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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

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

Dear Derick Almena, I wish you the best in your transition to art director at San Quentin prison for the next 40 years. If you don't get your money from someone at least you won't have to lock 'em up!

Posted by Joe Sampson on 12/06/2016 at 12:36 PM

Re: “Oakland Landlord Evicts Tenant, Then Hangs Pro-Trump Billboard on Building

HA HA - someone was able to deface the t-RUMP sign by throwing paint at it! Now I can smile when I drive by...

Posted by D Silverman on 12/06/2016 at 12:13 PM

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

This letter is written by an executive assistant to the Fire Chief. Where is the leadership and direction from the Oakland Fire Chief? In all of the press conferences and public official responses regarding this tremendous tragedy, the Fire Chief has been conspicuously absent. All of the public statements have been made by Deputy Chiefs. Where is the Chief and why is she hiding? If this catastrophe does not demand accountability from the top, what will it take? I suspect that in this extremely high profile complex situation regarding a Fire response to field operations and codes, the Chief is woefully incapable of answering questions. As I recall, she was hired by ex City Administrator Santana, who she worked with at the City of San Jose. I believe that in her previous role in San Jose, Oaklands Fire Chief was a numbers cruncher in charge of the Fire Department budget. Once again Oakland shows a lack of leadership from those in executive positions who hire and promote people based on friendships and relationships instead of experience and qualifications. No wonder instructions went out cutting off public access to information. What I suspect is that what we will eventually discover is that several city departments, especially Fire and Building Inspection, had plenty of opportunities in the past to identify and correct multiple code and health and safety violations or prohibit occupancy of this obvious fire trap. The problem is that the culture of work for employees in Oakland allows myopic single focus views of the job. Fire does an inspection, but does not talk to the Building Department. The zoning inspector goes out, but does not include building code inspectors who have a more technical expertise. Everybody only sees their own job, not how they are connected. What is missing throughout the organization are people with a more comprehensive big picture sense of their public duty and how they can use other parts of the organization to actually resolve the issues on their own desk. That direction of how to work has to come from the top and it obviously and unfortunately in this case, did not happen.

Posted by Gary Patton on 12/06/2016 at 11:19 AM

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

From what I've read/heard, the actual residents of the space knew the danger and were somewhat prepared -- there had been small fires there before. It was holding a party on the almost inaccessible second floor that was the height of insanity. Some people should got to jail for this, but a creative solution for some amount of housing or accommodations could come out of this. Could. There are a lot of competing interests and desires. It will take time.

Posted by LJ Schneider on 12/06/2016 at 10:25 AM

Re: “Local Green Energy Authority Quietly Launches in Alameda County

Good point Jessica, years of grassroots community organizing went into this initiative, including Local Clean Energy Alliance, East Bay Clean Power Alliance, Berkeley Climate Action Coalition, Clean Energy & Jobs Oakland, Asian-Pacific Environmental Network, the Sierra Club and others.

Posted by Erica Etelson on 12/06/2016 at 9:12 AM

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

Breanna, I think sorting this out, and "punishing" those who acted in such ways that totally disregarded life, IS one of the ways we try to prevent this from happening again.
This fire will probably save many future lives: hopefully it will be burned into our consciousness. Hopefully others will "just say no" to unsafe, sketchy shit like this. Hopefully people are checking out their surroundings a bit closer. Hopefully people never forget. Sadly its tragedies like this that show us, throughout our lives, how precious and frail human life is.
Derrick needs to STOP TALKING.....I read a couple asanine comments: one, he called the victims all "his children". Hmmm. Cool. But they aren't. You're kids are alive. You tell that to the 36 victims parents and loved ones. (You obviously get a FAIL at parenting....I don't care how cool you are or how amused you are by your " poetic ability" put your children in a very dangerous situation) Two, he talked about his life experiences: THAT YOU OBVIOUSLY DID NOT APPLY....AT 46 YOUVE LIVED LONG ENOUGH TO KNOW THIS STUFF CAN AND WILL HAPPEN. Yet, you snubbed your nose at that, you played chicken with other peoples lives. Please, just shut the hell up.

Posted by Tina Wilson on 12/06/2016 at 6:48 AM

Re: “Oakland's Ron Dellums on President Trump: 'Step Forward'

Sorry Dan, your list of Dellums so called "accomplishments" during his term ring a bit hollow. Police reform, really? How many scandals and new Chiefs does it take until the reform part kicks in? Measure Y, what exactly did Dellums have to do with that? The voters approved the measure and Public Works implemented the projects. What exactly was the Mayors contribution?Reduction of crime, I think not. The fact is that during his term (2006-20110) crime across the country was down. I don't think Dellums had much to do with that. Obtaining Federal stimulus grants from his Washington buddies on Capitol Hill was the least he could do. After all, he could do that with phone calls from home. It didn't require showing up for work.

Posted by Gary Patton on 12/06/2016 at 5:50 AM

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

Can't we accept this tragic accident as such.? Quit trying to blame name etc.let's look to see what we can do to avoid an outcome like this.god bless peace out

Posted by Breanna Ellison on 12/06/2016 at 5:20 AM

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

If other artist spaces get red-tagged over this (which they shouldn't as this was an egregious mess) that will be Derick's fault too, along with all of the deaths. He knew it was unsafe and he made it obvious that he didn't care. And, of course, he got out. Unlike 36 other people who he was only too glad to take advantage of. Derick, if this is you, you should STFU. If this isn't Derick, you should also STFU. There is no justification for throwing a public party in that kind of space. You want to let your friends burn up in your house, that's between you and them. But as soon as you become a public space - even as an underground - that's different.

Posted by Bunny Watson on 12/06/2016 at 4:24 AM

Re: “Oakland's Ron Dellums on President Trump: 'Step Forward'

Thank you Mayor Dellums for these words. So inspiring. Thank you for all that you have done, continue to do and all of the hope you represent.

Posted by Joycelyn Hughes on 12/06/2016 at 2:46 AM

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