Artists working to live and work in safer spaces in Oakland after Ghost Ship

ktvu – excerpt (includes video)

Tanya Retherford took KTVU inside a 90-year-old warehouse in West Oakland where she is working with the city of Oakland on a first-of-its-kind project to build a live-work space completely up to code at 30th West Street, with a special variance from the planning department.

Retherford is the architect and a future tenant of the flagship project.

“This is going to be an artist’s, co-living working space when it’s completed with 13 residential spaces and studio space, dance floor, and workshop,” Retherford said.

She was part of an art collective at another warehouse that was evicted by their landlord immediately after the Ghost Ship fire took 36 lives in Dec. 2, 2016.

“What we’re trying to do is shift the paradigm so that people can develop spaces like this and work with the city,” Retherford said.

With numerous people living in non-permitted commercial spaces, two non-profit organizations are offering support.

The Oakland Warehouse Coalition and Safer DIY Spaces are two groups whose goal is try to bring properties up to code, while fighting to keep residents in their homes.

Jonah Strauss, executive director of the Oakland Warehouse Coalition, said the organization was formed after immediately in the wake of Ghost Ship…

At the beginning of the year, Mayor Libby Schaaf issued an executive order to improve safety at unpermitted buildings. It aimed to prevent unnecessary displacement, among other things. Strauss and Keenan said city leaders are supportive of making spaces safer, but the order has largely been ignored by code enforcement (more)

It would be nice if more cities chose to help artist stay in place while they take care of safety problems as a response to dangerous living conditions rather than evict them and or fine them. Do it Yourself (DIY) projects are at the hart of the artists movements and have been for decades. Our city leaders should encourage that spirit of freedom to express ourselves instead of damping it down as they have done for as along as we can remember. This is the newest and only pioneering option we have left in this country, and any action to improve one’s life should be embraced. Make sure to share this with your local officials as a good way to combat dangerous living conditions without evicting people and adding to the homeless crisis.

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Uber-Style ‘Surge’ Pricing Could Be Coming To A Theatre Near You

By Sammy Caiola : capradio – excerpt (includes audio track)

And you have Uber to thank for that, or whoever first came up iwth the idea of surge pricing.

Would you see a movie midweek instead of on a Friday night if it meant saving a few bucks on a ticket? Regal Entertainment Group wants to find out.

The company owns Regal Cinemas, United Artist Theatres and Edwards Theatres. There are nine Regal theatres in the greater Sacramento area.

Under a new pricing strategy announced this week, ticket costs would vary by showtime. At peak times, shows would cost more. At slow times, they’d cost less.

It’s a model already used by ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft, and by sports teams… (more)

Will theater goers who are already disenchanted with the notion of dealing with traffic, parking and waiting in lines, put up with a confusing price structure for tickets as well? Surges usually go up not down. This seems like a good way to kill the local theater market that is already under stress from high prices and competition from online offers.

At the Artists’ Loft Museum, Longtime Arts District Residents Are Refusing to Be Erased

By Catherine Wagley : laweekly – excerpt

Please don’t let the Arts District become unlivable for actual artists,” Michael Parker pleaded on Aug. 10, addressing the City Planning Commission and the developers behind the Camden Project, a mixed-use development slated to go up on Industrial Street downtown. Just 5 percent of the complex’s residential units are required to be affordable housing, which Parker doesn’t think is adequate. “There should be much, much, much, much, much, much, much more affordable housing and larger units so that dozens and dozens of 25-year-old artists from the CSU can afford it,” an effusive Parker said. He also mentioned the Artist Loft Museum of Los Angeles (ALMLA), the museum he started out of the Seaton Street studio in which he’s lived and worked since August 2001.

“What’s the name of your museum?” asked Planning Commission president David Ambroz.

“The ALMLA,” repeated Parker. “We have our first opening on Aug. 31, the last day of my lease, before I will be facing —”

“Now you’re slipping into testimony,” Ambroz interrupted. “The name of the museum I got.”…

Parker recently received notice that, upon the start of his new lease, his rent would increase by $2,050 a month — a 43 percent increase from what he’s been paying, and about 200 percent more than what he was paying six years ago — and that he would no longer be able to live in his studio, though the space has been zoned live-work for at least 25 years. He is working with lawyer Elena Popp of the Eviction Defense Network to fight these new terms, something a number of other artists in this city are doing, too. Parker also spent last Wednesday morning in court, after his landlord’s lawyer sent Popp a temporary restraining order against ALMLA’s opening. The judge ruled that the opening could legally go ahead, as long as Parker kept attendance under 49 people at a time. “You’ve wasted enough of my time,” Parker recalls the judge saying after she emerged from her chambers with a decision…(more)

Who knew in the 1970’s when Beaux Arts was under pressure to close one of the first “live-work” art and entertainment centers, that San Francisco and Los Angeles would face the same fate forty years later. Seems the establishment can’t stand art and creative thinkers.

Four Quitters Walk Into a Bar…

Interview by Lydia Polgreen : huffpost – excerpt

To swap war stories from an administration they couldn’t serve for one more minute.

have met Trump haters before, lots of them, the kind who seize upon every conspiracy theory and refuse to give him any benefit of any doubt. The four people I recently spent the morning with at Solly’s Tavern in D.C. (sans booze, don’t worry) were not Trump haters. They were, however, Trump quitters.

All of them, at some point over the course of the last nine months, had left their posts within the current administration, having decided that they could better serve their country from outside the government than from within. They weren’t happy about quitting, either. They were civil servants who wanted to remain civil servants, who, except for one, had worked under presidents of both parties. They had disagreed with superiors over the years, they had been fearful of new regulations and wary of political appointees, but they stayed on because that’s the nature of career work in government. This was different…. (more)

Berkeley among first cities ready to sell legal cannabis in California Jan. 1

greenstate  – excerpt

Cannabis fans and history-watchers may be flocking to Berkeley Jan. 1 for some of the first legal recreational marijuana sales in the state’s modern history.

Commercial sales to adults 21 and older can legally begin New Year’s Day in California, but pot shops need both a state and a local license to conduct such transactions. Unlike San Francisco or Oakland, Berkeley has become one of the very few of the 400-plus cities and counties in California to create such a license.

On Oct. 17, the Berkeley Council voted on consent to pass the second reading of an amendment to its city code permitting Berkeley’s three dispensaries to conduct adult-use sales, according to Charley Pappas, vice chair of the Berkeley Cannabis Commission, and former chair for two years. The amendment had passed a first reading unanimously Oct. 10, he said.

The amendment now goes to a City Clerk for chaptering and becomes effective in 30 days… (more)

 

English Man Catches Fish And Holds Up To His Mouth . . . Fish Jumps Down Throat And Forces Man Into Cardiac Arrest

A twenty-eight-year British man experienced cardiac arrest this week after he accidentally swallowed a 6-inch long Dover sole that he caught on a fishing trip in Boscombe, England.   The man was dangling the fish over his mouth as a joke when it broke free and went right down his throat.  Fortunately, paramedics arrived within minutes and saved his life by removing the fish with forceps… (more)

When your food attacks. This reminds me of the lobster dinner the 1988 movie, Beetlejuice. Great special effects, costumes and makeup.

The Atlantic Confirms It: We Are Living In A Kakistocracy

By Dartagnan : theatlantic – excerpt

I can speak from firsthand knowledge that living through 11 presidencies of varying degrees of competence (and the occasional scandal or criminality) gives you some perspective on what we are experiencing today. Norman Ornstein, political scientist and resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, has lived through 13 of them. What he sees with the Trump Administration is something so unique it needs a special word to describe it, a word that has been out of popular usage for nearly two centuries. The word is “kakistocracy.”
kakistocracy (English pronunciation: /kækɪsˈtɑkɹəsi/) is a system of government which is run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens. … It was also used by English author Thomas Love Peacock in 1829, but gained significant usage in the 21st century…(more)