Friday, February 15, 2013

HHA Bombshell: "6 Buildings Without Fire Suppression"

Fire at 300 Washington Street

Let's put aside the 'Jake is a Meanie' theater at the HHA meeting last night- as told to GA by a witness, residents wore protest t-shirts:
The t shirts were white - the front said "Benedict Jake" Zimmer Puppet and it had an effigy of Jake as a puppet on strings. The back said, "The HHA Knows Jake Must Go!" I heard that Calicchio and Waiters were passing them out. (redacted)'s children were wearing the shirts as well as some other young children there. About 25 people had those shirts on. Occasionally they would get up and turn their backs on the board to show that "HHA knows Jake must Go!" 
That all works inside the room.

What won't work outside the room is a devastating fire inspection report that was given by HFD Chief Blohm last night.

Fire at 105 11th Street

Blohm is no a Zimmer fan, so his appearance at the HHA to presentation his scathing inspection  findings, is a measure of the gravity and threat posed  to the lives of hundreds of HHA residents.  The buck stops with the person in charge of the management of these buildings, the HHA Executive Director.

What were some of Blohm's findings?

Fire at 110 1st Street- McSwiggan's Bar
The Fire Code violations at the HHA include (but are not limited to) 6 buildings without working generators, fire panels, pumps- NO FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEMS.

GA's new Smart Phone
From a witness: 'Carmelo didn't know the generators were down."

Followed by back and forth about how the generators on the ground were damaged by Hurricane Sandy's salt water.  And something about mice eating wires.

GA's got questions.

Didn't the HHA get federal money for generator platforms after Hurricane Irene?  To raise them 3 feet off the ground?

If the HHA did get this grant, but didn't raise the generators, what happened to the money?

If the generators were damaged by Sandy's saltwater, did the HHA file a claim with FEMA?

Take away everything else said in the room last night, the utter failure of the HHA Executive Director to protect residents in  6 fully-occupied   buildings in the event of a fire, "not knowing" their generators were down-  in the private sector this would be cause for immediate termination 'for cause'.  It's stunning to me.

The HHA residents in those 6 buildings should be screaming their heads off.  And not at Jake.

 
Deadly fire at 1203 Washington Street
The staged hijinks might have owned the room last night, but surely the DCA and HUD get copies of the fire inspection reports. 

And the Commissioners on the Board must deal with the gravity of these findings; with a potential loss of life if G-d forbid, any of those buildings caught fire. 

Fire at 200 Clinton Street lumber yard

Here is more from inside the room last night:
The HFD charged them $100k for the fire watch because none of the fire panels worked nor did six of the generators. Whenever jake or mello would ask carmelo why they were not functional, he'd dance around the questions and said the mice ate the wires, there was salt water damage, the risk management inspectors found it and it's their fault, it was crazy, etc. No accountability at all. The people in the room fed off of carmelo's chaos. Of course, when you sound like God booming in the room, they're going to praise you. Those guys need bullhorns. It is sick and disgusting on how carmelo's mic is so loud. You can't hear the retorts at all. Carmelo has the 'God on High' mic and jake and the commissioners have Lucifer's.
Fire at 159 14th Street
it is bad for carmelo out of the room. From my perspective carmelo's handling of the safety systems in the buildings is abyssmal. Before the storm, generators weren't working, fire panels didn't work, etc. It appears that he has no control on inspection schedules, maintenance, etc. Blohm also said that in the past an exit door was nailed shut (or jerry-rigged) in some way because the person performing maintenance (painting) had blocked egress from the building because they had blocked fire exits. So, the maintenance staff isn't properly trained. It looks like there are just goons walking around with wrenches. Those people are in such danger there, but they don't care because carmelo is their leader. Blohm said (I think) that he imposed a $10K fine in the past about nailing doors shut (or jerry-rigging) because of the painting bullshit. It has been going on in several buildings multiple times
Fire at 1200 Madison Street

GA calls Hoboken the Land of No Consequences.  Are there consequences outside of Hoboken for this kind of negligence?
There are no inspection reports or maintenance reports. Blohm said there must be a paper trail. Carmelo blamed it on the previous administration that there are no records. So, he's trying to get retroactive permits to fix everything. The risk management inspectors discovered that the generators were inoperable. That is when carmelo found out. When asked why didn't you know before then, that's when the spun it around and said the mice ate the wires. It doesn't answer the question. When asked about the maintenance records, he said that the HHA in Newark said he did an amazing job after Sandy and he is to be commended. Again no answer to the question. When asked again between mello and jake, he would say that he will provide it to you next week, next month, or I told you, the mice ate the wires! Just incoherent LOUD responses that sounded valid in the room. The crowd would cheer his every response.

11 comments:

  1. Document everything. Document every failing over at the HHA. Find out when every piece of equipment broke down and how long it was broken. Get a list of all maintenance requests by tenants, when they were logged and when they were dealt with. It is time for the board to start collecting information on Carmelo's performance, time to give him his performance review and time to detail his failings to the people who have been deluded into thinking he is the best thing since sliced bread.

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  2. And Jake, go look at those generators and see which ones were raised off the ground, which weren't and get to the bottom of that funding the HHA got for this task! Please, I would like to see some confirmation from a named source like you accompanied by photos.

    Also, if any of that fire protection stuff or the generators were out prior to the hurricane, that is pretty damning when it comes to my view of Carmelo's performance. It might be useful if we got confirmation of that.

    The more information that comes out of the HHA, the better. Things seem real bad over there and I can't imagine spending a fortune on elevator floors instead of what really is necessary helps one single bit.

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  3. Astounds me that we are talking about low income housing with many residents on public assistance of some sort...but money magically appears to make t-shirts. I'm sure some of the HHA families could have used that money for food or non-propaganda clothing.

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  4. Just saying, they picked large people to fit in door ways with tee shirts. Do any one in hha think for them selfs? Do you want to raise above living there under the condtions over many years and decades? You cheer mice? Shouldn't you wear tee shirts say rid our space of drug dealers? Show courage too rid the mob like wanna be's.That in mob of people there showing there class, which is no class. I grew up in middle class and tough area,Was middle class because we took chances,We learned work ethic, not too take and keep taking. Give of yourself, like Jake is doing.You can't see that?And when a bully came around,You seen him get his ass kicked too respect our area. People stuck together,not for who ran your life from city few crooks,But too be respected. HHA is not respected by them few, ask for a place in clock towers or other places of them few. NOT!!!!! There takers not givers. So wear your tee shirts, Fight the real problems,crime,drugs and bullies. jimmybazz

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  5. this is nuts! why is the mayor staying out of this when a fire blows up then all will cry.

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    Replies
    1. The DCA and HUD are the only authorities with jurisdiction over the HHA.

      But, I would be very surprised if others were not engaged behind-the-scenes. Yeah, it's nuts.

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  6. again....a money pit and dangerous .....get those families out into a safe complex and knock that area down....put a park there.

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  7. The heat is on Carmelo Garcia. You might think that you got away with murder but HuD the FEDS, your neighbors are all watching you.

    The way I see it, judging from this imposed fine of $100,000 you are not doing your job. That is a big chunk of change that could have been used for your people and not to mention you endangered their lives.

    Your not for the HA and certainly not for the kids. You ooze sleaze.

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  8. That's the problem. Carmello doesn't have to pay out of his pocket, it's the tenants and taxpayers that have to pay for his evil doings and corruption.

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