Pictures from UC Berkeley walkout 9.24.09

Hi friends,

I posted some pics of the Walkout at UC Berkeley 9.24.09 on indybay.org



Millionaire vigilantes, in 1930?

This clipping from the San Francisco Chronicle states - Chicago gunmen and racketeers, driven to flight by the "millionaire vigilantes," will find no haven in San Francisco, under orders issued to the entire Police Department last night by Chief Quinn.

I haven't found any other references. Could this be the inspiration for Batman?





Editors, Daily Planet:

A few weeks ago I wrote about plans to install artificial turf at the Sankofa Academy adjacent to Bushrod Park in North Oakland, a plan with numerous problems, not the least of which is a playing surface subject to disease transmittal that has barely an eight-year manufacturers guarantee.

Today I notice another gardening debacle: lovely three-foot-tall brown ceramic flower pots filled with plant material of varying hardiness installed along Telegraph Avenue below Ashby every few blocks into North Oakland, and perhaps further to the north and south.

I have been in the business of urban landscaping for nearly 30 years, beginning with my career at the old California Street Nursery, and I can tell you that raised street planters, unless the local merchants or nearby residents adopt them, are a waste. Even if the city or merchant group responsible assigns gardeners to water them, it won’t be long before the plants are gone and the barren planters are filled with trash and cigarette butts.

I hate to sound cynical, but this well-meaning project was recently completed in an area with acres of empty and weed-filled sidewalk tree cutouts and planting strips that would better support rugged trees and hardy perennials than large clay pots.

Hank Chapot


Artificial Turf in north Oakland?

Berkeley Daily Planet
3023A Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94705

Dear Editors,

Three days before her February community meeting (on going green), Oakland City council President Jane Brunner announced she would spend 3.3 million dollars of measure WW park funds on an artificial turf soccer field to be placed on top of the blacktop play area behind the old Washington School, now Sankofa Academy. It appears from her announcement that Jane has the power over park expenditures in her North Oakland district.

Bushrod Park, perhaps the largest park in North Oakland, already has three baseball fields, a soccer field, tennis courts, outdoor basketball courts and a recreation center. In fact, nearly ninety percent of of the park is given over to organized sports. There is no dog run, no natural area, bare picnic facilities, a poor children's playground and little flat space for unorganized play. Now Brunner wants to cover, not remove, a large section of blacktop that in the winter floods onto Shattuck Avenue.

Artificial turf has become controversial across the United States for many reasons including; Friction between skin and artificial turf causes abrasions and/or burns to a much greater extent than natural grass, turf-toe is a medical condition often associated with playing on artificial turf pitches. A higher incidence of MRSA infections because pathogens are not readily broken down by natural processes and periodic disinfection is required. Artificial turf can become much hotter than natural grass when exposed to the sun, for cushioning it requires infill such as silicon sand and/or granulated rubber made from recycled car tires which may carry heavy metals. It has a short life span (10 year or less), can fail earlier and finally, artificial turf contributes to the loss of parks jobs and local funds are spent out of state for a manufactured petroleum product, and more petroleum is needed for shipping and installation.

Artificial turf is not guaranteed against accident, machinery, spiked shoes, animals, misuse, fire, flood, chemical reactions, acts of God, static or dynamic loads exceeding the manufacturers specifications at time of installation, improper or faulty subsurface preparation, failure of the subsurface after the installation including settling of the surface, and the use of dry cleaning fluids or other improper cleaning methods. Artificial turf is subject to vandalism and even if the up-front costs are said to be cheaper, there is little research on its costs versus benefits.

It is great that Councilmember Brunner is seeking to improve Bushrod Park, but there has never been a task force to analyze the wishes of the neighborhood and park users. In addition, Brunner will likely be forced to do spend additional funds for an environmental impact report on the project. Community members are invited to comment; jbrunner@oaklandnet.com (510) 238-7001



University of California controversies

some deltionist know-nothings at wikipedia rejected my page of UC controversies.

Here it is;

Big "C", a Cal fight song written in 1913, is appropriated by UCLA and renamed "Sons of Westwood. Copyright arguments continue until 1969 when it is discovered there was no copyright.

1936, Sir Francis Drake plate of brasse found near Point San Quentin and validated by UC Berkeley historian Herbert Eugene Bolton, a distinguished professor of California history and director of the Bancroft Library at the UC. He staked their careers on its authenticity, later found to be a hoax directed at him and made of contemporary metals.

1949-52. Regents require 'loyalty"oath, Earl Warren stands with the faculty who refuse to take oath. Over one hundred scholars depart system [1] [2] [3]

January 1954, Dr. Harold Winkler, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California is cleared by Regents of charges of communism for statements made in an off campus speech.

December, 1954. Regents pay claims of five former professors involved in a loyalty-oath controversy.

The suppression off free speech in the 1960s [4] [5]

January 1967. Clark Kerr dismissed as president of the University of California by the Board of Regents without advance notice [6] [7] [8]

October 1968. Regents Refuse to Back Governor Ronald Reagan's attempt to bar Eldridge Cleaver's course on racism on the UC campus, students sit-in over issue.

April 1969 defenders of People's Park in Berkeley assaulted by police and national Guard.

1969, Professor Arthur Robert Jensen claims IQ is genetically based

July, 1970 Harry Edwards granted tenure, ending six months of controversy.

1969 Angela Davis ordered by Regents dismissed because of her Communist party membership. A judge ordered her reinstated, and her association with the university is not severed until her one-year contract expired. [9]

October 1977, The anti-affirmative action lawsuit of Regents of the University of California v. Bakke goes before Supreme Court, decided in Bakke's favor.

1981 National Institutes of Health files disciplinary action against UCLA professor Dr. Martin J. Cline who violated Federal guidelines by attempting to treat two cases of a blood disorder through genetic experimentation involving two human patients without obtaining proper permission for the work from the appropriate university committees. [10]

1992, the university is harshly criticized when details emerged about a $1 million retirement package given to then-departing president David Gardner. The system also was criticized because Gardner had promised a $181,000 ``administrative leave package to his closest aide

1992 Tim White at UC Berkeley publishes analysis of bones found at an Anasazi site in Colorado. Concludes that the bones collected include remains of 12th century cannibalism.

1994 Many UC administrators unanimously oppose changing affirmative action policy. A majority of the regents vote to abandon Affirmative action.

Regent appoint Gordon Gee president in spite of the fact that a year after Gee left the president's job at the University of Colorado to assume the helm at Ohio State University, Colorado regents learned he had bypassed the board to grant hefty bonuses of $10,000 to $13,000 to his four top lieutenants. Gee also was criticized when a chancellor he had fired received a $232,400 golden parachute and that a $75,000 bonus went to a football coach for winning the Orange Bowl. The trustees were aware of the two deals but had not known about the full amount of the chancellor's package. Both deals, however, were initially kept from the public. [11]

1996 China scholars at the University of California at Berkeley scrap idea of naming a Chinese studies center after deceased Taiwanese leader Chiang Ching-kuo. [12]

1996 Passage of Proposition 209, University can no longer look at categories like race and ethnicity in admissions.

Late 1990s failure of a much-touted merger between UCSF and Stanford hospitals.

1996 Regents held a closed- door meeting in November that university sources admit violated the state's open meeting law, one of many. [13]

Late 90s University of California pressured to offer benefits to same-sex partners. [14]

2001 reports of increased corporate influence on University of California [15]

2001 Genetically engineered goats born at [UC Davis]], genes are supposed to increase the protein content of each goat's milk, which in turn would boost the cheese output at California dairies. [16]

2002 Dr. Ray Juzaitis, the leading candidate to take charge of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory drops out, citing the unwarranted linking of his name to the Wen Ho Lee case.

2005 Charges of mismanagement, financial scandal and security and safety issues at Los Alamos and Livermore, the national laboratories that oversee the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile leads to shared Lab Stewardship with Bechtel, the Washington Group and BWX Technologies.

November 7, 2005 UC Provost MRC Greenwood resigns as UC investigators probed her possible involvement in improper hiring practices.

October 13, 2005 Federal lawsuit filed against UC Berkeley over religious statements found on a UC Berkeley Web site.

Passage of [[Proposition 209, University can no longer look at categories like race and ethnicity in admissions.

2002 UC Merced to destroy vernal pools, endangered habitat. [17]

July 2006, in opposition of the funding from tobacco money, the Academic Assembly endorses statement, "no unit of the University should be directed (by faculty vote or administrative decision) to refuse to process, accept, or administer a research award based on the source of the funds; and no special encumbrances should be placed on a faculty member's ability to solicit or accept awards based on the source of the funds" [18]

2003, Los Alamos National Laboratory management scandal.

2004 Concerns raise that Regent Richard Blum has a conflict of interest due to his beingmvice chairman at URS Corp., the giant defense contractor

2005 Reporting on contamination in Mexican corn crop report leads to tenure fight for Natural Resources professor Ignacio Chappela

2005 DOE puts the Los Alamos laboratory’s management contract up for competition.

2005 Tenured UC Berkeley law professor John Yoo, while serving as deputy assistant attorney general during Bush's first term, authored memos that redefined "torture" very strictly.

2006 - Allan Dershowitz attempts to stop publication by UC Press of "Beyond Chutzpah" by Norman Finkelstein

2006 Unreported executive compensation packages are reported in a series in the San Francisco Chronicle. [19]

2006 University's plan to remodel the Memorial Stadium on the east side of campus garners two lawsuits and a group of treesitters in the grove of oaks that will be cut for the remodel. Neighbors oppose campus expandsion. [20]

2006 Colombian artist Fernando Botero's Abu Ghraib paintings shown at Berkeley Art Museum. [21]

July 2006, Denice Dee Denton, chancellor at UC Santa Cruz, in scandal over nepotism and housing expenses, commits suicide in San Francisco on Gay Freedom Day. [22] [23]

2006 -07 Democratic party politicians, celebrities including actor Danny Glover honor picket lines of lowest paid workers represented by AFSCME and decline to give commencement addresses.

2007 President Dynes resigns amid compensation controversy. [24]

2007 Labs contracts given over to private firms.

2008 University officials plan on increasing out of state and foreign admissions to increase income.

2008 Governor tries to cut funding for UC Berkeley Labor Program. [25]

March 2009 Reports that University of California continues hiring high-salaried administrative talent and awarding of pay raises, promotions and perks to a dozen executives. [26]

March 2009 Lawsuit against a UC Berkeley evolution Web site rejected without comment by the U.S. Supreme Court. One page on Cal's 840-page Understanding Evolution Web site says Darwinism can be compatible with religion. The 4-year-old suit by Jeanne Caldwell said the government-funded Web site amounts to a state position on religious doctrine that violates the Constitutional separation of church and state. [27]

2009 ASUC Senator John Mogtader is recalled from Berkeley Student Government


Berkeley Daily Planet editorial - click here

UC Service Workers Examine Settlement Offer
February 12 2009

Well, we accepted the offer UC calls fair, after eighteen months of negotiations, impasse, fact-finding, pickets, a strike and a sit-in at Regent Chair Richard Blum's private office, which I think was the clincher.

Click on the title to go to my Berkeley Daily Planet editorial.


video stricken from youtube

The video I shot (my first) at the action of AFSCME worker's sitting-in at the offices of Regent Richard Blum on friday the 16th was taken down at Youtube.

You can still see it and read more at;


watch the video

Invasion of the UC Service Workers


Friday 01.16.09 San Francisco.

Friday, 60 University of California (UC) workers and at least 10 UC student supporters stormed the San Francisco offices of UC Board of Regents Chairman Richard Blum at 909 Montgomery. Chanting, singing and posting images and words of impoverished UC service workers on the walls, they announced their intentions to occupy Blum's office until he and UC President Mark Yudof agree to end poverty wages at UC.

They made it into Blum's office by nefarious means, sixty strong! Clapping and chanting and singin' and dancin', Blum's employees didn't know what to do. Blum was not available but his very plush office was wide open.

Beneath pictures of Dianne Feinstein and the Dalai Lama, surrounded by Tibetan prayer flags, pictures of presidents and potentates and other knick-knacks of Blum's illustrious capitalist career, twenty people, including AFSCME members and student supporters, sat in and were arrested after Blum gave the SFPD his civil complaint. They were arrested. The cops were real nice and professional, after a ride to Central Station the protesters were booked for misdemeanor trespass.

With wages as low as $10/hour, 96% of UC service workers are eligible for some form of public assistance, including food stamps, childcare assistance, and housing subsidies. During the course of the past year- and-a-half of negotiations with UC service workers, the UC Board of Regents has approved raises and bonuses for highly-paid UC executives totaling $14.5 million, long before Thursday's decision to freeze executive salaries next year.

For example, just in the past year-and-a-half, UCLA Vice Chancellor of Medical Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine Gerald Levey received three salary increases, including one in September 2008 for over $154,000. UCI Chief Medical Officer Eugene Spiritus got three raises and two bonuses, bringing his 2008 cash compensation to $328,073. Finally, Nathan Brostrom, the Vice Chancellor for Administration at UC Berkeley received a 6.1% salary increase of $16,400.

It is shameful that UC has found the funds to give wage increases to its highest paid employees, but has not found the funds to raise its lowest paid workers out of poverty.

UC service workers have struggled in poverty for too long. Today is the day to set UC's priorities straight. UC President Mark Yudof, Regents Chairman Richard Blum and the other members of the Board of Regents have the power to end poverty at UC. It is time for them to step in and step up and end poverty at UC.