Morning Headlines: Looking Even Worse for the Salvation Army

Good thing the charity has deep pockets.


The Inquirer has an examination of what people knew and when they knew it before the Hoagie City building collapsed onto the Salvation Army thrift store. This goes to the heart of the matter in terms of culpability, both criminal (civil lawsuits) and moral. It also reemphasizes what we already knew and which Victor Fiorillo wrote about in September: The Salvation Army is not looking good in this whole thing. Some fundamental questions:

– Did the store manager at the Salvation Army know the employees were at risk?
– Did the Salvation Army supervisor of nine stores know the employees were at risk?
– Did the Salvation Army organization know that the demolition was risky enough to merit closing the location while the work continued?

The Salvation Army’s lawyer, Eric A. Weiss, told the Inquirer that the organization had no idea what stage the demo had reached.

At decision-making levels, Weiss said, the charity thought it was still negotiating with its Market Street neighbor over what steps would be taken to shield the shop during demolition when the collapse occurred.

He said the Salvation Army had designated a Harrisburg lawyer to negotiate with the owner of the building being torn down, STB Investments Corp., a company controlled by real estate investor Richard Basciano.

But the Inquirer reported previously that STB warned the organization of the hazards in a series of emails. As it stands now, aside from the criminal charges filed against the demolition contractor and the excavator operator, it seems as though the Salvation Army will bear the brunt of the blame for the loss of life and the injuries suffered. Good thing they’ve got deep pockets.

At issue in building collapse: Who knew what, and when?

And in other news…

• Listen up, eco-friendly homeowners. The Inquirer’s Alison Burdo informs us the cool-roof concept may not be as cool as you think.
• AxisPhilly reminds us of the new AVI process that’s sure to leave unaware homeowners shocked when they see their 2013 property tax bill.
• Fan of Sriracha sauce? According to the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Jared Shelly, Councilman Jim Kenney is hoping to get the company to move its plant to the city.
• The Inquirer’s Joseph N. DiStefano reports Liberty Property Trust is now focusing on industrial real estate and dumping its aging suburban office spaces.
• Council President Darrell Clarke has proposed amendments to the land bank bill, says AxisPhilly. Reactions from supporters of the bill are varied.

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  • wildmother

    Alan Greenburger and City Planning knew about good Demolition Protocol from Baltimore since a meeting in 2006 and a meeting in Oct 2011. They also knew bad and dangerous demolition was going on without permits plus the excavation of contaminated land without permits on a politically connected project in Mt Airy. Seth Williams staff member Vernon Price and former Ward Leader with Donna Reed Miller in collusion with Politico Derek Green ( another close friend of the DA) pitched the contaminated project and allowed the demo without permits and the illegal excavation of contaminated land and put neighbor in hospital and displaced from home, then proceeded , along with the leader of the 9th ward democratic committee John O Connolly ( who claim to set up the project on land he said belonged to Stan Smith, partner with Ken Weinstein at Philly Retail). When Steven Master, attorney to Council President and Derek Green came out to see what was going on, they claimed councilmanic prerogative and abandoned the neighbor to the hospital and displacement from home, failed to call L&I or see that proper and safe measures were taken to protect neighbor or the people who are now living in the new townhouses when took over half a decade to complete. Director of Community Planning Richard Redding claimed a “conspiracy was engineered in Reed Miller office” against the neighbor, me. That is blatantly obvious. Hate Crimes, Haz Mat exposure which is a felony, denial of civil rights and constant terroristic tactics and typical whistleblower abuse and retaliation proceeds to this day. At Zoning, the corruption was so deep that they ignored doctors demand to remove me to safety and illegally handled the contamination. The Real Estate and Development leaders of Mt Airy and Chestnut Hill sat around for Years and did nothing even though a human being was being severely harmed. Corruption in City Hall and Zoning was so bad that elected official who now works for the DA sat at Zoning with a contractor who had already wrecked one project and stole or mismanaged the money -depending who you talk to. Dan Murnoff said the contractor ran off with the money in East Mt Airy. The High level officials are really good at blaming others for their multitude of crimes and corruption. Mayor Nutter came out and said he cared about the lives of ALL Philadelphians. But not mine. He has allowed a multitude of hate crimes and abuses that put me in hospital many times and kept me homeless and destroyed my life for years to cover up the politically connected and criminal mess in East Mt Airy. All the big business people, cops and neighborhood groups and city council and planning and City Council have been acting like gang bangers destroying a woman’s life for years to hide their own construction crimes. Frankly L&L was the only one that did anything. City Hall and Lawyers refused to call L&I about the demolition. It took about 50 calls for me to get through. I did and they came and they busted the site for demo with no permits. There was never any safety against the years of dust and asbestos and silica or chemical vapors. The city secretly trucked away contaminated top soil, with non professional help and no signs or warnings to the neighbors. City Council’s pet project and the DA best friends pet project exposed people to deadly haz mat for years and destroyed a woman’s life with vicious and classic retaliation and hate crimes.