April 21st - April 27th, 2006
North Cove Marina Dredged for Yacht Race
Saturday, April 22nd: The Volvo Ocean Race is well underway, and because it includes a scheduled stopover in Lower Manhattan, Battery Park City has found itself in a jam. The North Marina Cove is less than six feet deep in certain places, but the yachts that will be docking there require at least 14 feet of water, the New York Times reported. To solve the problem, the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) will pay the Donjon Marine Company $2.4 million to dredge the marina and remove more than 25,000 cubic yards of silt to create the proper parking spots for the racers, the paper continued.
The yachts will be in the North Cove marina on May 8th or 9th, racing from Annapolis, Maryland, on a short leg of a 25,000-nautical-mile trip that began in Spain and involves more than 500 people, the paper continued. According to Donjon Executive Vice President Thomas D. Witte, his company has five men dredging the marina from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and tugboats that push the collected silt up the river where it is unloaded and trucked away to be mixed with cement to form the hard material that caps landfills, the Times added.
Greenwald and Ramirez at the Helm of WTC Museum
Saturday, April 22nd: Alice Greenwald is settling in as director of the World Trade Center Memorial Museum and hoping for consensus around the design of the World Trade Center Memorial, according to the New York Times. "The question is how do we get it right, and who makes final decisions about it," she told the paper. "We're not going to please everybody."
Greenwald's priorities are, at the moment, in line with those of victim's family members. "First and foremost this is a memorial," she told the Times. "That has to drive every decision we make."
Greenwald has many decisions to make, including what artifacts will be placed in the museum, the types of exhibits and symposiums that will planned, the museum's narrative and point of entry, and many more. "We have to be asking big questions about programmatic intent before you talk about what it's going to look like," she told the Times. One of Greenwald's major responsibilities is raising more than $100 million needed to build the memorial, the paper continued.
In other memorial news, Dr. Jan Seidler Ramirez was appointed chief curator and director of collections for the Memorial Museum on Monday. She told the Times that she is "getting a working collections policy in place" and that she is reflecting on how the museum's collection will not only play "into the interpretive experience, but how we develop institutional gravitas as a knowledge center."
Tribeca Film Festival Underway
Tuesday, April 25th: The Tribeca Film Festival got underway with a showing of the controversial film "United 93," Newsday reported. The festival, spearheaded by co-founder Robert De Niro, was launched in 2002 to provide an economic stimulus for Tribeca and Lower Manhattan after the World Trade Center attacks, the paper continued. According to Newsday, the themes of terrorism and war are common among this year's films. Due to increased ticket demand, films will be shown this year at venues throughout the city. For more on the Tribeca Film Festival, click here.
Elite Military Unit to Help Find WTC Remains
Wednesday, April 26th: An elite military unit known for its expertise in forensics and impressive identification results has been formally asked to join in the search for remains at the World Trade Center site by Senator Charles Schumer in a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the Associated Press reported. The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), a division created to help find and identify more than 2,000 missing soldiers from the wars in Indochina, was asked to join the search at Ground Zero after more than 550 new remains were found on the Deutsche Bank building during the building's abatement, the AP continued.
According to the AP, this is not the first time the JPAC has been called on to perform non-military operations. A typical JPAC search team consists of about 12 members, including specialists in mortuary affairs, bomb disposal, medicine, aircraft, weapons and military equipment, linguistics, and civilian anthropologists, the AP continued. Once the team has recovered remains, they transfer mitochondrial DNA to the Armed Forces DNA Identification lab in Rockville, Maryland, to be compared with family samples, the AP added. The same method will be used for Ground Zero remains if the military accepts this mission.
Freedom Tower Construction Begins!
Thursday, April 27th: In a banner day for Lower Manhattan, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Governor George Pataki, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, and other rebuilding officials joined developer Larry Silverstein Thursday morning to welcome construction crews to the World Trade Center site, marking the official start of construction for the Freedom Tower.
Earlier this week, months of difficult negotiations finally reached a conclusion when Silverstein accepted the terms of a deal proposed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the mayor and governors in which he will cede development rights for the Freedom Tower and one other tower at the site but retain ownership and development rights for towers two, three, and four. The Port Authority, which will lease the Freedom Tower and tower five, approved the agreement at its Wednesday board meeting. To learn more, click here.