While no one’s paying much attention, a substantial part of the last remaining open space in flatlands Berkeley is being reconfigured by the Berkeley Unified School District in collusion with bureaucrats working for the City of Berkeley. There has been almost no meaningful public discussion either of the goals of planned lavish and well-funded building projects or of the schedule for carrying them out. -more-
The Editor's Back Fence
A reader has forwarded a disturbing article by Lauren Rosenhall in Monday's Sacramento Bee, which implicates Berkeley Senator Loni Hancock in the disreputable practice of "gut-and-amend", which allows bills to be passed in Sacramento with essentially no public process. Here's the top of the story:
"It was after midnight on the last day of the legislative session last month when the state Senate took up a controversial bill concerning election laws for the very first time.
Most bills go through a months-long process of hearings, negotiations, amendments and votes. Not this one.
Senate Bill 202 was written about 24 hours earlier, when Democrat Loni Hancock of Berkeley deleted the language in a bill about filing fees on voter initiatives and replaced it with a highly political proposal to change the state's election laws in ways that will favor Democrats in 2012.
'The lack of process in this bill is inexcusable,' Sen. Ted Lieu of Torrance told his colleagues that night. 'We as Democrats should be ashamed at how this came to the Senate floor.'
Hancock's bill was the most extreme example this year of the Legislature's penchant for writing new laws at the last minute – but it was by no means the only one." -more-
November 8, 2011
To: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Councilmember Jesse Arreguin, Councilmember Kriss Worthington
Subject: Possible New Council Chambers – Options and Accessibility
That the City Council request a report back to the Council in no less than 60 days on the proposal suggested to vacate Old City Hall and relocate the City Council Chambers to a new location. The report should analyze feasible alternate locations for a Council Chambers, issues of accessibility for the disabled, proximity to transit, adequate seating for large crowds, and connectivity to technology including television broadcasting. -more-
A coward's way of killing
Murders from afar
Yemen body count:
Saleh's volleys kill 18
US drones kill nine. -more-
I just read Steve Finacom's article [about plans to move the City Council meetings to West Campus] on the Planet website and I wanted to let you know about an item that [Councilmember] Kriss [Worthington] and I have submitted an item for an upcoming Council agenda about moving Council meetings to West Campus. In response to the fact that discussions have occurred between City staff and the School District on relocating our Council meetings from Old City Hall to a new Council Chambers at West Campus, and given the lack of information, and public discussion, Kriss and I have submitted the item for the November 8th Council agenda, asking the City Manager to provide a report on the West Campus plans, alternatives to West Campus, and discussion about what will happen with Old City Hall. The item asks that the report come back to the Council in no less than 60 days and that it be calendared for discussion. -more-
Jobs is a Four Letter Word;Republican Primaries;Socialism in One City;Make it fair; Children Need Love -more-
I was asked weeks ago by some in the Occupy Wall Street movement to make suggestions for how to frame the movement. I have hesitated so far, because I think the movement should be framing itself. It's a general principle: Unless you frame yourself, others will frame you - the media, your enemies, your competitors, your well-meaning friends. I have so far hesitated to offer suggestions. But the movement appears to maturing and entering a critical time when small framing errors could have large negative consequences. So I thought it might be helpful to accept the invitation and start a discussion of how the movement might think about framing itself. -more-
The historical reality is that Iceland embodied, and can embody again, all that is truly great in Berkeley the town and Berkeley the gown. Not only did my son and I and thousands of other people of all ages and relationships and background have a wonderful time skating there to the music, with the Friday night disco lights or the Christmas lights, not only did so many of us have memorable birthday parties for our children there, but it was also a womblike place (kind of like the design for the new Apple headquarters) that held diversity in place with utter peace and good vibes. By the way, the nonpareil skate guards contributed, too, to the good vibes. -more-