Friday, July 20, 2007

Nobody Believes Moneybags

I'm glad to see New Yorkers are reacting skeptically to Mayor Moneybags' assurances that the air around Wednesday's huge steam pipe blast is safe:

NEW YORK (AP) -- New Yorkers are still questioning their air's safety after a steam pipe eruption spewed dirt and debris into the sky over midtown. Many remember the cover-up after the last major pipe rupture and the illnesses ground zero workers faced years after officials assured them lower Manhattan was safe.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Thursday declared the air free of asbestos, saying ''every single test'' showed no asbestos in the air. Other city officials were unwavering in that assessment, as well.

Yet, the painful legacy of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks was evident among area residents and workers.

The debris from Wednesday's rupture was nothing close to the scale of the twin towers' collapse, but the sight of police in filtration masks and the warnings to area residents to keep windows closed and to throw out any clothing touched by dust or debris added to people's fears.

''I take everything with a grain of salt. I would like to believe it, but I can't,'' said Ariana Reines, an English teacher who returned to her school on a block of Lexington Avenue that was closed off after Wednesday evening's rupture.


''I don't know anybody here who's going out to lunch,'' said attorney Jordan Fox, who was working a block from the rupture site and has been involved in asbestos cases. ''It's musty out there -- it's humid, and the air is kind of thick. That could keep the asbestos entrained in the air.''

''They lied to us on Sept. 11 and thereafter. It's clear they misrepresented exposure after 9/11,'' Fox said. ''A lot of people would ask, 'Why should we trust them now?'''


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