The Week



Preview: Katja Heuzeroth in Concert May 13 in Santa Clara

James Roy MacBean
Thursday May 10, 2018 - 11:50:00 AM

In case you missed Island City Opera’s January 21 performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera Kaschey, The Immortal, which featured German-born mezzo-soprano Katja Heuzeroth as a sensational Kascheyevna, the multi-dimensional daughter of the evil sorcerer Kaschey, you have a new opportunity to hear Katja Heuzeroth sing excerpts from this opera on May 13, 3:00-5:00, at the Triton Art Museum in Santa Clara. Katja Heuzeroth, who made her professional debut at the Bayreuth Festival at the age of 21, has recently relocated to the Bay Area. For more information on Katja Heuzeroth, see my review of Kaschey, The Immortal in these pages on January 21, 2018, as well as my Profile of Katja Heuzeroth in the February 4, 2018 issue. On May 13, not only will Katja Heuzeroth sing excerpts from this opera but she’ll also sing the mezzo-soprano role in Mozart’s Requiem conducted by Tamami Honma. In addition, the program offers a new work by Luis Andre Cobo, who was chosen along with Tamami Honma as Best of the Bay by San Francisco Classical Voice. This concert is well worth a trip to Santa Clara! -more-

Senator Harris Cancels U.C. Berkeley Commencement Speech

Bay City News
Tuesday May 08, 2018 - 09:37:00 AM

United States Senator Kamala Harris, D-California, has canceled her scheduled appearance as the commencement speaker at this weekend's graduation at the University of California at Berkeley due to the ongoing statewide-University of California system employee's strike, the university announced on Monday. -more-

Five-time Felon Charged in Berkeley Sexual Assault

Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Tuesday May 08, 2018 - 09:39:00 AM

A five-time felon who was previously convicted of unlawful sexual intercourse was charged today with six felony counts for allegedly sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl in Berkeley last month. Alphonzo McInnis, 27, of Berkeley, was arraigned today for the alleged April 19 sexual assault and is scheduled to return to court on Tuesday. -more-

Four Men Arrested for Three Unrelated Berkeley Robberies

Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Tuesday May 08, 2018 - 09:37:00 AM

Four suspects have been arrested for a string of three unrelated robberies in Berkeley in a four-hour period on Sunday afternoon and evening but a fifth suspect is still at large, police said. The first robbery occurred at the Kathmandu Market and Deli in the 2500 block of Telegraph Avenue at about 3:30 p.m. on Sunday when a suspect entered the business, stole a can of soda and punched an employee in the face when the employee confronted him, according to Berkeley police. -more-

People's Park as Seen by a Neighbor (PUBLIC COMMENT)

Marcia Poole
Sunday May 06, 2018 - 10:51:00 PM

Thank you for this week's column. I live a stone's throw from People's Park and never have had a problem with the people there. I know who stands on the southwest corner. I also know that drug dealers come in from all around and the students walk or drive by, get their product and move on. I get to see it all and so do the police from UC and Berkeley. Since they do nothing about it and consider it a day's work, so do the neighbors. It is condoned by the police. The neighbors know that, because we have been told by the police that nothing is happening. We live and let live and violence is rarely a component of that park, yet it does erupt now and then on the people that hang out in it and do business there. I do not know of any neighbor who has had anything happen to them in my 28 years of residency near the park. -more-

Early Voting in State Races Starts Monday

Supriya Yelimeli (BCN)
Sunday May 06, 2018 - 10:49:00 PM

Monday is the first day California residents can vote in the June 5 statewide primary election, San Mateo County election officials announced. -more-



It's Not the Park, It's the People in It

Becky O'Malley
Friday May 04, 2018 - 01:30:00 PM

No need to bother with a whole new editorial this week, because it’s Groundhog Day All Over Again, merging clichés to save space.

This week, the target of opportunity is People’s Park—no, that’s wrong. It’s not People’s Park, it’s the Park’s People.

Self-righteous Berkeleyans have been falling all over themselves in available comment venues to tell the world how thrilled they are that Town and Gown plan to join forces to evict those sotted and smelly rogues from the prime piece of real estate just there for the taking to the south of the institution formerly known as Cal. That’s the school which has in recently years expropriated even the name of the town it’s in: Berkeley. -more-

The Editor's Back Fence

Don't miss this

Friday May 04, 2018 - 04:29:00 PM

More to Come Tomorrow

Friday May 04, 2018 - 04:27:00 PM

Too many submissions, too little time. Thanks, everyone. Bob Burnett is off this week. -more-

Public Comment

Speech by Lord Singh of Wimbledon (Cross Bench), in the U.K. House of Lords Debate on the ‘National Security Situation’ on 19 April 2018

Lord Singh of Wimbledon
Saturday May 12, 2018 - 10:55:00 AM

My Lords, it is a pleasure to follow the noble Earl, Lord Attlee. I speak from a Sikh perspective and I offer my apologies if what I say is out of sync with today’s 19th and 20th-century power-bloc politics.

Sikh teachings on the prevention of conflict almost parallel the preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, formulated after the horror of the ​Second World War, and they stress the dignity and equality of all members of our one human family. They also legitimise the use of military force only as a last recourse when all other means have failed. I believe that we and other great powers have pushed the declaration—the key to true peace and security—to one side in our pursuit of supposed “national interest”, using smaller countries as pawns in power-bloc politics. The conflict in Syria is a case study of the futility and cruel effect of such policies on innocent lives.

Following his election, US President Donald Trump made clear his desire to withdraw from international conflicts. Anxious to preserve our special relationship with the USA, our Prime Minister dutifully echoed him, saying that we will have to stop being the world’s policeman. A few weeks back, President Trump made clear his desire to extricate the US from the conflict in Syria and was expected to do so with an impressive military flourish. -more-

Vote NO on Deceptive Regional Measure 3

Zelda Bronstein
Friday May 04, 2018 - 03:12:00 PM

On the June 5 ballot, Regional Measure 3 asks voters in nine Bay Area counties to approve a $3 increase in tolls on all the region’s bridges but the Golden Gate “to reduce auto and truck traffic, relieve crowding on BART, unclog freeway bottlenecks and improve bus, ferry, BART and commuter rail service.” Its supporters, who include the Bay Area Council, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, SPUR, Facebook, and YIMBY Action, call it “a bold, coordinated, region-wide traffic relief plan.”

RM3 is bold all right: it’s an audacious con that dedicates $4.5 billion to a hodgepodge of disconnected projects that will bring the Bay Area little traffic relief.

Its critics include Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord). In a stinging op-ed, DeSaulnier calls RM3 “a highly flawed initiative born out of dysfunctional policy-making.” To be sure, the Bay Area “urgently needs new investment in transportation,” but RM3, he says, “is not the answer.”

For one thing, the measure discriminates against people living in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. “East Bay residents make up half of the affected bridge commuters,” DeSaulnier writes, but the money allocated by RM3 constitutes a “transfer of wealth from the East Bay to Silicon Valley.” -more-

U.C. Berkeley's Imperfect Housing Proposal

Harry Brill
Friday May 04, 2018 - 03:17:00 PM

I hope you read last week's Planet about the advocate citizen organization, Save Berkeley's Neighborhood, filing a law suit against UC Berkeley for its decision to admitting a substantial numbers of students despite budget cuts without providing the required housing. Among the major concerns is that student homelessness will increase and the already high rents will skyrocket even more. And the budget cuts will adversely affect the student body.

U.C. Berkeley's disinterest in providing student housing has a long history. According to a housing task force report, UC Berkeley offers the fewest beds to students in the nine campus UC Berkeley system. Only 22 percent of undergraduate student and 9 percent of graduate students enjoy campus housing. In contrast, the system wide average is 38.1 percent for undergraduates and 19.6 percent for graduate students.

Just announced is the University decision to pay attention to student housing concerns. Acknowledging its many years of its hand-off policy, UC plans to build housing on People's Park. The plan is to build housing for 1000 students and some additional units for the homeless. The more housing, the better. However, this development is nowhere near as glowing as the University administrators would like you to believe.

Here is the catch. According to one university spokesperson, although UC will provide the land, it will not fund, operate or manage the facility. In other words, the housing will be completely privatized, and accordingly, rents will be very high and the rules for operating the new housing will be determined by the private sector. So the private owners more than the students will owe a big thanks to UC Berkeley's Board of Regents and the University's administrators. -more-

Oh Hypocrisies, Oh City Government

Steve Martinot
Saturday May 05, 2018 - 10:23:00 PM

City Council had “yet another” special meeting on the "issue" of the homeless. It happened on Thursday, April 26, 2018. Unfortunately, the council had neither the courage nor the wisdom to make it a truly special meeting in any sense other than its timing. If ever there was a need for the city to step out of its “Iron Shoes” and its tunnel vision, it was this meeting. -more-

The Time is Ripe: Expand Public Housing

Harry Brill
Saturday May 05, 2018 - 10:38:00 PM

The Princeton professor, Matthew Desmond, in his detailed study of evictions, found that in a recent year (2016) at least 2,300,000 Americans - a rate of four every minute --were evicted. The reason for saying "at least" is that the estimate fails to include the many evictions that were not officially reported. Undoubtedly, many who were evicted became homeless as well as poorer as a result of a lack of affordable housing. -more-

Cops for Sale! - Equipment for Free! Black Lives Matter, but Yoga Pants Matter More

Carol Denney
Saturday May 05, 2018 - 10:34:00 PM

Lululemon paid more than $72,198.58 straight into Berkeley police officers' pockets over the fall of 2017. And they're still paying. It was up to $39,934.71 by March of this year for the sometimes two officers twiddling their thumbs right outside their 4th Street where doubling the average price of leggings turned out to be a bright idea worth over two billion dollars in annual revenue last year alone. -more-

Experts Discover Plenty of Room to Build on Berkeley Campus!

Carol Denney
Friday May 04, 2018 - 03:21:00 PM

"We're so relieved," expressed one Southside resident upon hearing about on-campus opportunities for housing. Many neighbors had worried about the threat to People's Park's important provision of open space in one of the most dense neighborhoods in the Bay Area, not to mention its city landmark status. "We really didn't want to revisit the street battles of long ago." -more-

May Pepper Spray Times

By Grace Underpressure
Saturday May 05, 2018 - 11:03:00 PM

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.

This is a Very Good Deal. Go for it! -more-


ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Two Topics This Week:

Jack Bragen
Friday May 04, 2018 - 03:27:00 PM

Nonphysical Damage Actually Exists

You cannot see mental, psychological, emotional, and spiritual damage. You cannot measure them directly with medical or scientific equipment. To the world of science and the five senses, nonphysical forms of damage are invisible. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: U.S.-North Korea summit — who is in the driver’s seat?l

Ralph E. Stone
Friday May 04, 2018 - 03:33:00 PM

A summit between North Korea and the U.S. is scheduled for late May or early June. -more-

Arts & Events

Berkeley Arts Calendar

Tom Hunt and Bonnie Hughes
Saturday May 05, 2018 - 10:12:00 PM

To learn what's happening on Berkeley's arts scene, you can now reach the Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar directly from the Planet. You can then click on an individual date for a full description of every event on that day.

To reach the calendar, click here. -more-

Jordi Savall’s Celtic Music Program with Carlos Núñez

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Friday May 04, 2018 - 03:15:00 PM

A tireless researcher of early music from many countries and cultures, Jordi Savall is the true ambassador to world music that Yo-Yo Ma arrogantly thinks is his rightful position. Sorry, Yo-Yo, you take a back seat to Jordi Savall, and for that matter to many others, all of whom bring far more passion and dedication to their music than you do. You, Yo-Yo Ma, are only the ambassador to music’s wealthy patrons; whereas Jordi Savall is without doubt the people’s ambassador to world music, especially early music from around the globe.

On Thursday evening, May 3, San Francisco Performances brought Jordi Savall to Herbst Theatre for a concert of Celtic music. Featured alongside Jordi Savall was Carlos Núñez, one of the world’s top performers on bagpipes from his native Galicia in Northwestern Spain. A charismatic performer, Carlos Núñez opened this concert by marching slowly down the aisles of Herbst Theatre playing an air on his bagpipes. When he reached the stage, Carlos Núñez launched into an extended improvisation on bagpipes that, to me, sounded for all the world like John Coltrane’s famous improvisations on soprano saxophone on “My Favorite Things.” Believe me, that’s no small tribute! Likening Carlos Núñez on bagpipes to John Coltrane on soprano saxophone may be a surprising rapprochement, but if you have recordings of each musician, play them back to back and you’ll hear what I mean. -more-

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, April 6-13

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Saturday May 05, 2018 - 10:04:00 PM

Worth Noting:

  • Monday - Police Review Commission (PRC) to complete the review and revision of the PRC Reform Subcommittee proposed Charter amendment,
  • Tuesday - Urban Shield City Council Subcommittee 1:00 pm, City Council Special Session 6:00 pm
  • Wednesday - Police Equity Report at the Police Review Commission, report showing Berkeley policing bias/racial profiling to be reviewed, Community forum – panel on Access and Disability Rights
  • Thursday – jam packed with 4 worth noting meetings at the same time, CEAC, Homeless Commission, ZAB, and event on Displacement and Gentrification

When notices of meetings are found that are posted after Friday 5:00 pm they are added to the website schedule and preceded by LATE ENTRY

June 5 Primary vote by mail ballots start arriving this week. You can still register to vote and/or request vote by mail ballot, but don’t delay -more-