Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sudoroom Perimeter Security

An Engineer's Diuers Obseruations Concernynge 
Made After Some Contemplation Of 
Campus, Disposition, Maintenance, &c,
That Are Deserving
Of A Most Full 

Crime prevention through environmental design

(CPTED) is a multi-disciplinary approach to deterring criminal behavior through environmental design. CPTED strategies rely upon the ability to influence offender decisions that precede criminal acts. As of 2012, most implementations of CPTED occur solely within the built environment. Changing the areas we reside in to deter criminals from committing acts in our communities is the main goal of CPTED. With urban design and the planning that goes into the creation of new and reformation of older communities, citizens in these neighborhoods and places of business can feel safer at all hours.❞  [Read more at Wikipedia]

The Overhead Light In The Entryway

The Landlord MUST replace this light and make sure that its operational.  There should be no hesitation:  you ask, he replaces.  It should have been done yesterday.  

The Trees Across The Street

Get the City of Oakland to trim back the trees (hopefully) just around the street-lamps across the street.  There are three lights up on the building across the street, meant to light the street:  it could be much better lit.  See the double-plus-good discussion on Anti-Blight, below.

The Parking Deck Next Door

The building owner may be the owner of the parking deck.  If he does, getting the lights that are busted fixed is as easy as it was in number (1).  He is required to do it. And he should know this, if he has owned property for more than a month. Because he should know first or secondhand that if he does not fix it there is a damn good possibility (based on precedent in case law) that he will be financially liable for damages resultant from any further criminal activity.

if he’s not the same owner, then it’s a research question whether a property owner owes a duty of care to next door neighbors. I guess that would be why there are blight laws, huh?

which means, if he does nothing, SRers may have a case against him for what has already occurred (?).

If it’s things like lights in the alley then there are 10 lights.  There were 7 that  were spaced at regular intervals as you go down the alley, mounted 15- 20 feet up on the wall of the parking deck.  If they were there they would be shining light down into that darkness from where they are no longer mounted about 20 feet up. Only one non-functional one remains. Once you see it you’ll be able to see where the others were.

Then there are the three lights whose bulbs are burnt out where the bank drive thru is (was?) down at the other end of the alley.

The Intersection Of 22nd & Broadway

Street-lamps each have two super bright bulbs by means of which they light up the night.  This in turn enables people to see other people at a greater distance than they would otherwise, and avoid interaction if that is prudent.

At the intersection of 22nd & Broadway one of the streetlight's bulbs is out.  On the SR side of the street.  This does in fact make things more dangerous.

The city has to replace it, and pronto -- same deal -- we need to bug the fuck out of them until they do it.


Three different departments and one council-person; one or two building owners.

Call them once a day until its done.

it is a principle of sound design that good lighting is essential to a secure building.  building codes are written stemming from, and reinforcing, this.  There are, consequently, social, political, and legal mechanisms whereby certain actions that prevent and/or counteract blight can be taken.  The point is to do so with the least amount of delay or opportunity for that action to devolve into inaction, which leads to more blight, and directly and indirectly may result in harm to people or property.  Which we do not want.  Which is the point.

Further Instruction

Is it a part of fire code?  The fire department requires trees be trimmed back so that people will not be able to break into other people's houses without being seen...

A Note Concerning Insistent Constituents

 Without delving into the ethical underpinnings, that ism, without agreeing or disagreeing with this social principle, one can see that it is empirically true that the squeaky wheel gets the grease.  Applying this to the situation at hand, the axiom becomes:  if you keep bugging them, they will do it.

SR has a landlord, who may or may not be the building owner.  It also has a council-person, and a person who runs the department responsible for the city's control of urban blight, and a person who runs the department responsible for the city's trimming of trees. A month of hearing from someone every daywill probably motivate the necessary action.   They are limited in the resources that they have, including attention. A kindly daily reminder/report of status will help focus that attention.

 as far as organizing the once a day calling

it’s important to actually reach them
[what if you can’t? –ed] [i would be willing to go in person –ed] 

come up with talking points or even specific phrases, 
( like republicans do) such as “constituent service”

remind them that there have been “five events in the past month [accuracy check, please –ed] requiring police intervention at SR” [as i/we understand it -- i do not have all the details myself –ed]

- the pepper spraying incident 
- the car break-in
- the stolen ipad
- the being held up at gunpoint
- the guy messing with the keypad trying to get in

maybe give a status report such as X,Y and Z await action; A is scheduled for ,; B is underway; C has been promised, but no date has been scheduled/estimated/committed to

 a secondhand bit of info, FWIW: where SR is, at the edge of Koreatown Northgate, or KoNo, there are no beat cops because supposedly Northgate has the lowest incidence of violent crime -- but this is only because the city does not count armed robbery as a  violent crime.  KoNo has the highest incidence of armed robbery.

[fontsize emphasis mine –ed]

Notes On Finding Property Owners


zoom in on map (assessors map at to get the parcel # (APN) then you can get more details here also 

take APN and/or other details and feed them in to

I forgotten the exact  method of feeding the APN into the link above to find the current owner, mainly because I can’t remember right now what the right combo of leading, trailing, and extra middle zeros to trim is, but  we hack right? 3 quick ideas

1. Brute force – 
try the different combinations of zeroes etc

2. Use knowledge that you have of a property already – 
and feed it in to retrieve that property’s info to backward engineer the right format

3. Go to courthouse – 
and look on their property info computers. They rarely have a queue and seem to be available for just this kind of use by the public. Unrestricted access 8:30-2:30 or 4 except for passage through the courthouse entrance: metal-detector for your person and the x-ray machine for your effects.

[following are the results of the Speaker's engaging in the above research technique –ed]

Parking deck 
 [Owned by “exempt public agency” per Assessor’s, 
so very likely city of Oakland]

Parcel of SR building

Parcel facing Broadway at other end of block from SR  

Middle of block and alley next to SR building 

Having found out that the City of Oakland owns the parking deck next door, and they’re responsible for its blight makes me both more and less optimistic about whether they alone will fix the blight depending on my estimation of their willingness to fix their own problems. OTOH, since they are responsible to the citizenry in general, and they have geographic knowledge of problems via mapping crime and they are the landlords of the blighted property they arguably already have the kind of legal liability for what has happened recently, the kind that was mentioned above only in prospect for SR’s landlord. As I understand it, it’s established law that if a government is performing a function that isn’t unique to government (the set of which seems to be shrinking), that it has no sovereign immunity for doing it poorly.  

Please forgive the upcoming caps: WARNING: GO TO AN ACTUAL LAWYER IF YOU WANT A LEGAL OPINION RENDITIONED RENDERED. I only offer my opinion which is not withheld pending ransom retainer. (Sorry for the caps –CYA.)
The point is court action possibly offers another stick (but it is a blunt instrument). A carrot might be to offer to help correct the situation, but that would be poisonous to relations with city unions, probably, even if a qualified person could be fielded. The greater point you already know well and practice: to think (sideways or whatever direction) to the extent you believe the issues are salient. Hope my modest thought offering is helpful.

see also wikipedia:
and its reading list:
International CPTED Association
European Designing Out Crime Association
Stichting Veilig Ontwerp en Beheer (the Netherlands)
California Designing Out Crime Association
Crime prevention and the built environment.
Washington State University CPTED Annotated Bibliography. Url last accessed May 6, 2006.
Oscar Newman, Creating Defensible Space (pdf) (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research, 1996). Url last accessed May 6, 2006.
CPTED LinkedIn Discussion Group
SmartCode Module on CPTED
Secured by Design (UK)

N.B.: These are the near verbatim notes I took of an impromptu talk.  They have been reviewed and edited by both the Scribe and the Speaker, & unless bracketed & followed by attribution, (as in "[ respect of actionability alone these ideas are robust indeed.  –ed.]") represent the ideas mostly in the exact words of the Speaker.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

a door, a proof, a concept


needs quicktime, download it here (link is to googlecache not apple)

and if you don't have Quicktime, here's an sdp file that will open in vlc