We came to see it fall, but stayed to see it outlast us.
City Officials reported the Sequoia would be "demolished" Monday morning, but a few things interfered on the way to demolishment.
The Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association, in a tautly-written letter to Berkeley's new city manager, Christine Daniel, argued that the Sequoia has a unique heritage that must be preserved.
But preservation apparently gave way to the city's argument favoring "public safety." -more-
We came to see it fall, but stayed to see it outlast us.
Flash: U.C. Berkeley Faculty Senate Registers 10-1 Vote Condemning Administration Response to Occupy Berkeley Protesters
The Berkeley Division of the University of California Faculty Senate endorsed, by a 10-1 margin (336-34), a group of four resolutions expressing, with varying degrees of specificity, their lack of confidence in the way Berkeley administrators have handled student protests.
Three U.C. Berkeley executives, Chancellor Robert Birgenau and two of his subordinates, attempted an explanation of their actions on November 9, when students and faculty were clubbed by police. They were greeted with stony silence by the faculty members in the front of the International House auditorium where the meeting was held, and with audible snickers from the students in the back of the room.
Professor Judith Butler, one of the sponsors of the original no-confidence resolution, moved the acceptance of her motion plus three more which had been submitted by other faculty members. -more-
A University of California Board of Regents meeting held via teleconference at four UC campuses wrapped up this afternoon after being briefly interrupted by protesters who criticized recent police actions in Davis and Berkeley and rising tuition costs. -more-
An Open Letter to UC Berkeley Students, Faculty, Administration & Regents from the UC Berkeley Police Officers’ Association
It is our hope that this letter will help open the door to a better understanding between UC Berkeley police and the University community. -more-
Demolition work is expected to begin today on the top two floors of a four-story apartment building near the University of California at Berkeley that was badly damaged in a five-alarm fire earlier this month, the head of a local merchants' group said. -more-
Dozens of University of California students, employees and others spoke at a Board of Regents meeting held via teleconference at four UC campuses today, sharply criticizing recent police actions in Davis and Berkeley, as well as rising tuition costs. -more-
This evening, The Council of UC Faculty Associations (CUCFA) sent the following letter to President Yudof in response to his decision to hire the Kroll Security Group, and its Chairman William Bratton, to to conduct an investigation of police violence at UC Davis.
Dear President Yudof,
The Council of University of California Faculty Associations (CUCFA) protests your decision to hire the Kroll Security Group, and its Chairman William Bratton, to conduct what you call an independent investigation of police violence at UC Davis. We take no position here on Mr. Bratton’s personal qualifications; our objection is to the conflicts of interest of Kroll Security itself, which is already a major contractor with UC on security matters. According to its website, Kroll’s services are not confined to securing databases and facilities from attacks by criminals and terrorists. It also protects many global financial institutions and other multinationals against threats to “operations” that may come from public criticism and direct political action.
By deepening UC’s links to Kroll, you would be illustrating the kinds of connection between public higher education and Wall Street that the Occupy UC movement is protesting. Kroll’s parent company, Altegrity, provides data-mining, intelligence and on-the-ground security to financial institutions and governments seeking to head off and defeat both private sabotage and public protest. In addition, Altegrity’s parent company, Providence Private Equity, is a major global investor in for-profit higher education companies that benefit from the decline of publicly funded higher education. -more-
Writing a new chapter in physics, a Ford Mustang convertible, traveling under 30mph hit a BMW leaving the curb, and then launched into the air and landed, upside-down, on its rag-roof. It happened Saturday, just before noon at Channing Way and Telegraph.
Although both drivers were taken to the hospital, they were not seriously injured, according to rescue workers at the scene.
The driver of the Mustang was wrenched from under his steering wheel by a good-samaritan street vendor, who rushed over from his Teley street stand. -more-
Flash: U.C. Berkeley Faculty Scheduled to Vote on UCPD Violence on Monday Afternoon--But They've Lost Their Email Access
The UC Berkeley Academic Senate is scheduled to vote Monday on a resolution condemning the use of violence against students exercising their First Amendment rights.
From the meeting announcement:
In addition to the initial resolution, three others have since been introduced, and we’ll reprint them all.A special meeting of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate will be held in the Chevron Auditorium of the International House (2299 Piedmont Avenue). The Notice of Meeting and the resolution to be presented can be downloaded by clicking here.Monday, November 28, 2011 – 3:00pm – 5:00pm
We will be meeting to deliberate and reach conclusions upon a specific topic: The role of protest at Berkeley, the protests of November 2011 and events surrounding them including police and administration responses, and related policies.
But UC Berkeley’s email system suddenly shuts down
But before we do, we’ll like to call your attention to an email we’ve just received revealing that a critical mode of discussion used by the faculty members has conveniently broken down over the weekend.
Here’s what one faculty member reports:
The Berkeley email is disabled this weekend, at a critical time of organization and discussion leading to a special meeting of the Academic Senate on Monday. Those using berkeley.edu addresses are out of email from the morning after their Thanksgiving dinners (Friday morning) until the Monday when the Academic Senate meeting takes place. The meeting is intended “to deliberate and reach conclusions upon a specific topic: The role of protest at Berkeley, the protests of November 2011 and events surrounding them including police and administration responses, and related policies.” Some see this meeting as potentially leading to a vote of no-confidence in the Chancellor, Robert Birgeneau. In my personal experience, this kind of outage is not accidental. -more-
Some crafty Occupy Berkeley members are showing solidarity with their Occupy brethren in cold-weather areas by holding a "knit-in at the sit-in" today.
Organizers are inviting the public to join them as they knit and crochet hats, mittens and scarves to send to cold-weather encampments that are facing dropping temperatures and snow as winter approaches.
The knit-in will be held at noon, rain or shine, at Civic Center Park at Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Center Street. -more-
Andronico's, the supermarket chain that opened its first store in Berkeley in the 1920s, announced today that it will close its Telegraph Avenue store in Berkeley.
The store was called "Park and Shop" when it opened, but the name was later changed to reflect family ownership.
The closure is related to the chain's restructuring after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this August, according to a representative for the markets.
Five stores will remain open and "will receive the company's full attention" as part of a capital improvement plan expected to begin early next year, according to a statement released on behalf of the company. -more-
Eids; Why the Super Committee Was Doomed; U.C. Berkeley Police;Resignation Vs. Moratorium;The Super Commitee's Failure; A Thought about Needed Change -more-
Occupy is about mass organizing to directly address big, structural problems that create intolerable inequities and injustices.
Occupy focuses on a malevolent concentration of political and economic power in a relatively small elite who seem to exercise their power so as to increase those inequities and injustices.
Occupy attempts to organize resistance under a "big tent", improvising and using techniques of Real Democracy. -more-
While citizens of Berkeley are nestled snug in their beds, City Councilmembers are dreaming, not of sugar plums, but of ways to fund the City’s failing infrastructure.
At several recent Council workshops, the demise and needs of our parks, marina, pools, storm drains, sewers and streets were discussed in detail. To date there has been no mention of City buildings (except that Old City Hall is a death trap if there is a significant earthquake, so Council is pondering a new location) – although rebuilding the solid waste transfer station and recycling center was briefly mentioned last spring.
Mid-December should reveal the “total” capital project dollars that are needed for all the necessary improvements but it is looking as though that number is close to $600million. That works out to approximately $5,300 per resident, including students. Couple that with the $253 million debt for employee benefits related liabilities – most owed to CALPERS and you end up with close to $850million in unfunded liabilities, or a whopping $7,500 per resident. And we call it unfunded because, sadly, it is. Unless significant budgetary changes are made, there is no money to fund any of this and Berkeley taxpayers and the City treasury are tapped out. -more-
I’m a student at UC Berkeley - and lately, an Occupier. In the last month, I have seen hundreds of people from many different backgrounds sitting down in the public sphere and talking about what they think is going wrong in our country right now. It has been inspiring to see such a diverse group of people coming together hoping to make the world a better place.
I’ve also found myself on the wrong side of police barricades more times than I ever imagined happening. I've seen peaceful protesters in Oakland tear-gassed and shot with 'non-lethal' weapons. I've seen peaceful students on Sproul Plaza beaten viciously. The scenes I have seen – both the good and the bad – are not unique to the bay area, they've been repeated in dozens of other cities across the country. -more-
The University of California bureaucracy is all over the Occupy scandal, now that it’s gone viral. Seldom have I experienced such a fast response to my online opinions—but University of California President Mark Yudof seems to have hopped to, with alacrity. Unfortunately, he's only made things worse.
Last Wednesday I predicted that U.C. administrators would continue their longstanding tradition of trying stupid repressive measures against students exercising free speech. Right on cue, the dumb cops at U.C. Davis on Friday assaulted passive non-violent students with pepper spray—on camera yet. -more-
Hot news from Europe: in a population of western marsh harriers (Circus aeruginosus) in France, 40 percent of the males are crossdressers . Typical males of this hawk species, a close relative of our northern harrier, have overall streaky-brown plumage. Females have whitish heads and shoulders, and so do female-mimicking males. Typical males don’t seem to recognize the mimics as rivals. Audrey Sternalski, Francois Mougeot, and Vincent Bretagnolle report in Biology Letters that typical males attack decoys with their own kind of plumage at a higher rate than those with female-mimic plumage. What the mimics get out of it is access to the mates—up to three, depending on available resources—of territory-holding typical males. -more-
Senior Power … “Age insists that I be dull as a further disability.” [Florida Scott-Maxwell at 83. The Measure of My Days.]
Disability, impairment, handicap. They’re different. While old age is not a disability, the weakening of the body’s resources exacerbates the impact of debilitating trauma or chronic disease that is likely to accompany old age. -more-
Arts & Events
Theater: Another Slew of Reviews:'Shoot O'Malley Twice' (Virago); 'Annie' (Berkeley Playhouse); 'The Soldier's Tale' (Aurora); 'Rumi x 7' (Golden Thread).
—'Shoot O'Malley Twice' (Virago Theatre Company) Since this review is running in the Planet, a note of disclosure—and reassurance—is in order at the start. The title of Jon Brooks' (who has written for the Mime Troupe) amusing play, about betting on "shooting fingers" while the Giants and Dodgers are betraying New York and Brooklyn by moving to the West Coast, refers to Walter O'Malley, owner of the Dodgers, object of such distain by the Brooklyn Faithful that—the saying goes—if you had Hitler, Stalin and Walter O'Malley together in a room and your gun had only two bullets, what would you do? "Shoot O'Malley Twice!" -more-