NEW YORK, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Residents living near the World Trade Center on complained on Thursday of noise, dust and fumes. They testified at a City Council meeting that they feel their concerns are ignored as they put up with the noise of round-the-clock clanging of cranes and trucks hauling rubble.
In other developments, an environmental group called for a nuclear plant to be closed for security; New York City photojournalists put on a "Ground Zero" exhibit; and celebrities are featured in new ads to entice visitors to the Big Apple.
Councilwoman Kathryn Freed, whose district includes the World Trade Center, formed the Ground Zero Task Force to address the environmental issues affecting residents of Lower Manhattan. She said the city's emergency office refused to mitigate some of the problems.
An American Lung Association representative said trucks could be retrofitted with filters and low-sulfur fuel so that emissions would be decreased by more than 50 percent.
Riverkeeper, an environmental group, petitioned the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to close the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Westchester County pending a review of security measures. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., attorney for Riverkeeper, said the nuclear power plant could not withstand an assault similar to that on the World Trade Center.
The state has assigned National Guard troops and the U.S. Coast Guard to guard the nuclear power plant. Entergy Corp., owner of the plant, called the petition "riddled with misinformation."
Some of New York City's top photojournalists -- who work at the New York Post, the Daily News, Newsday and El Diario newspapers -- are exhibiting their photographs of the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center.
"Ground Zero -- the World Trade Center Photo Exhibit" is on display at the Boliver Arellano Gallery in Manhattan. The photographs are on sale starting at $25, and the proceeds will benefit the Uniform Firefighters' Association's Widows and Children's Fund and the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Fund.
"Collectively, this group of photographers have covered New York's highs and lows over the past few decades," said Steve Hirsch, photographer for the New York Post and one of the organizers of the exhibit. "Covering the World Trade Center attack and aftermath have been one of the most difficult, yet moving assignments we've ever experienced in all our years as photojournalists."
"This exhibit is one way we know how to give back to some of the bravest men and women we've ever had the privilege to come in contact with," Hirsch added.
Celebrities have taped a series of television commercials that will air nationally to show that New York is where dreams are made and that the city is safe and having fun again.
Woody Allen skating at Rockefeller Center, Barbara Walters auditioning for a Broadway show, and Henry Kissinger sliding into home plate at Yankee Stadium are aimed at getting people laughing and considering a trip to the city.
"New Yorkers have proudly displayed their indomitable spirit during this difficult time by resuming their lives with a sense of purpose, confidence and determination -- and, of course, with humor," Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said at a preview of the advertisements at city hall.
In its largest citywide tourist promotion ever, New York City's tourism office is inviting visitors to "paint the town red, white and blue." More than 350 of New York City's hotels, museums, restaurants, stores, Broadway shows are offering significant savings.
Visitors to New York City last year helped spur $25 billion in economic activity and supported 280,000 jobs through the five boroughs, officials said.
Some sample prices: NYC "Freedom Packages" begin as low as $157 per person for a one-night hotel stay, a Broadway show, dinner, donation to the World Trade Center Twin Towers Fund, discounted parking and additional discounts for shopping and other events.
"Do-it-yourself" visits can include New York City hotels from The Algonquin to the Waldorf-Astoria with rates starting as low as $69 per night and 20 percent discounts on lunch and dinner as well as other savings. More information is available at www.nycvisit.com or at 1-800-NYC-GUIDE.
According to city officials:
-- 3,794 were declared missing by police
-- 600 have been declared dead
-- 556 bodies have been identified
-- 1,867 families visited the family assistance center
-- 426,921 tons of rubble were removed
-- 100,088 tons of steel were removed
-- 527,009 total tons of debris removed
-- 38,683 truckloads of debris removed.
(Reporting by Alex Cukan in Albany, N.Y.)