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Re: “Artists Who Survived Oakland Warehouse Fire Discuss The Tragedy, Those Missing, Need for Safe Underground Spaces

Some resources for "slouching towards safety" I've found in a few days of digging around:

*OSHA regulations for work spaces, 29 CFR 1910 subpart e - almost too vague, at least it's understandable to a (patient) layman. https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/29/pa…
* http://www.worldcat.org//architects-studio… Looks like a good book that condenses code requirements, I'll look at a copy at the UC Berkeley library.
* NFPA Life Safety Code 101 http://www.nfpa.org//all-code/list-of-code… A real gold mine. Register for free, and you can access all their content.

The trouble is the issue pretty complex for a one-page broadsheet, all that most of the young rave-goers have attention for. Boiling it down further, maybe some really basic rules:
* two exit paths minimum to the outside from any performance space.
* clear exit paths 28 inches wide or more
* Crash bars on the exit doors (not that expensive - abt $100 new, and I suspect, but haven't confirmed, they may be available via salvage at the usual locations for same.
* photoluminescent exit lighting (glows without external power or batteries)

These are all things that are visible to attendees. None of these visible? Complain, then leave, is Uncle Ryan's advice.
BTW, Gilman Street has all of this and has for DECADES, just as an example.

Maybe there could be a second list of "best practices" oriented toward property - I don't know, leaders? What the LoBot collective tried really hard to be... Some bullet points (and these could be applied to living as well as performance spaces):
* fire escape ladders for second-floor windows. https://wiki.ezvid.com/best-escape-ladders
* if windows are more than about 3 feet off the floor, steps to allow them to be used for egress. The building code has a maximum sill height of 44 inches for egress windows - conflicts with privacy and security. My own house doesn't meet that one.
* Some form of alerting system, even if it's just a bullhorn in the DJ booth.
* How to conduct a fire drill. Oriented towards promoters, bouncers and DJs, but have a live "mob" of your friends to do it, and a mini-keg afterward if you can all get out in under a minute.
* Fire-proofing partitions, particularly around exit paths. Drywall is cheap, and reasonably fire proof.

Please keep thinking about how to prevent another Ghost Ship FIRE. E-mail me privately if you want to help build a Movement.

Posted by Ryan R Young on 12/07/2016 at 12:02 AM

Re: “Artists Who Survived Oakland Warehouse Fire Discuss The Tragedy, Those Missing, Need for Safe Underground Spaces

While I think there is plenty of blame to go around, I'm not all that interested, me, in assessing and assigning it.

What interests me is improving the safety of alternative spaces. The spaces are not going away. Their economics are sketchy. Full code compliance is NOT happening, and may be counter-productive in the long run anyway - all the preceding has been pointed out, here and in other posts.

This NEED NOT mean doing NOTHING. I'm exploring, along with a prior poster in this thread, "slouching towards safety" - intermediate approaches towards issues of egress, electrical safety, etc. Something outside of Code Compliance and Fire Marshall inspection. Contact me via the link in this posting, and let's talk, hopefully leading to acting.

Every word in the building and fire codes is written in blood mixed with ashes. We ignore them at our peril. Let's have MORE beautiful spaces (while the Ghost Ship pre-fire pictures frighten me rigid, I can ALSO see the attraction - it did look mighty cozy), but no more martyrs.

Posted by Ryan R Young on 12/06/2016 at 11:40 PM

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Posted by Atifa Esha on 12/06/2016 at 11:23 PM

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

Safety is obviously the most important issue. All venues must be safe, as I would have hoped everyone has learned from this awful tragedy.

Beyond that, we don't need bureaucratic interference with our artistic events. But we cannot do without safety.

Posted by Dan Asimov on 12/06/2016 at 10:58 PM

Re: “Self-identified 'Fat Trans Man' and Berkeley Resident Shane Brodie Protests the 'Transphobic' Trump Statues

Brodie will ultimately fail at his quests until he learns to respect others instead of unilaterally demanding respect that only goes one way. Maybe one day he will learn that there is a difference between having the balls to take a stance and just being a dick.

Posted by Kevin Kaper on 12/06/2016 at 10:22 PM

Re: “Artists Who Survived Oakland Warehouse Fire Discuss The Tragedy, Those Missing, Need for Safe Underground Spaces

A family friend lost her son in this fire. Other people we know are still missing.

I think a false opposition is being created in this thread. Some people say that people who knew about the situation should have taken preventive action. One might start that list with the master lessee, but not end it there. This horrible fire stands out in part because structure fires have gotten a lot more unusual--fire prevention has been an unsung triumph of government regulation.

Other people say these situations are unavoidable, there's no such thing as safe low cost space in Oakland right now. The only affordable space is physically unsafe space. The City (and other governmental entities) should work to create physically safe artists' housing and performance venues. Other cities (in the US and elsewhere)--starting with Emeryville (!) have been a lot more proactive in creating artists' housing.

I think both the responsibility perspective and the housing shortage perspective are valid.

Posted by Nathan Landau on 12/06/2016 at 9:48 PM

Re: “Artists Who Survived Oakland Warehouse Fire Discuss The Tragedy, Those Missing, Need for Safe Underground Spaces

I've been following this tragic event since it occurred. Going to clubs and shows down in LA, I realize, this EASILY could have been me or any of my friends and/or acquaintances.

I find ALL of the loss of life from this tragedy to be equal.....and find it disheartening that the person writing the article is sad moreso for the attendees who remain unaccounted for who are transgender people and people-of-color. In the 2010's, all we hear about is treating everyone equally and yet, in many scenarios, certain people continue to focus on certain victims instead of ALL of the victims. There are certainly circumstances when these types of people (transgender, gay, etc) are discriminated against and bothered, but it is definitely NOT at a club, a show or an event within the underground community.

I know LA may be a bit different than up there in the Bay area, but if we look at each other equally here within the scene (goth/industrial/EDM/elecronic/dark wave, etc), I can't imagine people up there looking at each other differently.

From the "before" photos of the inside of the building, this venue was a disaster waiting to happen. I have been to places like this, mainly for "after hour" parties and have left many of them after getting that "this can't be good" feeling. For those of you in the scene (the MUSIC scene....I could care less about your skin color, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, etc), please be more careful and vigilant out there. If something doesn't seem right....it may not be and it is better to be safe than sorry.

For all of those who have lost friends and family from this tragedy, my truest condolences.

Posted by Pat S on 12/06/2016 at 9:22 PM

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

Tove you are out of order and have the wrong end of the stick so to speak. I can only assume you are a middle aged white man or woman and are out of touch with other people's life experience and or position in life.

Posted by J Rashad Banks on 12/06/2016 at 9:07 PM

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

A crack down is needed. Landlords rent to people and the people then break the lease by doing illegal activities. Often jimmy rigging electrical or plumbing to accommodate more people.The Ghost Ship better wake people up at City Hall.

Posted by Garry Ovalbach on 12/06/2016 at 8:34 PM

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

No one should die for the sake of art. Art does not get murdered when it follows the rules in a gallery. It gets better because if you want it bad enough you will jump through the hoops to get it. The can do spirit of humans has taken harder blows than this and thrived. This jackass Ion needs to be charged with murder. He is a drugged out poser that doesn't care about the lives lost. It's all about him. I bet the criminal in him wants to hide, but the attention whore side has to go for the light. What if you were at the party? Instead of complaining why don't you go out and help the underground be safe. Get a code book, read it and develop a working relationship with a fire marshal. You could do a whole series of articles on what it takes to be safe and why it so important. Or, you can sit safe behind your computer, whine and throw rocks.

Posted by Patrick Farmer on 12/06/2016 at 8:15 PM
Posted by Conan Neutron on 12/06/2016 at 8:14 PM

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

Editor: Please remove the comment from Tove. It's very sad, maddening and completely disrespectful to the conversation we're trying to have right now.

Posted by Kelly H williams on 12/06/2016 at 7:50 PM

Re: “Couple In Charge of Ghost Ship Lost Kids to Child Protective Services While Living in Oakland Warehouse

Who is this "Aldigator" who thinks you can rent a one bedroom apartment for $1,400? What a ridiculous thing to say...

Posted by Rose A. Ellis on 12/06/2016 at 7:20 PM

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

Personal anecdotes on the pulling up of bootstraps always seem so relevant to everyone don't they? i think this letter perfectly points out that city fire policies don't even allow people the chance to bring a space up to code without being displaced. This comment just reeks of "i got mine, so who cares about your?" elitism.

Posted by Porch Lyfe on 12/06/2016 at 6:46 PM

Re: “Oakland Officials Order Staff to Withhold Public Records Related to Ghost Ship Fire

Well put, Mr. Patton. You might add, where is the Chief of Police? We don't even have one of those. Is this information covered under an FOIA request? Note also that the Planning and Building Director has recently left and an interim is in her place, a man frequently interviewed with fewer and fewer answers each time, just several "open investigations." I would say that "heads need to roll," but I'm afraid there's not one responsible head left in Oakland City government.

Posted by Tove Beatty on 12/06/2016 at 6:24 PM

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

This is, simply put, horrendously selfish and notice that the condolences to those souls lost in the Ghost Ship (an apt name, now) are at the end of the article, when they are what should be at the tip of our tongues, the top of our minds, right now. So sad you can't "create" and "live," yet somehow I've found a way to do it for over 40 years and put safety first in my living environment. You are not "forced into" ANYTHING. And, most certainly, do not expect to be taken care of by the likes of the City of Oakland or this #derekion dude or any other slumlord. These are the situations that cause us to GROW THE HELL UP. Get politically active and stop this self-indulgent sob story unless you are sobbing about someone you lost at 31st and International. If you went to art school, society took care of you in some way, shape or form. Give it back, and not in the form of bad (or even good) art. Give it back in the form of meaningful action on behalf of those 36 souls. It's on you, it's on us. But this selfish whining has got to stop because the one thing it WON'T stop is this housing and public safety crisis, nor will your art.

Posted by Tove Beatty on 12/06/2016 at 6:22 PM

Re: “Dan Savage: Fucking Is Part of the Fight Against Trump

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Posted by Laura Williams on 12/06/2016 at 6:17 PM

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

"If Oakland attempts to shut down every party that doesnt have the right permits, even if its for the admirable reason of preventing another Ghost Ship disaster, then it may inadvertently snuff out the beautiful do-it-yourself spirit that animates so much of the citys soul. "

--That is so f-ed up.

Posted by Tove Beatty on 12/06/2016 at 6:14 PM

Re: “'I'm Going To Get My Gun': Event Organizers at Ghost Ship Accused Derick Almena of Theft, Threats

OMG. Dude needs a criminal defense lawyer and fast. Holy moly. Who gives the proverbial shit about how he feels? The NERVE of this BASTARD saying he didn't have enough money when he can pay for a luxury hotel (the Marriot) and was collecting market-level rents for a complete death-trap. You KNOW he is spending that money right now and, as per his poor wife (who he pulled out of rehab against her parents' wishes, and she is the mother of three who should probably be sober or close to it, but is instead with a man with a history of meth, which would explain guns, bullets and crossbows and locking people in), saying that they didn't "have enough money" is a total laugh, if it wasn't so insanely tragic.

Where did you get your money for a hotel that you're still staying in #derekion ? And for all those trips over the years on which you collected the wood items that burned in your hoarder's paradise into which you brought vulnerable people and then stole from them #derekion #ghostshipfire? To answer your rhetorical question about whether you are to blame: I see 36 counts of negligent homicide/involuntary manslaughter and a bunch of other bad stuff (karma's a bitch) coming your way.

(Some deluded folk keep saying you have a side to the story but they can't cite it nor will they defend you or say that you are a nice guy. Looks like the devil is about to get his due after letting 36 souls burn in Hell.)

Posted by Tove Beatty on 12/06/2016 at 6:10 PM

Re: “Operator of 'Ghost Ship' Lived Inside Site of Oakland Warehouse Fire with Wife, Children, Was on Probation

I was involved with the Rave community in the Bay Area for years and have known numerous artists and others that have lived in warehouses. Most of these people are artists, musicians and kids that don't have the money to afford the high rents in the area.
This guy didn't start the fire, didn't lure people in, and was probably just providing spaces for those that didn't have anything else. I can't imagine what he's going through.
Dear God, bless the people that perished and their hurting families.

Posted by Jim Manne on 12/06/2016 at 2:35 PM

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