Iran reported to U.N. Security Council


Saturday, February 4, 2006

The IAEA board has passed a resolution to report Iran to the United Nations Security Council. The decision by the 35-nation board came on Saturday.

The resolution was made without waiting for the director of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei, to finish preparing a report on Iran’s civilian (and allegedly military) nuclear programs for the regular IAEA meeting scheduled for March 6. According to al-Jazeera, ElBaradei refused to accept pressure from Western states to finish his report in advance of the March 6 meeting. ElBaradei said in written responses to requests by the US and EU member states that he had given Iran until the meeting in March to answer questions to IAEA enquiries, stating, Due process, therefore, must take its course before [we are] able to submit a detailed report. ElBaradei also said that another IAEA verification mission was due in Iran shortly and that he had only in mid-January sent extra questions to Iran based on what diplomats called newly released intelligence.

The text of the resolution, made without the results of the report, which will only be ready in March, requires ElBaradei to report to the Security Council “steps Iran needs to take to dispel suspicions about its nuclear ambitions.”

The resolution states that there are serious concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. It also notes, “Iran’s many failures and breaches of its obligations,” (to the non-proliferation treaty) and expresses “the absence of confidence that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes.”

The resolution also states that Iran is to:

  • Re-establish a freeze on uranium enrichment and related activities;
  • Consider whether to stop construction of a heavy water reactor that could be the source of plutonium for weapons;
  • Formally ratify an agreement allowing the IAEA greater inspecting authority and continue honoring the agreement before it is ratified; and
  • Give the IAEA additional power in its investigation of Iran’s nuclear program, including “access to individuals” for interviews, as well as to documentation on its black-market nuclear purchases, equipment that could be used for nuclear and non-nuclear purposes and “certain military-owned workshops” where nuclear activities could take place

The resolution calling for the referral was apparently drafted by several members states of the European Union together with the United States. Political analyst Joshua Frank claims that the US is not interested in diplomatic means of limiting Iran’s possible shift towards nuclear weapons development and that the major reasons are Iran’s oil supplies and plans to open an International Oil Bourse in petroeuros, which would challenge the petrodollar, on March 20, 2006.

The agency vote sets the stage for future action by the top U.N. body. Russia and China insisted, in casting their votes with the majority, that future votes on deliberations should wait until at least March. The outcome could include economic and political sanctions. This process of successive escalation of the tension between Iran and the Western members of the Security Council was described by Hans Blix, responsible for about 700 inspections for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, as spin and momentum. He was in favour of inducing Iran to forego enrichment but also recommended that the United States give a similar commitment not to attack Iran with either conventional or nuclear weapons, just as it apparently has to North Korea.

27 of the 35 nations on the board voted for the referral.

Three nations that voted against the resolution: Cuba, Syria and Venezuela. Five other countries Algeria, Belarus, Indonesia, Libya and South Africa, abstained.

Learn more about weapons of mass destruction in UK, Iran, Israel, and Iraq on Wikipedia.

Jack Straw, Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, a nuclear weapons state obliged under Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to destroy its own, existing nuclear weapons, said that the IAEA vote showed “the international community’s determination to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons in the Middle East.”

After the decision, Iran said today that it would “immediately” begin the steps to “restart full-scale uranium enrichment” and “curtail” the powers of the IAEA inspectors.

Javad Vaeedi, deputy Iranian nuclear negotiator, said in a press conference after the vote, “After this decision, Iran has to immediately bring into force its parliamentary law to suspend voluntary implementation of (the watchdog agency’s) Additional Protocol (on snap inspections) and (pursue) commercial-scale enrichment which until today was under full suspension.” He also said, “this resolution is politically motivated since it is not based on legal or technical grounds.”

Iran has also said that a proposed deal by Moscow to enrich Iranian uranium is dead.

“There is no adequate reason to pursue the Russian plan,” said Vaeedi. “Commercial scale uranium enrichment will be resumed in Natanz in accordance with the law passed by the parliament.”

Iran had said that it will “end cooperation with IAEA”, if referred to the Security Council.

As of January 31, 2006, the Deputy Director General for Safeguards of the IAEA had reported that Iran has continued to facilitate access under its Safeguards Agreement as requested by the Agency, and to act as if the Additional Protocol is in force, including by providing in a timely manner the requisite declarations and access to locations.

Ground broken on Northpoint development in Cambridge, Massachusetts


A view of the Leonard Zakim bridge from the construction site. The warehouses at right will be replaced by a five-acre park within two years. The elevated roadway in the foreground is the John F. Gilmore Bridge.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Cambridge, Massachusetts —Construction of two condominium buildings and a five-acre park began on March 21, in East Cambridge, Massachusetts. The buildings and park are part of the 45-acre Northpoint development, which will take 15 years and more than $2bn to complete, according to the Boston Globe. The buildings, designated as “Building S” and “Building T” by the planners of the project, Spaulding & Slye Colliers, have been designed by local architectural firm Childs Bertman Tseckares and Architects Alliance from Toronto. Buildings S and T are the first of an eventual 20 buildings planned at the site.

The development will fill what used to be a railroad yard for the Guilford Rail System, a subsidiary of Guilford Transportation Industries. According to Hoovers.com, Guilford is controlled by Timothy Mellon, heir to the Mellon banking fortune. Guilford Rail Systems has its headquarters in North Billerica and owns 1600 miles of railroad throughout New England. The tracks in the Northpoint plot have been removed, though Boston subway’s Lechmere station remains within walking distance of the site, along with parts of Boston and Cambridge. The site is bordered by Route 93 on its eastern side, Monsignor O’Brien Highway to the west, and the Gilmore Bridge to the south.

The landscape architecture of the park is provided by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, a landscape architecture firm on Concord Avenue in Cambridge. The firm’s principal teaches in Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. MVVA is also completing the landscape for Harvard’s Northwest Science Building.

Landslide causes train derailment in Italy; nine dead


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

At least nine people have died in northern Italy after a landslide caused the derailment of a passenger train. A further 25 people were injured, according to emergency services.

The incident occurred earlier this morning near the border with Austria, in a mountainous region near Merano, a city around 300 kilometres north of Venice.

“There are nine confirmed victims, while 28 people have been injured, seven of them seriously,” reported the governor of the Bolzano-Bozen province, Luis Durnwalder, to the Reuters news service. Initially, eleven people were reported dead, due to what the governor described as a “counting error”. However, he noted that “there could still be someone buried in the mud”, so the death count is not yet final.

According to the ANSA news agency, the train had about forty passengers on board when it derailed. Sky TV, meanwhile, quoted officials as saying that three people are reported to be missing. The authorities say the landslide was due to a broken irrigation pipe, which caused rocks to fall onto the tracks below. Authorities say they are looking into why the pipe burst.

The trains front car hit two trees upon derailment, local media says, which prevented it from dropping off into a river below. The carriage, however, was hanging over the river, and firefighters had to use cables to stop it from falling any more. A crane was also dispatched the scene to help clean up debris, ANSA reported.

“The train is hanging off the rails about five meters from the river. It is now only a few trees that are holding up the train and preventing it falling into the river,” said a witness, Alex Rowbotham, to the BBC.

“[…] The landslide occurred at the very passage of the train. It hit the train,” said Thomas Widmann, a transport official for the city of Bolanzo.

The crash was the deadliest in Europe since February, when eighteen people died after two commuter trains ran into each other near Brussels, Belgium. Italy saw its worse rail crash two decades ago, when 29 people died following the derailment of a freight train carrying petroleum gas, resulting in several explosions.

Report urges Kenya to ban plastic bags


Wednesday, March 9, 2005File:Plastic bag stock sized.jpg

They are cheap, useful, and very plentiful, and that is exactly the problem, according to researchers. A report issued on Feb. 23 by a cadre of environment and economics researchers suggested that Kenya should ban the common plastic bag that one gets at the checkout counter of grocery stores, and place a levy on other plastic bags, all to combat the country’s environmental problems stemming from the bags’ popularity.

David S. Touretzky discusses Scientology, Anonymous and Tom Cruise


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

David S. Touretzky, prominent free speech activist and critic of Scientology, discussed his opinions on the recent Internet backlash against the Church of Scientology in an interview with former Scientologist and Wikinews reporter Nicholas Turnbull. The recent conflict on the Internet between critics of Scientology and the Church has been spurred on in declarations by a nebulous Internet entity using the name Anonymous that the Church of Scientology “will be destroyed”. Anonymous has directed recent protests at Scientology centres across the world, which have attracted significant numbers of individuals supporting the cause. In recent e-mail correspondence with Wikinews, a representative of the Church of Scientology declared that the Church considers the activities of Anonymous to be illegal, and that Anonymous “will be handled and stopped”.

Touretzky, a research professor in artificial intelligence and computational neuroscience at Carnegie Mellon University, has been a prominent critic of the Church of Scientology since mid-1995, and has been protesting against Scientology vociferously since then; he has also run websites that publish material that Scientology wishes to keep suppressed from the public eye, such as extracts from Scientology’s formerly-confidential Operating Thetan (OT) materials. Touretzky views the actions of the Church of Scientology as being “a threat to free speech”, and has endured harassment by the Church of Scientology for his activities.

The Church of Scientology continues to suffer damage to its public reputation through increased exposure on the Internet and vocal protests by Scientology critics such as Prof. Touretzky. A recent event that focused intense attention on Scientology’s totalitarian attitude was the leak of an internal Church of Scientology propaganda video to the Internet video sharing site YouTube, in which celebrity Scientologist Tom Cruise spoke heavily in Scientology’s jargon and stated that that “we [Scientology] are the authorities” on resolving the difficulties of humanity. The declaration of war by Anonymous followed shortly after this leak, in the form of a video posted to the Internet.

The ongoing dispute, cast by some as Scientology versus the Internet, brought Scientology terms such as “SP” (Suppressive Person, an enemy of Scientology) and “KSW” (Keeping Scientology Working) into general usage by non-Scientologists from the late 1990s onwards; increased attention has been drawn to Scientology by the release of the Cruise video in addition to media coverage. This focus has caused an even greater propagation of these terms across the outside world, as Touretzky comments in the interview.

Wikinews asked Prof. Touretzky about the impact that the activities of Anonymous will have on Scientology, the public relations effect of the Tom Cruise video, the recent departure of individuals from the Church of Scientology’s executive management, the strategies that Anonymous will employ and Touretzky’s experiences of picketing the Church.

Nine dead after armed Santa Claus opens fire in LA suburb


Monday, December 29, 2008

At least nine people have been killed in a two-story house in Covina, California, after a man dressed in a full Santa Claus outfit opened fire at a Christmas Eve party and then set the house ablaze. Covina is a city in Los Angeles County, California about 22 miles (35 km) east of downtown Los Angeles.

According to local police, the Christmas party at the 1100 block of East Knollcrest Drive was attended by about 25 people. Trend News Agency said that the gunman fired two semi-automatic handguns and used an apparently home-made pressurized device to spread some kind of accelerant. As the guests tried in vain to escape, the gunman used his ‘present’ to spray inflammable liquid that started the raging blaze. Reports from the scene said Molotov cocktails were also used by the madman.

Media reports said the gunman was plotting vengeance against his ex-wife. Prime suspect, Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, age 45, six-foot-three-inch, 250 pound (1.9 meter, 113 kilogram), an electrical engineer, is long time Roman Catholic church usher and a laid-off aerospace worker. He worked with ITT Electronic Systems, Radar Systems, in Van Nuys from February 2005 to July 2008, and as an engineer at Northrop Grumman for five months in 2005, according to Court records. He had also worked for about nine years at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena until 1994.

Pardo’s ex-sister-in-law, who escaped from the Covina house alive with her injured daughter, called 911. Police on Friday released her 911 audio.

Msnbc.com has reported that Pardo “has brown hair and blue eyes, and known to frequent La Crescenta and La Verne.” Court records reveal that Mr Pardo’s wife acrimoniously divorced him last September. The divorce decree was finalized December 18. Until earlier this year, he lived in the Sylmar house with his ex-wife and her three children. The marriage lasted barely a year. However, Pardo held no criminal record and had no history of violence.

There is some speculation that the divorce may have been caused by Pardo concealing a paraplegic child from a previous relationship. Matthew, his nine-year-old son, by another former girlfriend, Elena Lucano, became brain damaged when he fell into a backyard swimming pool on Jan. 6, 2001. Pardo kept this child a secret from his wife. Pardo owed her $10,000 as part of the divorce settlement, according to court documents that detailed a bitter split. He also lost a dog he doted on and did not get back a valuable wedding ring. Pardo complained in a court declaration that Sylvia Pardo was living with her parents, not paying rent, and had spent lavishly on a luxury car, gambling trips to Las Vegas, meals at fine restaurants, massages and golf lessons.

After the mass murder, Pardo put on his street clothes and drove his rental Dodge Caliber car to the house of his brother, Jimmy Pardo, in Sylmar, approximately 30 miles away from the crime scene, where he committed suicide from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. His brother was not present in the home and he broke inside to enter in. It was believed that Pardo intended to flee to Canada by plane as he had bought an airline ticket to a flight there from Los Angeles to Moline, Illinois. However due to suffering from severe third-degree burns on both arms stemming from the blaze, he decided to go against the initial plan.

Police had found $17,000 cling-wrapped on his legs inside a girdle, the car key, and his rental car that had been parked on Herrick Avenue, one block from his brother’s house, which had been rigged by remnants of his Santa suit that would ignite a flame and detonate the car with black powder if removed. Also recovered from the scene were four 13-round capacity handguns that were each empty, and at least 200 rounds of ammunition. Suggesting that what had been inside the car was being treated as a threat, police fired an incendiary device into it, destroying and burning it.

The police found on early Thursday, Mr Pardo bore a single gunshot wound to the head. According to LA County coroner’s official Ed Winter, the bodies found in the ashes were “extremely charred and burned.” All three of Sylvia Pardo’s children — Selina, Sal and Amanda — survived. According to the Scott Nord, the Ortega family lawyer, “the entire family was wiped out, and there’s basically like 16 orphans.”

Three other party guests have injuries, according to police. A 16-year-old girl was shot in the back, and an eight-year-old girl suffered facial gunshot wounds that were not life-threatening, while a 20-year-old woman had a broken ankle, after jumping from a second-story window, the police specified. About 80 firefighters put off the fire that soared fifteen metres (40 to 50 feet) high for more than one hour. The police discovered two handguns at the scene, and found two more in the in-laws’ house. Media reports on Friday said the 16-year-old daughter of Sylvia Pardo was released from Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

Meanwhile, investigators served a search warrant at Pardo’s Montrose house, where they retrieved evidence of high-octane racing fuel, five empty boxes for semi-automatic handguns, as well as two shotguns.

Covina police Lt. Pat Buchanan on Saturday said they are looking for Pardo’s rented gray 1999 RAV4, with California license plate 5RYD562. Police have found the second rental car Saturday night in a Glendale, California but found no bombs nor any explosives.

The police also revealed Saturday the names of nine people missing since the Christmas Eve massacre occurred. They are Pardo’s ex-wife, Sylvia Pardo, 43; her parents, Joseph Ortega, 80, and Alicia Ortega, 70; Alicia Ortiz, 46, and her son, Michael Ortiz, 17; Sylvia’s brother, Charles Ortega, 50, and his wife, Cheri, 45; another brother, James Ortega, 52, and his wife, Teresa, 51, according to Lt. Buchanan. “Hopefully, we’ll get positive identifications early next week,” Covina Police Chief Kim Raney said.

A murder-suicide is an act in which an individual kills one or more other persons immediately before, or at the same time as, killing him or herself. According to the psychiatrist Karl A. Menninger, murder-suicide or murder and suicide are interchangeable acts – suicide sometimes forestalling murder, and vice versa.

Mauritanian refugees begin returning home from Senegal


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Mauritanian refugees stuck in Senegal for nearly two decades after fleeing ethnic clashes in their home country have begun returning to Mauritania under a U.N.-sponsored program. But many do not want to return.

There were goodbye ceremonies and welcoming ceremonies attended by officials on both sides of the Senegal River as more than 100 former refugees were ferried on motorized pirogues.

A spokesman for the United Nations refugee agency, Alphonse Munyaneza, explained international funding will help pay for resettlement.

“Each refugee returning back to Mauritania will receive a piece of land equivalent to 140 square meters for establishing a house. UNHCR and the government of Mauritania will provide construction material so that they can build a house,” explained Munyaneza. “We will provide three months of food ration. We will provide a tent also.”

Each refugee returning back to Mauritania will receive a piece of land equivalent to 140 square meters for establishing a house.

Mauritanian refugee children broke out in song and laughter when officials arrived at their camps close to the border to get the process going.

There are more than 20,000 Mauritanian refugees in Senegal. Officials say the return program will extend over 18 months.

One of those happy to go is Haddy Sy. She says she left Mauritania after she was beaten up. This took place during a wave of ethnic violence that began in Arab Moor-dominated Mauritania in 1989 and escalated into border clashes, forcing tens of thousands of black, mostly ethnic Fula, Mauritanians into exile.

In the late 1990s, more than 30,000 refugees returned by their own means and some U.N. assistance.

Sy says she is leaving behind many good things in Senegal, including a peaceful setting, but that she is still happy to return to her home country.

Since taking office last year, the government of the elected, post-coup President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi has been making efforts to bring home the refugees, including several thousand more in Mali.

But many in Senegal do not want to return home, like Yaraah Sow, who lives in the Dagana refugee camp about 400 kilometers northwest of Dakar.

He says he is still very bitter about what happened nearly 20 years ago. He said his father, who was a civil servant, was attacked by a mob and died of internal bleeding at the gates of a hospital after doctors refused to treat him.

Sow accuses the military of seizing all his family’s property. He says that two of his younger brothers died on the trip to Senegal. He says his children are now going to school and that they are better off in Senegal.

One of the refugee leaders, Mohamed Ali Sow, who left when he was 10, says he is studying at a university in Senegal to become a lawyer to defend the rights of chased out Mauritanians.

He says the return program has been rushed, because he says people who had their property seized, houses burned, and jobs taken away, should have guarantees these will be restored. He says until then, he does not think it is wise to go back.

Common Drainage Problem Needing Sewer Rodding In Evanston


byadmin

There are many causes for sewer or drain stoppages which may require sewer rodding in Evanston. There are some common causes for these problems that are definitely worth knowing about. One of these causes for blockages in the sewer line is tree root infestation. In such a case, rodding will only be a temporary solution, as the problem is likely to persist as long as root growth continues. A more permanent solution for this problem is to have the tree removed entirely, or alternatively, have a new sewer line installed. Over time, preventative rodding will become a frequent occurrence, and the sewer line is likely to eventually collapse.

Another common cause for sewer and drainage blockage is grease blockage, where the grease is introduced into the line from the garbage disposer, dishwasher or kitchen sink. Sewer rodding in Evanston is likely to solve the problem, although in extreme cases, the drain line will need to be opened and an alternative solution used. To lessen the occurrence of this kind of blockage, water jet rodding, periodic rodding, installing a grease receptor and use of chemicals for grease removal are all great options. However, the best way to overcome this problem is to reduce the amount of oil and grease products that are used in the household.

Improper use of the garbage disposer is something else that may lead to the need for sewer rodding in Evanston. There are certain types of food that should not be thrown in the disposer, and this is a little known fact. It is important to run cold water for a few minutes before disposing of any food, and again after to help wash down the waste. Another important tip for garbage disposal use is to grind goods in small amounts. Lastly, fibrous foods such as onion peel; corn cobs and husks, celery and artichoke leaves should not be introduced into the garbage disposer.

Lastly, flushing anything besides human waste and toilet paper will eventually clog up your sewer. It doesn’t matter what the product says in terms of disposal, you should never flush anything else apart from the aforementioned things. This includes diapers, dead goldfish, baby wipes, facial tissues and paper towels. For a professional sewer rodding in Evanston service, Done With Pride is there for all your needs. We offer sewer rodding and many other plumbing related services at a reasonable price.

Blob off Alaskan coast identified


Saturday, July 18, 2009

A ‘giant black mystery blob‘ in the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska has been identified as marine algae. Initially speculated to be an oil spill, the mass was discovered by a group of hunters earlier this month near Wainwright. The blob is reported to be stringy and hairy, and is tangled with jellyfish, among other debris.

The “thick, dark gunk” stretches for as much as 15 miles, and is moving at a slow drift. Upon being first sighted, the U.S. Coast Guard flew out to investigate the mass, and local officials collected samples for testing. Coast Guard Petty Officer Terry Hasenauer reported that “We responded as if it were an oil product. It was described to us as an oil-like substance, thick and lingering below the surface of the water. Those characteristics can indicate heavy, degraded oil, maybe crude oil, or possibly an intermediate fuel oil.”

Test results subsequently revealed that the blob is some sort of unusually extensive algae bloom. “It’s definitely, by the smell and the makeup of it […] some sort of naturally occurring organic or otherwise marine organism”, Hasenauer said. The substance has remained entirely offshore.

However, there is still great uncertainty among local residents and officials alike: “We’ve observed large blooms in the past off Barrow although none of them at all like this”, said Barry Sherr, an oceanography professor. “The fact that the locals say they’ve never seen anything like it suggests that it might represent some exotic species which has drifted into the region, perhaps as a result of global change. For the moment that’s just a guess.”

Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed further


Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Friday, March 10, 2006

Buffalo, New York —The Common Council of Buffalo voted on Tuesday to send the Elmwood Village Hotel proposal “to committee for further discussion”, after citing the need for more public involvement.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a development proposal by the Savarino Construction Services Corporation, a project designed by the architect Karl Frizlen of The Frizlen Group. The hotel would be placed on the southeast corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo.

To make way for the project, at least five buildings located at 1109 to 1121 Elmwood Ave would be demolished. At least two properties on Forest Avenue could also be demolished. The Elmwood properties, according to Eva Hassett, Vice President of Savarion Construction, are “under contract”, but it is unclear if Savarino Construction actually owns the Elmwood properties. Hans Mobius, a former mayorial candidate, is still believed to be the current owner the properties. Mobius also owns 607 Forest Avenue.

The properties 605 and 607 Forest Avenue could also be included in the proposal according to Hassett.

“We would use a Special Development Plan to rezone 1119-1121 Elmwood and 605 Forest to a C-2 zoning category,” stated Hassett. It is possible that Savarino Construction may try to obtain a variance for 605 Forest, which would allow them to enforce eminent domain, should the hotel be allowed to go forward.

The building at 607 Forest was also discussed to be rezoned, but it is unclear what the plans would be for that property. During the February 28 Common Council meeting, Hassett stated that the properties 605 and 607 were “now off the agenda”.

Pano Georgiadis, owner of Pano’s Restaurant at 1081 Elmwood, owns the property at 605 Forest and attended Tuesday’s Common Council meeting.

“Having a hotel is a bright idea. We all love the idea of a hotel, but the way that it is presented, is wishful thinking. This hotel does not fit. It’s like putting two gallons of water in a gallon jug, it does not fit. At the last meeting, the architect admitted that they are planning to put the undergound parking lot and the hotel, right at the property line. If I open my window, I will be able to touch the wall, that goes fifty feet high”, said Georgiadis.

“There is a problem having a seventy-two room hotel and fifty-five parking spaces. That means that all the other cars will spill all over the neighborhood. The footprint is simply too small. If you have a bigger [parking] lot, and a smaller hotel, I will welcome a hotel. I have a parking lot at my own business, and I am chasing people all day long. Remember, the city says it has ‘zero tolerance [for illegal parking]’. Try telling that to the guy from Albany who came to see his kids, that are going to Buffalo State, who would get tickets totaling over a hundred dollars”, added Georgiadis.

The city’s Planning Board is scheduled to meet on March 14, 2006 at 9:00 a.m. about the proposal. Although a discussion will take place, no vote is expected to be taken.

At the moment, none of the properties are zoned for a hotel. Savarino Construction plans on asking for a C2 zoning permit. If that does not work, they plan to implement a new zoning plan called a “special development plan” which would allow for only a hotel on the site. That zone would not be able to be changed.

“This [project] justifies Mobius’s refusal to invest in any maitenance[sic] or improvements”, on the properties said Clarence Carnahan, a local resident. “Where were the Council persons over the years? Where were the city inspectors over the years, to make sure that he maintained and improved his properties? The government was supposed to be protecting, not being preditorial. I see a predatorial issue here when it comes to this hotel. Over the years: Why has the local government been disfunctional when it came to Mobius’s properties? Refusal to invest in improvements, doesn’t that sound like a slumlord? Maybe I am missing a point here, but what kind of messages does this send to other slumlords that havn’t[sic] been jailed or fined? It’s [the hotel] trying to be pushed through.”

Carnahan also presented signs for residents and or business owners who are opposed to the hotel, that could be placed in windows or on stakes in the yard. Some of the signs said, ‘No tell hotel’, ‘Hans off, no hotel’, ‘It takes more than a hotel to make a village’. and ‘Keep Elmwood free, no hotel’. Carnahan plans on making more signs for a protest to be held on Saturday March 18, at 2:00 p.m. (EST) on Elmwood and Forest. Some signs were given to individuals after the meeting.

“First things first, Hans is the problem, and I don’t think it has been addressed. Let’s roll back the clock on this project. What can we do with Hans? There is such thing as eminent domain, which could be of greater interest to the community, to seize the property at its lowest assessed value”, said Nancy Pollina, co-owner of Don Apparel with Patty Morris at 1119 Elmwood. “There are so many ideas that have not been explored and we are about to give this parcel away, to a big developer.”

Mobius has not returned any calls by Wikinews regarding the situation.

A freelance journalist writing for Wikinews has obtained a letter, exclusively, addressed to one of the five business owners from Hans Mobius stating:

There is a proposal to develop my property which you are currently renting. Because of opposition to this development, it does not look like it will happen. I will let you know if there any changes.

Despite the letter, there have been no plans or decisions made to end the proposal.

To date, none of the business owners or residents of 1119-1121 Elmwood have received an eviction notice.

Business owners and residents gave an indication of what they would like to see happen at the corner; a project similar to one done locally last year. There, developers renovated two buildings on Auburn and Elmwood Avenues, merging the buildings into one thus allowing for more shop space. Among some of the shops to move in after the development were Cone Five Pottery, The Ruby Slipper, and Abraham’s Jewelers. Prior to the renovation work, the left building in the picture was boarded up for several years. Many of the concerned locals would like to see a similar development on Forest and Elmwood.

Rocco Termini, a developer in Buffalo, proposed a similar design at the February 28 community meeting

In an interview after the February 28 meeting, Termini stated, “I will be willing to take a look at this myself, or I would be more than happy to be partners with Sam, Sam Savarino”, who is President and Chief Executive Officer of Savarino Construction Services Corp.

So far Savarino Construction has no plans to team up with Termini.