Full Text

 

News

Cal Athletic Director Kasser resigns

By Jared Green Daily Planet Staff
Friday December 01, 2000

In a surprise announcement, Cal Athletic Director John Kasser resigned from his post Thursday to become the executive director of Pac-10 Properties. 

Kasser will leave the athletic department at the end of December for the joint venture between the Pac-10 conference and Fox Sports, created four years ago to help promote the conference’s athletic departments. He will oversee all of the conference’s licensing and marketing efforts, including the new Pac-10 basketball tournaments, to begin in 2002. 

“This was not a decision that was made in the last two weeks,” Kasser said at a press conference Thursday. “This has been in the works for the past six months. I’m leaving for a position where I can help all of the Pac-10 schools.” 

Kasser leaves Cal after seven years as athletic director. He was responsible for the hiring of 14 of Cal’s 27 coaches, and helped raise more than $100 million in donations. He oversaw the construction of the Haas Pavilion, opened last year, as well as the renovation of several other facilities, including Edwards Stadium. 

“I’m leaving feeling very good about where we are in the athletic department,” he said. “I still will be a Golden Bear at heart.” 

Cal Chancellor Robert Berdahl announced that he has appointed current Associate Athletic Director Robert Driscoll as the Acting Athletic Director. Berdahl said he would begin a nationwide search for a permanent replacement immediately, although he gave no timetable for filling the position. He indicated that Driscoll would be considered for the permanent position. 

“This is a sad moment for us at Cal,” Berdahl said. “John has been a key to the department’s success, and will be looked back upon as one of the marks of pride for the athletic department.” 

Berdahl said that despite Kasser’s depiction of football head coach Tom Holmoe as “my guy” doesn’t mean Holmoe will be leaving with Kasser. 

“We’re committed to Tom Holmoe, and we’re confident we’ll have a successful program next year,” Berdahl said. 

Kasser had stated in the past that “as long as I’m at Cal, Tom Holmoe will be the football coach.” 

Berdahl also said the new athletic director, whomever the choice may be, will not have the opportunity to replace Holmoe before next season. 

“Whoever comes in will have a coaching staff in place,” he said. 

Vice Chancellor Horace Mitchell, who worked closely with Kasser, said he leaves a strong legacy. 

“John brought some tremendous energy and enthusiasm to Cal, and he brought in coaches who represent the values of Cal,” Mitchell said. “He also instilled a philosophy that is student-centered, and that’s something we strive for.” 

Mitchell joined Berdahl in his vehement support of Holmoe. 

“The committment to Tom that John expressed is an institutional committment,” he said. “It doesn’t end with John leaving.” 

Driscoll, who has been an administrator at Cal for 14 years, was enthusiastic about his new, if temporary, position. 

“Having the opportunity to lead this department for the next few months is a dream come true for me,” he said. “I’m going to continue to do the things that John set forth for us.” 

Among the projects on the department’s slate is the seismic retrofitting of Memorial Stadium. Berdahl said Kasser’s resignation would have no effect on the project’s timeframe.


Berkeley battles HIV and AIDS

John Geluardi Daily Planet Staff
Friday December 01, 2000

While Berkeley’s efforts to reduce the number of new HIV/AIDS cases has been successful over the last six years, the city’s infection rate is still higher than that in Alameda County and California. 

Health officials say they are particularly alarmed at the increasing rate of infection in the city’s black community. 

According to the 1999 City of Berkeley Health Status Report, AIDS-related deaths dropped 90 percent from a peak in 1994 of 49 deaths to five deaths in 1998. At the same time, however, the rate of African Americans infected with the disease has increased.  

From 1989 to 1999 the proportion of African Americans diagnosed with AIDS increased from 19.5 percent to 43 percent while the rate of whites infected decreased from 71 percent to 40.5 percent. While African Americans comprise 19 percent of the population, they represent over 31 percent of the total cumulative AIDS cases reported through 1998. 

“This growing disparity is recognized as being a direct result of lack of access to the new modalities of treatment and care and the changing mode of exposure to HIV,” the city study says. 

Overall males constitute the largest proportion of reported AIDS cases at 92 percent, although the rate of HIV infection is growing among women who represent 20 percent of newly diagnosed cases between 1995 and 1997. The primary mode of infection for women is injection drug use at 47.5 percent. Heterosexual contact accounts for 42.5 percent. 

The principle mode of transmission of the disease remains sex between men which accounts for 77 percent. Injection drug use accounts for 10.3 percent.  

Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson said when the epidemic first hit, San Francisco was more organized to deal with administrative aspects of the disease, collecting statistics and identifying at-risk populations and garnering government support. “They were better prepared to lobby for funds from the Center of Disease Control, which went to education and AIDS prevention programs,” Carson said. 

He said Alameda County AIDS activists are now organized and have political support. He expects to see the infection rate in the black community to decline. 

The city is attacking the disease on several fronts. Leroy Ricardo Blea, HIV/AIDS program director said the city is taking particular aim at the disease in the black community. 

The fight takes money. “One of the things we did was compete for a grant from the state to focus attention on communities of color.” Last March Berkeley received $785,000 from the State Office of AIDS. With the funds, the Health and Human Services Department has launched several programs.  

One is the Faith Project that will use the African American church networks to connect the black community with city agencies. The goal is to bring information and access to programs to those who lack both. 

“The Faith Project will take advantage of the communities of faith, a strength in the African American community, to provide information and access to existing programs,” Blea said. 

The Faith Program will promote free, anonymous and confidential HIV testing, using a mobile clinic to bring HIV testing into the community. 

There will also be access to the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, which provides complete or partial assistance in purchasing AIDS medications for persons HIV positive or living with AIDS. This program is also available to those who may already have some form of medical insurance. 

Gay, bisexual and men questioning their sexuality are also targeted. The Men’s Project provides information and counseling especially to men who may have same sex relationships, but do not consider themselves gay. “Questioning males are a little more at risk because they tend to be isolated and that might make them more likely to engage in risky behavior,” Blea said. 

Berkeley’s Pacific Center offers access to information for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning people. 

Injection drug users are also targeted by city programs. The Needle Exchange Emergency Distribution program has officially been in effect since 1993. NEED volunteers provide clean needles as well as information and materials such as condoms, alcohol pads and bleach three times a week at various locations in Berkeley. 

Since 1993, the Berkeley City Council has declared a “Public Health State of Emergency” every two weeks in order to bypass federal, state and local laws against the distribution of drug paraphernalia. Concerned citizens operated the program illegally for three years before it became the first city-sanctioned needle exchange program in the state. 

 

 

For more information on the Faith Project, HIV testing or the Men’s Project call 665-7311. For needle exchange locations and information call 678-8663. 

 

 

 

 


Letters to the Editor

Friday December 01, 2000

City should provide drop-off space at BHS 

Editor: 

I received a summons in the mail for a “no parking sign posted” ticket.  

At first, I could not figure out how I could have received a ticket without knowing for what or when I broke the law. I was ticketed for dropping off my son at Berkeley High School on the morning of October 23 at 8:02 am.  

I now remember the incident. I pulled up behind a car and dropped off my son. There were no other cars parked on the street. I do remember seeing a Parking Enforcement Vehicle next to the car in front of me.  

I could not believe, nor did I know, I was breaking the law for dropping off my son at school. I was not even warned that what I was doing was illegal nor to move on.  

If I were doing something illegal I would expect, out of common decency or consideration, that the parking enforcement officer would let me know. I did not receive an acknowledgment or a ticket at the time, or any type of warning. 

Going back to the scene, I see that the street is marked ‘no parking’ and is not painted red. From my layman’s perspective, I was not parking but dropping off students in a safe area. Had I known I was going to receive a ticket for such I would not have done so in front of the Parking Enforcement Officer.  

Regardless, I think it only reasonable for the parking enforcement officer to warn the motorist before issuing a citation. Even the police at the San Francisco Airport give that courtesy. 

A solution might be to establish a drop off/loading zone on Milvia to safely allow parents to bring their students to school. There are hundreds of students who are dropped off and picked up daily on Milvia St. As long as the driver remains in the car it should not be illegal.  

The safety of the children should be a priority over parking violation income to the city.  

I also understand that that part of Milvia is designated a bike path. It might not be unreasonable for drop off and pick up of students between certain hours be made a priority over bike paths as a compromise solution.  

A better use of the parking enforcement officer’s time would be to cite those people at Oxford School, who leave their cars unattended during the morning drop off, or cite those crazy drivers who make u-turns in front of Oxford School. 

In closing, I strongly feel that the city council and the mayor should direct the parking enforcement officers to do their jobs with a little more compassion. A warning, instead of an instant ticket, could go a long way to make for harmony in the community. I understand a similar measure was employed last year regarding parking meters  

Terrance Jue 

Berkeley 

 

Let Netanyahu speak out – at the World Court 

Editor: 

Steve Wolan, formerly of the Free Speech Movement, and others who protest that B. Netanyahu should be allowed to speak publicly defending a political position and not harassed until they leave town do have a point.  

There is ample prima facie evidence that Netanyahu should be allowed to present his case, but as a defendant with expert legal counsel, before the World Court, brought up on long overdue charges of crimes against the peace, crimes against humanity and war crimes.  

The policy makers of Israel should be allowed to speak and answer questions, much as Eichmann was allowed to do in Jerusalem. If Israeli leadership is interested in peace in the Middle East it is only a peace at the service of Israeli hegemony. Thus ever has colonialism behaved. 

 

Peter Kleinman 

Berkeley 

 

Prohibiting Netanyahu speech hypocritical 

Editor:  

I see, according to an article in Wednesday’s Planet, that Berkeley, the home of the Free Speech Movement, no longer protects or even tolerates free speech.  

An unruly crowd, which broke through a police barrier tape (but had no one arrested), claimed victory after forcing the cancellation of a pre-arranged speech by an admittedly controversial speaker, Benjamin Netanyahu, former Israeli Prime Minister.  

I am familiar with controversy, having spent time behind bars in the United States (federal prison for opposing the war in Vietnam), and in Poland (arrested and expelled for being a member of the Solidarity Free Union Movement). If Free Speech can’t survive here, then where? 

Councilmember Dona Spring, quoted in the article, complained that lecture organizers brought an “inflammatory” figure to town. Does she believe audiences should only 

hear boring, middle-of-the-road speakers? Her outrage that the city spent taxpayer funds on police protection is itself horrendously outrageous. Is it not one of the City’s highest duties to defend freedom of assembly and expression? 

Hatem Bazian, a UC lecturer quoted in the article, displayed similar contempt for American liberties. 

He claims a protest which silenced speech was a success, saying “Berkeley leads the way.....(as) it did in the Free Speech Movement.” Silencing others in the name of “Free Speech”? Orwell would be proud. 

I support Spring’s and Hatem’s free speech rights, but they do not reciprocate. They may even see my support for their rights as a weakness. Intense partisans, they would revoke my Constitutional, Bill of Rights freedoms, such as speech or assembly.  

In their opinion, those who fall outside the bounds of what they define as acceptable should be silenced. This is where fascism really starts. The Berkeley ACLU should make a statement deploring the forced cancellation of the Netanyahu speech due to threats from an unruly crowd. 

 

Lance Montauk 

Berkeley 

 

Setting record straight on homeless vet 

Editor: 

Happy holidays! I want to thank you for the front page story in the Planet’s Nov. 25-26 issue on homeless veteran John Christian written by Millicent Mayfield.  

As a veteran and advocate for the homeless, I am always pleased when the media humanizes the homeless. However, I would like to correct some inaccuracies made by the reporter. 

Mr. Christian and I are not Vietnam veterans. We did not represent ourselves as such to the reporter. As the story points out, Mr. Christian joined the Army in 1978, three years after the end of the Vietnam war.  

In 1978, I became an ROTC cadet at UC Berkeley and entered active duty in the Army as a lieutenant in 1980, five years after the end of the Vietnam War. Whatever “war stories” Mr. Christian and I shared, it was not about Vietnam. 

I am also disappointed that the article did not mention the “Night On the Streets Catholic Worker” ministry that I belong to. I informed the writer about this group, which goes out every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights on Shattuck and Telegraph avenues to provide hot soup and fellowship to Berkeley’s homeless. It begins the first Monday after Thanksgiving and ends the week of Easter.  

I think a story about them would be fitting during the holidays to remind people that the season of Christmas is about giving and caring. If you are interested in a story about the group, contact its founder, J.C. Orton, at 841-6151. You’ll find J.C., with his rosy red cheeks, beard, ample girth and mirth, looks a lot like that other guy who like to give things away about this time. Once again, happy holidays to you.  

 

Modesto Fernandez 

Berkeley 

 

Creeks and trees need city attention 

The Daily Planet received this letter to Lisa Caronna, director of Berkeley Parks and Waterfront Department: 

Now, that the bond issues passed, I hope that certain projects which may have languished get more attention. We should be thinking in the long term. 

I think that Blackberry Creek should get attention, especially in the area of Alameda and Colusa where the creek flows through backyards, under the garages and decks of the houses fronting on Capistrano, where residents may or may not enjoy it. 

The original developer should have left that whole block open as a park. I suggest that the city buy back those residences as the current owners pass on and do just that, even if it takes a hundred years or so to do, as a gradual process. 

Along that same line, we should not be planting trees that will grow too tall on either private or public property, as they are incompatible with houses and may harm the unsuspecting users of parks who expect them to be safe and secure.  

According to Carl Wilson, Berkeley historian and retired forester, this whole area was covered with grassland and some brush, with native trees in the ravines and gullies. Most tall trees we have now were imported and planted and have little current suitability. Berkeley should have a hazardous tree law, very similar to Oakland’s.  

I was glad to see some of your employees at two annual tree failure conferences, sponsored by the UC Co-op Extension.  

I hope you require any of your employees who attend at city expense to write a written summary and/or to make a presentation to your other employees of what was discussed at the tree failure conference. I also hope you report all, or at least the major, Berkeley tree failures to their statewide report system so that epidemics can be kept track of (it should be the law).  

I recently checked the tree near 540 The Alameda, which I told you had been red-dotted long ago and then forgotten by your staff. That tree was finally taken out spontaneously by a tree-trimming crew, much to the joy of nearby residents. A neighbor, who lives near Indian Rock Park, says he has nightmares about one of the grotesque eucalyptus there falling on his house with dire results.  

I understand that several trees blew down or fell over during the last windstorm a few weeks ago, most of which your staff did not anticipate would fall. In summary, Berkeley has big problems with our trees in the parking areas, in city parks, and in backyards.  

Charles L. Smith 

Berkeley 

 

 

Editor: 

 

The Oakland postmaster has unilaterally decided to remove the numbering system from all Berkeley post offices.  

The reason given me for this move is: Berkeley is the only post office on the west coast that has such a system. We all know that Berkeley is unique in many ways, so it’s not too surprising that its post offices are unique too. 

Right now it’s not such a hassle to stand in line rather than sit until one’s number is called. However, as the Christmas mail rush arrives, there are sure to be long lines inside and outside all Berkeley post offices of people trying to mail packages, etc.  

If you feel as strongly as I do about the “militarization,” where everything in the system has to be uniform, of the Berkeley post offices I urge you to write or call Congresswoman Barbara Lee at 1301 Clay St., Suite 1000N, Oakland, CA., 94612. Her telephone number is 510-763-0370. Request that she ask the postmaster general for a more satisfactory reason than the above for the removal of the numbering system in all the Berkeley post offices.  

You may be surprised how promptly post office bureaucrats respond to such an inquiry.  

 

John Schonfield 

Berkeley 

268-8471 

 

Editor: 

 

The Berkeley Tool Library is a jewel within the library system and a generator of tremendous goodwill.  

The thousands of us who use this south branch treasure have grown used to the help we receive from the knowledgeable staff. There is no problem we bring to Pete, Adam or Mike they aren’t willing to tackle, giving freely of advice and their fund of experience.  

They tell us where to go for information, supplies or tools if they aren’t available on site. And the new member of the staff, Candida, is being quickly brought “up to speed.” The staff know their patrons by name and always greet us in a professional, friendly manner. We count on them, we trust them, and some of us even bake them cookies. 

But there are some questions we have about the future: 

 

1. With the possible retirement of Pete McElligot, we are concerned that the Tool Library continue in its present fashion – generating goodwill and dispensing information. Pete’s retirement leaves his present position vacant and it seems to us, the users, that the most qualified person to succeed him would be Adam, who has seniority and the most experience on the job and the necessary communication skills the position requires.  

 

2. We would like to see another full-time position at the Tool Library and an additional part-time position, making two full-time and two part-time positions. This would move Mike to full-time and require hiring another part-time person. Over the years, the Tool Library has doubled in patrons and popularity and the lines at times are quite long and slow – due in part to the fact that we are not just picking up a tool, but wanting to know its uses, care and how to address our problem with it. We, therefore, think the added staff and time are justified. This is not a pass-the-card-through-scanner operation.  

 

3. We are troubled that, at times, people are working alone. This never happens in the regular library. There is just too much chance for quick theft for this to be acceptable, to say nothing of the safety of the staff. The building is essentially separate from the main building and a worker there is not within shouting distance of help in case of an emergency.  

 

4. Parking is also a problem. There is a bus stop on the corner and a lot of cars parked, full-time, on the east side of the street and only three spaces on site. We are not carrying away books here but 10 foot ladders and cement mixers, and some of us are little old ladies and can’t drag equipment to our cars a block away. Could AC Transit move it’s bus stop? Can we have 30-minute parking in front of the Tool Library and the community garden during Tool Library hours? 

 

5. With the passage of the bond for the branches we want to make sure the Tool Library gets its fair share. We want to know what plans there are for expanding, rebuilding or revamping and how we can become involved.  

 

No comments on the Tool Library would be complete without mention of another exciting feature, its Web site www.infopeople.org/bpl/tool.; a place with as many as 500 hits per month from as far away as England and Japan! Check it out and you will find articles about houses settling, earthquake preparedness, photos, artwork, and more by the Tool Library’s own Web Master, Adam.  

Questions and comments come in daily from Berkeley builders, contractors and fix-it fans. Questions come in from all over the United States asking how to start up a Tool Library. We are eager that his service continue and expand. Centris Computers, a Tool Library fan, set up the computer system and donated their services.  

People interested in joining us and becoming more involved in seeing the Tool Library services continue in a smooth fashion through Pete’s retirement and replacement, and in the upcoming expenditure of library funds can call 845-7621.  

 

Rosemary Vimont 

Berkeley 

845-7621 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Friday December 01, 2000

 

Ebony Museum of Arts 

30 Jack London Village, Suite 209  

763-0745. 

The museum specializes in the art and history of Africa.  

Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.  

 

Habitot Children’s Museum 

Kittredge Street and Shattuck Avenue 

“Back to the Farm.”  

Ongoing 

An interactive exhibit gives children the chance to wiggle through tunnels like an earthworm, look into a mirrored fish pond, don farm animal costumes, ride on a John Deere tractor and more.  

Cost: $4 adults; $6 children age 7 and under; $3 for each additional child age 7 and under.  

Monday and Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Tuesday and Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  

647-1111 or www.habitot.org 

 

Judah L. Magnes Museum 

2911 Russell St.  

549-6950 

Free 

Sunday through Thursday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 

“Telling Time: To Everything There Is A Season” 

Through May, 2002  

An exhibit structured around the seasons of the year and the seasons of life with objects ranging from the sacred and the secular, to the provocative and the whimsical. Highlights include treasures from Jewish ceremonial and folk art, rare books and manuscripts, contemporary and traditional fine art, video, photography and cultural kitsch. The exhibition will expand Nov 5, 2000, to encompass all four seasons and a collection of rare treasures from Jewish, Tibetan, Mexican-American, and other cultures. 

“Second Annual Richard Nagler Competition for Excellence in Jewish Photography” 

Featuring the work of Claudia Nierman, Jason Francisco, Fleming Lunsford, and others.  

 

UC Berkeley Art Museum 

2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley 

Wednesday – Sunday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Open Thursdays til 9 p.m.  

Through Jan. 16, 2001: “Amazons in the Drawing Room”: The Art of Romaine Brooks  

Predominantly a portrait artist, Brooks paintings were influenced by elements of her life and are a visual record of the changing status of women in society and her own refusal to conform to the social order of early twentieth-century Europe.  

Pacific Film Archive Theater Gallery 

2625 Durant Ave. 

Through Jan. 8, 2001: “Continuous Replay: The Photographs of Arnie Zane” 

Best known as the cofounder of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Zane began his exploration of the human form through photography. 

Through Dec. 17: Wolfgang Laib/Martrix: “188 Pollen from Pine” 

Laib uses elements of nature including beeswax, milk, rice, pollen, and stone to create his art pieces.  

 

The Asian Galleries  

“Art of the Sung: Court and Monastery,” open-ended.  

A display of early Chinese works from the permanent collection.  

“Chinese Ceramics and Bronzes: The First 3,000 Years,” open-ended. 

“Works on Extended Loan from Warren King,” open-ended. 

“Three Towers of Han,” open-ended. 

$6 general; $4 seniors and students age 12 to 18; free children age 12 and under; free Thursday, 11 a.m. to noon and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Friday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

642-0808. 

 

UC Berkeley Museum of  

Paleontology 

Lobby, Valley Life Sciences Building, UC Berkeley 

“Tyrannosaurus Rex,” ongoing.  

A 20-foot tall, 40-foot long replica of the fearsome dinosaur. The replica is made from casts of bones of the most complete T. Rex skeleton yet excavated. When unearthed in Montana, the bones were all lying in place with only a small piece of the tailbone missing. 

“Pteranodon”  

A suspended skeleton of a flying reptile with a wingspan of 22 to 23 feet. The Pteranodon lived at the same time as the dinosaurs. 

California Fossils Exhibit, ongoing. An exhibit of some of the fossils which have been excavated in California. 

Free. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

642-1821. 

 

UC Berkeley Phoebe Hearst  

Museum of Anthropology 

Kroeber Hall, Bancroft Way and College Ave. 

“Approaching a Century of Anthropology: The Phoebe Hearst Museum,” open-ended.  

This new permanent installation will introduce visitors to major topics in the museum’s history, including the role of Phoebe Apperson Hearst as the museum’s patron, as well as the relationship of anthropologists Alfred Kroeber and Robert Lowie to the museum. 

“Ishi and the Invention of Yahi Culture,” ongoing. 

This exhibit documents the culture of the Yahi Indians of California as described and demonstrated from 1911 to 1916 by Ishi, the last surviving member of the tribe. 

$2 general; $1 seniors; $.50 children age 17 and under; free on Thursdays. Wednesday, Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

643-7648 

 

Lawrence Hall of Science 

“Math Rules!” Ongoing. A math exhibit of hands-on problem-solving stations, each with a different mathematical challenge. 

“Within the Human Brain” Ongoing. Visitors test their cranial nerves, play skeeball, master mazes, match musical tones and construct stories inside a simulated “rat cage” of learning  

experiments. 

“In the Dark,”through Jan. 15, 2001. Plunge into darkness and see amazing creatures that inhabit worlds without light.  

“Saturday Night Stargazing” First and third Saturdays each month. 8 - 10 p.m., LHS plaza.  

“ChemMystery,” through Jan. 1, 2001. The LHS becomes a crime scene and a science lab to help visiting detectives to solve two different crime scenarios.  

Call 643-5134 for tickets  

“Family Holiday Programs,” Dec. 26 - 31. An entire week of song, music, dance, and other assorted entertainment that are guaranteed child-pleasers. Call LHS for details or check “out & about” close to Dec. 26.  

Open daily, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

$7 for adults; $5 for children 5-18; $3 for children 3-4 

642-5132 

 

Holt Planetarium  

Centennial Drive, UC Berkeley 

Programs are recommended for age 8 and up; children under age 6 will not be admitted. $2 in addition to regular museum admission. 

“Moons of the Solar System,” through Dec. 10. Take a tour of the fascinating worlds that orbit Earth and other planets out to the edge of the Solar System.  

“Constellations Tonight” Ongoing. Using a simple star map, learn to identify the most prominent constellations for the season in the planetarium sky. Daily, 3:30 p.m. $7 general; $5 seniors, students, disabled, and youths age 7 to 18;  

$3 children age 3 to 5 ; free children age 2 and younger. Daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; (510) 642-5132 or www.lhs.berkeley.edu 

 

The Oakland Museum of  

California 

1000 Oak St., Oakland 

“Secret World of the Forbidden City” Through Jan. 24, 2001. A rare glimpse of over 350 objects which illustrate the opulence and heritage of the Chinese Imperial Court Under the Qing Dynasty, which ruled China from 1644 - 1911. For this exhibit: $13 general, $10 seniors and $5 for students with ID.  

For museum: $6 general; $4 seniors and students; free children age 5 and under; second Sundays are free to all. Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; first Friday of the month, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Many special events scheduled for November and December related to “Secret World of the Forbidden City.” Call the museum or check the Out & About calendar listings for upcoming events. 

(888) OAK-MUSE or www.museumca.org. 

 

Music 

 

924 Gilman St. 

All shows begin at 8 p.m. unless noted 

$5; $2 for a year membership 

525-9926 

Dec. 1: Plan 9, The Kowalskis, American Heartbreak, Big Bubba, The Secretions 

Dec. 2: Spazz, The Oath, Total Fury, Iron Lung, Falling Over Drunk 

Dec. 8: Good Clean Fun, S.E.E.D., more TBA 

Dec. 9: Phobia, Grief, 16, Noothgrush, Spaceboy 

 

Ashkenaz  

1370 San Pablo Ave. (at Gilman) 

525-5054 or www.ashkenaz.com 

Dec. 1: Voz Do Brasil, Aquarela, 9:30 p.m., $12 

Dec. 2: Kotoja, West African Highlife Band, Nigerian Bros, 8:30 p.m., dance lesson with Comfort Mensah, 8 p.m., $12 

Dec. 3: Musicians for Medical Marijuana, the Cannabis Healers, Taos Hum, 8 p.m., $15 

Dec. 5: Poety of Paul Polansky, 7:30 p.m.; Edessa, Anoush, 9 p.m., $8 

Dec. 6: Jimmy Breaux with members of CCO, 9 p.m., dance lesson, 8 p.m., $10  

 

Freight & Salvage  

All shows begin at 8 p.m.  

548-1761 

Dec. 1: Blue Flame Stringband Reunion & CD release party 

Dec. 2: Barbara Higbie (piano, violin & vocals) 

Dec. 3: Johnny Cunningham & Susan McKeown (Scottish fiddle and Irish singing) 

Dec. 4: Paul Geremia (country blues) 

Dec. 6 & 7: Greg Brown (folk) and Garnet Rogers  

Dec. 8: Ian Tyson (classic Canadian cowboy) 

 

Eli’s Mile High Club 

3629 MLK Jr. Way  

Oakland 

Doors for all events, 8 p.m. 

Dec. 1: Henry Clement 

Dec. 2: Daniel Castro 

Dec. 8: Mojo Madness 

Dec. 9: Eli’s Allstars 

Dec. 15: Jimmy Mamou 

Dec. 16: Ron Thompson 

 

Albatross Pub 

1822 San Pablo Ave. 

843-2473 

All shows begin at 9 p.m., unless noted 

Dec. 6: Whiskey Broters (bluegrass) 

Dec. 7: Keni “El Lebrijano” (flamenco guitar) 

Dec. 9: pickPocket ensemble (european cafe music) 

Dec. 12: Mad & Eddie Duran Jazz Duo 

 

Crowden School 

1475 Rose St. (at Sacramento) 

559-6910 

Dec. 10, 4 p.m.: 2nd Annual colin Hampton Memorial Concert featuring young artists from around the Bay Area, $10; Free for those under 18.  

Sundays, 4 p.m.: Chamber music series sponsored by the school.  

 

Cal Performances 

Dec. 1 & 2, 8 p.m.: Afro-Brazilian dance company Bale Folclorico da Bahia, $20 - $32.  

Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley 

For tickets and info for these events call 642-9988 

 

ACME Observatory Contemporary Music Series 

Tuva Space 

3192 Adeline (at MLK Jr. Way) 

444-3595 

All shows begin at 7:45 p.m.  

Dec. 3: George Cremaschi and John Raskin, David Slusser’s Idiomatic Improv Project 

Dec. 17: Thomas Day, Boris Hauf, others TBA 

$8 suggested donation per show 

 

Live Oak Concert Series 

1275 Walnut St.  

644-6893 

All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. 

Dec. 3: Baroque and Classical Harmonies vocal and instrumental ensemble perform works by J.S. Bach, Schubert and Arvo Part.  

Dec. 10: Minstrel Voices perform works by Jacopo Perl, Cipriano Di Rore and Josquin Des Pres. 

Dec. 17: Cellist Elaine Kreston performs suites by J.S. Bach 

$10 general, $9 students/seniors, children under 12 Free 

 

Jazzschool/La Note  

2377 Shattuck Ave.  

845-5373 

All events begin at 4:30 p.m. 

Dec. 3: Eddy Marshall Trio 

Dec. 10: Tocar featuring David Frazier 

Dec. 17: San Francisco Saxaphone Quartet 

$6 - $12  

 

“Music on Squirrel Hill”  

Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley 

One Lawson Road 

Kensington 

525-0302 

The San Francisco Choral artists directed by Claire Giovannetti sing traditional and less familiar classics of the season.  

Dec. 3, 4 p.m. 

$15 general, $10 students & seniors  

 

Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir  

Paramount Theatre 

2025 Broadway, Oakland  

465-6400 

Celebrating 15 years of Christmas celebrations, the 65 member multi-racial, interfaith choir is at the tail-end of a year that included a performance tour of Israel and reception of the 2000 Gospel Academy Award for Best Community Choir.  

Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m. 

$15 - $20. Availalble at the Paramount or Ticketmaster outlets.  

 

Kitka Presents “Wintersongs”  

Lake Merrit United Methodist Church 

1330 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland  

444-0323 

Dec. 3, 7 p.m. 

$15 - $18 

 

Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra  

St. Joseph the Worker Church 

1640 Addison 

Dec. 2, 8 p.m. Performing the work of Gounod, Handel, and Mozart.  

St. Ambrose Church  

1145 Gilman 

Dec. 9, 8 p.m. 

Dec. 10, 4 p.m. 

Call 528-2145 

 

Solano Holiday Performers  

Solano Ave.  

On weekend afternoons until Christmas, various artists will be performing.  

Dec. 2 - 3, 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.; Dec. 9, 10, 16, 17, 23 & 24, Noon - 6 p.m. 

 

Berkeley Symphony Orchestra 

Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley 

841-2800 

Performance dates include Jan. 31, April 3, and June 21, 2001. All performances begin at 8 p.m.  

Single $19 - $35, Series $52 - $96  

 

Strolling Musicians & Carolers  

Downtown Berkeley 

Sponsored by the Downtown Berkeley Association and co-sponsored by the Daily Planet and the City of Berkeley. 

Performances are 5 - 7 p.m. 

Dec. 1: Berkeley High Pep Band & UC Madrigals 

Dec. 8: Los Cenzontles & Artemsia Brass Quartet 

Dec. 15: Cal Jazz Choir & Oddly Enough, a Barbershop Quartet 

Dec. 22: Berkeley Community Chamber Chorus & These “R” They Gospel Youth Choir  

 

Baroque Choral Guild  

First Congregational Church  

2345 Channing Way 

408-733-8110 

Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m. Performing the music of Giovanni Croce, Giovanni Bassano, Claudio Monteverdi, and others.  

$20 general, $15 senior/student 

 

Films 

 

“Rebels with a Cause”  

UC Theatre  

2036 University Ave.  

843-3456 

Focusing on student activism in the 1960s by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Produced, written and edited by Helen Garvy, an SDS participant.  

Dec. 1 - 7, 4:35, 7, 9:30 p.m.; plus Saturday and Sunday, 2:15 p.m. 

 

Pacific Film Archive  

2625 Durant Ave.  

642-5249 

Dec. 1: Kafi’s Story and Nuba Conversations, 7 p.m.; This is What Democracy Looks Like, 9:10 p.m. 

Dec. 2: A Dirty Story and other films by Jean Eustache, 7 p.m. 

Dec. 3: The Desert of the Tartars, 5:30 p.m.  

Dec. 4: La Promesse, 7:30 p.m. 

Dec. 5: Correspondences: David Gatten and Luis A. Recorder, 7:30 p.m. 

Dec. 6: Sea Changes: New Works from UC Berkeley’s Digital Media Program, 7:30 p.m. 

 

Theater 

 

“Dinner With Friends” 

by Donald Margulies 

Berkeley Repertory Theatre 

2025 Addison St.  

Through Jan. 5, 2001 

845-4700, www.berkeleyrep.org 

 

“The Weir” by Conor McPherson 

Aurora Theater Company 

Berkeley City Club 

2315 Durant Ave.  

Through Dec. 17, Tuesday - Saturday, 8 p.m. (no performance Nov. 23); Sunday, 2 p.m. & 7 p.m. 

$35 opening night 

$30 general 

Call 843-4822 

 

“The Crucible” by Arthur Miller 

Berkeley High Drama Dept.  

Florence Schwimley Little Theater 

Allston Way (between Milvia & MLK Jr. Way) 

Dec. 1, 2, 8 & 9, 8 p.m.  

$5 

Tickets available at the door  

 

“The Hard Nut” 

The Nutcracker With a Twist 

Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley 

Dec. 8, 9, 14 - 16, 8 p.m.; Dec. 9 & 16, 2 p.m.; Dec. 10 & 17, 3 p.m.  

$26 - $50 

Call 642-9988 

 

Exhibits 

 

Berkeley Art Center 

Live Oak Park, 1275 Walnut St., Berkeley 

644-6893 

“Against All Odds: Ingenuity, Talent and Disability,”  

Featuring the work of six disabled artists who use inventive, adaptive art-making techniques to create media ranging from prints and ceramic sculpture to computer-generated paintings and collage works. Through Dec. 16. Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Free.  

 

Artists at Play Studio  

1649 Hopkins St. (at Carlotta)  

Call 528-0494  

“Artists at Play Holiday Sale” 

Work by the artists including original servings dishes, frames, jewelry, and other items. 

Dec. 2 & 9, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

 

California College of Arts and Crafts  

Oliver Art Center, 5212 Broadway, Oakland  

594-3712 

Monday, Tuesday and Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Free. 

 

Kala Art Institute 

1060 Heinz Ave., Berkeley 

549-2977 

Over sixty artists affiliated with the Kala Art Institute will show works ranging from wood block prints to digital media.  

Through Jan. 16, Tuesday - Friday, Noon - 5 p.m. 

Opening reception Nov. 30, 6 - 8 p.m.  

 

Berkeley Artisans Holiday “Open Studios” 

For a free map send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: 

Berkeley Artisans Map, 1250 Addison St. #214, Berkeley, CA. 94702.  

11 a.m. - 5 p.m ., Saturdays & Sundays, Through Dec. 17 

For additional info. call 845-2612 

You may also download the map at: http://www.berkeleyartisans.com  

 

Oakland Glass Artists Holiday Exhibit & Sale 

2680 Union St., Oakland  

832 - 8380  

Bruce Pizzichillo and Dari Gordon, who have been producing glass artwork from their studio since 1980.  

Dec. 2, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.  

 

Traywick Gallery 

1316 Tenth St., Berkeley 

527-1214 or www.traywick.com 

Group show by Traywick artists, Dec. 2 - 23.  

Gallery hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. 

 

Nexus Gallery  

2701 Eighth St., Berkeley 

531-9229 

“The Glitter Reminder,” paintings by Michele Theberge, prints and textiles by Sharon Jue, photographs by Amy Snyder, sculpted water environments by C.R. Mitchell and Tom Mataga and textile installations by Claudia Tennyson.  

Dec. 9 - 23, Opening reception: Dec. 10, 2 - 5 p.m. 

Gallery hours: Monday - Friday, Noon - 6 p.m., Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. 

 

Berkeley Historical Society  

1931 Center St.  

Call 848-0181 

“Berkeley’s Ethnic Heritage.” An overview of the rich cultural diversity of the city and the contribution of individuals and minority groups to it’s history and development.  

Thursday through Saturday, 1 – 4 p.m. Free.  

 

Pro Arts Gallery 

461 Ninth St., Oakland.  

763-9425  

2000 Juried Annual, Through Dec. 30. This years show features 79 works by 70 artists. This show is juried by Larry Rinder, curator of contemporary art at the Whitney Museum. 

Wednesday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

 

YWCA  

2600 Bancroft Way 

848-6370 

Benecia artist Connie Millholland’s semi-abstract images of personal pain created by the Holocaust.  

Through Dec. 15.  

 

East Bay Open Studios 2001 Entry  

Pick up forms or mail SASE: 

Pro Arts  

461 Ninth St., Oakland  

763-9425 

Calling East Bay artists to participate in East Bay Open Studios, June 9 - 17, 2001. Enter by Dec. 15 and save $15. Entry deadline, Jan. 25.  

 

Ames Gallery 

2661 Cedar St. 

845-4949 

“Left Coast Legends: California Masters of Visionary, Self-taught, and Outsider Art,” featuring the work of Dwight Mackintosh, Alex Maldonado, A.G. Rizzoli, Jon Serl, and Barry Simons, Through Dec. 2.  

 

Women’s Cancer Resource Center Gallery 

3023 Shattuck Ave.  

Call 548-9286 x307 

Alan Leon: Hebrew Calligraphy and Illuminations, Through Dec. 15. Tuesday - Thursday, 1 - 7 p.m.; Saturday, Noon - 4 p.m. and by appointment.  

 

Berkeley Potters Guild 

731 Jones St.  

524-7031 

“2001: A Spacial Oddity” 

The potters present their 29th annual holiday sale. Work displayed by 19 California clay artists.  

Dec. 2 & 3, Dec. 10 - 24, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. 

 

The Oakland Museum of California 

1000 Oak St., Oakland.  

(888) OAK-MUSE or www.museumca.org 

“Our World: The Children of Oakland,” Through Jan. 14.  

Children from a majority of the 66 ethnic groups in Oakland are portrayed in approximately 40 photographs by Marianne Thomas. Free.  

$6 general; $4 seniors and students; free children age 5 and under; second Sundays are free to all. Tuesday through Thursday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; first Friday of the month, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.  

 

PSR Bade Museum 

1798 Scenic Ave.  

849-8244 

“Heading East: California’s Asian Pacific Experience Traveling Photographic Exhibition.” Commemorates 150 years of Asian Pacific American History.  

Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

Through January  

 

Atelier 9 

2028 Ninth St. (at Addison)  

841-4210 

“Musee des Hommages,” Guy Colwell’s hand painted, full scale copies of master paintings by Van Eyck, Vermeer, Titian, Boucher, Ingres, Cezanne, Matisse and Picasso. Also original work by Colwell. 

Dec. 2 & 3, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. 

 

Readings 

 

Cody’s Books 

2454 Telegraph Ave., 845-7852  

& 1730 Fourth St., 559-9500 

Telegraph events (all begin at 7:30 p.m., unless noted): 

 

 

Boadecia’s Books  

398 Colusa Ave.  

Kensington  

559-9184 

www.boadeciasbooks.com 

All events at 7:30 p.m., unless noted  

Dec. 1: Madelyn Arnold reads from “A Year of Full Moons” 

Dec. 2: Contributors to the anthology “Stricken: Voices from the Hidden Epidemic of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” will speak 

Dec. 3, 4 p.m.: Sandy Boucher discusses “Hidden Spring: A Buddhist Woman Confronts Cancer” 

Dec. 8: “Gaymes Night” Play Pictionary, Taboo, Scattergories and eat pizza  

 

Lunch Poems: A Noontime Poetry Reading Series 

Morrison Room, Doe Library 

UC Berkeley 

Call 642-0137 

12:10 - 12:50 p.m.  

Under the direction of Professor Robert Hass, this is a series of events on the first Thursday of each month. Free.  

Dec. 7: Fanny Howe, Mark Levin, and Carol Snow  

 

Easy Going Travel Shop & Bookstore 

1385 Shattuck Ave. (at Rose) 

843-3533 

All events begin at 7:30 p.m. 

Dec. 12: Peter Booth Wiley discusses why architects hate the Victorians of San Francisco  

 

Tours 

 

Lawrence Berkeley National  

Laboratory 

Scientists and engineers guide visitors through the research areas of the laboratory, demonstrating emerging technology and discussing the research’s current and potential applications. A Berkeley lab tour usually lasts two hours and includes visits to several research areas. Popular tour sites include the Advanced Light Source, The National Center for Electron Microscopy, the 88-Inch Cyclotron, The Advanced Lighting Laboratory, and The Human Genome Laboratory. Reservations required at least two weeks in advance of tour. 

Free. University of California, Berkeley. 

486-4387 

 

Berkeley City Club Tours 

Guided tours through Berkeley’s City Club, a landmark building designed by architect Julia Morgan, designer of Hearst Castle. 

$2. The fourth Sunday of every month except December, between noon to 4 p.m.  

2315 Durant Ave., Berkeley. 

848-7800 

 

Golden Gate Live Steamers 

Small locomotives, meticulously scaled to size, run along a half mile of track in Tilden Regional Park. The small trains are owned and maintained by a non-profit group of railroad buffs who offer rides.  

Free. Trains run Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Rides: Sunday, noon to 3 p.m., weather permitting. Grizzly Peak Boulevard and Lomas Cantadas Drive at the south end of Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley.  

486-0623  

 

UC Berkeley Botanical Garden 

The gardens have displays of exotic and native plants. 

Botanical Garden Tours, Saturday and Sunday, 1:30 p.m. Meet at the Tour Orientation Center for a free docent tour. $3 general; $2 seniors; $1 children; free on Thursday. Daily, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Botanical Garden, Centennial Drive, behind Memorial Stadium, a mile below the Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley. 643-2755 or www.mip.berkeley.edu/garden/ 

 

Lectures 

 

Berkeley Historical Society 

Slide Lecture & Booksigning Series 

Berkeley Historical Center 

Veterans Memorial Building 

1931 Center St.  

848-0181 

Sundays, 3 - 5 p.m.  

These are free events  

Dec. 10: Mal and Sandra Sharpe on “Weird Rooms” 

People who collect strange things and how their collections take over their rooms.  

Jan. 14: Richard Schwartz on “Berkeley 1900,” the history of Berkeley at the turn of the centry.  

 

City Commons Club 

Luncheon Speaker Series 

Berkeley City Club  

2315 Durant Ave.  

848-3533 

Social Hour, 11:15 a.m.  

Luncheon, 11:45 - 12:15 p.m. 

Speaker, 12:30 p.m. 

$1 - $12.25, Speeches free to students 

Dec. 1: Chana Bloch, W.M. Keck professor of English and director of the creative writing program at Mills College speaks on “Deciphering of The Song of Songs from the Old Testament”  

Dec. 8: Mark Wilson, realtor with Prudential Realty speaks on “Julia Morgan collaborating with Bernard Maybeck” 


Calendar of Events & Activities

Friday December 01, 2000


Friday, Dec. 1

 

Spanish Book Club 

7:30 p.m. 

Cody’s Books  

2454 Telegraph Ave.  

A discussion of “Dona Barbara” by the Colombian writer Rumulo Gallegos. New members welcome. The group meets the first Friday of each month. Call 601-0454  

 

AIDS Prevention Outreach 

11 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

Sproul Plaza  

UC Berkeley 

Safer sex kits will be distributed.  

 

Taize Worship Services  

7:30 - 8:30 p.m.  

Loper Chapel  

Dana St. (between Durant & Channing) Call 848-3696 

 

Basic Electrical Theory 

7 - 10 p.m. 

Building Education Center 

812 Page St.  

Redwood Kardon, retired City of Oakland building inspector and author of the Code Check book series. $35 Call 525-7610 

 

Safer Sex Kits 

4:30 p.m. 

Downtown Berkeley BART 

Volunteers from Americorps will be distributing safer sex kits in commemoration of World AIDS Day.  

 

Deciphering The Song of Songs 

from the Old Testament 

11:45 a.m., buffet lunch 

12:30 p.m., speaker 

Berkeley City Club 

2315 Durant Ave.  

Chana Bloch, W.M. Keck professor of English and director of the creative writing program at Mills College will speak.  

$1 with coffee, students free 

Call 848-3533 

 

Old and New Poetry 

1 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst (at MLK Jr. Way) 

With Bob Randolph. Free 

Call 644-6107 

Saturday, Dec. 2  

Wild About Books? 

10:30 a.m. 

Berkeley Central Library 

2121 Allston Way 

Storyteller Kellmar draws from her African-American roots with stories that touch the heart and the funnybone. For children aged 3-7. Call 649-3943  

Building Blocks for Learning 

9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. 

Clark Kerr Conference Center 

Waring & Parker Sts.  

The Institute of Human Development at UC Berkeley sponsors this second annual workshop on learning and development in young children aimed at teachers and child care workers.  

Call 643-7944 

 

Artists at Play Holiday Sale 

11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Artists at Play Studio  

1649 Hopkins St. (at Carlotta)  

Work by the artists including original servings dishes, frames, jewelry, and other items. 

Call 528-0494  

 

The Yo-Yo Lady 

2 - 4 p.m. 

1898 Solano Ave.  

One of many performers doing their stuff on Solano during the holidays. Performances every weekend afternoon till Christmas.  

 

Small Press Distribution Open House 

Noon - 4 p.m.  

1341 Seventh St. (off Gilman) 

Browse 8,000 literary titles and listen to readings by Bay Area authors. Readings by poet Lyn Hejinian, George Albon, Dan Leone, Gail Mitchell, and Sianne Ngai.  

Call 524-1668 x305 

 

Whymsium Anniversary Party 

7:30 - 11 p.m. 

Whymsium  

1414 Fourth St.  

Described as something beyond dinner and a movie, the folks at Whymsium invite you to share your interests and explore your hobbies. This annual party features a talent show, games and a dance.  

$3 - $20 sliding scale 595-5541  

 

UC Botanical  

Holiday Plant Sale 

10 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

UC Botanical Garden  

200 Centennial Dr.  

You’ll find a selection of orchids, ferns, rhododendrons, cacti, hardy herbs, and house plants galore for yourself or gardening friends.  

Call 643-2755 

 

Native American Flute  

5 - 6 p.m. 

Gathering Tribes Gallery  

1573 Solano Ave.  

Celebrating the release of his CD “Spirit Within,” Berkeley resident and flutist Walter Ogi Johnson performs.  

 

Monitoring Police Activity 

11 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

Copwatch Office  

2022 Blake St. (west of Shattuck) 

Learn what your rights are in dealing with police and learn how to monitor police safely. Free.  

Call 548-0425 

 

Finding a Way In 

7 - 9 p.m.  

Jewish Learning Center 

1414 Walnut St.  

Offering a safe space for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender jews to express personal concerns and to find a place to belong in the Jewish community.  

$5 with pre-registration; $7 at door  

845-6420 

 

Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios 

11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Get map from: 

1250 Addison St. #214 

or download at: http://www.berkeleyartisans.com 

Over one hundred professional artists and craftspeople open up their studios and workspaces to the public. All styles of artistic expression are represented. Runs Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 17. Call 845-2612  

 

Know Your Rights Training 

11 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

Copwatch Office  

2022 Blake St.  

Learn what your rights are in dealing with the police. Learn how to monitor the police safely. 548-0425 

 

Publish Your Own Book 

10 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

Regent Press 

6020-A Adeline St. 

Mark Weiman of Regen Press presents an overview of the business of book publishing oriented towards the author considering self-publishing.  

$60 per person 

Call Mark Weiman, 547-7602 

— compiled by  

Chason Wainwright 

 

Friends of Berkeley Youth Alternatives 

Wine Tasting  

1 - 4 p.m. 

Rosenblum Cellars 

2900 Main St.  

Alameda 

All proceeds benefit the children and families served by Berkeley Youth Alternatives. 

$25 

Call 845-9010 

 

Alternative Building Materials 

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Building Education Center 

812 Page St.  

Seminar taught by architects Dan Smith and John Fordice. 

$75  

Call 525-7610 

 


Sunday Dec. 3

 

Connecting with Nature 

1 - 3 p.m.  

Rotary Nature Center  

600 Bellevue Ave. (at Perkins) 

Oakland 

Children aged six to twelve, accompanied by a parent, are invited to explore nature with all their senses. Cathy Holt, author of “The Circle of Healing” will lead the event. Free 

Call Stephanie for reservations, 238-3739 

 

Fun and Science of Chocolate 

Lawrence Hall of Science 

Centennial Drive 

UC Berkeley 

Join expert chocolate maker John Scharffenberger as he navigates throught he history of chocolate and demonstrates the science of chocolate production. Advanced reservations required.  

$30 per person, includes price of admission to LHS 

Call 642-5134 for reservations 

 

Lessons and Carols 

7 p.m. 

All Souls Episcopal Church  

2220 Cedar St. (at Spruce) 

Call 848-1755 

 

Sewing for Seniors 

9 a.m.  

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst (at MLK Jr. Way) 

With Grace Narimatsu. Free 

Call 644-6107 

 

HIV Memorial Service 

11 a.m. 

McGee Avenue Baptist Church 

1640 Stuart St.  

A special morning HIV service for members of the community.  

Call 843-1774 

 

Transcending Limits on Knowledge  

6 p.m.  

Tibetan Nyingma Institute  

1815 Highland Place 

Lee Nichol on Tarthang Tulku’s “Time, Space, and Knowledge.” Free 

843-6812 

 

Richmond Holiday Arts Festival 

Noon - 4 p.m. 

Richmond Art Center 

2540 Barret Ave.  

Richmond 

A silent auction, craft sale, gifts and services auction, and hands-on art projects. Proceeds benefit the Richmond Art Center. Free  

620-6772 

 

Kitka’s “Wintersongs Holiday Tour” 

7 p.m. 

Lake Merritt United Methodist Church 

1330 Lakeshore Ave. 

Oakland 

In it’s first annual winter holiday concert, this women’s vocal ensemble will perform Eastern European seasonal songs.  

$15 - $20 

444-0323 

 

Berkeley High Pep Band 

4 - 6 p.m. 

1850 Solano Ave. 

One of many performers doing their stuff on Solano during the holidays. Performances every weekend afternoon till Christmas.  

 

Winterfest 

Noon - 4 p.m. 

Oakland Museum of California 

1000 Oak St.  

Oakland 

A celebration of winter family traditions like music, dance, craft activities, and food. Included in museum admission. 

$6 general, $4 seniors and students with ID 

Call 1-888-OAK-MUSE 

 

Joe Raskin & David Slusser’s  

Improv Derby 

7:48 p.m. 

Tuva Space 

3192 Adeline (at MLK Jr. Way) 

Joe Raskin/George Cremaschi Duo & David Slusser’s Improv Derby. Part of ACME Observatory Contemporary Music Series.  

$8 suggested donation 

Call 444-3595 

 

The Music Connection 

2:30 p.m. 

Resurrection Lutheran Church 

397 Euclid Ave.  

Oakland  

Several well known Bay Area musicians and composers join amateur autistic musicians to raise money and raise awareness of autism and to provide the opportunity for those living with the disease to develop their talents. 

$10 - $200 suggested donation 

Call 420-0606  

 

“Music on Squirrel Hill”  

4 p.m. 

Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley 

One Lawson Road 

Kensington 

The San Francisco Choral artists directed by Claire Giovannetti sing traditional and less familiar classics of the season.  

$15 general, $10 students & seniors  

Call 525-0302 

 


Monday, Dec. 4

 

Personnel Board Meeting 

7 p.m.  

Permit Center 

2118 Milvia St.  

First Floor Conference Room 

 

The Heart of the Matter  

12:15 p.m., buffet lunch 

1 p.m., speaker 

H’s Lordship Restaurant  

Berkeley Marina 

199 Seawall Dr.  

Stephen Raskin, MD will speak on “Beyond Cholesterol - The Heart of the Matter.” Sponsored by the North Oakland/Emeryville Rotary Club. 

$13 with lunch, $5 without 

Call Robyn Young, MD, 748-5363  

 

BHS AIDS Memorial Quilt 

Berkeley High School 

2246 Milvia  

Berkeley High will be displaying the AIDS Memorial Quilt the entire week, including 150 panels made by Berkeley High students.  

Call Sonya Dublin, 644-6838 x4 

 

Landmarks Preservation Commission 

7:30 p.m. 

North Berkely Senior Center 

1901 Hearst (at MLK Jr. Way) 

 

Peace and Justice Commission 

7 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst (at MLK Jr. Way) 

 

Keeping Parents Sane 

6:30 - 8:30 p.m. 

Jewish Family & Children’s Services  

of the East Bay 

2484 Shattuck Ave., Suite 210 

If your child(ren) are defiant and oppositional and you don’t know what to do, try this workshop led by Liz Marton, MFT.  

$20 

Call 704-7475 

 

Criminalization of Youth 

7:30 p.m. 

King Middle School  

1781 Rose St.  

Angela Davis, educator, activist, and former political prisoner speaks at this benefit lecture for the Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library.  

$5 

Call 595-7417  

 

Make a Wreath 

7 p.m. 

UC Botanical Garden 

200 Centennial Dr.  

Whether you are a beginner or a veteran wreath-maker, join Nancy Swearengen and Jerry Parsons and learn to use some unusual materials.  

$27.50, including materials 

Call 643-2755 

 

Furniture Making for Women 

9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 

Building Education Center 

812 Page St.  

Finish carpenter Tracy Weir teaches this hands-on, four day workshop, culminating with each attendee building her own cabinet unit with drawer and shelf. Runs through Dec. 8.  

$475  

Call 525-7610 

 

“Choosing Something Like a Star” 

7:30 p.m. 

PSR Chapel 

1798 Scenic Ave.  

This annual free concert will feature the PSR Chorale and the Kairos Youth Choir performing carols from many traditions.  

Call Mike Ellard, 236-3033 

 


Tuesday, Dec. 5

 

Design the Perfect School  

7 - 9 p.m. 

Jewish Community Center 

1414 Walnut Ave. (at Rose) 

Informally led by Robert Berend, former UC Extension lecturer, this group aims to have intelligent discussions on a wide range of topics. They stress that there is no religious bent to the discussions and that all viewpoints are welcome. Bring light snacks to share with group.  

Call Robert Berend, 527-5332  

 

Jewish Book Club 

7:30 - 9:15 p.m.  

Jewish Learning Center  

1414 Walnut St.  

Join in a discussion of Brian Norton’s “Starting Out in the Evening.” Free 

848-0237 x 127 

 

Get the Lead Out 

6 - 8 p.m. 

Frances Albrier Center 

San Pablo Park  

2800 Park St.  

Learn how to prevent lead poisoning in your home. Taught by expert staff, this course offers techniques property owners can use to safety paint and remodel their homes.  

Call 567-8280 

 

Make a Wreath 

7 p.m. 

UC Botanical Garden 

200 Centennial Dr.  

Whether you are a beginner or a veteran wreath-maker, join Nancy Swearengen and Jerry Parsons and learn to use some unusual materials.  

$27.50, including materials 

Call 643-2755 

 

City Council 

7 p.m. 

Old City Hall  

2134 MLK Jr. Way 

 


Wednesday, Dec. 6

 

Task Force on Telecommunications 

7 p.m. 

1900 Addison  

Third Floor Conference Room 

 

UNtraining White Liberal Racism 

7 - 9:30 p.m. 

Call for location  

El Cerrito 

Robert Horton, a white male, founded the UNtraining as a way for white people to work together on the unconscious power of white skin privilege and how it perpetuates racism. 

$10 

235-6134 

 

Disaster Council  

7 p.m. 

Public Safety Building 

2100 MLK Jr. Way 

Second floor conference room 

Discussions will include the report on disaster preparedness at Alta Bates and the city council/disaster council joint meeting.  

 

Citizens Budget Review Commission 

7 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst Ave. (at MLK Jr. Way)  

 

BHS Jazz Lab Band & Combos 

7:30 p.m. 

Berkeley High Little Theater 

Allston Way  

Their first concert of the new school year.  

$8 general, $3 students  

 

Board of Education 

7:30 p.m. 

2134 MLK Jr. Way  

Council Chambers 

 

Fire Safety Commission 

7:30 p.m. 

Fire Department Emergency Operations Center 

997 Cedar St.  

 

Berkeley Communicators Toastmasters 

7:15 p.m. 

Vault Restaurant  

3250 Adeline St.  

Learn to speak fluently without fear or hesitation.  

Call Howard Linnard, 527-2337 

 


Thursday, Dec. 7

 

Berkeley Metaphysic Toastmasters Club 

6:15 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. 

2515 Hillegass Ave.  

Public speaking skills and metaphysic come together at Avatar Metaphysical Toastmasters. Meets first and third Thursdays each month. 

Call 869-2547 or 643-7645 

 

Free Anonymous HIV Testing 

5:15 - 7:15 p.m. 

Check in 5 - 7 p.m. 

University Health Services 

Tang Center  

2222 Bancroft Way 

Drop-in services and limited space is available.  

Call 642-7202 

 

Women’s Travel Book Club 

6:30 p.m. 

Cody’s Books 

1730 Fourth St.  

Join a discussion of M.F.K. Fisher’s “Two Towns in Provence: Map of Another Town & A Considerable Town.” New members are always welcome. The group meets the first Thursday of each month.  

Call 482-8971 

 

Make a Wreath 

10 a.m. 

UC Botanical Garden 

200 Centennial Dr.  

Whether you are a beginner or a veteran wreath-maker, join Nancy Swearengen and Jerry Parsons and learn to use some unusual materials.  

$27.50, including materials 

Call 643-2755 

 

Prepare Meals in a Snow Kitchen  

7 p.m.  

Recreational Equipment, Inc.  

1338 San Pablo Ave.  

Chuck Collingwood of the Sierra Club will present a slide lecture on how to survive overnight in the snow.  

Call Jason, 527-7377 

 

Let Your Chi Flow Freely 

6 - 7 p.m.  

University of Creation Spirituality 

2141 Broadway Ave. 

Oakland 

Share peace and tranquillity communally and regain harmony and balance.  

Call Idris Hassan, 835-4827 x31  

 

Lunch Poems Reading Series 

12:10 p.m. - 12:50 p.m.  

Morrison Room, Doe Library 

UC Berkeley  

Featuring the first three authors in the UC Press’s California Poetry Series. Featured poets will be Fanny Howe, Mark Levine, and Carol Snow. Free  

Call 642-0137  

 

Housing Advisory Commission 

7:30 p.m.  

South Berkeley Senior Center 

2939 Ellis St.  

 

Public Works Commission 

7:30 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst Ave. (at MLK Jr. Way) 

 

Community Environmental Advisory Commission 

7 p.m. 

2118 Milvia St.  

Second Floor Conference Room 

 


Friday, Dec. 8

 

PC Users Group 

7 p.m. 

Vista College 

Room 303  

2020 Milvia St.  

A groups of PC users who help each other solve problems. They introduce their members to new software, hardware, and invited speakers and technicians from various PC related companies. Meet the second Friday of each month.  

Call Melvin Mann, 527-2177  

 

Yiddish Conversation 

1 p.m.  

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst (at MLK Jr. Way) 

Call 644-6107 

 

Julia Morgan Collaborating with  

Bernard Maybeck  

11:45 a.m., buffet lunch 

12:30 p.m., speaker 

Berkeley City Club 

2315 Durant Ave.  

Mark Wilson, realtor with Prudential Realty, will speak. Also City Commons Club annual meeting.  

$1 with coffee, students free 

Call 848-3533 

 

Trunk Show with Art Quintanna 

4 - 7 p.m.  

Gathering Tribes Gallery 

1573 Solano Ave. 

Hailing from New Mexico, Quintanna specializes in older “dead pawn” Indian jewelry.  

 

An Evening Under the Stars 

5 - 8 p.m. 

Courtyard at Swans Marketplace 

Ninth St. between Washington and Clay St. 

With jazz standards playing in the background, discover the work of local artists and find a unique holiday gift. Sponsored by East Bay Galleries for Art and Cultural Development.  

Call 832-4244 

 

WomenSing  

8 p.m. 

Valley Center for the Performing Arts 

Holy Names College 

3500 Mountain Blvd.  

Oakland 

In the first concert of their 35th anniversary season titled “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day,” WomenSing perform music of Irving Berlin, Holst, and others.  

$20 general, $18 seniors/students, $10 18 and under 

Call 925-798-1300 

 


Saturday, Dec. 9

 

Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios 

11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Get map from: 

1250 Addison St. #214 

or download at: http://www.berkeleyartisans.com 

Over one hundred professional artists and craftspeople open up their studios and workspaces to the public. All styles of artistic expression are represented. Runs Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 17. 

Call 845-2612  

 

Bay Area Steppers Drill Team 

2 - 4 p.m. 

1216 Solano Ave. 

One of many performers doing their stuff on Solano during the holidays. Performances every weekend afternoon till Christmas.  

 

Artists at Play Holiday Sale 

11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Artists at Play Studio  

1649 Hopkins St. (at Carlotta)  

Work by the artists including original servings dishes, frames, jewelry, and other items. 

Call 528-0494  

 

Class Dismissed  

7:30 p.m. 

Boadecia’s Books 

398 Colusa Ave. (at Colusa Cir.)  

Kensington 

Meredith Maran discusses her book “A Year In the Life of an American High School, A Glimpse into the Heart of a Nation,” the result of her following the lives of three Berkeley High students. Free 

Call 559-9184  

 

Loneliness as a Spiritual Crisis 

7:30 p.m. 

Unitarian Hall 

1924 Cedar St.  

Hear about the spiritual path of Light and Sound. Also includes the ancient teachings of the saints.  

Call Unitarian Hall, 841-4824 or visit www.masterpath.org 

 

Farmers’ Market Craft Fair 

10 a.m. - 4 p.m.  

MLK Jr. Civic Center Park  

(Center at MLK Jr. Way) 

Local craftspeople will be selling a variety of handcrafted gifts. Also live music, massage, and hot apple cider. Free 

Call 548-3333 

 

West Coast Live  

10 a.m. - Noon  

Freight & Salvage  

1111 Addison St.  

Interviews, musical performances and a live radio play broadcast to a hundred cities worldwide. This show features the Magniolia Sisters, Alex DiGrassi, Tata Monk and author Malachy McCourt.  

Call 415-664-9500  

 

Trunk Show with Art Quintanna 

10 a.m. -6 p.m.  

Gathering Tribes Gallery 

1573 Solano Ave. 

Hailing from New Mexico, Quintanna specializes in older “dead pawn” Indian jewelry.  

 

Sunday, Dec. 10 

Parenting Book Club 

11 a.m.  

Cody’s Books 

1730 Fourth St.  

Take part in a discussion of “Mothers Who Think” edited by Camille Peri. New group members always welcome. The group meets the second Sunday of each month.  

Call 559-9500 

 

Poems on the Jewish Experience 

3 - 5 p.m. 

St. Clement’s Episcopal Church 

2837 Claremont Blvd.  

Selected from over 200 poems submitted, the winners of the fourteenth annual Anna Davidson Rosenberg Award will read their poems.  

 

Journey of the Soul 

7 - 9 p.m. 

St. John’s Presbyterian Church 

2727 College Ave.  

A public satsang and Babaji Kriya Yoga meditation with Himalayan yogi Yogiraj Sat-Gurunath.  

Call Sylvia Stanley, 845-9434  

 

UNtraining White Liberal Racism 

2 - 4:30 p.m. 

555 Tenth St. (at Clay) 

Oakland 

Robert Horton, a white male, founded the UNtraining as a way for white people to work together on the unconscious power of white skin privilege and how it perpetuates racism. 

$10 

235-6134 

 

Irish Harp & Guitar 

Noon - 2 p.m. 

1603 Solano Ave.  

Trish NiGabhain is one of many performers doing their stuff on Solano during the holidays. Performances every weekend afternoon till Christmas.  

 

LesBiGayTrans Parenting 

11 a.m. 

Boadecia’s Books 

398 Colusa Ave. (at Colusa Cir.) 

Kensington 

These two groups meet on the second Sunday of each month. The group meeting at 11 a.m. is for prospective parents, the one at noon for parents.  

Call 559-9184 

 

Ancient Buddhist Tales 

6 p.m.  

Tibetan Nyingma Institute  

1815 Highland Place  

Rima Tamar, storyteller and Dharma Publishing sales director, tells some classic Buddhist stories. Free  

843-6812 

 

TOCAR with David Frazier 

4:30 p.m. 

Jazzschool/La Note  

2377 Shattuck Ave.  

$6 - $12  

Reservations: 845-5373 

 

Tibetan Nyingma Open House 

3 -5 p.m.  

Tibetan Nyingma Institute  

1815 Highland Place  

A free introduction to Tibetan Buddhist culture, including a Tibetan yoga demonstration and a meditation garden tour.  

Call 843-6812  

 

Baroque Choral Guild  

7:30 p.m. 

First Congregational Church 

2345 Channing Way 

Performing the music of Giovanni Gabrieli, Claudio Merulo, Giovanni Croce, and others.  

$20 general, $15 seniors and students  

Call 408-733-8110 

 

“From Swastikas to Jim Crow”  

10:30 a.m.  

Jewish Learning Center 

1414 Walnut St. 

Donald and Lore Rasmussen of Berkeley, and Jim McWilliams of Oakland, discuss their experiences and the experiences of others who fled Nazi Germany and ended up teaching in African-American colleges in the segregated south. Admission includes brunch.  

$4 BRJCC members; $5 general  

Call 848-0237 x127 

 

Weird Rooms 

3 - 5 p.m.  

Berkeley History Center 

1931 Center St.  

Mal and Sandra Sharpe discuss people who collect unusual things and how their collections take over their rooms.  

 

Black Images in the White Mind 

6:30 p.m. 

Walden Pond Books  

3316 Grand Ave.  

Oakland  

Jan Faulkner will give a slide show presentation of about her book, “Ethnic Notions.”  

Call 832-4438 

 

Monday, Dec. 11 

Ask the Doctor 

10 a.m.  

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst (at MLK Jr. Way) 

Dr. McGillis will discuss prevention and treatment of colds and influenza. 

Call 644-6107 

 

AHAP Talent Show & Raffle 

2 - 4 p.m. 

South Berkeley Senior Center 

2939 Center St.  

The Affordable Housing Advocacy Project organizes the talent show and raffle to help raise funds to further develop tenant leadership through participation in conferences and networking with other tenants in regional, state and national organizations.  

Call 1-800-773-2110 

 

Wednesday, Dec. 13 

Oakland Preschool Fair 

7 - 9 p.m. 

Piedmont Avenue Elementary School 

4314 Piedmont Ave.  

Oakland 

Sponsored by the Neighborhood Parents Network, this panel discussion allows parents the opportunity to speak with representatives from local preschools. 

Free to NPN members, $5 general 

Call 527-6667 

 

Ballroom Dancing for Seniors 

9 a.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst (at MLK Jr. Way) 

Call 644-6107 

 

Energy Commission 

5:30 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst Ave. (at MLK Jr. Way) 

 

Waterfront Commission Meeting 

7 p.m. 

H’s Lordship Restaurant  

199 Seawall Dr.  

 

Planning Commission 

7 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst Ave. (at MLK Jr. Way) 

 

Commission on Disability  

6:30 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst Ave. (at MLK Jr. Way) 

 

Board of Library Trustees  

7 p.m. 

West Branch  

1125 University Ave.  

 

Homeless Commission  

7 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst Ave. (at MLK Jr. Way) 

 

Police Review Commission 

7:30 p.m. 

South Berkeley Senior Center 

2939 Ellis St.  

 

Thursday, Dec. 14  

Ultimate Alpine Climbing  

7 p.m.  

Recreational Equipment, Inc.  

1338 San Pablo Ave.  

Join veteran alpine climber Kitty Calhoun in a slide presentation of her 20-year climbing career.  

Call Jason, 527-7377 

 

Meeting Life Changes  

10 a.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst (at MLK Jr. Way) 

With John Hammerman.  

Call 644-6107 

 

Free Anonymous HIV Testing 

5:15 - 7:15 p.m. 

Check in 5 - 7 p.m. 

University Health Services 

Tang Center  

2222 Bancroft Way 

Drop-in services and limited space is available.  

Call 642-7202 

 

Solano Ave. Association 

Holiday Mixer & Meeting 

5:30 - 7:30 p.m. 

Cafe Del Sol 

1742 Solano Ave.  

With light refreshments and a silent auction, the Solano Ave. Association invites you to “meet your business neighbors.”  

Call 527-5358  

 

Community Health Commission 

6:45 p.m. 

2640 MLK Jr. Way  

Auditorium 

Call 665-6845 for exact location 

 

Zoning Adjustments Board  

7 p.m. 

Council Chamber 

2134 MLK Jr. Way  

Second Floor 

 

Friday, Dec. 15 

BHS Orchestra and Concert Band 

7:30 p.m. 

Berkeley High Little Theater  

Allston Way 

 

St. Paul AME X-Mas Party 

5:30 - 8 p.m. 

2024 Ashby Ave.  

For St. Paul’s annual party they ask that you bring a new toy or book for a needy child. Free 

Call 665-2164 

 

Dance for the Forests 

8 p.m. 

Ashkenaz  

1317 San Pablo Ave.  

Join the Alice Di Michele Band, Rachel Garlin, and acapella group Making Waves at this benefit concert for the Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters.  

Admission is sliding scale 

835-6303 

 

Holiday Musical Quartet 

11:45 a.m., buffet lunch 

12:30 p.m., music  

Berkeley City Club 

2315 Durant Ave.  

With music arranged by Melinda McCallister, the quartet will perform popular year-end songs from around the world.  

$1 with coffee, students free 

Call 848-3533 

 

Lesbians and Gays Get Together 

1:30 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst (at MLK Jr. Way) 

Call 644-6107 

 

Saturday, Dec. 16 

Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios 

11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Get map from: 

1250 Addison St. #214 

or download at: http://www.berkeleyartisans.com 

Over one hundred professional artists and craftspeople open up their studios and workspaces to the public. All styles of artistic expression are represented. Runs Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 17. 

Call 845-2612  

 

Berkeley Community Chamber Chorus 

2 - 4 p.m. 

Strolling along Solano Ave. 

One of many performers doing their stuff on Solano during the holidays. Performances every weekend afternoon till Christmas.  

 

Farmers’ Market Craft Fair 

10 a.m. - 4 p.m.  

MLK Jr. Civic Center Park  

(Center at MLK Jr. Way) 

Local craftspeople will be selling a variety of handcrafted gifts. Also live music, massage, and hot apple cider. Free 

Call 548-3333 

 

Sunday, Dec. 17  

Benefits of Kum Nye and Meditation 

6 p.m.  

Tibetan Nyingma Institute  

1815 Highland Place  

Miep Cooymans, Nyingma Institute meditation instructor lectures and demonstrates this gentle, self-healing system. Free 

843-6812 

 

The Disputation 

2 - 4:30 p.m.  

Jewish Community Center 

1414 Walnut St.  

Call 848-0237 

 

Guitar of Reverend Rabia 

Noon - 2 p.m. 

1741 Solano Ave. 

One of many performers doing their stuff on Solano during the holidays. Performances every weekend afternoon till Christmas.  

 

Hanukkah Happening 

8 p.m. 

Shambhala Booksellers 

2482 Telegraph Ave.  

Cantor and recording artist Richard Kaplan will lead attendees in seasonal music. Free.  

Call 848-8443 

 

Monday, Dec. 18 

Design Review Commission 

7:30 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst St. (at MLK Jr. Way) 

 

Tuesday, Dec. 19 

Planning for the Future 

7 - 9 p.m. 

Jewish Community Center 

1414 Walnut Ave. (at Rose) 

Informally led by Robert Berend, former UC Extension lecturer, this group aims to have intelligent discussions on a wide range of topics. They stress that there is no religious bent to the discussions and that all viewpoints are welcome. Bring light snacks to share with group.  

Call Robert Berend, 527-5332  

 

Wednesday, Dec. 20 

Berkeley Communicators Toastmasters 

7:15 p.m. 

Vault Restaurant  

3250 Adeline St.  

Learn to speak fluently without fear or hesitation.  

Call Howard Linnard, 527-2337 

 

Thursday, Dec. 21 

Berkeley Metaphysic Toastmasters Club 

6:15 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. 

2515 Hillegass Ave.  

Public speaking skills and metaphysic come together at Avatar Metaphysical Toastmasters. Meets first and third Thursdays each month. 

Call 869-2547 or 643-7645 

 

Free Anonymous HIV Testing 

5:15 - 7:15 p.m. 

Check in 5 - 7 p.m. 

University Health Services 

Tang Center  

2222 Bancroft Way 

Drop-in services and limited space is available.  

Call 642-7202 

 

Saturday, Dec. 23  

Farmers’ Market Craft Fair 

10 a.m. - 4 p.m.  

MLK Jr. Civic Center Park  

(Center at MLK Jr. Way) 

Local craftspeople will be selling a variety of handcrafted gifts. Also live music, massage, and hot apple cider. Free 

Call 548-3333 

 

Royal Hawaiian Ukulele Band 

Noon - 2 p.m. 

1561 Solano Ave. 

One of many performers doing their stuff on Solano during the holidays. Performances every weekend afternoon till Christmas.  

 

Sunday, Dec. 24  

Ancient Winds 

Noon - 4 p.m. 

1573 Solano Ave. 

One of many performers doing their stuff on Solano during the holidays. Performances every weekend afternoon till Christmas.  

 

Tuesday, Dec. 26  

Kwanzaa! 

1 p.m. 

Lawrence Hall of Science 

Centennial Drive 

UC Berkeley 

Join storyteller Awele Makeba as she shares tale and a capella songs from African and African-American history, culture, and folklore which celebrate the seven principles of Kwanzaa. Included with admission to the museum.  

$7 adults; $5 children 5 - 18, seniors and students; $3 children 3-4 

Call 642-5132 

 

Wednesday, Dec. 27 

Magic Mike 

Noon and 1:30 p.m. 

Lawrence Hall of Science 

Centennial Drive 

UC Berkeley 

Special effects, magic, juggling, ventriloquism, and outrageous comedy is what Parent’s Choice Award winner Magic Mike is all about. Included in price of museum admission.  

$7 adults; $5 children 5 - 18, seniors and students; $3 children 3-4 

Call 642-5132 

 

Thursday, Dec. 28  

Season of Lights  

1 p.m. 

Lawrence Hall of Science 

Centennial Drive 

UC Berkeley 

The Imagination Company brings to life world winter celebrations and highlights the significance of light to several culture. Included in museum admission price.  

$7 adults; $5 children 5 - 18, seniors and students; $3 children 3-4 

Call 642-5132 

 

Friday, Dec. 29  

Earthcapades 

1 p.m. 

Lawrence Hall of Science 

Centennial Drive 

UC Berkeley 

Join Hearty and Lissin as they blend storytelling, juggling, acrobatics, and more, to entertain and teach about saving the environment. Included in museum admission. 

$7 adults; $5 children 5 - 18, seniors and students; $3 children 3-4 

Call 642-5132 

 

Saturday, Dec. 30  

Bats of the World  

1 & 2:30 p.m. 

Lawrence Hall of Science 

Centennial Drive 

UC Berkeley 

Maggie Hooper, an educator with the California Bat Conservation Fund, will show slides, introduce three live, tame, and indigenous bats, and answer your questions about these fascinating creatures. Included in admission to the museum. 

$7 adults; $5 children 5 - 18, seniors and students; $3 children 3-4 

Call 642-5132 

 

Sunday, Dec. 31 

Light Up the Lights! 

1 p.m. 

Lawrence Hall of Science 

Centennial Drive 

UC Berkeley 

Popular songmeister Gary Lapow performs traditional holiday music from around the world. Included in price of museum admission. 

$7 adults; $5 children 5 - 18, seniors and students; $3 children 3-4 

Call 642-5132 

 

Wednesday, Jan. 3  

Berkeley Communicators Toastmasters 

7:15 p.m. 

Vault Restaurant  

3250 Adeline St.  

Learn to speak fluently without fear or hesitation.  

Call Howard Linnard, 527-2337 

 

Friday, Jan. 5  

Zen Buddhist Sites in China 

7 p.m. 

Oakland Museum of California 

1000 Oak St.  

Oakland 

Andy Ferguson, author of “Zen’s Chinese Heritage: The Masters and Their Teachings,” presents a slide show of Zen holy sites in China. Ferguson will read from the book and engage the audience in a brief meditation session. Included in museum admission. 

$6 general, $4 seniors and students with ID 

Call 1-888-OAK-MUSE 

 

Thursday, Jan. 11 

Toni Stone and the Negro Baseball League 

1 p.m. 

Oakland Museum of California 

1000 Oak St.  

Oakland 

Marcia Eymann, curator of historical photography, discusses memorabilia of Toni Stone, a woman who played in the Negro Baseball Legue in the 1940s. Free. 

Call 1-888-OAK-MUSE 

 

Free Anonymous HIV Testing 

5:15 - 7:15 p.m. 

Check in 5 - 7 p.m. 

University Health Services 

Tang Center  

2222 Bancroft Way 

Drop-in services and limited space is available.  

Call 642-7202 

 

Friday, Jan. 12 

“Who’s Really In Charge Anyway?” 

7:30 p.m. 

Unitarian Hall 

1924 Cedar St.  

The subject to be discussed is the guru dilemma and individual spiritual mastership. Hear about the spiritual path of light and sound and the ancient teachings of the saints.  

Call Unitarian Hall, 841-4824 or visit www.masterpath.org 

 

Saturday, Jan. 13 

“Dyke Open Myke!” 

7:30 p.m. 

Boadecia’s Books  

398 Colusa Ave. (at Colusa Cir.) 

Kensington 

A coffeehouse-style open mic. night for emerging talent. 

Call Jessy, 655-1015  

or Boadecia’s Books, 559-9184 

 

Sunday, Jan. 14 

Teaching Chinese Culture in the U.S.  

2 p.m. 

Oakland Museum of California 

1000 Oak St.  

Oakland 

Educators from Bay Area Chinese schools explore issues related to teaching Chinese culture and language. Included in museum admission.  

$6 general; $4 seniors and students with ID 

Call 1-888-OAK-MUSE 

 

LesBiGayTrans Parenting 

11 a.m. 

Boadecia’s Books 

398 Colusa Ave. (at Colusa Cir.) 

Kensington 

These two groups meet on the second Sunday of each month. The group meeting at 11 a.m. is for prospective parents, the one at noon for parents.  

Call 559-9184 

 

“Berkeley, 1900” 

3 - 5 p.m. . 

Berkeley History Center 

1931 Center St.  

Richard Schwartz gives an oral history of Berkeley at the turn of the century.  

 

A-Singin’ and a Chantin’ 

8 p.m. 

Shambhala Booksellers 

2482 Telegraph Ave.  

Pagan recording artist DJ Hamouris shares some songs and chants. 

Call 848-8443 

 

Wednesday, Jan. 17  

Berkeley Communicators Toastmasters 

7:15 p.m. 

Vault Restaurant  

3250 Adeline St.  

Learn to speak fluently without fear or hesitation.  

Call Howard Linnard, 527-2337 

 

Sunday, Feb. 25  

“Imperial San Francisco: 

Urban Power, Earthly Ruin” 

3 - 5 p.m. 

Berkeley History Center 

Veterans Memorial Building 

1931 Center St.  

Gary Brechin speaks on the impact and legacy of the Hearsts and other powerful San Francisco families. Free 

Call 848-0181 

 

Sunday, March 18  

“Topaz Moon” 

3 - 5 p.m. 

Berkeley History Center 

Veterans Memorial Building 

1931 Center St.  

Kimi Kodani Hill speaks on artist Chiura Obata’s family and the WW II Japanese relocation camps. Free 

Call 848-0181 

 

ONGOING EVENTS 

 

Sundays 

Green Party Consensus Building Meeting 

6 p.m. 

2022 Blake St. 

This is part of an ongoing series of discussions for the Green Party of Alameda County, leadin


Setencich gets new two-year contract

Daily Planet Wire Services
Friday December 01, 2000

 

Cal head football coach Tom Holmoe announced Thursday that associate head coach and defensive coordinator Lyle Setencich has agreed to a new two-year contract.  

Setencich, who recently completed his fourth season with the Golden Bears, is regarded as one of the top defensive coaches in college football. His new agreement will carry him through the 2002 football season.  

Holmoe said he was pleased to have Setencich remain a part of the Cal football program. “Lyle is a huge part of what we are trying to accomplish here at Cal and I’m real happy that he’s going to be with us for the next two seasons and hopefully much longer,” said Holmoe. “He’s perhaps the premier defensive coordinator in the country and he is a valued counsel to me in all matters relating to our football program.”  

Setencich had turned down overtures from several schools around the country to remain at Cal. “I believe in what we’re building here at Cal and I wanted to show my commitment to the program and to Tom Holmoe,” said Setencich. “I’ve been around long enough in the coaching profession to know when there’s a solid foundation for long-term success and I think we have that here at Cal.”  

Setencich has orchestrated a turnaround in Cal’s defensive fortunes, taking a defense that ranked last in the Pac-10 in total defense in 1996, the year before he came to Cal, to the No. 1 spot in the conference in 1999.  

He has helped develop several NFL players, including first team All-Americans Deltha O’Neal in 1999 and Andre Carter this past season. During the course of Setencich’s tenure, 14 Cal defensive players have gone on to sign NFL contracts, including nine last spring.


Men targeted to fight disease

By Lisa Daniels Special to the Daily Planet
Friday December 01, 2000

 

 

World AIDS Day began Dec. 1, 12 years ago to increase awareness of the pandemic, generate information on how to avoid the disease and to make a plea for funding to find a cure.  

The day also memorializes those lost to AIDS, those stricken with AIDS or diagnosed HIV-positive.  

“Men Make a Difference” is the theme of World AIDS Day 2000 and targets recruiting men as partners in the war against the disease. 

The goal of this year’s activities is to motivate men and women to talk openly about sex, sexuality, drug use and HIV/AIDS; to encourage men to take care of themselves, their partners and families and to promote programs which respond to the needs of men and women. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 10 percent of HIV infections worldwide occur through heterosexual intercourse and another 10 percent through sex between men. Five percent takes places among intravenous drug users, four-fifths of whom are men.  

As of the end of 1999, an estimated 34.3 million people were living with HIV/AIDS worldwide.  

Although the numbers of those living with HIV/AIDS are high, the interest in prevention and testing is increasing. 

“In 1999, my first year at the (UC Berkeley Health) Center, there were no students interested in asking questions or concerned about monthly AIDS testing,” said Brian Kim, HIV Prevention Coordinator. “In 2000, more students and co-workers are now showing a great interest in the AIDS virus. We (at UC Berkeley Health Services) now have student peer groups available for counseling as well as weekly AIDS testing.” 

For information regarding anonymous AIDS testing, call UC Health 

Services at 642-7202 or City of Berkeley HIV/AIDS Program at 665-7300. 


Older voters say blame the system, not ballots

By Annelise Wunderlich Special to the Daily Planet
Friday December 01, 2000

 

 

As the post-election drama drags on, senior voters in Florida have stepped onto the center stage. Much of the re-count debate has focused on elders’ ability to figure out the ballot – and less on how they feel about the issues. 

Tuesday, some older Berkeley residents said the ballots are not the problem. They placed the blame on the American political system. Although both Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore have promised to make seniors a priority if elected president, these older voters said that it is just the usual lip service. 

“In Florida, instead of kissing babies, they were symbolically kissing us,” said Harry Siitonen, a resident at the Strawberry Creek Lodge. He is one of more than 170 residents at this west Berkeley senior housing facility, where a voting booth was stationed during the election. 

Siitonen, who worked the polls Nov. 7, said turnout in the precinct was high. “We were given 650 ballots and I would say more than 500 were used,” he said. The few people that reported having difficulties voting, he said, were told to rip up their ballots and vote again. 

Their votes were counted, but the recent hullabaloo in Florida over the vote re-count appears worrisome to some older voters, who said the neck-to-neck elections this year shed light on serious flaws in the political system. 

“I’m 92 and I was born and raised in this country. I’ve never seen any thing like this in all my years,” said Edna Breckenridge about Bush’s narrow hold over the electoral vote. 

Some people said they were disturbed by allegations that minority groups in Florida were intimidated from voting. 

“I look at the Congress and the Senate and I say, this country is still under white control,” said Frances Catlett of Strawberry Creek, who is African American. “I vote, but now I’m thinking, what’s the use? This country is a white country.” 

Maudie Pringle agreed. “I’m from the South and I remember when my grandfather was the only black man to vote in Mississippi.” Pringle said she has volunteered to register voters for many years. “A lot of folks think it don’t pay you to vote anymore. I say let the votes be counted,” she said. 

But other seniors said that they were heartened by the growing participation of minorities in American politics. Joanna On-Yong Selby, chairperson of the Alameda County Commission on Aging, said that older minorities are voting as they never have before. 

“In the past, minorities were ignored,” Selby said. But thanks to increased immigration and naturalization, she said, aging Asians and Latinos are becoming a force to be reckoned with in politics. “There is much more inclusion now. We are becoming a key vote, so things have really changed,” said Selby, a native of Korea who became a U.S. citizen in 1963. 

There will soon be even more older Americans at the polls. In Alameda county, the most recent census estimates report that the 65-and-older population makes up more than 10 percent of a population of more than 33 million. Nationwide, that group is expected to rise from 34.7 million to 70 million, a rise from 13 to 20 percent of the population in the next 30 years. 

More senior voters should translate to more political clout. And judging by the number of times both Gore and Bush campaigns brought up “senior” concerns, such as social security and prescription drug plans, that clout is already on the rise. 

But Helen Lima, also a Strawberry Creek resident, is not so sure. 

“The candidates defined the issues. They didn’t ask us what the issues were,” Lima said. 

“They certainly didn’t ask poor people what was important to them.” 

Several seniors interviewed at Strawberry Creek and the North Berkeley Senior Center said they have seen more than eight decades of elections, and that the political process has gotten weaker over the years. 

“All of us grew up during the New Deal. Our parents were great supporters of Franklin D. Roosevelt,” said Siitonen. “We had faith in the Democrats being friends of the poor. But when they started losing votes, the party shifted to the right.” He was echoed by many other seniors who said that they were angry at Gore for abandoning the basic principles of Roosevelt’s commitment to welfare and public works programs. 

Bari Wolfe, a volunteer at the North Berkeley Senior Center, said that she can’t tell the difference between the two major parties any more. 

“The sides used to be more clearly defined,” Wolfe said. “We were never even aware of the electoral system back then. It all seemed much simpler.” 

But despite their disillusionment with the state of modern politics, Henry Brady, a professor of political science at UC Berkeley, said that older voters are generally more politically active than any other age group. He called them the “civic generation,” and said that their history leads seniors to the voting booths in big numbers. 

“Folks of that generation were profoundly affected by the Great Depression and World War II. They were socialized at a time when democracy was an extremely important ideal,” Brady said. 

Not everyone is as hopeful as Selby. Charlie Betcher, the Chair of Berkeley’s Commission on Aging, said that he saw many older voters registering for the Green Party because they were disenchanted with bipartisan politics. 

“Most people feel that democracy is less now because so much money is involved,” Betcher said, referring to the exorbitant cost of running a campaign these days. “They have become rather cynical.” 

But not all seniors agree that the democratic tradition is on the decline. Sheila Kennedy said that she has been avidly watching the election developments on television and feels better informed than in the past. 

“Come on, we’re beginning to sound like a bunch of old people,” she warned a small group of residents a discussing the election at Strawberry Creek Lodge. “Not everyone thinks that the world is going to hell in a hand-basket.” 


Church message of hope

By Shirley Dang Special to the Daily Planet
Friday December 01, 2000

 

 

Sunday morning the Rev. Mark Wilson will be preaching about AIDS/HIV. The sermon he’ll deliver won’t be doom and gloom, however. 

“You can’t preach homophobia or sexphobia, or look at it in terms of AIDS being punishment for people,” he said. “The preaching I do is a very hopeful message.” 

Wilson will be hosting a special service honoring World AIDS Day at 11 a.m. at McGee Avenue Baptist Church. 

He’ll be joined by Prison to Praise, a singing group of prisoners with HIV/AIDS. 

This Sunday, in honor of the day, the south Berkeley church is opening its doors to the entire community.  

The Rev. Wilson delivers his message of hope in the face of HIV/AIDS to his congregation of 250-300 people each first Sunday of the month. During these special services, about 10 percent of the parishioners come to the alter to pray for relatives or friends with HIV or AIDS, he said. 

While the church has held the monthly service since 1994, the message has spotlighted tolerance in the face of AIDS and HIV since he joined the church eight years ago.  

“It’s not a special day we’re having. We don’t just talk about HIV and AIDS for one day out of the year,” he said. 

And they don’t just talk about it only on Sundays. McGee Avenue Baptist Church has several outreach programs. One teaches prevention and another offers food services for those with HIV and AIDS. The city gave a grant to McGee Baptist three years ago, recognizing its dedication to fostering tolerance and teaching HIV prevention and education.  

A special communion will end the service. Those accepting the communion wafer are symbolically accepting a part of the body of Christ. This acceptance serves to unite those fighting the prejudices that affect those with AIDS or HIV, he said.  

“If one part of the body is suffering, then the whole body is. If one is suffering from AIDS, then all of us do. By emphasizing unity, we encourage everyone to overlook differences.” 

McGee Baptist Church is at 1640 Stuart St. Call 843-1774. 

 

 


Drug-associated transmission goes beyond user

Daily Planet Staff Reports
Friday December 01, 2000

Sharing syringes and other equipment for drug injection is a well known route of HIV transmission, yet injection drug use contributes to the epidemic’s spread far beyond the circle of those who inject.  

People who have sex with an injection drug user also are at risk for infection through the sexual transmission of HIV.  

Children born to mothers who contracted HIV through sharing needles or having sex with an IDU may become infected as well. 

Since the epidemic began, injection drug use has directly and indirectly accounted for more than one-third of AIDS cases in the United States. This disturbing trend appears to be continuing. 

Of the 46,400 new cases of AIDS reported in 1999, 13,833 (30 percent) were IDU-associated. 

Racial and ethnic minority populations in the United States are most heavily affected by IDU-associated AIDS.  

In 1999, IDUs accounted for 33 percent of all AIDS cases among African American and 35 percent among Hispanic adults and adolescents, compared with 23 percent of all cases among white adults/adolescents.  

IDU-associated AIDS accounts for a larger proportion of cases among women than among men.  

Since the epidemic began, 58 percent of all AIDS cases among women have been attributed to injection drug use or sex with partners who inject drugs, compared with 31 percent of cases among men. 

Noninjection drugs (such as “crack” cocaine) also contribute to the spread of the epidemic when users trade sex for drugs or money, or when they engage in risky sexual behaviors that they might not engage in when sober.  

One CDC study of more than 2,000 young adults in three inner-city neighborhoods found that crack smokers were three times more likely to be infected with HIV than non-smokers.


Some facts to help explain AIDS and HIV

Friday December 01, 2000

What is HIV?  

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that causes AIDS. This virus is passed from one person to another through blood-to-blood and sexual contact. In addition, infected pregnant women can pass HIV to their babies during pregnancy or delivery, as well as through breast-feeding. People with HIV have HIV infection. Most of these people will develop AIDS as a result of their HIV infection.  

These body fluids spread HIV: blood, semen, vaginal fluid, breast milk, other body fluids containing blood. 

 

What is AIDS? What causes AIDS?  

AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. An HIV-infected person receives a diagnosis of AIDS after developing one of the CDC-defined AIDS indicator illnesses. An HIV-positive person who has not had any serious illnesses also can receive an AIDS diagnosis on the basis of certain blood tests.  

A positive HIV test result does not mean that a person has AIDS. A diagnosis of AIDS is made by a physician using certain clinical criteria (e.g., AIDS indicator illnesses).  

Infection with HIV can weaken the immune system to the point that it has difficulty fighting off certain infections. These types of infections are known as “opportunistic” infections because they take the opportunity a weakened immune system gives to cause illness.  

Many of the infections that cause problems or may be life-threatening for people with AIDS are usually controlled by a healthy immune system. The immune system of a person with AIDS is weakened to the point that medical intervention may be necessary to prevent or treat serious illness.  

Today there are medical treatments that can slow down the rate at which HIV weakens the immune system. There are other treatments that can prevent or cure some of the illnesses associated with AIDS. As with other diseases, early detection offers more options for treatment and preventative care.  

 

How long does it take for HIV to cause AIDS?  

Since 1992, scientists have estimated that about half the people with HIV develop AIDS within 10 years after becoming infected. This time varies greatly from person to person and can depend on many factors, including one’s health status and health-related behaviors.  

 

What are the symptoms of HIV?  

The only way to determine for sure whether one is infected is to be tested for HIV infection. People cannot rely on symptoms to know whether or not they are infected with HIV. Many people who are infected with HIV do not have any symptoms at all for many years.  

The following may be warning signs of infection with HIV: rapid weight loss, dry cough, recurring fever or profuse night sweats, profound and unexplained fatigue, swollen lymph glands in the armpits, groin, or neck; diarrhea that lasts for more than a week, white spots or unusual blemishes on the tongue, in the mouth, or in the throat, pneumonia, red, brown, pink, or purplish blotches on or under the skin or inside the mouth, nose, or eyelids; memory loss, depression, and other neurological disorders.  

However, people should not assume they are infected if they have any of these symptoms. Each of these symptoms can be related to other illnesses. Again, the only way to determine whether one is infected is to be tested for HIV infection. 

Source: Centers for Disease Control  

 

 

 

 

 

Similarly, you cannot rely on symptoms to establish that a person has AIDS. The symptoms of AIDS are similar to the symptoms of many other illnesses. AIDS is a medical diagnosis made by a doctor based on specific criteria 

established by the CDC.  

About drug-associated transmission 

Sharing syringes and other equipment for drug injection is a well known route of HIV transmission, yet injection drug use contributes to the epidemic’ s spread far beyond the circle of those who inject. People who have sex with an injection drug user also are at risk for infection through the sexual transmission of HIV. Children born to mothers who contracted HIV through sharing needles or having sex with an IDU may become infected as well. 

Since the epidemic began, injection drug use has directly and indirectly accounted for more than one-third of AIDS cases in the United States. This disturbing trend appears to be continuing. 

Of the 46,400 new cases of AIDS reported in 1999, 13,833 (30 percent) were IDU-associated. 

Racial and ethnic minority populations in the United States are most heavily affected by IDU-associated AIDS. In 1999, IDUs accounted for 33 percent of all AIDS cases among African American and 35 percent among Hispanic adults and adolescents, compared with 23 percent of all cases among white adults/adolescents.  

IDU-associated AIDS accounts for a larger proportion of cases among women than among men. Since the epidemic began, 58 percent of all AIDS cases among women have been attributed to injection drug use or sex with partners who inject drugs, compared with 31 percent of cases among men. 

Noninjection drugs (such as “crack” cocaine) also contribute to the spread of the epidemic when users trade sex for drugs or money, or when they engage in risky sexual behaviors that they might not engage in when sober. One CDC study of more than 2,000 young adults in three inner-city neighborhoods found that crack smokers were three times more likely to be infected with HIV than non-smokers. 


Welcome gifts feature useful garden tools

The Associated Press
Friday December 01, 2000

POUND RIDGE, N.Y. — To please a gardener with a holiday gift, think useful. What can he or she do with it in the garden? 

Tools and accessories hit the spot; things like trowels, spades, pruning shears, watering cans, gloves. They’re welcome because they easily get lost or misplaced and seem always in short supply. 

Utility doesn’t necessarily mean homely. Functional can be beautiful and some items are also crafted to look nice. 

Take, for example, so rudimentary a staple as plant supports. Kinsman Company of Point Pleasant, Pa., (www.kinsmangarden.com) offers English-made, 3-foot-tall steel stakes featuring tops in the shapes of butterflies, bees, song sparrows and squirrels in durable black finish. They’re $11.95 each. 

Online shopping has made gift hunting a lot easier for people who may not be gardeners themselves but are looking for presents for relatives and friends. 

Go to www.garden.com and click your way to a page featuring 28 practical suggestions at prices ranging from below $5 to a blower vac at $89.99. Featured are aprons, shoes, gloves, pruners, kneeler seats, watering cans, tote bags with tools, electric trimmers, wheelbarrows. Click on each pictured item and you get a full description. 

Most gardening outlets have web pages today but they still mail out catalogs for people who may rather shop by mail. Looking through this year’s crop, I found gifts suitable to various budgets. 

If you’re feeling generous, you can gift-wrap a 16-piece tool kit for $75 from Brookstone’s, 17 Riverside St., Nashua, N.H., 03062 (800-351-7222; www.brookstone.com). The kit includes trowel, weeder, cultivator, transplanter, two pruners, grass shears, kneeler pad, multipattern hoze nozzle, power stream nozzle and six different hose connectors, all in a snap-tight case. 

In live plants, amaryllis has long been a welcome gift. If you want to splurge, www.whiteflowerfarm.com offers a “Connoisseur’s Collection” set of eight at $145, each potted bulb berthed in a wicker basket with Spanish moss. In plain green nursery pots the set comes at $119. The firm says each bulb is guaranteed to produce two flower stems, each with at least four blooms, and they can easily be grown on from year to year. 

Bulbs may be ordered in fewer numbers, a three-bulb set coming at $62 and a single bulb at $21. 

Indoor grow lighting maintains steady popularity for starting seeds and displaying plants. A neat little item comes at $39.95 from www.gardeners.com. It consists of a 9-watt full spectrum light that turns on and off automatically. A moisture sensor tells you when the plant needs water. The unit accommodates a plant up to 12 inches tall in a pot up to 5 1/2 inches in diameter. 

For the indoor gardener who is away from home frequently,Gardener’s Supply offers so-called plant minder trays that hold enough water to keep your plants properly moist for two weeks at a time. The principle is that they water from the bottom, moistening the roots.  

Humming bird feeders make nice gifts. A California firm named Bird Central (877-461-0903; www.birdcentral.com) offers many models in a $36-$38 price range. 

High-tech or old-fashioned instruments to attract both mind and eye come from Wind & Weather, 1200 N. Main St., Fort Bragg, Calif., 95437 (800-922-9463; www.windandweather.com).  

If money is no consideration, you might delight your gift recipient with a wireless home weather station at $990. It gives temperatures, humidity, barometric pressure, rainfall, wind speed, wind direction, wind chill. 

If you prefer wind direction by weathervane, there’s a huge selection with prices ranging to $1,950 for a hand-crafted copper blue heron. A much more modest, but nostalgically familiar rooster comes at $199. 

There are also sun dials galore, starting at $198.95 with a simple old-fashioned one on a 2-foot-tall cast iron pedestal, the dial enhanced with Browning’s verse, “Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.” 

——— 

EDITOR’S NOTE: George Bria retired from the AP in 1981 after 40 years that included coverage of World War II from Italy. 

End advance for Thursday, Nov. 30 


Dryer vents can create winter drafts

The Associated Press
Friday December 01, 2000

Q: We are trying to tighten up our home for the winter and are tracking down and eliminating sources of drafts. The doors and windows were no problem, but we noticed a bad draft coming from our clothes dryer vent. What’s the best way to handle this situation? 

A: An open dryer vent leading to the outside of the house can be a significant source of drafts in winter and windy weather.  

If yours is an electric dryer, check with a heating expert about the possibility of connecting the dryer vent to the furnace return duct, thus saving the heat generated by the dryer which is otherwise wasted out the vent.  

Do not vent the dryer directly into the laundry area, as dryer air is damp and you risk an indoor condensation problem. Gas dryers should remain vented to the outdoors. 

To seal off the dryer vent permanently or for occasional use, merely disconnect the flexible dryer exhaust pipe from the wall opening and pack the opening with fiberglass insulation.  

Enclose the insulation in a small muslin sack if it is to be removed often. Remove the insulation and reconnect the pipe each time you use the dryer. 

Q: We had to trim the bottom of our hollow-core door so that it would clear new carpeting we had installed. We tried not to damage the veneer on the door as we first scored the cut line with a sharp utility knife guided by a straightedge.  

In spite of this, we did break away some of the surface. What’s the best way to fix this? 

A: To fix the splintered area of the veneer, you’ll need to first lift the broken wood away from the door with a putty knife, and then apply glue to resecure the veneer. Use a small tube of white carpenter’s glue, or buy a glue injector with a needle applicator at a wallcovering store.  

The needle applicator will let you reach well under the veneer without damaging any delicate slivers of wood. After applying the glue, clamp the area until the glue dries.  

Use a strip of wood as a clamping pad to distribute the pressure evenly, and cover the veneer with a piece of scrap plastic sheeting to prevent the wood strip from becoming glued to the door. 

When the glue has dried, remove the clamp and apply a coat of latex wood patcher. The latex patcher shrinks a bit when it dries so you may need to repeat this process once or twice to achieve a level surface.  

Avoid spreading the patcher beyond the repaired area. When the latex patcher is dry, sand with fine sandpaper. Use a sanding block to ensure that the surface stays flat. Check the job for smoothness by gently sliding your hand across the surface. 

If the door was originally stained and varnished, buy a stain that matches the original color. if you have a scrap piece of the veneer, bring it to the store to help make an accurate color match. Apply the stain and wipe it with a soft cloth to blend it with the existing finish. After the stain has dried, apply a finish coat of varnish to the area. 

To submit a question, write to Popular Mechanics, Reader Service Bureau, 224 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019. The most interesting questions will be answered in a future column. 


Use the right tools when planting bulbs

The Associated Press
Friday December 01, 2000

 

 

Sunny, cool weather is perfect for being outside planting bulbs. What’s the perfect tool for this job? 

A bulb planter – looking like a tin can without top or bottom, with a wooden handle attached to its rim – is made for this job, but even a trowel works well in a flower bed.  

Stab the trowel into the soil full depth with the concave side facing you, then pull it towards you. Snuggle a bulb into the bottom of the hole, then push the dirt back in place over it. 

A trowel is definitely more useful than a bulb planter for planting bulbs t the base of a tree or in rocky soil.  

With the trowel, you can open up small planting slits among the roots or rocks. 

Planting bulbs for naturalizing in a grassy field is a little trickier than planting in a cultivated bed. In this case, use a bulb planter that has a long handle and a place on which to put your foot to force the tool into the soil.  

This sturdy tool can remove a plug of grass and soil. Drop a bulb in the hole, again ensuring good contact between the base of the bulb and the soil. Then replace the plug, firming it in place.  

The work is slow, but a naturalized planting needs no further care for years, perhaps decades. 

Rather than invest in one tool just for planting bulbs, you could this naturalized planting using a shovel, preferably one with a long, narrow blade.  

In this case, dig up a small flap of vegetation and fold it back wherever you want to plant.  

Then dig a hole just large enough for a bulb, cover it, and replace the flap, firming it in place with your foot. 

To plant a cluster of bulbs, use your shovel to cut out, lift, and fold back a large flap of grass. Then, in the exposed dirt, dig holes and plant. When you’re finished, replace the flap and stomp on it to firm it in place. 

The replaced flap of grass insulates the soil and delays freezing so that the bulbs can grow roots now.  

When planting in bare soil, cover the ground with some mulch to delay freezing. Depending on how thick the mulch is, it may have to be pulled back in early spring to let the growing leaves through to the light.


U.S. Olympic panel begins rebuilding

The Associated Press
Friday December 01, 2000

WASHINGTON — Aiming to overcome the scandals and infighting that have tarnished its image, U.S. Olympic Committee leaders began a four-day meeting Thursday to choose a new chairman and decide whether to keep an interim chief executive officer. 

The U.S. Olympic movement is dealing with difficulty at what otherwise would be a time of triumph, with the United States bringing home 97 medals from Summer Games in Sydney and gearing up for the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. 

But the USOC has been buffeted by accusations it kept quiet about positive drug tests by American athletes and turned a blind eye to Utah organizers’ plying international Olympic officials with lavish gifts.  

Internal squabbling led to the October resignation of Norm Blake, the corporate turnaround artist hired as chief executive officer nine months before to streamline the ponderous organization. 

Blake alienated athletes with proposals such as his “money for medals” idea tying some of the funding for the 33 Olympic sport organizations to their athletes’ performance.  

And he angered many in USOC’s paid staff by bringing in his own management team and firing about 40 of the 500 employees. 

Scott Blackmun, the USOC’s former sports director and top lawyer, has been acting CEO since Blake left.  

Board members will decide this weekend whether to give Blackmun the job permanently or start a search to fill the CEO slot. 

Unlike Blake, Blackmun has strong backing from athletes and the sports associations that the USOC oversees. 

Board members also vote this weekend on a new chairman, a job that former Democratic presidential candidate and Olympian Bill Bradley turned down earlier this year.  

The favorite is Sandy Baldwin, a former president of U.S. Swimming who sells real estate in Phoenix.  

The other candidate is Boston lawyer and fellow USOC board member Paul George. 

Baldwin had touched off Blake’s resignation by sending a letter to other board members questioning Blake’s ability to run the USOC and raising concerns about spending and revenues in a 2001-2004 budget plan that approaches $500 million.  

Blake called the letter “underhanded” but said he realized that Baldwin would fire him anyway if she became chairwoman. 

Whoever heads the USOC will have just over a year to help with raising money for the Salt Lake City games from corporate sponsors still skittish over the bribery scandal.  

Two former Utah organizers go to trial next summer on bribery charges, and a former USOC official has pleaded guilty to tax evasion for his role. 

The USOC also has been dogged by questions about its role in testing athletes for drugs and performance-enhancing chemicals like steroids.  

It didn’t help when news leaked during the Sydney games that shot putter C.J. Hunter, husband of sprint superstar Marion Jones, failed four separate drug tests in Europe this summer.  

An independent agency headed by 1972 marathon gold medalist Frank Shorter took over drug testing duties from the USOC in October. 

The USOC’s former director of drug control programs is suing, claiming the body encourages doping by athletes. The USOC denies any wrongdoing. 

This weekend, the USOC also will elect a new board of directors, with candidates set to include Bradley, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Gordon Gund. 

On the Net: 

U.S. Olympic Committee: http://www.usoc.org


FBI searches area for discarded security tapes

The Associated Press
Friday December 01, 2000

 

 

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Scientist Wen Ho Lee says he discarded 17 computer tapes full of nuclear weapons data at Los Alamos National Laboratory, according to a source familiar with the case. 

FBI agents are combing the muddy, snowy Los Alamos County landfill where lab trash is buried, saying the search could last weeks. 

Agents won’t confirm they’re looking for the discarded tapes in the landfill, but if the pocket-sized computer cartridges Lee downloaded in the lab’s top-secret X Division were thrown into the trash, the 50-acre dump is a likely place where they ended up. 

Agents have said for months that they want to find the tapes Lee swore he destroyed. 

A source familiar with the case, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Lee said he disposed of the tapes in a Dumpster inside the X Division fence in January 1999. 

Lee has been undergoing closed debriefings in which he promised, as a condition of a plea agreement that won his release in September, to tell agents what happened to the tapes. The source would provide no details of Lee’s disclosures. 

The landfill search began while the debriefings were under way. An amended plea agreement filed in early November extends the debriefing period into mid-December. 

The disposal of the tape cartridges happened just days after Lee’s security clearance was revoked, according to a timetable provided last summer by federal prosecutors. They said Lee repeatedly sought access to the division after his access card was deactivated and that he gained access three times, including once in January 1999 when a fellow lab employee let him in. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney George Stamboulidis, who prosecuted Lee, declined to comment. 

Stacy Cohen, a spokeswoman for the Lee family, has declined to comment on the landfill search. 

The San Jose Mercury News reported Wednesday that Lee told agents in secret debriefing sessions that he tossed the tapes into the trash in January 1999 and that they never otherwise left the lab. The newspaper did not elaborate on its sources. 

Lee lost his security clearance in December 1998. Prosecutors have alleged he sought access to the X Division 16 times between Dec. 23, 1998, and Feb. 23, 1999 – including 3:31 a.m. Christmas Eve 1998. 

FBI agent Doug Beldon said “numerous” agents and evidence technicians expect to rake through piles of dirt and trash at the landfill daily “for quite some time.” 

The search team wears white protective clothing. The workers use bulldozers to move mounds of garbage and hand rakes to comb the debris. 

Lee, jailed without bail Dec. 10, 1999, was freed Sept. 13 after pleading guilty to one count of downloading restricted data to tape. Fifty-eight counts were dropped. 

Lee has sworn he never passed any secrets to any unauthorized person, and the government never charged him with espionage. 

The FBI initially said it was looking for seven tape cartridges and had already found three others. 

At the time of his release, Lee told investigators he also made copies of those 10 tapes but had destroyed the copies as well, FBI and Justice Department officials have said. 

If anyone found the tape cartridges — and if restricted nuclear weapons data were still encoded on them — there are several computer companies that might be able to recover such data. 

——— 

On the Net: 

Department of Energy: http://www.energy.gov 

Los Alamos National Lab: http://www.lanl.gov 

FBI: http://www.fbi.gov 


Cal falls apart in 2nd half, loses to St. Louis 88-66

The Associated Press ST. LOUIS – Saint Louis surp
Thursday November 30, 2000

The Associated Press 

 

ST. LOUIS – Saint Louis surprised itself with a 22-point victory over California. 

Maurice Jeffers led a balanced attack with 18 points as the Billikens pulled away in the second half of an 88-66 final Wednesday night. 

Marque Perry had 17 points and four assists and Justin Tatum added 12 points and five rebounds for the Billikens (3-1). Chris Braun had 10 points on 5-for-5 shooting and Jeffers was 7-for-11 as Saint Louis shot 55 percent. 

“I was kind of shocked myself,” Perry said. “We thought it was going to be a real close game. We thought it was going to come down to the last few minutes.” 

Saint Louis held California (1-2) to 36 percent shooting. Sean Lampley had 22 points and 11 rebounds, but made only five of 14 shots. 

“We knew he was going to be a good player in the post,” Tatum said. “We tried to limit his catches. I just had to make him hit tough shots — nothing easy.” 

California played for the first time in two weeks since a 57-54 loss at Texas. The Golden Bears had only two baskets in the final 10:52 after cutting the gap to four points at 54-50. 

“We just didn’t execute at all,” Lampley said. “They capitalized on our mistakes and we turned the ball over too many times, including myself.” 

Ryan Forehan-Kelly finally ended a drought of 10:21 with a 3-pointer with 30.8 seconds left and Donte Smith added a layup with seven seconds left. 

“We thrive on defense,” Perry said. “We tried to bring it harder than we did the last game.” 

Saint Louis ended the half on a 10-4 run, including seven points from Jeffers, who had 13 at the break. The Billikens also scored the first four points after the break for a 43-31 lead with 18:20 to play. 

After the lead was whittled to four points, Saint Louis responded with a 16-5 run for a 70-55 lead with 5:05 left. Perry had six points in that run. 

California also was scoreless the first 5:36 of the game0. 

In Saint Louis’ first four games, four different players have led in scoring. 

“We said we’d do it as a team,” coach Lorenzo Romar said. “Our guys are committed to that.”


Youth in control of radio program

By Robin Shulman Special to the Daily Planet
Thursday November 30, 2000

By Robin Shulman 

Special to the Daily Planet 

 

It’s a kickback Friday night of pizza and homemade pie at Youth Radio on University Avenue. That is, until 10 minutes to 7 p.m., when a group of students aged 15 to 21 troops out the door and around the corner to Martin Luther King Way, where they punch in a digital code and settle into two booths in the KPFB studio. A CD is slipped on the deck. At precisely 7 p.m. Whiz puts on the headphones. “You are now listening to the Youth in Control Show,” he says. 

They’re on air. 

“I’m nervous,” says Naiva Saechao, 15, taking a seat in the DJ booth. 

“This is so scary – we don’t have time,” says Latifah Muhammad, 17, close behind her. 

But soon Latifah is moving to the beat of the song. “If you mess, I got you,” she says to Naiva. “Having your own show is just talking to yourself,” she advises. “No one’s tripping.” 

It is Naiva’s first time and Latifah’s second year as a music DJ. The girls are student and teacher in the 12-week Youth Radio training that attracts young people from all over the Bay Area to produce music shows, news and commentary on “Youth Control.” The advanced students broadcast on National Public Radio once a week on “All Things Considered,” “Marketplace,” and “Morning Edition.” 

“Once you’re on radio, you’re putting yourself out there,” says Deputy Director Beverly Mire. “They’re speaking their minds, saying what they believe in and doing it in a way that people will believe what they have to say,” Mire said. “It changes their lives, gives them the self-confidence they need.” 

That was true for Brooke Wilson, 18, now a peer teacher at Youth Radio and a journalism and Black Studies major at San Francisco State University. “Before I didn’t think I was good at anything,” Wilson said. Things changed when her first commentary, on being adopted, aired on KCBS. 

“For most girls it just takes a while to realize it. You can say what you want,” says Brooke, who now works at Youth Radio, even on the days she’s not paid. “I’m going to be a super bad DJ in less than two years.” 

“Eight years ago, we had $25,000 and a typewriter,” recalls Mire. About 800 students have passed through the program since those days, and with a budget of some $900,000, the training continues to expand. Graduates of the program continue to work at Youth Radio, peer teaching or doing Web design or sound engineering for pay. 

Youth Radio’s Internet broadcasts and radio training are expanding, and so is its network, including Atlanta, Boston, Portland, Newark and Washington, DC. The Berkeley program took the prestigious national Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University award for a 1998 series “E-mails From Kosovo,” in which a 17-year-old Berkeley boy read his e-mail correspondence with a 17-year-old Kosovar girl on NPR’s Morning Edition. 

Tonight, Naiva, still nervous, bends over her song list, flipping back her straight black hair. She says she picked the songs by process of elimination. “I couldn’t find any other songs that didn’t have explicit content,” she says. 

In the news booth next door, young people off-air are needling each other over the mikes. At news time, they sit up straight and read news spots they wrote about Thanksgiving and a man who bit his dog. 

Daniel Aguayo, 16, leans against the wall, eyes closed, preparing for his spot by mouthing the words he will say. “I’m the only kid that speaks English in my family,” says Daniel, whose parents are from Mexico. Daniel’s father wants him to become a doctor or a lawyer. “Sometimes I feel bad. What I’m doing is just being myself and listening to music. But the first thing I think about when I wake up is: What can I do to make people dance? Can I say something that impacts people’s lives?” 

Back in the booth, two newscasters dissolve into giggles over their report on goose poop as a park health hazard. They will be scolded for this later by their designated peer critic. 

At this hint of mishap, everyone looks over at reigning studio authority Gerald Ward II, or Whiz, a peer teacher of four years. Whiz is now 21, a film student at San Francisco State University. A joke around the studio says that everyone at Youth Radio is related by six degrees of Whiz, and in fact several newcomers this session say Whiz introduced them to the program. 

“I think, man, we’re doing a radio show right now! We’re commanding the airwaves,” Whiz says. “Where I’m from there’s not a lot of opportunities,” says Whiz, who lives in Oakland. “I thought I found gold. I wanted to share it.” 

 

Find out more about youth radio at http://www.youthradio.org/ or tune in tonight 4-6 p.m. to KPFB, 89.3 FM or Friday night 7-9 p.m., also on KPFB. There’s also a Sunday morning show 7:30-8 a.m. at 95.7 FM. This Sunday Youth Radio will air its programming at 10:35 a.m., 5:53 p.m. and 10:53 p.m. on KCBS, 740 AM. 

Youth Radio is located at 1809 University Avenue and can be reached at 841-5123. 

 

 


Why our schools are not winning hearts and minds

Thursday November 30, 2000

By Robert W. Fuller 

Pacific News Service 

 

Polls show that education is the public’s top priority. Both political parties have ambitious plans for school reform. 

But while there is a growing consensus that something must be done, there 

is little agreement about what. 

There are good reasons for this uncertainty. Educational reforms rarely live up to their promise. Deep down we sense that none of the current proposals reaches to the nub of the matter. Before we embark on another round of reform we should figure out why so many students withhold their hearts and minds from learning. 

There is a reason that so many students who begin school with hope and enthusiasm wind up turning off or dropping out. 

The poison sapping their strength needs a name. Because it resembles racism and sexism, I call it “rankism.” Rankism is abuse or discrimination based on differences of rank. It pervades all educational institutions from kindergarten through graduate school. 

Rankism is discrimination based on a difference of power. A teacher denigrating a student, an “in-group” of students shunning other students, a professor exploiting a teaching assistant -- all are instances of rankism. 

Once you have a name for it, you see rankism in the workplace, in civic institutions, in health care, even in families. Finding and holding one’s position in a hierarchy takes priority over all else. 

For students, this means that before they can focus on their texts, they must master the subtext that governs their rank within the school. 

Whether we give ourselves to the educational enterprise or withhold ourselves from it, depends on where we stand in the school hierarchy. 

There is nothing inherently wrong with rank if precisely defined and not abused. But, in practice, once rank order is established it’s hard to change. High rank confers advantages on those who acquire it and these advantages compound. Low rank carries a stigma and makes you vulnerable to indignities by teachers and fellow students. 

It’s rankism that creates the spurious divide between winners from losers at an early age and extinguishes ambition in many kids before they reach third grade. 

The situation encountered by the low-ranking is functionally equivalent to that faced by blacks under Jim Crow. Today it is not so much race prejudice as the misuse of rank that functions to keep students, white or black, from committing themselves to education. 

In disallowing rank-based discrimination we must be careful to distinguish it from rank itself. After all, it is a legitimate function of education to help us determine a vocation commensurate with our abilities. 

It can’t be said clearly enough that there is nothing inherently abusive or discriminatory about rank. 

Individuals’ talents, abilities, and skills vary markedly. In a true meritocracy, rank would be precisely defined, and rewards would reflect current rank within a large and growing number of narrowly defined niches. 

Composite, overall rankings that ignore variations from specialty to specialty are spurious. We don’t declare the winner of the mile the best runner because that’s unfair to sprinters and marathoners. Merit has no significance beyond the precise realm wherein it is assessed. IQ measures not “intelligence,” but performance on a particular test. Similarly, ranking schools by their students’ average test scores is a measure of how students average on those tests, not school merit. 

No human being is expendable. Everyone has something to contribute. Helping individuals find that something and contribute it is the proper business of education. 

Discrimination occurs whenever race, or gender, or rank serves as an excuse for insults or prejudice. We have become alert to the negative consequences of racism and sexism, but we are still largely oblivious to the costs exacted by rankism. 

The reason that schools fail to fully enlist students in learning can be traced to the prevalence of this undiagnosed malady. Both students and teachers suffer the ill effects. Students find themselves resisting and rebelling, not learning; teachers find themselves hectoring and disciplining, not mentoring. 

Hearts steeled against the indignities and inequities of rankism shut minds to learning. As Vartan Gregorian says, “Dignity is non-negotiable.” If the dignity of either students or teachers is liable to insult, educational reforms will fail to engage hearts and minds. 

 

Pacific News Service commentator Robert Fuller taught physics at Columbia University, created a program for high-school dropouts in Seattle, and was president of Berlin College. His book “Breaking Ranks: In Pursuit of Individual Dignity,” can be accessed at www.breakingranks.net 

 


Calendar of Events & Activities

— compiled by Chason Wainwright
Thursday November 30, 2000


Thursday, Nov. 30

 

Pro Arts Juried Show  

Reception 

6 - 8 p.m.  

Pro Arts 

461 Ninth St.  

Oakland 

With the work of 70 artists, this annual show features the work of emerging and mid-career artists. The show runs through December 30. See A&E calendar for details.  

 

A Picture of Democracy 

7 p.m.  

Valley Life Sciences Building  

Room 2050 

UC Berkeley 

A 70-minute documentary entitled “This is What Democracy Looks Like,” capturing the events of the WTO protests in Seattle. Followed by “Zapatista!,” a documentary about the 1994 Indigenous uprising in Chiapas, Mexico.  

$5 - $10 sliding scale  

 

Snowshoeing Basics  

7 p.m . 

Recreational Equipment, Inc.  

1338 San Pablo Ave.  

Professional snowshoe guide Cathy Anderson-Meyers gives basic instruction on how to get out and experience Tahoe’s winter terrain on “shoes.”  

Call 527-4140 

 

Art for Sale 

6 - 8 p.m. 

Kala Art Institute  

1060 Heinz Ave.  

Over sixty artists affiliated with the Kala Art Institute exhibit works ranging from traditional wood block prints to works in digital media. During the reception, artists will offer 10 percent off the sale of their prints. 549-2977 

 

Oakland Museum Trip for  

Seniors 

(trip on Dec. 8) 

A trip to the Oakland Museum to see the Imperial Palace of China Exhibit. Organized by the North Berkeley Senior Center 

Call Maggie, 644-6107 

 

Let Your Chi Flow Freely 

6 - 7 p.m.  

University of Creation Spirituality 

2141 Broadway Ave. 

Oakland 

Share peace and tranquillity communally and regain harmony and balance.  

Call Idris Hassan, 835-4827 x31  

 

Witness In Our Time 

7 p.m.  

105 North Gate Hall 

UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism 

Center for Photography 

Kerry Tremain moderates a conversation with Wayne Miller, Ken Light, Matt Heron and Michelle Vignes. Followed by a book signing for “Chicago’s South Side” by Wayne Miller and “Witness in Our Time” by Ken Light. 

Call 642-3383  

 

Free Anonymous HIV Testing 

5:15 - 7:15 p.m. 

Check in 5 - 7 p.m. 

University Health Services 

Tang Center  

2222 Bancroft Way 

Drop-in services and limited space is available.  

Call 642-7202 

 

Bay Area Air Quality Hearing 

9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 

939 Ellis St.  

San Francisco 

Among the cases to be discussed is the Apco vs. Pacific Steel Company of Berkeley over alleged violations of a California health and safety code. 

Call 415-771-6000 

 


Friday, Dec. 1

 

Spanish Book Club 

7:30 p.m. 

Cody’s Books  

2454 Telegraph Ave.  

A discussion of “Dona Barbara” by the Colombian writer Rumulo Gallegos. New members welcome. The group meets the first Friday of each month.  

Call 601-0454  

 

AIDS Prevention Outreach 

11 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

Sproul Plaza  

UC Berkeley 

Safer sex kits will be distributed.  

 

Taize Worship Services  

7:30 - 8:30 p.m.  

Loper Chapel  

Dana St. (between Durant & Channing) 

Call 848-3696 

 

Basic Electrical Theory 

7 - 10 p.m. 

Building Education Center 

812 Page St.  

Redwood Kardon, retired City of Oakland building inspector and author of the Code Check book series.  

$35 Call 525-7610 

 

Safer Sex Kits 

4:30 p.m. 

Downtown Berkeley BART 

Volunteers from Americorps will be distributing safer sex kits in commemoration of World AIDS Day.  

Saturday, Dec. 2  

Wild About Books? 

10:30 a.m. 

Berkeley Central Library 

2121 Allston Way 

Storyteller Kellmar draws from her African-American roots with stories that touch the heart and the funnybone. For children aged 3-7. 

Call 649-3943  

 

Artists at Play Holiday Sale 

11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Artists at Play Studio  

1649 Hopkins St. (at Carlotta)  

Work by the artists including original servings dishes, frames, jewelry, and other items. 

Call 528-0494  

 

The Yo-Yo Lady 

2 - 4 p.m. 

1898 Solano Ave.  

One of many performers doing their stuff on Solano during the holidays. Performances every weekend afternoon till Christmas.  

 

Small Press Distribution Open House 

Noon - 4 p.m.  

1341 Seventh St. (off Gilman) 

Browse 8,000 literary titles and listen to readings by Bay Area authors. Readings by poet Lyn Hejinian, George Albon, Dan Leone, Gail Mitchell, and Sianne Ngai. Call 524-1668 x305 

 

Whymsium Anniversary Party 

7:30 - 11 p.m. 

Whymsium  

1414 Fourth St.  

Described as something beyond dinner and a movie, the folks at Whymsium invite you to share your interests and explore your hobbies. This annual party features a talent show, games and a dance.  

$3 - $20 sliding scale 595-5541  

 

UC Botanical Holiday  

Plant Sale 

10 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

UC Botanical Garden  

200 Centennial Dr.  

You’ll find a selection of orchids, ferns, rhododendrons, cacti, hardy herbs, and house plants galore for yourself or gardening friends.  

Call 643-2755 

 

Native American Flute  

5 - 6 p.m. 

Gathering Tribes Gallery  

1573 Solano Ave.  

Celebrating the release of his CD “Spirit Within,” Berkeley resident and flutist Walter Ogi Johnson performs.  

 

Monitoring Police Activity 

11 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

Copwatch Office  

2022 Blake St. (west of Shattuck) 

Learn what your rights are in dealing with police and learn how to monitor police safely. Free.  

Call 548-0425 

 

Finding a Way In 

7 - 9 p.m.  

Jewish Learning Center 

1414 Walnut St.  

Offering a safe space for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender jews to express personal concerns and to find a place to belong in the Jewish community.  

$5 with pre-registration; $7 at door  

845-6420 

 

Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios 

11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Get map from: 

1250 Addison St. #214 

or download at: http://www.berkeleyartisans.com 

Over one hundred professional artists and craftspeople open up their studios and workspaces to the public.  

All styles of artistic expression are represented. Runs Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 17. 

Call 845-2612  

 

Know Your Rights Training 

11 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

Copwatch Office  

2022 Blake St.  

Learn what your rights are in dealing with the police. Learn how to monitor the police safely.  

Call 548-0425 

Publish Your Own Book 

10 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

Regent Press 

6020-A Adeline St. 

Mark Weiman of Regen Press presents an overview of the business of book publishing oriented towards the author considering self-publishing.  

$60 per person 

Call Mark Weiman, 547-7602 

 

Friends of Berkeley Youth Alternatives 

Wine Tasting  

1 - 4 p.m. 

Rosenblum Cellars 

2900 Main St.  

Alameda 

All proceeds benefit the children and families served by Berkeley Youth Alternatives. 

$25 

Call 845-9010 

 

Alternative Building Materials 

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Building Education Center 

812 Page St.  

Seminar taught by architects Dan Smith and John Fordice. 

$75 Call 525-7610 

 


Sunday Dec. 3

 

Connecting with Nature 

1 - 3 p.m.  

Rotary Nature Center  

600 Bellevue Ave. (at Perkins) 

Oakland 

Children aged six to twelve, accompanied by a parent, are invited to explore nature with all their senses. Cathy Holt, author of “The Circle of Healing” will lead the event. Reservations: 238-3739 

 

HIV Memorial Service 

11 a.m. 

McGee Avenue Baptist Church 

1640 Stuart St.  

A special morning HIV service for members of the community.  

Call 843-1774 

 

 

 

 


Lady ’Jackets start season with easy win over Vallejo

By Jared Green Daily Planet Staff
Thursday November 30, 2000

The Berkeley High women’s basketball team played its first game of the season Wednesday, and got its opening-day jitters out of the way early. 

A lackluster first quarter quickly gave way to an impressive 60-38 victory over the Vallejo Apaches. Despite missing numerous layups and committing 15 turnovers, the ’Jackets steamrolled over the visitors without two starters, Celeste Jenkins and Robin Roberson, both of whom missed the game due to illness. 

The go-to player for Berkeley was center Sabrina Keys, one of three returning starters from last season’s NCS runner-up squad. Struggling to find her form early, Keys shot just 1-for-5 from the floor in the first half. Her best contribution to the team was drawing two quick fouls on Vallejo center Candace Holmes, sending the center to the bench for much of the half and stagnating the Apache offense. 

But head coach Gene Nakamura told his players to keep feeding Keys the ball inside, and the 6-2 senior responded with a strong second half, making six of her eight shots to finish the game with 14 points. She also dominated the boards, pulling down eight rebounds, including three off the offensive glass. 

“I was just so juiced up to start the game,” Keys said. “Coach just told me to relax and focus, and that’s what I did.” 

While Keys started slowly, guard Angelita Hutton got the offense in gear. She scored nine points in the first half, and finished with a remarkably balanced line: 14 points, one rebound, two assists, two blocks and five steals. 

“She played great today, on defense, in transition, in the offense,” Nakamura said. “It’s good to see, because we need her to score this year.” 

The ’Jackets didn’t have a great day on offense, but they excelled on defense, not letting Vallejo get the ball inside and forcing long jumpers that mostly clanged off of the rim. Senior April Paraiso led the Apaches with 10 points, and no other player had more than six for the visitors. 

Berkeley, on the other hand, spread the scoring around. Hutton and Keys led the team with 14 points apiece, and forward Gelater Fullwood scored eight and pulled down five rebounds to go with three steals.  

Natasha Bailey scored sevenpoints despite missing several layups, and guard Kala Seabrook pitched in six points and four rebounds. 

“Everybody hustled and really played hard,” Nakamura said. “We had our first-game jitters, and we still won the game. When we get our starters back, it’ll be great to see all 13 players contributing.”


Landlord may face civil charges in death

By Judith Scherr Daily Planet Staff
Thursday November 30, 2000

Already facing criminal charges for allegedly transporting immigrants to the United States for cheap labor and sex, Lakireddy Bali Reddy now faces civil charges in the wrongful death of Chanti Jyotsna Devi Prattipati. 

The suit was filed in Alameda County Superior Court Monday on behalf of Prattipati’s parents and sister. 

The 17-year-old Indian immigrant died Nov. 24, 1999 from carbon monoxide poisoning in an apartment at 2020 Bancroft Way owned by L.B. Reddy Real Estate Company. 

“...the causes of her death were exposure to fumes from a dangerous, defective, and negligently-maintained gas heating system at 2020 Bancroft Way and the failure of defendant Lakireddy Bali Reddy to secure prompt medical attention for her after such exposure,” according to the suit. 

The lawsuit not only names Reddy and his company, but it also names the former owner of the building at 2020 Bancroft Way, William B. Ross and others, as well as the company that installed a new roof on the apartment building, Caldwell-Roland Roofing, Inc. located on Fourth Street. 

Police determined that Prattipati succumbed to carbon monoxide fumes emitted from a faulty heater. They said a vent had been blocked when roofing work was done on the building.  

“The contractor failed to exercise ordinary care in performing such work and said negligence by the contractor resulted in a dangerous and defective heating system which caused the injuries and death alleged herein,” the suit says. 

The previous owners of the building sold it to Reddy during the summer of 1999. They had the roof repair work done at the beginning of 1999, the suit says, contending that the former owners should have known about the problems and disclosed them to the new owner.  

Blaming the former owners, however, does not absolve Reddy, according to the suit. 

“The current owners had a duty to maintain the apartment building...in safe condition and good repair....(They) had a duty to disclose any dangerous and unsafe conditions...to (the building’s) occupants.” 

The suit also alleges that Prattipati’s sister, “Jane Roe I,” suffered from the carbon monoxide poisoning and was “seriously injured in her health, strength, and activity.” 

The suit alleges that Reddy further failed to seek proper medical attention for the two teenagers. 

In the criminal suit, U.S. Attorney John Kennedy alleged that one of Prattipati’s roommates found her and called Pasand Restaurant, which is owned by Reddy.  

“Rather than calling police, they called Pasand,” he said during a hearing on the case in January. Kennedy said witnesses told police they saw a body being carried out of a side entrance to the apartment, going toward a van carrying Reddy Realty identification in the rear window. 

A passing motorist called police. “A man described as the defendant said to the motorist, ‘This is none of your business,’” Kennedy told the court at the time. 

Meera Trehan, one of the lawyers representing Prattipati’s parents, declined to comment on the suit.  

“Currently we are in settlement negotiations on other claims,” she said, explaining that the suit was filed Nov. 27 to meet the one-year statute of limitations on wrongful death suits. 

Asked why the suit did not speak to the questions of sexual abuse – alleged in the criminal case – and the wrongful death of the fetus which Prattipati carried, Trehan responded that the contentions in the suit “are not the only claims.” 

The suit asks for an unnamed amount of compensation and attorneys’ fees. 

Calls to Reddy’s attorney Ted Cassman of Emeryville and to the roofing company were not returned. 


Carter, Harris named All-Pac-10

By Jared Green Daily Planet Staff
Thursday November 30, 2000

Cal defensive end Andre Carter and punter Nick Harris were named to the All-Pac-10 first team this week, the league office announced. It was the second straight selection for both seniors. 

Harris also earned first-team All-America honors from the Walter Camp Foundation and the Football Coaches Association. 

Carter just missed out on Pac-10 defensive player of the year honors, getting four votes to Arizona State linebacker Adam Archuleta’s five. Stanford’s Riall Johnson got the remaining vote. 

Carter, expected to be a top-10 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, had a great senior season, picking up a school-record 13.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss. He is one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Award, given to the nation’s top defensive player. He was also named a first-team All-American by the Football Writer’s Association, Football News, the Football Coaches Association and the Walter Camp Foundation. 

Three Cal players were named to the conference’s second team: guard Brandon Ludwig, defensive tackle Jacob Waasdorp and kick returner Jemeel Powell. Powell also earned honorable mention honors as a cornerback, as did senior Chidi Iwuoma. Also given honorable mention were offensive linemen Reed Diehl and Mark Wilson, tailback Joe Igber and linebackers Scott Fujita and Matt Nixon Mark Wilson.


’50s era dining halls now face demolition

John Geluardi Daily Planet Staff
Thursday November 30, 2000

When the UC Regents approved plans for the new central dining and office facility, the existing dining pavilions, classic examples of modernism, came closer to the wrecking ball. 

The regents approved the new dining structure on Bowditch Street on Nov. 17 along with a student housing project at College and Durant avenues. Both are part of the planned Underhill Area Projects. According to university officials the existing pavilions at 2605 Durant Ave. and 2650 Haste St., will be razed when the dining hall is complete. 

Both pavilions were designated as historical landmarks by Berkeley’s Landmarks Preservation Commission in September because of their modernist design created by celebrated architect John Carl Warnecke and landscape architect Lawrence Halprin. 

Warnecke designed seven buildings on the UC Berkeley campus as well as other structures of note nationwide including the Hawaii State Capital and the JFK grave in Arlington National Cemetery. 

The most distinguishing feature of the  

pavilions is the floral-shaped roofs, which are made of reinforced concrete and extend about 15 feet beyond the glass walls of the dining pavilion. 

“Like most modern architecture, the design was pure function and structure,” said Warnecke, 81. “Whatever you want to call the roofs, floral or flowing or Oriental, they were designed to continue the feeling of trees and landscaping from the neighborhood and the nearby hills into the center of the development.” 

The design of the dining pavilions, both completed in 1959, was critical to the overall project, because of their location in the center of four, nine-story residence buildings. 

The roofs are mentioned in the landmark designation as an excellent example of the work of prominent structural engineer Isadore Thompson. 

Irene Hegarty, director of community relations for the university, said the pavilions are seismically unsound and are scheduled to come down once the new central dining hall is complete. Construction of the new dining hall is scheduled to begin in the spring. 

Hegarty said the building could be seismically upgraded but “It would be difficult.” 

Once the central dinning area is complete, it will be easier to provide services students want, Hegarty said. “We’ll be able to extend hours, provide more modern food service and have a cafe-style area that students will feel safe in late at night,” she said. 

Lesley Emmington-Jones of the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association said the university should work out a way to save the pavilions. 

“The spirit of the roofs give a relief to the starkness and density of the resident halls that surround it,” she said.  


Water polo snubbed, denied tourney berth

Daily Planet Wire Services
Thursday November 30, 2000

The No. 4 Cal men’s water polo team, which finished the 2000 season 17-8 (5-3 in MPSF) and placed second in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament last weekend in Los Alamitos, CA, did not receive an at-large berth to the NCAA Championship.  

The NCAA Men’s Water Polo Committee selected No. 2 ranked USC (22-4) as the at-large representative despite the Trojans placing fifth at the MPSF Tournament. The Bears reached the championship of the MPSF Tournament by defeating Long Beach State, 10-6, and upsetting No. 1 ranked UC Irvine, 9-7 in overtime, before falling to No. 3 ranked UCLA, 6-5, in the MPSF championship.  

During the regular season, Cal split its two matches against USC, defeating the then No. 1 ranked Trojans, 9-8 in overtime, Oct. 1 at home, and then losing to USC, 7-5, Oct. 28 in Los Angeles.  

The Bears also recently picked up an additional win when UCLA used an ineligible player in a Sept. 17 match at the Southern California Tournament. 

In more positive news for the Bears, senior driver Eldad Hazor and senior two-meter man Jerry Smith were named to the MPSF Championship All-Tournament team. Hazor finished the season with a team-high 47 goals, including six goals in the MPSF Tournament. Hazor finished with 121 goals in his Cal career and Smith finished with 135 goals.  

Smith was second on the team in scoring with 44 goals and had five goals in the MPSF Tournament.


Poets’ Dinner looking for contest entries

Daily Planet staff
Thursday November 30, 2000

In accord with its mission to encourage the writing of poetry and to bring together people who enjoy it, Poets’ Dinner invites entries in its 75th annual poetry contest.  

With prize money ranging from $15 - $50 in each of eight categories, plus honorable mentions, there are many opportunities for all types of poetry and poets to be recognized.  

Categories include: Remembering, beginnings & endings, humor, nature, love, spaces & places, people, and poet’s choice. Poets’ Dinner asks that poems be original, unpublished, unawarded, in English, and a maximum of 40 lines.  

Poets’ Dinner also require that three typed copies of each poem be submitted on 81/2 x 11 paper, with an indication of the category in the upper right hand corner of each page. The group asks the author’s name not be on the poems and send them in by Jan. 17.  

The culmination of the contest is the poets’ lunch to be held at the Holiday Hilton in Emeryville March 17. Contest winners must be present at the lunch to claim their prize. Tickets to the lunch are $22 in advance and $23 at the door.  

Send contest entries to Gayle Eleanor, 4483 Clear Creek Court, Concord, CA 94521.  

To buy lunch tickets, specify chicken, London broil, or meatless lasagna, and send checks to Richard Angilly, 1515 Poplar Avenue, Richmond, CA 94805-1662.


Chilean president seeks high-tech investment

The Associated Press
Thursday November 30, 2000

SAN JOSE — President Clinton and Chilean President Ricardo Lagos, commenting from opposite coasts, said Wednesday their countries have initiated talks on a free trade agreement and agreed that formal negotiations should start as soon as possible. 

Lagos, on a U.S. tour to attract technology investment in his country, announced the talks during a lunchtime speech in the heart of Silicon Valley. He made the announcement first in Spanish, drawing applause from Chilean business executives in the audience, then repeated it in English. 

“Together with President Bill Clinton, we have decided to initiate negotiations in order to have a free trade agreement between Chile and the United States,” said Lagos, who spoke by phone with Clinton earlier in the day. “And I think if we do the right things in a short period of time, we can have a successful conclusion.” 

Early discussions between the two sides began in mid-October, and Lagos said he expects the talks to continue with Clinton’s successor. Chile already has trade agreements with Canada and Mexico, and Lagos said his nation will seek a deal with the European Union. 

Clinton said in a statement released by the White House that any Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Chile would “include labor and environmental provisions along the lines of the U.S.-Jordan FTA.” 

“This endeavor reflects our mutual commitment to advancing free and open trade and investment in the Americas and around the world,” the statement said. “The negotiation of a bilateral free trade agreement between us will provide further impetus for the FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas) negotiations.” 

Brendan Daly, a spokesman for U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky, said there’s no chance an agreement will be reached before the end of Clinton’s term. The first meeting will be held in Washington in mid-December and U.S. negotiators expect to go to Chile in January, he said. But he also said the administration is confident that Gov. George W. Bush or Vice President Al Gore would continue the talks. 

The socialist Chilean president has been meeting this week with prominent high-tech capitalists in hopes of bringing new investment to his country, which enjoys one of the healthiest economies in Latin America. 

Lagos and Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison signed a deal Tuesday night that calls for the Internet company to provide software for a new online initiative by ENTEL Chile, one of the nation’s leading telecommunications companies. 

ENTEL’s so-called business-to-business marketplace, billed as the first of its kind in Chile, will let companies buy and sell products and services online. 

Lagos also met with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in Seattle on Monday, and while in San Jose on Wednesday he talked to Cisco Systems Inc. CEO John Chambers and Hewlett-Packard Co. CEO Carly Fiorina. 

Lagos stressed at each stop that Chile is a stable, modern economy with an advanced communications infrastructure. He is also embarking on an ambitious plan to make government services available online and wants all Chilean students to have Internet access by the end of his term, in 2006. 

Chile has focused on seeking a bilateral trade agreement with the United States since U.S. congressional opposition killed Chile’s chance of becoming part of the North American Free Trade Agreement. 

Mexico joined with the United States and Canada in signing NAFTA in 1994, and an invitation was extended to Chile to become a fourth nation covered by the agreement. 

But, influenced by labor union opposition, Congress refused to grant Clinton the “fast track” authority he needs to negotiate free trade agreements with Chile and other countries. 

Both Bush and Gore want Congress to re-enact fast-track legislation, which expired in 1997. Clinton failed to persuade the GOP-led Congress to renew it. 

In a speech this summer, Bush said one of his first acts as president would be to push for the fast-track legislation. 

“This will increase U.S investment and trade with Chile,” Lagos said Wednesday. “This means more jobs and better opportunities.” 

The companies that Lagos met with in Silicon Valley also figure to benefit from a free trade agreement, because it would broaden the Chilean market and likely stimulate the increased foreign investment necessary for strong growth. 

 

“Everybody prefers to work in an environment where things are stable, the markets are open, there are no surprises,” said Airton Gimenes, Hewlett-Packard’s vice president and general manager for Latin America. 

HP has been doing business in Chile for seven years and claims to be the No. 2 computer seller there. 

“This is a positive step,” Gimenes said. 

——— 

On the Net: 

Chile’s Foreign Investment Committee: http://www.foreigninvestment.cl 


Oakland struggles with police scandal

Staff
Thursday November 30, 2000

The Associated Press 

 

OAKLAND — He was young and inexperienced – a 23-year-old police officer just three weeks out of training. He went straight to the night shift, where most officers start their careers. 

There, on patrol in west Oakland, one of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods, officer Keith Batt met The Riders. 

Nearly every day from June 13 until July 3, prosecutors say, the rookie watched his fellow officers beat, harass and falsely arrest at least 10 victims.  

His training officer, Clarence “Chuck” Mabanag, warned him not to be a “snitch.”  

His superior officer, Frank Vazquez, told him to forget everything he had learned at the police academy. 

And he tried to. For nearly three weeks, he silently stood by and watched. 

Then, on July 3, prosecutors say, the training officer told another rookie to falsely report that he had seen 19-year-old Rodney Mack discard 17 rocks of cocaine and to arrest him.  

The rookie did as he was told. And Batt had seen enough. 

Batt, who quit the force almost immediately after reporting what he saw, set in motion a police corruption scandal that shows no signs of being contained, despite repeated statements from Police Chief Richard Word that abuse was limited to the four officers who worked the late shift in west Oakland. 

“It’s burying one’s head in the sand to assume these cases are confined to a short period of time involving these four officers,” said lawyer John Burris, who has talked to at least 15 people arrested by The Riders about suing. 

The four officers – Frank Vazquez, 44, Clarence “Chuck” Mabanag, 35, Jude Siapno, 32, and Matthew Hornung, 29 – were charged Nov. 2 with offenses including assault, kidnapping and filing false reports. Three are expected to enter pleas on Dec. 6; Vazquez is a fugitive, believed to be hiding in Mexico. 

Lawyers for the three officers, who are on paid leave, said they have seen no evidence backing the charges. Mabanag’s lawyer, Michael Rains, said the officers are “both sad and anxious to have their stories heard.” Vazquez’s lawyer has not returned repeated calls. 

While the charges are limited to what Batt witnessed, the department is re-examining the officers’ records and looking at whether other members of the force were involved. 

Prosecutor David Hollister said 49 mostly drug-related cases - convictions and pending cases alike – have been dismissed and more could fall apart as his office sorts through all cases involving the four officers dating back 18 months before they were taken off the streets. 

Community advocates said calls and letters are pouring in from people saying they were mistreated by The Riders, and several lawsuits are expected. 

Some fear juries may not be so quick to trust the word of police officers anymore. 

And everyone hears echoes of the Rampart scandal that rocked the Los Angeles Police Department this year. Three Los Angeles officers have been convicted of framing suspects, more than 100 cases have been thrown out and more than 70 civil rights suits have been filed. The city attorney estimated the scandal could cost Los Angeles at least $125 million. 

It is hard to find people in west Oakland who have not had or heard about a run-in with The Riders, particularly Vazquez. Nicknamed “Choker,” the officer is short with close-cropped hair, a pockmarked face and an earring.  

He bears a tattoo with his wife’s name, Pilar, on his right arm. 

The Oakland department had reason to be proud before the scandal broke. Crime in the city of 370,000 had dropped 15.8 percent from 1998 to 1999, more than twice the national average. 

Mayor Jerry Brown, who demanded the resignation of Oakland’s popular police chief shortly after taking office and replaced him with Word last July, had made safer streets a key part of his economic development message, arguing that Oakland is on the rebound and ready for the same infusion of money from high-tech companies that have poured into San Francisco and other Bay Area cities. 

“The vast majority of people would like to see more police in Oakland and no slackening in the vigilance against crime,” Brown said Tuesday. As for the scandal, “you’re talking about a fraction of the police department, and people make mistakes. We’re taking corrective steps.” 

Some critics said officers are under too much pressure to produce arrests. 

“Many of these officers are young people in their 20s and when they hear the mayor of a city making warlike statements, that this drug activity should be stopped at any cost, those directives can be misapplied. That may be what happened here,” said Jim Chanin, a lawyer who has filed the first federal civil rights lawsuit in the scandal. 

Chanin’s client, the young man whose arrest prompted Batt to report his colleagues, alleges police planted crack in his pocket when they broke up a dice game. He spent more than a month in jail before the charges were dismissed. 

“They could’ve arrested him for playing dice,” Chanin said. “There was pressure to clean up the area and what better way to show that than with a large number of drug arrests?”


Border agents convicted of theft in San Diego

The Associated Press
Thursday November 30, 2000

 

 

SAN DIEGO — A Border Patrol agent and one of his former colleagues were convicted Wednesday of stealing equipment from agency vehicles and trading it for goods and services. 

After a 12-day trial, a federal jury deliberated 14 hours over three days before convicting Elwood Ray Keeran and Mark J. Daeumer of conspiracy and theft of government property. 

Keeran, a Border Patrol agent in San Diego, and Daeumer, who was previously with the Border Patrol but is now a detention officer with the Immigration and Naturalization Service in New Orleans, face up to five years in prison for the conspiracy charge and 10 years for the theft, federal prosecutor Richard Cheng said. 

The federal indictment against the men claimed they stole seats and center consoles valued new at $267,000 and bartered them for other equipment and services from an off-road vehicle store. Neither the store nor its employees were charged. 

Lawyers for Keeran and Daeumer plan to appeal. 

“We’re not going to abandon these guys because I just think the wrong result was reached,” said Everett Bobbitt, an attorney whose firm represents both men. 

Keeran and Daeumer were assigned to a Border Patrol unit that received new sport utility vehicles and retrofitted them for law enforcement work by removing rear seats and center consoles. The equipment was stored so it could be reinstalled later and the vehicles could be auctioned to the public when the Border Patrol replaced the vehicles. 

The men suggested to superiors that the equipment could be traded for other services and equipment needed by the Border Patrol, but began exchanging parts for their own benefit without permission, Cheng said.


Court declines to consider Northridge claims suit

The Associated Press
Thursday November 30, 2000

SACRAMENTO — The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to consider the insurance industry’s challenge to a new state law that gives thousands of Northridge earthquake victims a year to refile their claims. 

The court’s action left open the possibility that the coalition of insurers, who say the law is unconstitutional, will pursue the case at a lower court before Jan. 1, when the statute takes effect. 

The law, authored by Senate leader John Burton, D-San Francisco, was prompted by disclosures this summer that studies, called market conduct exams, by state Insurance Department auditors turned up hundreds of alleged claims-handling violations on the part of Northridge quake insurers. 

The January 1994 earthquake killed dozens of people and caused some $15.3 billion in insured losses.  

More than 600,000 claims were filed in connection with the quake; most have been settled, and insurers have denied they mishandled claims. 

Burton and consumer groups said there were cases in which insurers low-balled claims, delayed settlements and provided inaccurate or incomplete information to policyholders. 

The new law is intended to give the quake victims who were unhappy with their insurance company’s action a year to resubmit their claims.  

People whose claims were settled with the help of a lawyer or whose settlements were approved by a judge are not allowed to refile claims. 

The insurance industry coalition – three major trade associations and a Los Angeles-based company – filed the challenge last week directly with the high court in hopes of obtaining a decision before the law takes effect. 

Ellis Horovitz, an attorney for the insurers, said going directly to the Supreme Court “was seen as a quick and efficient way of having this overriding issue determined as quickly as possible. 

“But they turned it down, and we still have the option of raising it in the trial court,” Horovitz said. 

Insurers said the core issue was their contention that the law is unconstitutional because it retroactively voids contracts and could enable hundreds of thousands of people to resubmit damage claims. 

Burton and supporters of the law said it applied to only about 4,000 to 12,000 policyholders. 

Doug Heller, a spokesman for the Santa Monica-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, said the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the case means “insurers aren’t going to be able to bully their way out of accountability.” 

“The court is saying, ’We have no business undoing this law and there is not a constitutional crisis,”’ Heller added.


Urban storm runoff makes ocean unsafe

The Associated Press
Thursday November 30, 2000

WESTMINSTER — More than half of Southern California’s shoreline – from Santa Barbara to San Diego – is unsafe for swimming after rainstorms because of bacteria carried to the ocean by urban runoff, according to a new study. 

The report, released Tuesday by the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, found that 56 percent of the shoreline has high bacteria readings after a major rainstorm.  

That’s 10 times more than the violations found during a similar summertime survey. 

The results indicate that more than half of all beaches may be unsafe for swimming or surfing after a storm that brings 1.1 to 3 inches of rain. 

“Whereas in summer our beaches are generally safe to swim at, our beaches are uniformly unsafe to swim at following a rainstorm,” said Stephen Weisberg, executive director of the scientific group, which is based in Westminster and operated by local, state and federal agencies. 

This is the first time scientists have been able to provide a complete, regionwide picture of the extent of beach pollution. They said they didn’t expect to find such high levels of bacteria at beaches far from storm drains as much as 36 hours after the rain had ended. 

“I’m not surprised that we saw bacterial hits, but it’s the intensity of the hits, far from the drains, that is unusual,” Weisberg said. “Some of these places are pretty darn far.” 

Many surfers and others mistakenly believe that the only contaminated waters are around river mouths and storm drains. Contrary to another popular perception, that runoff pollution is mostly a problem for Santa Monica Bay, beaches in all five coastal counties registered similar bacteria counts. 

In the past, some local officials have suggested that a major cause of high bacteria levels at beaches is bird droppings or other animal wastes that do not pose much of a health risk.  

But Noble said most of the beaches tested positive for fecal coliform, total coliform and enterococcus bacteria, which means human feces are likely to be present. Such sewage can cause diarrhea, ear infections and skin rashes, as well as more serious illnesses. 

No one is certain how sewage winds up in urban runoff. The waste is supposed to remain in sewer pipes. But leaks, septic tanks built too close to the shore, overflows and illegal sewer connections apparently let sewage flow untreated into streets and curbside drains. The report is based on samplings of ankle-deep water from 254 sites in five counties – San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara – taken on Feb. 20, a day and a half after a heavy rain.  

sent all ocean waters accessible to swimmers along 690 miles of shoreline. 


Three Marines face charges for rape in Australia

The Associated Press
Thursday November 30, 2000

SAN DIEGO — Three San Diego-based Marines face military charges for allegedly raping two teen-age girls during a port stop in Australia. 

Marine Staff Sgt. Herman L. Brown, an aircraft maintenance administrator, Sgt. Marion R. Johnson Jr., an aircraft ordnance technician, and Cpl. Marcus A. Malone, an aviation support equipmentman, are accused in connection with the alleged June 13 assault. 

Investigators say the men, who are based at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station and were deployed on the USS John C. Stennis, met the 15- and 14-year-old girls at a mall in Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, an island south of Australia. 

The girls then followed the Marines to a hotel where, according to investigators, they were given alcohol and then raped. 

“The whole thing happened in less than an hour,” said Maj. Robert M. Miller, deputy staff judge advocate and military justice officer at Miramar air station. 

The Stennis had arrived a day earlier for a scheduled five-day port visit. 

Australian authorities initially charged Brown and Johnson but decided to drop the charges to allow U.S. military officials to prosecute the case. 

Brown, 37, of Clarkesville, Tenn., is charged with conspiracy, rape, sodomy, indecent acts against a minor and lying to authorities.  

He is also charged with adultery. Prosecutors allege that when Brown initially was questioned, he denied having sex with the victims. 

Johnson, 24, of Baltimore, Md., faces 10 counts, including conspiracy, lying to authorities, rape, impeding an investigation and committing an indecent act. Prosecutors allege that during questioning by Hobart police, he told them that Brown was a Navy sailor and not a member of the Marine Corps. 

Malone, 22, of Terrell, Texas, faces six counts, including committing indecent acts against a minor, providing alcohol to a minor, having carnal knowledge and impeding an investigation. 

Johnson and Malone waived their rights to a pre-trial hearing Tuesday. Brown had waived the hearing two weeks ago, Miller said. 

All three men could be sent to trial in either a special courts-martial or the more serious general courts-martial. 

Brown, who faces the most serious counts, is in custody in the brig at Miramar.  

Johnson and Malone were reassigned to other duties and released pending the start of their courts-martial. 

If found guilty of the rape or statutory rape, the men could be sentenced to life in prison. 

A courts-martial is expected early next year, military officials said.


Julia ‘Butterfly’ Hill visits tree

The Associated Press
Thursday November 30, 2000

STAFFORD — Filled with sadness, environmental activist Julia “Butterfly” Hill returned Wednesday to the wounded tree that was her home for two years. 

One of Hill’s supporters discovered during the weekend that someone had sawed a quarter of the way through the trunk of the redwood, which could be anywhere from 600 to 1,000 years old. 

A team of arborists and foresters hiked up to the tree Tuesday to stabilize it with steel plates and braces before a windstorm could topple it. The tree that Hill called Luna was still standing when she reached it Wednesday morning. 

“When I read the news I immediately felt it within myself,” Hill said. “Someone in rage, anger and frustration struck out at Luna.” 

Hill also spoke on the struggle in Mattole River Valley between logging firm Pacific Lumber Co. and the activists who have tried to block access to roads to slow logging of old-growth Douglas fir.  

Hill drew worldwide attention for two years as she perched on top of the tree – 18 stories high – to protest logging. She descended last December after Pacific Lumber, which owns the tree, agreed to spare it and a surrounding buffer zone.


Neighbor fatally shoots teen skateboarder

The Associated Press
Thursday November 30, 2000

SAN DIEGO — Religious figurines and bright chrysanthemums stood beside the blood-stained sidewalk where a 17-year-old boy fell dead when a neighbor opened fire on a group of skateboarders. 

Ray Huffman, a high school senior, had been videotaping friends skateboarding as part of a project for his drama class Tuesday evening when Ruben Tadepa, 44, allegedly shot at the teen-agers with whom he’d often clashed. 

Huffman had been preparing to tape a final few minutes of the teens performing tricks before nightfall when Tadepa ran onto the street brandishing a rifle, witnesses said. 

“I ran back to my backyard because I was scared. And when I came out, there was Ray on the floor,” Jesus Leos, 15, said. 

Tadepa was arrested Tuesday evening and jailed for investigation of murder.  

He suffered minor injuries when police fired on him after he leveled his rifle in their direction. 

Several teens from the racially mixed, working-class Lomita neighborhood of eastern San Diego said they’d long quarreled with Tadepa, who complained if kids went near his car. 

Bill Huffman, Ray’s stepfather, said Tadepa was short-tempered and had brandished weapons before. 

“He’s always been a problem. He’s a bully and he tried to bully all the kids all the time,” Huffman said. “And every time I’d go over there ... he’d shake my hand and say ‘Everything is fine. I won’t hurt the kids. All I want to do is scare them.’ 

“I’d say, ‘You don’t pull a weapon out on a kid to scare him.’ ” 

Police efforts to calm the situation were futile, Huffman said. Ray had broken his hand while skating in May and no longer performed tricks, his father said. 

 

Ray’s school video project, “Skateboard Survivor,” was to be turned in Friday, said drama teacher Danielle Bartelli-Oldfield. 

She described the tall, lanky teen as enthusiastic and a skilled technician who did sound and music for class plays. He was considering college or the military after high school. 

“He was talking to counselors, his parents, teachers and friends about what his best choices would be,” she said. “Ray was very versatile. He could have done anything.” 

On Wednesday, the senior portrait of Ray Huffman, smiling in a tuxedo, leaned against the curb where he fell in front of a neighbor’s house, next door to his modest slate-blue home. 

Bill Huffman said the son he’d raised since he was 2 was a good kid who avoided problems. 

“He was never in trouble. He wasn’t running with gangsters. He didn’t even know gangsters. He wasn’t into drugs. He was a good boy,” he said, struggling to remain composed. 

The elder Huffman was in his garage when he heard shots. He saw Tadepa running away with his gun — and then he saw Ray. 

“I saw him laying over there — dead,” Huffman said, sobbing. 


Yosemite murder convict to be sentenced to life

The Associated Press
Thursday November 30, 2000

FRESNO — By his own words, motel handyman Cary Stayner guaranteed that he’ll never be a free man for murdering a naturalist in Yosemite National Park. 

In confessing to beheading Joie Armstrong and later through a plea bargain with prosecutors, Stayner sealed a fate that will be finalized Thursday when he is sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole. 

It also will be his final chance to say anything publicly about the killing, and he’s expected to read a short statement expressing remorse. 

“I would anticipate he will basically just apologize to everybody he’s hurt, the victim, his family, basically saying he’s sorry,” said federal defender Robert W. Rainwater. 

As a condition of the guilty plea, which averted a possible death sentence, Stayner agreed to take his story to the grave to spare Armstrong’s family from further media attention. 

“Until his death he will not speak to anyone, write to anyone or communicate to anyone about the death of Joie Ruth Armstrong,” stated an agreement he signed. 

With the exception of a confession to law enforcement officers, Stayner has said little about Armstrong and three Yosemite tourists he’s accused of killing. 

His father, Delbert Stayner, visits him weekly and said they’ve never discussed the murders. The 67-year-old retired mechanic still doesn’t want to think his son is a killer. 

“I just can’t believe him doing these things,” Delbert Stayner said Wednesday. “If you’re a father, you’re always thinking maybe it was somebody else.” 

Under oath in U.S. District Court in September, however, Stayner left no question that he killed Armstrong, a 26-year-old woman who led children on nature hikes. He pleaded guilty to kidnapping, attempted sexual assault and murder in the killing last July. 

Armstrong’s headless body was found in woods near where she lived in the park. Stayner, 39, was arrested three days later, concluding a sweeping investigation and manhunt that began five months earlier when the three women tourists disappeared. 

Part of Stayner’s story is expected to become public at some point when excerpts of his confession to killing Armstrong are unsealed. 

Judge Anthony W. Ishii ordered that documents, including parts of the confession, would be unsealed after the sentencing. 

Stayner appealed and Ishii ruled Wednesday that defense lawyers have until Dec. 8 to obtain a stay from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. 

If the appeals court doesn’t issue a stay by that date, the files will be unsealed, said Neil Shapiro, a lawyer representing a group of media organizations including The Associated Press. 

One of the documents in question was filed by prosecutors seeking the death penalty and contains the most heinous portions of Stayner’s confession to killing Armstrong, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press. 

Defense lawyers have argued that releasing the documents could jeopardize Stayner’s right to a fair trial in state court for the murders of Carole Sund, 42, her daughter Juli, 15, and their Argentine friend Silvina Pelosso, 16. 

The three were killed in February 1999 during a sightseeing trip to Yosemite. They had been staying at the Cedar Lodge, a remote and rustic motel outside the park’s western gate, where Stayner lived and worked. 

Stayner is expected to be arraigned in Mariposa Superior Court for the murders in the next two weeks. Lt. Brian Muller of the county sheriff’s office said state prosecutors will announce at a future hearing whether they plan to seek the death penalty.


L.A. posting big air pollution drop

The Associated Press
Thursday November 30, 2000

LOS ANGELES — Don’t expect the smog jokes to stop anytime soon, but Southern California has made significant progress toward fighting air pollution – especially in the last five years. 

In 1995, air in Los Angeles County was rated unhealthful 28 percent of the time under the Pollution Standards Index. That fell to 5 percent last year. 

“The decline has been very abrupt,” said Dave Jesson, the Environmental Protection Agency’s local liaison.  

“I don’t think any area has shown such a completely dramatic reduction.” 

One reason is that no region of the country has had as far to go as Los Angeles.  

The air basin is still years away from losing its federal designation as the nation’s only “extreme nonattainment area” for ozone, which triggers respiratory problems as it fouls city skylines. 

The basin also is about to miss a federal deadline for meeting carbon monoxide standards, and will have a particularly difficult time meeting standards for dust and soot if the EPA wins a court fight with industry groups to tighten them. 

But gains so far have given regulators confidence that the pollution rules they’ve created are working. 

“We can finally see blue skies at the end of the tunnel,” said Barry Wallerstein, executive director of the South Coast Air Quality Management District. “We’re clearly on the downhill side of the slope.” 

The district and its statewide counterpart, the Air Resources Board, have created a host of rules over the years mandating reformulated gasoline, cleaner-burning motor vehicles and industrial facilities and water-based paints and solvents, among other things. 

Their rules have been the strictest in the country, and have led to the Los Angeles area giving up the title of the nation’s smoggiest city to Houston for the last two years.  

But both cities’ ozone levels remain far ahead of the rest of the country. 

“Number 1 or Number 2, we still have a lot work to do,” said Todd Campbell, policy director for the Clean Air Coalition, a Los Angeles-based environmental group. 

He said that point was emphasized by a study published last month in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine that found the lungs of children grow more slowly in smoggy areas.


Scientists find way to protect monkeys against Ebola virus

The Associated Press
Thursday November 30, 2000

For the first time, a vaccine protected monkeys against the lethal Ebola virus, raising doctors’ hopes of developing a means of inoculating people against the terrifying disease. 

Four macaques that were injected with the experimental vaccine suffered no ill effects after being exposed to normally lethal doses of the virus. Four macaques that were not inoculated died within six days. 

The findings mark the first time an Ebola vaccine has worked in primates, said Dr. Gary Nabel, director of the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health and an author of the study, published in Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature. 

The monkeys are more closely related to humans than any other species in which an Ebola vaccine has worked. 

A human vaccine still could be years away, however. Among other things, questions of safety and how to deal with different strains of the virus would have to be resolved before experiments on humans could begin. 

Ebola hemorrhagic fever, first recognized in 1976, kills up to 90 percent of its human victims within days of infection. Outbreaks so far have occurred only in Africa. An outbreak has killed 145 people in Uganda this year, and a 1995 one in Zaire claimed 245 lives. 

The fever’s dramatic symptoms – which include severe pain, high fever, bleeding from the eyes, and rapid death – have been depicted in the book “The Hot Zone” and the movie “Outbreak.” Some fear the virus, which can spread by bodily contact, could be carried elsewhere by terrorists or sick airplane passengers. 

“Ebola is a difficult virus because currently available antiviral drugs have no proven effect on it and we do not know its natural reservoir, making environmental control impossible,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which partially funds the Vaccine Research Center. “A vaccine is the best hope for protecting humans from infection.” 

None of the primates that received the vaccine showed signs of illness during the six-month study. Three of them did not have any virus in their blood; the fourth showed low levels, but the virus disappeared after a week. 

“We’re encouraged that we can see any protection, because until this point it’s really been impossible to develop immunity in the primate,” Nabel said. 

Vaccines attempt to marshal the body’s immune system to build defenses by showing it what the targeted virus looks like.  

Traditional approaches involve inoculating with dead germs or live but weakened ones. 

In 1997, Nabel and others developed a strategy that protected guinea pigs by using a vaccine made of DNA strands that encode Ebola virus proteins. The approach worked in rodents but was not completely effective for primates. 

In the latest research, Nabel and colleagues boosted the DNA vaccine with a weakened virus that normally causes respiratory infections. The strain was modified with a protein of the Ebola Zaire strain. 

The one-two punch worked. 

“It was really the two together that gave a very significant antibody response that I think allowed us to see the protection that we saw,” Nabel said. 

Researchers said more study is needed to figure out what immune system mechanism actually protected the animals. 

“It’s a good development. It’s promising,” said Dennis Burton, professor of immunology at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego. “They’ve taken it to the next step to monkeys from guinea pigs.” 

Though Ebola may never become a worldwide problem, research is needed just in case and to prepare for other, yet-undiscovered viruses, he said. 

——— 

On the Net: 

Nature: http://www.nature.com 

World Health Organization fact sheet: http://www.who.int/inf-fs/en/fact103.html 


Many knew of teen kidnapping but failed to call the police

The Associated Press
Thursday November 30, 2000

SANTA BARBARA — More than 20 people knew 15-year-old Nicholas Markowitz was being held by kidnappers who eventually killed him but none of them notified police, county grand jury transcripts show. 

Five people were charged with the abduction and murder of the San Fernando Valley teen-ager, who was killed Aug. 8 after being held two days in Santa Barbara. The crime allegedly was orchestrated by 20-year-old Jesse James Hollywood, who remains a fugitive. 

Grand jurors, in transcripts released this week, were told that an array of people – from young men and women to Hollywood’s attorney and father – were aware of the kidnapping in the two days before Markowitz was shot. Instead of informing police, however, they chose to ignore it or urged the kidnappers to return him home. 

“I mean, I just didn’t want any involvement at all,” testified Richard Hoeflinger, who was at a home where Markowitz was taken while blindfolded and bound with duct tape. “I didn’t want to know what was going on.” 

In the transcripts, reviewed by the Santa Barbara News-Press, prosecutors described a sort of ongoing party at the locations Markowitz was being held. Friends of the kidnappers dropped in to smoke marijuana, take Valium and watch TV with the teen-ager they referred to as “the stolen boy.” 

One girl told her mother, a local defense attorney, that she knew of a youth being held against his will. 

None of those who knew of the abduction yet failed to call police will be charged, said Ron Zonen, senior deputy district attorney for the Santa Barbara County district attorney’s office. 

“Simply knowing that a crime is being committed does not mean that you’re guilty of that crime ... you have to aid and abet the commission of the crime,” he told The Associated Press. 

Many of them also were granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for their testimony, he said. 

The abduction and killing allegedly were over a $36,000 drug debt the teen-ager’s older brother, 22-year-old Benjamin Markowitz, owed Hollywood. Both families are from the West Hills area of Los Angeles. 

Hikers found Nicholas Markowitz’s body Aug. 12 in a shallow grave in Los Padres National Forest north of Santa Barbara. Authorities said he had been shot nine times. 

Four people, ranging in age from 17 to 21, were arrested and have pleaded innocent to kidnapping and murder. Authorities believe Hollywood participated in the kidnapping but was not present during the killing. 

Hollywood called his attorney, Stephen Hogg of Simi Valley, a few hours after the Sunday afternoon abduction, according to the transcripts. 

“It appears that Jesse Hollywood consulted with an attorney and possibly learned what the penalty was for kidnapping, particularly kidnapping for extortion,” Zonen told the grand jury. ”(He) became spooked by it, and the decision was made that they weren’t going to return him, but, rather, they were going to kill him.” 

 

Hogg called Hollywood’s parents and a family friend, John Roberts, 68, whom Hollywood regarded as an uncle. 

Hogg urged them to find Hollywood and get him to return the missing youth. Roberts said he was taken aback by the seriousness of the trouble Jesse Hollywood was in. 

Roberts and Jack Hollywood, Jesse Hollywood’s father, met with Jesse on the following Monday or Tuesday but were unable to persuade him to let Markowitz go or to turn himself in, Roberts testified. 

Even after Markowitz was killed, it took more than a week before anyone stepped forward to talk with authorities. 


Hundreds protest Netanyahu

By Judith Scherr and John Geluardi Daily Planet
Wednesday November 29, 2000

Chanting and waving signs, condemning the visit of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, demonstrators broke through police lines Tuesday evening and prevented lecturegoers from entering the high school gates, the entrance to the theater where Netanyahu was to speak. 

Just before 8 p.m., when the lecture was to begin, organizers canceled the event. 

Police made no attempt to arrest protesters, whose numbers swelled beyond 500 people. They lined up shoulder to shoulder inside the gates with billy clubs ready by their waists and protesters lined up outside the gate, blocking entry to the 100 or so people who had tickets to the lecture series. 

Before the throng broke through the yellow police tape blocking off the intersection of Milvia and Kittedge streets, Palestinian Hatem Bazian, a lecturer at UC Berkeley, addressed the crowd through a bull horn: “Palestinians are not allowed to buy land or rent apartments in land occupied or controlled by the Israelis in the so-called only democracy in the Middle East,” he said. “Territory in the Gaza Strip is occupied by settlers who are the most racist and fascist people on the face of the earth.” 

As prime minister and leader of the Likud Party, Netanyahu has supported these settlements. 

At about 7:30 p.m., some of the audience members, who had been standing patiently in line, hoping to go through the gates blocked by protesters, turned around an headed for their cars. 

“You get up to the front (of the crowd) and it’s very scary,” said one well-dressed woman, who was leaving the area. 

Another would-be audience member, Steve Wolan said he was a veteran of Berkeley’s Free Speech Movement. Although he said he was not a Netanyahu supporter, he condemned the demonstrators for not allowing people the right to hear what he had to say. 

“It’s a little ironic. This is the cradle of free speech.” 

Councilmember Dona Spring was among the demonstrators. Noting the large police presence, Spring said she was outraged that the organizers of the lecture series had brought such an “inflammatory” figure to town. 

“This is an outrageous use of taxpayer money,” she said, referring to an estimated $15,000 in police overtime that the event would cost. 

At about 8 p.m., an announcement went out that the event had been canceled and a cheer rang out from the demonstrators, who organized themselves into a march. Chanting “no justice no peace,” the crowd, which had diminished to about 300 people, made a quick tour around downtown. 

“The protest was a success,” said Bazian before he headed for home. “Once again, Berkeley leads the way. It did in the Free Speech Movement and in the anti-apartheid movement. It stands up for its ideals.” 


Calendar of Events & Activities

Wednesday November 29, 2000


Wednesday, Nov. 29

 

Wanderlust: Tales of  

Adventure and Romance 

7:30 p.m.  

Easy Going Travel Shop & Bookstore 

1385 Shattuck Ave. (at Rose) 

Jeff Greenwald and other travel writers discuss the art of writing travel literature and how to make a living doing it.  

Call 843-3533 

 

Berkeley Gray Panthers  

Membership Meeting 

1:30 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst Ave. (at MLK Jr. Way) 

Discussion of how the election results will affect the Gray Panthers.  

Call 548-9696 

 

Mental Health Commission 

6:30 p.m. 

2640 MLK Jr. Way (at Derby) 

 

Assembling Safe Sex 

4:30 - 7:30 p.m.  

Tang Center  

2222 Bancroft Way 

Members of the campus and community are invited to help assemble safe sex kits to be distributed on World AIDS Day. Refreshments and musical entertainment provided.  

Call Brian Kim, 642-7202 

 

Challenges of Parenting Adolescents  

7 - 9 p.m. 

Jewish Family & Children’s Services 

of the East Bay 

2484 Shattuck Ave., Suite 210 

This workshop focuses on the challenges facing parents and teens. Learn how to avoid triggering and pushing each other’s buttons. Runs three consecutive Wednesdays, through Dec. 13. Led by Kathy Langsam, MA, MFT, JFCS Teen Services Coordinator.  

$60 

Call 704-7475 


Thursday, Nov. 30

 

Pro Arts Juried Show  

Reception 

6 - 8 p.m.  

Pro Arts 

461 Ninth St.  

Oakland 

With the work of 70 artists, this annual show features the work of emerging and mid-career artists. The show runs through December 30. See A&E calendar for details.  

 

A Picture of Democracy 

7 p.m.  

Valley Life Sciences Building  

Room 2050 

UC Berkeley 

A 70-minute documentary entitled “This is What Democracy Looks Like,” capturing the events of the WTO protests in Seattle. Followed by “Zapatista!,” a documentary about the 1994 Indigenous uprising in Chiapas, Mexico.  

$5 - $10 sliding scale  

 

Snowshoeing Basics  

7 p.m . 

Recreational Equipment, Inc.  

1338 San Pablo Ave.  

Professional snowshoe guide Cathy Anderson-Meyers gives basic instruction on how to get out and experience Tahoe’s winter terrain on “shoes.” 527-4140 

 

Art for Sale 

6 - 8 p.m. 

Kala Art Institute  

1060 Heinz Ave.  

Over sixty artists affiliated with the Kala Art Institute exhibit works ranging from traditional wood block prints to works in digital media.  

549-2977 

Oakland Museum Trip for  

Seniors 

(trip on Dec. 8) 

A trip to the Oakland Museum to see the Imperial Palace of China Exhibit. Organized by the North Berkeley Senior Center 

Call Maggie, 644-6107 

 

Let Your Chi Flow Freely 

6 - 7 p.m.  

University of Creation Spirituality 

2141 Broadway Ave. 

Oakland 

Share peace and tranquillity communally and regain harmony and balance.  

Call Idris Hassan, 835-4827 x31  

 

Witness In Our Time 

7 p.m.  

105 North Gate Hall 

UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism 

Center for Photography 

Kerry Tremain moderates a conversation with Wayne Miller, Ken Light, Matt Heron and Michelle Vignes. Followed by a book signing for “Chicago’s South Side” by Wayne Miller and “Witness in Our Time” by Ken Light. 

Call 642-3383  

 

Free Anonymous HIV Testing 

5:15 - 7:15 p.m. 

Check in 5 - 7 p.m. 

University Health Services 

Tang Center  

2222 Bancroft Way 

Drop-in services and limited space is available.  

Call 642-7202 

 

Bay Area Air Quality Hearing 

9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 

939 Ellis St.  

San Francisco 

Among the cases to be discussed is the Apco vs. Pacific Steel Company of Berkeley over alleged violations of a California health and safety code. (415)-771-6000 


Friday, Dec. 1

 

Spanish Book Club 

7:30 p.m. 

Cody’s Books  

2454 Telegraph Ave.  

A discussion of “Dona Barbara” by the Colombian writer Rumulo Gallegos. New members welcome. The group meets the first Friday of each month.  

Call 601-0454  

 

AIDS Prevention Outreach 

11 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

Sproul Plaza  

UC Berkeley 

Safer sex kits will be distributed.  

 

Taize Worship Services  

7:30 - 8:30 p.m.  

Loper Chapel  

Dana St. (between Durant & Channing) Call 848-3696 

 

Basic Electrical Theory 

7 - 10 p.m. 

Building Education Center 

812 Page St.  

Redwood Kardon, retired City of Oakland building inspector and author of the Code Check book series.  

$35 Call 525-7610 

 

Safer Sex Kits 

4:30 p.m. 

Downtown Berkeley BART 

Volunteers from Americorps will be distributing safer sex kits in commemoration of World AIDS Day.  


Saturday, Dec. 2

 

Wild About Books? 

10:30 a.m. 

Berkeley Central Library 

2121 Allston Way 

Storyteller Kellmar draws from her African-American roots with stories that touch the heart and the funnybone. For children aged 3-7. 

Call 649-3943  

 

Artists at Play Holiday Sale 

11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Artists at Play Studio  

1649 Hopkins St. (at Carlotta)  

Work by the artists including original servings dishes, frames, jewelry, and other items. 

Call 528-0494  

 

The Yo-Yo Lady 

2 - 4 p.m. 

1898 Solano Ave.  

Performances every weekend afternoon till Christmas.  

 

Small Press  

Distribution Open House 

Noon - 4 p.m.  

1341 Seventh St. (off Gilman) 

Browse 8,000 literary titles and listen to readings by Bay Area authors. Readings by poet Lyn Hejinian, George Albon, Dan Leone, Gail Mitchell, and Sianne Ngai. Call 524-1668 x305 

 

— compiled by  

Chason Wainwright 

 

 

Whymsium Anniversary Party 

7:30 - 11 p.m. 

Whimsyum  

1414 Fourth St.  

Described as something beyond dinner and a movie, the folks at Whymsium invite you to share your interests and explore your hobbies. This annual party features a talent show, games and a dance.  

$3 - $20 sliding scale 

Call 595-5541  

 

UC Botanical Holiday Plant Sale 

10 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

UC Botanical Garden  

200 Centennial Dr.  

You’ll find a selection of orchids, ferns, rhododendrons, cacti, hardy herbs, and house plants galore for yourself or gardening friends.  

Call 643-2755 

 

Native American Flute  

5 - 6 p.m. 

Gathering Tribes Gallery  

1573 Solano Ave.  

Celebrating the release of his CD “Spirit Within,” Berkeley resident and flutist Walter Ogi Johnson performs.  

 

Monitoring Police Activity 

11 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

Copwatch Office  

2022 Blake St. (west of Shattuck) 

Learn what your rights are in dealing with police and learn how to monitor police safely. Free.  

Call 548-0425 

 

Finding a Way In 

7 - 9 p.m.  

Jewish Learning Center 

1414 Walnut St.  

Offering a safe space for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender jews to express personal concerns and to find a place to belong in the Jewish community.  

$5 with pre-registraiton; $7 at door  

845-6420 

 

Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios 

11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Get map from: 

1250 Addison St. #214 

or download at: http://www.berkeleyartisans.com 

Over one hundred professional artists and craftspeople open up their studios and workspaces to the public. All styles of artistic expression are represented. Runs Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 17. 

Call 845-2612  

 

Know Your Rights Training 

11 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

Copwatch Office  

2022 Blake St.  

Learn what your rights are in dealing with the police. Learn how to monitor the police safely.  

Call 548-0425 

 

Publish Your Own Book 

10 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

Regent Press 

6020-A Adeline St. 

Mark Weiman of Regen Press presents an overview of the business of book publishing oriented towards the author considering self-publishing.  

$60 per person 

Call Mark Weiman, 547-7602 

 

Friends of Berkeley Youth Alternatives 

Wine Tasting  

1 - 4 p.m. 

Rosenblum Cellars 

2900 Main St.  

Alameda 

All proceeds benefit the children and families served by Berkeley Youth Alternatives. 

$25 

Call 845-9010 

 

Alternative Building Materials 

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Building Education Center 

812 Page St.  

Seminar taught by architects Dan Smith and John Fordice. 

$75  

Call 525-7610 

 

Sunday Dec. 3 

Connecting with Nature 

1 - 3 p.m.  

Rotary Nature Center  

600 Bellevue Ave. (at Perkins) 

Oakland 

Children aged six to twelve, accompanied by a parent, are invited to explore nature with all their senses. Cathy Holt, author of “The Circle of Healing” will lead the event. Free 

Call Stephanie for reservations, 238-3739 

 

HIV Memorial Service 

11 a.m. 

McGee Avenue Baptist Church 

1640 Stuart St.  

A special morning HIV service for members of the community.  

Call 843-1774 

 

Transcending Limits on Knowledge  

6 p.m.  

Tibetan Nyingma Institute  

1815 Highland Place 

Lee Nichol on Tarthang Tulku’s “Time, Space, and Knowledge.” Free 

843-6812 

 

Richmond Holiday Arts Festival 

Noon - 4 p.m. 

Richmond Art Center 

2540 Barret Ave.  

Richmond 

A silent auction, craft sale, gifts and services auction, and hands-on art projects. Proceeds benefit the Richmond Art Center. Free  

620-6772 

 

Kitka’s “Wintersongs Holiday Tour” 

7 p.m. 

Lake Merritt United Methodist Church 

1330 Lakeshore Ave. 

Oakland 

In it’s first annual winter holiday concert, this women’s vocal ensemble will perform Eastern European seasonal songs.  

$15 - $20 

444-0323 

 

Berkeley High Pep Band 

4 - 6 p.m. 

1850 Solano Ave. 

One of many performers doing their stuff on Solano during the holidays. Performances every weekend afternoon till Christmas.  

 

Winterfest 

Noon - 4 p.m. 

Oakland Museum of California 

1000 Oak St.  

Oakland 

A celebration of winter family traditions like music, dance, craft activities, and food. Included in museum admission. 

$6 general, $4 seniors and students with ID 

Call 1-888-OAK-MUSE 

 

Joe Raskin & David Slusser’s  

Improv Derby 

7:48 p.m. 

Tuva Space 

3192 Adeline (at MLK Jr. Way) 

Joe Raskin/George Cremaschi Duo & David Slusser’s Improv Derby. Part of ACME Observatory Contemporary Music Series.  

$8 suggested donation 

Call 444-3595 

 

The Music Connection 

2:30 p.m. 

Resurrection Lutheran Church 

397 Euclid Ave.  

Oakland  

Several well known Bay Area musicians and composers join amateur autistic musicians to raise money and raise awareness of autism and to provide the opportunity for those living with the disease to develop their talents. 

$10 - $200 suggested donation 

Call 420-0606  

 

“Music on Squirrel Hill”  

4 p.m. 

Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley 

One Lawson Road 

Kensington 

The San Francisco Choral artists directed by Claire Giovannetti sing traditional and less familiar classics of the season.  

$15 general, $10 students & seniors  

Call 525-0302 

 

Monday, Dec. 4 

Personnel Board Meeting 

7 p.m.  

Permit Center 

2118 Milvia St.  

First Floor Conference Room 

 

BHS AIDS Memorial Quilt 

Berkeley High School 

2246 Milvia  

Berkeley High will be displaying the AIDS Memorial Quilt the entire week, including 150 panels made by Berkeley High students.  

Call Sonya Dublin, 644-6838 x4 

 

Landmarks Preservation Commission 

7:30 p.m. 

North Berkely Senior Center 

1901 Hearst (at MLK Jr. Way) 

 

Peace and Justice Commission 

7 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst (at MLK Jr. Way) 

 

Keeping Parents Sane 

6:30 - 8:30 p.m. 

Jewish Family & Children’s Services  

of the East Bay 

2484 Shattuck Ave., Suite 210 

If your child(ren) are defiant and oppositional and you don’t know what to do, try this workshop led by Liz Marton, MFT.  

$20 

Call 704-7475 

 

Criminalization of Youth 

7:30 p.m. 

King Middle School  

1781 Rose St.  

Angela Davis, educator, activist, and former political prisoner speaks at this benefit lecture for the Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library.  

$5 

Call 595-7417  

 

Make a Wreath 

7 p.m. 

UC Botanical Garden 

200 Centennial Dr.  

Whether you are a beginner or a veteran wreath-maker, join Nancy Swearengen and Jerry Parsons and learn to use some unusual materials.  

$27.50, including materials 

Call 643-2755 

 

Furniture Making for Women 

9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 

Building Education Center 

812 Page St.  

Finish carpenter Tracy Weir teaches this hands-on, four day workshop, culminating with each attendee building her own cabinet unit with drawer and shelf. Runs through Dec. 8.  

$475  

Call 525-7610 

 

“Choosing Something Like a Star” 

7:30 p.m. 

PSR Chapel 

1798 Scenic Ave.  

This annual free concert will feature the PSR Chorale and the Kairos Youth Choir performing carols from many traditions.  

Call Mike Ellard, 236-3033 

 

Tuesday, Dec. 5 

Design the Perfect School  

7 - 9 p.m. 

Jewish Community Center 

1414 Walnut Ave. (at Rose) 

Informally led by Robert Berend, former UC Extension lecturer, this group aims to have intelligent discussions on a wide range of topics. They stress that there is no religious bent to the discussions and that all viewpoints are welcome. Bring light snacks to share with group.  

Call Robert Berend, 527-5332  

 

Jewish Book Club 

7:30 - 9:15 p.m.  

Jewish Learning Center  

1414 Walnut St.  

Join in a discussion of Brian Norton’s “Starting Out in the Evening.” Free 

848-0237 x 127 

 

Get the Lead Out 

6 - 8 p.m. 

Frances Albrier Center 

San Pablo Park  

2800 Park St.  

Learn how to prevent lead poisoning in your home. Taught by expert staff, this course offers techniques property owners can use to safety paint and remodel their homes.  

Call 567-8280 

 

Make a Wreath 

7 p.m. 

UC Botanical Garden 

200 Centennial Dr.  

Whether you are a beginner or a veteran wreath-maker, join Nancy Swearengen and Jerry Parsons and learn to use some unusual materials.  

$27.50, including materials 

Call 643-2755 

 

City Council 

7 p.m. 

Old City Hall  

2134 MLK Jr. Way 

 

Wednesday, Dec. 6  

Task Force on Telecommunications 

7 p.m. 

1900 Addison  

Third Floor Conference Room 

 

Citizens Budget Review Commission 

7 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst Ave. (at MLK Jr. Way)  

 

BHS Jazz Lab Band & Combos 

7:30 p.m. 

Berkeley High Little Theater 

Allston Way  

Their first concert of the new school year.  

$8 general, $3 students  

 

Board of Education 

7:30 p.m. 

2134 MLK Jr. Way  

Council Chambers 

 

Fire Safety Commission 

7:30 p.m. 

Fire Department Emergency Operations Center 

997 Cedar St.  

 

Berkeley Communicators Toastmasters 

7:15 p.m. 

Vault Restaurant  

3250 Adeline St.  

Learn to speak fluently without fear or hesitation.  

Call Howard Linnard, 527-2337 

 

Thursday, Dec. 7 

Berkeley Metaphysic Toastmasters Club 

6:15 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. 

2515 Hillegass Ave.  

Public speaking skills and metaphysic come together at Avatar Metaphysical Toastmasters. Meets first and third Thursdays each month. 

Call 869-2547 or 643-7645 

 

Free Anonymous HIV Testing 

5:15 - 7:15 p.m. 

Check in 5 - 7 p.m. 

University Health Services 

Tang Center  

2222 Bancroft Way 

Drop-in services and limited space is available.  

Call 642-7202 

 

Women’s Travel Book Club 

6:30 p.m. 

Cody’s Books 

1730 Fourth St.  

Join a discussion of M.F.K. Fisher’s “Two Towns in Provence: Map of Another Town & A Considerable Town.” New members are always welcome. The group meets the first Thursday of each month.  

Call 482-8971 

 

Make a Wreath 

10 a.m. 

UC Botanical Garden 

200 Centennial Dr.  

Whether you are a beginner or a veteran wreath-maker, join Nancy Swearengen and Jerry Parsons and learn to use some unusual materials.  

$27.50, including materials 

Call 643-2755 

 

Prepare Meals in a Snow Kitchen  

7 p.m.  

Recreational Equipment, Inc.  

1338 San Pablo Ave.  

Chuck Collingwood of the Sierra Club will present a slide lecture on how to survive overnight in the snow.  

Call Jason, 527-7377 

 

Let Your Chi Flow Freely 

6 - 7 p.m.  

University of Creation Spirituality 

2141 Broadway Ave. 

Oakland 

Share peace and tranquillity communally and regain harmony and balance.  

Call Idris Hassan, 835-4827 x31  

 

Lunch Poems Reading Series 

12:10 p.m. - 12:50 p.m.  

Morrison Room, Doe Library 

UC Berkeley  

Featuring the first three authors in the UC Press’s California Poetry Series. Featured poets will be Fanny Howe, Mark Levine, and Carol Snow. Free  

Call 642-0137  

 

Housing Advisory Commission 

7:30 p.m.  

South Berkeley Senior Center 

2939 Ellis St.  

 

Public Works Commission 

7:30 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst Ave. (at MLK Jr. Way) 

 

Community Environmental Advisory Commission 

7 p.m. 

2118 Milvia St.  

Second Floor Conference Room 

 

Friday, Dec. 8  

PC Users Group 

7 p.m. 

Vista College 

Room 303  

2020 Milvia St.  

A groups of PC users who help each other solve problems. They introduce their members to new software, hardware, and invited speakers and technicians from various PC related companies. Meet the second Friday of each month.  

Call Melvin Mann, 527-2177  

 

Trunk Show with Art Quintanna 

4 - 7 p.m.  

Gathering Tribes Gallery 

1573 Solano Ave. 

Hailing from New Mexico, Quintanna specializes in older “dead pawn” Indian jewelry.  

 

An Evening Under the Stars 

5 - 8 p.m. 

Courtyard at Swans Marketplace 

Ninth St. between Washington and Clay St. 

With jazz standards playing in the background, discover the work of local artists and find a unique holiday gift. Sponsored by East Bay Galleries for Art and Cultural Development.  

Call 832-4244 

 

WomenSing  

8 p.m. 

Valley Center for the Performing Arts 

Holy Names College 

3500 Mountain Blvd.  

Oakland 

In the first concert of their 35th anniversary season titled “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day,” WomenSing perform music of Irving Berlin, Holst, and others.  

$20 general, $18 seniors/students, $10 18 and under 

Call 925-798-1300 

 

Saturday, Dec. 9  

Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios 

11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Get map from: 

1250 Addison St. #214 

or download at: http://www.berkeleyartisans.com 

Over one hundred professional artists and craftspeople open up their studios and workspaces to the public. All styles of artistic expression are represented. Runs Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 17. 

Call 845-2612  

 

Bay Area Steppers Drill Team 

2 - 4 p.m. 

1216 Solano Ave. 

One of many performers doing their stuff on Solano during the holidays. Performances every weekend afternoon till Christmas.  

 

Artists at Play Holiday Sale 

11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Artists at Play Studio  

1649 Hopkins St. (at Carlotta)  

Work by the artists including original servings dishes, frames, jewelry, and other items. 

Call 528-0494  

 

Class Dismissed  

7:30 p.m. 

Boadecia’s Books 

398 Colusa Ave. (at Colusa Cir.)  

Kensington 

Meredith Maran discusses her book “A Year In the Life of an American High School, A Glimpse into the Heart of a Nation,” the result of her following the lives of three Berkeley High students. Free 

Call 559-9184  

 

Loneliness: A Spiritual Crisis? 

7:30 p.m. 

Unitarian Hall 

1924 Cedar St.  

Hear about the spiritual path of Light and Sound.  

Call Patricia, 339-6577 

 

Farmers’ Market Craft Fair 

10 a.m. - 4 p.m.  

MLK Jr. Civic Center Park  

(Center at MLK Jr. Way) 

Local craftspeople will be selling a variety of handcrafted gifts. Also live music, massage, and hot apple cider. Free 

Call 548-3333 

 

West Coast Live  

10 a.m. - Noon  

Freight & Salvage  

1111 Addison St.  

Interviews, musical performances and a live radio play broadcast to a hundred cities worldwide. This show features the Magniolia Sisters, Alex DiGrassi, Tata Monk and author Malachy McCourt.  

Call 415-664-9500  

 

Trunk Show with Art Quintanna 

10 a.m. -6 p.m.  

Gathering Tribes Gallery 

1573 Solano Ave. 

Hailing from New Mexico, Quintanna specializes in older “dead pawn” Indian jewelry.  

 

Sunday, Dec. 10 

Parenting Book Club 

11 a.m.  

Cody’s Books 

1730 Fourth St.  

Take part in a discussion of “Mothers Who Think” edited by Camille Peri. New group members always welcome. The group meets the second Sunday of each month.  

Call 559-9500 

 

Irish Harp & Guitar 

Noon - 2 p.m. 

1603 Solano Ave.  

Trish NiGabhain is one of many performers doing their stuff on Solano during the holidays. Performances every weekend afternoon till Christmas.  

 

LesBiGayTrans Parenting 

11 a.m. 

Boadecia’s Books 

398 Colusa Ave. (at Colusa Cir.) 

Kensington 

These two groups meet on the second Sunday of each month. The group meeting at 11 a.m. is for prospective parents, the one at noon for parents.  

Call 559-9184 

 

Ancient Buddhist Tales 

6 p.m.  

Tibetan Nyingma Institute  

1815 Highland Place  

Rima Tamar, storyteller and Dharma Publishing sales director, tells some classic Buddhist stories. Free  

843-6812 

 

TOCAR with David Frazier 

4:30 p.m. 

Jazzschool/La Note  

2377 Shattuck Ave.  

$6 - $12  

Reservations: 845-5373 

 

Tibetan Nyingma Open House 

3 -5 p.m.  

Tibetan Nyingma Institute  

1815 Highland Place  

A free introduction to Tibetan Buddhist culture, including a Tibetan yoga demonstration and a meditation garden tour.  

Call 843-6812  

 

Baroque Choral Guild  

7:30 p.m. 

First Congregational Church 

2345 Channing Way 

Performing the music of Giovanni Gabrieli, Claudio Merulo, Giovanni Croce, and others.  

$20 general, $15 seniors and students  

Call 408-733-8110 

 

“From Swastikas to Jim Crow”  

10:30 a.m.  

Jewish Learning Center 

1414 Walnut St. 

Donald and Lore Rasmussen of Berkeley, and Jim McWilliams of Oakland, discuss their experiences and the experiences of others who fled Nazi Germany and ended up teaching in African-American colleges in the segregated south. Admission includes brunch.  

$4 BRJCC members; $5 general  

Call 848-0237 x127 

 

Weird Rooms 

3 - 5 p.m.  

Berkeley History Center 

1931 Center St.  

Mal and Sandra Sharpe discuss people who collect unusual things and how their collections take over their rooms.  

 

Black Images in the White Mind 

6:30 p.m. 

Walden Pond Books  

3316 Grand Ave.  

Oakland  

Jan Faulkner will give a slide show presentation of about her book, “Ethnic Notions.”  

Call 832-4438 

 

Wednesday, Dec. 13 

Oakland Preschool Fair 

7 - 9 p.m. 

Piedmont Avenue Elementary School 

4314 Piedmont Ave.  

Oakland 

Sponsored by the Neighborhood Parents Network, this panel discussion allows parents the opportunity to speak with representatives from local preschools. 

Free to NPN members, $5 general 

Call 527-6667 

 

Energy Commission 

5:30 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst Ave. (at MLK Jr. Way) 

 

Waterfront Commission Meeting 

7 p.m. 

His Lordships Restaurant  

199 Seawall Dr.  

 

Planning Commission 

7 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst Ave. (at MLK Jr. Way) 

 

Commission on Disability  

6:30 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst Ave. (at MLK Jr. Way) 

 

Board of Library Trustees  

7 p.m. 

West Branch  

1125 University Ave.  

 

Homeless Commission  

7 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst Ave. (at MLK Jr. Way) 

 

Police Review Commission 

7:30 p.m. 

South Berkeley Senior Center 

2939 Ellis St.  

 

Thursday, Dec. 14  

Ultimate Alpine Climbing  

7 p.m.  

Recreational Equipment, Inc.  

1338 San Pablo Ave.  

Join veteran alpine climber Kitty Calhoun in a slide presentation of her 20-year climbing career.  

Call Jason, 527-7377 

 

Free Anonymous HIV Testing 

5:15 - 7:15 p.m. 

Check in 5 - 7 p.m. 

University Health Services 

Tang Center  

2222 Bancroft Way 

Drop-in services and limited space is available.  

Call 642-7202 

 

Solano Ave. Association 

Holiday Mixer & Meeting 

5:30 - 7:30 p.m. 

Cafe Del Sol 

1742 Solano Ave.  

With light refreshments and a silent auction, the Solano Ave. Association invites you to “meet your business neighbors.”  

Call 527-5358  

 

Community Health Commission 

6:45 p.m. 

2640 MLK Jr. Way  

Auditorium 

Call 665-6845 for exact location 

 

Zoning Adjustments Board  

7 p.m. 

Council Chamber 

2134 MLK Jr. Way  

Second Floor 

 

Friday, Dec. 15 

BHS Orchestra and Concert Band 

7:30 p.m. 

Berkeley High Little Theater  

Allston Way 

 

Saturday, Dec. 16 

Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios 

11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Get map from: 

1250 Addison St. #214 

or download at: http://www.berkeleyartisans.com 

Over one hundred professional artists and craftspeople open up their studios and workspaces to the public. All styles of artistic expression are represented. Runs Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 17. 

Call 845-2612  

 

Berkeley Community Chamber Chorus 

2 - 4 p.m. 

Strolling along Solano Ave. 

One of many performers doing their stuff on Solano during the holidays. Performances every weekend afternoon till Christmas.  

 

Farmers’ Market Craft Fair 

10 a.m. - 4 p.m.  

MLK Jr. Civic Center Park  

(Center at MLK Jr. Way) 

Local craftspeople will be selling a variety of handcrafted gifts. Also live music, massage, and hot apple cider. Free 

Call 548-3333 

 

Sunday, Dec. 17  

Benefits of Kum Nye and Meditation 

6 p.m.  

Tibetan Nyingma Institute  

1815 Highland Place  

Miep Cooymans, Nyingma Institute meditation instructor lectures and demonstrates this gentle, self-healing system. Free 

843-6812 

 

The Disputation 

2 - 4:30 p.m.  

Jewish Community Center 

1414 Walnut St.  

Call 848-0237 

 

Guitar of Reverend Rabia 

Noon - 2 p.m. 

1741 Solano Ave. 

One of many performers doing their stuff on Solano during the holidays. Performances every weekend afternoon till Christmas.  

 

Hanukkah Happening 

8 p.m. 

Shambhala Booksellers 

2482 Telegraph Ave.  

Cantor and recording artist Richard Kaplan will lead attendees in seasonal music. Free.  

Call 848-8443 

 

Monday, Dec. 18 

Design Review Commission 

7:30 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst St. (at MLK Jr. Way) 

 

Tuesday, Dec. 19 

Planning for the Future 

7 - 9 p.m. 

Jewish Community Center 

1414 Walnut Ave. (at Rose) 

Informally led by Robert Berend, former UC Extension lecturer, this group aims to have intelligent discussions on a wide range of topics. They stress that there is no religious bent to the discussions and that all viewpoints are welcome. Bring light snacks to share with group.  

Call Robert Berend, 527-5332  

 

Wednesday, Dec. 20 

Berkeley Communicators Toastmasters 

7:15 p.m. 

Vault Restaurant  

3250 Adeline St.  

Learn to speak fluently without fear or hesitation.  

Call Howard Linnard, 527-2337 

 

Thursday, Dec. 21 

Berkeley Metaphysic Toastmasters Club 

6:15 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. 

2515 Hillegass Ave.  

Public speaking skills and metaphysic come together at Avatar Metaphysical Toastmasters. Meets first and third Thursdays each month. 

Call 869-2547 or 643-7645 

 

Free Anonymous HIV Testing 

5:15 - 7:15 p.m. 

Check in 5 - 7 p.m. 

University Health Services 

Tang Center  

2222 Bancroft Way 

Drop-in services and limited space is available.  

Call 642-7202 

 

Saturday, Dec. 23  

Farmers’ Market Craft Fair 

10 a.m. - 4 p.m.  

MLK Jr. Civic Center Park  

(Center at MLK Jr. Way) 

Local craftspeople will be selling a variety of handcrafted gifts. Also live music, massage, and hot apple cider. Free 

Call 548-3333 

 

Royal Hawaiian Ukulele Band 

Noon - 2 p.m. 

1561 Solano Ave. 

One of many performers doing their stuff on Solano during the holidays. Performances every weekend afternoon till Christmas.  

 

Sunday, Dec. 24  

Ancient Winds 

Noon - 4 p.m. 

1573 Solano Ave. 

One of many performers doing their stuff on Solano during the holidays. Performances every weekend afternoon till Christmas.  

 

Wednesday, Jan. 3  

Berkeley Communicators Toastmasters 

7:15 p.m. 

Vault Restaurant  

3250 Adeline St.  

Learn to speak fluently without fear or hesitation.  

Call Howard Linnard, 527-2337 

 

Friday, Jan. 5  

Zen Buddhist Sites in China 

7 p.m. 

Oakland Museum of California 

1000 Oak St.  

Oakland 

Andy Ferguson, author of “Zen’s Chinese Heritage: The Masters and Their Teachings,” presents a slide show of Zen holy sites in China. Ferguson will read from the book and engage the audience in a brief meditation session. Included in museum admission. 

$6 general, $4 seniors and students with ID 

Call 1-888-OAK-MUSE 

 

Thursday, Jan. 11 

Toni Stone and the Negro Baseball League 

1 p.m. 

Oakland Museum of California 

1000 Oak St.  

Oakland 

Marcia Eymann, curator of historical photography, discusses memorabilia of Toni Stone, a woman who played in the Negro Baseball Legue in the 1940s. Free. 

Call 1-888-OAK-MUSE 

 

Free Anonymous HIV Testing 

5:15 - 7:15 p.m. 

Check in 5 - 7 p.m. 

University Health Services 

Tang Center  

2222 Bancroft Way 

Drop-in services and limited space is available.  

Call 642-7202 

 

Saturday, Jan. 13 

“Dyke Open Myke!” 

7:30 p.m. 

Boadecia’s Books  

398 Colusa Ave. (at Colusa Cir.) 

Kensington 

A coffeehouse-style open mic. night for emerging talent. 

Call Jessy, 655-1015  

or Boadecia’s Books, 559-9184 

 

Sunday, Jan. 14 

Teaching Chinese Culture in the U.S.  

2 p.m. 

Oakland Museum of California 

1000 Oak St.  

Oakland 

Educators from Bay Area Chinese schools explore issues related to teaching Chinese culture and language. Included in museum admission.  

$6 general; $4 seniors and students with ID 

Call 1-888-OAK-MUSE 

 

LesBiGayTrans Parenting 

11 a.m. 

Boadecia’s Books 

398 Colusa Ave. (at Colusa Cir.) 

Kensington 

These two groups meet on the second Sunday of each month. The group meeting at 11 a.m. is for prospective parents, the one at noon for parents.  

Call 559-9184 

 

Berkeley, 1900  

3 - 5 p.m. . 

Berkeley History Center 

1931 Center St.  

Richard Schwartz gives an oral history of Berkeley at the turn of the century.  

 

A-Singin’ and a Chantin’ 

8 p.m. 

Shambhala Booksellers 

2482 Telegraph Ave.  

Pagan recording artist DJ Hamouris shares some songs and chants. 

Call 848-8443 

 

Wednesday, Jan. 17  

Berkeley Communicators Toastmasters 

7:15 p.m. 

Vault Restaurant  

3250 Adeline St.  

Learn to speak fluently without fear or hesitation.  

Call Howard Linnard, 527-2337 

 

ONGOING EVENTS 

 

Sundays 

Green Party Consensus Building Meeting 

6 p.m. 

2022 Blake St. 

This is part of an ongoing series of discussions for the Green Party of Alameda County, leading up to endorsements on measures and candidates on the November ballot. This week’s focus will be the countywide new Measure B transportation sales tax. The meeting is open to all, regardless of party affiliation. 

415-789-8418 

 

Mondays 

Baby Bounce and Toddler Time 

10:30 a.m. 

Oct. 16 - Dec. 11 

Berkeley Central Library 

2121 Allston Way 

For children ages 6 to 36 months. Get those babies off to a good start with songs, rhymes, lap bounces, and very simple books. 

649-3943  

 

Tuesdays 

Easy Tilden Trails 

9:30 a.m. 

Tilden Regional Park, in the parking lot that dead ends at the Little Farm 

Join a few seniors, the Tuesday Tilden Walkers, for a stroll around Jewel Lake and the Little Farm Area. Enjoy the beauty of the wildflowers, turtles, and warblers, and waterfowl. 

215-7672; members.home.com/teachme99/tilden/index.html 

 

Berkeley Farmers’ Market 

2-7 p.m. 

Derby Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Milvia Street 

548-3333 

 

Berkeley Camera Club 

7:30 p.m. 

Northbrae Community Church, 941 The Alameda 

Share your slides and prints with other photographers. Critiques by qualified judges. Monthly field trips. 

531-8664 

 

Computer literacy course 

6-8 p.m. 

James Kenney Recreation Center, 1720 Eighth St. 

This free course will cover topics such as running Windows, File Management, connecting to and surfing the web, using Email, creating Web pages, JavaScript and a simple overview of programming. The course is oriented for adults. 

644-8511 

 

Wednesdays  

10:30 a.m. 

Preschool Song and Story Time 

Berkeley Central Library 

2121 Allston Way 

Music and stories for ages 3-5.  

649-3943 

 

Thursdays 

The Disability Mural 

4-7 p.m. through September 

Integrated Arts 

933 Parker 

Drop-in Mural Studios will be held for community gatherings and tile-making sessions. This mural will be installed at Ed Roberts campus. 

841-1466 

 

Free Anonymous HIV Testing 

5:15 - 7:15 p.m. 

Check in 5 - 7 p.m. 

University Health Services 

Tang Center  

2222 Bancroft Way 

Drop-in services and limited space is available.  

Call 642-7202  

 

Saturdays 

Berkeley Farmers’ Market 

10 a.m.-3 p.m. 

Center Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Milvia Street 

548-3333 

Poets Juan Sequeira and Wanna Thibideux Wright 

 

2nd and 4th Sunday 

Rhyme and Reason Open Mike Series 

2:30 p.m. 

UC Berkeley Art Museum, 2621 Durant Ave. 

The public and students are invited. Sign-ups for the open mike begin at 2 p.m. 

234-0727;642-5168 

 

Tuesday and Thursday 

Free computer class for seniors 

9:30-11:30 a.m. 

South Berkeley Senior Center, 2939 Ellis St. 

This free course offers basic instruction in keyboarding, Microsoft Word, Windows 95, Excel and Internet access. Space is limited; the class is offered Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Call ahead for a reservation. 

644-6109 

 

Compiled by Chason Wainwright 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Letters to the Editor

Wednesday November 29, 2000

University is going too far 

 

Editor:  

The arrogance men do lives after them.  

E.P. Denton, UC Berkeley vice-chancellor for “capital projects,” told the regents last week that because students need more housing they are “looking to the Shattuck and University Avenue corridors.” (SF Chronicle, Nov. 17) So, editors, get ready to move. 

Yes, indeed, that is quite some “capital project.” It’s the whole family farm: lock, stock, and barrel.  

When my mother was a teenager, she told me that she and friends would get on a trolley and ride through open fields to an Italian village called Temescal, get off and have some bread and cheese. They’d then get on another trolley and ride through more open fields to Oakland. That was around 1904. 

Tomorrow, you won’t be able to get off the freeway into Berkeley unless you have a Cal reg-card. 

 

George Kauffman 

Berkeley 

 

Harrison Field fiasco  

Editor:  

Last week, while breaking ground for the new city skateboard park in West Berkeley, construction crews struck contaminated groundwater, and the site was shut down.  

Who would have thought that the Hollywood movie “Erin Brockovich” would be played out in Berkeley! Yet, lab tests have revealed the presence of hexavalent chromium (chromium-6) in the groundwater samples and the suspected source, a large toxic plume upgradient from the recreational site.  

It now appears that the city, which intended to buy a kid’s soccer field, may also have purchased the long-term management of the area’s chromium-6 plume. 

It doesn’t take a hydrologist or toxicologist to understand this blunder, just a few facts and a little common sense. The ABCs of real estate say that before a property known to be contaminated is purchased, that either the buyer or the seller requests a Phase One technical site review which, you should know, also addresses off-site concerns.  

Such a study reduces the likelihood of being blindsided and stuck with the cleanup costs, such as those associated with the “newly” discovered toxic plume. In fact, no lending institution would commit to any industrial land purchase without a completed Phase I site study.  

As you might guess, the bank for Harrison Fields was the city itself. In the first week alone, remediation costs at the site have drained city coffers of nearly $200,000! 

Somehow, neither the UC Regents or the city of Berkeley asked for a Phase One report. Certainly, one of the city’s excuses will be that it simply attempted to wear too many hats, i.e., owner, environmental regulator, developer, contractor, and bank. With few checks and balances, the Harrison Project was allowed to become more than a single poor choice, but a series of mistakes spanning back to the re-zoning of the site two years ago. 

If the zoning process had been conducted responsibly in 1998, a complete Phase One would have been performed at Harrison, if only to legally affirm the assumptions put forth in the re-zoning of the site for recreational use. Instead, the city, playing the anxious buyer, rushed in without a Phase One study and then raced through all the city processes with little more in hand than the political directive to build this ball park in the industrial sector.  

Because of the extremely shallow groundwater levels and Codornices Creek bordering the soccer fields, it was necessary to install a dewatering system across the entire site, and especially at the skate park because of its structure. These drainage activities will draw the plume toward and into the Harrison site.  

Certainly, the sites water discharge points will need to be actively monitored. Moreover, the disruptions caused by the skate park’s construction will accelerate this process as the structure itself becomes a conduit to the interior of the property. The upward migration of chromium-6 has now become a real concern.  

Undoubtedly, a proper site groundwater investigation would have prevented any below-ground construction at Harrison Fields. Now the city will have to fill in all the construction pits of the skate park and look to an above-ground design, if it’s still convinced this is the best place for our children.  

It never seems to fail that when a community like Berkeley discovers a serious groundwater problem, the Regional Water Quality Board says, “We make polluters pay!” It’s time to tell the truth. Most often, where the pollution is owned by a small company and any attempt to require a cleanup usually results in bankruptcy.  

Therefore, the water board rarely makes any real demands for cleanup, as this long-standing chromium-6 groundwater plume clearly demonstrates. There has been no attempt to actively remediate this toxic plume. Instead, it has been allowed to spread off-site for years.  

It’s unlikely the city will recover anything from the UC Regents for failure to disclose off-site chromium-6 since the city government was so thoroughly notified, before, during and after the purchase, of the inadequate soil and groundwater review.  

This is government at its worst! An audit and investigation of the Harrison Fields Project and its re-zoning should be demanded.  

 

LA Wood 

Berkeley 

 

University wife opposes Underhill  

Noonan addressed the UC Regents two weeks ago: 

 

My name is Mary Lee Noonan. I speak as a member of the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association’s Board, as a faculty wife, as the mother of two Cal students and as longtime supporter and volunteer for the University.  

But today I have traveled from Berkeley to speak against the administration’s proposed Underhill Project, specifically against the only specific design in the complex that is before you, the Central Dining and Office Facility.  

Berkeley is uniquely blessed by an exhilarating climate and a spectacular physical setting - and by an extraordinary tradition of architects who have been inspired by these natural gifts. Part of the Berkeley experience for any student is this sense of place. This is not Irvine or Davis. It is Berkeley.  

The campus is enmeshed in a dense urban fabric, a city of houses, with a very special character, a fabric that the university tore apart in the middle of the last century. The festering sore of People’s Park and the gaping hole of the Underhill parking lot stand as daily witnesses to the havoc the University planners can unleash. It’s time for the University to get it right.  

Can you visualize the great buildings that, from its beginning, have defined the Underhill neighborhood: the Anna Head School complex from 1892, directly across the street, and Maybeck’s First Church of Christ, Scientist from 1910, a stone’s throw down Bowditch. One is on the National Register and the other is a National Landmark.  

Are you honestly willing to yoke these remarkable buildings with the severe glass walls and arcing roof lines of the Central Dining and Office facility, more reminiscent of an airport or a shopping mall? The university’s planners pay lip service to the idea of architectural context but often, as in this case, ignore it.  

The project description distributed at a recent open house is an insult to the intelligence of the community.  

Your planners are out of step with other institutions south of the campus, like the Town and Gown Club and the Baptist Seminary that are restoring their treasured buildings or entrepreneurs in recent smaller projects who are sensitive to harmony of scale, rooflines, materials and ornament within their streetscapes.  

Please send your planners back to the drawing boards to find the spirit of Berkeley, to rediscover a sense of place.  

 

Mary Noonan 

Berkeley 

 

 

 

 

Whenever the matter of the Beth El Project is discussed by its proponents, we are subjected to long discourses on what a fine institution this is an how much it does for the community.  

Let us be perfectly clear: This is not the issue. Opponents of the project would concur that Beth El does all those things that we expect of religious institutions, but that does not negate the issues and facts of this project which is being opposed by environmentalists and neighbors alike as a project which it totally inappropriate to the site and harmful to the environment.  

Let us discuss the issues and not cloud them with extraneous appeals to the emotions.  

 

Carol Connolly 

Berkeley 

 

 

 


Private group hosts former Israeli leader

By Judith ScherrDaily Planet Staff
Wednesday November 29, 2000

Some people can’t rent the school district’s Berkeley Community Theater – rap groups, for instance, are barred, according to theater management. 

But there’s no prohibition against visits by controversial political figures. 

Berkeley played host Tuesday night to the former Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu was pinch hitting for Henry Kissinger who was supposed to speak as part of the privately-sponsored Berkeley Speakers Lectures Series. Kissinger reportedly canceled due to a heart attack. 

At noon Superintendent Jack McLaughlin got the word – the state department was insisting on clearing the campus after school. That meant canceling two basketball games, a soccer game, rehearsals for a school play and more. All teachers had to leave campus after school. 

Netanyahu’s visit comes at a critical time, when Palestinian-Israeli tensions are escalating daily.  

“Netanyahu supported building the settlements and the suppression of the Palestinian people,” said Barbara Lubin, executive director of the Middle East Children’s Alliance. “It’s kind of shocking that people would want to go hear Netanyahu, especially at a time when 10,000 young people have been injured in the West Bank and Gaza and close to 300 dead.” 

As soon as Middle East activists from MECA, the American-Arab anti-discrimination Committee, the International Action Center and others – heard the conservative former Israeli official would be in the area, they began organizing the protests that took place outside the theater.  

One of the last to know about the event were the Berkeley police, who called on some two dozen off-duty officers to keep order at the demonstration, said police spokesperson Lt. Russell Lopes. 

“We were not notified,” Lopes said. “One of our officers is a ticket-holder for the event.” That officer informed the department of the speaker and need for added security. 

Jud Owens, Berkeley Community Theater manager, disputed that statement and said the promoter has been working hand in hand with police on security for the event. 

Organizers of the event don’t pay for police. “Taxpayers pay for the cops working overtime,” said Lopes, adding that the department has been asking for years for the sponsors of Community Theater events to be responsible for police presence, when it is needed. 

The organizer in this case is Bruce Vogel, who runs the Berkeley Speakers Lectures Series, the Marin Lecture Series and the Peninsula Lecture Series. 

“I run it, I own it,” Vogel said of the lectures. Contacted Tuesday by the Daily Planet, Vogel said he was too busy getting security for the evening event to discuss the lecture series or why he chose to bring the controversial politician. He promised to discuss these questions at a later date. 

Asked whether a reporter could attend the event, Vogel said “It is closed to the press.” That requirement came from Netanyahu’s agent, he said. 

And if individuals had hoped to catch a glimpse of Netanyahu, they couldn’t buy a ticket to do so. Tickets are purchased at $222 for open seating and $320 for reserved seating in advance for the entire series of eight lectures.. 

Benjamin Netanyahu, former head of the conservative Likud party, quit his post as prime minister in spring of 1999 and gave up his seat in the Knesset, or parliament. 

After that time, Netanyahu turned to the lecture circuit which, as pointed out in an Associated Press article, pays considerably more than the $75,000 annual salary received by parliamentarians, who cannot get paid for their public appearances. 

A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Netanyahu, 52, is the author of “Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorism (1995).” 

Last month the Berkeley Lecture Series hosted General Wesley K. Clark, the retired Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. 

Many other lecturers involved in the series are not involved in politics at all: Frank McCourt, author of Angela’s Ashes, spoke in September. Neil Armstong and Lily Tomlin are on the schedule for later this year. 

Students displaced from after-school activities stood around watching the San Mateo County Sheriff’s bomb squad bustle in and out of the Community Theater with their K-9 crew. 

The two explosives-detecting German shepherds , Bill and Korhs, eagerly pulled at their short leashes as they were through a side door of the theater. 

San Mateo Sheriff bomb technician Frank Dal Porto followed behind them. “We’re just going to take a sniff around and make sure everything is all right.” 

Some students were taken by surprise. Cody Rose, Elizabeth Jensen and Halley Warren arrived for an afternoon composition class only to find the entire campus had been closed down. “We’ll probably just go to someone’s house to practice,” said Jensen. 

 

John Geluardi of the Daily Planet staff contributed to this report.


Beth El impact decision delayed

John Geluardi Daily Planet Staff
Wednesday November 29, 2000

The Zoning Adjustments Board put off a decision Monday to approve an environmental study on the proposed Beth El project. 

In voting for the delay 7-0-1, board members said they needed the additional time to better understand the document, a Final Environmental Impact Report on the 1301 Oxford St. project, and the implications of its certification or denial. They will vote on the FEIR on Thursday, Dec. 14. 

At that time, the board will vote to either certify the report, deny it or ask Pacific Mutual Consultants, which prepared the document, to conduct additional studies or clarify existing data. ZAB Chair Carolyn Weinberger abstained from the vote and Councilmember Ted Gartner was not present. 

Weinberger cautioned that the board cannot begin to consider the project until the FEIR is approved, and she urged board members to make a decision. 

“We have to certify this information in order to act on the project itself,” Weinberger said. 

Board members said they proceeded carefully regarding the Oxford Street FEIR because of its controversial nature – neighbors have vocally opposed it for over a year – and because they have limited experience in certifying EIRS. They say they are unfamiliar with the subtleties of the document and its impact on the development process. 

The Oxford Street FEIR is a 650-page document that presents a variety of studies on potential impacts caused by the development of a synagogue and school. The proposed, 35,000-square-foot project has drawn fire from neighbors and environmentalist because of possible parking and traffic problems and potential damage to Codornices Creek that runs across the property, partially through a culvert. 

“Can the board certify the FEIR if there are still dangling questions from the community?” said board member James Peterson. “Can the opponents of the board’s decision file a law suit that could affect the Zoning Adjustments Board?”  

Board member Gene Poshman also had a several questions about the order in which the board will consider aspects of the project. “This raises the issue of why we don’t consider the EIR at the same time we consider the project itself,” he said. 

Board member David Blake wondered what methods consultants who prepared the report used in determining that certain alternative proposals are unfeasible. He specifically asked about the possible alternative of an underground parking garage, which was determined by the consultant to be unworkable. 

There was a motion by Board member David Freeman to vote on the report certification and it was seconded by Peterson. But Poshman put forward a substitute motion to reschedule the vote and Peterson who had apparently reconsidered also seconded Poshman’s motion and the certification was delayed.  

“I think it’s great they delayed the vote,” said Juliet Lamont a member of Live Oak Codornices Creek Neighborhood Association which opposes the development. “This EIR is a bad EIR.” 

Lamont said the document falls short of California Environmental Quality Act requirements, which dictate the contents of EIRs. She said among other things the consultants did not look thoroughly at alternate sites and did not consider a smaller development.  

Harry Pollack, former president of the Congregation of Beth El said he was not surprised the board delayed the vote. “I think the questions board members asked were the standard you would get from a board that wants to make the right decision.” 

Pollack added that the amount of information in the report is extraordinary and goes way beyond CEQA’s requirements. 


Shooting investigations ongoing

Daily Planet Staff Reports
Wednesday November 29, 2000

Lt. Russell Lopes describes the series of shootings in the area of 2700 Sacramento Street as a battle between the Hatfields and the McCoys. 

There are shootings, then retaliations, he said. To date, all victims have survived. 

That includes the teenager who had a bullet in the sole of his shoes Monday evening. 

It was about 6 p.m. when a man approached two women and the teen outside an apartment on the 2700 block of Sacramento, Lopes said.  

“The suspect walked in front of the house and shot several times,” Lopes said. The bullets missed the three persons, who may have been the targets. “A ricocheted bullet was embedded in the teen’s shoe.” 

“It’s all part of the ongoing crimes down there,” Lopes said, referring to a series of shootings.  

On Nov. 14 there was a shooting on the 2700 block of Sacramento, at the same address where Monday evening’s shots were fired.  

Police believe that, in retaliation for the Nov. 14 shooting, a person tried to shoot someone stopped at a traffic light on Ward and Sacramento Nov. 20. 

Police believe that the shots fired at the two women and teen Monday evening may have been in response to the Nov. 20 shooting. 

One man was arrested Saturday in connection with the Nov. 20 shooting. He is incarcerated at Santa Rita Jail.


Environmentalists sue to block Cisco building plans

The Associated Press
Wednesday November 29, 2000

Charging that the city of San Jose violated the California Environmental Quality Act, environmentalists and communities to the south sued to block Cisco Systems, Inc.’s 688-acre research park proposed for one of Silicon Valley’s last remaining rural tracts. 

The Sierra Club, the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society and the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments, representing 18 cities in three counties, claim the environmental impact report for the project did not address all of the project’s possible environmental consequences and that it underestimates the impact on area communities. 

The San Jose City Council in October approved the company’s plans for a $1.3 billion corporate park for 20,000 employees in Coyote Valley in southern San Jose. 

The Sierra Club and Audubon Society contend the Cisco project will threaten endangered animals such as the red-legged frog and will worsen air quality through increased traffic.  

They remain opposed despite the company’s promises to donate $3 million and help raise $97 million more for open-space preservation efforts. 

The lack of housing near the proposed site also raises concerns about increased commute traffic. 

“It’s clear there was an alternative to the city that would have dramatically reduced the impacts, and that alternative was to provide housing,” said Stephan Volker, an attorney representing AMBAG. 

The suits were filed Tuesday in Santa Clara County court. 

David Vossbrink, San Jose’s communications director, said the environmental impact report is adequate and that the project is a good move for the city. 

“I think the proposal for the Cisco development is the opportunity for San Jose to implement the vision for its long-term land use plan implemented 20 years ago,” he said.  

“The environmental impact report that was circulated early this year was reviewed widely and commented on, and those comments were responded to.  

“We believe the project does enjoy widespread public support as an example of smart growth,” he said. 

Salinas city officials had been in talks with the city of San Jose about possible compensation to soften the huge project’s effect – including subsidies for rail, affordable housing and an apprenticeship program in Salinas schools.  

But Tuesday morning the city decided to file a separate suit, saying that the environmental impact report does not address the entire region. 

“We fully expect this will be the first of several projects to come, and we felt this project needs to be the defining project, setting forth regional analysis,” said Salinas City Attorney Jim Sanchez. 

Salinas is a member of AMBAG and is the largest of the southern communities that would be affected by the project. 

Cisco spokesman Steve Langdon said the company intends to see the project through. 

“We are disappointed that these parties have chosen litigation over collaboration,” he said. e have remained willing to work together out of the courts, but we’re also very confident that the city of San Jose will prevail in the courts.”


Cannabis clubs’ future in Supreme Court hands

The Associated Press
Wednesday November 29, 2000

SAN FRANCISCO — Cancer is eating away at Creighton Frost. His lymph glands, thyroid, larynx and much of the muscles on the right side of his body have been removed. Marijuana, he says, is his only comfort. 

Frost used to get the drug from the Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative, a city-sanctioned club that openly challenges the federal government – but conforms to California law – by offering marijuana to people with a doctor’s recommendation. 

The U.S. Supreme Court decided Monday to review whether the club, and perhaps others in states that also have medical marijuana laws, can distribute the drug. 

“I’m dying and falling apart a little bit at a time. I want some way to not have such a miserable death,” said Frost, whose illness forced him to quit leading horseback wilderness tours. 

Frost, who lives in San Ramon, has been forced to get his marijuana illegally since August. That’s when the court ordered the club to cease operations at the request of the Clinton administration. 

The high court is expected to hear the case next year. 

Justice Department lawyers said more than two dozen organizations have been distributing marijuana for medical purposes in California, Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. California first passed a medical marijuana law in 1996. Since then, eight other states have followed. 

Medical marijuana laws also have been passed in Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Maine, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Colorado. They too could be struck down, depending on how broadly the court considers the case, said Nathan Barankin, spokesman for California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, who unsuccessfully lobbied Attorney General Janet Reno to drop the Supreme Court challenge. 

Jeff Jones, co-founder of the Oakland pot club, said the cooperative has handed out 4,000 identification cards to members who have obtained a doctor’s recommendation to smoke marijuana. 

“We have faith when the Supreme Court hears this case that it will consider the needs of the patients who are suffering,” Jones said. “We hope that it vindicates Californians who have voted on allowing patients to have compassionate access to this medicine and that it vindicates the citizens in the states that have passed compassionate access laws.” 

Generally, the state laws allow sick and dying patients with a doctor’s recommendation to use marijuana by growing it themselves or obtaining it from a so-called “caregiver.” While the laws do not necessarily permit marijuana clubs, states have allowed them if their purpose is for sick and dying patients. 

California, for example, has a hodgepodge of medical marijuana regulations. Some counties require identification cards to legally possess and smoke marijuana. The city of Oakland allows users to possess as much as six pounds, while Butte County allows growers to possess up to 2 pounds. 

Just last week, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration approved a program allowing San Mateo County to give away government-grown marijuana to 60 AIDS patients as part of a first-of-its-kind study to assess the drug’s potential benefits. 

For Frost and other ill patients using marijuana, they say it settles the stomach, builds weight and steadies spastic muscles. Users also speak of relief from PMS, glaucoma, itching, insomnia, arthritis, depression, childbirth and Attention Deficit Disorder. 

The Justice Department, however, told the high court that marijuana has “no currently accepted medical use.” 

Even so, it is unclear whether the nation’s high court will consider solely whether marijuana clubs violate federal law, or whether it will rule on the legality of medical marijuana laws in their entirety. 

“You never know how far they will go in considering issues broadly or narrowly,” said Annette Carnegie, a lawyer for the Oakland club. 

Jim Gonzalez, a lobbyist with Americans for Medical Rights, said a court decision allowing the pot clubs would give a huge boost to the medical marijuana movement. The group is funded by billionaire George Soros, who helped finance many of the nation’s medical marijuana initiatives. 

“That would be the Supreme Court saying medical marijuana is OK,” Gonzalez said. 

A contrary ruling, he predicted, only would bar the pot clubs – not the states’ medical marijuana laws. An appeals court decision allowing the Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative to distribute the drug “threatens the government’s ability to enforce the federal drug laws,” the Justice Department told the high court. In August, the Supreme Court barred the California club from distributing marijuana while the government pursued its appeal. 

 

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco ruled for the government. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, ruling that “medical necessity” is a legal defense. 

Breyer is the brother of Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who has recused himself from the case. 

The case is U.S. v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative, 00-151. 

On the Net: 

For the appeals court ruling in U.S. vs. Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative: http://www.uscourts.gov/links.html and click on 9th Circuit. 


Consumer advocate eyes initiative on deregulation

The Associated Press
Wednesday November 29, 2000

SACRAMENTO — A consumer group outraged at spiraling electric bills wants to put a ballot initiative before voters that would reverse the 1996 law deregulating California’s power industry. 

Harvey Rosenfield of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights said Tuesday the initiative would place electrical utilities under the authority of a citizens’ review board and set up a public agency to operate the state’s power grid. 

Utilities denounced the plan, saying it would create a new bureaucracy but do little to develop energy supplies. 

“Deregulation can work if all parties – the regulators, the out-of-state generators, the consumer groups, the utilities – work together appropriately,” said Pacific Gas and Electric Co. spokesman Ron Low. 

Rosenfield’s proposal came just days after California’s two largest investor-owned utilities, facing more than $5 billion in losses since May from increases in wholesale electricity costs, sought court permission to pass those costs on to ratepayers. 

The utilities “have now all announced that they intend to force the people of California to pay an additional $5 billion or $6 billion, roughly $200 for every taxpayer in the state to bail them out of a problem that they themselves created,” Rosenfield said. 

California’s 1996 deregulation law was intended to lower rates by boosting competition in the electricity market. It required investor-owned utility monopolies to sell off assets, including power plants, and buy electricity on the open market by March 2002. 

Until the assets are sold, the utilities operate under a rate freeze. After the assets are divested, the rate freeze cap comes off and the utilities can charge their ratepayers market prices. 

San Diego Gas and Electric Co., with 1.2 million customers, was the first, in July 1999, to complete the transition to deregulation. 

When wholesale electricity prices, driven by rising demand and strapped supplies, soared this year, SDG&E passed on the increases to its customers. Bills there doubled, then tripled, sparking a political outcry and state and federal investigations. 

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and Southern California Edison Co., which have 9.7 million customers between them, still operate under a rate freeze but they are trying in the courts and the Public Utilities Commission to remove it.  

The two utilities are unable to pass their costs on to their customers. 

Rosenfield’s proposed ballot initiative also would require refunds to consumers in San Diego and levy a windfall profits tax on power companies that sold energy to utilities at “unjust and unreasonable prices.” 

It would also set up a public agency with authority to build, own and operate power plants, transmission lines and distribution assets. 

“At first glance, he appears to be making some positive points, such as the refunds to San Diego customers,” Low said. “But we don’t think setting up a new bureaucracy is going to help solve the problems.” 

Rosenfield will have 150 days to gather signatures to qualify his measure. A statutory initiative would require 419,260 signatures of registered voters. An amendment to the constitution would require 670,816 signatures. 

On the Net: 

Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/ 

Pacific Gas and Electric Co.: http://www.pge.com/ 

Southern California Edison Co.: http://www.sce.com/ 

San Diego Gas and Electric Co.: http://www.sdge.com/ 

Public Utilities Commission of California: http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/


Stanford may reserve right to build in foothills

The Associated Press
Wednesday November 29, 2000

SAN JOSE — Stanford University may go ahead with its development plans and reserve the opportunity to build on its nearby foothills, something environmentalists were hoping to prevent. 

Santa Clara County supervisors tentatively approved Stanford’s plan to keep 2,000 acres of open space from development for 25 years. The supervisors focused Monday on the university’s plan instead of another proposal, backed by environmentalists and at least one supervisor, to protect half that land for 99 years. 

Stanford president John Hennessy said the university was “cautiously optimistic” about the tentative approval, while environmentalists said the plan did not go far enough to protect the grassy foothills. 

“I think we have been good stewards of the land, better stewards than our neighbors,” Hennessy said. “I think we can live with this agreement, and we can continue to prosper.” 

Stanford officials opposed the 99-year protection, and even threatened to sue if it was approved, because they said they had no way of accurately determining what the university’s needs would be in 100 years. 

But environmentalists, who wanted permanent protection of the land, argue the university’s plan is not adequate because, if Stanford says it has run out of space under its 10-year plan, the supervisors could vote to allow the university to expand into the hills. 

“We’re very disappointed with the level of protection,” said Denice Dade, legislative advocate for the Committee for Green Foothills. “At a bare minimum, we wanted it held in place for 25 years. Without that, there’s really no incentive to contain development. 

Dade said the group had not yet decided if it will challenge the decision in court. 

Hennessey said the university has no plans to develop the foothills in the next 25 years. 

Stanford’s 10-year plan includes building 3,000 units of housing and 2 million square feet of academic facilities. Stanford officials have said they are at a competitive disadvantage with other universities because high housing costs are pricing prospective faculty and students out of the area. 

The university already reluctantly had agreed to preclude building on 2,000 acres for 25 years, but last month Supervisor Joe Simitian, whose jurisdiction includes Stanford, suggested 1,000 of those acres be set aside for 99 years. 

Simitian said Monday he realized the 99-year plan would not pass the board and offered modifications that allow Stanford to proceed with the 25-year protection plan. 

The changes include zoning hills like the rest of the hillsides in the county; requiring Stanford to submit a plan detailing how it will prevent sprawl and protect certain areas before it applies to build its academic facilities; having Stanford submit a special plan for conservation areas in the 2,000 acres, and requiring the supervisors to approve any changes to the university’s growth boundary with a 4-out-of-5 vote instead of the standard majority of 3-out-of-5 to make changing the boundary more difficult. Simitian said he was pleased with the agreement. 

“I think we’re in a pretty good place,” he said. “My hope is that, in 25 years, Stanford University will still be a premier institution and the hillsides above Junipero Serra Boulevard (the boundary between campus and the foothills) will be protected.” 

The university submitted its plan two years ago, the first time in its 115-year history that it has been required to do so. 

Official approval of the plan should come Dec. 12, when county staff members bring back a final plan that incorporates all the revisions made to Stanford’s plan. 


$710 million wanted by GOP for jails and anti-crime programs

The Associated Press
Wednesday November 29, 2000

SACRAMENTO — Eyeing a projected $10.3 billion state budget surplus, Republican leaders Tuesday proposed spending $710 million on jails, crime labs, law enforcement equipment and prosecution of gun-related crimes. 

The anti-crime money is among a series of GOP budget priorities that will be outlined over the next several weeks and will also include more money for schools, public works projects, social programs and tax cuts. 

“We believe we can increase funding for education, put a significant amount into our long-term infrastructure needs, invest in public safety, (and) the safety net and reduce the tax burden on Californians,” said Senate Minority Leader Jim Brulte, R-Rancho Cucamonga. 

Brulte and Assembly Minority Leader Bill Campbell, R-Villa Park, said the priorities were developed during a three-day postelection retreat in San Diego that included GOP lawmakers from both houses. 

Campbell said that having the two caucuses make joint proposals was something new. 

The two leaders proposed spending: 

• $100 million for law enforcement equipment, including radios, patrol cars, fingerprint scanners and other improvements in technology. The money would be allocated on a per capita basis with each local agency getting at least $150,000. 

• $400 million to build, renovate or expand local jails and juvenile detention facilities, with the 20 counties under court-imposed jail population limits getting the best shot at the money. 

• $200 million to renovate or expand local crime labs. 

• $10 million for grants to district attorneys to investigate and prosecute cases involving illegal possession or use of firearms. 

The proposals are for the fiscal year that starts next July 1. 

The Legislature’s nonpartisan budget analyst, Elizabeth Hill, predicted earlier this month that California’s booming economy would generate a $10.3 billion state surplus by the end of the next fiscal year. 

That projection is expected to trigger a variety of spending proposals. Gov. Gray Davis is scheduled to make his budget requests early in January. 

The Legislature’s Democratic leaders have said the surplus should be used to improve schools, community colleges, transportation, housing and health care programs but they have downplayed the need for new tax cuts. 

When asked why Democrats, who dominate both houses, should pay attention to the GOP proposals, Brulte said, “They make good sense.” 

 

There’s another reason: Even though they lost seats in the last election, Republicans still have enough votes to block approval of a budget bill, which needs two-thirds majorities to pass. 

Paul Hefner, a spokesman for Assembly Speaker Robert Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, said Democrats would probably be receptive to at least some of the GOP crime spending proposals. 

“If you look at a lot of the things they are now making priorities — public safety grants, crime labs — these are things that have been priorities for us going back several years,” he said. 


Alternate in police trial denies hearing juror misconduct

The Associated Press
Wednesday November 29, 2000

LOS ANGELES — An alternate juror in the corruption trial of four police officers told a judge Tuesday she did not hear an alleged statement by the jury foreman that he believed the defendants were guilty before testimony began. 

Claiming the foreman’s alleged remark constituted juror misconduct, defense attorneys are seeking a mistrial in the first case against members of an anti-gang unit at the Los Angeles Police Department’s Rampart station. 

Three officers were convicted Nov. 15 of charges involving framing gang members. The fourth officer was acquitted. 

The alternate, Paola Rojas, testified at a Superior Court hearing about a remark Victor Flores allegedly made after the jury was selected but before he was chosen as foreman. 

Another alternate, Wendy Christiansen, claimed during a previous hearing that Flores made the comment during a lunch with herself and Rojas. Flores denied at a hearing last week that he made such a remark. 

Asked by Judge Jacqueline A. Connor if there was lunchtime talk concerning the officers’ guilt, Rojas said: “No. There was not. If there would have been I would have mentioned it.” 

Defense attorney Harland Braun said after the hearing that the judge has to decide which account to believe. 

Christiansen also has claimed jurors talked about the case during the trial, violating instructions to not discuss the case until deliberations. 

After Rojas’ testimony, the judge schedule a Dec. 15 hearing to deal with the question of juror misconduct. 

The officers were the first members of the now-defunct Rampart anti-gang unit to be tried on charges based on allegations by ex-Officer Rafael Perez, a cocaine thief who accused colleagues of crimes after agreeing to cooperate with investigators in exchange for leniency. Perez did not testify at the trial. 

Prosecutors have had more than 100 criminal cases or convictions dismissed because they were tainted by allegations against Rampart officers. 

In a separate case, two former LAPD Central Division officers pleaded innocent Tuesday to charges they kidnapped a homeless man, drove him to the Los Angeles River and beat him. David Cochrane, 34, and Christopher, 28, were indicted last month for the alleged attack on Delton Bowen in 1997. 

In another case that had been tainted by an allegation of Rampart officer misconduct, a Superior Court official on Monday dismissed a murder charge against a man because his constitutional rights were violated during a preliminary hearing. 

Commissioner Michael G. Price said the judge in Jose Luis Oliverria’s case failed to allow testimony about the weapon being found in another man’s possession. He also noted prosecutors didn’t turn over a taped interview with a key witness. 

The case was already in trouble because the witness kept changing his story.


Researchers defend testing water study on humans

The Associated Press
Wednesday November 29, 2000

LOMA LINDA — The risk a study of a toxic water pollutant poses to its human participants is outweighed by its potential benefit to the general public, doctors conducting the research said Tuesday. 

The Loma Linda University Medical Center researchers held a news conference to respond to media reports raising concerns over the ethics of the study, in which people are being given doses of perchlorate, a chemical used in rocket fuels that has contaminated ground water in parts of Southern California. 

The hospital’s institutional review board, which has oversight of clinical trials, concluded that trial participants would face minimal risk. Researchers said the doses of perchlorate being given in the study are about 100 times lower than those given to people who are prescribed perchlorate for thyroid illnesses. 

Dr. Anthony Firek, the study’s principal investigator, said the dosages given in the study are lower than those given in a study published earlier this year by Harvard University. Nine men received 10 milligrams of perchlorate daily in that study. 

But the daily doses in the Loma Linda study are still up to 83 times higher than drinking-water limits for perchlorate recommended by California’s Department of Health Services. That recommendation – 18 parts per billion – is not enforceable. 

The study has been paid for by Lockheed Martin. Hundreds of lawsuits accuse the aerospace company of creating perchlorate pollution and threatening the health of residents in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Company officials have said the study will help determine the health risk of perchlorate. 

Researchers said the sponsorship poses no conflict of interest because Lockheed Martin had no influence on the study’s protocol, and because the hospital’s review board will make certain the data will not be misused. 

Barry Taylor, Loma Linda’s vice president for research affairs, said university officials discussed the company’s possible motivations. “But on the other hand,” he said, “people on the committee recognized that they could see medical use coming out of this and they decided to proceed with what they saw as a protocol that would help them medically.” 

The idea for the study came from medical researchers, not Lockheed, and the project has been approved by Loma Linda, Boston University and Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Veterans Administration Medical Center, researchers said. 

“I feel extremely comfortable with the trial. Lockheed provides sponsorship and that’s basically it,” Firek said. 

Firek said the study is being conducted to determine how best to diagnose and treat any illnesses that might arise from perchlorate in drinking water. 

Perchlorate has been used as a rocket-fuel oxidizer since the 1940s, and is thought to have contaminated water supplies in parts of Riverside and San Bernardino counties, as well as the San Gabriel Valley east of Los Angeles. 

In large doses, it can slow down the thyroid, which produces the hormone that controls infants’ brain development and growth in older children. 

In adults, the thyroid regulates a host of body activities, including temperature and blood cholesterol. Some people with thyroid illnesses are prescribed perchlorate to help treat their conditions. 

Firek indicated that doctors treating such patients are seeing some problems they think could be related to perchlorate. A clinical trial is the only way to determine whether that is the case, he said. 

The Loma Linda research is giving participants doses ranging from a half-milligram to three milligrams. Half of the participants get placebos. Medical ethicists have questioned the study because unlike many other clinical trials, the findings cannot help the humans taking part, but could harm them. 

Dr. William Saukel, chairman of Loma Linda’s institutional review board, said although there is no benefit to individual participants, the study likely will produce information beneficial to the population as a whole. 

Only eight people have so far enrolled in the study, which began in early October. Researchers hope to eventually enroll 100 people who each will be paid $1,000 for seven months of participation. 

Researchers tried to fend off allegations that participants are largely poor people, saying they are required to have health insurance and a primary care physician, and that all of the participants so far are either working or have a spouse who is working. 

They added that the university did not advertise the perchlorate study or its payoff. People who respond to general ads for Loma Linda clinical trials can choose the perchlorate study from a list of projects. 

Participants are informed of the risks of the research, which include bone marrow suppression, lessening of white and red blood cell counts and thyroid problems. 

Loma Linda is conducting the study in conjunction with the VA hospital, but no veterans are among the participants. 


Restraining order issued against workers on strike

The Associated Press
Wednesday November 29, 2000

TRACY — Allegations of picket line violence prompted a judge to issue a restraining order against workers striking at the massive warehouse that supplies Safeway stores in three western states. 

A San Joaquin County judge issued the order against Teamsters Local 439 in response to violent acts allegedly committed by striking workers over the weekend. The union is striking for higher wages and to improve working conditions at the warehouse in Tracy, which is owned and operated by Summit Logistics Inc. 

The vast warehouse distributes goods to about 240 Safeway stores in Northern California, Nevada and Hawaii. 

The court order issued Sunday limits the number of pickets at the entrance to 10 and prohibits protesters from committing acts of violence and intimidation. 

The union has broken its promise to engage in peaceful protest, prompting the need for a court order, Summit President Martin Street said Monday. 

Teamsters spokesman Danny Beagle dismissed the order, saying it wouldn’t hamper the union’s presence at the warehouse. 

Protesters threw rocks at vehicles over the weekend, according to the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office. On Saturday, a man identified as a Teamster was arrested on suspicion of throwing a rock at a car and injuring someone inside. 

Workers also attempted to drag a Summit supervisor from his car as he was coming to work Friday, Summit officials said. 

Beagle said that union members threw rocks but that nobody was dragged from a car. 

Teamsters representatives have condemned violence committed by union members but have maintained that the protests have been largely peaceful.


Gore ‘simply wrong’

The Associated Press
Wednesday November 29, 2000

George W. Bush’s point man in Florida argued Tuesday it was “wrong, simply wrong” for Al Gore to claim that thousands of votes have never been counted in the state’s bitterly contested presidential election. The vice president said so anyway, and asked a state court to oversee a hurry-up manual recount of thousands of ballots. 

“Seven days, starting tomorrow, for a full and accurate count of all the votes,” the vice president said. “Once we have that full and accurate count of the ballots cast, then we will know who our next president is and our country can move forward.” 

Republicans said it was already clear who had won – the Texas governor, meeting with aides in Austin to discuss a transition to the White House. 

Bush was certified the winner of Florida’s 25 electoral votes on Sunday by GOP Secretary of State Katherine Harris, a declaration that would give him enough support in the Electoral College to become the nation’s 43rd president. At the heart of the legal contest, and the public sparring between the two campaigns, was a dispute over thousands of ballots in Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties on which voting machines failed to read a vote for president. 

“Thousands of votes still have not been counted,” Gore told reporters outside the vice president’s mansion. 

The legal thicket grew denser three weeks after Election Day: 

• Judge N. Saunders Saul, hearing Gore’s formal challenge to the Florida results, set a late afternoon hearing on the vice president’s request for a court-appointed master to manually recount an estimated 13,000 contested ballots from Palm Beach and Miami-Dade. 

• The Bush legal team, in written arguments filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, challenged the validity of manual recounts undertaken in four Florida counties at Gore’s request. 

• Gore’s own legal brief urged the nine justices to avoid involvement in the controversy. “Principles of federalism counsel strongly against interference by this court,” his lawyers wrote in papers filed in Washington. 

• A circuit judge in Seminole County, hearing arguments on a Democratic lawsuit challenging thousands of ballots, ordered the case to proceed. 

• And a conservative legal organization, Judicial Watch, was allowed to review some questionable ballots in Palm Beach after threatening to file a lawsuit, raising Gore concerns about the integrity of some of the very ballots that are at the heart of the Democrat’s legal challenge. 

Yet another interested party, the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature, was taking a step toward a special session that could result in appointment of its own slate of electors. A special joint committee met for the first time to discuss election issues. 

With opinion polls indicating limited public patience for a protracted struggle, Gore and running mate Joseph Lieberman made the point that they hope the contest is settled by Dec. 12, the date for final selection of the state’s electors. 

That is “our hope,” Lieberman said as he made the rounds of morning television programs. 

It was also the timetable that Gore’s lawyers laid out in court, and that the vice president discussed in public remarks. His side envisioned a court ruling by Saul on Dec. 6, followed by a few days to allow an appeal to the state Supreme Court. 

“I understand that this process needs to be completed in a way that is expeditious, as well as fair,” Gore said. “We cannot jeopardize an orderly transition of power to the next administration, nor need we do so.” 

Bush spent his day in Texas on Tuesday, meeting with his aides, after serving notice on Monday he wanted the keys to the government’s transition office — a request the Clinton administration rebuffed. 

Even so, Andy Card, Bush’s pick to serve as his chief of staff, said the Texas governor might start meeting with prospective Cabinet members “later this week.” He would not discuss names or a timetable. Aides said it was possible that Bush would meet with some candidates at his ranch. 

Public opinion polls pointed to an uphill climb for the vice president A CNN-USA Today-Gallup survey, released just before Gore spoke, showed 56 percent of those polled believe the vice president should concede, and 38 percent believed he should not. A Washington Post poll yielded about the same result. 

Congressional Democratic leaders have emphatically thrown their support behind Gore’s appeal for patience while his court challenge plays out. One Southern Democrat, Rep. Bud Cramer, D-Ala., issued a statement during the day saying, “The time has come for this to come to a close.” 

“It is my hope that both of these men will put the good of the country first,” he added in a statement that mentioned neither Bush nor Gore by name. 

Republican running mate Dick Cheney was on the talk show circuit as well as Lieberman, making the case that Bush needed all the time available for his transition, especially given the time spent on recounting votes in Florida. 

“It’s time to wrap this up that we’ve had the election, we’ve had the count, we’ve had the recount now we’ve had the certification of George W. Bush as the winner,” Cheney said on NBC’s “Today” show. 

He said the Bush team is “rapidly running out of time to put together that new administration.”


Bush considers Democrats for Cabinet

The Associated Press
Wednesday November 29, 2000

AUSTIN, Texas — George W. Bush is “on track” in planning a new government, one that would include Democrats in key positions, aides suggested Tuesday. Still, continuing legal clouds subdued some of Bush’s optimism. 

“We are now in uncharted waters,” said Bush spokeswoman Karen Hughes. “We’re in an unprecedented period where a presidential candidate is going to court essentially to try to contest and overturn the results of an election that has now been certified.” 

She told reporters during an afternoon briefing at campaign headquarters that Bush continues to insist he not be called “president elect” because of the current court challenges by Democratic rival Al Gore. 

“The governor has asked us all to be humble and to be gracious,” she said. 

“We are mindful of the fact that the vice president...a little more than an hour ago reiterated that he is continuing in court to challenge the legitimate outcome of the election,” she said after Gore discussed his continuing battle in a nationally televised appearance. 

Bush also visited the headquarters Tuesday but steered clear of a roomful of reporters who came to attend the Hughes briefing. Instead, he greeted campaign staff members and volunteers. Bush then prepared to spend the next few days on his ranch in Crawford, about a two-hour drive north of here. Since Election Day, Bush has divided his time between the governor’s mansion here and the secluded 1,500-acre ranch. 

Running mate Dick Cheney, who is overseeing transition planning, was to join in at the ranch later in the week. 

“They will be discussing transition efforts,” said Ari Fleischer, Bush’s transition spokesman. 

But Bush aides said that it appears unlikely that Bush will name any prospective Cabinet appointments before the Supreme Court has a chance to hear the case Friday. 

Colin Powell, Bush’s known choice to be secretary of state, was reluctant to participate in any such announcement while so many legal issues remain to be resolved, aides said. 

Still, Bush pressed ahead in planning behind the scenes for a transition to power, meeting on Tuesday first at his residence and later at his state capitol office with Andrew Card, his prospective White House chief of staff. 

Card later told reporters that the two discussed prospective appointments — and that some candidates for top Bush jobs might be brought to Texas later this week. 

Asked about whether Bush could meet a Jan. 4 timetable suggested by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott to begin confirmation hearings, Card said, “Obviously, we want to have names presented such that they can be considered by the Senate. We’re on track.” 

Card said that Bush clearly intends to reach out to Democrats in forming a government because of the closeness of the election. But he refused to respond to a question on whether former Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., was among those Democrats being considered. 

Nunn, former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was viewed as a possible Bush choice for defense secretary. 

“He had Democrats serving in his administration in Texas, as well as Republicans,” Card earlier told CNN. “And I think you can expect him to do the same in leading the country.” 

Cheney said much the same thing earlier Tuesday when he appeared on NBC’s “Today” Show. 

“The governor has given me instructions to look in those areas,” he said. “We clearly will.” 

The Texas governor, meanwhile, picked up one of the trappings of the presidency: a promise from the Clinton White House for daily national security briefings. 

Such CIA briefings, with Gore currently gets as vice president, were promised in a Monday evening phone call between Card and the man he would replace: White House chief of staff John Podesta. 

Podesta said he and Card “discussed how we could move forward.” 

White House press secretary Jake Siewert said Podesta and Card had a “cordial” conversation. 

“John offered to meet with him and offered to meet with him either with the vice president’s transition staff or separately,” Siewert said. “We’ll be happy to arrange such a meting to give them an overview of where we are in the transition.” 

While supporting the federal General Services Administration’s decision against releasing funds or office space to Bush for a transition, Siewert said the White House was waiting for the Justice Department to complete a formal written opinion on the Presidential Transition Act. 

Siewert said the transition coordinating council, which the president created by executive order, was expected to meet Wednesday to help the next president ease into office. He also said that national security adviser Sandy Berger would follow up with the Bush team to arrange Bush’s daily national security briefings. 

The Secret Service, like the GSA, was not ready to acknowledge any winner. Officials said the Secret Service was proceeding with “parallel” transition operations — giving both the Democratic and Republican tickets the same training sessions, briefings, and help securing personal property for the move into the White House or vice presidential residence at the Naval Observatory. 

Bush also placed a call to incoming Mexican president Vincente Fox on Tuesday to congratulate him in advance of his Dec. 1 inauguration, aides said. 


Water pollutant warning came 10 years ago

John Geluardi Daily Planet Staff
Tuesday November 28, 2000

The vice president of WRE Color Tech, who is responsible for the chrome 6 plume beneath the partially-constructed West Berkeley Skate Park, is curious about why the site at Fourth and Harrison streets was chosen for the park. 

Construction of the park, adjacent to a new soccer field – not in use during the winter months – was halted Friday. 

In 1990 Bill MacKay, vice president and part owner of WRE Color Tech, an engraving company, went to city officials and alerted them about a storage tank on the company’s property, contaminated in the 1980s from chrome plating. Since that time, the company has spent nearly $1 million cleaning up and monitoring the contamination. 

“We went to the city in 1990 and have worked with them every step of the way,” MacKay said. “We have an obligation here.” 

Among other uses, chrome 6, or hexavalent chrome, is an odorless chemical used for hardening steel and making paint pigments. The compound is commonly used in aeronautic manufacturing and in electroplating shops. 

Chrome 6 is a carcinogen, made famous in the film “Erin Brokovich.” It is hazardous when inhaled or ingested. There is no evidence that there is a risk of human contact in the Harrison Street plume. According to county and local agencies, the effected groundwater is not used as a water source for any purpose. Tests are still being conducted to determine if the soil excavated for the skate bowls is contaminated. 

For MacKay, the first step in cleaning up the property was to hire Secor International, a Concord-based environmental engineering company, to test the extent of the problem. Then he worked with the city to find the best way to remediate the situation.  

It was decided the clean up would be carried out in three phases. The plan was to first address the plume’s source and then take care of the plume. 

The first phase was to remove the tanks from which the contaminants were leaked into the soil. The second phase was to remove soils around the tanks and around any pipes, most of which were beneath a six-inch concrete slab, that may have carried contaminated liquids. The third phase would be cleaning up the contamination that had reached groundwater. 

After the first two phases were completed in 1999, WRE had spent approximately $750,000 and there was still the 700 foot plume of contaminated groundwater to deal with. 

In 1996 MacKay hired Stellar Environmental Solutions, a Berkeley company that had experience remediating chrome 6 contamination. The company began keeping information gathered from wells sunk at various sites around the plume in order to monitor the toxicity and direction in which the plume was moving.  

In 1997 it was decided by Berkeley’s Toxics Management Division, based on information provided by SES, to pursue a non-aggressive cleanup plan. Once it was determined the contaminated groundwater was not coming in contact with humans and would not unless there were excavation projects over or near the plume, it was decided to let the chrome 6 naturally convert to chrome 3, a safer form of chromium. Chrome 6 is known to convert over time to chrome 3 when it is left in the ground, city officials said. The plan was given five years to show progress. 

“This is a big plume,” MacKay said. “It wasn’t feasible to be more aggressive with remediation because of the size and the city agreed.” According to Richard Makdisi an environmental engineer with SES, the contaminated water had been showing signs of improving according to the five-year plan. 

Geoffery Fieldler, a hazardous materials specialist with Berkeley’s Toxics Management Division, said WRE and MacKay have been cooperative at every step of the process.  

Under a risk management plan, MacKay agreed to continue monitoring the plume and provided information, compiled by SES, to the city every six months. In addition he agreed to provide “De-watering” for any projects that required excavation in the plume area – pumping the water into holding tanks. Monitoring the plume cost WRE another $150,000. With the cost incidentals and one de-watering project MacKay estimates WRE has put in $1 million. 

MacKay said he was never notified about the excavation at the skate park as he should of been according to the Risk Management Plan. 

“We want this thing cleaned up. The expertise and attention we’ve put in trying to fix what we’ve done shows that,” MacKay said. 

In fact, it was MacKay who brought the potential hazard to Makdisi’s attention, who in turn alerted Fielder of the Toxics Management Division. Makdisi and Fielder took tests the following day that showed contamination at the construction site. 

The history of the plume and the city’s extensive knowledge of it raises many questions about how the skate park, which required excavation, was approved. Makdisi said the city has received reports on samples taken from a groundwater monitoring well 40 feet from the skate park site that has been showing signs of chrome 6 contamination on a regular basis since November of 1996. 

Nabil Al-Hadithy, supervisor of the Toxics Management Division said there were a number of tests done on the 6.4 acre site prior to the development of the soccer field and skate park but chrome 6 was never detected. 

Several officials, however, have admitted there was no testing done specifically for chrome 6.  

Lisa Caronna, director of Berkeley’s Parks and Waterfront Department, said she was completely unaware of the chrome 6 plume in the area. 

Acting City Manager Weldon Rucker and Deputy City Manager Phil Kamlarz did not return phone calls before press time.  


Calendar of Events & Activities

Tuesday November 28, 2000


Tuesday, Nov. 28

 

Blood Pressure for Seniors 

9:30 - 11 a.m.  

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst (at MLK Jr. Way) 

Call Maggie or Suzanne, 644-6107 

 

Read a Play Together Salon 

7:30 - 10:30 p.m. 

Whymsium  

1414 Fourth St.  

Described as something beyond dinner and a movie, the folks at Whymsium invite you to share your interests and explore your hobbies.  

$3 - $20 sliding scale 

Call 595-5541  

 

Lavender Lunch 

12:30 - 1:30 p.m. 

Pacific School of Religion  

1798 Scenic Ave.  

Mudd 100 

PSR adjunct faculty member Mark Wilson and PSR alumna Lynice Pinkard will speak on “Heterosexism and Racism.” Sponsored by PSR’s Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry. Free Call 849-8206 


Wednesday, Nov. 29

 

Making Marriage Work 

(event is 10 Wednesdays, Nov. 29 - Jan. 24) 

7:30 - 9:30 p.m. 

Jewish Family & Children’s Services 

of the East Bay, Berkeley 

2484 Shattuck Ave., Suite 210 

For Jewish and interfaith couples either considering marriages, engaged or recently married. Focusing on topics to improve the relationship and bridging religious and ethnic differences to strengthen the marriage.  

$360 per couple Call 704-7475 

 

Wanderlust: Tales of  

Adventure and Romance 

7:30 p.m.  

Easy Going Travel Shop & Bookstore 

1385 Shattuck Ave. (at Rose) 

Jeff Greenwald and other travel writers discuss the art of writing travel literature and how to make a living doing it.  

Call 843-3533 

 

Berkeley Gray Panthers  

Membership Meeting 

1:30 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst Ave. (at MLK Jr. Way) 

Discussion of how the election results will affect the Gray Panthers.  

Call 548-9696 

Mental Health Commission 

6:30 p.m. 

2640 MLK Jr. Way (at Derby) 

 

Challenges of Parenting Adolescents  

7 - 9 p.m. 

Jewish Family & Children’s Services 

of the East Bay 

2484 Shattuck Ave., Suite 210 

This workshop focuses on the challenges facing parents and teens. Learn how to avoid triggering and pushing each other’s buttons. Runs three consecutive Wednesdays, through Dec. 13. Led by Kathy Langsam, MA, MFT, JFCS Teen Services Coordinator.  

$60 

Call 704-7475 


Thursday, Nov. 30

 

Pro Arts Juried Show  

Reception 

6 - 8 p.m.  

Pro Arts 

461 Ninth St.  

With the work of 70 artists, this annual show features the work of emerging and mid-career artists. The show runs through December 30. See A&E calendar for details.  

 

Snowshoeing Basics  

7 p.m . 

Recreational Equipment, Inc.  

1338 San Pablo Ave.  

Professional snowshoe guide Cathy Anderson-Meyers gives basic instruction on how to get out and experience Tahoe’s winter terrain on “shoes.”  

Call 527-4140 

 

Art for Sale 

6 - 8 p.m. 

Kala Art Institute  

1060 Heinz Ave.  

Over sixty artists affiliated with the Kala Art Institute exhibit works ranging from traditional wood block prints to works in digital media. During the reception, artists will offer 10 percent off the sale of their prints. 549-2977 

 

Oakland Museum Trip for  

Seniors 

(trip on Dec. 8) 

A trip to the Oakland Museum to see the Imperial Palace of China Exhibit. Organized by the North Berkeley Senior Center 

Call Maggie, 644-6107 

 

Let Your Chi Flow Freely  

7 p.m.  

University of Creation Spirituality 

2141 Broadway Ave. 

Oakland 

Share peace and tranquillity communally and regain harmony and balance.  

Call Idris Hassan, 835-4827 x31  

 

Witness In Our Time 

7 p.m.  

105 North Gate Hall 

UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism 

Center for Photography 

Kerry Tremain moderates a conversation with Wayne Miller, Ken Light, Matt Heron and Michelle Vignes. Followed by a book signing for “Chicago’s South Side” by Wayne Miller and “Witness in Our Time” by Ken Light. 

Call 642-3383  

 


Friday, Dec. 1

 

Spanish Book Club 

7:30 p.m. 

Cody’s Books  

2454 Telegraph Ave.  

A discussion of “Dona Barbara” by the Colombian writer Rumulo Gallegos. New members welcome. The group meets the first Friday of each month. Call 601-0454  

 

Taize Worship Services  

7:30 - 8:30 p.m.  

Loper Chapel  

Dana St. (between Durant & Channing) 

Call 848-3696 

 

Basic Electrical Theory 

7 - 10 p.m. 

Building Education Center 

812 Page St.  

Redwood Kardon, retired City of Oakland building inspector and author of the Code Check book series.  

$35 Call 525-7610 


Saturday, Dec. 2

 

Wild About Books? 

10:30 a.m. 

Berkeley Central Library 

2121 Allston Way 

Storyteller Kellmar draws from her African-American roots with stories that touch the heart and the funnybone. For childen aged 3-7. 

Call 649-3943  

 

Whymsium Anniversary Party 

7:30 - 11 p.m. 

Whimsyum  

1414 Fourth St.  

Described as something beyond dinner and a movie, the folks at Whymsium invite you to share your interests and explore your hobbies. This annual party features a talent show, games and a dance.  

$3 - $20 sliding scale 

Call 595-5541  

 

UC Botanical Holiday Plant Sale 

10 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

UC Botanical Garden  

200 Centennial Dr.  

You’ll find a selection of orchids, ferns, rhododendrons, cacti, hardy herbs, and house plants galore for yourself or gardening friends.  

Call 643-2755 

 

Native American Flute  

5 - 6 p.m. 

Gathering Tribes Gallery  

1573 Solano Ave.  

Celebrating the release of his CD “Spirit Within,” Berkeley resident and flutist Walter Ogi Johnson performs.  

 

Finding a Way In 

7 - 9 p.m.  

Jewish Learning Center 

1414 Walnut St.  

Offering a safe space for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender jews to express personal concerns and to find a place to belong in the Jewish community.  

$5 with pre-registraiton; $7 at door  

845-6420 

 

Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios 

11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Get map from: 

1250 Addison St. #214 

or download at: http://www.berkeleyartisans.com 

Over one hundred professional artists and craftspeople open up their studios and workspaces to the public.  

All styles of artistic expression are represented. Runs Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 17. 

Call 845-2612  

 

Know Your Rights Training 

11 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

Copwatch Office  

2022 Blake St.  

Learn what your rights are in dealing with the police. Learn how to monitor the police safely.  

Call 548-0425 

 

Publish Your Own Book 

10 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

Regent Press 

6020-A Adeline St. 

Mark Weiman of Regen Press presents an overview of the business of book publishing oriented towards the author considering self-publishing.  

$60 per person 

Call Mark Weiman, 547-7602 

 

Friends of Berkeley Youth Alternatives 

Wine Tasting  

1 - 4 p.m. 

Rosenblum Cellars 

2900 Main St.  

Alameda 

All proceeds benefit the children and families served by Berkeley Youth Alternatives. 

$25 Call 845-9010 

 

Alternative Building Materials 

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Building Education Center 

812 Page St.  

Seminar taught by architects Dan Smith and John Fordice. 

$75 Call 525-7610 


Sunday Dec. 3

 

Connecting with Nature 

1 - 3 p.m.  

Rotary Nature Center  

600 Bellevue Ave. (at Perkins) 

Oakland 

Children aged six to twelve, accompanied by a parent, are invited to explore nature with all their senses. Cathy Holt, author of “The Circle of Healing” will lead the event. Free 

Call Stephanie for reservations, 238-3739 

— compiled by  

Chason Wainwright 

 

 

 

Transcending Limits on Knowledge  

6 p.m.  

Tibetan Nyingma Institute  

1815 Highland Place 

Lee Nichol on Tarthang Tulku’s “Time, Space, and Knowledge.” Free 

843-6812 

 

Richmond Holiday Arts Festival 

Noon - 4 p.m. 

Richmond Art Center 

2540 Barret Ave.  

Richmond 

A silent auction, craft sale, gifts and services auction, and hands-on art projects. Proceeds benefit the Richmond Art Center. Free  

620-6772 

 

Kitka’s “Wintersongs Holiday Tour” 

7 p.m. 

Lake Merritt United Methodist Church 

1330 Lakeshore Ave. 

Oakland 

In it’s first annual winter holiday concert, this women’s vocal ensemble will perform Eastern European seasonal songs.  

$15 - $20 

444-0323 

 

Winterfest 

Noon - 4 p.m. 

Oakland Museum of California 

1000 Oak St.  

Oakland 

A celebration of winter family traditions like music, dance, craft activities, and food. Included in museum admission. 

$6 general, $4 seniors and students with ID 

Call 1-888-OAK-MUSE 

 

Joe Raskin & David Slusser’s  

Improv Derby 

7:48 p.m. 

Tuva Space 

3192 Adeline (at MLK Jr. Way) 

Joe Raskin/George Cremaschi Duo & David Slusser’s Improv Derby. Part of ACME Observatory Contemporary Music Series.  

$8 suggested donation 

Call 444-3595 

 


Monday, Dec. 4

 

Personnel Board Meeting 

7 p.m.  

Permit Center 

2118 Milvia St.  

First Floor Conference Room 

 

Youth Commission 

6 p.m. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Center 

1730 Oregon St. 

 

Landmarks Preservation Commission 

7:30 p.m. 

North Berkely Senior Center 

1901 Hearst (at MLK Jr. Way) 

 

Peace and Justice Commission 

7 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst (at MLK Jr. Way) 

 

Keeping Parents Sane 

6:30 - 8:30 p.m. 

Jewish Family & Children’s Services  

of the East Bay 

2484 Shattuck Ave., Suite 210 

If your child(ren) are defiant and oppositional and you don’t know what to do, try this workshop led by Liz Marton, MFT.  

$20 

Call 704-7475 

 

Criminalization of Youth 

7:30 p.m. 

King Middle School  

1781 Rose St.  

Angela Davis, educator, activist, and former political prisoner speaks at this benefit lecture for the Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library.  

$5 

Call 595-7417  

 

Make a Wreath 

7 p.m. 

UC Botanical Garden 

200 Centennial Dr.  

Whether you are a beginner or a veteran wreath-maker, join Nancy Swearengen and Jerry Parsons and learn to use some unusual materials.  

$27.50, including materials 

Call 643-2755 

 

Furniture Making for Women 

9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 

Building Education Center 

812 Page St.  

Finish carpenter Tracy Weir teaches this hands-on, four day workshop, culminating with each attendee building her own cabinet unit with drawer and shelf. Runs through Dec. 8.  

$475  

Call 525-7610 

 


Tuesday, Dec. 5

 

Design the Perfect School  

7 - 9 p.m. 

Jewish Community Center 

1414 Walnut Ave. (at Rose) 

Informally led by Robert Berend, former UC Extension lecturer, this group aims to have intelligent discussions on a wide range of topics. They stress that there is no religious bent to the discussions and that all viewpoints are welcome. Bring light snacks to share with group.  

Call Robert Berend, 527-5332  

 

Jewish Book Club 

7:30 - 9:15 p.m.  

Jewish Learning Center  

1414 Walnut St.  

Join in a discussion of Brian Norton’s “Starting Out in the Evening.” Free 

848-0237 x 127 

 

Get the Lead Out 

6 - 8 p.m. 

Frances Albrier Center 

San Pablo Park  

2800 Park St.  

Learn how to prevent lead poisoning in your home. Taught by expert staff, this course offers techniques property owners can use to safety paint and remodel their homes.  

Call 567-8280 

 

Make a Wreath 

7 p.m. 

UC Botanical Garden 

200 Centennial Dr.  

Whether you are a beginner or a veteran wreath-maker, join Nancy Swearengen and Jerry Parsons and learn to use some unusual materials.  

$27.50, including materials 

Call 643-2755 

 

City Council 

7 p.m. 

Old City Hall  

2134 MLK Jr. Way 

 

Compiled by Chason Wainwright 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Letters to the Editor

Tuesday November 28, 2000

Post Proposition 36: what will happen to the incarcerated? 

 

Editor: 

 

Now that two-thirds of the California electorate has mandated treatment rather than a sentence of incarceration for a first or second conviction for illegal drug possession and/or usage one must ask: What now happens to those already incarcerated solely for illegal drug possession and/or usage? 

 

As written, the U.S. Constitution forbade all ex-post facto law.  

 

That stricture was early wiped out for civil law, but it still applies to criminal law. However, unless I am ill-informed, we shall now have “ex-post facto punishment” in a “Catch-22” situation somewhat analogous to that of death-row innocents who cannot hope to save themselves, because DNA tests are in applicable to their cases or necessary evidence has been destroyed. 

 

Must those now rotting in jails and prisons in California solely for first and second-time illegal drug usage and/or possession secure lawyers and put through appeals for their release?  

 

Can the courts that sentenced them order their immediate release, (If so, in many cases would they?) or will Governor Davis have to do the right thing and sign a blanket pardon? 

 

Clarification in your pages would be appreciated.  

 

Judith Segard Hunt 

Berkeley 

 


Center provides seniors healthy fare

By Lisa Daniels Special to the Daily Planet
Tuesday November 28, 2000

The bill of fare is both healthy and gourmet: baked chicken, lamb, salmon, steamed vegetables and fruit. To drink, there is natural fruit juice and spring water. Everything is cooked with herbs, free of salt and animal fat.  

Chez Panisse? 

Not quite. 

For a donation of $2, senior citizens can enjoy this cuisine three days a week at the New Light Senior Center. 

And it’s more than a meal. From Wednesday through Friday, diners are greeted with a smiling face and enjoy gracious fellowship as they savor the home cooking.  

New Light’s Executive Director Jacqueline Debose prides the center’s success on its team effort.  

“Everyone does everything,” said Debose. “The backbone is our volunteer staff, who does everything – shopping, food prep, cooking, room set-up and serving.”  

Maudelle Shirek, Berkeley’s vice mayor and New Light co-founder, is one of those volunteers. She said she is confident seniors are being nourished when they eat at the facility. She should know – she does much of the food selection herself. 

“If seniors come to New Light, they have a good meal.” Shirek said. “All of the food is fresh with no preservatives. We receive our donations from Daily Bread, Berkeley Farmer’s Market and Berkeley Bowl.” 

Shirek attributes growing up on a southern farm with a bounty of fruits, vegetables and lean meats to her vision of starting the New Light Senior Center’s meals program.  

“I was brought up on a farm with fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Shirek. “I took a Home Economics course at the University of Arkansas that taught canning, growing and preserving. My father taught me to be curious and to always continue to learn something new.”  

She also urges the elderly to learn more about how nutrition affects their bodies and their general health. The goal of New Light’s nutrition program is to keep seniors healthy.  

“I want to continue with good, nutritional food and would like more (community) participation with our program,” Shirek said.  

When Executive Director Debose speaks of Maudelle Shirek, she reflects on their long friendship with pride.  

“When I think of Maudelle – and I’ve known her for 25 years – I can tell you this: She is my inspiration. My commitment is to do a good job for her.”  

New Light’s existence spans three decades. Ray Thomas, who delivers the meals for New Light, sees his duties as a labor of love, in which he gets as much as he gives.  

“I enjoy helping the seniors,” Thomas said. “By delivering the meals to them, not only am I doing a service to seniors and the disabled, but to myself as well.”  

Jacqueline Debose would like to see a larger center with an area expansion of 700 meals served daily. 

“We are outgrowing our space”, said Debose. “I foresee a larger facility with a state of the art kitchen. I also want to expand Meals on Wheels to seven days and have corporations and individuals sponsoring the feeding of a senior for one month.”  

She knows the goal may be difficult to achieve, but Debose says she’s ready to “I will tell you no lies, I won’t claim any easy victories, but the struggle continues.” 

New Light Senior Center is located at 2901 California St. For more information, or to participate in the monthly sponsoring of a senior’s meals, please call 549-2666.


Senior centers accessible in Berkeley

By Helen Rippier Wheeler Special to the Daily Plan
Tuesday November 28, 2000

What makes an older person a senior citizen? “Older” than whom? 

Our city’s senior centers set the bar at 55 and welcome everyone that age and older. Berkeley boasts three city-sponsored senior centers open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. plus at least five others. 

In 1966, 20 seniors gathered in two rented rooms at 1849 University Ave. to dedicate the city’s first senior center. 

A cadre of volunteers, Portable Meals, the Japanese Seniors Program and minibus service quickly followed. In 1974 Henry Ramsey led a task force to plan and apply for federal funds to build the first senior center, and in 1979, the North Berkeley Senior Center opened – a 22,000 square feet, two-story building on a corner plot in the heart of Berkeley.  

The NBSC’s programs and services have so prospered that it has become known as one of the most innovative and active centers in the Bay Area, attracting seniors from throughout Berkeley as well as the region. It even attracts international visitors and their leaders. Its Alternative Lifelong Learning program brings senior faculty and emeriti professors as speakers. Staff and volunteers annually produce a free Seniors’ Resource Guide. Exercise classes are the most popular at the NBSC – tai chi, line dance, tap dance, aerobics, yoga, dance practice. There are also trips, current events, Internet, literature.  

Now 21 years old, the building is experiencing problems associated with aging! Transportation is another problem: parking is limited in the NBSC’s small lot and AC Transit has cut back the No.15 bus which runs to the NBSC’s door. Paratransit and taxis are not dependable.  

The public is welcomed at meetings of the Berkeley Commission on Aging, which currently meets at the NBSC the third Wednesday of each month at 1:30 p.m.  

South Berkeley 

South Berkeley Senior Center opened in 1972 in the McGee Avenue Baptist Church. It also provides a variety of free classes and social events attracting seniors of diverse backgrounds and interests. Computer technology and exercise classes are currently the most popular. The variety of services and programs, door-to-door outreach by staff, word-of-mouth, and the newsletter get people out to the SBSC. Social events include a professional band for birthday parties, and table and card games. Daily television viewing and weekly movies are held in the viewing room. Travel adventures are carefully planned with the best possible rates.  

The Mercy Brown Bag Program is based at the SBSC, providing free groceries to Berkeley’s low-income seniors twice monthly. The City’s Office of Seniors Programs Office is located in SBSC library.  

West Berkeley Senior Center 

In 1990 West Berkeley Senior Center celebrated its tenth anniversary in its present location. It too offers a variety of free activities including billiards, bridge, whist, dominoes, pinochle, scrabble and bingo. Free health screenings include monthly blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes checks. Tests are also conducted for ear, eye, and foot problems. Special shows, presentations and cultural events are featured for Chinese New Year, Black History Month, Cinco de Mayo, Older Americans Month, birthdays and Christmas.  

All the city centers offer hot lunches, celebrations, educational programs and van service. 

Each Center has a large multipurpose room with a stage, TV lounge, library, billiard rooms, and a parking lot. All are wheelchair accessible. Multilingual-multicultural staffs provide counsel and referral in legal matters, taxes, Social Security benefits, housing, and health insurance. They are supported by volunteers and a peer-elected Advisory Council and produce a monthly newsletter.  

 

Senior Power runs monthly in the Daily Planet. Dr. Helen Wheeler invites comments and suggestions to: pen136@inreach.com. She is a member of the Alameda County Advisory Commission on Aging, North Berkeley Senior Center Advisory Council, Berkeley Housing Authority, and is a former Vice Chair for Berkeley Commission on Aging. 

 

 

 

• North Berkeley Senior Center 1901 Hearst, corner MLK, 94709. 644-6107. Suzanne Ryan, director. No. 15 AC bus. 

• South Berkeley Senior Center, 2939 Ellis, corner Ashby 94703. 644-6109. Silver Ward, director. No. 6 AC bus. 

• West Berkeley Senior Center, 1900 6th St., 94710. 644-6036. Larry Taylor, director. No. 9 AC bus. 

Other senior centers located in Berkeley are: 

• Berkeley/Richmond Jewish Community Center, 1414 Walnut, 94709. 848-0237 

• Chinese Senior Center, 2117 Acton, 94702. 548-5259 

• Japanese-American Services of East Bay, 2126 Channing Way 94704. 848-3560 

• New Light Senior Center, 2901 California 94703 549-2666 

• St. John’s Senior Center, 2727 College Av. 94704. 845-6830 

http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/hhs/commsvc/seniors/  


Gay history exhibit mostly unnoticed

Rachelle A. Jones Special to the Daily Planet
Tuesday November 28, 2000

A huge poster of the Berkeley Golden Bear adorns the wall of the Bernice Layne Brown Gallery on the UC Berkeley Campus. But the bear’s not rooting for Cal’s football team. 

“Gay Power” reads a button on his furry chest, and that’s exactly what this Golden Bear is promoting in the gallery’s current exhibit, “The Personal Was Political.” 

“We tried to do things to catch people’s attention,” said William Benemann, who conceptualized and headed the exhibit’s creation. Benemann, a UC law librarian, said the exhibit is for students, to make them aware that “the gay movement did not start last year – it had roots before some of them were even born.” 

But the exhibit’s location in the main entrance of the Doe Library, is little more than a walkway for busy students en route to other destinations said Brian Hu, a security attendant working at a desk near the exhibit. 

Like most exhibits in the busy hallway at Doe Library, the main campus library across from Wheeler Auditorium, he said, “Only a certain few who know about it who come and really spend time. But most are looking at it – not in depth – they just observe it.” 

The history of the gallery space, however, earns more compliments than criticism. “In the past, people have felt that it was a really important place to make an exhibit,” said Tom Leonard, interim librarian. 

In fact, when in 1978 a university chancellor decided to move an exhibit on Armenian Genocide from the Brown Gallery to Sproul Plaza because of controversy, Armenian students fought to keep the exhibit in the library. 

“It’s traditionally a very honored space,” Leonard said. “It’s not a museum lit space, but it’s a very handsome space. You don’t want to put something in a back room – it should be part of a normal working day for all of us using the library.” 

While the library is open, students, faculty, staff and group tours pass through the small foyer. For any one day at least 1,000 different people pass through the gallery space. 

It’s an attempt, Benemann said, to show that “not only was there political organizing and social work, but also what a fun and exciting time it was. I mean people tend to forget that it was a very exciting time here on campus.” 

But today many of the exhibit’s viewers seemed too busy to notice the excitement. 

A student stopped to tie her shoe in front of a case from the exhibit, and a photograph of two men – one in feminine clothing – caught her eye. She didn’t stay long – just enough time to tighten the laces, but she glanced around at the objects in the case before continuing down the corridor. 

Another student among a crowd of friends looked at the Golden Bear and announced, “What? Are we at a gay university now?” 

Small groups of students wandered past the exhibit, stopping to grab a handful of postcards as souvenirs before continuing out of the library. And a few individuals paused to read the quotes on the cases and the relics of the movement that took hold of Berkeley’s campus in the seventies. 

“With any exhibit, most people are only going to look for a minute,” said Cecilia O’Leary, a professor at California State University at Monterey who has curated and designed historical exhibits for the Smithsonian. In the time that it takes for a person to walk through the exhibit and “quickly look side to side, you want to have given them a message,” she said. “It’s the unusual person who will actually study an exhibit.” 

This exhibit’s cases include early editions of The Anthem and other gay and lesbian newspapers, memorabilia of the feminist and lesbian movements, and numerous articles, posters, buttons, and pictures of boycotts, protests and activities of gay empowerment. Other cases take on lighter subjects, focusing on the period’s songs, hang outs and clothing. 

It’s precisely what is necessary to convey a central theme: “objects that represent basic info, that grab attention, displayed with big, bold print– something startling,” O’Leary said. “You can put anything in any size space – it’s the design that matters.” 

This is the third gay-themed exhibit Benemann has worked on at the gallery. 

And, like previous exhibits, “There are some people that are unhappy, but they’re not on the library staff,” Benemann said. He said the staff has not told him of any negative reactions. 

“I am interested in gay history as a theme,” Benemann said. “Berkeley was one of the leaders – it really was a center during the early movement.” 

The exhibit will run through the end of the year. Benemann’s team of curators include Berkeley staffers: Willyce Kim, James Eason, Steve Finacom, Mary Scott, and Kathy Dinnean. Materials came from the Library, the San Francisco-based Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Historical Society and personal collections. 


Police make arrests in recent Berkeley shootings

Daily Planet Staff Reports
Tuesday November 28, 2000

Berkeley police arrested one suspect Saturday evening in connection to last week’s shooting at Ward and Sacramento streets and arrested the suspect’s wife on unrelated charges. 

Problems in the troubled area do not appear to be under control. Police responded to reports of “shots fired” at Derby and Sacramento streets about 6 p.m. Monday. No officer was available for comment on this incident. 

Police believe the man arrested, Jarrell LaFawn Blasher, 26, of Hayward, was responsible for the shooting of a 29-year-old man Nov. 20 who was seated in his car at a red light at Ward and Sacramento streets. The suspect allegedly shot the victim as he drove by him at about 9 a.m. near Longfellow Middle School, as children were walking to school, said Lt. Russell Lopes. 

The victim was shot in the chest and left forearm, was treated at both Alta Bates and Highland hospitals and has survived his wounds, police said.  

Lopes said this shooting “may have been in retaliation” for an another shooting, which occurred about 11 p.m. on Nov. 14 at 2714 Sacramento St. 

Lopes said police believe the suspect thought the man he shot Nov. 22 was the shooter in the earlier incident, but that the victim, in fact, was not involved in the earlier incident.  

Police also suspect that Blasher may be connected to shots that were reported fired in the same area late last week. 

Blasher was arrested for attempted homicide and for being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was armed with a high caliber semi-automatic handgun when he was arrested. Blasher’s wife, Kimberly Rochelle Blasher was arrested at the same time for carrying a loaded and concealed firearm, after a loaded handgun was found in her purse. 

Both are at Santa Rita Jail pending arraignment. 

Lopes said police believe the incidents are unrelated to the homicide last summer of a man near Sacramento and Oregon streets. There is a suspect in that murder, but police need to gather more evidence before they can arrest that person, Lopes said.


Protests planned at Netanyahu speech

Daily Planet staff
Tuesday November 28, 2000

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will speak tonight at the Berkeley Community Theater at about 7:30 p.m.  

Outside, demonstrators will gather to denounce Netanyahu’s policies, said Richard Becker of the International Action Center.  

Becker said Netanyahu advocates the annexation of the West Bank and Gaza, areas claimed by Palestinians.  

The Berkeley Daily Planet has be unable to contact a spokesperson for the event, or to ascertain who is sponsoring the event.  

Calls to the school district and the Community Theater went unanswered. 

In addition to the IAC, the Middle East Children’s Alliance and the American Arab Anti-discrimination Committee are sponsoring the demonstration at 6 p.m. at Allston Way and Milvia Street.


UC Santa Cruz considers evaluation change

The Associated Press
Tuesday November 28, 2000

SANTA CRUZ — Professors at the mellow and proudly unique University of California campus in Santa Cruz rejected a contentious proposal Monday that would have ended the school’s practice of requiring that students get written evaluations in every class. 

In a packed meeting of UC Santa Cruz’s Academic Senate in a science classroom, a majority of the 170 professors in attendance voted down a call to eliminate the rule. A similar plan, which said written evaluations should be optional rather than required, failed to come to a vote. 

The decision was cheered by the dozens of students at the meeting, many of whom had also protested the school’s recent decision to make letter grades mandatory rather than optional. 

“I didn’t come here specifically for the evaluations, but it was a big part of it,” said Bryan Gilstein, an 18-year-old freshman from Guilford, Conn. “They show progress better than grades and show it’s more about the learning process than the end product.” 

Ever since UC Santa Cruz opened in 1965, students have been attracted to the school’s alternative style, embodied in its status as one of the nation’s only major research universities with narrative evaluations instead90 of grades. 

“Only UCSC was gifted with the non-grading system,” a 1970 grad wrote in a recent online forum on the issue. “Otherwise, UCSC is just another cookie-cutter college that happens to be surrounded with redwoods.” 

Under the traditional system, the 11,000 students got grades only if they wanted — and some people suggested that made UC Santa Cruz a haven for slackers. Others said the system hurt Santa Cruz students competing for jobs, fellowships and graduate programs. 

That led professors at the hilly campus to vote early this year to make grades mandatory beginning in fall 2001. 

With that settled, some professors next wanted to tackle the other half of the equation – the mandatory evaluations.  

Those who wanted to eliminate the narratives said they were conceived when classes were smaller and instructors had the relationships and the time with their students to describe their work in rich detail. 

Some said the evaluations have become formulaic and follow rigid templates that are almost worthless to students applying for jobs or graduate school. 

“I think it clutters the students’ files with things that are hard to comprehend by an outside person,” said Manfred Warmuth, a computer science professor who sponsored the repeal of the narratives. 

People in favor of the narratives said the process forces students to work hard throughout the quarter rather than simply cramming for tests.  

Supporters said that has helped, rather than hindered, Santa Cruz students’ pursuit of doctorates. 

“It intones that there’s something more substantive to higher education and intellectual enterprise than simple vocational training,” said Patrick McHugh, 22, a senior majoring in politics. 

However, even the opposition conceded that the evaluations can take valuable time from professors. Consequently, the Academic Senate passed a resolution that reminds professors they have full control over the length and depth of the narratives and calls for streamlining the process. 

On the Net: 

School Web page: http://www.ucsc.edu 

Summaries of positions on the evaluation issue: http://www.senate.ucsc.edu/NESconsi.der/Contents.html


Environmentalists want to challenge farmers over water

The Associated Press
Tuesday November 28, 2000

FRESNO — Citing widespread contamination in state waterways, environmental groups plan to file a challenge Tuesday to a loophole they say allows farmers to discharge toxic pesticides. 

In a 33-page report titled “Water Woes,” the California Public Interest Research Group and WaterKeepers Northern California said an analysis of state surface water shows 96 percent of sites tested over 10 years had some pesticide contamination. 

“Almost every site where pesticides were sampled for, they were detected,” said Jonathan Kaplan of WaterKeepers.  

“Of half of those detected the pesticides were found to be harmful. That says to me that we have a real problem, that says to me that the problem is widespread.” 

Many of places where the pesticides were detected are listed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as impaired by pesticides. Salmon, bass and smelt have been in decline in the waters for the past decade. 

The groups plan to challenge a waiver granted 18 years ago by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board that exempts farmers from complying with the state’s clean water act. They also plan to call for phasing out pesticides that continue to cause contamination. 

Waivers from the state, which allow pesticide runoff to flow through irrigation ditches without regulation, are currently part of a three-year public review. 

The state’s largest farm group said farmers have made great strides in controlling pesticides in recent years and said it supports the review process. 

“What they’re doing now is by far more progressive or innovative than anything done before 1982,” said Bob Krauter, a spokesman for the California Farm Bureau. 

The regional water control board granted the conditional waivers to farmers after deciding that discharges would not be toxic to fish and other wildlife, said Rudy Schnagl, chief of the board’s agricultural unit. 

But the environmental report, which analyzes data compiled by the Department of Pesticide Regulation, concludes that contamination poses health threats to aquatic life and even humans who get some of their drinking water from the sampled waters. 

In 10 years of testing creeks, rivers, drainage basins and sloughs – most in the farm-rich Central Valley – the DPR analyzed 92,000 samples from 133 locations. 

The study found pesticides: 

• in 128 sites, or 96 percent. 

• in 8,500 samples, or 9 percent. 

• exceeded aquatic or human health criteria 51 percent of the time they were detected. 

• frequently were among five pesticides considered hazardous and linked to cancer, nervous system damage, hormone disruption or groundwater contamination. 

The DPR’s database is not comprehensive, however, and although it contains useful information, it’s not conclusive, said spokeswoman Veda Federighi.  

The majority of pesticide detections were below levels of health or water quality concern. 

The agency has begun monitoring surface water and is targeting how pesticides are getting into waterways to control the problem.  

Federighi said banning practices that lead to pollution, not banning pesticides, is the more prudent approach. 

“Basically these reports call for widespread bans on pesticides,” Federighi said.  

“That’s a simple answer to a problem that’s really complex. That’s akin to saying 20 years ago that smog’s a real problem so let’s ban cars.” 

Kaplan said stronger action needs to be taken to protect fisheries and other aquatic life threatened by pesticides. 

“We’re effectively creating seasonal killing zones for aquatic life in the Central Valley,” he said.  

“Major sport fisheries have been in decline over the last decade. We don’t know how much is due to pesticides and how much is due to habitat loss. We know there are enough pesticides in high enough levels to kill off these fisheries.” 

If the petition signed by 68 environmental and public interest groups around the state succeeds, it would require permits to allow pesticide runoff. 

”“We have a water shortage problem already,” said Teresa Olle, an author of the study. “We don’t have the luxury of ruining our water sources.” 

On the Net: 

Department of Pesticide Regulation’s Surface Water Database: 

http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/surfwatr/surfdata.htm


ACLU returns to court on behalf of vote Web sites

The Associated Press
Tuesday November 28, 2000

LOS ANGELES — A civil rights group has returned to federal court in an attempt to stop Secretary of State Bill Jones from shutting down future vote-swapping Web sites. 

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California failed earlier this month to gain a temporary restraining order against Jones.  

The group pledged to appeal and filed an amended complaint Monday seeking a permanent injunction. 

U.S. District Judge Robert Kelleher on Nov. 6 denied the ACLU’s request in a one-sentence ruling. 

In addition to a permanent injunction, the amended complaint seeks damages for Web site operators by claiming their Constitutional rights were violated and likely would be violated in future elections. 

The sites appeared before the Nov. 7 election as Web site operators in several states tried to create a system to allow users in one state to trade their vote for president to someone in another state.  

Many of the sites were aimed at supporters of Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader, who was seen as a threat to siphon votes from Democrat Al Gore in states where the race was expected to be close. 

Three sites voluntarily shut down before the election after Jones told one it was violating state election laws. Officials in Oregon also issued similar warnings. 

Some states, however, took no action against the sites. 

“The razor’s edge margins in this election make crystal clear that every vote counts,” said ACLU staff attorney Peter Eliasberg in a statement.  

“A few hundred votes here or a thousand there could have changed the course of this election. Voter-matching sites give individuals the tools to help ensure that their voices are truly heard and their interests are fully represented.” 

A spokesman for Jones said the federal court likely would deny the permanent injunction request. 

“The court refused the ACLU’s request to allow vote swapping prior to the election and we expect the court will reject this request,” said spokesman Alfie Charles.  

“The vote is the foundation of the democratic process. It can’t be bought sold or traded for anything of value, including someone else’s vote. I think the court will agree with our interpretation of state law and the constitutionality of that law.”


Chainsaw may have mortally wounded ‘Luna’

The Associated Press
Tuesday November 28, 2000

STAFFORD — Someone has taken a chainsaw to Luna, the redwood environmentalist Julia “Butterfly” Hill sat in for two years. Activists fear the thousand-year-old tree was mortally wounded. 

Hill came down from the tree last December after Luna’s owners, Pacific Lumber, agreed to spare the tree as well as a surrounding buffer zone. 

But over the Thanksgiving weekend, one of her supporters visiting the tree, in timberland about 250 miles north of San Francisco found a critical cut made by a chainsaw. Pictures posted on the Web site, http://www.earthfilms.org/luna.html, show a thin red scar running across the base of the huge redwood. 

The tree, which reaches about 15 feet across and more than 18 stories high, is still standing but it is not clear if it will survive. A statement from Hill’s organization, Circle of Life Foundation, said the cut was deep and precise and made the tree extremely vulnerable to a windstorm. 

An investigation by Humboldt County sheriff’s deputies revealed that a chainsaw was used to cut about 32 inches around the tree and about one-quarter of the way through the trunk. 

Hill was traveling Monday and could not be reached for comment by The Associated Press. But in the statement, she described the attack as a personal blow. 

“I feel this vicious attack on Luna as surely as if the chainsaw was going through me. Words cannot express the deep sorrow that I am experiencing but I am as committed as ever to do everything in my power to protect Luna and the remaining ancient forests,” she said. 

A spokeswoman for Pacific Lumber did not return a telephone call from The Associated Press. 

Hill climbed Luna on Dec. 10, 1997 for what she thought would be at most a three-week sit. Instead, she stayed up for two years, surviving howling winter storms and the fierce light of media attention as her quest drew worldwide attention. 

She descended on Dec. 18, 1999, stepping into a whirlwind of activity as she gave interviews, promoted her book, made public appearances nationwide and fended off criticism from some in the environmental movement that she was more committed to herself than to the cause. 


Volunteers take pollution pills in study on drinking water

The Associated Press
Tuesday November 28, 2000

SAN BERNARDINO — A hundred volunteers are participating in a drinking water study which requires them to take pills containing an industrial pollutant found in rocket fuel. 

Volunteers were recruited by Loma Linda Medical Center and are being paid $1,000 apiece to see if a pollutant called perchlorate is harmful to human health, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday. 

The experiment, funded by Lockheed Martin, has raised questions about whether scientists should allow people to ingest chemicals or pesticides to research the dangers of environmental contaminants. 

But those who perform these human experiments compare them to clinical trials for drugs. Scientists strengthen their case by saying that perchlorate is not just a pollutant but also a drug used to treat hyperthyroidism. 

However, medical ethicists say clinical trials are done to help find treatments for sick people while consuming a pollutant has no medical benefits. 

“These tests are inherently unethical,” said Richard Wiles, research director of the Environmental Working Group, a national environmental group opposed to human clinical trials for pollutants. 

The six-month perchlorate experiment, which began in August, reportedly is the first large-scale study to use human volunteers to test a water pollutant. Pollutants are usually tested on lab animals. Of the 100 volunteers involved, half of them ingest the pollutant and the others get a placebo. 

Those taking the perchlorate are swallowing up to three milligrams daily – 83 times more than a person would get from drinking water containing the amount allowed by California’s Department of Health Services. 

At high doses, perchlorate can inhibit production of thyroid hormones. Normal thyroid function is critical for regulating the growth of fetuses and young children and the metabolism of adults. 

Experts are trying to determine whether small doses of perchlorate – like those found in water supplies in San Bernardino, Azusa, Santa Clarita, Riverside and other areas – interfere with thyroid glands. 

A study published this year shows that infants in the Lake Mead area of Arizona – where water contains perchlorate – are born with altered thyroid function.  

But other studies, in perchlorate-contaminated areas of Las Vegas and Chile, have shown no such effects. The volunteers in the Loma Linda experiment are undergoing extensive medical testing to ensure that they face no threats while participating in the study. The examinations include monthly tests to measure their thyroid, liver and kidney function. 

There is currently no government agency that regulates human experiments. However every institution has a review board that must approve every study. 

The boards of three medical institutions approved Loma Linda’s perchlorate tests, said Anthony Firek, who is directing the study. 

In addition to Loma Linda, the study was approved by Boston University – which employs one of the researchers – and the Jerry L. Pettis Memorial VA Medical Center, where some of the tests are being done. 


San Diego faces fine for dumping dirt

The Associated Press
Tuesday November 28, 2000

SAN DIEGO — The city could be fined up to $25,000 a day unless officials devise a plan to keep runoff from a heap of polluted dirt from getting into a creek and Mission Bay. 

The city has violated California’s water code by dumping 63,000 cubic feet of dirt without notifying the state of plans to accept the dirt near Kearney Mesa Community Park and for not developing a plan to prevent rain runoff from carrying some of the soil down a creek and into the bay, the Regional Water Quality Control Board said. 

City officials were given until Monday to submit a report to the water board. 

“We became concerned because dumping that dirt on about 10 acres is tantamount to a construction site, and there was no evidence of statewide or city of San Diego permits, both of which require measures to prevent storm-water runoff from carrying silt and pollutants off the site,” said Art Coe, assistant executive officer of the water board. 

City officials contend that materials in the dirt won’t harm humans. 

“The soil was found to be nonhazardous, but there are some heavy hydrocarbons, such as old diesel fuel, and they would limit the areas where we could relocate and/or dispose of the soils,” said Ted Medina, deputy director of the city’s coastal parks division. 

The dumping has upset environmentalists. 

“This is typical of the city’s disregard for the Clean Water Act grading and commencing a project without public input, leaving the public out of the equation and just sort of doing what they want to do,” said Donna Frye, founder of the group STOP, or Surfers Tired Of Pollution.


Supreme court accepts medical marijuana case

The Associated Press
Tuesday November 28, 2000

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court entered the debate over medical marijuana Monday, agreeing to decide whether the drug can be provided to patients out of “medical necessity” even though federal law makes its distribution a crime. 

The justices said they will hear the Clinton administration’s effort to bar a California group from providing the drug to seriously ill patients for pain and nausea relief. 

A lower court decision allowing the Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative to distribute the drug “threatens the government’s ability to enforce the federal drug laws,” government lawyers said. 

But the California group says that for some patients, marijuana is “the only medicine that has proven effective in relieving their conditions or symptoms.” 

The group’s lawyer, Annette P. Carnegie, said Monday the federal Controlled Substances Act does not prohibit the distribution of marijuana for medical reasons. 

“Those choices, we believe, are best made by physicians and not by the government,” she said. Marijuana has been effective in relieving nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, weight loss in HIV-positive patients and in reducing pain, she said. 

Eight states in addition to California have medical-marijuana laws in place or approved by voters: Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Maine, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Colorado. Residents of Washington, D.C., voted in 1998 to allow the medical use of marijuana, but Congress blocked the measure from becoming law. 

Justice Department lawyers said Congress has decided that marijuana has “no currently accepted medical use.” 

In August, the Supreme Court barred the California organization from distributing marijuana while the government pursued its appeal. 

Justice Stephen G. Breyer did not participate in the case.  

His brother, Charles, a federal trial judge in San Francisco, previously barred distribution of marijuana only to have his decision reversed by a federal appeals court. 

California’s law, passed by the voters in 1996, authorizes the possession and use of marijuana for medical purposes upon a doctor’s recommendation. 

The Oakland group said its goal is “to provide seriously ill patients with safe access to necessary medicine so that these individuals do not have to resort to the streets.” 

But the federal Controlled Substances Act includes marijuana among the drugs whose manufacture and distribution are illegal. 

In January 1998, the federal government filed a lawsuit against the Oakland club, asking a judge to ban it from providing marijuana. 

Judge Charles Breyer issued a preliminary order imposing such a ban.  

But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, saying the government did not disprove the club’s evidence that the drug was “the only effective treatment for a large group of seriously ill individuals.” 

Last May, Breyer issued a new order allowing the Oakland group to provide marijuana to patients who needed it. 

In the appeal granted Supreme Court review, Justice Department lawyers said the appeals court “seriously erred” in deciding the federal law allowed a medical-necessity defense. 

The Oakland club’s lawyers said “the voters of California have spoken” in approving the medical-marijuana measure. Congress has not explicitly barred a medical necessity defense against the federal anti-drug law, the lawyers added. 

The Supreme Court also agreed Monday to hear an appeal by a condemned killer from Texas whose lawyers say he is mentally retarded.  

The court said it will use the case of Johnny Paul Penry to clarify how much opportunity jurors in death-penalty cases must have to consider the defendant’s mental capacity. 

On the Net: 

For the appeals court ruling in U.S. v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative: http://www.uscourts.gov/links.html and click on 9th Circuit.


Researchers find mutated gene underlying autism

The Associated Press
Tuesday November 28, 2000

WASHINGTON — Scientists have long theorized that about 15 different genes play a role in who is born with the severe brain disorder autism – and now they’ve finally found one of those genes. 

A study of 57 autism patients found that 40 percent carry a mutated version of the HOXA1 gene, which plays a crucial role in early brain development, University of Rochester scientists reported Monday. 

Children need to inherit just one copy of the mutated gene from one parent to have autism. In fact, scientists found only one patient, a very severe case, who inherited a copy of the bad gene from both parents, suggesting that when that happens the fetus usually dies, said lead researcher Patricia Rodier, who heads the university’s National Institutes of Health-funded autism research center. 

The NIH called the finding a significant step in understanding what predisposes people to developing autism. More than 400,000 Americans have the brain disorder, characterized by profound social withdrawal, repetitive behavior and inability to communicate. 

Research suggests it’s caused when something goes wrong during critical fetal brain development – a theory the gene discovery, in the December issue of the journal Teratology, supports. 

Why don’t parents who harbor the defective gene have autism themselves? Some do have very subtle symptoms, suggesting that something else, perhaps some other gene, keeps the autism-related gene in check, Rodier said. 

HOXA1 is one of a family of genes vital to early embryo development because genes in the group turn on or off other genes. HOXA1’s specific role is in brain development.  

Mice who lack this gene have brainstem damage, malformed ears and other classic signs of autism – one reason Rodier’s research team decided to check the gene’s role in people. 

It’s not the kind of gene that could ever be fixed with gene therapy.  

But the discovery may help doctors unravel just how the brain changes when HOXA1 is abnormal, Rodier said. 

“If you figure out the brain changes, you’re on your way, we hope, to finding better treatments,” she said. 

On the Net: 

NIH autism site: http://www.nichd.nih.gov/autism 

Teratology Society site with link to study abstract: http://www.teratology.org


Al Gore not about to bow out just yet

The Associated Press
Tuesday November 28, 2000

George W. Bush begins planning; says ‘give it up’ 

 

Al Gore insisted “there are more than enough votes” to reverse Florida’s make-or-break election results, ignoring GOP demands that he bow out even as George W. Bush plunged into the work Monday of building a new government. Democratic leaders rallied behind their vice president, though the party’s rank-and-file raised scattered voices of dissent. 

A day after Bush summoned TV cameras to press for Gore’s concession, the vice president prepared a prime-time address to the nation — perhaps his last, best chance to explain why the closest presidential election in 124 years didn’t end Sunday night when Florida’s top elections officer, a GOP partisan, certified Bush the winner by 537 votes out of 6 million cast. 

Gore contested the case in a Florida state court Monday, where attorneys for both sides wrestled over schedules and got little accomplished in their first session. The state case was assigned to Judge N. Sanders Sauls, a folksy jurist with broad authority under Florida law to “correct any alleged wrong and to provide any relief appropriate.” 

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear GOP argument against recounts Friday. The stakes could hardly be higher. 

“The integrity of our democracy depends upon the consent of the governed, freely expressed in an election where every vote counts,” Gore told Democratic leaders before his brief TV address. 

With the agonizingly close election stretching into its fourth week, neither side appeared ready to give way in a fierce struggle that has entangled the judiciary in the business of presidential politics, threatening to spill past the Dec. 12 deadline for selecting state electors. 

Bush moved quickly to take on the work, if not the title, of president-elect. Running mate Dick Cheney criticized the Clinton-Gore administration for refusing Bush access to $5.3 million in government transition funds and a federal office building set aside for the presidential changeover. He announced the Bush team would raise money to finance its own operation. 

“This is regrettable because we believe the government has an obligation to honor the certifiable results of an election,” Cheney said at a Washington news conference, naming an executive director and press secretary for the transition team. 

He took a swipe at Gore for not dropping out, as the Bush team sought to rush the vice president from the race before the courts have an opportunity to renew recounts. 

Gore is “still unwilling to accept the outcome. That is unfortunate in light of the penalty that may have to be paid at some future date if the next administration is not allowed to prepare to take the reins of government,” Cheney said. 

Cheney’s appearance was part of a fierce public relations fight as the Gore camp tried to show Democratic solidarity and the Bush team attempted to discredit the vice president’s challenge of the Florida certification. 

Bush’s brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, quietly signed the paperwork required by federal law to certify Bush the winner of Florida’s 25 electoral votes.  

That would put him one vote over the 270 required to become the nation’s 43rd president — if courts uphold brother Jeb’s verdict. 

High-minded principles aside, Gore said the issue was also personal: If state or federal courts re-open handcounts that concluded Sunday, Bush’s 537-vote edge would be at risk. “There are more than enough votes to change the outcome,” Gore said, “and that’s an important factor as well.” 

But the vice president was handed a heavy burden when a Florida Supreme Court deadline expired Sunday night, freeing Secretary of State Katherine Harris to declare her political ally the winner of Florida’s election and America’s White House. 

Gore’s lawyers protested results from Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Nassau counties and asked the judge to “certify that the true and accurate results of the 2000 presidential election in Florida is that the electors of Al Gore and Joe Lieberman received the majority of the votes cast in the election.” 

Gore believes he would overtake Bush if the final tally would include recounted ballots that were rejected by Harris — minus the 174 votes added to Bush’s lead during what Democrats claim was an illegal, eleventh-hour scramble for GOP ballots, including military votes from overseas. 

Gore now faces a tough legal fight — persuading a court to overturn a certified election — and an electorate with limited patience. 

An overnight poll by ABC and the Washington Post found that 60 percent of those surveyed thought the vice president should concede. Thirty-five percent said he should not. 

Urging Americans not to rush to judgment, House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle conducted a conference call with Gore from Florida. Gephardt said the certified totals were “incomplete and inaccurate and it’s premature for either side to declare victory or concede.” 

At the White House, President Clinton called for calm and, echoing Gore, said the “the integrity of the voter, every single vote,” is at stake. 

Yet rumblings were heard from the party’s grassroots. 

“I think the vice president should take the high ground and hand it over,” Rep. Julia Carson, D-Ind., said in a phone interview. “I don’t think he lost the election, but I think the illegal activity that has taken place since the election has left the country battle scarred. In order for the country to get on with its business, we have to put this behind us.” 

Robert Reich, former labor secretary for Clinton, said he had “great doubts about whether it is wise ... for the vice president to continue to pursue and to contest the results in Florida.” Reich, interviewed by ABC, had endorsed Gore’s rival in the primaries, Bill Bradley. 

“Gore might want to take it to court, but I just don’t know,” Joe Sulzer, a Democratic state lawmaker from Chillicothe, Ohio, said in a telephone interview. “Without help quick, George Bush will be our next president.” 

“Since (Bush) got certified, we’re moving closer and closer to finishing this thing off,” said Democratic strategist Jim Duffy of Washington. “I just don’t understand how they’re going to convince the courts that they should count those ballots.” 

Anita Freedman, a Democratic National Committee member from New Hampshire, said she was angry over Harris’ decision but inclined to believe that Bush has won. “I’ll keep praying, I guess,” she said. “I’m praying for a miracle.” 

Other Democratic activists like John Pound in Santa Fe, N.M., and Mary Gail Gwaltney of Las Cruces, N.M., said Gore has a duty to keep fighting after winning the national popular vote and coming so close in Florida. 

“What’s the rush to get it wrong?” said Gwaltney, a DNC member. 

Bush, for one, is in a hurry to take over. He met with aides in Austin, Texas, to discuss his plans for the Cabinet and White House staff, and speculation mounted in GOP circles about his new team. 

Retired Gen. Colin Powell is still Bush’s choice to be secretary of state, but senior advisers to the governor said the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff didn’t want his selection to be injected into Sunday’s political tumult. Bush decided before the election to name Condoleezza Rice as his national security adviser and has not changed his mind, senior advisers said. 

Powell and Rice will likely be the first Cabinet choices formally announced, but probably not this week, aides said. 

Advisers said Bush plans to have a diverse Cabinet, in terms of race and gender. He hopes to appoint at least one Democrat to a high-profile job, they said. 

Gore has said he knows who will be in his Cabinet, though seniors advisers insist little or no time has been devoted to the topic. 

In other legal wrangling: 

—A lawsuit over Palm Beach County’s “butterfly ballot” was sent to the state Supreme Court on Monday, though the justices had not yet decided whether to hear the case. Some Democrats complained the ballot was so confusing that they mistakenly cast votes for Pat Buchanan instead of Gore. They are seeking a new election in the county. 

— A case scheduled for a court in Seminole County northeast of Orlando, on allegations by a Democratic attorney that Republicans tampered with absentee ballot applications, was being moved Monday to Tallahassee. 

—Bush lawyers sought to put oral arguments on hold in a case they brought before a federal court in Atlanta against Florida’s manual recounts. 

—The Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network filed a federal lawsuit in Miami, claiming Harris’ certification disenfranchised minority voters. 


Six in 10 say vice president should concede race now

The Associated Press
Tuesday November 28, 2000

WASHINGTON — Six in 10 Americans, including a fourth of Al Gore supporters in a new poll, say it is time for the vice president to concede now that George W. Bush has been certified as the winner of Florida’s 25 electoral votes. 

About six in 10 in the ABC News-Washington Post poll also said they would accept Gore as legitimately elected if he were to emerge as the president.  

Almost eight in 10, say they would accept Bush as legitimately elected. 

About 40 percent in the poll taken Sunday night said Gore should concede because the vote was fair, while almost 20 percent want him to quit because they “want to get this over with.” 

Gore’s lawyers were going to court Monday in Tallahassee, the Florida capital, to object formally to the certification, a step known as a “contest” under state law.  

The vice president has been working to keep Democrats behind his appeal. 

Almost six in 10 people say it’s more important “for this to end quickly” than for each side to make its full arguments in court.  

That reflects partisan differences as much as impatience with the long fight: just over eight in 10 Bush supporters say it’s more important for the race to end quickly and three in 10 Gore supporters. 

Almost six in 10 overall say they would oppose the Florida legislature getting involved in the presidential race. 

Those polled ®were about evenly divided on whether “dimpled chad,” ballots that were indented but not perforated, should be counted – a question at the heart of manual recounts in southeast Florida. 

The national poll of 607 adults has an error margin of 4 percentage points.  

Such overnight polls provide a snapshot of the emotional reaction to an event like Sunday night’s news that the Florida vote was certified.  

Such findings often hold up in polls taken over a longer time span, as well. 

The increased sentiment that it is time for the presidential election to wrap up does not reflect a shift in feeling about who should be president.  

That was still split in this poll as it was on Election Day, with 43 percent saying they favor Bush and 42 percent favoring Gore.


City attorney/commission dispute heats up

By John Geluardi Daily Planet Staff
Monday November 27, 2000

The City Council voted Tuesday to seek outside legal council before deciding whether to support a city attorney’s opinion that has caused a legal revolt by four members of the Landmark Preservation Commission. 

After hearing comments in both public and closed sessions, the City Council voted 5-2 to consult with outside counsel regarding City Attorney Manuela Albuquerque's Oct. 30 opinion that four LPC commissioners, who are also board members or staff of the Berkeley Architectural Historical Association, are creating a conflict of interest if they participate in any LPC decisions regarding the controversial Congregation of Beth El proposal to build a synagogue and school at 1301 Oxford St.  

Mayor Shirley Dean and Councilmember Linda Maio abstained from the vote. Councilmembers Betty Olds and Polly Armstrong were not present. 

Albuquerque said Berkeley will open itself up to potential lawsuits under the 14th Amendment if the four continue to serve on the commission because of a letter written by BAHA president, Sarah Wikander, that was critical of the Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Beth El project.  

The commissioners argue that the city attorney is exaggerating any conflict the letter might pose in order to “de-fang” the commission by disqualifying four of its members. 

The commissioners, Becky O'Malley, Carrie Olson, Doug Morse and Lesley Emmington-Jones, have thus far refused to recuse themselves and an attorney representing them has said he will take the city to court if the council decides to support Albuquerque.  

It is still uncertain if the City Council can effectively resolve the situation without some kind of legal action. The commissioners have threatened to sue if they are taken off the commission. 

In her written opinion, Albuquerque said BAHA’s position on the EIR taints the commissioner’s opinion on the Temple Beth El project. She maintains that the commissioner’s would not be able to provide Beth El with a fair hearing on matters related to the development such has permit hearings to alter the property which is an official city historical landmark.  

“It doesn't have to do with personal philosophy, religion or ethnic background, it's simply that when you are wearing two hats it is very difficult to be fair and impartial,” Albuquerque said. 

O'Malley said Albuquerque's assertion of the appearance of bias is exaggerated and that BAHA only criticized the privately contracted EIR and not the project itself.  

In a letter to the LPC, Antonio Rossman, a land-use attorney representing the commissioners, said that the city attorney’s opinion would have far reaching effects on all of Berkeley's commissions, boards and city officials because many people active in the city's politics are also members of politically active organizations. 

The next LPC meeting is scheduled for Dec. 4 and at least one of the commissioners said she intends to take her place on the commission and perform all of her required duties — including voting on issues related to the proposed Beth El project regardless of the city attorney's opinion. 

“The city attorney serves the city in an advisory capacity, she doesn't have the power to dictate her will onto the commission," O'Malley said. 

The last LPC meeting on Nov. 6 ended abruptly when the four commissioners refused to disqualify themselves and Albuquerque, who was present at the meeting, directed Chairman Burton Edwards to not count the four commissioners votes at which point Olson moved to adjourn the meeting and the motion carried by a 5-2 vote. Two LPC commissioners were not present.  

The 150 people attending the meeting — the largest crowd in the commission's history — were shocked when the meeting suddenly ended before any agenda items were heard. 

 


Manipulation of commission is a disgrace for city

Monday November 27, 2000

 

 

Editor: 

Kudos to City Attorney Manuela Albuquerque for her action disqualifying four members of the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) in the matter of Congregation Beth El.  

The manipulation of this particular city commission by key members of the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association (BAHA) has been a disgrace for years. Ms. Albuquerque’s recent action begins to address the outrageous problems that a BAHA-dominated LPC has inflicted on Berkeley and many of its citizens. 

By virtue of several of the current appointments by the City Council to LPC, BAHA board members have come to dominate LPC and have turned a city commission into the enforcement arm of a private organization whose agenda is much broader than LPC’s legal mandate. 

This obvious conflict of interest is unfair to project applicants, and economically costly in terms of lawsuits against the city which result from this conflict.  

The Council should applaud Ms. Albuquerque’s correct and welcome action. In addition, the council should further support this effort by appointing to the LPC persons who do not carry the potential to create politicized commission actions on behalf of a private group.  

 

Donn Logan 

Berkeley 


Bears get first win over South Alabama

Daily Planet Wire Services
Monday November 27, 2000

CHICAGO – California defeated South Alabama, 70-59, for the first victory of the Caren Horstmeyer era Saturday at UIC Pavilion. The Bears are 1-3 on the year, while the Jaguars fall to 2-2 with the loss to the Bears in the consolation game of the UIC Thanksgiving Tournament.  

Senior guard Kenya Corley rebounded from a scoreless game against Alabama Friday to lead the Golden Bears with a career-high of 22 points. Corley ignited Cal’s transition game, which accounted for 10 points. Senior forward Lauren Ashbaugh added 15 points and eight rebounds for Cal, which held a 42-34 edge on the glass. Jessica Webb led South Alabama with 22 points, and Taneshia Russell added 13.  

“I love to see different players step up,” said Horstmeyer. “This afternoon Kenya Corley stepped up and made a huge difference for our team. She played with confidence. She played the way I know she’s capable of every game.  

“I think Lauren Ashbaugh was also a key. I say that because whenever she went in, we went on a run. She was tough. She wanted to win the game. I really feel as a team it was important that we got a win under our belts.”  

The Bears jumped out to a 12-5 lead behind six points from Corley with 11:46 until halftime. The Bears offense then briefly slowed as the Jaguars closed to within 13-12 and 15-14 with seven minutes on the clock behind seven points from Webb. Cal countered with an 8-0 run to mount its biggest lead of the game to that point at 23-14 with 3:01 to go. Corley nailed a three-pointer as time expired to give Cal a 27-21 halftime advantage.  

Cal utilized a 51.7 percent shooting effort in the second half to pull away from South Alabama. Ashbaugh scored 11 of her points after the break. The Bears extended its lead to double figures for the first time in the game at 46-36 following two free throws from Corley with 10:02 to play.  

Cal built a 15-point margin at 62-47 with 5:02 left when South Alabama mounted a final charge, cutting the Bears lead to seven with only 35 ticks on the clock following a three-pointer from Russell. Courtney Johnson helped the Bears seal the game with two free throws, and Corley put an exclamation point on her team’s first victory of the 2000-01 season with a layup with one second left.  

Behind eight-of-15 shooting from Corley, Cal shot a season-best 46.4 percent overall from the field, and had its best defensive shooting percentage of the year at 33.9.  

Cal’s Courtney Johnson was named to the six-person all-tournament team.  

After four road games to open the season, Cal has its season opener Saturday, Dec. 2 against Cal State Northridge at 3 p.m., as host of the 23rd-annual Oakland Tribune Classic. The tournament, which also features Loyola Marymount and Florida International, wraps up, Dec. 3.


Study: Race plays a factor in baby care

Daily Planet Staff Report
Monday November 27, 2000

A study conducted last year by the city’s Heath and Human Services Department, Public Health Division has identified a a significant difference in health between newborn African-American and Caucasian babies born in Berkeley during the last three years.  

The study shows that African-American babies have lower birth weights, receive late prenatal care and that their babies suffer more developmental difficulties than their white counterparts.  

According to the study African-American children in Berkeley, are nearly four times as likely to be of low birth weight (less than 5.5 pounds) as their white counterparts. They’re also 40 times more likely to die within the first four weeks of life. 

The study also showed that African-American mothers have more predisposing factors such as inadequate social support and late prenatal care. 

In recognition of the study the City Council unanimously adopted a resolution to accept two grants to help educate pregnant African-American women in the hopes of decreasing a host of prenatal and afterbirth complications. 

The city will receive $100,000 to hire two Health Service Coordinator for four months, a health worker specialist for six months and an hourly office assistant for four months. The second grant for $10,000 will be used to address low birth weighs disparity through interviewing Berkeley mothers to determine social and interactive factors to better plan prevention programs. In addition, officials hope to create a “SisterLove” program modeled after the nationally recognized Birthing Right Project, to create a sister/buddy/mentoring system to shepherd mothers through pregnancy, delivery and the first year of life. 

The grants were made possible with the help of the Black Infant Health program, Maternal Child Health Branch, and the Alta Bates Medical Center.


Volleyball ends season with tourney championship

Daily Planet Wire Services
Monday November 27, 2000

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – The University of California women’s volleyball team (13-15) defeated host New Mexico (10-17), 3-0 (15-9, 15-8, 16-14) Saturday night in the championship match of the Albuturkey Classic held at the Johnson Center in Albuquerque, NM.  

It was a positive end to the 2000 season for the Golden Bears as they finished the year with three straight victories and a 13-15 overall record in coach Rich Feller’s second season.  

Senior outside hitter Alicia Perry was named the Albuturkey Classic MVP after leading Cal with a team-high 16 kills and 14 digs. Perry had also led the Bears with 12 kills and 14 digs the night before against Northern Arizona. She finished her collegiate career as only the fourth player in Cal history to record over 1000 kills and 1000 digs. Perry finished with 1348 career kills, 3729 kill attempts and 1131 digs. Her kill and kill attempts are the third most in school history and her digs are the sixth most in school history.  

Sophomore Reena Pardiwala was also an all-tournament selection as she recorded 11 kills, a .667 hitting percentage (11 kills, one error, 15 attempts), 13 digs and five block assists. Sophomore Leah Young added 10 kills and four block assists.  

In game one, the Bears jumped out to a 7-2 lead but let New Mexico tie the contest, 8-8. After a timeout, Cal went on an impressive run to win, 15-9. A tip and a kill by Pardiwala broke the 8-8 tie, and following a Lobo point, the Bears put the game away on three kills by Young, block assists by Young and Heather Diers and an ace by Caity Noonan.  

Cal took control of game two when it jumped out to a 12-1 lead on a kill by Perry. However, New Mexico made a strong comeback, outscoring the Bears, 7-1, to get within 13-8. After a timeout, Cal was finally able to win game two, 15-8, on a tip by Perry and a Lobos errant kill attempt.  

The Bears had to come-from-behind to win game three. New Mexico had a 14-10 lead and had five different chances at game point, but Cal was able to hold off the Lobos. Block assists by Gabrielle Abernathy and Diers got the Bears within 14-11. A tip by Candace McNamee made the score 14-12. After a kill attempt went wide for New Mexico, Perry had two straight blocks to give Cal a 15-14 lead. Finally, Pardiwala was able to give the Bears the game and the match with a kill.


Local Peruvians react to Fujimori’s resignation

By Olga R. Rodríguez Special to the Daily Planet
Monday November 27, 2000

Peruvian immigrants in the Bay Area have mixed reactions to President’s Alberto Fujimori’s recent surprise announcement that he is resigning. 

Just like the people in Peru, they were left confused and divided by the political soap opera in which Fujimori plays the lead role. 

Fujimori sent a letter to the Peruvian congress from Tokyo, where he had arrived unexpectedly on November 16, saying he would step down after a decade as president. In September, he said he would leave the presidency by July of next year and called for new elections to take place April 8, 2001. 

For Maria, a waitress at Mi Lindo Peru who declined to give her full name, Fujimori is resigning because the opposition is pressuring him to do so and not because people are unhappy with him. 

“Fujimori got rid of terrorism,” said Maria, who left Peru three years ago. 

“Before Fujimori, there were times when there was no electrical power on Christmas Eve. His government brought food and services to the people.” 

Fujimori's involvement in politics has been dramatic from the start. A little-known lecturer in agricultural economics, he became a major player in Peru’s politics after a surprise victory in the 1990 presidential elections. He gained support after his government virtually wiped out the Maoist Sendero Luminoso terrorist group and the Marxist Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement before the end of his first term. 

“Fujimori's government stabilized the economy and, relatively speaking, brought peace to the country,” said Fernando Calderón, an adviser to the United Nations and a visiting professor at UC Berkeley.  

“But his government also functioned in a less legitimate and legal way. His government did not abide to human rights norms and the number of political prisoners noticeably increased under Fujimori.” 

A Human Rights Watch report released Sunday alleged that Fujimori's security and intelligence apparatus continued to torture and abuse prisoners even after the terrorist threat had been effectively eliminated. 

But for some outside observers, the human rights violations come as a result of Fujimori’s determination to put an end to the leftist terrorism that plagued the country before he came to power. 

“Before his presidency, I never visited Peru because of fear of terrorist attacks,” said Peter Gomez, a Nicaraguan who visited Peru more than once during Fujimori's government. “But after I saw the way he handled the hostage situation at the Japanese Embassy, I knew he was a man with courage.” 

In 1992, Fujimori dissolved Congress and then packed it with his supporters, who passed a new constitution allowing him to run for a third term. But after a corruption scandal involving Vladimiro Montecinos, head of the secret intelligent service and the president's right arm, Fujimori's popularity diminished. 

Fujimori's departure leaves a gaping hole in a country where democratic institutions have been crippled by an oppressive government, Calderón said. 

“Unfortunately, when there is a weak political system people fall for charismatic leaders like Fujimori,” Calderón added. “But in the long run these leaders don’t fulfill their promises.  

Now, Peruvians have to achieve a consensus among the different political players. Otherwise, the climate of uncertainty could dampen economic prospects and slow Peru's recovery.” 

But for some immigrants the distance between Peru and their new home is far. 

“I don't follow Peruvian politics,” said Julio Shinzato, a Peruvian of Japanese descent who has lived in San Francisco for more than 20 years. “What happens in Peru does not affect me. I am from here now.”


Water polo downed by Bruins

Daily Planet Wire Services
Monday November 27, 2000

LOS ALAMITOS – The No. 4 ranked California men’s water polo team (16-9) fell in a 6-5 squeaker to No. 2 ranked UCLA (21-3) in the title match of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament, Sunday in Los Alamitos.  

A victory over the Bruins would have given Cal an automatic berth into the NCAA Championship, Dec. 2-3 in Malibu. The Bears could still receive an at-large berth to the NCAAs after topping Long Beach State, 10-6, and upsetting No. 1 ranked UC Irvine, 9-7 in overtime, during the tournament.  

“I think any number of teams deserve a berth,” said Cal coach Peter Asch. “Any one of the teams from our conference would be a good representative”  

UCLA won its second consecutive MPSF Championship with the victory. The Bruins trailed at the half, 3-2, but scored three unanswered goals, two from Brian Brown, to take a 5-3 lead early in the fourth quarter. Bear senior Eldad Hazor brought Cal to within one with a goal with 39 seconds left in the match, but the Bruins controlled the next possession and prevented Cal from taking more than a desperation shot at the buzzer.  

Hazor led the Bears with two goals.Sophomore goalie Russell Bernstein had an impressive match with 11 saves.  

“I just thought the tournament was a reflection of the whole season,” said Asch. “Every game is so tough. I thought both teams played very well, and it’s a shame that one of them had to lose. It was a high-end, toe-to-toe affair.”


UC Davis researchers find that painful food tastes good

Daily Planet wire report
Monday November 27, 2000

University of California at Davis researchers say many of the substances we enjoy consuming actually trigger pain, and argue that pain makes up an important component of some flavors. 

In a study published last month in the Journal of Neurophysiology, neurophysiologist Earl Carstens and food scientist Michael O'Mahony compared the effects on nerve activity of capsaicin, the substance that makes chilis hot, and nicotine. They found that when dropped on the tongue of rats, both trigger the firing of trigeminal nerves, which transmit pain to the brain. 

Carbonated drinks also cause painful sensations on the tongue, according to neurophysiologist Earl Carstens, because the carbon dioxide in the bubbles forms carbonic acid. 

“If you stick your tongue in carbonated water for a few seconds, that gets painful,” Carstens said. 

Other flavors with painful effects include vinegar, salt, black pepper, mustard and horseradish. 

“Humans have to learn to like these irritants, because they are all activating pain pathways,” Carstens noted. 

Not all of these irritating flavors and substances act in the same way, however.  

The burn of a spicy meal will actually continue to increase as long as you keep eating it continuously, but will be reduced if you pause between bites. Nicotine, on the other hand, desensitizes nerves almost immediately. 

The research is part of a body of work which aims to understand how the brain interprets flavors, and what factors affect taste.  


Homeless animals sold at upscale store

Staff
Monday November 27, 2000

Daily Planet wire report 

 

Those looking for a special gift should go to the windows of Neiman Marcus at Union Square, where animals from the San Francisco SPCA are on display and available for adoption. 

More pets will be available across the street at the SF/SPCA pavilion, where SPCA personnel can provide information on individual animals and guide you through the adoption process. Every adopted pet will be vaccinated, spayed or neutered and screened for medical or behavioral problems, and come with a 30-day medical assistance plan, a booklet of helpful hints and a new leash or carrier. 

Adoption costs only $35 per pet. 

This is the third year in a row animals have been displayed at one of the city's stores during the holiday season, according to an SPCA spokeswoman. The display and pavilion will remain at Union Square until Dec. 23.


Lawn fumes sicken area

The Associated Press
Monday November 27, 2000

COVINA – Authorities evacuated 30 homes Saturday when a homeowner mixed pepper spray with water and spilled it onto his lawn, causing a police officer and several other residents to fall ill, firefighters said. 

The officer and another person were taken to an area hospital, according to paramedics. Two other people were treated at the scene and released. 

“My throat started burning but the first person who felt it was my mom,” resident Amy Honeywell told KCAL-TV in Los Angeles. “She started throwing up. At first we thought she just got ill from something, but then my throat burned and that was enough for us to call the police and have them check it out.” 

The fumes were reported shortly after 5 p.m., said Los Angeles County fire dispatcher Ed Pickett. The fumes naturally dissipated and residents were allowed back to their homes several hours later, Pickett said. 

Resident Ed Honeywell told KCAL he began to cough, sneeze and vomit and his eyes began to water severely. “Couldn’t see, couldn’t talk, couldn’t breathe.”


Florida Secretary of State denies extension

By Walter R. Mears AP Special Correspondent
Monday November 27, 2000

Florida’s secretary of state prepared to certify the votes cast for George W. Bush and Al Gore in the near-deadlocked election that would determine which of them becomes 43rd president of the United States. But the struggle went on, the vote numbers under challenge even before they were declared. 

The votes were due in the office of Secretary of State Katherine Harris by 5 p.m. EST, a deadline set by the state supreme court. Sixty-six counties had them ready before that hour; in the 67th, Palm Beach County, canvassers kept recounting against the clock. Harris denied Palm Beach County an extension until Monday to judge questionable ballots. 

At stake are 25 electoral votes that would finally settle, for Bush or for Gore, the Nov. 7 presidential election. 

At midafternoon Sunday, an unofficial count by The Associated Press showed Bush with an edge of 454 votes. Hand recounting of machine-cast ballots in heavily Democratic Broward County, the Fort Lauderdale area, and Palm Beach County, had narrowed the Bush edge. 

Bush led by 930 votes before the recounts there. Absentee ballots from servicemen abroad added votes to his column. 

Either way, it was an all but invisible margin out of 6 million votes cast in Florida on Nov. 7. 

Anticipating a certification in which Harris, a Republican, would report Bush the leader, Gore was said to be preparing a speech to be delivered on Monday, explaining his case for the continuing challenge. 

Florida’s Democratic senators, one just elected, previewed it at a news conference in Tallahassee. 

“If either candidate were to be declared the victor and electoral votes awarded based on the status today, neither candidate would be legitimate,” Sen. Bob Graham said. “What is putting the presidency in jeopardy is the prospect of illegitimacy.” 

Sen.-elect Bill Nelson said American’s don’t want “an election that they feel like has beeN riggedor has not fully been counted. 

“We shouldn’t have a rush to judgment,” he said. “Rather, we should be on a path toward justice.” 

Democratic congressional leaders said nothing would be settled Sunday or soon. “We’re now in a two-week-or-so period in which you have a contest on both sides of this election,” said Rep. Richard A. Gephardt, the House minority leader. 

“What they’re trying to do is overturn every rock, looking for more Gore votes, extend this as long as possible,” said Gov. George Pataki of New York, one of the politicians both sides have summoned to Florida to watch the recounting and talk about it. 

Pataki said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that he believes Bush won and that the Democrats are trying to recount him out of victory. 

Sen. Tom Daschle of South Dakota, the Senate’s Democratic leader, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he “truly” believes Gore won Florida, and that a full, fair recount would show it. 

“I’ve talked with most of my colleagues over the last several days and there isn’t any interest in conceding anything at this point,” Daschle said. 

There are court challenges in Florida on both sides, with more to come when courthouses open Monday. The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday will hear Bush’s case against a state Supreme Court recount decision. Gore lawyers said they will challenge certification of a Bush lead by Harris, a Republican who campaigned for the Texas governor. 

Bush has the option of dropping his appeal to the Supreme Court should he be certified the winner. That seemed unlikely because it would concede to Gore the recounted votes that put the vice president closer to winning a post-certification challenge to the count. 

“I think both sides have decided to take this election beyond the certification,” Daschle said. “Whether or not she makes any pronouncement tonight is not really relevant.” 

The Sunday deadline was set by the Florida Supreme Court in the unanimous decision Bush appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Florida justices ruled that ballots cast by machine and ordered recounted by hand should be included in the Bush and Gore totals, and that the numbers should be reported to the secretary of state by 5 p.m. EST Sunday. 

Harris had planned to certify the outcome as of Nov. 17, the deadline under state law. Bush’s attorneys said the state Supreme Court improperly overrode that law when it set a later deadline. 

The three Palm Beach canvassing board members who unsuccessfully sought more time all are Democrats — and the Gore campaign is going to court against them on Monday to challenge their recounting method, complaining they used too stringent a standard in determining what was a valid vote. 

That was one of the issues on which Gore was basing his challenge to certification. 

In Broward County, where Gore made more substantial recount gains, the canvassers were less restrictive in judging a voter’s intent on punchcard ballots that did not register in voting machines because they were not properly punched, only dented.


Lawyers looking for ways to influence vote count

By Linda Deutsch AP Special Correspondent
Monday November 27, 2000

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – While recounted Florida votes edged toward certification Sunday, lawyers for Al Gore and George W. Bush doggedly pursued more legal avenues for changing the totals yet again. 

“This is one of the most amazing legal chess games we’ve ever seen played,” said Laurie Levenson, a professor at Loyola University Law School in Los Angeles. “I don’t think even the parties know what their next move will be. It changes from hour to hour.” 

The deadline for their maneuvers is Dec. 12 when Florida must certify its electors. 

Bush has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Florida Supreme Court’s ruling that the hand recounts requested by Gore should go forward. The U.S. court has scheduled arguments in the case for Friday. 

Should Bush maintain his lead when the tally is certified, he could drop his appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. That strategy involves a political risk because it would leave in place the votes Gore picks up in the recount — putting the vice president closer to winning in any post-certification contest. 

It has become evident that the outcome of the presidential election will depend heavily on legal sorties by an army of lawyers who have found new challenges in the murky depths of Florida election law. 

“Because we’re in uncharted waters, it’s almost impossible to know all the legal options. They’re being created every day,” said Levenson. “Both sides have the best lawyers available and they’re being very creative and aggressive” 

For now, there are some clear moves ahead: 

—Secretary of State Katherine Harris was to receive the results Sunday of all votes in the state including recounts in scattered counties. 

—The declaration of the final totals opens the door for contests to be filed by the unsuccessful candidate and counter-contests to be filed by the candidate with more votes. 

—Gore lawyers will challenge results in Miami-Dade County where disputed votes were never fully recounted by hand. The canvassing board said they couldn’t finish in time and just quit counting. 

—Bush lawyers have already begun lawsuits challenging the exclusion of overseas and military ballots eliminated for such things as missing postmarks. 

—Gore lawyers may challenge the results from Palm Beach County where multiple problems exist. So-called dimpled ballots were never counted and many voters claimed they were so confused by a “butterfly ballot” form that they mistakenly voted for Pat Buchanan rather than Al Gore. To complicate matters further, the Palm Beach board said Sunday it could not complete its work by the 5 p.m. deadline. 

—A challenge in Seminole County was possible involving some 15,000 absentee ballots amid allegations that Republicans wrongly tampered with ballot applications on behalf of GOP voters. 

“The violations in Seminole County are extraordinary,” said Erwin Chemerinsky, constitutional law professor at University of Southern California. “But it seems unlikely that all absentee ballots would be thrown out because that would disenfranchise voters who cast their ballots properly.” 

Chemerinsky, who has represented voters in Palm Beach on the butterfly ballot issue, said the remedy being sought there would be either a new election or a statistical recount that would transfer some of Buchanan’s votes to Gore. That battle, lost at the circuit court, is now wending its way through appeals court. 

The end of the line for all the legal maneuvering could be Friday’s hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

“The dead end could be the Supreme Court,” said Levenson. “They may direct the participants to where the buck stops.” 

“It seems extraordinary that they are intervening,” she added, “One reason may be to bring finality to a process that seems to have spun out of control.”


Bay Area residents worry about high housing prices

The Associated Press
Monday November 27, 2000

SAN FRANCISCO – High housing costs pose a “major problem” for four of five residents in the San Francisco Bay area’s red-hot property market. 

The percentage of people who say outrageous rents and asking prices would force them to move from the region has nearly doubled in three years. 

Only one of 10 residents say they are “very satisfied” with the availability of housing in the region. 

In a confirmation of what area residents have been bemoaning for several years, a San Francisco Chronicle survey of 1,000 adults across the region found one overriding theme: the San Francisco Bay Area is an expensive place to call home. 

Costs have gotten so high that residents reported housing was more troublesome than even the region’s seemingly nonstop gridlock. 

Residents blamed the blazing economy and the dotcom millionaires it has produced. 

“Silicon Valley salaries are so out of whack with what other professionals are making in the Bay Area that it takes so much more money to live decently,” said Sonia Sotinsky, an architect who moved from Berkeley to Tucson, Ariz., last year. 

The flip side, of course, is that more than 80 percent of people who have already own property believe the value of their house has appreciated greatly in the recent past. 

The newspaper concluded that over time, middle class, skilled workers like plumbers and electricians would leave the area in increasing numbers. 

In a similar 1997 survey, the Chronicle reported that 18 percent of people said they would have to leave the region because of housing costs. That figure climbed to 31 percent this year. 

In September, the National Low Income Housing Coalition ranked San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties as the least affordable place to live in the U.S.  

The advocacy group calculated that a worker must earn more than $28 per hour to rent the standard apartment and maintain a decent quality of life. 

The numbers show a dramatic shift since the paper last conducted its poll. Back then, nearly 70 percent of respondents said they were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the availability of housing in the area. That total fell to a shade over 30 percent this time. 

Respondents in San Francisco and the high-technology corridor stretching south to San Jose said they felt the pinch most.


FasTrak system to debut on Bay Bridge this week

Daily Planet wire report
Monday November 27, 2000

On Wednesday morning, commuters traveling from the East Bay to San Francisco will be able to use the FasTrak system on two lanes of the Bay Bridge, one of the busiest commute routes in the country. 

Those who have signed up for the program and received their FastTrak transponders will be able to cruise through tollbooth number 11, located at the center of the bridge’s toll plaza. Lane number 12 will be available for both FasTrak users and patrons paying with cash or tickets. 

Caltrans spokesman Colin Jones says that as with the opening phases of FasTrak lanes on other Bay area bridges, he expects it will be some time before most motorists will adapt to the new system. 

“There’s always a little confusion, an adjustment period, maybe a few weeks, for some of the traffic to work itself out,’’ Jones said. 

Although eventuall, the system could prove to alleviate the increasing congestion on the busy bridge, Jones points out that the metering lights will still be in operation in all lanes during busy traffic times. 

The addition of a FasTrak lane to the Bay Bridge brings Caltrans one step closer to its goal of dedicating at least one lane to the system on each of the Bay areas bridges by the end of the year. 

On Dec. 7, the system will make its debut at the Dumbarton Bridge, and a lane on the San Mateo-Hayward and Antioch bridges is expected on Dec. 31.  

Also in December, Caltrans expects to open another mixed-use lane at the Bay Bridge, located on toll booth number 20, on the far right side of the toll plaza. 

Jones said that some 35,000 FasTrak devices have been issued, and Caltrans is receiving some 500 applications every day.  

According to Jones, the number of inquiries about the system have increased some since the announcement of the Bay Bridge FasTrak lane was made. 

Response has been so good, Jones said, that the department of transportation’s toll free number has been overwhelmed with calls. That number is (888) 725-TRAK. Internet users can order an application on line by going to www.dot.gov/fastrak.


Bay briefs

Monday November 27, 2000

Santa Clara voters barely approve bond measure 

SANTA CLARA (AP) — Finally, somebody has finished counting election-day ballots. 

Voters in Santa Clara County narrowly approved a $375 million creek restoration and flood control bond, county officials reported yesterday. 

The water tax proposal authorizes $25 million a year for 15 years to control flood waters, preserve the environment and boost water quality. The average homeowner’s tax bill will rise 39 dollars a year. 

The bond needed a two-thirds majority to pass. It cleared that bar by a mere thousand votes of 480,000 cast. 

 

Car chase ends in crash, arrests 

EAST PALO ALTO (AP) — Some 15 police cruisers chased a carload of suspects in an East Palo Alto shooting across the Dumbarton Bridge, firing shots along the way until the fleeing car crashed Friday evening. 

In the end, police said they arrested eight people, several of them teen-agers. 

The chase began when East Palo Alto police told neighboring departments that a black Chevrolet Suburban had fled the scene of a shooting around 5:20 p.m. Menlo Park Police spotted the car and followed it onto Highway 101. 

The holiday made for light traffic and the car took off over the bridge toward the East Bay at speeds up to 100 mph. 

It crashed on Ardenwood Road in Fremont. Several of the suspects suffered minor injuries, police said. 

The motive for the original shooting was not known. The man injured was taken to Stanford Medical Center. 

 

School district in turmoil 

SAN JOSE (AP) — A tiny school district near San Jose is experiencing big-time problems. 

The superintendent of the Luther Burbank school system has said he will resign and almost half of the district’s teachers promise to follow him. 

The turmoil is shaking the independent school district of 450 students, which is located near San Jose in an unincorporated part of Santa Clara County. 

The problems surfaced several weeks ago when the district’s superintendent, who is also principal of its only school, said he would resign. Superintendent Paul Madarang cited “irreconcilable and philosophical differences” with the district’s school board. 

Following his lead, eleven teachers and four other staff said they too would quit at the end of the school year. 

The district has been facing financial troubles, including the loss of a large federal grant for bilingual education. 

 

Gunman takes shot at police, ends up dead 

DALY CITY (AP) — A gunman who fled a highway median and fired at least one shot at police was killed Thanksgiving Day, police said. 

The man’s identity is being withheld, pending identification through the San Mateo County Coroner’s Officer. 

California Highway Patrol officers spotted the man alone in the center divider of Highway 280 Thursday night just opposite the southbound Westlake off ramp. 

Officers said they tried to talk him, but noticed he was carrying a handgun. The man then took cover in a wooded area. 

Daly City police were called to the scene as backup. Police exchanged gunfire with the man. The suspect was pronounced dead on scene.


Skate park halted due to contamination

By Judith Scherr Daily Planet Staff
Sunday November 26, 2000

Work has halted on the skateboard park near Fifth and Harrison streets following a Friday morning emergency meeting among city officials and skate park enthusiasts. 

Last week, the carcinogen chromium 6 was found in ground water seeping up into the deepest bowls carved out in the skate park’s construction phase. The City Council authorized $100,000 to pump the water out of the skate bowls and into tanks and to hire an independent toxicologist. 

But Friday, city officials decided to change course somewhat and discontinue pumping out the contaminated water. 

Chromium 6 or hexavalent chrome is an odorless chemical whose uses include hardening steel and making paint pigments. The known carcinogen is dangerous when ingested, city officials said, noting, however, that it does not enter the drinking water supply.  

The source of the skatepark contamination is thought to be a years-old “plume” – ground water with the contaminant – originating at Western Roto Engravers Color Tech at 1225 Sixth Street.  

Lisa Caronna, director of the Parks and Waterfront Department and Nabil Al Hadithy, division head for toxics, met on the skateboard site Friday morning with skatepark enthusiasts to contemplate next steps. 

Filling tanks with contaminated water and hauling them away at $14,000 each is not practical, they decided Friday, so the department is trying another tack.  

“We will turn off the pumps so the ground water can rise in the (two deepest) bowls,” Al Hadithy said. These bowls will be filled with gravel. 

The gravel allows the bowls to maintain their shape and at the same time acts as a deterrent for animals and children who might be attracted to the hole. 

If a child’s ball goes over the fence into the gravel pit, for example, it will disappear behind the gravel, so that a child will not attempt to go after it, Al Hadithy said, noting also that there will be a security guard posted at the site at all times. 

The three shallower bowls will be filled with concrete, so that they maintain their shape, while the city is deciding the skatepark’s future, Al Hadithy continued.  

After filling the bowls with concrete and allowing the water to rise in them, the chrome 6 must be filtered out of the water. The city has hired two different firms to explore ways of doing that. 

The 6.4 acre site at Fifth and Harrison streets, that includes a soccer field, was purchased from UC Berkeley last year for $2.8 million. The city tested the groundwater but did not find contaminants at that time.  

“The preliminary testing did not go to the lower threshold,” Caronna said Friday. 

Asked why the city could not build the skateboard higher, above the groundwater level, Al Hadithy said the plan was to make the park completely visible to Berkeley Police Department officials who can ride by and see what is happening there at a glance. Were the park built higher, the skaters would be less visible, he said. 

At this point, it is not known who will foot the bill for cleaning up the property – the city, the company thought responsible for the contamination, or the university which sold the property to the city. The question could end up in the courts. 

What the skateboarders want to know is when their park will be ready for them. 

The toxicologist should be putting out a comprehensive statement next week after which city officials may have a better idea of what the future holds. 

“The goal is to complete a skatepark,” Caronna said, adding that the city will take a conservative and safe approach. 

Asked if she believes the park will be built, Caronna answered, “I do – in some form.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Homeless vet grateful for generosity

By Millicent Mayfield Special to the Daily Planet
Sunday November 26, 2000

For two weeks John Christian has been sitting in front of the downtown Berkeley BART station on Shattuck Avenue each day, asking for change. And so far, the people of Berkeley have come through. 

Christian said he is so impressed with the city’s generosity and tolerance that he has sought out the media to pass along his public message of thanks. 

“The people here in Berkeley have been so good to me,” said the 40-year-old Christian. “I’ve panhandled in lots of places, but the people in Berkeley are loving, caring, sharing people.” 

Modesto Fernandez is one of the people who stops and chats with Christian on Friday and gives him a McDonald’s gift certificate. 

In addition to feeling a moral responsibility toward the homeless, Fernandez is also a Vietnam veteran and the two share their experiences of the war. Fernandez is angry with the lack of respect people show for homeless veterans. 

“It really upsets me. I could be where they are,” he said. “If you’ve ever been out there in the field, on the streets and you know what it feels like to walk around in wet socks, you can appreciate dry socks.” 

Christian is actively seeking a job as a bus driver and one day hopes to qualify as a BART engineer. For now, he’s content to hold up a felt-penned cardboard sign looking for a little generosity to see him through. 

“I feel this is no way to go through life but right now I have no choice,” he said. 

In Berkeley, Christian averages $30 to $40 a day in “tips,” which is good considering he only makes about $7 a day in San Francisco. In addition to food and medicine, he uses the money he gains from panhandling to support a three-pack-a-day cigarette habit. 

Christian came to the Bay Area two months ago looking for work.  

Lifelong bouts with depression and diabetes have made this search difficult and as a result, he’s been staying at the City Team Ministries’ homeless shelter in Oakland. 

Everyday he must sign in to receive a bed for the night. If none are available, he simply sleeps underneath a bridge somewhere or tries another shelter in the area. 

Christian said police officers in Oakland suggested he panhandle in Berkeley, saying the city was more tolerant of homeless. A person who answered the phone at the Oakland Police Department, however, denied this was their method of eradicating the homeless in their city. She did not give her name. 

Christian said he finds Berkeley a pleasant change from his experiences in Oakland where he’s been robbed several times. He’s especially impressed with the police in Berkeley and refers to them as “dignified” in the way they deal with the homeless. 

Ethridge Marks, a BART police officer who was in the area on Friday, agrees that the police in Berkeley seem to be more tolerant of the homeless population. 

“There’s probably more compassion in the city of Berkeley,” Marks said. “I think it should be the duty of every police officer to be compassionate to the people they serve. Just because a person is homeless doesn’t mean you shouldn’t serve them.” 

Christian was born in Connecticut in 1960 and joined the Army in 1978. Eventually, he was honorably discharged because of his flat feet, which hindered his ability to run. Over the years, he’s worked as a charter bus and taxi driver and at one point owned his own parcel delivery business before making his way out to the West Coast. 

He went on disability in 1991 due to back problems and depression, something he’s dealt with all his life. He was scared on the first night he spent in a homeless shelter in 1996. He was concerned about sharing such little space with so many strangers and the possibility of diseases spreading. But he’s learned to adjust because there are “certain things in life that you have to do.” 

Christian easily totes around his worldly possessions in a medium-sized piece of luggage. In it he carries various legal documents, a pillow and two of the three shirts he owns. He wears his only pair of pants along with a pair of 20-year-old cross country ski boots on his feet. At 297 pounds, he says it’s hard to find clothes that fit him at thrift stores. 

His curly, black hair is peppered with gray, which he says has increased over the last three years due to stress. 

“My age is coming on very fast right now,” he said. 

However, Christian fears earthquakes more than he fears death and lives a simple life, needing little more than the generosity of Berkeley’s community. 

“Homeless vet needs your help,” he calls out to the passing crowd adding, “That’s my favorite line.” 

 

 

 


Skate park halted due to contamination

By Judith Scherr Daily Planet Staff
Saturday November 25, 2000

Work has halted on the skateboard park near Fifth and Harrison streets following a Friday morning emergency meeting among city officials and skate park enthusiasts. 

Last week, the carcinogen chromium 6 was found in ground water seeping up into the deepest bowls carved out in the skate park’s construction phase. The City Council authorized $100,000 to pump the water out of the skate bowls and into tanks and to hire an independent toxicologist. 

But Friday, city officials decided to change course somewhat and discontinue pumping out the contaminated water. 

Chromium 6 or hexavalent chrome is an odorless chemical whose uses include hardening steel and making paint pigments. The known carcinogen is dangerous when ingested, city officials said, noting, however, that it does not enter the drinking water supply.  

The source of the skatepark contamination is thought to be a years-old “plume” – ground water with the contaminant – originating at Western Roto Engravers Color Tech at 1225 Sixth Street.  

Lisa Caronna, director of the Parks and Waterfront Department and Nabil Al Hadithy, division head for toxics, met on the skateboard site Friday morning with skatepark enthusiasts to contemplate next steps. 

Filling tanks with contaminated water and hauling them away at $14,000 each is not practical, they decided Friday, so the department is trying another tack.  

“We will turn off the pumps so the ground water can rise in the (two deepest) bowls,” Al Hadithy said. These bowls will be filled with gravel. 

The gravel allows the bowls to maintain their shape and at the same time acts as a deterrent for animals and children who might be attracted to the hole. 

If a child’s ball goes over the fence into the gravel pit, for example, it will disappear behind the gravel, so that a child will not attempt to go after it, Al Hadithy said, noting also that there will be a security guard posted at the site at all times. 

The three shallower bowls will be filled with concrete, so that they maintain their shape, while the city is deciding the skatepark’s future, Al Hadithy continued.  

After filling the bowls with concrete and allowing the water to rise in them, the chrome 6 must be filtered out of the water. The city has hired two different firms to explore ways of doing that. 

The 6.4 acre site at Fifth and Harrison streets, that includes a soccer field, was purchased from UC Berkeley last year for $2.8 million. The city tested the groundwater but did not find contaminants at that time.  

“The preliminary testing did not go to the lower threshold,” Caronna said Friday. 

Asked why the city could not build the skateboard higher, above the groundwater level, Al Hadithy said the plan was to make the park completely visible to Berkeley Police Department officials who can ride by and see what is happening there at a glance. Were the park built higher, the skaters would be less visible, he said. 

At this point, it is not known who will foot the bill for cleaning up the property – the city, the company thought responsible for the contamination, or the university which sold the property to the city. The question could end up in the courts. 

What the skateboarders want to know is when their park will be ready for them. 

The toxicologist should be putting out a comprehensive statement next week after which city officials may have a better idea of what the future holds. 

“The goal is to complete a skatepark,” Caronna said, adding that the city will take a conservative and safe approach. 

Asked if she believes the park will be built, Caronna answered, “I do – in some form.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Calendar of Events & Activities

Saturday November 25, 2000


Saturday, Nov. 25

 

Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios 

11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Get map from: 

1250 Addison St. #214 

or download at: http://www.berkeleyartisans.com 

Over one hundred professional artists and craftspeople open up their studios and workspaces to the public. All styles of artistic expression are represented. Runs Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 17. 

Call 845-2612 

 

Create the City of Your  

Fantasies 

7:30 - 11 p.m. 

Whimsyum  

1414 Fourth St.  

Described as something beyond dinner and a movie, the folks at Whymsium invite you to share your interests and explore your hobbies. This evening features DJ’d “Candlelight Massage Circles Salon.”  

$3 - $20 sliding scale 

Call 595-5541  

 

Children’s Benefit Concert 

11 a.m. - Noon 

College Ave. Presbyterian Church  

5951 College Ave.  

Oakland  

A concert to benefit Lillian Wamalwa, who would like to go to Kenya to help her sister, who has AIDS, and her four children.  

$6 suggested donation 

Call 925-376-3543 

 

Papersong Grand Opening Celebration 

Noon - 5 p.m.  

Swan’s Marketplace 

936B Clay St.  

Oakland 

Featuring free musical performances by Big Brother & The Holding Co., Caravan of All Stars Revue, The Charles Dudley Band, and Jane DeCuir.  

Call 436-5131 

 

Making Marriage Work 

(event is 10 Wednesdays, Nov. 29 - Jan. 24) 

7:30 - 9:30 p.m. 

Jewish Family & Children’s Services 

of the East Bay, Berkeley 

2484 Shattuck Ave., Suite 210 

For Jewish and interfaith couples either considering marriages, engaged or recently married. Focusing on topics to improve the relationship and bridging religious and ethnic differences to strengthen the marriage.  

$360 per couple  

Call 704-7475 


Sunday, Nov. 26

 

The Value of Meditation 

6 p.m.  

Tibetan Nyingma Institute 

1815 Highland Place 

Joleen Vries, director of the Nyingma Institute in the Netherlands for over five years, will discuss how to maintain a regular meditation practice. Free 843-6812 

 


Monday, Nov. 27

 

To Make the World Whole 

7:30 - 9 p.m.  

Berkeley Richmond Jewish Community Center 

1414 Walnut St.  

Bay Area musician Mark Levy discusses songs of peace, protest and change from labor, feminists, peace, and environmental activists of the past 125 years, that inspired others to action. 

Tuition for all three classes: $30 general public; $20 JJC members, seniors and students 

Individual classes: $10 general; $8 JJC members, seniors and students  

Call 848-0237 

 

Parks & Recreation Board 

7 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst (at MLK Jr. Way) 

 

Solid Waste Management  

Commission 

7 p.m. 

Solid Waste Management Center 

1201 Second St.  

 

Zoning Adjustment Board  

Meeting 

7 p.m. 

2134 MLK Jr. Way  

Council Chambers, 2nd Floor 

 

Educational Philosophies  

Roundtable 

7 - 9 p.m.  

Epworth United Methodist Church 

1953 Hopkins St.  

At this roundtable, Sponsored by the Neighborhood Parents Network, parents will learn about the following educational philosophies: Developmental, cooperative, Montessori, bilingual, Waldorf, religious, homeschooling, and charter schools.  

Free to members; non-members, $5 Call 527-6667 or visit  

www.parentsnet.org  

Tai Chi Chih with Ben Levitan  

1 p.m.  

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst (at MLK Jr. Way) 

Call Maggie or Suzanne, 644-6107 

 


Tuesday, Nov. 28M

 

Blood Pressure for Seniors 

9:30 - 11 a.m.  

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst (at MLK Jr. Way) 

Call Maggie or Suzanne, 644-6107 

 

Read a Play Together Salon 

7:30 - 10:30 p.m. 

Whimsyum  

1414 Fourth St.  

Described as something beyond dinner and a movie, the folks at Whymsium invite you to share your interests and explore your hobbies.  

$3 - $20 sliding scale 

Call 595-5541  

 

Lavender Lunch 

12:30 - 1:30 p.m. 

Pacific School of Religion  

1798 Scenic Ave.  

Mudd 100 

PSR adjunct faculty member Mark Wilson and PSR alumna Lynice Pinkard will speak on “Heterosexism and Racism.”  

Sponsored by PSR’s Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry. Free 

Call 849-8206 

 

Making Marriage Work 

(event is 10 Wednesdays, Nov. 29 - Jan. 24) 

7:30 - 9:30 p.m. 

Jewish Family & Children’s Services 

of the East Bay, Berkeley 

2484 Shattuck Ave., Suite 210 

For Jewish and interfaith couples either considering marriages, engaged or recently married. Focusing on topics to improve the relationship and bridging religious and ethnic differences to strengthen the marriage.  

$360 per couple  

Call 704-7475 

—compiled by  

Chason Wainwright 

 

 


Wednesday, Nov. 29

 

Wanderlust: Tales of  

Adventure and Romance 

7:30 p.m.  

Easy Going Travel Shop & Bookstore 

1385 Shattuck Ave. (at Rose) 

Jeff Greenwald and other travel writers discuss the art of writing travel literature and how to make a living doing it.  

Call 843-3533 

 

Berkeley Gray Panthers  

Membership Meeting 

1:30 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst Ave. (at MLK Jr. Way) 

Discussion of how the election results will affect the Gray Panthers.  

Call 548-9696 

 

Mental Health Commission 

6:30 p.m. 

2640 MLK Jr. Way (at Derby) 

 

Challenges of Parenting Adolescents  

7 - 9 p.m. 

Jewish Family & Children’s Services 

of the East Bay 

2484 Shattuck Ave., Suite 210 

This workshop focuses on the challenges facing parents and teens. Learn how to avoid triggering and pushing each other’s buttons. Runs three consecutive Wednesdays, through Dec. 13. Led by Kathy Langsam, MA, MFT, JFCS Teen Services Coordinator.  

$60 

Call 704-7475 

 


Thursday, Nov. 30

 

Pro Arts Juried Show  

Reception 

6 - 8 p.m.  

Pro Arts 

461 Ninth St.  

Oakland 

With the work of 70 artists, this annual show features the work of emerging and mid-career artists. The show runs through December 30. See A&E calendar for details.  

 

Snowshoeing Basics  

7 p.m . 

Recreational Equipment, Inc.  

1338 San Pablo Ave.  

Professional snowshoe guide Cathy Anderson-Meyers gives basic instruction on how to get out and experience Tahoe’s winter terrain on “shoes.”  

Call 527-4140 

 

Art for Sale 

6 - 8 p.m. 

Kala Art Institute  

1060 Heinz Ave.  

Over sixty artists affiliated with the Kala Art Institute exhibit works ranging from traditional wood block prints to works in digital media. During the reception, artists will offer 10 percent off the sale of their prints.  

549-2977 

 

Oakland Museum Trip for Seniors 

(trip on Dec. 8) 

A trip to the Oakland Museum to see the Imperial Palace of China Exhibit. Organized by the North Berkeley Senior Center 

Call Maggie, 644-6107 

 

Let Your Chi Flow Freely 

6 - 7 p.m.  

University of Creation Spirituality 

2141 Broadway Ave. 

Oakland 

Share peace and tranquillity communally and regain harmony and balance.  

Call Idris Hassan, 835-4827 x31  

 

Witness In Our Time 

7 p.m.  

105 North Gate Hall 

UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism 

Center for Photography 

Kerry Tremain moderates a conversation with Wayne Miller, Ken Light, Matt Heron and Michelle Vignes. Followed by a book signing for “Chicago’s South Side” by Wayne Miller and “Witness in Our Time” by Ken Light. 

Call 642-3383  

 


Friday, Dec. 1

 

Spanish Book Club 

7:30 p.m. 

Cody’s Books  

2454 Telegraph Ave.  

A discussion of “Dona Barbara” by the Colombian writer Rumulo Gallegos. New members welcome. The group meets the first Friday of each month.  

Call 601-0454  

 

Taize Worship Services  

7:30 - 8:30 p.m.  

Loper Chapel  

Dana St. (between Durant & Channing) 

Call 848-3696 

 

Basic Electrical Theory 

7 - 10 p.m. 

Building Education Center 

812 Page St.  

Redwood Kardon, retired City of Oakland building inspector and author of the Code Check book series.  

$35 

Call 525-7610 

 


Saturday, Dec. 2

 

Wild About Books? 

10:30 a.m. 

Berkeley Central Library 

2121 Allston Way 

Storyteller Kellmar draws from her African-American roots with stories that touch the heart and the funnybone. For childen aged 3-7. 

Call 649-3943  

 

Whymsium Anniversary Party 

7:30 - 11 p.m. 

Whimsyum  

1414 Fourth St.  

Described as something beyond dinner and a movie, the folks at Whymsium invite you to share your interests and explore your hobbies. This annual party features a talent show, games and a dance.  

$3 - $20 sliding scale 

Call 595-5541  

 

UC Botanical Holiday Plant Sale 

10 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

UC Botanical Garden  

200 Centennial Dr.  

You’ll find a selection of orchids, ferns, rhododendrons, cacti, hardy herbs, and house plants galore for yourself or gardening friends.  

Call 643-2755 

 

Native American Flute  

5 - 6 p.m. 

Gathering Tribes Gallery  

1573 Solano Ave.  

Celebrating the release of his CD “Spirit Within,” Berkeley resident and flutist Walter Ogi Johnson performs.  

 

Finding a Way In 

7 - 9 p.m.  

Jewish Learning Center 

1414 Walnut St.  

Offering a safe space for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender jews to express personal concerns and to find a place to belong in the Jewish community.  

$5 with pre-registraiton; $7 at door  

845-6420 

 

Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios 

11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Get map from: 

1250 Addison St. #214 

or download at: http://www.berkeleyartisans.com 

Over one hundred professional artists and craftspeople open up their studios and workspaces to the public. All styles of artistic expression are represented. Runs Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 17. 

Call 845-2612  

 

Know Your Rights Training 

11 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

Copwatch Office  

2022 Blake St.  

Learn what your rights are in dealing with the police. Learn how to monitor the police safely.  

Call 548-0425 

 

Publish Your Own Book 

10 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

Regent Press 

6020-A Adeline St. 

Mark Weiman of Regen Press presents an overview of the business of book publishing oriented towards the author considering self-publishing.  

$60 per person 

Call Mark Weiman, 547-7602 

 

Friends of Berkeley Youth Alternatives 

Wine Tasting  

1 - 4 p.m. 

Rosenblum Cellars 

2900 Main St.  

Alameda 

All proceeds benefit the children and families served by Berkeley Youth Alternatives. 

$25 

Call 845-9010 

 

Alternative Building Materials 

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Building Education Center 

812 Page St.  

Seminar taught by architects Dan Smith and John Fordice. 

$75  

Call 525-7610 

 

Compiled by Chason Wainwright 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Letters to the Editor

Saturday November 25, 2000

Christians’ role must be examined 

Editor: 

In your November 16 opinion piece “Perspective,” the faculty of the Pacific School of Religion decry the ghettoization (though they avoid using the word) of Palestinians by Israelis, and call for support of PLO diplomatic positions. Many may agree with these sentiments. But coming from a European Christian seminary, this perspective needs acknowledgment of the Christian role in creating the situation. The Crusaders’ atrocities on Moslems, Jews and Eastern Christians exceed all massacres worldwide since the Second World War. In particular, their trashing of the Jewish Temple facilitated later construction of the mosque that is the recent flash point. Unless you have edited out their acknowledgment, their position reeks of ignorance at best, and the old race-hatred at worst. 

 

Mark Tatz 

Berkeley 

Mom continues to pray for son 

Editor: 

Last week, my son Jeffrey Schilling spoke over Radio Mindanao. I am thankful to know that he is still alive and that he still has some small measure of hope. However, I am distressed that he is still being held captive and that he has so many health problems. He is coughing up blood and he has a swollen leg from an infection. I pray that the people holding Jeffrey will let him go so he can receive proper medical care. I thank everyone who has been praying for Jeffrey and for his wife Ivy. Please continue your prayers. 

Carol Schilling 

Oakland 

 

Horrified at police comment 

Editor: 

We were horrified to read Lt. Lopes’ comments that the alleged junior-high gang rape victim possessed “some type of mental capacity that allows her to be duped into these situations... She makes the same mistakes over and over again.” To see a police officer perpetuate the myth that the victim must have somehow asked for it is an outrage. When this attitude is expressed by the spokesperson for the police department, its effects are particularly harmful: seeing her experience belittled will surely deter other men and women from reporting abuse. Our police must challenge the history of oppression which blames the victims of violence. Nobody, no matter how short her skirt, asks to be raped. 

Ben Harvey, Amy Hofer, Nik Putnam, Sara Tolley 

Berkeley 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Women hoopsters fall to Alabama, still winless

By Jared Green Daily Planet Staff
Saturday November 25, 2000

New coach Horstmeyer starts 0-3 with Bears 

 

First-year head coach Caren Horstmeyer’s career at Cal has gotten off to a rocky start. The Bears extended their losing streak to three to begin the season, falling to the Alabama Crimson Tide 76-63 in the opening round of the University of Illinois at Chicago Thanksgiving Tournament Friday night at UIC Pavilion. 

The Tide were led by Shondra Johnson, who scored a game-high 29 points. She was helped by Sparkle Johnson’s 14 points and 10 rebounds, with Beth Vice scoring 13 and Joni Crenshaw 10. Alabama improved to 3-0 with the victory. 

Alabama roared out of the gate to open a 16-5 lead just five minutes into the game, keyed by Vice’s two three-pointers. Cal responded with a 9-1 run of their own. But the Bears were held scoreless for seven minutes after that run, allowing the Tide to widen its lead back to 10 points, leading to a 32-21 halftime lead. 

Horstmeyer’s squad came out strong in the second half, cutting the deficit to six in less than five minutes, but Alabama refused to let them back in the game. 

“We need to be able to get over the hump and be more mentally tough,” Horstmeyer said. 

The Tide increased its lead back up to its halftime lead of 11 the next two minutes and its biggest lead of the game of 15 at 57-42 with 7:43 on the clock. The Bears then cut the lead to seven points on several occasions, with the last being after a Brook Coulter three-pointer at 4:12 that made the score 59-52, but they could get no closer and went quietly into the Chicago night. 

The Bears lost despite a career-high 27 points from guard Courtney Johnson, who also had two rebounds, two assists and four steals in the game. Her all-around effort portends good things for Cal; if Johnson can control the game from point guard, it will free up shooting guards Kenya Corley and Becky Staubes to snipe away from the outside.  

But the Bears lack of an inside presence showed against the Crimson Tide, with Alabama out-rebounding the Bears 39-32 as Cal forwards Amber White and Ami Forney pulled down seven rebounds apiece. 

The rough start doesn’t seem to worry Horstmeyer, however. She seems more intent on getting the team ready for the conference season. 

“We’ve opened the season with three difficult games,” Horstmeyer said. We’re hoping the tough schedule will pay off comes the Pac-10 season.”  

Cal faces the loser of the Illinois-Chicago vs. South Alabama game tomorrow at 1 p.m.


Homeless vet grateful for generosity

By Millicent Mayfield Special to the Daily Planet
Saturday November 25, 2000

 

 

For two weeks John Christian has been sitting in front of the downtown Berkeley BART station on Shattuck Avenue each day, asking for change. And so far, the people of Berkeley have come through. 

Christian said he is so impressed with the city’s generosity and tolerance that he has sought out the media to pass along his public message of thanks. 

“The people here in Berkeley have been so good to me,” said the 40-year-old Christian. “I’ve panhandled in lots of places, but the people in Berkeley are loving, caring, sharing people.” 

Modesto Fernandez is one of the people who stops and chats with Christian on Friday and gives him a McDonald’s gift certificate. 

In addition to feeling a moral responsibility toward the homeless, Fernandez is also a Vietnam veteran and the two share their experiences of the war. Fernandez is angry with the lack of respect people show for homeless veterans. 

“It really upsets me. I could be where they are,” he said. “If you’ve ever been out there in the field, on the streets and you know what it feels like to walk around in wet socks, you can appreciate dry socks.” 

Christian is actively seeking a job as a bus driver and one day hopes to qualify as a BART engineer. For now, he’s content to hold up a felt-penned cardboard sign looking for a little generosity to see him through. 

“I feel this is no way to go through life but right now I have no choice,” he said. 

In Berkeley, Christian averages $30 to $40 a day in “tips,” which is good considering he only makes about $7 a day in San Francisco. In addition to food and medicine, he uses the money he gains from panhandling to support a three-pack-a-day cigarette habit. 

Christian came to the Bay Area two months ago looking for work.  

Lifelong bouts with depression and diabetes have made this search difficult and as a result, he’s been staying at the City Team Ministries’ homeless shelter in Oakland. 

Everyday he must sign in to receive a bed for the night. If none are available, he simply sleeps underneath a bridge somewhere or tries another shelter in the area. 

Christian said police officers in Oakland suggested he panhandle in Berkeley, saying the city was more tolerant of homeless. A person who answered the phone at the Oakland Police Department, however, denied this was their method of eradicating the homeless in their city. She did not give her name. 

Christian said he finds Berkeley a pleasant change from his experiences in Oakland where he’s been robbed several times. He’s especially impressed with the police in Berkeley and refers to them as “dignified” in the way they deal with the homeless. 

Ethridge Marks, a BART police officer who was in the area on Friday, agrees that the police in Berkeley seem to be more tolerant of the homeless population. 

“There’s probably more compassion in the city of Berkeley,” Marks said. “I think it should be the duty of every police officer to be compassionate to the people they serve. Just because a person is homeless doesn’t mean you shouldn’t serve them.” 

Christian was born in Connecticut in 1960 and joined the Army in 1978. Eventually, he was honorably discharged because of his flat feet, which hindered his ability to run. Over the years, he’s worked as a charter bus and taxi driver and at one point owned his own parcel delivery business before making his way out to the West Coast. 

He went on disability in 1991 due to back problems and depression, something he’s dealt with all his life. He was scared on the first night he spent in a homeless shelter in 1996. He was concerned about sharing such little space with so many strangers and the possibility of diseases spreading. But he’s learned to adjust because there are “certain things in life that you have to do.” 

Christian easily totes around his worldly possessions in a medium-sized piece of luggage. In it he carries various legal documents, a pillow and two of the three shirts he owns. He wears his only pair of pants along with a pair of 20-year-old cross country ski boots on his feet. At 297 pounds, he says it’s hard to find clothes that fit him at thrift stores. 

His curly, black hair is peppered with gray, which he says has increased over the last three years due to stress. 

“My age is coming on very fast right now,” he said. 

However, Christian fears earthquakes more than he fears death and lives a simple life, needing little more than the generosity of Berkeley’s community. 

“Homeless vet needs your help,” he calls out to the passing crowd adding, “That’s my favorite line.” 

 

 

 


Cal signs member of Croatian national volleyball team

Daily Planet Wire Services
Saturday November 25, 2000

The University of California women’s volleyball program has signed Mia Jerkov to a National Letter of Intent, it was announced by Golden Bear head coach Rich Feller.  

Jerkov (pronounced her-cove), a 6-3 outside hitter from Split, Croatia, is Cal’s most highly touted signee since Feller became the Bears coach in December of 1998. She attends the High School of Language-Pula and plays volleyball for coach Boris Brescic of the Pula-Istarska club team.  

Jerkov has also been a member of the Croatian Junior National Team since 1998 and was a member of the Croatian Senior National Team in 2000. She has competed in several Junior World Championships and competed in this past summer’s World Cup in Japan. Jerkov was named the Best Under 18 Attacker for Croatia in both 1999 and 2000. Her father, Zeljko, is a former player on the Croatian National Basketball Team.  

“Mia brings with her years of high level international experience,” said Feller. “Although only 17 years old, she has played volleyball in several World Championships for the Croatian National and Junior National Teams. Mia is talented and intelligent. Her goal is to become one of the best volleyball players in the world. Mia told me that she believes that a college education will give her additional lifelong tools and help her accomplish that goal. She will not only add her volleyball skills to our team, but will bring with her cultural and competitive experiences that will benefit Cal’s program in many ways. We are very pleased to have Mia Jerkov joining the Golden Bear family next year.”


Residents angry with AC Transit

By Juliet Leyba Daily Planet Staff
Saturday November 25, 2000

A long-time Berkeley resident and public transportation user is more upset than a baby’s stomach after eating hot links. And that’s all Candice Etter said she wanted – hot links.  

Instead she said she endured a nightmarish experience on Berkeley’s Alameda Contra Costa Transportation system Nov. 4 that she said made her sick to her stomach. 

“The only place around here that sells Terrible Toms Hot Links is Albertsons up by Rockridge,” Etter said. “That’s all I wanted but that’s not all I got.”  

Etter says she and a handful of other flatland dwellers waited on University Avenue and Sacramento Street for 40 minutes for a No. 51 bus that never came. 

Finally a No. 52-L came and dropped her and five other angry riders off at Shattuck Avenue. She waited there for almost an hour. 

“It was awful that wait. It was cold and there was a busload of people all standing outside the BART station, waiting for a (No.) 52.” 

When the bus finally pulled up Etter said that people were pushing and shoving to get aboard and that within a few minutes it was filled to capacity and she along with several others were left standing on the curb. 

“Along came a (No.) 7 bus so I got on that one hoping to get a little further along. What a mistake that was.” 

Unfortunately, there was a University of California at Berkeley football game that day and the No. 7 bus got caught in traffic. 

Etter said she finally reached her destination at about 6 p.m., three and a half hours after she locked her front door and stepped onto Sacramento Street. 

The following day she called AC Transit to complain and said she was met with indifference. 

“I spoke with the superintendent and he didn’t even apologize and then said that it was too bad and there was nothing he could do.” 

A sentiment AC Transit Supervisor Ben Davis reiterated to the Daily Planet Friday. 

“Anytime there is a game, traffic backs up on University. I’ve been here for 30 years and the buses have always run extremely late on those days.”  

Davis also said that it was unfortunate but that there aren’t any viable alternatives. 

“Obtaining special permits so that buses can take short detours through residential areas on game days would never fly with residents. In addition, it would mean getting special permits from the city – a very lengthy process.” 

 

 

 


Local star, national champ commit to Cal crew team

Daily Planet Wire Services
Saturday November 25, 2000

The Cal women’s crew team received two important commitments during last week’s early signing period for the National Letter of Intent. Two of the top recruits in the country, Shaina Kennedy and Laura Terheyden, signed NLI’s and will be joining the Golden Bears next fall.  

Coxswain Shaina Kennedy of Seattle, WA led the Green Lake junior boys crew to victory at last June’s US Rowing Youth Invitational, which is regarded as the junior national championship regatta. Recognized as the best coxswain in the country, Kennedy went on to cox the U.S. junior women to a fourth place finish at the world championships in Zagreb, Croatia.  

Her experience coxing the boys at Green Lake combined with her international racing make well suited to lead the Cal women in the years ahead. Kennedy chose Cal over Washington and Brown.  

“Everyone is thrilled that Shaina will be joining us next year. She has a terrific attitude and spirit, and I expect her to play a significant role in the years ahead,” said head coach Dave O’Neill.  

Laura Terheyden of San Francisco’s St. Ignatius H.S. has also committed to join Cal next fall. Terheyden is the cornerstone of the SI program, which has won the last two state championships and placed third at this year’s Youth Invitational.  

Along with Shaina Kennedy, Terheyden competed at the world championships in the U.S. junior women’s eight, which placed fourth. She chose Cal over Michigan, Virginia, and Washington.  

“Laura is not only one of the strongest women in the country but also a fine technical rower,” said O’Neill. “Her positive outlook and terrific work ethic have made her one the best junior rowers in the country, and our program is the perfect fit for her.”  

With the commitments of Kennedy and Terheyden combined with current Cal frosh Teresa Oja, the women’s crew will have one third of the 2000 junior women’s national team eight.  

“We are committed to recruiting the best to our program, and the addition of Shaina and Laura already makes next year’s recruiting class a great one. Cal women’s crew will be fast for years to come,” said O’Neill.


PG&E tops in complaints statewide

The Associated Press
Saturday November 25, 2000

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. received 56 percent of the total number of consumer gas and electric complaints filed statewide between 1997 and 1999, according to the California Public Utilities Commission. 

PG&E received more than three times the number of customer complaints as its southern counterpart, San Diego Gas and Electric, during the same time period, a San Francisco Chronicle analysis found. 

PG&E got the bulk of complaints even though it only has 39 percent of gas customers and 46 percent of electric customers served by the state’s regulated utilities. 

Nearly three out of four customer complaints filed involved billing problems. 

PG&E spokesman Ron Low said the high percentage of complaints is attributed to tougher terrain and harsher weather in northern California, which leads to more downed power lines and outages. 

The utility’s service stretches north to the Oregon border and east to the Sierra Nevada. San Diego Gas and Electric serves a more compact urban area around the city. 

Many of the consumer complaints also are linked to collection of delinquent bills, Low said. PG&E has increased its efforts to collect on unpaid bills and it is now often requiring deposits from customers with bad credit. 

The utilities commission received more than 17,000 complaints for PG&E out of an analysis of more than 30,000 from 1997 to 1999, the Chronicle found.


School holding canned food drive

Daily Planet Staff Report
Saturday November 25, 2000

Got canned food? 

The John Muir Elementary School is looking for contributions for its 2000 Holiday Food Drive for the Alameda County Food Bank. Those who haven’t already done so, can drop off a can of meat, fruit or vegetables, soup, stew or other non-perishable goods that they’ve been squirreling away in their cupboards for a rainy day. 

The address is: 2955 Claremont Avenue or call 649-1496 for more information.


Retrofit course for contractors

Daily Planet wire services
Saturday November 25, 2000

The magnitude 5.2 Napa-Yountville earthquake in September 2000 caused $50-$100 million of damage. When a magnitude 7.1 earthquake occurs on the Hayward fault, we expect over 150,000 housing units to be made uninhabitable, over 350,000 people to be forced from their homes, and over 110,000 people to require public shelter.  

Contractors, builders and city,county building inspectors can help reduce these numbers by ensuring that Bay Area homes are appropriately retrofitted.  

A workshop entitled Earthquake Retrofit of Wood-Frame Homes will be held on Saturday, December 2, 2000 at the Napa County Landmarks Building in Napa, and again on Saturday, January 20, 2001 at the MetroCenter Auditorium in Oakland. 

The full-day course includes training in earthquake basics, housing damage statistics, proper shear wall and cripple wall construction, connections, foundations, nonstructural items, safety issues, and minimizing liability exposure. 

After each workshop, from 6 pm-8 pm, ABAG will offer help to homeowners on initiating the retrofit process.  

The workshop is supported in part with funding from the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG).  

The East Bay training is also supported by Berkeley’s Office of Emergency Services and Project Impact, and Oakland’s Project SAFE. Cost for the workshop is $125 including a 220 page workbook and meals; discounts can be obtained through www.abag.ca.gov/abag/events/retrofit, the ABAG Web site.  

For information, call Michael Smith at ABAG, 510-464-7948.


County to give away free marijuana to AIDS patients

The Associated Press
Saturday November 25, 2000

SAN MATEO — The federal Drug Enforcement Administration approved a program Wednesday that will allow San Mateo County to give away government-grown marijuana to 60 AIDS patients as part of a first-of-its-kind study to assess the potential benefits of the drug. 

The 12-week study could begin as early as January. One county supervisor hailed approval of the study. 

“What we could end up with is scientific proof that this is a medicine that should be prescribed by doctors,” said San Mateo County Supervisor Mike Nevin. 

In 1996, Californians passed Proposition 215, which allows possession, cultivation and use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.  

Implementation of the measure has proven difficult, however, as lawmakers struggle to agree on guidelines for prescribing and distributing the drug. 

In addition to DEA approval, San Mateo’s marijuana study had to pass muster with the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Drug Abuse and the Food and Drug 

Dr. Dennis Israelski will oversee the study in which marijuana will be given to HIV and AIDS patients who suffer from neurological disorders. 

Those in favor of the study hope it will provide new insight to marijuana and determine whether it relieves pain and increases appetites as many users claim.  

Dr. Donald Abrams of the University of California at San Francisco recently concluded a study of medical marijuana and found that 20 AIDS patients who smoked the drug for three weeks gained 7.7 pounds more than 22 others who smoke a placebo. 

Believers in marijuana’s benefits say the drug also settles the stomach, builds weight and steadies spastic muscles. They also speak of relief from PMS, glaucoma, itching, insomnia, arthritis, depression, childbirth and attention deficit disorder. 

Participants in San Mateo County’s study will get their stash from the San Mateo County Health Center. If the study is successful, follow up trials for cancer and glaucoma patients would likely follow. 

“We hope this is just a beginning,” said Margaret Taylor, the county’s health services director. 

Supervisor Nevin opposes decriminalizing marijuana, but said the medicinal value needs further evaluation. 

“To disallow the drug to people who need it is a crime,” Nevin said.


Century-long growth restrictions for Stanford

The Associated Press
Saturday November 25, 2000

STANFORD — Nestled at the base of oak-studded foothills, Stanford University attracts some of the country’s brightest minds to a place where the high-tech firms that drive Silicon Valley are mere minutes from hiking and horseback riding. 

But the future of those foothills is unclear. The university has agreed reluctantly to protect them for the next 25 years, while a Santa Clara County supervisor wants them to remain undeveloped for the next 99 years. Environmentalists are demanding permanent protection of 1,000 acres of serene grassland, home to the threatened tiger salamander. 

Stanford officials worry that if the campus cannot expand, some of the university’s 14,000 students and 1,640 faculty will be priced out of the area. Although university officials say they have no plans to build on the surrounding hillsides, the current housing crunch adds pressure to expand. 

In nearby Palo Alto, the average price of a house is almost $460,000. The university wants to build more than 3,000 additional low-cost housing units on campus in the next decade to ease the strain on students and staff. 

“We are at a competitive disadvantage with our peer schools – the Dukes, the Northwesterns - because people can’t afford the rents here,” said Andrew Coe, Stanford’s director of community relations. 

Stanford’s 10-year growth plan includes adding two more stories to two-story graduate student housing and building more housing and academic facilities on open areas within the campus boundaries. 

Santa Clara County supervisors are reviewing the 10-year plan and will vote on it Monday. 

The university proposes protecting up to 1,000 acres for 25 years, though the university could protect less space if it constructs under 2 million square feet of new buildings. Stanford owns a total of 8,180 acres. 

Supervisor Joe Simitian, whose jurisdiction includes the university, said he will oppose the plan unless the university protects 1,000 acres for the 99 years. Stanford has threatened to sue the county if the supervisors opt for the 99-year period. 

“We cannot accept that,” said Larry Horton, Stanford’s director of government and community relations. “We don’t believe that we can, with any accuracy at all, predict the future 99 years from now. We think it’s irresponsible to think that we know what our needs and the needs of our society are (in the future).” 

Other supervisors disagree with Simitian’s 99-year plan. Chairman Don Gage has said the board and the university can reach other compromises. Supervisors report receiving letters evenly divided in support of the 99-year protection plan and in support of Stanford. 

“Stanford’s plan will have a tremendous impact on our community. There will be a lot of traffic; there will be noise,” said Peter Drekmeier of the Stanford Open Space Alliance. “There are 17 intersections in the surrounding community that will be heavily impacted. You have degradation of air quality. Many people are worried about storm runoff in San Francisquito Creek.” 

This is the first time Stanford has had to submit a detailed growth plan in its 115 years, and Drekmeier said it is receiving preferential treatment. 

“Permanent preservation is not a new concept,” he said. “The message here is if an applicant complains a lot and threatens a lawsuit, they’ll get their way, and that’s a terrible precedent to set.” 

Drekmeier said the university’s plan could see county officials readjust the protection boundary if Stanford runs out of space set aside under the 10-year plan. If county officials approve it, Stanford could then build on adjacent hillsides before the 25-year protection expires, said Drekmeier – a scenario environmentalists want to prevent. 

But Stanford officials say they are following the same rules everyone else is, noting that local officials review every piece of open space set aside by any developer. 

The expansion would let Stanford house 70 percent of its student body, and would allow the university to build academic buildings, including an eagerly awaited facility that will house researchers studying the intersection of biology and other disciplines like physics and engineering. 


Three of four would-be drivers flunk written test

The Associated Press
Saturday November 25, 2000

SAN JOSE — Three out of every four would-be California drivers flunked the state’s written driving test on their first attempt after the state overhauled the exam last summer. 

“I don’t think people are stupid,” said Scott Masten, a Department of Motor Vehicles researcher who helped revamp the state’s exams.  

“People just aren’t reading the handbook.” 

The overhaul was, in part, a response to the rise in failure rates over the past 14 years. 

From 1986 to 1999, the proportion of California’s first-timers who flunked the written driving test more than doubled, from 32 percent to 67 percent. 

The test should be a snap, DMV officials say, if test-takers memorize the rules in the California Driver Handbook.  

Last year. 3 million  

people passed. 

But for Donna McCullough, who had studied the handbook for half an hour, the quiz was not so easy. 

Sitting in her car in the parking lot of the Mountain View DMV office recently, McCullough said she had missed 10 items out of 36, five more than what’s allowed. 

“You could study this book for two months and still fail,” said McCullough, who recently moved to California from Georgia.  

“Who has time to study for two months for a stupid driving test? I’m an educated person. I’m a teacher.” 

“It’s not an issue of how smart you are,” said Robert Hagge, a DMV research manager.  

“You don’t have to be a college graduate to do well on it. What you have to do is read the handbook.” 

California’s DMV has a national reputation for taking the written and driving tests seriously, said Charles Butler, director of safety services for the national American Automobile Association.  

However, failure rates are not available from other states because many don’t record the data. 

Over the years, California’s tests, available in 34 languages, have been continually tweaked to reflect changing state laws and new road rules, DMV spokesman Evan Nossoff said. 

Because of the unexplained increase in the failure rate, DMV officials put Masten and his research team to work on a yearlong project to rewrite the tests from scratch. 

“What we wanted to find out is, is this lack of knowledge or poor testing?” said DMV’s Nossoff. 

Pilot tests were distributed at 20 field offices statewide this year.  

The DMV declined to release the tests’ failure rates until the San Jose Mercury News filed a request under the state’s public records act.  

The newspaper reported the results Friday. 

And those results were: 77 percent of test-takers flunked the pilot tests on their first try. And 56 percent of those renewing their licenses, presumably experienced drivers who know road rules, failed. 

DMV officials still hope that as people adjust to the new tests the failure rate will drop.


San Diego facing fine for dumping dirt in open lot

The Associated Press
Saturday November 25, 2000

SAN DIEGO — The city could be fined up to $25,000 a day unless officials devise a plan to keep runoff from a heap of polluted dirt from getting into a creek and Mission Bay. 

The city has violated California’s water code by dumping 63,000 cubic feet of dirt without notifying the state of plans to accept the dirt near Kearney Mesa Community Park and for not developing a plan to prevent rain runoff from carrying some of the soil down a creek and into the bay, the Regional Water Quality Control Board said. 

City officials were given until Monday to submit a report to the water board. 

“We became concerned because dumping that dirt on about 10 acres is tantamount to a construction site, and there was no evidence of statewide or city of San Diego permits, both of which require measures to prevent storm-water runoff from carrying silt and pollutants off the site,” said Art Coe, assistant executive officer of the water board. 

City officials contend that materials in the dirt won’t harm humans. 

“The soil was found to be nonhazardous, but there are some heavy hydrocarbons, such as old diesel fuel, and they would limit the areas where we could relocate and/or dispose of the soils,” said Ted Medina, deputy director of the city’s coastal parks division. 

The dumping has upset environmentalists. 

“This is typical of the city’s disregard for the Clean Water Act grading and commencing a project without public input, leaving the public out of the equation and just sort of doing what they want to do,” said Donna Frye, founder of the group STOP, or Surfers Tired Of Pollution.


Court upholds gag order on Vallejo kidnapping case

The Associated Press
Saturday November 25, 2000

A state appeals court has upheld an earlier ruling imposing a gag order on attorneys, police and witnesses in a kidnapping case involving an 8-year-old Vallejo girl. 

The Court of Appeal in San Francisco last week said it would uphold Solano County Superior Court Judge Allan Carter’s ruling to protect the rights of defendant Curtis Dean Anderson.  

That decision was contingent on Carter modifying his order to allow public statements by potential witnesses who have not been subpoenaed. 

Anderson is charged with molesting and kidnapping the girl as she was walking home from school. She escaped two days later from her abductor’s car in Santa Clara after freeing herself from shackles. 

The San Francisco Chronicle, the Sacramento Bee and the Vallejo Times-Herald all challenged the judge’s restrictions, saying they interfered with news coverage. They also argued it was unnecessary to protect the defendant’s rights.  

Anderson’s attorney requested the gag order after police told the media they were investigating Anderson for possible connections to other kidnappings, including the disappearance of a 7-year-old Xiana Fairchild girl last December.


Feds tell Arco to join in at Superfund site

The Associated Press
Saturday November 25, 2000

MARKLEEVILLE — The federal Environmental Protection Agency has formally told Atlantic Richfield Co. to assist in the cleanup of the Leviathan Mine, recently designated a Superfund environmental site. 

Arco is a former owner of the mine in Alpine County, about 25 miles southwest of Gardnerville, Nev. 

Leviathan has been leaking a mixture of acids and dissolved metals into creeks that drain into the Carson River for years, discoloring the streams and making portions of them incapable of sustaining life. 

The EPA designated the mine a Superfund site in May, putting it on a sordid list of the nation’s most polluted places. 

The designation lets EPA order potential responsible parties to help with the cleanup. Los Angeles-based Arco joins the current owner, California’s Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board on the list. 

The water board has spent millions of dollars over the years to try to contain the toxic stew. 

“The regional board did a great job at performing stopgap work this past summer.  

Now it’s Arco’s turn, Keith Takata, director of the EPA Superfund program in San Francisco told the Reno Gazette-Journal. 

Harold Singer, the Lahontan board’s executive director, said his agency had done the short-term work and the longer-range solutions now are up to Arco. 

“It helps from a financial perspective and their expertise as well. They’re involved in cleanups like this all over the country,” Singer said. 

His agency has built evaporation ponds to catch the runoff and hold the sludge, but they can’t hold everything and millions of gallons of polluted water drains into the creek annually. 

The mine was developed in 1863 and used into the 1870s as a source of copper sulfate. It produced sulfur as recently as the 1950s and was shut down for good in 1963. 


Recreational area closed off in part to protect rare plant

The Associated Press
Saturday November 25, 2000

BRAWLEY — A portion of a popular off-road vehicle playground was closed for the holiday to protect a rare plant, and prevent accidents. 

About 100,000 people converge on the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, just east of Brawley in Imperial County, every Thanksgiving weekend. A judge signed an order earlier this month shutting down 40 percent of the recreation area to off-roaders to preserve Peterson’s milk-vetch, a federally protected plant. 

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management will have 60 federal officers patrolling the area to enforce the order.  

Anyone who doesn’t abide by it will be cited, said Doran Sanchez, a BLM spokesman at the bureau’s Riverside headquarters. 

One of the agency’s chief rangers said off-roaders have been unruly in the past, and there are as many as 360 accidents over a long holiday weekend. 

“These little punks come out here, think they can handle their liquor and they cause all sorts of accidents,” said BLM chief ranger Robert Zimmer. 

Last month, a 38-year-old Riverside woman was killed when she was hit by another off-road rider. Authorities said alcohol apparently was not a factor. 

Off-road riders fear the closure will cram visitors into a smaller area and increase the number of accidents.


Teamsters threaten to picket Safeway

Staff
Saturday November 25, 2000

The Associated Press 

 

TRACY — Striking workers at a warehouse stocking Safeway goods plan to step up their action Friday by picketing outside the grocery chain’s stores rather than simply encouraging shoppers to boycott the grocer. 

Many of the 1,600 Teamsters have not formally picketed Safeway because they have no problem with the Pleasanton-based grocery store chain itself.  

They are striking against Summit Logistics, the company that runs the warehouse where they work. 

All sides had said it would be illegal for union members to picket outside Safeway stores.  

But Teamsters Local 439 Vice President Sam Rosas gave the green light for the strike Wednesday, saying Summit and Safeway are linked closely enough to allow workers to picket outside stores. 

Rosas said the decision came after meetings with legal counsel and members of the Teamsters international organization. 

“They’ve tried that argument before,” said Martin Street, president of Summit Logistics. 

Safeway officials said the union has no right to picket, and the grocer may ask the courts to block the picket. 

“Safeway views this as a rather desperate ploy here to revive what really is a failed strike against Summit and a failed boycott against Safeway,” said David Faustmas, senior vice president of Safeway’s labor relations. 

Picketing could not only deter more shoppers from buying from Safeway, but it also could keep unionized suppliers from delivering goods and unionized store employees from going to work. 

However, the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1179 has not sanctioned the strike. Union members were informed Wednesday not to honor the picket line, said Phil Tucker, union press secretary. 

Summit’s 400 drivers and 1,200 warehouse workers went on strike Oct. 18, alleging unsafe working conditions, unrealistic productivity standards and a problematic pay system governing drivers.


NASA craft survives solar flare hit

The Associated Press
Saturday November 25, 2000

PASADENA — A NASA spacecraft on a seven-year mission to collect comet dust survived a blinding zap from an enormous solar flare this month. 

For a while, the Stardust spacecraft had too many stars in its eyes after it was hit Nov. 9 by a storm of high-energy particles that was 100,000 times more intense than usual, according to Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which manages the mission. 

Protons from the solar wind electrified pixels in Stardust’s star cameras, which it uses to control its orientation, and produced dots that the spacecraft interpreted as stars. 

The spacecraft processor normally compares the 12 brightest images in its field of view with patterns in its star catalog, but with hundreds of false star-like images the spacecraft could not recognize its attitude in space. 

Stardust automatically put itself in standby mode with its solar panels pointed toward the sun to ensure plenty of power and waited for communication from Earth.  

In the meantime it tried switching to a second star camera but got the same result. 

Flight controllers, who had been concerned about the solar flare’s effect, were unable to communicate with Stardust the next morning and suspected it was in standby mode, which meant it would send a signal to Earth within 24 hours. 

Scientists left the spacecraft in standby mode to allow the proton stream to diminish, and on Nov. 11 sent commands to reset the first star camera and turn it back on. 

The last images taken before the spacecraft went into standby mode were retrieved, revealing hundreds of false images. 

The spacecraft was put back in normal operation several days later. Images taken after the flare subsided showed the camera fully recovered from the proton hits. 

Stardust was 130 million miles from the sun when it was hit by the fourth largest solar flare since 1976, NASA said. 

Built by Lockheed Martin Astronautics, was launched Feb. 7, 1999, on a mission to intercept the comet Wild 2 in 2004, collect dust flying off its nucleus and return to Earth in 2006 to drop off the samples in a parachute-equipped capsule. 

On the Net: 

Stardust mission: http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov


L.A. school project still unresolved

The Associated Press
Saturday November 25, 2000

LOS ANGELES — Ten months after the Los Angeles Board of Education voted to abandon the Belmont Learning Complex because of environmental contamination concerns, the future of the nearly completed high school remains unresolved. 

Now supporters of the school, badly needed to serve the city’s most crowded neighborhood, plan to step up pressure on the board to perhaps complete the $200-million project. 

Next week, members of the citizens committee that oversees the district’s $2.4-billion school construction bond are expected to threaten to withhold funds from other school projects if the board does not reconsider its Belmont decision. 

The strategy is being closely watched by a broadening coalition of politicians, activists and lawyers who have concluded that the board should re-evaluate its position. 

But a majority of the seven board members say they will not budge from their conclusion that environmental contamination on the site just west of downtown makes it unsuitable for a school. 

Whether the committee could prevail in a showdown with the board isn’t clear. 

A judge has ruled that the board cannot act on bond funding issues without a review by the committee, created by voters when they approved the Proposition BB school bond in 1997, but once the committee has made its recommendation the board is free to ignore it.  

In the past, however, the board has almost always followed the committee’s recommendations. 

Conflict over Belmont is hardly new. The project’s unraveling last year over inadequate investigation of its environmental problems led to lawsuits and contributed to three incumbents losing in a school board election and to the ouster of then-Superintendent Ruben Zacarias. 

Meanwhile, the 4,500 students the school was meant to serve are still crammed into the original and much smaller Belmont two blocks away or riding buses to other parts of town. 

The bond oversight committee, which will meet Wednesday, has asked the board to complete studies to answer three key questions: Can Belmont be made safe, how much would that cost and how long would it take? 

Robert Garcia, chairman of the Proposition BB committee, said members need answers to those questions because they are being asked to fund new schools that would replace the Belmont complex.  

The district has proposed five sites that would serve Belmont students. 

Some on the committee favor a complete suspension of the district’s massive school building program until the board reviews Belmont, Garcia said.  

Others support denying funds just to the five proposed projects that would draw from the Belmont attendance area. 

New Superintendent Roy Romer has said he too hopes Belmont can be opened as a school, but he criticized the committee’s proposal, saying it would hold schools hostage. 

However, he concedes he’s grasping for a solution to a problem that can seem intractable. 

“I am trying to figure out how to put together a proposal which can get four votes (on the board),” he told the Los Angeles Times. 

“To date I don’t have the right package.”


Computer mistake may have mislead L.A. jurors

The Associated Press
Saturday November 25, 2000

LOS ANGELES — A computer mistake on key evidence used to convict three Rampart officers of framing gang members may have misled jurors, defense attorneys claimed, and a judge said it was an important issue. 

The controversy centers on a police report that mistakenly exaggerated the injuries of officers and may have led to the Nov. 15 convictions. 

The report should have said the officers were victims of assault with a deadly weapon by means “likely” to produce great bodily injury.  

Instead, a software program incorrectly printed, “ADW w/GBI,” giving the impression the officers were claiming serious injury. 

The officers never claimed they were seriously injured but some jurors said they relied on the computer-generated report to convict Sgt. Edward Ortiz, 44, Sgt. Brian Liddy, 39, and Officer Michael Buchanan, 30, of conspiracy and perjury for fabricating charges against the gang members. 

“I am troubled,” Superior Court Judge Jacqueline A. Connor said Wednesday when the issue was raised during a hearing about possible juror misconduct. “This is not a small issue.” 

The convictions were the first in the city’s police corruption probe at the Rampart station. A fourth officer was acquitted by the panel. 

Buchanan and Liddy alleged in the police report that gang members hit them with a pickup truck in an alley during a July 1996 gang sweep.  

Defense attorneys told the court Wednesday that three jurors have said they couldn’t agree on whether the officers were actually hit by gang members. 

It was a literal interpretation of a line in the report, which said the officers were victims of assault with a deadly weapon with great bodily harm, that led jurors to conclude the officers were lying, the lawyers claimed. 

“They were deciding a false issue. These officers were convicted on what a computer spit out,” defense attorney Harland Braun said. 

No one caught the mistake during the monthlong trial. 

Connor, who ordered a Dec. 15 hearing, asked defense attorneys to get an affidavit from at least one juror confirming that the computer mistake led them off track during deliberations. 

Deputy District Attorney Laura Laesecke argued unsuccessfully that the defense claim was based on hearsay and a hearing wasn’t needed. 

“We should not be putting the jury on trial,” the prosecutor said. 

Police testimony during the trial indicated the claimed injuries were minor. 

Ortiz, the sergeant in charge, said he saw that Buchanan’s knees were bloody and his pants torn, but the officer asked to continue working.  

Ortiz also said he talked to Liddy, who also wanted to continue working. Both officers were later examined at a hospital.


Bittersweet holiday for Los Alamos fire victims

The Associated Press
Saturday November 25, 2000

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. — Ask 9-year-old Thomas Hemsing what he’s thankful for this holiday season, and he doesn’t hesitate: 

“That we have a home for us to live in, just for now,” said the fourth-grader. “For all the cool things I’ve gotten for free, all the donations.” 

The holidays have been bittersweet in Los Alamos, where 400 families were uprooted by raging fire in the spring. Snow has made the scorched hills look even bleaker. 

Rita and Billy Hemsing often take son Thomas and 12-year-old daughter Renee to the spot where their house of 23 years turned to blackened rubble. As they make do in a rented home, they dream of the future. 

“I’m glad we’re rebuilding,” Thomas said. 

He thinks it will be “kind of neat” to have two bathrooms – the old house had one – and he likes the idea of bigger windows planned for the front. 

Renee puts a higher premium on an intangible feature of the new home: “The same security we had at the old place, because we’re all there.” 

Making do has not just meant deferring dreams of new closet space for Thomas and Renee but also enduring a 35-minute bus ride to Mountain Elementary School, about twice as long as before. 

The school district allowed displaced children to stay at their old school, rather than making them transfer near temporary homes. So, buses weave through neighborhoods, picking up kids scattered like ashes by the fire. 

“This was really all they had left,” said Rosine McGhee, a counselor at Mountain Elementary School, where more than 70 students lost homes. 

Renee and Thomas keep up straight As. Like their classmates, they work at restoring a routine and being optimistic, the counselor said. But overall the kids have more trouble concentrating and are more easily frustrated. Some still can’t sleep soundly. 

“I think, in general, people are just more on edge,” McGhee said. 

The fire may have died but it lingers in indelible memories, “always talked about” among students, according to Renee. 

“Some kids are doing science fair projects on it. And we’re studying the rebirth of plants after fire,” said Renee, whose family has been staying across town from the edge of the forest where they once lived. 

At the new Hemsing home, seasonal changes bring fresh, new reminders of what was lost. 

The roasting pan for Thanksgiving turkey. File boxes full of recipes, including one for Christmas bread. Wrapping paper, bows and gift tags. Red felt Christmas stockings, embroidered with the children’s names. 

But the kindness of strangers has acted as a salve. 

A local church gave away free Nativity scenes and Christmas ornaments. A card store donated recipes, decorations and other holiday items.  

Someone made dozens of quilted Christmas stockings for the schoolchildren. 

Meanwhile, Rita grapples with the loss. She has “virtual reality” dreams in which she glides through each room of the old house, noticing every detail.  

She is saddened every time she looks up at the mountains, with their “black skeletons” of trees. She has been ill more frequently than usual. 

She catches herself becoming embittered and thinks better of it. 

“We have what we need,” she said. “And the kids are fine.” 

On the Net: 

Los Alamos County: http://www.lac.losalamos.nm.us 

Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce: http://www.losalamos.com/chamber


Nations scored, ranked on their manners, hospitality

The Associated Press
Saturday November 25, 2000

COLUMBIA, S.C. — They say hospitality is the Southern way, and once again Charleston tops the nation’s most mannerly cities list released Friday by etiquette expert Marjabelle Young Stewart. 

“Charleston is the role model for the rest of the country,” said Stewart from her home in Kewanee, Ill. “One woman said, ‘I make sure I visit there once a year to see a gentleman in action. All I have to say to my husband is, ‘Oh, I miss Charleston,’ and he’ll put down his paper down.” 

Charleston, which has a reputation of hospitality, kindness and politeness, has been on the list all 24 years and has topped it seven times, including last year. 

Stewart, author of “Common Sense Etiquette,” bases her list on thousands of letters and faxes, many of which come from executives and others who have taken her etiquette courses in the United States and abroad. 

The Quad Cities area of Iowa and Illinois was second. Milwaukee was third, and though it is more known for being gaudy and raucous, Las Vegas was fourth. Stewart said visitors told her they noticed the hospitality hotels in that city showed toward their children. 

“More families said they were making an effort to welcome them and show great respect to their children,” she said.  

“It’s a good happy, place to be welcomed.” 

Savannah, Ga., last year’s runner-up, was seventh this year. 

John Graham Altman, a Republican who represents Charleston in the South Carolina House, said he wasn’t surprise the city was atop the list again. 

“It’s a whole Southern custom to be polite to folks, even though you disagree with them. It doesn’t cost anything to say please, excuse me and thank you,” he said. “There are so many bad manners in the world. If we can be an oasis of decent manners, so be it.” 

Stewart said five people told her they wanted to move to the Quad Cities of Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa, and Moline and Rock Island, Ill. 

The cities have “instructed taxi drivers how to greet guests and make guests feel welcomed,” Stewart said, noting that those who wrote her “loved to do business there.” 

Seattle ranked sixth, though a few visitors said people there had bad cellular telephone manners. 

“People looked like aliens,” Stewart said, quoting one writer. “They have terrible timing. They took over my space, even while walking.” 

But Stewart said all cities on the list should show pride for their efforts. 

“Tell each of these cities, to take a bow. No, tell their mothers to take a bow,” quoting Stewart from one letter-writer. “They raised some really nice people.”


Homeless shelter asks gay congressman not volunteer to serve meal

The Associated Press
Saturday November 25, 2000

TUCSON, Ariz. — Rep. Jim Kolbe was asked not to volunteer at a Tucson homeless shelter’s Thanksgiving dinner because he’s a homosexual. 

“This decision is based on your publicly announced sexual orientation that is diametrically opposite to admonitions in the Bible,” Gospel Rescue Mission board member Evelyn H. Haugh wrote in a faxed memo.  

“This mission is founded on biblical principles, and we cannot give a public forum to a public official who is blatantly flaunting those principles.” 

Kolbe, the only openly homosexual Republican congressman, downplayed the snub but said biblical teaching “tells us that no people should be made to feel smaller than others.” 

“It would undermine the very essence of Thanksgiving if the good works of the Gospel Rescue Mission and others were eclipsed in controversy,” Kolbe said. “The mission has provided noble service to (the) community and I wish it only the best in its efforts to feed and clothe the downtrodden.” 

Kolbe, a seven-term congressman who acknowledged his sexual orientation in 1996, helped serve meals at the shelter’s Thanksgiving dinner last year. 

Skip Woodward, board vice president, said Kolbe had been allowed to serve because “he just showed up and took us by surprise.” 

“Kolbe’s very public stand on homosexuality is inconsistent with our beliefs,” Woodward said. “We wouldn’t want anyone who advocated adultery to serve either.” 

Arizona Gov. Jane Hull expressed disappointment at the mission’s revoked invitation to Kolbe, saying “hunger sees no sexual preference.”


Chromium 6 shown to be dangerous when inhaled

The Associated Press
Saturday November 25, 2000

The following Associated Press Article was originally published in late October. 

 

LOS ANGELES – A panel of scientists urged state officials to toughen standards for chromium 6 in water, stating there is compelling evidence that it causes cancer. 

In testimony Oct. 24 during a joint hearing of state regulatory agencies, toxicology professor John Froines of the UCLA School of Public Health said studies have shown chromium 6 to be a carcinogen when inhaled through air, which makes it a likely carcinogen when ingested through water. 

The state should quickly take action to purge water supplies of the chemical, even though scientists and regulators are still debating its risk, said Froines, chairman of the advisory board for the state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. 

“You can take the political, legal and economic argument (against the tougher standard), and it will go on for 10 years,” Froines said. 

“We should assume the correctness of the state’s public health goal for chromium 6 and begin from there.” 

Froines was among nearly two dozen experts, regulators and citizens who testified before the joint hearing of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, the Senate Natural Resources and Wildlife Committee and the Assembly Committee on Environmental Safe and Toxic Materials. 

The hearing, which was attended by about 200 people, was called by state Senators Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, and Tom Hayden, D-Los Angeles. 

Schiff called on the state Department of Health Services to issue an “action level” directive, which would not have the force of law, but would urge local water agencies to meet a chromium standard as quickly as possible. A scientist with the state’s health hazard office two years ago recommended reducing the standard for chromium from 50 to 2.5 parts per billion. 

Officials with the state Department of Health Services say it could take five more years to implement a new standard, which prompted the Oct. 24 hearing. The agency has urged public water systems to test for chromium 6 and was drafting emergency regulations to require testing by the end of the year, said David Spath, the department’s drinking water chief. 

It was unlikely that the department would issue an emergency regulation, because chromium 6 is not an immediate public health threat, Spath said. 

“This is not a case of acute toxicity,” he told the joint committee. Chromium 6 has been suspected of causing cancer in several high-profile lawsuits. In a 1996 case made famous by the Julia Roberts film “Erin Brockovich,” residents of the San Bernardino town of Hinkley won a $333 million settlement from Pacific Gas & Electric because the company’s underground tanks leaked chromium 6 into ground water. 

Gov. Gray Davis signed legislation earlier this month that gives the state Department of Health Services until January 2002 to determine the threat of chromium 6 throughout the state and to issue a report to the governor and Legislature. 

 

 


Opinion

Editorials

40 percent not informed about HIV transmission

The Associated Press
Friday December 01, 2000

ATLANTA — A survey of what people know about AIDS found that four out of 10 mistakenly believe it is possible to get the disease by sharing a drinking glass or being coughed or sneezed on by an infected person. 

The survey, released Thursday, was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

“It’s scary that so many people are still so ignorant of what causes HIV-AIDS,” said Marty Algaze, a spokesman for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. “Almost 20 years into this epidemic, it’s disturbing that people think you could still get it from casual contact.” 

About 40 percent of the more than 5,600 participants in the nationwide survey said it was very likely, somewhat likely or somewhat unlikely that HIV could be transmitted by sharing a glass. 

Researchers included the “somewhat unlikely” response in the 40 percent because that choice includes the possibility of transmission. “Very unlikely” and “impossible” were the other choices. 

Forty-one percent said transmission is possible by being coughed or sneezed on by someone with the virus. 

Nearly 19 percent of those surveyed said they agreed with the statement, “People who got AIDS through sex or drug use have gotten what they deserve.” 

The survey found that those with more knowledge about how the virus is spread were less inclined to agree with the statement. 

The AIDS virus is most commonly spread through blood or semen, usually involving unprotected sex or sharing a needle with an infected person. Between 800,000 and 900,000 Americans have been infected with HIV. 

 

Dr. Melanie Thompson, founder of the AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta, said the survey underscores that many people still consider AIDS a “gay disease” and “didn’t bother to educate themselves about the facts.” 

The survey was conducted in August and September through Internet access provided to participants’ TV sets. 

The CDC warned that the survey did not include people without telephones, people living in institutions, the homeless and military personnel. 

——— 

On the Net: CDC, http://www.cdc.gov 


Bay Bridge FasTrak deemed a success

The Associated Press
Thursday November 30, 2000

OAKLAND — The launch of electronic toll collection on the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge is being called a “relative success” by Caltrans officials this morning. 

As of 5 a.m., Caltrans had two FasTrak lanes open on the Bay  

Bridge, the busiest bridge in the country with about 140,000 vehicles passing through its toll plaza each day. 

The number 11 lane is reserved for the exclusive use of FasTrak customers, while the number 12 is a multiuse lane open to both stop-and-pay and FasTrak customers. 

Caltrans spokesman Jeff Weiss said an average of 300 cars per hour passed through the number 11 FasTrak lane this morning, while the remaining 18 stop-and-pay lanes each averaged about 400 cars per hour.  

“Essentially, FasTrak added around 100 extra cars to the commute this morning,” Weiss said. 

“But considering it is the first day of the system, the use was  

high enough to be called a limited success,” Weiss said. 

FasTrak is an electronic toll collection system where a small  

transponder device placed on the windshield of a vehicle abolishes the need to slow down to pay an attendant. FasTrak customers traveling across the Bay Bridge get a 15-cent discount off the $2 toll. 

Many speculated that the centered Bay Bridge FasTrak lanes are in awkward spot for motorists, and predicted they would cause more, not less, traffic.  

Weiss said commuters approaching the toll plaza from westbound Interstate Highway 880 have the hardest time accessing the lanes. He said however the problem will be solved next month when Caltrans expects to open another mixed-use lane at the number 20 lane on the far right side on the bridge. 

Weiss said experience has shown that traffic problems caused by the transition to FasTrak always work themselves out over time. 

The Benicia-Martinez Bridge, which just started using FasTrak on Oct. 25, is currently sees some 400 vehicles pass through each toll booth per hour, the average for all bridge lanes. But the Carquinez Bridge, which has been using the FasTrak system since 1997, sees around 900 vehicles per hour, 40 percent above the average. This proves FasTrak becomes more effective as time goes on, Weiss said. 

“The benefit of time shows that FasTrak is a winner,” Weiss said. 

More than 35,000 Bay Area residents are currently FasTrak  

customers, with hundreds more signing up each day. FasTrak  

applications are available by calling (888) 725-TRAK, online at  

www.dot.ca.gov/fastrak, and at the Service Center in the Park ‘N’ Shop Shopping Center at 1849 Willow Pass Road in Concord.  


Man claims Napster is putting him out of business

The Associated Press
Wednesday November 29, 2000

SAN FRANCISCO — A self-described “old hippie” and music producer has filed suit against Bertelsmann BMG’s e-commerce unit, alleging it is helping to finance Napster Inc.’s online music-sharing service. 

Matthew Katz, owner of record label San Francisco Sound, said Tuesday he is nearly out of business because of Napster’s service, which allows millions to download and swap copyrighted music over the Internet. 

“My business is practically out of business,” he said. “I’m hoping this will bring attention that musicians are not getting what they should get.” 

Bertelsmann and Napster announced an accord in October that would allow Napster and Germany-based Bertelsmann to develop a secure membership-based music distribution system that will guarantee payments to artists on Bertelsmann’s label. 

Bertelsmann and other record companies are suing Napster, alleging the Internet site contributes to copyright infringement by allowing users to access copyrighted works for free online. The record giant said it would drop its suit once a payment system is put in place. Other record labels have not taken Bertelsmann’s position. 

The 9th U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco is weighing whether Napster can continue operating while the labels’ suit goes forward in a San Francisco federal court. 

Katz said the Bertelsmann-Napster accord includes a $50 million payment to Napster, and gives Bertelsmann a 40 percent stake in the Silicon Valley company. Those payments, Katz said in a suit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, are propping up Napster so it can continue its service while the suit is pending. 

Bertelsmann spokeswoman Melinda Meals declined comment on the suit and noted that financial terms of the accord have not been disclosed. 

Katz said he has a financial interest in bands such as Jefferson Airplane, Moby Grape and It’s a Beautiful Day. 

The case is Katz vs. Bertelsmann, C004395BZ. 


Bottled water, filtration system interest rises

The Associated Press
Tuesday November 28, 2000

LOS ANGELES — Fears of chromium 6 contamination of drinking water has sparked consumer interest in bottled water and home filtration systems, but health officials assure tap water is still safe to drink. 

Water filtration companies have reported an increase in inquiries by consumers wanting to know if their treatment systems will remove chromium 6. 

“There is definitely more awareness out there,” said Dean Thompson, general manager of Culligan Water Conditioning in Sun Valley. 

The company receives about five calls a day, Thompson said. 

Fear of the chemical also has helped hike sales for water delivery companies. 

Yosemite Water Co. has added another distribution route in the San Fernando Valley.  

The company now has 35 routes in a region that has gone through decades of industrial production and led to well water contamination. 

Chromium 6 is a toxic byproduct of chromium, a very hard, metallic chemical element often used in metal plating.  

The chemical has been labeled a carcinogen when inhaled. But its effects when consumed in tap water have not yet been agreed upon by scientists.  

There have been no reports of illness or death since acceptable levels of the chemical were found in the region’s tap water. 

The state Department of Health Services insists tap water is safe, but the agency is planning to impose standards for acceptable levels of chromium 6. 

Consumers turning to bottled water for safety aren’t much better off, according to Gina Solomon, a drinking water specialist with the Natural Resources Defense Council in San Francisco. 

Solomon said tap water standards are often higher than bottled water standards, but those standards will change Jan. 1, when the bottled water industry will be required to meet tap water standards. 


4,000 Bush supporters protest in Sacramento

The Associated Press
Monday November 27, 2000

SACRAMENTO – Several thousand supporters of Texas Gov. George Bush rallied Saturday at the state Capitol, demanding a halt to the recount of Florida ballots and denouncing Vice President Al Gore. 

About 4,000 people, including many from throughout Northern California, converged on Capitol Park on a chilly, foggy day to chant, honk horns and tote placards. 

After the two-hour demonstration, hundreds of people went to their cars and drove around the Capitol, horns blaring. 

“We’re upset over the Florida recount and we came out to say so,” said Mike Smith of Paskenta, a Tehama County town about 110 miles north of Sacramento. 

Smith was accompanied by his wife, Patty, and their two children, Katie, 11, and Troy, 12. 

“It’s the legality of all this — they should quit dragging this out in Florida. Bush won,” Patty Smith said. 

Dennis Stone, a sales manager from Dixon in Solano County west of Sacramento, complained that “there already have been three recounts and that’s enough. There’s fraud and corruption going on there.” 

Bob Mulholland, the state Democratic Party’s political director, said the demonstrators were “just a Republican mob, the same Republicans that blew California.” 

“Gore won California, he will win Florida and we believe he will win the presidency,” Mulholland added. 

Similar demonstrations have been held at the Capitol in recent weeks, as well as across the country. 

In Florida, the critical battleground in the nation’s closest presidential race in 124 years, unofficial returns showed Bush leading Gore by about 500 votes out of some six million votes cast. 

Legal wrangling between the Gore and Bush camps has intensified. A U.S. Supreme Court hearing is scheduled on Friday to consider Bush’s appeal against the hand recounting of Florida ballots. 

The Florida Supreme Court ruled last week that the recounts could continue, but set a 5 p.m. EST Sunday deadline.


Nobelist’s speech linking sunshine, sex found ignoble

The Associated Press
Saturday November 25, 2000

BERKELEY — A Nobel laureate’s provocative speech on sunshine and sex left some at the University of California Berkeley campus aghast. 

James Watson, co-discoverer of DNA, dumbfounded many at a guest lecture as he advanced his theories – complete with slides of bikini-clad women – that there is a link between skin color and sex drive. 

“That’s why you have Latin lovers,” he said, according to people who were there last month. “You’ve never heard of an English lover. Only an English patient.” 

“I realized right away that this was inappropriate,” said Susan Marqusee, an associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology. 

Watson also contended that fat people are happy and thin people more ambitious, showing a slide of waif-like model Kate Moss looking sad to illustrate that point. 

Marqusee said she walked out after a comment about men finding fat women sexually attractive. “There wasn’t any science,” she said. “These aren’t issues that one can state as fact.” 

Watson has been traveling and customarily does not comment on reaction to his lectures, said Jeff Picarello, spokesman for the Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory, in Long Island, N.Y., where Watson is president. 

Picarello said Watson has given this lecture before to positive reviews and is known for mixing it up with audiences. Expounding on his theory that exposure to sunlight enhances sex drive, the mostly bald 72-year-old will announce that bald men have better sex, Picarello said.  

“He says this with a twinkle in his eye. It’s fascinating, but at the same it’s amusing.” 

Biology doctoral candidate Sarah Tegen said people were laughing at the beginning of Watson’s lecture. But the laughter turned nervous as he developed his theme – “There was a lot of looking at the person next to you and saying, ’I can’t believe he’s saying this.”’ 

The problem, says Tegen, was that Watson didn’t present the science to back up his startling presentation. 

“I think there’s a really important place in science for controversy. That’s how you overturn dogmas. But it’s got to be within a context of testable hypotheses,” she said. 

Watson, who shared a Nobel Prize for his role in discovering the structure of DNA in 1953, and who launched the Human Genome Project in 1990, was giving a speech called “The Pursuit of Happiness: Lessons from pom-C.” 

Pom-C is a protein that helps create different hormones – melanin that determines skin color, beta endorphins that affect mood and leptin, which plays a role in metabolism of fat.  

Watson talked about how these chemicals are enhanced by sunlight, leading to the supposition that people who are exposed to more sunlight have more of these hormones. 

He talked about an experiment at the University of Arizona where male patients were injected with a melanin extract.  

The test was designed to see if skin could be chemically darkened as a skin cancer preventive, but found that as a side effect the men became sexually aroused. 

Watson went on to talk about exposure to sun and sexual drive, at one point showing slides of women in bikinis and one of veiled Muslim women. 

Picarello said Watson’s theories are underpinned by biological fact. 

“He approaches life as a science and puts forth his science because that’s what he loves. I don’t think he’s afraid of public opinion. I don’t think he defers to public opinion and I think we’re all a lot better of if biology isn’t politically correct,” he said. 

James Allison, co-chair of the university’s department of molecular and cell biology, called the speech fallout a “tempest in a teapot. Jim’s a provocative guy. He certainly provoked people.” 

But some Watson supporters were concerned he went too far. 

“Doesn’t a guy like Jim Watson have the responsibility to make this not ugly?” Berkeley biologist Michael Botchan, a Watson protege who presided over the session, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Yes. But I cannot tell Jim Watson to change his ways.”