The Thursday Line

by The Simpsonian

Questions remain at Ground Zero

They filled about 100 seats at the public hearing, some wearing jewelry from their lost loved ones, some clenching balls of tear-stained tissue. They slowly thumbed through the city’s rebuilding proposals for the devastated World Trade Center site.

The Sept. 11 families, as they have come to be known, were on the verge of a revolt. As soon as city officials began talking about improving street grids and promoting development, the protests rang out:

“Don’t sweep the memorial under the rug. This is a burial ground.”

Noelle Bush found with cocaine

Gov. Jeb Bush’s 25-year-old daughter was found with cocaine at an Orlando drug-rehabilitation center, police reported on Sept. 3.

Bush was not arrested because police could not obtain sworn statements signed by the center’s staff. A worker who found the suspected cocaine on Noelle Bush tore up a sworn statement she had written at the suggestion of one of her bosses, police said.

Russian space agency grounds *NSYNC singer over money

The Russian space program, after weeks of wrangling over money, has said “bye, bye, bye” to Lance Bass.

In a letter received at National Aeronautics and Space Administration headquarters Monday, a Russian official said the financially desperate agency couldn’t wait any longer for the cash needed to put the *NSYNC singer on the Oct. 28 Soyuz flight to the international space station.

Less than two weeks ago, the 23-year-old Bass was at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, training with his crewmates. But the strings attached to the flight – an estimated $20 million price tag – appear to have scuttled the plan to make Bass the first entertainer in space.

Anything is possible, but Bass was on an accelerated training schedule even before the money flap began.