Marvin Hamon 
Member since Mar 14, 2012


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Recent Comments

Re: “Vote With Us! The East Bay Express' Endorsements for Election Day 2016

Your analysis of the results of K1 in Alameda failing are grossly incorrect. It will not "blow a $5 million hole in the general fund." There are two items in the measure:
1) an advisory vote on the transfer of over $3M/yr from Alameda Municipal Power to the city. Pass or fail nothing will change.
2) A vote to update the UUT to cover more items. If it fails the current UUT will continue to be collected, so no change. If it passes the UUT will be extended to new services and the funds generated will increase.

You have done a great disservice to people looking for voting guidance by saying the city will lose $5M from the general fund if K1 does not pass.

Posted by Marvin Hamon on 10/16/2016 at 7:12 PM

Re: “Loopholes in ADA Law Make "No Pets" Clauses Nearly Impossible to Enforce

Ah yes, the "service animal" conundrum. When I was a boy, a long time before federal ADA requirements, it was easy to identify a service animal. It would be leading a blind person and had a special harness. That was pretty much the extent of things. Today there are many types of legitimate service animals that provide important support to people, but due to permissive ADA laws there are even more of what I label "service animals of convenience." Many people who can't stand the idea of being separated from their adored pet have learned that by correctly answering two easy questions they can bring their pet with them just about anywhere because people are so afraid of being sued. No documentation is required and no one can ask them to provide any type of proof.

I personally know several people who are abusing the service animal label just for the purpose of bringing their pet with them wherever they go. They all fall under the loosely defined class of emotional support animals, the most abused of the service animal labels. One person I know was a member of a group of folks with service animals of convenience who would descend on a business in mass just to see if they would get questioned. Another became very upset when she could not bring her service animal of convenience into the neonatal ICU to see her just born premature granddaughter. After it became clear to her that she was not going to be able to bring in her dog she reluctantly left the dog behind. I know people who bring their service animal of convenience into a restaurant, hold it in their lap, and feed it from their plate.

This situation is doing a great disservice to legitimate service animals because I now assume that if there is no obvious service the animal is providing, such as being a guide dog, that the animal is just another service animal of convenience. I'm sure many others are reacting the same way, and many people are tired of dealing with it. I hope this does not end in a backlash against all service animals, but I do feel that at a minimum service animals need to be licensed and the person with the service animal should be required to produce that license if asked. That would weed out many of the service animals of convenience. The licensing of emotional support service animals, if even allowed, needs to be closely regulated or it will be as easy to get a service animal license as it is to get a medical cannabis card.

29 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Marvin Hamon on 08/06/2012 at 9:43 AM

Re: “Limited Access

For me it seems like there are two issues that need to be addressed:

1) If you have a space you are responsible for that provides public accommodation then you better make sure that the space complies with the federal ADA laws or you have waivers in hand for any noncompliance that would fall outside of the Reasonable Accommodations or Readily Achievable definitions. Ignorance of the law for whatever reason is not an acceptable excuse. Not having the funds to make the accommodations is also not an excuse unless it is not Readily Achievable. It would be nice if building officials would let people know if the space was not in compliance but if they don't it is still the job of the party responsible for the space to make sure the space is compliant.

2) I really think that when a failure to accommodate is first identified the responsible party should have a chance to fix it without penalty, and that includes the penalties under the Unruh Civil Rights Act. Someone should not be able to make a profit out of suing businesses unless the business has already been notified and has not made the required changes or received waivers in a reasonable time. At $4,000 a shot someone could make a nice annual salary by just finding one business every two weeks and shaking them down.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Marvin Hamon on 07/12/2012 at 11:30 AM

Re: “Homeless on the Bay

Overall a good article on a troubling problem that has increased in the last few years. I would point out that there are a couple of items in the article that are incorrect.

Living on an anchored out boat in the bay is not illegal in and of itself. There are places in the bay where it is illegal to anchor and of the places where it is legal there is almost always a time limit, usually 72 hours. Someone not dumping overboard, who moved their boat within the anchoring time limit, and who kept their registration updated could legally live on a boat in the bay outside of a marina.

There is no requirement for liveaboards to register with the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC). Marina's receive a permit from BCDC and in that permit there is usually a limit on the number of liveaboards the marina can legally have. BCDC has a great deal of power over what happens in the bay, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. They did not always have control over boating activities in the bay, they redefined boats as "bay fill" a number of years ago so they could exercise control over them. It's a stretch of the definition if you ask me, but well played to get what they wanted.

I don't know of anyone who refers to "off-anchor", it's anchor out, on the hook, or just anchored. If you are off anchor your boat is loose and drifting somewhere.

Getting rid of boats is a costly process due to many reasons, but in the end a fiberglass or wood hull has no value and must be cut up and shipped to a landfill. Sometimes to a special landfill for toxic waste if the hull is soaked in oil or fuel. This and the storage cost are the driving factors. I would be highly skeptical of anyone who says they can do it cheap. There have been a number of entrepreneurs over the decades offering their services to Harbor Masters to dispose of boats for them cheap. What usually happens is the person either sells the boat to someone cheap where it goes into the same cycle of abandonment or they strip it of all identifying numbers and leave it tied to something for someone else to dispose of. Much like the guy in the pickup truck who offers to get rid of that old couch for you and it ends up on the side of the road somewhere for someone else to pay to take to the landfill.

They do not mention it in the article but Richardson Bay off Sausalito has had a long term anchor out problem for decades now. I think they, the towns people and the boat owners, have reached a sort of detente over the issue. This is mostly driven I believe by the cost of removing the boats and little has changed there in a long time. Once an anchor out community forms they can be difficult to break up.

In the end it all comes down to money. It takes thousands of dollars to dispose of a boat and the governmental units that might have jurisdiction over the waterway with the anchored out boats do not have the money to spare. So no one wants to take responsibility and everyone keeps saying it is someone else's problem.

The answer, I think, is a state fund to dispose of abandoned boats. Then just like having a car towed, someone just has to call a company and have them send over a tow boat. That company goes through all the legal process of making sure the boat is abandoned and then disposes of it in a landfill. The boats should not be resold only to enter the revolving door of cheap boats until abandoned again. Take them out of the picture completely.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Marvin Hamon on 03/14/2012 at 5:00 PM

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