The Week



Press Release: Berkeley Police investigating fatal collision on Sacramento Street at Ada Street.

Berkeley Police via Nixle
Wednesday February 08, 2017 - 09:50:00 AM

On 2-8-17, 0707hrs, The Berkeley Police Department received a report of a collision between a bicycle and a vehicle on Sacramento Street at Ada Street. The bicyclist did not survive the collision. The driver of the vehicle stopped immediately and is cooperating with the investigation. -more-

JoyX3 for Berkeley Symphony Orchestra Maestra

Monday February 06, 2017 - 02:29:00 PM

Exciting news from René Mandel, Executive Director of the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra:

"It is with the utmost joy that I share that [Conductor] Joana [Carneiro] has recently given birth to triplets! Their names are Zé (names after his father, of course), Concha and Rosario (named after their grandmothers). Joana sends her love to everybody. All are doing very well." -more-

Updated: Holdup at Cafe Roma

Sunday February 05, 2017 - 11:12:00 PM

A participant in the NextDoor website reports that there was an armed robbery at Cafe Roma at Ashby and College about 9 pm Sunday night. The suspects are still at large.

Here is the report, with the writer's name withheld by the Planet to protect her, since she may be a witness.

'Three dudes came in and tried to steal laptops from the customers. They came in front door and tried to sweep through to the back door - but one of the students tackled one of the guys and then a big huge kerfuffle between the three hoods and a few customers happened. Then a gun was pulled. They did get away with one laptop. Police are here now. I have reported this information to the police."

As of noon on Monday, no information about this incident had been provided to the public by the Berkeley Police via Nixle. -more-

Press Release: Deakin Street deaths caused by carbon monoxide

From the Berkeley Police Department via Nixle
Friday February 03, 2017 - 06:38:00 PM

The Berkeley Police Department confirms the death of Roger and Valerie Morash was caused by acute carbon monoxide intoxication and believe their deaths was a tragic accident. -more-

Protest caused over $100k in damages to UC Berkeley campus

Scott Morris (BCN)
Thursday February 02, 2017 - 09:17:00 PM

Protests against far-right writer and speaker Milo Yiannopoulos on Wednesday caused more than $100,000 in damage to the University of California at Berkeley campus, not counting more than a dozen businesses that were vandalized in the city's downtown area and Telegraph corridor, university officials said today. -more-

Press Release: Campus investigates, assesses damage from Feb. 1 violence

Gretchen Kell, UC Berkeley Media relations
Thursday February 02, 2017 - 04:03:00 PM

The day after a scheduled appearance at UC Berkeley by right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos erupted in violence and ended before it began, campus officials condemned the actions of agitators who invaded the campus and disrupted nearly 1,500 peaceful protesters. They also praised small groups of Berkeley students who organized themselves to begin cleaning up debris. -more-

UC Berkeley student one of three plaintiffs suing Trump over travel ban

Keith Burbank (BCN)
Friday February 03, 2017 - 11:34:00 AM

A student at the University of California at Berkeley, another at Stanford University and one at a San Diego college filed suit Thursday challenging President Donald Trump's executive order banning travel from seven majority Muslim countries. -more-

State Bar encourages volunteer lawyers to help with immigration and other concerns

Julia Cheever (BCN)
Friday February 03, 2017 - 08:19:00 AM

The State Bar of California is urging attorneys in the Golden State to volunteer to help people who need a lawyer but can't afford one for immigration issues and other problems. -more-



Competing protests rock Berkeley

Becky O'Malley
Friday February 03, 2017 - 08:58:00 AM

Well, the "President" Dumpf jobs program is finally underway! Thanks to his surrogate’s provocative teaser/performance on Wednesday, there is work galore in downtown Berkeley, sweeping up glass, restoring windows, cleaning off graffiti.

The most evocative of those was the one sprayed on the pristine walls of the U.C. Art museum: "Liberals get the bullet too…Fuck art". It's one the "president" would endorse.

Swell, ain’t it?

And the bad boy didn’t even have to deliver his talk to get ink. Chances are, of course, that this was part of the plan, and the Black Bloc boobies leaped willingly into the trap.

They’re peas in a pod, Milo Yiannopoulos and Ronald Rumpf. And this caper seems to have been orchestrated by one of my old-time faves, David Horowitz.

Yes, that David Horowitz, once Berkeley's own. I knew him way back when he was reputed to be a genuine big-C Communist. He went on to write a left-activist paen to the student movement of the early 60s. and became a key member of the Free Speech Movement.

He lived in Berkeley for a long time trying to get a toehold in reputable journalism with little success. His perfectly nice kids went to school with my kids. But the worm has turned (to add another metaphor to the string) and now David’s moved to LA to become a henchman of the alt-right. Now he runs an outfit called—wait for it—the Horowitz Freedom Center. Sort of like the Hitler-Stalin pact, isn’t it?

Much to my—I was going to say surprise, but disgust is more appropriate, a little google led me to this Tuesday January 31 story on, a sewer into whose depths I had never previously descended:

MILO Launches Horowitz Freedom Center Campaign Against ‘Sanctuary Campuses’

Here’s the lede:

The Editor's Back Fence

New: Don't miss this: Shellmound EIR rejected by LPC

Wednesday February 08, 2017 - 11:07:00 PM

Public Comment

South Shattuck residents still waiting to be noticed

Thomas Ferrell
Thursday February 02, 2017 - 10:51:00 PM

Holdovers from the Bates administration on the city staff are still running government, accommodating developers, and thwarting the public.

The controversial Berkeley Honda proposal to shoehorn a repair shop/dealership into the old Berkeley Bowl building was approved on September 8 by the old ZAB with the help of an accommodating planning staff, and the votes of 4 new or substitute members. Given the makeup of the old ZAB and the anti-neighborhood bias of the Bates-era staff, no one was surprised by the outcome.

The neighborhood appealed the ZAB decision, as everyone expected. Then an election happened.

The new mayor Jesse Arreguin smartly judged that the public hearing for this controversial issue should be the only agenda item, and so it is. The hearing for the neighborhood appeal is set for Tuesday February 7 at 6:00 p.m.

So far, so good, right? We'll hash the thing out on the merits, and may the best arguments win. Not so fast, folks—what's this? -more-

Trump Administration Risks War with Iran Over Nothing

William O. Beeman, New America Media Commentary
Friday February 03, 2017 - 10:53:00 AM

The Trump administration appears to be renewing the possibility of violent confrontation with Iran using a questionable pretext—Iran’s testing of conventional missiles. -more-

Should California go alone?

Bernie Quigley
Friday February 03, 2017 - 10:38:00 AM

The idea that something wonderful and mythic happens to a plain and ordinary man when he becomes president is magical thinking. When it is finally realized that President Donald Trump is a fraud the entire world economy could collapse. Perhaps California is on the right track in trying to find a better path; to go alone perhaps, or to find a way to limit influence of a federal government out of control, run amok or not to be trusted. -more-

Royal decrees

Tejinder Uberoi
Friday February 03, 2017 - 10:36:00 AM

Hardly a week has elapsed since President Trump and Vice-President Vladimir Putin took over the reins of power. Trump seems to have forgotten his criticism of his predecessor’s “unilateral edicts” and “power grabs”. Iowa Senator Charles Grassley was equally critical of Obama once stating: “The president looks more and more like a king that the Constitution was designed to replace.” -more-

Immigration Ban

Bruce Joffe
Friday February 03, 2017 - 10:16:00 AM

Democrats condemn the immigration ban on seven countries as being anti-Muslim, antithetical to our American values. Republicans defend it saying it only bans immigrants from seven of 19 Muslim-majority countries. Democrats point out that nobody from those seven countries has ever caused a terror incident in our country, and that many countries of terrorists' origin just happen to be places where the President has private business dealings. Republicans answer that the list came from the Obama administration.

Nevertheless, Republicans and Democrats do agree that the immigration ban was poorly planned, insufficiently vetted, and incompetently managed. Green-card holders, valid visa recipients, and people with dual citizenship should not have been banned. Given then-candidate-Trump's many statements about excluding Muslims, and the public admission that he commissioned Rudy Giuliani to find a "legal way" to make such a restriction, the appearance of immoral discrimination overwhelms whatever words are on the executive order.

Huge damage is being done, according to hundreds of military and State Department professionals who know what they are talking about. Trump's blunder is weakening the resolve of our allies in the fight against ISIS, and strengthening the veracity of terrorists among their adherents.

Seeking and taking advice from knowledgeable professionals is something the arrogant blowhard bullies in the White House are incapable of, to the detriment of our national security and our moral reputation. How much more danger must we be put in before the Republicans in Congress realize that impeachment is necessary? -more-

State Dept.’s Cable

Jagjit Singh
Friday February 03, 2017 - 10:09:00 AM

ithin hours of Trump’s ban on seven Muslim majority countries, State Department officials crafted a dissenting memo which has gone viral. The memo repudiates Trump’s justification of the ban. Like a chain letter, the memo has been sent to all US embassies around the world in one of the largest protests against presidential policies. Thus far, the memo carries 1,000 signatures but more and more officials wanted to add their names to voice their fierce opposition to Trump’s misguided policies. Many commented that the visa ban would surely “alienate allies” and “hurt America economically.” Our negotiating wizard seems be unaware that foreign travelers inject nearly $250 billion into the American economy and support more than one million jobs. Furthermore, Trump’s stated claim to keep us safer is hogwash. There hasn’t been a single terrorist attack in America by anyone in the targeted seven countries during the past 40 years. According to the Cato Institute, the risk of an American being victim to a terrorist attack by a refugee in a given year is one in 3.6 billion. -more-


THE PUBLIC EYE: Trump’s immigration policy leads to war

Bob Burnett
Friday February 03, 2017 - 07:58:00 AM

In the wake of Donald Trump's abrasive January 27th immigration order, some critics have described a White House in chaos and characterized Trump's policy czar, Steve Bannon, as "in his over his head." Wrong. Trump and Bannon know exactly what they are doing. Trump's immigration orders portend a devastating campaign against immigrants, one that will lead to war in the Middle East. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Why Many Mental Illnesses are Disabling

Jack Bragen
Friday February 03, 2017 - 08:24:00 AM

Human beings in most places of our planet seem to judge people by their position in life. In the U.S., and probably in most countries, that translates to a person’s success level at a career. Many persons with mental illness are deprived of having a good career--and this is a hindrance to self-value as well as to being valued by others. -more-

Updated: ECLECTIC RANT: Yiannopoulis’ scheduled appearance at UC Berkeley

Ralph E. Stone
Monday February 06, 2017 - 12:57:00 PM

The Berkeley College Republicans hosted conservative Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at UC Berkeley. Known by many as a hate-filled agent provocateur, his scheduled appearance sparked demonstrations. The UC Berkeley administration initially took the high road, saying that it could not discriminate based on a speaker's anticipated speech. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: Senate Should Confirm Gorsuch to Supreme Court

Ralph E. Stone
Friday February 03, 2017 - 10:01:00 AM

The Senate should confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court if he is found to be qualified. I understand the Republicans refused to even consider Merrick Garland, Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, even though Obama had ten months left on his term at the time. I also understand had Hillary Clinton become president, the Republicans indicated no nominee of hers would be confirmed either. -more-

Arts & Events

Theater Review--'I'm Always Drunk in San Francisco'

Ken Bullock
Thursday February 02, 2017 - 10:57:00 PM

"I'm always drunk in San Francisco/And I don't drink at all." -more-

Around & About Preview--Jazz: Kalil Wilson Sings at the Sound Room in Oakland's Uptown, Next Friday

Ken Bullock
Friday February 03, 2017 - 08:26:00 AM

Wonderful Kalil Wilson, the jazz singer who grew up in North Oakland, will sing next Friday night with his trio Love (Dan Marshak, Sam Adams and young drums prodigy Genius Wesley) at Oakland's great little spot for jazz, the Sound Room on Broadway, two blocks (past the Paramount Theatre, towards Grand) from 19th Street BART. -more-

Jordi Savall and Hespèrion XXI at Zellerbach

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Friday February 03, 2017 - 10:08:00 AM

For more than four decades Jordi Savall and the ensemble Hespèrion XX, now Hespèrion XXI, have explored a rich trove of music composed between the Middle Ages and the Baroque. They have unearthed musical scores long forgotten by composers also long forgotten. In doing so, they have enriched our understanding of the development of European music from the Gothic period to the Baroque. The concert given on Friday, January 27, at Zellerbach Hall by Jordi Savall and Hespèrion XXI provided yet another instance of this ensemble’s unwavering commitment to filling in the gaps, as it were, in our understanding of European music. For this concert, they focused on Venetian influences in musical Europe between 1500 and 1700. -more-

Gautier Capuçon with Prague Philharmonia Plays Dvořák’s Cello Concerto

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Friday February 03, 2017 - 10:04:00 AM

Emmanuel Villaume, Prague Philharmonia’s Music Director and Chief Conductor, brought his orchestra to Davies Hall on Sunday evening, January 29, for a concert of Czech music by Bedřic Smetana and Antonín Dvořák. On the program were Smetana’s Vltava (The Moldau) from Má Vlast (My Country), and Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B minor and his Symphony No. 8 in G Major. Gautier Capuçon was the exciting young soloist in the Dvořák Cello Concerto. -more-