Saturday, December 23, 2006
Reunited:Outlaw and Spike
Outlaw and Spike , a.k.a. Rene and Lucretia , are back together again after being separated for a few months because Rene was in jail ... for writng "I love Spike " on the restroom wall in Tompkins Square Park .
Friday, December 22, 2006
21 December 2006 Wall Street Police Brutality Protest ; Shot with a Leica M8
Above : Commander of Manhattan South Borough Patrol Assistasnt Chief Smolka
Above : Chief of Chiefs : Chief of Dept. Esposito , with 4 stars , confers with his officers .
Above : "Indy Media" interview in process
Above : Council person Charles Barron speaks
Thursday afternoon I left the neighborhood and covered some news downtown in the financial district with a new Leica M8.
Like the earlier protest on 5th ave last week this protest was a response to the recent police shooting of a civilian which involved the loseing of 50 rounds of amunition and the death of one man , Sean Bell , and the wounding of Trent Benefield and Joseph Guzman. .
The protest was directed by police commanders back and forth through downtown streets finally allowing the protestors to march down Wall Street and assemble at the old U.S. treasurey.
I know of no serious confrontations that resulted in violence though tempers on both sides did flare at times .
The M8 again did it's job . Thanks to Fotocare at 136 west 21st street for their assistance .
Thursday, December 21, 2006
21 December 2006 at 120 St. Marks Place
Above : Unlawful construction activity in progress on 20 December 2006
The previous post of 15 December 2006 reported that a full stop work order was in effect at 120 St. Marks Place and that the workers of Benjamin Shaoul were caught violating that SWO on 13 December 2006 and also were caught working on the building in places and on construction activities that were beyond the scope of any existing approved plans . I was wrong about the full SWO but not about the violations .
On 13 December a full stop work order was not in effect even though the DOB building profile for 120 St. Marks Place showed that there was a full SWO in effect ; there was only a partial SWO that applied to the ground floor and the basement but .... thats exactly where I did show one of Benjamin Shaouls workers working...and there were other busy little beavers working inside out of sight . Both the violations for working under a SWO and working beyond the scope of existing approved plans occurred on the ground floor where the partial SWO was in effect . The violations of this date 13 December were correctly reported and one can reasonably assume that on 15 December Benjamin Shaoul knew , as he was pictured talking on his cell phone on the roof of 118 St. Marks Place , that his 120 St. Marks Place LLC had been served the two violations two days earlier and we can also reasonbly assume that by being at the building site that he knew that workers were working again in violation of the same two DOB rules and regulations .
Yesterday as the picture through the front door of 120 St. Marks Place shows workers were again violating the same two DOB rulings and regulations . I was told by neighbors of the building that today again in violation of the law workers were working on the ground floor . The view through this front door shows the product of at least two months of work that was done in violation of the partial SWO and is also beyond the scope of approved plans . All of the interior construction pictured ,walls ,furring,windows ,doors ,etc is the product of unlawful construction activity .
Some might wonder here why it is so important to stop Mr. Shaoul and others from working unlawfully . The partial and simplest answer is that unlawful work is almost always inadequately or incorrectly designed by people that don't truly know or care about what they are doing and the work is performed and supervised ,again , by people that do not truly know or care about the safety of what they are doing and this often leads to accidents and building failures . Also there is the desire to build for as little money as possible :corners are cut , chances are taken . ...we have already seen the result of that here at this building with the scaffolding "accident "( see "A Construction Accident at 120 St Marks Place" and " Sorry... but not Good Enough ") and with the video tape of a worker that was injured during a structural collapse that occured during unlawful and unpermitted structural demolition activities which will be posted at a later date .
There will be more on this emblematic problem with Mr. Shaouls team and the ground floor and basement of 120 St. Marks Place ... so stay tuned to Neithermorenorless .
Sunday, December 17, 2006
15 December 2006 at 120 St. Marks Place
P.S. 18 December 2006 . The web pages below are changing and the STOP WORK ORDER THAT EXISTED ON 15 DECEMBER 2006 has been changed to a PARTIAL STOP WORK ORDER order that probably only applies to the basement and the ground floor but the violations are still in effect and will have to be answered to .These DOB web pages below are part of the complete building profile for 120 St. Marks Place and are supposed to be a current profile of the building and will of course change continuosly . There soon may well be no stop work order and no violation and as I noted in the post on this blog titled "Emblematic Bad Faith " Ben Shaoul will eventually get by hook -and-by -crook the building that he wants . We the people just have to accept that that will be the fate here ....at least as long as the Law that exists is not enforced , architects continue to be allowed to "self-certify" projects and those that ignore and even defy the Law are not significantly punished .
So for those of you that are interested , you can go to the DOB profile daily ( too bad we can't have webcams at the site so that you can watch work , legal and illegal , at the building too) and watch the 120 St Marks Place project status change ...right up to the day that Ben Shaouls building gets it certificate of occupancy . It would not surprise me though that people will actually be living in this building some time before there is a C of O issued for this building .
The above pictures show workers working and 120 St Marks Place LLC principle partner ,Benjamin Shaoul , talking on a cell phone at 120 St Marks Place on 15 December 2006 . On this day there is a full stop work order in effect .This stop work order has been in effect on this property for some time . For a look at the stop work order click here. http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/PropertyProfileOverviewServlet?boro=1&houseno=120&street=St+Marks+Place&requestid=0&s=A03C41B885B461E4F46BD08866A7430E
On 13 December 2006 , just two days earlier , the Department of Buildings issued violations for work in violation of an existing stop work order and also for work beyond the scope of existing plans . There have been many similar long term violations for this Shaoul team at this property. On this blog posts titled : " Emblematic Bad Faith " and " A Stop Work Order That Stops Nothing -1,2 and 3" will provide something of an overview of this continuing illegal activity . Also the posts " Construction Accident at 120 St Marks Place " and " Sorry But Not Good Enough " will provide a little history concerning a typical safety issue at 120 St. Marks Place. For a look at the recent violations of the stop work order and working beyond the scope of plans click here .
It would seem from appearances above that Mr. Shaoul and his workers do not consider the law relavent or applicable to them .
From the pictures above it can be seen that there is now a stair exit from the basement and also an exit door can be seen in the rear wall which makes possible exiting the very small and probably- illegally- so back yard through what appears to be a ground floor fire corridor through the building to an exit at the street on St. Marks Place.
Also the building ground floor extension does not extend to the rear lot line as I had once determined from some earlier images from this summer . In the earlier summer pictures there was certainly no rear stair exit from the basement in the recently poured ground floor slab and it appeared that the Shaoul team was building the rear extension right to the rear property lot line ,which according to some law and codes is not allowed . There will shortly be a post with pictures from last summer covering this issue . Certainly check the post " Emblematic Bad Faith" because it treats of the issue of the rear extension .
Though these changes are a sort of improvement as far as fire safety is concerned , they are most likely not completely lawful and they were mostly made by working in violation of existing stop work orders.
As to the identity of Mr. Shaoul , check for yourself by looking at the post on this blog " Some Aspects of a Civil Agreement ". There you can see a picture of him grinning .You , reader , can make the comparison for yourself ,that is if you have doubts about who is pictured above with a cellphone to his ear.
And finally the logo (actually an epmty DOB document ) above is that of the Department of Buildings and is accidentally there because of my computer incompetance :I don't know an easy way to remove it without re-doing the entire post .
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