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Press Release: Jesse Arreguin inaugurated as Berkeley mayor

From Stefan Elgstrand, assistant to Mayor Arreguin
Friday December 09, 2016 - 11:46:00 AM

Last night, at Old Berkeley City Hall, Jesse Arreguin was inaugurated as Berkeley’s 22nd Mayor. Arreguin, 32, is Berkeley’s youngest Mayor in over 100 years, and the first Latino to lead the city.

Arreguin ran for Mayor on a progressive platform, with a commitment to tackle the city’s affordability crisis. He was elected on November 8.

During Mayor Arreguin’s inaugural speech, he addressed the outcome of the national election and spoke of the pressing need for Berkeley’s progressive leadership in the years ahead. -more-



Three robberies on Virginia Street prompt Berkeley police warning

Scott Morris (BCN)
Thursday December 08, 2016 - 02:34:00 PM

Residents of North Berkeley have been urged to stay vigilant after a series of three robberies of pedestrians in the last week that might be related to three other robberies in November. -more-



Public Comment

Going Forward: An Open Letter to Berkeley's new City Council

Charlene M. Woodcock
Friday December 09, 2016 - 11:11:00 AM

New policies

Berkeley voters have made clear their wish for a change of direction in the governance of Berkeley that will be more attentive to the needs and values of our existing residents and to the consequences of serious income inequality. We see cheaply-built 6- and 8-story buildings going up all over Berkeley. We see our handsome historic buildings downtown demeaned: a garish hotel planned for Shattuck and Center, and the grotesquely oversized 2211 Harold Way project that will demolish the beautifully-designed, financially successful Shattuck Cinemas, a fine example of creative reuse of an historic building. Rather than approve rapid construction of new residential buildings that exacerbate gentrification and serve those who can pay market and luxury rates, we hope now to see the city focus on ensuring housing for our low income residents and middle class families. Berkeley's cultural and economic diversity, its teachers, artists, musicians, and minimum-wage working people, are a highly valued part of our city’s cultural fabric.

The previous council majority’s failure to require cutting edge energy efficiency and resource conservation in the design and construction of the many new buildings now going up is also a factor in the opposition to new development measured in the poll done for the Berkeley Property Owners Association: “Our polling research showed that the electorate was really ticked off about new development in Berkeley. Our political consultants said they never in their combined 100 years or so of running political campaigns had seen anything poll at 72 percent.” (December 2016 BPOA newsletter). -more-


Response to Dan McMullan

Sheila Goldmacher
Friday December 09, 2016 - 11:16:00 AM

I absolutely agree with Mr. McMullan. The city manager's actions seem cause for removal immediately upon the new Mayor's being sworn in. As for the others involved in this ugly action against everything we voted for, those folks should receive damning letters in their employee files and if possible, removed as well, for giving misinformation to the police department. and as for the police department's actions, they too should be condemned for doing such harm and abuse to homeless, disabled people for they too knew that the citizens of Berkeley had voted against the continuance of such behavior on their part. Trump in Berkeley - what a holiday to look forward to. -more-


December Pepper Spray Times

By Grace Underpressure
Thursday December 08, 2016 - 01:56:00 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-


Editorial

Disaster highlights the need for effective regulation in Berkeley

Becky O'Malley
Friday December 09, 2016 - 12:00:00 PM

Even if we don’t know anyone who died in the East Bay’s tragic fire, most of us are one or two removes away from someone who did. Our former employee and friend managed the career of some of the musicians who were lost, for example, and there were many more connections there to people we know. It’s a personal loss for family and friends, and also a loss to the wider society on many levels. I’m told that ushers at U.C. Berkeley’s Zellerbach auditorium were weeping on Friday because one of their number, a young man with considerable charm and many other accomplishments, perished in the flames. -more-


The Editor's Back Fence


Columns

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE:India & Pakistan: The Unthinkable

Conn Hallinan
Thursday December 08, 2016 - 11:19:00 AM

President-elect Donald Trump’s off the cuff, chaotic approach to foreign policy had at least one thing going for it, even though it was more the feel of a blind pig rooting for acorns than a thought out international initiative. In speaking with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Trump said he wanted “to address and find solutions to the county’s [Pakistan’s] problems.”

Whether Trump understands exactly how dangerous the current tensions between Pakistan and India are, or if anything will come from the Nov. 30 exchange between the two leaders, is anyone’s guess, but it is more than the Obama administration has done over the past eight years, in spite of a 2008 election promise to address the on-going crisis in Kashmir.

And right now that troubled land is the single most dangerous spot on the globe. -more-


Donald Trump, Cult Leader

Bob Burnett
Thursday December 08, 2016 - 10:57:00 AM

Donald Trump's unexpected presidential win is best understood as a pseudo-religious event. Trump voters saw November 8th as their last chance to "save" America. Out of desperation they joined the cult of Trump. -more-


ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Needs of the mentally ill

Jack Bragen
Thursday December 08, 2016 - 03:26:00 PM

A mentally ill individual in recovery shouldn't have to be burdened with basic survival. Yet, too often, we are. If you look at the picture of what happens to mentally ill people; being thrown into a detention facility, being homeless, living on the lower fringe of income for those lucky enough to have government benefits, or living in substandard or institutional housing, there is something wrong with the picture. -more-


Arts & Events

The Magnificent Seven One:

Mifune Memorialized Magnificently

Gar Smith
Thursday December 08, 2016 - 01:15:00 PM

At the Landmark Shattuck, December 9

It is fair to say that, without director Akira Kurasawa and actor Toshiro Mifune, there would have been no Magnificent Seven, No Clint "Fistful of Dollars" Eastwood, No Dirty Harry, and no Darth Vader.

George Lucas has admitted that Star Wars was inspired, in large measure, by Kurasawa's samurai epics. (Look no further than Darth Vader's Space Samurai costume.) Lucas even tried to get Mifune to play the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in the first Star Wars film but, when the Japanese legend turned down the offer, the role went to Sir Alec Guiness. (Spielberg had better luck many years later when Mifune signed on for a role in the WWII comedy, 1941, where Mifune co-starred with the likes of John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd.)

There are two towering legends in Japanese cinema and Godzilla takes second place to Mifune. You wouldn't want to run afoul of either one of them. Toshio Mifune made 27 films in four years, a testament to the grueling task of a contract employee. Mifune and many of his colleagues routinely worked 350 days out of every year. -more-


Back Stories

Opinion

Editorials

Disaster highlights the need for effective regulation in Berkeley 12-09-2016

The Editor's Back Fence

Don't Miss This 12-09-2016

Public Comment

Going Forward: An Open Letter to Berkeley's new City Council Charlene M. Woodcock 12-09-2016

Response to Dan McMullan Sheila Goldmacher 12-09-2016

December Pepper Spray Times By Grace Underpressure 12-08-2016

News

Press Release: Jesse Arreguin inaugurated as Berkeley mayor From Stefan Elgstrand, assistant to Mayor Arreguin 12-09-2016

Three robberies on Virginia Street prompt Berkeley police warning Scott Morris (BCN) 12-08-2016

Columns

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE:India & Pakistan: The Unthinkable Conn Hallinan 12-08-2016

Donald Trump, Cult Leader Bob Burnett 12-08-2016

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Needs of the mentally ill Jack Bragen 12-08-2016

Arts & Events

The Magnificent Seven One:

Mifune Memorialized Magnificently Gar Smith 12-08-2016