Cal’s Tree Hugging Hippie Problem Continues Or: The Saga Of Dumpster Muffin

You’d be forgiven for trying to figure out what the hell a judge’s ruling means for Cal’s plans to build an athletic facility where a bunch of old growth oak trees stand right now, because both sides are claiming victory and nothing’s more confusing than a judicial ruling where both sides think they’ve come out ahead. Ah, such is the morass that is California state law.

Here are the essentials, boiled down: the judge ruled that the university can build its facility there, take down the trees, and kick the tree-sitters out. HOWEVA (SAS-style for a reason), the university has to comply with local zoning and earthquake zoning laws established at the state level, and the activists’ lawyers believe they won’t be able to at all — especially considering that Memorial Stadium already sits on a fault line.  The Alquist-Priolo zoning law of 1972 denies new projects or extensions to anything on a fault line that exceeds 50 percent of its current value. They argue Memorial Stadium is worthless. (I would beg to differ; I don’t think you can really put a price tag on the heartbreak of the Cal faithful at continued mediocrity despite promises of excellence.)

Thus, the Bears may be in the same state of legal buttlock that they’ve been in over the past 18 months while trying to remove people who go by names like “Dumpster Muffin” (must resist cheap, easy oral sex joke) from the trees. People are watching this woman as the arborists and authorities try to get her down (which they did not do yesterday), and as another named “Millipede” bites an arborist and gets arrested.

Only in fucking Berzerkley, people. Only in Berzerkley.

Photo: Bob Larson, Contra Costa Times

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