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Families of September 11 is now operating as the For Action Initiative. The
web pages on this site are available for informational purposes only.
Please visit us at www.foractioninitiative.org
This month's newsletter features information on recent developments in the ongoing construction at the World Trade Center site as well as a updates on activities in the 9/11 community.
FOS11 remains committed to reach out and embrace a wide variety of members including not only families of victims of September 11, but also survivors, responders, witnesses, and others affected by acts of terrorism worldwide. It is our legacy to our loved ones. Please let us know if we can offer any support or information on resources that might help in your recovery and healing. We can be reached by phone at 212-575-1878 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, it should be obvious to all that, no matter what your take is on the current state of affairs, your vote counts. We urge you to show up at the polls on November 4 and cast your ballot in local, state and national election contests. It's the truest way for all survivors of September 11 to participate.
Ground Zero Update
- Port Authority Launches New Website to Provide Updates on Construction Progress at Ground Zero
Port Authority Chairman Anthony Coscia stated, "This Web site is an extension of our efforts over the past few years to make the Port Authority’s business more transparent and accountable to the public we serve. It will provide more information than ever before about progress in rebuilding at the World Trade Center site, and will give the public an opportunity to voice their comments and concerns to the agency.” The site will provide quarterly updates on the progress made in constructing the Memorial, the Transportation Hub, five office towers and other projects. To view the web site Click Here.
- WTC Construction Site to be More Visible to Public as Construction Progresses
The Port Authority will install a transparent mesh wrap on the fencing surrounding the site. The mesh will contain depictions of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, the WTC Transportation Hub, the 1,776-foot high Freedom Tower and other projects. There will also be areas where the public will be able to view construction on Liberty Street, west of Greenwich Street, while the transparent mesh would allow views in other spots as well. Click here to read article.
- National Institute of Standards and Technology Investigation of WTC Collapse Recommends Building and Fire Code Changes to Ensure Safer Building Construction
The new codes address areas such as increasing structural resistance to building collapse from fire and other incidents; requiring a third exit stairway for tall buildings; increasing the width of all stairways by 50 percent in new high-rises; strengthening criteria for the bonding, proper installation and inspection of sprayed fire-resistive materials (commonly known as "fireproofing"); improving the reliability of active fire protection systems (such as automatic sprinklers); requiring a new class of robust elevators for access by emergency responders in lieu of an additional stairway; making exit path markings more prevalent and more visible; and ensuring effective coverage throughout a building for emergency responder radio communications. Click here to read article.
- Lower Manhattan Community Expresses Quality of Life Concerns Due to WTC Construction
Complaints include: pervasive noise, subway outages, street closures, and hundreds of tour buses and street vendors which are anticipated as the site progresses. Click here to read more.
WTC Health Update
- Congress Fails to Act on 9/11 Health and Compensation Act (H.R. 7174)
The 9/11 Health and Compensation Act (H.R. 7174) died in Congress late last month after New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg withdrew his support for the bill and House leaders lacked the support needed to move the bill to a vote in the current session. The bill would have created a long-term $5.1 billion federally funded health program for all victims of the World Trade Center disaster, as well as a $6 billion compensation fund for workers who suffered economic loss. Current 9/11 health treatment programs have only been funded on an ad hoc interim basis, and through emergency appropriations. “Every single dollar that has come from the federal government has only come as a result of intense lobbying and the advocacy on the part of the New York Congressional delegation, and labor, community and medical professionals,” said Micki Siegel, Health and Safety Director, Communications Workers of America, District 1. In a statement announcing that H.R. 7174 had failed to move forward in the current House session, New York Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-4), Jerrold Nadler (D-8), Vito Fossella (R-13) and Peter King (R-3), who co-sponsored the bill, said “We will work together in the future to try to address this failure and meet the sizable need to care for those who lived and worked in the immediate area around Ground Zero—not to mention those who helped in the immediate aftermath.” Siegel called the death of the bill a “huge disappointment”, noting that in recent months “there has been such enormous work on the bill, and we were so close to actually bringing it to the floor for a vote.” The fate of the bill was sealed when Bloomberg withdrew his support for it. Though he has previously lobbied Congress on behalf of a 9/11 bill, calling it “a national obligation,” he said the proposed bill failed to give the city sufficient oversight over how program funds would be spent. “The bottom line was this was not a bill, when it got done, that really gave the city the protection or the aid that we really needed,” he said in published news reports. ( From N. Y. Committee on Occupational Health and Safety). To read more go to www.nycosh.org
- NYPD Patrolman's Benevolent Association Publishes Guidelines for Officers Diagnosed With Sarcoidosis
The New York City Police Department PBA has dedicated a portion of their website "to gather information currently available regarding illnesses responders are experiencing as a result of 9/11 and related exposures, including self reports by members and others, which will be reported in the PBA World Trade Center Health Registry, as well as to make available other published literature on WTC- related illnesses." This site recently published a mongraph titled, The Good News is You Have Sarcoidoisis! Now What? The article provides an overview of the disease with explanations of its diagnosis, symptoms, and treatment. It offers suggestions for patients and gives information on the services offered by the Mount Sinai Medical Center. Click here to read the article.
- WTC Disability: Deadline Extended for Eligible NYC Employees
The deadline for eligible New York City employees to file a WTC-related Notice of Participation with their retirement systems has been extended to June 14, 2009. The WTC Disability Law provides a disability retirement benefit to eligible NYC employees who became disabled by participating in the WTC rescue and recovery operations between September 11, 2001 and September 12, 2002.
Families of September 11 encourages all those who feel their health was affected by the terror attacks of 9/11 to visit our website Health Resources page (Click here) to keep abreast of new developments. The Health Resources page contains up to date information on the latest news articles, medical reports, and treatment resources related to 9/11 health issues.
Recent and Upcoming Events
- FOS11 Board Member Meets With Latin American Counterterrorism Experts at the State Department
On behalf of FOS 11, Board Member Nancy H. Aronson recently participated in a program at the U.S. Department of State sponsored by the International Visitor Leadership Program. The Counterterrorism Awareness Program (CTAP) was designed for security/counterterrorism experts from Latin America. Aronson talked to them about FOS11 and about the personal experiences of her family’s loss. She noted that they are all well acquainted with terrorism in their home countries, but not on the scale of September 11. “Don’t let something like this happen on your watch!” she told them. The group reported being deeply affected by her talk. After three days in Washington, the group visited Boston, including the memorials to September 11 victims there.
- The Military Will Permit 9/11 Victims of Terrorism and Their Families to Attend Tribunals at the U.S. Navy’s Base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba
The Pentagon plans to choose up to five family members by lottery who will be permitted to attend the trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammed. No date has been set as yet. Click here to learn more.
- Terrorism and Disaster Speaker Series
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) – sponsored by SAMHSA - is pleased to announce a new speaker series covering issues related to terrorism, disaster, and children. This monthly, year-long series will feature experts in the field providing up-to-date information on the impact of disaster and terrorism on youth and their families and lessons learned from major public mental health response programs in the United States and overseas. All presentations are free and open to the public, accessible via telephone or the Web, and offer hours in support of 1.5 continuing education credits. The first of these 90-minute presentations, Toward Modernizing Child Disaster Mental Health, is scheduled for October 15, 2008, 2 p.m. EST/11 a.m. PST. This presentation will feature Robert Pynoos, M.D., M.P.H., Co-Director, NCTSN; and Betty Pfefferbaum, M.D., J.D., Director, University of Oklahoma Terrorism and Disaster Center.
For more information, go to the NCTSN Child and Adolescent Trauma Learning Center at http://learn.nctsn.org or contact Dr. Brian Allen at email@example.com.
- Pianist George Winston to Perform Benefit Concert for Bellevue Hospital World Trade Center Treatment Center
Reknown pianist George Winston will offer a solo concert at ABRONS ARTS CENTER 466 Grand St. @ Pitt St., NYC on Fri./Sat. Nov. 21 & 22, 2008 at 8pm. These two Concerts will benefit Bellevue Hospital World Trade Center Treatment Center. 50% of the net proceeds will go to Bellevue. Click here to order tickets on line or call 866-468-7619.
- Tuesday's Children Announces Change of Date for Women of Strength Luncheon
The Tuesday’s Children Women of Strength Luncheon scheduled for November 5, 2008 at the Yale Club will be postponed until Friday, March 27, 2009. The details will be forthcoming. We anticipate that the event will consist of an evening reception, buffet and keynote.
- Good Grief
Located in New Jersey, Good Grief's mission is to normalize grief in our society and create resilient communities where children coping with loss grow up emotionally healthy and able to lead meaningful and productive lives. Good Grief provides education, advocacy, and year-round peer support group programs for grieving children, teens and adults. To learn more- click here.
- Tuesday's Children
Tuesday's Children is offering several programs for children, families and first responders.
Tuesday's Children continues to expand the Mentoring Program throughout the tri-state area. Currently with 55 active matches, children who were directly affected by the tragedy of 9/11 are being served by the program. Each child, 6-16 years old, is matched with a dedicated adult role model within their community. The volunteer mentors are screened and then trained to be a consistent, positive and supportive figures in the child's life; meeting twice a month for a year or longer. The match of a child and a volunteer has proven to be beneficial to both the child and the volunteer. Children that have been surveyed have reported that they felt listened to and cared about by their mentor and that they had developed a caring and trusting relationship with their mentor. If you are interested in learning more about enrolling your child or possibly being a volunteer mentor yourself, please contact the Mentoring Department at Tuesday's Children at 212-319-3988 and/or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Responder Programs - Career Planning Workshop
This program conducted by a Professional Career Counselor offers a two hour introduction to the process of career planning and steps involved in a job search campaign. Topics discussed include resumes, cover letters and interviewing skills. Information about Career One Stop Centers, which offer local, free job search support will be presented. November 12, 5:00 – 7:00 at the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program, in Islandia, NY. RSVP to email@example.com or 516 562-9000.
WTC Responders Spouse Support Groups
In collaboration with the Marriage and Family Therapy Institute at Hofstra University, Tuesday’s Children is presenting weekly Support Groups for Spouses of WTC Responders addressing the effects of coping with chronic illness. Groups will be offered on Wednesdays from 12:00 to 1:30 at the Saltzman Community Services Center at Hofstra University. Groups are now forming. Registration is through Tuesday’s Children. Please call Candy at 516 562-9000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. for more information or to register.
Project Common Bond
Tuesday’s Children has introduced a new global initiative called Project Common Bond. Specifically designed to build an international community comprised of young people whose lives have been impacted by terrorism, this new program fosters healing, collaboration, peace building, and global stewardship. Approximately 50 teenagers from Israel, Spain, England, Ireland, Liberia and the United States participated in the one week long camp this past summer. Summer 2009 will be the second gathering of teens. Interested parties, please contact Kathy Murphy at 516 562-9000 or email@example.com.
- NYC 9/11 Benefit Program
The NYC 9/11 Benefit Program is providing coverage for those who need help. To ensure that all needs are met, the Health Department will reimburse out-of-pocket costs for mental health or substance abuse treatment through a claims process similiar to any insurance benefit. New York City residents and city workers in surrounding areas can find out if they are eligible by calling 311 or visiting www.nyc.gov/9-11mentalhealth.
- WTC Centers of Excellence
In New York City, three WTC Centers of Excellence provide specialized testing and treatment: World Trade Center Environmental Health Center at Bellevue Hospital Center, Gouverneur Health Care Services and Elmhurst Hospital Center; Fire Department of New York: World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program and; Mount Sinai Consortium: World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program. Click here for more information.
- LifeNet (NYC)
If you or someone you know in the New York City area is suffering with emotional or substance abuse problems, LifeNet can help. LifeNet counselors are available, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day and speak a variety of languages. LifeNet is a program of the Mental Health Association of NYC, Inc. To learn more about LifeNet click here. You can reach LifeNet by calling any one of the toll-free, anonymous hotlines:
(800) LifeNet (800) 543-3638 (English)
(877) Ayudese (877) 298-3373 (Spanish)
(877) 990-8585 (Asian LifeNet)
(212) 982-5284 (TTY)
Remember. Honor. Hope.
FOS11 offers a wrist band, in hope for a better future. Click here to learn more.
Families of September 11 (FOS11) is a 501(c)(3) organization founded by families of those who died in the September 11 terrorist attacks. Membership is open to anyone affected by the events of September 11, 2001. More than 2,400 people worldwide have chosen to join us.
Families of September 11 is an accredited charity and is a member of the Seal Program, which indicates that our organization has met the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. For more information about the Standards, please visit the BBB of Metro New York's website at http://www.newyork.bbb.org/.
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