Bennett Hall 
Member since Jan 16, 2012


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Recent Comments

Re: “The Oakland Fence Saga

This matter is a perfect example of why the City of Oakland is dysfunctional, inefficient and unable to generally provide services that reasonable duty would warrant to its taxpayers. This reveals an agentic culture which lives in silos filled with excuses ready to defer responsibility yet protect egregiously ballooned public salaries.

Josh: What is the latest of this gulag in a Catch22?

Why does the City feel it needs to discourage citizen proactivity and quash contributions like this?

When will this change?
A: just after Musk finishes tunneling Hyperloops to LA, NY and DC, when he launches his first flying pigs.

Posted by Bennett Hall on 07/28/2017 at 10:41 AM

Re: “Oakland Fire Department Hits Hills Homeowners With Erroneous Inspection Bills

This is what you should do when you make a mistake, Campbell Washington said about the departments new plan

What they should do is compensate citizens for the systemic time-burn created by their errors and omissions. Only then will there be real change, as presently there are no consequences to their issuing false fines and fees. A citizen not having to pay an unjust fee or fine that they never should have charged in the first is hardly a win.

Here's a thought - work with your community and educate them on fire safety - and communicate clearly what the rules are. I am shocking how many up here are enraged, confused or stressed about this matter

Meanwhile - the City cannot fill pot holes, resolve homeless camps or illegal dumping or clean up their own lots, and we do not see them "fining themselves" do we? Instead we see their acting CEOs (Chief Excuse Officers) providing various "messaging" about why they cannot or will not fix things.

Posted by Bennett Hall on 05/11/2017 at 4:39 PM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

Do not blame "lack of funds" and gentrifications for the space managers choice to profit on illegal sub-leasing, failure to install life safety / fire protection standards, adhere to capacity egress rules, and operate an entertainment venue negligently. These laws, like speeding or not driving drunk, are appropriately established to protect people; Government can do better at education and partnering with citizens - absolutely - but the newly arriving customers to the event that night had a reasonable expectation to a safe environment - they were tragically let down. Let's see how the City pivots and takes a leadership role to help make the community safer.

Posted by Bennett Hall on 12/07/2016 at 9:56 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: “Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0

I find with great irony and amusement, that if you "Yelp Yelp" you will see how the biter bit as it were - they are generally hated and they have Yelps Yelp ratings is down there with Comcast, Chase Bank and the phone trees of Covered California. Try it. Write a review of your own!

BTW I finally got them to stop harassing me and my staff - but it took some high-pressure sales tactic of my own

Posted by Bennett Hall on 12/16/2015 at 4:15 PM

Re: “Oakland's Perfect Storm

The Dougherty example does not make fiscal sense: "I wanted to raise [Young's] rent by $25, but she said she couldn't do it." Seriously? Over $300/year?

This lessor is being more than reasonable - the tenant apparently states they can afford to move over that little? There has to be more to this.

I would wager nearly anyone's monthly budget can save $25/month by reviewing wasteful spending, and save that much if not hundreds or more. Do you have cable (wire ears Netflix and DSL work fine)? Do you pay more than $10/month for a smart phone (try Ptel)? Have you reviewed your insurance, bank junk fees (should be zero), parking tickets if you have a car (utterly unnecessary) and, any other expenses that could be eliminated or shopped around? How many time month do you eat out? Clothes are now nearly free whether you buy the imported "slave-labor made" goods (see "high cost of cheap Fashion") or go to recycled shops. If you are that low income, have you researched ALL the available subsidizes that could help out? Do you eat junk food - factory food EVER? Drink? God forbid you spend $ on smoking - I know someone late on rent that spends $300 smoking - interesting priority there.

The question to ask is what are your priorities? Hopefully it is a nice place to live with people you want to be with, healthy real food, and required expenses such as insurance and utilities. Everything else that are "wants" should be looked at with great scrutiny and adjusted to resolve this. This is not that difficult, to cut the budget a bit if you line item analyze is and focus on the NEEDS first then the WANTS and make sure you are not being over charged or wasting.

That said, if you only make $2500/month or so and a studio market rate rent is $2100+ then we have an unsustainable problem on the brew. And, if due to the costs of construction, labor, insurance, governmental permit fees etc,. there is no possible way to produce new housing that does not sell in the $500/ square foot range or rent in the $2.50/ s.f. range, which appears to be the case, then frankly I do not have a good feeling that there will be a happy landing on this issue. You cannot mandate $50/hour minimum wages. And, the Fed today, says that we have little to no inflation - 2%? Really Ms Yeltsin? You must not now be in the Bay Area. Tricky issues indeed.

Posted by Bennett Hall on 12/16/2015 at 2:19 PM

Re: “Starving Students Movers Company Caught on Video Dumping Furniture in West Oakland

So - months later - can we now conclude that Starving Students paid no fine, did not lose their license, and ultimate this conduct was "swept under the rug". Of, did this company pay the price for their negligence. Does anyone know?

Posted by Bennett Hall on 11/05/2015 at 3:48 PM

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