Well, everything except the oak grove. That’s actually on stable ground (unlike most of Berkeley, go figure). We mean it’s on physically stable ground—which means that its future is on “shaky ground,” because there are no fault lines, so it . . . you know what? Nevermind. We’re just not up for wordplay this morning. Let’s try this again.

The future of the oak grove, which the university looks to replace with an athletic training center (resulting in the ultimate faceoff between jocks and hippies), partially depends on whether the grove lies on any active fault lines.

SF Chronicle reports:

State law prohibits new construction on earthquake faults. In October, the university released a Geomatrix report stating that most of the site was free of fault traces, but because of deep sediment on the site’s northeast corner engineers could not drill deep enough to reach a conclusion. In response, the U.S. Geological Survey and the California Geological Survey both said the study needed to be complete.

Turns out that, according to the follow-up study from the engineering firm Geomatrix, it’s not. The university is hoping that this will be sufficient evidence that the stadium’s construction isn’t a violation of the Alquist-Priolo Act, which prevents building on active fault lines.

Granted, this doesn’t mean that the future of the oak grove is at all certain. There’s still the lawsuits, which prevent the university from making physical alterations to the site until after said lawsuits are settled. However, for the protesters who have been sitting in those trees for about six months now, it probably would’ve been pretty nice to hear that they could finally come down.

Of course, some still see fault (no pun intended) with the university for its handling of the matter. In the rustic analogy which seems to be required of lawyers, Stephan Volker said:

(The university) has the cart before the horse. It approved the project without a completely adequate seismic review. The university needs to start over and do the process correctly.

The best advice we have? Get settled in. This conflict won’t be ending any time soon.

Report Finds No Fault Traces at Site of Proposed Athletic Center [Daily Cal]
Earthquake study finds Cal sports center site fault-free [SF Chronicle]


Activists scaled a redwood tree near Sather Gate last night. They have so far refused to declare their intentions, so it is complete speculation that this is Oakgate related.

Except that the Daily Cal article also points out that Cal Day is in two days and this redwood is prominently located in the middle of campus, not off in a corner by Memorial Stadium.

The police have decided not to try to remove the protesters:

UCPD Assistant Chief Mitch Celaya said the police would treat the incident as they have the protest at Memorial Stadium, where protesters have lodged in the trees since December, and would not try to forcibly remove anyone.

Earlier: Radical Legal Superstar Leads RunningWolf Defense
Three Protesters Take To Redwood Tree Next to Sather Gate on UC Berkeley Campus [Daily Cal]


Oakgate éminence grise Zachary RunningWolf is bringing out the big guns in his legal fight.

RunningWolf appeared in court today with four unpaid attorneys including the high-profile Tony Serra, who just finished a 10-month stint in federal prison for income tax evasion.

Getting Serra as an attorney is quite a coup for RunningWolf. A graduate of the Boalt Hall School of Law, Serra is a legendary radical who represented the likes of Black Panther Huey Newton and Hells Angels.

Maybe we’re just too young to understand, but it’s difficult for us to see how RunningWolf’s case is remotely worthy of being an important radical cause.

The former mayoral candidate is charged with resisting a police officer and making threats in a February incident at the oak grove. RunningWolf was then arrested April 6: for having a few outstanding traffic warrants.

According to Bay City News, Serra thinks he could get the Oakgate-related charges dropped in exchange for a guilty plea on the traffic charges.

That’s right—stick it to the man with a plea bargain.


Say it ain’t so! Former mayoral candidate and dreamy oak grove protester Zachary RunningWolf spent a long weekend in Berkeley Jail after being arrested Friday on three outstanding traffic warrants.

Though released yesterday on his own recognizance, RunningWolf is far from out of the woods.

Already facing charges of resisting arrest and threatening a police officer, RunningWolf’s latest arrest cements his reputation as the most hardcore player in the Oakgate drama.

Still we have to wonder what a tree sitter is doing with outstanding traffic warrants. But that’s really for RunningWolf and his attorneys to figure out.

Yes, he actually has a legal team to represent him. And according to the Daily Cal, these are lawyers he hired, which we guess means that he’s paying them.

And just in case you thought his defense would be plenty for RunningWolf to handle, he also plans to sue the university for false arrest. Apparently, he plans to hire more counsel for this.

We just hope this tree sitter understands exactly how much paper goes into legal battles.


Oakgate just won’t die. The Chron is reporting that UC police arrested an oak grove protester known as “Tree Otter” for allegedly trespassing and resisting arrest early this morning.

Athena Osborn was booked into Berkeley Jail and excluded from the campus for a week, according to the Chron. It is also unclear if Osborn will face any charges in connection with having a stupid-ass alias.

Details of the arrest are lacking, so it’s unclear if she did something more legally offensive than other tree sitters or perhaps this is just police drawing first blood for a final showdown. We wonder if this is retaliation for last month’s nude photo shoot, in which case kudos to the police for being on the side of sexy.

This latest development happened just a couple of days after UC police confiscated supplies and equipment from the protesters encampment, as reported in today’s Daily Cal.

Unfortunately for the tree sitters, things are going so well for them a mere four months into the madness, which is why they want student help.

“We need more student support,” said a tree-sitter who called himself Chewing Gum. “If students are in the trees the university can’t do anything about it. The students pay the bills.”

Chewing Gum and Tree Otter, now that’s a cute couple—save for the potential choking hazard.


What better way to tell your lover “Let’s bone” than with the gift of a limited edition autographed poster immortalizing sexy at its lowest point in recorded history: when 100ish scary people got naked in the oak grove to have their picture taken.

That’s right. It’s been less than a week, but for a mere $50 (or $25 unsigned) you’ll be the proud owner of a 16 inch by 20 inch “Last Stand” poster that captures the perversion of sexy in the form of dozens of contorted naked people around and in the trees—signed by the atrocity’s mastermind, photographer Jack Gescheidt.

Perhaps the biggest question here: how is Gescheidt’s signature worth $25, especially since, to our chagrin, he didn’t even drop trou’ for shoot? Seriously, how does a person determine value of his or her own signature?

Gescheidt’s Web site doesn’t mention to where the proceeds are going, so we can’t help but wonder if the whole stunt was just a ploy to raise money to buy a new set of organic sustainable hemp sheets.


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