The Week



Planet on Vacation

The Management
Sunday May 19, 2019 - 07:55:00 AM

Our gigantic staff of 1+1 is taking a bit of time off. The new issue will appear sooner or later. -more-

The Erik Jekabson String-tet, with Mads Tolling, Michael Zilber & Kalil Wilson, Plays the Music of Duke Ellington at the Berkeley Hillside Club, Friday May 17 at 8

Ken Bullock
Wednesday May 15, 2019 - 05:17:00 PM

Trumpeter/composer/arranger Erik Jekabson, who's arranged for the San Francisco Symphony and accompanied Illinois Jacquet on the road, will lead his eight piece chamber String-tet, including violinist Mads Tolling, saxophonist Michael Zilber and guest vocalist Kalil Wilson, in an exploration of the music of Duke Ellington "from new angles," Friday May 17th at 8 at the Berkeley Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar (between Spruce & Arch). Tickets: $25 general, $15 seniors & students, $10 Club members. (510) 845-1350; -more-

New study challenges Wiener’s approach to housing

Tim Redmond
Tuesday May 14, 2019 - 09:48:00 PM

Eminent economic geographers say that deregulation and upzoning will make gentrification in cities like SF much worse.

Pretty much everybody who’s paying attention to the housing crisis in San Francisco – except, apparently, the Chronicle – is talking about the new study by eminent economic geographers Andrés Rodríguez-Pose and Michael Storper that argues against looser zoning rules as a solution to the housing crisis.

Even Richard Florida, who used to love the idea of cities attracting the young “creative class” (before he discovered gentrification) says the study is important. It’s the latest in a series of studies that challenge the notion that allowing the private market to build more housing will bring down prices. -more-

Open letter to Mayor Arreguin about BART Parking

Russ Tilleman
Tuesday May 14, 2019 - 10:13:00 PM

I want to point out that building housing near BART cannot reduce Berkeley's carbon footprint... all it can do is limit how much it increases as our population grows. -more-

Updated: Special SHORTER EDITION of UC Berkeley's latest environmental impact report is released!

Doug Buckwald
Saturday May 11, 2019 - 11:04:00 PM

You may already know that UC Berkeley is in the planning stage for a large new development at Hearst Avenue and La Loma Avenue, in the northeast corner of campus. The Campus is also attempting to justify its current enrollment of 42,519 full-time students, which is 44% over the baseline 1998 campus enrollment -- far over the anticipated 13% increase stipulated in the University's 2020 Long Range Development Plan (LRDP). -more-

Police and Home Security Cameras

Jack Bragen
Wednesday May 15, 2019 - 05:19:00 PM

Comments for Berkeley City Council Special Meeting on North Berkeley BART Development

Harvey Smith
Sunday May 12, 2019 - 06:41:00 PM

My fellow North Berkeley Neighborhood Alliance neighbors have raised many important issues about the development of the North Berkeley BART station. I agree with many of their observations about the one-size-fits-all plans of BART for our unique, totally residential BART station neighborhood. -more-

Press Release: Consider the Homeless! Announces a Candlelight March, an Overnight Vigil and Memorial For Berkeley’s Departed Homeless Residents

Barbara Brust
Sunday May 12, 2019 - 06:30:00 PM

Berkeley: Consider the Homeless! (CTH), an organization devoted to alleviating the suffering of Berkeley’s homeless - our brothers and sisters who are living and sleeping on the streets of our fair city - will be sponsoring a candlelight march on Tuesday evening, May 14th, from Berkeley’s City Council Meeting at 1231 Addison, beginning at 7:30 PM, to New City Hall at 2180 Milvia. -more-

Why We Will March on Tuesday

Barbara Brust
Sunday May 12, 2019 - 06:33:00 PM

A few days ago I heard of Eric Sibbald’s death… He was one of the resident’s of the old 9th St. Shelter, and one that we interviewed while trying to save it. You can watch it on FB at -more-

Report of Armed Man at Berkeley's King School Was False

Becky O'Malley
Friday May 10, 2019 - 01:26:00 PM

The Planet has been contacted by the family of the King Middle School student whose experience with bullying precipitated an uproar yesterday on the school site. Before it was over, it brought numerous Berkeley police with drawn guns to a locked down campus, responding to a report that a suspect with a gun had been sighted. This turned out not to be true, according to a family member familiar with the situation (who asked that her name not be used because of fear of reprisals) who called the Planet on the family’s behalf this morning.

She told us that the child in question, an 11-year-old boy, had recently moved to this area. He is a small special needs student, with problems including seizures and tics which he can’t control. He has experienced several episodes of being beaten up by fellow students since he entered King, which have been reported to school administrators, but, as reported by his relative, “there were no consequences”. She says that these instances have been recorded on video.

By her account, yet another such incident was reported on Thursday, which prompted the boy’s mother, accompanied by two other family friends, to go to the school to see if he needed their help, since school administrators had not been able to stop the bullying. One of these friends, an African-American young man with dreadlocks, was the person reported—it’s not clear by whom—to be in possession of a gun, which turned out not to be true, despite reports in local media to the contrary.

Yesterday’s Berkeley Police Department press release, reprinted in the Planet, described “a report of a man armed with a handgun” and said that “the suspect… appears to be a parent or caregiver of a student.”

The Police Department release said that “ witnesses described the suspect as a 20- to 30-year-old black male, 5’7” tall, with a medium build and long “twisty” braids. He was reportedly wearing a white hooded top, and blue jeans.”

Our contact said that when the family friend who matched that description learned that he’d been accused of carrying a gun onto a school site, he voluntarily went to the Berkeley Police and told them what had actually happened. As a result, no charges of any kind have been filed about the incident.

It’s possible that the panicky response of students and administrators might have been caused by stereotypical views of a young Black man with dreads and a hoodie, ironic in that recent school shooters have overwhelmingly been White.

Family members of the 11-year-old bullying victim are still not satisfied with the school’s lack of success in ending the attacks. -more-



SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces

Gar Smith
Saturday May 11, 2019 - 11:53:00 AM

People's Park Anniversary Marked with a New Book

Berkeley-based Heyday Books has created a massive 50th anniversary tribute to the people and events surrounding the creation of People's Park, and recalling its bloody and brutal seizure by armed police, the helicopter tear-gassing of Berkeley during the National Guard occupation, and the eventual nonviolent liberation and reclamation of the park.

Heyday Books will host a special book-release party from 7-9PM at the Art House Gallery and Cultural Center (2905 Shattuck) on Saturday, May 11. On Wednesday, May 15, Heyday will stage a Peoples Park "Teach-in" from 7-9PM at the David Brower Center (2150 Allston Way). Speakers will include the book's editor, Tom Dalzell, and a host of activists involved in the battle for People's Park including—Michael Delacourt, Judy Gumbo, Ruth Rosen, Donovan Rundle, Dove Sholom Scherr, Jane Scherr, Dan Siegel, and Nacio Jan Brown. The event will be moderated by Steve Wasserman. Mayor Jesse Arreguin will be a featured speaker. (Note: some community members critical of the mayor's policies toward the homeless have signaled plans to be outside protesting "possibly as early as 6.") The Brower Center event is free but reservations are required. Contact Emmerich Anklam at Heyday Books.

People's Park 50th Anniversary Commemorations -more-


Conn Hallinan
Friday May 10, 2019 - 04:34:00 PM

There were several lessons to take from last month’s Spanish elections, some special to Spain, others that resonate continent wide. Since the 28-member European Union is preparing to vote on the makeup of the European Parliament at the end of May, those lessons are relevant. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE:Donald Trump and the Measles Epidemic

Bob Burnett
Friday May 10, 2019 - 04:22:00 PM

On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States and many Americans were hopeful. We were in the throes of "the great recession" but we trusted Obama to guide us out of it. We'd elected our first biracial President and many of us hoped that racism would soon be gone. By the way, the U.S. was thought to free of measles -- there were only 131 cases of circulating measles reported in 2008.

Things have changed. Donald Trump is the 45th President. Although the economy is good, two-thirds of Americans are pessimistic about the future. Racism is back -- White Supremacists threaten domestic security. And there's a measles epidemic; so far, 764 cases of measles have been reported in 2019 (

The social and mental attributes that characterize Donald Trump have promoted the measles epidemic. These same conditions have produced other epidemics, such as opiod addiction, Hepatitis A, and gun violence. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Belief Compliance isn't Needed

Jack Bragen
Friday May 10, 2019 - 04:29:00 PM

A psychiatrist once said he thought consciousness could be an illusion. The same psychiatrist, or perhaps a different one, said that either you believe in human psychic ability or you don't. He was implying that it didn't exist and that it was a superstition. I responded by saying that a person could be uncertain about it and could think that maybe it exists. Begrudgingly, he acknowledged that, probably in the absence of a good argument to the contrary. -more-

Arts & Events

Silkroad Ensemble’s Multi-Cultural Heroes Take Their Stands

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Saturday May 11, 2019 - 12:01:00 PM

For more than two decades, Silkroad Ensemble, originally the brainchild of Yo-Yo Ma, has been inspired by their motto, “Music, radical cultural collaboration, and passion-driven yearning for a more hopeful world.” Yo-Yo Ma stepped down as artistic director in 2017, and although he is still involved with Silkroad’s ongoing projects, he did not participate in the group’s latest work, Heroes Take Their Stand, which was commissioned by CalPerformances and was presented here on Friday, May 3, at Zellerbach Hall. -more-

Theater Review: A Last Minute Pick for 'Arden of Faversham,' Onstage Through This Weekend

Ken Bullock
Friday May 10, 2019 - 04:19:00 PM

"Get thee gone ... I am too good to be thy favorite."

A chance encounter Thursday night with a domestic tragedy (an early style of drama) from 1593 by an anonymous playwright or team of playwrights (a scene in it has been attributed to Shakespeare) has spurred me to recommend it here--an eleventh hour rec': it closes, after three more performances, this Sunday afternoon.

It's 'Arden of Faversham,' staged by Theater of Others in the lovely post-1906 Quake Kelly Cullen Community Auditorium, two blocks from Civic Center BART in San Francisco. -more-

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, May 12-19

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Saturday May 11, 2019 - 11:43:00 AM

Worth Noting:

Much of the action is taking place at the City Council Committee meetings which are scheduled during the daytime. Minutes from Council Committee meetings are very brief and none of the City Council Committee meetings have audio or video recordings.

Monday – 10:30 am City Council Committee meeting on Health, Life Enrichment includes RV Parking, 2:30 pm City Council Agenda planning for May 28 full Council regular meeting

Tuesday – 6 pm Regular City Council meeting, 6 pm – 7 pm Meeting on Preparing for Wildfire evacuation – this program is repeated on May 25 -more-