The Week

The Friends of Adeline mural has become a memorial for Margy Wilkinson, a founder of the group.
Steven Finacom
The Friends of Adeline mural has become a memorial for Margy Wilkinson, a founder of the group.


Berkeley Mourns Loss
of Margy Wilkinson

Becky O'Malley
Sunday June 28, 2020 - 08:57:00 PM

Today Berkeley learned that Margy Wilkinson, a fierce and kind advocate for justice, died last night in her sleep. She was 76 years old. She and her husband and partner in action Tony Wilkinson were going to celebrate their 50th anniversary in April, but the party was postponed because of the pandemic shut-down.

Tributes have been pouring in to the Planet all day. We would like to reprint them here in her honor in the next days. Please send yours to -more-

Margy Wilkinson, Presente!

Friends of Adeline
Tuesday June 30, 2020 - 12:57:00 PM

It is with a heavy heart we share with you that Margy Wilkinson, our beloved colleague and friend, passed away in her sleep on Saturday, June 27 at her home in South Berkeley.

Margy grew up in South Berkeley/North Oakland and was a labor activist while working at Cal. She was a mom and grandmother, community activist, and profound friend. She fought for the rights of working people her entire life and together with her husband Tony (of 50 years) became powerful role models of love, life, and the highest potential of what people can be. The home she shared with Tony has always been and continues to be a hub for organizing in South Berkeley. Their home became a second home to many people in need of a meal, a home, an ally or friend.

Margy didn’t ask for permission to speak the truth. She organized every single day—on the phone, on the computer, at the dinner table, at meetings, etc. But she was not seeking to be a leader or a martyr. She simply saw and did not tolerate injustice; and together with Tony she built community to fight for justice in South Berkeley and beyond. She was particularly passionate about fighting the racism and displacement so implicit to the gentrification of South Berkeley. -more-

In Memoriam Margy Wilkinson

Phil Allen, Rita Maran, Gar Smith
Monday June 29, 2020 - 01:37:00 PM

I didn't know Margy Williamson well, but I saw her everywhere in the last half-dozen years, always committed and ready to take on the insult of the day. Her name should grace an appropriate place or structure ..

Phil Allen, Landmark Preservation Commissioner

Margy was an outstanding and incredibly fair-minded friend and activist. There is no one like her; no one will fill her place.

Our hearts go out to Tony and their children and grandchildren, and to their many circles of relatives and friends whose lives she enriched day after day and year after year.

Margy was endowed with crystal-clear insight and extraordinary patience - qualities that enabled her to forge ahead on myriad issues touching the lives of town-and-gown folks in Berkeley.

Her wisdom and compassion were deep and far-reaching. Hers was a life well-lived.

The Berkeley community must now suffer her loss.

With Sympathy and Embraces—

Rita Maran

The news of Margy Wilkinson's sudden and unexpected death has left me stunned. It's like reading that the solar system has just lost a planet.

—Gar Smith


Margy Wilkinson Was Loved by All

Marcia Poole
Sunday June 28, 2020 - 09:17:00 PM

Margy Wilkinson passed away last night. Berkeley has lost a 21st Century saint. She was a "collective" person. She knew who to contact for anyone in need of help and she immediately implemented the communication between people so the knots in the social fabric would be eased out. She spoke her heart and took no prisoners, yet was so compassionate and helpful that she had an open door policy to anyone, anywhere and relieved suffering.

She was a great protector of the Here/There encampment started by First They Came For The Homeless. When she saw that the residents there were without proper methods for maintaining health and hygiene, she had a porta potty put up adjacent to the camp and the Friends of Adeline paid for the installation and maintenance. They added a hand washing station to it.

She could be called when no one could provide a solution to a crisis and contact and immediate connections were made and help was given to those suffering. She was known city wide as the provider of instant reprieve for those who were catastrophically suffering. Over and over again, when the city administration closed its heart and mind to the people in need in Berkeley, Margy would remedy the solution in a matter of minutes and have relief brought to them.

As a 21st Century saint, she didn't mince words. She spoke truth to power and implemented organized structures that would serve all categories of need. Her husband, Tony, was her co-saint. They took on the very hard and the lighter tasks. People knew that there was no dead end when they had her as a resource.

I loved her and everyone who got to know her loved her. She was our Mary, Goddess of Mercy. -more-

Press Release: Major Legal Victory for Berkeley Neighbors Against UC Berkeley on Impacts of University Enrollment Increases on City Neighborhoods

Phil Bokovoy, President, Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods,
Friday June 26, 2020 - 04:35:00 PM

A Berkeley neighborhood group won a sweeping legal victory that gives them the right to sue UC Berkeley over the impacts of enrollment increases of more than 8,000 students from 2007- 2017 that the University undertook with no notice to the city and neighbors. -more-

One Arrest After Berkeley Gunfire

Keith Burbank (BCN)
Friday June 26, 2020 - 04:37:00 PM

One person was arrested for having a loaded gun and drug-related offenses in Berkeley on Wednesday evening, police said. -more-


Public Comment

The Desire to Kill

Steve Martinot
Sunday June 28, 2020 - 09:54:00 PM

They don’t know how to stop. They just don’t know how. It doesn’t matter how many people march in how many cities calling for the police to stop killing people, they don’t stop. -more-

What Black Lives Matter Means To Me

Jack Bragen
Saturday June 27, 2020 - 12:17:00 PM

The Black Lives Matter movement, in my perception, is equivalent to human lives matter. The concept that we need to create a black lives movement is indicative of how infantile and improperly developed people's and police officers' minds are. It should be considered a remedial step, and not an advanced step forward for the human species. -more-

Drugs and the Race Issue

Harry Brill
Saturday June 27, 2020 - 12:11:00 PM

In June 1971 President Richard delivered a special message to Congress to declare drug abuse as "public enemy number one". What he did not reveal to Congress was the motive for his message. Nixon didn’t really care about the drug issue. However, the president along with one of his top advisors, John Ehrlichman, were committed to getting rid of the civil rights movement. -more-

June Pepper Spray Times

By Grace Underpressure
Monday June 29, 2020 - 11:30:00 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-


THE PUBLIC EYE: Five Things You Can Do About Racism

Bob Burnett
Saturday June 27, 2020 - 12:14:00 PM

It’s been 57 years since Martin Luther King, Junior, gave his “I have a dream speech.” And, 56 years since the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Over this period, too little has changed. The United States has a persistent systemic racism problem that must be fixed.

In the most recent Gallup Poll ( respondents indicated that race relations were the most pressing national problem: "Gallup's long-standing 'most important problem' question provides important context for measuring the impact of the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis... Some 19% of Americans named race relations as the nation's top problem in our May 28-June 4 survey. This is, by one point, the highest percentage since July 1968."

I'm a privileged white man. Therefore, I broach the subject of racism with trepidation. Nonetheless, here are five suggested actions that white folks can take to improve race relations. These are actions you can take at home or in your community. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: How I Am Affected by the Pandemic

Jack Bragen
Saturday June 27, 2020 - 03:54:00 PM

The shelter-in-place in Contra Costa County was the definitive moment at which I realized coronavirus is serious business. At the time it began, my wife and I were partway through a move within our apartment building. Because we are dependent on a subsidy from HUD to be able to afford rental, there is a lot of paperwork and hoops to jump through to accomplish even in a small move like this one. -more-

Fighting The Pandemic And Reopening The Economy Too Soon Are Not Working

Ralph E. Stone
Saturday June 27, 2020 - 11:55:00 AM

Few would disagree that the collapse of the U.S. economy into a recession was mainly caused by the coronavirus pandemic and worsened by the inept leadership at the federal level. It would seem to follow that the priority should be to contain the causative virus and reduce the deaths associated with it as quickly as possible before reopening the economy. Instead, those in power are trying to have it both ways by continuing the fight against the virus while reopening our economy, resulting in a losing battle on both fronts. -more-

SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces

Gar Smith
Wednesday July 01, 2020 - 02:20:00 PM
Trump's Stern Nature:The Germans can clearly see the problem. They've been through it before.

Bolton's Still Revoltin'

John Bolton, Don Trump's former National Security Advisor (and the Lorax's crazy uncle), recently made an appearance on Stephen Colbert's The Late Show and went about the business of flogging his new tell-all book by dissing his former boss.

He ridiculed Trump. He lambasted Trump. He demonized Trump. He debased Trump. But he wouldn't apologize for continuing to play along with Trump despite his growing distaste for the man. Bolton now boasts he's made a clean break with the Master of Disaster.

At the same time, however, there's evidence that there's still a power connection between the Bronzed Bullfrog of Belligerence and his Mustached Toady. Here's the tip-off. How many people in Colbert's viewing audience noticed that over Bolton's right shoulder—in his den covered with framed documents—there was one framed letter prominently on display that bore a unique and unmistakable signature.

Yep, it was a framed letter signed by Donald J. Trump. -more-

Arts & Events

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar: June 28-July 5

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Saturday June 27, 2020 - 11:51:00 AM

Worth Noting:

There are nine City meetings in the coming week June 28 – July 5, 2020. All 4th of July events are cancelled due to COVID-19. And, while COVID-19 has not hit Berkeley hard yet – yet is the discomforting word. New cases of infections are skyrocketing across the South, This is no time to get careless.

Treat that mask on your face as if it is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, because that is exactly the worth if you prevent just one person from getting sick and being hospitalized and that one person could be you. Wear that mask with honor. The best practice is to put it on before leaving home, make sure your nose and mouth are covered and leave it on until you return home.

Monday – Budget Committee meets at 10 am for the last review. The City Manager is recommending across the board cuts of 15%. The Agenda Committee meets at 2:30 pm to plan the July 14 Regular City Council meeting – the Council meeting when measures on policing will be presented for vote. The Police Review Commission meets at 7 pm to finalize the recommendations for revisions to the Berkeley Police Use of Force policy.

Tuesday - The City Council will vote to adopt the FY 2021 budget - item 40 on a long agenda.

Wednesday - City Council Facilities, Infrastructure, (FITS) meets at 2 pm. In the evening the Library Board starts at 6:30 pm and the Homeless Services Panel of Experts and the Planning Commission start at 7 pm.

Thursday – The Landmarks Commission meets at 7 pm.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

No City meetings or events found

Monday, June 29, 2020

City Council Budget & Finance Committee, 10 am


Teleconference: 669-900-9128 Meeting ID: 867 6305 7213

Agenda: Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Update

Agenda and Rules Committee, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm,


Teleconference: 669-900-9128 Meeting ID: 820 1985 1685

Agenda planning for July 14 City Council Regular meeting: CONSENT: 1. Contract with Wells Fargo thru 5/31/2023 Resolution authorizing CM to continue unbundling banking services with Wells Fargo, 2. Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) nutrition programs for seniors, 3. Contract add $946,419 and extend thru 6/30/2020 total $1,907,293 with Berkeley Food & Housing Project for Administrative Services for Berkeley Mental Health, 4. Contract add $34,736 thru 6/30/2021total $103,178 with Bay Area Hearing Voices Network for Hearing voices support groups, 5. Local Housing Trust Fund Application, 6. Contract $552,862 includes 15% contingency with Sandstone Environmental Engineering, Inc. for Aquatic Park Central Tide Tubes, 7. Contract add $280,000 total $1,471,342 with Redwood Engineering Construction for James Kenney Park, Picnic and Play Area Renovation, 8. Ordinance declaration of easements between 2009 and 2015 Addison (sublease Berkeley Repertory Theater), 9. Contract $116,635.39 with Shaw Industries for Civic Center Building Carpet Replacement, 10. Contract add $50,000 and extend to 6/30/2023 total $190,000, ACTION: 11. Permanent Local Housing Application $7,761,504 to support local affordable housing and homeless services, 12. Resolution for issuance of bonds by CALPFA for 1717 University rental housing development, 13. ZAB Appeal 1533 Beverly Place, 14. Safety for All: George Floyd Act Budget request to Perform Police Call and Response Analysis and to Direct the CM to implement initiatives and reforms that reduce the footprint of the police department, 15. Changes to BMC and City Policies with respect to Local Emergency Declarations and First Amendment Curfews, 16. Rename Shattuck, 17.a. & b. Compiling Homeless Commission Recommendations and tracking outcomes, 18. Menstrual Products for Unhoused Community, 19. Amending Council Rules of Procedure in regard to items submitted by Mayor or Councilmembers to go to whole Council for review rather than referral by Agenda to Policy committee, 20. Declare Juneteenth as City Holiday, 21. Redistribution of City Resources and Operations from Berkeley Police (proposed police budget $72,774,334) when call/situation is better served by trained city staff and community partners, 22. Referral to CM to Re-imagine Policing approaches to Public Safety with robust community engagement, 23. BerkDOT pursue Berkeley Department of Transportation to ensure a racial justice lens in traffic enforcement. REFERRED ITEMS for REVIEW: 8. Impact of COVID-19 on meetings of Legislative bodies, 9. Election Reform Act to Prohibit Officeholder Accounts, 10. Resolution incorporate 1 minute 46 seconds of mindfulness, 11. Commission Reorganization for Post COVID Recovery, (packet 176 pages)