Organ Players

Letters from the week of April 3, 2003

Karl J. LeFevre


Pin number: "Hombres in Tights" was a great story (La Calle, Silvana Salcido Esparza, March 27). I can so relate to what you are saying. My Tata Joe, God rest his soul, would always have the tele on when Mil Mascaras was on. Even the comedian George Lopez knows about Mil Mascaras. Great story!

Name withheld by request

Building Trade

Code word: I am an architect who is concerned for the future safety of the residents of Phoenix. Currently, the Phoenix City Council is considering a plan to update the building codes that guide the safe construction of buildings throughout Phoenix ("Code Squawkers," Amy Silverman, March 6). However, the city is not considering all available code options. This is being done under the guise of "openness" and an illegal definition of "consensus code" as advocated by the supporters of this new code that stand to gain financially from the proposed code's adoption.

The city has hastily opted only to consider the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA 5000) code and cast aside the International Building Code (IBC), which is used by countless cities across the United States and many other parts of Arizona. Instead of exploring the merits of both codes, the city is pushing the NFPA 5000 code and actively opposing the consideration of the IBC code. It's the most restricted "open" process I have ever seen.

The main advocate for this adoption are a city council member who has ties to the plumbers union and a former Phoenix building official who now heads, according to NFPA, the only third party training organization for the NFPA 5000 in this area.

The American Institute of Architects stated in a report in October 2002, "Despite efforts by AIA leadership to bring NFPA and ICC back to the table to resolve their problems and to achieve the goal of one code,' NFPA has remained entrenched in its position to not discuss moving toward such a goal. With no better measuring stick to use to understand the rationale for such a position, AIA concluded in 1999, and continues to believe, that such a position is solely based on economic self interest." Our experience in Phoenix would support that conclusion.

If we are going to make a change, it needs to be well thought out and implemented over time. We must explore both codes fairly and debate the merits of each. A costly and important decision like this should be made in an open and honest environment.

Dan Demland

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