Oakland, Berkeley, And East Bay News, Events, Restaurants, Music, & Arts
I live on the East Coast in SC, I loved Green Day in my teens. I feel like there is an amazing culture of artists that I know nothing about. I am not artistically inclined, but I enjoy the products of those that are. I am the mother of a 20 year old son and a 17 year old daughter. I do not condone drugs, or rule breaking... but I have to say Wow! I wish there were a place for these guys to go.
I have been following this with a heavy heart since seeing the headline a few days ago. Perhaps, Oakland can come together, in order to preserve such a unique culture of individuals. I can't say that I understand how these guys live, but a small part of me wishes that I could!
These individuals seem like a family of their own. How wonderful to be accepted just because you are human, so sad that this resorted in catastrophe. Now as the "grown up" side of me comes back.... I think what was an older man at 47 thinking??? I know that the blame is not at just his feet and likely more complex than I can understand just by reading about this. But seriously... once you begin having your own children to support there does come a time when your life is more about watching your own children grow instead of forever throwing caution to the wind???
I wish peace to all that has been affected. Know that there are so many of us that truly appreciate talented people. I also believe that artistically inclined individuals need places for gatherings with other like minded people. I think that is the real question here... what is going to be done to help this community of young talented people? Forget drugs, raves, and everything else that I really can't speak about from here in small town America.. but I love the idea that there is a broader picture and I want my life to be enriched by the talents of others. I am a Medical Assistant in school for nursing, I can help others but if I had to sing or entertain the world would not be a better place. Good luck, Oakland! And all that you stand for
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I am going to keep bringing this issue up...were Derick and his wife getting food stamps while claiming to be broke....while growig pot and flying to Bali on vacations? Collecting rent....partying....putting nothing into fixes but sleeping on gigantic hand-carved beds from Bali?
I bet Derick gets SSI for his obvious bipolar hoarder condition....claims he can't work and then he is the little rent collecting diety if this "scene." If there is welfare fraud in addition to manslaughter...let it all cime to light, the sloth and hedonism all funded by taxpayers.
How were the kids stayig at a hotel before the fire? I bet Child Protective Services or Section 8 was paying for the hotel.
If the comments by "dream" above here get removed, let the record note...he is advertising cannibis products for sale on a thread about people who were probably high and died in a fire...and now the city does't want anybody looking at the records.
Did anybody else see LITS AND LOTS OF NERVOUS BLINKING by the police chief before she took the mike at the very first news coference about this matter?
What does she know the police knew?
There needs to be a bum Enforcement agency all to itself to clean the scum off the streets and more evictions and repairs to dilapidated shithole properties and individuals in order to make way for more vibrant and productive citizens to move in to this champion city. We can Give the grime there own little part of town and move the st Vincent down there next to it, and the recycling yard as well, give them a place to be so!what sane and clean up there own shit. Agencies like police fire department housing parks and rec sanitation and others need to start to collaborate and make solutions for the taxpayers. We aren't paying them To go through to motions. Developers and likes in the public sector can start to meet with officials and form there own public agencies to make Oakland great again. Meanwhile artist who can't afford to live here can always look elsewhere. You have no right to claim residence somewhere because that's where your most comfortable. Get lost!
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Meanwhile, the managers--Derick Ion Almena and his wife--were at a hotel that night. Almost like they KNEW it wasn't safe or, more likely, there was some kind of child protective services order in place saying don't have your kids there during a party?
Somebody needs to start leaking stuff to Wikileaks.
You just have to wonder what kind of emails might have gone back and forth...like, oh, there's this situation we heard about from Child Protective Services, and they're saying it's a fire hazard...OK, well, we haven't heard about it "officially" and you know how hard it is for artists to find SAFE SPACES to do their art...can we try to WORK WITH THEM? Another email, saying they've refused to let the building inspector inside, a reply...well, we can't really trample on their rights or invade their SAFE SPACE, let's send them a letter and ask to be allowed inside in a month, and maybe they'll do some fixes in the meantime...yeah, you really need to wonder what's in those "public" records that implicates all kinds of people and how high up those people are.
Nope. They're NOT wrong. It is really just a matter of finding all the rat holes and telling the rats they can't live like rats anymore.
Did these city workers have the power to do their jobs? Or was there an unofficial "look the other way" policy and any city official who tried to do his job was going to run into the political correctness police who didn't want a crackdown on artists? It sounds like if an inspector isn't allowed inside, the inspector just goes away. Clearly, somebody is holding the leash on that inspector at a much higher level.
I don't think you can criminally sue the city and the inspectors. There is a form of legal immunity here for the state, of which a city is a subdivision of the state. It's the landlord who has the deepest pocket and is really going to pay the most when the lawsuits hit.
It's very relevant Derick Ion Almena was on probation. How is it relevant? Let me break it down and make it plain. It's relevant because he's a scofflaw. Because he's an irresponsible person. Because he's a ne'er-do-well and yet he was somehow in charge of this space and therefore the lives of everybody in this space. That's how it's relevant. It shouldn't have to be explained but the "don't judge" crowd has a tendency to be deliberately obtuse. If the guy had a long history of playing with matches, that same crowd would be asking, "How is this relevant?"
Here's another relevant question. Were Derick and his wife getting public assistance? Were the taxpayers paying for those kids to be at the hotel as part of child protection services, right BEFORE the fire? Was he collecting food stamps while partying in Bali? Was he getting SSI for a rather obvious bipolar condition?
Were the taxpayers paying to house those children at a hotel right before the fire? What other public assistance was the couple receiving while partying in Bali and collecting rent without making desperately needed fixes for the sake of safety? Were they getting food stamps? SSI? In addition to manslaughter counts, perhaps some charges are in order for public assistance fraud.
Questioning Claudia Cappio's integrity is your prerogative but if you look closer you'll see a good and honorable person. She's a pragmatist in the end. When she sees the inevitable approach and it has negatives to it she looks for the best ways to minimize them. She understands constructive compromise but would never compromise principles. As for her small investment portfolio, if you understand stocks you know there are about zero clean stocks; somewhere one is connected to the next. I bet if we looked at most stock portfolios, including those of Cappio's critics, we'd find similar scenarios. Don't try to malign a good public servant in a try to score cheap points. I, too, am certain we shouldn't be mining or shipping coal ANYWHERE, but due process, crossing the t's and dotting the i's, has to be followed.
It is sad to see such scurrilous and needlessly caustic responses to this article which was to all intents and purposes a non-starter. So he is on probation. How does that pertain to this tragedy? So he is staying in a Hotel. His house just burned down, he has to stay somewhere with his family. I don't know him and I do think he has some responsibility for this very unfortunate situation. At the same time he is a victim too and deserves to be given some space at this point for that reason alone. Beyond this, the fact that local politicians are using this as grist for the mill in their attempts to position themselves for future advancement represents the worst kind of opportunism. The Bay area is a very difficult place for artists and musicians these days. If it wasn't for their creative abilities and their application thereof to the problem of housing and so on we would see their exodus. Their contribution (generally poorly compensated) constitutes one of the primary reasons that the Bay area has the elevated and progressive culture that we all enjoy as residents. The inevitable over-reaction to this tragedy from a crackdown standpoint is unfortunate and represents a loss of macro perspective overall. Warehouses are the traditional home of counter-culture in the East Bay. I have been to hundreds of events in similar spaces. There must a hundred events like this going on every weekend in Oakland alone. Scale this across the Country and the probability that a tragedy like this is going to unfold is inevitable. It is a numbers game. I lost a couple of friends in this fire for the record. I see the need for a practical approach to implementing safety measures in such instances. It is important to recognizing that people are living in warehouses, legal or not. If this is the case let's make the owners of such spaces responsible for at least the minimal improvements necessary to make a big difference. Things like sprinklers and fire escapes do not constitute a massive expense. But a hardcore crackdown on semi-residential warehouses across the board would be an additional blow to the artistic community which is already reeling from the loss at hand.
The Mayor and the head of Code Enforcement need to step down and be criminally sued themselves. All of the above reported points to a City out of control for years. The reporting is unfortunately necessary - 36 people were killed in the most horrific way - a full picture needs to be painted pixel by pixel of why they died and who is responsible, or it will keep happening. The mayor, FD, PD, CE all knew these dangerous underground artist complexes were rampant, and needed to have addressed the problem as community leaders. They obviously can't find their way out of a paper bag, much less come up with win-win solutions.
Every time that insult for a Mayor people gets on the news, she's just digging a deeper hole for herself and Oakland - she needs to step down now and get someone who actually can get things done to take her place. She's an insult to those who lost their lives there. As for the First Responders, speaking as an ex FR, yes it's difficult, but get used to it because there will be lots more horror shows since your Mayor is so incompetent. Also, remember this, what the victims went through is far worse than what you went through recovering them, you chose this very job, are well compensated for it, receive taxpayer help to over come any fire-related psych difficulties - so the story should not be about you, real FR's stop the press making the story about them when it's about those guests on the second floor who were invited there even from Facebook. Think about that.
PS Many victims in the 2003 Station fire had more clout than the poor victims in Oakland, so the lawsuits flew, most victims and families were properly compensated, if there can ever be such a thing. Now, watch this "mayor" try to stop any such activity from helping this Oakland horror show, one for which the owners etc. are surely responsible, but so is the City, for 30 years they let this fester - and Schaaf thinks she can shaft the victims, making Oakland above the legal lawsuit process, because the vics are poor, transgender, counter-culture, and so obviously in her opinion aren't people, aren't humans, deserving of proper compensation. And this in "California" no less. Oakland needs to be properly sued for criminal negligence, along with the owners etc. etc. etc.
Oakland Code Enforcement, their uniformed services, all the way up to that "Mayor" failed to heed the lessons - taught worldwide - of the Station fire, RI 2003, you can hear the horrific screams of those victims, memorialized 4ever on Youtube, and know exactly what those poor Oakland victims went through. In Station, everyone was sued, and fairly quickly and agreeably paid the victims, but this "Mayor" has deemed herself above this sort of legal & civic responsibility to the poorest of her citizens, the most promising artistically. What a hypocrite. She and the head of her Code Enforcement can circle the criminal legal wagons, but they're all gonna get bitterly fought civic lawsuits up the wazoo. Schaaf said "Need to get more regulations", the regs are already there lady. You're just not doing your job, and the buck stops with you.
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