The Week

The whole city: Impact Map with Key
Thomas Lord
The whole city: Impact Map with Key


The Editor's Back Fence

New: Not much to report as yet, still

Becky O'Malley
Friday June 17, 2016 - 07:35:00 AM

Technology, technology, technology! All the adjuncts we've been able to contrive to make our lives easier just seem to add another level of confusion to what is already inevitable. My friend Kelly pointed out that there's a whole generation now that doesn't remember when things worked. True, we didn't have many things to malfunction, but when you picked up the telephone it was right there, dial tone and all, and even in the old old days of my childhood summers in rural Michigan with a nice lady to help you call from the party line.

It turns out that editing on an IPad with a tetchy wi-fi signal in a hotel built in 1901 is suboptimal. My apologies to writers whose pieces are not yet posted.

Today my first priority has been to post the articles about what's happening back in good ol' Berkeley which diligent citizens have sent in. Then, if and when the wi-fi works better at my next stop, I'll try to record my own musings of the difference between Here, Now and There, Then. -more-

Public Comment

New: Sacramento Streamlining Deal: What's in store for your neighborhood?

Thomas Lord
Friday June 17, 2016 - 06:26:00 PM

What will be the impact on Berkeley of Governor Brown's Streamlining Affordable Housing bill? What will be built in your neighborhood?

When passed (which seems likely), the bill will end the process of public hearing and review for many high-impact projects. Builders of multi-unit apartments and mixed-use buildings will be able to build by-right, so long as they include a small number of means-tested, so-called affordable units, and so long as the project requires no zoning variances.

Example impacts

If you have been going to public meetings, hoping to influence the development of the Adeline Corridor near Ashby BART: The Governor's bill will allow projects with five stories (and possibly larger) to proceed without any further public input or hearing, and without any chance to appeal. If you have fought for large amounts of affordable housing in this area, too bad. Know that the Governor's bill will permit 90% of the new units to be market rate. -more-

Don the Con

By Tejinder Uberoi
Friday June 17, 2016 - 05:58:00 PM

Trump often boasts that his negotiating skills as a successful business tycoon would be used to make ‘America Great Again’ if he is elected president. But a close examination of court records reveal details of how the robber baron tycoon actually bankrupt his Atlantic Casinos but was still able to walk away with millions. Investing little of his own money he secured large loans at high interest using his high profile name and his casinos as collateral. Collecting significant portion of the profits and paying himself a high salary and bonuses and shifting his personal debts onto the casino books, he amassed millions before driving his poorly managed casinos to bankruptcy. He sought protection from the courts and persuaded bond holders to settle for less. -more-

Gun Violence

By Jagjit Singh
Friday June 17, 2016 - 05:42:00 PM

In the wake of yet another mass shooting, many Americans are asking, what will it take for Congress to restrict access to guns? This is the 133rd mass shooting in the U.S. in 2016. -more-

Three little scams: manipulating the housing crisis

Steve Martinot
Friday June 17, 2016 - 03:53:00 PM

During the recent election, a measure was passed in San Francisco that requires greater "inclusion" of "affordable" units in all new housing developments. This is something that many have been working toward in Berkeley as well. In the San Francisco measure, all projects of 25 units or more must include 25% affordable units for low income families (i.e., one affordable for every three market rate units). In Berkeley, the comparable measure, passed this past April, only required that a sixth should be affordable (for every five market rate units, one affordable unit would be included). It is important to bear in mind the inherent incommensurability in such plans.

“Affordable housing” stands on different economic grounds than “market rate housing.” The term "affordable" signifies that rent is pegged to the tenant’s income. According to HUD’s definition (as a federal standard), housing is considered "affordable" if its cost (rent or mortgage) does not exceed 30% of the resident’s (tenant’s) income. In contradistinction, "market rate" refers to housing rental that is unregulated, charging “what the traffic will bear.” As will be explained below, it is the inability to regulate “market rate” housing that is responsible for the current housing crisis. We must be clear on this. -more-

What Bernie should have done

By Harry Brill
Friday June 17, 2016 - 05:54:00 PM

Ahead of a meeting with Clinton, Sanders called for a "Fundamental Transformation of the Democratic Party" In brief, he recommended electoral reforms that would facilitate the ability of citizens to register to vote. He also demanded the end of the superdelegate system. -more-


THE PUBLIC EYE: 5 suggestions for Hllary

Bob Burnett
Friday June 17, 2016 - 02:22:00 PM

Five months before the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton has secured the Democratic nomination. Despite many tactical advantages, Clinton is in a tight race with Donald Trump. Here are five suggestions about what Hillary can do to smooth her path to the presidency. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: The Stanford Sexual Assault Case

Ralph E. Stone
Friday June 17, 2016 - 03:39:00 PM

Everyone now knows about Judge Aaron Persky's decision to give Brock Turner, a former Stanford University swimmer, a six-month jail sentence for his conviction of three felony counts of sexual assault on an unconscious woman. Turner will probably spend three-months in county jail and then be eligible for parole. Many find this sentence far too lenient. -more-

SENIOR POWER: Yoga + Meditation + Exercise and Good Nutrition = Muscle Mass

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Friday June 17, 2016 - 06:02:00 PM

Sarcopenia is … [5 of these apply] … a component of the frailty syndrome, an Eastern Europe nation, a disease associated with the aging process, most prevalent in Europe, an undiagnosed condition in older adults, a member of the EU, a noun. -more-

Arts & Events

SF Opera Offers a Riveting DON CARLO

By James Roy MacBean
Friday June 17, 2016 - 05:02:00 PM

Giuseppe Verdi’s Don Carlo, based on a play by German writer Friedrich Schiller, brought out some of the finest work of the mature Verdi. Involving himself thoroughly in all aspects of the creation of this opera, from working on the libretto with his two French librettists, Joseph Méry and Camille du Locle, to overseeing the production at the première in Paris’s Palais Garnier in 1867, Verdi threw himself with zeal and dedication into Don Carlo (or, as it was called in its original French-language production, Don Carlos). Verdi continued working on this opera, super-vising its translation into Italian and offering several revised versions of it in Italian. Our current San Francisco Opera production, which opened Sunday, June 12, uses the 1886 Modena version in Italian. -more-