The Week



Berkeley Taser Forum Tonight

Scott Morris (BCN)
Thursday September 04, 2014 - 07:07:00 PM

As Berkeley plans a study on potentially equipping police officers with Tasers, a coalition opposed to the use of the stun guns is holding a forum tonight to discuss the topic. -more-

Judge Orders City to Change "Misleading" Soda Tax Ballot Language

Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Tuesday September 02, 2014 - 06:13:00 PM

A judge ruled today that city of Berkeley officials must change their ballot summary for a proposed soda tax measure on the ballot in Berkeley in November because the current language is misleading. -more-

Flash: Berkeley's Green Downtown Ballot Measure Language Challengers Win in Court (Press Release)

From Jesse Arreguin, Sally Nelson, Stefan Elgstrand, Austene Hall and James Massar
Tuesday September 02, 2014 - 12:29:00 PM

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo granted the petition by Berkeley voters Jesse Arreguin, Sally Nelson, Stefan Elgstrand, Austene Hall and James Massar challenging the ballot question written by Mayor Tom Bates, the most vocal opponent of Measure R, and approved by his Council majority, over the objections of Councilmembers Anderson, Arreguin and Worthington. The petition alleged that the ballot question was illegal because it did not conform to legal requirements about accuracy and impartiality. In the attached decision Judge Grillo agreed that certain statements of the ballot question did constitute advocacy and ordered language stricken and amended to make it more accurate, fair and neutral.

Click here to download the full text of the decision. -more-

Updated: CHP Advises Berkeley Residents to Stay Indoors During Search for Suspect

Bay City News and Planet
Sunday August 31, 2014 - 08:54:00 AM

The California Highway Patrol advised residents between Ashby Avenue and Russell Street in Berkeley to stay indoors while officers searched for a criminal suspect. The search started as a chase on city streets around 6:45 a.m., and at points went onto a highway, the CHP reported. Residents in the area between College and Claremont reported hearing a number of police sirens which stopped in their neighborhood. At 9 a.m. a CHP spokesperson told the Planet his organization had no further information about the search, which he said originated with the Walnut Creek Police. -more-

Press Release: Berkeley Planning Commission Approves Zoning Overlay to Save Historic Buildings

From Mike Lonergan, Save the Post Office
Friday August 29, 2014 - 05:42:00 PM

In two unanimous votes the Berkeley Planning Commission approved the Civic Center Historic District Zoning Overlay Wednesday night. The District Zoning Overlay protects Berkeley's historic public buildings from commercial development.

The first vote accepted a finding from the Berkeley Planning Department that the District Zoning Overlay will have no environmental effect. The second vote approved the overlay ordinance as written in the citizen's initiative, Measure R. The District Zoning Overlay will go to Berkeley City Council for discussion and approval at their September 9 meeting. -more-

Wellstone Club Endorsements: Quan, Soto-Vigil, Worthington and More

Friday August 29, 2014 - 01:10:00 PM

The East Bay's Wellstone Democratic Club has announced that the following endorsements were made by vote of the members at their meeting on Thursday: -more-

Judge Rules Tentatively That Berkeley Soda Tax Ballot Statement Must Change

Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Friday August 29, 2014 - 12:52:00 PM

A judge said today that he has tentatively ruled that city of Berkeley officials must change their ballot statement for a proposed soda tax measure that's on the ballot in Berkeley in November because of concerns that it's misleading. -more-

Press Release: Berkeley Police Investigating Attempted Homicide

From Ofc Jennifer Coats Berkeley Police Public Information Officer (PIO)
Friday August 29, 2014 - 12:23:00 PM

On Friday, August 29, 2014 at approximately 12:49 a.m. the Berkeley Police Department (BPD) received a report of a disturbance inside an apartment located in the 2000 block of Durant Avenue. The caller reported hearing a male yelling and making threats. -more-

Four Arrested for Spray Painting on UC Berkeley Campus

Dennis Culver (BCN)
Thursday August 28, 2014 - 10:13:00 AM

Four people were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of vandalism after police said they were caught spray painting at the University of California at Berkeley campus. -more-

Berkeley Soda Tax Opponents File Suit Challenging Ballot Language

Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Wednesday August 27, 2014 - 10:17:00 AM

Opponents of a measure on the November ballot in Berkeley that would impose a one-cent-per ounce tax on soda drinks have filed suit alleging that the ballot statement for the measure is biased, misleading and false. -more-

Press Release: Measure M Paving Projects to be Reviewed Sept. 4

From Bernadette Lopes
Friday August 29, 2014 - 10:09:00 AM

If you are interested in the City of Berkeley paving program or in providing input on the paving of your street, you are encouraged to attend the September 4, 2014 Public Works Commission meeting at 7:00 p.m. at the North Berkeley Senior Center. At the meeting, the Commission will continue its review of the proposed 2016 paving plan. The Public Works Commission will be providing a recommendation to the City Council regarding the 2016 plan prior to it being presented to the Council for approval in November 2014. If you are unable to attend the meeting, you are welcome to send your comments or questions to -more-



This from Two Berkeley Liberals? SB1300's Poison Pill

By Becky O'Malley
Friday August 29, 2014 - 09:55:00 AM

Yesterday (Thursday) I got an urgent message from Terry Francke of Californians Aware, the Sacramento group which tracks transparency in California government, or more often the lack thereof.

His subject line:

“ALERT: Hancock's gut & amend bill would classify refinery repair work as trade secrets; ASSEMBLY LABOR COMMITTEE HEARING THIS AFTERNOON. This from two Berkeley liberals!”

His message:

“This bill [SB1300, coauthored by Berkeley’s Sacramento representatives Senator Loni Hancock and Assemblymember Nancy Skinner] would allow refineries to claim as trade secrets all the information they file with the state concerning periodic repair “turnarounds”, and would also allow the refineries, if there were a CPRA [California Public Records Act] request for this information, to effectively sue the requester in Superior Court seeking a judicial declaration that the information is indeed a trade secret. The requester would either have to appear and defend the request or accept a default judgment. This from two Berkeley liberals!” -more-

Public Comment

New: California Governor Jerry Brown Wants to Steal My Home

Chris Darling
Monday September 01, 2014 - 03:38:00 PM

Due to the expansion of Medi-Cal under ObamaCare, my wife and I am now covered by that program. But because both of us are over 55, Jerry can steal our house after we die to cover Medi-Cal's expense of paying for our healthcare. A 1993 law gives states the option to take back all the money spent by Medi-Cal for the healthcare of recipients over 55 by billing the estate after the recipient (and spouse) die. Because California is taking advantage of this option, Medi-Cal for older people is effectively a long term loan. -more-

Updated: The Corporate Robber Barons

Tejinder Uberoi
Friday August 29, 2014 - 10:08:00 AM

More and more companies are establishing corporate headquarters overseas in counties offering significantly lower tax rates, a process called tax inversion. Burger King is one of the latest high profile company’s which is planning to move their corporate headquarters to Canada where the corporate tax is 27 percent. James Henry, former chief economist of McKinsey & Company, noted that because Canada has a territorial corporate income tax structure, the US treasury will not receive any taxes from Burger King’s 6,000 overseas locations. -more-

War Can Never Bring Peace

Romila Khanna
Friday August 29, 2014 - 10:07:00 AM

The unrest we sense is the result of fear which is affecting every country. Whenever there is unrest and some other country is affected America feels that war and invasion will bring peace and security. It is true that we are very powerful due to our armament industry, but we feel insecure in spite of our armaments. We become impatient with internal domestic violence in another country. We want to help other nations by selling them more arms. Our way of helping others does us more harm than good. Our arms enable vast graveyards for the masses of other countries. -more-


ON MENTAL ILLNESS: When Mentally Compromised, Things to Avoid

Jack Bragen
Friday August 29, 2014 - 10:01:00 AM

A person can do a lot of damage to oneself if they go on the internet while in a compromised state of mind. This holds true for anyone.

This is akin to the rule that if you have been drinking or haven't gotten enough sleep, you should not get behind the wheel of a car. When delusional or not in a fully ordinary and grounded state of mind, getting on the internet can damage one's reputation. It is a way that a person can lose friends or blow away business opportunities. -more-

ECLETIC RANT: Response to Daliya Robson's "Did You Ever Look at a Map?"

Ralph E. Stone
Friday August 29, 2014 - 09:58:00 AM

In her article "Did You Ever Look at a Map?", Ms. Robson seems to equate criticism of Israel with anti-semitism. Is there anti-semitism in the world? Absolutely. But too often accusations of anti-semitism are merely a scare tactic used to discredit Israel's critics. -more-

Arts & Events

PUBLIC FORUM - Should Berkeley Police be Allowed to Use Tasers on the People of Berkeley?

Berkeley Copwatch
Tuesday September 02, 2014 - 12:38:00 PM

Berkeley Police are asking the City Council for tasers. The City Council wants a study. The Coalition for a Taser Free Berkeley is convening a diverse panel to discuss their experiences with tasers and to help Berkeley make an informed decision. We invite members of the public, city employees and police officers who are genuinely concerned about how tasers will affect the community. We will consider taser effects on various communities, mentally ill people, previous cities' experience with tasers and how taser use would be monitored and police officers be held accountable?

Panelists include: -more-

AROUND AND ABOUT THEATER: Marion Fay's Theater and Music Classes; Jovelyn Richards and 'Dinner at Mz Pat's House'

Ken Bullock
Friday August 29, 2014 - 10:03:00 AM

—Marion Fay's unusual adult education theater and music classes are starting up again for the Fall season. Theater explorations—nine weeks of two hour weekly classes—meets first on either Monday September 8 or Thursday September 11, both at 1 p. m. The course features five plays, including 'Rapture, Blister, Burn' at Aurora,' 'Party People' at Berkeley Rep, and also at the Rep a new play about Molly Ivins featuring Kathleen Turner. Guest speakers include artistic directors Michael Storm, of TheatreFIRST and Michael Moran of Ubuntu Theater Project. $85; discounted group theater tickets additional. Register at first class—bring $28 and a plain envelope if seeing 'Rapture, Blister, Burn' at Aurora on September 21. -more-