Trump's Hotels
Carol Denney
Trump's Hotels


Rallies Today Protest Family Separation

Kathleen Kirkwood (BCN)
Saturday June 30, 2018 - 10:43:00 AM

Rallies and marches to protest family separations and detentions by U.S. border officials will be held around the Bay Area today.

Thousands are expected to turn out for the protests, which are part of a nationwide "Families Belong Together" action, with an anchor protest in Washington D.C.'s Lafayette Park.

The protests challenge the separation of what protesters describe as separation of children from families at the U.S.-Mexico border

In San Francisco, an event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. will start with a march at Mission Dolores Park, at 19th and Dolores streets, and end with a rally at Civic Center.

Joan Baez and representatives from several organizations, including Mujeres Unidas y Activas, CA Domestic Workers and Causa Justa, are scheduled to speak at the at the San Francisco rally.

Event organizers include Families Belong Together San Francisco, Women's March San Francisco and Indivisible SF.

Another event in Oakland will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Lakeside Park, near Staten and Bellevue avenues. The family-friendly rally will feature children's activities and youth speakers.

A complete list of events can be found at -more-

Activists Protest ICE in Richmond

Bay City News
Tuesday June 26, 2018 - 10:56:00 AM

Organizers are expecting roughly a thousand people to attend a protest and vigil today against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and for immigrant detainees held at the West County Detention Facility in Richmond. The "Detention Center Day of Action" started at 7 a.m. outside 5555 Giant Highway, where activists estimate roughly 200 immigrants are being held. -more-

Page One

Trump's Hotels

Carol Denney
Saturday June 23, 2018 - 11:28:00 AM Click on it before they take it down! -more-

Record Spending and Outside Money Help Wicks in AD-15 Primary

Rob Wrenn
Saturday June 23, 2018 - 12:42:00 PM

In November, voters in Berkeley and the rest of the historically progressive 15th Assembly District will decide between two dramatically different candidates: Buffy Wicks, a newcomer to the district, with no local track record, but with record amounts of outside money, and Jovanka Beckles, a locally based candidate with a strong record of progressive activism.

Follow the Money

Through May 19, Assembly District candidate Buffy Wicks, who finished first in a 12 candidate race in the June 5 primary, received contributions totaling $656,597.91, a record amount for this district, according to campaign filings with the California Secretary of State.

On top of that, an independent expenditure committee of Govern for California, a group of wealthy “philanthropists” who support charter schools, spent $493,332.70 to support her candidacy, while the California Dental Association Independent Expenditure PAC spent $99,481.46 to support her.

The money her campaign raised added to the money spent to support her by outside groups totals $1,249,414, a record amount for a candidate in our local Assembly District and far more than in previous elections. Govern for California’s heavy spending for Wicks makes this election very different from previous 15th District races. -more-

New: How Berkeley Voted in the June Primary Election

Rob Wrenn
Tuesday June 26, 2018 - 10:40:00 AM

45% of the votes cast in Alameda County in the AD-15 race were cast in Berkeley. Among Alameda County cities in the District, Wicks did best in affluent Piedmont, with 43.8%; while her poorest showing was in Berkeley with 30.6%. Countywide, she came in first with 32.5%.

Beckles did best in Berkeley with 18.1%; she got 12.8% in Oakland, finishing third. Countywide, Beckles won 14.6%. Kalb did best in Oakland with 26.2%, but came in behind Wicks who got33.1%.

Appel did best in her home city of Berkeley with 17.8% and finished fourth countywide with 14.1% Contra Costa County precinct results are not yet available -more-

Final Election Results Assembly District 15:
Wicks vs Beckles in November

Rob Wrenn
Saturday June 23, 2018 - 12:44:00 PM

Contra Costa County finished their count of vote by mail and provisional ballots. Alameda County finished their count last week. Here are the final totals. Jovanka Beckles beat out Dan Kalb for second place by 719 votes and will face Buffy Wicks, who finished first, in November. Official Statements of Vote, when released, will provide results by precinct and city. -more-

It's not Just Burrowing Owls, Kites are Raising Young at the Bulb Too

Robert Brokl
Saturday June 23, 2018 - 11:26:00 AM

Like the little trains that could, burrowing owls have made a dramatic arrival to the Albany Bulb plateau. Birdwatchers and photographers have lined the cyclone fence on the Bulb plateau, under the jurisdiction of the East Bay Regional Park District, hoping to catch glimpses of the birds at their mounds. Burrowing owls are small, long-legged owls that nest in burrows. Unusual for owls, they are active during the day. -more-

Public Comment

Join Protests Against Family Separation

Alberto Lopez
Saturday June 23, 2018 - 03:09:00 PM

I want to bring to your attention that on June 30th there will be protests all over the country against the Trump administration's separation of families. I'm sure you have all seen the videos of the conditions in which ICE is keeping these kids. I was 11 years old when my family came to the U.S. and aside from the condescending attitude and rudeness of CBP when we went through passport control, our immigration experience was relatively uneventful. The experience was still traumatizing and the legal processes to become a permanent resident, and then a citizen felt dehumanizing at times. Even after going through that, I can't begin to imagine the hell those kids and parents are living.

I've been amused by the pundits, politicians, and newscasters mentioning how "this isn't who we are" and "how we are better than this." They seem to forget that there was a time when black children were sold like cattle and separated from their parents, or that the federal government took native children from their parents and sent them to "boarding schools" for what amounts to ethnic cleansing. Many of us are better than that, but a cursory look at social media or two minutes of watching Fox "News" will remind you that many have not moved past 1865 in their perception of the humanity of others.

I'd encourage you to visit the link below so you can see a list of protests near you. If you are not the protesting kind, but still feel inclined to do something, I have also included a link where you can find donation information for organizations helping the kids and their families.

Families Belong Together: Berkeley Mobilization

Protest link:


Why Berkeley Should Not Participate in Urban Shield Vendor Show and Tactical Exercises

Councilmember Kate Harrison
Saturday June 23, 2018 - 01:02:00 PM

In 1990, the Berkeley Police Department (BPD) engaged in one of the most successful hostage rescue operations in history: Henry’s Hostage Crisis. This was not a case of foreign terrorism. The attacker was just 29 when he obtained three guns and took 33 people hostage. The BPD’s measured response to the situation was executed with textbook perfection. Their actions earned the BPD national acclaim, a legacy that our officers live up to each day.

Decades later, we see the BPD participating in a new and altogether different style of training -- Urban Shield, a set of war games, tactical exercises, and weapons expos designed around a Bush-era counter-terrorism agenda. Using millions of dollars in Department of Homeland Security funding, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office puts on 48 hours of tactical anti-terrorism exercises for federal and local departments. The only way to get full points in the competition is through full escalation of force. In a real-world hostage situation at Children’s Hospital in 2010, officers successfully resolved the crisis without loss of life but in an Urban Shield hostage scenario based on the event, teams “won” by escalating and killing the perpetrators.

Far from this real life example, many scenarios at Urban Shield are improbable and are built around military-grade technology featured by for-profit companies in the vender expo. Take one of last year’s exercises, supposedly based on the 2008 attacks in Mumbai. Designed by Execushield, the sensationalized scenario had officers use Navy-grade aquatic raiding craft to kill members of a Hezbollah terrorist group, which had crossed the US border from South America to set up an armed encampment in a wooded cabin near a reservoir in Livermore. More than just improbable, the exercise bore almost no relationship to the Mumbai attacks, which featured multiple shootings and bomb threats distributed across multiple days and urban locations.

Berkeley can and should do better than Urban Shield. After months of subcommittee meetings including the Police Chief and presentations from the SRT team (Berkeley’s SWAT), the Council’s Urban Shield Subcommittee recommended on June 4th that the BPD suspend participation for the 2018 vendor expo and tactical exercises until revisions are made to the program. Berkeley is not pulling out of Urban Shield entirely. Certain modules of this year’s Urban Shield -- like the Emergency Operations Center exercises and the community fair – will focus on mass care and casualty. I encourage the BPD to attend these modules. -more-

Art Opening Education

Carol Denney
Saturday June 23, 2018 - 01:08:00 PM

Walking by the art opening entrance on Center Street was a young woman who took the brewery sandwich signboard blocking the sidewalk and slid it several feet into the passageway. I stood close by and thought it was some kind of strange magic. I walked out to see and two people who knew her counseled me to let it go as she walked away, explaining that she was one of the people constantly getting ticketed and hassled for sidewalk stuff, while nobody bothers with the signboards blocking sidewalks. -more-

No Police To Arrest Corporate Criminals

Harry Brill
Saturday June 23, 2018 - 12:57:00 PM

Working people in the aggregate lose billions of dollars annually due to wage theft by both big and small business. The money stolen from workers is substantial and so the consequences are often severe. Wage theft increases poverty and makes low wage employees even poorer. Women, African Americans, and Hispanics have been disproportionally impacted. The most common crimes that are committed include paying below the legal minimum wage, violating overtime pay, and requiring hourly workers to perform various unpaid tasks before they clock in and after they clock out. As one researcher commented, "Wage theft is built into the business model of a substantial portion of corporate America." -more-

Trump’s Little Hostages

Tejinder Uberoi
Saturday June 23, 2018 - 12:55:00 PM

President Trump’s executive order rescinding his prior order separating children from their parents does nothing to address the crisis of thousands of families who have already been torn apart. Many parents have been deported and the likelihood of ever seeing their children again remains highly unlikely. New asylum seekers and their children will be locked up together intensifying their misery. -more-


Who's In Charge Here Anyhow?

Becky O'Malley
Sunday June 24, 2018 - 01:44:00 PM

Thanks to a citizen videographer, I’ve been able to watch a very peculiar performance by a subcommittee of the Berkeley City Council which was tasked, more than a year ago, with reviewing Berkeley’s participation in the Urban Shield drills on police crisis response. You can find a good summary of what happened and a link to the video here.

It’s an issue which has attracted a lot of public attention not only in Berkeley, but also at the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, in Santa Cruz and San Francisco and probably other cities.

Opposition to Urban Shield goes back at least ten years, but has recently accelerated along with the Black Lives Matter movement. The program is based on a military assault model, which critics, including Berkeley Councilmember Kate Harrison, contend seriously neglects the de-escalation tactics which are more successful in the typical urban crisis. Other cities, including Palo Alto, have objected to how expensive police participation at overtime rates can be. Urban Shield exercises are accompanied by an “Expo”—translation: trade show –which pitches expensive military hardware to a pre-primed market of local cops.

The pros and cons of Berkeley’s participation have been extensively debated over the last decade, and Councilmember Harrison covers them well in her report to the subcommittee, so we don’t need to re-hash them here. But reviewing the video I was disturbed by what I saw of the civic decision-making process. -more-


THE PUBLIC EYE: All the President’s Men: Stephen Miller

Bob Burnett
Saturday June 23, 2018 - 12:33:00 PM

515 days into Trump's presidency, three things are clear: Donald's signature issue is division; he always plays to his base; and his primary issue is immigration. Trump promised his base a wall along the southern border and he's willing to do anything to accomplish this. His most recent tactic is to generate outrage by separating immigrant families at the border. The architect of this tactic is Stephen Miller.

In his ongoing effort to solidify and energize his base, Trump has pursued a consistent set of campaign issues: immigration; trade; taxes; and energy. Trump's most significant failure has been his inability to secure funding for his border wall. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Trump's War on Disabled People

Jack Bragen
Saturday June 23, 2018 - 12:40:00 PM

A fundamental part of Trump's strategy for dominating the American people is the use of intimidation as a weapon. Trump would like to make Americans afraid to speak out against him or to defy him in other ways. We have seen this as effective in countries other than the U.S., such as Putin's ironclad hold on power in Russia, and the oppressive patriarchy of North Korea. In either of those countries, attempting to speak freely could get a person killed. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: Trump’s Cruel Zero-Tolerance Immigration Policy in a Nutshell

Ralph E. Stone
Saturday June 23, 2018 - 05:10:00 PM

In April 2018, the Trump administration introduced a "zero-tolerance” immigration policy calling for the prosecution of all individuals who illegally enter the U.S.. This policy has the effect of separating parents from their children when they enter the country together, because parents are referred for prosecution and the children are placed in the custody of a sponsor, such as a relative or foster home, or held in a shelter. The Trump administration’s hope is that harsh treatment would deter illegal immigration. -more-

Arts & Events

Daniil Trifonov Excels in Rachmaninoff’s 3rd Piano Concerto

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Sunday June 24, 2018 - 01:41:00 PM

This weekend, June 21-24, Pianist Daniil Trifonov appeared in his final of three performances this season with the San Francisco Symphony. Trifonov’s three-part series was well planned. He opened back in October with a solo program of music by Chopin and those inspired by Chopin, followed by a February program of four-hand piano works in which Trifonov teamed up with his mentor Sergei Babayan; and, now, Trifonov tackles Rachmaninoff’s demanding Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor. Showing off three different aspects of this multi-talented young musician, this series clearly demonstrates why Daniil Trifonov has been hailed as the leading pianist of the new generation. Trifonov is simply amazing. His technique is astounding, and his sensitivity is acute. Moreover, Trifonov plays with such intensity that at times he seems a man possessed! -more-


The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, June 24-July 1

Kelly Hammargren
Sunday June 24, 2018 - 01:39:00 PM

Worth Noting:

The week starts with 2018 SF Pride Parade and ends with Families Belong Together Rally and Consider the Homeless Fundraiser. Labor negotiations are ongoing. The State of the City is Monday evening. Tuesday City Council meeting agenda item 47 is a budget referral for the creation of Vehicle Dweller Park in Berkeley. Wednesday the Police Review Commission will discuss the proposed Charter amendments which are scheduled to come back to Council on July 10th. -more-