July 21st - July 28th, 2006
Mayor Vows to Look Into Handling of 9/11
Sunday, July 23rd: Mayor Michael Bloomberg has vowed to examine whether enough is being done to address emerging health concerns for rescue workers who rushed to help in the aftermath of 9/11, the New York Daily News reported. "We certainly will do everything we can, consistent with what our resources are, to make sure that this city acts responsibly and recognizes the great sacrifice and the hard work that people made down at the World Trade Center site," Bloomberg told the paper.
According to a Daily News editorial, of the 40,000 rescue workers who reported to Ground Zero in the aftermath of 9/11 to look for survivors or remove debris, 12,000 have been monitored or treated in the two primary medical services for Ground Zero workers, one run by the Fire Department, the other by the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring Program based at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Reported ailments range from respiratory system damage to mental and emotional trauma.
Police Union Starts Online Registry
Tuesday, July 26th: The 23,000-member Patrolmen's Benevolent Association launched on online registry of officers who became sick or died after working at Ground Zero, the Associate Press reported. The registry began with an anonymous list of 25 men and women, their symptoms, illnesses, and length of time cleaning up debris or recovering victims of the attacks, the AP continued. According to the registry, three of the registrants have passed away, and others have illnesses ranging from bile duct cancer to sarcoidosis, an inflammation and scarring of the lungs that is often reported by rescue workers, the AP added.
FDNY Turned to Cigarettes After 9/11
Wednesday, July 26th: A study found that firefighters turned to cigarettes to deal with the stress of responding to the World Trade Center attacks, the New York Post reported. Twenty-three percent of FDNY rescue workers who had given up smoking picked the habit back up after 9/11, and 29 percent of smokers increased their smoking frequency after the attacks, the paper continued. Combined with the exposure to toxic fumes and dust, the smokers increased their risk of developing lung-related diseases including cancer, the Post added.
LMDC Shutting Down
Wednesday, July 26th: Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) Chairman Kevin Rampe announced that the agency will shut down in the months following the fifth anniversary of September 11th, the Associated Press reported. "The LMDC had a mission, and we're nearing the end of the mission," Rampe stated, adding that the agency's 54 employees were notified yesterday of the impending closure, the New York Times reported.
The LMDC was funded with more than $2.5 billion in federal grants and was tasked to build new parks, fund local artistic institutions, help Lower Manhattan recover, plan the revitalization of Fulton Street, and select a master plan and memorial design for the world trade center site, the Times continued.
LMDC President Stefan Pryor stated that the role of the LMDC was always intended to be temporary. "The greatest accomplishment of a public agency such as ours is to successfully work itself out of existence," the Times reported. Jobs that remain unfinished will be passed onto other agencies, including oversight of the memorial, which will be handed off to the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Times continued. The Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center will likely take over responsibility for deconstruction the Deutsche Bank building, the paper added.
World Trade Center Film to Donate to NYC Charities
Thursday, July 27th: Producers of Oliver Stone's new film, World Trade Center, plan to donate 10 percent of the film's the first five days of ticket sales from every U.S. theater to four New York- based charities. The film opens Wednesday, August 9th, and will screen in more than 2,000 theaters nationwide. It recounts the story of Port Authority police officers Will Jimeno and John McLoughlin, who were rescued from beneath the rubble of the World Trade Center (WTC) site. For more on this story, click here.