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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: News

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

This is the kind of guy who sits around judging everyone around him while probably hiding kiddie porn in his basement.

Isn't that a hummer in your profile pic? Talk about responsibility! You probably love driving up to your local McDs for a welfare meat big mac (subsidies is welfare, mind blowing huh?) before heading over to Wally-world so you can support the welfare system you despise so much by shopping at a place whose employees are so low paid even at full time they still need food stamps, and whose products are made by children in other countries instead of by Americans.

Oh, and I'm sure you also hate the members of the armed forces who are smoking pot to deal with the PTSD they got watching their friends get blown up for your oil you love so much who also happen to get food stamps.

Yeah, you have the right to judge, sure.

You have no idea what a fool you are, your hero Trump is getting extra security to accommodate his needs that is going to cost more than food stamps all together for a WHOLE YEAR and still all you will spout is nonsense.

Posted by Patrick L. Bertlein on 12/08/2016 at 10:15 PM

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

What was Derick Almena's real job? Collecting SSI for being bipolar? Growing pot? Collecting food stamps and the earned income tax credit for 3 kids who half the time were dumped off with relatives, foisted upon underpaid and cheated baby sitters or actually in the custody of Child Protective Services?

Among the 35 adult victims NO WAY will you find 35 grown up and paying full time jobs. The ability to live for many surely came from claiming disabilities and sucking the tit of SSI and Food Stamps.

Even now among the survivors some are probably trying to turn this into SSI so they can spend the rest if their life smoking dope and making fringe art while claiming PTSD.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/08/2016 at 4:52 PM

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

We can agree that to some extent the coroner may be able to tell us who was high when they died. That and whatever burned, melted pill bottles turn up in the remains...God have mercy. We can only wait for answers.

To what extent did these departed folks use public assistance like food stamps to fund their rock-n-roll lifestyle? To what extent did Derick and his wife? I bet that hotel room where the kids were staying DURING the fire was paid for by Child Protective Services. Therefore by me the taxpayer while these two partied for months on end and FLY TO BALI ON VACATION. Can you say "depraved indifference"?

What i see is a lot of all play not much work. I can't help but wonder where is the big block of taxpayer funded government cheese which allows the mice to play and party while the rest if us work and obey the law?

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/08/2016 at 4:29 PM

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

Hopelessly plugged ears and eyes with eyeshades.

This JohnNoMoniker is still unable to engage in a conversation without slurs. And now, ensuring safety and promoting maturity are "capitalistic" in nature and therefore wrong.

I guess he is the troll not to be feed...........

Posted by Michael Good on 12/08/2016 at 3:09 PM

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

Mr. Good: To be honest, I still consider you a troll, just one that uses the loaded language of a very specific definition of "reason" to push a callous agenda - as evidenced by your comments on this thread and others. A current example: no, I cannot put up dozens of displaced friends in my small living quarters, I wish I could - I would rather they not be displaced immediately from their generally quite-safe current homes because their landlords looked the other way for MANY years with regard to zoning specifics. To suggest nothing else as recourse for them (many of whom are highly marginalized people who will likely end up homeless), and that this is implied as somehow an acceptable outcome, is callous and trollish. Especially when you consider that many of them are currently grieving the loss of loved ones and roomates.

That said, your trollishness is nothing conpared to the likes of Sar Wash above, who simulataneously sent his "prayers" out to the victims of the fire and called them fake artists who don't have "real jobs" (most of the artists I know work other jobs full time and are still poor here). These kinds of comments evidence zero comprehension of the type of collective culture that is under assault here, other than resentment towards it - probably because of its anticapitalist nature as much as anything else. You all should really stop trying to turn Oakland into Walnut Creek.

Posted by JohnNoMoniker on 12/08/2016 at 2:50 PM

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

Charles, I can understand why you might assume that, but I can tell you honestly and confidently that they weren't high. I knew many of these people and had gone to many shows with them. They would have been there for the music, not for drugs. The very good music that their friends and community members were putting on for them that night and the chance to be in the company of old and new friends was the draw for them. Just like it has been for me many nights, if I had known so many friends were showing up to this that would have been all the draw I needed to get myself out of the house and go see what everybody was working on and listening to. I'm not trying to claim that everybody who goes to music shows in the world is an angel, but these people specifically were genuinely some of the cleanest, kindest, hardest working and most decent people and artists you would ever meet.

I agree that Derick seems like a genuinely awful person, and I do blame him for setting up this space that my friends couldn't get out of. I think he was too myopic and self-obsessed to take the responsibility that too many good people unwittingly trusted him to have taken.

Posted by daniel mcanulty on 12/08/2016 at 2:27 PM

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

At a minimum, we need immediate eviction of anyone who is occupying a building without his name being on a formal and legal lease. The only way to honor the victims of this renter and squatters is to shut down all of these warehouses. These fake artists, who refuse to live where they can afford or get a real job, need to take responsibility. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of these squatters and this renter.

Posted by Sar Wash on 12/08/2016 at 1:20 PM

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

Here is lack of tact for you from a crusty adult....if Derick and his wife were getting foood stamps then they should be investigated for food stamp fraud on top of all the manslaughter charges and code violations.

I would wager Derick flees the country and leaves the wife holding the bag. Anybody remember Martin Pang and the Seattle warehouse fire circa 1997?

Brazil. He fled to Brazil.

Detain this guy ASAP

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/08/2016 at 11:42 AM

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

Kites.i meant to say "high as kites" not "high as kits."

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/08/2016 at 11:01 AM

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

JohnNoMoniker's seems fixated on discrediting views on this matter by assigning labels to people. Fortunately, he has graduated from "trolls" and "heartless jackasses" to "conservatives" vs. "progressive and radical."

One would think that someone who truly believes in a progressive and radical agenda would be inclusionary and embrace and honor diversity of opinion rather than hurling slurs against those he disagrees with. But, perhaps there is hope.

With regards to a dozen friends being evicted - perhaps they are now out of danger. If they need a place to stay, I am confident John will care for his friends and take them in.

Unfortunately, the rants from that poster say nothing about the actual subject at hand. Perhaps he means to distract from the issue as a tactic.

John: If you read the article - it not about people living in unsafe places. The article is about people throwing "rent parties, ad-hoc concerts in auto-body garages, and all-night DJ bacchanals." My advocacy is about doing this with safety and holding those that create these events to a higher standard that helps ensure the safety of all.

The points about poorly choosing to live being in unsafe places are separate remarks and I stand by them. Last time I checked, lack of personal accountability is not part and parcel to a progressive agenda.

Can you move away from ad hominem attacks and try to focus on the issues being debated here? I suspect you do not like these debates because it means not everyone agrees with you. But, perhaps you will surprise the readers here.

Posted by Michael Good on 12/08/2016 at 7:56 AM

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

You can only assume they perished because they were trying to help people?

That's how we're different. I assume some of them were high as kits and therefore disoriented in a situation that would have been terrifying and disorienting even to somebody who wasn't high on pot, speed, you name it. You assume they were helping. I assume they were high. Hey, maybe we're both right. A couple lucky ducks managed to avoid dying because they left to go buy booze!

When the truth comes out--and it will all come out--we need to know how many of the victims had drugs in their system, and cards for Food Stamps in their wallets and purses. Including Derick Almena. Was he collecting public benefits all this time while claiming he couldn't work (sad, tragic, self-centered bipolar hoarder) and those kids, were they being put up in a hotel by child protection services before the fire? Paid for by the taxpayers? And meanwhile they were flying to Bali and buying big, hand-carved wooden beds?

The irresponsible, drug-using, public benefits sucking, bad and immature lifestyle choices...all this needs to come out in the searing light of truth.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/08/2016 at 6:39 AM

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

I think people need to look hard at what is DIY and what are its sensible limits.

When it comes to sewing a patch on a jacket, can I do it myself or learn to do it? Sure. When it comes to doing my own electrical work, can I? Should I? If I have NO FREAKING IDEA what I'm doing? Clearly not.

This is the ugly, deadly downside of taking DIY too far...ignoring rules and laws and focusing on fun and creativity instead of mundane, necessary WORK and being a GROWN UP.

How much of this "scene" survives by sucking public benefits out of the "system" they bash with every breath? Were Derick Almena and his wife getting food stamps? SSI for his rather obvious bipoloar condition? Were the child protective services paying for a hotel room right before the fire? Or long before that?

It's time the pendulum swung in the other direction...the direction of regulation and safety and acting like a grownup and following rules.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/08/2016 at 6:20 AM

Re: “'I'm Going To Get My Gun': Event Organizers at Ghost Ship Accused Derick Almena of Theft, Threats

In regard to who paid for the hotel...another news story in this same edition says NBC paid for that posh hotel. But if the kids were staying at a hotel the night of the fire, as they reportedly were, who paid for THAT hotel? My guess is since there was a child custody case going on, somehow the state was paying. The parents (Derick and his wife) were not considered unfit, but their living space was unsafe. So who was paying for a hotel BEFORE the fire? Probably child services. Somebody needs to dig into that.

In addition to multiple counts of manslaughter, criminal negligence resulting in death, violating multiple building codes, I think there also needs to be an investigation into whether this individual was collecting any public assistance (food stamps, SSI, etc) while partying in Bali and all the other well-documented irresponsible behavior.

But as to why this stuff was never followed you know how many low-level nutcase threat-balls there are in Oakland and California and the world, generally? Law enforcement and the courts are overwhelmed with stuff. Nothing this guy was doing with low-level crime, threats, etcetera was all that notable, unfortunately.

What should have been on the radar of public officials was the death trap party space. It looks like there was an unofficial policy of benign neglect and not cracking down on artists living in these illegal spaces. Like, a building inspector went to the property...but then he just went away?

You know who is really going to pay, here? The landlord. The landlord is the only "deep pocket" in the mix. The government officials have various forms of legal immunity. The landlord is probably going to lose everything.

I would also like to point out that the behavior of Mr. Derick Ion Almena, from his creativity to his unpredictability to his utterly self-centered behavior and especially his cluttering, this all screams bipolar. He's probably been collecting SSI for a long time and using it to support his bad lifestyle choices.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/08/2016 at 5:42 AM

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

Dig deeper. I think it would be good to know whether Derick and his wife were getting public assistance for years and years while partying in Bali and buying great big hand-carved wooden beds from Bali, and growing pot...this whole time were they getting food stamps? Claiming some disability and sucking off the taxpayers through SSI?

In fact, it would be good to check the "public assistance background" of everybody who died there...except for the 17-year-old, a minor, may he rest in peace.

Thank goodness the GROWN UPS will be taking over this country at the presidential swearing in, and working a job, obeying the law, generally acting like an adult will be the new normal.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/08/2016 at 5:33 AM

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

Oh, ps. Mr. Good: As you make your declarations about what needs to be done, over a dozen of my friends have been evicted from their already-precarious living situations in the last 24 hours, a result of this witch hunt. More will follow, and all the city is offering is a grant aimed at professional artists who know how to game the system.

Posted by JohnNoMoniker on 12/07/2016 at 9:37 PM

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

Michael Good: You have a right to your opinions, and I have a right to assert that I (and I suspect many others) find your opinions to be quite conservative, your vote for Clinton (not exactly a progressive though admittedly better than a neo-fascist) notwithstanding. By pointing this out, I am noting that you (and many of the reactionaries commenting on this issue) and your views should be considered as part of a philosophical agenda that is at odds with the city's long progressive and radical tradition, and can't be viewed as some kind of neutral "voice of the people" as comment thread denizens often give an impression of - you are consistently projecting conservative viewpoints, and by doing so in a public forum you are being inherently political and should be judged based on your leanings thereof. Like many conservatives, you seem to imply that your ramblings are "common sense", but that sense is common to your worldview only.

Posted by JohnNoMoniker on 12/07/2016 at 9:06 PM

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

Why don't the artists make Christmas ornaments and wreaths that they can sell to make money for rent? You know, things that people want and need, things they can relate to.

Posted by Francesco on 12/07/2016 at 5:20 PM

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

John NoMoniker:

You obviously did not read my post. You spent too much time looking for a way to make an ad hominem attack - using my views on a completely unrelated subject and quoting out of context - to try to typecast me as an evil person (all Republicans are evil, right?) and as someone that is saying bad things because they have a different view than yours.

And, btw, I am a registered Democrat and I voted for Clinton. So, try to be less shallow in your thinking and grow up. Personal responsibility works better than being a victim. It is about being an adult.

I guess you think it is OK for cool dudes to create unsafe environments.

Try to appreciate that your view is not the only one and maybe, just maybe, you are wrong. "We used to have the luxury....." Who is "we" - the readers that agree with you? Only, the righteous ones only that meet with your approval?

Posted by Michael Good on 12/07/2016 at 1:43 PM

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

As usual, "suck it up buttercup" trolls are in control of this comment section. We used to have the luxury of ignoring these heartless jackasses, but since they have as of late leveraged enormous political power (one of their own is the future POTUS), we can no longer afford to ignore their venom.

Let's look at some other comments (accessible via their public profiles) from some of the pro-crackdown people on this thread to find their philosophical leanings. If you are a hardline, trickle-down economics-boosting, unabashedly pro-cop Republican you will relate to them. For everyone else (let's not forget that 4% of Oakland voted Republican in the last election), these quotes may give you pause before you give their voices any credence in this great city:

Garry Ovalbach: "How about increasing rents? Bring in wealthier people to Oakland and have the wealth trickle down? There are many other affordable cities surrounding Oakland that can be a place to live and Oakland a place to work. Affordable housing at this point is a pipe dream. Support rent increases folks."

Michael Good: "...the [police] union needs to be even more vigilant to protect its members - the public moods and emotions along with protesting activists can drive decisions that are not particularly thoughtful, clear and fair - police "discipline" driven by political committees tempted to pander."

Posted by JohnNoMoniker on 12/07/2016 at 1:15 PM

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