The Week



Suspect Arrested in Berkeley April Stabbing Case

Bay City News
Wednesday July 04, 2018 - 07:59:00 PM

Berkeley police last week arrested a 19-year-old man suspected of stabbing someone in April while he was visiting the police station to recover a car that had been towed in an unrelated matter.

Joshua Gertz, of Berkeley, allegedly stabbed a 20-year-old man in the 1700 block of McGee Avenue just before 7:30 p.m. on April 3. -more-

Smoke Advisory for Bay Area

Keith Burbank (BCN)
Sunday July 01, 2018 - 04:26:00 PM

A smoke advisory has been issued for today for the San Francisco Bay Area because of smoke coming from the County Fire in Yolo County, officials with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District said.

Air district officials suggest that area residents avoid outdoor physical activity and keep children inside if it's smoky outside.

Keep windows and doors closed unless it's really hot out. If it's very hot and the home has no air conditioning, seek alternative shelter where it's cool.

Home and car air conditioners should be run on recirculate.

Keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean.

Anyone with asthma or lung disease is urged to follow their doctor's directions about taking medicine and following an asthma management plan.

People are urged to call their doctor if their symptoms get worse.

Anyone with heart or lung disease, older adults and people with children are urged to talk with their doctor about whether to leave the area.

Berkeley residents on social media have reported ash from the fires falling at their homes. -more-

Activists to Visit Refugee Detention Facilities Today

Janis Mara (BCN)
Sunday July 01, 2018 - 04:28:00 PM

Activists from various advocacy groups will visit Bay Area youth refugee detention facilities this afternoon to bring stuffed animals, books and blankets and hold a candlelight vigil, organizers said.

A loose coalition of activists were to meet at the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists in Berkeley at noon and a caravan was scheduled to depart at 1 p.m., according to Cynthia Papermaster, a coordinator with the Golden Gate chapter of Code Pink Women for Peace.

Concerned members of the public are welcome to show up as well, Papermaster said.

"We want the kids to know that we care and we are there," Papermaster said. "It's centered on the children. We are bringing stuffed animals, blankets and Spanish language children's' books."

Papermaster said the group had not yet decided which location they will visit. One of the possibilities is Southwest Key, a facility in Pleasant Hill. There are roughly two dozen children being held at Southwest Key, a shelter for immigrant youth in Pleasant Hill, and two of them are adolescent girls who were separated from their parents as a result of the Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy. -more-



Berkeley's Place in "the urban crisis of affluence"

Becky O'Malley
Sunday July 01, 2018 - 03:22:00 PM

San Francisco just elected a new mayor after a hotly contested race. I asked a friend who lives there what difference she thought London Breed would make.

“The candidates were all alike, just a few tiny differences,” she said. “But meanwhile, they’re locking up babies in Texas!”

She has a point. All the news, all day every day, is so appalling that it’s hard to get worked up about local controversies. Yesterday, locking up babies and the prospect of Alt-Right Supremes forever. . Today, a newsroom massacre. Tomorrow, what fresh hell will our nation’s rulers produce?

Saturday afternoon, I joined some thousands of Berkeley friends at an emphatic rally denouncing the baby-snatchers. Sometimes I feel that much of my adult social life has been seeing old friends at demonstrations, always a pleasure, but ultimately not preventing things from going from bad to much worse over time.

Against the backdrop of national catastrophe, thinking about local land use problems can seem almost recreational, kind of like watching the World Cup when you don’t really know the rules for futbol.

Meanwhile, however, the urban future is being dramatically changed, and not for the better. Our livable cities are being destroyed by moneyed interests while we’re occupied with the Big Picture.

This will be a long piece incorporating big quotes, but please be patient and read it all. At least the end is inspiring. -more-

Public Comment

Abuse of Migrant Children

Jagjit Singh
Sunday July 01, 2018 - 04:38:00 PM

At the Shiloh Detention Center children are over-medicated turning them into zombies. They are forced to line up to receive their daily dose of pills. Those who refuse are verbally and physically abused. In addition to the extreme drowsiness, the children experience other major side effects includes extreme weight gain as much as 40 to 50 pounds, in a few months. -more-

Maxine Trumps T-Rump!

H. Scott Prosterman
Sunday July 01, 2018 - 04:32:00 PM

Wow, the terms and boundaries of “civility” have been battered and bruised to a pulp. But don’t blame Maxine Waters. One might even argue that her directive to make t-Rump officials not feel welcome in public is overdue . . . like since the early 90’s when Newt Gingrich dispensed with common decorum on the House floor, weaponized Congressional investigations, and empowered Kenneth Starr to make a national issue over an Arkansas land deal. Wait a minute; that was about blow jobs in the White House, a grave matter of national security. And don’t forget Kenneth Starr became president and chancellor of Baylor University, where one of the ugliest rape scandals on any college campus occurred under his watch. -more-

Trump: A Twisted Child

Alfred Waddell, Marstons Mills MA
Sunday July 01, 2018 - 09:18:00 PM

If the polls are right that 90% of the Republicans are still supporting Trump even though his administration is responsible for separating innocent children from their immigrant parents at our borders, something has gone terribly wrong with a large part of the conscience of America. Every human being came from a mother and a father; we all bleed and breathe alike no matter where we came from or how much money or material things we acquired in life. In my opinion, and from observing the behavior of President Trump, he strikes me as being a selfish spoiled 72 year old man who never evolved from a childhood bully. He is like a twisted, lying, crazy unruly child in a grown-up 72 year old body. We can’t expect him to have empathy or sympathy for other human beings; it is not in his DNA. And I suspect many of his die-hard followers share the same traits. -more-


THE PUBLIC EYE: Telling the Truth About Immigration

Bob Burnett
Sunday July 01, 2018 - 04:06:00 PM

Donald Trump plans to make immigration and "border security" the dominant themes in the 2018 midterm election. On June 24th, Trump tweeted: "We need strength and security at the Border!... We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country. When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, [send] them back." To respond effectively, Democrats need to tell the truth about immigration; they need to respond to 10 questions.

(1) Why do immigrants want to come to the United States? Trump and his surrogates spin a consistent dark narrative: "Uncontrolled immigration... illegal immigrants being arrested for the most heinous crimes imaginable... Low-wage foreign workers being brought in to take your place at less pay."

The reality is more complicated. Most of the recent immigrants coming across the southern border are fleeing the "Northern Triangle" of Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) because their lives are in danger; they're seeking asylum in the United States. There's no compelling evidence that these immigrants are criminals (

(2) How many are crossing the southern border? Trump routinely calls the influx of immigrants "a crisis" and implies it's a deluge. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: The Case for Public Incivility

Ralph E. Stone
Sunday July 01, 2018 - 04:09:00 PM

On June 20, 2018, Homeland Security Secretary Kirsjen Nielson was heckled about the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy by about a dozen hecklers at the MXDC Cocina Mexicana in Washington, D.C. As she entered the restaurant, they shouted, “If kids don’t eat in peace, you don’t eat in peace.” While she was eating, they heckled, "You’re eating a Mexican dinner as you’re deporting tens of thousands of people separated from their parents," and chanted "No borders, no walls, sanctuary for all.” Nielson left the restaurant shortly thereafter. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Brain Overload Should be Avoided

Jack Bragen
Sunday July 01, 2018 - 04:16:00 PM

It seems to me that my brain has various ways of signaling me ("me" in this case means my consciousness) when I am pushing it too hard. In some instances, I might have an inexplicable cough unrelated to either congestion or postnasal drip. In other instances, I might have coordination problems. There are also some other physical cues that my brain gives me, to tell me it has had enough, and it is time to rest. There have been a couple of instances in which I've fallen asleep while in the middle of writing. -more-

Arts & Events

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar

Kelly Hammargren
Sunday July 01, 2018 - 04:20:00 PM

Worth Noting:

With the Fourth of July in the middle of the week on Wednesday, most of the City meetings are either postponed, cancelled or rescheduled leaving a very light week. There are only two more regular City Council meetings before the summer recess (July 25 – September 10). The July 10 City Council agenda is available for review and comments. Any/all City ballot initiatives must be completed before summer recess to be on the November ballot.

Agenda for July 10 City Council meeting: Email comments to Consent items, 11. Bike Station Agreement with BART City to pay $130,000 in new Center St. Garage, 19. Commercial Cannabis Retail Nurseries, 20. Permit Process for Scooter Sharing Companies on Public Streets, 21. Revisions to Short Term Rental Ordinance, 26. Request for Comprehensive Annual Report on Homeless Services (past reports in packet well worth reading), Action items, 24. ZAB appeal 840 Page Street, 28. Unlawful Nuisance Ordinance Residential Buildings vacant > 120 days and meeting 2 or more specified conditions 29. a.&b. Immediate Priorities for Fire Safety and Overall Disaster Preparedness, 30. Affordable Housing Bond Nov. Ballot Initiative, 31. Ballot Initiative Rent Ordinance, 31. Berkeley Waterfront Parking Restrictions, 32. a.&b. Charter Amendment Police Commission, 34. Auto Sales in Commercial South Area, Urban Agriculture Ordinance, 35. ADU Ordinance Updates, 36. Standards for Views, 37. CEAC recommendations City-wide Green Development requirements apply to 50 units or more, LEED Silver, 38. Ballot Initiative Increase Transfer Tax to fund Homeless Services. -more-