September 16th - September 22nd, 2005
New Staten Island Ferry Arrives
Friday, September 16: The Spirit of America became the newest Staten Island ferry to navigate New York waters last week after a 22-day journey from its original home in Marinette, Wisconsin, the New York Times reported.
The new 4,500-passenger ferryboat will replace the American Legion, a 40-year-old ferry that the city plans to retire. The Spirit of America is the last of three new ferries to join the Staten Island Ferry fleet and is part of $400 million project that includes the reconstruction of downtown's Whitehall Ferry Terminal, the paper explained.
The $40 million ferry departed from the Marinette Corporation's shipyard, where it was built and stored, on August 25, traveling north through the Great Lakes, along the St. Lawrence Seaway to Quebec, and then south through the waters of the Atlantic Ocean before reaching the East River, the Times added.
For more about the Staten Island ferries, click here.
Russian-American 9/11 Memorial Planned for Bayonne
Friday, September 16: A monument designed by a Russian artist to both commemorate the 9/11 attacks and serve as a symbol of Russian-American unity in the face of terrorism is planned for the Bayonne, New Jersey, waterfront opposite Lower Manhattan, the Associated Press reported.
Created by renowned artist Zurab Tsereteli, the 106-foot-tall bronze-and-steel sculpture will serve as the centerpiece of a two-acre park across from where the Twin Towers once stood. The monument, which will take the form of a teardrop hanging in the middle of a rectangular structure, will be set upon a granite base where the names of victims from both the 9/11 and 1993 World Trade Center attacks will be engraved, AP said.
While the sculpture was shipped in August, it still needs to be fully built in the United States, where officials hope to unveil it by September 11, 2006, AP added.
9/11 Mental Health Issues Still Affecting Many
Sunday, September 18: According to recent interviews with local mental health experts, thousands of New Yorkers are still undergoing psychological trauma related to the September 11, 2001, attacks, Newsday reported.
"We are seeing more delayed onset of post-traumatic stress syndrome with more severe symptoms related to 9/11," Peter Turco, the clinical director at St. Mark's, told Newsday. St. Mark's is one of 84 organizations to receive a grant from the American Red Cross September 11th Recovery Grants Program and is on pace to treat 1,400 patients this year with the funding. "Seeing terrorist explosions in England, soldiers in Penn Station, and the constant sense of tension hasn't given some patients a chance to heal," Turco continued.
Statistics also show that monthly calls to the city's mental health hotline have doubled since 9/11, and many of those seeking assistance are requiring more intensive, longer-term therapy, Newsday said.
For information about available mental health resources, click here.
Trial in 93 WTC Blast Begins
Tuesday, September 20: After 12 years of legal delays, a trial began in a State Supreme Court in Manhattan to determine if the February 26, 1993, car bombing in the garage under the former World Trade Center could have been prevented, the New York Times reported.
Jury selection began for the long-awaited trial of the suit, which was filed against the buildings' then landlord, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, by as many as 450 plaintiffs. Plaintiffs include survivors, the families of those who died, and businesses affected by the bombing. The suit charges the agency with negligence and failure to safeguard the WTC site against terrorism despite a 1985 Port Authority security report that identified the garage as vulnerable to attack, the paper explained.
The Port Authority maintains that any attack was unforeseeable and that the agency should not be held accountable for the resultant deaths and injuries. The trial is expected to last five weeks, the Times added.
New York Tax Break on WTC Memorial Donations
Wednesday, September 21: The New York Senate gave final approval to a bill that would provide a tax check-off box on personal income tax and corporate-franchise tax returns for gifts to the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, the Post reported.
The bill, which already passed the Assembly, still requires formal approval by Gov. George Pataki, the paper added.
Freedom Center Delivers Exhibit Plan to LMDC
Thursday, September 22: The International Freedom Center, the increasingly controversial museum planned for Ground Zero, submitted a mandatory report detailing its planned exhibits to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) for approval, the New York Times reported.
The 27-page report, shown in advance to the Times by museum executives, attempts to assuage public criticism that its exhibits will detract from commemorating the events and victims of the 9/11 attacks by clearly accepting that a crucial part of its mission is to tell stories of the "heroes of Sept. 11," the paper explained.
To illustrate that commitment, the report begins, "The International Freedom Center will be an integral part of humanity's response to Sept. 11. Rising from the hallowed ground of the World Trade Center site, it will serve as a complement to the World Trade Center memorial and play a leading role in the memorial's mission to 'strengthen our resolve to preserve freedom, and inspire an end to hatred, ignorance and intolerance,'" the Times said.
Along with details of its planned program, the Freedom Center also named five new board members: Natan Sharansky, a former dissident and political prisoner in the Soviet Union and a former government minister in Israel; Sara J. Bloomfield, the director of the Holocaust Memorial Museum; Anne-Marie Slaughter, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University; Richard Norton Smith, the former director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, who is now executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum; and Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International, the paper added.
The LMDC announced that it will post the museum's plans on its website and provide a link enabling the public to comment directly on the report. Museum officials are also scheduled to present their report at a meeting of the LMDC Family Advisory Council next week and to publicly present their proposed plans, program, and governance structure at a Community Board 1 meeting on September 28 and a New York New Visions Forum and Workshop on September 29. While the LMDC will use these events to obtain public feedback and better inform its decision, the public is also encouraged to comment directly on the submission at the LMDC website, www.RenewNYC.com.
Suit Adds to Delays in Fish Market Relocation
Thursday, September 22: The Fulton Fish Market's long-awaited relocation to the Hunts Point section of the Bronx has been delayed due to a lawsuit that seeks to prevent the market's fish wholesalers from unloading arriving seafood, the New York Times reported.
The suit, filed by Laro Service Systems -- a company that has held a monopoly on the unloading business since it won the job in 1995 -- alleges that the wholesalers should be banned from unloading due to their longstanding ties to organized crime. However, the City of New York approved an unloading license for the New Fulton Fish Market Cooperative -- the name for the group of wholesalers -- after a thorough investigation into the group's background, the paper explained.
Depending on the results of a New York State Supreme Court hearing this week, the market's relocation could happen as early as October 7. While the move was originally scheduled to take place last spring, several delays have been caused by lawsuits, as well as unexpected renovations to the new, $85 million Hunts Point facility. For more about the Fulton Fish Market, click here.