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2010 Bulletins | July through December

11/16/10 — “The Best-Laid Schemes…” The image below appeared on Curbed NY with commentary on the latest WTC stumbling-block, revealed in a Steve Cuozzo column in today’s New York Post. Cuozzo, who is the chief cheerleader for the current, irrational, plan, is shocked to learn that driving streets through a site that had a moat of protection around it will result in “over-restrictive security plans” that may “damage prospects for the site just as redevelopment is finally taking off.”

At a 9/11 symposium at Pace University in September 2006, Tal Barzilai, a young man who is devoted to seeing the Twin Towers rise again and faithfully attends every public hearing, asked the panel why the Twin Towers had not been included when the rebuilding plans were being considered. Stefan Pryor, then head of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) gave only one preposterous reply. He said it was an imperative to restore the street grid! So now the chickens have come home to roost. Another fawning “reporter” on the WTC, Julie Shapiro of DNAInfo.com, wrote “One World Trade
Center’s Shining Facade Begins to Rise.” The piece begged for a response, so we left two comments, which are posted in reverse order, with no paragraphs to help break up the material.

Since those comments sum up the current state of affairs, we have developed the information into “The Best-Laid Schemes” and posted it on the Home page. At what point will they admit that they have brought the unending problems on themselves? Whether they admit it or not, the fact is that we are all paying an incredibly high, incredibly wasteful, incredibly unnecessary price.

11/11/10 —“For the Record”… According to a November 10th New York Post article, “The rebirth of the World Trade Center took a spectacular turn yesterday when one of the memorial’s two massive fountains roared to life for the first time. ‘It was absolutely stunning,’ said Joseph Daniels, president of the 9/11 Memorial. ‘The way the sunlight played on the water, and the sound. It was perfect.’”

The piece went on to explain that the fountain, where the North Tower of the World Trade Center once stood, was undergoing tests of the massive pumping systems that will blast 26,000 gallons a minute over the 30-foot deep black granite walls. It noted that during the design phase of the memorial, there were concerns that the fountains might be too loud. But Daniels said the sound created “a nice, peaceful background, like the sound of the ocean. It’s perfect. It’s not overwhelming at all.”

Nevertheless, it remains to be seen what it will sound like when 26,000 gallons per minute become 52,000 gallons per minute. Prominent builder Frank Sciame once described the waterfalls at LMDC hearings as “so loud as to be headache producing” and “impossible to stand near for any length of time.” And the same piece that referred to the “peaceful” sound also noted that the fountain “roared” to life.

The Twin Towers Alliance has made it clear that we think the current memorial was not a good choice for reasons that have little to do with personal opinion. But we have resisted the temptation
to get embroiled in controversy over the Memorial because we believe – along with most Americans – that restoring the skyline would be the truest memorial of all. That is where our focus is. Meanwhile, we hope as much as anyone that the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum will succeed in its mission and be a fitting memorial of all that we lost that day.

10/31/10 — “The Element of Surprise”… One of the latest comments on the petition
suggested that we should be open to the Twin Towers rising in other cities. We are. “Twin Towers
II” is a fully designed, re-engineered plan to restore what is quite possibly the most celebrated
skyline in the world, but, as it happens, there is already interest in building the plan in another city.
The idea of generating images with the Twin Towers rising in other skylines is a good one that we
will pass along to Ken Gardner, the man who conceived of and designed the plan, mentored by the
late Herbert Belton, AIA — an architect on the original WTC.
As for the Twin Towers Alliance, we read the same media reports as everyone else, so we
appreciate why people would think it is too late, but it is not. Our new posting on the home page —
The Bellwether at Ground Zero — explains one reason why. The New York Times article in
September made it impossible for officials to keep pretending they are doing the right thing at the
World Trade Center. But even more importantly, it made it impossible for responsible journalists to
keep their blinders on.
We realize that faithful supporters come to the site and to this page looking for news and when
they don’t find it they think that we’re losing the fight and nothing is going on. Nothing could be
further from the truth. There is SO MUCH going on that it is hard to keep up with all of it. But
instead of broadcasting what is ahead, we are going to let it unfold.

10/19/10 — “The Answer is Blowin’ in the Wind”… We’ve been getting calls and emails
lately asking if it’s all over for the Twin Towers. That depends on who is actually in charge of this
country – the people or the politicians. But it certainly doesn’t have to be over. Can we still build
the Twin Towers in place of Towers 2, 3, and 4? Absolutely — particularly since Towers 2 and 3
may never be built. Does it make sense to cap the Freedom Tower? Absolutely — especially given
the dismal economic forecast recently reported in the New York Times.
Two moving comments were left on the petition yesterday. Casi McNeil, 15, wrote from Canada
and said: “…I believe that nothing would make America prouder than to have their Twin Towers
back. I know, it would make me proud to be in the neighboring country…” And then, Jonathan
White, 15, wrote: “…2 years from now, I want to join the USMC to protect our country. And I would
like it if the twin towers are rebuilt to show we have not lost. Hoorah!”
We have often noted how much young people care about this issue and those back-to-back
comments reminded us of why: They want to live in an honorable world. If the Twin Towers do not
reappear, it won’t just be foreign enemies that will have won — it will be a victory for the cynics in
our own government and media, which in some ways is even more frightening.
The future that we are building at Ground Zero will have to coexist with the past, not clash with it.
We can only imagine the bravery and sacrifice of 9/11 – but we know that cynicism and greed were
nowhere in sight that day — or in the days and weeks that followed. That makes the current
project an anti-memorial. The innocence of youth knows instinctively what belongs in the skyline.
We all do. But some people care more for power than honor.
The Bob Dylan classic as sung by Peter, Paul and Mary epitomized the idealism of the early 60’s,
before things got nasty. In 2004, “Blowin’ in the Wind” was ranked #14 on Rolling Stone’s list of
the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” It asks a very important question: “How many times can a
man turn his head and pretend that he just doesn’t see?”
The only reason that politicians have gotten away with defrauding the public of the Trade Center
we are absolutely entitled to is that those who call themselves journalists don’t want to see what is
going on and are doing their best to make sure the public is clueless about the facts. The Twin
Towers Alliance remains dedicated to showing that “the good guys” will win in the end. As long as
cynicism and greed are building the World Trade Center, it is our duty to resist.

9/11/10 — Reporting for Duty… James Panero, the managing editor of “The New Criterion,”
today posted a powerfully sensible piece on his personal blog. In it he observed: “To rebuild the
offending Twin Towers, stronger and taller, would have left us with a monument to unflinching
national character, rather than a washbasin of grief.” But he ends it on a sadly passive note.
He evidently buys the media hype about the inevitability of a plan that is, in fact morally, ethically,
fiscally, and legally indefensible. But, this is the country that has prided itself for over two hundred
years on being governed “of the people, by the people, for the people” and we have no right to
give up on that. As we wrote in “A War of Symbols:”
“This is a particularly poor time to be sending out the wrong cues about who we are…
The only thing the current plan represents is cronyism and contempt. Is that what we
want ‘the people who knocked down those buildings’ to hear from us – that we are
resigned to being outmaneuvered by our own government? Is that the message we
want to send our friends or accept about ourselves?”
The media has a duty to the people to stop conferring credibility and inevitability on a bogus
project that is being built with public funds on public property. If journalists will just look into the
claims that “Twin Towers II” can be built beside the current memorial for less money and ahead of
the current schedule, we can still get this right.
The specifics are posted in “A Plan to Save the World Trade Center” and we will soon summarize
our options in “Rebuild America,” but it all boils down to this:
We can cap the concrete bunker at 1 WTC and build Twin Towers in place of
Towers 2, 3, and 4. Or we can put up a tower shaped like a giant tombstone
and call it quits for America.
Americans do not accept the unacceptable. We haven’t since 1620. To start now would defeat our
national purpose. If journalists would start asking the hard questions instead of worrying about
making Mike Bloomberg mad or looking foolish, we can still prevent a terrible mistake.
They can start with asking if it’s true that “Twin Towers II” is already paid for, while politicians pick
the public’s pocket to build buildings nobody wants.
We are not passive people. It is time to start fighting at least as hard for the Twin Towers we
overwhelmingly want as we are fighting against the mosque that we clearly reject. Substitute the
word “passivity” everywhere that Panero used the word “tolerance” to get the full extent of the
danger before us. Tolerance is good; passivity is deadly. Tolerance is part of the American creed;
passivity will kill our spirit.
We don’t pick and choose our battles based on the odds. If the Founders had done that we wouldn’t
have a USA to fritter away. Americans owe it to all who have ever paid the ultimate price for this
country, whatever our line of work or walk of life, to report for duty. We need to martial our
talents and passion and rebuild the Twin Towers before it really is too late.

8/26/10 — RATification… We realize that visitors to the site have a lot of reading to do in order
to take in all the nuances of the ongoing battle, which is why we frequently repeat the key points.
The latest “milestone” at the World Trade Center, “formally ratifying” the public’s underwriting of
the Silverstein towers, is the perfect opportunity to summarize how we see our prospects today,
which we did on a New York Times blog.
It is especially useful to be able to explain our perspective in a blog where people will be coming
across the information for the first time. There are space limitations at the New York Times where
the comment below was originally posted, so we couldn’t go into the pending efforts to engage
the Attorney General’s assistance and the formal petition we are preparing to send to Washington
in September. But at any point it could take off and become a movement. A solid foundation has
been laid and common sense is definitely on our side:
Anyone who thinks that the Politburo-style grab of the World Trade Center is
respectable is gullible, to say the least. Daniel Patrick Moynihan liked to point out that
everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.
If only the mainstream media had done its job and reported all the facts, billions of
dollars would never have been poured down that drain. But that doesn’t mean we
should just keep pouring away.
What is happening at the World Trade Center will be looked back on as one of the
most egregious power grabs in our history. What the mosque and the Trade Center
have in common is that an overwhelming majority of the public is being marginalized,
which, in both instances, is only possible because the media is skewing the debate.
In both cases, legitimate concerns are being conveniently ignored. The difference is
that in the mosque controversy, which is being mischaracterized as upstanding
Americans vs. hateful bigots, civil rights vs. hurt feelings, there actually are
legitimate property rights to factor in.
But the World Trade Center is 100% public property. It has been since it was
condemned in the 60s for public use and the landholders were paid with public funds.
In 2001, when Pataki grandstanded the issue and the public was told that the
proceeds of the leases would pay for the 2nd Avenue subway, the Port Authority was
actually doing an excellent job of managing the property and was clearing a profit in
excess of $100 million a year – contrary to the rote repetition that the Towers were
That is one of those convenient urban legends that people parrot but has no basis in
fact – like the asbestos canard. As for the insurance money, one thing Silverstein did
with it was repay himself for his initial $114 million investment, which was the mother
of all sub-prime mortgages. So he is just along for the ride.
When Silverstein was awarded his LEASES in 2001, he signed a contract saying that
he would rebuild the premises, according to the existing plans, if they were ever
destroyed. That promise was made to the public, the actual owners of the property.
The Port Authority is the public’s agent and Silverstein is our tenant.
Everything that is happening at the WTC is the result of shutting the public out of the
process and feeding us garbage for facts. Politicians aren’t known for their honesty,
and bureaucrats aren’t known for their vision. But the only check on their abuse of
power – informed citizens – has been derailed by high-powered propaganda and the
embargo on the facts. So this latest “milestone” is only a marker of how degraded the
media is.
The fact that can’t be gotten around is that the public is paying for whatever is built.
Whether through billions in Port Authority tolls, Federal largess, leases, and Liberty
Bonds, or City and State taxes, public property is being rebuilt with public dollars as if
the public doesn’t exist.
Buildings that practically nobody wants are going up in place of the two towers that
practically everybody wants and we are being forced to pay for it. A comment posted
on the Twin Towers Alliance petition last week revealed what is at the heart of the
“Until today I believed I was the only one who felt that The Twin Towers should have
been rebuilt just the way they were as soon as possible after 9/11 and that leaving
this hole in America was only part of fear mongering and political games leaving us a
weaker rather than stronger nation…”
HOW IS IT POSSIBLE, in today’s wired world, that people don’t know that a bipartisan
majority of New Yorkers and Americans are in favor of new Twin Towers and have
been all along?
Or that a spectacular 21st-century World Trade Center that would restore the skyline
while incorporating all the bells and whistles of the current plan is still the more
affordable option – no matter how far they have gone – and could be built beside the
current memorial far ahead of the current plan?
It is time to federalize the property because state and local officials have forfeited the
right to control it. Give the public a chance to buy shares in what would become the
most profitable real estate consortium anywhere, instead of backing the biggest dud.
Then what we build at the site where we were all attacked would broadcast to the
world that we are back in control of our destiny. Otherwise, we’re not behind an Iron
Curtain — we are behind a Cement Curtain. If venal politicians and media
corporations get away with [building] this pathetic mockery, then the Freedom Tower
will one day be viewed as our democracy’s gravestone.
If elected officials can overrule what the people want to build on their own property
and use our money to do it, then how can we pretend to be a democracy? Voting once
every four years and getting ignored the rest of the time is not representative
Formally ratifying the wrong plan doesn’t make it the right one. It never

8/8/10 — The Enemy of My Enemy… We don’t really see any of our fellow Americans as
enemies, but we see those who have so undermined the will of the American people at Ground
Zero as incredibly dense, to say the least. Paul Goldberger has been one of the most destructive
influences, because he has used his position to deceptively mischaracterize both the original Twin
Towers and the effort to rebuild them. We look forward to cataloging his extensive
misrepresentations one day. But the recent video that was posted on The Huffington Post — Paul
Goldberger SLAMS Ground Zero Plans — certainly made up for a lot, because it showed the
current project in the most unfavorable light imaginable:
“The office building that is going up is sort of okay, but it’s not I don’t think going to
be a distinguished, particularly beautiful building… Simiilarly, the other office buildings
that have been planned for the site… are better than the average piece of junk on
Third Avenue… that’s true, but that’s not a very ringing endorsement for this site that
is so critical to the eyes of the world – where we had the opportunity to show the
world that we can do something that was bold and visionary, we have really not
succeeded at doing that.”
He calls 1 WTC “a building that is not that different from a lot of commercial buildings built
everywhere and, in fact, not as good as many of them,” but since can’t resist getting his
passive/aggressive digs in whenever possible, he added that 1 WTC “has a little more flair to it
than the old twin towers did.” He once admitted that, “The towers did wonderful things in the
light…” (That’s what made them the favorite subject of so many photographers.) But by saying that
he thinks a giant obelisk, which is a prominent feature in graveyards everywhere, has more flair
than the “old” Twin Towers, he is putting his credibility in question.
What Mr. Goldberger has always missed is something that most Americans know: Nothing would
be as “bold and visionary” or make a more noble statement in the eyes of the world than gleaming
Twin Towers. He wants to merely reclaim the skyline — most people want to restore it to its
former glory. Goldberger’s assessment is shared by many within the field, because their objections
are rooted in the presumption that the World Trade Center should have been a stage for their
brilliance. But he by no means speaks for the entire architectural community.
Some others in the field knew from the start that this is more a matter of spirit and respect than
architectural fashion. The celebrated architect Robert A.M. Stern was quoted in the New York
Times on September 23, 2001: “We must rebuild the towers. They are a symbol of our
achievement as New Yorkers and as Americans and to put them back says that we cannot be
defeated.” Implicit in that comment is the recognition that to fail to put them back is an
acknowledgment that we have lost our spirit and therefore can be defeated.
In 2004, the New York Times’ architecture critic, the late Herbert Muschamp wrote “Back to Basics:
Twin Towers II,” a column in support of “abandoning the flawed ground zero design process
altogether in favor of reconstructing the twin towers more or less as they were.”
What has happened since those opinions were published that resigns us to buildings that next to
nobody wants and that reflect so poorly on us as a nation? When put that way, there is only one
possible reply: Not much.
Even the ongoing “Twin Towers II vs. Freedom Tower” poll on skyscrapercity.com has run
60-40 for the Twin Towers, which is very telling because some architectural wannabes can be quite
closed-minded. No doubt there are some doing what they can to skew the numbers, but so far the
results have been holding.
Paul Goldberger’s disparagement of the current project can’t be shrugged off because the public
investment is enormous and the site is being permananetly blighted. The Durst Organization was
given a 10% share in 1 WTC, after pledging $100 million in the $3.2 billion venture (do the math)
but as Goldberger recently pointed out, the Federal and State agreements to occupy 1,000,000
square feet have still not been finalized and may never be. The official propaganda machinery
cranks out hype about the “iconic” towers, but if officials really believe it, they appear to be the
only ones who do.

8/8/10 — Nine Years of the Wrong Plan is Long Enough… We have posted no new bulletins
in the past month, because the action we are taking is being chronicled on the Save The WTC
page. We get frequent calls and emails looking for information, but we are sorry we cannot answer
individual requests, because we are completely focused on the mailing and other initiatives we
want to get launched by the approaching 9th Anniversary.
Even though things are looking grim, we are encouraged as never before that the outlook could
soon change dramatically. Of course we understand why some people would get discouraged, but
there is nothing going forward that binds us to the wrong plan. As we have pointed out before, the
New York metro area has seen three massive sports stadiums demolished in the past three years
to make way for something better, so don’t fall for the lie that the activity on the site that is being
done with the public’s money on the public’s land can actually stand in the way of a demonstrably
more cost-effective, popular, and respectful plan.
The officials’ problem is that they still can’t pay for their plan. Meanwhile, WSJ.com posted an
animated video of the transit hub that does a splendid job of showing the people of New York
and New Jersey what they are getting for the $3.2 billion — and climbing — price tag. Even locally,
most people will never use it and yet, that same money could completely build one state-of-the-art
Twin Tower. Imagine spending billions of dollars on a transit hub that most people will never use or
see, as opposed to the worldwide effect of raising one Twin Tower.
When people consider that the other Twin Tower in the “Twin Towers II” plan could be built for the
price of the “Freedom Tower” and that they could both be completed within three years, they will
understand what a swindle is being pulled off by our elected officials on 100% public land with
public money. The only reason it is going forward is because people can’t consider information they
are not given. The fact that spectacular 21st-century Twin Towers could be open and glittering
years before the most optimistic completion date for the current four towers — that they cannot
pay for, even with billions of public dollars — is why the Twin Towers Alliance recently brought this
to the Attorney General, “The People’s Lawyer” for relief.
There has to be a limit to official misconduct and this scam is a new low. Now, if only the so-called
journalists would stop leading the cheers for this disgraceful loser of a project, we can still get it
right. Far more convincingly than in the instances of the sports arenas, there is no good reason to
keep throwing good money after bad at the World Trade Center, when we can have our
spectacular skyline back.
But the Twin Towers deserve more than passive support. We put a video campaign in place in May,
but have been waiting to really launch it. Now we are asking everyone who wants to be a
constructive part of the rebuilding effort to send us a short video, distilling your reasons for why it
matters to you into a 30-second clip. And if you really want to be effective, encourage others to do
the same. We posted the following invitation on our Vimeo site at
We are kicking off a campaign to get people’s opinions on the future of the World
Trade Center. We hope that everyone who reads this will suspend their ideas of what
is and isn’t likely and, instead, speak out about what is and isn’t inspiring and
Please distill into a video of a minute or less why restoring the skyline with better
than ever Twin Towers is important to you.
Visualize yourself speaking to a room of people or else focus on a particular person
and communicate what is on your mind and in your heart as if it really matters,
because it really does.
Send it to soceg6124@up.vimeo.com and it will appear within a few minutes. Please
include your name and location in the subject line as follows: Jefferson Smith | New
York, NY — nothing else.
You are free to expand your comment in the body of the message. It will appear with
your video as a permanent record of your hopes and dreams for a better World Trade
Center and a better world.
What we build on that ground that witnessed such suffering and valor has to be
dedicated to bringing out the best in our country and each other. Anything less would
be a crime.

7/5/10 — That’s the Spirit… The country we are celebrating this weekend was fought for and
hard-won. A page in yesterday’s New York Post describes how incredibly harsh the suffering was
and how bleak the outlook in 1776. But they believed in what they were doing.
Now it’s our turn. Nothing great comes easy. Every birth involves labor. But as the video on our
“America the Beautiful” page makes clear, the Twin Towers are so worth fighting for.
They were destroyed by foreign terrorists, but they were kept down by our own elected officials,
against our will, and in spite of all reason. That is an outrage that we cannot resign ourselves to
and still claim to be heirs of the nation’s founders. That’s impossible to reconcile.
New Twin Towers aren’t peripheral to putting our government back in working order. They are
central to correcting the imbalance of power. The disgust with Washington is bipartisan and
rebuilding the Towers is where we can find common ground and function as a union, regardless of
our differences.
The process of separating facts from opinion and giving people a chance to examine and debate
issues is how our government is meant to function. If officials then choose a different course, they
must explain their choices to the people. To leave out the debate and leave out the explanation is
to short-circuit our government. Restoring the current here, will make everything work better.
When the Twin Towers are back in the skyline they will be a constant reminder to enemies abroad
and scoundrels at home that we, the American People, are in charge of our government and we
are determined to stand together to defend our way of life.


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