Log in

No account? Create an account
In Case You Were Wondering. . . - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
In Case You Were Wondering. . .
Sometimes the record is also the blueprint:

Nothing like a little photo journalism to brighten one's day.

That's the granite of Sather Gate, incidentally. I can see John Searle striding confidently under the coppered arch, back when it was still possible to be partisan for "free speech" without betraying one's party.

Mode: red
Muse: America Is Not The World - Morrissey - You Are The Quarry

7 comments or Leave a comment
masoo From: masoo Date: October 13th, 2004 03:03 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
No matter what his other contributions, Searle, and the missus for that matter, deserve to be remembered primarily for their role as the king and queen of landlord scum.
From: batdina Date: October 13th, 2004 03:37 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
this sounds like a story I need to hear.
masoo From: masoo Date: October 13th, 2004 04:04 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Type "searle increase" into Google, that should give you what you need.

Well, I can do that myself ...

Regulation 1113

1113. 1991 Inflation Adjustment Order

(1) The purpose of this regulation is to comply with the principles set forth in Searle v. City of Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board, Court of Appeal No. 638429-8 (July 18, 1990) and to restore to owners of Berkeley rental property erosion of their net operating incomes caused by inflation, without requiring each owner to file and pursue an individual petition, while at the same time protecting tenants, particularly low-income tenants, from unnecessarily high rent increases.
It goes on, but you get the idea. As I recall it, Searle and his wife ... Dagmar? ... filed a suit to force a raise in rents because property values were going up. They won, and the subsequent ruling became known as the "Searle Increase." I'm looking around on the web ... it's been awhile since we went through this ... looks like a 26% rent increase was mandated. It's hard to figure out ... a big mouth like me ought to be able to back up my stuff with facts.

Let's see ... rent control in Berkeley started around 1980. For a decade, rent increases were allowed mostly in the 2-5% range. The Searle increase, which adjusted for inflation, allowed a rent increase of 45% of the 1980 rent. Here it is:
The increase amount shall be the May 31, 1980 lawful rent ceiling, multiplied by .45
From: batdina Date: October 13th, 2004 04:11 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
so when I bitch about being priced out of the Berkeley rental market, I now have someone specific to blame it on? How cool is that!

I voted for rent control in Berkeley in 1979, btw. It was my first election.
masoo From: masoo Date: October 13th, 2004 05:36 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Ironically, it was a scumbag landlord that led to Robin and I becoming property owners. We were living over on Prince Street ... had been there six years, 1981-7 ... when our landlord decided to move into our place. The way it worked under the strict rent control standards of Berkeley in those days, you couldn't raise rents very much, nor could you evict people very easily, but you could evict people if you intended to use the place as your personal residence. So a landlord would move in, fix the place up a bit, move out, and raise the rent to reflect the money spent on improvements. You weren't supposed to be able to do it in such an obvious fashion, but there were ways. Understand that our house was huge two-story affair ... we always had at least five people living there and all of us had space ... while our landlord moved in by himself ... guess he needed more space than we did.

So there were were, without a place to live. This had happened to us in Berkeley before ... it's why we moved back to Antioch in 1979-80 ... and Robin decided she'd had enough. We couldn't afford to buy a house, so we found a friend with similar problems and bought a duplex-y house with him.

The person who owned our house before us used it as a rental, so we had to evict the people living there. Welcome to property-owning! And to this day, we get junk mail that assumes we're landlords, which drives me crazy. When we tried to move into our place, the woman who lived downstairs held out ... she lived for many months rent-free, and we finally had to pay her money besides the free rent to get her to leave ... when we were going to go court to get her to leave, our lawyer wouldn't let me testify because he worried I'd say too many pro-tenant things.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: October 13th, 2004 06:43 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Thanks, I actually wrote about the rent control thing on Bérubé's blog the other day. I enjoy imagining John Searle in league with the radicals, since I've done so much with his work.
masoo From: masoo Date: October 13th, 2004 08:00 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I always enjoyed hearing Julian Boyd talk about Searle. Julian seemed to be able to separate Searle the philosopher from Searle the landlord from Searle the human being, even as he held an opinion about the gestalt that was Searle. You and he were good for me, Charlie!
7 comments or Leave a comment