City to sue owner of partially collapsed 19th century livery in Buffalo, New York

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Buffalo, New York —Two weeks after a 19th century stable and livery on Jersey Street partially collapsed and caused 15 homes to be evacuated in Buffalo, New York, residents still do not have answers from the city despite a court order to work with them and come to an agreement on a way to save some or all of the building, Wikinews has learned. Despite the frustration from residents, the city is planning on suing the building’s owner. A rally was held at the stable’s site where residents are hoping to bring more awareness to the situation and gain more support to save the building.

On June 11, a significant portion of the stable’s right side wall collapsed into the yard of a resident’s home. Authorities, including the Buffalo Fire Department were called to the scene to evaluate the collapse and evacuate 15 homes of residents surrounding the stable as a precautionary measure. The following day, the city ordered an emergency demolition on the building, which was stopped by a restraining order residents with Save The Livery (www.savethelivery.com) won on June 14. Two weeks later, five homes are still evacuated and residents don’t know when they will be able to return.

On June 19, Judge Justice Christopher Burns of the New York State Supreme Court ordered a halt to the emergency demolition and ordered the city and residents to come to an agreement to save the building, or at least a significant portion of it. Despite a court date today, no agreement has yet been reached between the two parties.

“It is in the interest of the city to have a safe environment–but also important to maintain a sense of historical preservation,” stated Burns in his June 19th ruling. The court ruled that a limited demolition could take place and that the city was only allowed to remove material in immediate danger to residents and pedestrians, but stated that the demolition could only be performed with “hand tools.” The court also ordered that any rubble which had fallen into neighboring yards when the building collapsed, to be removed. Since then, most of not all the significantly damaged portions of the building or portions in immediate danger of falling have been demolished. The roof has also been removed to put less stress on the stable’s walls.

“Its been over three years since we have been having problems with part of the livery falling down. There was an implosion two weeks ago and suddenly the city wanted to have an emergency demolition,” said Catherine Herrick who lives on Summer Street immediately behind the stable and is the main plaintiff in the lawsuit against the city. Many homes on Summer are small cottages which were used as servants quarters when the stable was in operation, many of which were built in the 1820’s. At least seven homes on Summer border the stable’s back walls. Residents in those homes have significant gardens which have been planted against the building and growing for decades.

“Both parties are to continue to work together to see how we can meet everybody’s needs. This is the third time we have been in that courtroom, and that is what we were basically told to do,” added Herrick who said the rally was held today because this “is Buffalo’s history. Buffalo is a wonderful place to live because of its history and this is a historical, beautiful building and we need to keep those beautiful buildings.”

Herrick states that the city is working with residents, but also believes that its “slow moving” and they are allowing the owner to get away with neglect on the property.

“I believe right now that they are letting the owner get off. The owner was negligent for 20 years, and hasn’t done anything to it despite what he has claimed to say. Now that this is an emergency situation, the city has a lot to say about it,” added Herrick.

Currently the building is owned by Bob Freudenheim who has several building violations against him because its poor condition. He has received at least five violations in three months and residents who live near the building state that Freudenheim should be “100% responsible” for his actions.

Freudenheim gave the city permission to demolish the building on June 12 during an emergency Preservation Board meeting, because he would not be “rehabilitating the building anytime soon.” Freudenheim, along with his wife Nina, were part-owners of the Hotel Lenox at 140 North Street in Buffalo and were advocates to stop the Elmwood Village Hotel from being built on the Southeast corner of Forest and Elmwood Avenues. They also financially supported a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the hotel from being built. Though it is not known exactly how long Freudenheim has owned the stable, Wikinews has learned that he was the owner while fighting to stop the hotel from being built. Residents say that he has been the owner for at least 22 years. Attorneys for Freudenheim confirm that the city is starting proceedings against him for his violations beginning as early as Wednesday June 25. Freudenheim has not released a statement and could not be reached for comment.

Many residents want the building preserved and Herrick states that their engineer can have it stable in “four days” as opposed to the 14-30 days it would take to demolish the building and “at a lesser cost than what it costs to demolish it.”

It will cost the city nearly US$300,000 to demolish the building which is paid for with tax money collected from residents in the city. The Buffalo News reports that fees are approaching $700,000. Though reports say there is a potential buyer of the stable, Wikinews cannot independently confirm those reports.

Residents say the stable was designed by Richard A. Waite, a 19th century architect, and was first owned by a company called White Bros., used as a stable and housed at least 30 horses at any given time. It also stored “coaches, coupes, broughams, Victorias and everything in the line of light livery,” stated an article from the West Side Topics dated 1906. According to the article, The company first opened in 1881 on Thirteenth Street, now Normal Avenue, and later moved into the Jersey building in 1892. The Buffalo Fire Department believes the building was built around 1814, while the city property database states it was built in 1870. It is believed to be only one of three stables of this kind still standing in the country.

At about 1950, the stable was converted into an automobile body shop and gasoline station.A property record search showed that in 1950 at least four fuel storage tanks were installed on the property. Two are listed as 550 square feet while the other two are 2,000 square feet. All of the tanks are designated as a TK4, which New York State says is used for “below ground horizontal bulk fuel storage.” The cost of installing a tank of that nature according to the state, at that time, included the tank itself, “excavation and backfill,” but did not include “the piping, ballast, or hold-down slab orring.” It is not known if the tanks are still on the property, but residents are concerned the city was not taking the precautions to find out.

Wikinews has called the city along with the Mayor’s office several times, but both have yet to return our calls. There are conflicting reports as to the date of the next hearing. According to Herrick, the next hearing is July 1, 2008 though the Buffalo News states the next hearing is July 8. The News also states that Burns will make a final ruling on the stable at this time.

Indian Government gives green signal to community radio

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Group of Ministers (GoM) set up by the union government has given the thumbs-up for community radio stations to operate in India. The GoM has proposed that universities, registered trusts, civil society bodies and NGOs be allowed to run such stations. It has also proposed a single window clearance system to authorise such networks, with the assurance that the requisite clearances will be provided within three months. The GoM has also proposed that community radios be allowed up to 5 minutes of commercial advertising for every hour of broadcast.

The possibility that the proposal may run into some trouble when put before the Cabinet does exist. Many private FM channels are supposedly displeased with the idea of having to face more competition. There are also concerns that community radios may be used by insurgent groups to compromise India’s internal security. Those in favour of the proposal, however, say that this concept will start a revolution and empower rural India.

Columnist, author and visiting professor at Centre for Policy Research, B G Verghese says, “This operates at the grassroot level and once people can have access to this kind of information, you can put across anything to them, whether it is education or health. It’s an absolute necessity. The twin towers have happened, there is no way you can stop it. They don’t need community radio to do that.”

James Brown dies of pneumonia

Monday, December 25, 2006

James Brown, often referred to as the Godfather of Soul, died in Atlanta due to congestive heart failure, combined with pneumonia. His death at age 73 was announced by his agent. After his dentist noticed something unusual with him, Brown was told to visit a doctor immediately. He was taken into the hospital yesterday for treatment of his pneumonia until his death at around 1:45 AM (6:45 AM GMT). It is not known whether he received a pneumonia vaccination, as recommended for people of his age.

He was born in 1933 and grew up in poverty until he formed James Brown & The Famous Flames. His influence on 20th century music, from funk to hip hop was profound.

Before he died, he scheduled a New Year’s Eve concert series in New Jersey and New York that would help kick off a 2007 tour.

Eurovision ’04 winner Ruslana discusses her paths as singer, spokesmodel, stateswoman and source of inspiration

Monday, March 30, 2009

First becoming famous in her native Ukraine in the 1990s, long-haired self-described “AmazonRuslana gained international recognition for winning the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest with her song “Wild Dances,” inspired by the musical traditions of the Hutsul people of the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains.

In the five years since, Ruslana has decided to use her name and public status to represent a number of worthy causes, including human trafficking, renewable energy, and even the basic concept of democratic process, becoming a public face of Ukraine’s Orange Revolution and later serving in Parliament.

Currently, she is on an international publicity tour to promote her album Wild Energy, a project borne out of a science fiction novel that has come to symbolize her hopes for a newer, better, freer way of life for everyone in the world. She took time to respond to questions Wikinews’s Mike Halterman posed to her about her career in music and her other endeavors.

This is the fifth in a series of interviews with past Eurovision contestants, which will be published sporadically in the lead-up to mid-May’s next contest in Moscow.

Emergency spacewalks planned to fix International Space Station

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

NASA is scrambling to solidify plans to fix the broken down cooling systems on the International Space Station during two spacewalks, currently planned for Friday and Monday. The systems broke down late Saturday July 31, triggering alarms that woke the six astronauts (three Russian and three American) currently onboard the station. NASA’s flight controller said the astronauts are not in any danger, but that science experiments are on hold until the problem can be fixed.

The first spacewalk is set to begin Friday at 6:55 a.m. EDT, NASA officials said. The two planned spacewalks will be conducted by astronauts Douglas Wheelock and Tracy Caldwell Dyson. They will replace an ammonia pump module, which shut down Saturday. The pump’s failure prompted the astronauts to shut down several other systems as well. The spare pump had been delivered to the station in July 2006, during STS-121.

Normally, major repair spacewalks take weeks of preparation. An unrelated spacewalk had already been planned for this Thursday, which would have been conducted by Wheelock and Dyson, so the space suits and equipment are ready to go. NASA decided late Monday evening that the spacewalk would be postponed to Friday to allow for more preparation.

In October 2010 the space station is expected to break the record for the longest continuously inhabited space station, a record currently held by Mir.

Affordable Auto Repair Services In Broken Arrow Can Be Hard To Find

byCraig Tate

Cars break down. It is a fact of life that if a car is driven for long enough it will break down. Many people are keeping their cars for longer than ever now, because they cannot afford a new car. This is causing some mechanics to increase their prices, so that they can make even more money on people keeping their cars for longer. This means that it is important to look around before choosing a mechanic. A car owner wants to make sure that they can find an inexpensive, yet qualified, mechanic to keep their car running for as long as they possibly can. There are three things to look for in an Affordable Auto Repair Services in Broken Arrow.

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1. The first thing to look for is referrals. Finding previously satisfied customers can go along way in ensuring that a mechanic is a good one. If the mechanic can not provide you with previously satisfied customers, the mechanic is not worth using, even if his prices are very low.

2. The next thing to look for is the use of quality parts. Some mechanics may be inexpensive, but it is because they use cheap parts. Using cheap parts just means that you have to repair your car even more often, costing more money in the long run.

3. Lastly, consider the honesty of the mechanic. Some mechanic’s rates may seem low, until you realize that they make up problems that do not exist. It is important that an honest mechanic is found, even if you know just enough not to be hoodwinked. A mechanic who routinely lies to his customers is not a mechanic that deserves patronage. It can be difficult to find a mechanic that is like this.

Affordable Auto Repair Services in Broken Arrow are few and far between, but they can be found. It is important for consumers to make sure they are not paying too much for their needed auto services. Consumers also want to ensure that they are getting quality work done. This is why it is very important to consider the three things listed above to achieve a long-lasting car.

Visit Tateboys.com for quality services.

Iran to launch its first nuclear power plant

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ali Akbar Salehi, chief of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency, announced Friday that Iran is scheduled to launch its first nuclear power plant in Bushehr. Russia said that it will start loading fuel into the reactor on August 21, 2010.

Russia has assisted Iran in the construction of this reactor since the mid-1990s. The proposal to build this reactor was put forth 35 years ago by Mohammad Rez? Sh?h Pahlavi, the former emperor of Iran.

Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev, the current president of Russia, said that Iran and Russia are in active trade partnership. Medvedev called on Iran last month to explain its nuclear program.

The official launch is scheduled for August 21, 2010. Russia has promised to run the plant by supplying fuel and taking away fuel waste.

Wikinews international report: “Anonymous” holds anti-Scientology protests worldwide

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Internet group Project Chanology today held protests critical of the Church of Scientology. The protests marked what would have been the 49th birthday of Lisa McPherson, who is claimed to be a victim of the Church of Scientology’s practices. Lisa died in 1995 during a running of what Scientologists refer to as an Introspection Rundown, a procedure intended to help Church members deal with a psychotic or deeply traumatic event.

Protests were planned throughout the day in 14 countries and over 50 different cities. The estimation of total protesters world wide for Feb. 10, 2008 is 9,250 people.

Wikinews had correspondents at a number of protest locations to report on the events. This article was updated throughout the day with reports from around the globe.

Contents

  • 1 Location Reports
    • 1.1 Adelaide, Australia
      • 1.1.1 Adelaide Gallery
    • 1.2 Atlanta, Georgia
      • 1.2.1 Atlanta Photo Gallery
    • 1.3 Austin, Texas
      • 1.3.1 Austin Photo Gallery
    • 1.4 Boston, Massachusetts
      • 1.4.1 Boston Photo Gallery
    • 1.5 Brisbane, Australia
      • 1.5.1 Brisbane Gallery
    • 1.6 Brussels, Belgium
      • 1.6.1 Brussels Photo Gallery
    • 1.7 Buffalo, New York
      • 1.7.1 Buffalo Photo Gallery
    • 1.8 Chicago, Illinois
      • 1.8.1 Chicago Photo Gallery
    • 1.9 Clearwater, Florida
    • 1.10 Dallas, Texas
      • 1.10.1 Dallas Photo Gallery
    • 1.11 Edinburgh, Scotland
      • 1.11.1 Edinburgh Photo Gallery
    • 1.12 Honolulu, Hawaii
      • 1.12.1 Honolulu Photo Gallery
    • 1.13 Houston, Texas
    • 1.14 London, England
      • 1.14.1 London Photo Gallery
    • 1.15 Los Angeles, California
      • 1.15.1 Los Angeles Photo Gallery
    • 1.16 Manchester, England
      • 1.16.1 Manchester Photo Gallery
    • 1.17 Melbourne, Australia
      • 1.17.1 Melbourne Photo Gallery
    • 1.18 Minneapolis, Minnesota
    • 1.19 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
      • 1.19.1 Milwaukee Photo Gallery
    • 1.20 New Orleans, Louisiana
      • 1.20.1 New Orleans Photo Gallery
    • 1.21 New York City, New York
      • 1.21.1 New York City Photo Gallery
    • 1.22 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • 1.23 Phoenix, Arizona
      • 1.23.1 Phoenix Photo Gallery
    • 1.24 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
      • 1.24.1 Pittsburgh Photo Gallery
    • 1.25 Plymouth, England
      • 1.25.1 Plymouth Photo Gallery
    • 1.26 Portland, Oregon
      • 1.26.1 Portland Photo Gallery
    • 1.27 San Antonio, Texas
    • 1.28 San Diego, California
      • 1.28.1 San Diego Photo Gallery
    • 1.29 Seattle, Washington
      • 1.29.1 Seattle Photo Gallery
    • 1.30 Sydney, Australia
      • 1.30.1 Sydney Photo Gallery
    • 1.31 Toronto, Canada
      • 1.31.1 Toronto Photo Gallery
    • 1.32 Vancouver, Canada
    • 1.33 Vienna, Austria
    • 1.34 Winnipeg, Canada
      • 1.34.1 Winnipeg Photo Gallery
    • 1.35 The Internet
      • 1.35.1 Internet gallery
    • 1.36 Other locations
      • 1.36.1 Stories from other locations
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources

Science academies urge teaching of evolution

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Interacademy Panel on International Issues (IAP), a global network of the world’s science academies, has released a statement urging parents and teachers to provide children with ‘the facts about the origin and evolution of life on Earth’. The statement is signed by 67 of the 92 member academies of the organisation, and notes that in some schools around the world, “testable theories” about evolution are being “concealed, denied or confused by theories not testable by science”.

The statement presents four “evidence-based facts” that no scientific evidence has ever contradicted. These include the Earth being approximately 4.5 billion years old, life on Earth being at least 2.5 billion years old, and commonalities in all living organisms indicating a common primordial origin based on the process of photosynthetic organisms.

The news follows developments, mainly in the United States, where there is a concerted effort to include the teaching of ‘intelligent design‘ (ID), a theory which claims that complex biological features indicate that the presence of an intelligent ‘designer’ in schools. Opponents of this movement argue that it doesn’t qualify as a scientific theory, and is simply a disguise for creationist beliefs. In the US, where the separation of church and state is mandated by constitutional law, efforts to include ID in school syllabi were quashed by the courts, as the teaching of religion in schools is against the Establishment clause of the constitution of the United States. Despite this, George Bush has in the past remarked that he believes intelligent design should be taught in schools. The President has not shown any sign of plans to personally intervene in the legal debate however.

In December 2005, following legal case between the parents and the school district of Dover (Pennsylvania, USA), the judge decided that intelligent design was a religious view, and that it was unlawful to teach it as an alternative to evolution within the classroom. The IAP statement suggests that the science academies believe that ID is still being taught within some schools, however.

A Gallup poll conducted in May concluded that 46 percent of Americans believe that God created man in his present form sometime in the past 10,000 years, with 13 percent believing mankind evolved with no divine intervention and 36 percent saying that mankind developed over millions of years from lesser life forms, but with God guiding the process.

The IAP statement acknowledges limitations in current understanding, but argues that the process of science allows it to be open-ended and subject to correction and expansion as new understanding emerges.

Migrant workers in Dominos Pizza ‘slavery’

Friday, August 10, 2007

Eight Hungarian migrant workers sacked from a Domino’s Pizza franchise in Derby, England are said to have taken home virtually no pay for months because of illegal deductions.

The claim is refuted by the company who said in a statement “We have begun a thorough investigation during which we have scrutinised the franchisee’s employment practices. This took place with his full co-operation. The franchisee concerned is confident that he possesses the evidence required to refute these allegations. To the extent that we have been informed of all allegations and have reviewed all available evidence, we also believe this to be the case.”

The sacked workers are being supported in their claim by the workers union Unite. The union say the “there appeared to be a deliberate strategy of keeping the workers in debt to the company through a series of crippling deductions. The deductions included payments to cover the contract purchase of a car from their employer, insurance for the vehicle provided through their employer, and exorbitant rent for substandard accommodation, again provided through their employer. In addition, some workers had to pay fees of up to £180 for an “introduction” to the company. One worker earned just £5 in four months because of the constant and hefty deductions out of his wage packet. When the workers protested they were sacked.”