April 30th - May 6th, 2004
Tribeca Film Festival
Saturday, May 1: The 2004 Tribeca Film Festival kicked off on Saturday, May 1, with a comprehensive, star-studded program that includes 200 U.S. and international feature, documentary, and short films, as well as special events and celebrity panel discussions.
The festival, now in its third year, was created by Tribeca Film Institute founders Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in response to the 9/11 attacks and seeks to foster the economic and cultural growth of Tribeca and the surrounding downtown community.
"I'm very excited about this year's festival, and I think it will be the best yet," De Niro said. "As always, we are proud to share our neighborhood and all that it offers to movie fans everywhere."
For more information about the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival, including schedule information and how to get tickets, visit www.tribecafilmfestival.org.
September 11 Fund Releases Results of Injury Claims
Saturday, May 1: About 1,600 of the 4,419 injury claims to the federal government's 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund have been dismissed as a result of registrant's physical recovery or inadequate medical documentation, the Associated Press reported.
To date, the fund has provided monetary compensation, ranging from $500 to $7.9 million, to 2,321 people. The majority of medical claims were for victims suffering long-term respiratory disorders as a result of the debris at Ground Zero, the AP noted.
Kenneth Feinberg, who heads the 9/11 fund, announced that final decisions on the 500 claims still under evaluation will be completed by June 15, the AP added.
St. Pauls Chapel Unveils New 9/11 Memorial Exhibit
Sunday, May 2: St. Paul's Chapel unveiled a new permanent exhibit titled "The Unwavering Spirit: Hope and Healing at Ground Zero" to commemorate the 9/11 attacks.
Designed by New York-based ESI Design Company, the memorial features artifacts -- including photographs, letters, drawings and flags -- left at the chapel in the weeks after 9/11 and serves as a tribute to Ground Zero rescue workers and volunteers.
Located across from Ground Zero at 209 Broadway, St. Paul's Chapel -- which is part of Trinity Parish -- provided sanctuary for rescue workers and volunteers in the aftermath of the attacks.
The dedication of the memorial was also the first official act by Trinity Church's new rector, Rev. Dr. James H. Cooper, former rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Trinity's former rector, Rev. Dr. Daniel P. Matthews, retired from his position on Sunday morning.
For more information about St. Paul's Chapel, click here.
New Study Discloses 9/11 Health Effects
Tuesday, May 4: A new report on the health effects of the 9/11 attacks found that dust and debris resulting from the collapse of the WTC have caused an increase in the rate of respiratory ailments and asthma among those present during the WTC attacks and cleanup efforts, the Associated Press reported.
The report concluded that the risk of illness was predominantly among firefighters and rescue workers involved in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, while area office workers and Lower Manhattan residents were found to have significantly less exposure, noted the AP.
The study was published in the May issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, a government scientific journal. It was conducted by six research centers including the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine and Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.
Jury Delivers Ruling in Silverstein-Swiss Re Battle
Tuesday, May 4: A Manhattan jury delivered a verdict in the ongoing case between WTC leaseholder Larry Silverstein and his insurers, limiting lead WTC insurer Swiss Re International Business Insurance Company Ltd to a single insurance payment of $877 million, instead of the double payment sought by Silverstein, the New York Times said.
While the announcement was a severe blow to Silverstein, who maintained that the WTC attacks were two separate incidents that entitled him to two separate insurance payouts from each insurer, the Port Authority (PA) -- which owns Ground Zero - indicated that Silverstein would maintain a role in the rebuilding process.
"Silverstein Properties is moving forward with construction of the Freedom Tower," PA Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said in an announcement reported by the Wall Street Journal.
A second trial to decide if 10 other insurers will be responsible for covering insurance payouts of two separate incidents is scheduled to begin in August.
Pataki Delivers Rebuilding Update
Wednesday, May 5: Gov. Pataki delivered a speech announcing plans for the downtown rebuilding process, including a direct rail link to JFK Airport, a beautiful and secure Wall Street area, and a summer 2004 groundbreaking for the Freedom Tower. For complete coverage, click here.