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Demolition

NEWS
September 11, 2013 | By Mark Fazlollah, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA Mariya Plekan, the most seriously injured survivor of the June 5 Center City building collapse, will be able to tell her story of being trapped under the rubble for 13 hours and losing her legs, a Philadelphia judge ruled Monday. Common Pleas Court Judge Mark I. Bernstein ruled that Plekan, an immigrant from Ukraine who is suffering from kidney failure but has been weaned from using a ventilator, can give a deposition in her lawsuit against multiple defendants as soon as she is capable of enduring the process.
NEWS
September 9, 2013 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia Treasurer Nancy Winkler, whose daughter was among six people killed when a wall collapsed in June atop a Center City Salvation Army thrift store, has started an online petition to create a memorial park at the site. The petition, on Change.org, asks her boss, Mayor Nutter, as well as City Council President Darrell L. Clarke and the Salvation Army to finance a park at 22d and Market Streets. By noon Friday, it had more than 1,500 signatures. Winkler's 24-year-old daughter, Anne Bryan, was shopping June 5 when an unsupported wall at an adjacent demolition site crashed on top of the store.
NEWS
August 17, 2013 | By Bob Warner, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia City Council will introduce legislation next month to strengthen the regulation of demolition practices, requiring contractors to develop safety plans and post them at every demolition site, along with the names of building owners, contractors, subcontractors, and city inspectors who signed off on the plans, according to the chairman of a special Council committee. "We want the contractors to say how they're going to do the demolition, whether it's by hand or with heavy equipment, what they're going to do to protect other buildings, and it will be listed at the site so people will be able to walk up and say, 'Where's that shoring for the wall over there?
NEWS
August 17, 2013 | By Bob Warner and Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writers
Griffin Campbell, the contractor in charge of the demolition project that led to the Center City building collapse, will invoke the Fifth Amendment and refuse to answer questions in a grand jury appearance this month, his lawyer said in a court document filed Wednesday. William Hobson disclosed in an affidavit that Campbell has been subpoenaed to appear in August before the grand jury investigating the collapse. He said Campbell would decline to answer questions, citing his constitutional right against self-incrimination.
NEWS
August 16, 2013 | BY WENDY RUDERMAN, Daily News Staff Writer rudermw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5924
A CITY COUNCIL committee tasked with investigating June's fatal building collapse concluded its fifth and final hearing yesterday with vows to step up government oversight of demolition work. "This isn't the end. This is the beginning," said Councilman Curtis Jones Jr., chairman of the five-member Special Investigative Committee on Demolition Practices. "We will never, ever again go back to a laissez-faire [approach to demolitions]. We were derelict in our duties. " The committee, appointed by Council President Darrell Clarke, was formed in the wake of the wall collapse at 22nd and Market streets on June 5 that killed six people inside the adjacent Salvation Army Thrift Store.
NEWS
August 2, 2013 | By Sean Carlin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Under gray skies and drenching rains Thursday morning, construction crews in Camden started to tear away at the facade of the former Sears, Roebuck & Co. store, almost two months after demolition started June 5. While much of the rear of the structure on the Admiral Wilson Boulevard now lies in a pile of bricks and steel, the front facade and the side facing Memorial Avenue remained largely intact until Thursday. About 9 a.m., workers from Winzinger Inc. of Hainesport slowly began taking out large chunks of the top of the facade, transforming the front of the building into a skeleton of steel girders.
NEWS
July 26, 2013 | By Bob Warner, Inquirer Staff Writer
City Controller Alan Butkovitz is planning an audit of city demolition practices, at least the fourth investigation spurred by a deadly Center City building collapse last month. The Controller's Office sent a letter Wednesday to the commissioner of licenses and inspections, Carlton Williams, saying it intended to audit "the policies and procedures" used by L&I and other agencies to monitor private and publicly funded demolition projects. "The objective of this audit will be to evaluate the adequacy of the inspection and enforcement procedures pertaining to building demolitions, including the 300 demolitions the city reportedly inspected after the June 5, 2013, Market Street building collapse," Deputy City Controller Gerald V. Micciulla told Williams.
NEWS
July 21, 2013 | By Bob Warner, Inquirer Staff Writer
After weeks of withholding records related to the Center City building collapse, the Nutter administration reversed course Friday, releasing hundreds of pages of e-mails, inspection reports, and other documents, and posting them on a city website. The administration continued to insist that "some or all of these records" might be exempt from disclosure under state law. But the mayor's office said "the city has, in its discretion, concluded that the public interest is better served by their release.
NEWS
July 18, 2013
Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger acknowledged Tuesday that he did not alert city building inspectors after he was warned in May of dangerous conditions at the Market Street demolition site. Within an hour of receiving that warning, Greenberger said, he got another e-mail suggesting the problems were being resolved. Story, B1.
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