Catch a Fire – Arson and Resistance to Gentrification in Oakland (CA Penal Code 451 & 452)

On July 7, 2017, a fire tore through the Alta-Waverly building, a seven-story, mixed-use building under construction in downtown Oakland. The heat from the fire was so intense, it was picked up on local weather radar and there was significant concern that an industrial crane, which was being used during the construction, might collapse onto adjacent buildings. I could feel it on my drive to the Summit Defense Law office in Downtown Oakland.  The fire destroyed the structure at 2302 Valdez Street, at the corner of 23rd Street, threatening homes and other businesses in the residential-commercial area northwest of Lake...

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Concord Resident Arrested For Arson in Contra Costa County (CA Penal Code §451)

Concord resident, Julie Tenpenny (48) was arrested this month on suspicion of starting a grass fire in Martinez. It seems that Tenpenny used a lighter to set small fires near Alhambra Hills Drive.  Law enforcement officials say that they received phoned-in tips about the woman starting as early as 5pm on Sunday evening.  When they went to investigate, they found Tenpenny – uncooperative and seemingly under the influence of drugs.  Why she started the small fires, which did require the Contra Costa County Fire Department to drop some water from their helicopters in order to extinguish the minor blaze, is...

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