FOS11 Newsletter, Volume #6, Issue #2February 20, 2007

Welcome | Issues Update | 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

Later this month, we will commemorate the bombing that occurred at the World Trade Center on February 26, 1993.  Our thoughts go out to the families that lost loved ones or were injured on that day.  We continue to remember the loss and heroism that occurred on that day, and on 9/11, in hope that we can move towards a safer and peaceful world.  

To that end, FOS11 strongly supports the implementation of the 9/11 Commission’s Recommendations as a step towards increase safety and security.  Last month, the House passed H.R. 1, Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act of 2007 to take measures to further implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.  This legislation calls for, among other things, 100% screening of all cargo on passenger planes within three years;  all US-bound cargo ships to be checked for nuclear weapons before they leave foreign ports; and increased risk-based homeland security funds for cities likely to be terrorist targets.

This month, the Senate is in the process of developing their version of this bill to implement the 9/11 Commission reforms.  The Senate bill is likely to include measures to enhance: the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screener rights; information sharing among Federal, State, and local governments, state and local emergency communications systems; local responder capabilities; and other critical areas. 

Among the most important outstanding 9/11 Commission recommendations that have not been implemented are the use of 100% of homeland security dollars being allocated on risk (currently, there is a minimum each state is guaranteed, regardless of risk), improved Congressional oversight on homeland security and intelligence, improved interoperability and allocation of broadband spectrum so first responders can communicate, and a “maximum effort” to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. 

FOS11 Board Member, Carie Lemack, along with other family members, attended a Senate hearing on Thursday 15Feb07 to support passage of a strong bill.  As of the sending of this newsletter, the Senate is considering bringing the bill, known as S.4, to the Senate floor the week of 26Feb07.  There is concern that certain member of Congress will try to attach non-germane amendments to S.4, including amendments relating to US policy in Iraq.  Families of September 11 strongly believes that only 9/11-related amendments should be considered for a 9/11 Commission recommendation implementation bill. 

FOS11 will continue to update our members on the progress of this work.  We continue to support Congress’ efforts to continue to implement reforms as outlined in the 9/11 Commission Report, published July 2004.  To read this report, click here

Issues Update

State Health Department to Study Fatalities of World Trade Center Responders
Last month, the New York State Health Department announced an agreement with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to study fatalities among workers who participated in the recovery and cleanup efforts at the World Trade Center site to determine what health issues have been raised in those deaths.  To read last month’s press release click here. To report the death of a WTC worker or volunteer, please call 1-866-807-2130 in New York or 518-402-7900 for those outside of New York State, or send an email to WTCFatality@health.state.ny.us.

For more information about the Department's response to the World Trade Center, respiratory illnesses, or worker safety please visit: www.nyhealth.gov or http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/homepage.html.

Ground Zero Update

  • Rebuilding Ground Zero – New Section on FOS11 Website, click here 
    Families of September 11 remains dedicated to supporting a timely and appropriate memorial to remember and honor all the lives that were lost on September 11, 2001.  We offer this new section on our website that we plan to update regularly with the latest news and information.  We realize that there are many differences in opinion and views on this issue.  FOS11 seeks to provide as much information as we can.  This new section on our website provides links to articles, press releases, memorial groups and information as it is related to rebuilding Ground Zero. We neither support nor oppose any of these groups or websites. Rather, we aim to offer timely updates and provide information as it becomes available. 
  • 9/11 Family Viewing Room is Moving
    The current 9/11 family viewing room located at Liberty and Washington Street will be closed on February 26, 2007.  It is currently located above an area that will be excavated and searched for remains.  The new site is due to open on March 5th above the PATH Station on Church Street.  The room is only opened to 9/11 family members and is filled with photos and other memorabilia to commemorate those lost on 9/11.  The Room first opened in September 2002 and has been visited by thousands.   Click here to read the Port Authority Press Release.
  • Press Release and Progress Report from the Mayor’s Office
    In late December, the Mayor’s Office published a press release to provide an update of the ongoing search for remains at Ground Zero.  The memo offers information on the search at the World Trade Center site, building searches, subterranean structures, and 11 Water Street.  To read this press release, click here.  We know the continued release of information and the questions it raises is difficult for many.  If you have any questions or would like an update, contact Ada Rehnberg-Campos at 212-788-7410. 
  • Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
    According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office, there are no new protocols for the recovery of remains.  Family members do not have to resubmit DNA and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will continue to be the initial point of contact for families.  If you have any questions, please contact the OCME’s WTC Unit at (212) 447-7884. 
  • EPA to Test Indoor Spaces in Lower Manhattan
    In the final phase of its response to the events of September 11, 2001, EPA has announced the beginning of a program to test indoor spaces in Lower Manhattan. The program, which covers the area south of Canal Street and west of Allen and Pike Streets, will allow residents and building owners to have the air and dust in their units tested for four contaminants associated with dust from the collapse of the World Trade Center. If analysis of dust and air samples finds elevated levels of any of four contaminants of concern – asbestos, man-made vitreous fibers such as fiberglass, lead, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons – the contaminants will be cleaned up. Under the program announced today, local residents and owners of commercial or residential buildings closest to Ground Zero will receive priority for testing and cleaning if registration for the program is high. The program is limited to $7 million provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The number of residential and commercials spaces that will be addressed under the program will depend upon a number of factors, including the square footage of the units participating.  Registration for the program will begin mid-January and run for two months.  For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/wtc/testandclean or contact the Indoor Air Residential Assistance Program at (212) 637-3435.
  • Property Recovery from WTC site
    Since the World Trade Center (WTC) tragedy thousands of items of personal property has been recovered from Ground Zero, the Fresh Kills site and the Medical Examiner's Office at Bellevue Hospital. This property has been invoiced by the NYPD and is in the custody of the NYPD's Property Clerk Division.  To learn more about the property recovery from the WTC site click here, you can also contact NYPD Property Clerk Division at (646) 610-7202.  If you have contacted the clerk’s office in the past and are unsure about the status of your case, you may need to call them again to follow-up. 

University of South Carolina Law School Study on Response to 9/11
The USC Law School is conducting a study to determine how the country handled 9/11.  In particular, the survey will ask about experiences with the Victim Compensation Fund and the legal system after the losses suffered on September 11, 2001.  Your answers will be strictly confidential and your participation can be anonymous, unless you choose to share your email address or phone number.  No information that could identify you will ever be published or released to anyone.  The survey can be completed in about 20 minutes, but you may take as long as you like.  You may leave most questions blank and return to them later; the only exceptions are a few questions that require an answer so that the computer knows which set of questions to ask you next.  You may stop at any time and you may return to complete the survey at a later time if you decide to stop.  To do this you will need to set up a username.  To participate in the study, click here.

FOS11 continues to make progress to prevent nuclear terrorism
Families of September 11 is proud of the progress being made through our collaboration with the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI).  Together, we have held screenings of the nuclear terrorism docudrama “Last Best Chance” and panel discussions about how ordinary citizens can help prevent nuclear terrorism at universities (Harvard, Columbia, University of Pittsburgh, London School of Economics), with members of Congress and with organizations across the country.  Upcoming screenings include one in Washington, DC on Wednesday 21Feb07 from 6-7:30 at the Carnegie Endowment, held in cooperation with Women in Internationl Security (WIIS).  If you are interested in holding a screening in your community, or want to learn more about the program and what you can do to help prevent nuclear terrorism, please visit the www.saferworld.org website. 

Upcoming Events

FOS11 Calendar
Go to the FOS11 calendar for more events.

Next FOS11 Chat: Trauma on Top of Trauma
Tuesday, February 27th, 2007, 8-9pm EST
It has been more than five years since September 11th. While some people are gradually emerging from the fog of trauma, getting their lives back on track, others are valiantly trying to keep their heads above water. The wounds are just beginning to heal and then life throws you another curve ball.  A job that is so toxic to your emotional and physical health that you dread getting up in the morning, diagnostic tests and the fear of illness, impending surgery, an accident ...and the list goes on. How can we deal with this new trauma when we are still recovering from old ones?  What works for people? Join this chat session to listen to others, share your successful strategies or ask others how they survived in the face of these new challenges. 

The chat will be held on Tuesday, February 27th from 8-9pm EST.  To enroll click on this link:
https://www.familiesofseptember11.org/chat2/membership_form.asp?chatID=22707 

Please Note: Due to a recent upgrade, you may be prompted to Upgrade JAVA on your computer system when you sign in to the chat on Feb. 27th.  You need an upgraded version of JAVA to participate in the chat.  When you click "yes" to upgrade, the JAVA wizard will walk you through the process.  It may take a few minutes, but it is not difficult. 

This online chat session will provide 9/11 victims' families, survivors, first responders, and others affected by the attacks at the Pentagon, the World Trade Center, and Shanksville the opportunity to discuss issues and topics of importance in a safe, supportive environment. As a reminder, all participants must be FOS11 members (please see below on how to register as a member - membership is free). Dr. Donna Gaffney, a licensed mental health professional and noted trauma specialist, will facilitate the chat.

National Air Disaster Alliance Foundation Annual Meeting
Friday, February 23, 2007 - Sunday, February 25, 2007
The goal of this meeting is to review where family members have successfully promoted aviation safety and security—from Pan Am 103 family members who began in the late 1980s and passed the first aviation security legislation—through today, and to define safety and security goals to be sent to the House and Senate Committees, the FAA and NTSB.  All are welcome and those likely to participate include: family members and survivors of aviation disasters, including 9/11, the worst aviation disaster in history; also, aviation experts from government and the private sector, government officials, professionals working every day for safety and security.  Registration is $10, and includes breakfasts and lunch. Saturday Awards Dinner is $40 per person, also offered below cost.  To register or for more information, call (888) 444-NADA or email GADunham@aol.com and visit the website at http://www.planesafe.org/ .

Columbia University Resilience Enhancement (CURE) Workshop
Session 1: Feb 27 - March 27 Tuesday 1:30-3:30 pm Lower Manhattan
Session 2: Feb 27 - March 27 Tuesday 5:30 - 7:30 pm Lower Manhattan
Join one of the final sessions of Columbia University Resilience Enhancement workshops (CURE) and allow past traumas to become a source of positive growth by developing skills and building your own tool box to cope with future stress. Resiliency workshops are conducted by senior faculty from Columbia University. The core philosophy of this program is that resilience, or “power of recovery,” can be cultivated, practiced, and enhanced in preparation for future major stressful events. The Columbia University Resilience Enhancement (CURE) program combines new research findings with teaching strategies that proved successful in the Columbia Center’s training program for professionals after 9/11. The CURE program has been specially designed for individuals who have been affected by the 9/11 attacks, and for those who work with affected populations.

Sessions will be scheduled in response to the needs of interested groups. The facilitators have the potential accommodate groups of 6 or more. Because the workshop design is cumulative, participants are asked to make a commitment to the complete series.  The CURE program is offered at NO COST through the generous support of a Red Cross 9/11 Recovery Grant and is a collaborative effort between Columbia University and World Cares Center's September Space. This program is not a treatment for PTSD, depression, or other psychological conditions that resulted from 9/11; however, staff can assist in finding treatment for persons in need of more intensive professional help.  For more information about the program, to make a scheduling request, or to enroll, please contact Theresa Frey at 646-289-3098 or by emailing tfrey@worldcares.org.

Story Corps Opportunity in Baldwin, N.Y.
March 22, 2007
StoryCorps, in partnership with Families of September 11 and 9/11 Forward, invites you to make a StoryCorps recording (at no cost to you) at 9/11 Forward (formerly the WTC Family Center in Long Island).  Story Corps will be at 9/11 Forward on Thursday, March 22nd, 2007, which is now located at 2277 Grand Ave., Baldwin, NY, 11510.  To make a reservation please call Margie Miller at 9/11 Forward: (516) 678-2700.  At the end of the interview, you receive a CD copy of your 40-minute audio recording, which you can duplicate for family and friends. With your permission, the recording also becomes part of the StoryCorps archive at the Library of Congress and the permanent collection of the WTC Memorial Museum. You may make as many StoryCorps recordings as you wish.

To learn more about StoryCorps please visit www.storycorps.net.  At the website you can listen to excerpts of StoryCorps interviews and find question lists to help you prepare for your recording.  StoryCorps is the national oral history project that instructs and inspires people to preserve one another’s stories in sound. Through its September 11th Initiative, StoryCorps is recording:

  • The life stories of those who were lost on September 11th. Family members, friends, relatives, and coworkers are all welcome to record memories of their loved ones to memorialize and celebrate the lives they lived.
  • The stories of survivors, firefighters, police officers, rescue workers, witnesses, volunteers, or anyone closely impacted by September 11th, in order to preserve their personal experiences for history.

From StoryCorps participant John Quinn:
“I wanted to let you know that my recording went extremely well. The hour brought a lot of memories back to me about my dear friend Joyce Carpeneto, as well as some emotional moments, too. I’ve listened to the recording I made and I am very proud of the way it turned out…. It is so special for me to know that long after I have left this world, my words about Joyce will be preserved in the Library of Congress for future generations to hear. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

NYDCC Renewing Relationships Weekend Workshop
Saturday, March 10, 2007 - Sunday, March 11, 2007
The New York Disaster Counseling Coalition is offering a Couples Communication Workshop Weekend designed for law enforcement and EMS personnel and their spouses or domestic partners.  The FREE Workshop Weekend Includes:

  • Professionally led workshops and discussion groups
  • A guest room for two
  • All meals from Saturday at 11 am through Sunday at 12 pm
  • Use of The IBM Learning Center’s 26-acre facility with game room, hiking and jogging trails, fitness center

The workshop will be held at the IBM Learning Center, Armonk, NY in Westchester County, only 30 minutes by car or train from Manhattan.  The program, available at no cost to participants, is open to any law enforcement and/or EMS personnel and their spouse or domestic partner. It begins at 11 am on Saturday at the IBM Conference Center in Armonk, NY and extends through Sunday at noon. Dress for the weekend is casual.  The IBM Learning Center is located on Old Post Road in Armonk, NY. Learn more about them at http://www.ibmlearningcenter.com or call 914.499.2000.  Each weekend is open to 30 couples who will be registered on a first come first serve basis. For information on registration or to become a facilitator, please call 212-582-8208. Click here for more information. 

Tribute Center Daily Walking Tours
July 18, 2006 – July 18, 2007
The Tribute Center is a project of the September 11th Widows and Victims' Families' Association.   They offer daily public tours around the perimeter of the World Trade Center site. Led by people who lost loved ones, survivors of the attacks, lower Manhattan residents and workers, rescue workers, police, firefighters, and volunteers who came to help, the tours give an overview of what happened at the site on February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001 and provide an opportunity for visitors to hear their guide’s personal experiences. Tours begins at 120 Liberty Street, in front of the future Tribute Center, and last approximately one hour. Tour reservations can be booked online under “Other Events.” Advanced registration fee is $10.00 per person; children under 12 are admitted free.  For more information, email info@tributenyc.org or click here to visit the website.

Daily Tours
Weekdays 1:00 PM & 3:00 PM EST
Weekends 12:00 PM; 1:00 PM; 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM EST

America's Camp
August, 2007
America’s Camp is now enrolling boys and girls, ages 7 to 15, for its sixth summer in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts. The session will begin on Wednesday, August 15, 2007 and finish on Wednesday, August 22, 2007. This week-long, sleep-away camp is offered at no cost to eligible families. The campers have diverse backgrounds and interests, but share a common experience – they have all lost a parent or sibling either in the 9/11 attacks or in the line of duty at any time as a firefighter or law enforcement officer.

Enrollment has grown over five years from 80 to over 260, and over 80 percent of the campers return from summer to summer. A mature, enthusiastic staff is thoroughly trained to ensure a positive, fun, supportive environment. Camper-to-staff ratio is better than 2:1. Campers self-select activities from a wide range of individual and team sports, the arts and hobbies, and water activities at both the pool and lake. Trips and special events highlight a fun-packed week in a picturesque setting with great facilities. Round-trip transportation on coach buses is provided.

For information about the camp and enrollment, families can contact director Andy Cole at 1-800-548-6295 or e-mail him at the camp office at andy@americascamp.org or visit the camp website by clicking here.  Click here to read the America's Camp Press Release.

Resources

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 three toll-free, anonymous hotlines: 1-800-LifeNet (1-800-543-3638) (English)

  • 1-877-Ayudese 1-877-298-3373 (Spanish) 
  • 1-877-990-8585 (Asian LifeNet)
  • 1-212-982-5284 (TTY)

New York State Workers’ Compensation Registration Form and Instruction for WTC Rescue, Recovery, and Clean-up Personnel
Deadline to Apply: August 14, 2007
The New York State Workers' Compensation Law has been changed to allow rescue, recovery, and cleanup workers exposed to toxic materials at WTC to preregister, even if not presently sick. Registering now will protect your right to file a workers' compensation claim if you become ill at any time in the future.

The law applies to most people who did paid or unpaid rescue, recovery or cleanup work in Lower Manhattan south of Canal or Pike Streets between Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 12, 2002. It also applies to rescue, recovery or cleanup workers who worked at the Staten Island landfill, the barge operation between Manhattan and Staten Island or the New York City morgue, and temporary morgues. The only workers who are not covered are those who are not in the workers’ compensation system: NYC uniformed services (firefighters, police, sanitation workers), NYC teachers and federal employees. But those workers are eligible if they performed any rescue, recovery or cleanup work off-duty, as a volunteer. The new law also allows anyone who already filed a claim - but was turned down because the claim was filed too late - to re-file. Click here to download the Claim Form and Instructions.

Clinics Participating in Medical Screening Exams for WTC Related Illnesses
More than 800 people from 39 states and and two Canadian provinces underwent medical screening for Ground Zero-related symptoms at clinics affiliated with the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics. The clinics, under a contract first with Mount Sinai and now with the American Red Cross, may pick up exam and treatment costs for certain illnesses if the patients meet a criteria set up by the World Trade Center Medical Screening Program. To view a national list of these clinics, click on the link above or contact the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics at 888-347-2632 or the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring Program at 888-702-0630.  To visit the website click here

Save the 9/11 Memorial Website
A new website “Save the 9/11 Memorial” was established by several groups representing families of those lost on 9/11.  The website provides information on plans, news, and proposed designs for the memorial.  On this site, you can also sign a petition to the World Trade Center Memorial to revise current plans to list the names, to be replaced with the recommendations provided by Save the 9/11 Memorial.  Click here to read and/or sign the petition.

Health Resources for 9/11 Rescue and Recovery Workers
FOS11 maintains a health section on the website that includes health resources for 9/11 rescue and recovery workers.  This section includes links to a number of articles in the news as well as information about examination and treatment resources available to people who were possibly exposed to toxic material on, or subsequent to 9/11. Indications are that this will continue to be an issue of growing importance for increasing numbers of people. Families of September 11 will continue to monitor developments and post information as we become aware of it.

FDNY/Columbia University Family Guidance Program
The FDNY/Columbia University Family Assessment and Guidance Program, part of the University's School of Social Work, was developed this past year as a collaborative program with the New York City Fire Department to provide assistance to children of firefighters who perished during the September 11th terrorist attacks. It was selected by the Counseling Service Unit of the FDNY to provide assessment, guidance and long-term follow-up. The organization can be contacted at (212) 851-2402.

Safer World
Show your concern and learn about how to prevent nuclear terrorism.  Act now for a safer world. NTI and Families of September 11 have joined forces to raise awareness about the threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and materials so citizens can help reduce these threats. The 9/11 Commission recommended an all-out effort to secure weapons of mass destruction, but its final report card gave the U.S. government a "D" for its progress. We want to turn that “D” to an “A ". Click here to learn how you can help.

World Trade Center Survivors' Network
The Survivors' Network seeks to provide a forum for personal contact between survivors as a means to empower them to both deal with the circumstances of the aftermath of the attacks and to find renewed purpose in that aftermath. The Network also functions as a place for people to go and get survivors' perspectives and as a conduit for the common thoughts of survivors. On the organization's homepage, there are links to join two different Yahoo groups: Survivorsnet and the WTC Survivors. All of the files and meeting information for the organization are posted in both groups. Click here for more information.

Remember. Honor. Hope.
FOS11 offers a wrist band, in hope for a better future. Click here to learn more.

Contact Us

Online

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info@familiesofseptember11.org

By Phone

General information: 212-575-1878


 
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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