Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rally to Save Firehouse Engine Company 220 Today and Tomorrow.

 Wood Frame Row House Fire:   ENGINE COMPANY 220 responding to this smoky blaze on 16th Street back in March of 2010.  link

Save Engine 220!


“Save Engine 220” morning rally: Wed, May 25 at 11am 

with Public Advocate Bill deBlasio at 530 11th Street

“Save Engine 220” evening rally: Thurs, May 26 at 7 pm

with Assemblymember Jim Brennan at 530 11th Street

Mayor Bloomberg is proposing to close FDNY Engine 220 fire company at 530 11th Street in Park Slope, the engine company that keeps much of Park Slope & Windsor Terrace safe.
If the Bloomberg Administration is allowed to proceed with this closure (1 of 20 he is proposing around the city), arrival times at fires will increase dramatically in our neighborhood. According to stats provided to the City Council, the first arrival time would jump from 3:38 to 4:08 seconds (a 19% increase), and the second arrival time would go from 4:08 to 5:24 (a 30% increase). An extra minute to get an engine company to a fire can be the difference between life and death.
Mayor Bloomberg has his priorities in all the wrong places. Closing 20 firehouses would save $55 million, while the City's 'rainy day' fund has $1.9 billion on reserve. The mayor supports giving a new tax break to millionaires and billionaires (by opposing extension of the existing NYS millionaire's tax), and increasing spending on consultants by over $100 million, while putting lives at risk.

Dear Mayor Bloomberg,

I was very angry to learn of your plan to close FDNY Engine 220 at 530 11th street in Park Slope. I am writing to demand that you restore funding for E220.

This fire company keeps my family, and me, and much of Park Slope & Windsor Terrace safe. If you proceed with this closure, arrival times at fires will increase dramatically in our neighborhood – a 30% increase in the time before water is getting on the fire. An extra minute to get an engine company to a fire can be the difference between life and death.

There are many other choices you can make, rather than seeking to save $55 million by putting lives at risk. I would support an extension of the existing “millionaire’s tax,” (which would bring the City hundreds of millions), dipping into the City’s “rainy day” fund (which has $1.9 billion on reserve), or freezing spending on external consultants (which you are proposing to increase by $100 million in this year’s budget).

Please get your priorities straight, and don’t put lives at risk in our community. Save Engine 220.

Sincerely,    _____________________________________________

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hell hath no fury... New Restuarant Served.

1657 8th Avenue, Brooklyn              A 311 contractor smoking complaint from "Mom" alerts Buildings Department inspectors to unpermitted renovation work in progress.  Although architectural plans were pre-filed, seems contractors may have jumped the gun and started work without the necessary paperwork in hand.   A Stop Work Order violation was served back on March 29th, and now with permits in place, has been rescinded.   

Word says the new eating and drinking establishment is going to be Italian.

FYI, As of July 2008 all smoking has been banned from  construction sites with initial fines ranging from $1,200 to $2,400 per violation.    Smoking observed at a building site, the presence of cigarette or cigar butts, or failure to post required no-smoking signs are all reasons for violations to be served.

Protection Money
On a final note, anyone who is undertaking any kind of renovation or new construction work might be interested in the services of this company... DOB Alerts.  

Let's be real, times have changed in Brooklyn.  The live and let live attitude towards undocumented renovation work has passed.  For better or worse, gone are the days when people with DIY skills could do work on their property without fear of an inspector showing up based on some disgruntled neighbor calling 311 to complain.  
From the DOB Alerts website...
DOB Alerts will alert you of any complaints registered with the NYC Dept of Buildings so that you can solve the problem before a NYC Building inspector shows up with a summons or stop work order. Whether you’re a property owner, manager, developer, or contractor, you can save time, money, and avoid all the trouble with DOB Alerts.
"Along with phone and e-mail alerts, our sophisticated on-line system grants you the ability to view each property's complete complaint history, providing a wealth of information. As soon as someone contacts NYC's 311, we'll let you know, so that your project can move ahead safely and quickly, thanks to the power of knowing before."

LOL, "Thanks to the power of knowing before"...  a.k.a. in old school... "being tipped off".

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Two SWO's, One House: Deep Shit Edition.

 Park South Slope, Brooklyn. Measuring in at just over 1,114 square feet, diminutive 429 11th Street awaits an Alt-2 slathering of fresh stucco and minor partition work.   

The Building's Department has dropped a Stop Work Order deuce on the new owner BZI Realty Corp.,  first  for performing acts of construction contrary to their approved plans and then secondly, for getting caught working against that first SWO violation.   Environmental Control Board fines now total $38,500!!!    That's something like $34.50 per square foot if you trust my math.   Of coarse there is a good chance that they beat the fines as the respondent of record appears to be  dead.  ECB says All penalties must be paid and plans must be amended, or else.

Here's 429 in all her asphalt shingled glory daze... Yes those are real vintage fiberglass awnings.    
I think Corcoran had this as an "estate sale/bring your contractor" listing for $549,000 back in September 2010.   Records  indicate BZI Realty Corp.  purchased the one family home for $475,000 back in March 2011.  There was an outstanding tax lien for $8,241.50 on the books as well.  
Check out this old IMBY post to see how this little trouble maker sits on a lot that's just 800 square feet.

Transom Saints.

Priorities:  They may have let the house go to hell, but the Virgin Mary's concrete grotto never goes with out a fresh coat of heaven.

The Deuce.

And now for the paperwork...

Carmela Aglione has left the building.

Monday, May 16, 2011

As lawsuit drags on, 1504 8th Avenue finally rebuilds.

July  26th will mark the  five year anniversary of 1504 8th Avenue's  crack induced Vacate Order.  If you recall back on that day in 2006,  eight families were forced out of their apartments and onto the street after the Brooklyn Buildings Department determined that the huge masonry cracks spotted running up the front, side and rear facades of their building had become  imminently perilous to their life.  
The DOB issued Vacate Order is currently still in effect while the building's owner, Arnold Rosenshein, seeks financial restitution  in Kings County Supreme Court before Justice Laura Jacobson.

According to a multi-million dollar civil lawsuit the owner, Arnold Rosenshein, and his engineer Sheldon Pulaski, P.E. allege the damage to his building occurred during the  bungled excavation and construction of the adjacent Armory Plaza Apartments at 406 15th Street.  According to engineering reports, improper drilling and caisson installation techniques were used by the developer/builder during the excavation of the Armory Plazas' 60' deep, three-leveled underground parking garage which extends right up to the shared rear property line.


 This  month remedial work began on stabilizing the disturbed soil and repairing what's left of the severely cracked rear and side foundation walls.  Atlantic Drilling rig and  highly pressurized grout injection equipment are on site.

Drilling and Underpinning along rear corner of 1504 8th Avenue.

Section of Drill Bit