Janet Yellen's colleagues and friends at the University of California at Berkeley today celebrated her nomination by President Obama to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve. -more-
The Sierra Club's office on San Pablo Avenue near Dwight was covered with graffiti on Tuesday morning which said, "Sierra Club Evicts Homeless @ Berkeley Bulb," a reference to the planned eviction by the City of Albany of over 60 homeless people who currently live there. The Sierra Club supports the conversion to a park, which does not currently allow for current homeless residents to remain. -more-
Randy W. Schekman, professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley, has won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his role in revealing the machinery that regulates the transport and secretion of proteins in our cells. He shares the prize with James E. Rothman of Yale University and Thomas C. Südhof of Stanford University.
Discoveries by Schekman about how yeast secrete proteins led directly to the success of the biotechnology industry, which was able to coax yeast to release useful protein drugs, such as insulin and human growth hormone. The three scientists’ research on protein transport in cells, and how cells control this trafficking to secrete hormones and enzymes, illuminated the workings of a fundamental process in cell physiology. -more-
Firefighters battled a single-alarm fire at a four-plex apartment in Berkeley this morning, according to fire officials. -more-
The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting that a 3.1 magnitude earthquake centered 2 miles east-northeast of Berkeley in Tilden Park occurred at 9:26 p.m. The earthquake occurred at a depth of 4.6 miles below the surface, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. -more-
A walk for peace organized by District 1 Councilmember Linda Maio and local religious and social action groups in memory of three people killed earlier this year in West Berkeley gathered so many people they couldn't fit into the social hall at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church. -more-
A grass fire that started south of state Highway 12 in the Suisun City area this afternoon has grown to more than 1,000 acres, a Cal Fire spokesman said. -more-
I just found out from the Berkeley Tenants' Union of a City of Berkeley draft demolition ordinance that will allow developers "to tear down rent controlled units, even those which are occupied or in good condition, and not replace them. The new draft allows developers to pay an unspecified fee which could be changed by City Council at any time." Now, put this together with the lack of legally required notice to the downtown Berkeley residents regarding the Downtown Area Plan zoning changes, and all the upzonings from R-4 to C-DMU zoning that violated DAP Policy LU-7.1, which ordered that the R-4 properties be downzoned to R-3 zoning, and you have a perfect storm where the city and developers have arranged things so that 1) tenants did not know about the proposed DAP rezonings and thus could not organized and complain about them, 2) the city illegitimately upzoned many properties to C-DMU instead of downzoning them to R-3 in accordance with Policy LU-7.1, paving the way for developers to build six-story plus buildings, instead of the three stories allowed under R-3; and 3) they are pushing this new demolition ordinance draft which paves the way for developers to demolish all of the existing apartments in downtown Berkeley, freely evicting existing rent-controlled tenants, in order to build larger, lucrative luxury apartments which the evicted downtown residents will not be able to afford. -more-
After reading that UC Berkeley has spent $16.2 million or thereabouts in the last two years on two football coaches and thinking once again this is not the country I grew up in, this a.m. Saturday, the 5th of October, I tried to park close to the farmer's market downtown. Again I found two streets closed to traffic, guarded by police officers. I figured some important work was going on at Berkeley High. It was hot and I was feeling kinda weak on my way back to my car, 5 blocks away. I stopped and spoke with two kindly police persons who informed me that the streets were closed again because it was necessary to park towed cars illegally parked for the Cal football game somewhere. When I got mad, I was told well this is after all a "college town." What about care and concern for the citizens who pay taxes here, especially those of us who are elderly? And what about care and concern for all students whose tuition continues to rise semester by semester as football expenses take a bigger and greater toll on the supposed "educational" institution we used to be so proud of????????? -more-
In shutting down our government, House Republicans are taking legislative brinksmanship to dangerous levels and threatening the health of American Democracy itself. -more-
I just want to respond to Carol Denney’s recent commentary “Berkeley Boots Smoke Out of Multi-Unit Housing” to explain the reasons why I didn't support the motion a majority of the Berkeley City Council approved on Tuesday, to ask the City Manager to come back with an ordinance that enforces a smoking ban as a public nuisance. To clarify the Council did not approve an ordinance banning smoking in multi-family buildings, an effort we have been working on for years. Despite the fact that Walnut Creek is now the 27th city to pass a smoking ban for apartments, Berkeley will have to wait until staff comes back with a revised policy sometime in the next few months. -more-
The Republicans are wimps. If they had any guts they'd hold out till they repealed the Constitution. -more-
Councilmember Jesse Arreguin is scrambling to justify voting against strong, protective secondhand smoke regulations in multi-unit housing to save thousands in Berkeley from serious toxic exposure. His logic is flawed. -more-
Editor's Note: The latest issue of the Pepper Spray Times is now available.
You can view it absolutely free of charge by clicking here . You can print it out to give to your friends.
Grace Underpressure has been producing it for many years now, even before the Berkeley Daily Planet started distributing it, most of the time without being paid, and now we'd like you to show your appreciation by using the button below to send her money. -more-
Almost by accident, the other night I saw the new documentary Inequality for All, which features Robert Reich, now Professor of Public Policy at the University of California here in Berkeley. I know, I know, Paul Krugman called him a “non-economist”. . In fact, Krugman once wrote of Reich “talented writer, too bad he never gets anything right.”
But he’s a pretty good teacher and journalist, skilled at communicating important points so that other non-economists like me understand them. This new movie, which relies heavily on animated graphs, is very simple, and much of it is incontrovertible.
I didn’t plan to see it, because I’ve read many of his columns and heard him often on the radio. What brought me there was that I’d agreed to entertain my eleven-year-old granddaughter for the evening, and her mother, who’d seen the film already, thought she’d enjoy it. And, surprisingly, she did.
A plus for the junior set is Reich’s self-mocking comic touch. He’s a master of the short end of the shtick. Well over four feet tall, he misses no opportunity to turn this genetic fact into funny stuff, starting with the lead-in scene where he drives up to the U.C. Berkeley campus in his Mini-Cooper. (You can watch this in the trailer on the film’s web site)
Admittedly, my granddaughter was also intrigued by the idea that the movie was rated PG-13—she was looking forward to something shocking. The girl in the box office didn’t even ask her age, and in truth nothing in the film, except possibly a clip of Jon Stewart employing his signature bleeped-out “fuck”, could be considered remotely racy. The numbers, however, were scary, as I expected.
The theme is simple, and very familiar to those—well, to those to whom it’s familiar. It’s a cliché in some circles: The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Some of us knew that already. -more-
The Editor's Back Fence
Developer revives historic West Berkeley factory
Berkeley: Two rescued from train tracks in separate incidents
2 Berkeley homicides connected with killing of 8-year-old Oakland girl
Michael Parenti Interviewed by Roseanne Barr
For Betty Reid Soskin, Oldest U.S. Park Ranger, Furlough Is Waste of Time
'Ossicles (Tiny Bones)' review: Piece wakes up ears -more-
The Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams met again on October 3, 2013 for the eighth time since direct peace talks were resumed in late July. No one but the eternally optimistic expects any meaningful result from these negotiations. The history of these negotiations is merely camouflage for the systematic annexation of the West Bank by way of settlement construction hoping that this will encourage Palestinian emigration. In short, a state for Palestine and one for Israel is but an illusion. -more-
Miriam Carey, a thirty-four-year-old woman, with her young child in the car, attempted to crash the gates at the White House, led Capitol Police on a high-speed car chase, and was shot to death near Capitol Hill. -more-
Many of today’s grandparents want to define for themselves their specific relationship with their grandchildren. Few want to baby-sit regularly or be responsible for child care. Some enjoy taking care of their grandchildren. Most women resist the stereotype of the doormat grandmother -- always there when anyone needs her but otherwise not in the way. -more-
Arts & Events
Want to enjoy a night of Brazilian culture and music at the Freight & Salvage Sunday, October 13, and bring along a young music student as well? Then go to https://www.facebook.com/events/456339077807397 and sign up to attend Berkeley's first Festival of Choro, music native to Brazil, and to support admission for a young music student from the East Bay as well. Our band, Berkeley Choro Ensemble, will be playing in this concert, as well as two other Brazilian music groups. -more-
AROUND AND ABOUT THE PERFORMING ARTS: 'Angel Heart,' Unusual Family Entertainment Featuring Frederica Von Stade, Malcolm McDowell & Others
Cal Performances is hosting one of two premiere performances--the other at Carnegie Hall--of 'Angel Heart,' a multimedia "dream of lullabies," conceived by composer Luna Pearl Woolf and soprano Lisa Delan, with a story by German children's fantasy author Cornelia Funke, and the participation of other composers, including Jake Heggie and Gordon Getty, soprano Frederica Von Stade and her Children's Choir of St. Martin Porres School (of Oakland), and Uccello all-cello ensemble, with actor Malcolm McDowell narrating, Sunday at 5, in the intimate, acoustically excellent auditorium of Hertz Hall, UC Berkeley campus. -more-
AROUND AND ABOUT MUSIC; Jerry Kunderna & Friends Play Anne Callaway's Three Runes and Pieces by Earlier Composers
Jerry Kuderna--a one man music festival himself--will play Berkeley composer Anne Callaway's Three Runes for Piano Solo (2013), and with Emily Rubis (piano), Jen Adler Mathers (cello), Yuri Kye (violin) and a second violinist to be announced, play the Beethoven Trio in C minor, Opus 1, number 3; Cecile Chaminade's Trio for Piano & Strings, Opus 34 and Debussy's En Blanc et Noir for two pianos (1915), next Friday, October 11, 8-10 p. m., at the Berkeley Arts Festival, 2133 University Avenue, near Shattuck. $10-$20 suggested donation. berkeleyartsfestival.com -more-