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Sunday, September 11, 2011

09/11/11 What Was Going On In The Greenwich Time News Room On 9/11

In the Spotlight: At the end of a tough news day, tears flowed

I was the first to arrive in the newsroom at the Greenwich Time, a daily newspaper in Greenwich, Conn., a half-hour's drive up I-95 from New York City

My computer just booted up and I was going through emails when I heard a couple of public works guys chatting on the police scanner.

They seemed to talk about some news report of an airplane that crashed into a building.

I didn't pay much mind, thinking it could have been any building, anywhere.
It was about 8:50 a.m.

Some 10 minutes later one of the guys shouted, "Another plane just hit the other tower!"

And that's when things clicked.

I checked my computer for any news alerts. The Associated Press had one that simply stated: "NEW YORK - Plane crashes into World Trade Center, according to television reports." (I actually cut, pasted and saved that one-line alert.)

I ran across the room and switched on the TV, and was stunned to see black smoke billowing from each of the Twin Towers from what already was reported to have been a suspected terrorist attack.

Reporters and editors didn't trickle in as usual. They bolted through the doors to join me in front of the TV, trying to comprehend what was happening.

We discussed how we were going to report on this horrific event.

It was obvious there would be many casualties, and they would include local residents.

Greenwich is a bedroom community for New York's financial district. The town probably has the densest concentration of Fortune 500 executives, investment bankers, bond traders and the like in the nation.

We reporters and photographers were eager to race to the scene, but the editors decided against sending anyone, and for good reason. Metro-North had already halted train service to Grand Central Station and authorities ordered all bridges and tunnels closed.

The prospect of getting to the WTC just to phone in a story was about nil.

The game plan changed. The AP and major New York dailies would handle the larger story, while we would remain strictly local, tracking down residents who were at the WTC and could provide firsthand accounts of the attack.

While we feverishly worked the phones, someone shrieked and we stopped to see why.
I turned and saw the slow-motion image of the WTC's South Tower pancaking.

The newsroom went silent. I don't think another call was made or another word typed for the next half-hour.

And that's when the North Tower collapsed.

It took a while for the shock to wear off enough for us to return to reporting mode, and by the end of the day we'd put together a package of stories. Mine was about how more than 50 local residents who worked at the World Trade Center were listed as missing -- a designation that wouldn't be lifted for quite a while because so many victims were never recovered or accounted for.

Memorial services eventually were held, and for a while it seemed like I and fellow reporters were covering services daily. Some families were actually able to hold funerals after loved ones' remains were identified.

But back to September 11, 2001:

I drove home that night to my apartment, across state lines in a New York suburb.
It was late and dark. I didn't want to turn on the TV.

I sat in silence and hugged my dog, an embrace that got tighter as I buried my face into Kelly's black fur.

Then came uncontrollable sobs. I couldn't stop. I hadn't cried so long and hard since my parents died.

I was no longer in reporting mode, and the realization had set in that thousands of people just like me had set out for work that stunningly clear day under a deep blue sky.

But never again would they return home to their husbands and wives, their children -- even just to hug a faithful dog.

Joe Johnson is now the Athens Banner-Herald's police and courts reporter

Please send your comments, news tips and press releases to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

09/11/11 Former Greenwich Resident Earned A George Foster Peabody For Journalism Award For Her Work On 9/11

Journalist, an ex-Greenwich resident, recalls covering 9/11 attacks for national news

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Most days, former WABC Eyewitness News Senior Executive Producer Elaine Peake would be at her desk in the ABC building in Manhattan by 8:15 a.m. But on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Peake, who now lives in the Spa City, went first to a doctor's appointment near her home in Greenwich, Conn.

"I was driving in, and I heard on the radio that a small plane had hit the World Trade Center," she said. "We didn't know anything. We just thought, `Wow, that's a big story.' But when I heard about the second plane, I remember hitting the steering wheel. Then I knew it was terrorism."

Determined to do her duty as a journalist, Peake fought through traffic across a bridge into the city.

"It was like a movie. Everyone in the media was trying to head in, and everyone else was leaving," she said.

Peake met up with co-worker Robb Hanrahan, a news anchor also trying to get into the city. After several failed attempts to pass the police barricading the streets, the news team received a stroke of luck.

"We finally get to a Carvel Ice Cream store in the Bronx -- videotaping the entire time -- and one New York City cop was getting ice cream," Peake said. "I went right up to him and said, `Look, I will not tell your supervisors about you getting ice cream on the job if you escort us in, and he did. He took us to WABC at 66th and Columbus."

Peake sprung into action, producing the live footage from ground zero.

"I have friends who witnessed things too horrible to describe. One friend, a reporter for us, we thought he was gone," Peake said. "It was the fog of war. You felt like you were in the middle of everything, and meanwhile I have a husband and two children I'm worried about."

In the center of a national catastrophe, Peake worked intensely for three weeks, producing all of the network's live 9/11 footage continuously, without commercials.

"We were sick to our stomach, heart broken. It affected us all, every single person, but our biggest thing was working. Working for us was the best thing to do," Peake said. "Being journalists, you just go into this high-gear mode. You don't think about it, you just do it."

The work earned Peake a George Foster Peabody for Journalism Award.

In the following weeks and months, as the nation began to breathe and heal, Peake's life and career eased back into a regular routine.

After working with several other news organizations, Peake and her family moved last November to Caroline Street in Saratoga Springs to start a new chapter of their lives.

"I've covered a lot of horrible things, but 9/11 was probably the most powerful story I've ever worked on," Peake said.

Peake and her family traveled to New York City for the 9/11 10th anniversary ceremony, for which her son played the drums. During their stay, Peake had the chance to reconnect with old friends, co-workers and reporters who endured the chaos to deliver the news.

Please send your comments, news tips and press releases to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

09/11/11 The Raw Greenwich News Feed; Overnight Edition

News Reports About Greenwich, CT
Greenwich Resident Recalls Terror of 9/11 Every Day
by Karen Fassuliotis

When someone mentions that date I am instantly transported back in time. The day started out quite uneventfully. I boarded Metro-North for my daily commute to downtown Manhattan. I had recently gotten a job with a small law firm at ...
Greenwich's 9/11 memorials: A decade of success, delays and controversy
Middle East North Africa Financial Network
Greenwich -- the Connecticut municipality with the highest death toll from 9/11 -- and its efforts to remember those who died in the terrorist attacks are no exception. As early as 2002, the Representative Town Meeting rejected a proposal to build a ...
Greenwich Open Houses, September 11
In August 2011, 47 single family homes listed on the Greenwich MLS were sold in Greenwich, CT. When the figures from the Town Clerk are in a few more private sales will be added to this number, but August 2011 will still be a poor August compared to ...
In wake of Obama jobs speech, Greenwich Dems rally with candidates
Greenwich Time
The Greenwich Democratic Town Committee holds its annual campaign kickoff and picnic at the Garden Education Center in Cos Cob, CT on Saturday, September 10, 2011. Photo: Shelley Cryan / Shelley Cryan freelance; Greenwich Time freelance Congressman Jim ...
Greenwich High students, neighbors have varying concerns about toxic soil
Greenwich Time
Sharee Rusnak of the state Department of Public Health holds up a health information sheet regarding contaminants during an open house held at Greenwich High School Sept. 7, 2011, by school officials to provide an overview of the ongoing soil ...
American Red Cross Holding Blood Drives in Greenwich Sept. 12 and 22
Hurricane Irene caused the cancellation of nearly 60 American Red Cross blood drives throughout the Northeast. As a result, the organization is in the position of having to play catch-up. This is challenging considering its supplies were already low ...
Greenwich Man Robbed at Gunpoint in Broad Daylight on Ann Street
By Patrick Barnard A Greenwich resident was reportedly robbed of thousands dollars at gunpoint in broad daylight on Sept. 8, minutes after he sold a used car just across the New York state line in Port Chester. Police said the male resident had just ...
Witness to the unthinkable: Greenwich Point onlookers recall the day the ...
Greenwich Time
The north tower of the World Trade Center stands alone as it burns just prior to collapsing after a terrorist attack, as seen from Greenwich Point on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

People gathered at ...
Bill named Cohen Award winner
The Hour
He will be honored at the Commission's seventh annual Sports Night awards dinner, Monday, Oct.17, at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich at 6 pm The Cohen Award is sponsored by the Forever Young Foundation, the charitable giving entity of Greenwich native and ...

Please send your comments, news tips and press releases to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

09/11/11 Improve Greenwich: People In Greenwich Want This Fixed ....

At SeeClickFix.com Greenwich residents can report a pothole, broken traffic light, or other road problems.

One person click on the "Fix This" button for 101 Field Point Road (Town Hall) to have an existing problem fixed in Greenwich.

Large Number of Politicians 12 people want this fixed
101 Field Point Road, Greenwich, CT


Please send your comments, news tips and press releases to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

09/11/11 Dance Adventure Is Celebrates 20 Years In Greenwich

Twenty years ago, Nola Van Alstine arrived in Greenwich from Manhattan, offering Dance Adventure classes for children and teenagers at the Greenwich Art Council. The next fall, Dance Adventure Inc. opened full time at the Armory Building on Mason Street. Now in its 20th Season, Dance Adventure hosts an all-new studio space at 36 Sherwood Place, across from Whole Foods Market and Starbucks for moms and dads waiting to pick up their children.

Having taught thousands of young dancers, Miss Nola now has a staff of teachers and pianists to help her teach more than 600 students, from mom and baby classes through teen hip hop and ballet. A staged recital takes place each spring, and this year she is planning to host a series of events to celebrate and entice new dancers to join.

The dates and events are to be announced shortly. Updates will be posted at Danceadventure.com, or call 203-625-0930 for a free trial class.

Please send your comments, news tips and press releases to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

09/11/11 Eco-festival To Feature Greenwich Audubon And Soundwaters' Exhibit

There will be several Greenwich vendors exhibiting at the second annual Live Green Connecticut! taking place at Taylor Farm Park in Norwalk, Sept. 17 and 18.

The event is being organized by co-founders and Greenwich residents Scot Weicker and Daphne Dixon. Among the exhibitors will be SoundWaters and Audubon Greenwich.

Featured attractions and exhibits include marine ecology and nature center exhibits, wind and solar displays, hands-on kid’s activities, environmental and conservation organizations and speakers, alternative fuel vehicles, landscape and garden centers, green careers and education, eco-art, eco-fashion, entertainment, food and beverages, and so much more!

Live Green Connecticut! is meant to promote environmental education, business, nonprofit organizations, green technology, recycling, conservation, health and wellness, climate protection and sustainable living. Eco-friendly businesses will showcase their green and sustainable products and services. Individuals and families will learn about money saving ideas and tax incentive opportunities. Admission is free.

Please send your comments, news tips and press releases to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

09/11/11 Congressman Jim Himes: Ten Years Later

Dear Friends,

Like so many others in our area, I have struggled today with memories that are not just horrific, but personal. I arrived in lower Manhattan on September 11 ten years ago and followed the gazes upward through crisp fall air. A building on fire. Walking north, the second tower came into view, and my heart went cold. This was a turning point for all of us. We had been attacked for the very things we value most. Our openness and our trust had made us vulnerable.

There was fear, and confusion, and even in those early hours, failure to comprehend the horror of what was happening around us. When the buildings fell, all went dark. How does a nation of fathers and mothers explain that to their children? Who picks up a car that has sat for weeks at a train station? Why would God allow this to be visited on the innocent?

We still struggle with those questions, and in communities around New York, we still see the wounds to the friends and families of those lost. We also struggle with more abstract issues. Is there a tradeoff between the demands of security and our inalienable freedom? What is our response to chaos and dictatorship abroad?

But amidst the dust and fear, I remember something else. Hundreds of people standing outside of hospitals to donate blood. Dust-covered strangers embracing. The captains of tugboats and merchant vessels in the harbor responded to the Coast Guard call to assist the evacuation. Firefighters, construction crews, steamfitters and welders drove hundreds of miles to work on that gothic pile, searching for survivors and clearing away rubble. I sensed an almost primal instinct to help, to reach out and comfort, to show our profound difference from those who had visited such horror upon us.

In our darkest hour, millions of Americans brought light and support to those in need. That day, and for sometime afterwards, we were family. Our trivial concerns, the celebrity gossip, the endless media chatter faded to black as we remembered that we are at our best when we are drawn together in common purpose, when we are reminded that yes, we are our brother's keeper.

Ten years ago, nearly three thousand innocent people perished on September 11. Many of us in Southwestern Connecticut lost loved ones, neighbors and friends. Today, we remember them. Perhaps we honor them best by remembering the spirit of unity that arose from the ashes and reminded us of our common humanity.

Most Sincerely,


Please send your comments, news tips and press releases to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

09/11/11 Jay Polke Posted In Facebook About The Remembrance Ceremony At Willowbrook Plaza

Jay Polke Wonderful Remembrance ceremony at...
Jay Polke 5:22pm Sep 11
Jay Polke
Wonderful Remembrance ceremony at Willowbrook Plaza Today 9/11/11 thanks to many people, the attendance was far beyond expectations...

Remembrance Ceremony September 11, 2011

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09/11/11 The Greenwich Time Reports ......

911 anniversary

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