Category Archives: Work in progress

Global Architects. You are ignoring your most important customers: Baby Boomers like me

Shameful far-reaching architecture scandal in the Big Apple

”New York, New York, the Big Apple”

Joel Solkoff’s Column Vol. VI. Number 1


Screen shot from a 6sqft.com article by Joel Solkoff showing how the New York City architecture firm of Steven Holl violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by deliberately designing a library where the fiction collection is not accessible to paraplegics like me.

 

“Civics as an art has to do not with imagining an impossible [utopia] where all is well, but with making the most and best of each and every place, and especially of the city in which we live.”–Patrick Geddes

[See footnote1 Patrick Geddes, who created the discipline known as urban planning, is the guru of Joel ‘s column ]

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January 27, 2020, Reporting on New York City from remote and rural Lycoming County PA US, a difficult 189 mile drive to the new Hunters Point Library in the Borough of Queens.

On September 25, 2019, Samuel Holl’s New York City architecture firm unveiled its library in Queens, the Borough in New York City where President Trump grew up.

Screenshot by Joel Solkoff

This is the firm’s description of the site: “ Located on a prominent site along the East River, against the backdrop of rapidly built skyscraper condominiums, the 22,000 square foot QueensPublic Library at Hunters Point stands as a public building and public park, bringing community-devoted space to the Long Island City waterfront.

“Resisting recent trends of incorporating public libraries and much-needed social space within high- end residential towers, the Hunters Point Library stands independently, rising with a minimal footprint on its 32,000 square foot site to offer maximum surrounding green space to the local community and becoming an integrated part of the vibrant public park that lines the river’s edge.”

On November 26, 2019, Tanya Jackson, a mobility disabled resident of the Hunters Point Library neighborhood and  Center for Independence  of the Disabled (CIDNY), representing  over 52,000 disabled individuals in New York City sued the City for discriminating against mobility disabled children and adults and for violating the rights of the blind.

Egregious is the high cost of the  library $41.5 million and the fact that it took nearly 10 years to complete. During that ten year period, it is unlikely any working librarian was consulted or review the plans.
No respectable librarian— shown the plan for several flights of stairs ( shown immediately above) from the elevator to the fiction collection would have approved of the Steven Holt architectural firm’s plans. The fact that Steven Holt’s firm copyrighted the photo above indicates that the firm was proud of and sought to protect discrimination against the mobility disabled.

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Here are three major villains involved in the Hunters Point Library scandal

1. Architect Steven Holl, ating individually and on behalf of his firms architects who report to him

2. New York City Myor Bill de Blqsio who serviced ex officio on the board overseeing the project

3. New York Times architectural critic Michael Kimmelman, holding the position established by the legendary architecture critic Ada Louis Huxtable. [See footnote 3]

Kimmelman, who shamefully asserting that New York City needed more buildings this library which is inaccessible to disabled children and adults. Kimmelman and the New York Times have thus far failed to apologize to the people of New York for asserting that buildings that appear to be aesthetically pleasing  ought to praised even if they fail to do as required. A library that puts barriers in the way of patrons trying to access books might, by Kimmelman’s distorted logic, be a model for condominiums where toilets do not flush, schools where there is no water, fire stations where fire engineers cannot leave the station…. Kimmelman’s position is a form of ars gratia artis hocum.

Representing Goodness and Truth are the following virtuous individuals, organizations and firms:

1. Tanya Jackson,, the principal plaintiff in the law suit against the City of New York against the library

 

 

Architect Steven Holl on the second-floor balcony in 2008. Holl once described Kiasma: “The walls meet the ceiling and the floor in a very simple way to allow the art work to be positioned on the wall whatever manner, to allow its presence to be the most important feature and not the architecture.” Photo published in accordance with Wikipedia’s Creative Commons License Architect Steven Holl on the second-floor balcony in 2008. Holl once described Kiasma: “The walls meet the ceiling and the floor in a very simple way to allow the art work to be positioned on the wall whatever manner, to allow its presence to be the most important feature and not the architecture.” Phot published in accordance with the Creative Commons license.

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“Twenty-nine years after the ADA promised open doors and equal opportunities for people with disabilities, we find the doors of a brand new library shut to children and adults with disabilities. This should not be allowed to happen. Queens Borough Public Library and the City of New York must obey the law and make this right,” Susan M. Dooha, Executive Director of plaintiff Center for Independence of the Disabled – New York.

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J’Accuse

J’Accuse refers to the role Emile Zola played in the 19th Century Dreyfus scandal which rocked France. Joel’s column regards the unveiling of a $41.5 million library in New York City as a scandal comparable to the Dreyfus scandal in ways that will become apparent in today’s column which kicks off a series.

For the past five years, I have been urging global architects to prepare for the coming retirement of the Baby Boom generation. By and large global architects have failed miserably in preparing. The failure has not been one involved with the design of a given individual building, but of an understanding of what Lewis Mumford, the greatest architectural critic of the 20th Century, meant when he said, “ A building should not stand out. It should fit in.”

 

Image in the public domain
Description
Français : “J’accuse”, page de couverture du journal L’Aurore, publiant la lettre d’Emile Zola au Président de la République, M. Félix Faure à propos de l’Affaire Dreyfus.
English: “I accuse…!” (J’accuse…!), open letter published on 13 January 1898 in the newspaper L’Aurore by French writer Émile Zola. In the letter, Zola addressed President of France Félix Faure and accused the government of anti-Semitism and the unlawful jailing of Alfred Dreyfus, pointing out judicial errors and lack of serious evidence.

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On the application of the emotionally charged word “sin” to the Hunters Point Library scandal

From the age of 16, I have been a published author, first in the Philadelphia Inquirer, later in The New Republic, The New York Times and the influential Long Island paper Newsday. My two Trade books were recommended by the Library Journal. Never before have I used the word sin, but I do so today.

I am Jewish. According to Jewish law, “Sins between people are considered much more severe in Judaism than sins between man and God.” Footnote 2.

 

Three men in New York City have behaved sinfully as will be detailed here. The three sinners are:

1. Architect Steven Holl

2. New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman

3. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

 

 

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Screenshot by Joel Solkoff
This column by New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman has rocked New York City’s architecture community in ways that could have profound limitations on future AEC community projects globally.

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The bottom line is the Center for the Independence for the Disabled will win the lawsuit. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), signed into law in 1990  by a Republican President promises more than it can deliver. This shameful situation—in which New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, elected to office promising to provide and protect housing for the City’s most vulnerable residents, once again disappointed.

Nearly ten years have passed since the Queens library faced a series of delays. Mayor de Blasio spent far too much time failing to do his duty far as the ex officio official to the group planning the library.

In future columns, I will discuss in detail Mayor de Blassio failure to do his job for New York’s most vulnerable citizens. Shame on Mayor de Blasio. Today, we kick off this far reaching Queens library scandal that will have far reaching implications for global architects for the next fifty years.

Today, Joel’s Column focuses my condemnation on the architect Steven Holl because he failed to do his job as an architect.  primarily for architects in the architect, engineering, and construction community and edited by architects is casting in this column shame on Steven Holt who personally and as the leader of his firm has acted in a matter which requires that Steve Holl have his license to practice architecture in New York State suspended with cause.

Enter Canadian architects as the white horse cavalry

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Today’s column kicks off a series of columns in the aftermath of a major disability-related scandal in the New York City Borough of Queens, where President Trump grew up. At the heart of the scandal is the New York City architecture firm of Steven Holl.

Following the story of Steven Holl who like me is 72 years old. Unlike me, Holl is in no way sensitive to problems of disabled people. Holl is sensitive to other things. At Columbia University ( my alma matter ), Holl teaches a course in the relationship of art to architecture:

https://www.arch.columbia.edu/courses/28446-2070

After delays of nearly 10:years Stephen Holl the which unveiled its disability unfriendly $41 million library.

The scandal concerns a library at the Hunters Point section of Queens close to the booming community of Long Island City. When the library was completed in September 2019, the fiction collection was not accessible to wheel-chair based adults like me. The children’s reading room could not accommodate disabled children in wheelchairs.

A resident of Long Island City, Tanya Jackson is a plaintiff in a law suit

 

 

Global implications of the scandal caused by the global architecture form of Steven Holl

In September 2019, the Manhattan based firm of Steven Holl unveiled its library which had been years (decades) in the making for a whopping $40 plus million.

Good day Kristy: I am a 72 year old grandfather, paraplegic, and survivor of four concerts. I am also the US architecture critic for e-architect UK. These are my past five years of columns. https://www.e-architect.co.uk/columns

I am devoting my column to the horrible indecency of building a $41 million library in Queens which is not accessible to children nor adults. I would like to talk to you for ten minutes by phone to understand how this obscenity took place and about what we in the disability rights community plan to do about it. Joel 570-505-1251

 

 

 

 

 

Screen shot by Joel Solkoff showing how the New York City architecture firm of Samuel Holl violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by deliberately designing a library where the fiction collection is not accessible to paraplegics like me

 

 

 

 

 

Arcitectural Library, Columbia University New York City, McKim Meade and White, 1920s classic getleman architects. Avery Library is part of Columbia University, move from Wall Street to the Morninside Heart gets campus a few short blacks from the 125th Street Heart of Harlem

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As we say goodbye to 2019, a new Roaring  Twenties style will dominate whether one or another architect will obtain the next commission.ate New Millenium which is evocative  of  larger than life architecture of the large number of retirement age seniors who are plaguing the current and future architecture projects you are taking Ye our careers you will

My editors beckon: “All right, stop writing, Joel.”

Isabelle Lomholt and Adrian Welch, Editors at e-architect

“Good night and good luck,” as Greensboro, North Carolina born Edward R. Morrow, my hero, used to say.

–Joel

Please write: [email protected]

 

Footnotes

1.Patric Geddes

Image courtesy Wikipedia
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Geddes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See also:

Honor to Patrick Geddes, father of community planning.

I begin this column with a serious appreciation of the contribution Patrick Geddes made to understanding the design of cities. It was Patrick Geddes who planned the city of Tel Aviv.

Courtesy of Wikipedia this is Patrick Geddes' original design for Tel Aviv 1925

Joel Solkoff’s Column, Vol.II, Number 7

2. Wikipedia on sin: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sin

Ohev Shalom ( lover of peace) has been a Jewish Orthodox Congregation in Williamsport for over 100 years. Photo by Joel Solkoff

Yesterday, in my synagogue in Williamsport PA, Ohev Shalom ( lover of peace) Cantor Ted Prosnitz read in Hebrew the portion of the week from Exodus 6.2-9.35. “In this Torah portion, God tells Moses and Aaron to go to Pharaoh to demand freedom for the Israelites. Pharaoh refuses, and God unleashes plagues on the Egyptians. Pharaoh promises to free the Israelites, but God hardens Pharaoh’s heart. The portion ends with the plague of hail stopping and Pharaoh changing his mind….”

Parashat Vaera

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

TANYA JACKSON, an individual; and
CENTER FOR INDEPENDENCE OF THE
DISABLED, NEW YORK, a nonprofit
organization; on behalf of themselves and all
others similarly situated,
Plaintiffs,

 

COMPLAINT

No. 19-cv-6656

-against

QUEENS BOROUGH PUBLIC LIBRARY,
BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF QUEENS
BOROUGH PUBLIC LIBRARY, AND THE
CITY OF NEW YORK,
Defendants.

COMPLAINT
-against-
Plaintiffs,
QUEENS BOROUGH PUBLIC LIBRARY, BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF QUEENS BOROUGH PUBLIC LIBRARY, AND THE CITY OF NEW YORK,
Defendants.

INTRODUCTION

1. This class action lawsuit seeks to rectify the systemic, discriminatory exclusion of persons with mobility disabilities from full and equal access to Hunters Point Library, the brand new $41.5 million branch of Queens Borough Public Library that opened in September 2019.

2. Heralded as a “stunning architectural marvel” and a “beacon of learning, literacy and culture,” [Footnote 1] the newly-built Hunters Point Library was designed and built with a total disregard for adults and children with mobility disabilities and in flagrant contempt of the legal requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which took effect in 1992, almost three decades ago.

3. Inaccessible features pervade the new Hunters Point Library (“the Library”), and exclude people with mobility disabilities from a variety of its offerings. For example, people with mobility disabilities are barred from using the three levels that are currently occupied by comfortable lounging and studying areas and large bookshelves, but which can only be accessed by stairs.

Footnote 1: Queens Public Library, Hunters Point Library Opens In Queens, QUEENS PUBLIC LIBRARY BLOG (Nov. 25, 2019, 12:49 PM), https://www.queenslibrary.org/about-us/news- media/blog/1918?utm_source=homepage&utm_medium=carousel&utm_campaign=hunterspointopening_BLG

4. Moreover, adults and children with mobility disabilities are excluded from a large reading and small-group meeting space on the children’s floor that is entirely inaccessible due to its multi-level wooden seating and a large entry step.

5. Visitors with mobility disabilities who seek to use or attend events on the rooftop terrace will be similarly excluded due to the stair-only access to the upper level of the bi-level rooftop terrace. Such visitors will be denied the upper level’s stunning views of the East River and Manhattan.

6. Additional barriers, such as the presence of only a single heavily-utilized elevator, designated stroller parking areas that block the already-narrow paths between the elevator and some of the Library’s main features, and a lack of seating in the lobby to use while waiting for the elevator further exacerbate the exclusion of people with disabilities.

7. In describing the failure to create an accessible design for the new Library, a senior partner at Steven Holl Architects, the firm that designed the Library, admitted that “[t]o be honest, we hadn’t thought, ‘O.K. we have to provide an exactly equivalent browsing experience.’” [Footnote 2] Such disregard for the legal rights of people with disabilities—decades after the passage of the ADA—is all too apparent in the Library’s design.

Footnote 2. 2 Sharon Otterman, New Library Is a $41.5 Million Masterpiece. But About Those Stairs. N.Y. TIMES, (Nov. 5,
2019), https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/05/nyregion/long-island-city-library.html.

8. During the Library’s inaugural opening, Library executives stated, “there is far more to a library than its design and physical structure that makes it soar. It is the experience of coming to a place that welcomes you, no matter who you are or where you are from…That is the promise we are committed to fulfilling…at Hunters Point Library[.]” [Footnote 3]  And yet people with mobility disabilities have not been welcomed and instead have been denied the civil rights and societal inclusion promised to them by the decades of disability rights laws that Defendants have ignored.

Footnote 3. Queens Public Library, supra note 1.

9. Such laws are particularly explicit that new construction—which presents an opportunity to provide full inclusion for people with disabilities—should be held to the strictest accessibility standards, since it is minimally expensive or difficult to design accessible features from the beginning. It is inexcusable for a new building to ignore accessibility in its design.

10. Plaintiffs sue on behalf of themselves and persons with mobility disabilities who are being discriminated against by virtue of the exclusion of people with mobility disabilities from the full access to and experience of visiting Hunters Point Library. Plaintiffs seek only injunctive relief, not monetary damages, to have the barriers effectively and permanently remediated.

JURISDICTION

11. This is an action for injunctive relief, brought pursuant to Title III of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12181, et seq.; Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12131, et seq.; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Section 504”), 29 U.S.C. § 794; and the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”), N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-101 et seq.

12. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1343 for claims arising under the ADA and Section 504, and supplemental jurisdiction over NYCHRL claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367.

VENUE

13. Venue is proper in this Court, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b), because Defendant is located within this District. Moreover, a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claims alleged herein occurred in this District.

PARTIES

Plaintiffs

14. Tanya Jackson lives in Long Island City, Queens and is a qualified person with a mobility disability. Ms. Jackson is a frequent library user but has been deterred from visiting or patronizing Hunters Point Library because of its inaccessibility. The one time Ms. Jackson did visit the Library, she was discouraged that she could not access all of its features, and is hesitant to return.

15. Center for Independence of the Disabled – New York (“CIDNY”) is an Independent Living Center that was founded in 1978 and has 40 years of experience removing barriers to full equality, independence, and self-determination. It works with people in all five boroughs with offices in Queens and New York Counties. In 2018, CIDNY served 52,310 people with disabilities throughout New York City.

Defendants

16. Defendant Queens Borough Public Library is a private non-profit corporation that operates the library system in Queens.

17. Defendant Board of Trustees of Queens Borough Public Library (“Defendant Board of Trustees”) is the governing body of Queens Borough Public Library. Its members are appointed by the City of New York and the Borough of Queens, and the Mayor of New York and other New York City officials sit on the Board in an ex officio capacity.

18. The City of New York (“Defendant the City”) controls, oversees, and funds Queens Borough Public Library’s operations and capital expenditures.

FACTS COMMON TO ALL ALLEGATIONS

 

19. Hunters Point Library is the newest branch of Queens Borough Public Library, built on the East River waterfront in Long Island City at a cost of approximately $41.5 million.

20. Defendants began designing Hunters Point Library in 2010, broke ground in 2015, and opened the new branch to much fanfare in September 2019.

21. Defendant the City, through its agency, the Department of Design and Construction (“DDC”), oversaw the construction of Hunters Point Library as part of its “Design and Construction Excellence Program” and provided much of the funding for the project. Footnote 4]

Footnote 4. Department of Design and Construction, Hunters Point Library Opens in Queens, PRESS RELEASE, (Nov. 25, 2019,
1:08 PM), https://www1.nyc.gov/site/ddc/about/press-releases/2019/pr-092419-hp-library.page.

22. When Hunters Point Library finally opened to the public, the New York City Deputy Mayor for Operations described it as “a cornerstone for New York City’s waterfront and
the Queens community for generations.” Footnote 5]

Footnote 5. 5 Otterman, supra note 2

Similarly, the New York City Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development stated that “[w]e’re thrilled to deliver our promise to the LIC community to bring a state-of-the-art library, providing residents a place to gather, learn, and connect with their community.” [Footnote 6]

Footnote 6. Id.

23. However, because the Library is functionally and aesthetically designed around stairs and other architecturally inaccessible features, people with mobility disabilities are excluded from fully experiencing and utilizing this “state-of-the art…place to gather, learn and connect.”

24. Visitors with mobility disabilities encounter difficulty even entering the Library. Beside the main entrance—a revolving door—is a single wheelchair-accessible door, which is heavily trafficked by visitors with young children in strollers, causing people with mobility disabilities to have to wait to even use the door.

25. Upon entering the Library, visitors encounter a first-floor lobby that contains only a reference desk, a conference room, and restrooms; to access the rest of the Library, spread across several vertical levels, visitors are immediately confronted with two large staircases leading to the north and south ends of the Library.

26. Both staircases run along the west side of the Library, where large windows offer dramatic views of the East River and Manhattan. Anyone who cannot use these staircases is unable to fully experience these views.

27. There is a single elevator tucked away in an alcove off the main lobby on the east side of the Library, but it does not stop at every level of the Library and therefore provides no access to the building’s features that can only be reached by stairs.

28. For example, the north staircase runs along four separate tiered landings, each with bookshelves, seating areas, and electronics charging stations. The first of these four landings has lounge chairs, while the top three landings have built-in desks. The elevator stops at the first of the tiered landings off the north staircase, but it does not stop at the second, third, or fourth tiered landings. The only way to reach those landings, and the desks and seating areas they offer, is by using the stairs.

29. Additionally, the south staircase leads up to the children’s area. Although the elevator stops on the main children’s floor, visitors with disabilities will still be unable to use one of the children’s floor’s main features: A multi-tiered lounging and small group meeting area
that visitors can use for reading, story time, or other activities. There is a large step leading into this section, so children and adults with mobility disabilities are barred from even sitting in the front row.

30. There is also a rooftop that remains under construction, but which will provide a public terrace with incredible views of the Manhattan skyline and the East River. The rooftop has two levels, at least one of which can only be reached by stairs. Additionally, Library employees tell people with mobility disabilities that they cannot access any portion of the rooftop.

31. The availability of only one elevator for this multi-story building is also a barrier to equal access as it is highly utilized throughout the day, particularly by the many visitors with young children in strollers, increasing wait times for people with mobility disabilities.

32. The absence of seating in the lobby or near the elevator means that people with mobility disabilities who have trouble standing for long periods of time will be particularly impacted by these wait times.

33. Moreover, the library has designated “stroller parking” along the path of travel from the children’s floor to the elevator that considerably narrows the path such that people using wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, or other mobility devices are blocked from reaching the children’s area.

34. The Library’s disregard for people with disabilities is further demonstrated by an inaccessible book return at the front entrance of the library. The automated system requires visitors to use a touch screen—without a headphone jack or any tactile features that would allow people who are blind or have low vision to return their books outside along with their sighted fellow Library patrons.

EXPERIENCES OF PLAINTIFFS

35. Plaintiff Tanya Jackson lives in Long Island City, Queens and uses a rollator (a type of walker) for mobility.

36. Because of Ms. Jackson’s mobility disability, she has difficulty walking and cannot use stairs.

37. Ms. Jackson is an avid public library user and holds a library card from the New York Public Library. She regularly visits public libraries to use their computers and other resources and to attend various community events. In particular, Ms. Jackson does not have her own computer and relies on the publicly available computers provided by libraries.

38. Ms. Jackson has lived in Long Island City for a little over a year. During that time, she has lamented the lack of a nearby library, and was looking forward to the opening of the much-anticipated Hunters Point Library. She had planned to regularly visit the Library to use the computers, read, relax in the quiet public space, and attend events held there.

39. Shortly after the Library opened, Ms. Jackson learned about its multiple barriers to accessibility. These barriers deterred Ms. Jackson from visiting the Library for several weeks because she was afraid that they would prevent her from being able to access the services that she needs.

40. Despite the brand-new Library opening up just 1.8 miles away from her residence, Ms. Jackson had to continue to navigate the inaccessible subway system to visit accessible libraries in Manhattan and the Bronx.

41. On November 18, 2019, when Ms. Jackson decided to finally visit the Library, she took the elevator to the upper levels. When she got to the fifth floor, she had to walk up a steep ramp to an indoor seating area. She asked a Library employee where the computer area was. The employee directed her down to the fourth floor.

42. To get back to the elevator, she had to use the same steep ramp, and had to walk very slowly, since she was worried that the decline would cause her rollator to move too quickly.

43. She later asked a Library employee near the computer area about the rooftop terrace. The employee told her that the rooftop is inaccessible to people who use wheelchairs, walkers, rollators, or scooters.

44. Ms. Jackson was very disappointed to learn that she would never be able to access the rooftop terrace, which has an excellent view of Manhattan. She felt that the view of Manhattan from the computer area was limited compared to what would be available on the rooftop and other areas that can only be reached by the stairs.

45. Ms. Jackson is afraid that she will not be able to fully participate in future events that the Library will host, including upcoming holiday events, because there are areas in the Library that are inaccessible to her.

46. Because stairs are featured throughout the Library and prevent Ms. Jackson from accessing all the Library’s benefits fully, she feels unwelcome and overlooked by all who had a hand in constructing the new Library. She has been harmed, and will continue to be harmed, by Defendants’ ongoing failure to abide by its ADA obligations.

47. Organizational Plaintiff CIDNY is a statutorily-defined Center for Independent Living and is subject to the control of its constituents. One of CIDNY’s core purposes is to engage in the sort of systems advocacy on their behalf that this lawsuit represents, see 29 U.S.C. § 796(a)(3) (“consumer control”) 29 U.S.C. §§ 705(17-18) (defining the “core services” and “services” of an independent living center), making it the functional equivalent of a voluntary membership organization.

48. CIDNY employs staff members who work directly with thousands of constituents each year, helping them to solve problems related to public accommodations, transportation, employment, housing, healthcare, education, and more.

49. The majority of CIDNY’s board members and employees are people with disabilities, as are nearly all of the people it serves. Many of these individuals have mobility disabilities.

50. CIDNY has constituents, staff, board members, and volunteers with mobility disabilities who seek to visit Hunters Point Library. Some of these individuals had hoped to visit Hunters Point Library but were deterred from doing so upon seeing the news coverage about Defendants’ failure to make it accessible for persons with mobility disabilities.

CLASS ALLEGATIONS

51. Pursuant to Rule 23(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Plaintiffs bring this action, for injunctive relief purposes only, on their own behalf and on behalf of all persons similarly situated. The class that Plaintiffs seek to represent consists of all persons with mobility disabilities who visit or intend to visit Hunters Point Library, or who have been deterred from visiting Hunters Point Library because of its inaccessibility. The claims asserted herein are solely for injunctive relief for the class; damages claims are not included in this complaint.

52. The persons in the class are so numerous that joinder of all such persons is impracticable. The disposition of their claims in a class action is a benefit to the parties and to the Court. Indeed, more than 130,000 non-institutionalized Queens County residents have a
mobility-related disability. [ Footnote 7] Hundreds of thousands of persons with disabilities, moreover, visit the City each year.

Footnote 7. DISABILITY CHARACTERISTICS 2013-2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates; Queens County, New York, UNITED STATES CENSUS BUREAU, (Nov. 25, 2019, 1:39 PM),
https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_17_5YR_S1810&prodType
=table.

53. Proposed class members share a well-defined community of interest with respect to the questions of law and fact involved because they are all being denied or deterred from full and equal access to Hunters Point Library.

54. One of the key common questions of law and fact involves Plaintiffs’ allegations that Defendants have violated federal law by failing to provide full and equal access to Hunters Point Library for persons with mobility disabilities. Common questions also include whether city law requires Hunters Point Library to be accessible for persons with mobility disabilities, as well as what remedial scheme should be implemented to rectify the current lack of access.

55. Moreover, Plaintiffs’ claims are typical of the claims of the class as a whole because Plaintiffs are similarly affected by Hunters Point Library’s inaccessibility.

56. Plaintiffs are adequate class representatives because they, or the persons they serve, are directly impacted by Defendants’ failure to provide equal access to Hunters Point Library, and because Plaintiffs’ interests are not antagonistic, or in conflict with, the interests of the class as a whole.

57. The attorneys representing the class are highly trained, duly qualified, and very experienced in representing plaintiffs in civil rights class actions for injunctive relief.

58. By failing to secure accessibility of Hunters Point Library consistent with federal disability access laws, Defendants have acted and/or failed to act on grounds generally applicable
to the class as a whole. Accordingly, an award of appropriate final injunctive relief with respect to the class as a whole is warranted in this case.

59. References to Plaintiffs shall include each Plaintiff and each member of the class, unless otherwise indicated.

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
VIOLATION OF TITLE III OF THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (42 U.S.C. § 12181, ET SEQ.)
AGAINST DEFENDANTS QUEENS BOROUGH PUBLIC LIBRARY AND BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF QUEENS BOROUGH PUBLIC LIBRARY

60. Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate herein all previously alleged paragraphs of this Complaint.

61. Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities “in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation.” 42 U.S.C. § 12182(a) (emphasis added).

62. The term “disability” includes physical disabilities that substantially limit one or more major life activities. See 42 U.S.C. § 12102(1).

63. The Plaintiffs, the board members and constituents of the organizational Plaintiff, and the class are qualified individuals with disabilities within the meaning of the ADA and the regulations promulgated thereunder. See 28 C.F.R. Part 36. In particular, each has a disability that substantially limits walking, standing, or using stairs, activities that clearly qualify as major life activities. See 42 U.S.C. § 12102(2)(A); see also 28 C.F.R. § 36.105.

64. The Plaintiffs have sought, would like to seek in the future, or have been deterred from seeking to visit Hunters Point Library due to its inaccessibility.

65. Defendant Queens Borough Public Library and Defendant Board of Trustees are charged with operating and maintaining Hunters Point Library.

66. Hunters Point Library is a place of public accommodation within the meaning of Title III. See 42 U.S.C. § 12181(7)(H); 28 C.F.R. § 36.104.

67. Defendant Queens Borough Public Library and Defendant Board of Trustees violate the above-cited Title III mandate in several distinct ways. First, Defendant Queens Borough Public Library and Defendant Board of Trustees discriminate against Plaintiffs by failing “to design and construct facilities for first occupancy after January 26, 1993, that are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.” 28 C.F.R. § 36.401.

68. Second, their repeated and deliberate failure to safeguard access to the Library as a whole discriminatorily excludes visitors with mobility disabilities. Defendants’ actions accordingly amount “to a denial of the opportunity . . . to participate in or benefit from the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations” it offers. See 42 U.S.C. § 12182(b)(1)(A)(i).

69. Third, such management of the Library discriminates against each Plaintiff by failing to ensure that their opportunity to visit, explore, and enjoy the Library is equal to that afforded to visitors without disabilities. See 42 U.S.C. § 12182(b)(1)(A)(ii).

70. Fourth, Defendant Queens Borough Public Library and Defendant Board of Trustees discriminate against Plaintiffs by failing to modify their policies, procedures, and practices in a reasonable manner, even though such modifications are clearly necessary to ensure equal access for individuals with disabilities. See 42 U.S.C. § 12182(b)(2)(A)(ii).

71. As a direct and proximate cause of the aforementioned acts, Plaintiffs have been and continue to be injured.

72. Defendant Queens Borough Public Library’s and Defendant Board of Trustees’ Title III violations have been ongoing and continuous. Unless enjoined, Defendants will continue to violate Title III and will thereby inflict injuries and irreparable harm upon Plaintiffs. In particular, absent injunctive relief, Plaintiffs will continue to be discriminated against and denied the accommodations, advantages, facilities or privileges of the newly-constructed Library facility provided by Defendant Queens Borough Public Library and Defendant Board of Trustees.

73. Plaintiffs are entitled to injunctive relief and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs pray for relief as set forth below.

SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
VIOLATION OF TITLE II OF THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (42 U.S.C. § 12131, ET SEQ.)
AGAINST DEFENDANT THE CITY OF NEW YORK

74. Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate herein all previously alleged paragraphs of the Complaint.

75. Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12132, prohibits a public entity from discriminating against a person on the basis of disability: “[n]o qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be … subjected to discrimination by any such entity.” See also 28 C.F.R. § 35.149.

76. The Plaintiffs, the board members and constituents of the organizational Plaintiff, and the class are qualified persons with disabilities within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. §§ 12102, 12131 and 28 C.F.R. § 35.108 in that they have disabilities that substantially limit one or more major life activities, such as walking, standing, and using stairs.

77. Title II requires that when a public entity newly constructs a facility, that facility must be made accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities: “[e]ach facility or part of
a facility constructed by, on behalf of, or for the use of a public entity shall be designed and constructed in such manner that the facility or part of the facility is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, if the construction was commenced after January 26, 1992.” 28 C.F.R. § 35.151.

78. Since Hunters Point Library’s construction began in approximately 2015 and was completed in 2019, it is clearly a new facility within the meaning of 28 C.F.R. § 35.151.

79. A “public entity” includes state and local governments, their agencies, and their instrumentalities. See 42 U.S.C. § 12131(1). Defendant the City is a public entity within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12131 and 28 C.F.R. § 35.104.

80. Since Defendant the City oversees and provides funding for Queens Borough Public Library’s operations, and because the City’s Department of Design and Construction specifically managed the construction of Hunters Point Library, the failure to ensure that the Library was built fully accessible violates Title II’s “newly constructed facility” provisions. 28 C.F.R. § 35.151.

81. Additionally, Defendant the City’s failure to ensure Hunters Point Library’s accessibility through its contractual, licensing and/or other arrangements, and relationships with Queens Borough Public Library relegates visitors with disabilities to accessing the Library on terms that are distinctly unequal to those afforded to visitors without disabilities. 28 C.F.R. § 35.130(b)(1)(i)-(iii) and 28 C.F.R. § 35.130(b)(1)(v).

82. Such inequality further indicates that Defendant the City’s control over the operation of the Library, whether directly or through contractual or other arrangements, has involved utilizing criteria and/or methods of administration that have the effect of subjecting qualified individuals with disabilities to discrimination on the basis of their disability, in violation of 28 C.F.R. 35.130(b)(3)(i).

83. As a direct and proximate result of Defendant the City’s construction of an inaccessible Library, Plaintiffs have been and continue to be injured by virtue of their deterrence and ongoing exclusion from fully accessing the Library.

84. Because Defendant the City’s conduct constitutes an ongoing and continuous violation of Title II of the ADA, Plaintiffs are entitled to injunctive relief as well as reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs pray for relief as set forth below.

THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION
VIOLATION OF SECTION 504
(29 U.S.C. § 794, ET SEQ.)
AGAINST ALL DEFENDANTS

85. Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate herein all previously alleged paragraphs of the Complaint.

86. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act provides in pertinent part: “[N]o otherwise qualified individual with a disability . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance . . .” See 29 U.S.C. § 794.

87. The Plaintiffs, the board members and constituents of the organizational Plaintiff, and the class are otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities within the meaning of the statute in that they have disabilities that substantially limit one or more major life activities, such as walking, standing, or using stairs. They are also qualified in that they have sought, or will seek, to visit the Library. See 29 U.S.C. § 705(20)(B) (referencing 42. U.S.C. § 12102); see also 28 C.F.R. § 39.103.

88. Defendants are recipients of federal financial assistance sufficient to invoke the coverage of Section 504. Moreover, Defendants have received such federal financial assistance at all times relevant to the claims asserted in this Complaint.

89. Defendants and their agents and employees have violated, and continue to violate, Section 504 and the regulations promulgated thereunder by excluding Plaintiffs from participation in, denying Plaintiffs the benefits of, and subjecting Plaintiffs to discrimination in access to the Library based solely by reason of their disabilities.
90. Under Section 504 and the implementing regulations, Defendants are obligated to make the Library accessible as a whole to visitors with mobility disabilities. Their ongoing refusal to do so amounts to discriminatory exclusion of those visitors from the Library.

91. As a direct and proximate cause of the aforementioned acts, Plaintiffs have been and continue to be injured.

92. Because Defendants’ conduct constitutes an ongoing and continuous violation of Section 504, Plaintiffs are entitled to injunctive relief as well as reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs pursuant to 29 U.S.C § 794a.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs pray for relief as set forth below.

FIFTH CAUSE OF ACTION
VIOLATION OF THE NEW YORK CITY HUMAN RIGHTS LAW (N.Y.C. ADMIN. CODE § 8-101 ET SEQ.)
AGAINST ALL DEFENDANTS

93. Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate herein all previously alleged paragraphs of this Complaint.

94. The NYCHRL has a “uniquely remedial” purpose. The construction provision of this law expressly provides that each section must be “construed liberally for the accomplishment of the uniquely broad and remedial purposes thereof, regardless of whether federal or New York State civil and human rights laws, including those laws with provisions worded comparably to provisions of this title, have been so construed.” See N.Y.C. Admin.
Code § 8-130.

95. Accordingly, Defendants’ conduct is subject to a much stricter standard under the NYCHRL than under federal law, and Defendants’ liability under these provisions must be determined separately and independently from their liability under the disability provisions of other statutes alleged in this Complaint.

96. N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-107(4)(a), provides that “[i]t shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for any person who is the owner, franchisor, franchisee, lessor, lessee, proprietor, manager, superintendent, agent or employee of any place or provider of public accommodation… [b]ecause of any person’s actual or perceived … disability … directly or indirectly… [t]o refuse, withhold from or deny to such person the full and equal enjoyment, on equal terms and conditions, of any of the accommodations, advantages, services, facilities or privileges of the place or provider of public accommodation . . .” Persons include all “natural persons, proprietorship partnerships, associations, group associations, organizations, governmental bodies or agencies, corporations [and] legal representatives . . . ” See N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-102.

97. Further, the term “place or provider of public accommodation” encompasses “providers, whether licensed or unlicensed, of goods, services, facilities, accommodations, advantages or privileges of any kind, and places, whether licensed or unlicensed, where goods, services, facilities, accommodations, advantages or privileges of any kind are extended, offered, sold, or otherwise made available.” See N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-102.

98. As a public library frequented by numerous visitors, Hunters Point Library clearly constitutes a service, accommodation, advantage, or privilege that is offered to the general public within the meaning of N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-102.

99. Each of the Defendants acts as “managers” of Hunters Point Library in their roles as the entities charged with operating and maintaining the new building. Defendants are plainly all “persons” within N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-102.

100. Because the Library as a whole is inaccessible to persons with mobility disabilities, Defendants, as managers of the Library, violate N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-107(4)(a) by denying to persons with mobility disabilities access to a service, accommodation, privilege, or advantage that is otherwise available to the general public.

101. In addition, Defendants violate N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-107(15). This provision mandates that “it is an unlawful discriminatory practice for any person prohibited by the provisions of this section from discriminating on the basis of disability not to provide a reasonable accommodation to enable a person with a disability to… enjoy the right or rights in question provided that the disability is known or should have been known by the covered entity.” See NY.C. Admin. Code § 8-107(15). Because this provision applies to all entities that must comply with N.Y.C. Admin Code § 8-107, Defendants are bound by it.

102. Defendants’ refusal to eliminate the accessibility barriers described above constitutes a clear failure to provide the accommodations necessary to enable persons with mobility disabilities the opportunity to access the Library on equal terms with visitors who do not have disabilities. Defendants are aware that persons with mobility disabilities constitute a portion of the population wishing to visit the Library. Accordingly, Defendants’ actions clearly violate the reasonable accommodation mandate of N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-107(15).

103. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ violations of the NYCHRL, Plaintiffs have been injured as set forth herein.

104. Defendants’ conduct constitutes an ongoing and continuous violation of the NYCHRL. Unless Defendants are enjoined from further violations, Plaintiffs will continue to suffer injuries for which there is no adequate remedy at law. In particular, Plaintiffs will suffer irreparable harm in that they will continue to be discriminatorily excluded from accessing the Library on equal terms with everyone else. Plaintiffs are accordingly entitled to injunctive relief and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs pray for relief as set forth below.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs pray for relief as follows, including but not limited to:

105. Order that this matter be certified as a class action with the class defined as set forth above, that Plaintiffs be appointed class representatives, and that their attorneys be appointed class counsel;

106. Order and declare that Defendants’ conduct as alleged herein has violated, and continues to violate, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the New York City Human Rights Law;

107. Order and judgment enjoining Defendants from violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the New York City Human Rights Law or applicable regulations and standards, and requiring Defendants to swiftly develop and implement a remedial plan to permanently remedy all barriers to equal access to Hunters Point Library;

108. Plaintiffs’ reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs; and

109. Such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.

Dated: November 26, 2019 New York, New York
Respectfully submitted,

DISABILITY RIGHTS ADVOCATES

Michelle A. Caiola

Andrea Kozak-Oxnard

Attorneys for Plaintiffs

DISABILITY RIGHTS ADVOCATES

655 Third Avenue

Fourteenth Floor

New York, NY 10017

Tel: (212) 644-8644

Fax: (212) 644-8636

TTY: (877) 603-4579

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D

Because architects, engineers and the construction in dustry generally have failed us, we Baby Boomers will have to design the world we live in one human-made building at a time

Screenshot by Joel Solkoff
This column by New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman has rocked New York City’s architecture community in ways that could have profound limitations on future AEC community projects globally.
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Because architects, engineers and the construction industry generally have failed us, we Baby Boomers will have to design the world we live in one human-made building at a time

Joel Solkoff’s Column Vol. V, Number 3

Architectural Column Vol. V, Number 3 by Joel Solkoff, PA, USA

Writing on architects plus their role in the imminent/now-already-here global Baby Boom housing crisis

Architecture scandal rocks New York City

This is the offensive Hunter’s Point Library in Queens, the New York City Borough of Queens where President Trump spent his childhood. The library was designed by the Samuel Holt New York City firm of Samuel Holt which boasts of its international projects.
What makes this structure offensive is that despite its high costs and numerous construction delay, disabled children cannot attend book readings because the children’s portion of the library is not accessible. And there is more—the subject of a major law suit brought by a powerful City-based disability rights group.
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Screenshot by Joel Solkoff

As I resume my column on the bleak last days of December 2019, the AEC community in New York is rocked by a major scandal with international consequences given that the AEC community, most especially in the developed world is global in nature.

The scandal concerns the unveiling of a $42 million plus building of Queens, one of New York’s five boroughs. The architect is Steve Hall, a NY City based firm that boasts of its international projects. The architecture firm and the library itself are being sued in federal court for violations of the Americans with Disability Act. In the public mind, the ADA is a powerful tool, but the reality is that the ADA is something of a paper tiger.

The court could rule that the ADA does not prevent the library and the City of New York from refusing to provide wheel chair access to disabled children to having stories read to them. Only children who can walk are currently being served in this brand new $47million plus building. If the case looses in court, I am convinced Congress will renovate the ADA so it is effective.

Here is the story in a local Queen newspaper:

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“Disability rights advocates have filed a class-action lawsuit arguing that the brand new Hunters Point Library in Queens prevents people with mobility issues from “full and equal access” to the branch.

“The lawsuit, filed in Brooklyn federal court by the Center for Independence of the Disabled New York (CIDNY), argues that the Steven Holl Architects-designed library violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). After two decades of planning, the $41 million branch opened in Long Island City this September to glowing architectural reviews, but soon came under fire because sections of the library are inaccessible to wheelchair users and others with limited mobility.

“Disability Rights Advocates is handling the lawsuit on behalf of the plaintiffs and claims that “inaccessible features pervade” the new branch, and calls out three levels with bookshelves, a reading and small-group space in a children’s section, and a rooftop terrace for featuring accessibility barriers that prevent “full and equal enjoyment” of the library.”

Hunters Point Library hit with lawsuit over accessibility issues

The new building, designed by Steven Holl Architects, has been criticized for its lack of accessibility

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Column mottoes and theme song

  1.  “A building should not stand out. It should fit in.” —Lewis Mumford, architectural critic, The New Yorker Magazine. (See footnote 1)

2. “Nothing about us without us.” Theme of the international disability rights movement (2)

3. “The Devil is in the details.” Popular English language expression

4. “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

Theme song: “Time is on my side” by the Rolling Stones

Correction required for you in the AEC community

For the past five years, Joel’s column has been urging architects, engineers and others in the construction industry who are part of the AEC to prepare for the retirement of the Baby Boom generation.

Aside

Consider by contrast to those days over 50 years ago, climbing on the outside of  Low Memorial Library entering the office of the university president through the epeindow because the door was blocked to us demonstrators.
My current 2019 situion: I am now 72 year, old paraplegic unable to walk or stand by myself for 25 years.

End of aside

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Throughout  Germany


 
“The German student movement (also called 68er-Bewegung, movement of 1968, or soixante-huitards) was a protest movement that took place during the late 1960s in West Germany. It was largely a reaction against the perceived authoritarianism and hypocrisy of the West German government and other Western governments, and the poor living conditions of students. A wave of protests—some violent—swept West Germany, fueled by violent over-reaction by the police and encouraged by contemporary protest movements across the world. Following more than a century of conservatism among German students, the German student movement also marked a significant major shift to the left and radicalization of student activism.”
 
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_student_movement
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 Into Czechoslovakia and beyond

 

 
“Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union
“Prague Spring and Human rights movement in the Soviet Union
In what became known as Prague Spring, Czechoslovakia’s first secretary Alexander Dubček began a period of reform, which gave way to outright civil protest, only ending when the USSR invaded the country in August.[38] In August the 25, anti-war protesters gathered in Red Square only to be dispersed. It was titled the 1968 Red Square demonstration.”
 
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protests_of_1968
 
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We at Columbia University’s Morningside Heights campus at West 116th Street in New York City ( two blocks from the Hudson River and 24 blocks from the heart of Harlem) led the world as the initiator of the Spring 1968 anti-War youth movement

The Paris demonstrations were in April. By then I was a veteran demonstration having spent nearly a week living in the office of the President of Columbia University— which had been Columbia University Oresidet Dwight David Eisenhower’s office immediately before he went to his White House Oval Office.
 
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“Beginning in May 1968, a period of civil unrest occurred throughout France, lasting some seven weeks and punctuated by demonstrations, general strikes, and the occupation of universities and factories. At the height of events, which have since become known as May 68, the economy of France came to a halt.[1] The protests reached such a point that political leaders feared civil war or revolution; the national government briefly ceased to function after President Charles de Gaulle secretly fled France to Germany at one point. The protests spurred movements worldwide, with songs, imaginative graffiti, posters, and slogans.[2][3].”

In the spring of 1968–two months before the Paris demonstrations streamed above—Columbia University became the global leader of the anti-Vietnam War Movement whose international dimensions reached impressive demonstrations not only Paris, but….

Note well. The Paris Revolution was in May. Ours was in April. The Paris student movement ( as was the case with a desperate assortment of student movements—real or pretend—in China, Poland, Cuba ER centers poured money into the Columbia arise fund which had trouble spending the money. I was just hanging around the Strike Committee in Ferris Booth Hall when a Committee member shouted to a group of us, “Does anyone want this airline ticket to Lincoln Nebraska. The plane leaves from LaGuardia at eight tonight.
I had never been to Nebraska. Why not?
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Views of New York City parochial and otherwise
See New Yorker cartoon posted immediately above or link here.immediately
https://binged.it/2SoWT7u
https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=pUG4QPrP&id=3BF176048313D719BDCB3478555DD858B090089B&thid=OIP.pUG4QPrPPQ4MyO3NYncgKwHaFY&mediaurl=https%3A%2F%2Fs3.amazonaws.com%2Flowres.cartoonstock.com%2Ftravel-tourism-
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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_1968_events_in_France
It was in the SUMMER of 1978 that the Russians invaded Czechoslovakia. In April of 1968, hundreds of New York City police officers stormed Columbia’s architecturally distinguished McKim Meade and White campus kicking off a wave of demonstrations that tore our country apart.
In was in the summer of 1968 at the Chicago Democratic Convention that keynote speaker Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii condemned me and my fellow Columbia University students for kicking off a wave of demonstrations that threatened our country’s future.
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“As soon as I wake up, regardless of the pain, for a moment I smile: I am 19 again at Columbia’s 1968 demonstrations against the War in Vietnam.”
http://www.joelsolkoff.com/1968-revolution-at-columbia-university/
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.The medieval European notion: “We sit on the shoulders of giants”applies applies to the student youth movement ( in addition to our brand of selective pacifism— which included but was never distracted from its anti War anti-racism.
Our presence as the dangerous representatives of a major youth movement had as our slogan “Never trust a man of 30.”
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Speech_Movement
The Free Speech Movement (FSM) was a massive, long-lasting student protest which took place during the 1964–65 academic year on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley.[1] The Movement was informally under the central leadership of Berkeley graduate student Mario Savio.[2] Other student leaders include Jack Weinberg, Michael Rossman, George Barton, Brian Turner, Bettina Aptheker, Steve Weissman, Michael Teal, Art Goldberg, Jackie Goldberg, and others.
“With the participation of thousands of students, the Free Speech Movement was the first mass act of civil disobedience on an American college campus in the 1960s.[4] Students insisted that the university administration lift the ban of on-campus political activities and acknowledge the students’ right to free speech and academic freedom. The Free Speech Movement was influenced by the New Left,[5] and was also related to the Civil Rights Movement and the Anti-Vietnam War Movement.[6] To this day, the Movement’s legacy continues to shape American political dialogue both on college campuses and in broader society, impacting on the political views and values of college students and the general public.”
Until the spring of 1968, my generation’s university leader in our Revolution ( we did indeed call it a revolution) was the Free Speech Movement at the University of California in Berkeley—radical chic Berkeley then is still radically chic Berkeley today where automobile and truck access to the university and the community is strictly limited. Architects, engineers and members of the construction (AEC) community who regard themselves as city planners ( although populated in large part by those who do not have a though of their own) study Berkeley then and Berkeley now as the way to go in a building a society where the dangers to living well are institutionalized by freeing us from dependence gas-guzzling vehicles.

Writing for architects on your role in what is no longer the “retirement” of Baby Boomers like me. Retirement is a strange word. At age 72 I have no intention of retiring. Frank Geary will never retire.

Ask Renzo Piano when he will retire.

The word retire has legal implications. When I turned 65, I became a social security recipient receiving monthly wire transfers which reprints most of my income. I also receive Medicare, a US government run health service for the elderly and disabled. Medicare is not as good as it needs to be.

Functionally, the word retire functions as a demographic marker. See look how many people there are over the age of 65 in Japan, the EU, Scotland, Indonesia.

There are a lot of us Baby Boomers ( a US Census definition).

 

y Baby Boom  Generation’s birth was sparked by the passion unleashed by the end of World War II .

1945

We were loved and cherished by our parents as their parents were not.

We Baby Boomers are the best educated generation in the history of the world.

As a generation, we have more money than those of you architects who are members of Millennial and  younger generations. We Baby Boomers have  more economic and political power than you young folk. Beware

. You are not taking care of the needs of the generation that pays your bills,

In November a major scandal broke out that is going to rock the world of every major architecture firm in the world. Hold onto your hats, global architects!

Footnotes

1.

At Rittenhouse Square, in love then, now, and forever with Leah, Jean Shepherd, and….

“Speaking of fishbowls, this is WOR—AM and FM, New York.”

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It was then,  a more recent then from Rittenhouse Square, but then nonetheless. I am not only older but old with pain radiating from the base of my spine until I remember: Leah, 16, the Ethical Culture Society, The Congress of Racial Equality and Her, my shiksa goddess.

Leah’s mother was a folk singer.

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[Come back soon, now hear?]

 

 

 

 

 

 

1973 Letter to my literary agent seeking her help to break a book contract on how Timothy Leary escaped from prison

Letter to Marie Rodell June 1973

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Wikipedia

Marie Freid Rodell (January 31, 1912 – November 9, 1975) was a literary agent and author who managed the publications of much of environmentalist Rachel Carson‘s writings, as well as the first book by civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr..

Rodell was born in New York City, and attended Vassar College (B.A. 1932). After nine years as an editor for mystery novels, Rodell formed her own literary agency in 1948.[1] That year she met Rachel Carson, who hired her. She worked with Carson for the remainder of Carson’s life, and after Carson’s death in 1964 became her literary executor; she compiled and organized the Rachel Carson Papers (which took over two years) and arranged for the posthumous publication of A Sense of Wonder.[2] In 1957 she was Martin Luther King, Jr.’s literary agent for Stride Toward Freedom.[1]

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“Marie: This is the understanding hat I have with Joanna in relation to this book. This book will be Joanna’s view of  her love story with Timothy Leary as told to Joel Solkoff.”

++++

++++

Sampling from a five page letter

“Marie

It is therefore necessary for Joanna Harcourt-Smith Leary to agree to the following conditions in writing.”

  1. Anything contained in the final draft of our book will be agreed to by each of us.That means that I can veto anything I don’t like and t she can veto anything she doesn’t like.  That means we will constantly be fighting until there is a state of equilibrium.”

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Page one

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

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I took this photograph of Joanna Harcourt-Smith on the Friday before Mother’s Day, 1973

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Page two

Page two of five pages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Marie

Now, even considering the above, this is why I am bothering with the scene:

  1. For the first time in my life I am dealing with brilliant minds on an equal basis with the opportunity of making some money and advancing my career. (I define my career, incidently, as the ability to make a steady income from playing with words.”

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In the beginning there was Oui Magazine

 

 

 

 

 

In May I began to search for the next source to supplement my income publishing for the Village Voice. That month, another publication went out of business.. That publication had paid me to cover the World Series of Rodeo in Oklahoma City. I had finished the article and having trouble selling it. I was in search of the next idea to propose to a magazine and then I was inside the Timothy Leary inner circle.

++++

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3653-24th Street. pt 1

San Francisco, California 94110

July 26, 1973

“Dear Marie:

Monday, I visited Timothy Lear in Folsom Prison. I am now on his approved visiting list and am able to to wee him four times a month, six hours at a stretch. My visit convinced me your advice is sound. My relationship with Tim and Joanna is clearly wasting my time.

Joanna was in New York last week becoming famous for Bantam Books. I very much wanted you and she to meet. She is in need of some intelligent information on why it is that most people do not regard Tim Leary as the messiah.

Joanna is a brilliant woman who is very much in love with Timothy Leary. She is frightened because she suspects Tim’s claims of omnipotence will suddenly manifest themselves as nonsense.

Joanna fears the time may come when she will be unable to remain in love with the man for whom she abandoned everything.

Copyright © 2018 by Joel Solkoff. All rights reserved.

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Health South Pleasant Gap, PA profits off my not getting well

We are the nation’s leading owner and operator of inpatient rehabilitation hospitals and a leader in home-based care
(home health and hospice), offering services in 36 states and Puerto Rico.

On July 10, 2017, we announced the plan to rebrand
and change our name from HealthSouth Corporation to Encompass Health Corporation. On October 20, 2017, our board of directors approved an amended and restated certificate of incorporation in order to change the name effective as of January 1, 2018.

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Courtesy of Francois Micheloud
The cartoon reads “One sees his (Uncle Sam’s) finish unless good government retakes the ship”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Along with the corporate name change, the NYSE ticker symbol for our common stock changed from “HLS” to “EHC.”

Our operations in both business segments will transition to the Encompass Health branding on a rolling basis. The rebranding is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2019.
We were organized as a Delaware corporation in February 1984. Our principal executive offices currently are located at 3660 Grandview Parkway, Birmingham, Alabama 35243, and the telephone number of the principal executive offices is
(205) 967-7116. We anticipate relocating to newly constructed offices at 9001 Liberty Parkway, Birmingham, Alabama on
April 2, 2018.

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https://www.google.com/search?q=mark+tarr&rlz=1C1CHZL_enUS753US754&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi_6fyaxdXdAhWxq1kKHQFgC-kQ_AUIDygC&biw=683&bih=313#imgrc=ISz60iekomJfOM:

 

 

 

 

 

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Our website address is www.encompasshealth.com.
In addition to the discussion here, we encourage the reader to review Item 1A, Risk Factors, Item 2, Properties, and
Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, which highlight additional
considerations about our company.

We manage our operations in two operating segments which are also our reportable segments: (1) inpatient
rehabilitation and (2) home health and hospice. The table below provides selected operating and financial data for our inpatient
rehabilitation hospitals, home health agencies, and hospice agencies. See Note 18, Segment Reporting, to the accompanying
consolidated financial statements for detailed financial information for each of our segments.

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(205) 967-7116
(Registrant’s telephone number)
HealthSouth Corporation
(Former name or former address, if changed since last report)

Encompass10IK

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZjwnJePuUk

 

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These are the knowledgeable and dedicated physical therapists at Pleasant Gap’s Outpatient Therapy.
None of them receive stock options, adequate pay, proper working conditions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Specifics

How this “for profit” hospital steals your tax dollars

Inpatient Rehabilitation
For the Year Ended December 31,
2017 2016 2015
Medicare 73.2% 73.3% 73.2%
Medicare Advantage 8.4% 7.7% 7.9%
Managed care 10.9% 11.2% 11.1%
Medicaid 3.1% 3.0% 2.5%
Other third-party payors 1.6% 1.8% 2.0%
Workers’ compensation 0.9% 1.0% 1.1%
Patients 0.6% 0.6% 0.7%
Other income 1.3% 1.4% 1.5%
Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Home Health and Hospice
For

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Mark J. Tarr, Chief Villon, President and Chief Executive Officer and Director Encompass Health

Your tax dollars at work

Mark J. Tarr

Executive Compensation

As President and Chief Executive Officer at ENCOMPASS HEALTH CORPMark J. Tarr made $4,934,183 in total compensation. Of this total $900,000 was received as a salary, $1,169,280 was received as a bonus, $540,238 was received in stock options, $2,277,744 was awarded as stock and $46,921 came from other types of compensation. This information is according to proxy statements filed for the 2017 fiscal year.

President and Chief Executive OfficerENCOMPASS HEALTH CORPView local and national averages forsalaries$4.9MILLION$900,000Base Pay$1,169,280Bonus + Non-EquityIncentive Comp$2,069,280Total Cash Comp$2,277,744Stock Award Value$540,238Option Award Value$2,817,982Total Equity$46,921Total Other$4,934,183 Total CompensationFiscal Year Ended in 2017

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Bloomberg profile

Mark J. Tarr

CEO, President & Director,Encompass Health Corporation
Age Total Calculated Compensation This person is connected to 10 board members in 1 different organizations across 5 different industries.

See Board Relationships

56

Background*

Mr. Mark J. Tarr serves as President, Chief Executive Officer And Director of Encompass Health Corp. since December 29, 2016. Mr. Tarr serves as the Principal Executive Officer and President at HEALTHSOUTH Colorado Real Estate, LLC, HEALTHSOUTH Kansas Real Estate, LLC, HEALTHSOUTH Sea Pines Holdings, LLC and HEALTHSOUTH Arizona Real Estate, LLC. He served as the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President at Encompass Health Corporation since February 24, 2011 …

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Corporate Headquarters*

3660 Grandview Parkway
Birmingham, Alabama 35243United States

Phone: 205-967-7116
Fax: —

Board Members Memberships*

2016-Present
CEO, President & Director

Education*

Bachelor’s Degree
Ball State University
MBA
Emory University-Goizueta Business School

Other Affiliations*

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Mark J. Tarr

CEO, President & Director,Encompass Health Corporation
Age Total Calculated Compensation This person is connected to 10 board members in 1 different organizations across 5 different industries.

See Board Relationships

56

Background*

Mr. Mark J. Tarr serves as President, Chief Executive Officer And Director of Encompass Health Corp. since December 29, 2016. Mr. Tarr serves as the Principal Executive Officer and President at HEALTHSOUTH Colorado Real Estate, LLC, HEALTHSOUTH Kansas Real Estate, LLC, HEALTHSOUTH Sea Pines Holdings, LLC and HEALTHSOUTH Arizona Real Estate, LLC. He served as the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President at Encompass Health Corporation since February 24, 2011 …

\

Corporate Headquarters*

3660 Grandview Parkway
Birmingham, Alabama 35243United States

Phone: 205-967-7116
Fax: —

Board Members Memberships*

2016-Present
CEO, President & Director

Education*

Bachelor’s Degree
Ball State University
MBA
Emory University-Goizueta Business School

Other Affiliations*

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I will be back soon with more Encompass Health corporate infamy details

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Showtime’s countdown to the mid-term elections

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THE CIRCUS | Season 3 Episode 7 Premiere | Full Episode (TV14)

Published on Sep 18, 2018
The Gathering Storm. With the looming midterm elections, the Trump presidency under siege, and Hurricane Florence bearing down on the Carolina coast, Washington has a lot on its collective plate. Executive Producer and Host John Heilemann interviews Steve Bannon. Season 3 Episode 7 premiere. Watch The Circus Sundays at 8pm ET/PT. Order SHOWTIME for more! [TV14]

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“Jews will not replace us”

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As Midterms Approach, New Polls Favor Democrats | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Published on Sep 20, 2018
<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/QyuY3djKHfY” frameborder=”0″ allow=”autoplay; encrypted-media” allowfullscreen></iframe>

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As Midterms Approach, New Polls Favor Democrats | Morning Joe | MSNBC September 20, 2018

https://www.google.com/search?q=idlib&rlz=1C1CHZL_enUS753US754&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&sqi=2&ved=0ahUKEwiU2IXn9tDdAhWHylkKHYHFA4gQ_AUIECgD&biw=893&bih=393#imgrc=FWjI9_JKy3DlpM:

 

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Should President Donald Trump Be Impeached? | MTP Daily | MSNBC

March 2018


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Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke face off in first debate

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Coverage of Ted Cruz and Beto O'Rourke meeting for the first time to debate in the Texas Senate race. » Subscribe to NBC News: http://nbcnews.to/SubscribeToNBC » Watch more NBC video: http://bit.ly/MoreNBCNews

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George Strait – Amarillo By Morning (Live From The Astrodome)

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To Curb Illegal Immigration, DHS Separating Families At The Border

Immigrants make their way towards the border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico.

Gregory Bull/AP

The Department of Homeland Security has undertaken its most extreme measure yet to discourage asylum seekers from coming to the U.S. — family separation.

A 39-year-old mother is named as Ms. L in a lawsuit brought against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security by the American Civil Liberties Union. Ms. L traveled with her 7-year-old daughter, named as S.S., from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Mexico. They surrendered to immigration agents at the San Ysidro Port of Entry near San Diego in December and asked for asylum. They said they were fleeing violence in DRC.

The mother is being held in the Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego, Calif. by Immigration and Customs Enforcement; her daughter is 2,000 miles away at a youth shelter in Chicago run by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement. They are only able to speak by phone.

“When the daughter was taken, she (Ms. L) could hear her daughter in the next room, screaming, ‘Mommy, don’t let them take me!'” said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project.

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Willie Nelson Talks Supporting Beto O’Rourke, Friendship With Frank Sinatra | The View

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Beto for Texas

https://betofortexas.com/

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The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Beto O’Rourke: We Don’t Need A Wall

Official campaign site for Beto O’Rourke, the 2018 Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senate in Texas.

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