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Learning How Not to Repeat the Past

Becky O'Malley
Friday July 12, 2019 - 01:02:00 PM

The ICE raids threatened for this weekend, coupled with the reports of children incarcerated in, yes, concentration camps, have produced a widespread feeling of powerlessness among people of goodwill. It might make you feel better, but hollering in front of Dianne Feinstein’s office will not stop the raids or re-unite any children with their families.

Why do we feel increasingly desperate? Those of us who have been around for a while can remember many slippery slopes where bad situations got much worse without anyone exactly noticing what was happening. Pete Seeger captured the trajectory during the Vietnam War: “waist deep in the Big Muddy”. 


Is this how “the good Germans” (and there were a lot of them, though not nearly enough) felt in the 1930s? What can we, Americans, do right now? 

What will help right now: 

  • Legal aid, both for potential deportees and imprisoned kids.
  • Providing self-protection information using all kinds of media including traditional journalism, social media and plain old printed handouts.
  • Hands-on relief work with detainees, including providing basic supplies like shoes and soap, neglected by their jailers.
  • Raising money to pay for all of the above.

What won’t work right now: 

  • Attacking Nancy Pelosi for sometimes being snarky to the cheeky young.
  • Disparaging said cheeky young for talking back to Pelosi.
  • Voting down border funding when unable to pass an alternative.
  • Impeaching Trump just in time to have him exonerated by the Senate.

What will help eventually: 

  • Regime change in Washington in 2020
  • Followed by prosecution of the current overlords for child abuse, human rights violations, defying court orders, etc.
It’s fashionable to deride some expressions of concern about the government by claiming, under the vague rubric of Godwin’s Law, that any reference to the Nazis or Hitler ends the discussion. But another stylish mantra is attributed to George Santayana: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."  

The current administration’s increasing contempt for the rule of law frightens those of us who do remember history. It’s at a level not seen in my lifetime, and it gets worse daily. It’s becoming—to use another scary phrase—an actual constitutional crisis. 

There’s one more useful cliché, originally from Voltaire: le mieux est l'ennemi du bien: The best is the enemy of the good. This is often mistranslated in techy circles as “the perfect is the enemy of the good”, but that means something different. 

A better aphorism might be that “the perfect is the enemy of the best”. That’s the one which should be impressed on impeachment hawks. The emotional satisfaction of devoting the energies of the House of Representatives to a perfect takedown of Donald Trump by impeachment would provide quick gratification, but the best choice might be instead to devote the same amount of energy to securing the House and the Senate and the presidency in 2020. 

And while we’re on the subject of learning from history, how are those poor kids at San Francisco’s Washington High going to learn that they must take care of themselves and of this country in the future if their elders whitewash a mural which was supposed to teach them what was wrong in the past? 

In case you’ve been out of touch with the news lately, or focused on Washington, the SF School Board has voted to paint over a mural at their school, created by a New Deal era leftist artist, which depicts the Father of Our Country next to a prostrate Native American. It makes some of today’s students anxious to see it, as well it should.  

The value of the mural is precisely that it’s a warning to future voters that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Being anxious is appropriate.  

Bad things have happened before in this country, and they are happening again. It’s not much of a stretch to connect what’s happening in this picture to what is happening here this very day, probably to friends and relatives of some of the students at Washington High. 

The school board meeting which voted unanimously to obliterate the work was attended by historians and representatives of Native people urging the board to save it. One suggestion: it could be covered by a curtain which would only be opened in the context of explanatory lectures. That idea was summarily rejected by the board, as was adding an informative plaque or sign. 

How can these board members be entrusted with the education of our young people? Will they vote next to take all of the other bad news out of the history books? Or eliminate any mention of disease in biology classes? 

How did such idiots get elected to the school board? I’ve heard rumors of a back story which involves a charter school having designs on the Washington High School building, but I can’t confirm them. In any event, it’s time for San Francisco voters to look into the recall process.  

Meanwhile, if those of us who want to protest what’s happening in this country are looking for a good place to hold a rally or demonstration, how about at Washington High School, right in front of the mural? For the students there it would be, as educationese is fond of saying, a teachable moment.

Public Comment

What Is REALLY Killing Drug Users?

Harry Brill
Friday July 12, 2019 - 12:53:00 PM

The alleged problem of drug overdosing has justifiably received lots of attention. According to the official count over 70,000 drug users die each year. Hundreds of thousands of lives have already been lost. And unless very strict no nonsense measures are taken, the numbers who will be buried will grow.

The drug problem is certainly related to socioeconomic status, particularly as a result of poverty and unemployment. That is why some refer to the drug habit as a disease of despair. Also, there are many who become hooked on the habit to cope with pain regardless of their class status. Whatever, we should not jump to the conclusion that it is only the overdose that is responsible for the death of drug users. The reason that the overdosing explanation is inadequate is apparent when we take a look at how these deaths are counted. 

Technically speaking, an overdose implies excessive drug use, such as consuming more drugs than a medical prescription allows. But surprise, surprise! That is not how the aggregate numbers are calculated. ALL deaths reported to the FDA are assumed to be the result of overdoses. The rationale is that if anyone dies from the drug no matter how small the consumption, it was excessive for that individual. As the medical profession explains, "A dose that is still within the range of acceptable medical use may be too much for their bodies to handle." So if someone who consumed drugs died only from a trifle amount, it is nevertheless considered an overdose. The implications are that there are no such phenomena as drug deaths other than users taking an excessive amount. Of course, this assumption, not surprisingly, is favored by the Pharmaceutical industry. 

The grim reality is that drug consumption that is within the acceptable medical range still kills many users. But it is not necessarily because of the physical liabilities of the drug users. Some of the drugs are unsafe no matter who is consuming them. Here are a couple of worrisome illustrations of the problems with unsafe drugs. One company that marketed a dangerous drug named SUBSYS has been sued by five states including California because they were convinced it was unsafe. This drug had not been approved by the FDA. It was mainly responsible for over 900 deaths in a five year period. 

Despite the company being guilty of serious criminal acts, which included bribing doctors and defrauding the federal government, the only penalties were fines. No executives served prison sentences. 

High on the list of major killers is the pain relief drug called Oxycontin. Tests showed that the drug is safe when used ONLY for short term treatment. But a major pharmaceutical corporation successfully persuaded the FDA to allow the drug to be used for long term treatment as well as expanding its use to just about anyone with chronic ailments.  

There was concern that its long term use could be dangerous. Nevertheless, the FDA ignored the law that forbids the sale of drugs unless their safety and effectiveness are proven. On a 60 minute program about drug abuse, Ed Thompson, an executive who had managed and produced drugs for the pharmaceutical corporations, decided to break ranks to denounce the industry as well as the FDA. He described the pharmaceutical industry in his own words as corrupt and, immoral. With regard to the drugs that he was familiar with, especially important is his comment that "There's extreme evidence of harms and deaths when you use them". 

There are many other drugs that are dangerous as well. The most widely produced is the synthetic drug called fentanyl. The number of deaths due to fentanyl has been rising rapidly. Among the more than 70,000 deaths, 26,000 die each year. Fentanyl related deaths have been rising rapidly, and now accounts for over a third of all reported drug deaths. The actual mortality figure, is probably higher because this drug is injected in other drugs, including heroin, to make them stronger. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Fentanyl is up to 100 times more potent than morphine and many times that of heroin. One result is that drug users, who are unaware when the heroin is laced with Fentanyl, may be inadvertently taking a deadly dose. 

The main problem that drug users confront is the lack of regulation. Substantial amounts of fentanyl come from some of the 160,000 unregulated pharmaceutical manufactures or chemists in China. 

The problem of irresponsibility persists in the United States. A Kaiser Foundation newsletter (KHN) details how the FDA and medical doctors have allowed fentanyl to fall into the hands of thousands of inappropriate patients. Yet even when the FDA and the drug companies became aware of the problems they took no action. Also, according to the journal of the American Medical Association, the FDA and the pharmaceuticals failed to adequately monitor the restricted use of this drug. 

Because drug sales are very profitable, the temptation to ignore the laws is very strong. A purchase of several thousand dollars of fentanyl in China could yield up to $1.5 million dollars in the United States. 

What should we be doing about this incredible problem? In addition to pressuring the establishment and publicizing the misconduct of the FDA, we must challenge a deeply embedded feature of our culture, There is tendency to blame victims for the problems they are suffering Instead, let us keep our eyes and ears open to confront those who blame the loudest. 

Clearly, unregulated drugs cannot be good for anybody's health. They serve only to fill the pockets of the greedy. 

P.S: If you are interested in a more detailed article on the problems with fentanyl, see "The Progressive" magazine, June/July 2019 issue.


DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE : Weaponizing Water in South Asia

Conn Hallinan
Saturday July 13, 2019 - 03:28:00 PM

During the faceoff earlier this year between India and Pakistan over a terrorist attack that killed more than 40 Indian paramilitaries in Kashmir, New Delhi made an existential threat to Islamabad. The weapon was not India’s considerable nuclear arsenal, but one still capable of inflicting ruinous destruction: water. 

“Our government has decided to stop our share of water which used to flow to Pakistan,” India’s Transport Minister, Nitin Gadkin said Feb. 21. “We will divert water from eastern rivers and supply it to our people in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. India controls three major rivers that flow into Pakistan. 

If India had followed through, it would have abrogated the 1960 Indus Water Treaty (IWT) between the two counties, a move that could be considered an act of war. 

In the end nothing much came of it. India bombed some forests, and Pakistan bombed some fields. But the threat underlined a growing crisis in the South Asian sub-continent, where water stressed mega cities and intensive agriculture are quite literally drying up. By 2030, according to a recent report, half the population of India—700 million people—will lack adequate drinking water. Currently, 25 percent of India’s population is suffering from drought, 

“If the wars of this century were fought over oil, the wars of the next century will be fought over water,” warns Ismail Serageldin, a former executive for the World Bank. 

While relations between India and Pakistan have long been tense—they have fought three wars since 1947, one of which came distressingly close to going nuclear—in terms of water sharing, they are somewhat of a model. 

After almost a decade of negotiations, both countries signed the IWT in 1960 to share the output of six major rivers. The World Bank played a key role by providing $1 billion for the Indus Basin Development Fund. 

But the on-going tensions over Kashmir have transformed water into a national security issue for both countries. This, in turn, has limited the exchange of water and weather data, making long-term planning extremely difficult.  

The growing water crisis is heightened by climate change. Both countries have experienced record-breaking heat waves, and the mountains that supply the vast majority of water for Pakistan and India, are losing their glaciers. The Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment report estimates that by 2100 some two-thirds of the area’s more than 14,000 glaciers will be gone. 

India’s response to declining water supplies—like that of many other countries in the region, is to build dams. But dams not only restrict down stream water supplies, they block the natural flow of silt. That silt renews valuable agricultural land and also replenishes the great deltas, like the Ganges-Brahmaputra, the Indus and the Mekong. The deltas not only support fishing industries, they also act as natural barriers to storms. 

The Sunderbans—a vast, 4,000 square mile mangrove forest on the coasts of India and Bangladesh—is under siege. As climate change raises sea levels, up stream dams reduce the flow of fresh water that keeps the salty sea at bay. The salt encroachment eventually kills the mangrove trees and destroys farmland. Add to this increased logging to keep pace with population growth, and Bangladesh alone will lose some 800 square miles of Sunderban over the next few years. 

As the mangroves are cut down or die off, they expose cities like Kolkata and Dhaka to the unvarnished power of typhoons, storms which climate change is making more powerful and frequent. 

The central actor in the South Asia water crisis is China, which sits on the sources of 10 major rivers that flow through 11 countries, and which supply 1.6 billion people with water. In essence, China controls the “Third Pole,” that huge reservoir of fresh water locked up in the snow and ice of the Himalayas. 

And Beijing is building lots of dams to collect water and generate power. 

Over 600 large dams either exist or are planned in the Himalayas. In the past decade, China has built three dams on the huge Brahmaputra that has its origin in China but drains into India and Bangladesh. 

While India and China together represent a third of the world’s population, both countries have access to only 10 percent of the globe’s water resources and no agreements on how to share that water. While tensions between Indian and Pakistan mean the Indus Water Treaty doesn’t function as well as it could, nevertheless, the agreement does set some commonly accepted ground rules, including binding arbitration. No such treaty exists between New Delhi and Beijing. 

While relations between China and India are far better than those between India and Pakistan, under the Modi government New Delhi has grown closer to Washington and has partly bought into a US containment strategy aimed at China. Indian naval ships carry out joint war games with China’s two major regional rivals, Japan and the US, and there are still disputes between China and India over their mutual border. A sharpening atmosphere of nationalism in both countries is not conducive to cooperation over anything, let alone something as critical as water. 

And yet never has their been such a necessity for cooperation. Both countries need the “Third Pole’s” water for agriculture, hydropower and to feed the growth of mega cities like Dhaka, Mumbai and Beijing. 

Stressed water supplies translate into a lack of clean water, which fuels a health crisis, especially in the huge sprawling cities that increasingly draw rural people driven out by climate change. Polluted water kills more people than wars, including 1.5 million children under the age of five. Reduced water supplies also go hand in hand with water borne diseases, like cholera. There is even a study that demonstrates thirsty mosquitoes bite more, thus increasing the number of vector borne diseases like Zita, Malaria, and Dengue. 

South Asia is hardly alone in facing a crisis over fresh water. Virtually every continent on the globe is looking at shortages. According to the World Economic Forum, by 2030 water sources will only cover 60 percent of the world’s daily requirement. 

The water crisis is no longer a problem that can be solved through bilateral agreements like the IWT, but one that requires regional, indeed, global solutions. If the recent push by the Trump administration to lower mileage standards for automobiles is successful, it will add hundreds of thousands of extra tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, which, in turn, will accelerate climate change. 

In short, what comes out of US auto tailpipes will ultimately be felt by the huge Angsi Glacier in Tibet, the well spring of the Brahmaputra, a river that flows through China, India and Bangladesh, emptying eventually into the Bay of Bengal. 

There is no such thing as a local or regional solution to the water crisis, since the problem is global. The only really global organization that exists is the United Nations, which will need to take the initiative to create a worldwide water agreement. 

Such an agreement is partly in place. The UN International Watercourses Convention came into effect in August 2014 following Vietnam’s endorsement of the treaty. However, China voted against it, and India and Pakistan abstained. Only parties that signed it are bound by its conventions. 

But the Convention is a good place to start. “It offers legitimate and effective practices for data sharing, negotiation and dispute resolution that could be followed in a bilateral or multilateral water sharing arrangement,” according to Srinivas Chokkakula, a water issues researcher at New Delhi’s Centre for Policy Research. 

By 2025, according to the UN, some 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water shortages, and two-thirds of the world’s population could be under “water stress” conditions. There is enough fresh water for seven billion people, according to the UN, but it is unevenly distributed, polluted, wasted or poorly managed. 

If countries don’t come together around the Conventions—which need to be greatly strengthened—and it becomes a free for all with a few countries holding most the cards, sooner or later the “water crisis” will turn into an old-fashion war. 


Conn Hallinan can be read at dispatchesfromtheedgeblog.wordpress.com and middlempireseries.wordpress.com 



THE PUBLIC EYE: The Economy and the Election

Bob Burnett
Friday July 12, 2019 - 11:52:00 AM

The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll found that Donald Trump's approval rating had risen to 44 percent. The uptick was produced by sentiment regarding Trump's handling of the economy; 51 percent saw this as a positive. What's the real story? And what can we expect as we barrel towards the 2020 presidential election?

The Post poll was based upon 1008 interviews. It found that while 44 percent of respondents approved of the President (32 percent strongly), 53 percent disapproved (45 percent strongly). 65 percent characterized Trump as acting "unpresidential." 

The Washington Post/ABC News poll (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/aided-by-a-strong-economy-trump-approval-rises-but-a-majority-also-see-him-as-unpresidential/2019/07/04/c9c42c54-9d9f-11e9-b27f-ed2942f73d70_story.html?) asked respondents: "How much credit do you think the Trump administration deserves for the country's economic situation?" 47 percent answered "a great deal or a lot of credit;" while 51 percent responded "some credit to none." 

There are two questions to be answered: Who is responsible for the current economic situation and what can we expect going forward? 

The U.S. economy is in its 121st month of growth -- a historic stretch. Most of that growth took place during the Obama Administration:
Trump claims the economy is "the best it has ever been;" that's inaccurate. The economy is growing at roughly 3.2 percent, but in the 1990's the economy grew at over 4 percent for four straight years. 

While there are several positives about the economy, there are also strong negatives. There's a widespread perception that the Trump economy primarily benefits the rich and powerful. An April 25th Washington Post/ABC Newspoll (https://www.washingtonpost.com/page/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2019/04/29/National-Politics/Polling/question_21389.xml?) asked : "Do you think the economic system in this country mainly works to benefit (all people) or mainly works to benefit (those in power)?" 62 percent responded that it benefited those in power (82 percent of Democrats, 68 percent of Independents, and 34 percent of Republicans). 

A July 4th Washington Postarticle ( https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/this-doesnt-look-like-the-best-economy-ever-40percent-of-americans-say-they-still-struggle-to-pay-bills/2019/07/04/855c382e-99b5-11e9-916d-9c61607d8190_story.html?) characterized the economic recovery as "two-tier" and said that 40 percent of the population has not benefited: "[They] have seen paltry or volatile wage growth, rising expenses for housing, health care and education, and increased levels of personal debt." 

What jumps out from the current economic situation is the fact that Trump has broken his pre-election promises to American workers. Writing in Common Dreams economist Robert Reich detailed "the 7 Biggest Failures of Trumponomics" (https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/06/11/7-biggest-failures-trumponomics): "[Trump] promised to boost the wages of American workers, including a $4000 pay raise for the average American family. Instead, wages for most American have been flat, adjusted for inflation... over the same period, corporate profits have soared and the rich have become far richer." (Reich noted that Trump promised a tax-cut for middle class families but instead this tax-cut disproportionately benefited the rich.) 

On July 10th, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell appeared before Congress and noted mixed trends in the economy: the U.S. jobs market remains robust and consumer spending appears set to rebound, however business investment has slowed considerably, along with housing investment and manufacturing output. Powell continued: “Our baseline outlook is for economic growth to remain solid, labor markets to stay strong, and inflation to move back up over time to the Committee’s 2 percent objective. However, uncertainties about the outlook have increased in recent months. In particular, economic momentum appears to have slowed in some major foreign economies." 

There are storm crowds on the economic horizon. Many are Trump's fault. In August-September, the U.S. hits the debt limit. Forbes Magazine (https://www.forbes.com/sites/teresaghilarducci/2019/04/25/the-u-s-debt-ceiling-expired-on-march-1-and-nobody-cared-but-they-will/#57842bff6b3f) explains: "When the [debt] limit is reached, the U.S. Treasury can’t borrow any more... severely impacting the real economy for fear the government would default on our debt.... Interest rates, already one of the fastest rising costs in the federal budget, will rise as the political crisis builds, because foreign borrowers will demand an additional risk premium. And rising interest rates will impact U.S. Treasuries, mortgages, credit cards, car loans, student debt, and corporate debt. If workers, households, students, and corporations can’t pay their bills because of the interest rate shocks, the economy could go into recession." 

During that same time frame, the government runs out of money as Republicans have been unable to pass a new appropriations bill. 

Many observers are concerned about Trump's trade policies. Robert Reich noted: "Trump promised to bring down America’s trade deficit 'as fast as possible.' Instead the trade deficit has hit an all-time high." Reich continued: "Trump’s trade wars have hammered rural America. Farm incomes are down $12bn in the first quarter of this year, according to the Department of Agriculture. Farm bankruptcies are at near record levels." 

Trump's trade policy is emblematic of the problems created by his "America first" foreign policy. In many decisions -- for example pulling out of the Iran nuclear treaty (the JCPOA) and the Paris climate change agreement -- Trump acted without support from our allies. (Recently, when it appeared that the U.S. would attack Iran, after it shot down one of our drones, Trump seemed ready to launch major military action without support of our allies.) Trump's "unilateralism" has economic consequences: information security, pandemics, and climate change. 

It's been well-documented -- but denied by the Trump Administration -- that the United States is under continuous cyberattack by Russia. What's gotten less press is the reality that American industry is under attack from China, North Korea, and Iran, as well as Russia. Trump is doing nothing to thwart this. There's a real possibility of devastating damage to America's energy and financial infrastructure. 

International cooperation is required to respond to the threat of pandemics. But Donald Trump is a unilateralist (and germaphobe) and, therefore, unlikely to respond effectively to a global health challenge. 

Finally, there's the issue of global climate change. Trump doesn't believe it is happening and has chosen to ignore the mounting evidence. (As I write this, a massive storm is battering Louisiana.) Here in Northern California, climate change -- in the form of floods and wildfires -- has already affected our economy; in some counties, housing loss has affected the tax base and, overall, there's been a massive infrastructure hit. 

We're 16 months away from the 2020 presidential election. It's likely that the U.S. economy will weaken. Trump will be responsible. HIs approval rating will decline. 

Bob Burnett is a Berkeley writer and activist. He can be reached at bburnett@sonic.net 


ECLECTIC RANT: North Korea’s latest propaganda coup

Ralph E. Stone
Friday July 12, 2019 - 11:56:00 AM

On June 30, Trump warmly embraced Kim Jong Un, a third-generation tyrant who starves and imprisons his own people. Mr. "Art of the Deal" sure loves his dictators. Then Trump stepped into North Korea with Kim becoming the first sitting U.S. president to do so. It was a made-for-TV moment for the reality show-groomed president.

What will be lost in the expected media show is that negotiations for North Korea’s nuclear disarmament will still be stalled. Kim is again stringing Trump along while Trump continues to embarrass himself and this country.

President Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un did sign a document which declared, among other things, an intention to "work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” However the document provided no details or a timeline. It has been over a year since the Singapore summit and North Korea has done nothing toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. 

What’s next? I can’t imagine Kim giving up his nuclear arsenal after spending billions creating it. After all, his nuclear arsenal was instrumental in Trump agreeing to meetings with him in Singapore, Hanoi, and Korea. The meetings elevated Kim’s prestige worldwide . 

Trump may have to welcome North Korea to the nuclear club and try to get at least an agreement on a freeze on nuclearization. But will Trump eliminate all or some of the U.S. sanctions against North Korea? National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cannot be happy at such a prospect. 

Former UK Ambassador Kim Darroch summed up Trump’s presidency nicely, “We don’t really believe this administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; less unpredictable; less faction riven; less diplomatically clumsy and inept.”


Jack Bragen
Saturday July 13, 2019 - 11:21:00 AM

Self-Esteem is obtainable through thought processes. And obtaining it by that method is easier than by trying to meet impossible standards. Self-esteem and self-appreciation are the result of deciding that you are good enough. You could be a multimillionaire and still lack the ability to like yourself. You could have a four-figure income and be just fine with yourself. It is the thought processes that determine this. 

Human beings are limited. We do not choose all of the events in our lives. We have limited external freedom. On the other hand, obtaining internal freedom requires a great deal of time, focus, and effort. You can't safely say that any person can solve their problems or their emotions. Life doesn't guarantee anything, whether you're talking of the quest to have external success, or the quest to become attained in mindfulness. We might die of natural causes before being able to achieve either of these. 

No person is perfect. No person is unlimited. 

What am I getting at? Well, we should acknowledge our current limitations. Some of these limitations are externally imposed by circumstances beyond our control. Other limitations could have to do with the functioning of our minds and bodies. 

It is those times that we have some slack, or free time and energy, that we can make a difference in how we think and perceive. It doesn't have to be done with Buddhist meditation or through some other form of established mindfulness. Sometimes it works to just write down our thoughts and feelings. 

If we could always work miracles, then they would not be called miracles. 

If on heavy psychiatric medications, the brain is more limited than that of someone who doesn't need to take medication. I've been told that I have almost no tolerance for stress. And I have numerous other problems. I hope that I am writing this column without being an overbearing expert type. In some instances, I like to share knowledge and experience that I've gained from decades in which I've been immersed in the mental health treatment system. 

If we acknowledge our limits, then we can find ways to work around them or change them. To me, it was difficult to go to the Martinez marina and look at the water. Yet, once I got there, I began to calm down. Getting out of one's routine into the unusual, or even something recreational, can do wonders. 

Life is very finite. We experience a string of "now moments" and then it is over. On many things, we do not get a second chance. If we understand the basic nature of life, it becomes easier to get the enjoyment that is available. 

We do not have freedom of choice about many things. If we lack income, it means that we have even fewer choices. If the body or mind become ill, we have to deal with that. Too much worry can cause illnesses. An instructor who spoke when I went to traffic school (to get a speeding ticket excused) said, "Stress will kill you." He was emphasizing that when people are driving while they are under stress, it is an impairment. 

If we expect that we're going to get all of our problems fixed through effort, through changing things around, or through accomplishing something, we will be disappointed because we will continue to have problems. Accepting problems on an emotional level is the solution espoused by some. However, even this requires work--it is invisible work, on oneself, but nonetheless it is still work. It requires effort. Nothing is ever going to become perfect. Security is nonexistent. The only security we really have is the knowledge that we will not be here forever. 

"Where does mental illness, treatment, and so on fit into this?" you might ask. Mental illness is another illness. It is no different from the common cold, cancer, or heart disease. When people shun the mentally ill people, it is due to learned ignorance. Being shunned, disrespected, and picked on is yet another part of the human condition. I could continue to philosophize longer, but I don't have space for that here. The main point is that we must encounter life on its terms because it isn't going to conform to ours. 

SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces

Gar Smith
Friday July 12, 2019 - 12:47:00 PM

Lost Pet Alert

One of the more unusual "lost pet" posters is now on display in North Berkeley. Stanley, the pet in question, is described as "a green parakeet" who (happily) "likes humans" but (sadly) "startles easily."

Stanley was last seen at Shattuck and Cedar on June 26 when he apparently decided to wing it. According to the wanted poster, the errant parakeet was last seen "headed for Spruce Street."

The poster contains the following advice: "If found, please try to get him in a car, with the windows up, or a room, then call (510) 379-8024 or (510) 910-6690."

Good luck, Stanley.

Chronic Disorder?

Readers of the SF Chronicle (myself among them) are disconsolate that we will ne'er more be reading the announcement "Leah Garchik will return." Bon voyage after 40-plus years.


Soccer Punch 

In the wake of the US Women's World Cup Soccer victory, a MoveOn petition is circulating, pending delivery to US Soccer Federation and FIFA. The demand is straightforward: 

"Paying women less than men for doing the same job is wrong. In this case, the women's team is outperforming the men's team. Demand that the United States Soccer Federation pay players on the US Women's National Soccer Team the same amount as the men." 

I'd argue that the petition doesn't go far enough. Instead of being paid one-fifth as much as the men, these women—based on their performance (winning 4 Olympic titles and 3 World Cup Championships)—should be paid 700% more! 

War of Words 

As we've noted before, America's mother tongue is loaded with a plentitude of hidden linguistic landmines. Too often, even anti-war groups are caught promising to "fight and win political battles" in the name of peace. 

Here's another odd example. Military operations abroad—both on the ground and in the air—are routinely described as "sorties." But "sorties" turns out to be the French word for "exits." Calling an attack an "exit" seems to stretch a euphemism into the realm of falsehood. 

Pogo on the Apocalypse 

With climate collapse advertised to destroy human civilization in 10 to 20 years, Western society remains largely disengaged from the existential threats of climate calamity and nuclear war. Instead, far too many people seem transfixed by promises of faster video download speeds, the "Internet of Things," artificial intelligence, electric scooters, and most recently, getting around town on branded pogo-sticks. 

To paraphrase Pogo cartoonist Walt Kelly—and sociologist Emile Durkheim:  

"We have met the anomie and he is us." 

A Robot Revolt inside Amazon? 

William Thomas is a US Navy vet (who resigned his commission to protest the Vietnam War), a globe-circling sailor, an anti-war activist, a filmmaker, and an award-winning journalist. He recently posted a column of short items that covered a range of topics with a lot of humorous asides. I'd like to share just one item with you (You can look up the rest at William Thomas Online): 

"On Dec. 7, 2018, a robot at Amazon's Robbinsville, New Jersey warehouse doused 55 employees with concentrated capsaicin, the active ingredient in a 9 oz. can of bear spray. Seven ambulances rushed 24 robot-stricken workers to five local hospitals, where one victim was reported in 'critical condition.' The assailant was not detained. 

"The incident seemed inexplicable. Robots excel at rote tasks. And unlike its primate “co-workers”, the rogue machine had never complained of “inhuman” working conditions or a swiped pee bottle. 

“'Fending off robot attacks is just another occupational hazard at Amazon,' sighed RT. But the robot may have been as overworked its human counterparts. Between 2015 and 2017, ambulances were called to Amazon warehouses in the UK 600 times." 

Press, Bad. Meddling, Meh. Arms Sales, Terrific 

At the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Don Trump and Vlad Putin made light of the Kremlin’s interference in US presidential elections. Bystanders were shocked when Trump pretended to scold the Russian leader by playfully wagging his finger and smirking: "Don't meddle in the election, please." When the talk turned to “fake news” and journalists, Trump snickered: “Get rid of them.” 

Hardly a laughing matter, given the 26 Russian journalists who have been slain during Putin's reign. 

Asked about Saudi Arabia's role in "getting rid of" Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Trump claimed he was “very unhappy about that whole event” but insisted that “no one has pointed a finger directly at the future king of Saudi Arabia.” Well, nobody except for the CIA and just about every other US intelligence agency. 

Trump then told the media it was more important to focus on other matters, in particular the Saudis' promise to spend $400 billion on “different things” in America. "Different things" is Trump's euphemism for bombs, missiles, and other weapons of war. 

Investing in the Disease, Profiting from the Cure 

Caitlin Jonestone, who describes herself as a "rogue journalist, anarcho-psychonaut, and Utopia prepper," recently posted a Tweet that caught my eye. It read: "A major asthma drug-maker has been quietly investing in coal on the side. Tell me again how great capitalism is working." (Note: coal-dust and smoke are known to trigger breathing problems.) 

According to a 2017 report in The New Republic, the company is Mylan N.V., the manufacturer of five leading asthma-fighting products including the asthma drug Advair and the Perforomist, an inhaler that treats symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. (Mylan is the same firm that was caught in a price-gouging scandal over the EpiPen, an injection device for the emergency treatment of potentially fatal allergic reactions.) 

Thanks to a tax-dodging "coal credit" granted by Congress in 2004, Mylan went on a buying spree and purchased five US coal companies. Mylan's executives then sold the coal at a loss, which allowed the company to lower its tax bill and boost its profits by $40-50 million per year. 

At least Mylan's stockholders are breathing easier. 

Tell Richmond: End Toxic Coal Dust Pollution 

The Levin Terminal in Richmond is now exporting nearly a million metric tons of coal per year. The coal arrives in uncovered rail cars that pass through Richmond's neighborhoods. This is a problem because coal dust contains arsenic, mercury, cadmium, vanadium, and chromium, which can cause cancer, birth defects, endocrine disruption and neurological damage. A Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway study reveals that a typical125-car coal train can lose as much as 250,000 pounds of coal per trip. 

Richmond's City Council will soon be voting on a measure to ban shipments of coal and petroleum coke. You can help Richmond's resident by raising your voice (or, at least, your index finger) and clicking here

Trump's Oil Plan Targets SF Bay 

On June 24, the Sierra Club and other alert defenders of the commons filed a joint letter warning the US Army Corps of Engineers to rethink its announced plans to dredge a 13-mile-long channel through San Francisco Bay to make it easier for bigger oil tankers to deliver larger amounts of crude oil to Bay Area refineries. Want to let Trump know what you think of this plan? Click here

When Reality Is No Longer Real 

Gone are the days when reporters and police investigators could cite "hard evidence"—printed documents, audio-recordings, surveillance videos—to prove a case. Welcome to the Fake New World of "manufactured reality." Thanks to the "advance of Progress," seeing is no longer believing. Case in point: 


Only One GOP Rep. Stands Up for Democracy 

The House of Representatives recently passed the Securing America’s Federal Elections Act on a 225 to 184 vote. The SAFE Act would ensure a paper trail for US ballots, provide access and privacy for disabled voters, and avoid foreign election-meddling. In a self-proclaimed democracy, these would seem to be fairly non-controversial goals. Well, not in Senator Mitch McConnell's America. 

While all 224 House Democrats present voted to protect and expand voting rights, every Republican voted to defeat the bill—with one exception. Florida's Brian Mast, a veteran who lost both legs while serving in Afghanistan, and was the only member of the GOP to join the Democratic majority in standing tall for democracy. 

Close Your Doors, Survive a Fire 

The Berkeley Fire Department is urging citizens to adopt a simple survival trick: Before heading to bed, close the doors inside your house. Why this is important: In the event of a fire, a closed door will keep the flames from spreading. If a fire breaks out, a closed door will keep out choking smoke while keeping inside temperature under 100°F., thereby giving you time to call 911. Let the firefighters know your location and they'll rescue you through the nearest window on their arrival. 

Chimney Threat 

As the tremors in the Mojave recently reminded us, earthquakes and chimneys don't mix. According to a 2015 report from the Applied Technology Council: "In every California earthquake, from San Francisco in 1906 to South Napa in 2014, chimneys have routinely been among the first building components to fail, often dangerously, sometimes fatally." And according to the LA Times: "When chimneys collapse, bricks can become deadly projectiles. At least 15,000 brick chimneys were damaged in Los Angeles during the 1994 Northridge earthquake. In Napa, about half of the residential buildings damaged were due to brick chimneys." 

With fireplaces no longer used, owing to concerns over urban pollution and global heating, why isn't there a major initiative to implement the mass-removal of antiquated, life-and-property threatening chimneys? For the moment, if you want to prevent your chimney from falling through your ceiling and into your bedroom, you're on your own. San Francisco's Earthquake Safety Implementation Program has posted an online guide on how to address the threat at: Recommendations for Mitigation of Chimney Hazards.
NRA: Not Really Aware 

The Brady Campaign recently noticed a tweet that Donald Trump sent to his friends at the NRA, apparently advising them to flee New York and relocate in Texas. Trump's tweet read:
"People are fleeing New York like never before. If they own a business, they are twice as likely to flee. And if they are a victim of harassment by the A.G. of the state, like what they are doing to our great NRA, which I think will move quickly to Texas, where they are loved....." 

The Brady bunch couldn't help note the following: "One problem with this is that it doesn't look like the President knows that the NRA is actually headquartered in Virginia, and not New York. Which is surprising because he has spoken at their annual conference for years and they spent over $30 million to get him elected." 

Let Them Eat Food Stamps  

According to a note in BizJournals.com, "We never hear about Federal Subsidies for corporations buying stock back & paying share-holder dividends while the taxpayers pay to feed their workers day old bread and dented cans of beans...." Well, now you can read about this injustice by clicking on the following: Kroger among top for food stamps employees - Cincinnati Business Courier

Trump Targets Our HUDdled Masses 

Trump’s Department of Housing and Urban Development is plotting the eviction of tens of thousands of immigrant families through a proposed rule that would ban “mixed-status" families from living in public housing or other subsidized dwellings. The impact? Tens of thousands of low-income immigrants—including families of US citizens—could be displaced from their homes. According to a report on NPR, the proposed rule (which HUD honcho Ben Carson claims is designed to "help low-income Americans") "could evict 55,000 children from subsidized housing." 

Take Action: Demand HUD immediately withdraw its proposal for mass evictions. 

Heathrow Heartthrob? 

Air travelers facing a layover at London's Heathrow airport these days are forced to watch large screens in the boarding lounge that endlessly replay short,10-second loops of commercial ads. Last month, these included a memorable (in a bad way) ad for TAG Heuer watches starring English model, singer, and actress Cara Delevigne. The ad's tag line was: "Don't crack under pressure." 

In the ad, Delevigne stands face-to-face with a lion at a South African animal sanctuary. She pulls some truly overblown expressions, ranging from boredom to disgust. The Heathrow ad ends with a once-you've-seen-it-you-can't-unsee-it grimace of distaste that appears—at second 11—in the longer TV spot below. 


The look—strange and disagreeable in the moment—proved to be unforgettable long after our departure from Heathrow. 

I was left to wonder what message Delevigne was trying to deliver on behalf of her uncrackable wristwatch. 

The best answer that came to mind was: "Geesh! Lion scat sure smells bloody honk!" 

Arts & Events

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, July 14-28

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Saturday July 13, 2019 - 11:19:00 AM

Worth Noting and Showing Up:

With Only two more City Council meetings before summer recess, the week ahead is packed.
Monday at 2:30 pm is a special Council Agenda with only 2 items, revisions to City Council procedure rules and the scope of the City Manager's evaluation.

Tuesday evening at 6 pm the City Council meeting item C under action is the Ordinance prohibiting natural gas infrastructure in new construction. The same evening on consent is direction for updating the Wireless Ordinance and item B is the Framework for Affordable Housing.
Wednesday at noon the Council Safety Committee is taking up a proposed ordinance on prohibiting use of facial recognition technology - San Francisco banned facial recognition technology in May, Oakland did the same in June.
Thursday the Council Land Use Committee meets at 10:30 am and in the evening the Design Review Committee takes up discussion of a long overdue appraisal of best practices and project review - just exactly how well have approved multi-unit mixed-use projects worked for the people living in them.
The July 23 Council agenda is available for comment and follows the weekly list of meetings.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Sunday Streets Berkeley Downtown, 11 am – 6 pm, http://www.sundaystreetsberkeley.org

Street Closures, 9 am – 7 pm for Sunday Streets, Shattuck closed from University to Channing and Durant closed from Shattuck to Fulton https://www.cityofberkeley.info/City_Manager/Press_Releases/2019/2019-06-26_Road_closures_for_Sunday_Streets_(Downtown_Berkeley)_on_7/14.aspx

Monday, June 15, 2019

Agenda and Rules Committee, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm, 2180 Milvia, 6th Floor Redwood Room, Agenda: 2. Revisions of City Council Rules of Procedure and Order, 3. Development of Performance Evaluation of the City Manager.

Measure O Bond Oversight Committee, 7 pm, at 2939 Ellis, South Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: 5. Priorities for the 2019 Housing Trust Fund Requests for Proposals


Peace and Justice Commission, 7 pm at 2180 Milvia, 1st Floor Cypress Room, Agenda: 7. Resolution in support of protections from deportation and path to permanent residency, 8. Non-citizen voting initiative


Tax the Rich Rally, with music by Occupella, 5 – 6 pm at the Top of Solano in front of the Closed Oaks Theater, Rain/Extreme Heat Cancels

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Berkeley City Council, at 1231 Addison Street, BUSD Board Room,

Closed Session, 5 pm, Agenda: Conference with Labor Negotiators, Berkeley Police Association, Berkeley fire Fighters Association

Regular Session, 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, Agenda: CONSENT: 1. Gender Neutral Language, 2. $376,430 contract with Gehl Studio for Civic Center Vision and Implementation Plan, 3. Add $100,000 to Bellingham contract (total $209,000) plus add PO $100,000 (total $200,000) to replace additional Finger Docks at Berkeley Marina, 4. Amend lease agreement with Sasha Shamszad for 841 Folger St/3000 7th St for Berkeley Police Department (BPD) Traffic and Parking enforcement for 6 months with month to month lease to follow ($16,651.65/mo), 5. Update Sewer System Management Plan, 6. Stormwater Fee, 7. Letters of Support to Eliminate Student Debt SB 806 aka College for All Act of 2017, 8. Presentation by PG&E, 9. Referral to City Manager to amend City’s Wireless Telecommunications Ordinance and Aesthetic Guidelines, 10. Support CA AB 302 Parking for Homeless Community College students, 11. Support AB 1076 Automatic Relief of Criminal Records, 12. Make City Hall a voting Center for 2020 under 2016 CA Voter Choice Act – ballots mailed to all voters, allow for same day registration, early voting – will result in decrease in voting locations, ACTION: A.a.&b. Role Peace and Justice Commission as advisory to Socially Responsible Investment and Procurement, B. Framework for Berkeley’s Affordable Housing, C. Adopt an Ordinance Prohibiting Natural Gas Infrastructure in New Buildings, 13. Annual Housing Pipeline Report, 14. Opportunity Zone Project Guidelines, INFORMATION REPORTS: 15. Improve Fire Safety Standards for Rebuilt Fire-Damaged Structures, 16. Community Environmental Advisory Commission (CEAC) 2019 Work Plan, 17. Public Works Commission 2020 Work Plan.


Traffic Circle Policy Task Force Operation and Maintenance Subcommittee, 7:30 pm, at 2000 University Au Coquelet, Agenda: 2. O&M primary elements, 3. Best Practices


Landmarks Preservation Commission, 12 – 1:30 pm at 1947 Center St, Multipurpose Room, Basement, Agenda: Webinar Broadcast – Effective Community Advocacy


Wednesday, June 17, 2019

City Council Public Safety Committee, 12 pm, 1947 Center, Basement Multi-purpose Room, Agenda: 2. Adopt an Ordinance Amending Berkeley Municipal Chapter 2.99 to Prohibit City Use of Facial Recognition Technology, 3. Alternative Compliance Measures to Achieve Fire Safety in Existing Live/Work Spaces, 4. Decriminalizing Entheogenic Plants,


Commission on Aging, 1 – 3 pm at 2939 Ellis St, South Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: 4. Presentation Aging Services Update, 7. Senior Housing Crisis, 8. Risks to Seniors and Disabled during Wildfire-Safety related power outages, 9. Homelessness Among the Elderly, https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Commissions__Commission_on_Aging_Homepage.aspx

Commission on Labor, 7 – 9 pm at 2939 Ellis, South Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: Presentation AB 5 which reinforces CA Court decision on whether workers classified as employee or independent contractor, 5.2. Homeless Youth, 3. Fair Workweek requirements, 4. Paid Family Leave, 5. Equal Pay Update, 6. Medicare for All Act.


Human Welfare & Community Action Commission, 7 – 9 pm at 2939 Ellis St, South Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: 2. Easy Does It – Disability Services, 4. 1000 Person Plan to Address Homelessness, 5. Path to End Homelessness, Council Framework for Affordable Housing, 10. Disabled Access in high-density dorridors, 11. Update on West Berkeley Air Quality


Planning Commission, 7 – 10 pm at 2939 Ellis, South Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: 9. GreenTRIP Presentation, 10. Parking Reform Discussion, 11. Public Hearing on Comprehensive Cannabis Zoning Amendments


Thursday, June 18, 2019

City Council Land Use, Housing & Economic Development Committee, 10:30 am, 2180 Milvia, 1st Floor Cypress Room, Agenda: 3. Amnesty Program for Legalizing Unpermitted Dwelling Units, 4. Prioritizing Affordable Housing for Homeless, 5. Ordinance adding new Chapter 9.50 requiring Legal Rights for Legal Tender, 6. Ronald V. Dellums Fair Chance Access to Housing and Public Health and Safety Ordinance.


City Council Facilities, Infrastructure, Transportation, Environment & Sustainability Committee, 2 pm, at 2180 Milvia, 6th Floor Redwood Room, Agenda: 2a.&b. Recommendations for a Fossil Free Berkeley, 3. Considering Multi-year Bidding Processes for Street Paving


Design Review Committee, 7 – 10 pm at 1947 Center St, Basement Multi-purpose Room, 2100 San Pablo Ave – demolish existing 1-story Commercial building, construct 4-story, 52 ft, mixed use 96 unit residential care facilitywith 2491 sq ft commercial space, 720 sq ft wellness center/club, 26 parking spaces, 12 bicycle spaces, committee decision

2352 Shattuck – demolish two existing commercial buildings, split lot, construct two 8-story, mixed use with 206 units (including 15 very low income units), 11,460 sq ft commercial space, 18,530 usable open space, 93 parking spaces, majority recommendations

2435 San Pablo – construct 4-story mixed-use building with ground floor live-work and residential lobby, 48 private rooms with communal kitchens on each residential floor, rooftop terraces on 3rd and 4th floors, 56 bicycle spaces,

Discussion of DRC best practices and project review.


Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board, 7 – 11 pm, 1231 Addison St, No Agenda Posted


Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Product Panel of Experts, 6:30 – 9 pm at 2939 Ellis St, South Berkeley Senior Center, NO Agenda posted


Transportation Commission, 7 – 10 pm at 1326 Allston Way, Corp Yard, Building A Willow Room, Agenda: 1. Electric Mobility Roadmap Update, 2. Modifications at Dwight and California intersection, 3. At 8:30 pm BART Presentation – North Berkeley BART station active access improvements project, 4. Fossil Free Berkeley, 5. Commission Goals, 6. Stop Sign Warrants


Friday, June 19, 2019

No City meetings or events found

Saturday, June 20, 2019

No City meetings or events found

Sunday, June 21, 2019

No City meetings or events found


Berkeley City Council July 23 meeting available for comment, email council@cityofberkeley.info CONSENT: 1. Expand control of flavored tobacco, 3. 2020 Council meeting schedule, 5. Affordable Housing - Use a portion of tax-exempt bonds for reimbursement of expenditures for the projects – expected obligation $175 million, 6. Animal Care Mutual Aid in Disasters, 7. RFP, 8. Amend contract with Resource Development Assoc (RDA) total $54,500 to build database for Mental Health Division Homeless Outreach and Treatment Team (HOTT), 9. Mental Health Services Act Annual Update, 10. Amend contract with Merritt Hawkins adding $100,000 (total $149,990) for recruitment of psychiatrist, 11. Amend 7 contracts increasing total to $2,162,700 thru June 30, 2020 for Mental Health Services Act Community Services, Supports, Prevention and Early Intervention, 12. 5 yr contract for $1,363,735 with AMCS for Zero Waste Management Software System, 13. 5 yr contract for $487,249 with Assetworks for a Fleet Management Software 14. Add $42,216 (total $76,811) to Communication Strategies contract for developing requirements and needs assessment for Voice over IP support and maintenance, 15. Special use permit with US Forest Service for Tuolumne Camp, 16. $365,000 contract with Left Coast Land Clearing for hazard mitigation Tuolumne Camp, 17. $584,354 contract with Leslie Heavy Haul, LLC for Tuolumne Camp Tree Hazard Mitigation, 18. Contract for $468,706 and $70,000 Contingency (total $538,706) with McNabb Construction, Inc for George Florence Park Playground Renovation – 2121 Tenth St, 19. Grant Application – Trees Build Community Program, 20. Amend Contract add $55,000 total $250,000 Asphalt Repairs-Resurface City Parks, 22. Authorize modification of Measure T1 Phase 1 project list removing King School Park Bioswale project and adding 13 priority sites identified by Green Infrastructure plan (6/18/19) and Public Works Commission, 23. Selective Traffic Enforcement Program Grant, 24. 2019-202 Alcoholic Beverage Control Grant, 25. Add $50,000 and extend contract to 6/30/21 with Restoration Management Co. for on-call remediation and restoration services, 26. 3 yr contract $450,000 with Stockton Tri Industries for Front Loading and Rear Loading Container Purchase, 28. . Increase amended contract by $31,161 (total $351,317 plus $6,000 contingency) with W.A. Rose Construction for exterior Stucco Demolition Work at the Central Library, 29. Defendant’s Side Agreement to facilitate Consent Decree Compliance, 30. Preferential Parking Permit Update, 31. Prioritize street light replacement and street improvements by high-collision street first, 32. Transfer $550,000 to Rent Board to amend contracts with Eviction Dense Center and East Bay Law Center and anti-displacement services for low and moderate-income Berkeley residents, 33. . Designate Ohlone Greenway and West Street Bike Path as linear City Parks, 34. Support CA SB 464 Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth, 35. Support AB 1279 Housing development, 36. Amendments to Berkeley Election Reform Act, 37. Substantial Amendments to Annual Action Plans for Use of Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Funds allocating maximum allowable amount towards shelter and street outreach and away from rapid rehousing, 38. 2-week RV Permitting Process – allows one time/year 2-week permit, 39. ID Locations for Managed Safe RV Parking on City-Owned Land, Development of 3-month “Grace Period” Permit Program, and request that State Lands Commission Permit Temporary Safe Parking Site at Berkeley Waterfront, 40. Update on BPD Stop Data Collection, Data Analysis and Community Engagement, 41. Wage Theft Prevention,



Public Hearings Scheduled – Land Use Appeals

2325 Sixth St (single family residence) – public hearing 9/24/2019

Notice of Decision (NOD) With End of Appeal Period

1111 Allston Way (single family dwelling) – 7-8-2019

2198 San Pablo Ave (new mixed-use development) – 7-8-2019

0 Euclid Ave- Berryman Reservoir (denial of telecom facility)

Landmarks Preservation Ordinance Notice of Decision (NOD)

1619 Walnut

1915 Fourth St

2580 Bancroft

Remanded to ZAB or LPC With 90-Day Deadline

1155-73 Hearst (develop 2 parcels) – referred back to City Council – to be scheduled

2701 Shattuck (construct 5-story mixed-use building) – ZAB 6-30-2019


Sept 17 – Arts and Culture Plan, Zero Waste Rate Review, Adeline Corridor Plan

Oct 22 – Berkeley’s 2020 Vision Update, Census 2020 Update, Short term Rentals

Nov 5 - Transfer Station Feasibility Study, Vision Zero Action Plan,

Unscheduled – Cannabis Health Considerations


Referral Response: Explore Grant Writing Services


To Check For Regional Meetings with Berkeley Council Appointees go to


To check for Berkeley Unified School District Board Meetings go to



This meeting list is also posted on the Sustainable Berkeley Coalition website.

http://www.sustainableberkeleycoalition.com/whats-ahead.html and in the Berkeley Daily Planet under activist’s calendar http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com

When notices of meetings are found that are posted after Friday 5:00 pm they are added to the website schedule https://www.sustainableberkeleycoalition.com/whats-ahead.html and preceded by LATE ENTRY