January 13th - January 19th, 2006
Phony 9/11 Claim Lands Ex-Attorney in Jail
Friday, January 13: Jeffrey Grant, a disbarred lawyer who falsely claimed to have a business on Wall Street that suffered financial loses as a direct impact of the terrorist attacks, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison, the Daily News reported.
Grant, who was awarded $247,000 through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, will be required to pay $300,000 in penalties in addition to serving his sentence, according to the News. According to the New York Post, presiding Judge William Pauley reprimanded Grant in court, saying, "Your crime was a very serious crime against the United States at one of its most vulnerable moments." Pauley opted, however, not to impose the maximum sentence of 27 months after learning of Grant's successful battles against mental illness and addiction, the Post added.
New Park Honors 9/11 Victims in Rockaway
Sunday, January 15: A community effort spearheaded by the Chamber of Commerce of the Rockaways has helped create a new park on a 17,000-square-foot piece of land on Jamaica Bay to honor the 70 residents of Rockaway Park and 343 firefighters killed in the September 11 attacks, the Daily News reported.
The park is located at the corner of Beach 116th Street and Beach Channel Drive, where residents watched the events of the terrorist attacks unfold more than four years ago, the paper continued. "It's a great place for families that lost somebody and their remains were never found," Corinne Warnock, a Rockaway Park resident, told the Daily News. "It's healing and soothing," she added.
Wooden benches; abundant flowering plants, trees, and shrubs; and donated lighting add to the serene atmosphere, the News continued. A total of $750,000 was raised for the project through contributions from local residents, organizations, and businesses and grants from government sources. The final touch, a pavilion designed by Far Rockaway stained-glass artist Patrick Clarke, will be topped with a firefighter's helmet, which was designed and begun by Russian sculptor Isabella Slobodov and completed by Clarke after Slobodov's passing, the paper added.
Supreme Court Rejects 9/11 Suit
Wednesday, January 18: Families of firefighters killed at the World Trade Center were told by the U.S. Supreme Court that they could not sue the City of New York and Motorola for allegedly using faulty radios on 9/11, the Daily News reported.
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ruling of a lower court, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which dismissed the suit because the judge ruled that families who accepted compensation from the federal September 11 Victims Compensation Fund waived their right to sue, Newsday reported. The fund, which was set up to protect the airlines from bankrupting lawsuits, awarded an average of $2.1 million to victim's families, the Daily News added.
Some family members are not satisfied with this verdict from the high court and are considering a private investigation into the radios, the News continued. A spokesman for Motorola expressed his condolences for the families but indicated that he was satisfied with the ruling, the paper added.
Details Revealed about Redesigned WTC Cultural Center
Thursday, January 19: Architectural firm Snøhetta has redesigned the cultural center that will be built at the World Trade Center (WTC) site, reducing its size by roughly 30 percent and adding an entry plaza at Fulton and Greenwich Streets that will provide views of and passageway to the WTC Memorial, the New York Times reported. The new plaza will also include skylights that shed light on the underground PATH terminal and transportation hub designed by Santiago Calatrava, the paper added.
It is anticipated that the smaller building, which will occupy between 190,000 and 200,000 square feet instead of an original 250,000 square feet, will be easier to engineer and less costly to construct, according to the Times. The shrinkage of the building results in part from the decision to remove the Drawing Center and International Freedom Center from the WTC site, the paper added.
According to Snøhetta founding partner Craig Dykers, the change in program allowed the architects greater flexibility with the design. "We've attempted to create an open and welcoming atmosphere that will allow the memorial quadrant to complete itself toward the corner of Fulton and Greenwich Streets, but will also allow for new and more open orientation space," he told the Times.
Renderings of the redesigned center have not yet been released.