- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 12, 2001

Business came to a standstill yesterday, as many offices in the District and surrounding areas closed down after planes hijacked by terrorists crashed into the Pentagon and New York's World Trade Center.
Those workers whose offices remained open were fixated on radio and television coverage rather than their daily workloads.
"From the looks of it, a lot of towns lost business today," said Eric Kandrashoff, contractor's representative with construction firm McKissack & McKissack and manager of the crew. "But nothing can compare to the lives that were lost. You can make money tomorrow, but you can't replace a life."
Calls yesterday to local companies, including Riggs Bank in the District, Freddie Mac in Tysons Corner and General Dynamics of Falls Church, were greeted with recordings stating that their offices were closed for the day. Others, like AOL Time Warner and Gannett Newspapers, were working with a bare-bones crew.
Downtown tourist attractions like the Smithsonian, Ford's Theatre and the Hard Rock Cafe were closed.
Businesses near the intersection of 14th and F streets NW in the District, like Borders Books and Music, McDonald's and Olsson's Books and Records, were also shut down. The shops inside the National Press Building were closed, and only employees of news agencies heaquartered there were allowed in.
The presence of the media is exactly what made John Kalil, owner of Press Liquor on the west side of the building, keep his doors open.
"We'll stay open as long as we're not told to leave," Mr. Kalil said. "We're in the safest building in town. Nobody is going to bomb newspapers."
Automated teller machines were working, but downtown banks were closed. Plumbers, electricians and phone company workers, who did not have the day off, still could not do their jobs, as they were being turned back from assignments.
Several blocks around the White House were cordoned off, trapping any vehicles parked there.
Some 20 construction workers at a nearby intersection were resting against the glass doors of a closed Citibank branch. The crew was part of 100 workers doing renovation work at the Treasury Department.
Many businesses outside the District ceased operations as well yesterday. Tysons Corner Center and Tysons Galleria both shut their doors earlier than usual with plans to open today during normal shopping hours.
Two Safeway stores, in Arlington's Crystal City district and at the Watergate in the District, were shut down, but the rest of the stores in the area remained open, stocking extra food, water and supplies, said Craig Muckle, a Safeway spokesman.
It was business as usual at American Management Systems in Fairfax, though it didn't necessarily have to be that way, said spokesman Robert Gillcash.
"Many people chose to stay on the job, though they were able to leave," he said. "Each manager was given the discretion for his or her team in respect to personal and project safety," he said.
American University and George Washington University suspended day and evening classes yesterday, though both schools said the administration buildings and residence halls remained open.
Street vendors, even those close to the roped-off White House areas and the trade building, stayed open.
"Lots of hungry people walking around," said one street vendor, who did not wish to give his name. "And it's hot, so you're thirsty, and most of these stores here are closed. So why would I close, too, and lose money?"
Donna De Marco contributed to this report.


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