A series of earthquakes centered in the Berkeley area at the end of 2011 jolted a group of neighbors, students and elected officials to push for building safety near the University of California at Berkeley campus in anticipation of the "Big One." -more-
A national organization dedicated to ending discrimination in housing filed an administrative complaint this week against a major national bank with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. -more-
Press Release: Radical Library/Publisher and Prison Support Group Settle Lawsuit with FBI and UC-Berkeley Police over Improper Raid
Agencies Agree to Pay Damages, Delete Seized Data
Berkeley, CA - Two radical groups have settled their lawsuits over an armed, over-broad police raid after the law enforcement agencies agreed to delete improperly seized computer data and pay $100,000 in damages and attorney's fees. Moreover, the University of California-Berkeley Police Department (UCBPD) acknowledged that at the time of the raid one of the groups qualified for federal protections designed to protect journalists, publishers, and other distributors of information from police searches, despite the police's persistent denial of that status throughout the lawsuit. -more-
The city of Berkeley is falling apart. Deferred maintenance on the town’s deteriorating infrastructure—streets, public pools, street lighting, parks, recreation facilities and community centers, storm drains, seismic retrofits of city buildings—has led to $523 million worth of identified, unfunded projects. Between March 14-19, likely Berkeley voters were polled over the phone about possible bond measures for the November ballot whose passage would go toward paying for the repairs. On April 3, the council viewed the sobering results : none of the proposed measures came close to the 67% required to pass new property taxes. Grasping for alternative sources of revenue, Mayor Tom Bates proposed that a follow-up poll ask about a “green tax” on petroleum and a “carbon fee” on natural gas in Berkeley. -more-
New: Neighbors and Students to Knock on Tenant Doors in Seismic Compliance Day of Action in Berkeley
Recent seismic activity in the East Bay has been the latest series of events to highlight the importance of retrofitting Berkeley's apartment buildings. A magnitude 6.7 earthquake on the Richter scale, such as one that is predicted by the U.S. Geographic Survey to take place on the Hayward Fault in the next 30 years, could lead to the total collapse of hundreds of seismically unsafe apartment buildings in Berkeley and a terrible loss of life and limb. -more-
An 18-year-old Berkeley man pleaded not guilty Friday to a murder charge stemming from the shooting death of another man outside a liquor store 11 days earlier. -more-
How Long Before Park Hills Murder Were Berkeley Police Priorities Influenced by Occupy? (News Analysis)
Were priorities that kept cops off telegraph all day on February 18 set so early they could not respond to Peter M. Cukor's plea for help, a response that could have saved his life? -more-
About 20 people who were occupying a University of California at Berkeley building today to protest what organizers say is a lack of minority students enrolled at the university left of their own accord late this afternoon, a school spokeswoman said. -more-
The City of Berkeley will sponsor the 10th Annual Holocaust Remembrance Day event this year with special guests Robert Pave and Cecilia Sasana as Survivor Honorees, and Martha Fuchs author of recently published book. Legacy of Rescue: A Daughter’s Tribute. Musical performance by Cellist Isaac Pastor-Chermak, Cantor Linda Hirschhorn, and Kol Hadov. The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life at 2121 Allston Way will host the event on Sunday, April 22 at 12 noon. -more-
Not that anyone cares, but two recent attempts to re-start tree-sits in People's Park have been foiled, and oh yes, I was so inside the story, i'm starting to feel out-on-a-limb. -more-
Because the current leadership of the City has failed to address the need for its restoration as a community recreation center, an initiative targeted for the November Ballot has been launched through which the Citizens of Berkeley would establish the restoration of Berkeley Iceland as a public community recreation center the official policy of the City of Berkeley. A drive to qualify the initiative kicked off on the fifth anniversary of Berkeley Iceland's closing in 2007 with the goal of getting the signatures of 3,000 Berkeley voters by May 10. The full text of the initiative is available at http://www.berkeleyiceland.org/advocacy/ballot_2012/resolution. -more-
In fifteen years as a City Council member, I have never seen three ASUC Senators do so much work on so many issues that affect so many people. Although I have never endorsed a team of candidates in ASUC elections, this year is a very unique chance to get three officers who have been effective advocates all year long, not just at election time. I expect this talented team to make history as one of the most successful student governments in history.
I hereby ENDORSE Andy Albright, Anthony Galace, and Sydney Fang. -more-
Editor's Note: The latest issue of the Pepper Spray Times is now available.
You can view it absolutely free of charge by clicking here . You can print it out to give to your friends.
Grace Underpressure has been producing it for many years now, even before the Berkeley Daily Planet started distributing it, most of the time without being paid, and now we'd like you to show your appreciation by using the button below to send her money. -more-
President Obama’s comment, just one among many such poignant statements, said it all: “If I had a son, he would have looked like Trayvon”. The news from Florida about a kid with a pack of Skittles in his hand being killed by a gun-toting vigilante was especially heartstopping for those of us who have children or grandchildren of African descent. I watched my granddaughter flick up the hood on her shocking pink rain slicker and flashed on all those dark-skinned boys pulling up their hoods against the rain as Trayvon did, and tempting fate in the form of fearful cowards with powerful weapons. -more-
The Editor's Back Fence
Oops. Too much excitement over the spring break, I guess. I seem to have neglected to convert this issue into the "current issue", the one with last Friday's date, until today. The remedy is that I'll just leave everything online as it is now until the new issue comes out next Friday, simply adding new stories to it daily as they arrive. But don't bother to try to understand what's happening—if you're reading this you're in the right place. -more-
The editor is taking a couple of days off, so there are no new sententious musings for today’s issue. Last week's are still posted, in case you missed them.
If you’re looking for seasonal inspiration in a quasi-spiritual vein, you might want to take a look at Rabbi Michael Lerner’s Passover Seder Haggadah, which he says might also be useful for Christians and other spiritual traditions.
And here's a holiday treat from Berkeley's own Magnatune.
Commusicare by Commusicare -more-
When someone becomes mentally ill in their young adulthood or late adolescence, the episode can be as devastating for the parents of that person as for the afflicted. I recall that my first episode of psychosis was a very wild ride, and not in a good way. At the end of this episode, I was finally stabilized, and I received a diagnosis of Schizophrenia, Paranoid-type. The psychiatrist, Doctor Trachtenberg, had my mom and I seated in a room, and he told us the diagnosis as well as the prognosis. I remember that this diagnosis was very upsetting to my mother and that I was too "out of it" to be upset about it. -more-
Behind the political crisis that saw the recent fall of powerful Communist Party leader Bo Xiali is an internal battle over how to handle China’s slowing economy and growing income disparity, while shifting from a cheap labor export driven model to one built around internal consumption. Since China is the second largest economy on the planet—and likely to become the first in the next 20 to 30 years—getting it wrong could have serious consequences, from Beijing to Brasilia, and from Washington to Mumbai. -more-
It’s clear that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will survive the GOP version of “The Hunger Games” and become their 2012 presidential nominee. The richest and most radical presidential candidate in modern times, Romney offers a retrograde vision for America and a surprising set of weaknesses. -more-
“The mission of Berkeley Adult School (BAS) is to provide adult learners with access to a learner-centered lifelong education in a safe, supportive, multicultural environment.” -more-
Arts & Events
Berkeley Design Advocates, described at Manta.com as “a private company …established in 2009 and incorporated in California” with Anthony Bruzzone as its principal, is sponsoring a charrette (Wikipedia: “an intense period of design activity”) on Friday and Saturday on what it calls “The Telegraph Project 2012”. -more-
Please join us for a historic series of events entitled: “Requiem for the Death Penalty”.
April 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the resumption of executionsin California. Since then 13 people have been executed. We encourage you to join us in honoring those who have fought against the continued use of capital punishment and to participate in a series of educational and cultural events on this important issue.
Here are the dates to save: -more-
AROUND AND ABOUT MUSIC: The Alexander String Quartet at Berkeley City Club for Berkeley Chamer Concerts
The Alexander String Quartet—Zakarias Grafilo & Frederick Lifsitz, violins; Paul Yarbrough, viola; and Sandy Wilson, cello, celebrating their 30th anniversary—will perform "Gems of the Classical Repertoire" (Beethoven, Janacek & Shostakovich), presented by Berkeley Chamber Performances, Tuesday, April 17, 8 p. m. at the Berkeley City Club, 2311 Durant (between Ellsworth & Dana). The program: Janacek: String Quartet no. 1, "Kreutzer Sonata;" Beethoven: String Quartet opus 95, "Serioso;" Shostakovich: Preludes & Fugues, opus 87 (arranged Grafilo) and String Quartet no. 4. $25. (High school students, free; post-high school students, $12.50) 525-5211; berkeleychamberperform.org -more-
"Of course you like it. Everybody likes everything nowadays."
The crusty color field painter Mark Rothko coolly zings his new studio assistant, Ken, whom he's asked about his new painting in red, like the title of Berkeley Rep's new production. 'Red' beards the lion in his den—or studio, which is, in a way, the real protagonist of the show, as realized onstage by designer Louisa Thompson, with painting by Lisa Lazar. -more-