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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: News

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

Charles, people like you sure make me hope hell exists. You'll only mourn 1 of 36 just because they were a minor/not on public assistance? How twisted can you be? You also have no reason to believe they are on public assistance.. why jump to that random conclusion and use it to justify your total heartlessness? What a total nut job. You clearly have more important things to worry about. And guess what? Doing all of that while on public assistance is legal in California... if you don't like it, move to another state! I can guarantee no one will miss you, though I'd feel bad for any more people exposed to your toxic existence.

Posted by jerry s sienfeld on 12/16/2016 at 5:26 PM

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

Love the conceptual reality. The program seems to evoke a sense of self worth that cannot be mandated by government charity regardless of it's noble intentions. Well done, Laura. Well done, Tiny.

Posted by Jerry Newberry on 12/16/2016 at 12:21 PM
Posted by Justin Beck on 12/16/2016 at 4:46 AM

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: “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 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: “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 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

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

Unfortunately lawyers look at the fire as a bonanza too. The operator *may* be what is known as judgment proof... But property owner isn't and CAN ultimately be held liable at tremendous costs.

Calling for the property owner to NOT assure the property is being operated correctly is just not real or reasonable. The inspections should proceed. Evictions are a whole different issue and have to be addressed differently.

Those are probably being done by the operators or the property owner may be vacating the lease issued to the operator. For all intents and purposes the landlord is the lease holder. If the lease holder is operating the property under condition other than the ones s/he stated in the contract... Now we come to the insurance company... Which then vacates any liability insurance the owner holds.

Unicorns and elf pee are wonderful, but just because we don't like these things, doesn't mean they go away. In the wild, I can plug my ears, shout LA LA LA LA LA YOU don't exist, but the lion will still eat me.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 12/13/2016 at 10:26 PM

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

Regarding homelessness...why homeless people choose to be in a particular area is much more complicated than saying anybody homeless in Oakland got evicted from housing in Oakland. That is balony.

And hell yes...homeless congregate near some places where there are resources. Some cities quietly buy them a bus ticket out of town..it is called "Greyhound therapy."

A place like Fargo, North Dakota actually sees seasonal homeless people...more homeless people in summer but they go someplace warmer in winter...not like they are taking a vacation but for pure survival.

You go to any hip and artsy business section near a large campus and homeless are always there scoring meals and change. How? Were they all evicted from places around campus? No. They congregated near resources.

There is no housing crisis in the Bay Area or anywhere in the US. Can't afford housing in the Bay Area? I can't afford to live in Beverly Hills, though i would like to...do I have a "housing crisis"?

You know what i call gentrification in Oakland?

Progress.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/12/2016 at 3:29 PM

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