Photo: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
There was only one news item last week and we deferred commenting to make it the focus of this week’s issue instead. The announcement at the end of February that FEMA had redrawn the flood zone maps for Lower Manhattan has tremendous implications for the World Trade Center. But two weeks later, there has been very little discussion of what this news could mean for all of us. Since the public is the project’s de facto guarantor, that is disturbing.
The term “sandbagging” generally refers to the process of thwarting something that would otherwise naturally take place. It comes from the way sandbags thwart the action of flood waters. But in the case of the World Trade Center the real sandbagging takes place behind closed doors where, instead of keeping water out, the Port Authority Commissioners keep the public out. MORE…
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
The Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFERL) report on the so-called progress at Ground Zero is remarkable when compared to the usual media hype. And the first sentence couldn’t be plainer: “The day the Twin Towers fell, then New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani declared that they would rise again.” It goes on to remind us that America’s Mayor promised us: “We will rebuild… We’re going to come out of this stronger than before — politically stronger, economically stronger. The skyline will be made whole again.”
That’s what most of us wanted and expected, but not what we got. There was only one way to make the skyline whole again. Regardless of the parsing that came after the fact, it is clear that Mayor Giuliani was pledging to Americans and the world that they would see triumphant new Twin Towers rise — not some generic Trade Center. MORE…
Related Reading: RFERL | “My Twin Towers“
Crain’s New York Business
The tagline of this piece says it all: “In moving to protect the city from the next superstorm, city officials could cue a power struggle that would likely result in long delays and massive headaches.”
This is what editorial comment is supposed to do — connect the present to the past in a way that could make a difference for the future. To assign the enormous folly behind the WTC expense and delay to a power struggle makes it particularly offensive. The commentary is well worth reading — as is the “outerborough rant” that appears in the comments and below. It is vintage New York:
“We cannot allow the NYC cabal of developers, unions, shyster attorneys, compliant donation hungry politicians, and their minions to hijack, inflate, and ultimately, hurt the recovery efforts. As mentioned, we have seen how the reputations of all New Yorkers have suffered because of the piggy, schnorrer-like behavior of the cabal post-WTC. All the goodwill, care, and affection shown to us by our fellow Americans after that cataclysmic event have dissipated because of these disgusting human vultures. They should rot on the streets of Staten Island, Queens, and Long Island.”
The problem is, we do allow it. Why isn’t everyone as mad as that guy? Why aren’t the editorial pages full of outrage over what happened and is still happening at the WTC? The only way to put power-mongers in their place is to refuse to let them get away with the swindle at Ground Zero. Only by identifying the malefactors and analyzing the true cost to our pocketbooks and our spirits will others be put on notice.