The Week

The tree that fell, killing a driver on the UC Berkeley campus, had improperly cut roots,.
Hank Chapot
The tree that fell, killing a driver on the UC Berkeley campus, had improperly cut roots,.


CASA’s Secret New York Junket

Zelda Bronstein
Thursday January 17, 2019 - 10:10:00 AM

42 people flew to Manhattan for a three-day event that had no real policy purpose -- and MTC is stonewalling on releasing the price tag. -more-

Updated: Berkeley Earthquakes Rattle Claremont Neighborhood for Two Days in a Row

Bay City News
Wednesday January 16, 2019 - 11:08:00 AM

The U.S. Geological Survey reports that a 3.5 earthquake struck the Hayward Fault in Berkeley on Thursday morning. -more-

The CASA Compact: Part 2

Zelda Bronstein
Friday January 11, 2019 - 02:56:00 PM

What the regional housing “compact” amounts to—so far: plenty of bills that will please developers and landlords; not so many for tenants and vulnerable communities

The first installment of my CASA story listed bills introduced in the state Legislature on December 3, most notably Scott Wiener’s do-over of his failed SB 827, SB 50, that incorporate policies in the CASA Compact: -more-

The Death Tree at UC Berkeley: Why Did It Happen?

Hank Chapot
Friday January 11, 2019 - 02:20:00 PM

A falling tree north of the Greek Theater on the University of California Berkeley campus killed Alexander Grant. He was 32. Very sad and totally predictable. A week before, UC started cutting trees at People's Park and spokesperson Dan Mogulof claimed, "deferred maintenance." The huge eucalyptus fell Sunday, January 6 at 3:46 pm. -more-



Dealing with Donny's Tantrums

Becky O'Malley
Friday January 11, 2019 - 01:17:00 PM

This week we’re seeing one more example of why we need experienced grandmothers both as the Speaker of the House (which thank goodness we do have now) and as a candidate for President (earnestly desired for 2020). The absolutely best experience for dealing with the current incumbent is going to the grocery store with a two-and-a-half year old. -more-

Public Comment

UC Berkeley Police Raid People's Park Before Dawn

Thomas Lord
Tuesday January 15, 2019 - 03:06:00 PM

More than 100 police officers, some from the UC Police and some from the California Highway Patrol conducted an armed take-over of the eastern portion of People's Park early this morning, according to multiple witnesses. At least two adjacent streets were closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic during the operation. At least three persons who were engaged in non-violent protest were arrested for sleeping at a vigil they have been keeping. (The police, however, report a total of six arrests). Police escorted a contracted (and likely non-union) tree cutting service into the park to kill and remove "several" large trees. Long time friend of the park, former counter-culture cartoonist and Berkeley resident Ace Backwords reports being moved to tears upon arriving to see the damage done. -more-

Trees Have Standing; the Day a Tree Visited the Chancellor,

Carol Denney
Friday January 11, 2019 - 02:22:00 PM
East End of People's Park

The University of California just cut down around 40 trees in People's Park in the middle of the night arguing that they endangered public safety, or at least blocked the light. -more-

Why Hispanics Live Longer Than Non-Hispanic Whites

Harry Brill
Friday January 11, 2019 - 02:19:00 PM

A research team that studied the relationship between income and longevity in the United States concluded that "there's no income below which less income is not associated with lower survival". In other words, their data found that less income is never correlated with longer lives. However, a more comprehensive examination of trends in life expectancy proves otherwise. Had the researchers taken account of the life span of Hispanics they would have found that despite being poorer and less educated than non-Hispanic whites they live on the average three years longer . The American Heart Association reports that the average life span of Hispanics is 81.8 years compared to 78.8 years for whites. -more-


New: ECLECTIC RANT: On the Government Shutdown

Ralph E. Stone
Friday January 11, 2019 - 03:08:00 PM

The partial government shutdown is now in the third week with no end in sight. Trump wants money for a wall between the U.S.-Mexico border and the Congressional Democrats and many Republicans do not. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE:Trumpty Dumpty Sat on a Wall...

Bob Burnett
Friday January 11, 2019 - 02:14:00 PM

On January 8th, Donald Trump made his first "oval office" speech to the nation; a plea for his wall. It didn't work, but we learned ten things:

1.The oval-office format didn't flatter Trump. He read from a teleprompter and, to say the least, seemed uninspired (some would say soporific). Trump repeated the "red meat" immigration claims he routinely throws out to his rabid fans, but in a monotone, as if he'd rather be somewhere else. (Mar a Lago?) -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Housing Revisited

Jack Bragen
Friday January 11, 2019 - 02:13:00 PM

Mentally ill people who become homeless have a very high likelihood of becoming deceased. I knew a man who'd made some bad decisions, who had become homeless; and, some months afterward, I heard of his death at the age of fifty. -more-

Arts & Events

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, Jan. 13-20

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Alliance
Saturday January 12, 2019 - 10:22:00 AM

Women’s Marches in Oakland and San Francisco are Saturday January 19

Berkeley City Council Work Session on Tuesday, January 15 includes Future Development of North Berkeley BART and recommendations

January 22 City Council meeting agenda is available for comment -more-

Opera at the Hillside Club Tonight at 7, Sunday at 2

Friday January 11, 2019 - 02:42:00 PM

If you like to experience genuine opera up close and personal, the Berkeley Chamber Opera production of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, at Berkeley’s Hillside Club tonight, January 11 and Sunday, January 13 is your opportunity. If your only exposure to opera has been recordings, videos in movie theaters, or cavernous auditoriums like the San Francisco War Memorial Opera house, you’re in for a revelation.

The BCO, a non-profit, presents locally-sourced professional casts singing with a chamber orchestra in a human-scale venue evocative of the many intimate opera houses in Italy. This is their sixth fully costumed and staged production, the last five mounted at the historic wood-paneled club.

Conductor Jonathan Khuner is a veteran of many operas, including several for BCO. The title role will be sung by Bay Area soprano Eliza O’Malley, whose last BCO role was Joan of Arc in Verdi’s Giovanna D’Arco, which Khuner also conducted. The stage director is Lisa Houston. All three, as it happens, are Berkeley High School graduates who have gone on to regional, national and international careers. Many of the cast and chorus are also local residents. -more-

New: Puccini’s Skewed View of the Quintessentially French MANON LESCAUT

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Thursday January 17, 2019 - 10:23:00 AM

Berkeley Chamber Opera offered two performances of Giacomo Puccini’s Manon Lescaut Friday and Sunday, January 11 and 13, at Berkeley’s Hillside Club. Soprano Eliza O’Malley, founder and artistic director of Berkeley Chamber Opera, sang the title role on Friday in spite of suffering from early symptoms of laryngitis. However, for the Sunday performance Ms. O’Malley found an imaginative solution to her vocal issues. She lip-synced the role onstage while Russian soprano Olga Chernisheva sang the role from the orchestra pit. Strange to say, it worked fine. -more-