October 28, 2015 |
Mayor Nutter ordered the city's inspector general Monday to investigate if the Department of Licenses and Inspections has followed new safety rules put in place after the deadly Center City building collapse. The mandate stems from a report in Sunday's Inquirer that L&I failed to properly inspect more than 80 percent of private demolitions over the last nine months. Nutter called the Inquirer report "tremendously troubling. " He vowed to hold officials and inspectors accountable, depending on what Inspector General Amy Kurland discovers.
October 26, 2015 |
The city's Department of Licenses and Inspections failed to follow new inspection guidelines in more than 80 percent of private demolitions performed over the last nine months, an analysis of agency records shows. And, people familiar with L&I records say, the agency's database appears to have been altered to show that demolition inspections had occurred when they had not. In at least one case, records show, the agency's database said five inspections that should have occurred during a demolition were actually conducted four months after the building had been razed.
October 23, 2015
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat of Oct. 20, 2015: Reader: I read in The Inquirer that health inspections in Philly restaurants are not published until 30 days after the inspection, as opposed to N.Y.C. and other large cities that are posted immediately. How can this be? What can be done to change this? How do you feel about this problem? I don't want to see others get sick from poor health inspection being withheld for 30 days. C.L.: The Inquirer has done a lot of work to present Philly's restaurant health reports for public scrutiny.
October 9, 2015 |
AFTER DOLORES Deissler died at 87, her family turned to the Edward Hugh McBride Funeral Home in Kensington, which made sure that her viewing July 16 was "absolutely perfect," her son Joe said. Relatives came from near and far to celebrate the life of the mother of seven. "We didn't have any issues. We all were totally happy with the work Patty did," said Joe Deissler, referring to Patricia Vallone McBride, the funeral home's director. But as far as the state is concerned, McBride's "work" never should have been done.
September 17, 2015 |
The Department of Licenses and Inspections "continues to jeopardize public safety" by allowing uncertified people to conduct building inspections, according to the Office of the Controller. A report by the office, obtained by The Inquirer and scheduled for release Wednesday, also found that L&I does not adequately monitor inspector overtime, and uses a computer system that allows data to be changed or overwritten without a trace. The report further stated that L&I management put up "huge resistance" to inquiries from the Controller's Office, which was compelled to subpoena documents that the agency had not turned over.
July 18, 2015 |
Back in 2002, with at least 85 people sickened by Salmonella , Bucks County health inspectors discovered that kitchen workers at a Lone Star Steakhouse on Route 1 were washing tomatoes and raw chicken in the same sink. They shut the place down until an additional sink could be installed to prevent cross-contamination. "We thought we had it nailed," recalled Bill Roth, who oversees food safety for the county health department. Not exactly. When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed victims' stool samples, Roth recalled, they noticed something completely different: The same strain of Salmonella had been found elsewhere.
July 3, 2015 |
President Obama warned Iran's ayatollahs on Tuesday that he was ready to walk away from a nuclear deal if Tehran won't agree to tough measures to prevent cheating. Let's hope he means what he says. Negotiators have already extended the deadline from June 30 to July 7. The administration should push it back further if Tehran won't give inspectors adequate access or clear up questions about previous military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program. "Given past behavior on the part of Iran," said the president, verification can't "be a few inspectors wandering around every once in a while.
May 27, 2015 |
To make sure contractors paid their fines for minor violations at construction sites, the Department of Licenses and Inspections instituted an idea in July 2013 called "the hold. " According to L&I officials, that meant a builder's certificate of occupancy - which declares a new building inhabitable - was delayed until his fines were settled and violations corrected. But the holds appear to have had unforeseen effects, according to six L&I building inspectors who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal.
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)