July 30th - August 5th, 2004
Henderson Wins NYC Cycling Championship
Sunday, Aug. 1: Despite a collision early in the race, New Zealand's Greg Henderson persevered to win the New York City Cycling Championship in Lower Manhattan, the New York Times reported.
After 2 hours, 5 minutes, and 13 seconds, Henderson -- one of six Olympians headed to Athens who competed in the race -- won the title, traveling at an average speed of 29.6 miles an hour through a 62.5-mile course that looped through downtown's streets and parks, according to the Times.
Despite a slew of bicycle crashes in the slippery conditions resulting from a rain-soaked weekend, each of the 87 cyclists participating in the race finished the course -- the top three of whom received a share of the winnings from the $40,000 purse, added the paper.
Lower Manhattan Is Prepared as Terror Alert Rises
Monday, Aug. 2: In response to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's recent decision to raise the national alert level from yellow to orange, or "high," the New York City Police Department has stepped up precautions already in place to guard the city against the threat of terrorism. The alert level in New York City, though, remains unchanged, having been at orange since September 2001. For complete coverage, please click here.
Historic Downtown Post Office Is Back in Business
Monday, Aug. 2: Downtown's Church Street post office, located next to Ground Zero, reopened after undergoing extensive renovations to repair the damage it suffered during the 9/11 attacks, the Associated Press and Newsday reported.
Located at 90 Church Street, the 15-story historic building underwent a substantial restoration process that included the replacement of 800 windows and the refinishing of the building's original marble lobby. The new and improved Church Street post office features new furniture, lighting, restrooms, self-service centers, vending machines, a postal store, passport services, and service windows, among other offerings, Newsday added.
"We are excited to return this postal facility to the community," Post Master Vinnie Mallow told the AP. "In addition to the conveniences, [the reopening] will make a positive contribution to the regrowth of the downtown area."
Since the Church Street office closed, postal services have been relocated to midtown's Farley building, across from Madison Square Garden. While the post office officially reopened on August 2, a grand reopening ceremony has been scheduled for August 19, the AP added.
Lady Liberty Reopens
Tuesday, Aug. 3: The Statue of Liberty welcomed the public for the first time since September 11, 2001. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Gov. George Pataki, and Interior Secretary Gale Norton participated in the grand reopening ceremony held on Liberty Island. To ease long lines at the national icon and facilitate visits, the National Parks Service launched a telephone reservation service. The reservation system will also be available online in September. For complete coverage, please click here.
Registry Highlights Most Common 9/11 Ailments
Wednesday, Aug. 4: A preliminary review of the New York City Health Department's World Trade Center registry found that mental health issues and respiratory ailments top the list of short-term effects on those who were in Lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001, according to Newsday.
More than 50,000 people have enrolled in the $20.5-million registry, which was established last year to monitor the long-term health effects of September 11. The deadline for enrollment is August 31.
According to Newsday, 60 percent of the enrollees were in a building, on a street, or in transit south of Chambers Street while 42 percent were involved in rescue, recovery, or cleanup at the WTC site.
"The information which the scientists and which all of us will gain will benefit each of us in our lifetimes," Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said. "It will be of specific benefit to our children."
Ferry Pilot Pleads Guilty
Thursday, Aug. 5: The pilot of the Staten Island ferry that crashed last October pleaded guilty to 11 manslaughter charges yesterday, Newsday reported.
Pilot Richard Smith, 55, said that he was reckless in handling the vessel while taking prescription and over-the-counter drugs that caused him to collapse at the helm, according to Newsday. The ferry, which was carrying about 750 passengers, crashed while docking at Staten Island's St. George terminal.
Smith, who additionally pleaded guilty to filing a false medical report, remains free on a personal recognizance bond until he is sentenced at a later date.
Prosecutors also announced the indictment of four others, including the ship's captain and the head of ferry operations, Patrick Ryan, 52, who was accused of the same manslaughter charges and of lying to investigators.