Tenants will pay the price. Berlin rent cap overturned by Germany’s top court

Tenants worldwide have suffered during the Pandemic.

Berlin has some of the steepest rents in the World. The Berlin government has attempted to bring some equity to this situation.  Now, Germany’s constitutional Court has ruled the rental caps put in place by the Berlin government are illegal.

Tenants will suffer. Landlords stand to make a windfall profit.  This ruling has ramifications throughout Europe. It is an issue which Americans need to pay close attention as Federal moratoriums on evictions during the Pandemic are due to expire later this year.

Fortunately there are some cities in America with decent rent control measures and the occasional State law which provide tenants with a measure of protection.

It is obvious that legislators and the Courts are all too accommodating to property owners.  Landlords have the money. Tenants pay the price.

Excerpted from Deutsche Welle 4.15.2021

Germany’s constitutional court has decided that the Berlin rent cap violates Germany’s constitution. The cap was one of the most-debated laws in the country.

Germany’s constitutional court in Karlsruhe has ruled that the Berlin state government had no right to impose a rent cap in the German capital.

Berlin’s rent cap meant that rents for 90% of Berlin’s apartments were frozen for five years at their June 2019 level. New rents could not go above that level, and as of November 2020, any existing rents that were still above that level had to be reduced.

Berlin Property nationalization II 4.7.2019.jpg

International campaigners saw the Berlin rent cap as one of the most radical rent control measures worldwide, because though other European countries and cities have introduced rent freezes, the Berlin law allowed tenants to actually sue their landlords to reduce their rents. 

Barbara Steenbergen, EU liaison head of the International Union of Tenants (IUT), said she was shocked by the German court decision, not least because other state-level in Berlin laws did in fact regulate regulate private property rights: There is a law that bans landlords from keeping property empty as a speculation, for instance.

Steenbergen said that the Berlin state government had been forced to act because the federal government’s rent control measures, the rent brake, had not slowed the capital’s spiraling rents.

The court ruling found that since the federal government had already made a law regulating rents, a state government could not impose its own law that infringed upon that, and said the Berlin rent cap law was therefore null and void.

Today was a “heavy day for renters in Berlin,” said Sebastian Scheel, Berlin’s minister for urban development and housing, of the socialist Left party. “We took this path for good reasons,” he told the taz newspaper. “We knew that we were treading new ground, and wanted to sound out this issue of jurisdiction.”

Berlin II 6.22.2019.jpg

He also promised that the government would step in to help tenants who would now potentially be hit by sudden rent hikes. A demonstration calling for major property-owning companies to be expropriated was called on Thursday evening.

The Berlin Tenants’ Association called Thursday’s ruling a “slap in the face” for all tenants. “To declare the law unconstitutional from the beginning is irresponsible social policy,” the association’s director Reiner Wild said in a statement, before noting that it contradicted several other court rulings.

The constitutional complaint had been brought in May 2020 by Bundestag parliamentarians from the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP), who both welcomed the decision on Thursday.

Kai Wegner, a spokesman for the CDU federal parliamentary group, called the decision a “sensitive defeat” for the Berlin government, who he blamed for making “a false rent cap promise” to the city’s renters.

“The damage is great,” he said in a statement. “Ideology solves no problems, not in the housing market either. In the long-term, only a sufficient supply of housing can secure affordable rents.”

But the Berlin government had called the rent cap a “breathing space” for tenants while new housing could be built.



The Daily Dose of Cops Behaving Badly. Use Your Brain Before Making an Arrest

I could start an entire Blog site just chronicling the dangerous and stupid behavior exhibited on a daily basis by cops in America.

All this dangerous and stupid behavior exhibited by cops has been going on since the inception of America.

Only now is law enforcement misbehavior getting the full airing it so richly deserves.

For those who get caught up in the swamp of police misdeeds it is no laughing matter as the Brother chronicled in the following story graphically illustrates.

The good news is, if you want to call it that, this time the cops didn’t murder anyone.

Photo – Michael Markham Jr. (in black and red jacket) is suing the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, claiming he was arrested and jailed for two days after being mistaken for his brother, Marlon Markham (in gray jacket). (Shown above) Courtesy of Sanjay Schmidt /

San Francisco Chronicle 4.14.2021

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office is being sued by a man who said he was arrested and jailed for two days after being mistaken for his brother, who had a warrant for his arrest.

Lawyers for Michael Markham Jr. said he was mistaken by Alameda County deputies for his brother, Marlon Markham — despite the fact that Michael Markham is two years older, 5 inches shorter and 50 pounds lighter than his brother, who had a warrant for his arrest on a grand theft charge out of Shasta County.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, accuses the sheriff’s office and the deputies who pulled over, arrested and processed Markham of failing to adequately make sure they were arresting the correct person. It also accuses the deputies of improperly searching Markham’s car.

Stupid Alameda Sheriffs II 4.14.2021

Markham was working as a DoorDash driver near Oakland International Airport when he was pulled over for a traffic violation by Deputy Ryan Henrioulle, according to Markham’s lawyer, Sanjay Schmidt.

Markham gave Henrioulle his ID, according to the lawsuit. After confirming Markham’s ID was valid, he ran it for warrants, the lawsuit said. Henrioulle was told of a possible felony warrant for his arrest out of Redding. Minutes later, he learned the subject of the warrant was Marlon Markham, his brother.

The lawsuit said Alameda Deputy Sheriff Ryan Henrioulle did not check with dispatch or with the Redding Police Department about identifiers on the warrant — including the subject’s height and weight — nor did he look up Marlon Markham’s booking picture using a criminal database.

“There is no excuse, in this day and age, with the technology we have available, that this should happen,” Schmidt said.

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.

Michael Markham was arrested and taken to the Santa Rita Jail,. He told deputies several times that they had the wrong person. Henrioulle and other deputies then searched Markham’s car without a warrant before having it towed, according to the complaint.

Markham was released two days later after borrowing money from a friend to post bail, according to the lawsuit.



“I have loved every minute of being a police officer,” says killer cop.

It is incomprehensible that a 26 year law enforcement veteran can come up with a lame excuse that she thought her service weapon was a Taser when she murdered 20 year old Duante Wright during a traffice stop.

The reason she resigned has little, if anything, to do with “best interest of the community.” Kim Potter wants to protect her pension. Disgusting is the only word which comes to mind.

Excerpted from Washington Post 4.13.2021

The 26-year veteran police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minn., who fatally shot Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old unarmed Black man, (pictured above) has resigned “in the best interest of the community.”

Kim Potter, 48, tendered her resignation Tuesday in a brief letter to Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott and Police Chief Tim Gannon. Gannon followed suit, announcing his own resignation later Tuesday.

Duante Wright VI 4.13.2021
Killer ex-cop Kim Potter

Potter is a veteran and has served as her police union’s president, the Star Tribune reported. At an earlier news conference, where authorities played a nearly one-minute dash-cam recording of the fatal incident, Gannon said it appears that Potter intended to fire her Taser but instead made an “accidental discharge” from her gun.

Potter had been suspended pending the results of a Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigation, the agency said. On Monday, Brooklyn Center leaders dismissed the city manager, potentially giving Mayor Mike Elliot the ability to fire the chief or officers in the department.

“I’m hoping Wednesday, but I want to have the opportunity to give my condolences to his family and explain to them my decision,” Orput said.

The suburban city of about 30,000 residents has been rocked by Wright’s killing as the Minneapolis area watches the ongoing trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer charged with murder after kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes.


According to local media, Potter has retained attorney Earl Gray. Gray is also representing former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane, who has also been charged in Floyd’s death. Neither Potter nor Gray immediately responded to messages from The Washington Post as of early Tuesday.

Potter joined the Brooklyn Center Police Department in 1995, according to her LinkedIn page. She was first licensed as a police officer in Minnesota at age 22 that same year, the Star Tribune reported. In 2019, she was elected president of the Brooklyn Center Police Officer’s Association, according to the group’s Facebook page. She was also a longtime member of the Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association, where she served on its “casket team.”

Potter, who is married to a former police officer and has two adult sons, most recently worked on the Brooklyn Center police’s negotiation team, the Star Tribune reported.

She has been involved in one fatal police shooting in the past.

In 2019, Potter was among the first to arrive at a home in the Minneapolis suburb after two officers fatally shot a mentally ill man six times after he allegedly lunged at them with a knife, according to a report released by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office last year.

Duante Wright X 4.13.2021.jpg
Vigil for Duante Wright – murdered by a Cop

Once paramedics arrived, Potter ordered both of the officers to leave the house, sit in separate squad cars and deactivate their body cameras. As the union president at the time, she escorted one of the officers from the scene back to the police station and was later present when BCA investigators interviewed both officers, the report states.

The officers were not charged in the fatal shooting after prosecutors found they acted with “reasonable fear” after first firing their Tasers.

Potter’s actions in Wright’s death are shown in the video released by police on Monday.

A little before 2 p.m. on Sunday, two other unnamed officers and Potter pulled over Wright because of allegedly expired registration tags. Potter was acting as a field training officer and was training a new officer Sunday, Brian Peters, head of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, told the Star Tribune.

When the officers asked Wright for his identification, Gannon said at a Monday news conference, they found Wright had an outstanding warrant for a misdemeanor and attempted to take him into custody.

The video clip shows Wright slipping from an officer’s grip and returning to his car. That’s when Potter pulls out her gun and yells, “I’ll Tase you!” and then “Taser! Taser! Taser!” before firing.

Seconds later, Potter yells, “Holy s—, I shot him,” apparently realizing that she had fired her pistol instead of her Taser.

Wright drove a couple of blocks before crashing into another vehicle, police said, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Peters defended Potter’s prior record as an officer on the force.

“She’s just a very dedicated, passionate, good person. It’s completely devastating,” he told the Star Tribune. “She [is] just a good person, always willing to help out.”

On Monday, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner said Wright died of a gunshot wound to his chest and ruled his death a homicide.

Nothing changes in America as Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention creatively reminded us after the 1965 Watts Riots with their classic song, “Trouble Everyday.” A link is attached.


Another killing by cops in Minnesota. Games Are Canceled in the Twin Cities

The non stop wanton brutality by out of control cops defies the imagination.  

No matter how many riots, protests, calls for calm and hand wringing American law enforcement first response is to shoot first. There is no such thing as “progressive law enforcement” in America in 2021.

The terrible irony of the latest State sanctioned killing by a cop is that it took place in the very same City where Derek Chauvin is on trial for murdering George Floyd last year.

One would think that law enforcement would have learned some lessons. Obviously not.

The Nation – Dave Zirin 4.12.2021

Following the police killing of Daunte Wright just outside of Minneapolis, three major league games have been called off.

The question that looms is what impact canceling these games will actually have. It’s understandable that some would be cynical. But by taking this step, teams are at the very least doing something that I would describe as “puncturing privilege.” The white fans of these teams may have the luxury of not caring about Daunte Wright, of not even learning his name. But there is no turning away from this when SportsCenter is leading with this story and your game tickets are, at least for one night, worthless.

Duante Wright III 4.12.2021


The police killing of Daunte Wright just outside of Minneapolis is creating reverberations throughout the sports world. First the Minnesota Twins, then the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves, and then the National Hockey League’s Minnesota Wild all canceled their games. And they didn’t do it out of fear of riots, as some sportswriters erroneously (and inexcusably) tweeted.

Here is the statement that the Twins issued regarding the decision to postpone Monday’s contest against the Boston Red Sox.

Out of respect for the tragic events that occurred yesterday in Brooklyn Center, and following the additional details in this evolving situation, the Minnesota Twins have decided it is in the best interests of our fans, staff, players and community to not play today’s game. The decision was made by the Minnesota Twins after consultation with Major League Baseball, and local and state officials. Information regarding the rescheduling of today’s game, and corresponding ticket details, will be released in the near future. The Minnesota Twins organization extends its sympathies to the family of Daunte Wright.

Duante Wright IV 4.12.2021

Statements that followed from the other teams were similarly vague, but still significant. These statements are a critical sign of the times. Sports teams are realizing that performative gestures just aren’t going to cut it anymore—not with players and not with the young fans every league is desperate to attract. By canceling the games, the executives and owners of these franchises are acknowledging that reality.

Today’s cancellations happened for several reasons. The first and most obvious reason is that Minneapolis is in a profound state of crisis, with the killing of Daunte Wright taking place during the trial of George Floyd’s killer Derek Chauvin. The Twin Cities and surrounding areas are already on edge. This latest outrage could push things right over, especially if it looks like nobody gives a damn. It has fallen to major league sports to send the message that this problem is so significant that the games simply cannot go on as usual.

The other reason teams took this step, I would argue, is the influence of NBA, WNBA, NHL, MLS, and MLB players who refused to take the field following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis. They laid down a marker, withdrawing their labor in the face of injustice. In Minnesota, teams are getting ahead of that possibility. As difficult as these times are, the move shows just how much has changed in less than a year. And even if the leagues’ statements aren’t as strong as everyone wants, it’s striking that these owners are even aware of the world outside their arenas. Compare that to 1992 during the LA rebellion against police brutality, when the sports world barely blinked. It’s blinking now.

Duante Wright V 4.12.2021.jpg

Duante Wright II 4.12.2021.jpg



People of all ages cycle and rally for a permanently car free JFK Drive

On a beautiful Sunday morning in San Francisco’s historic Golden Gate Park a large throng of citizens of all ages rallied and cycled for a permanently car free JFK Drive.

The main thoroughfare has been closed to cars for the past year.

Thousands of citizens who have enjoyed this pedestrian and cyclists area in the Park will do whatever it takes to ensure that JFK Drive remains permanently car free.

Supporters of a permanently car free JFK face a tough battle. The entrenched monied and political interests in San Francisco will ferociously push to bring back cars to JFK Drive. The monied and political Class feels its right to dictate public policy is being questioned.

The push to bring cars back to JFK is all about money. Period.

The ability to drive and park in Golden Gate Park is crucial to the bottom line of DeYoung Museum and Steinhart Aquarium corporate management and their wealthy benefactors.

What this Power Elite knows full well and refuses to bring into the discussion is that an 800 car parking garage is situated directly underneath the DeYoung Museum and Steinhart Aquarium.  There is plenty of parking.

There is also a Muni transit line, Number 44, which stops directly in front of the DeYoung Museum and Steinhart Aquarium.

I  have included a haunting instrumental piece from the soundtrack of the documentary The Way West. “Lakota Death Song.” It’s  appropriate listening as we think about what unfettered Greed has done to the environment in Golden Gate Park.

41 JFK Car Free Sticker 4.11.2021.jpg

Photos – Liz and Lee Heidhues – Cyclists in San Francisco for nearly 50 years.

24 JFK Car Free 4.11.2021.jpg
Car Free JFK supporters gather for the rally


16 JFK Car Free Frida Kahlo II 4.11.2021.jpg
Cycling by the DeYoung Museum

38 Liz JFK Car Free 4.11.202132 Liz JFK Car Free 4.11.2021

42 JFK Car Free Heather Knight 4.11.2021
Cyclists of all ages rallied for a car free JFK Drive

7 JFK Car Free David Miles 4.11.2021.jpg

Mayor of Golden Gate Park – David Miles

33 Liz JFK Car Free 4.11.202118 JFK Car Free 4.11.2021

30 Liz JFK Car Free Liz IV 4.11202140 Liz JFK Car Free Lee 4.11.2021

17 JFK Car Free 4.11.2021.jpg

11 JFK Car Free Troubador II 4.11.2021
The JFK Car Free rally was entertained by the singing Troubador
9 JFK Car Free Ferris Wheel 4.11.2021.jpg
JFK Car Free advocates cycle by the Ferris Wheel
44 JFK Car Free Muni 4.11.2021
SF Muni at the Museum
43 Liz David Chiu Car Free JFK 4.11.2021.jpg
San Francisco State legislator David Chiu addressed JFK Car Free supporters
The Dogs came out to support Car Free JFK
Even the GG Park Constabulary were on hand for the Car Free rally

Under the radar State murder in Russia. Lawmakers decry ‘torture’ of Navalny

By many Press accounts Russian disident Alexei Navalny is being slowly tortured to death in a Penal Camp.

Navalny returned to Russia several months ago from Berlin, having recovered from a poisoning instigated by Vladimir Putin. The world renowned dissident was immediately taken into custody, tried in a sham trial and sentenced to prison.

Alexei Navalny is now engaged in a hunger strike and it is beyond dispute the Russian authorities are responsible for his deteriorating health.

Excerpted from Deutsche Welle 4.10.2021

As Alexei Navalny’s health deteriorates, German lawmakers have called on the Council of Europe to look into the conditions of his imprisonment in Russia.

He was arrested in January after returning from Germany, where he had been recovering from the assassination attempt with the nerve agent Novichok, which he blames on the Kremlin.

The treatment of the Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny in a Russian penal colony amounts to “targeted torture,” members of the foreign affairs committee in the German parliament said on Saturday.

Alexei Navalny III 4.10.2021.jpg

Bundestag members pledged “full solidarity” in a letter to Navalny, who is currently engaged in a hunger strike and is reportedly suffering from back pain and numbness in both legs. He has also complained of a heavy cough and fever.

The initiator of the letter, Greens politician Manuel Sarrazin, told the newsmagazine Der Spiegel that reports on the hunger strike were “depressing” and that “we mustn’t look the other way when the Putin system is putting Navalny in danger again.”

Navalny’s supporters say he is not receiving adequate medical treatment in the IK-2 penal colony east of Moscow, where he is serving a 2 1/2-year sentence for violating the probation terms of a previous fraud sentence.

Alexei Navalny IV 4.10.2021.jpg

The deputies decried the conditions of Navalny’s imprisonment, saying it violated the UN Convention Against Torture. They also called  for Navalny’s case to be investigated by the Council of Europe.

Even before his current imprisonment and a 2020 Novichok poisoning attack, Navalny fell ill in a Moscow jail cell in 2019 and needed to be hospitalized. He believes he was poisoned.

Alexei Navalny II 4.10.2021.jpgNavalny is being held in the prison colony IK-2 in the town of Pokrov

His trial in February aroused widespread outrage in Russia and abroad. Critics say all charges against him are politically motivated, with Navalny being seen as the most prominent rival to longtime President Vladimir Putin.

Both Brussels and Washington have called for Navalny’s release and have imposed sanctions on Moscow for the nerve agent poisoning.


Companies say cheaper to pay for IVF than have workers do it on their own

I was fascinated by the following Wall Street Journal piece which digs into Company policies regarding benefits for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Adoption.

It’s clear for reasons I can’t comprehend that couples who choose to go the IVF route rather than Adoption get a lot more love and support in their compensation package.

Why?  Good question.

The WSJ piece doesn’t  touch another issue of family planning and companies supporting a woman’s right to choose. Translation. Paying for Abortions.

Excerpted from Wall Street Journal 4.3.2021

Few companies offer to help employees who want to adopt, and they’re often less generous when they do

Some companies have decided it’s cheaper to pay for employees’ fertility treatments than to let employees pursue them on their own, since employers can end up covering many of the related costs anyway. If an employer is footing the bill for IVF, it can specify, for example, that doctors implant only one embryo at a time.

That cuts down on the odds of twins or triplets, where pregnancy and delivery is often complicated—and expensive. A 2013 study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology found that the delivery and care of a singleton baby costs about $20,000 for insurers and patients. Twins cost $100,000; triplets, $400,000.

Sarah Mahalchick and her future husband talked on one of their first dates about wanting to adopt. There were lots of children out there who needed parents, they told each other from the start.

IVF II 4.9.2021.jpg

But when they were ready to expand their family, they opted for fertility treatments, including in vitro fertilization. It seemed to make sense: Ms. Mahalchick’s employer would pay for a large chunk of the treatments through her health insurance; it offered almost no help on adoption.

Fertility benefits are becoming almost trendy at blue-chip companies, with more firms offering to help with the costs of IVF and egg freezing. But in many cases, companies that offer fertility benefits give no financial assistance to employees who want to adopt, and when they do their adoption benefits are often much less generous.

Estimates on how many companies offer fertility or adoption benefits are fuzzy. Most employers give neither. But the gap is clear.

The Society for Human Resource Management estimates that as of 2018, 27% of employers offered some form of infertility coverage and 11% offered adoption assistance. FertilityIQ, a website that offers courses and other information on family building, regularly scours benefit disclosures from thousands of employers. In a report released Saturday, it calculates that only one in five companies that offer fertility coverage also offer adoption assistance.

Employers that provide fertility assistance offer benefits worth an average of about $36,000, according to FertilityIQ. Jake Anderson-Bialis, FertilityIQ’s co-founder, said adoption benefits rarely exceed $10,000, and they’re usually far less.

The disparity hurts people who can’t or prefer not to undergo fertility treatments, including women disheartened by too many miscarriages and those who feel drawn to adopting a child who has no home. For gay men, fertility benefits are essentially useless without a surrogate, and using one can easily cost $100,000 or more.

For Ms. Mahalchick, the two years she spent on fertility treatments were miserable. The IVF hormones made her sick. She suffered multiple miscarriages. She and her husband spent some $10,000 on their portion of the treatments. In January 2020, they called it quits.

IVF 4.9.2021


They’re now pursuing adoption and wish they had started sooner. “It’s already stressful enough when you’re becoming a parent,” said Ms. Mahalchick, who lives in the Northeast. “But adoption is treated as if it’s a luxury.”

Adoption and fertility treatments alike are out of reach for many families. Adopting a child can easily cost $50,000 or more. (The exception is adopting from foster care, where financial costs are usually minimal.) A single round of IVF can cost $20,000 or more, and many women need multiple rounds.

Lauren Serianni of Tampa, Fla., said she was disheartened that her husband’s employer was willing to foot the bill for three cycles of IVF, a benefit easily worth $60,000, but would pay only $3,000 toward an adoption. She and her husband spent more than 10 times that to adopt their daughter, who is now a year old.

“Any way you’re going to grow a family is beautiful,” Ms. Serianni said. “It shouldn’t be, ‘If it’s not genetically yours then we won’t pay for it.’ ”

In 2018, about 80,000 children were born in the U.S. using IVF and other fertility treatments, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That same year, Americans adopted about 85,000 children they weren’t related to, according to the National Council For Adoption, an advocacy group.

Companies that have introduced generous fertility benefits often say they’re responding to employee demand. IVF and egg freezing have become part of white-collar zeitgeist in a way that adoption hasn’t.

Employers can also have logistical and financial reasons to offer fertility assistance that don’t apply to adoption.

Fertility coverage, when offered, is usually provided under a health insurance plan, which means the coverage can be subject to regulation. At least 17 states have passed laws requiring some insurers to cover or at least offer coverage for some infertility treatments.

Anita Jennison, herself an adoptee, had long wanted to adopt. In 2019, she joined lifestyle brand Goop in California and discovered that the company would reimburse employees for up to $60,000 in adoption expenses through Carrot Fertility, a benefits provider.

Ms. Jennison calculates she spent nearly $80,000 to adopt her daughter, who is now a year old. She would have much preferred to save up for her daughter’s education. She has since left Goop but is grateful for its financial support. She knows half a dozen families, at least, who are desperate to adopt but can’t afford it.

Before joining Goop, Ms. Jennison had thought her path to motherhood was closed. “I never expected this to happen,” she said. “This is a godsend, because no one offers this.”


It’s time to make permanent a car free JFK Drive in beautiful Golden Gate Park

Lee Heidhues – Letter to the San Francisco Chronicle Editor re Car Free JFK 4.8.2021

It is regrettable that the Chronicle is advocating to open JFK Drive to cars once again.

Publication of two recent letters by car advocates is sending a distressing signal. The Chronicle is ignoring the fact that during the past years thousands of people of all ages have utilized JFK Drive as a sanctuary removed from the automobile.

What is most insidious is the Chronicle’s using the elderly and disabled as political props. I am a senior citizen, 73 years old. I can easily access the venues adjacent to JFK Drive. There are options to use shuttles for those who need it. 

Were the Chronicle to provide the real reason it advocates JFK reopening its argument would collapse. The wealthy donors to the Fine Arts Museum are concerned about revenue.  Car free JFK does not impact their revenue. There is the parking garage. It is total sophistry to argue otherwise. 

3 Car free JFK 3.20.2021

1 Car free JFK 3.20.2021

11 Car free JFK 3.20.2021

JFK Drive III 6.13.2020.jpg

Car Free GG Park II 4.27.2020

13 Car free JFK 3.20.2021

15 Car free JFK 3.20.2021

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Every Picture Tells a Story – Ongoing Series

It is Holocaust Remembrance Day.  

Following are several photos taken by Liz Heidhues during our trips to Berlin in 2017 and 2018.

Excerpted from Jerusalem Post 4.7.2021
Israel will once again commemorate the greatest calamity to befall the Jewish people in 2,000 years on Wednesday night and Thursday as the country marks Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The official state opening ceremony for Holocaust Remembrance Day will take place at 8:00 p.m. in Yad Vashem’s Warsaw Ghetto Square on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem, and will be attended by President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, chief rabbis Yitzhak Yosef and David Lau and other dignitaries.
This year’s theme has been entitled “Until the Very Last Jew: Eighty Years Since the Onset of Mass Annihilation,” by Yad Vashem, marking the eightieth anniversary of Operation Barbarossa in which Nazi Germany staged a surprise attack against the Soviet Union in 1941 and occupied vast swathes of land in eastern Europe where millions of Jews lived.
It was following this invasion that the mass shootings committed by the Einsatzgruppen, other German soldiers and police forces, along with local collaborators began across Eastern Europe. This continued into 1943, and some 1.5 million Jews were murdered.
Jews were also murdered in similar operations in German-occupied Yugoslavian territory and by the Antonescu regime on Romanian-occupied land.
A new online exhibition by Yad Vashem commemorating this stage of the Holocaust entitled The Onset of Mass Murder – The Fate of Jewish Families in 1941 highlights the stories of 12 Jewish families who were caught up in the Nazi invasion of Eastern Europe.
During the state opening ceremony at Yad Vashem, six Holocaust survivors will each light a torch in memory of the more than six million victims of the Nazi genocide.

7 Holocaust Remembrance Day 2021.jpg








“Instead of protecting life, defendant Hall murdered …with malice aforethought.”

Black people can never expect Justice. That is why the family of Tyrell Wilson who was murdered in cold blood by a Danville cop have wasted no time. The family filed a lawsuit in Federal court today. 

The saddest part is that that the courts will never bring Tyrell Wilson back to life.

Instead, the killer cop walks the streets a free man.

Killer cop Tyrell Wilson IV 4.6.2021Diane Wilson, Tyrell Wilson’s mother grieves her son’s murder by Danville cop

Excerpted from San Francisco Chronicle 4.6.2021

The family of Tyrell Wilson, a 33-year-old Black man shot by a Danville police officer last month, has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city.

“Instead of protecting life, defendant Hall murdered Mr. Wilson, with malice aforethought,” the lawsuit by civil rights attorney John Burris states.

Killer cop V 4.6.2021.jpgPeople express sadness and outrage over murder of black man by Danville cop

It comes a day after a bystander’s cellphone video surfaced, showing Wilson and Danville police Officer Andrew Hall standing feet apart in the intersection of Sycamore Valley Road and Camino Ramon, shortly before noon on March 11.

Wilson family attorney  Burris displayed large still frames from the video that showed the position of the two men before and after Hall fired his gun while addressing reporters at the Sycamore Park and Ride parking lot near the site of the shooting.

Burris emphasized that he seldom labels a shooting as murder, even if he disagrees with the officer’s actions. “I don’t make that argument very often, but I do make it here,” the attorney said. “This is a situation which was clearly avoidable.”

Wilson’s mother, Diane Wilson, stood behind Burris in the parking lot, along with other family members, advocates and a pastor from the nearby city of Antioch. Through tears, she characterized her son as a kindhearted person with no history of aggression.

“I do not want to see the video,” Diane Wilson said. “I want my last thought and pictures of my son to be the beautiful man he is — or was.”

In addition to demanding unspecified damages, Burris seeks Hall’s termination, which would be up to the sheriff’s office — not the court.

The complaint alleges a series of missteps by the officer — such as not attempting to create space between himself and Wilson, and not taking cover after Wilson allegedly drew a folding knife. It contends that Hall “never made any effort to use reasonable de-escalation tactics, instead shooting Mr. Wilson in the face.”

In the wobbly recording, Hall appears to step toward Wilson as Wilson backs away. For a moment, the cellphone camera dips behind the door frame. When it gets both men back in sight, Hall fires once and Wilson collapses on his back.

Hall had driven to the area that morning to respond to several calls at 11:48 a.m. reporting a person throwing rocks from the Sycamore Valley Road freeway overpass onto Interstate 680. When he arrived, Hall found Wilson standing in the street.

While police have released no evidence so far linking Wilson to the alleged rock throwing, the department published still photographs on its Facebook page of the unhoused man identified as Wilson clutching a knife in his right hand and gripping a shopping bag in his left.

Police said that Hall yelled commands for Wilson to drop the weapon, and that Wilson began advancing toward him.

Tyrell Wilson – murdered by a cop.

Hall remains on administrative leave.

His attorney, Michael Rains, said the officer has requested a new assignment with the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office, which has a contract to provide police services in Danville.

Hall is awaiting a charging decision from District Attorney Diana Becton for a separate killing in 2018 when he fired 10 rounds through the windshield and passenger side window of fleeing motorist Laudemer Arboleda.


Top photo – During a march to Danville Police Department headquarters, Veronica Benjamin points to where Tyrell Wilson was fatally shot by the same police officer who shot and killed Laudemer Arboleda in November 2018.