The Berkeley Activist's Calendar: Nov. 3- Nov. 10

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Saturday November 02, 2019 - 10:23:00 PM

Worth Noting and Showing Up:

Public Restroom Study meetings: Ever need to use a restroom and can’t find one then attend either Tuesday morning or Wednesday evening meeting, details below

Tuesday – City Council – Presentation on new recycling center at 2nd and Gilman, Documents are several hundred pages, attend the presentation if you can.

Holiday Food Drive – November 1 – 29, daily from 8:30 a – 6 p, for more information https://www.cityofberkeley.info/CalendarEventMain.aspx?calendarEventID=16299

Plan Ahead:

November 12, 4 pm – Special City Council Meeting on Traffic Circles, link to sign petition to save Traffic Circle Trees, https://www.change.org/p/berkeley-city-council-grandfather-in-existing-traffic-circle-trees-ee3dbcc2-69b1-41d5-83a8-dd86a94ece3b

Agenda highlights and links for the November 12 regular City Council meeting follow list of weekly meetings

November 13, 6 – 8 pm, Pinole, Public Meeting on Corps of Engineers Dredging Plan to enable greater amounts of crude tankers to travel to and from Bay Area Refineries, https://350bayarea.org/event/public-meeting-on-corps-of-engineers-oily-sf-to-stockton-dredging-plan

Sunday, November 3, 2019

End of Daylight Savings Time – “fall back” 1hour.

Monday, November 4, 2019 -more-

Page One

Court of Appeal Affirms Landmark Designation of Historic Northside Berkeley Building

Daniella Thompson
Saturday November 02, 2019 - 12:55:00 PM

On 4 February 2016, the Berkeley Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the Bennington Apartments, 2508 Ridge Road, a City of Berkeley Landmark based on a landmark application submitted by Daniella Thompson.

The Bennington Apartments were created in 1915 from the joining of two adjacent 19th-century single-family homes that had originally stood at 1801 and 1805 Euclid Avenue and were moved to the rear of their lots, reoriented, and placed end-to-end. The resulting building is the only extant relic of 19th-century Euclid Avenue.

Constructed circa 1892, the two houses were among the earliest built in the newly subdivided (1889) Daley’s Scenic Park tract. Joined, these houses represent the oldest surviving Shingle Style building on the Northside and—alongside the Anna Head School’s Channing Hall and Maybeck House No. 1—one of the three oldest known original brown-shingle buildings in Berkeley.

The building’s owner, Rue-Ell Enterprises, appealed the landmark designation to the City Council. Following a public hearing, the Council voted 8-1 to uphold the landmark designation. Not content with the Council’s decision, Rue-Ell sued the City of Berkeley in 2017. The Superior Court judge sided with the City. Rue-Ell then contested the Superior Court judge’s decision in the Court of Appeal.

On Thursday, 31 October 2019, the Court of Appeal’s three-judge panel rendered a seven-page decision in favor of the City. Summing up their analysis, the judges wrote:

“[…] we cannot say, on the record presented, that the LPC was wrong to find the necessary level of architectural significance met for landmark status under the Ordinance. When the cited associational history is taken into account as well, the basis for the LPC’s landmark designation seems doubly sound. To put the matter plainly, the record shows that the Bennington is really old and really unique for its combination of design features and its associations with people who had significant roles in the early civic life of Berkeley. Considering the record as a whole, that is enough to uphold LPC’s designation as a proper exercise of discretion.” -more-

Public Comment


Tejinder Uberoi
Saturday November 02, 2019 - 11:07:00 AM

Facebook is the new religion. Its “megachurch” spans a third of the globe with 2.4 billion users tuning in many times a day to receive their daily dose of social tidbits and fake news. Pastor Zuckerberg overseas its vast empire. Facts are rarely checked. Billions of dollars are made intentionally peddling false news which gets people so riled up they inadvertently expose themselves to slick advertising which ensures rivers of money land up in Facebook’s coffers. Real news sources are often ignored in favor of media blitzes of unadulterated sludge.

Zuckerberg’s charm offensive before Congress turned out to be not so charming. He falsely anointed himself as a custodian of free expression in the global marketplace of ideas. His favorite response to fix Facebook has always been "we have more work to do."

He was unable to respond to a barrage of questions directed at Facebook’s inability or unwillingness to monitor content stating “I think people should be able to hear for themselves what politicians are saying.” This dishonest response ignores the simple fact that large segments of the population, especially older Americans, do not have the technical expertise to sort the wheat from the chaff.

The company’s algorithms amplify the echo chamber of user’s inherent bias. The more outlandish the lie, the more like-minded users are attracted like moths to a flame. -more-

November Pepper Spray Times

By Grace Underpressure
Saturday November 02, 2019 - 01:05:00 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! -more-


PG&E, Manhattanization...plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

Becky O'Malley
Saturday November 02, 2019 - 12:26:00 PM

Well, it’s been an exciting week or two. For some reason, our particular block of Ashby never lost power. The transformer on the antique pole in front of our house has blown out with a bang at least twice since we’ve lived here (which is a long time), but these incidents never managed to ignite anything else. I did watch the Oakland hills ablaze from my bedroom window in 1989, but that one wasn’t started by PG&E.

Many fires have been started by that company’s elderly equipment, however. This means that alternatives to PG&E power have been a hot topic of conversation lately.

Solar panels on roofs are multiplying, but most of them put power back into the grid, which means they’re no help during the preventative outages many have endured. Gasoline-fueled generators pose their own dangers, so they’re not a good solution.

Two interesting local storage modes are being talked about to bridge outages. One is some sort of chargeable battery set-up—the Tesla Wall is one (expensive) way of doing it. Another idea, for those prescient and affluent enough to afford electric automobiles, is simply to jerry-rig a way to plug into your car, but that’s very complicated.

Inevitably, talk turns to ways to get out from under the obviously incompetent and possibly even corrupt regime of Pacific Gas and Electric, Inc. Solutions include having municipalities take over their local power distribution grids or even explore energy production, as Palo Alto did many years ago.

Here I must pause and invoke the name and lore of my earliest journalistic mentor, the incorrigible Bruce Brugmann, for many years the owner and editor of the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

A 2002 San Francisco Chronicle article paid grudging homage to his long fight again the company: -more-


ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Persistence vs. Harassment

Jack Bragen
Saturday November 02, 2019 - 10:54:00 AM

Under some circumstances, harassment is legal. For example, if you are a company collecting on a debt, you can phone the debtor every day, for twenty years if you want, and, apparently, this is not a crime. When someone is selling a product or if they are working for a political campaign, harassment laws are probably difficult to enforce, including when they are applicable. -more-

SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces

Gar Smith
Saturday November 02, 2019 - 10:59:00 AM

Bad Ad Slogans

Honda Is Family

Love: It's What Makes a Subaru a Subaru

I'm Lovin' It (McDonalds)

Open Happiness (Coca-Cola)

Betcha Can't Eat Just One (Lay's Potato Chips)

Reach Out and Touch Someone (AT&T and Harvey Weinstein)

What's in Your Wallet? (Capital One and the guy threatening you with a pistol)

The Heartbeat of America (Chevrolet. What's that knocking sound?)

It Works Every Time (Colt 45 Malt Liquour. Time for another 45-caliber round?)

Hand Built by Robots (Fiat Strada. Despite the slogan, it's not self-driving)

Is It In You? (Gatorade. BYW: Where's the nearest WC?)

We Bring Good Things to Life (General Electric, maker of missiles, atomic bombs, and nuclear reactors)

The Choice of a New Generation (Pepsi says so)

Obey your Thirst (Sprite doesn't give you a choice)

It Is. Are You? (The Independent. They was?)

Fly the Friendly Skies (United Airlines, home of the Boeing 737)

Be All that You Can Be (US Army, where you can be a vet with PTSD)

Winston Tastes Good Like a Cigarette Should (Sounds like ITG Brands wants you to chew your smokes)

Femination: My Country 'Tis of She -more-

Arts & Events

Karina Canellakis Makes A Stunning Debut with San Francisco Symphony

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Saturday November 02, 2019 - 10:56:00 AM

In an all-Russian program teeming with difficulties of all sorts, American conductor Karina Canellakis, a Greek-American born and raised in New York City, made a stunning local debut. In concerts Thursday-Saturday, October 24-26, Canellakis led the San Francisco Symphony in Dmitri Shostakovich’s sprawling Symphony No. 7 in C Major, Opus 60, Leningrad, preceded by

Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in D-flat Major with Alexander Gavrylyuk as soloist. I attended the Saturday, October 26, performance. Shostakovich’s 7th Symphony, composed during Nazi Germany’s Siege of Leningrad in World War II, is notoriously all over the lot. However, Karina Canellakis led the orchestra with meticulous attention to detail. Whether bringing out the lyricism of certain passages with graceful sweeping motions of the arms or forcefully emphasising punctuations with vigorous jabs and thrusts with the baton, Karina Canellakis seemed totally engaged with the music.

Conceived by Shostakovich as a tribute to the people of Leningrad who, at immense loss, withstood a siege that lasted 872 days and took the lives of perhaps 1.5 million people, this symphony offers no literal evocations of war. There are no musical explosions of bombs and mortars. Shostakovich wrote that he was attempting to convey the experience of war emotionally. This is accomplished in the 7th Symphony’s first movement, which starts out as a musical evocation of the peaceful life in Leningrad and throughout Russia before the Nazi invasion. Strings and bassoons play in unison, and the mood is serene. Cathy Payne provided a lovely piccolo solo to enhance the mood. Soon, however, a sinister march begins, tattooed on the snare drum by principal percussionist Jacob Nissly. Little by little, this military march inexorably takes over musically, gaining in power through endless repetition, until nothing else can be heard but the drumbeat of jackboots. A bassoon solo here played by Stephen Paulson mourns the dead.

The second and third movements offer a respite. Shostakovich’s music wanders here and there, sometimes with wry humour in the scherzo, often evoking the broad expanses of the Russian homeland. Without a pause we move to the Finale. Here is where I find this 7th Symphony most maddening. The Finale proceeds in fits and starts. There are passages of fine music, but there is little sense of where this symphony is heading. Like the 872-day siege itself, one wonders if this symphony will ever end. Here, too, however, the attention to detail by Karina Canellakis, combined with the kinetic energy she brought to this music, created a sense of intense musical commitment. By the time this 7th Symphony came to a victorious close, we could well believe in Shostakovich’s conviction that the human spirit will win out against evil. -more-

Back Stories



PG&E, Manhattanization...plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose 11-02-2019

Public Comment

Facebook Tejinder Uberoi 11-02-2019

November Pepper Spray Times By Grace Underpressure 11-02-2019


The Berkeley Activist's Calendar: Nov. 3- Nov. 10 Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition 11-02-2019

Court of Appeal Affirms Landmark Designation of Historic Northside Berkeley Building Daniella Thompson 11-02-2019


ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Persistence vs. Harassment Jack Bragen 11-02-2019

SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces Gar Smith 11-02-2019

Arts & Events

Karina Canellakis Makes A Stunning Debut with San Francisco Symphony Reviewed by James Roy MacBean 11-02-2019