The Week



New: Appeals Court Says Mitch Kapor's Berkeley Project Needs No EIR

Julia Cheever (BCN)
Thursday September 24, 2015 - 06:12:00 PM

A plan by technology developer Mitchell Kapor to build a 6,478-square-foot house with a 10-car garage on a Berkeley hillside has moved a step closer to fruition as a result of a favorable state appeals court ruling. -more-

Judge Rules Berkeley Can Require Cellphone Warning--Minus A Sentence

Julia Cheever (BCN)
Monday September 21, 2015 - 05:15:00 PM

A federal judge in San Francisco ruled today that the city of Berkeley can go ahead with requiring cellphone retailers to provide a warning about possible radiation exposure if one sentence is removed from the message. -more-

Thief from Silver Cadillac Robs Man in Berkeley

Scott Morris (BCN)
Monday September 21, 2015 - 12:18:00 PM

Police are looking for a man who jumped out of a silver Cadillac and grabbed cash from a man walking on the north side of the University of California at Berkeley campus on Friday afternoon. -more-

Press Release: Suspicious Person reported near Willard School.

Berkeley Police Department
Saturday September 19, 2015 - 04:35:00 PM

Friday morning, at approximately 8:20 a.m., two middle school students were walking on Telegraph Avenue near Stuart Street. As the students were walking a van pulled up next to them with the window rolled down. The driver then told them to get into the van. The students said no and continued walking; the suspect pulled up next to them and once again told them to get in. The students quickly went to the school office and reported the encounter to staff, who called 911. -more-

Press Release: Berkeley Councilmember Darryl Moore Terminates Human Welfare Commissioner over Palestinian Human Rights Resolution

Lara Kiswani, Noah Sochet ,Rochelle Gause (National organizer for Friends of Sabeel North America)
Friday September 18, 2015 - 02:48:00 PM

In an unprecedented move, Berkeley City Councilman Darryl Moore has terminated his appointee on the city's Human Welfare and Community Action Commission (HWCAC) after her refusal to withdraw a proposal for the city to divest from companies complicit in human rights abuses in the Palestinian Territories. -more-



Bashing Activists Doesn't Play Well in Berkeley--or New York

Becky O'Malley
Friday September 18, 2015 - 02:25:00 PM

It’s sort of like when you have to admit to the kids that Santa Claus didn’t actually fill up those stockings. Deep in your heart of hearts you know that they already know, but they’ve been pretending for the last couple of years because they were afraid the goodies would stop coming if they admitted that they knew who brought them.

Right here in beautiful Berkeley CA there live a couple of pretty bright guys who often opine on urban planning topics who MUST be aware that their ability to live in nice middle class single family homes in long-since-gentrified North Berkeley or even Upper North Berkeley has been ensured over the years by the efforts of others. What ticked me off on Thursday morning was this subject line in my email update from BeyondChron, a San Francisco blog edited by Upper Berkeley resident Randy Shaw: NYC Takes NIMBYISM to New Levels. -more-

Public Comment

The Republican Debate

Tejinder Uberoi
Friday September 18, 2015 - 03:21:00 PM

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina emerged as a fierce hawk on foreign policy issues. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul denounced U.S. interventionist policies abroad, which have largely proven to be major foreign policy debacles (Iraq, Libya to name just a few). Fiorina promised to avoid all communication with ‘big bad wolf, Vladimir Putin and would resurrect Reagan’s disastrous Missile Defense System. It is a pity that Fiorina and her ilk, who habitually fawn over Reagan’s legacy, ignore the fact that he negotiated the INF treaty with the former Soviet Union. Trump received too much airtime and said very little of substance. Jeb Bush made the preposterous claim that his brother, President George Bush, should receive credit ‘for keeping American safe’, ignoring the inconvenient truth that 911 occurred on his watch. Scott Walker claimed that trashing the union workers in Wisconsin offered conclusive proof that he would make a great President. -more-

New: The Second Republican Debate

Jagjit Singh
Saturday September 19, 2015 - 03:37:00 PM

Eleven presidential candidates had three prime-time hours on the national stage to offer their vision for the country. What followed was extremely disappointing bordering on the surreal – no effort to adhere to the truth, perhaps a new game of no truth, no consequences! It was a pity CNN who seem very adept at slick visuals, didn’t offer a fact check for viewers. The issues glaringly omitted were income inequality and race relations. A recent Gallup poll ranked these two issues high on Americans concerns. Police brutality has soured relations among blacks and Hispanics. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul was right in accusing former Florida Governor Jeb Bush of hypocrisy in his position on marijuana legalization. Jeb Bush admitted taking marijuana but escaped punishment because of his privileged position and appeared to be quite content letting poor people languish in jail for the same crime. Paul correctly stated that far too many poor in our inner cities are jailed for relatively minor drug related offenses and called for rehabilitation and less incarceration. -more-


ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Adapting to Changing Times and Difficult Conditions

Jack Bragen
Friday September 18, 2015 - 02:54:00 PM

If you have a psychiatric disability and live with minimal responsibilities, adapting to changes may not be incredibly hard. You probably have a cellphone or an iPhone and a computer. You probably understand how to use these. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE: Why Has Hillary Faltered?

Bob Burnett
Friday September 18, 2015 - 03:05:00 PM

During the “summer of Trump,” there’s been a flood of negative news about Hillary Clinton. As a result, the race for the Democratic presidential nomination is closer than expected. There are five reasons why Hillary’s campaign has faltered. -more-

SENIOR POWER Four years after Dr. Kevorkian’s death, a California end of life option

Helen Rippier Wheeler,
Friday September 18, 2015 - 03:07:00 PM

On Friday, September 11, 2015, California lawmakers passed legislation that would allow the state to grant terminally ill patients the right to end their own lives legally with prescribed medication. Under the End of Life Option Act, patients with six months or less to live would have the option of authorizing a doctor to administer fatal doses of medicine. The bill then went to Gov. Jerry Brown to sign or veto before it automatically goes into effect in January 2016. -more-

New: ECLECTIC RANT: LGBT Civil Rights Work Still to be Done

Ralph E. Stone
Saturday September 19, 2015 - 03:35:00 PM

In Obergefell v. Hodges, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state. Thus, the same-sex marriage issue has been won. -more-

Arts & Events

New: A Review of the Republican Debate held on September 16, 2015

Grace Underpressure
Saturday September 19, 2015 - 03:39:00 PM

The Pepper Spray Times offers this quick review of the performances of the Republican candidates’ September debate in the hope of helping our thoughtful readers sort the crowded field with the assistance of some of England'’s most articulate critics.

Donald Trump: turning the show into a black-draped harlequinade conjured out of a dressing-up box and laden with gratuitous business argot, focused on powdered wigs and shells of costume dangled from on high.

AROUND AND ABOUT MUSIC: Berkeley Symphony & Friends Chamber Concert This Sunday In Memory of Robert Commanday

Ken Bullock
Friday September 18, 2015 - 02:43:00 PM

Berkeley Symphony & Friends, the chamber music series on four Sundays at the Piedmont Center for the Arts, will dedicate this Sunday's 5 pm concert--featuring former San Francisco Symphony Concertmaster Stuart Canin on violin, pianist Janet Guggenheim and cellist Jonah Kim--to the memory of Robert Commanday, former Chronicle music critic and founder of the SFCV--San Francisco Classical Voice--website, often called the dean of Northern California performing arts critics. Commanday died September 3 at his Oakland home, age 93. -more-

New: Oakland's Third Annual Matatu Film Festival: September 23-26

Review by Gar Smith
Friday September 18, 2015 - 03:15:00 PM

Oakland's Third Annual Matatu Film Festival: September 23-26

Review by Gar Smith

Rev your engines, film lovers, it's time to get on board for Oakland's third annual Matatu Film Festival, an international convoy of cinematic screenings set to run from September 23-26 at The Flight Deck (1540 Broadway) and the Starline Social Club (645 West Grand Avenue Oakland, CA 94612).

The festival is named after East Africa's "matatus," a Swahili word that celebrates the colorfully decorated minibuses that skitter through crowded streets jammed with passengers and blasting local music. Festival founder Michael Orange explains the connection: both movies and matatus transport people to new (and sometimes surprising) destinations. The films in the Matatu collection, have been chosen to "spotlight a unique journey, regardless of age, geographical bounds, sexual preference, race, and socio-economic status." -more-