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Posts Tagged ‘ building

Selena Gomez shines in the return of ‘Only Murders in the Building’

(Clockwise from left) Steve Martin as Charles-Haden Savage, Martin Short as Oliver Putnam and Selena Gomez as Mabel Mora star in "Only Murders in the Building."

‘Only Murders in the Building’ doesn’t miss a beat in getting back on the case

Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez are back on the case in 'Only Murders in the Building.'

Bronx apartment building fire leaves 19 people dead, including 9 children

A woman is assisted by rescue personnel January 9.

Smoke billows out of apartment windows from the fire.

A major fire in a residential apartment building in the Bronx in New York City on Sunday left 19 people dead, including 9 children, in what Mayor Eric Adams described as one of the worst fires the city has experienced in modern times.

The blaze sent 32 people to hospitals with life-threatening conditions, Daniel Nigro, commissioner of the New York City Fire Department, said earlier Sunday. A total of 63 people were injured.
A “malfunctioning electric space heater” was olukai shoes the source of the fire, Nigro said during a press conference. The heater was in the bedroom of an apartment, and the fire consumed the room and then the entire apartment, he said.
The apartment door was left open and smoke spread throughout the building when the residents left their unit, Nigro said.
“This is a horrific, horrific, painful moment for the city of New York, and the impact of this fire is going to really bring a level of just pain and despair in our city,” Adams said.
About 200 members of the New York City Fire Department responded to the fire at the 19-story building at 333 East 181st Street. The fire began a little before 11 a.m. in a duplex apartment on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the building, the FDNY said.
Firefighters were met by “very heavy smoke, very heavy fire” in the hallways.
FDNY responded to a 5-alarm fire in the Bronx on Sunday.

Victims were found in stairways on every floor of the building, many in cardiac arrest, in what Nigro said could be an unprecedented loss of life. The injuries were predominantly from smoke inhalation, he said.
Firefighters kept attempting to save people from the building despite running out of air tank, Nigro said. Some of the residents who were trying to leave the building could not “escape because of the volume of smoke.”
The FDNY posted several images of the scene showing ladders extending into apartment windows as well as a number of broken windows.
“This is going to be one of the worst fires that we have witnessed during modern times here in the city of New York,” Adams said.
“I am horrified by the devastating fire in the Bronx today,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said on Twitter. “My heart is with the hoka shoes loved ones of all those we’ve tragically lost, all of those impacted and with our heroic FDNY firefighters. The entire State of New York stands with New York City.”
The residential apartment where the fire occurred is 50 years old and has 120 units, according to building records.
There have not been any major building violations or complaints listed against the building, according to city building records. Past minor violations were rectified by the property and there were no structural violations listed.

Apartment fire impacts Muslim and immigrant community

The building where the fire occurred housed a largely Muslim population, Adams said, with many immigrants from Gambia, a small nation on the east coast of Africa.
The mayor said that one priority will be to make sure that Islamic funeral and burial rites are respected. Another will be to seek Muslim leaders to connect with residents.
The names of people who request government assistance will not be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Adams added.
“We want people to be comfortable in coming forward, and it’s imperative that we connect with those on the ground to make sure they get that message and that word out,” Adams said.
Christina Farrell, first deputy commissioner of NYC emergency management, told CNN’s Phil Mattingly Sunday that residents who lived in the apartment building are now being housed at a middle school next door.
“We have all the residents here. We’ve been able to give them food, a warm space, water, any short-term needs that they had. People brought their pets and so we are in the process of finding people shelter this evening,” Farrell said. “We work with the Red Cross, we have hotel rooms and have other resources available. And so we will be making sure every family has a safe, warm space to sleep in tonight.”
A service center will be set up Monday, Farrell said.
“We’ll be hopeful that many of them will be able to go back into their apartment in the coming days,” she said. “But for the people that are out long-term, we will work with them and the state to get them appropriate housing.”
Hochul, appearing at a press conference Sunday, said she met with survivors of the fire, including a mother who was her family’s sole survivor.
“It’s impossible to go into that room, where scores of families who are in such grief, who are in pain, and to see it in the mother’s eyes as I held her, who lost her entire family,” she said.
As she prepares her new budget this week, Hochul said she will establish a compensation fund to help provide the victims of the fire with money for housing, burial costs and other necessities.
“Tonight is a night of tragedy and pain, and tomorrow we begin to rebuild,” Hochul said. “We rebuild their lives and give them hope, especially those who came all the way from Africa [from] Gambia in search of a better life right here in this great borough of the Bronx.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also spoke at the conference and said numerous forms of assistance are being examined on the federal level and will include housing and tax assistance as well as and immigration assistance, “so families can be reunited.”

Seeing is believing – Women can power the future of building control

The current skills shortage across the built environment and building control has left the industry crying out for new talent. There is a real opportunity to fill this gap with women, says Jane Keely, director at Assent Building Control

building control skills

It is no secret that the construction sector has been in the midst of an increasing skills crisis for a number of years. It’s been a growing concern for companies as the industry faces an ageing workforce, at the same time as it struggles to shake negative and outdated stereotypes. The good news is that this is not an insurmountable situation. It’s one that, if the sector works collectively, we can begin to rectify. When it comes to filling the skills gap, there is a valuable and almost untapped pool of talent that we are missing out on.

According to 2019 figures, published by GMB, women make up just 12.5% of the hey dude construction workforce. This is despite there being an almost 50:50 split between men and women across the UK workforce as a whole. The reality is that we need women in this industry and it’s not just about the numbers. Its about the skills and diverse thinking they have to offer too. The pursuit for the female workforce lies in both attracting young new talent and retaining women already in the sector by prolonging their careers.

Why the industry is a good fit for women

As someone who has worked in the industry, specifically in building control, for three decades, I feel I can speak with authority when I say there is so much that this sector has to offer to women. The role of someone in building control is multi-layered and it involves interacting with a wide range of people, ongoing learning and knowledge sharing and ultimately creating a positive impact on society.

There is space for much more than the traditionally perceived, masculine qualities in the building regulations sector and the wider industry. While assertiveness, leadership and competitiveness have their place within the industry, equally so does empathy, collaboration and intuition. And while I’m well aware that men and women tend to possess a mixture of all of these skills, I think young women and girls considering a career in construction may find reassurance that all can be used and built on in somewhat equal measure.

Changing gender stereotypes

So, why aren’t women attracted to careers in the built environment? We see campaigns each year that sound a rallying cry from industry to women across the UK, asking them to seize the opportunities that construction has to offer.

But it’s just not that simple. There are a few roadblocks that the sector has to overcome in order to tap into this talent pool. The first is that gender stereotypes tend to prevent young girls from ever considering a career in construction. The codes and messages that shape the outlook of young women and girls can temper dr martens boots their career ambitions before they even leave school. And if we are not exposed to the possibility of this type of career, it means going against the grain to find it. Something that doesn’t come easily.

Addressing misconceptions

There is also the barrier of misconceptions made about the construction industry. Mistaken beliefs that it’s an old boys club, with outdated processes, a wolf-whistling workforce and limited opportunities, can stop women from feeling truly welcome. Based on first-hand experience, I can say with confidence that this perception does not align with reality.

From the beginning of my career, I’ve been warmly welcomed and supported into the industry. During my time as chair of the Institute of Building control, now part of the RICS, I always felt that I was supported and encouraged. And regularly being the only woman in the room, the support of the male building control officers, above and beside me, has always been present.

My experience has led me to believe that there is definitely positive discrimination within our sector, to counter its male-dominated culture. I know that many women would be pleasantly surprised upon pursuing their careers in a sector that holds such strong misconceptions.

A collective solution

There is a collective solution to these two issues and it’s something that we all need to work on. While it does seem a bit of a chicken and egg situation, we must show the fantastic opportunities available to those who enter our sector. In order to do this, we need to showcase the women that we have working in these roles already.

We know that women are much more likely to be inspired to take the first step on a career ladder if they can see someone that looks like them at the top of it. And by giving these women a platform, we can begin to dismantle gender stereotypes. Seeing really is believing!

Apprenticeship opportunities

When it comes to attracting the next generation of AI’s, apprenticeships offer a fantastic vehicle from school to the workplace. By allowing students to learn on the job, it gives them a great idea of what to expect.

For women, the idea of visiting a construction site could feel a little daunting, but by getting stuck in straight out of school, students can build their confidence and experience for themselves that more often than not, they will be working with welcoming and friendly people.

Maintaining career progression

The third issue comes further down the career path, at which point many women have begun to establish a career but suddenly have to put it on hold in order to start a family or see to other caring responsibilities. This is something that I have directly experienced.

I began my Building Control career in local authority, a role in which I found myself thriving. But when I became pregnant with my daughter, I had to move to a lower-level role at a private company in order to juggle steve madden shoes childcare and work. This is not something unique and I know that there will be many women out there that have had to do the same. And spinning the plates of parent and professional can begin to take its toll. That’s why we see so many women leave the industry, even after they’ve established fantastic careers.

Creating a culture of inclusion

This is where it’s not just about showcasing the incredible talent that women bring to the built environment, it’s also about nurturing and valuing them too. I doubt that any woman wishes to make the choice between her career and her family, but sadly it’s something that many of us are faced with. But women are much more likely to return to a workplace in which they feel valued. And this value comes in the form of actions, not just words.

There are a number of things that employers in our sector can do to retain female staff after maternity leave. The first is to approach it as a brief interlude and not a disruption to the company. Offering support through a phased return to work, check-ins over video call (to the employees’ discretion) and mentoring programmes for returning staff can help them to feel up to speed and stop them from feeling overwhelmed.

It’s all about adjusting the company culture into one that is more inclusive. And believe me, this has financial pay-off for the company as they won’t have to spend time and resources finding a replacement.

Wrap up

It is down to everyone in the industry to showcase the plethora of benefits on offer to women and to value and nurture our existing talent. And we need to act fast, as the skills gap is continuing to widen. It’s a scary prospect to think about the dwindling workforce in almost all pockets of the built environment, but we need to use that fear to motivate ourselves to do better, work harder and create the sea-change needed to inject new blood into our industry.

In Rural Afghanistan, War Remnants Everywhere, but No Shooting or Checkpoints

A destroyed Afghan police pickup and Humvee next to a grave along Highway 1 just outside Kabul, Afghanistan, Sept. 9, 2021. (Jim Huylebroek/The New York Times)
A destroyed Afghan police pickup and Humvee next to a grave along Highway 1 just outside Kabul, Afghanistan, Sept. 9, 2021.

CHAK-E WARDAK, Afghanistan — Sixty bone-rattling miles southwest of Kabul, remnants of America’s longest war are abundant. Pillaged outposts scatter the hilltops, and skeletons of burned-out police pickup trucks and Humvees litter the road that weaves through the valleys in between.

The walls of an American-constructed local government building in Chak-e Wardak, a district in Wardak province, are pockmarked by the impacts of recently fired bullets and rockets. Holes have been carved out of the walls for shooting positions, hoka shoes and only a few of the glass windows remain intact.

But the once-constant volley of rifle fire is no more.

In recent years, driving out of Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, would evoke fear of pop-up Taliban checkpoints at which young fighters pulled passengers out of cars, looking for government workers or members of the security forces. Getting caught up in an impromptu shootout between the two warring sides was always a risk.

But since the Taliban takeover in mid-August, the majority of Afghanistan’s countryside has seen a substantial drop in violence. Where airstrikes and pitched battles would be commonplace, the guns have fallen silent. The checkpoints have mostly disappeared.

In their place is a developing humanitarian crisis and a new Taliban government that at times seems just as unaccustomed to governing as many Afghans are to living in a period without fighting.

Millions of Afghans are facing a winter of food shortages, with up to 1 million children at risk of starvation in the absence of an immediate international relief effort, United Nations officials say.

Adding to the misery, prices for basic foodstuffs have risen sharply, and many Afghan families are being forced to make do with rice and beans instead of chicken and other meats.

For now, though, in the Chak-e Wardak district, a patchwork of apple orchards and villages, as in many other areas of the country, there is widespread relief at the end of the fighting and the return to something like normal life.

On the second floor of the ransacked district administrative center, the newly appointed Taliban police chief, Qari Assad, sits in an old chair. On his desk, rests an even older Kalashnikov and a makeshift Taliban flag with a hand-drawn “Kalima Shahada,” the text of the Islamic oath, at its center.

The black-bearded and turbaned Assad had just started on his second glass of green tea on a recent Thursday when two brothers from the neighboring Sayedabad district arrived with a complaint.

“The man who married my daughter didn’t tell us he already had a wife,” hey dude said Talab Din, his fingers brushing through his graying beard. “My daughter told me to let it be, she said she was happy with him. But now he has beat her and stabbed her in the leg. We have come here to settle this dispute!” He showed no fear of the new police chief, having interacted with the Taliban in the past.

“We will be dealing with this issue immediately,” Assad assured the father.

Long before their full takeover, the Taliban were already governing and delivering swift justice in many areas, often through their own court system. Chak-e Wardak, along with many parts of rural Afghanistan, has been under their de facto control for two years.

But the question remains whether the movement, which has brutally put down protests in urban areas against its rule, can pivot to a solid governance structure soon enough to cope with the problems underlying the country’s gathering humanitarian crisis.

Outside the local government building, Fazl Ur-Rahman, 55, was adjusting the load of his small truck, piled high with hay. “Before, security here was very bad, we were suffering at the hands of the military,” he said, referring to the Afghan army. “They were beating people, they were asking people to take water and food to their checkpoints.”

The situation had improved under the Taliban in recent weeks, he said, and people could safely return to work. “Before, people could not go anywhere at night, they would be at risk of being shot,” he said. “It has been a long time now since a bullet hit our homes.”

Further west up the valley, another Taliban flag was waving atop the oldest hydroelectric dam in the country. Built in 1938, its turbines once provided electricity for surrounding parts of Wardak, plus Ghazni province and even parts of Kabul province, but poor maintenance had rendered it defunct.

As a nomadic woman guided her sheep across the dam, Afghan boys took turns jumping into the water below, a welcome relief from the scorching sun.

Up the hill from the dam’s basin is the home of the Ayoubi family, who had been displaced to another village two years ago as the fighting intensified. In early August, the family returned after the fighting ended to a house flanked by a lush garden filled with pumpkins planted by a caretaker.

Over a lunch of rice, tomatoes and corn, Abdullah Ayoubi, the oldest son, spoke about the atrocities that had occurred in the valley. “There is no doubt that the Taliban dr martens boots are also corrupt, but it doesn’t compare to what the military was like,” he said. “Not only did they take money from the vans and trucks, if someone had a big beard, they would say they are Taliban and hurt them.”

Ayoubi said his brother Assad was in the ninth grade when the Afghan and U.S. armies came to the district, looking for a Taliban commander who went by the same name. They grabbed his brother instead, he said, and took him to Bagram prison, notorious for its harsh treatment of prisoners, where he was tortured.

“It took us four months before we found him,” Abdullah Ayoubi said. “When we went to visit him in Bagram, he shouted at me with chains on his legs and handcuffs around his wrists.”

After 18 months, Assad was released. Because of how angry he was, Ayoubi said, he joined a local Taliban commander named Ghulam Ali.

He became an expert in shooting Kalashnikovs and rocket-propelled grenades. On his phone, Ayoubi has a grainy image taken from a video. It showed an unrecognizable man enveloped by fire, smoke and dust.

“In this moment, my brother shot a tank with a rocket,” he said, though the vehicle appeared to be an Afghan army Humvee.

In 2019, Assad was killed during a battle with Afghan soldiers not far from the family home. He had been a fighter for five years. “We buried him near the house,” Ayoubi said.

In this now-sleepy valley, the main landmark is a hospital founded in 1989 by a German woman, Karla Schefter. Today, the hospital is supported by the Committee for Medical and Humanitarian Aid in Afghanistan, which relies on private donations.

Faridullah Rahimi, a doctor at the facility, said that in his 22 years there, this was the first time there were no patients with conflict-related injuries.

“People from way beyond Chak come here for treatment,” said Rahimi, standing in the hospital’s verdant courtyard. “We used to treat civilians, government soldiers and Taliban fighters, and never had an issue.”

For now, the doctor said, the hospital had enough medical supplies, but with most banks closed, it had no money to purchase more or to pay them their salaries.

Still, Rahimi said, the hospital would continue operating as best it could. “We have seen regimes come and go, but the hospital will remain.”

Of the 65 employees at the hospital, 14 are women. The Taliban have said they would allow women to continue working in health care in order to treat female patients.

Malalai, 28, a midwife who works at the hospital and uses only one name, said members of the Taliban had visited the facility and spoken to her. “I have been working here for eight years,” she said. “For us, there is no threat from the Islamic Emirate.”

Near the hospital entrance, a Russian tank from a previous war was almost completely submerged in the sand — a stark reminder of just how long this area has seen war.

Back at the Ayoubi home, Abdullah spoke softly as his son, 2, napped in the corner, tucked underneath a scarf. Perhaps he would be part of a generation in Afghanistan that grew up without ever knowing war.

“Assad, named after my brother,” Ayoubi said, pointing at the child. “It didn’t have to be this way.”

North Miami Beach building deemed unsafe, evacuations ordered

Evacuations were ordered Friday for residents of a North Miami Beach, Florida, condominium complex after building officials determined it was unsafe.

The Crestview Towers Condominium, built in 1972, was the subject of a Jan. 11 recertification report in golden goose sneakers which an engineer said the 156-unit complex “was structurally and electrically unsafe,” according to a statement Friday from the city of North Miami Beach.

That report was brought to the attention of the North Miami Beach Building and Zoning Department by complex management on Friday as officials sought to review the structural integrity of all city condo high-rises above five stories in the wake of the June 24 collapse of Champlain Towers South in nearby Surfside.

Image: Crestview Tower Evacuation (Giorgio Viera / AFP - Getty Images)
Image: Crestview Tower Evacuation
The zoning department “ordered the immediate closure and evacuation of Crestview Towers Condominium” as a result, it said. A city building official went to the complex Friday and confirmed its questionable condition, the city said.

Aerial footage from NBC South Florida showed the complex as a three-pronged high-rise structure.

Capt. Juan Pinillos of North Miami Beach police confirmed that officers were overseeing evacuations. “The police department is making every effort to ensure the residents in those buildings are evacuated safely efficiently,” he said by email.

City Manager Arthur H. Sorey III said in the city’s statement that the evacuations were skechers outlet being made “in an abundance of caution.”

A more in-depth assessment of the structure’s integrity will be conducted, he said.

“Nothing is more important than the safety and lives of our residents, and we will not rest until we ensure this building is 100% safe,” Sorey said.

A special city commission meeting has been called Saturday to discuss the complex.

On Wednesday, residents of a central Florida condominium complex were forced to relocate after Osceola County officials said 72 units in multiple buildings were safety threats at Images Condominiums in Kissimmee, about 20 miles south of Orlando.

An engineering report determined that walkways could collapse, prompting county officials to order “immediate action,” according to an Osceola County statement.

Explosion in downtown Los Angeles, USA! Preliminary identification of the building

On the night of the 16th local time, there was an explosion in downtown Los Angeles. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Fire Department said 11 firefighters were injured in the fire fighting operation. The report said the incident happened in close proximity to “Little Tokyo”, the largest Japanese and overseas Chinese distribution center in North America.