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Berkeley City Workers Authorize Strike

Scott Morris (BCN)
Friday June 08, 2018 - 11:52:00 AM

City workers in Berkeley voted to authorize a possible strike on Wednesday, though if or when a strike would happen remains undetermined.  

Service Employees International Union Local 1021 announced the results of the strike vote today, saying that 99 percent of workers who voted during a day of demonstrations outside Berkeley City Hall on Wednesday authorized a strike.  

According to the union, the city's maintenance and clerical employees have been in negotiations for two months and negotiations are scheduled to end on June 16.  

Workers are seeking more compensation, better health and safety protections and a community outreach program the union has proposed, according to union officials.  

The union also made allegations today that city managers had conducted surveillance on employees and intimidated workers but did not elaborate. A union spokesman did not immediately return a call for clarification.  

Regarding safety, the union is arguing that the city has not sufficiently protected workers' safety after a garbage truck driver, Johnny Tolliver, was killed in 2016. Tolliver was pinned between his truck and a utility pole while working on his regular route.  

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health eventually imposed a $31,810 penalty on the city, which was reduced from nearly $100,000 after an appeal.  

City spokesman Matthai Chakko said in a statement that the city and union have not reached an impasse and have three meetings scheduled before the 15th.  

Chakko argued that city employees were well compensated and receive generous compensation packages and ranked very favorably when compared to comparable city and county agencies.  

But the city is also facing rising pension and healthcare costs along with other economic challenges, he said. Chakko's statement did not include information about the content of any offers the city has made in negotiations.


Press Release: Berkeley City Workers Vote by 99% to Authorize Strike

Carlos Rivera, SEIU
Thursday June 07, 2018 - 12:51:00 PM

Ninety-nine percent of the hundreds of city workers who voted at Berkeley City Hall authorized their bargaining team to call for a strike. A strike date has not been set. 

Contract talks between Berkeley’s maintenance and clerical employees--including sanitation workers, mechanics, and clerical staff—and City administrators have failed to reach an agreement. City workers have filed charges against Berkeley managers alleging intimidation of workers, unlawful surveillance, and interference with employees’ protected right to protest. 

In addition to the unfair labor practices committed by City administrators, Berkeley workers’ calls for safer working conditions remain unanswered. Following the 2016 death of Johnny Tolliver, a Zero Waste Truck Driver, workers responsible for difficult, dangerous, and dirty work maintaining city streets and facilities want stronger safety protections. The City of Berkeley has been fined by Cal OSHA nearly $100,000 for the accident and the conditions surrounding the accident. 

“Our jobs are one of the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the nation. City administrators are ignoring our plea for improved safety on the job. We don’t want another person to suffer another death because of deteriorating working conditions,” said Danny Walker, a Solid Waste Truck Driver and President of the Maintenance Chapter of SEIU 1021. 

Contract negotiations for Berkeley's maintenance and clerical employees have been going on for two months and are scheduled to end June 16. 


SEIU Local 1021 represents over 54,000 employees in local governments, non-profit agencies, health care programs and schools throughout Northern California. SEIU Local 1021 is a member-driven organization with members who work to make our cities, schools, counties and special districts a safe and healthy place to live and raise our families.


Berkeley City Employees Consider Strike

Janis Mara (BCN)
Wednesday June 06, 2018 - 09:05:00 PM

Garbage truck horns blared, workers chanted, Aretha Franklin's "Respect" blasted and hundreds of city workers demonstrated for safer conditions and better pay outside Berkeley City Hall today. 

Billed as an opportunity for the city's maintenance and clerical employees to vote on whether to go on strike, the 12:30 p.m. downtown event was a combination picket line, rally and block party. 

The block of Milvia Street where City Hall is located was blocked off between Center Street and Allston Way. Before the event began, about six white city trucks rolled down the street, horns blasting. About 13 city parking enforcement vehicles parked up and down the block. 

"Make some noise!" Sandra Lewis, an accounting technician and clerical staff union leader, yelled to the crowd as she stood by the entrance to City Hall. 

Contract negotiations for Berkeley's maintenance and clerical employees have been going on for two months and are scheduled to end June 16, according to Carlos Rivera of the Service Employees International Union Local 1021. 

The three points of contention are health and safety processes, compensation and a community outreach program proposed by the union, according to Rivera. 

The approximately 1,500 members of the local include trash collectors, mechanics and parking enforcement officers. The union passed out burritos and bottled water today and members stepped up to a sidewalk table and voted on whether to strike. 

"It's health and safety. One of our own was killed," Jenny Seay, an accounting technician, said in an interview. 

Seay was referring to the death of 52-year-old Johnny Tolliver, a city of Berkeley sanitation worker who was killed when he was apparently pinned between a garbage truck and a utility pole while on his regular route in the Berkeley hills in 2016. 

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health issued six citations after investigating the death. Initially, the agency imposed penalties of $98,805, but the city appealed and the penalty was reduced to $31,810, Frank Polizzi, a spokesman for Cal/OSHA, said in response to an inquiry. 

In response, Matthai Chakko, a city spokesman, said, "Safety of employees is paramount. The city has proposed additional safeguards that Zero Waste drivers are required to immediately report and cease driving any vehicle that may be unsafe until cleared by the mechanic staff." 

As Wednesday's event rolled along, workers walked a picket line outside City Hall, carrying signs including, "Support the union - a livable income in the most expensive state." 

Chakko said that the city "deeply values its employees," saying that Berkeley pays 100 percent of all medical premium costs based on the Kaiser premiums for employees and their families. 

Also, Chakko said, out of 11 comparable city and county agencies, SEIU 1021's clerical and maintenance members are in the top two of the highest compensated such workers. 

Out of the 11 agencies surveyed by the city, only Berkeley and Santa Clara County use the highest pension formula offered for employees, Chakko said. 

The spokesman said Berkeley is challenged with pension costs that "are expected to rise over the next five years to unsustainable levels." 

Chakko added that 74 percent of the city's general fund budget is dedicated "to funding employees who provide quality service to city of Berkeley residents."  

Pension and health care costs are rising by 2.27 percent, or $5 million, starting this July, in addition to increases currently being negotiated, he said. 

He also noted that there are currently more retirees receiving medical contributions than active employees. The city's retiree medical costs have seen double-digit increases in healthcare premiums over the past two years, he said. 

"The city is developing a plan to begin funding these costs to ensure that the employees' retiree medical program is sustainable," Chakko said. 

The deadline for voting on the strike was 5 p.m. today and the results should be known by Thursday afternoon, according to Rivera.


New: Biennial Berkeley Festival & Exhibition Returns

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Wednesday June 06, 2018 - 03:40:00 PM

Under the aegis of The San Francisco Early Music Society, the biennial Berkeley Festival & Exhibition opened on Sunday, June 3, and runs through Sunday, June 10. This much-loved festival brings together musicians, scholars, instrument-makers, and just plain folks who cherish early music. As in past years, I plan to attend as many main-stage events as I can, beginning with the Monday evening concert I attended in St. Mark’s Church featuring soprano Christine Brandes and Baroque violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock. Rounding out the instrumental ensemble were Mary Springfels on viola da gamba and Katherine Heater on harpsichord. The program featured two French cantatas centered on notorious women who enacted violent retribution against their male counterparts.  

Opening the concert was the cantata Judith by Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre. Born in 1665 to a family of musicians and instrument-makers, Jacquet de la Guerre showed such early musical talent that at age 15 she was taken into the court of Louis XIV and placed under the tutelage of the king’s mistress, Madame de Montespan. Later she became the first woman to compose an opera in French, Céphale et Procris, based on the myth told by Ovid. Jacquet de la Guerre’s cantata Judith was based on the Biblical tale of Judith severing the head of Holofernes and thereby saving the people of Israel. Christine Brandes used her crystalline soprano voice to bring the human character of Judith to life, and the instrumental accompaniment was exquisite. Likewise, the program’s second work, Marin Marais’s Sonnerie de Sainte-Genevieve, was given an exquisite rendition by Blumenstock, Springfels, and Heater.  

After intermission, the instrumental ensemble performed Sonata in A Major by Jean-Marie Leclair (1697-17764), then accompanied Christine Brandes in the cantata Médée by Louis-Nicholas Clerambault (1676-1749). In this version of the Medea story, Medea’s violence is turned not on her own children by the unfaithful Jason but only on his new bride. Christine Brandes brought great intensity and expressiveness to her vocal portrayal of Medea, and there were moving instrumental passages from Elizabeth Blumenstock on violin, Mary Springfels on viola da gamba, and Katherine Heater on harpsichord.  

If this excellent concert is any indication of what is to come, this year’s Berkeley Festival & Exhibition promises many glorious opportunities to hear fine performances of early music. Among many highlights are performances by Philharmonia Baroque Chamber Players on Thursday, June 7, Voices of Music performing Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and the Belgian chorale ensemble Vox Luminis in two concerts June 8 and 10.


Investigation Continues into Weekend Gunfight

Sgt. Andrew Frankel, Berkeley Police Department
Monday June 04, 2018 - 03:08:00 PM

On June 1st at about 6:30 pm, BPD received several reports from the community about hearing gun fire in the area of Sacramento Street and Oregon Street. 

Officers responded to the area and stopped a vehicle near San Pablo Avenue and Ashby Avenue that they believed may have been involved in the gunfight. Officers discovered that the occupant of the vehicle had been shot and called for medical aid. During a search of the vehicle, officers also located a handgun. The occupant was subsequently transported to a local hospital with non-threatening injuries. The occupant (Darelle Antoine Kimball, 27 years old, of Vallejo, CA) was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and carrying a loaded/concealed firearm. 

As the investigation of this incident continues, the Berkeley Police Department is asking for the community’s assistance with this crime. Anyone who lives in the area and has surveillance is cameras is asked to review their footage. If they witnessed the crime or have information regarding the case, they are asked to contact the Berkeley Police Homicide Detail at (510) 981-5741.


Opinion

Editorials

New: Who Won? Who Knows? Does It Matter?

Becky O'Malley
Friday June 08, 2018 - 04:58:00 PM

So I’ve been waiting to share my meditations on the electoral process until we got a final vote count for Assembly District 15, but I’m realizing that it could be a long time coming. If you want the latest version, possibly even the final, click here for the very competent web site which will tell you the latest numbers.

As I wait, I’m realizing that it really doesn’t matter much. The short answer is that well-endowed newbie candidate Buffy Wicks got a short third of the votes, less than 20,000 as the polls closed, and all the others, some of them very plausible, got all the rest. At the time of writing Dan Kalb and Jovanka Beckles, both well qualified in their own ways, were divying up another 19k or so, with a ~300 vote margin pointing to Kalb as Wicks’ November opponent, but that could change. Another short 20k was divided among candidates Katz, Bartlett, Appel and Pardue-Okimoto, all knowledgable East Bay officeholders, each with appeal to various segments of the progressive voter populations.

How many more votes are out there, still to be counted?

I posed this question to Berkeley voting statistics maven Rob Wrenn of the Berkeley Progressive Alliance. He opined that based on trends in Alameda and Contra Costa counties from 2014 to 2016, with only 20% of possible votes reported when the polls closed on Tuesday, there could easily be a third of the total still to be counted to get close to the 50% who voted in the 2016 presidential primary. 

 

Most voters I queried in the progressive circles I frequent were having a hard time deciding between Kalb and Beckles, which is reflected in the tally so far. A couple of less-engaged “regular” Democrats of my acquaintance were swayed by Buffy’s fresh face and flood of glossy mailers, especially the one with the Obama selfies, which hinted at but did not actually claim an Obama endorsement. 

Supporters of the other candidates, those with totals somewhere in the thousands, are likely to be on the progressive end of the spectrum, especially as regards certain specific issues: education (Appel), health care (Pardue-Okimoto), environment (Katz) or diversity (Bartlett). 

If the rough percentages from this election hold up, it seems likely that in the fall either Kalb or Beckles will get a significant percentage of the vote from the 60+percent of the remaining not-Buffy candidates, almost all of whom are more progressive than Wicks. The fact that Wicks has been heavily funded by the neo-Liberal and conservative donors to the Govern for California independent PAC will not work in her favor if word gets around. 

There’s no reason that supporters of any five of the six quasi-progressives in the race won’t be willing to vote for either Kalb or Beckles, especially because many of them (myself included) had trouble choosing between those two in the first place. Anyone with any sense could live with either of the two. 

The outcome of this race points once again to the superiority of ranked choice voting to the insane and expensive top-two method. It’s a good bet that a healthy number of the ~40k non-Buffy voters in this election were ready, willing and able to choose a second choice last Tuesday, saving the public a lot of money which will now go into the runoff. 

The problem, of course, with ranked choice, is that it’s counter-intuitive for American voters brought up on the two-party system. It’s the same reason that third parties no matter how virtuous have never gotten anywhere in this country, despite Europe’s success with multi-party systems. I did a term paper in high school (more than a couple of years ago now) on the dreary history of third parties, and remarkably little has changed. Americans think binary where elections are concerned, even if, as in Berkeley, the two choices in my time here have been captioned roughly moderate vs. progressive, since we’re almost all some kind of Democrat at heart (even the Berniecrats) or at least never Republicans. 

In Buffy Wicks some voters will believe they have a standard issue Democratic Central Campaign Committee candidate—or maybe not exactly. From the Govern for California website: “…courageous legislators cannot win without the support of political philanthropists.”  

Really? And what will she do with their support? 

She will appeal to fans of charter schools, backers of Costa-Hawkins-type limits on rent control, and those who applaud efforts by Scott Wiener and Nancy Skinner and their allies to shift control of land use away from cities like Berkeley to those Sacramento legislators and their "philanthropists". 

With Wicks on the right flank, the other candidate, whoever he or she turns out to be, might be tempted to drift toward the center. We’ll just have to remind them that, in the immortal words of Jim Hightower, There's Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos. Fortunately, whether it’s Beckles or Kalb on the ballot, progressive voters in AD15 are fully capable of doing just that. 


UPDATE: As of Friday night, Rob Wrenn now believes that votes counted after the polls closed on election night will probably end up being closer to 45% of the total, maybe close to a half, rather than a third. To see what remains to be counted in Alameda and Contra Costa counties: https://vote.sos.ca.gov/unprocessed-ballots-status 

AD-15 is made up of only parts of these two counties, so many of the uncounted votes are from other Assembly districts. Even so, because there are a lot more in Alameda than Contra Costa, Wrenn says he thinks Kalb is likely to win.  

 

 

 

 

 


Public Comment

The Don

Jagjit Singh
Saturday June 02, 2018 - 12:31:00 PM

Acting like a mafia Don, President Trump has lied and bullied his way to the White House. He pursues a ‘take no prisoners’ approach which has generated a dangerous tribalism. In most of the world religions, most notably Sikhism, God is defined as TRUTH. At the core of Trump’s system of power is contempt of the truth and blatant embrace of falsehood. This is his prescription for political survival. President George Bush and his partner in crime, Vice-President Cheney perfected the art of the big lie falsely claiming Iraq’s existence of WMDs that dragged us into a costly war and plunging the Middle East into utter chaos. 

The Don perfected the art of lying during his corrupt business practices which sank him into perpetual debt and drove him and his sons into the web of Russian oligarchs and into the lair of his “best friend” Vladimir Putin. 

When power dominates truth criticism is interpreted as betrayal and the consequences have been swift and brutal. White House leaks are the safety valve serving as red meat to the media to stabilize the ship of state. Mr. Trump and his pliable Republican members of Congress tout the success of the big tax cut unconcerned that it adds over one trillion dollars to the national debt The regulatory roll back will damage our fragile planet for all future generations. George Mason said it best in 1787, “Shall that man be above justice who can commit the most extensive injustice?”


Legal Immigrants in Illegal States

Harry Brill
Saturday June 02, 2018 - 12:21:00 PM

What would be the principled stance that progressives should take about the status of undocumented immigrants? To answer this question it is important to recognize that the concept "illegal immigrants" is a fiction created by the ruling circles in the United States (U.S). Just before the U.S. declared war against Mexico (1846-1848) wealthy citizens claimed that God supported the effort of the United States to expand its dominion and to spread capitalism. This doctrine, Manifest Destiny, served as the ideological basis for imperialistic expansion. In effect, the U.S. stole land from Mexico that would become the states of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Southwestern Colorado. and Southwestern Wyoming. Aside from annexing Texas, the U.S. obtained 55 percent of Mexico's territory. 

California is now the home of over two million undocumented immigrants. Close to a quarter of the nation's so called illegal immigrants live in California. About two-thirds have resided in California for ten or more years. Yet they lack the most important asset of living in a democratic society, which is the right to vote. 

In addition, their non-citizen status makes them very vulnerable. As a result of being undocumented, they could be evicted from the state if they act out of line. This dilemma undoubtedly instills fear among many of these non-citizens. Among the consequences is that it discourages undocumented residents from engaging in organizing activities, particularly militant actions on behalf of their interests.  

Clearly, as a result of Mexico losing the war, those who now reside in these illegally confiscated states have lost their rights as citizens. So millions of legal immigrants are living in illegally captured territories. The undocumented residents in California and the other states that were ceded to the U.S. should be immediately given full citizenship.


Root Cause of Depression among the Young

Romila Khanna
Saturday June 02, 2018 - 12:27:00 PM

Can we stop racism and oppression? We do notice unjust treatment of minorities and people of color. I hear long talks about the mental illness of people who harm others, but we don’t address the real issue behind the causes of their harmful behavior.  

I believe inequality, racism and oppression are the root causes of depression among young people who don’t have the power to express their feelings about social injustice and their sufferings. 

They don’t get the chance to express their needs to someone who is empowered to help them. Some of them even lack the ability to have proper food clothing and shelter. In their everyday lives they see that while affluent young people get all that they desire, they themselves are ignored. In order to forget the real world, they get into drugs and alcohol. It hurts them. Sometimes they do feel that it will destroy their future. Since they don’t know any other way to provide an outlet for their emotions, they become more addicted to these substances, and lose respect both within their families and community. 

Our government and people in power are ignoring the truth about depression. These depressed young people are portrayed as criminals, shooters and robbers. 

How long we will take to remove the cause of their depression which results in other social problems? 

The time is now to help them out of their depression, so in the future, they will follow norms of behavior and will treat others as respected human beings. I hope our country’s leaders will set an example with their own behavior and bring hope and sunshine for all.


Roseanne

Tejinder Uberoi
Saturday June 02, 2018 - 12:30:00 PM

Why did it take so long for ABC to cancel its hit show, “Roseanne”? Bathing in the swamp of racism, satanic Roseanne recently tweeted, “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj” which was a disgusting reference to Valerie Jarrett, longtime adviser to President Obama, who’s African-American. She’s made similar racist comments about Susan Rice, resembling her to an ape. 

She also accused George Soros of being a Nazi collaborator and attacked Chelsea Clinton. The decision to cancel Roseanne was made by Channing Dungey, the first African-American president of ABC. Roseanne’s recent disgusting tweets should come as no surprise. Her racist tirades are completely consistent with what she has been saying for many years. She has spewed some of the most vulgar racism against Arabs and Palestinians accusing them of being inferior, being prone to violence, and deserving to be slaughtered. The popularity of her show reflects badly on her listeners who find it amusing to listen to her racist rants.


Columns

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Delusional Systems

Jack Bragen
Saturday June 02, 2018 - 12:24:00 PM

Many with a schizophrenic-type illness, and many with some forms of bipolar, are vulnerable to developing "delusional systems." A delusional system is an erroneous belief system or system of thought produced by a brain malfunction. A delusional system is one way that the individual's thinking and perception of the world can become "split-off" from reality.

When psychiatrists say that psychosis is "split personality," it is important not to confuse this with multiple personality disorder. The actual meaning is that the person's personality is split off from reality.

There are numerous ways that this can happen, and a brain malfunction is one of them. Another example is where a person joins a cult group, in which the person could be kidnapped, and their environment is controlled by the group's attempt to brainwash the new member.  

 

Most people obtain their version of "reality" through a combination of the mass media, contact with people, and through some amount of observing with the body's five senses. Isolating is one way in which a schizophrenic person may deteriorate. They do not have the opportunity to sync their reality with that of other people. 

Some people who are more experienced with psychotic illness may be able to spot their own delusional system in early stages, before it has grown to the extent that symptoms have obliterated the higher faculties. In that case, an attempt to deprogram it through one's own "internal resources" (such as meditation or other exercises), by itself, may not be adequate. 

If the delusional system in part was initially caused by isolation, then contact with people could be part of the remedy. If it developed due to inadequate medication or due to going down or off medication "AMA" (against medical advice) then the solution may be to resume medication. Or, if already medicated, the dosage of antipsychotics may need to be raised. (Yet, if the dosage is far in excess of what is appropriate, the dosage may need to be lowered.) 

Delusional systems can develop in part because of unhappiness. Unhappiness is sometimes a symptom of clinical depression, but sometimes a person is just unhappy either because things are not going well, or because a person has poor mental hygiene--e.g., predominance of negative and dissatisfied thinking. If a person expects life to be easy or if they expect to have things that they realistically cannot get, it causes unhappiness that should not be considered clinical depression. 

Either way, unhappiness can be a hotbed for the production of delusional thought (if a person has a predisposition for psychosis). 

The person may be trying to generate an explanation for why things are difficult, or they may be trying to raise their mood, and the delusional thoughts may bring either pleasure or relief at first, at an early stage before the psychosis worsens. 

A single delusion can turn into a "delusional system" when it becomes incorporated into the thinking as a basic assumption. When someone has an erroneous basic assumption, which is affecting how they interpret everything, it quickly becomes a delusional system. 

Once a delusional system has fully taken over a person's mind, that person may not be able to dig their way out, and they may require intervention, in some instances by force. 

However, the mental health treatment system is so sorely lacking in adequate resources, that in modern times, there isn't nearly as much help as I received in my past. 

Our government must provide resources for people with psychiatric disabilities. Doing that, in addition to prudent gun control, would significantly reduce the number of shootings perpetrated by disturbed, bullied people. Additionally, we deserve more help than we are getting, since we didn't create our disabilities, and currently there is a lot of discrimination against us. This is due to human ignorance of "normal" people. 

 

 

 


THE PUBLIC EYE:All The President’s Men: Mike Pompeo

Bob Burnett
Saturday June 02, 2018 - 12:15:00 PM

The Trump Administration is so dreadful they've made the George W. Bush Administration seem almost acceptable in comparison. Dubya surrounded himself with qualified staff. Trump has surrounded himself with syncophants. One of the most influential is the new Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Unlike many of those in the Trump inner circle, Pompeo had an impressive career before entering politics. After graduating from West Point -- number one in his class -- Pompeo served five years in the Army. Then he went to Harvard Law School and briefly worked for a Washington law firm. In 1996, he moved to Wichita, Kansas, and helped form Thayer Aerospace -- with funding from the Koch brothers. In 2006, he was elected to the House of Representatives -- once again with help from the Koch brothers.

In Congress, Pompeo aligned with conservative Republicans such as the Tea Party and the Congressional Constitution Caucus. He's socially conservative, a climate change denier, and, as a member of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, an ardent critic of Hillary Clinton.

On January 23, 2017, Mike Pompeo became Trump's Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Notably, Pompeo personally delivered Trump's daily intelligence briefing at the White House; as a result, the two men have a close relationship.  

 

After Trump fired his first Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, he nominated Pompeo for the position. Pompeo was confirmed on April 26, 2018. By most accounts, Pompeo has been more effective than Tillerson. State Department moral appears to be improving. (http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/05/15/pompeo-lifts-hiring-freeze-on-state-department-diplomacy-tillerson-restore-diplomats-swagger-tackle-low-morale/

At the moment, Mike Pompeo probably has more influence on Donald Trump's foreign-policy actions than does anyone else in the Administration. In most regards, Pompeo's stated beliefs align with Trump's. 

North Korea: Pompeo has been Trump's point man on negotiations with North Korea -- Trump sent Pompeo to negotiate with Kim Jong-un before Pompeo was confirmed as Secretary of State. 

In these negotiations, the key issue is "denuclearization." On May 13th, National Security Adviser Bolton offered a very specific definition of what North Korean "denuclearization" meant: “getting rid of all the nuclear weapons... taking them to Oakridge, Tennessee... getting rid of the uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing capabilities.” Bolton said the process should follow "the Libya model." 

North Korea was offended by Bolton's remarks and denounced him. Apparently, Kim Jong-un is looking for a "phased and synchronous" approach to denuclearization; that is, a step-by-step approach whereby they gradually denuclearize while receiving commensurate economic assistance. Nonetheless, Pompeo seems to be aligned with Bolton, telling the Senate Foreign Services Committee that the U.S. wants "rapid denuclearization, total and complete, that won't be extended over time." 

At this writing, Pompeo is meeting with North Korean representatives. He says the negotiations are "making progress" but does not know if a June 12th meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-un will occur. 

Iran: Pompeo has long been opposed to the Iran nuclear agreement --technically the "Joint Plan of Action" (JPA) signed November 24, 2013 . As a Congressman, Pompeo said, "I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.” On May 8th, Trump declared he was withdrawing the United States from the JPA. 

Trump wants to negotiate a new JPA that specifically limits Iranian missile testing, gives inspectors unfettered access to Iranian military bases, and extends the (old) JPA's expiration date beyond 2030. It's unlikely that either Pompeo or Trump can gain the support of the other signatories: China, England, European Union, France, Germany, Iran, and Russia. 

Russia: To say the least, Trump's attitude towards Russia has been inconsistent. On the one hand he called Putin to congratulate him after he was "reelected" Russian president. On the other hand, he's claimed, "nobody has been tougher on Russia than I have." 

In contrast, Pompeo is more hawkish. During his Secretary-of-State confirmation hearing, Pompeo said: "[Russia] has reasserted itself aggressively, invading and occupying Ukraine, threatening Europe, and doing nearly nothing to aid in the destruction and defeat of ISIS." 

China: To a lesser extent, Trump's attitude toward China has also been inconsistent. Pompeo is a China hawk. In January, Pompeo told the BBC that China is as big a threat to U.S. Security as Russia is, citing efforts by the Chinese to steal American commercial information. 

Strategic Alliances: Trump has also been inconsistent with regards to support for NATO. Pompeo has been more conciliatory but echoes the White House mantra that our European allies should spend more on defense. 

Global Climate Change: While many statesmen believe that Global Climate Change is a national security threat, Trump and Pompeo do not agree. In 2013, while still a congressman, Pompeo said, "There are scientists who think lots of different things about climate change. There's some who think we're warming, there's some who think we're cooling, there's some who think that the last 16 years have shown a pretty stable climate environment... Federal policy should be about the American family, not worshipping a radical environmental agenda." Pompeo opposed regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and efforts to bolster "clean" power. 

Summary: Pompeo is more capable than most of Trump's inner circle. Nonetheless, he's a fellow-traveler, a close associate of the Koch brothers. Pompeo's role is to ensure that Trump's policies align with those of the Republican oligarchs. 


Bob Burnett is a Berkeley writer and activist. He can be reached at bburnett@sonic.net


ECLECTIC RANT:West Bank Israeli Settlements

Ralph E. Stone
Saturday June 02, 2018 - 12:17:00 PM

On May 25, 2018, Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said he would seek approval to fast-track construction of 2,500 new West Bank settlement homes in 2018. Besides the 2,500, he said he will advance another 1,400 units that are in preliminary stages.

There are already 121 Israeli settlements and approximately 102 Israeli outposts built illegally on Palestinian land occupied militarily by Israel since 1967 (West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights).

Lieberman’s announcement came two days after the Palestinians urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands, to open an investigation into Israeli policies in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, including settlement construction, accusing Israel of systematic crimes, including apartheid in the occupied territories.  

 

These actions come on the heels of the many Palestinians killed and injured during the Gaza border protests over the Trump administration's controversial relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Israelis approved the move, the Palestinians opposed it. 

On May 30, 2018, Gaza’s Hamas leaders agreed to a cease-fire with Israel. 

Lieberman’s announcement, the Palestinian appeal to the ICC, and the Gaza border protests are sure to further ratchet up tensions between Israelis and Palestinians and any hope for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.


SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits and Pieces

Gar Smith
Saturday June 02, 2018 - 12:10:00 PM

Save the Murals

Thanks to the Streets Alive! Utility Box Project, many of Berkeley's street corners are enlivened by painted utility boxes. Many celebrate Berkeley celebrities—from Bobby Seale to Andy Samberg and the Lonely Planet. So it was a shock to see one of these local tributes—a prominent downtown box located alongside Berkeley High—defaced.

A utility box with a portrait of former Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh was recently spray-painted by an anonymous vandal who obliterated the artwork and added the word "Dead" at the bottom. Motive unknown. Lesh is still alive and thriving at 78 grateful years.

One long block away, another Berkeley celebrity box has suffered a different indignity. Near City Hall, a Streets Alive! box celebrating outdoorsman David Brower, depicts the former Sierra Club leader and founder of Friends of the Earth and Earth Island Institute, climbing a mountain. At least it did. The portrait now lies buried beneath a smaller metal utility box that's been bolted on top of the artwork. Ironically, Streets Alive! is a project of Brower's Earth Island Institute.

Brower deserves better. Free Dave!

 

 

In 1976 (the Bicentennial of the American Revolution) a talented team of volunteer artists painted over the side of what is now Amoeba Records on Berkeley's Haste Street. Osha Neumann, the Berkeley lawyer-activist-artist who conceived and executed the mural, believed that Berkeley deserved a memorial to its own revolution—beginning 1964 with the Free Speech Movement and continuing through the creation of People’s Park. 

"A People’s History of Telegraph Avenue" (popularly known as the "People’s Park Mural") has survived, graffiti-free for 42 years but the mural now is badly in need of repainting. Without a proper restoration, it could soon be lost forever. 

A fund-raising campaign has been initiated to save the mural. Tax-deductible donations can be sent to this Indiegogo account 

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/save-the-people-s-park-mural/x/3220044#/ and checks can be mailed to: Green Cities Fund, Inc., 725 Washington St., Ste. 300, Oakland, CA 94607. (Memo line on the check: "People's Park mural.") 

But there's a small artistic glitch. Barbara Stack, administrator of the Free Speech Movement Archives (www.fsm-a.org) recently pointed out a historical error: "The mural shows [Free Speech leader] Mario [Savio] on the cop car with shoes, whereas we know he was, famously, in stocking feet. Any chance that might get corrected in the restoration?" [Note: The squad car, sent onto Sproul Plaza to arrest a political organizer, was surrounded by students who proceeded to turn the trapped vehicle into an impromptu podium. Mario and others carefully removed their shoes so as not to damage the police car.] 

Neumann quickly replied: "If we can raise enough money for the restoration (which I'm convinced we can do), I promise to remove Mario's shoes. Let's hear it for historical accuracy! I hear the cry: 'Remove the shoes! Remove the shoes!' They will be removed." 

 

Another Mural at Risk? 

To the shock of its legions of long-time fans, the Toot Sweets bakery (1277 Gilman) was suddenly—and without warning—shuttered. The reason for the abrupt closure of the popular Westbrea cafe remains a mystery. According to the website tootsweetsbakerycafe.com, the family-owned bakery, founded in Berkeley in 1975, still operates a branch in Stockton. Meanwhile, the papered-over property now is set to be developed by a Richmond-based company. 

But there's concern that that the magnificent mural covering the entire western wall of the building, might be at risk. The mural depicts sweeping scenes of the Bayshore tidelands including the long-gone driftwood sculptures that used to enliven drivers' morning commutes. And, peeping out a door painted on the wall, is a portrait of the young woman who founded the bakery. 

Will the mural be saved? Well, Berkeley District 1 Councilmember Linda Maio is on the case. Maio informs The Planet: "I have inquired with a former Landmarks commissioner of mine about recognizing/protecting the mural through the Landmark process. Waiting to hear." 

The Primary Approaches 

The June elections are up and running. Placards are up and flyers are flying. One handbill that stood out came from Oakland State Assembly contender Dan Kalb. Kalb enjoys the endorsement of the Sierra Club, unions and the solar power lobby so he's got my vote. But … who came up with the illustrated campaign slogan: "Dan Kalb is Putting Oakland on the Rise"? 

The front of the flyer shows the word "Rising" floating above a close-up of someone poking their finger into a loaf of bread. 

It didn't work for me. First association that came to mind was: "Typical politician. He's just in it for the dough." 

What's Wrong with America? War, Sports and Politics 

What a relief to see the NBA's Western Conference Championship finally come to an end. As a rabid pacifist, it was troubling to grab the morning Chronicle day after day only to find the same unrelenting headline: "WARRIORS VS. ROCKETS." 

It's not just sports, of course. The "fists-at-the-ready" attitude that informs Washington's foreign policy bluster has also infected the June primary campaigns. 

I've lost track of the number of broadly smiling candidates who proclaim they can't wait to win at the polls so they can "fight for you" once they are elected. And, with school shootings now involving children at middle schools, Tony Thurmond's campaign wants us to know he'll make sure that all California students get "a fair shot." 

And then there's this growing "visual cliché" in political ads that all conclude with the candidate half-turning toward the camera, folding arms across chest, and Looking Serious. (It's the same stance patented by Marvel superheroes and World Cup soccer stars.) 

On the other hand, you've got to hand it to Malia Cohen. In her pumped-up TV ads (filmed in a gymnasium), the Board of Equalization candidate literally flexes her muscles while promising to "take down" the bad boys. 

A Dab for the Dubs 

On a recent Sunday run, I spotted a Berkeley homeowner on Spruce Street busily sprucing up his garage. A large Warriors flag fluttered from the front and he was hard at work dabbing paint on the front wall. He had just finished painting the message "GO DUBS" above the garage door. Look for it the next time you're headed down Spruce. 

Warphemisms 

On April 25, Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service hosted a conference titled "Building a Community of National Security Entrepreneurs." The conclave called for a strong National Defense Innovation Base comprised of "the whole of American entrepreneurs, companies, industries, universities, research laboratories, and government agencies [working] together as a network—people, knowledge, and capabilities—to keep America safe." 

Apparently the Corporate Militocracy wants to put a positive spin on further militarizing the economy, science, higher education, and government. Towards this end GU offered a "Hacking for Defense" seminar while the Pentagon's "National Security Technology Accelerator" promised to convene national security innovation experts to promote "an aligned innovation strategy to ensure American and Allied leadership in a renewed great power competition." 

"A renewed great power competition"? Is that a euphemism for "World War III"?  

Casus Belli 

During his widely watched "Iran Lied" presentation on May 1, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly lied about Iran and its nuclear status. The sales pitch largely relied on misappropriating old news from 2003. The White House too quickly replied to Netanyahu's back-to-the-future propaganda with a statement that claimed "Iran has a nuclear weapons program." When wiser minds intervened, the White House was forced to correct its press release to read: "Iran had a nuclear weapons program" – like 15 years ago. 

Netanyahu's intricately staged dodge-and-phony show deserves special recognition. Perhaps with a Trump-inspired "dishonorific" in the tradition of "Crooked Hillary" and "Lyin' Ted"? 

How about "Fibbin' Bibi"? 

Say No to NATO 

NATO currently surrounds Russia with military bases, patrols the China Sea to provoke China, and expands its "mission" to engage in conflicts from the Middle East to Africa but NATO's "peacekeepers" have never operated from bases on the South American continent. 

Until now, that is. The US/NATO alliance has now set up shop in Colombia—the first NATO-allied nation in South America. But the NA in NATO stands for North Atlantic. And NATO's headquarters in Belgium is a long way from Bogota. So, perhaps it's time to start calling it "SNATO," for South and North Atlantic Treaty Organization. 

"Active Shooter" Deactivated by Activists 

Valve Corporation of Bellevue has cancelled plans to launch an "Active Shooter" videogame that simulated a mass-shooting inside a high school. Active Shooter's defenders originally took the position that the game was a legally protected exercise of "free speech." After a storm of criticism—and an online campaign by Change.org—Valve canned its planned June 6 release and turned on the designer, condemning Ata Berdiyev as "a troll, with a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material and user review manipulation." 

In a sane world, you would think anyone whose mind could create such a product should be forever banned from purchasing or owning a gun. 

What next? A point-and-gas "videogame" version of Auschwitz?  


Arts & Events

Telemann and Purcell Featured at Berkeley Festival

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Friday June 08, 2018 - 06:53:00 PM

On Thursday, June 7, I attended two concerts of the ongoing Berkeley Festival & Exhibition presented by The San Francisco Early Music Society. The 4:00 concert at St. Mark’s Church featured Philharmonia Baroque Chamber Players performing works known as the Paris Quartets by Georg Philipp Telemann. The 7:30 concert at First Congregational Church featured Voices of Music performing a semi-staged version of Henry Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas with the San Francisco Girls Chorus.  

I still fondly recall my first encounter with Telemann’s chamber music, which happened to be in a ceramics and textile shop in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, back in 1967. The well-appointed shop in this historic town had an excellent sound system and the music I heard was Telemann’s chamber music featuring recorder. It struck me as so fresh, lively, and joyful that I’ve never forgotten it. Thursday afternoon’s concert at St. Mark’s featured transverse flute rather than recorder, but the fresh, lively and joyful qualities of this music were in abundance. For this concert four members of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra formed a chamber ensemble comprised of Elizabeth Blumenstock on violin, Stephen Schultz on flute, William Skeen on viola da gamba, and Jory Vinikour on harpsichord. The music was from the six Nouveaux quatuors published during Telemann’s eight-month stay in Paris from September 1737 to May 1738. During this visit to Paris Telemann appeared at both the court of Louis XV at Versailles and at Paris’s prestigious Concert Spirituel series. His Nouveaux quatuors made a big hit with Parisian audiences who appreciated Telemann’s “united style” or goût reuni, which combined elements of Italian style, (derived from Vivaldi, who was all the rage), and the French and German styles.  

This program’s opening work, Telemann’s Premier Quatuor in D Major, featured concerto-like solos for each of the three melody instruments. Next on the program was Telemann’s Premiere Suite in E minor, which features much give-and-take among the instruments, especially during the fourth movement marked Replique. The following work, Sonata prima in A Major, features two fast fugal movements with interludes offering the three melody instruments as soloists. Closing out the program was Telemann’s Sixième Quatuor in E minor, which once again offered the flute, violin, and viola da gamba ample opportunities for solos. Altogether, this concert was most remarkable for the virtuosic flute-playing of Stephen Schultz, one of the world’s leading artists on Baroque flute. 

Thursday evening’s concert at First Congregational Church featured the instrumental ensemble Voices of Music headed by Hanneke von Proosdij and David Tayler, as well as the San Francisco Girls Chorus. Henry Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas was given a semi-staged performance in the second half of the evening’s program, while the first half was devoted mostly to works by Vivaldi. Opening the concert was Vivaldi’s Concerto for strings in G Major “alla Rustica.” This lively work flew by with three brief movements, the middle one being a lushly melodic Adagio. Next came Vivaldi’s Concerto in D Major “fatto per la Solennità della S. Lingua di S. Antonio in Padova.” This work is essentially a violin concerto, and here the soloist was Alana Youssefian on Baroque violin. The opening movement, an Allegro, offered three different solo opportunities for Alana Youssefian, who executed them brilliantly. The third of these solos was especially scintillating. The second movement, marked Grave, was plaintive in mood, while the third and final movement was another scintillating Allegro, and here Alana Youssefian had to take her Baroque violin up to the very top of its capabilities yet make these extreme high notes audible. To her credit, she met this challenge smartly, then completed her solo with descending scales. For a change of pace, Valérie Sainte-Agathe came on stage to conduct the San Francisco Girls Chorus in Nunc dimittis, a brief choral work by Nicola Porpora (1686-1768), followed by Antonio Vivaldi’s choral motet Laetatus sum.  

After intermission Hanneke von Proosdij conducted from the harpsichord in a semi-staged presentataion of Henry Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas. This opera, which most likely premiered around 1689 at Josias Priest’s boarding school for girls in London, followed the model of Venus and Adonis by Purcell’s mentor, John Blow. For our performance in Berkeley Hanneke von Proosdij and David Tayler followed what must have been the precedent set at the premiere of Dido and Aeneas, which involved casting all the female roles from among the young females at Josias Priest’s boarding school for girls. Thus, here in Berkeley the roles – with the exception of the major roles of Dido and Aeneas – were allocated to members of The San Francisco Girls Chorus. For the most part – with one glaring exception – this allocation of roles worked out excellently.  

I’ll deal with the exception a bit later on. However, as Dido, queen of Carthage, adult professional singers mezzo-soprano Mindy Ella Chu gave a capable though hardly exciting performance, and as Aeneas baritone Jesse Blumberg was superb. The libretto by Nahum Tate recounts Queen Dido’s initial resistance to the amorous suit of Aeneas, Prince of the Trojans, who escaped the fall of Troy at the hands of the Greeks. With encouragement from her lady-in-waiting, Belinda, excellently sung here by soprano Emma Powell, Dido eventually gives in to the strong attraction she feels for Aeneas, and the lovers are betrothed. Hardly do they have one night together, however, than a conspiracy is plotted by a local sorceress and her coven of witches, who prevail upon Jove (Jupiter) to order that Aeneas set sail immediately to leave Carthage and fulfill his destiny of founding Rome. My major problem with the casting was the voice of Calla Kra-Caskey as the sorceress. Listed in the program notes as an alto in the San Francisco Girls Chorus, Calla Kra-Caskey bleated her lines in a voice that sounded more like a whiney American teenager than a Mediterranean or North African sorceress. I had to wince every time she sang. Perhaps in another role her voice would work well, but here it was simply strident and out of place. She sounded like an escapee from the Broadway musical Annie, not a compliment in my opinion.  

The final meeting between Dido and Aeneas was beautifully sung, as Aeneas offered to ignore Jove’s orders that he must depart and remain in Carthage because of his love for Dido. However, Dido takes umbrage at his opening words that he must depart, and so she rejects his ardently repeated offers to stay. “Away, away?” she cries. But Dido adds that when Aeneas is gone, her life will be over. Aeneas and his Trojans set sail and leave, and Dido, on the brink of committing suicide, addresses to Belinda her famous aria, “When I am laid in earth.” In a performance as Dido that was otherwise a bit underwhelming, Mindy Ella Chu rose to the occasion in this well-loved final aria, and her famous closing words – “Remember me, but, ah, forget my fate” -- were movingly delivered.


David Robertson Returns to Lead San Francisco Symphony Program

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Saturday June 02, 2018 - 12:32:00 PM

Conductor David Robertson, currently in his valedictory season as Music Director of Saint Louis Symphony and his fifth season as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of Sydney Symphony Orchestra, returned to Davies Hall to lead the San Francisco Symphony in two concerts, Thursday, May 24, and Saturday, May 26. The program featured pianist Kiril Gerstein in Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Haydn’s Symphony No. 102 in B-flat Major, and Engelsflügel by Brett Dean. 

Let me say at the outset that as a conductor David Robertson is a ham. He clearly enjoys putting on a show. Robertson does not so much lead the orchestra as play act the music for the benefit of the audience. At the podium, he leaps, flails, crouches and performs more like an acrobat than an orchestra conductor. He even performed a comedy routine during the third movement Minuet-and-Trio of Haydn’s 102nd Symphony. In order to call the audience’s attention to the way Haydn has the low strings exchange phrases with the violins, Robertson comically swiveled his head first right, then left, then right, then left, and so forth, endlessly. The Davies Hall audience broke out in laughter at these simple-minded antics. As I cautioned back in March when reviewing Pablo Heras-Casado’s podium antics, acting out the music to lead the audience by the nose is a questionable agenda, since a conductor is there, after all, to guide the musicians not the audience. Where demonstrative podium antics are concerned, less is often more. (Once again, take Herbert Blomstedt as an example.) 

At the Saturday concert I attended, Brett Dean’s 2013 work, Engelsflügel, opened the program with a mish-mash of sound effects. Whispering at first, then launching into cascading wind arpeggios, and ending up with funereal brass chorales, Engelsflügel struck me on first hearing as an aimless work, and one that hardly encourages a second hearing. It seemed tacked onto this program largely because Brett Dean’s inspiration, such that it was, for this work came from his study of Brahms’s Opus 119 piano studies. Thus, the assumption must have been that Engelsflügel paired well with Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Alas, this was not the case.  

Next on the program was Haydn’s Symphony No. 102 in B-flat Major. Of all Haydn’s symphonies, this is my flat-out favorite! As the program notes indicated, this symphony highlights Haydn’s central position between the styles of Mozart and Beethoven. There is plenty of Mozart’s nimble playfulness and grace, and there is just enough brooding profundity to suggest the Beethoven-to-come. Indeed, Symphony No. 102 opens with a sustained low note, ominous and brooding, in the winds. Haydn himself later used just such an opening to suggest the primordial chaos in his final work, The Creation. Here the mysterious opening is soon dispelled by an up-tempo (Vivace) theme developed in the violins. (Even this lighthearted theme, however, is developed out of the mysterious opening.) Throughout this extended sonata-form movement, Haydn deploys many surprising elements: startling fortissimo chords, unexpected silences, stop-and-start progressions, rhythmic syncopations, highly contrasting dynamics, and strange dissonances.  

In the Adagio of the 102nd Symphony, Haydn experiments with muted trumpets and timpani, as well as high-pitched bassoons, and a brief but lovely cello solo. In its quiet solemnity, this Adagio is redolent of poignant introspection. The third movement Minuet-and-Trio features the aforementioned repeated exchanges between low strings and high strings, here comically emphasized by conductor David Robertson’s swiveling and lolling head-antics. The Finale features a principal theme that is lively yet restrained. So lively yet restrained, in fact, that Rossini used it in the final act of Il Barbiere di Siviglia for the ladder scene’s music that goes “Ziti, ziti, pian pian piano … dells scala del balcone….” However, Haydn, who never could resist a joke, has his violins seemingly get lost, stutter, and almost come to a halt before he musters the entire orchestra to get everything back on track for a rousing conclusion. Even here, however, Haydn plays another trick. The principal theme is restated emphatically one more time; then a silence ensues. The Davies Hall audience, thinking the symphony was over, broke into applause. But David Robertson whirled on the audience and shushed them, then returned to the brief, slow lead-up to the high-spirited finish. 

After intermission, Kiril Gerstein was soloist in Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor. At this work’s premiere in 1859 it was hissed and booed. The Hamburg audience found it gloomy, neurotic, and incoherent. Even to this day, some listeners concur in this appraisal. This week’s San Francisco Symphony performance with Kiril Gerstein led by David Robertson certainly did little to alleviate this impression. A drum roll on timpani opens the work, followed by strings that seem to go in many directions at once. The chaos leads to an angry outburst almost at once. Then a melancholy lullaby slows everything down, almost lapsing into silence before the tempo picks up again. Another cataclysmic outburst ensues. Finally, the soloist enters with a vaguely waltz-like tune. Soon the pianist is rehashing everything already heard in the orchestra. Turmoil abounds.  

There is good reason, I suppose, for the turmoil. Brahms was only twenty-five when he wrote this work, and he had just seen his best friend-and-mentor Robert Schumann attempt suicide and be placed in a mental institution. Moreover, young Brahms had quite a crush on his mentor’s wife, Clara Schumann. The second movement of Brahms’s 1st Piano Concerto offers Clara, as Brahms wrote to her, a lovely portrait of herself. Well, what kind of portrait do we hear in the music? It is full of softly introspective music, at times radiant, but lacking in one thing – passion. The Finale is more exuberant, almost giddy at times. It offers opportunities for robust pianistic virtuosity, amply on display here by Kiril Gerstein. But does this ending bring coherence to a work sorely lacking in coherence at its outset. I doubt it. This is the work of a young man, a composer rocked by personal tragedies beyond his capacity to understand. Young Brahms tries his best, and he certainly demonstrates that he has talent. But this First Piano Concerto remains, for me, at least, a testament to turmoil as yet unassimilated or transcended. 


The Berkeley Arts Calendar

Tom Hunt and Bonnie Hughes
Saturday June 02, 2018 - 01:16:00 PM

To learn what's happening on Berkeley's arts scene, you can now reach the Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar directly from the Planet. You can then click on an individual date for a full description of every event on that day.

To reach the calendar, click here.


The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, June 3-June 10

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Saturday June 02, 2018 - 12:03:00 PM

Worth Noting

The City Council Subcommittee on Urban Shield meets Monday afternoon (follow the link for details). 1900 Fourth Street – the Project proposed for the Ohlone Shellmound is on the action calendar for the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Thursday.

The June 12 City Council agenda is posted. It is very unlikely that the City Council will get through the June 12 agenda. The Proposed Police Commission Charter Amendments are item 47. a. & b.

June 12 City Council Agenda. To comment: email council@cityofberkeley.info,

Agenda: Consent 18. Shelter Plus Care Renewal, 19. Extend and amend MOU Between Alameda Co Behavioral Health and Berkeley to fund Mental Health Wellness Center, 22. FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant, 23. Residential Solar and Zero-Emission Vehicle Program, 24. Develop Long-Range Sustainable Infrastructure Plan, 25. UN Master Leasing Student Housing, 26. Armored Van Use Policy, 29. Auto Sales South Berkeley, 30. Fossil Fuel Free Berkeley, 32. Support Public Sector Unions post Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court Decision, 33. ADU ordinance, 34. Standards for Views, 37. Budget Traffic Calming, 38. Fund CEQA review for More Student Housing Now Resolution, 42. Local adoption of Emergency Housing Building Code, 43. ZAB appeal 1449 University @ Sacramento – hotel, 44. Ballot initiative community survey, 45. Budget update, 46. Defer impact fees – Center St Hotel 2129 Shattuck, 47 a & b. Proposed Police Commission Charter Amendment, 48. Certify LPC NOD 2301 Bancroft Way Campanile Way, 49. Declaration of Climate Emergency, 50. City Sponsored Emergency Preparedness Training, 51. New City Limit Signs, 52. Updated Commissioner’s Manual, 53. Amend Municipal Code Vacant Residential or Commercial Buildings as unlawful nuisance.

https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/City_Council/2018/06_June/City_Council__06-12-2018_-_Regular_Meeting_Agenda.aspx

June 14 Zoning Adjustment Board Agenda is available for comment. Email ZAB@CityofBerkeley.info, Agenda: Consent 1140 Wildcat Canyon Road, 2851 Buena Vista Way, 2145 Grant, Discussion 1110 University, Action 2633 Marin Ave,

https://www.cityofberkeley.info/zoningadjustmentsboard/

The meeting list is also posted on the Sustainable Berkeley Coalition website.

 

 


Sunday, June 3, 2018 

 

Berkeley Sunday Streets, Sun, June 3, 11:00 am – 7:00 pm, Shattuck Avenue is closed from Haste to Rose, Mayor meet-up at PIQ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm 

http://www.sundaystreetsberkeley.org/ 

Monday, June 4, 2018 

Peace and Justice Commission, Mon, June 4, 7:00 pm – 1901 Hearst Ave, North Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: Ordinance prohibiting City contracts to vendors acting as data brokers to ICE or providing extreme vetting services to ICE 

https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Commissions__Peace_and_Justice_Commission_Homepage.aspx 

Personnel Board, Mon, June 4, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, 1901 Hearst Ave, North Berkeley Senior Center 

https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Commissions__Personnel_Board_Homepage.aspx 

Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board, Mon, June 4, 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, 2134 MLK Jr. Way, City Council Chambers, Agenda: Costa-Hawkins, defining “New Construction,” clarify exemption of ADUs, Golden Duplex 

https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Rent_Stabilization_Board/Home/Agenda__RSB_2018_Jun_4.aspx 

4x4 Joint Task Force on Housing: Rent Board/City Council, June 4, 11:00 am, 2180 Milvia, Redwood Room, 6th Floor 

https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Home/4x4_Committee_Homepage.aspx 

Ad Hoc subcommittee on Urban Shield, June 4, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, 2180 Milvia, Redwood Room, 6th Floor, 

https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Urban_Shield_Subcommittee.aspx 

Youth Commission, Mon, June 4, 6:30 pm, 1730 Oregon St, Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Services Center, Agenda: Homeless Youth 

http://www.cityofberkeley.info/opengovermentcommission/ 

Tax the Rich rally – Mon, June 4, 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm top of Solano in front of closed Oaks Theater, 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 

Primary Election Day, June 5 – If you vote by mail and have not mailed in your ballot – turn it in between 7:00 am and 8:00 pm. Polls close at 8:00 pm 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018 

Board of Library Trustees, Wed, June 6, 6:30 pm, 1901 Russell St, Tarea Hall Pittman South Branch Library, 

https://www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org/about/board-library-trustees 

Commission on Disability, Wed, June 6, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm, 1901 Hearst Ave, North Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: Amendments to ADU, Universal Design – Visitability, bikes on sidewalks, Desirability of seeking place on DRC, ADA compliance at Alta Bates, sidewalk signs and obstacles 

http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Commissions__Commission_on_Disability_Homepage.aspx 

Planning Commission, Canceled 

Thursday, June 7, 2018 

Cannabis Commission, Thur June 7, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm, 2180 Milvia St, 6th Floor, Agenda: collectives, http://www.cityofberkeley.info/MedicalCannabis/ 

Housing Advisory Commission, Thur June 7, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, 2939 Ellis St, South Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: Federal Home Funds, Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Ordinance, ADU, UC Master Lease Student Housing, U1 reporting 

http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Housing_Advisory_Commission/ 

Landmarks Preservation Commission, Thur June 7, 7:00 pm – 11:30 pm, 1901 Hearst Ave, North Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: 

2580 Bancroft Way – Fred Turner Building, final action 

2626 Bancroft & Durant – UC referral, rehab Woo Hon Fai Hall 

1900 Fourth Street - Hold a discussion about the March 8, 2018 application submitted for review under new State Gov’t Code 65913.4 for affordable housing projects; information linked below: https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Planning_and_Development/Zoning_Adjustment_Board/1900_Fourth_Street_Part_2.aspx 

8 Greenwood Common – structural alteration City landmark 

http://www.cityofberkeley.info/landmarkspreservationcommission/ 

Public Works Commission, Thur June 7, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, 1326 Allston Way, Willow Room, City of Berkeley Corporation Yard, Agenda: Maintenance Lower Codornices Creek, 5-year paving plan, watershed management plan, 

http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Commissions__Public_Works_Commission_Homepage.aspx 

Friday, June 8, 2018 

City reduced service day 

Saturday, June 9, 2018 

McGee Spaulding Neighbors in Action, Sat, June 12, 9:45 am social, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm meeting, location TBD 

Sunday, June 10, 2018 

No meetings events found 

_______________ 

 

Poor Peoples Campaign – A National Call for Moral Revival starts Monday with six weekly themes, Week four: Right to a healthy planet and healthcare. https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/ 

When notices of meetings are found that are posted after Friday 5:00 pm they are added to the website schedule https://www.sustainableberkeleycoalition.com/whats-ahead.html and preceded by LATE ENTRY 

 



To see what happened at Berkeley City Council meetings in bite size by subject videos go to Watch Berkeley Gov, a new YouTube channel and read about the project by Dave Margulius at https://davemargulius.com/introducing-watch-berkeley-gov/