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Searchlights to Burn Again During Fall Migration in 9/11/2003 Political Show - One searchlight killed 50,000 migratory birds on 10/7-8/1954
The Coincidence Theorist's Guide to 9/11. (With key issues missed or covered up by The New York Times.)
From The New York Times With Comments in Red Italics
March 4, 2002
From 88 Searchlights, an Ethereal Tribute
By DAVID W. DUNLAP
Not one life will be reclaimed, not one page in the calendar restored. But next Monday, if all goes according to plan, two luminous columns will cleave the night sky over Lower Manhattan, conjuring those pillars that New York took utterly for granted before Sept. 11 and has desperately missed ever since. ["Desperately missed?" The World Trade Center was the one of the worst examples of New York arrogance and corruption for the benefit of powerful special interests without regard to environmental and social impacts. The heavily subsidized towers were dangerous eyesores that should never have been built and should never be rebuilt. They might have been torn down long ago had they not been so full of asbestos to present an unprecedented hazardous waste disposal problem, and they would have to have been torn down sooner or later at enormous expense due to galvanic corrosion resulting from aluminum on steel construction. They killed thousands of migrating birds, wasted vast amounts of energy, and promoted overpopulation of the New York City area. And even though Muslim fundamentalists bombed the WTC in 1993 and hijacked an airliner in France in 1994 with the objective of flying it into the Eiffel Tower, nothing was done to deport troublemakers, bring mass immigration under control, or protect the known targets (other than Ashcroft). Now, obviously innocent Americans are being harassed by slow-witted security goons (cartoon), and the US has started two ill-defined wars, but the underlying problems still are not being addressed, and the Bush Administration is lying and stonewalling to an extent never approached by the administrations of Nixon or even Clinton, who is a pathological liar. In light of the obvious vulnerability of the WTC, not to mention the sudden, unexplained evacuation by Israeli tenants a few days before the attack, Condoleeza Rice's warning to SF Mayor Willie Brown not to fly on 9/10/2001, intelligence reports in the spring and summer of 2001 that al-Qa'ida was planning to attack buildings in the U.S. with airplanes, unusually large purchases of UAL and AA put options (betting the stocks would fall) in the days before 9/11, and the Bushniks' secretly expressed desire for "a new Pearl Harbor" to get the US into war in the Middle East, the towers should have been evacuated before 9/11/2001.]
Aimed straight up from Battery Park City and visible — the designers hope [and the helpless victims fear] — for miles around, two parallel beams created by 88 powerful searchlights [consuming 616,000 watts] will glow every night from dusk to 11 p.m., cloud cover, helicopter traffic and bird migration permitting. [Image gallery -- note the faithful duplication of Albert Speer's original design, the Cathedrals of Light for the Nazi Party's 1936 Nuremburg rally.]
"It's like a votive candle," said Saskia Levy, the project organizer for the [tax exempt] Municipal Art Society, the primary sponsor of the installation. "It will have its time and its place. And then it will go out."
It has not been easy to light. [It certainly has been easy, particularly since the environmental laws have been totally disregarded and the conspirators have proceeded in virtual secrecy.]
Originally envisioned as a swift response to the attack, something to lift the city's spirits around the holidays and to proclaim its resilience [what utter nonsense -- typical of the New York Times -- it's illogical to ameliorate damage by inflicting more damage upon innocent third-parties], the project demanded months of negotiation. Four dozen people have worked [run their meters] since mid-September to create a memorial that will literally disappear into thin air. [It's the money that's disappearing into thin air.]
The project, which Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg [the diminutive and repulsive media billionaire ($4.8 Billion and increasing) who recently polluted the airwaves with his obnoxious, $76 Million political campaign] has said he favors, moved much closer to reality on Friday when the [taxpayer subsidized] Battery Park City Authority [the CEO is a career political hack] approved the installation of the 88 searchlights in two 50-foot-square arrays on a lot bounded by Murray, West and Vesey Streets. [Apparently without an Environmental Impact Statement -- Where are the environmental lawyers from the National Audubon Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund, Sierra Club, etc.? Answer: The corrupt "Big Green" environmental groups increasingly rely on government and corporate grants and rarely cross their benefactors. (See, e.g., the recent sellout of the Bitterroot Roadless Wilderness in Montana by the Sierra Club and The Wilderness Society to appease their political friends and recover lucrative attorney's fees.)]
The installation will cost about $500,000 [what a tremendous waste of taxpayers' and ratepayers' money], Ms. Levy said. That includes construction [undoubtedly by the Mafia, who "60 Minutes" found building New York's Federal Courthouse], two round-the-clock guards and a technician who will extinguish the lights if requested by the Federal Aviation Administration or the New York City Audubon Society, which worries that migrating birds like the American woodcock might die as a result of being drawn to the beacons. [Based on the information contained in this newspaper report, it appears that there would be grounds for injunctive relief against the light towers under New York State environmental law and the United States Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Apparently no Environmental Impact Statement has been prepared for the project, even though a prominent corporate lawyer, who has an obligation to know and respect the law, is the project coordinator.
Following is an excerpt from an email forwarded from FLAP, the Fatal Light Awareness Program, a highly-regarded organization with considerable expertise on the effects of lights on migrating birds: "Before we can even estimate the potential threat these light may impose, we can not ignore the fact that there is a vast difference between a tall human-built structure with individually-lit windows and a series of spot lights or Light Pencils. Light Pencils are known to pose a much greater threat to nocturnal migrating birds. This intense form of light travels a much greater distance and is thrust above and beyond the normal altitudes of nocturnal migrating birds. When there is cloud cover these pencils create a dot of light on the ceiling level. Massive numbers of birds can be drawn to these dots where they then circle in and down the pencil of light to its source. One of the worst documented examples of how deadly this form of light can be, occurred on October 7th and 8th 1954 at Georgia's Warner Robins Air Force Base where a ceilometer beam took the lives of over 50,000 birds."]
The financing is coming from individuals, [tax exempt]
foundations and corporations [and, of course, taxpayers and ratepayers, who
will have to make up for the corporations' and wealthy individuals' deductions.
As Leona Helmsley
once said, "We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes."],
led by Deutsche
Bank [which finances environmentally disastrous megaprojects around the
world, such as the
Three Gorges Dam in China]
The inauguration of the memorial will mark the sixth month since the attack. "We don't want to forget that it's still a grave site," said Kent L. Barwick, the president of the Municipal Art Society. "But it seems like a good time to pay tribute and remind all of us that there's much work to be done." [Particularly idiotic comments, even in comparison to others in this article. Projecting 88 powerful searchlights into the sky has a lot more to do with paying interested vendors than paying tribute. And New Yorkers do not need to be reminded that there has been a terrorist attack by "sleeper" agents, of whom there may be thousands more in the US awaiting orders with more arriving daily thanks to continuing mass immigration, which the New York Times supports to the point of suppressing alternative points of view.]
The idea of recreating the towers, at least intimating their presence in spectral form, occurred almost simultaneously to John Bennett and Gustavo Bonevardi of Proun Space Studio in Manhattan, which specializes in architectural computer modeling; to Julian LaVerdiere and Paul Myoda, two artists who had worked on the 91st floor of the trade center; and to Richard Nash Gould, a New York architect. [All simultaneously spotting a prime business opportunity.]
Mr. Gould took his idea to the Municipal Art Society, a civic organization whose concerns include public art and public spaces. On Sept. 19, the society's chairman, [the tirelessly self-promoting corporate lawyer] Philip K. Howard, wrote a letter to Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani [the son of a Mafia hitman who led the fight against the Light Pollution Bill, which was passed by the New York Legislature but vetoed by stinking corrupt Gov. Pataki on February 1, 2002], asking him "to consider placing two large searchlights near the disaster site, projecting their light straight up into the sky." [Rather than working to add new sources of pollution, apparently without an environmental impact analysis, it would be much more worthwhile for Mr. Howard to take steps to reform the law firm in which he is a partner, Covington & Burling, the notorious tobacco lobbyists.]
"They would be simple, beautiful and fill the void that seems so unnatural," [What a moronic statement! Darkness at night is unnatural? These city slickers need some lessons in the fundamentals of natural science and life on earth. I'll tell you what's unnatural: It's losing 90% of the Neotropical migrant birds in Eastern North America in less than 50 years. Rather than mitigating existing obstructions to migration, the political and corporate elite are working diligently to create additional hazards.] he said in the letter, which was also signed by David Rockefeller [Inheriting a robber baron's fortune does not guarantee good judgment. Cf. Nelson Rockefeller.] and eight others, including Agnes Gund, the president of the Museum of Modern Art. [A rip-off museum that routinely shows inferior prints of old movies and recently closed its unique movie stills archive to save money.]
Coincidentally, The New York Times
Set against the debate between those who wanted to build again at the trade center site and those who wanted to leave it as consecrated ground, Mr. Myoda said the proposal "momentarily transcended this dichotomy." [I.e., generated significant revenues.]
"It is a presence," he said, "but ethereal rather than concrete." [But just as vulgar!]
After Creative Time posted "Phantom Towers" on its Web site, 12,000 messages came in, said the executive director, Anne Pasternak. She learned that a similar "Project for the Immediate Reconstruction of Manhattan's Skyline" was being circulated by Mr. Bennett and Mr. Bonevardi. [The battle of the experts -- to be hired.]
"This shouldn't be a horse race to see who gets there first," Ms. Pasternak recalled thinking. The same realization dawned on Ms. Gund when she learned of the work by Mr. Bennett and Mr. Bonevardi. Pointing this out to Mr. Barwick, she said, "You've got to get together with these other groups because it's silly to overlap." [No competitive bidding was necessary (and in any event, has long been disfavored in New York City), as there was sufficient money to engage all the applicants.]
To bring technical experience to this crowded table [apparently no consideration was given to bringing environmental, legal or ethical expertise to the "crowded table"], the Municipal Art Society invited Paul Marantz, a founding principal and design principal of Fisher Marantz Stone, an architectural lighting firm.
"I thought it was a great idea," he said. [Great for profits.] "I never thought we couldn't do it." [With unlimited funds.] The heart of the installation will be 7,000-watt searchlights made by Space Cannon of Fubine, Italy. They look a bit like stout four-and-a-half-foot cannons.
They will be arrayed so the beams collectively form two distinct columns, much as the trade center's twin towers created a colossal gateway. [Actually a colossal obstruction to the migratory bird flyway through Manhattan.] "We're reconstructing the void as opposed to reconstructing the buildings," Mr. Bonevardi said. These pillars will not be nearly as large as the 200-foot-square outlines of the towers themselves.
A test run in Las Vegas assured the designers that the beams would not disperse and cast light directly into surrounding buildings. But the actual appearance will be imponderable until all 88 fixtures are turned on at once.
"My fear," Mr. Marantz said about March 11, "is that it will be the clearest, darkest, coldest night of the year and the light will be invisible." Without something to reflect it, light cannot be seen.
"Fortunately," Mr. Marantz added, "in New York, there's usually a fair amount of atmosphere." [It's air pollution, Mr. Marantz.]
A misty fog would offer an ideal medium [for killing large numbers of birds], though the organizers have agreed not to turn on the lights when the visibility is less than three miles and the cloud cover is lower than 2,000 feet, to satisfy the concerns of the Federal Aviation Administration.
Complicating the development process was the change of administrations at City Hall. [To paraphrase legendary Tammany Hall boss George Washington Plunkitt, the fat pigs are out and the lean pigs are in. Even when politicians stay bought, newcomers have to be bought again. (That's the reason the big business lobbies vehemently oppose term limits.)] Susan K. Freedman, the president of the [tax exempt] Public Art Fund, championed the proposal before the Bloomberg administration. "There has clearly been a need for a temporary monument to fill a void at the heart of the city," she said. [Yet another idiotic comment.]
Madelyn Wils, the chairwoman of Community Board 1 in Lower Manhattan and a board member of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, said the organizers had satisfactorily answered concerns about ambient light, dangers to migratory birds and interference with aviation. [Is Madelyn Wils an expert on migratory birds? Of course she isn't. Did the New York Times seek out expert opinion? There is no evidence that they did, any more than they sought out the truth of "weapons of mass destruction" or 10 million dead Ukrainians. It would be inconvenient for the Times to print facts in opposition to a harmful project or corrupt government they're promoting.]
But that is not to say that the project is universally admired. [Note the Times' condescending slant. The project is not admired by those of us who care about nature and the environment. But that's not "fit to print" in young Lord Sulzberger's monopolistic New York Daily Liar.]
Some family members of those who died worry that it will merely commemorate architecture rather than the victims and heroes. In part to assuage them, the title was changed from "Towers of Light" to "Tribute in Light." [Apparently nobody has bothered to advise Creative Time, whose website about the project is named "Towers of Light."]
Some Battery Park City residents, eager to get on with their lives after six months of chaotic disruption, resent the creation of another memorial there and the intrusion of what they see as another public spectacle. [More condescension from the Times. Don't these annoying little people realize that they have no right to enjoy their habitations if they stand in the way of the whims of the City's very rich and important leaders, who need to impress visitors with a grandiose light display?]
For its part, the Municipal Art Society plans to recommend viewing points around the city and in New Jersey, emphasizing that 88 industrial light fixtures scarcely constitute a tourist destination. "They are comparable to a fireworks display," Ms. Levy said. "You wouldn't go to the barge to see them set off." [It's unfortunate that the light towers in fact are not comparable to a fireworks display, as fireworks burn out after a few minutes.]
And when April 14 dawns, the "Tribute in Light" will be no more than a memory [Good riddance! And a lot of money and fossil fuels up in smoke.], a votive candle that has flickered out, "a temporal light," Mr. LaVerdiere said, "that helps people come to terms with loss." [No loss for the lighting experts, who will be collecting their fees.]
Birds in the Light
To the Editor:
Re "A Survey Reveals Sentiment for Keeping Shafts of Light" (news article, March 29): The New York City Audubon Society supports the temporary memorial (!!!!), but not its extension past April 13.
Since migrating birds are confounded by artificial light, society members watch the light beams from remote computers and survey the site each night. So far, only a few disoriented birds have been seen. But peak spring migration starts at the end of April. Our research shows that in certain weather conditions there could be numerous bird casualties.
Migration is a perilous journey. We do not wish to increase the hazards for these "gatherings of angels."
MARCIA T. FOWLE
This sordid affair strikes me as an injunction in search of a plaintiff. The 88 searchlight megaproject clearly violates the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the Battery Park City Authority has blatantly violated New York State environmental law by failing to prepare an environmental impact statement. But where is the outrage? Except on WorldTwitch, there is none, as the "Big Green" environmental groups cower in apparent fear of seeming unpatriotic or unsympathetic to the whims of the corporate and political elite from whom they constantly beg for grant money. The environmental laws are as useless as the Audubon Society when all the potential plaintiffs are too intimidated by political and social pressure to stand up for the public interest.
Searchlights are well known to be vastly more dangerous to migrating birds than any lighted structure. In the worst example that I have heard about, more than 50,000 birds were killed by a single ceilometer beam at the Warner Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, on October 7-8, 1954.
It is simply impossible to believe that no birds have been directly killed or fatally disoriented by the 616,000 watt pencil beams. Bird migration does not suddenly begin on April 13th. Record early arrivals of some species were being reported in March, and substantial numbers of migrants were present in the New York area by the beginning of April.
I was stunned to read that the New York City Audubon Society "supports" the vulgar and wasteful searchlight display, without regard for the environmental laws or energy conservation. Certainly, the Audubon Society President was not speaking for all the members when she made this broad declaration. Furthermore, many, probably most birders in New York (including yours truly) are not members of the New York City Audubon Society (best known for its photo committee meetings) or the National Audubon Society, which was long ago taken away from the birders who started it.
The 88 searchlights not only have caused severe and unprecedented light pollution, disrupting enjoyment of the night sky in areas remote from New York City, but they obviously have consumed enormous quantities of electricity. Electrical power does not magically appear free of social costs. Fossil fuels must be burned and/or the leaking Indian Point nuclear plant operated to supply the energy. How can anyone take seriously Audubon Society advocacy for energy conservation when it supports such blatant energy waste?
The searchlights were not the idea of the families of victims of 9/11, who in most cases must still be too overwhelmed by grief to become involved in extraneous matters. They were dreamed up by lighting and "artistic" experts as a money-making proposition, copied from Albert Speer's Cathedrals of Light at the 1936 Nuremberg Rally. Rather than chiming in with a pathetic "me too", the Audubon Society might have demanded compliance with the applicable environmental laws and proposed alternative, positive memorials, such as restoring Governor's Island as a memorial park. But that certainly would have antagonized the politicians, who are preparing to parcel out Governor's Island to their real estate cronies now that the federal government has given it to the State of New York.
No doubt the Audubon leadership has been influenced by polls purporting to show overwhelming support for the searchlights, but such results are highly suspect, since (a) nearly all dissenting points of view have been suppressed by the local press triumvirate of Sulzberger, Zuckerman and Murdoch and their followers, and (b) the pollsters have failed to provide critical factual information to the polled individuals, such as the facts that the searchlight promoters are not in compliance with the environmental laws, that searchlights kill birds, and that searchlights disrupt star gazing. It has been demonstrated time and again that pollsters are able to manipulate survey results on issues about which most people know very little by careful choice of language, at which they have considerable expertise. Furthermore, polls consistently show that an overwhelming majority of Americans favors repealing the Bill of Rights. Should our fundamental rights also be ignored simply on account of survey results?
In discussions with a variety of non-birders, I have yet to encounter anyone who supports the searchlights. The support in all likelihood is a kilometer wide and a centimeter deep. Thus, if a pollster tells Joe Sixpack (who heretofore has not heard about the lights) that a fabulous light memorial has been erected in remembrance of those killed on 9/11 and asks whether the lights should remain on after April 13th, it would be astonishing if Mr. Sixpack were to answer in the negative. Letters to the editor are not representative, but are reflective of news management by the press. Moreover, I personally know of letters to the editor from "concerned citizens" on other matters that were in fact written by corporate lawyers representing interested parties.
In view of the successful use of conformist "patriotism" to suppress almost all criticism of the searchlights, I anticipate that promoters of dormant projects will make the same pitch if at all possible while they think they can get away with it. The massive "Gates" construction project, proposed for Central Park by the one-named "artist", Christo, in 1981 and withdrawn after meeting vehement environmental opposition, has resurfaced, apparently with "Little Mikey" Bloomberg's support. [UPDATE January 22, 2003: Little Mikey grants Christo permission to desecrate Central Park. (Reuters). | (NY Times)] Another white elephant to watch out for is the proposed, paved bicycle path meandering through Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge, which was stopped by local activists despite overwhelming support from politicians, always eager for lucrative construction projects to direct to their friends and families. The US military is already pushing for a blanket exemption from the environmental laws on the purported grounds that it needs to destroy scarce natural resources to combat terrorism, bringing to mind the Vietnam era policy of "destroying the town to save it."
Seattle Space Needle Skybeam - The local politicians took advantage of 9/11 to run this monstrosity continuously after promising to light it on three nights only.
Lepidopterist Sheds New Light on Austria's Rare Butterflies. Lepidopterist works to save butterflies in the Alps by replacing outdoor lighting. By Neal E. Boudette, Wall Street Journal. 29 January 2003. Something must have gone terribly awry in translation, as there obviously are not 4,000 species of butterflies in Austria or 600 in Innsbruck, when only 440 species have been recorded in all of Europe. At least the Wall Street Journal, which periodically publishes chemical industry lies that DDT is harmless, is consistent in its disregard for facts.
CfDS - Campaign for Dark Skies Yahoo! Group (UK)
Do We Need 8000 New Street Lights in Colorado Springs? Useful everywhere: questions to ask when the local politicians and utilities try to ratchet up the light pollution.
Illuminate Providence - Gross light pollution subsidy initiated by the city's Mafioso Mayor Cianci, who is now in federal prison.
Outdoor Lighting Information - Loudoun County, Virginia. A once great birding area destroyed by the effects of overpopulation caused by out of control mass immigration.
Skykeepers.org - California & Nevada
"Light pollution law helps Czechs reclaim the stars." By Kate Connolly, The Guardian. 27 March 2002. "Light pollution is defined as 'every form of illumination by artificial light which is dispersed outside the areas it is dedicated to, especially if directed above the level of the horizon'."
Ecological Consequences of Artificial Night Lighting: Conference sponsored by the Urban Wildlands Group and the UCLA Institute of the Environment, February 2002. Includes comprehensive online bibliography.
eLights - Dark Sky Lighting products
Pro-light towers letters selectively chosen for publication by the Times' news managers. Don't waste your time writing to these dishonest propagandists! They'll spike or distort anything that doesn't serve their interests.
"In morning sky, seamless exit for twin beams." By Andrew Jacobs. New York Times, 15 April 2002. The Times has already begun its campaign to make the searchlights permanent.
Comment on sci.astro.amateur: "Now that these light sources have been made, I bet they will not just throw them away or put them in the Smithsonian. I would imagine that they will go tour . . . and be shining in YOUR neighborhood before long . . . ." [And GE will use the NYC light show to market similar setups around the world. When 1000 searchlights are running in Kuala Lumpur, do you think they will be turned off for migrating birds?]
Links to Articles About Corruption at The New York Times
All the PR That's Fit to Plug: New York Times Boosts Pet Builder. By Troy Selvaratnam, CounterPunch, 29 June 2004. "To date, The New York Times has not published any article analyzing the crucial, and disturbing, elements of Ratner's proposal, a laundry list of unprecedented sleaze."
New York Times sicks FBI on MSNBC journo. By Thomas C. Greene, The Register, 5 June 2002. Do as we say, not as we do.
New York Times and New York State join in corrupt scheme for new office tower. Property will be seized by eminent domain so that the Times can pay $60 per square foot in a new building -- a fraction of fair market value. "The tax breaks and anticipated subsidies to be granted to the New York Times are expected to cost taxpayers nearly $100 million." Their payoff for failing to report on pervasive corruption and Mafia infestation in New York?
Developer Wants 9/11 Bonds for Times's Project in Midtown. New York Times, 17 July 2003. Taxpayers will subsidize the wealthy Times and their wealthy partner, Forest City Ratner, with $400 million in tax-exempt "Liberty Bonds" that were designated for rebuilding the World Trade Center. The co-developers have already received $26.1 million from the City in sales tax breaks and other subsidies.
After two years, we're still waiting for the New York Times to report on the OCP Oil Pipeline through the Mindo Important Bird Area, Ecuador. UPDATE: The Times printed a dishonest, pro-pipeline propaganda piece in October, 2002, their first and only coverage of the terribly destructive project, which has been financed out of New York.
The Op-Ed Racket, by Jeffrey A. Tucker. How the professional liars at the New York Times manage the news: "The New York Times, for instance, will never publish an op-ed on a subject the paper has not covered. What's more, it is always best for the op-ed to stick only to the facts mentioned in the story or in some other article in the New York Times. This is a paper that not only seeks to be the paper of record. It seeks to operate within its own autonomous editorial universe, and doesn't at all appreciate being reminded that there are, after all, other sources for news."
Times' Tong's Tantrum. By Joe Guzzardi. New York Times reporter Judy Tong couldn't control her anger upon having her lies exposed by an expert and responded to the author with a nasty e-mail packed with additional lies. The lesson here: email Times reporters when you spot lies, then post their incoherent responses on the Internet.
Since the Jason Blair scandal and Raines' resignation, there have been so many articles about corruption at the New York Times that it is impossible to keep up. See: Google search for "new york times" liars
New York Times Screws Up Again. By Alexander Cockburn. 28 July 2003. "[N]either Bill Keller nor Howell Raines nor their boss Arthur Sulzberger has uttered one peep about the serial lying of Judith Miller. For two years, she's been faking evidence about weapons of mass destruction."
All The News That's Not Fit to Print by Elaine Cassel. 5 August 2003. Invents a new phrase for yellow journalism -- Judith Millerism -- after one of the Times's most notorious professional liars.