May 8, 2015 |
Gathered outside a hulking, vacant North Philadelphia commercial building, city officials Wednesday announced a joint initiative between the Department of Licenses and Inspections and the Fire Department to inspect derelict properties. The idea is to evaluate dangerous, empty structures larger than 15,000 square feet - so-called mantraps - for the safety of firefighters and the public. Many such buildings, like the one at 3617 N. Eighth St., will be demolished. But the media event, attended by Mayor Nutter, L&I Commissioner Carlton Williams, Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer, and others, also appeared to serve as a forum to bolster Williams as he and his beleaguered department weather a barrage of criticism.
May 7, 2015 |
The city has ordered the reinspection of scores of buildings that were originally examined by inexperienced and uncertified inspectors from the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections. The action comes after The Inquirer reported in March that L&I sent out uncertified inspectors to conduct 600 inspections on buildings throughout the city that had been declared unsafe - either badly damaged or deteriorated. State officials said later in March that any of the original inspections of 181 buildings that fell under the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code (UCC)
April 25, 2015 |
A four-story building in North Philadelphia that is home to eight Temple University students was built illegally - without the required safety inspections or even a building permit, city records show. The tan-brick building at 1806 W. Montgomery Ave., constructed within the last two years, is owned by 826 N. Broad L.L.C. Shawn Bullard, a real estate developer from West Oak Lane, is the sole member of that company, real estate records show. Bullard, 33, is a former Temple football player who had a short stint in the NFL and this year starred as a bachelor looking for love in the WE TV reality show Match Made in Heaven.
April 22, 2015 |
A MAN STOOD on Mount Ephraim Avenue in Camden clutching an umbrella, unaware that several Philadelphia City Council members were watching him from another part of the city in a dark room full of computer monitors. Council President Darrell Clarke had led the journey over the Ben Franklin Bridge to Camden yesterday morning to check the Camden County Police Department's nerve center, its Real-Time Tactical Operations and Information Center, where a network of cameras and hidden microphones is monitored like something out of a spy thriller.
March 31, 2015 |
Many dangerous and unsafe buildings that should be inspected every 10 to 30 days have not been seen by inspectors from the Department of Licenses and Inspections in years, The Inquirer has learned. At the same time, the agency's Construction Site Task Force has been so adept at fining contractors for violations such as failing to display permits or update insurance in the city computer system, builders complain, that L&I is delaying construction while city building is booming. Critics of the beleaguered agency say that proves it is on the wrong track, with safety taking a backseat to the exigencies of collecting cash and flexing its muscle over comparatively minor infractions.
March 27, 2015 |
Most of the 600 inspections of unsafe buildings performed by a group of inexperienced and uncertified inspectors for the Department of Licenses and Inspections last month appear to be invalid, The Inquirer has learned. In an e-mail Wednesday, officials of the state's Department of Labor and Industry said that inspections that follow the tenets of the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code must be performed by a person certified under the UCC. "Any UCC inspection not performed by a UCC-certified individual is not valid," Department of Labor and Industry officials concluded.
March 25, 2015 |
Having endured only the latest round of unflattering reviews following the deadly building collapse at 22d and Market Streets in 2013, Philadelphia's Department of Licenses and Inspections should be approaching its crucial and daunting task with that much more care and caution. That is not the impression left by the revelation that hundreds of inspections were conducted by trainees who lacked required credentials. About 600 inspections conducted one week last month were performed by newly hired, uncertified employees but recorded under the name of a single experienced inspector, The Inquirer's Alfred Lubrano reported Monday.
March 24, 2015 |
A group of inexperienced and uncertified inspectors for the Department of Licenses and Inspections conducted around 600 inspections of unsafe buildings in a single week last month, The Inquirer has learned. Each of the nine newly hired inspectors then recorded their work in L&I's database under the name of another man, an experienced inspector with the agency. L&I officials say the inspections were part of a training exercise for the rookies. The inspections, from Feb. 9 through 13, were performed the same week City Controller Alan Butkovitz released a report criticizing L&I for not inspecting unsafe buildings - those that are badly damaged or deteriorated - in a timely manner.
February 24, 2015
Bryn Mawr Bank Corp. , Bryn Mawr, has elected Michael Clement and John May to its board. They had served as directors of Continental Bank Holdings Inc., which Bryn Mawr Bank Corp. acquired on Jan. 1. Clement is a partner with the law firm Wisler, Pearlstine, Talone, Garrity & Potash L.L.P. May is a partner in the corporate and securities department of Pepper Hamilton L.L.P. The University City District has named the following board members: Jamie Gauthier , executive director of the Sustainable Business Network and president of the Garden Court Community Association; Tom Klaritch , executive vice president of HCP; Mark Mills , president of the Metropolis Group; Joe Reagan , vice president-development at Wexford Science & Technologies; Joe Ritchie , vice president of development at Brandywine Realty Trust; and Joe Vitali , vice president of finance and administration at the University of the Sciences.
February 23, 2015 |
It's 9:30 a.m. and Allison Ford, 24, a pastry chef at Vedge , a vegan restaurant in Philadelphia, is working on a host of exotic ice cream bases that include black pepper, Black Forest cake, and smoked walnut. Moving along a spotless surface, Ford shuttles among blender, stove, and ice cream maker, her movements economical and precise. Around her, the restaurant gleams - all polished glass, lustrous wood, and copper fixtures. "Here's the thing," says Rich Landau, 47, owner of Vedge and the recently opened V Street with his wife, Kate Jacoby, 35, who live in Philadelphia.