April 14th - April 20th, 2006
Green Buildings Begin to Grace New York Skyline
Sunday, April 16th: The imminent completion of 7 World Trade Center, the first official green building in New York, has sparked discussion and legislation regarding green building standards for future construction projects, the New York Times reported. New laws now mandate green building standards for future public buildings that cost $2 million or more and for residential buildings that receive more than $10 million in public funds or half of whose budgets come from public funds, the paper continued.
"There was not a question in my mind," Larry Silverstein, the developer of 7 World Trade, told the Times regarding his decision to go green. "I'm an asthmatic," he continued. "When you have asthma, you realize how important it is to have clean air to breathe."
Once the buildings of New York begin to meet the new building standards, "sick building syndrome" may become a problem of the past, the Times speculated. While constructing a green building may cost more up front, the buildings use 30 to 70 percent less energy and therefore run for less money, the paper added.
Bruce Fowle, the architect who built the Conde Nast Building in Times Square, a green office building that was built prior to the green guidelines, told the Times, "If you can save 10 percent by creating a good interior, you're talking really big numbers." Both 7 World Trade and the Hearst Building, the second building in New York expected to receive LEED approval, are both scheduled for completion next month. Hearst executives told the Times that the air quality inside may be superior to the air outside.
Security Cameras Mounted Around New York City
Monday, April 17th: The City of New York has begun placing 500 security cameras throughout the boroughs in an effort to combat street crime and terrorism, the New York Times reported. An initial 500 wireless video cameras are currently being installed 30 feet above the sidewalk. If they prove successful in fighting crime, the NYPD will request additional funding to create a "ring of steel" in Lower Manhattan modeled after the London financial district, the paper continued. The cost to install the initial 500 cameras is $9 million, and the additional cameras will be purchased if the city receives an additional $81.5 million in grants from the federal government, the paper reported
Currently New York City has about 1,000 security cameras in the subway system, with another 2,100 to be placed by 2008, and 3,100 cameras monitoring city housing projects, the paper continued.
Privacy advocates have raised concerns that the new cameras do not have enough safeguards to prevent misuse, racial profiling, and voyeurism, according to the Times. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly defended the increased security measures at a recent talk, the paper continued. "The police department must be flexible to meet an ever changing threat," he said. "We also have to ensure whatever measures we take are reasonable as the Constitution requires. That's the only way to retain public support and preserve individual freedoms."
More Remains Found Atop the Deutsche Bank Building
Tuesday, April 18th: After another week of decontamination on the Deutsche Bank building, workers have uncovered a total of more than 450 bone fragments, which have been added to the city's catalogue of unidentified remains, Newsday reported. "I'm glad they are looking," Diane Horning, president of World Trade Center Families for Proper Burial, told Newsday. "I am hopeful that the care will continue and that it will be done well," she continued.
Horning, along with other family members, lobbied for the medical examiner's office to be on hand to assist construction workers, the paper added. Firefighters, specially trained personnel from the office of the City medical examiner, and an archeologist have been participating in the search of the roof ballast for potential remains.
According to Newsday, Horning has called for the search to be extended to other buildings surrounding the site. "It's very foolish to think that all of these bones fell on one building," she told the paper. Other family members have requested that the federal government take over the search efforts, but White House spokesman Alex Conant said that local authorities will handle the recovery of remains. "We've consulted with state and city officials, and they indicate they are proceeding carefully to recover remains, and we have been advised that federal involvement is not requested at this time," he told Newsday.
New Proposal from Port Authority for Silverstein to Consider
Thursday, April 20th: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has devised a proposal for World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein that has won the support of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Governor George Pataki, Governor Jon Corzine, and Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff, the Daily News reported. "What's important here is that the city, the state, and the Port Authority are all on the same page," Doctoroff told the paper.
According to Newsday, the new deal includes the following elements:
Silverstein building three towers near the ground zero transit hub,
the Port Authority and New York City leasing up to 1 million square feet of office space from Silverstein,
changes in Silverstein's rent payments and other concessions that will create $100 million in funding for the WTC Memorial,
Silverstein building two of the office towers by 2011 and the third by 2012,
the Port Authority giving Silverstein the option to purchase all retail rights after a joint venture to develop retail space in two office towers,
New York City and State devoting more than $3 billion in Liberty Bonds to the ground zero site, and
Silverstein having the option to walk away from the deal with ownership of the fifth tower and $50 million.
According to the News, the Freedom Tower will be constructed by Silverstein for the Port Authority and that the state will be responsible for lining up tenants.