October 20th - October 26th, 2006
WTC Development Hinges on Unpaid Settlement
Friday, October 20th: Insurance companies Allianz Insurance Co. and Royal Indemnity Co. are the sole insurers withholding a combined $800 million from World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the New York Sun reported. At a City Council hearing, officials testified that the companies have not agreed to divide their payments between Silverstein and the PA, which could slow the rebuilding process, the Sun added.
Donation Refused by WTC Memorial Foundation
Friday, October 20th: A promise of $25 million to build the World Trade Center Memorial by Cantor Fitzgerald CEO Howard Lutnick was met with a refusal by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, World Trade Center Memorial Foundation chairman, because Lutnick's donation came with a catch, the Daily News reported. The catch is that victims' names have to be grouped together by the companies they worked for, office locations, and ages, the Daily News continued. According to the paper, Bloomberg's response was, "Nobody's going to buy" how victim's names will be displayed. The mayor added, "You just don't take donations tied to conditions, nor does anybody who knows anything about philanthropy ask for that."
Of the $300 million still needed to build the memorial and museum, the foundation still needs to raise $155 million, the Daily News reported. Lutnick donated in this manner, he told the Daily News, because, "I have spoken to hundreds of family members who have a desire to support the memorial when all these issues are behind us." He then added, "I wasn't trying to do it [his $25 million offer] for public or political purposes," the paper reported. "I was trying to do the right thing. ... I want the families to be happy with the end result," he continued. Cantor Fitzgerald has given 9/11 family members 25 percent of company profits, some $180 million to date, the Daily News added.
An additional reason that Bloomberg refused the donation, he told the Daily News, is, "We went through a public process. Everybody had a chance to provide input. …Out of that public process came a design. And that's fundamentally what we'll do."
Residents Push to Reopen City Hall Park
Sunday, October 22nd: More than 30 Lower Manhattan residents upset that the section of City Hall Park in front of City Hall has been closed since 9/11 gathered at the park to persuade city officials to reopen it to the public, the Daily News reported. City officials cite security concerns as the reason the park has remained closed, but Friends of City Hall Park, an activist group, plans to file a lawsuit to force the park's reopening if a resolution is not agreed upon by the group and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the paper added.
Human Remains Discovered at Ground Zero
Tuesday, October 24th: Human remains were identified amid materials removed by Consolidated Edison workers last week as part of a manhole excavation near West Street, the Associated Press reported. The remains, not immediately identified as such, were recognized by a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey contractor, at which point the medical examiner's office was contacted and a team of workers, including forensic anthropologists, was called to sift through the excavated material, the AP continued. For more on this story, please click here.
No Toxins found at WTC Site
Tuesday, October 24th: Environmental tests performed at ground zero after World Trade Center debris and human remains were discovered were negative for asbestos and other threats, the Associated Press reported. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey owns the site and oversees the manhole work, the AP continued.
Upon discovery of the debris and remains, the Port Authority called in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration "to ensure the safety of the project for the workers," spokesman Steve Coleman told the AP. Said Mayor Michael Bloomberg, "We always err on the side of making sure that the people that are working there are safe," the AP reported.