This story comes from a Guest reporter. George Contoveros, Shop StewardóLocal 237, took it on himself to insure the safety of the men he represents. George had spotted asbestos in a crawl space where NYCHA employees would be exposed to the deadly dust. He exhausted all of NYCHA's official channels in his attempt to get the area abated so it would be safe to inhabit. But NYCHA refused to help.
At his own expense, George had the soil tested. It proved that George was right, that NYCHA had exposed its employees to asbestos even after frequent and persistent warning.
George told us of this new NYCHA horror, and sent copies of both NYCHA's listing of the site as safe and the independant test results showing friable asbestos, we decided we'd like to use George's name. After some discussion, he relented and agreed to go public.
Here's the George Contoveros report:
NYCHA had numerous workers doing work in the crawl spaces at Baruch since it was supposedly abated by a contractor 3 years ago, It appears that the contractor removed the asbestos off the pipes but left fragments in the crawl spaces along with crysotile in the soil.
I contacted P. E. S. H., a state agency that was involved in the complaint and that monitored the abatement at Baruch. I complained that I felt it was not abated correctly. They assured me that it was done correctly and that all the dangers of asbestos have been rectified.
I then informed Charles Alogna, the Superintendent of Baruch at the time, and he simply ignored it.
I informed Carl Haynes and he came down with paperwork on what had been done by the contractor and assured me that it was abated correctly. I asked him if he could send an expert to look into my allegations. He reiterated that there was no need, as it was already abated.
About 4 weeks ago I met with him at his office to show him the lab report I had paid for (see website), and told him that it contradicted the reports. It became a hostile meeting.
I then informed the Manager at Baruch, Efraim Diaz, of the situation. I gave him a memo with the lab report attached. He seemed concerned and stated he would contact Technical Services.
In the memo I stated that no worker should be sent down the crawl spaces again until they are further evaluated. Unfortunately, that request was ignored and more NYCHA employees were still sent down to an enclosed space with friable asbestos.
Today (6/18/01) I noticed inspectors at the location putting up signs at the crawl spaces, which read DANGER ASBESTOS. This was supposed to be free and clear of asbestos and certified by the contractor and PESH that it was removed. The soil sample I had tested was taken from 90 Baruch Drive.
This just in:
MORE staff are leaving
NORA's house of horrors!
Devorah Harper (political appointee who moved up in three years almost as quick as Nestles) resigned yesterday.
Maybe now they will give the damn job to one of the experienced employees already on NYCHA staff who has a Masters Degree in Social Work.
Cheryl Alman Charles quit last week & word has it that if Christine Meyers has any sense she will be scouting out a job very very soon. She replaced Gordon who replaced Lamount..yada yada. You should also ask your readers to email Spotty & tell you what Kelly Swails does! Ms. Swails replaced Jody & still nobody in her department knows what she does. But she gets a damn good salary to do it.
Nora has a new boss Michelle Pinnock -Clerk from Juvenile Justice (Tino Hernandez's old stomping grounds.)
Hope she at least has some skills in Social work! Could well be the lack of any Social Work credentials that has that place so screwed-up!
© 2001 Public Housing Spotlight and John Ballinger. All rights reserved.
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