ENDORSEMENT SPECIAL: Avoid R, and the Rest of the Story

By Becky O'Malley
Thursday October 04, 2012 - 12:30:00 PM

Sometimes you can’t tell the players without a scorecard. You probably wouldn’t know what’s wrong with Berkeley’s proposed Measure R if you didn’t recognize the names of those who signed the rebuttal to the ballot argument which pushed it.

No one who has been watching Berkeley politics as long as I have would ever have expected to see Shirley Dean, Dave Blake, Nancy Carleton and Jacquelyn McCormick singing the same tune in perfect harmony. Dean was a stalwart standard bearer of Berkeley’s moderate faction, while Blake and Carleton have always been outspoken progressives. What links them all together is that they genuinely care about what happens to Berkeley, even though they’ve seldom agreed on what the prescription should be.

The ballot question is couched in deliberately vague language, but in plain English what it does is transfer the power to draw council district boundaries from citizens to elected incumbents: in other words, it facilitates gerrymandering by self-interested parties. California just took this power away from the politicians and put it in the hands of a commission which was not only non-partisan, but more important, not politicians, and that’s what we need in Berkeley too. -more-

The Editor's Back Fence

View Competitive Sitting Here, Now!

Friday October 05, 2012 - 10:57:00 AM

Did you miss the Sitting Olympics on Sunday? Do not despair, help is at hand. We have been given the exclusive—well, original—opportunity to present for your viewing pleasure the brilliant film that opened the event, a fitting competitor to Danny Boyle’s extravaganza created to kick off the London Olympics.

We present this in the hope that tired shoppers, mothers at their wits ends, clueless tourists and others will not be “kicked off” their temporary resting places in Berkeley’s commercial districts by Measure S, which would ban sitting down downtown. (Can you believe it?)

Drumroll please!

The Definitive History of the Misunderstood Sport of Competitive Sitting



Odd Bodkins: The Perfect Man (Cartoon)

By Dan O'Neill
Saturday October 06, 2012 - 09:54:00 AM

Bounce: The Gnome (Cartoon)

By Joseph Young
Saturday October 06, 2012 - 09:59:00 AM

Public Comment

New: Yes,the Fiscal Sky May Be Falling: Moody's is Examining Berkeley for a Rating Downgrade

By Barbara Gilbert
Tuesday October 09, 2012 - 11:18:00 PM

Berkeley’s fiscal hawks, often accused of undue pessimism, inhumanity, and an unseemly low civic boosterism level, are being vindicated by the hard cold facts. -more-

BUSD mailer touts false accomplishments in student achievement

By Priscilla Myrick
Thursday October 04, 2012 - 04:46:00 PM

Along with the usual campaign flyers that arrive in mailboxes during election season, Berkeley residents are receiving a glossy brochure from the Berkeley Unified School District touting a rosy laundry list of twenty disparate “accomplishments” in academics, facilities, and finances. Among the “Twenty Things to Know,” the claim that all Berkeley public schools have shown improved student achievement is false and misleading. Berkeley High has not shown improvement for years. -more-

October Pepper Spray Times

By Grace Underpressure
Thursday October 04, 2012 - 12:28:00 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-

Quakers Oppose Berkeley Measure S

By Berkeley Society of Friends
Thursday October 04, 2012 - 04:47:00 PM

Berkeley Society of Friends (Quakers), located in North Berkeley at Vine and Walnut streets, deplores Measure S, the proposed ordinance to impose citations and jail sentences on homeless people for sitting on the streets in Berkeley. Such a policy would not only violate the civil rights of hundreds of Berkeley citizens, but it would be a discriminatory law that would be enforced more against homeless people and in shopping areas than against shoppers and in residential areas. -more-

My Take on the Presidential Debate

By Joseph Stubbs
Thursday October 04, 2012 - 04:34:00 PM

I am disturbed by the reaction to the first round of debates. The 2012 first Obama/Romney presidential debate featured a performance by Mitt Romney which was an abomination of psychological techniques surely compiled by the best and the brightest, techniques designed to affect and compel us on an emotional level while at the same time encouraging us to disregard critical analysis of the content of what he was saying. The latter effect was most effectively achieved by ‘snowballing’ ideas into a blizzard of phrases which were virtually impossible to digest, weigh and analyze unless you were already an expert. He didn’t try to explain anything so Joe American would understand it better; his litanies were essentially defensive in nature while posing as offensive. -more-

Vote Yes on A1

By Dr. Joel Parrott, Veterinarian and Executive Director, Oakland Zoo
Thursday October 04, 2012 - 04:39:00 PM

The animals at the Oakland Zoo need your help! Vote YES on A1 to give Oakland Zoo animals the quality, humane care they deserve. -more-