Narrow Search

Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion

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 -

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

Re: “Letters for the Week of December 14, 2016

I asked Schaaf via FB, if she raised the issue of racist mascots with any NFL owners. No response. I concur, she is a liar and hires worse: Peggy Moore.
Where does the buck stop? (from one who spent 12 years in iffy warehouse spaces in Berkeley and Emeryville for my band. The buck did not stop with Jerry Brown-Ron Dellums and hopefully one-termer Schaaf. Anyone remember when Brown deigned to attend a Council meeting to vote against a 10% low income set aside in buildings seeking height or other zoning variances? At the time, Emeryville and Berkeley had 20% low income set asides. A reason I can afford to live in Arreguin country. We have taken Berkeley back from Bates and his billionaire developer friends. I guess that $$ goes to Skinner and Schaaf now>
Libby Schaaf: Fire the lying, violent, opportunist Peggy Moore before she incorporates you into her game. John Iversen

looks like a great Xpress issue!

Posted by John Tango Iversen on 12/14/2016 at 1:06 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 Mayor Libby Schaaf on President Trump: 'Move Beyond Anger to Action'

The mayor says. "Oaklanders can rest assured that our government will continue to protect all its residents and defend our progressive values." She needs a good long look in the mirror. Scores died in an unsafe warehouse turned into apartments and artists' center, just 500 feet from a firehouse. Why and how? Basic municipal duties for safe building codes was not a priority while clamoring to be among world leaders on climate change. Abject failure in governing.

Posted by Willard Helander on 12/14/2016 at 8:17 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: “An Open Letter to Our Community, From the Former Residents of the Recently Closed LoBot Gallery in West Oakland

Francesco writes: "I know a manager at one of the local Bank of America branches who is always looking for young people who want a start in the banking and finance industry. Why not stop in and inquire?.... Then you could do your artwork at night."

That means assuming that what B of A does is more worthwhile than what artists do, and must be assigned higher priority -- with creativity relegated to whatever time's left over. However, such values can also be seen as those of a warped corporate system that's increasingly totalitarian as it crowds out other options (and demands more and more of our time and attention).

Under the circumstances, it's no wonder that people start looking for workarounds -- some more viable than others. I might suggest driving for Lyft or Uber rather than working at B of A, but there are problems with that as well. Unfortunately, all the alternatives are makeshift.

Posted by Mitchell Halberstadt on 12/13/2016 at 12:38 AM

Re: “The Art of Canvassing

JLEV, I definitely see your point. However, like all employees, we canvassers bring in more money than it costs to pay us, making us beneficial assets to our organizations. Being in oceans saving whales is true activism no doubt, but funds need to be raised to send that boat out there. The reason our organizations pay us to be put there is because people don't donate online. They just don't. However they do give on the street when "harassed" as you put it. We give people the push to part ways with some cash and help an issue they feel passionate about but aren't motivated enough to become a part of in their free time. If no one "harassed" people on the streets people would cling to their money and these organizations would have no budget and the Japanese whalers would be killing whales. We ask for monthly donations so we can budget out campaigns. Just like people who get jobs need a guaranteed monthly income to budget their expenses. Also you seem to have a problem with giving a canvasser your credit card but ok with giving it to the orgs website, where the same people get hijack it. I'm unclear how giving me your card on the street is different to giving it to they barista in Starbucks 25 ft away from me under a roof.

Posted by ckelley72 on 12/12/2016 at 7:39 PM

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

Here. Everybody can read her resume here.

Yes, she was a captain at one point, but she rose beyond that. But please note the three awards listed, as follows:
Chief Reed has received many awards during her professional career, including the NAACP Henry Gage Senior Excellence in Leadership Award, the IABPFF Black Chief Officers Committee Metro Lifetime Achievement Award and the Martin Luther King Associations Public Safety and Service Award.

Each of the three awards listed is a "diversity" award. It's not an award for brilliance or competence, but an award for being "diverse" and rising to a prominent position. Also, note her education, as follows:


She holds an Associate in General Education Degree from Evergreen Valley College, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership from Mountain State University and holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from National University.


Evergreen Valley College? Are you serious? Mountain State University? And the so-called "National University?" Does that last one even have actual bricks and mortar?

More "diversity" achievements listed here:
Chief Reed serves on the Black Chief Officers Committee of the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters on the California Fire Chiefs Cultural Diversity Committee and is an active member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

More emphasis on "diversity."

Is there a damn Let's Make Sure Every Building Is Actually In The Fire Department Database And Gets Inspected More Often Than Once Every Thirty Years Committee?

I guess not.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/12/2016 at 7:08 PM

Most Popular Stories

© 2017 East Bay Express    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation