The Week



Press Release: U.C. Berkeley Chancellor Issues Statement on Armored Vehicle Proposal

From Public Affairs, UC Berkeley
Thursday July 05, 2012 - 06:07:00 PM

The statement below, regarding plans for the joint acquisition of an armored emergency rescue vehicle, was issued today (Thursday, July 5) by UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, in coordination with the mayors of Berkeley and Albany:

The University of California Police Department, in collaboration with the Berkeley and Albany city police departments, recently pursued a grant for an armored emergency rescue vehicle. Law enforcement’s interest in obtaining a vehicle that would protect officers during situations involving oncoming gunfire (or to rescue victims during such situations) — such as occurred at Oikos University in Oakland a few months ago — is understandable.

However, the planned acquisition of the vehicle recently came to the attention of campus and city officials. Campus administrators evaluated the proposal and concluded that such a military-style vehicle is not the best choice for a university setting. UC Berkeley officials are in the process of canceling the order for the vehicle. Officials in Berkeley and Albany agree with the University’s decision. -more-

Shooting Closes Eastbound Bay Bridge

By Dan McMenamin (BCN)
Thursday July 05, 2012 - 10:32:00 AM

Three eastbound lanes are now open on the Bay Bridge after a high-speed crash and shooting on the lower deck early this morning prompted the shutdown of much of the roadway, a California Highway Patrol officer said. The crash occurred at about 2 a.m. at the S-curve, east of Treasure Island. -more-

Earthquake with 2.5 Magnitude Strikes Near Berkeley

By Bay City Newx
Wednesday July 04, 2012 - 10:50:00 PM

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 2.5 struck near Berkeley in Alameda County this evening, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. -more-

Tom Bates and the Secret Government of Berkeley: Excerpt 3

By John Curl
Friday June 29, 2012 - 01:10:00 PM

Copyright © 2012 by John Curl. All rights reserved.

This is the third in a series of excerpts from John Curl’s long article about Mayor Bates and his effects on the city. The article follows Bates and the progressive movement in city government from its beginnings to today, based on extensive quotes from Bates’ own oral history and interviews with other players in the political events. This excerpt accounts Bates’ relationship with the University of California. You can also download a Full PDF. of the entire article.


The Berkeley Rodney King Story You Haven't Read

By Ted Friedman
Friday June 29, 2012 - 02:04:00 PM
1992 Telegraph riots after Rodney King verdict, from Oakland Tribune. Clipping courtesy Berkeley Library Berkeley History Room.

Rodney King's recent death at the bottom of his swimming pool near Los Angeles has spawned mostly stories about King, but little, if anything, on the Berkeley connection. -more-

The Little Shop on Telegraph Avenue

By Dorothy Snodgrass
Friday June 29, 2012 - 01:24:00 PM

When taking my daily morning walk, heading toward the U.C. Campus, I pass a small, inconspicuous shop at 2590 Telegraph Avenue, two blocks from my apartment. Above this shop is a bright green sign with a cross, stating "Patients Care Collective." Standing guard at the shop's iron fence are three burly, but amiable young men who work six days a week, 12 to 7 p.m., (closed on Sundays). To gain admittance to this shop, customers must show a doctor's note saying that the marijuana is to provide medicinal relief without getting stoned. I quite often see men entering the shop surreptitiously, as though reluctant to be seen. -more-



With Elections on the Horizon, Reform Starts (and Stalls) in Berkeley

By Becky O'Malley
Friday June 29, 2012 - 10:55:00 AM

The summer solstice has passed, and the days will grow shorter ‘til we reach November. Election fever is starting to heat up.

In the last week, several election-related occurrences have provided data points for our ongoing inquiry about whether democracy will survive at least for our lifetime. The big news, of course, is that ObamaCare won in the Supreme Court. -more-


Odd Bodkins: Mount Conclusion (Cartoon)

By Dan O'Neill
Friday June 29, 2012 - 02:09:00 PM

Public Comment

New: The True Turing Test to Save Education in America

By Ronald O. Ross and Jonathan David Farley, D.Phil. with Gregory Labonte
Friday June 29, 2012 - 10:45:00 PM

In Sackville Park, in Manchester, England, a dog once played fetch with a statue. The heroes of England have long been memorialized in bronze, gesturing, with the authority of monarchs and military men, in mighty poses on giant slabs of granite; but this statue is simple. It is but a man―a meek, demure-looking fellow―humbly sitting on a park bench, holding a poisoned apple. -more-

The Case for Ping Pong

By Carol Denney
Friday June 29, 2012 - 12:11:00 PM

Supporters admit anti-sitting laws have accomplished nothing in other cities.[i] They admit the law would be used in a discriminatory fashion, a “back pocket” measure. They acknowledge that the law is aimed at a handful of people who aren’t technically committing crimes. They acknowledge that “the problem” they wish to “solve” is isolated to perhaps two or three storefronts in the city. -more-

Richmond Liberals Lose Their Way

By Charles T. Smith
Friday June 29, 2012 - 12:41:00 PM

When Richmond residents stood up to Chevron several years ago they made national news. Richmond voters taxed Chevron and stopped them from processing heavy crude without adequate environmental protections. Today Richmond is again making national news with a proposed regressive tax on sugar drinks. On the surface, considering the obesity rate among economically challenged residents, this may look like an attempt to help people develop healthier lifestyles by slowing down their consumption of sugar drinks. Under closer inspection, however, it reveals a callous middle class bias against the poor. -more-

New: Vote Yes on the KPFA Recall

By Brian Edwards-Tiekert
Friday June 29, 2012 - 11:09:00 PM

If you're a KPFA member, you should have just received what may be the most important KPFA ballot you ever get. It asks whether or not to recall Pacifica Treasurer Tracy Rosenberg. At stake is whether KPFA survives as we know it. That's why I'm urging you to vote “yes” on the recall. -more-

Fed up with KPFA Infighting? Vote No on the Recall

By Henry Norr
Friday June 29, 2012 - 12:55:00 PM

In my five and a half years on KPFA's Local Station Board, I've lived through more nasty bickering than at any other time in a half century of progressive activism (and believe me, that's saying something!). But in my book the current campaign to recall Tracy Rosenberg from the local and national boards takes the cake for unbridled factionalism and sheer vindictiveness - not to mention the waste of some $25,000 at a time when the station again faces a severe financial shortfall and the likelihood of more staff cuts. -more-

Tea Party Hypocrisy

By Ron Lowe
Friday June 29, 2012 - 12:54:00 PM

The Tea Party Republicans swept into Congress in 2010 with "Jobs, jobs, jobs" as their mantra. But, what have they actually voted on? -more-

Is It Time to Occupy KPFA Fund Drives? (Not physically, to politically straighten them out.)

By Richard Phelps
Friday June 29, 2012 - 01:22:00 PM

The beauty of the Occupy Movement is that it brought to the forefront of the people’s consciousness the reality of the 99-1 ownership of the wealth in this country. Something the 1% and their media conglomerates have tried to ignore and/or censor forever. -more-


New: AGAINST FORGETTING: The Gender Gap and the American Presidential Election

By Ruth Rosen
Saturday June 30, 2012 - 10:19:00 AM

Who will capture American women’s hearts and help President Obama or Governor Romney win the Presidency next November? -more-


By Conn Hallinan
Friday June 29, 2012 - 01:08:00 PM

What was that Turkish F-4 Phantom II up to when the Syrians shot it down?

Ankara said the plane strayed into Syrian airspace, but quickly left and was over international waters when it was attacked, a simple case of carelessness on the part of the Turkish pilot that Syrian paranoia turned deadly.

But the Phantom—eyewitnesses told Turkish television that there were two aircraft, but there is no official confirmation of that observation—was hardly on a Sunday outing. According to the Financial Times, Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, told the newspaper “the jet was on a test and training mission focused on Turkey’s radar defense, rather than Syria.”

Translation: the F-4 was “lighting up” a radar net. It is a common—if dangerous and illegal—tactic that allows one to probe an opponent’s radar system. Most combat radar is kept in a passive mode to prevent a potential enemy from mapping out weaknesses or blind spots that can be useful in the advent of an attack. The probes also give you valuable information on how to neutralize anti-aircraft guns and ground to air missiles. -more-

WILD NEIGHBORS: The Face is Familiar

By Joe Eaton
Friday June 29, 2012 - 11:25:00 AM
Rock pigeon: smarter than we thought?

Here’s another breakthrough in avian cognitive studies: two European teams purport to show that crows and pigeons can tell individual humans apart—the crows by voice, the pigeons by face. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: Obama Woos Latino Voters

By Ralph E. Stone
Friday June 29, 2012 - 12:32:00 PM

In winning the presidency in 2008, Barack Obama won about 67 percent of the Hispanic vote. He probably will need to win at least that percentage to win reelection. There are about 21.5 million Hispanic voters -- 4.4 million potential voters in California -- now eligible to vote in the November 2012 presidential election, with about 60 percent registered to vote. If registration drives are successful between now and the election, the number of eligible Hispanic voters will increase.

Hispanic voters have a chance to influence the outcome for president in at least 24 states. The top ten states with high concentrations of potential Hispanic voters are California, Texas, New York, Florida, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, New Mexico, Virginia, and Nevada. In 2008, Democrats won California, New York, Florida, Colorado, New Mexico, and Virginia.

Two recent events may increase Obama's chances of gathering a large percentage of the Hispanic vote. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE: Sandusky Nation: The Powerful Abuse the Weak

By Bob Burnett
Friday June 29, 2012 - 11:19:00 AM

After days of graphic testimony, the conviction of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky on 45 counts of sexual assault came as no surprise. But it had been a surprise when Sandusky was arrested in November after 15 years of egregious behavior that many in the Penn State community had been aware of. Sadly, Americans often turn a blind eye when the powerful abuse the weak. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Coping with Loss

By Jack Bragen
Friday June 29, 2012 - 12:46:00 PM

Persons with mental illness sometimes have more difficulty than others coping with the losses that occur periodically in everyone's lives. Losses can include a death, the end of a relationship, or even the end of a good job. Feelings of loss can occur from a relationship that never happened but that the person with mental illness hoped would happen. Everyone has a right to their feelings so long as it doesn't result in harm to others or to oneself. -more-

SENIOR POWER: Cover that gray!

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Friday June 29, 2012 - 11:48:00 AM

Cover that gray! Dye, color, tint, whatever-it, but cover the gray hair!

Why am I, at age eighty-six, still fixated on disguising my gray hair? In classical psychoanalysis, my libido must have been arrested at an early stage of psychosexual development. Or something. -more-

Arts & Events

New: DON'T MISS THIS: 4th of July and More

By Dorothy Snodgrass
Tuesday July 03, 2012 - 10:31:00 AM

"Oh, say, can you see by the dawn's early light?" This, of course, is our National Anthem, sung off-key at baseball games and political rallies. But then it is hard to sing this one. Forget the "bombs bursting in air." Instead, be thinking of ways to celebrate the 4th of July weekend -- bring out your American flag, banned fireworks and cold watermelon. Relaxing in a lawn chair and a hefty slice of watermelon, you might review some of the patriotic activities occurring in the bay area. -more-

THEATER REVIEW:Mark Jackson's 'Salomania' at the Aurora

By Ken Bullock
Friday June 29, 2012 - 11:29:00 AM

"Active Service Chocolate" with the Union Jack on the Cadbury's label ... It's what all the Tommies are talking about in the trenches—when they're not talking about that scandalous American dancer Maud Allan, who keeps showing up almost nude onstage in London and threatening libel suits to her detractors in the newspapers ... -more-

FILM REVIEW: From Paris to Rome: Another Woody Allen Flight of Fancy
Opens July 6, at the Albany Twin Theatre

By Gar Smith
Friday June 29, 2012 - 11:21:00 AM
Woody Allen and Penelope Cruz

From Midnight in Paris to high noon in Rome, Woody Allen delights in tossing a mad dash of chatty, conflicted characters into ephemeral fantasies that unspool in gorgeous, well-lit locations. His latest romp will delight Allen's many fans (and the resulting surge in Rome-bound vacation travel might actually manage to salvage the Italian economy). -more-


By John A. McMullen II
Friday June 29, 2012 - 12:05:00 PM
A soldier on leave (l. Alex Moggridge*) has a pint with a local (r. Marilee Talkington*) and chats about Maud Allan's circus of a libel trial as Maud (c. Madeline H.D. Brown*) and pub regulars (back l-r, Liam Vincent* and Anthony Nemirovsky*) look on in the World Premiere
                of “SALOMANIA”

Mark Jackson has shown his genius again in “SALOMANIA” at Aurora Theater Co. -more-