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

I heard foregoing fire sprinklers, running water, and sanitation is a great way to get your rent down. I hope they send this SLUM LORD to jail where he belongs.

Posted by Nathaniel Talcott on 12/05/2016 at 4:20 PM

Re: “On Class, Race, Culture and the Anti-Trump Movement

Your opinion piece reads as if it were weighing both sides of the issue, and then decides that we should put our differences aside and move forward together. However, I think this piece is more about you than about any movement of people.

When you, as a rich college educated liberal/progressive white man, quote from four college educated men, two of them white, yet no women or trans people of any race or class, you are showing that you dont pay much attention to your city: you are yourself living in the rarefied white upper class liberal/progressive bay area bubble, within the bay area bubble we all live in.

The bay area, probably more than anywhere, is already at the intersection of race and economic (in)justice and gender. There are so many people experiencing that intersection and struggling in it and organizing around it.

To visit the example you use, "discrimination faced by Hispanic people in the Bay Area is quite different than that experienced by the transgender community." You dont seem to realize that there are many trans Latinix/Chican@ people within the bay area Hispanic and transgender communities. Do you think all trans people are white, and all Latinix/Chican@ are straight and cisgendered? What about Taja DeJesus, killed in SF last year? Which of your binary oppressions did she experience? Poor? Latina? Transgendered?

Thats one person, but if you were in touch with the bay area I live in you would know that intersectionality obviously includes economic justice for all.

"A deep fear exists among those [white people] who are being left behind economically. If the left dismisses their suffering, they're going to flee just like how once Barack Obama voters abandoned Clinton"

POC and white working class voters alike didnt turn out enthusiastically for Clinton. If you have a economically elitist neo-liberal candidate who gives lip service to POC while supporting horrifying deportation policies and war against POC in the middle east do you think many from the identity politics world OR the economy-concerned white working class would be enthusiastic about her?

"Helpfully, most debaters agree that it is risky to emphasize the distinctions in the 99 Percent. When we make differences primary, people without power are not going to progress, and the dominance of the One Percent will persevere. The only way forward is through a solidarity of the non-elite. It must be a solidarity for a common good, not of "my identity against yours." "

Actually, when you promote utopian, color blind all of us together against the real enemy of the 1% ideas, you make it harder for white people to do the work of acknowledging the systematic racism and white privilege that comes from founding a country on genocide and slavery and that must be addressed before there can be justice, economic or otherwise for anyone.

Im guessing that you may have formed some of your ideas about race during the 80s or 90s when color blindness was in vogue. Thats not where we are anymore. Acknowledging differences is productive and necessary, and choosing to work together across those differences is harder but more effective than pretending they pale in comparison to the difference between us and the 1%. *

Im a 33 year old white man who works a minimum wage job.

I dont have a high school diploma and I didnt go to college. If I can figure out what intersectionality is, you can too.

* I have a feeling that as an owner of a newspaper, a businessman and a lawyer, you are a member of the 1% yourself. Feel free to leave this part out if you print this. But keep in mind that you might not want to be speaking on behalf of the 99%

Posted by Steve Schmidt on 12/05/2016 at 4:14 PM

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

Foodiexp75, these matters are very relevant because they give us insight into the character of some of the key players in this story. And yes, "moneyed people" do dictate rents in a capitalistic society. Maybe you should try living in Cuba, since they may have policies more to your liking.

Posted by tina2001a on 12/05/2016 at 4:11 PM

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

This tragedy had failures on every level:
city officials should have enforced building codes that exist to prevent hazardous conditions like this, the building owner should have had a better handle on what was going on in his building, master tenants should never have permitted residences/events without proper permits, tenants should have never leased in a building that obviously wasn't permitted as such (use common sense) & adult event goers should have noticed there were no sprinklers, clearly marked exits, (things you'd normally see in a commercial space), parents of minors should've known where their kids were. Everyone failed in their duty.

Posted by tina2001a on 12/05/2016 at 4:05 PM

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

Does anyone dispute that he was in charge of the facility and that he leased it for the electronic music event of Dec. 2? He is guilty of negligence that led to these deaths -- and with electrical wires reported to spark often, he knew it. If anyone deserves prison, it is he.

Posted by Charlie Pine on 12/05/2016 at 3:27 PM

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

He hasn't left or fled. He's still in Oakland staying at the Marriot

Posted by calmdown on 12/05/2016 at 2:34 PM

Re: “Building Engulfed by Deadly Oakland Fire Had Pending Habitability Complaints

It's amazing that the unionized city workers are not getting 100% of the deserved blame for this. Criminal charges should be brought against the city workers who failed to do their jobs.

Of course no one is going to be punished and of course they will retire with full pensions eventually. Thanks government unions!

Has there ever been a more clear-cut case for banishing city workers from unionizing? At-will employment would have prevented this disaster as the inspectors would have known that they would be getting kicked to the curb if they failed to do their jobs properly...


Posted by Vladislav Davidzon on 12/05/2016 at 1:02 PM

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

Rent is hard to afford anywhere in Oakland, even if you have a decent job. As of October 2016, average apartment rent within the city of of Oakland, CA is $2778. One bedroom apartments in Oakland rent for $2420 a month on average and two bedroom apartment rents average $3075. Is it any wonder that people will live in dangerous conditions rather than be on the streets? You need to earn about $60 per hour to live here.

Posted by Kelly Erickson on 12/05/2016 at 12:54 PM

Re: “Building Engulfed by Deadly Oakland Fire Had Pending Habitability Complaints

If you look over the Commercial Inspections information on the Oakland Fire Departments Fire Prevention webpage it is clear that procedures were not being followed. It is especially troubling as the Ghost Ship building was very close to an Oakland Firehouse and as a retired firefighter I can assure you the crews I worked with always knew what was going on in buildings nearby. Cincinnati Ohio Fire Department took even more aggressive steps and was known to visit bars and nightclubs late in the evening to check for exit and overcrowding violations.

Posted by Dennis McCloskey on 12/05/2016 at 12:31 PM

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

Oh c'mon, Darwin! Some guy wrote that he "think(s) this person may be unstable?" Some guy who you previously reported had declined to comment on the "harassment?" Some guy you previously reported as Mr Almena's former friend?

You're reporting Lewis and Elvey's allegations againt Mr. Almena as if they were true, while dismissing Mr. Almena's allegations against Ms. Porter as irrelevant.

"Mob, ready your pickaxes!"

Posted by Edward Cervantes on 12/05/2016 at 12:03 PM

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

Why is the East Bay Express suddenly a trashy gossip rag? Its ironic(?)...hypocritical(?)...unfortunate and disappointing to see a publication that normally reports on the injustices of our system (including how defendants are often railroaded into accepting plea bargains due to overworked public defenders and a classist bail system), immediately publish Mr. Almena's probation status as if it was relevant to the fire. It's alarmist and pandering to simplistic blame and revenge mentality. He's on probation (after accepting a deal, as you report, so he wasnt tried or convicted), therefore he's a criminal, and deserves to have his dirty laundry aired before being hung for the deaths of the partygoers? He may be a dirtbag, but does that make him guilty?...and he may be guilty of something, but isn't that for the (broken) courts to decide?

Posted by Edward Cervantes on 12/05/2016 at 11:48 AM

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

Greg Broderick .... excellent post and right on target!

If you've lived in the unit for 21 years at a low rent threshold, would you have not saved up enough money to purchase a small home/condo for yourself? Although I feel for the tenant, he has no right to live in that unit indefinitely.

City of Oakland Rent Control Just Cause Measure EE needs to be revamped. An example is that it is helping keep the wealthy remain in (low) rent controlled apartments, while affording them the ability to become landlords themselves. I have seen liberal judges rule against landlords attempting to evict tenants for making modifications to their units without consent of the property owner (hello, Ghost Ship fire).

Again although I feel for tenants in bad predicaments, these tenants should have planned for the future.

Posted by Anika Brown on 12/05/2016 at 11:44 AM

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

Lots of folks were lost Friday night. I'm not sure why the writer of this article chose to focus on soley people of color and transgender people, which seemed in poor taste. Victims that were neither should be mourned and respected equally. A lot of life was lost Friday night, whether they were black, white, hispanic, asian, native american, gay, straight, cis, trans, etc, they will all be missed, and they were all lost too soon.

Posted by Ivan Torres on 12/05/2016 at 11:16 AM

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

Parents and caregivers and friends please tell your loved ones to never live somewhere where you don't have a lease and where the building is not a residential structure with all its proper city permits for safety. This is not about a city being harsh and preventing people from having the freedom to live where they want, it is about the failure of an individual to embrace the responsibility of providing safe and legal residential living space to third-party individuals who entrusted their now lost young lives. Landlords everywhere take note of this responsibility for the lives of others. David Moss

Posted by grahamgriffin on 12/05/2016 at 11:07 AM

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

Why are these allegations only now coming out, and why was no action taken apparently with respect to these accusations ? Were they not filed or not followed up on? Who took the reports? What government officials have been involved in oversight on any level, related to the 1) events, 2) commercial leasing, 3) tax-filings, 4) business licenses, 5) insurance and labor laws, 6) fire code, all of it...this gets stranger by the minute.

More investigations clearly appropriate into this matter.

Posted by Bennett Hall on 12/05/2016 at 9:59 AM

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

this man just lost a large number of friends, and his home. Nice to see that scruples and common decency don't restrain the EBX from digging up whatever dirt they can on the man.
And you petty spiteful commenters need to recognize that your demonization is basically fueling a witchhunt.
This grave event may be the impetus for a wave of artist spaces being red tagged. Similar to what happened in SOMA after the 89 earthquake.

Posted by Russ D on 12/05/2016 at 9:37 AM

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

Rent is hard to afford when you spend everything on meth and broken Hammonds.

Posted by Alan Rager 1 on 12/05/2016 at 8:30 AM

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

Re: the closing paragraph, there's at least two grammatical errors in the last sentence, and it's implied that the couple lost their previous East Oakland home because the owner raised the rent to an affordable level. Is this what happened?

Posted by Jesus O'Nazareth on 12/05/2016 at 8:22 AM

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

Why always when something like this tragedy takes place not only does the media find a scapegoat, but they expose all these persona matters which are not relevant. I mean who doesn't have issues on this society. Stop blaming one individual, this is a local government problem. The people " representing us" really aren't. They represent themselves and their pocket book by allowing moneyed people to dictate policy such as housing and skyrocketing rents for one.

Posted by foodiexp75 on 12/05/2016 at 8:17 AM

Re: “'I Genuinely Thought I Was Going To Die': Reddit User Describes Terrifying Escape From Oakland Warehouse Fire

What were these two thinking? (God and Mother Superior) That "it" wouldnt happen to them? How old were they? Maybe when I was a young adult/kid, when I was invincible and knew everything, I would have scoffed at something like this happening to ME.
But now, at 45, I would have LOVED the eclectic boho artistic altar/shrine space inside the Ghost Ship. However, being painfully aware that anything can happen, to anyone, anytime, anywhere...I would have simultaneously thought "what about a fire?" Thats just from having lived a few years, and yes Ive grumbled many a time about jumping through hoops to do things the way "the Government" dictates they be done. But not only are these two old enough to KNOW BETTER, they are PARENTS as well.
Most people change when they have children, even those who would have previously thrown caution to the wind in regards to their own choices in life. As a parent I could never have slept at night, in a tinderbox like that place OBVIOUSLY WAS, with my children present. I am not one to demand conformation, I relish the unique differences among us ALL...and I try to appreciate each person for who they are ~ but in this case, I dont understand. How could these two "older" PARENTS be so blindly ignorant? So ARROGANT?
To CHARGE people (indeed, mostly younger people...still in their invincible phase) to come into this death trap and party??? KNOWING the electrical situation, the flammability, the manueverability of the place?
Sigh. I dont think they ever intended anyone get hurt, but they did nothing to prevent it, it appears. Tough learning curve.
Why? Why?
I understand their young daughter, 13, was upset about the comments being made about her dad. Someday I hope she understands the bigger picture. Its about RESPONSIBILITY...Its about growing up and trying to manuever through our lives without DOING HARM. Its learning from everything that we experience and reflecting that knowledge back onto the world we live in.

How can two people who tried so hard to appear so enlightened been so in the dark?

Posted by Tina Wilson on 12/05/2016 at 8:17 AM

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