The Source - November 5, 2013
1:42 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

The Source: Univision Building Comes Down...Kinda | The Lessons Of West, TX

In the first segment:

Early this morning the Westside Preservation Alliance obtained an injunction against developers wanting to destroy an aging downtown TV studio.

After a city board declined to overturn a Historic and Design Review Commission decision, demolition began on the site of the former TV station, KWEX. Greystar Properties has stated their intention to build condominiums on the site. 

Citizens with both the Westside Preservation Alliance and the San Antonio Conservation Society have opposed tearing down the building, arguing it is the site of the first Spanish-language station in the U.S. and deserves special historic status. The building has stood vacant since KWEX, a Univision station, moved to a new home off De Zavala road a few months ago.

Greystar had not returned repeated attempts at contacting them at the time of broadcast and the city's Office of Historic Preservation declined to come on the show to talk about their recommendation.

We speak with representatives of Westside Preservation Alliance as well as San Antonio Conservation Society on what they hope to achieve by stopping the demolition as well as what they have learned from this episode.

In the second segment:

It has been nearly seven months since the explosion at the West Chemical & Fertilizer Company that killed 15 and injured hundreds when tanks filled with ammonium nitrate caught fire. Last month the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the company as a result of the explosion, but what has the state learned from the episode? 

The Dallas Morning News has been investigating the storage and security of businesses with ammonia nitrate on hand. One of their investigative writers, James Drew, joins us to talk about their findings.

From Their Investigation:

■ Sixty-two of 115 facilities registered to handle ammonium nitrate in fiscal 2013 lacked either secure fencing or locked storage areas.

■ The law says an ammonium nitrate storage facility must be “fenced or otherwise enclosed and locked when unattended.” The state chemist says a facility fails inspection if it lacks both secure fencing and locked storage areas, and added that there were no such failures in fiscal 2013.

■ Using that double criteria, The News found two facilities in the state’s records that should have failed inspection in the last fiscal year and 40 over the fiscal 2008-13 period.

■ The agency said it did not tally the number of failed inspections until receiving inquiries from The News and other public record requests. Last week, the agency’s director said it had always kept such a tally.

■ Under the law, the agency does not have the power to issue fines. The law also does not give the agency authority to address other issues, such as whether facilities pose a fire hazard, have security cameras or are too close to schools or homes.

Related Program