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Thread: A Fallen Hero - Video Inside

  1. #451
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    9/11 responders left waiting by feds

    http://www.queenscourier.com/article...cal/news03.txt

    BY CHRISTINA SANTUCCI
    Wednesday, January 16, 2008 6:36 PM EST+

    If anyone deserves to be called “Hometown Heroes,” it’s Marvin Bethea and James Dobson - two Queens paramedics who responded on 9/11 and were stricken with disabling illnesses afterward - according to several New York Congressmembers.

    However, neither paramedic has even received a response from the Federal Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) about their applications to the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) program. They sent the paperwork in more than a year ago along with applications of three other 9/11 responders - Michael Roberts and Bonnie Giebfried, both of who are living, and David Sullins, who is believed to have died at the site.

    In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, five Congressmembers wrote, “Now, over a year after submitting their PSOB program applications, these five are still waiting for an answer. The heroes of 9/11 deserve better.”

    The letter is much like one sent by four Congressmembers - Carolyn Maloney, Anthony Weiner, Vito Fossella and Peter King to then-U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez dated December 2006. A spokesperson for Maloney said that none of the legislators, recently joined by Jerrold Nadler, have received any response to their requests.

    Nor have 48-year-old Kew Gardens resident Bethea and 55-year-old Middle Village resident Dobson, both of whom applied in December 2006, Bethea said. Bethea, who was diagnosed with World Trade Center (WTC) cough, sinusitis, asthma, depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), had to stop working in 2004, about the same time as his paramedic-partner Dobson had to quit his job because of similar afflictions.

    “Here it is over a year now, and they still haven’t given us a decision one way or the other,” Bethea said, who said he has sought legal help but was told, “There is nothing they can do until we get a formal decision.”

    Since filing their application, however, Bethea said he has heard about three other 9/11 responders who have been awarded benefits through the BJA program.

    “At least tell us something. They could say, ‘We don’t feel you are qualified to receive something,’” Bethea said, adding, “You try to be diplomatic about it but how much longer are we supposed to wait?”

    So Bethea is forced to wait as he makes repeated phone calls to inquire about his application. Several calls to the BJA from The Queens Courier were not also returned by press time.

    In the meantime, Bethea hopes to enlist more elected officials when he travels to Washington, D.C. to attend the State of the Union address given by President George Bush on Monday, January 28. He is also considering calling a press conference to alert more media of his situation and that of the four other New York responders.

    “Hopefully we will be able to get more politicians on board,” he said.

    Bethea is also strongly encouraging elected officials to support a federal bill, named for 34-year-old New York Police Department (NYPD) Detective James Zadroga, whose death was the first officially linked to time spent at Ground Zero.

    On the second anniversary of Zadroga’s death - January 5 - Maloney, Nadler and Fossella pledged to double their efforts to pass the bill, which would ensure that everyone exposed to the Ground Zero toxins have the chance to be medically monitored. Additionally, those who are sick as a result would have access to treatment, there would be an expansion of the “Centers of Excellence” medical care, and care would be increased to anyone including local residents, teachers and children who were exposed and compensation provided for economic damages by reopening the 9/11 Compensation Fund.

    “On this sad occasion, we honor Detective Zadroga’s sacrifice and we applaud his family’s tireless efforts to ensure that our country will finally do right by the heroes of 9/11,” Maloney said in a statement released on Friday, January 4.

    Still, Bethea counts a law signed into effect by Governor Eliot Spitzer in October 2007 as a big victory for 9/11 responders.

    The law amended the Workers’ Compensation Law to raise benefits for paramedics and EMTs from private hospitals who died or were left permanently or temporarily disabled after responding to the attacks on the World Trade Center. Until last year, responders like Bethea whose jobs were contracted through private institutions, received much less than their city-employed counterparts, even though both were required to respond to the World Trade Center attacks.

    “New York State has recognized us as being part of the system,” Bethea said, later adding, “Now we are getting abandoned by the Justice Department.”

    Despite the setbacks, Bethea said that he continues to advocate for responders so that their actions are not forgotten.

    “People tell me, ‘Marvin, you are always in the news,’ but everyone else is either sick or not with us anymore,” he said.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  2. #452
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    Father heads to Capitol for 9/11 responders

    http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/art...87/1070/NEWS02

    By ANGELA SANTORIELLO • MANAHAWKIN BUREAU • January 25, 2008

    LITTLE EGG HARBOR — A promise to his dying son is why Joseph Zadroga will be present for President Bush's State of the Union Address Monday: to remind Capitol Hill of the importance of continuing health care and compensation for responders exposed to ground zero toxins.

    The death of James Zadroga, a New York City detective who responded to the World Trade Center after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, has gained national attention. Two pathologists agreed that his death Jan. 5, 2006, resulted from pulmonary fibrosis, which they linked to ground zero contaminants.

    Joseph Zadroga said he was invited by Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y., to the House chamber Monday night for President Bush's State of the Union Address. Maloney is the sponsor of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health Compensation Act to continue funding health programs for workers and residents exposed to the toxins at ground zero.

    Joseph and Linda Zadroga sat in their home here Thursday talking candidly about how they believe the NYPD turned its back on their son, who served the city for 13 years and received more than 40 citations for bravery.

    "He never told us about the citations," his father said. "His partner told us about them at his funeral."

    His parents said that James Zadroga fought to stay alive as long as he could for his daughter, Tylerann, and wife, Rhonda, who died at age 29 from a heart ailment less than four months before his death.

    Joseph and Linda Zadroga are convinced that the stress the NYPD placed on their son to continue to work while he was falling ill contributed to the death of Rhonda Zadroga, who they said begged James not to go to ground zero.

    "When he was alive he told me one of the hardest things he ever had to do was back out of the driveway while she was crying for him to stay," Joseph Zadroga said.

    Tylerann, now 6, is being raised by her grandparents. Her colorful toys are around the house, and a picture of her near the glass-encased NYPD badge 6663 show that James Zadroga remains a presence in the home.

    Helicopters flying over his home and NYPD sergeants showing up at his door daily to ensure he was following house rest orders in compliance with his sick leave were all part of how James Zadroga lived while slowly dying.

    James Zadroga's last wish was to have an NYPD honor guard at his funeral for Tylerann. But even that was a fight, said Joseph Zadroga. He said Michael Paladino, president of the Detective Endowment Association, called the New York Daily News. The outcry from the resulting story was the only way his son received his dying request, he said.

    According to the Zadrogas, New Jersey showed their son more respect than New York, with Jersey City and Bergen County police officers and firemen lifting fire ladders and playing the pipe and drums at his funeral.

    "That was the catalyst that brought us into the public view," Joseph Zadroga said.

    Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., is also a sponsor of the bill, he said.

    "Even though she is campaigning, she still calls to see how we are doing," Linda Zadroga said.

    The couple credits Clinton, Maloney and other members of Congress for enactment of previous legislation that provides Tylerann and other children of deceased 9/11 responders with their parents' full pensions until the children reach the age of 21.

    The current New York City medical examiner contends that James Zadroga died because he injected crushed medications into his veins. That is untrue, the Zadrogas said, citing their son's pain management records, which do not show needle markings on his arms.

    Though Tylerann won pension benefits, Joseph Zadroga continues to press for legislation benefiting the 9/11 responders.

    "I promised Jimmy when he was dying, his death would not be useless and (I'd) see that everyone gets help," he said.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  3. #453
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    What Giuliani Should Do Once He Drops Out of the Race

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kriste...ml#postComment

    Kristen Breitweiser
    Posted January 25, 2008 | 10:13 AM (EST)

    1. His Deadly Judgment: Before 9/11, Giuliani is the person responsible for deciding to locate NYC's emergency command center in the World Trade Center complex along with a diesel fuel tank (against the advice of FDNY officials). The World Trade Center was a known al Qaeda target (the towers were struck in 1993 and al Qaeda publicly promised to return to finish the job). Why would anyone locate an emergency command center in such a dangerous, vulnerable place?

    During the 9/11 attacks, because New York City's emergency command center was utterly paralyzed (since it was located in the World Trade Center that was being attacked), the city was unable to properly coordinate emergency response workers like the police and firemen. That inability to coordinate cost many uniformed and civilian lives.

    Anyone who wants to witness the results of NYC's abysmal emergency response to the attacks need only listen to the previously-released 911 tapes that reveal the total lack of coordination and life-saving information that plagued the city that day.

    Frankly speaking, the reason Giuliani was on television all day on 9/11 and able to conduct so many on-the-street interviews was because he was scrambling to set up a temporary command post.

    2. His Poor Leadership: Part of being a great leader is making sure your followers (be it troops, staff members, or citizens) are properly equipped. One of the biggest grievances people have with President Bush is that he sent our troops into Iraq without the proper equipment and support. It is bad enough to lie about entering a war, even worse to set up your troops for certain failure by not planning properly.

    Giuliani should know something about this concept, because he was responsible for allowing the FDNY to use inoperable Motorola radios for years before 9/11. On the day of 9/11, firemen were killed because their radios simply did not work. Men who had stormed the towers to rescue civilians were unable to hear the order to evacuate the towers prior to their collapse. Giuliani knew their radios didn't work. He knew that the FDNY needed working radios. Yet, he did not provide them with those radios--and people died as a result.

    3. His Failure to Support the Creation of the 9/11 Commission: As a family member who fought for the creation of the 9/11 Commission, I can tell you first hand that Mayor Giuliani told the 9/11 family members that it was none of our business to investigate the 9/11 attacks or our government. Instead, he told us to let the government investigate itself. Hmmm. I always find it interesting that the man who utters 9/11 in nearly every other sentence was completely opposed to finding out everything about 9/11 so that people could be held accountable and we could save lives in future terrorist attacks. But, then again when we examine Giuiliani's own responsibility for the lives that were needlessly lost on 9/11, I guess his opposition to the 9/11 Commission should not come as a surprise.

    4. Bernard Kerik: enough said.

    5. His Failure to Ensure that 9/11 Rescue Workers Receive Proper Medical Care, Treatment, and Benefits: The men and women who volunteered at Ground Zero on the day of 9/11 and in the months and years thereafter are still desperately sick and in need of health benefits. Yet, to date, most of these people have been ignored and forgotten.

    Rudy Giuliani, like many others, knew that the air quality in lower Manhattan after the attacks was bad. Giuliani, like many others, knew that all of the rescue workers were placing their long-term health at great risk. Yet Giuliani did nothing about it then, and he has done nothing about it since.

    So what should Giuliani do once he drops out of the presidential race?

    If he really wants to be a 9/11 hero, then Rudy should devote his time, money, and name to getting every single 9/11 rescue worker the proper health care benefits and support they deserve.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  4. #454
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    NYC lawmakers call on Bush to fund 9/11 health programs

    http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wi...,6085794.story

    By KAREN MATTHEWS | Associated Press Writer
    3:00 PM EST, January 27, 2008

    NEW YORK - Lawmakers and World Trade Center health advocates said that President Bush should promise in his State of the Union Address on Monday night to fund programs to treat sick ground zero workers.

    "We know the president is going to talk about homeland security," Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a Manhattan Democrat, said on Sunday. "He's going to talk about the war against terror. But let me tell you something he's not probably going to say. He's not going to say that he's going to provide health care to the men and women who rushed in to save the lives of others."

    The advocates were angered last month when the government halted an attempt to organize health monitoring for ground zero workers spread across the country, saying the program could cost far more money than Congress has provided.

    The Department of Health and Human Services canceled the effort to hire a company to create a "processing center" for medical screening of those who worked on the toxic rubble of the trade center after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

    "I'm outraged that we have to be here today to say yet again that the Bush administration is yet again betraying the heroes of 9/11," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat whose district includes the trade center site. "I am outraged that they suddenly canceled a request for proposals to provide medical care to the thousands of brave Americans who came to ground zero from all across the country after the collapse of the World Trade Center."

    Sean Kevelighan, a spokesman for the White House budget office, said, "The president's final budget will be released a week from Monday and it will reflect his continued commitment to World Trade Center workers."

    He said he could not provide details.

    Marvin Bethea, a paramedic who rushed to the trade center site and now suffers from a range of afflictions including post-traumatic stress disorder and asthma, said he would attend his third State of the Union speech on Monday.

    "Sit down and meet with myself or some of the responders when we're there tomorrow," said Bethea, who joined Maloney, Nadler and other ground zero workers across the street from the trade center site. "We went from being called heroes to now they treat us like zero."

    John Feal, a demolition supervisor who lost part of a foot at ground zero, said, "I am sick and I am disgusted that we're out here in the cold begging for help."

    The canceled contract had aimed to organize and improve various Sept. 11 health programs and provide pharmacy benefits. Health officials feared the work could cost as much as $165 million, compared to the $52 million Congress provided.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  5. #455
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    City Lawmakers To Hold Rally For 9/11 Relief Workers

    http://www.ny1.com/ny1/content/index...id=1&aid=77893

    January 27, 2008

    New York City lawmakers are calling on President Bush to restart a nationwide program providing health care to World Trade Center relief workers.

    Congressman Jerrold Nadler and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney are holding a rally one day before the president gives his State of the Union speech.

    Last month, the Bush Administration scrapped plans for a national processing center to help September 11th first responders outside the New York metro area, saying costs had skyrocketed.

    As it stands now, first responders suffering from September 11th-related health problems are only able to seek treatment here in the city.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  6. #456
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    Care for 9/11 Responders Is Piecemeal
    Plan for Processing Center On Hold, Funding Uncertain

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...l?hpid=topnews

    By Robin Shulman
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Monday, January 28, 2008; Page A06

    NEW YORK -- As President Bush gives his State of the Union speech Monday, there will be one man in the audience who plans to sit quietly and watch, his very presence a form of protest.

    Joseph Libretti, 51, is sick. He has been diagnosed with chronic lung disease since volunteering after Sept. 11, 2001, to cut through steel to remove bodies from the gritty, smoking pile of detritus of the World Trade Center. Now, too weak to return to his job as an ironworker, he mostly keeps close to his Pennsylvania home.

    He is among a group of responders demanding a coherent national program to provide local medical treatment for Ground Zero workers from outside New York City who answered the call to help after the terrorist attacks. An existing program was effectively halted in December, when the federal government canceled its search for a contractor to process medical reimbursements.

    "The president should take care of the workers," Libretti said during a telephone interview in which he frequently coughed and lost his breath. "If he sees me and other first responders, he'll know we're there."

    His protest was helped by Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), who has made medical care for Ground Zero workers her cause.

    "What kind of a nation are we?" Maloney said. "What kind of a message are we sending to future responders? 'You are rushing into tragedy, and we are not going to be there.' "

    Right now, Libretti's son regularly drives him two hours to Manhattan to consult with a pulmonologist and a psychiatrist at Mount Sinai Medical Center, which runs a program providing comprehensive treatment to first responders who suffer from some common ailments: cough, asthma, headaches, nosebleeds, other respiratory ailments and post-traumatic stress disorder.

    People came from all 50 states to help in rescue, recovery and cleanup at Ground Zero, and the federal government had been searching for a contractor to run a business center to manage their health care since then. The center would help clinics across the country treat and monitor first responders, streamline existing payment and pharmaceutical plans, and pay medical bills.

    On Dec. 13, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention canceled a request for proposals to establish the business center. Without the center, there would be no entity to offer medical referrals to responders far from New York City, or any single scheme for the government to reimburse their doctors or to streamline pharmaceutical reimbursements.

    James Melius, an occupational health specialist who is the chairman of the steering committee of the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program, said the center is critical because funding to treat and monitor the health of first responders across the country is about to expire.

    The Red Cross is providing limited funding to treat about 500 first responders outside the New York City area, but that will end in coming months, while another contract for monitoring about 2,000 people will run out in June, Melius said.

    "These people will basically be on their own," he said.

    Bernadette Burden, a spokeswoman for the CDC, said the contractor request was canceled because its language was unclear and confusing.

    "We wanted to review the requirements," she said, "to make certain this solicitation was accurate and fair and to make a determination as to whether a new solicitation should be issued in the future."

    Funding was uncertain, and there was little interest in filling the contract, added Holly Babin, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services.

    But Congress had already appropriated $50 million for treating and monitoring first responders, and it approved another $108 million shortly after the contract was called off, Rep. Maloney said.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  7. #457
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    http://www.newsday.com/news/local/ne...,5035840.story

    A WTC worker's silent State of the Union protest

    BY CAROL EISENBERG

    carol.eisenberg@newsday.com

    11:17 PM EST, January 28, 2008

    WASHINGTON

    John Feal of Nesconset, had vowed never to return to the nation's capital.

    The former demolition supervisor, whose left foot was crushed by an eight-ton steel beam while he worked to remove debris from Ground Zero, said it was simply too painful to be reminded of what he sees as the Bush administration's abandonment of him and other 9/11 responders.

    But Monday, Feal, 41, gave it another shot, sitting in the gallery of the U.S. Capitol, along with eight other first responders, who are battling illnesses and other disabilities related to their service. Their presence was both rebuke and de facto demand to the Bush administration.

    "I want to hear him say, 'I'm sorry,'" Feal said. "I want to hear him say that he's going to leave a billion dollars or more for 9/11 responders when he leaves office."

    But Feal, who has set up his own foundation to help ailing 9/11 workers, admitted he is not terribly optimistic.

    Earlier in the day, he and other men who became ill after working at Ground Zero appeared at a news conference alongside New York lawmakers and labor leaders, demanding the administration explain why it last month halted plans for a health monitoring and treatment program for Ground Zero workers around the country. They also urged passage of a long-term program to monitor those exposed to toxins after the Twin Towers' collapse.

    "This isn't a political issue," said Feal, who has developed lung problems in addition to having 11 surgeries on his feet. "This is a moral and human issue. This is about people dying."

    Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton), praised Feal for the work of the Feal Good Foundation, but added, "he ought not have to do that. ... The public sector has the resources and it has the obligation."

    Lt. James Riches of Brooklyn, an FDNY deputy chief who lost his firefighter son Jimmy that day, predicted that more people would eventually die from toxic exposure than were killed on 9/11. He has developed severe lung disease after search and recovery work.

    "When I was down there digging through the pile, there was a gigantic sign, 'Never forget 9/11.' We hope our politicians don't forget us now," he said.


    Copyright © 2008, Newsday Inc.

  8. #458
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    NY Lawmakers Shocked At Bush's 77% Cut In 9/11 Health Funding

    http://www.qgazette.com/news/2008/02...tures/012.html

    BY JOHN TOSCANO
    2/6/2008

    New York lawmakers in Washington who have been persistently pressing the White House for increased funding for healthcare programs for ailing 9/11 World Trade Center workers were jolted last week when President George W. Bush's proposed budget slashed those programs by 77 percent.

    Only last Wednesday, they pointed out, a White House spokesman had issued a statement that the president's 2009 budget would "reflect his continued commitment" to WTC workers. In reality, the budget issued appropriated a paltry $25 million, down from $108 million in the present spending plan.

    "This dramatic and unwarranted cut flies in the face of common sense, compassion and just plain fairness," Senator Charles Schumer declared as he promised to "fight these cuts tooth and nail to ensure these heroes receive the health care they need and clearly deserve".

    Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton stated she was "disappointed and saddened to see that the president chose not to acknowledge the clear healthcare needs of these heroes", and Congressmember Carolyn Maloney said it was "shocking that the president would use his final budget to take an axe to the 9/11 healthcare programs".

    Maloney (D- Queens/Manhattan) noted: "Just a few weeks ago, the administration canceled a program for 9/11 responders from around the country because they said it lacked funding, and now they release a budget that doesn't even ask for the money they said they needed.

    "The administration has failed in every single one of its budget proposals to deliver adequate help to the heroes of 9/11. Sadly, it looks like this is yet another problem the president will be leaving to his successor."

    Maloney pointed out that the Fiscal Year 2008 budget had for the first time included $25 million for 9/11 health programs, even though the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) estimated these programs would need more than $200 million.

    The administration at that time promised more funds would be provided, but nothing more was added.

    Ultimately, under pressure from the New York congressional delegation, the administration relented and provided $108 million for sick responders, residents, and students, plus another $50 million for 9/11 health needs in an emergency spending bill.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  9. #459
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    Bush's budget may cut 9/11 health funds

    http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Top_New...th_funds/1705/

    Published: Feb. 6, 2008 at 12:58 AM

    NEW YORK, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- U.S. President George Bush's new budget would cut health funding for people affected by the 9/11 terrorist attacks by more than 75 percent, a report said.

    Monday's budget release came a day before the publication of a study in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, which cites continued emotional distress and sleeping problems for preschool children who witnessed New York's 9/11 terrorist attacks, the New York Daily News reported Tuesday.

    "It looks like we found the children the president wants to leave behind," Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., said.

    The study reportedly shows preschool children who saw the attacks on 9/11 are three times more susceptible to anxiety and depression and five times more susceptible to sleeping difficulties than kids who did not witness the events.

    The children were 16 times more susceptible to behavioral problems and 21 times more susceptible to having emotional troubles, the report said.

    Bush's budget would cut 9/11 health funds from $108 million to $25 million and eliminate money for the screening and treatment of downtown residents and students.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  10. #460
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    Piece of shit.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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