Oakland, Berkeley, And East Bay News, Events, Restaurants, Music, & Arts
I heard foregoing fire sprinklers, running water, and sanitation is a great way to get your rent down. I hope they send this SLUM LORD to jail where he belongs.
Foodiexp75, these matters are very relevant because they give us insight into the character of some of the key players in this story. And yes, "moneyed people" do dictate rents in a capitalistic society. Maybe you should try living in Cuba, since they may have policies more to your liking.
This tragedy had failures on every level:
city officials should have enforced building codes that exist to prevent hazardous conditions like this, the building owner should have had a better handle on what was going on in his building, master tenants should never have permitted residences/events without proper permits, tenants should have never leased in a building that obviously wasn't permitted as such (use common sense) & adult event goers should have noticed there were no sprinklers, clearly marked exits, (things you'd normally see in a commercial space), parents of minors should've known where their kids were. Everyone failed in their duty.
Does anyone dispute that he was in charge of the facility and that he leased it for the electronic music event of Dec. 2? He is guilty of negligence that led to these deaths -- and with electrical wires reported to spark often, he knew it. If anyone deserves prison, it is he.
He hasn't left or fled. He's still in Oakland staying at the Marriot
It's amazing that the unionized city workers are not getting 100% of the deserved blame for this. Criminal charges should be brought against the city workers who failed to do their jobs.
Of course no one is going to be punished and of course they will retire with full pensions eventually. Thanks government unions!
Has there ever been a more clear-cut case for banishing city workers from unionizing? At-will employment would have prevented this disaster as the inspectors would have known that they would be getting kicked to the curb if they failed to do their jobs properly...
Rent is hard to afford anywhere in Oakland, even if you have a decent job. As of October 2016, average apartment rent within the city of of Oakland, CA is $2778. One bedroom apartments in Oakland rent for $2420 a month on average and two bedroom apartment rents average $3075. Is it any wonder that people will live in dangerous conditions rather than be on the streets? You need to earn about $60 per hour to live here.
If you look over the Commercial Inspections information on the Oakland Fire Departments Fire Prevention webpage it is clear that procedures were not being followed. It is especially troubling as the Ghost Ship building was very close to an Oakland Firehouse and as a retired firefighter I can assure you the crews I worked with always knew what was going on in buildings nearby. Cincinnati Ohio Fire Department took even more aggressive steps and was known to visit bars and nightclubs late in the evening to check for exit and overcrowding violations.
Why is the East Bay Express suddenly a trashy gossip rag? Its ironic(?)...hypocritical(?)...unfortunate and disappointing to see a publication that normally reports on the injustices of our system (including how defendants are often railroaded into accepting plea bargains due to overworked public defenders and a classist bail system), immediately publish Mr. Almena's probation status as if it was relevant to the fire. It's alarmist and pandering to simplistic blame and revenge mentality. He's on probation (after accepting a deal, as you report, so he wasnt tried or convicted), therefore he's a criminal, and deserves to have his dirty laundry aired before being hung for the deaths of the partygoers? He may be a dirtbag, but does that make him guilty?...and he may be guilty of something, but isn't that for the (broken) courts to decide?
Lots of folks were lost Friday night. I'm not sure why the writer of this article chose to focus on soley people of color and transgender people, which seemed in poor taste. Victims that were neither should be mourned and respected equally. A lot of life was lost Friday night, whether they were black, white, hispanic, asian, native american, gay, straight, cis, trans, etc, they will all be missed, and they were all lost too soon.
Parents and caregivers and friends please tell your loved ones to never live somewhere where you don't have a lease and where the building is not a residential structure with all its proper city permits for safety. This is not about a city being harsh and preventing people from having the freedom to live where they want, it is about the failure of an individual to embrace the responsibility of providing safe and legal residential living space to third-party individuals who entrusted their now lost young lives. Landlords everywhere take note of this responsibility for the lives of others. David Moss
this man just lost a large number of friends, and his home. Nice to see that scruples and common decency don't restrain the EBX from digging up whatever dirt they can on the man.
And you petty spiteful commenters need to recognize that your demonization is basically fueling a witchhunt.
This grave event may be the impetus for a wave of artist spaces being red tagged. Similar to what happened in SOMA after the 89 earthquake.
Rent is hard to afford when you spend everything on meth and broken Hammonds.
Re: the closing paragraph, there's at least two grammatical errors in the last sentence, and it's implied that the couple lost their previous East Oakland home because the owner raised the rent to an affordable level. Is this what happened?
Why always when something like this tragedy takes place not only does the media find a scapegoat, but they expose all these persona matters which are not relevant. I mean who doesn't have issues on this society. Stop blaming one individual, this is a local government problem. The people " representing us" really aren't. They represent themselves and their pocket book by allowing moneyed people to dictate policy such as housing and skyrocketing rents for one.
What were these two thinking? (God and Mother Superior) That "it" wouldnt happen to them? How old were they? Maybe when I was a young adult/kid, when I was invincible and knew everything, I would have scoffed at something like this happening to ME.
But now, at 45, I would have LOVED the eclectic boho artistic altar/shrine space inside the Ghost Ship. However, being painfully aware that anything can happen, to anyone, anytime, anywhere...I would have simultaneously thought "what about a fire?" Thats just from having lived a few years, and yes Ive grumbled many a time about jumping through hoops to do things the way "the Government" dictates they be done. But not only are these two old enough to KNOW BETTER, they are PARENTS as well.
Most people change when they have children, even those who would have previously thrown caution to the wind in regards to their own choices in life. As a parent I could never have slept at night, in a tinderbox like that place OBVIOUSLY WAS, with my children present. I am not one to demand conformation, I relish the unique differences among us ALL...and I try to appreciate each person for who they are ~ but in this case, I dont understand. How could these two "older" PARENTS be so blindly ignorant? So ARROGANT?
To CHARGE people (indeed, mostly younger people...still in their invincible phase) to come into this death trap and party??? KNOWING the electrical situation, the flammability, the manueverability of the place?
Sigh. I dont think they ever intended anyone get hurt, but they did nothing to prevent it, it appears. Tough learning curve.
I understand their young daughter, 13, was upset about the comments being made about her dad. Someday I hope she understands the bigger picture. Its about RESPONSIBILITY...Its about growing up and trying to manuever through our lives without DOING HARM. Its learning from everything that we experience and reflecting that knowledge back onto the world we live in.
How can two people who tried so hard to appear so enlightened been so in the dark?
I'm as sick of young people dying needlessly as I am of hearing the white supremacist bull crap. I'm white and from where I stand in not the hater!
Sorry for all the lost ones
Francesca M. Austin, That is a pretty awesome memory to have! No doubt what makes it so memorable is the fact that you were "young and foolish" and because it was "WRONG and DANGEROUS ", yes? :) Taking chances is part of LIVING life rather than simply just EXISTING. There is however a fine line between taking chances and having total disregard for others safety (because you're too busy getting high on meth. Derick Ion, along with the owner of the building deserve jail. ). I mourn the creative young souls that were lost in a fire that never should have happened,
Angela Talbot, I only (so far) know one person personally who died and she was not white nor the one hispanic person you counted off. Soen intelligently and thoughtfully spelled out what white supremacy means and you completely failed to acknowledge or understand. Read some more, respect the people mourning, and realize that your opinion may not be valid or appropriate right now.
Here's a good place to start in my opinion. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jared-loggins/explaining-white-supremacy-to-innocent-white-people_b_7617828.html
There is no reason to be arguing semantics. Respect the dead you fucking pricks and keep your opinions to yourself. This isnt about anyONES opinion. Say your PEACE or move along.
East Bay Express All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation