Tag Archives: ground zero

NRT PAC YouTube Video Screenshot

Controversial Ads Nixed by CBS & NBC

NRT PAC YouTube Video Screenshot
NRT PAC YouTube Video Screenshot

Network brass at CBS and NBC have declined airing ads from the National Republican Trust PAC calling for the opposition of the Ground Zero mosque, or Park51 during commercial breaks.

The ad which has been streamed on YouTube, posted almost 2 weeks ago — uses uneasy images from the attacks on 9/11 edited with the sounds of Muslim prayers and negative imagery of Muslim extremists. Comments have been suspended on this video, but have streamed almost 102K by the publishing of this article.

The video includes the following narration,
“On September 11, they declared war agains us… and to celebrate that murder of 3,000 Americans, they want to build a monstrous 13-story mosque at Ground Zero.”

According to Ben Smith at Politico, NBC Universal Ad Standards manager Jennifer Riley released the following statement,

“An ad questioning the wisdom of building a mosque at ground zero would meet our issues of public controversy advertising criteria. However, this ad which ambiguously defines ‘they’ as referenced in the spot makes it unclear as to whether the reference is to terrorists or to the Islamic religious organization that is sponsoring the building of the mosque. Consequently, the ad is not acceptable under our guidelines for broadcast.”

A similar statement was released by a counterpart at CBS.

Of course one might wonder what about ABC, Fox, CW and other major networks? We’ll have to literally stay tuned to see if these videos will make it into our living rooms.

Park 51 is the new name for the Cordoba House Mosque

Cordoba House Mosque Rebrands to Park51

Park 51 is the new name for the Cordoba House Mosque
Park 51 is the new name for the Cordoba House Mosque

In a swift marketing move, the Cordoba Initiative Mosque has a new name — Park51.

The name changed is seen as an effort to quell the controversy from the development of the mosque and Muslim community center by giving it an almost innocuous, generic name, sounding more like a new condominium construction than a mosque.

The metamorphosis comes only a day after the contentious public Landmarks Commission hearing to determine whether or not 45-47 Park Place is granted landmark status.

According to a report in the New York Daily News, “Spokesman Oz Sultan said the new name puts emphasis on the community center aspect of the project rather than religion.”

The address of the planned center is slated to take the entire block region 41-51 Park Place, which one could assume inspired the World Trade Center mosques new name.

It’s a sharp move considering that the part of the block that has been in contention is the portion of 45-47 Park Place. This may be a preemptive branding move and a statement by developers to say that regardless of the ruling, the community center will at the very least reside at 51 Park Place.

The Commission will determine the Landmark fate of 45-47 later in the summer. A ruling which is seen to determine the development of the mosque in our neighborhood.

45-47 Park Place Debris

Mosque Hearing Update & Religious Turf War

45-47 Park Place Debris
Debris landing from 9/11 attacks used in hearing for landmark status.

As the rain poured outside, people poured inside the New York City Landmarks Commission public hearing. Despite the inclement weather nearly 100 people were in attendance at the hearing in Hunter College. A dozen or so individuals were able to take the floor including public opponent and New York State Governor hopeful Rick Lazio — who offered a different strategy to halt the Mosque’s construction by claiming the building at Park Place was worthy of landmark recognition. Even citing debris that had fallen on the building during the 9/11 attacks.

“I urge the commission to grant landmark status to 45 Park Place, [to] take into account important historical facts.”

Gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino was also represented by his lieuenant governor Tom Ognibene who agreed with Lazio stating the building of the mosque would be “an affront to the families that have died.”

Linda Rivera, a family member of a 9/11 victim suggested, “the building should be a landmark building. It should not be a mosque.”

Brooklyn resident, Barbara Sommer decried the sentiments and questioned “How can we allow something to eradicate that memory — the pain and suffering.”

While nearly a dozen others voiced their opinions at the hearing, a religious turf war had been established when Bill Keller of LivePrayer.com (of no relation to the New York Times editor) had sent out a press release stating he would bid on creating a Christian center within the heart of Ground Zero. As of yesterday, his site had been actively seeking donations to fund the construction and is slated to start a satellite prayer center at the Embassy Suites hotel in the northern section of our neighborhood every Sunday starting September 5th until December 26th — until a final home has been found for the Christian center. (I wonder if the group knows that Goldman Sachs is planning on closing the hotel down soon?)

It seems our neighborhood has become a religious battle ground overnight. Are we OK with this?

Ground Zero Mosque

Public Hearing Today Decides Future of Mosque

Ground Zero Mosque
The planned location of the Ground Zero Mosque.

In the most contentious and controversial real estate construction plan in recent memory, today a meeting will be held to determine the fate of the Cordoba House Mosque on 45-47 Park Place.

Although most New York voters are against the building of the mosque slated for construction only 600 feet from the World Trade Center site based on a Quinnipiac poll,

Although a Quinnipiac Poll had suggested that nearly half of all New York voters are opposed to the construction of the Cordoba House — politicians in New York have been split. Gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio called upon current Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for a formal investigation into Cordoba’s funding, but yesterday Mayor Michael Bloomberg made a public response to Lazio’s investigation requests and any opponents of the mosque as being “un-American” and as going “against what the nation stands for.”

The last hurdle for mosque proponent has hinged on approval from the New York City Landmarks commission who’s hearing will be held today and is open to the public.

For those who are interested in attending, the public hearing for 45-47 Park Place application will take place at:

681 Park Avenue
Hunter College Assembly Hall
Entrance on East 69th Street between Park Avenue and Lexington
(Please bring a picture ID for entrance into the building)
The hearing will start at 2:00pm and ends at 5:00pm.

We’ll update the site when the ruling comes down from the hearing today.

NYTimes Panoramic View of the World Trade Center Memorial Pool

Panoramic Look at the World Trade Center Memorial Pool

NYTimes Panoramic View of the World Trade Center Memorial Pool
NYTimes.com's Panoramic View of the WTC Memorial Pool (Credit: Fred R. Conrad/NYTimes)

As construction at the World Trade Center site continues, the semblance of one recognizable landmark at Ground Zero is near completion.

The New York Times has launched their panoramic view within the Memorial Pools — which will mark the footprints of the original Twin Towers.

Check out the interactive piece at NYTimes.com.

Queen Elizabeth visits Lower Manhattan

Queen Elizabeth Visits Ground Zero

Queen Elizabeth visits Lower Manhattan
Queen Elizabeth visits Lower Manhattan

As mentioned previously, Queen Elizabeth II will be in our neighborhood today. Although poignantly not visiting the United States during our Independance Day holiday from the British — Queen Elizabeth II will be in New York City today, which includes an address to the United Nations General Assembly and a visit to Ground Zero. This would be the first visit of the site by the Queen since the September 11 attacks.

The Queen is scheduled to lay a wreath at the site of the World Trade Center construction today with her husband, Prince Philip — also in town.

Families and relatives of victims of the attack as well as first responders will also have a chance to meet her highness, who is in town to formerly open the British Memorial Garden at Hanover Square here in Lower Manhattan. The Garden is dedicated to 67 British citizens who had lost their lives during the World Trade Center Attacks.

Queen Elizabeth has a history of visiting Lower Manhattan. Her first trip to our area was in 1957 where she made her first visits to the Statue of Liberty, rode on the Staten Island Ferry and was even greeted with her very own ticker tape parade on the Canyon of Heroes. Her last trip to our area was in 1976, where she marked the Bicentennial of America’s Declaration of Independence from Britain — part of an six day tour of the East Coast.

Her slated visit to Ground Zero is scheduled for “late afternoon” so be wary of closings and extra security in and around the World Trade Center during that time.

Opponents of the Park51 mosque are found nationwide.

Ground Zero Watch: New Yorkers Oppose Mosque Plans

Mosque Protest
A Quinnipiac University poll finds most New Yorkers are opposed to Cordoba House.Â

Protests were inevitable, once plans for The Cordoba House Initiative were made public. The building of a mosque near the World Trade Center site was bound to cause public outcry and controversy.

That being said, who could have predicted that more than 73% of all Staten Islanders would be opposed?! Better yet, more than half of all New York voters polled in a recent Quinnipiac University poll were found to be opposed to the building of the Cordoba House in Lower Manhattan.

Plans for the Cordoba House Mosque
Plans for the Cordoba House Mosque

The Cordoba House Initiative includes plans to build a 13-floor Muslim institute which will include a mosque and community center only 600 feet from Ground Zero.

Politicians better listen up to these findings considering that the anniversary of September 11th will always precede Election Day. It would be smart to heed the concerns of over half of New York City voters.

Currently, the only thing standing in the way of the greenlight for the Cordoba house is passing approval from The Landmarks Preservation Commission who are scheduled to vote on the project later this month.

According to other information gleaned from this poll:

-55% of New Yorkers polled said “mainstream Islam” is a “peaceful religion” compared to 22% who found that Islamic beliefs “encourage violence against non-muslims.”

-73% of Staten Islanders polled opposed the building, versus 14% in support of the Mosque.

-46% of Manhattan voters were in support of the bulding, versus the 36% opposed.

-1,183 registered voters were polled between June 21 to June 28

-The margin of error is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

How do you feel about the Cordoba House initiative?

Battery Park City to be inundated with tourbus congestion.

Is Battery Park City Ready for the Tour Bus Invasion?

Battery Park City to be inundated with tourbus congestion.
Do we need more tour bus congestion in Battery Park City? (Courtesy: quiteallright.blogspot.com)

Think the traffic in Lower Manhattan sucks now? Well, chances are it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

When the 9/11 Memorial & Musem opens at Ground Zero on Sept. 11, 2011, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the attacks, even more tourist-filled buses than usual will be descending upon our beloved Battery Park City. We say “even more” because a recent survey shows that Lower Manhattan already gets about 80 tour buses daily, and that does not count the bevy of MTA buses running their daily routes.

The 9/11 Memorial is expected to attract 2 million additional tourists per year, and as many as 7 million in its first year. And guess what? The camera-toting, finger-pointing masses are going to need a way to get down to Ground Zero. Translation: Prepare for the tour bus invasion.

But wait, you say, plans for this memorial have been in the works since 2002, so the Port Authority must have devised some kind of plan for dealing with the increased traffic from tour buses. Actually, they haven’t — at least, not yet.

According to AM New York, Community Board 1 official Michael Levine told the city council on Monday that, “It’s a major concern for us that we have not seen a plan for the buses.” He continued: “We have too many tour buses out there. We are concerned about the health, safety and security issues.”

While a Port Authority spokesman claims that the agency is working to formulate “an appropriate plan to accommodate tour buses,” he declined to say when that plan would be released.

Meanwhile, Battery Park City residents appear to be split on the issue. Some believe that BPC and the Ground Zero area are already too crowded and that the influx of more tourists will be a burden to the families currently living in the area. But others, business owners mostly, are salivating at the prospect of these bonus consumers.

Either way, one thing is certain: Beginning next year, you’re going to want to be extra careful to look for buses when crossing the BPC streets.

Ground Zero performing arts center

Ground Zero Arts Center Gets $44M Boost

Ground Zero performing arts center
City finally gets the ball rolling on new WTC performing arts center.

A long-delayed project to erect a performing arts center at Ground Zero is finally picking up steam. New York City has stepped up to the plate with $44 million to help build the center’s below-ground foundation, according to the Associated Press.

The board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey approved a deal last week that will have the city repay the Authority for the work at the World Trade Center site.

Continue reading Ground Zero Arts Center Gets $44M Boost

John Galt Corporation Deutsche Bank Contractor

Contractor Investigated in Deutsche Bank Fire Lands Ground Zero Gig

John Galt Corporation Deutsche Bank Contractor
Do we really want former John Galt Corp. players working on 4 World Trade Center?

Regional Scaffolding and Hoisting Company, a contractor that was the focus of a criminal investigation into a 2007 fire at the Deutsche Bank building that resulted in the death of two firefighters (AND that remains under scrutiny for financial irregularities), is set to return to Ground Zero to work on the office tower at 4 World Trade Center.

According to The New York Times, documents filed with the city show that Regional Scaffolding was issued a permit two weeks ago to install a construction elevator at 4 WTC. And, yes, that means exactly what you think: A company being eyed for criminal negligence and fiscal shadiness has been rewarded with a prime gig at the office tower developer Larry A. Silverstein is constructing at the World Trade Center site.

Continue reading Contractor Investigated in Deutsche Bank Fire Lands Ground Zero Gig