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Thread: A Fallen Hero - Video Inside

  1. #111
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    Key Senator Backs Aid For 9/11 Workers
    California Democrat Barbara Boxer Endorses Clinton Plan To Help Sick Ground Zero Workers

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/...n2231140.shtml

    12/5/2006

    (AP) The U.S. government should provide health care for sick ground zero workers, the incoming head of the Senate's environment committee said Tuesday, vigorously endorsing presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's plan for a long-term care program for workers who fell sick after removing the debris of the Sept. 11, 2001 attack sites.

    Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, in a wide-ranging discussion as she prepares to become chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee next month, told The Associated Press that sick ground zero workers deserve long-term care.

    "We are taking care of the families who lost loved ones and nobody complains about that," Boxer told the AP. "Why wouldn't we take care of the people who are surviving and coughing and sick — and dying, I might add — as a result of their work? To me it's clear, I don't have any hesitation about what our obligation is."

    Boxer's declaration is a big boost to sick workers and New York lawmakers, including Clinton and New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer, who have badgered the Republican Congress and the Bush administration for years to do more for those who toiled on the toxic debris pile.

    The soon-to-chairwoman also indicated she would follow Clinton's lead on the issue. In the new Democratic Senate, Clinton will chair a subcommittee under Boxer on environmental clean up issues.

    "This is Hillary's domain, and I have told her I will be supporting everything that she and Chuck want to do," Boxer said.

    Doctors found thousands of ground zero workers suffered a variety of ailments, principally lung and gastrointestinal disorders. The demands for treatment grew more urgent after the January death of 34-year-old former NYPD detective James Zadroga was blamed on his exposure at the site.

    Clinton has estimated that each sick worker would need an average of about $5,800 a year in health care.

    After Sept. 11, 2001, the government spent $90 million on health monitoring programs and this year spent an additional $75 million — the first federal dollars specifically for treatment. Health experts estimate that funding could run out in about a year.

    "If you worked in a federally declared disaster area as a worker and you suffered harm," Boxer said, "you should have the help that you need in the immediate time to get well and then a follow-on through your whole life. It's no different really than putting yourself on the line in the military."

    Boxer declared 9/11 health care "unfinished business," saying: "We definitely owe them the help to get well, yes, because they were down there because we were attacked."

    Last September, just after the fifth anniversary of the attacks, Clinton offered an amendment on the Senate floor proposing a $2 billion program to provide health care for sick ground zero workers and lower Manhattan residents affected by the debris from the crushed remnants of the World Trade Center.

    Boxer spoke in support of that legislation, chastising Republicans for praising first responders but not paying more for their care, saying on the Senate floor at the time: "Words are cheap."

    A study of nearly 10,000 ground zero workers by Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York found most suffered some lung problems and many would remain sick the rest of their lives.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    9/11 first responders to speak at Pitt State

    http://www.morningsun.net/stories/12...61206005.shtml

    BY KATIE STOCKSTILL
    THE MORNING SUN
    12/6/2006

    Although the 9/11 attacks occurred over five years ago, the stories of those who put themselves in danger are still vivid.

    Two first responders to the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City will be sharing their stories at 7 p.m. today at the Pittsburg State University Overman Student Center Crimson and Gold Ballroom.

    The public is invited to attend the presentation, which will feature former National Guardsman David Miller and former New York policeman Craig Bartmer.

    Miller and Bartmer will share their experiences and stories from the rescue missions and the health problems, caused by the rubble of the attacks, that are currently affecting both men. The men will also talk about the current push for a deeper investigation into the attacks, the rescue attempts and those affected by their involvement in the event.

    The presentation is sponsored by The Constitutional Freedom Society of Pittsburg.

    There is no charge for the event.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    EPA: Final WTC cleanup to begin in 2007

    http://www.newsday.com/news/local/ne...-top-headlines

    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
    December 6, 2006, 2:55 PM EST

    WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will launch its final Sept. 11 contamination cleanup program next month, more than five years after the attacks and following years of criticism the agency still has not done enough.

    The $7 million (€5.3 million) cleanup will test indoor spaces in lower Manhattan and will allow residents and building owners to have the air and dust in their living spaces tested for four contaminants linked to debris from the collapse of the World Trade Center towers.

    The four contaminants are asbestos, fiberglass, lead, and polycyclic armoatic hydrocarbons.

    The testing program's two-month registration period will begin in January, officials said.

    "It is time to begin this final phase in EPA's response to the terrorist attacks of September 11," the agency's regional administrator, Alan Steinberg, said in a statement.

    "The vast majority of occupied residential and commercial spaces in lower Manhattan have been repeatedly cleaned, and we believe the potential for exposure related to dust that may remain from the collapse of the World Trade Center building is low," said EPA official Dr. George Gray.

    Officials could not say whether the new testing and cleaning program would be larger or smaller than the EPA effort in 2002 and 2003, which visited more than 4,000 units. They said the amount of testing and cleanup would depend largely on how many people call the agency's hotline to sign up for testing, but noted the cleanup cost is expected to be about $4 per square foot.

    The announcement comes a day after the incoming head of the Senate Environment Committee, Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrast, said she would push for full health coverage for ground zero workers sickened by their time at the disaster site.

    Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, both Democrats, have led a chorus of New York lawmakers complaining that the EPA did not live up to its responsibilities to protect public health in the hours, days, and months after Sept. 11.

    The issue has also spawned an ongoing lawsuit in federal court against the EPA and then-administrator Christie Todd Whitman.

    Nadler angrily dismissed the testing plan announced Wednesday.

    "It's the same crap, the same phony cleanup, like the phony cleanup they did back in 2002," fumed Nadler, whose congressional district includes the ground zero site.

    He has long argued that the testing area in lower Manhattan is arbitrary and does not reflect how far the dust traveled.

    "We now have a Democratic majority in the Congress, and we will be holding hearings about this," Nadler said.

    Clinton has called the EPA's new testing plan "incredibly frustrating and disappointing" because it does not expand the area tested. She charges that the agency "is essentially throwing up its hands and washing them of this problem."

    The lawmakers' fight with the administration on 9/11 health matters began after the EPA asserted within days of the terrorist attacks that the dust from 1.8 million tons of World Trade Center debris posed no public health threat.

    An inspector general's investigation concluded those assurances were issued after the agency was pressured by White House officials.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  4. #114
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    9/11 responders speak at PSU

    http://www.morningsun.net/stories/12...61207003.shtml

    BY KATIE STOCKSTILL
    THE MORNING SUN
    12/7/2006

    Many first responders to the 9/11 attacks in New York risked their lives to save others.

    But now, many of those rescue workers are fighting for their own lives.

    David Miller and Craig Bartmer both responded to the World Trade Center attacks.

    Miller and Bartmer made the trip to Pittsburg Wednesday night to speak at Pittsburg State University about the health problems both are facing, which occurred after their involvement with the 9/11 rescue attempts.

    "My personal message is that first responders are sick," Bartmer said. "I'm watching my friend David die. There are 8,500 people on one lawsuit alone, 400 which have rare cancers. But we have the city (New York City) and EPA saying it's not related. We're trying to rally support. We are trying to start a charity called 9/11 Care charity."

    Miller and Bartmer are now traveling to spread their message to others.

    Rebaccah Cereses, a documentary film maker, is also traveling with the men to help bring their stories to life and express the need for health care and support.

    "This is not just a New York City problem," Cereses said. "It's a problem for our entire country. These first responders are not being treated with the respect they deserve. I can't sit back and do nothing while these people were so courageous."

    Cereses said she got on board with the men's mission after hearing about the deadly diseases and conditions many first responders are now facing.

    Mary Beth Norris said she had no idea many first responders were in such bad shape.

    Norris, who attended the presentation, said she heard about the issue through her son, a student at PSU.

    "It makes me wonder if we're not getting the whole truth," Norris said. "I wouldn't have known about all this if it wasn't for my son."

    Bartmer said he is not speaking out for people's sympathy or money, he simply wants people to know about the terrible conditions facing thousands of first responders, people who risked their life for others and now cannot get the help they so desperately need.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  5. #115
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    9/11 dust cleanup draws criticism
    Plan to remove contaminants from buildings in N.Y. is similar to one rejected in 2005

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nation/4386926.html

    By ANTHONY DEPALMA
    New York Times
    12/8/2006

    NEW YORK — More than five years after contaminated dust from the World Trade Center seeped into apartments and offices throughout Lower Manhattan, the federal Environmental Protection Agency announced plans this week to start a final indoor cleanup program next month, despite widespread criticism that the program is seriously flawed.

    Agency officials said residents and owners of commercial buildings south of Canal Street would have 60 days to sign up for the voluntary program, which will test for asbestos, lead, vitreous fibers and harmful soot that may have come from the collapse of the trade center.

    If any one of the contaminants is found, the space will be professionally cleaned at no cost to the resident or owner.

    The new program is almost identical to one that was rejected in November 2005 as inadequate by the agency's advisory panel of experts, as well as by community groups, labor unions and the city's congressional delegation. The City Council passed a resolution condemning that program, calling it "technically and scientifically flawed."

    Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., who in 2004 forced the environmental agency to test indoor spaces for contamination, called the program announced Wednesday "totally inadequate."

    In a statement, she said she would use her chairmanship of the Senate Subcommittee on Superfund and Environmental Health in the new Congress to press for a more comprehensive testing and cleaning program.

    In early 2005, the agency considered a broader program that would have used statistically based mapping to learn the extent of the contamination, following it outside Manhattan if needed. Under that program, If any dust could be conclusively linked to the trade center collapse, entire buildings, not individual apartments or offices, were to be vacuumed and wiped down to prevent recontamination from spaces that had not been cleaned.

    The agency abandoned that program late last year when it could not devise a reliable way to identify trade center dust. It substituted a pared down program that would only test individual apartments in Lower Manhattan and clean only those where contamination was found. However, when community residents objected to the program as insufficient, the agency agreed to continue looking for a method of identifying dust from the twin towers.

    On Wednesday, Alan J. Steinberg, regional administrator for the agency, said that effort had taken most of the last year but no viable method was found.

    Paul J. Lioy, an environmental scientist at Rutgers who was a member of the advisory panel, said the program, though flawed, could do some good. "At least something is finally being done. If there is residual dust, we'll be able to find it."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  6. #116
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    Money For 9/11 First Responder Health Care Running Out

    http://www.ny1.com/ny1/content/index...id=1&aid=65167

    December 18, 2006

    Local lawmakers say the federal money paying the medical bills of September 11th first responders is running out.

    Senator Clinton, Congressman Maloney and Congressman Fossella met with federal health officials today, who told them that government funding will run dry next year.

    The legislators are calling for the president to add short term funds to keep the program going. And Senator Clinton introduced a bill that calls for $1.9 billion of long term federal aid. She is confident the new Democratic majority will approve the funds.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    9/11 First Responder Says Insurance Company Waiting For Him To Die
    Thanks to www.rawstory.com

    Click Here
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  8. #118
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    Hats

    Click Here (10MB MOV)

    Does everyone remember those individuals wearing FDNY and NYPD hats in honor of the fallen heroes from 9/11? Where are those people now? The other heroes of 9/11 are now sick and dying, and need their support more than ever. That's the premise of this little film. The music is "Where do we go from here" from a live performance of Chicago back in 1972 at Carnegie Hall.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  9. #119
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    9/11 care for residents who can’t cough up cash

    http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_19...identswho.html

    By Skye H. McFarlane
    1/5/2006

    Dr. Joan Reibman is a busy woman. So busy, in fact, that she didn’t have time to come up with a job title for the work she does at the Bellevue Hospital World Trade Center Care Center, the 9/11 health clinic that will officially reopen this month with expanded space and services, thanks to a $16 million, five-year infusion of cash from the city.

    “She runs it,” clinic program director Kymara Kyng said of Reibman’s involvement, shrugging her shoulders.

    “So, I guess I’m the ‘runner,’” replied the energetic Reibman, flashing a smile. In addition to running the clinic, Reibman, a pulmonary (lung) specialist, is also the medical director of Bellevue’s Asthma Clinic and its associated research laboratory.

    It was Reibman’s experience in treating asthma and other lung conditions that led her to become involved in post-9/11 health care, eventually creating the only treatment program that is open to the people who lived and worked in Lower Manhattan on or immediately after 9/11.

    Other screening, monitoring and treatment programs for 9/11-related health conditions, such as those run by the Fire Department and Mt. Sinai Hospital, have strict eligibility requirements and are open only to first responders, cleanup workers and volunteers who worked in and around the World Trade Center site.

    “There is the feeling that the first responders and the cleanup workers did something that was unbelievably heroic, and that’s absolutely true,” said Reibman. “So, many residents feel a little embarrassed that they actually are in need. But this is a population that did not choose to be impacted by this and who also need help.”

    Reibman’s commitment to helping anyone affected by exposure to the asbestos- and fiberglass-filled dust and smoke created by the collapse of the Twin Towers has made her something of a hero to local community groups.

    “She is the one doctor who sees Downtown residents. She’s been here since the beginning,” Catherine McVay Hughes, Community Board 1 co-chairperson, said at a Dec. 11 board meeting during which Reibman laid out the Bellevue clinic’s plans for its new funding.

    Though the clinic has remained, and will remain, open throughout the expansion process, the “new” clinic will have its formal ribbon-cutting on a to-be-decided date in January. It is currently funded to run until the end of 2011, with a budget of just over $3 million per year.

    The program has its roots in a 2002 door-to-door survey of residents’ health conducted by the Bellevue asthma clinic and the state Department of Health. That interaction with the community led to a 2003 plea from the Beyond Ground Zero Network, a group that advocates for low-income residents and workers.

    Beyond Ground Zero asked if the asthma clinic would be willing to treat the uninsured residents and workers who were suffering respiratory problems after 9/11 — a population that couldn’t seem to find help anywhere else. Though short on personnel, space and funding, Reibman agreed and the asthma clinic began seeing 9/11 patients informally. In 2005, a $2.4 million grant from the Red Cross turned the informal service into an official W.T.C. clinic.

    To qualify for treatment at the Bellevue clinic a patient need only feel that he or she is suffering from ill health related to World Trade Center dust and smoke exposure. However, because the program has a waiting list, the neediest patients — those with the most severe symptoms and no insurance — are prioritized for treatment.

    Common symptoms that Reibman has seen include respiratory problems such as sinusitis, cough and shortness of breath. There have also been cases of acid reflux and skin rashes. Based on an extensive interview as well as blood tests, chest X-rays and breathing tests, Reibman and her staff determine whether or not a patient’s condition is W.T.C. related and then decide on a course of treatment.

    Many patients have responded well to basic breathing medications, but others have needed referrals to specialists to treat nose, throat and gastric problems. Still others need referrals for non-9/11-related health problems like diabetes, which have worsened due to a lack of insurance. While the clinic provides its services and many of its medications for free, Reibman wishes she could do more to help her patients with their other health needs. Though the clinic provides referrals, the low-income patients, many of whom live or work in Chinatown, often cannot afford to follow up with another doctor.

    In the expanded clinic, Bellevue will have more space and more physicians to accommodate an 800-patient roster that is growing. The clinic is spreading out on the second floor of Bellevue’s new ambulatory wing, an airy, glass-enclosed addition that wraps around the front of Bellevue’s main building at First Ave. and 27th St. The clinic also plans to add in-house psychological treatment as well as evening hours one day a week. The clinic currently sees 15 to 20 patients each day and can now serve these patients in nearly any language through the hospital’s high-tech translation system. Everything is so new that Reibman meticulously wipes dirt off her conference room table. She wants it to stay looking nice for a while, she says.

    The changes and challenges of expansion have been both exciting and stressful for Reibman and her team. Hiring and training new full-time doctors and nurses to bolster the current staff of seven mostly part-time physicians has been particularly tricky, as World Trade Center ailments are an unstudied medical specialty. Therefore, a desire to work hand-in-hand with the community and its complex populations is imperative, Reibman said.

    “It’s absolutely rewarding,” Kyng, whose background is in public health, said of working at the clinic. “You’re dealing with a lot of people with no access to health care. Many of them don’t speak English. The obstacles they face are nearly insurmountable.”

    As a freelance sound designer with a rent-controlled apartment two blocks south of the World Trade Center site, Esther Regelson got to see those obstacles first-hand when her health started to suffer after 9/11. First, there was a thyroid problem. With no insurance, Regelson paid for treatment out of pocket. But then her asthma began getting progressively worse and she developed severe acid reflux. Still, the 47-year-old cycling enthusiast tried to ignore it, telling herself that she was “just getting old.”

    “As a person without medical insurance, you try to avoid medical treatment. You don’t know how the other half lives,” Regelson said.

    Despite working extensively with environmental groups to promote the cleanup of W.T.C. toxins and the safe demolition of contaminated buildings like 130 Liberty St. and Fiterman Hall, it never occurred to Regelson that her own worsening symptoms might be related to her 9/11 exposure. In addition to being in her 109 Washington St. apartment on 9/11, Regelson returned frequently in the subsequent months to supervise cleanup efforts in her building, moving back in for good just six months later. Like many tenants in the Greenwich South area, Regelson viewed her rent-controlled apartment as a set of “velvet handcuffs”— a wonderful thing, but something she could never find elsewhere in the city. So she stayed, dust or no dust.

    In 2005, Regelson’s friend Kimberly Flynn, who heads up 9/11 Environmental Action, finally convinced her to get her symptoms checked out at the Bellevue clinic. The results have been very encouraging. After just one treatment cycle with a cocktail of respiratory medications, Regelson’s lung capacity jumped from 42 percent to 62 percent. She goes in for checkups every three months and her boyfriend compliments her on how quickly she can now speed up hills on her bicycle. The hospital was even able to arrange low-cost access to her thyroid medication.

    “It’s invaluable,” Regelson said of the Bellevue program. “I never would have been treated. I had sort of accepted my lot in life with it, but I never realized alternative.”

    To get treatment for a 9/11-related condition at the Bellevue W.T.C. clinic, potential patients should call 212-562-1720 and leave a message that includes their contact information and the best time to reach them. The clinic can respond to messages in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Polish and Cantonese.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Nadler would cut Iraq war money; says 9/11 dough should flow

    http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_19...ldcutiraq.html

    By Josh Rogers
    1/5/2006

    U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler said he would try to cut off funds to continue the war in Iraq when the new Congress begins this week, but he is more optimistic about his prospects of getting federal money for the health of Downtowners and other Lower Manhattan projects.

    During 12 years of Republican control of the House, Nadler has often spoken of what he would be able to do if the Democrats took it back, but now that the day has arrived, the change hasn’t quite sunk in.

    “It’s really going to hit me on Thursday when we start winning rather than losing the votes,” Nadler told Downtown Express in a telephone interview Tuesday.

    Nadler, who voted against the resolution authorizing the Iraq war in 2002, said “I would cut off funds” to stop it.

    American dissatisfaction with the war was one of the biggest reasons Democrats won control of Congress in November according to exit polls, but since the election, Democratic leaders have repeatedly ruled out using their purse power to bring the troops home. Nadler said this is because the position is easy to attack as abandoning soldiers on the battlefield. The way to combat that, Nadler said, is to authorize the Pentagon to spend the necessary money to protect the forces as they withdraw, but not to continue the war.

    Asked if he thought the Democratic leaders were too timid, he said “they’re being more timid than I would be,” but then said timid was the wrong word. His aide suggested “cautious,” and Nadler added “more cautious than I would be.”

    Nadler has had a few conversations with new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and he is bullish on the Wall St. area’s prospects in the new Congress.

    He said he and Sen. Hillary Clinton will reintroduce their bill to provide Medicare coverage to any worker or resident whose health is suffering because of the environmental fallout of 9/11. About 70 percent of the World Trade Center site workers suffered health effects from 9/11 according to a Mount Sinai study, and based on that percentage, Nadler thinks at least 50,000 people are likely to use Medicare under the bill.

    The total costs of the program would run in the billions, but Nadler said since Medicare already accepts about 2 million new recipients a year, it will not strain a system that provides health care to senior citizens. “Fifty to 100,000 is tiny,” he said. “Medicare can handle it.”

    Under the bill, it would be up to doctors to determine if their patients’ respiratory or other problems were caused by the toxic dust spread with the collapse of the Twin Towers. Nadler’s optimistic about the bill’s chances but he said one obstacle will be if his colleagues require more concrete proof of a 9/11 cause. When asked if residents and office workers could get cut out of the bill so that only ground zero workers are covered, Nadler pointed to this evidence problem.

    “It’s very difficult to prove,” he said. “If there is a split between residents and [recovery] workers, it will be that.”

    The death of at least one W.T.C. worker has already been attributed to the disaster and Nadler said he will not be surprised at all if residents exposed to the dust get cancer in higher percentages 20 years from now. Many residents have developed respiratory ailments, although the cause has not been proven.

    “We’re going to do a lot things on 9/11 health and environmental problems,” he said.

    Nadler plans to hold hearings to expose what he called the “second cover-up” of 9/11 environmental problems. The first, in his view, was the danger to ground zero workers, which is not in dispute now, and the second is the danger to workers and residents who were exposed to the dust.

    Right after 9/11, Environmental Protection Agency leader Christie Whitman said the air was safe to breathe before she had the evidence to back the claim. However, in interviews with Downtown Express in the months following the attack, E.P.A. officials said the air at the site was dangerous and that residents should assume the W.T.C. dust in their apartments was toxic.

    The E.P.A. though, did not begin testing and cleaning Lower Manhattan apartments until a year after the attack. That program and its follow-up announced late last year was criticized by some scientists, Nadler, and many Downtowners.

    In the new Congress, Nadler is expected to become chairperson of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, where he could lead hearings on issues as wide ranging as gay marriage, which Nadler favors, as well as N.S.A. wiretapping and detentions without due process, which he has criticized.

    He was the ranking member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the last Congress, but since House members are allowed to lead only one committee or subcommittee, he will remain a senior member of Transportation. In the minority, Nadler was able to secure some earmarks for the Hudson River Park and many other projects in his district through this committee, but he is likely to have more clout in the 110th Congress.

    He stopped short of saying his district would get more earmark money with his party in power, but he suggested that it is likely. Earmarks, or projects inserted into the federal budget by individual members, grew from about 3,500 a year to 14,000 under the Republicans, Nadler said, and one colleague told him they were weighted 17 to one in favor of the G.O.P. Even if Democrats keep a smaller percentage of the money than Republicans did, and there is a reduction in the number of overall earmarks, which have been criticized by many as being wasteful, he said his constituents may end up seeing more money.

    His district includes almost all of Lower Manhattan, the Village, Chelsea, the Upper West Side as well as several Brooklyn neighborhoods, including Coney Island and Borough Park.

    Nadler said with Democrats in control, he thinks he may be able to change the Verrazano Bridge tolls. Twenty years ago, Congress ended the Verrazano two-way toll system in deference to Staten Island politicians and residents. Nadler, some urban planners and environmentalists have long asserted that the change led to more pollution because it encouraged trucks to drive into already-congested Lower Manhattan.

    Nadler has said many times over the years that if the Democrats got control of Congress, he could convince Sen. Chuck Schumer to support changing the tolls back. Nadler, who plans to meet with Schumer soon, said he will have a better sense in a few weeks what the chances were, but he suspects they’re good.

    “I think the political stars are aligned in a way to do it,” he said.

    Schumer’s spokesperson did not return a call for comment Wednesday.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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