The Week

Traffic Circle Design Specifications from Bicycle Plan
Traffic Circle Design Specifications from Bicycle Plan


Flash: Police Arrest about 20 in Political Clash

Craig Lazzeretti (BCN)
Sunday August 05, 2018 - 07:11:00 PM

Berkeley police have made at least 17 arrests today as protesters clash around Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park. -more-

Taking a Break This Week

Becky O'Malley
Saturday August 04, 2018 - 11:18:00 AM

We are taking a break this week, along with some of our regulars. Wi-Fi permitting, I'll try to post what I can whenever I can without starting a whole new issue this week. -more-


Jack Bragen
Saturday August 04, 2018 - 07:32:00 PM

The ability to feel emotions, both happy ones and painful ones, is a sign of health. While someone may suffer from mania, psychosis, depression, and so on, the ability to feel emotions that are considered normal, and not just symptoms, could mean that we are healthy beings who suffer from a brain disorder. -more-

Berkeley Activist's Calendar, August 5-August 12

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Saturday August 04, 2018 - 11:09:00 AM

Worth Noting:

White supremacists announced plans to rally in downtown Berkeley on Sunday, August 5. There is a broadly sponsored counter rally Sweep Out the Fascists: A Festival of Resilience. 3 links for more information are given below.

August 10 is the deadline for submitting ballot initiatives and the watch is on as to whether Mayor Arreguin will call the special Council meeting this week to vote on the Police Commission Charter amendment. The final version co-authored by Arreguin was built on endless hours of community work.

Wednesday evening Traffic Circles are on the Parks and Waterfront Commission agenda. -more-

Update on Traffic Circle Clear Cutting: A Brief Reprieve, Continued Uncertainty

Steven Finacom
Wednesday August 01, 2018 - 11:21:00 PM

Last week, as earlier reported, the City of Berkeley abruptly announced new “policies” for traffic circles in Berkeley, including a City takeover of all maintenance from volunteers and cutting of all trees in the circles.

The announcement came in the form of a brief and bland directive from the Assistant Director of Public Works that was emailed to some people but didn’t directly go to many of the people who have been maintaining the traffic circles for years or decades. (In my neighborhood I checked with five people who maintain different circles. None of them received the email from the City, and neither did the longtime neighborhood association.)

On Tuesday July 31 many people, including children, came to the City Council meeting on short notice to protest. The Council and City staff, earlier deluged with calls and emails objecting to the new directive, drew back a little bit, promising that there would be consultation with neighborhoods before cutting. -more-

Removal of Trees From Traffic Circles

Blane Beckwith
Wednesday August 01, 2018 - 11:27:00 PM

I have been following this debate and one thing that bothers me is the lack of mention of people with disabilities who use wheelchairs. We are adversely affected by traffic circles and the overgrowth of vegetation that is allowed in them. We are in danger of being hit by cars when crossing these intersections with overgrown traffic circles.

As a wheelchair user, traffic circles scare the hell out of me. The primary reason for this fright is because the traffic circle renders me practically invisible, especially since many of them are overgrown with vegetation that is far too high. -more-

The History and Value of Volunteer Gardening in Berkeley's Traffic Circles

Nancy Carleton
Tuesday July 31, 2018 - 10:02:00 AM

Honorable Mayor and City Councilmembers:

I'm shocked and outraged to learn of the message received by neighbors living in the Le Conte neighborhood from Andrew Borzyna, Deputy Director of Public Works, announcing "the removal of any and all trees in traffic circles along with other vegetation that does not meet the required standards." The communication also apparently states that the city will "take over maintenance" and ban volunteers who have spent years caring for the traffic circles, often fundraising for the original and replacement landscaping over the past two decades. Existing mature landscaping would, under this draconian plan, presumably be removed to be replaced with bland and generic urban landscaping, destroying the community efforts of many years and stealing many of the much-loved trees and unique plantings that neighborhood residents have nurtured as part of ongoing efforts to beautify the city where we live. What a waste of our precious parks funding, which should be going to planting more trees, not cutting them down! -more-

Circle Gardens of LeConte (& BERKELEY)

Karl Reeh, LeConte Neighborhood Association
Tuesday July 31, 2018 - 10:25:00 AM

The first traffic-calming circles in Berkeley were requested by the LeConte Neighborhood Association in the mid to late 1990s. The main goals were beautification and traffic mitigation on Ellsworth Street. It was our district’s widest street and had NO street trees. After working closely with Traffic and Fire, we designed a circle which allowed the maximum width that the Fire Department would approve with an interior size of 17 feet. A three-foot “collar” of paving blocks added width without further driving restrictions. -more-

Removal of Trees from Traffic Circles

Rob Wrenn
Monday July 30, 2018 - 11:05:00 AM

Dear Mayor Arreguin and members of the Berkeley City Council,

I was shocked to learn that city staff, with little notice and no public discussion, are planning to remove all trees from the city’s traffic circles and take over maintenance of the circles.

I ask that the Council take action to put a halt to this rash, ill-considered and draconian plan and instead undertake a careful review and evaluation of traffic circles with an eye to setting reasonable standards for their maintenance. Neighbors of the circles should continue to play a role in their maintenance, wherever there are neighbors willing to do so.

Any plan for traffic circles should first be referred to and reviewed by the Transportation Commission, which advises the Council on traffic calming policies. To evaluate the impact of traffic circles, collision data should be collected and analyzed. I have seen no evidence that the city staff’s plan to remove trees is based on any data. Individual anecdotes about accidents should not be the basis for staff action, which should instead be based on comprehensive data and analysis. -more-

Ron Dellums Has Died at 82

Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Monday July 30, 2018 - 02:09:00 PM

National, state and Bay Area leaders are paying tribute to former Congressman, Oakland Mayor, Berkeley Councilmember and lobbyist Ron Dellums, who has died at the age of 82.

Dellums was elected to the House of Representatives in 1970 and served for 27 years before retiring on Feb. 6, 1998, during the middle of his last term. -more-

Upward Migration

Jagjit Singh
Monday July 30, 2018 - 02:06:00 PM

The court-imposed deadline of reuniting all migrant children with their parents has passed with 711 children remaining separated. More than 400 parents of these children have already been deported. It’s hard to imagine a more sadistic policy separating extremely vulnerable children from their parents. I wonder how Republicans will explain their silence in the wake of these grotesque lapses of morality and basic decency to their children and grandchildren. -more-

Man Jailed for Stabbing at Berkeley Park

Sam Richards (BCN)
Monday July 30, 2018 - 11:45:00 AM

A 19-year-old man was hospitalized Sunday night with stab wounds to the torso and a 22-year-old man is in Santa Rita Jail in Dublin following a fight at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park on Sunday, Berkeley police said. -more-

Berkeley Woman Found Dead at Dublin BART Shortly After Release from Santa Rita Jail

Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Monday July 30, 2018 - 03:22:00 PM

A woman who was found dead at the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station on Saturday morning shortly after she was released from Santa Rita Jail was identified by the Alameda County coroner's bureau today as 26-year-old Jessica St. Louis of Berkeley -more-

Fantasy Studios in Berkeley Will Close September 15

Sam Richards (BCN)
Monday July 30, 2018 - 11:49:00 AM

Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, perhaps best known as where the El Cerrito band Creedence Clearwater Revival made music in the early 1970s, is set to close in September. -more-

Want a "Green" City? First, Let's Cut Down the Trees and Destroy Plantings...

Steven Finacom
Saturday July 28, 2018 - 01:17:00 PM

The City of Berkeley's Public Works Department has released a sudden edict stating that all trees in traffic circles in Berkeley will be cut down, the circles will be denuded of most existing plantings, and the City will "take over maintenance", banning the volunteers who have maintained many of the circle plantings at their own expense for years or decades. The only plants allowed will be from a very short list prepared years ago by CalTrans for freeways.

Apparently the tree cutting will happen "within the month". Neighbors are already organizing to stop this, save the mature trees in several of the circles (including California buckeyes and Coastal Live Oaks) and get the policy revised to something more sensible, that will also keep the volunteer component and not unnecessarily add tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to the City's maintenance budget.

Check back here for more details on Sunday or Monday. We'll have a more complete report. A key moment will be at the Council meeting on Tuesday, July 31. -more-

Shopping While Black: Still Dangerous

Carole Davis Kennerly, MSW/LCSW, Vice Mayor, Berkeley, Ca. (retired)
Saturday July 28, 2018 - 11:30:00 AM

A story in the newsletter NewsOne entitled "This Too?! Police Called on Black family for Trying on Clothes in the Store" rang a bell with me. Reportedly, this incident happened in the Bay Area. Something similar happened to me in downtown Berkeley at the large department store called Hinks. That was in the late 1960's. I had only recently moved to Berkeley and did not yet know the unwritten color codes AKA Jim Crow laws in Berkeley. While perusing women's hats, a firm voice from a determined Hinks employee sternly advised me that I could not try on a hat. I could purchase a hat but if I did try one on I would be forced to purchase it. The clear implication was if I violated the code, the police would be called. The Hinks employee stood close to me, kept her eye on me to make sure I adhered to the "Color Code". -more-

Janet Power Bonaparte

​ Robert E.L. Bonaparte
Wednesday August 01, 2018 - 11:22:00 AM

Janet Power Bonaparte, age 91, died peacefully surrounded by family on July 22, 2018, at her home on Lummi Island, Washington following a recent diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia. -more-

Remembering Ron Dellums

Carole Davis Kennerly, MSW/LCSW, Vice Mayor, Berkeley, Ca. (retired)
Tuesday July 31, 2018 - 04:10:00 PM

Ron Dellums was a force to be reckoned with. He was always engaged with, listening to and heard the people. And, as a leader always willing to help form consensus. Highlights over the span of his life and career indicates his involvement with the community he loved and served. He held a masters degree in social work, Howard University School of Social Work lecturer, Berkeley city Council-member, Oakland Mayor, member of Congress and lobbyist. Dellums was the first African American elected to Congress from Northern California. He served 13 terms as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1971 to 1998. He was the second Black elected to the Berkeley City Council in 1967. After my historic election as Berkeley's first African American woman elected to the City Council in 1975, Congressman Dellums was very helpful in my orientation and learning the "ropes". He understood what it meant to be the "first" as an elected official. He reached out to me which I will always appreciate. The Dellums staff arranged and Mr. Dellums personally conducted my Washington DC political orientation tour as a locally elected official. During my political career, I was able to put to good use the persons and information to which I was introduced. The Dellums local staff and volunteers were always supportive and helpful to me as Council member and Vice Mayor. Ron Dellums was fearless, committed, always speaking truth to power. May he rest in peace; his legacy will live on. My condolences to the Dellums family, his loved ones and friends. -more-

Ron Dellums, My Friend and Mentor

Congresswoman Barbara Lee
Tuesday July 31, 2018 - 04:15:00 PM

I was lucky to call Congressman Ron Dellums not just my predecessor, but also my mentor and dear friend. Today, I share my deepest condolences with his family and remember the impactful legacy he left behind. -more-

On the Passing of Former Oakland Mayor and Congressman Ron Dellums

Assemblymember Tony Thurmond
Tuesday July 31, 2018 - 04:13:00 PM

"It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of former Oakland Mayor and U.S. Congressman Ron Dellums. I am grateful to have had an opportunity to learn from him and discuss our shared experiences as social workers before entering politics. He was a trailblazer who committed his life to peace as well as economic and social justice. His renowned strength and advocacy for disadvantaged communities inspired me and other African-American politicians to run for office. -more-

Statement on Ron Dellums's Passing

Jovanka Beckles,Richmond City Coumcil
Tuesday July 31, 2018 - 04:11:00 PM

We mourn the passing of brother Ron Dellums, a pioneer in African American progressive representation for the East Bay, a civil rights leader for the nation, a statesman in opposing apartheid, a leader in the Democratic Socialists of America. Starting as a Berkeley City Councilman, he rose to eloquent representation of all Americans and devotedly served Oakland and the East Bay. -more-

New: A Critique and Evaluation of the CPE Police Report, Part 3

Steve Martinot
Monday July 23, 2018 - 12:09:00 PM

In evaluating this report on Berkeley Police racial profiling, we have examined in Part 1 some of the failures of inclusion in the data that would have produced a clearer picture, and in Part 2, some of the implications of the actual racial disparities in the practices of the BPD. Not only were those disparities gross, but they raised certain questions about the “recognition factors” with respect to drivers that the police use which have resulted, whether intentionally or not, in significant differences in which racial groups get attention in traffic stops. Part 1 is to be found here . Part 2 is to be found here.


On black people being singled out

There is another statistic given in the report that suggests a different view of race itself, and in which this “recognition factor” lurks.

The CPE report has been successful in providing evidence that there is significant racial bias and inequity in police practices and behavior. The equality of stops across three populations of vastly different sizes (approximately 13,500 of each) testifies to a huge disparaty in police practices. If, as the CPE researchers say, Berkeley PD has a much better record than most other cities they have studied, it implies that those other cities must have fallen on truly apartheid conditions. The problem that emerges in terms of this "equality" of three groups of traffic stops is how the police are able to pick out black people for traffic stops at a rate far beyond the black fraction of the population. We have concluded that there is a search involved, but it must also be associated with a focused recognition factor. -more-

Berkeley Shooting Injures One

Bay City News
Sunday July 22, 2018 - 10:43:00 AM

At least one person was injured following a shooting in Berkeley early this morning, according to police. -more-



Berkeley Councilmembers Cave on Urban Shield after SWAT Team Threats

Becky O'Malley
Saturday July 28, 2018 - 11:50:00 AM

Watching Monday’s special meeting of the Berkeley City Council was dispiriting, to say the least. All I could think, seeing the tortured rationale that the majority of councilmembers used to justify caving in to the Berkeley Police Department’s embarrassing display of blatant blackmail, was “What chumps!”.

For a good conventional news report of what went down on Monday, start by reading this accurate account from the East Bay Times:

Berkeley to stay in controversial Urban Shield, By Ali Tadayon

The reporter captured the essential points of what I saw played out at excruciating length by waffling councilmembers pretending they weren’t being hijacked.

Urban Shield is a glorified trade show, folks, the expensive high-tech version of those notorious gun shows so deplored by Berkeleyans of almost all stripes. -more-

Who's This "We", White Woman?

Becky O'Malley
Monday July 23, 2018 - 12:21:00 PM

Well, the political season has started in earnest now. An outraged citizen just forwarded to me a letter signed only “Buffy”. Here’s how it starts:

I’m incredibly proud to announce my endorsement of R*** K***for Berkeley’s City Council District 1. R** brings exactly the kind of progressive and practical leadership we need on City Council.”

Say what? Who’s this we, White Woman?

The fair Buffy is the very exemplar of chutzpah: a recent buyer of a $2 million house in Oakland’s Rockridge daring to tell us strong-minded Berkeleyans what “we need” on our own city council.

As the lynch-pin of the Stop Bernie campaign in the 2016 California Democratic primary, she has some nerve(and I say that as one of the minority of Berkeleyans who did vote for Clinton.)

We don’t do things that way around here.

Just this week, most of the several credible candidates for the AD15 State Legislature seat that Buffy's been trying to buy her way into announced their support for her opponent, Richmond Councilmember Jovanka Beckles: -more-

The Editor's Back Fence

Updated: Why is the City of Berkeley Going After Our Traffic Cirles?

Becky O'Malley
Tuesday July 31, 2018 - 10:45:00 AM

What's up with the city plan to destroy the volunteer gardens in the traffic circles, about which the Planet has received a lot of mail? Incumbent Councilmember Lori Droste told one inquiring resident: "...we had a closed session on this particular issue last week. We have been advised by our legal counsel that if any injuries occur at traffic circles, the City is liable. For that reason, the City has decided to take responsibility for maintenance in the circles."

This new policy recommendation from city staff is rumored to have been based on a judgment against the City of Berkeley in a 2016 lawsuit by a pedestrian who was hit by a car in an intersection with a traffic circle. However sources close to the decision tell me that Ms. Droste's characterization of the judgment is inaccurate. The suit did not result in any requirement for all traffic circles. It appears that the new plan results from staff's overactive risk aversion reflexes, an excessive abundance of caution to solve a problem which doesn't need such an extreme solution.

There's no reason for them to panic. Simple data-driven safety standards for design of circles and occasional inspection should be more than enough to prevent future liability.


The editor’s brief piece on the traffic circles seems to assume a “judgement” has been rendered in the suit against the city (and the driver of the car that hit a pedestrian), but that’s not the case. The city has decided to settle the case for north of 2 million bucks. But on the substance I agree with the editor 100%: the city’s hasty decision to cut down all the trees is ridiculous. If the city’s lawyers told Lori Droste that any accident near a traffic circle would be the city’s fault, the city needs new lawyers. But even the inexperienced crew in the City Atty’s office can’t be that stupid. Lori Droste must be misreporting what they said.

--Ernest Machen -more-

Public Comment

Circles, Trees, and Responding Without Thinking

Kelly Hammargren
Saturday July 28, 2018 - 01:14:00 PM

Once again the City of Berkeley is acting in a knee jerk response, in the absence of public input, neighborhood engagement and thoughtful planning. A letter from Andrew Brozyna, Deputy, Public Works Department (510-981-6496) informs “Neighborhood Representative” that trees in circles will be removed, vegetation lowered to 2 1/2 feet and that any sign will be no higher than 3 1/2 feet. Just for reference the stop sign at my nearest corner is 7 feet 5 inches to “ALL WAY” and 10 feet to the top of “STOP.” -more-

Notes from West Virginia; How Many Homeless People Under the Overpass Does It Take to Change a Strategy

Carol Denney
,in WV
Friday July 27, 2018 - 03:55:00 PM

After a week spent playing music with and meeting people from all over the world with a unified voice about the need to work together in this next election I woke up to an email from a respected friend with an invitation to join a third party’s effort to, in my view, keep Trump in office by weakening the Democratic Party with another third party challenge. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. How many homeless people under the overpass does it take to change a strategy.

If the Nader numbers in Florida in 2000 and the nearly perfect 50-50 split in 2016 didn't educate people about the perils of a third party it's clear that even having the planet itself at stake isn't going to matter in the next election to the Green party or the others contacting me. I'm someone who used to be in the Green party until it became clear that the leadership was in complete denial about the math. I’ve been in several parties all of which seemed more concerned about their own purity and identity - and their organization’s longevity - than policy.

I’m passionate about policy. When Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin decides that accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, should be exempt from rent control, I don’t need a political party to slam his desk and tell him he’s an idiot. I can do it myself, and encourage my friends to do the same. And I need a political party in Washington that can get in the game. The Green Party is like a bunch of bridge players at a gun show.

We need every last voter to flip this Congress. California could contribute a lot more to reducing the Republican stronghold by simply registering voters and getting them to vote. If even the registered voters would vote that would be enough to flip several districts. Many other states don't have this kind of margin. But we do, if we can get our heads out of our asses. -more-

Agent Orange threatens Iran with all CAPS

Jagjit Singh
Saturday July 28, 2018 - 10:44:00 PM

Iranians must be shaking in their “chappels” after being threatened by “tough guy” Trump. It is the latest distraction and histrionic threats that the world has become all too familiar following the “treasonous” debacle in Helsinki. The wise diplomats in the state department have been sidelined by the broadside Tweets of a deeply insecure POTUS. -more-

Trump’s Trade Wars

Tejinder Uberoi
Saturday July 28, 2018 - 10:43:00 PM

Iowa farmers must be suffering from buyer’s remorse. Trump’s initial foray into launching a trade war has been a big flop. The “man who can do no wrong” rushed to Iowa with a promised bailout of $12 billion to provide emergency relief to farmers caught in the trade crossfire, a problem that he created. If he was so sure of the wisdom of his trade policies he should have persuaded farmers to be patient not bail them out with taxpayer money. -more-

New: Officers Should Defer to City Council

Thomas Lord
Sunday July 22, 2018 - 12:13:00 PM

Where's my Berkeley cop? The majority of the Subcommittee on NCRIC and Urban Shield has gone to great lengths to craft a report and recommendation that respects the officers of the Berkeley Police Department. Contrary to some accounts, the subcommittee has charted a course that takes very seriously the training needs of the department, including the need to participate in Urban Shield tactical scenario training. Berkeley police officers must now defer to City Council's role in the political reform of Urban Shield. -more-

A Treasonous Performance

Bruce Joffe
Sunday July 22, 2018 - 11:29:00 AM

The President of the United States capitulated beside the Russian president when asked what he said to Putin about Russian interference in our elections. Trump said he believed Putin's denials and blathered irrelevantly on and on about Hillary's email server. He dismissed the deep and detailed evidence compiled by our security agencies - NSA, CIA, FBI - and by the Special Council's investigation, calling them "witch hunts," deferring instead to Putin. -more-

Israel sinks into an apartheid state

Jagjit Singh
Monday July 23, 2018 - 12:18:00 PM

The sham that Israel is a democracy has once again been exposed with the announcement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel that “his” country’s existence as the “nation-state of the Jewish people.” -more-

Excerpts from stories in Thursday, July 19, 2018 Daily Californian

Wanda Warkentin
Sunday July 22, 2018 - 10:47:00 AM

Former art museum to be turned into scientific research hub

"The Woo Hon Fai Hall building, previously home to the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, or BAMPFA" (2626 Bancroft Way), "is a city landmark that will be part of a new research center called the BioEnginuity Hub."

......"While the final designs for the building are in development, 40,000 square feet of wet laboratory -- where experiments involving highly dangerous substances can take place -- and office spaces will be available by the time of completion...."

8-story, 122-unit housing complex planned for Bancroft Way (2580 Bancroft Way)

"The planned development, which will be named 'The Standard', will replace several local businesses and will target students who wish to live near campus."

UC wins management contract for Los Alamos laboratory

"The Management and operating contract for Los Alamos National Laboratory was awarded to the UC Board of Regents, the Battelle Memorial Institute and the Texas A&M University Systen last month by the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration......"The UC will take a leading role in the management partnership among the three institutions, which will operate as Triad National Security, LLC or Triad, according to UC President Janet Napolitano"....We have been involved in the management of Los Alamos for 75 years and I am pleased to say that we will continue that involvement," Napolitano said at the Wednesday regents meeting." -more-

Overturning Roe v. Wade: The Prospects?

Harry Brill
Sunday July 22, 2018 - 10:44:00 AM

Will the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade? Of course the job of the prophet is far more difficult than the job of the historian. So until that decision is made it seems that the majority vote could go either way. For those who support the right of women to have abortions, there are reasons to be both hopeful and worried. Consider the 1973 Supreme Court decision, when the justices approved the right to abortion. Surprisingly, among the seven out of nine justices that voted in favor of abortion, five were Republican appointed justices. Moreover, four of these five justices were conservatives! They did so despite the strong opposition of the Catholic Church. -more-


THE PUBLIC EYE:Trump Supporters, Hiding in Plain Sight

Bob Burnett
Friday July 27, 2018 - 12:40:00 PM

In the wake of Donald Trump's disastrous July 16 meeting with Vladimir Putin, many Democrats thought, "At last Republicans will open their eyes and see Trump as a traitor and charlatan." But as the days passed, it became clear that Trump supporters weren't going to let a little thing -- such as collaboration with Russia -- dilute their adoration for the Donald. Republican inflexibility left Democrats scratching their heads, wondering what it will take to shake up the relationship between Trump and his base. The answer is hiding in plain sight. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: Fox News is here to entertain you, not to inform you

Ralph E. Stone
Friday July 27, 2018 - 01:00:00 PM

Fox News is not, and never has been, a legitimate news network. They began as a project by right-wing propagandist Rupert Murdoch and Republican media strategist Roger Ailes (1940 – 2017) to spread disinformation and promote GOP politicians. (Ailes, as you may remember, resigned in 2016 from Fox News amid allegations of sexual misconduct.) -more-


Conn Hallinan
Tuesday July 24, 2018 - 03:47:00 PM

The outcome of the July11-12 NATO meeting in Brussels got lost amid the media’s obsession with President Donald Trump’s bombast, but the “Summit Declaration” makes for sober reading. The media reported that the 28-page document “upgraded military readiness,” and was “harshly critical of Russia,” but there was not much detail beyond that. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Most Stress is Internally Generated

Jack Bragen
Friday July 27, 2018 - 03:48:00 PM

Excessive anxiety, excessive upset, or a "fight or flight" response, are all things generated by the human mind and body. And these create a great deal of biological stress. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE: Why Do Republicans Hate America?

Bob Burnett
Sunday July 22, 2018 - 11:09:00 AM

Most Americans were outraged by Donald Trump's performance at his July 16 press conference with Vladimir Putin. Trump's collaboration with Russia is the latest evidence that he's determined to ruin the United States of America. Why don't congressional Republicans stand up to him? Do they hate America, too?

After 545 days in the White House, Trump is emboldened to say and do, and Tweet, whatever he feels like. There's no evidence that anyone can restrain him -- certainly not his daughter, Ivanka, or his beleaguered Chief-of-Staff, John Kelley.

There's a plethora of arm-chair psychoanalysts with opinions about why Trump behaves like he does. However, we've travelled miles beyond the point of trying to understand why Trump acts out; whether it's because he is crazy or a Russian collaborator or obsessed with becoming the anti-Obama. What's most important is that Trump endangers the United States of America.

If the American people are going to stop him, we're going to need the assistance of Republicans. Are they going to help us or are they going to pretend that Trump's behavior is okay? When will Republican members of Congress stand up to Trump? -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Computers; Efficacious or Not?

Jack Bragen
Sunday July 22, 2018 - 10:52:00 AM

It is easy for someone with psychotic tendencies to be paranoid about their computer, because cyber-spying does sometimes exist, and because it is compelling to imagine someone spying on us. Years ago, I've met someone with mental illness whose paranoia was made worse by her computer. At the time, I was offering computer assistance in the homes of customers, as my small business. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: Trump’s twisted foreign policy

Ralph E. Stone
Sunday July 22, 2018 - 11:15:00 AM

By constantly belittling our European allies, recently undermining British Prime Minister Theresa May, threatening trade wars with them, Canada and China, undercutting NATO, failure to honor international agreements, Trump’s “America First” foreign policy is becoming an “America Alone” policy. -more-

Arts & Events

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, July 29 - August 5l

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Saturday July 28, 2018 - 10:19:00 AM

Worth Noting:

The number of City meetings is very light as summer vacations ensue.

Berkeley City Council did not finish this last Tuesday so instead of leaving on summer recess, they are meeting again this Tuesday July 31 at 6:00 pm. Only 12 items are listed on the agenda, but with several contentious items don’t expect an early finish. All items are listed below with the link. 6. Rent Ordinance and 7. Police Commission Charter Amendment are likely to bring the most discussion.

Political campaigns are starting with lots of opportunities to be involved. With a little travel or phone banking you can help unseat a Republican in one of the vulnerable Congressional Districts. There are many involved organizations. Here are three:

Indivisible Berkeley

Indivisible East Bay

Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club

When it comes to elections think about this: only 62.64% of eligible Alameda County voters actually voted in 2016. That is only slightly better than the national average of 60.2%. Since such a large number of eligible voters were not registered or if registered didn’t vote, Trump in final tally was elected by 27.26% of eligible voters. -more-

Mozart’s Rarely Seen IL RE PASTORE A Hit at Merola Opera

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Sunday July 22, 2018 - 11:27:00 AM

Mozart wrote Il Re Pastore/The Shepherd King in 1775, shortly after Lucio Silla (1773) and La Finta Giardiniera (1775). Set to a late libretto by the famed Metastasio, Il Re Pastore is officially an opera seria, though Mozart termed it a drama per musica. However, it is so full of the 19 year-old Mozart’s wit and ebullience that it hardly sounds, or plays, like an opera seria. This is especially true in the lively, highly diverting production of Il Re Pastore given by the company of young musicians of Merola Opera, who opened this show on Thursday evening, July 19, at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. A second performance of this opera is set for 2:00 pm Saturday, July 21, at the same venue. -more-

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, July 22-29

Kelly Hammargren
Saturday July 21, 2018 - 10:05:00 AM

Worth Noting:

City Council is scheduled for two days of public meetings/hearings before taking off for summer recess on Wednesday, July 25. Monday is Agreements with other Law Enforcement Agencies or Private Security Organizations, NCRIC (Northern California Regional Intelligence Center) and Urban Shield. Meeting starts at 4:00 pm at City Hall, Tuesday the regular Council meeting starts at 6:00 pm and promises to end late. Bring rations (food and water)

Wednesday – Body Worn Cameras are on the Police Review Commission agenda. The body worn cameras were purchased months ago and still not implemented – this might be interesting.

Election campaigns are heating up, while city meetings are slowing down. If you are not involved in the local campaigns, look to helping in one of the vulnerable Republican Congressional Districts. You can connect through:

Indivisible Berkeley

Indivisible East Bay

Wellston Democratic Renewal Club

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Campaign Kickoffs, Local and State Ballot Measures, Meeting open to all, BTU/BPA/BCA, Sun, July 22, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm, 1939 Addison, East Bay Media Center,

Monday, July 23, 2018

Berkeley City Council, Mon, July 23, 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm, 2134 MLK Jr Way, City Council Chambers, Agenda: 1. Approval agreements with other Law Enforcement Agencies, 2. a. Adopt Subcommittee recommendations on NCRIC and Urban Shield (Arreguin, Harrison, Davila), 2 b. Urban Shield – continue 2018 and work with Alameda Co. Supervisors to reconstitute focus 2019 (Wengraf).

Children, Youth and Recreation Commission – Special Meeting, Mon, July 23, 7:00 pm, 2800 Park St, Frances Albrier Community Center at San Pablo Park, Agenda: 2020 Vision Supplemental Questions for Community Agency Grant RFP

Civic Arts Commission – Arts Education Subcommittee, Mon, July 23, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm, 2180 Milvia, Cypress Room 1st Floor, Agenda: education work plan

Homeless Commission – Site Visit Subcommittee, 6:30 pm, 2000 University, Au Coquelet

Zero Waste Commission, Mon, July 23, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, 1901 Hearst Ave, North Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: Single Use Foodware and Litter Reduction, plastics #1-#7 recycling,

Tax the Rich rally – CANCELLED - please attend 4:00 pm Urban Shield NCRIC meeting, Mon, July 23, at City Hall -more-