The Week



What Matters About Occupy Berkeley (News Analysis)

By Ted Friedman
Friday December 16, 2011 - 07:40:00 PM
Keeping the faith. At an Occupy Berkeley general assembly last month. They still show up at 6, all but Mondays, for G.A.

In October, we reported that Occupy Berkeley was on a collision course with city officials ("Is Occupy Berkeley on a Collision Course With Berkeley?" Planet, Oct. 28). -more-

Occupy Berkeley Health and Safety Plan

By Councilmember Jesse Arreguin
Thursday December 15, 2011 - 07:29:00 PM

To: Christine Daniel, Interim City Manager

Michael Meehan, Chief of Police

From: Councilmember Jesse Arreguín


Consider the proposed strategies to develop an Occupy Berkeley Health and Safety Plan for immediate implementation.

Press Release: City Councilmember Arreguin Proposes Plan to Improve Health and Safety of Occupy Berkeley Encampment

From Anthony Sanchez
Thursday December 15, 2011 - 06:40:00 PM

Berkeley City Councilmember Jesse Arreguín submitted to Interim Berkeley City Manager Christine Daniel and Berkeley Chief of Police Michael Meehan this morning a Health and Safety Plan to address growing crime and public health issues at the ongoing Occupy Berkeley encampment. -more-

Training the Police: SWAT US 2011 (Sidebar)

From the Urban Shield web site
Thursday December 15, 2011 - 08:47:00 AM

During the 2011 Alameda County Sheriff's Office Urban Shield training exercise, SWAT and Tactical Response teams will participate in 29 individual events ranging from Search Warrant Service to Active Shooter/Immediate Action Team scenarios. Teams will arrive on Friday October 14, 2011, and will receive mission and safety briefings as well and an introduction to the latest technology to be used in the training scenarios. In addition, each team member is subjected to a medical assessment and firearms qualification at the Alameda County Regional Training Center Range Facility. -more-

I've Had It with These Masked Thugs (News Analysis)

By Gar Smith
Thursday December 15, 2011 - 08:41:00 AM

I don't know about you, but I'm getting fed up with these self-important gangs of masked, black-clad agitators running roughshod over our city streets. They've occupied parks, shut down roadways, vandalized private property, assaulted law-abiding citizens and left entire communities afraid to venture into financially struggling downtown business districts. They've wielded spray cans and left behind eyesores that have incensed the community.

I am speaking, of course, about the police. -more-

University Officials, Legislators Call for Clearer Police Procedures During Protests in Berkeley and Elsewhere

By Scott Morris (BCN)
Wednesday December 14, 2011 - 10:15:00 PM

Legislators, university officials and civil rights leaders at a hearing in Sacramento today seemed in agreement that campus police in protest situations needed stricter standards of conduct, and potentially a statewide crowd control policy. -more-

U.C. Berkeley Announces New Aid Program for Middle Class

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Wednesday December 14, 2011 - 10:11:00 PM

Reacting to rising tuition costs and the state's high cost of living, University of California at Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau announced a new program today to make his campus more affordable for middle-class families. -more-

Visit Telegraph for Holiday Gifts

By Steven Finacom
Saturday December 17, 2011 - 10:37:00 AM

Sunny skies and sparkling gifts are available this weekend and next at the Telegraph Avenue Holiday Fair. The 28th annual edition of the arts and crafts event runs from 11 am to 6 pm Saturday and Sunday, and next Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, December 22 through 24th. -more-


By John Herbert
Wednesday December 14, 2011 - 12:25:00 PM

Our dog has gone missing and we are quite distraught about it. Our dog went tagging along with some folks walking their dog, along the 1700 block of Oregon Street Berkeley last Sunday.

We do not know who they were, whether they took our dog or simply let him wander off after following. To our utter dismay and sadness, he has not returned.

John Herbert,Oregon Street ,Berkeley, 510-812-3177 -more-

Ceremony Tonight Will Mourn Closing of Berkeley's Warm Pool (Event)

By Gary Marquard
Wednesday December 14, 2011 - 09:24:00 AM

No decision was announced at last Friday's hearing on an injunction against closing the Warm Pool. The judge said only that she would issue a ruling "shortly.” Unless the injunction is granted, or some other last-minute reprieve occurs, Wednesday, December 14 will be the last day ever of public swim at the Warm Pool. -more-

Two Pedestrians Struck by a Car Near the Berkeley Bowl Market

By Steven Finacom
Tuesday December 13, 2011 - 06:53:00 PM

Two pedestrians were hit by a car on Shattuck and Oregon shortly after 7:00 pm on Tuesday, December 13. They were taken away by ambulance as Berkeley police temporarily diverted traffic from two blocks of Shattuck Avenue, adjacent to the Berkeley Bowl and the Shattuck/Adeline Walgreens. That particular intersection is often busy with commuter cars as well as pedestrians. A zebra-striped crosswalk and flashing yellow pedestrian light have been installed in recent years by the city. -more-

Updated: Port Protesters Vote to Continue Blockade--Mayor Quan Says It's "Economic Violence"

By Zack Farmer(BCN)
Monday December 12, 2011 - 06:24:00 PM

Protesters voted to extend a blockade at the Port of Oakland through the early morning at tonight's general assembly meeting. -more-

Oakland Port Blockaded by 1000 Tonight

By Zach Farmer (BCN)
Monday December 12, 2011 - 06:06:00 PM

More than 1,000 protesters are descending on the Port of Oakland this evening as part of a daylong effort to shut down the port. -more-

Death of a Berkeley Deli (and More)

By Ted Friedman
Monday December 12, 2011 - 05:46:00 PM
Dazed shoppers Friday at Telegraph Andronicos, the day before it closed. One of last of aisles with merchandise.

Telegraph Andronicos died Saturday, or was it last Saturday? Or was it last decade?

The Teley deli had been gasping for breath for years. -more-



Occu-Puncture in Berkeley: Time to Occupy Everywhere

By Becky O'Malley
Friday December 16, 2011 - 01:59:00 PM

It’s becoming clear to most of us that the helium is slowly seeping out of the Occupy Berkeley balloon, which rose with great enthusiasm not that long ago. The movement has had enormous results, succeeding completely in the obvious goal of calling attention to the huge disparities between the super-rich and everyone else which are growing throughout the world. Now, however, it’s time to—sorry to use an overused slogan—move on to something else.

Berkeley Councilmember Jesse Arreguin has issued a lucid and intelligent summary of where Occupy Berkeley has been, along with an analyis of how the city of Berkeley should manage the settlement in Martin Luther King Civic Center Park in the near future. His document could serve as a model for other places which still have lingering Occupy encampments, but it probably won’t.

A quick crib sheet, for those who can’t be bothered to read three or four pages of print: As long as campers don’t break any other laws, the city will treat camping out as a form of protected speech, but that doesn’t mean campers can let their dogs run wild. (Arreguin’s use of the police-speak tag “zero tolerance” seems to have confused some commenters: it’s zero tolerance for repeat infractions of the stated rules, not zero tolerance for behavior explicitly defined as tolerable, i.e. camping.)

But he, correctly, doesn’t get into the question of whether camping out per se is still the best form of political expression. To understand that, supporters need to unwind the history of the Occupy actions to see what the next step should be. -more-

The Editor's Back Fence

Hallelujah, Corporations

Thursday December 15, 2011 - 09:55:00 PM

Thanks to Marty Schiffenbauer for passing along this jolly seasonal ditty, Hallelujah Corporations! A musical tribute to corporate excess: -more-

Coming Soon to a Neighborhood Near You? The Berkeley City Council grapples with a 17 bedroom monstrosity that the planning staff and the city attorney think is legal.

Wednesday December 14, 2011 - 09:44:00 AM

In case you might have thought that Berkeley's zoning laws would keep mini-dorms out of your neighborhood, watch this cautionary video. Our city planning staff has allowed this seventeen-bedroom development to invade a peaceful Southside neighborhood. It's the latest outrage from a developer who has already had several run-ins with the law. Councilmembers are Shocked, Shocked, as usual, but we'll have to wait until at least January to see if neighbors have any recourse.

Get Microsoft Silverlight -more-

Swanson to Challenge Hancock for Senate in 9th District--Which Still Includes Berkeley After Redistricting

Tuesday December 13, 2011 - 06:33:00 PM

Josh Richman at the Oakland Tribune has confirmed the rampant rumor that State Representative Sandre Swanson will challenge State Senator Loni Hancock for the seat in the reconfigured 9th District, which includes Berkeley, starting in the 2012 June primary. Both are Democrats.

No one has yet confirmed the other rumor: that her spouse, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, won't run again, and will endorse the District Five moderate councilmember, realtor Laurie Capitelli, a partner in Red Oak Realty. If Bates steps down, he'd be able to spend more time in Sacramento with his wife if Hancock is re-elected.

Another yet-to-be confirmed rumor making the rounds: Councilmember Jesse Arreguin will carry the progressive banner in the Berkeley mayor's race in November. -more-


Odd Bodkins: PoutingKitten

By Dan O'Neill
Friday December 16, 2011 - 12:05:00 PM

Public Comment

(More) Whistling in the Dark

By John Vinopal
Thursday December 15, 2011 - 10:44:00 AM

"The Berkeley Almanac" (1976) by Alfred Meyer provides additional data points to David Wilson's "Whistling in the Dark". Page 17 provides a percentage-wise breakdown of Berkeley's bicentennial year's expenses. Although there is no total budget provided, some multiplication suggests it may have been around $8.6m. (If 8.8% Community Agencies was $758k, see Pg 19.) -more-

Wine License Causes conflicted Loyalties in South Berkeley

By Jane Stillwater
Thursday December 15, 2011 - 10:40:00 AM

I have become very bothered, concerned and, well, torn in two directions lately because of the fact that my friendly neighborhood Walgreens store right across the street from me on Oregon and Adeline here in South Berkeley has apparently declared war on Bill Bahou, the kind-hearted owner of Roxie Deli, located at the corner of Shattuck and Ashby. -more-

Occupy Berkeley Beer Committees

from the OccupyBerkeley website:
Wednesday December 14, 2011 - 11:12:00 AM

The Occupy movement, broadly speaking, is about remedying the large-scale political and economic inequality that exists in this world, about fixing a system which currently allows the most wealthy Americans to use their wealth to obtain a monopoly on political power and to use that political power to further enrich themselves at the expense of the 99%. The 99% of Americans that the system is currently rigged against, while having common grievances against the economic and political systems under which we live, also have a huge variety of different lifestyles, work schedules, preferences, etc. We understand that not everyone can camp out in the park every night, and it’s also okay if not everyone wants to. We also understand that not everyone is able to join a nightly General Assembly because of jobs, families, or other commitments. If the 99% are going to prevail in changing the nature of our society for the better, we are going to need widespread participation and this means having organizations that have flexible structures that will accommodate the wide variety of lifestyles and preferences.

Occupy Berkeley is thus calling for more widespread community participation in the form of Occupy Berkeley Beer Committees (OBBCs). These should not be confused with the formal committees or working groups that exist within Occupy Berkeley (which have regular meeting times, point people, and other requirements of regular attendance). OBBCs are built around the idea of the “affinity group”, which is a small collection of individuals (say, 5-20) that are united under a common desire to do something. You can form an OBBC with your friends, your work colleagues, your family, or people that you meet online through Occupy-related forums and websites. -more-

Oil Spill Shows that U.C. Berkeley's Disaster Plans Are Inadequate

By Linda Franklin
Monday December 12, 2011 - 05:52:00 PM

I am writing with deep concern about the inadequacy of UCB's disaster prep plans as evidenced by their handling of the diesel spill on campus this Saturday night. -more-

Republican Affect for 2012

By Jack Bragen
Monday December 12, 2011 - 05:49:00 PM

My usage of the word “affect” in this article is that of a psychological term used by clinicians to describe their emotional impression of their patients. It is the nonfactual impression that we get of a person, and it is often responsible for how well a politician connects with the public. (Notice that I am transplanting use of the term from psychology to politics.) -more-


THE PUBLIC EYE:2011: The Year Corporations Attacked Democracy

By Bob Burnett
Saturday December 17, 2011 - 10:56:00 AM

For eighty years, Americans have feared robots, worrying they might one day rule the world. In 2011 we realized our real enemies are not robots, but multinational corporations, who have declared war on democracy. -more-

WILD NEIGHBORS: Alameda’s Turn (and Terns)

By Joe Eaton
Thursday December 15, 2011 - 10:49:00 AM

It’s been a long time coming, but the Alameda County Breeding Bird Atlas is finally available from Golden Gate Audubon. Based on intensive fieldwork in the 1990s, this book is a splendid addition to the shelf of Bay Area atlases. So far we have Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, and now Alameda. I believe a Solano project is in the works. A San Francisco atlas would be slender, but perhaps surprising. How about it, Audubon? -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: Is Water Fluoridation Safe?

By Ralph E. Stone
Saturday December 17, 2011 - 11:01:00 AM

Fluoride is the name given to a group of compounds that are composed of the naturally occurring element fluorine and one or more other elements. In the early 1940s, scientists discovered that people who lived where drinking water supplies had naturally occurring fluoride levels of approximately 1.0 part fluoride per million parts water (ppm) had fewer dental caries (cavities). More recent studies have supported this finding. Fluoride can prevent and even reverse tooth decay by enhancing remineralization, the process by which fluoride “rebuilds” tooth enamel that is beginning to decay. In 1945, Grand Rapids, Michigan adjusted the fluoride content of its water supply to 1 ppm and thus became the first city to implement community water fluoridation in a public water system. -more-

MY COMMONPLACE BOOK: (a diary of excerpts copied from printed books, with comments added by the reader.)

by Dorothy Bryant
Saturday December 17, 2011 - 11:03:00 AM

He who despairs because of the news is a coward, but he who sees hope in the human condition is mad. Albert Camus, 1943, occupied France -more-

SENIOR POWER… Whatever became of

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Thursday December 15, 2011 - 10:52:00 AM

As one ages, one wonders Whatever became of… -more-

AGAINST FORGETTING: Occupy: You Can't Evict an Idea

By Ruth Rosen
Monday December 12, 2011 - 05:55:00 PM

As snowstorms and freezing rain announce the arrival of winter, it’s hard to remember that the Occupy Wall Street movement emerged just a few months ago, in September. Enraged by the government bailout of Wall Street, but not of those who had lost their jobs and homes, angry at the rise of university tuition, frightened by the precarious decline of the middle class, several generations---not only the young--- began a movement that quickly spread from Zuccotti park in New York across the nation. “We are the 99%,” they chanted, until it became the slogan of the movement. The 1%, they explained, owned as much wealth as the rest of the population. -more-

Arts & Events

AROUND AND ABOUT: Theater Review: 'The Wild Bride'--Kneehigh Theatre at Berkeley Rep

By Ken Bullock
Thursday December 15, 2011 - 10:41:00 AM

Under a slouch hat, the eyes of the guitarist shift; he grimaces as he sings Robert Johnson's Delta blues "Crossroads" under a tree with a mirror in its splayed branches, but no shade. -more-

EYE FROM THE AISLE: Give yourself a Holiday Present with THE WILD BRIDE at REP

By John A. McMullen II
Thursday December 15, 2011 - 10:38:00 AM
Patrycja Kujawska and Stuart Goodwin

If you wanted to tell a fairy tale on stage, what would you dream of? I’d want a bunch of actors all of whom could sing and dance and play instruments with expressive flexibility and astonishing appearances. -more-

Defend Your Bill of Rights: Candlelight Vigil Thursday 12-15-2011- a public response to S 1867 aka the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)(Event)

By Carol Denney
Wednesday December 14, 2011 - 09:32:00 AM

Join Occupy, Fiddlers for Peace, and the Revolutionary Poets Brigade Thursday, 12 noon, December 15th, 2011, at 101 Market Street in San Francisco (or anywhere you happen to be) to raise a candle for the tattered Bill of Rights.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which enables the government to indefinitely jail those suspected of terrorism, had only a handful of voices opposing it in Congress.

No need to march all over town for this one. Just grab a friend and light a candle, and enjoy being one of Time Magazine’s protesters of the year. -more-

New: AROUND AND ABOUT: Theater Review: 'Adoration of the Magi'--Inferno Theatre at South Berkeley Community Church

By Ken Bullock
Tuesday December 13, 2011 - 09:54:00 PM

"When I was young, I was enchanted with the night. They made me stare into a basin of water and asked me, What do you see?"

Giulio Perrone's Inferno Theatre, after offering up theatrical originals like 'Galileo's Daughters' and 'The Iliad' at the City Club, are staging one of the more original holiday shows, from material used for over a millennium. Jasper (Simone Bloch), Balthasar (Valentina Emeri) and Melchiar (Priscilla Parchia) witness the star of the Epiphany, meet one another, show their gifts, tell their stories and journey together from the East to Judea, meeting with Herod (Alison Sacha Ross) in Jerusalem: "I am so cold, and the moon warms me not"--to find the divine child of peace, heralded also by Virgil's Fourth Eclogue, encountering festivity along the way. -more-

EYE FROM THE AISLE: Theater Review: GOD’S PLOT at Shotgun Players

By John A. McMullen II
Tuesday December 13, 2011 - 09:39:00 AM
Will Hand, Juliana Lustenader, Josh Pollock (Banjo), Anthony Nemirovsky.

Mark Jackson’s latest oeuvre, GOD’S PLOT at Shotgun Players, is like boiled filet mignon. There is much good meat there, but the failure is in its preparation and lack of flavor. It is overdone a half hour past its curtain time. -more-

Get Ready for the Oakland Museum's White Elephant Sale

By Dorothy Snodgrass
Tuesday December 13, 2011 - 09:39:00 AM

I'm always delighted to receive the announcement of the Oakland Museum of California's White Elephant Sale, this year marking their 53rd Anniversary. Talk about "trash and treasures" -- you name it, they've got it! Because the Warehouse is located at 333 Lancaster Street, Oakland, parking is nigh unto impossible. Shoppers are therefore encouraged to take a free shuttle bus, which runs continuously from the Fruitvale Bart Station to the Warehouse. -more-