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

Sorry. No one has a "right" to live in Oakland. And no one has the excuse of "it's too expensive" as rationale for ignoring safety codes and putting others at risk. Those who lived there ARE at least somewhat responsible. They saw the lit candles and sparking wires and said nothing.

I'd rather have artists leave and Oakland lose its soul instead of it losing 36 more lives.

Posted by Ajax Mitchell on 12/07/2016 at 10:22 AM

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

"Specifically, Im talking about underfunded government agencies, and the myopic elected officials that ignored these departments needs. "

what agencies exactly are you talking about? fire and inspection departments? by their nature artist warehouses are illegal - people saving money and living under the radar in non-residential spaces. you can't bring the government in on this, they would have a liability nightmare on their hands and would have to evict people to follow the law. unfortunately, if you want to live under the radar, the burden is on you to keep yourself safe. not to blame the victims, but it's the reality of this type of life. maybe there needs to be an underground advocacy group of like-minded building/safety professionals to advise anonymously about a space, but you can't ask anyone to take on responsibility in situations like this. it's a can of worms all around. don't get me wrong, this tragedy is heartbreaking and terrible beyond belief, but blaming the government for this is completely off the mark.

and for the record i completely support artists living in warehouses, or anyone living nontraditional lives. but it comes with a different sets of responsibilities, it's just the reality.

Posted by Cassie Tyler on 12/07/2016 at 10:10 AM

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

People in power are to blame for this fire? What are you talking about? I seriously doubt that anyone is "blaming artists" for this terrible tragedy. The blame is pretty clearly on negligent landlord, bad-actor leaseholder, and promoters. Safety can be addressed without much money if you take it seriously. Im not saying artists need to bring their buildings "up-to-code" or that they are responsible for this, simply that we re all responsible for our own safety. The megalomaniac leaseholder knew this space was unsafe yet took money for events, the landlord turned a blind eye because the laws are weak, and the promoters wanted to have a party and blindly felt they could trust the other stakeholders. The artists and partygoers are innocent.

Posted by Matthew Aaron Gerring on 12/07/2016 at 10:06 AM

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

No one made Ion build that staircase. And, no one made people perform in "an exquisite deathtrap" as one previous promoter put it. Hold the powerful accountable, but also let the counterculture know that they don't need to go like lambs to the slaughter.
"With that show, I thought, It's at that spot? Fuck that place," Buchanan said. "The last time I was there, I stood by the exit the whole time just in case there was a fire. Having an event there with ten people to me is criminal negligence." This quote is from one of your own articles. Ion, was a particularly reckless player, enabled by others who felt they were serving a greater good.

Posted by LJ Schneider on 12/07/2016 at 10:00 AM

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

Do not blame "lack of funds" and gentrifications for the space managers choice to profit on illegal sub-leasing, failure to install life safety / fire protection standards, adhere to capacity egress rules, and operate an entertainment venue negligently. These laws, like speeding or not driving drunk, are appropriately established to protect people; Government can do better at education and partnering with citizens - absolutely - but the newly arriving customers to the event that night had a reasonable expectation to a safe environment - they were tragically let down. Let's see how the City pivots and takes a leadership role to help make the community safer.

Posted by Bennett Hall on 12/07/2016 at 9:56 AM

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

The way I see it, the fault lies almost entirely with one individual, Mr. Derick Almena. Under his direction, residents were exploited and both the civic authorities and property owners were purposefully decieved. This allowed the conditions to persist and worsen; while Mr. Almena profited financially.

His bizarre and distraught behavior has guilty written all over it. They will be coming for Mr. Almena quite soon, and he knows it.

Posted by Nick Bolla on 12/07/2016 at 9:55 AM

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

Thank you. That home & building owners routinely pay higher permit fees and answer to a stricter intepretation of the code than "development contractors" is bad enough and probably extends to people who want to create creative spaces as well. Use your laser light on this topic.Please.

Posted by visualeyes on 12/07/2016 at 9:50 AM

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

If the "people in power" had shut the place down, or required GS to get the necessary fixes, which would have pushed up what they'd have to charge for rent, the editorial here would say, "Oakland Regulations Push Prices Out of Reach for Most Artists." The "people in power" are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

Posted by Jenni Li on 12/07/2016 at 9:46 AM

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

Underfunded? Because I am able to save money and pay for my own housing and adhere to local building codes I'm the bad guy? Why don't all of you "artists" move somewhere that is more affordable?

Posted by Rob Appeldorn on 12/07/2016 at 9:35 AM

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

my heart breaks at the loss of so many young artists and muscians, who are the soul of Oakland. After the end of fundraising for the victims and families,
a new fundraising drive should start to help fund safety up grades for the many warehouses used by Oakland's artists. Oakland Technology companies
such as Pandora and Uber could spear head this effort . It sems technology, although a huge benefit for Oakland, is also the driver of high rents which are forcing some into unsafe warehouses.

Posted by Judy.Belcher on 12/07/2016 at 9:09 AM

Re: “An Open Letter to Our Community, From the Former Residents of the Recently Closed LoBot Gallery in West Oakland

Bigfrog - Yes, I think I was incorrect there, in that I'm sure many of the buildings were abandoned or unoccupied when artists moved in. That point was secondary to the rest of the post, and I should have just left it out.

Posted by Carlos Jamal on 12/07/2016 at 8:44 AM

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

Yeh, just like how you "helped" the Church of the Buzzard.

Posted by Rachel Hella Oakland on 12/07/2016 at 8:44 AM
Posted by Abigail Carvalho on 12/07/2016 at 8:36 AM

Re: “An Open Letter to Our Community, From the Former Residents of the Recently Closed LoBot Gallery in West Oakland

Hey Carlos Jamal - I was one of the original inhabitants at Lobot and nobody was displaced when we moved in. It was formerly a business and the guys who built the living spaces created a place where 15 - 20 people lived. And in my situation I freed up a low rent room for someone else to occupy.

Posted by bigfrog on 12/07/2016 at 8:11 AM

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

Yes! If there is one thing this fire has taught me, it's that this community is so close. Most people I know around town, at cafes, bars, etc., know someone who lost someone, or lost someone directly. To me, threatening to evict those who live in places like the Ghost Ship is to remove Oakland's artists, and whitewash its character. Artists need funding, this country needs to value its artists be proud of them and give them dignity, and instill a value of caring for its buildings. Many many houses here have old electric wiring. If people care about fires so much, why isn't there a program to support safety measures in all of its old houses and having it changed out?

Posted by Cynthia Salaysay on 12/07/2016 at 7:59 AM

Re: “An Open Letter to Our Community, From the Former Residents of the Recently Closed LoBot Gallery in West Oakland

The housing crisis is a travesty, as was this horrific fire.

Unfortunately, your way of life, of living in a poverty of choice to create art, appears to no longer be sustainable in this area of the world. You were not the first people to live in Oakland, nor would you be the first people displaced. Likely, you displaced someone when you arrived.

You are in charge of your own life. You are at no one's mercy. Your problems and issues have arisen because of the lifestyle choices you have made. You should come to terms with that.

To retrofit buildings for fire safety, you need fire marshals. You need money. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Posted by Carlos Jamal on 12/07/2016 at 6:34 AM

Re: “An Open Letter to Our Community, From the Former Residents of the Recently Closed LoBot Gallery in West Oakland

What if you didn't go to art school?? That's some cold hard snobbery right there. That's called victim blaming and that is the most disrespectful way to talk about the deceased. What's selfish about what Lobot said?? They are trying to protect spaces like their own from being shut down as opposed to being made safe. Making more places where more people can feel at home so we don't all have to be privelived little pricks like you and can just be ourselves. Not every boot comes with a damn strap so try some new shoes on and figure that out smarty pants. What do you mean by don't "expect" to be taken care of by you city? Is a city not supposed to be concerned with the safety and well being of its citizens? Or are you saying don't expect it cause they obviously only give a fuck about their money... Cause yeah that's why we DON'T expect it. But that doesn't mean we don't deserve it. And if you think that's selfish, you're only looking in a mirror. You don't deserve your safety any more than anyone else, you just have more access, because you have privelive, cause the boots your daddy gave you came with straps you near sighted ditz. Just remember your diploma will be the first thing that burns when you get to the gates.

Posted by Morgan True on 12/07/2016 at 3:48 AM

Re: “An Open Letter to Our Community, From the Former Residents of the Recently Closed LoBot Gallery in West Oakland

Editor: The comment made by Tove is horrifically offensive and inappropriate in the wake of this tragedy.

Posted by chichichills on 12/07/2016 at 12:59 AM

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