The Week



Don't Miss This Excellent Article

Thursday November 01, 2018 - 11:17:00 AM

Here is the most thorough reporting I've seen on the Assembly District 15 race. It's a Must Read.

A Billionaire-Backed Democrat Is Facing Off Against a Democratic Socialist in Berkeley. And It’s Getting Rough. by Lee Fang and Leighton Akio Woodhouse -more-

Press Release: Senator Bernie Sanders Endorses Jovanka Beckles for AD 15

Monday October 29, 2018 - 11:03:00 AM

Crowd at Bernie Sanders/Barbara Lee event chants JO-VAN-KA!

Today Senator Bernie Sanders endorsed Jovanka Beckles for Assembly District 15 following a weekend rally in Berkeley.

“While in Berkeley, I had the chance to meet with Jovanka Beckles, and I was impressed by her commitment to progressive values. In the State Assembly, she will fight for Medicare for all, a living wage for all California workers, environmental justice and criminal justice reform. I’m proud to support Jovanka Beckles in the 15th Assembly district."

Sanders met with Beckles following an auditorium-packing rally with Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) and a stem-winding campaign-style speech excoriating President Trump. Berkeley was the final stop on his dynamic, nine-state Get Out The Vote (GOTV) tour. -more-

Berkeley Havdalah* Vigil Against Hate

Saturday October 27, 2018 - 04:51:00 PM

The Berkeley community will gather this evening in a unified and healing response to the hateful and tragic shooting today at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Everyone is welcome. -more-

Statement by Jovanka Beckles on Synagogue Killings in Pittsburgh

Saturday October 27, 2018 - 06:45:00 PM

Armed with an assault rifle and at least three handguns, a man shouting anti-Semitic slurs opened fire in a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday morning, killing at least 11 people and wounding six others. The Anti-Defamation League said the attack was among the deadliest against the Jewish community in the United States.

Today Richmond City Council member and AD 15 candidate Jovanka Beckles released a statement on the news of the shooting.

"I extend my deep condolences to the families, friends and relations of the victims of the hate killings at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh today. My heart is so heavy, almost beyond bearing," Beckles said, speaking in Berkeley. -more-

Berkeley's Housing Crisis: An Open Letter to the Berkeley City Council

Charlene M. Woodcock
Saturday October 27, 2018 - 05:38:00 PM

h Dear Mayor Arreguín and city council members,

If we’re serious about reversing the loss of diversity in Berkeley due to gentrification and new housing only for those above median income, the city needs to act decisively. That’s why the majority of us rejected the real estate man for mayor in 2016, and elected Kate Harrison instead of Ben Gould for district 4. However, some council members and city staff continue to support the interests of developers over the concerns of Berkeley residents. Instead of continuing to approve market-rate projects, you need to demand projects that include low-income and family units and apply this demand to all those market-rate projects now in the pipeline. If those projects are granted use permits without having to include low-income units, the current housing crisis will be greatly exacerbated. The inadequate current in-lieu fee does not begin to solve the problem. If you’re serious about this crisis, raise the required low-income units to 50% and the in-lieu fee to $100,000 per unit. This would address the problem. We do not need more housing for the well-off in Berkeley. The developers of such housing and their investors need our locations. -more-

Police Association Should Not Attack Public Servants

Negeene Mosaed
Saturday October 27, 2018 - 06:17:00 PM

When I view the ad with a picture of a homeless encampment in an unknown location associated with Kate Harrison, I was stunned. This ad attacks not only a sitting office holder by implying she is responsible for the homeless epidemic in Berkeley; it also demonizes the poor. The Police Association has come out full bore against Kate Harrison because she is a leader in examining racial inequities in policing and a transparent Police Review Commission. -more-

Berkeley District 4 Endorsement Misplaced

Jeffrey J. Carter, Attorney at law
Saturday October 27, 2018 - 06:51:00 PM

Maybe I shouldn't have been surprised that the East Bay Express endorsed “anybody but Kate Harrison” for the Berkeley City Council District 4 seat. The ostensible rationale was that her two opponents were stronger advocates for tenants, the homeless, and affordable housing. This is simply not true. -more-

Tony Thurmond Attacked by Fraudulent Report from Tuck Campaign

Glen Kohler
Saturday October 27, 2018 - 05:36:00 PM

Tony Thurmond, who is running for California Superintendant of Schools, is an advocate of public education who opposes the Republican movement to privatize elementary and secondary education. -more-

Campaign Finance Charges in Berkeley District 8

Russ Tilleman, Candidate for Berkeley City Counci, District 8
Saturday October 27, 2018 - 05:16:00 PM

Have you heard about Lori Droste getting caught violating Berkeley campaign finance laws?

The staff report says:

"However, based on the facts above, there does appear to be sufficient evidence for a reasonable basis on which to believe that a violation of BERA Sections 2.12.500.A.7 and 2.12.440 occurred for the use of the retail space"

BERA Section 2.12.440 is not related to public financing. It is part of the law that has been there since at least 1991: -more-

An Open Letter to the Mayor and City Council Regarding Property of Low-Income Homeowners

Mary Behm-Steinberg, candidate for City Council in District 1, co-signed by 1); Igor Tregub (also a candidate for City Council in District 1); Aidan Hill (Candidate for Berkeley City Council District 7) and Alfred Twu (Candidate for Berkeley City Council
Saturday October 27, 2018 - 04:56:00 PM

We, the undersigned leaders and candidates for public office representing Berkeley, call on you to curtail the power of the City Manager’s Office, the Department of Zoning, and City Planning to take over the property of long-term low-income homeowners over zoning issues. While we are sure that these actions are intended to expand the availability of housing to more people, we question how forcing out some of our most vulnerable long-term residents, many of them African Americans living in South and West Berkeley, will in any way benefit the city’s stated goal of maintaining diversity and affordability in housing. -more-


Public Comment

The Marriott Strike: "One Job Should Be Enough"

Harry Brill
Friday October 26, 2018 - 04:30:00 PM

The Marriott Hotels, which is the largest and most profitable hotel chain in the country, is being struck by workers who earn a poverty wage. After several months of fruitless negotiations, the Unite-Here Union, which represents the hotel workers, authorized a strike that has resulted in a walkout of about 7700 workers in eight cities, including the Marriott Hotels in Oakland and San Francisco. Unite-Here is among the most diversified union in the country. A majority of its members are women, people of color, and immigrants. Fortunately, the Union is highly principled and assertive. In fact, both the presidents of the San Francisco and Oakland locals were arrested with 39 others for engaging in direction action.

The hotel's addiction to maximizing profits has been very costly to Marriott employees. Although the cost of living continues to increase, wages remain very low. Even long term workers are averaging only about $12 an hour. As a result an increasing number of workers are being forced to hold two and even three jobs to support their family. Moreover, for many housekeepers the demanding and heavy load has resulted in serious physical injuries. So far the Marriott has refused to budge on key issues, including its plans to increase worker contributions to health benefits.

Moreover, jobs have become more insecure due to new technology. From the perspective of the employees they are not opposed to new technology. But rather than taking their jobs away, they want the technology to help them do a better job. The union would prefer that its members have input on the introduction of technology. Perhaps there can be other ways for the Marriott hotels to save money rather than dismissing workers. Laying off workers should not be the first resort for the hotel chain. So Instead, workers want at least a 180 day notice to explore alternatives. And the employees certainly want to be assured that they receive fair severance pay if they are ultimately laid off. -more-

The Pipe Bomber

Jagjit Singh
Friday October 26, 2018 - 04:36:00 PM

Donald Trump has fomented violence throughout his presidency whipping up his supporters into a frenzy at his rallies, with “I'll beat the crap out of you" "Try not to hurt him. If you do, I'll defend you in court, don't worry about it. " The crowd roared “lock her up (Hillary Clinton) with a little coaxing from their leader. “I’d like to punch him in the face. I’ll tell ya,” Man charged with punching protester at a Trump rally “Yes, he deserved it. The next time we may have to kill him.” -more-

US Greed Exceeds Saudi’s barbarity

Tejinder Uberoi
Friday October 26, 2018 - 04:41:00 PM

Caught up in a web of outright lies, the Saudis cooked up another whopper! Jamal Khashoggi, a middle age 59 year old man walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and picked a fight with 15 husky young security officials armed with a bone saw. Really? Is that the best fairy tale the demonic Mohammed bin Salman (Mr. Bone Saw) can proffer? These lies are insulting to the American people and much of the world with the exception of one person – Donald Trump who recently boasted the Saudis have paid him millions which is why “he loves the Saudis”. He also plans to sell 110B weapons to Saudi Arabia which will be used to slaughter more innocent men women and children in Yemen which means that America’s (and European) greed exceeds Saudi Arabia’s barbarity. -more-


ON MENTAL ILLNESS: On Delusional Systems and Environment

Jack Bragen
Friday October 26, 2018 - 11:50:00 AM

I have learned that merely being medicated isn't enough to allow a mentally ill person recover and to maintain a good level of functioning. Environment is equally important. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE Voter Suppression in the 2018 Midterm Elections

Bob Burnett
Friday October 26, 2018 - 04:20:00 PM

We're less than two weeks away from the November 6th midterm elections and the strategies of each party are well defined. Democrats are determined to rally their base and to encourage Independents and inconsistent voters to go to the polls. Republicans are determined to get out their base and to suppress the vote of everyone else.

The GOP voter-suppression strategy has two parts. At the national level, Donald Trump fans fear by suggesting there is widespread voter cheating. In a recent Tweet, Trump wrote: "All levels of government and Law Enforcement are watching carefully for VOTER FRAUD, including during EARLY VOTING. Cheat at your own peril. Violators will be subject to maximum penalties, both civil and criminal!" (A recent report from The Brennan Center ( ) found that voter fraud is "very rare.) The Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights observed: "President Trump's statement regarding vote fraud is one of the most naked attempts to promote voter suppression that we have seen in modern times."

The second part of the GOP voter-suppression strategy is at the state level. There have been Republican voter-suppression laws enacted in 15 states (Arizona to Texas). The Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights noted; "This administration and the Justice Department's silence regarding widespread voter suppression has been deafening. To date, this Justice Department has failed to file a single case to enforce the Voting Rights Act and has failed to take any action to protect the rights of minority voters." -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: GOP Solution for Deficits— Cut Social Safety Nets

Ralph E. Stone
Friday October 26, 2018 - 11:46:00 AM

Republicans claim that their $1.5 trillion tax overhaul last year had nothing to do with this, but experts estimate that the tax overhaul will result in about $1.45 trillion in net deficits over a decade. -more-

SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces

Gar Smith
Friday October 26, 2018 - 11:54:00 AM

Where's Gavin?

If you want to read how Gavin Newsom stacks up against John H. Cox in the gubernatorial race, you'll come up blank. While Cox has his statement in the Voter Information Guide, Newsom's slot—unlike everybody else in the race—is blank. Newsom was disqualified for raising too much campaign money. Turns out, if you raise more than $14.5 million, you can't place a statement in the Voters' Guide. (Note to Gavin: It might have been worth foregoing a half-mil in donations to avoid looking like some entitled twerp who overlooks important details.)

Another fun fact: Nobody gets a candidate statement into the Voters Guide until they fork over $250 to have it posted. -more-

Arts & Events

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, Oct. 28 - Nov. 4

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Saturday October 27, 2018 - 05:22:00 PM

Worth Noting

Tuesday City Council meeting includes the mid-year Crime Report.

Holiday Food Drive, 8:30 am – 6:00 pm everyday month of November, hours vary by location. Call 981-6656 for information

Sunday, October 28, 2018

No City Sponsored events found

Monday, October 29, 2018 -more-

The Berkeley Arts Calendar

Bonnie Hughes and Tom Hunt, Berkeley Arts Festival
Friday October 26, 2018 - 05:01:00 PM

CLICK HERE for a comprehensive calendar of arts and cultural events in Berkeley and beyond, today and in the future. -more-

The 27th Berkeley Video & Film Festival Opens Friday October 26 Through November 4th at the East Bay Media Center

Ken Bullock
Friday October 26, 2018 - 11:44:00 AM

The 27th Berkeley Video Festival, featuring 50 films from all over, all made during the past two years, opens Friday night, October 26th.
It will be running October 26, 27, 28 & November 2, 3, 4 at the East Bay Media Center, 1939 Addison, between Milvia & MLK, in the Berkeley Arts District.
Tickets: $10 per program; $35 for three day pass.
For information & reservations: 843-3699; website:
Films include: 'Detroit's Rivera,' on Diego Riviera's Detroit Industrial Murals; 'Wilder Than Wild, Fires, Forests & the Future;' 'Secrets of the Deep: Dreams on Film;' 'In Your Face,' on rock & roll photographer Danny Zilzower--& a wealth of other subject matter from documentary to fiction, animation and experimental, including music & poetry videos -more-

ARS MINERVA Is Coming to Berkeley

Previewed by James Roy MacBean
Friday October 26, 2018 - 04:38:00 PM

Ars Minerva, the San Francisco-based opera company founded by mezzo-soprano Celine Ricci, is bringing to Berkeley its latest production, Ifigenia in Aulide (1738) by Giovanni Porta. Specializing in reviving 17th & early-18th century operas that were popular in their time but have long been forgotten, Are Minerva has won multiple plaudits for its productions of operas such as La Circe (1665) by Pietro Andre Ziani, The Amazons in the Fortunate Isles (1679) by Carlo Pallavicino, and La Cleopatra (1662) by Daniele da Castrovillari. Their latest production, Ifigenia in Aulide by Giovanni Porta will be presented at San Francisco’s ODC Theater at 7:30 on November 30 and December 1, and it will also be given in an abridged concert version at Berkeley’s First Congregational Church at 8:00 on November 9. -more-