NEW YORK, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- People left jobless as a result of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center who were turned away for the last two job fairs got first crack at a third Twin Towers Job Expo at Madison Square Garden, Thursday.
The first two job fairs last month drew thousands of people and many could not get in the building. As with the other two job fairs, long lines snaked around the Garden before the doors opened and 250 employers waited with 25,000 jobs.
"What we told the employers is we ought to give priority to people who are affected by the Sept. 11 attack," New York City Deputy Mayor Tony Cools said. "But if you come here looking for a job and you have the work ethic, we'll do our best to match you with an employer."
Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg spent Thursday in Washington soliciting federal aid for New York City, a day after a vote in the House Appropriations Committee rejected plans to allocate $10 billion in funding to help rebuild Lower Manhattan.
Congress voted for at least $20 billion in aid for New York shortly after the attacks but the White House will release less than half of that this year and promised more would be available "later."
Bloomberg is scheduled to meet with Vice President Dick Cheney who led the White House's lobbying effort against releasing the funding to New York.
The mayor-elect is scheduled to meet with: House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo., Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., and Arizona Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
The mayor-elect will also tour the damage at the Pentagon and have lunch with Washington Mayor Anthony Williams.
A statewide poll of New Yorkers conducted by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute in Hamden, Conn., found 55 percent of state voters listed terrorism, war, or security as the most important problem facing the country today. However, 32 percent named the economy and unemployment as the No. 1 problem for the state of New York, followed by terrorism and security at 20 percent.
Twenty-five percent characterized their personal finances as "not so good." City voters had a the most optimism, 44 percent thought their financial futures would improve, compared with 38 percent of suburban voters and 27 percent of upstate voters.
The poll, conducted Nov. 7 to 12, surveyed 1,207 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.
With flat advance sales of Broadway shows and with Jed Bernstein, president of the League of American Theatres and Producers, describing the state of Broadway as "precarious" the league announced it would use a $1 million grant from the state to step up advertising.
The league will use the grant from the Empire State Development Corp. for a print ad campaign in the Northeast and Canada.
"The first phase was effective in bringing in people from the five boroughs and suburbs to support Broadway in the wake of the terrorist attacks," according to Bernstein, but the league hoped tourists from nearby states would help pick up the slack from the drastic drop off in tourists not wanting to fly from elsewhere in the country or from overseas.
Eight New York firefighters who are on a "Thank You America" bike tour arrived in Washington, D.C., where they visited a firehouse and toured the damage at the Pentagon.
Half of the firefighters will return to New York, but the rest will continue on a month-long bike trip to California thanking people along the way for their support.
The Fire Department of New York received the Walpole Humanitarian Award, a humanitarian award created by a trade group of 80 British companies for "the firefighters who left all parts of the world speechless in admiration," for their heroism in the attacks on the World Trade Center.
New York Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen and 10 New York firefighters and their families received the award in London. "We are still grieving for the people we have lost, Von Essen said. "It's painful for everybody in the department."
More than 1,000 celebrities, business leaders and politicians gathered at the Sheraton New York Hotel, Wednesday night for an "All-Star Celebrity Tribute" for New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
Celebrity after celebrity heaped praise on the mayor who was called: "a hero to the city," "America's Mayor," "a great man" and "the greatest mayor in America today."
Each of the guest, who paid $2,500 to attend the tribute, received a Yankees baseball cap as a favor. The proceeds of the event will go to the Twin Towers Fund, formed by Giuliani for the families of the uniformed workers lost in the Sept. 11 attacks, and the Forum's Children Foundation, a non-proft group that brings seriously ill children to the United States for surgeries not available in their countries.
"I just think he is the epitome of grace under fire," singer Debbie Gibson said. "He's got a heart of gold. It's unfortunate that it took this for New Yorkers to see it."
According to city officials:
-- 3,554 have been declared missing by police;
-- 632 have been declared dead;
-- 589 bodies have been identified;
-- 1,895 death certificate applications have been filed;
-- 463,810 tons of rubble and 104,265 tons of steel have been taken away; and
-- 568,075 total tons of debris have been removed in 42,371 truckloads.
(Reporting by Alex Cukan in Albany, N.Y.)