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Re: “Richmond Mayor Calls Out Legendary Punk House Burnt Ramen As City's 'Own Ghost Ship,' Residents Fear Eviction

You really don't want to look squarely at my main point and address it or argue with it, do you?

Housing costs aren't at the root of homelessness but mental illness and substance abuse are. And the homeless go where they will. If you go up to 100 percent of the homeless in Oakland and ask them why they are in Oakland, you won't have 100 percent of them say, "Well, because I used to have a home in Oakland but...damn...housing costs went up. Now I stick around here out of sheer habit, I guess."

Homeless congregate near easy scores. Shelters. Soup kitchens. Places to sleep where they won't get rousted. But most of all...liberal types who hand them money to buy drugs and booze. They talj to each other and trade tips...

New Orleans... best drink specials and people buy you drinks.

Seattle...so many soup kitchens. Work on a boat a few months then you can coast 9 months out of the year.

Minneapolis...won't check to see if you are collecting food stamps at the same time in Illinois.

Oakland...make up any crazy story and they BELIEVE you. Not a military vet to be found anywhere so when you claim to be a vet nobody has a clue how to check.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/15/2016 at 7:50 PM
Posted by Garrett Alan on 12/15/2016 at 7:07 PM

Re: “Low-Income Residents Thrive at 'Homefulness,' An East Oakland Affordable-Housing Hub That Does Things a Bit Differently

This is a great story. So good to hear that people are finding solutions that work and making them happen.

Posted by Sebra Leaves on 12/15/2016 at 3:10 PM

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

Eroster: It seems this news source isn't interested in following up on such info, on the residents or lease-holders. Just the owners and city officials. As they said quite clearly: "This is how the Express will appropriate its investigative and news-gathering resources: by going after those with power."


Eroster: Yes. Yes. Yes, your diatribes and wild accusations are exactly that, because they are not backed by solid evidence. They distract from the hard facts that incriminate Mr Almena. Accusations backed by evidence vs accusations backed by wild guesses. Both may be true.

Posted by Amelie Love on 12/15/2016 at 3:07 PM

Re: “East Bay Hills Tree Removal Plan Still Sparking Debate

No doubt that Eucalyptus trees are things that need to be strategically maintained. But there are ways to do it - ethically and cost-effectively - as you can see in the tree services provided by teams like Oregon Woodsmen in Salem, Oregon - http://oregonwoodsmen.com/

Posted by Kelly McGrath on 12/15/2016 at 1:44 PM

Re: “Oakland Tenants Say Eviction Notices on Rise After Ghost Ship, Call on City Hall For Moratorium

How do you believe rental law applies here?

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/15/2016 at 1:06 PM

Re: “Oakland Tenants Say Eviction Notices on Rise After Ghost Ship, Call on City Hall For Moratorium

@Tony- Rental law is applied to tenants regardless of the legal state of their unit- that's the primary message from me on the Berkeley Rent Board & James from the Oakland Tenants Union.

Posted by Jesse Luscious on 12/15/2016 at 10:20 AM

Re: “Former AK Press Warehouse Sold to 'Tech Co-Op' Developer Who Demolished 1919 Market

I recall well going to excellent cultural events at the AK warehouse. That seems like a long time ago. It was certainly a different Oakland.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 12/15/2016 at 7:56 AM

Re: “Richmond Mayor Calls Out Legendary Punk House Burnt Ramen As City's 'Own Ghost Ship,' Residents Fear Eviction

Charles I'm sure you are known far and wide for your insight, intelligence, and compassion. You are spot on about Seattle. The weather is great for the homeless, free showers 300 days a year! Also, I hope you have great luck removing your head from your ass.

Posted by Neighbor 668 on 12/14/2016 at 9:38 PM

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

Let's get rid of this ineffectual, unqualified fire chief already. Surely we can afford to fully staff the fire department/fire marshall's office if we are throwing money at a sports team? Where are people's priorities? I'm inclined to agree with the commenter who said we need to return to the strong city manager/weak mayor form of government, because no Oakland mayor since Jerry Brown has been any good. SOMEONE needs to clean up the corruption and put the money where it will do the most good, and that someone is not likely to be a politician.

Posted by Jan Van Dusen on 12/14/2016 at 8:57 PM

Re: “Oakland Tenants Say Eviction Notices on Rise After Ghost Ship, Call on City Hall For Moratorium

Guess what...I found the applicable law. The California Tort Claims Act SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDES claims arising from a city's failure to inspect a building SO LONG AS the city doesn't itself own the building.

Sorry, but nobody can sue the city here with a ten-foot pole.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/14/2016 at 8:53 PM

Re: “Oakland Tenants Say Eviction Notices on Rise After Ghost Ship, Call on City Hall For Moratorium

People on various thteads keep asserting the city could be sued for this, the city could be sued for that.

No. Cities are subdivisions of the state. There is soveriegn immunity, statutory caps on damages...i will try to get some details and comment more later. Literally pulled my car over to comment.

Show me an instance in California where some city inspector got sued for not inspecting hard enough. This is a CITY not McDonalds.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/14/2016 at 4:48 PM

Re: “Oakland Tenants Say Eviction Notices on Rise After Ghost Ship, Call on City Hall For Moratorium

I believe the main contention of this article to be in error. If a building is inspected and found to by unsafe for occupancy, no one will be allowed to live there until and unless the safety violations are corrected. If this policy were NOT enforced, the city would be directly liable to be sued for negligence, should another such tragedy occur.

Posted by Tony Marcus on 12/14/2016 at 1:47 PM

Re: “Oakland Tenants Say Eviction Notices on Rise After Ghost Ship, Call on City Hall For Moratorium

does this tenant protection actually apply if the property was rented for commercial use and the lease specified no residential use was permitted? My pessimistic nature is skeptical.

Posted by Sarah Lockhart on 12/14/2016 at 1:25 PM

Re: “Oakland Tenants Say Eviction Notices on Rise After Ghost Ship, Call on City Hall For Moratorium

43K tax value is NOT market value. I think everyone knows a 3 bedroom home in Oakland is FAR more than 43K... And that warehouse is/was MUCH larger. disingenuous at best. A quick craigslist search shows a 1522 sq feet sublease at $2300/mo. 4000 sq ft leasing at 168k/year in jack london square.

43k? really?

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 12/14/2016 at 1:08 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of December 14, 2016

I asked Schaaf via FB, if she raised the issue of racist mascots with any NFL owners. No response. I concur, she is a liar and hires worse: Peggy Moore.
Where does the buck stop? (from one who spent 12 years in iffy warehouse spaces in Berkeley and Emeryville for my band. The buck did not stop with Jerry Brown-Ron Dellums and hopefully one-termer Schaaf. Anyone remember when Brown deigned to attend a Council meeting to vote against a 10% low income set aside in buildings seeking height or other zoning variances? At the time, Emeryville and Berkeley had 20% low income set asides. A reason I can afford to live in Arreguin country. We have taken Berkeley back from Bates and his billionaire developer friends. I guess that $$ goes to Skinner and Schaaf now>
Libby Schaaf: Fire the lying, violent, opportunist Peggy Moore before she incorporates you into her game. John Iversen

looks like a great Xpress issue!

Posted by John Tango Iversen on 12/14/2016 at 1:06 PM

Re: “Oakland Tenants Say Eviction Notices on Rise After Ghost Ship, Call on City Hall For Moratorium

Your estimate on those warehouses is WAY HIGH. The one that burned had an assessed value of a mere 43k and it looks like one of the bigger and more valuable buildings.

Assume 100,000 per building times ten. A mere 1 million to divide 36 ways!!! Not including a coupke of injured people.

Your numbers or mine may be off. We need sone actual figures to make this discussion more productive. But I assert 5 million per building is way way high.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/14/2016 at 8:38 AM

Re: “Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf on President Trump: 'Move Beyond Anger to Action'

The mayor says. "Oaklanders can rest assured that our government will continue to protect all its residents and defend our progressive values." She needs a good long look in the mirror. Scores died in an unsafe warehouse turned into apartments and artists' center, just 500 feet from a firehouse. Why and how? Basic municipal duties for safe building codes was not a priority while clamoring to be among world leaders on climate change. Abject failure in governing.

Posted by Willard Helander on 12/14/2016 at 8:17 AM

Re: “Oakland Tenants Say Eviction Notices on Rise After Ghost Ship, Call on City Hall For Moratorium

let's assume a market value of 5 million per warehouse, open market value, crappy or not. Not an unreasonable figure.

We can now postulate 50 million. Lawyers get paid FIRST, not after the plaintiff. Doesn't leave "much" for the families. No, it doesn't, less than a million per. But lawyers don't really care.

As to protected by the corporate veil, no problem. The corporation get's sued, not Mr Ng. Value is still vested in the corporation and the property still goes. Separate corporation per building is stupid. It increases tax liabilities to the state and city.

But this isn't a discussion about one particular property holder, it's the general concept that one who owns one or more properties can be held liable for the actions of the lessee and unless s/he is a complete idiot had better make sure it's being run correctly in the light of what happened at ghost ship. Same as if you loan you car to someone. You can and WILL be held liable if they do something stupid with your car and they have no assets. This is why you have insurance. Of course, if you didn't assure they had insurance your insurance run's for the hills leaving you naked.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 12/14/2016 at 4:23 AM

Re: “Oakland Tenants Say Eviction Notices on Rise After Ghost Ship, Call on City Hall For Moratorium

The property owner--Chor Ng--owns about 10 buildings. Ok, let's assume those assets are vulnerable to lawsuit...not parceled into separate corporations behind unpiercable corporate veils. Let's assume.

Take the value of 10 somewhat crappy buildings divided among 36 victims minus 30 or 40 percent to the lawyers.

Guess what? It isn't much money. A lawyer might even hesitate to take the case, wondering if he will actually get paid. One need hardly add...but I will...many of the victims had little earning capacity so that reduces damages for the loss of life...though that is more than offset by enormous pain and suffering so it's a wash.

The pressing question that could change this equation of NOT ENOUGH VALUE IN CHOR NG'S ASSETS...

What insurance policies, if any, covered those buildings?

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/13/2016 at 10:59 PM

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