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City may sign on to energy protest

By John Geluardi Daily Planet staff
Tuesday June 12, 2001

In keeping with a long tradition of activism, Berkeley’s Housing Department is asking the City Council to officially participate in a grassroots “blackout” protest of the Bush Administration’s energy polices. 

“The first thing that came to my mind when I saw this recommendation was that it was not from a councilmember trying to promote themselves, but from a city department,” Councilmember Kriss Worthington said. “It’s a testament to Berkeley culture where activism is embraced throughout the city and its organization.” 

If the resolution, written by Energy Officer Neil De Snoo and endorsed by Interim Housing Director Stephen Barton, is adopted, Berkeley will officially participate in a statewide protest that is being organized primarily through  

the Internet.  

Barton said he is unaware of any other municipalities that have officially adopted a policy supporting the protest. 

The protest is aimed at the Bush Administration’s energy policies, which Barton says puts too much emphasis on fossil and nuclear fuels and not enough on conservation and alternate energy sources.  

The protest is also aimed at state energy suppliers for abusive pricing practices, Barton said. 

According to a posting on the Ecology Center’s Web site, the protest, known as the “Roll Your Own Blackout Campaign,” will take place on the first day of summer, Thursday, June 21. The posting, which does not include any information about the campaign organizer, calls for a voluntary blackout between the hours of 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.  

The posting asks participants to “turn out your lights. Unplug whatever you can unplug in your house. Light a candle to the Sun God, kiss and tell, make love, tell ghost stories, do something instead of watching television, have fun in the dark.” 

The Housing Department’s recommendation asks the City Council to urge citizens, businesses, institutions and municipal employees to participate in the protest.  

“I think that’s fine,” said Mayor Shirley Dean. “We can get the information out through press releases, the city’s Web site and through neighborhood group e-mails.”  

Barton said the city’s official participation would cost little and the city might even save some money by keeping the lights out. 

Barton said most city offices are closed at that time so it would be no great sacrifice for the city to participate. “It’s not a particularly high-use time of day,” he said. “It’s when most people are home.” 

Police spokesperson Lt. Russell Lopes said the public safety operations would not shut off power during the protest but may participate in a symbolic manner if the City Council asks. 

Barton said another exciting aspect of the protest is that word is getting out on the World Wide Web. “There’s a lot of excitement about the Internet as a organizing tool,” he said. “It will be interesting to see how it works.” 

Barton said traditionally the only organizations that have been consistently successful at statewide campaigns are large business interests and unions. 

Barton said he didn’t think it was necessary to include suggestions for activities people could take part in while the television is off. “I think of all the places in the state, Berkeley has the least need of suggestions about what to do for a few hours without electricity.”


Calendar of Events & Activities

Tuesday June 12, 2001


Tuesday, June 12

 

Berkeley Camera Club  

7:30 p.m. 

Northbrae Community Church  

941 The Alameda  

Share your slides and learn what other photographers are doing. Monthly field trips. 531-8664 

 

Young Queer Women’s Group 

8 - 9:30 p.m.  

Pacific Center 

2712 Telegraph Ave.  

Make some new friends, expand your horizons and get support with a bunch of queer women all in the same place at the same time (somewhere between 18 and 25).  

548-8283 or visit www.pacificcenter.org 

 

Berkeley Farmers’ Market 

2 - 7 p.m. 

Derby Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Milvia Street 548-3333 

 

Cooking for BEFHP Women 

6:30 - 8:30 p.m. 

BEFHP Women’s Resource Center 

2140 Dwight Way 

Come help the Berkeley Emergency Food and Housing Project prepare, serve, and cleanup a hot meal prepared for Berkeley’s homeless women and children. Teens 16 and up. 650-965-0242 

 

KPFA Advisory Board  

Community Meeting 

7 p.m. 

1724 Adeline at 18th St. 

Oakland 

658-1512 

 

Landmarks Preservation  

Commission 

8:30 a.m. - 10 a.m. 

Permit Service Center 

2120 Milvia Street 

Second Floor Conference Room 

Ad-hoc subcommittee special meeting, discussion of a proposal to conduct a comprehensive, citywide survey of potentially historic resources. 

705-8111 

 

Alameda County Board  

of Education 

6 p.m. 

Alameda County Office of Education 

313 W. Winton Avenue, Hayward 

Discussion of summer school for juvenile court and community schools. 

 


Wednesday, June 13

 

Defining Diversity 

7 - 9 p.m. 

Ecology Center 

2530 San Pablo Ave.  

Different interpretations of biological and cultural diversity and how it’s used for very different purposes. 548-2220 

Commission On Disability  

Hearings 

4 - 6 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst St. 

Open forum, opportunity for public to present ideas and concerns about barriers for people with disabilities and accessibility of City facilities. Public comment on Berkeley’s proposed “Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan.” Also, naming I-80 overcrossing after Ed Roberts, requesting Congressional Representatives and Senators to add benefits for dental and eyeglasses coverage in Medi-Care. 

981-6342 

 

Lead-Safe Painting and Home  

Remodeling 

6 - 8 p.m. 

Claremont Branch Library 

2940 Benvenue Ave. 

Free course on how to detect and remedy lead hazards in the home. 

567-8280 

 

“Illusions of the ‘New Economy’” 

7:30 p.m. 

La Pena Cultural Center 

3105 Shattuck Ave. 

Talk by professor and author Dick Walker. $5 donation requested. 

415-863-6637  

 

Claremont Elmwood  

Neighborhood Association  

General Meeting 

7:30 - 9:30 p.m. 

St. Clement’s Episcopal Church 

2837 Claremont Blvd. 

Covers area of Berkeley south of Dwight Way and east of Collage Avenue. Presentations on neighborhood issues. 

549-3793 

 

Trees and Shrubs of  

California 

7:30 p.m. 

UC Berkeley Botanical Garden 

200 Centennial Drive 

John Stuart and John Sawyer will be speaking about and signing their new book, “Trees and Shrubs of California.” Free. 643-2755 

 

Library Board of Trustees Meeting 

7 p.m. 

South Branch Library 

1901 Russell Street 

Regular meeting, including a building projects update.  

644-6095 

 

Police Review Commission Meeting 

7:30 p.m. 

South Berkeley Senior Center 

2939 Ellis Street 

Regular meeting with a recruitment update and continuing discussion on marijuana arrests. 

644-6716 

 

Organic Versus Conventional 

7 - 9 p.m. 

Center for Ecoliteracy 

2522 San Pablo Avenue (rear) 

Speaker series Organics Beyond 2001. Guest speakers Gail Feenstra and Trini Campbell or Jamie Anderson. 548-8838 


Thursday, June 14

 

Summer Noon Concerts 2001 

Noon - 1 p.m. 

Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza 

Shattuck at Center St. 

Weekly concert series. This week Berkeley High Folklorico De Aztlan. 

 

Camping and Hiking Slide  

Presentation 

7 p.m. 

REI 

1338 San Pablo Ave. 

Guidebook author Tom Stienstra gives a slide presentation on where to go hiking and camping this summer in the Sierra and Shasta region. Free. 527-4140 

 

Berkeley School Volunteers 

10:30 a.m. - Noon 

1835 Allston Way 

Orientation for volunteers interested in helping in summer academic and recreation programs. 644-8833 

 

Fair Campaign Practices Commission Meeting 

7:30 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst Street 

Special meeting to discuss and act upon, among other items, possible violations of the Berkeley Election Reform Act. 981-6950 

 

Adventures In Nature: Panama 

7:30 p.m. 

Easy Going Travel Shop and Bookstore 

1385 Shattuck Avenue 

William Friar, author of a new travel guide to Panama, will give a slide presentation and talk on Panama’s wildlife, history and culture. Free. 843-3533 


Friday, June 15

 

Free Writing, Cashiering  

& Computer Literacy Class 

9 a.m. - 1 p.m.  

AJOB Adult School  

1911 Addison St.  

Classes offered Monday through Friday. Stop by and register or call 548-6700. www.ajob.org 

 

Living Philosophers  

10 a.m. - Noon  

North Berkeley Senior Center  

1901 Hearst Ave. Hear and entertain the ideas of some modern day philosophers: Jacob Needleman, J. Revel, Hilary Putnam, John Searle, Saul Kripke, Richard Rorty and others. Every Friday, except holidays. Facilitated by H.D. Moe.  

 

Therapy for Trans Partners  

6 - 7:30 p.m.  

Pacific Center for Human Growth  

2712 Telegraph Ave. (at Derby)  

A group open to partners of those in transition or considering transition. Intake process required. Meeting Fridays through August 17. $8 - $35 sliding scale per session Call 548-8283 x534 or x522 

 

— compiled by  

Sabrina Forkish 

 

 

City Commons Club, Luncheon and Speaker 

11:45 a.m. 

Berkeley City Club 

2315 Durant Ave. 

This week featuring Edward Fox on “Regional Development Plans of The Wilderness Society.” Come early for social hour. Lunch at 11:45 for $11-$12.25. Come at 12:30 to hear the speaker only for $1, students free. Reservations required for three or more. 

848-3533 

 


Saturday, June 16

 

Berkeley Farmers’ Market 

10 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

Center Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Milvia Street 

548-3333 

 

Berkeley Arts Festival Music Circus 

1 p.m. - 5 p.m. 

Shattuck Ave. between University Ave. and Channing Way 

The Music Circus will feature dozens of eclectic performances ranging from string quartets to blues and jazz. Free bus fare to and from the event offered by AC Transit. 665-9496. Free. 

 

Botanical Garden Spring Party 

3 - 6 p.m. 

UC Berkeley Botanical Garden 

200 Centennial Drive 

Celebrating the completion of the new Arid House and the renovation of the Southern African area. Food, wine and jazz. Fundraiser for the Garden, $25 per person. 

643-2755 

 

Puppet Shows on Cultural and Medical Differences 

1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. 

Hall of Health 

2230 Shattuck Ave. (lower level) 

Two shows for kids of all ages and their families promote acceptance and understanding of cultural and medical differences. Free. 

549-1564 

 

Poets’ Corner 

1:30 - 4 p.m. 

Shattuck and Kittredge 

Ten poets will read on the downtown street corner as a kick-off event for the two-week Berkeley Arts Festival. 

649-3929 

 

Energy Crisis 

2 p.m. 

6501 Telegraph Avenue 

Oakland 

“Why They Can’t Keep the Lights On and What We Can Do About It.” Graham Brownstein and other panalists provide information on the corporate rip-off sometimes referred to as the “energy crisis.” 

595-7417 


Letters to the Editor

Tuesday June 12, 2001

City needs to help faith-based groups like Beth El 

Editor: 

I am writing to you to express my support for Temple Beth El’s request to construct a new Synagogue at its Oxford/Spruce Street site. I am a 28-year resident of Berkeley and have lived on Spruce Street in Betty Olds’ district for the last ten years and consider myself a neighbor of the proposed site. 

In my years in Berkeley, I have been involved in a number of community projects. I served as a member of the Board of Directors of Save San Francisco Bay Association for two years in the early-90’s. I was a member of the Cragmont School Site Committee for three years between 1992 and 1995. I was the fund-raising chair for the Berkeley Schools Excellence Project campaign in 1994. I was elected and served as Chairperson of the Berkeley Schools Excellence Project Planning and Oversight Committee for four consecutive terms between 1994 and 1998. I served as Campaign Chairman for the Berkeley Schools Excellence Project Measure in 1998 and take pride in having convinced 92 percent of the voters of Berkeley to support the Measure. In addition, I spent hundreds of hours volunteering at various Berkeley schools while my children were in elementary school. These experiences have given me some insight into the real needs of Berkeley’s youth. 

As a long-time Berkeley resident and an observer of Berkeley’s politics, I am not surprised to see that Temple Beth El’s plans have been opposed and that the opposition has seized on the Codornices creek as a vehicle to try to prevent construction of the new synagogue. I write to emphatically request that Temple Beth El be permitted to pursue construction of its new synagogue without further delay or cost. As a neighbor of the site, I believe that the impact on the neighborhood will be negligible. As a committed outdoorsman, I believe the opposition’s demand that the long-covered creek be daylighted is disingenuous. As a lawyer, I know the City Council does not have the legal authority to condition approval of the project on daylighting the creek. 

As a devout Catholic, I understand the value and importance of communities of faith to our city, and particularly our children. Temple Beth El operates a number of excellent programs that provide our children with the spiritual support they need which they are not receiving from our other civic institutions. 

It is a shame that Berkeley is not actively doing everything in its power to facilitate and assist Temple Beth El in relocating its facility so that it can expand its mission of attending to both the spiritual and worldly needs of its members and the greater Berkeley community. To put it bluntly, Berkeley needs active faith-based institutions considerably more than it needs to daylight long-covered creeks. Please use all of your resources and influence to help Temple Beth El with its mission of serving Berkeley and the greater East Bay. Please support Temple Beth El. 

Jonathan S. O’Donnell  

Berkeley 

 

Beth El must address real issues 

Editor: 

Michael Ferguson in his letter to the Daily Planet (June 11, 2001) refers to the number of Beth El supporters who were present at the June 5 City Council hearing. He should also have included the school children whom Beth El bused in to serenade City Council members and also to the number of young people from the Congregation who appealed to Council on the basis of the value and worth of Beth El in their lives. Beth El has no difficulty in summoning vast numbers of its Congregation to appeal to the emotions of whatever city department happens to be considering its request at the time. However, this is exactly the problem: in appealing to the emotions, Beth El does not address the real issues. Until it does, no consensus can be reached and no progress can be made. 

Carol Connolly 

Berkeley 

No answer, no vote 

Editor: 

Over two months ago I wrote to Dion Aroner, Democratic state assemblywoman, at her Berkeley office, suggesting a change in state law that would improve highway safety. Upon no reply, I called that office, once, twice, three times to different staff merely questioning whether my letter had been received. Two weeks thereafter, still no answer. Alarmed at the specter of Bush as president, although an independent voter, I had given money to the Democratic National Committee. They keep asking for more. 

The Democrats lost the last election, not mainly because of Ralph Nader and Floridian ballot problems, but because of disarray and behavior mimicking watered-down Republicans. I didn’t vote for Nader; I did vote for Aroner, though I knew little about her. Now, after three strikes from her office, she’s out of my vote. 

The two-party system should be abandoned, though the Green Party is an inadequate contender. The Dems and Reps, just figuring enough cash from wherever will fend off third parties, have no respect for their incumbents’ non-corporate, voting constituents’ wishes. What kind of representative government retains politicians whose offices cannot even tell a constituent whether they have received a letter from him? 

Raymond A. Chamberlin 

Berkeley 

Non-owners hurt by tax system 

Editor: 

Without any disrespect, Mr. Vukelich’s letter (Forum, May 28) is characterized by false logic, false premises, and extreme bias.  

First, Mr. Vukelich decries the diminishment of corporate taxes and the subsequent growth of personal income taxes – on this point I would certainly agree – this represents a transfer of wealth to corporate owners and stockholders and a reduction in responsibility for the social and environmental infrastructure that allows corporations, and society in general, to function. However, he causally relates this to the presence of the estate tax, because, he apparently argues, the estate tax destroys small businessman and farmers and encourages them to be swallowed by larger corporations. I assume an extension of his argument is that this phenomena has given corporations greater ability to also diminish taxes on corporate earnings and transfer the tax burden to average citizens and small businessman. 

The analysis is shortsighted. I have no doubt that the phenomena that Mr. Vukelich describes is true, however, blaming the estate tax is not the answer, nor is the vanquishment of the estate tax the solution. While it may be true that small business people and farmers are disproportionately affected by the estate tax, the people who are really hurt the most by current tax policy, and the proposed extinguishment of the estate tax, are the vast majority of Americans. 

When one looks at the total tax picture we see that the average wage earner is the person most hurt by our current system. All owners, whether small businessmen or corporate kings, benefit disproportionately. Mr. Vukelich and Sen. Feinstein both appear to share a common disregard for the average person and an uncritical support for business owners. I agree with Mr. Vukelich that small businessmen and farmers should not bear an unfair tax burden, but neither should wage earners. The elimination of estate taxes will further encourage the gulf occurring between 95 percent of Americans and the ruling elite. Mr. Vukelich worries about communism when there is a far greater threat of totalitarianism in this country. 

Small businessman and farmers will be better served by a more progressive estate tax that redistributes wealth and supports average citizens to become more financially secure and politically active in their defense. This does not lead to the end of capitalism or the rise of communism. This would lead to an expansion of democracy and the protection of the rights of all citizens including small businessman and farmers. If a refined estate tax was coupled with a reallocation of income taxes to businesses rather than private citizens this phenomena would be further enhanced. Such a program could be carefully designed to provide both the benefits of capitalism and socialism. We don't have to live in an either/or world and we don't have to let passive investors or owners acquire the bulk of our nation's wealth and a monopoly on political power. 

 

James Cisney 

Berkeley


Arts & Entertainment

Tuesday June 12, 2001

Habitot Children’s Museum “Back to the Farm” An interactive exhibit gives children the chance to wiggle through tunnels, look into a mirrored fish pond, don farm animal costumes, ride on a John Deere tractor and more. “Recycling Center” Lets the kids crank the conveyor belt to sort cans, plastic bottles and newspaper bundles into dumpster bins. $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. (closed Sundays, Memorial Day through Labor Day) Kittredge Street and Shattuck Avenue 647-1111 or www.habitot.org  

 

Judah L. Magnes Museum “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. 2911 Russell St. 549-6950  

 

The Asian Galleries “Art of the Sung: Court and Monastery.” 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 by 40-foot replica of the fearsome dinosaur 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 22-23 feet. The Pteranodon lived at the same time as the dinosaurs. Free. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 642-1821 

 

Lawrence Hall of Science “Math Rules!” 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. “Saturday Night Stargazing,” First and third Saturdays each month. 8 - 10 p.m., LHS plaza. Computer Lab, Saturdays 12:30 - 3:30 p.m. $7 for adults; $5 for children 5-18; $3 for children 3-4. 642-5132 

 

Holt Planetarium Programs are recommended for age 8 and up; children under age 6 will not be admitted. $2 in addition to regular museum admission. “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. Centennial Drive, UC Berkeley 642-5132 or www.lhs.berkeley.edu  

 

924 Gilman St. All shows begin at 8 p.m. unless noted $5; $2 for year membership. All ages. June 15: Strike Anywhere, Missing 23rd, Crispus Attacks, Planes Mistaken For Stars, Deadlock Frequency; June 16: Nerve Agents, American Nightmare, Fields of Fire, Affront, Scissorhands. June 22 Hoods, Fall Silent, Clenched Fist, Osiva, Hellcrew; June 23 The Hellbillies, The Fartz, The Tossers, Ruodp, The Fightbacks; June 29 Barfeeders, Pac-Men, Hell After Dark, A.K.A. Nothing, Maurice’s Little Bastards; June 30 The Cost, Pg. 99, Majority Rule, 7 Days of Samsara, Since by Man, Creation is Crucifixion 525-9926  

 

Albatross Pub Music at 9 p.m. unless noted otherwise. June 12: Mad and Eddie Duran; June 14/21/28: Keni “El Lebrijano”; June 19: pickPocket Ensemble; June 20: Whiskey Brothers; June 26 Mad & eddie Duran Jazz Duo; June 30: Larry Stefl Jazz Quartet 1822 San Pablo Ave. 843-2473  

 

Anna’s Music at 8 p.m. June 12: Best of Open Mike; June 13: Bob Schoen Jazz Quartet; June 14: Richard Kalman Combo. $2 weeknights, $3 weekends. 1801 University Ave. 849-ANNA  

 

Ashkenaz June 12, 7 p.m.: Bandworks; June 13, 9 p.m.: Red Archibald and the Internationals; June 14, 10 p.m.: Dead DJ Nite with Digital Dave; June 15, 9 :30 p.m.: Winston Jarrett with special guests; June 16, 9:30 p.m.: Amandla Poets; June 17, 6 p.m.: Ray Cepeda and the Neo Maya Experience; June 19, 9 p.m.: Brass Menagerie; June 20, 9 p.m.: Gator Beat; June 21, 10 p.m.: Digital Dave; June 24, 8 p.m.: Babatunde Olantunji; June 26, 9 p.m.: DP & The Rhythem Riders; June 27, 8 p.m.: Fling Ding/Circle R Boys/Dark Hollow; June 28, 9 p.m.: Monkey/Stiff Richards/ Go Jimmy Go.1370 San Pablo Ave. 525-5054 or www.ashkenaz.com 

 

Blakes June 17, 9 p.m.: Third Eye Movement’s Straight Buldin Tour 2001 featuring Red, Guard, Renaissance, Bored Stiff, Deuce Eclipse, Gazzi and SoulSistaSoul. Hosted by Rob Jamal of nommo; 2367 Telegraph; for more info call 238-8080 x310 

 

Freight & Salvage All music at 8 p.m. June 12: Keith Little with Del Williams; June 13: Danu; June 14: Guy Davis; June 15: The Laurie Lewis Trio; June 16: Rova Saxophone Quartet. $17.50. St. June 21 Rachel Garlin, $15.00 advance, $16.50 door 1111 Addison www.freightandsalvage.org; 548-1761 

 

Jupiter All shows at 8 p.m. June 12, Ben Graves Trio; June 13: Crater; June 14: Beatdown with DJs Delon, Yamu, Add1; June 15: Steven Emerson; June 16: Nucleus; June 19; Mas Cabeza; June 20: Wavelord; June 21: Beatdown w/ DJ’s Delon, Yamu & Addi; June 22: Realistic; June 23: Wayside; June 26: Bruno Pelletier Trio; June 27: O Maya; June 28: Beatdown w/ DJ’s Delon, Yamu & Addi; June 29: Zoe Ellis Quartet; June 30 Go Van Gogh 2881 Shattuck Ave 843-8277 

 

La Peña Cultural Center June 15, 8 p.m.: TIJUANA NO! with Caradura and Prophets of Rage Dj La Viuda Negra. 3105 Shattuck Ave. 849-2568 www.lapena.org  

 

Live Oaks Concerts, Berkeley Art Center, June 24 7:30 p.m. Stephen Bell. Admission $10 (BACA members $8, students and seniors $9, children under 12 free) 

 

Veda Hille and Sini Anderson June 12, 7:30 p.m. Presented by the Rose Street House of Music, a concert/workshop space featuring women singer/songwriters. For location and ticket information, call 594-4000 ext. 687 or visit www.rosestreetmusic.com 

 

Jazzschool Recitals June 14, 8 p.m.: Adult Big Band; June 17, 4 p.m.: Jazz Combos; June 19, 4 p.m.: Jazz Groups; June 20, 4 p.m. Jazz Ensembles; June 21, 4 p.m. Jazz Combos. Free. The Jazzschool/La Note 2377 Shattuck Ave. 845-5373  

 

WordWind Chorus June 15, 8 p.m. In celebration of the release of its first CD, the WordWind Chorus will perform a unique collaboration of music and poetry. $10 Tuva Space 3192 Adeline 530-7698 

 

Estradasphere and Warsaw June 15, 9:30 p.m. $7 Blakes 2367 Telegraph Ave. 848-0886 

 

Celebrating Um Kulthoum June 17, 7 p.m. A benefit concert for Palestinian Refugees, the Lammam Ensemble will perform some of legendary Arabic vocalist Um Kulthoum’s most cherished songs. $20. International House Auditorium 2299 Piedmont Ave. at Bancroft 415-648-1353 

 

Berkeley Symphony Orchestra Season Finale June 21, 8 p.m. Works by Shostakovich, Brahms, and Rohde. $19 - $35 Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley 841-2800  

 

“More Matters of Life and Death” June 15 - 17, 8 p.m. The newest cycle of this series, “Iris, Blue, Each Spring,” tackles the joys and sorrows of growing older and is set to “Six Japanese Songs” by Margaret Garwood. Presented by The Ruch Botchan Dance Company in concert with The Mirage Ensemble. $12 - $15 Western Sky Studio 2525 Eighth St. 848-4878 

 

“Dance Mosaic: Celebrating Diversity” June 16, 8 p.m. and June 17, 2 p.m. The annual repertory concert for the Mahea Uchiyama Center for International Dance features over 100 performers of dance and music from the South Pacific, India, Africa and the Middle East. $5 - $15 Juia Morgan Center for the Arts 2640 Collage Ave. 925-798-1300 

 

Kalanjali in Concert June 22, 7 p.m. Kalanjali concludes its celebration of its 25th year in Berkeley with a special recital. Experienced dancers and young students, with guests from India including dancer K. P. Yesoda and the musicians of Bharatakalanjali. $6 - $8 Juia Morgan Center for the Arts 2640 Collage Ave. 925-798-1300 

“Cymbeline” Through June 24, Tues. - Thur. 7:30 p.m., Fri. 8 p.m., Sat. 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sun. 4 p.m. Opening of the California Shakespeare Festival features one of Shakespeare’s first romances, directed by Daniel Fish. $12 - $146. Bruns Memorial Amphitheater off Highway 24 at the Shakespeare Festival Way/Gateway Exit. 548-9666 or www.calshakes.org 

 

“The Laramie Project” Through July 8, Wed. 7 p.m., Tues. and Thur. -Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Written by Moises Kaufmen and members of Tectonic Theater Project, directed by Moises Kaufman. Moises Kaufman and Tectonic members traveled to Laramie, Wyo., after the murder of openly gay student Matthew Shepherd. The play is about the community and the impact Shepherd’s death had on its members. $10 - $50. The Roda Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre 2015 Addison St. 647-2949 www.berkeleyrep.org 

 

“Romeo and Juliet” June 14 - July 14, Thurs. - Sat. 8 p.m. Set in early 1930’s just before the rise of Hitler in the Kit Kat Klub, Juliet is torn between ties to the Nazi party and Romeo’s Jewish heritage. $8 - $10. La Val’s Subterranean Theater 1834 Euclid 234-6046 

 

“A Life In the Theatre” Preview June 13. Opens June 14, runs through July 15. Wed. - Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. David Mamet play about the lives of two actors, considered a metaphor for life itself. Directed by Nancy Carlin. $30-$35. $26 preview nights. Berkeley City Club 2315 Durant 843-4822 

 

Berkeley Film Festival, June 23, 1 p.m. Berkeley Arts Festival Gallery. Presnetation of Six films: The Good War, and Those Who Refused to Fight it (Judith Ehrlich and Rick Tejada Flores), Just Crazy About Horses (Tim Lovejoy and Joe Wemple), Los Romeros: The Royal Family of the Guitar (L. John Harris and Bill Hayes), In Between the Notes (William Farley and Sandra Sharpe) and KPFA On The Air (Veronica Selver and Sharon Wood). 2220 Shattuck 486-0411 

 

Pacific Film Archive June 12, 7:30 p.m.: The Long Holiday; June 13, 7:30 p.m.: Bogus Biographies; June 14, 7 p.m.: Trial on the Road, 9 p.m.: Freeze-Die-Come to Life; June 15, 7:30 p.m.: A Long Happy Life, 8:50: Goodbye, Boys; Jun 16: 7 and 9 p.m.: Beau Travail; June 17, 5:30 p.m.: The Face of Another; June 19 7:30 p.m.: Los; June 20 7:30 p.m.: filial Fixations; June 21 Days of the Eclipse 7 p.m. & A Spring for the Thirsty 9:30 p.m. Pacific Film Archive Theater 2575 Bancroft Way (at Bowditch) 642-1412 

 

Cody’s Books 2454 Telegraph Ave. All events at 7:30 p.m. June 12: Colson Whitehead reads from “John Henry Days”; June 13: David Sedaris reads from “Me Talk Pretty One Day”; June 14: Ana Menendez reads from “In Cuba I Was A German Sheperd”; June 15: James Ellroy reads “The Cold Six Thousand.” 845-7852  

 

Cody’s Books 1730 Fourth St. All events at 7 p.m. unless noted otherwise. June 14: Stephanie Brill talks about “The Queer Parent’s Primer: A Lesbian and Gay Families’ Guide to Navigating the Straight World”; June 16, 4 p.m.: Chris Raschka presents a talk and demontration for children, and paints the store front window; June 18 Sherman Alexie- The Toughest Indian in the world. 559-9500 

 

Freight & Salvage June 23, 10 a.m.-noon Diane di Prima, beat poet and author of “recollections of My Life as a Woman”. 

 

Simone Martel June 16, 2 p.m. Martel will read from her book “The Expectant Gardener: A Wise and Fun Guide to the Adventure of Backyard Growing” Barnes and Noble 2352 Shattuck Ave. 644-0861  

 

Weekly Poetry Nitro Mondays 6:30 p.m. sign up, 7 - 9 p.m. reading. Performing poets in a dinner atmosphere. Featured poets: June 18: Katie Daley; June 25 Steve ArntsenCafe de la Paz 1600 Shattuck Ave. 843-0662 

 

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Free. University of California, Berkeley. 486-4387 

 

Berkeley City Club Tours 2315 Durant Ave., Berkeley. The fourth Sunday of every month, Noon - 4 p.m. $2 848-7800  

 

Golden Gate Live Steamers Grizzly Peak Boulevard and Lomas Cantadas Drive at the south end of Tilden Regional Park Small locomotives, meticulously scaled to size. Trains run Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Rides: Sunday, noon to 3 p.m., weather permitting. 486-0623


Shoring up creek slope under consideration

By John GeluardiDaily Planet staff
Tuesday June 12, 2001

Among the issues the City Council will consider tonight is a recommendation from the Public Works Department to continue a contract for revegetation of a section of Cerrito Creek in Albany. 

The contract will be with Shelterbelt Builders, Inc., in an amount not to exceed $78,000 through the end of 2003. 

The project is to repair the slope of the creek damaged during the construction of the Cerrito Creek sewer pipeline project. The damage occurred in Albany between Pierce and Adams streets. 

The project, dubbed the Cerrito Creek Revegetation Project, was planned by a number of organizations including the University Herbarium of UC Berkeley and the Friends of Five Creeks. 

The goal of the project is to plant strong populations of selected local native plants that will provide soil erosion and habitat protection. 

 

The culture down under 

 

The city manager is asking the council to amend a contract with the city’s archeological consulting firm, which has been retained to give the Public Works Department advice about projects in the West Berkeley Shellmound Area. 

The archeology consulting firm, Garcia and Associates, is asking for an increase in contract fees of $26,000 for a total not to exceed $207,000 for the period beginning June 15 until the end of 2003. 

The services are necessary because the city has landmarked areas in the Shellmound that are considered within the public right of way. Because of the historical status, the city has to meet state environmental guidelines. Normally the city does not have to abide by the California Environmental Quality Act when carrying out projects on the public right of way according to the staff report. 

 

Protecting renters 

Councilmember Dona Spring is asking the city attorney to write an amendment to the Berkeley Municipal Code that will make it tougher for landlords to evict tenants. 

Spring wants the code to be tightened to “restrict code violations that are used as grounds for eviction to only those that constitute a genuine safety of health threat,” according to Spring’s written recommendation. 

The amendments would also make it a violation for landlords to interfere with the delivery of services such as electricity, water, cable and Internet access. 

Spring’s recommendation says that due to the Costa-Hawkins vacancy decontrol, “landlords now have an incredible financial incentive to try and get rid of tenants in rent-controlled apartments.” 

The recommendation points to the example of a Berkeley landlord who, it said, recently ripped out one of his tenants’ telephone and cable lines, leaving him without fire prevention services. 

 

Council’s budget recommendations 

The council will make recommendations for amendments to the city manager’s budget proposals for fiscal year 2001-2002. The city manager will also answer questions about his May 9 presentation to council. 

The two-year budget for fiscal year 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 is about $524 million, a 14 percent increase from the previously adopted two-year budget.  

The council will hold a public hearing on the budget during its June 19 meeting and then adopt the budget on June 26. 

 

Moratorium in the MULI 

After being pushed back on the agenda several times, the moratorium on new office development in west Berkeley is on the agenda. The Planning Commission recommended the council enact a one-year moratorium on office development in the Mixed Use-Light Industrial District, also known as the MULI, in west Berkeley. 

The staff report on the recommendation says the moratorium should remain in effect until the impact of the growing number of offices on blue-collar jobs, and on artists and artisans can be determined. 

Another concern is increased traffic congestion posed by more offices. The council report, approved by Planning Commission Chair Rob Wrenn, said that about 349,000 square feet of office space has been developed in the MULI in the last three years. 

Also on the agenda are: 

• A transportation pass for city workers 

• A passenger pick-up space at the downtown BART station 

• Encouraging low income and market-rate housing in the city 

• Asking the city manager to study a Sunshine Ordinance, improving on the state’s open meeting laws 

 

 

 


District unifies services

By Ben Lumpkin Daily Planet staff
Tuesday June 12, 2001

In a move some hope will reverse a decline in the school district’s delivery of key services, the Board of Education approved an administrative structure change last week.  

In essence, the board moved to bring all its separate departments such as facilities, maintenance, budget and fiscal services and nutrition services under the leadership of one high-level person who will report directly to the superintendent.  

The new position, to be known as Associate Superintendent of Business Services and Operations, is expected to be filled some time this summer by incoming Superintendent Michele Barraza Lawrence. This gives the district’s new leader an opportunity to be involved in the selection of one of her most important lieutenants, said School Board President Terry Doran. 

Under a reorganization carried out at the end of last year, the district had split its administrative departments into two separate chains of command, with some reporting to the associate superintendent of support services while others reported to a chief financial officer. 

The board’s vote Wednesday eliminates these two positions, essentially reinstating the administrative structure that existed before the change last year. 

Interim Superintendent Stephen Goldstone argued that last year’s change resulted in a “top-heavy” administrative structure where departments that needed to carefully coordinate their work were managed by separate individuals. 

“The reorganization moves in the direction of combining related functions,” Goldstone said in a report to the board.  

For example, under last year’s reorganization, the district’s Facilities Construction Department began reporting to one manager while its maintenance department reported to another, a move Goldstone and others said made little sense given the need to coordinate between maintenance and facilities’ departments to avoid duplication of efforts and other inefficiencies. 

Nancy Riddle, a parent who sits on two budgetary advisory committees in the school district, said of the changes: “When I first looked at it I went, ‘Oh, thank goodness.’ Maintenance and facilities need to go hand and hand to be the most efficient and to make the best use of funds.” 

A litany of complaints have been leveled at the district over the last year, including claims that it has failed to provide important educational materials to school sites in a timely manner, failed to provide adequate maintenance to school buildings, grounds and equipment, failed to assess and train teachers adequately, and failed even to give the school board the budget information it needed to make sound decisions. 

“No one is blaming it on an individual or individuals, but we’ve had a system that is not working for a number of reasons and for a number of years,” said School Board Director John Selawsky late last week. 

Some of the reorganization approved Wednesday could begin to get at some of these problems, according to school sources. 

For example, the Data Processing Department, Technology Department and cable installing component of the Facilities Department will be combined into one Department of Technological Support, reporting directly to the superintendent. 

School Board Vice-president Shirley Issel said such changes make it at least possible that certain key services provided by the central office will be improved. But Issel added that organizational changes alone won’t immediately erase problems that have become entrenched over time. 

“The real meat of the thing is going to come in the implementation,” Issel said. 


Man, still claiming innocence, released from prison after 17 years

The Associated Press
Tuesday June 12, 2001

SAN QUENTIN — Glen “Buddy” Nickerson walked out of San Quentin State Prison a free man Monday, 17 years after he says he was wrongly sentenced to life in prison for two murders. 

“I didn’t do it, and I’ve been saying it for 17 years,” Nickerson said after his release, hugging two attorneys who have fought to free him for the past five years. 

A federal judge presiding over Nickerson’s innocence appeal believes he may not be guilty of the charges, and has ordered him released until court proceedings before her are concluded. 

“I knew all along that he was wrongly convicted,” said Nickerson’s father, Glen Nickerson Sr., who waited outside the prison gate to greet Nickerson with a dozen other friends and family members. 

Nickerson’s family posted the $500,000 bail before U.S. Magistrate Joseph Spero, who urged the prisoner to abide by a litany of rules, including getting a job and staying out of trouble as his appeal before a different federal judge proceeds. 

“I give my word, your honor,” Nickerson, 45, replied to the judge. 

After his release, the tattooed Nickerson said he plans to “find a job and try to get my life back together.” 

U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel said June 1 that evidence before her “strongly suggest that the trial which resulted in (Nickerson’s) convictions was marked by suppression and destruction of evidence and perjury by the state’s investigators.” 

State prosecutors objected to his release. 

Deputy Attorney General Gregory Ott told Spero that “we are dealing with a convicted double murderer.” 

Patel and Nickerson’s attorneys have complained since November that Santa Clara County and state prosecutors have dragged their feet in complying with orders to produce a host of documents and statements she has ordered in the case. 

“We can drag this out when he’s not in custody,” Patel said during a hearing last month. 

Nickerson’s lawyers have assembled new evidence casting doubt on his conviction for his role in a 1984 shootout that left two men dead and set off years of still-unresolved litigation. 

Patel ordered prosecutors to file documents outlining what evidence they have that would contradict a host of new evidence that prompted his attorney, M. Gerald Schwartzbach, to declare Nickerson “an innocent man.”  

Such evidence has not been forthcoming, Patel said. 

The new evidence from Nickerson’s attorneys includes the recent arrest and filing of murder charges against a long-sought suspect who has been linked to the murder scene through DNA evidence, admitted he was there and told investigators that Nickerson had nothing to do with the crime. 

Nickerson was convicted of the 1984 ambush shooting at a condominium in an unincorporated area of Santa Clara County, between San Jose and Los Gatos. After an apparent botched drug deal, a gunfight broke out and John Evans and his stepbrother, Mickie King, were shot to death.  

A third man, Michael Osorio, also was shot in the head, but survived to testify. 

Authorities eventually convicted Nickerson and two others. 

Evidence prompting Patel to determine that a jury would not find Nickerson guilty today includes the arrest two years ago of William Jahn, who was linked through DNA testing to one of the unsolved mysteries of the murder scene. Jahn’s trial is pending. 

One of the three attackers had been wounded during the gunfight, and fled from the condo, leaving a trail of blood.  

Jahn, picked up on a drug and weapons charge in San Jose in 1997, was matched to the blood trail; he also has scarring and metal fragments in his body from a gunshot wound. 

 

Prosecutors charged Jahn in March with murder in connection to the Evans and King murders. Jahn, while in custody, told Nickerson’s lawyers that Nickerson was not involved. 

Osorio, the surviving victim, testified that there were three attackers of average height and weight. At the time, Nickerson weighed 425 pounds. Jahn, however, fits the description given by Osorio, who nevertheless identified Nickerson as one of the assailants at trial, Nickerson’s attorneys said. 

The case is Nickerson v. Roe, C98-04909MHP. 


Political pressure eases for Davis as power prices dip

The Associated Press
Tuesday June 12, 2001

SACRAMENTO — California Gov. Gray Davis is getting his first glimpse of relief after months under the political cloud of soaring electricity prices and rolling blackouts. 

A series of events – from plummeting wholesale energy and natural gas prices to the unexpected shift in the U.S. Senate – has left Davis declaring that the state has “turned a corner” in its power woes. 

But politically, he still must weather the hottest summer months, the arrival of rising electricity bills at homes and a recent dive in his popularity ratings. 

“Some irreparable damage has been done to his image and his popularity,” said Bruce Cain, director of the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. 

Two statewide polls recently showed Davis’ approval rating plummeted to its lowest marks since he took office while electricity rates climbed. 

Meanwhile, Davis fought to shed his image as a middle-of-the-road leader, adopting a new, confrontational style in dealing with the crisis. 

He hired high-powered crisis control specialists Chris Lehane and Mark Fabiani, trained at the Clinton White House and in the Al Gore presidential campaign. He declared “war” on Texas-based energy wholesalers. 

Davis also attacked the Bush administration for opposing price controls on wholesale electricity. 

Soon after, the crisis-weary governor’s fortunes started to shift. 

Vermont Sen. James Jeffords announced he would defect from the GOP, handing the majority and committee chairmanships to Democrats who favor price caps on wholesale electricity. 

President Bush, who had been criticized for failing to visit the state since he took office, traveled to the state and met with Davis. 

On a scorching afternoon in late May, the state came within the brink of blackouts, but dodged them.  

The state Energy Commission announced that Californian’s had cut power use by 11 percent in May over the year before, which Davis called a personal victory because he has called for residents and businesses to conserve 10 percent. 

Last week, the price of wholesale electricity and natural gas plunged to its lowest price in a year. Davis aides called that a direct result of Davis signing long-term contracts with energy providers. 

“We may still have some difficult days ahead of us in the summer but it’s pretty clear that the governor’s strategy has now borne some fruit,” said Garry South, chief campaign adviser to Davis. 

Still, the energy crisis has battered the governor once considered a potential presidential contender in 2004. 

His state, heavily reliant on the fortunes of the technology sector to fill its treasury, is facing its toughest budget crunch in years. 

Also, some experts said Davis has called a premature victory in the energy crisis. The state has yet to sell $13.4 billion worth of bonds to repay the state for power buys, and California still relies heavily on the spot power market to make up for electricity shortages. 

California Republicans, meanwhile, are fortifying their campaign against Davis and the Democrats that control both houses of the legislature and all but one statewide office. The state party hired veteran consultant Rob Stutzman to counter Davis’ hiring of Lehane and Fabiani. 

Stutzman worked for former insurance commissioner Chuck Quackenbush, who resigned under the threat of impeachment last year. Stutzman said Davis has little for which to take credit. 

 

“The governor is like a little kid that breaks his mother’s china and then wants credit for gluing half of it back together,” Stutzman said. 

In California, Davis’ short-term fortunes look better because of his fragmented opposition. He holds strong leads over the two Republicans who have announced they will challenge him, Secretary of State Bill Jones and Los Angeles businessman William E. Simon Jr. 

Plus, Republicans in Washington and a large chunk of the state’s Republican congressional delegation have tried to lure outgoing Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan into the governor’s race, afraid that Jones and Simon lack the necessary star power to oppose Davis. 

Whoever runs against Davis will find an incumbent with more than $26 million raised for next year and a team of campaign advisers already using focus groups and polling to gauge public reaction to the power crisis. 


Yosemite killer could face more charges

The Associated Press
Tuesday June 12, 2001

MARIPOSA — When his wife, daughter and a teenage friend failed to return from Yosemite National Park and meet at a San Francisco airport rendezvous, Jens Sund thought nothing of it and boarded a plane for Phoenix. 

It was only after finishing a round of golf the next day that he began worrying, an anxiety that grew all day and lasted more than a month – until his worst fears were realized after the bodies of the three were found outside the park. 

Sund was the first witness Monday in Mariposa Superior Court as prosecutors began presenting testimony against motel handyman Cary Stayner to see if enough evidence exists to charge him with murdering the three tourists. 

Stayner, 39, already is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty in federal court to murdering a woman who led children on nature walks in the park. He could face execution if convicted in state court in the triple murder case. 

Carole Sund, 42, daughter Juli, 15, and family friend Silvina Pelosso, 16, of Argentina had gone to the park to witness the cascading waterfalls, soaring cliffs of granite and towering trees after Juli competed in a cheerleading competition in Modesto. 

Seated only 10 feet from Stayner, Jens Sund avoided eye contact while testifying that the last time he saw the three women was when they left their Eureka home in February 1999. 

Despite testimony of his worries, there was hardly a hint of the grisly fate the women met. The words “killings” or “murders” were not uttered by any of the 10 witnesses during the first of the preliminary hearing. 

Assistant District Attorney Kim Fletcher moved methodically through testimony to build a foundation for her case, distilling the drama of the disappearances down to the mundane issues of how Cedar Lodge, where Stayner worked and lived, kept records of visitors, copies of receipts and how maids cleaned rooms. 

Through the bland testimony, however, a more poignant image began to emerge: These were the last people to see the women alive and well. The clerks who sold them knickknacks at the gift shop and the waitress who served what must have been their last meal of burritos and burgers. 

“I had the, uhhh, missing women,” testified waitress Barbara Jane Bonner. She worked at the Cedar Lodge restaurant and said she served the trio on the night of Feb. 15, 1999, when the Sund-Pelosso party was last seen alive. Jens Sund said he last spoke to his wife by phone at the lodge on Feb. 14. 

They were supposed to meet Feb. 16 at the San Francisco airport so he could take Pelosso and his other three children to the Grand Canyon. Sund’s flight was delayed by bad weather, and when he arrived at the airport his wife was nowhere to be found. 

“I thought maybe I had misunderstood Carole’s plans, so I just figured everything was fine,” he said. 

Jens Sund went ahead and boarded the Phoenix flight without them and played golf the next day in Arizona. But as he continued to try to reach his wife, calling their home and leaving messages with in-laws, Sund said he became increasingly concerned. He flew back to San Francisco the next day and met his brother-in-law. The two then went to the Cedar Lodge to look for the three, to no avail. 

Defense lawyer Marcia Morrissey, who had offered to waive the hearing and proceed to trial but was rebuffed by prosecutors, aggressively cross-examined witnesses. 

She picked away at seemingly innocuous details and revealed conflicting testimony and inconsistencies in witness statements about the chronology of the tourists’ visit, the clothes they wore, and whether Silvina Pelosso spoke with an accent. 

The hearing will likely result in two outcomes. Judge Thomas C. Hastings will determine if there’s enough evidence to proceed and, if so, prosecutors will reveal whether they will seek the death penalty. 

Outside of court, Carole Carrington, the mother of Carole Sund, said she wants prosecutors to seek the death penalty if Stayner is convicted, referring to Monday’s execution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. 

Although what McVeigh did was terrible, she said it was less personal, more like a pilot dropping a bomb on a city. 

“This was face-to-face,” she said.


Review boards shown to favor HMOs in disputes

The Associated Press
Tuesday June 12, 2001

LOS ANGELES — Acting under a new consumer protection law, state regulators have sent nearly 200 disputes between HMOs and patients to an independent review board, which has ruled in favor of the health plans 65 percent of the time. 

A report – obtained by the Los Angeles Times but scheduled for release Monday by the California Department of Managed Health Care – is providing the first view of how recent HMO reforms have affected access to care and how consumer complaints are handled. 

Since the independent review law took effect Jan. 1, the department has sent 195 cases to be reviewed by outside doctors with no stake in the case’s outcome.  

The reviewers have rendered a decision in 168 of those cases: 110 have favored HMOs and 58 have gone to patients. The remainder are pending. 

Consumer advocates and state officials hope the report will aid Congress as it debates national patients’ rights legislation this week that contains some elements, such as expanded rights to sue HMOs, similar to California’s law. 

The health care industry has opposed patients’ rights legislation because it would enhance consumers’ rights to sue, which could lead to frivolous lawsuits and rising health care costs. 

“Certainly we have not seen that happen” in California, said Daniel Zingale, director of the managed care agency, which regulates HMOs.  

“And I would say that California’s laws are among the strongest in the nation” as far as protecting consumer rights. 

Consumers can sue HMOs if they are dissatisfied with the review process. But state officials and consumer advocates said they are unaware of any such lawsuits being filed since Jan. 1. 

The report also lists consumer complaints covering some 50 health plans. 

Among private plans with more than 1 million members, the plans with the lowest complaint rates were Aetna US Healthcare, with 0.67 complaints per 10,000 members, and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, with 1.22 per 10,000. 

Among larger plans, the highest rate of complaints were registered by Health Net, with 2.3 per 10,000, and PacifiCare of California, with 2.52 per 10,000 members. 

Consumer advocates said it’s unclear what the scorecards mean without more data. 

The report, for example, listed zero complaints against LA Care, a manage care plan that serves nearly 2 million members in Los Angeles County.  

It was unknown how there could not be a single complaint lodged against the plan, Zingale said, but he speculated that frustrated patients may have lodged their complaints with another state agency.


Protesters few and far between for McVeigh execution

The Associated Press
Tuesday June 12, 2001

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — About 300 demonstrators – far fewer than expected – converged on the federal prison where Timothy McVeigh was executed Monday, praying or quietly holding signs, then quickly dispersing after his death. 

Prison officials had set up protest zones for death penalty opponents and supporters, separating them with 400 yards of orange snow fencing and armed guards. 

Authorities were prepared to handle 1,000 people or more, but only about 300 showed up – fewer than 100 in support of the death penalty and about 200 against it, said Jim Cross, executive assistant of the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute. 

Their numbers were dwarfed by the 1,300 journalists on hand. 

Unitarian minister Bill Breeden told the death-penalty opponents that the fight against the capital punishment would go on. “We must run with the chariot and continue this struggle until it stops,” he said. 

Death penalty supporters let out a cheer and hugged upon hearing McVeigh was dead. 

Organizers said the postponement of the original execution date of May 16, and the timing of the execution just days after the last court battle was dropped, contributed to the low turnout. 

Earlier in the day, candles flickered as death penalty opponents, heads bowed, sat in a circle, silently mouthing the names on a list of the 168 victims of the Oklahoma City bombing. They remained silent for 168 minutes – one minute for each victim of the bombing. 

Protesters on both sides held signs in the glare of television spotlights. 

“What have we accomplished by executing Timothy McVeigh now that there are 169 people dead?” asked 49-year-old Bert Fitzgerald of Madison, Ind. 

Both groups took buses from city parks to the makeshift protest grounds at the prison. 

Russell Braun, 21, of Terre Haute, held a sign reading “Bye Bye Baby Killer.” He said he came to the prison to make sure the survivors were remembered. 

“It has nothing to do with McVeigh,” Braun said. “The kids could have grown up and made a difference in this world, and they weren’t even given a chance.” 

Both sides left quickly in buses after McVeigh’s death.


Bomber’s death is satisfaction for some, doubful for others

The Associated Press
Tuesday June 12, 2001

As much as his crime united the nation in shock, Timothy McVeigh’s death left Americans divided.  

For many, there was certitude and satisfaction that justice had prevailed; others wrestled with moral doubts. 

“When a society kills its killers, then we become a little bit more like them,” said Craig Hammond, director of a charity program in Bluefield, W. Va. 

But from Doc Hardaway, who runs a shoeshine stand in Atlanta: “Like the Bible says, an eye for an eye.” 

Although witnessed in person and on closed-circuit TV by barely 250 people, McVeigh’s death was a public event in a sense, a national execution. 

In scores of communities – Albuquerque and Chicago; York, Pa., and Concord, N.H., among many others – people fumbled for a way to mark the occasion appropriately. 

There were prayer services, vigils, subdued protests. A few catcalls directed at opponents of the death penalty.  

A lot of introspection. Even a minor victory for civility:  

\Two Los Angeles radio-show hosts canceled plans to bring an effigy of McVeigh to a bar so patrons could pummel it. 

It was a wrenching day for many Americans, not least for those who seek to end all executions.  

McVeigh never gave them ammunition for their arguments – no apology, no testimony of mental distress or an anguished childhood. 

Even as she protested against the death penalty at the University of New Mexico, where demonstrators lit a candle for McVeigh and each of his 168 victims, Meg Gorham didn’t feel like pressing her case. 

“Killing is not an answer to killing,” she said. But she also admitted that “I’m sure if my family were involved, it would be different.” 

Similar modesty from Erica Thorneburg, attending a vigil outside the federal courthouse in St. Louis.  

She wore a T-shirt opposing the death penalty, yet doubted she could articulate her views to families of McVeigh’s victims. 

“I don’t know how I could explain it,” she said. “I don’t think it will ever make sense to them.” 

How to make sense of McVeigh himself? 

At his former church, in Pendleton, N.Y., a scattering of parishioners gathered at the hour of his execution.  

“Everybody makes a mistake in his life – nobody’s perfect,” said Joseph Surdj, who once worked with McVeigh’s father at an auto plant. 

Across upstate New York, 40 people gathered outside the state Capitol in Albany to pray for McVeigh and his victims. 

“I do feel sympathy for him,” said Nicholas Barbara, 67.  

“He’s an ex-Marine like I am, he’s a nice person.” 

A different McVeigh was in the thoughts of William Dawkins, 69, a retired truck driver reading his paper on a bench near Independence Hall in Philadelphia.  

Like the majority of Americans, Dawkins supports the death penalty. 

“I am glad to see it happen,” Dawkins said. “He could have cared less whether he killed one person or 100 people.” 

Nor did the bomber win sympathy in Waco, Texas, site of the 1993 federal raid on the Branch Davidian compound.  

McVeigh said he destroyed the Oklahoma City federal building in part to protest that incident. 

“He’s not considered a martyr for us. I’ve never even met him,” said Clive Doyle, a survivor of the Waco siege. 

Outside Junction City, Kansas, Mark Morgan – a Kansas State University professor – was camping at the fishing lake where McVeigh and Terry Nichols assembled their bomb. 

Morgan knew about the bombers’ links to the lake, although his motivation Monday was to fish, not to mark McVeigh’s execution. 

“For those who lost family and loved ones, it’s going to be a long painful road,” Morgan said.


Peregrine Systems buying rival

The Associated Press
Tuesday June 12, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO — Rapidly expanding Peregrine Systems Inc. announced Monday it will buy rival Remedy Corp. in a deal that will unite two leading makers of software that helps companies identify and fix problems in their computer networks. 

San Diego-based Peregrine will pay $275 million in cash and 27.9 million shares of its stock to take over Mountain View-based Remedy. 

The sales price translated into $1.1 billion when the deal was announced early Monday, but the value fell to $987 million after investors dumped Peregrine’s stock on news of the sale. Peregrine’s shares dropped $3.30, or 11.5 percent, to close at $25.51 Monday in trading on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange. 

The sale lifted Remedy’s recently slumping stock, as the company’s shares climbed $12.18, or 66 percent, to close at $30.52. 

Monday’s deal continues a year-long shopping spree for Peregrine, a 20-year-old company that went public in 1997. Since June 2000, Peregrine has paid $1.76 billion in cash and stock to buy Harbinger Corp., Loran Network Holding Corp. and Tivoli Service Desk. 

After the Remedy takeover, Peregrine’s CEO Steve Gardner will run the combined company, which will be based in San Diego. Remedy CEO Larry Garlick will have a seat on the combined company’s board. 

Several hundred workers are expected to lose their jobs as management jettisons overlapping operations in an effort to save $40 million to $50 million annually. 

Peregrine employs 3,000 workers and Remedy has 1,300 workers. Although the companies didn’t specify how many layoffs will occur, industry analyst Patrick E. Mason of Wit Soundview predicted 7 percent to 10 percent of the workers will lose their jobs, leaving the combined company with fewer than 4,000 employees. 

“We will take the very best (workers) that we can from each organization,” Gardner said during a conference call with analysts. 

Pending regulatory and shareholder approvals, Peregrine expects to complete the Remedy purchase in late August or early September. 

Combined, the companies expect to generate annual revenues of more than $1 billion. Peregrine’s revenues totaled $565 million in its most recent fiscal year ending in March, while Remedy reported sales of $288.5 million last year. 

The marriage will meld Peregrine’s strength selling to large corporations with Remedy’s focus on small to mid-sized businesses. 

Because it targets smaller businesses, Remedy has been harder hit by the dot-com downturn than Peregrine. After losing $6.2 million in this year’s first quarter, Remedy laid off 7 percent of its work force in April. 

——— 

On The Net: 

http://www.peregrine.com 

http://www.remedy.com 


Numbers, history can’t explain market

By John Cunniff The Associated Press
Tuesday June 12, 2001

NEW YORK — These are times that test not only the financial courage of investors but the nerves and credibility of financial advisers. 

They have both been wrong – most of them – and are anxious now to dismiss even the memories of the recent and unlamented carnage and set their minds to the more comfortable prospect of a rising market. 

But there’s a problem. The market isn’t listening.  

It has come back a bit, but whenever it seems ready to launch a late-1990s type surge, up comes a warning from historians or a negative report from economists. 

So, with the market failing to respond robustly, at least in ways investors have become accustomed to, and with forecasters and advisers unable to nudge it along as they did in the old bull days, what do you do? 

You retreat to longer range thinking. You get philosophical. You seek explanations in history and numbers. 

You go back to basics, says Jim Griffin of Aeltus Investment Management.  

Basics such as earnings and discount rates, the fundamentals of business cycles, the lessons of economic policies and the like. 

But even here there are problems.  

“What we really know about such basics can’t be dignified as much more than speculation, hypothesis and folklore,” says Griffin. 

If that sounds like capitulation, it is reinforced by his declaration that: “Much of the confident assertion of what is taken to be truth today is the nearly perfect obverse of what was taken to be truth a year ago.” 

Seeking understanding, Griffin looks for it in epistemology, or the study of the nature and validity of knowledge, and concludes that “what we can’t know is just how and when a market bottom might be formed.” 

Financial planner Jonathan Pond seeks truth less in short-term specifics and more in longer term forecasts in his report, encouragingly entitled  

“Some happy news for my beloved, albeit beleaguered readers.” 

First, he informs them, “We can look forward to longer and healthier lives.” 

And that “investment opportunities will proliferate.” And that “the longer-term economic outlook is positive in the U.S. and overseas.” 

Most encouraging of all, he reports that “Bear markets end and the rebound is usually substantial.”  

But then he adds “if only we knew when declining stock markets end.” 

Trained to believe in numbers and history, technical researchers at Salomon Smith Barney, have studied every discount rate cut by the Federal Reserve all the way back to 1914 and matched them against market action. 

The task was rather prodigious, since no less than 18 series of reductions have occurred in that time, and most series contained multiple cuts.  

For example, there were nine cuts in the one series of reductions between November 2, 1981 and December 15, 1982. 

In most cases following the cuts, the markets got a hefty bounce.  

This time around, the markets haven’t responded with the same buoyancy. 

Why this should be so is perhaps a matter for philosophers. 

 

 

John Cunniff is a business analyst for The Associated Press


Rebel group claiming death of American hostage

The Associated Press
Tuesday June 12, 2001

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines — Muslim rebels claimed Tuesday that they killed an American hostage, one of more than two dozen captives they’re holding in the southern Philippine jungles. The military was skeptical of the report. 

Abu Sabaya, a leader of the Abu Sayyaf rebels, said over Radio Mindanao Network that his group had beheaded Guillermo Sobero of Corona, Calif. 

Sabaya threatened to execute one of the three Americans he holds at noon Monday, but delayed it when the Philippine government agreed to one of his demands, that a Malaysian negotiator be brought in to help settle the crisis. 

But Sabaya said the threat was carried out because he felt the government was insincere. “We could see that they were fooling us around,” he said in the RMN broadcast. 

Military spokesman Brig. Gen. Edilberto Adan stressed the claim hadn’t been confirmed. 

“We have to verify this information and confirm, because you know, in the past Sabaya has said things like this and didn’t mean it,” Adan said. 

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Susan Pittman said officials were seeking information. “We are looking into the reports.” 

Sobero’s younger brother, Alberto, said U.S. officials also told him that the report was unverified. 

“I’m still hoping this is not true,” the Cathedral City resident said. “I ask the Philippine government to exhaust all efforts and continue a dialogue to get my brother back, and all the hostages.” 

He added that only oldest of Guillermo Sobero’s four children, a 13-year-old daughter, knows that their father has been kidnapped. 

Last year, the rebels seized several hostages and executed some Filipinos, but this was the first time they claimed to have killed a foreigner. 

In his radio comments, Sabaya also threatened to kill other hostages. His group holds at least 25 Filipinos and to other Americans, Wichita, Kan.-based missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham. 

“We chopped the head of Guillermo Sobero,” Sabaya told RMN. “They better hurry the rescue, otherwise there will be no hostages left.” 

He said the killing occurred near the town of Tuburan and told the military: “Find his body.” 

Sabaya demanded that former Malaysian Sen. Sairin Karno join the negotiating team. Karno helped mediate last year’s kidnapping crisis, where millions of dollars in ransoms were reportedly paid to bring it to an end. 

The military has said no ransom will be paid this time. The rebels used the money last year to buy arms and speedboats used in the May 27 abduction of tourists, including the Americans, from a beach resort across the Sulu Sea. 

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has ordered all-out war against the Abu Sayyaf. 

Meanwhile, three Abu Sayyaf rebels were killed and three soldiers wounded in fighting Tuesday, said Col. Danilo Servando, spokesman for the military’s southern forces. He said the clash was near Lantawan town, the area where the hostages are reportedly held. 

A day earlier, the rebels stormed a coconut and coffee plantation on southern Basilan island, burning down five houses and a chapel, then fled with 15 more hostages to go with the 13 people were already holding, the army said. Among the new hostages are two 12-year-olds. 

Sabaya said Monday’s attack on the plantation was part of a counteroffensive against the military. He claimed he sent out teams of fighters Monday to “create another problem” after reinforcements arrived from the guerrillas’ base on nearby Jolo island. 

The government has estimated the Abu Sayyaf has about 1,100 fighters in the southern islands. The military, citing intelligence reports, said about 20 Abu Sayyaf reinforcements had landed on Basilan. 

The Abu Sayyaf says it is fighting to carve out an independent Islamic state from the southern Philippines, but the government calls its members mere bandits. Muslims are a minority in the mostly Roman Catholic Philippines but are a majority in the islands where the Abu Sayyaf operates. 

This is the same group that kidnapped Oakland resident Jeffrey Schilling in August 2000. Schilling returned home unharmed in April.


Family hangs on to hope report is false

The Associated Press
Tuesday June 12, 2001

Unsure whether to believe the worst, relatives of the U.S. businessman reportedly killed by Philippine rebels gathered at his home Monday, still hoping for the best. 

“We don’t have any official news. We’re still hopeful he’s alive,” said Neuza Chiong, a cousin of Guillermo Sobero’s wife, Fanny. 

Chiong, standing in front of Sobero’s home, said the hostage’s wife has decided not to comment until the family is certain of her husband’s fate. Meanwhile, journalists respected Chiong’s request to keep their vehicles away from the house to avoid alarming Sobero’s three youngest children. 

“They think he’s on vacation,” Chiong said, adding that the children were asleep early Monday evening. “I’m not sure when we’ll tell them.” Sobero, a father of four, is a Peruvian native who makes a living waterproofing homes and decks. 

Neighbors and family describe him as a friendly man who loves scuba diving and playing with his children. Yellow ribbons adorn trees in his quiet neighborhood east of Los Angeles. 

Sobero, whose children are 2, 3, 6 and 13, moved to California with his family in the early 1980s.  

He and his wife of seven years were divorcing when he was abducted from an island resort in the Philippines on May 27. His wife said afterward she didn’t know her husband had left the country, adding that he had only told her he was going to Lake Havasu, Ariz., to celebrate his birthday with some of his siblings. 


Berkeley writers help school’s achievement gap

By Ben Lumpkin Daily Planet staff
Monday June 11, 2001

Allison Johnson, chairperson for the Berkeley High School English Department, remembers the first day the writing coaches came to her class.  

Suddenly, there they were: This neatly dressed cluster of nurses, accountants, carpenters, screenwriters, and other professionals, waiting patiently outside her classroom, wanting nothing more than to teach her students how to write. 

For Johnson, it was a dream come true. But for many of the students, it was more like a nightmare. 

“At first, they did not want to go [with the writing coaches],” Johnson said. “They were scared. They didn’t know what to expect.” 

Until recently, most Berkeley High students had a better chance of being struck by lightning than having to sit one-on-one with an adult for a full class period. But that was before Berkeley resident Mary Lee Cole, an expert in designing educational programs, launched the Writers’ Room program this past March. 

Emulating a program a New Jersey school district has used for nearly 10 years to tackle the racial achievement gap, Cole trained more than 50 volunteer writing “coaches” to work one-on-one with Berkeley High students once a week. 

Since March, the coaches have worked with some 300 students at the school, most of them freshman. Whenever possible, the same coaches meet with the same students each week, working to build a relationship of trust and respect. 

At a school where the average freshman English class can include everything from students who struggle with sixth grade level reading assignments to students prepared to write an insightful and cogent essay on, say, Dostoyevsky’s Notes from Underground, Cole said the Writers’ Room program provides a unique opportunity to customize the education experience according to the needs of individual students. 

“We are in the business of personalizing the educational experience,” she said. 

Berkeley High teachers work to personalize education as much as they can, but they frequently complain that, in classes that range for 20 to 35 students, there is only so much one teacher can do. Johnson said when it comes to something as vital as writing skills, which impact the students performance in virtually every class they will take at Berkeley High, the extra help teachers can offer often isn’t enough to overcome the deficits students have when they arrive at the school. 

“I can look over their draft quickly, but I don’t have time to spend a whole period on one kid’s draft,” Johnson said. 

“The English department feels this tremendous pressure [to bring student writing skills up to par],” Johnson added. “We know what we do affects them in all their classes.” 

For some students, the Writers’ Room could be the extra help that keeps them from falling completely through the cracks, according to Johnson and Cole.  

“A lot of kids come to Berkeley High and they just get completely lost,” Johnson said. 

And if freshman year isn’t enough of a shock for those students who arrive at the school unprepared, the transition from freshman to sophomore year holds yet another cruel awakening, according to Cole.  

Since average class sizes jump from 20 to 35 between the two years, students who had difficulty getting help they need as freshman are likely to give up altogether as sophomores, she said. 

“If the kids are at risk at all, if they don’t have really strong skills … they just fade out,” Cole said. 

By sitting down with students and helping them work through writing assignments detail by detail, the Writers’ Room coaches offer the kind of academic advice and moral support that keeps students from giving up, Cole said.  

Many students already have a good start on the work by the time they meet with the coaches. In these cases, the volunteers help them correct grammar and spelling errors, or perhaps encourage the student to explore some ideas that he or she might not have come to on their own.  

With other students, the tutors must start at ground zero, helping them to understand the assignment and trying to get them interested in the work. 

Heather Skibbins teaches in Berkeley High’s Rebound program, created this January to give double period English and Math to some 50 freshman who had failed these core classes the first semester.  

Skibbins said she has seen some students go from ignoring assignments altogether to turning in neatly typed essays, all through the intervention of a Writers’ Room coach.  

“Some kids who didn’t even do [an assignment], [who] hadn’t engaged, … the next day they came to school with like a three page paper,” Skibbins said. “They are like, ‘Oh, I have a 100 things to say about this now, because this person has just made me realize all that I know about this.’” 

Cole said getting students to truly engage in their school work is a big part of what the program is all about.  

Many students have become convinced that they will always be poor students and that their homework is simply too difficult for them to even attempt, Cole said. But Writers’ Room coaches, through a casual conversation around the topic students have been assigned to write about, make it clear to students that they really do have a lot to say, she said. They help them get those difficult first sentences down on paper, and then a few more sentences, until suddenly the students are saying things like, “‘What? I wrote all that?’”  

In some cases, all it takes to get a kid started is having an adult sitting across from them who is clearly interested in what they have to say, according to Writers’ Room coach Debbie Reynolds, the parent of a Berkeley High freshman. 

“Our schools are somewhat like factories,” Reynolds said. “It’s not an environment where people are interested in what you’re saying or what you’re doing.” 

The Writers’ Room, on the other hand, offers a, Reynolds said, “very safe, non-judgmental interaction.” 

“Your finding the things that they do right. Your giving them a chance to do something they feel good about,” she said. 

Writing Coach Virginia Jardim volunteers at Berkeley High when she’s not working as an English teacher at the California College of Arts and Crafts. Jardim said Writers’ Room gets students out of classrooms where teachers are often struggling just to maintain control of the class, let alone getting students to absorb their lessons, and places them in a calm environment where they are truly free to focus on learning. 

Furthermore, Jardim said, students in class with their friends are often at pains to maintain an image of coolness or aloofness. Once removed from their peers, they can give school work their best effort without fear of being labeled nerdy or slow, she said. 

By all accounts, the Writers’ Room is already impacting the achievement gap at Berkeley High. English teacher Katherine Palau has seen her students raise the achievement by an average of one letter grade after working with Writers’ Room coaches. And the program’s popularity is on the rise with both teachers and students. 

“I’d rather do this than waste my time going to a tutoring program,” said Berkeley High freshman Brad Kelly. “They’re usually packed anyway. This is better, because it’s more one on one.” 

Cole said more and more teachers are clamoring to become involved in the program. She plans to train more writing coaches over the summer, including UC Berkeley students and some Berkeley High seniors. By next year Cole hopes to have 200 coaches volunteering an estimated 9,000 hours – enough to make Writers’ Room coaches available to all of Berkeley High’s 900 freshman and several 10th and 11th grade classes. She’s planning a Writers’ Room pilot program for King and possibly Willard middle schools. 

In a year of budget cuts, finding program funding hasn’t been easy. Cole began the program with small grants from the Berkeley Public Education Foundation and the Berkeley High School Development Group. Since then she’s roped in small contributions from the Berkeley school district, The Berkeley Rotary Club and the Dreyer’s Foundation, among others. 

But Cole said what makes the program possible is the simple fact that being a volunteer writing coach has vast appeal in a community like Berkeley, where there is no shortage of talented writers eager to help improve the public school system. 

When it comes to reforming education in California, Cole said, “It’s not enough to have a great idea, you have to have a sensible idea that you can follow through on.” 

To volunteer to become a writing coach, contact Wendy Breuer at 524-0249 or breuerw@aol.com. To contribute funds in any amount to the Writers’ Room program, send checks or money orders to the Berkeley High School Development Group (designating the Writers’ Room Program), at P.O. Box 5453, Berkeley, CA 94705-0453. 

 

 

 


Calendar of Events & Activities

Compiled by Sabrina Forkish
Monday June 11, 2001


Monday, June 11

 

Oakland Landmarks  

Preservation Advisory Board 

4 p.m. 

One Frank H. Ogawa Plaza 

Hearing Room One 

Oakland 

The Board will meet and discuss the request to make the Claremont Hotel an official landmark.  

 

Berkeley School Volunteers 

3 - 4:30 p.m. 

1835 Allston Way 

Orientation for volunteers interested in helping in summer academic and recreation programs. 

644-8833 

 


Tuesday, June 12

 

Berkeley Camera Club  

7:30 p.m. 

Northbrae Community Church  

941 The Alameda  

Share your slides and learn what other photographers are doing. Monthly field trips. 

Call Wade, 531-8664 

 

Young Queer Women’s Group 

8 - 9:30 p.m.  

Pacific Center 

2712 Telegraph Ave.  

Make some new friends, expand your horizons and get support with a bunch of queer women all in the same place at the same time (somewhere between 18 and 25).  

548-8283 or visit www.pacificcenter.org 

 

Berkeley Farmers’ Market 

2 - 7 p.m. 

Derby Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Milvia Street 

548-3333 

 

Cooking for BEFHP Women 

6:30 - 8:30 p.m. 

BEFHP Women’s Resource Center 

2140 Dwight Way 

Come help the Berkeley Emergency Food and Housing Project prepare, serve, and cleanup a hot meal prepared for Berkeley’s homeless women and children. Teens 16+.  

650-965-0242 

 

KPFA Advisory Board  

Community Meeting 

7 p.m. 

1724 Adeline at 18th St. 

Oakland 

658-1512 

 

Landmarks Preservation  

Commission 

8:30 a.m. - 10 a.m. 

Permit Service Center 

2120 Milvia Street 

Second Floor Conference Room 

Ad-hoc subcommittee special meeting, discussion of a proposal to conduct a comprehensive, citywide survey of potentially historic resources. 

705-8111 

 


Wednesday, June 13

 

Defining Diversity 

7 - 9 p.m. 

Ecology Center 

2530 San Pablo Ave.  

Different interpretations of biological and cultural diversity and how it’s used for very different purposes.  

548-2220 

 

Commission On Disability  

Hearings 

4 - 6 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst St. 

Open forum, opportunity for public to present ideas and concerns about barriers for people with disabilities and accessibility of City facilities. Public comment on Berkeley’s proposed “Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan.” Also, naming I-80 overcrossing after Ed Roberts, requesting Congressional Representatives and Senators to add benefits for dental and eyeglasses coverage in Medi-Care. 

981-6342 

 

Lead-Safe Painting and Home  

Remodeling 

6 - 8 p.m. 

Claremont Branch Library 

2940 Benvenue Ave. 

Free course on how to detect and remedy lead hazards in the home. 

567-8280 

 

“Illusions of the ‘New Economy’” 

7:30 p.m. 

La Pena Cultural Center 

3105 Shattuck Ave. 

Talk by professor and author Dick Walker. $5 donation requested. 

415-863-6637  

 

Claremont Elmwood  

Neighborhood Association  

General Meeting 

7:30 - 9:30 p.m. 

St. Clement’s Episcopal Church 

2837 Claremont Blvd. 

Covers area of Berkeley south of Dwight Way and east of Collage Avenue. Presentations on neighborhood issues. 

549-3793 

 

Trees and Shrubs of  

California 

7:30 p.m. 

UC Berkeley Botanical Garden 

200 Centennial Drive 

John Stuart and John Sawyer will be speaking about and signing their new book, “Trees and Shrubs of California.” Free. 

643-2755 

Library Board of Trustees Meeting 

7 p.m. 

South Branch Library 

1901 Russell Street 

Regular meeting, including a building projects update. 

644-6095 

 

Police Review Commission Meeting 

7:30 p.m. 

South Berkeley Senior Center 

2939 Ellis Street 

Regular meeting with a recruitment update and continuing discussion on marijuana arrests. 

644-6716 

 


Thursday, June 14

 

Summer Noon Concerts 2001 

Noon - 1 p.m. 

Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza 

Shattuck at Center St. 

Weekly concert series. This week Berkeley High Folklorico De Aztlan. 

 

Camping and Hiking Slide  

Presentation 

7 p.m. 

REI 

1338 San Pablo Ave. 

Guidebook author Tom Stienstra gives a slide presentation on where to go hiking and camping this summer in the Sierra and Shasta region. Free. 

527-4140 

 

Berkeley School Volunteers 

10:30 a.m. - Noon 

1835 Allston Way 

Orientation for volunteers interested in helping in summer academic and recreation programs. 

644-8833 

 

Fair Campaign Practices  

Commission Meeting 

7:30 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst Street 

Special meeting to discuss and act upon, among other items, possible violations of the Berkeley Election Reform Act.  

981-6950 

 

 


Letters to the Editor

Monday June 11, 2001

Dog killer is  

a sick man 

Editor: 

Concerning the (ooops) who threw the little dog into the oncoming traffic: 

Personally, this unmerciful living specimen — if sentenced to a jail term — should have his cell surrounded with “LARGE” pictures of this little dog. Somewhere in his lifetime he will be reminded of this sick act. 

 

Alice Noriega 

San Pablo 

 

Reddy deserves more punishment 

Editor: 

You may know that the prosecutors in the Lakireddy Bali Reddy sexual slavery case have recommended to Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong that he receive the outrageously short sentence of only five to five and a half years of incarceration. Judge Armstrong on June 19 has the prerogative to sentence Reddy to a maximum of 38 years. Even this sentence is much lower than it should be were he being prosecuted for negligent homicide or for conspiring to murder 17 year old Chanti Prattipati and her 15 year old sister by failing to call an ambulance or paramedics to resuscitate them.  

This is not a mere Bay Area matter. It is or should be of national concern. Write to Judge Armstrong ASAP! Urge her to sentence Reddy to 38 years: 

Honorable Saundra Brown Armstrong  

Federal Building & Courthouse 

1301 Clay St. #400 South 

Oakland, CA 94612-5212. 

Phone her at (510) 637-3559.  

For further information and or materials for posting, contact Dr. Diana Russell at (510) 843-0680 or Marcia Poole at (510) 549-3345 or B J Miller at (510) 527-4582.  

 

Helen Rippier Wheeler  

Berkeley 

 

 

Beth El article missed two  

critical points 

Editor: 

Your article on the City Council’s hearing about Congregation Beth El’s plans to build a new synagogue said that about 440 people attended — a record high according to Mayor Shirley Dean. 

You did not point out that about 85 percent of the people present came to support Beth El. This crowd included Berkeleyans of all ages and ethnicities, representatives of many groups that benefit from Beth El’s community services, more than a dozen clergy of various faiths, and neighbors of the Oxford Street site who favor the synagogue’s plans. It was an unprecedented outpouring of support from a diverse group of Berkeley citizens. 

The Daily Planet’s article also mentioned and pictured signs displayed by opponents of the project. But it ignored the larger number of signs held by Beth El backers that read “For Kids and the Community — Congregation Beth El,” a statement of the congregation’s mission and priorities. 

Your article quoted a speaker expressing concern that the creek could never be daylighted if the project is built as designed. You did not, however, quote the expert who showed how the creek could be daylighted without changing Beth El’s building plan. 

I know it is difficult to include all pertinent information about such a complex subject, and your article was generally accurate and balanced. But it seems to me that leaving out the dramatic difference in the level of attendance by the opposing sides and the impressive presentation on daylighting were serious omissions.  

 

Michael Ferguson 

Berkeley 

 

Tritium will not harm Berkeley 

Editor: 

In two recent public meetings Berkeley citizens have heard the results of the latest safety evaluation of the Lawrence Lab Tritium facility. Mr. Bernard Franke, the principal investigator, reported that he found no evidence that tritium exposures have ever reached the safety limits for tritium set in the Clean Air Act. In a personal endorsement of the safety of the tritium lab, he said if he had children he would allow them to use the nearby Lawrence Hall of Science. He noted that reports of his comments on potential fire hazards had been exaggerated, and he praised LBL for their cooperation. 

Once again we are reaching the end of an investigation which has produced the same general results as the five preceding studies.  

McKone, Brand, and Shan (1997): the maximum yearly radiation dose to a member of the public from tritium is 0.13 mrem, less than the additional cosmic radiation received during an airplane flight from Oakland to Los Angeles. This is an insignificant fraction of the 200-260 mrem we get every year from background radiation in the Bay Area. This report was approved by the California department of Health, U.S. Public Health Service, and Environmental Protection Agency. 

Straume (1998): the risk of dying from tritium emissions for residents living near LBL is approximately one out of 10,000,000 per year, about half the risk of death from the bite of a venomous animal. For the rest of Berkeley, up to two kilometers from the lab, the risk is about one-tenth of that. 

U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances (1999): reported no excess health risk for nearby residents. They noted “no indication of an unusual occurrence of cancer cases among the population of the LBNL area” and no contamination of drinking water. Regarding infertility, they noted that the doses required to affect reproductive capacities were “several orders of magnitude higher than the radiation doses received from tritium released from LBNL.” 

National Center for Research Resources (1999): reported that risks were “exceedingly small. … the maximum lifetime dose, due to tritium emissions from the NTLF, to a (hypothetical) individual both living and working for his/her entire lifetime at the perimeter of the NTLF is less than 1 mSv. For comparison, the lifetime dose from natural sources (radon, cosmic rays, etc) is about 250 mSv.” 

Senes Center for Risk Analysis (2000): exposures were "far below dose and risk limits established for the protection of public health." One of the authors commented that in his entire career assessing radiologic risk he had never seen an instance where the concern was so high and the risk was so low. 

Thus, we have had six studies, all indicating that the operations of the tritium lab pose no threat to Berkeley. (This is my personal opinion; neither the Toxics department nor the Environmental Commission has taken a position.) The city has responded generously to the citizens concerned about tritium. Hundreds of hours of staff time have been expended by the Toxics department. The studies conducted by Straume and Franke were paid for by the city. In fact, Straume was hired to do his evaluation at the urging of the CMTW, the group opposing the lab. However, they were dissatisfied with his report and suggested another consulting firm; the Franke study was actually done by that firm’s sister organization. It appears that they are equally disappointed in Franke and, despite six negative studies, continue their efforts to close the tritium lab. 

Competent investigators from universities, risk analysis organizations, public health departments, the EPA, and the National Center for Research Resources have found no reason for Berkeley citizens to live in fear of the tritium labeling lab up the hill. Perhaps the time is coming when Berkeley can finally take tritium off its agenda. 

 

Elmer R. Grossman, M.D. 

Community Environmental Advisory Commission


Arts & Entertainment

Staff
Monday June 11, 2001

Habitot Children’s Museum “Back to the Farm” An interactive exhibit gives children the chance to wiggle through tunnels, look into a mirrored fish pond, don farm animal costumes, ride on a John Deere tractor and more. “Recycling Center” Lets the kids crank the conveyor belt to sort cans, plastic bottles and newspaper bundles into dumpster bins. $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. (closed Sundays, Memorial Day through Labor Day) Kittredge Street and Shattuck Avenue 647-1111 or www.habitot.org  

 

Judah L. Magnes Museum “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. 2911 Russell St. 549-6950  

 

The Asian Galleries “Art of the Sung: Court and Monastery.” 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 by 40-foot replica of the fearsome dinosaur 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 22-23 feet. The Pteranodon lived at the same time as the dinosaurs. 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 “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. “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. Kroeber Hall, Bancroft Way and College Ave. 643-7648  

 

Lawrence Hall of Science “Math Rules!” 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. “Saturday Night Stargazing,” First and third Saturdays each month. 8 - 10 p.m., LHS plaza. Computer Lab, Saturdays 12:30 - 3:30 p.m. $7 for adults; $5 for children 5-18; $3 for children 3-4. 642-5132 

 

Holt Planetarium Programs are recommended for age 8 and up; children under age 6 will not be admitted. $2 in addition to regular museum admission. “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. Centennial Drive, UC Berkeley 642-5132 or www.lhs.berkeley.edu  

 

 

924 Gilman St. All shows begin at 8 p.m. unless noted $5; $2 for year membership. All ages. June 15: Strike Anywhere, Missing 23rd, Crispus Attacks, Planes Mistaken For Stars, Deadlock Frequency; June 16: Nerve Agents, American Nightmare, Fields of Fire, Affront, Scissorhands. 525-9926  

 

Albatross Pub Music at 9 p.m. unless noted otherwise. 12: Mad and Eddie Duran; June 14: Keni “El Lebrijano”; June 19: pickPocket Ensemble. 1822 San Pablo Ave. 843-2473  

 

Anna’s Music at 8 p.m. June 11: The Renegade Sidemen; June 12: Best of Open Mike; June 13: Bob Schoen Jazz Quartet; June 14: Richard Kalman Combo. $2 weeknights, $3 weekends. 1801 University Ave. 849-ANNA  

 

Ashkenaz June 12, 7 p.m.: Bandworks; June 13, 9 p.m.: Red Archibald and the Internationals; June 14, 10 p.m.: Dead DJ Nite with Digital Dave; June 15, 9 :30 p.m.: Winston Jarrett with special guests; June 16, 9:30 p.m.: Amandla Poets; June 17, 6 p.m.: Ray Cepeda and the Neo Maya Experience. 1370 San Pablo Ave. 525-5054 or www.ashkenaz.com 

 

Freight & Salvage All music at 8 p.m. June 12: Keith Little with Del Williams; June 13: Danu; June 14: Guy Davis; June 15: The Laurie Lewis Trio; June 16: Rova Saxophone Quartet. $17.50.1111 Addison St. www.freightandsalvage.org  

 

Jupiter All shows at 8 p.m. June 12, Ben Graves Trio; June 13: Crater; June 14: Beatdown with DJs Delon, Yamu, Add1; June 15: Steven Emerson; June 16: Nucleus. 2181 Shattuck Ave 843-8277 

 

La Peña Cultural Center June 15, 8 p.m.: TIJUANA NO! with Caradura and Prophets of Rage Dj La Viuda Negra. 3105 Shattuck Ave. 849-2568 www.lapena.org  

 

Veda Hille and Sini Anderson  

June 12, 7:30 p.m. Presented by the Rose Street House of Music, a concert/workshop space featuring women singer/songwriters. For location and ticket information, visit www.rosestreetmusic.com 

 

Jazzschool Recitals June 14, 8 p.m.: Adult Big Band; June 17, 4 p.m.: Jazz Combos; June 19, 4 p.m.: Jazz Groups; June 20, 4 p.m. Jazz Ensembles; June 21, 4 p.m. Jazz Combos. Free. The Jazzschool/La Note 2377 Shattuck Ave. 845-5373  

 

WordWind Chorus June 15, 8 p.m. In celebration of the release of its first CD, the WordWind Chorus will perform a unique collaboration of music and poetry. $10 Tuva Space 3192 Adeline 530-7698 

 

Estradasphere and Warsaw June 15, 9:30 p.m. $7 Blakes 2367 Telegraph Ave. 848-0886 

 

Celebrating Um Kulthoum June 17, 7 p.m. A benefit concert for Palestinian Refugees, the Lammam Ensemble will perform some of legendary Arabic vocalist Um Kulthoum’s most cherished songs. $20. International House Auditorium 2299 Piedmont Ave. at Bancroft 415-648-1353 

 

Berkeley Symphony Orchestra Season Finale June 21, 8 p.m. Works by Shostakovich, Brahms, and Rohde. $19 - $35 Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley 841-2800  

 

 

“More Matters of Life and Death” June 15 - 17, 8 p.m. The newest cycle of this series, “Iris, Blue, Each Spring,” tackles the joys and sorrows of growing older and is set to “Six Japanese Songs” by Margaret Garwood. Presented by The Ruch Botchan Dance Company in concert with The Mirage Ensemble. $12 - $15 Western Sky Studio 2525 Eighth St. 848-4878 

 

“Dance Mosaic: Celebrating Diversity” June 16, 8 p.m. and June 17, 2 p.m. The annual repertory concert for the Mahea Uchiyama Center for International Dance features over 100 performers of dance and music from the South Pacific, India, Africa and the Middle East. $5 - $15 Juia Morgan Center for the Arts 2640 Collage Ave. 925-798-1300 

 

Kalanjali in Concert June 22, 7 p.m. Kalanjali concludes its celebration of its 25th year in Berkeley with a special recital. Experienced dancers and young students, with guests from India including dancer K. P. Yesoda and the musicians of Bharatakalanjali. $6 - $8 Juia Morgan Center for the Arts 2640 Collage Ave. 925-798-1300 

 

 

“Cymbeline” Through June 24, Tues. - Thur. 7:30 p.m., Fri. 8 p.m., Sat. 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sun. 4 p.m. Opening of the California Shakespeare Festival features one of Shakespeare’s first romances, directed by Daniel Fish. $12 - $146. Bruns Memorial Amphitheater off Highway 24 at the Shakespeare Festival Way/Gateway Exit. 548-9666 or www.calshakes.org 

 

“The Laramie Project” Through July 8, Wed. 7 p.m., Tues. and Thur. -Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Written by Moises Kaufmen and members of Tectonic Theater Project. Moises Kaufman and Tectonic members traveled to Laramie, Wyo., after the murder of openly gay student Matthew Shepherd. The play is about the community and the impact Shepherd’s death had on its members. $10 - $50. The Roda Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre 2015 Addison St. 647-2949 www.berkeleyrep.org 

“Romeo and Juliet” June 14 - July 14, Thurs. - Sat. 8 p.m. Set in early 1930’s just before the rise of Hitler in the Kit Kat Klub, Juliet is torn between ties to the Nazi party and Romeo’s Jewish heritage. $8 - $10. La Val’s Subterranean Theater 1834 Euclid 234-6046 

 

“A Life In the Theatre” Preview June 13. Opens June 14, runs through July 15. Wed. - Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. David Mamet play about the lives of two actors, considered a metaphor for life itself. Directed by Nancy Carlin. $30-$35. $26 preview nights. Berkeley City Club 2315 Durant 843-4822 

 

 

Pacific Film Archive June 12, 7:30 p.m.: The Long Holiday; June 13, 7:30 p.m.: Bogus Biographies; June 14, 7 p.m.: Trial on the Road, 9 p.m.: Freeze-Die-Come to Life; June 15, 7:30 p.m.: A Long Happy Life, 8:50: Goodbye, Boys; Jun 16: 7 and 9 p.m.: Beau Travail; June 17, 5:30 p.m.: The Face of Another. Pacific Film Archive Theater 2575 Bancroft Way (at Bowditch) 642-1412 

 

 

East Bay Open Studios June 16 & 17, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Jennifer Foxly: Oil paintings and 2-d mixed media works 3206 Boise St.; Lewis Suzuki: Scenes from California to the Philippines, florals to nudes 2240 Grant St.; Guy Colwell: Painted replicas and recent original work 2028 9th St. (open until 7 p.m.) 

 

Wosene Kosrof June 13, 7 - 8:30 p.m. Ethiopian-born Berkeley resident will be exhibiting and discussing his paintings. One piece will be up for auction, proceeds to benefit the YMCA. Free. Crystal Room, Shattuck Hotel 2086 Allston 848-9622 ext. 3541  

 

PASSING: The Re-Definition of Sex and Gender Through the Personal Re-Presentation of Self Through June 16, Mon. - Fri. 8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Black and white photographs by Ann P. Meredith. Free. Reception with the artist June 7, 6 - 8 p.m. Photolab Gallery 2235 Fifth St.  

 

Ledger drawings of Michael and Sandra Horse Exhibit runs through June 18. Gathering Tribes Gallery 1573 Solano Ave. 528-9038 www.gatheringtribes.com  

 

“Alive in Her: Icons of the Goddess” Through June 19, Tuesday - Thursday, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Photography, collage, and paintings by Joan Beth Clair. Pacific School of Religion 1798 Scenic Ave. 848-0528 

 

Tyler James Hoare Sculpture and Collage Through June 27, call for hours. Party June 9, 5-9 p.m. with music by Sauce Piquante. The Albatross Pub 1822 San Pablo Ave. 843-2473 

 

Ako Castuera, Ryohei Tanaka, Rob Sato Through June 30, Tues. - Sat. 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Group exhibition, recent paintings. Artist’s reception June 9, 6:30 - 9 p.m. with music by Knewman and Espia. !hey! Gallery 4920 B Telegraph Ave., Oakland 428-2349  

 

“Watershed 2001” Through July 14, Wednesday - Sunday Noon - 5 p.m. Exhibition of painting, drawing, sculpture and installation that explore images and issues about our watershed. Berkeley Art Center 1275 Walnut St. 644-6893 

 

Rachel Davis and Benicia Gantner Works on Paper June 13 - July 14, Tues. - Sat., 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Watercolors by Davis, mixed-media by Gantner. Opening reception June 13, 6 - 8 p.m. Traywick Gallery 1316 Tenth St. 527-1214 www.traywick.com 

 

“The Trip to Here: Paintings and Ghosts by Marty Brooks” Through July 31, Tues. - Sun. 11 a.m. - 1 a.m. View Brooks’ first California show at Bison Brewing Company 2598 Telegraph Ave. 841-7734  

 

Bernard Maisner: Illuminated Manuscripts and Paintings. Through Aug. 8 Maisner works in miniature as well as in large scales, combining his mastery of medieval illumination, gold leafing, and modern painting techniques. Flora Lamson Hewlett Library 2400 Ridge Rd. 849-2541 

 

“Musee des Hommages,” Masterworks by Guy Colwell Faithful copies of several artists from the pasts, including Titian’s “The Venus of Urbino,” Cezanne’s “Still Life,” Picasso’s “Woman at a Mirror,” and Boticelli’s “Primavera” Ongoing. Call ahead for hours 2028 Ninth St. (at Addison) 841-4210 or visit www.atelier9.com 

 

“Geographies of My Heart” Collage paintings by Jennifer Colby through August 24; Flora Lamson Hewlett Library 2400 Ridge Rd. 649-2541 

 

Images of Portugal Paintings by Sofia Berto Villas-Boas of her native land. Open after 5 p.m. Voulez-Vous 2930 College Ave. (at Elmwood) 

 

“Queens of Ethiopia: Intuitive Inspirations,” the exceptional art of Esete-Miriam A. Menkir. Through July 11. Women’s Cancer Resource Center Gallery 3023 Shattuck Ave. 548-9286 ext 307 

 

“The Decade of Change: 1900 - 1910” chronicles the transformation of the city of Berkeley in this 10 year period. Thursday through Saturday, 1 - 4 p.m. Berkeley History Center, Veterans Memorial Building, 1931 Center St. Wheelchair accessible. 848-0181. Free.  

 

 

Cody’s Books 2454 Telegraph Ave. All events at 7:30 p.m. June 11: David Hajdu talks about “Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Fariña and Richard Fariña”; June 12: Colson Whitehead reads from “John Henry Days”; June 13: David Sedaris reads from “Me Talk Pretty One Day”; June 14: Ana Menendez reads from “In Cuba I Was A German Sheperd”; June 15: James Ellroy reads “The Cold Six Thousand.” 845-7852  

 

Cody’s Books 1730 Fourth St. All events at 7 p.m. unless noted otherwise. June 14: Stephanie Brill talks about “The Queer Parent’s Primer: A Lesbian and Gay Families’ Guide to Navigating the Straight World”; June 16, 4 p.m.: Chris Raschka presents a talk and demontration for children.


One survivor’s story

By Jon Mays Daily Planet Staff
Monday June 11, 2001

Kindertransport saved thousands during holocaust  

 

When Ralph Samuel’s parents put him on a plane from Nazi-occupied Germany to London more than 60 years ago, he thought it was the beginning of a great adventure. And in a sense, it was.  

In a story he told to people at the Berkeley Richmond Jewish Community Center yesterday morning, Samuel, spoke of being one of 10,000 children saved during World War II during an operation called Kindertransport. 

“All of us were under 17 and had no idea of where we were going. We were all very excited because the kids did not know what we were in for,” Samuel, 69, said.  

The children became part of foster families in Great Britain and many of them never saw their parents again.  

“Jewish parents in upper and middle class families were willing to put their children on a train, or in my case an airplane, with the absolute understanding that they would never see them again,” he said. “There was an understanding that they would survive with the knowledge that they themselves would not.” 

Nazi persecution of Jews began Nov. 9, 1938, on “Kristallnacht,” or Night of the Broken Glass, when mobs destroyed synagogues, smashed Jewish stores, and beat up and humiliated Jews.  

Soon after, the Refugee Children’s Movement began in London. That movement assured that thousands of Jewish children would be saved. At the age of 7, Samuel arrived in London from Dresdon, Germany in January of 1938 to stay with the family of Samuel Epstein. Samuel learned that Epstein selected him for sponsorship because his last name was Epstein’s first, and Ralph was the middle name of Epstein’s son Peter. 

“I came with a placard held with a piece of string around my neck to be collected by Mr. Epstein. I arrived like a package,” Samuel said.  

His mother was hired as Epstein’s maid in March of 1939 and soon stayed with him. The Epsteins were very traditional, and while Samuel was allowed to eat in the dining room, his mother had to eat in the kitchen because she was considered hired help and not family.  

Within three months, Samuel was speaking English. 

When Great Britain entered the war and the bombing of London began in September of 1939, Samuel was evacuated with 3.5 million other British children to Guilford. His mother soon followed and they stayed until after the war.  

In 1942, his father sent his last letter from a holding camp in Dresdon. In March of 1943, his father went to Auschwitz and was killed.  

Samuel’s mother did not tell him about his father’s death until after the war was over and he was 14.  

“It was very interesting. We got a Red Cross letter and I remember my mother calling me into my room. She said, ‘Your father has died. You have to be a good boy,’” he said. 

After the war, the other children went back to London, but Samuel stayed in Guilford with his mother. Until later, he lost contact with the Epsteins. 

In 1958, at the age of 27, Samuel came to the United States. He married and has two children. He worked in property acquisitions for Bay Area Rapid Transit and the East Bay Park system. He helped found the NorCal Chapter of the Kindertransport Association and has organized reunions.  

The majority of people who survived the holocaust because of Kindertranport have benevolent professions, Samuel said.  

“A very high percentage of kinder [German children] went into the helping profession. I did real estate but only for public agencies and when we have our reunions, everyone is a psychiatrist, psychologist or social worker,” he said. 

For the past year, Samuel himself decided to begin recounting his experience to school and community groups so that other generations can learn. That connection, the Point Richmond resident said, is very important. 

“It’s absolutely vital because, as I tell the high school kids I talk to, you are the last generation to hear the story first hand,” he said. “World War II is not the same time of the dinosaurs. I was there and I lived it.”


City to workers: Get on the bus

By John Geluardi Daily Planet staff
Monday June 11, 2001

Dueling Eco Pass recommendations on Tuesday’s city council agenda  

 

The City Council will consider competing transportation recommendations Tuesday that will, if approved, be the first significant step towards discounted public transportation for city employees. 

The proposed transit policy, known as the Eco Pass Program, would allow city employees to present a pass and ride AC Transit on any of its routes. The cost for the city-funded program has not yet been determined but supporters estimate it will be between $108,000 and $144,000 a year. 

A similar program known as the Class Pass has already been established for UC Berkeley students. 

There are two Eco Pass recommendations on Tuesday’s agenda. One is from progressive councilmembers Kriss Worthington and Linda Maio and the other from centrist Mayor Shirley Dean and Councilmember Mim Hawley. 

The major difference between the two recommendations is one of procedure. The Worthington/Maio recommendation calls for the Eco Pass to be approved immediately on a one-year trial basis.  

“This is something we can do now,” Worthington said. “We’ve been talking about this for at least three years, it’s time we do something practical.” 

The Dean/Hawley approach is more deliberate. It requests the city manager research the possibility of including Berkeley Unified School District employees and issue a feasibility report to council on costs, estimated participation and effective methods of administration. 

“Nothing can happen immediately,” Hawley said. “We’re going to have to work out a lot of details with AC Transit, look at what will be the best way for the city to handle the program administratively and work out a the pass itself so there’s less chance of them getting passed around to people not employed by the city.” 

Worthington suggested employees use their city-issued identification cards as passes.  

“The simplest way is to use the city’s name badge that already has a picture of the employee on it.” he said. “The good thing about that is the city doesn’t have to create another.” 

Hawley said another issue AC Transit will have to work out is whether to add more buses to established routes during peak hours to handle increased ridership. She said if they do, it would affect the cost of the program. 

Hawley said the Class Pass model will be helpful in establishing a city employee program. The Class Pass allows UC Students to take AC Transit for approximately $10 per semester, according to Hawley. Students pay at the beginning of the semester and pick up a pass that allows them to board any AC Transit bus. 

“That program has been remarkably successful,” Hawley said. 

Several cities and counties, including Santa Clara County and Denver, have established successful Eco Pass programs  

Both Worthington and Hawley estimate the cost to be between $60 and $80 per employee each year. The city would pay for each one of its 1,800 employees whether they ride AC Transit or not. 

“That’s a great deal considering the adult pass costs $49 per month,” Hawley said. 

Ultimately the city would like to establish an employer-based Eco Pass program that would allow everyone who lives and works in Berkeley ride AC Transit and Bart at discounted costs. That program would likely be funded partly by Berkeley’s employers, partly by employees and partly by the city. 

“It’s important we get this program going for the city’s employees,” Worthington said. “We can’t very well go to businesses and ask them to start an Eco Pass program if the city isn’t willing to do it for its own employees. This will be a great example.” 

Planning Commission Chair Rob Wrenn said he has been pushing this program for four years.  

“This is an important idea that makes sense,” he said. “I just hope the councilmembers can work together to get it done.” 

 

Note: The actual portion of the Class Pass fee that goes to AC Transit is $10 though students pay $18 per semester. The difference goes to a several programs that are not related to transportation. Students pay that cost so the program is not free.


Transportation Commission rejects Bay Bridge toll hike

Monday June 11, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO — Bay Area transportation officials decided Friday drivers should not have to hand over an extra buck at Bay Bridge toll booths. 

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission rejected a plan to charge drivers $3 to cross the Bay Bridge span. The commission’s decision came despite soaring cost estimates for building a new Bay Bridge eastern span. 

Ultimately, only legislators can institute a toll increase. Still, the commission pushed for several alternative funding methods. 0fficials planned to ask the state for more federal funds and a loan for seismic retrofitting. 

The motorists’ share would come from the permanent extension of the $1 seismic surcharge, which was set to end in 2007.  

The state’s part would come from federal money received for highway bridge repairs. That would bring the split cost for bridge repairs to $1.6 billion for motorists and $1.31 billion from the state. 


Summer book contest is on

By Sabrina Forkish Daily Planet Correpsondent
Monday June 11, 2001

The Berkeley Public Library is sponsoring a summer reading program for high school students, its twelfth such program this year. The program, called Cover to Cover, will run from June 18 to August 18, and is open to teens ages 13 through 18. 

Cover to Cover has won a national award for promoting reading and writing among teens, according to a PTSA press release, who are required to read ten books or 1,500 pages in the three month program. Each student is to write a review for each book which must support the rating the student assigns to the book. 

Raffles, prizes, contests and potential publication in the annual Cover to Cover collection are among the incentives. The Berkeley Public Library offers teen reading recommendations at www.infopeople.org/bpl/teen/ but the students are also free to read anything of their choice. Teens can sign up or receive more information at any of the five Berkeley Public Library Locations.


Power thieves cost PG&E $100 million

The Associated Press
Monday June 11, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO – Stolen electricity accounts for more than $100 million in annual losses at Pacific Gas & Electric Co., an amount experts say is likely to increase with the ongoing power crisis. 

Utility officials will not say how the power theft affects its 13 million customers or whether the illegal practice has increased. 

“We have found that the more stories that are done on this issue, the more common it becomes and that puts our staff in danger,” said PG&E spokeswoman Staci Homrig. 

However, former PG&E revenue protection agent Howard Dean estimated annual losses range from $100 million to $400 million. 

Nationally, thieves tap into electric lines and steal up to $4 billion a year, according to the International Utilities Revenue Protection Association. 

Average monthly power bills are expected to increase 37 percent to coincide with a rate increase approved last month by state regulators, which add more power thieves. 

“As the utility price increases, the financial incentive for people to tamper with or try to reduce their electric bill through improper methods increase,” said Wayne Wohler, a board member of the Western States Utility Theft Association. 

Wohler said have been electrocuted while tampering while trying to steal electricity. He said some find ways to slow down logging devices on their meters or bypass the meter altogether.


Gas prices down to start summer

The Associated Press
Monday June 11, 2001

CAMARILLO – Gasoline prices tumbled 3 1/2 cents per gallon in the past three weeks, easing concerns of a summer shortage, an analyst said Sunday. 

The average retail price of gasoline, weighted to include all grades and taxes, was about $1.73 on Friday, down 3.48 cents per gallon since May 18, according to the Lundberg Survey of about 8,000 gas stations nationwide. It was the first price drop since March. 

Prices dropped despite the Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of the summer season when driving — and thus gasoline demand — reaches its peak. 

“There was never any gasoline ’crisis,’ and I still maintain that for this summer there will be none,” analyst Trilby Lundberg said in a statement. “Supplies appear sufficient to keep prices stable, or slightly lower, for the near future.” 

Prices soared in April, “but refineries completed seasonal maintenance work and cranked up production well in time for the first real pull on supplies by vacationing motorists,” Lundberg said. 

Prices fell around the country but the largest declines were in the Midwest, where they had been highest. The price of regular self-serve gas fell 15 cents per gallon in Chicago, which previously had the highest average price.


Power crisis may hurt affordable housing

The Associated Press
Monday June 11, 2001

LOS ANGELES – As power bills soar throughout California, affordable housing advocates fear there could be a devastating impact on low-income housing developments and their private landlords. 

The problem could impact hundreds of thousands of rent-restricted housing units — nonprofit and for-profit alike, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday. 

And it comes at a time when the state’s low-income housing shortage already has reached crisis proportions. 

“If something is not done quickly it’s going to affect the financial integrity of our projects,” said Ana Baiz-Torres, executive director of the nonprofit Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee Project in San Diego. “If you look a few years out, it’s potential catastrophe.” 

The organization owns the Mercado Apartments, which is subsidized housing where utility costs are factored into rents. The rents are capped and cannot be raised, forcing landlords to shoulder the burden of skyrocketing energy costs. 

State Treasurer Phil Angelides, who heads the state’s Tax Credit Allocation Committee, has asked his staff to study the problem and look for potential solutions. 

“These are very tough projects to put together, and this will make it tougher,” Angelides said. “What would be a tragedy would be to stand by and watch some good affordable housing projects not make it financially.” 

The state committee awards federal tax credits to low-income housing developers, who then partner with private investors. Those investors pump a one-time equity injection into the project and get a 10-year tax write-off in return. 

Already, the committee has added criteria to its selection process to give competitive advantage to energy-efficient projects. Angelides, however, said more radical measures may be necessary to stem serious damage to the industry. 

The energy crisis is affecting all areas of government-assisted housing, from tax-credit properties like the Mercado, to public housing projects, to the Section 8 federal subsidy program. State officials and housing advocates estimate the number of such units in California to be 300,000 to 350,000. 

“It becomes the worst of all worlds,” said Tim English, chief financial officer of Los Angeles-based Alpha Property Management, which manages about 2,500 units in Los Angeles County. “Here we are in a very regulated business and one of the key cost components is going to be deregulated. We’re stuck with fixed rents and unfixed utilities.” 

Some limited remedies are in the works. Last March, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded one-time emergency funds to certain housing authorities — including Los Angeles — to help cover higher energy costs at public housing projects. 

Another solution would be an appropriation of federal or state funding to help building owners meet operating costs, said Julie Bornstein, director of the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development. 

But some say the chances of such a bailout are dim. 

“This is like dealing with a cancer. There’s no good way to treat it,” said Jeffrey Burum, executive director of the nonprofit National Housing Development Corp.


Chron exec Bronstein attacked by Komodo dragon

The Associated Press
Monday June 11, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco Chronicle executive editor Phil Bronstein underwent foot surgery after being attacked by a Komodo dragon at the Los Angeles Zoo. 

Bronstein was on a private tour of the zoo Saturday when he entered the Indonesian lizard’s cage. The zookeeper had asked him to remove his white tennis shoes to keep the 5-foot-long reptile from mistaking them for the white rats it is fed, Bronstein told the San Francisco Chronicle. 

The reptile attacked Bronstein’s shoeless foot, crushing his big toe while thrashing its body around, said Bronstein’s wife, actress Sharon Stone, who witnessed the attack outside the cage. 

Bronstein was able to pry open the reptile’s mouth and escape through a small feeding door in the cage while the zookeeper distracted the dragon, Stone said. 

Bronstein was in stable condition Sunday at a Los Angeles area hospital after undergoing surgery Saturday to reattach severed tendons and to rebuild his big toe that was crushed by the dragon’s jaws, Stone told the Chronicle. 

He is expected to remain in the hospital until Monday, said Chronicle spokesman Joe Brown. 

“He sounded in good spirits,” Brown said Sunday. “He did say he’s fated not have a boring life.” 

The tour was arranged as a Father’s Day surprise for Bronstein, who had always wanted to see a Komodo dragon up close. 

“We’re very grateful for the professional care of the people at the hospital,” Stone said. “And we certainly don’t blame the people at the zoo.” 

The endangered dragons are not venomous, but are considered poisonous because several strains of septic bacteria are found in their teeth and saliva, said Los Angeles Zoo spokeswoman Lora LaMarca. 

Bronstein was given antibiotics and will be monitored for infections. The dragon was not injured in the incident. 

The aggressive lizard, which is known to kill members of its own species, is native only to Komodo Island and a few neighboring islands in Indonesia. It can grow up to 12 feet and weigh 300 pounds.


Vietnamese refugee accused of killing

The Associated Press
Monday June 11, 2001

SANTA ANA – A Vietnamese refugee is under federal investigation amid allegations that he killed a fellow inmate while serving as trusty at a communist “re-education camp.” 

Thi Dinh Bui, 60, of Orange Grove, is a former South Vietnamese army captain who spent 1975 to 1981 in the Thanh Cam camp near Hanoi after the end of the Vietnam War. 

Another refugee, the Rev. Andrew Nguyen Huu Le, contends that Bui kicked him unconscious. The Roman Catholic priest also said in a signed affidavit to immigration officials that he saw Bui kill a man. 

The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service is investigating the allegations. 

Some want Bui deported if the allegations are upheld, but his fate would be unclear because the United States has no extradition treaty with Vietnam. 

Bui, a father of nine, came to the United States in 1994 and now delivers newspapers as an independent contractor for the Orange County Register. He admits that he struck inmates but denied severely beating or killing anyone. 

“The people I work with, how can I look at them in the face if I did? They know that I am a good man.” 

The prison guards “gave me the job — chose me — so I took it,” he said. “My method of working was to help everyone at the camp, and to help them return to their families as soon as it was possible.” 

He did confiscate food that prisoners smuggled back from field work, he said. 

“The reason a number of prisoners — brothers in the camp — didn’t agree with me or hated me is because of the inspections,” Bui said. “They would bring stuff, hide stuff, and I’d usually take it away.” 

The priest contends that in 1979 he and four cellmates chipped a hole in the wall and fled camp, but were caught the next morning. Bui kicked him until he passed out, he said in the INS affidavit. 

“Bui dragged me by my legs up the stairs to the solitary confinement room, banging my head against the steps,” the priest wrote. “He threw me into a room and left me there; he thought I was dead. He then proceeded to beat Maj. Tiep Van Dang to death. I personally witnessed this brutal murder.” 

Bui denies he hit anyone that day but only picked up the men that the camp guards had beaten, including the priest. 

“I wanted to carry him over my shoulder,” Bui said. “But the guards wouldn’t let me. And they yelled at me, ‘Why carry him? Drag him.’ So I dragged him.” 

Nine other former inmates told the Register that they saw Bui beat prisoners but not kill anyone. 

The priest met with Bui once in 1996 and they prayed together. The same year, Le wrote a memoir of his life in the camp that made the accusations against Bui. 

The memoir was sent to the priest’s friends and was circulated to refugee activists as e-mail. 

Last year, activist Thang Dinh Nguyen of Washington filed a complaint demanding Bui’s deportation on the grounds that he committed crimes against humanity. 

The sister of the man Bui allegedly killed also wants him deported. 

“He is a cruel animal, not a human being,” said Nham Dang, 58, of Arlington, Va. “Like with World War II, if those who killed Jews came to the United States, you wouldn’t accept them. I think (Bui) has done a similar crime.” 

The priest who allegedly witnessed the killing said he has struggled to forgive Bui. 

“If the court calls me, I will tell the truth,” he said. “But I will ask for a pardon for him, especially for his family.”


Pharmacy regulators try to regain control of complaints

By Audrey Cooper Associated Press Writer
Monday June 11, 2001

SACRAMENTO – Californians, like all Americans, go to pharmacists more than ever, but for more than a year the state’s regulators have not conducted the investigations needed to watch over the rapidly changing industry. 

That changes this month, as state regulators resume the undercover inspections they dropped them more than a year ago. These surprise visits, common practice in almost every state, should highlight careless pharmacists, overworked technicians and confused patients, Board of Pharmacy officials said. 

California must do more oversight, because more people go to pharmacists, said Frank Palumbo, director of the University of Maryland’s Center on Drugs and Public Policy. By 2004, Americans are expected to take 4 billion prescriptions, a 33 percent jump from current levels. 

After an October incident, Gertrude Krull, an 88-year-old resident of Chico, needs no study to tell her the state must inspect more. In October, Krull sent her daughter to get her prescriptions authorized by a new doctor. 

Krull took one pill, collapsed and was rushed to the emergency room. There, doctors determined she had taken Mysoline — a seizure medication — instead of her heart pills. 

Her chain drug store explained the pharmacist was filling two prescriptions for a Gertrude and assumed they were for the same person, although different last names were on the order. 

The great-grandmother spent seven hours in the hospital waiting for her body to expunge the drug. 

“Nobody should have to go through that. I’m thankful there are no after effects,” said the white-haired woman, who spends her spare time sewing stuffed rabbits for loved ones. 

“I’m afraid there is no safe place to go anymore.” 

In recent years, the Board of Pharmacy, the state’s investigator of pharmacies, has had a tough time doing its job. The renewed inspections come as the board has been hammered by bad performance reviews. A recent state auditor’s report cited a backlog of investigated complaints that was seven years’ deep in some cases. 

Investigators, the report said, had “gross inefficiencies” in resolving complaints about potentially dangerous pharmacies. It also accused the department of circumventing federal overtime laws. 

Last year, the board stopped the surprise investigations because it couldn’t keep enough investigators, spokeswoman Virginia Herold said. 

Investigators moved from surprise inspections to handle complaints, but low pay and the intense workload made it hard to keep and attract more investigators, Herold said. 

At one point, the corps of 23 investigators was almost cut in half, Herold said. Now, the board officials hope to have a full staff to tackle the backlog of complaints and do the undercover investigations of every pharmacy at least once every three years. 

That’s still less than what most states do. Many states inspect each year, while other visit every two years. 

Regardless of the timing of the inspections, there’s a consensus on what remains behind the problems: Too few pharmacists handling more prescriptions. 

To survive the managed-care shakedown of the 1990s, locally owned pharmacies took on more prescriptions, said Todd Dankmyer, spokesman for the National Community Pharmacists Association. 

The same applies to chain store pharmacies, which often find it hard to enough help, said Maryland’s Palumbo. 

Too often, patient consultations get dropped from the process, which is something investigators will look for when they start their visits. But, Palumbo said, “three years seems to be stretching it a bit. Within that period, you could have totally different personnel in a pharmacy and it obviously reduces the probability of seeing problems.” 

Regulators hope to do more frequent visits after they tackle the complaint backlog, which was 1,500 deep when the auditor investigated last year. Pharmacies with a history of more complaints against them can expect more frequent visits, Herold said. 

Even so, it’s hard to inspect without inspectors, particularly since experienced pharmacists can make much more in private industry. Some pharmacies lure beginners with $80,000-a-year salaries and signing bonuses, such as new sports cars. 

Now, state investigators make an average of $70,000 a year, which the state hopes to increase. 

“This is the board’s No. 1 priority now and it seems we have the political climate to make sure we’re able to do it,” Herold said.


Vintage toy maker Wham-O trying to regain its punch

By Michael Liedtke AP Business Writer
Monday June 11, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO – After slipping and sliding nearly out of sight just a few years ago, the company that gave the world the Frisbee, the Hula Hoop and the Hacky Sack is trying to regain its footing as a toy trendsetter. 

Wham-O, based in San Francisco, has come up with one of the top-selling toys during the industry’s traditionally sluggish summer season — a rejuvenated version of its once-popular Slip’N Slide product line. 

The entire Slip’N Slide inventory has already been shipped out to retailers, making the backyard water slide a success beyond the privately held company’s expectation. 

Wham-O is now on a pace for $50 million in sales this year, more than twice its revenue for 1997. That was the year a group of investors led by the New York-based Charterhouse Group bought the toy maker from Mattel Inc. for about $20 million. 

Charterhouse and its partners paid a bargain-bin price for a toy box full of classic creations that also included Superball, Boogie Board, Silly String and Water Wiggle. 

Despite its brands’ name recognition, Wham-O seemed to lose its punch under Mattel, which focused most of its efforts on much bigger and highly profitable product lines like Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels model cars. 

Its new management team set out to re-establish the popularity of the company’s best-known toys and then introduce updated versions of the top sellers. 

“This was a small business for Mattel, but we think we can build it into something much bigger with our more focused approach,” said Wham-O chief executive Mojde Esfandiari. “Our objective is to grow into a business with $200 million to $300 million in annual sales within the next few years.” 

To hit its sales target, Wham-O — named after the impact of a well-aimed slingshot, the company’s original product — expects to snap up other promising toy lines, much like company co-founders Rich Knerr and Spud Melin did in 1955 when they bought the Pipco Flying Saucer from inventors Fred Morrison and Warren Franscioni. 

After initially selling the discs as the Pluto Platter, Wham-O later renamed it “Frisbee.” The Frisbee and Hula Hoop helped establish Wham-O as one of the toy industry’s top fad factories. 

Mattel and Hasbro Inc. dominate toys today — together they have about 37 percent of the $23 billion industry. Wham-O’s plan is to establish itself as the No. 1 maker of outdoor toys. 

“It’s a smart strategy on Wham-O’s part,” said New York toy consultant Chris Byrne. “There is tremendous equity built up in some of their brand names. The challenge for them is to figure out a way to find new, innovative ways to get customers to buy more Frisbees and more Slip’N Slides.” 

The comeback of the Slip’N Slide — a popular product shelved in the early 1990s after a series of adult accidents — is an example of how Wham-O hopes to put some of the Baby Boom generation’s favorite toys on the wish lists of 21st-century kids. 

When Wham-O decided to revive it, the product was redesigned to add several new twists, including longer ramps, water tunnels and colorful archways. 

“We don’t want today’s kids to think of our toys as their Mom and Dad’s toys,” said Scott Masline, Wham-O’s senior vice president of marketing. “The nostalgia associated with our toys is nice, but in the end it’s all about product innovation.” 

Wham-O says the redesigned slides — labeled with prominent warnings against use by anyone above 11 years old — are perfectly safe. 

Oakland attorney Matthew Rinaldi, who negotiated a settlement for a man who broke his neck on the Slip’N Slide, also thinks the latest version is safe, but fears the product’s comeback will inspire some households to pull out the more dangerous old versions out of their garages. 

“We are very concerned,” Rinaldi said, “because it seem like the Slip’N Slide has an aura of being cool again.” 

During the next year, Wham-O plans to introduce 50 new products to its existing line of about 120 toys. Most of the new products are designed for winter use — an attempt to diversify a business now heavily reliant on summertime sales. 

Most of the new products will attempt to piggyback on established brands. For instance, the company will sell products such as the Frisbee Flyer, the Hula Hoop Saucer and the Slip’N Slide Snow Spinner to ride down snow-covered hills. 

For now, Wham-O is just hoping that its summer sales remain strong. The toy maker may be one of the few businesses based in blackout-prone California to be rooting for hot weather during the next few months. 

“I pull out the paper every morning and turn to the weather map,” Masline said. “When I see red all over the map, I know that means green for us.”


Harnessing sea power: the energy wave of the future?

By Michelle Locke Associated Press Writer
Monday June 11, 2001

Racing across the blue Pacific like wild, white-maned horses, the curling breakers crashing down on California’s beaches are an iconic image of the Golden State. 

Berkeley grad Misha Cornes goes to the beach and sees something more: an energy source tailor-made for power-strapped California. 

Cornes and his colleagues at the Berkeley based start-up Sea Power & Associates think they’ve figured out how to harness the energy in waves. 

Their Wave Rider technology is a series of lightweight concrete floats that would sit one to two miles off shore. Floats are connected to a hydraulic pump that extends about 60 feet down to the ocean floor. The up-and-down motion of the waves creates pressure that drives the hydraulic pump, which then drives turbines to generate electric power. 

The design “seemed to be well thought out and I didn’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work,” says David Navarro of the California Energy Commission. “There’s a lot out there. it’s just waiting to happen.” 

The notion of wiring the waves has been around for a few decades. The problem up to now is that few of the ideas have been tested — although some companies outside the United States have produced power from the ocean — and the cost has been considered prohibitively high compared to other renewable forms of energy such as wind and sun. 

“It’s estimated two-tenths of a percent of the energy contained in the ocean could power the whole world. It’s this energy source that’s totally untapped,” says Cornes. 

While Japan and Northern Europe have forged ahead with government-funded sea power schemes, research dollars in the United States dried up after an initial surge in the 1970s. 

In California, there were talks about trying a few ideas along the coast, but “when the deregulation came through there was no money for research. They all stopped. They all went away,” said Michael Champ, president of the Falls Church, Va.-based Advanced Technology Research Project and an early advocate of ocean power. 

Now, with California battling an energy crisis and a revival of interest in finding sources of energy that don’t come from decomposed dinosaurs, sea power advocates are hoping to see their field get a push. 

“Where we are is where wind was five years ago,” says Mirko Previsic, CEO and founder of Seapower & Associates, who has tested his ideas in wave tanks but needs to raise $3.4 million to build an oceangoing prototype. 

The total power of waves breaking on the world’s coastline could produce two to three million megawatts, Navarro said. In good locations, wave energy density can produce an average 65 megawatts per mile of coastline. One megawatt can power about 750 homes. 

“When you see a wave go by you think of it as the water moving. Well, it’s not the water, it’s the energy within the water that’s making it move,” says Navarro. 

The ocean can produce two types of energy, thermal energy from the sun’s heat and mechanical energy from tides and waves. 

There are three basic ways of converting the kinetic energy that drives a wave into power: 

— Tapered channel systems push the waves into reservoirs and then make the water flow through a turbine, similar to a hydroelectric dam. 

— Float systems use the rise and fall of the waves to drive hydraulic pumps. 

— Oscillating water column systems are fixed generating devices in which waves enter the column and force air up past a turbine. As the wave retreats, the air pressure drops, causing the turbine to turn. 

Last November, the world’s first commercial wave power station, which uses the oscillating water column system, began supplying power to the grid on the small Scottish island of Islay. It’s operated by Wavegen, a pioneer in ocean energy. 

Wave energy has the advantage over wind and sun in that it is constant. There are some concerns about getting permits to place the devices and they would also need to be marked for navigational purposes. View obstruction could also be a concern, although many of the devices sit far offshore and would not be visible from land. 

Sea Power & Associates’ target market is remote coastal communities and small islands which now have to rely on diesel generators, which are expensive and dirty. Ocean power would produce no greenhouse gases and Cornes and Previsic believe their system could be cost-competitive with diesel, which they said now costs 18 cents to 25 cents a kilowatt hour. 

Sea Power & Associates got a boost this spring when their business plan won the $10,000 grand prize at the Social Venture Competition held at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. 

The next order of business is trying to squeeze money out of an increasingly skittish venture capital pool. 

“They’re still working ... which is a plus,” says Navarro. “I have to give a lot of credit to Mirko for believing in what they’ve done and pushing it forward.” 

Champ, too, hopes sea power is on the rise. 

“It just really is a crime to see this die,” he says. “Even if it only put a light bulb on the end of the pier for people to fish off, it would have been valuable. It would have been a light in the dark that didn’t cost anybody anything.”


No new safety officers at Berkeley High School

By Ben Lumpkin Daily Planet staff
Saturday June 09, 2001

More than a month after the city and school district said they would move immediately to double Berkeley High’s safety officer force, there are still no new officers on the campus.  

A series of fights and assaults at Berkeley High earlier this spring, culminating in an incident that led to the arrest of five Berkeley High students, prompted the pledge that several new safety measures would be instituted at the school. 

Negotiations with a number of private security firms broke down early last week when the companies indicated that they were simply not comfortable having their personnel work on a high school campus, said Berkeley High Principal Frank Lynch. Lynch said the companies cited concerns about liability.  

“We’re going to try to explore other possibilities,” Lynch said. But he added that, with just a handful of days left in the school year, it may make more sense to “focus on next year.” 

At this point, Lynch said he would be happy to see just a few full-time people added to the school’s seven person safety staff next year. 

Berkeley Interim Superintendent Stephen Goldstone attributed the difficulties in finding more safety officers, in part, to a tight job market. 

“It’s been a great disappointment that we haven’t been able to secure the people we wanted to secure,” he said. 

At least one of the new security measures proposed in April has been implemented, Lynch said. Students can now call a 24-hour hotline to leave anonymous tips relating to incidents of violence at the school. The number is 644-6208. 

Lynch said school safety staff and police have completed an investigation into the assaults that occurred earlier this year. One of the students arrested in April pled guilty to charges of assault in court Thursday, he said, and two others are scheduled to appear in court soon. 

Lynch also said there have been no serious assaults on campus since April. “From the time that those kids were arrested, things have mellowed out,” Lynch said. “There’s still stuff, but nothing like that.” 


Calendar of Events & Activities

Saturday June 09, 2001


Saturday, June 9

 

Live Oak Park Fair 

11 a.m. - 6 p.m. 

Celebrates original crafts, international diversity, and community life. One hundred artists and craftsmakers display their work, with live performances and a variety of food. Free admission.  

Call 986-9337 

 

The Bite of REI 2001 

10 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

REI 

1338 San Pablo Ave. 

Taste some of the best, lightweight backpacking food and energy snacks available. At 1 p.m. Rick Greenspan and Hal Kahn with demonstrate how to turn your outdoor trips into gourmet adventures. Free 527-4140 

 

White Elephant Sale 

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 

1300 Shattuck Avenue 

Sale held by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. 

 


Sunday, June 10

 

Counteracting Negative  

Emotions 

6 p.m. 

Tibetan Nyingma Institute 

1815 Highland Place 

Exercises presented by Sylvia Gretchen, Dean of Nyingma Studies. Free and open to the public. 

843-681 

 

Live Oak Park Fair 

11 a.m. - 6 p.m. 

One hundred artists and craftsmakers display their work, with live entertainment and food. Free admission. 986-9337 

 

“Kindertransport: A Personal Account” 

10:30 a.m. 

Berkeley Richmond Jewish Community Center 

1414 Walnut St. 

Hear the moving story Ralph Samuel, who escaped Nazi Germany as the age of eight. Samuel was one of an estimated 10,000 children who were rescued through the efforts of the Kindertransport operation. $4 BRJCC members, $5 for general public. Admission includes brunch. 848-0237. 

 

Music and Meditation 

8 - 9 p.m. 

The Heart-Road Traveller 

1828 Euclid Ave. 

Group meditation though instrumental music and devotional songs. Led by Lucian Balmer and Baoul Scavullo. Free. 

496-3468 


Monday, June 11

 

(Oakland) Landmarks  

Preservation Advisory Board 

4 p.m. 

One Frank H. Ogawa Plaza 

Hearing Room One 

The Board will meet and discuss the request to make the Claremont Hotel an official landmark.  

 

Berkeley School Volunteers 

3 - 4:30 p.m. 

1835 Allston Way 

Orientation for volunteers interested in helping in summer academic and recreation programs.  

644-8833 


Tuesday, June 12

 

Berkeley Camera Club  

7:30 p.m. 

Northbrae Community Church  

941 The Alameda  

Share your slides and learn what other photographers are doing. Monthly field trips. 

Call Wade, 531-8664 

 

Young Queer Women’s Group 

8 - 9:30 p.m.  

Pacific Center 

2712 Telegraph Ave.  

Make some new friends, expand your horizons and get support with a bunch of queer women all in the same place at the same time (somewhere between 18 and 25).  

548-8283 or visit www.pacificcenter.org 

 

Berkeley Farmers’ Market 

2 - 7 p.m. 

Derby Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Milvia Street 548-3333 

 

Cooking for BEFHP Women 

6:30 - 8:30 p.m. 

BEFHP Women’s Resource Center 

2140 Dwight Way 

Come help the Berkeley Emergency Food and Housing Project prepare, serve, and cleanup a hot meal prepared for Berkeley’s homeless women and children. Teens 16+.  

650-965-0242 

KPFA Advisory Board Community Meeting 

7 p.m. 

1724 Adeline at 18th St. 

Oakland 

658-1512 

 

Landmarks Preservation Commission 

8:30 a.m. - 10 a.m. 

Permit Service Center 

2120 Milvia Street 

Second Floor Conference Room 

Ad-hoc subcommittee special meeting, discussion of a proposal to conduct a comprehensive, citywide survey of potentially historic resources. 

705-8111 


Wednesday, June 13

 

Defining Diversity 

7 - 9 p.m. 

Ecology Center 

2530 San Pablo Ave.  

Different interpretations of biological and cultural diversity and how it’s used for very different purposes. 548-2220 

 

Commission On Disability Hearings 

4 - 6 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst St. 

Open forum, opportunity for public to present ideas and concerns about barriers for people with disabilities and accessibility of City facilities. 981-6342 

 

Lead-Safe Painting and Home Remodeling 

6 - 8 p.m. 

Claremont Branch Library 

2940 Benvenue Ave. 

Free course on how to detect and remedy lead hazards in the home. 

567-8280 

— Compiled by  

Sabrina Forkish 

 

 

“Illusions of the ‘New Economy’” 

7:30 p.m. 

La Pena Cultural Center 

3105 Shattuck Ave. 

Talk by professor and author Dick Walker. $5 donation requested. 

415-863-6637  

 

Claremont Elmwood Neighborhood Association General Meeting 

7:30 - 9:30 p.m. 

St. Clement’s Episcopal Church 

2837 Claremont Blvd. 

Covers area of Berkeley south of Dwight Way and east of Collage Avenue. Presentations on neighborhood issues. 

549-3793 

 

Trees and Shrubs of California 

7:30 p.m. 

UC Berkeley Botanical Garden 

200 Centennial Drive 

John Stuart and John Sawyer will be speaking about and signing their new book, “Trees and Shrubs of California.” Free. 

643-2755 

 

Library Board of Trustees Meeting 

7 p.m. 

South Branch Library 

1901 Russell Street 

Regular meeting, including a building projects update. 

644-6095 

 

Police Review Commission Meeting 

7:30 p.m. 

South Berkeley Senior Center 

2939 Ellis Street 

Regular meeting with a recruitment update and continuing discussion on marijuana arrests. 

644-6716 

 


Thursday, June 14

 

Summer Noon Concerts 2001 

Noon - 1 p.m. 

Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza 

Shattuck at Center St. 

Weekly concert series. This week Berkeley High Folklorico De Aztlan. 

 

Camping and Hiking Slide Presentation 

7 p.m. 

REI 

1338 San Pablo Ave. 

Guidebook author Tom Stienstra gives a slide presentation on where to go hiking and camping this summer in the Sierra and Shasta region. Free. 

527-4140 

 

Berkeley School Volunteers 

10:30 a.m. - Noon 

1835 Allston Way 

Orientation for volunteers interested in helping in summer academic and recreation programs. 

644-8833 

 

Fair Campaign Practices Commission Meeting 

7:30 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst Street 

Special meeting to discuss and act upon, among other items, possible violations of the Berkeley Election Reform Act.  

981-6950 

 

Adventures In Nature: Panama 

7:30 p.m. 

Easy Going Travel Shop and Bookstore 

1385 Shattuck Avenue 

William Friar, writer for Contra Costa Times and author of a new travel guide to Panama, will give a slide presentation and talk on Panama’s wildlife, history and culture. Free. 

843-3533 


Letters to the Editor

Saturday June 09, 2001

California’s oil crisis wafts away – maybe we can thank the Saudis 

 

By Franz Schurmann  

Pacific News Service 

 

For several months now Californians have been worried about rolling electrical blackouts and soaring energy bills. Then, suddenly natural gas prices tumbled and it turns out the “crisis” was only a very short nightmare. 

What happened? 

One clue is the news from the markets on June 5– “crude and heating oil futures rise on jitters about Iraq's suspension of petroleum exports while gasoline futures retreat to three month lows and natural gas falls.” 

But the key answer is found in the financial section of the Saudi newspaper As-Sharq al-Ausat (ASAA) of June 3, in a story headlined “Saudis are prepared to cover all shortages in world markets after Iraq halted oil exports.” 

This was apparently the first report of a Saudi commitment to assure adequate supplies to all oil markets, a capability they alone have among oil producing nations. 

Saudi oil minister Ali ibn-Ibrahim al-Na'eemi made the announcement June 4, on the eve of the formal OPEC meeting in Vienna. So the ASAA must be credited with a scoop. 

A fair part of the ASAA piece dealt with the timing of Iraq's action – how Iraq announced on June 2 it would halt all exports the following day, June 3. ASAA cited a Reuters report that all Iraqi oil had stopped flowing through the major Turkish oil port Ceyhan on the Mediterranean coast which usually handles 2.5 million barrels of oil a day, some 85 percent of which is from Iraq. 

Did Saddam really cut the oil flow or only said he would? ASAA reported the Saudi oil minister al-Na'eemi as stating that “all members of OPEC” were in full agreement with the Saudis– though the Iraqi announcement was made before the Vienna conference opened. 

The piece quoted al-Na'eemi as saying that even Egypt supported the move – on June 3 he was in the Saudi capital Riyadh meeting with Egyptian prime minister Atef Obeid– but Egypt is not a member of OPEC. And when the ASAA reporter asked how many barrels a day the Saudi oil commitment could amount to, al-Na'eemi just kept saying “yes.” 

The apparent scenario, then, looks like this: Saddam the rogue threatens to strangle the West by cutting its oil flow. The Saudis, like Bedouin Sir Galahads, swoop in and promise to save Western motorists from an oil shortage like the one that shook them so badly in October 1973. 

ASAA explained Saddam's gambit as a way to show he was peeved at the Security Council for renewing the “food for oil” agreement for only 30 days rather than six months. 

But that explanation holds no water. Saddam knows the sanctions have been wafting away – not least because Secretary Powell, even before Bush's inauguration, said he wanted to do away with all U.S. or UN sanctions except for those involving weapons of mass destruction. 

In fact, halting oil exports would be a silly move and Saddam is not a silly man. He has nothing to gain from such an action. As for the Saudis, they loathe Saddam but are not letting him terrorize them. 

What really concerns King Fahd and Prince Abdullah is the U.S. posture in the Middle East. Washington holds the key– either to peace and profits in the world economy or a worsening war and plummeting profits. 

The Saudis have always opted for the former. And so the royal family has been close friends of U.S. oil companies for over half a century.  

Washington had seen Egypt's president Hosni Mubarak as an uncertain friend despite huge U.S. military aid. However, in recent weeks he has both consolidated his domestic power and moved to the forefront of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. He is now a major peace process ally for the Bush administration. 

Maybe his prime minister Atef Obeid brought some news to Riyadh that convinced the overly cautious Saudi rulers that this time Washington is determined to end the Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed by forcing a decision on both antagonists. 

No matter how much we Americans may disapprove of about just everything Saudi, we can't do so for their oil as well. If we did we would have no more SUV's to drive– especially zooming ahead on freeways with only the driver at the wheel and the radio booming. If that's the American paradise then we'll have to thank the Saudis for it. 

 

Franz Schurmann, emeritus professor at UC Berkeley, has written on the politics of oil for over two decades, especially in his book “The Foreign Politics of Richard Nixon.” (Berkeley, 1987) 

 

Playing hardball at East Campus not good 

 

Editor: 

RE: A proposed hardball field at the East Campus site (Derby/MLK/Carlton/Milvia) 

I am opposed to this project. The quality of life in this dense area has already been severely compromised.  

Again, it is necessary to resume public meetings before unpopular and divisive decisions are made. Positive community development demands quieter, greener areas with gardens to encourage ecological studies, neighborhood participatory activities and perhaps, at the most, soccer or softball spaces. The street must not be closed. The old “temporary buildings” should be razed ASAP as they pose a danger to the health and safety in the area and are a visual blight. 

I am a longtime resident of Berkeley and my children did go through the Berkeley schools. With many of my neighbors I will continue to oppose this project. 

 

Jean Rowe Leiber R.N., N.P. 

Berkeley 

 

Take a hint from the wheelchairs 

Editor: 

Something good may come out of the spiraling cost of energy, regarding personal vehicles [am I seeing things or are there fewer SUV’s recently in Berkeley?]: smaller cars, more efficient cars, lighter cars, more thoughtful cars, reduced use of cars. 

In the 60’s, I advocated legislating smaller cars; my professor in urban planning irritable dismissed my idea as unworkable. [Grandmother gave me a VW so I could work while in college; “... all my friends had Porches ...”] 

By the eighties, a compact parking space was mandated for every few normal sized spaces for planning new projects, by counties and towns everywhere. 

But car-makers now make more on show-off, muscle, look-at-me, get-out-of-my-way vehicles; and now Detroit and fuel producers with handsome profits first in mind tell the public guzzling is good, if not god. 

Sixty percent of auto trips, according to a 70’s statistic that sticks in my mind, may be recreational, or at any rate, nonessential; folks do love to watch the landscape streaming past, etc. 

After seeing my friends who use motorized wheelchairs zip all around the area, it occurs to me most local trips could easily be made with personal vehicles little, if any, larger than those ingenious devices. Increasing their reliability, weather-protection, affordability and range would make them more attractive to the non-disabled; expanding the BART network would make mini-personal electric vehicles able to reach a huge proportion of the Bay Area. 

Let’s try. 

 

Terry Cochrell, Architect 

Berkeley 

 


Arts & Entertainment

Staff
Saturday June 09, 2001

Habitot Children’s Museum “Back to the Farm” An interactive exhibit gives children the chance to wiggle through tunnels, look into a mirrored fish pond, don farm animal costumes, ride on a John Deere tractor and more. “Recycling Center” Lets the kids crank the conveyor belt to sort cans, plastic bottles and newspaper bundles into dumpster bins. $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. (closed Sundays, Memorial Day through Labor Day) Kittredge Street and Shattuck Avenue 647-1111 or www.habitot.org  

 

Judah L. Magnes Museum “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. 2911 Russell St. 549-6950  

 

The Asian Galleries “Art of the Sung: Court and Monastery.” 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 by 40-foot replica of the fearsome dinosaur 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 22-23 feet. The Pteranodon lived at the same time as the dinosaurs. 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 “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. “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. Kroeber Hall, Bancroft Way and College Ave. 643-7648  

 

Lawrence Hall of Science “Math Rules!” 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. “Saturday Night Stargazing,” First and third Saturdays each month. 8 - 10 p.m., LHS plaza. Computer Lab, Saturdays 12:30 - 3:30 p.m. $7 for adults; $5 for children 5-18; $3 for children 3-4. 642-5132 

 

Holt Planetarium Programs are recommended for age 8 and up; children under age 6 will not be admitted. $2 in addition to regular museum admission. “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. Centennial Drive, UC Berkeley 642-5132 or www.lhs.berkeley.edu  

924 Gilman St. All shows begin at 8 p.m. unless noted $5; $2 for year membership. All ages. June 9: Groovie Ghoulies, The Influents, Red Planet, Mallrats, Goat Shanty; June 15: Strike Anywhere, Missing 23rd, Crispus Attacks, Planes Mistaken For Stars, Deadlock Frequency; June 16: Nerve Agents, American Nightmare, Fields of Fire, Affront, Scissorhands. 525-9926  

 

Albatross Pub Music at 9 p.m. unless noted otherwise. June 9, 6 - 8 p.m.: Sauce Piquante, 9 p.m. - Midnight: Whiskey Brothers; June 12: Mad and Eddie Duran; June 14: Keni “El Lebrijano”; June 19: pickPocket Ensemble. 1822 San Pablo Ave. 843-2473  

 

Anna’s Music at 8 p.m. June 9: Robin Gregory and Bliss Rodriguez, 10 p.m.: The Ducksan Distone; June 10: Choro Time with Ron Galen and Friends; June 11: The Renegade Sidemen; June 12: Best of Open Mike; June 13: Bob Schoen Jazz Quartet; June 14: Richard Kalman Combo. $2 weeknights, $3 weekends. 1801 University Ave. 849-ANNA  

 

Ashkenaz June 9, 9:30 p.m.: Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers; June 10, 7 p.m.: Food Not Bombs with Goodbye Flowers and INKA; June 12, 7 p.m.: Bandworks; June 13, 9 p.m.: Red Archibald and the Internationals; June 14, 10 p.m.: Dead DJ Nite with Digital Dave; June 15, 9 :30 p.m.: Winston Jarrett with special guests; June 16, 9:30 p.m.: Amandla Poets; June 17, 6 p.m.: Ray Cepeda and the Neo Maya Experience. 1370 San Pablo Ave. 525-5054 or www.ashkenaz.com 

Freight & Salvage All music at 8 p.m. June 9.: Danny Heines & Michael Manring; June 10: Roy Tyler and New Directions; June 12: Keith Little with Del Williams; June 13: Danu; June 14: Guy Davis; June 15: The Laurie Lewis Trio; June 16: Rova Saxophone Quartet. $17.50.1111 Addison St. www.freightandsalvage.org  

 

Jupiter All shows at 8 p.m. June 9, Om Trio; June 12, Ben Graves Trio; June 13: Crater; June 14: Beatdown with DJs Delon, Yamu, Add1; June 15: Steven Emerson; June 16: Nucleus. 2181 Shattuck Ave 843-8277 

 

La Peña Cultural Center June 15, 8 p.m.: TIJUANA NO! with Caradura and Prophets of Rage Dj La Viuda Negra. 3105 Shattuck Ave. 849-2568 www.lapena.org  

 

The Berkeley TEMPO Festival of Contemporary Performances June 9, 8 p.m. John Scott, John Abercrombie, George Marsh, Rich Fudoli, Mel Graves. $15 Hertz Hall, UC Berkeley Campus www.tempofestival.org 

 

The Farallone String Quartet June 10, 7:30 p.m. Quartets by Haydn. $8 - $10 Berkeley Art Center 1275 Walnut St. 

 

World Harmony Chorus June 10, 2 p.m. Vocal music from around the world. $5 - $10 Julia Morgan Center for the Arts 2640 College Ave. 925-798-1300 

 

Veda Hille and Sini Anderson June 12, 7:30 p.m. Presented by the Rose Street House of Music, a concert/workshop space featuring women singer/songwriters. For location and ticket information, visit www.rosestreetmusic.com 

Jazzschool Recitals June 14, 8 p.m.: Adult Big Band; June 17, 4 p.m.: Jazz Combos; June 19, 4 p.m.: Jazz Groups; June 20, 4 p.m. Jazz Ensembles; June 21, 4 p.m. Jazz Combos. Free. The Jazzschool/La Note 2377 Shattuck Ave. 845-5373  

 

WordWind Chorus June 15, 8 p.m. In celebration of the release of its first CD, the WordWind Chorus will perform a unique collaboration of music and poetry. $10 Tuva Space 3192 Adeline 530-7698 

 

Estradasphere and Warsaw June 15, 9:30 p.m. $7 Blakes 2367 Telegraph Ave. 848-0886 

 

Celebrating Um Kulthoum June 17, 7 p.m. A benefit concert for Palestinian Refugees, the Lammam Ensemble will perform some of legendary Arabic vocalist Um Kulthoum’s most cherished songs. $20. International House Auditorium 2299 Piedmont Ave. at Bancroft 415-648-1353 

 

Berkeley Symphony Orchestra Season Finale June 21, 8 p.m. Works by Shostakovich, Brahms, and Rohde. $19 - $35 Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley 841-2800  

 

Sungugal Ballet June 10, 4:30 p.m. Featuring master percussionist Djibi Faye and West African Band with traditional West African dance. $6 - $12. Jazzschool/La Note 2377 Shattuck Ave. 845-5373 

 

“More Matters of Life and Death” June 15 - 17, 8 p.m. “Iris, Blue, Each Spring,” tackles the joys and sorrows of growing older and is set to “Six Japanese Songs” by Margaret Garwood. $12 - $15 Western Sky Studio 2525 Eighth St. 848-4878 

 

“Dance Mosaic: Celebrating Diversity” June 16, 8 p.m. and June 17, 2 p.m. The annual repertory concert for the Mahea Uchiyama Center for International Dance features over 100 performers of dance and music from the South Pacific, India, Africa and the Middle East. $5 - $15 Juia Morgan Center for the Arts 2640 Collage Ave. 925-798-1300 

 

Kalanjali in Concert June 22, 7 p.m. Kalanjali concludes its celebration of its 25th year in Berkeley with a special recital. Experienced dancers and young students, with guests from India including dancer K. P. Yesoda and the musicians of Bharatakalanjali. $6 - $8 Juia Morgan Center for the Arts 2640 Collage Ave. 925-798-1300 

 

Theater 

 

“A New Brain” June 9 and 10, 8 p.m. Catch the last weekend of the Shotgun Players’ first musical about an artist with dreams of writing an epic musical, who is stuck writing tunes for a children’s television show. $10 - $15 Julia Morgan Center for the Arts 2640 Collage Ave. 655-0813 

 

“Big Love” by Charles L. Mee Through June 10 Directed by Les Waters and loosely based on the Greek Drama, “The Suppliant Woman,” by Aeschylus. Fifty brides who are being forced to marry fifty brothers flee to a peaceful villa on the Italian coast in search of sanctuary. $15.99 - $51 Berkeley Repertory Theatre 2025 Addison St. 647-2949 

 

“Planet Janet” Through June 10, Fridays and Saturdays 8 p.m., Sundays 7 p.m. Follows six young urbanites’ struggles in sex and dating. Impact Theatre presentation written by Bret Fetzer, directed by Sarah O’Connell. $7 - $12 La Val’s Subterranean Theatre 1834 Euclid 464-4468 www.impacttheatre.com 

 

“The Misanthrope” by Moliere Through June 10, Fri - Sun, 8 p.m. Berkeley-based Women in Time Productions presents this comic love story full of riotous wooing, venomous scheming and provocative dialogue. All female design and production staff. $17 - $20 Il Teatro 450 449 Powell St. San Francisco 415-433-1172 or visit www.womenintime.com 

 

“Cymbeline” Through June 24, Tues. - Thur. 7:30 p.m., Fri. 8 p.m., Sat. 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sun. 4 p.m. Opening of the California Shakespeare Festival features one of Shakespeare’s first romances, directed by Daniel Fish. $12 - $146. Bruns Memorial Amphitheater off Highway 24 at the Shakespeare Festival Way/Gateway Exit. 548-9666 or www.calshakes.org 

 

“The Laramie Project” Through July 8, Wed. 7 p.m., Tues. and Thur. -Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Written by Moises Kaufmen and members of Tectonic Theater Project, directed by Moises Kaufman. Moises Kaufman and Tectonic members traveled to Laramie, Wyo., after the murder of openly gay student Matthew Shepherd. The play is about the community and the impact Shepherd’s death had on its members. $10 - $50. The Roda Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre 2015 Addison St. 647-2949 www.berkeleyrep.org 

 

“Romeo and Juliet” June 14 - July 14, Thurs. - Sat. 8 p.m. Set in early 1930’s just before the rise of Hitler in the Kit Kat Klub, Juliet is torn between ties to the Nazi party and Romeo’s Jewish heritage. $8 - $10. La Val’s Subterranean Theater 1834 Euclid 234-6046 

 

“A Life In the Theatre” Previews June 9, 10, 13. Opens June 14, runs through July 15. Wed. - Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. David Mamet play about the lives of two actors, considered a metaphor for life itself. Directed by Nancy Carlin. $30-$35. $26 preview nights. Berkeley City Club 2315 Durant 843-4822 

 

 

Films 

 

Pacific Film Archive June 9, 7:30: Comic and Avant-Garde Shorts; June 10, 5:30: Pitfall, 7:25: Woman In the Dunes; June 12, 7:30 p.m.: The Long Holiday; June 13, 7:30 p.m.: Bogus Biographies; June 14, 7 p.m.: Trial on the Road, 9 p.m.: Freeze-Die-Come to Life; June 15, 7:30 p.m.: A Long Happy Life, 8:50: Goodbye, Boys; Jun 16: 7 and 9 p.m.: Beau Travail; June 17, 5:30 p.m.: The Face of Another. Pacific Film Archive Theater 2575 Bancroft Way (at Bowditch) 642-1412 

 

“The Producers” June 10. Revisit this outrageous comedy classic, starring Zero Mostel and written by Mel Brooks. $2 Berkeley Richmond Jewish Community Center 1414 Walnut St. 848-0237. 

 

Exhibits 

 

“Elemental” The art of Linda Mieko Allen Through June 9, Tuesday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Traywick Gallery 1316 Tenth St. 527-1214 www.traywick.com 

 

East Bay Open Studios June 9 & 10, 16 & 17, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Jennifer Foxly: Oil paintings and 2-d mixed media works 3206 Boise St.; Lewis Suzuki: Scenes from California to the Philippines, florals to nudes 2240 Grant St.; Guy Colwell: Painted replicas and recent original work 2028 9th St. (open until 7 p.m.) 

 

Wosene Kosrof June 13, 7 - 8:30 p.m. Ethiopian-born Berkeley resident will be exhibiting and discussing his paintings. One piece will be up for auction, proceeds to benefit the YMCA. Free. Crystal Room, Shattuck Hotel 2086 Allston 848-9622 ext. 3541  

 

PASSING: The Re-Definition of Sex and Gender Through the Personal Re-Presentation of Self Through June 16, Mon. - Fri. 8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Black and white photographs by Ann P. Meredith. Free. Reception with the artist June 7, 6 - 8 p.m. Photolab Gallery 2235 Fifth St.  

 

Ledger drawings of Michael and Sandra Horse Exhibit runs through June 18. Gathering Tribes Gallery 1573 Solano Ave. 528-9038 www.gatheringtribes.com  

 

“Alive in Her: Icons of the Goddess” Through June 19, Tuesday - Thursday, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Photography, collage, and paintings by Joan Beth Clair. Pacific School of Religion 1798 Scenic Ave. 848-0528 

 

Tyler James Hoare Sculpture and Collage Through June 27, call for hours. Party June 9, 5-9 p.m. with music by Sauce Piquante. The Albatross Pub 1822 San Pablo Ave. 843-2473 

 

Ako Castuera, Ryohei Tanaka, Rob Sato Through June 30, Tues. - Sat. 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Group exhibition, recent paintings. Artist’s reception June 9, 6:30 - 9 p.m. with music by Knewman and Espia. !hey! Gallery 4920 B Telegraph Ave., Oakland 428-2349  

 

“Watershed 2001” Through July 14, Wednesday - Sunday Noon - 5 p.m. Exhibition of painting, drawing, sculpture and installation that explore images and issues about our watershed. Berkeley Art Center 1275 Walnut St. 644-6893 

 

Rachel Davis and Benicia Gantner Works on Paper June 13 - July 14, Tues. - Sat., 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Watercolors by Davis, mixed-media by Gantner. Opening reception June 13, 6 - 8 p.m. Traywick Gallery 1316 Tenth St. 527-1214 www.traywick.com 

 

“The Trip to Here: Paintings and Ghosts by Marty Brooks” Through July 31, Tues. - Sun. 11 a.m. - 1 a.m. View Brooks’ first California show at Bison Brewing Company 2598 Telegraph Ave. 841-7734  

 

Bernard Maisner: Illuminated Manuscripts and Paintings. Through Aug. 8 Maisner works in miniature as well as in large scales, combining his mastery of medieval illumination, gold leafing, and modern painting techniques. Flora Lamson Hewlett Library 2400 Ridge Rd. 849-2541 

 

“Musee des Hommages,” Masterworks by Guy Colwell Faithful copies of several artists from the pasts, including Titian’s “The Venus of Urbino,” Cezanne’s “Still Life,” Picasso’s “Woman at a Mirror,” and Boticelli’s “Primavera” Ongoing. Call ahead for hours 2028 Ninth St. (at Addison) 841-4210 or visit www.atelier9.com 

 

“Geographies of My Heart” Collage paintings by Jennifer Colby through August 24; Flora Lamson Hewlett Library 2400 Ridge Rd. 649-2541 

 

Images of Portugal Paintings by Sofia Berto Villas-Boas of her native land. Open after 5 p.m. Voulez-Vous 2930 College Ave. (at Elmwood) 

 

“Queens of Ethiopia: Intuitive Inspirations,” the exceptional art of Esete-Miriam A. Menkir. Through July 11. Women’s Cancer Resource Center Gallery 3023 Shattuck Ave. 548-9286 ext 307 

 

“The Decade of Change: 1900 - 1910” chronicles the transformation of the city of Berkeley in this 10 year period. Thursday through Saturday, 1 - 4 p.m. Berkeley History Center, Veterans Memorial Building, 1931 Center St. Wheelchair accessible. 848-0181. Free.  

 

Readings 

 

Cody’s Books 2454 Telegraph Ave. All events at 7:30 p.m. June 9: Richard Russo reads from “Empire Falls”, June 10: Irvine Welsh talks about “Glue”; June 11: David Hajdu talks about “Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Fariña and Richard Fariña”; June 12: Colson Whitehead reads from “John Henry Days”; June 13: David Sedaris reads from “Me Talk Pretty One Day”; June 14: Ana Menendez reads from “In Cuba I Was A German Sheperd”; June 15: James Ellroy reads “The Cold Six Thousand.” 845-7852  

 

Cody’s Books 1730 Fourth St. All events at 7 p.m. unless noted otherwise. June 9: For the younger readers, Lemony Snicket reports on “The Vile Village”; June 14: Stephanie Brill talks about “The Queer Parent’s Primer: A Lesbian and Gay Families’ Guide to Navigating the Straight World”; June 16, 4 p.m.: Chris Raschka presents a talk and demontration for children, and paints the store front window. 559-9500 

 

Simone Martel June 16, 2 p.m. Martel will read from her book “The Expectant Gardener: A Wise and Fun Guide to the Adventure of Backyard Growing” Barnes and Noble 2352 Shattuck Ave. 644-0861  

 

Weekly Poetry Nitro Mondays 6:30 p.m. sign up, 7 - 9 p.m. reading. Performing poets in a dinner atmosphere. Featured poets: June 11, Ivan Arguelles; June 18: Katie Daley. Cafe de la Paz 1600 Shattuck Ave. 843-0662 

 

Tours 

 

 

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Free. University of California, Berkeley. 486-4387 

 

Berkeley City Club Tours 2315 Durant Ave., Berkeley. The fourth Sunday of every month, Noon - 4 p.m. $2 848-7800  

 

Golden Gate Live Steamers Grizzly Peak Boulevard and Lomas Cantadas Drive at the south end of Tilden Regional Park Small locomotives, meticulously scaled to size. Trains run Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Rides: Sunday, noon to 3 p.m., weather permitting. 486-0623  

 

 


Experts meeting to find ways to curb youth sports violence

By Mario Fox Associated Press Writer
Saturday June 09, 2001

Conference will try to set guidelines for parents to follow 

 

ITASCA, Ill. – When a parent was seriously injured in a melee – hit between the eyes with a yard marker – at a football game in El Paso, Texas, Mayor Carlos Ramirez decided it was time to do something about the city’s growing sideline rage at youth sports events. 

Last fall, Ramirez started an anger management class for parents that was expanded into a 2 1/2-hour lesson, complete with a training manual, on sports parenting and child abuse in youth activities. About 15,000 parents have taken the course, and the lesson seems to be sinking in. 

“For the first time in many years there has not been one fight in our youth football season,” Ramirez said in an opening address Friday at a conference on how to curb violence in youth sports. 

Experts from across the country are meeting in this Chicago suburb this weekend, creating guidelines for parents and coaches. 

Fred Engh, who heads the National Alliance for Youth Sports – the sponsor of the conference – said every community will get a copy of the guidelines. 

“If communities don’t adopt this they should hang their heads in shame,” Engh said. 

The El Paso course will be the starting point for the guidelines the conference plans to develop. 

Daniel Wann, an expert on parent and spectator behavior at sporting events, said the problem with parental rage at games is the result of spectators’ natural tendency to identify with players on the field. 

“They don’t go to games to cause trouble, but they so identify with their children on the playing field they can’t get a grip,” said Wann. 

Across the country, enraged parents have attacked coaches, umpires and referees, each other, and even children. 

Some of the more notorious examples: 

– In Oklahoma in 1999, a coach had to be restrained after he starting choking an umpire during a tee-ball game for 5- and 6-year-olds. 

– In San Fernando, a father was sentenced to 45 days in jail last year for beating a coach who took his 11-year-old son out of a baseball game. 

– A parent in Reading, Mass., was beaten to death while supervising his son’s hockey pickup game last July. Authorities say another father, Thomas Junta, became upset at rough play and fought with Michael Costin, a single father of four. Junta was charged with manslaughter and awaits trial. 

In addition, violence against umpires and referees has prompted many states to get tougher. The Illinois Legislature recently passed a bill mandating penalties for people who assault sports officials, while 15 other states have similar laws.


New superintendent gets formal district welcome

By Judith Scherr Daily Planet Staff
Saturday June 09, 2001

Everyone in the School Board meeting room seemed excited about the new superintendent at the gathering Friday where district personnel turned out to meet and greet Michele Barraza Lawrence, the new superintendent. 

Except one, that is. 

“I can’t believe Northern California has stolen her away from me,” said the superintendent’s daughter Kimberly Barraza-Lawrence, a former high school Spanish teacher, now getting her doctorate in education at UCLA. The younger Barraza-Lawrence was accompanying her mother, helping her with house shopping in Berkeley. 

A crowd of administrators, city officials and parents lined up to meet and greet Lawrence, 53, who appeared to give undivided attention to each. Her first day on the job will be July 16, although she will be in and out of the district before that date. 

“She comes to us from a community that loves and respects her and honors her,” said Board of Education President Terry Doran in his formal introduction, going on to say that the people of Berkeley will be there for her. “Even if you don’t call on them, they will be there,” he promised, with a smile. 

Lawrence acknowledged that the move from Paramount in Los Angeles County will be a big one for her. “I’ve lived and worked within 20 miles (of where I was born) all my life,” said Lawrence, whose parents were both from Mexico.  

The crowd applauded when she spoke of her mission: “The children will always come first,” she said.  

Lawrence will be paid $185,000 annually and will receive $15,000 for relocation costs. Expenses such as travel, conferences or a car allowance, sometimes paid separately, are included in the annual salary. The previous superintendent earned about $170,000, including the various business expenses which were paid separately, Doran said. 

The school superintendent will remain the highest-paid official in the city. City Manager Weldon Rucker earns $154,000 annually.


Sports Shorts

Staff
Saturday June 09, 2001

St. Mary’s track stars head to national meet 

 

Four members of the St. Mary’s track & field team will take part in a national competition this weekend in Sacramento. 

The Golden West Invitational is an annual event held the week after the CIF State Championship Meet. The Invitational consists of individual competitions with just one heat in each event, and will be host to some of the top athletes from around the country. 

For St. Mary’s, Kamaiya Warren will throw the discus, Bridget Duffy will run the mile, Asokah Muhammed will take part in the triple jump, and Halihl Guy will run the 300-meter low hurdles. All but Warren finished in the top four in their event at the state meet. Warren failed to advance in the discus due to fouls in a regional meet, but finished second in the shot put at the state meet. 

“This is a hard meet to get into,” St. Mary’s head coach Jay Lawson said. “You usually have to be nationally ranked to be invited. It’s a great opportunity for our kids.” 

The Golden West Invitational will take place on Saturday at American River College in Sacramento. 

 

Cal gets second early verbal commitment 

 

Richard Midgely, a junior for Modesto Christian, has verbally committed to attend and play basketball at Cal following his senior year. 

Midgely, a 6-1 point guard, averaged 19 points and five assists a game for Modesto Christian this season, leading the team to the Division I state championship game, where they lost to Mater Dei (Los Angeles). 

Midgely is the second highly-ranked junior to commit early to the Golden Bears. Earlier this spring, Derek Burditt, a 6-5 junior and the New Orleans Metro Area Player of the Year, gave a verbal commitment to the school. Verbal commitments are not binding until players sign a official letter of intent. 

Midgely, who is originally from London, was also recruited by Kentucky, UCLA and Utah. 

With Midgely and Burditt already committed, Cal head coach Ben Braun could have back-to-back top-10 recruiting classes. Next year’s crop of center Jamal Sampson and forwards Julian Sensley and Erik Bond is considered the best class Braun has gotten in his five years with the program.


La Peña benefit honors hard work of Dolores Huerta

By John Geluardi Daily Planet staff
Saturday June 09, 2001

La Peña Cultural Center is celebrating its 26th anniversary by throwing a benefit tonight to honor the work of Dolores Huerta and to help raise money for the labor leader’s medical expenses. 

“Dolores is a farm worker leader of remarkable courage,” La Peña spokesperson Fernando Torres said. “She is a woman of phenomenal strength and truly one of the 100 most important women of the 20th century.” 

The benefit will include music by Dulce Mambo and others, a slide show presented by Huerta’s daughter Camellia Chavez chronicling her mother’s family life and a talk by Huerta herself. Mayor Shirley Dean will also be on hand to declare June 9 Dolores Huerta Day in Berkeley. 

Mother of 11, Huerta, 71, devoted her life to community activism after coming in contact with the children of the poor and dispossessed while working as a grammar school teacher in the 1950s.  

She later co-founded the National Farm Workers Association with Cesar Chavez. According to a La Peña press release, Huerta has “worked tirelessly ever since to improve the lives of farm workers and for decades has worked to ban the use of toxic pesticides that threaten the health of farm workers, consumers and the environment.” 

Father Bill O’Donnell, who will introduce Huerta and offer a prayer, said Huerta is a true hero. “She comes out of a community that was the most powerless in California and she joined with Cesar Chavez to organize that community and they made tremendous sacrifices to achieve some hope for the people who harvest our food,” he said. 

O’Donnell said Huerta fought even within her own union for women’s rights. “In her union, there was a cultural bias against women that Huerta was not afraid to take on,” he said. “That’s why she’s so special.” 

Huerta is also known as a passionate speaker who has lobbied in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. 

She is the recipient of numerous awards for her work and was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993. 

Huerta has a rare medical condition known as Aortic Duodenal Fistula. She underwent surgery in November and was hospitalized for nearly two months. “She went through a lot but she’s steadily regaining her strength,” Camellia Chavez said. 

Torres said Huerta’s medical bills are close to $250,000, which is only partially covered by insurance. A large percentage of tonight’s proceeds will go to covering her medical expenses. 

The celebration will also benefit La Peña, a nonprofit which opened in Berkeley in 1975. Peña means gathering place in Spanish and La Peña is modeled after the peñas’ tradition of Chile and Argentina where peasants constructed temporary huts to form a communal space for celebrating fiestas and holidays. 

La Peña presents a variety of music, theater and dance events. Many of the artists reflect contemporary social issues from multicultural perspectives. La Peña also offers music and dance classes, some of which are free.  

The benefit celebration will be held at La Peña Cultural Center at 3105 Shattuck Ave. at 7 p.m. For ticket information call 849-2568. 


Crossing the Bay before bridges

By Susan Cerny
Saturday June 09, 2001

Berkeley Observed 

Looking back, seeing ahead 

 

Until the Bay Bridge opened in 1936, the only way of crossing the bay was by private boat or ferry.  

To facilitate travel to the ferry many roads cut a diagonal path to the Ferry terminal, called the Oakland Mole.  

The ferry terminal was located on “Long Wharf” which was near the present approach to the Bay Bridge. When the Berkeley Branch Line of the Central Pacific (later Southern Pacific) Railroad began running in 1876, the route from Oakland began its diagonal path along Stanford Avenue named for the man who owned the railroad, Leland Stanford.  

In the foreground of the photo are three freight cars located in the triangular island created by the diverging streets.  

Originally used for railroad operations, these parcels were later developed when the trains stopped running.  

These islands today are the location of a parking lot on the smallest section, a drug store in the middle section and a grocery store (Berkeley Bowl) in the largest section.  

The tall house in the middle right is still standing today at 2820 Adeline Street.  

Built in the 1890s, it remains as distinctive a building in its neighborhood as it did in 1906.  

 

Susan Cerny writes Berkeley Observed in conjunction with the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association


BRIEFS

Staff
Saturday June 09, 2001

Fire departments training at Tilden Park 

 

East Bay fire departments will prepare for the early fire season with a training for wild land fires at Tilden Park today. 

At 9:30 a.m. the fire departments of Berkeley, Oakland, Moraga-Orinda, Contra Costa County, California Division of Forestry, East Bay Regional Parks, and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab will come together at the Equestrian Camp off Wildcat Canyon Road. 

Although there will not be any actual fire, the drills will include hose development and communications and command tests for large scale incidents, according to a press release from the City Manager Weldon Rucker.  

Fire engines will be coming from various stations around the area and while their lights may flash for safety reasons, they will not be responding to actual emergencies. 

 

Volunteers needed for Meals on Wheels 

 

The city’s Meals of Wheels program is looking for summer volunteers to deliver hot, nutritious meals to some of the area’s homebound seniors. Every summer the program faces a shortage of volunteers as people take vacations, said Natalie Krelle-Zepponi of the Meals on Wheels program in a press release. Due to the high cost of producing the meals, volunteers are essential in keeping the program running. 

Volunteers are needed to help package and deliver the meals to seniors 60 years old and over in Berkeley, Albany and Emeryville. From 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. help is needed to package meals, and from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. the meals need to be delivered.  

A typical delivery route would take food to between eight and 20 seniors and would take between 45 and 75 minutes. For information or to volunteer contact Portable Meals at 644-8590.


Grid operators ask for refunds

The Associated Press
Saturday June 09, 2001

Four major power suppliers to California have shown they can control prices in the wholesale electricity market and should have to refund excess charges, possibly up to billions of dollars, state grid officials said Friday. 

The Independent System Operator, keeper of the state’s power grid, also asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to revoke the market-based rate authority for four generators – Duke Energy, Mirant, Dynegy and Reliant Energy. 

ISO analysts have estimated the state was overcharged about $6.7 billion between May 2000 and March 2001. That includes charges by generators other than the four in these filings, and ISO officials didn’t have an estimate on how much they were seeking from Duke, Reliant, Mirant and Dynegy. 

In order to escape charging cost-based rates, generators must prove to FERC that they don’t have market power — the ability to charge whatever price they want without consequence. Suppliers have to have that authority renewed by FERC every three years, and most are up for review this summer. 

ISO attorney Charles Robinson said the companies have exhibited they have market power and the ability to charge market-based rates should be revoked. The ISO asked FERC to act on their request by June 28. 

Tom Williams, spokesman for Duke Energy, said company officials were reviewing the filing and would respond soon. Richard Wheatley of Reliant Energy said the ISO order was “nothing but a rehashing of previous allegations that have been repeatedly rejected by FERC.” 

If FERC finds the companies do have market power, they could order them to use cost-based rates, which limit company profits to a percentage above the costs to produce power. 

“If there is a substantial change in the market, they have to make another filing with FERC. With the demise of the PX, the bankruptcy of PG&E, the financial difficulty of Edison – certainly that compelled the suppliers to file about those changes,” Robinson said. 

The Power Exchange, or the PX, was the state’s power market, but filed for bankruptcy after its largest customers, San Diego Gas and Electric Co., Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and Southern California Edison, stopped purchasing power. The state now buys power for customers of those utilities directly from generators. 

The agency has already made similar requests regarding two other energy companies, Williams and AES. 

If the companies are found to have charged excessive rates, FERC can order refunds. 

But ISO officials said in their filing that “the potential for after-the-fact refunds is little comfort to the elderly consumer, who, because of outrageously high prices, was forced in the interim to forego air conditioning notwithstanding serious health implications, or to the small business that was forced to close its doors.” 

Though ISO estimates $6.7 billion has been overcharged, some of that comes from companies not under FERC’s jurisdiction, such as Canadian firms or municipal districts. 

FERC has ordered $125 million in refunds, saying it can only examine prices for power sold during Stage 3 emergencies, when reserves drop to below 1.5 percent. 

——— 

On the Net: 

The California Independent System Operator: www.caiso.com 


One dead, three others infected with meningitis

The Associated Press
Saturday June 09, 2001

MARTINEZ — Contra Costa County health officials ordered a recall Friday of certain medications following one man’s death and the infection of three others with a non-contagious form of meningitis. 

Doctors and other health-care providers who purchased injectable medication prepared by Doc’s Pharmacy in Walnut Creek were asked to immediately stop using the medication. 

The recall also includes opthalmics, or medications administered to the mucus membrane of the eye, that were purchased from Doc’s Pharmacy. 

Wendel Brunner, director of the county’s public health service, said officials ordered the precautionary recall because a batch of the steroid beta methasone prepared in mid-May by Doc’s Pharmacy was contaminated with bacteria. 

George Stahl, 47, of Concord, died from the infection on May 30, 24 hours after receiving a shot for lower back pain. An elderly man who received a shot May 31 also died within the last week, though doctors are not sure if it was from meningitis. Seven others have been hospitalized – six at John Muir Medical Center, spokeswoman Patricia Hefner said. 

Three are confirmed to have the meningitis, another two have symptoms but their problem is not yet known and one has a different blood infection, Hefner said. 

The seventh person was hospitalized at San Ramon Regional Medical Center with an undiagnosed infection. 

The bacteria is common and is only dangerous when it gets into the bloodstream or spinal fluid. 

“What’s fine on the hands, in the mouth and in the stomach could be deadly when injected into spinal fluid,” Brunner said. 

Robert Horwitz, a Doc’s pharmacist, told the Contra Costa Times that the pharmacy is being made a scapegoat. 

The Sierra Surgery Center in Concord, where the four people became infected with bacteria as a result of the injections, referred questions to attorney Rich Conti. 

“All I understand is the organism or bacteria they think is there has nothing to do with sterile techniques or anything (the doctor) would have done,” Conti told the Contra Costa Times. 

“Other than that, the issue is unknown as to why these people have gotten sick,” Conti said. “They received the same medication on the same day and that raises questions that need to be answered. The doctor is quite confident he did what he always does and followed sterile technique and is waiting to hear what happened.” 

This form of meningitis is not related to meningococcal meningitis — the contagious form of the illness transmitted through kissing, sharing drinks or other close contact — that is blamed for the recent deaths of two people in the Bay Area. 


Rookie testifies he was pressured to quit

The Associated Press
Saturday June 09, 2001

OAKLAND — A former Oakland rookie cop testified Friday that a group of renegade officers known as “The Riders” pressured him to quit after he disapproved of their practices. 

Keith Batt, 24, was questioned for more than four hours Friday about his two weeks working the night shift on the streets of west Oakland. He said he quickly realized he didn't like the tactics of his trainer, Chuck Mabanag, and his fellow officers. 

Batt later reported the alleged behavior to police authorities, opening Oakland’s biggest police scandal in recent years. 

“I didn't want to go on doing the things we were doing,” said Batt, who is now a police officer in Pleasanton.  

“It was illegal. It was immoral. It was contrary to what I had been trained and what I believed was right.” 

Mabanag, Jude Siapno and Matthew Hornung faced Batt and their alleged victims in Alameda Superior Court for the past week during their preliminary hearing after which a judge will decide whether there’s enough evidence for a trial.  

A fourth accused officer, Frank Vazquez, is believed to have fled the country. 

The officers now face more than 60 felony and misdemeanor counts ranging from assault and kidnapping to falsifying reports and overtime slips. 

Batt has spent two days testifying that “The Riders” taught him to handcuff and search suspects before finding out whether they had done anything wrong. Suspects were rarely read their rights and were often beaten and threatened, Batt said. Reports were later concocted to cover the officers tracks. 

“I was afraid of what those officers were going to do next,” Batt said. After nine nights on the job, Batt told Mabanag he didn't like “the way they did things.” He said Mabanag got angry and told him “it was a major setback in my training.” 

Batt talked briefly to Vazquez, who declared he no longer wanted to work with him, and then talked for several hours with Mabanag who persuaded him to resign. At Mabanags suggestion, Batt said he wrote a short letter that said “the city’s too much for me. I'm not cut out to be an Oakland police officer.” 

He later reported the officers behavior to internal affairs, prompting a full-scale investigation. 

 

Defense attorney Mike Rains began his cross-examination of Batt late Friday. He asked whether he was aware that “The Riders” superiors were aware of their activities and were able to constantly monitor radio communications. He also implied that it was suspicious Batt didn't report the officers earlier. 

Batt appeared to grow increasingly impatient, smiling and rolling his eyes. 

“I didn't know what was to come,” he said. 


Web site helps people get out of California

The Associated Press
Saturday June 09, 2001

LOS ANGELES — California, here I go. 

That could be the theme song of a new Web site designed to help disgruntled residents flee traffic, pricey real estate and rolling blackouts. 

Hayward resident Randy Lee, 39, designs Web sites and created the “Leaving California” site partly as a marketing tool for his own business. 

Then friends and family urged him to publicize the site, which contains links to real estate brokers and visitor’s bureaus, polls, a message board and other information to help people learn about career and living opportunities outside the state. 

“I don’t promote that anyone leave who is comfortable here and likes it here,” Lee said.  

“I’m a native and I love California. What I don’t love is the overpopulation, the traffic. Now we have the rolling blackouts. That’s going to destroy the economy.” Rising housing prices, traffic congestion and the other problems Lee cites are not the result of people leaving the state, but moving here in droves. 

Census figures show that while residents left the state in the early 1990s as the state struggled with recession, drought and other problems, California’s population actually rose 13 percent in the decade. 

Lee has already decided he will leave the state within two years for personal reasons, partly pegged to the high cost of living in his San Francisco Bay community. “I have a 20-year old daughter and a niece out toward Modesto,” Lee said.  

“There’s no way they can even think of buying a house here. I can’t afford to live here anymore. It’s a sad realization when it hits you that you can’t afford to live in your home.” Lee’s Web site has been attracting visitors and even advertisers. Lee said about 20,000 people visited the site this past week and he is making a profit selling ads to real estate brokers and similar relocation companies. 

Paul White, an agent with Liberty Realty in Las Vegas, heard about Lee’s site through a client who is moving from the Bay area. He decided to buy an ad earlier this week. 

“There’s a lot of people leaving California for the Las Vegas area and I want to have as many of those people as possible contact me,” he said. 

White said the ad, which links people to his own Web site, hasn’t yet resulted in any  

solid leads. 

“Probably people are looking for information whether or not they’re actually making the decision to move,” he said. “I think they’re looking for alternatives, weighing their options.” 

Jim Manning, lives in Waco, Neb., and is trying to sell his 34-acre property with an ad on Lee’s site.  

He said he called Lee after a friend reported seeing the site. “If people are leaving your state as fast as they say they are, or thinking of leaving, maybe this would be the kind of place they would like to get out to,” Manning said. 

On the Net: 

http://www.leavingcal.com 

http://www.lasvegas 

homemarket.com 

http://www.nebraska-acreage.com


Underside of Saturn’s rings seen

The Associated Press
Saturday June 09, 2001

PASADENA — The Hubble Space Telescope has caught Saturn’s rings in full tilt, revealing new clues about the origin of the gossamer band that encircles the giant planet. 

The images, captured at approximately 12-month intervals from 1996 through last year, but only released this week, show the planet as its northern hemisphere swings from fall to winter. 

With each passing year, Saturn’s seasonal motion reveals more and more of its rings to Hubble’s view. The process is slow, since Saturn takes more than 29 years to complete one lap around the sun, making each “season” on the planet equal to more than seven Earth years. 

Since Saturn’s rings are only some 30 feet thick, they are practically invisible when viewed edge-on.  

The most recent image, however, captures Saturn as its tilt reaches its extreme, or winter solstice in the planet’s northern hemisphere. 

The image shows the rings of dusty water ice to be a subtle salmon color. 

“The color of the ring material can help tell us what the rings are made of and will help decipher their origin,” said Jeff Cuzzi, a National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientist and member of the Hubble team, in a statement.  

The images were released this week at the 198th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Pasadena. 

Scientists think the pale red color comes from complex organic molecu-les mixed in with the ice.  

While Saturn’s seven icy moons do not share that color, many objects frozen in the deeper reaches of the outer solar system do. 

That leads them to speculate that the origin of the rings is not Saturn itself, but an object that traveled too close to the planet.  

Saturn’s gravity would have presumably torn the object apart and scattered the debris in orbit.  

The planet’s gravitational field constantly disrupts the chunks of ice, keeping them spread out and from forming into a new moon. 

Scientists will get a closer look at the rings of Saturn after the robotic Cassini spacecraft arrives at the planet in 2004.  

 

 

The Hubble telescope was launched in 1990. 

On the Net: 

Hubble Space Telescope: http://hubble.stsci.edu/ 

Cassini: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/cassini/ 


Airlines held liable for asthmatic’s death

The Associated Press
Saturday June 09, 2001

LOS ANGELES — A federal judge ruled two airlines were liable for an elderly asthmatic’s death because they refused to let the woman carry a bag containing her medication on board and then baggage handlers lost the bag. 

U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder said Thursday that American Airlines and British West Indies Airlines were liable for the death of Caroline Neischer, 75, an Inglewood grandmother of 40 traveling from Los Angeles to Guyana for the wedding of a grandson. 

Neischer wanted to carry with her a bag with a special inhaler and medication she needed for her asthma, but a ticket agent forced her to check the regulation-sized bag and it wasn’t returned for two days, testimony showed. 

Both airlines were held liable even though it wasn’t clear whose agent forced her to part with the bag. An aviation litigation expert said it was the first time an airline had been held financially responsible for someone’s death because of mishandled luggage. 

“It should put all airlines on notice that medical equipment that is used in the active care of a passenger must be made sure to be at the right place at the right time,” said Ned Good, past president of the Consumer Attorneys of California. 

Neischer died Dec. 23, 1997, nine days after boarding a connecting flight from New York to Guyana. It was a trip she had made several times before, always carrying the same bag full of medication, court testimony showed. 

She was allowed to carry the bag on the flight from Los Angeles to New York, but an unidentified airline agent in New York forced her to check the bag, testimony showed. 

Neither the lawsuit nor court testimony gave any rationale for why an airline employee would have prevented Neischer from carrying her medication onto the flight with her. 

During the trial, lawyers representing the airlines said that Neischer had a preexisting condition that helped contribute to her death, and that she contracted a respiratory infection during the flight that the missing medication would not have alleviated. 

Lawyers for both airlines had no comment after the judge’s verdict. 

“Someone insisted she relinquish her bag, which she did, kicking and screaming. They promised her it would be there when she got to Guyana. When she arrived, all of her bags were missing, including the carryon,” said attorney Bruce Altschuler, who represented Neischer’s daughter, Florence Prescod, in the wrongful death suit. 

Neischer’s bag with the medication finally arrived in Guyana two days after her arrival, by which time she was already suffering from acute anxiety and breathing problems. She entered a Guyana hospital, where she died a week later. 

All claims stemming from international air travel are governed by the Warsaw Convention of 1929, which imposes a $75,000 per-passenger limit on liability. Families can seek more if the airline is engaged in willful misconduct. 

In her ruling after the nonjury trial, Snyder concluded that the two airlines were liable for Neischer’s death because they had been put on notice that she needed her medication to breathe and then ignored her requests before misplacing the bag. 

Had Neischer been allowed to take her bag on board, Snyder ruled, “it is probable that she would not have died on Dec. 23, 1997.” 

Neischer’s family was awarded about $170,000 based on her earnings and life expectancy of eight more years. 


Trial of alleged synagogue bombers delayed

The Associated Press
Saturday June 09, 2001

SACRAMENTO — A federal judge has postponed the trial of a man accused of firebombing three Sacramento synagogues until October. 

U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell Jr. ruled Friday that the trial of James Tyler Williams, 31, should be delayed after his lawyers said they needed time to analyze FBI tests of a pair of coveralls prosecutors claim links Williams to the crimes. 

Burrell did rule, however, that jury selection will begin as scheduled July 17. 

Williams and his brother, 33-year-old Benjamin Matthew Williams, are accused of torching Congregation B’nai Israel, Kenesset Israel Torah Center and Congregation Beth Shalom in June, 1999.  

They are also charged with the shooting deaths of two gay men in Happy Valley. 

They have been held in a Shasta County jail since their arrests July 7, 1999 in connection with the murders. 

Burrell delayed the trial owing to a pair of coveralls found during a July 1999 search of Williams’ parents’ home near Redding. 

The coveralls allegedly contained fragments of glass similar to glass found at one or more of the crime scenes. 

The FBI examined the clothing last August. Prosecutors presented the findings to defense lawyers Thursday. 

Williams’ lawyers told Burrell on Friday that the case against Williams is “circumstantial,” so any scientific evidence linking him to the arsons is “critical.”  

They said it will take two to three months to analyze the FBI test results and prepare to deal with this evidence at trial.


Charges dismissed against one SLA lawyer

The Associated Press
Saturday June 09, 2001

LOS ANGELES — A judge dismissed misdemeanor charges Friday against a lawyer for former SLA fugitive Sara Jane Olson after the city attorney’s office conceded she had nothing to do with the improper release of information in the Olson case. 

Shawn Snider Chapman said she was pleased to be exonerated but outraged that the charges were filed in the first place. 

She had been accused of releasing addresses and phone numbers of two police witnesses in the Olson attempted-murder case.  

The information was posted briefly on a Web site, but Chapman said from the beginning she was not involved. 

The three counts were filed under a penal code section that prohibits attorneys from releasing such information. Chapman could have faced up to a year in jail if convicted. 

Her co-counsel, J.Tony Serra, who remains charged, has said the information came from his San Francisco office and was inadvertently released. 

“We’ve received significant additional evidence,” Deputy City Attorney Edward Gauthier said at a hearing. ”... We’re convinced Ms. Chapman had nothing to do with this.” 

Superior Court Judge William C. Ryan dismissed the charges. 

Serra’s trial is set for July 30 before Ryan.  

The lawyer has said that if he is convicted he will step out of the Olson case due to conflict of interest. 

Meanwhile, the California State Bar continues to investigate both lawyers on the issue of the release of addresses and phone numbers.  

Chapman said the Olson case can’t proceed until that probe is resolved. 

Chapman and her lawyer, Dean Masserman, told reporters that the city attorney’s office never consulted them before filing the charges against her. 

“The fact that the charges have been dismissed shows that what I said was true, the charges were groundless,” said Chapman.  

“If the city attorney had contacted us before filing, they would have known this before dragging my name through the mud.” 

She said the charges damaged her professional reputation, dismayed her family and distracted her and Serra from preparations for the Olson trial. 

“This has thrown a giant monkey wrench into the Olson trial,” she said. 

Gauthier refused comment outside court. 

Chapman and Masserman said they suspected that the mayoral candidacy of City Attorney James Hahn affected the decision to file the charges. 

“I think the motive was to please these police officers,” said Chapman. “The timing was suspect because the trial was coming up and so was the mayoral election.” 

Hahn, who won the election Tuesday, was supported by the police union. His spokesman did not immediately return a call for comment. 

The Olson case has been plagued with delays and lawyer substitutions during the two years since her arrest on charges in a 1976 indictment. It is now scheduled for Sept. 4. 

Olson, 54, is accused of attempting to murder Los Angeles police officers by planting bombs under police cars in 1975 in retaliation for the deaths of six SLA members in a fiery shootout in 1974. The bombs did not explode. 

Indicted under her former name, Kathleen Soliah, she remained a fugitive until her 1999 capture in Minnesota.


Judge sets deadline for Disney to turn in injury data

The Associated Press
Saturday June 09, 2001

LOS ANGELES — A Superior Court judge has set a deadline for the Walt Disney Co. to turn over a list of patrons who suffered brain hemorrhages after riding on park attractions. 

Judge Madeleine Flier ordered the company to turn over a detailed list by June 25 as part of a civil lawsuit that was brought by a San Diego woman who claims she was injured on the “Indiana Jones Adventure” ride at Disneyland and needed intensive medical care almost two years later. 

Flier imposed a $2,500 fine on Disney May 25, accusing the company of repeatedly hindering release of the information. It is the second time Disney has been sanctioned in the case for failing to provide adequate information. 

Deborah Bynum, 45, claims she developed an aneurysm and severe brain bleeding after going on the jarring, rattling ride in November 1998.  

Her attorney, Barry Novack, said the injury threatens to destroy her dream of becoming a math teacher. 

Bynum and her husband, Curtis, who’s in the Navy, are seeking unspecified punitive damages and reimbursement for medical expenses and loss of earning capacity. 

Disney gave Novack a list, with few details, of eight reports of brain hemorrhaging on rides – seven at Disneyland and one at Disney World in Florida.  

He said the list differed vastly from his research, which revealed Disney had received 313 report of various injuries on the Indiana Jones ride. 

Disneyland spokesman Ray Gomez conceded the list was incomplete, saying the company relied on computer searches of claims made at the theme parks in Anaheim and Orlando. 

He said the company is manually reviewing all the claims. 

Novack said he first asked Disney for the documents 10 months ago. In February, a judge sanctioned Disney $1,523 for failing to provide the information. 

Disney provided a list of eight incidents in May, but Flier issued the second sanction in May after calling Disney’s responses “too equivocal” and “very unimpressive.” 

“There must be an effort to look up what it is that you’re being asked to look up,” she said.


1,660 bills make it past legislative deadline

The Associated Press
Saturday June 09, 2001

SACRAMENTO — Bills helping overworked nurses, nursing mothers, ferrets, shepherds, backpack-lugging students and supporters of an official state tartan have survived a major legislative deadline. 

Also still moving are measures that would require licensing of handgun buyers, set nursing home staffing standards, limit secret settlements of product-defect lawsuits and make kindergarten mandatory. 

But hundreds of bills will have to wait until next year for a chance to become law. 

Friday was the deadline for most bills to pass their initial house. A total of 1,660 made it; more than 1,300 didn’t. 

The deadline doesn’t cover emergency legislation, constitutional amendments and energy-related bills introduced in the special session that’s running concurrently with lawmakers’ regulator session. 

The bills that made it include measures that would bar mandatory overtime for nurses except during a government-declared emergency and require businesses to provide facilities and breaks to allow working mothers to pump breast milk. 

Another measure would allow Californians who owned a ferret before May 1 to legally keep it if it’s spayed or neutered. California is one of two states that bars the small, weasel-like animals as pets. 

A bill to improve working conditions for the state’s approximately 800 shepherds got out of the Assembly. It would require meal breaks and set housing standards for the shepherds, who now work “virtually as indentured servants,” according to the bill’s author, Assemblyman Paul Koretz, D-West Hollywood. 

Another bill passed by the Assembly in the weeks leading up to the deadline would require a study to determine if carrying book-filled backpacks hurts students’ backs. Many schools have removed their lockers, forcing students to carry their books around all day. 

California has 23 official state things, including a flag, motto, dance and song.  

The Assembly thinks it also an official state tartan: a brightly colored plaid pattern like those used in Scottish kilts, to honor the contributions of Californians of Celtic heritage. 

Both houses approved different bills requiring handgun buyers to give a thumbprint and get a state license. Supporters say the measures would make it tougher for people with criminal records to buy guns. 

The two houses also passed different measures limiting confidential settlements of product-liability lawsuits.  

Supporters say the bills would keep companies from hiding product defects from the public, but critics say they could give business competitors access to sensitive information. 

About 95 percent of California children attend kindergarten, but it’s not mandatory. That would change if a bill approved by the Assembly becomes law.  

The measure’s supporters say all children should be attending to avoid falling behind their classmates. 

A bill setting nursing home staffing standards as tough as one caregiver for each five patients also made it out of the Assembly.  

The bill’s supporters say California nursing homes rank near the bottom of the country in quality of care. 

Among the hundreds of bills left behind were measures to ban the use of hand-held cellular telephones while driving, exempt drug possession charges from the state Three Strikes sentencing law, bar telemarketers from calling consumers on a state do-not-call list, and bar the access of minors to video games that contain graphic violence or explicit sex. 

This year’s regular legislative session is scheduled to end on Sept. 14. Bills not enacted by then can be approved in 2002. 

 

WHAT SURVIVED, WHAT DIDN’T 

Some of the bills that survived and didn’t survive the Legislature’s deadline for bills to pass their first house: 

The survivors include bills that would: 

• Require health insurance plans to cover treatment of drug and alcohol abuse. 

• Make medical patients and their caregivers immune from arrest on state marijuana-use charges if they joined a state registry designed  

to improve California’s medical marijuana law. 

• Require handgun buyers to give a thumbprint and get a state license. 

• Set nursing home staffings standards. 

• Limit confidential settlements of product-defect lawsuits. 

• Bar mandatory overtime for nurses except during a government-declared emergency. 

• Require banks and other financial institutions to get written permission from their customers before releasing information about them. 

• Expand the legal rights of gay and senior couples who register with the state as domestic partners. 

• Try to combat student obesity by limiting the fat and sugar in much of the food served at California schools. 

• Attempt to improve the state’s foster care programs, in part by reducing social workers’ child welfare case loads. 

• Extend the middle-school year by 20 days instead of the 30 suggested by Gov. Gray Davis. 

• Bar Internet gambling. 

• Reduce the sales tax on tractors and other farm equipment. 

 

Bills left behind include measures that would: 

 

• Ban the use of hand-held cellular telephones while driving. 

• Exempt drug possession from the Three Strikes prison sentencing law. 

• Bar telemarketers from calling consumers on a state do-not-call list. 

• Bar access of minors to video games that contain graphic violence or explicit sex.


Jury convicts foster mother in death of 4-year-old boy

The Associated Press
Saturday June 09, 2001

RIVERSIDE — Jurors needed two hours to convict a Perris foster mother in the 1999 beating death of a 4-year-old boy. 

A Superior Court jury on Thursday convicted Theresa Barroso, 24, of murder, torture and assault of a child. Sentencing was set for Sept. 7. 

After the verdict, Judge Russell Schooling commended jurors for enduring explicit testimony and heart-wrenching photographs admitted as evidence. 

“This was a very difficult case for you, for the attorneys, and for me,” he said. 

A jury hearing a case against Barroso’s husband, Alvin Lee Robinson, 28, are set to hear closing arguments and will begin deliberations next week. 

“She completely maintains her innocence and states 100 percent that Alvin killed Andy,” said Barroso’s attorney Peter Scalisi. 

Andy’s death uncovered a flawed Riverside County foster-care licensing process that failed to uncover Barroso’s troubled marriage to Robinson and his misdemeanor conviction for vandalism. 

Gov. Gray Davis signed a law last September introduced by Assemblyman Rod Pacheco, R-Riverside, after Andy’s killing. It helps fund background checks from the state Department of Justice for potential foster parents. 

Andy was in Barroso’s care only two months. The boy had toilent-training setbacks and irritated the couple with his requests for drinks of water. The boy was kicked off a small blue chair by Barroso, who authorities said weighed about 300 pounds at the time. Andy later died when his head struck a dresser. 

Andy’s limp body and swollen scrotum were smeared with dirt to make it appear he had fallen while playing outside the house. He died Aug. 2, 1999. 

Andy lived in Hemet with his parents, Laura Utley and Thomas L. “Cowboy” Setzer as a 1-year-old. When social workers found filth and syringes in the apartment, Andy was removed from the home and was sent to live with a relative in Hemet and later lived with a Menifee couple, Mike and Lynn Henry, who wanted to adopt him. Social workers decided Andy would be better off elsewhere and sent him to live with Barroso and Robinson. 


Bears make a splash in LA

The Associated Press
Saturday June 09, 2001

BRADBURY— A couple of bears took off early from the forest Friday and headed into the city for dip and a bite to eat. 

The 300-pound black bears began wandering Los Angeles suburbs in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains at midmorning and one paddled around a backyard pool before they separated and ambled back into the wilderness at midafternoon. 

“They are just roaming, looking for food,” sheriff’s Lt. Debra Lenhart said. “They come down at least once a month. We are so close to the mountains. And they like to cool off in the pools.” 

State Fish and Game workers monitored the bears and authorities asked residents to stay in their homes while the animals were in the area. Schools were also notified. 

Officials reminded people not feed any bears that come down from the mountains. 

Bears that repeatedly wander out of the 694,000-acre Angeles National Forest and find suburban amenities too alluring can face big trouble. 

A bear with a fondness for hot tubs in neighboring Monrovia faced a death sentence after his 1994 capture, but a campaign by children won a reprieve from the governor’s office. 

Dubbed Samson, the big bear became the star attraction of the Orange County Zoo until he was euthanized last month at age 27. 

Bradbury is 21 miles east of Los Angeles.


Investigation shows Florida voting plagued

The Associated Press
Saturday June 09, 2001

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights approved a report Friday that found black voters’ ballots were disproportionately tossed out in Florida’s presidential elections and suggested widespread violations of the Voting Rights Act. 

The commission’s six-month investigation of the contested Florida vote found the election was plagued by faulty machinery, problems with access to polling places, faulty purging of voter rolls and a lack of attention by state and county officials to evidence that growing numbers of voters would overwhelm outdated systems. 

The commission adopted the report by a 6-2 vote, with both members appointed by Republicans voting no. 

“We will send this report to the attorney general, president and Congress,” said Chairwoman Mary Frances Berry. “We will request a meeting with the attorney general.” 

She said she hopes the report, which offered criticism of both Republican state officials and Democratic county officials, will spark a renewed interest in changing election laws and procedures. The commission will make specific recommendations to Congress after its next meeting. 

She said that since the disputed elections “one of the most disappointing things to me is that I thought there would be more interest in electoral reform.” 

The commission is asking the Justice Department to investigate the problems in Florida, determine whether the disparities were intentional and suggest what remedies might be needed. 

The department said it hadn’t received the request for a meeting, but has been investigating complaints about the Florida election for months. The department is still investigating about a dozen of these complaints, but has dealt with the others, said Dan Nelson, a spokesman for the civil rights division. 

The two members of the commission appointed by Republicans, Abigail Thernstrom and Russell Redenbaugh, said they didn’t accept the report’s findings and planned to offer a dissenting opinion later. 

“The evidence from the hearings does not support the findings of this report,” Redenbaugh said. 

Berry said she was pleased with the steps Florida has taken in ordering new modern equipment and setting aside money for voter education and poll worker training. But she said the state has not addressed access problems for the disabled, a lack of bilingual help for voters at the polls and a need for better monitoring of purges of voter rolls to remove felons. The report said Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Secretary of State Katherine Harris ignored warning signs of problems and pleas for help from county officials. 

Bush and Harris responded earlier this week that they felt the commission report was the work of a partisan group. The commission has four Democrats, three independents and one Republican. Bush’s office had no immediate response Friday. 

The commission is considering what other states it should visit to examine election problems from last year, and plans to revisit Florida to see how changes are progressing. 

“We plan to stick with this through the 2002 elections,” she said, noting that she’s heard from members of Congress including Chris Dodd, the new chairman of the Senate Rules Committee who plans to push for federal action on election law changes. 

 

The commission heard from Allan Lichtman, a history professor at American University, who analyzed the Florida vote data for the commission — especially in three counties with some of the highest rates of discounted ballots — Duval County (Jacksonville), Palm Beach County and Miami-Dade County. 

Lichtman said there was a “tremendous disparity” between the rates at which black and nonblack votes were not counted. 

“I was quite amazed by what I found,” said Lichtman. For example, he said, in Duval County about one in five ballots cast by blacks was not counted. 

The rate of black votes rejected was sometimes as much as three times or more the rate of nonblack votes rejected. 

——— 

On The Net: Civil Rights Commission — http://www.usccr.gov 


McCain campaign veterans say GOP departure unlikely

The Associated Press
Saturday June 09, 2001

WASHINGTON — Around the country, top organizers in Sen. John McCain’s failed presidential bid say they feel it’s very unlikely he would leave the Republican Party to run for president in 2004 as an independent. 

Political speculation went into overdrive last weekend about McCain, who sparked intense excitement among moderate Republicans, independents and some Democrats during the 2000 campaign. McCain had an extended visit at his Arizona home with Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, a Democrat, at the same time as news reports that some supporters were talking informally about a possible McCain run as an independent. 

Some analysts still predict it’s more of a question of when McCain will do that, rather than if he will. But close friends and advisers from around the country aren’t convinced. 

“I just don’t think there’s a chance that John will switch parties,” said Deb Gullett, an Arizona Republican lawmaker who was a longtime McCain staff member. “He’s spent his entire career trying to broaden the base of the Republican Party. I just don’t buy it. He’s totally ingrained in the goals of the party.” 

McCain said last weekend he has no intention of leaving the party and running for president as an independent. Close advisers say their speculative discussions of his future plans were blown out of proportion by the media, which had just feasted that week on the defection of Vermont Sen. James Jeffords from the GOP. 

The flurry of interest about McCain struck a nerve, however. 

“When I heard it on the radio I was thrilled,” said Maureen Barrows, a McCain campaign organizer from Exeter, N.H. “I thought ... this is too good to be true.” 

Barrows drives around with her “McCain for President” bumper sticker and frequently gets a honk of appreciation from passing motorists. 

McCain won the New Hampshire primary last year before ultimately losing the GOP nomination to George W. Bush. 

“There’s certainly a huge constituency that would support him,” said the Republican, a county commissioner in Rockingham County. 

When a trailer featuring McCain talking about gun safety was shown at a Washington movie theater last weekend before “Pearl Harbor,” the audience broke into scattered applause and someone shouted: “McCain for President.” 

In Washington state, McCain supporter Ralph Monroe fielded calls from many Republicans over the weekend about the talk of McCain and the presidential race. 

“We had quite a number of calls to our home,” said Monroe, a businessman and former state co-chair with his wife for McCain. “They trust John McCain and realize he’s trying to move the Republican Party back to the middle.” 

Monroe said he believes McCain will remain the Republican Party’s power broker, but noted: “I think that John McCain has a very dedicated group of followers all across America, and wherever he wants to go, they will follow.” 

In Michigan, state Sen. John Schwarz said he thinks the recent McCain activity has been about pulling the GOP back toward the center, not a prelude to an independent run. 

“He has his pulse on where the majority of people are more than the party does right now,” said Schwarz, who was a co-chairman of McCain’s Michigan campaign. “The party would be well served to swing the turret more toward the middle.” 

While many McCain supporters said they don’t anticipate anything as dramatic as an independent presidential candidacy, former New Hampshire McCain chairman Peter Spalding said it’s impossible to rule it out. 

“It’s so dependent on what type of position President Bush is in a couple of years from now and what happens in the midterm elections,” he said. “If the Republicans hold their own, it takes some of the steam out of a candidacy by McCain.” 

An independent run for president just isn’t a good fit, say longtime McCain friends like Hank Brown, a former U.S. senator from Colorado who now serves as president of the University of Northern Colorado. 

“I know John McCain well and I think it doesn’t fit who he is,” Brown said. “I think it’s silly speculation by those who don’t know John McCain very well.” 

Autoworker Kenneth Taylor of Lansing, Mich., an independent who often votes Democratic, backed McCain in the Michigan primary and says he would love to see McCain try again. 

“He’s a determined enough individual he might just do it to prove to himself he could do it,” Taylor said. 

“He may have been the son of an admiral, but he made it through six years of prison and he didn’t fold,” Taylor said McCain’s POW experience in the Vietnam War. “I was attracted to that.” 

——— 

EDITOR’S NOTE — Will Lester covers polling and politics for The Associated Press. 


More global warming research proposed

The Associated Press
Saturday June 09, 2001

WASHINGTON — As President Bush prepares for a potentially contentious European trip, the White House and congressional leaders sought to soothe the environmental worries of allies Friday by promising more money for research and technology on global warming. 

Bush plans to commit the United States to combat the global warming problem and announce new money for research and technology aimed at reducing climate change, advisers said in advance of his Monday trip. Bearing similar goals, Sens. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., and Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, proposed Friday to spend nearly $5 billion over the next decade to invent cutting-edge technologies. 

Senior White House officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Bush will announce new money to advance scientific research and encourage new technologies to combat global warming. They would not say how much he was proposing,  

but said it was dramatically  

lower than the Byrd- 

Stevens package. 

That package would create “a major research effort to invent the advanced technologies that we will need to begin to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming,” Byrd said. 

“It is virtually indisputable that atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide are rising and that mankind is contributing to this rise,” he said. Global warming refers to a rise in the Earth’s temperature that many scientists blame on heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere resulting from the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities. 

A report from the National Academy of Sciences that had been requested by the White House concluded that the Earth’s temperature is rising, mainly because of human activities, and dire climate changes could occur this century. Bush had expressed skepticism about global warming and requested the report to determine the science behind the phenomenon. 

Hours before leaving for a round of talks in Europe in the coming week,  

 

 

Bush will meet with his global warming task force to announce the proposal and commit the United States to helping to solve the problem, aides said Friday. 

Bush hopes to ease tension with U.S. allies by agreeing that there is a problem — even if his solution lacks the regulatory teeth of the international pact negotiated in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, requiring industrial nations to reduce greenhouse gases by specified amounts. 

He and several Cabinet members last week were preparing a new position on global warming that, unlike Kyoto’s mandates, offers mostly voluntary initiatives and flexible emissions caps for polluters as an alternative to Kyoto’s mandates. 

“My expectation has been they would announce principles first,” said Kevin Fay, executive director of the International Climate Change Partnership, who has discussed the issue with the White House. “They’re looking to beef up what they can do domestically, then re-engage in the international process.” 

Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, which represents several multinational corporations that favor the Kyoto approach, said: “There is a lot of interest in having the president say something before he goes to Europe.” 

“My sense is nothing is off the table. There’s still a range of voluntary programs all the way to regulatory programs,” said Claussen, who also has been involved in White House talks. “The litmus test is really whether we’re going to do something that’s mandatory.” 

Five months before the 1997 pact was signed, Byrd and Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., co-authored a Senate resolution saying any global warming accord mandating greenhouse gas reductions for industrial countries should also require them for developing nations. 

Now, Byrd and Stevens hope their legislation — focusing on emissions reductions, technology innovation, climate adaptation and resolving lingering scientific uncertainty — will help steer the administration. 

“This is a major positive step. It’s a powerful policy statement that these two senators aren’t going to watch President Bush fiddle while the planet burns,” said David Hawkins, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Climate Center. 

After backing out of an international climate change treaty and breaking a campaign pledge to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, Bush’s job approval ratings fell and European allies were outraged. 

——— 

On the Net: 

EPA: http://www.epa.gov/globalwarming 

National Academy: http://www.nationalacademies.org 

United Nations: http://www.ipcc.ch 


Preparations finalized for McVeigh execution

The Associated Press
Saturday June 09, 2001

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Timothy McVeigh awaited transfer Friday to the windowless brick building where he will be put to death – a journey that will be his last chance to see the sky and breathe fresh air. 

The 33-year-old McVeigh abandoned all efforts Thursday to stave off execution for the Oklahoma City bombing after back-to-back defeats in court. 

He is set to die by chemical injection at 8 a.m. EDT Monday in the first execution carried out by the federal government since 1963. Prison officials said the chemicals that will be used for the execution have already arrived. 

McVeigh is expected to be moved from his cell to the death house no later than Sunday morning, 24 hours before the execution. Prison officials would not say exactly when he would be moved, citing security concerns. 

McVeigh has already instructed prison officials on what he wants done with his body, his money and any belongings.  

Prison officials and McVeigh’s lawyers would not say what will happen to the body other than that it will be turned over to a representative of the family. 

Before his original execution date a month ago, McVeigh had given away most of his belongings to fellow death row inmates, including a picture of himself inscribed with the words: “My head has been bloodied, but it remains unbowed.” 

A final meal of his choosing will be served at noon on Sunday. U.S. Bureau of Prisons spokesman Dan Dunne said McVeigh has not yet selected his meal. 

One complication surfaced Friday, when a federal judge in Pittsburgh ordered the execution videotaped for a case alleging the death penalty violates the ban on cruel and unusual punishment. But an appeals judge delayed the order Friday and a panel of judges later overturned it, blocking the videotaping. 

Also, one of the people McVeigh selected to witness his execution, author Gore Vidal, announced that he would not be coming to Terre Haute. Vidal is writing a story about McVeigh for Vanity Fair magazine. 

The magazine released a statement Friday saying that Vidal is unable to make the trip from his home in Italy because he didn’t have enough advance notice. 

Jim Cross, special assistant at the federal prison, said McVeigh had to submit his list of witnesses 30 days before the execution. He said it will be up to the warden whether McVeigh is allowed to substitute another witness. 

McVeigh was convicted of murder and condemned for the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building that killed 168 people in the deadliest act of terrorism on U.S. soil. 

In Oklahoma City, about 300 survivors and bombing victims’ relatives will watch the execution on a secure, closed-circuit TV broadcast. 

“I’ve heard some people kind of plan to celebrate, and that’s up to every individual,” said Tom Kight, who lost a stepdaughter in the bombing. “I certainly plan no celebration.” 

For security reasons, government offices in and around Terre Haute will be closed on Monday, and the start of summer school was postponed for a day. 

McVeigh has been housed in the federal death row Special Confinement Unit — known as “Dog” unit because it was once the “D” wing of the prison — since July 1999, when he and the 19 other men facing federal death sentences were moved to Terre Haute. 

For the transfer to the death house, McVeigh will be shackled at the arms and legs and swiftly moved past the cells of several of the death row inmates he has come to know. He will step outside briefly, then enter a prison van where his view through the windows will be obscured by heavy metal grilles. He will not be visible to any of the 1,300 other prisoners. 

This carefully choreographed transfer, in which McVeigh will travel only about 500 yards, has been planned since 1993, practiced repeatedly so everyone knows where to be from the moment McVeigh leaves his cell until guards close the door on his 9-by-14-foot holding cell in the death house. 

“There’s a team of people who’ve been formulated for the purpose of this execution,” Dunne said. “They’ve been trained here, we’ve done mock exercises and we’re training this week, just to ensure that everything is done in a coordinated manner.” 


Schools cut back on PB-and-J because of allergic kids

The Associated Press
Saturday June 09, 2001

RYE BROOK, N.Y. — The stickiest problem at Ridge Street Elementary School this year wasn’t discipline in the classroom. It was peanut butter in the lunchroom. 

In a situation repeated in schools across the nation, families debated the right to safeguard a profoundly allergic child versus the right to eat a sandwich made with the all-American spread. 

“We were obligated, legally and ethically, to be responsive to this child’s needs,” Principal Roberta Kirshbaum said.  

“I would say 95 percent of our population became educated and supportive and the other 5 percent found it just didn’t fit with them.” 

The discussion at Ridge Street started when a 5-year-old girl, so allergic she could die if she licked peanut butter from a fingertip, entered kindergarten.  

Her parents alerted school officials in advance. 

“I approached them with my daughter’s medical history, and knowing what needed to be done to make her safe,” said the mother, who asked not to be identified to protect her daughter’s privacy.  

The girl couldn’t come into contact with peanut butter or anything with peanut oil. 

So the school stopped selling peanut butter sandwiches and other peanut products, set up a “peanut-free table” covered with medical-exam paper in the lunchroom, and urged parents not to pack peanut-based lunches and snacks. If kindergartners came in with peanut lunches, they were sent to a separate room to eat. 

Several parents objected, saying that their kids were being pressured into giving up peanut butter entirely and that they hadn’t had time to prepare. 

Caryn Furst said her daughter has a metabolic disorder, needs protein at every meal and would eat only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. 

“She had to have it,” Furst said. “A lot of parents are trying to be sensitive, but if you’ve got a child who wants peanut butter – that’s it.” 

Ultimately, all sides came to terms. “We did a lot of education,” Kirshbaum said, “and we tried to compromise to the extent that nobody got hurt.” 

Three million Americans are allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, and about 75 die each year from reactions that lead to anaphylactic shock.  

Thousands of kids now carry EpiPens – emergency doses of epinephrine in a spring-loaded injector – or store them with the school nurse. 

The importance of protecting allergic children was vividly demonstrated last month in Spokane, Wash., when a 9-year-old boy, known to be allergic, died after being given a peanut butter cookie during a field trip. 

Some other foods can kill, but nuts seem to be a prime danger. And it is peanut butter, long a favorite with kids and the adults who pack their lunches, that has put schools in the middle. 

“It’s the all-American sandwich,” said Carla Blaha of Ossining, who founded a support group for parents after her son was diagnosed.  

“You tell people, ‘This can kill my son’ and still it doesn’t click that actually something like peanut butter can kill someone.” 

Some schools have declared themselves “peanut-free,” though most are coming up with a more moderate policy. 

Schools that haven’t had a dangerously allergic pupil can expect one soon. 

“I think every school at some time will be affected,” said Joseph Rowe, principal of Stedwick Elementary School in Gaithersburg, Md., who was confronted two years ago with a severely allergic first-grader. 

Peanut allergies among schoolchildren were “barely on the radar” a decade ago, said Dr. Robert Goldman, a New York allergist and immunologist who specializes in pediatric cases. 

“Now I’m seeing a tremendous number of cases,” he said. “It seems like the incidence is really increasing. As to why, I don’t think anyone in the world could tell you for sure.” 

Among the theories offered: Modern agriculture has changed the peanut itself, or the human immune system is trying to find something to attack in an age of vaccinations.  

Skeptics suggest children are simply being taken to doctors and diagnosed more often. 

Some children are so sensitive that they react to vapors from peanut shells. Dr. Clifford Bassett, an allergist at New York University Medical Center, said one-five-thousandth of a teaspoon of a food containing peanuts is enough to kill some people. 

 

 

 

On the Net: 

American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology: http://www.aaaai.org 

American Peanut Council: http://www.peanutsusa.com 

Distributor of EpiPen: http://www.deyinc.com 

Family discussion board: http://www.peanutallergy.com/bbpage.htm


Juniper Networks warns on earnings, will cut jobs

The Associated Press
Saturday June 09, 2001

SAN JOSE — Network equipment maker Juniper Networks Inc. said Friday it will cut its work force by as much as 9 percent, or about 100 jobs, as second-quarter earnings and revenue will fall well below Wall Street expectations. 

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Juniper now expects revenue to range from $200 million to $210 million for the three months ending June 30.  

That’s down from original forecasts of $300 million to $330 million provided in its April earnings report. 

Earnings for the period will be 8 cents to 9 cents a share, sharply down from the 24 cents a share anticipated by analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call. 

The company said cost-cutting measures will include the job cuts and a one-time charge of up to $45 million. Juniper had 1,162 employees as of March 31. 

“Obviously we would prefer to be in markets that grow without hesitation or pause,” said Scott Kriens, chairman and CEO of Juniper Networks.  

“However, we remain committed to and capable of running the business profitably and successfully under all conditions, including this current period of absorption.” 

Shares of Juniper were down 18 percent, or $8.38, to $38.14, in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market. 

Network equipment makers such as Juniper and Cisco Systems Inc. were hard hit as the economy slowed down and the Internet bubble burst last year. 

Demand for routers, switches and other tools of the Net trade fell sharply after big network rollouts were canceled, dot coms failed and established companies saw no reason to continue expanding. 

Unlike the microprocessor industry, which has recently showed some signs of life, there’s no indication network equipment manufacturing companies have hit bottom, said Ashwin Navin, an analyst at Epoch Partners. 

“Things seem to be getting worse,” he said, adding he does not see a return to growth until the middle of next year. 

Kriens said the source of the weakness is not a loss of market share or fierce competition. 

“We have not caused anybody else’s slowdown in this market nor has any other company caused ours,” he said. “We are all in a market where less is being spent, and the money that is spent is being parted with much more carefully.” 

On the Net: 

Juniper Networks Inc.: http://www.juniper.net


Intel says it will meet expectations

The Associated Press
Saturday June 09, 2001

SAN JOSE — Intel Corp.’s revenue for the second quarter will be within forecasts, signaling a possible end to the months-long slide and a return to stability in the semiconductor industry. 

For the past three quarters, the world’s largest computer chip maker slashed its revenue estimates as demand for processors and other semiconductors declined amid an economic slowdown. 

But during Intel’s mid-quarter update Thursday, chief financial officer Andy Bryant said the company’s revenue, gross margins and expenses will fall within the low end of ranges provided in April. 

Intel said its core microprocessor business continued to show stability and is on target, while its smaller communications and networking segments are weaker than anticipated. The company reaffirmed its expectation of a stronger second half of the year. 

In April, Intel officials estimated revenue between $6.2 billion and $6.8 billion, a gross margin of about 49 percent and expenses between $2.2 billion and $2.3 billion. 

“The quarter is proceeding essentially as expected,” Bryant said. 

In recent months, high-tech companies including Intel have repeatedly warned that earnings and revenue expectations at the beginning of the quarter were not panning out toward the end. 

Intel’s latest announcement indicates that, for now, the company’s main businesses have stabilized enough to be predictable, Bryant said. 

Analysts and investors were anxiously awaiting Thursday’s report for any evidence of a turnaround or whether the slowdown would persist throughout the year. 

“It’s important because the keystone company in the sector is saying there’s no change in their outlook,” said Jonathan Joseph, an analyst at Salomon Smith Barney. 

Shares of Intel rose $1.76 to $32.92 in after-hours trading after closing up $1.34 at $31.16 on the Nasdaq Stock Market before the outlook was released. 

Intel could still run into pitfalls. Advanced Micro Devices Inc. is a stronger competitor than ever, and personal computer makers are lowering prices to attract customers. 

Also, computer maker Hewlett-Packard Co., an Intel customer, warned Wednesday demand is down in Europe, Asia and Latin America. That could lead to a lower demand for Intel’s products down the road. 

“Intel doesn’t sell PCs. They sell microprocessors,” said Dan Niles, a Lehman Brothers analyst. “It will take a while for them to see that because they’re one step removed.” 

Intel is scheduled to release its complete earnings July 17. 

——— 

On the Net: 

Intel: http://www.intel.com 


Iran’s reformist president headed for landslide victory

The Associated Press
Saturday June 09, 2001

TEHRAN, Iran — Reformist President Mohammad Khatami headed for a landslide victory in Iran Saturday, a widely expected result that would lend powerful support to his drive to bring more freedoms to the Islamic nation, according to early voting results. 

Final results in Friday’s balloting from at least six voting districts and one province showed Khatami with vote tallies ranging from 75 percent to 95 percent, according to the government-run Islamic Republic News Agency. 

The vote, which was expected to continue it lopsided trend, will give Khatami a mandate to push forward with his challenge to the controls of Iran’s conservative clerics and their tight grip on power. 

The results reported by IRNA came from the final count in polling districts inside towns and cities in southeastern and northeastern Iran. In addition, the agency also said Khatami received between 88 percent and 93 percent of thousands of votes from Iranians who cast ballots abroad. 

Illam Province in western Iran gave Khatami 80 percent of the vote, according to officials at the Interior Ministry who spoke on condition of anonymity. They added Qasr-e-Shirin, a town on the Iraqi border, went nearly 90 percent for Khatami. 

Khatami faced nine challengers who ranged from hard-liners to those seeking to fight corruption and improve the economy. 

Ahmad Tavakoli was running a distant second – with tallies ranging from 2 percent to 18 percent in the six districts and one province, according to IRNA. Tavakoli, an economist, had campaigned on pledges to improve the economy. 

Interior Ministry sources predicted that turnout from Friday’s election would surpass 70 percent – or 30 million of the 42.1 million Iranians who have reached the voting age of 16. 

In 1997, Khatami received nearly about 20 million votes, or 70 percent of those cast, en route to defeating a conservative opponent. 

Now, the real test begins for Khatami. 

Two potent forces – Khatami’s popular movement and the nation’s Islamic overseers – offer visions that seem difficult to reconcile and strike at the heart of how the country should be managed. 

Khatami sees an “Islamic democracy” with room for some Western-inspired rights, fewer social restrictions and better contacts with the West. Conservatives have reacted harshly against changes they fear could erode their enormous influence over nearly every aspect of life. 

But it’s unclear how far and fast can he integrate concepts of openness in a nation built upon the uncompromising values of an Islamic revolution 22 years ago. 

For reformists, the backdrop of the election was deeply symbolic and worrisome. Prominent activists and journalists languish in jail and dozens of publications remain banned. 

“It’s all about power and where it comes from – clerics or the people,” said a political analyst, Mohammad Hadi Semati. 

From sweltering Tehran neighborhoods to isolated mountain hamlets, more than 45,000 polling stations were set up. Helicopters carried ballot boxes to the most remote villages. Guards were given voting material for jailed dissidents and other prisoners, the Interior Ministry said. 

Voting tents were erected in desert outposts or in cemeteries for those taking part in the Friday ritual of visiting family graves. 

The most senior dissident cleric, Grand Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri, voted from his house arrest quarters in the holy city of Qom, the nation’s center of Islamic study. 

“Democracy and freedom have not been implemented,” Montazeri wrote in a communique sent to The Associated Press. 

Also at stake were 16 parliament seats and two seats on the panel that elects the supreme leader. 

The wild card is Khatami’s huge popularity, which has clearly shaken up the political status quo. 

“This vote should convince the unpopular hard-liners to stop standing against the people’s wishes,” said a Khatami supporter in Tehran, 18-year-old Hussein Dadi. 

Young women wearing makeup and brightly colored head scarves — a sign of the easing social rules under Khatami — came to watch him vote. 

“We love you,” they chanted to Khatami, a 58-year-old, mid-ranking cleric who once served as culture minister. 

Young people represent the bedrock of Khatami’s support and form an awesome front. About 60 percent of Iran’s 62 million people are under 25 years old — too young to have direct connection with the revolution that toppled the U.S.-backed monarchy. 

——— 

On the Net: 

http://www.president.ir/ 

http://persia.org/khatami/ 


U.S. steps up Mideast efforts

The Associated Press
Saturday June 09, 2001

JERUSALEM — CIA chief George Tenet brought together Israeli and Palestinian security chiefs Friday in a high-level joint effort to stabilize a cease-fire and prepare the way for resuming peace negotiations. 

The three-way security meeting in the West Bank town of Ramallah came a day after Tenet met separately with Israeli and Palestinian leaders and security commanders. 

Tenet’s mediation sparked angry rallies by the Palestinian militant group Hamas, during which the CIA chief was burned in effigy. Hamas accused Tenet of trying to pit Palestinians against each other amid Israeli demands for a crackdown on militants, and it vowed the intefadeh, or uprising, would not stop. 

U.S. mediator William Burns held talks with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat after meeting earlier Friday with Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres 

The European Union has also taken a direct role: placing security experts at two West Bank friction points to help keep the cease-fire, EU and Palestinian officials said. 

Israel has rejected the presence of any international observers, and EU officials were careful to say the experts were not observers. 

Twenty-four Europeans are working to guarantee the cease-fire, particularly in the West Bank town of Beit Jalla and the Gaza Strip areas of Nitzarim settlement and Rafah, a Palestinian political official said on condition of anonymity. The EU teams have met regularly with Palestinian security and reviewed patrols on the ground, where Palestinian police have been trying to keep gunmen from nearing flashpoints, Palestinian officials said. 

Israel declared a unilateral cease-fire on May 22.  

Arafat called for an end to violence June 1, after a suicide bomber killed 20 Israelis in an attack on a Tel Aviv beachfront disco. 

Violence continued Friday at a relatively low ebb. A roadside shooting near Ofra settlement outside the West Bank town of Ramallah injured an Israeli civilian, the army said. 

 

In the Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis, two Palestinians were wounded when Israeli soldiers fired bullets and tear gas at youths throwing stones after Friday prayers. Dr. Khalil Moussa of Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis said the two had been hit with live ammunition. Overnight, Palestinians fired mortar shells at an Israeli military outpost and a Jewish settlement in Gaza and set off an explosive near another base. 

About 2,000 Palestinians joined a Hamas rally in Ramallah, burning a U.S. flag, Tenet’s picture and a banner that read “Tenet go home.” A cardboard and paper model of site of the Tel Aviv bombing was doused with fuel and set ablaze. 

In the West Bank town of Nablus, about 500 people demonstrated, burning Tenet in effigy and urging him in chants “not to equate the killer with the victim.” 

Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi, a Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, said Tenet’s visit won’t stop the Palestinian uprising. 

“This man and his administration are trying to turn our struggle against the Zionist occupiers into a Palestinian-Palestinian struggle by inciting the brothers in the Palestinian National Authority against their own people,” al-Rantissi said. “This man will fail to do so.” 

Nabil Aburdeneh, an aide to Arafat, said further U.S. involvement is needed to bolster the cease-fire: “This a good opportunity, but it’s still like sand in the wind.” 

Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer charged that radical Islamic groups, along with Arafat’s Force 17 guard unit are still carrying out attacks and planning more. He said Israeli intelligence has picked up more warnings about attacks in recent days than ever before, and he blamed Arafat. 

“If he wants, tomorrow morning (there will be) total silence,” Ben-Eliezer said. 

Palestinian Cabinet minister Nabil Shaath complained that even though Arafat took risks to declare a cease-fire, the Israelis keep criticizing him. 

“Since the cease-fire started, not even an encouragement by the Israeli leadership has been given. ... On the contrary. It’s always insults,” he said. 

In meetings with Tenet on Thursday, the Israelis handed over a list of several dozen Palestinian militants, demanding that Arafat’s police arrest them, said Raanan Gissin, a senior aide to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. 

The Palestinians refused to consider making arrests, saying they were responsible for their people’s security, not Israel’s. 

Palestinians have told Tenet that the security and political aspects of the conflict must not be separated, according to a participant, who insisted on anonymity. The Palestinians want Israel to commit to confidence-building measures, especially a freeze in Jewish settlement construction. Israel demands a full stop to the violence first. 

Since the fighting began on Sept. 28, 592 people have been killed. 


Police begin probe into school stabbings

The Associated Press
Saturday June 09, 2001

IKEDA, Japan — In 15 minutes of horror, a man brandishing a kitchen knife walked into an elementary school Friday and wordlessly began slashing at students, killing eight young children. 

The attack, during which the man made his way through four classrooms before being subdued by a teacher and a vice principal, was the worst mass killing in Japan since a deadly nerve gas attack on Tokyo’s subways six years ago. 

Fifteen people – 13 children and two teachers – were wounded, and eight remained in serious condition Saturday. The suspect, a 37-year-old unemployed man with what police said was a history of mental problems, was taken into custody at the scene. 

An unidentified schoolgirl, talking to Japanese reporters, said that during the attack one student somehow managed to get onto the school’s public address system. 

“There was a shriek,” the girl said. “Then I heard a cry for help.” 

A group of bloodied children fled to a grocery store across the street in the mostly residential suburb of Ikeda, outside Japan’s second-largest city of Osaka, 255 miles west of Tokyo. 

“I saw one of them, a boy, with blood all over his body,” cashier Ikiyo Iriye said. “He had been stabbed in the back.” The dead children º seven girls and one boy º were first and second grader, ranging in age from 6 to 8. 

On Saturday, National broadcaster NHK television reported that it appeared from the location of stab wounds to the back that some of the children were chased down as they fled and that interrogation would focus on the motive for the attack. 

An Osaka prefectural (state) police spokesman could not confirm the contents of the report. However, police did say they were intensifying their investigation. 

Japan has long enjoyed a crime rate much lower than that of other developed nations, but that is changing. The Japanese are asking themselves why, and wondering what can be done about it. Violent crime is on the rise, and strict gun laws mean most of the attacks are committed with knives. 

Friday’s slashing was the deadliest mass assault in Japan since a doomsday cult released sarin gas on the Tokyo subways in 1995, killing 12 people and sickening thousands. 

The attack came as children were anticipating a day off Saturday for the annual local iris festival. The festival was canceled and classes were suspended indefinitely. 

Police identified the attacker as Mamoru Takuma and said he used a kitchen knife with a six-inch blade. After his arrest, he was taken to a hospital with what were reportedly self-inflicted wounds, then turned over to police, a blue hood hiding his head, blood splattered across his legs. 

It was not clear what might have led to the attack. Police said the suspect told them he had taken 10 times the daily dose of an unspecified anti-depressant. 

Takuma told police he was “sick of everything” and wanted to be caught and executed, a police official in Osaka said, speaking on condition of anonymity. He told police he had tried to kill himself repeatedly but always failed, the official said. 

Authorities said Takuma told police he’d been having trouble sleeping and considered trying to kill himself Friday morning, but then got in his car, put a bag holding the knife on the seat next to him and drove into Ikeda from his home in nearby Mino. 

Takuma was arrested in March 1999 and accused of putting a tranquilizer in the tea of four teachers at a school where he worked as a janitor, but he was never prosecuted because he had psychological problems, said Nobuharu Sugita, a police official in Itami, near Osaka. 

Two of the children stabbed Friday died at the scene. The other six died at a hospital, Fire Department spokesman Tetsuo Higashimoto said. 

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi called the attack “heartbreaking.” 

Osaka Gov. Fusae Ota said authorities were sending psychiatrists to offer counseling to the children. “We’re doing what we can for them,” she said. “This is unforgivable” 

The bloodshed began when the attacker walked into a ground-floor classroom from a terrace during a break in the morning lesson, while students sat in rows at their desks, police said. 

He began slashing at the children in the back of the room, then moved into the hall without saying a word, and made his way through three more classrooms before being subdued. 

After the attack, hundreds of children in navy school uniforms sat in rows on the playground as fellow students received treatment on stretchers nearby. Later, frantic parents raced into the hospital where the wounded children were taken. 

The mother of a 10-year-old fifth grader said her son told her he and his classmates were taking a break after a lesson when they were rushed out onto the playground. 

“He can’t believe something like that could have happened,” said the woman, who declined to give her name. “It’s almost like he was having a dream.” 

The elite school operated by Osaka Education University has nearly 700 students. 

“This kind of thing should never happen,” Education Minister Atsuko Toyama said. “Schools should be places where children can feel safe and secure.” 


SUMMER SESSIONS

Friday June 08, 2001

The members of Jsac from the Jazzschool jam during a free concert at the Downtown Berkeley BART Station on  

Thursday in front of a crowd of about 100 people. The weekly Summer Noon Concerts are sponsored by the Downtown Berkeley Association.


BHS crew heads to nationals

By Jared Green Daily Planet Staff
Friday June 08, 2001

 

 

As the only public school west of the Mississippi with a crew team, Berkeley High has a strong tradition that no other team in the area can boast. And now the ’Jackets are getting started on a new tradition: this weekend they will enter two boats in the U.S. Rowing Youth Invitational Championships in Cincinnati, their first trip to the national event since its inception. 

Thanks to their second-place finishes at the Southwest Regional Junior Rowing Association Championships at Lake Natoma three weeks ago, the men’s varsity four and men’s varsity double will race against the best the nation has to offer today and Saturday. The top two finishers from each of the nine regions in the country were invited to the event, and according to Berkeley’s coach, it didn’t take long for the ’Jackets to accept. 

“The kids were really excited about qualifying, and they asked immediately if we could go,” Eric Christiani, the boys’ third-year coach, said. “Their enthusiasm was very encouraging, because it’s not a position we’ve been in before. It basically comes down to three more weeks of waking up early and putting in the hard work.” 

But that hard work is just what one team member will remember the most. Matt Renner, the varsity four coxswain, said there was never a thought of turning down the chance to go to the nationals. 

“It’s exactly what I was wishing for,” said Renner, a senior who will be on the Cal team next year. “The hard work is one of the things I’m most proud of. Not everyone is willing to get up and practice six mornings a week, but I’ve never regretted a minute of it.” 

The varsity four boat will be manned by Eric Davidson, who will be Renner’s teammate at Cal next year, sophomore Jordan Bice, and juniors Yoshi Katsuura and David Gaber, with Renner at the helm. Katsuura and Bice will also row in the double boat.  

Renner and his oarsmen will have to adjust to using a different boat in Cincinnati. The boat they have used this season was brand new, purchased in large part thanks to a big fundraising effort by team member Brandon Caesar. The boat was named for Caesar’s father, Phillip, who passed away last year.  

But the team has no way of transporting the boat and will borrow one from a local club. In the Phillip Caesar, Renner sat in the bow; in the new boat, he will be in the stern. Renner said he didn’t know how big of a difference the new boat and the new position would make. 

With just two seniors among the five ’Jackets, Christiani hopes this won’t be a one-time visit to Cincinnati for the ’Jackets. 

“In some ways I’m approaching it as an important learning experience,” he said. “I hope we do as well as possible this year, but hopefully we’ll be back with an even larger team.” 

For Renner and Davidson, this will be their last race for Berkeley. Renner said it was a big goal for him to make it to nationals before he graduated. 

“I know a bunch of the alumni, and I think it’s great to be the first team in the school’s history to get to this point,” he said. “It seems like we’re always fighting from behind against the bigger private clubs, and it makes me proud because we’re so tough.”


Aroner: California must do more to stop AIDS

From the office of Assmblymember Dion Aroner:
Friday June 08, 2001

As California and the nation mark the 20th anniversary of the first reported cases of AIDS on June 5th, Assemblywoman Dion Aroner (D-Berkeley) expressed concern that California is failing to do all it can to prevent new HIV infections among its residents, and urged support for Assembly Bill 1292, the Pharmacy Sale and Disease Prevention Act (Aroner), which would allow for the sale of syringes at licensed pharmacies without a prescription.  

“Studies show that broadening access to sterile syringes helps prevent the spread of diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C, and yet California continues to be one of only six states that require a prescription to purchase syringes,” stated Aroner, who Chairs the Democratic Caucus. “As home to the first reported AIDS cases, you might think that California would lead the nation, but in this regard, we are lagging far behind. Unfortunately, this failure to lead is costing lives.” 

AB 1292 would allow licensed pharmacies to sell sterile syringes without a prescription, and would also protect individuals from prosecution for possessing syringes, which is currently a misdemeanor crime in California. AB 1292 would also require that pharmacists provide information to consumers about safe disposal of syringes and would allow pharmacists to provide information about the availability of drug treatment, HIV testing and other services in the area. Participation in the program by state-licensed pharmacists would be voluntary.  

"This bill recognizes the important role pharmacists play in public health and disease prevention,” said Elizabeth Johnson, Pharm.D., Senior Vice President of the California Pharmacists Association, which endorsed the bill. “By participating in such a program, pharmacists would not only help prevent HIV and hepatitis C among injection drug users, but would also provide an important service to diabetics and others with health conditions that require them to obtain prescriptions.” 

A new national survey by the independent Kaiser Family Foundation shows that 61 percent of Americans favor allowing injection drug users to purchase clean needles from a licensed pharmacist in order to stop the spread of HIV. Support for this policy is particularly strong among those in the Western region of the country, where 65% favor non-prescription sales (compared with 58 percent, 59 percent and 62 percent in the Midwest, South and Northeast, respectively). (Complete results of this HIV public opinion survey can be found on the Kaiser Family Foundation’s website at: www.kff.org/docs/AIDSat20) 

“On the issue of syringe access, public opinion is clearly ahead of public policy,” stated Aroner. “It’s time for the Legislature to follow the lead and adopt this important disease prevention measure.” 

State law in five states (California, Illinois, New Jersey, Delaware and Massachusetts) and pharmacy regulation in one (Pennsylvania) prohibit the sale of syringes without a prescription. Though originally designed to deter drug use, there is no evidence to suggest that prescription laws have led to lower levels of injections drug use in these six states.  

In contrast, evidence from Connecticut -- which amended its state law to allow for over-the-counter sale of syringes in 1992 – shows encouraging results. Following the change in state law, the percentage of injection drug users (IDUs) who reported syringe sharing during the past 30 days decreased by 40 percent (52 percent before versus 31percent after). In addition, more IDUs reported having purchased a syringe from a pharmacy after the new law (19 percent before versus 78 percent after) and fewer IDUs reported obtaining syringes from the street (74 percent before versus 31 percent after). Since Connecticut’s action, New York, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Rhode Island have also amended their state laws to allow for the sale of syringes through pharmacies without a prescription.  

Currently, injection drug users must purchase syringes on the streets, where quality is uncertain and costs are high. If they live in a community that has a needle exchange program, they may exchange used, potentially contaminated syringes for new ones in order to protect themselves from disease transmission. However, needle exchange programs are not available statewide due to California law that requires the declaration of a local emergency in order to legalize syringe exchange. 

*** 

Since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the first cases of AIDS on June 5, 1981, more than 120,800 Californians have been diagnosed with AIDS, the most advanced form of HIV disease, and nearly 74,000 have died. The California State Office of AIDS reports that 19 percent all AIDS cases were related to injection drug use with contaminated syringes. The link between injection drug use and HIV is particularly strong for women. In California, 37 percent of cumulative AIDS cases among women were IDU-related. 


City’s traffic management faces road blocks

By John Geluardi Daily Planet staff
Friday June 08, 2001

City Manager Weldon Rucker has taken steps to organize the city’s traffic and pedestrian safety efforts after two traffic specialists from different departments recently quit.  

“The structure we had was feeding the conflict between the traffic engineer and the transportation planner,” Rucker said. “It’s not a conflict of personalities, but philosophy, approach and priorities.” 

When Joe Kott, the city’s first transportation planner, quit on May 25, three weeks after he started, Rucker took steps to consolidate and organize the city’s traffic staff. During an exit interview, Kott told Rucker that the priorities of the Planning and Development Department were different than those of the Public Works Department. 

Kott said, in an interview on Thursday, the two departments were not at odds but their different priorities made it difficult for them to work together. 

Traffic Engineer Jeff Knolls, quit last December after eight months because he was offered a better paying position that was closer to his home. But Director of Public Works Rene Cardinaux said that Knolls also cited departmental organization as a factor in his leaving the city. 

Advance Planning Manager Karen Haney-Owens said there is a cultural difference between the two departments. She said the Planning Department is used to the public process, listening to ideas and finding consensus and the Department of Public Works is used to looking at a project from a more practical and technological standpoint.  

Cardinaux said one difference between the two positions as one of mindset. “The transportation planner creates a plan and engineers try to solve the plan’s problems,” he said.  

Rucker said that when the city fills the two vacant positions, they will be working out of the City Manger’s Office temporarily, until a better organized system can be worked out. 

“We’re having a little marriage over here,” Rucker said. “We’ll be trying out different organizational models until we figure out which one works best.” 

Rucker said he has made traffic issues one of his priorities in light of pedestrian injuries and deaths and the general increases in traffic congestion throughout the Bay Area. 

Kott, who returned to his former job as a traffic planner for Palo Alto, said Berkeley has tremendous assets for innovative solutions to transportation problems. “There’s AC Transit, BART and good geography for cycling. There’s also an interested and creative community with good ideas,” he said. “Berkeley has a terrific opportunity to become a model city as far as transportation goes. But currently the city’s plans just aren’t coming online.” 

Kott said despite the good intentions of city commissioners, there is also a reluctance for the various traffic-related commissions to work together. 

Kott, who’s job description included implementing the Bicycle Master Plan and developing the Bike Boulevards, spoke very highly of the Transportation Commission. He said the commissioners are dedicated to making transportation safer and cleaner in Berkeley.  

“The problem is they are only one of 43 boards and commissions in Berkeley. They don’t have oversight on road paving, which is the domain of the Public Works Commission,” Kott said. “And, as anyone who rides a bicycle knows, the condition of the road surface is critical to biking issues.” 

Sarah Syed, the project manager for Berkeley’s Safe Routes to School program, said staffing problems and lack of coordination between the Department of Public Works and the Planning Department nearly lost the city a $450,000 grant from the state.  

The SRTS program examines traffic flow in the vicinity of Willard Middle School and LeConte Primary School and is mandated to create safe routes for students to walk and bicycle to school, according to Syed. 

“We are trying to improve crossings around the schools, provide cages for secured bike parking and develop walking and biking education programs,” she said.  

Syed said the program nearly lost its funding because plans that required input from the two departments weren’t sufficiently prepared to submit to the state. She said at the last minute, the Planning Department took the lead on the project, saving the grant, although the process was rushed.  

Syed said city missed a May 22 deadline to apply for another SRTS grant because the Planning Department was too short-staffed to have someone write the grant request. 

Rucker said it’s a bit of a trick to find the right kind of staff for city transportation jobs because of Berkeley’s well-known penchant for public participation.  

“Berkeley is a very engaging and participatory community,” Rucker said. “I try to convey during interviews not only the number of community meetings there are, but their intensity as well because not everybody is suited to work in Berkeley.”


FORUM

Friday June 08, 2001

Conflict not about good works 

This letter was addressed to the mayor and city council: 

The controversy regarding Beth El’s proposed synagogue, school, and community center is about Codornices Creek and those city policies and ordinances that protect creeks and neighborhoods from incursions by large, active institutions. Rather than address these issues, project supporters have chosen to portray criticism as an attack upon the goodness of Beth El and upon Jews generally. This is an attempt to silence critics and to intimidate decision-makers with the threat that they may be called anti-Semites. Many, like myself, who fault this particular design, are Jewish. Some are also members of Beth El. 

This project is controversial because it reveals contradictions between our values and the practice we would make of them. We do not value intimidation. We do value religious freedom, fairness, dissent, and the environment. The Jewish tradition of "Tikkun Olam" teaches us to heal and restore the world. This ancient tenet does not accept the bare minimum when we can do better. It is consistent with the spirit of modern environmental stewardship. Only against the image of a daylighted creek can the project’s true impact be appraised. The EIR evaded this responsibility. Now, however, The Urban Creeks Council has received a grant to plan the restoration of Codornices Creek. This grant provides a unique opportunity to correct the project’s ecological imbalance. 

Beth El has waged a media campaign that promotes the institution’s religious status to gain exemption from serious scrutiny. This deflects attention from the project’s true problems. Proponents have demonized project critics and attempted to silence dissent within and without the temple community. This is evidenced in Beth El’s newsletter which states: “The groups opposing the project are zealous and well organized” and, “Getting this permit is a relatively modest thing, compared to other battles Jews have fought throughout history with much higher stakes.” 

Further, Rabbi Raj has sought to link project criticism to anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. He reminded the ZAB of Kristallnacht, and has said: “This is not the first time some people would blame the Jews for everything—America is different, but anti-Semitism is everywhere.” I, too, lost family in the Holocaust. Linking project criticism to it trivializes the suffering of those who perished and those who survived. 

Religious institutions are supposed to engage in charitable activities. In Judaism, Mitzvot (good deeds) are done for their own sake. Any expectation of reward, present or future, compromises the integrity of the act. Society recognizes this, among other ways, by the favorable treatment given to such organizations in the tax code. Yet, project supporters repeatedly commodify good deeds and suggest that Beth El has "earned" a use permit, regardless of the consequences to the natural and social environments. Concern for project impacts should inform discussion and decision-making, not the goodness of Beth El or of its works.  

In 1992 the ZAB protected Codornices Creek. It limited The Chinese Alliance Community Church’s development of the Landmark Byrne site to the site’s southern portion. ZAB also required 26 on-site parking spaces for a project that was less than one-fourth the size of Beth El. In March 2001, the ZAB reversed itself, violating city ordinances and policies including those for creeks, Live Oaks, and parking. Why did Beth El rate such unusual treatment? Did its deeds count more than those of the East Bay Chinese Alliance Community Church?  

Organizations and governments make mistakes. Credibility is lost when these are defended instead of corrected. The review of this project has already harmed the city as a whole. Another decision rooted in the expression of raw political power will only make this worse. The council needs to support a process of consensus problem solving and redesign that addresses the genuine dilemmas created by this project. 

 

Daniel Caraco 

Berkeley 

 

 

Save trees and reuse buildings 

 

Editor: 

After reading the description of the huge documents called the “ugly things” prepared for the Beth El project, I started to wonder how many trees have been cut down to print them all. It is quite ironic that large amounts of natural resources are being used in the name of protecting the environment.  

The other question is why does Beth El insist on building where there exists so much communityopposition? This is supposed to be a community center, but the community opposition is strong, so I suggest Beth El look for someplace less controversial. Has Beth El looked into buying an existing building? There are many churches in Berkeley that appear to be under-used. 

 

Andre Korpotsky 

Oakland, CA


3 new principals named

By Ben Lumpkin Daily Planet staff
Friday June 08, 2001

The Berkeley school board approved the hire of three new principals Wednesday and expects to announce the appointment of two more early next week. 

The three appointments announced Wednesday were for Thousand Oaks, Rosa Parks and Jefferson primary schools. 

Jesse Ramos, currently vice principal at Shore Acres Elementary School in the Mount Diablo Unified School District, will take over for Kevin Wooldridge as principal at Thousand Oaks School.  

Ramos has taught English as a second language in San Francisco for the last six years. In 1997, he was voted Humanitarian of the Year by Contra Costa and Alameda County teachers unions for his work in helping to bridge cultural differences in local schools. 

Betty Delaney, who has served in Daly City’s Jefferson Elementary School District since 1992, has been appointed principal of Berkeley’s Jefferson School starting next year. She served as the first principal of the district’s new Susan B. Anthony school since 1998, helping to create policies for academics, discipline, safety and budgeting. 

At Rosa Parks, Alison Kelly, who came to the school six years ago to lead the school’s Dual Language Immersion program – today one of the most popular programs in the district – will replace Andrea Colfack. Kelly has been a key member of the school’s leadership for years, helping to implement the school’s early literacy program, its Federal Science Magnet grant and its innovative Family Resource Center. 

At a time when there is a national shortage of principals, the Berkeley District lured 22 candidates to apply for the five positions – a respectable number, said Associate Superintendent for Administrative Services David Gomez.  

The search began with committees of teachers and parents at each of the five schools working to determine what characteristics each school community would like to see in its next leader. Finalists were interviewed the week of May 28.  

Gomez and other district administrators visited the schools of each finalist to interview parents, students and others in an effort to make sure the individuals would be a good match with schools in Berkeley. 

School board director John Selawsky said the appointments have the added benefit of making the district’s administrative leadership more representative of Berkeley’s ethnic diversity. Both Ramos and Kelly are bilingual (Spanish and English). Delaney is African American. 

Child Nutrition Services Program under fire 

Also at the Wednesday meeting, the board’s last regular session of the school year, a citizens’ advisory committee delivered a sweeping criticism of the district’s Child Nutrition Services Department.  

In a report, the committee said a lack of coordination and leadership in the department has severely hampered the implementation of the district’s 1999 Food Policy, widely hailed as a model in the state for its ambitious goal of “(improving) the health of the entire community by teaching students and families ways to establish and maintain life long healthy eating habits.”  

The advisory committee report says the district’s breakfast program is not working as intended because buses deliver students to school just as their first class begins, allowing little or no time for students to eat the “healthy” food provided for them. 

The district’s lunch periods are so short that “large amounts of food is thrown away and wasted” because students simply don’t have time to eat it, the report said. The fact that students often have to wait in long lines for food compounds the problem, the report claimed, particularly at the high school. 

“There is no point pretending that lunch is offered to everyone if there is not enough time for everyone to eat or even purchase food,” the report concluded. 

On the positive side, the report noted that the passage of two new bond measures last year will provided funds to renovate the district’s kitchens, many of which are in terrible condition today. Furthermore it noted that a new grant from the California Endowment is financing the preparation of a business plan to determine how the district can do a better job providing food services for its students. 

BSEP says budget information unclear 

In a separate report Wednesday, another district oversight committee complained that the district’s failure to provide clear explanations for expenditures in next year’s budget has made it difficult for the committee to provide meaningful oversight. 

“We can’t play an oversight role if we’re not given the information,” said Carol Wilkins, a member of the Berkeley Public Schools Educational Excellence Project (BSEP) Oversight Committee, which reviews expenditures of parcel-tax funds.  

At issue is the question of whether the district is spending money specifically earmarked for class size reduction for that purpose. Wilkins said the committee would also like to see a clearer justification for the district’s decision to cut teaching staff at the high school next year, a move that Wilkins and others fear would lead to larger class size at the school. 

The BSEP committee report asked the school board to meet as soon as possible after the state passes its final budget this month, and after the BUSD business office has time to come up with more accurate budget information, to reevaluate the question of whether the high school’s teaching staff truly needs to be cut.  

Many board members have indicated a their eagerness to comply with this recommendation. 

“I think they’re asking questions that are serious, legitimate and very sophisticated,” said School Board Vice President Shirley Issel. “We have to be in a position to give them some answers, and currently we’re not.” 


Latinos call for better education

By Judith Scherr Daily Planet staff
Friday June 08, 2001

While the growth of Berkeley’s Latino population may not be dramatic – the 2000 Census says there’s approximately 2,000 more Latinos (about 10,000 total) in the city today than 10 years before – a new faith-based movement of Hispanic families promises to make a profound impression on the local political scene. 

“Members of St. Joseph the Worker Church in Berkeley are uniting to demand that their Latino students, the majority of whom don’t graduate, will be made a top priority by the Berkeley School Board and high school principal,” according to a letter inviting the community to a meeting with two school board members at the church Monday. 

The new group organizing the meeting, Berkeley Organizing Congregations for Action, is made up of 12 local religious congregations and is part of the Pacific Institute for Community Organization, a nationwide network of faith-based community organizations. 

Board of Education President Terry Doran and school director Joaquin Rivera promised to be at the meeting. 

Among the concerns parents have is that their children are placed automatically in remedial English classes at Berkeley High, where they miss studying other subjects. 

“Many children in the (English Language Learner) program have been speaking English since birth,” said Liz Fuentes, a parent of a graduating Berkeley High senior and teacher at Thousand Oaks School. “They have no business being in ELL.” 

How do they end up in these classes? 

Once parents write down on a school form that they speak Spanish at home, the child is shunted into the ELL program, Fuentes said. “It’s racism.” 

Judy Bodenhausen, who heads the ELL program, tells a different story. She says all students whose native language is not English are tested and placed in the program if their English skills are limited and if parents want their children in the program. “It’s up to the parents,” she said. Children whose English is strong enough can take classes outside the program, she said. Those whose skills are very limited might take classes such as typing, physical education or art classes outside ELL. 

When advised that some parents feel their children are wrongly placed in the program and that the program limits their children’s intellectual growth, Bodenhausen told a reporter: “I’m not talking to you about that.” The teacher then also declined to confirm the correct spelling of her name. 

Board President Doran, who said he has worked with Latinos Unidos, another group supporting Latino families in the schools., said he plans to attend the Monday meeting to hear the community’s concerns. He said he’s aware that people in the Latino community have doubts about the ELL program and that there is a need for more Latino and bilingual teachers.  

Fuentes said, in their organizing efforts, the Latino parents took as an example, the Parents of Children of African Descent, who put together the Rebound program for failing ninth graders.  

“The example of PCAD is a big factor in our movement,” Fuentes said, describing the newly organized parents as “a hopeful movement of grassroots awareness acting to change things.” 

The June 11 meeting begins at 6:45 p.m. at St. Joseph the Worker Church, 1640 Addison St. For information call 658-2467. 

 


County budget shows slower growth rate

Bay City News
Friday June 08, 2001

OAKLAND – Alameda County Administrator Susan Muranishi presented a $1.8 billion proposed budget to the Board of Supervisors Thursday. While bigger than last year’s, the budget reflects a lower growth rate because of the slowing down of the economy. 

The proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year includes an increase of $240.5 million, 15.2 percent over the budget for 2000–2001. 

The total projected expenditures include $557 million in public assistance, $445 million in public protection and $414 million in health care services, which account for 31 percent, 24 percent and 23 percent of the budget, respectively. 

The goals and objectives for the upcoming fiscal year include the completion of the construction of a critical care and clinic facility and the seismic retrofit of Highland Hospital; completion of the design and beginning of construction of the new Juvenile Hall facility in Dublin; and the construction of a parking garage at the Dublin BART station. 

Other budget priorities outlined by the administrator include the opening of a mental health unit in the Juvenile Hal, and a psychiatric emergency unit at Oakland Children’s Hospital; furthering the conversion of equipment into electronic, touch–screen voting; and the opening of the first of three emergency receiving centers for children who are removed from their homes. 

The difference between revenue and expenditures – $6.7 million – is larger than last year’s $5.8 million gap, which was the lowest in a decade. 

Muranishi proposed balancing the budget without cutting jobs by using $5.9 million from the Fiscal Management Reward Program, which is a one–time use of the last year’s unused funds.  

The use of departmental revenues is proposed to take care of the remaining $800,000 needed to close the funding gap. 

Muranishi suggested that the council continue to support legislation that provides for the return of property tax money to secure a stable discretionary revenue source for programs.  

The state took $187 million from the county this year for the Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund, or  

ERAF, which brings to more than $1.2 billion what the state has taken since the fund’s implementation in 1991–1992. 

The first public hearing on the budget will be Monday, June 18. Copies of the document can be obtained at libraries in the county.


Rep. Barbara Lee honored for work in AIDS and HIV

Bay City News
Friday June 08, 2001

Rep. Barbara Lee was recognized on Wednesday for her efforts to fight AIDS and HIV around the world. 

Lee, D-Oakland, was awarded the Congressional Service Award, which is given out by InterAction, a coalition of more than 165 U.S.-based relief, development and environmental agencies, which work throughout the world. 

Lee has worked to pass legislation to create multilateral international efforts to fight the spread of the disease. She was also co-author of HR 3519, the Global AIDS and Tuberculosis Relief Act of 2000, which was signed into law by Bill Clinton and would go on to give $1 billion to the combat AIDS worldwide. 

Lee has also introduced legislation that would increase the affordability of AIDS drugs and links debt relief to HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention. 

Commenting on the award, Lee said, “I am honored to receive this award, but the real recognition should go to the many organizations and people who are dedicated to international humanitarian, development and relief efforts.''  

“The support we receive from organizations, like those that are members of InterAction, is invaluable in our work to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic,'' she said.


Electric bill down for low-income ratepayers

The Associated Press
Friday June 08, 2001

Low-income ratepayers of California’s public utilities will save 5 percent more on their electric bills, state power regulators ordered Thursday. 

The Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously to expand the low-income discount from 15 percent to 20 percent. Commissioner Carl Wood said the savings would help ease the financial worries of the state’s poorest ratepayers. 

“It is critical that we act to provide relief to these most vulnerable customers,” Wood said. The extra discount will cover customers of Pacific Gas and Electric Co., San Diego Gas and Electric Co., Southern California Edison Co. and Southern California Gas. 

The PUC delayed action on a proposal to order the state’s two largest utilities to pay 15 percent of the more than $1 billion they owe small power plants throughout the state for past electricity deliveries. 

Money previously allocated by the Legislature to help low-income users would cover the cost of expanding the discount through the year, said Paul Clanon, executive director of the PUC’s energy division. 

To get the discount, low-income ratepayers usually have to apply by mail to the California Alternate Rates on Energy program. Many of those eligible haven’t signed up, and Wood and PUC President Loretta Lynch are looking at creating an automatic enrollment system. 

The PUC also approved a request from San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and San Diego County to have SDG&E pay businesses to lower the state’s electricity demand by using diesel generators during power emergencies. 

The PUC lowered the payment from a proposed 35 cents per kilowatt hour saved to 20 cents per kilowatt hour. Those customers already avoid paying for electricity by running generators during those times, the PUC said. 

San Diego County representatives countered that it costs thousands to rent, buy and fuel generators, and say they are being good citizens by finding alternative solutions. 

The money to fund the program will come out of SDG&E rates, said Paul Clanon, director of the PUC’s energy division. 

Utilities also use money raised from rates to fund similar programs which “interrupt” businesses with blackouts in exchange for cheaper electricity or a promise to knock out power only for certain lengths of time. 

But financially troubled PG&E and Edison warn they’ll be overwhelmed by the cost of new interruptible programs recently approved the PUC. Clanon said both utilities filed last month for emergency surcharges to power bills, saying regular rates were not enough to cover all their costs. 

The PUC chose not to act on a proposal from Lynch that would have paid small power plants 15 percent of overdue bills owed to them by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and Southern California Edison Co. These plants produce up to a third of the state’s electricity supply. 

After the meeting, Lynch said she delayed action on the plan because of ongoing discussions between Edison and its power plants, as well as Friday’s decision by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali to order PG&E to free their plants from contracts or start paying off the millions it owes them for past power deliveries. 

On the Net: 

http://www.cpuc.ca.gov


Board sets passing grades for high school test

The Associated Press
Friday June 08, 2001

SACRAMENTO — The state school board, wary of possible legal challenges, Thursday set lower passing grades for the new state high school graduation test than those recommended by an advisory group. 

At the level of 60 percent for English and 55 percent for math, nearly a third of students who are just finishing ninth grade have already passed the tough exam. 

Gov. Gray Davis has made the exit exam a key part of his effort to improve public schools, and California is one of 22 requiring students to pass a test to graduate. 

The state Board of Education decided to lower the 70 percent scores recommended by an advisory group of educators because of the dismal results for minority and poor ninth-graders who took the test for the first time this spring. 

The Democratic governor and other state education officials also pledged resources for those students who need help to graduate. 

Kerry Mazzoni, Davis’ education secretary, said the administration wants to “close that gap” and help children in the lowest-performing schools. 

Davis’ proposed 2001-2002 budget includes $220 million for the state’s lowest-performing schools, which are also a focus of several bills being proposed by lawmakers.  

However, lower revenues caused by a slowing economy may jeopardize any extra money. 

While it approved lower scores this year, the board said it will increase the grades needed to pass as high school improve and students get used to the test, which state officials call the nation’s hardest. 

“We have a world-class high school exit exam here,” state board President Reed Hastings said. 

State Superintendent of Public Education Delaine Eastin’s department put test questions on its Internet site Thursday to show parents, teachers and students what the exam is like.  

Scores for schools and districts will be posted on the site in  

mid-September. 

The class of 2004, the students who are completing ninth grade, will be the first required to pass the test to graduate.  

About 378,000 of those 480,000 ninth-graders voluntarily took the test for the first time in March and May. 

At the passing scores approved Thursday, about 40 percent of students taking the test – about 32 percent of all ninth-graders – passed both math and English, Hastings said. 

Sixty-five percent passed English, and 45 percent passed math.  

Those who didn’t pass one or both parts have eight more chances before their scheduled 2004 graduation date and only have to take the part they didn’t pass. 

In the state’s lowest-performing high schools, however, only 32 percent passed English and 8 percent math.  

Only 23 percent of blacks and 25 percent of Hispanics passed math, compared to 71 percent of Asians and 64 percent of whites. 

If the passing levels had been set at 70 percent, only 1 percent of students in the lowest-performing schools would have passed math. 

Eastin recommended the lower passing grades and said flunking 99 percent of those students would have left the state open to lawsuits by parents who would say their children lacked a fair chance to learn. 

Courts in other states have ruled that students cannot be penalized on such high-stakes tests if they were never taught the subjects covered. 

California’s high school test includes algebra, which not all districts have previously required for graduation.  

A new state law, effective with the class of 2004, requires algebra. 

The test has already drawn one suit.  

A disability rights group last month sued the state in federal court, saying it failed to provide an alternate test or accommodate three dyslexic teens. 

State lawmakers have also been concerned about whether the class of 2004 is sufficiently prepared, since its students have not benefited fully from reforms of the past few years.  

The Senate last winter passed a bill, later withdrawn, that would have postponed the test for a year. 

A new bill moving through the Legislature and backed by Davis calls for the state board to decide by August 2003, after seeing results of an independent study, whether to postpone the test. 

 

Here are preliminary results from the state’s high school test, as given in March to about 378,000 ninth-graders: 

 

English Passing Score  

of 60 percent 

All students passing:  

65 percent 

Blacks: 49 percent 

Asians: 77 percent 

Hispanics: 48 percent 

Whites: 82 percent 

English learners: 30 percent 

Special education: 22 percent 

Lowest-performing schools:  

32 percent 

Poor: 46 percent 

 

Math Passing Score  

of 55 percent  

All students passing:  

45 percent 

Blacks: 23 percent 

Asians: 71 percent 

Hispanics: 25 percent 

Whites: 64 percent 

English learners: 17 percent 

Special education: 12 percent 

Lowest-performing schools:  

8 percent 

Poor: 26 percent 

English Passing Score of 70 percent  

All students passing:  

47 percent 

Blacks: 29 percent 

Asians: 61 percent 

Hispanics: 27 percent 

Whites: 66 percent 

English learners: 11 percent 

Special education: 11 percent 

Lowest-performing schools:  

15 percent 

Poor: 25 percent 

 

Math Passing Score of  

70 percent  

All students passing:  

25 percent 

Blacks: 9 percent 

Asians: 52 percent 

Hispanics: 9 percent 

Whites: 37 percent 

English learners: 6 percent 

Special education: 5 percent 

Lowest-performing schools:  

1 percent 

Poor: 11 percent 

 

 

On the Net:  

Read about the high school test and see sample test items at http://www.cde.ca.gov/statetests/hsee/hsee.html 

Read the bill, AB1609 by Assemblyman Thomas Calderon, D-Montebello, at http://www.sen.ca.gov


Obesity greater health risk than smoking, survey indicates

The Associated Press
Friday June 08, 2001

LOS ANGELES — Obese adults have more chronic health problems than smokers, heavy drinkers or the poor, according to a study released Wednesday. 

The report by the RAND institute in Santa Monica found that obese people have on average nearly twice the chronic health troubles of people of normal weight. 

“We didn’t expect this big difference,” said Roland Sturm, a RAND economist and lead author of the survey, which was published in the latest edition of the British journal Public Health. 

The study also found that smoking harms the health of women more than men, with female smokers having about 40 percent more chronic health problems than nonsmokers. The figure was 30 percent for men. 

Sturm said the survey, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, demonstrates that public health officials should intensify their fight against obesity to levels that at least match the public health campaign against smoking. 

The study found that more people are overweight or obese than are those collectively who smoke, drink heavily and live below the federal poverty line. 

The telephone survey, which was conducted in 1998, asked 9,585 adults about their weight, height, smoking and drinking habits, income and quality of life. They also were asked if they had any of 17 chronic health problems, including asthma, cancer, diabetes and heart problems. 

Obesity was determined by finding a respondent’s body mass index, a figure derived by multiplying a person’s weight in pounds by 703 and dividing that result by height in inches squared. 

People of normal weight have a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9; those considered overweight score between 25 and 29.9; obese people are between 30 and 34.9 and very obese people are over 35. 

The survey found that 59 percent of Americans are at least overweight — a figure that is in line with other recent studies. 

The study found that people of normal weight had an average of 1.1 chronic conditions. Overweight people had an average of an additional 0.2 chronic conditions, obese people had an additional 0.6 chronic conditions and the very obese had 0.9 more conditions. 

The study showed the obese tend to have slightly more health problems than people living in poverty and far more than daily smokers or heavy drinkers. 

——— 

On the Net: http://www.rand.org 


The art of inspection: monitoring your remodel

The Associated Press
Friday June 08, 2001

The contractor who Phil Smith hired for his addition last year is one of the best in Columbia, Mo. But every night after the contractor and his crew went home, Smith took out a flashlight, tape measure and the architect’s plans to inspect the work. Smith presented any questions at a twice-weekly meeting. When something looked really wrong, he called his contractor from work. And when Smith’s concerns resulted in a change from the original plans, a change order was written. The result? A job that went smoothly for homeowner and contractor. 

Questioning your contractor, as Smith did, makes a lot of folks uncomfortable. After all, the contractor is the expert. But your nonexpert status can give you the objectivity needed to catch such errors as missing switches, misplaced windows or delivery of the wrong model of an appliance. And because many projects involve several subcontractors, the framer might not have the latest window placements and the electrician might not know about the extra needed for your computer. 

That makes having an extra pair of eyes and ears not only welcome but essential for catching small problems before they get big and expensive. Although no two remodels are exactly alike, there are some specifics to consider for your next project.  

Carry a tape measure, flashlight (make sure the batteries are good) and notebook for any inspection. If you’re checking back against an architect’s plans, remember that there’s a separate plan for each of the following: foundation, framing, door and window schedule and finish schedule. You’ll often need to cross-reference the various plans to get a full picture of all the work being done. 

What to Look For 

• Foundation. Measure the distances between outside walls to be sure they conform to the foundation plan. You’ll find distances clearly marked on the plan, along with wall heights, wall thickness and slab thickness. It’s acceptable if lengths and widths vary by less than an inch. But because both walls and slabs are load-bearing, thickness for these components must be to spec. 

• Framing. Check ceiling heights carefully to be sure they’re as specified. For example, the framing crew might not have picked up that the ceiling height in the dining room is 9 feet, 6 inches instead of 8 feet. Also check the length and width of rooms. And if you’re building to accommodate a couch, bar unit or pool table, for instance, now is the time to be sure the item will fit. 

• Doors and windows. Center lines of doors and windows are also marked on the plans. Check the placement of each by measuring in from a nearby foundation corner to confirm its location. As the floor plan takes shape, note the direction of door swings – and make any changes before doors and jambs are installed. Also check that windows and doors align as planned to establish sight lines or to allow light and air to flow through the house. Doors or windows that are out of line are easy to fix at the framing stage. 

When windows arrive, check the model and type against what you specified. Manufacturers commonly ship windows with the wrong pane divisions, or light cuts. You might have ordered six-over-sixes and gotten four-over-fours. Also check doors for style and damage. If they aren’t what you expected or are dinged up, the contractor is responsible for replacing them. 

• Structural sheathing. Don’t panic if rough window openings are sheathed over; the plywood is cut away later to ensure a snug fit. But if you see drywall covering the rough opening, it’s probably a mistake. 

• Heating and plumbing. As the HVAC and plumbing contractors start work, check their plans against yours. Then ask some basic questions. For instance, in a bedroom, will a bed or bureau block heating and cooling vents? Re-position ducts if need be. And be sure water and drainpipes are roughed in at the right locations by checking against the plans. 

• Wiring. An easy way to check the electrical plan is to enter a room as if it were finished. Reach for light switches. Try to plug in a lamp. Are outlets and switches conveniently placed? Also determine whether you need three-way switches in rooms with multiple entrances and extra outlets in the kitchen, where several appliances will go. 

Then take note as workers install low-voltage wiring for cable or satellite TV, the alarm system, sound equipment and phones. Do you like the placement? Though replacing cables now isn’t expensive, rerouting them later is. Also ask workers to run extra cables you can activate later. 

• Hardwood floors. When installing this type of flooring, be sure the lumber spends at least two days out of its packaging in the house to prevent shrinkage gaps later. Also check that the planks are perpendicular to the floor joists and the installed flooring is covered with plywood or paper to protect it as other work continues. 

• Insulation. This important material is placed in the walls just before drywalling. Make sure it’s the R-value you asked for by carefully reading the insulation label and checking it against your specifications. For exterior walls, check that the insulation paper or foil is facing toward the room. Be sure spaces between studs and joists are entirely insulated, especially where joists end at exterior walls. Pay particular attention to the spaces around windows and doors; leaving even a small section uninsulated can cause drafts and heat loss. 

Some plans call for soundproofing interior rooms with insulation. If yours do, make sure the insulation goes in before drywall is installed. 

• Drywalling and paint. Be especially vigilant in these areas. Use a bright light held at an angle to pick up imperfections in the wall. If the drywall isn’t smooth enough, for example, point it out and have it redone. While painting and tiling are under way, make sure you’re available to approve colors for walls or floors. The same goes for grout. Then double-check grout after it has dried because the color tends to lighten. 

• Fixtures and fittings. If your addition includes a kitchen or bath, walk through the room and pay close attention to fixtures and faucets. Are they the right color? Do fixture finishes match? Also be sure metal finishes haven’t been scratched by plumbing tools and that everything works without leaking. 

Finally, be especially careful that custom-tile patterns match the approved layout plan, and that there are no gaps in any trim or molding joints. 

As the project moves into its final stages, don’t let your guard down. The finishing touches demand the most attention, so dig deep and muster up the last of your energy to see the job through to the very end. This due diligence will pay off.


The Gardener’s Guide: Be careful with pink seeds

By Lee Reich AP Weekly Features
Friday June 08, 2001

Hot pink is an eye-catching color. That’s why seeds are dyed that bright hue to show they’ve been coated with a poisonous pesticide. 

Caution is needed when handling pesticide-coated seeds. Never let small children handle them and don’t touch your eyes, mouth, or food until you’ve finished planting and thoroughly washed your hands. 

Seed treatment goes back to the Middle Ages, when wheat was shoveled back and forth over the heat of a fire to rid it of smut, a disease that affects the mature plant. In the early 19th century, it was found that seed soaked in water in a copper bucket picked up enough copper to protect against smut. 

The pink seeds you see when you peel open a packet of peas, beans, or corn are treated to protect them from rotting in the soil rather than to protect the growing plants. Rot is a threat to any seed that does not sprout quickly enough once planted. Pesticide on treated seed kills micro-organisms nearby, increasing the chances of germination. Treating seeds to prevent them from rotting is a practice that dates back only a hundred years or so. 

Despite the benefits of treated seed, there are compelling reasons to choose untreated ones when they are available. Some of the fun in gardening is drained when you can’t just reach over to grab a bite of lettuce while planting corn, or if you have to refuse the help of your young child in the garden. Some seed companies only sell untreated seed, while other companies give you the option of purchasing either treated or untreated seeds. 

Some precautions are necessary when planting untreated seeds. Use fresh seed and plant in well-drained soil. If drainage is poor, enrich your soil with organic materials such as compost, leaves or peat moss. You might also want to plant in raised beds. Do not overwater your plants. 

In the beginning of the season, don’t plant until the soil has warmed adequately for the seed you’re planting. If you want to try to get a jump on the season, plant more seeds than necessary, in shallow soil. If needed, remove excess seedlings later on. 

Most precautions for handling untreated seeds are part of good gardening, anyway.


Improving home accessibility for the disabled

The Associated Press
Friday June 08, 2001

If you or a member of your family should become physically disabled, how “user-friendly” would your home be? How accessible is your home? When making home improvements, are you thinking ahead to your “twilight years”? Accessible design and construction is becoming increasingly important to American homeowners, as longevity increases. 

While accessible design and construction is growing in popularity, consideration for the physically disabled isn’t new. In 1990, the U.S. Congress established “a clear and comprehensive prohibition of discrimination on the basis of disability.” Among other things, this legislation, known as the “Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),” mandates that the design and construction in public buildings include elements that make the space accessible for people with physical disabilities. 

The ADA also provides non-mandatory design criteria that can be employed in private residences to make the space safer and more accessible for people with physical disabilities. While these design elements are many, a few examples include ramps, wider door openings, and kitchens and bathrooms that are accessible. 

Our first experience with such accessibility goes back nearly 40 years when our folks had a ramp built at our back porch for use by our grandmother who was a wheelchair user. While the ramp made Nana’s life easier, if we knew then what we know now, we are confident that her life could have been made more comfortable yet. 

Although a ramp is one of the more obvious, there are other elements that can improve the comfort and safety of people with physical disabilities: 

• Door openings that are wide enough for a wheelchair to pass through can make all of the space in a home accessible. The ADA suggests a clearance of at least 32 inches when a door is open at a 90-degree angle. 

• Provide smooth transitions between different types of flooring and limit carpet pile thickness to one-half inch. 

• Install grab bars at toilets, tubs and showers. The ADA provides specific criteria for the size and placement of grab bars. 

• Grab bars and waterproof seats are other popular safety and comfort enhancements that can be made to a tub or shower stall. For people who have difficulty stepping over and into a tub, a traditional tub or shower can be replaced with a molded prefabricated shower stall that is wheelchair accessible. These units come complete with grab bars and a fold-down seat. Some remodeling (wall relocation) might be required in order for your bathroom to accommodate such a unit. Several manufacturers produce prefabricated shower stalls (floor and walls) that do not have a “curb” at the front. That makes them more wheelchair accessible. 

• Install sinks no more than 34 inches above the finished floor with at least 27 inches of knee clearance below. Also, wrap all exposed plumbing pipes with a foam material to prevent leg injury. 

• The lowest edge of a mirror above a sink should be no more than 36 inches above the floor. 

• Provide a 60-inch wheelchair turnaround in a bathroom. 

• Install a toilet that is 17 inches to 19 inches above the floor (to the top of the toilet seat). 

• In the kitchen, counters should measure no more than 34 inches above the finished floor and should project out no more than 21 inches. Moreover, there should be at least 27 inches of under-counter clearance for wheelchair access. 

• Shelving height and closet rods should be no more than 48 inches above the floor. 

More information on accessible design can be obtained at the ADA website at www.uskoj.gov/crt/ada/adahom1.htm and at www.access-board.gov. 

In addition, an excellent book on the subject is “Building for a Lifetime: The Design and Construction of Fully Accessible Homes” by Margaret Wylde with Sam Clark and Adrian Baron-Robins; Taunton Press, December, 1993. 

To save cost, people are incorporating disabled-accessible features into their remodeling projects. What’s more, home buyers – especially empty nesters looking to downsize – have started asking builders to incorporate many of these features into their new homes.


Friday June 08, 2001

Habitot Children’s Museum “Back to the Farm” An interactive exhibit gives children the chance to wiggle through tunnels, look into a mirrored fish pond, don farm animal costumes, ride on a John Deere tractor and more. “Recycling Center” Lets the kids crank the conveyor belt to sort cans, plastic bottles and newspaper bundles into dumpster bins. $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. (closed Sundays, Memorial Day through Labor Day) Kittredge Street and Shattuck Avenue 647-1111 or www.habitot.org  

 

Judah L. Magnes Museum “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. 2911 Russell St. 549-6950  

 

The Asian Galleries “Art of the Sung: Court and Monastery.” 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 by 40-foot replica of the fearsome dinosaur 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 22-23 feet. The Pteranodon lived at the same time as the dinosaurs. 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 “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. “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. Kroeber Hall, Bancroft Way and College Ave. 643-7648  

 

Lawrence Hall of Science “Math Rules!” 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. “Saturday Night Stargazing,” First and third Saturdays each month. 8 - 10 p.m., LHS plaza. Computer Lab, Saturdays 12:30 - 3:30 p.m. $7 for adults; $5 for children 5-18; $3 for children 3-4. 642-5132 

 

Holt Planetarium Programs are recommended for age 8 and up; children under age 6 will not be admitted. $2 in addition to regular museum admission. “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. Centennial Drive, UC Berkeley 642-5132 or www.lhs.berkeley.edu  

 

924 Gilman St. All shows begin at 8 p.m. unless noted $5; $2 for year membership. All ages. June 8: The Enemies, Pitch Black, The Fleshies, Supersift, Texas Thieves; June 9: Groovie Ghoulies, The Influents, Red Planet, Mallrats, Goat Shanty. 525-9926  

 

Albatross Pub Music at 9 p.m unless noted otherwise. June 9, 6 - 8 p.m.: Sauce Piquante, 9 p.m. - Midnight: Whiskey Brothers; June 12: Mad and Eddie Duran. 1822 San Pablo Ave. 843-2473  

 

Anna’s Music at 8 p.m. June 8: Anna and Susie Laraine and Sallie Hanna-Rhine, 10 p.m.: Bluesman Hideo Date; June 9: Robin Gregory and Bliss Rodriguez, 10 p.m.: The Ducksan Distone; June 10: Choro Time with Ron Galen and Friends. $2 weeknights, $3 weekends. 1801 University Ave. 849-ANNA  

Ashkenaz June 8, 9:30 p.m. Ali Khan with Bellydance Troupe Lunatique; June 9, 9:30 p.m.: Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers; June 10, 7 p.m.: Food Not Bombs with Goodbye Flowers and INKA. 1370 San Pablo Ave. 525-5054 or www.ashkenaz.com 

 

Freight & Salvage All music at 8 p.m. June 8: Cats & Jammers Hot swing. $17.50; , June 9.: Danny Heines & Michael Manring; June 10: Roy Tyler and New Directions; June 12: Keith Little with Del Williams; June 13: Danu. $17.50.1111 Addison St. www.freightandsalvage.org 

 

La Peña Cultural Center “Cantiflas!” June 8, 8 p.m. Herbert Siguenza, of the critically acclaimed trio Culture Clash, stars in this bilingual work-in-progress about legendary Mexican comedian Marion Moreno. With guest performers Eduardo Robledo and Tanya Vlach. $16. 3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 849-2568 www.lapena.org  

 

Jupiter All shows at 8 p.m. June 8, Harvey Wainapel Quartet; June 9, Om Trio; June 12, Ben Graves Trio 2181 Shattuck Ave 843-8277  

The Berkeley TEMPO Festival of Contemporary Performances All performances begin at 8 p.m. June 8: Berkeley Contemporary Chamber Players; June 9: John Scott, John Abercrombie, George Marsh, Rich Fudoli, Mel Graves. $15 Hertz Hall, UC Berkeley Campus www.tempofestival.org 

 

The Farallone String Quartet June 10, 7:30 p.m. Quartets by Haydn. $8 - $10 Berkeley Art Center 1275 Walnut St. 

 

World Harmony Chorus June 10, 2 p.m. Vocal music from around the world. $5 - $10 Julia Morgan Center for the Arts 2640 College Ave. 925-798-1300 

 

Berkeley Symphony Orchestra June 21. All performances begin at 8 p.m. Single $19 - $35, Series $52 - $96. Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley 841-2800  

 

Dance 

 

Sungugal Ballet June 10, 4:30 p.m. Featuring master percussionist Djibi Faye and West African Band with traditional West African dance. $6 - $12. Jazzschool/La Note 2377 Shattuck Ave. 845-5373 

 

Theater 

 

“Big Love” by Charles L. Mee Through June 10 Directed by Les Waters and loosely based on the Greek Drama, “The Suppliant Woman,” by Aeschylus. Fifty brides who are being forced to marry fifty brothers flee to a peaceful villa on the Italian coast in search of sanctuary. $15.99 - $51 Berkeley Repertory Theatre 2025 Addison St. 647-2949 

 

“Planet Janet” Through June 10, Fridays and Saturdays 8 p.m., Sundays 7 p.m. Follows six young urbanites’ struggles in sex and dating. Impact Theatre presentation written by Bret Fetzer, directed by Sarah O’Connell. $7 - $12 La Val’s Subterranean Theatre 1834 Euclid 464-4468 www.impacttheatre.com 

 

“The Misanthrope” by Moliere Through June 10, Fri - Sun, 8 p.m. Berkeley-based Women in Time Productions presents this comic love story full of riotous wooing, venomous scheming and provocative dialogue. All female design and production staff. $17 - $20 Il Teatro 450 449 Powell St. San Francisco 415-433-1172 or visit www.womenintime.com 

 

“Cymbeline” Through June 24, Tues. - Thur. 7:30 p.m., Fri. 8 p.m., Sat. 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sun. 4 p.m. Opening of the California Shakespeare Festival features one of Shakespeare’s first romances, directed by Daniel Fish. $12 - $146. Bruns Memorial Amphitheater off Highway 24 at the Shakespeare Festival Way/Gateway Exit. 548-9666 or www.calshakes.org 

 

“The Laramie Project” Through July 8, Wed. 7 p.m., Tues. and Thur. -Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Written by Moises Kaufmen and members of Tectonic Theater Project, directed by Moises Kaufman. Moises Kaufman and Tectonic members traveled to Laramie, Wyo., after the murder of openly gay student Matthew Shepherd. The play is about the community and the impact Shaper’s death had on its members. $10 - $50. The Roda Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre 2015 Addison St. 647-2949 www.berkeleyrep.org 

 

“A Life In the Theatre” Previews June 8, 9, 10, 13. Opens June 14, runs through July 15. Wed. - Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. David Mamet play about the lives of two actors, considered a metaphor for life itself. Directed by Nancy Carlin. $30-$35. $26 preview nights. Berkeley City Club 2315 Durant 843-4822 

 

 

Films 

 

Pacific Film Archive June 8, 7:30: Aerograd; June 8, 9:15: The Letter That Was Never Sent; June 9, 7:30: Comic and Avant-Garde Shorts; June 10, 5:30: Pitfall, 7:25: Woman In the Dunes. Pacific Film Archive Theater 2575 Bancroft Way (at Bowditch) 642-1412 

 

“The Producers” June 10. Revisit this outrageous comedy classic, starring Zero Mostel and written by Mel Brooks. $2 Berkeley Richmond Jewish Community Center 1414 Walnut St. 848-0237. 

 

Exhibits 

 

“Elemental” The art of Linda Mieko Allen Through June 9, Tuesday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Traywick Gallery 1316 Tenth St. 527-1214 www.traywick.com 

 

East Bay Open Studios June 9 & 10, 16 & 17, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Jennifer Foxly: Oil paintings and 2-d mixed media works 3206 Boise St.; Lewis Suzuki: Scenes from California to the Philippines, florals to nudes 2240 Grant St.; Guy Colwell: Painted replicas and recent original work 2028 9th St. (open until 7 p.m.) 

 

Wosene Kosrof June 13, 7 - 8:30 p.m. Ethiopian-born Berkeley resident will be exhibiting and discussing his paintings. One piece will be up for auction, proceeds to benefit the YMCA. Free. Crystal Room, Shattuck Hotel 2086 Allston 848-9622 ext. 3541  

 

PASSING: The Re-Definition of Sex and Gender Through the Personal Re-Presentation of Self Through June 16, Mon. - Fri. 8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Black and white photographs by Ann P. Meredith. Free. Reception with the artist June 7, 6 - 8 p.m. Photolab Gallery 2235 Fifth St.  

 

Ledger drawings of Michael and Sandra Horse Exhibit runs through June 18. Gathering Tribes Gallery 1573 Solano Ave. 528-9038 www.gatheringtribes.com  

 

“Alive in Her: Icons of the Goddess” Through June 19, Tuesday - Thursday, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Photography, collage, and paintings by Joan Beth Clair. Pacific School of Religion 1798 Scenic Ave. 848-0528 

 

Tyler James Hoare Sculpture and Collage Through June 27, call for hours. Party June 9, 5-9 p.m. with music by Sauce Piquante. The Albatross Pub 1822 San Pablo Ave. 843-2473 

 

Ako Castuera, Ryohei Tanaka, Rob Sato Through June 30, Tues. - Sat. 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Group exhibition, recent paintings. Artist’s reception June 9, 6:30 - 9 p.m. with music by Knewman and Espia. !hey! Gallery 4920 B Telegraph Ave., Oakland 428-2349  

 

“Watershed 2001” Through July 14, Wednesday - Sunday Noon - 5 p.m. Exhibition of painting, drawing, sculpture and installation that explore images and issues about our watershed. Berkeley Art Center 1275 Walnut St. 644-6893 

 

Bernard Maisner: Illuminated Manuscripts and Paintings. Through Aug. 8 Maisner works in miniature as well as in large scales, combining his mastery of medieval illumination, gold leafing, and modern painting techniques. Flora Lamson Hewlett Library 2400 Ridge Rd. 849-2541 

 

“Musee des Hommages,” Masterworks by Guy Colwell Faithful copies of several artists from the pasts, including Titian’s “The Venus of Urbino,” Cezanne’s “Still Life,” Picasso’s “Woman at a Mirror,” and Boticelli’s “Primavera” Ongoing. Call ahead for hours 2028 Ninth St. (at Addison) 841-4210 or visit www.atelier9.com 

 

“Geographies of My Heart” Collage paintings by Jennifer Colby through August 24; Flora Lamson Hewlett Library 2400 Ridge Rd. 649-2541 

 

Images of Portugal Paintings by Sofia Berto Villas-Boas of her native land. Open after 5 p.m. Voulez-Vous 2930 College Ave. (at Elmwood) 

 

“Queens of Ethiopia: Intuitive Inspirations,” the exceptional art of Esete-Miriam A. Menkir. Through July 11. Women’s Cancer Resource Center Gallery 3023 Shattuck Ave. 548-9286 ext 307 

 

“The Decade of Change: 1900 - 1910” chronicles the transformation of the city of Berkeley in this 10 year period. Thursday through Saturday, 1 - 4 p.m. Berkeley History Center, Veterans Memorial Building, 1931 Center St. Wheelchair accessible. 848-0181. Free.  

 

Readings 

 

Cody’s Books 2454 Telegraph Ave. All events at 7:30 p.m. June 8: Scott Carrier reads from “Running After Antelope”; June 9: Richard Russo reads from “Empire Falls”, June 10: Irvine Welsh talks about “Glue.” 

 

Cody’s Books 1730 Fourth St. All events at 7 p.m. June 8: For the younger readers, Eoin Colfer reads from “Artemis Fowl”; June 9: For the younger readers, Lemony Snicket reports on “The Vile Village.”  

 

Weekly Poetry Nitro Mondays 6:30 p.m sign up, 7 - 9 p.m. reading. Performing poets in a dinner atmosphere. Featured poets: June 11, Ivan Arguelles. Cafe de la Paz 1600 Shattuck Ave. 843-0662 

 

Tours 

 

 

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Free. University of California, Berkeley. 486-4387 

 

Berkeley City Club Tours 2315 Durant Ave., Berkeley. The fourth Sunday of every month, Noon - 4 p.m. $2 848-7800  

 

Golden Gate Live Steamers Grizzly Peak Boulevard and Lomas Cantadas Drive at the south end of Tilden Regional Park Small locomotives, meticulously scaled to size. Trains run Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Rides: Sunday, noon to 3 p.m., weather permitting. 486-0623  

 

Berkeley Historical Society Walking Tours All tours begin at 10 a.m. and are restricted to 30 people per tour $5 - $10 per tour. June 23: Sue Fernstrom will lead a tour of Strawberry Creek and West of the UC Berkeley campus 848-0181 

 


Refiners warn of shortages if no blackout exemptions

The Associated Press
Friday June 08, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO — As the peak summer driving season shifts into high gear, several major oil companies are warning that California could face gasoline shortages and higher prices unless their refineries are shielded from the blackouts facing the electricity-starved state in the weeks ahead. 

Four oil refiners – Valero Energy, Tosco, Exxon Mobil and Equilon Enterprises – are petitioning the California Public Utilities Commission for blackout exemptions at facilities that produce about one-fourth of the state’s refining capacity of 2.3 million barrels per day. 

Meanwhile, California’s biggest refiner, Chevron Corp., has taken its exemption case directly to Gov. Gray Davis. The San Francisco-based company, which controls about 18 percent of the state’s refining capacity, told Davis the company will curtail production unless regulators or state lawmakers protect its two California refineries from blackouts. 

The industry’s arguments for a blackout exemption revolve around the elaborate — and dangerous – manufacturing process used to turn crude oil into fuel. 

If a refinery suffers a blackout, it would take at least two days to restore full production, according to industry officials. If equipment is damaged in an abrupt shutdown, it could diminish refining capacity for weeks – a loss that could lead to shortages in gasoline-guzzling California and increase prices. 

The California refiners had been excluded from the blackouts until early April, when the PUC narrowed its blackout exemptions to utility customers that would pose “imminent danger to public health and safety” if they lost power. 

Despite the change, none of the refineries lost power in early May – the last time that California’s electricity grid managers ordered rolling blackouts. 

Nevertheless, the PUC’s decision “threatens to expand our energy problems from the current electricity supply problem to problems with shortages of critical fuels – gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel,” Chevron CEO David O’Reilly advised Davis in a June 1 letter. 

Even a temporary shortage could increase California’s gasoline prices by as much as 25 percent, according to estimates made by the California Energy Commission. Millions of California households and businesses already face electricity rate increases on their summer utility bills. 

The oil refiners join a long line of businesses lobbying for blackout exemptions, with the PUC receiving more than 10,000 such applications. The PUC expects to make a preliminary decision on the exemption applications July 10, with a final decision scheduled for Aug. 2. 

Fearing grid managers might pull the plug before the PUC acts, the refineries also are lobbying state lawmakers to pass a bill that would provide blackout exemptions for businesses “engaged in the manufacturing and/or transportation of critical fuels.” 

The bill cleared the state Assembly by a unanimous vote, but is now stuck in a Senate committee. 

“We’re paralyzed right now,” said Scott Folwarkow, Valero’s environmental and regulatory manager at its Benicia refinery. “This isn’t just about us or a few other refineries. There would be huge ripple effects through the economy because so many things, including police and ambulances, depend on gasoline.” 

While the refineries have a compelling case for blackout exemptions, they also should be required to pay more for electricity when other customers are enduring power outages, said Severin Borenstein, director of the University of California’s energy institute. 

“If the power is that valuable to them, then the state should probably say, ’OK, you won’t have to suffer blackouts, but you will have to pay extra for the electricity during shortages,”’ Borenstein said. 

Paying a little more for power wouldn’t represent a huge blow for oil companies because the industry’s profits have soared along with gasoline and natural gas prices. Chevron, for instance, earned $1.6 billion during the first three months of this year, 53 percent more than last year — when its profits set a company record. 

The state, in contrast, can’t afford to lose refining capacity for an extended period. 

Even when all the state’s refineries are operating at full capacity, the state traditionally needs to import about 10 percent of its summer gasoline supply, according to the California Energy Commission, which supports the refineries’ effort to obtain blackout exemptions. 

Based on recent accidents that forced California refineries to shut down in 1996 and 1999, gasoline prices would rise by as much as 50 cents per gallon if just one plant lost capacity for a few days, said Gordon Schremp, senior fuel specialist for the California Energy Commission. 

As it is, California motorists already pay some of the highest gasoline prices in the country. In May, California’s average gasoline price stood at $2 per gallon compared to the national average of $1.72 per gallon, according to surveys by the American Automobile Association. 

Providing the refineries with adequate electricity to supplement their internal power generation would reduce California’s electricity supply by 200 to 250 megawatts, Schremp estimated. That’s enough power for 150,000 to 187,500 homes. 

On The Net: 

http://www.chevron.com 

http://www.valero.com 

http://www.tosco.com 

http://www.exxon.mobil.com 

http://www.equilonmotivaequiva.com 


Juno, NetZero set to merge

The Associated Press
Friday June 08, 2001

LOS ANGELES — Former bitter rivals NetZero and Juno Online Services, the two biggest providers of free Internet access, said Thursday they will merge in a deal that is expected to create the nation’s second-largest Internet connection company. 

NetZero of Westlake Village, Calif., and Juno Online Services of New York announced the deal after close of market. 

The two would share 7 million subscribers and would be larger than the online access arms of Microsoft, Earthlink and AT&T, company executives said in a statement. Only AOL would be bigger. 

Under the terms of the all-stock transaction, NetZero and Juno will become wholly owned subsidiaries of a newly formed company called United Online Inc. 

NetZero stockholders will own about 61.5 percent of the outstanding shares in United Online. Juno stockholders will own the rest, once the deal closes sometime before the end of the year. 

The new company is expected to trade on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol UNTD. 

The deal comes as free Net providers are striving to find new ways to make money and are increasingly dabbling in paid online access services. Traditionally, free providers have made their money through advertising. 

Such an experiment has not saved NetZero from widening quarterly losses. 

The company’s third-quarter net loss, announced in May, grew more than $66 million to $91.3 million, compared with the same period last year. That’s despite a new $9.95-a-month paid service that drew 116,000 customers during that same period. 

Juno, meanwhile, has been offering some paid services for three years. 

The two had clashed in court since late last year, when NetZero sued Juno on accusations of patent infringement. 

The California company alleged that Juno was using unique technology that combines pop-up ad banners and a navigational tool. 

A federal judge lifted a temporary restraining order against Juno in April, though a trial was expected later this year. 

Juno has also taken court action against NetZero. 

In a separate case, Juno filed a patent infringement case against NetZero and Qualcomm Inc. last summer over Eudora e-mail software. 

In that suit, which was also last reported as pending, Juno alleged the Qualcomm-developed program infringes on a patent it holds for software that allows it to continue to display advertisements connected to e-mail messages even when a user’s computer is not connected to the Internet. 


Bush signs tax cut, says rebates will happen

The Associated Press
Friday June 08, 2001

WASHINGTON — In a White House victory celebration, President Bush put his signature to the nation’s first across-the-board tax cut in a generation on Thursday and promised American families rebate checks in time to help with September school bills. 

He proclaimed the $1.35 trillion tax cut, most of which takes effect slowly over the next decade, the first achievement for a “new tone in Washington.” 

Such broad tax relief has happened just twice since World War II — President Kennedy’s tax cuts in the 1960s and President Reagan’s in the 1980s — Bush told a packed White House audience of near-giddy Republicans and some Democrats. 

“And now it’s happening for the third time,” Bush said. “And it’s about time.” 

Rebate checks, most between $300 and $600 will be mailed beginning July 20 to every American who paid taxes this year. Eventually, income tax rates will drop, the child credit will double and the estate tax, which Bush calls “the death tax,” will die. 

“Most families can look forward to a $600 tax rebate before they have to pay the September back-to-school bills. And in the years ahead, taxpayers can look forward to steadily declining income tax rates,” Bush said. 

Democratic opponents complained that the wealthiest 1 percent of taxpayers will reap more than one-third of the new law’s benefit. “For tens of millions of Americans, the check is not in the mail,” said Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. 

Within an hour of the signing, House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., opened up the possibility of rolling back some provisions in order to meet spending needs or accommodate any shortfall in the projected $5.6 trillion budget surplus that Bush is counting on to offset tax cuts. 

There were no second thoughts in the East Room. Republican leaders and the handful of Democratic lawmakers who helped push the bill through Congress – including Georgia’s Zell Miller, New Jersey’s Robert Torricelli, Louisiana’s John Breaux, and Montana’s Max Baucus – surrounded the president and grabbed for the 10 souvenir pens he had obligingly used to work through his signature letter by letter. 

The package was $250 billion smaller than the version Bush had campaigned for and made a must-pass centerpiece of his first six months in office. Nonetheless, the president claimed vindication over political foes who had said his tax cut proposal was too big. 

“Today it becomes reality,” he said. 

First lady Laura Bush, who is rarely seen when her husband conducts business, took a front-row seat, just one sign that this was a most special occasion for the young Bush White House. Three charter buses deposited members of Congress at the North Portico. Senior White House political strategist Karl Rove bounced through the East Room slapping backs and shaking hands two at a time. Vice President Dick Cheney, Bush’s chief operative on Capitol Hill, slipped into the ceremony unannounced but for the clapping of the first lawmaker to spot him. 

A grander ceremony planned for the South Lawn was chased inside by rain, so the dozens of guests who couldn’t fit in the East Room were seated before TV monitors in the Grand Foyer. A grinning Rick Lazio, who lost last year’s New York Senate race to Hillary Clinton, squeezed into the party that capped years of GOP frustration as former President Clinton blocked or vetoed several previous tax cuts. 

Rep. J.C. Watts of Oklahoma, the fourth-ranking House Republican, told colleagues in a memo that as the refund checks go out to constituents, Republicans should “take every opportunity to remind them who is working to give them more of their own money back to meet their own priorities, not Washington’s.” 

In addition to the refund checks and gradual income tax cuts — which include creation of a new 10 percent bottom rate — the measure eases the marriage penalty paid by millions of two-income couples, gradually doubles the $500 child credit and contains breaks for increased retirement savings and education. 

House Republican leaders said they will attempt to pass legislation this year to eliminate the “sunset” expiration date and make the tax cuts permanent. But the Democratic majority in the Senate, installed after Vermont Sen. James Jeffords’ switch from the GOP to independent, could make it difficult for that measure or any other House GOP tax cuts to pass this year. 

Bush renewed his efforts Thursday to cultivate good relations with key lawmakers. He had what aides called a cordial meeting in the Oval Office with moderate Sen. Lincoln Chafee, R-R.I., and had Daschle to dinner at the White House. 

———— 

On the Net: 

Congress: http://thomas.loc.gov 

IRS Web site on advance payment program: http://www.irs.gov/ind—info/apinfo/index.html 


Hearings will focus on work-related injuries

The Associated Press
Friday June 08, 2001

WASHINGTON — Labor Secretary Elaine Chao said Thursday she will hold three hearings on work-related injuries, and the findings will help determine how the Bush administration will pursue a new policy to protect workers. 

Democrats criticized the hearings as a delay tactic. 

“We don’t need more study. We need action – now,” said Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., chairman of the Employment, Safety and Training Subcommittee now that Democrats have taken control of the Senate. 

The hearings on ergonomics-related injuries will be in Washington, D.C., on July 16, Chicago on July 20 and in California on July 24, though the city hasn’t been decided yet.  

The goal is to develop a universal definition of injuries caused by repetitive motion and stress. Chao will decide by September if she will pursue another government regulation or a voluntary policy. 

“Guiding principles will provide a vital starting point for evaluating the issue and a point from which we can decide a final course of action,” she said in a statement. 

An administrative law judge will conduct the hearings, which will allow public participation. 

Ergonomics is the science of adapting working conditions to suit individual employees. Critics have complained that there is not enough scientific evidence to justify employer regulations that were issued late in the Clinton administration, but repealed in March by the Republican-controlled Congress. Since then, Chao has been under pressure to say how she will address workplace injuries. 

 

 

Republicans praised the plan for hearings, saying study is needed about how such injuries occur and what the federal government’s role should be. 

Chao “has obviously reviewed some of the voluminous testimony from the last misguided attempt and has struck at the heart of the problem,” said Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., the ranking Republican on the subcommittee, which oversees the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 

Business groups complained that the scope of the OSHA regulations was too broad and that compliance would be difficult and costly, estimating the price tag at $100 billion. The repealed rules would have required employers to change work stations or jobs for workers complaining of injuries, and pay for medical attention. 

OSHA said the rules would have cost businesses about $4.5 billion to comply, but would have meant in $9 billion in savings by reducing injuries. 

The rollback was a big blow to organized labor, which had fought for such protections for more than a decade. Labor argued that enough studies and hearings have been conducted to support the need for regulations. 

On the Net: 

Labor Department: http://www.dol.gov 


Giants stay local, draft Cash, Meyer

Jared Green Daily Planet Staff
Thursday June 07, 2001

If all goes according to plan, the San Francisco Giants could have a serious Berkeley connection going at some point in the next few years. They drafted three players with Berkeley connections in Tuesday’s Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. 

With their third-round pick, the Giants took former Berkeley High player Julian Benavidez. Benavidez, a first baseman, has attended Diablo Valley College for the past two years. 

The sixth round saw the Giants taking Cal senior David Cash with the 196th overall pick. Cash, a right-handed pitcher, was an honorable mention All-Pac-10 pick this season. He finished the 2001 season 10-3 with four saves and concluded his Cal career with a 23-7 overall record with six saves. His 23 wins is fifth on the Bears’ career win list and his six saves is seventh on the Cal career save list. Cash is also eighth on the school’s career strikeout list (198). 

The Giants’ final Berkeley pick was Cal senior outfielder Rob Meyer. Meyer may have helped his draft status with a scorching postseason, going 6-for-12 with three home runs and seven RBI, and earning all-tournament honors. He was the Cal’s leading hitter this season with a .355 average and was honorable mention All-Pac-10.  

Other members of the 2001 Bears who were selected included senior first baseman Clint Hoover (14th round by the Houston Astros), junior left-hander Jason Dennis (14th round by the Anaheim Angels), and junior right-hander Trevor Hutchinson (20th round by the New York Mets). 

Hoover finished his Cal career fourth on the Bears’ all-time career RBI list (157), fifth on the career home run list (39) and eighth on the career doubles list (44). Dennis finished the 2001 season 5-3, including a 4-0 shutout of Stanford and a victory against Minnesota at the NCAA Tournament. Hutchinson was the Bears No. 1 starter this season, going 6-7 with a 3.85 ERA and 91 strikeouts in a team-high 114.6 innings. 

Cal head coach David Esquer said there weren’t any big surprises among the seniors taken. 

“I’m happy for all of them chance to go play pro ball,” he said. “I don’t think any of them are disappointed with where they were taken.” 

Esquer said he fully expected the two junior hurlers, Dennis and Hutchinson, to sign with the teams that drafted them rather than return to Cal for another season. 

“I can’t imagine they wouldn’t come to terms,” Esquer said. “With Trevor, I’m surprised he didn’t go higher. The Mets know what kind of talent they’ve got, I’d be surprised if they didn’t give him what he needs to sign with them.” 

Esquer also has to deal with uncertainty surrounding three of his signees for next season. 

Letter of intent signees Terry Jones, Tyler Adamczyk and Justin Nelson were all taken in the draft and could sign with their respective teams rather than play for Cal. Jones, a fourth round pick of the Philadelphia Phillies (110th pick), is a 6-2, 195 pound shortstop from Upland High School in Upland. Adamczyk is a 6-5, 180-pound right-handed pitcher/first baseman from Westlake Village who was drafted in the seventh round by the St. Louis Cardinals. Nelson is a 6-2, 210-pound left-handed outfielder/pitcher from Rancho Buena Vista High School in Vista who was drafted in the 20th round by the Anaheim Angels. Esquer said all three are still considering their options. 

“I don’t think anything is very apparent with the high school kids,” Esquer said. “Jones is a concern, because he was drafted in a good position. But all these kids are aware of value of a college education.” 

Esquer said that college coaches always have to consider the draft status of a recruit. 

“Sometimes players are too good, and they end up getting a lot of money to go straight to the pros. But if you go after those guys, you know there’s a good chance you’re never going to see them,” he said. 

“With other guys it can be a little bit of a crapshoot. You can be looking at a kid early, and they can blossom and become a top-five round talent. There’s always a risk involved, but you do your homework and try and get kids who value a college education.”


Thursday June 07, 2001

 

Habitot Children’s Museum “Back to the Farm” An interactive exhibit gives children the chance to wiggle through tunnels, look into a mirrored fish pond, don farm animal costumes, ride on a John Deere tractor and more. “Recycling Center” Lets the kids crank the conveyor belt to sort cans, plastic bottles and newspaper bundles into dumpster bins. $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. (closed Sundays, Memorial Day through Labor Day) Kittredge Street and Shattuck Avenue 647-1111 or www.habitot.org  

 

Judah L. Magnes Museum “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. 2911 Russell St. 549-6950  

 

The Asian Galleries “Art of the Sung: Court and Monastery” 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 Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology “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. “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. Kroeber Hall, Bancroft Way and College Ave. 643-7648  

 

Lawrence Hall of Science “Math Rules!” 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. “Saturday Night Stargazing,” First and third Saturdays each month. 8 - 10 p.m., LHS plaza. Computer Lab, Saturdays 12:30 - 3:30 p.m. $7 for adults; $5 for children 5-18; $3 for children 3-4. 642-5132 

 

Holt Planetarium Programs are recommended for age 8 and up; children under age 6 will not be admitted. $2 in addition to regular museum admission. “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. Centennial Drive, UC Berkeley 642-5132 or www.lhs.berkeley.edu  

 

924 Gilman St. All shows begin at 8 p.m. unless noted $5; $2 for year membership. All ages. June 8: The Enemies, Pitch Black, The Fleshies, Supersift, Texas Thieves; June 9: Groovie Ghoulies, The Influents, Red Planet, Mallrats, Goat Shanty. 525-9926  

Albatross Pub Music at 9 p.m unless noted otherwise. June 7: Keni “El Lebrijano” Flamenco guitar; June 9, 6 - 8 p.m.: Sauce Piquante, 9 p.m. - Midnight: Whiskey Brothers; June 12: Mad and Eddie Duran. 1822 San Pablo Ave. 843-2473  

 

Anna’s Music at 8 p.m. June 7: Irrationals; June 8: Anna and Susie Laraine and Sallie Hanna-Rhine, 10 p.m.: Bluesman Hideo Date; June 9: Robin Gregory and Bliss Rodriguez, 10 p.m.: The Ducksan Distone; June 10: Choro Time with Ron Galen and Friends. $2 weeknights, $3 weekends. 1801 University Ave. 849-ANNA  

 

Ashkenaz June 2, 9:30 p.m.: June 7, 10 p.m.: Dead DJ Nite with Digital Dave; June 8, 9:30 p.m. Ali Khan with Bellydance Troupe Lunatique; June 9, 9:30 p.m.: Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers; June 10, 7 p.m.: Food Not Bombs with Goodbye Flowers and INKA. 1370 San Pablo Ave. 525-5054 or www.ashkenaz.com 

 

Freight & Salvage All music at 8 p.m. June :7 Alice Stuart, Folk blues, $17.50; June 8: Cats & Jammers Hot swing. $17.50; , June 9.: Danny Heines & Michael Manring; June 10: Roy Tyler and New Directions; June 12: Keith Little with Del Williams; June 13: Danu. $17.50.1111 Addison St. www.freightandsalvage.org 

 

La Peña Cultural Center “Cantiflas!” June 7 and June 8, 8 p.m. Herbert Siguenza, of the  

critically acclaimed trio Culture Clash, stars in this bilingual work-in-progress about legendary Mexican comedian Marion Moreno. With guest performers Eduardo Robledo and Tanya Vlach. 

$16. 3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 849-2568 www.lapena.org  

 

Jupiter All shows at 8 p.m. June 7, Beatdown with DJs Delon, Yamu, Add1; June 8, Harvey Wainapel Quartet; June 9, Om Trio; June 12, Ben Graves Trio 2181 Shattuck Ave 843-8277  

 

The Berkeley TEMPO Festival of Contemporary Performances All performances begin at 8 p.m. June 8: Berkeley Contemporary Chamber Players; June 9: John Scott, John Abercrombie, George Marsh, Rich Fudoli, Mel Graves. $15 Hertz Hall, UC Berkeley Campus www.tempofestival.org 

 

The Farallone String Quartet June 10, 7:30 p.m. Quartets by Haydn. $8 - $10 Berkeley Art Center 1275 Walnut St. 

 

World Harmony Chorus June 10, 2 p.m. Vocal music from around the world. $5 - $10 Julia Morgan Center for the Arts 2640 College Ave. 925-798-1300 

 

Berkeley Symphony Orchestra June 21. All performances begin at 8 p.m. Single $19 - $35, Series $52 - $96. Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley 841-2800 

 

Sungugal Ballet June 10, 4:30 p.m. Featuring master percussionist Djibi Faye and West African Band with traditional West African dance. $6 - $12. Jazzschool/La Note 2377 Shattuck Ave. 845-5373 

“Big Love” by Charles L. Mee Through June 10 Directed by Les Waters and loosely based on the Greek Drama, “The Suppliant Woman,” by Aeschylus. Fifty brides who are being forced to marry fifty brothers flee to a peaceful villa on the Italian coast in search of sanctuary. $15.99 - $51 Berkeley Repertory Theatre 2025 Addison St. 647-2949 

 

“Planet Janet” Through June 10, Fridays and Saturdays 8 p.m., Sundays 7 p.m. Follows six young urbanites’ struggles in sex and dating. Impact Theatre presentation written by Bret Fetzer, directed by Sarah O’Connell. $7 - $12 La Val’s Subterranean Theatre 1834 Euclid 464-4468 www.impacttheatre.com 

 

“The Misanthrope” by Moliere Through June 10, Fri - Sun, 8 p.m. Berkeley-based Women in Time Productions presents this comic love story full of riotous wooing, venomous scheming and provocative dialogue. All female design and production staff. $17 - $20 Il Teatro 450 449 Powell St. San Francisco 415-433-1172 or visit www.womenintime.com 

 

“Cymbeline” Through June 24, Tues. - Thur. 7:30 p.m., Fri. 8 p.m., Sat. 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sun. 4 p.m. Opening of the California Shakespeare Festival features one of Shakespeare’s first romances, directed by Daniel Fish. $12 - $146. Bruns Memorial Amphitheater off Highway 24 at the Shakespeare Festival Way/Gateway Exit. 548-9666 or www.calshakes.org 

 

“The Laramie Project” Through July 8, Wed. 7 p.m., Tues. and Thur. -Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Written by Moises Kaufmen and members of Tectonic Theater Project, directed by Moises Kaufman. Moises Kaufman and Tectonic members traveled to Laramie, Wyo., after the murder of openly gay student Matthew Shepherd. The play is about the community and the impact Shaper’s death had on its members. $10 - $50. The Roda Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre 2015 Addison St. 647-2949 www.berkeleyrep.org 

 

“A Life In the Theatre” Previews June 8, 9, 10, 13. Opens June 14, runs through July 15. Wed. - Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. David Mamet play about the lives of two actors, considered a metaphor for life itself. Directed by Nancy Carlin. $30-$35. $26 preview nights. Berkeley City Club 2315 Durant 843-4822 

 

Pacific Film Archive June 7, 7:00: Viy; June 8, 7:30: Aerograd; June 8, 9:15: The Letter That Was Never Sent; June 9, 7:30: Comic and Avant-Garde Shorts; June 10, 5:30: Pitfall, 7:25: Woman In the Dunes. Pacific Film Archive Theater 2575 Bancroft Way (at Bowditch) 642-1412 

 

“The Producers” June 10. Revisit this outrageous comedy classic, starring Zero Mostel and written by Mel Brooks. $2 Berkeley Richmond Jewish Community Center 1414 Walnut St. 848-0237 

 

“Elemental” The art of Linda Mieko Allen Through June 9, Tuesday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Traywick Gallery 1316 Tenth St. 527-1214 www.traywick.com 

 

East Bay Open Studios June 9 & 10, 16 & 17, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Jennifer Foxly: Oil paintings and 2-d mixed media works 3206 Boise St.; Lewis Suzuki: Scenes from California to the Philippines, florals to nudes 2240 Grant St.; Guy Colwell: Painted replicas and recent original work 2028 9th St. (open until 7 p.m.) 

 

Wosene Kosrof June 13, 7 - 8:30 p.m. Ethiopian-born Berkeley resident will be exhibiting and discussing his paintings. One piece will be up for auction, proceeds to benefit the YMCA. Free. Crystal Room, Shattuck Hotel 2086 Allston 848-9622 ext. 3541  

 

PASSING: The Re-Definition of Sex and Gender Through the Personal Re-Presentation of Self Through June 16, Mon. - Fri. 8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Black and white photographs by Ann P. Meredith. Free. Reception with the artist June 7, 6 - 8 p.m. Photolab Gallery 2235 Fifth St.  

 

Ledger drawings of Michael and Sandra Horse Exhibit runs through June 18. Gathering Tribes Gallery 1573 Solano Ave. 528-9038 www.gatheringtribes.com  

 

“Alive in Her: Icons of the Goddess” Through June 19, Tuesday - Thursday, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Photography, collage, and paintings by Joan Beth Clair. Pacific School of Religion 1798 Scenic Ave. 848-0528 

 

Tyler James Hoare Sculpture and Collage Through June 27, call for hours. Party June 9, 5-9 p.m. with music by Sauce Piquante. The Albatross Pub 1822 San Pablo Ave. 843-2473 

 

Ako Castuera, Ryohei Tanaka, Rob Sato Through June 30, Tues. - Sat. 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Group exhibition, recent paintings. Artist’s reception June 9, 6:30 - 9 p.m. with music by Knewman and Espia. !hey! Gallery 4920 B Telegraph Ave., Oakland 428-2349  

 

“Watershed 2001” Through July 14, Wednesday - Sunday Noon - 5 p.m. Exhibition of painting, drawing, sculpture and installation that explore images and issues about our watershed. Berkeley Art Center 1275 Walnut St. 644-6893 

 

Bernard Maisner: Illuminated Manuscripts and Paintings Through Aug. 8 Maisner works in miniature as well as in large scales. Flora Lamson Hewlett Library 2400 Ridge Rd. 849-2541 

 

“Musee des Hommages,” Masterworks by Guy Colwell Faithful copies of several artists from the pasts, including Titian’s “The Venus of Urbino,” Cezanne’s “Still Life,” Picasso’s “Woman at a Mirror,” and Boticelli’s “Primavera” Ongoing. Call ahead for hours 2028 Ninth St. (at Addison) 841-4210 or visit www.atelier9.com 

 

“Geographies of My Heart” Collage paintings by Jennifer Colby through August 24; Flora Lamson Hewlett Library 2400 Ridge Rd. 649-2541 

 

Images of Portugal Paintings by Sofia Berto Villas-Boas of her native land. Open after 5 p.m. Voulez-Vous 2930 College Ave. (at Elmwood) 

 

“Queens of Ethiopia: Intuitive Inspirations,” the exceptional art of Esete-Miriam A. Menkir. Through July 11. Women’s Cancer Resource Center Gallery 3023 Shattuck Ave. 548-9286 ext 307 

 

“The Decade of Change: 1900 - 1910” chronicles the transformation of the city of Berkeley in this 10 year period. Thursday through Saturday, 1 - 4 p.m. Berkeley History Center, Veterans Memorial Building, 1931 Center St. Wheelchair accessible. 848-0181. Free.  

 

Readings 

 

Cody’s Books 2454 Telegraph Ave. All events at 7:30 p.m. June 7: Dr. Amit Goswami talks about “The Visionary Window: A Quantum Physicist’s Guide to Enlightenment”; June 8: Scott Carrier reads from “Running After Antelope”; June 9: Richard Russo reads from “Empire Falls”, June 10: Irvine Welsh talks about “Glue.” 

 

Cody’s Books 1730 Fourth St. All events at 7 p.m. June 8: For the younger readers, Eoin Colfer reads from “Artemis Fowl”; June 9: For the younger readers, Lemony Snicket reports on “The Vile Village.”  

 

Weekly Poetry Nitro Mondays 6:30 p.m sign up, 7 - 9 p.m. reading. Performing poets in a dinner atmosphere. Featured poets: June 11, Ivan Arguelles. Cafe de la Paz 1600 Shattuck Ave. 843-0662 

 

Tours 

 

 

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Free. University of California, Berkeley. 486-4387 

 

Berkeley City Club Tours 2315 Durant Ave., Berkeley. The fourth Sunday of every month, Noon - 4 p.m. $2 848-7800  

 

Golden Gate Live Steamers Grizzly Peak Boulevard and Lomas Cantadas Drive at the south end of Tilden Regional Park Small locomotives, meticulously scaled to size. Trains run Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Rides: Sunday, noon to 3 p.m., weather permitting. 486-0623  

 

Berkeley Historical Society Walking Tours All tours begin at 10 a.m. and are restricted to 30 people per tour $5 - $10 per tour. June 23: Sue Fernstrom will lead a tour of Strawberry Creek and West of the UC Berkeley campus 848-0181 

 


New mayor faces the two cities of L.A.

By Ruben Martinez Pacific News Service
Thursday June 07, 2001

 

 

The morning after L.A.’s most hotly-contested mayoral election in more than three decades, my e-mail and voice-mail are full of messages from friends and colleagues and virtual people. They share one sentiment – “we” were robbed. We Latinos, that is. 

I can’t say I was happy about the results, but neither can I say I agree with these voices. One said the whites weren’t ready to “trust a Mexican” in the mayor’s office. Another said the black political leadership sold out Latinos and sided with whites (implying that blacks, too, do not 

“trust a Mexican”). Yet another prophesied racial division. 

Official election results and exit polls show the election divided Los Angeles along ethnic and racial lines. African Americans voted overwhelmingly for mayor-elect Jim Hahn, as did moderate and conservative whites, especially in the San Fernando Valley. Latinos and progressives, 

we are told, voted for Antonio Villaraigosa who, as the media reminded us for more than a year, would have been become the city’s first Latino mayor since 1872. 

But for me the race wasn’t about race. It was about a candidate from a working-class background, with a long history of labor activism, attempting to forge a new multi-ethnic coalition the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the days of former mayor Tom Bradley, the city’s first African-American mayor. 

Bradley was elected with backing from then mostly-black South Los Angeles and the largely liberal Jewish enclave of the West Side. That coalition went up in flames during the riots of 1992, paving the way for the election of Republican mayor Richard Riordan – a fuzzy, warm kind of conservative who nonetheless called for a vastly increased police force. 

Villaraigosa’s coalition was a newer and more progressive version of Bradley’s. A native son of East L.A., he banked on support from Latinos, of course, but he never played the race card. A labor activist never places race over class inequity – that would set too many demons loose. 

In labor struggles, the issues are wages and working conditions. The labor force may be all brown and the bosses all white or Asian, but that isn’t the point for labor – you never know when you’ll need the support of like-minded people from other racial or ethnic groups. It’s about 

class, not race. 

It is hard to remember that in L.A. these days. The language of race and ethnicity permeates discourse. In large part this reflects the 2000 Census, which shows Latinos nearing an absolute majority, whites dipping below 30, black population about the same and a surging Asian population. But by and large, L.A.’s new neighborhoods are mixed. What divides us 

most is not language, or skin color. It is class. 

L.A. has become a city of staggering wealth – and staggering poverty. The United Way documented this not long ago in a report titled “A Tale of Two Cities.” Only a handful of sectors in the local economy have grown over the last decade. Most jobs have not been in the film and music industries or in high-tech, but in the “service sector” – jobs which involve literally “serving” someone. Hotels and restaurants, landscaping and nannying – in these jobs, union representation is scarce, not to mention health benefits or even a “living wage.” To a great degree, L.A.’s up-and-coming majority, Latinos, fill these jobs. But there are many whites, blacks and Asians “serving” as well, and this is the L.A. Villaraigosa sought to represent. 

In the final weeks of the campaign, Villaraigosa’s opponent Jim Hahn played the race card, using advertising imagery and rhetoric not much different from the infamous “Willy Horton” ads used by George Bush Sr. against Mike Dukakis. 

The problem for Villaraigosa and for the city is not so much the ethnic demons that were set loose. It is the fact that those demons mask, as they always have, the true issue. We may live in a city of many colors and languages, foods and musics. But most of us live in one city or another: in the L.A. of the served or the L.A. of the server. 

Those are the cities that Jim Hahn will face as the new mayor of Los Angeles. 

 

PNS Associate Editor Ruben Martinez is a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University and author of the forthcoming “Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail” (Metropolitan/Holt Books, September 2001)


Calendar of Events & Activities

Thursday June 07, 2001


Thursday, June 7

 

Berkeley Metaphysical  

Toastmasters Club  

6:15 - 7:30 p.m.  

2515 Hillegass Ave.  

Used book sale as a fund-raiser for the club, where public speaking skills and metaphysics come together. The club has regular meetings on the first and third Thursdays each month.  

Call 869-2547 

 

Berkeley Unified School  

District 

Appreciation Dinner 

6 p.m. 

Berkeley Alternative High School 

2701 MLK Jr. Way 

Berkeley Unified School District Office of State and Federal Projects honors District Title I/State Compensatory Education, English Learner Advisory Committee representatives, and departing school principals. Guest speaker Dr. Mary Montle Bacon on “We Need to BE the Change We Want.” 

644-6202 

 

Free Writing, Cashiering &  

Computer Literacy Class 

9 a.m. - 1 p.m.  

AJOB Adult School  

1911 Addison St.  

Free classes offered Monday through Friday. Stop by and register or call 548-6700. 

www.ajob.org 

 

LGBT Catholics Group  

7:30 p.m. 

Newman Hall  

2700 Dwight Way (at College)  

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender Catholics group are “a spiritual community committed to creating justice.” This session will be a community meeting.  

654-5486 

 

Skin Cancer Screening Clinic 

Alta Bates Summit Medical Center 

Summit Campus  

2450 Ashby Ave. 

Markstein Cancer Education Center 

Skin cancer screenings are offered only to people who, due to limited or no health insurance, would be able to have a suspicious mole or other skin changes examined. Appointments are required.  

869-8833 

 

Summer Noon Concerts 2001 

Noon - 1 p.m. 

Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza 

Shattuck at Center St. 

Weekly summer concert series. This week Advanced Jazz Workshop under direction of Mike Zilber. 

 

Community Environmental  

Advisory Commission Meeting 

7 p.m. 

Planning and Development 

First floor Conference Room 

2118 Milvia Street 

Among items to be discussed, Air Study and Chrome 6, TMD staffing, and arsenic, pentachlorophenol and creosote in playgrounds. 

705-8150 

 

Housing Advisory  

Commission Meeting 

7:30 p.m. 

South Berkeley Senior Center 

2939 Ellis St. 

This meeting will include a status report and possible action on Masons’ decision not to seek housing tax credits for their 3132-3138 MLK Jr. Way Senior Housing Development Project. 

981-5411 

 

Public Works  

Commission Meeting 

7 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst Avenue 

Among other items on the agenda, there will be a report on the May 15 presentation to the City Council on the Sewer Fund and the Sewer Correction Program, as well as the following media coverage. 

981-6300 

 

Board of Library Trustees 

9 a.m. 

South Branch Library 

1901 Russell Street 

Special meeting ending with a closed session to evaluate candidates for the position of Director of Library Services. 

644-6095  

 

“Sepharad, Sephardim:  

A Journey through Jewish Spain” 

7:30 p.m. 

Easy Going Travel Shop and Bookstore 

1385 Shattuck Avenue 

Slide presentation and lecture by Steven David Bileca. Free. 

843-3533 

 


Friday, June 8

 

 

Living Philosophers  

10 a.m. - Noon  

North Berkeley Senior Center  

1901 Hearst Ave. Hear and entertain the ideas of some modern day philosophers: Jacob Needleman, J. Revel, Hilary Putnam, John Searle, Saul Kripke, Richard Rorty and others. Every Friday, except holidays. Facilitated by H.D. Moe.  

 

Therapy for Trans Partners  

6 - 7:30 p.m.  

Pacific Center for Human Growth  

2712 Telegraph Ave. (at Derby)  

A group open to partners of those in transition or considering transition. The group is structured to be a safe place to receive support from peers and explore a variety of issues, including sexual orientation, coming out, feelings of isolation, among other topics. Intake process required. Meeting Fridays through August 17.  

$8 - $35 sliding scale per session  

Call 548-8283 x534 or x522 

 

Backpacking Essentials 

7 p.m. 

REI 

1338 San Pablo Ave. 

Review the fundamental how-tos of selecting gear for a weekend backpacking trip. Free 

527-4140 

 

City Commons Club,  

Luncheon and Speaker 

11:45 a.m. 

Berkeley City Club 

2315 Durant Ave. 

This week featuring Doris Sloan, Ph.D., on “Treasures Along the Silk Road Oases.” Come early for social hour. Lunch at 11:45 for $11-$12.25. Come at 12:30 to hear the speaker only for $1, students free. Reservations required for three or more. 

848-3533 

 

Women In Black Protests 

5 - 6:30 p.m. 

Montgomery and Market Streets 

San Francisco 

Part of a worldwide protest taking place in 103 cities, Bay Area women and men in black will protest 34 years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. Sponsored in part by Berkeley Women In Black and the Middle East Children’s Alliance. 

510-434-1304 

 

Berkeley Women  

In Black Protest 

Noon - 1 p.m. 

Bancroft and Telegraph 

If San Francisco is too far to travel, stay on this side of the Bay and join the small group of Berkeley Women In Black who have been protesting on Telegraph every Friday since 1988. 

 


Saturday, June 9

 

Live Oak Park Fair 

11 a.m. - 6 p.m. 

Celebrates original crafts, international diversity, and community life. One hundred artists and craftsmakers display their work, with live performances and a variety of food. Free admission.  

Call 986-9337 

 

The Bite of REI 2001 

10 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

REI 

1338 San Pablo Ave. 

Taste some of the best, lightweight backpacking food and energy snacks available. At 1 p.m. Rick Greenspan and Hal Kahn with demonstrate how to turn your outdoor trips into gourmet adventures. Free 527-4140 

 

La Pena 26th Anniversary  

Benefit to Honor Dolores  

Huerta 

7 p.m. 

La Pena Cultural Center 

3105 Shattuck Ave. 

Music performances, slide show and raffle in honor of special guest Dolores Huerta, farm worker’s and women’s rights advocate. Huerta worked with Cesar Chavez to establish and lead the National Farm Workers Association in the 1960’s, and has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of farm workers for decades. Proceeds will go to La Pena and Huerta’s medical expenses. $20 - $25. 

849-2568 www.lapena.org 

 


Sunday, June 10

 

Counteracting Negative Emotions 

6 p.m. 

Tibetan Nyingma Institute 

1815 Highland Place 

Exercises presented by Sylvia Gretchen, Dean of Nyingma Studies. Free and open to the public. 

843-681 

 

Live Oak Park Fair 

11 a.m. - 6 p.m. 

One hundred artists and craftsmakers display their work, with live entertainment and food. Free admission. 986-9337 

 

— compiled by  

Sabrina Forkish 

 

 

 

“Kindertransport: A Personal Account” 

10:30 a.m. 

Berkeley Richmond Jewish Community Center 

1414 Walnut St. 

Hear the moving story Ralph Samuel, who escaped Nazi Germany as the age of eight. Samuel was one of an estimated 10,000 children who were rescued through the efforts of the Kindertransport operation. $4 BRJCC members, $5 for general public. Admission includes brunch. 848-0237. 

 

Music and Meditation 

8 - 9 p.m. 

The Heart-Road Traveller 

1828 Euclid Ave. 

Group meditation though instrumental music and devotional songs. Led by Lucian Balmer and Baoul Scavullo. Free. 

496-3468 

 

Monday, June 11 

Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board 

4 p.m. 

One Frank H. Ogawa Plaza 

Hearing Room One 

Oakland 

The Board will meet and discuss the request to make the Claremont Hotel an official landmark.  

 

Berkeley School Volunteers 

3 - 4:30 p.m. 

1835 Allston Way 

Orientation for volunteers interested in helping in summer academic and recreation programs. 

644-8833 

 

Tuesday, June 12 

Berkeley Camera Club  

7:30 p.m. 

Northbrae Community Church  

941 The Alameda  

Share your slides and learn what other photographers are doing. Monthly field trips. 

Call Wade, 531-8664 

 

Young Queer Women’s Group 

8 - 9:30 p.m.  

Pacific Center 

2712 Telegraph Ave.  

Make some new friends, expand your horizons and get support with a bunch of queer women all in the same place at the same time (somewhere between 18 and 25).  

548-8283 or visit www.pacificcenter.org 

 

Berkeley Farmers’ Market 

2 - 7 p.m. 

Derby Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Milvia Street 

548-3333 

 

Cooking for BEFHP Women 

6:30 - 8:30 p.m. 

BEFHP Women’s Resource Center 

2140 Dwight Way 

Come help the Berkeley Emergency Food and Housing Project prepare, serve, and cleanup a hot meal prepared for Berkeley’s homeless women and children. Teens 16+.  

650-965-0242 

 

Wednesday, June 13  

Defining Diversity 

7 - 9 p.m. 

Ecology Center 

2530 San Pablo Ave.  

Different interpretations of biological and cultural diversity and how it’s used for very different purposes.  

548-2220 

 

Commission On Disability Hearings 

4 - 6 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst St. 

Open forum, opportunity for public to present ideas and concerns about barriers for people with disabilities and accessibility of City facilities. Public comment on Berkeley’s proposed “Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan.” Also, naming I-80 overcrossing after Ed Roberts, requesting Congressional Representatives and Senators to add benefits for dental and eyeglasses coverage in Medi-Care. 

981-6342 

 

Lead-Safe Painting and Home Remodeling 

6 - 8 p.m. 

Claremont Branch Library 

2940 Benvenue Ave. 

Free course on how to detect and remedy lead hazards in the home. 

567-8280 

 

“Illusions of the ‘New Economy’” 

7:30 p.m. 

La Pena Cultural Center 

3105 Shattuck Ave. 

Talk by professor and author Dick Walker. $5 donation requested. 

415-863-6637  

 

Claremont Elmwood Neighborhood Association General Meeting 

7:30 - 9:30 p.m. 

St. Clement’s Episcopal Church 

2837 Claremont Blvd. 

Covers area of Berkeley south of Dwight Way and east of Collage Avenue. Presentations on neighborhood issues. 

549-3793 

 

Trees and Shrubs of California 

7:30 p.m. 

UC Berkeley Botanical Garden 

200 Centennial Drive 

John Stuart and John Sawyer will be speaking about and signing their new book, “Trees and Shrubs of California.” Free. 

643-2755 

 

Thursday, June 14 

Summer Noon Concerts 2001 

Noon - 1 p.m. 

Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza 

Shattuck at Center St. 

Weekly concert series. This week Berkeley High Folklorico De Aztlan. 

 

Camping and Hiking Slide Presentation 

7 p.m. 

REI 

1338 San Pablo Ave. 

Guidebook author Tom Stienstra gives a slide presentation on where to go hiking and camping this summer in the Sierra and Shasta region. Free. 

527-4140 

 

Berkeley School Volunteers 

10:30 a.m. - Noon 

1835 Allston Way 

Orientation for volunteers interested in helping in summer academic and recreation programs. 

644-8833 

 

Friday, June 15  

Free Writing, Cashiering & Computer Literacy Class 

9 a.m. - 1 p.m.  

AJOB Adult School  

1911 Addison St.  

Free classes offered Monday through Friday. Stop by and register or call 548-6700. 

www.ajob.org 

 

Living Philosophers  

10 a.m. - Noon  

North Berkeley Senior Center  

1901 Hearst Ave. (at MLK Jr. Way)  

Hear and entertain the ideas of some modern day philosophers: Jacob Needleman, J. Revel, Hilary Putnam, John Searle, Saul Kripke, Richard Rorty and others. Every Friday, except holidays. Facilitated by H.D. Moe.  

 

Therapy for Trans Partners  

6 - 7:30 p.m.  

Pacific Center for Human Growth  

2712 Telegraph Ave. (at Derby)  

A group open to partners of those in transition or considering transition. The group is structured to be a safe place to receive support from peers and explore a variety of issues, including sexual orientation, coming out, feelings of isolation, among other topics. Intake process required. Meeting Fridays through August 17.  

$8 - $35 sliding scale per session  

Call 548-8283 x534 or x522 

 

Strong Women - The Arts, Herstory and Literature 

1:15 - 3:15 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center  

1901 Hearst Ave. (at MLK Jr. Way) 

Taught by Dr. Helen Rippier Wheeler, author of “Women and Aging: A Guide to Literature,” this is a free weekly cultural studies course in the Berkeley Adult School’s Older Adults Program.  

Call 549-2970  

 

City Commons Club, Luncheon and Speaker 

11:45 a.m. 

Berkeley City Club 

2315 Durant Ave. 

This week featuring Edward Fox on “Regional Development Plans of The Wilderness Society.” Come early for social hour. Lunch at 11:45 for $11-$12.25. Come at 12:30 to hear the speaker only for $1, students free. Reservations required for three or more. 

848-3533 

 

Saturday, June 16  

Berkeley Farmers’ Market 

10 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

Center Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Milvia Street 

548-3333 

 

Berkeley Arts Festival Music Circus 

1 p.m. - 5 p.m. 

Shattuck Ave. between University Ave. and Channing Way 

The Music Circus will feature dozens of eclectic performances ranging from string quartets to blues and jazz. Free bus fare to and from the event offered by AC Transit. 665-9496. Free. 

 

Botanical Garden Spring Party 

3 - 6 p.m. 

UC Berkeley Botanical Garden 

200 Centennial Drive 

Celebrating the completion of the new Arid House and the renovation of the Southern African area. Food, wine and jazz. Fund-raiser for the Garden, $25 per person. 

643-2755 

 

Puppet Shows on Cultural and Medical Differences 

1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. 

Hall of Health 

2230 Shattuck Ave. (lower level) 

Two shows for kids of all ages and their families promote acceptance and understanding of cultural and medical differences. Free. 

549-1564 

 

Poets’ Corner 

1:30 - 4 p.m. 

Shattuck and Kittredge 

Ten poets will read on the downtown street corner as a kick-off event for the two-week Berkeley Arts Festival. 

649-3929 

 

Sunday, June 17 

Carefree/Carfree Tour 

11 a.m. 

Berkeley Amtrack Station  

Foot of University Ave. 

Berkeley Arts Festival tour of coastlines installation guided by landscape architect Tom Leader. Walk culminates on the Berkeley Marina. 

486-0411 

 

Carefree/Carfree Tour #2 

1 p.m. 

Berkeley Arts Festival Gallery 

2200 Shattuck Ave. 

Bus and walk to: The Crucuble, workshop of arts and the industry; Bay Area Center for the Consolidated Arts; and the Juneteenth Celebration, annual street fair of African-American Roots with music, dance and food. 

486-0411 

 

The Discord Aggregate Intersection 

7 p.m. 

Gathering of local artists, poets, musicians, composers and others. Non-profit group meets every three to four weeks. For location and other information e-mail alemap@discord-aggregate.com 

 

Tuesday, June 19 

Berkeley Camera Club  

7:30 p.m. 

Northbrae Community Church  

941 The Alameda  

Share your slides and learn what other photographers are doing. Monthly field trips. 

Call Wade, 531-8664 

 

Young Queer Women’s Group 

8 - 9:30 p.m.  

Pacific Center 

2712 Telegraph Ave.  

Make some new friends, expand your horizons and get support with a bunch of queer women all in the same place at the same time (somewhere between 18 and 25).  

548-8283 or visit www.pacificcenter.org 

 

Berkeley Farmers’ Market 

2 - 7 p.m. 

Derby Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Milvia Street 

548-3333 

 

Intelligent Conversation  

7 - 9 p.m.  

Berkeley Richmond Jewish Community Center 

A discussion group open to all, regardless of age, religion, viewpoint, etc. This time the discussion will center on frugality, generosity, simplifying life, and dealing with money. Informally led by Robert Berend, who founded similar groups in L.A., Menlo Park, and Prague. Bring light snacks/drinks to share. Free  

527-5332 

 

Fibromyalgia Support Group  

Noon - 2 p.m.  

Alta Bates Medical Center 

Maffly Auditorium, Herrick Campus  

2001 Dwight Way  

This will be a rap session.  

601-0550 

 

Wednesday, June 20 

Carefree/Carfree Tour 

11 a.m. 

Berkeley Arts Festival Gallery 

2200 Shattuck Ave. 

Meet at the Gallery, take the bus to the Oakland Museum to take a tour with David Bacon of his exhibition “Every Worker Is An Organizer: Farm Labor and the Resurgence of the UFW.” 

486-0411 

 

Thursday, June 21 

Best Northern California Hikes 

7 p.m. 

REI 

1338 San Pablo Ave. 

Guidebook author Matt Heid shares his favorite day hikes and overnight backpacking trips in Northern California. Slide presentation. Free. 

527-4140 

 

Berkeley Metaphysical Toastmasters Club  

6:15 - 7:30 p.m.  

2515 Hillegass Ave.  

Public speaking skills and metaphysics come together. Ongoing first and third Thursdays each month.  

Call 869-2547 

 

LGBT Catholics Group  

7:30 p.m. 

Newman Hall  

2700 Dwight Way (at College)  

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender Catholics group are “a spiritual community committed to creating justice.” This session will be a “Pride Mass.”  

654-5486 

 

Summer Noon Concerts 2001 

Noon - 1 p.m. 

Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza 

Shattuck at Center St. 

Weekly concert series. This week Capoeira Arts Cafe. 

 

Friday, June 22 

Living Philosophers  

10 a.m. - Noon  

North Berkeley Senior Center  

1901 Hearst Ave. (at MLK Jr. Way)  

Hear and entertain the ideas of some modern day philosophers: Jacob Needleman, J. Revel, Hilary Putnam, John Searle, Saul Kripke, Richard Rorty and others. Every Friday, except holidays. Facilitated by H.D. Moe.  

 

Therapy for Trans Partners  

6 - 7:30 p.m.  

Pacific Center for Human Growth  

2712 Telegraph Ave. (at Derby)  

A group open to partners of those in transition or considering transition. The group is structured to be a safe place to receive support from peers and explore a variety of issues, including sexual orientation, coming out, feelings of isolation, among other topics. Intake process required. Meeting Fridays through August 17.  

$8 - $35 sliding scale per session  

Call 548-8283 x534 or x522 

 

Strong Women - The Arts, Herstory and Literature 

1 - 3 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center  

1901 Hearst Ave. (at MLK Jr. Way) 

Taught by Dr. Helen Rippier Wheeler, author of “Women and Aging: A Guide to Literature,” this is a free weekly cultural studies course in the Berkeley Adult School’s Older Adults Program.  

Call 549-2970  

 

City Commons Club, Luncheon and Speaker 

11:45 a.m. 

Berkeley City Club 

2315 Durant Ave. 

This week featuring Jeffrey Riegle, Ph.D., on “Historical Reasons for China’s Current Conduct.” Come early for social hour. Lunch at 11:45 for $11-$12.25. Come at 12:30 to hear the speaker only for $1, students free. Reservations required for three or more. 

848-3533 

 

Saturday, June 23 

“Feast of Fire” benefit for the Crucible 

10:30 p.m. 

The Crucible 

1036 Ashby Ave. 

Act III, The Flight of Icarus, will feature live music, and performances by several groups including Capacitor and Xeno. Price of admission benefits the Crucible, a multi-disciplinary community arts center. $20 at the door. 

 

Berkeley Farmers’ Market 

Summer Solstice Celebration 

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 

Civic Center Park 

Center St. and MLK Jr. Way 

Farmers market plus crafts fair and live reggae and jazz. 

548-3333 

 

Sunday, June 24 

Hands-On Bicycle Repair Clinics  

11 a.m. - Noon  

Recreational Equipment, Inc.  

1338 San Pablo Ave.  

Learn how to fix a flat from one of REI’s bike technicians. All you need to bring is your bike. Free  

527-4140 

 

Uncle Eye 

2 p.m. 

Berkeley-Richmond Jewish 

Community Center 

1414 Walnut Ave. 

Come see Ira Levin, a.k.a. Uncle Eye, give a special performance as a fund-raiser for a television pilot to be filmed this summer. $7 - $10. 

848-0237 or www.uncle-eye.com 

 

Wednesday, June 27 

Conversations in Commedia 

7:30 p.m. 

La Pena 

3105 Shattuck Ave. 

The series pairs radical theater “elders” to share memories of their years in commedia. This week with former Mime Troupe actress Audrey Smith and Ladies Against Women character Selma Spector. $6 - $8. 

849-2568 

 

Thursday, June 28 

Summer Noon Concerts 2001 

Noon - 1 p.m. 

Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza 

Shattuck at Center St. 

Weekly concert series. This week Berkeley Opera performs pieces of Carmen. 

 

Friday, June 29  

Living Philosophers  

10 a.m. - Noon  

North Berkeley Senior Center  

1901 Hearst Ave. (at MLK Jr. Way)  

Hear and entertain the ideas of some modern day philosophers: Jacob Needleman, J. Revel, Hilary Putnam, John Searle, Saul Kripke, Richard Rorty and others. Every Friday, except holidays. Facilitated by H.D. Moe.  

 

Therapy for Trans Partners  

6 - 7:30 p.m.  

Pacific Center for Human Growth  

2712 Telegraph Ave. (at Derby)  

A group open to partners of those in transition or considering transition. The group is structured to be a safe place to receive support from peers and explore a variety of issues, including sexual orientation, coming out, feelings of isolation, among other topics. Intake process required. Meeting Fridays through August 17.  

$8 - $35 sliding scale per session  

Call 548-8283 x534 or x522 

 

Strong Women - The Arts, Herstory and Literature 

1:15 - 3:15 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center  

1901 Hearst Ave. (at MLK Jr. Way) 

Taught by Dr. Helen Rippier Wheeler, author of “Women and Aging: A Guide to Literature,” this is a free weekly cultural studies course in the Berkeley Adult School’s Older Adults Program.  

Call 549-2970  

 

Saturday, June 30 

Berkeley Farmers’ Market 

10 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

Center Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Milvia Street 

548-3333 

 

Science of Spirituality 

5 p.m. 

St. John’s Presbyterian Church 

2727 Collage Avenue 

Professor Andrew Vidich will speak on “Rumi: Mystic and Romantic Love, Stories of Masnavi.” Childcare and vegetarian food provided. Free. 

925-830-2975  

 

 


Minority numbers up in advanced classes

By Ben Lumpkin Daily Planet staff
Thursday June 07, 2001

Berkeley High is often criticized for lacking diversity in its high level classes, particularly its Advanced Placement classes, but one group has tackled the problem head on. 

In a school that’s 37 percent African American, less than 1 percent of students enrolled in AP classes are African American.  

Students, parents, teachers and administrators have taken turns lambasting the lack of integration in Berkeley High’s AP classes for years, but whenever the discussion got around to how to solve the problem, consensus proved illusive. 

Students can earn college credit after taking AP classes, which are designed to prepare them for advanced studies. 

Lack of diversity in AP classes is a problem throughout the state, said Antwi Acom, a graduate student in sociology at UC Berkeley. In some school districts, Acom said, where the numbers of minority students has increased, AP offerings have declined overall, suggesting an institutional belief that such classes aren’t meant for blacks and Latinos. 

In Berkeley, the lack of diversity in high level classes is often listed as one more symptom of the achievement gap, where whites and Asians tend to outperform blacks and Latinos on standardized tests. Minority students are not prepared for high level classes when they reach Berkeley High, the argument goes. 

But some time last summer, a core group of Berkeley High parents and teachers got tired of the talk. The set out to systemically study the problem and, just as systematically, to solve it. 

The so-called AP Project began with the premise that there has never been a shortage of high-achieving and motivated students of color at Berkeley High to fill up AP classes – should they choose to do so. 

After months of surveying students, the AP Project leaders found that the top reason minority students were not signing up for AP classes was: The fact that minorities were not signing up for AP classes.  

In other words, few minorities wanted to venture into classes where they would very possibly be the only student of color in a class of 24 students. 

The project leaders also discovered a culture of peer pressure at the school, however, where minority students who did take AP classes tended to be disparaged by their minority peers.  

Furthermore, they found concerns among minority students themselves that perhaps they were not prepared for these high level classes, and to sign up for them would mean, among other humiliations, watching their GPAs take a dive. (AP classes are weighted more heavily than regular classes in calculating students’ GPAs). 

Enlisting the help of Berkeley High Principal Frank Lynch, the AP Project set out to woo minority students into AP classes. A select group of high performing minority students were invited to one-on-one meetings with Berkeley High counselors, where they discussed the possibility of signing up for AP classes. After meetings with the first 17 students, 15 agreed to go for it, according to Kristin Shepherd, president of the Berkeley High Parent Teacher Student Association. 

By the end of the year, the AP project had recruited 60 African American and Latino students to take AP economics, government and English next year. The goal, said Shepherd, is to have four AP classes where half the class is made up of minority students. 

On Tuesday night, the teachers who will teach the AP classes next year met with the parents of the African American and Latino students to hear concerns and give assurances. One after another the teachers said they were committed to helping these students succeed, and would find ways to get them any extra help they felt they needed. 

“I’ve been waiting a long time for an opportunity to do something like this,” said Berkeley High government teacher Steve Teel. 

“I think you guys really have an opportunity here to change the culture of the whole school,” said Alison Johnson, chairperson of the Berkeley High English Department. 

After the meeting, Berkeley High junior Regina Alexander, an African American student who plans to take AP English next year, said the prospect of taking an AP class is far less intimidating when she knows there will be many other students of color in the class with her. 

“I think a program like (the AP Project) would be necessary at any school,” said Regina’s father, Reginald Alexander. “It’s a means of getting all cultures involved.” 

 


Gladstone makes his first change, fires two

Staff Report
Thursday June 07, 2001

New Cal athletic directory Steve Gladstone put his first stamp on the athletic department this week, firing two long-time employees and starting a search for five new associate athletic directors just four days after officially taking over his new position. 

The two employees who were let go, associate AD for communications and marketing Kevin Reneau and associate AD and senior women’s administrator Chris Dawson, had a combined 47 years of service to the school. 

“There’s no question that there is considerable emotion around change of any kind,” Gladstone said. “There is clearly a sense of concern and compassion for Chris and Kevin, and their years of service to Cal made the decision even more difficult.” 

Reneau had been with the Cal athletic department since 1977, when he graduated from school. Dawson’s 23 years on campus included 10 years as sports information director for women. 

“These decisions have been made to guide us in our specific mission to serve our athletes and programs and put them in the best possible position to succeed,” Gladstone said in a statement. “This reorganization gives us an opportunity to expand on good work already being performed. We are not starting from ground zero.” 

In addition to replacing Reneau and Dawson, Gladstone announced that he has also created three new associate AD positions, bringing to total to seven. He indicated that a national search for the new positions would begin later this week, and the spots would be filled by the time the fall term begins. 

As part of the re-organization, Bob Driscoll will be retained as an associate AD, as will Kevin Anderson. Driscoll served as interim AD until Gladstone was chosen last month, and was reportedly considering leaving Cal.


FORUM

Thursday June 07, 2001

Editor: 

I am writing in response to a letter that appeared in the daily planet dated June 5, 2001 entitled “County School Board should support its Superintendent” from three locally elected members representing the Berkeley Community. 

As a 10-year member of the Alameda County Board of Education, I was disappointed by the lack of understanding by the three locally elected officials: Terry Doran and John Selawsky of the School Board and Derryl Moore of the Peralta Community College District relative to the budget development process of the County Board of Education. 

Prior to submitting the letter, neither person approached and/or called me to discuss the issues currently facing the County Office of Education. Those who know me as a long time resident/activist of the South Berkeley Community, know that I can be easily be reached. 

In fact, the Daily Planet publishes on a regular basis how the citizens of the community can get in touch with its locally elected officials. I was not contacted by any of these officials to have a “sit down” and discuss the issues facing the County Office of Education and how the County Board, under State law, has responsibility for adopting an annual budget. 

Let me take this opportunity to advise the people of Berkeley what the Issues are. This is clearly an issue around policy implementation of the budget and its expenditures consistent with County Board adopted policy. My concerns are and continue to be, how do we balance the services provided to school districts and meet the needs of students that are the most “at risk”, kids served by the County Office of Education directly. 

Those kids, for the most part, are kids of color. It is the Board's policy that the number one priority for funding in the county is to meet their needs. The issues between the Board and the Superintendent are philosophical differences on how best to expend County resources. 

It is not about personalizing the process; it not about politics.  

Let's talk about the implementation of the budget over the last two years under the stewardship of Superintendent Jordan. The facts are: 

1. To date the county superintendent has failed to produce a balanced budget. 

2. As documented by the most recent fiscal audit, the County Board's reserves are the at its lowest point in years. 

3. There have been expenditures of state lottery funds without County Board approval as directed by Board policy. 

4. There was a failure to submit to the state an evaluation of the juvenile court schools as mandated by the state. 

But more importantly, Superintendent Sheila Jordan has proposed a FY 2001/02 budget that projects a deficit in access of $1.1 million predicated on a 10 percent salary increase to all employees. In order to pay for this increase, Ms. Jordan is proposing to pay for it by eliminating substantially reducing student programs, eliminating the entire student program reserves along with staff reductions in student programs/services.  

I along with other members of the County Board find it unacceptable to “balance the deficit of the County Office on the backs on the students that are the most at-risk kids in Alameda County.” 

It is the board's position that Ms. Jordan reduce management/administrative positions projected to cost roughly $5.8 million or 20 percent of the total FY 2001/02 projected budget. It should be fully understood that one out of every four employees in the County Office of Education under the management of the County Superintendent Jordan is a director, manager or administrator. 

It is the position of the board that this ratio of total employees (66 out Of 259) is excessive and threatens the “future solvency” of the County Office of Education. 

In the words of Spike Lee, Doran, Selawsky and Moore have been “bamboozled.” But don't feel bad you are not alone. 

Jerome Wiggins,  

Trustee Area One, Alameda County Board of Education


Council opens public hearing on Beth El

By John Geluardi Daily Planet staff
Thursday June 07, 2001

The City Council opened the first round of what promises to be a long public hearing concerning a neighborhood land-use issue that has attracted citywide interest – the proposed synagogue and school at 1301 Oxford St. 

The council adjourned Tuesday night’s meeting at 11:30 p.m. after four-and-one-half hours of public testimony from nearly 60 supporters and opponents of the 32,000-square-foot project, proposed by the Beth El Congregation. Mayor Shirley Dean said there are still more than 100 people who have signed up to address the council when the hearing is continued on June 26.  

Speakers included neighbors of the proposed site, Beth El members and representatives from religious and environmental organizations. 

“I don’t think we have ever had this number of speakers,” Dean said on Wednesday. “Usually we are able to complete a public hearing in the course of one meeting.” 

Another public hearing, related to a Beth El appeal of the denial of an Alteration Permit, has yet to be scheduled.  

“We won’t be able to schedule that until we get a good idea when this hearing will finish up,” she said. 

A council decision on both appeals was scheduled for July 24, the last meeting before the council takes summer recess. Now, some councilmembers are saying that a decision isn’t likely until after September or later.  

“I’d be surprised if we are finished with this by Christmas,” said Councilmember Polly Armstrong. 

The fire marshal closed access to the second-floor City Council Chambers a half-hour before the hearing began because the chambers were already filled beyond its 140-person capacity. The closure left more than 100 people in the building’s entrance way and nearly 200 people outside on the stairs and front lawn. Speakers were placed outside the building and a television was set up at the stairwell inside the building so those who couldn’t get in could follow the proceedings. 

Councilmember Dona Spring said she has seen huge numbers of people come out for budget issues but has never seen so many turn out for a land-use issue. 

“I tried to get the hearing moved to the Berkeley Community Theater so we could accommodate everyone,” she said. “That way we wouldn’t have had to lock people out, which is so unfair.” 

Spring said the city manager discouraged use of the theater because the City Council Chambers were already set up for sound and video recording. 

The public hearing is part of a Live Oak Codornices Creek Neighborhood Association appeal of the Zoning Adjustments Board’s approval of a use permit to build the synagogue. The appeal was filed by LOCCNA attorney Sharon Duggan. The appeal was signed by representatives from 10 environmental organizations including the San Francisco Bay Chapter of the Sierra Club, The Golden Gate Audubon Society and the International Rivers Network. 

Project opponents are concerned about irreparable damage to Codornices Creek, the project’s size and traffic problems caused by school programs, religious meetings and social events that will take place at the synagogue. They are also concerned about alterations to the 2-acre site, which is a city landmark. 

Beth El members counter they have taken neighbors concerns and the design reflects a project that is sensitive to the creek, neighborhood and the historic status of the site.  

Religious leaders who spoke if favor of Beth El’s project included the Rev. Marvis Peoples from the Liberty Hill Baptist Church and the Rev. Dr. Frankie Moore, who read a statement from Mark Wilson, pastor of McGee Avenue Baptist Church. 

The City Council requested opposing sides work with professional mediator Peter Bluhon. The parties agreed and have already taken part in two meetings. A third meeting was scheduled for Wednesday.  

Bluhon said both sides have requested the results of the meetings remain confidential. “Both sides are doing something that’s a very important step in the mediation process,” Bluhon said. “They are clearly and completely describing the concerns, needs and goals they have for their respective interests.” 

Dean reminded council and the audience that if a compromise is reached during mediation, the entire public hearing process will begin again.  

The public hearing related to the LOCCNA appeal will continue on June 26, at the City Council Chambers, 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way at 7 p.m.


Pacifica Radio troubles continue

By Judith Scherr Daily Planet staff
Thursday June 07, 2001

Sen. John Burton, D-San Francisco, president pro-tem of the State Senate, plunged last week into the conflict between the Pacifica Foundation Board – the nonprofit holder of licenses to five radio stations including KPFA in Berkeley – and a number of the radio stations’ listener-sponsors and their paid and unpaid staffs. 

Last week Burton fired off a letter to David Acosta, chair of the Pacifica Board, saying: “The California Legislature continues to have strong concerns about actions by Pacifica Radio and the impact of those actions on its stations and listeners.” 

The letter asks Acosta, who did not return Daily Planet calls, to clarify three issues: the board’s “refusal to share KPFA’s financial information with KPFA management;” its use of listener donations for the board’s legal fees; and the board’s use of funds “to oppose union organizing.” 

David Landau, a journalist with KPFA’s news department and staff representative to the Local Advisory Board, went to Sacramento last week and, in his capacity as a LAB representative, spoke with Burton. David Adelson, interim chair of the KPFK (Los Angeles area) Local Advisory Board and Vic Bedoian, manager of the Fresno station that repeats much of KPFA’s programming, accompanied Landau. 

Landau said Wednesday the conversation with Burton included a discussion of the difficulty KPFA management has in gaining access to the money it has raised. “KPFA’s management doesn’t know its own balance sheet or what it can spend,” he said, adding, “Pacifica’s own board members can’t find out (about the finances).” 

Management must go to the board which signs every check, other than payroll, he said. 

Another issue is that Pacifica is spending an unknown amount of money fighting lawsuits brought by listeners, former employees and local advisory boards. 

On the question of the board opposing union activities, Landau said at WBAI, Pacifica’s New York station, the board fought an attempt to include volunteer staff in the employees’ union. “Pacifica spends a lot of money to try to thwart efforts at various stations,” he said. 

Dave Sebeck, spokesperson for Burton, said the legislature’s role was to assure that the mission of the California nonprofit is carried out. “Public broadcasting has a special place in the state,” he said. 

••• 

In other Pacifica Foundation-related news, the Congressional Progressive Caucus – made up of more than 50 progressive members of the U.S. House of Representatives and one senator – is meeting to talk about how to best follow up after its hearings on the conflict at the listener-sponsored stations. 

Andrew Sousa, spokesperson for Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, who is vice chair of the caucus, said the caucus may decide to hold town-hall style meetings in a number of locations to learn more about the situation. They may “place (the conflict) in the context of free speech,” Soussa said, noting that Pacifica stations are among the few avenues progressive politicians have, on a national scale, to be heard.


Beth El: project blends into area area

By John Geluardi Daily Planet staff
Thursday June 07, 2001

More than 160 people signed up to address the City Council during a public hearing on the controversial Beth El proposal to build a synagogue and school at 1301 Oxford St. 

While time allowed for only 60 people to speak Tuesday, the others will have their turn June 26 when the hearing will be continued.  

Those who spoke on both sides of  

the issue raised concerns that have been debated since Beth El’s application process began two years ago.  

Members of the Live Oak Codornices Creek Neighborhood Association, which has taken the lead in opposing the project, raised concerns that Codornices Creek, which runs through the property, will never be daylighted if the project is allowed to be built at its current scale. They also spoke about traffic and noise problems and the concern that the property, a city landmark, will be altered. 

Alan Kay was the first LOCCNA member to address the council. 

“(Beth El) proposes for that site a massive building,” he said, “one that does not acknowledge or respect that site’s unique history, one that does not integrate gracefully into the neighborhood surrounding the site, and one that will flout the expressed wish of the citizens of Berkeley and the city’s own Creek Ordinance that (says) creeks (should) flow freely and be daylighted whenever possible.” 

Beth El member Harry Pollock was the first speaker in favor of the project. He told the council that the synagogue approached the neighbors during the design process and sought their feedback. 

“The process has worked this time,” he said. “We met with the neighbors and when we hired the architects, we instructed them to incorporate their concerns into the design.” 

The architect for the project, John Rubble of Moore, Rubble and Yedell of Southern California, then made a presentation to the council, showing the measures taken to reduce the scale of the project and to reduce its visual impact. 

“The buildings have been set back from Oxford Street,” Rubble said. “And there is little chance that passersby will be able to see the entire project from the street.” 

He also described how a children’s play area was surrounded by a low wall to muffle noise and how air conditioning allows Beth El members to keep the doors of the social hall closed, also reducing noise. 


BRIEFS

Staff
Thursday June 07, 2001

 

Day dedicated to co-founder of farm workers’ union 

 

June 9 has been declared Dolores Huerta Day in Berkeley. A proclamation by Mayor Shirley Dean will be part of La Peña Cultural Center’s 26th Anniversary Celebration in honor of Huerta, who, with Cesar Chavez, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association in 1962. The organization later become the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee. 

Huerta, National Women’s Hall of Fame inductee, will be the guest of honor at the celebration which begins at 7 p.m. at 3105 Shattuck Ave. La Peña will provide live entertainment and proceeds will go towards Huerta’s recent medical expenses.  

 

Summer classes offered at Berkeley High 

 

Berkeley High School students who need to make up failed classes or receive some elective or physical education credits have opportunities to do so this summer. The BHS summer program runs from June 25 - Aug. 3, and late registration will take place June 20 - 21. The program is open to all BHS students, but cannot accept incoming freshmen. 

An Independent Study Program is also available for students who work or otherwise cannot attend school every week day in the summer. This program runs June 25 - Aug. 3, and students are required to meet with one teacher per subject once a week as well as completing 10 hours of work weekly. Students may also attend the College of Alameda, Merritt, or Vista junior colleges, whose summer sessions run from June 18 - July 28. Students must obtain concurrent enrollment forms from their BHS counselors.  

For more information call 644-6120 or 644-4578 or stop by the BHS administrative portable. For the Independent Study Program call 644-8592 or go to BHS G111. Vista College can be reached at 981-2800. For other junior colleges call 466-7368 or stop by BHS G111.


Senate votes to limit fat, sugar content in school food

The Associated Press
Thursday June 07, 2001

SACRAMENTO — Worrying about “an epidemic” of sedentary, obese and unhealthy students, the Senate voted Wednesday to limit the fat and sugar content in much of the food served at California schools. 

“The food we feed our children is killing them,” said one supporter of the limits, Sen. Steve Peace, D-El Cajon, who argued that fat-filled, sugar-laden food has done more harm to students than tobacco. 

But Sen. Ray Haynes, R-Temecula, said lawmakers should be more concerned about limiting students’ access to condoms, abortions and pornography and that restricting school menus would merely encourage older students to eat off campus. 

“I never thought we would be fast-food fascists,” he said. “This bill goes just a little bit too far. It’s a little bit too intrusive.” 

“What my children choose to eat is none of your business,” added Sen. Tom McClintock, R-Northridge. 

By a 22-15 vote, senators sent the Assembly a bill by Sen. Martha Escutia, D-Commerce, that would: 

• Ban, from a half hour before the start of school until a half hour after school, the serving of fruit drinks that include additional sweeteners, sports drinks containing more than 25 grams of sweeteners and carbonated beverages.  

• Require that no more than 35 percent of the calories in school snacks, sweets and side dishes come from fat and that no more than 10 percent of the calories in those foods come from saturated fat. 

• Allow sugar to make up no more than 35 percent of a snack, sweet or side dish by weight. The restrictions wouldn’t cover nuts, seeds, fruits or vegetables. 

• Limit drinks other than milk and bottled water to 12 ounces, ban the serving of jumbo-size entrees and require school snack bars and stores to offer fruits and vegetables as well as other items. Sen. Deborah Ortiz, D-Sacramento, said the bill was a response to “an epidemic of sedentary children” who are overweight and increasingly suffering from diabetes, heart disease and other health problems. 

“These are children who will burden our health care system in the next 10, 20 and 30 years,” she said.  

Grocery Manufacturers of America, an association that includes food and beverage companies, condemned the bill as “a misguided attempt at addressing childhood obesity” by setting up “arcane rules.” 

“A better approach would be to increase the availability of physical activity programs and give school boards the resources they need to teach children how to make wise choices about proper nutrition,” said Kristin Power, GMA’s western regional director for state affairs. 


Smoker wins $3 billion in Philip Morris suit

The Associated Press
Thursday June 07, 2001

 

LOS ANGELES — A jury Wednesday awarded a cancer-stricken smoker more than $3 billion from tobacco giant Philip Morris, the largest judgment against a cigarette maker in a lawsuit brought by an individual. 

The Superior Court jury found against Philip Morris on all six claims of fraud, negligence and making a defective product. 

Richard Boeken, 56, of Topanga was awarded $3 billion in punitive damages and $5.5 million in general damages. 

“We thought that figure would hurt them, make them stand up and take notice,” juror Denise Key said of the punitive damages. “We want them to be responsible, to put on their product that the product will kill so when you smoke you smoke at your own risk.” 

It was the largest jury award won by an individual against a cigarette maker. The largest judgment against the tobacco industry in a class-action lawsuit was $145 billion awarded last year to thousands of sick Florida smokers. Philip Morris was one of five tobacco companies in that case. 

Boeken, who suffers from incurable lung cancer, smiled and gave a thumbs-up sign as the 18-page verdict was read. He declined to speak to reporters after the hearing. 

Philip Morris attorney Maurice Leiter said he will appeal. 

“We recognize Philip Morris is an unpopular company. It makes a dangerous product, but clearly, the evidence does not support this verdict,” Leiter said. 

He said the company believes Boeken ignored “a mountain of information” about the health risks of smoking and chose to continue his habit. 

Boeken’s attorney, Michael Piuze, said he did not know how the jury decided on the award. 

“I don’t know where it came from, but we’re pleased,” Piuze said. 

The award may not pass a new test adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court, some attorneys warned. 

“The punitive damage award has to bear some relationship to compensatory damage,” said attorney Michael Hausfeld, who sued tobacco companies in May, claiming they violated federal racketeering laws to hook children on cigarettes. 

“Clearly here the punitive award is an expression of total outrage and I’m not sure under the Supreme Court test for a single individual that kind of a differential would be upheld,” Hausfeld said. 

Boeken had sought more than $12 million in compensatory damages such as medical bills and lost earnings, and between $100 million and $10 billion in punitive damages. 

He was diagnosed in 1999 with lung cancer, which has spread to his lymph nodes, back and brain. He took up cigarettes in 1957 at age 13 and was smoking at least two packs of Marlboros every day for more than 40 years. Piuze said his client had kicked heroin and alcohol, but renewed his smoking habit after trying to quit several times. 

Piuze argued that his client was a victim of a decades-long tobacco industry campaign to promote smoking as “cool” but the company concealed the serious dangers of smoking. 

During closing arguments, Piuze said Philip Morris is “the world’s biggest drug dealer, something that puts the Colombian drug cartels to shame.” 

Attorneys for Philip Morris didn’t deny that smoking caused Boeken’s illness but argued that he ignored health warnings about the dangers of cigarettes and chose to smoke despite the risk. 

The jury began deliberations on May 22 but had to start over again two days later because a panelist was dismissed to take a long-planned vacation. 

Jurors during the 7-week-long trial were presented with a pile of evidence that included company memos and videotaped depositions from Boeken and clips of tobacco company executives’ 1994 congressional testimony. 

Key, the juror, said she viewed Philip Morris as simply a company trying to make money. 

“I don’t see them as corporate scum. I see them as a business,” Key said. 

Juror Ann Anderson revealed some of the thinking that went on in deliberations. 

“I think in the jury room a lot of people thought we wanted to punish Philip Morris,” she said. “It wasn’t to punish them. It was to make them stand up and take notice.” 

The verdict was the latest in a series of tobacco industry courtroom losses. Earlier this week, a Brooklyn, N.Y., jury found tobacco companies liable for deceptive business practices, ordering them to pay up to $17.8 million to treat ailing New York smokers. 

There have been six prior cases in which plaintiffs won individual awards since the mid-1990s, said Richard Daynard, a law professor and chairman of the Tobacco Products Liability Project at Northeastern University School of Law in Boston. 

Butonly one of those plaintiffs has actually received the money, a 70-year-old ex-smoker who received $1.1 million from Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. as full payment plus interest on a 1995 jury award of $750,000. The company is appealing the verdict to the U.S. Supreme Court, but was ordered to make the payment. 

Shares of Philip Morris finished regular trading at $50, down 83 cents. In after-hours trading, shares fell $1.75 to $48.25.


Bill will expand rights for domestic partners

The Associated Press
Thursday June 07, 2001

SACRAMENTO — After a long emotional debate involving scripture and hardball politics, the Assembly approved a bill Wednesday that would give new rights to domestic partners. 

The bill would expand the legal rights granted to gay and senior couples who register with the state as domestic partners under a 1999 state law. 

The 43-29 vote came despite an intense campaign of television, radio and newspaper ads and mailed brochures by a conservative religious group aimed at pressuring 17 mostly minority lawmakers to oppose the bill. 

The Campaign for California Families’ campaign said the bill is part of the “radical homosexual agenda” and would undermine Proposition 22, the initiative approved by voters in 2000 that outlaws gay marriages. 

The campaign only angered several of the targeted lawmakers. 

“It does them no good to try to intimidate me because I do not get intimidated,” said Assemblyman George Nakano, D-Torrance. 

The two-hour debate included personal stories and religious lectures. Supporters said the bill was a matter of equal rights, while opponents said it was an attempt to get around Proposition 22. 

The current domestic partner law allows same-sex partners and unmarried straight couples over 62 to register with the secretary of state; 14,000 couples have done so. 

However, that law gave those couples only the right to visit each other in a hospital and get health benefits if one partner is a public employee. 

The new rights in the bill include the ability to adopt a partner’s child more easily, to get health and disability insurance coverage from private employers like married couples, to make medical treatment decisions for an incapacitated partner, to inherit if the partner dies without a will and to file wrongful-death lawsuits. 

The bill would also allow opposite-sex couples where only one member is over 62 to register as domestic partners. Current law allows only opposite-sex couples where both partners are over 62. 

Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg, one of the Legislature’s four open lesbians, had trouble at first talking about what she called an intensely personal issue. 

She told how her partner of 22 years was unable to adopt her son and how they had to scramble to find an attorney and witnesses when she suddenly was hospitalized and the hospital would not let her partner make medical decisions should she have become incapacitated. 

She admitted she could have gotten that power of attorney before she became ill. 

“Why should I have to? None of you do. You can be in your 14th marriage and each time you get what I can’t get after 22 years. Where is the justice in that?” said Goldberg, D-Los Angeles. 

“There is no other group in this room, however discriminated against in the past, however enslaved, that has to beg, ’Treat me like a human being,”’ she said. 

Many opponents, quoting from the Bible, said they could not support the bill because of their religious beliefs. 

“It has to do with me being obedient to my God. I don’t understand why God said the homosexual condition is an abomination,” said Assemblyman Sam Aanestad, R-Grass Valley. 

“This bill is a steppingstone to undermine marriage,” said Assemblyman Dennis Mountjoy, R-Monrovia. 

“This is not about marriage. This is not about the church,” said the author, Assemblyman Carole Migden, D-San Francisco, also an open lesbian. “This is setting forth some equitable benefits for people who are deserving of it.” 

The bill moves to the state Senate. 

Gov. Gray Davis signed the 1999 bill, but does not yet have a position on the new bill, spokeswoman Hilary McLean said Wednesday. 

On the Net: Read the bill, AB25, at http://www.sen.ca.gov 

See the CCF’s ads at http://www.savecalifornia.com  

Read the supporters’ side at http://www.calcape.orh


New L.A. mayor winner inherits a political dynasty

The Associated Press
Thursday June 07, 2001

LOS ANGELES — His dad was known as the “pothole guy” – a gregarious pol who couldn’t pass up a chance to shake a hand, a man who also got things done for his constituents during 45 years in office. 

James Hahn is a different style of public servant. Gray-haired and reserved, he seemed to step out of character when he went so far as to pump his fists to celebrate his election as mayor early Wednesday. 

But even after two decades creating his own image in public office, Hahn is still known more for being son of the late Kenneth Hahn than he is for his work enacting gang injunctions as city attorney. 

On the campaign trail, voters often called him “Kenny,” remembering a city councilman and county supervisor who brought services to minority neighborhoods and emergency callboxes to the freeways. 

“My dad was known as the pothole guy, but let’s think about the vision that he had,” Hahn told reporters. 

The son’s vision is pragmatic, like the father’s. 

He campaigned on promises to beef up public safety, expand opportunities for children and help improve the city’s lackluster school system, though the mayor has little control over the schools. 

Hahn’s core of support was inner-city blacks who remember his father, the white politician who was the only elected official to meet the plane that brought the Rev. Martin Luther King to Los Angeles in 1961. 

Facing a charismatic Latino opponent in a city that’s increasingly Hispanic, Hahn added to his base by appealing to more conservative white voters with tough talk about crime. 

Analysts credited that combination, and Hahn’s long tenure in city government, for his 8 percentage-point victory over fellow Democrat and former state Assembly speaker Antonio Villaraigosa. 

The vote recalled the alliance that dominated city government during the elder Hahn’s heyday, a coalition of African-Americans and liberal whites held together by longtime black Mayor Tom Bradley. 

Joining the mayor-elect as inheritor of the Hahn dynasty is James’ sister, Janice, who won a city council seat on Tuesday. 

Some in the Villaraigosa camp blamed their man’s loss on old-style political hardball. Hahn supporters ran a barrage of TV ads with images of a crack pipe, reminding voters that Villaraigosa wrote a letter of support for a drug dealer who won a pardon from President Clinton. 

Hahn said the ad, like the rest of his aggressive campaign, could have been a page out of his father’s playbook. 

“My dad was a tough campaigner. He had some tough fights,” Hahn said.  

“I looked at some of his old campaign literature. My campaign would’ve been mild compared to that, so I’m sure he would’ve been proud of me, and my mom agrees.”


Lucent offers voluntary buyouts

The Associated Press
Thursday June 07, 2001

TRENTON, N.J. — Lucent Technologies Inc. is offering voluntary retirement buyouts to more than 10,000 U.S.-based employees in an effort to accelerate restructuring of the struggling telecommunications giant. 

The employees targeted for the offer – mostly middle-level managers but also a small percentage of nonunion clerical workers – will be notified Monday by their supervisors or through e-mail or memos, said Bill Price, a spokesman for Murray Hill-based Lucent. All of the employees are either eligible or nearly eligible for a pension. 

“Our top executives are not eligible for this,” Price said, because the company wants to retain the talent needed to execute the turnaround outlined by chief executive officer Henry B. Schacht in January. 

That won’t necessarily happen, analysts said. 

“They’ve lost a lot of talent already” and could lose more of their best people, said telecommunications analyst Steve Levy of Lehman Brothers. “This is sort of a risk that you run when you have to get your organization to the right size.” 

Stephen Koffler, an analyst at First Union Securities, agreed that buyouts often result in the good people leaving and the mediocre ones staying. 

“Maybe there’s certain safeguards they’ve put in to prevent that,” he said. 

News of the buyout offer comes a week after negotiations to merge with French telecommunications rival Alcatel fell apart. 

“The voluntary offer is part of our effort to accelerate the restructuring” because the market for Lucent’s fiber optic and communications gear has softened, Price said. “This is a good program for our employees and a good program for Lucent.” 

Earlier this year, Lucent announced plans to eliminate 10,000 other jobs as part of its restructuring and to remove another 6,000 from its payroll through the sale of factory operations. About 2,000 had been cut as of the end of March, leaving about 104,000 employees worldwide. 

Eligible employees will receive a formal buyout offer on Monday and will have until July 10 to respond. If they accept, their retirement would start the next day. 

Those accepting the offer will receive improvements in retirement benefits, including immediate vesting of stock options that would not have been vested for some time, although most are worthless now given the stock’s sharp tumble since Lucent’s financial problems became public in 1999. 

Under the offer, employees will be eligible to retire with full pension if they have at least 15 years of service and are age 50 or older. Normally, for an employee to get a full pension, their age and years of service must total at least 75, John Skalko, another company spokesman, said. 

 

Company sources predicted at least half of those getting the offers likely will take them and said the resulting payroll and benefit savings could total $100 million annually. 

That barely touches the $2 billion in annual costs that Schacht is aiming to trim, but Levy said it still was encouraging. 

“The whole idea of Lucent taking additional steps to reduce their costs, or “right-size,” is something that we’ve argued they needed to do,” Levy said. “When it comes to Lucent ... anything positive is worth noting.” 

Lucent reported a $3.7 billion loss on sales of $5.9 billion for the first three months of this year. 

In trading Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange, Lucent shares closed unchanged at $8.49. 


State’s economy at risk as power crunch continues

The Associated Press
Thursday June 07, 2001

CHOWCHILLA — When Tom Fry gets up in the middle of the night these days, it’s likely not for a snack or to check on his 3-year-old daughter. 

He’s probably trudging out into the dark fields surrounding his house looking to save a little money on his electricity bill. 

During those middle-of-the-night trips – sometimes two or three a night – he’s rearranging irrigation pipes so none of his fields or orchards gets more water than necessary, thereby cutting down on the need to run large pumps that gobble up expensive power. 

He’s even taken to irrigating more often at night because the evaporation rates during oppressively hot San Joaquin Valley afternoons require the pumps to work that much harder. 

“I don’t even look at my (electric) bill any more because I’m scared to,” said the fourth generation farmer. 

Consumers and businesses in California will have to dig deeper this month as a $5.7 billion electricity rate increase – designed to trigger conservation and pay skyrocketing wholesale power costs – takes effect. 

Economists say the higher bills won’t trigger a recession, but they are a step in the wrong direction for an economy that already is ailing following a dramatic slowdown in the high technology sector. 

“When you combine them with other factors affecting the state’s economy, it could become the straw that breaks the camel’s back,” said Brad Williams, senior economist in the California legislative analyst’s office. 

Williams said the rate hikes represent about 0.5 percent of California’s $1.1 trillion economy, which is larger than all but seven nations. 

About half of Southern California Edison’s 4.3 million residential and commercial customers and two-thirds of the 4.8 million served by Pacific Gas & Electric will see rate increases that average around 37 percent. Agricultural customers will pay 15 to 20 percent more under the plan. Small businesses say they will adjust to the higher electric bills, but can’t absorb much more in the way of increased energy costs. 

“Family-owned businesses, who exist on Main Street, don’t have the luxury of moving to states that are enticing business out of California,” said Martyn Hopper, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business. 

Bill Pechstedt, president of Sanford-Lussiere, which manufactures hardwood molding in Huntington Park, said he’s not worried about being less competitive with other in-state companies because of higher electric rates. 

“But we do compete with people across the country and that certainly could have an impact,” he said. “It isn’t just power. Worker’s compensation rates have gone up. Gas prices are higher. It all comes off the bottom line and it all depends on how much of a bottom line you have.” 

At Pina’s Bistro, a 24-seat Italian eatery in Tustin, 40 miles south of Los Angeles, the little extras have helped make the family-owned restaurant a success — additional plates with butter and olive oil, clean linens, crisp cloth napkins. 

But as energy costs have gone up, the extras have gone down. 

“I’m a little embarrassed by it, but I’m trying to cut down on the number of dishes I use,” said owner Pina Gruner. “During lunch, I don’t offer the bread and butter plates. You get your bread with your salad. ... It eliminates three or four loads of dishes.” 

Gruner has also reduced use of the air conditioner, changed the kitchen’s exhaust system and begun shopping for a new energy-saving stove. 

She said she has seen a slight drop in business, perhaps reflecting customers’ worries about paying their own rising energy bills. 

“They order one glass of wine instead of two. They don’t order dessert,” she said. ” A couple of days ago, we closed early. We were all standing around. It made more sense to close than stay open.” 

In Chowchilla, 35 miles northwest of Fresno, closing early isn’t really an option for Tom Fry. Striding through a chirping forest of yellow turkey chicks, he echoes the angry complaints of many of his neighbors upset about the spiraling cost of doing business in the energy-starved state. 

Farmers are, of course, intensely bitter about rising energy prices. But almost more upsetting, he says, is the amount of time invested in becoming a power expert. 

“It’s just one more thing to do in a long list of things to do,” Fry said. “I’m trying to come up with backup solutions for power outages. It takes a lot of time to get around to all this stuff when you can’t depend on electricity.” 

He’s arranged for backup generators to run cooling fans in the turkey houses in case of rolling blackouts, turns off the turkey house lights at night and the feeders during certain times of the day. He’s switched from electric to mostly diesel irrigation pumps, and devised a scheme to let gravity move water from a nearby canal into his fields rather than pumps. 

“But in about three weeks we have to start pumping 24 hours a day for a whole month,” he said. “If I only had electric pumps, it would cost about $5,000 a month.” 

That would be bad enough if the state’s agricultural economy was doing better, but in a year when all Fry’s crops will only bring break-even prices or worse, it would likely push him into debt. 


MARKET ROUNDUP

Thursday June 07, 2001

NEW YORK — A warning from Hewlett-Packard about future growth and concerns about weakness in the banking sector Wednesday prompted investors to cash in profits following Wall Street’s four-session advance. 

Although investors know earnings and revenue in general will continue to be weak throughout this year, Hewlett-Packard’s warning served as another reminder to remain cautious, analysts said. 

The Dow Jones industrial average ended the session down 105.60 at 11,070.24. 

Investors also pulled back from the broader market. The Nasdaq composite index fell 15.93 to 2,217.73, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 declined 13.54 to 1,270.03. 

H-P fell $1.34 to $28.71, and weighed down much of the tech sector after chief executive Carly Fiorina said the company experienced soft sales in May, in part due to a global technology slowdown that is expanding beyond the United States and Europe. The company now expects revenue to be flat or down 5 percent for its fiscal third quarter that ends July 31. 

Other tech shares that posted losses were Dell Computer, down 96 cents at $25.26, and Cisco Systems, off 78 cents at $20.76. 

H-P’s announcement was akin to the litany of profit warnings earlier in the year that encouraged investors to unload shares or at least remain on the market’s sidelines. 

“We should be expecting it. We know that second-quarter earnings are going to be as bad as the first,” said Arthur Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co, of the H-P news. 

But, “it is catching us off guard for some reason today,” he said. 

The effects of the slowing economy, which have been unforgiving in some sectors, dragged down financial stocks. Bank One slipped 9 cents to $38.96 after UBS Warburg downgraded its rating on the stock. 

J.P. Morgan Chase fell $1.66 to $46.84 after it acknowledged in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Committee that second-quarter business has remained weak, particularly for its investment banking operation. 

“It appears there are plenty of corporate earnings disappointments ahead. In fact, truly nice surprises in corporate earnings seem to be an endangered species,” said Alan Ackerman, executive vice president of Fahnestock & Co. 

In other blue chip sectors, such as oil and steel, profit taking was apparent. ExxonMobil fell $2.15 to $89.40, while oil services company Halliburton fell $2.40 to $45, giving up gains made Tuesday when OPEC agreed to leave its official oil output unchanged for the time being. 

— The Associated Press 

Likewise, steel stocks fell after soaring Tuesday when President Bush said his administration will seek approval for limits on steel imports. USX’s U.S. Steel Group fell 67 cents to $21.07. 

After a stock market advance that started Thursday, Wednesday’s downturn reflected how confused investors are. They are worried about how long it will take for business to rebound while hoping that the worst of the slowdown is over. 

Since late May, Wall Street has been bracing itself for the upcoming second-quarter earnings season, fearing weaker than expected results. Adding to investors’ wariness is the belief of analysts and corporate executives that the third quarter will be the year’s worst. 

Despite investors’ fears, they allowed their optimism to spark a huge spring rally in which the major market indexes made significant strides, including the Dow’s reclamation of the 11,000 level it lost in September. 

But some analysts say investors bid up the market too high and too soon. 

“The market’s recent rallying was based on momentum, rather than good earnings reports,” said Ackerman of Fahnestock. 

Declining issues outnumbered advancers slightly more than 3 to 2 on the New York Stock Exchange, where consolidated volume was 1.27 billion shares, compared with 1.34 billion on Tuesday. 

The Russell 2000 index, the barometer of smaller company stocks, fell 3.90 to 512.58. 

Overseas makets were mostly lower Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei stock average slipped 0.1 percent, Britain’s FT-SE 100 and France’s CAC-40 were each off 0.3 percent, and Germany’s Germany’s DAX index fell 0.8 percent. 

——— 

On the Net: 

New York Stock Exchange: http://www.nyse.com 

Nasdaq Stock Market: http://www.nasdaq.com 


Residents take up tree causes with Parks panel

By Matt Lorenz Special to the Daily Planet
Wednesday June 06, 2001

Twenty or so residents met in one of the North Berkeley Senior Center’s more cozy, upper rooms Monday evening to share their views with the Parks and Recreation Commission about two ordinances intended to protect trees within the city.  

The first ordinance proposes limits on whether or not Live Oaks can be removed. A property owner who wants to remove a Live Oak with a diameter of 6 inches or more would have to get city approval. The approval would be granted if the tree presents a danger or infringes on a neighboring property.  

The second ordinance aims to protect all other trees of a 10-inch diameter or more. 

Juliet Lamont, a Berkeley resident with a doctorate in environmental planning, asked the commission for greater protection than is outlined in the draft ordinance. 

“A broader definition of the removal of oaks needs to be included in the ordinance as oaks are extremely sensitive to small changes in environment and conditions,” Lamont said. “The word ‘alter’ should be added to the ordinance prohibition in order to provide full protection. And this is because oaks can literally be killed by doing things like encroaching on the drift line. Relocating a mature oak is virtually impossible to do successfully.”  

Lamont and resident Fran Segal also expressed concern over the possibility that certain property owners might use one type of permit to bypass another.  

For example, a property owner might obtain a use permit for a driveway and clear the space of the driveway without regard to tree ordinances.  

Parks Director Lisa Caronna sought to assuage this concern by explaining that, though the ways in which tree ordinances will work along side zoning ordinances are “yet to be developed.” They will be developed, she said.  

“It’s just that (this question will) have to go through a separate procedure through the Planning Commission and the Zoning Adjustments Board as to what the criteria is when they weigh trees against public project bids, housing projects, shelter or school,” Caronna said.  

Charles Smith asked that the city develop some formal procedures to deal with hazardous trees.  

“We turned in a petition to have some horrendous, terrible eucalyptus trees in Indian Rock Park taken down and really worked on, and the City Council treated it like a letter to the council. The staff ignored it,” Smith said. (The city is currently operating under a temporary tree-cutting moratorium.) 

“I personally have been working to get a statewide, hazardous tree law. The City of Oakland has one; Berkeley doesn’t have one.”  

Other residents, like Harvey Sherback, urged the commission to pay more attention to the beauty lost to the city when trees are uprooted. 

“I’d like to talk about trees,” Sherback said.  

“North Shattuck Avenue used to have beautiful bottle-brush trees with beautiful flowers. They needed a little maintenance so (the city) took them all out, and now they put in what they call ‘low-maintenance, non-flowering trees,’” Sherback said. “It’s like a scam.” 

Tom Ashkenas came to speak on behalf of the rights of property owners. 

“I’m a developer, a landlord and all that nasty stuff,” Ashkenas said. “I think it’s outrageous that you have a law that property owners can’t decide what kind of trees they want for themselves. I don’t understand it. 

“I personally put in a number of fruit trees – I happen to like fruit trees – and the only thing to fall on my property, since I’ve owned it since 1971, are two oak trees,” Ashkenas said. “I don’t understand why property owners can’t just decide which trees they want. They’re not evil people. They love trees too. They like diversity.” 

Parks and Recreation Commission Chair Carol Thornton received applause when she questioned the second ordinance, which addresses all species of trees. The ordinance imposes tree-protection standards on dwellings with three or more units, but not on those with fewer than three units.  

“I feel like it is discriminatory to have it include only buildings with units of three or more. It should apply to everybody,” Thornton said.  

After the hearing, Berkeley City Councilmember Dona Spring spoke about a similar kind of discrimination that might arise from the tree ordinances.  

Resdients might need an arborist if, for example, they wanted to challenge their landlords’ decision to uproot a tree and low income people would not be able to do so. 

“This is really geared for wealthier individuals who have money to pay to get to court – money and time. I would think we should make a City of Berkeley parks mini-grant, which is $5,000, available so that there is money for low-income people to be able to pay arborists,” Spring said. 

A parks mini-grant would assist tenants in low-income areas, Spring said, “so that it’s not just something that more wealthy areas of town will be able to do. Really where we need it the most is in the flatlands where regular tenants do not have the means to pay for arborists.” 

During the first 30 minutes of the next Parks Commission meeting, Monday, June 11 at 5 p.m., the public will again have the opportunity to contribute to the discussion of the draft tree ordinances. It will be held at the Corporation Yard, 1326 Allston Way. 


Calendar of Events & Activities

Wednesday June 06, 2001


Wednesday, June 6

 

Fishbowl: “Everything you  

always wanted to know about  

the opposite sex but were  

afraid to ask” 

7 p.m.. to 9 p.m. 

Berkeley Richmond Jewish Community Center 

1414 Walnut St. 

Find out what the other half really thinks! The Fishbowl is an interesting way to anonymously ask those burning questions. $8 for BRJCC members, $10 for general public. 848-0237 x127. 

 

South Berkeley Community  

Action Team Advisory Group  

Meeting 

7 p.m. 

Over 60’s Clinic 

3260 Sacramento, 2nd Floor 

All South and West Berkeley residents invited to the regular meeting. Among other agenda items, the planning of upcoming Town Hall meeting. Refreshments provided. 665-6809 

 

ASAP Open House 

5 - 8 p.m. 

2070 Allston Way, Suite 2 

Access to Software for All People is having its 6th annual open house and invites the public to welcome new Executive Director John Kittredge. Refreshments and presentations of ASAP Web Design and Data Management, as well as work by high school employees. 540-7457 


Thursday, June 7

 

Berkeley Metaphysical  

Toastmasters Club  

6:15 - 7:30 p.m.  

2515 Hillegass Ave.  

Public speaking skills and metaphysics come together. Ongoing first and third Thursdays each month. 869-2547 

 

Berkeley Unified School  

District 

Appreciation Dinner 

6 p.m. 

Berkeley Alternative High School 

2701 MLK Jr. Way 

Berkeley Unified School District Office of State and Federal Projects honors District Title I/State Compensatory Education, English Learner Advisory Committee representatives, and departing school principals. 644-6202 

 

Free Writing, Cashiering &  

Computer Literacy Class 

9 a.m. - 1 p.m.  

AJOB Adult School  

1911 Addison St.  

Free classes offered Monday through Friday. Stop by and  

register or call 548-6700. 

www.ajob.org 

 

LGBT Catholics Group  

7:30 p.m. 

Newman Hall  

2700 Dwight Way (at College)  

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender Catholics group are “a spiritual community committed to creating justice.” This session will be a community meeting. 654-5486 

 

Skin Cancer Screening Clinic 

Alta Bates Summit  

Medical Center 

2450 Ashby Ave. 

Markstein Cancer  

Education Center 

Skin cancer screenings are offered only to people who, due to limited or no health insurance, would not otherwise be able to have a suspicious mole or other skin changes examined. Appointments are required. 869-8833 

 

Summer Noon Concerts 2001 

Noon - 1 p.m. 

Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza 

Shattuck at Center St. 

Weekly summer concert series. This week Advanced Jazz Workshop under direction of Mike Zilber. 

 

Community Environmental  

Advisory  

Commission Meeting 

7 p.m. 

Planning and Development 

First floor Conference Room 

2118 Milvia Street 

Among items to be discussed, Air Study and Chrome 6, TMD staffing, and arsenic, pentachlorophenol and creosote in playgrounds. 705-8150 


Friday, June 8

 

Living Philosophers  

10 a.m. - Noon  

North Berkeley Senior Center  

1901 Hearst Ave. (at MLK Jr. Way)  

Hear and entertain the ideas of some modern day philosophers: Jacob Needleman, J. Revel, Hilary Putnam, John Searle, Saul Kripke, Richard Rorty and others. Every Friday, except holidays. Facilitated by H.D. Moe.  

 

Therapy for Trans Partners  

6 - 7:30 p.m.  

Pacific Center for Human Growth  

2712 Telegraph Ave. (at Derby)  

A group open to partners of those in transition or considering transition. The group is structured to be a safe place to receive support from peers and explore a variety of issues, including sexual orientation, coming out, feelings of isolation, among other topics. Intake process required. Meeting Fridays through August 17.  

$8 - $35 sliding scale per session  

Call 548-8283 x534 or x522 

 

Backpacking Essentials 

7 p.m. 

REI 

1338 San Pablo Ave. 

Review the fundamental how-tos of selecting gear for a weekend backpacking trip. Free 527-4140 

 

City Commons Club,  

Luncheon and Speaker 

11:45 a.m. 

Berkeley City Club 

2315 Durant Ave. 

This week featuring Doris Sloan, Ph.D., on “Treasures Along the Silk Road Oases.” Come early for social hour. Lunch at 11:45 for $11-$12.25. Come at 12:30 to hear the speaker only for $1, students free. Reservations required for three or more. 848-3533 

 

Women In Black Protests 

5 - 6:30 p.m. 

Montgomery and Market Streets 

San Francisco 

Part of a worldwide protest taking place in 103 cities, Bay Area women and men in black will protest 34 years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. Sponsored in part by Berkeley Women In Black and the Middle East Children’s Alliance. 510-434-1304 


Saturday, June 9

 

Live Oak Park Fair 

11 a.m. - 6 p.m. 

Celebrates original crafts, international diversity, and community life. One hundred artists and craftsmakers display their work, with live performances and a variety of food. Free admission.  

Call 986-9337 

 

The Bite of REI 2001 

10 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

REI 

1338 San Pablo Ave. 

Taste some of the best, lightweight backpacking food and energy snacks available. At 1 p.m. Rick Greenspan and Hal Kahn with demonstrate how to turn your outdoor trips into gourmet adventures. Free 527-4140 

 

Benefit to Honor  

Dolores Huerta 

7 p.m. 

La Pena Cultural Center 

3105 Shattuck Ave. 

Music performances, slide show and raffle in honor of special guest Dolores Huerta, farm worker’s and women’s rights advocate. Huerta worked with Cesar Chavez to establish and lead the National Farm Workers Association in the 1960’s, and has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of farm workers for decades. Proceeds will go to La Peña and Huerta’s medical expenses. $20 - $25. 

849-2568 www.lapena.org 

 

— compiled by  

Sabrina Forkish 

 


Sunday, June 10

 

Counteracting Negative Emotions 

6 p.m. 

Tibetan Nyingma Institute 

1815 Highland Place 

Exercises presented by Sylvia Gretchen, Dean of Nyingma Studies. Free and open to the public. 

843-681 

 

Live Oak Park Fair 

11 a.m. - 6 p.m. 

One hundred artists and craftsmakers display their work, with live entertainment and food. Free admission.  

Call 986-9337 

 

“Kindertransport: A Personal Account” 

10:30 a.m. 

Berkeley Richmond Jewish Community Center 

1414 Walnut St. 

Hear the moving story Ralph Samuel, who escaped Nazi Germany as the age of eight. Samuel was one of an estimated 10,000 children who were rescued through the efforts of the Kindertransport operation. $4 BRJCC members, $5 for general public. Admission includes brunch. 848-0237. 

 

Music and Meditation 

8 - 9 p.m. 

The Heart-Road Traveller 

1828 Euclid Ave. 

Group meditation though instrumental music and devotional songs. Led by Lucian Balmer and Baoul Scavullo. Free. 

496-3468 


Letters to the Editor

Wednesday June 06, 2001

Murders in Nepal produce sorrow and deep suspicion 

 

By Mike McPhate 

Pacific News Service 

 

KATMANDU, NEPAL – Two sobbing men embraced as riots raged around them Monday afternoon. “What will we do?” one moaned. “We have lost our mother and father.” 

Sorrow followed news of the Nepalese royal family’s massacre Friday night. Virtually every shop in the capital closed, and has remained so. 

But grief turned to anger over the weekend. Young men stomped about and rode in fleets of motorcycles waving red Nepali flags and pictures of the deceased King and Queen chanting, “Hang the murderer,” “We don’t want fake democracy,” and “We don’t want foreign pressure.” 

And Monday, after three days of unsatisfactory government explanations, rioters played a nasty game of dodge ball using bricks and concrete with police who responded with tear gas and bullets. According to the Kathmandu Post, at least two protesters were killed and over 36 sustained gunshot wounds. 

Since then, an all-out curfew has effectively emptied the streets. 

The rioters, including many who shaved their heads in honor of the dead King, have been swarming foreign journalists, telling them that the massacre was in no way the result of a family spat, but a dirty conspiracy by a rival faction within the royal family. 

According to Nepalese officials, Crown Prince Dipendra was at the palace with his family and a few close relatives for their regular Friday evening dinner. An argument ensued over Dipendra’s choice of bride, Suprima Shah, a beautiful school teacher and daughter of the Queen’s chief bodyguard. 

Queen mother Aishwarya disapproved of the match and threatened to bypass royal succession and make his little brother, Nirajan, king if he went through with the marriage. Dipendra stormed away from the table and returned clad in army fatigues spraying the room indiscriminately with a semi-automatic rifle before turning it on himself. 

People in the street paint a more sinister scenario. They say the assassinations were part of a plot by the murdered King’s younger brother, Gyanendra, and his son, Paras, to capture the throne. 

As evidence, they point to the fact that Paras, who was present at the dinner, escaped unscathed while Gyanendra was conveniently out of town. 

Further, Dipendra is considered too nice a person to commit such an act. “He was like the guy next door,” said one observer. “Everyone liked him.” 

The government’s actions since the killings have only served to stimulate suspicion. 

First, they withheld news of the Friday killings until as late as Saturday afternoon. Government-run media implied the deaths had occurred normally, with reports only mentioning that several members of the royal family had “passed away.” 

Then, on Sunday afternoon, Gyanendra issued a laughable statement blaming killings on “the accidental firing of an automatic weapon.” He has since withdrawn that statement and promised to get to the bottom of things. 

In addition, on different occasions officials have provided different times for the death of Dipendra, who reportedly remained on life support until early Monday morning. This has stirred suspicion that Dipendra was killed outright, and news of his death delayed to stall public outrage before Gyanendra assumed the throne. 

“Gyanendra should be hung in public,” cried one rioter to the approval of onlookers. 

Allegedly involved in smuggling operations, Gyanendra has not been popular. Paras is downright loathed. 

He is rumored to be a murderer, and has had many run-ins with the law, commonly in nightclubs. In October, 1999, he allegedly jabbed a police officer in the face with the butt of a semi-automatic rifle. Later that year he was seen molesting a woman in a Katmandu nightclub and firing a gun into the air. Only months ago he is alleged to have murdered a prominent musician by running him over with his car. 

“Paras is a bloody fool,” said former Nepalese Ambassador to the United Nations, Rishikesh Shaha. “He needs to be spanked.” 

Some think the Maoist peasant uprising that has crept toward the capital from a few western districts over the last decade is involved. The Maoists met with political leaders in the weeks before the massacre, and two of the two highest ranking and most reclusive Maoist leaders – Prachanda and Babarum Battarai – had even met with Gyanendra. 

While it is too early to say with certainty what occurred on Friday night, the all-consuming loss will have a long-term effect on the hearts and minds of people in Nepal. 

Portraits of the royal family can be found in virtually every home in Katmandu. They have now been converted to shrines. For the Nepalese, the bloody removal of their King and Queen was more than the loss of a beloved first family. It was a cultural decapitation. 

“I’m not one who loses heart easily.” said the 81-year-old Shaha. “But I’m finding it difficult to cope. The whole world is different to the one I used to know.” 

 

Pacific News Service contributor Mike McPhate is a part-time reporter and copy editor for the Kathmandu Post, Nepal’s leading English daily. He is currently affiliated with a study abroad program in Nepal through the University of Wisconsin. 

 

 

And try BART 

Editor: 

Regarding the letter from the concord couple who had their new car damaged in a downtown garage, I offer the following: before entering any garage, find out what the monitor and damage-control policies are. Try parking in the outdoor lot behind Baskerville Hot Dogs, on Milvia Street between Addison and Center, where at least three people are on duty at all times.  

While I sympathize with your problems, it sadly is a fact of life in most downtown areas that vandalism will happen and it’s a risk we all take just by going out in public these days. 

The best solution i can offer is getting a ride to Concord BART, or parking there, and NOT driving all the way to Berkeley. It would save time, stress, and fuel. 

 

Cindy Wright 

Berkeley 

Toxics deserves more staff 

Editor: 

I write briefly in support of Jami Caseber’s effort (letter, June 1) to procure additional staff funding for the Toxic Management Division of the City of Berkeley. As a former Community Environmental Advisory Commissioner (and former chair for two years) I worked closely with Jami Caseber and with the staff of TMD. As Mr. Caseber has pointed out, the myriad environmental issues of the city, including chromium, dioxin, pesticides, lead, radioactive materials, particulate matter, hazardous waste, and West Berkeley air quality have, at times, overwhelmed the small city staff. Add to these the recent disclosures of arsenic in the wood components of playground equipment, stormwater issues at the Corporation Yard, and well surveying and monitoring (groundwater), and inevitably some of these potential threats (and assets, in the case of groundwater) do not get dealt with in a timely and comprehensive manner.  

It is my belief that an additional staff person in the TMD would help ensure more effective and complete monitoring and correction of potential hazards in our community. I urge the City Council and residents to support this endeavor. 

John Selawsky 

Berkeley 

 

 

Major Development Gaming 

First the applicant should cloak the development with a goodly name such as Gaia or Beth El (House of God). Get a politically correct mix of people to the hearing. Keep decision makers on an emotional plane with allusions to beloved children, the holocaust and potential bombings rather than descending to discussion of the actual context and relevant public policy. If pressed, use terms like a “handful” (of large events, diesel buses, whatever…) and “we don’t have any intention to…” instead of “we won’t…”  

Staff should facilitate the approval process by not checking any of the applicant’s representations; they may include misrepresentations, which would make the plan unacceptable. And staff should not review precedents as each applicant has a unique set of political contacts. If necessary, staff should be prepared to change the process for preferred applicants midway, such as shifting review by Landmarks Commission to an unnoticed once-over at the Design Review Committee. 

Applicant and staff should cooperate in delivering revised plans just before the hearing. These new plans should be incomplete and conceptual. Leaving specifics for staff to work out later allows key staff to apply their demonstrated creativity in accepting two extra floors of office as an “ancillary use,” labeling caretaker housing as “office” and rescinding creek restoration policy as well as the criteria of neighborhood detriment. Don’t worry if the last minute plans aren’t covered by the environmental review; instant “supplementals” can be thrown in.  

Flipping agendas to keep project opponents the midnight hour or at least keep them in the dark until the last possible moment is also part of the game. Allow for a little public theater. The “adults” will take care of business out of the eye of public process.  

It’s a great game for the winners. Too bad about the terrible consequences for public trust. Too bad for landmarks and living creek corridors. Who would have thought Berkeley would entertain paving the prime creek corridor by Live Oak Park so that kids could be dropped off and loaded into buses to go somewhere else for open space? What an absurd game! 

 

Horst Bansner 

Berkeley 

 

 

 

 

 


Arts & Entertainment

Staff
Wednesday June 06, 2001

Habitot Children’s Museum “Back to the Farm” An interactive exhibit gives children the chance to wiggle through tunnels, look into a mirrored fish pond, don farm animal costumes, ride on a John Deere tractor and more. “Recycling Center” Lets the kids crank the conveyor belt to sort cans, plastic bottles and newspaper bundles into dumpster bins. $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. (closed Sundays, Memorial Day through Labor Day) Kittredge Street and Shattuck Avenue 647-1111 or www.habitot.org  

 

The Asian Galleries “Art of the Sung: Court and Monastery.” 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 Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology “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. “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. Kroeber Hall, Bancroft Way and College Ave. 643-7648  

 

Holt Planetarium Programs are recommended for age 8 and up; children under age 6 will not be admitted. $2 in addition to regular museum admission. “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. Centennial Drive, UC Berkeley 642-5132 or www.lhs.berkeley.edu  

 

924 Gilman St. All shows begin at 8 p.m. unless noted $5; $2 for year membership. All ages. June 8: The Enemies, Pitch Black, The Fleshies, Supersift, Texas Thieves; June 9: Groovie Ghoulies, The Influents, Red Planet, Mallrats, Goat Shanty. 525-9926  

 

Albatross Pub Music at 9 p.m unless noted otherwise. June 6: Whiskey Brothers; June 7: Keni “El Lebrijano” Flamenco guitar; June 9, 6 - 8 p.m.: Sauce Piquante, 9 p.m. - Midnight: Whiskey Brothers; June 12: Mad and Eddie Duran. 1822 San Pablo Ave. 843-2473  

 

Anna’s Music at 8 p.m. June 6: Bob Schoen with Cheryl McBride; June 7: Irrationals; June 8: Anna and Susie Laraine and Sallie Hanna-Rhine, 10 p.m.: Bluesman Hideo Date; June 9: Robin Gregory and Bliss Rodriguez, 10 p.m.: The Ducksan Distone; June 10: Choro Time with Ron Galen and Friends. $2 weeknights, $3 weekends. 1801 University Ave. 849-ANNA  

 

Ashkenaz June 2, 9:30 p.m.: June 6, 9 p.m.: Aux Cajunals; June 7, 10 p.m.: Dead DJ Nite with Digital Dave; June 8, 9:30 p.m. Ali Khan with Bellydance Troupe Lunatique; June 9, 9:30 p.m.: Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers; June 10, 7 p.m.: Food Not Bombs with Goodbye Flowers and INKA. 1370 San Pablo Ave. 525-5054 or www.ashkenaz.com 

 

Freight & Salvage All music at 8 p.m. June 6: Freight 33rd Anniversary concert series with Leni Stern, Jenna Mammina, Jill Cohn, Pig Iron. June :7 Alice Stuart, Folk blues, $17.50; June 8: Cats & Jammers Hot swing. $17.50; , June 9.: Danny Heines & Michael Manring; June 10: Roy Tyler and New Directions; June 12: Keith Little with Del Williams; June 13: Danu. $17.50.1111 Addison St. www.freightandsalvage.org 

 

La Peña Cultural Center “Cantiflas!” June 7 and June 8, 8 p.m. Herbert Siguenza, of the critically acclaimed trio Culture Clash, stars in this bilingual work-in-progress about legendary Mexican comedian Marion Moreno. With guest performers Eduardo Robledo and Tanya Vlach. 

$16. 3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 849-2568 www.lapena.org  

 

Jupiter All shows at 8 p.m. June 6, Lithium House; June 7, Beatdown with DJs Delon, Yamu, Add1; June 8, Harvey Wainapel Quartet; June 9, Om Trio; June 12, Ben Graves Trio 2181 Shattuck Ave 843-8277  

 

The Berkeley TEMPO Festival of Contemporary Performances All performances begin at 8 p.m. June 6: Shafqat Ali Khan, Pakistani Khyal vocals with David Wessel and Matthew Wright; June 8: Berkeley Contemporary Chamber Players; June 9: John Scott, John Abercrombie, George Marsh, Rich Fudoli, Mel Graves. $15 Hertz Hall, UC Berkeley Campus www.tempofestival.org 

 

The Farallone String Quartet June 10, 7:30 p.m. Quartets by Haydn. $8 - $10 Berkeley Art Center 1275 Walnut St. 

 

World Harmony Chorus June 10, 2 p.m. Vocal music from around the world. $5 - $10 Julia Morgan Center for the Arts 2640 College Ave. 925-798-1300 

 

Berkeley Symphony Orchestra June 21. All performances begin at 8 p.m. Single $19 - $35, Series $52 - $96. Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley 841-2800  

 

Sungugal Ballet June 10, 4:30 p.m. Featuring master percussionist Djibi Faye and West African Band with traditional West African dance. $6 - $12. Jazzschool/La Note 2377 Shattuck Ave. 845-5373 

 

“Big Love” by Charles L. Mee Through June 10 Directed by Les Waters and loosely based on the Greek Drama, “The Suppliant Woman,” by Aeschylus. Fifty brides who are being forced to marry fifty brothers flee to a peaceful villa on the Italian coast in search of sanctuary. $15.99 - $51 Berkeley Repertory Theatre 2025 Addison St. 647-2949 

 

“Planet Janet” Through June 10, Fridays and Saturdays 8 p.m., Sundays 7 p.m. Follows six young urbanites’ struggles in sex and dating. Impact Theatre presentation written by Bret Fetzer, directed by Sarah O’Connell. $7 - $12 La Val’s Subterranean Theatre 1834 Euclid 464-4468 www.impacttheatre.com 

 

“The Misanthrope” by Moliere Through June 10, Fri - Sun, 8 p.m. Berkeley-based Women in Time Productions presents this comic love story full of riotous wooing, venomous scheming and provocative dialogue. All female design and production staff. $17 - $20 Il Teatro 450 449 Powell St. San Francisco 415-433-1172 or visit www.womenintime.com 

“Cymbeline” Through June 24, Tues. - Thur. 7:30 p.m., Fri. 8 p.m., Sat. 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sun. 4 p.m. Opening of the California Shakespeare Festival features one of Shakespeare’s first romances, directed by Daniel Fish. $12 - $146. Bruns Memorial Amphitheater off Highway 24 at the Shakespeare Festival Way/Gateway Exit. 548-9666 or www.calshakes.org 

 

“The Laramie Project” Through July 8, Wed. 7 p.m., Tues. and Thur. -Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Written by Moises Kaufmen and members of Tectonic Theater Project, directed by Moises Kaufman. Moises Kaufman and Tectonic members traveled to Laramie, Wyo., after the murder of openly gay student Matthew Shepherd. The play is about the community and the impact Shaper’s death had on its members. $10 - $50. The Roda Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre 2015 Addison St. 647-2949 www.berkeleyrep.org 

 

“A Life In the Theatre” Previews June 8, 9, 10, 13. Opens June 14, runs through July 15. Wed. - Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. David Mamet play about the lives of two actors, considered a metaphor for life itself. Directed by Nancy Carlin. $30-$35. $26 preview nights. Berkeley City Club 2315 Durant 843-4822 

 

Pacific Film Archive June 6, 7:30: Prank and Parody; June 7, 7:00: Viy; June 8, 7:30: Aerograd; June 8, 9:15: The Letter That Was Never Sent; June 9, 7:30: Comic and Avant-Garde Shorts; June 10, 5:30: Pitfall, 7:25: Woman In the Dunes. Pacific Film Archive Theater 2575 Bancroft Way (at Bowditch) 642-1412 

 

“The Producers” June 10. Revisit this outrageous comedy classic, starring Zero Mostel and written by Mel Brooks. $2 Berkeley Richmond Jewish Community Center 1414 Walnut St. 848-0237. 

 

“Elemental” The art of Linda Mieko Allen Through June 9, Tuesday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Traywick Gallery 1316 Tenth St. 527-1214 www.traywick.com 

 

East Bay Open Studios June 9 & 10, 16 & 17, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Jennifer Foxly: Oil paintings and 2-d mixed media works 3206 Boise St.; Lewis Suzuki: Scenes from California to the Philippines, florals to nudes 2240 Grant St.; Guy Colwell: Painted replicas and recent original work 2028 9th St. (open until 7 p.m.) 

 

Wosene Kosrof June 13, 7 - 8:30 p.m. Ethiopian-born Berkeley resident will be exhibiting and discussing his paintings. One piece will be up for auction, proceeds to benefit the YMCA. Shattuck Hotel 2086 Allston 848-9622 ext. 3541  

 

“Alive in Her: Icons of the Goddess” Through June 19, Tuesday - Thursday, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Photography, collage, and paintings by Joan Beth Clair. Pacific School of Religion 1798 Scenic Ave. 848-0528 

 

Tyler James Hoare Sculpture and Collage Through June 27, call for hours. Party June 9, 5-9 p.m. with music by Sauce Piquante. The Albatross Pub 1822 San Pablo Ave. 843-2473 

 

Ako Castue1ra, Ryohei Tanaka, Rob Sato Through June 30, Tues. - Sat. 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Group exhibition, recent paintings. Artist’s reception June 9, 6:30 - 9 p.m. with music by Knewman and Espia. !hey! Gallery 4920 B Telegraph Ave., Oakland 428-2349  

 

“Watershed 2001” Through July 14, Wednesday - Sunday Noon - 5 p.m. Exhibition of painting, drawing, sculpture and installation that explore images and issues about our watershed. Berkeley Art Center 1275 Walnut St. 644-6893 

 

Bernard Maisner: Illuminated Manuscripts and Paintings. Through Aug. 8 Maisner works in miniature as well as in large scales, combining his mastery of medieval illumination, gold leafing, and modern painting techniques. Flora Lamson Hewlett Library 2400 Ridge Rd. 849-2541 

 

“Musee des Hommages,” Masterworks by Guy Colwell Faithful copies of several artists from the pasts, including Titian’s “The Venus of Urbino,” Cezanne’s “Still Life,” Picasso’s “Woman at a Mirror,” and Boticelli’s “Primavera” Ongoing. Call ahead for hours 2028 Ninth St. (at Addison) 841-4210 or visit www.atelier9.com 

 

“Geographies of My Heart” Collage paintings by Jennifer Colby through August 24; Flora Lamson Hewlett Library 2400 Ridge Rd. 649-2541 

 

Images of Portugal Paintings by Sofia Berto Villas-Boas of her native land. Open after 5 p.m. Voulez-Vous 2930 College Ave. (at Elmwood) 

 

“Queens of Ethiopia: Intuitive Inspirations,” the exceptional art of Esete-Miriam A. Menkir. Through July 11. Women’s Cancer Resource Center Gallery 3023 Shattuck Ave. 548-9286 ext 307 

 

“The Decade of Change: 1900 - 1910” chronicles the transformation of the city of Berkeley in this 10 year period. Thursday through Saturday, 1 - 4 p.m. Berkeley History Center, Veterans Memorial Building, 1931 Center St. Wheelchair accessible. 848-0181. Free.  

 

Readings 

 

Cody’s Books 2454 Telegraph Ave. All events at 7:30 p.m. June 6: Ralph Dranow and Carla Kandinsky read poetry; June 7: Dr. Amit Goswami talks about “The Visionary Window: A Quantum Physicist’s Guide to Enlightenment”; June 8: Scott Carrier reads from “Running After Antelope”; June 9: Richard Russo reads from “Empire Falls”, June 10: Irvine Welsh talks about “Glue.” 

 

Cody’s Books 1730 Fourth St. All events at 7 p.m. June 6: Peter Mayle teaches “French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork, and Corkscrew; June 8: For the younger readers, Eoin Colfer reads from “Artemis Fowl”; June 9: For the younger readers, Lemony Snicket reports on “The Vile Village.”  

 

Weekly Poetry Nitro Mondays 6:30 p.m sign up, 7 - 9 p.m. reading. Performing poets in a dinner atmosphere. Featured poets: June 11, Ivan Arguelles. Cafe de la Paz 1600 Shattuck Ave. 843-0662 

 

Tours 

 

 

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Free. University of California, Berkeley. 486-4387 

 

Berkeley City Club Tours 2315 Durant Ave., Berkeley. The fourth Sunday of every month, Noon - 4 p.m. $2 848-7800  

 

Golden Gate Live Steamers Grizzly Peak Boulevard and Lomas Cantadas Drive at the south end of Tilden Regional Park Small locomotives, meticulously scaled to size. Trains run Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Rides: Sunday, noon to 3 p.m., weather permitting. 486-0623  

 

Berkeley Historical Society Walking Tours All tours begin at 10 a.m. and are restricted to 30 people per tour $5 - $10 per tour. June 2: Trish Hawthorne will lead a tour of Thousand Oaks School and Neighborhood; June 23: Sue Fernstrom will lead a tour of Strawberry Creek and West of the UC Berkeley campus 848-0181 

 


Jerry Rice becomes newest Oakland Raider

The Associated Press
Wednesday June 06, 2001

ALAMEDA — Jerry Rice put on the silver and black for the first time and couldn’t help but admire himself. 

“I look good in it, man,” the NFL’s most prolific receiver said as he donned a new uniform for the first time in 16 seasons. 

After a record-breaking career across San Francisco Bay with the 49ers, Rice ended months of speculation about his future Tuesday by joining the Oakland Raiders. 

“This is a beginning for me, and I hope this is going to jump-start my career all over again,” he said. 

Rice, a 12-time Pro Bowl selection who won three Super Bowls in San Francisco, was released by the 49ers Monday because of salary cap problems. 

On Tuesday morning, he caught a few passes from Pro Bowl quarterback Rich Gannon during an informal workout and took a moment to boast about his new uniform. 

“I hope it didn’t go over the wrong way,” he said, “because I just stood there and said, ‘Hey guys, look at me! I look good!”’ 

Later in the day, dressed in a black suit and sporting his trademark smile, Rice spoke at a news conference with Oakland coach Jon Gruden. 

“I’m not saying that I have to be the main guy, you know,” Rice said. “What I want to do is just come in here and do what I’ve been doing my entire career. That’s basically just being a little kid out there on the football field and doing something I love.” 

His contract with the Raiders was not disclosed, but it was believed to be up to a four-year deal that keeps Rice near his family and his new 15,000-square-foot mansion in Atherton. 

It also keeps Rice close to his fans, who might not like the idea of their hero leaving the 49ers’ family for the rough-and-tumble Raiders across the bay. 

“I think as long as I’m out there giving 100 percent on the football field, I have a chance at winning a lot of hearts,” Rice said. 

Noticeably missing from Tuesday’s workout was veteran Tim Brown, the Raiders’ marquee receiver for more than a decade. The session was voluntary, and Rice did not take offense at his new teammate’s absence. 

“I know what type of person he is, and I’m sure he’s behind me 100 percent,” Rice said. 

Still, questions remain about how Brown and Rice will mesh in the same offense. They have similar styles, and Gruden said their roles have not been determined. 

There also is the matter of Andre Rison, who joined the Raiders last August and helped them reach the AFC title game. Rison, who complemented Brown and fellow Raiders receiver James Jett, had not been re-signed by the Raiders as of Tuesday. 

“My initial thought is that it doesn’t look good for Andre,” cornerback Charles Woodson said. 

Even if Rison does return to the Raiders, there’s no telling how he would fit in with Brown and Rice: “It depends on those guys and their egos, you know what I mean? Those are three future Hall of Famers,” Woodson said. 

Although Gruden said talks continue with Rison, he quickly turned the conversation back to the Raiders’ newest star. 

The 38-year-old Rice holds league records with 1,281 receptions and 187 touchdowns. He was the NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 1987 and 1993 and the Super Bowl MVP in 1989. 

He has amassed 19,247 yards receiving, including at least one catch in his last 225 games, another record. 

Rice also holds records with 176 touchdowns on pass receptions; 12 seasons with more than 1,000 yards receiving; 1,848 yards receiving in a single season; and 22 touchdown receptions in a single season. 

Rice becomes the latest San Francisco great who will spend the twilight years of his career with the Raiders and owner Al Davis, who often clashed with the 49ers during the tenure of former San Francisco GM Carmen Policy. 

Over the years, the Raiders have lured Ronnie Lott, Roger Craig, Tom Rathman, Marquez Pope and others into the silver and black. Oakland signed Charlie Garner, the 49ers’ leading rusher the past two seasons, to a four-year contract in April. 

“He’s going to raise the quality of our play, no question.” 

” Garner said. 

Although it is expected that Rice will play two more seasons before retiring, on Tuesday he wouldn’t rule out sticking around a little longer. 

“I can see myself on a cane – still trying to run that go route,” he said. 


Entrepreneur taps winery business right in Berkeley

By John Geluardi Daily Planet staff
Wednesday June 06, 2001

When Tom Leaf moved to San Francisco from Texas in 1988, he liked to drink beer. Then one day he took a trip to the wine country, tasted a Hop Kilm 1985 Reserve Zinfandel and had a revelation. 

“If someone told me when I was in Texas I would come to California and make wine, I would have laughed,” Leaf said “But that day I went wine tasting it was literally a light-bulb experience. I fell in love.” 

By 1991 Leaf, an environmental consultant, was making wine in the basement of his San Francisco home.  

By 1994 his wines were winning awards at state and county fairs throughout the Bay Area. 

By 1999 Leaf had won over 150 awards and his passion for winemaking posed a problem.  

“I was making more wine than I could use or give away to family and friends, so I had to cut back or become professional,” he said. 

Unwilling to cut back, Leaf decided to make a career change. He hooked up with another  

 

budding wine company to share space with and began looking around the Bay Area for a good facility to start a professional winery. After looking in Sonoma, Napa and Marin they found what Leaf described as the “perfect” location in a town not widely known as a wine center – Berkeley. 

“We knew right away this was the place,” Leaf said. “It had operated as a winery for 20 years so it had everything we needed, a good water supply, drainage and existing city permits.” 

In addition, Leaf said he is located a short drive from the Napa vineyard where he purchases his grapes. 

Leaf took his life’s savings “and then some” and opened Grapeleaf Cellars in 1999 in a building that was originally a meat-packing facility on Camelia Street. 

Leaf had become part of long and little known local tradition of winemaking. His also became the fifth operating winery in Berkeley. The others are Catalpa Creek (Leaf’s co-tenant), Rubissow Sargent Wine Co., Edmonds St. John and the largest, Audubon Cellars. 

Gale Bach, the cellar master for Audubon Cellars, said there has been both professional and amateur winemaking in Berkeley for many years. Bach, who began making wine with plums from his back yard 25 years ago, said Berkeley’s climate and location is good for winemaking.  

“It’s not too hot and not too cold,” he said. “You need a relatively cool and steady temperature and it’s easy to do that here in Berkeley.” 

Bach said other advantages include plenty of warehouse space in west Berkeley, easy access to vineyards in Napa and Sonoma counties and an enthusiastic environment created by the Bay Area’s well-known love of food and good wine. 

The Oak Barrel Wine Craft has been selling winemaking equipment to home winemakers and small wineries from its San Pablo Avenue store for nearly 50 years. Owner Bernie Rooney said he sells equipment all over the state but a large percentage of his customers are Berkeley residents who are making wine in their basements and garages.  

Rooney agrees the Bay Area food culture inspires many locals to make wine. “Berkeley and San Francisco are the center of the whole food and wine scene in the Bay Area,” he said. “People here like to try new and interesting things.” 

Leaf said his first vintage of chardonnays, pinot noirs, a zinfandel and a blended table wine were a success. He produced his goal of 1,000 cases and is beginning to market them. “I’ve been spending money for two years and am just now starting to get some back in,” he said. 

Standing among the 50 French oak wine barrels and three Italian blending tanks, Leaf said he would like to have a big presence in Berkeley and that he looks forward to operating his winery here. He also invited anyone who’s interested to tour his operation and taste his wares.  

Wine tasting and tours of Grapeleaf Cellars can be made by appointment by calling 527-1305 or e-mailing tom@grapeleaf.com


San Pablo Avenue plan back to ZAB

By Judith Scherr Daily Planet staff
Wednesday June 06, 2001

Just before folks crowded into and overflowed out of the Council Chambers Tuesday night to voice pros and cons of a development across the street from Live Oak Park, another highly controversial development proposal was quietly and temporarily derailed. 

A threat of a lawsuit by neighbors who oppose Panoramic Interests proposed project at 2700 San Pablo Ave. and a reported counter threat of a suit by Panoramic Interests’ developer Patrick Kennedy was to be discussed by the City Council in closed session at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. (Litigation or the threat of litigation is one of the legitimate subjects a government body may discuss behind closed doors.) 

But a letter to the city attorney by Kennedy’s attorney Michael Durkee made the council discussion unnecessary and sent the project back to the Zoning Adjustments Board. 

“...after much thought and consideration, our client believes that a new approval process before the ZAB will allow (the developers) a better forum to address the points raised by the opposition and will clearly reveal both how their project complies with applicable law and why it will be a remarkably positive addition to the community,” according to the letter. 

Howie Muir, of Neighbors for Responsible Development, said his organization of neighbors living near the proposed project, were reacting to the fact that the ZAB had approved one project, but when the Neighbors appealed it, a new project went before the City Council and was approved. 

The council-approved project is a four-story 35-unit complex that has four live-work units and retail on the ground floor. A development with 48 units, no live-work, the entire ground floor as retail and more parking spaces had been approved by the ZAB. 

Muir said, in the lawsuit, the Neighbors would have argued that, since the project presented to the City Council was a new proposal, it needed a fresh environmental study under the California Environmental Quality Act. 

In an interview Tuesday, Kennedy said although the lawsuit “lacks merit,” he would rather take his project back to ZAB than face a protracted lawsuit. “I want the record to show that the impact on the environment is less significant,” Kennedy said. 

Councilmember Dona Spring said she was happy the project was going back to ZAB. “I think there is a chance for modification,” she said. 

Neighbors have consistently said four stories is too high for the area, while Kennedy has argued anything less would make it infeasible for him to build. 

“I’m feeling fairly elated,” Muir said.


Film prompts discussion about male teen needs

By Ben Lumpkin Daily Planet staff
Wednesday June 06, 2001

Some 500 parents and youth from Berkeley and beyond turned out for a screening of “Boys Will Be Men,” a film dealing with the difficulties of growing up male in America, at the Longfellow Middle School auditorium Monday night. 

The latest film by Berkeley filmmaker Tom Weidlinger, “Boys Will Be Men” premiered in San Francisco two weeks ago. Monday night’s screening was organized by the Berkeley PTA Council in response to what PTA member Cynthia Papermaster called “the deep need and  

yearning in our community to deal with these issues.” 

Papermaster said the prevalence of bullying, homophobia and outright violence at Berkeley Schools has reached a level where parents are desperately seeking explanations and solutions such as the ones offered in the film. 

“Boys Will Be Men” begins with experts describing how boys are often taught to be “tough” and to internalize emotions and feelings. The result, one expert argues, is that boys learn to express themselves by acting out rather than by verbalizing feelings as girls might do. 

In a line that drew laughter from the audience, the experts said boys spend their first years in school thinking to themselves “What is this place called school? It is a place run by women for girls and boys always getting into trouble.” 

The film visits a Berkeley elementary school teacher struggling to prevent hyperactive boys from becoming alienated at a school that seems designed for them to fail. Boys may have different needs than girls, but if they fail to keep up academically they risk developing an “achievement gap” that could haunt them for the rest of their lives, the teacher argues. 

Turning to adolescent boys – boys one expert describes as “tough, stoic and ready to fight at a moment’s notice” – the film follows a group of troubled teens through a wilderness program in Idaho.  

Working together to overcome a series of obstacles, the boys get a taste of pride and self-worth unlike anything they’ve experienced before. Before the ever-present eye of the camera they can be seen withdrawing from their shells of cynicism, becoming increasingly comfortable with sharing their feelings. 

“It’s an emotional experience to see those boys be inspired; kids that potentially would have so much trouble,” said Berkeley parent Craig McCaleb after the screening. 

The film offers “a wonderful explanation for how our little boys become the difficult teenagers they are,” said Berkeley parent Bill Tennant. 

In 25 years of making films for public television, Weidlinger said he’s “never seen a more immediate and universally positive reaction to one of (his) films” than the reaction to “Boys Will Be Men” in recent weeks. 

The film is scheduled air in more than 50 percent of the nations public television markets, Weidlinger said. It will air on KQED June 17 at noon. But Weidlinger said he hoped other communities would follow the Berkeley example and use the film to spark discussions and even reforms. 

After the screening Monday, the audience divided up into groups to discuss issues of male socialization in Berkeley elementary and middle schools and at Berkeley High, where incidents of violence have led to beefed-up security in recent months. 

Several in the audience asked if it wouldn’t be possible for schools to provide male youth with more of the self-esteem building activities depicted in the film. 

“Filling these kids up with knowledge isn’t enough,” McCaleb said. “(Teacher) training has to be more than the ABCs. Like it or not, teachers are thrust into this role, and they need to be trained.” 

As Weidlinger put it, “If you just punish kids for acting out, it’s really not solving the problem for them. If you don’t have kids comfortable with themselves, then that almost becomes a block to learning.”  

In a political climate that places increasing emphasis on standardized testing as a measure of school success, however, there may be even less time allotted for programs that address issues of socialization, Weidlinger warned. 

“The kind of initiatives that I’m talking about, which are less measurable in terms of test scores, may be a casualty,” he said.  

Javanne Strong, program manager for the Berkeley Unified School District’s Drug and Violence Prevention office, said the district is in the process of implementing a violence prevention program recently called “exemplary” by a U.S. Department of Education panel of experts. Many Berkeley teachers have already integrated the so called “Second Step” curriculum into regular classes, he added. 

Strong said the Second Step program trains teachers – and parents who want to become involved – to help kids confront and manage their emotions. Students are given a common vocabulary to help them discuss their feelings with teachers and with one another, Strong said. Through role playing, they learn appropriate and inappropriate ways to express anger and other difficult emotions in the context of school. 

Still, some in the audience Monday said parents face competing pressures that make it difficult to know what to teach their sons. They want their sons to be tough enough to face the inevitable bullying and competition they face in school, they said. But they don’t want to drive their children to become bullies themselves. 

“It’s such a hard thing to conquer,” said Michelle McMillan-Wilson, the parent of a three year old son and a social worker with the Alameda County office of Child Protective Services.  

“You don’t want to send them to school not prepared to deal with other kids, but you want to teach him that it’s OK to cry.” 


Board will hear public input on district budget

By Ben Lumpkin Daily Planet staff
Wednesday June 06, 2001

The Board of Education will hold a public hearing on its adopted budget tonight. 

Concerned residents will have a chance to review and comment on sweeping budget cuts approved last month, said Board President Terry Doran, although the board is not expected to make any changes to the budget. 

After a months-long search for candidates to replace five principals leaving the district at the end of this school year, the board will hear which candidates its staff recommends for the positions tonight.  

If satisfied with the selections, the board could name the new principals for Emerson, Jefferson, Rosa Parks, Thousand Oaks and Willard schools at tonight’s meeting, Doran said. 

The school board meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. on the second floor of the district’s administrative offices, 2134 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way. It is broadcast on KPFB 89.3 and televised on BTV ch 25.


Package for foster care housing, training OK’d

The Associated Press
Wednesday June 06, 2001

SACRAMENTO — California’s foster-care system for 115,000 children who can’t live with their own parents is broken, say state lawmakers who are pushing a $63 million package of bills. 

Half of the children never finish high school, a third end up in jail and a quarter become homeless, according to lawmakers and foster-care advocates. 

“The system is broken. What future do we give to these kids? What statement does it make as a society as to who we are?” Assembly Speaker Robert Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, told the Assembly. 

The Assembly on Tuesday approved five bills in its 11-bill package aimed at improving housing and education for foster teens, training and money for foster parents and support for county child welfare workers. 

While the plan passed the Assembly, it faces trouble with the tight state budget.  

The Assembly’s budget plan contains the $63 million for foster care during the 2001-2002 fiscal year, but the plans from the Senate and Gov. Gray Davis do not. 

A six-legislator conference committee is writing a compromise budget no, but the committee has not voted on the foster-care proposal. 

Children who cannot remain with their parents because of abuse, neglect or other problems are put into foster care. If family members cannot be found, they are placed with a licensed foster family, which is paid by the state. 

However, when they reach the age of 18, they no longer get help. Every year, 2,500 foster youth are “emancipated,” meaning they reach the end of foster-care services, said Assemblywoman Dion Aroner, D-Berkeley. 

Teens lead very structured, regulated lives in foster care and often are not allowed to visit friends or get a driver’s license, but then suddenly at 18 are expected to be independent, said Victoria Finkler, legislative and policy coordinator for California Youth Connection, a group of former and current foster children supporting three of the bills. 

“We think it’s pretty unrealistic to expect youth, especially when they’ve been so regulated, to be completely independent at 18,” Finkler said. 

Two of the bills approved Tuesday would extend housing assistance and training for foster teens until the age of 21. 

“We can’t expect 18-year-olds to be tossed off foster-care assistance and thrive in a world that is hostile and difficult for them,” said Assemblywoman Carole Migden, D-San Francisco, author of the housing bill. 

Many foster-care children have psychological problems because of their turbulent family backgrounds, added Assemblyman Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento. 

“Too many of these children with emotional problems who have not gotten the support they need and deserve turn 18 and have nowhere to turn. Too many of them end up on the street,” said Steinberg, author of a bill to increase the rates paid foster families by 5 percent a year at an annual cost of $5 million. 

All the bills approved Tuesday move to the Senate, where two other bills in the package are pending. The other four bills were scheduled for Assembly votes Wednesday. 

 

WHAT’S IN THE BILL 

Here are the foster-care bills approved Tuesday by the state Assembly and their votes: 

• Young adults up to age 21, instead of 18, could get $5 million in transitional housing help, AB1261 by Assemblywoman Carole Migden, D-San Francisco, 71-0. 

• Young adults up to age 21, instead of 18, could get $8 million for educational or training programs, AB1119 by  

Speaker Robert Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, 72-0. 

• Child welfare caseloads for social workers would be reduced over five years at a cost of $12 million a year, AB364 by Assemblywoman Dion Aroner, D-Berkeley, 54-17. 

• A new $3.5 million program would help counties recruit and keep foster parents, AB557 by Aroner, 57-12. 

• The rights and responsibilities of children in foster care would be listed in law, AB899 by Assemblywoman Carol Liu, D-La Canada Flintridge, 66-4.Foster-care bills scheduled for votes Wednesday: 

• Educational services for foster youth would be expanded by $15 million to cover all counties, AB797 by Assemblyman Kevin Shelley, D-San Francisco. 

• Foster parents would be given child care when they work, AB1105 by Assemblyman Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto. 

• Foster family rates would be increased 5 percent a year for four years at a cost of $5 million a year, AB1330 by Assemblyman Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento. 

• County welfare officials could reduce the money that families that take back their children after foster care are charged  

for the cost of that care, AB1449 by Assemblyman Fred Keeley, D-Boulder Creek. Foster-care bills previously approved: 

• Prospective adoptive parents would be given more information about the foster youth available for adoption, AB538 by Assemblyman Dennis Cardoza, D-Atwater, pending in Senate Judiciary Committee. 

• County child welfare agencies would be judged on the success of foster children and families, AB636 by Steinberg  

 

On the Net: 

Read about the California Youth Connection, an organization of current and former foster youth, at http://www.calyouthconn.org 

Read about the state’s program at 

http://www.childsworld.org/foster/index.htm 


City Attorney leads L.A. mayor’s race

The Associated Press
Wednesday June 06, 2001

LOS ANGELES — City Attorney James Hahn led Antonio Villaraigosa, a former state legislator hoping to become the city’s first Hispanic mayor in 129 years, in early returns in the race for mayor Tuesday. 

With 3 percent of precincts reporting, Hahn had 65,497 votes, or 62 percent. Villaraigosa had 39,387 votes, or 38 percent. 

The early returns were heavily weighted toward absentee votes. Hahn got more absentee votes than Villaraigosa in the primary, but Villaraigosa went on to emerge in first place, with 30 percent of the vote compared with 25 percent for Hahn. 

Absentee voters accounted for 7.6 percent of the total vote in the April primary. 

Hahn, city attorney since 1985, has won citywide office five times and enjoyed broad support from the city’s black community, which revered his late father, a four-decade Los Angeles County supervisor. 

Villaraigosa, an immigrant’s son and onetime high school dropout who rose to speaker of the state Assembly, would be the city’s first Hispanic mayor since 1872. 

The winner will replace Republican Richard Riordan, forced from office after eight years by term limits. 

Although both candidates are liberal Democrats, Hahn positioned himself as more moderate during the runoff. Some analysts cast the race as a contest between the city’s future and the status quo. 

“This is a city that is in transition. This election is a gut check,” said Antonio Gonzalez, president of the William C. Velasquez Institute, based in San Antonio, Texas. “Is L.A. ready to let new leadership assert itself, that happens to be Latino, that happens to represent the majority of the population?” 

Turnout among the city’s 1.5 million registered voters stood at 29.2 percent by 7 p.m., the city clerk’s office said. The pace of voting was slightly ahead of the same timeframe in the April 10 primary and the city’s last mayoral runoff in 1993. 

The final turnout in the primary was 33.5 percent. Hispanic turnout in the primary was a record 21.7 percent and experts said that would have to increase for Villaraigosa to win the runoff. 

In other high-profile races, former state senator and 1960s radical Tom Hayden trailed former Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Weiss in the battle for the 5th District City Council seat, while Hahn’s sister, Janice Hahn, led in early returns for the 15th District council seat. 

State Sen. Diane Watson, a popular black Democrat, had a commanding lead in her bid to succeed the late Rep. Julian Dixon in the 32nd Congressional District race. Dixon, a Democrat, died in December. The battle between Hahn and Villaraigosa was the most fiercely contested mayoral race in decades. 

Villaraigosa’s campaign was considered a longshot when he entered the race, but the charismatic former legislator surged to a surprising first place in the primary on the strength of a broad coalition of Hispanics, labor, liberals and others. 

Hernane Ortiz, 27, of Boyle Heights joked that he was voting for Villaraigosa “because he’s Latino and I’m Latino so I gotta vote for him, right?” But he added that Villaraigosa more closely represented his views. 

“I just think he’s more in touch with me and with the things that are important to me,” he said. 

After the primary, the more reserved Hahn sought to portray Villaraigosa as soft on crime and overly liberal, keeping him mostly on the defensive. 

The last major poll before the election showed Hahn seven points ahead. 

Hahn, 50, frequently invoked the name of his popular late father, county Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, who represented the largely black neighborhoods of South Los Angeles that now constitute his son’s base. Hahn also was successful in attracting conservatives who had backed other candidates in the primary. 

Villaraigosa, 48, referred frequently to his personal history of rising from a broken home on the city’s rough east side to the highest post in the Assembly. He rejected the Hispanic candidate label, but his candidacy generated excitement among Hispanics, who now comprise 46.5 percent of the city’s population. 

The candidates sought to distinguish themselves from each other but ultimately resorted to attack ads as they burned through a combined $13 million in campaign funds. 

A Hahn ad used images of a smoking crack pipe and a razor blade cutting cocaine to slam Villaraigosa for writing a letter on behalf of a convicted cocaine dealer whose sentence was later commuted by former President Clinton. 

Villaraigosa, who was endorsed by Riordan, accused Hahn of running a “campaign of fear and smear” and sought to link him to out-of-town Indian gambling interests. 

The ads bothered some voters. Others dismissed them as typical of politics. 

“If it’s negative, it’s negative,” said Tom Capplen, 49, who was voting for Hahn because of his anti-crime stance. “What are you going to do? It’s always that way in this country at the elections.” 


Community backs teachers on strike

The Associated Press
Wednesday June 06, 2001

FAIRFIELD — Parents rallied outside the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District office Tuesday afternoon to show their support for the teachers who are striking for higher wages. 

Organizers estimate that more than 1,000 people covered five blocks on either side of Pennsylvania Avenue which runs past the district’s office. But district spokeswoman Kathy Miller said no more than a “couple hundred” protesters were at the 1 p.m. rally. 

Nearly 96 percent of the district’s teachers continued to strike Tuesday, and less than half the district’s students attended classes. 

The strike began Friday afternoon, and no negotiations have been scheduled. 

Earlier Tuesday, as teachers picketed for an 11.7 percent raise outside district schools, the district held a news briefing, condemning what district spokesman Tom DeLapp called “aggressive” behavior exhibited by picketing teachers. Organizers have denied the claims. 

The district alleged picketers keyed and spit at cars and photographed substitute teachers and their car license plates with the implied threat of retaliation. The picketers are also accused of encouraging students not to attend class and to disrupt normal school activities. 

Teacher’s association president Liz Priest called the allegations “blatant lies.” 

DeLapp said the district had about 500 substitutes in place Tuesday. About 10,000 of the district’s 22,000 students attended classes.


San Jose police say 7 hostages taken at DMV

The Associated Press
Wednesday June 06, 2001

SAN JOSE — San Jose police responded to a call Tuesday evening that several armed men took hostages at a Department of Motor Vehicles office. 

Police received a cell phone call at 6:01 p.m. from a woman who said men armed with rifles and wearing black bandanas entered the office, spokesman Rubens Dalaison said. 

More than two hours after the initial call, police had not yet established how many gunmen there might be, or indeed whether they were still in the building once officers responded. 

There were no initial reports of injuries. 

The woman said she was calling from a bathroom inside the office, where six other employees were huddled, Dalaison said. 

“We haven’t made contact with anybody inside,” Dalaison said. 

He said the incident might have started as a robbery. The office is located at 180 Martinvale Lane in an industrial area of south San Jose. 

DMV spokesman Bill Branch said the office closed at 5 p.m. 

Branch said that while robbers have hit DMV offices before, longtime department officials could not recall a hostage incident. 

“We have had robberies occasionally at DMV offices,” Branch said. “I have no idea how much cash would have been involved.” 


Senate floor calm in last GOP run meeting

The Associated Press
Wednesday June 06, 2001

WASHINGTON — On the eve of a historic shift in power, Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle pledged Tuesday to “reach out and create bipartisan coalitions” on health care and other issues when his party takes control for the first time in six years. Republicans said they would demand fair play for President Bush’s nominees and fight to keep his agenda at the forefront. 

“We should have a war of ideas, and we should have a full campaign for the Senate in 2002,” said Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., the outgoing majority leader. 

At the White House, President Bush welcomed a diverse group of lawmakers for a discussion of education. “We can still get things done” despite the switch, he said. 

Vermont Sen. James Jeffords, a Republican-turned-independent whose switch triggered the Senate upheaval, turned down a last-ditch appeal from one GOP senator to reconsider his move. Shortly before stepping into a closed-door Democratic caucus, he said he felt a “sense of relief that it is all over, that the final step has been taken.” 

Officials said that overnight Jeffords’ desk would be unbolted from its spot on the floor on the GOP side of the Senate chamber and reattached on the Democratic side – a move of only a few feet that signified a major shift in political power. 

The Senate convened for the last time in a tumultuous six-year period of Republican rule that began with the “Contract With America” and included the second impeachment trial in American history. The day’s legislation was an education bill, an item atop Bush’s agenda. Debate was desultory as both parties focused on the transfer of power, and lawmakers adjourned for the day without so much as a vote on an amendment. 

A committee of Republicans met with Daschle, D-S.D., late in the day to discuss organizational issues, including the size of committees and the ratio of seats for each party. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., emerged to say it had been a “cordial meeting. I think it was productive,” he added, with more talks expected on Wednesday. 

Under an expiring 50-50 power-sharing arrangement, Republicans held the chairmanships but there were equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats on each panel. 

Jeffords’ switch will create a Senate of 50 Democrats, 49 Republicans and one independent who sides with the Democrats for organizational purposes. That means Democrats get the chairmanships and a majority of at least one seat on each panel. 

Republicans conceded as much, but said they wanted fairness from the Democrats, particularly when it comes time to consider Bush’s nominees for the federal bench and other posts. 

“We’re looking for fairness, we’re looking for an opportunity for this body to function, for the president and the executive branch to be able to function. Just some assurances that there will be fairness with nominees from the president, both judicial and otherwise,” said Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa. 

It’s customary for the two parties to haggle over committee appointments and ratios at the beginning of each two-year Congress, and often the process takes three or four weeks or even more.  

Daschle and several of the GOP senators who were appointed to meet with him said in advance they doubted there would be an agreement by day’s end. 

Even without an agreement, Daschle, 53 and six years his party’s leader, becomes majority leader with the opening gavel on Wednesday.  

And in another sign of change, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., crossed the Capitol during the day to pay the Democratic leader a visit. An aide said the two men discussed health care and other legislation. 

Daschle told reporters he hoped to show a “real difference in both the direction we hope to take the Senate agenda, as well as tone.” He cited numerous topics that he said were important bipartisan issues, including education, a patients’ bill of rights, a prescription drug benefit for Medicare, an increase in the minimum wage and energy legislation. 

“So our hope is not necessarily to move a purely ideological agenda but one that enjoys bipartisan support and ideas right from the beginning.” 

Lott also spoke of bipartisanship, but took Democrats to task for comments made last week that were dismissive of elements of Bush’s agenda such as the national missile defense system. 

“I’ve got to make sure that the American people understand that the president’s agenda, the American people’s agenda, will be considered in the Senate,” he said. 

Lott has called Jeffords’ move a “coup of one,” and he issued a memo to GOP insiders last week that said the party must “begin to wage war today for the election in 2002.  

We have a moral obligation to restore the integrity of our democracy, to restore by the democratic process what was changed in the shadows of the backrooms in Washington.” 

Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Democratic vice presidential candidate in the presidential election settled last year on a 5-4 vote of the Supreme Court, laughed at those sentiments. 

“We’ve accepted the fact that George W. Bush is now the president of the United States. That’s the reality,” he said.  

“We respect it, and I think our Republican friends have to now accept the reality that Tom Daschle is majority leader, and they have to respect that, too.”


Department urged to look into Florida election process

The Associated Press
Wednesday June 06, 2001

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department should investigate the possibility that minorities were intentionally denied voting rights in last year’s elections in Florida, the chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights says. 

Mary Frances Berry said Tuesday that she plans to request a meeting with Attorney General John Ashcroft and will recommend to the commission Friday that the Justice Department be asked to look into problems outlined in a commission report. 

According to the report thousands of Floridians were deprived of their votes by outdated equipment, improper purging of voter rolls, language barriers and inadequate access to voting booths. 

Black voters were disenfranchised by a disproportionate margin, said the report, which has yet to be approved by the full commission. That vote is scheduled for Friday. 

“We are asking the Justice Department and Mr. Ashcroft to look at the facts in our report and look at the remedy he should pursue,” Berry said in an interview. “He should determine whether there was intentional discrimination.” 

Justice Department spokesman Dan Nelson said he could not comment on the commission’s report because he hadn’t seen it yet. 

“What happened in Florida is that there was bipartisan disenfranchisement – Democrats who were county supervisors did not do what they were supposed to do, and neither did the governor nor the secretary of state,” Berry said. 

The report said the state’s highest officials, singling out Republican Gov. Jeb Bush and Secretary of State Katherine Harris, were “grossly derelict in fulfilling their responsibilities and unwilling to accept accountability.” 

Charles Canady, general counsel for the governor, responded in a letter Tuesday that the report was biased and rife with errors. 

“The report grossly mischaracterizes the role of the governor and other state-level officials in overseeing the administration of elections in Florida,” Canady said. “Although Governor Bush has taken a leadership role in reforming our state’s election system, he clearly was not responsible for carrying out or overseeing the preparations for the November  

2000 election.” 

Bush said Tuesday he had not seen the report but the fact that it was leaked to the news media “points to the clear fact that this is a partisan group.” 

“They have admitted that there was no systematic effort to discriminate,” the governor said, adding that Florida has responded to the election problems by creating a model system backed by a lot of money. “So I’m moving on,” he said. 

The eight-member commission currently has four Democrats, three independents and a Republican. 

Fifty-four percent of votes rejected during the Florida election were cast by black voters, according to the report. Blacks accounted for 11 percent of voters statewide. 

“The disenfranchisement was not isolated or episodic,” said the report, the product of a six-month investigation. The commission held three days of hearings, interviewed 100 witnesses and reviewed 118,000 documents. 

The commission is charged with investigating possible violations of the federal Voting Rights Act and other civil rights protections. 

Florida officials and two members of the commission criticized the way the report was released. It was made available to three newspapers, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. 

The new Florida law requires that all counties have modern optical scan voting machines and stop using the punchcard machines that were the source of much controversy in the Florida vote recount. It also allows for provisional ballots for people who are not on voter lists but say they are eligible to vote. Election officials would later determine if the ballots were valid. 

Commissioner Russell Redenbaugh, an independent appointed by Republicans, was sharply critical of the report. 

“Without any doubt, there’s political motivation in this process,” Redenbaugh said Tuesday. “The way this has been handled and released reflects poorly on the commission and diminishes the impact it will have. 

“President Bush needs to act to produce new leadership on the Civil Rights Commission.”


Cancer rates on the decline, maybe thanks to science

The Associated Press
Wednesday June 06, 2001

WASHINGTON — Rates for cancer cases and deaths went down in the 1990s, led by declines for prostate, lung and colon cancer, according to combined government and private studies. More breast cancer cases were detected, apparently because of aggressive screening. 

“This is an optimistic report because overall cancer rates are tending toward a decline,” said Holly L. Howe, one of the authors of a report appearing Wednesday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 

The big four killer cancers – breast, prostate, lung and colon-rectum – accounted for 52.7 percent of the 1998 cancer deaths in the U.S., the study found. These diseases also accounted for 55.9 percent of all new cancers. 

Death rates for eight of the top 10 cancers were all level or declining. The exceptions were the death rates for female lung cancer and for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, both of which increased. 

Howe, a researcher with the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, said prostate cancer rates have fallen dramatically, by about a third over six years, while rates for lung and colon-rectum cancers either decreased slightly or stabilized. 

The study compares the rate of cancer incidence and death in the United States from 1992 to 1998 with similar statistics from earlier years. It is the result of combined data and analysis from the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Cancer Society and the NAACCR. 

“This welcome news on declining rates underscores the incredible progress we’ve made against cancer, but it also reminds us that our fight is far from over,” Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson said. 

While cancer deaths declined across the whole population, the study found, overall cancer incidences declined only for men while women experienced increases, driven by breast and lung cancers. 

Female breast cancer rates have jumped by about 40 percent since 1973, when the incidence was 82.6 per 100,000. In 1998, the rate was 118.1. The average overall annual increase was 1.2 percent per year for the six years ending in 1998. 

The breast cancer increase, said Howe, “is driven by an increase in screening by the age group at highest risk. When you have more screening, you will pick up more tumors.” 

Most of the increase in breast cancer incidence was among women age 50 to 74, the age group at highest risk. 

Howe said it is expected that increased screening – principally through mammography – will eventually result in fewer breast cancer deaths. 

“As we detect cancers earlier, we would expect there to be a decline in mortality,” she said. 

The study found that breast cancer death rates declined by 2.4 percent annually from 1992 to 1998. 

Cancers of the lung, thought to be caused primarily by cigarette smoking, continue to be the most lethal of the cancers, accounting for 28.5 percent of all cancer deaths. 

The study found that lung cancer incidence among women is declining, but death from the disease among women is up slightly. New cases of the disease declined by 2.7 percent per year among men and by 0.2 percent per year among women between 1992 and 1998. 

Lung cancer death rates among men declined by 1.9 percent per year, but rose by 0.8 percent per year among women. 

Lung cancer death “is still increasing among women, but it is slowing down,” said Howe. In the 1970s and ’80s, the death rate among women was increasing by more than six percent a year, she noted. 

Howe said the lung cancer death rate among women is following the pattern seen earlier among men, where the death rate started dropping as older smokers died and fewer young people started smoking. 

“Since women started smoking at a later age, we are still approaching the peak of lung cancer” among them, said Howe. 

Colon-rectum cancer rates across the whole population dropped by 0.7 percent a year from 1992 to 1998, with a 1.3 percent per year decline among white men and 1.1 percent among black men. The decline was 0.4 percent per year for white women, 0.3 percent for black women. 

Death rates from colon-rectum cancer dropped dramatically for white men, by 2.3 percent per year, but less so for black men, 0.9 percent per year. Among white females, the colon-rectum cancer death rate dropped by 1.9 percent per year. For black females it was down by 0.6 percent per year from 1992 to 1998. 

Death from melanoma, which accounted for 1.4 percent of all cancer deaths, increased by 1 percent per year among white males, while remaining stable among white females from 1992 to 1998. New cases increased by 2.7 percent per year among white men and 2.9 percent among white females. Melanoma is a skin cancer linked to excessive sun exposure. 

————— 

On the Net: 

Cancer report: http://newscenter.cancer.gov/pressreleases/reportq&a.html 

National Cancer Institute: http://www.nci.nih.gov/ 

Cancer statistics: http://www.seer.cancer.gov 

American Cancer Society: http://www.cancer.org 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/ 

North American Association of Central Cancer Registries: http://www.naaccr.org/ 


Napster close to deal with three record labels

The Associated Press
Wednesday June 06, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO — Napster, the former music industry bad-boy, announced Tuesday it had struck a distribution deal with three major record labels that are launching a music subscription service this summer. 

The agreement between Napster and the members of MusicNet is the biggest step Napster has taken so far toward legitimacy. 

MusicNet is a venture between record label owners AOL Time Warner Inc., Bertelsmann and EMI Group, as well as Seattle-based RealNetworks, whose software allows users to listen to music and watch video via streaming technology over the Internet. 

The deal makes Napster the third distribution partner for MusicNet, joining AOL RealNetworks and America Online. The MusicNet subscription services is slated to be available to consumers by late summer. 

“We are pleased to be able to offer Napster members access to the MusicNet service,” said Napster’s CEO Hank Barry. He said the deal shows Napster’s commitment to “the Napster community – the world’s most enthusiastic music fans.” 

“Today’s announcement is great for consumers, for artists and for the recording industry,” added Rob Glaser, MusicNet’s interim CEO and as well as CEO of RealNetworks. 

Members of the new Napster Service who subscribe to the MusicNet offering through Napster will be able to share MusicNet content with other subscribers. But parties to the deal haven’t said whether people will be able to download, collect and trade MP3 files like they do on Napster, a popular activity that has infuriated music copyright holders. 

MusicNet’s online subscription music service will let music fans listen to songs piped over the Internet for a yet-to-be-determined fee. Napster has also said it hopes to roll out a new version of its service this summer that would ensure royalty payments to artists and labels. 

Napster, which is still being sued by the music industry for copyright infringement, has been trying to purge copyright-protected music files from its system under a court injunction. 

But a technical solution that satisfies the music industry’s copyright protection concerns has so far proved elusive. 

Warner Music Group issued a statement Tuesday indicating that there could still be serious hitches in the deal. 

“As previously announced, our content will not be available to Napster as part of the MusicNet service until we are reasonably satisfied that Napster is operating in a legal, non-infringing manner and has successfully deployed a technology that accurately tracks the identity of files on the service,” Warner said in a statement. EMI also said that Napster’s current technology was not quite ready for primetime, despite the pending deal. 

“EMI has always said that we’d be prepared to consider licensing our music to Napster, but only when certain critical conditions are met particularly in the area of copyright. Those conditions have not yet been met,” the label said in a statement. 

Napster has said it planned to use software that maps songs based on their sound pattern. 

Napster is still mired in a copyright infringement suit filed by the Big Five record labels, Warner, BMG, EMI, Universal and Sony. 

A deal between MusicNet and Napster was not expected to affect that suit and all sides continue to work closely with a court-appointed technical adviser in bringing the file-sharing service into compliance with a pretrial injunction mandating that Napster halt trading of unauthorized music. 

Bertelsmann has loaned Napster money and technical expertise to help it develop a legal version of its file-swapping service. In exchange, Bertelsmann has the right to take a majority stake in Napster if the new system wins approval in the industry. 

While Warner, BMG and EMI seek online music solutions with the MusicNet alliance, Sony Corp. and French media conglomerate Vivendi Universal formed a similar partnership called Duet, which promises to have thousands of songs on the Internet for subscription-based download by this summer. 

Napster’s attempts at screening for unauthorized songs has severely hampered usage on its service. A study released Tuesday by Webnoize, a digital media research group, showed the average number of files shared among Napster users fell from 220 in February to 21 in May — a drop of 90 percent in three months. 

Many of those music fans have migrated to other, decentralized file-swapping systems such as Gnutella, where usage grew by nearly 5 percent in the last week alone, according to analyst Phil Leigh, who tracks digital music for Raymond James and Associates. 

 

On the Net: 

www.napster.com 

www.musicnet.com


U.N. AIDS chief says global pandemic in early stages

The Associated Press
Wednesday June 06, 2001

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — Though more than 22 million people have died of AIDS and 36 million others are infected with HIV, the pandemic is still in its early stages, the United Nations’ top AIDS fighter said Tuesday as he marked 20 years since the first official report of AIDS. 

If the world does not act decisively now, AIDS could spread to countries that have so far avoided the worst of the disease, Dr. Peter Piot, the head of UNAIDS, told The Associated Press. 

“When you look particularly at Asia at Western Africa at Eastern Europe it is clear that we are really at the very early phases of the spread of HIV,” Piot said in an interview. 

More than 70 percent of the people with the virus that causes AIDS are in sub-Saharan Africa, the poorest region in the world. Global health officials worry the disease could spread as rapidly through a country such as India, with a population of 1 billion, as it has through South Africa, where 11 percent of the country’s 43 million people are infected. 

Looking back, no one could have predicted the devastation that would be wrought by the disease first uncovered 20 years ago in a nine-paragraph write-up by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control about the strange deaths of five gay men, Piot said. 

In the early years of the disease, many predicted a quick cure – or at least a vaccine, Piot said. 

“I also thought that it would go away (as quickly) as it came up,” he said. 

Since then, an estimated 58 million people have contracted HIV. More than 22 million of them have died. A cure remains a dream for the infected. Efforts to find a vaccine continue. 

“This is now, without any doubt, the largest epidemic in human history, and we are certainly not at the end of it,” Piot told reporters Tuesday. 

The face of the disease has changed from that of a gay men or intravenous drug user in the United States, to that of millions of African men and women who contracted HIV through heterosexual sex and their babies, who got the disease simply by being born. 

The explosion of AIDS has proven how quickly a disease can spread across the globe in the newly connected world, Piot said. It has also taught the world a lesson in the devastation that can be caused when governments react too slowly. 

U.N. Secretary-general Kofi Annan has asked wealthy countries to contribute from $7 billion to $10 billion a year to a fund to help prevent and treat AIDS in the developing world, where the pandemic has hit worst. About half that fund will be earmarked to fight AIDS in Africa. 

The U.N. General Assembly has scheduled a special session from June 25-27 to discuss plans for fighting the pandemic. 

“There is this enormous momentum that is building up and growing internationally,” Piot said. 

Piot hopes the meeting, the first special General Assembly session ever dedicated to a disease, will produce a detailed declaration of commitment signed by every country in the United Nations. 

The declaration would need to bind countries to work toward prevention, educate young people about the disease and destroy the crushing stigma surrounding AIDS, he said. The agreement should also commit countries to solving the complex web of problems preventing those infected from receiving AIDS drugs. 

Those problems include the poor healthcare infrastructure in many of the worst-infected countries, people’s refusal to get tested for HIV, the costs associated with caring for those infected and the price of the AIDS drugs, Piot said. 

“Unfortunately, I think the focus has been a lot on the price of antiretroviral drugs, reducing an extremely complex problem into something that is simple on paper,” he said. 

Many of the hardest hit countries have detailed plans for fighting the disease, plans that, if implemented, could signal a turning point in the pandemic, Piot said. 

But the worst infected countries in the world are also some of its poorest, and they need massive and sustained help from the developing world, he said. 

“There’s not a lack of ideas, of strategies of what to do, but there’s a lack of cash,” he said. 

On the Net: 

Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, http://www.unaids.org 

Treatment Action Campaign site for AIDS in Africa, http://www.tac.org.za


Mideast cease-fire in fragile state

The Associated Press
Wednesday June 06, 2001

JERUSALEM — Hamas cast doubt Tuesday on how long a fragile cease-fire can last when its spiritual leader said the militant group is not bound by Yasser Arafat’s call to end attacks on Israel. 

International pressure to keep the truce on track was growing, with CIA Director George Tenet expected to head to the region on Wednesday to promote Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation. 

Meanwhile, Israel announced the easing of some restrictions imposed after a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up in Tel Aviv Friday, killing himself and 20 other people, most of them Israeli teen-agers. 

The Israeli Defense Ministry said that borders would be opened to allow Palestinians to return home from Egypt and Jordan, raw materials would be allowed into and out of the Palestinian territories and Palestinian workers could return to their jobs in an industrial zone next to the Erez crossing point between Israel and the Gaza Strip. 

Scattered gunfire and clashes Tuesday injured several people in the West Bank, but marches marking the 34th anniversary of the 1967 Middle East war, when Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza Strip, were generally peaceful. 

However, late Tuesday, a five-month-old Israeli baby was seriously injured when Palestinians threw rocks at a car in the West Bank. Doctors said the baby had a serious head injury. 

Israeli officials acknowledged the relative calm, but said Israel still wants Arafat to arrest those involved in planning suicide bombings and to put an end to anti-Israel incitement. 

“No doubt some positive steps have been taken, but I would say, necessary but insufficient,” said Raanan Gissin, an aide to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. 

Arafat called the cease-fire on Saturday, leading Israel to hold off retaliation for Friday night’s suicide bombing outside a Tel Aviv disco that killed 21 people, including the bomber. 

A joint statement issued late Monday in the name of the militant wing of Hamas and Arafat’s Fatah group said the cease-fire would be respected. But leaders of Hamas – whose support is seen as vital to a successful truce – quickly began disputing the idea. 

“When we are talking about the so-called cease-fire, this means between two armies,” Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Hamas’ spiritual leader, told The Associated Press. “We are not an army. We are people who defend themselves and work against the aggression.” 

Yassin joined 2,000 Palestinians marching peacefully in Gaza to mark the anniversary of the 1967 war. 

Demonstrators chanted, “The intefadeh will continue until victory,” using the Arabic word for uprising. A march in the West Bank town of Ramallah also was orderly. 

A Hamas spokesman in Gaza, Mahmoud Zahar, would not directly say if further bombings were planned. But, he said, “our strategy and our tactic is to continue resistance, the intefadeh, by all means and everywhere.” 

“The people,” he added, “are convinced that this will be an effective measure to persuade the Israelis to leave.” Hamas does not accept the existence of a Jewish state. 

Ghassan Khatib, a Palestinian political analyst who attended a meeting with representatives of Hamas and Fatah, said participants “spoke in a way that expressed understanding of the circumstances that led Arafat to make the declaration.” 

Islamic Jihad, a militant group that did not attend the meeting, indicated it would give the cease-fire a chance. 

“We are respecting all the decisions taken by any Palestinian movement,” Islamic Jihad spokesman Nafez Azam said. 

West Bank Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti said the cease-fire applies only to areas under full Palestinian control. Elsewhere, he said, “resisting occupation is a legitimate right of the Palestinians.” 

The Palestinians long have held they are responsible for security only in areas they control, in part to press Israel to hand over more land. Israel rejects the idea, especially when attackers come into Israeli-controlled areas from places under Palestinian control. 

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer was in Egypt and Jordan seeking help to stabilize the cease-fire that followed his personal appeal to Arafat. 

Meanwhile, clashes continued despite the truce. 

North of Ramallah, Israeli soldiers opened fire Tuesday with rubber-coated steel bullets on Palestinian stone-throwers, Palestinian witnesses said. Ten Palestinians were injured. The army said it fired on 600 demonstrators to disperse them. 

In and near Hebron, at least three Palestinians, including a police officer, were wounded in clashes with Israeli forces. 

Also in the West Bank, Ashraf Mahmoud Bardawil, 27, a Fatah activist in the Tulkarem area, was critically injured in an explosion in his car. The cause of the blast wasn’t clear. 


Earth study launched by scientists

The Associated Press
Wednesday June 06, 2001

UNITED NATIONS — On World Environment Day, the United Nations joined forces Tuesday with 1,500 leading scientists and a host of public and private organizations to launch the first major study of the health of planet Earth. 

Secretary General Kofi Annan said the four-year, $21 million study “is designed to bring the world’s best science to bear on the present choices we face in managing the global environment.” 

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment will examine the state of the world’s grasslands, forests, farmlands, oceans and fresh waterways and fill important gaps in the knowledge needed to preserve “the health of our planet,” he told a news conference launching the initiative. 

In a report last year to the U.N. Millennium Summit, Annan noted there had never been a comprehensive global assessment of the world’s major ecosystems. 

“The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment is a response to this need,” he said. 

Timothy Wirth, president of the United Nations Foundation, which has provided $4 million to help fund the assessment, said the result will be “the first global report card on our environment” – and he predicted it would not be a good one. 

He noted the economic implications. 

“When the environment is forced to file for bankruptcy ... because its resource base has been polluted, degraded, dissipated, irretrievably compromised, then the economy goes down to bankruptcy with it – and so does everything else,” Wirth said. 

Pilot studies conducted by the World Resources Institute indicate that in many regions of the world, ecosystems are less able to meet human demand for food and clean water. Coral reefs are dying, forests are disappearing and fish stocks are being depleted. 

“From out-of-control forest fires in Southeast Asia to massive floods in China, Central America and Mozambique, natural events have been exacerbated by human degradation of ecosystems – and in every case it is the poor who have suffered the most,” said Mohamed El-Ashry, head of the Global Environment Facility. 

The assessment was designed by the U.N. Environment Program, the U.N. Development Program, the World Bank, the World Resources Institute, the Global Environment Facility – which is providing $7 million in funding – and other partners. 

On the Net: 

http://www.millenniumassessment.org 


Opinion

Editorials

Federal probe widens into prices of natural gas

The Associated Press
Tuesday June 12, 2001

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ordered an expanded inquiry Monday into whether El Paso Corp. drove up the price of natural gas destined for California last year by improperly favoring gas marketing companies it owns in bidding for transportation capacity on one of its pipelines. 

The commission reversed its ruling of March 28 in which it said El Paso Corp. did nothing wrong in the way it awarded contracts for capacity, or the right to ship gas on its large pipeline connecting gas fields in the Southwest to California. 

El Paso’s control of the pipeline is the subject of hearings now in their fifth week before an administrative law judge at the energy commission. 

Acting on an appeal of their decision by California regulators and on a request for guidance from the judge, Curtis L. Wagner Jr., the five commissioners said they now believe the relationship between the El Paso units raises “factual issues that are best resolved in an evidentiary hearing.” 

California regulators allege that El Paso used its control of the pipeline to inflate the price of gas by as much as $3.7 billion. 

El Paso Corp., based in Houston, has denied that it overcharged customers or manipulated the markets.  

It has attributed the high cost of gas to supply and demand and to constraints in California’s distribution system. 

“The bottom line is the evidence the FERC looked at when they made their initial decision...is still the same,” said Norma F. Dunn, El Paso’s senior vice president for communications. “We remain very confident.” 

In its action Monday, the commission rejected El Paso’s request to dismiss the entire case. 

The hearings have gone on longer than expected. Wagner’s initial ruling had been due in late June, then early September.  

The commission gave him 10 days to produce a new timetable. The commission will be able to either accept or reject Wagner’s ruling. 

Commissioner Pat Wood III, one of President Bush’s two recent appointees to the commission, issued a concurring opinion in which he noted that California regulators originally filed their complaint 14 months ago.  

“In the framework of active energy markets, it is critical that the commission act expeditiously on complaints,” he said. 

 

On the Net: 

FERC: http://www.ferc.gov


Governor orders discounts for businesses that cut power use

By Jennifer Coleman Associated Press Writer
Monday June 11, 2001

SACRAMENTO – Industrial power users could soon get paid by the state for cutting back on power use when California’s electricity reserves are low. 

Gov. Gray Davis signed an executive order Saturday creating a voluntary “interruptible” program that will use up to $100 million in state money to pay businesses for not using electricity. 

The money is “going to be spent one way or another,” said S. David Freeman, the governor’s senior energy adviser. “We’ll either be buying power or buying power reduction. It’s a matter of what’s the most economic.” 

Davis said that since nearly 70 percent of energy use in California is by commercial users, the program will “help mitigate and even avoid blackouts.” 

The Independent System Operator, manager of the state’s power grid, will operate the program, and the state Department of Water Resources will back it financially. 

Participants, mostly large commercial users, will submit bids for reducing their power. Grid operators will then compare that price with the going price for power and choose the cheapest option, Freeman said. 

“We’d rather pay people in California to cut back than pay out-of-state generators,” he said. Paying people to reduce their power has the added bonus of decreasing the chances of blackouts, he added. 

The new program is designed to streamline existing programs operated by the Public Utilities Commission, the Independent System Operator and utilities. 

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and Southern California Edison have similar programs that offer cheaper electric rates if participants curtail energy use when electricity reserves drop below 5 percent. 

Those programs, which account for about 1,400 megawatts that grid operators can cut if necessary, will probably continue, but participants could eventually be moved into the state-funded program, said Kellan Fluckiger, Davis’ energy adviser. 

Fluckiger said the size of the new program would depend on how many participants the ISO can recruit. 

The ISO releases information on bids for energy after a period of time, and will probably treat bids for cutting power the same way, he said.


Store in quandary over pigeons

By Judith Scherr Daily Planet staff
Saturday June 09, 2001

When they see us coming, the birdies try an’ hide, 

But they still go for peanuts when coated with cyanide. 

The sun’s shining bright, 

Everything seems all right, 

When we’re poisoning pigeons in the park. 

— Tom Lehrer 

 

 

Poisoning them would not be PC. Not at all. 

But Bonnie Hughes and her crew over at the Berkeley Arts Festival storefront – the old Lee Frank Jewelry Store at Shattuck Avenue and Allston Way – would dearly love to find a solution for the pigeons, which seem to appear almost magically. Almost daily.  

“Poisoning them is out,” Arts Fest Director Hughes said. 

Assistant Festival Director Earl Bradbury thinks the birds come into the store through one or more of the nooks and crannies in the ceiling that leads to the space above, which is the Shattuck Hotel.  

Actually, the regular ceiling has been removed to permit installation of sprinklers.  

(The Arts Festival moves into unused storefronts for a month or so each year.) 

Someone from animal control came by with nets, Bradbury said, “but they couldn’t do anything.” 

The animal control officer advised that the winged creatures be enticed out of the store with bits of food. That’s good as far as it goes, Bradbury said, but new birds soon appear. 

“We spend an inordinate amount of our time cajoling pigeons. It is nerve wracking and frustrating and they are messy,” Hughes said in a note to the Daily Planet, further pointing out that the birds tend to perch directly above valuable paintings and a grand piano. 

Hughes is making an appeal to the public: “Despair threatens to darken our Festive Spirit and we need help,” she said.  

“If you know how to get rid of pigeons and stop them from sneaking in, please phone, e-mail or drop into our gallery headquarters.” 

You can reach Hughes and Bradbury at 486-0411, or by e-mail at fabarts@silcon.com or drop by the store at 2200 Shattuck Ave.


Rookie testifies against ex-Oakland police officers

The Associated Press
Friday June 08, 2001

 

 

OAKLAND — A rookie cop who blew the whistle on a group of renegade Oakland police officers accused of beating suspects and planting evidence testified Thursday about his two-week indoctrination into “the dark side.” 

Keith Batt, who was a rookie officer on the “dogwatch,” or night shift, in Oakland for just nine working days, testified at the preliminary hearing for the officers – which is being held to determine if there is enough evidence for a trial. 

Batt said a group of officers who called themselves “The Riders” taught him to falsify police reports, subdue suspects and generally disregard what he had learned in the police academy. 

Chuck Mabanag, Jude Siapno and Matthew Hornung now face more than 60 felony and misdemeanor counts ranging from assault and kidnapping to falsifying police reports and overtime slips. 

Frank Vazquez, the alleged ringleader of the group, is believed to have fled the country. 

Batt, 24, who now works for the Pleasanton Police Department, testified all day Thursday. He wore his blue  

officer’s uniform, spoke without hesitation and looked frequently at the  

accused officers. 

His face became red when he was asked about the alleged beating of Delphine Allen. 

Mabanag, who was Batt’s trainer and immediate superior, seemed disappointed that Batt hadn’t participated more in the beating, Batt testified. 

“I told him that I had kicked Delphine twice,” Batt said. “He said, ‘Why only twice? Why did you stop?’ He said as a trainee I should be aggressive he had never seen a trainee hold back as much as I did. 

“I was young and he was old and he would get tired quickly,” Batt testified. “He said I should keep hitting him until he told me to stop.” 

Prosecutor David Hollister said Batt is the key witness in the case, and will be on the stand for two or three days. Batt resigned from the Oakland Police Department last summer, shortly after reporting the officers’ alleged activities and prompting an investigation against them. 

Batt testified that Siapno repeatedly asked whether he was ready for the dark side. 

“The dark side was illegal activity committed by police officers,” Batt explained. “Excessive use of force, lying on police reports, things of that nature.” 

Batt said he did whatever Mabanag asked him to do, even when he had to lie, because Mabanag had the power to get him fired. 

Batt testified that Vazquez told him, “If you’re a coward, I’ll terminate you. If you’re a snitch, I’ll beat you myself, and if you’re a criminal, I’ll arrest you and I’ll take you to jail myself.” 

Batt said “The Riders” routinely beat suspects, concocted police reports filled with lies and he suspected they planted drugs on or near their suspects. 

He testified that he once found drugs that a suspect had allegedly tossed when he saw police coming. 

“I remember feeling uneasy about saying, ‘Frank (Vazquez), look what I found,’ because I suspected Frank already knew what I would find,” Batt said in court. “I felt like he was using me as a pawn in his game.” 

Defense attorneys refused to comment on Batt’s credibility, but said they looked forward to his cross-examination, probably on Friday. 


California auto insurance rates defy upward trend

The Associated Press
Thursday June 07, 2001

While Californians are getting squeezed by electricity costs, they’re getting the best deal in the country on car insurance because of a unique state law, a new study by a consumer group shows. 

Auto insurance prices in California declined 4 percent between 1989 and 1998 while jumping an average 38.9 percent nationwide, according to the survey released Wednesday by Consumer Federation of America. 

Insurance premiums have increased the most in Nebraska (up 81.7 percent from 1989 to 1998), South Dakota (75.2 percent), West Virginia (65.8 percent), Kentucky (64.3 percent) and Arkansas (61.5 percent), the survey shows. They have increased the least in New Hampshire (up 2 percent), Pennsylvania (11.7 percent), Massachusetts (12 percent), Maine (13.2 percent) and New Jersey (15.8 percent). 

Consumers nationwide spend an annual average of more than $700 per vehicle and $1,500 per household, totaling $100 billion nationwide, according to Consumer Federation. 

California was the only state that showed a decline. At a news conference, Ralph Nader and other consumer advocates credited Proposition 103, passed by the state’s voters in 1988, which tightened insurance regulation. 

“California stands out,” said Robert Hunter, director of insurance for Consumer Federation, who prepared the study. He said Proposition 103 brought smaller rate increases, fewer uninsured drivers and more insurance companies to the state — as well as fatter profits for the companies. 

State insurance regulators around the country “should look to California for guidance about how to effectively regulate” insurance, said Hunter, a former Texas insurance commissioner. 

Proposition 103, among other things, required insurance companies to open their books to justify rate increases, gave drivers with clean records a 20 percent discount, allowed banks to sell auto insurance to stimulate competition and required the state commissioner to provide consumers with rate comparisons. 

An insurance industry official denounced Proposition 103 as “government price-fixing” and instead attributed the decline in California’s rates to improved highway safety and greater seat belt use, a crackdown on insurance fraud and legal changes making it more difficult and expensive to file lawsuits in car accidents. 

Insurance premiums around the country have declined since 1998 after several years of increases, for those same reasons, David Snyder, assistant general counsel of the American Insurance Association, said in a telephone interview. 

Hunter said state-by-state figures were not available for years after 1998. 

Nader, who led the campaign for Proposition 103, said insurance companies’ opposition to a similar law for other states is part of a new push by U.S. industry for deregulation, encouraged by the business-friendly Bush administration. 

“Deregulation spells death, disease and injury which could be prevented,” he told reporters, citing the deaths the government has linked to Ford Explorers equipped with Firestone tires. Nader has said weakened regulatory powers of the federal highway safety agency were a factor in the crashes. 

Consumer Federation and other groups, including Consumers Union, the Center for Economic Justice and the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, are asking state insurance commissioners to consider adopting a California-style law. 

Spokesmen for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners had no immediate comment on the new survey. 

On the Net: 

Consumer Federation of America: http://www.consumerfed.org 

American Insurance Association: http://www.aiadc.org


Activist settles suit with publisher over book

The Associated Press
Wednesday June 06, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO — Random House Inc. has agreed to stop distributing copies of a philosophical memoir by Bryan Magee that accuses a noted lecturer, author and one-time confidant of Bertrand Russell of being a CIA operative. 

In “Confessions of a Philosopher: A Personal Journey Through Western Philosophy from Plato to Popper,” first published in the United States in 1998, Magee says Ralph Schoenman was a CIA operative planted to spy on Russell, a noted 1960s opponent of the Vietnam War. 

He also called Schoenman “appallingly sinister” and “calculated and manipulative,” according to court documents. 

“He said I was like an evil dwarf out of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle,” Schoenman said Tuesday. “At 5-11, I’m probably the largest dwarf on record. 

“The passages ... were clearly intended to reinvent and incite prejudice and to create a climate of distrust of me and my relationship with Russell. This was a full-board attempt at character assassination and it had to be stopped,” he said. 

The settlement was reached with Random House May 15, according to Schoenman’s lawyer, Adam Belsky. 

“We are pleased that we’ve been able to resolve our differences,” said Random House spokesman Stuart Applebaum, who added he was unfamiliar with the details of the settlement. 

The publisher agreed to stop distributing any copies of the book containing references to Schoenman and agreed to replace original editions in more than 700 universities and libraries with the new version published in January 2000. 

“This settlement has not only made certain that future editions of the book will now be accurate, but, by providing corrected editions to all libraries, ensures that the historical record will be corrected as well,” Belsky said. 

Additional settlement terms were undisclosed because of a confidentiality agreement. 

Magee’s book was originally published in England in 1997 by Orion Publishing Co. In August 1999, Schoenman, who said he’s never spoken to Magee, sued for libel after a friend alerted him to the offending passages. 

”(Magee) made no effort to contact me before, during or after the publication of the book,” said Schoenman, who was a close friend and colleague of Russell between 1960 and 1968. 

That case was settled in October 1999 after the author and the publisher acknowledged the statements about Schoenman were false and apologized for any damage they may have caused his reputation, according to court documents. They also agreed to pay Schoenman’s legal fees and $95,000 in damages. 

At about the same time, Random House was in the process of publishing the book in the United States.