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This flyer, spotted and photographed by a reader, was posted in West Berkeley.
This flyer, spotted and photographed by a reader, was posted in West Berkeley.


SB 50 - The More HOMES Act

Liat Zavodivker
Wednesday May 22, 2019 - 04:42:00 PM

I am 35 years old and I still live in a rental unit because I graduated into a recession and can not afford the financial risk of home buying. My rent controlled, seismically questionable unit built in 1966 was market rate and is now it is renting for $3000. Year over year of doing nothing has caused the rents to exceed inflation, and the next set of wildfires in California will make this problem even more dire. I have seen many affordable projects get scrapped or delayed due to local control and it's heartbreaking. We must tell exclusionary cities such as Beverly Hills, Palo Alto, and La Cañada-Flintridge to build more homes. It is time to end the era of expensive, luxury single family homes being the dominant type of structure in California and to embrace characters and not neighborhood character. We can not move forward in California or take any leadership in progressive movements until we have ensured a future for the younger people growing up in California. That means increasing the capacity to build affordable and market rate homes near transit. I hope Senator Atkins can bring SB50 to the floor without any more delay so that we can build more homes.

On Working With and Working Against – Open Letter to the Mayor and City Counci

Steve Martinot
Wednesday May 22, 2019 - 04:02:00 PM

Somehow it seems that when we (the people) attempt to participate in making policy for this city, and we point out things that are not quite kosher, or that seem to impose something extraneous, or even perhaps nefarious, something that doesn’t seem to arise from the lives of city’s residents, someone in government will say to us, “Don’t work against us, work with us.” Do you have any idea how hypocritical that sounds? 

  • ۰Sometimes what City Council is doing seems like window dressing rather than a substantial resolution of an issue. That was the case with the ban on single-use plastic. Dozens of people, during “Public Comment,” came forward with substantial analyses of the plastics-problem, and its corporate foundation, which was not included in the item.
  • ۰Sometimes what City Council is doing seems more like a war against the people, rather than issue resolution. There is no other way to characterize the low-intensity assaultiveness on the homeless.
  • ۰Sometimes we sense there is money being misallocated. Why would you rather not hear about that? Yet when someone starts asking questions about conflict of interest, or buddy-buddy relations with developers, or the failure of a project to meet the real needs of the people for whom it was intended, shouldn’t those questions be considered warning flags rather than nay-saying?
Nay-saying doesn’t get us anywhere, but warning flags can be important parts of proper policy-making. 

But when a councilmember says, “Don’t work against us, work with us,” there is something wrong. That councilmember is missing something very important. 

During the years that the city raided the encampments of the homeless, continually confiscating their possessions – which left them exposed to the elements – it was the homeless who were saying, “hey, work with us, not against us. We’re human beings, not aliens. We’re part of your society just as you are part of ours.” The city’s response was to hold another raid a few weeks later. It never seemed to get enough of its ability to add torment to those who had been thrown into most dire of circumstances. 

The only thing that stopped the endless raids and confiscations of goods was a Federal Circuit Appeals Court Decision (Martin vs. Boise). So now, the city puts time and energe into finding ways of sidestepping that decision. It passes a law that says all possession and belonging must fit in a square 3x3. The city just doesn’t seem to know how to stop tormenting people. 


Yet, this city council wants self-respecting human beings, who still have real human feelings in their hearts, to “work with them”? First, the city must show that it can actually stop “working against” the people. 

Depletion of the black community 

We see this priority of “working against” most starkly in the depletion of the black community. Over the last 20 years, it has gone from 22% of the Berkeley population down to 7%. And that is only the black community, which has a sense of identity (and a sense of cohesion that sees each loss of a resident as a loss to community). We have no access to data concerning other low income families that also feel the brunt of displacement (and exile from their home town). But the displacement has been occurring for years. When is city government going to stop working against the low income people of this city? 

When the city decided to formulate an “Adeline Corridor Plan,” the south Berkeley neighborhoods came forth, and said, “Affordable housing, stop the displacements of our people through rent increases, rein in the rent gougers that are impoverishing us.” The city listened, and said those concerns would be included in the plan. But did that stop the city from permitting market rate housing in the very zone of the plan? No. it did so without a care as to whether the proposed development would harmonize with the eventual plan or not? The city did not have the forthrightness to tell the developers that they would have to wait for the plan to be finished in order to see if their proposals would fit. Instead, the developers got the green light. 

The City Council passed an Inclusionary Housing Act about two years ago, at the height of the displacement crisis. And all it provided was 20% affordable units in any new development – a mere drop in the bucket. And even that was reducible through fees. This was the same moment when a glut in market rate housing was becoming obvious (there were “Now Leasing” signs all over town). The neighborhoods knew what they needed, what the situation was, and all the city gave them was 20%. In other words, the city has been “working against” the neighborhoods all along. 

The opposite would be easy. People in the neighborhoods are always defining their situation, always articulating problems, and always suggesting solutions. And they talk about this all the time among themsselves. But when have the people of the neighborhoods been actually brought into involvement by the city for defining issues, articulating problems, and crafting policy solutions? The city is involved in making policy for the neighborhoods, but without people’s participation (not just "input"), those policies will be imposed. “Input” is monologue. Dialogue involves actual give and take of ideas. Dialogue is necessary for policy-making. 

Nevertheless, the people still turn to the city council and say, “work with us, not against us.” They have been saying that for years. Yet the continued absence of affordable housing (after all this time), the continued hemorrhaging of low income families from this town (teachers can’t even find a place they can afford), the criminalization of homelessness, the torment imposed on those simply trying to survive, is the City Council’s response. 

You see what’s wrong with a councilmember saying, "work with us, not against us”? 

What the people are asking for is the ability to participate in making policies that will affect them as people. Participation does not just mean one has a vote. It doesn’t just mean voting for people with money, or a good promissory rap. It doesn’t just mean speaking monologues at Council meetings. It means dialogue and policy-making. This does not happen in Berkeley. 

Yet the neighborhoods have no one else to turn to (they haven’t yet learned how to turn to themselves), and are left to sigh, “we thought you were going to work with us on this.” Behind its hand, the city snickers and says "Sucker." Which apparently is what the expression “work with us, not against us,” really means in the city’s mouth. 

The fundamental principle of democracy is that those who will be affected by a policy participate in formulating and deciding on the policy that will affect them. 

The Marina 

The latest example is the Marina. After years of mismanagement, with unfunded projects rotting the Marina’s social structure, the City Council decided to hire a million dollar consultant, probably to figure out how to privatize that city attraction. The consultant they chose, in response to a Request for Proposals (RfP), is wracked with financial problems, has declared bankruptcy, and is involved in redoing shoddy work in Miami. Yet a few councilmembers are ecstatic about contracting with them. The kicker is that only two contractors responded to the RfP. Why? Well, the Council says it was because they handled the bidding process badly. The other alternative is that they didn’t want many bids because someone in government already had their eyes on this consultant. Should we flip a coin on that one? 

Did the City Council’s proposal involve any of the people who live or work in the Marina in doing this? No. Had the city tried to find out what the neighborhoods thought, or how they would like the Marina transformed in their own interest? Don’t be silly. The first anyone found about this plan to "privatize" the Marina was when the consultant’s contract showed up on the Council’s Consent Calendar (April 30, 2019). Yet, when someone raised some questions about how they are going about the process, that person is told, "work with us, not against us.” 

Who’s working against whom in this? 


The Marina is actually another ghost in the Council’s closet. One of its cruelest and most dehumanized moments of the last few months was the ordinance designed to torment the homeless RV dwellers. In the midst of a crisis of homelessness, the Council actually passed an odinance against the homeless living in an RV. Unbelievable. The city says it wants to find housing for all homeless people, but attacks those who have partially housed themselves in vehicles. 

And what is worse, it intentionally created a situation of conflict between the RV dwellers and people in the neighborhoods by forcing the RVs out of an empty parking lot in Marina, where they were bothering no one, to park in the city streets, and incur some residential complaints. Under these conditions, the city, rather than send mediators to establish dialogue between the RV people and the residents, so that they could find mutual interest and mutual benefit (and there are many opportunities for that), the city sends the cops. 

When the city shut down the "Lordship" parking lot so RV dwellers could not longer park there, and made rules for living in an RV on Berkeley streets, were any RV dwellers involved in making those decisions? Not a one. That, along with erecting a fence around that parking lot, represented a purely despotic spirit. 

We know they have rules and contracts and laws to use to justify evicting the RVs from the Marina. But we also know that in a crisis, in which the wellbeing of human beings is actually at stake, some executive discretion is possible. Instead of creating a means of working with the people facing raw survival, the City Council prefers to work against them. It works against its own people. 

Democracy means that those who will be affected by a policy participate in formulating and deciding on the policy that will affect them. How far this city is from anything like that. 

Give people the power to make policy 

Those who will be affected by a policy must be able to participate in making the policy that will affect them. You, City of Berkeley, have to work with those you make policy about, not work against them as you have been. 

To work with the people would mean setting up structures by which the people could address the issues and policies that they need, and do so in dialogue with each other and with the City Council. When the council asks the people for "input," which means restricting them to Public Comment, it is saying, “you get no dialogue on this issue. You will be stuck with what we come out with.” 

Thus, the City Council advances its own policies, claiming it is doing so in the interest of all the people. But not all the people have the problems that some do. To pass over real solutions for the "some," because that would not fit the "whole," is to rationalize doing nothing for the "some." It won’t matter whether it involves hiring a corrupt consultant, or looking for a loophole to get past the Boise decision, or inventing RV parking regulations that will drive the RV dwellers out of this town, or making deals with developers that relieve them of the "burden" of paying into the Housing Trust Fund (3000 Shattuck). Whatever policy the City Council comes up with will be anti-democratic because it will be derived and developed without the direct participation by those who will be affected by the policy. 

And that means the arrow of representation will be reversed. What council’s elitist policies do is put the people in the position of having to represent the elected officials since it is the people who have to live with the policies imposed on them by the elite. Representation goes the wrong way. 

To change that, there are three things that we will have to do. 

1- Restructure the City Council so that it is based on dialogue involving the people, and not monologue by which the people are silenced. 

2- Create a system of neighborhood assemblies (popular local autonomy) which will be an arena in which the people of each neighborhood can talk to each, and make policy for their neighborhood with each other. 

3- Prioritize the ethic that governance operates according to principle, and not just according to rules and regulations, the chief principle for democratic governance being that those affected by a policy will be the ones to make the policy. 

Berkeley's KPFA is a Private Radio Club

Doug Buckwald
Wednesday May 22, 2019 - 04:37:00 PM

The program hosts at KPFA (94.1 FM) in Berkeley are in the midst of another fundraising drive. They aren't doing well; they are still hundreds of thousands of dollars short of their goal with only a few days left. So, their calls for donations are becoming more strident. 

If you are considering giving a donation to KPFA, you should be aware of how far the station falls short of its self-promoting rhetoric.  

KPFA used to operate like a true community radio station, but now it has devolved into little more than a private radio club for the same handful of paid program hosts who have occupied the airwaves for decades. Kris Welch, for example, has been a programmer and host at KPFA for the past 45 years. Philip Maldari, host of Sunday Show, has also been working at the station for over 40 years. To put this in perspective, the average time in office for a dictator of an autocratic country is 15.2 years. And, the average tenure of a US Supreme Court Justice is currently 16 years -- and they are appointed for life. It appears that, for all practical purposes, the program hosts at KPFA are appointed for life, too. 

Why does this matter? It matters because community organizations are not supposed to be run like dictatorships or oligarchies with the same few people wielding absolute power. In order to truly reflect the interests of the community, these organizations need to welcome and include a significant number of members of the community who have the desire to participate in meaningful ways, including taking on key roles. This is certainly not the case at KPFA. Instead, KPFA is run by a small group of insiders who make all of the most important decisions at the station. Long-time listeners will recognize that there has been only a minimal turnover in the program hosts who occupy most of the high-listenership time slots on the air.  

Each individual human has a unique background with a particular a set of experiences that guides his or her current attitudes and views. Should one or two individuals be allowed to present their unique perspectives on a community radio station for 40 years or longer? Is there really any KPFA listener who cannot anticipate how Kris Welch or Philip Maldari will react to a certain event or issue? Isn't it time for some different perspectives from the community to be heard?  

Every weekday morning, Brian Edwards-Tiekert occupies two hours of KPFA's key drive-time broadcasting from 7 am to 9 am, along with co-host Cat Brooks. These two appear to represent the latest dynasty of program hosts at KPFA, likely to continue in their roles for decades. They exhibit the same perspective that the other long-time hosts have held. This is not surprising, because they are supported by the same insiders who have dominated the station for decades. 

In order to mask the reality of this ossification, KPFA has adopted an aggressive public relations campaign to retain community support. KPFA's program hosts repeat, like a mantra, that KPFA is "listener-sponsored, independent, free-speech, community radio". Sadly, it turns out that only one of these four things is true. KPFA is certainly listener-sponsored – which means that they view you not as a person but principally as a bank account to supply funds for their own benefit. 

Indeed, fundraising is the primary way in which KPFA interacts with the community now. KPFA no longer has any interest in the community's views on program hosts, program content, reliability of news sources, scheduling, expanding listener call-ins, explaining management decisions, budget transparency, on-air bias, or a multitude of other issues. They mainly just want your money. Once they get it, the doors are again slammed shut on community interaction, and the KPFA insiders decide which issues -- from the narrow ideological range that they will allow -- will be presented on the air. 

Longtime listeners have noticed that the size of KPFA's donation requests has increased dramatically. Some years ago, the standard request was $35. Now, it is more likely to be $100, $250, $300, $500, or even $2,000. This skews towards a demographic that is high-income and more well-off, one that is more in line with the donor base for National Public Radio (NPR). There is little doubt that this fundraising strategy affects KPFA's decisions on programming and coverage of issues.  

Unfortunately, there is a very limited range of opinion that is allowed on the air, and most of it echoes the viewpoint of the corporate Democratic Party. It has been this way for at least the past 15 years. In particular, progressives and independents who hold views that are further left than those of the official Democratic Party are largely excluded from KPFA's airwaves. This curtails a presentation of the full political debate that the community deserves. 

KPFA has a mission statement, but I’ve never heard any program host read it on the air. 

Here is one of its key tenets: 

“To promote freedom of the press and serve as a forum for various viewpoints.” 

It's not really fair for KPFA to expect financial support from the community if it does not even follow its own rules. 

Listeners who have concerns about KPFA's restricted range of viewpoints -- as well as its lack of community involvement, lack of accountability, and lack of transparency -- should share their thoughts with Quincy McCoy, KPFA's general manager.  

Isn't it time to put the community back into our community radio station? 

Quincy McCoy may be reached at: gm@kpfa.org or by phone at (510) 848-6767, ext 203 


Response to UC Berkeley's People's Park Development Update

Thomas Lord
Tuesday May 21, 2019 - 03:54:00 PM

These criminals must be stopped. Their deceit should not be allowed to stand.

Lizardo glosses over, here, the fact that (like Blackwell Hall), the student housing they hope to build will be privately developed and operated for profit. In other words, they plan a theft of public land and a perpetual gouging of students.

The not-for-profit component Lizardo mentions -- "supportive housing" -- will apparently be by a conventional non-profit developer using low income tax credits. That is a slippery way of saying that the supportive housing will ALSO be a theft of public land to provide perpetual private profit (to the tax credit bond holders and lenders). 

The University has land on which it could break ground quickly and build housing quickly -- for example the northwest and southwest parking lots on Clark Kerr. Another example - and if the University really wants to combat crime they could do worse than starting here - they can raze and build more than two Blackwell-size buildings on the site of the parking structure between Channing and Haste, and between Ellsworth and Dana (the lot with the tennis courts on a slab above). 

There are other sites, as well.  

The University is attacking the Park for no other reason than that it has been their long term goal to do so. They want to harm people and they are going to rip off the public wealth to do it. 

The University has homeless students and could, at any time, put up emergency shelters for their students on, for example, Clark Kerr. They don't. They are not trying to help students. They are trying to hurt people and to exploit public land for private gain.

People's Park Development Update

Ruben Lizardo, Director, Local Government and Community Relations, Office of the Chancellor
Tuesday May 21, 2019 - 02:02:00 PM

At the Le Conte meeting & forum held last Autumn, I mentioned that the campus efforts at People's Park would pick up with the hiring of several leaders in our Capital Strategies Group and subsequent steps they will take identify and secure our development partners.

Michelle Starratt, who has a lot of experience working on affordable housing in the Bay Area through the Alameda County Housing and Community Development, was hired to serve as our Director of Housing Development and Leasing. She is taking the lead on all the housing projects that were identified in the Student Housing Task Force Report the campus released about two years ago. As such she will be the principal leader of the development project at People's Park.

One of the first steps in all of this to identify and select a Non-Profit Developer that will partner with university on the development of the Supportive Housing Component of the multi-faceted development project at People's Park. See the attached the RFQ for more details of the role the Non Profit Developer will play.

The public planning process for the Supportive Housing Component and the other elements of project (smaller park, student housing, commemoration of the park's history) will be get underway once the NonProfit Developer is on board. As I mentioned at the forum, the campus planning process for development projects will include opportunities for community input and review by city staff and leaders.

(Please direct any replies directly to Ruben via email or phone.)

Ruben Lizardo

Director, Local Government and Community Relations
Office of the Chancellor
510-643-5296 Office

Good Samaritan faces 20 years in prison

Tejinder Uberoi
Tuesday May 21, 2019 - 12:47:00 PM

On 17 January 2018, US Border Patrol agents arrested Dr. Scott Warren, a 36-year old Human Rights Defender and humanitarian aid volunteer with an organization called “No More Deaths.” His crime - coming to the rescue of two undocumented migrants providing them with humanitarian aid in the desert town of Ajo, where he lives. He faces up to 20 years in prison, if convicted on all charges. The arrest came hours after the release of a report documenting the willful destruction by border agents of humanitarian aid supplies at the USA–Mexico border areas. His trial begins on 29 May 2019. I ask concerned readers to demand all criminal charges be dropped and the immediate release of this Good Samaritan so he can continue his vital humanitarian work. Please send an email to Mr. Michael Bailey, United States Attorney, District of Arizona, United States Courthouse 405 W. Congress Street, Suite 4800 Tucson, Arizona 85701 - Email Michael.bailey@usdoj.gov

Measles Exposure at Berkeley Bowl

Annie Steuart (BCN)
Sunday May 19, 2019 - 09:51:00 PM

The city of Berkeley announced Friday that a resident has contracted measles.

While the person is no longer contagious, city officials have advised anyone who visited Berkeley Bowl at 2020 Oregon St. May 7 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. who is not immune to look for the first stage of symptoms: runny nose, red eyes, cough, and fever. 

The next stage involves a rash that typically appears on the face before spreading down the body. 

Measles symptoms start to show seven to 21 days after exposure and infected people do not show symptoms during the first four days of their most contagious period, city officials said. 

According to the city, the virus is easily transmitted, usually through a cough or sneeze that can linger in the air for up to an hour-at which time the risk of infection dissipates.  

Inhalation of the airborne virus reportedly infects up to 90 percent of those not immune.  

City officials are urging certain groups to be particularly aware of potential symptoms, including unvaccinated children, unvaccinated adults born in 1957 or later, and those with weakened immune systems.


The Editor's Back Fence

Planet Vacation Continues

Becky O'Malley
Sunday May 19, 2019 - 08:37:00 AM

We're still on break here, but some valued contributors have sent good things, so I've posted at least some of them. See you soon!

Public Comment

Save Our Historic Downtown

Carol Denney
Sunday May 19, 2019 - 08:20:00 AM

"Signs are an extremely visible part of the streetscape, and should reflect the quality of goods and services begin offered Downtown. They should communicate an image of excellence, distinctive craftsmanship, and creativity, and should reinforce the unique and historic character to Downtown." --City of Berkeley Sign Ordinance

The city's sign ordinance is a monument to an earlier commitment to avoiding garish flashing, blinking, ugly signage warring with an historic downtown. Which is why Mayor Jesse Arreguin decided to exempt the IKE "wayfinding" digital kiosks from the entire ordinances careful restrictions and design review. They look like giant cell phones, taller than a human being, they require ripping up the sidewalks wherever they are installed, it takes two years to "uninstall" them by contract if merchants are unhappy with them, and your only opportunity to "provide input" regarding their placement is next Thursday at 11:00 am at the Brower Center, a time when most merchants, workers, and residents are otherwise occupied.

Write to the city manager and express concern (manager@cityofberkeley.info) if tearing up the sidewalks is not your idea of an appropriate use of scarce public funds. We're supposed to have a say in the location of these monstrous giant flashing cell phone-like monoliths, and my personal request is the 4th Street Denny Abrams plan - just say no. Apparently the city has decided to agree to leave 4th Street out of this electronic, data-mining imposition. Speak up for your downtown and your nearby commercial district and ask for the Denny Abrams plan. In the meantime consider that, for instance, in the historic town of Raleigh, North Carolina, the citizens just flatly said no. Other towns did the same, for aesthetic reasons or because data- mining is just, well, at least rude.

And if a sizeable amount of us are honestly so lost that we require (despite having a lot of cell phones around) "wayfinding", I would suggest a magical technological innovation: a map. 

The Immigration Issue & The Politics of Deceit

Harry Brill
Sunday May 19, 2019 - 08:14:00 AM

It is certainly a challenging problem for progressives on how to address the gap between themselves and conservatives. The difficulty is not just due to the immense ideological differences. Progressives have to confront the considerable deception employed by many conservatives. 

Apparently, conservatives have persuaded a substantial number of Americans that illegal immigration is bad for Americans. According to the polls, not only Republicans accept this rhetoric. So do a majority of Independent and Democratic Party voters In fact, about two-thirds of the public believe that the U.S. military should defend the southern border from the "invasion" of immigrants. Not only Caucasians, but a majority of Blacks and non-white Hispanics share the same perspective. Generally speaking, a CBS poll found that 72 percent of those who watched President Trump's State of the Union address agrees with his ideas on immigration. 

President Trumps interest in building a wall on the southern border of the U.S. is not only wrong. It is a deceptive effort to convince working people that he wants to protect their interests, which includes doing what he can to save their jobs from being stolen.  

Yet according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, at least 60 Percent of the country's farm workers are undocumented. The Trump administration has not made any serious effort to crack down on the Agricultural industry's employment of illegal immigrants. In California, there are about 2 1/2 million undocumented immigrants. They too work on the farms and also in construction and manufacturing.  

But hasn't the Trump administration engaged in raids of enterprises that employ undocumented workers? Yes. but the intent is not to discourage their use. The purpose of these raids is to discourage their efforts to engage in labor action. Also, these raids convey the impression that the government is seriously attempting to curtail the employment of undocumented workers. 

In reality, for many years, while Trump urged that a wall be built to discourage illegal immigration, he employed undocumented workers at his Golf Course. He was forced to fire them because of the bad publicity his hypocrisy earned him. 

What elected officials in both the Democratic and Republican parties have failed to acknowledge is the important role government has played in encouraging illegal immigration. For example, soon after the North American Trade Agreement was adopted, the federal government subsidized American corn growers so they could sell corn in Mexico at an artificially low price. As a result, Mexican corn growers could not compete and went out of business. So not as a matter of choice but to survive, they attempted to cross the border to find jobs. Also, the massive attempt by people from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador to migrate to the U.S. is in large part a result of their dictatorial regimes that were installed or supported by the United States. Yet the Trump administration claims that their decision to flee from many of these countries has been entirely voluntary. 

Because of the conservative dominance of the media, the public is mainly showered by deceptive perceptions of reality. It is immensely important that progressives continue to find opportunities to reach out to the public. The bottom line is that the public wants the truth and deserves nothing less. 


SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces

Gar Smith
Sunday May 19, 2019 - 09:18:00 PM

PG&E Profiteering

California Public Utility Commissioner Michael Picker and CPUC spokeswoman, Terrie Prosper recently laid down some bad news: If PG&E is allowed to burden customers with the estimated $30 billion in liability costs for the 2017 wildfires linked to the company's equipment failures, we can expect average utility rates to rise by $25 per month.

Here's why: In the aftermath of the company's declaration of bankruptcy, many PG&E stockholders are starting to move their investments elsewhere. So, in order to "encourage investors" to provide PG&E with more capital, the CPUC has proposed raising the guaranteed return on equity to stockholders from 10.25% to 16%. To many, it looks like more evidence that the CPUC is in the pocket of PG&E. 

And with Picker in their pocket and PG&E set to Prosper, who else at the CPUC is doing PG&E favors? Teddy Profitt? Cory Plunder? Mal Feacense? Robin Steal? (Help me out here, Carol Denney.) 

What's on Your Plate? 

Here's another reason not to toy with your Smartphone while driving: You'll miss out on spotting all those intriguing bumper stickers and baffling license plates. 

For example: The Uber driver in a Subaru who was recently observed sporting a rear-window sticker that read: "Don't Follow Me. I'm Lost Too." 

That was straightforward. License plates, however, can be tricky to decipher. 

There's a GMC Yukon out there that has a Raiders frame wrapped around a plate that reads "8GRAM415." 

Is that an encoded weed reference? As in: "An eighth of a gram for $15"? (Probably not: Too good a deal.) 

What else? Is someone celebrating a close-knit family that includes eight grandmothers, all living in the 415 calling area? 

Then there was the Mercedes-Benz with a Fly Navy frame and an encoded plate reading: "OK3INKY". Meaning it's OK to be three-years-old in Kentucky? Or: three Oklahomas would fit inside one Kentucky? Or just: OK Stinky? 

No question about the meaning of the plate on a dusty black Honda, however. It read: UUGHH. 

On a happier note, there was a sedan bearing a plate that read: URLOVLY. 

And recently, while returning from nose surgery in Walnut Creek, we found ourselves stuck in traffic behind a vehicle with the plate: BELABRD. 

For mile after mile we tried to decode the hidden message: Bela Bird? Belle Abroad? Be LA-Bred? Or just Belabored? 

Songs of Resistance from Joan Baez, the Stones and Cassius Clay 

Judith Ehrlich, director of the powerful Daniel Ellsberg bio, The Most Dangerous Man in America, is looking for help to finish The Boys Who Said No, her new, long-awaiting documentary about draft resistance during the Vietnam War. 

The filmmakers need another $168,000 to complete the 90-minute feature film. They've already paid for the rights to 1,357 archival film clips and now they need to buy the rights to a slew of Sixties anthems—including classics by Joan Baez, The Rolling Stones, Nina Simone, and the Mamas and the Papas. But the one piece of music I'd be happy to pay for has got to be a recording of "Stand by Me" sung by Muhammad Ali! 

A 45-minute preview of the film is available at https://vimeo.com/321590259 (Password: boyz2). Donations can be made to the Eschatton Foundation dba The Resource Center for Nonviolence

And now, here's Muhammad Ali singing "Stand By Me." 


All Lives Are Sacred: Do You Have Any Final Words? 

Abortion is now outlawed in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Utah, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio. According to ProCon.org, a total of 30 US states have approved or introduced abortion bans—with legislation pending in Oklahoma, New York, Florida, South Carolina, Louisiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and West Virginia. The common argument is: "All lives are sacred." 

So how is it that so many of these supposedly life-loving, anti-abortion states still impose the death penalty? What's with that, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oregon, Utah, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina? 

This announcement has been brought to you by your friends at Right-to-Lifers for the Death Penalty. 

Former Free Speech Activist Scores a Stunning Election Win 

According to the independent news platform, L.A. TACO, former Berkeley Free Speech Movement activist and State Assemblymember Jackie Goldberg has won "a blowout victory" in a runoff for a critical seat on the Los Angeles Unified School Board (LAUSB). Goldberg, 74, enjoyed the solid backing of the teachers union for campaigning as a critic of charter schools. Goldberg won a whopping 71 percent of the vote. 

Goldberg’s victory shifts the LAUSB majority. Now only three of the seven members are charter-friendly. Goldberg will replace LAUSB president Ref Rodriguez, a pro-charter advocate who was forced to resign after pleading guilty to felony conspiracy charges. 

Evoking her Berkeley past, Goldberg told a room of cheering supporters in Echo Park: “This is not the end, this is the beginning. We need a movement to make the changes we need.” 

A Chronic Condition 

A few weeks ago, my Sunday morning run ran longer than usual. When I jogged into the CVS at Shattuck and Rose to pick up the five-star edition of the Sunday Chronicle, all I could find was the two-star edition—which is basically the Saturday news edition with a few pre-printed supplements (Datebook, Style, etc) tucked inside. The Chronicle boxes on the street also had nothing but the two-star edition. 

After running-and-stopping for another 30 minutes, I finally found a copy of the five-star edition at the small Indian market across from FatApples on MLK. But there was something odd afoot. For some reason, the Chronicle's usual comics were missing. In their place: the Sunday Comics from the Bay Area News Group/Mercury News

Interesting to compare the two. Both featured Doonesbury, Peanuts, Zits, Dilbert, Bizarro, Candorville, Lio, Mutts, Pearls Before Swine, Baby Blues, Garfield, Luann, Sherman's Lagoon, Sally Forth and The Family Circus. But there was no Blondie, Foxtrot, Curtis, no Hagar the Horrible and no Wizard of Id. (Also missing, but not missed: Wumo, Non Sequitur and Get Fuzzy.) Instead, the BANG gang included strips called Pickles, JumpStart, Red & Rover, Rose Is Rose, Wallace the Brave, and a recycled appearance of Lynn Johnston's late, great For Better or Worse

The Mutant Cnronicle, Pt. 2 

In another bizarre twist, this mutant edition of the Chron included a previously unknown Sunday-stuffer called Sportstars, a 32-page once-a-month tabloid devoted to (1) local sports news and (2) lots of advertising. 

One oddity immediately stood out. Of the 31 athletes appearing in news story photos, only one was a player of color. Of the 66 athletes portrayed in the ads, all but 7 where white. 

The only prominent photo of a black athlete appeared in a full-page ad on the back cover. It showed a serious-looking ball player alongside the slogan "Give it everything you've got." It was placed by the California Army National Guard and offered a $20,000 signing bonus for qualified recruits who were looking to "earn money for college." 

Not to be outdone, the US Air Force had its own full-page ad on the inside of the issue. It showed two faceless silhouettes parachuting out of the back door of a huge cargo plane above the headline: "World Travel and 30 Days of Vacation. Any Questions?" 

The USAF also appeared to be looking to snag cash-strapped would-be students, promising "tuition assistance [and] … a great job right out of school." 

Behind the Historic FSM v. UCB Face-off 

In Tom Dalzell's dazzling new book, The Battle for of People's Park, he describes the birth of the Free Speech Movement thusly: 

It began spontaneously on October 1, 1964, when Jack Weinberg was sitting at a CORE [Congress on Racial Equality] information table on campus. He was arrested when he refused to show identification and placed in a police car in Sproul Plaza. Up to 3,000 students and supporters surrounded the police car; speeches and the Free Speech Movement began. 

Some FSM vets recently questioned the characterization that the confrontation was "spontaneous." One FSM vet who now serves on the board of the Free Speech Movement Archives (www.fsm-a.org) offered the following footnote to history: 

[Y]ou're absolutely right about the "non" spontaneity of October 1.  

The CORE chapter met the night before and decided to put out an extra large table in the hopes that the Deans might try to take our names for violating the rule against tabling. We intended not to give them our names.  

There were other groups that felt it was dishonorable to "hide" your name. But we were tired of the administration taking our names then disciplining us at a time of their choosing. The idea was to make them leave us in peace or to forcibly and publicly remove us. They chose the later course by arresting Jack and putting him in the Police Car.  

Obviously this was after organizing that started from the moment we returned to campus in the fall and discovered the ban.  

So yes, Tom Dalzell was wrong to say the FSM started on October 1…. [H]e might have said it burst into the headlines that day.  

Another FSM vet added: 

Yes: planned provocation and escalation, by moving the tables to the Sproul Steps and the like. On the other hand, no one had planned for the UCPD to actually bring a car into the plaza, just at lunchtime. The sit-down around the car was totally spontaneous, unplanned, and marvelous. 

The Voter Protection Project 

The Voter Protection Project (VPP) is campaigning to grant the full rights of citizenship to 713,224 Americans who are forced to pay federal taxes but are not allowed to vote. I'm referring to the residents of the District of Columbia. Washington, DC is a political anomaly that retains the status of a foreign US colony (like Guam or Puerto Rico) while remaining firmly embedded inside the continental US. 

The VPP claims "the foremost legal experts in 20 states are in favor of DC finally receiving full federal representation" based on the following bullet points: 

• The number of Americans living in the District of Columbia exceeds the populations in Wyoming or Vermont. 

• Despite not being a state, DC residents are still required to pay federal taxes 

• DC's voters lack representation in the House or the Senate 

• DC isn't allowed to have its own governor 

• DC can’t pass budgets or local laws without Congressional oversight and approval—an indignity unknown in any state 

So who could object to the campaign to finally grant DC statehood? Well, Republican politicians. The GOP is vehemently opposed out of fear that the District's younger, racially diverse residents might vote to send more Democrats to the House and Senate. 

Want to cast a vote for Democracy in DC? Here's a petition

ECLECTIC RANT: State Anti-Abortion Laws

Ralph E. Stone
Sunday May 19, 2019 - 08:24:00 AM

Alabama became the eleventh state to pass anti-abortion legislation. Now eleven of the 22 states with both a Republican governor and legislature have passed anti-abortion laws. I expect it to be eventually 22 of 22. 

rhe Republicans know or should know that these laws are unconstitutional under the Supreme Court’s earlier decision in Roe v. Wade, but hope one or more of these state laws will reach the Supreme Court where they hope Roe v. Wade will be overturned. 

If a state anti-abortion law does reach the Supreme Court, how will Justice Kavanaugh vote as he might be the swing vote? During his confirmation hearing last year, Kavanaugh said that Roe v. Wade is "an important precedent of the Supreme Court" that had been reaffirmed many times. He further said that the 1992 Casey v. Planned Parenthood ruling upholding Roe was "precedent on precedent." The Supreme Court, however, can always overturn precedent. 

And the Republican war on women continues.

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: What it Feels Like to Take Antipsychotics for 35 Years

Jack Bragen
Sunday May 19, 2019 - 08:16:00 AM

In my first months of taking antipsychotic medication, in 1982, the side effects made me incredibly miserable. I took Stelazine and then Prolixin. The dosages at the time were not huge, yet, it was bad enough that it resembled a chemical straitjacket. 

How can I describe the side effects? Functioning to do even simple tasks, things that nearly everyone takes for granted, required massive effort, if they were doable at all. The simple act of reading was painful. It was difficult to brush my teeth. Carrying on a conversation was painful. It was miserable to live within my own body. 

Compounding this, I had post-psychotic depression. A mental health worker told me of this, when I was an inpatient. When you've just had a psychotic episode, there are numerous reasons that you can come out of that depressed. There are brain-related reasons, and there are the circumstances in which a patient finds oneself. Circumstances are different for everyone, however, many of us have just been informed that our diagnosis is Schizophrenia. 

Psychiatrists don't paint a rosy picture for the future of patients given the above diagnosis. They may believe that a patient will be limited. There is no encouragement to try going to college to obtain a degree. Instead, their suggestion is to try jobs that don't involve much thinking. 

When I got hired as a janitor following my first psychotic episode, it was the same kind of work that I'd done before I became ill. I was surprised when my outpatient psychiatrist had suggested that I do the same kind of work that I'd done before. 

I'd expected that I'd be advised to do something completely different, since it seemed to me that it was partly the jobs that had made me become ill. Yet, the psychiatrist believed I became ill strictly because of a brain malfunction. He believed that I should do what I'd already done because it would be more within my grasp. 

Trying to make my body function as a janitor while taking antipsychotic meds was agonizing. I was depressed and the side effects impacted freedom of movement. I became noncompliant with medication after a few months on the job. I worked at my job and asked for more hours. I rented a room so that parents would not be able to insist that I take medication; it had caused me to be miserable and interfered with work. I relapsed a year later, at age nineteen. 

Then, I was back on antipsychotic medication, and my situation had been set up such that I did not have a choice about it. Eventually, the side effects were less, because my body adjusted. 

By age 21, I didn't notice the side effects as much from the fluphenazine I was prescribed. By then, I'd gone to electronics training and I was employed in television repair. It was more respectable work than pushing a floor-polishing machine. 

(Not that I knock janitors--it is genuine, honest work, and it is a necessary service.) 

(In my present life, people seem to remember me more as a former janitor as opposed to my career repairing electronics. I would do electronics now, except that my skills are at least thirty years behind the current technology, and you must continually go back to school. If I did electronics now, I'd have to be fully into it. My current circumstances and needs don't permit that.) 

In recent years, my medication side effects have again increased. It comes at a time that I'm trying to taper off the nicotine use. Maybe the nicotine masked side effects. I've read somewhere that if mentally ill and quitting smoking, it is appropriate to have the meds adjusted. 

I know that antipsychotics affect ability to concentrate some of the time. At other times, it is painful to carry on a conversation. The sensations in my body are physical stiffness, and a numbed out, yet painful sensation. I believe that the supply of neurotransmitters gets used up, and frequent breaks are needed when attempting activities that use certain brain capacities. 

I will say that the suffering induced by antipsychotics is a hundred-fold less severe than the suffering of being psychotic. That makes it a worthwhile tradeoff. 

Side effects of medication are high on the list as causes of medication noncompliance among mental health consumers. The medication is like using a sledgehammer to kill a fly. Unfortunately, not enough research has been done to find a better set of medications. 

People should not assume that a mentally ill person can't do tasks that require brainpower. The collective assumption that mentally ill people are unaware in comparison to normal adults has a bad effect on us. The medications introduce limits. Yet, some of us have found ways to maneuver around these limits. The brain condition, whether it is paranoia, bipolar, depression, or other, often does not indicate absence of awareness or intelligence. A mental illness does affect how these faculties manifest. And that is why treatment is usually a non-negotiable necessity. 

Books by Jack Bragen can be found on Amazon and through other vendors.

Arts & Events

Peter Sellars & Los Angeles Master Chorale Present Orlando di Lasso’s LAGRIME DI SAN PIETRO

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Sunday May 19, 2019 - 08:29:00 AM

Orlando di Lasso (1532-1594) was a prolific and renowned composer in the international style of Renaissance polyphony. So international was this style that Orlando di Lasso himself was known by several versions of his name: He was called Roland de Lassus in French, Orlando di Lasso in Italian, and Orlando Lassus in Latin. Born in what is now Belgium, he seems to have traveled to Italy early in life; and in his early twenties he worked for Ferrante Gonzaga of Mantua, traveling with his patron to Sicily and Milan. He also worked in Naples and Rome, serving as maestro di capella in Rome’s St. John Lateran Church in 1555-6. Then he went to Munich, where he resided at the court of Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria, whose family he served as a singer-composer for over thirty years.  

Musically, Orlando di Lasso follows in the tradition of composers such as Nicholas Gombert, Adrian Willaert, and Jacob Clement, who themselves were exponents of the polyphonic style created by such great Franco-Flemish composers as Guillaume Dufay, Johannes Ockeghem, and Josquin des Pres. Orlando di Lasso wrote vocal music in various forms: madrigals, motets, liturgical works, and even songs in German. Interestingly, his known works include no instrumental music. His oratorio Lagrime di San Pietro/Tears of St. Peter came at the very end of the composer’s life.  

For his Lagrime di San Pietro he chose a text by Luigi Tasillo (1510-1568), from which the composer set 20 stanzas for his madrigal cycle or choral oratorio. Sung in Italian, the text recounts the harrowing guilt and shame experienced by Christ’s disciple Peter, who, as foretold by Christ, betrayed his Lord three times ”before the cock crows.” For the rest of his long life, Peter could never forget the look in Christ’s eyes as he gazed upon the beloved disciple who, to save himself, thrice denied even knowing Christ much less being among his disciples.  

In preparing Lagrime di San Pietro for performance, stage director Peter Sellars worked closely with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and its Artistic Director Grant Gershon. As conceived by Peter Sellars, Orlando di Lasso’s Lagrime di San Pietro is more than a period piece by the last of the great composers of polyphonic vocal music. It is also a psychologically probing and intense meditation, a universal one, on finding oneself, after a long life, despairing of the false and ephemeral successes of life and feeling in old age only pain and torment as one awaits a welcome death. The figure of St. Peter, of course, who carries his immense burden of guilt and shame, represents a particularly harrowing examplar of this despair as one nears death.  

As the twenty-one member Los Angeles Master Chorale took the stage at Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall on Friday, May 17, the stage itself was bare, with only chairs arranged in a vast semi-circle. The members of the Chorale were dressed in nondescript clothes of various shades of grey. Grant Gershon, who conducted the Chorale, came onstage in grey pants and grey shirt, with bare feet. As the a capella singing began, Chorale members gave physical expression to each stanza’s tale of Peter’s betrayal of Christ. They reached out, they clasped hands over their heart, they staggered and fell to the ground. They covered and uncovered their eyes to emphasize the power of the look that Peter experienced when Christ transfixed him with his gaze. At one point the text boldly affirms that humans can speak with their eyes, as in a lover’s gaze upon the beloved. This too was acted out by the Los Angeles Master Chorale.  

Occasionally, the acting out became all too literal, as when the text sings of a snowflake falling in a deserted valley in winter, then receiving the warmth of the sun’s rays in spring, which melts the ice and causes it to dissolve into water. Fluttering hands represented the falling snowflake. The rays of the sun were likened to the rays of light from the eyes. The text then sang of the ice in Peter’s heart melting into tears. Here pathos nearly descended into bathos.  

The most psychologically penetrating moments came in the latter stanzas of Lagrime di San Pietro when Peter, now old, wants only to die. He curses life as vicious and cruel. He says that outer pain is unbearable, but inner pain is worse. He blames himself, like so many others, for in younger days seeking pleasure and thereby denying true life for false life. “Life, go away!” he cries. “You linger on even though I don’t want you. I have experienced such ingratitude from you.” For the final madrigal, Orlando di Lasso went outside the text of Luigi Tasillo and chose a 13th century Latin motet by French poet Philippe de Greve representing the final word from Jesus himself (“Vide Homo, quae pro te patior”/”See, O man, how I suffer for you.” 

The lighting by James F. Ingalls emphasized the contrast between light and darkness. The uniformly grey costumes were designed by Danielle Domingue. As conductor of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Grant Gershon moved restlessly around the stage, now facing the singers from one side, now from another. This, too, emphasized the multi-faceted aspects of this music, as conceived by Gershon and Sellars.

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, May 19-26

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Sunday May 19, 2019 - 08:07:00 AM

Worth Noting:


Monday Malcolm X is a City Holiday. The rest of the week is packed.

Tuesday evening – At 7 pm two meetings Wildfire Preparedness at Northbrae Church and Adeline Corridor Plan Presentation at South Berkeley Senior Center

Wednesday evening – 5 pm Redesign of the Transfer Station (Recycling Center) and I-80 Interchange at 6:30 pm

Thursday afternoon – 2 pm City Council Budget and Finance Committee – proposed budget FY 2020 & FY 2021

Saturday afternoon – 2 pm, If you missed the May 14 presentation on Fire Evacuation, it is repeated May 25.

Sunday, May 19, 2019


Roses in Bloom Acoustical Series, 3 – 5 pm at Rose Garden – no notice of cancellation yet


Monday, May 20, 2019 – Malcolm X Day City Holiday

Tax the Rich Rally, with music by Occupella, 5 – 6 pm at the Top of Solano in front of the Closed Oaks Theater, Rain Cancels

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

Wildfire Preparedness Forum - Defensible Space, Fuel Mitigation, Fire Breaks, Evacuations and Household Preparedness, 7 – 9:30 pm, 941 the Alameda, Northbrae Church 


4x4 Joint Committee on Housing City Council/Rent Stabilization Board, 3 pm, at 2180 Milvia, 1st Floor Cypress Conf Room, Agenda: 5. Trust-Owned Golden Duplex, 6. Prohibit Housing Discrimination Based on Source of Income, 7. Update Enforcement BMC 19.50 – Elevators, 8. Update Short-Term Rental Ordinance, 9. Update Demolition Ordinance. 


Community Environmental Advisory Commission – Subcommittee Departmental Coordination for Environmental Protection, 6 pm at 2000 University, Au Coquelet, Agenda: Letter to request environmental disaster prevention officer 


Mental Health Commission, at 2939 Ellis, South Berkeley Senior Center 

5 pm - Diversity Subcommittee - Workplan 

6 pm - Site Visit Subcommittee – Discuss Sites & Review Priorities 


Planning Commission – Adeline Corridor Specific Plan Subcommittee, 7 – 10 pm at 2939 Ellis, South Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: Draft Adeline Corridor Plan and DEIR 


Solano Avenue Business Improvement District Advisory Board, 11 am, at 1821 Catalina Ave, Thousand Oaks Baptist Church. NO Agenda Posted 


Wednesday, May 22, 2019 

I-80/Ashby Interchange Improvement Project, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, 2939 Ellis, South Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: public input to planning upgrades and changes to improve interchange efficiency, safety and accessibility 


Cannabis Commission – Ordinance Subcommittee, 3 – 5pm, 2180 Milvia St, 1st Floor Cypress Conf Room https://www.cityofberkeley.info/MedicalCannabis/ 

Commission on the Status of Women, 6:45 – 9 pm at 2180 Milvia, Cypress Room, Agenda: 5. Presentation by Leslie Berkler, Executive Director, Women’s Daytime Drop-in Center, 9. Update Equal Pay Independent Audit 


Disaster and Fire Safety Commission, 7 – 9 pm at 997 Cedar St, Fire Department Training Center, Agenda: 3. Recommendation Measure GG Tax Rate Adjustment, 6. Cal Fire Reduction Priorities Report, 7. Outdoor Public Warning System, 8. Local Composting of Vegetative Fuel Sources to Mitigate Fire Hazard, 9. Fire Prevention and Fire Hardening of Structures 


Energy Commission, 6:30 – 8:30 pm at 1947 Center St, Sika Spruce Room, Agenda: 4. Natural Gas Ban, 6. Fossil Fuel Report Supplement and Climate Action Fund, 8. BESO evaluation, 8. EV Roadmap 


Joint Subcommittee for the Implementation of State Housing Laws, 7 – 9 pm at 2180 Milvia, 6th Floor Redwood Room, Agenda: 9. Presentation on Density Study, 10. Presentation on existing build-out conditions, 11. Local Density Bonus: Incentives to Provide On-site Affordable Housing, 12. Objective Standards https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Joint_Subcommittee_for_the_Implementation_of_State_Housing_Laws_Homepage.aspx 

Police Review Commission, 7 – 10 pm, at 2939 Ellis, South Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: 9. a.Consider endorsing SB 233, b. Stop Data, 10. a. Review Lexipol Policy 415 Immigration Law, b. Surveillance Use Policies https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Commissions__Police_Review_Commission_Homepage.aspx 

Public Works Commission – Undergrounding Subcommittee, 4 pm at 1947 Center St, 4th Floor, Agenda: 3. Work to date and future work https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Commissions__Public_Works_Commission_Homepage.aspx 

Zero Waste Redesign Transfer Station Workshop, 5 - 7 pm, at 1125 University, Berkeley Public Library – West Branch 


Thursday, May 23, 2019 

City Council Budget & Finance Committee, 2 pm, at 2180 Milvia, 6th Floor Redwood Conf Room, Agenda: 2. City Manager’s Budget Funding Recommendation FY 2020-2021 


Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board – AdHoc Committee on Rent Board technology Issues, 5 pm, 2001 Center St, 2nd Floor Law Library, Agenda: 5. Paperless Agenda Program, 6. City-issued iPads 


Community Health Commission, 6:30 – 9 pm at 2939 Ellis St. South Berkeley Senior Center, Agenda: Presentation 1. City of Berkeley Public Health Division – Dr. Lisa Hernandez, 2. Homelessness – Mary Behm-Steinberg, 3. City of Berkeley, Planning & Development Cannabis Ordinance Phase II – Elizabeth Greene, Discussion Clifford Fred on Air Quality https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Commissions__Community_Health_Commission_Homepage.aspx 

Mental Health Commission, 7 – 9 pm at 1947 Center St, Agenda: 3. Presentation Bonita House, 4. Role of Police in providing mental health services using crisis intervention and de-escalation methods 


Police Review Commission, 7 – 10 pm, at 2939 Ellis, South Berkeley Senior Center https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Commissions__Police_Review_Commission_Homepage.aspx 

Public Works Commission – Paving Subcommittee, 8 - 9 am at 1947 Center St, NO Agenda posted 


Regional Climate Emergency Mobilization, 5 pm at 2180 Milvia, 6th Floor Redwood Conf Room 


Zoning Adjustments Board, 7 – 11:30 pm at 1234 Addison, BUSD Board Room, Agenda: 

2031 Fourth Street – Modify Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Use Permit to expand/add service, outdoor patio, low-level music, food service, hours of operation - Consent 

1940 Haste Street – relocate 3-story single family residence from 2028 Bancroft to 1940 Haste and move relocated 5-unit residential building to rear of lot and waive 5 parking spaces – Consent 

2004 and 2006 Cedar – excavate basement and convert to habitable space, expand dwelling unit from 1 to 2-stories – consent 

2198 San Pablo – demolish existing single story commercial building and construct 6-story mixed use with 3-live/work, 57 dwelling units (including 5-low income)20 parking spaces, 48 bicycle spaces, staff recommend approve 

3206 College Ave – establish pet store use including grooming, staff recommend approve 

Project Preview - 2352 and 2390 Shattuck – demolish 2 existing commercial buildings, split lot in two, construct 2 8-story mixed use buildings with 209 units (including 15 very low income) 


Friday, May 24, 2019 

Board of Library Trustees, 12 noon at 2090 Kittredge, Central Library, Agenda: I.A. FY 2020 Library Tax Rate, B. Proposed Budget FY 2020-2021, https://www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org/about/board-library-trustees 

Saturday, May 25, 2019 

Meeting to Prepare for Wildfire Evacuations and Household Preparedness, 2 - 3 pm, 2940 Benvenue, Claremont Branch Berkeley Library 


Sunday, May 26, 2019 

Roses in Bloom Acoustical Series, 3 – 5 pm at Rose Garden 





Scheduled Construction Activities for Week of May 20, 2019 




Berkeley City Council Agenda for May 28 Council meeting is available for comment. Email council@cityofberkeley.info Consent: 2. One Way Car share transition from pilot to baseline program, 3. Residential Parking football game day – 2nd reading of ordinance, 5. Contract with Townsend Public Affairs for Legislative Advocacy 6-9. Assessments – Business Districts, 10. Bid Solicitations, 11. Appropriations Limit, 12. Security Patrol, 13. 4th July Fireworks/events, 14. Tree Service Contracts, 15. Parks Playground Surfacing and Pathway Repairs, 16. Bus Transportation for Berkeley Day Camp and Recreation Programs, 17. Reject bids-open market Public Safety Building repair 18. Support SB 48 – Right to Shelter, 19. Support HR 40 – Reparation Proposals, 22. Budget Referral Technical Assistance for Succession Planning for Conversions to Worker Cooperatives, 23. West Berkeley Service Center Development, 25. Stop signs Carleton-Fulton, 26. Funding Traffic Safety Alcatraz Ave, 27. Street Lights MLK and Stuart, 28. Study Equity to achieve City Contracting, 29. Lighting William Byron Rumford Sculpture, 30. Increase Staffing for Vision Zero, 31. Budget Referral Traffic Calming or Traffic Circle at 62nd Street and King, 32. Resolution Full Parity Mental Health Patients, Clinicians at Kaiser, 33. Budget Referral Solano Revitalization, 34. Oppose AB-1356 Cannabis, 35. Budget Referral Paid Internships, 36. Support Renters Rights Bills, 37. Support SB 212, SB 641 Rank Choice Voting, 38. Support ADA-6 Voting Rights Parolees, Action: 39. Proosed Budget 2020-2021, 40. Council recommendations for proposed budget, 41. Hourly Fee Increase Traffic Engineering & Transportation Divisions, 42. Economic Dashboards, 43. Fee Increase Rental Housing Safety Program, 44. Tax Exemption on Federal Research Grants, 45.Direct City Manager to Place a Moratorium Shared Sidewalk Policy until homeless response system designed, created, implemented, 46. Referral to Public Works to Rename Harold Way to Dalai Lama Way, 47. ZAB Appeal 1444 Fifth St. Information Reports: 48. Short term Rentals, 49. IT, 50. Kiosks and Accessibility Obstacles 





The Adeline Corridor Specific Plan (Draft Plan) and Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) are available for review and comment https://www.cityofberkeley.info/AdelineCorridor/ 

Two in person public meetings on the plan are scheduled.  

Community meeting - May 29, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm at the South Berkeley Senior Center 2939 Ellis. Planning Commission - June 5, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm at the South Berkeley Senior Center 2939 Ellis 

To comment email adelinecorridor@cityofberkeley.info on or before July 1, 2019, 5:00 pm. 





*Agenda Committee Unfinished business for scheduling – 1. a.&b. U1 Funds for Property Acquisition at 1001, 1007, 1011 University, 1925 Ninth Street, 2. Revisions to Ordinance 7,521 BMC. To increase compliance with short-term rental ordinance, 3. Disposition City-owned Former Redevelopment Agency Properties at 1631 & 1654 Fifth St, 4. Economic Dashboards, 5. Referral to City Manager and budget for creation of “vehicle dweller program” 





Public Hearings Scheduled – Land Use Appeals 

2700 Tenth – Pardee Parking Lot - 4-30-2017 

1444 Fifth St – 4 single family dwellings - 5-14-2019 

Notice of Decision (NOD) With End of Appeal Period 


Remanded to ZAB or LPC With 90-Day Deadline 

1155-73 Hearst (develop 2 parcels) – referred back to City Council – to be scheduled 

2701 Shattuck (construct 5-story mixed-use building) – ZAB 6-30-2019 




June 18 –Green Stormwater Infrastructure, Arts and Culture Plan 

Sept 17 –UC Berkeley Student Housing Plan, Zero Waste Rate Review, Adeline Corridor Plan 

Oct 22 – Berkeley’s 2020 Vision Update, Census 2020 Update, Short term Rentals 

Nov 5 - Transfer Station Feasibility Study, Vision Zero Action Plan, 

Unscheduled – Cannabis Health Considerations 



May 28 – tentative EBMUD presentation 



To Check For Regional Meetings with Berkeley Council Appointees go to 



To check for Berkeley Unified School District Board Meetings go to 





This meeting list is also posted on the Sustainable Berkeley Coalition website. 

http://www.sustainableberkeleycoalition.com/whats-ahead.html and in the Berkeley Daily Planet under activist’s calendar http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com 


When notices of meetings are found that are posted after Friday 5:00 pm they are added to the website schedule https://www.sustainableberkeleycoalition.com/whats-ahead.html and preceded by LATE ENTRY