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Berkeley's People’s Park and Atlanta's “Cop City”

Steve Martinot
Thursday March 23, 2023 - 12:54:00 PM

In Berkeley (California), there is a struggle against developers for the preservation of People’s Park, a memorial to decades of opposition to police violence and brutality. In Atlanta (Georgia), there is a struggle against the future development of a police training base called “Cop City” that is already feeling the teeth of police brutality. In Berkeley, People’s Park has become the home for many homeless victims of corporate derogation of the right to affordable housing. In Atlanta, Cop City has already become the symbol of corporate policing and its demolition of what remains of the people’s political rights. 

When the source of social violence is able to rename itself as the authorized cure for that violence, it renders the entire issue irrational, like a language game played by drunken playboys. When the police kill a person saying "no" or running away, and they claim self-defense, or that their lives were endangered, they are just playing that game. Through the militarism of their training, they play a military language game as a set-up. They give a person a command, and when they don’t get instant obedience, pull out the gun. 

The command is just a ploy, a military-style pretense to being lawful. The ploy is to give a humiliating command, one that a self-respecting person would refuse, and then punish that refusal. The cop has set the civilian up, as if they were in a military institution, but without consent. The law permits a cop to give a "lawful" command, but the cop determines its "lawfulness." That is the language-game. The cop uses the command-obedience paradigm, but with the power to punish (by handcuffing, or arresting, or shooting in the back, etc.). It is used to criminalize self-respect, autonomy, and dignity. And the cops get to kill through that ploy. 

As a bit of military culture, the cop use the command-and-obedience paradigm to whittle away at the democracy that civilians may still be dreaming of having. That is the dream that informs people’s sense of autonomy. And when assaulted by the police, it gets changed into a concept of social violence that is purely propagandistic, a mere tool for social control. And that is what the police plan for their Cop City. It will be a place to play war-games against the people by an armed machine that uses guns instead of language. 

We know that, in the US, the police shoot an average of 1100 people each year. That is the tally of a government killing its own people. It is a pathology that not only kills, but leaves many others wounded and/or beaten. The police call it law enforcement, but the power to punish is the legitimization of impunity, which means the power to be a law unto themselves. They rename it, but it is at the center of social violence in this country. It has created the largest prison system in the world, holding 25% of the world’s prisoners (though the US has only 5% of the world’s people). 

In Berkeley, People’s Park seeks to preserve a piece of land dedicated to the struggle against social violence. It stands as a bigger monument: against the War in Vietnam, and for the struggles against racism, colonialism, homelessness, and the impoverishment from inflation (secretly a massive wage-cut). 

In Atlanta, today, a sister-city struggle is being waged against the police who wish to turn a forest on the edge of town into a massive training ground on which to play urban war-games. It is a struggle in the name of the same dream of democracy and justice. Though the City Council of Atlanta voted 10 – 4 in September to affirm the lease of the land, the people, some 70% of them, stood opposed to that; at a City Council meeting that went on for more than 17 hours, they came together to oppose the building of this "military" base. A letter to the Mayor opposing the project and calling for his resignation was signed by 48 local organizations. 

The horror of this complex is its focus on urban warfare. It will have a "mock" city in which to practice maneuvers against urban demonstrators, an area for explosives training, a heli-port for Vietnam Era combat craft, and a number of shooting ranges. This complex will cost $90 million. The funds for it, beyond that paid by the city, will be covered by the Atlanta Police Foundation, with contributions from corporate backers, including Coca-Cola and the Bank of America. 

The land that this Cop City will take over was originally the home of the Muskogee community, a very successful agricultural society (before English colonialism seized the land for slave plantations). The forest was called Weelaunee Forest, and is some 380 acres in extent. It is in part owing to a general movement for the re-matriation of indigenous land that opposition to this police urban war-games complex has grown in Atlanta. 

The lie, and the killing 

There are now activists who are occupying the land so that construction (aka destruction of the forest) cannot proceed. The police recently killed one of them in his tent, and arrested 23 others. The one killed, an activist named Manuel “Tortuguita” Terán, was riddled with bullets after the cops said he shot at them first. Witnesses claim the cop who was shot was a victim of the police opening fire, and was hit by a police bullet. 

Apparently, the police now desire greater urban military training so badly that they will lie about their latest victim. But, in fact, we don’t even have to assume the cops lied about Tortuguita; they lie about their need for military training, and their need to take the land, and the war they want to wage against the people, and their desire to abolish the people’s dream of democracy (one which is not expressed by their City Council representatives). It is a dream of democracy in which the people will have a seat at the policy-making table, and make policy concerning policing. 

But, of course, genocide is always associated with lying because it depends on demonizing a people, and their cultural activities. It relies on transforming a people’s sense of autonomy and sovereignty into resistance -- like a person’s refusal to obey when commanded by cops to violate his or her own self-respect and dignity. 

And the police are already aware that their social violence, by which they criminalize the autonomy of social justice movements, make those movements seem like counterattacks. Thus they pretend to prepare for war. 

Indeed, in the face of growing social justice movements to defund the police, and to restrict them to clear cases of law enforcement, there is a movement for Special Care Units to deal with cases of emotional crisis, people who can respond to those seeking help without guns or commands. That is the clear and popular statement that the military-style approach, their command-and-obedience paradigm, is what has led to so many police killings. And the police just want more. 

The political process 

What must not be forgotten, with respect to this Atlanta situation, is the evolutionary process leading up to the conflict. The controversy began with petitions. That is how political issues generally begin. There was land on the outskirts of Atlanta, home to a marginalized community (that is to say, not white), and a forest, dedicated to the indigenous who had lived in that area before colonial genocide exiled them from their homes. 

The petitions didn’t get anywhere. They expressed an opinion that was not popular with the police, or with those who make money from policing, from armaments, from prisons, from political fear campaigns, and from the imposition of a dictatorial form of “law and order.” When the petitions were ignored, the next step was to go directly to City Council, and demand to be heard about the preservation of the forest. There were proposals made to council that would stop the police complex. And after City Council, always mindful of where the money comes from, turned those proposals down, the people turned to demonstrations. And more demonstrations. There were marches through Atlanta, and into the forest, and out of the forest. Marches that appeared with signs and chanting. The people tried. But they go home at night, leaving the representatives who choose to ignore the issue to ignore the marches. And to ignore the dream of democracy among the people. 

In the face of that dream, the cops raise their suppression to the next level. They not only tell the City Council to vote against the people. The real lie that the cops tell is about themselves and their refusal to honor the people’s democratic desires. Ultimately, that is what gets transformed into violence. They kill a lone activist in his tent. And they deploy a new buzzword for their arrests: "domestic terrorism." 

It is a buzzword to indicate (though never to prove) that the demonstrations “started it,” that if there had been no demonstrations, there would have been no violence, no resistance, and no opposition to what the cops, or the politicians, or the banks, or the corporations, or the white supremacists, or the colonialists, or the genocidists wanted. With domestic terrorism, “we can have democracy with no social violence; all we need is that the people keep their dream of democracy to themselves.” 

It is a buzzword that the people cannot counteract; it belongs to war. In a "war," we have been told, instructed, and trained, that we must “support the troops.” And with domestic terrorism, the “domestic troops” have been sent out to fight the “domestic terrorists.” With this war authorized by the alleged representatives of the people, the cops get to outlaw demonstrations themselves. All they have to do is pretend to be enforcing the law. That will automatically shift the demonstrators to the domain of “enemy combatants.” 

But the hypocrisy of the police lies in claiming that they face domestic terrorism from people demonstrating. That hypocrisy emerges from the process that the demonstrators have gone through to get to the point where confrontation with the police is the only next step. And like the shootings of the disobedient, it is an opportunity to get violent first. 

Violence is their job, they say. They were hired to protect property, they say, and more important, to protect the rights of property. When people demonstrate against war, or against economic exploitation, or against environmental degradation, or against racial segregation, or against police brutality itself, or against any of the other evils by which profitability is imposed on the people, the cops will become violent. The police are hired to declare war on such movements. And to ignore the expense of that profitability that conditions the situation of the people. In the age of the corporate structure, it finally becomes obvious that those who enrich themselves only do so by impoverishing others. 

Because the police job description requires them to ignore that fact, everything they do is a language game. It doesn’t matter how peaceful people are; it is up to the police to define people’s peacefulness, which will be defined as violence when the police decide to call it that. When the cops are being violent, they get to define whether their actions are violent or not. When the people do something in response to police violence, the cops gets to decide whether those actions are violent or not. The police have it both ways. That is the sure sign of the despotic. 

Though the demonstrators are fighting against inequality and domination, and against the effects of police urban warfare, their fight will be deemed criminal activities. And that means that the police, who are there to preserve inequality and domination, are not there for law enforcement. Hence, domestic terrorism becomes the way the police overcome that hurdle, and make the one appear to be the other. Once one can call any political activity a form of terrorism, it can be outlawed, and one can declare war on it. The act of war becomes its own reward. 

But the history of domestic terrorism law in Georgia is full of irony. It was passed in 2017 in response to the killing of a black church seminar studying the Bible. A white supremacist named Dylann Roof sat in on the seminar; he then pulled a gun and opened fire on the others, claiming they were his enemy because they were trying to take over the world. His white supremacism told him the world was his, and those on whose backs his world was dependent were trying to gain citizenship in it. So he killed 9 of them. 

The law was later amended to include any act designed to “intimidate the civilian population.” But it is up to the police to decide who is intimidated and who is not by a demonstration. 

According to the UN definition, terrorism is the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims. That leaves out the fact that it always has a theatrical aspect about it; it is aimed at one side of a controversy, and thus hopes to provide an example for others on the other side. That is how it seeks to pursue its political aims, by “intimidating” those who are to be the "recipients" of its theatricality. In the case of damaged bulldozers, the audience was the construction companies and the City Council. 

But the amended definition would certainly hold for police brutality and police killings. They do their killing in public, so that the people of the community in which they kill will be intimidated, and grant the police the obedience they demand. Thus, the police are engaged in a war. War is the terrorism of the rich. 

But there is the issue of clandestinity. The terrorist as perpetrator is hidden behind his act of violence. He lets his act of violence speak for itself. And this is what the cops do when they kill someone. They do it out front, in public, but they hide behind the badge. The badge gives them impunity, and says that their killing will be "investigated" by the department, under the assumption that their killing was legitimate. So they cannot be brought to justice as individuals because they hide behind their departmental procedures. It preserves their clandestinity as a group. 

Indeed, it is their clandestinity that gives them their impunity, which means they can act as a law unto themselves. It makes them a group of killers who kill as a means of intimidating civilians. 

But there is a legal problem with the police charging terrorism. When the police define an action as domestic terrorism, they are speaking for the civilian population that they claim is being intimidated by the act, without a clear and present complainant to file a complaint and thus speak as a plaintiff. If the police could locate the perpetrator, then they would have no call to outlaw the person’s acts as terrorism. It will be simply vandalism or assault or trespassing, or some such. To call any of those acts terrorism would violate the UN definition. 

Thus, the problem with domestic terrorism is that it does not form part of a war against the elite of society, nor does it act clandestinely. All the police can pick up on is its intimidation. The police pick on this aspect of intimidation in order to get around the difficulty of criminalizing an entire demonstration, or even an entire social justice movement. 

The police have the ability to substitute themselves for a complainant or plaintiff only in the case of victimless crime laws. Otherwise, they need a complainant, a person to come forward and sign a complaint. With victimless crimes, where there is no victim to come forward and complain, the police have to substitute themselves for such a complainant. That is the hidden injustice contained (as a despotism) in all victimless crime laws (such as drug use). 

But in the case of "intimidation of the civilian population," there is ostensibly a crime, but it is political and not personal, and so there is no one to come forward as a complainant against the intimidator. Only the police can play that role, meaning they are dealing with something which they themselves have defined as violence and intimidation. That is, it is part of the language game that the police play when involved in political suppression. 

Indeed, if the police are the only ones intimidated by the act they are charging as terrorism, then they have substituted themselves for the people. It is a police state at war with its people: the conjunction of police military bases, an unaccountability for their killings, and charges of domestic terrorism. 

ECLECTIC RANT: Divided GOP Support for Ukraine

Ralph E. Stone
Monday March 20, 2023 - 04:47:00 PM

I have heard the occasional comment, especially among some GOP presidential candidates, asking why America should care about Russias invasion of Ukraine as the war is so far away and is not a threat to our national security or to Western Europe. This view seems strange when the GOP is traditionally a hawkish foreign policy party. In fact, a handful of Republicans have even criticized the Biden White House for not doing more to help Ukraine defend itself. 

The current and expected GOP presidential candidates, however, is divided about U.S. support for Ukraine. Former president Donald Trump has praised Putin as a clever strategist in the early days of the war and recently suggested that Ukraine should have ceded Russian-speaking areas” in a deal with Russia.  

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisrecently commented that U.S. support for Ukraine is not a vital” national interest to the U.S.", calling the Russian invasion a regional dispute. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said Russias invasion of Ukraine should be Europe's fight, not ours” and described U.S. aid sent to Ukraine as a waste" and said it risked escalation of the conflict. Vivek Ramaswamy seems to be in the Trump-DeSantis camp. 

On the other hand, former Vice President Pence says, "We must continue to stand with the people of Ukraine against the violence and aggression of the Russian military,” Nikki Haley agrees, saying aiding Ukraine is vital to U.S. interests. Sen. Tim Scott (R.SC) said, War in Ukraine is a fight for the heart of Europe and the principles U.S. has championed.” Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the U.S. must provide Ukraine with the military equipment it needs to defeat Russia and insisted ongoing support is 'in America's best interest." 

True, the U.S. has a long history of meddling on the world stage, which Putin has used as cover for Russias invasion of Ukraine. The North Atlantic Alliance was founded in the aftermath of the Second World War to secure peace in Europe, to promote cooperation among its members and to guard their freedom. While Ukraine is not a NATO member, it shares a border with Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania, all NATO members.  

If Russia prevails in Ukraine, then it becomes a greater threat to these neighboring NATO countries. As Winston Churchill once said, "Democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” I would add that our support of Ukraine is about defending democracy. 

In conclusion, I disagree with the naysayers. If Putin is allowed to invade a sovereign country in violation of international law and threatens its sovereignty, it would signal to others to do the same, which in turn, will affect us. 

The U.S. is part of a global world interdependent economically, socially, and politically. If Putin succeeds in Ukraine, he wont stop there. He didnt stop after seizing Crimea in 2014. President Biden has made it clear that helping Ukraine will not include boots on the ground. The U.S., Canada, the EU, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan, and the UK have already imposed severe sanctions against Russia and the U.S..has deployed or repositioned U.S.forces to Germany, Poland, Moldova and Romania near those countrieswith borders with Ukraine for defensive purposes only. 

I fully support President Biden's response to Putin's invasion of Ukraine.


Kelly Hammargren
Saturday March 18, 2023 - 01:18:00 PM
alfred twu
Alfred Twu

“Food is to health as air is to breathing” from Empty Tables How It Feels to Be Hungry by Beverly Gologorsky

I never read Barbara Ehrenreich’s book Nickeled and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America when it was first published in 2001. I picked it up just as the extra COVID-19 subsidies to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, SNAP or better known as food stamps, ran out or more fittingly were snatched away.

For those who never read Nickeled and Dimed, or it has been so long you’ve forgotten, Ehrenreich was already in a comfortable place as a writer when over a pricey lunch with her editor she suggested that someone (not herself) should write about the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act (PRWOA) signed by President Clinton. That someone turned into Ehrenreich herself, who left everything behind and set out in 1998, using the identity of a divorced homemaker, to be hired as a low wage worker and live, including housing, food and necessitiesk on what she was paid. PRWOA was supposed to end welfare and set the path for people to work their way out of poverty.

Not much has changed for the poor in the intervening years, especially the haughty wealthy Republicans accusing the poor of not working hard enough.

As far as nutritious food, that definitely was not available to Ehrenreich or her low paid co-workers. And Soleil Ho (a trained chef in real life) in her full-page Sunday editorial in the SF Chronicle described failing to survive on the equivalent of food stamps for one week. Of course, SNAP is supposed to supplement income, but when that income leaves little to spare, then hunger and the cheapest calories are all that is left, the same empty calories that lead to a long list of diseases, including diabetes and obesity. 

Agenda Item Three at the Health, Life Enrichment, Equity & Community meeting authored by Councilmember Bartlett with co-sponsors Arreguin, Harrison, and Hahn was the “Berkeley Food Utility and Access Resilience Measure (FARM).” Bartlett introduced the item by saying that a friend in Washington called suggesting coming up with a plan for food shortages and that granaries were getting low. Bartlett spoke about the fragility of supply chains and said that even now there is a shortage of eggs. Bartlett went on to describe the intent of FARM as being to protect the local food supply. 

The grand idea includes a Food Security Council, local food production, agreements between the City of Berkeley and farmers, synchronizing local food production with food banks, restaurants, schools and groceries, working with local assistance programs and accessing state funds. 

If the pandemic taught us anything it is how a little panic can clear the store shelves of everything from yeast for bread to toilet paper. 

We’re getting another lesson now with the atmospheric rivers, levee breaks and flooding of farmland. Last night the local news came with the reminder that the flooding isn’t just preventing the ground from drying out enough for planting to begin, it is leaving behind the contamination contained in the flood waters. This is not good. 

As for local production of food, the madness in project approvals for student housing, building ADUs and making small houses bigger leaves little space for food gardens, and those that do exist are left in continuous shadow. Thanks to Wiener, Wicks and Skinner leading the housing charge, and the failure of the Berkeley City Council to establish objective standards to provide protection for gardens and even solar, the grand proposal could do better on figuring out how Berkeley can change the exterior of buildings and rooftops into food gardens and solar micro-grids. 

New District 8 Councilmember Mark Humbert chimed in with his concern about the definition of local, “I think that Climate Action Plan defines local as within 100 miles. I would have a concern about defining local as the City of Berkeley, simply because we’ve looked at some statistics and they indicate that in order to feed the City of Berkeley, we need a whole lot more land than the City of Berkeley comprises.” 

What Humbert didn’t include in his singular focus on Berkeley is that Berkeley shares the area and that agricultural land within 100 miles with somewhere between 7 and 8 million people in the Bay Area and that doesn’t count the other thousands to the east, north and south within 100 miles. 

This is not to say we shouldn’t be looking at food supply, food waste, and putting nutritious food in the hands of the poor, especially children, but however well intended the FARM proposal is, it is definitely less than half-baked. 

California agriculture is often described as feeding the nation. This spells trouble filling that mission with the impact of flooded farmland. 

The disruption caused by a warming planet, whiplash between droughts and super storms, is creeping into every aspect of our lives, including food supply. 

Lebensraum (German for living space) is the word that comes to mind with the singular focus on Berkeley and recent reading. 

If we are really concerned about food supply then population needs to go back on the table. Women must not be forced into unwanted pregnancies. And women must not be forced to wait until they are at death’s door to terminate a failed pregnancy. 

In Nickeled and Dimed, Ehrenreich, even as she struggled to pay for rent and food and needing to find a second job, was not a single mother on minimum wage with one or two children in tow. One of the many findings in The Turnaway Study: Ten Years, a Thousand Women, and the Consequences of Having—Or Being Denied—An Abortion, by Diana Greene Foster, was that being denied an abortion was the path to increased poverty. 

The minimum wage in Berkeley is now up to $16.99 or $35,339.20 per year if someone works full time. That isn’t much in view of the high cost of living in the Bay Area. 

For Ehrenreich, finding a place to live close to work never worked out. When a second job was needed to cover housing, food and basic necessities, that meant juggling schedules and needing a car to get there--which leads right in to the presentation by Tom Rubin for Livable California’s online webinar “Land Use, Housing, and Transportation – Wishing Will Not Make It So”. 

Tom Rubin covered so much in the one hour and thirteen-minute presentation that it really is worth watching. Rubin starts out with older statistics and then progresses to problems with “complete streets”, mass transit myths, and how taking away parking from housing hits low income workers the hardest. You can watch the recording and review the presentation slides at https://www.livablecalifornia.org/transportatio-expert-tom-rubins-presentation-to-livable-california/ 

Those of us who question the wisdom of removing street parking and parking spaces from new housing, ask what happens to emergency access and evacuation routes with road diets, and note the hypocrisy of approving 1383 parking spaces in total for two biotech projects in West Berkeley (600 Addison and 787 Bancroft) are called a plethora of derogatory names and accused of being akin to Luddites. 

“Complete streets” which are supposedly complete with bus lanes and bus loading pads, bicycle lanes, vehicle lanes, automobile parking, and safe passage for pedestrians with sidewalks are built on the assumption that all of these different modes of transportation traveling at different speeds will all fit. Emergency access, delivery vehicles, drop-off and pick-up are usually the forgotten needs. Electric bikes which can travel up to 20 mph or more are a complicating factor, as are scooters and pedal and electric tricycles for adults. 

I am hearing from my bicycle riding friends that bicycle lane curbs add one more peril, because the rider is trapped, unable to avoid bicycle lane hazards, be it a slow or stopped rider, a vehicle crossing the bike lane or debris in the lane. I also heard that with vehicle backup cameras, drivers looking at the camera instead of over their shoulder don’t see when there is a bicyclist headed their way. 

In my communications back and forth with several avid bicycle riders, YIMBY advocate Alfred Twu sent me pictures of bicycle lanes in Fremont, his personal favorite. In Fremont the new bicycle lanes are paired with the sidewalk at the same elevation as the sidewalk, instead of at the street level with a curb like on Milvia in Berkeley. 

City staff and councilmembers are enamored of Complete Streets, so it is no surprise that CouncilmemberTaplin’s budget request for $400,000 ($100,000 for community outreach and $300,000 to develop a plan) for Complete Streets passed the Berkeley City Council on consent on March 14. 

Even in the Bay Area, where transit ridership was the second highest in the country, 17.6% of commuters in 2019 pre-pandemic, transit is in trouble with a ridership crash. San Francisco office vacancies continue to climb, with 27% as the latest number I could find. Mass transit cannot survive without massive support including bridge tolls, ballot measures (Contra Costa J) and state and federal funding. 

The Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA), which was not included in Rubin’s presentation, likes to tout its recovery in comparison to BART and Caltrain. The Berkeley Marina Specific Area Plan ( 

) is tied to WETA, with fantasies of bolstering the Marina budget shortfalls with commercialization of public spaces. The Parks, Recreation and Waterfront commissioners were denied advance study as a commission of the March 20 “Update on the Waterfront Specific Plan for the City of Berkeley Public Tidelands Area.” 

Here are some points to remember when looking at the staff report submitted by Scott Ferris, Director, Parks, Recreation and Waterfront Department, for the March 20, 2023, special council meeting. It is a mystery where the $1,048,596 cost of the hired consultants Hargreaves Jones to come up with the Marina Plan is buried. There is no mention that while the Marina is supposed to be an enterprise fund covering its operation costs, the hotel taxes go into the general fund. Pre-pandemic events in the Marina were an expense, not income, because the cost of police overtime for events was more than any money that was taken in. 

The proposed commercial event area in Cesar Chavez Park is still in the drawings, on page 28, the same event plan that resulted in such an uproar when it was originally proposed that Martin Nicholaus published it in the book Love Letters to the Park: Public Response to the Berkeley Marina Area Specific Plan ( 

) April – July 2022. You can read it at https://chavezpark.org/new-book-love-letters-to-the-park/ 

Council likes to hear what it wants to hear, kind of like the Fox watchers that tune into the evening spread with Tucker Carlson. That might be why that public comment alternative, from Robinson as the author and Wengraf as the co-sponsor, with Taplin, Kesarwani and Humbert eager to support it, had the language, “Public comment will occur for each Action item—excluding public hearings, appeals, and/or quasi-judicial matters—in separate but consecutive public comment periods before the Action Calendar is discussed by Council and staff.” These councilmembers gave way in the end to a small compromise, adding the phrase, “as the item is taken up,” but we should not forget preference of the five. 

WETA, according to their own documents, lists fare recovery (the portion of costs covered by each one-way trip) as 20%. WETA got to that 20% by eliminating everything but the crew, fuel and keeping the vessel running and facilities open. The actual fare recovery is 15%. If a rider had to pay the cost of each trip based on total spending so far this year, that works out to $42 each way using everything not cherry picked and total riders through January 31, 2023. And that low total cost of $42 per ride as a systemwide average is reached by WETA underspending what was budgeted for maintenance, facilities, infrastructure and ferry purchases. 

Accountants can argue that capital expenditures need to be discounted over the projected life of any project, but it is still money out the door, and what was spent so far this year on capital expenses looks more like an installment payment, as it is only 5% of the Total Project Budget for vessel rehabilitation, refurbishment, replacement, facilities maintenance, improvements and infrastructure. 

More important is the peak hour utilization in the ridership reports. During the busiest hour of the day, in the morning, the ferry from Richmond is 19% filled, Oakland & Alameda is 12% and Vallejo (where the city subsidizes fares) 32%. For the entire system during the busiest hour in the morning the ferries were 25% full, which means most of the time the ferries running on diesel fuel going back and forth across the Bay are near empty. During the month of January that was 292,858 gallons of diesel for near empty vessel trips. 

There is a lot of fuzzy accounting and wishful thinking that goes into the 

(called the Tidelands Area) for the March 20th presentation. And lots of romanticism around a boutique ferry service for high-income riders. 

The WETA survey of rider income published for the December 8, 2022 meeting found that 30% of riders had household incomes of greater than $200,000 with another 18% with household incomes between $150,000 - $200,000. 

The real problem with transit is that it doesn’t get people to where they want to go. Using transit means longer trips with regard to time, and it often isn’t available for workers with shifts ending late into the night. Even getting home from a City Council meeting after 11 pm can be a problem for someone who doesn’t have a car or extra money for an Uber, Lyft or taxi. It would have meant a long slow walk home for a person who uses a cane, had I not arrived by car and offered them a ride. 

I am less worried about available parking at the Marina for ferry users than for others, as I have doubts that the projected ridership is realistic. 

There were five meetings running at the same time Thursday evening, I chose the Design Review Committee (DRC). The DRC gave an unfavorable recommendation to the 10-story housing project for students at 2920 Shattuck with 221 units, 22 of which will be for very low income households. Those 22 units gave the project all the extra floors. The DRC was right. 2920 Shattuck is unattractive, looking like an office building or something out of eastern Europe after the collapse of the USSR. I asked for bird safe glass on every project but since we still have one more step to go it is a request to be responsible to the environment and the birds that live in it with us and not a requirement. Landscaping with California natives was a success this week.

Berkeley Seeks State Grant for Low-Barrier Interim Shelter for the Unhoused

Isabelle Gaston
Monday March 20, 2023 - 04:36:00 PM

At the end of February, the City of Berkeley applied for a state grant to provide a low-barrier interim shelter for Berkeley’s unhoused with a pathway to permanent housing. If all goes well, the award will be granted at the end of April, and the process of transferring people to the Super 8 motel on University Avenue from two homeless encampments will begin in early July.  

According to a staff presentation at a Budget and Finance Committee meeting on February 9, the objective of this new program is to: 

"Transition individuals into interim shelter with clear pathways to permanent housing or directly into permanent housing, using data informed, non-punitive, low-barrier, person-centered, Housing First, and coordinated approaches." 

The proposal submitted to the California Interagency Council on Homelessness is for a four-year master lease. The total cost, with a matching commitment of Measure P dollars, is $9.95 million. It includes personnel, non-personnel, and administration. The 12.5 staff include five residential assistants, two housing navigators, two program managers, one program coordinator, and one clinical case manager. 

There are 23 rooms at Super 8, some with multiple beds, and all have microwaves and private bathrooms. There is one ADA room. Residents will pick up their meals (Berkeley Food and Housing Project is a service provider) in the kitchen and eat together in a community space if they so choose. Rooms cost $110 per night and there is a $2200 per room/per year maintenance fee. A 3% increase will be applied after the first year. 

When asked by Councilmember Harrison to define “low barrier,” staff answered that couples can be together; visitors and pets are allowed; and there are no sobriety requirements for access to services. The concept is to “make it as easy as possible, like they are on the street, to come indoors.” 

The demographics of the 31 individuals who qualify for the program are: 60% white; 20% African American; 7.5% multiracial; 7.5% American Indian, Alaska Native, or Indigenous; and 5% unknown. Eighteen percent are Hispanic/Latin (a) (o) (x). The majority are male (65%). Ages range from 26 to 70, with the majority between 35 to 64. There are no children. The majority have mental health and drug and/or alcohol use disorder conditions. Physical health and developmental health conditions are also common. Two people are HIV positive. 

The two homeless encampments tied to the grant are on Harrison Street and 2nd Street. They are considered some of the most “challenging” according to staff. Aside from People’s Park, these two camps take up the “lion’s share” of their efforts on the streets which is due to the “growing accumulation of debris, trash, bulky items like mattresses, furniture, and pallets, and hazardous materials like human and pet waste, rodent harboring conditions such as open and rotting food sources causing dangerous living situations for residents and businesses nearby.” 


One commenter at the meeting, Ayanna Davis from Healthy Black Families, voiced her concern about the vulnerability of the population to be housed. She encouraged the city to offer onsite mental health services to support the residents at the motel.  

A friend of mine who lives not far from the Harrison encampment expressed similar concerns. He said that some of the homeless show signs of acute alcoholism and get into fights. Calls to BPD are not unusual. Given the proximity of Super 8 to Ohlone Park (two blocks) and adjacent neighborhoods, it could be problematic if substance abuse treatment services are not available (normally they are provided by the county).  

Councilmember Kesarwani, whose district the homeless encampments are in, asked staff about the likelihood of repopulation with other homeless once the existing encampments have been cleared. She noted that the sites on Harrison and 2nd are known desirable locations for encampments. Staff said that the “re-encampment prevention piece is outside the scope of the current grant opportunity.” 

The city has a pre-existing partnership with Super 8. There are currently homeless from the “Here There” encampment living in the motel as part of the winter shelter program. However, their stay is limited to 60 days due to the way the county funding is structured. This will not be the case for those receiving interim shelter through the state program where individuals can stay for up to four years. 

If the grant is awarded, those living at the Harrison encampment will be the first to be transferred to Super 8. If it is rejected, staff said there is an opportunity to reapply, with a deadline of June 30.


Public Comment

SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces: SmitherDigs/Dogs&Dogma

Gar Smith
Sunday March 19, 2023 - 09:04:00 PM

Woke Versus Noke

Florida Gov. Ron De Sanitizer wants to cleanse the state's schoolbooks of all things wokish. That includes math and history books. The New York Times recently reports any history books that dare to include the story of Rosa Parks cannot mention that Parks was the victim of racial prejudice. Instead of noting that Parks refused to sit in the back of a racially segregated bus, Florida's students will only read: "She was told to move to a different seat." And, according to a rewrite submitted for the textbook review process, a reference to "African American men" has been changed to "men of certain groups."

If the MAGA-tribes can "own the Libs" by invoking the pejorative word "Woke," it's only fair that liberals respond by condemning right-and-wrong-doers who dismiss tolerance and acceptance as NOT OK—"Noke" for short. 

America's New Top Dog 

The Chronicle's March 16 edition carried a wire service report that the American Kennel Club (AKC) had stripped the title of "favorite dog" from the country's Labrador retrievers—a prized perch these pooches have possessed for the past 31 years. 

So who pushed the Labs from their precious pedestal? A descriptive pronouncement (quite possibly written by a Lab owner) described the AKC's newly crowned canine as follows: "Adorable in some eyes, deplorable in others, the sturdy, push-faced, perky-eared, world-weary-looking and distinctively droll French bulldog." 

Car Scars Mar the Marina 

Desecration news: Have you noticed that some local (or maybe out-of-town) road-show rowdies have been spinning donuts on the big roundabout at the end of University Avenue, where the road to the Marina meets the turnoff to the Cesar Chavez Park? Big black tire marks are visible all over the elevated structure. 

Wonder if any videos have wound up on the Internet yet. 

Sure enough. Here's a pre-roundabout clip from 2010: 


Fashion Plates 

Honda Pilot: EEKACAT 


Yellow Toyota: FISHAWK 

Black Jeep: 510 JEEP (Celebrate our area code!) 

Red Expedition: CHOW 2TE (Haven't a clue) 

Gray Subaru Outback: B BKLYN (Born in Brooklyn?") 

Gray Tesla: LINGNOI (Name of an online language course) 

White Ford: REUSER ("Look! I'm driving a used car!") 


Pray for Secular Government 

Abolish Corporate Personhood 

People Cast Votes. Corporations Buy Elections. 

Billionaires Can't Buy Bernie 

I Don't Have a Bucket List but My F—k-it list Is a Mile Long 

Whatever Happened to the "Chinese Spy Balloon" 

It was the biggest, most front-page, in-your-face news story of the week. It was so ballyhooed that it distracted nearly everyone's attention from Seymour Hersh's expose that pinned the destruction of Russia's Nord Stream pipelines on none other than the USA. (Previously, Washington's unconvincing response to the mysterious bombing was to point East and yell "Moscow did it!") 

There was major attention paid to the recovery of the debris from off the Atlantic shore. But instead of answering the question about the alleged surveillance powers of the floating balloon, there was no follow up on what the military and FBI found. All reporting suddenly stopped on February 17. No discloser. No updates. No further details. "Nothing to see here. Move along." 

What Has our Air Force Got to Hide?
Aviation News reports the US Air Force has started removing traditional identifying markings from Air Mobility Command (AMC) aircraft. The large "US Air Force" logos (along with tail numbers and "other identifying markings") are all being scrapped. Why is the USAF going incognito? Why the move from transparency to anonymity? 

“We operate across the globe every day, often supporting sensitive movements of people and cargo," the AMC explained, “Understandably, we have concerns about the operational security impacts to these missions in the modern era of on-demand, real-time information. Subdued paint schemes that limit identifiable information is one way we are taking a hard look at how we operate to ensure our ability to continue to deliver for America and our allies and partners around the world." 

“Woven through our culture is a foundational knowledge of the business we are in, the war business,” AMC Commander Gen. Mike Minihan wrote in October 2022. “Lethality is what we will deliver.” 

The Anniversary of "Shock and Awe" Brings Major Protest to SF 

It's a matter of fact that Russia sent weapons of war across a shared border with Ukraine but—to shift the lens a bit—how about if we started referring the March 19, 2003 "Shock and Awe" US assault on Iraq as George W. Bush's "Special Military Operation"? 

While there were provable (and preventable) concerns that Russia warned could lead to conflict (mostly involving NATO's eastward expansion toward Russia's western borders) GWB's justification for attacking Iraq was based on a Big Lie involving fictitious "Weapons of Mass Destruction." 

What does a "war crime" look like? Just revisit the photos and video clips of the mass aerial bombardment Baghdad and Fallujah (the "city of mosques" was attacked using shells containing depleted uranium). 


And so it was that, on Saturday, March 18, 2023, a rally of more than a hundred peace activists gathered at BART's 24th Street plaza to mark the 20th anniversary of George W. Bush's murderous "Shock and Awe" attack on Baghdad. 

One of the rally's many speakers asked why no one in the US was ever charged with war crimes given that the Pentagon's massive bombardment of Iraq was responsible for "killing a quarter of a million civilians in 43 days." (Brown University's Cost of War Project puts the total number of Iraqi civilian deaths at 387,072.) 

The UN Commission on Human Rights reports that Russia's deadly war on Ukraine has so far claimed 8,000 civilian victims. Meanwhile, the failed US invasion of Afghanistan killed more than 70,000 civilians over the course of 12 bloody years. Notable facts: Afghanistan is not on America's border and the men accused of crashing passenger jets into the Pentagon and the Twin Towers were mainly citizens of Saudi Arabia, not terrorists from Afghanistan. 

When it comes to war crimes, America's record seems much darker than Russia's. Moving thousands of children out of a war-zone sounds more like a humanitarian act than an act of war. 

In an attempt to gain some perspective during the BART demo, an Army vet took the microphone to note that the US has around 800 foreign bases in more than 70 foreign countries. "How many foreign bases has Russia got? 21! How many foreign bases has China got? 1! It's in the African nation of Djibouti." 

Adding to the din was a contingent of eight demonstrators wrapped in blue and yellow Ukrainian flags who repeatedly booed the main event while waving anti-Putin placards and shouting "Defend Ukraine!" and "Shame on you!" The Battle of Amplification raged for more than an hour but the grit and determination (and the informed historical depth) of the majority's arguments won the day. 

What Does "Rule-based Order" Mean? Just Swap Two Letters 

The phrase "rules-based order" has a pleasant ring to it but what does it really mean? Rules-Based Order is not the same as adhering to international treaties. It's actually the opposite. It would be more honest and alarming if the phrase were changed to express what it really means. And that only takes the addition of two letters: Ruler-Based Orders

As Joe Biden likes to proclaim: "America is back and ready to lead the world." But there's a problem to this worldview. Maybe the world doesn't want to be lead by a US president. There's another obstacle to America's insistence on unilateralism—the United Nations. 

The US doesn't believe in following the global majorities that have guided UN decision-making. Washington prefers to ignore UN treaties and enforce its own version of "law and order." The US has been a global UN scofflaw since 1948. Over the past seven-plus decades, the US has refused to sign or ratify UN treaties on the rights of women, the rights of children, the rights of workers, the rights of migrants, and the rights of the disabled. The US has refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, the Convention against Torture, the Convention on Human Rights, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty and has ignored bans on cluster munitions and landmines. The US withdrew from the International Criminal Court, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and the SALT II nuclear agreement. The US has even refused to sign the Moon Treaty. 

As professor and author Glenn Diesen recently explained, the US is losing its leadership position regarding "strategic industries," control over the world's "maritime corridors," control over "the main development banks," all while dealing with the decline of the dollar—"the world's trade/reserve currency." 

The US faces a dilemma, Diesen says: "It can either facilitate and shape a multipolar system where the US is the 'first among equals,' or it can aim to contain rising powers to extend its hegemonic position." 

Sports Notes 

I don't spend a lot of time following sports but I usually read the headlines in the Chronicle's sports section. And this sometimes leaves me baffled and scratching my headlines. Some recent samples: 

• Cal's loss Mizzou's key gain in Gates 

• No Brink, no problem 

• Giants catchers picking up on the nuances of pickoffs 

• Jones picks up slack as Cardinal roll in first-round trouncing 

ON MENTAL WELLNESS: How Self-Publishing Could Fill a Need

Jack Bragen
Sunday March 19, 2023 - 09:13:00 PM

Writing and self-publishing have become a common route for the ordinary, sometimes unpublished writer who needs to express oneself. This is because automated book manufacturing and publishing can be done cheaply with the new technology, and this can bring in a few dollars as well.

It seems that many people who have mental illnesses would really love to be writers, which they are--as I am, and it is a way to channel one's energies into something positive, when it seems that life lacks prospects of anything better.

I can write a book in about five months with no expenses, and I can publish it on lulu.com for free except that I have to buy a proof copy, which costs under ten dollars. It costs more than that to get a copyright certificate, usually 65 dollars. Yet you should not skip this step, because people can rip off your work, or they can accuse you of ripping off theirs.

Society has normalized mentally ill adults being homeless and/or incarcerated. This is a grave disservice. Now WE can normalize becoming writers and putting our message out to the world. This is a way that we can finally be heard.

In the old school of writing, existing authors and publishers have striven to keep publishing exclusive--to them. This is rapidly coming to an end. The technology of Print on Demand has made it economical to publish something on your own. Millions are doing this.

In the past, we had the vanity presses, and people would pay several thousand dollars to publish a book, one that won't have significant sales. If you're good with computers and if your English is good, often helped by the automated proofreading in Word, you have most of the tools you need, to publish. 

I have some common-sense rules that I follow when I publish a book: 

1. I won't pay someone to do any of the tasks or to help with any of the tasks associated with the self-publishing. You could potentially pay hundreds or even thousands to be helped, putting costs through the roof, and eliminating the possibility of black ink. I do all the tasks myself. If I pay nine or ten dollars for a proof copy, that's okay. And a one-time expense of sixty-five dollars to protect my rights to the work is acceptable. Beyond that, I refuse to pay anyone anything. This allows a book to potentially become profitable within a year of publishing, or even within months. 

Speaking realistically sales could be a few copies a month at best. Therefore, it is important not to spend money that was intended for me to live on. The above is achievable when I am determined to learn how I can accomplish all the tasks. 

Tasks involved in self-publishing include writing and editing the work, getting it into the correct format, registering the copyright at copyright.gov and following the steps in the self-publishing "wizard" that will make the material available to the public. 

2. I won't pay someone to advertise or otherwise market the book. My promotion is limited to a mention of the book title in the one to two sentence author bio that most editors allow, at the end of an article. To otherwise get the word out about your book without spending, you can use word of mouth and social media. 

3. This comes from Donald Trump's book, "How to Get Rich" a book I read many years before Trump went into politics. He said, "Make a name for yourself and cash in on the name." That's the only thing I got from that book. Many people do this. Writing a book potentially accomplishes both at once. 

4. You must be careful about what you include within your work. You must not talk about people you know unless you have their written consent. I have sometimes included people without including any identifying information, which is different. If someone has the same last name as you, or if they are likely to read your work, you need to be very careful. Secondly, you must not include graphic violence or graphic sex. You are better off if you keep your writing PG rated. Third, you should be careful what you include about yourself since this material might go on the web and/or might be used against you. Even if it is just an embarrassment, maybe it is better to leave it out of the manuscript. 

5. Make certain that someone else has not already published a book with the same title as the one you're choosing. There are multiple ways of researching this. Additionally, if you make the title "different" enough, or if you include your name as an integral part of the title, most likely you are safe. 

Self-publishing could be the new, revolutionary vehicle through which the mental health consumer self-help and activism movement could start up again. It was taken away from us by means of stronger medications that shut people down, and through removal of funding from consumer run organizations. To self-publish, you need a computer, but you do not need to leave your house. It can bring hope and meaning to individuals who might feel lost and who feel overly institutionalized. And doing this without being guided and limited by people involved in the treatment system or in "advocacy" groups, but instead on our own, could be a new way we can assert ourselves and our true needs and desires. 

Jack Bragen is a writer who lives in Martinez, California.

Arts & Events


Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Saturday March 18, 2023 - 07:15:00 PM

Worth Noting:

City Council Spring Recess is from March 22 – April 10, 2023.

All City Council and City Council Committee, the Zoning Adjustment Board and the Rent Board meetings are in the hybrid format: in-person and online via zoom. While all other City Commission meetings have returned to in-person only with no ZOOM option.

If you are missing meetings you wish to attend, because ZOOM is no longer available send a request for the city to provide hybrid meetings to your councilmember, the City Council at council@cityofberkeley.info, the City Clerk at clerk@cityofberkeley.info and the Open Government Commission at FCPC@cityofberkeley.info.

To find your councilmember go to https://berkeleyca.gov/your-government/city-council/council-district-lookup

  • Monday:
    • The 10:30 am hybrid format City Council Public Safety Committee (Kesarwani, Taplin, Wengraf) has one agenda item the Surveillance Ordinance.
    • The 6 pm hybrid format full City Council Special Meeting has one agenda item formerly billed as the Berkeley Marina Area Specific Plan now titled as Waterfront Specific Plan for the City of Berkeley Tidelands.
  • Tuesday:
    • The 4 pm hybrid Council Special meeting is on Civic Arts Grants and the Civic Center Plan including the Maudelle Shirek Building (old city hall), the Veterans Building and Civic Center Park.
    • At 6 pm in the hybrid format is the City Council regular meeting.
  • Wednesday:
    • The Disaster and Fire Safety Commission meets in-person at 7 pm.
    • South Berkeley Town Hall from 6:30 pm to 8 pm
  • Thursday: The Community Health Commission usually meets the fourth Thursday at 6:30 pm. There is no agenda or meeting announcement posted. Check after Monday.

Check the City website for late announcements and meetings posted on short notice at: https://berkeleyca.gov/

Directions with links to ZOOM support for activating Closed Captioning and Save Transcript are at the bottom of this calendar.



Sunday, March 19, 2023 - No city meetings listed 


Monday, March 20, 2023 



A Hybrid Meeting 

In-Person: at 2180 Milvia, 6th Floor, Redwood Room 

Videoconference: https://cityofberkeley-info.zoomgov.com/j/1602030774 

Teleconference: 1-669-254-5252 or 1-833-568-8864 (toll free) Meeting ID: 160 203 0774 

AGENDA: Louis, BPD – Berkeley Police Department Surveillance Ordinance Policies Related to Fixed Surveillance Cameras and Unmanned Aerial System (DRONES) (packet 242 pages) 



CITY COUNCIL Special Meeting at 4 pm 

A Hybrid Meeting 

In-Person: at 1231 Addison St. in the School District Board Room 

Videoconference: https://cityofberkeley-info.zoomgov.com/j/1612633953 

Teleconference: 1-669-254-5252 or 1-833-568-8864 (toll free) Meeting ID: 161 263 3953 

AGENDA: Update on the Waterfront Specific Plan for the City of Berkeley Tidelands Area, Use the link and choose the html option to access the report 



Tuesday, March 21, 2023 


CITY COUNCIL Special Meeting at 4 pm 

A Hybrid Meeting 

In-Person: at 1231 Addison St. in the School District Board Room 

Videoconference: https://cityofberkeley-info.zoomgov.com/j/1604192052 

Teleconference: 1-669-254-5252 or 1-833-568-8864 (toll free) Meeting ID: 160 419 2052 

AGENDA: 1. Civic Arts Grants Program on Improved Practices & Community Impact, 2. Civic Center Plan Phase II on the Design Concept. (packet 238 pages) 



CITY COUNCIL Regular Meeting at 6 pm 

A Hybrid Meeting 

In-Person: at 1231 Addison St. in the School District Board Room 

Videoconference: https://cityofberkeley-info.zoomgov.com/j/1604192052 

Teleconference: 1-669-254-5252 or 1-833-568-8864 (toll free) Meeting ID: 160 419 2052 

AGENDA: Use the link and choose the html option or see the agenda listed at the end of the calendar. 



Wednesday, March 22, 2023 



In-Person Only: at 997 Cedar, Fire Department Training Facility 

AGENDA: 1. Fire Department Staff Report, 3. Election of Vice Chair, 4. Add meeting to hear presentations on Standards of Coverage and Facilities Master Plan, 5. Replace commissioners on the Work Plan committee who have left the commission, 6. Formulate Working Group on Safe Passages Initiatives, 7. Building Standards, 8. Fire Department Recruitment issues, 9. Update on outdoor warning system, 10. State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) 



South Berkeley Town Hall at 6:30 pm – 8 pm 

A Hybrid Meeting 

In-Person: at 2236 Parker, Life Adventist Church 

Videoconference: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/81134806826?pwd=OVNXV1U2cjJwVU1ROGtZcExjWXBmZz09  

Teleconference: 1-669-444-9171 Meeting ID: 811 3480 6826 Password: 59571 

AGENDA: Town Hall with District 3 Councilmember Ben Bartlett. Hear facts and ask questions relating to upcoming housing developments in South Berkeley along Shattuck and Adeline 



Thursday, March 23, 2023 


COMMUNITY HEALTH COMMISSION meetings are usually held the 4th Thursday of the month at 6:30 pm. No meeting is posted. Check after Monday 



Friday, March 24, 2023 - No city meetings listed 

Saturday, March 25, 2023 - No city meetings listed 

Sunday, March 26, 2023 - No city meetings listed 




March 21, 2023 Agenda for CITY COUNCIL Meeting at 6 pm 

A Hybrid Meeting 

In-Person: at 1231 Addison St. in the School District Board Room 

Videoconference: https://cityofberkeley-info.zoomgov.com/j/1604192052 

Teleconference: 1-669-254-5252 or 1-833-568-8864 (toll free) Meeting ID: 160 419 2052 




  1. 2nd Reading – Amendments to COVID-19 Emergency Response Ordinance
  2. 2nd Reading – Amendments to Berkeley Election Reform Act Cost of Living Provisions
  1. Brown, City Attorney – Resolution Reviewing and Ratifying the Proclamation of Local COVID Emergency
  2. Williams-Ridley, City Manager (CM) – Designate the Line of Succession for the Director of Emergency Services in the event of an emergency
  3. Sprague, Fire - Grant Application: FEMA to expand National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1582/1583 for $840,000 with 10% or $84,000 city matching funds for Wellness, Fitness and Human Performance Program
  4. Warhuus, HHCS - Amend Contract #32200156 add $561,917.11 total $1,201,917.11 with Options Recovery Services for Community Response Services and extend to 12/31/2023
  5. Warhuus, HHCS - Amend Contract #32200147 add $75,600 total $195,000 with Women’s Daytime Drop-in Center for Community Crisis Response Services and extend to 12/31/2023
  6. Warhuus, HHCS - Amend Contract #32300025 add $300,000 total $350,000 with Non-Profit Intelligence Partners for Flexible Funding program services and extend to 6/30/2024
  7. Warhuus, HHCS – Revenue Agreements with California Department of Public Health (CDHP) for 1. Total $383,455 for Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention for years FY 2024, 2025, 2026, and 2. Total $487,170 or $162,390 each year for CalFresh Healthy Living Program FFY 2024, 2025, 2026
  8. Warhuus, HHCS – Funding Recommendation and Joint Homekey Application for University Inn at 1461 University for 1. Measure P $8,500,000 for University Inn permanent supportive housing, 2. Measure P $1,000,000 to operate University Inn as emergency shelter prior to conversion to permanent housing program, 3. Authorize submission to CA Housing and Community Development (HCD) for University Inn permanent supportive housing project, 4. Authorize CM or designee to eneter agreements with HCD, 5. Authorize CM or designee to execute all original or amended documents to effectuate these actions.
  9. Warhuus, HHCS – Amending the 2021 Annual Action Plan to Accept Home-American Rescue Plan Funds, $2,735,696, allocate 15% $410,354 for administration and planning, 5% $136,785 for nonprofit capacity building, and remaining 80% $2,188,557 to supportive services for qualifying populations
  10. Kouyoumdjian, HR – Salary adjustments Local 1 Senior Behavioral Health Clinician by 0.83%, Mental Health Clinical Supervisor by 4.18%, Mental Health Program Supervisor by 7.33%, Assistant Manager of Mental Health Division by 7.33%, and Manager of Mental Health Division by 1.2% effective 1/14/2023
  11. Kouyoumdjian, HR – Salary Range Adjustments increase top step salary of Deputy City Manager classification from $277,840.99 to $291,733.04 and the Employee Relations Manager from $175,026.38 to $180,065.60 effective 1/14/2023
  12. Ferris, Parks - Contract $260,312.50 includes $52,062.50 contingency with TERCONS Inc. for Aquatic Park Paddling and Rowing Club Parking Lot Improvements
  13. Klein, Planning – Grant Funding $80,000 to CA Energy Commission to integrate Application for SolarAPP+ Integration web software to the Permit Service Center operations
  14. Garland, Public Works – Amend Contract #32100192 add $200,000 total $2,375,900 with California Constructores for Sidewalk Repairs FY 2020 Project
  15. Garland, Public Works – Contract $10,203,711 with JV Lucas Paving, Inc for Street Rehabilitation FY2023 Project
  16. Garland, Public Works – Purchase Order $215,000 for one John Deere 320P Backhoe Loader with Pape Machinery, Inc
  17. Garland, Public Works – Purchase Order $496,454 with Nicholas K Corp dba Ford Store San Leandro for eight Ford Interceptor Hybrid Utility Vehicles
  18. Art Commission – Referral Response Grant Program $300,000 for retaining and improving creative spaces
  19. Arreguin co-sponsors Hahn, Harrison, Robinson – Budget Referral $2,000,000 to augment the post COVID-19 Rental Assistance/Anti-Displacement administered by the Eviction Defense Center
  20. Arreguin, co-sponsors Hahn, Wengraf – Relinquishment Council Office Budget funds to co-sponsor Bioneers Conference
  21. Hahn, co-sponsors Taplin, Wengraf – Budget Referral $40,000 for speed feedback signs for Arlington Ave.
  22. Hahn, co-sponsors Taplin, Wengraf – Budget Referral for $35,000 for Pedestrian Safety Upgrades for Arlington Ave, refresh painted markings
  23. Wengraf, co-sponsor Hahn - Relinquishment Council Office Budget funds for 2023 Virtual Holocaust Remembrance Day Program
  24. Wengraf & Hahn, co-sponsors Arreguin, Bartlett, Hahn – Proclamation in Honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day April 16 from 2-3 pm
  25. Robinson, co-sponsor Hahn, Harrison, Taplin – Referral to CM for On-Street Secure Bike Storage

  1. Garland, Public Works – Implement Residential Residential Preferential Parking (RPP) on 1600 block of Fifth Street
  2. Garland, Public Works – Adopt resolution approving Berkeley Transit-First Policy and appointing two members and one alternative to serve on the Inter-Agency Liaison Committee between COB and AC Transit
  3. Harrison , co-sponsor Harrison, Taplin– Adopt Ordinance Adding BMC Chapter 2.102 to Establish a Labor Peace Policy Minimizing Labor/Management Conflict in Berkeley Marina Zone

  1. Fiscal Year 2023 Mid-year Budget Update
  2. LPO NOD 1581 1581 LeRoy Ave #LMSAP2022-0009
  3. LPO NOD 1325 Arch #LMSAP2022-0013
  4. LPO NOD 1911 Fourth Street #LMSAP2022-0014
  5. 2022 Disaster and Fire Safety Work Plan




Public Hearings 

1262 Francisco (add 40 sq ft and 2nd story balcony) 2/28/2023 

469 Kentucky (single family dwelling) 5/23/2023 

Remanded to ZAB or LPC 

1205 Peralta – Conversion of an existing garage – submitting a new project 



April 18 – Hopkins Corridor Plan 

May 16 - Fire Facilities Study Report 5/16/2023 


Unscheduled Presentations: 

Climate Action Plan and Resilience Update – regular agenda March 14 

City Policies for Managing Parking Around BART Stations – check with Garland ?May 




Kelly Hammargren’s summary on what happened the preceding week can be found in the Berkeley Daily Planet under Activist’s Diary at: www.berkeleydailyplanet.com


This meeting list is also posted at: https://www.sustainableberkeleycoalition.com/whats-ahead.html 

If you would like to receive the Activist’s Calendar as soon as it is completed send an email to kellyhammargren@gmail.com

If you wish to stop receiving the weekly calendar of city meetings please forward the email you received to kellyhammargren@gmail.com with the request to be removed from the email list. 



For Online Public Meetings 



ZOOM has as part of the program - (for no extra cost) Closed Captioning (CC). It turns computer voice recognition into a transcript. Accuracy of the Closed Captioning is affected by background noise, the volume and clarity of the speaker, lexicons/wordbook and dialect of the speaker. The transcript will not be perfect, but most of the time reading through it the few words that don't fit, can be deciphered, like Shattuck was transcribed as Shadow in one recent transcript. 


Here is the link to ZOOM Support for how to set up Closed Captioning for a meeting or webinar:  



Here is the link to ZOOM Support for attendees in how to save Closed Captions: