FOS11 Newsletter, Volume #9, Issue #1March 1, 2010

Welcome | Issues Update | Recent and Upcoming Events | Resources | Contact Us | Donate

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.

Welcome

   Over the past several months, the prosecution of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other 9/11 conspirators has been a major news item. The issue of whether terrorists should be tried in civilian courts or by military tribunal has become more polarized and political. Passionate arguments citing national security matters and constitutional principles have been offered by both sides. 

   In the midst of this discussion, one issue is often overlooked - the need for the victims of 9/11 bear witness to justice being served as a way to help restore a sense of safety, contol, and experience at least a small degree of healing. For victims who have suffered unspeakable loss and trauma, the prospect of trials offer the possibility of another step toward closure, but also the potential to feel retraumatized.

   Dr. Suzanne Phillips emphasizes how important it will be for victims to support each other in this process. In an article on www.psychecentral.com she writes:

"These trials may be an opportunity for you to bear witness in a way you have been unable to feel since 9/11. They may offer a redress to lost loved ones who were deployed in the aftermath of these attacks. Or they may not feel personally valid or politically correct. They may bring back pain that comes with re-visiting. In any case, to share what you feel is to invite another to hear you. Social action is reparative if it gives you an opportunity to connect, bear witness to your feelings and be understood." 

Click here to read the full article by Dr. Phillips.

Issues Update

Ground Zero Update

  • Silverstein Offers More Money for Ground Zero Site
    Developer Larry Silverstein has proposed a new financing scheme for the troubled site that discards the 1,270-foot Tower 2, according to sources familiar with the project. In the past two weeks, he has come under intense pressure to resolve his dispute with the Port Authority.  New York State Governor Paterson has suggested that he put additional funds into the project and scale back his demands. Click here for more information.
  • New Performing Arts Center at Ground Zero Receives Construction Approval
    The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation has announced that it has released $50 million in funds to build the Ground Zero Arts Center, the long-planned cultural venue that has been the subject of fierce debate and lengthy delays. Backed by the new funding, work on the center’s foundation is set to begin next quarter, though construction on the actual building may not begin for several years. Click here to read article.
  • WTC Transit Hub Faces Delays
    A recent Federal Transit administration report indicates that the WTC Transit Hub's anticipated completion date of 2014 may be delayed for at least a year. The $3.2-billion hub will be home to the PATH, connect to 13 subway lines via the Fulton Street Transit Center and other terminals, and link pedestrians to the World Financial Center (WFC) and its ferries through an underground concourse. A major cause of the delay is unresolved delays in the construction of WTC Towers 2 and 3. Click here to learn more.
  • Ground Broken for Memorial in Shanksville PA
    A dedication ceremony was held to break ground for the memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania which will honor the 40 victims who died in the crash of Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. The final design is spread over a 2,200 acre park, and will include the Field of Honor (AKA The Bowl), the Sacred Ground, and a Visitors Center.  The initial phase of the memorial is scheduled to be dedicated on Sept. 11, 2011. A Tower of Voices, which will be built in a later phase, will be visible from miles away and will house 40 wind chimes representing the 40 victims (not including terrorists). To read more, click here.
  • Port Authority Seeks Bids For Partners to Raise Funds for Construction of One World Trade Center
    In spite of the soft real estate market, the Port Authority is inviting a select group of real estate developers to submit bids for ownership of 1 World Trade Center. Sale of the building, formerly known as the Freedom Tower, would enable the PA to raise up to $100 million. Read article.  
  • Continuation of 9/11 Memorial Programs Announced By LMDC
    Late last year, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation announced that it has put aside $1.4 million to ensure that three projects memorializing the events of September 11 will continue their work. The LMDC  has extended grants to the Tribute in Light, Story Corps, and Project Rebirth. Click here for more details.
  • Senator, Congressman Introduce Bills to Create 9/11 Medal
    Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), representatives of Ground Zero and long-time advocates of the victims of 9/11, jointly introduced legislation to create an official 9/11 commemorative medal. The National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center Commemorative Medal Act, introduced in both the Senate and House, would authorize the creation of up to two million silver medals commemorating the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks and provide funding for the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center. Click here to read press release.

 

  • 9/11 Health Update
    N.Y. Governor Signs Law Opening Door to New Ground Zero Health Claims
    More than 3,000 of the workers can revive their 9/11 health related claims as a result of a law signed by New York Governor David Paterson. Ground Zero recovery workers who claim their present illnesses are due to exposure to WTC toxins will have another opportunity to file lawsuits against the City of New York. To learn more click here. 
  • Twelve 9/11 Health Suits Scheduled For Trial in May 2010
    Judge Alvin Hellerstein has announced that 12 trials have been scheduled in the matter of  10,000 plaintiffs claiming they were sickened by exposure to toxins released by the collapse of the World Trade Center. The twelve cases slated for trial in May 2010 include firefighters, police officers, transit workers and Con ED employees. Click here to learn more.
  • Intense, Prolonged Exposure To World Trade Center Attack Associated With New Health Problems Several Years Later
    In August 2009. the Journal of the American Medical Association has published a study which supports prior research on the prevalence of respiratory illness and post traumatic stress disorder among  recovery and rescue workers, downtown residents, and office workers who experienced intense or prolonged exposure to the World Trade Center attack. "These analyses confirm that intense dust cloud exposure was associated with new asthma diagnoses for each eligibility group, including the 1,913 passersby who only had exposure to the area air and dust on September 11," the authors write.  Click here to read article.
  • NY Questions Health Claims Of Some 9/11 Responders
    Lawyers defending the City of New York which is being sued by rescue and recovery workers  claiming they suffered serious health issues subsequent to 9/11, have claimed that some of the information submitted on behalf of the plaintiffs is inaccurate or exaggerated.  Click here to read article.
  • Law Firm Defends Handling of  9/11 Health  Cases
    The attorneys representing plaintiffs claiming they have suffered serious health impairment as a result of their exposure to toxins on and after the WTC attacks have stated that, "mistakes {which} occurred at preliminary stages of the case, are being corrected and won't have any bearing on the outcome."  The accuracy of the firm's records on client injuries could wind up playing a major part in any settlement, as it would likely help determine how much each plaintiff gets paid. Read article.
  • Settlement Considered in 9/11 Health Lawsuits
    A draft settlement has been negotiated in the nearly 10,000 lawsuits seeking damages for respiratory and other ailments allegedly incurred in the first response and massive cleanup after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the World Trade Center. Click here to read article.
  • Stony Brook University Medical Center Opens New 9/11 Medical Monitoring and Treatment Facility
    The WTC Treatment Program is the only one on Long Island devoted to caring for first responders who reported to Ground Zero. Connected with the Mount Sinai WTC Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program the program serves the workers and volunteers who responded to the September 11th attacks. 9/11 responders can come to the program for free, confidential and regular medical monitoring examinations. People who qualify include rescue and recovery workers, clean-up workers, anyone who performed essential restoration services, morgue personnel, and those who worked on the Fresh Kills landfill and barges. Click here to learn more.
  • C.W. Post Psychology Program Wins Federal Grant to Aid 9/11 First Responders
    Tuesday's Children and the Psy.D. program at C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University have received a federal grant to create the First Responder Alliance. The partnership between C.W. Post students and Tuesday’s Children will offer counseling, programs in career guidance, financial management, parenting, health and wellness. It will also provide family weekends focusing on building resiliency, improving family communications and helping family members support responders who are dealing with chronic illness. Family engagement activities will also be provided as a means to create community for responders, their children and their spouses. Click here to learn more.
  • 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 September 11, 2010. 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. For more information, click here. 
  • Workers' Compensation Deadline
    WTC rescue, recovery and clean-up workers and volunteers must register with the New York State Workers' Compensation Board no later than September 11, 2010 to preserve their right to file for September 11-related compensation in the future. More information and a filing form are available  at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/wtc/html/employees/workcomp.shtml#1

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.


Homeland Security Update

  • Update From The Homeland Security Newswire
    The Department of Homeland Security has released a list of issues it considers priorities for discussion over the next year. The list includes such topics as: the use of full body scanners, air cargo screening, and cyber-crime. Read the report.
  • Former Senators Graham And Talent Present Interim Report Of WMD Commission
    The George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) and The Elliott School of International Affairs welcomed former Senators Bob Graham and Jim Talent, the Chair and Vice Chair of the bipartisan Commission for the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, to present their interim report on government efforts to safeguard against the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Senator Graham called the interim report “a wake-up call for Congress and the Administration.”  He stressed that, “in spite of all we have done since 9/11, the United States is today more vulnerable to a weapon of mass destruction that we were in 2001.”  In turn, Senator Talent reinforced that, “these threats are real. …The difficult part is maintaining focus.  No one wants to see a WMD event, but you have to keep the issue out there and get these issues built into decision-making processes.” To read the report, click here.
  • Preventing Nuclear Terrorism
    An article by Dr. Lawrence S. Wittner. Dr. Wittner is Professor of History at the State University of New York/Albany. His latest book is Confronting the Bomb: A Short History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement (Stanford University Press). Read article.

 

Resiliency Update 

  • Children of 9/11 Victims Help Charleston Family
    Teens from Long Island, New York all of whom lost a parent or loved one on 9/11 travelled to  South Carolina to join a Habitat for Humanity build in Charleston. To read article, click here.
  • New Global Survivors Of Terrorism Network Launched
    In an event marking the fourth anniversary of the Amman hotel bombings, 18 people from different continents, cultures and backgrounds, whose lives have been irreversibly transformed by violence across the world, formed the Global Survivors Network. One of the organization's creators is Carie Lemack, a founder and former president of Families of September 11. Through its website, www.globalsurvivors.org, which is to be translated into Arabic, the organization aims to link survivors with NGOs, potential access to medical and psychiatric support as well as toolkits and guidelines to provide support for those affected by terrorist attacks.  Read article.
  • Resilience Training
    Resilience is the ability to adapt well to stress, adversity, trauma or tragedy. People who have a resilient disposition are better able to maintain poise and a healthy level of physical and psychological wellness in the face of life's challenges. Resilience training empowers individuals to change unconstructive behaviors, actions and ways of thinking. A resilient approach leads to addressing problems rather than avoiding them, a positive, optimistic outlook and a flexible, adaptive disposition. Dr. Dennis Charney,  a professor of psychiatry at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine suggests resilience can be developed through focused training. Read article.
     

 


Recent and Upcoming Events

  • April 9th Hockey Game to Benefit 9/11 Memorial Effort
    The New York City Fire Department Hockey team will play a benefit game in Glen Falls, NY to support Glens Falls 9/11 Memorial campaign. Click here for more information.
  • C.W. Post Psychology Program Wins Federal Grant to Aid 9/11 First Responders
    Tuesday's Children and the Psy.D. program at C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University have received a federal grant to create the First Responder Alliance. The partnership between C.W. Post students and Tuesday’s Children will offer counseling, programs in career guidance, financial management, parenting, health and wellness. It will also provide family weekends focusing on building resiliency, improving family communications and helping family members support responders who are dealing with chronic illness. Family engagement activities will also be provided as a means to create community for responders, their children and their spouses. Click here to learn more.
  • Long Island/NYC Emergency Management Conference
    The Conference topics and presentations will examine all types of emergency management situations and the challenges. These discussions will help anyone in business or the emergency management community who deals with unforeseen events prepare and plan in order to be ready to react and respond to emergency management situations. The conference dates are:
    Wednesday June 2, 2010 & Thursday June 3, 2010
    Hilton Long Island, 598 Broad Hollow Road, Melville, NY
    If you have a question concerning the LI/NYC Emergency Management Conference please contact Elizabeth B. O'Neill at emconference@optonline.net

Resources

  • Tribute WTC Center
    Anyone wishing to learn more and experience the people, places and events of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001 should visit the Tribute WTC Visitor Center. The Center is a project of the September 11th Families' Association, a 501(C)3 non-profit corporation. The Tribute WTC Visitor Center expands upon the September 11th Families’ Association mission to unite and support victims of terrorism by incorporating the entire 9/11 community – families, survivors, residents, rescue workers and volunteers affected by 9/11/01. The Center creates a central place for information about 9/11 at the WTC site. Visitors learn factual information about the events on September 11th, the identity of 2,973 people killed in the attacks, the unprecedented rescue and recovery operations and the tremendous spirit of support and generosity that arose after the attacks. the The center is dedicated to offering visitors to the World Trade Center site a resource with which they can connect to people from the September 11th community through walking tours, exhibits, and programs. For more information, click here.
  • 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.

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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.



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