Couples rushed into San Francisco City Hall to get married this evening after a court ruling repealing a 2008 ballot measure banning same-sex marriage was enacted. -more-
A federal appeals court in San Francisco today lifted a stay that had blocked same-marriages in California. -more-
After 14 years the Albany Bulb is in the news again. The Albany City Council has voted to begin the process of transferring the Bulb over to California State Park system. It will be a long and complicated process involving the Park system and East Bay Regional Park administrations as well as numerous other interested parties. And it will involve the difficult and painful issue of providing for some 55 people who have long been camped there and will be made homeless. They set October as a time to begin evictions. At Monday's Council meeting they voted for a $30,000 contract with Berkeley Food and Housing Project for a Homeless Outreach and Engagement Program to connect with the campers. -more-
On July 2, after 26 years in Hayes Valley in San Francisco, Rossmann and Moore, LLP, will move to 2014 Shattuck Avenue, between Addison and University, in a two story historic building whose original occupant was the architect of the Berkeley Public Library, main and several branches.
According to one source, it's the only terra cotta facade downtown. It’s the Heywood Building (1917), a City of Berkeley Landmark. At the beginning, it included offices for both its architect, James Plachek, and its owner, William H. Heywood.
Berkeley police are asking for the public's help in finding a wanted man who allegedly assaulted a female victim last weekend, police said. -more-
As a former Boalt Hall U.C. School of Law retiree, I received in today's mail a copy of the glossy 68 page "TRANSCRIPT," Boalt's handsome Journal. I was particularly interested in the article on Professor Sanford Kadish (Page 5) mentioning the dedication of his "Jurisprudence and Social Policy Library". Kadish joined Boalt's faculty in 1964 and served as dean from 1975 to 1982. He was instrumental in fortifying the School's Center for the Study of Law & Society. -more-
It’s fitting that I should be writing about my mother’s life and death in a week when the Bay Area and the nation is celebrating the Supreme Court’s extension of marriage rights to everyone regardless of sexual orientation. My mother, known for most of her 98 plus years as Bette Peters, was an indefatigable matchmaker. She herself had “married well” in the best tradition of the Jane Austen novels which she thoroughly enjoyed, and she recommended the same course for everyone around her.
When the culture shifted during her long life to openly acknowledge gay relationships, she took up promoting unions for gay family members and friends with the same enthusiasm which she’d always expressed for straight matches. She died on Thursday of last week, just a little too soon for her to urge gay couples she knew to finally tie the knot.
My daughter Eliza described her grandmother’s last years well in an email to friends: “She remained sharp as a tack, independent and deeply involved in the lives of those around her up until the day she entered the hospital. “ She still lived alone in her own house at the end, still queen of her domestic empire, still keeping her eagle eye on what everyone else was up to.
In many ways she was the exemplar of what was to become the modern woman. She was born in the first years of the 20th century, but lived more than a decade into the 21st, always with one foot in the past and another in the future. -more-
It was two hundred and thirty seven years ago that our great nation came to existence. Through these years not only have our nation seen hardship but it has been able to overcome it in a tremendous way. The United States of America has for many years been a leading part of this world and continues to be. This ability to lead can only be credited to the people of this great nation who have remained united and loyal to this country in the face of any hardship. America is a country which has given us many freedoms. This great nation has been the land of opportunity for all. It has always welcomed immigrants with open arms and has given everyone the means to achieve the American Dream. This great nation has been a thriving place for many, whether be it immigrants, refugees, or its citizens. Among many freedoms America has given us is the freedom of religion which enabled the persecuted to find a new. If we look into our history, America was first settled by the people who were victims of persecution in Europe and found in her a safe home to live and blossom in freedom. -more-
I am happy the Supreme Court recognized that same-sex couples must be treated equally under the law, yet, I'm alarmed by their decision on California's Prop 8, Hollingsworth v Perry. The Court could have refused to take this case, but they chose to take it, and then they ruled that the Prop 8 proponents had no standing. This wasn't an "easy way out" of the gay-marriage controversy, it was a specific decision to limit citizens' access to the courts. It follows the American Express v Italian Colors decision a week earlier, which also limits citizens' access to the courts by banning class-action suits against corporations. -more-
As the media focuses almost exclusively on Edward Snowden’s possible whereabouts, more details have emerged on the Obama administration’s unprecedented assault on whistleblowers. New investigations have shown the administration’s crackdown extends far beyond Snowden and has unleashed its ‘fast and furious’ spy programs on the vast majority of government agencies and departments — with little or no connection to national security. A program called “Insider Threat" forces government employees to spy on their colleagues and report suspicious activity. They are also mandated to view an online video, “Treason 101” to enhance intimidation. This has created an extremely toxic work environment and opens the possibility of enormous abuse and spurious investigations. This is starkly reminiscent of totalitarian governments who wage war on dissent and command implicit obedience. -more-
Our local media has been dropping broad, confusing hints about something big, something imminent, coming to the greater Bay Area.
A front page article in the San Francisco Chronicle in March 2013, titled “Hard Choices for a growing S.F.” begins, “San Francisco residents will be getting thousands of new neighbors in the next 30 years, and it’s time to start figuring out where they will live and work. (??) The article goes on to say “Combined with the Association of Bay Area Governments’ (ABAG) estimate that San Francisco’s population will soar from the current 812,000 to at least 964,000 by 2025 it’s clear great change is ahead for the city.”
Tim Redmond, editor of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, lays out similar predictions in his article, “The Zero-Sum Future”: “Streets may have to be torn up, and redirected . . . ABAG, according to its most recent projections, would like to see some 90,000 new housing units in S.F. That’s got plenty of problems, particularly the likelihood of the displacement of existing residents.” -more-
On Tuesday, July 2nd, there will be an important rally sponsored by the California Alliance for Retired Americans, the AFL-CIO and many other organizations. -more-
The Berkeley Public Library’s "Children and Young Adult" computers have a No-Filtering Policy for the Internet. Consequently, all sorts of pornographic material can be accessed intentionally or accidentally by children. A friend, who is aware of my concern for youngsters, sent the following email – “I recently saw a TV show in which young people were being interviewed regarding their experience with online pornography. The more macho males led the discussion with a cynical attitude of "Oh yeah, it's out there--so what?" with very little thought to its meaning or consequences (these are teens, after all). Finally, a quieter lad, genuinely moved, spoke up saying, “When I was twelve, I saw an online pornographic image. I wish I could go back and unsee it.”” -more-
The Obama administration’s decision to directly supply weapons to the Syrian opposition may end up torpedoing the possibility of a political settlement. It will almost certainly accelerate the chaos spreading from the almost three-year old civil war. It will also align the U.S. with one of the most undemocratic alliances on the planet, and one that looks increasingly unstable.
In short, we are headed into a perfect political storm.
While the rationale behind the White House’s decision to send light arms and ammunition to the rebels is that it will level the playing field and force the Assad regime to the bargaining table, it much more likely to do exactly the opposite. The US is now a direct participant in the war to bring down the Damascus regime, thus shedding any possibility that, along with Russia, it could act as a neutral force to bring the parties together. -more-
The Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor ruled that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the law barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages legalized by the states, is unconstitutional. -more-
On April 17th there was a horrific explosion at the West Chemical and Fertilizer plant in West, Texas, that killed 15 people, injured more than 200, destroyed or damaged 150 homes, and caused at least $100 million in losses. Five days later, Texas Governor Rick Perry was in Illinois trying to lure business to Texas, praising his state’s limited regulations. Is Texas America’s future? -more-
Averting a Relapse
When someone is diagnosed as schizophrenic, symptoms such as delusions can sometimes reassert themselves, even if one has been doing well for a long time.
Going partway into a delusional system can cause a "fight or flight" reaction. Delusions can sometimes be frightening, and this fright can make the delusions more compelling. Once in a fight or flight adrenalized mode, one has momentum toward a possible relapse. -more-
Arts & Events
An unusual staging of Samuel Beckett's masterpiece, 'Endgame,' promising a Laurel and Hardy-style byplay between Hamm and Clov, acted on a set of digitally projected images, runs Thursdays through Saturdays, July 11-20 at 8 pm, Royce Gallery, 2901 Mariposa (at Harrison), San Francisco, prior to a run at the Edinburgh Fringe. -more-
Donato Cabrera has been named Music Director of the California Symphony, following a long search, chosen unanimously from a field of seven finalists. -more-
You’ve got to give the producers of Pandora’s Promise credit for gumption. It takes a lot of chutzpah to release a pro-nuclear polemic in the wake of the triple meltdown in Fukushima, Japan. The film also suffered the ignominy of opening the same week that the owners of California’s troubled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station announced the permanent shutdown of the facility’s two crippled reactors. Even the film’s title takes a bit of nerve; it was Pandora’s Box, after all, that unleashed a host of once-contained evils into the world. -more-
The Verismo Opera Company will be offering the last show in its current production of La Traviata at Berkeley's Hillside Club at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 30. It will feature soprano Eliza O'Malley and tenor Fred Winthrop. The address is 2286 Cedar St Berkeley, CA 94709. -more-