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Flash: Large Meteor Seen in Berkeley Tonight

By Scott Morris (BCN) and Planet
Wednesday October 17, 2012 - 10:49:00 PM

A large meteor streaked across the night sky tonight and was seen and heard throughout the Bay Area and in Berkeley. 

Locally, it was seen over Berkeley's Elmwood neighborhood appearing to move in a northeast directions, with multiple colors and a long jagged tail, followed by what sounded like an explosion. 

Sky observers took to social media to report that they had seen a bright fireball with hues of red and orange break up overhead shortly before 8 p.m., accompanied by a loud boom. 

The sound was so loud, some residents reported it shook their homes, making them think it may be an earthquake. 

Jonathan Braidman, astronomy instructor at Oakland's Chabot Space and Science Center, said the meteor likely hit the Earth around the Martinez Hills and was roughly the size of a car when it broke up over the Bay Area. 

Braidman said that hikers may be able to find small pieces of the meteor, called meteorites once they land on Earth, in the hills north of Martinez. 

Meteors are hunks of rock and metal that have broken off from asteroids and fallen from space, breaking up as they enter Earth's atmosphere. 

Braidman said that the meteors hit the upper layer of Earth's atmosphere traveling 25,000 mph or more, but the atmosphere slows them down and breaks them up so that when they hit the ground they are only traveling between 200 and 400 mph. 

Tonight's meteor appeared for about four or five seconds and was traveling fairly slow compared to some other meteors, indicating it was probably fairly large. 

But the boom that residents heard was a sonic boom, caused by the falling object traveling faster than the speed of sound, and was probably moving at over 1,000 mph, Braidman said. 

Braidman said that the meteor is not at all related to the Orionid meteor shower expected to peak over Saturday night and Sunday morning. 

A meteor shower is actually not an accurate name for this weekend's phenomenon, Braidman said, and that the "shooting stars" that stargazers will see this weekend are in fact small pieces of comet. 

The Orionid phenomenon is predictable because it occurs when Earth passes through the trail of Halley's Comet, but tonight's meteor sighting is far less predictable, despite that as much as 15,000 tons of material falls from space each year. 

"Even though this kind of thing happens often, it's pretty rare for people to see it," Braidman said. 

He said that often such material may not fall in a populated area, potentially just falling into the middle of the ocean. 

But stargazers can increase their chances of seeing a meteor or other astronomical phenomenon by going somewhere dark, away from city lights. 

The Chabot Space and Science Center offers two free public star viewings weekly on Friday and Saturday nights starting at 7:30 p.m. In addition to this weekend's Orionid shower, viewers can also catch glimpses of Jupiter, the Moon and nebulae there. 

The observatory is located at 10000 Skyline Blvd. in the Oakland Hills. 

Sightings of tonight's meteor were reported throughout the Bay Area from Santa Cruz to San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley, Pacifica, Daly City, Sausalito, and even in Davis. 

Measure T’s Deceptive Mailers Falsely Claim Union Endorsement, Funds for Community Benefits (News Analysis)

By Rob Wrenn
Wednesday October 17, 2012 - 09:00:00 AM

Many Berkeley voters have now received two mailers from the Yes on Measure T campaign that are full of false claims. The first mailer includes, in its brief list of endorsers, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The SEIU logo appears with “Local 21” underneath. SEIU Local 21 is a local in Louisiana and it’s doubtful that they have taken a position on Measure T.

The second mailer, which arrived at my home yesterday, lists SEIU Local 1021 as an endorser. Unlike Local 21, Local 1021 does actually exist in the Bay Area, representing public sector workers who work for Bay Area cities and counties. However, SEIU Local 1021 has not endorsed the measure. Quite the contrary, it has taken a position against the measure, which can be verified by visiting their Web site. The AFL-CIO’s Alameda [County] Labor Council has also declined to endorse Measure T. There is, in fact, little labor support for Measure T.

The Yes on T mailers make a number of other false claims about what the measure will do: 

BART Shuttles 

The earlier mailer says that Measure T will provide “Expanded shuttles to BART”; the later mailer says it will “provide funds for” expanded shuttles. In fact, as anyone who reads the measure can see, it says nothing whatever about shuttles to BART. Nothing in the Measure would either provide shuttles or provide funds for shuttles. 

Protections for Aquatic Park 

The mailers say that Measure T will either “provide” or “provide funds for” special protections for parcels adjacent to Aquatic Park. But, in fact, the City Council rejected protections for the Aquatic Park recommended by the Sierra Club, the Audubon Society and Citizens for East Shore Parks. Measure T’s provisions related to Aquatic Park are weak. It’s not surprising that Sylvia McLaughlin, Co-founder of Save the Bay, for whom East Shore State Park was recently renamed, is opposing the measure as our most environmentalists. The Sierra Club has declined to endorse Measure T. 

Affordable Housing and Workspace for Artists 

Yes on Measure T’s deceptive mailers say that the measure will “provide” or “provide funds for” affordable housing and workspace for artists. In fact, neither housing nor workspace is mandated by this measure. All the measure says is that before the measure takes effect, the Council has to adopt an ordinance that provides “at least one” of a list of ten community benefits. Housing for artists, and workspace for artists are two of the ten benefits. However, “at least one” means that the city need only require one of the benefits. Number 9 on the list of 10 is “Require local sourcing of building materials to the extent feasible”. The City Council could choose that benefit as the “at least one” and they would be in compliance with Measure T and that would be all that developers would be required to do. Just as no funding is assured for artist housing or workspace, there is also no assured funding for job training or “technology education” for youth. 

Shouldn’t We Trust the City Council? 

But shouldn’t we trust the City Council to adopt an adequate set of required community benefits? 

Landowners and developers would receive a large windfall from the increased density and greater height which would be permitted on large sites in West Berkeley totaling as much as 40 square blocks. And new development, whether under existing zoning or under new, more permissive zoning, has impacts, such as increased demand for housing and city services, transportation impacts, etc. The city has clear grounds for requiring community benefits and for requiring developers to address the impacts of new development. Impact fees and community benefits are required by many cities; it’s not a radical concept. 

Based on the City Council’s track record to date, there is little basis for believing that any significant requirements or community benefits will be imposed on developers by the current City Council majority. The monetary value of benefits actually being discussed by City staff is also very small and wouldn’t go far toward paying for the wonderful things promised in Measure T campaign’s misleading mailers. 

I was on the Planning Commission in 2002 when the General Plan was adopted. That plan called for establishment of a citywide transportation services fee (TSF) to deal with the transportation impacts caused by new development. The transportation services fee was also a mitigation measure in the General Plan’s environmental impact report (EIR). When an EIR is certified, mitigation measures specified in the EIR are supposed to be implemented. The City’s transportation staff worked on a fee that would have fund various pedestrian, bicycle and transit improvements; it was developed by consultants from Nelson Nygaard, a reputable consulting firm, and recommended to the City Council by the Transportation Commission in 2006. But the Council took no action to implement it, and now, fully ten years after the adoption of the General Plan, the city still has no transportation services fee, and is no longer even discussing a citywide fee. 

The 2002 General Plan also called for consideration of Open Space Fees. This idea got a big boost during the Downtown Area Plan planning process from 2005-2007. But like the TSF, no open space fees have been implemented to date. 

Green Building Standards 

Two years ago, a measure about downtown planning, Measure R, was on the ballot. Unlike Measure T, that measure was endorsed by the Sierra Club. That measure included “New Green Standard Development Requirements”. LEED Gold green building standards were supported. Community Benefits were named in that measure. But Measure T includes absolutely no green building standards and makes no mention of solar panels or alternative energy. Why is green building and environmental sustainability appropriate for downtown but not for West Berkeley? Under Measure T, a developer might opt to include solar panels, or to meet LEED green building standards, but they wouldn’t have to; nor does the measure even encourage them to do so. Without specifying green building or community benefits Measure T will do little or nothing to help the city meet its Climate Action Plan goals. 


Measure T is also misleading in the way it portrays West Berkeley. It talks about “abandoned manufacturing sites”, but Measure T’s provisions would not apply only to abandoned sites. And abandoned sites are not the norm. The vacancy rate for West Berkeley’s manufacturing space, which was a low 2.9%, fell to an even lower 2% in Third Quarter 2012. West Berkeley is already home to many innovative businesses. New large-scale housing and new office buildings allowed by Measure T could displace artists and artisans and industrial businesses. 

West Berkeley is the only area of the city where manufacturing is permitted. You can’t put industrial uses in downtown. Office buildings and housing, by contrast, can be built in many areas. The concept of transit-oriented development suggests that downtown is a much better location for large scale office and housing developments. Downtown has a BART station and is serviced by numerous AC Transit bus lines. It’s possible to live there without a car and many residents do not in fact own cars. By contrast, there is no BART station in West Berkeley and transit service is more limited. Nor does Measure T, despite the misinformation about BART shuttles, require them to do anything to “provide” or “provide funds for” transit improvements. 

Measure T promises “good jobs”, but there could be a net loss of jobs as people now working there are displaced to make way for new development. Speculation encouraged by more permissive development standards could drive up rents and force out other artists and artisans and industrial businesses. It should come as no surprise that West Berkeley Artisans and Industrial Companies (WEBAIC) is urging people to vote against Measure T and that many individual artists and artisans are campaigning against it. 

Don’t be fooled by the false claims in Yes on T’s misleading campaign literature. Read the text of Measure T for yourself. 

Rob Wrenn is a former chair of the city’s Planning and Transportation commissions. 

Who's Financing Berkeley Campaigns?

By Thomas Lord (from The Berkeley Almanac)
Monday October 15, 2012 - 03:42:00 PM

If you wonder who's paying for all the Berkeley campaign information you've been seeing around town lately, now it's easy to find out.

Here's where the council and mayoral candidate campaign finances stood as of 9/30, in an easy-to-browse format created for The Berkeley Almanac:


This link will get the same kind of information regarding Berkeley ballot measures, and more:


The information comes from the city of Berkeley campaign finance web site.

Press Release: UCPOLICE Safety Alert - Possible Mountain Lion Sighting

Friday October 12, 2012 - 06:36:00 PM

On 10-12-12, UCPD received unconfirmed information of a Mountain Lion sighting near the Smyth-Fernwald construction site. Third-hand information was relayed to UCPD regarding a contract security guard that saw three cubs chasing a doe and two fawns, possibly during the evening of 10-10-12.

Deer are a major food source for Mountain Lions. Last year, several sightings of mountain lions occurred in the hills above the Berkeley campus and carcasses of animals suspected to have been attacked by mountain lions were also discovered.

UCPD is following up on this information and will release further information to the public after interviews with the security company/guards are completed. 

To reduce the chances of encountering a Mountain Lion: 

• Avoid hiking alone, especially between dusk and dawn, when lions
normally do their hunting. Make plenty of noise while you hike so as to
reduce the chances of surprising a lion.
• Always keep children in sight while hiking and within arm's reach in
areas that can conceal a lion. Mountain Lions seem to be drawn to
• Hike with a good walking stick; this can be useful in warding off a lion. 

To reduce the chances of an attack when encountering a Mountain Lion: 

• Do not approach a lion, especially if it is feeding or with its young.
Most lions will avoid confrontation. Give them a way to escape.
• Stay calm and face the lion. Do not run because this may trigger the
lion's instinct to attack. Try to appear larger by raising your hands.
• Pick up small children so they don't panic and run. This will also make
you appear larger. Avoid bending over or crouching.
• If the lion acts aggressively, throw rocks, branches, or whatever can be
obtained without turning your back or bending over.
• Fight back if attacked. Since a mountain lion usually tries to bite the
head or neck, try to remain standing and face the attacking animal. People
have successfully fought back with rocks, sticks, or bare hands. 

Beginning at dusk, 7 days a week, you can access the BearWalk web link at
http://bearwalk.berkeley.edu/ to make a request for a safe way home, and
to see a live map of our night safety buses and their proximity relative
to your location. You can also contact BearWalk via phone at 642-WALK
(9255). Remember, shuttles stop on the North Side of Moffitt every half
hour. For further info please visit the UCPD website at

This alert was distributed as a public service to the University community. 


As with any emergency situation, if you see suspicious activity, call 9-1-1. 

>From a cell phone on or near campus, call (510) 642-3333. 

An Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) version of this alert will be
available at:

Mitchell J. Celaya III
Chief of Police
Manage your subscription preferences for UC Police News at

You may discontinue receiving crime alerts via email by emailing the
istserver at ucb_police_news-leave@lists.berkeley.edu. You will receive an
email requesting confirmation that you wish to unsubscribe. You can reply
to that email,leaving the subject line intact, and your name will be
removed from our list. 

UCPD also feeds its crime alerts to Twitter (http://twitter.com/UCPD_Cal)
and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/UCPDCal). 

Information on Crime Prevention Strategies can be found at:

Creative Protests Blanket Berkeley

By Carol Denney
Friday October 12, 2012 - 12:55:00 PM
Carol Denney
Carol Denney
Carol Denney
Carol Denney

A barbecue, a tea party, a meditation circle, a kids’ clown party and a huge chalk-in blanketed Berkeley on Sunday, October 7th, as several groups publicly demonstrated their opposition to the anti-sitting law (Measure S). 

Onlookers stopped in for a burger on University Avenue near Sacramento or a cup of tea at the edge of the campus on Telegraph at Bancroft. Bystanders near the downtown BART Station got down on their knees to help with the chalk mural, a representation of “The Last Supper” with a legend across the top which stated, “Let Us Sit Together and Break Bread.” 

“Sit-lie is a lie,” sang one child running through the plaza with a balloon. The mural remained on the plaza Monday morning delighting BART passengers emerging from the trains, most of whom stopped to take its picture. 

“It’s so big it’s hard to get it all in a shot,” laughed one young woman, standing on her toes trying to capture it all. “It’s beautiful.”

Press Release: Berkeley Unified School District Shows Gains on the API and AYP

From Mark Coplan
Friday October 12, 2012 - 10:50:00 AM

The California Department of Education released the 2012 Accountability Progress Report today. This annual report contains two sections: 1) the state Academic Performance Index (API) measuring year-to-year growth in academic achievement that a school or local educational agency (LEA) has made, and 2) the federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) measuring how well a school meets minimum performance targets.

Academic Performance Index (API) - Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) had an overall growth of 19 points resulting in a district-wide Academic Performance Index (API) of 810. The greatest gains in academic achievement are reflected in the 25 point increase in API for English Learners, 37 points for Students with Disabilities, and 16 points for Socio-economically Disadvantaged Students. When disaggregated by ethnicity, the API increased by double digits for African American (15), Asian (12), Hispanic or Latino (15), and White (13) students (see charts 1 & 2). Several district-wide initiatives have contributed to the gains for all student groups including the implementation of Response to Intervention and Instruction (RTI2) in our K-8 schools, focus on English Language Development and academic language instruction, reduced teacher-to-student ratio in middle school math classes, and collaboration time for teachers. 

Each of BUSD’s elementary and middle schools have exceeded the statewide API target of 800 or above. The average gain in Elementary and Middle School was over 25 points. “The API numbers out today provide another data point that our schools are on the path of continuous improvement. We are committed to raising the achievement of students of all groups and closing the differences between them. I am proud of the way all of our school site staffs, administrators, and district departments are working to put students first,” shared Co-Superintendent Javetta Cleveland. 

Berkeley High School (BHS) received an API for the second consecutive year showing a 19- point growth in one year for a school API of 734. Previously reported in Spring, 2012 was the BHS graduation rate of 86% - higher than both the county and state graduation rates. “Berkeley High teachers and staff are working to improve the educational outcomes for all students. Their focus now is to align the curriculum to the new Common Core State Standards and to use common assessments. We expect to see accelerated improvements in high school performance just as we have seen recently in our elementary and middle schools,” said Co-Superintendent Neil Smith. 

Of particular interest to the Berkeley community is the achievement of students in our Class of 2020 (current 5th graders who will graduate from high school in the year 2020). District, city, and community partners to the 2020 Vision for Berkeley’s Children and Youth are using key indicators (e.g. third grade reading fluency, attendance, kindergarten readiness) as a barometer of efforts to ensure educational excellence and equity for all students. At 2020 in Action, a public symposium on the progress to date being held tonight, new California Standards Test (CST) data will show that 76% of last year’s third graders are proficient or advanced in reading, a gain of 10% from the previous third grade class. In addition, the Class of 2020 cohort demonstrated a 20 percentage point gain on the CST in English Language Arts and a 5 percentage point gain in Mathematics on their 4th Grade Test in 2012 as compared to 3rd Grade in 2011. 

President of Berkeley Federation of Teachers Cathy Campbell recognized that "Today's news highlights the critical work that teachers and students conduct every day in our classrooms. Teachers are working collectively to implement a rich and exciting curriculum, to engage all students, and to meet the needs of our diverse learners. Teachers are committed to continuous improvement in their own practice, and this is reflected in the scores we see today." 

Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) – Annual Measurable Objectives, or AMOs, are the minimum percentages of students who are required to meet or exceed the proficient level on the statewide assessments used for AYP. AYP targets become more difficult to reach as more students must score proficient or advanced on the tests from the previous year, with the goal of all students being proficient or advanced by 2014. The 2012 data reflected in the Charts 4 through 7 shows there has been an district-wide increase in the percent of students proficient or advanced as well as by students in the African-American, Hispanic/Latino, English Learner, Socio-Economically Disadvantaged and Students with Disabilities subgroups. 

The BUSD Board of Education, the District leadership, individual school site leadership teams and staff will continue to work collaboratively to conduct a thorough analysis of test results and other available data, because as Co-Superintendent Neil Smith said, “Our work is moving us in the right direction but we are still not where we want to be. We now have to focus targeted instruction and resources to the specific areas where we know we can better serve our students.” 

Results can be seen in graphic form here.

New: Puppets Come to Council Meeting

By Carol Denney
Wednesday October 17, 2012 - 10:18:00 AM

Colorful ten foot puppets of religious and inspirational figures swayed their way up the circular steps to the Berkeley City Council meeting Tuesday along with a crowd of interfaith religious leaders, community members, and children. 

“Don’t target the poor,” stated one of the signs held by the dignified group. A musician played a traditional Chinese instrument while the participants held a prayer circle sharing prayers from different religious traditions. 

As darkness fell, the group took turns reading a letter signed by dozens of community religious leaders condemning Measure S, the anti-sitting law proposed by Tom Bates on the electoral ballot. The clergy letter detailed the absence of community resources for young people, who are often the target of police harassment. 

The crowd then decorated two large representations of symbolic community centers they hoped to inspire Berkeley’s policymakers to create someday with prayer flags made by homeless youth. 

The art created by the youth from the art jobs and job training program known as Youth Spirit Artworks (YSA) depicted a wide array of colors and symbols of home, love, and peace.

New: Sunday Streets Proves Sitting and Business Go Together

By Carol Denney
Tuesday October 16, 2012 - 08:33:00 AM
Carol Denney
Carol Denney
Carol Denney
Carol Denney

Anyone who thinks Berkeley needs an anti-sitting law to bring people to the commercial districts must have missed the Sunday Streets event October 14, 2012. Shattuck Avenue between Rose Street and Haste Street was awash with music, bubbles, strollers, dancers, sitters, walkers, bike riders, sunlight, and joy. 

The complete absence of cars is what has makes Sunday Streets a distinctive experience for people whether they walk the length of the event or just enjoy a couple blocks. The traffic lights change from red to green to yellow without any need to pay attention, tense up, or worry about one’s safety. The lights became just another colorful background element on a sunny day, like the balloons. 

Children wandered through the streets in complete safety, a part of Berkeley’s community rarely seen downtown. Children, the best show on earth, could walk with their families without the strict supervision city streets usually require, encountering a man playing the piano in the middle of the road, a woman hula-hooping, or a mass of Zumba dancers going wild to the beat. 

Getting kids in and out of cars, safety seats, belts, threading them safely through traffic was left behind. Parents could keep a casual eye on their children while talking to friends, watching dancers, enjoying live music, or just watching the passing crowd. 

No new, restrictive, possibly discriminatory laws were necessary for this magical moment. All it needed was the absence of cars and their noisy, smelly, environmentally hostile consequences. Around seventy Sunday Streets events are taking place across the nation, making the case city by city that car-based planning is bad planning. 

The city one sees from a pedestrian point of view is unique, as any Solano Stroll attendee will testify. But Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley is twice as wide, so the crushed, rushed feeling one sometimes has at the Stroll trying to get through the crowd is gone on Shattuck, a street wide enough to accommodate a collection of interested people around some musicians without impeding bikers rolling by. 

If anyone in this town still thinks it needs an anti-sitting law after Sunday, or tries to argue that panhandlers are discouraging people from coming to commercial districts, show them some pictures of this event. And be sure to smile. That’s what everyone was doing together on Sunday, and the effect is spectacular.

A Curmudgeonly Potpourri

by The Occasional Curmudgeon
Friday October 12, 2012 - 09:40:00 AM

As a public service to assist readers in their preparation for the upcoming elections, yr. hmbl. (crmdgn.) svt. has assembled an informal guide for negotiating the 2012 political labyrinth.

Deciphering the Code

To be properly informed today, it’s important to develop translation skills to understand what candidates are really saying. As in George Orwell’s 1984, phrases or pronouncements spoken by today’s politicians often mean their opposite. Here are a few examples: 

  • “I would have used different words.” (Mitt Romney, responding to Rush Limbaugh’s evisceration of Sandra Fluke.) Translation: “I agree with Rush, she’s a slut.”
  • “Legitimate rape” (Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., during a local TV interview) = “She asked for it.”
  • “Another method of conception” (Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan referring to rape in a recent TV appearance) = “She asked for it and now has to live with the consequences.”
  • “He’s not like us.” (Sarah Palin, referring to Barak Obama.) = “He’s black and smart.”
  • “If you elect me, I will protect the essential nature of our neighborhoods.” (Heard on the radio while driving through Pittsburgh a few years ago during an election for city council.) = “I’ll keep the blacks and Hispanics out.”
  • “American values” = Entitlement by banks and corporations to lie, cheat, steal, and avoid paying taxes.
  • “Citizens United” = Citizens divided.
  • “Compassionate conservatism” = Rolling back the New Deal.
  • “Rampant socialism” = Obamacare.
  • “Government bailouts” = Mechanism by which corrupt, mismanaged, and overreaching corporations “too big to fail” transfer their debts onto the backs of taxpayers.
  • “I will move America forward.” (Romney, in numerous campaign speeches.) = “I will return America to the nineteenth century.”
  • “The brave men and women of our armed forces.” = “As long as they aren’t my kids.”

Suggested Campaign Slogans 


Today’s politics being more theater to entertain the electorate than a calling to address the exigencies of a troubled nation – the rhetoric obfuscatory and deceptive – I think it’s time we of the reality-based community had campaign slogans that really tell it like it is. Here are some suggestions:  

  • “Torment the poverty-stricken: vote Republican”
  • “Romney for President: because he’s entitled to it!”
  • “The U.S. should be run by those who own it: vote Republican”
  • “America: Freedom to be poor, uneducated, and sick”
  • “Protect corporate welfare: Romney for President”
  • “Reelect Obama: hope against hope he gets it right this time”
  • “Reelect Tom Bates: because he needs the work”
  • “Bates for mayor: because Loni wants him out of the house”
  • “Tom Bates: he never met a developer he didn’t like”
  • “High rises in Berkeley? Reelect Tom Bates”
Some Quotes For Our Times… …that still ring true: 


  • “It takes nerve to be a Democrat and money to be a Republican.” – Will Rogers
  • “Libertarians are Republicans who just want to smoke dope and get laid.” – Anonymous
  • “The Republicans believe that life begins at conception and ends at birth.” – Barney Frank
  • “There is a story that God gave humans the truth...and the devil popped up and said, ‘Let’s organize this into religion.’” – Anonymous
  • “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’” -- Isaac Asimov, Newsweek interview, 1980 (e.g., evolution vs. Creationism, and thank you Michelle Bachmann.)
  • “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.” – Anatole France (Dedicated to Ayn Rand and Paul Ryan.)
  • “It would be a good idea.” – Mahatma Gandhi, when asked his opinion of “Western Civilization”
Bumper Sticker Wisdom… 

…seen recently in the East Bay: 

  • “Republicans for Voldemort”
  • “I’ll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one.”
  • “Where are we going – and why am I in this hand-basket?”
  • “Don’t believe everything you think.”
  • Be kind to one another…and begin the preparation of your immigration documents for Canada now – just in case.

Till we rant again, 


– Duh Curmudge 


The Occasional Curmudgeon is Berkeley writer David Esler

Return to Telegraph Avenue

By Ted Friedman
Friday October 12, 2012 - 12:45:00 PM
Patches and  his doobie-smoking friend, Little Bird, giving his version of his latest pot bust.
Ted Friedman
Patches and his doobie-smoking friend, Little Bird, giving his version of his latest pot bust.
"Blue. I'm having a bad day," he said. "Couldn't find anywhere to sleep last night."
Ted Friedman
"Blue. I'm having a bad day," he said. "Couldn't find anywhere to sleep last night."
Students of Maximus Matinez Commons, who showed up in the commons lounge Sunday afternoon to learn about their across-the-street neighbor, People's Park from Mike Delacour, its progenitor.
Ted Friedman
Students of Maximus Matinez Commons, who showed up in the commons lounge Sunday afternoon to learn about their across-the-street neighbor, People's Park from Mike Delacour, its progenitor.
Learning about the park Sunday at a Martinez Commons meeting with park activists Sunday.
Ted Friedman
Learning about the park Sunday at a Martinez Commons meeting with park activists Sunday.

This off-beat reporter, his heart on the South side, has been lured away on the mayoral campaign and measure S, leaving other measures to press releases, and our editor-in-chief's tightly reasoned endorsements.

We have had to base our speculations on the outcomes of the mayor's race and measure S on hearsay, or less.

But something we could sink our teeth into, something palpable...that we will only get from Telegraph Avenue. 

Sunday was a golden day by the Bay, not seen since the San Andreas fault fractured, Oct. 17, 1989, disrupting the third world series game, between Oakland and San Francisco. Sunday both teams were playing, the Giants at home, as 

the Blue Angels streaked over Crissy Field. 

The Chron headlined: "S.F. crowds mostly behave as city adds parades, cruise ship, 49ers game to weekend mix." 

Crowds were behaved on Telegraph Avenue, too, and street tramps, as they call themselves, were keeping a low profile. I talked to a kid named Blue, who was really blue, crouched on a stool. He said that he was depressed because he couldn't find a good place to sleep. 

"What will you do if sitting is banned?" I asked. 

"Stand up, I suppose; or lean somewhere," said Blue, languorously. 

I stopped off at Remy's, near People's Park to to see if I could see the Niners kickoff . 

Remy's is the successor to Mario's a legendary Mexican restaurant in Berkeley for half a century. His former employers at Raleigh's have apparently given him permission to advertise at the burned out Sequoia Apartments fire site, a barren void--constant reminder of what the neighborhood lost. 

I made a note to look for Patches, a Telegraph street vendor selling screwy patches, who was recently photographed in his psychedelic sixties schlock-shop glasses, peering out from the Daily Cal's pages with two sparkling wheels that looked like bloody eyeballs--an alarming shot. 

After watching part of the Niner's game, at Pappy's, distracted by the baseball playoffs. I headed for a meeting of students at Maximus Martinez Commons, one of the fanciest dorms in the country, who agreed to meet with People's Park activists. 

Throughout the nearly two years construction on the up-scale digs, construction cranes crawled the park's air-space, somehow looming larger and more threateningly, shrunk wrapped in black--the bad guy, a symbol of the university's always present threat to the continued existence of the park. 

Now dorm students were reaching out to the park, as park activists like Mike Delecour, Nathan Pitts, and Michael Diehl reached back. 

The door to the dorm's lobby was locked, and the lobby deserted. 

Heading back to the Ave, I saw Mike Delacour heading for the meeting. That made two who couldn't get in, but we slipped in when a student left. He held the door for us. Out of respect for our ages? We're a century and a half years old--150, in rounded off numbers. 

Soon we were talking to the students, who were there to learn about the park through a new film purported to have material additional to "Berkeley in the Sixties." 

Delacour was the park's progenitor, according to Seth Rosenfeld's latest book--"Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power." 

Delacour is now in the books as the guy with the idea for the park, a vacant lot used for a temporary parking plot. Later, Delacour told me that when the police "wired the park" (blocked students with wire barriers), his car was incarcerated for days. 

In1969, Delacour could drive to the People's Park riots and find a convenient parking space in what became People's Park, he told me. 

On the way to the Med, I bumped into a Planet reader who asked, "why hasn't the Planet covered Patches." According to our reader, Patches has been the number one topic of Ave. scuttlebutt. after being arrested for selling marijuana at his patch stand. 

Patches, a well-known street vendor (22 years) selling screwy patches, was recently featured in his psychedelic sixties schlock-shop glasses, peering out from the Daily Cal's pages with two sparkling wheels that looked like bloody eyeballs--an alarming photograph that might have been painted by Dali, or photographed by Man Ray. 

Street vendors are unlikely dope peddlers, and Patches has a cop friend or two. 

He says he helps cops keep order on the Ave, often ratting-out hard drug dealers, he claims. 

According to the Daily Cal, the Berkeley character, 52, is fondly remembered by alumnae from decades ago--as a drug dealer, operating under the cops noses. 

This time, cops had no choice but to bust the flamboyant street personality, after two students complained that Patches was selling marijuana, according to the Daily Cal, and Patches himself. 

Recently released from Santa Rita County Jail after a mere two days ("I cooperated," he said,) Patches was back at his usual spot. 

Thirty student comments on the Daily Cal story bragged they had M.O.'d the alleged dealer years ago. 

An avenue observer tells me, this is far from the first he's been cited for marijuana sales at his stand. 

The Daily Cal called him Robert Meister, but the name doesn't fit. 

When I approached Patches, he unleashed a vituperative volley of invective, confusing me, he said, with an undergraduate reporter for the Daily Cal, at 73. "it's a student paper," I pointed out. 

And he didn't have his fire-wheel glasses blinding him, either. 

He recalled that I had the week before bought two pistol-packing momma patches for my grandkids. 

Eventually Patches calmed down somewhat and told me his story, erupting in a diatribe against the police, the students, the daily Cal, and the cruel way of things. 

"I'm the good guy," he moaned. 

While railing, often wildly, at students, and the "libelous charges," in the Daily Cal, Patches said he might sue the Daily Cal. He showed me a D.C. reporter's card, saying, "she put her phone number on it." 

"I didn't sell drugs," he said, "I just gave away some cookies, and cookies aren't marijuana," he said, but "I'll have to check on that." 

The police called the cookies "concentrated cannabis," according to the Daily Cal. The police reportedly found large quantities of marijuana at his stand, a charge Patches heatedly denies. 

Also found, reportedly, were three pounds of marijuana, and more than $10,000 in cash at Patches' home in Richmond. 

The beleaguered vendor vowed to take his case before a jury. He's done it before, he said. "They'll never convict me," he boasted. 

Perhaps he'll mesmerize the jury with his psychedelic eye-wear. 


The Planet's "Voice of the South side," returns to the scene of former adventures on the  

avenue. Thanks to all his sources.

Full Election Coverage

Sunday October 14, 2012 - 12:42:00 PM

Are you confused about the upcoming election? Below you'll be able to find all the articles about the November 2012 election that have appeared to date in the Planet, in reverse chronological order, except that Planet editorials are at the top on the front page so they’re easier to find.

Also on the front page are links to a couple of excellent videos on YouTube which will make it possible for you to see the candidates both in a full debate and in sound bites. 



Berkeley Heats Up For the Fall Election Season 08-29-2012

ENDORSEMENT SPECIAL: Yes on Berkeley Measures U, V, N, O. No on Berkeley Measure M. 09-28-2012

ENDORSEMENT SPECIAL: Measure T is a Trojan Horse 09-21-2012

ENDORSEMENT SPECIAL: Sitting Down Should not be Banned in Berkeley 09-14-2012

ENDORSEMENT SPECIAL: Berkeley Mayor and City Council 09-05-2012 


ENDORSEMENT SPECIAL: Avoid R, and the Rest of the Story 10-04-2012 

Following the Money Behind Berkeley Ballot Measures 10-12-2012

Myth-Busting 101: Street-Sitting Ban Does NOT Work for Santa Cruz Either 10-12-2012 


Watch Candidates for Berkeley's Mayor Discuss the Issues Video by Paul Kealoha Blake 10-04-2012

Berkeley Candidates' “Stump Speeches” on YouTube From the League of Women Voters 10-09-2012 

View Competitive Sitting Here, Now! 10-05-2012 

Odd Bodkins: Eisenhower (Cartoon) By Dan O'Neill 10-12-2012 

Measure M: Investing in Streets and Green infrastructure - Providing Multiple Benefits Now and Saving Money in the Future By Larry Henry, Past Chairperson and current Vice-Chairperson of the Berkeley Public Works Commission 10-12-2012 

Can We Elect A President Who Will Help Us All? By Romila Knanna 10-12-2012 By J. Muir 10-12-2012 

Creative Protests Blanket Berkeley By Carol Denney 10-12-2012 

A Curmudgeonly Potpourri by The Occasional Curmudgeon 10-12-2012 

Mayoral & District 3 Candidates’ Night Sponsored by LeConte & Williard Neighborhood Associations 10-12-2012 


New: Yes,the Fiscal Sky May Be Falling: Moody's is Examining Berkeley for a Rating Downgrade By Barbara Gilbert 10-09-2012 

Quakers Oppose Berkeley Measure S By Berkeley Society of Friends 10-04-2012 

Vote Yes on A1 By Dr. Joel Parrott, Veterinarian and Executive Director, Oakland Zoo 10-04-2012 

New: Who's Spending on Berkeley Ballot Measures? The First Filing of Expenditures, and More By Thomas Lord 10-09-2012 

New: Santa Monica has a Plan for Growth and It’s Better than Berkeley’s (News Analysis) By Toni Mester 10-06-2012 

Hometown Online Resources for Berkeley Voters
from The Berkeley Almanac
By Thomas Lord 10-04-2012 

Election Stories in Back Issues of the Planet 10-05-2012 

SENIOR POWER: A Senior Moment By Helen Rippier Wheeler 10-04-2012 

NEBA Holds Two Berkeley Election Fairs and Forums 10-05-2012 

Berkeley's Measure U: $1 million for sunshine? That’s a stretch! And it would still be a bargain! By Richard Knee 09-28-2012 

Measure R: The Name of the Game is POWER by Former Berkeley Mayor Shirley Dean 09-28-2012 

No on Berkeley Measure T By Sam Greyson 09-28-2012 

Is Three-Term Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates Vulnerable? By Ted Friedman 09-28-2012 

Ranked Choice Voting Comes to Berkeley: How It Works, How to Do It By Lydia Gans 09-28-2012 

Press Release: Cal Berkeley Democrats Endorse 2012 Local Candidates Worthington, Anderson, and Progressive Rent Board Candidates From Sofie Karasek 09-28-2012 

Press Release: Berkeley No on S Campaign Grabs Three Democratic Club Endorsements "Clean Sweep" of 3 Berkeley Democratic Clubs Marks Growing No on S Momentum
By Christopher Cook, No on S coalition 09-28-2012 

Berkeley Mayor and Council Candidates Debate on Sundays From Nigel Guest 09-28-2012 

CENA Candidates' Night is Monday 09-28-2012 

Berkeley For All Candidates' Forum
McGee Avenue Baptist Church in Berkeley, Thursday

Measure S is a Hate Crime By Carol Denney 09-21-2012 

New: Grey Panthers Host Berkeley Mayor Candidates in Forum By Helen Rippier Wheeler 09-26-2012 

New: Vote No on Alameda County Measure A1 (Opinion) By Laura Baker,East Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society 09-26-2012 

Press Release: Bookmark and Share Curb-Sit and Kiss-In Protest Against Anti-Sitting Law-- Re-Creation Of Barack And Michelle Obama's First Kiss While Sitting On The Sidewalk By B Sofer 09-26-2012 

Press Release: Celebratory “Sitting Olympics” To Highlight Measure S Concerns
Berkeley celebs headline Sept. 30 “Starry Plough Olympiad 2012”
From Christopher Cook 09-26-2012 

Election Information 09-21-2012 

MapLight's Voter's Edge: A Graphic Guide to Election Information 09-24-2012 

THE PUBLIC EYE:Campaign 2012: Playing the Israel Card By Bob Burnett 09-21-2012 

But of Course, It Could Never Happen in Berkeley--or Could It? By Osha Neumann 09-14-2012 

Letter to Berkeley Mayor and City Council Regarding Brown Act Violations in Placing Measure S on the November Ballot By Michael T. Risher, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California 09-13-2012 

Romney Follows His Own Rules By Bruce Joffee 09-14-2012 

"The Fight for Berkeley's Soul" Sunday Downtown By Ted Friedman 09-17-2012 

Walk will Reveal Problems of Berkeley’s Aquatic Park By Toni Mester 09-14-2012 

Press Release: Berkeley Standing Up Coalition Kicks Off Campaign to Defeat “Sit-Lie” Measure S From Christopher Cook 09-16-2012 

Community Campaign Center Opening 09-14-2012 

Election Information 09-14-2012 

Press Release: BCA Endorsement Meeting Results From Linda Godzi 09-16-2012 

THE PUBLIC EYE: Welcome to Romneyland By Bob Burnett 09-14-2012 

ECLECTIC RANT: Making it Harder For Some to Vote: Restrictive Voting Laws By Ralph E. Stone 09-14-2012 

Odd Bodkins: The Terrorist (Cartoon) By Dan O'Neill 09-08-2012 

Whatever Happened To "Republican Women for Choice"? By Ron Lowe 09-08-2012 

An Open Letter to Jacquelyn McCormick and Adolpho Cabral; By Norma J F Harrison 09-08-2012 

Where in the World is West Berkeley? (News Analysis) By Toni Mester 09-07-2012 

New: Unfunded Liabilities And The New Berkeley Police Contract (News Analysis) By Shannon Brown 09-08-2012 

Planning Commission Special Workshop On MUP Community Benefits to Be Held on Wednesday From WEBAIC 09-07-2012 

Election Update 09-07-2012 

THE PUBLIC EYE:Obama vs. Romney: The Popularity Contest By Bob Burnett 09-07-2012 

Odd Bodkins: Fred for Prez (Cartoon) By Dan O'Neill 08-28-2012 

Romney's Vision for the Future: An Uninhabitable Earth By Jack Bragen 08-29-2012 

Press Release: Bates and Berkeley Council Violated Brown Act in Measure S Process, Says ACLU in Letter From Bob Offer-Westort, Berkeley Standing Up for the Right to Sit Down; Michael T. Risher, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California: 415 621 2493 09-06-2012 

There's Something About Tom Bates (News Analysis) By Ted Friedman 09-01-2012 

Got Free Speech in Berkeley’s Constitution Square? (First Person) By Carol Denney 08-29-2012 

New: Berkeley Election News in Other Media 09-04-2012 

Profiles of the Candidates for Berkeley Office in the November Election From the Berkeley City Clerk 08-28-2012 

Election Information: 2012 Berkeley Ballot Measures 08-29-2012 

Berkeley's General Election Calendar From the Berkeley City Clerk 08-29-2012 

Jacquelyn McCormick for Mayor (Opinion) By Martha Nicoloff 08-29-2012 

THE PUBLIC EYE: Mitt Romney: The Great White Hope 08-31-2012 

AGAINST FORGETTING: Voter Suppression: The "Schurick Doctrine" and the Unravelling of American Democracy By Ruth Rosen 08-29-2012 

ECLECTIC RANT: The GOP and the John Galt Factor By Ralph E. Stone 08-29-2012 



Following the Money Behind Berkeley Ballot Measures

By Becky O'Malley
Friday October 12, 2012 - 09:58:00 AM

If you want to get a good idea of how Berkeley is being governed, the list of who’s contributed to the shucking-and-jiving measures on the November ballot is a good place to start.

Why do I call Measures S and T shucking-and-jiving measures? Because the Bates-controlled majority on the Berkeley city council voted to place these two issues on the ballot as a way of ducking the responsibility vested in them to make things work in this city.

As far as Measure S is concerned, there are plenty enough laws on the books to control anti-social street behavior anywhere in the city at any time, but the current administration doesn’t enforce them, preferring instead to sucker the citizenry into thinking that prohibiting sitting down is going to bring nirvana to our mean streets.

And Measure T is an end run around perfectly workable provisions in the existing West Berkeley plan, notably the development agreements explained by Toni Mester in the last issue, by enacting spot zoning for a small handful of favored developers.

How do we know this? Well, who’s paying for these campaigns?

You can use the extremely useful Berkeley Ballot Measure Browser to quickly get the contribution information buried on the City of Berkeley’s web site. 

First, let’s look at Measure S. Here’s the lineup: 


First Shattuck LLC (Berkeley CA 94704) $10,000
Panoramic Interests, LLC (Berkeley CA 94705) $10,000
Constitution Square (San Rafael CA 94901) $5,000
Everest Properties (Berkeley CA 94704) $5,000
Hirahara Family Ltd Partnership (Orinda CA 94563) $5,000
Mrs. Aileen Dolby (Oakland CA 94618) $5,000
NFLP Berkeley Center (Berkeley CA 94709) $5,000
Segula Investments Inc (Berkeley CA 94704) $5,000
Townsend II, LLC (San Francisco CA 94111) $3,500
Diablo Holdings Ltd (Alamo CA 94507) $2,500
Ventri LLC (Mill Valley CA 94941) $2,500
Segerberg Family Trust 1-18-89 (Albany CA 94706) $2,000
Berkeley Alliance for Progress (Berkeley CA 94707) $1,000
1950 MLK LLC (Berkeley CA 94709) $500
Toyota of Berkeley (Berkeley CA 94704) $500
Vested Income Properties (Napa CA 94558) $300
1080 Delaware LLC (Berkeley CA 94709) $250
Anh Hong - Bo 7 Mon, LLC (Berkeley CA 94704) $100
If you do simple searches on the names on the list, you’ll soon discover that by and large these are not the iconic small businesses that Tom Bates (and Mitt Romney) love to cite as the focus of their political activities. 

They’re by and large major players on the giant Monopoly board that ten years of the Bates administration has created in downtown Berkeley, big-time commercial property speculators and developers. Even Mrs Aileen Dolby, for example, who might sound like just a private citizen looking for the illusory “civil sidewalks”, is a commercial real estate executive. The two top funders so far, at $10k each, First Shattuck LLC and Panoramic Interests, LLC, manage many square feet of downtown Berkeley commercial office and apartment space for big out of town corporations. Panoramic, developer Patrick Kennedy’s baby, now fronts for Equity Residential, owned by the notorious Sam Zell, since Kennedy sold his buildings to Zell’s corporation. 

Sam is famous for buying and bankrupting major American newspapers among other misdeeds. Check out many previous Planet stories for the gory details about how these two have treated Berkeley in the past. 

And speaking of Zell, another one of the listed big spenders on S is Berkeley Alliance for Progress, most notorious for bankrolling a phony “Sierra Club” mailer designed successfully to fool Berkeleyans into voting for last election’s Measure R, a green-washed bit of ballot arm-waving which was the previous Bates-backed simulation of doing something to improve the downtown business climate (not to be confused with this election’s Measure R, which is about letting councilmembers gerrymander their district lines.) 

We smoked out the Zell-Equity-Measure R connection back then: almost all the money for the Berkeley Alliance for Progress came out of Zell’s corporate pocket via Equity. That Measure R passed, but has accomplished nothing at all since the last election. 

There were other big contributors, however, a percentage of whose money has now been passed through to the Anti-Sit committee. These include PG&E at $5,000 and a variety of unions, including Carpenters ($5,000) , Electrical Workers ($5000), Sheet Metal WorkersSEIU 1021 (which represents city employees), as well as building industry corporations like Oliver and Company of Richmond. Many were from outside Berkeley. 

For even more details about who paid for Yes-on-R, check out Daniella Thompson s full dress investigation . Many of the same backers are now Yes-on-S people. 

The COB website doesn’t list any recent contributions to the BAP (listed on the site as Berkeley Alliance for Progress-Yes on R), so presumably their recent $1,000 contribution to Yes on S was just the machine’s way of disposing of the last few bucks in the Alliance slush fund, as a cover-up of Equity’s contribution to this new measure. But do watch for some other expensive and deceptive mailer late in the season listing BAP as the funder, and probably with a big picture of Candidate Bates on the front. 

It’s a somewhat different story, so far, with Measure T. Measure T, a canny bit of spot zoning for a few special clients, is tricked out to appear to be yet another “green” plan, when in fact it’s a serious environmental threat to what is now a thriving sustainable community in West Berkeley. 

The funders of Yes-on-T: 

Herst Ventures (San Rafael CA 94901) $10,000
deTienne Associates (San Francisco CA 94110) $2,100
Nancy Skinner for Assembly (Sacramento CA 94815) $1,000
Moore for City Council (Berkeley CA 94702) $250
Herst Ventures of San Rafael is Doug Herst, who inherited his family’s Peerless Lighting company, whose now-moribund factory is at Bancroft and 4th. Darrell deTienne is the guy he’s hired to promote his scheme to redevelop the property into an extravaganza of everything currently trendy and greenish, in conflict with its zoning under the West Berkeley Plan. 



There’s a smarmy puff piece about Measure T, full of factual errors, in the Express this week. Here’s the over-written lead: “On a recent weekday, Fourth Street between Bancroft and Allston ways in West Berkeley was mostly abandoned. Unlike the upscale stretch of shops and eateries on the other side of University Avenue, this section of Fourth Street, a former hub of West Berkeley's once bustling industrial and warehouse sector, is now an empty reminder of glory days gone by. Doug Herst, who owns the property on both sides of this area of Fourth, once operated a successful manufacturing business here. Peerless Lighting, his family business, designed and produced energy-efficient lighting fixtures. But faced with stiff competition from overseas companies using cheap labor, the West Berkeley Peerless Lighting manufacturing plant closed in 2006.” 

Well, this is an area I know well, since I worked there for many years. This is what I posted in the comments to the piece (no use wasting a perfectly good bit of invective): 

“As it happens, my family and I ran a successful high tech company just two blocks away from the Herst property in the 90s, at 6th and Bancroft. Even then, the Peerless property was getting seedy. I can attest that the lead on this hyped article is pretty much a total fabrication. Things in the neighborhood there are if anything livelier now than they were then, with many vigorous small businesses like Vik's thriving and expanding. It's too bad that Doug Herst wasn't up to keeping the fine business his family founded alive in his generation, but that happens all the time, and has happened in many other families before his. It doesn't entitle him to a personal re-zoning so that he can become a land speculator on his inherited property, which is what Berkeley Measure T is all about. If you want evidence, check who's paying the lion's share of the campaign financing for Yes on T, posted on the city of Berkeley website: Herst and his associate Darrell deTienne. Much of the rest of the article is similar hyperbole. Gammon has seldom met a development he doesn't slaver over. He needs to get some real world business exposure before he pontificates.” 

A few big property owners like Herst with visions of dollar signs in their eyes are pushing Measure T, completely oblivious of a very useful maximum which I learned when I was in the software business: if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. West Berkeley works as it is. Leave it alone to prosper. 

And what about the contributions from Skinner and Moore? Someone with more time on their hands than I have might profit from checking the list of their campaign contributors past and future. Bread cast on the waters might return a thousand fold, right? 




The Editor's Back Fence

Myth-Busting 101: Street-Sitting Ban Does NOT Work for Santa Cruz Either

Friday October 12, 2012 - 10:46:00 AM
Mike O'Malley
Mike O'Malley
Mike O'Malley
Mike O'Malley

“Former Santa Cruz Mayor Rotkin said that in the eighteen years since the city passed its sit/lie law, business has generally seen an uptick. The businesses that flank Santa Cruz's main thoroughfare on Pacific Avenue are a robust mix of chains and smaller boutiques.’

So, who are you going to believe? What Express Music Editor Rachel Swan quotes a Santa Cruz lifer politician as claiming, instead of your own eyes? Has the ban on sitting on the street really worked in that city?

Last Monday night (a school holiday) we took five or six girls (they moved too fast to count), including our granddaughters, downtown in Santa Cruz for ice cream. Along the way we snapped a few pictures of just some of the sidewalk sitters who are still there in abundance, contrary to the ex-Mayor’s claims.

(Santa Cruz is awash in ex-Mayors, who serve only a one year term—the father of our granddaughters is one of them. Now there’s a Santa Cruz law that Berkeley should adopt!)

Another contradiction to Rotkin’s report—as we walked along we noticed to the kids’ distress that their favorite Mexican restaurant, Acapulco, where they’d been going all their lives, had shut down, abruptly and with no explanation, adding yet another empty storefront to the less-than-robust Pacific street mix.

Will Measure S fix downtown Berkeley? Not a prayer...


Odd Bodkins: Eisenhower (Cartoon)

By Dan O'Neill
Friday October 12, 2012 - 11:00:00 AM


Dan O'Neill


Public Comment

New: Complaint Filed with Berkeley’s Fair Campaign Practices Commission Regarding Yes on T’s Illegal/Fraudulent Endorsements

By Zelda Bronstein
Wednesday October 17, 2012 - 05:20:00 PM

In an effort to stem the rampant dishonesty of the campaign to rezone West Berkeley to profit a few big developers, as reported in the Berkeley Daily Planet and on berkeleyside.com, on October 17 I filed two complaints with the City of Berkeley Fair Campaign Practices Commission (FCPC). 

First, the Yes on T campaign cites the Telegraph Avenue Property & Business Improvement District as an endorser. According to City Attorney Zach Cowan, business improvement districts are City entities and as such (except for the council) cannot legally endorse in elections. This endorsement is illegal. 

Second, the Yes on T campaign cites Berkeley SEIU Local 1021 as an endorser on its webpage and on a mass mailer. In fact, SEIU Local 1021 opposes Measure T, as indicated on the Endorsements page from the union’s website. (The union has repeatedly asked Yes on T to remove SEIU’s name from the campaign website; as of this writing, the union’s name still appears there; by now, it may be gone.) 

Individual chapters of the union cannot take positions contrary to those held by the union as a whole. This endorsement is fraudulent. 

The FCPC’s next meeting is Thursday, October 25, 7 pm, at the North Berkeley Senior Center, Classroom C. My complaints about Yes on T should be on the agenda. I invite Berkeley citizens who value fair and honest elections to attend and voice their protest. 

Even if the commission sustains my complaints and penalizes the Yes on T campaign, the damage has been done: the endorsement cannot be removed from the mailers that have gone out to thousands of voters. Many voters may have already sent in their absentee ballots. 

Moreover, as detailed by the articles in the Planet and Berkeleyside cited above, illegal or fraudulent endorsements are just a tiny sample of Yes on T’s dishonest claims. I hope Berkeley citizens see through this Rovian campaign and vote no on Measure T. 

Officer #145 and Your Tax Dollars at Work

By Carol Denney
Friday October 12, 2012 - 12:44:00 PM

A small, quiet crowd gathered near Center Street and Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley on Sunday, October 7th, watching a group of artists sketch and fill in a large chalk representation of "The Last Supper", a painting by Leonardo da Vinci of Jesus eating at a table with his disciples. Across the top was the statement, "Let Us Sit Together and Break Bread." 

It was a colorful, visual protest against the proposed anti-sitting law, Measure S, which is on Berkeley's ballot in the coming election. But nobody had to know much about politics to appreciate the work of the patient, talented artists slowly bringing a work of art to life. The fact that this detailed work of chalk would be washed away in a matter of days either by maintenance workers or the elements added to its beauty. 

A young woman stood nearby watching in quiet awe. The artists were swift and sure in their movements. They had marked the brick plaza into segments to help keep the perspective true as they turned a small photograph of the painting into the large, color-filled, 35 x 25 foot mural. 

A young woman angled herself discretely behind the working artists, who moved constantly from a standing position to their knees, working sometimes with their fingers to blend the colors to create flesh tones and folds of fabric. She wasn't drinking. She wasn't smoking. She wasn't speaking. She was standing, watching, smiling in admiration like the rest of us. 

Officer Keene, badge #145, singled her out of the crowd and instructed her to relocate closer to him. She did. He began scribbling detail on a form, and she stood quietly near him, distressed but compliant. A couple of us moved closer to make sure she was okay. 

The officer instructed her to take off her jacket, although the day was cold and her blouse was sleeveless. She did. He told her to move her belongings two more feet closer to him. She did. He raised his voice as he ordered her around and inspected her things. Her thin arms were shaking, but she complied with all of his brusque, officious, overly loud, somewhat angry instructions. 

He then told the whole crowd, loudly, that she was on probation, and continued to describe her legal situation in a gratuitously loud fashion. I finally spoke up, asking why he was making an announcement to the whole crowd about her private business. He just kept talking loudly, telling me he wasn't talking to me, but making sure everyone there could hear what he said to her. 

The website of the Berkeley Police Department (BPD) states that "BPD cannot release probation or parole status." But this officer did exactly that in a loud voice in arguably the most public, well-traveled plaza in Berkeley. There appeared to be no reason on earth to interrupt this beautiful, peaceful moment of shared pleasure in the artwork unfolding before us. 

When the officer finally left, we hugged each other. The young woman cried a little, but she was okay. I told her how strong and clear-headed she seemed, even in the middle of such a trying moment, which seemed to me to be a pointless effort to publicly humiliate her. 

Others in the crowd said Officer Keene was just that way. There is no operative complaint system anymore in Berkeley, so there is little anyone can do but stand by and watch in amazed outrage. 

The young woman was just glad it was over. When I complimented her on being so strong, all she said was, "Yes. You have to be."

Measure M: Investing in Streets and Green infrastructure - Providing Multiple Benefits Now and Saving Money in the Future

By Larry Henry, Past Chairperson and current Vice-Chairperson of the Berkeley Public Works Commission
Friday October 12, 2012 - 12:28:00 PM

Berkeley’s streets are in poor shape and its 80-year old storm drain system cannot adequately handle the water-flow of major storms. The EPA is requiring Berkeley to reduce the amount of heavy metals runoff draining into San Francisco Bay during storms. To mitigate this, the City is increasing street sweeping frequency, but this is not enough to reduce heavy metal run-off to acceptable levels. To fix the street quality and stormwater management problems will require major investments over several decades and the benefits are inter-generational, thus bonding is the appropriate funding mechanism. Delaying this investment will allow these vital infrastructures to deteriorate further, leading to an increase in the final costs of the repair and effect on our environment. Comprehensive solutions require an effective proven approach tailored to the interconnected nature of the problems. 

In 2010, Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s ‘Pothole Report’ showed Berkeley tied for 86th place among the 109 cities and counties in the San Francisco Bay Area. While Berkeley doesn’t have the worst streets in the Bay Area, it’s in the bottom quartile and the condition deteriorates rapidly without intervention. 

During the 20th Century, the City grew in size and added ‘hardscape’ asphalt sealing--causing the amount and speed of its storm runoff to increase. With more and faster runoff, average storms now often exceed the capacity of the storm drain system and result in flooding. December 2003, February 2004, and in December 2005, all saw especially heavy localized flooding in various parts of Berkeley. Surprisingly, the flooding in these three years was so severe that they were characterized as 10, 25, and 15-year levels, respectively. Combined with a high tide, the flooding in 2005 overwhelmed the City’s storm drain system and flooded West Berkeley all the way up to San Pablo Ave. 

Asphalt streets have a maximum lifetime of twenty years. Initially, they deteriorate slowly and then very rapidly towards the end of their useful life. As a result, if streets are not repaired within the first fifteen years their subsequent reconstruction costs increase by a factor of four. Berkeley has a large backlog of streets that need such reconstruction as well as many that are approaching the fifteen year mark. 

According to the most recent Pavement Conditions Index (PCI), 62% of Berkeley’s streets are currently in substandard or failed condition. If the older streets are not repaired in the next few years, road quality will deteriorate dramatically and Berkeley drivers and residents can expect increased delays as the more intensive road reconstructions are performed. 

The Berkeley Public Works Commission (PWC) which annually reviews the City’s Five Year Street Paving Plan, made the unusual recommendation to Council to stop all street asphalt ‘reconstruction and overlay’ paving in 2016, choosing instead to ‘slurry seal’ all needed streets to prevent their deteriorating further. Following the slurry sealing stop gap work, the PWC recommended that the City develop an integrated solution that would address the multiple problems facing city streets and watershed. PWC believes such a solution should be environmentally sustainable, economically efficient, and effective in the long term

Measure M dedicates bond revenues towards innovative but proven effective natural solutions that protect Berkeley residents against floods and improve street conditions. 

These solutions include: 

  • Additional streetside vegetation to capture stormwater and add visual appeal
  • Permeable pavement that lasts longer (50+ years) than asphalt, keeps cooler, permits stormwater infiltration, and calms traffic without speed bumps
  • Selective Creek restoration and rain gardens to improve habitat, water quality, and flood control
Some of the multiple benefits of sustainable streets and watershed are: 

  • Enhance rainwater infiltration
  • Cool the urban environment
  • Are cost-effective over their entire lifetime
  • Increase visual appeal
  • Reduce flooding
  • Improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduce maintenance and repair costs for streets and sidewalks
  • Improve water quality and regulatory compliance

The passage of the City’s Measure M Bond for Streets and Watershed Management Plan, will see the following 

  • Permeable pavement installation projects
  • Bioswale and rain garden installation
  • Creek and floodplain restoration
  • Storm drain trash capture devices
  • Significant improvements in the street PCI
If City infrastructure is not repaired and rehabilitated at a financially sustaining and environmentally sustainable levels, unfunded needs will continue to escalate. To begin the necessary investment in this vital infrastructure, the Berkeley City Council has placed a $30 million Streets & Watershed Bond Measure on the November 2012 ballot. This bond measure would authorize general obligation bonds to construct street improvements and associated improvements to reduce flooding and improve water quality. 

Because Berkeley has a relatively low amount of bond debt, only $80 million, we have an excellent credit rating (AA+) and with interest rates at historic lows, the cost of funding these infrastructure improvements is modest. The average annual cost over the 30-year period the bonds are outstanding would be approximately $38, $61 and $116, respectively, for a home with assessed valuations of $330,000, $700,000 and $1,000,000.

New: Tell Your Rent Board This Friday You Need to Breathe Clean Air

By Carol Denney
Wednesday October 17, 2012 - 01:02:00 PM

Tired of breathing your neighbor’s secondhand smoke? Come to the Ad Hoc Committee on Smokefree Housing on Friday, October 19, 1:00 pm (2001 Center Street, Law Library, 2nd Floor) and tell the Rent Board. 

All the relevant commissions in Berkeley’s commission system have watched their best efforts to protect Berkeley citizens from secondhand smoke in their own homes dashed against the stubborn wall of disinformation promulgated by the Berkeley’s own Rent Stabilization Board, which persists in getting its information straight from the tobacco industry. 

A new effort to get public health prioritized instead of false tobacco industry claims (a rash of evictions! an inability to comply on the part of the poor, the mentally challenged, etc.!) was the recommendation of Councilmember Kriss Worthington and Councilmember Max Anderson in January of 2012. 

Anderson and Worthington’s joint recommendation encourages joint meetings with the Community Health Commission in the hope that relevant science enters the discussion, which has been stalled since Mayor Tom Bates encouraged the Community Health Commission to take steps to protect people from secondhand smoke exposure in multi-unit housing, a recommendation the Mayor made back in 2006. 

The Community Health Commission recommended 100% smokefree housing, which most landlords in the 17 cities and 3 counties in California with smoking regulations have adopted for health, safety, and insurance reasons. But the Rent Board recommended a percentage of smoking units in every building, ensuring that all building tenants live with constant exposure, and the policy effort went down the drain along with the health of thousands of Berkeley residents. 

It’s taken years to revisit the discussion, years in which tenants without the means or opportunity to move are forced to breath secondhand smoke in their homes, while they study, even while they sleep. Secondhand smoke trades throughout buildings with shared walls, ventilation systems, hallways, etc., and there is no safe dose. 

Tell the Rent Board it’s time to get real. “90% smokefree”, which was their slogan last time, means “100% smokefilled” for the 88% of nonsmoking tenants forced to breath secondhand smoke. Let’s stand up for science-based public policy and protect public health.

Can We Elect A President Who Will Help Us All?

By Romila Knanna
Friday October 12, 2012 - 01:11:00 PM

November 6th is only 30 days away from us voters. We must think ahead to cast our vote for someone who will bring the country back to its past glory of better health, better education, better economy and safely of movement from place to place. People of different colors, different financial status and different creeds all live here. We all need peaceful and secure environments to flourish in. Powerful people at the top ranks in the public sector forget that they are elected to serve ordinary people. They forget that their chief job is help citizens secure the education and health care which makes them capable workers. The poorest people in society have lacked a boost for the last ten years. Can we elect a President who will help us all? 

I believe that no one can rule the world by creating fear. War will never end our dangers but the practice of peaceful conflict resolution will make us more capable of finding common ground with “enemies.” We must act thoughtfully to elect a President who will keep working towards common ground rather than piling up yet more weapons of destruction.

Mountain Bikes Should be Out of the East Bay Parks

By J. Muir
Friday October 12, 2012 - 01:04:00 PM

Since the Park District is revising its Master Plan, now is the perfect time to ask them to get mountain biking out of the parks! Mountain bikes, with their "aggressive" knobby tires and high speed, grind the trails into powder, which washes away in the first rain, leaving V-shaped ruts and degraded creeks and other habitat. Even the mountain bikers themselves, with rare candor, use the term "shredding the trails" to refer to mountain biking. 

Countless insects, lizards, snakes, and other small plants and animals are killed by these "wheeled locusts". Hikers and equestrians are abandoning the trails and the parks, because it is unpleasant and dangerous to have to constantly be on the alert to avoid being hit by a biker coming around a blind turn at high speed. Illegal biking and even illegal trail-building are common in the parks. 

It's beyond me to understand why mountain bikers insist on biking in the parks, when walking provides the best way to actually see the parks. Careening through them at high speed -- or even low speed -- doesn't allow one to actually see anything, since you have to give all of your attention to controlling your bike on unpredictable terrain. 

It's high time that we restricted bikes to paved roads, where they can't do much harm!

Should Berkeley be Thinking About an Earthquake?

By Lee Sand Walker
Friday October 12, 2012 - 01:00:00 PM

Richard Schwartz's report on the October 17, 1868 Hayward Fault Quake should be a must-read for everyone living in Berkeley during what seems to be earthquake season. If/when there is another huge quake here, it will be worthwhile to be prepared by joining in the Great Shakeout earthquake drill scheduled for October 18. Last year's drill on October 20 was followed by the two largest quakes of 2011(longer?) to shake Berkeley, as if to suggest that the Hayward fault is under such stress that even our thinking about an earthquake can set it off. Thank God that the 2011 quakes were small enough to be harmless while still releasing at least a little stress off the Hayward fault. 

To me, they felt like possibly the largest quakes here in over 20 years, and there were two more within weeks. Strangely enough, 2011's third largest local quake on the Hayward fault was Nov. 5, hours after a nationally reported Associated Press story about a false earthquake prediction email circulating in Berkeley. If only the candidates would take this as a sign that Berkeley is at such risk that we should have more drills. We could be reminded on the anniversary of EACH of last year's quakes to be prepared for something worse: Keep emergency supplies of water, food etc. as long as the Hayward fault is under such stress. 

We have other reminders. This month there has been a lot of comment about the 1989 Loma Prieta quake at 5:04 pm Friday October 17, just as the As and Giants were about to play in the World Series. If the bay was to be shaken that bad, it seemed like a miracle that almost everyone was off work and home from school when it happened. The other coincidence was that possibly more people/viewers than ever before at the same time were thinking about San Francisco's earthquake history, just before the quake was seen live on national television. If our teams face-off again this year, I hope that more people are thinking of harmless 2011-sized quakes than what happened in 1868. 

I'm still waiting for Shakti Gawain, the author of the book Creative Visualization, to comment on last fall's quake history. Her previous writings would explain why thousands of Berkeley residents thinking about earthquakes at once could have initiated these harmless small quakes that were in the best interest of everyone involved. Our 2011 quakes reduced the stress on the Hayward Fault, if even a tiny bit. There are so many other religious leaders already in Berkeley that can also comment, why the silence? 

Hopefully the city will help remind us not to forget that this is Hayward fault territory as much as it is Bear territory. Besides the 7.1 magnitude Loma Prieta quake on October 17, 1989, at 5:04 p.m., we should also be aware of these Hayward fault quakes:  

October 20, 2011 at 2:41 and 8:16 pm, magnitudes 4.0 and 3.8 

October 21, 1868, at 7:54 am (magnitude unknown, but very destructive) 

November 5, 2011 at 2:52 pm, magnitude 3.2  

There was also an interesting 2.5 magnitude earthquake at 8:40 pm July 4, 2012 that shook the Berkeley Marina as thousands of residents were waiting for our firework display to start, coincidentally following publicity efforts that the July 4 holiday may be the ideal day for a local earthquake drill.

KPFA and the Blame Game

By Tracy Rosenberg
Sunday October 14, 2012 - 11:30:00 AM

KPFA Radio, the first listener-sponsored radio station and progressive media outlet, is having board elections in November. Many of you will say “again?” - having recently received postcards and ballots for a recall election just a few months ago. This time, however, your vote will count, and there are some important decisions to be made. This article is intended to help you decide how to vote if you are a KPFA member – and encourage you to do so. It’s not as hard as it may feel to decipher all the rhetoric! 

Basically, there are two slates of candidates--United for Community Radio (UCR) and Save KPFA --and you will make a choice to largely support one or the other. Details on the candidates running and their statements can be found on the web as each slate has a website: UCR at votecommunityradio.org and Save KPFA at savekpfa.org. 

But let’s cut to the chase and answer the question: what is the fighting all about? 

It all began five or six years ago. KPFA started to show declining membership numbers in 2006 and hit a deep crevice when the economy collapsed. The decline was up to 30% by the spring of 2009. At a non-profit where 85% of all income derives from listener-member donations, that is a big crisis. 

When then-board treasurer (and Save KPFA poster boy) Brian Edwards-Tiekert presented the draft budget to the board on July 11, 2009, here is what he said: 

“The bottom line--with all the caveats about rough numbers that I spelled out above--is a minimul (sic) operating surplus before capital expenses, and a minimal cash deficit afterwards. But getting to that break-even point requires cutting around $430,000 in salaries and benefits, and eliminating most consultant spending” 

A year before, in May of 2008, Edwards-Tiekert had addressed the national board of directors and said: 

We have spent, and budgeted, as if a one-time spike in listenership and listener support was long term growth, which it was not. … We have a lot more people on payroll; and it hurts to cut jobs … it hurts us as social-justice people. …And you get pushed back, you get politicking, you get coalitions to block any kind of job cut, so the path of least resistance is to first spend down your savings, as long as you got money to pay the bills, and then go, ‘Oh my god, we’re headed over a cliff now,’ which is where we are now.” 

In fact, neither the final 2008 nor the 2009 budgets contained the cuts necessary to get to the break-even point, and just as Edwards-Tiekert anticipated, the station went right over the cliff., losing $575,000 in the year ending September 30, 2009 and another $585,000 in the year ending September 30, 2010. 

The tragic thing for KPFA, besides the fiscal crisis itself, was that the scenario Edwards-Tiekert laid out went down exactly as predicted: There was push back, there was politicking, there was a coalition to block any kind of job cut. Ironically, it was Edwards-Tiekert himself who led the charge, along with his comrades in Save KPFA. 

They inundated KPFA members with accusatory and angry emails, filed (and lost) five different complaints with the National Labor Relations Board, filed (and lost) a union arbitration, filed bogus lawsuits and a recall election, ran competing private fund drives and basically did everything they could to make people (and KPFA itself) “pay” for getting back to the breakeven point from the bottom of the cliff where they never should have gone in the first place. 

There’s a fundamental dishonesty to that. 

So here we are in 2012. The last two years have been filled with charges and denunciations. Recall elections have been launched. Another executive director has bitten the dust. Yet KPFA’s website is technologically backward, no Internet channels have been launched, KPFA hasn’t gotten a grant in years, and the current fund drive is struggling. What have we gotten from this Save KPFA coalition to block any kind of job cut, this politicking, this push back? 

Obstruction, anger, declarations of revenge. Making people pay. 

I don’t want it to seem as if this article is an attack on Brian Edwards-Tiekert. It’s not. I would fight to save my job if it was in danger and everyone’s job is in danger when their employer experiences huge losses and a fiscal crisis. Nowadays, everyone’s job is in danger all the time because the 1% has looted this country and brought it to the brink of catastrophe. 

Which is why we have to stop messing around with one of the few progressive media outlets we have and hold Save KPFA accountable for their destructive and fear-based campaign. They aren’t helping KPFA. In the year since the recall campaign was launched last fall, KPFA slipped from 21,455 members to 19,800 in July of 2012. That’s the wrong direction. It’s not working. 

So to you 19,800 remaining members and anyone reading this who isn’t a member and should be, we don’t have to keep falling over the cliff again and again. $3.4 million dollars (KPFA’s current annual budget) is a lot of money. Stations all over the country demonstrate every day that you can have a vital, healthy, radical voice for change for a lot less than that. You just can’t piddle it all away in a pitched battle about who is to blame for financial stresses everyone understands and no one likes. 

Join Larry Shoup, Karen Pickett, Ramses Teon Nichols, Samsarah Morgan, Andrea Prichett, Dave Welsh, Oriana Saportas, Beth Seligman, and Kate Tanaka and vote United for Community Radio (votecommunityradio.org) for a vision for KPFA's survival a little deeper than the blame game. 



(Tracy Rosenberg is the executive director of Media Alliance, and a local and national board member for KPFA. She knows a little bit about the blame game).  
























AGAINST FORGETTING: President Obama: “It’s not true.”

By Ruth Rosen
Wednesday October 17, 2012 - 03:28:00 PM

The real surprise was that President Obama explained why so-called "women's issues" are everyone's issues - college students, health care, medicare, social security and equal pay for women and men. He reminded people that women are more than the sum of their reproductive organs; they are workers and family members 

A town hall format is a tricky format for a presidential debate. It’s supposed to be the one truly democratic debate. The moderator chooses questions from undecided voters selected by the Gallup organization. Candidates, of course, have their agenda ready and use any opportunity to return, again and again, to their own talking points. 

Each candidate is judged by his ability to connect with people, by poking holes in his opponent’s logic and by his ability to move gracefully across the town hall space while trying to convince the audience there and at home that he genuinely cares about their lives and has credible plans to improve them. 

The substance of what they said was often less important than the image each candidate projected. How he spoke, how he looked, how he walked, truly mattered. The large television audience could detect which candidate felt comfortable in his own skin and had to decide who they found personable, charming and yet, down to earth. At stake in this debate was whether the audience thought that President Barack Obama cared more about ordinary Americans than Mitt Romney, known for his extraordinary wealth and promotion of tax cuts for the wealthy. 

So how did they do? This time, President Obama came off forceful, but in a presidential and effective manner. This time he did not allow Romney to spout his litany of lies. In fact, he frequently invaded Romney's space to say that his opponent's statement was not true. His face, attentive and animated, sometimes grew angry when Romney repeated the same lies he had deployed in the first presidential debate. This may sound odd, but even though Mitt Romney is a conventionally handsome man, he looked pasty and pale next to President Barack Obama. If Richard Nixon looked too dark with his five o’clock beard, Mitt Romney looked too white next to Obama’s honey-colored skin. 

If I had been in the audience, I would have asked them questions that are not often asked and almost always evaded. I would have asked how they intend to resolve the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. I would have asked them what they would do to stop the foreclosure of one more family’s home. I would have asked how they would close the gaping wealth inequity that is destroying America’s middle class. I would have asked them why they can’t return to the taxes of the 1950s, when the wealthy paid 90% and more of their income and investments. I would have asked them why we keep about 800 military bases open, while we close libraries, schools, and watch our universities, infrastructure, and health care decline. I would have asked them whether they believe the American people are “entitled” to food, shelter and education. (Romney had said they are not.) I would have asked them to explain why citizens pay taxes. And, finally, I would have asked them to name ten issues, aside from abortion, that directly affect the lives of women. 

So what did the audience actually ask? Turns out that the questions were mostly predictable—“how will I get a job after college?”--- and the answers fit the two candidate’s political philosophies. Mitt Romney wants everyone to do it on his own; Barack Obama reminded the audience how his grandfather’s G.I program after WWII put him through college. 

The real surprise was about women. This was the question I would have asked, and amazingly, it came up. A young woman asked what each candidate would do about the pay inequity that gives women 72 cents for every dollar men earn. For the first time, Obama explained why discrimination against women issues are everyone’s issues. He reminded the audience that he had signed legislation that gave women workers equal pay; he also pointed out that he had funded Planned Parenthood, as opposed to Romney who had said he would stop funding it. Obama told the audience that women’s issues also included his Obamacare health program, Social Security, Medicare, and fairer loans to students. Taking on Romney’s anti-immigration policies, Obama reminded the audience that he had supported the Dream Act, which would allow students of illegal parents to remain in the United States. Romney, by contrast had opposed the Dream Act. 

Obama’s success rested on his willingness to list considerable accomplishments he has achieved during his administration. He withdrew the United States from two wars, passed a stimulus bill that prevented another Great Depression, he saved the automobile and financial industries, sought—but failed—to raise the taxes on the wealthiest Americans; eliminated Osama Bin Laden; jump-started new technologies for clean energy; forced the auto industry to create fuel efficient cars; and reminded people that women are more than the sum of their reproductive organs. 

In short, President Obama not only won this debate; he came across as a powerful president who is genuinely with expanding the middle class by creating jobs built on new technology and energy for the 21st century, as opposed to Romney, who promotes using fossil fuels and cutting the taxes of the wealthy. 

The differences couldn’t be greater. This time Obama seemed presidential, a man in change, a leader with a vision of a society in which wealth inequity is closed, the middle class once again prospers, and everyone can once again imagine a future for families. 

This is the third of four articles by Ruth Rosen providing a gendered perspective on the US Presidential debates. Read the first article US Presidential debate: who cares most about ordinary Americans? [8]and the second, Women are the key to the presidentiall debate and election [9]  

The final article will be published on October 23rd 

THE PUBLIC EYE: Obama vs. Romney: Jobs

By Bob Burnett
Friday October 12, 2012 - 12:09:00 PM

Jobs and the economy remain Americans’ number one concern. While Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have promised to create millions of jobs if they are elected President, there are stark differences between their plans. 

In the first presidential debate, Romney promised , “If I’m president I will create… 12 million new jobs,” the equivalent of 250,000 jobs per month for 48 months. The Washington Post “Factchecker” observed, “In recent months, the economy has averaged about 150,000 jobs a month… Moody’s analytics, in an August forecast, predicts 12 million jobs will be created by 2016, no matter who is president.” 

A Romney campaign policy paper The Romney Plan for Economic Recovery, Growth, and Jobs contains no specific proposals for job creation but instead four assertions: (1) “Stop runaway federal spending and debt,” which would obviate the need for tax increases. (2)”Reform the nation’s tax code to increase growth and job creation… Reduce individual marginal income tax rates across-the-board by 20 percent, while keeping current low tax rates on dividends and capital gains.” (3)”Reform entitlement programs to ensure their viability.” (4) “Make growth and cost-benefit analysis important features of regulation… Remove regulation impediments to energy production… Repeal and replace the Dodd-Frank Act and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” 

Romney provides more specifics in a recent ad: “First, my energy independence policy means more than 3 million new jobs, many of them in manufacturing. My tax reform plan to lower rates for the middle class and for small business creates 7 million more. And expanding trade, cracking down on China and improving job training takes us to over 12 million new jobs." 

Romney claims cutting tax rates would create 7 million jobs. But there’s a huge fiscal risk. Reporting for NPR, John Ydstie noted, “[Romney’s tax plan] would cost the Treasury almost $5 trillion in lost tax revenue over 10 years. But Romney says it won’t cost $5 trillion, because he will offset the losses from lower rates by ending deductions and closing loopholes; he has not said which ones.” 

Romney contends his energy policy would create 3 million jobs. Once again, he’s vague on the specifics but said during the debate, “If I’m president, I’ll double [oil and gas drilling on public land], and also get… the oil from offshore and Alaska. And I’ll bring that pipeline in from Canada. And, by the way, I like coal.” In other words, Romney would advocate a “drill baby, drill” policy that ignores public safety and environmental concerns. 

Despite Romney’s assertions to the contrary, the private sector lost jobs under the Bush Administration and gained jobs under Obama. Given the positive job news released on October 5th, the Obama Administration is net positive for jobs since January 2009. Another way to look at this is that 7.8 million jobs were lost under Bush; Obama stopped the outflow and added 125,00 jobs. Nonetheless, it’s clear there are too many people out of work – 12.1 million. 

In his acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention Obama highlighted his plan to create more jobs: “a million new manufacturing jobs... [and because of his green energy policy] more than 600,000 new jobs in natural gas alone.” But many of these jobs require Federal investment. 

Reporting for NPR, John Ydstie noted that Obama’s plan is based upon the American Jobs Act. that the President proposed to congress September 8, 2011. While Congress approved a one-year extension of the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits, Republican filibustered the primary provisions of Obama’s plan: “More spending on infrastructure, a tax cut for firms that hire new workers, aid to state and local governments, and a program to rebuild schools.” It’s estimated the American Jobs Act would create millions of jobs if passed. 

To summarize, the Obama and Romney plans differ because of the underlying tax and environmental policies. Obama finances his initiative by repealing those portions of the Bush-era tax cuts that apply to millionaires, a step that would raise an estimated $40 Billion to $50 Billion a year. Obama would launch infrastructure and clean-energy initiatives to create million of jobs. He would maintain high public-safety and environmental standards. 

Romney proposes an across-the-board 20 percent tax cut that would cost the US treasury $5 Billion and hopes this will create 7 million jobs. In addition, Romney would ignore concerns about global climate change, set aside current regulations, and support drilling in all venues. Writing in the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, University of California professor Arthur Blaustein described the Romney plan as a reprise of the Bush-Cheney era, where: “America experienced the weakest post-recession job-creation cycle since the Great Depression, record household debt and a substantial increase in poverty. We went from the biggest national budget surplus in history to the largest budget deficit in history.” 

Obama wants the economy to move forward. Romney wants to shift into reverse. 

Bob Burnett is a Berkeley writer. He can be reached at bburnett@sonic.net 

AGAINST FORGETTING: Women Are the Key to the Presidential Debate and Election

By Ruth Rosen
Friday October 12, 2012 - 10:59:00 AM

In round two of the presidential debates, Biden might have done a better job than Obama of exposing the salesmanship of the Romney-Ryan campaign, but he did little to regain lost ground with respect to women voters. 

Well before the vice-presidential debate began, even the president had agreed that he had failed to expose Mitt Romney’s lies and had allowed his opponent to present himself as a supporter of universal health insurance, Social Security and Medicare, none of which is true.  

Equally important, in my view, is that Obama failed to mention some of his major accomplishments, many of which affected women. Obama began the first debate with an 18% lead among women voters. As Joe Biden steps into the ring, Obama has lost most of that advantage The greatest shift occurred in the Pew’s national poll which now shows Romney and Obama polling equally among women. According to this respectable poll, Romney had moved from an 8-point deficit among all respondents to a 4-point lead. 

Is this the result of forgetting to even mention women in the first debate? 

In this second debate, Joe Biden needed to attack Romney and Ryan’s lies by forcefully demonstrating, in his avuncular jovial manner, how Medicare vouchers, cuts in Medicaid, and privatizing Social Security would hurt America's women and their children. He needed to hold up Paul Ryan’s infamous budget and look directly into the camera and speak to the women Obama lost last week. Point by point, he needed to remind American women that Obama-- not Romney--created Obamacare, supported the right of women to make their own reproductive choices, promoted and signed legislation that provides equality between men and women at the work place, supported the children of immigrants, and sought fairer loans to college students. Biden did a terrific job of pointing out how Romney’s policies would harm people, but not women and children. 

Holding up Paul Ryan’s budget, Biden needed to say it loud and clear—that the Romney team will cuts benefits for the poor, even as they provide corporate welfare and cut the taxes of the wealthy. This he did, again and again. 

This was the moment to call every misleading statement what it really is: a lie. Biden called it “malarkey” and made it clear that the Romney/Ryan campaign had rarely told the truth. 

Ironically Congressman Paul Ryan had been dragging down the Republican candidacy precisely because he was viewed as too conservative. Presidential candidates usually choose someone who will, by virtue of geography, ethnicity, or popularity, ensure the campaign’s success. In 2008 and 2012, however, the Republican candidates, worried that the hard right-wing of the Tea Party and their followers would refuse to vote for a moderate Republican. So, they gave them Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan. 

Big mistake. Sarah Palin appeared ridiculous and inexperienced. Paul Ryan, for his part, wrote a budget proposal to compete with the President’s budget plan. He therefore had a paper record of wanting to privatize Medicare and Social Security, both of which are vital to the elderly. He also had a written plan to turn both the food stamp program and Medicaid-- medical insurance for the poor-- into block state grant programs, which would create even deeper spending cuts over 10 years. 

Ryan is also on record of wanting to cut taxes for the wealthy or, as he calls them, “the job creators.” He would reduce the corporate tax rate to 25 percent from 35 percent and release offshore profits from U.S. taxes. To make up the difference, he would reduce taxes on the wealthy and cut the above social programs. Since Mitt Romney “earns” millions of dollars from his investments , pays less taxes than most blue-collar workers and enjoys the pleasures of multiple homes, he, too, has seemed out of touch with most of the population that is plagued by fears of bankruptcy, layoffs, and educating their children. 

For this debate, then, the goal of Paul Ryan was to pretend that he never embraced such draconian proposals against working families and the poor. That’s what Mitt Romney did during the first debate and, unfortunately, President Obama failed to stop him. 

Biden’s role therefore was to come out swinging, convincing the audience that the Romney and Ryan campaign have run for 18 months saying one thing and now are lying at the national debates. This he did. Biden was far more aggressive than Ryan and refused to allow lies to pass as truth. 

Given Biden’s well-known (somewhat exaggerated) working class background, it was inevitable that Joseph Biden would attack Paul Ryan for his indifference to the welfare of ordinary Americans. Since he has now become the weak link in the Republican campaign, Paul Ryan should have been on the ropes. Despite his good looks, youth, and buff appearance, however, the best Ryan could do was to deny his record and to attack the contemporary economic fragility of the economy, without acknowledging that it was Republican policies that created it in the first place. 

On the stage were two different visions of the American Dream. For Biden, the government exists to create opportunities for its citizens, to assist the vulnerable and the disabled, and to prevent a depression, even if it means bailing out banks. For Biden, the American Dream was built on hard work, not on investments, and on people who have helped others to build better futures for their children. 

For Ryan, a disciple of Ayn Rand , government is the problem, never part of the solution. In his view, individualism is what created American prosperity. His vision is clear: it is a society in which you go it alone. (Of course, you might have wealthy parents or powerful connections, but that doesn’t count.)  

Ryan conveniently forgot that the government subsidized the creation of the computer, built an interstate road system that crisscrosses the country, designed missiles that landed men on the moon, subsidized universities that are the envy of the rest of the world, and preserved some of the most gorgeous national parks on the globe. 

Taxes allowed the federal government to do these miraculous things. Some things just can’t be done by an individual. That’s why there are police officers and fire fighters. If you listened to Paul Ryan tonight, however, you heard the rant of an individualist who has yet to realize that together we rise or fall. 

Finally, Paul Ryan had been a serious liability for recruiting women voters. His record against abortion included no exemptions at all and was formally inserted into the Republican 2012 platform. Tonight he repudiated the Republican Party Platorm and said he supported exceptions. Yet he also conceded that a Romney/Ryan presidency would also be opposed to abortion. Ryan has also supported “personhood,” the belief that a fertilized egg is a human being, which would criminalize many forms of birth control. Although Romney’s more moderate stance of allowing abortion in the case of rape, incest or the health of the mother is supposed to dominate the campaign’s positions, hopefully women realized that Ryan had conveniently changed his mind. When the platform and the vice-presidential candidate speak so fiercely against women’s right to make their own reproductive choices, they see President Obama’s consistent support of women’s rights as symbolic of his entire attitude toward women. Even though these issues remained invisible throughout the first debate, Ryan’s views, one hopes, will once again strengthen women’s support for the president. But when will these politicians remember that women also care about wage equity, Social Security, the education of their children, Medicare, and health insurance?  

The Big Lie has worked for all kinds of politicians, including Hitler. Now the question is, will Joe Biden’s debating skills help viewers realize that Romney and Paul have repudiated everything they’ve stood for before the debate? 

President Obama is right; they are engaged in salesmanship, not leadership. 

This article is published under a Creative Commons license. It was first published on OpenDemocracy.net.

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Computer Literacy

By Jack Bragen
Friday October 12, 2012 - 12:39:00 PM

Computers for persons with mental illness can be very helpful in making a meaningful recovery. However, they can be a source for paranoia; a person with paranoid tendencies to begin with may imagine being spied on by his or her computer. Computers can also be a source of problems when being used by people who have addictive or otherwise problematic personalities. 

Being computer literate is an essential skill in society. There are still numerous persons with mental illness who barely know how to operate a computer, and these individuals have been left behind. 

Computers can provide good exercise for the human brain. Using a computer is interactive, while watching television is passive. Learning how to use various computer programs, such as Word and Excel, or learning how to make a nonworking computer work, are activities that employ large amounts of brain power. For people with mental illness to recover, exercising the gray matter like this is very important. 

One of the chief complaints coming from persons with mental illness is that we often feel very isolated. Computers allow communication with other people. People who someone would not ordinarily talk to are more accessible through email and Facebook. Companionship at a distance and facilitated electronically is still companionship, and fulfills a need. 

Having a computer can provide an activity for someone who has excessive spare time, and they might end up doing something useful. 

Computer literacy is a necessity for persons with mental illness if they would like to participate at all in the job market, go to college, or do almost anything that involves other human beings. 

However, computers can be a source of paranoia for someone with poorly treated or untreated psychosis. I knew someone who paid me to fix a problem on his or her computer, and who later became psychotic and accused me of tampering with it. This person demanded a refund, and I refused to do that. People can get paranoid and delusional with subject matter of computer spying. 

A great number of delusions can exist about computers. However, most people who become delusional concerning computers are those who would have become delusional anyway concerning something else, if there were no computers. If someone is solidly tracking "reality" then computers should not be a source of delusions. 

Computers can be a means of having an addictive problem. Some people are obsessed with viewing pornography, while others are obsessed with games. Either of these can be a path to deterioration for anyone and especially for a person who has a preexisting mental illness. 

Despite these problems, computers are overwhelmingly beneficial for persons with mental illness. 

It helped me to do better in life when society changed to make computers prevalent-it was a change in society that almost helps me fit in with other people, a change that gave me more of an identity. Getting into writing for me was an additional benefit. 

Persons with mental illness can benefit a lot by using computers, but should be aware of the risks.

Arts & Events

DON'T MISS THIS: Your Voice, Your Vote

By Dorothy Snodgrass
Friday October 12, 2012 - 01:06:00 PM

Like millions of other television viewers, you no doubt watched last Wednesday's Presidential Debates. You'll have to agree they were pretty boring. But brace yourself -- there's to be another debate on Oct. l6. Thank the good Lord, in our democratic society voters have the privilege of watching the two opposing candidates, deciding which one is better qualified to cope with weighty issues, such as Health Care Reform. 

In the meantime, if you're in desperate need of relief from the excessive political mumbo jumbo, you could settle for one of the several cultural/educational activities here in our bay area, shown here in no particular order: 

"Sunday Streets," Berkeley, Oct. 14, 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. Shattuck Ave., Rose to Haste St., presented by the Ecology Center. 

"Oakland East Bay Symphony, Michael Morgan, Director, Nov. 9, Opening Night, "Music That Makes a Difference." All American program featuring Bernstein and Copland. (510) 444-0801. 

"Joseph and the Amazing Technical Dream Coat, Andrew Lloyd Webster's brilliant celebration of words, music, and color. Oct. 12 - Nov. 10th. Lesher Arts Center, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. www.lesherARTCenter, org. 

"Forgotten Stories," Remarkable Lives," Day of the Dead Community Celebration, through Dec. 9, Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak Street. 

"Dressing Nureyev," noting the 20 years since the death of the greatest ballet dancer of his time, the deYoung Museum in S.F. offers an exhibit of more than 70 costumes from ballets danced by Nureyev -- one in his role as Romeo. The show runs through Feb. 17th. deyoungmuseum.org. 

"Down the Congo Line," Dimensions Dance Theatre, Sat. Oct. 13, 8 p.m. "The flow of spirit and rhythm from Cuba to Congo." Malonga Caaquelourd, 1428 Alice St., Oakland. 

Mariinsky Ballet & Orchestra, through Oct.14, presenting the bewitching production of "Swan Lake," Zellerbach Hall, (510) 63-9988. 

"Moby-Dick,", S.F. Opera, 7:30 through Nov. 2. Composer Jake Heggie considers the score a breakthrough for him. 

Mahler's Symphony No. 9, Sun. Nov. 11, 3 p.m. Zellerbach Hall, led by today's most exciting conductor, Esa-Pekka Salononen, forging a dynamic performance. (510) 642-9988. 

Sophocles' "Electra", starring Olympia, Dukakis in this tale of adultery, murder and revenge. Oct. 23 - Nov. 18, American Conservatory Theatre, S.F. (415) 749-2228. 

World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra, "Get in the Mood,", Oct. 20, USS Hornet, 7:30 - Midnight, Pier 3, Alameda. 

Smuin's New Season, Performing "Starshadows," "Homeless" and "No Vivire. Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek through Oct. 14. 

Well, dear friends, this list could go on from here to eternity, so let's call it a day!

Press Release: Every Mother is a A Working Mother: Press Conference & Speak Out

From Neil Myhand
Friday October 12, 2012 - 12:12:00 PM

What: Press Conference & Speak Out

When: Monday October 15, 2012 12 noon-2pm

Where: Alameda County Social Services, 2000 San Pablo Ave, Oakland (btn 20th & 21st Street)

Who: Nell Myhand (510) 302-7459

Moms and other caregivers say to Prez candidates, “Yes, every mother is a working mother. What will you do to recognize the real value of our work and end the poverty of children and their hard-working mothers?”

On the eve of the second presidential debate, mothers and other caregivers are holding coordinated actions in 12 US cities to launch a campaign for recognition of caregiving work and an end to the immoral and shocking poverty of mothers and children. The campaigners are calling for the enactment of the Women’s Option to Raise Kids Act (WORK Act HR4379) introduced by Rep Pete Stark (D-California) and the Rise Out of Poverty Act (RISE Act HR3573) introduced by Rep Gwen Moore (D-Wisconsin, herself a former welfare mother). The bills recognize the work of mothers and call for resources for no and low-income mothers. 

Participants are based in: Benton Harbor/MI; Boston MA; Cleveland OH; Detroit MI; Los Angeles CA; Milwaukee WI; New York State; Oakland CA; Olympia WA; Omaha NE; Philadelphia PA; Richmond VA, Salt Lake City UT, San Francisco CA. They want Mitt Romney and President Obama to answer the following question: 

Mr. Romney, in defending your wife you said, “every mother is a working mother;” President Obama, you said “being a mom is the hardest job there is”. What resources will you make available so that low income mothers have the same choice as wealthy women to raise their own children rather than being forced to work outside the home and have someone else care for their children? Will you be supporting the RISE and WORK Acts? 

Every Mother is A Working Mother is a broad-based multi-racial network of groups of mothers, grandmothers, fathers and other caregivers from a wide spectrum of communities – single moms on welfare, low income families who have lost children to foster care, breastfeeding advocates, nurses, seniors, people with disabilities or caring for loved ones with disabilities including veterans, teachers, women who have been criminalized by poverty including sex workers and former prisoners, trade unionists, pay equity activists, LGBT, farmers, small business owners and others. 

They say, “It is time for politicians, right, left and center, to stop talking out of both sides of their mouths, paying lip service to the work of mothers while calling poor moms moochers and scroungers, and cutting lifeline resources for moms with the least. Women are being forced to stay in abusive relationships or to take low waged work regardless of the impact on their children. From social security, where years raising children are considered our “zero years”, to welfare reform to lack of pay equity in waged work, mothers are penalized. We say every mother is a working mother and every child is entitled to care! We are all Moms in Chief and we all deserve support! 

The campaign is backed with an impressive array of statistics showing how mothers work the hardest, doing the double and triple day while getting the least for it, summed up by the ILO statistic that women do 2/3 of the world’s work for 5% of the income. There are 16.4 million children living in poverty in the rich USA; 7.4 million in extreme poverty. The Global Women’s Strike has brought its international network to build this campaign because wherever we are, caregivers work the hardest and have least access to resources. In the Global South women’s workload and poverty are even heavier and our contributions to the global economy ignored. 

For information nationally: Global Women's Strike and Every Mother is a Working Mother Network philly@allwomencount.net www.everymothernetwork.net www.globalwomenstrike.net 215-848-1120 For information locally: sf@allwomencount.net 415-626-4114

Oakland’s Shoreline Benefits from The Student Conservation Association’s Youth Programs

By Matthew Greenfield
Tuesday October 16, 2012 - 10:55:00 AM
Matthew Greenfield
Matthew Greenfield

More than 50 high school students from the environmental studies class at Skyline High School in Oakland will join the Student Conservation Association (SCA) and Pick Up America on October 19 from 11:30a.m.to 2p.m. for a “Youth Day of Service” cleanup and restoration event to benefit the Oakland shoreline of Martin Luther King, Jr. Regional Shoreline Park. SCA is a nationwide conservation workforce of college and high school volunteers who protect and restore America’s parks, forests, refuges, seashores and communities. Pick Up America is the nation's first coast-to-coast roadside litter pick-up and was started by SCA alumnus Jeff Chen. 

Through school-year and summer programs, SCA works with Bay Area youth ages 16-19 to provide green job skills, leadership training and a variety of outdoor experiences with the goal of building the next generation of conservation leaders. Jeff Chen, who, out of his experiences with SCA, created Pick-Up America, set out across America one year ago with a crew to pick up trash from the roadside. To date Jeff's team has collected 186,524 pounds of litter. 

The October 19 event is one of the stops on Jeff's journey. Participants of the event will remove trash from more than one mile of shoreline and remove more than a quarter mile of ice plant and non-native grasses. Students will also prepare the land for mulching and planting along the bank. 

For more information or to participate, register at www.thesca.org/OaklandProject 

SCA’s “Youth Day of Service” kicks off a two-day Youth Summit at San Francisco’s Crissy Field, in Golden Gate National Recreation Area, October 20 and 21. The summit is hosted by SCA partner Outdoor Nation, a group dedicated to reconnecting so-called “millennials” (Generation Y) with the outdoors. Outdoor Nation hosts summits around the country, award grants for outstanding project ideas, leads outdoor outings, works with youth and connects with youth– all in an effort to mobilize a movement to get younger generations outside.  

In each location, delegates brainstorm project ideas that address regional issues and ultimately engage more young people in the outdoors by removing barriers to participation. Participants vote on the top ideas in each region, and receive funding and training from the Outdoor Foundation to carry out these projects.

New: PlayGround: Incubator for New Plays Monthly Mondays at Rep

By John A. McMullen II
Tuesday October 16, 2012 - 10:39:00 AM

Something is going on at Berkeley Rep once a month on Monday Nights. 

Some new is being born. 

Sometimes terrifyingly beautiful, it only lives for 10 minutes then often grows into something much larger. 

It something that may move you to believe in dreams and the imagination more than ever. 

(Cue scream). 

It’s PlayGround! 

PlayGround is the place for new theatrical works to be inspired, nurtured and expand. 

In the last decade, PlayGround has supported more than 175 local playwrights in the development and staging of nearly 650 original short plays and 41 new full-length plays, with 7 more commissions currently in development. 

PlayGround takes over Berkeley Rep once a month to play a most intriguing game: 

On Friday, playwrights accepted into the program get emailed a word or phrase. 

(For instance, the phrase for October 15 was a very topical “PLAY BALL.") 

The playwrights then have till Tuesday afternoon to write a 10-minute play on “Play Ball” and the actors and director meet for a very short time to ready it for a staged reading on Monday evening. 

Six are selected for reading. 

Those attending can vote for their favorite by putting a donation in the jar with the name of their chosen play. 

Their votes help choose which plays are included in the Best of PlayGround Festival, produced each Spring in the City, usually at Thick House in the Potrero. 

The Monday night admission is $15, and if you don’t like what you’re watching, no problem—new play in ten minutes! 

Here is the schedule through March: 

• November 19, 2012 – Eugene O’Neill Night 

• December 17, 2012 

• January 21, 2013 – Musical Theatre Night 

• February 25, 2013 – Collaboration with Mathematical Sciences Research Institute 

• March 18, 2013 

Artistic Director Jim Kleinmann has been “living the dream” and putting full energy and effort into PlayGround since his departure from running the Berkeley Symphony which he put in the black for the first time in years, as well as overseeing the passing of the directorial baton from Kent Nagano to Joanna Carneiro. Kleinmann received his MFA from Yale Drama School, and theatre is his first love. 

Under Kleinmann’s guidance, PlayGround has recently expanded to include a film festival which shoots short scripts that were developed there and has begun a PlayGround Los Angeles. 

Check it out: you could be there on the night the next big one has its first reading! 

Learn more: www.playground-sf.org 

Tickets at the door or in advance at http://playground-sf.org/boxoffice

Mayoral & District 3 Candidates’ Night Sponsored by LeConte & Willard Neighborhood Associations

Friday October 12, 2012 - 01:12:00 PM

Mayoral & District 3 Candidates’ Night, Sponsored by LeConte & Williard Neighborhood Associations

Thursday, October 18th at 7:00 pm

LeConte School Auditorium, 2241 Russell Street, between Ellsworth and Fulton Streets



7:00-8:00 pm Mayoral Forum confirmed to date 

Tom BatesMayor since 2002 

Kahlil Jacobs-FantauzziOakland Middle School Teacher 

Jacquelyn McCormickBerkeley Council Watch; SOS Budget 

Kriss WorthingtonDistrict 7 Councilmember since 1996 


* * * * * 


8:00-9:00 pm District 3 Candidate Forum 

Max AndersonDistrict 3 Councilmember since 2004 

Dimitri BelserCenter for Accessible Technology (CEO) 

Please attend! 

Contact LeConte Neighborhood Association at groups.yahoo.com/group/lecontechat/