Shattuck Closing in Berkeley Could Be Connected with West Oakland Gang Raid

Thursday October 04, 2018 - 01:10:00 PM

Oakland police deployed a number of tactical teams this morning to serve 16 warrants in at least three counties, making 12 arrests while seizing drugs, cash and a number of firearms, according to Acting Deputy Chief Roland Holmgren.

Reports of unspecified police activity have surfaced in Berkeley this morning, involving the closure of northbound Shattuck Avenue near the University of California at Berkeley campus as well as a California Highway Patrol airplane circling overhead before dawn, waking a number of residents who complained on social media. -more-

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One Berkeley Student Hospitalized, Another Arrested after Fight

Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Thursday September 27, 2018 - 11:28:00 AM

One high school student was hospitalized with stab wounds and another student was arrested after they got into a fight at the Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park in Berkeley shortly before 10 a.m. today, Berkeley school officials said in a statement. -more-

Berkeley City Council Votes to Limit Police Doxing of Suspects

Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN) and Planet
Wednesday September 26, 2018 - 12:24:00 PM

The Berkeley City Council has voted by a narrow 5-3 margin to approve a resolution that orders the city's Police Department not to post photos of people arrested at protests unless they pose an immediate threat to the public's safety.

Councilmembers Cheryl Davila and Kate Harrison proposed changing the Police Department's photo policy after the department released mugshots of anti-fascist counter-protesters who were arrested at an anti-Marxism rally in Berkeley on Aug. 5.

Davila and Harrison wrote in a letter to the council that conservative news outlets publicized the names of the people who were arrested at that rally "to foment attacks against those who speak out against racism and fascism." -more-

Public Comment

Poem on Council Hearing Overturning Campanile Way Landmarking

C. Denney
Friday September 28, 2018 - 12:04:00 PM

sitting in the back with the polyester crowd
they don't get crazy and they don't get loud
swishing up the stairwell suits like paint
comforting each other with a soft lament
how sad these people are so confused
how sad these people don't know how to lose
or just stay home or stay in bed
and watch tv with a gun to their head
a little old joke and it goes right down
while the same old song goes round and round
how we got no class and we got no style
and they laugh so loud they all speed dial
and they just can't lose but if they do
it's a cocktail party and a brand new shoe
and a couple of forms and a minor pause
and a yellow brick road all the way to Oz
have you walked the road I'll bet you have
but you still end up on a different path
where the door slams shut and you're at square one
and you l can't figure out what you done
and the painted suits go tweet tweet tweet
and dust their hands and it's all complete
in a rocking blink of a winking eye
and you all get screwed and then you die -more-

Hurray Berkeley! $15 An Hour On October 1

Harry Brill
Friday September 28, 2018 - 12:08:00 PM

On October 1st the legal minimum wage in Berkeley increases to $15 an hour. And to prevent inflation from eroding its value, beginning next year on July 1 the minimum wage will increase in tandem with the rate of inflation. Unlike most minimum wage laws, including the federal law, the Berkeley ordinance is among the very few that will adjust the minimum wage to the rising cost of living.

For those who wait tables at restaurants there is very good news. The tips belong entirely to these employees. The mandated $15 an hour wage is in addition to the tips.

Also, employers are required to pay sick leave, which is up to 48 hours in businesses that employ under 25 employees. That's the equivalent of six days for full time workers. For larger businesses, the law entitles workers to sick leave up to 72 hours, which is the equivalent of 9 days.

Especially important, the law has teeth. Employers who violate the ordinance could be fined as high as $1,000 for retaliation against an employee for exercising his or her rights, and up to $500 for other violations including the failure to post notices that inform employees of their rights.

The organizations and individuals who have been involved in persuading the Berkeley City Council to enact the minimum wage law were engaged in an uphill battle. Two years ago, when the minimum wage law was proposed, a majority of the City Council members were adamantly opposed to it. But as a result of an unrelenting organizing campaign and the tremendous community support for a minimum wage law, the ordinance was approved unanimously. -more-

Berkeley’s Corporate Comportment

Steve Martinot
Saturday September 29, 2018 - 11:11:00 AM

We have no voice in city politics. Today, we have a government that is a mirror of the corporate structure, complete with its cultural and ethical corruption, and its backroom deals. Go to any City Council meeting, even a banal one like the last one on Sept. 25, 2018, and you will see all that at work. The work of business comes first, people’s participation, politely called “public comment,” is done for show, and policies are made that turn people against each other.

In other words, the people become nothing more than the raw material which the corporation called city government uses to produce the city as a product. We are economic objects, the props of procedure the output from which is called administration.

You know how you know that politics is the backroom kind? Elected officials don’t talk to each other when deciding on an issue. They talk about themselves, with no time wasted on dialogue because they already hashed it out somewhere else and know how they are going to vote.

It hasn’t always been this way. There was a time when thousands of people on the street forced the forces of corporate comportment to meet the needs of the residents. And as a result, people were elected to City Council that did things for the benefit of the people. No more. Now, the City Council does things for corporate business (telecommunications, advertising, the police, real estate, construction, etc.), and leaves the existence, let alone the well-being, of ordinary humans to be washed away under a flood of money (a new stadium, 18 story hotels, police overtime for homeless encampments raids, and police surveillance technology – Stingray, Automated License Plate Readers, Lapel Cameras). They buy instruments of torture (pepper spray), but won’t recondition the warm water pools to ease people’s pain. -more-


Tejinder Uberoi
Monday October 01, 2018 - 10:38:00 AM

In the high stakes drama, Dr. Blasey was clearly the winner. Dr. Blasey had everything to lose and nothing to gain. She waited until the very last day hoping someone other than Kavanaugh would be selected from the short list as the Supreme Court nominee terrified of the ordeal she might have to undergo. She expressed unequivocal certainty that her attempted rapist was Kavanaugh aided by the elusive Mark Judge who remains conveniently hidden from the long arm of the law. In sharp contrast, Kavanaugh was intemperate, disrespectful bombastic and filled with self-righteous indignation. -more-


Presumed Innocent?
In Berkeley, Just Maybe

Becky O'Malley
Friday September 28, 2018 - 11:24:00 AM

This is not rocket science, folks.

“Innocent until proven guilty” is historically a central tenet of Anglo-American common law, of human rights law all over the world. It’s even been enunciated, recently and improbably, by Donald Trump on behalf of his pick for the Supreme Court job.

But it’s a rule for criminal prosecution, not a recipe for what should be on a resume for a job application. Supreme Court candidates, like anyone seeking a position, used to be required to demonstrate suitability for the work in question. That’s what the Republicans have been hoping Brett Kavanagh would be able to do, though contrary assertions by assaulted women have made his task more difficult. His naked display of assumed entitlement yesterday shows that even a batshit crazy drunk liar is presumed innocent if he went to the right prep school.

However, that’s not how things are supposed to work when a crime is suspected. In the criminal realm in this country, traditionally police agencies arrest suspected evil doers, prosecutors charge suspects with whatever violation of law seems provable, and only at the end of the process do juries convict and judges assign punishment.

This morning it seemed that if you’re Brett Kavanaugh you might skip all that nonsense. It appeared that police would have nothing to do with him and there would be no punishment. I hope that's wrong, though I still doubt that any charges will be filed.

That’s why the remarkable decision of the Berkeley Police, with or without the collusion of their civilian managers, to teach a lesson to self-described “anti-fascists” by publicizing their names and booking photos was deeply inappropriate. As of this writing most if not all of those arrested on August 5, mostly because they were carrying banned objects, have not been charged with anything. -more-


THE PUBLIC EYE:A Tipping Point: Trump and Kavanaugh

Bob Burnett
Saturday September 29, 2018 - 10:58:00 AM

20 percent of U.S. women have been raped and another 40 percent have experienced some other form of sexual violence. I mention this because as the Kavanaugh confirmation has veered from his conservative beliefs to his veracity and then to his sexual behavior, the contentious hearing entered territory that was traumatic for many women. For this reason, September 27th represents a tipping point in American politics. A point where U.S. women declared they have had enough abuse.

In retrospect, it's not surprising that Donald Trump, an unrepentant sexual predator, would nominate a Supreme Court Justice from the same mold. At first we thought that Kavanaugh was a clone of Justice Neil Gorsuch, a deeply conservative jurist hand-picked by White House Counsel Don McGahn and a few other archconservatives. (Gorsuch and Kavanaugh knew each other in high school, Georgetown Prep, and both clerked for Supreme Court Justice Kennedy.) It was not until Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came forward that we realized that Kavanaugh suffered from a sinister pathology -- as an (alleged) sexual predator. -more-

Updated: ECLECTIC RANT; On the Kavanaugh Nomination

Ralph E. Stone
Friday September 28, 2018 - 01:28:00 PM

My wife and I along with many Americans watched with fascination Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh testify before the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Dr. Ford’s testimony was courageous, and entirely credible. Especially compelling was when she said that the strongest memory she has of the alleged sexual assault by Kavanaugh is of him and his friend laughing at her expense.

In contrast, Kavanaugh became angry, blustered, failed to answer some questions, and was at times disrespectful to some of the Committee members. In short, Kavanaugh lost his cool. He certainly didn’t exhibit the judicial temperament one would expect from a 12-year judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals let alone a nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: It's Not the Carrot, It's How You Chew It

Jack Bragen
Friday September 28, 2018 - 12:14:00 PM

Since I am in a more intensive level of treatment than I have been in a while, I have a chance to be in group therapy on a regular basis. Sometimes, not always, the subject matter is irrelevant to anything people must normally deal with in life.

The above isn't necessarily a shortcoming. It occurred to me the other day that the subject matter probably wasn't the object of the meeting.

While we interact in the group, we are being observed. The facilitator was probably observing people's levels of engagement, and numerous other things about how group members have interacted. And this is fine for clinical theory and practice.

My participation in a clinical program is temporary, and I plan to move on from it fairly soon. However, I have benefited from it. I've been able to use their services in order to deal with specific problems. Now, the problems are different.

But it is good to take a pause and let group therapy help me. I do not actually feel trapped by this, nor do I feel that I am in a dead end scenario. The program that I am attending is allowing me to refurbish parts of my insides that I have long neglected. -more-

Arts & Events

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar (Sept. 30-Oct. 7)

Kelly Hammargren (Sustainable Berkeley Coalition)
Saturday September 29, 2018 - 11:07:00 AM

Worth Noting

Election Campaigns are in full swing. The League of Women Voters is sponsoring the Assembly District 15 Candidate Forum (Beckles & Wicks) Tuesday evening. Thursday evening is the Forum on State and local propositions. To help with campaigns outside our borders go to Indivisible Berkeley and Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club for information.


ZAB Oct 11 Agenda available for comment:1200 San Pablo 6-story 57 dwellings, 1311 Glendale legalize hot tub enclosure, 2434 San Pablo carwash with 2-story admin building, 2628 Shattuck 7-story with 78 dwelling units



Back Stories



Presumed Innocent?
In Berkeley, Just Maybe

Public Comment

Poem on Council Hearing Overturning Campanile Way Landmarking C. Denney 09-28-2018

Hurray Berkeley! $15 An Hour On October 1 Harry Brill 09-28-2018

Berkeley’s Corporate Comportment Steve Martinot 09-29-2018

Kavanaugh Tejinder Uberoi 10-01-2018


Shattuck Closing in Berkeley Could Be Connected with West Oakland Gang Raid (BCN) 10-04-2018

One Berkeley Student Hospitalized, Another Arrested after Fight Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN) 09-27-2018

Berkeley City Council Votes to Limit Police Doxing of Suspects Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN) and Planet 09-26-2018


THE PUBLIC EYE:A Tipping Point: Trump and Kavanaugh Bob Burnett 09-29-2018

Updated: ECLECTIC RANT; On the Kavanaugh Nomination Ralph E. Stone 09-28-2018

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: It's Not the Carrot, It's How You Chew It Jack Bragen 09-28-2018

Arts & Events

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar (Sept. 30-Oct. 7) Kelly Hammargren (Sustainable Berkeley Coalition) 09-29-2018