vehicles, parking and traffic from 12:01 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, September 11. Pedestrian access will be very limited.
Dey Street between Broadway and Church will be closed to vehicles, parking and traffic from 12:01 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, September 11. Pedestrian access will be open.
Fulton Street between Broadway and Church will be closed to parking from 12:01 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, September 11. Pedestrian and vehicle access will be open.
Barclay Street between Broadway and West Street will be closed to parking from 12:01 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, September 11. Pedestrian and vehicle access will be open.
Murray Street from West to Church streets, Greenwich Street from Chambers to Barclay streets, Â Park Place from West Broadway to Greenwich Street and West Broadway from Warren to Barclay streets will be closed to parking on Saturday, September 11. Pedestrian access will be open.
Warren Street between West Street and Broadway will remain open to vehicles, traffic and pedestrians on Saturday, September 11. However, no parking will be in effect.
No parking will be in effect on all closed streetâ€”including official permit parking. All cars parked illegally will be towed.
Note that West Street and Broadway will be the prime uptown and downtown traffic thoroughfares from 12:01 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, September 11. Please allow enough time for travel.
If you have questions, please call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov.
Every year, the thought of September 11th, leaves me a little stunned.
Stunned in the sense that I’m a little too reluctant to leave my apartment to deal with the deluge of news trucks parked in our neighborhood, the restrictions and the reading of the names. A little unwilling to be around a television from 8:45 AM for exactly 102 minutes. Every year, I expect the Red Cross to be around the corner handing out small facial tissue packages to wipe away public tears.
The Red Cross is long gone, but the ritual has remained.
Although I am for the reading of the all of the victim’s name catharsis for 9/11 families — it still stings a bit much for me to endure all the names. The air in our area can be a gloriously crisp autumn day, but the air is always heavy.
The visual cues of the news trucks, the bagpipes, and the sounds from the loudspeakers transport me to yesterday. It can be a bit overwhelming sometimes.
Which leads me to wonder…
The environment and landscape in which we have bred this kind of grieving is quickly changing. In a few years, we will no longer have the construction site or the former Deutsche Bank building as a reminder of the injustice and terror will be long gone. What will happen to the rituals? Should they continue as they have for the past 9 years? Or will they evolve?
I was surprised after reading some status’ on our Facebook page, that some of you share these same sentiments. Unsure if it’s right to escape the neighborhood or stay.
It’s definitely food for thought and would love to know yours as we approach the anniversary of 9/11.
The downtown skyline will soon be illuminated with the somber Tribute in Lights. Two giant beams of light cutting through the realization that we are upon the 9th anniversary of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center.
The Tribute in Light first came on six months after the attacks in 2002, and have been primarily funded by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) who have provided the financial support of the iconic tribute.
Contrary to popular belief, the Tribute in Lights is not beaming at the World Trade Center site but are located six blocks south of Ground Zero, set atop the Battery Garage on Morris Street. During the first two years of the tribute, the lights were located on West Street where the Goldman Sachs building now stands.
The tribute is comprised of 88 4-foot tall searchlights set in 50 x 50 foot identical squares.
Although primarily subsidized by the LMDC, the project is also in conjunction with Con Edison. It is speculated that after the LMDC re-allocated funding earmarked for Con Edison, meant to subsidize Con Edison’s costs at the World Trade Center Site may play a role in compromising the future of the Tribute. As of today, it is if the Tribute will exist beyond the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center attack in 2011.
This year, as the past few years, the tribute will begin at dusk on September 11th and end on dawn of September 12.