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Flash: Earthquake Leaves Berkeley Undamaged

Bay City News
Tuesday October 15, 2019 - 01:20:00 PM

A 4.5 magnitude earthquake struck the Bay Area Monday night, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.  

The quake struck at 10:33 p.m. and was centered 2.2 miles north of Walnut Creek.  

Police in Oakland, Pleasant Hill and Martinez said they've received no reports of any injuries or damage. 

As of 10:51 p.m., BART trains were running at reduced speeds while track inspections are made.  

BART officials said to expect delays of 10 to 15 minutes systemwide.



Stupidity is Alive and Well across the Nation

Becky O'Malley
Friday October 11, 2019 - 02:54:00 PM

A friend sometimes quotes her late father, complete with old-style Eastern European accent:

“The shtupids! Dey’re everywhere!

And indeed, this week’s news once again proves him right.

The stupids are everywhere.

First, let’s start with the cast of clowns that surround Donald Trump, now that all the putative adults have left the building, and with the clown-in-chief himself.

How can he/they possibly think that they can get away with it?

By “it”, we mean the whole megillah, but especially, not only withholding appropriated funds from Ukraine pending dirt on the Bidens, but also openly boasting about doing it.

Every day a new amazement. Yesterday, it was the appearance of two characters apparently acquired from Rent-a-Thug who set up a phony LLC to funnel money to Republican campaigns. Not only did they get caught, their prime candidates lost their elections.

But this show goes on daily, so by the time this is posted there will be a new outrage. So enough about that.

Instead, let’s consider the recent PG&E “event”. 

I love the terminology. An event is something that just happens, isn’t it? 

A surprise to all of us, right? 

Well, not exactly. As well as I can determine, what triggered the widespread power cutoffs this week was a prediction of high winds coupled with a prediction of low humidity and possibly hot weather. 

This should come as no surprise to anyone who’s lived in California for the last year or so. That seems not to include PG&E’s newish CEO, Bill Johnson, who most recently worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority. 

As the cliché has it, “it’s not if, it’s when.” 

While we’re in clichéville, how about “Don’t ask for permission, ask for forgiveness”? That’s a staple of contemporary corporate culture, touted by spin doctors as the way to dodge scrutiny of their cockamamie schemes to save money for shareholders by cutting dangerous corners. And Johnson’s performance this week was right on cue. 

"As a result of this, millions of people have been without a fundamental service they expect and deserve," Johnson said at a press conference. "This is not how we want to serve you and not how we want to run our business." 

Okay, so why do you do it? Stupid, or as Gavin Newsom said, greedy? Johnson’s base salary, before stock proceeds, is $2.5 million. 

Everyone in the affected area has their own stories about stupid PG&E tricks. 

From reader Christopher Adams, who lives in the Berkeley Hills: 


“Becky, with all that is going on, this is trivial but I can’t help kvetching. Any other readers feel the same way?  

“I have got this message twice in the last few minutes. Along with messages to my cell, etc. etc. 

To help officers and firefighters respond to the anticipated PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff and extreme fire danger in the hills, we need you to take steps to make our streets passable for first responders. 

Here are few things you can do to help with public safety: 

Do NOT park in the following areas: 

a. at red curbs 

b. posted tow-away zones 

c. posted no parking areas 

d. within 15 feet of fire hydrants 

e. within 15 feet fire station driveways 

f. and do NOT double-park 

“ I do not need a message to tell me to obey parking regulations. What are they trying to tell us? Does this mean it’s OK to park in red zones and in front of fire hydrants when there is not an AC Alert? This kind of thing is a classic example of bureaucratic overreach. And the reaction of people who are sick and tired of getting all this stuff will be like the story of the boy who cried wolf. We will direct our computers to send this stuff directly to the spam file and we will ignore all the phone messages that seem to be from AC Alert.” 


My personal favorite on Day One was the recorded PG&E phone message received twice in ten minutes, that told us that power might be shut off, but no indication of when or where or why. At the end it told me that for more information I could go online to a PG&E site and input a 12 digit number if I wanted to know more. 


And of course, that site soon went down, not that I could on the fly remember which 12 digits to type. Believe it or not, some people still don’t have computers, and many of those who do don’t have portables that can operate during a power outage. 

I tend to get my timely information from public radio, so I did figure out that this “event” was a calculated pre-planned response to the usual fall weather pattern. The only problem was that there was not a breath of wind in South Berkeley at the time the shutdown was announced, and none in Santa Cruz either according to my contacts there. The humidity was around 90%, but never mind. 

It was apparent that their predictive weather model was very poor, but they stuck to it regardless. 

And today, now that they’ve started winding down the “event”, the wind seems to have picked up, at least around here. Do they plan to do it all over again like Groundhog Day every time there’s a high wind? 

A few years ago we had a visitor from Martinique who’s an executive in their power company, the equivalent of PG&E, except that it’s government owned and operated. He was incredulous when he saw the big old wooden power pole with the wires and the transformer on it outside my house. 

In Martinique everything’s been underground for a generation. Is the United States becoming a Third World country? 

The transformer in front of our house has blown out twice since we’ve lived here. 

And the “vegetation control” gambit! Kurtis Alexander had an excellent piece in the Chronicle a month or so ago which documented the slap-happy way PG&E’s contractors have been needlessly cutting down valuable trees so they look like they’re doing something. 

A letter copied to the Planet made this point: 

“PG&E's approach to vegetation management
around transmission lines is drastic, destructive, and perpetuating the
problem they are trying to address, fire hazards. Rather than mitigating
fire hazards, they are creating new problems. Their clear cutting
approach leads to a wind tunnel which can fuel fires, dry flammable
brush that is more flammable than tree cover that holds moisture, and
greater heat from the loss of canopy.” 

When you see what’s going on with PG&E, it’s tempting to blame all our problems on its corporate masters. It’s possible to imagine government owned and operated public utilities, à la Martinique, which would work much better. 

But then, of course, thinking about the current state of the federal government, maybe not. But what’s the alternative? 

You can’t help thinking my friend’s father was right. The stupids, they’re everywhere. What is to be done? 








Public Comment

As Art Schools go the Way of Plant Stores in the 70s, CCA Launches Plans to Sell Off Oakland Campus for High Rise Development

Robert Brokl, Alfred Crofts
Friday October 11, 2019 - 04:21:00 PM

The historic California College of Art (the Crafts part of the name was excised years back) in Rockridge, on a 4+ acre wooded site, is threatened by sale, for a high rise housing development. The CCA board, chaired by artist Stephen Beal, is initiating an EIR process, to gain approval for entitlements for the project, before the sale to Emerald Fund and Equity Community Builders. CCA would shrink to a San Francisco campus only.

As an artist, who has regularly visited CCA over the years, both to see and participate in exhibits there, this potential loss affects me personally. Worse, loss of this arts school, where nationally and internationally-known artists like Viola Frey, Robert Arneson, Manuel Neri, Peter Voulkos, Raymond Saunders, David Ireland, Robert Bechtel, Squeak Carnwath, and M. Louise Stanley were alumni, would be devastating blow to Oakland's cultural heritage and patrimony.

The proposed project is also a terrible blow to the physical setting of the campus, with its mature landscaping, where the school has existed for 93 years. Nearly all the trees would be removed—some oaks will be “transplanted,” and only historic Mackey and Carnegie Halls, and some of the distinctive grand staircase and portion of adjoining wall along Broadway, would be saved.

The proposed project is environmentally disastrous: demolishing eminently repurposable buildings, some of relatively recent vintage, for a mammoth, high rise housing project is an incredible waste.  

The proposal for one 19 story building and five more buildings 6 to 14 stories in height, 586 apartments in total, is dramatically out of scale for the area. This latest eruption of skyscraper-itis underscores our concerns expressed in person to BART representatives and Dist. 1 Rockridge Councilperson Kalb at a public meeting about the MacArthur BART 24 story building. We suggested the BART tower would be precedent for other high-rises nearby. Kalb vociferously denied the claim, saying the tower there was a “one-off.” Of course it wasn’t. 

Cement production is responsible for 8% of the world’s man-made carbon dioxide emissions, and is therefore a major cause of climate change. The loss of mature landscaping, including protected trees, is another blow to efforts to stem climate change, and blunt the worst consequences. The problem and solution is not just protecting the Amazon, with self-righteous finger-pointing, but saving significant trees here, too. We all have a role to play. 

A general rule of thumb is that when architectural drawings for projects prominently feature distractions like pretty new trees, strolling pedestrians, gamboling dogs, and plein-air painters even—a cruel joke, then the actual project must be hidden from inspection and description.  

Promoting a project with 24,000 s.f. of “affordable art space and live/work space,” and 6,300 s.f. of “affordable” art-related office space, is simply lipstick on a pig for a huge, costly, and presumably very remunerative project such as the one being proposed here, with 586 apartments. Art organizations, in any economic climate, are not revenue generators, but require subsidies, in addition to low, or no, rent. And what exactly does “affordable” mean here? 

Nearby Berkeley loosens height and other restrictions on buildings with a “cultural component” such as for the Gaia Building, or the Fine Arts Apartments replacing the Berkeley Cinema/Fine Arts Theaters. Whether or not the promised culture component even pans out is problematic, but, after the fact, it’s too late. 

A better way to approach adaptive reuse of the campus, if an art school cannot exist there any longer—a tragedy in itself, would be to initiate a planning process similar to what unfolded for the Presidio in San Francisco, after the base was decommissioned. This process included blue ribbon panels and a Presidio Trust governing body with many stakeholders included, public hearings, and an extensive visioning process for the former base. The results have been spectacular. 

The same process needs to be intiated here, on this most important site while the still controlled by CCA, before a particular developer with his own plans for the most lucrative project for the moment is selected. 

We must also express our disappointment that developer Oz Erickson with Emerald Fund is the developer of record for the project. We remember Erickson for his brave role in promoting adaptive reuse for the old Montgomery Ward Building in the Fruitvale.  

Erickson proposed reusing the seismically sound, National Register-listed, Ward Building for housing, only a short walking distance from the Fruitvale BART station. It was environmental, preservation, and land-use disaster of monstrous proportions when that building was demolished—it’s leveling done on the fly, toxic lead paint tossed to winds and waters, in order to construct two low-rise elementary schools, on contaminated soil and next to a busy freeway, with attendant problems of air quality for children. 

A once-fashionable, short-of-demolition, but not really “preservation” either alternative to total demolition and scraping a site, was a facadomy. The proposal for CCA is a site facadomy, demolition in all but name. A sacrilege. White knight Erickson has evidently learned his Oakland lesson well: When in Chinatown…. 

The Oakland Planning Commission will hold a hearing 6 p.m., Oct. 16, at Oakland City Hall, as part of the EIR process. For more info: Upper Broadway Advocates, UBAoakland.org, ubaoakland@gmail.com. The group is actively fundraising.  



Longtime residents of North Oakland, we have been active in land use/preservation efforts to redevelop and restore such local landmarks as the Old Merritt College Building (now UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute) and the Termescal Library (both designed by noted architect Charles Dickey). As founders of NorthOakland Voters Alliance and STAND (Standing Together for Accountable Neighborhood Development), we have weighed in on land-use and neighborhood issues for decades. Robert was also a board member of Oakland Heritage Alliance.

Roadblocks to Democracy: Presidents, Senators, and Conference Committees

Gar Smith
Friday October 11, 2019 - 04:31:00 PM

As a child, I was taught that the US is a democracy and, I was led to believe, any country that holds elections to choose a president is, ipso facto, a democracy. When I was older, I was told that the US is actually a "Representative Republic" but we're still a free people because we are able to chose our own representatives and, of course, elect the president. 

But we're being scammed and it's not just the issue of the Electoral College—an anti-democratic institution designed to ignore the popular vote and rig the election. 

If you think about it, a country that elects a president is NOT automatically a democracy—not if the president wields the power of the veto. 

The veto gives any elected leader the ability to overrule the democratic process. No bill that percolates through the halls of congress and survives "resolution" within the Senate/House conference committees—no matter how popular it may be with the majority of citizens—is allowed to become law until a single authoritarian leader makes a personal decision to pick up a pen and sign the legislation into law. (Photo-ops optional.) 

And, speaking of the Senate and House. Any political system that includes "checks and balances" built into the legislative process cannot be called a democracy. The Senate was modeled after its Roman original—a cabal of the privileged and powerful, installed to act as a restraint against populist urges. (In the British Parliament, the elected House of Commons is kept in check by the "Upper House" of Lords who hold their seats by virtue of appointment or inheritance.) 

Heck, we Americans weren't even allowed to elect our own senators until 1913! (Thank, you, 17th Amendment.) As the official history of the US Senate explains, our Founding Dads "expected that senators elected by state legislatures would be able to concentrate on the business at hand without pressure from the populace." (Note: "pressure from the populace" is another way of saying "popular democracy.") 

And there's another Constitutional restraint on popular democracy. The House can't simply pass legislation on behalf of the people. The Senate needs to introduce similar legislation. And then both the Senate and House need to convene a Conference Committee to secretly hammer out a compromise piece of legislation that's agreeable to both sides. So the real legislative business is conducted behind closed doors with no public oversight. Again: not democratic. And who is on this critical committee that writes the final language in a closeted proceeding? Typically, senior members of the standing committees of the House and Senate committees that originally considered the legislation. How many members constitute a conference committee? After 15 minutes of Google-sleuthing, that remains unclear. Some reports say there may be an uneven number of legislators. It also would be useful to know if one side (the Senate perhaps) enjoyed a historic advantage over determining which bills emerge as Conference Reports that are then sent to the president's office. 

In the final analysis, presidents are, essentially, remnant overlords endowed with authoritarian power. (And so, too, are governors who exercise veto power over the legislative process.) Full-to-the-brim democracy is not on-tap in the US. Under our Constitution, We the People can only overrule the president's ultimate bill-killing powers by hoping our elected representatives can gather enough votes (two-thirds of each house) to override a presidential veto. Protecting the will of the people should not require such extravagant—and very difficult—remedies. 

According to Politico, as of March 3, 2019, US presidents had vetoed more than 2,500 bills while Congress had overridden fewer than 5 percent of the vetoes. In sum: not a democracy. 

Homework assignment: Can you name any country on Earth that actually allows its people to both write and ratify their own laws free from oversight and intervention by a senior, supervising authority? 

Big Changes Are Needed at KPFA Radio in Berkeley

Doug Buckwald
Saturday October 12, 2019 - 11:20:00 AM

In its early days, KPFA functioned as a true community radio station, with vibrant community involvement and a sincere dedication to democratic principles, freedom of expression, multiple viewpoints, and strong opposition to militarism and war.

Now, if KPFA's founder Lewis Hill somehow returned and visited the station, he would be appalled to see what it has become. KPFA's current leaders have largely abandoned Hill's original vision and ideals and now operate the station as little more than a private radio club for the same handful of paid program hosts who have occupied the airwaves for 20, 30, 40 years or longer. KPFA's paid programmers are unionized, and their union, Communications Workers of America (Local 9415), is a consistent supporter of Democratic Party candidates. Quincy McCoy, KPFA's General Manager, likes to say that KPFA is a "community-powered" radio station. I think it may be more accurate to say it is a "union-powered" radio station. The listeners foot the bill, but the union members call the shots. 

Due to strict union rules about job security and seniority, KPFA’s paid program hosts are able to keep their jobs as long as they want -- for the rest of their lives if they choose. This results in a concentration of power and a rigidity of viewpoints that are highly detrimental to fostering productive connections with the community. This rigidity also severely limits opportunities for new voices to emerge that could make valuable contributions to our understanding of our complex and evolving world. The significance of this exclusionary policy is immense -- and it goes hand-in-hand with the self-interest of paid KPFA programmers who stubbornly cling to their positions and prevent a wider variety of community members from having the opportunity to communicate with a radio audience. Many members of our local community have tremendous knowledge, expertise, and resources, but they never make it onto the airwaves. This represents a significant loss to the community. 

Longtime listeners of KPFA understand that the station is now run by a small group of insiders who make all of the important decisions. However, community organizations are not supposed to be run like feudal monarchies or oligarchies with the same handful of people wielding absolute power. In order to truly reflect the public interest, these organizations need to include a significant number community members who have the desire to contribute in meaningful ways, including taking on key roles. This is clearly not happening at KPFA. Instead, the insiders who run KPFA carefully select the few people who will be allowed to take positions on the air. They do not want anybody who will rock the boat or challenge their authority. 


Fundraising grows, programming shrinks

In spite of this exclusionary practice, KPFA's program hosts repeat, like a mantra, that KPFA is "listener-sponsored, independent, free-speech, community radio". Unfortunately, it turns out that only one of these four things is true. KPFA is certainly listener-sponsored – which means that the paid staff view you not as a person but principally as a handy bank account to supply funds for their own benefit.  

Indeed, fundraising is virtually the only way that KPFA interacts directly with the community now. In this way, KPFA is like the ne’er-do-well relative who calls you up only when he has run out of cash and needs money fast. Otherwise, he is completely out of contact, doing whatever he pleases. KPFA's leaders have no interest in the community's wishes on program hosts; program content; development of new programming; reliability of news sources; the presentation of multiple perspectives; appropriate scheduling; expanding listener participation on programs; transparency about management decisions; budget priorities; partisan political bias, or a multitude of other issues. They mainly just want our money. Once they get it, they slam the door shut on community interaction, and the KPFA insiders decide which guests and issues will be presented on the air, and how they will be presented.  

What viewpoints are allowed on KPFA? 


Unfortunately, there is a very limited range of opinion that is allowed on KPFA's airwaves, and most of it closely matches the viewpoints of the corporate Democratic Party. In particular, progressives and independents who hold views that are further left than those of the official Democratic Party are almost entirely excluded from KPFA's programs. This prevents a presentation of the full range of political debate that the community deserves.  

KPFA's hidden leaders directly impact our thinking by actively preventing the expression of alternative viewpoints. They do this by (a) canceling programs that challenge the currently-favored beliefs at the station (such as Bonnie Faulkner's popular and groundbreaking “Guns & Butter” program which was recently pulled off the schedule); (b) promoting corporate-approved viewpoints through featured guests who are sponsored by think tanks funded directly by these corporations; and (c) regularly silencing listeners who try to raise questions about these things on the air. It is not particularly relevant that KPFA airs no corporate advertising -- because it allows many corporate-approved messages to get through loud and clear. Moreover, KPFA's program hosts are careful to hide the corporate connections of their guests from the listening audience. The fact that these insidious corporate influences effectively undermine legitimate leftist movements does not seem to concern any of the KPFA hosts who regularly feature corporate-influenced spokespeople on the air.  

How can we protect freedom of speech and enhance community participation? 


KPFA was born and nurtured as free speech radio. If we let KPFA get away with the overt censorship and media bias it is now practicing, we will certainly lose more alternative voices on KPFA in the future.  

In truth, community radio doesn't exist if the community isn't directly involved in programming and personnel choices, which are the body and soul of broadcasting. Any other arrangement is simply a hoax to promote the interests of one group over another behind a myth of unity. KPFA's increasing insularity from the community is almost certainly the main reason that KPFA's recent fund drives have all fallen significantly short of their goals. The current fund drive – intended to make up for the previous shortfalls – is also on track to fall short of its goal. It’s a downward spiral that makes recovery ever more difficult. 

The more time a radio station spends on fundraising -- badgering listeners with endless appeals and special promotions and hyper-ventilated "matching fund" challenges -- the less time it spends on quality broadcasting. Lately, it seems that the main purpose of KPFA is to continue raising funds so that its paid programming staff and management will keep their jobs. In my opinion, this is not an appropriate mission for a radio station that claims to serve the public. What’s more, I don't think this situation will change until KPFA takes steps to genuinely strengthen its connections with the community. 

Listeners who have concerns about KPFA's restricted range of viewpoints -- as well as its lack of true community involvement, lack of accountability, and lack of transparency -- should communicate their views to Quincy McCoy, general manager of KPFA, and the members of the Local Station Board. And what better way is there to communicate than to put our money where our mouths are? I think it may be time to tell KPFA that we will not give them one more dime until they change their policies and include the public in decision making again. 

Isn't it time we took back control of our community radio station? 

October Pepper Spray Times

By Grace Underpressure
Monday October 14, 2019 - 03:24:00 PM

Editor's Note: The latest issue of the Pepper Spray Times is now available.

You can view it absolutely free of charge by clicking here . You can print it out to give to your friends.

Grace Underpressure has been producing it for many years now, even before the Berkeley Daily Planet started distributing it, most of the time without being paid, and now we'd like you to show your appreciation by using the button below to send her money.

This is a Very Good Deal. Go for it! 


ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Why it is Important to Stretch the Comfort Zone...But Not Too Much

Jack Bragen
Friday October 11, 2019 - 04:26:00 PM

Some mentally ill people have a lot of difficulty with things that non-afflicted people assume are easy. Consequently, when we complain or have a problem with one of these things, we are thought to be lazy or of bad character. People do not comprehend that we might find something to be very hard that they believe anyone can do with no problem. We may receive bullying over this. Family members or acquaintances do not understand our struggle and they believe we are being difficult without good reason. 

We are victimized by people who see things simplistically. And when they perceive that we are not serving their purpose, they believe we ought to be punished. 

Antipsychotics and many other medications neurochemically force a patient into a low energy mode. Many of these medications may remedy the overt symptoms of the illness by introducing another abnormality--that of limiting the energy output of the central nervous system. 

As a patient who has taken antipsychotics for nearly forty years, I know firsthand that antipsychotics make it very hard to do anything other than sit like a blob and possibly fall asleep. 

Antipsychotics also induce physical and emotional suffering. The induced suffering is part of the mechanism that allows the drugs to limit brain activity. On the other hand, other drugs that limit you and at the same time, make you feel good, for the most part aren't recommended. This is due to the potential for drug or alcohol dependency. 

Because of the restrictions introduced by medications, the need for us to adhere to our comfort zone is a lot stronger than it is for most people. This can take the possibility of employment completely out of the picture. In my past, I tried very, very hard to work while on high dosages of medication. And my level of effort was substantial enough that I succeeded about half of the time. This is probably far better than what psychiatrists predicted when they formulated my prognosis. 

If you stick too much to the familiar, if you adhere too much to what is comfortable, if you do not try anything that could seem challenging, you could lose your neuroplasticity. If your mind becomes too crystallized in the same routine, this is bad for brain condition. 

If you periodically try to do new things, some of which could cause you to have fun, it can make you more adaptable. This can also increase intelligence. 

It is important that persons with mental illness should not be excessively distressed, especially for an extended period. On the other hand, it is probably bad for our condition to cling excessively to always being comfortable. The comfort zone should be a zone we live in more than half the time, but not all the time. Embracing uncomfortable situations and dealing with them can make a person better. 

It can require a great deal of effort for a medicated mentally ill person to go beyond the comfort zone. However, the ability to produce effort becomes stronger when it is used more. And the ability to be comfortable while uncomfortable is another trait that develops when it is exercised more. 

However, here's the possible problem: when a potentially psychotic person pushes past limits imposed by medication, it can sometimes cause an increase in psychotic symptoms. In most instances, this will be mild. Yet, if we push ourselves too radically, it could eventually trigger a relapse. 

Another technique is to, through mindfulness, cause uncomfortable situations to be perceived as nonthreatening. When we do this, it reduces the need to push, because the barrier is lower. 

The temptation to become noncompliant in young adult psychiatric patients may partly stem from the desire to be able to perform at a job. And it also may stem from the fact that taking these medications creates massive discomfort, even to do nothing more than exist within our skins. 

When you have taken antipsychotics for more than thirty years, it is far too late to go back. By that time, being medicated has become the normal state. The suffering of antipsychotics is not noticed any more, because we cannot readily recall what it was like before we took these medications. 

However, do not assume that it is too late to make an effort at something, even if you have been in treatment for years. Although no one can control the outcome of one's efforts, making an effort is based on resolve. 

Jack Bragen is an author who lives in Martinez. He has written for numerous publications and has several books available.  


SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces

Gar Smith
Friday October 11, 2019 - 04:11:00 PM

Don't Despair. The Bureaucrats Are in Charge

During a live October 8 press conference conducted to prepare 800,000 California residents for power outages that might last up to a week, a portly PG&E spokesperson assured everyone that the giant utility (and bankrupt felon) was dedicated to "solutionizing" the situation.

It's looking like the abbreviation PG&E has come to stand for Performance Gaffes & Emergencies.

Gov. Gav Gives Public Banks a Boost

After a long legislative struggle powered largely by "grassroots people power," California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed AB 857, the Public Banks bill. Cities and counties across the state can now create their own, independent, locally-run banks free from the marketing mindset of Big Buck Banks like Citi, Chase and BofA.
AB 857, stewarded by Assemblymembers David Chiu and Miguel Santiago, won the support of more than180 organizations—including labor unions, environmental groups, economic justice advocates, the California Democratic Party, and cities and counties statewide.
As the California Public Banking Alliance proudly notes: 

With no motivation to maximize profits, and no legal mandate to funnel profit to shareholders, local public banks can return monies to the cities and counties who deposit money in the banks. Public banks can divest from fossil fuels, fund climate change mitigation projects and climate change infrastructure management. They can make affordable housing truly affordable. They can work with community banks and credit unions to promote local small businesses.
Whether we look at Germany’s
Sparkassen network of municipal public banks—a major driver of Germany’s green economy—or the Bank of North Dakota, which returns 18% per year to its state and dodged the entire foreclosure crisis—we can see the ways that public banks can transform our economy.
The hope is that this historic win in California will be duplicated in other states across the nation. 

For more information, you can view the AB 857 Fact Sheet, the FAQs, Endorsements, and Resources page.  


Tell Governor Newsom: 'No More Fossil Fuels'

With the success of the Public Banking initiative, it looks like we're on a roll. So let's put it to the Ultimate Test by petitioning the governor to decarbonize CA. 


With the Trump administration waging an all-out assault on our planet, we are experiencing increasingly harmful impacts from the fossil fuel pollution that harms our environment, health and wellbeing. And now Trump wants to open more than 720,000 acres of California land to climate-cooking oil production, quake-causing fracking, and methane-generating gas-extraction. 

CREDO Action has a message for Trump: "With the growing national enthusiasm for climate justice and legislation like the Green New Deal, California has an opportunity to do what it does best: Lead the way." And towards that end, CREDO Action has a new online petition that asks the governor to: 

"Take transformative climate action to phase out oil production in California, by stopping new fossil fuel projects, dropping existing projects, and rolling out setback limits that phase out oil production." 

Truth in Political Advertising — Sort of … 

The (somewhat) good news is that California has passed a law outlawing "deep fakes" in election advertising. A "deep fake" can create a false video image of someone saying/doing something they never said/did. Like this notorious deep-fake of Barack Obama calling Donald Trump a "dipshit." 


Strangely, the new state law doesn't ban these fakes completely. Under the new law, they can be widely broadcast up until 60 days before an election. Presumably that would allow time for public watchdogs to identify and nullify the deep-fakeries. 

Facebook v. Fakebook: How We Just Got Zucked 

Well and good, California. But how do we deal with plain old-fashioned "fake news"? 

CNN was clear on the issue. It recently refused to air two of three Trump campaign ads because they included unfounded accusations that Joe Biden and his son had been found guilty of corrupt activities involving Ukraine. 

Things turned out differently after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was invited to the White House for a sit-down with Donald Trump. 

Shortly afterwards, Zuckerberg ordered that Facebook's "Rule 13" banning "claims debunked by third-party fact-checkers" would no longer apply to ads "expressing the opinion or agenda of a political figure." 

Next thing we knew, the Trump reelection campaign was writing Facebook a $1.5 million check to post all three ads—including ones that Facebook's own fact-checkers had previously rejected as fake news. 

Needless to say, the optics were not good. 

The Daily Kos responded by posting a petition accusing Facebook of giving politicians an "open season to repeat lies." 

Trolling Greta  


Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has been in the news a lot lately but not for nothing. Let's face it: the whole frickn' planet's in an ecological tailspin, for Gaia's sake. Since 1970, more than 60% world's animals have disappeared. (That's never a good sign.) So I was shocked to discover a bitter and burgeoning anti-Greta backlash brewing in the world of online angst. In disturbing and growing numbers, the Internet's trolls and conspiracy theorists have turned on Thunberg. 

Here are a few of the more civil examples: 

• "She is advocating for a colour revolution in China and Russia and lying her face off in the process." 

• "Does anyone have a link to info regarding the people who are using her: I read an article saying they are mostly linked to green tech companies." 

• "People are such mindless sheep. Even those who know better, who understand that this is just a green color revolution & a distraction, a fraud, another corporate psy-op, have taken the bait & post ad nauseam on Thunberg." 

• "We should definitely not fall for any cult of personality type thing." 

Even Donald Trump found time to re-tweet a claim that Thunberg was just an "actress" who was "getting the best education socialism can steal." 

Photos of the 16-year-old have been altered to paint a Hitler 'stach on her lip. She's been called an agent of the New World Order, and part of a plot "to lead us all to slavery." The vitriol has turned venomous with attacks accusing Thunberg of being mentally ill, an agent of ISIS terror, the daughter of a homosexual father with a German boyfriend, the offspring of a Satanic lesbian mother who abets teenagers seeking abortions and—worst of all—the secret granddaughter of globalist billionaire George Soros. 

USA Today recently ran a compendium of insults and threats directed at the young climate activist. The article included Greta's understated response: "It's of course annoying that people spend their time doing things like this when they could be doing something useful instead." 

If history is any guide, we will eventually learn that Project Whole Troll was orchestrated by the world's major coal, gas, and oil companies. (When it comes to conspiracy theories, two can play that game.) 

Apparently, God's Not Paying Attention 

As part of an early Christmas fund-raising pitch, the St. Labre Indian School in Ashland, Montana, recently mass-mailed an oversized 14-piece solicitation packet containing a half-dozen Christmas cards depicting cute Native American children in stereotypic feathers and moccasins. Ironically, they were shown praying to the same Christian god worshipped by the White invaders responsible for the genocide of the country's indigenous inhabitants. 

One card shows three native children in a manger worshipping a pale-faced baby along with a verse from James I:17: "All good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights…." 

The message in the solicitation letter had a much grimmer tone. It pointed to "Tommy," whose only living family member is his aging grandmother who can no longer care for him due to her declining health. And there's "Jenny," who "wishes her mom would quit drinking so she could return home," and "Cindy," who just wants "a house with a roof that doesn't leak." They are all trapped in "a world filled with unemployment, poverty, sheer desperation, and . . . hopelessness…." 

The message is discordant. Even after accepting "the White Man's God," why are so many Native Americans mired in poverty and misery? Instead of praying to the Heavenly Father for "every perfect gift from above," a solicitation package has been sent to thousands of complete strangers to announce: "Indian children … have no one else to turn to for help." 

Venezuela Embassy Protectors to Visit Berkeley on October 16 


During the high drama of Washington's repeated covert (and not-so-covert) attempts to replace the democratically elected government in Venezuela with a US-approved puppet—the self-proclaimed-president-in-waiting, Juan Guaidó—a group of American pro-democracy activists received the Venezuelan government's permission to enter, occupy, and protect the country's embassy in Washington DC. After 37 days of struggle protecting the Venezuelan Embassy—in the face of angry right-wing mobs in the street and the threat of an illegal US-government seizure of diplomatically protected sovereign property—Kevin Zeese, Dr. Margaret Flowers, Dr. Adrienne Pine, and David Paul were arrested by federal agents. The Embassy Four are currently fighting the charges against them and are on a West Coast speaking tour. They will be appearing at Berkeley's Fellowship Hall (1924 Cedar Avenue) at 6:30PM on October 16. 

Flowers and Zeese are from Baltimore and David Paul is from San Francisco. They will update the latest news from Caracas and explore what local activists can do to oppose the US blockade against the embattled country. The event is co-sponsored by the BFUU Social Justice Committee, the International Committee for Peace Justice & Dignity, the Task Force on the Americas and has been endorsed by the Alameda County Green Party. 

Make Trump Pay 

Remember how, on December 11, 2018, Donald Trump claimed he was "proud" to "take the mantle " for shutting down the government? This unprecedented, authoritarian act caused crushing economic chaos—especially for 800,000 federal workers. Since Trump has claimed "ownership" of the shutdown, some critics argued, why not hold him personally liable for reimbursing the billions of dollars in "unrecoverable losses" his actions inflicted on the country.
Earlier this year, I posted a MoveOn petition addressed to the House of Representatives and the Senate. It read:
"Donald Trump said he was "proud to shut down the government" but the Congressional Budget Office reports that Trump's 35-day shutdown left the US Treasury with an "unrecoverable" loss of $3 billion. Ask Congress to enact legislation calling for Trump, a self-styled-billionaire, to reimburse the Treasury in full for the $3 billion loss."  

Want to sign this petition? Click here

Arts & Events

A Wishy-Washy Staging of LE NOZZE DI FIGARO

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Saturday October 12, 2019 - 09:25:00 PM

On Friday, October 11, San Francisco Opera offered the first performance of a new production of the Mozart-Da Ponte opera Le Nozze di Figaro. This production, staged by Canadian director Michael Cavanagh, is the first of three Mozart-Da Ponte collaborations that will be staged by the same director in succeeding years. Cavanagh sets all three operas in the same manor house in America, and he attempts to envision three stages of development-dissolution of America in his staging of Le Nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte, and Don Giovanni. All I can say is, if this wishy-washy staging of Le Nozze di Figaro is any indication, we the audience — and we as Americans — are in for some sloppy thinking about our national culture, whatever that may be. 

The problem with this staging of The Marriage of Figaro is that there too many half-measures. During the overture, architectural drawings are projected. Some are ground-level views; some are floor plans. The style is classical; but given the supposed setting in late 18th century America, they are supposed to be colonial or post-colonial. Is this intended to suggest that the roots of American culture are in Europe? If so, big deal. Then, as Act I opens on a scene where Figaro measures the space where he wants the marriage bed to be placed in a room not yet furnished, we get the sense that this house — and this American nation — are just at the early stages of being put together. So far, well, it’s at least possibly a good idea.  

Then we immediately notice that in this production both Figaro and his beloved Susanna are sung by blacks. Now this is interesting. If this staging is set in late 18th century or around the turn of the 19th century in America, a black Figaro and a black Susanna might well suggest that they are African slaves working on a plantation run by a Southern aristocrat. Instead of the class struggles depicted by Beaumarchais, the author of the French drama Le Marriage de Figaro, this production of the Mozart-Da Ponte The Marriage of Figaro might be exploring relations between black slaves and their slave-owning white plantation owners. But when Figaro brings in a troupe of servants to sing to their master, Count Almaviva, all Figaro’s muster of servants are white, not black. Are the blacks slaves and the servants white? What’s going on here?  

In an article in the program for this Marriage of Figaro production, Charles Chip Mc Neal, Director of Diversity, Equity and Community at San Francisco Opera — How’s that for a job title? —— relates that the choice of two black artists for the lead roles of Figaro and Susanna was made before the production’s setting [in America] was firmly established; and that “this production was not founded on the premise of negotiating historical race relations. “ Yet as Mc Neal acknowledges, with a black Figaro and a black Susanna, “no matter the intention, the optics are unmistakably clear.. The production has inadvertently stumbled onto a well-recognised socio-cultural wound.” Stumbled indeed. The question is, having stumbled on race as an issue, does this production explore race in any meaningful way? The answer, unequivocally, is no.  

One further wishy-washy detail makes it clear the answer is no. At the close of Act i when the page Cherubino is banished from the Count’s retinue to serve in the military, a flag is suddenly held aloft by Figaro and other participants. But what flag is it? It’s not the American flag we know; nor is it the Confederate flag. Perhaps it’s an early flag of the newly independent United States of America. But who knows? And, really, who cares? Flags don’t mean much to those of us who have gone through the Vietnam War, the invasions of Panama, Granade, Nicaragua, Iraq, and Afghanistan. If the flag held aloft by Figaro was the Confederate flag, what would that signify about race relations? If Figaro is here sung by a black, why would he exult in teasing Cherubino about being banished to serve in the Confederate Army? What’s galling about this production is its wishy-washy nature, It sets up what are potentially significant conflicts and issues, yet it repeatedly fails to follow up in exploring these matters. 

Okay, enough on a shaky production. Let’s cut to the singing. American bass-baritone Michael Sumuel was a vibrant, animated Figaro, and his voice was robust. As Susanna, Jeanine De Bique, listed as either from Barbados or Trinidad, sang well, but with an undersized voice that did not project throughout the Opera House. Further, the many sung recitatives in Mozart’s opera were not sung loud enough by most singers to be audible to the audience. Given that much of the humour of this opera is in the recitatives, their inaudibility was a huge loss.  

As Count Almaviva,, Hungarian baritone Levente Molnar was as oafish an Almaviva as I’ve ever encountered. In Molnar’s portrayal of Almaviva, neither in his singing nor in his acting, was there a hint of aristocratic elegance. It was oafish to the max. In the role of the Countess, American soprano Nicole Heaston sang well. Her Act II aria “Dove sono?” and Act II “Porgi amor” were moving in their intensity. Where Nicole Heaston’s stage presence is concerned, totally random lighting effects by Jane Cox played havoc with her identity. Most of the time Heaston looked white. Occasionally, however, due to the lighting, she looked black. Did director Cavanagh and lighting designer Cox intend this racial ambiguity? If so, to what end? At other moments, various characters looked blue due to absurd lighting effects. These random but irritating lighting variations provided just another wishy-washy element in a wishy-washy staging.  

Italian mezzo-soprano Serena Malfi was a fine Cherubino. But when one has heard in this very Opera House Cherubinos such as Frederica von Stade, Faith Esham, Susan Quittmeyer, Angelika Kirschlager,, and Claudio Mahnke, to name only a few, a merely competent Cherubino, even one as vocally and dramatically competent as Serena Malfi, could not generate much excitement. As Dr. Bartolo, bass James Creswell was impressive. In the role of Marcellina, veteran mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook reenacted a role she has sung marvellously many times on our local stage. Tenor Greg Fedderly was a flighty Don Basilio. Veteran bass-baritone Bojan Knežević was an adroit Antonio. Finally, Adler Fellow soprano Natalie Image was excellent as the soubrette Barbarina. Hungarian conductor Henrik Nánási led the proceedings with judicious pacing. Sets were designed by Erhard Rom, and costumes were designed by Constance Hoffman.  

Sung in Italian with English supertitles, Le Nozze di Figaro continues with seven more performances through November 1 at the War Memorial Opera House.

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, October 13-20

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Saturday October 12, 2019 - 09:22:00 PM

Worth Noting:

The list of meetings with agenda highlights is especially long with both the City Council Agenda Committee meeting and City Council Regular meeting on Tuesday. In fact, Tuesday is packed with City Council, Sunshares and the 4th Democratic Debate all running simultaneously. If you are interested in solar, consider attending the SunShares workshop.

If you don’t or can’t have solar on your roof you can still choose 100% renewable electricity thru Opt Up for 100% Clean Electricity through East Bay Community Energy by choosing Renewable 100 https://ebce.org/opt-up/. If your budget is too squeezed to pay a few more dollars a month for 100% renewable Brilliant 100% is carbon free (no nuclear) and the same cost as PG&E.

Plan Ahead:

November 12, City Council will be holding a special meeting on Traffic Circles. The Traffic Circle Task Force recommends retaining trees.” City staff/employees are preparing an opposition report to cut down trees. For more detail read the op-ed on threat to trees in traffic circles http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2019-10-04/article/47899?headline=Trees-in-Traffic-Circles-Are-Still-Threatened-by-the-City-of-Berkeley--Becky-O-Malley and Traffic Circle Task Force Recommendations as recorded in meeting minutes https://www.cityofberkeley.info/uploadedFiles/Mayor/10.2.19%20Draft%20MinutesTraffic%20Circle%20Task%20Force.pdf

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Bay Area Bee and Pollinator Fair, 10 am – 3 pm, at Berkeley Flea Market – Ashby BART parking lot, information for supporting bee and other populations through creating friendly gardens,


Alameda County Residents - Albany Golden Gate Fields Mattress and Box Springs Drop-off – follow link to fill out form to arrange drop-off, 1100 Eastshore Highway, Golden Gate Fields North Parking lot. Besides matresses you can drop off the usual hazardous waste


Monday, October 14, 2019 

Indigenous Peoples Day – Berkeley City Holiday 

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, October 15, 2019 

East Bay SunShares Workshops, Tuesday, October 15, 6 – 7:30 pm at 2939 Ellis, South Berkeley Senior Center, pre-registration requested (not required). SunShares makes it easier and more affordable for Bay Area residents to go solar. https://www.bayareasunshares.org/events 

Agenda and Rules Committee, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm, at 2180 Milvia, 6th Floor Redwood Room, Agenda Planning for Oct 29 Council Meeting, CONSENT: 2. Council Rules of Procedure revisions, 3. Conflict of Interest Code, 4. Contract $7,966,000 Berkeley Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, d.b.a. Visit Berkeley, 6. Contract $45,000 to Management Partners to evaluate City Manager, 7. Add $300,000 to contract with First Alarm Security & Patrol, Inc for Citywide unarmed security total $3,084,798. 8. Reserving General Funds for Housing trust Fund $500,000 SAHA 2527 San Pablo, $1,200,000 RCD 2001 Ashby, $50,000 NCLT 2321-2323 10th Street, 9. Add $150,000 to contract total $225,400 with Street Level Advisors for Zoning and Development Fee Feasibility Analyses, 10. Add $200,000 to contract total $250,000 with Redwood Toxicology Services for Drug and Alcohol Testing, 12. City Auditor Recommendation – City needs Domestic Violence Policy. 14. Add $200,000 to budget for lighting, camera, and signs to deter illegal dumping. 16. Support HR1595 Secure and Fair Banking Act 2019, 17. Budget Referral $27,000 Landmarks Preservation Grants, 18. Support CA Assembly Bill 500 paid maternity leave for teachers, ACTION: 19. Renewal Elmwood Business Improvement District (BID) 20. Renewal Solano BID, 21. Add North Shattuck Metered Parking to goBerkeley Program, 22. a.&b. Allocation Measure P Funds, 23. a.& b. Modify Enforcement Policies of Berkeley Smoke Free Multi-Unity Housing Ordinance, 24. Public Works Commission 5-year Paving Plan, 25. Referral to Disaster and Fire Safety Commission to consider amending Gas Shut-Off Valve Requirements, 26. Extend JSISHL subcommittee to Sept 2020, 27. Referral to Civic Arts Commission to develop grant program for retaining creative spaces for artists, 28. Request for Presentation on City Code Enforcement Practices for Residential Properties, 29. Adopt ordinance to prohibit commercial trucks exceeding 3 tons gross weight on streets impacting bicycle blvd networks, 30. Cameras at Ohlone Park Mural, 31. Require Inclusionary Units in developments in Qualified Opportunity Zones, 32. Proposed Formula Retail (Chain Store) Regulations, 33. Referrals to address Traffic Enforcement and Bicycle Safety, INFORMATION REPORTS: 34. Referral Process, 35. City Property for Affordable Housing and Modular Micro-Unit Buildings. 39. goBerkeley Parking Rate and Time Limit Adjustments for North Shattuck Area for Dec 1, 2019. 


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

4:30 pm Closed Session, Agenda: 1. Consultation with Legal Counsel Pending Litigation 1444 Fifth St v. City of Berkeley, 2. Conference with Labor Negotiators Berkeley Police Association 

6:00 pm Regular Council Session, Agenda: Consent: 5. Add $60,903 total $985,747 Verint Systems Inc. Software Maintenance, 6. Approve plans, accept bid $3,056,900 (includes $277,900 contingency) from D.L. Falk Construction for Central Library Improvements, 7. Approve Plans, accept bid $1,191,342 (includes contingency $198,557) from Redwood Engineering Construction for James Kenny Park, 8. Approve plans, accept bid $505,684 ( includes $65,959 Contingency) from J.A. Gonsalves&Son Construction for Bay Trail Extension to Berkeley Marina, 9. Grant application $71,510 to BAAQMD Berkeley Marina Bicycle Electronic Locker Project, 10. Mills Act Contract 2524 Dwight Way with NCR Properties LLC./Nathan D Geroge, 11. Mills Act Contract 1730 Spruce with Jeff Lipton, 12. Mills Act Contract 2526 Hawthorne Terrace with John Komoroske and Daniel McDonald, 13. On-call construction $500,000 Kitchell/CEM, Inc, $500,000 Cooper Pugeda Management, Inc.,14 - 15. Renewal Business Improvement District (BID) Advisory Boards for 2020 Elmwood and Solano, 16. Protect from deportation DACA, TPS (Temporary Protected Status, DED (Deferred Enforced Departure), 18. Grant Referral $150,000 for Capoeira Arts Foundation, 19. Health Impact Assessment Outreach Coordinator for closure of Alta Bates, 21. Authorize Additional Inclement Weather Shelter at Old City Hall from Oct 15 2019-April 30, 2020, 24. Prohibit Use of Face Recognition Technology, 25. Support Auto Worker’s Strike, 27. Declare Wildfire Prevention and Safety Top Priority, 28. Budget referral 24/7 free standing Public Restroom Facility Telegraph BID, 29. Referral to City Manager Shared Streets – Telegraph, 30. Ban Racial, Ethnic, Cultural, Religious Discrimination on Basis of Hairstyle or Headwear, 31. Adopt Resolution Support Seamless Transit Principles, Action: 32. Revised Agreement with CA State Historic Preservation Officer, 33. IKE Smart City Kiosk Locations, Phase 1, 34. Zoning Ordinance Modification to Support Small Business, 35. Deaccession of Berkeley Big People, 36. Grant Writing Services, 37. Pathways – STAIR Center 1st year evaluation, 38. Lava Mae Mobile Shower and Hygiene Services, 39. Settlement Authority City Manager for Worker’s Compensation Claims - $75,000/employee 40. Wage Theft Prevention 41. Referral to City Manager Develop a Bicycle Lane and Pedestrian Street Improvements Policy, Information Reports 42. 2019 3rd Qtr Investment, 43. Audit Update: Construction Permits, 44. Homeless Commission Workplan, 


Mental Health Commission Mobile Crisis Response Subcommittee, 4 pm at 2180 Milvia, Cypress Room, Agenda: MCH input into hiring consultant to evaluate Crisis Response Unit, https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Commissions__Mental_Health_Commission_Homepage.aspx 

Youth Commission, 6:30 pm at 1730 Oregon St, Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Services Center, Agenda: 8. Aquatics Update, Swim Lessons and the Willard Pool, 9. Gender Neutral Bathrooms, 10. BHS Environmental Initiative https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Commissions__Youth_Commission_Homepage.aspx 

4th Democratic Debate, 5 pm on CNN or live stream cnn.com and nytimes.com https://www.digitaltrends.com/news/watch-october-democratic-debate-2019-primary-livestream-start-time/ 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 

Open House – Berkeley Planning Department, 4 – 6 pm, at 1947 Center, 3rd Floor, Meet Staff, learn how to submit project applications, visit the “answer station,” partake in light refreshments, giveaways. 

Commission on Aging, 1 – 3 pm at 2939 Ellis St, South Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: 4. & 5. Presentations PG&E Savings Assistance Program, 5. Electric Scooter Share Program, 6. PG&E Shutoff. 


Human Welfare & Community Action Commission, 7 – 9 pm at 2939 Ellis St, South Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: 6. Presentation Willie Philips Gentrification, 15. Lack of Phone Booths and charging stations, 16. Encampments Proposal, 17. Rent Control Recommendation. 


Community Meeting: Citywide Restroom Study, 6 – 7:30 pm at 2939 Ellis St, South Berkeley Senior Center, 1st of Four Meetings to assess existing public restrooms and develop strategies to meet current and future needs. 


Thursday, October 17, 2019 

City Council Facilities, Infrastructure, Transportation, Environment & Sustainability Committee, 2 pm, at 2180 Milvia, 6th Floor Redwood Room, Agenda: 2. b. Recommendations for Fossil Free Berkeley (Energy Commission) b. Companion Report. https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Home/Policy_Committee__Facilities,_Infrastructure,_Transportation,_Environment,___Sustainability.aspx 

Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board, 7 – 11 pm, 1231 Addison St, Agenda: 5. Presentation State Housing Legislation by Brian Augusta & Associates, 6. Appeal 1354 Grizzly Peak, 7. Appeal 472 Kentucky, 8.Action Items 2020 General Adjustment, Relocation Assistance Payments, Response to HUD proposed changes, Housing for a Diverse, Equitable and Creative Berkeley Framework, 2020 Census. 


Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Product Panel of Experts, 6:30 – 9 pm at 2939 Ellis St, South Berkeley Senior Center. 


Transportation Commission, 7 – 10 pm at 1326 Allston Way, Corp Yard, Willow Room, Agenda: B.1. Milvia Bikeway, 2. Safe Routes to School, 3. Pedestrian Master Plan. https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Commissions__Transportation_Commission_Homepage.aspx 

Design Review Committee, 7 – 10 pm at 1947 Center St, Basement Multi-purpose Room, No Agenda Posted, Check before going. 


Free Smoking Cessation Clinic, 6 – 8 pm at 2939 Ellis St, South Berkeley Senior Center. 


Friday, October 18, 2019 

No City meetings or events found 

Saturday, October 19, 2019 

Housing Framework: What’s happening with Measures O, P and U1, Saturday, October 19, 10 am at Harriet Tubman Terrace 

Sunday, October 20, 2019 

No City meetings or events found 




Public Hearings Scheduled – Land Use Appeals 

0 Euclid – Berryman Reservoir TBD 

2701 Shattuck 11-12-2019 

Remanded to ZAB or LPC With 90-Day Deadline 

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

Notice of Decision (NOD) With End of Appeal Period 

2909 Acton 10-30-2019 

1825 Berkeley Way 10-21-2019 

41 Fairlawn 10-15-2019 

1226 Parker 10-28-2019 

2512 Telegraph 10-17-2019 

151 Tunnel 10-16-2019 


1440 Hawthorne Terrace 

1450 Hawthorne Terrace 

2018-2036 University for UC Theater 




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

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

Jan 14 – Civic Center Visioning, Systems Realignment 

Feb 4 – Discussion of Community Poll (Ballot Measures), Adeline Corridor Plan 

March 17 –CIP Update (PRW and Public Works), Measure T1 Update 

May 5 – Budget Update, Crime Report 

June 23 – Climate Action Plan/Resiliency Update, Digital Strategic Plan/ERMA/Website Update 

July 21 – no workshops scheduled “yet” 

Unscheduled – Cannabis Health Considerations 



Update goBerkeley (RPP) 

BMASP/Berkeley Pier-WETA Ferry (November 2020) 




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