September 1st - September 7th, 2012
Occupy Wall Street Plans Revival Protest
August 31 - Protesters are heading back to Wall Street next month to celebrate the Occupy Wall Street anniversary on Sept. 17, according to the Associated Press. Occupy activists plan to converge on intersections surrounding the New York Stock Exchange in a show of solidarity for the movement, which has lost considerable steam and grown disorganized in recent months. On that date last year, protesters began camping in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, sparking the global protests against corporate excess and economic inequality. Mayor Michael Bloomberg evicted the protesters in the middle of the night two months later. Other encampments across the country were later dismantled one by one, some by force. On Sept. 17, they will come together near Wall Street and undertake various forms of civil disobedience. Activists say the goal is to disrupt activity near Wall Street. Later that day, protesters will meet in Foley Square and hold a general assembly to discuss their plans for the future of the movement.
WTC Hardhats Busted for Drinking
August 31 - Two construction workers at the World Trade Center site were caught drinking beer and taking shots during their lunch break on Friday, reported the NY Daily News. The pair were spotted by undercover detectives with the Port Authority Office of Inspection General drinking at Eamonn's Irish Bar on Murray St., according to a Port Authority official. The agency barred the two from ever working again on the project. Both were employed by a contractor on the site, DCM Erectors, as steelworkers on the transportation hub. Fourteen hardhats have been caught during the undercover operation, which began earlier this summer. The program was implemented after the Port Authority became aware of workers heading to bars during lunch.
PATH Rail System Marks 50th Anniversary
September 1 - Without the World Trade Center, the 43-mile railroad that became PATH might not have been saved, according to DailyRecord.com. But if the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had not acquired the former Hudson and Manhattan railroad 50 years ago, the WTC might never have existed, either. Experts said the ripple effect felt 20 years after the deal creating the Port Authority Trans Hudson rail system was the transformation of the New Jersey Hudson River waterfront into what some have called "Wall Street's back office," providing jobs for workers from all over the state. Today marked the 50th anniversary of PATH, which came about at the insistence of then-New Jersey Gov. Robert Meyner in 1961. The deal got the Port Authority into the railroad business, which also played a key role in the establishment of the WTC site on the west side of Manhattan. Last year, a record number of people -- close to 77 million -- rode the PATH. Port Authority officials said that number is likely to be exceeded this year.
American, United May Face Trial Over Sept. 11 Terrorist Attacks
September 4 - The AMR Corporation's American Airlines and United Continental Holdings must face a federal trial over negligence claims tied to the hijacking of jetliners used in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. Bloomberg News Reported that World Trade Center Properties, which owned the twin towers destroyed in the attacks, sued the airlines in 2008 over negligence in the attacks. Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan said a trial was required. After the attacks, the owners of the towers sued insurers, eventually settling for $4.09 billion, the judge said. WTC Properties sued the airlines seeking $8.4 billion, or the estimated cost of replacing the two towers as well as claims of negligence, the judge said. Judge Hellerstein said he previously rejected the airlines bid for summary judgment, or a ruling before trial.
9/11 Survey Sheds Little Light on City Kids' Health
September 4 - Nearly 11 years after the cloud of toxic dust descended on Lower Manhattan following the 9/11 attacks -- enveloping several schools and hundreds of children --researchers still know very little about its effect on the youngest survivors. DNAinfo.com reported that to learn more, theWorld Trade Center Health Registrysent surveys tomore than 1,300 downtown adolescents and their parents late last fall, asking about the impact of 9/11 on their health. But just one in three families responded to the survey, even after the deadline was extended twice, most recently to Sept. 30. "The more people fill out the survey, the better our ability to understand their health," said Mark Farfel, director of the WTC Health Registry which tracks more than 70,000 people who were Downtown on 9/11 or in the days that followed. Early studies on children and 9/11 showed that those who were exposed to the dustwere twice as likely to develop asthma soon afterward, but there is very little research about other health impacts. Farfel estimates that for every 9/11 study about children, there are at least 10 about adults. The WTC Health Registry survey includes one questionnaire for the adolescents and a separate one for their parents, asking about everything from respiratory issues to difficulty concentrating in school. The survey takes about 20 minutes to fill out and can be done on paper, over the phone or online. (For more information about the survey or to request a copy, call 1-866-692-9827 or email email@example.com.)
New York Downtown Hospital to Pay $13.4 Million in Medicare-Medicaid Scam
September 5 - New York Downtown Hospital will pony up $13.4 million to the feds and the state to settle a lawsuit alleging fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid programs, reported the NY Daily News and other news outlets. A joint investigation by the Brooklyn U.S. attorney's office and office of state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman found that New York Downtown conspired with an out-of-state vendor to operate a detox program at the hospital in lower Manhattan, and filed false reimbursement claims to Medicare and Medicaid for services. The vendor was not licensed to operate a detox program in New York. The hospital also paid the vendor a monthly fee for referrals to the program, which is illegal under a state anti-kickback law. The hospital will pay the feds $5.84 million and the state $7.56 million.
Companies Use World Trade Center as Rental Bargaining Chip
September 7 - Companies renegotiating their property leases in New York are seeking lower rents by playing the World Trade Center card -- threatening to move to the towers rising from the rubble of the 9/11 attacks. According to Reuters, many brokers and landlords say they are just bluffing. The WTC is struggling to fill its millions of square feet of office space at the southern edge of Manhattan amid a real estate slowdown all across the city. It is so bad that construction is set to be halted on two of the four towers planned for the WTC complex until tenants sign up. The problem: The banks, law firms, advertising and accounting firms that dominate New York are comfortable in Midtown. In many cases, they are close to their clients, and transport links are convenient for people living in most parts of the region. Plus, Lower Manhattan has fewer amenities, such as shops and restaurants. For some, there is another concern that is often left unsaid: Will staff be uneasy moving to a place that was the target of such a horrific attack, as well as the 1993 truck-bombing? Despite very tight security, could the WTC become a target again? But there is hope for the WTC site. It often takes years for large office buildings to fill up. For the Empire State Building and the original WTC towers, it took decades.