Much Ado About Nothing

Some have asked GA to discuss my past email correspondence with City Hall- specifically Dan Bryan and Juan Melli.

Frankly, I don't wish to dignify a politically-motivated witch hunt.

It's clear that Mason wishes to exact her pound of flesh on Mayor Zimmer by destroying the careers and reputations of her 2 closest aides. I believe Mason's already read illegally-obtained emails that in her mind will embarrass these men.  And she can't OPRA them because to do so she needs the kind of information which would give her up as having already read them.

Hence the City Council resolution.

So, GA's 'email release' series to Juan Melli and Dan Bryan tells you all you need to know about my opinion of this mining expedition.  'Nuff said.

But for those who care to know more, I will go on record to say there's no 'there' there. I've sent/received few emails to these men over the years. I do get City Hall public notices, at my request.  So why Mason threw me into the pot is a head- scratcher. But I'm grateful, because it's provided a ton of material for the blog.  A ton.

This witch hunt's the gift that keeps on giving!

On the subject, my very first email contact with Dan Bryan was in January 2010.  He was putting together a proposal for state funding for the soccer field walkway repairs and needed an AutoCAD drawing.  So we emailed a bit back and forth while I did the work. On a voluntary basis; I turned down compensation.  That's the extent of any sustained contact with Mr. Bryan.

Whoop-di-frickin'-doo. I'll bet that gets the heavy breathing started at 921 Hudson.  Ooooh, baby.

GA even blogged about my work for City Hall last November, so I'll re-post it again below.

The experience came with a shock which had nothing to do with Dan Bryan or Juan Melli, but a set of structural drawings which appeared to be missing... the structure.

That's something worth talking about.

An Anecdote About Something Missing  
(Nov 5, 2010)

City's Hall's release of the Sinatra Drive Collapse Timeline yesterday brought something I've thought about for awhile off the back burner.

It's anecdotal.

Sometime last January, I was contacted by Dan Bryan, the mayor's aide, to ask if I might help them with a proposal to get funding for repairing the collapsed walkways in Sinatra Park and Castle Point.

They needed a simple diagrammatic drawing of Sinatra Park in the written proposal to 'tell the story' of the collapse-- showing the affected area and extent of damage to it. The problem: there were no digital files, only an old set structural drawings. The area had to be drawn to-scale first before any rendering could be done. So, I was asked to help.

The process would be drawing the Sinatra Park plan in AutoCAD, then rendering it in PhotoShop. It sounded like my kind of fun. So I picked up the structural set from City Hall and took it home to work.

What to do next?

In order to document the failure I had to understand what was there, meaning both existing structure (original) and new (added in the Sinatra walkway construction).

So I looked for the Steel Schedule. And a (plan) layout drawing of ALL the new steel in the built-out area.

There were NONE.

What's a Steel Schedule?

Basically a list of all the new steel on the project, member shapes, sizes, and detail references back to the drawings, and any notes specific to that member. New steel would be tagged on the plan, located on 'x' and 'y' grid lines.

Now, it is possible that a written specifications book containing schedules may have been issued with the project, but there were no references to that on the plans, and still there would have to be a plan-drawing showing scope and locations to reference back to the schedule.

No plan, No schedule.

So what the hell was there and how did they build it?

And how did they price it? What was bought?

And how was it engineered? Live load, dead load calculations and such...

There should be a set of As-Builts, done after project completion to document all new construction with all changes to the scope made during construction.

Or was there? I didn't have As-Builts in any case.

What about Shop Drawings, the subcontractor's drawings which are final design documentation prior to fabrication and installation and which would have required review and approval by the project's Structural engineer prior to furnishing and installing work?

Maybe long gone. Shop drawings are generated from the design and specifications on the contract documents- in this case the structural drawings and specifications book, if there was one.

Now, I am no structural engineer. I can tell you what was shown on the drawings was a cut-away plan-view of one corner of the walkway which showed several existing wood timber piles with new supplemental steel supports. A part-plan.

Because I had wanted to show the timber piles and new steel locations on the diagram and information was missing, I had to do something more simple.

With City Hall's permission, here are the completed renderings:

click to enlarge

Now, let me repeat that I am not an engineer, and these were just my observations about one set of drawings, but... these were supposed to show the project scope and design, and those fundamentals were glaringly absent.

Maybe they exist elsewhere.

If they don't, be very afraid.

No matter where your politics lie, this affects all of us and the people we know and love.

Now, go back and read this.


  1. Oh the "evil" politricks GA.

  2. So much for the oft-repeated claim (actually by only one person and his doppel-gangers) that reformers are just advancing their careers and enriching themselves by supporting the administration. It's funny how it never crosses his mind to do something out of generosity or principle.


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