Worthington Will Not Run Again for Berkeley Council

Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Thursday July 19, 2018 - 04:42:00 PM

Veteran Berkeley City Councilman Kriss Worthington announced today that he won't seek to retain his seat in the November election. -more-

Press Release: Primary Rivals Dan Kalb and Judy Appel Endorse Jovanka Beckles for AD15

From Ben Schiff
Wednesday July 18, 2018 - 04:41:00 PM

Two leading competitors in the Assembly District 15 primary race today endorsed Richmond City Council Member Jovanka Beckles’s campaign for the November 6 general election. Oakland City Council Member Dan Kalb and Berkeley School Board Member Judy Appel announced their support and emphasized their common aspirations for the District’s representation in Sacramento. -more-

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Three Shot on I80 Last Night

Janis Mara (BCN)
Saturday July 14, 2018 - 04:16:00 PM

Three victims were shot on eastbound Interstate Highway 80 near the Gilman exit in Berkeley around 3 a.m. today, the California Highway Patrol said. -more-


To Dwellers of the Planet Earth

Harry Brill
Saturday July 14, 2018 - 04:12:00 PM

Several evenings a week I sit on my porch to watch the transition from daylight to twilight to evening. It is a beautiful and magnificent journey. I also notice a luminous object in the sky, often the only luminous object my eyes can see. Someone suggested that it may be a planet. I am hoping that one of you can get your mind off the planet earth for a while -- nowadays that should not be difficult --- and educate me about what I am seeing. -more-

Public Comment

A Critique and Evaluation of the CPE Police Report, Part 2

Steve Martinot
Saturday July 14, 2018 - 04:22:00 PM

In Part 1 of this evaluation of the report on Berkeley Police racial profiling issued by the Center for Policing Equity (CPE), we examined some of the considerations concerning racial profiling and racialization in the US that were absent from the report, either because of the CPE focus or because the data was withheld by the BPD. In particular, two categories of discussion were omitted in the report that seem important, statistics on arrests made by the police in the course of traffic stops, and the overall national situation with respect to police violence and race, in particular, the many uprisings and demonstrations that occurred across the countyr in 2014. Since that year occurs right in the middle of the period the report addresses, to leave it out decontextualizes what the report intends to study to a large degree. Part 1 of this evaluation can be found here []. And Part 3, if you wish to read ahead, can be found here].

Antibiotics in Factory Farming

Nicole Masaki
Saturday July 14, 2018 - 03:54:00 PM

Who receives more of the antibiotics consumed in the United States- people or livestock? Many people would be surprised to find out that more than 70% of the antibiotics purchased actually go to the meat industry to used on livestock in factory farming. The main reason for this high level of antibiotic overuse is because of how factory farms operate. Animals in factory farms that are fed antibiotics are rarely for the purpose of treating diseases. Antibiotics are used for promoting animal growth to keep up with rapid consumption rates. They can also be used to prevent diseases--when animals are living on top of each other, disease spreads quickly. If one animal gets sick, they all get sick, and none of them can be sent off and processed for consumption. -more-

Enacting Progressive Legislation: The Barriers & Hurdles

Harry Brill
Saturday July 14, 2018 - 03:48:00 PM

The corrupting power of money to influence elections is among the most repugnant features of our political system. Although we the people do the voting, it seems that the upper one percent does most of the electing. Moreover, this is not the only hurdle that progressives need to surmount. Our legislative system, which is dressed in democratic garb, poses a serious challenge to those who value democracy. -more-

Trump’s Tax Returns

Jagjit Singh
Saturday July 14, 2018 - 04:21:00 PM

Donald Trump’s elusive tax returns might finally see the light of day if New York State Attorney General, Barbara Underwood has her way. On June 14 she filed a civil complaint against President Trump and his three oldest children accusing them of “persistently illegal conduct” using the Trump Foundation as their “checkbook for payments regardless of their purpose or legality.” -more-

The SF Chronicle's $30,000 Full Page Ad on July 13, 2018,

Carol Denney
Saturday July 14, 2018 - 03:47:00 PM

The full page ad paid for on Friday the 13th by an anonymous "Paid for by Fed Up Populace Campaign" tells the tale of someone consumed by the fear of what a nearby young man might do, claiming her quality of life was seriously compromised while having a sandwich at the Fresh Market Cafe' at Neiman Marcus on Geary Street while seeing someone "acting silent" and holding a pair of scissors. -more-

Trump’s war with GOD

Tejinder Uberoi
Saturday July 14, 2018 - 04:18:00 PM

Breast milk is God’s great gift to mankind. It is the perfect cocktail to nourish newborn babies. So why is Donald Trump trying to discourage women from breast feeding their children in the underdeveloped world? If we follow the money trail, the answer becomes self-evident. -more-


Are Americans Better Than This?

Becky O'Malley
Monday July 09, 2018 - 01:53:00 PM

“We’re better than this.”

How many times have liberal Americans used this phrase as they condemn the Republican administration’s seizure of several thousand children as punishment for their parents’ attempts to enter the United States? It’s even been used by a few critical right-wing Christian Evangelical supporters of Donald Trump. I might have used it myself on occasion.

But it’s not true, like so many other patriotic characterizations bandied about these days. We are exactly no better than this.

This is who we are—Americans all, not just members of evangelical Christian sects like Attorney General Sessions. Stephen Miller, the most horrendous of the anti-immigrant reptiles Trump likes to surround himself with, was a Bar Mitzvah boy. Although the majority of the Supreme Court justices who have just upheld the worst bans on immigrants from Moslem countries were raised as Catholics, they happily turn their backs on exhortations from Pope Francis to show “Christian” charity to strangers among us.

Religion doesn’t save us.

And realistically, that’s not new news around here. Yes, we’re a nation of immigrants. Everyone except a dwindling number of Native Americans is descended from immigrants, but we’ve always been happy to raise the gangplank to keep the last batch of refugees from disembarking on our sacred shores. -more-


ON MENTAL ILLNESS: More About Relapse Prevention

Jack Bragen
Saturday July 14, 2018 - 03:58:00 PM

For someone with a schizophrenic diagnosis, a repeat episode of acute psychosis may begin much earlier than many people might think. Many might assume that it begins with the foolish idea of going off medication. And in some instances, that is probably so. -more-


Conn Hallinan
Thursday July 12, 2018 - 03:39:00 PM

When people contemplate potential disasters ignited by the Trump administration’s foreign policy, places like the South China Sea, Central Asia, or the Korean Peninsula come first to mind. Certainly a dustup with Beijing, Teheran or Pyongyang is a scary thing to contemplate. But the thing that should also keep people up at night is Washington’s approach to international health organizations and the President’s stubborn refusal to address climate change.

Bad bugs are coming, and they are stronger and nastier than they have ever been. A few—like malaria and yellow fever—are ancient nemeses, but they’re increasingly immune to standard drugs and widening their reach behind a warming climate. Others—like Ebola, SARS, MERS and Zika—are new, exotic and fearsome. And antibiotic resistant bacteria threaten to turn the clock back to pre-penicillin days, when a cut could be a death sentence.

Trump’s disdain for international agencies and treaties, plus cuts in public health programs, and a relaxation of regulations on the use of antibiotics in animal husbandry could create a worldwide medical catastrophe. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE:Remind Me, What Do Liberals Believe?

Bob Burnett
Saturday July 14, 2018 - 03:34:00 PM

"The more things change, the more they stay the same." Recently, some Democrats have been pondering, "What are liberal values?" Preparing a response, I remembered a values column I wrote seven years ago,"One, Two, Three, What are Liberals Fighting for?" (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-burnett/one-two-three-what-are-li_b_925245.html ) With a few changes, the column could have been written today.

The first paragraph sets the tone: "These are hard times. The weather’s bad and the economy awful. Obama has lost his mojo... Many Liberals are discouraged and fearful about the 2012 election. But there’s plenty of time to re-energize, so long as Liberals remember who we are and what we are fighting for." -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: On Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaughto the U.S. Supreme Court

Ralph E. Stone
Saturday July 14, 2018 - 08:34:00 PM

Brett M. Kavanaugh, now a U.S. Circuit Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, was nominated by President Trump to be an associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh is a well-credialed Washington insider who compiled a long record as a reliable conservative. Did anyone really believe Trump would nominate a progressive, a liberal, or even a centrist? -more-

Arts & Events

Berkeley Chamber Opera Performs Verdi’s GIOVANNA D’ARCO

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Saturday July 14, 2018 - 03:53:00 PM

On Friday, July 13, and Sunday, July 15, Berkeley Chamber Opera offers Giuseppe Verdi’s Giovanna d’Arco/Joan of Arc at the Hillside Club on Cedar Street. Following I Lombardi, Ernani, and I due Foscari, Giovanna d’Arco is Verdi’s seventh opera. It premiered in 1845 during the period Verdi referred to as his “prison” years, that is to say, the years when he churned out operas at a frantic pace to earn a living. Some scholars find more hints of Verdi’s future greatness in Giovanna d’Arco than in its immediate predecessors; but perhaps the most significant way in which this might be true is not musically but in this opera’s focus on father-daughter relations -- a subject that the mature Verdi returned to again and again, often very movingly. Loosely based on a play by Friedrich von Schiller, Giovanna d’Arco tells the tale of Joan of Arc’s mystical visions that inspire her to don helmet and sword to lead the French troops to victory over invading English troops. Departing from Schiller’s play in one respect, Temistocle Solera’s libretto eliminates Joan’s love-interest for the Frenchman Lionel and locates it instead in Carlo, or Charles VII, the French King. In both Schiller’s play and the Verdi-Solera opera, Joan of Arc is tormented by contending inner voices: a chorus of evil spirits urges her to seek the pleasures of the flesh while a chorus of angels entreats her to avoid worldly love and seek only the rewards of heaven. Throughout, Joan’s father, Giacomo, fears that his daughter has fallen in love with Carlo under the spell of evil spirits and a pact with the devil. -more-


The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, July 15-22
Berkeley City Meetings with Agenda Highlights

Kelly Hammargren
Saturday July 14, 2018 - 03:30:00 PM

Worth Noting:

As is often the case, community, board and commission meetings with interesting agendas are scheduled at the same time, very few are recorded and meeting minutes are sketchy at best.

Monday – the Homeless Commission has a site visit subcommittee meeting a 6:30 pm.

Tuesday – Landmarks subcommittee meets in the morning 10:30 on the Shellmound project. In the evening is the 3rd Caring for Our Community on the homeless while at the same time City Council will be hearing at the work session about the differences in health outcomes by race and location (the council meeting should be video recorded).

Wednesday – The Commission on Labor will hear from Attorney Michael Grossman on ICE while the Planning Commission sits through a scoping session on the Environmental Impact Report for the Adeline Corridor.

Thursday – the agenda is not published yet for the Joint Subcommittee on Implementation of Housing Law

The agenda for the last City Council meeting (July 24) before summer recess is unbelievably long and available for comment (it is best to comment early if you want your email read council@cityofberkeley.info). At the Council Agenda Committee it was announced that there would be a Council meeting on Urban Shield on July 23, but that is not yet posted in the index.

July 24 City Council meeting Agenda Consent: 8. IKE Smart City Kiosks, 9. ACRO Temporary Staffing Contract, 10. Formal Bid Solicitations, 11. Minuteman Contract, 12. Contract Janitorial Service – Universal Building Services, 13. Ambulance Billing Services, 14. Aging Services Programs, 15. BOSS to Operate secure Storage, 16. Berkeley Way Application A1 Funds, 18. Housing Trust Funds for Housing Rehab, 19. Designating City’s Labor Negotiator, 20. MOU SEIU Local 1021 Maintenance and Clerical Chapters, 21. Unrepresented Employees Agreement, 24. Cyber Resilience Plan, 29. Selective Traffic Enforcement Program, 30. Rental Unmarked Vehicles, 31. Contract Crime Scene cleaners, 32. On-call services Phlebotomy and Sexual Assault Exams, 34. Sanitary sewer services, 35. & 41. Milvia Bikeway Project, 36. KPM Consulting, LLC. on-call Project and Construction, 38. Center Street Parking, 39. Recycling Transfer Station Rebuild Feasibility Study, 43. Use Agreements 1001, 1011 University, 44. Capital improvement paving, 45. Go Berkeley Residential Shared Parking Pilot contract, 46. Reject Bids Woolsley Street Project, 47. Reject Bids, Panoramic Hill Rehabilitation Project, 48. Art & Culture Plan, 49. ADU Pilot House the Homeless, 51. Posting Board and Commission meeting Minutes, 52. Ballot Measure Vision 2050, 54. RRFB Light San Pablo & Addison, 57. – 59. Support of Legislation Sanctuary State, Sexual assault investigations, Keep Families Together Act, Agenda Action: 60. 1446 Fifth Street Appeal, 61. a.&b. U1 Funds to repay Worker’s Comp 1001, 1007, 1011 University and 1925 Ninth Street, 62. Density Bonus, 63. Transfer Tax Ballot Initiative, 64. Rent Ordinance Ballot Initiative, 65. Emergency Preparedness 66. ADU Ordinance Updates, 67. Cannabis Nurseries, 68. Short Term Rental Ordinance, 69. Lobbyists Registration Ordinance, 70. Police Review Commission Charter Ballot Initiative, 71. Community service in lieu of Parking Penalties, 72. Use Nextdoor for Real Time BPD updates, 73. Allow City Staff to Serve as Commissioner, 74. Ballot measure 50-cents per ride tax on Transportation Network Companies, 75. Gender ID on public records, 77. Wildfire App for BPD to provide real time updates