Housing

Ghost Ship jury deadlocks on Derick Almena verdict; acquits Max Harris

The jury considering allegations against two men connected with the 2016 Ghost Ship fire reached a verdict on Thursday afternoon, acquitting Max Harris, a former tenant and creative director of the Ghost Ship, of 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter. But after the jury deadlocked, Judge Trina Thompson declared a mistrial regarding identical charges against Derick Almena, the Ghost Ship’s primary leaseholder, who now faces a possible second trial.  The fire broke out on December 2, 2016, at a party at the…

Panel discusses resolving homelessness in the East Bay

Over the years, Nella Gonçalves has become very used to hearing a certain question: “Ew, you work with the homeless? Don’t they stink?” Gonçalves is the deputy director of Beyond Emancipation, an organization that helps foster youth transition into lives as independent adults. Gonçalves meets a lot of very young people in very difficult positions; she said there’s not a single youth she works with who wouldn’t know what it’s like to fear homelessness. Yet, she observed, even though barely…

Oakland City Council backs teachers; doesn’t vote on rent protections

The Oakland City Council meeting ended in confusion and shouts of anger Tuesday night after a legal issue delayed a vote on an ordinance that would have extended rent control protections to tenants living in own-occupied duplexes and triplexes.   “What’s the issue?” shouted attendee Reisa Jaffe at new Council President Rebecca Kaplan (at-large). “I’d like to know what happened?” demanded another atttendee, standing up with his hands in the air.  “These issues were just brought to our attention tonight,” said…