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RE: Checking towers' steel in Sept. 11 probe

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David,

All of you in SEAoNY did do a fantastic job of filling a pivotal and
thankless role in the investigation of the World Trade Center on a pro-bono
basis, and thus did a great service to our profession and to the country.  

It is this kind of thing that we should be seeking applause for in the
public arena.  Unfortunately, the public has very little understanding of
what Structural Engineers do and politicians are more likely than we are to
tip their hats and take credit for anything that they do as its a formal
part of their job.    

We all need to stand up for our accomplishments and voice our opinions in
forums which address people outside of our profession (ie. the press).
Newspapers can only report on what they are told and what they think that
they know before their deadlines, and the public tends to believe just about
anything the press tells them (although I have been misquoted enough times
to know that they shouldn't).  I would encourage you to write a similar note
or press release to the New York Times news tips center
(nytnews(--nospam--at)nytimes.com) and tell them about the role that your organization
really filled in this event (and any role that NIST might be taking credit
for without earning... the public loves a good government scandal..)  James
Glanz has been covering all of the World Trade Center news, so you might ask
that the paper pass your comments on to him.  In this case the article is
apparently from is the Chicago Sun Times (srhastings(--nospam--at)suntimes.com), but they
all read each others' papers anyways, so I would just target the paper in
your home town and work on developing a good relationship with them, so that
they will want to contact you in the future when they need to know something
about structural engineering.  

Thanks just my two cents.

-Chris Hewitt




-----Original Message-----
From: David Sharp [mailto:Ausgang(--nospam--at)e46fanatics.com]
Sent: Thursday, December 05, 2002 9:56 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: Checking towers' steel in Sept. 11 probe


One of the ironies of press coverage, is that all last Spring the papers
were filled with quotes about how our SEAoNY Steel Salvage work which
continued at that time was 'too late' to yield anything useful.  Most
lay-people believed such reports, and fairly often when people found out we
were still doing the steel salvage work, they'd say, "I thought there wasn't
any more steel."

Yet, now reports such as this one say things like: " . . . of the 200 steel
columns, trusses and bolts that were salvaged by the National Institute of
Standards and Technology for its study, one column stands out. Column A-130
...."

The funny thing is I didn't find Column A-130 until the middle of May.  All
I can say is thank goodness our SEAoNY leadership (especially Ramon Gilsanz)
didn't waver in his resolve to see to it that we were thorough and focused
on our work, and not distracted by the press' opinions of it.  The truth is
we continued to find useful pieces right up through the processing of the
very last pile.

David Sharp
TurnaSure LLC
57 E. 11th St. 8th Fl
New York, NY 10003




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