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Rallies Held to Protest Family Separation at Border

Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Thursday June 14, 2018 - 02:47:00 PM

Several events are being held in the Bay Area today in conjunction with a nationwide protest against the Trump Administration's immigration policies, particularly the separation of family members along the U.S. border. 

A group called Families Belong Together, which is organizing the protest, says thousands of people across the country will join marches, rallies and vigils to protest what they allege is "the administration's cruel and inhumane treatment of immigrants and asylum seekers." 

The group says it's concerned about "the current crisis of families being separated at the border and of children being put in detention." 

Organizers of Families Belong Together said in a statement, "As parents, it is unconscionable that the U.S. government is actively tearing apart immigrant families. They are victims of violence, hunger, and poverty and our government's actions re-violate them, causing untold damage." 

They said, "Children as young as 18 months are torn from their mothers' arms by our own government. This is violent abuse and as concerned citizens and voters we state, unequivocally, that this is not in line with American values." 

Organizers added, "We are disheartened by the lack of leadership in Congress, whose job is to be a check on the federal government when it overreaches and abuses its power. We are calling for immediate reforms and an end to this barbarism." 

Jess Morales Rocketto, the political director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and chair of its immigration campaign, said "The outrage and opposition will only keep growing if the Administration continues this cruelty of separating families." 

Rocketto said, "Families belong together. This shouldn't be up for debate. No one should accept babies being torn from their mothers' arms or children being locked away from their parents." 

There will be events at 6 p.m. today at the San Jose City Hall at 200 E. Santa Clara St. in San Jose and at the El Cerrito Plaza at 513 El Cerrito Plaza. 

At 4:30 p.m., there will be an event at the Watsonville City Plaza at 358 Main St. and at 5:30 p.m. there will be an event at Todos Santos Plaza at 2151 Salvio St. in Concord. 

A list of events around the Bay Area and nationwide can be found at https://familiesbelong.org.


Updated: Contra Costa Vote Appears to Give Beckles Second November Slot in AD15 Race

Rob Wrenn
Wednesday June 13, 2018 - 11:48:00 PM

UPDATE, 3:26 pm, 6-14-18:

Latest figures confirm that Beckles will be the the November candidate.


t looks Jovanka Beckles has edged out Dan Kalb for second place in the Assembly District 15 race.

About 8500 more votes in the AD-15 race were counted in Contra Costa County and those put Jovanka Beckles back in the lead by 300 votes. A very small number of votes were counted in Alameda County from AD-15, probably not more than about 100; Kalb gained 5 votes reducing Beckles lead to 295. Very few votes remain in Alameda County: only 252 as of 10:35 p.m. last night so today’s update is probably it. See Unprocessed Ballots Status on the Secretary of State’s Web site: https://vote.sos.ca.gov/unprocessed-ballots-status. Provisional ballots appear to remain in Contra Costa County but those are not going to help Kalb.Unless the unprocessed ballot numbers on the Secretary of State Web site are wrong, Beckles has come in second behind Buffy Wicks, who spent far more money than Beckles, much of it from out of state. 

Buffy Wicks 

Alameda County: 24,655 32.5% 

Contra Costa County: 11,896 29.8% 

Total: 36,551 

 

Jovanka Beckles 

Alameda County: 11,123 14.6% 

Contra Costa County: 7,009 17.5% 

Total: 18,132 

 

Dan Kalb 

Alameda County: 14,770 19.4% 

Contra Costa County: 3,067 7.7% 

Total: 17,837 

 

Judy Appel 

Alameda County: 10,714 14.1% 

Contra Costa County: 2,673 6.7% 

Total: 13,387 

 

Turnout to date, Jun 13, 5:01 p.m. Alameda County: 39.7% 

Turnout to date, June 13, 3:30 p.m. Contra Costa County: 37.7% 

AC turnout so far reported exceeds that of the 2014, 2012 and 2010 primaries, though falls short of 2016 presidential primary between Clinton and Sanders (49.3% in AC) 

Contra Costa results: http://results.enr.clarityelections.com/CA/Contra_Costa/75371/Web02.195726/#/ 

Alameda County results: https://acgov.org/rovresults/235/1414.htm 

Secretary of State has not yet (as of 5:15 pm) updated to include latest update from CC, but look here for the latest: https://vote.sos.ca.gov/returns/state-assembly/district/15 


Suspect Arrested for Shooting on Essex Street in Berkeley

Jeff Shuttleworth
Wednesday June 13, 2018 - 11:05:00 AM

A suspect has been arrested in connection with a shooting in Berkeley late this morning that seriously wounded a victim, police said. 

At about 11:30 a.m., police got a call about a person who was in the middle of the street in the 2100 block of Essex Street screaming that they had been shot. Responding officers found the victim suffering from gunshot wounds, Berkeley police Officer Byron White said. 

White said the victim was taken to a hospital but he didn't know the victim's condition or gender. 

The arrest was made at about 1:30 p.m. today but police aren't yet releasing the suspect's name.


Improper Staff Action re Berkeley's Campanile Way Landmark

Former Mayor Shirley Dean
Monday June 11, 2018 - 05:05:00 PM

TO: Mayor Arreguin and Council Members Maio, Davila, Bartlett, Harrison, Hahn, Wengraf, Worthington and Droste

City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley

Director Timothy Burroughs, Planning and Development Department

FROM: Shirley Dean

SUBJECT: June 12 Council Meeting, Item 48

Landmarks Preservation Commission Notice of Decision

I am deeply disappointed to learn that City staff has placed this item on the Action Calendar of your June 12, 2018 Council Meeting. I have had a long history of experience with the Landmarks Preservation Ordinance: first working as a co-author of the Ordinance; then as a person who worked hard to gain approval from the Council in 1974; followed by being a Council Member for 19 years, and serving as Mayor for eight years. Today, after working since 2002 to turn back various attempts by the previous administration to weaken the Ordinance, the community once again faces yet another challenge to its provisions. In this instance, my concerns are twofold: 1) procedural; and 2) substance issues. 

Procedural Issues: This item has not been properly managed by the City 

An item, which is worded the same as the subject item #48, was reviewed by the Council's Agenda Committee on May 29, 2018. At that time, the item was shown on the proposed agenda for June 12 as Consent Calendar Item #21. The website report of the Committee's actions indicates there was no objection, and the June 12 agenda was approved. 

This was improper on its face since items placed on the Consent Calendar are supposed to be non-controversial and likely to be approved without any discussion. It should go without saying that when City staff seeks to modify a recommendation approved by five votes of a board or commission, that item does not meet the criteria for inclusion in the Consent Calendar. 

Secondly, the Commissioner's Manual clearly states that items submitted by boards and commissions are not subject to change when put on the Council agenda. The Manual makes it clear that while the item from a board or commission must be the work of the board or commission in its entirety, City staff may also submit comments as they wish. This item, however, was not presented as a LPC item. It was submitted primarily as a staff item with the Commission's item as an attachment. Additionally, the staff item substantially confuses the issues by leading the public to believe that the LPC landmarked the view which is incorrect. The Notice of Decision (NOD) dated May 29, 2018 for this LPC action states 

"Campanile Way (UC Campus)" 

"Landmark initiation application (#LMIN2017-0006) for the consideration of 

City Landmark designation status for a site on the UC campus. 

The Landmarks Preservation Commission of the City of Berkeley, after conducting a public hear, APPROVED the following designation: 

DESIGNATION: City of Berkeley Landmark" 

The NOD gives no further information as to what was approved except to state:"ZONING DISTRICT: R-4(H)-Multi-Family Density Residential District/Hillside Overlay" While it does include a link for further information, this is hardly an accurate description for the LPC's action which was to landmark Campanile Way and designate the view from Campanile Way as a significant contributing element to that historic resource. 

Somewhere along the line, Consent Calendar #21 was changed to Action Calendar #48 for the June 12 agenda. The City's standing-practice has always been to place LPC decisions on the Information Calendar of Council agendas. One need only look at the Council's agenda for May 1, 2018 to see this when five Information Items: #27 through #31, all Notice of Decision (NOD) items from the LPC were presented to the Council with the standard explanation that Berkeley Municipal Code (BMC) Section 3.24.160 requires that a copy of the NOD be placed on the next regular meeting, and giving the Council the opportunity to set the matter for appeal.  

The NOD for this matter states that the appeal expiration date is June 13, 2018, although the Council could appeal on its own motion, if clear and concise written information is submitted by the deadline. No appeal has been filed by anyone. Moreover, the item is misleading in its recommendation to "certify" the LPC decision and sent the matter for public hearing.  

"Certify for Council review the decision of the Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate Campanile Way as a City Landmark and direct the City Manager to set a date for a public hearing to discuss the matter." 

Substance Issues: 

There is no need to certify the landmark decision as the process has always been that if no action is taken prior to the NOD expiration date, "certification" is automatic. The only action open to the Council is to accept any appeal and set a date for a hearing. The recommendation by staff is not explicit enough as to what is being set for public hearing and what is being certified. 

Staff states in its opposition that it is neither "true or factual" that preservation of the views from Campanile Way is within the purview of the LPC and that views can be a significant contributor to a historic resource. This belies the fact that views are real, most particularly in communities like Berkeley where views are important to the entire city. 

Nothing in the Landmarks Preservation Ordinance prohibits consideration of views. They lend value to public and private property. They are important attractions to the public as people travel for miles to enjoy specific views. They are so important that they often help establish an identity for a building, a university campus, or a whole community. Berkeley's General Plan acknowledges this importance throughout the document. Berkeley's Municipal Code makes reference to views. In every area of this City, citizen after citizen have raised concerns about views in uncounted numbers of land use issues that have come before the Council. Just because a particular view has not been named as a "significant contributing factor" to an historic resource does not mean it can't be done, or shouldn't be done. Berkeley long ago rejected building tall buildings on the waterfront that would block our historic views of San Francisco Bay. How can Planning Department Staff not recognize this? 

Letting the LPC's decision stand as it was approved does not mean that you shouldn't begin to discuss all of the ramifications regarding view issues. For example, it is way past the time by about 15 years when Berkeley should have started the conversation to consider solar and sunlight access to neighboring properties. However, that is no reason to not let the LPC decision made on April 5, 2018 regarding Campanile Way and its views stand in its entirety. It won't be the first time that the city of Berkeley has acted on something that hasn't previously been done, and it won't be the last time, either. 

 

I had hoped to attend the June 12, 2018 Council meeting, but now find that due to health reasons that will not be possible. I apologize for the lateness of this communication, but I did not know about Item #48 until recently, and I thank you sincerely for your consideration of these views. 

 

 

 

 


Updated: Kalb Pulls Ahead of Beckles for Second Slot on AD 15 November Ballot

Rob Wrenn
Sunday June 10, 2018 - 10:58:00 PM


UPDATE: June 11, 2018, 7:30 p.m.

Buffy Wicks (Dem)32,557 votes ,31.9%

Dan Kalb (Dem) 16,297 votes ,15.9%

Jovanka Beckles (Dem) 15,504 votes ,15.2% 


UPDATE: 100.0% ( 341 of 341 ) precincts partially reporting as of June 11, 2018, 4:57 p.m. Nothing's changed. 

State Assembly District 15 - Districtwide Results - June 10, 2018, 8:19 p.m

Oakland Councilmember Dan Kalb has pulled ahead of Richmond Councilmember Jovanka Beckles in the race for the second position on the ballot in November for State Assembly District 15. Alameda County turnout now exceeds Contra Costa County turnout 32.9% to 29.6%, so it is not surprising that Kalb, an Alameda County resident and officeholder, is ahead and will probably remain so as the count continues.

100.0% (341 of 341) precincts are reporting, but many are still showing partial totals:

Buffy Wicks (Dem) 29,827 votes, 31.8 %

Dan Kalb (Dem, 14,651}votes, 15.6%

Jovanka Beckles {Dem} 14,076 votes, ] 15.0%


State Assembly District 15 - Beckles Second in Districtwide Results as of June 10, 2018, 5:43 p.m.; Kalb Not Far Behind

Rob Wrenn
Sunday June 10, 2018 - 07:34:00 PM

100.0% (341 of 341) precincts are reporting, but many are partial totals.

Buffy Wicks (Dem) 25,279 votes, 31.5 %

Jovanka Beckles (Dem) 12,135 votes,15.1 %

Dan Kalb (Dem) 11,851 votes, 14.8 %



The numbers are new for the State Web site but nothing new has been counted, the state has just caught up; the county totals are the same as they were at 8 p.m. Friday.

Because Contra Costa County (CC) turnout is now at 29.6%, while Alameda County (AC) turnout is at 25.1%, and because it’s reported that there are a lot more uncounted ballots countywide in AC than countywide in CC and because more AD-15 voters live in AC than in CC, I would expect Kalb to overtake Beckles when the rest of the vote is counted.

In AC, he’s at 19.4% to 13.9% for Beckles. This is an improvement for Beckles because it was at the end of election night 19.3% for Kalb and 13.2% for Beckles in AC, but it’s not a huge improvement.

In CC, it’s 13.9% for Beckles and 7.6% for Kalb, only a slightly bigger margin than in AC.

Of course, provisionals might favor Jovanka, so after Votes by Mail are counted the remaining provisionals might swing things back a bit for Beckles. For Beckles to win, I think the remaining AC votes have to be disproportionately from areas where she did well. Votes handed in at the polls are, I assume, counted after votes that were mailed in. If there's a late shift toward Beckles, maybe she’ll end up the winner. But if I had to bet, my money would be on Kalb.


Latest AD 15 results

Rob Wrenn
Friday June 08, 2018 - 06:48:00 PM

As of 6 p.m.Friday: Adding latest Contra Costa numbers to latest Alameda County numbers:

Wicks: 22,505

Beckles: 10,718

Kalb: 10,151

Appel: 7,906

Contra Costa County updated today; Alameda County did not (as of 6 p.m.) When AC updates again, there will probably be some shift toward Kalb and he may take the lead again. Turnout in AC is only at 21.62 so far while turnout in the latest update in Contra Costa County is at 29.61% suggesting that most remaining votes are in AC, which has favored Kalb over Beckles 19% to 13%. If these percentages hold, he could pick up 60 votes for every additional thousand counted in the AC part of AD 15, and the number of uncounted votes numbers in the thousands. It’s likely to be close.

AC: https://acgov.org/rovresults/235/1414.htm

CC: http://results.enr.clarityelections.com/CA/Contra_Costa/75371/Web02.195726/#/cid/740

CA Secy of State (behind county counts not up to date as of 6 p.m. ): https://vote.sos.ca.gov/returns/state-assembly/district/15http://http://results.enr.clarityelections.com/CA/Contra_Costa/75371/Web02.195726/#/cid/740

In San Francisco, Mark Leno is ahead of London Breed but only by 144 votes after today’s count.


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

Ani: Living on the Street in Berkeley

Marcia Poole and John Paulin
Saturday June 09, 2018 - 10:22:00 AM

We call to your attention the case of Ani Mauck, an 80-year-old American ordained Buddhist nun of the Tibetan Buddhist Karma Kagyu lineage, who received teachings and empowerments from the 16th Karmapa, KaluRinpoche, and Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, among others. Ani has been homeless in Berkeley for over 5 years and has been a member of the First They Came For The Homeless (FTCFTH) encampment community for the last year. Although she had fallen through the social services safety net, she was welcomed into that community. FTCFTH provided her shelter, and to the best of its ability, accommodations for her special dietary and physical needs. Ani not physically well. For quite some time she has been afflicted with severe diabetes, has suffered several small strokes, and recently broke her toe, which significantly exacerbated her mobility problems. Although she very much appreciates living with the FTCFTH community, she believes she will not survive another winter living on the street. 

On Monday, May 21st, Ani was pushing her wheelchair in the Ashby BART station. The trip there had exhausted her, and because she lacked the energy required to push her chair to the elevator, she boarded the flattened ramp of an out of service escalator, believing that its slope was gentle enough to accommodate both her and the wheelchair. However, once aboard, the device jerked into motion and she fell backward fracturing her skull and severely bruising her sacrum. She was taken unconscious to Highland Hospital. 

FTCFTH put out a missing person report, and a member tracked her to the hospital, and found her weak, but clear-headed. By Saturday she had improved enough to be transferred to Oakland Heights Nursing Facility, where she is enjoying their care and amenities. Visitors are welcome (2361 E 29th St, Oakland, CA94606). 

Part of this tragedy is the City of Berkeley’s “inability” to come to the assistance of this woman. Once released, this frail 80 year-old will return to a tent in Berkeley. The Mayor's office and the City Council have been made aware of Ani’s distress repeatedly and of the FTCFTH community's fear that a woman in her condition would incur a serious accident or illness. When informed last winter that Ani had been soaked by the rains, the Mayor's office stated that it could not do “anything. We have hundreds of people just like her out there." 

The Mayor and several Council members visited the FTCFTH encampment to meet Ani and other residents. Many of the homeless are disabled, some of them severely, and a number of them get around in wheelchairs. Others without disabilities, including an increasing number of senior citizens, have been priced out of their homes and left without a place to live. Increasingly, the face of homelessness will be people who look like our mothers and fathers, rather than our children. 

The real tragedy here is the indifference of our “progressive” Democrats. If one of them ever writes The Conscience of a Liberal, it will be a very thin book. 

Berkeley failed Ani as it has failed many others. Instead of seeing less fortunate individuals as valued members of their community, our politicians label them and criminalize them. This cannot continue. Berkeley must develop a conscience.  

 


New: Has Trump Lost It?

Tejinder Uberoi
Tuesday June 12, 2018 - 12:42:00 PM

Is Donald Trump losing it? It appears that there was complete agreement at the conclusion of the G7 meeting. Trump professed to be pleased, calling the summit wonderful and rating his relationships with other leaders as ten out of ten (the G6 members rated it as a zero). 

Yet barely ten minutes after the official communiqué was published, he abruptly changed his mind instructing his officials not to endorse the communiqué. He admonished Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister for making “false statements” and renewed his threat to impose tariffs on automobiles supposedly “flooding the U.S. Market!” 

A flummoxed spokesman said Mr. Trudeau had said nothing at the news conference that would explain the thin skin Trump’s volatile outburst. The more mature members of the G7 had tiptoed around the radioactive Trump wary of his unpredictable behavior. His combination of bullying rhetoric and aggrieved victimhood is well-known. The ‘art of the deal’ maestro is rarely persuaded by facts. 

Perhaps the most jarring moment during the meeting was Trump’s insistence that the ‘big bad wolf, Russia, be readmitted to the group that had excluded it in 2014 after its invasion of eastern Ukraine and annexation of Crimea. The drumbeat of Russia-Trump collusion seems to be getting louder. 

In contrast to the other members of the G6 who came well prepared Trump’s desk was bare. The Cirque du Soleil “knotty” performers who entertained the G7 leaders were not the only ones tying extricate themselves from the knots of the “US Spiderman”.


President Trump's Deceptive Immigration Policy

Harry Brill
Friday June 08, 2018 - 07:05:00 PM

According to a recent Gallup poll President Trump achieved a 46 percent approval rating with regard to his role in making the United States (U.S.) prosperous. Although there is certainly disagreement about Trump's accomplishments, he nevertheless commands considerable support. A main reason for his high rating is his stance on immigration. Most of all, Trump has apparently convinced many Americans that he will work to improve the economy and provide good paying jobs primarily for American workers. Trump claims that he is not only unhappy about illegal immigration. He also wants to impose more restrictions on legal immigration as well. In his own words, "We will reform legal immigration to serve the best interests of America and its workers, the forgotten people. We're going to take care of our workers".

These proclamations are perspectives that American workers and their families like to hear. But it certainly doesn't reflect the views of Republicans who value the availability of cheap, compliant foreign labor. We would expect, then, that they would be unhappy with Trump's immigration agenda. Yet according to the polls, 84 percent of Republicans believe that Trump is doing a good job making America prosperous. How is that possible? That's an easy question to answer. The Republicans realize that Trump's message to the public is only propaganda. In fact, this characterizes the posturing of the Republicans generally. Let us take a look at the gap between Trump's rhetoric and what he is actually doing and not doing on behalf of working people. 

Among Trump's allies is the corporate controlled media, which often presents news with a one sided slant. The public has been hearing that the Trump administration is committed to arresting immigrants who have successfully crossed the border. Trump is proud that the increase in arrests in 2017 has climbed from 5,498 in the prior year to 13,000. Although this is certainly a whopping gain, we hear very little about how few are actually apprehended at the southern border. The number of immigrants who have been arrested before crossing the border is the lowest in 46 years, and 25 percent fewer than the year before. The estimate of those crossing the border successfully ranges from 300,000 to 400,000 immigrants patrol annually. There are 20,000 agents on the border patrol. Years ago more undocumented immigrants were arrested with about half the number of agents. Could it be that the decline in arrests currently is deliberate so that employers would have access to more low wage workers? 

But Trump claims he is not giving up. He wants to deploy 2,000 to 4,000 National Guard members to support federal agents along the border. Yet all parties involved, including the Trump administration, have agreed that the troops would not be allowed to have any physical contacts with those who are attempting to cross the border. What then would they be doing? Trump proposed that for surveillance purposes the National Guard members could fly planes over the southern border, which is the main point of entry to the U.S. 

However, It is not just that a large contingent of pilots would be both impractical as well as superfluous. The Border Patrol is already flying drones over the border. Clearly, the National Guard would accomplish virtually nothing no matter how many National Guard troops were sent. Apparently, Trump enjoys taking dramatic steps to project a false image of himself as a hero to American workers. 

Also, Trump has paid virtually no attention to those who come to the U.S. legally but overstay their temporary visas. These include tourists, students, and foreign workers who have been given temporary jobs. Those who have overstayed their visa make up 42 percent of all undocumented persons in the U.S. Moreover, since 2007 overstays have exceeded those entering illegally every year. In 2016 an estimated 629,000 visitors overstayed the deadline that their visas specified.  

There are slightly over 11 million undocumented workers living in the U.S. About 8 million are in the civilian labor force. That is, they are either working or looking for work. So even if the border patrol made a substantial dent reducing the number of immigrants crossing the border, there are still plenty of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. who want and need to work. 

The bottom line is that the business community with the assistance of the federal government has many options for recruiting foreign labor. Take, for example, the role of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which as a cabinet agency answers to the president. The mass media has featured many articles on the arrests that have been made by the Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is a DHS unit. 

However, less publicized hat been the role DHS has been playing, with Trump's approval, to supply business with low wage foreign workers. The DHS has recently issued 48,000 guest visas to non-agricultural employers. Trump and the DHS have accepted the false claim of the business community that there were not enough qualified workers to fill these job openings. This clamor over a skilled labor shortage is nonsense. There are plenty of workers available. But business is looking for low wage employees by recruiting job hungry foreign workers. That Trump approved the work visas is certainly not surprising. Trump has a long history of using foreign workers in his business ventures. 

Despite Trump's slogan, "Buy American, Hire American," the Administration has done virtually nothing to address the notorious H1-B program. 85,000 work visas are given annually to foreign workers to fill jobs in businesses, particularly high tech. Legally speaking, employers are allowed to hire these workers only because they claim that there are not enough qualified American workers. But in reality there are a substantial number of unemployed high tech American workers who had been receiving high salaries. So the H1-B work visas has made it possible to replace these employees with lower wage foreign workers, 

Take for example the Disney Corporation's layoff of almost 250 employees. The workers who were hired to replace them were trained by those losing their jobs as a condition of receiving severance pay. How outrageous! Not only has the Trump Administration been uninterested in enforcing the law. Nor has the Administration made any attempt to reduce the annual allotment of these work visas. 

A related federal program, called the Optional Practical Training Program (OPT) encourages employers to provide good jobs to foreign students, both undergraduates and graduates, for up to 36 months. The advocates of OPT claimed that the students should have an opportunity to work at jobs that reflected their academic training. The government provides an incentive to employers to hire foreign workers by offering a tax break of 8.25 percent. Incredibly, the program drains about $2 billion annually from the Medicare and Social Security Trust fund. By reducing these trust funds, the government is robbing the elderly on behalf of the business community. 

Under OPT 154,000 foreign students were approved to work on student visas. How do we explain why the federal government has been so generous to these students? Actually, the explanation has little or nothing to do with the best interest of these applicants. The explanation is that Microsoft viewed OPT as a way of increasing the number of lower paid foreign workers that High Tech could hire beyond what H1-B allows. 

To challenge Trump's and the business community's jobs program we should realize that asking the wrong questions will yield the wrong answers. The question "How can we prevent immigrants from crossing the border"? is the wrong question because it assumes that these undocumented immigrants do not have the right to come here without official permission. 

A major reason that undocumented individuals and families are coming to the U.S. is because the highly illegal intervention of the U.S. in Mexico and Central America has deprived many of their citizens of a means to earn a living. For example, the NAFTA agreement eliminated barriers to American crop exports, including corn, which has made it impossible for many peasants in Mexico to continue making a living growing these crops. Consequently, the U.S. has contributed to promoting mass poverty in these countries. 

So the appropriate question, then, is "How long should it take to assure that these non-citizens become citizens?" The only ethical answer IS PRONTO, PRONTO, PRONTO. 

 

 


A Song and a Me Too Moment

Carol Denney
Friday June 08, 2018 - 07:12:00 PM

It started with a slightly salacious lyric that moved quickly through what any woman would recognize as the typical trajectory; he loves her, he kills her, he mutilates her body in an effort to humiliate her and/or cover his tracks. It elicited a couple of nervous laughs, but most of the audience quietly endured it. 

There's nothing original in such storylines. If you cleared all folk, rock, rap, and ballads of this stuff you'd have a free speech battle and knock out half of both the traditional and contemporary canon. The music was a classic blues riff so there was nothing in the music itself that was particularly original, either. Some of the women in the hall exchanged glances, but most of the hall just quietly waited it out, even giving it reluctant, polite applause. 

But one woman addressed it. She sat quietly at the piano when it was her turn to play, and told the story of her own reaction to hearing the story of another unnamed woman murdered and mutilated played for laughs. She spoke quietly, with no apparent anger. The mutilation song singer tried to interrupt her and someone near him hushed him, pointing out that the woman onstage had not interrupted him during his performance. 

The story-teller onstage did her best to compliment the player's playing. She had no trouble convincing us how hard she had tried to just enjoy what she could of the performance, because we all had tried to do the same. But she just couldn't, she said quietly, and began to sing. It was a song about people from disparate worlds trading perspectives sung and played with elegance, simplicity, and beauty. It was a song about the sometimes complicated path to unity and respect. 

Woman after woman met eyes across the hall during the song, tears running down cheeks, sighs of relief breaking like waves across a barren beach. The dark hall seemed to fill with light, with stars. Without knowing how or why small groups of us nodded toward the lobby after the song ended so we could just cherish the moment, meet each other, be there longer. 

When the mutilation song singer had tried to interrupt the woman onstage he'd said, "no women were hurt in the writing of that song" or something similar, a play on the typical disclaimer in movie credits to ward off critics of animal abuse, etc. He was wrong. Women walk daily through a world where they're thought of as prey and discarded as an inconvenience. The ugly jokes, the songs about digging a hole in the meadow go right by many people; perhaps most people. But women, and the men who care about them and listen to them, have songs capable of putting things right. 

No free speech rights were violated in addressing that night's misogyny. The sad, sapped nature of the mutilation song was the perfect setting for a woman's voice in perfect, resonant, original, powerful response, and a flowering of connections in a crowd of both men and women who knew, after patiently waiting for a long, long time, that a world with a long way to go can, in fact, change when women's voices are included. It may not be all it takes, but it is a powerful way to begin.


Re: A Song and A Me Too Moment

Mugg Muggles
Monday June 11, 2018 - 05:39:00 PM

Since I am the unnamed 'song writer' referenced in this article, I am puzzled as to why Ms. Denney has chosen to "edit' reality. She has left out the real 'punch line' for some unknown personal reason. The truly remarkable thing about this encounter was that the women who called me out on my song was able to convince me to NEVER sing it again.


Response to Muggles

Carol Denney
Thursday June 14, 2018 - 10:56:00 AM

Dear Editor,

I did not identify Mugg Muggles as the "mutilation song singer" in my essay "A Song and a Me Too Moment." But I'm glad he outed himself. He apparently thinks it's enough to retire one of his many racist, sexist songs while privately showering me, the one who tried to write about the damage such songs do, with insults and personal attacks, thus missing the point. 

Since the essay's publication he's filled my inbox with hate directed personally at me - the usual effort to intimidate and personalize an issue. Many writers know this moment, perhaps especially women attempting to talk about double standards, and we endure it just like his song, in the same way that women walk a very different path home after a night at the Freight and Salvage. Retiring one egregious song was not my aim although I do not mind. But I will celebrate the day when Mugg stops sending me email calling me "stupid", "dim bulb", "idiot", and "f-ing bitch" for not presenting him as the hero he seems to think he is. 

If he's a hero to anyone out there, that's fine. But those people need to know that it's hard for me to open my email, which is a work tool, without hateful messages from him, and that he has similar songs he may substitute. They should consider that the subject of my piece was not one song - it was, rather, about a culture of intimidation to which he continues his allegiance. But most importantly, it was about her. The woman who, even in a culture of intimidation and threats we both continue to experience, spoke up. 

Sincerely, 

Carol Denney


June Pepper Spray Times

By Grace Underpressure
Friday June 08, 2018 - 07:42:00 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! 


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

THE PUBLIC EYE:Politics by Walking Around

Bob Burnett
Friday June 08, 2018 - 07:02:00 PM

When I was a technology developer, in Silicon Valley, I adopted the technique of "managing by walking around." Recently I've talked to two outstanding 2018 Democratic political candidates who've adopted this same technique in their campaigns. While it may not be obvious, "politics by walking around" addresses one of 2018's burning political questions: what does the Democratic Party stand for?

"Managing by walking around" was originally developed in the 1970's at Hewlett Packard. I adopted "managing by walking around" because I was working on a large IBM campus, in Santa Clara, and the engineers who were developing different aspects of my product were widely dispersed. While I could have relied upon emailed progress reports or formal meetings, I found it more informative to talk to them in person. (I also thought that engineers were likely to be more candid in a face-to-face conversation.) 

In fact, "managing by walking around" is a technique long-used by community organizers. After returning to India in 1915, Mahatma Gandhi would routinely leave big Indian cities and walk through the sprawling countryside visiting village after village, talking to peasants about their concerns. Barack Obama used this same technique when he was a community organizer in Chicago in the 1980's. 

The basic notion in "managing by walking around" is that one stands a better chance of understanding what is going on by getting out of the office and going to visit folks where they live or work. Interestingly enough, that's the technique being used by two formidable 2018 Democratic candidates: Stacey Abrams, who is running for Georgia governor, and Beto O'Rourke, who is running for Senate in Texas. 

One of the notable political characteristics of 2018 is the fact that a disproportionate number of Democratic candidates are women. Stacey Abrams ( https://staceyabrams.com/) is the Democratic candidate for Governor of Georgia. If I only told you that Ms. Abrams is an unmarried black woman, you'd think she had no chance in this race. But if I introduced you to Stacey -- a graduate of Yale Law School, who is the Minority Leader of the Georgia House of Representatives -- you'd come away believing that she is the most qualified candidate. (On May 29th, Ms. Abrams won the Democratic primary with 76 percent of the vote.) 

Stacey Abrams got to this point by systematically going around Georgia and talking to the folks in its 159 counties. Ms. Abrams is the founder of The New Georgia Project which, for the last four years, has been working to register voters, primarily people of color. (In 2008, Barack Obama lost Georgia by 200,00 votes and there were 700,000 unregistered black voters.) 

While walking around Georgia, Stacey Abrams learned what issues were foremost on the minds of Peach State voters. The first is economic fairness: “building a diverse economy with good-paying jobs and expanding opportunities for families to thrive.” Stacey learned that Georgians are much more interested in economic issues than they are in Republican shibboleths such as "cracking down on illegal immigrants." Another major concern is education: "Georgia must invest in addressing the needs of the whole child from cradle to career – and our investment must extend beyond the walls of a classroom to acknowledge the totality of their needs." 

Does Stacey Abrams have a chance in November? Yes, says the 538 website ( https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/can-stacey-abrams-really-turn-georgia-blue/) but she's a long shot: "Georgia is one of the most [inelastic states], its electorate is composed mostly of solid Democrats and solid Republicans, with very few persuadable voters. The result is that Democrats have a tendency to get close in the Peach State, but they have a very hard time getting over the hump to 50 percent plus one." 

Democratic Congressman Beto O'Rourke is in a similar tough race for Senate in Texas (https://betofortexas.com/ ). He's the underdog to incumbent Republican Senator Ted Cruz. The Cook Report classifies this race as "Likely Republican." The 538 website notes: "Texas is about 12 percentage points more Republican than the country overall. If the national environment favors Democrats by, like, 7 points (where the generic ballot has been lately), that might make Texas have a 5-point Republican lean in this political environment." 

If you talk to O'Rourke, you won't know that he is an underdog. So far he's raised more money than Cruz. And he's made himself more visible by traveling to each of Texas' 254 counties -- often going to communities where in recent memory no Democrat has visited. 

Like Stacey Abrams, Beto O'Rourke has learned a lot by walking around his state. This is reflected in his " We should all have a chance to to succeed" platform: "Jobs for Texans who are ready to work and the education and training to be competitive for them. It means that every one of us is able to get healthy and stay healthy..." 

As we approach the critical November 6th midterm elections, many Democrats lament the absence of a unifying national theme. The Dems most recent attempts targets Trump's culture of corruption ( https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/democrats-new-2018-strategy-targeting-trump-s-culture-corruption-missed-ncna880006). 

The campaigns of Stacey Abrams and Beto O'Rourke indicate that rather than adopt some abstract national theme, state and congressional Democratic candidates should instead practice the politics of walking around. Democrats should talk to their constituents and run on their concerns, which differ from state to state and district to district. 

Talking to voters; a winning concept. 


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


ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Why Life is Hard for People with Mental Illness

Jack Bragen
Friday June 08, 2018 - 07:04:00 PM

In American culture, and probably in most cultures, people are fond of saying "Life is hard..." And most people would agree. Even privileged people born into wealth sometimes feel sorry for themselves. So, is life in fact hard, or is this merely a perception? 

Some Buddhist spinoff philosophies would argue that life is not hard. They would claim that the difficulty arises because of our patterns of thought and emotion. They would say, just join up with us, and get free of emotional demands--and then life will not be hard any more. After all, they would say, it was only your illusions that made your life seem hard. 

Is life actually hard, or is that merely a phony perception created by the mind's illusions? My best, educated guess, is this: Sometimes life is quite hard, and for some it isn't very hard at all. 

These "Buddhist spinoff" philosophies, such as "Handbook to Higher Consciousness" by Ken Keyes, don't do an adequate job of acknowledging that sometimes life is very hard, and sometimes this is not because of an illusion. 

These philosophies are applicable to what Americans once called "the middle class," people who lived under conditions that would be incredibly wealthy if you compare them to conditions in the not so distant past, or to living in less developed countries, including India. These spinoffs of Buddhism presume a life of plentitude, something many Americans took for granted just a few decades ago. Some people were taught to assume that this was normal, and this was how the universe worked. 

On the other hand, if you look at socially conscious Buddhism, which has not been remanufactured to be a borderline cult, it is clear that the attained masters and other practitioners want conditions to be better for people. If they believed that suffering wasn't real, then there would be no need for them to espouse compassion. 

If you lived in Iraq during the U.S. bombing and invasion and following that, or in Vietnam during the Vietnam war, or if you live in the U.S., and are homeless or incarcerated, I am sure it would be ludicrous to hand you a New Age self-help book and tell you that you are the creator of their own misery because of unenlightened thought patterns. You could argue that people become homeless due to bad decisions, or choose that as a lifestyle. Such an argument is bogus, and it is a way of not helping and not giving a damn about others. 

Some individuals go through life without ever needing to withstand poverty, harsh conditions, and sickness--much less having a life disrupted or ruined by war. In the U.S., most of the middle class seem to have all of their basic needs met. They may have employment for which they are suited, and that provides a source of fulfillment. They may enjoy the wondrousness of relationship(s). If accused of a crime, they may have the option of a top-notch attorney, who is able to prevent bad consequences. They may go through life with very little hardship, and they may die in peace, surrounded by family and friends. 

Mental illness has aspects to it that can make life hard. Much of the hardship stems from symptoms of a psychiatric disease affecting the mind and body. A person suffering from psychosis may not initially have anything going wrong with her or his circumstances, in reality. However, the mind produces junk that can make us terrified, worried, anxious, angry, or sad. Living in a world generated by the illusions of psychosis can be hell. 

Although being psychotic isn't as bad as some concrete things, it is still very bad, and it is extremely difficult to endure. Psychosis can be like a living hell, in which the psychotic person is cut off from reality, and must live in a "virtual reality" produced by an ailing brain. This poses two aspects of hardship. For one thing, the psychotic version of the world is usually horrible, and in some cases it is downright terrifying. The suffering created by psychotic illusions is massive. The second aspect of hardship is that life circumstances can become very bad, since we are living apart from reality, and may behave accordingly. We could end up jailed; we could end up on the street, or worse. 

People with mental illness, even when in a recovered phase, face an uphill path. In comparison to how millions of people must eke by, in third world countries, or in oppressive regimes, most mentally ill in the U.S. are in a better situation. 

However, society in the U.S. doesn't accept us as actual people, worthy of respect and/or compassion. It is still socially acceptable to stereotype, hate, and discriminate against persons with mental illness. 

So, is it merely a perception that life is hard? If you have a diseased brain, which has a malfunction directly creating suffering, life is hard. This is so even when your own shadow is an object of terror--because the mind of a psychotic person could be unable to tell the difference. 

*** 

ADDENDUM: Caution in Hot Weather 

 

The hot temperatures are upon us here in California. People who take antipsychotic medications should be aware that these medications may affect the body's ability to cool itself. In high temperatures, it is a good idea to remain indoors, and one hopes you have air conditioning. Keep hydrated. And remember, it is not a sign of weakness that you should take extra measures to keep cool in the heat. 

 


Please look for my books by doing a search on Amazon or elsewhere. Also, if you have comments or suggestions and would like to drop me a note, I can be reached at bragenkjack@yahoo.com. However, I am not able to give any advice to individuals.


ECLECTIC RANT: Judge Persky’s recall

By Ralph E. Stone
Friday June 08, 2018 - 07:10:00 PM

Judge Aaron Persky's recall should be celebrated. What is disturbing about his decision in the Brock Peters case is that this made every women less safe at colleges and universities because that description of Turner’s sexual assault fits most campus rape cases, which essentially takes campus rape from the category of crimes you can go to prison for and instead be awarded a lighter sentence. The recall is a victory for the #MeToo movement. 

One good result from Persky’s sentence was that in in September 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill inspired by the Brock Turner case aimed at preventing sexual assaults. The legislation guarantees three years of prison time for convicted offenders like Turner.


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

New: Berkeley Festival Closes in Style with Bach & Company

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Monday June 11, 2018 - 05:20:00 PM

For me, at least, and perhaps for many others as well, the final two days of the 2018 Berkeley Festival presented under the aegis of the San Francisco Early Music Society were dominated by the towering figure of Johann Sebastian Bach. For me, it all started with a 1:00 PM concert on Saturday, June 9, at St. Mark’s Church featuring an ensemble called Cantata Collective and featuring the amazing soprano Sherezade Panthaki. This was an all J.S. Bach concert featuring local instrument-alists who joined together just this year to form Cantata Collective dedicated to the cantatas of J.S. Bach. The members of Cantata Collective will be familiar to Bay Area audiences for their involvement in many prestigious local chamber music groups. Marc Schachman played oboe; violinists were Kati Kyme and Lisa Weiss; violist was Anthony Martin; cellist was William Skeen; Kristin Zoenig played bass; and Avi Stein played organ and harpsichord. In the works where they teamed up with soprano Sherezade Panthaki, this was J.S. Bach at his best.  

Well, wait a minute. Bach at his best might have to be accorded to the Belgian choral ensemble Vox Luminis, which closed out the Festival with a superb 4:00 PM concert at First Congregational Church on Sunday, June 10. Of course, the program presented by Vox Luminis on Sunday was by no means all J.S. Bach. Rather, and this was an interesting twist, it was about J.S. Bach and his family and friends. In any case, we’ll forego for the moment consideration of this final Vox Luminis concert, and we’ll begin with the Saturday concert of Cantata Collective. First on their program was a suite of three sinfonias by Bach. These were largely showpieces for oboist Marc Schachman., although there were alos lovely passages for the organ and the strings. The second suite, Ich steh mit einem Fuss im Grabe/I stand with one foot in the grave, was a slow, appropriately lugubrious piece in which Bach brilliantly portrayed the morbid fixation on death of early 18th century Lutheran culture in Germany. The third and final sinfonia, by contrast, was upbeat and lively. 

Following this opener, soprano Sherezade Panhaki came on stage to sing three arias by Bach. In the first aria, ”Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen/Dearest Jesus, my desire,” Pathanki’s sumptuous soprano was echoed and moved upwards by the oboe of March Schachman. This was a clever device that exhibited the vocal possibilities of both the human voice and a wind instrument. Needless to say, both the voice of Panthanki and the oboe of Schachman were exquisite. This was also the case in the latter two arias of this set. Sherezade Panthaki’s voice is perfectly suited to Bach. It is lush, sumptuous, and technically flawless. Likewise, Marc Schachman’s tone on oboe is plush, full, and technically flawless. Together with their fellow musicians of Cantata Collective they made beautiful music. 

Next on the program was J.S. Bach’s Overture in D Major, also known as his Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major. For this performance, the Cantata Collective eliminated the trumpets; and Avi Stein switched from organ to harpsichord. This work’s second movement is the much-beloved Air on a G-String, beautifully played here by Cantata Collective. To close out the program, Sherezade Panthaki returned on stage to sing Bach’s Wedding Cantata; and here the vocal agility and lush tone of Sherezade Panthaki created wonders. I can’t imagine hearing a better vocal rendition of this great cantata than the one offered on Saturday at St. Mark’s Church by Sherezade Panthaki. This, as I said earlier, was Bach at his best. 

However, as I also said earlier, we might have to spread the title ”Bach at his best” between two groups heard here – Cantata Collective with Sherezade Panthaki, and the Belgian choral ensemble Vox Luminis, which latter performed the Festival’s closing concert at 4:00 PM on Sunday in First Congregational Church. By the way, Vox Luminis also gave a concert on Friday evening in which they performed five of J.S. Bach’s six motets. Alas, I had to miss that concert. But nothing could make me miss the Festival’s closing concert by Vox Luminis on Sunday. This concert was intelligently designed to focus on not only J.S. Bach but also on those who influenced him. For this concert, the choral group Vox Luminis was accompanied by leading local instrumentalists. Robert Mealy and Julie Andrijeski played violins; Cynthia Black and Aaron Westman played violas; Steven Lehning played violone; Charles Weaver played theorbo; and Haru Kitamika played organ.  

The Sunday concert opened with a work by Dietrich Buxtehude, Gott hilf mir/God help me. Buxtehude, of course, is the older musician whose music the young J.S. Bach so revered that he walked over fifty miles to hear Buxtehude perform. In the piece we heard Sunday, Vox Luminis bass Sebastian Myrus sang the opening solo, and his singing was echoed by the string section. Next we heard a work by Johann Pachelbel, who served as mentor to J.S. Bach’s eldest brother, Johann Christoph Bach, in the town of Ohrdruf, not far from Eisenach where J.S. Bach spent the first twelve years of his life. However, when J.S. Bach’s parents both died, he was sent to live with Johann Christophe Bach in Ohrdruf; and there is a story that the twelve year-old J.S. Bach furtively managed to remove by night a score of Pachelbel’s music from a locked cabinet, copied it, and put the score back so his older brother, forty-three years his senior, wouldn’t notice it had been removed. Eventually, however, Johann Christophe discovered what was going on; and he forced his younger sibling to hand over the pirated copy of Pachelbel’s score. In Sunday’s concert, Vox Luminis countertenor Jan Kullmann was featured in this work by Pachelbel. The next work on Sunday’s program was one by Johann Christophe Bach himself, Herr, wende dich und sei mir gnädig/Lord, turn unto me and be my grace. A soprano, a bass, and two tenors opened this piece, then were joined by the full ten-person chorus of Vox Luminis. 

After intermission Vox Luminis returned to the stage to perform a second work by Dietrich Buxtehude, Herzlich Lieb hab ich dich/Heartfelt love have I for you, o Lord. This work was sung by an all female cast of vocalists -- three sopranos and a mezzo-soprano. Finally, to close out the concert, and to close the 2018 Berkeley Festival, Vox Luminis performed Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christ lag in Todesbanden/Christ lay in death’s bonds. All ten singers of Vox Luminis opened this work, while the work’s second set was sung by two sopranos accompanied only by organ and theorbo. Then the instrumental group joined in except for the violas. In the following set, six singers were accompanied by only organ and theorbo. Throughout this work J.S. Bach effectively varied the tonal textures of each segment by using different combinations of voices and instruments. The final set brought together all the singers and all the instruments for a heartfelt but humble and subdued finale in keeping with the Pietist leanings of J.S. Bach himself. As a conclusion and culmination to the 2018 Berkeley Festival, nothing could be more appropriate and more appreciated than this concert by Vox Luminis, the world’s finest choral ensemble. Moreover, the fact that their program situated the music of J.S. Bach in the context of music by other composers -- family members and esteemed colleagues--who influenced the development of J.S. Bach himself, made this concert all the more informative and memorable.  


Telemann and Purcell Featured at Berkeley Festival

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Friday June 08, 2018 - 06:59:00 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 this allocation of roles worked out excellently.  

As Dido, queen of Carthage, adult professional singer, 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. 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.


Susanna Mälkki’s Greatness As A Conductor

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Tuesday June 12, 2018 - 10:30:00 AM

When a conductor puts together a program that is bold and wide-ranging, including works that are relatively unfamiliar to the audience, and succeeds in making each work stand out clearly and forcefully, that is a sure sign of greatness. Finnish conductor Susanna Mälkki returned to Davies Hall this weekend to lead the San Francisco Symphony in just such a bold and wide-ranging program, and Ms. Mälkki showed once again her greatness as a conductor. For my money, Susanna Mälkki ought to be considered the front-runner to succeed Michael Tilson Thomas when he retires in 2010 as the San Francisco Symphony’s Music Director.  

In concerts on June 7-9, Susanna Mälkki led the Symphony in one notoriously difficult staple – Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto – and two relatively unfamiliar works – Kaija Saariaho’s Laterna Magica (2008) and Alexander Scriabin’s The Poem of Ecstasy (1907). By the time the Saturday evening concert I attended was over, Susanna Mälkki had even won me over to appreciate Scriabin, whose other symphonic poems tend to drive me up the wall with their mysticism and post-Wagnerian pomposity. However, in Ms. Mälkki’s hands, Scriabin’s The Poem of Ecstasy, the third in this composer’s trilogy of mystical symphonic poems, came off as surprisingly supple and full of unusual orchestral colors. There were moments of bombast, to be sure, but even these tended to be balanced by countervailing moments of sweetness. Moreover, in The Poem of Ecstasy Scriabin spared us his usual annoying habit of making each and every orchestral passage swell up voluptuously to an erotic climax, as if his music were the accompaniment to a global orgy of mystical eroticism.  

Susanna Mälkki also led a very convincing rendition of Kaija Saariaho’s Laterna Magica. Ms. Mälkki has spoken of the special relationship she has with her fellow female Finn Kaija Saariaho, with whom she has worked for almost twenty years. Drawing on this long experience, Susanna Mälkki succeeds in bringing out the magic of Kaija Saariaho’s Laterna Magica, with its densely textured and brilliantly colored orchestration. In Laterna Magica, a work inspired by filmmaker Ingmar Bergman’s magisterial handling of light in his films, Kaija Saariaho creates a 20-minute work in which there is almost no hint of melody, except perhaps in short phrases on the xylophone, and various tempos give different aspects of texture and color to each section of a work that grows on the listener over time. In a highly percussive work, where xylophone, vibraphone, chimes, and drums lead the way, the strings generally provide texture, while the combined brass section offers punctuation marks setting off each and every section. 

Last but by no means least, we come to the work that actually opened the program – Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major. For this series of performances the soloist was Nikolai Znaider, a late replacement for Hilary Hahn, who is soon expecting the birth of her first child. Nikolai Znaider is widely known as both a conductor and violin soloist. He is currently Principal Guest Conductor of the Mariinsky Orchestra in Saint Petersburg, a post he has held since 2010, and he enjoys a special relationship with the London Symphony Orchestra as both conductor and violin soloist. Here in San Francisco Nikolai Znaider gave a robust yet finely nuanced rendition of Tchaikovsky’s notoriously difficult Violin Concerto. Under Susanna Mälkki’s direction, the tempos were neither too fast, as is often the case with other conductors of this work, nor was it unusually slow. Rather, this was a well-balanced interpretation, one where the listener never felt that the soloist and conductor were showing daredevil speed for its own sake, nor were they slowing things down to achieve a new and unusual effect. The audience clearly appreciated the sound musicianship of the Mälkki-Znaider team, and they gave both soloist and conductor a tumultuous ovation. As an encore Nikolai Znaider performed Johann Sebastian Bach’s Sarabande from Partita No. 2 in D minor.


New: The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, June 10-17

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Sunday June 10, 2018 - 06:41:00 PM

Worth Noting:



  • City Council meets Tuesday. Even if you don’t plan to go to the 5:00 pm special session it is worth taking a cruise through the City Council referrals to the City Manager/staff. The regular 6:00 pm meeting agenda is heavy with the proposed charter amendment for the Police Commission near the end of the agenda.
  • Urban Shield subcommittee meets Wednesday.
  • The Follow-up meeting to Caring For Our Community – Responding to the Houseless is Thursday evening. So often the message to the homeless seems to be top down. The last meeting included a panel of homeless people who responded to the question of what are their most immediate needs. The responses included: access to bathrooms (or porta potties), drinkable water, showers, food, a place to store their belongings, pick-up of trash, a place to be (evictions, raids, towing of vehicles)
  • Friday is special event Uniting Against Hate
  • The City of Berkeley labor negotiations with Firefighters, Police, SEIU, Clerks and Maintenance workers continues with 2 closed sessions this week.
 

Posted Sunday, June 10, 2018 

Monday, June 11, 2018 

Agenda Committee, Monday, Mon, June 11, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm, 2180 Milvia, 6th Floor Redwood Conf Room, Agenda: Agenda Plan for June 26 City Council meeting, 6. Investment,Divestment Policy, 7. Trust Fund, 12. Downtown Streets Sweeping Team, 19. Removal Coast Live Oak Trees, 24. a.&b. U1 Funds property Acquisition 1001, 1007, 1011 University and 1925 Ninth St, 26. Urgency Ordinance Bonds to Finance Affordable Housing, 27. Adopt Budget, 29. Ballot measure full-time salaries Mayor and City Council, 30. Increase transfer Tax to fund homeless services, 32. Borrowing $14 million, 33. Reserve $11 million in Housing Trust Fund for Berkeley Way, 34. Density Bonus, 35. HAC recommendations U1 Revenues, 37. Budget referral creation Vehicle Dweller Park in Berkeley 

https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/City_Council/Agenda_Committee__2018_Index.aspx 

Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board Eviction/Section 8/Foreclosure Meeting, Mon, June 11, 5:30 pm, 2001 Center St, 2nd Floor Law Library, Agenda: Staffing Model 2019, Line-Item Budget 2019 

http://www.cityofberkeley.info/rent/ 

Transportation Commission Stop Sign Warrants Subcommittee, Mon, June 11, 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm, 1901 Hearst Ave, North Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: City and State criteria for installing stop signs, guidelines for expanding criteria 

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

City Council Closed Session, Mon, June 11, 4:00 pm, 2180 Milvia, 1st Floor Cypress Room, Agenda: 1231 Addison St – BUSD conference with Negotiators, Dee Williams-Ridley, Jovan Grogen, Mark Numainville, Conference anticipated litigation one case, Conference with Labor Negotiators, organizations Berkeley Firefighters 1227, Firefighters Association, Berkeley Chief Fire Officiers Association, Berkeley Police Association, SEIU, Local 1021 Maintenance and Clerical Chapters, 

https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/City_Council/City_Council__Agenda_Index.aspx 

Tax the Rich rally – Mon, June 11, 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm top of Solano in front of closed Oaks Theater, 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 

Berkeley City Council, Tues, June 12, 2134 MLK Jr Way, City Council Chambers 

 

  • Special Meeting Work Session, 5:00 pm, Agenda: Re-Weighted Range Voting – prioritization of City Council referrals to City Manager/staff, 67 outstanding referrals,
https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/City_Council/2018/06_June/City_Council__06-12-2018_-_Special_Meeting_Agenda.aspx 

 

 

  • Regular Meeting, 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, 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, 35. Extension contract Community Conservations Centers (recycling), 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
https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/City_Council/City_Council__Agenda_Index.aspx 

 

Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board Budget Personnel, Tue, June 12, 5:30 pm, 2001 Center St, 2nd Floor Law Library, 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 

Homeless Commission, Wed, June 13, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, 1901 Hearst Ave, North Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: Sidewalk and encampment policy, City of Berkeley funding proposal for employment of homeless, yearround shelter, aging homeless as priority, vehicle encampment for homeless 

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

Parks and Waterfront Commission, Wed, June 13, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, 2800 Park St, Frances Albrier Community Center 

 

  • Marina Fiscal Issues Subcommittee – 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Agenda: Fiscal Issues
  • Regular Meeting - 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Agenda: Marina Repaving Projects, One-time funding new Waterfront Master Plan, Update Hs Lordships, Proposed changes to parking code, Codornices Creek future maintenance, State Proposition 68, Fiscal Issues Marina
https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Commissions__Parks_and_Waterfront_Commission.aspx 

 

Police Review Commission, Wed, June 13, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, 2939 Ellis St, South Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: Mayor Arreguin proposed Charter Amendment, Follow-up CPE (Center for Policing Equity Report) https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Commissions__Police_Review_Commission_Homepage.aspx 

Council Ad Hoc subcommittee on Urban Shield, Wed, June 13, 3:00 pm, 2180 Milvia 

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

Thursday, June 14, 2018 

Caring for Our Community – Responding to Needs of Houseless, Thur, June 14, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, 1802 Fairview Street @ Ellis, South Berkeley Community Church, Agenda: 2nd Street eviction of houseless people, closure 9th Street Shelter, ongoing threat of citing and towing of RVs and campers. 

Community Environmental Advisory Commission, Thur, June 14, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, 1901 Russell St, South Branch Library, Agenda: Mandatory Green Stormwater Infrastructure, Cigarette Butts, Single-use plastics in food service, microfiber contamination in drinking water and wastewater, lead paint, 

http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Community_Environmental_Advisory_Commission/ 

Zoning Adjustments Board, Thur, June 14, 7:00 pm – 11:30 pm, 2134 MLK Jr. Way, City Council Chambers, Agenda: 

1140 Wildcat Canyon Road – construct 3-story single-family dwelling (3748 sq ft), 2-car garage (400 sq ft) average height 17’ on 8,804 sq ft vacant lot, hillside overlay, staff recommend approve 

2851 Buena Vista Way - demolish 2-story single-family dwelling and garage, construct 3-story single-family dwelling, hillside overlay, staff recommend approve 

2145 Grant – construct detached 2-story single-family dwelling (2434 sq ft) at rear of parcel with reduced building separation below district standard behind existing 2-story dwelling (1351 sq ft) staff recommend approve 

1110 University – project preview, demolish existing building, construct 5-story, 55’ mixed use with 36 units (12 BMR) advisory comments 

2633 Marin Ave – Construct new ADU above 1-story, 2-car garage, max height 20’7” allow shrubs that exceed 6’ height, hot tub within rear yard setback on hillside lot, direct staff to prepare conditions and findings 

http://www.cityofberkeley.info/zoningadjustmentsboard/ 

East Bay Community Energy, Thurs, June 14, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm, 2939 Ellis St, South Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: Community Choice Energy starts serving commercial customers in June, residential customers this fall. Sponsored by the Ecology Center, please RSVP (light refreshments) 

http://www.sunflower-alliance.org/east-bay-community-energy-comes-home-june-14/ 

Friday, June 15, 2018 

City Council Closed Session, Fri, June 15, 1:00 pm, 2180 Milvia, 1st Floor Agenda: Conference with Labor Negotiators, organizations Berkeley Firefighters 1227, Firefighters Association, Berkeley Chief Fire Officiers Association, Berkeley Police Association, SEIU, Local 1021 Maintenance and Clerical Chapters, 

https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/City_Council/City_Council__Agenda_Index.aspx­ 

UNITING AGAINST HATE: A Conversation with Christian Picciolini Combating Hate in the East Bay, Fri, June 15, 5:00 pm, 2050 Center St, Berkeley City College, Cost $12 https://www.eventbrite.com/e/uniting-against-hate-a-conversation-with-christian-picciolini-tickets-46157561509 

Saturday, June 16, 2018 and Sunday, June 17, 2018 

No City meetings or events found 

_______________________________ 

 

Indivisible Berkeley phone banking for Nevada June 17 primary and list of actions you can do from home, https://www.indivisibleberkeley.org/actions 

 

Poor Peoples Campaign – A National Call for Moral Revival starts Monday with six weekly themes, Week five June 10-16, Everybody’s Got the Right To Live: Education, Living Wages, Jobs, Income, Housing 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/ 


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/