Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said today that she's "very saddened" by "Occupy Oakland" protests Tuesday night that turned violent. -more-
The fences are coming down at Oakland's Frank Ogawa Plaza this evening while a general assembly meeting continues among "Occupy Oakland" protesters. -more-
Demonstrators at the "Occupy Oakland" general assembly meeting at Frank Ogawa Plaza tonight addressed the critical injury of Scott Olsen, a former Marine who served two tours in Iraq, which occurred during Tuesday night's demonstration. -more-
We have received several inquiries regarding the City of Berkeley's response to the City of Oakland's request for Mutual Aid assistance with recent events in and around Frank Ogawa Plaza. -more-
Press Release: The City of Berkeley Police Department’s (BPD) Involvement in Occupy Oakland Dispersal
The Oakland Police Department (OPD) requested mutual aid through the Alameda County Mutual Aid Coordinator, who in turn requested mutual aid from various law enforcement agencies within the county. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) is the Operational Area Mutual Aid Coordinating entity. The basis of the request was that OPD was unable to address and manage the situation safely (and take care of the City of Oakland) with their internal resources. -more-
Occupy Oakland will reconvene tonight at 6:00 pm Pacific time to conduct its next General Assembly, at the corner of Broadway and 14th. We urge the public to join us tonight and help us build consensus. We are the 99%, and you are too. Please participate in true democracy. -more-
An Iraq War veteran was critically injured during "Occupy Oakland" protests Tuesday night when he was hit in the head with a police projectile, according to the group Iraq Veterans Against the War. -more-
Remarkable footage posted by several reporters on YouTube seems to show that some police in Oakland deliberately aimed projectiles at those aiding a wounded Occupy Oakland protester. The eviction was managed by Oakland police, but Berkeley police also took part in the assault on the Occupy protesters. Some of the videos can be seen below: -more-
Oakland police officers in riot gear used "less-than-lethal" munitions on about 300 protesters Tuesday night after a day of police raids and riots when "Occupy Oakland" campers were evicted from a city plaza, an Oakland police spokeswoman said.
During another protest Tuesday night many officers were assaulted, doused and hit with hazardous materials and hit with large rocks and bottles, police spokeswoman Cynthia Perkins said.
An Oakland police officer said officers in riot gear had bright blue paint thrown on them during the rallies Tuesday evening.
Perkins said this resulted in a declaration of an unlawful assembly and an order to disperse. To enforce dispersal officers used "less-than-lethal force tactics".
Using the police to clear out Occupy Oakland was exactly the wrong thing to do. -more-
Police at Oakland's Frank Ogawa Plaza have issued an order to disperse to hundreds of protesters for the third time tonight.
After police deployed tear gas on protesters earlier tonight, temporarily scattering the crowd of "Occupy Oakland" protesters, the group has reconvened at the plaza and officers have started to use rubber bullets on unruly demonstrators. -more-
Police said at least 75 protesters were arrested when officers wearing riot gear raided the "Occupy Oakland" encampment in Frank Ogawa Plaza early this morning.
Speaking at a news conference at City Hall that began around 9:20 a.m., interim Police Chief Howard Jordan said police are still processing those arrested and that the arrest total will likely increase.
The arrests were mostly for misdemeanor offenses, including unlawful assembly and lodging, Jordan said. -more-
After police enforced an eviction notice on protesters camped in downtown Oakland as part of "Occupy Oakland" this morning, transit through the area was affected. -more-
City officials are advising downtown Oakland employers to consider having employees delay their arrival downtown this morning after police action at the "Occupy Oakland" encampment. -more-
Oakland city officials said this morning police are enforcing a notice of violation issued last week to protesters at the downtown "Occupy Oakland" encampment. -more-
Occupy Berkeley's Growing Tent City Occupied Saturday at Civic Center by Peaceful Bay Area Teachers; But How Long Will Peaceful Vibes Last?
A dozen bay area teachers, joining Occupy Berkeley, engaged in a peaceful "grade-in" Saturday at Berkeley's Martin Luther King Civic Center, but a growing tent city in the park could clash with the city if grounds maintenance problems are not solved. -more-
Southeast Berkeley was full of fear and chaos October 20, 1991. People poured down Tunnel Road, evacuating from the fire above. Emergency vehicles chugged and sirened in the opposite direction. Homes along some of Berkeley’s most charmed streets—Alvarado Road, Vicente Road, Roble Road—were ablaze, along with hundreds of residences in Oakland. For hours, it looked as if the Claremont Hotel would become a gigantic torch. -more-
An Oakland city official has tipped off the Occupy Oakland protest group that a raid tonight is "highly probable." Such a raid would happen after midnight, and would most likely occur between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. -more-
Berkeley, CA – The teachers at Realm Middle and High Schools became the first charter schools in Berkeley to receive union recognition last week when they were informed by California’s Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) that their request to join the Berkeley Federation of Teachers (BFT), an affiliate of the California Federation of Teachers, had been granted. -more-
Another aftershock with a 2.5 magnitude struck this morning, after two small quakes shook the East Bay this morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. -more-
The U.S. Geological Survey has downgraded tonight's earthquake from its original preliminary magnitude of 4.2, to 3.9 a short time later, and now experts report it was a 3.8-magnitude tremor. -more-
According to the U.S. Geological Service, a magnitude
4.2 3.9 4.0 earthquake rattled Berkeley today at 02:41:04 PM, with the epicenter located within blocks of the site where U.C. Berkeley's Memorial Stadium is currently being reconstructed.
If a proposal being developed by City and School District staff comes to fruition, a battered, vacant, one-story former cafeteria on a quiet residential side-street in West Berkeley may soon become Berkeley’s new City Council chambers—and meeting place for other City deliberative bodies, from the Rent Board to the School Board.
The project—estimated to cost $2.1 million—would trigger the essential abandonment of Berkeley’s 102 year old City Hall Downtown and the relocation of City Council and School Board meetings to the old cafeteria at “West Campus”, the School District property on University Avenue between Curtis and Bonar Streets.
The cafeteria, a dilapidated one-story structure, faces out on Addison Street between Bonar and Browning.
City and School District staff said at a community meeting Tuesday night (October 18,2011) that they have not yet presented the concept to either the School Board or the City Council for consideration.
Some of the neighbors of West Campus who spoke at the meeting characterized the meeting relocation proposal as “completely crazy”, “nuts”, ridiculous”, “not a good choice”, and “under the radar.” -more-
New: Occupy Berkeley Deliberates Reviving "How Berkeley Can You Be" Oct. 30; Calls for "Grade-in" and Lawn Watering Saturday--in Lieu of a March
Next up for Occupy Berkeley, a teacher grade-in and lawn watering at Martin Luther King Center Park behind City Hall Saturday noon. No March is planned. The following week, Occupy will homage Berkeley's beloved (and not) How Berkeley Can You Be? with its own, "How Occupy Berkeley Can You Be?" -more-
Editor's Note: The Norman Mailer Center and Writers Colony has announced that this year’s recipient of the National Community College Nonfiction Writing Award is Christopher Woodard of Berkeley City College. He'll get his award and a check for $5,000 at the Center’s third annual benefit gala on Tuesday, November 8 in New York City. Honorary Chair Tina Brown (Newsweek and The Daily Beast) and an advisory board of writers including Joan Didion, William Kennedy, Nobel Laureate Gunter Grass, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Gay Talese, and others will host a lively evening of cocktails, dinner, and an awards ceremony. The Planet is pleased to reprint the winning essay below: -more-
Having been warned by scientists that the Bay Area is due a sizable earthquake in the next 30 years, we're passing on valuable information [found on a postcard, author unknown] on what to do when that earthquake occurs. -more-
Launched just over a year ago in the San Francisco Bay Area’s East Bay, the 170-member social network – driven in considerable part by expertise and membership from the University of California, Berkeley – is among the newest additions to the Village Movement, a nationwide, neighbor-helping-neighbor effort that has spread to more than 50 U.S. cities and communities.
“It’s about being engaged with a lot of really smart people and trying to figure out what we want our community to look like as we get older,” said Steve Lustig, former associate vice chancellor of health and human services at UC Berkeley, and an Ashby Village board member.
Next week (Oct. 24-26), the Village to Village Network, a national nonprofit organization that helps communities manage their villages, will host its annual conference in Oakland. An envoy of some two dozen Ashby Village members will attend. Speakers will include UC Berkeley social welfare professor Andrew Scharlach, whose research on aging-friendly communities has contributed to the Village Movement’s success. -more-
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
Here's something which really outrages me, both as an opera lover and as a journalist. Lisa Simeone is the host of the independently produced World of Opera radio series, live broadcasts of opera from around the country which have been distributed by National Public Radio. Evidently, she also took part in an Occupy action somewhere, sometime..
For the sin of having political opinions and acting on them, she (and her program) have been dropped from the NPR lineup, in spite of the fact that the show has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with politics.
And anyway, what if it did? But we won't even bring up that question, because this situation is bad enough. For full details, and to sign a petition to lily-livered NPR, consult the Fairness and Accuracy in Media website. -more-
As a nearby resident of Civic Center Park, I've cast a wary eye on the "Occupy Berkeley" encampment since it metastasized away from the B of A circle. Dated signs ("No Taxes For Star Wars") reinforce my impression that Berkeley has never not been Occupied and this just becomes an excuse to put up tents in the park. I figured the ardor would cool come the rains. Friends who grew up here suggested the sprinklers would put an end to it (as they recalled some of their high-school evenings concluding). All saw a risk of People's Park West and wondered how it might conclude or how bad it might get in the meanwhile. -more-
The National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter (NLGSF) condemns Oakland Police excessive force against Occupy demonstrators and violations of OPD Crowd Control Policy. -more-
For all practical purposes I would be considered one of the 5% and yet I whole heartedly support the actions of the Occupy movement worldwide. My children are highly educated, underemployed and unlikely to ever own their own home unless I pass before becoming infirm or diagnosed with chronic disease. They are not alone. -more-
To:Tom Bates, Mayor; Laurie Capetelli, Council person; Michael K. Meehan, Chief of Police
Why were police from the City of Berkeley involved in the violence of and by the police of Oakland (and others) on the the people of Occupy Oakland?
I am a tax-paying Berkeley homeowner and am outraged that my tax dollars were used to destroy that encampment-or any others; the more so because an already reduced police force was further diminished to be pulled away from their jobs. But that is not the major issue; it is that of both provocative and violent police actions toward citizens protesting peacefully. -more-
The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United today condemned the early morning police raid on the peaceful Occupy Oakland encampment, and criticized Oakland Mayor Jean Quan for joining the list of mayors employing repression against the occupy movement. -more-
The National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter (NLGSF) calls for the release of approximately 100 people who were arrested this morning in the police raid on Occupy Oakland. The NLGSF has learned that the arrestees are being illegally booked in Alameda County's Glenn Dyer Detention Facility in downtown Oakland and in Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. -more-
My grandparents came from Pennsylvania to live with us when I was little, dazzling us with schtick from their vaudeville days. Our meals became a riot of quick patter and music hall jokes. “The show must go on”, my grandfather used to say, “is what the ringmaster says to the clown with the broken leg.” -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-
Terrorism is not a statistic for us.”—Asif Ali Zardari, president of Pakistan
This is a Pakistani truism that few Americans understand. Since the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in October 2001, Pakistan has lost more than 35,000 people, the vast bulk of them civilians. While the U.S. has had slightly over 1800 soldiers killed in the past 10 years, Pakistan has lost over 5,000 soldiers and police. The number of suicide bombings in Pakistan has gone from one before 2001, to more than 335 since.
For most Americans, Pakistan is a two-faced “ally” playing a double game in Central Asia, all while siphoning off tens of billions of dollars in aid. For Pakistanis, the spillover from the Afghan war has cost Islamabad approximately of $100 billion. And this is in a country with a yearly GDP of around $175 billion, and whose resources have been deeply strained by two years of catastrophic flooding. -more-
I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but I have a fruit fly problem. It’s recent—within the last month or so—and specific to the kitchen. This is a novel experience. We have Argentine ant invasions now and then, and a resident spider population, but never before fruit flies. So far they have me, as my father would say, buffaloed. -more-
My Commonplace Book (a diary of excerpts copied from printed books, with comments added by the reader.)
My politics are those of privacy and intellectual obsession. They look to Dante’s immemorial summons voiced by Ulysses: ”We are not formed to live come bruta, but to follow virtue and knowledge wherever these may lead, at whatever personal and social cost.” It may be that such a conviction is in certain regards pathological and self-indulgent . . . at the same time, (it) seems to me to justify man -more-
We just returned from a tour of Central Europe. We visited Warsaw, Krakow, Budapest, Vienna, Bratislava, and Prague. On our drive from Warsaw to Krakow, we stopped at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oswiecim, renamed Auschwitz when the town and the surrounding area were incorporated within the Third Reich. -more-
While the organic Occupy Wall Street movement is similar to the spontaneous Arab Spring uprisings that began last December in Tunisia and Egypt, OWS is eerily reminiscent of the run up to the American revolutionary war.
Three ingredients fueled the original American Revolution. The first was egregious British taxation policy exacerbated by the fact that the colonies had no representation in Parliament. The second was the growth of liberalism and its concepts of natural rights and the social contract. Finally, Americans embraced the values of “republicanism” -- in its original form – which criticized both British corruption and the power of the English aristocracy.
For eighteenth-century American colonists, democracy was a novel idea, whose influence grew from 1763 onward and culminated with the publication of Tom Paine’s Common Sense. -more-
Have you seen the television commercial that advertises a new medication for children with hyperactivity and attention deficit? The commercial shows a well-behaved, sedated little kid doing his homework and being an angelic little boy, while at the same time a list of possible side effects is being read over the sound portion of the commercial. If you’re paying any attention to those side effects, it sounds horrific. If you’re paying attention to the portrayal of the child, you ought to be horrified. No child should be that well-behaved; it’s not natural. -more-
My Commonplace Book (a diary of excerpts copied from printed books, with comments added by the reader.)
For the memory of another is like a ship which one sees coming down a bay—the hull and the sails separating from the distance and from the outlying islands and capes—charged with freight and cutting open the waves, addressing itself in increasingly clear outlines to the impatient eyes on the waterfront; which, before it reaches the shore, grows ghostly and sinks in the sea; and one has to wait for the tides to cast on the beach, fragment by fragment, the awaited cargo.
—Glenway Wescott, novelist (1901-1987), from The Grandmothers -more-
Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–1859), famous for his Democracy in America, wrote about Americans, “I have often admired the extreme skill they show in proposing a common object for the exertions of very many and in inducing them voluntarily to pursue it.”
The traditions of community service and citizen participation have long been at the heart of American civic culture, through town meetings, local school systems, political parties, hospital auxiliaries, and national and local organizations. Many Americans act on the need to give something back to their communities. There’s a good feeling that can come from commitment to an unpaid responsibility that impacts others positively. Some activities that are considered voluntary provide compensation or remuneration in kind. -more-
Arts & Events
Berkeley Symphony, conducted by Joana Carneiro, opens the new season with music by Enrico Chapela, Brahms and Shostakovich, Thursday at 8, Zellerbach Auditorium. -more-
Around & About Music: Kent Nagano Conducts at Gala Celebrating Alden Gilchrist's 60th Anniversary at Calvary Presbyterian
In his only West Coast appearance this season, former Berkeley Symphony music director and present emeritus conductor Kent Nagano will conduct the San Francisco Academy Orchestra at a gala concert to celebrate Alden Gilchrist's 60th anniversary as organist and music director at Calvary Presbyterian Church atop Pacific Heights in San Francisco, where Nagano has sung with the Chancel Choir, which will also perform, along with featured soloists, a jazz cycle by the Dave Scott Quartet and the Santa Rosa Children's Chorus, featuring music of Monteverdi, J. S. Bach, Mozart, Dvorak--and Gilchrist, Friday at 6 p. m, with a reception to follow. The community is invited, free of charge, but asked to RSVP: (415) 346-3832 x 60; firstname.lastname@example.org -more-
Programming the Nation opens at the Balboa Theater on October 28.
Jeff Warrick is a genial, affable fellow who looks like he might be a high school football coach but be forewarned: Warrick is a man with an obsession — and a mission. Instead of studying how to score goals against cunning adversaries, Warrick's goal is studying whether advertisers are using hidden, subliminal messages to score in the marketplace. Warrick's game plan is mapped out in a provocative and dazzling new documentary, Programming the Nation. If you have children, you should see this film. If you value democracy, you should see this film and invite your friends and neighbors along for the experience. (You'll have a lot to talk about over coffee afterwards.) -more-
Berkeley Playhouse, the professional Children’s Musical Theatre at the Julia Morgan on College Ave., opens with ANNIE on October 29. -more-
With Halloween just a week away, you'd be wise to stock up on candy to hand out to those little Trick or Treaters when they come knocking at your door. You may not know that Pope Gregory III designated Nov. 1 as a time to honor saints and martyrs. The evening before was known as Halloween's Eve and then later Halloween. Obviously this holiday has little religious meaning today. -more-
Around & About Theater: Central Works Premieres Brian Thorstenson's 'Embassy: A Domestic Diplomatic Comedy'