'The Sphere' To Leave Battery Park

"The Sphere" -- a sculpture that survived the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center -- will leave Battery Park at the end of the month, according to the Associated Press. The sculpture sat in the plaza between the two towers and became a memorial after it was recovered from the rubble. Despite an online petition to keep the sculpture in place, NY1 reports that will probably be stored in a hangar at John F. Kennedy International Airport, because of renovations due for the park.

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World Trade Center Crane Accident: Steel Beams Fall 40 Stories onto Truck

A crane at the WTC construction site sent steel beams flying 40 stories down to the ground, smashing a truck.

Witnesses said that a cable snapped on the crane, stationed at Tower 3, according to DNAInfo.

Workers rushed for cover, but the truck's driver was fine and nobody else was severely hurt. One man had minor injuries, but was treated and released by medics on site.

The accident took place just before 10 a.m., near the intersection of Church and Liberty Streets.

Some reports claim, however, that the accident took place at Tower 4, the southernmost building.

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Record Number of Tourists Visited Lower Manhattan Last Year

Lower Manhattan saw nearly 9.8 million tourists visit last year, a record number for an area revitalized by development and the World Trade Center site.

Many of those were drawn here by the newly-opened September 11 Memorial, which has already attracted more than 1 million visitors in the four months it has been open.

Downtown Alliance President Liz Berger said in a statement: "Tourism is thriving in Lower Manhattan like never before. The secret is out -- Lower Manhattan is a destination of choice in the region, nationally and around the world."

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Port Authority Plans on Military-Grade Security for the World Trade Center Site

Wikimedia Commons
After an audit found that the Port Authority was nearly $2 billion overbudget, the New York Post went digging and discovered that the PA has elaborate, high-tech security plans for protecting the redesigned World Trade Center site. Maybe that's where all the money is going!

The security plan calls for several different kinds of fancy-schmancy cameras to be used at the memorial site, including devices that can recognize human faces and retinas and match them to a criminal watch list. Are we the only people getting creepy Minority Report vibes from this? No?

The Port Authority also wants to utilize new kinds of artificial intelligence that can detect when people engage in "suspicious activity" and deploy police officers to those areas. According to the Post the cameras would be trained to notice:

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Mayor Bloomberg Slams Results of Port Authority Audit, Says WTC Memorial is Worth the Cost

Mayor Bloomberg has slammed the results of an audit that called the Port Authority "a challenged and dysfunctional organization" with "ineffective cost controls," saying that the cost of the World Trade Center memorial is worth it for the sake of New York's reputation.

"Can you imagine? If America couldn't have come up with a memorial by the 10th anniversary, I would suggest that the press would have had a field day. It would have been an embarrassment around the world," Bloomberg told DNAinfo.

Bloomberg cited several factors which have contributed to the high cost of building the World Trade Center memorial, including bureaucratic struggles over permits and land ownership, the architectural problems caused by subway lines that run near the site, and the loaded political significance of the project.

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Preliminary Audit Deems the Port Authority a "Dysfunctional Organization"

A preliminary audit commissioned by the board of the Port Authority has found that the institution is "a challenged and dysfunctional organization suffering from a lack of consistent leadership, a siloed underlying bureaucracy, poorly coordinated capital planning process, insufficient cost controls and a lack of transparent and effective oversight of the World Trade Center."

As costs for construction at the World Trade Center continue to rise, the Port Authority finds itself under increasing scrutiny. The audit also found that the PA suffers from inadequate cost-controlling methods, and often awards its employees excessive or unnecessary benefits.

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"Twin Towers" on Sixth Avenue About a Mile Apart

Steven Thrasher
Yesterday, we wrote about how from the middle of Sixth Avenue in the West Village, you can get a view that is eerily reminiscent of what the Twin Towers looked like from the same spot a decade ago.

The optical illusion is created by the pairing of the Trump SoHo Tower and the still-under-construction One World Trade. From this unique point in the city, the two buildings appear to be next to each other and to be the same size.

But how close are they? And how alike are they, really?

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One World Trade and Trump SoHo Recreate Twin Towers View on Sixth Avenue

Steven Thrasher
Crossing Sixth Avenue at 11th Street this afternoon, it was impossible not to notice. At its current stage of construction, One World Trade appears to be the same height and size as the Trump SoHo Tower. Together, the two create a view that looks eerily like the pre-9/11 World Trade Center from this intersection.

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NYPD Moves 200 Officers Out Of Higher Crime Areas To Staff World Trade Center; Nabes Screwed Again

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The 206 police officers transferred last week to the new World Trade Center Command are coming largely from higher crime precincts outside of tourist-heavy, monied southern Manhattan, documents show.

Just three cops are coming from the lower Manhattan's 1st Precinct, which includes the trade center site, and only eight from precincts south of Central Park, NYPD records show. Crime is down 8 percent in lower Manhattan.

Perhaps the most controversial piece of the move is that 58 of the transfers involve young officers coming out of the Impact program, where they are sent for eight months after completing the police academy to augment patrol officers in, wait for it, high crime areas. In other words, neighborhoods that need cops the most are losing them to the World Trade Center command.

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Did a Man Pull a Gun on Barack Obama's Motorcade Today?

C.S. Muncy
A twentysomething guy in a blue hat was thought to have pulled a gun out of his backpack in front of the Church Street Station Post Office today in Manhattan as Barack Obama's motorcade went by. The man was immediately tackled by NYPD and Secret Service, who according to NJ.com yelled, "Get down, get down." The Daily News got a dramatic photo of the incident; you can see it here. The man, who apparently was pushing a bike through the crowd saying "Secret Service coming through" before he was tackled, was taken into the post office by the cops and questioned -- and later released, which seems to indicate he wasn't actually trying to kill the president and may instead have just had his worst day ever on the job as a bike messenger. NJ.com reports now that the guy wasn't armed. [NJ.com, NYDN]