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

Some of the victims had jobs. But if you analyze each one, and their so-called jobs, you see a pattern where in a number of instances these jobs weren't really, well, adult jobs where you make a living and have a responsible grown up life.

For example, a couple of the victims worked at a campus radio station. Well, that's not a real job. That's like a student job. It's a couple weeks before FINALS all over the country...and these two were at a rave party. Your tax dollars at work for Pell Grants and federally subsidized student loans. I assert my policy tweak again. The government should stop subsidizing "useless college majors" like arts and communications. Only subsidize English majors if they agree to get a teaching certificate so they at least have THAT much to fall back upon. No subsidizing of Spanish majors, ever. We have a sufficient number of people who can speak Spanish.

But back to the victims and how they afforded their rock and roll lifestyle choices.

Let's consider the lawyer. Well, he'd just accepted a job as a lawyer. So he'd probably just gotten ready to take a bar exam in January and there was an assumption he would pass the bar...or he'd taken his bar back in June and he was just now getting a job as a lawyer. In any case, articles say he'd JUST BEEN HIRED at a prestigious law firm.

This guy is actually an economic worse-case scenario. He has just finished with 12 years of free public education, 4 years of undergraduate education, and 3 years of law school and a couple months studying for the bar exam. He was just about to start a real career and start being a productive citizen and begin paying taxes, having a career, etc. This guy likely died with SIX FIGURES of outstanding student loans.

And it gets worse, where the lawyer is concerned, because with his finely-trained legal mind, and all the emphasis in law school on reasoning and prudence and having good judgment, this guy should have turned around inside the front door, thinking, "No prudent person would be at this fire death trap rave party." But there he was.

Lawsuits will come out of this situation, obviously. Responsibility will be parceled out in "joint and several liability." So percentages of responsibility will be assigned. I'm guessing it will go something like this:

The landlord Chor Ng. 40 percent responsible.

Derick Almena and his wife. 40 percent responsible.

Each of the victims: 20 percent responsible for their own deaths.

But there will be two exceptions. The minor who died, God rest his soul, will not have any percentage of responsibility. And this lawyer who died...will have a higher percentage of responsibility for his own death than the other victims. Perhaps as high as 60 percent.

Ultimately it won't matter because the deepest pocket will pay. That's the landlord, Chor, who owns ten buildings. And any insurance company who insured that warehouse. I have yet to see any media asking what is surely the most grown-up and pressing of questions: Was that warehouse insured? What was insured under the policy? How big was the policy? WHO WAS THE INSURER?

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/12/2016 at 6:25 AM

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

The homeless congregate for different reasons but it's not a case of housing prices go up, homeless people increase in that particular area. For example, there are a lot of homeless in Seattle. That is partly because of the nice weather and the fact Seattle is a cool place to live, but Seattle has also had, for quite a while, tolerance for homeless camping out in outdoor camps. (The policy is complicated...sometimes they crack down, other times they allow the camps) Generally, there tends to be a lot of homeless where people are "cool" and naive young people give out change and food. Go to any campus and you will find homeless people congregating near the campus.

Why are there so many homeless in that part of Oakland? Because it's a good place to be homeless. Not because all those homeless were kicked out of housing in Oakland! Homeless congregate where it's a "good place to be homeless."

Lots of homeless in Las Vegas, too. Because panhandling is especially good in Vegas.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/12/2016 at 6:06 AM

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

Posting some days later: seemed like most of the victims had responsible jobs; not one was described as living on ssi. One was a lawyer, another worked at Pandora. Several worked in the music or arts sectors, but did so quite seriously and earned a living. Some of the above comments leapt to conclusions based on no facts or made rash assumptions. For better public discourse we could try to eschew polemics that just seek to legitimate ideas we already hold, without considering the actual events or info in an article.

Posted by Naomi_Schiff on 12/11/2016 at 9:52 PM

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

Charles Eroster If there's no housing crisis, why are East Bay streets becoming filled with the tents of homeless? Funny we never had that until east bay rents went through unprecedented increases. Just because you are housed and comfortable doesn't mean people are just whining, it means you are completely out of touch.

Posted by Adam 1 on 12/11/2016 at 7:16 PM

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

How many kids and young people do you know that went to the Burnt Ramen and died tragically? The number of BR attendees that I know personally who have killed themselves or overdosed is crazy. The BR helps a bunch of people that these cities couldn't give a fuck less about. We needed that place and taking it away won't remove that hunger, it'll just transfer it into some hopeless tearful eulogy for another suicide kid where everyone says "There's nothing we could have done." Yes there fucking is. We can make our cities human places to live, places where you can be something besides a suffocated customer. The things we need are not frivolous, and taking them away will kill us as sure as any fucking fire. Make the law apply there and make the law into something that helps.

Posted by George Uberti on 12/11/2016 at 1:55 PM

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

There is no housing "crisis." There is a market some can't afford...in which case they should leave the area rather than establish unsafe living situations. There is no crisis...there is much whining. But whining does not a crisis make.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/11/2016 at 1:48 PM

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

As an east coaster who grew up seeing endless amazing show fliers and MySpace bulletins (ha) etc for burnt ramen I'm glad I got to play there once at least. Places like this will never go away, they'll just move around, which makes me feel better symbolically. As for the people who live there and run it as a venue, those who booked shows there, whatever, just want to say thank you for being proactive doers instead of say people who like to blindly talk shit in online comments. Hope everything works out

Posted by Matthew Hammond on 12/11/2016 at 1:30 PM

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

I've played a few and attended many shows at Burnt Ramen over the years. The people who live there are smart, hard-working, dedicated, and mindful of safety. It seems like the opinion of some people is that they just don't like those of us who snub the status quo. As if the problem is "squatters" which isnt the case at all. Maybe addressing the housing crisis and the widening wealth gap in the Bay could provide these working class artists safer living conditions. As it is people have no option but to give up their passions to get a shit job, work for shit pay, and spend it all on a shit apartment. Because after all, the monotony of trudging the same path to your boring office job dreaming of the day you can hit snooze screams great art.

Posted by punksiscooks on 12/11/2016 at 1:29 PM

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

Garry Ovalbach , another Baby Boomer out of touch. Thanks to your generation's follies, we don't need a job. We need 2 or 3 jobs. Off my lawn!

Posted by Greg Earl on 12/11/2016 at 1:21 PM

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

Burnt ramen is a safe place for all ages- I've been going since I was 14 and now I'm 25. Those with negative views of this place have actually never stepped foot inside so... hope it stays open so you can see for yourself. Would be pointless though if you're not into this kinda stuff (loud punk metal, art) anyway, so bug off.

Posted by Omar Barreto on 12/11/2016 at 1:02 PM

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

These people DO have jobs, and most of them go to school. We are living in the bay area, and we all have to deal with it. I'm sad that people say these guys are lazy or squatting. This is a private building. These are honest people that are just trying to make a living.

Posted by Zacharia Arambula on 12/11/2016 at 10:09 AM

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

Evict is a strong word. How about they move into habitable places like the rest of us? It is great that you want to be an artist, but maybe getting a job that supplements your art? Also, how any are artists? How many are squatters? How many are lazy? Let's ask these questions.

Posted by Garry Ovalbach on 12/11/2016 at 9:10 AM

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

Conservatives seuze upon this as a spectacular example of what happens when "diversity" in hiring is emphasized over ither qualifications in 3...2...1

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/11/2016 at 9:08 AM

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

One place is called Burnt Ramen...like a cooking accident that could result in a fire...one place is actually named the Death Trap...and there is the Ghost Ship full of dead bodies...names that portend and even embrace disaster.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/11/2016 at 8:41 AM

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

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