ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Reasons to Cooperate with Treatment

Jack Bragen
Friday March 01, 2019 - 11:54:00 AM

When a psychiatric consumer becomes "noncompliant" they face massive forces going against them. The "system" is designed to funnel those who are uncooperative into conservatorship, or worse. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT:Michael Cohen in the Spotlight

Ralph E. Stone
Friday March 01, 2019 - 11:56:00 AM

On February 17, Michael Cohen, the ex-attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, persuasively testified before the House Oversight and Reform Committee assailing Trump as a “racist,” “con man,” and “cheat." -more-

New: SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces

Gar Smith
Sunday March 03, 2019 - 08:14:00 PM

R.I.P.: Noted in Passing

One of Berkeley's oldest residents died in a tragic fall during last week's storms. A towering eucalyptus tree in the middle of the King Park and Pool playground lost its footing in the rain-soaked soil and tumbled to the ground with a crash and a thud that woke nearby residents.

Fortunately, the gigantic tree toppled during the night. Had it fallen during the day, the results could have been tragic because it came crashing down right on top of the adjacent children's playground, mangling several swings, ripping holes in the spongy groundcover, and crushing the surrounding metal fence.

The tree once stood more than 100 feet tall but Friday morning saw it sprawled across the play area, its massive base uprooted and work crews busily sawing the enormous trunk into refrigerator-sized chunks. The toppled tree was so huge that the sections of sawed trunk scattered on the ground rose over the heads of the clean-up crew working to clear the site.

By the time students began arriving at MLK Jr., the cleanup was already well underway.

The tree will be missed. But, given the odds that it could have rumbled down on a playground filled with children, let's give thanks that it missed.