Friday, September 30, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
There's been some garbage lying around again behind 435 Cumberland ave, and the bags have been ripped open and garbage spread around. The wind blew it all over, down the lane, and onto our property. I was rudely surprised this morning when I headed out to work by all the garbage that was blown over, and I got really ticked off by it. It also really ticks me off that, whenever Murdoch has a problem and they don't have the ability to take care of it, it becomes our problem, and we have to take care of it! We can't even count how often we've had to pick up garbage belonging to 435 Cumberland. Still, after three years, Murdoch is trying to fix these problems without adjusting their budget, without spending money, and without going to too much effort. In other words, nothing has happened, nothing has changed. Except that they removed the cat litter that had been keeping the drunks away. What a winning move that was.
Turns out my lovely wonderful ambitious wife went out early this morning and started cleaning up garbage before I was able to stop her. Here are pictures of what's left:
Well it's been quieter lately behind 435 Cumberland ave, less people drinking, better garbage control. There was another violent guy who tried to kick his way into our building, but he didn't break anything, just left some footprints on the door, so it wasn't as big of a deal as last time. There's been some scary african gang-type people back there making noise at 2am, we leave them alone.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
This has been an incredibly rare sight. Ever since the kitty litter was put down on the pad, there has been almost no one drinking here. It's been wonderful! Only twice have I ever seen anybody sitting on the stuff. And the acousta-seal on the fence (the black goopy stuff you see on the brown fence boards) seems to be doing wonders as well. We're really happy with how things have been quieter lately. There are still people who will stand around and drink back there, but not as many, and they don't stay around as long.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Friday, July 1, 2011
P.S. I created an email address for myself here, just because I can. It is firstname.lastname@example.org, please feel free to drop me a line, send me anything you want.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Here is a guy who came to drink between City Oasis and our building last night. I took one picture of him and he immediately approached me with verbal threats, so I quickly went back in our west entrance. He started hitting our door with something, I saw some marks on the door the next day. He also broke one of the glass windows at our west entrance, and took a piece of rock and some acousta-seal and put it on one of the cars in our parking lot. This car has also been damaged earlier this year by people drinking on the pad, throwing stuff on our property and at this car. Here is the guy who caused the damage last night:
I don't have pictures of him drinking, but we did find his King Can after he left.
Here is the window he broke:
Here is the car that he vandalised:
So we are continuing to document this stuff to bring to my lawyer. The last time I talked to him about this, he said nothing can really be done until some damage has been done to our property, then it's legally considered a nuisance. And that milestone has now been reached.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
In our reports that we have filed with various agencies, we noted how our other neighbours, 411 Cumberland, were extremely co-operative. When I asked the management at 411 about meeting with them about graffiti, they cleaned up the graffiti immediately before we could even meet! And they didn't use the free options either, they actually paid somebody to do it.
So the purpose of this website is to continue to document the problems at 435 Cumberland Ave, and to have it posted in a place that is accessible to our tenants here at 427 Cumberland Ave, so that our tenants know that we are actually trying hard to deal with these problems, and we are not just ignoring them. I have also been able to show this website to various agencies whose services I have enlisted in trying to deal with these problems, most notably, the Winnipeg Police, the City of Winnipeg Community Bylaw Enforcement, and the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission.
There seems to be better response now from Murdoch Management about garbage cleanup. This can be directly attributed to the City of Winnipeg Community Bylaw Enforcement Services getting on Murdoch's case and telling them to either clean up their own garbage, or the City will clean it up for them, and bill them for the trouble. I talked to the police lately, and they said they can do the same thing with the weeds between our building that are encroaching onto our property (427 Cumberland Ave). But there has been absolutely no movement regarding the drinking between our buildings. I continue to take pictures every single day.
Thanks very much to Chris for helping us work with the City of Winnipeg!
Friday, June 3, 2011
Pics of guys who were upset with their pictures being taken. They are regulars here. The police advised that Community Bylaw Enforcement is also able to come and cut down the weeds on the east side of their building, and send the bill to Murdoch Management, so we'll be checking out that avenue now as well. I'm starting to get upset at the fact that I am spending so much time taking pictures, sorting them, and documenting these problems. Janine is not happy about the amount of time we've wasted doing this stuff as well.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
We have pictures as well, but they are very standard and no more remarkable than usual, so I am not putting them up.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
These people were intimidating because they told the biggest member of their group to go take my camera away from me, so he came over to near me and started shaking my gate that was standing between him and I. Usually these people don't bother me at all, but this group was intimidating. Also, we observed two different groups of girls coming to this exact same spot to drink alcohol. We have too many pictures, we can't post all of them here. I'll just post the video that I took this evening here:
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
These particular individuals were actually first spotted smoking pot, but by the time I got there with my camera, they were into their King Can. As soon as they spotted my camera, the first guy ducked down and hid behind his buddy. The other two were less interested in hiding. But they all left fairly quickly.
Also, see video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9sGt1NS8iY
Monday, April 11, 2011
I made a youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/marble6rjb
Unfortunately that is the only area where they cleaned up. Their garbage is still blowing down the back alley from their over-filled dumpster. Some of it is visible in this picture, some is not.
There is a bag of garbage that has been sitting at the east side of 435 Cumberland Ave building for several weeks. It has changed locations slightly, but it still sits there with nobody to take care of it.
A couple weeks ago, a large truck full of furniture pulled up to the building. Someone was moving, and a table was broken during their move. After moving was complete, somebody left the broken table on the sidewalk for at least a week, beside the main entrance to the building. After a while, the broken table top was removed, but the legs were still left here on the ground. You can currently see them moved aside, but still here on the sidewalk, unattended to. Ben, the manager from Murdoch, was actually on site with someone else who was doing the garbage cleanup. At 8:30am, I specifically observed them making their way to the dumpster, walking right by the broken table legs, leaving them on the ground. This is very discouraging to us, when we see them put in minimal effort like this.
There continues to be garbage spread throughout the thoroughfare on the east side of their building, that was thrown there by people walking through, and blown around by the wind. We go out approximately three times each week to pick up this garbage that ends up on our property. Murdoch does not have anyone who picks up garbage on their property ever, unless ordered to. This is why we are upset at their lack of management of their property. They have told us repeatedly that it is not in the budget. We don't understand this notion that property maintenance and garbage pickup is optional. Garbage pickup and property maintenance is as required as paying the hydro bill, in our understanding.
And finally, our first pad visitors were here today, complete with flashing gang signs at me, which I unfortunately missed taking a picture of. We also saw increased graffiti on our fence... only on the 435 Cumberland/thoroughfare side... nobody ever writes on our side of our fence. I won't go over this issue here though, because we have spoken about this issue in depth in our most recent submitted report.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
The garbage bags were cleaned up last time, but the filthiest, nastiest stuff is still lying around.
Monday, March 28, 2011
The property again started to accumulate articles of clothing and garbage that is free-standing on the ground around the dumpster rather than inside the dumpster. In other words, in defiance of the order, the property is not being maintained free of garbage. Murdoch Management is neglecting to adhere to the conditions of the order laid out by CBES. We anticipate their garbage being distributed across our property later this week.
Pictures from the last three days:
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Community By-law Enforcement Services says:
The next steps are issuing a warning letter (as per the Winnipeg Charter) to the property owners/management company stating if this is not completed prior to [a certain date] the city will arrange to have the garbage removed from the property and the costs of the removal added to their tax bill.
Friday, March 4, 2011
We conducted an inspection of the property yesterday and noted garbage accumulating upon the property. An order (due in ten days) will be issued on the property owner and property Management Company to clean up and maintain the yard free of garbage.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Four months have passed since Murdoch stated they were waiting to hear back from the original contractor as to the pad’s original purpose. Is the original purpose of the pad really so important that it eclipses all these problems? Regardless of its original purpose, the pad is not used now, nor has it ever been used for anything except illegal activities. We are good friends with the previous owner of our building and so we know that these issues existed before we moved in to 427 Cumberland.
The issues of the pad and tract of land negatively affect the safety of the property and tenants of both 427 Cumberland Ave. and 435 Cumberland Ave. In the case of the latter, the tenants are immigrants and refugees who do not/cannot communicate on these matters, but we have seen how they negatively affect the tenants (as attested by the pouring out of water from the apartment window). We CAN NOT experience another year of relentless trouble. Spring is just around the corner and that means the beginning of dealing with pad patrons for another seven months before the snow flies again – we are disheartened, as we have no reason to believe that Murdoch has any intention of stepping up to the plate and taking care of their responsibilities. We also have no way of taking care of our own tenants who are lodging complaints with us about these problems.
We had lots of suggestions and willingness to help in the past. This is no longer the case. We withdraw forthwith all offers to help finance, or complete any of the work previously discussed. Murdoch, after nearly two years of discussions, has failed to show any initiative in taking care of these problems. They appear sympathetic to the issues when we present them but the lack of any action, over 20 months of dealings, gives us the impression that our complaints are not serious enough to warrant any real action or resolution. We have spent countless hours of our personal time trying to deal with these problems, and we have received absolutely nothing from Murdoch. Murdoch does not even return our phonecalls.
Murdoch has not done what is in their realm of responsibility to do as a property management company. As a result, we are forced to appeal to the City of Winnipeg to review the evidence of noncompliance in terms of the Neighbourhood Liveability By-Law and to enforce the law as the City sees fit. Thank you for your time and we await your response.
Randy & Janine Braun
Owners/residents 427 Cumberland Avenue
*Get the pad patron’s attention and take photos of them from 427 Cumberland entrance – sometimes this causes them to leave, sometimes they just smile and wave for the camera or just yell at us.
* Call West End and Downtown Biz Patrols to come deal with the patrons (often by the time they arrive the group in question has moved on).
* Approach the patrons in person and advise them that if they want to drink alcohol, to do so elsewhere.
* Go out and do work near the pad (eg. pick up litter in the 427 Cumberland parking lot, pull weeds, or sit in the car); sometimes patrons leave when other people are hanging around nearby.
* When driving up at night and there are people on the pad, lean on the horn until they leave.
* Pour sticky or wet substances on the bench to dissuade patrons from sitting down (gets washed away by the rain).
* Had a “Mosquito” device built (at our own cost) which generates an irritating high pitched sound (but the snow came before we could mount and test it).
* Pull up 435 Cumberland weeds when they start to seed to try to minimize spreading to 427 Cumberland.
* Clean up garbage on the pad/around dumpster especially when prospective guests come to look at the guest suite.) Etc...
* Lindsay suggested putting up a chain link fence on the tract of land and landscaping with thorny bushes. The last the Brauns heard of this (September 11, 2009) was that Murdoch was looking into getting fence building approval from the City of Winnipeg after which they would need to ask Manitoba Housing for funding (because 435 Cumberland has no funds). Murdoch has never followed up with the Brauns on this matter.
* On July 7, 2010 the Brauns started dealing with Ben at Murdoch. On October 7, 2011, the Brauns were informed that Ben had replaced Lindsay at Murdoch and that he was waiting to hear back from the original building contractor to find out for what purpose the pad was initially built before he attempted to do anything to it. As of February 2011, the Brauns are still waiting for followup from Murdoch about this.
The following are some of the solutions we have suggested (with Murdoch’s response included):
* Jack hammer the pad (would cost $600; not approved; not in the budget);
* Jack hammer the bench - Brauns would provide the manpower and equipment if Murdoch covered the $100 equipment rental cost (removing the bench may affect the building in some unsubstantiated way) ;
* Close off the tract of land thoroughfare with a fence on the North & South ends – Brauns to provide finances and/or do the actual work (not possible - door closest to the pad is a fire exit that cannot be closed off to back lane);
* Get BFI to provide a side loading dumpster so that the pad can be used for what it was intended (BFI is phasing out side loading dumpsters over the next five years and so will no longer issue side loading dumpsters);
* Switch to City of Winnipeg garbage service so that a side loading dumpster can be placed on the pad and oversized garbage can be picked up at no charge (we are in a Free Pickup zone). Ironically, the Braun’s side loading City Autobin - which sits right next to the 435 Cumberland BFI bin - is picked up by a BFI side loading truck each week, and the City has confirmed there are definitely no plans to switch to another type of bin (to-date no response from Murdoch).
427 Cumberland property security: The constant presence of people hanging out on the pad who are “under the influence”, poses security risks to 427 Cumberland (as well as 435 Cumberland as attested by all the graffiti that was finally cleaned up in 2010). For example, one summer night in 2010, partiers on the pad smashed a discarded porcelain saucer against one of the cars parked behind 427 Cumberland. In terms of graffiti, 427 Cumberland has had no graffiti of any kind in the last twelve years, except for tagging on the fence between 427 and 435 Cumberland, on the side facing 435 Cumberland. There is also a fence board that has to be repeatedly reaffixed because party-ers dislodge it.
(a) an unreasonably loud, unnecessary or excessive noise or sound;
(b) a noise or sound which unreasonably disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of a reasonable individual of ordinary sensitivity; or
(c) a noise or sound which is so harsh, prolongued, unnatural or unusual in time and place so as to occasion unreasonable discomfort to any individual or so as to detrimentally affect residential properties or places of business. [“nuisance” means any condition, matter, thing or activity, other than a noise or sound regulated by Part 5 (Noise Control), which causes undue annoyance or offence to a reasonable individual of ordinary sensitivity occupying adjacent properties or dwelling units or living in the neighbourhood]
The Brauns have witnessed “pad patrons” (see next page for explanation) yelling, crying, swearing, fighting and carousing at all hours of the day and night thereby disturbing our tenants. One of the tenants from 427 Cumberland has actually seen a tenant from 435 Cumberland open their window (high above the pad) and dump water on the pad patrons in an effort to get them to be quiet and leave.
435 Cumberland has a hall on the main level which is rented out for various functions (Folklorama, events, dances, etc.). There are two doors/fire exits that come directly out of the hall onto the tract of land and which are often open in the summer during these functions. Inevitably during and after such a function there are Styrofoam plates, cups, napkins etc. littered everywhere either by function attendees who ate/smoked outside the fire exits or by garbage bags that were either not properly tied or left on the ground near the dumpster and afterwards opened up by street people. In addition, the dumpster is usually overflowing after these events. The Brauns have, on many occasions, called Murdoch to schedule an extra garbage pick up after a function has resulted in an overflowing dumpster. Apparently function renters are responsible for proper disposal of all their garbage but this is not reinforced by Murdoch. This debris ends up on the adjacent 427 Cumberland property.
[See also section 6]. From the Braun’s regular observance, it seems that the onsite custodian does not feel responsible for any part of the East side of the building as well as the area around the dumpster (except for sporadic cleaning around the dumpster which only began after the Brauns repeatedly brought this concern to Murdoch and only when the Brauns call Murdoch to report that the backlane has gotten out of hand). Garbage spills out onto the back lane on a regular basis. See following page for a pictorial “Two Months-at-a-Glance” behind 435 Cumberland Avenue.
6(2) Garbage must not be allowed to blow or otherwise be carried from a property onto other property, a street or a park.
The tract of land in question is the only thoroughfare on the block between Cumberland Avenue and the back lane and so many people walk through leaving garbage as they go. The wind blows in additional debris which becomes lodged among the weeds lining the land. On the back lane end, furniture is also discarded next to the dumpster on a regular basis, by 435 Cumberland tenants, and will sit for weeks, completely ignored by property management (during which time it is vandalized and the resulting debris strewn about the back lane), until the Brauns call Murdoch to let them know of the problem (even then, reminder calls are required). The onsite custodian does not deal with this ongoing issue.
For example: November 10 – two small pieces of furniture were discarded behind 435 Cumberland. November 16 - Brauns left a message with Ben Hnatiw - the new property manager at Murdoch - about the furniture. A few days later the furniture was still there but had by then been broken up into multiple pieces. November 20 - the broken furniture was still there and a sofabed was added. November 23 - Brauns called Ben about the sofabed, who said he would try to get it cleaned up by the end of the day. November 24 - the furniture was cleaned up. The Brauns have seen some quick responses from Murdoch to their calls about garbage needing to be cleaned up, but the problem is that action only ensues when the Brauns call Murdoch, often needing to call multiple times; the onsite custodian does not take any responsibility for dealing with discarded furniture.
In addition to the usual type of garbage that accumulates, the Brauns have also found human excrement on the tract of land (the defecation place of preference seems to be on the 427 Cumberland property line). If it wasn’t immediately removed by the Brauns, it would continue to accumulate in violation of the By-Law.
General obligation to maintain property
5. Properties must be maintained so that they do not substantially depreciate the value of other land and buildings in the vicinity.
The City has invested a lot of time and resources over the last few years in making amazing improvements to the Central Park area (in terms of safety, aesthetics, patrolling and meeting practical neighbourhood needs) much to the appreciation of the many families and individuals residing in the community. The city block along the north border of Central Park (Cumberland Avenue between Carlton and Gertie) is occupied by three residential buildings: 427 Cumberland (built in 1953), 411 Cumberland (built in 1963), and 435 Cumberland (built in 2005 and managed by Murdoch Management Inc). The two “veterans” on the block maintain their property with regular clean up of debris, weed control/lawn care, maintenance of the dumpster areas, etc. The newest member of the block – 435 Cumberland – has a tract of land running along the East side of their building (spanning from Cumberland Avenue right to the back lane) which is “out of sight and out of mind” to onsite maintenance staff and to Murdoch. It is an ongoing eyesore in a community which has taken great strides to re-establish itself, once again, as a beautiful, inviting, and safe part of Winnipeg.
In the last few years that the Brauns have lived in (and purchased in June 2009) the neighbouring 427 Cumberland property, this tract of land has been completely ignored by the owners/property management company. In fact, when the Brauns first approached Murdoch in July 2009 about their concerns, the manager at the time, Lindsay Stewart, was not even aware that this tract of land existed.
The Brauns approached the site manager at 411 Cumberland to request a meeting to discuss graffiti on their buildings. Before even having the meeting, their board had already approved the cleanup, hired a private contractor, and completed the work. In contrast, the Brauns approached Murdoch about graffiti clean-up, did the leg-work to find a free graffiti-cleanup program, and hand delivered the waiver. Murdoch acknowledged being familiar with such programs, expressed concern over timely follow through, but hesitantly signed the waiver, allowing the graffiti to be cleaned up. West End Biz completed the work immediately and continues to monitor and remove any new tagging.