Miss Faye Carol, the pride of Berkeley, will be singing and swinging with her quartet--Berkeley High graduate Howard Wiley, saxophone; Marco Casasola, piano; Marcus Shelby, bass; Geechie Taylor, drums--at Yoshi's San Francisco, 1330 Fillmore, today at 8 pm--$10-$20. (415) 655-5600; yoshis.com -more-
Power was restored at about 5:15 a.m. to about 1,000 PG&E customers in Berkeley who have been without power since just before midnight, a PG&E spokeswoman said. -more-
First, we are a civilized people. We are, after all, Berkeleyans. We abhor violence and have institutionalized and elevated the pursuit of peace to the level of religion. We led the resistance to Bush’s invasion of Iraq, and our Congressional district’s representative—herself a resident of Our Fair City—was the only one of more than 400 House members to vote against U.S. action in Afghanistan immediately after 9/11. So we would never raise a hand against another human being, not even in self defense. We are, after all, Berkeleyans…. -more-
A major casualty of the newspaper industry’s decline is the coverage of local affairs, especially those having to do with governance. Elections and political scandal still get some attention, but most drawn-out legislative processes are at best under-reported, especially when they’re unfolding in Sacramento. Case in point: the local press has ignored two development-oriented bills that have been making their way through the State legislature since mid-February—AB 710, the Infill Development and Sustainable Community Act of 2011, introduced by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner; and SB 310, the Transit Priority Project Program, introduced by State Senator Loni Hancock. Both bills curtail local democracy; for that reason alone, they merit scrutiny. With the legislature just adjourned for its summer recess, this is an opportune moment to give them a look. -more-
A 3.4-magnitude earthquake shook Alameda County on Saturday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The tremor, at 3:51 a.m, centered on an area described by the USGS as two miles southeast of Berkeley and three miles northeast of Emeryville, which placed it in Berkeley's Southside neighborhood, adjacent to U.C.'s Clark Kerr Campus and close to the Hayward fault, which runs through Memorial Stadium, now under construction.
The quake had a depth of 4 miles, according to the USGS.
View Larger Map -more-
Not long after the 3:51 a.m. earthquake on Saturday morning, which was centered in Berkeley, a couple of water mains broke in the urban East Bay. Caused by the earthquake, or coincidence? East Bay Municipal District workers at both sites said it was just old cast iron pipe, but the timing suggested that ground movement might have been a factor in the breaks. -more-
I used to be able to travel the world on the cheap by squeezing all my pennies until the eagle screamed, searching for discount airfares and deals, making various work-for-travel arrangements and embedding with the military. But not any more. Not since the economy tanked and the price of gasoline went up. Unless I win the lottery bigtime pretty soon, these former travel options are pretty much out. Now I have to do my traveling much closer to home. -more-
Whether Berkeley continues to be a Hilton to the homeless or, instead, a Roach Motel ("the roaches check in but they do not check out!") may be little affected by a sit-lie ordinance, according to the street kids themselves. -more-
Last night’s Berkeley City Council meeting started off with a genuine warm fuzzy moment. My old friends Russ Ellis and Julie Shearer were lauded and given a richly deserved award for their many, many contributions to the arts in Berkeley. A couple of highlights: Russ, a retired UC Vice President, has been an avid supporter of the Young Musicians’ Program, a UC-based program which provides extra encouragement and excellent teaching on a full scholarship basis for gifted music students, many of whom come from underserved communities. Julie is a performer and a composer, especially in the area of musical theater.
They’re both singers too— Julie was an early member of the celebrated Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir. I’ve been privileged to hear the classy recording Russ made as a young crooner before the demands of making a living overtook him. And much later in life he was part of a distinguished local group of music-makers whose celebrated members included Professor Troy Duster and Federal Judge Thelton Henderson.
Russ and Julie typify the devotion to the arts that many Berkeleyans exhibit. Another example of what Berkeley at its best can do for the arts is the Berkeley Arts Festival, now in its 20th season of stone-soup productions by the indefatigable Bonnie Hughes. Bonnie has managed, time after time, to beg and borrow unused downtown storefronts for exhibit and performance spaces, benefiting all at the same time the festival’s (always sensational and always paid) performers, the downtown businesses and most of all audience members. She gets a lot of amenities contributed, sometimes gets modest funding from the city of Berkeley, and always seems to turn a few drops of water into a lot of wine. A short unsolicited tribute to the Berkeley Arts Festival by one of the participating painters appears in this issue, and we've given the schedule a free display ad as a thank you for 20 years of pleasure.
There’s another arts story this week that’s not so heartwarming, however. Professional musicians who have survived the somewhat rigorous jurying process for performing at the Solano Stroll received a letter this week from Allen Cain, Executive Director and Events Manager of the Solano Avenue Association, which said in part:
“We simply cannot afford to pay for entertainment this year. ... We simply lack the resources....As a result, moving forward – we are suspending entertainer pay…We do recommend you pass the hat, which can be lucrative – especially when you tell the public you are performing for free and rely on their generosity! What are we asking from you? We are asking you to perform for free. It’s just that simple." -more-
The Editor's Back Fence
A not-so-nice moment about 20 minutes into last night's Berkeley City Council meeting, which I watched online, came when a serious and charming group of young people attempted to present a council redistricting formula which they'd created in less than a week during the council's pre-meeting public comment time, which is limited to 5 speakers on a subject not on the council agenda. -more-
BerkeleyBizarre; Medicaid; Paris is Burning: an Open Letter to Alameda Labor Council, AFL-CIO; -more-
On June 29, 2011, a reader commentary appeared regarding the expenditures of BUSD bond monies. The commentary contained a number of inaccuracies and, as Co-Chair of the Construction Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC), I’d like to correct them. For your readers’ information, the CBOC is constitutionally mandated, under the California State Constitution, Article 13A, section1, subdivision (b)(3), and is part of the California State Education Code. Such committees have broad independent authority to audit and oversee expenditures of what are called Prop. 39 bonds, which is what Berkeley voters approved last November. These committees are required as a condition of issuing bonds under Prop. 39. -more-
Press Release: Protest Filed to Save California Watersheds From Dangerous Fracking
Drilling Poised to Move Forward Without Thorough Environmental Review
SACRAMENTO, Calif.— The Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club and Los Padres ForestWatch filed a formal protest today to stop the Bureau of Land Management from leasing out 2,600 acres of environmentally sensitive land in Monterey and Fresno counties for oil and gas development. The leasing of this federal mining-estate land comes without a thorough examination of the effects drilling will have on California’s landscapes, wildlife and watersheds. -more-
The musicians selected to play for the Solano Stroll through an application process that began back in April have just been told that this year they are expected to play for free. -more-
I am new to the Berkeley area. I moved here from the Midwest in November and knew no one excepting my daughter, her husband, and their new twins. How to meet people? How to get connected? How to find meaningful experiences? -more-
Fifty years after Alan Shepard became America’s first astronaut, the US launched its last space shuttle, marking the end of our space program. And a new low for the American spirit. -more-
My Commonplace Book (a diary of excerpts copied from printed books, with comments added by the reader.)
“You’re born naked, and the rest is drag.” -more-
In his book, Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill, author Robert Whitaker discusses a pseudoscientific theory called eugenics. According to this theory, the gene pool was being polluted by the mentally ill, that the severely mentally ill were carriers of defective "germ plasm" and thus, were a threat to the health of American society. The mentally ill were described as a degenerate strain of humanity, social wastage that bred at alarming rates and burdened normal Americans with their upkeep. In some states, the mentally ill were prohibited from marrying, forcibly committed to asylums, and in many states sterilized against their will. American eugenicists encouraged Nazi Germany in its massive sterilization of the mentally ill, a program that led to the crematoriums of the Holocaust. -more-
Joanna Kim-Selby is the president/executive director of the East Bay Korean-American Senior Service Center, located at 1723 Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, California 94612. Telephone (510) 763-0736 (Korean), -1879 (English). It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 A.M. to 3 P.M. Lunch is served daily at 12 noon under provisions of The Older Americans Act. The Center is a non-profit 501c3 organization. A fuller account appears on pages 8-9 of UCB Resource Center on Aging’s June 2011 Engaging Aging e-Newsletter. -more-
As the reader by now probably knows, I suffer from some type of psychotic disorder. Because my disorder is chronic and severe, I get symptoms of it despite being well-medicated. Sometimes, I experience a mini-episode, not severe enough to be called a mild relapse, but instead, at the level of seriousness of a bad cold. -more-
Arts & Events
.So I went to one of the concerts tonight in the Berkeley Arts Festival... Jerry Kuderna, a pianist who played some wonderful Debussy etudes, very modern, percussive and bombastic, new to me. He talked about Debussy's process and sources and how hearing Stravinsky for the first time, Debussy was inspired to take more risks. He was very passionate and entertaining. He also premiered a piece by Alden Jenks who was present. -more-