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Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

Useful information to pass on to readers, no matter how contradictory, conflicting, self-serving, and chaotic it may be. This isn't yet another straightforward Oakland budget fight, pitting department against department, neighborhood against neighborhood for gaining more city funding and resources, politician jockeying for position against other politicians. This also involves defending reputation that one or one's fellow staffers bore any responsibility for those deaths.

This kind of infighting is often seen in both the public and private sector organizations when leaders are ineffectual, ignorant, inexperienced, or just not capable of gaining the respect of the people under their responsibility.

I think both MS Kaplan and Mr. Patton are correct that mismanagement starts in the Mayors office, extends thru the City Administrator, and is reflected in incompetent, ineffectual department heads and upper management.

An Oakland mayor does not need to personally have the management skills of ex NYC Mayor Bloomberg, but they have to know how to find a City Administrator who does.. And we don't have to go back to the City Manager form of government that we had before Measure X. Few cities of our size or bigger kept the City Manager structure as they grew.

Regardless of why Mayor Schaaf chose Sabrina Landreth as City Administrator, it is time for Landreth to move on and for Schaaf to break the pattern set by Dellums and Quan of selecting unexperienced or inexperienced City Administrators. Find someone with solid line management experience in a much bigger city, either at the top or just below the chain of command. Not a manager or administrator from a tiny city who you hope will grow into the job. We might well have to offer a much longer, sweeter contract than normal to get that City Administrator. We might have to recruit form the non-profit or the for-profit sectors.

We can't afford to keep stumbling on from one departmental disaster to another.

Posted by Len Raphael on 12/10/2016 at 8:39 PM
Posted by Rick Gower on 12/10/2016 at 8:27 PM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

There is a vast group of retired firefrighters who have eperience and training, that could be pqassed on to the now acive members, This cadre of firefighters, engineers, and officers, is wide and deep in experience, and manyu would be happy an proud to come to service for the city to train, educate, and have the history necessary to mainyain an excellent department We have at least three or four members who retired as chiefs of other departments, such as Richmond, South San Francisco, and other major departments in the bay area, who shouold have been considered for the chiefs job in Oakland.
Just contact the retirement office and you will find all the names and places of these dedeicated, highy trained individuals.

Posted by Rick Gower on 12/10/2016 at 8:26 PM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

The fire chief is a retired fire Capt. from San Jose FD. When she interviewed for the position, the panel said she was the worst candidate they had. Were surprised she got the position. The Oakland city manager, was a friend of hers from city of San Jose. She was given the position. She is collecting a retirement and a salary from the City of Oakland. There others in the department, that were more qualified than her. That knew the city and needs of department. I am making a assumption, that they needed someone from the outside to cut costs.

Posted by Bea Burg on 12/10/2016 at 5:06 PM

Re: “Friends Remember Integral Bay Area Artists, Musicians, and Sound Engineers Still Missing after Ghost Ship Fire

Peter Wadsworth--the only one of the 36 victims who also lived there--was described as an "entreprenuer." I guess there is a pretty low standard for this word in the Bay Area...he apparently had nothing but a nascient business idea for cannibis salsa and he was living in this cheap illegal flophouse.

How did this "genius" actually make a living to support his rock and roll lifestyle? Where did his funds come from?

I have read eveything I can find on this tragedy...trying to follow the money...looking for actual fiscal clues to the funding of these rock and roll lifestyles amid blah blah blah "tributes." What is important remains hudden...the money trail that made these unproductive artsy party lifestyles work.

Many of the victims were students...more public money. Loans to make them productive and tax paying citizens. Loans that will never get paid. No federal student loans or grants should ever go for useless majors like "communications." These are disguised arts grants and social welfare. These are student loans that pay for four years of partying.

The people who were DJ's that night...are we supposed to believe those jobs were enough to SUPPORT them?

No. Look for other fund sources such as SSI...food stamps...unemployment insurance...Section 8.

The rent Derick collected...document every penny of where it went.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/10/2016 at 3:59 AM

Re: “Friends Remember Integral Bay Area Artists, Musicians, and Sound Engineers Still Missing after Ghost Ship Fire

Charles seems like a total troll. Seems like he judges these victims without any real knowledge. jumping to all kinds of conclusions. there is a special place for know it all a-holes like him. He has shown who his is.

Posted by Andy Kleiber on 12/09/2016 at 9:38 PM

Re: “Friends Remember Integral Bay Area Artists, Musicians, and Sound Engineers Still Missing after Ghost Ship Fire

Charles, have you read any of the many memorial articles about the victims?A clarinet teacher, a computer science graduate, radio Djs, a choir singing sheriff's deputy's son, a conservation trust worker, a mortuary employee, a Shazam employee, a classical pianist, a community organizer, a sound engineer, a filmmaker, a psychology grad student, school teacher, art therapist, a DJ, , an MIT grad lawyer, and several artists and musicians. I haven't read all of the obits, but i suspect the list of "real jobs" and accomplishments would grow. It's possible to get your point across without maligning the dead.

Posted by jesse jane on 12/09/2016 at 7:37 PM

Re: “If Oakland Cracks Down On Underground Warehouses, It Will Snuff Out The City’s DIY Soul

I can think of jazz musician Louis Armstrong who worked shoveling filthy coal in New Orleans in a cart pulled by a mule...he played clubs on the weekends and at night. He worked. Worked his butt off to support himself and create an opportunity to make music.

Be an artist as much as you like..but why should society support your lazy butt with disability payments you don't deserve....with food stamps to buy steak while working people pay wages to buy pasta?

Plenty of people work responsibily while trying to also be artists. They don't live in illegal spaces full of drugs...they don't lie to get free money from the givernment...they don't collect money to pay for needed fixes and then party in Bali.

Name them. One by one. And explain how they paid for their rock-n-roll lifestyle.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/09/2016 at 6:04 PM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

See recent LA Times article about this fire and eviction issues..one Joy Newhart. Lived in a different illegal artsy warehouse in Bay Area....article says she lives "solely" on $1200 in disability payments monthly...but she is a "video choreographer" or some crap.

How do you afford your rock and roll lifestyle?

List each of the 35 adult victims....and determine that question. Follow the money.

How did they afford their rock and roll lifestyle?

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/09/2016 at 5:09 PM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

It is a wild accusation to suggest Child Protective Services--which had been at the warehouse recently--may have been paying for the hotel room where those children were safe the night of the party?

It is a wild accucation to suggest this fanatically self-centered narcissist Derick Almeda probably took money from whatever source he could? Which could include foood stamps? Unemployment insurance? Certainly the earned income credit with three kids!!!

It is a wild accusation to say Derick and his wife likely weren't officially reporting all their income? When there are people saying they grew pot and partied in Bali? So here i am like...they probably didn't, er, report all their income?

Given the spectacular hoarding and the narcissism....is it wild to suggest Derick is bipolar? And if he is bipolar....he probably tries to get SSI? Get a fat monthly check?

THE FACT THAT THESE ARTSY VICTIMS of their own bad lifestyle choices suck off public assistance to party all day is actually one of the most pressing and nationally relevant aspects of this story...and none of it is wild or off base. This is how it works. This is how you fund artsy bumhood.

This is how you afford a rock-n-roll lifestyle. Taxpayers underwrite all of it. You don't want this topic to get traction...the whole national arts "scene" lives off social welfare intended for people who NEED it but it funds bums who want to party and avoid real work.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/09/2016 at 4:59 PM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

>>The NYT is ... even asking the public to suggest avenues of investigation.
>>I found this when I followed up: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/08/us/the-oakland-fire-delving-into-what-happened-and-why.html

Thanks! I've contacted them.

Eroster: your diatribes and wild accusations distract from the hard facts that incriminate Mr Almena.

Posted by Amelie Love on 12/09/2016 at 4:10 PM

Re: “If Oakland Cracks Down On Underground Warehouses, It Will Snuff Out The City’s DIY Soul

To all the people in these comments so callously disparaging the artists, the dead, the warehouse spaces, the partiers, etc as being immature children scared of the "Real World":

Just because you yourself don't understand the value of local art and art spaces, it doesn't mean it's not meaningful and important.

Think of your favorite musician. They could have started their career in an art-house just like Ghostship or the dozens of others here in the Town, and squares just like you probably mocked them endlessly: "Stop pursuing this childish music stuff and get a real job!" Thank god they didn't listen.

Don't drag us all down to your level of banality. Go back to the suburbs if you want a predictable, "sensible" lifestyle where everyone has a "grown-up" job, a cubicle, a white picket fence, a two-car garage, a nice big TV to watch the football game. You keep working on the GDP, we'll keep making music and art that brings people joy. Both are important.

Posted by Max Chanowitz on 12/09/2016 at 3:29 PM

Re: “If Oakland Cracks Down On Underground Warehouses, It Will Snuff Out The City’s DIY Soul

It is so haaaaard to "survive" and be an artist without stealing water and electricity and getting free food, free Obama phone, free medical care...

Art is not a neccessity. Like FIREMEN are a neccessity. Was a GROWN UP not in charge at the mayor's office? How were they short 92 firemen...short of building inspectors....the building literally didn't appear in the inspection database for fire inspections.

Yet complaints including fire safety complaints were made. Were these complaints buried to protect the precious fringe artists and the "scene?" Even at the level of city officials and inspectors...where were the GROWN UPS??!!

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/09/2016 at 1:40 PM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

People who suck the tit of the system and don't want to work but would rather play and be intoxicated all day at taxpayer expense.... people who lack gratitude and humility and buy expensive foods with food stamps and laugh about how they are getting over...these are the bad examples who make taxpayers think that social welfare programs just fund irresponsible lifestyle choices and they are reluctant to fund these.

Not one voice in these many threads has so far stood up and DENIED my assertion that Derick Almena and his wife probably played the system and collected social welfare...how many of the 35 adults who died were collecting SSI and food stamps and Section 8 and LET US NOT FORGET unemployment insurance benefits.

Ooooh. I am looking so hard for a real job. But first....RAVE PARTY!!!!

How were those three kids at a hotel the night of the fire??? CPS was probably footing the bill. One way or another, taxpayers have been funding these parties and "artists" and bad lifestyle choices since the Lyndon B. Johnson administration.

And the very people in the system whose job it is to be grownups and crack down on stupidity kept looking the other way. Tolerance of bad lifestyle choices and funding those choices permeated the whole system.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/09/2016 at 1:10 PM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

post by Mike Benedict on 12/07/2016 at 1:12 PM -(above) should be the editorial. Well said.

Posted by Tom Gan on 12/09/2016 at 1:06 PM

Re: “NBC Paid for Ghost Ship Operator Derick Almena's Hotel Room During Exclusive Interview

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDBOwPORHGU

Posted by Che' Pressnall on 12/09/2016 at 10:50 AM

Re: “If Oakland Cracks Down On Underground Warehouses, It Will Snuff Out The City’s DIY Soul

Ladies, Gentlemen and all other gender non-identifiers, in the the person of JohnNoMoniker, I give you, what I am now calling the the alt-left.

Every bit a poisonous as the alt-right and it's figure head the new POTUS. Every bit as self centered, name calling and uninterested in solutions.
Swaddled in the the fuzzy language of "safe spaces", "complicated existence", holding these concepts as dear only to themselves, granting none to others.

BTW, forget food stamps, SSI and all the rest of those... Let's talk about those who decry how corrupt society is, scream for it's destruction while drinking clean water from a tap, using electric power from the wall for their Macbooks, iPhones, DJ dance parties and just in general enjoying the benefits of a non-primative, brutish existence free from large meat eating animals that would doubtless enjoy them as a a snack. All the while behaving as if anonymized destruction wrapped in outrage improves things.

disgusting

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 12/09/2016 at 10:09 AM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

"Or the outlier, bad-actor art-scene figureheads youre on watch" -stated right there that the writer is holding people like Almena accountable. did y'all read the article before you flipped a lid?

but a lot of you are missing the underlying point. our society does not promote non-profitable artistic creation, thus resulting in cities' lack of funding and support to those that want to dedicate their lives to artistic endeavors. resulting in places like the ghost ship...that said, if you are going to create a warehouse space, it should be done with more precautionary and safety measures. but i think the writer is saying to attack those in control of the system. those who are not thinking about providing affordable housing for creatives...and not just creatives, either. lack of funding and housing for homeless, veterans, service workers. it starts even beyond the city of oakland. it's a cultural mindset and art is on the back burner to retail development, big $ housing, and other corporate greed. but, for oakland, a city known to be "progressive", it should be a point of emphasis for those running the city to develop housing for all it's people...artists, low paying workers, minorities.

Posted by zinnful on 12/09/2016 at 9:10 AM

Re: “An Open Letter to Our Community, From the Former Residents of the Recently Closed LoBot Gallery in West Oakland

Efforts at Harm Reduction are starting. It's too late to stop the coming round of evictions, but perhaps in the new spaces that will be created in Vallejo, Stockton, Fresno, will be safer: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XtBIjV… which is a longer version of this: http://www.thestranger.com/slog/2016/12/06…

Posted by Ryan R Young on 12/09/2016 at 8:23 AM

Re: “An Open Letter to Our Community, From the Former Residents of the Recently Closed LoBot Gallery in West Oakland

With this much evidence of manslaughter why isn't Derick in jail? The wife, too? He is a flight risk.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/09/2016 at 7:22 AM

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