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Joined: Mar 17, 2005
Posts: 22572
Location: Staten Island

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 2:24 pm    Post subject: MAYOR'S OFFICE RESPONSE..ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS
From Sun Oct 21, 2007 3:00 am to Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:59 am (included)
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A previous message was sent inadvertently. This is my reaction to your recent message and should be considered, not the working copy which went out a few minutes earlier.

I have copied your response and interjected comments. These are underlined and in bold print. I am afraid your response did not really cover the information we have been seeking. I expect a more complete answer on Monday, October 22, 2007.


Diane Horning

From: Bernstein, Jarrod

To: WTC Families For Proper Burial ; Anthony Gardner

Cc: Carie Lemack ; Dennis McKeon ; Diane Nealon ; M. McGinty ; Lee Ielip ; tl7mom@optonline.net ; Sally Regenhard ; Suzanne Sebert ; WDoyle5615@aol.com ; gcorbet1@ix.netcom.com ; Holloway, Cas ; Parvizi, Nazli ; Borakove, Ellen ; bbutcher@ocme.nyc.gov ; 911familyquestions

Sent: Friday, October 19, 2007 4:47 PM

Dear Diane

The ongoing work on Liberty Street has been in progress for a number of months as part of the overall excavation effort that was begun subsequent to the October 2006 discoveries. We have been asking since the first announced discovery of remains at the Liberty Street site for you to tell us exactly what is mesant by the "Liberty Street site." Specifically we asked if this was the area of the Greek Church? The place the viewing trailer for family members had been, the footings at/near the pedestrian bridge, or anywhere else along Liberty Street. You have not answered our qurestion here

The recoveries referenced as coming from the World Financial Center have been made in the area between the actual WFC buildings and the West Side Highway. These discoveries were initially made during excavation being done for reconstruction of the West Side Highway and OCME subsequently searched the surrounding area. Is there more excavation being done here, or is this material previously removed and now being searched that is yielding remains? A map indicating the area of discovery and search would have been helpful.

By agreement with the Port Authority, OCME has a continuous presence at the WTC site and has been monitoring the excavation work underway since completing work on Cedar Street in June of this year. As has been the procedure throughout the site, if OCME determines that any excavated material could contain potential human remains—including material by the 1 and 9 subway box--that material will be sifted, just like the material that has been removed from the site and surrounding area to date. We have NO idea what a "continued presence" is. Our question VERY SPECIFICALLY asked what training was being given to the workers so that they might better judge what is and is not relevant to call to the attention of OCME staff. How many OCME people are on the site ...one or two at any place excavation takes place for the entire time digging and excavation is taking place or is there a very limited number available when something is brought to their attention? What happened to our request to actually see what is being done at the 1/9subway box? We had asked for a mutually designated person to oversee the areas being explored. What happened to that request.? Was it denied? If so, why? If not, why hasn't this protocol been implemented?

Whenever we report potential human remains found, we indicate the part of the site or search area from which they came. Although some remains are actually recovered from the site prior to sifting, and others are recovered at 11 Water Street, all recoveries are classified by where the excavated material came from at the site.We can see that. We have asked that you tell us if the recovery was done on site or in Brooklyn. And, if in Brooklyn, at Water Street or 39th Street. Exactly what, if any, recoveries are being done at the site? We are With respect to the DEP sewer line, this line was discovered under the haul road and all of the material in the line was excavated for sifting. The DEP sewer line is just one of a number of subterranean structures that have been searched as part of this effort.

As for training, OCME personnel assigned to the WTC remains recovery and identification effort all have specialized education and training in their respective fields. OCME Forensic Anthropologists and Archaeologists monitor the excavation, and these personnel have advanced degrees in their respective fields and must have extensive experience in soils analysis, stratigraphy, and archaeological field excavation.We did not ask for this information. Again, we have asked what training the workers at the site (not OCME employees) have been given to enable them to make educaterd decisions and to keep from destroying any remains they might find. Is this another exercise as was done at Fresh Kills? If you see something, here's a bucket to dump it into. Then take it to the OCME representative to examine, or are these workers given some specific guidlines to make their discoveries more precise?

If WTC debris is detected by whom and through what training or protocol would these people be able to determine this is WTC debris?, the material is excavated under OCME supervision and transported to 11 Water Street Is material now being sent directly to Water Street or is some still going to 39th? How is it transported and protected during transportation? where it is sifted by OCME personnel or experienced forensic anthropologists and archaeologists working under OCME’s supervision. OCME’s Director of Forensic Anthropology, Dr. Bradley Adams, reviews the resume of every contract employee working on the sifting deck at Water Street; only those individuals with the appropriate education and experience are hired to work on this project. Again, we are not talking about Brad Adams or the people he has under his direction at the sifting banks. We need to know what happens before it gets there.

OCME generally assigns personnel with more experience in osteology and small remains identification to the sifting operation, while those with more experience in soils stratigraphy tend to work at the on-site excavations. Finally, construction workers do not conduct search and recovery work; their role is limited to performing excavation work under OCME’s direction. Is the office of the OCME on site at every site at all times when excavation work is being done? How many and at what locations?

In summary, although there have been many questions, the following have been the most recent and really have not been answered in your message. Briefly, the more recent questions are, and continue to be:

1. what is the training given to workers excavating the area. Not the members of the OME's staff, but the actual people digging and loading at the WTC site and its environs

2. what is being done about the area near the old 1/9 subway line?

3. We would like to see the work being done and are willing to wear protective gear and sign waivers. Will you allow such a visit? If not, why not.

4. What is meant by the DEP sewer lines and how does that differ from "subterranean structures"?

5. When you release new numbers of potential human remains, which of these has been found on the actual site and which have been found in Brooklyn? Where in Brooklyn, 39th Street or Water Street?

6. The monthly updates has followed several different formats, making them hard to follow and to reconcile. What will be the agreed upon format and when can we expect the monthly updates? At times several months go by without an update. A specific date on each month would be helpful.

7. Where is work being done at the World Financial Center?

8. What is meant by the "Liberty Street section?"

9. (asked in person) Was the contract to Bode Technologies a no-bid contract? Does the fact that so few identifications have been made echo Bode's record from Illinois where it was fired because of shoddy work

I hope this addresses the issues raised in your email.


Jarrod Bernstein

Jarrod Neal Bernstein

Office of the Mayor

Community Affairs Unit


Office (212) 788-3037

Fax (212) 788-7754
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