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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 

2x2 Committee, 8:30 – 10 am, at 2020 Bonor Street, Room 126, Berkeley Unified School District, Agenda: 5. MOU joint properties, 6. Affordable Housing, 7. Oxford Geological Study, 8. 2020 March & November Ballot Measures 


Ground Breaking Ceremony at Live Oak Community Center, 11 am – 12 pm,  


City Council Public Safety Committee, 10:30 am, 2180 Milvia, 1st Floor Cypress Room, Agenda: Discussion items for future agendas 


Agenda and Rules Committee, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm, at 2180 Milvia, 6th Floor Redwood Room, Agenda Planning for November 19 City Council Regular Meeting. Highlights of agenda follow list of meetings, 


Commission on the Status of Women – Santa Rita Jail Subcommittee, 6:45 – 8 pm at 2000 University, Au Coquelet 


Peace and Justice Commission, 7 pm at 2180 Milvia, 1st Floor Cypress Room, Agenda: 11. Council Proposal to modify role of commissions, 13. Socially Responsible Investments 


Tax the Rich Rally, with music by Occupella, 4 - 5 pm at the Top of Solano in front of the Closed Oaks Theater, (Rain/Smoke/Extreme Weather Cancels) 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 

Community Meeting: Citywide Restroom Study, 10 –11:30 am at 2442 Telegraph, Café Mezzo 


Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board, 2001 Center, 2nd Floor, Law Library 

5 pm, Eviction/Section 8/Foreclosure Committee, Agenda: 5. Measure AA Report (owner move-in law)7. STAIRS Program 

6 pm, Habitable and Sustainable Committee, Agenda: 5. Solar Cost Sharing, 6. Car Chargers, 7. Installation of dishwashers 


Berkeley City Council, Tuesday, 6:00 pm, 1231 Addison Street, BUSD Board Room, Agenda: Worksession 1. Solid Waste and Recycling Transfer Station Feasibility Study Presentation, 2. Development Vision Zero Action Plan - background - March 27, 2018 referral from Council to City Manager & Transportation Commission to develop implementation plan to eliminate all traffic (pedestrian, bicycle, vehicle) related fatalities to zero, 14. Support Impeachment Resolution,  


Loan Administration Board, 4 pm, at 2180 Milvia, Room, 1st Floor Cypress Room, Agenda: B. State of Revolving Loan Fund, C. East Bay Media Center – loan modification request 


Wednesday, November 6, 2019 

Board of Library Trustees, 6:30 pm at 1901 Russell St, Tarea Hall Pittman South Branch, Agenda: II. G. Library Response to Air Quality Events (AQI score > 150 ) – open Tarea Hall Pittman South Branch Library for at least 4 hours on Sundays 


Commission on Disability, 6:30 – 9 pm at 1947 Center, Multi-purpose Room, Agenda: 2. Presentation – Easy Does It, 3. Wildfires and Outages, 9. Elevator Ordinance, 10. New Construction & Renovations Accessibility Guidelines and Regulations 


Homeless Services Panel of Experts, 7 pm at 2180 Milvia, 1st Floor Cypress Room, Agenda: 9. Sanctioned Encampments, 10. Measure P Recommendations 


Planning Commission, 7 – 10 pm at 2939 Ellis, South Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: 9. Public Hearing: Land Hazard Mitigation Planhttps://www.cityofberkeley.info/mitigation/ 10.Transportation Impact Fee, 11. 2019 CA Housing Legislation 


Community Meeting: Citywide Restroom Study, 6 – 7:30 pm at 1720 8th Street, James Kenney Recreation Center, 2nd Floor, Last of four meetings on public restrooms 

Thursday, November 7, 2019 

City Council Land Use, Housing & Economic Development Committee, 10:30 am, at 2180 Milvia, Room, 1st Floor Cypress Room, 2. Legal Rights for Legal Tender (cash), 3. Fair Access to Housing, 4. Bi-Annual Report on Funding for Housing (HAC), 5. Disposition 1631& 1654 Fifth Street, 6. Inclusionary Units in Qualified Opportunity Zones, 7. Proposed Formula Retail (Chain Store) Regulations 


City Council Facilities, Infrastructure, Transportation, Environment & Sustainability Committee, 2 pm, at 2180 Milvia, Redwood Room, 6th Floor, Agenda: 3. Kitchen Exhaust Ventilation, 3. Multi-year Bidding Process for Street Paving 


Cannabis Commission, 2 – 4 pm, at 2180 Milvia St, 6th Floor, 


Housing Advisory Commission, 7 – 9 pm at 2939 Ellis St, South Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: 5. Public Hearing Community Needs, 6. Public Hearing Regional Analysis of Impediments, 9. T1, 12. Affordable Housing Framework, 14. Update State Housing Law 


Landmarks Preservation Commission, 7 – 11:30 pm at 1947 Center St, Multipurpose Room, Basement, Agenda: 5. A. pending City agreement with State Historic Resources Commission, B. T1, D. Demolition 2650 Telegraph, 6. 1120 Second Street Wireless telecommunications facility 


Public Works Commission, 7 – 10 pm at 1326 Allston Way, Willow Room, City of Berkeley Corporation Yard, No agenda posted, check before going 


Community Meeting: Grove Park Renovation Project, 6 – 7:30 pm at 1730 Oregon, MLK, Jr. Youth Center, Agenda: Grove Park Field Renovation 


Friday, November 8, 2019 

Reduced City Service Day 


Saturday, November 9, 2019 

No city events found 

350 Bay Area Hub meeting 8:45 am – 11 am, at 971 Tulare 

Sunday, November 10, 2019 

No city events found 



Agenda Committee November 4, Planning for Council November 19, CONSENT: 2. $800,000 bid solicitations, 3. Grant Submission to State for $284,463 Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention, , 5. Nominate North Berkeley BART Priority Development Area, 6. Contract $1,481,417 with Redgwick Construction Co. for Ninth Street Bicycle Pathway Extension Phase II, 7. Contract add $50,000 total $200,000 with HF&H Consultants LLC for Development In-house Commercial Hauling System, 8. $2,348,732.70 purchase seven 25-yard Heavy Duty Rear Loading Collection Trucks, 9. $1,110,000 to purchase five 2020 North Star 155-1 Ambulances and dispose 3 Freightliner and 2 International ambulances by public auction. 10. Budget Referral $15,000 BigBelly Trash Receptacles in Ohlone Park, 11. Referral to City Manager Amnesty Program for Undocumented Secondary Units, ACTION: 12. Budget Update, 13. FY 2020 Annual Appropriations Ordinance, 14. goBerkeley Residential Shared Parking Pilot Project Update, 15. a.&b. Recommendations Allocations Measure P Funds, 16. Declaration Homeless Shelter Crisis, 17. Letter to Richmond City Council, CA EPA and CA Department of Toxics (DTSC) concerning recent action of cleaning up AstraZeneca Site Near Berkeley, 18. Cannabis Cryptocurrency Tax, 19. Referral Electric Moped Ride-Share Franchise Agreement, 



City Council November 12, Regular meeting agenda, email comments to council@cityofberkeley.info,  

Agenda: CONSENT: 2. $40,093,600Bid solicitations, 4. Contract $392,778 with BUSD for providing Mental Health Services in school programs, 6. Ordinance - Adopting more stringent building standards, 7. Companion Report Recommendations for Fossil Free Berkeley, 8. Contracts $600,000 in total for On-call Environmental Services, 9. Final Map - Approval to make 2747 San Pablo a 42 unit condo project, 10. Stop Sign Warrant Policy, 11. Support SB 378 PG&E shutoffs, 12. Budget Referral $250,000 environmental review and zoning planning for Ashby and North Berkeley BART, 13. Modifying Appointments to City Council Standing Policy Committees, 15. $210,000 renovation Drop-In Center, 16. . $10,582 Community Gardening Collaborative, 17. $75,000 pedestrian and bike safety Oxford St, 18. Request for Information: Police Dispatch, 19. Budget Referral Expansion Homeless Navigation Facilities and Programs – 3rd Sleeping Unit – dollar amount not given in agenda documents, 20. Budget Referral $550,000 Wildfire Mitigation, ACTION: 21. goBerkeley North Shattuck, 22. Local Fire Code Amendments, 23. Public Hearing Approval of Bond for (affordable housing) 1601 Oxford (SAHA or affiliate), 24. ZAB Appeal 2701 Shattuck, 25. 1281 University to house up to 8-10 RV dwellers, 26. Revisions to Council Rules of Procedure, 27. Lava Mae Mobile Shower and Hygiene Services, 28. Wage Theft Prevention, 29. Address Traffic Enforcement and Bicycle Safety, 30. Surveillance Technology Report, 31. Energy Commission Recommendations for Fossil Free Berkeley, 32. Bird Safety Requirements, 33. Budget Referral Transportation support for mobility impaired homeless who are engaged in rehousing or other services. 





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 

3020 Acton 11-18-2019 

2410 Blake 11-11-2019 

2801 Claremont 11-18-2019 

3108 Deakin 11-12-2019 

1225 Eighth 11-20-2019 

888 Indian Rock 11-18-2019 

1858 San Lorenzo 11-19-2019 

1036 Sierra 11-25-2019 

687 Spruce 11-20-2019 

2110 Vine 11-12-2019 





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 FUND$/Replacement Website Update 

July 21 – no workshops scheduled “yet” 

Unscheduled – Cannabis Health Considerations 


Unscheduled Workshops/Presentations 

Cannabis Health Considerations 

Vision 2050 

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 




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.”



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: 

Guardian has led fight over S.F. power / 1969 article began long campaign to create city utility

Some Terribly Clever People, or at least some who thought they were, have always enjoyed sneering at him. A sample quote: 

“Combative in the extreme, Brugmann made an easy target for anyone who wanted to mock his public power campaign. 

Stephen Buel, editor of a rival weekly, the East Bay Express, said,'The sad fact is that a lot of the Bay Guardian's criticisms of PG&E are very apt, but the way in which the paper hammers home its message makes it get lost because it is so mind-numbingly repetitive.' " 

Yes, Bruce was prematurely right and never shy to tell you that, which is always annoying to lesser mortals. But now his time has come. Suddenly, we understand why it might have been a good idea to get San Francisco and even smaller cities like Berkeley out from under PG&E a long, long time ago. 

And while we’re on the topic of Bruce Brugmann’s hobby horses, let’s think about his other big one, the campaign against what he called the Manhattanization of San Francisco. Sadly, it looks like we’ve lost that one—his beloved San Francisco downtown is now just cold, dark windy tunnels created by big ugly buildings, or at least it’s reputed to be, since I don’t like to go there much anymore. When I worked south of Market for the Guardian and Pacific News Service in the 70s and 80s, walking around outside was a pleasant experience, but no more. And now it looks like Berkeley is starting down the Manhattanization path. 

There’s more of a connection between taking over PG&E and fighting Manhattanization than might first appear. 

One of the alternatives to private power sources which seems appealing is small scale neighborhood-based mini-grids. Not all dwellings, whether single family or multi-unit, are suitable for roof-top solar, but in combination it is possible for small local groups to create durable access to solar electricity which can be shared by all. However, some buildings in the group need to be able to catch enough sunshine on a regular basis in order to provide electricity to share. 

A few days ago I dropped in on a meeting of Friends of Adeline, an organization founded in response to a City of Berkeley project to create what was named the Adeline Corridor Plan. 

From the Friends’ website: “Friends of Adeline is a diverse group of caring South Berkeley residents working in partnership with local businesses, nonprofits, and others to affect change so that our neighborhood is an inclusive and just place for all people.” 

The Friends have a detailed, complex response to the COB efforts to remake the neighborhood around the Ashby BART station, but the whole interaction, which has now extended over several years, can really be summed up in the difference of one word. Friends are now calling their recommendations the Adeline Community Plan, not using the Adeline Corridor Plan title given by the original proponents. 

When BART first went in, a quarter of a century ago, it cut right through the heart of a lively African-American community which had existed in South Berkeley since at least World War II, originally created in part by the redlining which kept people of color out of the rest of Berkeley. Heroic efforts of residents and others succeeded in getting tracks and station placed underground in Berkeley, and the Berkeley Flea Market sprang up to revitalize the parking lot which resulted. 

However, the neighborhood around the station was not viewed by the regional planners as a potential destination like Downtown Berkeley, which the gateway to UC. It’s been treated as an unfortunate impediment for mass transit to get through as quickly as possible—as a corridor, in other words. 

Use of the Corridor name implies that there’s nothing much of importance there. 

Now, however, BART, in financial jeopardy after years of mismanagement, has noticed that the land it acquired by eminent domain for the stated purpose of transit can be monetized for other kinds of development which might be more lucrative. 

The Friends think otherwise. Their concerns include diversity, affordability, sustainability and especially avoiding displacement of current lower-income residents. A recent published statement notes that the Corridor plan “has already caused housing costs to rise due to speculative activity”, even faster than the increase in other areas of Berkeley. 

So how does this all connect with PG&E? Well, I recently attended a subcommittee meeting of commissioners from the city’s housing and planning commissions and other groups which was convened to discuss regulating the daylight/shadowing impacts of new construction. 

The problems I observed in that meeting were discussed in principle by Adam Gopnik in a must-read New Yorker article: a faction of self-styled Sacramento progressives has wrested control of local planning on transit “corridors” under the pretense of providing for affordable housing. 

He notes that “Traditional progressives have, in effect, aligned with real-estate developers; the truth is that big buildings get built by big builders, even if they are subsidized by the state. Community control, always an ambivalent concept…is once again becoming an evil to be eradicated by state power in the state capitol. Local zoning that protects low density… has to be trumped by state law, as is already under way in California.” 

Gopnik characterizes this as Yimbyism: the claim that “the answer to the housing problem in big cities is to build more housing in big cities, even if that means building high-rise buildings in low-rise neighborhoods and ugly new spaces in quaint old ones”. He cites a Mother Jones story which debunks the Yimbyish theory that there’s a net housing deficit everywhere (except New York and San Francisco.) 

It looks like the area along South Shattuck, through the BART station and south along Adeline from Ashby, will fall prey to the bigger-is-better anti-aesthetic philosophy being promulgated in Sacramento by developer allies like State Senators Skinner and Weiner and Assemblymember Wicks. And what the big buildings their legislation promotes will do, besides looking ugly more often than not, is shadow adjacent smaller buildings. Promoting the construction of large luxurious market-rate structures on major arteries could significantly reduce the ability of existing older low-rent neighborhoods like the Adeline Community to create local energy projects by keeping the sun off the roofs of the buildings on the side streets. 

Manhattanization strikes again. 

It’s been a cool half-century (pretty much the whole duration of my own participation in journalism) since Bruce Brugmann’s San Francisco Bay Guardian started railing against the twin evils of PG&E and Manhattanization. Yet here they are: déjà vu all over again. 

Some of us used to believe that printing the truth and raising hell would cure the ills of society, but here we still are, same old same old problems, even though the truth has been out for a long time now. Sad, isn’t it?

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. 

The Trump administration recently inserted a particularly cruel virus into America’s bloodstream vilifying Joe Biden making it nearly impossible to refute such innuendos.

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! 


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. 

However, in modern times, sexual harassment is a crime. Most people look upon it as highly immoral. The President can do it and get away with it. This is because of his massive amount of money with which he can pay people off as well as hire top-notch attorneys. 

With wealth, people are often able to evade the repercussions of wrong behavior. This is unhealthy - the wealth is insulating a person from the consequences that they, by all rights, ought to face. Their money is supporting their predatory behavior. 

Persistence was once touted as a good quality. However, persistence is where your repeated attempts at doing something are welcome. You could submit a hundred times to a pulp fiction magazine and get a hundred rejections. When it gets to be two hundred, they may get tired of you. Some cut you off after two or three rejected submissions. Others may route your submissions to auto-reject. But I have never been accused of harassment for submitting to a publication too much. 

The best guideline for determining whether you are harassing someone is to determine if your contacts are unwelcome. In order to do this, some level of clarity is necessary. If a mentally ill person is too delusional, for whatever reason, such as not having adequate treatment, it may be difficult to get through to her or him that they ought to stop contacting a person or company. 

This issue is intertwined with how things are packaged. Society has expected norms for how people are to go about contacting a person, agency, or company. If your contacts do not conform to the expected norms, the chances of being accused of wrongdoing are more. 

Harassment often stems from the inability to let go. This is where a person's mind is fixated on something to the point where she or he equates it with survival. Being delusional is a factor. Psychiatric consumers can benefit a lot from mindfulness, which can potentially make them able to realize that, firstly, some things just aren't going to happen, and, secondly, they may not really need the thing they are fixated on. 

Learning the discipline necessary for social appropriateness is a worthwhile pursuit. People can change their behavior at almost any age. But to do this, it requires effort, and sometimes it requires professional help. 

In many scenarios, persistence is a good trait. In writing, if you adhere to the guidelines of the publications to which you're sending material, persistence is usually necessary to get results. 

If a publication emails you, "We wish you the best of luck in your future writing career," it tends to indicate that you should go elsewhere with your submissions. Anyone can get tired of hearing from you. 

In the arena of mental health, it is a recurring theme that a mentally ill man makes unwelcome approaches to a woman with whom he is smitten. Yet, this is also the behavior of non-mentally ill men. The difference is that a non-mentally ill man lacks any semblance of an excuse. 

All people should take responsibility for their behavior, including those with psychiatric illnesses. 

Women also have inappropriate sexual behaviors in the absence of an excuse. I have seen news stories of women punished by the criminal justice system for these behaviors - it is less common than with men. 

When a person comes face-to-face with the fact that a behavior is not acceptable, it is usually emotionally difficult. If you can't sustain that emotion, and instead go into denial, you may not be able to make a necessary change to your behavior. 

So, when trying to decide whether a behavior is persistence or harassment, consider the context, and consider the specifics. And when trying to alter a behavior and finding it to be difficult to change the pattern, change begins by being able to handle the emotional pain of the situation. And change is also facilitated by getting professional help. 

It is important to note here that harassment is not solely in the realm of being a mental health consumer or other individual. Sometimes, disabled and poor people are subject to police harassment, or other harassment perpetrated by the government. When police or government harass a disadvantaged person, the presumption of authority is on the side of the perpetrator. Such abuse must be confronted, but it must be done so correctly. This entails adhering to the applicable laws and norms. For example, if someone in a governmental position is treating you unfairly, you can contact an elected official for help. 

Jack Bragen is author of "An Offering of Power: Valuable, Unusual Meditation Methods."

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 

The October/November edition of Common Ground magazine is celebrating the annual appearance of its "Women Issue." As befits a magazine devoted to the spiritual and healing aspects of communication, the issue features an interview with Marianne Williamson, who is hailed as "the first (out of the closet) yogi to run for US president." 

The issue also spotlights a timely declaration, The Womanifesto: A Declaration of Human Rights, that reads, in part: 

"I declare my freedom from being commodified: enslaved, forced into military service for the benefit of war profiteers, criminalized for poverty, criminalized for addiction or mental condition, sexually or medically exploited, or unfairly compensated for my work." 

There is also an eight-page spread celebrating 18 femme-fortifying quotes from some of the world's notable women. Here's a short sample: 

"Courage is the most important of all the virtues" — Maya Angelou. 

"If you're going to change things, you have to be with the people who hold the levers" — Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

"If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun" — Katharine Hepburn. 

Bernie Versus Bezos: A Tax on Billionaires 

Bernie Sanders wants you to count to ten. Why? Because every ten seconds, he explains, Jeff "The Lord of Amazon" Bezos, makes as much money as an average Amazon employee earns in a year. 

Here's a related factoid: According to an August 2019 study by the Economic Policy Institute: "CEO compensation has grown 940% since 1978 [while] typical worker compensation has risen only 12% during that time." 

Bernie's got a memorable tagline to go with his petition calling for a wealth tax on the top 0.1 percent of Americans—"Billionaires Should Not Exist." The tax would net $4 trillion over then next ten years. Like Elizabeth Warren's proposed wealth tax (2 cents for every dollar over $50 million), Bern's plan would also spare many mere millionaires. Anyone squeaking by on less than $32 million wouldn't see their taxes rise. 

If the Sanders plan were in force, here's how much moolah America's Molochs of Mammon would be repatriating to the US Treasury in 2020: Jeff Bezos ($14.8 billion), Charles Koch ($3.2 billion), Sheldon Adelson ($2.6 billion), Rupert Murdoch ($1.28 billion). 

Oh, for the days before Ronald Reagan went on his tax-axing, budget-busting binge, slashing the tax level for the wealthiest Americans from 70 percent, to 50 percent, and finally to 28 percent. 

Personally, I long for the days when the tax-rate for the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans was 90 percent! That, of course, was during the presidency of a notorious socialist extremist named Dwight David Eisenhower. I like the Ike Hike so much, I even sent Bernie a design for a campaign button/T-shirt. It read: "I Like the Ike Hike: 90% for the 1%." 

Trump's Golf Score: An A-Hole-in-One  

Brave New Films (BNF) is properly outraged by the discovery that military and government officials (including the vice president) have gone out of their way to book rooms at Trump-owned properties—all on the taxpayer's dime. According to Politico, House committees are investigating claims that political operatives — including at least one foreign government — “tried to ingratiate themselves to President Donald Trump by booking rooms at his hotels but never staying in them." 

And then there's Trump himself. Each time The Donald tees off at one of his fancy golf retreats, it costs taxpayers millions. According to BNF, the money wasted on Trump’s 30-plus #LiningHisPockets golf trips, could have provided housing for1,771 families for a year or covered a year’s salary for 2,050 public school teachers. BNF was so ticked off by Trump's tacky-trippy tactics that they did what they do best: They made this movie. 


How the Internet of Things Could Make Your Skin Crawl 

While the controversy over the potential roll-out of the "5G Revolution" continues to simmer, a recent article by John P. Thomas in Health Impact News may bring the debate to a boil. 

The public has been schooled to believe that powerful, wireless electromagnetic waves washing over our neighborhoods from cell antennas installed on posts, pillars, bus-stops and church steeples will accelerate the arrival of The Internet of Things. And cajoled into accepting that the risk of migraines and tumors is a small price to pay to enable "smart homes" to track our habits while we attain that blissful state known as "interconnectivity." Imagine a world in which your SmartFridge will tell you when you need to buy carrots. Your SmartPorch will have a DoorCam to record all the comings and goings of your neighbors. And your newborns will be equipped with SmartDiapers containing embedded microchips that can send an electronic message when its time for a change. 

This may sound dystopian but there are even darker fears surrounding this powerful new tech. In addition to advancing the goals of Surveillance Capitalism, these invisible rays can also be used to suppress dissent. 

In his long investigative piece, Thomas explains "How 5G and Smart Meter Technology Could Be Used as Weapons." 

The lead sentence spells it out: "Promoted as beneficial technology for electric consumers and marketed to satisfy the public’s never-ending demand for faster internet communication, the combination of the new 5G microwave technology and smart meters might just become an all-in-one weapons and surveillance system." 

Existing cellular and Wi-Fi networks currently use electromagnetic radiation at microwave frequencies up to 6 gigahertz (GHz). The proposed new 5 G applications will involve much higher frequencies—with ranges from 6 GHz to 100 GHz and beyond—utilizing sub-millimeter and millimeter waves. 

The Pentagon now has a "5G weapon"—euphemistically called an Active Denial System—that works by directing 96GHz-range microwave beams at human targets. The invisible beams heat the moisture in the outer layers of skin to an unbearable 129 degrees Fahrenheit causing an instant, painful baking effect at up to 550 yards. The ADS is also known as the "Pain Ray," "Heat-Ray Gun," and "The Agony Beam Weapon." 

Check out the Pentagon's promotional video showing how its microwave muzzles can be used to protect armed soldiers from "falling prey to an unruly mob." You can tell the targeted individuals are an "unruly mob" because they are marching, chanting, and brandishing signs that read: "World Peace," "Peace Not War," and "Go Home." 


So here's the Orwellian end-game (an outcome that would be a perfect set-up for a mid-summer Hollywood screen-screamer): If climate chaos and economic collapse trigger massive social unrest, the installation of thousands of 5G cell transmitters in every urban and suburban nook-and-cranny could make crowd control as simple as flipping a switch. 

The Opioid Holocaust 

Surrounded by a flurry of media hoopla, Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman was packed off to prison by a judge who determined she deserved jail time. Huffman's crime was spending $15,000 of her own money to help her teenage daughter sneak into a top-flight college. 

Now let's consider a different crime by another American family. 

Instead of spending a small portion of the family's fortune to help a child cheat her way onto campus, this other family made billions of dollars by slowly killing hundreds of thousands of fellow Americans in a dollars-for-deaths deal that involved lying for profit. 

While Hollywood celebrities face jail for spending their own cash to promote their kids, there has been no justice for the head of one of America's true crime families—Raymond R. Sackler, the Opioid Oligarch behind the deadly marketing of the addictive pain-killer, Oxy-Contin. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 700,000 Americans died as a result of opioid overdoses between1999-2017. 

As far back as 2007, the government accused Sackler's Purdue Pharma of lying to doctors about the dangers of Oxy-Contin and bribing doctors to over-prescribed the drug. Sackler and a lot of doctors grew rich as the body count grew. 


(Cartoon: The Mercury-News

In September, the Sackler family was caught using a Swiss bank account to transfer $1 billion in unreported wire-transfers. With around $13 billion in assets, the Sacklers are ranked among the country's 20 richest families. 

On March 18, 2018, Donald Trump issued a threat: "Whether you are a dealer or doctor or trafficker or a manufacturer . . . , we will find you, we will arrest you, and we will hold you accountable." Trump vowed to "get tough on the drug dealers who kill thousands of people [and added] . . . that toughness includes the death penalty." 

So who is hounded by the media, who is held accountable for breaking the law, who winds up spending time behind bars? Felicity Huffman, an actress who never caused a single death. 

A Dem Dilemma: How Do You Take Down a Tick? 

The group calling themselves "When Democrats Turn Out," has demonstrated that, when it comes to handing out insults, some Dems can be just as nasty as Big Gopster Don Trump. 

In a recent fund-raising email, WDTO called Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), "a tenacious little tick . . . doing everything he can to cozy up to the White House and suck the blood out of hard-working Americans. He’s burrowed himself deep in America’s skin and is draining it of energy by defending a criminal president and his corruption." 

According to WDTO, Jaime Harrison, Graham’s Democratic opponent, needs campaign donations. He also could use a catchy moniker to make him a worthy opponent of Lindsey the Tick. 

According to Prof. Google, a tick's natural predators include frogs, lizards, Guinea fowl, chickens, wild turkeys, and possums. So the options aren't great. Jaime the Tick-smackin' Lizard? Harrison the Tick-lickin' Turkey? Jaime "Wild Possum" Harrison? 

Rock On, a Half-Century Gone 



Just got word that Blue Moon Posters and Collectibles is releasing a 50-year anniversary assortment of 14 classic rock concert poster art by Berkeley artist Thomas Morris. Many of these 13x19-inch posters were featured in Paul Grushkin's best-selling The Art of Rock

The posters, hand-lettered and offset-printed on archival paper by the artist, were created to publicize concerts from the Bay Area and around the state—San Francisco, Oakland, Pleasant Hill, Modesto, Stockton, Moraga and San Jose. (One of Morris' posters went on to star in TV's Mod Squad, where it appeared permanently displayed on Peggy Lipton's wall.) 

At first, I thought these were new printings but I was surprised to learn they are all original prints from the days of Morris' Berkeley-based JellyRoll Press. After JellyRoll was toasted by a fire, Morris moved his base of operations to Sharpshooters Studio in downtown Berkeley. You can review Morris' complete archive of classic rock art at www.TMrockPosters.com. For more info and a display of posters currently available from Morris' long-guarded collection, check out bluemoonman22@msn.com 

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.  

Opening this concert was Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in D-flat Major. Making his local debut was Ukrainian pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk, who tore through this concerto at breakneck speed, emphasising technical prowess and power at the expense of feeling and nuance. Perhaps conductor Karina Canellakis should have exerted more control over the fast tempos Alexander Gavrylyuk imposed on the music. However, having stated in the program notes her profound regard for Gavrylyuk’s virtuosity, Canellakis gave him free rein. The results, as one might expect, were mixed. As an encore, Gavrylyuk offered more of the same in an overwrought performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s well-known Wedding March. One came away from this concert with a fervent wish that Karina Canellakis, who won the 2016 George Solti Conducting Award, might make frequent returns here to conduct the San Francisco Symphony. If she can succeed, as we just witnessed, in making a go of this difficult Russian program, let us hear what she can do with Mozart, Beethoven, et al.