State Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, is introducing legislation today that would replace the death penalty in California with permanent imprisonment. -more-
A woman was killed by a train at BART's Ashby station in Berkeley today in an apparent suicide, according to transit agency spokesman Jim Allison. -more-
BART Alert Reports:
Mon, 27 Jun 2011 1:26 PM (40 mins 5 secs ago)
ASHBY STATION IS CURRENTLY CLOSED DUE TO A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. TRAINS ARE RUNNING THROUGH ASHBY AND WILL NOT STOP. IF ASHBY IS YOUR FINAL DESTINATION, PLEASE USE DOWNTOWN BERKELEY OR MACARTHUR. AC TRANSIT IS PROVIDING MUTUAL AID: YOU MAY RIDE AC TRANSIT BETWEEN MACARTHUR, ASHBY AND DOWNTOWN BERKELEY FOR FREE BY SHOWING YOUR BART TICKET. -more-
Recent incidents involving Berkeley High School (BHS) and Berkeley Technology Academy (B-Tech) students in possession of firearms are of serious concern to the District and community of Berkeley. Ensuring the safety of Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) students and staff is of paramount importance. The District and administration have responded with several measures to address the presence of weapons on campus and are continuing to take steps to address and ensure safety at BUSD schools. District staff has presented a progress report on the steps being taken at each Board meeting this spring.
This report includes a list of the actions taken to date as well as a list of the topics and recommendations from the Superintendent’s Ad Hoc Safety Committee -more-
Few ordinary Californians have been more intensely interested in the state’s new Citizens Redistricting Commission than Berkeley-based Tea Party activist David Salaverry.
Back in March, he realized that the fledgling panel, with its 14 citizen members drawing political districts instead of politicians and its commitment to openness and transparency instead of behind-the-scenes deal-making, offered a golden opportunity for conservative Californians to influence the redistricting process at a time when their political clout was waning in other ways.
The cabinet-maker and building contractor sent email blasts to “patriot” groups around the Bay Area, encouraging them to attend meetings and to write and call the commissioners. He ran small training sessions for local Tea Partiers explaining the redistricting process and outlining main talking points—especially the idea that the commission should be “colorblind” in drawing political maps.
Salaverry, dubbed the “redistricting Paul Revere,” by right-wing blogger Dell Hill, received an enthusiastic response and has helped Tea Partiers dominate public input at commission meetings far beyond the Bay Area. “It all happened very quickly,” Salaverry said by phone while waiting for his two-minute time slot to testify before the commissioners at a Culver City meeting last week. -more-
'That we would build bridges in Baghdad and Kandahar and not Baltimore and Kansas City, absolutely boggles the mind.'
-- Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
BALTIMORE (At its annual meeting in Baltimore on June 20, 2011, the US Conference of Mayors passed two historic resolutions. One called on Washington to end of our current wars to "bring … war dollars home to meet vital human needs." The other, introduced by Oakland Mayor Jean Quan on behalf of Mayors for Peace, called for nuclear disarmament, which would free billions of dollars to address unemployment in America’s cities. -more-
It is nearly impossible to calculate total annual US spending on nuclear weapons in a consistent manner. As explained by the Federation of American Scientists (1): “Most US Government spending on nuclear weapons-related programs is unclassified. But it is functionally secret since such spending is widely dispersed across many programs in several agencies and it is not formally tracked or reported.”
Further complicating the calculation is determining the scope of programs functionally intertwined with the most obvious ones: research, development, testing and production of nuclear warheads and their delivery systems. According to an analysis by the Carnegie Endowment (2), the US spent over $52 billion in FY 2008 for nuclear weapons and related programs. This includes nuclear forces and operational support, deferred environmental and health costs, missile defense, nuclear threat reduction, and nuclear incident management. It does not include classified programs, air defense, anti-submarine warfare, or nuclear weapons related intelligence programs. -more-
Press Release: Berkeley Strong Arm Robbery at Kittredge Street and Shattuck Avenue on Sunday Afternoon
On Sunday, June 19, 2011 at approximately 2:30 p.m., a 21-year-old female, affiliation unknown, was the victim of a strong arm robbery. The victim was standing at the intersection of Kittredge and Shattuck when she was approached by the male suspect who grabbed her iPhone. The suspect entered a 1990s green Jeep Cherokee and fled the scene traveling eastbound on Kittredge. The victim was not injured during the encounter. BPD searched the area but was unable to find the suspect or the vehicle. -more-
Civil Disobedience in a Public Park and When Does “Adopt a Spot” Become “Own a Spot?” (Partisan Position)
“Turf Battles” may be the new recreational activity in public parks, with public resources stretched to breaking, volunteerism (often with strings) expected to make up the slack, and “urban agriculture” the new big thing...Toss into the mix a dysfunctional city government and turf will fly.... -more-
Hundreds of locals, many from Berkeley, flocked to the “Garden of Memories” concert that has become an East Bay Summer Solstice tradition at the Chapel of the Chimes on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland. -more-
Last month's 20 minute police "take-over" at Berkeley's hottest South side location, the historic Caffe Mediterraneum (it's Landmarked!), leaves Medheads asking whether their haunt has their backs covered or has inserted a knife. -more-
Since it was founded back in 1880, Berkeley High School has been industriously busy cranking out whole bunches of amazingly wonderful graduates who have then gone on to do amazingly wonderful things. One of these amazingly wonderful graduates is my son Joe -- who is currently working as a sound mixer on a movie written and directed by Leah Meyerhoff, another amazingly wonderful graduate of Berkeley High. -more-