FEBRUARY 16 , 2007
DEAR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS,
Thanks to your help, the 9/11 Living Memorial project is continuing to grow. We are very excited to announce that we will be hosting a roundtable event on March 31st in
New Jersey . In addition, we are finalizing plans for events in Long Island,
and throughout the tri-state area. As you know, each week we feature a Living Memorial page – this week we are sharing the touching story of Richard Poulos who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald.
This week I traveled to
D.C. with VOICES Family Advisory member Carol Ashley to learn more about the Senate version of the 9/11 legislation and how it impacts VOICES focus on promoting preparedness. On Thursday the Homeland Security Governmental Affairs Committee, led by Senator Lieberman and Collins marked-up legislation related to the 9/11 reforms. It’s clear that fully enacting the 9/11 Commission recommendations is going to be a long, frustrating process. At this time, more than ever, it will require cooperation and participation at all levels, including involvement of the general public. We have included a summary below to keep you updated.
This Monday VOICES will be closed in observance of President’s Day. We hope you enjoy the long weekend and escape the cold weather we’re having here in the Northeast.
Our best wishes to you and your families,
Save The Date:
Saturday, March 31, 2007
9/11 Living Memorial Workshop
Time: 1pm to 4pm
Location: Ridgewood Public Library, 125 N. Maple Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ
The program will include a brief presentation on the 9/11 Living Memorial (www.911livingmemorial.org) and opportunities to begin creating a Living Memorial Page with Debbie Westfal, family liaison for the 9/11 Living Memorial. Refreshments will be served. More details will be announced soon. Call or email Michelle Doherty (866) 505-3911 to register.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Documenting the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center Attacks—Five Years On
Time: 9 am to 4:30 pm
Location: SPCS Woolworth Conference Center, 15 Barclay St., NYC
Cost: $15 includes box lunch
In the weeks, months and years following the attacks on the World Trade Center a number of projects were initiated to document the events and the reaction to them. There is a need for archivists, historians, curators and local government historians to review these documentation efforts in conversation with representatives from the family/survivor community, first responders and other federal, state and local government agencies to ensure that the historical record is equitable and correspondingly broad.
On March 29, these groups will convene for a daylong symposium to review documentation efforts to date and to determine the course for future documentation activities. The symposium will begin with a keynote address by Dr. James Young, who served on the jury for World Trade Center Memorial and is writing a book about his experiences. Six representative projects from the federal, state and local government will be presented, as well as projects from Hofstra, the College of Staten Island and Voices of September 11th... Read more
Sunday, March 25, 2007
“Life Skills Through Horses”
Time: 10am to 12pm, rain or shine
Location: New Canaan Mounted Troop, Inc.
22 Carter Street
New Canaan, CT 06840
VOICES is proud to promote this event. The intention of this program is to facilitate a connecting process between participants, one another, horses and nature. We will provide a loving, nurturing environment where bonding, relationship and trust between human and horse will enable and empower the participants to develop patience, focus, communication skills, awareness of self, self esteem, respect for themselves and for one another, and the ability to relax and release tension.
Included: Basic horse care and a small amount of Natural and Gentle (bareback and bit-less and very safe!) basic horsemanship riding instruction. For more information please visit www.eldustberry.com. Ages 5-adult.
Price: no charge.
Please call or email Michelle Doherty (866)505-3911 for registration. Space is limited so register early.
Voices Office Closed In Honor of President's Day
VOICES will be closing our office to observe Presidents' Day next Monday, February 19. We hope you will take this opportunity to reflect on our great American heritage and the service of our Presidents. "Presidents' Day" itself is a relatively new development, and the official name for Monday's federal holiday remains "Washington's Birthday." George Washington's birthday (February 22nd), has been celebrated for decades, but since the creation of Martin Luther King day, the holiday has expanded to include all Presidents, especially Abraham Lincoln (born February 12). An interesting Wikipedia article tells us that in the late 1960s the nation's advertisers lobbied Congress to place the holiday regularly on the third Monday in February to make planning easier for holiday sales.
But President's Day is about more than those big closeouts! Traditionally, George Washington's farewell address to the nation he helped create has been read on Presidents' Day. Though the prose is decidedly 18th century, Washington knew a thing or two about liberty and public service and his pre-"sound bite" words reward a careful read.
9/11 Living Memorial Feature
Family Tribute to Richard N. Poulos
Richard N. Poulos was a classic family man whos broad smile reflected his sunny personality. As his family describes him on his 9/11 Living Memorial page: "He has a wife Margaret of 33 years, whom he met on a blind date back when he was
17. Together they had 3 children, Lisa, Richard, and Erin. Lisa and her husband
Chris gave him 2 grandchildren, Christopher (top picture) and Joseph (bottom picture) whom he adored. His love
for his family was so profound-always there for them and always willing to do
anything for them. He always wanted the best for his children." Perhaps with the kids and grandkids in mind, Richard took a job working security at Cantor Fitzgerald to supplement his NYPD Detective's pension. Richard was in uniform on September 11th, and no doubt reacted to the most trying of events with a cool head, calling for backup and keeping his people safe for as long as he could. He met his fate with family close by: his wife's brother and close friend Jimmy Hopper also worked at Cantor.
Like all the heroes of 9/11, Richard lives on the memories of his loved ones, some of which have been graciously shared with the 9/11 Living Memorial. As he is remembered in his mass card : "Though his smile is gone forever, and his hand we cannot touch, still we have so many memories of the one we love so much. His memory is out keepsake with which we will never part. God has him in His keeping, we have him in our hearts."
MEMORIAL FOUNDATION EVENTS
Saturday, March 3, 2007
The Sean Caton Memorial Foundation Event: 6th Annual Mardi Gras Ball
Location: Grand Ballroom Park Ridge Marriott Park Ridge, NJ
Dinner, Dancing, Auction
$135.00 per person
RSVP February 25, 2007
"We have yet another wonderful night of fun and surprises in store. In the spirit of Mardi Gras, guests will once again be transported to a place filled with live music, beads, masks, trinkets, fine cuisine with a Cajun flair, hurricane drinks and much, much more! Those of you returning to our fabulous Bayou Bash know well what this night is
all about - to remember Sean and enjoy life to the fullest.
There is some added sentiment to the Sixth Annual Ball in that this past November marked what would have been Sean's 40th birthday. Sean preached about life's many little moments and urged us not to miss an opportunity to create a distinct moment, and then savor each and every one of them. So for this evening we encourage you to leave life's hassles and problems behind and enter the Mardi Gras Ball for the time of your life."
Thursday, March 22, 2007
The Tower Of Hope Fundraising Gala: "Lighting the Path"
Location: Puck Building's Sky Ballroom
$150 in advance and $175 at the door.
Founded in memory of Tom Sinton, the Tower of Hope Foundation raises money to underwrite the cost of training assistance animals to help humans in need. According to their website: "This will keep the memory of Tom alive by confronting hopelessness with
optimism, making a difference one person at a time." Their first annual gala event, Lighting the Path will feature cocktails and cuisine from some fo the best restaurants in New York; a silent auction featuring everything from spa packages to sports memorabilia; an exciting sweepstakes and great music. A considerable portion of the proceeds from this event will be granted to programs in which men and women in the armed services who have returned hom from Afghanistan and Iraq with single and double amputee injuries are given the opportunity to live independently through the use of a Service Dog.
9/11 REFORMS UPDATE
Senate Offers Its Own 9/11 Reform Bills In Response to H.R. 1
The Senate offered its own take on the remaining 9/11 Commission recommendations late last week, setting up conflict with the House on cargo safety, privacy and civil liberties, grant funding and other important issues. Three Senate bills are currently on the table, (S.4) an omnibus 9/11 reforms bill and two transportation security bills introduced in the Commerce Committee. Here is a brief run-down on some of the major differences between the House and Senate bills.
House (H.R. 1): 100% screening for explosives on cargo loaded in passenger airplanes by 2010. 100% radiation screening for cargo containers loaded at foreign shipping ports.
Senate (Commerce Committee): "High risk" cargo on passenger planes to be screened by 2010. Continuation of a pilot program that conducts test programs at three foreign ports to scan all cargo containers. If the tests prove viable, cargo scanning can be extended to other ports.
Key quote: "Securing our nation against the terrorist threat is the challenge of our age -- and it will be an ongoing challenge," Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-Ind. CT) in CongressDaily.
Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board:
House (H.R. 1): Make the board an independent agency inside the Executive Branch (it is currently part of the White House executive office) and give it full subpoena power,
Senate (S.4) Keep the board within the White House executive office and allow it to ask the attorney general to issue subpoenas. Congress would have to be notified if a subpoena request was denied or modified.
Key Quote: "The civil liberties board has got to alert us on the questions involving our civil liberties. What hasn't been done yet is to make sure that it's in the executive branch as a totally independent agency," 9/11 Commission Chair Thomas Kean in the Washington Post.
House (H.R. 1): Cut minimum grant for each state in "state homeland security grants" and "law enforcement terrorism prevention grants" significantly to 0.25 percent of the total. The House version places more emphasis on rating the risk factor - a formula that considers the intelligence threat, the locality's vulnerability and the consequences to its population and critical infrastructure of a terrorist attack. Such a formula tends to favor larger and more urban states, which have more Representatives in the House.
Senate (S.4): Calls for a per-state minimum of 0.45% of the total "state homeland security grants" and "law enforcement terrorism prevention grants" granted nationally. Also calls for a dramatic increase in the amount of funding authorized under the "emergency management performance grant" program, from $200 million this year to $913 million with a requirement that each state be given 0.75 percent of funding under the program. The Senate's grants would cost $3.105 billion for each of the next three years, according to Associated Press coverage. Though their formula is largely risk-based, the Senate is doing exactly what it's supposed to do: look out for the interests of small states.
Key quote: "Help us out. Give us congressional guidance [on funding]," DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff at a Senate hearing, quoted in CongressDaily.
GROUND ZERO UPDATE
Citing New GZ Health Study, Bloomberg Calls for $150 mil per year
A new study of health effects suffered by workers at the WTC site--and the spiraling cost of caring for them--has led Mayor Mike Bloomberg to call for a dramatic increase in federal funding. “What is unclear and can’t yet be possibly known are those illnesses that may appear in the future,” Mayor Bloomberg is quoted in New York Times coverage. “But that’s not going to stop us from caring for those who are sick today and building the capacity to identify and respond to illnesses that may reveal themselves tomorrow.”
Last September, Bloomberg established a task force to develop a coordinated plan for responding to the emerging health crisis. Their 83-page report (click to read the whole report) made several key findings (our bolds), including:
--There is no stable federal funding for 9/11 research and monitoring & treatment programs for first responders and the New York City Police Department (NYPD) has never received any federal funding for treatment or monitoring.
--The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) Medical Screening and Treatment program and the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring program at Mount Sinai are running out of operating funds.
--There is no federal funding for treatment of residents and other non first-responders. The World Trade Center Environmental Health Center at Bellevue Hospital is almost entirely City-funded and likely will need to be expanded. Many residents and other non-responders aren't aware of the Bellevue treatment program, or do not know that they are eligible to seek treatment.
--Although Red Cross funding for mental health treatment programs is ending, treatment
capacity likely will need to be expanded since World Trade Center-related mental health problems persist.
--There is no central and accessible source of information about World Trade Center health effects and treatment options. This leads to confusion, especially for those not participating in existing treatment programs or the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's World Trade Center Health Registry.
The panel made 15 recommendations to address the deficiencies in the program thus far and sustain them for the future. Most address the need for significant funding increases over the long term--up to $150 mil per year. Some recommendations, like the creation of a specific WTC Health liaison for the city, have already been approved by Mayor Bloomberg. He also endorsed the recommendation that Congress re-open the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) so that victims can get compensation for injuries suffered as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, even if they occured later. However, the city believes that reopening the VCF should close the books on thousands of lawsuits currently pending against the city and employers like Con Ed. Look for more information on the panel's recommendations--and their prospects for implementation--in next week's eNewsletter. Read more in a city press release.