The Week

Carol Denney


Affirm Capanile Way Landmarking on Thursday:
An Open Letter to the Berkeley City Council

Carol Denney
Tuesday September 18, 2018 - 03:24:00 PM

Please affirm the landmarking of Campanile Way and the natural landscape element it was built to embrace which includes, but is not limited to a view that stretches from the natural entrance to San Francisco bay to our beautiful hills. I live on University Avenue, and the most beautiful thing about my neighborhood is the sweeping embrace of the natural elements in both directions which invite the eye and the spirit to connect with not just nature but the Campanile Way's inclusion of nature's wonders in its design. -more-



The Universal and Unavoidable Consequences of Being Human, Even in Berkeley

Becky O'Malley
Monday September 17, 2018 - 10:58:00 AM

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been trying to figure out what the City of Berkeley’s policy on homelessness is. I’ve asked a lot of people: a couple of councilmembers, neighborhood activists in the areas with visible homeless populations, those invaluable civic watchdogs who go to all the meetings, some charitable souls who try to minister to the physical needs of those who live on the street with clothing, blankets and food… I’ve gotten the views of some of the thoughtful public citizens who think and then write about such problems, including some on this site. I’ve even been talking to a couple of friends who are part of the outdoor population. And now I’m more confused than ever. -more-

Public Comment

The Berkeley City Manager and the DBA's Flier Smackdown, or Defund the DBA

Carol Denney
Saturday September 15, 2018 - 01:46:00 PM

I went straight to the City Manager's office. She's in charge, after all. The City Council advises her if they feel like it. But many of them have perfected the art of sitting firmly on both sides of an issue. Stopping the Downtown Berkeley Association's illegal practice of tearing down legally posted community fliers would seem like a no-brainer, but over the years only a few had even sympathized. And nothing had changed.

It matters. If you play at the San Francisco Fringe Festival or the Freight and Salvage as I do, every poster can reach hundreds of people, interested people if you're good at what you do. Posters that reach pedestrian traffic are crucial; a town that used to boast dozens of lively newspapers is down to a bare handful. Those ugly green metal "ped mount" fixtures empty of newspapers and covered with graffiti used to be full.

She was in. They're always in right before a city council meeting, so it wasn't unexpected. But they're busy before a city council meeting, so I was willing to wait. Which I hope people realize reflects a lot of patience after having this issue unaddressed for decades. You work hard making posters before an event, paying for the duplication at copy stores, walking the streets with wheat paste or tape. Your hall and your personal reputation lives or dies by the door, meaning the traffic that walks in, so getting the word out to a literary crowd in a nearly post-newspaper almost print-free town is a challenge. -more-

Bolton trashes the ICC & PLO

Jagjit Singh
Saturday September 15, 2018 - 02:07:00 PM

The Trump administration continues its overt policy of total unconcern for human rights by slashing funding of Palestinian schools and hospitals in the occupied Israeli territories. -more-

Hurricane Florence

Tejinder Uberoi
Saturday September 15, 2018 - 02:12:00 PM

As Hurricane Florence, bears down on N. Carolina, meteorologists warn that it could unleash life-threatening flooding across a wide swath of the East Coast threatening life stock and trigger poisonous spills from sewage treatment plants, hog waste lagoons and chicken farms which may end up into household drinking water. Even as the storm subsides thousands of animals are in mortal danger. -more-

Northbrae: A Church that Grapples with Earthly Dilemmas

Emily Hancock
Saturday September 15, 2018 - 02:14:00 PM

Heathen at heart, I don’t think of myself as religious. But one summer Sunday, alarmed by firestorms, sudden floods, skies hung low with polluted air, and killer heat waves around the globe, I made a B-line for Northbrae, a church that grapples directly with earthly dilemmas—making this church a rare find.

Unlike conventional churches, Northbrae espouses no particular creed. Instead of affiliating with an established religion, this church stands firmly on its on. It holds as its mentors “Torchbearers” —twenty-six historical figures that embody the upward reach of human nature and the process of spiritual growth. Among these Torchbearers are Noah, Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tse, Mohammed, Florence Nightingale—and Jesus. These figures, whose prophetic voices stand to inform our responses to the dire quandaries that confront us now, are depicted in a stained glass window that stretches the length of the chapel. -more-

Sexual Abuse Is A Crime Of Violence

Harry Brill
Saturday September 15, 2018 - 01:59:00 PM

The Catholic Church has been justifiably criticized both for the sexually abusive conduct of many priests and the failure of the church to adequately address this issue. However, Philip Jenkins, a leading scholar on religious institutions, claims that the Roman Catholic Church has been unfairly singled out by the secular media for failing to highlight similar sexual accusations in other religious organizations. He is absolutely right. Whether the media is biased or not, Jenkins is correct to point out that the problem is prevalent in Protestant churches as well as in Judaic and Muslim religious institutions. -more-

September Pepper Spray Times

By Grace Underpressure
Saturday September 15, 2018 - 03:08:00 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! -more-


THE PUBLIC EYE: Suspicions Confirmed, Woodward on Trump

Bob Burnett
Saturday September 15, 2018 - 01:51:00 PM

It's no solace, but the recent revelations about Donald Trump, and his Republican enablers, confirm our worst suspicions: Trump is a clear and present danger.

Of the new sources, Bob Woodward's Fear ( is the most illuminating.

1.Trump is incompetent: Woodward's book, coupled with the anonymous New York Times op-ed, "I am part of the resistance..." ( ), and Omarosa Manigault's tell all Unhinged ( ) paint a chilling picture of Trump's mental state. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Point of No Return

Jack Bragen
Saturday September 15, 2018 - 01:55:00 PM

When someone loses good health, it can be very tough to regain. This is true of both mental and physical health. In some instances, people lose their mental and/or physical health to the point where it isn't coming back. A lot of this has to do with age. When young, it is far more likely that you can bounce back from a health problem.

A doctor advised a relative to "stop and smell the roses." The advice was premature. That relative has gained a lot of ground after switching to another healthcare system.

If you are under 60, and if you have chronic health problems, it isn't necessarily too late, especially if you are able to sustain significant changes to how you take care of yourself. This conclusion is derived from what I have seen. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: Three cheers for Robert Mueller’s team

Ralph E. Stone
Sunday September 16, 2018 - 05:23:00 PM

Robert Mueller has made no public comment since he was named in 2017 to lead the Department of Justice investigation into Russian interference in last year's election and other matters. Instead, he has let his actions do the talking. -more-

SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces

Gar Smith
Saturday September 15, 2018 - 02:05:00 PM

Pelosi's Power

In an email to constituents sent on September 9, Nancy Pelosi revealed her secret source of power:

What fuels each of us is different. Me, I run on ice cream for breakfast. Dark chocolate, two scoops, in a waffle cone.

This leaves me wondering what constitutes a "Pelosi power lunch"? Devils food cake and chocolate-chip cookies polished off with a Magnum Double Chocolate ice cream bar and a mocha espresso?

On the March

It was great fun to be part of the 30,000-strong crowd of climate marchers in SF on September 8. We spotted a lot of creative, handcrafted posters. My favorite read:

"It's not the heat. It's the stupidity." -more-

Arts & Events

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, Sept. 16-23

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Saturday September 15, 2018 - 01:40:00 PM

;Worth Noting:

Elections are heating up and there is plenty to do even if you don’t like door to door canvassing or phone banking. Hand written postcards are helping in out of area campaigns. Check Indivisible Berkeley for Postcard Parties

League of Women Voters is sponsoring Berkeley City Council Candidate forums on Tuesday District 1 and Wednesday Districts 4,7,8.

Thursday, City Council decides the Campanile Way View appeal.


Agenda plan for Sept 25 City Council Meeting is posted, however, it has not been updated to include City Council items that were not voted on at the September 13, Council meeting. -more-

Radvanovsky Sensational in ROBERTO DEVEREUX;

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Saturday September 15, 2018 - 02:45:00 PM

Last year, Sondra Radvanovsky was the darling diva of the Met, where she sang “the three queens”: the lead soprano roles in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda, and Roberto Devereux. Now she is the darling of San Francisco Opera, where she reprised her role as Queen Elizabeth I in Roberto Devereux. Make no mistake about it: this was sensational singing, and, for that matter, it was also sensational acting. Sondra Radvanovsky not only sang the role brilliantly; she also brought to life the vain, aging Elizabeth, “the virgin queen,” who even in her 60s pursued love relations, all the more intense for being platonic, with the most interesting of the much younger men at her court. The Earl of Essex, Robert Devereux, was only the latest and perhaps last in a long line of men upon whom Elizabeth exerted her charm, power, and emotionally intensity. -more-