Berkeley Campus Gun Scare Was False Alarm

Supriya Yelimeli (BCN)
Wednesday August 29, 2018 - 01:24:00 PM

A report of a person with a gun at University of California at Berkeley today was a private armored guard who was authorized to be on campus, police said. -more-

Public Comment

When Women Are The Main Breadwinners

Harry Brill
Saturday August 25, 2018 - 12:22:00 PM

Despite the gain in earnings that many women have made, obtaining equality is a long way off. The current wage gap of 80.5 percent of male earnings is still substantial. As a result, women who work full time year-round are losing on the average over $10,000 a year. Moreover, If working women were receiving equal pay with men, their poverty rate would be cut in half.

Yet as revealing as this summary statistic is, it also conceals very important, contrary data. In over a third of all husband and wife families the woman is the main and in many instances the sole breadwinner. The changes in family work patterns have been considerable since 1970, when in almost half of all families only the father was employed. Now. the male as the sole family provider is in the minority.

In the last few decades, an increasing number of women have been entering the labor market. Women, who comprised fewer than thirty percent of the workforce in 1950 ,now make up 47 percent. In fact, the Department of Labor predicts that women for the first time in history will soon constitute a majority of working people.

Many women have been successfully competing for jobs that were once held only by men. Women have been able to do so in part because an increasing number have been going to college. In fact, they have been exceeding the number of males who receive higher education degrees. -more-

Why Should BART Be Offered Zoning Power?

Zelda Bronstein
Saturday August 25, 2018 - 05:07:00 PM

In recent weeks, I’ve asked why Mayor Arreguín hasn’t vocally opposed Assembly Bill 2923, the state legislation that would remove zoning authority over BART stations in Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco counties from the host cities and give it to BART. On May 29, he voted with the council majority to oppose the bill and staunchly defended community say in land use. But his name was missing from the strong letter of opposition signed by ten other mayors and published on August 4 in the East Bay Times. He’s continued to remain silent, leaving Berkeleyans to speculate on the reasons for his reticence. -more-


Let's Take Back the Speaker Along with the House

Becky O'Malley
Tuesday August 28, 2018 - 11:53:00 AM

The only time I ever saw Nancy Pelosi in person was at a 2012 fundraiser for Ami Bera, the second time he ran for Congress in a Sacramento-area district which was at best on the edge. He’d lost a previous run, as I recall, but it was a close race and he was trying again, benefited by a re-drawn district.

This was not an event for the big-time donors, not held in a Pacific Heights mansion, but in a routine San Francisco restaurant with admission price about on a par with a ticket to a San Francisco Symphony concert. I went out of curiosity, wondering where the middle of the road, not my usual hangout, was going. Bera was of interest in particular because he’s a physician, and health care was and is a crucial need, not just a lefty’s dream.

Nancy Pelosi (then House Minority Leader) was a surprise guest, dropping in towards the end of the party to make a very brief speech before she worked the room on Bera’s behalf. When she got to my corner, for some reason I chose to ask her an arcane question about an obscure Ohio race that I’d been wondering about.

To my genuine amazement she gave me a detailed specific answer, with all the facts at her fingertips and cleverly analyzed to boot. She’s usually been depicted in the media as charming, shrewd and a terrific fundraiser, but smart as a whip on fine points of issues? Not often mentioned, but clearly her ace in the hole.

So what’s this cryto-campaign by some smart-ass young-uns who think saying they won’t vote for Pelosi to be Speaker of the House will help them get elected to Congress? Exactly what’s that all about?

Most of these wannabes are running as Republicans-lite in districts where Clinton did relatively well against Trump. One special election Democratic winner, Colin Lamb, even ran commercials showing himself with his guns, presumably angling for the NRA vote. Ugh. -more-


THE PUBLIC EYE:Elizabeth’s Big Idea

Bob Burnett
Saturday August 25, 2018 - 12:14:00 PM

As the United States approaches the critical November 6th midterm elections, Democratic candidates convey three themes: costs, wages, and corruption. While aspects of the corruption theme are readily apparent -- almost every week some Republican big wig is indicted for corruption, what has been lacking is a "big picture" proposal to address inequity. Now, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has proposed a sweeping reform of capitalism. -more-


Jack Bragen
Saturday August 25, 2018 - 12:01:00 PM

There are numerous things that society, people, and the mental health treatment systems expect from mentally ill people, and these expectations are often unreasonable.

When a person with a psychiatric disability is facing expectations from others that such person could not possibly fulfill, sometimes he or she experiences an overload, or a "does not compute" which can result in breaking down. Society is set up intentionally to make mentally ill people fail. That is the only conclusion I can draw, when I look at my entire history, which is riddled with me being sabotaged and attacked. Also, if I look at the outcome of so many other people with my problem, their lives almost always end in tragedy. This tragedy could be an early death, or it could mean being permanently incarcerated or institutionalized. Society and people are set up to prove that they were right about us. They then create circumstances that are unsolvable.

Many people may feel this way. What can you do in a situation that is clearly impossible to resolve? You must learn to accept the unacceptable. This idea did not come from me, it came from a spiritual teacher who was teaching a form of Buddhism. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT:Global warming is real and it could become irreversible

Ralph E. Stone
Saturday August 25, 2018 - 05:05:00 PM

Empirical evidence shows that global warming is real and is largely caused by man. This is not a theory; it is a fact. If someone tells you that this is not true, then they are lying or stupid or stand to make lots of money by ignoring it. By denying global warming, you have an excuse to do little or nothing about it. Global warming is no longer about science; it is now a political, economic, social debate. In other words, what do we do about global warming? -more-

SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces:

Gar Smith
Saturday August 25, 2018 - 07:56:00 PM

Roll Out the Barrels

Alarmed that pot-puffing might lead to a decline in suds-sucking, beer-brewer Heinekin has announced plans to purchase Petaluma's Lagunitas Brewery Company, a firm that produces non-alcoholic sparkling water infused with THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. (The brewery's "Hop Water" gives new meaning to the phrase "potable water." Remember, kids: It's important to remain HIGH-drated. Presumably these pot-water bottles will be labeled and thirsty customers will need to be carded before making a purchase.)

We're happy to report that the cafe at the Berkeley Bowl in West Berkeley is already a jump ahead of Heinekin. There were four specialty brews on tap at the coffee counter this week including Lavender Lemonade and "Cannabliss."

Lest there be any mistake, a nearby card touted the benefits of toking CBD (Cannabidiol) via a tasty beverage. According to the signage, CBD is an antidote for fatigue, pain, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, and nausea and it also "fights cancer, may treat seizures, lowers incidence of diabetes, and promotes cardiovascular health." -more-

Arts & Events

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Saturday August 25, 2018 - 12:19:00 PM

Worth Noting:

Boards, Commissions and Council are still on August recess with few City meetings.

The emergency Homeless Shelter which houses 95 people per night at 9th and University closes after August 31. No new location has been identified.

On Monday the Agenda Committee reviews the proposed agenda for the first City Council meeting after summer recess

On Tuesday there will be community meeting on safety and the recent shooting at San Pablo Park.

Future Events:

There are events and forums planned before the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) (September 12 – 14) http://globalclimateactionsummit.org. There is a march on Saturday, September 8 and a forum on Tuesday September 11 with a very impressive list of international presenters.

September 8 - Rise for Climate March (National Day of Action for Climate), 10 am San Francisco https://peoplesclimate.org/takeaction

September 11 - Women’s Assembly for Climate Justice 1:00 pm – 8:30 pm, local and international leaders, free and open to the public, wecaninternational.org/pages/sept2018,

The LeConte Neighborhood is postponing the meeting on Traffic Circles and Peoples Park until the end of September.


Wonderful Recordings of Lute Music

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Monday August 27, 2018 - 02:22:00 PM

During the 2018 Berkeley Early Music Festival & Exhibition in June, I took time to visit the Exhibition, where rare and unusual instruments were on display and available for musicians to try them out. While at the Exhibition, I was offered four compact discs of music for lute, all produced by Gamut Music. I was asked by the people from Gamut Music if I would review these discs. I replied that I’d be happy to review them but couldn’t promise when I’d have the time to do so. Well, now in the last days of August I am delighted to fulfill my promise. -more-

The 2018 Merola Grand Finale

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Sunday August 26, 2018 - 10:02:00 AM

Each year, the Merola Opera Program takes in a new class of young singers. In some years, the last two, for example, there is a bumper crop, and the Grand Finale concert at summer’s end features one standout performance after another. This year that is not exactly the case. At the Saturday, August 18 concert at War Memorial Opera House, the overall level of technical artistry on display was high, but the truly incendiary, standout performances were few and far between. This year’s Grand Finale program got under way with Dean Williamson conducting the San Francisco Opera Orchestra in a somewhat subdued rendition of the Overture to Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri. Director Marcus Shields employed a unit stage set throughout which consisted of a semicircle of what looked like boxes in an opera house, though two staircases led from ground level to the first tier of three. -more-

Back Stories



Let's Take Back the Speaker Along with the House 08-28-2018

Public Comment

When Women Are The Main Breadwinners Harry Brill 08-25-2018

Why Should BART Be Offered Zoning Power? Zelda Bronstein 08-25-2018


Berkeley Campus Gun Scare Was False Alarm Supriya Yelimeli (BCN) 08-29-2018


THE PUBLIC EYE:Elizabeth’s Big Idea Bob Burnett 08-25-2018

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Acceptance Jack Bragen 08-25-2018

ECLECTIC RANT:Global warming is real and it could become irreversible Ralph E. Stone 08-25-2018

SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces: Gar Smith 08-25-2018

Arts & Events

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition 08-25-2018

Wonderful Recordings of Lute Music Reviewed by James Roy MacBean 08-27-2018

The 2018 Merola Grand Finale Reviewed by James Roy MacBean 08-26-2018