Ron Lanza memorial set for June 15


A memorial for Ron Lanza, the queer impresario who founded Valencia Rose Cafe and Josie's Cabaret and Juice Joint, has been set for Saturday, June 15 at El Rio.

Lanza died of colon cancer April 9.

The memorial starts at 11am and runs to 1pm. It's an open mic; come tell a story. And expect to hear some crazy ones; he had a long and interesting life.

Memorial for Charles Lee Smith (1925-2010), passionate pamphleteer


Memorial services for Charles Lee Smith, a classic liberal activist whose hero was Tom Paine and whose passion was pamphleteering, will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 12, at the Friends Meeting House, Walnut and Vine, in Berkeley. He died at his Berkeley home on Jan. 7 at 84.

His wife Anne said that Charlie, as we all called him, fell in December and never fully recovered. She brought him home under hospice care on Jan. 5 and she and his two sons Greg and Jay were with him his last three days.

Charlie first contacted me in the early days of the Guardian in the late l960s. I soon realized that he was my kind of liberal, always working tirelessly, cheerfully, and quietly to make things better for people and their communities. He was a remarkable man with a remarkable range of interests and causes that he pursued his entire life.

He campaigned endlessly for causes ranging from the successful fight to stop Pacific Gas and Electric Co. from building a nuclear power plant on Bodega Bay to integrating the Berkeley schools to third brake lights for cars to one-way tolls on bridges to disaster preparedness to traffic safety and circles to public power and keep tabs on PG@E and big business shenanigans.

Read more »