The city of Oakland opened its third Tuff Shed site at Lake Merritt in early October. The new site, which is located in the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center parking lot, has 20 insulated cabins, approximately 8-by-15 feet each, designed to house two residents for up to six months. Together, they can accommodate 40 residents. As of late October, there are 14 open spaces remaining.
Last Thursday, city of Berkeley and BART officials heralded the opening of downtown Berkeley’s new BART plaza. Mayor Jesse Arreguin cut a ribbon to ceremonially inaugurate the space, which was reconstructed out of shining stone, and features sparkling glass and metal. From the BART station’s wave-shaped entranceway, the Berkeley Symphony emerged trumpeting the culmination of years of planning, while new public artworks were unveiled, including a massive metal globe sculpture by Michael Christian titled, “Home.”
On September 4, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that cities may not punish homeless people for sleeping outside in public spaces if they do not have access to shelter elsewhere. The case—Martin v. Boise—started way back in 2009, when six current and formerly homeless residents of Boise, Idaho sued the city for giving citations to people who were sleeping outside. The lawsuit rested on the notion that these citations violated the Eighth Amendment rights of Boise’s homeless residents, amounting to cruel and unusual punishment.
Dr. Phil, the affable problem-solving TV host, has a catch phrase he uses when defensive participants exhaust themselves telling him and the TV audience why they do things the way they do. He listens patiently. And then he says, “How’s that working for you?”
Assembly Bill 186 would have provided safe injection sites for the intravenous drug-using population of San Francisco. It began its uphill battle three years ago. After years of trial and error, the bill finally passed the State Assembly and Senate in August, this time allowing just San Francisco to run three pilot safe injection sites for a trial period of three years.