Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...

Category: Crime

Cyber Kidnappings on the Rise

I had never heard of such a thing.

Student Kai Zhuang was reported missing by his high school last week and later found “very cold and scared” in a tent in rural Utah after anonymous scammers convinced the 17-year-old to isolate himself, according to local police.

 

Once the teenager was alone in the wilderness, officials said the kidnappers sent a ransom demand and a picture – that Zhuang took of himself – to his parents in China and claimed he had been abducted. Zhuang’s family eventually paid $80,000 (£62,600) to the perpetrators.

 

Experts told the BBC that advancements in technology have made it easier for criminals to pursue cyber kidnapping schemes. While there is no clear data on the number of cases, they said, Zhuang’s experience is not an isolated occurrence.

There have been several cases in which Chinese foreign exchange students in other countries – including Canada and Australia – were coerced into staging their own kidnappings to extort money from relatives, said Dr Maras, who has studied cyber kidnapping cases.

Violence Spreads in West Bend School District

What is going on in West Bend? Kids fight… I get it… but in the space of a week there have been three major incidents of violence in which the police have been called. The Washington County Insider has been covering it and Mark Belling has been trying to get the district administration to pretend, at least, that they are doing something about it.

Story 1:

December 6, 2023 – West Bend, WI – On 12/05/23 at 6:06 p.m. officers were called to Badger Middle School regarding a physical altercation that occurred between a parent and coach at the conclusion of the 8th grade boys’ basketball game.

Story 2:

December 6, 2023 – West Bend, Wi – West Bend Police and the West Bend School District are looking into an incident that reportedly occurred Monday afternoon, December 4, 2023, at Badger Middle School.

[…]

“The Badger police liaison officer was asked to respond to a disturbance in one of the school hallways during dismissal time. The officer determined that two 13-year-old female students were having an argument in the hallway. A 14-year-old male student inserted himself into the argument and struck one of the female students and pushed the other into a locker or a wall.
I’ve watched the video of this attack. It was a vicious punch to the face where a boy slugged a girl.
December 8, 2023 – West Bend, Wi – On Friday, December 8, 2023, at 2:30 p.m., the West Bend Police Department received a report of a fight in progress in the parking lot of the West Bend High Schools (1305 E Decorah Rd). A 14-year-year-old female student, two 15-year-old male students, a 16-year-old female student, and two 16-year-old male students were involved in a physical fight near the bus pickup area during dismissal.
The fight was broken up by school staff, school police officers, and other responding area law enforcement officers. Five subjects were immediately taken into custody on scene. A sixth subject was located shortly after the incident at his residence and taken into custody.
One of the 16-year-old males suffered facial and head injuries and was taken to a local hospital for treatment via ambulance. The 14-year-old female, one of the 15-year-old males, and the 16-year-old female complained of minor injuries and were also taken to a local hospital for treatment via ambulance. All subjects remained in police custody while receiving initial medical treatment.
During the ensuing investigation, one of the initially detained subjects was determined to have been actively trying to stop the fight and was released to his parents. The other five subjects remained in custody until processed through the criminal juvenile intake system.
Three of the five subjects were placed into secure detention on felony charges of Physical Abuse of a Child. The remaining two subjects were processed, released to their parents, and will be facing a felony charge of Physical Abuse of a Child. Additional charges may be forthcoming.

City Officials Ticket Reporter for Asking Too Many Questions

There was a time when the media was filled with 1st Amendment zealots. Rightfully so. Their zealotry has ebbed as they supported the silencing of dissenting voices. If we don’t support rights of people to do and say things we don’t like, then we don’t really support them at all.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) —

 

Officials in a suburban Chicago community have issued municipal citations to a local news reporter for what they say were persistent contacts with city officials seeking comment on treacherous fall flooding.

 

The tickets from Calumet City, a city of 35,000 located 24 miles (39 kilometers) south of Chicago, allege “interference/hampering of city employees” by Hank Sanders, a reporter for the Daily Southtown, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

It’s the latest of several recent First Amendment dust-ups involving city officials and news outlets around the country, following this week’s arrest of a small-town Alabama newspaper publisher and reporter after reporting on a grand jury investigation of a school district, and the August police raid of a newspaper and its publisher’s home in Kansas tied to an apparent dispute a restaurant owner had with the paper.

Death Awaits the Cocaine Hippos

Well then

CNN — 

Pablo Escobar’s notorious “cocaine hippos” are facing a cull, according to a statement from Colombia’s minister of environment and sustainable development Thursday.

The herd, which the Colombian government said currently stands at 169 animals, has rapidly reproduced from the original population of one male and three females the drug kingpin owned as part of his private collection of exotic creatures.

After Escobar’s death in 1993, authorities relocated most of the other animals in the collection, but not the hippos – because they were too difficult to transport. Free from any natural predator, the rising population poses an environmental challenge. If “strong measures” are not taken to control them, the population could boom to “1,000 individuals by 2035,” the statement said.

Student loan repayments restart

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News last week:

With October upon us, the well-meaning, morally repugnant, and oft-extended moratorium on student loan repayments has finally come to an end. It is not a crisis. It is a return to normalcy.

 

According to Forbes, borrowers owe $1.75 trillion in student debt, including federal and private loans, or about $28,950 per student. Interestingly, the average debt for just federal loans is $35,210 per borrower, indicating that federal loans are granted much more liberally than private loans. In Wisconsin, the average borrower owes $30,778 in federal student loans.

 

That is a lot of money by any measurement. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that many of the people who owe tens of thousands of dollars for their education are not earning enough money to comfortably pay it back. It is difficult for a person earning $36,754 per year (the average per-capita income in Wisconsin in 2021 according to the U.S. Census Bureau) to fit student loan payments into their monthly budget — especially in Biden’s inflationary economy.

 

Student loans have been around for generations, but the issue has become acute in recent decades because of two aggravating factors. First, the cost of a college education has skyrocketed. Between 1992 and 2022, the inflation-adjusted average cost of college at a four-year public university increased by 26.7% according to College Board. A $50,000 education in 1992 now costs $129,000. Over the same period, inflation-adjusted median household income rose by only 17.6%. The price of higher education has been increasing much faster than students’ ability to pay.

 

The reasons for those increases are myriad. The federalization of student loans made for easy money for universities to tap. They took advantage of students flush with borrowed cash to bloat up their administrations and go on a building binge.

 

Meanwhile, the second aggravating factor is that demand has risen as high schools across America portray a college education as the only viable path to stave off poverty. Instead of portraying the military, the trades, entrepreneurship, or other career paths as equally viable, too many high school teachers and counselors — all college graduates themselves — have culturalized kids to think that anyone without a college degree is lesser.

 

Compounding the misleading culturalization, the abysmally wretched financial education provided in those high schools leave prospective students ill-equipped to evaluate the risk/reward of financing a college degree with debt. Ignorant of the power of compounding interest, too many kids are borrowing tens of thousands of dollars to get a degree with little market value. The result is that they are unable to get jobs after graduation that pay enough to easily pay off the debt.

 

It is true that some people are not getting the value out of their degrees that they had hoped for or were promised. It is true that college costs more than it should. It is true that student loan payments make it more difficult to afford other things and that everything is more expensive than it used to be. It is true that lenders were all too eager to dole out money without any consideration of the degree being pursued or potential future earnings of the graduate.

 

All of these things are true, but it does not absolve the borrowers from the obligation to pay off their own debt. It is not a financial question. It is a moral one. If you borrowed the money, then you must pay it back. To fail to do so makes you a shameful deadbeat and a drain on your family and community. Having a college degree does not make you any less of a loser if you renege on your obligations.

 

Furthermore, nobody wants to hear you whine about your student loans. In 2022, less than 38% of adults 25 and older had at least a bachelor’s degree. Three in five adults in the United States do not have a college degree and did not sign up to pay off the debt of people who have one. Most adults who do have a college degree have either paid off their student loans, are paying off their own student loans, or never took out a loan in the first place. They did not sign up to subsidize deadbeats who do not want to pay off their student loans.

 

The college and student loan system is terribly broken and has led far too many people into borrowing more money than they can easily afford to buy degrees of marginal value. Honor, respect, and dignity demand that the borrowers pay it back as promised.

Victims of AI

We are going to see more of this.

A sleepy town in southern Spain is in shock after it emerged that AI-generated naked images of young local girls had been circulating on social media without their knowledge.

The pictures were created using photos of the targeted girls fully clothed, many of them taken from their own social media accounts.

 

These were then processed by an application that generates an imagined image of the person without clothes on.

 

So far more than 20 girls, aged between 11 and 17, have come forward as victims of the app’s use in or near Almendralejo, in the south-western province of Badajoz.

 

[…]

 

The suspects in the case are aged between 12 and 14. Spanish law does not specifically cover the generation of images of a sexual nature when it involves adults, although the creation of such material using minors could be deemed child pornography.

Another possible charge would be for breaching privacy laws. In Spain, minors can only face criminal charges from the age of 14 upwards.

Some good questions. Clearly, the girls are victims. But is it child porn if the images are fake? What is the appropriate legal sanction, if any, for taking a public image of someone and manipulating it? If the boys had done this by drawing or painting, is it morally different than using AI to create the images? Is it a crime to draw an imagined image of a naked person – adult or child? Our legal infrastructure in the age of AI is woefully behind. The action is clearly disgusting and morally reprehensible, but how should the law deal with it?

Surveillance Society Progresses

Remember that when they set up camera systems and detection technology for one thing, it can be used for other things too.

With decades of failed attempts at gun reform amid the frequency in mass shootings, some have sought alternative solutions through artificial intelligence.

 

The Ocean City School District in New Jersey, as well as the city’s boardwalk, have implemented new technology developed by ZeroEyes, a company that says it uses AI, paired with human experts, to scan camera feeds for guns.

 

“I don’t think anybody should question or be fearful of an artificial intelligence program that’s going to identify an immediate imminent threat of someone being shot or killed. You can’t put a price tag on saving a life,” Jay Prettyman, the police chief in Ocean City, told ABC News.

Police Shooting in Ohio Questioned

Here is the latest police-involved shooting that we are supposed to be outraged about.

Body camera video of the fatal police shooting of Ta’Kiya Young, a 21-year-old pregnant mother in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, has raised questions about how an allegation of shoplifting led to a bullet being fired through her windshield.

[…]

The video of the Aug. 24 shooting, released Friday, shows Young in her car in a parking space as a police officer orders her to exit the vehicle. A second officer is seen drawing his firearm and stepping in front of the car, despite a department policy advising officers to get out of the way of an approaching vehicle instead of firing their weapon.

“Are you going to shoot me?” Young asks, seconds before she turns the steering wheel to the right and the car moves toward the second officer. The officer fires through the windshield and Young’s sedan drifts into the grocery store’s brick wall.

I’ve watched the video. You should too. A few thoughts…

The fact that the woman was young and pregnant is irrelevant. She was accused of shoplifting – that’s why the police were stopping her – but I can’t find any story that says whether she was likely guilty of that or not. That is, however, also irrelevant.

What is relevant is that she was given a lawful order to stop, and she proceeded to use her vehicle as a weapon to hit the officer in front of her car and drag (slightly) the one on the side in an attempt to flee. On the other hand, the officers demonstrated poor judgment by putting themselves in harm’s way in an attempt to apprehend her for a minor crime. If she fled without hitting them, then any use of deadly force would not have been justified. But she didn’t. She hit them.

So… in my humble opinion, the shooting was justified as she used deadly force against the officers in her attempt to flee. But it would have never happened if the officers had not put themselves physically in the way to apprehend her. It’s easy for us to second-guess the decisions made in seconds. I give officers a lot of leeway.

Alabama to Execute Killer by Nitrogen Hypoxia

I do think that we overthink these things. If we have decided that execution is still moral and right as a punishment for the worst crimes, then the moral boundary has been crossed. From there, we just need to determine the most effective, least costly, and most humane way to do it. And frankly, the first two considerations are more important than the third.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama is seeking to become the first state to execute a prisoner by making him breathe pure nitrogen.

 

The Alabama attorney general’s office on Friday asked the state Supreme Court to set an execution date for death row inmate Kenneth Eugene Smith, 58. The court filing indicated Alabama plans to put him to death by nitrogen hypoxia, an execution method that is authorized in three states but has never been used.

 

Nitrogen hypoxia is caused by forcing the inmate to breathe only nitrogen, depriving them of oxygen and causing them to die. Nitrogen makes up 78% of the air inhaled by humans and is harmless when inhaled with oxygen. While proponents of the new method have theorized it would be painless, opponents have likened it to human experimentation.

 

Alabama authorized nitrogen hypoxia in 2018 amid a shortage of drugs used to carry out lethal injections, but the state has not attempted to use it until now to carry out a death sentence. Oklahoma and Mississippi have also authorized nitrogen hypoxia, but have not used it.

Last Grocery Store Being Driven Out By Crime

Eyeroll

The Giant on Alabama Avenue is the only major grocery store in the entire ward, serving more than 85,000 people, and White had the sense its future could be at risk. The management reported an uptick in shoplifting and crime at the Ward 8 location. The managers had, according to White, spent hundreds of thousands on security upgrades and yet, White said, were losing hundreds of thousands of dollars per month because of theft. They didn’t say they were planning on closing the store. But still, White was worried, and now so were some of the residents who relied on it.

“If we don’t have this one, there will be nowhere else,” said Traci Pratt, a 58-year-old Ward 8 resident who has been shopping at the Giant ever since it opened in 2007.

[…]

“However, we need to be able to run our stores safely and profitably,” read the statement, sent by spokesperson Felis Andrade. “The reality is that theft and violence at this store is significant, and getting worse, not better. As a result, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to operate under these conditions.”

Border Barrier is Working

We have a right and a duty to fortify and protect our border. If someone gets themselves killed while trying to illegally enter our country, that’s on them. Sad to say, but it will take more deaths before people get the message that it is in their best interests to immigrate legally instead of paying a coyote to traffic them across the border.

One body was found stuck in the lines of orange buoys installed by Texas authorities near the U.S.-Mexico border. A second body was discovered separately in the area of the buoys by the Beta Group of Piedras Negras, according to a statement from Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Secretary and Mexico’s Migration Institute.

 

The Texas Department of Public Safety notified the Mexican Consulate in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Wednesday afternoon that a person was found dead in the southern part of the floating barriers. Members of the Mexican National Institute of Migration’s assistance unit are spearheading efforts to recover the body, according to the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 

“So far, the cause of death and nationality of the person is unknown,” the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

 

On Thursday, however, a source close to the investigation told ABC News that both of the people found were men. The man found by the buoys was from Mexico and is believed to have been dead for some time. The other man, who was found further away, was from Honduras. He is believed to have died more recently, the source said.

 

[…]

 

Added DPS Director Steven McCraw: “Preliminary information suggests this individual drowned upstream from the marine barrier and floated into the buoys. There are personnel posted at the marine barrier at all times in case any migrants try to cross.”

 

The Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs repeated its condemnation of the buoys, calling them a “violation of our sovereignty.”

Mexico can get bent.

Two Chinese Spies Arrested

Traitors.

Two US Navy sailors in California have been arrested on charges of providing sensitive military information to China, authorities said Thursday.

Jinchao Wei, 22, a naturalised US citizen, is accused of conspiring to send national defence information to a Chinese agent.

 

A second sailor, Wenheng Zhao, 26, was arrested on charges of accepting money for sensitive photos and videos.

It is not clear if the two men were contacted by the same Chinese agent.

 

[…]

 

He was allegedly approached by a Chinese agent in February 2022, while he was going through the process of becoming a US citizen.

 

The agent paid Mr Wei, who also goes by the name Patrick Wei, thousands of dollars for photographs, videos, technical manuals and blueprints of the ship, the indictment said.

 

Justice Department officials said Mr Wei also gave the agent details of US Marines who were on a maritime training exercise.

“When a soldier or sailor chooses cash over country and hands over national defence information in an ultimate act of betrayal, we have to be ready to act,” said US Attorney Randy Grossman.

It seems that ol’ Randy’s statement might apply to the CIC and his mini me.

X Sign Removed

Without weighing in on the legality of the sign, WOW… San Franciscan authorities moved fast to remove it. They let crooks run wild and drug-addled vagrants threaten residents and tourists, but the city authorities are mega vigilant about sign code enforcement.

San Francisco authorities have removed Elon Musk’s huge new, brightly-lit ‘X’ sign because it violated permit orders.

 

The social-media giant, formally known as Twitter, was under investigation after Musk had the blinding sign that aggravated neighbors installed without first obtaining permits from the San Francisco Department of Buildings.

 

Today, workers dismantled the large X logo on the roof of the headquarters in San Francisco, California – just over 48 hours after it was installed.

Biden Lawyers Accused of Skullduggery

Corrupt, sleazy, crooked people tend to have corrupt, sleazy, crooked lawyers.

Earlier today, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith filed a brief to Judge Noreika, suggesting that she toss Hunter’s ‘sweetheart’ plea deal with Delaware prosecutors due to claims they gave the President’s son preferential treatment.

 

It is claimed that someone from Hunter’s attorney Chris Clark’s former law firm later called the Delaware clerk – pretending to be from the office of Smith’s attorney, Theodore Kittila – asking them to remove the original filing and, with it, 448 pages of Congressional testimony from the two IRS investigators who worked on the case.

 

[…]

 

‘It appears that the caller misrepresented her identity and who she worked for in an attempt to improperly convince the clerk’s office to remove the amicus materials from the docket,’ the order said.

 

‘Therefore, it is hereby ordered that, on or before 9pm today on July 25, 2023, counsel for defendant shall show cause as to why sanctions should not be considered for misrepresentations to the court.’

Painting for an Appointment?

Everyone. And I mean EVERYONE. Called Hunter’s painting scam for what it was at the time – a way to funnel money to the Bidens in exchange for… whatever. The value of art is subjective, so it is a perfect cover for bribery.

In 2021, when a New York art gallery debuted Hunter Biden’s paintings with asking prices as high as $500,000, the White House said that Hunter Biden’s team had a process for carefully vetting buyers, and that their identities were known only to the gallery, and not to Hunter Biden himself. The messaging seemed to suggest that Hunter Biden’s art patrons came from a rarified universe of collectors who had nothing to do with the hurly burly of politics.

 

Neither of those things has turned out to be the case. Hunter Biden did in fact learn the identity of two buyers, according to three people directly familiar with Hunter Biden’s own account of his art career. And one of those buyers is indeed someone who got a favor from the Biden White House. The timing of their purchase, however, is unknown.

 

That buyer, Insider can reveal, is Elizabeth Hirsh Naftali, a Los Angeles real estate investor and philanthropist. Hirsh Naftali is influential in California Democratic circles and is a significant Democratic donor who has given $13,414 to the Biden campaign and $29,700 to the Democratic National Campaign Committee this year. In 2022, she hosted a fundraiser headlined by Vice President Kamala Harris.

 

Insider also obtained internal documents from Hunter Biden’s gallery showing that a single buyer purchased $875,000 of his art. The documents do not indicate the buyer’s identity, which is also unknown to Insider at this time.

 

In July 2022, eight months after Hunter Biden’s first art opening, Joe Biden announced Hirsh Naftali’s appointment to the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad. It is unclear whether Hirsh’s purchase of Hunter Biden’s artwork occurred before or after that appointment. Membership on the commission is an unpaid position that is often filled by campaign donors, family members, and political allies — the same crowd that often winds up with US ambassadorial appointments. Hirsh Naftali’s fundraising activities mark her as the kind of well-connected donor who often wins such appointments, regardless of any relationship they might have with the president’s family. But they do not address the possibility that Hunter Biden might have voiced his support for her appointment.

Killing a City

While the story blames the pandemic, we know it is much more than that when it comes to cities like San Francisco. Permissive vagrant and drug policies, lack of police enforcement, prioritizing the homeless over the people who pay taxes, the list goes on.

Data bears out that San Francisco’s downtown is having a harder time than most. A study of 63 North American downtowns by the University of Toronto ranked the city dead last in a return to pre-pandemic activity, garnering only 32% of its 2019 traffic.

 

Hotel revenues are stuck at 73% of pre-pandemic levels, weekly office attendance remains below 50% and commuter rail travel to downtown is at 33%, according to a recent economic report by the city.

 

Office vacancy rates in San Francisco were 24.8% in the first quarter, more than five times higher than pre-pandemic levels and well above the average rate of 18.5% for the nation’s top 10 cities, according to CBRE, a commercial real estate services company.

 

Why? San Francisco relied heavily on international tourism and its tech workforce, both of which disappeared during the pandemic.

 

But other major cities including Portland and Seattle, which also rely on tech workers, are struggling with similar declines, according to the downtown recovery study, which used anonymized mobile phone data to analyze downtown activity patterns from before the pandemic and between March and May of this year.

I’ve gone to San Francisco two to six times a year for the past decade or so. In fact, I was in San Francisco and went to a basketball game right as the pandemic began. It was my last business trip for a while. While the city had its bums and nasty areas, it was a vibrant, fun city. It was also relatively safe – as far as cities go. I once took a run from Fisherman’s Wharf, across the Golden Gate Bridge, and back through the city. I never felt any less safe than any other large city. I usually stayed in the financial district or by the wharf because I liked the restaurants.

I was in San Fran again a few weeks ago. I stayed two nights in Fisherman’s Wharf. The place was a ghost town and one of my colleagues had his luggage stolen from his rental car in a smash-and-grab. When he returned the car, they said that they have difficulty maintaining inventory because the cars come back with smashed windows so often. I went for a short walk and had to avoid bums and feces. It was gross and while I wasn’t threatened, the glares made me lament that I wasn’t carrying a weapon. I cut my walk short.

It’s a shame, but the city isn’t dying. It’s being killed.

Suspected Tylenol Terrorist Dies

He sparked a half century of annoyed people with headaches.

The suspect in the 1982 Tylenol poisonings that killed seven people in the Chicago area, triggered a nationwide panic, and led to an overhaul in the safety of over-the-counter medication packaging, has died, police said on Monday.

 

Officers, firefighters and EMTs responding to a report of an unresponsive person at about 4 p.m. Sunday found James W. Lewis dead in his Cambridge, Massachusetts, home, Cambridge Police Superintendent Frederick Cabral said in a statement. He was 76, police said.

 

“Following an investigation, Lewis’ death was determined to be not suspicious,” the statement says.

 

No one was ever charged in the deaths of seven people who took the over-the-counter painkillers laced with cyanide. Lewis served more than 12 years in prison for sending an extortion note to manufacturer Johnson & Johnson, demanding $1 million to “stop the killing.” He and his wife moved to Massachusetts in 1995 following his release. Listed numbers for his wife were not in service.

When Lewis was arrested in New York City in 1982 after a nationwide manhunt, he gave investigators a detailed account of how the killer might have operated. Lewis later admitted sending the letter and demanding the money, but he said he never intended to collect it. He said he wanted to embarrass his wife’s former employer by having the money sent to the employer’s bank account.

 

Lewis, who had a history of trouble with the law, always denied any role in the Tylenol deaths, but remained a suspect and in 2010 gave DNA samples to the FBI. He even created a website in which he said he was framed. Although the couple lived briefly in Chicago in the early 1980s, Lewis said they were in New York City at the time of the poisonings.

FBI Coverup Revealed

Who watches the watchers?

The FBI first learned of Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop, full of incriminating data, in October 2019, an IRS memo shows.

 

The memo, written by senior IRS Criminal Investigation official Gary Shapley in 2020, reveals how senior law enforcement officials sat on the treasure trove of evidence from the First Son’s computer and waited months before handing over mere excerpts to investigators working the case.

 

It also directly contradicts an open letter from 51 top former intelligence officials published weeks ahead of the 2020 presidential election which dismissed the laptop as having ‘all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation’.

Eviction Moratorium Comes to an End

Our nation was founded on the sanctity of private property. Eviction moratoriums are an affront to freedom whereby squatters are empowered with the full force of violent government to encroach on others’ property.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Retiree Pamela Haile has paid property taxes, insurance and other bills on a house she lets out in Oakland, but for more than three years her tenants have paid no rent thanks to one of the longest-lasting eviction bans in the country.

 

The eviction moratorium in the San Francisco Bay Area city expires next month and Haile can’t wait. The 69-year-old estimates she is owed more than $60,000 in back rent, money she doubts she will ever see. Moreover, the tenants have trashed her house and it will cost tens of thousands of dollars to make it habitable, she says.

 

“It’s unbelievable and it’s like, how can they have the nerve to just let something like this happen? If this happened to them, how would they feel?” Haile said of her tenants. “Dealing with this whole thing gets me so upset.”

 

Eviction moratoriums were put in place across the U.S. at the start of the pandemic in 2020 to prevent displacement and curb the spread of the coronavirus. Most expired long ago, but not in Oakland or neighboring San Francisco and Berkeley, all places where rents and rates of homelessness are high.

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