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Re: “Oakland Landlord Evicts Tenant, Then Hangs Pro-Trump Billboard on Building

Not sure that someone over 60 can be thrown out without the LL taking proper measures to do so. The Trump sign has nothing to do with laws protecting tenants.

Posted by Francesca M. Austin on 12/04/2016 at 8:16 PM

Re: “'I Genuinely Thought I Was Going To Die': Reddit User Describes Terrifying Escape From Oakland Warehouse Fire

I fear that the authorities will now, and justifiably so, come down hard on all the warehouse space venues in our wonderful creative city and in other cities as well. No one wants Oaklanders to create or host in death trap situations and the Ghost Ship venue sounds like it was out of hand for quite a while before the terrible tragedy of this weekend.

I was at a concert at the Anderson Theater in NYC MANY years ago (when we were young and foolish) before the building closed (was likely condemned) - Patti Smith - and there were open flame heaters heating the space in January. Outside temperature was in the low teens -- windy outside and freezing inside. We went in, saw the flaming heaters, and proceeded up to sit in the balcony WAY against our better judgment - but we did it. We knew how we got in and how to get out but totally knew the scene was WRONG and DANGEROUS but we froze in line for hours and were damned if would miss this event. When the show started, Patti sang three songs and the NYCFD came on stage to stop the show because the building was a fire hazard. Duh. No surprise there - Patti tried to speak to them then kept on singing and was dragged off the stage screaming out "Rock and Roll N...." with the entire audience shouting along and booing the emergency personnel who were of course 100%CORRECT. It was a crazy, unsafe and unforgettable experience BUT everybody lived to tell the tale.

We were lucky that night. Luck ended at the Ghost Ship this First Friday of December, 2016. My neighbor's friend lived there, smelled smoke, so opened his door, saw stuff falling from the ceilings and ran out. He was in his room watching a movie on TV, and not upstairs. No young people should be put in danger BY ANYONE to listen to music or create their art simply because they allow themselves to be in that situation. When we are young we think nothing bad can happen. But it can and it did this weekend. We have to do better.

Posted by Francesca M. Austin on 12/04/2016 at 8:06 PM

Re: “Building Engulfed by Deadly Oakland Fire Had Pending Habitability Complaints

Building Inspectors and Code Enforcement personnel are on the meat hook for this one.
Big Dog attorneys will hit a grand slam homer with this case.

The City knew what was going on in that warehouse
and did very little about the situation.

Posted by Tony Butcavage on 12/04/2016 at 7:45 PM

Re: “Operator of 'Ghost Ship' Lived Inside Site of Oakland Warehouse Fire with Wife, Children, Was on Probation

One of the allegations was that a group had a sex orgy at the Ghost Ship and didn't clean up after themselves. Derick Ion's son reportedly put a used condom in his mouth.

Posted by Patrick Carroll on 12/04/2016 at 7:32 PM

Re: “Operator of 'Ghost Ship' Lived Inside Site of Oakland Warehouse Fire with Wife, Children, Was on Probation

He and his wife had a CPS case - his three children were removed and eventually returned (though they weren't allowed to return to the collective warehouse due to the living conditions)

Posted by Erica Simanonok on 12/04/2016 at 6:15 PM

Re: “On Class, Race, Culture and the Anti-Trump Movement

For the people who said the Republican's obstructed Obama, what was accomplished in the years that the Democrats did hold all 3 branches? There were many campaign promises during his "Hope" tour that didn't materialized (I'm looking at you Gitmo).

Also consider this and ask yourself, why did the Democrats lose the House and then Senate? Was his accomplishments so great that people rallied to still vote Democrat?

Posted by Robert Hope on 12/04/2016 at 5:53 PM

Re: “'I Genuinely Thought I Was Going To Die': Reddit User Describes Terrifying Escape From Oakland Warehouse Fire

Alright, I stand corrected about Klub Kommotion and am happy to know all that.
I've been in some pretty unsafe feeling places, there was one on Mission St between 21st and 22nd St. around 10 years ago that was an insane maze (stairs up and then some very illegal stairs down to get to the performance space).
I get what you're saying, Mike, it makes sense. I don't know the details about the Ghost Ship residents worrying about their gear, maybe that was published in another article? We're all upset, maybe I misread the tone of your first post.

Posted by jzarmin on 12/04/2016 at 5:36 PM

Re: “Artists at Last Night's Oakland Warehouse Fire Discuss The Tragedy, Those Missing, Need for Safe Underground Spaces

"Why is everyone so upset about the transgender/people of color comment? Is it sooo bad to acknowledge diversity?" was asked...

I think it's because this was worded as clumsily as something that would come out of Donald Trump's mouth, and it seemed bizarre. The reader instantly starts wondering things like "what about gay people who aren't of color?" or other similarly silly questions that arise out of the "Who's the most marginalized" game? The fire didn't have biases. The fire didn't suffer from implicit stereotyping like a trigger-happy police officer.

Posted by Zephriz Mehne on 12/04/2016 at 5:06 PM

Re: “Artists at Last Night's Oakland Warehouse Fire Discuss The Tragedy, Those Missing, Need for Safe Underground Spaces

An astounding amount of wrong headed and tin-eared victim shaming here. Perhaps if you don't have anything constructive to say you should consider shutting the hell up? We have people already calling for a witch-hunt that will only result in the shut down of alternative venues. So much art has been pushed to the margins already, it's shameful to blame the victim with this.

I wrote this up to bring up some important issues, and it could very well be a response to a lot of you folks. It seems like there are a lot of people that are very naive about the actual laws with this, bringing yourself up to code can often time mean losing the space because we do not have the equivalent of NYC's loft laws.…

Posted by Conan Neutron on 12/04/2016 at 4:48 PM

Re: “Oakland Landlord Evicts Tenant, Then Hangs Pro-Trump Billboard on Building

Trump and his supporters never write "Make America Classy" on their hats.

Posted by Lily A Jafarian on 12/04/2016 at 4:38 PM

Re: “Artists at Last Night's Oakland Warehouse Fire Discuss The Tragedy, Those Missing, Need for Safe Underground Spaces

I totally empathize with the marginalized community. I own a loft a few blocks down. Few times I rented my space to local artists for a show but I also put safety before money. I have working sprinklers, I don't allow people to go to the second floor, I have two emergency exits and I always make sure that the person putting the event together hire 3 or 4 friends who will not drink or use drugs to patrol the party in order to make sure that people don't intentionally set the fire or assault another person or women. I make people sign a contract that use or drugs is not allowed at any time inside the loft. I also don't allow more than 40 people and people under 21. In the contract it says that if any of those rules are broken I can stop the party any time. I've never had any problem. I expect people to act professional and they always did. I may not have too many bookings and I don't give a damn but safety first!

Posted by Lutecia on 12/04/2016 at 4:22 PM

Re: “Oakland Warehouse Fire: 'It Was A Tinderbox. I Don't Recollect Anybody Coming Out.'

So sad, this is devistating. I pray for all the familes and friends who lost people in this fire.

Posted by Maria Navarro on 12/04/2016 at 4:00 PM

Re: “Was Operator of Oakland Warehouse Fire Venue 'Warned' of Safety Issues, 'Illegal' Construction, Danger?

one of the saddest ironies is that there is literally ACME Fire Extinguisher store less than 100 yards away from this "tinderbox" that apparently no one at this warehouse ever patronized

Posted by lil mike on 12/04/2016 at 2:22 PM

Re: “Was Operator of Oakland Warehouse Fire Venue 'Warned' of Safety Issues, 'Illegal' Construction, Danger?

There is always a tug of war between city regulators and those who push the envelope and ignore city citations. It is therefore incumbent on the city to take action to prevent situations like the fire. Citations don't do it. When human lives are at stake you can't count on cowboys to respond forthrightly. Why didn't the City bureaucrats haul the operator in front of a judge. Or shut down the facility. 20 20 hindsight is easy, I know, but the violations were going on for a long time.

Posted by Tom Merle on 12/04/2016 at 2:07 PM

Re: “'I Genuinely Thought I Was Going To Die': Reddit User Describes Terrifying Escape From Oakland Warehouse Fire

I add this comment in response to the accusation that I am "high and mighty" for recognizing the liabilities in the absolute tragic failure and terrible consequences of the Ghost Ship event space rent party fire. As someone who has participated in the "underground" event economy for three decades, I am appalled at the fact that several of those that profited from this type of activity were initially worried about their "gear" and possessions they had "worked" hard for, while their attendees died in agony. Have many of the events I've promoted or attended been overcrowded at times, or dangerous? yes... but were lives lost? NO. At Klub Komotion the sparse decor may've included a few ratty couches, but hallway was well lit and wide. After some initial skirting of regulations in the late 80's, eventually (and oft under duress and great expen$e) we cooperated with authorities, to keep the place operating until eviction in the late 1990's. During the the time I was involved, we actually went down monthly to Mission Station and obtained permits from the police on a per event basis, and operated as an actual 501-c3 non-profit with offsite office for several years . We were not a residential compound and never actually bribed the fire marshall as was hinted to us, but still managed to have hundreds of safe events. We had someone get a rock thrown at their head and I've had irresponsible "burner" types insist on using torches in the dark crowded enclosed spaces against my physical and verbal protestations, but fortunately we all survived, and to my knowledge not one ambulance was ever called. At another warehouse party I was involved with last year, someone collapsed and hurt their head, but this was due to a medical condition, not furniture set in their path. I just want to say, it takes effort to hold an event and safety is a very serious and oft hard to manage goal. The obvious lack of serious consideration for fire is apparent in the decor of the Ghost Ship which was densely filled with wood and fabric with electronics intermingled. Many people have referred to that space as the Death Trap long before Friday's fire took so many lives. To cast aspersions in my direction because I am upset at the obvious failings on the part of those that abused their responsibilities is misguided at best. I love underground events, and understand that people need places to perform and gather outside the commercial venue circuit, but there are spaces that are better than others, and repercussions for doing a poor job of mitigating the safety considerations, and it is not something to be taken lightly. Don't blame the economy, or the government, or your parents, as ultimately there is no justice, just us. Do the right things and you won't ever be sorry... that is all.

Posted by (0) on 12/04/2016 at 2:06 PM

Re: “Why Does He Watch Porn?

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Re: “Why Does He Watch Porn?

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Posted by Shound Kirstin on 12/04/2016 at 1:40 PM

Re: “'I Genuinely Thought I Was Going To Die': Reddit User Describes Terrifying Escape From Oakland Warehouse Fire

Most people who live in buildings like this don't know the building code and don't know how dangerous they might be. Otherwise why would they be living there? There are tons of places like this that lots of us go to for art openings or music shows and the venues are fine and we all love the fact that they exist until a tragedy happens. I wouldn't get all high and mighty, Mike, and go blaming anyone involved until we find out what really happened. I'm an architect and I know that if we all built everything perfectly up to code fire-safety-wise only the very rich would be able to afford hosting entertainment venues. That's the reality in the Bay Area. Mike, was Klub Kommotion up to fire code? Probably not, it didn't stop us from going or working there.

Posted by jzarmin on 12/04/2016 at 12:05 PM

Re: “Artists at Last Night's Oakland Warehouse Fire Discuss The Tragedy, Those Missing, Need for Safe Underground Spaces

***Sorry if this isn't Twitter-length worthy, but maybe people need to develop attention spans beyond Donald Trump's temperament***
We grieve, we dread the announcement of our friends' names, and we also dread the coming months - for we are already seeing how this unimaginable tragedy is being deployed in an attempt to crush the very culture and lives that are suffering. Talking heads and politicians on major media outlets are actively calling for the cops and fire marshals to shut down ALL non-sanctioned living and art spaces in town immediately, heedless of their individual circumstances or displacement impacts. To help accomplish this, the likes of Tom Vacar (KTVU anchorman) have called for the use of hypermilitarized public-private "partnerships" (modeled after nightmares like Urban Shield) between cops, fire departments, and military contractors to use SWAT team tactics on suspected illicit living and show/art spaces and their residents. In Libby Schaff's neoliberal vision of Oakland, one in which she wants to see the city become as much like Walnut Creek as possible as quickly as possible, this has a strong chance of becoming reality.

Many of the comments on Sam's article, and in threads I am seeing, are infuriated at the mention of "safe spaces" and marginalized people (particularly when it comes from marginalized people themselves), and there are a lot of accusations from the more troll-y of these commenters of this being a "politicization" of something that should be a "simple public safety issue". While the codes and misconceptions inherent to these commenters' views may seem obvious to many of us, it bears repeating overall that the mention of safe spaces isn't about the physical safety of the building's infrastructure. It is about the lack of aboveground (i.e. well-funded) gathering+living spots for marginalized people that allow them to exist and better-control their existential circumstances, with a lowered fear of assault and/or economic ruin, coupled with a relatively-exclusive promotions policy that is mainly extended to those who are coming from a similar place to them philosophically and socially.

This RELATIVE safety (there is no such thing as a truly "safe space") is something that many creative people, especially POC/queer/trans+/mentally-divergent people, etc., do not get to have in the more-legit bar/business and condo/apartment spaces that are about making $$ first and foremost as a necessity of staying in business, particularly in an insanely high-rent region like the bay area. The vast majority of these "legit" venues and housing (including bars, overpriced "artists' live-work" spaces, big halls, etc) do not take attendees'/residents' poverty into account and do not prioritize the needs and concerns of marginalized people in their business practice because they are all about filling vacancies and/or packing in as many people as they can, heedless of the intrapersonal conflicts and individual alienation potentially implicit in that. Until there are better options that are accessible to marginalized people, they will continue to need to live, gather, and perform in places that are safe(r) and accessible to them.

The particular circumstances of this incident, and the terribleness of the person running the particular space and the way he ran it, don't seem to be a matter of much dispute. However, it is important to recognize that the increasing volume of calls for all independent spaces (living and performance/art) to be shuttered will result in increased homelessness and a lack of community options for marginalized people who rely on such spaces for their sanity, community, and lives. Oakland is not Walnut Creek, nor should it be. If there are better options, many of us would love to hear them, but until the cities and overall culture take a true advocacy stance towards the physical space needs of marginalized people+artists (there are semi-successful examples in some cities in Europe, particularly in Germany), I suspect all that will be offered as a band-aid for destruction of the underground is more capitalist garbage that will do nothing to address the root issues.
BTW, I should note that four friends are still missing from this fire, one is confirmed dead, and I am completely in shock. I doubt any of them would want to see the culture they lived and thrived in to be crushed in response to their tragic (and avoidable) deaths.

Posted by johngeek27bd on 12/04/2016 at 12:04 PM

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