December 25, 2013 |
Starting Jan. 1, contractors working in Philadelphia will have to prove they have paid their city taxes and have the appropriate insurance, or they will not be issued the necessary work permits. The change grew out of moves Mayor Nutter announced this summer to expand the city's oversight of contractors after the Market Street building collapse that killed six people. "That's always the goal, to increase oversight and just make sure everyone is playing by the rules," Rebecca Swanson, spokeswoman for the Department of Licenses and Inspections, said Monday.
December 17, 2013 |
The message came through loud and clear: The buildings in the 2100 block of Market Street needed to come down, and their chief owner was growing impatient. He'd stopped by in late April and was "shocked" to see them still standing. The aide who passed that news along put shocked in capital letters. A new cache of e-mails tied to the Center City building collapse sheds light on one of the basic questions about the deadly June accident: why the owners pressed forward with plans to tear down a four-story brick building amid serious safety concerns about the one-story Salvation Army thrift shop next door.
December 2, 2013 |
For days, the workers at the Salvation Army thrift shop on Market Street said, they heard noises from outside and above. "Like a giant mouse running down the wall," assistant manager Richard Stasiorowski testified. "Every day, at some point, we would hear something. " "All of us would say, 'Oh, my God,' " manager Margarita Agosto said. " 'Imagine if this falls on us.' " But they did not alert the demolition crew next door or their Salvation Army supervisor. They said he already knew.
November 27, 2013 |
"GREED. " That's what District Attorney Seth Williams says motivated contractor Griffin Campbell to allegedly cut corners and ignore safety when running the demolition project near 22nd and Market streets that caused the deaths of six people in June. A grand jury has charged Campbell with six counts of third-degree murder, six counts of involuntary manslaughter and other offenses that could put him behind bars for the rest of his life, Williams announced yesterday. "It was Campbell who decided on the method of demolition.
November 23, 2013 |
When a city demolition permit was issued three years ago for the Church of the Assumption, it looked as if it would take a miracle to save the historic Philadelphia sanctuary where the Roman Catholic saint Katharine Drexel was baptized. That miracle has arrived in the form of a court ruling that appears to void the permit cleared by the Historical Commission in 2010. Though lawyers on both sides acknowledge that the ruling is confusingly written, they seem to agree that the original demolition permit is no longer valid.
November 20, 2013 |
A package of bills and resolutions to strengthen the city's regulation of demolition and construction practices won preliminary approval from City Council on Monday. Encouragement came from parents who lost their daughter in the Center City building collapse that killed six people last June. "We appeal to you to remember the disturbing questions we ask every minute of every day in an effort to understand how this tragedy could have occurred in our city," testified City Treasurer Nancy Winkler, whose daughter, Anne Bryan, 24, died while dropping off clothes at a Salvation Army thrift shop at 22d and Market Streets.
November 15, 2013 |
THREE BILLS tightening up the way demolition projects are carried out in the city passed through committee and are headed for a vote next week before City Council. The bills help implement Occupational Safety and Health Administration training standards and mandate annual continuing education for demolition workers at construction sites. The legislation stems from the June collapse of a building under demolition at 22nd and Market streets onto an adjacent Salvation Army thrift store, killing six people.
November 2, 2013 |
PHILADELPHIA A former U.S. attorney and a fire-safety expert were named Thursday by Mayor Nutter to lead an independent review of the Department of Licenses and Inspections, an action spurred by the building collapse that killed six people in Center City in June. Peter F. Vaira, who was U.S. attorney in Philadelphia from 1978 to 1983, will serve as executive director of a 16-member review panel, Nutter said. Glenn P. Corbett, an associate professor of fire science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, part of the City University of New York, will chair the panel, which is charged with completing its work by July.
November 1, 2013 |
MAYOR NUTTER appointed a special commission yesterday to investigate the Department of Licenses & Inspections in the wake of the deadly Center City building collapse in June. City Treasurer Nancy Winkler, whose daughter Anne Bryan, 24, was one of six people killed in the collapse, had called for a blue-ribbon commission on the department. L&I was scrutinized after the collapse, in which a wall from a demolition site fell onto a Salvation Army thrift store next door, because the demolition had been approved and inspected.
October 9, 2013 |
City Controller Alan Butkovitz called in authorities to deal with a hazardous building in North Philadelphia on Saturday after neighbors complained that they had not been able to get action on their own. After Butkovitz's intercession - he called 911 and gave dispatchers his city title, he said - the Fire and Police Departments responded and called in the Department of Licenses and Inspections to knock down what remained of the vacant two-story brick...