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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...

Frustrating.

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.
http://www2.oaklandnet.com/government/o/OFD/s/Inspections/index.htm

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 at Last Night's 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

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

I'm as sick of young people dying needlessly as I am of hearing the white supremacist bull crap. I'm white and from where I stand in not the hater!

Sorry for all the lost ones

Posted by Nina Ison Wittenbarger on 12/05/2016 at 7:40 AM

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

Francesca M. Austin, That is a pretty awesome memory to have! No doubt what makes it so memorable is the fact that you were "young and foolish" and because it was "WRONG and DANGEROUS ", yes? :) Taking chances is part of LIVING life rather than simply just EXISTING. There is however a fine line between taking chances and having total disregard for others safety (because you're too busy getting high on meth. Derick Ion, along with the owner of the building deserve jail. ). I mourn the creative young souls that were lost in a fire that never should have happened,

Posted by Carrie Paulson on 12/05/2016 at 7:12 AM

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

You have to consider that those same working class whites in middle America who voted for Obama twice, rejected Hillary and went for Trump. That means that Clinton did not do a good enough job connecting with those folks even though she is one of them. Her lack of attention in this area of the country reinforced the notion of the liberal elites on the coast. In addition, I don't believe that many really wanted a woman, at least not Clinton. The whole FBI Director email stunt one week before the election was significant and a signal that the "guys" were not really feeling a women as commander in chief. What is more disturbing is Trumps populist mantra that somehow we are being over run by immigrant outsiders and that they are the reason for "your" money problem that is really caused by technology and the shift to a world economy. If you saw 60 minutes last night, you saw film of Mussolini spouting the same fascist nationalistic garbage. There is actually tape of Mussolini saying that he would make Italy great again. What progressives have to address is the notion by the white working class that making room at the table for immigrants means less for them, despite the fact that America has always had room at the table for others.

Posted by Gary Patton on 12/05/2016 at 7:08 AM

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

I hope that Alkebulan-Ma'at is getting tenant/legal counseling to assess his rights in this situation and hopefully keep his home!!!!

Posted by EASt on 12/05/2016 at 12:07 AM

Re: “Artists at Last Night's Oakland Warehouse Fire Discuss The Tragedy, Those Missing, Need for Safe Underground Spaces

Angela Talbot, I only (so far) know one person personally who died and she was not white nor the one hispanic person you counted off. Soen intelligently and thoughtfully spelled out what white supremacy means and you completely failed to acknowledge or understand. Read some more, respect the people mourning, and realize that your opinion may not be valid or appropriate right now.

Here's a good place to start in my opinion. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jared-loggins/explaining-white-supremacy-to-innocent-white-people_b_7617828.html

Posted by Mof on 12/05/2016 at 12:04 AM

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

From "Market Watch":
Trump is fattening the bank accounts of the elite, but he also may have saved 1,000 jobs at Carrier... on President Barack Obamas watch the U.S. economy generated 8.6 million net new jobs equal to 2,945, or about three Carrier deals, every day, including Sundays, for going on eight consecutive years. And who can forget all of those patriotic Republicans congratulating Obama for that?

Posted by Terra Wilson-Kaysser on 12/04/2016 at 10:51 PM

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