The Wall Street Journal reports that the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and leaders of St. Nicholas Church, a Greek Orthodox Church that has roots stemming back to 1916 and that was destroyed by falling debris after the Twin Towers were attacked, have begun legal action by filing a claim against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The leaders are demanding that the church be rebuilt under the terms of a deal that was worked out several years ago but that the PA has since reneged on.
The claim is hefty, as it accuses the PA, which oversees the rebuilding process at Ground Zero, of engaging in â€œarrogance, bad faith and fraudulent conduct,â€ as well as â€œshabby and unlawful treatment.â€
Initially, in 2008, the PA agreed to help rebuild the church, originally located on Cedar Street, in a new but nearby location on Liberty Street. The PA also agreed to contribute $20 million to the project. The deal fell through in March when the PA accused the church leaders of making excessive demands; the church countered that the organization backed out of the deal.
The churchâ€™s claim also references several civil rights and constitutional violations, accusing the PA of interfering with its right to freely practice religion and of defaming the church, as well. The church seeks to compel the PA to follow through on their binding preliminary agreement. “Filing a lawsuit is not something that we really want to do,” said the Rev. Mark Arey, a spokesman for the church. “We have come to this point because we have been ignored and bullied.”
In addition to the Port Authority, the claim also names the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. as a potential defendant.
Should the Port Authority be beholden to the old terms? Does the church’s suit sound like it has merit?
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?
In 2003, architect Michael Arad was just one of 5,201 entrants in a pool of designers that spanned six continents, 49 states and 63 nations. These visionaries were vying for the chance to design the 9/11 memorial, thanks to a contest launched by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Arad’s design, “Reflecting Absence,” was chosen as the winning memorial and it will come to fruition next September 11, which will mark the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks and the fall of the Twin Towers. Arad’s design will serve as national memorial of the day, situated right here in Lower Manhattan.
“The weight of history is so heavy here that you just want to get out of the way and let it speak for itself,” Arad told FOX News.Â Â He was an eyewitness to the events that changed life as we know it, which is why his design, which includes two massive waterfalls filling the footprints of the towers, resonated and was ultimately selected. “I left home and the towers were standing, and I came home and they were gone,” he said.
Arad’s Hudson River-influenced vision is inching closer to actualization, as last week, water was pumped through the structure for the very first time. â€œTo hear the water falling behind me, it’s kind of an incredible soundtrack,” he said. “I’ve been waiting to hear this for years.â€ The fountains will be framed by panels etched with the names of those lost in the attacks.
Will you visit Ground Zero and Arad’s memorial on the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks?
It’s been one week since water leaked into a section of the Ground Zero construction pit which is owned by Brookfield Properties. While the leak is under control, the water has yet to be drained.
As reported by DNAinfo, a Brookfield Properties spokesperson said, “the situation remains well under control.” There is no timeframe for when the water might be removed from the Ground ZeroÂ contractionÂ pit.
The section that flooded with water from the Hudson River was part of pedestrian tunnel, currently being built under West Street.
Do setbacks like this dampen your hopes for progress at Ground Zero?
As companies are looking for newer office that can accomdate their high-tech needs and growing environmental efforts, Larry A. Silverstein, chief executive officer of Silverstein Properties Inc., sees two of his new office buildings at Ground Zero the logical choice.
According to Bloomberg Business Week, “some 235 tenants have moved from midtown to downtown” since 2005. As newer buildings are constructed with high-tech and green accomdations in mind, it seems many more tenants might be moving into the neighborhood.
Conde Nast is one of those potential tenants, looking to lease a sizable amount of office space at 1 World Trade.
The Imam behind the Park51 development hopes that opening his books will open hearts for his Islamic community center.
In an effort to bolster fundraising and ease any suspicion towards the $100 million dollar price tag for the Park51 Islamic community center, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has allowed the US Government to sign off on all donations made to the development.
Also, according to a report in today’s New York Post, Rauf stated that “the mosque and Islamic cultural center will have a board of directors that will include Muslims, Christians and Jews.” This may be seen as yet another olive branch towards easing dissent towards building a mosque and islamic center near Ground Zero.
The inclusion of an inter-faith board of directors might have been in response to Julie Menin, Chairwoman of Community Board 1’s open column in the Daily News calling for a revised interfaith plan for the Park51 development. In that column Menin states, “I believe it is still possible to bridge the gap without compromising the core principles of what this project is about — not by moving the mosque further away from the site of the attacks, but by bringing other faiths in.”
How do you feel about the US Government being allowed to sign off on all donations made to the Park51 development?
Not one to sit idly on the political sidelines, Michael Moore has called for the building of a mosque not near Ground Zero, but on Ground Zero.
“Why?” Moore asks on his official website, “Because I believe in an America that protects those who are the victims of hate and prejudice. I believe in an America that says you have the right to worship whatever God you have, wherever you want to worship. And I believe in an America that says to the world that we are a loving and generous people and if a bunch of murderers steal your religion from you and use it as their excuse to kill 3,000 souls, then I want to help you get your religion back. And I want to put it at the spot where it was stolen from you.”
After publishing the letter over the weekend, on the 9th Anniversary of the September 11th attacks, Michael Moore has reported that he has collected $50,000 dollars towards the cause. The proceeds of which will go to Park51’s fundraising efforts which started last week.
The entire cost to build the Islamic community center at Park Place is approximately $100 million dollars.
Amidst this win for the Cordoba Initiative, Park51’s Imam has been “exploring all options” in regards to the controversial mosque and community center. One of the options on the table includes an indefinite postponement of development.
According to an article published in The New York Times the Imam is quoted as saying, â€œWe really are focused on solving it, and solving it in a way that will create the best possible outcome for all. I give you my pledge.â€
It seems we havent heard the last from Donald Trump in regards to his bid to buy the Park51 site.
Although the purported majority stakeholder, Hisham Elzanaty rebuffed Trump’s bid to buy out his stake last week — Trump made a nationwide concession on the Today Show that his deal is still on the table.
Trump offered the bid but also made a backhanded insult to our area, stipulating that his bid was not because he “the location was a spectacular one (because it is not).”
While touting a new season of “The Apprentice,” Trump explained the motivation behind his bid. “I’ve seen the turmoil downtown and it’s going to get worse. This is a small time developer who is really into it for the money.”
In response to Trump’s offer, Elzanaty’s lawyer called the bid, “just a cheap attempt to get publicity and get in the limelight.”
“There won’t be a mosque.” Trump went on to elaborate, “This is a small time developer who is really into it for the money. He hasn’t said yes — but in my opinion, he’s going to sell.”
Trump then went on to admit, “But what do I know about real estate?”
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.