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"Unfounded Fears: Why the Controversy Over a Berkeley Measure That Would Ban Sitting on Sidewalks is Overblown."

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(Article changed on November 2, 2012 at 17:28)

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"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity."

-George Carlin

This is just too funny.  I know I'm dyslexic, but this is ri diculous.  I do things backwards all the time, just by being left-handed.  So, that, combined with the fact that I have dyslexia, and you have a situation where I actually am writing a column... backward.

Last week, I read all the responses in the East Bay Express's October 3-9 article, "Unfounded Fears: Why the Controversy Over a Berkeley Measure That Would Ban Sitting on Sidewalks is Overblown."  The responses were so angry that I had to write a column on them.  There were seven responses to this tripe in all.  Some of them were short and sweet, some of them were long and detailed.  So I was given plenty to work with in order to write a column about it, and that is exactly what I did.  At first, though, I felt a little bad.  I hadn't even read the much-talked-about article, and took my marching orders from people clearly on one side of the debate.  However, the responses were so logical and were backed up with actual statistics, instead of the usual boogeyman, scare tactics usually accompanied by those in the marginalization-denigration business.

I talked to the "reporter" of this story, Rachel Swan.  I met her on the day where "hoards of activists gathered," so said she.  I did see her the evening prior, though.  I saw her palling around with John Caner, head of the Downtown [Berkeley] Business Association (DBA), in Constitution Square, at Almare Gelato Italiano (Another supporter of Measure S;and another business that should be boycotted.), where they chummed it up a bit, judging by the way their mannerisms showed through, as they slurped up their opulent, "affluent" gelato.

I was going to talk with Rachel that night.  I was going to ask her if she had the "other side of things."  On a (temporary) side note: I had once asked a reporter of this one other time, when she had interviewed John Caner about this upcoming Measure (S), but she, a lot like how Rachel would eventually not use any of what I gave her, told me she "had enough," even though, when I asked her if she had interviewed any homeless people, she told me she hadn't?

So I decided to not approach her (Swan) that evening. 

The next day, the day of the protest, I approached her, to give her information about what is really going on out here, as opposed to what [John] Caner and the DBA would have you believe.  I talked with Rachel Swan, for about ten minutes, minimum.  I gave her all sorts of information to go through, if she wanted to do a thorough story of what is going on out here.  Apparently, though, judging by the article she decided to write, none of that (pertinent) information I gave her made it into her article?

Like how the building manager for the Chase Manhattan Bank building was told, by John Gordon, to shut down the bathrooms at Tully's Coffee, in order to "get rid" of the homeless in the area, allegedly.  Isn't this collusion?  Isn't this conspiracy?  I mean, doesn't all the circumstantial evidence add up to something here?  Especially when you had the Tully's employees be given a key (and permission) to use the bathroom up in the Chase Building, right?  I personally witnessed this behavior, and would swear on a bible, in open court, stating as much, and so would those Tully's employees if asked to do the same (by a judge), or risk penalty of perjury.   Especially when I was told, by the employees and managers (And regional manager's assertion of the same, over an email that I still possess!) that the "bathrooms are in renovation/remodeling," just to be told a month or so later, due to constant pressure (by yours truly) "to tell me the truth," that the "bathrooms are closed 'permanently.'"

All this stuff adds up, and I am going to find out if it adds up to a criminal conspiracy charge.

That is why the next quote from Rachel Swan's article is so damned funny.

"Caner also predicted correctly that Tully's Coffee would also shutter, leaving another storefront vacant in Constitution Plaza."

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I'm a homeless student, writer, and activist... currently panhandling my way through school (and life.).
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As if we don't have enough reminders, this article... by Michael Germain on Friday, Nov 2, 2012 at 12:37:20 PM