Extra

New: Don't wait any more

Romila Khanna
Sunday October 15, 2017 - 08:35:00 PM

Gun shots again? How many more Americans have to die before our governing body will listen to the pain and cries of those who lost there loved family members? It is very painful to hear the cries of those community members who don’t have the power to pass the laws to put an end to the gun violence. -more-


Strong Arm Robber Takes Laptop at Caffe Strada in Berkeley

Keith Burbank (BCN)
Sunday October 15, 2017 - 11:49:00 AM

One person was arrested and one is at large following a strong arm robbery Friday morning in Berkeley across the street from the University of California at Berkeley, university police said today. -more-


Berkeley Firefighters Report from Santa Rosa

Saturday October 14, 2017 - 10:27:00 PM

Berkeley firefighters have posted a graphic video of their service in Santa Rosa on YouTube. You can see it below: -more-



Page One

SQUEAKY WHEEL: Backyard dwellings (News Analysis)

Toni Mester
Friday October 13, 2017 - 03:35:00 PM
Saved or razed?

Berkeley’s homeowners include those who have a secure backyard, those who have-not, and those who wonder how long before they lose what they have now: sunlight, a patch of nature to call their own, privacy, and some peace and quiet.

Those who have a secure backyard own a home in the R-1 zone, located in the northeast hills and foothills; a patch around San Pablo Park (the result of down zoning in 1963), another patch surrounding upper Sacramento Street, and the Claremont, both lower and upper.

Homeowners in the R-1 and other residential zones are allowed to build a small backyard cottage limited to 750 square feet or less, known as an ADU (accessory dwelling unit) that is regulated by an ordinance finalized by the City Council in March, and explained in a flow-chart with Q and A. Since then, an ADU task force has developed under the aegis of Councilmember Ben Bartlett. -more-



Despacito: The Development of Puerto Rico (News Analysis)

Daniel Ward
Friday October 13, 2017 - 03:58:00 PM

For years before Hurricane Maria’s direct hit devastated much of Puerto Rico’s infrastructure in a matter of hours, the officially-bilingual U.S. territory’s economy had been in freefall and was subject to strict austerity measures imposed by the U.S. (and its bankers) which had caused schools to close and a mass exodus of the island’s youth.

Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens but it has no representation in the Electoral College, so its people cannot vote in general presidential elections. It has one delegate in the House of Representatives who serves on and votes in committees but cannot vote on the House floor; that position is currently held by Jenniffer González-Colón, a Republican.

Puerto Rico pays taxes to the U.S. In 2011, Puerto it paid $3.3 billion in taxes to the U.S., more than some states, in the form of Social Security, payroll, import, export, and commodity taxes. Most people in Puerto Rico do not pay federal income taxes, but they do pay local income taxes, which are often higher than what federal income taxes would be. Although Puerto Ricans pay into the U.S. Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security systems, they cannot collect the same benefits as citizens in the 50 states, which shifts more of their health care costs onto the territory’s government. -more-



Air Quality Health Advisory Continues

Dennis Culver (BCN)
Friday October 13, 2017 - 12:32:00 PM

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is extending a health advisory and Spare the Air Alert due to unhealthy air quality from the wildfires in the North Bay. -more-



Press Release: Help North Bay Animals by Adopting Pets in Berkeley

Matthai Chakko, City of Berkeley Public Information Officer
Friday October 13, 2017 - 12:36:00 PM

Adoption fees waived through October 22

Berkeley, California (Friday, October 13, 2017) - Adopt a pet from Berkeley's animal shelter and you can assist with a piece of the North Bay's massive relief effort. -more-



Public Comment

Leaving Calistoga

C. Denney
Friday October 13, 2017 - 04:13:00 PM

the wind can change direction
and a bullet-ridden bar
snows across a quiet vineyard
under an orange sky
you brush a wedding dress
from your hair
and sweep polished garden tools
from your windshield
just trying to leave paradise
the valley's treasure boils upward
then settles in drifts along the fences
the wind can change direction
the body knows before the mind
that something unexpected is in store
bring your fiddle with you
and take the road you know
-more-


Free speech! Hold firm! We must affirm and protect the First and 14th amendments to the Constitution with everything we have.

Bettina Aptheker, Distinguished Professor, Feminist Studies, UC Santa Cruz
Friday October 13, 2017 - 04:05:00 PM

The Free Speech Movement (FSM) at UC Berkeley in fall 1964 involved upwards of 20,000 students before it was over, and more than 800 of the Berkeley faculty voted in support of its demands at its Academic Senate meeting on Dec. 8, 1964. The FSM coalition spanned the political spectrum at the time from the Young Republicans to the Young Socialists, to communists, to students variously affiliated with civil rights, religious, and environmental groups. As a result the Regents of the University of California revised their regulations that had previously banned communists and “controversial speakers” from visiting the campus, and prevented students from holding rallies, distributing literature, and posting fliers. -more-


Dr. Trump's Craven Cure

Bruce Joffe
Friday October 13, 2017 - 04:08:00 PM

Since Congress failed to take Obamacare away from 20 million people, the current President issued an executive order allowing young, healthy people to opt out and buy cheaper health insurance. This benefits them with cheaper payments, but as they might learn the hard way, you get what you pay for. Young and healthy doesn't protect one from something unexpected, like a car crash, injury from a hurricane's wind, or the stray bullet from an unregulated shooter's gun. -more-


Bear Arms Or Arm Bears

Harry Brill
Friday October 13, 2017 - 03:46:00 PM

About that second amendment that allows people the right to bear arms, a much more sensible idea would be to allow the political right to arm bears. Although bears do not have an exemplary reputation, I have never come across a bear that has engaged in las Vegas style mass murder. And to the best of my knowledge, no bear has ever assaulted any President of the United States. \What about the second amendment? The only issue I believe where there is unanimous agreement is that the second amendment comes after the first. -more-


October Pepper Spray Times

By Grace Underpressure
Saturday October 14, 2017 - 11:08:00 AM

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

The Pure Evil of the Week Award Goes to....

Becky O'Malley
Friday October 13, 2017 - 04:20:00 PM

“A somber President Trump mourned the victims of the Las Vegas attack and called it “an act of pure evil” during brief remarks at the White House late Monday morning.

“Speaking directly from a prepared statement, the president reached for unity and struck a religious tone that is unusual for him, though more common when he reads prepared remarks.” (from an article in The Atlantic).

You can always tell when the twerpish Steven Miller has written one of Trump’s occasional teleprompter speeches, because Miller’s had enough of a (rejected) religious upbringing to manipulate the lingo. His boss didn’t even have that.

Donald Trump’s only exposture to something resembling moral thought was the Norman Vincent Peale “Power of Positive Thinking” feel-good pseudo religion. In the current administration, you could say that Miller plays The Devil to Trump’s Faust, except that the incumbent president lacks Faust’s initial innocence.

In a week where Evil has reared its ugly head all over the planet, Donald Trump has earned the Pure Evil of the Week award for his tweets about Puerto Rico. -more-


Columns

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE: Of Leprechauns, Nazis, and truncheons

Conn Hallinan
Friday October 13, 2017 - 03:48:00 PM

Ballingarry, Republic of Ireland—

This tiny village in the heart of County Limerick, with its narrow streets and multiple churches, seems untouched by time and untroubled by the economic and political cross currents tearing away at the European Union (EU). But Ireland can be a deceptive place, and these days nowhere is immune from what happens in Barcelona, Paris and Berlin.

Ballingarry—the place my grandfather emigrated from 126 years ago—was a textile center before the 1845 potato famine starved to death or scattered its residents. Today it houses five pubs, “One for every 100 people” notes my third cousin Caroline, who, along with her husband John, live next to an old Protestant church that has been taken over by a high tech company.

When the American and European economies crashed in 2008, Ireland was especially victimized. Strong-armed into a “bailout” to save its banks and speculators, the Republic is only beginning to emerge from almost a decade of tax hikes, layoffs, and austerity policies that impoverished a significant section of its population. The crisis also re-ignited the island’s major export: people, particularly its young. Between 2008 and 2016, an average of 30,000 people, age 15 to 24, left each year.

The Irish economy is growing again, but the country is still burdened by a massive debt, whose repayment drains capital from much needed investments in housing, education and infrastructure. But “debt” can be a deceptive word. It is not the result of a spending spree, but the fallout from of a huge real estate bubble pumped up by German, Dutch and French banks in cahoots with local speculators and politicians, who turned the Irish economy into an enormous casino. From 1999 to 2007, Irish real estate prices jumped 500 percent. -more-


THE PUBLIC EYE:Marching with Trump “Through the Valley of the Shadow”

Bob Burnett
Friday October 13, 2017 - 03:39:00 PM

American cultural history offers many images of walking through difficult times: "Going down the road feeling bad," "You got to walk that lonesome valley," and Psalm 23, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil." At the moment, Donald Trump is marching us "through the valley of the shadow." -more-


ECLECTIC RANT: Suspicious U.S. diplomat illnesses may be a ruse to end U.S.-Cuba détente

Ralph E. Stone
Friday October 13, 2017 - 04:17:00 PM

In June 2017, President Donald Trump laid out his new Cuba policy in a speech in Miami by signing an executive order rolling back parts of former president Obama’s historic diplomatic breakthrough between the two former Cold War foes. Trump called it a “terrible and misguided deal.” But Trump did leave in place in place many of Obama’s changes, including the reopened U.S. embassy in Havana. -more-


ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Recovery is Fragile

Jack Bragen
Friday October 13, 2017 - 03:31:00 PM

The price of sanity for someone like me, who suffers from a major psychiatric disorder, is continuous vigilance against recurrence of symptoms. In some instances, symptoms sneak past the barrier. The barrier consists of medication, therapy, a support system, and looking inward in order to identify and negate symptomatic thoughts. -more-


Arts & Events

Riccardo Muti & Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Residency at UCB

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Saturday October 14, 2017 - 12:23:00 PM

Under the auspices of Cal Performances, the renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra is in residency this week at UC Berkeley. On Friday evening, October 13, in the first of three concerts led by their Music Director Riccardo Muti, Chicago Symphony Orchestra presented a program comprised of Gioachino Rossini’s William Tell Overture, the West Coast premiere of All These Lighted Things by CSO Mead Composer-in-Residence Elizabeth Oganek, and Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 in E flat minor “Romantic.” Earlier in the week various events took place (a master class, a colloquium, etc.) in association with UCB’s Music Department. -more-


Back Stories

Opinion

Editorials

The Pure Evil of the Week Award Goes to.... 10-13-2017

Public Comment

Leaving Calistoga C. Denney 10-13-2017

Free speech! Hold firm! We must affirm and protect the First and 14th amendments to the Constitution with everything we have. Bettina Aptheker, Distinguished Professor, Feminist Studies, UC Santa Cruz 10-13-2017

Dr. Trump's Craven Cure Bruce Joffe 10-13-2017

Bear Arms Or Arm Bears Harry Brill 10-13-2017

October Pepper Spray Times By Grace Underpressure 10-14-2017

News

New: Don't wait any more Romila Khanna 10-15-2017

Strong Arm Robber Takes Laptop at Caffe Strada in Berkeley Keith Burbank (BCN) 10-15-2017

Berkeley Firefighters Report from Santa Rosa 10-14-2017

SQUEAKY WHEEL: Backyard dwellings (News Analysis) Toni Mester 10-13-2017

Despacito: The Development of Puerto Rico (News Analysis) Daniel Ward 10-13-2017

Air Quality Health Advisory Continues Dennis Culver (BCN) 10-13-2017

Press Release: Help North Bay Animals by Adopting Pets in Berkeley Matthai Chakko, City of Berkeley Public Information Officer 10-13-2017

Columns

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE: Of Leprechauns, Nazis, and truncheons Conn Hallinan 10-13-2017

THE PUBLIC EYE:Marching with Trump “Through the Valley of the Shadow” Bob Burnett 10-13-2017

ECLECTIC RANT: Suspicious U.S. diplomat illnesses may be a ruse to end U.S.-Cuba détente Ralph E. Stone 10-13-2017

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Recovery is Fragile Jack Bragen 10-13-2017

Arts & Events

Riccardo Muti & Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Residency at UCB Reviewed by James Roy MacBean 10-14-2017