Toni Mester
Friday August 04, 2017 - 01:38:00 PM
840 Page

One of the things I learned in kindergarten was to get a pass to go to the bathroom. The teacher kept the keys on wooden sticks marked girls or boys, our ticket to legally walk the halls while classes were in session.

A crucial lesson we should have learned early in school is that you need permission for privileged behavior. In grown-up land that includes building additions to a house or converting a garage to a dwelling unit or even building a whole house in the backyard. And yet people do these and many other extraordinary things without permits.

There must be an epidemic of illegal building in Berkeley, an outbreak in West Berkeley, or maybe I just happened to discover several cases in the last few weeks by serendipity. But after the death of six students last year due to faulty construction, the idea that anybody would even consider building a place for human habitation without the proper permits and inspections should make our skins crawl.

What’s going on, why, and how can we stop illegal construction? Without looking into the bigger picture City wide, I can point to three unpermitted local projects, two under investigation and one that went to ZAB. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: When Too Much Effort Works Against Us

Jack Bragen
Friday August 04, 2017 - 11:23:00 AM

When we are trying to do something, and the going gets difficult, most people are taught that we just need to try harder. However, if your brain has a biological vulnerability, too much effort at some things can worsen or even initiate a psychiatric condition. This applies to both physical and mental effort. -more-