Railway Preservation News

A minor Riffin Postscript
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Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:32 am ]
Post subject:  A minor Riffin Postscript

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryla ... 5591.story

Edited-down quote:
About 50 people showed up early Sunday to witness demolition of an already collapsing distillery warehouse in Cockeysville — the first step in a plan Baltimore County officials say will help mitigate flooding in the area and, they hope, encourage property owners to stay.

The area at the corner of Beaver Run Lane and York Road in Cockeysville has been hit hard by flooding in the last two years. The area flooded twice in the summer of 2011— once in July when lumber from a nearby plant clogged a pipe, and again in September when the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee caused flash flooding all over Baltimore County.

The area also flooded during Superstorm Sandy in October 2012. But by that point, efforts to secure Federal Emergency Management Agency funds were already under way. Huff said he had approached the county's Department of Public Works after the July 2011 flooding to ask for a solution.

In January, Baltimore County secured a $3.42 million FEMA grant to be used to buy the six affected properties in the flood plain with $453,663 going to the purchase of the warehouse property. A private or county match of 25 percent or $1.14 million to supplement the demolitions is required for the grant, a cost county officials said in January would be passed on to the property owners.

The whiskey warehouse, which had a wall collapse last fall during Superstorm Sandy, was purchased by Baltimore County late last month.

Sunday's demolition was just a small part of the mitigation process at the site, officials said. The area behind the warehouse is littered with debris, and the building's previous owner filled the area in with topsoil to make the ground less porous.

After past floods, local business owners have blamed the man-made embankment and rusted-out heavy machinery behind the distillery along Beaver Dam Run as a contributor to the excessive flooding.

For those with long memories, this warehouse, and the ground-filling described, was the "base of operations" of the esteemed James Riffin. The ground-filling, and the resultant legal battles, were the apparent inspiration for him to seek a railroad or railroad status. The "rusted-out heavy machinery" described was the former RR equipment, bridge girders, etc. that had been stored there until sheriff's auction. There appears to be some difference of opinion as to whether Riffin was the owner of the property or merely a tenant. But now we see at least the "government's" angle about Riffin's property grading and the damage it allegedly caused--it wasn't just being ham-handed about where he could run a bulldozer.

(Side note: I myself heard from many parties that desperately wanted the heavy wooden timbers seen in the photos. I wonder if those survived to be salvaged.)

Author:  Ed Kapuscinski [ Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A minor Riffin Postscript

It's a shame, that was an awesome building.

Any idea what escapades that character been up to lately? I haven't heard his name recently.

(But I know you have to be careful, say his name three times and he appears like Beetlejuice.)

Author:  Trainlawyer [ Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A minor Riffin Postscript

Brother Mitchell has already uttered the profane words so any divine intervention ending their non-appearance rests squarely upon his shoulders and he will be responsible for the next round of suitable adult beverages in an undisclosed location

I have noticed that neither the Bankrupt of Baltimore (AKA the Conman of Cockeysville) nor his trusty sidekick, the Simpleton of Somerset have shown up recently even though there have been a handful of new cases which seem tailor-made for their style of jurisimprudence.

There was recently a discussion I was privy to where a sister barrister (She does not normally practice before the STB and a railfan friend 'had heard of somebody (name withheld - you have one guess) who might want to do freight service' on a particular line) actually suggested that arranging for an OFA to appear might sufficiently muddy things that her client would prevail. Fortunately she was convinced that Western Civilization was not at stake and that Churchill's 'If Hitler were to march into Hell...' doctrine did not need to be invoked.


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