ICE Raids Threatened for Sunday

Congresswoman Barbara Lee
Friday July 12, 2019 - 11:21:00 AM

I’m hearing reports that ICE is targeting at least 2,000 families across the country on Sunday, including right here in San Francisco. The most important thing to remember is: be prepared and know your rights. -more-

Press Release: Berkeley Rally for Children in Federal Migrant Detention Centers, Sat., July 13th, 12-2 p.m., Berkeley Civic Center Park

Berkeley Councilmember Rashi Kesarwani
Wednesday July 10, 2019 - 04:51:00 PM

The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to hold a community rally on Saturday afternoon to protest the mass detention of children and adults in torturous conditions at our southern border.

The event will feature Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín, City of Berkeley Poet Laureate Rafael Jesús González, DREAMers and immigrant rights activists, protest songs by Musicians Action Group and Occupella, faith leaders, and others. The event will also include representatives from immigrant rights organizations, sanctuary congregations, and other groups so protest attendees can learn more about how they can get involved. -more-

The "Equity" Cloak for Marijuana (Commentary)

Carol Denney
Tuesday July 09, 2019 - 03:02:00 PM

Marijuana promoter High Times' effort to use Cesar Chavez Park as a "designated location" for marijuana events was so strongly opposed in the spring of this year by grassroots park protectors and public health advocates that Mayor Jesse Arreguin reassured at least one advocate that there are "no immediate plans to revisit the Marijuana events issue, and if we do I agree it should go to multiple commissions including the Health Commission, Parks Commission and Marijuana Commission, because this policy could have multiple impacts on our city." -more-

Public Comment

The lovers meet

Tejinder Uberoi
Friday July 05, 2019 - 02:44:00 PM

After months exchanging “love letters,” President Trump and North Korea’s, Kim Jong-un finally met holding hands at the DMZ. It was a sight to behold. -more-

There is no law

Steve Martinot
Sunday July 07, 2019 - 01:31:00 PM

There is no law in the City of Berkeley. That is the only conclusion possible when government violates the law with impunity. It means there is no law.

We’re talking about the law of the land. Not the ordinances that the City Council passes to make itself look important, or to allow the police to violate the law by enforcing those ordinances. We’re talking about the law of the land and its protections.

The "law of the land" is the basic law from which all else gets its authority, namely, the US Constitution, the Constitution of the state of California, and the Berkeley City Charter. When a city council or its agencies involve themselves in avoiding, evading, sidetracking, circumventing, eluding, finding loopholes in, and countermanding the law, then for the people of that city, there is no law. If the people have access to a society organized around law only through those councils and agencies, then the people are out of luck.

Two crises beset this city, a crisis of homelessness, and an affordable housing crisis. The first is a crisis foisted by economic processes. The second crisis results from an absence of political will (and it will require a separate article). -more-

The NY Times' Housing Affordability Kick

Robert Brokl
Friday July 05, 2019 - 02:52:00 PM

The New York Times has published yet another article pushing housing affordability, this time a front page attack on single-family zoning: “Housing Scarce, Cities Erase Single-Family Lots.”

There is a rich irony in the flagship newspaper of New York City, the densest city in the United States and also one of the most expensive to live in, relentllessly flogging the notion—as news, no less--that density create affordability. San Francisco, also expensive, is the second densest.

So facts don't really matter, but no, I’m not going to use the "fake news” expression. But I might suggest, as your paper does with the nominal president, that you fact check the building lobby promoter-in-chief California Senator Scott Wiener. His quote in the article: “Single-family zoning 'means that everything else is banned….Low-income housing, which is only multi-unit-banned…’ ” is false. -more-

Trump’s Russian Chum

Jagjit Singh
Friday July 05, 2019 - 02:51:00 PM

At the recent G20 meeting, President Trump greeted his friend, Vladimir Putin, warmly with the full knowledge that he got him elected.

The president brushed off accusations of election interference with a wink and smile, a coded gesture inviting more interference targeting his Democratic opponent in the 2020 election. The wily Putin chuckled with a silent nod hinting Russian trolls were ready to further eviscerate American democracy and propel the President to the White House for four more years. The public outrage over Trump’s chumminess with Russia harked back serious concerns over his financial entanglement and possible sexual encounters with Russian prostitutes. Putin seemed delighted with his meeting with Trump, a willing partner to undermine America’s democracy. -more-

Tanks but no tanks, the last hurrah?

Jagjit Singh
Friday July 05, 2019 - 02:36:00 PM

As a T-V reality star, Donald Trump has always loved pageantry. He was inspired by a Bastille Day celebration in Paris that he attended in 2017, or perhaps his friend “Vlad” might have told him about the glorious Russian Revolution with Soviet tanks rolling past a portrait of Vladimir Lenin in Moscow’s Red Square in a 1980 parade. The pageantry will be a much needed distraction from his personal misfortunes as a failed businessman (lost over 1B over a 10 year period). The House Judiciary Committee has issued subpoenas to demand the release of his tax returns to reveal possible financial entanglements with Russian oligarchs.

How the draft dodger loves military parades. -more-

Berkeley Minimum Wage Increased

Harry Brill
Saturday July 06, 2019 - 10:02:00 AM

Activists and working people in Berkeley should be proud of their achievement of winning a minimum wage of $15 an hour and an annual increase according to the Consumer the Consumer Price Index. As of July of this month, the minimum wage has been increased from $15 to $15.59 cents an hour. The minimum wage will be adjusted every July 1. -more-

Don't destroy our democracy!

Romila Khanna
Friday July 05, 2019 - 02:37:00 PM

It is important for us to pay more attention to the political climate today. We are seeing changes that are destroying the fundamental values of democracy. We have not made any progress in improving the lives of citizens of the neither the middle class, nor low income and poor amongst us.

Our self-centered thinking has taken us back at least 60 years .

We have not yet learned that each one of us has the right to participate in the political process to elect the right person to represent us in our government. -more-

July Pepper Spray Times

By Grace Underpressure
Thursday July 04, 2019 - 09:23:00 PM

Editor's Note: The latest issue of the Pepper Spray Times is now available.

You can view it absolutely free of charge by clicking here . You can print it out to give to your friends.

Grace Underpressure has been producing it for many years now, even before the Berkeley Daily Planet started distributing it, most of the time without being paid, and now we'd like you to show your appreciation by using the button below to send her money.

This is a Very Good Deal. Go for it! -more-


Harris's Berkeley Background is Relevant Now

Becky O'Malley
Sunday July 07, 2019 - 01:35:00 PM

All the recent hoo-ha about whether Kamala Harris actually participated in the Berkeley public schools’ integration experience, including some from people I know around here who should know better, is arrant nonsense. It wasn’t that long ago, for heaven’s sake, and some of us still alive can remember the busing experience, including some of the senator’s former schoolmates.

Many of the ignorant denizens of the commentariat, both local and national, thought they’d made a big discovery: that the schools had been integrated long before Kamala. They’d found old Berkeley High yearbooks with pictures of Black students from years earlier—but what they didn’t grasp is that the busing program which affected Harris was aimed at desegregating the elementary schools. BUSD started transporting little kids around town to do what fair housing laws had yet to accomplish.

High school in Berkeley has never been segregated because there’s only ever been one high school, which everyone attended. That’s not to say that within the high school academic tracking and social self-segregation have not been cause for concern, but the school as a whole was always integrated.

The situation in the elementary schools was different. As in most U.S. elementary schools in those days, the students in the first eight or so grades were expected to be able walk to schools close to their homes.

But housing in Berkeley in the 1960s, as in most other U.S. cities, was effectively segregated, both economically and by racist covenants and real estate practices. It was virtually impossible for non-White families, both Asian and African American, regardless of means, to buy or rent homes east of Grove Street (now Martin Luther King Junior Way).

The elementary school population at the time reflected this pattern, with some K-6 schools effectively all-White and others predominantly Black. The busing program which affected Kamala was designed to integrate these lower grades. -more-


THE PUBLIC EYE:What Does “Electability” Mean?

Bob Burnett
Friday July 05, 2019 - 02:33:00 PM

Since the June 26-27 Democratic Presidential debates, the candidate rankings have shifted and it now appears the Democratic nomination is up for grabs. The winner will be determined by voters perception of which candidate is most electable.

A June Gallupreport (https://news.gallup.com/poll/259454/electability-democratic-nominee-outranks-issue-stances.aspx) found that "58% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents prioritize a candidate's ability to beat Trump over their views on important issues." (This finding held across all demographic groups except for younger voters -- aged 18 to 29.) Gallup concluded: "The diverse field of Democratic presidential candidates would be well-advised to focus their debate performances and campaign strategies on looking like they can beat Trumpinstead of worrying about highlighting their issues positions." [Emphasis added]

What does it mean to "[look] like they can beat Trump"? Depending upon the Democratic voter, being electable means that their candidate adopts a particular stance/attitude. During the debates we saw four different approaches. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: Trump finally got his military parade

Ralph E. Stone
Friday July 05, 2019 - 02:32:00 PM

On the 243 anniversary of the birth of our nation, Trump finally got his military parade with tanks and a military flyovers and lots of protests. He gave a presidential address on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

We celebrate American Independence Day on the Fourth of July every year. We think of July 4, 1776, as a day that represents the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States of America as an independent nation. It should not have been used as a political rally by Trump. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: The Importance of Down Time

Jack Bragen
Friday July 05, 2019 - 02:43:00 PM

In my twenties and early thirties, I struggled to have and maintain conventional employment and self-employment. I was not happy with the prospect of living on SSDI and SSI. I wanted more than that for myself. I was forced by circumstances to accept SSDI and SSI at age twenty-five. At the time, I hadn't yet given up the battle. I continued to try self-employment and a number of jobs. However, finally I settled in, realizing that the psychiatric condition, the medication, and numerous other factors made me significantly impaired concerning work.

When I did have jobs, weekend work was the easiest to maintain. I found that if I had four or five days in a row off, it was far easier to go back to work for two to three days. And this may be particular to me. Others' needs could be totally different. I continue to have basic responsibilities, which at times, are stressful. In some instances, things are hard enough that I get symptomatic, even while I take a lot of medication. Consequently, it matters that I sometimes get some down time, in which nothing or next to nothing is expected. -more-

Arts & Events

In the East Bay-- San Francisco Mime Troupe's TREASURE ISLAND, a New Musical

Margot Smith
Thursday July 04, 2019 - 08:59:00 PM

Sat., July 6, John Hinkle Amphitheatre, Berkeley 1:30 pm music, 2:00 pm show

Sun., July 7 John Hinkle Amphitheatre, Berkeley 1:30 pm music, 2:00 pm show

The San Francisco Mime Troupe (SFMT) celebrates their 60th Anniversary of doing FREE Political Theater in the East Bay with TREASURE ISLAND, A New Musical - A Toxic Tale of Corporate Corsairs, Swashbuckling Swindlers, and Big Buck Buccaneers on San Francisco Bay!

Treasure Island - is it the freezing cold, artificial island in the middle of San Francisco Bay awaiting cut-throat developers? Or is it the mythical isle where untold wealth awaits marauding pirates, or both?

That’s the question for city planner Jill Hawkins when an old sea-dog of a developer drops anchor in her office at City Hall, and drops a mystery in her lap. “Developers...they scour the map looking for cities with fat purses, ready to be plundered, damn the regulations!”

But if Treasure Island is such a wonderful opportunity why has no one developed it yet…? What about the people who live there now? And who is the one-legged developer Hawkins was warned about?

The lyrics for TREASURE ISLAND are written by Daniel Savio. Daniel is the son of famed 60s activist Mario Savio - a leader of the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley in the 1960s. -more-


The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, July 7-14

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Saturday July 06, 2019 - 09:58:00 AM

Worth Noting and Showing Up:

The City Council Agenda for July 9 is very heavy so you can expect one or two items to be continued to July 16. It is just not guaranteed what will be continued. The last scheduled City Council meeting before the Council summer recess is July 23. There are no reports in the July 23 packet for the Agenda Committee for 22 items despite reference to the missing reports for information.

The July 16 City Council Agenda is available for comment and follows the list of weekly meetings.

Berkeley is sponsoring a protest to the treatment of children at detention centers at 12 noon at Civic Center Park. If you bring signs make them without sticks.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

John Lee Invitational Co-Rec Softball Tournament, 8 am – 9 pm

San Pablo Sports Fields - https://www.cityofberkeley.info/CalendarEventMain.aspx?calendarEventID=15735

Grove Park https://www.cityofberkeley.info/CalendarEventMain.aspx?calendarEventID=15737

Monday, July 8, 2019

City Council Health, Life Enrichment, Equity & Community Committee, 10 am, at 2180 Milvia, 6th Floor Redwood Conf Room, Agenda: 2. Expansion of Air Quality Monitoring Program to multiple sites, 3. Ban Racial, Ethnic, Cultural and Religious Discrimination on the Basis of Hairstyle or Headwear, 4.a.&b. Recommendations Related to Leonard Powell, fact-finding, policy changes, code enforcement, housing stability, justice, 5. Pilot Cannabis Event at Cesar Chavez Park


Agenda and Rules Committee, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm, 2180 Milvia, 6th Floor Redwood Conf Room, Agenda: 2. Finalize Agenda for July 23 City Council meeting, No Reports for items 1,4,5,6,7,8,9,13,14,15,26,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,26,28,29,30, CONSENT: 1. Expand control of flavored tobacco, 4. Affordable Housing - Use a portion of tax-exempt bonds for reimbursement of expenditures for the projects – expected obligation $175 million, 5. Animal Care Mutual Aid in Disasters, 6. RFP, 7. Amend contract with Resource Development Assoc (RDA) total $54,500 to build database for Mental Health Division Homeless Outreach and Treatment Team (HOTT),8. Amend 7 contracts increasing total to $2,162,700 thru June 30, 2020 for Mental Health Services Act Community Services, Supports, Prevention and Early Intervention, 9. Mental Health Services Act Annual Update, 10. Amend contract with Merritt Hawkins adding $100,000 (total $149,990) for recruitment of psychiatrist, 11. 5 yr contract for $1,363,735 with AMCS for Zero Waste Management Software System, 12. 5 yr contract for $487,249 with Assetworks for a Fleet Management Software 13. Add $42,216 (total $76,811) to Communication Strategies contract for developing requirements and needs assessment for Voice over IP support and maintenance, 14. Special use permit with US Forest Service for Tuolumne Camp, 15. $365,000 contract with Left Coast Land Clearing for hazard mitigation Tuolumne Camp, 16. $450,000 contract with Poston Logging, LLC for Tuolumne Camp Tree Hazard Mitigation, 17. Contract for $468,706 and $70,000 Contingency (total $538,706) with McNabb Construction, Inc for George Florence Park Playground Renovation – 2121 Tenth St, 18. Authorize modification of Measure T1 Phase 1 project list removing King School Park Bioswale project and adding 13 priority sites identified by Green Infrastructure plan (6/18/19) and Public Works Commission, 19. Add $50,000 and extend contract to 6/30/21 with Restoration Management Co. for on-call remediation and restoration services, 20. 3 yr contract $450,000 with Stockton Tri Industries for Front Loading and Rear Loading Container Purchase, 21. Add $150,000 (total $650,000) to contract with Fehr & Peers for on-call transportation planning services, 22. Increase amended contract by $31,161 (total $351,317 plus $6,000 contingency) with W.A. Rose Construction for exterior Stucco Demolition Work at the Central Library, 23. Defendant’s Side Agreement to facilitate Consent Decree Compliance, 24. Support AB 1279 – housing development, ACTION: 25. Amendments to BMC Chapter 2.12 public campaign financing program, 26. Substantial Amendments to Annual Action Plans for Use of Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Funds allocating maximum allowable amount towards shelter and street outreach and away from rapid rehousing, 28. Voting Delegates – League of CA Cities Annual Conference, 29. Funding for Street Rehab Capital Improvement, 30. Preferential Parking (RPP) Update, 31. 2-week RV Permitting Process – allows one time/year 2-week permit, 32. Prioritize street light replacement and street improvements by high-collision street first, 33. Ronald V. Dellums Fair Chance Access to Housing and Public Health and Safety Ordinance, 34. Transfer $550,000 to Rent Board to amend contracts with Eviction Dense Center and East Bay Law Center and anti-displacement services for low and moderate-income Berkeley residents, 35. ID Locations for Managed Safe RV Parking on City-Owned Land, Development of 3-month “Grace Period” Permit Program, and request that State Lands Commission Permit Temporary Safe Parking Site at Berkeley Waterfront, 36. Designate Ohlone Greenway and West Street Bike Path as linear City Parks, INFORMATION REPORTS: 37. City Council Short Term Referral Process Monthly Update, 38. T1 update, 39. Audity Status PRW on-call Program, 43. 2020 Public Art Plan, 44. Report Buyout Offers and Agreements, 45. Zero Waste Commission Work Plan, 46. Amended Audit Plan, To follow July 23 agenda review 8. Discussion and Direction Regarding Revision to the City Council Rules of Procedure and Order, 9. Review of Scope of Work to Develop a Performance Evaluation of the City Manager, -more-

Back Stories



Harris's Berkeley Background is Relevant Now 07-07-2019

Public Comment

The lovers meet Tejinder Uberoi 07-05-2019

There is no law Steve Martinot 07-07-2019

The NY Times' Housing Affordability Kick Robert Brokl 07-05-2019

Trump’s Russian Chum Jagjit Singh 07-05-2019

Tanks but no tanks, the last hurrah? Jagjit Singh 07-05-2019

Berkeley Minimum Wage Increased Harry Brill 07-06-2019

Don't destroy our democracy! Romila Khanna 07-05-2019

July Pepper Spray Times By Grace Underpressure 07-04-2019


ICE Raids Threatened for Sunday Congresswoman Barbara Lee 07-12-2019

Press Release: Berkeley Rally for Children in Federal Migrant Detention Centers, Sat., July 13th, 12-2 p.m., Berkeley Civic Center Park Berkeley Councilmember Rashi Kesarwani 07-10-2019

The "Equity" Cloak for Marijuana (Commentary) Carol Denney 07-09-2019


THE PUBLIC EYE:What Does “Electability” Mean? Bob Burnett 07-05-2019

ECLECTIC RANT: Trump finally got his military parade Ralph E. Stone 07-05-2019

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: The Importance of Down Time Jack Bragen 07-05-2019

Arts & Events

In the East Bay-- San Francisco Mime Troupe's TREASURE ISLAND, a New Musical Margot Smith 07-04-2019

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, July 7-14 Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition 07-06-2019