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PRUNING THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE...6-25-95, C. Denney
POLITICAL LANDSCAPE REPORT June 25th, 1995
...this is 104.1...later we'll have a live liposuction demonstration and an indepth focus on fruit flies but first... it's pruning the pulsing political landscape with your polymorphous political landscape gardener Laura Drawbridge...first the good news on a global scale; Shell Oil capitulates! Only days after British Prime Minister John Major stated that Shell had his full support for their plan to dispose of a polluted oil rig in the North Sea by sinking it off the west coast of Scotland, a combination of a massive European Shell boycott and direct action organized by Greenpeace (plus a crucial leaked government memo) stopped the plan completely, which Shell was planning to extend to the dozens of other oil rigs in the North Sea. The moral of this story is...interfere with the pipeline between large corporations and the almighty dollar and yes, you can change the world.
A big free radio salute to the Southern Baptist Church for renouncing their racist past...they apparently split with the Baptist Church over the issue of slavery and finally have seen the light! Digging it! Another free radio salute to the thousands of Japanese pilgrims who traveled to China last week to apologize for the atrocities committed by Japanese troups during WWII in the winter of 1937. I like that. Here's to the anti-Matrix hunger strikers in their third week of protest, and another salute to of all people Mayor Shirley Dean for supporting the needle exchange...state Attorney General Dan Lungren decided to keep his head planted firmed up his butt last week by ruling that all government-sanctioned needle exchanges are illegal, an opinion shared by Governor Wilson who thrice has vetoed legislation which would have legalized San Francisco's needle exchange....Berkeley Mayor Shirley Dean made an official statement in opposition to Lundgren's views at last Tuesday's City Council meeting and, of course, affirmed Gay Pride Month to make sure nobody took her opposition to the Rose Street AIDS facility the wrong way....why, it was enough to remind Laura Drawbridge of the old Loni Hancock days when ceremony ruled! Act ceremonially on global issues, and retreat locally still seems to be the watchword, but then the Berkeley City Council still gives good award! Same story as last week, the budget is squeezing everybody but the bloated Downtown Berkeley Association and its sister, the Telegraph Area Association. The Homeless Action Center is getting the ax and thank you all the wonderful people who turned out to plead that there couldn't possibly be a duplication of services where so clearly what services there are are so outstripped by need. The Homeless Action Center got a lot of people off the streets last year, but of course probably made the mistake of not contributing to Shirley Dean's electoral campaign and might just get sliced out of existence. Good time to give city hall a call or better still trot down to Martin Luther King and Center around quarter to seven on Tuesday and tell them you'd rather fund the Homeless Action Center than the DBA! Even the conservatives agree that developers should lobby with their own, not the public's money, and beside that, thanks to the hard lobbying of L.A. Wood and cohorts, now there's a monitor of the TV coverage at the City Council so you can see yourself on TV just like at the 7-eleven! Politicians are a little more expensive to buy than the stuff at the 7-Eleven, but the nutritional content is about the same! And the best news is you won't have to sit through the twenty-minute slide show Chiron hand job, because that was last week!
Moving on, these are the longest days of the year for Chief of Police Tony Ribera who just can't seem to get his act together starting with having the investigating officer in the case of the custody death of Aaron Williams call the deceased "a bum" then making a grand show of exonerating at least three officers before any investigation was complete, refering to the shocked public, the heartbroken family and accountability officials as "wolves," leaving all but one injured officer on the streets, and my favorite: responding to criticism of the brutality records of SFPD officers by saying hey, they're all like that! All against the backdrop of dozens of daily arrests of people peacefully feeding the hungry while the UN pats itself ceremonially on its birthday back. Very long days indeed for Frankie and Tony as they try to keep their backyard scandals out of the sight of visiting dignitaries.
Alameda, in the meantime, rejected a proclamation of gay pride month, a shock for those of us who thought Berkeley and Alameda might already be indistinguishable,.... rent control took another hit as the Costa Bill came closer to becoming law, pre-empting rent control in 9 cities including Berkeley....a house committee killed a moritorium on offshore drilling, unplugged the funding for the new desert national park and killed a study essential to reviving California's salmon runs.....the environment is going to take it on the chin from the mighty 104th Congress...and to finish, coming up this Tuesday at the City Council meeting, not only will the City Council lock in the budget but vote on whether or not to eliminate all the free parking around Peoples Park. Is this an improvement? Come on down and talk about it, sign up for the 30 minute public comment period just before 7:00 pm and play a song, read a poem, burn a flag, whatever suits your fancy. This is Laura Drawbridge signing off for free radio 104.1 FM.