Apologies for my late reply.. which I realize, may be moot at this point -
but if it’s helpful (and this is mainly addressed to Eddy), per my earlier
- In short, CCL/Sudo’s space heater was tested mainly to lower our
staggering insurance costs (part of demonstrating we are finally actively
maintaining building infrastructure, which is why it’s expensive.) This
represents a monthly expense which at present, significantly dwarfs
whatever this heaters’ energy bill may be - so, this was an effort to save
all of us all money.
- The space heater was also tested in the interest of affirming its safety,
since that had never been done, which was a liability. The heater could
have been switched on by anyone at any time, so I consider this safety
check by a qualified technician relevant, provided the collective
life-safety of everyone in the building factors into CCL’s community
- Thankfully, the space heater was found to be safely operational by the
HVAC tech. So, no funds are needed to be expended to bring it into
- The heater’s on/off switch was not at an ADA-accessible height and is
located in a clean room (BSL), so the present plan is this switch will be
moved out of the BSL to an accessible height at a common location where
both CCL and Sudo users can access it without entering CCL (given that it
serves the entire room, not just CCL). The existing switch will also be
replaced with a timer switch, to ensure it will not be accidentally left
on. This switch-moving work is not anticipated to involve the excessive
disturbance of dust.
- The operation of this fixed space heater is vastly safer and more
energy-efficient (and therefore more economical) than the portable electric
space heaters, which honestly should be prohibited throughout all of omni.
- Moving forward, regardless of whether or how often this space heater is
used, for safety purposes all heaters in the building should have brief
safety inspections approximately every six months, which is the norm for
all commercial buildings. In addition, if I recall correctly, such periodic
inspection was technically also our common obligation since day one per our
original master lease (before we acquired the building), a clause which was
accepted by CCL without any reservation.
- Periodic servicing of the space heater specifically, does not involve the
disturbance of excessive dust. It is visual and primarily involves the
temporary placement of a ladder without touching anything in CCL. The
projected duration of inspection will typically last no more than 15
minutes. If this brief, simple maintenance conducted in the interest of
everyone’s safety task truly has unacceptable negative consequences, please
- It is up to CCL and Sudo equally to establish common agreements as to the
use of this heater. If both member collectives decide its use is verboten
because everyone should just wear wool socks, so be it. That will have no
impact on the periodic safety inspection of this heater.
- The furnace adjacent to the space heater does not serve CCL. This
furnace, which is not new to CCL, serves an adjacent room, whose
rentability impacting Omni’s bottom line is at present negatively affected
by the inoperability of this heater for both comfort and COVID (air
filtering) reasons. Therefore, with respect, it is not CCL’s sole
prerogative to dictate its maintenance and operation. The lab manager,
Dave, has offered to carefully clean this area prior to its next
maintenance session - which will be well noticed - to ensure no excessive
dust will be disturbed.
- With respect to energy politics. Eddy, the likelihood is high that CCL’s
ad-hoc portable electric space heater solution to date burns more
non-renewable energy sources than this single gas heater, given that from
what I understand, less than 40% of Pg&e’s electric power is from renewable
sources. Therefore, in terms of its carbon footprint, I’m guessing CCL’s
negative-whatever freezers alone probably account for more annual
omni-generated climate damage than anything else in the entire building.
The pot-kettle analogy therefore comes immediately to mind, but your desire
to go green is admirable - if you want to do that, then you should join me
in meaningfully working toward planning for a greening of omni (grants) in
the form of PV, wind generators, batteries, and all the rest. If limiting
carbon footprints is the over-rising goal then CCL should work to cut its
energy footprint. What are you doing within CCL to address this?
- With respect to COI’s. Given that I don’t even have CCL’s COI after
asking for quite some time, I’m half-guessing it’s probably expired. (That
will be easy to assess by the date of renewal, so we will see.) But the
emphasis on reviewing a licensed, bonded contractor’s COI in the act of
maintenance, as a means to militate against determining the actual
real-life safety of physical infrastructure in the building, is a red
herring of absurd proportions. Are you actually saying that it is better to
*not* assess safety of this infrastructure, because doing so itself somehow
introduces excessive risk..? Because that is what it seems like you are
saying, and that is not in keeping with logic or building science.
All the best,
On Sun, Sep 26, 2021 at 16:10 Theresa Halula <thalula(a)peralta.edu> wrote:
I feel a compelling desire to answer flame with
In response to the points raised about heating at the OMNI:
Climate change is not going to be greatly impacted by turning
on one heater for three months of the year.
Having lived 9 years in an Oakland Warehouse without heat
I can tell everyone that it does get cold in the winter. My
preference would be to repair the heater we have and use it
when it gets cold.
I own and *use* long johns and wooly caps in the winter. It is true
the Bay Area does not drop below freezing very many days each
year. I am cold when the ambient temperature goes below
45 Fahrenheit or 7.2 Celsius happens between December and
Making these heater repairs will make it realistic to ban space
heaters in the lab, making the big heater a safer option. The heater,
properly installed, is very unlikely to fall off the ceiling. Afterall it
has already been up there for years without an accident..
The OMNI is making these changes to allow our insurance
carrier to offer a more affordable policy. OMNI will carry
insurance with or without heaters. The concept is to reduce
expenses at OMNI by reducing our insurance premium. Also, this
policy will be covering damage from an accident, such as a falling
I think the disruption being considered is a short amount of time for
evaluation and perhaps servicing a heater. Tarping a bench should not be
disruptive beyond a day or two and can be scheduled.
I'd like to point out that the lab has been closed most of the year
for most of us. *Everyone's work is important*, so let's keep that
in mind when we talk about lab members in the lab year round
doing life and death work.
*From:* cclmembers(a)googlegroups.com <cclmembers(a)googlegroups.com> on
behalf of Nenufar Molecules <nenufarmoleculesforlife(a)gmail.com>
*Sent:* Saturday, September 25, 2021 1:07
*To:* Counter Culture Labs Members <cclmembers(a)googlegroups.com>om>;
sudo-discuss(a)lists.sudoroom.org <sudo-discuss(a)lists.sudoroom.org>rg>; David
*Subject:* [CCLmembers] Regarding furnaces, space heaters and CCL.
Regarding furnaces, space heaters and CCL.
I don’t recall anyone asking CCL if we needed or wanted a furnace or a
I think the whole process of working on the furnace and space heater is
distracting to the lab work we are doing, it is also making extra work for
us, and putting an added risk factor in place.
I for one don’t want to repair the furnace or space heater in CCL.
Some of my reasons are:
1. Oakland, CA has the best weather in the world. As far as cold
weather, the thermometer only rarely goes below 45 degrees F at night in
winter. This is not Siberia or N. Dakota, it’s Oakland. Back in the 90’s
was the last time it got cold enough to turn on a heater for a few nights.
2. It’s true that someone brought in a small electric heater to
CCL. I think they were sleeping at the lab or doing some web surfing. The
Temescal library is only a few blocks away and they will likely have the
heat turned up for people to be comfortable as they read and snooze. I
have worked at CCL even late at night for 5 years and have not noticed any
extremes of cold there. CCL is a lab and it’s warm enough to do lab work
there year round. There’s some garments that used to be known as “Long
Johns” Those and a cap or hoody all anyone ever needs to keep warm in CCL
in winter. I think there should be a ban on heaters at CCL. The small
heater I found left on with no one in the lab multiple times and unplugged
3. CCL is about working on making a better tomorrow and we have a
lot of challenges to meet with things like global warming. That’s
something I think we all need to take responsibility for. Humans will soon
be higher on the endangered species list if we don’t. Furnaces and
heaters, large or small draw a lot of power, gas and/or electricity, and
are not sustainable, and not energy efficient by any means. It takes a
tremendous amount of energy to heat a space the size of the Omni commons
building. What effect does this use of gas and electricity have on global
warming? Does it not make perfect sense to put on warm socks and
underwear, a wool cap and be warm as toast without using large amounts of
these resources to heat a large space? Hello, this is the 21st century
and we do need to mend our ways for the sake of future generations, and
life on earth in general. So as far as CCL goes, I say no to heaters.
4. I have been informed by our treasurer, Michael Arent that CCL
and also the Omni are facing some financial difficulties. It seems like at
this time we need to be careful about spending money. There are a number
of projects at the Omni commons that would seem to have priority over
heating concerns. A roof that doesn’t leak when it rains, for example.
Paying for gas and electricity to heat the building doesn’t seem to be
necessary at all. Let’s consider selling the furnace as scrap metal and
raise some small funds for repairing the Omni.
5. Lab work takes a great deal of focus and we don’t wish to have
the disturbances of any work going on overhead. We have a great deal of
materials and time invested in what we are doing. I’m the one who asked
for the COI and an incident is fresh in my memory of a friend’s lab in
Oakland where some work was being done and a very heavy piece of metal came
crashing down from a high roof to land on a workstation, damaging
equipment. If anyone had been sitting at that workbench at the time, they
probably would have been killed or crippled. Of course I want to know who
is going to be responsible for any injuries or damage done and that
COI should be approved by CCL before any work takes place at the lab. Then
I wouldn't need to bring it up at an inconvenient time. We also strongly
feel that the labwork we are doing is so much more important than working
on the heating system. A couple projects at CCL are involved with public
health (matters of life and death) and we don’t wish to be distracted by
activities overhead or have to do additional cleanup work because of them.
We really have enough on our plates and would appreciate being left alone
to do our work undisturbed. Please desist. No need for heaters at CCL.
Let's hear from some of the others who are in the lab year round, are you
reasonably comfy or not? What concerns do you have and what improvements
would you like to see at CCL in the year to come?
Best wishes always,
CCL Lab Rat
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Counter Culture Labs Members" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
email to CCLmembers+unsubscribe(a)googlegroups.com.
To view this discussion on the web visit