LA Times 8/30/18: 9/11 is Still Killing FBI Agents

Sept. 11 is still killing FBI agents: ‘It’s like Bin Laden reaching out from the grave’

Sept. 11 is still killing FBI agents: 'It's like Bin Laden reaching out from the grave'
Tresa Roth, whose husband, FBI Agent Robert Roth, died from cancer in 2008, with memorabilia from his time at the agency. He assisted rescue and investigative efforts at the Pentagon after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.

FBI Agent Dave LeValley was driving to work in Manhattan when he saw the first jetliner strike the World Trade Center on a bright September morning 17 years ago. He quickly parked his car and sprinted to the scene, where he scoured for evidence and helped survivors while dodging falling debris and bodies.

When the first tower collapsed, he dove into a bodega, escaping with his life. What he couldn’t outrun: the toxic cloud of dust.

“We saw him a couple of hours later, and he looked like a snowman, covered head to toe in that stuff,” said Gregory W. Ehrie, a fellow FBI agent who spent several weeks with LeValley digging in the rubble.


LeValley, who joined the FBI in 1996 and rose to lead the bureau’s Atlanta office, was diagnosed in 2008 with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. He died in May, age 53, from a different form of cancer that had metastasized to his brain. FBI officials and health experts say both were likely caused by carcinogenic fumes and dust after the Sept. 11 attacks.


While one FBI agent was killed in the attacks, 15 have died from cancers linked to toxic exposure during the subsequent investigation and cleanup, the FBI says. Three of them, including LeValley, have died since March — a rash of deaths that has reopened traumas of the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history and sparked fresh anxieties.

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Daily News 8/17/18: Deaths from 9/11 Reaching Epidemic Proportions

Reaching epidemic proportions: Another retired firefighter dies of a 9/11-related illness

Reaching epidemic proportions: Another retired firefighter dies of a 9/11-related illness
Retired FDNY Firefighter Michael McDonald died of a 9/11-related illness this week. (FDNY)

Another firefighter has died from his time spent inhaling toxic fumes at Ground Zero.

Retired Firefighter Michael McDonald, 64, died of a 9/11-related illness earlier this week, the Uniformed Firefighters Association announced Friday.  A viewing and a funeral are planned for Aug. 29 at Maloney Funeral Home in Lake Ronkonkoma, the union noted.


McDonald died of lung and brain cancer, those with knowledge of his death said. He had joined the department in 1984 and retired after 28 years of service. His entire career was spent at Ladder 128 in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, officials said.


“Michael’s long, illustrious career as a member of the FDNY was matched by few, and this warrior will be mourned by all in the 9/11 community as we offer our shoulders to our brothers and sisters in the FDNY,” said 9/11 survivor advocate John Feal.

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NY Post 8/11/18: Nearly 10,000 People Have Cancer from 9/11 Toxic Dust

NY Times 8/23/18: New York’s Yeshiva Students Deserve Better

New York’s Yeshiva Students Deserve Better

Elected officials should require Orthodox Jewish schools to meet legal standards.

By The Editorial Board

The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher. It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section.

CreditCreditCristóbal Schmal

In 2015, concerned parents, teachers and former students filed a complaint to New York City’s Department of Education charging that 39 ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools in the city failed to give children a basic education, violating state law that requires instruction to be “substantially equivalent” to that in public schools.

Three years later, virtually nothing has been done to hold the schools to legal standards, as politicians have ducked their responsibility rather than challenge leaders of one of the city’s most powerful voting blocs. In a city with low turnout in primary elections, candidates often covet the support of Orthodox communities, which tend to vote based on the guidance of religious leaders.

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration says it has visited only 15 of those schools, called yeshivas, and been denied access to 15 others. It said nine others that were subjects of the complaint were either closed or didn’t offer K-12 education. A lawyer for a group representing the schools denies that investigators were barred and said the accusations were unfounded.

In the schools that investigators did manage to visit, they essentially confirmed the critics’ complaints. Many of these schools receive public funding.

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Daily Kos 8/20/18: Religious Groups with Cuomo Ties Block NY School Monitors

Religious Communities with Ties to Andrew Cuomo Block School Monitors


Andrew Cuomo meeting with Hasidic leaders during an earlier campaign. (Source: Multiple sites on the Internet)

In July 2015 the New York City Department of Education (DOE) announced it would investigate the quality of secular education provided at more than three dozen yeshivas. The Jewish religious schools, primarily operated by ultra-Orthodox groups in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg, Borough Park, and Crown Heights Hasidic communities, were accused by former students and teachers of denying students, particularly male students, state-mandated instruction in English, math, social studies, and science.

The issue resurfaced again in April 2018 and again in July. In April, a State Senator representing Borough Park held up passage of the state budget until yeshivas were exempted from state education mandates. A spokesman for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is currently seeking re-election, praised the exemption claiming “the Legislature passed a law that sought to balance the unique needs of yeshivas with the high educational standards we require for every New York student” and reported that the Governor remains “committed to achieving that balance.”

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Press Release 8/7/18: Senator Carlucci Press Event Demanding SED Answers Re Missing ER Funding

NYS State Senator David Carlucci held a press event Aug. 8/18 to insist that the State Education Department provide answers about why $200,311 of funding intended for ERCSD instead went to Charter schools in 2017-18.  The SED has said that, due to the large amount of money owed to the District, the money will be paid back over 2 years instead of one year.  Press release below:


August 7th, 2018

Contact:  Mary Mueller

**Senator Carlucci Demands Answers From State Education Department**

 Presser Wednesday Demanding Funding For Minority & Low Income Students in East Ramapo After It’s Mistakenly Given to Charter Schools

New City, NY – Sen. David Carlucci is demanding to know why the struggling East Ramapo Central School District must wait two years for funding they are owed after a mistake made by the State Education Department (SED). Other districts owed less, will be paid first during the next school year.

The SED announced last week that it mistakenly gave $12 million in federal money to mostly charter schools instead of public schools in 2017-18. The error affected 687 schools across the state, including Rockland County district, East Ramapo. The SED decided schools owed up to $130,728 would be paid in the 2018-2019 school year. While, schools owed the most, like East Ramapo, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse would be made whole over a two-year period.

The Title IIA federal funding owed to East Ramapo provides students from low-income families and minority students with greater access to effective educators. In total, $208,311 is owed to East Ramapo and could have helped the largely minority school district in recruiting and retaining quality teachers, principals, and other school leaders. Senator Carlucci said East Ramapo is in dire need of this funding, after their school budget did not pass, making layoffs to staff eminent.

WHO: Senator David Carlucci

WHERE:  Outside 20 S. Main Street, New City, NY

WHEN: Wednesday, August 8th at 1:00 p.m.

Chalkbeat 7/26/18: Small School in Brooklyn that City Wants to Close Will Remain Open Next Year

A small Brooklyn school that the city wants to close will remain open next year

Parents and advocates gathered at the education department’s lower Manhattan headquarters in February to protest proposed school closures.

A judge has officially blocked a small Brooklyn elementary school from closing next year, after three families from P.S. 25/the Eubie Blake School filed a lawsuit to keep it open.

The lawsuit, which was filed in March by the public interest law firm Advocates for Justice on behalf of the families, argues that the city’s decision to close the school was illegal because the local parent council did not vote on the decision.

Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Katherine Levine did not make a final ruling on the merits of the lawsuit. Instead, she wrote that the school should remain open while the court considers the legal arguments.

“Once the school was closed it would be a fait accompli and highly improbable that the school would ever remain open regardless of the Court’s ultimate decision,” Levine wrote last month, adding the court would not have been able to weigh the evidence before school starts in September.

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Daily News 7/20/18: New Clinic Opened to Address Backlog of 9/11 Related Cases

EXCLUSIVE: Backlog of 9/11-illness cases sparks opening of new lower Manhattan clinic

EXCLUSIVE: Backlog of 9/11-illness cases sparks opening of new lower Manhattan clinic
Firefighters look for survivors in the smoking rubble of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. The World Trade Center Health Program has seen a spike in new patients suffering from the aftereffects of the attack. (Todd Maisel/New York Daily News)

The World Trade Center Health Program has seen a massive spike in new patients sickened by exposure to 9/11 toxins — forcing the organization to open up a new office in lower Manhattan that will see an estimated 750 patients a month, the Daily News has learned.

The new clinic, expected to open on William St. in August, will handle the overflow of WTC health evaluations that are currently being done at the Survivor Clinical Center of Excellence run by NYC Health and Hospitals, sources with knowledge of the move said.

“This is serious progress,” said Kimberly Flynn, chair of the World Trade Center’s Health Program’s Survivors Steering Committee. “Survivors’ needs are getting addressed — people looking to get certifications to support their Victim Compensation Fund claims are going to get them, and people who want the specialized care that only the WTC Health Program provides are going to get it.”


Daily News 7/14/18: We Have a Duty to Take Care of 9/11 Responders

Our duty to all 9/11 responders: The city must do right by EMTs sickened at Ground Zero

Our duty to all 9/11 responders: The city must do right by EMTs sickened at Ground Zero
Rescue workers continue their search as smoke rises from the rubble of the World Trade Center on Thursday, September 13, 2001, in New York.

From the moment the World Trade Center was attacked by terrorists on 9/11 and for months afterward, men and women from around the state descended on Lower Manhattan, where an around-the-clock operation was underway to first rescue and then recover victims of the worst terror strike on U.S. soil.

These heroes never considered politics, or even their own safety, before rushing into a toxic maelstrom at Ground Zero. They put the lives of others first. And in doing so, they showed the true character of New Yorkers for the world to see.


Today we know that many of those who served at Ground Zero were exposed, fatally in some cases, to dangerous toxins. In the years since 9/11, New York has tried to honor their heroism in part by ensuring health-care protections for those who became sick.

Most recently, we fought to reauthorize the federal Zadroga Bill extending health care to 9/11 first responders for 75 years; we extended a three-fourths disability pension to all members of the uniformed services; and last year I signed a bill into law to provide unlimited paid sick leave to all New York public employees from outside of New York City who became sick serving in the rescue and recovery operation.

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Science Daily 7/10/18: PTSD Suffered by 9/11 Responders May Increase Risk of Stroke or Heart Attack

Science News
from research organizations

World Trade Center response crews may face higher heart attack, stroke risk

July 10, 2018
American Heart Association
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may increase the risk for stroke and heart attack in both male and female city workers and volunteers who cleaned debris in the aftermath of the World Trade Center plane attack on Sept. 11, 2001. The study sheds light on long-term consequences of PTSD 11-15 years after the event occurred in a general population.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may increase the long-term risk for stroke and heart attack in blue-collar clean-up crews who worked in the aftermath of The World Trade Center plane attack on September 11, 2001, according to new research in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, an American Heart Association journal.

This is the first report from World Trade Center-Heart, a study investigating the association between the September 11 attack and cardiovascular outcomes among blue-collar workers involved in debris clearance.

“Even though there is evidence, PTSD is not considered as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, this study provides for the first time the evidence that PTSD is of the same magnitude for stroke and heart attack in men and women,” said Alfredo Morabia, M.D., Ph.D., study senior author and professor of epidemiology at City University of New York and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York.

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