The Week



New: Berkeley Police Seek Man Who Tried to Kidnap Woman on Street

By Bay City News
Tuesday March 11, 2014 - 07:29:00 PM

Police are looking for a man who attempted to kidnap a woman as she was walking home alone in Berkeley on Friday night. -more-

East Bay Residents Warned Against Phony Water District Employees After Utility Truck Is Stolen

By Bay City News
Sunday March 09, 2014 - 11:24:00 PM

East Bay residents should be on the lookout for suspects posing as water department workers after an official truck was stolen from the East Bay Municipal Utility District last week, the district announced today. -more-

Man Found Dead in Berkeley Identified

by Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Friday March 07, 2014 - 01:38:00 PM

A man who was found dead in an apartment in West Berkeley last Friday was identified by police today as 54-year-old Sylvan Fuselier of Berkeley.

Berkeley police also announced they are offering a $15,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the suspect or suspects who were responsible for his death.

Police said they were dispatched at about 11:45 a.m. Friday for a welfare check at an apartment in the 1100 block of Addison Street.

They said a community member told them that they were concerned because they hadn't seen Fuselier, who lived in the apartment, for several days.

Officers who entered the apartment found Fuselier dead inside, police said. -more-



Two Strong Women Making Waves

By Becky O'Malley
Friday March 07, 2014 - 12:53:00 PM

In honor of International Women’s Day, March 8, and Women’s History Month let’s celebrate the life and work of a couple of heroines who are still working on their place in history, Sister Megan Rice and Ohio State Senator Nina Turner.

First, Sister Megan, of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, is the 84-year-old nun who’s just been sentenced to three years in jail because she took part in a break-in at the facility where the U.S. stores most of its weapons-grade uranium. She and her two companions wanted to call attention to what they perceived as violations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, a world agreement supposed to control the spread of nuclear weapons.

I’m particularly proud of Sister Megan because the nuns of the SHCJ taught me in high school in Pasadena. In those days all of our teachers were women, almost all of them nuns. It was a great privilege to learn by their example that women were fully capable of running things, could even tackle subjects like chemistry and math which girls at co-ed schools sometimes were led to believe to be too hard, better left to the boys.

Looking online to learn more about Sister Megan, who might have been one of my teachers, I was amazed to learn that instead she’d spent 40 years in Africa teaching science to African girls. I was impressed by the pictures of the SHCJ sisters in Africa, now almost all of them native to Africa, with just a few of European descent sprinkled among them. They not only run schools, but work in organic agriculture, health, and other diverse fields.

There’s a petition in circulation asking President Obama to pardon Megan Rice and her two co-conspirator peace activists, or to limit their sentences to time served. But I can’t help imagining what a fertile field a women’s prison would be for Sister Megan’s activism and her experience as an educator—she’d be teaching truth there at government expense. Before she was sentenced, she asked the court to send her to jail, so she may have some plans…

What women like Megan Rice show us is that if something needs to be done and no one seems to be doing it, just get moving. The influence of a single determined woman can be enormous.

Another kind of heroine has recently come to my attention, one whose strength is instead working within the system to get things done. Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, who has represented a Cleveland district in the Ohio legislature for many years, is now running for Ohio Secretary of State in an attempt to end the Republican domination of that office which has resulted in numerous attempts to keep Democrats, especially African-Americans, from voting. The latest outrage, says Katrina Van Den Heuvel: “Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State John Husted moved to restrict early-voting hours in the Buckeye State, eliminating early voting on Sundays and weekday nights.”

Turner’s campaign to end voter suppression in Ohio was profiled by Van Den Heuvel in The Nation: Why This Woman Should Be Ohio’s Next Secretary of State. You can also see her appearance on The Rachel Maddow Show -more-

The Editor's Back Fence

New: Dreamers of the Week on the Midnight Special:

Tuesday March 11, 2014 - 09:08:00 PM

1) The guy who identified himself to the Berkeley City Council tonight as some kind of managerish person at the Oxford/Center Starbucks. He thinks putting a very popular Starbucks on the corner of Ashby and Telegraph would turn that intersection into a pedestrian mecca. Uh-huh.

2) Then there's Mayor Bates, who expressed surprise that neighbors report the Alta Bates parking garage full at 8am. "Why,"he said, "when I go there at 10 I can find a space." But wait--doesn't he say he's given up his car, that he's a non-driver? Just sayin'

3) And at the tail end of the meeting, at the eleventh hour, literally, the Mayor's Majority, whom he's suckered into believing that filing an action to get a judge to set the district lines for the November local election will result in his district map triumphing. As Councilmember Arreguin pointed out, the judge will be able to examine ALL the plans submitted for consideration, and will be obliged to pick the one which best follows the charter. And that's not the blatant gerrymander which the M's M. passed.

How much will hiring an outside lawyer to sue the city (yes, that's what they're planning to do!)cost the taxpayers? Plenty, and a lot of citizens will remember that when they're deciding how to vote on the revenue measures the council wants to put on the very same ballot. -more-

Public Comment

National Advisory Council on Historic Preservation to Meet in Oakland on Sale of Historic Post Offices

By Margot Smith
Friday March 07, 2014 - 01:57:00 PM

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) will be meeting in Oakland on March 11, 2014, to hear testimony on the sale of historic post offices and its effect on communities, historic buildings and historic districts. The ACHP is an independent federal agency that promotes preservation and sustainable use of our nation’s historic resources and its members are appointed by President Obama.

The Council is required to develop and submit a plan to Congress by April 17, 2014 to make sure that the U.S. Postal Service follows the law in handling its historic buildings. The ACHP invited groups working on historic preservation to make presentations from 1:45-4:30 PM at the Dellums Federal Building, 1301 Clay Street, Oakland. The meeting is by invitation only, and not open to the public. However, the public may submit their concerns in writing. This will be the only meeting in California.

Members of the press should contact the ACHP Office of Communications. The Director is Susan Glimcher, Phone: 202-606-8648

Remember History When Considering Ukraine

By Tejinder Uberoi
Friday March 07, 2014 - 01:55:00 PM

Secretary of State, John Kerry, issued a strong statement to Russian czar, Vladimir Putin - “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped-up pretext.” Oh really! Perhaps, Kerry should look in the rear view mirror and reflect on our ‘shock and awe’ preemptive attack on Iraq based on bogus claims of WMD’s. -more-

The G.M. Recal

By Tejinder Uberoi
Friday March 14, 2014 - 12:08:00 PM

It took 13 deaths and hundreds of complaints for the Justice Department to finally launch a criminal investigation into why the largest automaker, General Motors, ignored deadly safety defects in its compact cars Contrary to earlier assertions that the problem was first discovered in 2003, GM now admits that the ignition switch on its Saturn Ion stalled in 2001. -more-


THE PUBLIC EYE: The War on Democracy: The Deep State

By Bob Burnett
Friday March 07, 2014 - 01:32:00 PM

Over the course of the past decade, the doyens of the left, Peter Dale Scott and Noam Chomsky, began to use the term “deep state” to refer to the relatively small number of Washington and Wall Street player who actually control America. Now former GOP congressional senior staff member, Mike Lofgren, has elaborated the concept. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: Thoughts on the Ukrainian Crisis

By Ralph E. Stone
Friday March 07, 2014 - 01:29:00 PM

Secretary of State John Kerry recently denounced Russia’s intervention in the Crimea by declaring, “It is not appropriate to invade a country, and at the end of a barrel of a gun dictate what you are trying to achieve. That is not 21st-century, G8, major nation behaviour." Guess which country has a sordid history of invading countries. As the saying goes, people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: St. Patrick's Day

By Ralph E. Stone
Friday March 14, 2014 - 12:05:00 PM

On March 17th, the Irish, the more than 70 million world-wide who claim Irish heritage, and the Irish-for-a-day, will be lifting a pint of Guinness, or something stronger, to toast Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. I bet corn beef and cabbage will be on many a menu. And many will be wearin' the green. Why is it celebrated on March 17th? One theory is that is the day St. Patrick died and is now celebrated as his feast day. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Chronicle of an Episode

By Jack Bragen
Friday March 07, 2014 - 01:36:00 PM

Most people have, at some point, encountered someone with a mental illness. Perhaps there is an aunt or cousin with mental illness, or the son or daughter of a coworker. Yet, people in general have limited understanding of the life of someone with serious mental illness. It might help you understand if I explain to you what it is like for me to experience a psychotic episode and then recover from it. -more-

SENIOR POWER: Inspiring Change

By Helen Rippier Wheeler,
Friday March 07, 2014 - 01:17:00 PM

March is National Women’s History Month. March 8 is International Women's Day. -more-

AGAINST FORGETTING: Why Women's History Month?

By Ruth Rosen
Friday March 07, 2014 - 09:51:00 AM

Everything that explains the world has in fact explained a world that does not exist, a world in which men are at the center of the human enterprise and women are at the margin "helping" them. Such a world does not exist -- never has” (Gerda Lerner )

Aside from the Republican’s relentless War on Women, let me offer you another reason why even one token month is still necessary to America’s political culture.

I’ve just finished reading a book titled The Season of the Witch, written by David Talbot, who founded in 1995, the first web magazine in the United States, known for breaking investigative journalistic stories. The book is an evocative political, social and cultural history of San Francisco from the late 1950s through the early 1970s. Since he dealt with every trend and movement, often in overheated prose, I kept waiting—and waiting--for him to describe the sudden explosion of the women’s liberation movement.

Astonishingly, Talbot didn’t even write one paragraph about the women’s movement, which certainly transformed American political and social culture more profoundly than did the two chapters he devotes to the San Francisco 49ers football team. -more-

Arts & Events

New Theater Company Plays "Other People's Money" at Kehila in Oakland

By Our Correspondent
Friday March 14, 2014 - 12:09:00 PM

Piedmont and Oakland has a new theatre company—the Piedmont Oakland Repertory Theatre -more-

Around & About Theater & Music: ShadowLight & Gamelan Musicians Stage Free Balinese Shadowplay Saturday Night on UC Berkeley Campus

By Ken Bullock
Friday March 07, 2014 - 01:42:00 PM

Larry Reed, American dalang (shadowmaster) extraordinaire, and his 40-year old company ShadowLight will stage a free Balinese shadowplay, "The Marriage Contest for the Hand of Princess Tatewati," a tale from the Mahabharata, with gamelan musicians Carla Fabrizio, Lisa Gold, Paul Millar and Sarah Willner, sponsored by the UC Berkeley Department of Music and the department of Southeast Asian studies, this Saturday night, 8-9 p. m. at Morrison Hall, 125 Elkus Room, on the UC campus. Information: or call 642-2678. -more-

Two Theater Reviews: 'The Lion & the Fox,' Central Works at the Berkeley City Club; 'A Maze,' Just Theater at Ashby Stage

By Ken Bullock
Friday March 07, 2014 - 01:46:00 PM

—Almost five years ago, Central Works staged 'Machiavelli's The Prince,' a two-hander with good performances by Richard Frederick and
Michael Navarra as the famed political writer of the Renaissance and Lorenzo II, Duke of Florence, the ruler to whom Machiavelli's most famous screed was dedicated. -more-