Monday, May 24, 2010

Concrete Defense? Pour It On, Ladies!

Holy Cow! When I used the words "concrete defense" in a previous post, I didn't think the BDGs would take me literally! (If I disappear anytime soon, have authorities look for my remains under their new concete slab.)

Last Easter Sunday, my neighbors left on a day-trip. The outdoor radio was ON all day because they turned it on just before they took off. (The speaker is on the wall to the left.) This is the way their screened back porch looked at mid-day, about the time the police arrived to "enjoy" the music with me.

This weekend the porch went missing! Below is what the area looked like last night - ready to pour concrete.

Given the BDGs' contemptuous refusal for twenty-three years to do anything legally, the immediate questions presented were:
  • 1) "Does this project require a building permit?"
  • 2) "If so, do they have one?"
  • 3) "If so, is it an owner's permit or a contractor's permit?"
This morning the street was lined with cars: Lynda's big-ass black Chevy pickup (an over-compensation, no doubt), a Chryler Sebring, the handyman's red van with silver striping, a small blue pickup, Theresa's soccer mom black minivan (now there's an oxymoronic juxtaposition of incongruous images!), and Corky's getaway car parked across the street. That was all to make room for another guy's work truck and a concrete delivery. Don't worry, there was still room for the painted ladies... sorry, painting ladies... and their pre-installation painting projects (see picture at end of post and look in the sliding door reflection.)

And, yes, the outdoor radio was turned on at 7:00 a.m.

At noon, the folks at the City of Manteca's one-stop permit shop were most helpful. When the three questions above were put to them, the answer to the first inquiry was, "Yes, a permit is needed." Turning to a nearby terminal, the city's computer system was consulted to answer whether one had been issued (question #2.)

Voila! There IS a permit!

{Knock me over with a feather! ... confusion reigns supreme... my mind casts wildly about for a lifeline... I forget how to breathe... the universe has just been turned inside out... and upside down!... 'Is NOTHING as it seems, anymore?'}

A croaking "Hail, Mary" is ventured... "Is it an owner's permit or a contractor's permit?"

The reply set the vast cosmos spinning aright once again - and prevented my untimely death by suffocation on city property - but it presented a new puzzlement (which is the normal course of earth's rotation in regards to the Barefoot Dirty Girls.) "It is a contractor's permit. On 5/14/2010, Sears pulled a permit to install vinyl siding on the house."

'Wait... hold on... I'm processing this new information...' In logical progression, that left all three original questions unanswered, and added a fourth. 'WTF are they doing behind the house? It has nothing to do with Sears siding.'

Who do you call when you have ghosts? Ghostbusters! The picture of the missing porch - and newly installed concrete forms - was graciously given to the permit technician, who said it would be forwarded to Greg Baird in Code Enforcement, which officer would visit the site, cite the scofflaws, and "encourage" compliance to Building Safety codes. Such action could also extend to anyone (licensed or unlicensed contractors) assisting in the violation.

Everyone I've spoken with has assured me that Greg Baird is top flight... the cat's meow... a code enforcement officer extraordinaire. I, however, have never gotten a believable answer out of him yet (but some thigh-slapping humor! (see end of post) I'll give him one more chance - with freshly taken and printed pictures - no more than a day old. (No ancient history here, Greg.)

If he hurries, he can still imprint his hands and write his name in the wet concrete.
Oops,... News Splash! He may be too late all ready...

... and I'm still breathing air.



The Manteca Response said...

Do you think they were burying their old business in the concrete so there is no evidence of it come trial time? All or part? Just what in the heck were they burying in there if this is the case?

noisemaker said...

So far the defendants have produced NO records in the civil lawsuit, except a copy of their homeowners insurance policy, produced by their insurance-company-paid attorney.

Your questions are answered by mine: Business records in the selling-slop-on-wheels-for-cash industry? Please, desist. You give them way too much credit toward being accountable citizens.