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  Messages 1004-1002 deleted by author 08-01-2012 02:43 PM
08:03 PM ET (US)
Joe Daniels
President and CEO

Upcoming Book Signing at the Preview Site
Captain Patrick J. Brown was a remarkable individual. So intriguing, Sharon Watts, his former fiancée, decided to chronicle his heroism and charm after his death on Sept. 11. Armed with personal stories from friends and family members, Sharon was able to paint a vibrant picture of a hero lost, but not forgotten. The 9/11 Memorial Preview Site will host a book signing featuring Sharon and her work, Miss You, Pat, on Saturday Feb. 5, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at 20 Vesey St. Events>>
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10:10 PM ET (US)
Cop Who Worked at Ground Zero Dies of Brain Tumor

Everybody knew when New York Police Department Officer Robert Grossman of Rocky Point reported to work - and not because they couldn't miss the hulking man that he was.

His gregarious personality loomed large over the 28th Precinct in Harlem, where he worked since graduating from the Police Academy in 1994. He was always the jokester, making battle-tested cops laugh as he walked into the building and lifting their hearts a little as they went about crime-fighting in the big city.

No one was surprised to find the Port Jefferson Station native among the hundreds of officers, firefighters and volunteers who rushed to Ground Zero on Sept. 11, 2001, to save lives - even though it was his day off.

But it was that very sacrifice that may have killed him eight years after two planes crashed into the World Trade Center. Grossman developed a brain tumor that his family and his physician said he got from reporting to the contaminated site for weeks on end and inhaling the toxic fumes.

He died on Friday at a Port Jefferson hospice. He was 41.

Although many first responders and their relatives said they were sickened after working at or near Ground Zero, New York City officials have stopped short of acknowledging that the air quality in lower Manhattan after 9/11 was unsafe.

Grossman, who worked only at the Harlem precinct where he landed after trying his hand at teaching in a Brooklyn high school, split his time between the city and his home.

"He worked in Harlem at the 28th and yet he had a place out here in Rocky Point," said Morton Epstein, his stepfather. "He loved them and he loved working there and his home. He liked the openness here in Suffolk County."

Grossman graduated from Comsewogue High school, and enrolled at Stony Brook University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in liberal arts and a master's degree in education, specializing in social studies.

He took those academic skills to Sarah J. Hale High School in Brooklyn, where he taught for three years before becoming a police recruit.

In 1995, he got married. He and his wife, Carla, have a 6-year-old son, Noah.

In April 2006, Grossman noticed numbness on his face as he was shaving one morning, the first sign of the onset of the cancer that he would battle for several more years, Epstein said.

Besides his wife, son and stepfather, Grossman is survived by his mother, Harriet Epstein; his father, Stephen Grossman of Bohemia; his stepmother, Shelly Grossman of Bohemia; four sisters, Joanne Epstein of Douglaston, Judith Pepper of West Palm Beach, Fla., Suzanne Sokolov of Auburndale and Teri Barbee of Silver Spring, Md.; and three brothers, Mitchell Epstein of Kings Plaza, Brooklyn, Jeff Feuer of Port Jefferson Station and Andy Feuer of Levittown.

Funeral services were held Monday at 10:30 a.m. at Temple Beth Sholom in Smithtown. Burial followed at Washington Memorial Park in Mount Sinai.

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12:19 PM ET (US)
In Response to the Supreme Court's Denial of The 9/11 Families' Petition for Writ of Certiorari

On Behalf of The 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism

(In Re: Thomas E. Burnett, Sr., et al. v. Al Baraka Investment & Development Corp., et al., Case No. 03-CV-9849 (GBD); In Re: Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001, 03 MDL 1570)

WASHINGTON, June 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement on behalf of the 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism:

We are deeply disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court has denied our petition for writ of certiorari, thus deciding not to hear our appeal of a lower court's decision to dismiss our charges against five Saudi defendants we allege provided material support for the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The High Court's decision only further denies us our day in court, while enabling members of the ruling family to evade accountability. We respect the Supreme Court as the ultimate arbiter of legal matters in our system of government; nevertheless, we find this result a travesty of justice and a betrayal of the 9/11 families and others whose lives are impacted by terrorism.

In a sad day for justice, the Saudi ruling class' interests have been advanced at the expense of the rights granted to civil litigants under our Constitution and the laws designed by Congress to deter terrorism such as the Anti-Terrorism Act, 18 USC 2331 et seq. We believe the High Court's decision sets a dangerous precedent that those who provide support to terrorism atrocities will now see themselves as beyond the reach of U.S. laws. The High Court's decision allows fundamental questions of law to go unresolved, and lets stand a decision by the Second Circuit that the Department of Justice itself believes to be wrong, potentially affording terrorism sponsors undeserved protection from accountability in ongoing and future cases. We will continue to do everything within our rights to stop the material support pipeline fueling al Qaeda and to press our remaining claims in the case.
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09:05 PM ET (US)
May 8, 2009, 11:05 am
Silver Backs Three Ground Zero Towers
By Charles V. Bagli
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver called for a summit meeting on rebuilding ground zero on Friday morning to resolve the impasse between the developer Larry A. Silverstein and the Port Authority over the construction of office towers on the 16-acre site in Lower Manhattan.

Mr. Silver, who is emerging as perhaps the most powerful politician in the state, called for the construction of at least three massive office towers at the World Trade Center site by 2014, despite rising vacancies and falling rents in the city’s financial district. But he also said that Mr. Silverstein, the Port Authority, the city and the state should all contribute toward making that happen.

“Seven years and eight months after the attacks, I am fed up with the stalling and exasperated with the current state of the World Trade Center project,” Mr. Silver said at a breakfast forum sponsored by the Alliance for Downtown New York.

He reiterated that the city, the state and the federal government had a “moral obligation to rebuild this American community.”

Unable to finance the towers, Mr. Silverstein, who leases the trade center site from the Port Authority, recently asked the authority to finance the two new towers along Church Street, a move that could cost about $3 billion.

The authority, which is already building 1 World Trade Center, a 2.6 million-square-foot tower at West and Vesey Streets, has little appetite to finance even more office space downtown at a time when vacancy rates are expected to rise for the next several years and rents continue to fall. At the same time, the authority’s bridge and tunnel revenues are down sharply, putting a severe strain on its capital programs.

In talks last month, Christopher O. Ward, the authority’s executive director, offered to provide about $800 million in financing for what is known as Tower 4, a 64-story building on Church Street, between Cortlandt and Liberty Streets. Under that proposal, two additional towers would be built over the next two decades as companies expand and demand grows. Mr. Silverstein would be free to build the towers sooner if he obtained tenants and private financing.

Mr. Silverstein, however, rebuffed that offer. Knowing of Mr. Silver’s coming speech today, both the developer and Mr. Ward lobbied Mr. Silver heavily.

But even as Mr. Silver seemed to endorse Mr. Silverstein’s view, he also called the developer to put his own money into the project and he argued against the use of an arbitrator to resolve the matter, because it would slow any progress.

Mr. Silverstein leased the trade center in 2001, only six weeks before it was destroyed in the terrorist attack. Ultimately he received a total of $4.5 billion in insurance proceeds. In 2003, Mr. Silverstein used some of that money to repay a $563 million loan he had on the project. In turn, he and his investors received most of the money that they invested in the deal.

Since the attack, Mr. Silverstein has paid the Port Authority about $800 million in rent, while he took $150 million in development fees. Today, there is only $964 million left to pay for the three office towers he is required to build under a 2006 development agreement.

Downtown, the vacancy rate for office buildings is at about 12 percent today, and many real estate brokers and developers expect that number to rise to 16 percent or higher in the coming years. A lot of new but vacant office buildings will only make things worse, they say.

“You don’t want all that inventory built on a speculative basis right now,” said Robert L. Freedman, executive chairman of FirstService Williams Real Estate, a broker.

Mayor Bloomberg issued a statement saying Mr. Silver was correct in saying “development of the World Trade Center site must go forward uninterrupted.”

In the spirit of Mr. Silver’s remarks, he said he would invite both governors, Speaker Silver and Mr. Silverstein to Gracie Mansion next week “to find a way to align incentives and keep progress moving at ground zero.”

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09:02 PM ET (US)
$1 Million Theft Charges at Troubled Demolition Project
An agent for the John Galt Corporation, the company charged with demolishing the former Deutsche Bank building, has been charged with $1 million in theft.

January 7, 2009
Prosecutors scrutinizing last year’s fatal fire at the Deutsche Bank building have narrowed their focus to a handful of construction supervisors and the companies they worked for.

December 10, 2008
Mayor Michael Bloomberg demanded major changes at ground zero, including a new deadline for the 9/11 memorial and the disbanding of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.
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01:07 AM ET (US)
Groundbreaking set for Flight 93 memorial
But fundraising still $20 million short of goal
Saturday, February 21, 2009

By Marylynne Pitz, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

SOMERSET -- Groundbreaking on the Flight 93 National Memorial here has been set for Nov. 7, but $20 million in private donations remains to be raised.

The first phase of the memorial is slated for completion by Sept. 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, according to state and federal officials who signed a letter of commitment here yesterday setting the construction schedule.

The memorial, whose estimated cost is $56 million, will honor what Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell called "the first soldiers in the war against global terrorism."

On Sept. 11, 2001, 40 passengers aboard Flight 93, en route from Newark, N.J. to San Francisco, learned of attacks on the World Trade Center. The passengers and crew, whose efforts thwarted an attack on Washington, died in an attempt to wrest control of the plane from four hijackers.

The governor, who attended yesterday's news conference, said an access road to the memorial, built off of Route 30, will cost $9.8 million. Funding will come from the state's capital budget but Pennsylvania also will seek money from the federal land grant trust. Once built, the road will be maintained by the National Park Service.

U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, who also attended yesterday's gathering, said he would meet next week in Washington, D.C. with representatives of Families of Flight 93 who will be there to lobby for federal funding for the project.

"As Lincoln said, the world will little note, nor long remember what we said here, but no one will ever forget what the passengers on Flight 93 did here," Mr. Specter said.

The first phase of the project, according to the memorial's Web site, includes construction of the road off of Route 30, a field of honor called the bowl, construction of a road that rings the site, 40 groves, portal walls and a visitors' center.

Still to be determined is the value of 274 acres of land owned by Svonavec Inc., a stone quarry company in Somerset. This tract includes the six-acre crash site. The company will donate the six acres to the National Park Service, but appraisals are under way to determine the value of the rest of the land that will be part of the memorial site.

"I think the property will transfer into the National Park Service's hands sometime in the spring of this year," he said.

Joanne Hanley, superintendent of the Flight 93 National Memorial, praised Patrick G. White, vice president of Families of 93.

"It is because of this man that we are so far along in the acquisition process," she said yesterday. Mr. White is a lawyer who specializes in land use.

The commitment letter signed yesterday will be a tangible tool of persuasion that can be shown to prospective donors, Mr. White said.

C. King Laughlin, who is managing the capital campaign to raise $30 million from private donors, said yesterday that $10 million has been raised. The campaign is being led by former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge and retired Army Gen. Tommy Franks.

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09:14 PM ET (US)
A book reading/signing with WTC architect Daniel Libeskind
 When: February 18 : 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Price: Free Event Phone Number: 212-473-1452 http://www.strandbooks.com/app/w...
Strand Bookstore Neighborhood: Greenwich Village 828 Broadway
New York, NY 10003 212-473-1452 Update/correct this listing

 A discussion with architect Daniel Libeskind about his recent monograph "Counterpoint," as well as his on-going work in rebuilding the World Trade Center site. Troy McMullen, a journalist who covers trends in architecture, interior design and real estate for The Financial Times, oversees the event
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07:49 PM ET (US)
Feburary 13, 2009


Dear Families and Friends,


It is with great sadness I am writing to inform you that our friend and colleague Beverly Eckert died tragically last night in a plane crash near Buffalo, New York.


After the death of her husband Sean Rooney on 9/11, Beverly joined me in co-founding Voices of September 11th to provide the 9/11 families a voice and advocate on their behalf. Beverly was passionate and deeply committed to improving the safety and security of Americans. She worked tirelessly to advocate for the creation of the 9/11 Commission and legislation based on its recommendations and more recently supported the implementation of the WMD Commission recommendations. Beverly was among the 9/11 family members who met with President Obama last Friday to discuss the closing of Guantanamo.


Beverly's friendship, spirit and commitment were an inspiration to all those who had the privilege to work with her. It was an honor to know her and her friendship will be sorely missed. At this difficult time, we offer our heartfelt condolences and our prayers to her family and friends and all those in the 9/11 community whose life she touched.


As details about her memorial service become available, we will keep you informed. Please feel free to send your condolences to us at email@voicesofsept11.org and we will forward them to Beverly’s family.


Warm Regards,

Mary and the VOICES Staff
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12:23 AM ET (US)
9/11 Health Bill Reintroduced in Congress

Washington, D.C. – Today, Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Peter King (R-NY), and Michael McMahon (D-NY) reintroduced bipartisan legislation to address the health crisis caused by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. H.R. 847, the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, would provide medical monitoring and treatment for those exposed to toxins released by the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. The bill would also provide compensation for economic losses due to illnesses or injuries caused by the attacks.

The previous version of the bill was set to be considered by the House last fall but because of the financial crisis and other factors, it had to be delayed. The Members of Congress are hopeful that the bill will have strong bipartisan support when it is voted on by the House in the coming months. In addition, during his presidential campaign President Barack Obama signaled his strong support for helping the heroes and heroines of 9/11.

“Thousands lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks, but in the years that followed thousands more lost their health. This bill provides proper care to those who are suffering and demonstrates that America will not abandon its first responders and all those affected,” Rep. Maloney said. “I thank Speaker Pelosi and my colleagues in the New York delegation for their dedication to fulfilling America’s moral responsibility to care for those who were harmed by the terrorist attacks on our nation.”

“Today, more than seven years after 9/11, it is more essential than ever that we take care of the first responders and area residents, workers and students who have become sick as a result of the attacks,” said Rep. Nadler. “With this new Administration and new Congress, we now have the opportunity to right some of the wrongs of the past. This bi-partisan legislation will go a tremendous distance toward showing our responders the respect and appreciation they deserve, and it will make good on our collective responsibility to care for those community members who needlessly suffered the ill effects of toxic dust.”

“The heroes of 9/11 became sick after working in the dust cloud of Ground Zero to save the lives of others,” said Rep. King. “It is our duty to develop a plan to monitor and care for these responders. I fully support the establishment of the World Trade Center Health Program and will continue to do all I can to ensure that the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act becomes law.”

“Eight and a half years ago our country witnessed the most terrible terrorist attack on American soil,” said Rep. McMahon. After those devastating events, many New Yorkers – as well as people from other states who came to New York to aid those in need – emerged as heroes. They worked tirelessly, sorting through debris, searching for survivors, comforting strangers in their darkest moments. They did not turn their backs on us in our time of need and we cannot turn our backs on them. There is really no other option but to provide proper health care for all those first responders who are ill as a result of the selfless aid they provided after the 9/11 attacks. I am proud to be a part of this bill with my colleagues from New York and urge all those in Congress to remember New York’s heroes.”

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11:55 PM ET (US)
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11:59 PM ET (US)

One of Them
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11:58 PM ET (US)

Press Release Body: (NEW BERN, NC)—One of the first responders who helped clear debris and search for bodies at the World Trade Center site is hoping President-elect Barack Obama doesn’t repeat the mistakes made by the Bush administration in handling the care of his fellow volunteers.

Steven Centore, a nuclear physicist and Navy veteran, was one of the many volunteers who assisted in the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attack.

Unfortunately, as do many of the other rescue workers, Mr. Centore now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and other medically debilitating ailments that have kept him from working. These conditions have required endless surgeries and physical therapy to treat.

In his book, One of Them: A First Responder’s Story, Mr. Centore details the neglect and mistreatment he and his fellow volunteers have suffered at the hands of the government.

“The Bush administration really fumbled this issue,” says Mr. Centore, a lifelong Republican. “The attacks of that day are still having an effect on this country in the wars we fight overseas. But they’re also having an effect here at home.”

Mr. Centore spent months at the World Trade Center and says that exposure to the toxins in the air at the site have crippled or killed thousands of first responders. His book includes some shocking statistics about the health of first responders, including:
• 4,517 people with upper respiratory ailments
• 3,857 with lower respiratory illness
• 398 with lung disease
• 2,616 with asthma
• 1,340 with sleep apnea
• 2,528 with heart conditions caused or worsened by 9/11

“I was appalled at the lack of support and meager financial resources provided to 9/11 first responders by the US government,” says Mr. Centore, who has testified before Congress about the thousands of people just like him who were told that the air at the WTC site was not dangerous.

He adds, “I wanted to tell the story of how I became ill, what the government did and did not do for me, and what happened to me as a result. I’d like to shed some light on the cover-ups that the government has been perpetrating in the news.”

To learn more about how you can help, or to buy the breakout book One of Them: A First Responder’s Story, visit www.SteveCentore.com or www.wadv-oneofthem.com. The book is also available on Borders.com, Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

For more information about One of Them: A First Responder’s Story, contact Steve Centore directly at Scentore@yahoo.com.

WORLDWIDE ASSOCIATION OF DISABLED VETERANS, INC. and author Steven Centore chose Arbor Books, Inc. (www.ArborBooks.com) to design and promote One of Them: A First Responder’s Story. Arbor Books is an internationally renowned, full-service book design, ghostwriting and marketing firm.

(One of Them: A First Responder’s Story by Steven M. Centore; ISBN: 0-9801274-0-8; $16.95; 208 pages; 5½”x 8½”; softcover; Worldwide Association of Disabled Veterans, Inc.)

Web Site: http://www.wadv-oneofthem.com

500 Blackledge Circle, New Bern, NC 28562
Contact: Steven Centore Phone: (252)638-4790
E-mail: Scentore@yahoo.com
www.SteveCentore.com or www.wadv-oneofthem.com
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06:56 PM ET (US)
Silverstein awarded $26M in late fees at WTC site
Arbitration panel rules Port Authority failed to turn over construction-ready plot.

Filed Under: Commercial Real Estate , Port Authority of New York and New Jersey , Professional Services , Silverstein Properties
The owner of the World Trade Center site will have to pay developer Larry Silverstein roughly $26 million of additional late fees after an arbitration panel ruled that it failed to turn over portions of land on schedule.

WTC owner The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Mr. Silverstein entered arbitration last month over a disagreement over whether some of the land delivered to the developer on Oct. 5 was construction ready. The panel on Thursday ruled it was not, which means that the Port Authority missed a deadline and must pay an additional penalty to Mr. Silverstein.

On Friday, the Port Authority also said it would miss a Dec. 31 deadline to turn over two additional portions of land to Mr. Silverstein. To date, the agency has paid Mr. Silverstein roughly $65 million in late fees. Mr. Silverstein, meanwhile, pays the Port $215,000 in rent a day.

A spokeswoman for the Port Authority said it didn’t know when any of the parcels would be delivered.

Delivery of one of them may be particularly problematic because it contains a wall which is helping prop up a box that surrounds the tracks for the No. 1 subway line. It was unclear how much longer the box will need to surround the tracks. The spokeswoman said the Port is working with Mr. Silverstein so he’ll be able to lay his foundation even if the wall remains in place.

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08:04 PM ET (US)
The Lone, Shrunken World Trade Center Tower in Oklahoma
As you loop along a curve on Interstate 244, downtown Tulsa drifts across the windshield, floating atop the fringe of lollipop trees that otherwise forms the city’s skyline. The scene resembles a dusty little storage yard for surplus mid-height skyscrapers, a scattered handful of twentieth-century styles, with one particularly recognizable model. The Bank of Oklahoma (BOk) Tower looks startlingly like a lone, shrunken World Trade Center tower—which is what it is. It was designed by Minoru Yamasaki, the Twin Towers’ architect, for the Williams Center, an urban renewal project planned in imitation of the World Trade Center and completed three years after it, in 1976. The BOk Tower rises at the end of South Boston Street, an address that is also borrowed: Tulsa undercuts its civic pride as the self-proclaimed “Oil Capital of the World” by naming its north-south streets after other, often equally minor, cities, in an alphabetical cycle—Rockford, St. Louis, Trenton, Utica.
For the BOk building, Yamasaki reprised the scheme of a Twin Tower at almost exactly half the scale: 52 stories and 667 feet tall, to the Twin Towers’ 110 floors (1,362 and 1,368 feet). It has 31 steel perimeter columns per side, to the Twin Towers’ 59, producing the same eye-boggling vertical lines on each face. (As Jean Baudrillard noted of the more famous pair, well before its destruction, it is “blind,” with no side presenting a facade.) The BOk, too, has a bilevel lobby, whose height is matched by arched windows. But the arches are big and round, like a child’s plain wooden building blocks, rather than the Venetian Gothic ogees that, in the World Trade Center, flowed directly into the perimeter columns.

I am surprised that the Tulsa tower is not better known as a surviving relation of the World Trade Center, that it hasn’t turned into a site of folk devotion to 9/11. Although I grew up in Tulsa, I discovered the link belatedly, just a couple of years ago. As a child, despite being fascinated by famous tall buildings, I don’t think I ever noticed the likeness. To me, they were both just what big buildings looked like.

Yamasaki proposed for the Williams Center a small pair of towers, each just twenty-five stories; John Williams, the corporate chieftain who wanted to revitalize downtown Tulsa, reportedly altered the plan by picking up Yamasaki’s model and placing one building atop the other. The resulting single building fails to be a “third twin” because, by itself, it lacks what Baudrillard identified as the World Trade Center’s only real characteristic: doubleness. But it is a manifestation of that characteristic, a tower blindly reproduced yet again, sized down and ordered up as if from a catalog of urban design, in interchangeable units to be manipulated and stacked.

Tulsa’s tower mimics its model in function as well as form, a monument to commercial real estate and grandiose plans for reviving moribund downtowns. It seems only to have entombed Tulsa’s, creating a landmark that, like its predecessor, was known from afar, but rarely seen up close except by those who would cross a windy plain every day to their jobs inside. For most of its worldwide audience, the World Trade Center’s simple silhouette, in the distance or in a picture, was the only thing to remember about it firsthand. The void in lower Manhattan that the mind’s eye can still fill with that thin image will one day be occupied by a new spectacle that will hasten the memory’s decay. But hiding in plain sight, Yamasaki’s building in Tulsa is another image of the disappeared towers—itself incomplete but physically persisting. The tower takes on an unexpected value as time carries us away from the event that made the World Trade Center more unique than it really was.

—Jonathan Taylor

Jonathan Taylor was born in El Cerrito, California, grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is now an editor living in New York. He has written about books for Bookforum, the Village Voice, the Nation, Stop Smiling, and the Stranger, and blogs occasionally at Emdashes.com.
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