Statement on Eviction of Homeless Community at Berkeley's Old City Hall

Mike Zint, First They Came For The Homeless
Friday February 09, 2018 - 09:57:00 AM

I am requesting help in getting this published. We got blamed, and raided because the city lied, and the press reported the lie. There has been no effort from the press to voluntarily print the truth, and they do know. So, it's up to us to be the journalists. I'm very disappointed in the local press.

This is intended to stop the lies, and show the truth. This is what happened. Our community had nothing to do with the fire. Our community was not on the landing, or north of the bulletin board. We were on the south side of the bulletin board, and on the south side of the building.

The first fire occurred in early January. Below is a quote from a Berkeleyside article, and link to the article. It was made by a local resident. It is clearly stated this person had nothing to do with us. There was no resulting raid, because the truth was published and known to the community. -more-

Updated: Berkeley Dismantles Homeless Camp in Front of Old City Hall

Jeff Shuttleworth (Bay City News)
Thursday February 08, 2018 - 09:51:00 AM

Berkeley city workers and police early this morning dismantled a homeless encampment that had been in front of Old City Hall for about three months, a police spokesman said. -more-

Flash: Berkeley Police Evict Homeless Campers

Alex Kekauoha (BCN) and Planet
Thursday February 08, 2018 - 08:32:00 AM

Martin Luther King Jr. Way is closed this morning between Allston Way and Center Street in Berkeley until about 8:30 a.m. today due to a planned city operation, Berkeley police said.

Further details were not immediately available from the Berkeley Police Department, but according to Berkeley City Hall sources the police were rousting the homeless campers on the lawn of the Maudelle Shirek Old City Hall building. No provision for where the campers will go has been made, according to the source. -more-

Flash: Driver Dies After AC Transit Collision on Ashby in Berkeley

Dan McMenamin
Thursday February 08, 2018 - 08:29:00 AM

A driver died after a collision with an Alameda-Contra Costa Transit bus that sent both the bus and the vehicle crashing into a nearby home in Berkeley this morning, a police spokesman said. -more-

Page One

Wiener and Skinner Declare War on Local Planning

Zelda Bronstein
Saturday February 03, 2018 - 08:31:00 PM

On January 19, I attended UCLA Extension’s 2018 Land Use Law and Planning Conference at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Seated in long rows of tables under the glittering chandeliers of the hotel’s Crystal Ballroom, hundreds of elected and appointed public officials, developers, attorneys, and consultants are annually briefed by sharp pro-growth land use lawyers and other like-minded experts on the latest California land use legislation and case law.

This year the star of the show was State Senator Scott Wiener. He earned that role by authoring (along with Senator Nancy Skinner) SB 35, the controversial “by-right” housing bill that Governor Brown signed into law in September. Like his fellow Yimbys, Wiener believes in a supply-side, build baby build solution to California’s housing woes and blames those woes on local jurisdictions’ resistance to new residential development. He presents himself as a brave policymaker who grapples with hard issues that others have dodged—an image belied by his evasive responses to my questions.

In California, Wiener told the conferees, “housing has been a purely local thing.” There have been “few laws on the books,” those that are on the books “are not enforced” and are outdated. What needs to happen is that the state should govern housing the way it governs education. Local school boards “set policy,” but “the state sets the ground rules.” Just so, last February the senator told Streetsblog, “if you [a city] are meeting your RHNA [Regional Housing Needs Allocation, set by the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development] goals,…you maintain full local control.”

This strains to the breaking point any reasonable definition of local control, which, moreover, the legislature has been chopping away for years. For starters, see SB 375, which spawned Plan Bay Area; SB 743, which eliminated local congestion as an environmental impact; and, in last year’s “housing package,” SB 35, SB 167 and AB 1515. On January 3, Wiener introduced two new bills, SB 827 and SB 828, that move beyond chopping into slash-and-burn territory.

SB 827

Drafted by California Yimby Executive Director Brian Hanlon, and coauthored by State Senator Nancy Skinner (D, Berkeley) and Assemblymember Phil Ting (D, San Francisco), SB 827 would prohibit cities from limiting heights to lower than 45, 55, or 85 feet--depending on the width of the street—on parcels within a half-mile of a “major transit stop” or a quarter-mile of “a high-quality transit corridor.” For such parcels, SB 827 would also suspend local parking minimums, density restrictions, and “any design standard that restricts the applicant’s ability to construct the maximum number of units consistent with any applicable building code.”

The bill defines a major transit stop as “a site containing an existing rail transit station, a ferry terminal served by either a bus or rail transit service, or the intersection of two or more major bus routes with a frequency of service interval of 15 minutes or less during the morning and afternoon peak commute periods.” The California Government Code defines “a high transit corridor” as “a corridor with fixed route bus service that has service intervals of no more than fifteen minutes during peak commute hours. -more-

UC Berkeley Employee Arrested at Protest

Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Saturday February 03, 2018 - 08:04:00 PM

Labor organizers allege that the arrest of a black man at a protest in Berkeley on Thursday against alleged pay inequality throughout the University of California system indicates that university is honoring the repressive legacy of the Jim Crow South. -more-

Public Comment

A Biased Report on SB 827

Russ Tilleman
Saturday February 03, 2018 - 08:08:00 PM

One of the difficult things for me about greenwashing has been getting into arguments over the years with people whose goals I share. These people are often strong advocates for the environment and so am I. -more-

What Would An Honest Progressive Do?

Carol Denney
Sunday February 04, 2018 - 09:57:00 AM

I see the town hall coming.

Berkeley's forum on "homelessness" this Monday, Feb. 5th (6:30 pm at the North Berkeley Senior Center) will feature:

Councilmember Sophie Hahn on the proposed "Pathways Project" featuring city tents instead of personal tents relocated near the dump.

Peter Radu, of the relatively newly christened Dept. Health Housing and Community Svcs., will speak on "Current City Programs" which will predictably omit the mechanisms of middle-of-the-night tent sweeps except to cue people that if you drop enough complaints about a nearby tent city it'll be gone in the morning.

Mayor Jesse Arreguin will step right up to the myth progressives had that he would take other than his predecessor Mayor Bates' approach to the housing crisis by introducing a raft of new sidewalk laws; more ways to criminalize people with nowhere to go with everything they own and are legally limited to being in and on public sidewalks and spaces.

Then Phil Harrington of the Department of Public Works bats cleanup, quite literally, by describing "current efforts at sidewalk cleanliness, trash pickup, provision of sanitation facilities" which are truly heartbreaking except for the missing logic - without trash pick-up, bathrooms, and washing facilities people are a messy bunch.

There will be nobody speaking on behalf of those who live in tent cities, at least not as scheduled so far. -more-

I Blame the Sidewalks

Carol Denney
Sunday February 04, 2018 - 02:45:00 PM

I Blame the Sidewalks, by Carol Denney February 2, 2018

I look around me and what do I see
terrible happenings coming to be
people in poverty tenting tonight
huddling in parks giving tourists a fright

Chorus: I blame the sidewalks what else can I do
can't blame my donors wish I could blame you
I blame the sidewalks what else can it be
I blame the sidewalks so no one blames me

hundreds evicted the rents are so high
I am the mayor I ask myself why
what do I blame for all this poverty
I must make sure that nobody blames me (Chorus)

I am convinced that it's sidewalks to blame
they may seem peaceful but I know this game
lying in wait looking calm and serene
soon as your back's turned a big dustbowl scene (Chorus)

how to make sure my career has a path
without disturbing developers' math
thankfully mayors who've gone on before
have left me the key and have opened the door (Chorus) -more-

The FBI & Russia

Jagjit Singh
Sunday February 04, 2018 - 02:50:00 PM

Another chapter is unfolding in the Russia investigation. Trump Team is determined to cast doubt about the integrity of the FBI. Trump’s twitter war seems to be succeeding with his withering criticism of the British MI6 Steele dossier which seems ever more believable given the revelation of Trump’s bizarre dalliance with porn star, Stormy Daniels so soon after Melania gave birth to their son, Barren. There is little doubt that Putin’s Kremlin has done extensive research on Trump and his family and seems certain to continue to exploit their many weaknesses. The strategy to deflect criticism of Trump and derail the Russian investigation is all too familiar. Weaken the credibility of the FBI by making false charges which are then seized upon by the Trump-Republican friendly media which echoes them relentlessly and serves to convince a doubting public. -more-


Tejinder Uberoi
Sunday February 04, 2018 - 02:49:00 PM

After 16 years and $4 – $6 trillion squandered in the failed war in Afghanistan, Trump now joins Obama and Bush hailing great progress in a country raked with violence. The uncomfortable truth is the Taliban and Islamic State are on the ascendency. A BBC study found the Taliban are now in control of 70 percent of the country. So dangerous is the situation that US personnel no longer drive from the airport to the embassy but are flown in by helicopter. President Trump becomes the third president in a row to attempt to put a positive spin on the war in Afghanistan, the longest war in U.S. history. Compounding this tragedy is the theft of billions of dollars by a thoroughly corrupt Afghan government. -more-

The Economy: How Bad News Is Reported As Good News

Harry Brill
Saturday February 03, 2018 - 08:49:00 PM

I think that almost all of you already know that the real unemployment rate is substantially higher than the officially reported rate. And I doubt that any of you believe the major economists that our economy now is at full employment and that anyone who wants to work can find a job. So I promise, I won't dwell on what I think you already know. -more-

The Homeless Problem: The Berkeley City Council Can Do Better

Harry Brill
Sunday February 04, 2018 - 02:53:00 PM

Probably many of you have noticed the alarming increase in homelessness in the Bay Area. It is especially painful to see families with very young children in the streets. At UC Berkeley, students have organized a program to find affordable rooms for the many homeless students. UC gave a grant to a student organization that has been successfully finding living quarters for these students. -more-

February Pepper Spray Times

By Grace Underpressure
Sunday February 04, 2018 - 01:30:00 PM

Editor's Note: The latest issue of the Pepper Spray Times is now available.

You can view it absolutely free of charge by clicking here . You can print it out to give to your friends.

Grace Underpressure has been producing it for many years now, even before the Berkeley Daily Planet started distributing it, most of the time without being paid, and now we'd like you to show your appreciation by using the button below to send her money.

This is a Very Good Deal. Go for it! -more-


Forget about Those White Supremacists

Becky O'Malley
Friday January 26, 2018 - 05:33:00 PM

We have Donald Trump to thank for finally putting the last nail in the coffin of White Supremacy this month.

Huh? You may well ask. Yes, I know it’s counter-intuitive, but let’s just check the evidence.

On your right: President Donald J. Trump. On your left: President Barack H. Obama.

Case closed.

Herr Dumpf is superior to no one.

Editorial page writers have run out of strong adjectives to describe his shockingly manifest inferiority. Vulgar, stupid, venal. And also, mendacious and unstable. Oh,yes, and racist, if you didn’t know that already, as demonstrated by his language choice when discussing immigration with senators.

After typing all those pejoratives the day of that meeting, I felt obliged to check Google News one more time to see if he’d done any new disreputable things since I read the morning paper.

That very day, he’d coined a new junior-high nickname for Senator Richard Durbin and tweeted it. (Time for teacher to confiscate his phone, isn’t it?)

Defenders of Whites might plead that Donald T. is just one guy, and most other White people and even most Old White Guys are better than that.

Well, by the numbers, when you break down national White voters into all kinds of categories (gender, income, employment, education etc.) the majority in every category voted for Donald Trump, so they all deserve blame for what happened. (Possibly excepting educated White women of a certain age…one small Hurrah for Us, but that’s not enough.)

I’m more than a little fed up with the drumbeat coming from a lot of White lefties that more attention needs to be paid to the grievances of the White working class. It isn’t really a class thing that motivates them. In fact, it looks a lot like a disguised subset of good old White Supremacy. -more-


ON MENTAL ILLNESS: The Important Distinction of "Me" and "Not Me"

Jack Bragen
Sunday February 04, 2018 - 08:25:00 AM

An ancient comedian once said that he had "undying love" for his wife--he "wouldn't die for her." This line, which was probably humorous in the 1950's, points to a very deep mental health issue. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE: The Great Imposters: Reagan and Trump

Bob Burnett
Sunday February 04, 2018 - 08:28:00 AM

Donald Trump likes to compare himself to Ronald Reagan. Trump and Reagan do have a lot in common, both in terms of ideology and their approach to the office of the President. They're imposters. Reagan was an actor playing the role of President; so is Trump.

Arts & Events

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, week of Feb 4- Feb 11

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Sunday February 04, 2018 - 01:06:00 PM

Berkeley City Council February 13, regular meeting is available for comment, 11. remove fence around Here There, 29. Fund Reserves 31. Significant Community Benefits moved to Feb 13, 32.a&b. Porta Potties, 33. Tax rate for cannabis 35. Stormwater Ballot initiative 36. a&b Paid Family leave, 37. U1, 38 a.&b. Homeless Encampment, 39. a.&b. Premier Cru storage for homeless, 43. Information space for Berkeley Food Network

Email comments to: council@cityofberkeley.info


Indivisible Berkeley list of actions you can do from home, https://www.indivisibleberkeley.org/actions
The meeting list is also posted on the Sustainable Berkeley Coalition website. http://www.sustainableberkeleycoalition.com/whats-ahead.html

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Tiny House Living Festival, Sunday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, 4501 Pleasanton Ave, Pleasanton, Alameda County Fair Grounds. This is not a free event, entrance, $14, Seniors $12, under 12 free, free parking


Monday, February 5, 2018

City/UC/Student Relations Committee, 2465 Bancroft Way, Eshleman Hall, ASUC Senate Chamber, 5th Floor, Agenda: amendments to Group Living, Proposed Landmark of Campanile Way View, Council committee members, Harrison, Wengraf, Worthington, Droste, Arreguin


Community Forum on Homelessness, Mon, Feb 5, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm, 1901 Hearst Ave, North Berkeley Senior Center, Moderator-Kate Harrison, Sophie Hahn – Pathways Project, City-Staff-Homelessness Program, Public Works – sidewalks maintenance.

RSVP TSreekrishnan@cityofberkeley.info

Tax the Rich rally – Monday, Feb 5, winter hours 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm top of Solano in front of closed Oaks Theater, Feb 5 is Transit Equity Day

Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board – Outreach Committee, 5:30 pm, 2001 Center St, 2nd Floor Law Library, https://www.cityofberkeley.info/rent/

Peace and Justice Commission, Mon, Feb 5, 7:00 pm – 1901 Hearst Ave, North Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: Homelessness, Emergency Outdoor Shelters, Surveillance Policy, UN reports, https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Commissions__Peace_and_Justice_Commission_Homepage.aspx

Personnel Board, Mon, Feb 5, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, 1901 Hearst Ave, North Berkeley Senior Center, https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Commissions__Personnel_Board_Homepage.aspx

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Berkeley City Council, Tues, Feb 6, 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, 2134 MLK Jr Way, City Council Chambers, Agenda: Land Use Appeals

  • 1446 Fifth Street
  • 2334 Jefferson
  • 1436 Campus Drive

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Board of Library Trustees, Wed, Feb 7, 6:30 pm, 1901 Russell St, Tarea Hall Pittman South Branch Library, Agenda: One Workplace, service maintenance contract


Commission on Disability, Wed, Feb 7, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm, 1901 Hearst Ave, North Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: Dr. Karen Nakamura on Universal Design, Automatic Door Openers, Sidewalks, Representation on Design Review Committee


Mental Health Commission-Bylaws Subcommittee, Wed, Feb 7, 6:00 pm 1939 Addison, East Bay Media Center http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Commissions__Mental_Health_Commission_Homepage.aspx

Planning Commission, Wed, Feb 7, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, 1901 Hearst Ave, North Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: Student Housing initiative, 8:30 pm - 1050 Parker rezone, Cannabis Zoning regulations


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Community Benefits, Thur, Feb 8, 10:00 am – 11:30 am, location and agenda to be announced


Community Environmental Advisory Commission, Thur, Feb 8, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, 1901 Russell St, South Branch Library, Agenda: Citywide green development requirements, stormwater infrastructure, BPA receipts, plastic straws


Zoning Adjustments Board, Thur, Feb 8, 7:00 pm – 11:30 pm, 2134 MLK Jr. Way, City Council Chambers

  • 2609 Shattuck & 2110 Parker St – full service restaurant – on consent
  • 2257 Glen Ave – demolish 1707 single family home, creek restoration, new 2082 single family home with 5’ front setback instead of 20 and 0’ west side setback instead of 5’-on consent
  • 2024 Shattuck – add alcohol service – on consent
  • 2367 Telegraph – establish entertainment use in basement level – staff recommend approve
  • 1200 San Pablo – demolish1-story structure, construct 6-story mixed use, density bonus, 57 dwelling units, 44 parking spaces, advisory comments

Friday, February 9, 2018

African American History Celebration, Fri, Feb 9, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, 1730 Oregon

Berkeley City Reduced Service Day, Fri, Feb 9

Saturday, February 10, 2018

McGee-Spaulding Neighbors in Action Meeting, Sat, Feb 10, 9:45 am – 12:00 pm, University Terrace Community Room -more-

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Excels in Stravinsky’s THE FIREBIRD

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Saturday February 03, 2018 - 08:30:00 PM

It takes some doing to overshadow French cellist Gautier Capuçon, who is perhaps our finest young cellist today. But that is exactly what occurred on Sunday evening, January 28, at Davies Hall when London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performed before intermission with Gautier Capuçon as soloist in Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major, then returned to the stage to offer a scintillating rendition of Igor Stravinsky’s L’Oiseau de feu/The Firebird. Let me be clear, however. There was absolutely no lack of artistry in the chemistry between cellist Gautier Capuçon and conductor Thierry Fischer in the Haydn Cello Concerto No. 1. Quite the contrary, what was outstanding in this performance was the attention to detail, and especially to dynamics, as both soloist and orchestra beautifully rendered the delicacy of this excellent work by Joseph Haydn. -more-

Katja Heuzeroth: Young Opera Singer on the Move

Profile by James Roy MacBean
Sunday February 04, 2018 - 02:40:00 PM

As a veteran opera-goer who has seen almost 800 live opera performances, I hardly expected to encounter in one afternoon in Alameda a wonderful opera I had never seen or heard even though it was by a major composer, and, moreover, to discover a new, unheralded young singer who was sensational. But lucky me, such was my good fortune on January 21, when I attended Island City Opera’s production of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Kashchey, the Immortal, on which day German-born mezzo-soprano Katja Heuzeroth happened to sing her only performance of the role of Kashcheyevna, daughter of the superannuated, tyrannical sorcerer, Kashchey. For Katja Heuzeroth, a young singer whose career has been on temporary hold due to the recent move from New York to the Bay Area and the birth of her daughter, the role of Kashcheyevna, she hopes, will jump start her career. -more-

Derek Tam Conducts A German Requiem by Brahms

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Sunday February 04, 2018 - 01:58:00 PM

There is a noble idea behind Johannes Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem/A German Requiem, but somehow this work leaves me cold. The idea itself is laudatory: Brahms sought to write a requiem not for the dead but for those, still living, who mourn the dead. As Brahms once put it, “Life robs one of more than death does.” Put differently, death simply puts an end to things, but life exposes one to ongoing struggle and pain and loss. -more-

Back Stories


Public Comment

A Biased Report on SB 827 Russ Tilleman 02-03-2018

What Would An Honest Progressive Do? Carol Denney 02-04-2018

I Blame the Sidewalks Carol Denney 02-04-2018

The FBI & Russia Jagjit Singh 02-04-2018

Afghanistan Tejinder Uberoi 02-04-2018

The Economy: How Bad News Is Reported As Good News Harry Brill 02-03-2018

The Homeless Problem: The Berkeley City Council Can Do Better Harry Brill 02-04-2018

February Pepper Spray Times By Grace Underpressure 02-04-2018


Statement on Eviction of Homeless Community at Berkeley's Old City Hall Mike Zint, First They Came For The Homeless 02-09-2018

Updated: Berkeley Dismantles Homeless Camp in Front of Old City Hall Jeff Shuttleworth (Bay City News) 02-08-2018

Flash: Berkeley Police Evict Homeless Campers Alex Kekauoha (BCN) and Planet 02-08-2018

Flash: Driver Dies After AC Transit Collision on Ashby in Berkeley Dan McMenamin 02-08-2018

Wiener and Skinner Declare War on Local Planning Zelda Bronstein 02-03-2018

UC Berkeley Employee Arrested at Protest Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN) 02-03-2018


ON MENTAL ILLNESS: The Important Distinction of "Me" and "Not Me" Jack Bragen 02-04-2018

THE PUBLIC EYE: The Great Imposters: Reagan and Trump Bob Burnett 02-04-2018

Arts & Events

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, week of Feb 4- Feb 11 Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition 02-04-2018

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Excels in Stravinsky’s THE FIREBIRD Reviewed by James Roy MacBean 02-03-2018

Katja Heuzeroth: Young Opera Singer on the Move Profile by James Roy MacBean 02-04-2018

Derek Tam Conducts A German Requiem by Brahms Reviewed by James Roy MacBean 02-04-2018