The Week



Reality Check on Increased Reserve Funds

Kriss Worthington, Councilmember, City of Berkeley, District 7
Thursday October 05, 2017 - 01:46:00 PM

The prior Mayor Bates and City Council repeatedly refused to increase reserves, despite my many proposals. Shortly after their election, the new Mayor Arreguin and new City Council INCREASED RESERVES from 8% to 13% and already made policies to keep the money in separate funds to reduce the chance of spending it down. -more-

Dialogue: "Berkeley Braces for Bankruptcy: Red Flag Warning from Berkeley City Auditor" and the Auditor's Response

Isabelle Gaston, PhD and Ann-Marie Hogan, Berkeley City Auditor
Thursday October 05, 2017 - 01:30:00 PM

Editor's Note: This interesting discussion was posted to the public record as part of communications to the Berkeley City Council. We have Dr. Gaston's permission to publish it, and the quoted title is hers. -more-

New: Berkeley Police Subdue Knife-Wielding Man with No Injury

Wednesday October 04, 2017 - 07:49:00 PM

Berkeley Police Officer Byron White told the Planet tonight that the situation at the corner of Roosevelt and Bancroft, reported at 7pm via Nixle has been safely resolved. They received a report early this evening that drug activity and other disturbances were taking place in the portable toilets located on Roosevelt. When officers arrived they found out that a man in one of the units was threatening to harm himself with a knife. They negotiated with him unsuccessfully for a while, but could not get him to come out or give up the knife. Finally they rushed him using non-lethal projectiles and were able to detain him, disarm him and take him into custody with no one injured, according to Officer White at 7:20 pm. -more-

Flash: Advisory: Police activity at 1717 Bancroft Way. Avoid area. Neighbors shelter in place.

Berkeley Police via Nixle
Wednesday October 04, 2017 - 07:26:00 PM

Berkeley Police Department is currently involved in a police activity on Roosevelt at the corner of Bancroft. in at 1717 Bancroft Way. Please avoid this area and the area Bancroft/Roosevelt, for the next several hours. Neighbors should shelter in place. Negotiations are in progress. -more-

California Typewriter: A Big-screen Film about a Small, Hometown Treasure

Gar Smith
Thursday September 28, 2017 - 10:45:00 AM

Opens Friday, September 29 at the Shattuck Cinemas (Showtimes: 1:30, 4:35, 7:10, 9:50)

Thanks to retro-hipster millennials, vinyl is back. And now, in addition to 78-rmp LP records, another sound-making machine from the past is making a proud return.

The manual typewriter, an ancient writing tool used by everyone from Mark Twain to San Francisco's Herb Caen (who fondly dubbed his metal type-slinger the "Loyal Royal"), has not only been making a comeback but it has now been honored with a big-screen documentary featuring the likes of Tom Hanks, John Mayer, Sam Shepard, and the Boston Typewriter Orchestra.

Even better, the documentary celebrates Berkeley's own, California Typewriter Company, a small, family-owned enterprise on San Pablo Avenue that has weathered the Electronic Revolution and continues to service and repair these finely crafted, finger-powered writing machines. -more-

Daniel Marlin, 1945-2017

Sue Steel
Tuesday October 03, 2017 - 04:06:00 PM

Daniel Marlin, age 72, poet, artist, and peace activist, died at his home in Berkeley on August 7, 2017, after a heroic battle with cancer and renal disease over many years. Born in Brooklyn, February 9, 1945 and raised on Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, New York, Dan was the son of George Marlin and Lebe Goldin Marlin. -more-


The Editor's Back Fence

Slow Issue This Week

Becky O'Malley
Thursday September 28, 2017 - 11:01:00 AM

It seems that I must be otherwise occupied for a couple of days at least, so I'm posting what's already in on Thursday, and whatever else arrives whenever I'm able. Last week's editorial stays up for the moment, still topical, sorry to say. Thanks to all of our regular contributors, and you'll hear from them eventually. -more-

Public Comment

Sign Our Petition: Keep West Berkeley Affordable

Friends of R-1A
Friday September 29, 2017 - 01:56:00 PM

On October 18, the Planning Commission will consider new zoning rules for backyard houses in the R-1A zone in West Berkeley and Westbrae. Please join the Berkeley Neighborhood Council in supporting the Friends of R-1A proposal to limit the rear house to one-story, the front house to two, and the overall building floor area. Sun access would be assured. The 20-foot rear yard setback could be reduced to 15 with an administrative use permit (AUP). -more-

New: Open Letter to Carol Denney

Monday September 25, 2017 - 01:55:00 PM

Knee-Jerk Reaction, No Fact Checking; Open Letter to Carol Denney in response to her letter to me headlined "Misconceptions…Everywhere…"

Carol Denney's Open Letter to me (Planet 9.22.2017) appears to be an emotional reaction to a quick scanning of my letter rather than a thoughtful reading that allowed her to digest the import of the letter.

Perhaps my letter was not clear. This is the point: Black Lives Matter! (Too) Brown Lives Matter! (Too) and Jewish Lives Matter! (Too). So the necessity for emphasis on the fight for Civil Rights for which we, of course, need free speech and assembly. But it has been handed on a silver platter by the University to far-right speakers at the same time it is being curbed for counter protesters, not only by U.C., but government at all levels. -more-

Condos and Tuff Sheds

Carol Denney
Thursday September 28, 2017 - 10:50:00 AM

there's another condo tower going up across the bay

Oakland's buying Tuff Sheds for the poor

Oakland's seems to recognize they have to put up Tuff Sheds

or there won't be any sidewalks anymore

it isn't rocket science how if all you build is condos

where the poorest of the housing used to be

that the people you put on the street will huddle up together

sharing overpasses tents or just a tree



THE PUBLIC EYE: Trump Now Owns White Supremacy

Bob Burnett
Friday September 29, 2017 - 09:40:00 AM

Even though despicable, Donald Trump's white-supremacist proclivities have an upside: Trump now owns white supremacy. That's an opportunity for progressives to do more than protest; it opens a window for social justice. Indivisible, and other resistance efforts, have based their grassroots organizing on a simple maxim, "total resistance to the Trump agenda." That's been remarkably effective; it's a major reason why GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare failed. But as Trump rolls on, the resistance must broaden to take on Trump's bigotry, his alliance with white supremacists. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Medication is Only the Beginning

Jack Bragen
Thursday September 28, 2017 - 10:57:00 AM

In my development as a human being, I've had problems. However, as time passed, I have solved many of them, and some of them were hard to solve. Many of the problems had by many mentally ill people can not be addressed with medication. While medication could be a prerequisite, it does not address specific issues that we may have when we are stabilized. -more-