The Week

Are those people in the bright chartreuse shirts patrolling the downtown streets the friendly helpful folks the Property Owners' Business Improvement District tries to tell us they are? Or are they hired cops? (picture 1) I was working on a project documenting homelessness when I took this picture of the man sleeping on one of those low walls on Shattuck and Kittredge. (picture 2)A few minutes later an 'ambassador' approached and rousted the man. He spoke to him briefly and walked away. I went over to the old man who had obviously been awakened from a sound sleep. I asked what the 'ambassador' had said to him. He told me that the 'ambassador' had informed him that he was not allowed to be here.
          --Lydia Gans.
Lydia Gans
Are those people in the bright chartreuse shirts patrolling the downtown streets the friendly helpful folks the Property Owners' Business Improvement District tries to tell us they are? Or are they hired cops? (picture 1) I was working on a project documenting homelessness when I took this picture of the man sleeping on one of those low walls on Shattuck and Kittredge. (picture 2)A few minutes later an 'ambassador' approached and rousted the man. He spoke to him briefly and walked away. I went over to the old man who had obviously been awakened from a sound sleep. I asked what the 'ambassador' had said to him. He told me that the 'ambassador' had informed him that he was not allowed to be here. --Lydia Gans.
 

News

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

From Hanni Fakhoury, Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Wednesday April 11, 2012 - 10:16:00 AM

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-


Students and Neighbors Knock on Berkeley Doors to Promote Seismic Safety

By Sasha Lekach (BCN)
Wednesday April 11, 2012 - 09:52:00 PM

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-


Civil Rights Groups File Housing Discrimination Complaint Against Wells Fargo

By Patricia Decker (BCN)
Wednesday April 11, 2012 - 10:20:00 AM

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-


Bates: Let’s Tax Gasoline and Natural Gas in Berkeley (News Analysis)

By Zelda Bronstein
Tuesday April 10, 2012 - 04:24:00 PM

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-


How Long Before Park Hills Murder Were Berkeley Police Priorities Influenced by Occupy? (News Analysis)

By Ted Friedman
Friday April 06, 2012 - 02:12:00 PM
Feb. 18, day of Park Hills murder. Where were police?

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-


Berkeley Man Pleads Not Guilty to Murder Charge

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Monday April 09, 2012 - 04:43:00 PM

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-


New: Neighbors and Students to Knock on Tenant Doors in Seismic Compliance Day of Action in Berkeley

From Igor Tregub, Rent Commissioner
Wednesday April 11, 2012 - 08:39:00 AM

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-


Press Release: Holocaust Remembrance Day is April 22

From Alejandro Soto-Vigil, Office of Councilmember Kriss Worthington
Friday April 06, 2012 - 01:56:00 PM

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-


UC Berkeley Protesters Occupy Registrar's Office, Leave on Their Own

By Patricia Decker (BCN)
Friday April 06, 2012 - 10:32:00 PM

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-


Out On a Limb With People's Park Tree-Sitters (First Person)

By Ted Friedman
Friday April 06, 2012 - 12:18:00 PM
A few of the truncated limbs on tree-sit tree after university buzz-sawed them to prevent access.

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-


Bates: Let’s Tax Gasoline and Natural Gas in Berkeley (News Analysis)

By Zelda Bronstein
Tuesday April 03, 2012 - 08:10:00 PM

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-


Berkeley Murder Suspect Arraigned, Police Seeking Additional Suspects

By Jeff Shuttleworth
Tuesday April 03, 2012 - 07:06:00 PM

A suspect in the shooting death of a 24-year-old man in Berkeley on Thursday night was arraigned on a murder charge in Alameda County Superior Court today. -more-


Peter Douglas, Thomas Jefferson to the Coast

By Janet Bridgers, Earth Alert, www.earthalert.org
Thursday April 05, 2012 - 02:42:00 PM

Peter Douglas, who died on Sunday after a long battle with cancer, can be considered the Thomas Jefferson of the coastal protection movement. -more-


Opinion

The Editor's Back Fence

Holiday

Friday April 06, 2012 - 12:57:00 PM

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-


This is It, At Last

Tuesday April 10, 2012 - 08:42:00 PM

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-


Cartoons

Odd Bodkins: Fried Polecat (Cartoon)

By Dan O'Neill
Friday April 06, 2012 - 12:23:00 PM

Bounce: Jr's Lieberry (Cartoon)

By Joseph Young
Friday April 06, 2012 - 12:28:00 PM

Public Comment

Three for History: Andy, Anthony and Sydney

By Councilmember Kriss Worthington
Friday April 06, 2012 - 03:01:00 PM

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-


Berkeley Iceland Initiative Petitioners Seek Signatures

By Tom Killilea / Save Berkeley Iceland
Monday April 09, 2012 - 04:43:00 PM

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-


April Pepper Spray Times

By Grace Underpressure
Friday April 06, 2012 - 12:34:00 PM

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-


Meet the Real 1%: OCCUPY BOHEMIAN GROVE This July

By Haig Patigian
Tuesday April 03, 2012 - 07:06:00 PM

In solidarity with a number of Occupations, as well as long-running protest group Bohemian Grove Action Network, the call for peaceful protests against The Bohemian Club this July in Monte Rio (CA) are hereby announced. Since Bohemian Grove is on private land, we respect those legal boundaries. Therefore, this communique only endorses peaceful, non-violent protests on the public land existing outside Bohemian Grove. -more-


Columns

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Parents are not to Blame for Schizophrenic and Bipolar Illnesses

By Jack Bragen
Wednesday April 11, 2012 - 09:31:00 AM

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-


THE PUBLIC EYE: Inside the Mitt

By Bob Burnett
Friday April 06, 2012 - 10:34:00 AM

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-


DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE: China’s Economy: The Frog & The Scorpion?

By Conn Hallinan
Friday April 06, 2012 - 10:36:00 AM

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-


SENIOR POWER: To be a Life-Long Learner & The Mysterious Messrs Moore and Pratt

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Friday April 06, 2012 - 10:42:00 AM

“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-


ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Magical Thinking

By Jack Bragen
Tuesday April 03, 2012 - 06:59:00 PM

An example of magical thinking is a gambling addict who has the belief he or she is going to hit the lucky number, win a million dollars and live happily ever after. Meanwhile that person is gambling away the food money and the rent money. Magical thinking of the previous President created the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan in the assumption that it would be a much easier and simpler enterprise than it turned out to be. (The U.S. military believed we could install a government in Iraq that is favorable to us, and Iraqi citizens would blithely allow themselves to be governed by it.) Magical thinking is responsible for gross errors in human behavior. It says that wanting something means you deserve it and will get it, in the absence of performing the necessary work. Magical thinkers falsely believe that God likes them better than other people. And they believe there will always be someone there to clean up their mess. -more-


ECLECTIC RANT: Trayvon Martin Killing: Let Investigations Run Their Course

By Ralph E. Stone
Thursday April 05, 2012 - 02:50:00 PM

On Feb. 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager, was shot to death by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman captain. The teen was walking inside a gated community in Sanford, Florida, where his father and stepmother lived. Zimmerman claimed self-defense and was not arrested or charged and little or no investigation was conducted by the Sanford police department. -more-


My Commonplace Book (a diary of excerpts copied from printed books, with comments added by the reader.)

By Dorothy Bryant
Tuesday April 03, 2012 - 08:10:00 PM

“ . . . the greatest writers inevitably demand too much of, and are failed by, readers.” -more-


Arts & Events

New: Berkeley Charrette to Plan Future of Telegraph Avenue on Friday and Saturday

By Becky O'Malley
Thursday April 12, 2012 - 11:55:00 AM

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-


Requiem for the Death Penalty (Community Events Announcement)

Saturday April 07, 2012 - 10:36:00 AM

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-


Theater Review:'Red' at The Rep--Mark Rothko in His Studio

By Ken Bullock
Friday April 06, 2012 - 12:33:00 PM

"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-


AROUND AND ABOUT MUSIC: The Alexander String Quartet at Berkeley City Club for Berkeley Chamer Concerts

By Ken Bullock
Tuesday April 10, 2012 - 11:31:00 AM

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-