There is always a risk in politics that arguments get personal and hurtful. But there is a difference between small town politics and national politics. Donald Trump can say false and abhorrent things about the President; nasty criticism is part of our national political tradition, and a thick skin is part of the job description for a national politician. At the small town level, not so much. The Planet editor is right to call to task those who made what to her ears were accusations of racism against opponents of the current plans for demolishing the South and West branch libraries and building new ones. And yet to someone who has followed the library’s plans for many years, it is hard not to wonder what can motivate the opponents other than something as irrational and emotional as racism. The closest national dispute that comes to mind is the opposition to building an Islamic Center near the site of the World Trade Center. -more-
Crews this morning pulled a man out from his car after he took a 100-foot plunge down an embankment in the Oakland hills three days ago, a fire battalion chief said. -more-
A doctor who worked for the University of California at Berkeley's health center for nearly 22 years pleaded not guilty today to 19 felony counts involving allegations that he sexually assaulted six male patients. -more-
Berkeleyans may be confused and dismayed, as am I, by the escalating rhetoric about demolition of the West and South Branch libraries.
I re-reviewed Measure FF to see if library branch demolition is permitted. The short answer is absolutely not and I urge readers to read the stark reality for themselves at :
The voters clearly approved only renovation and improvements, the measure was sold on this basis, and FF may well have failed if library demolition was an option. -more-
A former University of California physician has been arrested on suspicion of engaging in sexual misconduct with patients at UC Berkeley's health care facility, according to prosecutors. -more-
In an early morning extension of their April 26 meeting the Berkeley Council moved forward with controversial plans to demolish and rebuild the South and West Berkeley branch libraries. -more-
A modestly sized rally of about 60 to 70 individuals gathered at the steps of City Hall on the evening of April 26, 2011 to express support for the demolition and rebuilding of the South and West branches of the Berkeley Public Library. -more-
More than 60 sitters, lie-ers, crawlers, and a clown engaged in a little street theater Tuesday at the old Cody’s building on Telegraph Avenue, demonstrating what might happen if a new measure prohibiting sitting or lying on public sidewalks were to be adopted by the Berkeley City Council.
Afterwards, demonstrators moved on to speak in the public comment period of the Berkeley City Council meeting, picking up more supporters along the route. They were joined by a large group of Cal students, workers at the Suitcase Clinic—who weren’t getting course credit for their efforts. The clinic provides medical treatment for homeless and other underserved clients.
At the city council meeting, five names were drawn at random to make public comments before the meeting started about items not on the council’s agenda for the night. Suitcase Clinic workers, who had become a sizeable percentage of the 100 or so protesters who occupied most of the seats in the council chamber, made impassioned statements defending the rights of their clients to sit down when they needed to, even on public sidewalks. -more-
BUSD To Consider Dumping All Pre-K Extended Day Programs--
Goodbye 2020 Vision to Close Achievement Gap! (Partisan Position)
My Name is Pablo Paredes and I am a parent of a child in one of the last four remaining extended day programs in BUSD's Pre-K system (attached is a photo where my son interacts with his exclusively students of color classroom). I am also the Chair of the School Governance Council for the three Berkeley Preschools. I was shocked to learn that in order to address the 15 % state mandated budget cuts and 10% reduction in per pupil reimbursement the strategy that staff will submit for approval by the BUSD Board
next [today], Wednesday, is to cut the last remaining four classrooms that offer extended care for Pre-schools in Berkeley. Maybe even the last of their kind in the state. This is a major issue for families of color in Berkeley. A quick site visit at Hopkins, King or Franklin CDC to the 9.5 hour classrooms will reveal classrooms that almost exclusively serve working poor families of color and these are the classrooms on the chopping block.
Peace-War Melodrama Debuts in Berkeley's People's Park 42nd Anniversary Entertainment; Easter and Weather Attack Teley Street Fest
Easter Sunday and bad morning weather threatened to attack this year's 42nd anniversary of the battle for People's Park in 1969 and take out Teley's "Last Weekends Festival" too.
If the cold 15mph wind and sometimes hard rain had continued into the afternoon, People's Park would have been slogged and sound amplifiers driving the Telegraph Ave. fest would have been blown by rain, according to the event's organizer.
The People's Park amps and onstage entertainment were tented. But park revelers would have sunk in 'quickmud,' according to park sources familiar with the park's legendary water drainage problems.
The day was somewhat saved when weather changed its mind. Easter doesn't do change. The fair's organizer, an avenue head shop owner, joked that he'd emailed the Easter bunny requesting weather change. The bunny came through. -more-
The 105th anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake on Monday, April 18, was commemorated by Mother Nature herself with a little bump of an offshore tremor that afternoon. Another way to remember 1906—and to prepare for the inevitable major earthquakes in the future of the Bay Area—is to attend the 2011 Lawson Lecture sponsored by the Seismographic Laboratory at the UC Berkeley campus. -more-
Press Release: AB 410(Equal Access to Public Information for the Blind) Passes the Assembly Business and Professions Committee
Today, the Equal Access to Public Information for the Blind Act passed the Assembly Business and Professions Committee with a unanimous vote. “Blind and visually impaired people have a right to the same information that state agencies are required to provide to the rest of the public,” explained author Assemblymember Sandré R. Swanson (D-Alameda). “AB 410 codifies fundamental democratic principles of equal access and public notice by requiring state agencies to provide regulations in a format that is accessible to the blind and visually impaired.” -more-
About equal numbers of young children, parents, and digital cameras flooded into Berkeley’s Willard Park on Saturday, April 23, to participate in and record the City of Berkeley’s annual “Egg Hunt Extravaganza”. -more-
If the week before last there was a spirit of celebration on the UC Berkeley campus, including the Cal Day Open House, the third week of April might be characterized as more contemplative. -more-