August 18th - August 24th, 2006
Study Finds High Mental Impact Among Ground Zero Workers
Monday, August 21st: A joint study performed by Columbia University and Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health found that one in every six Ground Zero cleanup workers suffered from major depression, the New York Post reported. The report stated, "Many [cleanup workers] sustained exposure to a wide range of traumatic and hazardous conditions, posing risk to their psychological well-being," the Post continued.
Additionally, the study found that one in seven, or 13.5 percent, of respondents show symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the paper added. That number is two times higher than the incidence of PTSD among those who didn't work at Ground Zero, the paper continued. The study used a mail-in survey that was sent to construction and sanitation workers who were responsible for hauling debris and suppressing dust at Ground Zero, and more than 1,100 Ground Zero workers and 224 "unexposed" workers responded, the Post reported. In its conclusion, the study stated that "very little is known about the effects of continuous exposure following a large-scale disaster," the Post added.
Weiner Calls for 9/11 Insurance Companies to Pay Up
Monday, August 21st: New York State Representative Anthony Weiner pushed to institute fines for the insurance companies of the World Trade Center that have not paid their policies, Newsday reported. Weiner suggested that the state seize the money, somewhere between $188 and $390 million, and hand it over to the World Trade Center Memorial Fund, the paper continued. According to Newsday, Weiner said, "What makes it more troubling is that it's clear what their motivation for not paying is -- it's greed with a capital G. While they're refusing to pay for their insurance policy, they are investing that money, making by our estimate over $200 million in profit off the events of Sept. 11."
The New York State Insurance Department is demanding answers from four insurance companies, Allianz, Gulf Insurance Co., Royal Indemnity, and Travelers Indemnity, and has received commitments from Zurich American and Employers Insurance Wausau, Newsday added.
According to the New York Post, Industrial Risk Insurers has agreed to pay its share of the $1 billion owed by the seven insurance companies sued by developer Larry Silverstein.
Photos to Commemorate 9/11
Wednesday, August 23rd: The World Trade Center Memorial Museum has begun posting large photographs along the fence at Ground Zero depicting scenes from September 11th, the New York Times reported. The photographs are part of an exhibit that officially opens August 24th, called "Here: Remembering 9/11," which is part of the collection known as "Here Is New York: A Democracy of Photographs," the paper continued. WTC Memorial Museum Director Alice Greenwald told the Times, "You will have a constant dialogue between what's on the fence and what you're seeing through the fence. It's a dialogue between memory and loss."
Fifty-two images will be on display through October. The photographs show Ground Zero before and after the towers came down but do not include any graphic images, instead focusing on equally evocative but less horrifying images, the Times reported. Christine Ferer, a commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and a director of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, told the Times, "These relics are the story of what happened that day. It is as important as it's ever been for people not to forget what happened that day. These relics will be a stark and grueling reminder, particularly when we're trying to raise $150 million to find a home for them that the public can share."
Park Row to Remain Closed
Wednesday, August 23rd: A court-ordered study found that re-opening Park Row, which was closed to traffic after September 11th, is not a viable option, because it houses NYPD headquarters and connects Chinatown to Lower Manhattan, Newsday reported. Community Board 3 District Manager Susan Stetzer told Newsday, "This report does recommend permanent closure." A public forum organized by Community Board 3 will be held Thursday evening to elicit response from the community to the findings, the paper added.