The Week

 

News

Press Release: Berkeley Lab Second Campus Preferred Site Announcement Expected in 2012

From Jon Weiner
Tuesday November 22, 2011 - 04:40:00 PM

The University of California announced today that its decision regarding a preferred site for the second campus of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is expected to be announced in early 2012. -more-


UC Delays Decision on Second Campus For Berkeley Lab

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Tuesday November 22, 2011 - 04:46:00 PM

The University of California announced today that it is delaying until early next year its decision on where to locate a second campus of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which the university manages. -more-


Occupy Cal Quiet, But Still Present, on Monday

By Steven Finacom
Tuesday November 22, 2011 - 09:19:00 AM

Although attention has presently turned to UC Davis—where a police officer drenched seated demonstrators with pepper spray last Friday—the Occupy Cal movement at UC Berkeley headed into its third week with a new tactic and the participation of about 200 people Monday night on Sproul Plaza. -more-


Press Release: President Yudof Acts in Response to Campus Protest Issues

From Steve Montiel, Media Relations Director, UC Office of the President
Sunday November 20, 2011 - 03:07:00 PM

University of California President Mark G. Yudof today (Sunday, Nov. 20) announced the actions he is taking in response to recent campus protest issues:

I am appalled by images of University of California students being doused with pepper spray and jabbed with police batons on our campuses.

I intend to do everything in my power as President of this university to protect the rights of our students, faculty and staff to engage in non-violent protest. -more-


Fire a Death-Blow To Lower Telegraph? (News Analysis)

By Ted Friedman
Monday November 21, 2011 - 08:26:00 AM
Traffic-jam at Dwight and Telegraph, Saturday being detoured away from Dwight to Bancroft, turning lower Teley into a disaster site.

Editor's Note: For a complete report on the fire itself, with many photograph's see the Planet's weekend issue:

The late Friday night fire that gutted the historic Sequoia Apartments, while apparently injuring none of its residents, may well be the death-blow to struggling businesses on lower Telegraph.

After years of reported declines in business revenues and significant closures(Cody's,Galaxxi, Eid's Electronics, Blakes, and now burned-out Raleigh's and Intermezzo),Telegraph businesses between Haste and Dwight are being clobbered.

What was once a thriving South side center could become a "desolation row."

Or, like San Francisco's re-emergence after the 1906 earthquake, the troubled block could be re-born. -more-


UC President Condemns Police Response to Berkeley and Davis Protesters, Calls for Thorough Investigation

By Bay City News Service
Monday November 21, 2011 - 08:43:00 AM

UC President Mark G. Yudof today condemned the police response to protestors at University of California campuses in recent weeks and pledged to protect students and faculty members' right to non-violent protest.

The announcement follows a controversial police response to a protest on the UC Davis campus Friday, where at least two campus police officers pepper-sprayed a group of students huddled on the ground. -more-


New: Oakland Chamber of Commerce Executive Board Member Charged with Committing $19.75 Million Corporate Fraud

by Darwin BondGraham
Tuesday November 22, 2011 - 09:32:00 AM

In a case that is emblematic of the corporate chicanery and greed the Occupy movement proclaims to stand against, Todd Hansen, a former president of Posterscope, a global advertising firm, has been arrested by the FBI and charged with orchestrating a financial fraud to inflate company earnings, thereby enriching himself. -more-


UC Faculty Associations Council Condemns Police Violence at Berkeley, Other Campuses

By Scott Morris (BCN)
Sunday November 20, 2011 - 03:03:00 PM

The Council of University of California Faculty Associations condemned police actions against protesters at several campuses this week, according to a statement released Saturday.

The council, an umbrella organization for the Faculty Associations at each university campus, said that excessive force has been used against non-violent protesters at the University of California at Berkeley, UC Los Angeles, California State University at Long Beach and UC Davis. -more-


Occupy Oakland Protesters Set Up Camp on Lawn of Foreclosed Home

By Bay City News
Tuesday November 22, 2011 - 09:26:00 AM

Occupy Oakland demonstrators tonight have gathered at a home that is in foreclosure, according to a protester. -more-


Sequoia Building Demolition Likely,
Say City Officials;
Not All Residents Accounted For

By Steven Finacom
Saturday November 19, 2011 - 05:06:00 PM

At a press conference held this afternoon on a closed-down Haste Street with the still smoldering Sequoia Apartment building in the background, Mayor Tom Bates, City Manager Phil Kamlarz, and Assistant Fire Chief Gil Dong said that it hasn’t been fully established whether all the occupants of the building got out during the five alarm blaze, and that the historic building, constructed in 1916, will probably be demolished in the immediate future. -more-


Apartment Fire Still Smouldering

By Steven Finacom
Saturday November 19, 2011 - 11:45:00 AM

The fire that started in the Sequoia Apartments at Haste and Telegraph on the evening of Friday, November 18, was still burning the next morning. Berkeley Fire Department crews continued to pour water into the mixed-use structure, a historic apartment building that contains 39 units and restaurants popular with the campus crowd, including Café Intermezzo and Raleigh’s pub. The building has four floors—including the commercial level—along Telegraph and five levels on Haste.

A column of smoke was visible throughout Berkeley this morning above the severely damaged building. Along Telegraph the top floor apartments and some on the third floor below appeared gutted. The sky and charred lathe and plaster walls were visible through several of the fourth floor windows. Along Haste the damage extended down to the second floor, which was one of the first portions of the building visibly burning last night. Some of the aluminum window frames hung blackened and distorted above the street. -more-


Berkeley Fire at Sequoia Apartments on Telegraph Contained at 3 a.m., Chief Says

By Sasha Lekach (BCN)
Saturday November 19, 2011 - 08:53:00 AM

A four-alarm fire at an apartment building near the University of California at Berkeley has been contained more than six hours after the fire department first received reports of a fire, a Berkeley fire chief said. -more-


Flash: Huge Fire Raging at Telegraph and Haste in Berkeley

By Becky O'Malley and Steven Finacom
Friday November 18, 2011 - 11:30:00 PM
Fire bursts through the windows on the south side.

11:30 p.m.

A four-alarm fire is raging in the Sequoia Apartments building, on the northwest corner of Haste and Telegraph in Berkeley. The tile-faced five-story building, which dates from the early 20th century, has 39 apartments on its upper floors. The storefront on the first floor for many years housed Mario's La Fiesta Restaurant. There was a two-alarm fire in the building in February of this year. -more-


Occupy Cal Camp and Police Low Key on Friday Morning

By Steven Finacom
Friday November 18, 2011 - 12:48:00 PM

The “Occupy Cal” encampment seemed at an early morning ebb on Friday as I arrived on the UC Berkeley campus for work. After the police action on Thursday night that had cleared away the tents and most of the other objects and art—from pianos to sculpture—that had accumulated on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Mario Savio Steps of Sproul Hall displayed only a few signs, some black and white balloons, and perhaps a dozen Occupiers. -more-


Press Release: Occupy Oakland Takes to the Streets on Saturday at 2

From Kevin Seal
Friday November 18, 2011 - 07:18:00 PM

Occupy Oakland will take to the streets at 14th and Broadway this Saturday at 2:00 p.m. for a mass rally and march. -more-


Occupy Cal Plans to Re-Group

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Friday November 18, 2011 - 08:15:00 AM

About 200 Occupy Cal protesters gathered on the steps of Sproul Hall at the University of California at Berkeley last night for a general assembly meeting to decide if they will set up an encampment again. -more-


"Occupy Cal" Votes on Next Step

By Ted Friedman
Saturday November 19, 2011 - 12:11:00 PM
Students at the Occupy Cal general assembly on Thursday night voted to re-occupy Sproul Plaza on Monday.  Their sign was lifted off the steps by gas balloons to avoid retribution from UC police for violating rules banning installations at the site.

Signs from A Protest--Tuesday's Action

By Steven Finacom
Friday November 18, 2011 - 07:56:00 AM

A Last Look at Occupy Cal on Wednesday

By Steven Finacom
Friday November 18, 2011 - 08:14:00 AM

By Steven Finacom -more-


Updated: Two Arrested in Berkeley Raid on Occupy Cal

By Jeff Shuttleworth
Thursday November 17, 2011 - 10:34:00 AM

Two people were arrested when police from the University of California at Berkeley and other agencies disbanded the Occupy Cal encampment on the steps of Sproul Hall early today, a university spokesman said. -more-


"Occupy Cal" Tents Torn Down by UC Berkeley Police-- Arrests Reported

By Sasha Lekach (BCM)
Thursday November 17, 2011 - 08:31:00 AM

It appears police in riot gear arrived at the "Occupy Cal" newly established encampment on the University of California at Berkeley campus this morning.

Footage from a livestream video at the campus showed police lined near Sproul Hall around 4 a.m. where Occupy Cal protesters had erected about 15 tents in violation of the university's ban on camping. -more-


Updated: Police Say Man Fatally Shot by UC Berkeley Police Officer Was "Troubled"

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Wednesday November 16, 2011 - 04:47:00 PM

A student who was fatally shot by University of California at Berkeley police on Tuesday after allegedly brandishing a gun appeared to be troubled, university officials said today. -more-


ReFund Education March Takes over Bank of America--UC Berkeley Students Participate, Tents Pitched

By Dan McMenamin (BCN)
Wednesday November 16, 2011 - 03:29:00 PM

Dozens of protesters have pitched a tent inside a Bank of America branch in downtown San Francisco this afternoon and are refusing to leave.

At about 2:15 p.m., at least 100 protesters rushed into the branch on California Street near Davis Street, taking it over. They stood inside the branch chanting, "We are the 99 percent."

University of California at Berkeley graduate student Elise Youn said one of the aims of the march is to "make the connection" between the business interests of certain UC Regents and their work on the board.

The marchers were focusing on three regents: Richard Blum, chair of Blum Capital Partners; George Marcus, who heads a national commercial real estate brokerage firm; and Monica Lozano, who is a Bank of America board member. -more-


Student Fatally Shot by UC Berkeley Police Identified

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Wednesday November 16, 2011 - 12:41:00 PM

A man who was shot by University of California at Berkeley police after he allegedly brandished a gun at the Haas School of Business on Tuesday has died, university officials said today.

The man, identified by the university as 32-year-old Christopher Nathen Elliot Travis, died Tuesday night at Highland Hospital.

"We're very saddened by this new information," university spokeswoman Claire Holmes said.

Travis was an undergraduate transfer student, according to the university. -more-


Student Shot By UC Police Featured in YouTube Video

Wednesday November 16, 2011 - 12:56:00 PM

A commenter on the Daily Cal web site has found a video of Chris Travis, the student who was shot yesterday by UC police for allegedly brandishing a gun in the computer lab at Haas Business School.

-more-


Cal State University Faculty on Strike Today

ScottMorris
Thursday November 17, 2011 - 02:54:00 PM

California State University faculty from throughout the state are pouring in to two of the system's 23 campuses this morning to participate in a one-day strike to protest the cancellation of contractual raises for CSU faculty as tuition increases for CSU students, union officials said. -more-


After Rally, Protesters Set Up Tents in U.C. Berkeley's Sproul Plaza

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Wednesday November 16, 2011 - 12:43:00 AM

Occupy Cal protesters began setting up tents at Sproul Plaza at the University of California at Berkeley campus again tonight after 88.5 percent of the group's general assembly voted to support the action. -more-


Thousands Gather on Sproul Plaza, Vote to Continue to "Occupy Cal" at UC Berkeley

By Steven Finacom
Wednesday November 16, 2011 - 12:46:00 AM

Thousands gathered on Sproul Plaza last night after a day of campus teach-ins and protests to re-ignite the “Occupy UC” movement. The evening “General Assembly” of protesters was preceded by marches through Berkeley that originated on, and returned to, the campus and the arrival of a contingent that had marched from the dispersed Occupy Oakland encampment. -more-


Pictures from a Day of Protest

By Ted Friedman
Wednesday November 16, 2011 - 01:17:00 AM
General assembly, 2,000 strong, debates whether to flout university directives, Tuesday night.

Berkeley's Running Wolf Now the Lone Wolf at Frank Ogawa Plaza; The Indian Lore That Empowers Him

By Ted Friedman
Wednesday November 16, 2011 - 02:05:00 PM
Tuesday. After seven days in a hoosegow in Yellowstone, Indian medicine on the res, and three failed Peoples Park tree-sits, Berkeley's Running Wolf is back on top at Frank Ogawa Plaza, where the latest tent encampment was removed.

At the latest evacuation of campers Monday from Oakland's Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, the epicenter of Occupy Oakland, a lone protester was able to escape the police evacuation. -more-


New: Mayor's Chief of Staff Leaves City of Berkeley, Joins UC Berkeley's Community Relations Office

Thursday November 17, 2011 - 07:55:00 AM

Julie Sinai, the long time chief of staff to Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, is resigning to take a job as the new director of Local Government and Community Relations at UC Berkeley. -more-


Flash: U.C. Berkeley Police Shoot Person Alleged to Have A Gun in the Computer Lab at Haas Business School

By Becky O'Malley and Bay City News
Tuesday November 15, 2011 - 03:38:00 PM
Kaulin Krebs, 24, a junior at UC Berkeley, heard shots but did not directly witness the shooting in the computer lab.

At 2:15 this afternoon a person alleged to have a gun was shot by UC Berkeley Police in the computer lab of the school's Haas Business School, according to UC Police Officer Alex Yao. The victim's name has not been released. Yao said at a 3:15 press conference that he is now being transported to Highland Hospital. -more-


Protestors Block Traffic on Bancroft in Berkeley

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Tuesday November 15, 2011 - 03:38:00 PM

Hundreds of protesters blocked traffic on Bancroft Way near the University of California at Berkeley this afternoon. -more-


Cal Protestors Announce Lawsuit Against UC Berkeley, Campus Police

By Laura Dixon (BCN)
Monday November 14, 2011 - 06:01:00 PM

A group of University of California at Berkeley students and community protesters who say they were victims of police brutality during a Nov. 9 "Occupy Cal" demonstration announced today their lawsuit against the university and multiple UCPD police officers. -more-


New: UC Berkeley Students Rally, Teach, March in Support of Occupy Cal Strike

By Patricia Decker (BCN)and Planet
Tuesday November 15, 2011 - 08:48:00 AM

Students, workers, faculty and community members rallied on the University of California at Berkeley campus today as part of the Occupy Cal strike. -more-


New: Students to Visit UC Regents' Corporate Offices in San Francisco on Wednesday

From Emma Woods
Tuesday November 15, 2011 - 04:26:00 PM

Protestors will call on bank execs on higher education boards to “make banks pay” to end cuts to higher education -more-


Regents Cancel Meeting Because They Fear Violence

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Monday November 14, 2011 - 04:01:00 PM

The University of California Board of Regents announced today that it is canceling its meetings in San Francisco this week because of "credible intelligence" indicating that violence was possible. -more-


Press Release: Police Brutality Doesn't Add Up! Mathematicians Speak Out

From Nathan Ilten
Monday November 14, 2011 - 05:58:00 PM

The kind of violence exhibited by police against peaceful protesters at Occupy Oakland and Occupy Cal in the past weeks is unnecessary and intolerable. We (a group of mathematicians at UC Berkeley and SF State) are taking a stand against police brutality by doing what we do best: mathematics! Come to our anti-police-brutality teach in on Wednesday, November 16th from 11am to 5pm. We will be lecturing at Dwinelle Plaza (just north of Sather gate). -more-


Press Release: St. Mary's College Student Arrested Wednesday at Occupy Cal Plans to Address Rally Off-Campus in Berkeley Tomorrow

From Zack Aslanian-Williams
Monday November 14, 2011 - 08:05:00 PM

Robert Slaughter, a political science major at nearby Saint Mary’s College, was one of those arrested during the 'Occupy Cal' protest on the night of Wednesday, November 9th. Slaughter, who is Black, was subjected to what appears to be a clear case of racial profiling. -more-


Oakland Chief: Raid Went Smoothly;
Berkeley's Running Wolf Still in Tree

By Jeff Shuttleworth
Monday November 14, 2011 - 03:54:00 PM

Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan said police will allow protesters to re-enter Frank Ogawa Plaza late this afternoon but will remove anyone who tries to camp out there.

He said the police sweep at the plaza early this morning went more smoothly than the raid three weeks ago, in part because he said no one threw rocks at officers this time.

All of the protesters were gone from the plaza, except for Zachary Running Wolf, a tree-sitter raised in Berkeley who is perched atop a small wooden platform in a tree there.

Jordan said police are leaving him alone for now as they look into what his legal rights are to be there.

This morning, he could be heard shouting from the tree, "This is native land. I'm not coming down." -more-


Press Release: Berkeley Students, Faculty to Strike Tomorrow to "Make Banks Pay" to Refund Higher Education, Reject Police Violence Against Peaceful Protestors

From Emma Wood
Monday November 14, 2011 - 04:19:00 PM

Leading up to protests at Wednesday’s UC Regents and CSU Trustees meetings, strikers will call on UC, CSU board members to sign pledge to make banks pay to end cuts to higher education . [Editor's Note: The Regents' meeting has been cancelled.} -more-


Updated: Oakland Protestors Meeting Tonight

By Bay City News
Monday November 14, 2011 - 07:50:00 PM

Hundreds of "Occupy Oakland" protesters have gathered in Frank Ogawa Plaza this evening for a general assembly meeting after their encampment was dismantled by police this morning. -more-


Opinion

Editorials

Will Berkeley's Occupy Cal Save the World?

By Becky O'Malley
Wednesday November 16, 2011 - 09:40:00 AM

Carol Denney, a frequent contributor to these pages, is fond of saying that the reason the Free Speech Movement took place at the University of California at Berkeley was NOT because free speech flourished on this campus. Quite the contrary: it’s been the tradition at Cal, going way back in pre-history before I was an undergraduate, for arrogant administrators to try to keep the lid on student speech. It could be described as a form of hubris (a ten-dollar word I learned in Cal’s English department): “we’re the top …students are damn lucky to be here…so they should shut up and drive.”

At the University of Michigan, another school I had the opportunity to observe in the 1960s after I graduated from Cal, the bosses took the opposite tack. By and large, they ignored student protests, so there were never any major riots on the part of either students or police. Eventually the more radical students got bored, founded first SDS and then the Weathermen, and went off to tear up Chicago instead, which was much more satisfying—and now like Bill Ayres they’re almost all professors somewhere or other.

But at Cal, as we called it back in the day before the name of the town was appropriated by the university’s PR department, decision-makers have always provided satisfying opposition to student action which has historically stimulated more student action. And the current crop of well-paid administrators is keeping up the tradition. Lots and lots of them, including Chancellor Birgeneau ($428,712.84) who okayed the police action last Wednesday where heads were bashed and stomachs jabbed with batons, are firmly part of the richest 1%, and they have no qualms about asserting their power over impecunious and mouthy students because of it. -more-


The Editor's Back Fence

U.C. Police in Berkeley and Davis Are Savages--the U.C. Executives Responsible Should be Fired

Monday November 21, 2011 - 08:48:00 AM

Okay—it's pretty clear to me. The President of the University of California along with the chicken Chancellors of U.C. Berkeley and U.C. Davis should resign. Looking at this video of the pepper-spraying of peaceful non-violent students at Davis, I see only two interpretations: Either these three highly paid executives approved of what happened and planned it that way, or they've lost control of the jack-booted thugs who work for them. Either way, they've failed, disgracefully, at their jobs. The governor of California should demand their resignation. -more-


UC Executive Salaries

Monday November 14, 2011 - 08:08:00 PM

How many of them are in the 1%? Figure it out. Thanks to Zelda Bronstein for this link.

-more-


What Would You Do if You Ran UC Berkeley? Suggestions...

Monday November 14, 2011 - 09:34:00 PM

Berkeley's small but vocal band of ignorami has been wondering aloud in venues open to them about what critics of last Wednesday's UC Berkeley police riot would have done instead. Here's a sample quote from an anonymous bloviator on a local site: "You'd think that people who were so worked up would have their much better solution at the ready, but I guess not. "

Well, actually, Ty Alper, Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Associate Director of the Death Penalty Clinic at UC Berkeley School of Law, has explored the topic on Huffington Post.

He notes that "In response to November 2009 violence between police and protestors at UC Berkeley's Wheeler Hall, the Police Review Board issued a thorough, comprehensive report recommending all sorts of improvements to the way it handles exactly the kind of demonstration that occurred again on campus this week."

Unsurprisingly, Professor Alper concludes that the Review Board's advice was not followed on Wednesday—to say the least. -more-


Cartoons

Cartoon Page: Odd Bodkins

By Dan O'Neill
Wednesday November 16, 2011 - 03:16:00 PM

Public Comment

Why They Go After the Students: Reflections on Police Actions at Davis and Berkeley

By Michael Song Lim
Monday November 21, 2011 - 09:23:00 AM

So there we have it, a policeman pepper-sprays seated protesters at close range, not with a small device, but essentially empties an extinguisher-sized canister of chemicals into young, upturned faces. Now, the sprayer, UC Davis Police Lt. John Pike. knew full well that the cameras were running. He brandished the canister, slowly raised it, and opened fire. Lieutenant Pike must have known that his full name and phone number would be tweeted all over the blogosphere before he wiped his hands and holstered his weapon, and must have predicted that his telephone message machine would be filled with inquiries, probably before his victims were triaged and admitted to the hospital. He must, therefore have figured that the UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi would have his back. And, I’m sure that both Generalissimo Katehi and her sidekick believed that it's high time to draw the line against the Occupy movement. Both figured that, although the public may sympathize with the protester’s demands, most would agree these spoiled children need to be taken to the woodshed for a good whippin’. -more-


Letter from Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association to Owners of Sequoia Apartments

Per Carrie Olson, President
Monday November 21, 2011 - 12:40:00 PM

To: Kenneth Ent and Gregory Ent,owners of the Sequoia Apartments building, 2441 Haste St. Berkeley

The Board of Directors of the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association wants to extend its heartfelt sympathy to those who lost their property, homes, businesses, and workplaces in the fire at the Sequoia Apartments on November 18, 2011.

We are writing to encourage you to consider a course of redevelopment of the interior of the building while retaining the unique exterior façade of this beautiful building.

In the coming days, as you weigh the challenging issues that face you regarding the property, we would like to provide here for your consideration several substantial benefits that may be gained by redeveloping the building within the existing exterior. -more-


An Open Letter to Cal Parents and Alumni

By Peter Ernst, San Diego
Friday November 18, 2011 - 07:21:00 PM

Dear Parents and Alumni of Cal:

Like many of you, I have been so proud that our daughter is attending an institution with the stature of Cal. Until last week. While the context of the protests have not been thoroughly reported nationally and are difficult to judge, students linked by their arms should not be bludgeoned. Did the students err? Quite possibly. Did they deserve to be beaten? Absolutely not. Any respect the students and the rest of had for the judgment of the Cal police and administration has been lost by this senseless response. -more-


Peralta Colleges Take Steps to Reinvest Money in Community-Based Financial Institutions

By Abel Guillen
Friday November 18, 2011 - 07:24:00 PM

This week, the Peralta Community College District Board of Trustees adopted a resolution for the local reinvestment of its student fees and community tax dollars that will move the East Bay colleges’ funds from large, for-profit banks to community-based financial institutions. -more-


Unequal Pay

By Robert Clear
Friday November 18, 2011 - 06:46:00 PM

I just finished reading a stock proxy. Like most proxies, it has a section on compensation for its five named executive officers. Also, not atypically, this section was a full third the length of the full proxy, in this case despite the fact that there were two appendices with a restatement of the articles of incorporation. What is particularly relevant to current events in this proxy, was that the compensation section, like all such sections I have read, had no discussion of how executive compensation compares to the compensation of any of the other employees of the company. In the corporate pay structure there is no connection between executive compensation, and worker compensation.

It gets worse. Worker compensation is a cost, and a well-run business does what it can to limit this cost. This includes automation, outsourcing, temporary or part-time employment without benefits, layoffs, and even efforts to eliminate minimum wage laws. On the other hand, the compensation philosophy espoused in proxies almost guarantees pressure to increase executive pay. Companies present themselves as being in competition to attract and hold scarce executive talent. Every compensation section I have read has an extensive discussion of the pay in comparable companies. To ensure company success, target compensation for their executives is almost always at or above the median of their competitive group. At or above, that is the rub. All companies cannot be at or above the median, at least not all the time. A company can, however, raise its pay to the median or above at a particular time. It will then be at or above the median until its competitors raise their executive pay so that they are at or above the median. -more-


Letter to Chancellor Regarding Violence Against Students

By Nathan Danielsen, Class of 2007, US Peace Corps in Senegal from 2007 to 2010
Friday November 18, 2011 - 07:27:00 PM

Dear Chancellor, -more-


Shock and Awe: Berkeley Mayor and Councilmembers attempt late-night switch in redistricting plans

By Jacquelyn McCormick
Wednesday November 16, 2011 - 01:06:00 PM

Shock and Awe is a good description of the mood in the late night hours of last night’s City Council Meeting as a play was made to postpone redistricting until after the November 2012 election. Whether it was a strategy to form two student districts in order to unseat councilmembers Arreguin and Worthingtonm, or an attempt to consolidate two existing districts into one in West Berkeley to leverage development, or some other goal, it was, as Councilmember Worthington stated: “possibly the most thoroughly undemocratic motion ever before Council”. -more-



Occupy the Pentagon: Add Your Voice to Reducing the Military Budget

By Nick Carlin
Wednesday November 16, 2011 - 01:51:00 PM

I am currently on the California State Democratic Party Platform Committee and am chair of the National Security plank. We are in the process of drafting the 2012 platform and I would like to get support for the National Security plank to say that we support reducing the military budget to a level that reflects our true defense requirements, as opposed to a world domination budget – I suggest $200 billion.

Our current projected level of military expenditures for 2012 is $1.03-$1.415 trillion , while the next highest spending county in the world on their military - China - "only" spends about $100B, less than 10% of us. And all other countries are far far less than that, including Russia, at around $50B (still an obscene amount of money but less than 1/20th of what we spend). -more-


To Occupy or Be Occupied---a bird’s eye view

By Marc Sapir
Wednesday November 16, 2011 - 02:39:00 PM

I’m 70 and on Medicare and Social Security. I still pay-in and I still work. I’m a semi-retired primary care doc now working part time at Alameda County’s Winton Wellness Center. Recently, I’ve spent some hours at the Medic tent at Occupy Oakland. -more-


Have Yourself a Slice of Occupy, a ragtime salute

By Carol Denney
Tuesday November 15, 2011 - 08:48:00 AM

we are having quite a slice of occupy
hot, fresh, wild, delicious occupy
stir it up a nice hot cup of occupy
share it with your friends and neighbors
taste the fruit of all your labors
be the first one on your block to occupy
wind it up and set your clock to occupy
tell the cops and tell the mayor
you’ve become an occuplayer
have yourself a slice of occupy

-more-


Whose Streets? Oakland’s Shadow Government Presses City Hall to End the Occupation

by Adrian Drummond-Cole and Darwin Bond-Graham
Monday November 14, 2011 - 06:27:00 PM

In a letter [2] addressed to Oakland’s Mayor Jean Quan on Nov. 8, two little-known entities, the Lake Merritt/Uptown District Association (LMUDA) and Downtown Oakland Association (DOA) implored Mayor Quan to “step up and provide cohesive, common sense leadership.” Cohesive leadership, according to these two organizations, means giving the Oakland Police Department a green light to eradicate the now month-old Occupy encampment. “It’s time for Frank Ogawa Plaza to be given back to the people of Oakland,” they conclude.

Who are the LMUDA and DOA? What gives them the authority to make such demands? Further, who are the “people of Oakland” referred to in their letter? If those occupying the plaza do not constitute the people of Oakland, then who are the rightful owners of this contested public space? -more-


Press Release: UC Students Oppose Regents Decision to Cancel November Meeting

Darius Kemp, UCSA Communications and Organizing Director
Monday November 14, 2011 - 04:09:00 PM

The UC Student Association learned this morning that the UC Regents have cancelled this week’s meeting in response to concerns about public safety. UC students are strongly opposed to this decision. -more-


Columns

My Commonplace Book (a diary of excerpts copied from printed books, with comments added by the reader.)

By Dorothy Bryant
Tuesday November 22, 2011 - 09:38:00 AM

Never give anyone a second chance. When people have let you down, you can be sure they will do it again.— V. S. Naipaul, interviewed in the New Yorker 2004. -more-


The Public Eye: Politics 2012: They’ve Gone Too Far

By Bob Burnett
Friday November 18, 2011 - 06:54:00 PM

While the 2012 elections are twelve months away, Republicans have handed President Obama and Democrats a winning theme: ”they’ve gone too far.” -more-


Eclectic Rant: What Next for Occupy Wall Street after Adverse Court Ruling?

By Ralph E. Stone
Friday November 18, 2011 - 07:03:00 PM

On November 15, 2011, New York City Police evicted Occupy Wall Street (OWS) from lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park. Later that same day, OWS obtained a temporary restraining order (TRO) requiring that they immediately be allowed back into Zuccotti Park with their tents, tarps, and sleeping bags. But the next day, the New York County Supreme Court In the matter of Waller V. The City of New York, et. al. declined to extend the TRO. Thus, the OWS eviction stands, although OWS's application challenging the eviction will continue. -more-


On Mental Illness: Psychosis or Depression, Take Your Pick

By Jack Bragen
Friday November 18, 2011 - 06:40:00 PM

Living with schizophrenic illness entails several different “catch-22’s” in which the options are limited. One of these conflicts is the choice between being overmedicated and thus depressed, versus not taking enough medication and being mildly psychotic. It seems, for me at least, there is little or no middle zone between these. -more-


SENIOR POWER… A Play for an Older Actress

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Friday November 18, 2011 - 07:32:00 PM

This week I saw and heard Bill Cain’s play, How to Write a New Book for the Bible, world premiered at the Berkeley Rep. In short, “A man moves in with his mother when she can no longer care for herself… Their reunion heals old wounds, opening a heartfelt and humorous new chapter in their relationship … this timeless tale celebrates a mother’s love and a son’s devotion.” -more-


New: Eclectic Rant: Will Contributions Negatively Influence Super Committee?

By Ralph E. Stone
Thursday November 17, 2011 - 10:21:00 AM

The Budget Control Act of 2011created the 12-member, bi-partisan Super Committee with extraordinary powers with the goal of achieving at least $1.5 trillion in budgetary savings over 10 years. What they ultimately decide -- or fail to decide -- by the deadline of November 23, 2011, will shape the economic future of this country for many years to come. Thus, it is important to know the identity of interest groups seeking to influence the Committee members. -more-


Wild Neighbors: At Least One Leg to Stand On

By Joe Eaton
Wednesday November 16, 2011 - 02:30:00 PM
Greater white-fronted goose: why doesn't it fall over?

Someone once asked the science fiction writer Barry Longyear where his ideas came from. “Schenectady,” he replied. I think he eventually published a book called It Came From Schenectady. The column-writing process is similar. Ron and I recently had an article on the autumnal florescence of garden, AKA pumpkin, spiders in another publication. It drew a fair amount of reader response, one of which could be paraphrased: “If you know so much about spiders, how do birds manage to stand on one leg?” -more-


Eclectic Rant: Thoughts on the Penn State Pedophile Scandal

By Ralph E. Stone
Monday November 14, 2011 - 04:11:00 PM

I am an indifferent viewer of sports. If another activity such as a movie, a concert, the theater, or a social activity beckons, I choose that activity over watching a game. However, I am interested in how the 49ers, the Raiders, Stanford and Cal football did. I therefore read the sports section of the newspaper or turn on ESPN for the latest scores. Recently, the media -- ESPN in particular -- has been overly absorbed in the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) scandal where Jerry Sandusky, a long-time assistant to now former PSU football coach Joe Paterno, allegedly molested eight troubled young boys over a 15-year period at times at PSU satellite campuses. PSU administrators knew about it but allegedly covered it up. -more-


My Commonplace Book (a diary of excerpts copied from printed books, with comments added by the reader.)

By Dorothy Bryant
Monday November 14, 2011 - 04:18:00 PM

oh, celestial, soothing, sanctifying process, with all the high, sane forces of the sacred time, fighting through it, on my side. Henry James (1843—1916) -more-


Arts & Events

Berkeley Arts Festival Hosts Piano--and Pianists

By Bonnie Hughes
Monday November 21, 2011 - 09:58:00 AM


Over the years as the Berkeley Arts Festival has moved around downtown Berkeley it is the arrival of the grand piano that gives the space its allure. This year it is Jerry Kuderna's 9 foot Baldwin that came down from Jerry and Mari's home up in the hills to preside over our University Avenue space and it is bringing a pianist from far away Albany, New York to join the Festival.

Pianist Findlay Cockrell wanted to come to Berkeley to celebrate Liszt's 200th birthday. He had attended Berkeley High many years ago and wanted to revisit the music scene he remembers from his youth . He contacted the DBA in search of a space with a grand piano and they knew where to look.

Coincidentally Findley Cockrell, Emeritus Prof. (Music) UAlbany (SUNY), taught at Julliard when Jerry Kuderna was a 16 year old student there.

Continuing the Adventure: Findlay Cockrell will be playing Jerry's piano in a concert scheduled for Wednesday, November 30 at 8 pm

Jerry Kuderna will be playing every Friday at noon, except for Thanksgiving week.

Sarah Cahill's next concert is on Friday December 2, when she will give a preview of the Lou Harrison Piano Concerto, which she is playing with the Berkeley Symphony on Thursday, December 8th,

Jerry Kuderna will play on the evening of Monday December 12, at 8 pm, a program yet to be determined.

Temporary residence of Jerry''s piano: Berkeley Arts Festival 2133 University Avenue just west of Ace Hardware

For the complete list of concerts please check www.berkeleyartsfestival.com
-more-


Eye from the Aisle: The Hot Mikado at Pt. Richmond MASQUERS, Uneven but Thrilling

by John A. McMullen II
Friday November 18, 2011 - 09:04:00 AM
Amy Lucido as Yum-Yum

It started out like a typical community theatre musical, kind of lackluster, some good actors and singers, some mediocre, the set very Japanese but everyone dressed for Guys and Dolls. It was the Point Richmond Masquers Playhouse production of The Hot Mikado, a swing era rewrite of Gilbert & Sullivan. For the most of the first act I was in and out, occasionally nodding. The band was flat and non- ensemble with no drummer (!?). The choreography seemed uninspired. There was a good barbershop-like harmony at one point. There is one truly impressive baritone, a couple of pretty girls, one a guy who had great moves, but pretty unmemorable all around. -more-


Theater Review: David A.Moss in 'Cracked Clown' at the East Bay Media Center

By Ken Bullock
Friday November 18, 2011 - 09:06:00 AM

"I'm so glad you came to see me ..." -more-


Around and About Theater

By Ken Bullock
Wednesday November 16, 2011 - 02:23:00 PM

Around & About Theater: 'Rumi x 7' in Oakland; Beckett's 'Endgame' & 'Watt': Dublin's Gate Theatre in Berkeley; Virago's 'Shoot O'Malley Twice' at Stagewerx -more-


Eye From the Aisle: THE CHALK BOY at IMPACT---Go See Four Very Good Actresses

By John A. McMullen II
Monday November 14, 2011 - 05:33:00 PM
Chris Quintos, Maria Giere Marquis, Luisa Frasconi, Caitlyn Tella

Truth be known, when you pass the big six-oh, sleep doesn’t come easy. Six am the eyes click open like some crazy baby doll and there is no rolling over to snooze. The tension –filled job, a world of worry, and the double espressos don’t help. By 8:30 pm dozing sets in. Not great for a theatre critic, but if my anecdotal observation is true, I seem to be the median age of the average theatre-goer, so it’s a good barometer. And when you see two or three plays per week, often one’s concentration slips, “watcher-fatigue” sets in, and the mind wanders. Thus, if I don’t doze, if I am rapt throughout, it is a good barometer of the quality of the production and performance. -more-


Don't Miss This after Thanksgiving

By Dorothy Snodgrass
Monday November 14, 2011 - 04:30:00 PM

With Thanksgiving less than two weeks away, many of us are thinking Turkey, cranberries and pumpkin pie. Sadly however, the term "Thanks" has given way in recent years to "Spend", with department stores remaining open all day, followed by "Black Friday" -- an oxymoron if ever there was one.
Despair not, friends -- there are a host of heart warming and traditional holiday programs awaiting your pleasure through November and into January, as you'll see from the list to follow. -more-