June 29th - July 5th, 2007
Circle Line Loses Downtown Ferry Service Bid to California Company
July 2nd: The National Park Service has selected a California company's bid for the contract to provide ferry service from Manhattan to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, choosing it over five other bidders, including Circle Line, which has held the contract for the past 54 years, the New York Times reported.
Hornblower Yachts Inc., a San Francisco-based company that provides ferry service to former prison site Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay, won the bid for the 10-year contract, which could be worth more than $350 million. "The park service wanted an improved customer service, they wanted more education and interpretive opportunities for the guests, enhanced protection of the environment, and expanded service to other federal locations, like the Jamaica Bay National Refuge," Hornblower co-founder and CEO Terry MacRae told the Times.
Under the new contract, which must be approved by Congress within 60 days, Hornblower will acquire the Circle Line's eight Liberty and Ellis Island boats. Fares will increase by 50 cents, to $12 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.
Search for Potential Human Remains Expanded at Ground Zero
July 4th: City officials have expanded the search for potential human remains at Ground Zero to at least two additional spots, the New York Times reported. Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler, who is overseeing the search, wrote in a memorandum to Mayor Michael Bloomberg that the search will now include the areas from Vesey Street to Liberty Street outside the World Financial Center and along Cedar Street from Washington to West Streets and could also be extended to part of Washington Street once the demolition of 130 Liberty is complete.
"Due to the additional material that needs to be excavated and sifted, the one-year goal for completing the operations is no longer attainable," Skyler wrote. "In fact, our experience over the last nine months and the ongoing rebuilding of the World Trade Center site and surrounding area suggest that search operations will continue in one form or another for the foreseeable future."
Three WTC Site Construction Workers Injured in Recent Months
July 5th: Three construction workers have been injured in recent months in Ground Zero accidents, including one who remains in a coma, the Associated Press reported.
A 26-year-old worker was struck in the head and upper torso on May 22nd when a hose pumping construction material into a retaining wall broke loose and hit him. One of the most serious accidents since the 9/11 recovery efforts began, the incident is under investigation by the Labor Department's Occupational Health and Safety Administration. In late June, two other workers were injured, one suffering a broken ankle after tripping and falling and another injuring his hand in a fall from a ladder, according to Steve Plate, the Port Authority's director of major capital projects.
"My goal is to send everyone home safe," Plate told the AP. "One injury is too many. I mean that sincerely," he continued. In an effort to reduce injuries, the Port Authority has a fulltime safety manager, holds weekly meetings with 25 contractors, and sends out bulletins on how to keep the site safe, Plate said. There is also a medical trailer with a registered nurse on the site.