Early this morning an arrest warrant was issued for the suspect believed to be responsible for a home invasion sexual assault. Wanted for rape, sodomy, false imprisonment, oral copulation, burglary, and sexual battery is Omar Sosa, 6-22-1983, of Berkeley. -more-
[Editor’s note: A reader has forwarded this email from Councilmember Linda Maio.] -more-
This morning at 6:11 a.m., Patrol officers from the City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) responded to a residential sexual assault which occurred on Evelyn Street in North Berkeley. -more-
The University of California Board of Regents this morning approved an 8 percent undergraduate tuition hike for the 2011-12 academic year. -more-
KPFA LISTENERS WILL CONVERGE outside of Pacifica's offices in Berkeley (next door to KPFA) for a DRAMATIC PUBLIC READING of some of the thousands of letters they have sent to Pacifica's executive director Arlene Engelhardt, urging her to return the Morning Show, the bay area's only locally-produced non-commercial morning news and information program, to the airwaves. WELL-KNOWN VOICES will be on hand to participate. -more-
With Mayor Bates on vacation for the month, Councilmember Linda Maio presided over the second City Council meeting of November on Tuesday evening. After ceremonial matters and public comment, the bulk of the meeting was spent on the year-to-date crime report, a status report from the city's information technology department on an old software program (FUND$), and an update on employee safety and workers' compensation from human resources. The only action taken Tuesday night was to unanimously approve a resolution to endorse BevMo's United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 5 campaign. -more-
[Editor's note: At the end of this video can be seen the infamous Dan Spitzer, the notorious persecutor of Berkeley Daily Planet advertisers.]
What began as a peaceful Sunday evening gathering at the South Berkeley Senior Center erupted into verbal conflict and political clashes that eventually drew the attention of the Berkeley police who dispatched a half-dozen squad cars and a fire-truck to the scene.
The Bay Area chapter Jewish Voice for Peace had intended to host a presentation by several young activists who had disrupted Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before the Jewish Federation’s General Assembly in New Orleans on November 8. But the Berkeley event started to go off-the-rails even before the meeting was officially convened. -more-
I do not think that many people noticed the pepper-spraying incident when it first happened. … The attendees were visibly shaken, and wisely cautioned against people walking back to their cars alone. The two JVP members who were pepper-sprayed recounted their stories and one asked to leave as her face was all red and her contact lenses were burning. They informed us that the offender had been handcuffed for a few moments but the police had then determined there was no sufficient evidence to arrest or press charges. That the options were either to perform a citizen’s arrest – at which point everyone involved gets arrested – or for both to walk free, since it is one word against another, forget about the pepper-sprayed face. … I offered to walk the pepper-spray victim to her car outside. -more-
Last night, up to a dozen members of San Francisco Voice for Israel/StandWithUs, a right-wing Israeli advocacy group with a documented track record of aggressively taunting and intimidating grassroots peace activists , attended a Bay Area Jewish Voice for Peace community meeting at a South Berkeley Senior Center with the intention of disrupting, intimidating and possibly assaulting Jewish Voice for Peace members.
Jewish Voice for Peace is the largest U.S. Jewish peace group dedicated to a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on democracy and full equality --- the Bay Area chapter is the founding chapter of the organization. Approximately 50 to 60 people were at the meeting, and numerous witnesses are available to corroborate the events. Eyewitness testimonies are here and here -more-
About 200 University of California students and faculty have gathered at UC San Francisco's Mission Bay campus this morning to protest proposed student fee hikes and changes to employee retirement plans. -more-
Today, over 500 students and workers are demanding a stop to unnecessary fee increases and benefits cuts. Protesters are blocking entrances to the UC Regents meeting. Three students have already been arrested for demanding entrance to the meeting to carry their message to the Regents. Police have used pepper spray on the crowd. Some barricades have been knocked down as protesters push toward the entrances. -more-
Six years ago we wrote about the Berkeley flea market in the Planet and its history and unique place in the community are worth telling again. Unlike a corporation operating for profit, the Berkeley flea market is run by Community Services United (CSU), a consortium of non profit Berkeley organizations which receive quarterly payments out of the income generated by the flea market. These organizations each send a representative to the Board of Directors which meet monthly to oversee and set policy for the market. The funds given to these organizations make it possible for them to carry out their programs in the community. -more-
On Friday, November 12, a constellation of legendary reporters from the Bay Area and beyond gathered at the Metreon’s City View auditorium to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Pacific News Service/New America Media. Since it’s founding in 1968 by Franz Schurmann and Orville Schell, two UC Berkeley professors, PNS has distinguished itself by reporting from the world’s forgotten neighborhoods — from distant battlefronts to local barrios. Many of journalism’s brightest stars were on hand to honor Sandy Close, PNS’ guiding light and Franz Shurmann’s partner in life and work. -more-
Midnight Matt, the 53-year-old tree sitter, looked out over People's Park Sunday from his forty foot high redwood tree and pronounced it "cool." -more-
Recycle Blues; Defacing Signs; Smartmeter Spy; The Situation at KPFA:; Construction Interests Fund School Board Campaigns;NIMBY Notice; Public Crimes; State Parks Initiative; PUC; Most Moronic Post-Election Analysis I've Seen Yet; Cut Military Spending -more-
I have a proposal to make to all PGE customers. It is a fairly delicate matter, given the fundamental assumptions of this culture. So I will try to be soft and subtle about making it. But I know I will fail. -more-
'It's time for all of us to truly save KPFA' -more-
Livability is one of those once innocuous words, like sustainability, that now receive almost unquestioned acceptance in the bureaucracy, academia and the media. After all, words like sustainability and livability have no acceptable negative form. Who could be in favor of anything unlivable, insensitive, unhealthy or unsustainable? -more-
Born in Manhattan in 1946, Dorien Ross was a well loved writer, teacher and clinical psychologist. -more-
This Monday I woke earlier than usual— the added hour from the end of daylight savings helped me to do that—when surprisingly, at 7 am, just a few moments after I plugged in my telephone, it began to ring. "Hi Susan, I'm Evan," the voice said, "I'm sorry to say I have tragic news." Since I had just taught a workshop on the weekend and spent most of the day Sunday in bed recovering, I had a long list of tasks to accomplish before picking up my grandson in the afternoon. But suddenly another reason to rush had fallen into my life. -more-
Wrapping yourself in the flag: it’s a hoary cliché. Usually, it implies using phony patriotism to disguise nefarious aims. There’s a quote mistakenly attributed to Sinclair Lewis which has been turned into a popular bumpersticker: “When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.” Wikiquotes thinks the source was Harrison Salisbury’s characterization of Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here: "Sinclair Lewis aptly predicted in It Can't Happen Here that if fascism came to America it would come wrapped in the flag and whistling 'The Star Spangled Banner.”
But neither Sinclair Lewis nor Harrison Salisbury, nor anyone else for that matter, could have anticipated that fascism would come to the South Berkeley Senior Center on a Sunday night in November 2010 in the person of a middle-aged lady wrapped in an Israeli flag with the Star of David on her back. If I hadn’t seen it on video, I might not have believed it. -more-
The Editor's Back Fence
UC Berkeley's own Matthew Taylor has a piece in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz explaining the new militancy of young American Jews like himself.
Richard Brenneman forwards a link about a possible new buyer for Golden Gate Fields which appeared in a trade publication.
Chris Hedges has a terrific column in Truthdig about what happened to academics who refused to cooperate with those who were intent on purging dissenters, featuring mathematician Chandler Davis, author of a recent Planet commentary on fighting for free speech.
The much anticipated first volume of autobiography of legendary American author and humorist Samuel Langhorne Clemens, best known by his pen name Mark Twain, lands on bookstore shelves today (Monday, Nov. 15), 100 years after his death, courtesy of editors at the Mark Twain Papers and Project at the University of California, Berkeley's Bancroft Library.
A sublimely silly piece from the San Francisco Chronicle about Berkeley's Measure R, written by someone who doesn't seem to know how to follow the money. Write to them, and cc us so we can print your letters when they don't.
Richard Brenneman continues to track misdeeds at the University of California on his blog:"It’s been a bad year for University of California students, but a very good year for UC Berkeley bioengineer Jay Keasling. During the same UC Board of Regents session that boosted student fees by another eight percent, the regents handed the professor an 11 percent raise just a few weeks after his private corporation went public and earned him more than $10 million worth of stock." -more-
In the wake of the election, progressive movements and their members are debating what went wrong. Some say the media amplified the bizarre statements of the Tea Party. Still others argue that Obama didn’t offer sufficient leadership or remind us what he had actually achieved during his first 18 months in office. Many blame no one, knowing that midterm elections bring a backlash, regardless of who is in power. -more-
On November 2nd, Democrats were “shellacked” because they didn’t have a coherent message about the jobs crisis. Whereas Republicans said, “Lower taxes and fewer regulations create jobs,” Dems equivocated, “Let’s not go back to the Bush era.” To prevent another Democratic disaster in 2012, President Obama must develop a forceful jobs narrative. -more-
Conversations With Terrorists: Middle East Leaders on Politics, Violence, and Empire,”by Reese Erlich, PoliPoint Press, 2010, $14.95
The following from the Washington Post is why you should read journalist Reese Erlich’s book on terrorism: -more-
The expression “buzzard’s luck” attached itself to President Obama in my mind around the time of the Gulf disaster, and subsequent events have strengthened the association. It connotes prolonged intractable wasn’t-for-bad-luck-I’d-have-no-luck-at-all misfortune. The classic formulation, from the buzzard’s point of view, is: “Can’t kill nothing and nothing won’t die.” A Google search picks up several sportswriters applying it, prematurely, to Bruce Bochy. -more-
The Sausalito Village organization, along with its parent organization, Marin Village, began providing services in October. This new service organization is dedicated to enabling Sausalitans to remain in their homes as they grow older. Areas in which trained volunteers will play critical roles in making the Sausalito Village concept a vital component of community life will include transportation, home maintenance, companionship and personal assistance. A program of classes, events, and social activities will also be offered to dues-paying members. Per household, dues are $20 per month or $200 per year. Members who can contribute at a higher level can help Sausalito Village to expand. Donations above $200 are tax deductible. Membership applications are available at the Marin Village website. The Sausalito Village Steering Committee is asking friends across Marin to join the Founders Circle by donating from $1000 to $5000. -more-
Arts & Events
For its many innovative programs, all free, the Main Berkeley Public Library is due lavish praise. And much credit should go to Debbie Carton, Music and History Librarian ( a Whirling Dervish if ever there was one!) Her popular and ever expanding program ,"Play Reading for Adults" is held every Wednesday from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. in the Fourth Floor Story Room, attracting more than 20 participants, who sit in a circle at a round table, reading from the selected play ("Cyrano" being the latest.) On Tuesday, December 14th at 6:30 p.m. Playreaders will present a staged reading of Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood" in the Library's 3rd floor Meeting Room. -more-