Public Comment

Just Say No to "IKE" Kiosks in Your Neighborhood

Carol Denney
Thursday November 29, 2018 - 10:45:00 PM

Who among us lucky enough to live in a charming mixed-use residential and commercial neighborhood Berkeley doesn't want the sidewalks cluttered with enormous glowing screens that flash ads all day? -more-

The Illegality of U.S. Immigration Policy

Harry Brill
Thursday November 29, 2018 - 10:38:00 PM

Among the important lessons we learn from history is that the winners in any political struggle often influence our outlook in ways that are congenial with the perspective of the winners. Take for example the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which has done immensely important work to protect immigrants. In fact, to the ACLU's credit, it just persuaded a District judge to at least temporarily overturn a ruling by President Trump that would tremendously limit the number of undocumented immigrants that could apply for asylum. -more-

Who Should Be Blamed for the Housing Crisis? Some Wrong Answers from Author of New Book

Thomas Lord
Friday November 30, 2018 - 04:06:00 PM

Randy Shaw is promoting his new book called "Generation Priced Out: Who Gets to Live in the New Urban America?" Recently, he was interviewed on In a Nov. 26 interview by Frances Dinkelspiel, With zoning and neighbor veto power, Berkeley is pricing out the non-rich, says author of new book, Shaw reveals his thinking about housing policy in Berkeley. [Quotes in boldface are from that interview.]

I care quite a bit about housing policy in Berkeley. I even asked to be appointed to the Housing Advisory Commission where I try to work hard on these issues. (I represent District 2 and was appointed by Council member Cheryl Davila.) I read the interview with keen interest.

Frankly, Shaw's reported opinions disappoint and anger me. We have some very serious housing crises. In my opinion, we need less, not more, of the junk economics and false narratives Shaw is pushing. Just about everything he is says or is quoted as saying in this interview is wrong: -more-

Trump bows before the mighty (Saudi) king

Tejinder Uberoi
Friday November 30, 2018 - 03:45:00 PM

Another dark chapter is unfolding in the reign of Donald Trump. He has already dragged America into the gutter trashing old alliances, obsessed with maintaining his power and disparaging his critics. His latest target was Rep. Adam Schiff who he insulted calling him “little Adam Schitt”. He ignored CIA conclusions that there was a high probability that Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) was guilty of ordering the strangulation and dismemberment of Washington Post reporter, Kashoggi. -more-


Jagjit Singh
Friday December 07, 2018 - 02:24:00 PM

hFinally, the Senate is flexing its atrophied muscles by voting to advance a resolution to end military support for the Saudi-led, U.S.-backed war in Yemen. This marks the first time in U.S. history that the Senate has resurrected the War Powers Resolution Act to end the monstrous illegal war in Yemen. This is also a rebuke of President Trump’s handling of the murder of journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. -more-

New: Open Letter to the Berkeley City Council Re:Prof Hatem Bazian

Margy Wilkinson
Tuesday December 04, 2018 - 12:06:00 PM

The November 9, 2018, issue of The Jewish News of Northern California, includes an article about Mayor Jesse Arreguin’s objections to the appointment of Hatem Bazian to the City’s Peace and Justice commission by Council member Cheryl Davila. In addition to objecting to Prof. Bazian’s appointment to the Peace and Justice commission, the Mayor “vowed to oppose Davila’s nomination of Bazian as her standby officer in case she is unable to serve during an emergency or disaster.” The Mayor is quoted as saying: “There’s documentation showing things he has said that are very offensive and inappropriate and anti-Semitic,” Arreguin told J. “And on that basis, I think it’s a very serious issue about whether this person should be in public office.” -more-

The Migrant Message to Trump: Obey the Law

Harry Brill
Thursday November 29, 2018 - 10:42:00 PM

We are horrified that the U.S. Border Patrol agents firing tear gas to into the crowd to disperse hundreds of Central American migrants in Tijuana who tried to climb over the border fence to enter the U.S. from the Mexican side. Woman and children were among the victims. About President Trump's reaction, he calls the caravan migrants "stone cold criminals" He cited various offenses they allegedly committed. But even the Department of Homeland Security could not find any evidence to back up his claims. -more-

Let's All Run Against Jesse

Carol Denney
Saturday November 17, 2018 - 10:49:00 PM

On Sunday, November 11th, amid the swirl of sundowner-whipped ash and debris battling through the air, several dozen dedicated East Bay citizens gathered for a Veterans' Day commemoration featuring Mayor Jesse Arreguin among other luminaries on the steps of the Berkeley Historical Society. The event was arranged to begin on the eleventh month, on the eleventh day, at the eleventh hour, and at the eleventh minute to honor its 100 year-old Armistice Day origin; the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918. -more-

Good Neighbors

Romila Khanna
Friday December 07, 2018 - 01:08:00 PM

It is very important that sidewalks and pathways are kept clean for public safety. -more-


Stick with a Winner

Becky O'Malley
Friday November 30, 2018 - 09:04:00 AM

Well, it looks like Nancy Pelosi is headed for another term as speaker. She got the endorsement of House Democrats this week, with a few rightish-leaning spoilsports casting what were essentially protest votes. It would be—over-used word—amazing, in the true sense, if the same surly suckers jumped ship and voted with the Republicans in the actual speaker election next week.

These anti-progressives already have a couple of ringleaders, both distinguished by how undistinguished they are. They are from two branches of the Democratic tradition, each manifesting his own brand of entitlement. -more-


THE PUBLIC EYE: 10 Action Items for Democrats

Bob Burnett
Friday November 30, 2018 - 09:16:00 AM

The 2020 presidential campaign began on November 7th, the day after the midterm elections; many Democrats are prepared to work every day for the next two years in order to oust Donald Trump from the White House. For this prolonged effort to be effective, national Democratic leaders should heed these words of friendly advice. -more-


Conn Hallinan
Friday November 30, 2018 - 04:15:00 PM

“The Iran Agenda Today: The Real Story Inside Iran And What’s Wrong with U.S. Policy” By Reese Erlich

Routledge Taylor & Francis Group

New York and London 2019

Want another thing to keep you up at night?

Consider a conversation between long-time Middle East reporter Reese Erlich and former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Charles Freeman, Jr. on the people currently directing the Trump administration’s policy toward Iran. Commenting on National Security Advisor John Bolton’s defense of the invasion of Iraq, Freeman says “The neoconservative group think their good ideas were poorly implemented in Iraq,” and that the lesson of the 2003 invasion that killed upwards of 500,000 people and destabilized an entire region is, “If at first you don’t succeed, do the same thing again somewhere else.” -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: Fortieth Anniversary of Jonestown Tragedy

Ralph E. Stone
Saturday December 01, 2018 - 10:40:00 AM

November 2018 marks the fortieth anniversary of the mass murder and suicide of 918 in Jonestown, Guyana, by religious cult leader Jim Jones. About two-thirds of the victims were African-Americans. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Variations in Mental Capacity and Therapeutic Abuse

Jack Bragen
Thursday November 29, 2018 - 11:14:00 PM

Mentally ill people, including those with high intelligence (and there are many) can not necessarily take for granted that our full mental capacity will always be available. There are numerous factors that may affect our faculties. -more-

SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces

Gar Smith
Thursday November 29, 2018 - 10:55:00 PM

A Gas Mask for Lady Liberty?

If the Statue of Liberty were alive, she would be in tears.

Emma Lazarus, in her famous poem, "The New Collossus," immortalized this "mighty woman with a torch" as the "Mother of Exiles."

Donald Trump's gassing of desperate women, men and children on our southern border has shamed our nation before the world. Trump's actions may require a rewrite of the statue's welcoming message:

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe tear-gas . . . I lift my guns beside the golden door!" -more-

Arts & Events

New: The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, Dec. 2-9

Kelly Hammargren
Saturday December 01, 2018 - 09:39:00 AM

Sunday, December 2, 2018

No City Sponsored events found

Monday, December 3, 2018

Parks and Waterfront Commission – Subcommittee of Parks Capital Projects with Public Works Subcommittee on T1, 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm, 2180 Milvia, Cypress Room, Agenda: T1 Project Prioritization -more-

Daniel Barenboim Brings His West-Eastern Divan Orchestra to Berkeley

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Friday November 30, 2018 - 04:14:00 PM

In an outstanding career in which he has excelled as piano soloist, conductor of major orchestras, and award-winning recording artist, Daniel Barenboim has also founded several orchestras, including the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which he co-founded in 1999 with Palestinian writer Edward Said. This orchestra was conceived by Barenboim and Said as a place where Israeli and Arab musicians from Palestine and other Middle Eastern countries could come together to work in harmony as music-making examples of hopes for a better, more peaceful future in the Middle East. Named after Goethe’s book of poems West-Eastern Divan, which itself was an effort to promote a united world culture, the orchestra founded by Barenboim and Said has become one of the world’s leading orchestras. Since 2015 talented young musicians from the Middle East have studied at the Barenboim-Said Academy in Berlin, which now includes a glorious new concert hall, the Pierre Boulez Saal, designed by architect Frank Geary. -more-