Sarah Lockhart 
Member since Feb 17, 2016


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Recent Comments

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: “Oakland Metro Operahouse Claims Harassment by a Neighbor, Who Says the Music Venue is Breaking the Law

Dear Mark Kraft: you obviously don't know very much about code compliance. A cabaret license is the exact license nightclubs are required to get.

Posted by Sarah Lockhart on 06/22/2017 at 1:12 PM

Re: “City of Oakland Poised to Give Public Land to Nonprofit that Improperly Received $710,000 in County Funds

I hope they didn't pay James Cahill of Pilar Consulting Services very much to prepare that 990, because he obviously doesn't know what he's doing in that regard.

There are numerous questions that have "no" answers, where the answers should be "yes" (as in "no" would raise a red flag).

There are fields that should have descriptive sentences but instead have minimal text. The program service accomplishments should say things like, "We provided # of services to # of people in # of locations" - at minimum. The answer should not be "charitable" - one word, charitable. It's obvious that the preparer not only didn't know what he was doing, but couldn't be bothered to read even the basic instructions on the form itself.

There are boxes that should be checked that aren't (the treasurer should be an individual trustee as well as an officer, the same as Elaine).

There is no data shown on the return for 2014, which should be present as the organization states it existed in 2014. Perhaps the preparer didn't do the 2014 return, but he should have obtained the information from the organization.

Also, considering they report property tax expense, the fact there is nothing on the balance sheet for fixed assets, is another red flag of incompetence. The $11k spent on "Information Technology" would also generally result in fixed assets.

Going through this 990 more closely, it is actually quite impressive how incompetently it was prepared. The Public Support % on Schedule A should be 100%; instead it is shown as 0%.

The statement of program service accomplishments shows $5100 in expenses but "0" for grants, where, on the functional expense page, the $5100 is listed as being entirely grants given to domestic individuals.

As far as there being no details of the Other Fees, it is possible that it was detailed on an attached page that did not make it into the archived version. I've seen that happen before. However, this just looks like more evidence of negligence on the preparer's part.

The fact that almost all the expenses are put under "management and overhead" is something that is a red flag for mismanagement. However, based on the overwhelming lack of competence in the overall tax preparation, to me, this doesn't indicate mismanagement, just an incompetent tax preparer.

Posted by Sarah Lockhart on 06/20/2017 at 9:55 PM

Re: “Oakland Tenants Say Eviction Notices on Rise After Ghost Ship, Call on City Hall For Moratorium

does this tenant protection actually apply if the property was rented for commercial use and the lease specified no residential use was permitted? My pessimistic nature is skeptical.

Posted by Sarah Lockhart on 12/14/2016 at 1:25 PM

Re: “Will Oakland Lose Its Artistic Soul?

just a few semi-self-indulgent nit-picky factual corrections:
1. Rock Paper Scissors was at the corner of Telegraph and 23rd, not 24th.

2. Signature Development Group, formerly Signature Properties, has been buying up parcels and building condos in that neighborhood since 2004, well before the Oakland Art Murmur started, and years before any of the arts spaces quoted existed, except RPS. RPS was in the process of building out their space when the deal for Broadway Grand, Sig Prop's first development was going through planning approval. The Broadway Grand project demolished a small warehouse building housing 21 Grand, the first arts space to settle that neighborhood (prior to Mama Buzz and RPS), apart from Creative Growth on 24th and Webster. 21 Grand then relocated to 25th St. in April 2005 where it operated until closing in January 2011.

3. When Mike Ghielmetti was with Signature Properties, he offered 21 Grand a similar deal -- a ground floor space in one of the new condo buildings. When asked if the rent would remain the same, he asked what 21 Grand had been paying, and when quoted with the figure of approximately 80 cents a square foot, he demurred, "Well, it obviously would not be that cheap."

Posted by Sarah Lockhart on 02/17/2016 at 12:40 PM

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