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Thread: A Fallen Hero - Video Inside

  1. #441
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    Bush's EPA and the Post-9/11 Toxic Air Cover-Up
    Lying to "Reassure" the Public

    http://www.counterpunch.org/orkin12152007.html

    By JENNA ORKIN
    12/15/2007

    Might it sometimes be appropriate for the government to lie in order to reassure the public? Asked this question during a Court of Appeals hearing yesterday in Benzman vs. EPA, the case brought by residents, students and office workers exposed to and in many cases sickened by the environmental hazards following 9/11,* EPA lawyer Alisa Klein answered, "Yes."

    Competing interests such as the economy or the "return to normalcy" [sic] might supercede that of public health, she argued.

    There's no question that Ms. Klein accurately represented EPA's position. In addition to their compelling urge to reopen Wall St. ASAP after 9/11, the protocols they have developed to respond to a dirty bomb also take into account the economic import of the area exposed, regardless of the fact that an area that's important to the economy will also be more densely populated.

    Accepting, for the moment, the mindbending reasoning that requires us to be reassured by a government which has admitted that it will lie whenever it feels like it, let us turn now to some situations in which said government has seen fit not to reassure us but in fact, to scare the sh*t out of us.

    The lead-up to the Iraq war, when Condoleeza Rice dropped a metaphorical bomb into the conversation with her allusion to a mushroom cloud, comes to mind, as do the "Hoo-oo-oo - Be very afraaaaid" references at the time to chemical and biological weapons labs.

    Ditto Iran, up until last week.

    Then there are all those toys with kooties and that contaminated toothpaste from China. I'm not saying they're safe. I'm just wondering why they've garnered such prompt headlines while the press on American products such as Zonolite has traditionally been sluggish, never mind Agent Orange and depleted uranium. Some of the interests that have rightly decried lead-contaminated toys from China have, on the other hand, put up the strongest resistance to changing the lead laws in New York City housing, for example. (Also compare the press on avian flu with that on the numerous offenses of the American food industry.)

    And remember the good old days of Homeland Security orange alerts and Osama's sneak previews? The ones that tended to come just before an election or some other sensitive event?

    They don't fall into the category of reassurance but doubtless those in charge knew what they were doing those times also.

    The government may not be consistent about wanting to reassure us but it certainly is consistently entertaining.

    *I am one of the original plaintiffs in the case.

    Jenna Orkin, founder of the World Trade Center Environmental Organization, is one of twelve original plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against the EPA. She can be reached at: Jennakilt@aol.com
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  2. #442
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    It's good to hear from Jenna.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  3. #443
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    9/11 HERO MEETS HIS 'CELL' MATE
    TRANSPLANT MIRACLE

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/12172007...mate_11157.htm

    By SUSAN EDELMAN
    12/17/2007

    December 17, 2007 -- It took a stranger from across the Atlantic to save the life of 9/11 hero and retired NYPD Detective John Walcott.

    Walcott, 43, who was stricken with leukemia in May 2003, had received an NYPD line-of-duty disability pension for his 9/11 rescue and recovery work.

    But it was Olaf Gierszewski, now 38, a petty officer in the German Navy, who came to Walcott's rescue in an unusual international stem-cell transplant.

    The pair recently met.

    "We saw each other from a distance and connected instantly," Walcott said of the moment he spotted Gierszewski on a pier in Hamburg, Germany.

    "For the first few minutes, we just hugged."

    After a shipmate took ill in 1999, Gierszewski signed up with the German DKMS, the Bone Marrow Donor Center, which has a registry of 1.6 million possible donors.

    The group has a Manhattan-based branch, DKMS Americas.

    But it wasn't until October 2003 that the sailor got a call from his commanding officer, who told him, "Somebody is sick. You seem to be a match."

    Without hesitation, Gierszewski underwent a five-hour procedure to extract his blood and run it through a machine that removes white cells.

    Those cells were jetted to America and given to Walcott in a blood transfusion after his chemotherapy.

    With the one-in-a-million match, Walcott, who lives in Rockland County, was given new hope to live.

    Gierszewski's stem cells "acted like a Pac-Man to kill any remaining cancer cells and jump-start my own cells," said Walcott, the father of a 5-year-old girl.

    His leukemia has remained in remission since.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  4. #444
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    A Giant cause
    Martin walks for Ground Zero victims; Fine 15, more

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200.../12/16/week15/

    Posted: Monday December 17, 2007 9:44AM; Updated: Monday December 17, 2007 10:00AM

    BRUCETON, Tenn. -- "Ladies and gentleman,'' the Northwest flight attendant intoned last Wednesday evening, "our scheduled flight time from New York to Memphis today is two hours and 39 minutes. And if you're one of our valued WorldPerks members, you'll be credited with 986 miles for this flight.''

    That's when it hit me: My God, George Martin has walked this. All of it.

    You may remember Martin as a 14-year New York Giant, an athletic defensive end who had a few moments of fame, including his sack of John Elway just before halftime of Super Bowl XXI; the safety started the G-men on a run of 26 unanswered points that opened the door to a 39-20 win. Martin is doing something slightly more important now.

    I'm taking a detour from the games and the stars (and I promise, Jamal Lewis' resurgence and piling onto Bobby Petrino, and the Dolphins breaking the schneid and other news of the day is coming) to start the column this week with a message from the real world, way out here in rural west Tennessee.

    Martin began walking from New York to San Francisco in September, and on Thursday, with me and an HBO crew in tow, he walked the 1,000th mile of his trip just outside this little town. (You can see a profile of Martin's walk Wednesday night on HBO's Inside the NFL' show. You can even see me keeping up with him for all of Thursday's 18 miles. And let me tell you, the man can walk.)

    Martin is walking to raise money and awareness for the mental and physical health problems that first-responders to the terrorist attacks at Ground Zero have suffered. Martin has raised $1.5 million of his $10 million goal; matching donors at three New York-area hospitals will boost the count to $3 million. Approximately 40,000 firefighters, police, EMS and volunteers have been affected by the inhalation of toxic contaminants from the pulverized buildings -- and have contracted lung disease and even cancer -- because most worked without protective masks. Even worse, some of those workers don't have health insurance, and a majority have inadequate health insurance to deal with the onslaught of new treatments they must use to stave off disease. At least eight first-responder deaths, including one of a nun, have been directly connected to ground-zero poisoning.

    "Have you watched film of that day?'' Martin asked when we met on this morning. "Watch the scenes of all the people running from the site .Thousands of them. Then watch the people who are actually running toward the site, and watch the firefighters running into the buildings.

    "It astounds me. It's so counter-intuitive. But have we forgotten the events of that horrible day? Have we grown tired of the aftermath? If so, shame on us. When the first fatality came, it barely caused a whimper in the media. But I was touched deeply.''

    He had to do something. But what? Run a golf tournament to raise money for the second wave of 9/11 victims? A banquet?

    I covered Martin late in his Giants career. The lithe defensive end was 32 when I met him, and the most mature man in the locker room. Some young teammates called him Pops. He was the cool head. Bill Parcells always thought if he coached one player who was going to save the world, it would be Martin. He started to, with the Giants, partnering with Fairleigh Dickinson University to get players to earn the degrees they never did at their original colleges; 16 teammates completed their schoolwork because of that program. The son of a South Carolina sharecropper, he lived the first 12 years of his life with a heavy sense of wanderlust tied to a 25-acre plot of ground; the family later moved to California, and he was a basketball and football player at Oregon before getting drafted by the Giants in 1975.

    "I was an impressionable kid,'' he said. "I grew up in the time of the Kennedys. And I was really struck by two things they said. President Kennedy said, 'Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.' Bobby said, 'Some men see things as they are and say why? I dream of things that never were and say why not.' I met people, healthy people in their 40s and 50s, who can't walk up stairs anymore, who have to decide whether to spend the money they have on medicine or food but sometimes not both. If I didn't do something to help this issue, then I wasn't the man I thought I was.''

    These people need money, Martin thought, and not just $200,000. They need big money. He thought, "I've got do something big" and then, "This country needs to be reminded of the suffering of these heroes, and we've got to urge those in government to not forget them."

    So he took a leave from his job as a vice president at AXA Equitable in New York to walk 3,300 miles -- from the George Washington Bridge to the Golden Gate Bridge, via the southern route because he'd be walking in the fall and winter. He decided he would do every interview, talk to everyone he met along the way about the issue, and stop at schools to spread the word. In essence, he set out to do something Kennedyesque.

    Which brings us to Tennessee last Thursday. We started in Camden, in Benton County, on state highway 641 south just outside the Faith Christian Fellowship Church, on day number 56 of his walk (he has taken some days off for personal events, like the his son's wedding).

    There was nothing momentous about our walk. We just walked, the two of us, and talked. "If I wrote a book about this,'' he said, "I'd have a chapter called 'Road Kill.' I've seen it all out here. Deer, possum, armadillo, snakes, squirrel, skunk. In Virginia, we were walking and all of a sudden out of the brush ahead of us comes this giant thing. It just wanders into the middle of the road. We get close enough to see it, and it's a hog. A 400-, 450-pound hog. Traffic stops. An 18-wheeler has to brake to stop from hitting it. The thing just sniffs the air for a while, doesn't smell anything like food, and goes back where it came from.''

    That was the conversation much of the day. Anything goes. Ten times he found some reason to come back to the cause. "The people have been amazing,'' he said. "The heartland is amazing. I'm walking one day, and an 18-wheeler stops and pulls over and the drivers leans out and says, 'You're George Martin.' I said, 'Yes I am, sir.' He says, 'I heard about what you're doing. Do you take donations?' And he gives me one right there. A couple of days ago, a pickup pulls over and the guy gets out, tells me how proud he is of what I'm doing and gives me $20. A while later, the same guy come back -- I guess he was ashamed of his original donation -- and gives me $100 more. These people understand sacrifice, and they don't forget what makes this country great.''

    This is how much we walk: A reporter from a paper in Benton County pulls over on the side of the road a mile into the morning's walk, just after we turn onto U.S. 70, and asks Martin what he's doing. That afternoon, around 4, a reporter from the next county's paper, in Carroll County, is waiting by the side of the road where another impromptu interview happens.

    He talks about the impact of Bill Parcells a lot. "Every day I think about him, and about the lessons he taught me about so many things,'' Martin said. "Sometimes I'll be out here on the road and he'll call me. The other day he called and said, 'Hey Martin, you gotta get out of Tennessee! Winter's coming.' Bill's been great. He's the one who made the donation that got us over $1 million.''

    Parcells gave $10,000. Jim Fassel and Mark Bavaro have also given.

    At one point on this 41-degree, raw, slate-gray day, Martin and I walk for at least four miles without seeing any man-made structures. We're walking through the woods, on a ribbon of asphalt. For an hour. And Martin loves it. "I haven't regretted the decision once. Not one time," he said. "I really consider it a blessing.'' And his health is good. It's amazing, but he has no strains, no sore back, nothing.

    Martin travels with a medical technician to make sure that he's properly hydrated, a former New York City cop who walks with him and provides security, and an advance man to help with publicity and the scouting of the routes. On this day, Lee Reeves, the advance man, has arranged for Martin to meet the police, fire and EMS workers in Bruceton (pop. 1,554), a railroad burg on the Big Sandy River, then to speak an impromptu school assembly at the K-12 school in town.

    The school principal has downloaded Martin's theme song, "Walk a Mile in My Shoes,'' and it's playing when he walks into the gym. When Martin takes the mike, you can tell he's done this before. He tells the kids people have called him a hero, but he never saved anyone's life or taught classes how to read. Those are the heroes, he tells the kids.

    And he has the kids give ovations to the police and fire and EMS workers, and another one to the teachers. The kids are rapt. And he tells them why he's making the walk, to help people like the one who protect them every day.

    Then he takes the police, fire and EMS folks out to lunch at a Mexican place. He's in no hurry. The mayor comes by to say hello. By 2:15, he's stretching again, then back on the road, where he sees an Amish family clip-clop by in their horse-and-buggy. "I don't know there were Amish people here,'' he said. "You find out a lot you didn't know by taking this walk.''

    Late in the afternoon, we pass a little ranch home, well-kept, with a pond in the front yard and a swing set on the side of the house. Martin stops on the side of the road and motions to the house. "See, something like this, it's beautiful,'' he said. "I've seen places like this a thousand times on this trip, but never one exactly like this. It's all new to me. I love it.''

    Martin is looking for a hotel sponsor, to house his small crew along the way. He's looking for a gas sponsor for his two support vehicles. I asked Martin how the people who read this column could help his cause.

    "People are in awe of the feat, of someone walking from New York to California,'' he said. "But that doesn't help us achieve our objective. Tell people to go to ajourneyfor 911.info and please help the people who put their lives on the line for us --and are paying so dearly for it now.''

    'Tis the season.

    If you believe in what Martin is doing, or if you love where you live, or both, ajourneyfor911.info should be your first stop today. Click on the donate bar. One man can make a difference. And you can help him prove it.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  5. #445
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    Senate Approves Additional Funding For 9/11 Workers

    http://www.ny1.com/ny1/content/index...=203&aid=76737

    December 19, 2007

    The Senate gave final approval Wednesday to funding health care for September 11th terror attack workers.

    Lawmakers, including Senators Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer, say $108 million in federal funding is being earmarked to address the health issues of first responders on 9/11.

    This amount will be added to $50 million that was provided in the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill earlier this year.

    The Health Department is also urging adults enrolled in the World Trade Center health registry to complete the follow-up survey by the December 31st deadline. The department says the survey is the best way to monitor their health conditions.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  6. #446
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    N.Y.C. Marathon big, FDNY 9/11 vet, dies

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2008..._vet_dies.html

    By Jotham Sederstrom
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

    Tuesday, January 1st 2008, 4:00 AM

    Victor Navarra, a veteran firefighter who was start coordinator of the New York City Marathon and helped create the Tunnel to Towers Run, has died of cancer at age 55.

    The Staten Island native died Sunday of head and neck cancer he believed was caused by his work at Ground Zero, his family said. He was diagnosed in 2005.

    "Until his death, he was a very healthy person who never smoked, never drank and had a history of relatives who lived into their late 80s and 90s," said family friend Terry Raskyn.

    The avid runner volunteered for the marathon in 1981 and became start coordinator in 1983. He became so good at it that other cities turned to him for advice, a gift he spun into a successful race consulting firm.

    Navarra lost his vision because of cancer, but still attended the marathon in November as his wife, Joanne, coordinated the start of the race.

    Navarra helped create the Tunnel to Towers Run with the family of a firefighter who died on 9/11.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  7. #447
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    CHARTING POST-9/11 DEATHS

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/01062008...ths_653043.htm

    By SUSAN EDELMAN

    January 6, 2008 -- At least 204 Ground Zero rescue and recovery workers have died since 9/11 - succumbing to a range of cancers and other ailments, according to preliminary results of a state Health Department study.

    Researchers have confirmed 98 fatalities so far with death certificates. They show that 77 died of illnesses, including 55 from lung and various other cancers, the lead researcher told The Post.

    Traumatic injuries, such as from car crashes or gunshots, killed the other 21, including three suicides. Five deaths were homicides - four of them cops in the line of duty.

    "We're not saying they are all World Trade Center related; we're just saying this is what people are dying from," said Dr. Kitty Gelberg, the state Bureau of Occupational Health's chief epidemiologist.

    The WTC Fatalities study, launched a year ago, expects to collect many more names of deceased 9/11 responders over the next 18 months.

    "I think it's underreported right now," Gelberg said of the 204 figure. "We want to know about anyone who worked there and died."

    Of those deaths, about a third occurred in New York City, a third in Long Island or upstate, and the rest in 15 other states.

    The FDNY, the NYPD, the WTC Medical Monitoring Program at Mount Sinai Hospital, and the city's WTC Health Registry have yet to share their data, pending negotiations on patient confidentiality, Gelberg said.

    Lawyers for 10,000 WTC responders or their families who have filed toxic-injury suits have turned over names on the condition that the next of kin not be contacted, she said.

    The study received a $165,000 federal grant and authority to obtain medical records, autopsies and death certificates. Researchers are also interviewing relatives but will not release any names, Gelberg said.

    Several of the 55 responders who died of cancer had the disease before 9/11, but the majority developed it afterward, Gelberg said. After 19 cases of lung cancers, the second-largest cause of death was heart disease, including 10 heart attacks.

    susan.edelman@nypost.com
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  8. #448
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    9/11 Health Effects Persist

    http://www.newuniversity.org/checkDB.php?id=6377

    By Daniel Johnson
    1/7/2008

    A new study helmed by Alison Holman, professor in nursing science at UC Irvine, shows that stress responses linked to the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 are greater than previously thought.

    The study shows that the attacks have been connected with a 53 percent increase in cardiovascular ailments in the three years following the events, according to a UCI press release.

    These findings contrast considerably with an earlier study that showed 17 percent of America’s population outside of New York had reported post-traumatic stress symptoms in the months following the attacks.

    Holman commented on the groundbreaking nature of the study, as well as the impact the events of 9/11 had on individuals not immediately connected with the tragedy.

    “Our study is the first to show that even among people who had no personal connection to the victims, those who reported high levels of post-traumatic stress symptoms in the days following the 9/11 attacks were more than twice as likely to report being diagnosed by their doctors with cardiovascular ailments like high blood pressure, heart problems and stroke up to three years later,” Holman said.

    The study consisted of a randomly selected body of 2,000 volunteers from across the United States.

    According to the UCI press release the participants filled out surveys that included questions that indicated whether they had stress-related responses, continuing concerns about such issues as terrorism, and medically diagnosed ailments.

    With close to 3,000 deaths resulting from the events of Sept. 11, the gravity of the attacks cannot be denied. For this reason, among others, 9/11 has become one of the defining traumatic events of the decade on a global scale.

    According to Angela Wang, president of the Public Health Association at UCI and a fourth-year public health policy major, traumatic events generally contribute to stress on an emotional and physical level, which can linger on for years.

    “Traumatic events can contribute to the usual stress by disrupting our emotional and physical being. Even years later, people can still have flashbacks of the events,” Wang said.

    Wang gave specifics concerning the emotional and physical reactions caused by traumatic events and confirmed their connection to cardiovascular difficulties, as was similarly stated in the UCI study.

    “Emotionally, you may experience mood swings, anxiety and sometimes depression. Physically, as you think back to the event your body may [experience] shock and become numb.

    Even worse, your heartbeat may increase and you develop a difficulty in breathing,” Wang said. Wang went on to note a list of seven side effects caused by traumatic events.

    These effects include an increased difficulty in decision-making, a disruption in sleep and eating patterns, becoming distant with family and friends, suffering panic disorders and depression, a tendency toward substance abuse, chronic sleep deprivation and having relationship problems when support is needed.

    Although such concerns as terrorism have lingered on past the Sept. 11 attacks, on a global scale many health ailments go untouched by such issues.

    Vy-van Tran, co-president of the World Health Organization of Students at UCI and a fourth-year biological sciences major, addressed how many suffer throughout the world from diseases such as huntington’s disease, muscular dystrophy and juvenile diabetes that are in no immediate way tied to traumatic events such as those caused by terrorism.

    “Honestly, I can’t say that terrorism has been a contributing factor for the health issues we’ve discussed. It hasn’t really come up, but it’s an interesting idea to think about,” Tran said.

    Still, despite admitting a lack of medical expertise on the issue, Tran believes that continuing stresses over terrorism can negatively affect both an individuals’ mental and physical health.

    “I think, to some extent, the stresses of terrorism can play a significant role in health, but I’d think that mental health rather than physical health would be impacted more,” Tran said.

    Unlike many who took part in the study, Tran noted her personal experience of having a distant feeling to the Sept. 11 attacks and went on to hypothesize why many may feel this way.

    “I think the level of stress someone may have felt from the attacks is probably correlated to how close they were to them … [such as] if a loved one was lost in the attacks or was sent overseas as a result of the attacks,” Tran stated.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    9/11 INJURY-FUND OVERSEER QUITS

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/01092008...its_922138.htm

    By SUSAN EDELMAN

    January 9, 2008 -- The controversial head of the fund set up to pay medical expenses for 9/11 heroes - who has fought nearly every claim while collecting a $350,000-a- year salary - is stepping down.

    Christine LaSala, president and CEO of the $1 billion World Trade Center Captive Insurance Co., submitted her resignation effective July 1 - or as soon as a replacement is found.

    Sources told The Post yesterday that LaSala, 57 - who has also been condemned for spending exorbitant sums on lawyers and consultants - was pressured to leave by the Bloomberg administration, which governs the fund.

    But the city Law Department issued a statement denying she was forced out, adding, "the city deeply regrets [her] departure."

    She declined to comment beyond issuing a statement saying: "After nearly four years at the WTC Captive, I have concluded that this is an appropriate point to resume my retirement."

    Her resignation comes a month after The Post reported that the fund for rescue and recovery workers spent more than $100 million, mainly on high-priced lawyers and consultants, as of Sept. 30. But it paid out just $320,000 to six workers with orthopedic injuries.

    She also came under fire after the embarrassing disclosure that the fund picked up a $1,390 tab for cocktails for six at Sir Harry's in the Waldorf-Astoria and dinner for eight at posh Giovanni Ristoranti. The guests were lawyers and Captive executives.

    When confronted with receipts, the fund said it would ask the lawyers to pay back the liquor costs.

    In her statement, LaSala praised herself for "prudent management" of the fund.

    LaSala's departure comes as Manhattan federal judge Alvin Hellerstein steps up efforts to settle 8,600 claims of respiratory or toxic injuries.

    Congress members in New York welcomed her exit.

    "If the Captive is going to keep refusing sick workers' claims, it would be cheaper just to buy a rubber stamp," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan).

    "The hundreds of thousands of dollars she's been paid over the last several years could have done a world of good for suffering 9/11 heroes."

    Rep. Jerrold Nadler, whose district includes Ground Zero, blasted "a process that has been too slow and cumbersome to help those who need help."

    susan.edelman@nypost.com
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    NJN News Covers School Kids Raising Money For The FealGood Foundation

    Click Here (GooTube)

    The coverage starts at 23minutes into the clip. This is really cool to see. Those kids and their teacher should be very proud of themselves.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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