Monday, January 29, 2007


Judges grant preliminary injunctions stopping the actions of a defendant for two reasons:

1. The relevant law suggests that a suit against the defendant is likely to succeed
2. The politics surrounding the case make it advisable to grant the injunction (and the law is murky at best)

It's a reasonable bet that Superior Court Judge Barbara Miller was working off of option #2 this morning. Think about her constituency (and yes, superior court judges are elected with six-year terms). The professional protesting class would have done their level best to knock her out if she had prevented their cases from even going to trial.

Her ruling hasn't been released to the public, but the Chronicle report suggests that she found a likelihood that the stadium project would violate the Alquist-Priolo Act, which forbids the state from building new buildings on active earthquake faults. The University submitted a number of tests to the court, some of which showed no seismic activity under the project and others that were inconclusive. So, in essence, the judge has assigned homework to all parties to do more testing and come up with a conclusive result.

We can't wait to get our hands on her ruling, but so far there's been no press mention of hippies sitting in oak trees or the cheap bastards on Tightwad Hill or the Panoramic Avenue NIMBYs. If her ruling is indeed confined to the Alquist-Priolo issue, then that could be a small ray of sunshine in an otherwise bleak day. Assuming, that is, the University can submit a conclusive round of seismic testing.

Cal will appeal this ruling, for all the good that will do. After that's disposed of, we're looking at a trial beginning sometime during the summer in which the court will evaluate each of the four suits brought against the stadium project. We obviously need to wrap this up before next off-season, or things will get a little bit dicey.

Or, we cut a deal with the City. If we can give up the proposed parking garage in exchange for them selling out the hippies in the trees, then there might be an accommodation that obviates the need for a trial. We're not hopeful, but the University shouldn't close any doors to further negotiation.

One last thing - please keep the comment section clean and constructive.


At 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the bright side, charges against ML will not be filed! Go Bears!

At 7:34 PM, Blogger Seth said...



"This is an extremely dangerous site," said attorney Stephan Volker of the California Oaks Foundation. "Furthermore, this is a grand old stand of ancient oak trees. It symbolizes much of what we cherish about California's ecological legacy and I think it ill befits this university to chop down its cathedrals in order to promote a student gym."

That is what their attorney said. He called them an ancient grove. That is a damn lie!

At 7:45 PM, Blogger Seth said...,1,3223980.story?coll=la-headlines-sports&track=crosspromo

Here is the link if you want to read it for yourself, pretty crazy...

At 7:59 PM, Blogger djmoney said...

I actually hope these assclowns are still up in trees on the day of the spring football scrimmage. If they are, we'll drag them down and give them a serious beatdown.

Unfortunately, Berkeley is filled with a large contingent of extremists who will reflexively oppose reasonable development. The city just recently approved a Trader Joe's after 5 YEARS of legal wrangling. For some reason business
interests in Berkeley have no political power because it's obvious that they benefit from a successful football program.

Also, would it really surprise anyone if the furd were secretly funding these lawsuits? They represent forces so dark and sinister that I'm sure they have a hand in all this. The furd and the city of Berkeley have probably hatched up a plot to join together and suck all the life out of the Bay Area.

At 8:28 PM, Blogger Seth said...

That is a scary thought, about Stanfurd and all. Something tells me they could be playing a role in this. However, if we really did stand up and make our voices heard, they would have no chance to silence us. The question is, will we stand up or sit back down?

At 8:44 PM, Blogger Pete Morris said...

Three comments:

1. The fact that the City is resorting to the Alquist-Priolo Act only demonstrates how much of a reach their geological argument is; while historically significant, it's a 35-year-old law that epitomizes some very old-fashioned thinking about seismic hazards--namely, that surface ruptures should be our primary concern, when in reality the overwhelming majority of destruction in a quake comes from the shock waves that propagate in all directions, putting Berkeley City Hall at no less risk than Memorial Stadium.

2. Contrary to popular belief, this battle would not happen "only in Berkeley". It would happen in Westwood, Eugene, Tucson, Austin, Madison, Athens, and just about every other community in the country, too. Propose a major construction project in the shadow of a bunch of rich bastards living up on a hill, and the lawyer parade will begin. Maybe the hippies in the trees are a relatively unique Berkeley touch, but the reason why Cal appears to be having more difficulty building facilities than other schools have had is because our beloved university and stadium just happen to sit on some primo real estate. Most campuses--and especially their athletic facilities--are located in total crapsville, where the only neighbors who might protest are the local students and the disenfranchised poor.

3. For the life of me, I do not understand the City and the NIMBYs' strategy. These are still very early days in the Southeast Campus redevelopment, and to spend their legal and political capital now seems incredibly foolhardy. Why antagonize the university now, over the training center, when the real stakes come later with the stadium itself? If it were me, I'd be seriously making nice with the UC right about now, in the hopes of trying to win some influence over the stadium redesign. And believe me, that's where the real battle will lie, because in addition to the NIMBYs up on the hill and the hippies up in the trees, you're going to have the cheap bastards up on Tightwad Hill plus a huge group of historic preservationists backed by a very sympathetic base of alumni--myself included--who actually cherish Memorial Stadium more than Tedford himself. Yes, I'd rather see Tedford leave than see Memorial turned into the next Soldier Field. That said, I most want to see Tedford lead another generation of Bears in a grand old lady of a stadium that had recently received a long-overdue facelift executed by some very subtle and skillful architectural hands.

At 10:47 PM, Blogger Seth said...

Pete - Those were some of the soundest arguments I have heard to date. This project needs smart people like yourself to seek the truth and expose lies. Your comments about the rich land interests could not have been more accurate. I am still not sure that this project would have received as much scrutiny in other cities. Granted, most cities are pretty strict with development, however, they would have caved after the thorough EIR was released. This plan is unequivocally as environmentally friendly as one can ever hope to be.

No, these folks in Berkeley have deep, deep, deep pockets and they aren’t going to stop. They can supply the hippies like an insurgency. Basically, they can fund and supply the hippies without end. The hippies may now conceivable stay in the trees indefinitely. They have already said they will not come out “for the next several months.”

These people will not stop until Tedford leaves and the next big quake hits and we all die. We die Pete. WE will be DEAD. Heaven forbid, but the thought of you with your precious son, (or whom I perceive from the photo to be your son) in Memorial in its current state worries me to no end.

I am sure nothing will happen, but then again can we really afford to take the risk? If the City and its special interests are serious about doing all of these terrible things, I think the team should explore playing in Oakland. At least their Cal football could be loved, without fear of persecution or ridicule. To be a football fan in Berkeley, according to the tree sitters and rich land interests, is akin to being a homicidal maniac! I’ll say again, God help us…

At 8:53 AM, Anonymous SoCal Oski said...

Just out of curiosity ...

Is it impossible for the University to find a different location for their upgrade annex, thus avoiding both the fault and the trees? I mean, unless that's the only place to put it, changing things up certainly may be less headache and cost than a trial, appeal, delays, etc.

Just wondering ...

At 11:19 AM, Blogger Seth said...

Damn Oski, I just wrote you a very inspiring rebuke to why this cannot move anywhere else, and I lost the damn thing when this damn page screwed up! Ok so to hell with it, I will just say what I had to say.

Ok, so if we are unable to affect any change with all our blogs and what not, the thing we need to do is stage a mass demonstration against the tree sitters and special land interests.
When would we hold such an event you ask? Simple, the first home game of the season! We could literally mobilize thousands of supporters to march on the enemies’ encampment! It would be the most gloriess day ever in the history of Cal football!
Please offer some feedback on this idea. I would love to do something faster but the average Cal fan is aloof to the situation and will not do anything to cause change.

At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Effin hippies. You guys know that the Stanford Alumni Association has a check box when we donate to keep the Kal hippie insurgency well funded, right?

It's because we can get jobs when we graduate.

And Harbaugh owns Tedford. Sweet 52% football grad rate, hippiecrits.

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