The Berkeley Boosters report that a trailer with twelve ocean kayaks has been stolen and that their summer outdoor youth program may now be in jeopardy. -more-
“The City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) is identifying the suspect who was arrested after shooting at BPD officers on the night of April 13, 2012 as Calvester Stewart, a twenty (20) year old Berkeley resident.” -more-
About 40 activists who are part of a group calling itself "Occupy the Farm" are planting 15,000 seedlings on a 10-acre plot of land in Albany that is owned by the University of California at Berkeley, a spokesman for the group said today. -more-
The terms of Dow Chemical's $10 million gift to the University of Michigan ought to raise eyebrows in universities across the country.
Under the gift agreement made public by the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor, Dow Chemical would have its own paid representative on the committee that chooses Sustainability Fellows funded by the gift.
As far as many environmentalists are concerned, Dow and Sustainability are a contradiction in terms. The idea that the university would give Dow any control at all over an academic sustainability program suggests a sell-out of monumental proportions. -more-
More than 100 people gathered at the Ed Roberts Center on Wednesday to honor disabled activist Hale Zukas for forty years of work and advocacy for accessible public transportation. Many of the people there were old folks - many in wheelchairs or having other disabilities. These people remember when their lives were severely limited , when wheelchairs were not accommodated on BART or buses, when people who were visually or hearing impaired there had no way to get directions, before curb cuts or station elevators and a host of other things we now take for granted were available. -more-
It's not really a hotel and the hippy part is weak, but there's a sense in which Ken Sarachan's plans for an ambitious redevelopment of the Berkeley Inn burned-out site at Telegraph and Haste is best understood as a hippy hotel. The barren site has served as a sullen reminder of the bygone hippy era for more than twenty-five years. -more-
Nature delivered beautiful, balmy, weather for the Saturday, April 21, 2012 “Cal Day” annual open house on the UC Berkeley campus. -more-
(Albany, Calif.) Occupy the Farm, a coalition of local residents, farmers, students, researchers, and activists are planting over 15,000 seedlings at the Gill Tract, the last remaining 10 acres of Class I agricultural soil in the urbanized East Bay area. The Gill Tract is public land administered by the University of California, which plans to sell it to private developers. -more-
May 15th the Berkeley City Council will consider their fiscal 2012 Police Department (PD) agreements. April 11, the Police Review Commission (PRC) voted to recommend that the City Council approve the PD’s verbal agreements with the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center (NCRIC) and the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) on condition that they be “reduced to writing”.
Additionally, PRC advised, per Councilmember Arreguin’s proposal, that Suspicious Activity Reports be submitted to NCRIC only on individuals/groups that have been charged with a crime, exempting individuals/groups who have only committed non-violent civil disobedience offences.
The verbal agreement with UASI includes a “direction” to the City Manager and Police Chief that the police should not be allowed to use tactics, they have been drilled in under UASI, if they are contrary to Berkeley PD policies. Further “direction” asks for a disclosure and oversight process, involving the PRC, of all training as long as it excludes specific tactics.
What’s wrong with this picture? -more-
Steve Drobinsky (63), proud owner of Ohmega Salvage died peacefully, April 15th, at his home in Oakland after a courageous battle with cancer.
He was born in Estelline, South Dakota and grew up in Los Angeles. Steve ran Ohmega for over 30 years, turning salvage into gold and establishing a landmark in the East Bay. -more-
“With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.”
William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, I:I
John Louden Reid, 73, died peacefully in his sleep at home in Berkeley, after a brief illness.
John was born to Linnie Louden and Robert Franklin Reid of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He spent his teenaged years running high school track and perfecting his skills as a prankster and handyman. He earned a B.A. in English from Northwestern University in Evanston, where he met his wife, Susan Smith. Recipient of a prized Woodrow Wilson Scholarship, John entered the English doctoral program at U.C. Berkeley in 1960, where, as a graduate student instructor, his gift for guiding his students to literary insight blossomed into brilliance. -more-
The recent brouhaha about a Democratic consultant’s casual comment that Mrs. Romney had never worked a day in her life is a prime example of how desperate the media are for trivia which will let them avoid talking about the real situation in the upcoming election. -more-
Many of these worthless or dubious deals are offered by companies operating "autodialing" businesses, which deliver prerecorded messages that allow clients to deliver large numbers of prerecorded phone calls, or “robocalls.” The prerecorded messages would last just a few seconds. If a call recipient who received a prerecorded message pressed “1” during the message, the recipient would be transferred to a live operator who would attempt to sell the product or service. -more-
Most of the persons with mental illness who I have encountered have some level of difficulty with employment. Being able to work, for persons with mental illness, is often incorrectly perceived as symbolic of being a worthy human being. Being diagnosed with a mental illness took away self esteem for many of us. It may seem to us that being able to keep a job could restore most of that self esteem. In fact, we deserve to like ourselves whether employed or not.-more-
Now that it’s clear Barack Obama will be the 2012 Democratic nominee for President and Mitt Romney the Republican nominee, we’ll probably hear from a prominent third-Party candidate. He or she will promise to end the savage partisanship that characterizes US politics – pledge to bring us together, save the marriage. But America doesn’t need a counselor; we need a good divorce attorney. -more-
Sixty-five year old Ann Hui On-Wah is a film director, producer and screenwriter, one of the most critically acclaimed of the Hong Kong New Wave. Born to a Japanese mother and Chinese father, she moved to Macao, then to Hong Kong when she was five years old. After studying film-making at the London International Film School, Hui returned to Hong Kong in 1975. She joined TVB, a major Hong Kong TV network, as a producer of serials and documentaries. -more-
Arts & Events
According to an article by Sue Gilmore in the Contra Costa Times, Berkeley Symphony conductor Joana Carneiro will not be able to conduct tomorrow night's Berkeley Symphony concert at U.C. Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall because she has injured her shoulder. -more-
Berkeley Symphony, conducted by Joana Carneiro, finishes its season this Thursday at UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Auditorium, with a world premiere of Berkeley's Gabriela Lena Frank's 'Holy Sisters,' commissioned by the Symphony, with soprano Jessica Rivera, whom the piece was written for, and the San Francisco Girls Chorus--as well as Zoltan Kodaly's 'Dances for Galanta' (premiered in Budapest, 1933) and Bela Bartok's 'Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta' (premiered 1937, in Basel). -more-
Press Release: How Democratic is California?
22nd Annual California Studies Conference in Oakland This Saturday
A day-long investigation into what can be done to restore the power of the people
Democracy” is supposed to be the guiding ideal of American politics: a belief in popular sovereignty and representative government. Yet recent developments, from the USA Patriot Act to the Citizens United decision and from enrichment of the 1% to financial collapse, have shaken our faith in democracy. It leads us to ask: what is the present state of Democracy in California and what should be done to restore the power of the people?
In an effort to stimulate ideas and discussion on this timely subject, the California Studies Association will convene scholars, community activists, journalists, policy specialists, historians and writers for a multi-faceted discussion on the responsibilities and challenges of becoming full participants in this nation’s democracy. We hope to engage the general public in a broad but facilitated on how democracy has failed and prevailed in the recent history of our state as well as current movements, issues, and topics such as "Elections and Exclusions," "Citizenship and its Discontents," and "Popular Protest and its Enemies." -more-
The Berkeley Arts Festival continues at the historic Acheson Building, 2133 University Ave., in Downtown Berkeley, with a new group of artists, though Labor Day. -more-
Voyage by Tom Stoppard at Shotgun Players is a beautifully produced, very dense play by arguably the greatest living playwright. It is the first play in the trilogy “Coast of Utopia” which won the Best Play Tony Award in 2007. This first segment is a historical drama of Russia from 1833 to 1844—a time of Revolution in Europe. -more-
The Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra will give three free performances next month of the rarely heard “Requiem Mass, Op. 89” by Antonin Dvorak.
The concerts will be Saturday, May 5, at 8 p.m.; Sunday, May 6, at 4:30 p.m.; and Sunday, May 13, at 4:30 p.m. All concerts will be at St. Joseph the Worker Church, 1640 Addison St., Berkeley. The church is wheelchair-accessible. -more-