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Thread: A Fallen Hero - Video Inside

  1. #291
    AuGmENTor Guest
    I will be going straight to jail if I ever cross paths with that motherfucker. What a horrid claim to make.

  2. #292
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Open Letter from 9/11 Rescue Worker to Rudy Giuliani


    Dear Rudy,

    My name is John Feal. I am a 9/11 responder who was horribly injured at Ground Zero during the clean and recovery. I spent 11 weeks in the hospital fighting for my life and lost half of my left foot. But please do not feel sorry for me.

    Yesterday in Ohio you praised yourself a hero and compared yourself to the real heroes of 9/11. You say you were there longer then most 9/11 responders -- that sir is an insult to the 9/11 community.

    The thousands of responders including the three in Michael Moore's movie SICKO got sick on your watch. And while you paraded around being hailed a hero, the real heroes of 9/11 got sicker and many have died. Regina Cervantes, Billy Maher, and John Graham are heroes -- they are my heroes -- and they were forced by our government's neglect and denial to seek help elsewhere. So what if it was Cuba? If your wife or son was sick, and you were told the only place to get your loved one help was in Cuba, I believe sir you would not hesitate. So whether it is Cuba, Russia, China, Mars, Venus... help is help. And the problem is not where they got help, but that our great country and federal government failed them. You failed the real heroes of 9/11, and the great people of New York and now you want to run this country.

    Attacking Michael Moore and the 9/11 responders is not the way for any self-proclaimed hero to act. Mr. Moore has helped these responders, has helped dozens more and is continuing to help these brave souls while elected officials sit idle and let heroes die.

    I implore you, Rudy Giuliani, to meet these three wonderful human beings. I implore you, Rudy Giuliani, to step up to the plate and grow a set of Abe Lincolns and help all 9/11 responders who got sick on your watch. Many more will die if our great nation and not-so-great leaders continue to leave great New Yorkers and Americans without care. Shame on you sir for being a poseur and trying to capitalize on your mistakes while thousands of true heroes get sicker.

    In closing, sir, I wish you great health and happiness, but not success in your presidential campaign unless you do what is morally right and start helping 9/11 heroes. If you couldn't help the people of our great city, then how in Sam Hill are you going to help the people of this country?

    Sincerely & God Bless,
    John Feal
    9/11 responder/advocate/founder of the Fealgood Foundation
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  3. #293
    AuGmENTor Guest
    Awsome letter John. I'm glad there are people like you in this world.

  4. #294
    Join Date
    Jan 2005


    August 12, 2007 -- The city-run $1 billion fund for claims by sick 9/11 responders has "screwed up" by failing to lock up at least $350 million in coverage, lawyers charge.

    The WTC Captive Insurance Co., run by the Bloomberg administration, failed to promptly notify insurers for the city's Ground Zero contractors that they could be on the hook for claims, the lawyers allege.

    Dozens of those insurers now say notice came too late for them to honor policies for millions of dollars in coverage for injured workers.

    The city may have now blown its chance to collect some $350 million in primary coverage for 9/11 workers with respiratory illness, cancer and other diseases from toxic exposure.

    "Their failure jeopardizes the ability to get the full compensation available for these heroes," said Paul Napoli, a lawyer for 10,000 cops, firefighters and other workers.

    "What a screw-up," said Napoli. "It's a major goof."

    Napoli has written to attorneys for the Captive, which manages $1 billion in 9/11 aid funded by Congress, threatening to sue them for malpractice.

    "We believe that both you and the Captive . . . are potentially liable for the amount of lost coverage," Napoli wrote. The Captive lawyers should have coordinated the notification of all insurance companies, he said.

    Many of those companies say they got first notice only recently - some as late as last month - years after the first lawsuits were filed.

    James Tyrrell, of Patton Boggs, a law firm that has collected millions in fees from the federal fund, denied any missteps.

    In a statement to The Post, Tyrrell said that while his firm defends the contractors, it has no responsibility to notify their insurance companies.

    But David Worby, a lawyer for the workers, charged Tyrrell is not doing his job: "His responsibility is to get as much insurance coverage as possible and to compensate the victims."

    The Captive recently sued several insurance giants, including Liberty Mutual and Lloyd's of London, for refusing to honor policies or to pay to defend more than 8,000 suits, forcing the Captive to spend millions more in taxpayer funds.

    Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and ranking member Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), have threatened to hold hearings on the Captive.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  5. #295
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Deadline extended for claims by 9/11 responders

    Gannett State Bureau
    Tuesday, August 14, 2007

    Thousands of police officers, firefighters, construction workers and volunteers who responded to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City have been given another year to register for federally funded worker's compensation benefits.

    Responders who aided in the rescue, recovery and cleanup efforts now have until Aug. 14, 2008, to register with the New York State Workers' Compensation Board to maintain eligibility for the federally funded benefits. Although an estimated 100,000 responded to the disaster, only 19,000 or so have registered.

    The deadline was originally today, but it was extended last month by New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer. State residency of responders does not matter when applying.

    New Jersey Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner David Socolow said people who participated in the efforts should register immediately, even if they currently show no signs of injury or illness.

    "People may feel, "I'm not sick, there's no need for me to do this.' We would say for your family, for your own sake, get registered now when you're not sick, so that if in the future you need to apply, you've got that out of the way," said Socolow.

    For those who are qualified, the program provides up to full cost of medical care for related injuries or illness and can pay two-thirds of a worker's weekly wage, up to $400 per week. Registering reserves a worker's right to file for an illness or injury at a later date and documents their participation in the response.

    Workers and volunteers who worked during the year after the 9/11 attacks anywhere in Manhattan south of Canal or Pike Streets, on the barge operation between Lower Manhattan and Staten Island, at the Staten Island Fresh Kills Landfill or at the New York City morgue or temporary morgue sites are eligible.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  6. #296
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    9/11 Health Worries Follow Giuliani

    Aug 15, 1:35 PM (ET)

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Rudy Giuliani's experience on Sept. 11 and at ground zero propelled him into presidential politics, yet by his own admission, it may also weaken his health - a key issue for any candidate seeking the White House.

    Just last week, Giuliani was criticized by some firefighter unions for suggesting he was at ground zero as much, if not more, than many rescue workers and exposed to the same health risks. He quickly backed off that statement, saying he misspoke.

    "I empathize with them, because I feel like I have that same risk," said Giuliani, who was at the World Trade Center almost immediately on Sept. 11, 2001, and was onsite many times a day after that.

    That assertion - made repeatedly by the former mayor over the years - could pose a different challenge in his quest for the White House, by suggesting he may not stay healthy through a presidential term that would begin in 2009.

    Giuliani, a 63-year-old cancer survivor, clearly wonders about his long-term health and that of his close aides who worked with him on Sept. 11, 2001 and after.

    "I'm sure that some of these people are going to have symptoms, and maybe it's not now. They're going to have them five years from now or 10 years from now," Giuliani said last year on the fifth anniversary of the attacks.

    Dr. Joan Reibman, who heads a city-funded program at Bellevue Hospital in New York to study the health effects of ground zero exposure, said she had no knowledge of Giuliani's health history or exposure, but that given his public presence at the site, he should probably be enrolled in the health monitoring program for ground zero workers and lower Manhattan residents.

    "I think he would have fit the criteria," said Reibman.

    Asked about his health, Giuliani said in a statement that he is not enrolled in one of the 9/11 related health program but does get regular medical checkups.

    "Today, I am fortunate that my health remains excellent, but I will continue to get regular checkups as I urge everyone to do," he said, and repeated a pledge to work for ground zero workers if elected president.

    "No one will be a stronger supporter for those brave men and woman in the White House than me. They need and deserve our full support," said Giuliani.

    Reibman, the ground zero doctor, said some trends have emerged among ground zero workers and nearby residents, but that much remains a mystery.

    "I suspect that if one didn't have respiratory illnesses that one probably won't develop them now," said Reibman. "But what about late emergent diseases? I don't think we have the answer to that. I think it's very important to monitor for those. There's a lot we still don't know."

    A major study by Mount Sinai Medical Center last year found 70 percent of ground zero workers suffered some form of lung problems - and experts there predicted thousands will either remain sick or get sick in coming years.

    Those statistics have already struck close to home for Giuliani: two deputy mayors were made sick by ground zero exposure, one so severely that he now receives workers compensation health benefits.

    Reibman said a number of factors determine whether the toxic soup at the World Trade Center site would make an individual sick: the specific contaminants around a person, the length of exposure, the intensity of the exposure, the amount of protective breathing apparatus worn by the individual, and an individual's pre-existing susceptibility to disease.

    "The amount of exposure is going to differ within the recovery and rescue workers, with residents, and with the people who worked downtown," said Reibman.

    For Giuliani, talking about his potential for future illness carries some political risks.

    "For a presidential candidate to say that he might be sick is obviously a mixed message," said Steven Cohen, a public affairs professor at Columbia University.

    "We want our presidential candidates to be healthy for at least eight more years, if not longer," said Cohen.

    Cohen argued that Giuliani's rhetoric has wandered from the original source of his Sept. 11-related popularity.

    "After 9/11 it really wasn't his work at the pit or anything that was the main positive aspect of his leadership, but the fact that he gave people confidence that they could resume normal life. That was unambiguous leadership at a time when it was really needed."

    Even that opinion is challenged by Giuliani's critics within the New York fire and police departments, some of whom never forgave him for pushing an ambitious cleanup schedule that, they charge, ignored the ongoing recovery of bodies at the site.

    Jimmy Riches, a deputy fire chief who spent months digging at ground zero for his firefighter son, scoffs at the very notion that Giuliani was at ground zero long enough to risk his health.

    "The longest time I saw him down there was when President Bush came to the site," said Riches. "He doesn't care about the first responders, he did nothing to help them when he was in office or after. He didn't give us respirators until November."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  7. #297
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    NYPD Program To Track Health of September 11 Officers

    Staff Reporter of the Sun
    August 13, 2007

    In the nearly six years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the city's conflict and grief over the health problems faced by those who cleaned up ground zero have often centered on the police officers who stood guard at the site and toiled on the pile.

    There was Detective James Zadroga, whose family succeeded in its fight to convince city officials that his death was linked to the toxic dust that swirled above the rubble, and Officer Christopher Hynes, whom the police department denied line-of-duty disability benefits for a lung disease he says he contracted from the dust.

    Now, for the first time, the police department is preparing to release its own study examining how the 34,000 officers who worked at the site have fared. Due out in October, the study is part of a ramped up effort by the department to start a monitoring program for police modeled on the twin programs of the fire department and Mount Sinai Hospital, which receive federal funding to track the health of workers and residents.

    But like nearly everything surrounding September 11 Â-- from the location of the anniversary ceremony to the use of ground zero imagery in the presidential campaign of Mayor Giuliani Â-- the study is already infused with controversy.

    Police doctors are seeking federal funding similar to what the existing two programs receive, but their effort has been stymied thus far, in part by accusations from some police unions and others that their research is not objective.

    "There's definitely a conflict of interest," the president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, Edward Mullins, said. "The people who would be overseeing our health are the same group of people who would be overseeing our disability claims."

    One of the authors of the study, the chief surgeon of the NYPD Medical Division, Dr. Eli Kleinman, has been named in a lawsuit by Officer Hynes, who says Dr. Kleinman is refusing to acknowledge that Officer Hynes's rare lung disease, sarcoidosis, was a result of the 111 hours he spent working on the pile. The officer is seeking $1,625 from the department to help him cover medical bills associated with his illness.

    Dr. Kleinman, who said he could not comment on the lawsuit, says the study is not meant to serve as evidence to defend the position of the police department or the Bloomberg administration, which has been hesitant to link some illnesses to ground zero.

    "There's no conflict of interest," Dr. Kleinman said. "Everybody has the same vested interest here, all New Yorkers."

    In an interview at his office in Queens a few days after Officer Hynes filed his lawsuit in June, Dr. Kleinman noted that he has a personal stake in the results of the study.

    On an end table near his desk, Dr. Kleinman keeps a framed picture of himself emerging from the cloud of smoke and dust on September 11, 2001; he had arrived at the World Trade Center to treat victims. In the photo, captured by a television news crew, he has broken glasses, a broken left arm, and no shoes.

    "It looks white, but it's totally black particulate matter. It's as if you were dropped into a vat of coffee grounds, that's the only way I can explain it," he said, describing the cloud billowing behind him in the photo. "You can no longer breathe. You can't see. I was holding my breath as long as I could."

    He compared his role in leading the study to that of the president of the Hair Club for Men: "Not only am I the president, I'm a customer."

    He also said he plays only an advisory role in the police department's resolution of line-of-duty disability claims, which pay out about 25% more than normal disability claims. Dr. Kleinman is a consultant to the independent medical board that reviews officers' claims, he said. The medical board makes recommendations to a pension board made up of both union and city officials, which has the final vote the approval or denial of claims. Dr. Kleinman said that in the event of a tie vote by the pension board, he would step in again as an adviser.

    So far, about 116 line-of-duty claims by police officers who responded to ground zero have been approved, according to numbers provided by the medical unit. More than 3,000 have yet to be resolved.

    Of the nearly 30 studies conducted on ground zero's impact on the health of workers and residents, the NYPD study is the second to look at the health of police officers exclusively.

    The other study that focused solely on police officers, led by researchers at Penn State University, showed that about 44% had shortness of breath more than a year later and 43% had the so-called World Trade Center cough.

    In 2002, a preliminary study of 600 police officers by the police surgeons showed that 38% were experiencing problems ranging from breathing issues to broken bones to post-traumatic stress syndrome, numbers that Dr. Kleinman said jibe with other research.

    He added that the combination of the department's methodology, based on tracking the health records of police officers in a huge database, and the similarity of police officers' lung function to that of the general public, makes the study unique.

    Nevertheless, the unions that represent the police say they do not trust the department or its study.

    "They're not acknowledging 9/11 claims," Mr. Mullins, a member of the bucket brigade that removed debris, said. "The department is resistant, and I think they're starting to soften up, but I don't think they're there yet."

    The biggest police union, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, which is backing the Hynes lawsuit, launched a campaign in its quarterly magazine this year criticizing the medical unit for conflicts of interest. The union has its own online registry to track reports by police officers of illnesses they believe are linked to ground zero. The administrator of the New York State Laborers' Health and Safety Fund, James Melius, said it is unlikely the police department will receive funding from Congress without the backing of the unions. Mr. Melius, who is chairman of the steering committee for the two existing federally funded programs, said that when the police department made the first public pitch for its monitoring program, in meetings with Congress in the spring, he discouraged lawmakers from allocating any of the already limited amount of World Trade Center funding to the police program. He said he believes the police department, which traditionally has not had a medical program as intensive as that of the fire department, is not well equipped to do the monitoring. He added that suspicion among police officers could also undermine its effort.

    "There certainly seems to be less trust of the police department medical program than there is of the firefighter program," Mr. Melius said. "It would be very hard, partly because of that distrust, for the police department to start up a program."

    Dr. Kleinman said he is not discouraged.

    He said of the unions: "They want total control of all medical information, which is self-serving. We want what's best for police officers."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  8. #298
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    Jan 2005
    American Hero Suffers For His Bravery

    Written by Dennis "DJ" Mikolay
    Wednesday, 15 August 2007

    These days, everyone's mind is focused on the war in Iraq, and the Americans who, everyday, face an uncertain future there. Indeed, some 3,680 American soldiers have already fallen victim to the war, and everyday brings news of a higher number. These, fallen soldiers, however, aren't the only victims of terrorism who must bravely face death on a regular basis.

    Far closer to home, those Americans who bravely dug through the rubble at Ground Zero shortly after the World Trade Center fell are still fighting. Many Americans struggled to survive on September 11, 2001. In total, the lives of some 2,974 people ended that day. For others, Ground Zero was only the beginning, the starting point on a deadly race against the odds. For these men and women, the fight to survive isn't over yet.

    The debate regarding whether exposure to chemicals at the World Trade Center site can lead to human deaths has been a hot topic over the past few years, with Felicia Dunn-Jones, who died of exposure some five months after the attacks, now being recognized as a September 11th victim, and Detective Kevin Hawkins, also at the scene, having recently passed of cancer (his family feels the illness was due to exposure at the site), there should be no denying that those who were America's heroes on September 11th may now need heroes of their own.

    Vito Valenti, a resident of New York, was a September 11thth, but now that Valenti has been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, and he needs a double lung transplant to survive, it seems that the Government is less willing to acknowledge this hero, turning a blind eye. responder who was at Ground Zero aiding in the rescue efforts after the towers fell. He may have survived the hell that was Ground Zero, but he now must struggle through everyday life, hoping that his scarred lungs will someday be replaced, or at least, acknowledged. People have had no problem admitting Vito Valenti was a hero on September 11

    To make a long and tragic story short, Valenti isn't on the transplant list and he doesn't have medical insurance. His only crime was a leave of absence from work, after the attack, during which time he suffered from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. He is currently breathing through a donated oxygen machine, as he can't afford his own: 2005 marked an end to health benefits for Valenti, who is himself, in far from perfect health.

    But where is the media coverage, where are all the human rights groups, where are the pickets and signs? And where are all the fellow 911 survivors? They are themselves, in many instances, also sick.

    Why has so little been said about this true heroes' ailment? Perhaps the situation is so tragic; we don't want to think about it. But every person who knows Valenti's story can no longer turn a blind eye or deaf ear.

    Valenti dug through the World Trade Center rubble due to his respect for human life...and now, it seems as though nobody in power respects his.

    Thousands of people lost loved ones of September 11th, and now the fateful day may very well claim yet another victim, one of many who will undoubtedly suffer in the years to come due to their heroic acts. Perhaps someday the Government will acknowledge these patriots, but Valenti cant wait that long.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  9. #299
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    'I believe my cancer is related to exposure to WTC dust and smoke.'

    By Etta Sanders

    The following opinion piece was written by Etta Sanders shortly before her death and was provided to the Trib by her husband, Andrew Weinstein.

    I believe I am the victim of the lies of my government. I live a short distance from the World Trade Center site. Ten days after the Sept. 11 attacks, my husband, our twin boys who had turned 3-years-old on Sept. 8, and I moved back into our home.

    For months, like so many of our neighbors, we worried about the air, kept our windows closed, ran air filters day and night, took the children out of the neighborhood to play outdoors and tried to believe what we were told—that the air was safe.

    Two years ago I was diagnosed with stage IV, metastatic lung cancer. Inoperable. Incurable. Since then I have responded well to a series of treatments, chemotherapy and recently approved pills. I have been able to maintain a normal life—working, traveling, caring for my family. My condition has now worsened and the possible treatment options are running out.

    I strongly believe my cancer is related to exposure to World Trade Center dust and smoke. If the government had said we’re not sure about the safety of the air and it would be prudent for residents to stay away, I don’t think I would have this cancer.

    Now I will not see my beautiful boys grow up. No high school or college graduations, school trips, summer vacations, no weddings, no grandchildren. Mom won’t be there to cheer at piano recitals or ballgames. Mom won’t be there to comfort them after a hard day or a bad dream. I won’t grow old with my beloved husband, who has cared for all of us with remarkable strength. We have had almost 30 fabulous years together. I was hoping for 50 or 60.

    I have kept quiet about my illness until now for a couple of reasons. One is that I am a mostly private person. I shied away from the idea of being talked about. The main reason was that we wanted to control what our children knew and how they were told. We were concerned that the more people who knew, the greater the chance someone would inadvertently say something frightening or inaccurate to them.

    But I also know as a nearly 30-year resident of small town lower Manhattan, and after five years at P.S. 234, that our family is part of a warm, caring and supportive community. Andrew and I take great comfort and solace in that knowledge.

    I am very grateful to Carl and April who have allowed me to contribute to what is simply the best community newspaper. I am constantly impressed by the high quality of the Trib. It is a treat to read it every month. They provide a true service to the community. I feel privileged to have been a part of it.

    The truth is that I have had a wonderful and very lucky life, except for this bit here at the end.

    I dearly hope that I am in a small minority of people who were so gravely harmed by the aftermath of the WTC attacks, but I fear otherwise. Whether the numbers are large or small, the U.S. government is culpable for that harm and there must be compensation for all victims and their families.

    Frankly, I don’t know how Christine Todd Whitman lives with herself.

    At a recent community board committee meeting, there was a presentation by someone from the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation. At the end, a board member asked if there would be room on the wall of victims’ names for those who died after the attacks from toxic exposures (a few days later the first such victim was added). It was a chilling thought. There will be more names.

    But I think we need a separate wall for those whose deaths were not caused by a direct act of terrorism, but by the actions of a cavalier government.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  10. #300
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

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