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

Blame Jerry Brown's ballot Measure X changing the politics in Oakland to a strong mayor type of government vs a strong council/city manager. The citizens voted it in. And being a retired firefighter, I know so many upper management chief positions held by chiefs with online degrees and lots of them are fire chiefs. I wander what Chief Hoffman's resume says. I also wander why the fire station that was a couple blocks away never did any area familiarization to know what was in their first due area. This building certainly would have been on a "let's go pre-plan this building" list. So yes, the buck stops with the fire chief but there's blame to go around throughout the department and Reed's resume is just like most fire chiefs with a bunch of "stuff". Also being a fire inspector in Oakland as recent as summer 2015, there isn't enough inspectors for a city that size, they are the lowest paid in the Bay Area so folks leave for better pay, they are not sworn (civilianized) and are in a totally different union than the firefighters which is something the union gave up years ago and has created a obvious rift between BFP and the union because there is NO relationship. So the feeling IS that the bureau of fire prevention is the red headed step child of the fire department and has major problems (why I left). So we will hear the union go after Chief Reed and protect their own even though the union is just as much at fault. Having been in a firefighter union I know the attitudes the line guys have when it comes to certain jobs like pre-planning. They'd rather sit in the fire stations until that bell rings. So the finger pointing is in high gear, so high that we are analyzing a fire chiefs resume. Well don't stop with hers, let's see her second in commands resume. He's in bed with the union anyway and I'm sure that he can't wait till Reed is gone so he can get the spot and put his union cronies in position. That's what happens at the top. Real talk.

Posted by Kaytux on 12/17/2016 at 1:45 PM

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

Or one might use a term from public administration. A "window of opportunity." Public policy proposals and implementation languish until everybody pays attention due to some catastophe. Then what we needed all along finally happens...in this case, an overdue crackdown upon firetrap "art and living" spaces all over the country.

There is no "moral panic." There is an actual long-ignored problem. Or to put it another way:

Your "safe spaces" aren't safe.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/16/2016 at 7:24 PM

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: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

Eroster: It seems this news source isn't interested in following up on such info, on the residents or lease-holders. Just the owners and city officials. As they said quite clearly: "This is how the Express will appropriate its investigative and news-gathering resources: by going after those with power."


Eroster: Yes. Yes. Yes, your diatribes and wild accusations are exactly that, because they are not backed by solid evidence. They distract from the hard facts that incriminate Mr Almena. Accusations backed by evidence vs accusations backed by wild guesses. Both may be true.

Posted by Amelie Love on 12/15/2016 at 3:07 PM

Re: “East Bay Hills Tree Removal Plan Still Sparking Debate

No doubt that Eucalyptus trees are things that need to be strategically maintained. But there are ways to do it - ethically and cost-effectively - as you can see in the tree services provided by teams like Oregon Woodsmen in Salem, Oregon - http://oregonwoodsmen.com/

Posted by Kelly McGrath on 12/15/2016 at 1:44 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 Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

Let's get rid of this ineffectual, unqualified fire chief already. Surely we can afford to fully staff the fire department/fire marshall's office if we are throwing money at a sports team? Where are people's priorities? I'm inclined to agree with the commenter who said we need to return to the strong city manager/weak mayor form of government, because no Oakland mayor since Jerry Brown has been any good. SOMEONE needs to clean up the corruption and put the money where it will do the most good, and that someone is not likely to be a politician.

Posted by Jan Van Dusen on 12/14/2016 at 8:57 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

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