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  1. #331
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    Quote Originally Posted by borndem View Post
    Wow -- this is indeed stranger than fiction -- no one could write a screenplay & imagine all this stuff... no one. SMH.

    Gee willikers, Lassie.
    Yep, Timmy's in the well alright, Lassie!

    The City of Oakland hired a public relations firm, in a 6-month deal worth up to $90,000, to serve as official media consultants and spokespeople following the city’s deadly warehouse fire.

    The Press Shop, a San Francisco-based public relations agency, was hired to develop “media strategies and communications” following the disaster. The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit obtained the contract and discovered the deal entitles the city to a 3-person communications team, including one executive who is being paid $500 per hour.
    ...
    The city became a target of heavy criticism following the fire, which erupted on Dec. 2 during an unpermitted, late-night dance party. The warehouse, known as the Ghost Ship, was never permitted as housing or event space, but it had been used for both. In the hours after the fire, the Investigative Unit obtained records that showed city building inspectors knew about the unpermitted activity and potentially dangerous living conditions well before the disaster.

    Source: Oakland Hired Pricey PR Agency after Deadly Warehouse Fire, Paid Exec. $500/Hour | NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigat...#ixzz4bpzbxkt0
    Oy vey. How's that working for you city of Oakland? IMO it's gonna take a lot more than a pricey PR firm to get the city out of this mess. Seems like they're just compounding the problem.

  2. #332
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    Quote Originally Posted by MsMarple View Post
    Yep, Timmy's in the well alright, Lassie!



    Oy vey. How's that working for you city of Oakland? IMO it's gonna take a lot more than a pricey PR firm to get the city out of this mess. Seems like they're just compounding the problem.

    Man that is so not OK People died, take responsibility - private sector you would have been fired two days after.


    Instead of hiring a PR take that money and hire more fire inspectors --the focus is all off any more

    Its actually repulsive, using public funds to CYA sounds illegal to me!!

  3. #333
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    Quote Originally Posted by CARIIS View Post
    Man that is so not OK People died, take responsibility - private sector you would have been fired two days after.


    Instead of hiring a PR take that money and hire more fire inspectors --the focus is all off any more

    Its actually repulsive, using public funds to CYA sounds illegal to me!!
    bbm

    Yes, yes and yes. I've seen it happen -- three times where I worked for 30 years -- all three were way-up-there executives -- one of whom was fired by the CEO over the telephone during a weekend! Here today & gone tomorrow. With a terse e-mail to all employees in each case: "John K. Doe is no longer working at So-and-so Company." Full stop.

    A PR firm - the very idea. Damm.


    All posts, unless attributed, are "just my humble opinion," and they are to remain here in Websleuths and are not to be used elsewhere. Thank you.
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  4. #334
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    Quote Originally Posted by borndem View Post
    bbm

    Yes, yes and yes. I've seen it happen -- three times where I worked for 30 years -- all three were way-up-there executives -- one of whom was fired by the CEO over the telephone during a weekend! Here today & gone tomorrow. With a terse e-mail to all employees in each case: "John K. Doe is no longer working at So-and-so Company." Full stop.

    A PR firm - the very idea. Damm.
    I authentically believe it is illegal- it is public money,

  5. #335
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    A draft report of the fire was finally turned over to the Alameda DA's office on Saturday (March 18). A criminal investigation is underway.

    http://kron4.com/2017/03/20/alameda-...p-fire-report/

    However, the delay in getting the report to the DA and the fact that it was sent to the Oakland city attorney first could cause problems down the road if charges are filed:

    But legal experts have pointed out, this delay in getting the report to the district attorney's office could pose problems if criminal charges are ever filed. "Why was that report given over to the city attorney? And secondly, why did the city attorney hold on to that report for at least three weeks? What was going on? What wasn't in the report? If it was going to the city attorney, be turned over simultaneously to both the D.A. and the city attorney, Retired Superior Court Judge Ladoris Cordell said.

    Cordell says if anyone is criminally charged, their defense attorney's can easily raise this question in court.
    http://abc7news.com/news/no-explanat...eport/1810234/

    More info on this bizarre battle between the city and the Alameda county DA:

    http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/03/...p-fire-report/

    What a stinking mess. The city of Oakland is so desperate to avoid any liability that it seems like officials don't care if the people responsible for the condition of the Ghostship - IMO that's both Derick Ion Almena and wife Micah Allison and the owner Chor Ng, and yes, Oakland fire inspectors too - end up escaping punishment.


  6. #336
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    You said it, Detective Marple. This whole shebang has been one fuh'd-up mess since even before the first spark. There are not enuff bushes or shrubs behind which all those involved can hide.

    The DA is really gonna take a fine-toothed comb to this case with even more determination than ever, IMO. And just because the now-retired Fire Chief (if I've got the title right) is no longer in her position, doesn't mean that she can't be named as a principal in some legal action or other. It is certainly her right to retire or leave the position whenever she wishes, but she surely left at a tuff, tuff time. Maybe she is helping in some way -- we don't know. And what's with all the smoke & mirrors in the City offices to sit on that report for 3 weeks or so? What was the hold up? Maybe their spell-checker wasn't working...

    Yep, I'm sticking with this one for as long as it takes -- prolly years. I'll just get comfortable.

    The hurting families and friends deserve better than this, and IMO, the DA is gonna do what it takes to get it as right for them as possible.

    Please pardon the rant...


    All posts, unless attributed, are "just my humble opinion," and they are to remain here in Websleuths and are not to be used elsewhere. Thank you.
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  7. #337
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    This is old news, but interesting:

    Changes came over the woman who helped run Ghost Ship

    By Vivian Ho

    December 12, 2016 Updated: December 12, 2016 4:15pm


    There is no easy way to untangle the story of Micah Allison from that of Derick Ion Almena — the wife and husband behind the Oakland warehouse art collective that burned down last week in the deadliest fire in the city’s history.

    To their friends, that’s because the 17-year bond between “true soulmates” is impossible to break. To Allison’s father, Michael Allison, it’s because spending years under Almena’s dominating and unpredictable personality has corrupted the daughter he loved.
    http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/a...t-10789682.php


    All posts, unless attributed, are "just my humble opinion," and they are to remain here in Websleuths and are not to be used elsewhere. Thank you.
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    This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.
    William Shakespeare, King Richard II



    The Angel of the Waters, Bethesda Terrace, Central Park, New York City

  8. #338
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    My sister in law is now Dr. Jennifer Mendiola. My brother called me tonight crying, with the news. She was awarded her doctorate posthumously, after working harder than anyone I've known.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    For Elizabeth, a minor child, a victim. Thank God she is home!

    *Gitana (means "Gypsy girl"). Pronounced "hee tah nah."

  9. #339
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    Quote Originally Posted by borndem View Post
    This is old news, but interesting: ....
    http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/a...t-10789682.php
    ^ Dec 12. ^sbm
    [Micah's friend, who had met them in 2010] "Boudreaux continued, “When she was very young, she had aspirations of being a dancer, but the whole time we were friends, she never did anything like that. Neither of them worked the entire time I (knew) them, except to build stages for parties. When they got the Ghost Ship, everything changed. It all became about his dream.” bbm

    I had wondered about that. Were they living on income from GhostShip sub-lets (i.e., the markup between rent $ they pd to bldg owner & rent $ they rcvd from allowing ppl to use a work-live space? From trust funds? Lawful income? Not-so-lawful income?

    borndem Thanks for posting link. As you said, interesting. Revealing.
    Last edited by al66pine; 04-06-2017 at 03:01 AM.

  10. #340
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    Quote Originally Posted by gitana1 View Post

    My sister in law is now Dr. Jennifer Mendiola. My brother called me tonight crying, with the news. She was awarded her doctorate posthumously, after working harder than anyone I've known.
    Thank you for letting us know, Gitana. Such bittersweet news. I'm happy that Jennifer was posthumously rewarded for her hard work for the sake of those who supported her dreams. But how sad that she was robbed of her future in her field. I hope your brother is managing...and you too. It still hurts. Hugs.
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    Anonymous Tips? Reward up to $1000
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    DISCUSSION:http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...2#post10750872


  11. #341
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lilibet View Post
    Thank you for letting us know, Gitana. Such bittersweet news. I'm happy that Jennifer was posthumously rewarded for her hard work for the sake of those who supported her dreams. But how sad that she was robbed of her future in her field. I hope your brother is managing...and you too. It still hurts. Hugs.
    Lilibet
    Thank you for saying this far more eloquently than I could have.

    (((((gitana1)))))
    Rarely would I say a post speaks for all of us, but Lilibet's does.

  12. #342
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    Just a quick update, an editorial from late March includes this information:

    Emails obtained by this newspaper establish for the first time that the owner of the Ghost Ship warehouse and the master tenant who ran the artists collective inside knew of the dangerous electrical wiring that likely eventually caused the inferno that left 36 dead.
    ...
    It’s not surprising that they were aware of the danger. That their discussions were memorialized in emails eliminates the possibility that any of them could plead ignorance.
    ...
    Almena wrote that the electricity flowed through “ancient and violated lines of distribution” that were “in dire need of a total and immediate upgrade.” Yet he continued renting living space in the dangerously cluttered building and using the space as a concert venue, knowing that it lacked fire escapes.
    ...
    The question, it seems, is not whether they should be criminally charged. It’s whether they should face manslaughter or second-degree murder.

    In other words, were they negligent (manslaughter) or did they know about the risk and choose not to act (second-degree murder). The new documents — disclosed by reporters Aaron Davis, Matthias Gafni, Thomas Peele and David DeBolt — suggest the latter.
    http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/03/...-indifference/

    More at the link. It may be slow in coming but I believe charges will eventually be filed against Ng and Derick Almena, though I don't think Micah Allison will be charged. This comes from emails the East Bay Times obtained. The paper won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the Ghostship fire. And yes, the reporting has been thorough. The emails are damning and provide a paper trail documenting that both the Ng and Almena were well aware of the faulty electrical system and the possibility it would cause a fire, yet neither did anything about it; Ng continued collecting rents as did Almena.

    You can read more about the emails here:

    http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/03/2...e-deadly-fire/

    The doo doo is hitting the fan in many Oakland offices but I'm mostly concerned that Ng and Almena are held responsible for their actions (or rather inactions) that led to the fire. It won't bring any of the victims back but hopefully it will create changes in the way city government deals with housing problems.

    Gitana, thank you for sharing the news about Dr. Jennifer Mendiola's posthumous doctorate degree. I hope it brings a tiny bit of light to you and the rest of Jennifer's family.

  13. #343
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    Quote Originally Posted by gitana1 View Post

    My sister in law is now Dr. Jennifer Mendiola. My brother called me tonight crying, with the news. She was awarded her doctorate posthumously, after working harder than anyone I've known.
    What a fine accomplishment, and what a thoughtful thing that the university personnel should think to award her the thing that she had worked for, for so many hours, weeks and years. It was hers, so they honored her, her family and her own heritage. Your poor, sweet brother, and you. You both are loved by many, you know. I will certainly never forget that she was one of those who were taken so early and so wrongfully.



    All posts, unless attributed, are "just my humble opinion," and they are to remain here in Websleuths and are not to be used elsewhere. Thank you.
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    This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.
    William Shakespeare, King Richard II



    The Angel of the Waters, Bethesda Terrace, Central Park, New York City

  14. #344
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    And the hits keep on coming: Exclusive: Ghost Ship lease specified illegal use

    Documents obtained by the Bay Area News Group show that the lease Derick Almena and a partner signed for the Ghost Ship warehouse planned an illegal use from the very start — an artist collective that was not allowed under zoning laws — and that the building owner had approved the use.

    And two months after that document was signed, landlord Eva Ng was told that Almena was secretly making alterations to the building that went beyond the terms of the lease, but Ng made no apparent move to stop him.

    “As I explained before, I can no longer work with Derick. He has altered the property without your consent,” Nicholas Bouchard, Almena’s partner, wrote landlord Ng on Jan. 20, 2014. “I think you should exercise whatever remedies you have to immediately take possession of the property to prevent further damage.”

    Rather than appreciate the warning, Ng instead threatened Bouchard, a self-described experimental artist, with severe financial penalties if he withdrew from the lease he shared with Almena.
    http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/04/2...hip-lease-say/

    More at the link.

  15. #345
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    I am just so confused as to why it is taking so long??

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