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Re: “Abalone Collapse with Kelp Forests

As a abalone diver who's been diving over 25 years I've never seen it so bad. Places I've dove for years are now a Barron waste land of urchins . This is a problem that I believe can be repaired. Bull kelp seed will lay dormant for years and grows fast. We as the stewards of our oceans must take action. Instead of taking your abalone and getting out take a bag of urchins. Fish and game could aslo put some of our tax dollars to work and hire these out of work urchins divers to clean up and harvest these purple urchins. The starfish are coming back slowly but it's up to us to fix this. A hand full of urchin divers could clean up a cove in a day and within a matter of weeks the kelp will start to return. We divers need to press Fish and Game to allocate money for the clean up of our ocean. 10 million is a drop in the bucket compared to the total collapse of one of the last great wild abalone populations in the world. I call on every sportman and woman to take action and put pressure on the fish and game to fix this. It can be done if we take action now . Let's not wait on fish and Game to do nothing which we all know will happen. Sometimes nature needs a little help. Starfish are coming back but without a effort to rid some of these coves of urchins there is no way the Starfish alone can solve this by themselves!! The time for action is now so please get involved and let's make sure your kids kids have the opertunity to enjoy one of natures greatest delicacys !!

Posted by Donald Gates on 11/30/2017 at 7:04 AM

Re: “Evictions After Ghost Ship

The living conditions that lead to the establishment of the Ghost Ship should not have been.
The living conditions which lead to the establishment of the Ghost Ship resulted from the collaboration between Jerry Brown, Henry Paulson and Steve Mnuchin.
The collaboration between these three men, has resulted in one third of the homeless people in America now living in California.
The collaboration between these three men, allowed MERS and associates to put 67 million illegally generated mortgage transactions into the system.
The collaboration of these three men, are what resulted in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire and the fire on San Pablo in Oakland, that have resulted in the deaths of 40 people.
My name is Allen Sanford and here is the proof, if you choose to know the truth!!!…

Posted by Allen Sanford on 11/30/2017 at 6:50 AM

Re: “Evictions After Ghost Ship

Alot of the officials/employees shutting down spaces might belong to unions. You should talk to the boards of the unions and the Labor Council and get them to pass a resolution supporting unpermitted live-work spaces.

Posted by Gary Gregerson on 11/29/2017 at 8:48 PM

Re: “Evictions After Ghost Ship

OK, listen up snowflakes. I'm one of the few, the proud. Not JUST a California native, but born and bred right here in the East Bay.

Over the past few weeks I've gotten sick to death of hearing how you can't afford to live in the urban areas of the Bay Area.

As a child, I lived here without questioning much of anything. In my teens my family moved because it had become too expensive and to be frank, they were crackers (yes, THAT kind of crackers). I barely made it out of high school. I wasn't cool. I never had a "posse" and no one had my back. I didn't go to college; I wasn't good at much of anything. Just too damned dumb to quit.

As a young adult, there was NO WAY I'd try to raise my kids in the urban areas... It was both too expensive AND too dangerous, unless it was one of the enclaves and then it was monstrously expensive and even more out of the question.

Bottom line, there is NO right to live in any particular place. The Okies (my parents) found that out. They found out about "sundown towns" too... Just like the other people who came to California found.

The kids are grown. I've been through more life changes than I like. I did things and was someone no one would be proud of. I made it out and I'm better now; Not good, but better.

Oakland is better now too; Not good, but better. It's going to continue to get better too and not because it will stay as it is, but because of change... And a LOT has to change.

I love to live in Oakland and here in my home, the Bay Area.

It got bad. Now it's better. It could only do that because it had to change and it did change. Just like I had to. It's gonna suck for a while. Embrace the suck.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 11/29/2017 at 8:16 PM

Re: “Abalone Collapse with Kelp Forests

Phil Sammet is diving in or near Fort Ross? Isn't that area closed? That location was decimated several years ago from a red tide and no wonder he saw no abalone there. Not a fair representation of the healthier populations further north. The kelp growth has actually increased this year from last in the spots we dive in northern Sonoma and southern Mendocino counties. No question about the urchins though. Everywhere except the isolated rock outcroppings where the abalone have clustered in big numbers and the urchins can't migrate across the sand. Those isolated areas also have abundant kelp growth again.

Posted by Scott E. on 11/29/2017 at 4:18 PM

Re: “Evictions After Ghost Ship

Hopefully they will keep evicting until all the substandard and dangerous habitats are closed. We don't need another Ghost Ship.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 11/29/2017 at 3:00 PM

Re: “Why Derick Almena Deserves the Most Scorn

Dear East Bay Express:

Hire some writers who know how to write. And spell. Spell-Check isnt enough.

Posted by John Michaels Grabowsky on 11/29/2017 at 1:37 PM

Re: “Evictions After Ghost Ship

Bay Area politicians have had a decade and more to learn from NYC's example, this is what legislation to protect lives looks like:……

Its not knee jerk evictions, not banning tent cities from our delicate eyesight or ass-covering for the powerful. The viable solutions are political and economic. Blame lies squarely with political leaders who wont lead, only fund-raise; banks with no incentive to develop non-profit communities only to extract fees. And, present journalist excepted, news organizations that dont report, just peddle ad impressions. Not least, major arts organizations that offer only freelance work to local artists, little or no thought given to funding and promoting local grass roots spaces. The big give has been SFMOMA deigning to publish a web page, the Open Space blog. Compare that with the $305M renovation of the Fisher family art barn.

Let's hope city officials throughout the Bay Area read this reporting, or that new political leaders who stand for more than profitability can take their place.

Posted by Porphyry Group on 11/29/2017 at 1:12 PM

Re: “Why Derick Almena Deserves the Most Scorn

"Theres also strong evidence that the buildings owners, the Ng family, were aware of the dangerous conditions inside. " Yeah, but they received a $3 million dollar insurance payout. If they aren't charged they'll be off to China tomorrow.

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 11/29/2017 at 12:38 PM

Re: “Oakland Schools Grapple with Another Financial Crisis

Yet another f*ck- up brought to you by the City of Oakland. Self-serving, corrupt, and myopic. No wonder Betsy Devos is licking her chops.

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 11/29/2017 at 12:30 PM

Re: “Evictions After Ghost Ship

Very, very true the underground live music scene in Oakland has totally disappeared and artists are moving away. The cost of living is too high. Ironically Art Murmur made KONO a magnet for galleries, yet even those places are getting priced out and unaffordable condos are going up everywhere. Not everyone can or wants to be a techie, and any wage below $30/hr isn't enough to rent even an above-board apartment unless you've been able to take advantage of rent control in the last 6 years or want to spend 50% of your income on rent. Oakland's city govt doesn't support the arts or even artists; they are slow to move on everything and are too busy squirting "Schaaf's Special Sauce" into tech company and developer mouths that they can't can't keep up with the evictions, the homeless encampments (duh...caused in part by evictions and unaffordable housing), and the carpet-bagging millionaires set on turning Oakland into a mini-San Francisco at the massive detriment of current residents that aren't part of the 1% or the entitled nouveau riche.

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 11/29/2017 at 12:27 PM

Re: “Why Derick Almena Deserves the Most Scorn


Jury-rigged and jerry-rigged mean essentially the same thing.…

But the origin of "jerry" is problematic.…


Posted by Robert Gammon on 11/29/2017 at 12:20 PM

Re: “Why Derick Almena Deserves the Most Scorn

Isn't that 'jerry-rigged'?
Jury rigging refers to judicial abuse, not building with inferior materials or workmanship.

Posted by Chris Roberts on 11/29/2017 at 12:10 PM

Re: “Why Derick Almena Deserves the Most Scorn

To a certain extent, blaming the City for the fire, is akin to blaming the police for not arresting the drug dealer who sold heroin that caused people to OD. On a structural level, yes, the state apparatus is responsible for the suffering. But the thing is, most of these spaces and the people who run them, know that what they are doing isn't legal, and actively avoid getting caught. It's the game we've played for years.

And it isn't exactly true that city officials have turned a blind eye until now. It's an easier story to tell, but it's not accurate. Every few years, they'd make an example of some space, and OPD or the Fire Dept. would show up and kick people out. But this level of enforcement wasn't a priority for the City. I remember a cop once told me, when he was responding to a complaint about an illegal warehouse party, "Someone just got shot 5 blocks from here. I don't want to waste my time with your party. Just don't make me come back."

Posted by Sarah Lockhart on 11/29/2017 at 11:12 AM

Re: “Abalone Collapse with Kelp Forests

Abalone have been overfished for decades, this just adds to the problem. They once were so abundant in Big Sur that you could harvest at low tide in sneakers. They have been gone for many years from there.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 11/29/2017 at 8:00 AM

Re: “Why Derick Almena Deserves the Most Scorn

Finally the EBE publishes the truth instead of some nonsense about how the City is to blame ( and they do hold some culpability) for Almena's greed and ambition. The tenants were idiots, and Almena took advantage of them. Oakland should NEVER have turned a blind eye, and is still doing it.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 11/29/2017 at 7:58 AM

Re: “Oakland Schools Grapple with Another Financial Crisis

Who reviews all these outside contracts and approves them for payment, surely there is a name on the contract and that name bears responsibility.

Posted by alphie noakes on 11/29/2017 at 6:36 AM

Re: “Oakland Schools Grapple with Another Financial Crisis

Vernon Hal the Chief Business Officer's job description makes him responsible for keeping the District fiscally solvent. He didn't. So why is his job as the Chief Financial Officer not vacant?

There is a consultant filling in for the Interim Chief Financial Officer that just left.

And, the District webpage lists Office of Accountability Officer as vacant.

Not a pretty picture.

Posted by Jim Mordecai on 11/28/2017 at 11:17 PM

Re: “Evictions After Ghost Ship

"Hey left hand."

"Yeah right hand."

"I can't tell what you're doing."

"Hey, I can't tell what you're doing either. Why is that?"

"It's Oakland, pal. Mayor Libby. See you around someday I hope."

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 11/28/2017 at 8:47 PM

Re: “Evictions After Ghost Ship

The basic problem is that once again, in trying to appease the arts community, Mayor Schaaf wrote a check that she was never going to be able to cash. She has no technical expertise whatsoever to even make a statement like that.To focus on life safety upgrades to illegal residential uses of industrial buildings without displacing tenants, either by eviction or by rent increases by owners to pay for upgrades was never a realistic goal. First of all, at work here is a series of regulations that are not always consistent with each other. The zoning regulations are local and regulate use of the building.The Building and Fire codes are both State and local and many issues, especially in the area of life safety (corridors, sprinklers, exits), are not negotiable and cannot be waived by the local jurisdiction. To suggest that 50-100 year old warehouse buildings are "green" and therefore should be exempt from regulations is ridiculous. Many of those buildings can't even meet the minimum residential requirements like heat, fire safety and plumbing. The live work regulations adopted in the early 2000's were an attempt to meet artists half way by setting up some basic standards.However, the housing bubble that came later created an opportunity for an underground windfall by owners of these old buildings. The City's combined negligence and incompetence later translated into a defacto don't ask don't tell policy that led to the deaths in the Ghost Ship fire. The City will learn the cost of that incompetence and lack of leadership when the law suits and criminal claims are settled. At the end of the day, no matter how unpopular it is, the fact that there is a a housing shortage should not translate to any public policy that allows artists to live in spaces not intended for residential uses and dangerous to themselves and the community at large. The Mayors confusing and unrealistic goal is why the staff is all over the place both in their understanding of the rules and how to apply them. Of course, in Oakland, when you don't have an answer or the answer does not meet the political agenda you hire an expensive consultant to tell you what you already know so that you don't have to take the blame for telling the people what the truth is.

Posted by Gary Patton on 11/28/2017 at 7:26 PM

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