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Beth El hearing continued – again

By John Geluardi
Thursday June 28, 2001

The City Council heard from 39 speakers Tuesday during the second session of a public hearing on the controversial proposal to build a synagogue, school and social hall at 1301 Oxford St. 

At 11:30 p.m. the council agreed to continue the public hearing to a third session at a special meeting on July 16. The council has added two special meetings to its schedule, the second on July 19, in the hopes of resolving the issue before its seven-week summer recess, which begins on July 24. 

The council opened the hearing on June 5, during which nearly 60 people spoke on both sides of the neighborhood land-use issue that has attracted citywide attention. The first session of the public hearing drew so many people that about 300 people were unable to get into the City Council Chambers. The overflow crowd watched the proceedings on a television in the lobby of Old City Hall or listened to speakers that were placed outside the building. 

A representative from the City Clerk’s Office estimated there are still 40 people who have signed up to address the council, but who have not had an opportunity to do so. 

The controversy is over a proposal by the Beth El congregation to build a 33,000-square-foot facility, with 33 parking spaces, on a two-acre site that is a city landmark and has Codornices Creek running through it.  

Neighbors, organized into the Live Oak Codornices Creek Neighborhood Association, initiated the public hearing by appealing a March 8 Zoning Adjustments Board approval of a use permit for the project. 

At the July 16 meeting, the council is expected to open a second public hearing based on a Beth El appeal of a conflicting commission decision, the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s denial of an alteration permit. Without the permit, Beth El will not be able to demolish existing structures on the site, which include the former Chinese Alliance Church and some smaller structures. None of the structures are currently in use. 

LOCCNA, which has garnered the support of at least 10 environmental groups, has fought the project strenuously since it was first proposed four years ago. They contend the project is too big and will preclude daylighting of the creek, which runs across the north side of the property mostly through a culvert. They are also concerned the synagogue will cause traffic and parking problems in the quiet neighborhood.  

Beth El, which has the support of several churches in west Berkeley and Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, argues that the project is respectful of the historic nature of the site and has made many design changes to assure neighbors that the creek could be daylighted in the future.  

Beth El member Harry Pollack told the council that the congregation has made at least 20 significant changes to the project at the suggestions of the Zoning Adjustments Board, the Design Review Commission and the neighbors.  

He said those changes include moving the parking lot off the culverted section of the creek to ease any possible daylighting project, breaking up the blockish design of the building and altering the height and street frontage along Oxford Street. 

Pollack said Beth El is not like the typical developer who designs the largest project possible to keep profits high. He said reducing the size of a place of worship is not the same as reducing the size of an apartment complex or an office building. 

“You can’t just lob off a few apartments or get rid of office space,” he said. “Here you’re cutting off the heart and soul of our project. We didn’t come into this with a wish list, we came in with a needs list.” 

LOCCNA member Juliet Lamont said she doesn’t agree that there have been significant changes to the project. She said the square footage of the project has been reduced by only 6 percent.  

“The original proposal was for 35,000 square feet and now it’s down to 33,000 square feet,” she sai. “Those changes are not ‘significant,’ they’re cosmetic.” 

Lamont said the congregation has yet to address any of LOCCNA’s real concerns. The neighborhood group is asking for no development on the north side of the property, so there can be a “true” daylighting project, reduced building size and limits on the intensity of use that might be expected from a building of that size. 

An alternate plan, prepared by a landscape architect hired by LOCCNA, was presented to the council during the public hearing. The plan incorporated some of the alterations LOCCNA would like to see. 

Pollack argued that to be presented with an alternate plan so late in the process was “distressing,” but he said Beth El would be willing to take it into consideration. 

Lamont also announced to the council that the Urban Creeks Council had recently received a second grant of $200,000 for removing fish migration barriers along Codornices Creek. The UCC received another $200,000 for the same project in early May.  

Lamont said the UCC would probably be willing to apply some of that grant money to a daylighting project on the Beth El site if the congregation is willing to cooperate.  

Both Beth El and LOCCNA are currently in mediation. The two sides have met with professional mediator Peter Bluhan four times and each side has met with Bluhan individually several times. Bluhan told the council the content of the meetings is confidential and he could not predict the likelihood of an agreement between the two sides. He said he hoped to have some results by July 24 when the council is scheduled to vote on the appeals.


Sabrina Forkish and Guy Poole
Thursday June 28, 2001


Thursday, June 28

 

Quit Smoking Class 

6 - 8 p.m. 

South Berkeley Senior Center 

2939 Ellis Street 

A six week quit smoking class. Free to Berkeley residents and employees. 

Call 644-6422 or e-mail at:  

quitnow@ci.berkeley.ca.us 

 

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. 

 

Pink Slip Party and Career  

Mixer 

6 - 9 p.m. 

Pyramid Brewery and Alehouse 

901 Gilman Street 

Meet with East Bay job seekers while listening to music by DJ and Emcee Marty Nemko. Also, cash bar, free hors d’oeurves, and prize giveaways. Free and open to the public. Call 251-1401. 

www.eastbaytechjobs.com/mixer/ 

 

Take the Terror Out  

of Talking! 

Noon to 1:30 p.m. 

California Dept. of Health Services 

2151 Berkeley Way 

Room 804 

Open house at State Health Toastmasters Club to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Free. 

649-7750 

 


Friday, June 29

 

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.  

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: Arts, Herstory  

and Literature 

1:15 - 3:15 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center  

1901 Hearst Ave. 

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  

 

Carefree/Carfree Tour 

3 p.m. 

Sather Gate 

UC Berkeley 

Telegraph at Bancroft 

Walking tour from Sather Gate to People’s Park entitled “Berkeley in the Sixties.” Led by Free Speech veterans and Berkeley residents Kate Coleman and Michael Rossman, the tour will include important locations and discussions of the Free Speech movement, the Vietnam Day Committee, the rise of affirmative action, and other events and movements. Free. 486-04 11  

 


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 

 

First Annual Brower Day  

David Brower’s Environmental Legacy Celebrated 

Noon - 5 p.m. 

Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park 

Outdoor festival celebrating the Earth and the late David Brower. Sustainable Crafts Market, organic and vegetarian food. Lee Stetson will perform “The Spirit of John Muir” in the Florence Schwimley Little Theater, 12:30 and 2 p.m., and at 3 p.m. a special screening of "In the Light of Reverence" by the Sacred Land Film Project. Julia Butterfly Hill will join filmmaker Toby McLeod for a special panel following the film. 

415-788-3666 

 

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  

 

Bonfire III: Stories and  

Songs By the Sea 

7:30 p.m. 

Berkeley Marina 

Spinnaker Way, near Olympic Circle Sailing Club 

Come for Havdala and share stories, sing and watch the flames dance. Bring food and drink to share, kosher s’mores provided. 

848-0237 

 

Know Your Rights 

11 - 2 p.m. 

2022 Blake St. 

Copwatch workshop: Learn what your rights are when dealing with the police. Special section on juvenile rights.  

548-0425 

 

Bay Area Eco-Crones 

11 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

1066 Creston Road 

Networking, information sharing, project planning and ritual.  

Call ahead, 874-4935. 

 

2001 Paul G. Hearne Leadership 

Award Workshop 

4 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst Ave. at MLK 

Michai Freeman, one of 11 recipients of the 2000 Paul Hearne Leadership Award of $10,000, will discuss how she applied for the award and how you can too. The award is given by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and is open to any individual with a disability.  

RSVP required. Reserve your space by e-mailing your name and address to michai@gladtobehere.org, or by calling 548-6425 ext 2. First 10 registrants will receive free membership to AAPD. 

 


Sunday, July 1

 

Buddhist Psychology 

6 p.m. 

Tibetan Nyingma Institute 

1815 Highland Place 

Annette Anderson on “Insights from Buddhist Psychology.” Free. 

843-6812 

 

Jazz on the Pier 

11 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

Berkeley Pier  

The Christy Dana Quartet performs on the Berkeley Pier at the foot of University Ave. and Seawall Dr. The CDQ ensemble led by trumpeter and jazz educator Christy Dana with the Bay as a backdrop. Bring your folding chairs, sunblock and jackets. Free.  

AC Transit Bus 51M 

649-3929 

 

Music and Meditation 

8 - 9 p.m. 

The Heart-Road Traveller 

1828 Euclid Avenue 

Group meditation using instrumental music and devotional songs. Free. 

496-3468 

 


Monday, July 2

 

James Joyce Conference 

9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 

Clark Kerr Campus 

2601 Warring Street 

Part of a week-long conference entitled “Extreme Joyce/Readings On the Edge.” Today includes panels on Ulysses, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Finnegans Wake, and Joyce in the Classroom. From 4 - 5:30 p.m. workshops and reading groups on Teaching Joyce. $15 - $25. 

642-2754  

 


Tuesday, July 3

 

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 Don, 525-3565 

 

James Joyce Conference 

9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 

Clark Kerr Campus 

2601 Warring Street 

Part of a week-long conference entitled “Extreme Joyce/Readings On the Edge.” Today includes panel on Finnegans Wake as well as looking at issues such as Joyce and carnality, computers, border-crossings, and cinema. From 4 - 5:30 p.m. workshops and reading groups on Teaching Joyce. $15 - $25. 

642-2754  

 


Wednesday, July 4

 

Ice Cream Social 

Noon - 2 p.m. 

Lawrence Hall of Science 

UC Berkeley 

Part of the Lawrence Hall of Science Wednesday FUN-days. Bring your own picnic, ice cream provided by LHS. Free museum admission today with a library card, regular admission $3 - $7. 

642-5132  

 

4th of July at the Berkeley Marina 

Noon - 10 p.m. 

Bring your family for an exciting day. Picnic on great international food, hit the beach, take a free sailboat ride, get your face painted or a massage. Decorate your bike at the Shorebird Nature Center and participate in the Decorated Bicycle Parade at 7 p.m. Visit Madame Ovary’s egg puppets and Adventure Playground all day or the Wacky Art Cars. Dance to Southbound or Zambombazo 2-5 p.m.; Bird Legg and the Tite Fit Blues Band 5-7 p.m.; Kollasuyo 5-7 p.m.; MotorDude Zydeco 7-9 p.m. Fireworks at dusk. No personal fireworks allowed. An alcohol-free event. Cars in by 7 p.m. when street closes to traffic, out only after 10 p.m. Free admission. Sponsored by the City of Berkeley. 

548-5335 

 

Berkeley Communicator Toastmasters Club 

7:15 a.m. 

Vault Cafe 

3250 Adeline 

Learn to speak with confidence. Ongoing first and third Wednesdays each month. 

527-2337 

 


Thursday, July 5

 

Summer Noon Concerts 2001 

Noon - 1 p.m. 

Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza 

Shattuck at Center St. 

Weekly concert series. This week Capoeira Arts Cafe and company, Brazilian extravaganza. 

 

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 meetings discussions will center on “What do we/can we expect from the Church?”  

654-5486 

 

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 

 

Bear Safety 

7 p.m. 

Recreational Equipment, Inc. 

1338 San Pablo Ave. 

Learn how to travel in bear country without mishap. Wilderness guide Ken Hanley will discuss the characteristics of black bears and grizzlies for anyone venturing into their territories. Free. 

527-4140 

 

Quit Smoking Class 

6 - 8 p.m. 

South Berkeley Senior Center 

2939 Ellis Street 

A six week quit smoking class. 

Free to Berkeley residents and employees. 

Call 644-6422 or e-mail at: quitnow@ci.berkeley.ca.us 

 

James Joyce Conference 

9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 

Clark Kerr Campus 

2601 Warring Street 

Part of a week-long conference entitled “Extreme Joyce/Readings On the Edge.” Today includes panels on Dubliners, Ulysses, Marginal Feelings in Joyce, and Joyce and Anarchy. From 4 - 5:30 p.m. workshops and reading groups on Teaching Joyce. $15 - $25. 

642-2754  

 


Friday, July 6

 

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. Free.  

Call 549-2970 

 

James Joyce Conference 

9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. 

Clark Kerr Campus 

2601 Warring Street 

Part of a week-long conference entitled “Extreme Joyce/Readings On the Edge.” Today includes panels on Ulysses, Ireland and the Politics of Culture, Joycean Border-Crossings, and Joyce and Frank Zappa. $15 - $25.  

642-2754 

 

James Joyce Conference 

Closing Banquet 

6 - 11 p.m. 

UC Faculty Club 

UC Berkeley Campus 

Joycean entertainment and dancing. Reservations required, call 415-392-1137. 

 

Saturday, July 7  

Free Sailboat Rides  

1 - 4 p.m. 

Cal Sailing Club 

Berkeley Marina 

The Cal Sailing Club, a non-profit sailing and windsurfing cooperative, give free rides on a first come, first served bases on the first full weekend of each month. Wear warm clothes and bring a change of clothes in case you get wet. Children must be at least five years old and must be accompanies by an adult.  

Visit www.cal-sailing.org  

 

Berkeley Farmers’ Market 

10 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

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

548-3333 

 


Sunday, July 8

 

Free Sailboat Rides  

1 - 4 p.m. 

Cal Sailing Club 

Berkeley Marina 

The Cal Sailing Club, a non-profit sailing and windsurfing cooperative, give free rides on a first come, first served bases on the first full weekend of each month. Wear warm clothes and bring a change of clothes in case you get wet. Children must be at least five years old and must be accompanies by an adult.  

Visit www.cal-sailing.org  

 

Tibetan Nyingma Institute Open House 

3 - 5 p.m. 

Tibetan Nyingma Institute 

1815 Highland Place 

Free introduction to Tibetan Buddhist culture, including: Prayer wheel and meditation garden tour, Tibetan yoga demonstration, information on Tibetan art project, class and program counseling and a talk on “Relaxation and Meditation.” Followed at 6 p.m. by “Mind and Mental Events.” Free.  

 

Buddhist Psychology 

6 p.m. 

Tibetan Nyingma Institute 

1815 Highland Place 

Sylvia Gretchen on “Mind and Mental Events.” Free. 

843-6812 

 


Monday, July 9

 

Draft Environmental  

Impact Report 

7 - 8:30 p.m. 

105 North Gate Hall 

UC Berkeley 

Public hearing on the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Northeast Quadrant Science and Safety Projects, which will replace old, seismically poor research facilities with modern, safe structures. 

642-7720 

 


Tuesday, July 10

 

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 Don, 525-3565 

 


Wednesday, July 11

 

What’s Cooking? 

Noon - 2 p.m. 

Lawrence Hall of Science 

UC Berkeley 

Part of the Lawrence Hall of Science Wednesday FUN-days. Fun expiriments you can do in your own kitchen. Museum admission $3 - $7. 

642-5132  

 


Thursday, July 12

 

Summer Noon Concerts 2001 

Noon - 1 p.m. 

Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza 

Shattuck at Center St. 

Weekly concert series. This week East Bay Science and Arts Middle School evoke the sounds of Trinidadian Carnival with a steel drum performance. 

 

Hiking the Tahoe Rim Trail 

7 p.m. 

Recreational Equipment, Inc. 

1338 San Pablo Ave. 

Slide Presentation. 

Twenty years in the making, the 150-mile Tahoe Rim Trail is now complete. Tahoe Rim Trail Association board member Trena Bristol joins TRT through-hikers Steve Andersen and Art Presser for a slide presentation on great day hikes and backpacking trips on the TRT. Free. 

527-4140 

 

Quit Smoking Class 

6 - 8 p.m. 

South Berkeley Senior Center 

2939 Ellis Street 

A six week quit smoking class. 

Free to Berkeley residents and employees. 

Call 644-6422 or e-mail at: quitnow@ci.berkeley.ca.us 

 

Remediation of Under Prescribing  

Pain Medication 

5:30 - 7:30 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1902 Hearst Avenue 

A public hearing on AB 487, Remediation of Under Prescribing Pain Medication, with Assemblywoman Dion Aroner, medical experts, and patients. 

540-3660 

 

art.SITES SPAIN 

7:30 p.m. 

Easy Going Travel Shop and Bookstore 

1385 Shattuck Avenue 

Sidra Stitch, author of “art.SITES SPAIN: Contemporary Art and Architecture Handbook,” will present a slide show and talk on the most recent trends in art and architecture in Spain. Free. 

843-3533 

 


Friday, July 13

 

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. Free.  

Call 549-2970 

 


Saturday, July 14

 

 


Sunday, July 15

 

Hands-On Bicycle Repair Clinics  

11 a.m. - Noon  

Recreational Equipment, Inc.  

1338 San Pablo Ave.  

Learn drive train maintenance and chain repair from one of REI’s bike technicians. All you need to bring is your bike. Free  

527-4140 

 

Buddhist Practice 

6 p.m. 

Tibetan Nyingma Institute 

1815 Highland Place 

Mark Henderson on “Fearlessness on the Bodhisattva Path.” Free. 

843-6812 

 

Second Annual Wobbly High Mass 

7:30 p.m. 

La Pena Cultural Center 

3105 Shattuck (@ Prince St.) 

Presented by Folk This! and friends, an evening of musical satire, subversion and sacrilege. This year’s theme is “Reclaiming Tomorrow,” a historical journey toward a future society without classes or bosses. 

$8 

849-2568 

 


Monday, July 16

 

 


Tuesday, July 17

 

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 best vacations, trips, and travel experiences. 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 

 

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 Don, 525-3565 

 

Berkeley School Volunteers 

10:30 a.m. - noon 

1835 Allston Way 

Orientation for volunteers interested in helping in academic and recreation programs being held in Berkeley public schools this summer. 

644-8833 

 

 


Wednesday, July 18

 

Blisters No More: Finding the Proper Boot Fit 

7 p.m. 

Recreational Equipment, Inc. 

1338 San Pablo Ave. 

REI footwear expert Brad Bostrom will show you how to make your feet more comfortable out on the trail. Bring your boots and socks to this interactive clinic. Free. 

527-4140 

 

Berkeley Communicator Toastmasters Club 

7:15 a.m. 

Vault Cafe 

3250 Adeline 

Learn to speak with confidence. Ongoing first and third Wednesdays each month. 

527-2337 

 

Ice Cream Day at LHS 

Noon - 2 p.m. 

Lawrence Hall of Science 

UC Berkeley 

Part of the Lawrence Hall of Science Wednesday FUN-days. Make your own ice cream and compare it to a commercial brand. Museum admission $3 - $7. 

642-5132 

 

Support Group for Family/Friends  

Caring for Older Adults 

4 - 5:30 p.m. - 3rd Wednesday of each month 

Alta Bates Medical Center  

Herrick Campus 

2001 Dwight Way 

3rd floor, Room 3369B (elevator - B) 

The group will focus on the needs of the older adult with serious medical problems, psychiatric illnesses, substance abuse, and their caregivers. Facilitated by Monica Nowakowski, LCSW. 

Free. For more information call 802-1725 

 


Thursday, July 19

 

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 meeting will be a game night.  

654-5486 

 

Summer Noon Concerts 2001 

Noon - 1 p.m. 

Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza 

Shattuck at Center St. 

Weekly concert series. This week The Waikiki Steel Works perform vintage acoustic Hawaiian steel guitar music. 

 

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 

 

Quit Smoking Class 

6 - 8 p.m. 

South Berkeley Senior Center 

2939 Ellis Street 

A six week quit smoking class. 

Free to Berkeley residents and employees. 

Call 644-6422 or e-mail at: quitnow@ci.berkeley.ca.us 

 

Backpacking Yosemite’s High Country 

7 p.m. 

Recreational Equipment, Inc. 

1338 San Pablo Ave. 

Slide Presentation. 

Marvin Schinnerer will share highlights from two favorite trips out of Yosemite’s Tuolumne Meadows. Free. 

527-4140 

 

Berkeley School Volunteers 

3 - 4:30 p.m. 

1835 Allston Way 

Orientation for volunteers interested in helping in academic and recreation programs being held in Berkeley public schools this summer. 

644-8833 

 


Friday, July 20

 

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. Free. 

Call 549-2970 

 


Saturday, July 21

 

Ohtani Bazaar 

4 p.m. - 9 p.m. 

Berkeley Higashi Honganji Temple 

1524 Oregon Street 

Games, prizes and activities for children. Japanese food will be available. Free admission. 

236-2550 

 


Sunday, July 22

 

Ohtani Bazaar 

Noon - 7 p.m. 

Berkeley Higashi Honganji Temple 

1524 Oregon Street 

Games, prizes and activities for children. Japanese food will be available. Free admission. 

236-2550 

 

Buddhist Practice 

6 p.m. 

Tibetan Nyingma Institute 

1815 Highland Place 

Jack Petranker on “Going Beyond the Way We Live Now.” Free. 

843-6812 

 


Tuesday, July 24

 

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 Don, 525-3565 

 

Round-the-World Journey 

7:30 p.m. 

Easy Going Travel Shop and Bookstore 

1385 Shattuck Avenue 

Brad Newsham, author of “Take Me With You: A Round-the-World Journey to Invite a Stranger Home,” will present a talk and slide show. Newsham took a 100-day trip through the Philippines, India, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and South Africa looking for a stranger to bring to America. Free. 

843-3533 

 


Wednesday, July 25

 

Toymaker Day 

Noon - 2 p.m. 

Lawrence Hall of Science 

UC Berkeley 

Part of the Lawrence Hall of Science Wednesday FUN-days. Make toys out of recycled materials with artists from the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse. Museum admission $3 - $7. 

642-5132 

 


Thursday, July 26

 

Summer Noon Concerts 2001 

Noon - 1 p.m. 

Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza 

Shattuck at Center St. 

Weekly concert series. This week The Brazilian Workshop under the direction of Marcos Silva, Jazzschool students perform traditional Brazilian music. 

 

Quit Smoking Class 

6 - 8 p.m. 

South Berkeley Senior Center 

2939 Ellis Street 

A six week quit smoking class. 

Free to Berkeley residents and employees. 

Call 644-6422 or e-mail: quitnow@ci.berkeley.ca.us 

 

Wilderness First Aid 

7 p.m. 

Recreational Equipment, Inc. 

1338 San Pablo Ave. 

Jim Morrisey, senior instructor at Wilderness Medical Associates, will teach you the basics of field repair for the human body: Blisters, wounds, fractures, lightning strikes, snake bites and more. Free. 

527-4140 

 

Ancient Native Sites of the East Bay 

7:30 p.m. 

Room 160 Kroeber Hall, University of California Campus 

Andrew Galvan, an Ohlone Indian and co-owner of Archaeor, will discuss and share the benefits of osteological studies of prehistoric human skeletal remains. Prof. Ed Luby, research archaeologist for the Berkeley Natural History Museums, will discuss his work on mortuary feasting practices. $10 

841-2242 

 

Southeast Asia and Japan 

7:30 p.m. 

Easy Going Travel Shop and Bookstore 

1385 Shattuck Avenue 

William Ford, author of “Southeast Asia and Japan: Unusual Travel,” will present a talk and slide show of his adventure travels. Free. 

843-3533 

 


Friday, July 27

 

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. Free. 

Call 549-2970 

 


Saturday, July 28

 

 


Sunday, July 29

 

Hands-On Bicycle Repair Clinics  

11 a.m. - Noon  

Recreational Equipment, Inc.  

1338 San Pablo Ave.  

Learn how to adjust your brakes from one of REI’s bike technicians. All you need to bring is your bike. Free  

527-4140 

 

Buddhist Teacher 

6 p.m. 

Tibetan Nyingma Institute 

1815 Highland Place 

Eva Casey on “The Life of Padmasambhava.” Free. 

843-6812 

 


Tuesday, July 31

 

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 Don, 525-3565 

 

Wild Women Travel Writers 

7:30 p.m. 

Easy Going Travel Shop and Bookstore 

1385 Shattuck Avenue 

An evening with members of the Wild Women Travel Writers’ Group, authors of “Wild Writing Women: Stories of World Travel,” will read from their book and conduct a panel discussion on the “Art of Travel Writing.” Free. 

843-3533 


Forum

By Interim Superintendent Stephen A. Goldstone
Thursday June 28, 2001

“Berkeley’s legendary commitment to public education” is one of the reasons Michele Barraza Lawrence cites for her desire to become this city’s new Superintendent of Schools. 

Having served as Berkeley’s Interim Superintendent since February, and in school districts throughout California for the last 35 years, I can affirm that the “legend” is true. Berkeley is unique in its range of resources, ideals, and activism.  

Its schools could and should be the best. 

I hope these parting thoughts will encourage all the talented people I have met here to continue working together to develop first-class schools for all of Berkeley’s students. 

First, it’s important to recognize the vast support this community gives its schools, which can be seen in so many ways.  

The Berkeley Schools Excellence Project, a parcel tax routinely approved by over 80 percent of the voters, adds $9 million to the district’s annual budget.  

This has sustained small class sizes and important academic enrichment programs even in the bleakest days of state funding. The recently passed Measure AA and BB bonds will make sure our newly rebuilt schools are kept in safe and attractive condition. 

Organizations including the Berkeley Public Education Foundation, the Berkeley High School Development Group, In Dulci Jubilo, and active PTAs, generate hundreds of thousands of additional dollars. 

Our classrooms are rich with volunteer literacy tutors, gardening instructors, and other supporters recruited through Berkeley School Volunteers and school-based efforts such as the Writer’s Room at Berkeley High. Community volunteers have saved instrumental music instruction, brought Reading Recovery to our elementary schools, and are working to bring programs like Rebound and Small Learning Communities to fruition at Berkeley High. 

This range of support continues to attract the best teachers, even in the midst of a nationwide shortage. It is key to our relatively high test scores, and will help us close the achievement gap. 

But everyone agrees: our schools aren’t good enough. While 54 percent of our 11th-graders scored “proficient” or better on last year’s Language Arts standards tests – close to double the statewide average of 30 percent – we aren’t satisfied with just being “above average.”  

The number of African American students taking Advanced Placement classes is rising – but not fast enough. The arts are underfunded, security is a problem, and too many students are falling through the cracks. 

Part of the solution to these problems lies in Sacramento. This year, California spent $1,000 less per student than the national average of $7,500 – about the same as Wyoming and Kentucky, and a full $3,500 less than the top states.  

California has one of the largest economies in the world, and we can’t continue to grow if we are below average in support for schools. If Berkeley, this legendary bastion of democratic activism, doesn’t lead the way to increase school support, who will? 

I believe the school district itself can improve.  

Berkeley’s longstanding practice of site-based management relies on the creative, collaborative work of principals, teachers, and the larger community.  

This demanding system, geared toward high expectations, requires an intense level of district support and service. 

Yet, many principals tell me there’s too little time for instructional leadership because the lights aren’t working, or a vendor hasn’t been paid, or there are no janitors.  

Too many teachers haven’t received the books they ordered, or can’t get their computer hooked up. Too many citizens bring great talent and commitment to bear, but cannot get the financial figures they need, or other important information. 

We can do better. Our district should provide the foundation of support so that teachers and principals can educate all of our kids. 

I have recommended a plan to streamline the District’s business and operations, which I believe will help. The plan was approved unanimously by the Board of Education and is currently being implemented. 

I leave Berkeley with great optimism.  

Your incoming Superintendent is known for bringing communities together to achieve important academic improvements. You have some beautiful new schools, and now the maintenance and security funds to keep them clean and safe.  

You have dedicated teachers and principals, and a community with high expectations and the will to make good things happen for students. 

Berkeley can have the best schools in California. I look forward to watching it happen, and hope I have contributed some small part to this grand effort. 

 

 


Staff
Thursday June 28, 2001

MUSEUMS 

 

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  

 

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. “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. Space Weather Exhibit now - Sept. 2; now - Sept. 9 Science in Toyland; June 21: 6 a.m., Solar Eclipse Day 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  

 

The UC Berkeley Art Museum closed for renovations until the fall. 

 

MUSIC 

 

924 Gilman St. All shows begin at 8 p.m. unless noted $5; $2 for year membership. All ages. 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; July 6: Victim’s Family, Fleshies, The Modern Machines, Once For Kicks, The Blottos; July 7: The Stitches, Real MacKenzies, The Briefs, The Eddie Haskells, The Spits 525-9926  

 

Albatross Pub Music at 9 p.m. unless noted otherwise. June 28: Keni “El Lebrijano”; June 30: Larry Stefl Jazz Quartet; July 3: 9 p.m., pickPocket ensemble; July 4: Whiskey Brothers; July 5: Keni “El Lebrijano.” 1822 San Pablo Ave. 843-2473  

 

Anna’s Music at 8 p.m. June 28: ConFusion; June 29: Anna and Susie Laraine and Sally Hanna-Rhine; 10 p.m., Hideo Date; June 30: Anna and Susie Laraine and Peri Poston; 10 p.m., The Ducksan Distone. $2 weeknights, $3 weekends. 1801 University Ave. 849-ANNA  

 

Ashkenaz June 28: 9 p.m., Monkey, Stiff Richards, Go Jimmy Go; June 29: 8:30 p.m., Fountain’s Muse CD release party and Musicians and Fine Artists for World Peace fund-raiser, with Obeyjah and others; June 30: 9:30 p.m. Tropical Vibrations. 1370 San Pablo Ave. 525-5054 or www.ashkenaz.com 

 

Berkeley Arts Festival June 28: Con Alma Vocal Jazz Sextet; June 30: 7:30 p.m. Marvin Sanders and Vera Berheda, plus Mozart, Beethoven, Hadyn and Fuare in the gallery; July 1: 11 a.m., “Free Jazz on the Pier” The Christy Dana Quartet (on the Berkeley Pier). All shows at 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted Donations requested 2200 Shattuck Avenue 665-9496 

 

Freight & Salvage All music at 8 p.m. June 28: Jim Campilongo; June 29: Don’t Look Back; June 30: Jim Hurst & Missy Raines, Due West; July 5: Druha Trava; July 6 and 7: Ferron. 1111 Addison St. www.freightandsalvage.org; 548-1761 

 

Jupiter All shows at 8 p.m. June 28: Beatdown w/ DJ’s Delon, Yamu & Addi; June 29: Zoe Ellis Quartet; June 30: Go Van Gogh 2881 Shattuck Ave. 843-8277 

 

Julia Morgan Center for the Arts July 1: 1 & 2 p.m., “Kourosh Taghavi: The Beauty of Iranian Music and Stories of its Origins” $5 - $10. 2640 College Ave. 654-0100 

 

Live Oaks Concerts, Berkeley Art Center, July 1: Matthew Owens; July 15: David Cheng, Marvin Sanders, Ari Hsu; July 27: Monica Norcia, Amy Likar, Jim Meredith. All shows at 7:30 unless otherwise noted Admission $10 (BACA members $8, students and seniors $9, children under 12 free) 

 

125 Records Release Party June 30: 9:45 p.m. Anton Barbeau and Belle De Gama will celebrate the release of their albums The Golden Boot: Antology 2 and Garden Abstract respectively. These are the first two albums released on the 125 Records label, founded by Joe Mallon with his winnings from his appearance on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.” $5. Starry Plough 3101 Shattuck Avenue 841-2082  

 

Leopold’s Fancy July 2: 8 p.m., Traditional Irish music, part of “Extreme Joyce/Reading On the Edge,” a conference celebrating the works of James Joyce. Free. 2271 Shattuck Ave. 642-2754 

 

THEATER 

 

Dramatic Joyce July 3: 7:30 p.m. Dramatic interpretations of the works of James Joyce by local and international actors. Introduction by UC Berkeley Professor John Bishop with commentary by and conversation with the audience. Part of the week-long conference “Extreme Joyce/Reading on the Edge.” Free. Krutch Theater, Clark Kerr Campus 2601 Warring Street 642-2754 

 

“Cuatro Maestros Touring Festival” July 4: 8 p.m. Music and dance performed by four elder folk artists and their young counterparts, accompanied by Los Cenzontles. $12 - $18. Julia Morgan Theater 2640 Collage Ave. 925-798-1300 

 

“Do You Hear What I Am Seeing?” July 5: 7:30 p.m. One man show by David Norris, a two-hour sampling of Joyce’s works with Norris’ insights. Part of the week-long conference “Extreme Joyce/Reading on the Edge.” $10. Julia Morgan Theater 2640 Collage Ave. 925-798-1300 

 

“Romeo and Juliet” Through July 14, Thurs. - Sat. 8 p.m. Set in early 1930s 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” 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 

 

“The Laramie Project” Through July 22: Weds. 7 p.m., Tues. and Thur. -Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (After July 8 no Wednesday performance, no Sunday matinee on July 22.) 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 

 

“Iphegenia in Aulis” Through August 12: Sat. and Sun. 5 p.m. No performances July 14 and 15, special dawn performance on August 12 at 7 a.m. A free park performance by the Shotgun Players of Euripides’ play about choices and priorities. With a masked chorus, singing, dancing, and live music. Feel free to bring food and something soft to sit on. John Hinkel Park, Southhampton Place at Arlington Avenue (different locations July 7 and 8). 655-0813 

 

FILMS 

 

Pacific Film Archive June 28: 7:30 p.m. The Beginning of an Unknown Era; June 29: Molba 7:30, Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors 9:10; June 30: 7, 9:10 p.m. Nenette and Boni; July 3: 7:30 p.m., Pineapple. Pacific Film Archive Theater 2575 Bancroft Way (at Bowditch) 642-1412 

 

EXHIBITS 

 

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 Through 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 

 

Constitutional Shift Through July 13, Tuesdays - Fridays, noon - 5 p.m. Permanence and personal journey link Hee Jae Suh, Ursula Neubauer and Marci Tackett. Korean-born Suh explores an inner psychological world with a dramatic series of self-portraits. Neubauer explores self-portraiture as a travel map of identity with multiple points of view. Tackett explores Antarctica’s other-worldly landscape in a series of stunning digital photographs. Kala Art Institute 1060 Heinz Ave. 549-2977 

 

“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 

 

“New Visions: Introductions 2001” July 12 - August 18, Wed. - Sat.: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Juried by Artist- Curator Rene Yanez and Robbin Henderson, Executive Director of the Berkeley Art Center, the exhibition features works from some of California’s up-and-coming artists. Reception July 12 from 6 - 8 p.m. Pro Arts 461 Ninth St., Oakland 763-9425 

 

“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. Through September. Berkeley History Center, Veterans Memorial Building, 1931 Center St. Wheelchair accessible. 848-0181. Free.  

 

 

Readings 

 

Cody’s Books 2454 Telegraph Avenue All events at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. June 25: Pamela Rafael Berkman reads from her book “Her Infinite Variety: Stories of Shakespeare and the Women He Loved.” 845-7852 

 

Weekly Poetry Nitro Mondays 6:30 p.m. sign up, 7 - 9 p.m. reading. Performing poets in a dinner atmosphere. June 25: Featuring Steve Arntsen; July 2: Featured artist April Ipock. Cafe de la Paz 1600 Shattuck Ave. 843-0662 

 

“Berkeley Stories” June 29: 7:30 p.m. Stories of local Celebrity Artists. Julia Morgan Center for the Arts 2640 College Ave. 549-3564  

 

 

Tours 

 

“Berkeley in the Sixties” Berkeley Arts Festival presents free speech Veterans Kate Coleman and Michael Rossman leading a tour from Sather Gate Friday June 29, 3 p.m. 

 

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  

 

 


Tough time recruiting minority teachers

By Ben Lumpkin
Thursday June 28, 2001

Recruiting minority teachers isn’t easy for any Bay Area school district in these days of astronomical housing costs and a national teacher shortage. 

But the Berkeley Unified School District may have more obstacles to overcome than most. 

Berkeley administrators say recruiting more minority teachers is a high priority. When Berkeley High Vice Principal Michele Patterson traveled to job fairs this year, she went out of her way to meet with minority candidates and try to lure them to the school. (In the 1999-2000 school year Berkeley High’s 184 teachers were 73 percent white and 15 percent African American, compared to a student body that was 37 percent white and 37 percent African American.) 

It wasn’t a hard sell, Patterson said. The Berkeley school district has a very good reputation and many minority teachers-to-be are eager to work here. In fact, Patterson met with a number of minority students finishing up teaching credential programs who had done “student teaching” in Berkeley schools and were ready and waiting to continue their careers here. 

There was just one problem: Berkeley schools are too good. 

Under state and federal programs, graduates from teacher credentialing programs can have most or all of their tuition loans paid off by the government if they volunteer to go to work in “low-performing” schools. But Berkeley has no “low-performing” schools. Hundreds and hundreds of low performing students maybe, but they attend schools with enough high-performing students to boost the Academic Performance Index rating well above the “low-performing” range.  

“That’s been my biggest obstacle: trying to find candidates who don’t need their teacher credential loans paid off,” Patterson said. “You’d have this great interview with them and be all excited about bringing them to Berkeley and then all of a sudden they’d say, ‘Oh, by the way, I need to be in a low-performing school. Which of yours is low performing?’” 

Other obstacles to the recruitment of minority teachers abound. 

To begin with, the district has almost no budget for teacher recruiting. David Gomez, Berkeley’s associate superintendent of administrative services, managed to get $1,500 for recruiting purposes this year, which mostly went to place ads in magazines, including many with high African-American and Latino readership. 

Other than that, the district is left to rely on word of mouth (i.e. Berkeley reputation as an exciting district to work in) and visits to local, free job fairs (like the ones Patterson attended). 

One district program allows minorities (and others) who are interested in a teaching career, but are not yet credentialed to work as paid teachers while they pursue their credentials.  

This program offers more of an incentive than it might seem at first blush. When Patterson did her student teaching 15 years ago, there wasn’t an opportunity to be paid for it, she said. 

As Gomez put it: “If they were just students they wouldn’t be paid anything. And here they’re being paid as teachers and they’re getting benefits and getting experience.” 

However, there is a major drawback to this program, Gomez said: The sheer amount of work involved in being a full time teacher and simultaneously completing classes in a teacher credentialing program. 

“Some of them burn out really fast,” Gomez said. “We’re doing all the common sense type things to help them. But the bottom line is: they’re working full-time and going to school. That’s the killer.” 

The credentialing issue can also be frustrating for Berkeley High teachers, many of whom put in unsolicited efforts to recruit minority teachers to the school. 

English teacher Tammy Harkins told how she, English Department Chair Allison Johnson and others managed to recruit three African-American men to teach in the English department next year. It’s been more than 10 years since the department has hired an African American man, Harkins estimated. 

But one of the candidates - a man who has taught at a private school and worked extensively with “at risk” youth – is being held up because he lacks the proper teaching credential, Harkins said. 

“He just has an amazing resume, but he hasn’t jumped through that hoop of getting credentialed,” she said. 

Harkins said she has watched other teachers who were doing very well at Berkeley High, and succeeded in engaging minority students where others had failed, end up leaving the school because of difficulties in obtaining the proper credentials. 

Katrina Scott-George, a teacher in Berkeley High’s Rebound program, formed in January to create longer and smaller classes in core subjects for students (almost all of them students of color) who failed two or more classes the first semester, said at least one African American man who wanted to teach for Rebound withdrew his application after be hassled about his lack of credentials. The man was studying for his doctorate at the time, Scott-George said. 

Scott-George ended up being the only person of color out of Rebound’s five teachers. She said it didn’t detract from the success of the program, but that there still needed to be more minority teachers at Berkeley High.  

“If (teachers) don’t really have any shared experience (with students), I think it makes it harder (to teach them), not impossible,” Scott-George said.  

“If students don’t see any teachers of color around then it contributes to the whole message of the school not really being for or about students of color,” she added. 

Berkeley school board director John Selawsky said Wednesday that he and other directors have investigated some of the obstacles to recruiting more minority teachers in recent months and are exploring remedies to the problems. 

One solution would involve giving teachers who plan to retire the end of the year some kind of incentive to notify the school district as early in the year as possible. Berkeley is too often in the position of recruiting new teachers in May and June, while other districts are able to do their recruiting in March, Selawsky said. In other words, other districts are able to snatch up the limited pool of minority teachers before Berkeley even starts its recruiting. 

Another solution the district is exploring, along with the city, is creating subsidized housing for teachers and other public employees, to help ease the burden posed by Berkeley’s high cost of living. 

Selawsky said these discussions are in the preliminary stages and are not yet a high priority on the board’s agenda.  

“This hasn’t been a discussion that we’ve all had yet, but we will,” Selawsky said. “Some how we have to figure out ways to make people want to stay in Berkeley.” 

 

 

 


Redistricting of District 5 will extend south

By Daniela Mohor
Thursday June 28, 2001

Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson called on individuals and organizations of his district to participate in the county’s redistricting process, during a public hearing at the South Berkeley Senior center on Tuesday.  

“This has been designed to be an open and inclusive process,” Carson said. “You have an opportunity to submit a whole redistricting plan or to make comments.” 

Every 10 years, when the U.S. Census information is released, supervisors must draw new boundaries to equalize the population of each district.  

The new demographic information indicates that the five districts of Alameda County must now have a target population of 228, 000 people each. To meet this target, approximately 30,000 individuals will have to be added to District 5. 

Carson’s district is currently bounded by Thornhill Drive in Oakland’s Montclair District in the southeast. The boundary then moves south along Highway 13, follows Park Boulevard and Highway 580. Finally, it goes around Lake Merritt on Grand Avenue, connects to Broadway then goes west to the Bay. 

The northern and eastern limits of Carson’s district are on the border with Contra Costa County. District 5 includes Berkeley, Albany, Emeryville, Piedmont, west and north Oakland.  

The area added to District 5 will have to be to the south, moving farther into Oakland. Some scenarios have the extended district taking more of the Oakland hills area, now part of District 4. Other plans suggest that District 5 should encompass the part of District 3 that now includes Oakland’s Chinatown.  

When it started its redistricting process in April, the county scheduled 13 public hearings and created a web site to provide residents with the information they need to participate in the political process. Residents have until July 5 to submit proposals and will also be able to attend a working session with the Board of Supervisors on July 24. The board is scheduled to make its final decision by August. 

Despite the open process, few people have given their input. Only about six individuals and representatives of organizations attended Tuesday’s hearing.  

Jo Ann Price, president of the League of Women Voters of Berkeley, Albany and Emeryville, said all but one of the nine alternative plans submitted have been produced by county supervisors.  

“This year even though (the county) has made efforts to put all the information out, fewer people are getting involved,” Price said.  

She said she attributes part of this lack of participation to the tight deadline to submit proposals – and to cynicism. “People are cynical and have the feeling that if they get involved they won’t make any difference,” she said. 

A few residents, however, expressed their concerns. Jack Fleming, who lives in Berkeley, called for a more thorough definition of the criteria that those producing map proposals have to respect. The criteria, set by the county’s redistricting committee, include geography, cohesiveness, adherence to previously drawn districts, and communities of interest, among others. As they are now, the resident said, these criteria may be interpreted in very different ways and leave the county “vulnerable” to criticism. 

Oakland resident George Pearson said he is worried about the scant attention paid to various racial and cultural issues in the redistricting process. The plans adopted he said, always represent the dominant culture and leave the interests of the minorities aside. 

“It’s always the people who are in control that are given control again,” he said, before adding that the county should bring the dialogue with its citizens to a higher level. The discussion continues to center around questions of the process of redistricting rather than the impact it has on people’s lives, he argued.  

According to Price, several communities in the county have interests at stake in this process, but are not necessarily aware that their involvement is critical. “In Oakland, for example, there is a particular area where a lot of immigrants are living. They have a community of interest that they should try to keep together and that may not happen if they don’t get involved,” she said. “It does make a difference just as voting makes a difference.” 

For additional information on the redistricting process visit the Alameda County Web site at http:///www.co.alameda.ca.us and click on “Redistricting.” The site includes an interactive feature that allows users to post and read public comments about the proposed redistricting plans online.  

The last redistricting hearing will take place Saturday 10 a.m. at the West Oakland Senior Center, 1900 Sixth St. 


Safety guidelines imposed for July 4

Staff
Thursday June 28, 2001

The Police and Fire Departments remind the public that fireworks are not permitted within the City of Berkeley. It is a violation to own, use or sell any type of fireworks within the city limits.  

The City of Berkeley is again presenting a Fourth of July fireworks show at the Berkeley Marina. The fireworks celebration will start at 9:30 p.m., Wednesday. The pyrotechnic display will last about one half-hour. It will be launched from the Berkeley pier at the foot of University Avenue, but will be visible from all over the Marina and elsewhere. 

To handle the crowds, additional police personnel will be present. This year the police will enforce a policy of NO TOLERANCE pertaining to both alcohol and fireworks. 

The following closures will occur as a result of this event: 

• The city will close the Marina to vehicular traffic after the parking lots have been filled, which is usually about 7 p.m. 

• At the same time, the I-80 overpass at University Avenue, West Frontage Road from Emeryville to Albany, and Gilman Street at its intersection with I-80 will also be closed to vehicular traffic. 

• For fire safety reasons, Panoramic Way in the Berkeley Hills will be closed beginning at 6 p.m. except for residents and their guests. A police department checkpoint will monitor traffic there. Centennial Drive will be closed at about 9 p.m. 

• During the road closure, AC Transit's 51M bus will use the bus stop at Third Street and University Avenue as a terminus. 

• Access to the fishing pier will be closed to pedestrians and fishing at 5 p.m. in preparation for the show. The pier is at the foot of University Avenue in the Berkeley Marina. 

• University Avenue to the Marina will be closed to incoming vehicular traffic at 7 p.m., but will remain open to pedestrians the entire evening. The road will reopen about one-half hour after the fireworks display to let people leave the area safely. 

The Marina has several parks and picnic areas available on a first-come basis. No group reservations are available and Adventure Playground in the Marina will be open. The Marina has ample parking, but the parking lots are expected to fill up late in the day. Public transportation to the Marina is available via AC Transit bus 51M, which will stop at Third Street and University Avenue after the overpass has been closed. 

This event is expected to attract 40,000 people. It not only features 30 minutes of continuous, colorful fireworks, but also a rare opportunity for pedestrians to walk on a part of Berkeley's roadways usually closed to foot traffic. Pedestrians and bicyclists have the easiest access to the Marina for the fireworks. 

Due to the high fire danger during the dry season, the police department is asking that if people observe fireworks use within the city, they should call the Police Department non-emergency number at 981-5900, 24 hours a day or contact the Fire Prevention Division Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 981-5585.


California condor chick dies

The Associated Press
Thursday June 28, 2001

LOS ANGELES — The first California condor chick to hatch in the wild in 17 years has died, the apparent victim of confusion between two mothers that had laid their eggs in the same nest. 

Biologists believe that the 2 -day-old chick died after the female bird caring for it left to feed. When the other female arrived, expecting to see her egg, she may have mistaken the chick for an intruder and killed it sometime Sunday or Monday. 

“It’s not a sad chapter, it’s a sad sentence,” said John Brooks, information education specialist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “It’s a sad sentence that has some positive twists to it.” 

The chick came from an egg laid at the Los Angeles Zoo. Biologists moved it to a nest in Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara County, where it became the adoptive child of a most unconventional condor family. 

Two females there had been displaying courtship behavior with the same male and each laid an egg in the same nest. They were the first intact condor eggs found in the wild since the mid-1980s, when the species nearly disappeared and captive breeding programs began. 

However, the situation clearly confused the birds. Biologists said neither egg was getting the care it needed. 

One egg died and the other was in danger of dying of exposure when biologists decided to remove both eggs and eventually replace them with the egg laid at the zoo to give the first-time parents child-rearing experience. 

“Everyone knew it was a risk,” Brooks said. “But if we gained something out of it, it would be worth it.” 

A biologist removed the eggs June 1 and first replaced them with a single ceramic fake. 

The surviving wild egg was taken to the Los Angeles Zoo, where it hatched June 17. The chick has been accepted by a pair of captive-bred condors and is doing well, Brooks said. 

On June 18, biologists returned to the nest in the wild and swapped the fake egg with the captive-bred egg. The replacement egg hatched Friday with the help of its foster mother. 

No one had been watching the nest for about a day when Fish and Wildlife biologist Mike Barth made the 2.5-hour hike to the nest site Monday afternoon. When Barth reached the cliff-face nest, he found no sign of the chick or any adult condors. Below the nest he found the chick’s body with two deep gashes resembling condor bites on its head and neck. 

A necropsy will be conducted on the body at the San Diego Zoo to confirm the cause of death, Brooks said. 

“In nature things like this happen – especially in first-time breeding situations,” Brooks said. 

After falling to a wild population of just nine in 1984, condors are coming back through captive breeding that has boosted their population to 190. 

Scientists began reintroducing condors to the wild in 1992, and now about 35 birds live in two areas of California. Another 25 soar over the Grand Canyon in Arizona. 


Energy crisis may imperil future of choice

The Associated Press
Thursday June 28, 2001

SACRAMENTO — California’s energy crisis may claim a substantial victim: deregulation itself. 

“Never again will we embrace a free market – it’s too expensive,” Gov. Gray Davis’ chief energy adviser, S. David Freeman, predicted Wednesday. 

“The marketplace is blind to the need for cleaner air, it is blind to the needs of consumers in a shortage, and it produces a shortage with its volatility,” the former head of the Los Angeles and Sacramento municipal power agencies told a Senate committee plotting California’s energy future. 

The state’s flawed 1996 law freed wholesale electricity rates while capping retail power prices, leaving the state’s three investor-owned utilities trapped in between. 

Now the state has signed $43 billion worth of long-term energy contracts, and created a power authority that could build its own power plants. 

Its Public Utilities Commission stands ready to bar businesses from freely swapping power providers – the incentive that prompted deregulation in the first place. 

Davis wants lawmakers to approve buying the electricity transmission lines from two of the three cash-strapped utilities, and wants to buy the lines of the state’s largest utility, Pacific Gas and Electric, out of bankruptcy court. 

Consumer groups say the state should buy the utilities’ hydroelectric generation and other assets as well, as part of a return to regulation and a shift to publicly owned power supplies. 

“Look what deregulation and handing our electricity supply over to a bunch of private companies has done for us – 50 percent (rate) increases and $20 billion in surcharges. Thank you very much, but no thank you,” Harvey Rosenfield of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights said last week. 

He argued the state should buy all three utilities at their current “fire-sale prices” – “We’re talking about picking them up for a dime-for-a-dollar when they’re totally out of cash.” 

Enron Corp. President and CEO Jeffrey Skilling is among those urging the state to do the opposite and create a truly open market. Public power only drives up costs and lowers accountability, he said. 

“If you had an open competitive marketplace and not put restrictions on that marketplace, I guarantee you the price of power in California will be significantly lower,” he said in a San Francisco speech last week entitled, “The arrogance of regulation.” 

“California needs to get deregulation right and the rest of the country needs to get deregulation right,” Skilling said, shortly after he was hit by a pie thrown by an irate electricity consumer. 

That means giving consumers more immediate price incentives, other free marketers told the Senate Energy Committee Wednesday. 

Tiered electricity rates would reward consumers who confine their electricity use to lower, cheaper “tiers” of energy consumption. 

Real-time electricity meters would let consumers see the price they are paying at any given time of day or night, encouraging them to, say, run their clothes dryer at 3 a.m. when power would be cheaper. 

Business’ demand for choice drove the deregulation movement, when industries sought the ability to choose among energy wholesalers or generators rather than being locked into buying their money through a local utility. 

But PUC President Loretta Lynch predicted the commission will block that choice Tuesday, for fear departing customers will leave residential and other small consumers to pay a larger share of the $8.2 billion the state has authorized for power buys. 

The move was panned by generators and business groups as a step backward. 

 

Southern California Edison Vice President Bob Foster predicted the state will end up regulating all three legs of its power grid: generation, transmission and distribution. Regulation is needed to smooth out the boom-and-bust business cycle that California has seen so graphically in the last year, he said. 

Freeman predicted the state will likely wind up with some sort of “hybrid” of government regulation that will rein in the excesses of a free market. 

“It’s impossible to say at the moment whether the (investor-owned) utilities will revive,” he warned. If they do, he said their corporate boards may opt to chase the higher profits of the open market while shedding their transmission and distribution systems to state control. 

Yet Freeman and California Energy Commission Chairman Bill Keese predicted residential and business consumers may soon see the sort of freedom of choice they now could only dream about, once fuel cells, photovoltaic generation and micro-turbines become commonplace. 

“The future perhaps belongs to a whole new set of competitors,” Freeman said. “These central station power generators are not going to have it all to themselves.” 


State Supreme Court justice remembered as ‘legal giant’

The Associated Press
Thursday June 28, 2001

LOS ANGELES —Stanley Mosk, the longest-serving justice on the California Supreme Court, was remembered as both a brilliant and good man whose series of precedent-setting rulings have stood the test of time. 

In 37 years on the state’s high court, Mosk authored nearly 1,700 opinions and made a series of precedent-setting rulings in civil rights, free speech and criminal justice cases – often years before the U.S. Supreme Court followed suit. 

Mosk, 88, died June 19 at his San Francisco home – the very day he had planned to tender his resignation, said his son, Los Angeles attorney Richard Mosk. 

“Today we lay to rest one of California’s true legal giants,” Gov. Gray Davis said during a memorial service Tuesday. “He stood up for those who had no voice.” 

His death “has felt like the loss of a close family member,” said Chief Justice Ronald M. George. 

“He was known inside and outside the court as a man of keen intellect, sharp wit, great wisdom, fierce independence, high principle, and total integrity.” 

About 400 people attended the memorial at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, including five of Mosk’s six fellow justices, four former justices; Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante; former Gov. Jerry Brown; Attorney General Bill Lockyer; Los Angeles Mayor-elect James Hahn; Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley and former U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher. 

The former state attorney general was appointed to the court in 1964 by Brown’s father, the late Gov. Pat Brown, after serving 16 years as a Superior Court judge. 

Speakers remembered him as a workhorse who saw 31 justices sit on the seven-member court during his tenure, wrote an average of 20 majority opinions a year and issued more dissenting opinions than any other justice, especially during recent years when he was the only Democrat on the court. 

A self-described liberal, Mosk was credited with coining the disparaging phrase “little old ladies in tennis shoes” to describe members of the ultraconservative John Birch Society. 

But he could prove an annoyance to fellow liberals, as well, particularly when he voted in favor of upholding the death penalty and striking down the use of minority preferences for university admissions. 

He consistently stood for individual liberties but “he always kept in mind the common good,” said William P. Clark, a former state Supreme Court Justice and U.S. Secretary of the Interior. 

Vaino Spencer, now presiding justice of the state Court of Appeal, said she still recalls reading in a local black newspaper about Mosk’s 1947 Superior Court decision striking down a local whites-only housing covenant. 

“He identified with the pain (of segregation) ... he felt it deeply,” she said. “I will miss him so very much, but his legacy will live on.”


Census shows war on drugs fell heavily on blacks

The Associated Press
Thursday June 28, 2001

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — When an epidemic of crack and gang violence erupted in cities like New Haven in the 1990s, police and lawmakers struck back hard. 

The war on drugs yielded dozens of new laws, including mandatory sentences for drug dealers and heavier penalties for dealing crack rather than powdered cocaine. 

But those laws also had unintended consequences in minority communities. 

Black men make up less than 3 percent of Connecticut’s population but account for 47 percent of inmates in prisons, jails and halfway houses, 2000 census figures show. 

One in 11 black men between the ages of 18 and 64 in Connecticut is behind bars, the census found. In 1990, that figure was about one in 25. 

Similar disparities can be seen across the country. In Louisiana, one of the few states to receive updated race statistics from the census, black inmates outnumber whites 3-to-1; blacks account for only a third of the state’s population. 

Nationwide, the Justice Department reported that 12 percent of all black men between the ages of 20 and 34 were locked up last year. 

“I don’t think anyone intended it to be this way, but if you were trying to design a system to incarcerate as many African-American and Latino men as possible, I don’t think you could have designed a better system,” said state Rep. Michael Lawlor, co-chairman of the Connecticut Legislature’s Judiciary Committee. 

The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates state governments spend $20 billion a year fighting drugs. 

Some states now are trying to ease the drug laws of the 1990s, putting more money toward prevention and treatment instead of incarceration. 

“You can’t put every drug user in jail, because if you do and they don’t get any help, they’re going to be right back in again,” said Chief State’s Attorney Jack Bailey, Connecticut’s top prosecutor for 10 years. 

This year, the Legislature voted to give judges more leeway in sentencing drug dealers who operated near schools, day care centers and public housing projects. 

The old law set a three-year mandatory minimum sentence for dealing within 1,500 feet of those places. In densely populated New Haven, that meant virtually everywhere except the Yale University golf course and the Tweed-New Haven airport runway. 

While drugs also are prevalent in Connecticut’s mostly white suburbs, the preference there for powdered cocaine over crack and sprawling development meant that few suburban dealers faced the same penalties. 

In California this year, a ballot proposition takes effect that will mean treatment instead of prison for many first- and second-time drug offenders. Offenders’ records are cleared if they complete treatment. 

A similar 4-year-old program in Arizona has saved money because treatment is cheaper than prison, a state analysis found. 

Similar programs are being considered in Ohio, Florida and Michigan. 

Some politicians, however, believe a hard line on drugs is appropriate, or do not wish to be seen as soft on crime. 

“I think it sends out a very negative message to the public at large,” said Connecticut state Rep. Ronald San Angelo, a Republican who opposed changing mandatory minimum sentences. 

People who lived through the gang and drug wars also offer caution. While they are angry that a generation of young black men are in prison, they do not want to return to the past. 

Lorraine Stanley, a resident of a New Haven housing project for 13 years, recalled how a drug gang called the Jungle Brothers terrorized her neighborhood. Police eventually busted up the gang, and now a police substation in the neighborhood keeps crime down. 

“Things have gotten a whole lot better,” Stanley said. 

Despite changes in the laws, other experts said racial bias in the courts and poverty in the cities will continue to lead to more prison time for minorities. 

Frank Mandanici, a public defender in New Haven, said that bias among juries affects verdicts and sentences for black defendants. 

“Racism permeates our society. It’s a cancer no one is willing to address,” he said. “There is no test on how to detect it and what to do with it.” 

Yale political science Professor Donald Green said the density and poverty of cities combined with law enforcement tactics have put more blacks in prison. 

“Drug use is similar in white and nonwhite populations, but the level of enforcement is very different among the two groups,” he said. “Violent crime is more associated with gang activity, associated with drug abuse in minorities, and enforcement is aimed overwhelmingly in that direction.” 

Also, Green said, poor people of all races turn to crime when there are no other opportunities. 


U.N. AIDS conference ends with global aid plan, minus gays

The Associated Press
Thursday June 28, 2001

UNITED NATIONS — In the first global approach to battling a disease, the United Nations adopted an AIDS blueprint Wednesday setting tough targets for reducing infection rates and protecting the rights of people with the virus. 

Under pressure from Islamic countries, Western nations were forced to back away from specifically naming the most vulnerable populations, including homosexuals and prostitutes. But experts said Wednesday that the heart of the document was in the details of the plan, not the language. 

“It’s not a perfect text but it is a good text, action-oriented and practical,” said Australian Ambassador Penny Wensley, who co-chaired negotiations on the draft. 

With the rap of a gavel and a round of applause, the 16-page Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS was adopted by consensus by the 189-nation General Assembly.  

It calls for accelerating efforts to find a cure disease that has taken more than 22 million lives. 

“After today, we shall have a document setting out a clear battle plan for the war against HIV/AIDS, with clear goals and a clear timeline,” U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Wednesday.  

“It is a blueprint from which the whole of humanity can work in building a global response to a truly global challenge.” 

The three-day U.N. conference brought together over 3,000 health experts, scientists, lawmakers, aid workers and people living with the virus. 

First detected in homosexual men in the United States 20 years ago, the AIDS virus has exploded across the developing world, with more than 36 million people now infected.  

More than two-thirds of those afflicted are in Africa – most of them women. 

A last-minute compromise on the declaration came after Western nations reluctantly agreed to drop language specifically naming groups vulnerable to the disease – including homosexuals and prostitutes – because it was offensive to some Muslim nations.  

Instead the new language refers to those who are at risk due to “sexual practice” and “livelihood,” and prisoners as those made vulnerable through “institutional location.” 

Egyptian diplomat Amr Rashdy, who led the push to change the language, said his country could live with the final document. “The outcome is fair and we accept it,” he told The Associated Press. 

But others argued that the original language would have better served those most in need of protection. 

“For many, there is a reluctance to recognize groups affected by HIV/AIDS including men having sex with men; much of that reluctance is based on religion and on culture,” said Mary Robinson, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights.  

“A failure to recognize it means the numbers of those infected can only grow.” 

Annan, who has made fighting AIDS a personal priority, acknowledged that tackling the issue had exposed “painful differences” among nations. 

“Everyone has learned something here at this conference. In some countries maybe it will take a bit longer to recognize the reality and the need to respect the rights of every individual,” Annan said. 

 

 

Dr. Paul Delay, chief of the HIV/AIDS division at the U.S. Agency for International Development, said that despite the changes, “the targets have not been diluted.” 

Though not legally binding, the document calls on governments to create AIDS policies and programs to quickly reduce infection rates and protect those most at risk. 

It makes specific references to cooperation needed between public and private sectors. It also recognizes the need for greater access to affordable drugs. 

Drug companies have lowered prices but African leaders at the summit said prices are still too high for most in the developing world. 

Other targets set forth in the document include: 

— The development of national strategies and financing plans to combat HIV/AIDS by 2003. 

— The number of infants infected with HIV should be reduced by 20 percent by 2005 and by 50 percent by 2010 by providing treatment to expectant HIV-positive mothers. 

— By 2003, countries should develop national programs to increase the availability of drugs to treat HIV infections by addressing issues such as pricing, and by 2005 they should make progress in implementing comprehensive health care programs. 

Annan, who was nominated Wednesday by the Security Council for a second term as U.N. secretary-general, says $7-10 billion is needed annually to halt AIDS and reverse its effects. 

The AIDS document “supports the establishment on an urgent basis of a global HIV/AIDS and health fund to finance an urgent and expanded response to the epidemic,” he said. 

Both wealthy and impoverished nations announced contributions for AIDS totaling about $700 million. 

The United States has already pledged $200 million and leaders of a key U.S. congressional committee agreed Tuesday to push for more than $1.3 billion to a global campaign against AIDS. It is expected to receive full committee approval Wednesday. 


Feds do the expected and cut interest rates

The Associated Press
Thursday June 28, 2001

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the sixth time this year on Wednesday, but by just a quarter-point, sending a signal that its most aggressive recession-fighting effort in nearly two decades may be coming to an end. 

Analysts said they still expected at least one more quarter-point move at the Fed’s August meeting, but they also said the country has probably seen the last of the bolder half-point rate reductions the Fed had been using to keep the record, 10-year economic expansion alive. 

“The Fed left the door open to doing whatever it needs to do to get the economy moving again, but the dosage will be smaller,” said Allen Sinai, chief economist at Decision Economics in New York. 

Wall Street investors, who had hoped for another half-point cut, took the smaller one in stride. The Dow Jones industrial average, which had been up about 25 points before the Fed’s mid-afternoon announcement, finished the day down 37.64 at 10,434.84. The Nasdaq composite index, however, rose a modest 10.12 to close at 2,074.74. 

The quarter-point rate cut pushed the Fed’s target for the federal funds rate, the interest that banks charge each other, to 3.75 percent, down from 6.5 percent where it stood before the Fed began cutting rates on Jan. 3. 

The Fed action was immediately followed by a quarter-point cut in commercial banks’ prime lending rate, sending the benchmark for millions of business and consumer loans down to 6.75 percent, the lowest level in seven years. 

Analysts suggested the Federal Reserve’s quarter-point rate cut represented a compromise between Fed officials still concerned that the economy could tumble into a recession and an opposing Fed camp that is growing worried about overdoing the rate relief and sowing the seeds of higher inflation next year. 

As evidence of the internal debate, analysts noted the Fed’s brief statement announcing its decision. The statement provided no explanation for why the central bank had decided to switch from a half-point cut to a quarter-point cut and instead dwelt on the continued threats to economic growth. 

“The patterns evident in recent months – declining profitability and business capital spending, weak expansion of consumption and slowing growth abroad – continue to weigh on the economy,” the statement said. 

“It looks like the Fed was split down the middle and the quarter-point rate cut was a compromise,” said David Jones, chief economist for Aubrey G. Lanston & Co. 

American manufacturers, who have been the hardest hit by the yearlong economic slowdown, expressed disappointment with the decision to move rates down by just a quarter-point. 

“Manufacturing has been in recession for nine months and production losses have been comparable to the recession of 1990-91,” said National Association of Manufacturing President Jerry Jasinowski. “There are still no clear signs of recovery.” 

However, many private economists expressed confidence that the 2.75 percentage point rate reduction that has occurred since the beginning of the year – the most rapid Fed credit easing since 1983 – should lay the foundation for a sustained economic recovery beginning later this year. 

They said such a favorable outcome would be helped by the first wave of the $1.35 trillion tax cut approved by Congress. Taxpayers will begin receiving checks of up to $600 next month. 

Analysts said more favorable economic statistics in recent days including higher consumer confidence readings and a rebound in factory orders probably helped the Fed opt for a smaller cut. 

“The Fed is saying the economy is weak, but not weak enough to justify another half-point rate cut,” said Sung Won Sohn, chief economist at Wells Fargo in Minneapolis. 

The Fed’s statement did note “continuing favorable trends” for long-term prospects including strong productivity growth. 

Before Wednesday’s move, the Fed, which began its credit-easing campaign on Jan. 3, had last cut the federal funds rate at a regular meeting on May 15. Two of the five half-point cuts occurred between meetings. 

As part of its action, the Federal Reserve also reduced its largely symbolic discount rate, the interest it charges banks on direct loans from the Fed, by a quarter-point to 3.25 percent. 

Many economists believe that the economy has grown at a barely discernible 0.5 percent annual rate in the current April-June quarter, down from the weak 1.3 percent rate of the first quarter. But they are forecasting slightly stronger growth of around 2 percent in the third quarter, rising to above 3 percent in the fourth quarter.


Suit against Microsoft expands

The Associated Press
Thursday June 28, 2001

SANTA CLARA — A small technology company said Wednesday it was expanding its patent infringement lawsuit against Microsoft Corp. and would try to stop sales of the new Windows XP operating system. 

Microsoft said the suit was baseless and promised to fight it. 

The lawsuit by InterTrust Technologies Corp. concerns digital rights management, or antipiracy measures that are essential in putting music, movies and other copyright material on the Internet. Digital rights management technology is used to limit what users can do with copyright material. 

InterTrust first sued in April, claiming the digital rights management software in Microsoft’s Windows Media Player program and its operating systems violated a patent issued to InterTrust in February. That patent covers technology used in downloading digital content. 

On Tuesday, InterTrust said it had been granted another patent, this one governing its process for securing content that is copied from one device to another, such as from personal computers to MP3 players. 

 

The company said the new patent “substantially expands the implications for Microsoft’s current and future products” that also secure content being transferred between devices. Specifically, InterTrust cited Windows Media Player, and the Millennium Edition and upcoming XP version of the Windows operating system. 

InterTrust said it would ask a federal court to stop sales of any Microsoft products that infringe on the patents. 

“The underlying issue is Microsoft’s failure to respect InterTrust’s pioneering, inventive work,” said Ed Fish, president of the MetaTrust Utility, which is part of Santa Clara-based InterTrust. 

Microsoft spokesman Jim Cullinan said he could not discuss the details of Microsoft’s digital rights management technology. But he said the lawsuit was “without merit” and mostly aimed at generating public-relations benefits for InterTrust. 

“Microsoft respects intellectual property rights,” he said. “We just don’t believe these claims are valid.” 

InterTrust, founded in 1990, has licensing agreements and business partnerships with several companies that figure to play a large role in the future of digital content on the Internet, including AOL-Time Warner, Adobe Systems, Nokia, Universal Music Group and Blockbuster. 

Shares of InterTrust lost 3 cents to $1.19 on the Nasdaq Stock Market, where Microsoft shares gained $1 to $71.14. InterTrust stock is well off its 52-week high of $25.50 and the $100 price it achieved before the dot-com bust in 2000. 

——— 

On the Net: 

http://www.intertrust.com 

http://www.microsoft.com 


Briefs

— wire, staff reports
Thursday June 28, 2001

UC plans to spend  

$100 million for retrofit  

 

The University of California, Berkeley is planning a $100 million retrofit of a stadium that sits atop a major Bay area fault. 

Directly beneath the 75,000 seat Memorial Stadium lies the active Hayward Fault, which is about 70 miles long and runs through major East Bay cities. Some seismic experts say it is the one most likely to produce the next devastating U.S. quake. 

The stadium, which resembles a concrete version of the Roman Colosseum, is home to Cal’s football team. The only other campus building to sit on the fault was a dining hall – and that was torn down. 

The $100 million retrofit is an amount 100 times greater than the original cost of building the stadium in 1923. Much of the money will pay for non-earthquake related upgrades. 

The university will raise money for the upgrade through donations to the athletic program. The project will be completed in phases over seven years – without interruption to football games – said Vice Chancellor Edward Denton. 

 

North Berkeley family wins Cash for Trash contest 

 

On June 15, the Donikian family of north Berkeley awoke to a note on their front door placed by Dave Williamson, the Ecology Center Recycling Operations Manager. The note asked permission to check the family trash for recyclables. Zovig Donikian gave Williamson permission and he found zero recyclables.  

“We recycle because recyclables are not trash and should be put to good use,” Donikian said, according to an Ecology Center press statement. At the July 17 City Council meeting, Mayor Shirley Dean will be awarding the Donikians $750. 

Once a week trash from a randomly selected Berkeley household is checked for recyclables. If none are found the household wins $250 or more. If only a few are found they win $50 and the remainder is rolled over to the next week. If numerous recyclables are found the entire prize rolls over to the next week. In the last contest the prize grew to $4,000 before a winner was found. 

The Cash for Trash Contest is a recycling outreach project of the Ecology Center and the City of Berkeley funded by the Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Board.  

Since February, $4,450 has been awarded to Berkeley residents for proper recycling and another $1,900 will be distributed before the contest ends on July 14. For a list of rules, recyclables accepted, and on-going contest status visit: www.ecologycenter.org or call the Ecology Center Recycling Hotline at 527-5555. 


District may begin crack down on truancy

By Ben Lumpkin Daily Planet staff
Wednesday June 27, 2001

After months of discussion with teachers, parents, students and the school board itself, Berkeley High Principal Frank Lynch proposed a new truancy policy for the school last week. 

The board won’t vote on the policy until later this summer, but Lynch said in an interview Tuesday that the policy could be a critical step toward reinstating strict enforcement of attendance at Berkeley High. 

Exact numbers on student absences during the school year just ended weren’t available Tuesday, but Lynch said the average attendance rate for Berkeley High’s 3,300 students is around 94 percent. In a 180-day school year, that’s enough unexcused absences to keep 200 students out of class all year long.  

That’s not exactly how absences accumulate, of course. Anecdotal information suggests a majority of Berkeley High students cut some classes during the year, and a small minority of students accumulate absences at a much higher rate. 

A recent study conducted by the staff of Berkeley High’s Rebound program found that a group of 50 students who are failing two or more classes accumulated 464 absences in just one class – and just 45 days – this spring. 

But even those students missing 50 classes or more in a semester face no clear consequences under Berkeley High’s current system, Lynch said. Attempts are made to contact the students’ parents by phone, he said. Sometimes staff meet with the student to try to identify the reasons behind their absences. But if such efforts fail to alter the student’s behavior, then there are no further steps in place to bring more pressure to bare. 

“Nada. Nothing,” Lynch said. 

This at a time when California’s state education code says a student can be declared a habitual truant after three full days of unexcused absences, clearing the way for the local district attorney’s office to prosecute his or her parents or guardian. 

In Monterey County, where Lynch once served as superintendent of a small school district, a local ordinance gives police authority to ticket and fine students found out of class between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., Lynch said. The proceeds from the fines are used to pay school resource officers, he added. 

The proposed truancy policy for Berkeley High would require teachers to place a call to a student’s parents after three days of unexcused absences to discuss how missing class could impact the student’s grades. Teachers would also be encouraged to discuss other issues about the student’s performance with the parents at this time. Finally, the teacher would have to fill out a Truancy Intervention Form recording the time and date of the call. 

After five days of unexcused absences the teacher would have to fill out another form and submit it to the Truancy Intervention Coordinator, a new position being funded at Berkeley High next year with money from the Berkeley Public Schools Educational Excellence Project (BSEP) tax measure.  

Lynch said the Truancy Intervention Coordinator will be charged with making absolutely sure parents are contacted and made aware of their child’s absences, either by phone or other means (in the past, calls from teachers alone have often gone unanswered). The coordinator would also work to connect the student with a peer mentor and/or school guidance counselor, to help the student work through problems that could be keeping him or her out of class. 

Lynch said the idea of connecting habitual truant students with a peer mentor could hold particular promise, since it gives the whole truancy policy a little more validity in the eyes of the truant student. 

“If you get the students involved in it and they become part of the solution, then I think you’re going to see to see this really take off,” Lynch said. 

In terms of instituting accountability in a system that has long been criticized for its lack of this key ingredient, it will be the Truancy Intervention Coordinator’s job to draw up a “contract” with the truant student, parents and relevant teachers. This document would establish a clear plan for getting the student to class, including consequences for continued absences. The consequences could include an automatic failing grade in a class where the student has accumulated too many absences, Lynch said. 

If a student reaches seven or more days of unexcused absences, a Student Attendance Review Team consisting of the student, the parent or guardian, a school administrator, a counselor, a teacher and, where appropriate, a school psychologist, would be assembled. The SART would try one more time to change the student’s attendance patterns. Students who fail to respond to the SART’s recommendations would face more serious consequences.  

If it is found that they are not Berkeley residents, for example, they could be removed from the Berkeley school system altogether. In the case of those students who are Berkeley residents, they might be encouraged to transfer to another Berkeley program (i.e. independent study or a “continuation” program) or see their cases referred to the district attorney’s office, Lynch said.  

Lynch emphasized Tuesday that, while he feels it is important to have a truancy policy in place by next fall, he considers the proposed policy a work in progress, to be amended and improved in the years ahead.


Calendar of Events & Activities

Wednesday June 27, 2001


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 

 

Disaster Council 

7 p.m. 

Emergency Operations Center 

997 Cedar Street 

Update on Measure G. 

644-8736 

 

Socratic Circle Discussion 

5 p.m. 

Cafe Electica 

1309 Solano Avenue 

Gather for espresso and discussion at the “green” teen cafe. Open to all. Free. 527-2344 


Thursday, June 28

 

Quit Smoking Class 

6 - 8 p.m. 

South Berkeley Senior Center 

2939 Ellis Street 

A six week quit smoking class. Free to Berkeley residents and employees. 

Call 644-6422 or e-mail at:  

quitnow@ci.berkeley.ca.us 

 

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. 

 

Pink Slip Party and Career  

Mixer 

6 - 9 p.m. 

Pyramid Brewery and Alehouse 

901 Gilman Street 

Meet with East Bay job seekers while listening to music by DJ and Emcee Marty Nemko. Also, cash bar, free hors d’oeurves, and prize giveaways. Free and open to the public. Call 251-1401. 

www.eastbaytechjobs.com/mixer/ 

 

Take the Terror Out  

of Talking! 

Noon to 1:30 p.m. 

California Dept. of Health Services 

2151 Berkeley Way 

Room 804 

Open house at State Health Toastmasters Club to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Free. 

649-7750 

 


Friday, June 29

 

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.  

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: Arts, Herstory  

and Literature 

1:15 - 3:15 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center  

1901 Hearst Ave. 

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  

 

Carefree/Carfree Tour 

3 p.m. 

Sather Gate 

UC Berkeley 

Telegraph at Bancroft 

Walking tour from Sather Gate to People’s Park entitled “Berkeley in the Sixties.” Led by Free Speech veterans and Berkeley residents Kate Coleman and Michael Rossman, the tour will include important locations and discussions of the Free Speech movement, the Vietnam Day Committee, the rise of affirmative action, and other events and movements. Free. 

486-04 11  


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 

 

First Annual Brower Day  

David Brower’s Environmental Legacy Celebrated 

Noon - 5 p.m. 

Martin Luther King Jr.  

Civic Center Park 

Outdoor festival celebrating the Earth and the late David Brower. Sustainable Crafts Market, organic and vegetarian food. Lee Stetson will perform “The Spirit of John Muir” in the Florence Schwimley Little Theater, 12:30 and 2 p.m., and at 3 p.m. a special screening of "In the Light of Reverence" by the Sacred Land Film Project. Julia Butterfly Hill will join filmmaker Toby McLeod for a special panel following the film. 415-788-3666 

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  

 

Bonfire III: Stories and  

Songs By the Sea 

7:30 p.m. 

Berkeley Marina 

Spinnaker Way, near Olympic Circle Sailing Club 

Come for Havdala and share stories, sing and watch the flames dance. Bring food and drink to share, kosher s’mores provided. 

848-0237 

 

Know Your Rights 

11 - 2 p.m. 

2022 Blake St. 

Copwatch workshop: Learn what your rights are when dealing with the police. Special section on juvenile rights. 548-0425 

 

Bay Area Eco-Crones 

11 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

1066 Creston Road 

Networking, information sharing, project planning and ritual.  

Call ahead, 874-4935. 


Sunday, July 1

 

Buddhist Psychology 

6 p.m. 

Tibetan Nyingma Institute 

1815 Highland Place 

Annette Anderson on “Insights from Buddhist Psychology.” Free. 

843-6812 

 

Jazz on the Pier 

11 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

Berkeley Pier  

The Christy Dana Quartet performs on the Berkeley Pier at the foot of University Ave. and Seawall Dr. The CDQ ensemble led by trumpeter and jazz educator Christy Dana with the Bay as a backdrop. AC Transit Bus 51M 649-3929 

 

Music and Meditation 

8 - 9 p.m. 

The Heart-Road Traveller 

1828 Euclid Avenue 

Group meditation using instrumental music and devotional songs. Free. 496-3468 


Monday, July 2

 

James Joyce Conference 

9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 

Clark Kerr Campus 

2601 Warring Street 

Part of a week-long conference titled “Extreme Joyce/Readings On the Edge.” 4 - 5:30 p.m. $15 - $25. 642-2754  

 

 

— compiled by Sabrina Forkish and Guy Poole


Letters to the Editor

Wednesday June 27, 2001

Trout in Codornices not a fish story 

Editor, 

Friends of Five Creeks feels it is important to correct the statement, in a letter from a 15-year neighbor of Codornices Creek, that the creek “is not now nor has it been home to large fish.” 

Significant numbers of rainbow trout or steelhead inhabit Codornices Creek from below San Pablo at least as far upstream as St. Mary's College High School. Our volunteers have observed these fish regularly since we began restoration work on the creek in the 1990s. They also have been observed in at least a half dozen "holes" by numerous neighbors as well as students and faculty at St. Mary's. The fishes' size range, from small “fingerlings” to more than 10 inches, and their persistence over years, indicates that they are reproducing in the creek.  

On March 16, 2000, with the help of Dr. Tom Dudley of UC Berkeley (who had the required permits), we briefly stunned one of the fish with mild electric current, photographed it, and identified it as Oncorynchus mykiss, steelhead or rainbow trout. (Steelhead and rainbow trout differ only in behavior. Those that go to sea become steelhead, growing quite large, while others remain in fresh water as smaller rainbow trout. Since large steelhead have been observed swimming upstream in the lower creek, the simplest explanation for the fish in Codornices Creek seems to be that at least in some years, steelhead, which explore new streams much more readily than salmon, make their way up Codornices Creek and successfully reproduce.) 

Neither the several culverts along the creek below St. Mary's nor the drops at their outfalls seems to pose an insuperable barrier. Our several years' monitoring of Codornices Creek indicates that the creek's temperature, pH, and general water quality is more than adequate for salmon or trout. We do not know exactly where these fish lay eggs. But it is no surprise that there apparently is suitable habitat in the deep, shady canyon in protected back yards of the many neighbors who care for the creek. We will learn more from the recent Proposition 13 grant to the Urban Creeks Council, to research and improve steelhead habitat in Codornices Creek. 

I write this letter with some concern that thoughtless people could destroy this urban treasure. So let me point out that steelhead are a federally protected endangered species. There are heavy penalties for disturbing them in any way, including fishing. 

It is a great gift and a responsibility to have a trout stream in a city. The fact that these fish seem to be thriving offers a bright future for keeping and restoring green threads in our urban fabric, where we can find solace and joy, and where some of the many species that share our world can continue to thrive. I hope we will make the most of this opportunity and obligation. 

Susan Schwartz 

President, Friends of Five Creeks, Berkeley 

Glad to be back 

Editor, 

Recently returned to our regular world of ups and downs and smooth and rough roads, I want to share some thoughts from my last six months of separateness and sadness. 

I am grateful that it lasted only six months as compared to a previous eighteen-month period. I am grateful that I had already learned the value of medication and did not resist too long the need for change. 

I benefited from the loving patience and concern of my family and a few close friends and from the professional and library resources of Kaiser Permanente Medical Center. I benefited from The Zen Path through Depression by Philip Martin, a gift from one of my sons. I benefited from a part time job which pays me to walk, that most healthy of physical activities. 

I know the City of Berkeley and Alta Bates Medical Center have Mental Health Services and the Berkeley Public Library has books on the subject. 

Even as I found myself increasingly unable to want to be with people, I clung tenuously to some kind of prayer life and some kind of worship. One of my ministers sent me the following poem by May Sarton. Consider it my “glad to be back” greeting to all of you. 

HOPEFUL GARDENERS 

Help us to be the always hopeful 

Gardeners of the spirit 

Who know that without darkness 

Nothing comes to birth 

As without light 

Nothing flowers 

Bill Trampleasure 

Berkeley 

Trash bins ugly 

Editor: 

We recently spent a week showing some out-of-town guests the sights around Berkeley. After engaging in various activities downtown our guests remarked that at some locations there were trash receptacles sitting out on the sidewalk all the time. In particular, there were rows of them on Shattuck Avenue between University Avenue and Addison Street and on Allston Way between Shattuck Avenue and Oxford Street. Some of them were overflowing with garbage and had maggots crawling around on the rims. Isn’t there an ordinance that requires businesses to keep trash receptacles off the sidewalks except on pick-up days? It looks terrible and is unsanitary. Why is this practice tolerated especially in light of the fact that the city is engaged in a program to beautify the downtown area? 

Walter Koni 

Berkeley 

Tritium facility worrisome  

Editor:  

The“Don’t worry - be happy” letter by Elmer Grossman (6/11) regarding Lawrence Berkeley Lab’s (LBNL) radioactive pollution from its Tritium Facility is a snowstorm of omissions, half-truths and wishful thinking. The presentation by Mr. Franke, Berkeley’s hired consultant, included evidence that the normal operations at the facility were significantly reduced for the last two years which is all he reported on. Local activists believe that procedures involving the dumping of deadly tritium waste were curtailed after researchers discovered alarming levels of contamination locked up in the vegetation, water and air at the site; including the air inside the Lawrence Hall of Science immediately downwind from the tritium stack. Found to be Super-Fund eligible, plus the presence of a huge underground radioactive plume, the Tritium Facility became vulnerable and this convinced LBNL to reduce activities about three years ago. Repeated requests to evaluate the high contamination levels and tens of thousands of curies of missing tritium inventory were ignored by Mr. Franke who said LBNL’s records were so funky that no sense could be made of them, something Mr. Grossman forgot to mention. Whether or not the reports were exaggerated, Mr. Franke stands by his conclusion that a catastrophic release of the facility’s entire storage due to earthquake, fire or accident, would subject the next-door children visitors to much more radiation than LBNL’s cooked calculations. 

Mr. Grossman plays that tired game of comparing one-time exposure to the very different reality of long-time radiation damage from an internal source like tritium which has been absorbed.  

The Straume report actually says that LBNL minimizes the danger from tritium and that tritium is more bio-effective (harmful) than gamma radiation. The other government -funded studies suffer from accepting LBNL’s data declarations uncritically, as when the McKone report uses the EPA’s stack model for stack emissions designed for flat terrain when anyone can see that the tritium stack sits below the Lawrence Museum and blows it’s rad waste upward engulfing it. Or when the source of the rad-waste is mysteriously moved from the stack to the building so as to be in Zone 2 with it’s lower calculations. The U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances, which produced only a consultation instead of a study, later showed higher than expected breast cancer occurrence in a already high incidence area in the Panoramic Hill area. 

Mr. Grossman is well aware of the problems related to the tritium facility but has chosen instead to bamboozle the public and promote LBNL’s deceptions. There is nothing remotely normal about the Tritium Facility and it’s continuous dumping of long-lasting, disease causing rad-waste into our community and no snake-oil salesmen are going to change our concerns or our determination to close this disaster and clean up the site before it spreads any further. 

Mark McDonald  

Berkeley


Shotgun’s ‘Iphigenia’ is must-see theater

By John Angell Grant Daily Planet correspondent
Wednesday June 27, 2001

Shotgun Players opened their free summer outdoor theater program at north Berkeley’s John Hinkel Park on Sunday with a superb production of Euripides fifth century B.C. drama “Iphigenia in Aulis.”  

This story is a prequel to the “Oresteia” trilogy that Berkeley Rep staged early this year as the opening of that company’s new Roda Theater. If you’re interested in catching up on the disastrous, dysfunctional family story that led to the “Oresteia,” this is a rare and terrific opportunity to see a strong production of an infrequently performed play. 

The “Oresteia” dramatizes of murder of King Agamemnon by his wife Clytemnestra when he returns home after a decade of fighting the Trojan War. Clytemnestra’s action is revenge for Agamemnon having sacrificed their daughter Iphigenia to the gods 10 years earlier, which the gods demanded in exchange for creating the wind that would allow Greek troops to set sail for war. 

“Iphigenia in Aulis” backs the story up to that earlier time before the war, and recounts the circumstances that went in to Agamemnon’s decision to make the sacrifice. 

“Iphigenia in Aulis” is a play about choices – about the struggle Agamemnon goes through as the country’s top political figure, weighing his personal family needs against his unique responsibilities as the leader of a nation. 

The Shotgun production is an exciting, thoughtful and complex presentation of theater. In many ways, I preferred this lucid and uncluttered staging to the efforts of the Berkeley Rep earlier this year. 

To create a script with very modern-sounding dialogue, director Patrick Dooley and dramaturge Joan McBride have culled segments from three different English translations of the play (by Gamel, Vellacott and Terranova). 

Dooley has allowed the actors to personalize their characters in a modern way, while still managing to retain an overall heroic feel for the story. 

Seven actors perform “Iphigenia in Aulis.” Three of them double up in the roles of the seven principle characters, while four others play the chorus. All but one of the actors are female. 

All characters are partially masked, except for Agamemnon, Clytemnestra and Iphigenia – an effective technique with the multiple casting. 

Jeff Elam is strong as the manipulator and dealmaker Agamemnon, put-upon by politics, and nearly tapped out emotionally as his karmic house of cards teeters on the brink of collapse. 

It is a moving performance, and Elam manages to make the character and his dilemma sympathetic. Agamemnon’s fear of mutiny, betrayal and murder by the mass of troops waiting nearby to sail, forces his decision to sacrifice his daughter. 

Mary Eaton Fairchild is a riveting presence as nurturing but tough and clearheaded wife Clytemnestra, usually winning her debates with Agamemnon, but trapped by the political powerlessness of her gender. 

Fairchild also effectively doubles (wearing a mask) in the role of Agamemnon’s resentful younger brother Menelaus, whose cuckolding by Helen is what sets off the Trojan War in the first place. 

Elam himself doubles (also wearing a mask) as the comic relief character – jocular hotheaded warrior Achilles, insulted at being pulled into a marriage decoy by Agamemnon. Agamemnon tricks his wife into bringing his daughter to the camp for sacrifice on the pretext of marrying her to Achilles. 

Amaya Alonso Hallifax is solid as Iphigenia, and even more striking in her masked role as an old male slave who turns the plot at key points. 

A chorus of four (Valerie Weak, Joan Bernier, Hannah Evans and Naomi Stein) is a big part of the show – women of the community who gloss for the audience an ongoing historical and moral commentary on the action at hand. 

Andrea Weber effectively choreographs chorus’s versatile, stylized and sometimes dreamlike movements. At the top of the show, the warrior choreography they perform with seven-foot bamboo poles make exciting the long family and political history they tell. 

For music, there are drums and other percussion played by Weber, Daniel Bruno, and Joshua Pollock at the edge of the performance space, accompanying the chorus in its narrative, and elsewhere. Their subtle war beats work as effectively as a good movie soundtrack. 

Show dramaturge Joan McBride has written an amusing 15-minute comedic vaudeville play – “The Curse of the House of Atreus” – that opens the Shotgun performance, explaining some of Agamemnon’s family history leading up to “Iphigenia in Aulis.” It is a complex story of betrayal, murder, incest and cannibalism. 

This is a terrific show, and it’s free – although the lovely and persuasive Shotgun ticket ladies twist your arm for a contribution. The show starts at 5 p.m., and the weather cools off as it progresses. Take a picnic and some extra layers to wear. 

Planet theater reviewer John Angell Grant has written for “American Theatre,” “Backstage West,” “Callboard,” and many other publications. E-mail him at jagplays@yahoo.com.


BART unions authorize strike

The Associated Press
Wednesday June 27, 2001

OAKLAND — BART’s two largest unions have voted to authorize a strike if they’re unable to come to an agreement before their contracts expire at midnight Saturday. 

“Our members have worked hard to make BART a success, and we expect and deserve fair treatment at the bargaining table,” said Larry Hendel, the East Bay director for the Service Employees International Union Local 790. 

While the vote does not mean a strike is inevitable, it sets the stage for a walkout as the unions and Bay Area Rapid Transit management head into their first session with a mediator today. 

The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, which represents 806 station agents and train operators, voted unanimously in favor of a strike late Monday. The Service Employees International Union Local 790, which represents 1,737 maintenance, professional and clerical workers, also cast votes Monday, with 97 percent of members in favor of authorizing a strike. 

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3993 already has authorized a strike. It represents 271 supervisors and professionals. 

BART employees walked off the job for six days in September 1997, triggering chaos on the highways as 275,000 daily commuters were forced to find another way to work. 

BART’s average weekday ridership has since soared to 335,000.


Hearing for sons of Reddy delayed

By Judith Scherr Daily Planet staff
Wednesday June 27, 2001

OAKLAND – Looking grim, the two Lakireddy brothers were back in U.S. District Court Tuesday for a brief hearing during which a prosecutor new to the case asked for time to familiarize himself with the proceedings. 

Vijay Kumar Lakireddy and Prasad Lakireddy, half-brothers and sons of convicted offender Lakireddy Bali Reddy, are charged with a number of federal offenses, including helping their father bring girls illegally to the United States for sex and cheap labor, visa fraud and witness tampering. 

The elder Reddy was sentenced last week to about eight years in prison for bringing girls illegally into the country for sex and cheap labor and for filing a false tax report. 

The younger Lakireddys are both free on bail and, according to Vijay Lakireddy’s attorney, George J Cotsirilos Jr., both continue to contend they are not guilty as charged and are planning to take the case to trial. The elder Reddy pleaded guilty as part of a plea bargain agreement. 

A delay in the pretrial process until July 10 was requested by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen G. Corrigan, who will be prosecuting the Lakireddy brothers in the place of Assistant U.S. Attorney John W. Kennedy who has been appointed superior court judge in Contra Costa County. Corrigan will have thousands of pages of documents, 42 computer compact discs and dozens of audio taped interviews to sift through. 

According to documents filed with the court by the prosecution in April, the brothers are collectively charged with more than 20 counts of nine different sections of the U.S. Code. 

Both are accused of conspiring to bring foreigners, including minors, into the country illegally for the purpose of illicit sexual activity with an adult, employing them illegally and submitting fraudulent visa applications.  

Among specific allegations are that the brothers would “employ these aliens at various times without paying them the minimum wage or overtime premium as required by law.” 

Court documents describe the victims as “poor and destitute young Indian girls” and say they were procured “for the purposes of sexual relations with defendants Prasad Lakireddy and Vijay Kumar Lakireddy...among others.” 

The document goes on to allege the means by which the brothers and their father would hold sway over the girls. They controlled “where the girls lived, where they worked, where they ate meals, how much money they earned, whether they attended school, and when they were permitted to return to India,” it says. “They also did so by, among other things, scolding, belittling, threatening, beating and raping the victims.” 

The charging document also says that at least one of the victims was 11 years old when a visa was requested. 

Without giving the name or age of the alleged victims, the charges of rape against both brothers are specific: 

“In or about 1992, defendant Vijay Lakireddy had sexual intercourse with Victim No. 5 against her will. In or about 1993, defendant Vijay Lakireddy had sexual intercourse with Victim No. 6 against her will.” Similarly the younger brother is accused of having sex against the will of victims No. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7. 

Prasad Lakireddy also faces charges alleging that he had sexual intercourse with minors against their will, including victims No. 2, 3 and 4. 

Allegations are also specific regarding the pair’s role in illegal business practices. Vijay Lakireddy’s business, Active Tech Solutions, whose address was given at 2342 Shattuck Ave., was alleged to have filed statements saying he would employ various people as programmer/analysts “when in truth...as the defendant well knew, Active Tech Solutions had no intention to employ (five different persons) full-time at Active Tech Solutions...and that Active Tech Solutions did not earn a gross annual income of $120,000 and net income of $80,000.” 

Allegations also say that Active Tech Solution was, in fact, “a rented mail box.” 

Prasad Lakireddy is further accused of tampering with witnesses.  

 


Worker claims new hazard found at skate park project

By John Geluardi Daily Planet staff
Wednesday June 27, 2001

Just when the Harrison Street Skate Park was back on track – the discovery of chromium 6 in ground water beneath the project had halted construction – a new violation of environmental standards is being charged. 

Stephen Thomas, a laborer who worked on the site during the excavation told the city’s Toxic Management Division that, a large container filled with “some kind of oil or something” was unearthed and accidentally ruptured, covering him with the substance.  

“It was some kind of tank that had pipes coming out of it,” Thomas said. “Then we were told to just cover it back up.” 

Gerald Morris, owner of G. Morris Construction, who performed the site excavation said there is no truth to the charges. “This allegation is fallacious, I personally conducted the excavation and there was no tank of any kind,” he said. “I’d be more than happy to cooperate with anyone from the DA’s office who might have questions as would any of the supervisors who worked on the site.” 

Thomas made a report to Hazardous Materials Supervisor Nabil Al-Hadithy who said the report was immediately turned over to the county district attorney who is investigating the charges.  

Deputy District Attorney Mike O’Connor, who is handling the case, was not available to comment on the status of the investigation. 

However staff counsel David Boyer of the State Water Quality Control Board, said that if Thomas’ allegations are true, the contractor could possibly face civil and criminal prosecution by the district attorney. 

A Stop Work Order was issued for the 18,000-square-foot skate park project in November when the carcinogen chromium 6 was discovered in groundwater that was exposed during excavation. The city has so far spent about $295,000 in cleanup and re-design fees, not including staff time, according to Parks and Waterfront Department staff. 

Formal documentation was completed in early June that outlined the city’s efforts to remove all environmental hazards from the site. The report said the site had been sufficiently cleaned up. 

According to Parks and Waterfront Director Lisa Caronna, the city is accepting bids from architects for a re-design of the skate park and the tentative plan is to begin construction anew this fall. 

Thomas, who currently resides at homeless shelter near the skate park site, said he was concerned the underground tank may have contained a substance that will have a harmful effect on his health. 

“I’m a little worried that when I get older I might have some ill effects from whatever that stuff was,” he said. “But I’m not so worried about me, I’ve already lived half my life, I’m more worried about the kids who will be playing there.” 

Morris said his crew found a lot of things below the surface of the skate park such as six concrete piers that once supported railroad tracks, as well as a large number of metal items, which were hauled away by a salvage company. “We had at least four 40-foot flatbed trucks loaded with salvaged metal hauled away,” he said. “But we didn’t find any tanks.”  

Morris said they did come across a two-inch pipe that contained a dried material that he said posed no environmental hazard. The pipe was also removed from the site, he said. 

“I never worked on a site that was more closely monitored that that one,” Morris said. “There were people from the city there on more than a daily basis.” 


BRIEFS

Staff
Wednesday June 27, 2001

Stipends available for teachers, care providers 

 

Stipends for eligible preschool teachers and child care providers are still available from the Alameda County Children and Families Commission and the Child Development Corps. 

Stipends range from $500 to $5,000 and are aimed at retaining qualified teachers.  

The lowest paid child care teachers in Alameda County average $14,000 annually with a turnover rate of 32 percent.  

The deadline to apply for a stipend is June 30. For eligibility requirements call 667-7451. 

 

West Berkeley debuting weekly market 

 

Beginning July 8 there will be a new weekly market held in West Berkeley on University Avenue, between Third and Fourth Streets.  

Held every Sunday through the end of October, at least 40 local artists, farmers and nonprofits will participate from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Sponsored by the non-profit West Berkeley Neighborhood Development Corporation, with start-up funding from the city, the West Berkeley Market will be a family-oriented venue.  

It will emphasize good quality and reasonably priced crafts, produce, specialty foods, and other products and services with an international and “green” theme, according to a West Berkeley Market press release. 

Four special events are already planned including an Opening Day Celebration on July 8, International Family Day on Aug. 19, Art Day on Sept. 16, and Spirit Day on Oct. 28. Vendors interested in the market can call 654-6346 ext. 6 for information and applications. Priority will be given to lower-income vendors from west and south Berkeley and those who offer products or services that they produce themselves. 

 

Host families needed  

for adult foreign students 

Language Studies International is looking for host families for its foreign adult students. The English school for foreign students has a homestay option to allow the students to experience life with American families during their program. Due in part to the housing crisis, the school has been unable to find hosts for all of the 800 - 1,000 students who attend each year, according to a letter from Steven Franklin, Registrar and Accommodations Coordinator for LSI. 

Hosts of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to participate, including singles. Hosts are paid $182.50 per week to provide breakfast, dinner and a private room to a foreign student, and can choose a short-term (two – four weeks) or a yearlong stay.  

The host can live anywhere in the East Bay as long as the student can easily commute to downtown Berkeley. For more information or to apply to host a student for the peak period from mid-July through September, call LSI at 841-4695.


Panel says gene testing not ready for prime time

The Associated Press
Wednesday June 27, 2001

SAN DIEGO — Starting in August, expecting couples can walk into an obstetrician’s office and ask to be tested for any of 24 variations of the gene that causes cystic fibrosis. 

Until now, such tests have generally been used only for populations known to have a prevalence for certain diseases, such as sickle-cell anemia among blacks and Tay-Sachs disease among Ashkenazi jews.  

The new CF test will break that barrier, targeting all expecting couples. 

But instead of being excited, doctors said Tuesday that their feelings on genetic testing range from overwhelming confusion to frustration to depression. 

“I have a more pessimistic outlook,” said Stan Eisele, a Carlsbad doctor, after listening to a panel on the issue during this week’s BIO 2001 conference of biotechnology professionals in San Diego.  

“The industry wants it to go away. They don’t want to face it.” 

There are already hundreds of genetic tests that can do everything from diagnose CF to determine a higher risk for breast cancer.  

But the barriers keeping genetic testing from the mainstream are many and serious, the panelists said. Also: 

• Many insurers are balking at covering such screenings, which can cost as little as $100 or more than $1,500. 

• Most states – California being a notable exception – have no licensing programs for counselors in genetic testing. 

• Doctors, already pressured by health maintenance organizations to keep patient visits short and costs low, say they have no time to administer genetic tests or conduct counseling on them. 

• The doctors also remain woefully undereducated on what these tests can offer or how they work. 

“The education system is not providing much in the way of sophistication of the notion of genetic testing today,” said Reed Pyeritz, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.  

“It is totally inadequate for what is coming.” 

Already, about 400 tests can screen for single genes that cause specific diseases. Many such tests, such as the one for CF, are the only way to tell if a patient really has a certain condition, panelists said. 

Other tests merely indicate a higher risk for a disease.  

For example, one test can recalculate a woman’s odds of getting breast cancer from the typical 11 percent to a more frightening 60 to 80 percent. And still others are more specific, predicting Huntington’s Disease with near certainty, for example. 

Such tests aren’t as new as many might think. More primitive genetic tests for cystic fibrosis have been used since the mid-1980s, panelists said. The CF gene itself – not including its roughly 1,000 mutations – was isolated in 1989. 

Still, it will take until at least 2010 before genetic testing is widely accepted or even discussed, Pyeritz said. The main hurdle: acceptance by insurers. 

The Food and Drug Administration, which regulates such tests, typically takes 90 to 180 days to approve a new screen. But it can take an additional three to five years to convince insurers that such tests are necessary, said Michele Schoonmaker, director of medical reimbursement at Vysis Inc., which makes genetic testing products for cancer, prenatal disorders, and other diseases. 

The reason for the information gap is simple, said panelist Michael Watson, executive director of the College of Medical Genetics in Bethesda, Md. Before the race to map the human genome heated up, the public had little interest in genetics, and researchers kept themselves isolated. 

“It has been a very small group of people delivering genetic services and who have been involved in genetics research,” Watson said.  

“And that is one of the reasons why the regulatory agencies, the reimbursement agencies and most of the bodies that we have to deal with have very little knowledge of what we do.” 

But doctors and their patients will soon be barraged with more and more genetic testing options, panelists said. Researchers have already linked 11,000 diseases to specific genes. 

“This has caught the practitioners totally unaware,” Pyeritz said after the panel. “There needs to be more education for physicians, and more for patients and their partners.”


Trout planting begins despite frog fears

The Associated Press
Wednesday June 27, 2001

REDDING — Aerial trout planting has begun in some remote areas of Northern California, despite concerns the trout might be eating the tadpoles of a rare amphibian. 

Original plans called for up to three years of study before stocking was resumed, a decision that angered some anglers. They feared fishing would be seriously hampered if the plantings stopped. 

The state Department of Fish and Game reconsidered after a preliminary review of the Cascade frog population. 

“On first blush, it looked like the Cascade frog was doing pretty well,” said department spokesman Paul Wertz. 

Now the study will proceed simultaneously, as three-member crews begin surveying wilderness lakes next week looking for the frog, he said. 

The department began dropping trout by airplane Monday into the Coast Range, Siskiyou Mountains, Trinity Alps and Trinity Divide regions, and the Caribou, Marble Mountains, Salmon-Scott Mountains, Thousand Lakes Trinity Divide, Golden Russian and Yolla Bolly wilderness areas. 

By contrast, the department will take several more weeks to decide which lakes to stock in the Sierra Nevada, home of the yellow-legged frog and the Yosemite toad. Both amphibians are candidates for the endangered species list. 

“I would guess a large portion will be delayed and not planted this year,” said department spokesman Jack Edwards. 

Dry, hot conditions in Northern California also have prompted the department to halt trout releases at some regularly stocked lakes and waterways. 


Senate rejects proposed $101 billion state budget

The Associated Press
Wednesday June 27, 2001

SACRAMENTO — With Republicans sticking to their pledge to hold up a state budget they say ignores their priorities, the state Senate rejected a $101 billion spending plan by one vote Tuesday night. 

The 26-14 vote in favor fell one short of the two-thirds needed for passage. It took place strictly along party lines, with 26 Democrats voting in favor and 14 Republicans opposed. 

The failure, though expected, almost assures that a 2001-02 budget will not be approved before it is to go into effect Sunday. History shows that the state will not shut down if that occurs, however. 

Sen. Steve Peace, D-Chula Vista, called the budget “prudent, responsible and defensible from any political standpoint.” It increases education spending by more than 5 percent over last year and includes $2.2 billion for emergency reserves. 

Peace acknowledged, however, that the budget includes more spending than analysts predict the state will collect in revenues. 

He said Democrats are anticipating that Gov. Gray Davis will make further cuts to new spending proposals in the Legislature’s budget. 

Otherwise, he said, the state could face up to a $1.5 billion shortfall in two years because of sagging revenues from sales, capital gains and income taxes. 

Senate Republican Leader Jim Brulte, R-Rancho Cucamonga, said the budget “raises taxes to pay for pork and phantom employees.” 

He criticized $120 million slated for local projects in individual legislators’ districts and said the state could save millions on vacant government positions that are being funded. 

The state Assembly is scheduled to take up the budget Wednesday, where four out of 30 Republican votes there are required to send it to Davis. Assembly Republicans have said they, too, will hold back their votes. 

GOP lawmakers’ top issue is a quarter-cent sales tax cut that is automatically triggered when the state’s treasury is brimming and ceased during tight fiscal times. 

The 2001-02 budget proposal assumes the tax cut will end in January. But GOP lawmakers want the tax-cut preserved, and for cuts to be made in other new spending and growth in the budget. 

Republicans also want to place on a statewide ballot a constitutional amendment that would require gasoline tax revenues be spent for transportation projects in the future. 

Davis has signed the budget on time for the past two years since he took office, when the state was flush with money. 

But in the past two decades the budget has been signed 12 times after July 1, including in 1992 when Gov. Pete Wilson signed it on Sept. 2. 

 

On the Net: budget analyses available at www.lao.ca.gov


Officials will try to justify $9 billion in overcharges

The Associated Press
Wednesday June 27, 2001

California officials will attempt to justify their claim that energy providers overcharged the state by $9 billion when federal settlement talks over the West’s energy crisis resume Wednesday. 

California’s allegations of price-gouging during the last 13 months are expected to dominate the third day of confidential negotiations involving scores of entities who buy and sell power in California and 10 other Western states. 

A new analysis backs up the $9 billion figure, said Michael Kahn, chairman of the California Independent System Operator, which manages much of the state’s electricity grid. 

But that study, as well as an earlier analysis prepared by the grid operator, suggest that several billion dollars might lie beyond the reach of federal energy regulators. Last week, regulators ordered the talks as part of an effort to get a handle on Western energy prices. 

The commission’s order last week extended price controls in California and imposed them in the rest of the Western power grid, covering all sellers.  

It also gave the parties until July 9 to settle a host of issues, including $15 billion in alleged overcharges in California and elsewhere in the West, generators’ unpaid bills and additional long-term power contracts. 

Kahn said roughly $3 billion in alleged overcharges occurred before Oct. 1, which FERC has said marks the start of its authority to investigate pricing abuses. 

Another portion of the money California is seeking in refunds would come from municipal utilities and other power sellers that until now have not come under the energy commission’s jurisdiction. 

California will try to argue that neither of those factors should influence a settlement. 

“We respectfully disagree with FERC on the October situation,” Kahn said.  

“We think we suffered greatly last summer. It’s inexplicable to us that we would not be allowed to seek refunds for that period.” 

Kahn, the state’s chief representative at the Washington talks, will contend that the regulators’ expanded view of their authority also should apply retroactively. 

“We determined that if the plan had been in effect since May 2000, that the numbers were approximately $9 billion,” Kahn said. 

A negotiated settlement – rather than an order from regulators — also could allow power users and providers to reach agreement on issues that might not be in FERC’s domain. Those issues include whether generators would be protected from lawsuits over their prices, said Mark Cooper, research director for the Consumer Federation of America. 

“It’s one of the concerns we have, that we might not get a clear ruling and that we run the risk of losing our litigation rights,” Cooper said. 

Wholesale power costs in California were $7 billion in 1999, rose to $27 billion last year and could top $50 billion this year, according to state estimates. Federal regulators have on several occasions said the recently deregulated electricity market is dysfunctional. 

Power wholesalers have dismissed the state’s claim as grossly inflated. They say high prices have been justified by a shortage in natural gas, which fuels many power plants. 

The generators said they have yet to be paid billions of dollars for power that already has been supplied. 

“California for some reason feels that they’re entitled to free energy,” said Richard Wheatley, a spokesman for Houston-based Reliant Energy. “Reliant and other generators have been California’s energy bankers for some time.” 

Wheatley said Reliant is owed $337 million for past power sales. 

Generators probably would have to pay no more than $2.5 billion in refunds, said Curtis Wagner, who is FERC’s chief administrative law judge and is overseeing the negotiations. 

 

On the Net: 

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: http://www.ferc.gov


Democrats insist that patients be able to sue

The Associated Press
Wednesday June 27, 2001

WASHINGTON — The Democratic-controlled Senate voted Tuesday to leave the door open to lawsuits against employers in patients’ rights legislation, brushing aside predictions that the result would be canceled insurance coverage for millions. 

On a vote of 57-43, the Senate killed a Republican proposal to ban suits against businesses. At the same time, bipartisan negotiations continued toward a compromise that would sharply limit such legal action. 

The vote marked a victory for backers of the bill on the first key test of strength. The legislation, advanced by Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., John Edwards, D-N.C., and John McCain, R-Ariz., was crafted in response to HMO horror stories of health care delayed or denied, often with disastrous results. 

The Senate acted as President Bush called key senators in what his spokesman described as an intensifying effort to reshape the measure to the president’s liking. Bush “thinks patients need and deserve protections” from their HMOs, said Ari Fleischer. 

But in words that recalled a formal veto threat issued last week, he added that “the president hopes that the Senate will put progress first and not ... participate in an exercise that leads to a bill that will go nowhere.” 

Democrats made patients’ rights legislation their top priority when they gained a Senate majority last month, and the debate, now in its second week, is unfolding against a backdrop of campaign-style public events and dueling public opinion polls. 

At one news conference on the Capitol grounds, an opponent paraded in a shark costume, complete with fins and huge teeth, designed to represent trial lawyers. 

Democrats circulated a survey during the day indicating that the bill’s supporters are on safe political ground. “HMOs and health insurance companies are almost as disliked as oil companies,” it said, with favorable ratings in the range of 22 to 34 percent. 

Democrats were offered “talking points” for public use, including, “HMOs should not have special protection from lawsuits like foreign diplomats. HMOs should be held accountable just like any other American business.” 

On the other side, a survey taken over several days for the American Association of Health Plans reported that, “By a large margin, voters continue to say trial lawyers will be the biggest beneficiaries of new lawsuits against health care plans and employers.” 

The liability issue has emerged as a leading point of contention, particularly since several years of fiercely political debate have produced broad agreement on the type of protections that patients should be offered. 

While the measure would leave employers open to suits in some circumstances, Senate Republicans offered a proposal to shut the door. 

“Many are concerned that the employers would be forced to drop their health insurance” if the provision stands, said Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, who proposed adding a provision found in Texas state law that prohibits employers from being sued in patients’ rights disputes. 

Edwards countered that Bush has said that employers who retain responsibility for final medical decisions should be subject to lawsuits. “The HMOs have had the law on their side for too long,” he said. 

Republicans argued that Democrats were saying one thing, and writing legislation to do another. 

 

Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla., citing comments Edwards made in an interview earlier this month, said the North Carolina lawmaker had said “employers can’t be sued.” 

“But employers beware. If you read the bill, they can be sued,” Nickles said. 

Gramm’s amendment drew the support of 43 Republicans and the opposition of 50 Democrats, six Republicans and one independent. 

Even before the vote, senators were discussing a compromise on the issue. 

Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, said the emerging proposal would shield employers from lawsuits except in cases in which firms either insure or insure and administer their own plans and accept liability rather than appointing a “designated decision-maker” to do so. 

Fleischer’s remarks came a day after white House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, Bush’s political strategist Karl Rove and other aides traveled to the Capitol for a meeting in which the HMO bill and other issues were discussed. 

The spokesman said Bush had called Snowe and other lawmakers during the day, and the Maine Republican said the president had urged her to expand compromise efforts beyond the narrow question of employer liability. 

Bush and the White House have raised other objections to provisions in the bill related to lawsuits. They argue the bill permits patients to file suits before they complete an independent appeals process designed to rule on disputes with HMOs. They also oppose provisions that would open the way to lawsuits in state and federal courts, and to potentially huge punitive damage awards. 

The Senate grappled with the liability issue as House Republicans formally unveiled a measure that would open the door to suits against HMOs in state courts under limited circumstances. 

GOP leaders hope to attract enough support for the measure to prevent passage of legislation patterned after the bill pending in the Senate. 

No House action is expected until after Congress returns from a July 4 recess. 


Differences apparent for Bush, Sharon

The Associated Press
Wednesday June 27, 2001

WASHINGTON — President Bush pressed Ariel Sharon on Tuesday to move forward on a U.S.-backed Middle East peace plan, but the Israeli prime minister said violence must end first. “One should not compromise with terror,” Sharon said. 

The Oval Office meeting, a second for Sharon since Bush took office six months ago, highlighted their disagreement over how to proceed with a peace process amid continuing violence. It also reflected the administration’s stepped-up role in the Middle East after being accused of neglecting the region early in Bush’s term. 

A fragile cease-fire hung in the balance, with Sharon under pressure at home to respond with force to violence blamed on the Palestinians. Secretary of State Colin Powell headed to the region late Tuesday to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, including Yasser Arafat. 

Sitting stiffly in straight-back chairs, Bush and Sharon struggled to praise each other for working toward peace without conceding their bottom lines: Bush wants the cease-fire to hold and progress to continue toward peace talks while Sharon insists that little can be done until there is a “full cessation of hostilities.” Despite the violence, Bush said he was optimistic the peace process could resume. “We’re gaining by inches,” he said. “Progress is in inches, not miles but nevertheless an inch is better than nothing.” 

An international commission headed by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell urged both sides to begin with a cease-fire before entering into a “cooling-off period,” making gestures to each other and returning to negotiations. 

In advance of his meeting with Sharon, Bush advisers said the president intended to urge the Israeli to declare a cooling-off period regardless of whether violence has completely ceased. Afterward, advisers said Bush did not insist that Sharon take that next step toward peace, though he urged the Israeli to keep moving forward. 

Bush himself stopped just short of calling for a cooling-off period in a public session with reporters, but suggested that Israel may not have “a realistic assessment of what is possible on the ground.” He also said, “We’re going to talk to the prime minister about his attitudes.” 

Sharon was more blunt, saying peace can only be achieved if the parties are “very strict” with the Palestinians. “Israel will not negotiate under fire and under terror,” he said during the photo opportunity with Bush. 

Afterward, the prime minister said he wants 10 days of no violence before beginning the next stage, the cooling-off period. Previously, he had talked about a violence-free period but had not spelled out the 10-day concept. 

“One should not compromise with terror. And therefore, I believe that if we stick to what we have been saying for such a long time that it should be a full cessation of terror before we move to the other phase,” Sharon said. 

He also met with Powell, who was heading to the Middle East Tuesday evening under orders from Bush to urge Arafat to “take better control of his security forces.” 

Sharon was the first Middle East leader Bush invited to the White House after the U.S. election, and while several Arab leaders followed, Arafat has not been invited. There are no plans to invite him, a sign that the United States gives greater weight to Israeli positions. 

Arafat was a frequent visitor when Bill Clinton was president. Palestinians have complained that the Bush administration was favoring Israel. 

Both Bush and Sharon agreed that peace is possible, though they to differed on strategies. At times, Bush seemed to labor in his bid to inject Sharon with a sense of optimism. 

“Progress is being made,” Bush said. “I am here to tell the prime minister, I know there’s a level of frustration, but there is progress being made.” 

Pressed to explain why the administration wants to move to the next step in the Mitchell timeline before violence has ended — and, apparently, before Israel is ready to do so — Bush said, “Both parties will understand when the level of violence has gotten down to the point where there can be some progress. We just want to make sure that there’s a realistic assessment of what is possible on the ground. And we believe that at some point in time we can start the process of Mitchell.” 

Sharon’s reply was immediate: “The Israeli position is that we can negotiate only, and we would like to negotiate only when there will be a full cessation of hostilities, terror, violence and incitement. Otherwise, I don’t think we’ll be able to reach peace.” 


Feds likely to announce sixth interest rate cut

The Associated Press
Wednesday June 27, 2001

WASHINGTON — After cutting interest rates five times in six months, Federal Reserve policy-makers are pondering what more they need to do to restart the ailing economy. 

The Fed’s mid-afternoon announcement is widely expected to be that the central bank is cutting interest rates for a sixth time. But economists on Tuesday were split over whether the Fed will stick with the half-point moves it has been making so far this year or switch to a smaller quarter-point reduction. 

“We know they are going to cut rates, but it will be the closest call this year on just how much,” said David Jones, chief economist at Aubrey G. Lanston & Co. in New York. The Fed’s answer probably will depend on what carries greater weight – recent glimmers that the economy is starting to pull out of its yearlong economic funk or concerns that the recovery could still be derailed if Americans suddenly grow worried about their job prospects and stop spending. Three reports released Tuesday as the central bank began its deliberations all depicted an improving economy but were not enough to lift spirits on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average suffered its third straight losing session, falling 31.74 to close at 10,472.48.  

The Dow had lost more than 100 points on both Monday and Friday as investors fretted about a stream of company profit warnings and layoff announcements. 

The economic indicators were more favorable, however. Consumer confidence rose for a second straight month, orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods from cars to computers jumped by 2.9 percent in May, the biggest gain since February, while sales of new homes rose a solid 0.8 percent with all parts of the country enjoying increases. 

Some analysts said they believed these latest reports would convince the central bank that only a quarter-point cut in rates is needed to assure a solid rebound in the second half of this year, especially in light of recent comments by some Fed members of the potential danger of overdoing the credit easing and spawning inflation problems next year. 

“The Fed is trying to walk a fine line between those who still want more aggressive easing and those who think they may have already done too much,” said Bill Cheney, chief economist at John Hancock Financial Services in Boston.  

Beginning on Jan. 3, the Fed has cut interest rates five times in half-point moves that marked the central bank’s most aggressive credit easing in 19 years. 

Those cuts have pushed the federal funds rate, the interest that banks charge each other, from 6.5 percent down to 4 percent, a move that has been matched by commercial banks, which have lowered their prime lending rate, the benchmark for millions of consumer and business loans, from 9.5 percent down to a seven-year low of 7 percent. 

All those reductions were made in an attempt to jump start a sluggish economy, which has been posting sub-par growth rates for a year. 

Economists who are looking for a sixth half-point cut in rates on Wednesday said they believed the central bank is still not convinced it has done enough to prevent an outright recession, something the country last experienced in 1990-91, the only downturn during Federal Alan Greenspan’s 14 years as Fed chairman. 

“I don’t think Chairman Greenspan wants to take any chances of another recession,” said Sung Won Sohn, chief economist at Wells Fargo in Minneapolis. “He still wants to buy a sizable insurance policy.” 

While economists are split on the size of Wednesday’s rate cut, they are in general agreement that the rate reductions are drawing to a close. 

Jones said he was looking for two more quarter-point rate cuts at the Fed’s next regularly scheduled meetings in August and October, but other analysts said Wednesday’s move may be it for this easing cycle, particularly since consumers will start seeing their tax cut rebate checks next month. 

“The rate cut we see tomorrow could well be the last because the economy should in fact start to show signs of stabilizing during the next two months as the interest rate cuts and tax cuts take hold,” said Lynn Reaser, chief economist at Banc of America Capital Management. 

The Fed got the go-ahead Tuesday for further rate cuts from the International Monetary Fund, which issued its annual report card on the U.S. economy, saying that the Fed had the room to do more if necessary because inflationary pressures have remained well contained. 

The IMF did warn that the strong U.S. dollar could weaken significantly in coming months because of America’s high trade deficits.


Oracle takes on Microsoft with online small business service

The Associated Press
Wednesday June 27, 2001

REDWOOD SHORES — Oracle Corp. Tuesday unveiled a new online service that will lease its software to small businesses in a move designed to bolster the company’s Internet business and challenge archrival Microsoft Corp. 

Oracle, the second largest software company behind Microsoft, will charge $99 per month for online access to a suite of business software applications that will handle a variety of accounting, marketing and administrative chores. 

The service is aimed at companies with fewer than 100 employees — a market that has been largely ignored by Oracle because of the difficulty of making money selling its software to such small accounts. With the expansion, Oracle will be trespassing on territory already staked out by Microsoft, which is trying to sell a similar online package through a site called bCentral.com. BCentral.com has about 100,000 subscribers that pay an average subscription of $30 per month, said Nigel Burton, bCentral’s general manager of sales and marketing. 

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison described his latest foray as a “direct assault” on Microsoft and predicted his service would quickly establish itself as the industry leader. “BCentral is so bad that our biggest fear is that people will think online services won’t work,” Ellison said. 

Burton predicted Oracle’s online service won’t win many converts unless the company pours more research and development into the concept. “We are pleased to see them join us, but we think they are just kind of putting a foot in the water here. We don’t see them as much of a threat,” Burton said. Neither Oracle nor Microsoft is particularly well-equipped to sell software to small businesses, said industry analyst Lora Cecere of Gartner, a research firm. But Cecere thinks Microsoft put itself in a better position by buying the expertise of Great Plains Software for $1.1 billion in April. 

Fargo, N.D.-based Great Plains specializes in selling accounting software to small and medium-sized businesses. Oracle is relying on an Internet start-up called NetLedger to market its online service to small businesses. Ellison owns a majority stake in the privately held NetLedger and is the company’s primary “intellectual investor,” said NetLedger CEO Evan Goldberg. 

Oracle’s “message sounds appealing, but Oracle says a lot of things that the company doesn’t deliver on,” Cecere said. “They will find that this (small business) market doesn’t have a lot of patience if something doesn’t work right.” 

Oracle’s software applications have received mixed reviews from analysts, who say many big business customers are having trouble making the package work properly. Ellison insists Oracle’s e-business applications are running smoothly at major corporations such as Ford Motor, General Electric and Alcoa. 

The mini-showdown between the world’s two largest software companies comes at a time when Oracle and Microsoft are moving in opposite directions. 

Oracle is trying to reverse a recent sales slump that has contributed to a 37 percent decline in its stock so far this year. The company’s shares added 67 cents Tuesday to close at $18.44. 

Meanwhile, Microsoft is rebounding from an antitrust case that culminated last year in a court decision ordering the company’s break up. Investors appear more optimistic that the breakup order will be reversed in appeals court. Microsoft’s shares climbed $1.29 Tuesday to close at $70.14, leaving the stock with a 62 percent gain so far this year. 

——— 

On The Net: 

http://www.oracle.com 

http://www.microsoft.com 

http://www.bcentral.com 

http://www.netledger.com 


Council set to OK $449 million budget

By John Geluardi
Tuesday June 26, 2001

The city manager and the City Council will attempt to iron out differences in funding proposals this afternoon before approving Berkeley’s $449 million two-year budget at a special council meeting. 

The council is bound by the City Charter to adopt a budget prior to the June 30 close of the fiscal year. 

The proposed budget does not cut funding to any existing programs or departments except the Berkeley Housing Authority where reductions are required to address a budget deficit of $300,000. In fact, some programs, which were given priority status by the council, will receive increased funding. 

High on the council’s list of priorities were safety issues including police staffing, the Hills Fire Station construction and disaster preparedness. Other priorities include energy conservation, response to health disparities, the Live Oak Park Recreation Center and the Eastshore Park Plan. 

The proposed two-year budget is about $22 million more than the previous biennial budget. It is larger than projected revenues by about $5 million for fiscal year 2001-2002 and $18 million for the following year.  

Deputy City Manager Phil Kamlarz said the discrepancies are within normal ranges because the proposed budget cannot reflect some grants and funds carried over from previous years, which should make up the shortfalls in revenue projections. 

Mayor Shirley Dean and Councilmember Dona Spring have both submitted  

proposals that differ slightly from the city manager’s.  

“There’s not a lot of difference in the city manager’s budget and the proposals from the mayor and Councilmember Spring. We should be able to tweak it just enough to get agreement,” Kamlarz said. 

For example, the mayor proposed $48,000 for the Healthy Start Program at Rosa Parks school, while Spring proposed $34,000 for the program. The city manager put $48,000 for the program into his budget proposal. Dean proposed $143,000 for arts grants, while Spring proposed $70,000. The city manager wrote $100,000 into his proposed budget for arts grants. 

After receiving recommendations from councilmembers on June 12, and hearing requests from several organizations at a public budget hearing last Tuesday, the city manager made adjustments to his proposal on Monday.  

To help close the gap between proposals and requests from organizations, he added about $51,000 of funding for various nonprofit programs including the Tinkers’ Workshop, Through the Looking Glass and the Young Artists’ Workshop. 

The city manager’s budget includes one-time funding of $1.6 million for anticipated payouts of sick time to public safety personal who are expected to retire in the coming year under the newly negotiated 3 Percent at 50 Program, which allows police and fire personnel to retire at age 50 and collect 3 percent of their salary for every year they were employed by the city, according to Kamlarz.  

“About 40 percent of the police department will be eligible to retire in the coming year and we don’t know how many are going to take the option,” he said.  

An increase to a recurring program is $900,000 to the citywide response to the energy crisis and $400,000 for Fire Department overtime. 

Kamlarz said there has been extraordinary agreement between the councilmembers and the city manager this year. He said part of the reason is the early priority setting sessions that took place in March. 

“The last budget was the first time we used the priority setting process and this time it worked much better,” he said. “I think we learned a lot from our mistakes.” 

Councilmember Mim Hawley agreed. “This is my first budget, but from what I’m hearing this one is going relatively smoothly,” she said. “But of course we still have to get through tomorrow’s meeting.” 

Hawley said the budget is a good one that reflects the local character. “I’m considered fiscally responsible and I have to say there are an awful lot of good funding proposals for nonprofits in the arts and for programs that help seniors and the disabled,” she said. “This budget reflects the people of Berkeley.”


Forum

Tuesday June 26, 2001

Keep large vehicles off streets  

 

Editor: 

The tone of your 6-21 lead article "Pedestrian death…" is distressingly familiar. A vehicle inflicted death is countered with calls for pedestrian protection, sidewalk safety, etc. No apparent thought that the emphasis is skewed, that Jayne Ash was simply crossing a street, her safety supposedly assured by the traffic signal; that she suffered death for no greater fault than an insufficiently developed sense of traffic paranoia. How naïve; she actually seemed to think that cities are primarily for people, that a green light signaled her safety. 

The driver who hurled her into death simply rolled through the intersection, not even aware that he had snuffed the existence of a lovely, vibrant young woman. And we; how odd that we simply accept her death as though it had been inflicted by lightning strike or earthquake, rather than by a bumbling behemouth of commerce.  

Can we observe Jayne’s death by no more significant action than a rather mild request for improved safety, for some sort of assurance that we may negotiate our streets without fear of death? Why is there no anger, no rising outrage at such an incident? 

For several days after her death the corner outside Berkeley Espresso bore flowers; the pole that supports the (ineffectual) traffic signals carried messages of love and grief. The flowers faded, withered, were swept away. Will our bland, meek acceptance condemn her to a random, meaningless death? Is our love and grief so miniscule we can do no better than this? 

Why do we tolerate these juggernauts on our streets? How difficult would it be to implement a loading dock in the industrial sector of town to load and unload these freeway monsters, a fleet of shuttles to deliver to and from retailers? 

Ah but the cost, proclaim the politicos. Yes, the cost. The first installment might come from the funds already allocated for downtown parking.  

Supposedly still under discussion, we hear. Anyone doubt the outcome of that discussion. And if a hole is dug under the city park on MLK to store empty automobiles, history informs us that two years later the same cry will be raised: more parking is needed, or we will strangle our downtown merchants  

But the contemporary news from Florida and other east coast locales indicates excluding cars revitalizes business; not more but less parking seems the key to merchant health.  

Not to mention the health of the rest of us. We all want to travel in our private capsules, separated from our fellows by an aggregate of 3 tons of steel; we all want to abandon them at will, without endless prowling for parking. Could Jayne Ash’s death be telling us that we are all wrong? 

Could our politicians but hear my voice as clearly as they do the mercantile forces to which they seem endlessly subservient, we would exclude monster vehicles from the streets we send our children out to negotiate. There would be a terminal outside our residential areas, and it would be named the Jayne Ash Memorial Truck Transport Terminus. 

 

Donald Schweter 

Berkeley 

 

Pedestrian crossings: a daily drama 

 

Editor: 

Regarding your front page story of June 21, (vol.3 issue 62). Once again (c.f. March 28 vol. 2 issue 297) you have done a public service by keeping current on the deplorable lack of police acting to stop drivers who run red lights and who speed up when nearing pedestrian crossings to avoid having to stop for people crossing the street – if indeed they DO stop. 

If you are looking for excitement there is no need to go to some bloody shoot-em-in-the-face-etc.-movie, just sit near the pedestrian crossing between the French Hotel and the Post Office across the street on Shattuck Ave. and watch the hits and near misses of potential killer drivers. 

KEEP HOPE ALIVE ....that some day pedestrians will be safe in Berkeley, 

 

Max Stec 

Berkeley 

 

 

McVeigh shows there’s a moral crisis in U.S.  

 

Editor: 

Yes! He was a murderer, but he was also a decorated-for-bravery soldier who was trained to kill and he applied what he learned to do a terrible, inexcusable and unthinkable thing. 

But it was his ghastly, lethal way to respond to what he saw as inexcusable federal government violence in Waco, Texas and Ruby Ridge in Idaho against women, children and the elderly. 

Neither Timothy McVeigh nor anyone else saw or sees what the news starting on April 19, 1995, as a case of an American terrorist waging war against a rogue nation; a nation that sent 58,168 young American GI’s to fight and die in tiny Vietnam for what? A nation whose school children, it’s no exaggeration to point out, teach their teachers a lesson by shooting them between their eyes when confronted by a rule that’s not to their liking, or pair up to conduct a massacre that includes themselves as two did at Columbine High School in Colorado? 

One retired professor of social ethics and philosophy at a school of theology in Missouri writes that “most U.S. citizens accept their government’s view of ‘rogue states’ because the major news media parrot the Pentagon’s point of view.  

However, in nearly every case of suspected terrorism (in much of the world), the United States was in fact the original aggressor, using its own form of aggression to which the ‘rogue states’ were responding.” 

If we as a nation cannot now take Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words seriously when he says, in New York’s Riverside Church in 1967.  

“The Americans are forcing even their friends into becoming their enemies. It is curious that they, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat.  

The image of America will never again be the image of violence and militarism,” and act on those words.  

The lesson to be learned from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing will not have been heeded, and we’ll sadly be forced to say that the 168 lives of innocent children, women and men, and obviously, as well as bafflingly guilty Timothy McVeigh’s were lost in vain. 

Our Missouri theologian believes; “Everyone, including Americans, would benefit from a prosperous, peaceful world.” And to his question “is this likely to ever happen?” he says, “not until the citizens and government officials of the United States put aside our collective ego at being a ‘superpower’ and seek for others the goals and values we seek for ourselves”. 

Hear this from the Auxiliary Bishop of the archdiocese of Detroit, Thomas J. Gumbleton “the evil we are evoking is the end of the world and the loss of our souls. Confronting this is the greatest spiritual question of our time.”  

We need to seek, listen, speak out and act! We need to condemn President Bush’s condemnation of the ABM treaty and promise of a wider discredited missile shield. 

When 673 law professors from 137 law schools in the United States declare that the five U.S. Supreme Court justices who voted to stop the recount of votes in Florida last December intentionally acted as political proponents for candidate Bush, not as ethical judges, we need to be aware that there’s a moral crisis in the U.S.A. that needs to be addressed. 

 

Al Williams 

Oakland 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

653-4012 

 

 

Dear Editor, 

 

Recently returned to our regular world of ups and downs and smooth and rough roads, I want to share some thoughts from my last six months of separateness and sadness. 

I am grateful that it lasted only six months as compared to a previous eighteen month period. I am grateful that I had already learned the value of medication and did not resisnt too long the need for change. 

I benefited from the loving patience and concern of my family and a few close friends and from the professional and library resourses of Kaiser Permanente Mediacal Center. I benefited from The Zen Path through Depression by Philip Martin, a gift from one of my sons. I benefited from a part time job which pays me to walk, that most heathy of physical activities. 

I know the City of Berkeley and Alta Bates Mediacal Center have Mental Health Services and the Berkeley Public Library has books on the subject. 

Even as I found myself increasingly unable to want to be with people, I clung tenuously to some kind of prayer life and some kind of worship. One of my ministers sent me the following poem by May Sarton. Consider it my “glad to be back” greeting to all of you. 

HOPEFUL GARDENERS 

Help us to be the always hopeful 

Gardeners of the spirit 

Who know that without darkness 

Nothing comes to birth 

As without light 

Nothing flowers 

 

Bill Trampleasure 

Berkeley


Sabrina Forkish and Guy Poole
Tuesday June 26, 2001


Tuesday, June 26

 

Saranel Benjamin of  

Globalization 

7 p.m. 

Oakland YMCA 

1515 Webster Street, Oakland 

Saranel Benjamin, trade unionist from South Africa, will discuss the impact of corporate globalization on South African workers. Sponsored by Berkeley’s Women of Color Resource Center. 

848-9272 

 

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 Don, 525-3565 

 

Redistricting Hearing 

7 - 9 p.m. 

South Berkeley Senior Center 

2939 Ellis Street 

Part of the last week of redistricting hearings for 2001. Hosted by Supervisor Keith Carson. 

272-6695 

 


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 

 

Disaster Council 

7 p.m. 

Emergency Operations Center 

997 Cedar Street 

Update on Measure G. 

644-8736 

 

Socratic Circle Discussion 

5 p.m. 

Cafe Electica 

1309 Solano Avenue 

Gather for espresso and discussion at the “green” teen cafe. Open to all. Free. 

527-2344 

 


Thursday, June 28

 

Quit Smoking Class 

6 - 8 p.m. 

South Berkeley Senior Center 

2939 Ellis Street 

A six week quit smoking class. Free to Berkeley residents and employees. 

Call 644-6422 or e-mail at: quitnow@ci.berkeley.ca.us 

 

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. 

 

Pink Slip Party  

and Career Mixer 

6 - 9 p.m. 

Pyramid Brewery and Alehouse 

901 Gilman Street 

Meet with East Bay job seekers while listening to music by DJ and Emcee Marty Nemko. Also, cash bar, free hors d’oeurves, and prize giveaways. Free and open to the public. Call 251-1401. 

www.eastbaytechjobs.com/mixer/ 

 

Take the Terror Out  

of Talking! 

Noon to 1:30 p.m. 

California Dept. of Health Services 

2151 Berkeley Way 

Room 804 

Open house at State Health Toastmasters Club to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Free. 649-7750 

 


Friday, June 29

 

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.  

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: Arts, Herstory  

and Literature 

1:15 - 3:15 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center  

1901 Hearst Ave. 

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  

 

Carefree/Carfree Tour 

3 p.m. 

Sather Gate 

UC Berkeley 

Telegraph at Bancroft 

Walking tour from Sather Gate to People’s Park entitled “Berkeley in the Sixties.” Led by Free Speech veterans and Berkeley residents Kate Coleman and Michael Rossman, the tour will include important locations and discussions of the Free Speech movement, the Vietnam Day Committee, the rise of affirmative action, and other events and movements. Free. 486-04 11  

 


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  

 

Bonfire III: Stories and  

Songs By the Sea 

7:30 p.m. 

Berkeley Marina 

Spinnaker Way, near Olympic Circle Sailing Club 

Come for Havdala and share stories, sing and watch the flames dance. Bring food and drink to share, kosher s’mores provided. 

848-0237 

 

Know Your Rights 

11 - 2 p.m. 

2022 Blake St. 

Copwatch workshop: Learn what your rights are when dealing with the police. Special section on juvenile rights. 548-0425 

 

Bay Area Eco-Crones 

11 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

1066 Creston Road 

Networking, information sharing, project planning and ritual.  

Call ahead, 874-4935. 

Sunday, July 1 

Buddhist Psychology 

6 p.m. 

Tibetan Nyingma Institute 

1815 Highland Place 

Annette Anderson on “Insights from Buddhist Psychology.” Free. 

843-6812 

 

Jazz on the Pier 

11 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

Berkeley Pier  

The Christy Dana Quartet performs on the Berkeley Pier at the foot of University Ave. and Seawall Dr. The CDQ ensemble led by trumpeter and jazz educator Christy Dana with the Bay as a backdrop. Bring your folding chairs, sunblock and jackets. Free.  

AC Transit Bus 51M 

649-3929 

 

Music and Meditation 

8 - 9 p.m. 

The Heart-Road Traveller 

1828 Euclid Avenue 

Group meditation using instrumental music and devotional songs. Free. 

496-3468 

 


Monday, July 2

 

James Joyce Conference 

9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 

Clark Kerr Campus 

2601 Warring Street 

Part of a week-long conference entitled “Extreme Joyce/Readings On the Edge.” Today includes panels on Ulysses, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Finnegans Wake, and Joyce in the Classroom. From 4 - 5:30 p.m. workshops and reading groups on Teaching Joyce. $15 - $25. 

642-2754  

 


Tuesday, July 3

 

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 Don, 525-3565 

 

James Joyce Conference 

9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 

Clark Kerr Campus 

2601 Warring Street 

Part of a week-long conference entitled “Extreme Joyce/Readings On the Edge.” Today includes panel on Finnegans Wake as well as looking at issues such as Joyce and carnality, computers, border-crossings, and cinema. From 4 - 5:30 p.m. workshops and reading groups on Teaching Joyce. $15 - $25. 

642-2754  

 


Wednesday, July 4

 

Ice Cream Social 

Noon - 2 p.m. 

Lawrence Hall of Science 

UC Berkeley 

Part of the Lawrence Hall of Science Wednesday FUN-days. Bring your own picnic, ice cream provided by LHS. Free museum admission today with a library card, regular admission $3 - $7. 

642-5132  

 

4th of July at the Berkeley Marina 

Noon - 10 p.m. 

Bring your family for an exciting day. Picnic on great international food, hit the beach, take a free sailboat ride, get your face painted or a massage. Decorate your bike at the Shorebird Nature Center and participate in the Decorated Bicycle Parade at 7 p.m. Visit Madame Ovary’s egg puppets and Adventure Playground all day or the Wacky Art Cars. Dance to Southbound or Zambombazo 2-5 p.m.; Bird Legg and the Tite Fit Blues Band 5-7 p.m.; Kollasuyo 5-7 p.m.; MotorDude Zydeco 7-9 p.m. Fireworks at dusk. No personal fireworks allowed. An alcohol-free event. Cars in by 7 p.m. when street closes to traffic, out only after 10 p.m. Free admission. Sponsored by the City of Berkeley. 

548-5335 

 

Berkeley Communicator Toastmasters Club 

7:15 a.m. 

Vault Cafe 

3250 Adeline 

Learn to speak with confidence. Ongoing first and third Wednesdays each month. 

527-2337 

 


’60s films shown in special screening

By Peter Crimmins
Tuesday June 26, 2001

This summer’s 40th anniversary of the Bay Area’s champion of avant-garde film art, the San Francisco Cinematheque, will be celebrated with screenings of selected favorite films at the San Francisco Art Institute and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. 

Joining in the anniversary will be the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, which will show a special program of experimental films, circa 1967. 

Tonight at 7:30, the PFA will screen films by Bruce Baillie (“Castro Street”), Stan Brakhage (“Songs 6,7,8 and 16”), Bruce Conner (“A Movie”), Robert Nelson (“Oh Dem Watermelons”), and Jud Talmut (“Turn Turn Turn”). This program is significant because it is a re-creation of a film program 34 years ago, at a pivotal time in S.F. Cinematheque history. 

First, we have to go back a few years further, to 1960. 

Bruce Baillie was an artist discovering film, living rent-free in a room in Canyon. “I had no occupation,” he said in a 1989 interview. “I couldn’t get a job anywhere. So, I thought, I’ll invent my own occupation.” He landed a job at Safeway to pay for a projector, set up an Army surplus screen in his backyard, and began to hold weekly screenings of his films, his friends’ films, and just about anything made of celluloid that he could thread through the projector. He called it “Canyon Cinema.”  

The screenings slowly became more popular, at a time when the avant-garde community became more and more at risk. This is the era when Michael McClure’s risqué stage production of “The Beard” was nightly raided by police in San Francisco’s North Beach, when Jack Smith’s campy romp film “Flaming Creatures” couldn’t be legally screened in New York City, and when Lenny Bruce’s obscenity battles began. The climate was frowning upon those on the fringe. 

“This was prerevolution times,” Baillie recalled. “Berkeley was quite conservative in the early ’60s. They just didn’t like the spirit of it.” With his partner Chick Strand he began holding screenings of local work and feature-length narrative films at a variety of places around the Bay Area, wherever a host would have them. 

As the community of filmmakers surrounding Baillie’s screenings grew and their energy gained momentum, they realized Canyon could evolve into a distribution organization. In 1966 Filmmaker Robert Nelson spearheaded an effort to found an organization modeled after a New York City distribution co-operative called Filmmaker’s Co-operative. The Canyon distribution co-op was designed to safely and cost-effectively get films into screening venues that would have them. “Your films are made of love,” Nelson wrote in the Canyon newsletter, “Cinemanews.” “Don’t put them into the hands of people who are in the business of selling love.” 

Which brings us to 1967, when Edith Kramer was hired as the manager of the Canyon Co-op. The organization had just moved into the basement offices of a desanctified church on Union Street in San Francisco and Kramer noticed the unused space above. She got the idea to exhibit films in the church.  

Tonight’s film program at the Pacific Film Archive represents the first film series – named “Canyon Cinematheque” – at the then-newly opened Intersection Theater. 

In the coming years, Canyon Cinematheque and the distribution co-op would split. Edith Kramer would eventually become the director of the Pacific Film Archive, and Canyon Cinematheque would become San Francisco Cinematheque. 

Kramer said she is proud to have been a part of Canyon. “Not much has survived from the ’60s,” she said of Canyon’s longevity. “It’s vital.” 

Tonight’s re-visiting of the 1967 program shows a body of work that attests to the serious technical and emotional intent of film artists. Bruce Baillie’s “Castro Street” was lauded in art and film circles as a tour de force of filmmaking virtuosity in the service of cinematic poetry. 

A 10-minute film of images gathered from a train-switching yard in Richmond (not the Castro Street of Gay Pride fame), “Castro Street” uses abstractions of overlapping and image matting to achieve a metaphysical consciousness. In Baillie’s words, “the strength or conflict of becoming.” 

Filmmaker Larry Booth wrote to Canyon’s Cinemanews in 1967: “Although most would deny it, many films are technique games, that is, the art of the technical. In the case of “Castro Street,” the images appear to be very carefully thought out and techniques used only as an instrument to bring them to the viewer. This is as it should be.”


District looks for way to maintain school diversity

By Ben Lumpkin
Tuesday June 26, 2001

“It’s show time. A decision must be made.” 

When U.S. District Judge William Orrick uttered these words in December 1999, demanding that the San Francisco school district stop taking race into consideration when it assigned students to schools, school board members in Berkeley took notice. 

The first public school system in the country to voluntarily desegregate in 1968, Berkeley Unified has long had policies in place to ensure that the racial diversity at each individual school site very nearly approximates the racial diversity of the district’s total enrollment; in other words, policies that take race “into consideration” when assigning students to schools. 

This is how it came to be, for example, that both Cragmont and Washington elementary schools – schools located in neighborhoods with very different demographics – had student bodies that were 28 percent white in the 1999-2000 school year. 

Or how Emerson Elementary school came to have, in that same year, an enrollment that was 42 percent African American and 27 percent white, despite being located at some distance from neighborhoods where African American households are numerous. 

Berkeley Unified’s latest desegregation policy, put in place in the mid-’90s, assigns students to schools so that the percentage of white, African American and “Other Ethnicity” students at each school comes within 5 percent of matching the districtwide percentages for these categories. 

It could be argued that such a policy is illegal. And the argument may be made sooner rather than later. 

Catherine James, associate superintendent of support services for the district, said at least one conservative legal group has made inquiries that could indicate it is considering bringing a case against the Berkeley district.“We are so outspoken about our desire to have a desegregated district,” James said. “We could be a likely target.” 

Adding to the district’s anxieties is the fact that they fall under the jurisdiction of the very U.S. district court where Orrick handed down his 1999 decision. There are differences between the San Francisco district and the Berkeley District of course, but still... 

Last spring, anticipating the day when a federal judge said to them: “It’s showtime,” the district moved to appoint representatives from each of its elementary and middle schools to a Student Assignment Advisory Committee. The committee was charged with beginning to look at alternative student assignment policies that do not take race “into consideration.” 

But after meeting several times and soliciting public input, the committee reported back to the district late last year with its conclusion: keep the current policy. The committee essentially determined that racial integration of schools is so popular in Berkeley that the district ought to be ready to take a stand in court before it considers changing the policy, James said. 

The board didn’t exactly agree. So, in a compromise of sorts, the committee has spent the last six months further exploring student assignment policies that could promote diverse schools without explicitly taking race into consideration, while it simultaneously looked at ways to make the district’s current policy more legally defensible.  

It presented its most recent findings at last week’s school board meeting.  

The board might base student assignment on student’s socio-economic status rather than on race, and achieve a similar diversifying effect, the committee argued. But it could also do so if it found that socio-economic diversity was desirable in and of itself. Any policy whose goal is to maintain racial diversity, whether it does so by use of “racial quotas” or not, is unlikely to stand up in court, according to Advisory Committee Co-chair Derick Miller, incoming president of Berkeley’s PTA Council.  

Furthermore, there are inherent difficulties in the socio-economic approach, Miller said, such as finding reliable ways to determine students’ household income. 

In terms of defending the district’s current policy, the committee presented statistical information to the board that could begin to make a compelling case that education resources are spread equally among Berkeley schools, and that the quality of education the schools provide is also largely equal.  

According to board Director Joaquin Rivera, there are some legal precedents that suggest public school districts can get away with using race in student assignment policies so long as no ethnic group can make the case that it is harmed by such a policy, as might be the case if the policy increased the likelihood that children of a particular ethnicity were assigned to an inferior school. 

“In Berkeley, no student in the district would be harmed if he’s assigned to ‘x’ school instead of ‘y’ school,” Rivera said. 

In the months ahead, the Student Advisory Assignment Committee will continue to compile statistics related to the “equity” of Berkeley schools, including statistics on student achievement, after school programs, and parent education levels. 

 


Thai community dedicates temple

By Matt Lorenz
Tuesday June 26, 2001

Sundays are usually pretty crowded at Wat Mongkolratanaram, Berkeley’s Thai Buddhist temple, but this Sunday there were more people than usual.  

After 25 years at 1911 Russell St. – where on Sundays Thai cooks donate and serve traditional food at affordable prices to raise money for the temple – the Thai community unveiled and dedicated its newly-renovated temple. 

“We’re celebrating our 25th year in the Bay Area,” said Doug Coffee, a temple volunteer who lives in Fairfax. “We bought an old Victorian home and got permission from the city to upgrade it. We have spent over $600,000 in renovating this house and making it the way it looks right now.” 

In January 1999, the city approved the temple’s petition to substantially renovate the building, so it could be made an authentic ubosoth, or Buddhist temple of worship. The renovations were completed this year.  

The house’s look from the outside is ornate with gold adornments that front the peaks of this Victorian, and are probably not what the original designer envisioned.  

But out on Russell Street – with people walking their dogs and toting their Sunday morning coffee, wondering what all the excitement is about and finding young, luminous Thai monks wrapped in bright or burnt orange saffron to tell them – somehow everything seems to fit. 

“You see a lot of people here today, all the parking out front’s gone, and it’s all for this celebration of the 25th year,” Coffee said. “We’ve got the high ambassador from Washington coming here today. The mayor of Berkeley will be here today. Members of the Thai embassy in L.A. will be here today.” 

Coffee estimated that there are more than 60,000 Thai people in the Bay Area. “At one time or another everybody comes to this temple,” Coffee said.  

Congregants and visitors filed into chairs set beneath a tent for the outdoor ceremony, and after the ribbon cutting. There was Thai classical dance, authentic traditional food and desserts, and lots of liveliness throughout the day.  

Alison McKleroy said she thought the day’s festivities were terrific, but not so unlike the other Sundays she’s come to the temple. 

“The place is always full and kind of magical,” McKleroy said. “I’ve been coming here for six or seven years. They have this every Sunday, and it’s the best Thai food in the Bay Area.” 

It’s usually a word of mouth sort of thing, McKleroy said.  

“It’s always fun to ask other people, ‘How did you hear about the Thai temple?’ You’re always introduced by a friend, and as soon as you come, you want to take all your friends and at the same time, keep it a secret.” 

There are other opportunities, Coffee said, for members of the public to gain something from what the temple offers.  

“They teach Thai every Sunday and they teach the children how to dance,” Coffee said. “We have classes going all year round, and the teachers are all volunteers.” 

Though most of the people you’d see at the Thai Buddhist temple on any given Sunday are volunteers or visitors, you’ll also find its modest leaders walking around quickly and gently, smiling. 

“The monks are the leaders of the temple,” Coffee said. 

The five monks who presently reside at the temple live in the small, garagelike buildings out behind it. Their stomachs are usually as bare as their heads, since their daily fast begins every day at noon and lasts until the next morning. 

Sunday is the day they lead the Thai Buddhist community in religious celebration. The feast every Sunday, to which all are invited, is a way of welcome. 


‘Golden rice’ remains years from reality

The Associated Press
Tuesday June 26, 2001

SAN DIEGO — “Golden rice” has come to represent all the hopes and fears about biotechnology, but despite all the controversy, not a single genetically engineered rice seed has been planted in the ground, its inventors said Monday. 

It will probably take another five to 10 years before poor subsistence farmers can begin growing the crop in large amounts, and that’s “if everything goes right,” said Ronald Cantrell, executive director of the International Rice Research Institute. 

Its many proponents see the rice, infused with two daffodil genes and a bacteria gene to add vitamin A, as a panacea for starving populations in developing nations where rice is a staple. 

Traditional rice lacks vitamin A, and as many as two million children die each year because of vitamin A deficiencies. Another 500,000 go blind.  

Biotechnology researchers say genetic engineering is the only practical way to fortify the rice. 

“It was clear from the beginning that biotech was needed instead of typical crop breeding,” Swiss plant cell professor Peter Beyer, one of the two inventors of golden rice, said Monday at the annual Biotechnology Industry Organization conference.  

“No rice anywhere has vitamin A.” 

Opponents call it science run amok. They say no plants should be genetically changed to include elements of other organisms, and particularly not rice. Once the plants are released into the environment, cross-pollination with traditional rice could have unpredictable long-term impacts on the food billions of people eat every day. 

“The purported benefits of golden rice are completely fabricated,” said Brian Tokar, a member of Biojustice, a group opposed to genetic engineering. 

Tokar dismissed the golden rice project as merely a public relations ploy to improve biotech’s media image. 

“The way to cure blindness and hunger should not come from big agribusiness,” he said. 

Still others praise the science but say the distribution system is flawed — that governments and nonprofit agencies are too big and bureaucratic to properly handle getting the seeds to poor farmers once the product is perfected. 

Villoo Morawala-Patel, who owns an India biotech start-up that works on the aroma of Indian rice, says golden rice’s keepers should turn to companies like hers to help distribute the seeds. 

Still, Beyer and other major supporters of the rice cautioned that years of fine-tuning must be done before poor subsistence farmers will be able to use it on a wide scale.  

Today, golden rice is grown only in a few greenhouses, including at the Rice Research Institute’s headquarters in the Philippines. 

“Golden rice is still in the developmental stages and a lot of work is still needed to get into the fields,” said Sivramiah Shantharam, a spokesman for Syngenta, which owns the commercial rights to the rice. 

First order of business: engineering the rice to survive in the tropical climates where it can benefit the most, such as Asia, which grows 500 million tons of traditional rice annually.  

Right now, the golden rice can only grow in temperate climates such as California’s.  

Cantrell said it will probably take three years for the research institute to develop a rice that can grow in the Philippines. 

Beyer and co-inventor Ingo Potrykus also are working on genetically fortifying the rice with iron and vitamin E. 

Critics argue that even vitamin-fortified rice will come nowhere close to easing the world’s hunger pains, and that people would need to eat dozens of pounds of golden rice a day to meet their daily vitamin needs. 

Consequently, the two European scientists are also having problems raising the needed capital to continue their work. Public funding in Europe also is dwindling in part because of the outcry there over genetically modified foods. 

“Elected officials are quite reluctant to fund us,” Beyer said. 

So Beyer has turned some of his attention to private companies, partnering recently with Syngenta, which agreed to allow governments and nonprofit agencies to freely distribute golden rice throughout the poorest countries.  

Syngenta hopes to generate its profits in industrialized countries such as the United States, if the rice meets regulatory approval. 

Beyer is meeting with other scientists this week to prepare a pitch for more research money from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  

Currently, the Rockefeller Foundation funds Beyer’s work and has promised to do so for the next 18 months, he said. 

Outside the convention center Monday, police outnumbered protesters. The crowd of protesters listening to music, dancing and performing street theater numbered no more than 50 — at times even less. 

Elsewhere, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals staged a protest at a Burger King restaurant in the nearby city of Mira Mesa.  

Police there also outnumbered the 80 protesters who turned up. Two demonstrators were arrested after they stood on the counter and made speeches.


GOP issues could delay state budget vote

The Associated Press
Tuesday June 26, 2001

SACRAMENTO — Like triple-digit heat, a stalemate over the state budget is virtually an assured summer event at the state Capitol. 

And with shaky state finances and political tempers frayed by a statewide power crisis, the deadlock is about to begin again over a $101 billion state budget that is supposed to take effect Sunday. 

Senators are to debate the budget Tuesday evening. 

Republican lawmakers are demanding a handful of terms, including a constitutional amendment on transportation funding and a quarter-cent sales tax cut. 

Without those terms, they say, they will withhold the one Senate and four Assembly votes that place the fate of the budget of a Democrat-controlled state in the hands of the GOP minority. 

“We haven’t reached agreement on the priorities,” said Assembly Republican Leader Dave Cox, R-Fair Oaks. 

A special legislative budget committee approved a $101 billion spending plan early Saturday, after three weeks of intense negotiations among Democratic lawmakers and Gov. Gray Davis’ office. 

Senate President Pro Tem John Burton, D-San Francisco, said the Senate plans to take up the budget Tuesday night, followed by the Assembly on Wednesday. Department of Finance officials say they plan a bill signing by week’s end. 

Legislative leaders say at least one of the GOP issues – the transportation compromise – may be quickly resolved. 

Davis and a legislative budget committee agreed to defer for two years a plan to use gas tax revenues for transportation programs. Instead, $2.5 billion over the next two budget years would flow into the general fund to help make up for sagging revenues. 

Republicans say they will only agree to diverting the fund if Democrats agree to ask voters to require that the gasoline tax revenues be used for streets, highways and transit projects in the future. 

“That transportation issue could be worth discussing,” Burton said. 

More divisive, however, is the quarter-cent sales tax cut that is automatically triggered when the state’s treasury is full. 

GOP lawmakers said they will not vote for a budget that fails to preserve that quarter-cent sales tax cut, which went into effect in January.  

State law automatically triggers the cut if the reserves remain above 4 percent of the state budget for two years in a row. 

The budget approved by the committee assumes the quarter-cent cut will end in January and bring in $600 million to the state in the 2001-02 fiscal year. 

Another of the Republicans budget issues, the level of the state’s rainy-day fund, has been resolved. GOP lawmakers called for larger reserves than the $1.1 billion Davis called for in his May budget revision. 

Davis increased that request to $2.5 billion to $3 billion after analysts reported that the state could be strapped with billions in deficits in two years. 

In response, the committee trimmed new spending proposals in education, foster care and health programs to set aside $2.2 billion. 

On the Net: See various budget summaries at www.lao.ca.gov and www.dof.ca.gov


Billions at stake as power talks start

The Associated Press
Tuesday June 26, 2001

Efforts to settle claims from the California power crisis got under way Monday, as Western states accused power-generating companies of overcharging them by $15 billion in the past year. 

Michael Kahn, California’s chief negotiator, said the $9 billion in refunds his state claims it is owed should be the first order of business for Curtis L. Wagner, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s chief administrative law judge, who is serving as mediator for the talks. 

“We want our refunds. We want them now,” said Kahn, chairman of the California Independent System Operator, which manages the state’s power grid. 

Other Western states, mainly in the Pacific Northwest, said overcharges to them amount to $6 billion. 

The states claim that the companies unfairly drove up prices to take advantage of a power shortage. Prices frequently surpassed $300 a megawatt-hour, ten times what they were in 1999. One megawatt is enough to power about 750 homes. 

The power companies argue that the charges were justified.  

In some cases, older, more costly power plants were pressed into service to deal with the high demand and tight supply. 

Wagner, who has said that refunds in any settlement probably would not exceed $2.5 billion, urged all sides to be conciliatory.  

He said a brokered settlement should be preferable to a plan crafted by federal regulators. 

He said he was not discouraged by the states’ hard line in the early going. “Everybody has to stick to their guns for a while,” Wagner said after the first day of talks. 

More than 150 people representing about six dozen entities gathered in a government hearing room for negotiations.  

The talks were part of a federal order last week extending price controls on spot power sales in California and imposing limits in 10 other Western states. 

 

 

Wagner laid out several issues negotiators will have to tackle, including how much generators are owed for power they supplied to California without getting paid. 

The size of the refunds and the unpaid bills “must be, both ways, resolved at the outset to put everyone on the same playing field,” Wagner said. Any settlement probably would also have to answer whether the generators should have immunity from existing and future lawsuits, as well as prosecution, he said. 

Other issues on the table include: 

— Additional long-term power contracts, reducing the amount of power California would have to purchase on the volatile spot market. 

— Ensuring a credit-worthy party to pay for power. 

— Natural gas prices and pipeline capacity, particularly in Southern California. 

— The independence of the board that governs the Independent System Operator. 

— The bankruptcy of Pacific Gas & Electric. 

Wagner wore a gray business suit and sat among the parties, foregoing both his robes and his seat on the dais, to emphasize his role as a broker in the talks. 

Reporters sat in on Wagner’s opening statement and a marathon introduction in which some 150 people stated their names and their employers. 

“If we had known there would be so many people here, we would have sold tickets,” Wagner said. 

The attendees included representatives from California and a dozen city and county governments, investor-owned and municipal utilities, power generators and natural gas companies. 

After the introductions, Wagner closed the meeting to the public, ordering the participants not to talk to reporters during the negotiations. He even pledged to shred his copy of the notes that a court reporter will transcribe each day. 

FERC mandated that the talks last no more than 15 days. Wagner can request more time if he feels progress is being made. 

——— 

On the Net: 

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: http://www.ferc.gov/ 


Neighborhood fights to keep coastal town alive

The Associated Press
Tuesday June 26, 2001

AVILA BEACH — A 12-year fight is over for a handful of residents bent on sparing this once-doomed 50-acre oasis on the central California coast from oblivion. 

In its heyday, the village of Avila Beach attracted beachgoers and tourists by the thousands with its Bohemian charm and sun-soaked sands. 

But lurking beneath the enclave was a spreading petroleum plume from damaged oil pipelines that threatened the health and safety of its 350 residents. 

The village had to be destroyed in 1999 to save it. 

Now, the three-block-long, three-block-wide town is rising from the goo — thanks to the perseverance of a handful of people who battled a stymied bureaucracy to get their town back. 

“Avila really got cleaned up because of about four or five people who were real tenacious,” said Peg Pinard, the San Luis Obispo County supervisor who deserves much of the credit for pinning down the bureaucrats. 

The entire commercial beachfront was demolished in 1999, a decade after it was learned that a 400,000-gallon petroleum plume bulged beneath the town. Before being decommissioned, the Unocal pipelines carried up to 2 million barrels of oil a month from hillside tanks to wharf tankers. 

After the discovery, it took a decade for Unocal to work out legal settlements with business owners and bureaucrats clearing the way for relocations and demolition. The $18 million agreement also paid for community service and recreation projects to benefit remaining residents. 

No one questioned the solution: The town had to go. 

“There was no other way to save it. They had to tear it down,” Pinard said. But many in the community weren’t interested in bidding farewell with a Unocal buyout. 

Dig down 30 feet, scoop away the contamination and replace it with clean sand and terra firma, they said. They wanted to rebuild and resume the role as a beach tourist destination 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles. 

“I knew that it needed help and I’m a fighter. I could see people weren’t being treated fairly,” said Pinard. Her brow still furls at the mention of state roadblocks that led to delay after delay after delay. 

The California Coastal Commission was the toughest. Battles centered on parking, road closures, the boardwalk, and apartments over stores on Front Street. 

Reconstruction was ready to begin, with businesses expecting to reopen this summer, when state fire authorities stalled it further because they wouldn’t sign off on building permits because there wasn’t enough water pressure to fight a fire. 

Then, the activists battled the state Department of Fish and Game over construction of a new water tank for fire suppression. 

Unocal eventually trucked away 300,000 cubic yards of contaminated dirt, spokesman Derek Aney said. 

The battles are now in the past. 

Archie McLaren was there from the beginning. 

“It was 12 years of excruciating and painful work,” said McLaren, who steers the Front Street Enhancement Committee. 

Beachgoers now sprawl thigh-to-thigh on bleach-white sand imported from the Santa Maria River bed and wander the palm-lined concrete boardwalk dividing the sand and what will be the Front Street business district. 

At the moment, there’s nowhere to get a burger, fries or a beer. The closest watering holes are The Olde Port Inn and Fat Cats, about a mile down the road in Port San Luis. 

But there is a park on the western edge of town and a 996-space parking lot is walking distance from the sand. 

“The weather is always nice here, nice and sunny,” said vacationing sun-worshipper Norma Conner of the San Bernardino County community of Mentone.  

She has migrated to Avila Beach for years and admits she doesn’t really miss the rustic Front Street shops. But she’s looking forward to the new structures rising from a pit nearby. 

The Avila Beach population of 350 is now about 119. 

“Two-thirds of the people took the (relocation) money and left,” said Seamus Slattery, chairman of the Avila Valley Advisory Committee. 

Although six to nine months late, sand has been broken on some businesses. 

The foundation for Beachcomber Bill’s is already in place and owner Bill Price expects to open next spring.  

The Sea Barn, Custom House and Mr. Rick’s Bar and Grill are returning to Front Street and the San Luis Yacht Club is now at the foot of the pier. A 53-room hotel is on the drawing board. 

“I think the town is going to develop in stages,” Pinard said. “I think we are going to end up with a beautiful little place here.” 

Some old-timers are concerned the rebirth could bring congestion with too many tourists overwhelming the place. 

“They are very anxious to get back in business and a businessman wants a steady business. But you want people to come in waves, not in tsunamis,” she said.  

“In the end, though, I think it is coming out OK.”


African leaders ask for AIDS help at U.N. conference

The Associated Press
Tuesday June 26, 2001

UNITED NATIONS — One after another, African leaders at the United Nations’ first global gathering on HIV/AIDS made emotional pleas for help Monday in ending the devastation wrought by the epidemic. Nigeria’s president warned that entire populations face extinction. 

Secretary-General Kofi Annan, seeking $7-10 billion for a global AIDS fund, said AIDS spending “in the developing world needs to rise to roughly five times its present level.” The Americans pledged to provide more aid, but did not say how much. 

Annan, a native of Ghana who has made the fight against AIDS his personal priority, opened the three-day special session by urging world leaders to set aside moral judgments and face the unpleasant facts of a disease that has killed 22 million people and ravaged many of the world’s poorest nations. 

Kenya and Nigeria are each home to more than 2 million HIV patients. In Botswana, more than 20 percent of the adult population is infected, and in South Africa, AIDS will knock off 17 years of life expectancy by 2005. 

“The future of our continent is bleak, to say the least,” Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo said. “The prospect of extinction of the entire population of a continent looms larger and larger.” 

Obasanjo and others called for “total cancellation of Africa’s debt,” which takes badly needed money away from health and social programs including the fight against AIDS. 

“The undeniable fact is that with the fragility of our economies, we simply lack the capacity to adequately respond to the magnitude of the HIV/AIDS epidemic,” the Nigerian leader said. 

Secretary of State Colin Powell, leading the U.S. delegation, said more money would come from the United States – which has already pledged $200 million in seed money – “as we learn where our support will be most effective.” 

“Our response to AIDS must be no less comprehensive, no less relentless, no less swift than the pandemic itself,” Powell told the General Assembly. 

Several speakers, including Powell, acknowledged that the global response to AIDS has been woefully late. Britain’s Clare Short, secretary for international development, went a step further by criticizing the very gathering she addressed. 

“We waste too much time and energy in U.N. conferences and special sessions. We use up enormous energy in arguing at great length over texts that provide few if any follow-up mechanisms or assurances that governments and U.N. agencies will carry forward the declarations that are agreed,” she said. 

Indeed, the Monday morning session ended in more than two hours of arguments over whether to exclude the U.S.-based International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission from the conference. Eleven unidentified countries wanted to keep the group out, but Canada led a successful vote in the assembly to include it. 

Elsewhere in the building, diplomats squabbled over a final conference document that will map out a global strategy to halt the disease and reverse its effects. Muslim countries and the United States object to language that specifically names vulnerable groups in need of protection, including men who have sex with men. 

Noting the weeks of infighting among delegates leading up the gathering, Annan told the 189-nation General Assembly: “We cannot deal with AIDS by making moral judgments or refusing to face unpleasant facts, and still less by stigmatizing those who are infected. We can only do it by speaking clearly and plainly, both about the ways that people become infected, and about what they can to avoid infection.” 

But expectations for a successful gathering remained high and varied for many of the 3,000 participants, including health experts, politicians, scientists, AIDS activists and patients working to find an end to the scourge. 

Three days of conferences and meetings touch on everything from drug prices to homosexuality, AIDS orphans and funding. Events on Monday included a round-table discussion on prevention and care, a look at how New York City has responded to the epidemic, gender issues relating to AIDS, challenges in rural Africa and the psychological impact of the disease. 

To allow some delegates to participate, the United States waived visa restrictions that prevent those with HIV or AIDS from visiting the country. 

U.N. radio and an online Webcast will broadcast many of the events around the world in the six official languages of the United Nations — Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. 

Two dozen heads of state, mostly from Africa, are attending the General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS, though no wealthy nation sent a president or prime minister. Many used their time on the assembly floor to discuss the fund, which Annan expects will be operational by the end of the year. 

“It is important for the fund to have criteria that will ensure that resources are used to meet the needs of countries most affected by HIV/AIDS such as my own,” President Festus Mogae of Botswana said. 

Uganda, a rare success story among African nations battling the disease, became the first developing nation to give to a global AIDS fund Monday with a $2 million donation. Rates of infection in Uganda have declined by two-thirds since 1993. 

Canada added its contribution to those made earlier by the United States, Britain and France, for a total of some $600 million so far. 

A study published Friday in the journal Science said the world’s poorest countries will need $9.2 billion a year to deal with AIDS – $4.4 billion to treat people with the illness and $4.8 billion to prevent new infections. 


Supreme Court upholds campaign spending limits

The Associated Press
Tuesday June 26, 2001

WASHINGTON — A closely divided Supreme Court upheld Watergate-era spending limits on political parties Monday in a decision that supporters said could shore up broader campaign-finance restrictions now before Congress. 

The 5-4 ruling affects the money that state and national political parties spend for advertisements, mass mailings and other activities in support of specific candidates. 

The ruling does not directly affect the two central goals of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance overhaul: to ban “soft money,” the unregulated and unlimited donations that corporations, unions and individuals make to political parties and to put restrictions on the political adds that special interest groups run in the final days of an election. 

Still, the court’s reasoning cheered Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and others pressing for wider regulation of political money. 

“Clearly, this decision demonstrates that McCain-Feingold restrictions on campaign contributions are constitutional,” he said. 

The court rejected the Colorado Republican Party’s contention that government limits on such spending violate the First Amendment guarantee of free speech. 

Allowing political parties to spend whatever they pleased in support of candidates would open the door to corruption, Justice David Souter wrote for the majority. 

The court’s more liberal wing won the vote of center-right Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to prevail. O’Connor’s fellow swing voter, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, joined the three conservatives, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas in dissent. 

The court agreed with the Justice Department, which argued that the kind of regulated money at issue in this case, called coordinated expenditures, could be used to flout the federal limits on how much individuals may contribute to candidates. 

“Coordinated expenditures of money donated to a party are tailor-made to undermine contribution limits,” Souter wrote. 

The term refers to party spending done in concert with a particular campaign but kept separate from the candidate’s coffers. 

Largely eclipsed by unregulated soft money, coordinated expenditures are used less often now than when the case began with a dispute over radio ads in a 1986 Colorado Senate race. 

The dissenters rejected the majority’s finding that there is no real difference between this kind of party spending and direct contributions by individuals or political action committees. 

“I remain baffled that this court has extended the most generous First Amendment safeguards to filing lawsuits, wearing profane jackets and exhibiting drive-in movies with nudity but has offered only tepid protection to the core speech and associated rights that our founders sought to defend,” Thomas wrote. 

The ruling applies to party spending for House and Senate candidates, a category that totaled $427 million for Republicans and $265 million for Democrats in the 2000 elections. 

Republicans stood to benefit more directly from an end to party spending limits, because of the historical fund-raising advantage the party enjoys. 

GOP officials played down Monday’s ruling, noting that it preserves a status quo in place since the Watergate era. 

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., one of the leading opponent of the McCain-Feingold overhaul, also discounted the ruling’s effect. 

“McCain-Feingold advocates can take no comfort in today’s decision,” because it dealt only with regulated “hard” money, McConnell said. 

The McCain-Feingold measure has passed the Senate and is awaiting action in the House next month. 

Senate opponents of the soft money ban and some others on both sides of the issue had predicted the court would rule the other way. 

Most of those predictions drew on the court’s earlier ruling in another part of the same Colorado dispute. In 1996, the court abolished limits on party independent spending on behalf of candidates, and the Colorado Republicans urged the court to adopt the same rationale here. 

The kind of spending at issue in Monday’s case is different, because the money is spent with such a specific intent to help candidates, Souter wrote for the majority. 

The cap on political party spending was passed as part of broad campaign money laws in 1974. 

The FEC limits national and state parties to spending $33,780 apiece to help elect a House candidate. Senate limits are based on population and range from $67,560 for races in the smallest states to $1.6 million for California. 

The case is Federal Election Commission v. Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee, 00-191. 

On the Net: 

Supreme Court: http://www.supremecourtus.gov 

For the appeals court ruling: http://www.uscourts.gov/links.html and click on 10th Circuit. 


Home ownership and prices up, equity down

By John Cunniff The Associated Press
Tuesday June 26, 2001

NEW YORK — A fundamental change has occurred in the housing market over the past few years, and it is likely to play an increasing role in changing people’s lifestyles. 

It is already doing so. More Americans own their houses than ever before, thanks to low borrowing rates and variable mortgages to fit needs. Prices are rising. Unemployment is near postwar lows. Incomes are up. 

Most significantly, the market value of houses has outpaced inflation for the seventh straight year, rising 16 percent since 1993. As a national group, you might expect homeowners to be growing wealthier. 

They aren’t. 

Valuations are rising, but so is borrowing. Despite rising prices, equity has fallen sharply in the past decade, continuing a postwar decline only mildly interrupted during the 1970s and 1980s. 

Moreover, mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures are rising too, partly a result of the high level of borrowing, partly a consequence of buying with low down payments and resulting high monthly payments. 

The erosion of equity is one of the major issues in the latest “The State of the Nation’s Housing,” an annual analysis of the housing market by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. 

The situation reflects not just a change in affordability levels (more difficult) but a vast change in consumer behavior. To take out a second mortgage once indicated necessity. Today it is a lifestyle choice. 

In short, the house is a bank from which money can be borrowed at low rates to finance other purchases, including vacations, cars and electronic gadgetry as well as tuition, often with a tax deduction to boot. 

This is a momentous change from the past, when the house was viewed as a sanctuary not to be violated by financial risk-taking, and the goal of owners was to achieve security by reducing or paying off the mortgage. 

The changing attitude by today’s borrowers involves growing confidence in the ability to hold onto a job and maintain a certain level of income, but also perhaps the desire for the rewards of wealth now,  

not later. 

The change raises risks, not just to households but to the general economy. With equity falling as a percentage of price, the consequences of job loss and recessions grow proportionately. 

Still another consequence, especially in cases of low down payments and heavy borrowing, may be to maintain selling prices at artificially high levels, barring low-income earners from joining the market. 

There may be risks to the future as well. Despite the importance of Individual Retirement Accounts, 401(k) plans and defined benefit plans, home equity remains the primary retirement fund for millions of Americans. 

In the past, the housing market has been an economic stabilizer in many ways. You can even argue that its recent strength has been the major factor in averting or moderating recession tendencies in other industries. 

In terms of macroeconomics, there’s a question today about its ability to play the same role in the future. 

John Cunniff is a business analyst for The Associated Press


Compaq favoring Intel’s Itanium

The Associated Press
Tuesday June 26, 2001

SAN JOSE — Intel Corp.’s quest to dominate the high-end server market got a major boost Monday as Compaq Computer Corp. said it plans to abandon its own Alpha processor in favor of Intel’s Itanium processor by 2004. It’s the latest sign that the server industry may be moving away from proprietary chips and toward standardization that marked the development, growth and flexibility of PCs. 

Compaq is the second maker of processors and servers – workhorse computers that power everything from corporate networks and Web sites to biotechnology research – to announce plans to eventually exit the chip business. 

Hewlett-Packard Co., which co-developed Itanium, also said it will consolidate its products behind the Intel processor. 

For Intel, the agreement represents not just another customer, but a major endorsement of Itanium, which was put into production this year after several delays and nearly a decade of development. 

“Itanium needed an imprimatur of legitimacy,” said Drew Peck, an analyst at SG Cowen Securities. “Compaq gave it to them. It’s a high-profile win.” 

High-end servers account for about half of the $54 billion total server market. Major players include International Business Machines Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc., HP and Compaq. 

So far, Sun is the only company that does not plan to incorporate the Itanium into any of its designs, instead relying on its proprietary processors. 

Shares of both Intel and Compaq closed higher Monday. Intel was up 97 cents to $28.58 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Compaq’s stock price rose 40 cents, to $13.90 on the New York Stock Exchange. 

Intel also will acquire Compaq’s Alpha equipment and tools, as well as license its technology. Several hundred Compaq employees will be offered transfers, the companies said. 

Intel plans to use those engineers in future Itanium development, said Paul Otellini, executive vice president and general manager of Intel’s Architecture Group. 

“A real sweetener for Intel is access to all the engineers. You can’t shortchange that,” said Dan Scovel, an analyst at Needham & Co. “Getting hold of processor engineers these days is not an easy thing to do.” 

Houston-based Compaq acquired the Alpha chip technology through its $9.1 billion purchase of Digital Equipment Corp. in 1998. 

Compaq denied that it is backpedaling from the acquisition. The company will focus on developing improvements on components and software outside the processor. 

“What you’re seeing is a transition in where vendors believe they can add their value, and it’s not in proprietary microprocessors,” said Mike Winkler, executive vice president of Compaq’s Global Business Units. 

Compaq said it will support the Alpha architecture even after it consolidates its entire 64-bit server family on the Itanium architecture. 

The announcement comes as both Intel and Compaq are struggling to regain their footing as their PC-related businesses struggle. 

Compaq faces a brutal price war with other PC makers, including Dell Computer Corp. Intel also has seen its margins and market share erode amid increasing competition and the economic downturn. 

Compaq announced plans in April to cut more than 9,000 full-time and part-time jobs. In an internal memo this month, executives announced plans to reduce overhead costs by another $200 million per quarter. 

More than half of Compaq’s revenues now come from non-PC businesses, including its servers and services businesses, Winkler said. 

Intel has been diversifying beyond its 32-bit processors that are found in roughly 80 percent of personal computers around the world. Its targets are now on high-end server makers Sun Microsystems Inc. and IBM. 

The Itanium processes information in 64 bit chunks. It also can address more memory and transfer data more quickly, allowing for exponential improvements in performance. 

Itanium is Intel’s first move into the 64-bit arena. The Alpha, introduced by Digital Equipment Corp. in 1993, was the first. 

Intel is hoping big sales of Itanium will help offset the high development costs — something the developers of proprietary processors cannot do so easily, said Nathan Brookwood, an analyst at the research firm Insight 64. 

——— 

On the Net: 

http://www.compaq.com 

http://www.sun.com 

http://www.intel.com 

http://www.hp.com 


Alta Bates Summit workers sign contract

By Judith Scherr
Tuesday June 26, 2001

After one year of working without a contract, after going out on a series of one-to-three-day strikes, after endless hours at the negotiating table, hospital workers and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center management have agreed on a new contact.  

Service Employees International Union members voted to approve the contract on Friday. “We are very pleased that the members of SEIU Local 250 have ratified this new contract,” said Alta Bates Summit CEO Irwin Hansen in a press statement. “We will now continue with what the hospitals do best – servicing the health care needs of our community.” 

SEIU members called the contract “a big victory.” 

“I’m ecstatic, I’m excited,” said Deborah Covington, chief shop steward and a dietary aide at the Oakland campus of the newly-merged Alta Bates Summit Hospital. The three-campus Berkeley-Oakland hospital is part of the Sutter Health Care hospital group.  

Over the four-year contract, wages will rise 16 percent, but that wasn’t at the heart of the negotiations. 

“We got a voice in staffing,” Covington said. The union had negotiated long and hard in order to set up a labor management committee that would evaluate staffing needs and make recommendations to the hospital, Covington said. When there is disagreement, an independent third party will make the final staffing determination. 

The new contract also sets limits on mandatory overtime. 

Among those benefiting from the new contract will be licensed vocational nurses, dietary aides and housekeeping staff.  

An Alta Bates Summit spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.


Briefs

Staff
Tuesday June 26, 2001

Power outage lasts four hours  

for some residents 

A power outage early Monday morning left 3,000 South Berkeley and Oakland residents without electricity for two hours and another 500 without power for four hours. 

Staci Homrig, of Pacific Gas & Electric, said the outage was caused by a downed powerline and started at 6:30 a.m. Most people had their power restored by 8:30 a.m., but about 500 were left without power until 10:45 a.m. 

 

David Brower Day  

celebration Saturday 

 

The first annual David Brower Day will be celebrated Saturday, honoring the Berkeley native credited with making nature conservation a political issue. 

Sponsored by Earth Island Institute, the city, the Ecology Center, and KPFA Radio, an outdoor festival will take place from noon to 5 p.m. at Civic Center Park on Martin Luther King Jr. Way between Center Street and Allston Way. The free event will include an Eco-Restoration Decathlon, live music, story telling, an Environmental Action Fair, Sustainable Crafts Market, and organic and vegetarian food. 

At 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Lee Stetson will perform The Spirit of John Muir in the Florence Schwimley Little Theater, just south of the park. A special screening of In the Light of Reverence by the Sacred Land Film Project will take place at 3:30 p.m. followed with a panel of speakers. 

Co-founder of the League of Conservation Voters and founder of Friends of the Earth and Earth Island Institute, Bower led campaigns that resulted in the creation of nine national parks and seashores. He has been credited with ensuring a Grand Canyon free of dams and many national forest preservations, and was an instrumental part of the Sierra Club in the 1950s and 1960s. 

 

 

Host families needed for adult foreign exchange students 

 

Language Studies International is looking for host families for its foreign adult students. The English school for foreign students has a homestay option to allow the students to experience life with American families during their program. 

Due in part to the housing crisis, the school has been unable to find hosts for all of the 800 - 1,000 students who attend each year, according to a letter from Steven Franklin, Registrar and Accommodations Coordinator for LSI. 

Hosts of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to participate, including singles. Hosts are paid $182.50 per week to provide breakfast, dinner and a private room to a foreign student, and can choose a short-term (two - four weeks) or a yearlong stay.  

The host can live anywhere in the East Bay as long as the student can easily commute to downtown Berkeley. For more information or to apply to host a student for the peak period from mid-July through September, call LSI at 841-4695.


Police Briefs

Kenyatte Davis
Tuesday June 26, 2001

A 20 -year-old UC Berkeley student walking home on Channing Way was robbed at gunpoint at 1 a.m. Sunday.  

Lt. Russell Lopes, police spokesperson, said the woman was walking near Telegraph Avenue when a man approached her with a handgun and demanded money. Although she had no cash, she handed the attacker her wallet, Lopes said. The man took her wallet and ran off. The victim was unharmed. 

••• 

An Arco gas station was robbed at 3 a.m. Friday by a man who allegedly used only a hand in his pocket to simulate a gun. Lt. Lopes said the suspect walked into the cashier’s booth with his hand in his pocket to make it appear he had a gun and demanded money.  

The lone attendant handed the suspect several hundreds of dollars, and the suspect ran off. Lopes said there were no injuries and there have been no arrests made. The suspect is described as a black 27 year old, 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing 200 pounds  

••• 

A verbal dispute turned violent when one of the men involved allegedly pulled a six-inch knife on the other at Golden Gate Fields at 6 a.m. Friday.  

Lt. Lopes said two horse groomers were arguing when one pulled a knife and attacked the other. The suspect allegedly attempted to stab the victim, but was only able to hit the victim with the butt of the knife causing a bump on the victim’s head. He was not taken to the hospital, The suspect was placed under arrest. 

••• 

A man with a knife got away with several hundred dollars from Café Elodie at 2110 Shattuck Ave. at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday. Lt. Lopes said the suspect entered the café while the lone employee was in a closet where only staff is allowed.  

The suspect allegedly walked into the closet and started a conversation with the worker asking if he remembered the suspect giving him an application.  

When the employee said he didn’t know what the suspect was talking about, the suspect pulled a hunting tool with a fixed four-inch blade and reached into the floor safe, Lopes said. The suspect ran off with a bag full of cash. No injuries were reported, and there have been no arrests. 

 


Summer Sports

Staff
Monday June 25, 2001


Camps

 

City of Berkeley Summer Fun Camps 

June 18-August 17 

Summer Fun Camps for children feature sports, games, arts and crafts and special events. Events and trips will be planned in and out of the Berkeley area. Supervised play and activities held Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for kids 5-12 year of age. Before and after care will be available at additional cost. Fees on a sliding scale. 

Sites: Frances Albrier, Southwest Berkeley – 644-8515; James Kenney, West Berkeley – 644-8511; Live Oak Park, North Berkeley – 644-8513; Willard Club House, Southeast Berkeley – 644-8517; MLK Youth Services Center, South Berkeley – 644-6226. 

 

P.A.L. Adventure Camp 

June 25-July 6 

Camp for graduating 4th and 5th graders only. Activities include rock climbing, nature hikes and whitewater rafting. $100, limited scholarships available. Call 845-7193 for more information. 

 

P.A.L. Adventure Camp 2 

July 9-27 

Camp for ages 11-17. Three-week camp teaches bicycle basics. Learn care and maintenance, changing flat tires, fixing the chain and cables. Daily rides designed to increase endurance for a final three-day, 122-mile ride to Coloma and a two-day rafting trip. $180, limited scholarships available. Call 845-7193 for more information. 

 

P.A.L. Adventure Camp 3 

August 6-24 

Camp for ages 11-17. Three week camp will provide skills for overnight and wilderness camping. First two weeks include instruction on cooking, first aid, cleanup and low impact camping. Rafting, ropes course and daily hikes. Week three is five days in a California wilderness area using newly-learned skills. $180, limited scholarships available. Call 845-7193 for more information. 

 

Berkeley Tennis Club Kids  

Camp 

Sessions begin June 25, July 9, July 23, August 6 

These camps are designed for the beginner to low advanced player aged 7-14. Each session is two weeks long. The first week emphasizes proper stroke and footwork techniques, conditioning and game play. The second week concentrates on competition on both an individual and team level. Students will be divided according to ability, so they progress at their own pace. Student-intructor ratio of 6/1. Clinics are 9 a.m. to noon. $250 for B.T.C. members, $300 for non-members. Call 841-9023 for information. 

 


Leagues

 

Youth Baseball 

Summer baseball program for boys and girls ages 5-15. The focus is on developing skills, sportsmanship and enjoyment rather than competitiveness. Leagues are structured to address both skill level and age group. Players are assigned to teams on a city-wide basis. Beginner teams (5-6 years) meet weekdays from noon to 2 p.m. All other teams meet from 3:30 to 7 p.m. weekdays or 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. All players must participate. Playoffs and awards will follow the regular season in older leagues. Fees: $34 ages 5-8 ($70 non-resident), $40 ages 9-15($86 non-resident). For more information call 981-5153. 

 

Adult softball 

Summer league starts July 2. 

Leagues available for men, women and co-rec. Three levels of competition. Games played weekday evenings, Saturday afternoons and evenings. 10 games plus playoffs. $561 per team. Call 981-5150 for more information. 

 

Tennis lessons 

Session IV begins June 25, three more sessions throughout summer. 

Youth and adult lessons available for beginner, advanced beginner and intermediate. 10 one-hour lessons. $45 for youth ages 8-15, $65 for adults. Call 981-5150 for more information. 

 

Twilight basketball 

July 13-August 25 

The City of Berkeley Twilight Basketball Program is an educational sports program which offers youths aged 11-18 the opportunity to play in the competitive league and be exposed to educational workshops. Subjects include tobacco prevention, HIV/STD prevention, domestic violence prevention, academic improvement and youth violence prevention. All participants must attend a one-hour workshop before each game in order to play. Free, players recieve a jersey. Ten game season with playoffs at MLK Youth Services Center. For more information call Ginsi Bryant at 644-6226. 

 

Adult basketball 

Summer league 

Open, competitive league with games on Monday and Wednesday evenings at the MLK Youth Services Center. All games officicated by certified referees. Awards for top three teams. Teams already formed for summer, but some have openings. Interested players should show up and talk to coaches about playing. 

 


Programs

 

City-Wide Playground  

Programs 

June 25-August 17 

Free supervised activities include arts and crafts, games, sports, special event days and local trips. Program hours are noon to 5 p.m. Proof of Berkeley residency required at registration. 

Sites: All Play Together – 981-5150; Rosa Parks – 981-5150; Malcolm X School – 644-6226. 

 

Summer Teen Program 

June 18-August 27 

Events include adventure trips, swimming, sports, games, cooking, educational workshops and special local events. Call your local center for details, registration and costs. Sliding scale. 

Sites: Frances Albrier, Southwest Berkeley – 644-8515; James Kenney, West Berkeley – 644-8511; Live Oak Park, North Berkeley – 644-8513; Willard Park Club House, Southeast Berkeley – 644-8517; MLK Youth Services Center, South Berkeley – 644-6226. 

 

Adventures in Sailing 

Overnight sails tour the San Francisco Bay. Visit the Bay Model, Angel Island, Treasure Island and Sausalito. Voyage dates: July 13-14 and 28-29, August 9-10, 16-17 and 23-24. $20 per voyage. Call 845-7193 for more information. 

 

Adult Tennis Workshops 

Sessions begin July 9 and July 23 

These four-day sessions are designed to five adults a chance to improve their game in just one concentrated week. Two levels offered – NTPR rating between 4.0-4.5 and 3.5-below. Both sessions will have a doubles strategy emphasis. $110 per session. Call 841-9023 for more details.


Arts & Entertainment

Monday June 25, 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  

 

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. Space Weather Exhibit now - Sept. 2; now - Sept. 9 Science in Toyland; June 21: 6 a.m., Solar Eclipse Day 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  

 

The UC Berkeley Art Museum is closed for renovations until the fall. 

 

 

924 Gilman St. All shows begin at 8 p.m. unless noted $5; $2 for year membership. All ages. 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; July 6: Victim’s Family, Fleshies, The Modern Machines, Once For Kicks, The Blottos; July 7: The Stitches, Real MacKenzies, The Briefs, The Eddie Haskells, The Spits 525-9926  

 

Albatross Pub Music at 9 p.m. unless noted otherwise. June 26: Mad & Eddie Duran Jazz Duo; June 28: Keni “El Lebrijano”; June 30: Larry Stefl Jazz Quartet; July 3: 9 p.m., pickPocket ensemble; July 4: Whiskey Brothers; July 5: Keni “El Lebrijano.” 1822 San Pablo Ave. 843-2473  

 

Anna’s Music at 8 p.m. June 26: Tangria; June 27: Bob Schoen Jazz Quartet; June 28: ConFusion; June 29: Anna and Susie Laraine and Sally Hanna-Rhine; 10 p.m., Hideo Date; June 30: Anna and Susie Laraine and Peri Poston; 10 p.m., The Ducksan Distone. $2 weeknights, $3 weekends. 1801 University Ave. 849-ANNA  

 

Ashkenaz June 26: 9 p.m., DP & The Rhythem Riders; June 27: 8 p.m. June “Fling Ding” featuring Circle R Boys and Dark Hollow; June 28: 9 p.m., Monkey, Stiff Richards, Go Jimmy Go; June 29: 8:30 p.m., Fountain’s Muse CD release party and Musicians and Fine Artists for World Peace fundraiser, with Obeyjah and others; June 30: 9:30 p.m. Tropical Vibrations. 1370 San Pablo Ave. 525-5054 or www.ashkenaz.com 

 

Berkeley Arts Festival  

June 25: The Just Friends Quinte; June 26: Donald Robinson Trio; June 28: Con Alma Vocal Jazz Sextet; June 30: 7:30 p.m. Marvin Sanders and Vera Berheda, plus Mozart, Beethoven, Hadyn and Fuare in the gallery; July 1: 11 a.m., “Free Jazz on the Pier” The Christy Dana Quartet (on the Berkeley Pier). All shows at 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted Donations requested 2200 Shattuck Avenue 665-9496 

Freight & Salvage All music at 8 p.m. June 26; Freight 33rd Anniversary Revue; June 27: Dilema, Hookslide; June 28: Jim Campilongo; June 29: Don’t Look Back; June 30: Jim Hurst & Missy Raines, Due West; July 5: Druha Trava; July 6 and 7: Ferron. 1111 Addison St. www.freightandsalvage.org; 548-1761 

 

Jupiter All shows at 8 p.m. 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 

 

Julia Morgan Center for the Arts July 1: 1 & 2 p.m., “Kourosh Taghavi: The Beauty of Iranian Music and Stories of its Origins” $5 - $10. 2640 College Ave. 654-0100 

 

Live Oaks Concerts, Berkeley Art Center July 1: Matthew Owens; July 15: David Cheng, Marvin Sanders, Ari Hsu; July 27: Monica Norcia, Amy Likar, Jim Meredith. All shows at 7:30 unless otherwise noted Admission $10 (BACA members $8, students and seniors $9, children under 12 free) 

 

125 Records Release Party June 30: 9:45 p.m. Anton Barbeau and Belle De Gama will celebrate the release of their albums The Golden Boot: Antology 2 and Garden Abstract respectively. These are the first two albums released on the 125 Records label, founded by Joe Mallon with his winnings from his appearance on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.” $5. Starry Plough 3101 Shattuck Avenue 841-2082  

 

Leopold’s Fancy July 2: 8 p.m., Traditional Irish music, part of “Extreme Joyce/Reading On the Edge,” a conference celebrating the works of James Joyce. Free. 2271 Shattuck Ave. 642-2754 

 

 

Dramatic Joyce July 3: 7:30 p.m. Dramatic interpretations of the works of James Joyce by local and international actors. Introduction by UC Berkeley Professor John Bishop with commentary by and conversation with the audience. Part of the week-long conference “Extreme Joyce/Reading on the Edge.” Free. Krutch Theater, Clark Kerr Campus 2601 Warring Street 642-2754 

 

“Cuatro Maestros Touring Festival” July 4: 8 p.m. Music and dance performed by four elder folk artists and their young counterparts, accompanied by Los Cenzontles. $12 - $18. Julia Morgan Theater 2640 Collage Ave. 925-798-1300 

 

“Do You Hear What I Am Seeing?” July 5: 7:30 p.m. One man show by David Norris, a two-hour sampling of Joyce’s works with Norris’ insights. Part of the week-long conference “Extreme Joyce/Reading on the Edge.” $10. Julia Morgan Theater 2640 Collage Ave. 925-798-1300 

 

“Romeo and Juliet” Through July 14, Thurs. - Sat. 8 p.m. Set in early 1930s 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” 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 

 

“The Laramie Project” Through July 22: Weds. 7 p.m., Tues. and Thur. -Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (After July 8 no Wednesday performance, no Sunday matinee on July 22.) 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 

 

“Iphegenia in Aulis” June 25 - August 12: Sat. and Sun. 5 p.m. No performances July 14 and 15, special dawn performance on August 12 at 7 a.m. A free park performance by the Shotgun Players of Euripides’ play about choices and priorities. With a masked chorus, singing, dancing, and live music. Feel free to bring food and something soft to sit on. John Hinkel Park, Southhampton Place at Arlington Avenue (different locations July 7 and 8). 655-0813 

 

 

Pacific Film Archive June 23: 7 & 9:10 p.m. I can’t Sleep; June 24: The Ruined Map 5:30 p.m. & Summer Soldiers 7:50 p.m.; June 26: 7:30 p.m. San Francisco Cinematheque: 40 Years in Focus; June 27 7:30 p.m. Nature vs. Nurture; June 28: 7:30 p.m. The Beginning of an Unknown Era; June 29: Molba 7:30, Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors 9:10; June 30: 7, 9:10 p.m. Nenette and Boni. Pacific Film Archive Theater 2575 Bancroft Way (at Bowditch) 642-1412 

 

 

Tyler James Hoare Sculpture and Collage Through June 27, call for hours. 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 Through 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 

 

Constitutional Shift Through July 13, Tuesdays - Fridays, noon - 5 p.m. Permanence and personal journey link Hee Jae Suh, Ursula Neubauer and Marci Tackett. Korean-born Suh explores an inner psychological world with a dramatic series of self-portraits. Neubauer explores self-portraiture as a travel map of identity with multiple points of view. Tackett explores Antarctica’s other-worldly landscape in a series of stunning digital photographs. Kala Art Institute 1060 Heinz Ave. 549-2977 

 

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 

 

“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


Beth El followed every planning rule in proposed expansion

Monday June 25, 2001

Beth El followed every planning rule in proposed expansion 

 

Editor: 

 

Diane Tokugawa and Alan Gould, who live in the same house next to Congregation Beth El’s new building site, wrote separate letters to the Daily Planet on June 15 that filled almost the entire “Forum” section. 

They both re-raised issues that were thoroughly dealt with in the City’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and during many hours of hearings before the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) and other official bodies. 

The EIR, probably the most extensive ever done for a project this size in Berkeley, concluded that the synagogue could be built without significant impacts. The ZAB approved a permit for Beth El after studying the issue for months.  

Yet Gould and Tokugawa write as if these official findings had never been made – as if the process that has gone on for several years was just beginning. 

They also chose to ignore the facts that Beth El is doing far more than anyone else has done to repair the badly neglected banks of Codornices Creek – and that changes made in Beth El’s plan at the Zoning Board will make it possible to open the underground part of the creek if funding is raised for this purpose. 

Of course any Berkeley citizen has the right to question decisions of city officials and outside experts, but it seems that no decision would satisfy Mr. Gould and Ms. Tokugawa, except not building a synagogue at all. 

That is an outcome that hundreds of other Berkeley citizens who have watched Beth El follow every rule and regulation in the city’s demanding permit process would find seriously unjust. 

 

Scott Spear 

Berkeley 

 

Please support reasonable Beth El expansion 

 

Editor: 

 

I’ve lived in Berkeley for 11 years, and in the East Bay for 20 years. I live in a neighborhood just north of the campus, in fact on a street that fills with parked cars on football days. Though the added traffic is a bit of a headache I do not resent the intrusion of cars and people on these days – in fact I enjoy the excitement, and I see this as a small price to pay to live in a city that benefits from the proximity to the university. I also live within four blocks of our current synagogue, the new building site, and four neighborhood churches. Again my experience as a resident is one of tolerating certain inconveniences – there are certainly days when churchgoers add to the traffic in my neighborhood – but this is Berkeley life. I’ve chosen to live here rather than in the quieter but as I would see it duller bedroom communities of the East Bay. I believe that the density of our community, with a university, churches and synagogues and commercial centers and residential streets all in rather close confines contributes to the excitement of living here in this wonderfully diverse community. 

I work in downtown Berkeley – as a psychiatrist providing care at times to some of the less fortunate members of our community. As I walk around downtown, there are days when I too rail against change – as it is disturbing to me to see big buildings going up, parking getting tighter, and the downtown area getting more crowded. But I recognize that though it is natural to fear change, constructive change also helps our city to thrive and makes it vibrant and alive. After all, what are some of those large buildings going up – an expanded library, a public safety building, a new theatre complex built in a developing arts center. These are changes for the good; changes to embrace. 

I worship in Berkeley, where my family has participated in the Beth El community over the past 13 years. My children have attended the Beth El sponsored day camp for 10 years, as have many hundreds of non-Jewish children. I worship in a synagogue that has no room to grow, that has no room to seat those of us who wish to sit in on religious discussions on Saturday mornings. The synagogue was designed and built for a congregation one-third to half its current size. There has been no new synagogue built in Berkeley in 50 years. It seems only reasonable to me that my tolerance and appreciation of the varied institutions that contribute to the strenghth of this city should be matched by others’ appreciation of the need my community has to be allowed to expand and grow – and to expand in a way that will beautify the neighborhood (Just examine carefully the decrepit condition of the current buildings and terrain at the Oxford site) and a plan Berkeley’s environmental consultants could find no major fault with. 

I live, work and worship here in our city – nd I ask others for their support of the new Beth El Synagogue. 

 

John Rosenberg 

Berkeley 

 

Reddy ruling and coverage puzzles reader 

 

Editor:  

 

Shame on the Berkeley Daily Planet for NOT ONCE mentioning in your reports today on the Reddy case that he caused the death of a young Indian woman!  

As a recent immigrant to the US, I do not understand some things about the American legal system, so I am left with several questions after having followed the Reddy case which ended in his sentencing yesterday (June 19).  

I attended his trial at Oakland's Federal Court which astounded me because of the weak-kneed stance of the prosecution, the cleverly devious methods of the defense, and the fact that the judge struck me as being overly considerate to a man who has perpetrated awful crimes against several women of his race.  

I understand what is involved in plea bargaining; nevertheless it seems to me an unfair practice since one who admits his guilt is given a better chance at a lesser sentence. Why should this be? A crime is a crime and deserves punishment.  

The court established that Reddy had, over many years, been illegally bringing to the US many women and men from his impoverished Indian village to make them work in his restaurant and apartments (most of these were young women whom he and his son raped at will). Since one woman died due to his negligence over a faulty heater, why was he not tried for her death? Why was DNA testing not done on the fetus found in the woman to determine paternity? 

Do Americans believe, as many Indians do, that female lives are not important?  

The U.S. democratic system is indeed one of the world's wonders because if Reddy lived in India and committed his crimes there, he might never even have been tried. But yesterday I found that justice was NOT done in America because it was almost farcical to see such such a light sentence (a mere 8 years) imposed on an immigrant who, because he has amassed great wealth and could pay for high-powered lawyers, will pay a mere pittance to only seven of his victims.  

 

Isabel T. Escoda 

Berkeley 

 

(Editor’s note: The death of the young woman was ruled accidental and was not part of the plea bargain.)


Out & About

Monday June 25, 2001


Monday, June 25

 

Tectonic Theater Project 

7 p.m. 

Berkeley Rep’s Roda Theater 

2015 Addison Street 

“Page to Stage: Surviving the Media” is a conversation with the Tectonic Theater Project and professor Douglas Foster. The Tectonic Theater Project traveled to Laramie, Wyoming after the murder of openly gay student Matthew Shepard and wrote a play about the impact Shepard’s death, and the following media scrutiny, had upon the small community. The Laramie Project is running through July 8 at the Berkeley Rep.  

647-2900 

 

What You Need to Know  

Before You Build or Remodel 

7 - 9 p.m. 

The Building Education Center 

812 Page Street 

Free seminar by professional builder Glen Kitzenberger. 

525-7610 

 

NOW Meeting 

6:30 p.m. 

Mama Bears Book Store 

6537 Telegraph Avenue 

The general meeting of the National Organization for Women. 

 

Parks and Recreation  

Commission 

7 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst Avenue 

Regular meeting, including the Civic Center Park Draft Environmental Impact Report and the Draft General Plan. Also, Director’s Update on Eastshore State Park Planning Process. 

981-6707 or 981-6903 (TDD) 

 


Tuesday, June 26

 

Saranel Benjamin of  

Globalization 

7 p.m. 

Oakland YMCA 

1515 Webster Street, Oakland 

Saranel Benjamin, trade unionist from South Africa, will discuss the impact of corporate globalization on South African workers. Sponsored by Berkeley’s Women of Color Resource Center. 

848-9272 

 

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 Don, 525-3567 


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 

 

Disaster Council 

7 p.m. 

Emergency Operations Center 

997 Cedar Street 

Update on Measure G. 

644-8736 

 

Socratic Circle Discussion 

5 p.m. 

Cafe Electica 

1309 Solano Avenue 

Gather for espresso and discussion at the “green” teen cafe. Open to all. Free. 

527-2344 

 


Thursday, June 28

 

Quit Smoking Class 

6 - 8 p.m. 

South Berkeley Senior Center 

2939 Ellis Street 

A six week quit smoking class. Free to Berkeley residents and employees. 

Call 644-6422 or e-mail at: quitnow@ci.berkeley.ca.us 

 

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. 

 

Pink Slip Party and Career  

Mixer 

6 - 9 p.m. 

Pyramid Brewery and Alehouse 

901 Gilman Street 

Meet with East Bay job seekers while listening to music by DJ and Emcee Marty Nemko. Also, cash bar, free hors d’oeurves, and prize giveaways. Free and open to the public. Call 251-1401. 

www.eastbaytechjobs.com/mixer/ 

 

Take the Terror Out of  

Talking! 

Noon to 1:30 p.m. 

California Dept. of Health Services 

2151 Berkeley Way 

Room 804 

Open house at State Health Toastmasters Club to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Free. 

649-7750 

 


Friday, June 29

 

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.  

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: Arts, Herstory  

and Literature 

1:15 - 3:15 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center  

1901 Hearst Ave. 

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  

 

Carefree/Carfree Tour 

3 p.m. 

Sather Gate 

UC Berkeley 

Telegraph at Bancroft 

Walking tour from Sather Gate to People’s Park entitled “Berkeley in the Sixties.” Led by Free Speech veterans and Berkeley residents Kate Coleman and Michael Rossman, the tour will include important locations and discussions of the Free Speech movement, the Vietnam Day Committee, the rise of affirmative action, and other events and movements. Free. 

486-04 11  

 

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  

 

Bonfire III: Stories and  

Songs By the Sea 

7:30 p.m. 

Berkeley Marina 

Spinnaker Way, near Olympic Circle Sailing Club 

Come for Havdala and share stories, sing and watch the flames dance. Bring food and drink to share, kosher s’mores provided. 

848-0237 

 

Know Your Rights 

11 - 2 p.m. 

2022 Blake St. 

Copwatch workshop: Learn what your rights are when dealing with the police. Special section on juvenile rights.  

548-0425 

 

Bay Area Eco-Crones 

11 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

1066 Creston Road 

Networking, information sharing, project planning and ritual.  

Call ahead, 874-4935. 

 


‘Still not done yet’

By Daniela Mohor Daily Planet staff
Monday June 25, 2001

Vice mayor celebrates 90 years  

 

A shining star, a link to the chain of history, a fighter. Those are some of the words Berkeley officials, activists, and residents used to describe Vice Mayor Maudelle Shirek, as they celebrated her 90th birthday at the North Berkeley Senior Center Saturday. 

Re-elected seven times to the City Council, Shirek is reportedly the oldest elected official in California. But she is mostly known for her extraordinary commitment to social causes both locally and internationally. 

“She changed the life of so many people,” said U.S Representative Barbara Lee, D-Alameda, a special guest to the event and an old friend of Shirek’s. “Every time I get ready to cast a very tough vote I think ‘What would Maudelle do?’” 


And the winners are...

Staff Report
Monday June 25, 2001

From a field of 68 boys and 37 girls, it all came down to two final matches on Saturday at the United States Tennis Association NorCal Sectional 18-and-under Tournament. The matches were played at the Berkeley Tennis Club. 

In the girls’ final, eighth-seeded Jenna Long of Fremont came back from losing the first set to upset top-seeded Alexandra Podkolzina of Concord, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3. 

In the boys’ final, No. 5 Pramod Dabir used a powerful serve and punishing groundstrokes to down fourth-seeded Darrin Cohen, 6-2, 6-4. Dabir, a Saratoga native, was only broken once in the match.


Teachers: Small school concept needs support

By Ben Lumpkin Daily Planet staff
Monday June 25, 2001

School board members and proponents of sweeping reforms for Berkeley High School found a lot to agree on last week, but they seemed to part company with considerable confusion and disagreement about the next step in the process. 

“If you’re willing to do something fundamental, something serious, instead of just tinkering with the current model and allowing the drift to continue, small schools is definitely the way to go,” Rick Ayers, the Berkeley High teacher charged with coordinating the reform planning process, told the school board at their regular meeting last Wednesday. 

Since the school district received a federal $50,000 grant last year to study how the “small learning community” model could be applied at Berkeley High School, Ayers has worked with an advisory committee of school staff and parents to compile research on the topic, and to lead weekly discussion groups.  

The group has also convened a number of larger community meetings to disseminate information on small schools and solicit input and how the model might work in Berkeley. 

Over the course of the last 15 years, a number of large urban high schools around the country have implemented some kind of small learning community model to combat problems with truancy, violence, low student achievement and high teacher turnover. Public schools can better meet the wildly varying needs of their students, the argument goes, by dividing “factory model” high schools into small learning communities of 500 students or less — each with dedicated teaching staff and a degree of governing autonomy. 

It simply creates “a scale where parents and staff become more engaged” and are able to give students the personal attention they need, Ayers argued Wednesday. 

Berkeley High itself has been implementing small learning communities over the last five years or so, but in a piecemeal way. Core groups of like minded teachers have bonded together to launch their “schools-within-a-school,” fighting the district bureaucracy every step of the way for the resources they need to do so. 

Dana Richards, director of Berkeley High’s “Common Grounds” program, a small learning community with an anticipated enrollment of 400 students next year, told the school board Wednesday


At-risk teens learn responsibility in city parks

By John Geluardi Daily Planet Staff
Monday June 25, 2001

The City Council will likely renew a long-standing contract with Berkeley Youth Alternative to continue the employment program which assists at-risk teenagers learn about work habits and gardening skills in the city’s parks. 

The recommendation will be considered by the council at Tuesday’s meeting. The $85,000 contract will allow for the continued employment of Berkeley teenagers to help maintain city parks while learning task-oriented responsibilities such as creek restoration and plant cultivation. The Youth Employment Training and Park Maintenance Project is one of three youth-oriented programs the Parks and Waterfront Department oversees. 

“This is mutually beneficial program that helps the kids learn about good work habits and helps maintain Berkeley’s parks in a way they couldn’t with just city staff alone.” said Parks and Waterfront Director Lisa Caronna. 

According to the recommendation, the program usually works with teenagers between 14 and 16 years old. They work an average of 10 hours a week for 26 weeks. Those that show progress will be asked to work beyond the initial 26 weeks and are offered assistance securing other jobs both within and outside the BYA program. 

In the last two years, over 62 percent of the teenagers who were involved in the program were placed in other jobs, according to the report. In 1999, 14 of the 20 teenagers who participated in the program went on to other jobs. 

The teenagers work at several city parks including Strawberry Creek Park, Grove Park and Thousand Oaks School Park and Blackberry Creek. 

They are supervised by a BYA employee and are supervised by city landscape gardeners, who determine proper tools and monitor the work performed.  

BYA operates more than 15 separate programs serving at-risk youth and their families in west Berkeley including an After School Center, a Crisis Counseling and a Sports and Fitness Center. In the last two years, BYA has worked with over 800 people ranging in age from three to 18 years of age, according to the recommendation’s report. 

 


Davis: $2 billion in rebates not good enough

The Associated Press
Monday June 25, 2001

SAN DIEGO – As an array of officials prepared to represent California in federally ordered talks with power companies, Gov. Gray Davis on Sunday discounted suggestions that the state will accept far less in electricity rebates than he believes it’s owed. 

“We’re going back to Washington with one goal, and that’s to get back $9 billion,” Davis said from San Diego in a telephone conference with reporters. 

California officials contend that power generators have overcharged the state and investor-owned utilities utilities $8.9 billion since last May. The companies argue that the charges, which have reached as high as $3,380 a megawatt hour, were justified. 

“Power providers have been taking advantage of our market; they gamed the system and ripped people off,” Davis said. 

On Monday, officials from the state, the utilities and the generators meet under orders from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to negotiate a settlement over the alleged overcharges. 

The talks will be overseen by Curtis Wagner Jr., FERC’s chief administrative law judge. Wagner said Friday that he was optimistic a settlement would be reached, but thought the amount would be closer to $2 billion or $2.5 billion. 

Davis said Michael Kahn, chairman of the California Independent System Operator, which manages the state’s power grid, will lead California’s negotiating team. Also taking part in the talks will be representatives of the Attorney General’s Office, the Public Utilities Commission and the Department of Water Resources. 

FERC has authority only over private power generators, but the state claims it also was overcharged by public entities — such as the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the trading arm of Canada’s BC Hydro. 

Davis senior adviser Nancy McFadden said a settlement with the private generators would give the state leverage with the others. “We need to use the forum that we’ve got available to us,” she said. 

Davis said the state will get a little more breathing room in the power grid over the next two and a half weeks, when three new power plants producing a total of nearly 1,400 megawatts are scheduled to go on line.  

A 320-megawatt plant near Bakersfield is set to begin operating Wednesday, and will be followed by a 500-megawatt plant near Yuba City and a 559-megawatt plant in Contra Costa County. 

The addition this summer of major power plants, smaller peaker plants and cleaner-burning “qualifying facilities” should add 4,000 megawatts to the state’s overburdened power grid by Sept. 30, Davis said. That expansion and ongoing conservation efforts will reduce the chances of rolling blackouts, he said. 

Davis also said that he will meet Monday with three former employees of one power generator, Duke Energy, who testified before a California Senate committee Friday. 

The former employees, who were laid off in April, say they were told to shut units down for unnecessary repairs in a scheme to drive up electricity prices. The company called the claims “baseless.” 

 

Developments in California’s energy crisis: 

SUNDAY: 

— Gov. Gray Davis discounted suggestions that California will end up agreeing to rebates that are a fraction of what the state contends it is owed by power generators. California officials contend that power generators have overcharged the state and investor-owned utilities utilities $8.9 billion since last May. A top official with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said Friday that he thought a settlement could mean $2 billion or $2.5 billion for the state. 

— Davis said three new power plants totalling almost 1,400 megawatts of electricity should be on line in the next two and a half weeks. The first is a 320-megawatt facility near Bakersfield set to go on line Wednesday. 

— No power alerts Sunday as electricity reserves stay above 7 percent. Track the state’s blackout warnings on the Web at www.caiso.com/SystemStatus.html. 

WHAT’S NEXT: 

— Two Federal Energy Regulatory Commission commissioners say they will attend a California Energy Commission meeting Monday. 

— Davis plans to meet Monday with three former Duke Energy employees who say the power generator ordered unnecessary repairs to one plant in a scheme to raise prices. 

— Greenpeace Executive Director John Passacantando says he will deliver Davis a plane ticket Monday to attend global warming talks in Bonn, Germany, next month, as part of the environmental group’s demand for cleaner energy alternatives to help solve the state’s energy crisis. The effort is part of a new drive with other conservation groups dubbed Clean Energy Now. See www.cleanenergynow.org. 

— The state Senate continues to hold hearings on the Edison rescue deal. 

— Senate Select Committee to Investigate Price Manipulation sets a Thursday deadline for power generators to comply with document subpoenas or face contempt citations. 

THE PROBLEM: 

High demand, high wholesale energy costs, transmission glitches and a tight supply worsened by scarce hydroelectric power in the Northwest and maintenance at aging California power plants are all factors in California’s electricity crisis. 

Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric say they’ve lost nearly $14 billion since June to high wholesale prices the state’s electricity deregulation law bars them from passing on to consumers. PG&E, saying it hasn’t received the help it needs from regulators or state lawmakers, filed for federal bankruptcy protection April 6. Electricity and natural gas suppliers, scared off by the companies’ poor credit ratings, are refusing to sell to them, leading the state in January to start buying power for the utilities’ nearly 9 million residential and business customers. The state is also buying power for a third investor-owned utility, San Diego Gas & Electric, which is in better financial shape than much larger Edison and PG&E but also struggling with high wholesale power costs. 

The Public Utilities Commission has approved average rate increases of 37 percent for the heaviest residential customers and 38 percent for commercial customers, and hikes of up to 49 percent for industrial customers and 15 percent or 20 percent for agricultural customers to help finance the state’s multibillion-dollar power buys. 


Internet poised to revolutionize voice communications

By Matthew Fordahl AP Technology Writer
Monday June 25, 2001

Data networks, telephone systems could converge to cause technology shift 

 

 

SAN JOSE – For a century, a labyrinthine network of switches and wires has connected voices around the world. Access is as easy as picking up a telephone and pressing a few buttons. 

More recently, separate networks have sprouted, not to carry conversations, but the electronic chatter of machines. These data networks now interconnect and span the globe. 

Though both networks can handle both voice and data, their complete convergence has long seemed a pipe dream. Phones are simple but limited in function and bandwidth. Data networks are flexible but complicated. 

Now, high-speed data networks have become so pervasive as to transform telephony. The global phone system is on the verge of its biggest technology shift since Alexander Graham Bell’s invention eclipsed the telegraph. 

Using data networks, telephone calls will no longer be made by completing circuits, a connection made by automated switches today and human operators long ago. Instead, voices will be broken down into packets of data and transmitted over the Internet just like e-mail, instant messages and other data. 

The technology not only makes phone calls cheaper, it also enables new services. 

“It’s not just about carrying voice,” said Rick Weston, senior vice president of Qwest Internet Solutions. “It’s about the features that we’re going to build on top of these networks.” 

Voice mail and e-mail, for instance, could be checked from a single program, either on a phone or a computer. New lines could be added without running extra copper wire. 

Employees’ telephones, assigned unique addresses, could be moved to another office or home with a few clicks of a mouse. Dial tone could be replaced with useful information, such as news or scheduled appointments. 

These technologies are happening now, and dozens of companies are scrambling to profit from the convergence of data and voice networks. 

Large corporations are already saving money by routing calls to satellite offices through their computer networks, bypassing the taxes and tolls of the traditional phone system and negating the need for a separate voice network. 

Companies report costs savings of up to 30 percent with such systems, according to the consulting firm InfoTech. 

Equipment makers such as Cisco Systems Inc. and 3Com Corp. sell specialized equipment that efficiently routes voice data over businesses’ local networks and connects it to the existing telephone system. The market is expected to grow to more than $3.3 billion in 2001 and $11.6 billion in 2004, the Telecommunications Industry Association says. 

Providers of high-speed Internet access are now testing the technology, hoping to cash in. 

Even established phone companies such as Qwest and SBC Communications see it as a way to add services without having to lay new cable. 

Yet none of the services have much value if the person on the other line can’t be heard. That, so far, has been the big challenge. 

Early Internet telephony, generally used to bypass long-distance and international charges, was awkward. A caller used a microphone and speakers attached to a computer. 

Now, actual phones are available, and they connect to data lines instead of phone wires. 

But the hardest part has been hearing the other person. Voice packets can get delayed or lost as they transit data networks. 

Unlike the phone system, which creates dedicated circuits for each call, data packets from an Internet call can take varied routes. Even with a fast connection, a conversation with a next-door neighbor can sound like a call from Chechnya. 

“You may get a perfectly good call if things are working fine,” said Alec Henderson of Cisco Systems Inc.’s voice technology center. “But if everyone is trying to download the Victoria’s Secret show, your call may not go through at all.” 

The key is giving voice packets priority over those containing e-mail and Web data. Companies can do this now only with close monitoring or avoiding altogether the public Internet. 

Despite these hurdles, the home market is growing as high-speed Internet access reach more residences. 

Companies that once offered choppy PC-to-PC service are introducing devices that link regular telephones to cable or digital modems. 

Net2Phone Inc. and Dialpad Communications Inc. run traffic over voice-optimized data networks that connect to the old phone system, allowing calls to be made to regular phone numbers, not just other PCs, for just a few cents a minute. 

Still, the quality is not quite on par with the phone network. Data still must pass over local lines and sometimes the public Internet to reach the private networks. Some calls are garbled and, occasionally, disconnected. 

Also, the services are mostly being marketed as low-cost second phone lines for teen-agers, and are not yet connected to the 911 emergency system or 411 directory assistance. 

DSL and cable providers, meanwhile, are trying to set up phone service on their own data lines. 

In one solution, voice packets travel only as far as the nearest switch onto the public telephone network. There, the data is turned back into voice and it joins regular telephone system traffic. 

In a nod to consumer friendliness, Jetstream Communications Inc. and Panasonic this month introduced a $500 system that includes all the necessary hardware in a single telephone. 

So far, only a handful of high-speed Internet service providers are testing the device, which requires special gateways to connect with the telephone network. 

Ultimately, new telephone services will have to offer more than just a reliable and cheap line, said David Neil, an analyst at Gartner. 

“Right now, there isn’t a tremendous amount of benefit to be gained from going with the new telephony,” he said. “We think two or three years down the road, you’re going to start to see power coming from voice and data convergence.”


California lags behind in managing growth

By Jim Wasserman Associated Press Writer
Monday June 25, 2001

SACRAMENTO – Despite some of the best minds in the nation and its creativity in movies and technology, California is nearly as renowned for what’s wrong: gridlocked freeways, marathon commutes, smog and stratospheric housing prices. 

While its films have happy endings and its computers get faster, the congested downside to the nation’s most populous state is only expected to get worse, say growth watchers inside the state and beyond. 

State governments elsewhere are experimenting with aggressive topdown solutions to their growth problems. But California, which turned cruising into pop culture and boasts more cars than registered drivers, lags in its customary role as trendsetter, say urban planning analysts. 

“If you work in this field, you can’t help but notice there’s not a lot of governmental action,” says Joel S. Hirschhorn, author of the National Governors Association report “Growing Pains.” 

“We’ve always been behind the curve in growth management,” adds Bill Fulton, Ventura author of “Reluctant Metropolis: The Politics of urban Growth in Los Angeles.” 

Tell it to the millions who endure grueling commutes on the state’s mid-20th Century freeway system. 

“It’s a frustrating miserable crawl,” says Albert Yanez, who spends four hours a day driving between Tracy and Palo Alto. Yanez, a plant operations manager with Southwall Technologies, trades a 65-mile drive he calls “horrid” for a house he can afford. 

Typical, too, is Greg Nelson, who drives three hours a day between Mission Viejo and downtown Los Angeles. 

“I condition myself to make it my Zen time,” says the chief deputy to Los Angeles City Councilman Joel Wachs. I really will not let that commute bother me.” 

San Diego social worker Carmen Diaz tells horror stories from friends about rent. 

“My friend is having a hard time finding something affordable,” she says. “There is nothing less than $800 a month.” 

Navy Corpsman Yvette Pryor recalls a futile house hunt last year in San Diego. She says, “I couldn’t find anything under $220,000 for a two-bedroom, one-bath house. There was no way I could afford $220,000.” 

For varying reasons, from the state’s size to its legacy of property rights and distrust for strong government, California lets local governments and increasingly, even voters set much of its growth agenda. Last November half the ballot issues in the United States dealing with local growth were in California. While many of these successfully slowed development, some analysts believe they worsen California’s problems. 

“That’s giving us policies that are restrictive on a local basis and make no sense regionally,” says Carol Whiteside, who has tracked growth as mayor of Modesto, an official in the Gov. Pete Wilson Administration and now as director of the Great Valley Center. 

As Californians wrestle with growth one shopping center at a time, Hirschhorn says innovators in growth management are smaller states such as Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington. He also cites Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee and Utah. 

Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening, facing a million newcomers within two decades in a state of 5.2 million people, once feared they’d consume as much open land as developed in the state’s history. Glendening uses state highway, water and sewer funds to drive development into existing cities. 

On July 1, his state planning chief, Harriet Tregoning, will become the nation’s first Cabinet-level Secretary of Smart Growth. 

“We’re incredibly committed to trying to change development patterns in Maryland,” says Tregoning. The governor’s aim is to change the idea of the “good life,” she says, so “the good life becomes something other than a large single-family detached home surrounded by acres of lawn.” 

But Maryland has fewer people than the San Francisco Bay Area. California, in the 1990s, grew by 4 million residents after adding 6 million during the 1980s. In April, the Texas Transportation Institute ranked Los Angeles and San Francisco-Oakland first and second for the country’s worst traffic. The state has much of the nation’s most polluted air and highest housing costs. A May poll of 2001 adults by the Public Policy Institute of California revealed growth as the biggest concern after the electricity crisis. 

Yet by a 3-1 margin the same Californians said state government should stay out of land-use decisions. 

Whiteside acknowledges that the state is “AWOL on leadership on growth issues. But she adds, “In fairness to this governor and the last one, who’s clamoring for it?” 

Fulton says no California governor since Jerry Brown, from 1975 to 1983, aggressively contended with growth. The state, he says is “big and it’s complicated and that’s part of the problem. To the extent you see interesting solutions, you will see it come from individual regions.” 

In Sacramento, Assemblyman Darrell Steinberg is borrowing from Minneapolis-St. Paul, where cities share sales taxes rather than fight over lucrative car dealerships and superstores. This year the Democrat introduced a bill to bring the same to metropolitan Sacramento, nearing 2 million people. 

Steinberg, an ex-Sacramento City Council member, says sales tax competition creates “sprawl and uncoordinated growth, and we already have among the worst air quality and traffic in the country in this region.” 

Last year 37 Assembly and Senate members formed a Smart Growth Caucus and introduced 25 bills. Caucus organizer and chairwoman Patricia Wiggins, D-Santa Rosa, argues that state government “should lay out an expectation and a blueprint for the way the state is going to grow and develop and not have it be willy nilly.” 

Hirschhorn says states increasingly see growth as a quality of life issue that can make or break their economies. 

“They’ve already started to lose some high-tech growth in San Jose,” he says. “Companies have already started going elsewhere. People who work for those companies don’t want to commute four hours a day.” 

On the road between Tracy and Palo Alto, commuter Yanez yearns for the bullet trains he’s seen in Japan. Nelson wonders when “enough is enough.” I’m in Orange County,” he says, “looking at possibilities of becoming another L.A.. That’s not an exciting thought.” 


Biotech researchers, protesters converge on San Diego

By Paul Elias AP Biotechnology Writer
Monday June 25, 2001

SAN DIEGO – There was a time, not so long ago, when biotech was such a clubby and chummy field that organizers of the industry’s annual conference welcomed protesters inside as amusing distractions. 

Carl Feldbaum, the nine-year president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, fondly remembers inviting demonstrators dressed as fruits and vegetables onto the conference floor in Seattle in 1999. 

“They were very nice young people,” Feldbaum said. 

Biotechnology has since grown from a highbrow boutique for brainy molecular scientists to an industry that generated revenues of $22.3 billion last year. 

“Nice” is not a word anyone would use anymore to describe biotechnology’s relationship with its critics, who are converging by the thousands on San Diego for this year’s conference, running Sunday through Wednesday. 

The Washington, D.C.-based BIO trade group estimates that 1,280 biotech companies nationwide generated revenues of $22.3 billion last year. That’s much less than the $290 billion market capitalization of leading drug-maker Pfizer Inc. and the $500 billion market capitalization of the entire pharmaceutical industry, but rising fast nonetheless. 

Publicly owned biotech companies had a combined market capitalization of $35 billion, while $3.2 billion in venture capital investment flowed into biotech start-ups — both all-time highs, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers. 

The financial strength of the nation’s 1,280 biotech companies still pales in comparison to the $500 billion market capitalization of the entire pharmaceutical industry, but it’s bulking up fast nonetheless. 

Thanks to the decoding of the human genome and the expectation that it will lead to revolutionary medical advances, biotech now has more money, people, and interest than ever before. A record 15,000 attendees are expected at the conference, touting progress toward cures for diseases, agricultural improvements and even help for deep-space exploration. 

Though the venture capital stream into startups has slowed this year, biotech — and genomics in particular — remains an active investment area. 

In the months since we were told by scientists that we possess an estimated 30,000 genes in each cells, dozens of companies have aggressively searched this genetic code for keys to therapies that can be patented and profited from. 

“Genomics has been extremely hot for investment,” PriceWaterhouseCoopers partner Jim Ingraham said. 

As the industry grows, so does the number and rancor of its critics — as many of 5,000 of which are expected to converge on the San Diego Conference Center. 

Even before the conference began, two protesters were arrested around noon Saturday for vandalizing a police car. Both were taken to jail. 

Most have focused their ire on genetically engineered “Frankenfoods,” increasing corporate control of the world’s food supply and xenotransplantation — the use of animal organs and tissue for treating human diseases. 

“Genetic engineering poses the biggest risks in history to our health and environment,” Greenpeace activist Ama Marston said Thursday outside an Albertson’s grocery store in San Diego, where members of her group ran through the baked goods aisle slapping warning stickers on the food. 

Abortion foes also will be out in force, protesting embryonic stem cell research. 

They fear scientists will create, clone and destroy embryos simply in the name of research. Proponents, though, argue that no other human cells offer as much promise for regenerating diseased tissue and attacking a host of diseases from Parkinson’s to cancers. 

The Bush administration on Wednesday said it would support a bill to ban the cloning of embryonic stem cells. Also pending is an administration decision on whether to block federal funds for the research. 

“Even at one cell, I can’t say that’s not a human being,” said Indiana State University cellular biologist David Prentice, an outspoken foe of embryonic stem research. 

But where protesters see biological nightmares, Feldbaum and other biotech industry leaders envision millions of lives saved and billions of dollars made. 

“Lives are at stake,” Feldbaum said. “We will defend our conference.”


Tough semester for Rebound program teacher

By Ben Lumpkin Daily Planet staff
Saturday June 23, 2001

“Welcome to my chaos,” said Katrina Scott-George, as she watched a reporter walk into her Berkeley High math classroom a few weeks ago. 

It was a perfunctory greeting. 

Not that Scott-George wasn’t willing – eager, really – to explain how she and five other first time teachers have done more in six months to chip away at the “achievement gap” than the school district has managed in years (at least by their estimation).  

It’s just that she’s seen it all as far as the media goes: the San Francisco Chronicle, the online magazine Salon, the Berkeley High Jacket. 

She’s watched her students squirm in their seats as photographer flash bulbs lit up the room like an electric storm. 

And it hasn’t made a bit of difference. The Rebound program, of which Scott-George is a part, is slated for termination at the end of this summer, unless the school board comes up with more money at the final hour. 

Even more hurtful for Scott-George is the feeling that, despite the media frenzy, her work at Berkeley High has somehow escaped the notice of Berkeley school administrators. 

Two weeks after this reporter’s visit, Scott-George would stand in front of the Berkeley School board and say, with an air of total resignation: “I’m feeling that there isn’t much point speaking to this body. I feel that this body doesn’t listen.” 

And the thing is, it’s just so obvious to Scott-George, and other supporters of the Rebound program, what needs to be done. 

A civil engineer by training, Scott-George moved to Berkeley from Connecticut recently and enrolled her child in Berkeley High School. She’d heard about the achievement gap separating students of color from their peers at the school, but she was “shocked,” she said, to see how little was being done to address the gap. 

Last fall Scott-George joined a group called Parents of Children of African Descent (PCAD) to demand that the school district institute special classes – with fewer students and more instructional time – to keep freshman students of color who were failing their classes from falling further behind at the school. 

In the smaller classes, teachers could meet these students where they were, build relationships of trust, and get the students to truly engage in their academic work at the high school for the first time, PCAD members argued. 

The school district approved the Rebound program in January to run though the second semester and into the summer. When it proved impossible for the district to find experienced teachers to staff the program on such short notice, Scott-George volunteered. 

After six months as a Rebound math teacher – she received her emergency teaching credential midway through the semester – Scott-George has seen her worst suspicions about what happens to students of color who arrive at Berkeley High unprepared confirmed. 

To begin with, Scott-George has seen just how unprepared many of these students are when the step onto the Berkeley High campus. Rebound administered a math preparation test to its 50 students back in January, testing the most basic concepts they should have picked up from the sixth grade on, Scott-George said. Only eight out of 50 got more than 50 percent of answers correct. 

Other Rebound teachers tell stories of students who couldn’t write a complete sentence in English being asked to read, discuss and write about English literature in freshman English classes. 

“My experience has been that the greatest reason that they have not engaged in math (before Rebound) is that the preparation has not occurred,” Scott-George said. 

“If they can’t engage in it, there is nothing else for them to do but horseplay,” she said. 

Scott-George and other Rebound supporters understand that the reasons these students have fallen so far behind are numerous and complex. What they don’t understand, they have said again and again, is how the school district can stand by and watch as these kids are assigned to classes at Berkeley High where they have little hope of success. 

As long as this continues to happen, they argue, a large part of the African American and Latino communities will remain alienated and marginalized at Berkeley High, feeling that the school consistently fails to serve their interests. 

“Parents feel like they’re giving they’re children to the school and getting back garbage,” said an exasperated Scott-George. “And the school, I guess, feels that they’re getting garbage and what can they do?” 

After this summer, the 50 Rebound students will resume their place in regular Berkeley High classes as sophomores. PCAD members are already worried about their transition. Debrah Watson, a member of the PCAD Steering Committee, said the group is in the process of hiring a counselor to work closely with the 50 PCAD students for at least for the first couple months of school – until funds run out.  

With only 50 students to look after, instead of the 500 students assigned to each of the school’s existing guidance counselors, PCAD members hope this temporary employee will be able to make the move from the close-knit Rebound community back into the huge, comprehensive school a little less abrupt. 

For her part, Scott-George tried to prepare her students for the tough transition ahead by giving them an challenging, double-period test a few weeks ago. 

Some of the students registered their discontent with a return to the horseplay and willful disobedience they have indulged in so often before Rebound. 

“This is how they act when they’re angry,” Scott-George said. 

To the students, she said: “I know that was tough. I knew it would be tough. Why am I giving you challenging problems? Because I expect you can do challenging work.” 


Calendar of Events & Activities

Saturday June 23, 2001


Saturday, June 23

 

Maudelle Shirek turns 90 

North Berkeley Sr. Center 

1900 Hearst Ave. 

2-4 p.m. 

90 people will talk about their experiences with the vice mayor. 

$25/sliding scale. 549-1861. 

 

“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 

 

Strawberry Creek Walking Tour 

10 a.m. - Noon 

Learn about Strawberry Creek’s history, explore its neighborhoods, and consider its potential. Meet four experts on the local creeks. Reservations required, call 848-0181. 

 

Energy-Efficient Wood Windows 

9:30 - 11:30 a.m. 

Truitt and White Lumber 

642 Hearst Avenue 

Free seminar by Marvin Window’s representative Chris Martin on how to measure and install the double-hung Tilt Pac replacement unit, as well as a review of the full line of Marvin’s energy-efficient wood windows. 

649-2574 

 

What You Need to Know Before You Build or Remodel 

10 a.m. - Noon 

The Building Education Center 

812 Page Street 

Free seminar by professional builder Glen Kitzenberger. 

525-7610 

 

Choosing to Add On: The Pros and Cons of Building an Addition 

Noon - 2 p.m. 

The Building Education Center 

812 Page Street 

Free seminar by author/designer Skip Wenz 

525-7610 

 

Schools for Chiapas Benefit 

7 p.m. 

Lost City 23 Club 

23 Vistitacion Ave., Brisbane 

El Camioncito Escolar Por La Paz en Chiapas  

“The Little School Bus for Peace in Chiapas” is coming to the Bay Area after two months on the road accompanying the Zapatistas on their historic march to Mexico City. Benefit show featuring Fleeting Trace and other bands. 18 and over. Ride to the show on “The Little School Bus for Peace in Chiapas.” Meet at the downtown Berkeley BART station on Shattuck at 6 p.m. Sharp! 

 

Our Nations Speak 

8 p.m. 

La Peña Cultural Center 

3105 Shattuck Avenue 

Voices Writing Workshop faculty will read from their works. Proceeds will go to attendees of one of the two week-long workshops who cannot attend without financial support. The Voices Writing Workshop nurtures developing writers through the perspectives of writers of color. $10 donation requested. 415-422-5488 

 

Midsummer’s Festival 

1 - 5 p.m. 

People’s Park 

Telegraph and Haste 

Strange News, Something of Substance, and The American Lion perform live to celebrate the park’s 30th summer. 


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  

www.uncle-eye.com 

 

Carefree/Carfree Tour 

1 p.m. 

Berkeley Arts Festival Gallery 

2200 Shattuck Avenue 

Artful garden tour, part of the Berkeley Arts Festival. Ride AC Transit to Marcia Donohue and Mark Bulwinkle’s Our Own Stuff Garden and Gallery, then walk to the Dry Garden. 486-0411 

 

Carefree/Carfree Tour #2 

1:30 p.m. 

Berkeley Arts Festival Gallery 

2200 Shattuck Avenue 

Ride the bus to the Codornices Creek Restoration Project and the Peralta Community Garden and enjoy a concert by Nicole Miller. 

486-0411 

 

Music and Meditation 

8 - 9 p.m. 

The Heart-Road Traveller 

1828 Euclid Avenue 

Group meditation using instrumental music and devotional songs. Free. 496-3468  

 

Buddhist Philosophy 

6 p.m. 

Tibetan Nyingma Institute 

1815 Highland Place 

Barr Rosenberg, co-dean of the Nyingma Institute, will present some of the central ideas and perspectives of the Madhyamaka School of Buddhism. 843-6812 


Monday, June 25

 

Tectonic Theater Project 

7 p.m. 

Berkeley Rep’s Roda Theater 

2015 Addison Street 

“Page to Stage: Surviving the Media” is a conversation with the Tectonic Theater Project and professor Douglas Foster. The Tectonic Theater Project traveled to Laramie, Wyoming after the murder of openly gay student Matthew Shepard and wrote a play about the impact The Laramie Project is running through July 8 at the Berkeley Rep. 647-2900 

 

What You Need to Know Before You Build or Remodel 

7 - 9 p.m. 

The Building Education Center 

812 Page Street 

Free seminar by professional builder Glen Kitzenberger. 

525-7610 

 

NOW Meeting 

6:30 p.m. 

Mama Bears Book Store 

6537 Telegraph Avenue 

The general meeting of the National Organization for Women. 

 

Parks and Recreation Commission 

7 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center 

1901 Hearst Avenue 

Regular meeting, including the Civic Center Park Draft Environmental Impact Report and the Draft General Plan. Also, Director’s Update on Eastshore State Park Planning Process. 

981-6707 or 981-6903 (TDD) 

 

 

 

 

— compiled by Sabrina Forkish and Guy Poole 

 

 

 

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 Don, 525-3565 

 


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 

 

Disaster Council 

7 p.m. 

Emergency Operations Center 

997 Cedar Street 

Update on Measure G. 

644-8736 

 

Socratic Circle Discussion 

5 p.m. 

Cafe Electica 

1309 Solano Avenue 

Gather for espresso and discussion at the “green” teen cafe. Open to all. Free. 

527-2344 

 


Thursday, June 28

 

 

Quit Smoking Class 

6 - 8 p.m. 

South Berkeley Senior Center 

2939 Ellis Street 

A six week quit smoking class. Free to Berkeley residents and employees. 

Call 644-6422 or e-mail at: quitnow@ci.berkeley.ca.us 

 

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. 

 

Pink Slip Party and Career Mixer 

6 - 9 p.m. 

Pyramid Brewery and Alehouse 

901 Gilman Street 

Meet with East Bay job seekers while listening to music by DJ and Emcee Marty Nemko. Also, cash bar, free hors d’oeurves, and prize giveaways. Free and open to the public. Call 251-1401. 

www.eastbaytechjobs.com/mixer/ 

 

Take the Terror Out of Talking! 

Noon to 1:30 p.m. 

California Dept. of Health Services 

2151 Berkeley Way 

Room 804 

Open house at State Health Toastmasters Club to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Free. 

649-7750 


Letters to the Editor

Saturday June 23, 2001

Investigate pedestrian death 

 

The Daily Planet received this letter originally addressed to the mayor and council: 

We are writing to request your assistance in addressing critical issues related to the March 13, 2001 collision at the intersection of Hearst and Shattuck avenues, which resulted in the death of our friend and co-worker, Jayne Ash.  

At the May 17, 2001 Transportation Commission meeting, a report was presented by Reh-Lin Chen, traffic engineer of the Berkeley Public Works Department summarizing the incident and suggesting possible remedies. The report was inadequately investigated, as it focused on the layout of the intersection with only one logistical improvement suggested for that intersection. Further, it focused on the fact that Jayne’s death was the only pedestrian fatality at this particular intersection in the past few years, and deemed it an “isolated case.”  

Moreover, the report neglected to consider the density of pedestrian and bicycle accidents within the two-mile radius of the university and downtown. This problem has been acknowledged in Berkeley police reports and verified by our own experience crossing Shattuck Avenue on a daily basis. There have been dozens of collisions, and some deaths, of both pedestrians and cyclists within only a few blocks along this area of Shattuck in the past few years.  

We feel strongly that all of the factors contributing to Jayne’s death need to be thoroughly investigated in order to be able to ensure that this type of accident does not occur again, and that some benefit may arise from the death of our healthy, pedestrian-law-abiding co-worker. While we are not traffic safety experts, we believe the following questions must be addressed in order to begin such an investigation, and answers provided to all interested parties: 

Collision-specific issues: 

• Did the driver see Jayne before hitting her? 

• If not, was this due to inattention, light glare, poor vision, impairment due to drugs, a structural defect of the truck, or some other cause or combination of causes? 

Commercial and construction issues: 

• Was the truck (a concrete pumping truck) traveling to or from a construction site, on an approved route for construction vehicles? 

• Was the driver licensed and appropriately trained to drive a commercial vehicle? 

• Had the truck been recently inspected for commercial use by an appropriate government agency? Was it inspected immediately after the accident? 

Contextual issues 

• Are the speed limits and the timing of traffic lights appropriate for the volume of pedestrian and bicycle travel on Shattuck and Hearst avenues? 

• Are pedestrian safety laws adequately funded and enforced?  

Comprehensive measures are clearly indicated. We understand that the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety (BAPS) Plan, which is currently before the City Council Budget Committee, addresses some of these global issues. We were surprised to learn that the plan was not initially fully funded, and shocked that many portions of the plan that were funded have still not been implemented. Why is this situation continuing, and how will it be rectified? 

We strongly urge you to fully fund this plan in the City budget for this fiscal year, and to clearly delineate the persons/offices responsible for each aspect of BAPS implementation, including timelines.  

We are committed to ensuring that these issues are resolved immediately. Unfortunately, we have still have not received any answer to our letter of April 5, 2001 that outlines why pedestrian safety in Berkeley is a public health emergency, and should be treated as such. Please let us know who is responsible for responding to this life-threatening situation, and whom we should contact for follow-up. 

To Berkeley Daily Planet readers- we urge you to write or call your councilmember to take decisive, immediate action on this public health emergency. One way to contact your councilmember is through the city clerk’s office by email at clerk@ci.berkeley.ca.us. 

 

Joan Sprinson, Berkeley 

Melissa Ehman 

and 20 others 

 

 

Readers: the letter that ran Friday called “Beth El Planning process worked” inadvertently had its author’s name omitted. It was written by James H. Samuels AIA, of Berkeley. -editor 

 

Bush here in Berkeley? 

 

Editor: 

At the June 13 meeting of the Claremont Elmwood Neighborhood Association, a P.G.&E representative was invited to speak about energy conservation. He explained the current crisis as being generated by a 30 percent growth in demand, while supply has only grown 6 percent. He then presented a series of tips which consisted of replacing light bulbs with more efficient bulbs, cleaning furnace filters regularly and keeping the lint filter and the exhaust vent clean on one’s clothes dryer. He did note that gas dryers were more efficient, and that homes should be insulated and that newer double pane windows saved heat.  

No mention was made of the threatened rolling blackouts, or changing energy habits to reduce usage, not even of hanging out clothes to dry in the summer sunshine and heat.  

What was presented was the George W. Bush energy plan. That is, you don’t have to give up anything, just tinker here and there and you can continue consuming.  

Implied in the opening remarks is the idea that we must increase supply. Bush in Berkeley, what a concept. 

 

John Cecil  

Berkeley 

 

Win-win answer for Beth El  

 

Editor: 

Why is this Beth El business so complicated? City policy says open the creeks. That is a good thing; opening the creeks will make our community a nicer place to live.  

Berkeley is the most densely built city in the area. It is safe to say that open space is more important to us than more buildings. 

Right now, we are looking at a vacant lot; if we are going to open the creek, no better time then now. Maybe that means scaling back the project, but I’ve been to the site, and there is plenty of room for anything short of the Taj Mahal. And scaling it back is going to make for a lot of happy neighbors. Open creek; less intrusive buildings; new synagogue; everyone’s happy. Why can’t this work? 

And, please, no more letters about how Beth El is such a wonderful community member. Come on guys, this is not about who you are, its about what you’re building – unless you believe that good works should allow you to trample over the interests of your fellow citizens. Let’s just stick talking about how appropriate this structure is for the land, the neighborhood, and the city. OK? 

 

Steen Jensen 

Berkeley 

 

Thanks where thanks is due 

 

Editor: 

With the improvements to the downtown area partial completed Berkeley citizens have a wonderful opportunity to compare the area before and after improvement. From the Berkeley Public Library building north on Shattuck the messy trees that once cluttered the sidewalk have been replaced by smaller and cleaner trees in the traffic median where they will not block the beautiful signage of the downtown business establishments. The space once taken up by these messy trees are now devoted to lovely poster resistant light posts making for a sterile and shade free plaza like space which will discourage dawdling and surely increase commerce. 

Compare this with the area to the south of the library which is still dangerously darkened by the oppressive canopy of foliage from the mature trees that remain, blocking important signs and storefronts and encourage pedestrians to stand or sit still in this high traffic venue. 

I hope that after comparing the unimproved with the improved space in downtown Berkeley citizens will give the Downtown Berkeley Association, Mayor Dean and all the city planners and elected officials who fostered these improvements the thanks they are due and remember their work when they offer up further improvements. 

Robert Nichols 

Berkeley 


Arts & Entertainment

Saturday June 23, 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  

 

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. Space Weather Exhibit now - Sept. 2; now - Sept. 9 Science in Toyland; June 21: 6 a.m., Solar Eclipse Day 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  

 

The UC Berkeley Art Museum is closed for renovations until the fall. 

 

924 Gilman St. All shows begin at 8 p.m. unless noted $5; $2 for year membership. All ages. June 23: The Hellbillies, The Fartz, The Tossers, Roundup, 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; July 6: Victim’s Family, Fleshies, The Modern Machines, Once For Kicks, The Blottos; July 7: The Stitches, Real MacKenzies, The Briefs, The Eddie Haskells, The Spits 525-9926  

 

Albatross Pub Music at 9 p.m. unless noted otherwise. June 26: Mad & Eddie Duran Jazz Duo; June 28: Keni “El Lebrijano”; June 30: Larry Stefl Jazz Quartet; July 3: 9 p.m., pickPocket ensemble; July 4: Whiskey Brothers; July 5: Keni “El Lebrijano.” 1822 San Pablo Ave. 843-2473  

 

Anna’s Music at 8 p.m. June 23: 10:30 p.m., Ducksan Distones; June 24: The Joe Livotti Sound; June 26: Tangria; June 27: Bob Schoen Jazz Quartet; June 28: ConFusion; June 29: Anna and Susie Laraine and Sally Hanna-Rhine; 10 p.m., Hideo Date; June 30: Anna and Susie Laraine and Peri Poston; 10 p.m., The Ducksan Distone. $2 weeknights, $3 weekends. 1801 University Ave. 849-ANNA  

 

Ashkenaz June 23: 9 p.m., Baba Ken Okulolo and the Nigerian Brothers celebrate the release of their CD “Songs From the Village”; June 24: 8 p.m., Babatunde Olantunji; June 26: 9 p.m., DP & The Rhythm Riders; June 27: 8 p.m. June “Fling Ding” featuring Circle R Boys and Dark Hollow; June 28: 9 p.m., Monkey, Stiff Richards, Go Jimmy Go; June 29: 8:30 p.m., Fountain’s Muse CD release party and Musicians and Fine Artists for World Peace fund-raiser, with Obeyjah and others; June 30: 9:30 p.m. Tropical Vibrations. 1370 San Pablo Ave. 525-5054 or www.ashkenaz.com 

 

Berkeley Arts Festival June 24: 7 p.m. “A Beanbenders’ Reunion” Gems from the Vault, Daniel Popsicle, Ben Goldberg’s Brainchild, The Toychestra and Graham Connah’s Jettison Slinky. June 25: The Just Friends Quinte; June 26: Donald Robinson Trio; June 28: Con Alma Vocal Jazz Sextet; June 30: 7:30 p.m. Marvin Sanders and Vera Berheda, plus Mozart, Beethoven, Hadyn and Fuare in the gallery; July 1: 11 a.m., “Free Jazz on the Pier” The Christy Dana Quartet (on the Berkeley Pier). All shows at 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted Donations requested 2200 Shattuck Avenue 665-9496 

 

Freight & Salvage All music at 8 p.m. June 23: Lara & Reyes; June 24; Darryl Purpose, Dave Carter & Tracy Grammar; June 26; Freight 33rd Anniversary Revue; June 27: Dilema, Hookslide; June 28: Jim Campilongo; June 29: Don’t Look Back; June 30: Jim Hurst & Missy Raines, Due West; July 5: Druha Trava; July 6 and 7: Ferron. 1111 Addison St. www.freightandsalvage.org; 548-1761 

 

Jupiter All shows at 8 p.m. 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 

 

Julia Morgan Center for the Arts June 23: 8 p.m., “Celebrating Rumi with Persian Classical Music” by Mohammed Reza Lofti. $23 - $25; July 1: 1 & 2 p.m., “Kourosh Taghavi: The Beauty of Iranian Music and Stories of its Origins” $5 - $10. 2640 College Ave. 654-0100 

 

Live Oaks Concerts, Berkeley Art Center, June 24: Stephen Bell; July 1: Matthew Owens; July 15: David Cheng, Marvin Sanders, Ari Hsu; July 27: Monica Norcia, Amy Likar, Jim Meredith. All shows at 7:30 unless otherwise noted Admission $10 (BACA members $8, students and seniors $9, children under 12 free) 

 

Ed Ivey’s Brass Band Blowout June 23: 9:45 p.m. Featuring Polkacide, Brass Monkey Band, and Banda La Bahia. $6. Starry Plough 3101 Shattuck Avenue 

 

125 Records Release Party June 30: 9:45 p.m. Anton Barbeau and Belle De Gama will celebrate the release of their albums The Golden Boot: Antology 2 and Garden Abstract respectively. These are the first two albums released on the 125 Records label, founded by Joe Mallon with his winnings from his appearance on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.” $5. Starry Plough 3101 Shattuck Avenue 841-2082  

 

“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 

 

“Kid Kaleidoscope and the Puppet Players” June 24: 2 p.m., Julia Morgan Center for the Arts. The Puppet Players are a multi-media musical theatre group. Their shows are masterfully produced to thrill people of all ages with handmadesets and puppets. Adults $10, Children $5, 2640 College 867-7199 

 

Dramatic Joyce July 3: 7:30 p.m. Dramatic interpretations of the works of James Joyce by local and international actors. Introduction by UC Berkeley Professor John Bishop with commentary by and conversation with the audience. Part of the week-long conference “Extreme Joyce/Reading on the Edge.” Free. Krutch Theater, Clark Kerr Campus 2601 Warring Street 642-2754 

 

“Cuatro Maestros Touring Festival” July 4: 8 p.m. Music and dance performed by four elder folk artists and their young counterparts, accompanied by Los Cenzontles. $12 - $18. Julia Morgan Theater 2640 Collage Ave. 925-798-1300 

 

“Do You Hear What I Am Seeing?” July 5: 7:30 p.m. One man show by David Norris, a two-hour sampling of Joyce’s works with Norris’ insights. Part of the week-long conference “Extreme Joyce/Reading on the Edge.” $10. Julia Morgan Theater 2640 Collage Ave. 925-798-1300 

 

“Romeo and Juliet” Through July 14, Thurs. - Sat. 8 p.m. Set in early 1930s 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” 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 

 

“The Laramie Project” Through July 22: Weds. 7 p.m., Tues. and Thur. -Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (After July 8 no Wednesday performance, no Sunday matinee on July 22.) 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 

 

“Iphegenia in Aulis” Previews June 23 at 5 p.m., runs June 24 - August 12: Sat. and Sun. 5 p.m. No performances July 14 and 15, special dawn performance on August 12 at 7 a.m. A free park performance by the Shotgun Players of Euripides’ play about choices and priorities. With a masked chorus, singing, dancing, and live music. Feel free to bring food and something soft to sit on. John Hinkel Park, Southhampton Place at Arlington Avenue (different locations July 7 and 8). 655-0813 

 

Films 

 

Berkeley Film Makers’ Festival, June 23, 1 p.m. Berkeley Arts Festival Gallery. Presentation 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 23: 7 & 9:10 p.m. I can’t Sleep; June 24: The Ruined Map 5:30 p.m. & Summer Soldiers 7:50 p.m.; June 26: 7:30 p.m. San Francisco Cinematheque: 40 Years in Focus; June 27 7:30 p.m. Nature vs. Nurture; June 28: 7:30 p.m. The Beginning of an Unknown Era; June 29: Molba 7:30, Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors 9:10; June 30: 7, 9:10 p.m. Nenette and Boni; July 3: 7:30 p.m., Pineapple. Pacific Film Archive Theater 2575 Bancroft Way (at Bowditch) 642-1412 

 

Exhibits 

 

 

Tyler James Hoare Sculpture and Collage Through June 27, call for hours. 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 Through 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 

 

Constitutional Shift Through July 13, Tuesdays - Fridays, noon - 5 p.m. Permanence and personal journey link Hee Jae Suh, Ursula Neubauer and Marci Tackett. Korean-born Suh explores an inner psychological world with a dramatic series of self-portraits. Neubauer explores self-portraiture as a travel map of identity with multiple points of view. Tackett explores Antarctica’s other-worldly landscape in a series of stunning digital photographs. Kala Art Institute 1060 Heinz Ave. 549-2977 

 

“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 

 

“New Visions: Introductions 2001” July 12 - August 18, Wed. - Sat.: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Juried by Artist- Curator Rene Yanez and Robbin Henderson, Executive Director of the Berkeley Art Center, the exhibition features works from some of California’s up-and-coming artists. Reception July 12 from 6 - 8 p.m. Pro Arts 461 Ninth St., Oakland 763-9425 

 

“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. Now - September. Berkeley History Center, Veterans Memorial Building, 1931 Center St. Wheelchair accessible. 848-0181. Free.  

 

 

Readings 

 

Cody’s Books 2454 Telegraph Avenue All events at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. June 23: Francisco Aragon’s Momotombo Press Poets Read Lisa Sperber, Sean McDonnell, Angela Garcia, Eric Gudas and Maria Melendez; June 24: Alison Luterman and Nina Lindsay read poems from their recent publications; June 25: Pamela Rafael Berkman reads from her book “Her Infinite Variety: Stories of Shakespeare and the Women He Loved.” 845-7852 

 

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

 

Weekly Poetry Nitro Mondays 6:30 p.m. sign up, 7 - 9 p.m. reading. Performing poets in a dinner atmosphere. June 25: Featuring Steve Arntsen; July 2: Featured artist April Ipock. Cafe de la Paz 1600 Shattuck Ave. 843-0662 

 

“Bittersweet Legacy: Creative Responses to the Holocaust” June 24: 2 p.m. Poets Chana Bloch, Stewart Florsheim, Elaine Starkman, and Cynthia Moskowitz Brody will read from their work in this new anthology. Judah L. Magnes Museum 2911 Russell St. 549-6950 

 

“Berkeley Stories” June 29: 7:30 p.m. Stories of local Celebrity Artists. Julia Morgan Center for the Arts 2640 College Ave. 549-3564  

 

 

Tours 

 

“Berkeley in the Sixties” Berkeley Arts Festival presents free speech Veterans Kate Coleman and Michael Rossman leading a tour from Sather Gate Friday June 29, 3 p.m. 

 

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  

 

 


‘Romeo and Juliet’ makes for good night at theater By John Angell Grant Daily Planet correspondent The feud between a Nazi family and a Jewish family in 1930s Germany provides an updated framework for the strong Subterranean Shakespeare production o

By John Angell Grant Daily Planet correspondent
Saturday June 23, 2001

The feud between a Nazi family and a Jewish family in 1930s Germany provides an updated framework for the strong Subterranean Shakespeare production of “Romeo and Juliet” currently running at LaVal’s in Berkeley. 

Added to this, director Yoni Barkan has lifted the opening scene from the musical "Cabaret" and put it near the top of his show. Shakespeare’s story, then, becomes a play within a play, set inside a decadent nightclub environment. 

The result is a vivid and rich production, and an excellent example of grassroots theater at its best. 

Although this production of "Romeo and Juliet" contains emotional political images of the Nazi/Jewish conflict in 1930s Germany, as the evening unfolds the equally powerful humanity of Shakespeare’s story of star-crossed lovers takes center stage. 

The result is a striking reminder of the paradox between political life and daily human life, and a reminder of how irrelevant politics can be in the lives of people just trying to live out their personal humanity. 

The Sub Shakes production opens with a short, moving scene between Lord and Lady Montegue – Romeo’s parents, in 1930s period dress – as they perform a wordless, heart-felt Jewish candle ceremony at one side of the otherwise darkened theater. 

In abrupt cinematic fashion, the production then cuts to the noisy opening of "Cabaret," with the sleazy, sexual emcee (Jeffrey Meanza) singing the famous song from that show ("Willkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome!"), and inviting the audience to enjoy a night of debauch in his S&M-flavored nightclub. 

The story then fades to the opening of Shakespeare’s play – a street fight between the feuding Montegue and Capulet families. Fiery Capulet cousin Tybalt (Pete Caslavka) stirs up trouble on the street, dressed as a Nazi brownshirt complete with swastika armband and skinhead haircut. 

The emcee lounges on a sofa at the side of the theater and watches the show, as star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet meet at a masquerade ball, fall in love, and begin their tragic journey to death and destruction. 

Famous Broadway and Hollywood director Elia Kazan once said that 90 percent of directing lies in the casting. Director Barkan has obviously cast this current show with great thought. He gets effective performances from all of his actors. 

Brendan Wolfe is an intense, hormone-crazed Romeo, suddenly distracted by his sexual energy away from the carousing, good old times with his male buddies. Maureen Coyne stands out as Juliet’s gabby, excitable, playful nurse. Her friendly, bawdy relationship with Juliet lubricates that young girl for love. 

Bruce Moody is both dirty-minded and tantrum-throwing as Juliet’s father Capulet. The violence in this Nazi story flows easily from his sadomasochistic authoritarianism. 

Meanza pulls a strong focus as the leering, oversexed emcee, obviously taking his cue from the Sam Mendes/Alan Cummings revival of “Cabaret” that has made such a splash in recent years. 

Karen Goldstein is a crabby Lady Capulet, more concerned with the cotton balls between her toes as she rigs her make-up, than with her daughter. You can see why Juliet doesn’t like her mother. 

Armand Blasi is very effective as Friar Lawrence, the churchman who tries unsuccessfully to help the two wayward lovers.  

In this production, we first meet the Catholic Friar Lawrence removing his phylacteries. But, hey, life is a cabaret, my friend. And this is a play within a play. 

Nicole DuPort is a beautiful Juliet. She seems a less skillful actor than some of the others, but her simplicity with the language, and her youthful, unmodulated diction works well for the character. She and Wolfe have a hot chemistry. 

Pete Caslavka has staged some of the best fight choreography I’ve ever seen in the theater. The opening street brawl between the Montegues and Capulets starts with swords, and quickly turns to very realistic punching and kicking. There’s a lot of hurting going on in this show. 

Romeo’s slow knifing of Juliet’s cousin Tybalt is like an act of sexual penetration – a reminder of how much this play is about the polar struggles in young men between love and violence. 

Jackie Bendzinski and Amoreena Vera have cooked up intriguing period costumes, with a slightly modernized, stylized feel – perfect for the world of imagination inside this cabaret. Dustin O’Neal’s black and red set manages both heaven and hell. 

Barkan’s effective sound design includes Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” “Putting on the Ritz,” various 1930s dance band tunes, and some 1960s jazz. 

A lot of components come together to make this show work well. Maestro Barkan is a talented director. Last June at LaVal’s he staged a very effective production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” as a rave in the woods. This show is even better. 

If you’re looking for a strong evening of grassroots theater, look no further. 

Planet theater reviewer John Angell Grant has written for "American Theatre," "Back Stage West," "Callboard," and many other publications. E-mail him at jagplays@yahoo.com.


Cal basketball schedule released; Bears to host two tournaments

Staff Report
Saturday June 23, 2001

The Cal men’s basketball 2001-2002 schedule was released on Friday, highlighted by the Bears hosting two tournaments at Haas Pavilion. 

Ben Braun’s squad will open the year by hosting the Black Coaches Association Classic on Nov. 15-16. The first round games pit the Bears against Princeton and St. Joseph’s against Eastern Washington. 

Cal will stay at home through November, as Santa Clara and New Mexico will both pay a visit to Berkeley. The Bears’ first road game will be against South Florida on Dec. 1. Other non-conference foes include Fresno State, which knocked Cal out of the NCAA Tournament in March, St. Louis and Mount St. Mary’s. 

The ninth annual Golden Bear Classic will be held Dec. 28-29, with Cal taking on Harvard in the first round. The other first-round game will be Penn State against Coppin State. 

Due to the reinstatement of the Pac-10 Conference Tournament at the end of the regular season, the Bears’ two conference matchups with archrival Stanford will be back-to-back, kicking off the league season for both teams. The Cardinal will host the first game on Jan. 4, with the return date at Haas Pavilion slated for Jan. 6. 

The Pac-10 Tournament will take place March 7-9 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. 

Tickets for the 2001-02 will go on sale in the fall. Fans can either click on the tickets icon at www.calbears.com or call 1-800-GO-BEARS. 

The Bears will have to cope with the loss of senior star and leader Sean Lampley next season, as well as the exit of center Nick Vander Laan, who transferred out of the program. But Braun has brought in one of the best-regarded recruiting classes in the nation for 2001, with center Jamal Sampson, forward Erik Bond and wingman Julian Sensley all considered blue-chip athletes.


Perata calls for higher arsenic standards

By Daniela Mohor Daily Planet staff
Saturday June 23, 2001

OAKLAND – State Sen. Don Perata and representatives from a number of environmental and cancer prevention groups strongly criticized the Bush administration’s environmental policy during a press conference to support a bill to establish higher standards for arsenic in drinking water. 

“This bill is a response to (President) Bush’s immediate intention upon his swearing in to begin to relax the standards that we have,” Perata said during the briefing at Lake Temescal Friday. “California cannot wait for the Bush administration to decide on the safety of our drinking water and the fate of our health.” 

Perata, who represents the Berkeley-Oakland area, wrote the bill after the Bush administration decided not to pursue former President Bill Clinton’s efforts to reduce the amount of arsenic, a natural but dangerous contaminant in tap water. The measure would require California’s Department of Health Services to conduct a feasibility analysis and to adopt a standard reducing arsenic levels to three parts per billion. Established in 1942, the current standard is 50 parts per billion and represents a cancer risk of one per 100. The bill, SB 463 would also force water providers to better notify their consumers of the adverse health effects from the ingestion of arsenic in water. Exposure to arsenic is known to cause cancer, and it can also lead to heart problems, diabetes, and endocrine system problems. 

Perata was not alone in his criticism of the Bush administration. Jon Rainwater, executive director of the California League of Conservation Voters blamed Bush for not setting public health as a priority. “We can not trust President Bush to put the public health before the interests of his campaign contributors,” said Rainwater, adding that the president’s refusal to raise the standard for arsenic may be related to his interest in protecting the mining industry. “The mining industry... released 585 million pounds of arsenic into the environment last year,” he said. “And the same industry pumped $6.5 million into last year’s elections. The largest recipient for that money was President Bush.” 

But Republicans see the value in Bush’s decision to drop Clinton’s proposal. “From what I’ve read, the Clinton standard was basically impossible for companies to comply with,” said Robb McFadden, chair of the Berkeley College Republicans. “People who criticize the Bush administration for being environmentally hostile are really doing it for their political purposes.” 

The bill recently passed out of the State Senate on a 23-11 vote and will be presented to the Assembly in July. But it still faces strong opposition. Only one water agency in the state, the East Bay Municipal Utility District, supports it. “You would think that water agencies would be on our side,” said Perata. “Nine times out of ten they’re in opposition to our policies.” 

The senator attributes this resistance to the water companies’ reluctance to pay the additional costs a higher standard of purification of their product would entail. “This is about money. It’s about requiring someone to make less profit so that somebody else has better health,” he said. 

Still, Perata said he is fully confident that the bill will pass in the state legislature and reach Gov. Gray Davis’ office for signature and set an example to the country. “California will set its own standard,” he said. “The state of California will impress upon the nation how we should be governing ourselves with regards to the environment.”


Cal Ripkin is through, but nurse keeps on

By John Geluardi Daily Planet staff
Saturday June 23, 2001

When baseball-great Cal “Iron Man” Ripken, who holds the professional baseball record for playing the most consecutive games, announced he was calling it quits last week it caused more than a few of Elena Griffing co-workers at Alta Bates Hospital to snicker. 

Mrs. Griffing, 75, has not taken a sick day since 1952. In her 55-year career as an office manager and laboratory assistant, she has missed a total of three work days.  

Mrs. Griffing credits her stamina and energy to her “good Sicilian genes” and her attitude toward work.  

“I love my job. I love people and I love the patients.” Mrs. Griffing says between answering phones and scheduling appointments for burn specialist Dr. Jerold Kaplan in the Alta Bates, DeNicolai Burn Center.  

Loving your job is one thing but achieving the level of dedication Mrs. Griffing has shown for her responsibilities is another. In 1986 she underwent an appendectomy at Alta Bates. That evening, after most hospital employees had gone home, she donned a bathrobe and made her way to the other side of the hospital to get some work done in her office. “Ya know, you can get four or five hours of good work in after 5 p.m.,” she says. 

“She runs around here like that all the time” 

Mrs. Griffing appears to have more energy then most people half her age. There is constant activity in the her small fifth-floor office. When the phone isn’t ringing, Dr. Kaplan, who Mrs. Griffing describes as one of the busiest doctors in the hospital, stops in to exchange information with her or a patient pops in to schedule an appointment or just to exchange a few words. 

Mrs. Griffing is an attractive woman who has always been a snappy dresser. She is also known to round out her stylish outfits with high-heeled shoes. When she first began working at the hospital, her taste in footwear caused some friction with Alta Alice Miner Bates, the nurse who founded the hospital in 1905.  

“I was always flipping around here pretty fast back then and Miss Bates was afraid I’d fall and break my leg,” Mrs. Griffing says.  

Miss Bates’ reason for concern suddenly becomes evident when Mrs. Griffing sees a co-worker down the hall whom she has to speak with. She bounds from her chair and trots down the hall balancing on a pair of high-heeled Salvatore Ferragamo spectator pumps. 

Another co-worker with a disbelieving look on her face watches as Mrs. Griffing rounds the corner at the end of the hall. “She runs around here like that all the time,” she says. 

Berkeley origins 

In 1926, Mrs. Griffing was born on Roble Road in Berkeley, the ninth and last child to her Sicilian immigrant parents, Giorgio and Maria Selestre. The Selestres lived on a one-acre piece of land where they had a barn and several cows.  

“We only had one cow after I was born. Her name was Baby, but before that we had as many as five and we supplied everyone who lived on Roble and Tunnel Road with milk,” she says. 

Mrs. Griffing attended John Muir Elementary, Willard Middle School and Berkeley High School. After graduating high school she took a job in a bank where she worked until 1946 when she became suddenly and mysteriously ill. 

Old Blue Eyes 

“I had a blood disorder and the doctors said it was from a steady diet of fava beans, which was a traditional staple of my parents,” she says. “But if that was the problem, all of Sicily should have been sick.” 

She went to Alta Bates hospital where she spent a lot of time in the clinical laboratory for blood tests. For two months she was treated with blood transfusions. She received 13 units of blood and was still not showing any signs of improvement.  

Despite her illness, Mrs. Griffing, a life-long Frank Sinatra fan, attended a week’s worth of his performances at the Golden Gate Theater in March of 1946. “After the performances I was better,” she says. “The doctors suspected it might have something to do with my excitement level during the week.” 

Mrs. Griffing, who became a friend of Sinatra’s, keeps a picture of her standing next to him in her office. When she talks about him, her eyes and smile broaden as the timeless bobby socker swoons to life. “He was so accessible in the 40s,” she says. “He was all of 120 pounds and five of that was hair.” 

Reluctant frogs 

Mrs. Griffing began working in the Alta Bates clinical laboratory the following April. While she was ill, she would often answer phones and do minor secretarial work while she was between treatments. The doctor in charge of the laboratory, Dr. Singman, liked her work and offered a job when another lab assistant quit. 

“I didn’t want to go home at night,” she says. “This place was magic to me, there was so much to learn.” 

In those days pregnancy tests were carried out by injecting a urine sample from the inquiring patient into a male frog. After 24 hours, a urine sample was taken from the frog, who was sometimes reluctant to produce, and then it was tested for seaman, which would be present if the woman was pregnant. 

“I did a little bit of everything in those days and I was an especially good at catheterizing the frogs,” Mrs. Griffing says. “I would try talking to them and tickling them under the chin and if that didn’t work we had to do something.” 

Then versus now 

Mrs. Griffing, who doesn’t care for computers and still works on an electric IBM type writer, says there are things she misses about the hospital procedures of the past. “In those days it was ‘the patient comes first’” she says. “Today it’s a constant battle for patients’ rights,” 

She says there’s so much paperwork for every procedure, the patient often gets lost in the shuffle. 

“I’m very lucky to work for Dr. Kaplan,” she says. “He’s an old-style doctor who still puts the patient first.” 

Mrs. Griffing says he allows her to take time with the patients who need a little extra explaining about a procedure or can use some advice about dealing with insurance companies.  

Mrs. Griffing’s husband, Don, passed away eight and one-half years ago. They never had children – “too busy” – and she now spends much of her spare time raising Camellias and playing with her two dachshunds, Corky and Megan. 

Mrs. Griffing says she has no real plans for the future and has told Dr. Kaplan to let her know if she starts forgetting things or gets a little slow. Although one doesn’t have to be around her long to guess that won’t be happening anytime soon. 

“I can’t wait to get to work in the morning,” she says with her usual excitement. “How could you stay in one place for so long and not love it?” 


Early 20th century laundry located near commercial hub

By Susan Cerny
Saturday June 23, 2001

Berkeley Observed 

Looking back, seeing ahead 

 

After the 1906 earthquake and fire, Jack Jaymont and Pauline Mirandette moved from San Francisco to Berkeley and established a laundry at 2578 Shattuck Ave. This location was just one block south of Dwight Way Station, the hub of a thriving commercial district.  

When the first steam trains began running downtown in 1876, Dwight Way Station was the transfer station for a horse drawn streetcar line to the Schools for the Deaf and Blind at the top of Dwight Way. James Barker was the original owner of the land around Dwight Way Station and he hoped that downtown would be located here.  

Although Dwight Way Station did not become the center of downtown, a small commercial district was established and several of the more substantial buildings are still standing. On Dwight Way above Shattuck Avenue a number of impressive 19th century homes are still standing. They would have been conveniently located within walking distance of the station.  

As was typical during the early part of the century, the Berkeley French Laundry  

building had the business on the ground floor and living  

quarters above.  

 

Susan Cerny writes Berkeley Observed in conjunction with the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association  

 


Symphony honor

Jared Green/Daily Planet
Saturday June 23, 2001

Former mayor and Berkeley Symphony Orchestra Board member Jeffrey Leiter, center, was honored Thursday night as he prepared to leave Berkeley for a new home in Grass Valley. Leiter served as interim mayor between March and December 1994 when then mayor Loni Hancock left her post for a job in the  

former President Clinton’s administration. Leiter served as president of the Berkeley Symphony Board of Directors from 1986 to 1992 during which time the symphony’s budget grew by more than 30 percent.  

During that time the symphony moved its performances from the Berkeley First Congregational Church to Zellerbach Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. Standing with Leiter at the Thursday night celebration at the Santa Fe Bar and Grill is Hancock, left, and Mayor Shirley Dean, right.


Judge halts oil, natural gas exploration off coast

The Associated Press
Saturday June 23, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge halted oil and natural gas exploration off central California’s coast Friday, saying the area can’t be drilled or explored until the federal government studies the environmental impacts and the California Coastal Commission approves of the plan. 

The decision by U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken is a major blow to petroleum companies that have left their leases dormant while natural gas and oil prices have neared all-time highs. It comes as California struggles through an energy crisis. 

Environmentalists hailed the decision, which affects the proposed developments off San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. 

“We think it’s a bad idea to have additional oil and gas drilling off the coast,” said Drew Caputo, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. 

For now, the decision blocks any attempt to build the first new oil platforms off California’s coast since 1994. No drilling to explore for oil deposits has been conducted since 1989. 

At issue is an amount of oil that could be large enough to run California’s refineries for two years and fuel five months worth of the state’s natural gas demands.  

Those estimates are about one-fifth the amount of energy within Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where the Bush administration wants to drill. 

Sarah Christie, the Coastal Commission’s legislative coordinator said she hoped that Friday’s decision would not prompt louder calls to drill in the Arctic refuge. 

“It’s certainly not the intent ... to push offshore oil exploration into a different but equally sensitive and magnificent and valuable place on the map,” she said. 

California sued to block the exploration days after President Clinton’s Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt extended the leases for ten years in 1999.  

The lawsuit contended that Babbitt’s decision was subject to review by the state under a federal law giving California authority to determine whether offshore drilling in federal waters is consistent with the state’s coastal protection plans. 

Babbitt’s order allowed the companies to begin paperwork on their plans, but banned all physical work on the leases, including drilling wells, until the U.S. Minerals Management Service completed an environmental impact study on new drilling. 

Under the Coastal Zone Management Act, amended in 1990, Congress gave states a say in any activity affecting coastal communities. 

Mary Nichols, resources secretary to Gov. Gray Davis, said she was gratified by the decision. 

“We were really not happy about having to file the lawsuit, but we believed – the governor believed – we were right on the law and it was important to defend California’s right to protect our coast,” Nichols said. 

Davis said he will continue working to make sure California’s coastline remains protected. 

“Nineteen months ago I said that when it comes to offshore oil leases, California is entitled to be the engine, not the caboose on the train,” Davis said in a statement.  

“Should this decision be appealed, I will vigorously pursue all legal remedies to ensure that actions taken by federal agencies concerning leases for oil and gas production along the California coast fully comply with the law.” 

The oil companies have paid $1.25 billion for the 40 leases, each covering about a nine square-mile expanse of ocean. The leases were issued between 1968 and 1984. Four of them expired in 1999. 

Oil exploration off California’s coast has been an explosive issue since 1969, when a massive oil spill soiled the Santa Barbara coast.  

Offshore rigs account for roughly 20 percent of the state’s petroleum production, and offshore gas could prove to be a key resource as California seeks to solve its energy crisis. 

The oil companies affected by Friday’s decision include AERA Energy LLC of Bakersfield, Conoco Inc. and Nuevo Energy Co. of Houston; Samedan Oil Corp of Santa Barbara; and Poseidon Petroleum LLC, which could not be located. Calls to the other companies for comment were not immediately returned. The Western States Petroleum Association declined comment. 

“I don’t know what the implications are at this point,” said the companies’ attorney, Steven Rosenbaum. He said he had not seen Wilken’s ruling and declined further comment. 

“This is good news, Californians prize their coast and additional oil development has no place here,” said Bruce Hamilton, national conservation director for the Sierra Club.  

“It’s good to know those promoting it have been set back and eventually we need permanent protection.” 

Wilken, in a highly technical ruling, said that the federal government in 1999 illegally extended the companies’ 10-year leases. The extensions are called “suspensions” in legal jargon. 

She said the government “must provide the state of California with a determination that its grant of the lease suspensions at issue here is consistent with California’s coastal management program.” 

Wilken ordered all leases terminated until the federal Minerals Management Service complies with her order.


San Diego police show off launcher for crowd control

The Associated Press
Saturday June 23, 2001

SAN DIEGO — Demonstrators who get out of hand at next week’s biotechnology industry convention could get a blast from the newest weapon in the police department’s arsenal. 

The Pepperball launcher is designed to pelt people or the area around them with a marble-sized plastic ball that breaks on impact into a dusty cloud of acrid pepper dust. It can fire six rounds per second but, if used as intended, won’t kill anyone. 

San Diego police bought two dozen Pepperball launchers and plan to have them ready for the BIO 2001 convention that opens Sunday, said SWAT team commander Lt. Cesar Solis. 

“It gives the officers one more option, rather than resort to something that could be lethal,” Solis said. 

Police expect thousands of demonstrators to converge on the San Diego Convention Center and have trained to crack down on those who turn violent. 

The biggest concerns are the so-called “black blocs” of masked anarchists who brought mayhem to the 1999 World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle and other gatherings of world leaders. 

The Seattle protests turned violent and resulted in more than 600 arrests and $2.5 million in vandalism and property damage. 

“There will be the heaviest presence of blue uniforms in downtown San Diego that this city has seen in some time,” police spokesman David Cohen said. 

He declined to provide numbers or specifics on tactics. 

Officers will move quickly to arrest any demonstrators who block intersections and violate laws and get them off the streets for the duration of the convention, which ends Wednesday. 

“We will be very aggressive,” Cohen said. “Our goal is to not let it become a Seattle.” 

Police and the manufacturers of the non-lethal weapons credit them with saving lives, but not everyone believes they are harmless. Paul Marini, a political activist from Oakland who demonstrated in Seattle, said nonlethal devices such as Pepperball or beanbag guns can cause injuries if the projectiles hit someone in the eye or other sensitive body part. 

“It’s an unholy alliance between pepper spray and the rubber bullet,” said Marini, who works with the Midnight Special Law Collective, an organization that provides assistance to demonstrators. 

“What they really are is maiming weapons.” 

Officials with Jaycor Tactical Systems Inc., the San Diego company that manufactures Pepperball, said their product is unlikely to cause serious injury. 


Parents charged with kidnapping schools chief

The Associated Press
Saturday June 23, 2001

LUCERNE VALLEY — Two parents barged into a school superintendent’s office, handcuffed him, announced he was under citizens’ arrest and drove him away in their vehicle, authorities said Friday. 

Sheriff’s deputies pulled them over 10 miles away, freed the schools official and arrested the couple, who said they were taking the superintendent to the district attorney’s office. 

Carl Williams, 45, and wife Kathy Williams, 48, were charged with kidnapping, conspiracy and false imprisonment. 

The couple — who have five children, ages 7 to 17, in school – had been complaining about district policies for a decade, Jim Wheeler, superintendent of the school system in this community 120 miles northeast of Los Angeles. 

Two months ago, the unemployed couple sent a 15-page letter accusing school officials of giving sexually explicit material to students, among other things, Detective Norm Neiman said. The letter set a Tuesday deadline to resolve the problems. 

On Wednesday, investigators said, the couple barged into Wheeler’s office. With his wife videotaping, Carl Williams handcuffed Wheeler, Neiman said. 

“We have the video. You can see his fear and disbelief in what was going on,” the detective said. 

They forced him into their sport utility vehicle and drove down a highway past a sheriff’s station, Neiman said. 

Bail was set at $100,000 each. Kathy Williams was released on bail Thursday. They were not immediately appointed a lawyer. 

“It was a freaky morning,” said Wheeler, 61, who suffered only a wrist rash from the handcuffs. 

“It’s a bizarre thing,” said Neiman. “I believe they are the type of people who read the Constitution and local laws and interpret it the way they want to. I can’t explain it.” 

School district attorney Hector Salitrero said he planned to seek a restraining order to keep the Williams couple away from Wheeler.


Bush nominates California conservative, to 9th Circuit

The Associated Press
Saturday June 23, 2001

President Bush nominated conservative Judge Carolyn B. Kuhl of Los Angeles and Republican activist Richard Clifton of Honolulu on Friday to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, considered among the most liberal federal courts in the country. 

The lifetime appointments require Senate confirmation. California and Hawaii are both represented by Democratic senators who said they would have to look more closely at the appointments before making a decision. 

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said she has heard from numerous constituents who oppose Kuhl, now a judge at Los Angeles County Superior Court. 

“These letters and calls raise a number of issues important to Californians including: the right to choose, civil rights, representation of tobacco companies, privacy rights and whistleblower protection,” Boxer said in a statement Friday. “I am continuing to evaluate this nomination.” 

California’s other Democratic senator, Dianne Feinstein, promised not to block a vote on Kuhl. Feinstein had raised objections with the White House after it floated Kuhl’s name for the federal bench without consulting California lawmakers. 

Feinstein has since “had a chance to discuss it with the White House and now she wants to hear the full case for Judge Kuhl and make a decision,” said the senator’s spokesman, Howard Gantman. 

Hawaii’s two Democratic U.S. senators also reserved comment on Clifton. 

Sen. Daniel Inouye, who earlier complained that no one had approached him about Clifton’s potential nomination, said Friday he wants to hear the American Bar Association’s evaluation of the appointment. Sen. Daniel Akaka said he sought “the mana‘o (advice) of Hawaii’s legal community. Pending this review, I will reserve judgment and further comment.” 

Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano earlier urged opposition to Clifton, whom he said has demonstrated that he “is very partisan.” 

“If you want appoint a Republican to the federal judiciary, there are a lot of good Republican lawyers around who are fair, who are objective, who believe in the integrity of the judicial system,” Cayetano said last month. “You don’t need politicians sitting on the bench.” 

Clifton, who has been a partner in the firm of Cades Schutte Fleming & Wright since 1977, also has served as volunteer attorney for the local Republican Party in Honolulu and as legal counsel for GOP gubernatorial candidates in Hawaii. 

The 9th Circuit handles federal appeals from California, Oregon, Arizona, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Alaska, Hawaii and Washington. 


Slow recovery for victim of pit bull attack

The Associated Press
Saturday June 23, 2001

RICHMOND — Shawn Jones, the 10-year-old boy mauled to the edge of life by pit bulls, faced an uphill road to recovery as local law authorities continued the search for the animals on Friday. 

Shawn was listed in critical but stable condition at Children’s Hospital Oakland, where he is on a breathing machine, according to hospital spokeswoman Cynthia Romanov. 

The dogs tore off his ears during the Monday evening attack. Other wounds on his face, neck and arms are so severe, doctors said they have not been able to close many of them. 

Shawn rested Friday with family and hospital personnel at his side. 

“We are in the throes right now of trying to save this boy’s life,” said Dr. James Betts, chief of surgery at the hospital. The dogs shook him violently, “like a doll,” Betts added. 

Shawn continues to receive rabies shots because two of the three dogs have not been captured and therefore cannot be tested for the disease. 

Benjamin Moore, 27, the dogs’ owner was charged Thursday with attempting to hide the three pit bull terriers that brutally mauled Shawn as he rode a new bicycle he had been given for doing well in school. 

Moore was being held on $30,000 bail, reduced from the $50,000 set Thursday. His girlfriend, Jacinda Knight, 33, was released from custody Thursday after authorities decided not to charge her. 

One of the dogs responsible for the attack was recovered, but two remain on the loose. Police believe Moore hid  

those dogs. 

Contra Costa County officials have not decided whether to destroy the recovered dog currently being held at an animal shelter in Pinole. Animal officials had a tough time corralling the dog once they found it. 

For now, police seem inclined to keep the dog alive because it could be tested to see whether it had been trained to attack humans, Richmond Police Department Sgt. Enos Johnson said. 

“It could show through testing and through examination that the dog was aggressive in social behavior,” Johnson said. “It could show any scars from previous fights.” 

A $10,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the seizure of the other dogs. 

The public has been offering donations to help Shawn’s family. A trust fund has been set up at a Richmond bank, as well as a separate fund where 100 percent of proceeds go directly to aid the Jones family. A manager at the Richmond branch of The Mechanics Bank would not say how much has been donated. 

One San Francisco Bay area radio station began taking donations for Shawn’s family Friday morning by auctioning concert tickets and autographed CDs. 

The auction items ran out quickly, but calls and cash pledges continued, reaching $12,000 by noon. 

••• 

Editors note: A trust fund has been established for Shawn and contributions can be sent to Shawn Jones Fund, c/o The Mechanics Bank, 4100 Macdonald Ave., Richmond, CA 94805, account No. 139020128.


Appeals court refuses to halt release of convicted murderer

The Associated Press
Saturday June 23, 2001

LOS ANGELES — An appeals court refused Friday to reverse a judge’s ruling granting parole to a gay man who gunned down his boyhood friend 16 years ago. 

The state immediately appealed to the California Supreme Court. 

In ordering Robert Rosenkrantz’s release from prison, Superior Court Judge Paul Gutman had ruled Thursday that Gov. Gray Davis has an unlawful blanket policy of denying parole to murderers. 

Rosenkrantz’s supporters say he has rehabilitated himself during his time behind bars, but Davis maintains he remains a threat to society. 

“We don’t think Mr. Rosenkrantz should be given parole,” Deputy Attorney General Robert Wilson said of the state’s reason for appealing. 

It wasn’t immediately clear how soon the California Supreme Court would act on the case after the 2nd District Court of Appeals’ rejection. If the state loses again, Rosenkrantz’s attorney said he expects his client will be freed. 

“We hope he will be released, we’re demanding it and there is an order,” Donald Specter said. 

Rosenkrantz, 33, was sentenced to 17 years to life for the 1985 murder of a boyhood friend who had revealed his homosexuality to Rosenkrantz’s father. He shot 17-year-old Steven Redman 10 times with a semiautomatic weapon. 

Rosenkrantz has been a model prisoner and become an expert with computers during his years in prison. Several lawmakers and even the judge who sentenced him have lobbied for his release. 

In his ruling Thursday, Gutman said there was no evidence to support Davis’ contention that Rosenkrantz is a threat. 

“While the governor is entitled to express his opinion, the opinion itself must be factually supported and it is not,” the judge ruled. 

Gutman further found that Davis denies parole to murderers “regardless of any extenuating circumstances,” a policy the judge said amounts to “actual bias against an entire class of cases.” 

Barry Goode, Davis’ legal affairs secretary, reiterated the governor’s contention that he does not arbitrarily rule against granting murderers parole. 

Since taking office in 1999, Davis has reversed the state Board of Prison Terms on 47 of 48 cases in which it granted parole to murders. The one exception was for Rose Ann Parker, who shot her abusive boyfriend in 1986 after he threatened to kill her and her son. She was released in December. Rosenkrantz, who is incarcerated at the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo, was given a release date by the Board of Prison Terms after two courts ruled the board had abused its discretion in denying him freedom. Davis vetoed that decision last October, citing the viciousness of the crime. 


Ex-workers bring charges against energy plant

The Associated Press
Saturday June 23, 2001

SACRAMENTO — Former workers at Duke Energy’s South Bay power plant accused the company of shutting down production units there in what they called a scheme to drive up electricity prices. 

Duke officials termed the charges “baseless.” 

The former workers told the state Senate Select Committee to Investigate Price Manipulation Friday that officials at the San Diego-area plant ordered power units off-line for apparently unnecessary maintenance; destroyed parts that were needed for repairs; and manipulated the electricity it was feeding the statewide grid. 

“This is the first smoking gun that’s appeared — whistleblowers,” said Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, who is sitting in with the committee. “That is called market manipulation, and that, in effect, ended up costing the ratepayers of California billions of dollars.” 

Gov. Gray Davis said the testimony, if true, would provide “very disturbing evidence” that could help the state convince federal regulators to order generators to refund $9 billion in power charges. 

State legislators, regulators and prosecutors are investigating whether power generators illegally manipulated the power supply to drive prices to record levels, forcing the state to buy more than $8 billion worth of electricity since January for the state’s three investor-owned utilities. 

All three longtime San Diego Gas & Electric employees were laid off in April when Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke completed its two-year acquisition of the former SDG&E plant in Chula Vista. 

Mechanics Glenn Johnson and Ed Edwards said they were ordered to shut down machinery for unneeded repairs, and to do so when they didn’t have the necessary parts available to quickly repair the equipment. They said they were ordered to dispose of perfectly good parts that could have been used in those repairs. 

“We were told when things were shut down that it was for ’economics,”’ Johnson testified. “Sometimes a unit would be ’down for economics’ for two or three days.” 

Duke officials said the plant’s performance belies the workers’ accusations. They said Duke’s four California plants produced 50 percent more electricity last year than in 1999 and are on a pace to improve that performance this year. 

The company was so pleased with its unanticipated windfall from soaring energy prices that it threw two prime rib-and-shrimp parties for the plant’s employees, the workers said and Duke vice president Bill Hall acknowledged. 

“Duke Energy is not (price) gouging,” Hall said after he was denied a chance to testify at Friday’s hearing. “Duke does not collude with any other entity to drive market prices up.” 

Operating decisions were made based on market conditions, Hall said, but he denied illegal collusion or market manipulation that could drive state or federal regulators to step in. “Depending on the amount of supply or demand, some of our units which are in some cases not as efficient as others in the state simply aren’t economic to run,” Hall said. “That’s the market sending a signal, ’We have sufficient supply, we don’t need your less-efficient, more costly units.”’ 

Operators rapidly cycled the plant’s electricity production “like a yo-yo — up and down, up and down,” former worker Johnson said, in a way that damaged equipment but maximized prices. He, Edwards and assistant control room operator Jimmy Olkjer backed their testimony with copies of control room logs Johnson smuggled out of the plant. 

“Duke Energy Trading and Marketing was calling the shots – that’s where they made the money,” Senate Energy Committee Chairwoman Debra Bowen, D-Marina del Rey, said after examining the logs. 

Any fluctuations, Hall said, were ordered by the California Independent System Operator, which runs the state’s power grid, or were needed to meet environmental standards. 

Duke destroyed new parts, as the workers testified, Hall said, because they were obsolete or to cut the tax Duke paid on its parts inventory. 

But Edwards and Johnson said it cost the company more money to order replacement parts shipped in as needed, in addition to the cost of the lost production. 

Duke often ran the plant’s smallest, least-efficient turbine even at a cost of trucking in jet fuel from the Los Angeles area, they said.  

Hall countered by saying jet fuel was then cheaper than natural gas, which powered the plant’s other four generators. 

Its four California plants have had fewer forced outages than when the plants were operated by the state’s utilities, Duke said, and perform more consistently than the industry average despite running hard during the power crisis that began a year ago. 

“All of the spinning and excuse-making goes out the window at some point when you’re confronted with the people actually running the machinery,” said attorney Mike Aguirre, who is suing several power generators and convinced the workers to testify. Duke supplies about 5 percent of California’s electricity at four power plants, including three purchased from Pacific Gas and Electric for $501 million in 1998. It is undertaking a 1,060-megawatt expansion of its Moss Landing power plant. 

It confirmed earlier this month that it sold 5,000 megawatt hours of electricity in California for as much as $3,880 per megawatt hour in January – double the rate recently cited by Gov. Gray Davis as an “obscene” example of price gouging. 

Duke spokesman Tom Williams said the company will accept the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s decision to cap the company’s payment at $273 per megawatt hour for the power it sold into California in January and $430 for the power sold in February.  

 

 

 

 


Budget committee scales back education proposals

The Associated Press
Saturday June 23, 2001

SACRAMENTO — State budget negotiators approved a massive education package Friday that scales back new spending proposals but still increases school funding by $2 billion. 

After three weeks of closed-door meetings and sporadic talks, the Legislature’s budget conference committee Friday whisked through its toughest issue – spending for elementary and secondary schools – in less than 30 minutes. 

The package eliminates Gov. Gray Davis’ $65 million proposal to extend the middle school year and scales back a performance awards program for schools with the highest test scores. 

It includes $300 million to help schools pay rising energy bills. If approved in a final budget plan, each school would receive at least $16,000 to offset electricity costs and launch conservation programs. Those with the most students would receive the largest sums. 

The package also contains $220 million for a grant program for low-performing schools. 

Davis proposed $570 million in cuts to the education spending plans he proposed in May to boost the state’s reserve fund from $1.1 billion to $3 billion. The governor called for the increased reserves after analysts warned that a sagging economy and stock market could cost the state billions in revenues. 

The committee’s education spending trims fell $237 million short of the reduction the governor proposed. 

Still, public schools and community colleges will receive $4.4 billion above the minimum they are guaranteed by state law and $2 billion more than they received in the current fiscal year. 

In other actions Friday, the committee: 

• Scaled back a proposed $63 million package aimed at improving foster care programs to $18 million. 

• Added $60 million in new spending for higher education. Department of Finance officials said Friday that Davis plans to veto the increases. 

• Approved a measure to exempt certain adults from a requirement to be fingerprinted and photographed in order for the children they live with to receive public aid such as food stamps. 

• Agreed to remove a September sunset date for the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants, which extends state welfare benefits to legal immigrants. 

The committee planned to meet into the night Friday to wrap up remaining issues and send a $102.9 billion budget plan to the full Legislature early next week. 

Davis has said he will sign a final 2001-02 budget before July 1, when it goes into effect. However, Republican lawmakers have promised to hold up the budget if an automatically triggered quarter-cent sales tax increase is not removed.


Supreme Court to take up voucher case

The Associated Press
Saturday June 23, 2001

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration urged the Supreme Court to take up school vouchers Friday, arguing that an Ohio school choice program does not violate the Constitution’s ban on government promotion of religion. 

In a friend of the court brief, Solicitor General Theodore Olson, the government’s top lawyer, asked the Supreme Court to hear three appeals that offer an opportunity for a broad ruling on the constitutionality of private school vouchers. 

By filing an uninvited brief to the nation’s top court, the Bush administration is signaling its intention to press the case for programs that allow tax dollars to be used to pay student tuition at religious schools. 

School vouchers were a centerpiece of President Bush’s education platform during his campaign. Congress rejected vouchers when it recently passed a sweeping education reform package — not enough Republicans backed the idea, and most Democrats oppose vouchers, arguing that they take money away from struggling public schools. 

Now the Justice Department has taken up the fight, filing its first brief staking out an ideological position on a case not already under way before the Supreme Court. 

The three cases in question all deal with the constitutionality of the Ohio Pilot Project Scholarship Program. The program provides tuition aid to parents of students in failing public schools in Cleveland. 

Parents are permitted to use the aid to enroll their children in a private school, including religious schools. 

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the program on grounds that it violates the First Amendment’s ban on government promotion, or establishment of religion. 

The Justice Department argued that the Ohio program follows the model the Supreme Court has set out in previous cases for the acceptable blending of public money and religion. 

The program is constitutional, the government argued, because it distributes educational aid neutrally among students without regard to religion. The choice of whether to send children to religious or nonreligious schools is left up to parents. 

“All private schools ... are eligible to participate in the program, without regard to whether they are sectarian or not,” the brief said. “Religious schools may benefit under the program only as a result of the independent and private choice of parents to enroll their children in a participating religious school.” 

Supporters of the Ohio program argue that vouchers give low-income parents an alternative to local public schools. 

Opponents, including the Ohio Federation of Teachers, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the American Civil Liberties Union, say it is an illegal use of public money. 

Teachers’ unions, who have opposed vouchers, said Bush should not have gotten involved with the case. 

“The fact is that two states, California and Michigan, overwhelmingly rejected vouchers this year,” said Bob Chase, president of the National Education Association. “They’ve been rejected every time voters had an opportunity to vote against them. They were defeated in both the House and the Senate this year. The American people and Congress are saying they don’t want vouchers. It seems to me the American people and Congress should be listened to.” 

Jamie Horwitz, spokesman for the American Federation of Teachers, agreed. 

“Time, resources and attention have been squandered on vouchers, instead of investing in proven reform programs,” he said. “The voters know this, a congressional majority knows this. The Bush administration should know better.” 

The Supreme Court has declined to review similar cases out of Wisconsin and Maine. The court will make its decision in the fall.


Employer protection on patients’ rights debated

The Associated Press
Saturday June 23, 2001

WASHINGTON — Republicans on Friday proposed giving employers ironclad protection from lawsuits under patients’ rights legislation, while Democrats said they were willing to limit, if not eliminate, the liability contained in their bill. 

Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., signaling a partial retreat, noted that Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, was crafting a compromise on the issue. “I think that I’m in a position to be supportive of it,” he said. Wrapping up the first week of debate on the measure, Sen. Phil Gramm proposed inserting a provision from Texas patients’ rights law that protects employers from being sued by patients. “Under Texas law employers can’t be sued, no ifs and or buts about it,” said the Texas Republican. 

The issue has emerged as a sensitive one in the debate over legislation to regulate HMOs. Republicans argue that exposure to unlimited legal liability will prompt some employers to drop the insurance coverage they provide to their workers. 

“If there’s injury, a trial lawyer is going to go after all the pockets of money that are out there, and there’s a big pocket of money out there called the employer,” said Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn. 

The patients’ rights measure, backed by Democratic Sens. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and John Edwards of North Carolina and Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, allows suits against employers in some circumstances. 

A spokesman for Snowe said the Maine Republican was working with several senators, including Kennedy, Edwards and McCain, but no formal agreement has been reached. 

In general, the bill is designed to guarantee patients access to emergency care, the right to see medical specialists and the ability to select a pediatrician as a child’s primary care physician. 

There is relatively little disagreement over the extent of the protections to be offered. Major points of contention include where and when patients can bring suits, and when and how state patient protection laws should be pre-empted by the federal government. 

Democrats have made patients’ rights their top priority since winning control of the Senate. 

There was little more than skirmishing on the floor during the week, capped by a Friday’s vote on a nonbinding provision relating to clinical trials. By a vote of 89-1, lawmakers voted in favor of giving patients access to federally funded or approved clinical trials recommended by their physician. 


States reports problems with ‘motor voter’ registrations

The Associated Press
Saturday June 23, 2001

WASHINGTON — Half the states using the “motor voter” program – which lets a voter sign up while renewing a driver’s license – suffered serious glitches last election. In some cases, Americans were denied ballots, a government review found. 

The Federal Election Commission said Friday the problems ranged from motor vehicle departments that failed to forward registration information in a timely manner to forms that were filled out incorrectly. 

In all, 23 of the 44 states subject to the National Voter Registration Act reported significant problems with the program. 

The number of complaints last fall were triple those of the election in 1998, officials said. 

Florida, where vote-counting problems prompted the presidential election stalemate between Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush, was not among the states reporting serious motor voter problems last fall. 

In 18 states, motor vehicle departments had trouble getting registration information to election officials expeditiously – in some cases, in time for voters to be included on rolls on Election Day, the FEC said. 

“Some of the states reported voters saying they had registered at the DMV, but come Election Day they were not on the rolls, so there was a breakdown somewhere in the system,” FEC researcher Brian Hancock said. 

Meanwhile, the Pentagon said its review of the handling of absentee ballots from overseas military personnel found no major problems that would have delayed delivery to election offices last fall. 

The review was requested last November by then-Defense Secretary William Cohen after several hundred absentee ballots from troops abroad were rejected in Florida due to flaws such as the lack of signatures or postmarks. Those problems are being examined in a sEparate Study. 

The motor voter law was enacted in 1995 to make it easier for voters to register, allowing voters to register by mail and when they renew driver’s licenses, register cars or apply for various government benefits. 

The FEC said it received hundreds of calls from voters who said they went to the polls last November only to be told they couldn’t vote because motor vehicle offices never sent their registration forms to election officials. 

High turnover among motor vehicle workers is a big part of the problem, officials said. 

“When the law was passed, most of the states did a very, very good job in training the people there,” Hancock said. “I think maybe the training has not been ongoing in many states.” 

One state where poll workers turned away voters who thought they registered at motor vehicle offices was Arizona, where Bush defeated Gore by about 96,000 votes. 

In many cases, motorists checked off a box indicating they wanted to register to vote, but motor vehicle workers failed to make sure they also filled out a registration form, state election director Jessica Funkhouser said. She said she was not ruling out the possibility that offices also failed to turn in forms. 

Funkhouser said such instances were too few to have made much of a difference in the presidential vote totals. Still, Arizona is taking steps to improve its program. 

The state is working on a computer program that will require motor vehicle workers to complete voter registration questions, and had already reduced worker errors by expanding training before last year’s election, Funkhouser said. 

Others reporting problems getting motor voter forms to election officials include Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas and Utah. 

Florida reported only scattered complaints from people who weren’t allowed to vote even though they thought they had registered at the motor vehicle department. 

Florida elections director Clay Roberts said some voters registering at the DMV may not have realized state law required them to do so no later than 30 days before the election. 

Worker error also played a role, Roberts said. To reduce that problem, the Florida DMV recently added a staffer to serve as a motor voter liaison between counties and motor vehicle offices, he said. 

Among other states with problems, Illinois, Kansas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Virginia listed glitches such as incomplete applications, change-of-address errors or motor vehicle workers failing to consistently provide voter registration forms. 

Connecticut reported cases in which the Spanish-language form was not provided to motor vehicle customers as required by the Voting Rights Act. 

The FEC survey, given to Congress every two years, provides further fodder as lawmakers consider legislation to fix voting glitches that surfaced in last fall’s presidential election. 

Senate Rules Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., plans hearings on election reform next week. 


What to do about that nasty carbon buildup

By Tom and Ray Magliozzi King Features Syndicate
Saturday June 23, 2001

Dear Tom and Ray: 

I have an older car (1966 Jaguar) that diesels, or keeps running, for several seconds after the engine is turned off.  

Then it finally dies with quite a clatter. Is there anything that would cause this besides carbon buildup in the combustion chamber? If it is carbon buildup, is there any cure other than to remove the head and scrape off the carbon?—Thomas 

RAY: It probably IS carbon buildup, Thomas.  

But there are also several other possibilities. 

TOM: If the engine is running too hot, it can diesel. Even after you turn off the ignition, there can still be enough residual heat in the engine to keep combusting fuel, even without the benefit of a spark. 

RAY: Timing that's too advanced can make the engine run too hot and too fast. That combination can also cause dieseling.  

So both of these possibilities should be investigated. 

TOM: But when you determine that it IS carbon, you have to get rid of it somehow.  

One technique that's worked for years is to trickle some water into the carburetors.  

You don't want to use your garden hose here, but if you pour a very slight, continuous trickle of water into the throat of the carburetor while the engine is revving at 2,500 or 3,000 rpm, you might steam enough carbon off of the pistons to make a difference. 

RAY: Of course, you might also hydro-lock your engine and ruin it. So be careful not to use too much water at one time. 

TOM: If the water doesn't do it, you might have to try one of the products specifically designed for this purpose, like Chevron's Techron (available in stores) or 44K from BG Products (800-961-6228 or www.bgprod.com). 

RAY: And if you still have no luck, then you have to take the head off and scrape the carbon from the pistons with your false teeth ... or some other blunt instrument. Good luck, Thomas.  

••• 

Got a question about cars? e-mail them by visiting the Car Talk section of cars.com on the World Wide Web..


Information and advice not fit to be believed

By John Cunniff The Associated Press
Saturday June 23, 2001

One day last week a high-tech company whose stock had collapsed from more than $170 to $3 and change in little more than a year, revealed that conditions were even worse than he had anticipated. 

The company, Exodus Communications Inc., already had reported a first-quarter loss of $650 million, which was bad enough. But now it was running low on cash and its business was not recovering as expected. 

If company officials, equipped with computers and software able to sop up every nuance in the marketplace, were caught unaware, their shock was matched by that of investors who had relied on information from “experts.” 

The experts were brokerage house stock analysts, calculating types who earn six-figure annual incomes for dissecting the finances of companies they cover, issuing recommendations and, often, publicizing their firms. Many if not most of them had advised investors to buy Exodus. In fact, some had been so advising investors since Exodus was trading in triple digits. They indicated they had not anticipated Exodus’ dismal news. Within a couple of days or sooner, they rushed to cleanse the record. Salomon Smith Barney downgraded Exodus stock to “neutral” from “buy.” UBS Warburg cut its price target to $3 from $15. Lehman dropped its advice from “buy” to “market perform.” All after the fact. 

Too often during the long decline in stock prices investors had observed the same thing: Buy recommendations on declining stocks from advisers who claim to see ahead. At one point when the Nasdaq composite index was down 60 percent, almost all recommendations were to buy. 

For a marketplace that depends on investor trust and confidence the consequences could be deadly. Investors, portfolios depleted, now wonder if they were duped. Conflict of interest accusations have been made. Are analysts hucksters or advisers?Recognizing the dangers, the Securities Industry Association, a major trade group, has endorsed a “best principles” set of guidelines that it believes might quiet suspicions and restore confidence levels. 

Among other things, the principles encourage a wall being erected between analysts and other, profit-seeking activities of their firms. And it would prohibit analysts from trading against their own recommendations. 

But the principles are voluntary, and so might be insufficient to the task. Already feeling deceived, investors might be excused if they question soft discipline.  

Whatever the resolution, the stock market’s confidence problem depends on assurance of a free flow of quality information as certainly as the welfare of society in general depends on a flow of good water. In the view of many, some of the information seems tainted if not plain polluted. 

It begins not with Wall Street but with corporations and industries, where officials, though equipped with computers and software that sop up every nuance of the marketplace, still can’t forecast their own markets. In evidence, one chief executive officer after another — at Nortel, Lucent, JDS Uniphase, Xerox, to name a few — has conceded in recent weeks a failure to anticipate major changes occurring just weeks ahead. Analysts, then, might be forgiven for not having had insight superior to that of the company’s chief. But even if such insight were possible, the suspicions may remain. 

The questions have been raised and the fears expressed that in one way or another the information that flows through Wall Street might emerge tainted. So tainted it isn’t to be believed. 

 

John Cunniff is a business analyst for The Associated Press


Tower Records downplays bankruptcy prospects

The Associated Press
Saturday June 23, 2001

SACRAMENTO — Tower Records, a worldwide music, book and video retailer that began in a family drug store, is downplaying the possibility it may have to file for bankruptcy because of tightening credit. 

“We have no present intention to file bankruptcy,” company spokeswoman Louise Solomon said Friday, two days after Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Tower’s debt ratings. 

Moody’s said it was likely that Tower would file for bankruptcy protection if it could not find additional sources of capital or pay off its current loans in the next few months 

In a recent Securities and Exchange Commission report, Tower said its revolving credit facility had been extended for a year, but that the amount the company could borrow had dropped from $275 million to about $225 million. 

That’s enough to cover the company’s current needs, Moody’s said, but under the new agreement with lenders the amount of credit available to Tower will drop to $210 million in July, to $195 million in October and to $100 million by December. 

Tower said in a statement that it was “actively seeking further external financing.” 

Solomon stressed that there was no mention in the SEC report about filing for bankruptcy. 

The 41-year-old company has seen its revenue flatten out in recent years as it’s battled competition from aggressive online sellers like Amazon.com and mass merchants like Borders. 

In its SEC statement, Tower reported $34.4 million in losses for the quarter ending April 30, compared to a $4.3 million loss in the same period in 2000. 

Tower said a large part of the loss was attributable to costs involved in closing “underperforming” stores. The company closed 10 stores and opened one in that three-month period, according to the SEC statement. 

The company also said it is negotiating the sale of its operations in Argentina, Taiwan and Hong Kong. 

Net revenue for both quarters was $255 million. 

Michael Solomon, Tower’s president and chief executive officer, said the company was encouraged by the “revenue stability for the quarter at a time when the revenue trend in retail is down.” 

Besides closing the low-performing stores, Tower has eliminated a number of inefficiencies in its operations as part of a restructuring plan. 

“We expect positive contributions from that strategy in the quarters ahead,” he said. 

Solomon’s father, Russell, started selling records out of his family’s drug store and opened the first Tower Records in 1960 in Sacramento. The company, based in neighboring West Sacramento, now runs 187 stores worldwide. 


Friday June 22, 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. Space Weather Exhibit now - Sept 2; now - Sept 9 Science in Toyland; June 21: 6 a.m., Solar Eclipse Day 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 22 Hoods, Fall Silent, Clenched Fist, Osiva, Hellcrew; June 23 The Hellbillies, The Fartz, The Tossers, Roundup, 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 26 Mad & eddie Duran Jazz Duo; June 28: Keni “El Lebrijano”; June 30: Larry Stefl Jazz Quartet; July 3: 9 p.m., pickPocket ensemble; 1822 San Pablo Ave. 843-2473  

 

Anna’s Music at 8 p.m. June 23:The maestro Rich Kalman & His Jazz Trio; June 24 The Joe Livotti Sound; June 26: Tangria; June 27: Bob Schoen Jazz Quartet; June 28: ConFusion; $2 weeknights, $3 weekends. 1801 University Ave. 849-ANNA  

 

Ashkenaz June 24, 8 p.m.: Babatunde Olantunji; June 26, 9 p.m.: DP & The Rhythm 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 

 

Berkeley Arts Festival June 24: 7 p.m. “A Beanbenders’ Reunion” Gems from the Vault, Daniel Popsicle, Ben Goldberg’s Brainchild, The Toychestra and Graham Connah’s Jettison Slinky. June 25: The Just Friends Quintet- donations requested; June 26: Donald Robinson Trio; June 28: Con Alma Vocal Jazz Sextet; June 30: 7:30 p.m. Marvin Sanders and Vera Berheda, plus Mozart, Beethoven, Hadyn and Fuare in the gallery; All shows at 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted Donations requested 2200 Shattuck Avenue 665-9496 

Freight & Salvage All music at 8 p.m. June 22: Sourdough Slim w/ Blackwood Tom; June 23: Lara & Reyes; June 24; Darryl Purpose, Dave Carter & Tracy Grammar; June 26; Freight 33rd Anniversary Revue; June 27: Dilema, Hookslide; June 28: Jim Campilongo; june 29: Don’t Look Back; June 30: Jim Hurst & Missy Raines, Due West. 1111 Addison St. www.freightandsalvage.org; 548-1761 

 

Jupiter All shows at 8 p.m.,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 

 

Live Oaks Concerts Berkeley Art Center, June 24: Stephen Bell; July 1: Matthew Owens; July 15: David Cheng, Marvin Sanders, Ari Hsu; July 27: Monica Norcia, Amy Likar, Jim Meredith. all shows at 7:30 unlice otherwise noted Admission $10 (BACA members $8, students and seniors $9, children under 12 free) 

 

Julia Morgan Center for the arts June 23: 8 p.m., “Celebrating Rumi with Persian Classical Music” by Mohammed Reza Lofti. $25 adults, $23 others ; July 1: 1 & 2 p.m., “Kourosh Taghavi: The Beauty of Iranian Music and Stories of its Origins” Adults $10, Children $5. 2640 College Ave. 654-0100 

 

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: Weds. 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 

 

“Kid Kaleidoscope and the Puppet Players” June 24: 2 p.m., Julia Morgan Center for the Arts. The Puppet Players are a multi-media musical theatre group. Their shows are masterfully produced to thrill people of all ages with handmadesets and puppets. Adults $10, Children $5, 2640 College 867-7199 

 

“Romeo and Juliet” Through July 14, Thurs. - Sat. 8 p.m. Set in early 1930s 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” 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 

 

Berkeley Film Makers’ 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 22 Three by Aurthur Peleshian 7:30 p.m., Ivan’s childhood 9 p.m.; June 23 7 & 9:10 p.m. I can’t Sleep; June 24 The Ruined Map 5:30 p.m. & Summer Soldiers 7:50 p.m.; June 26 7:30 p.m. San Francisco Cinematheque: 40 Years in Focus; June 27 7:30 p.m. Nature vs. Nurture; June 28 7:30 p.m. The Beginning of an Unknown Era; June 29 Molba 7:30, Shadows od Our Forgotten Ancestors 9:10; June 30 7, 9:10 p.m. Nenette and Boni. Pacific Film Archive Theater 2575 Bancroft Way (at Bowditch) 642-1412 

 

Exhibits 

 

Constitutional Shift, Through July 13, tuesdays - fridays, noon - 5 p.m. Kala Art Institute. Permanence and personal journey link Hee Jae Suh, Ursula Neubauer and Marci Tackett. Korean-born Suh explores an inner psychological world with a dramatic series of self-portraits. Neubauer explores self-portraiture as a travel map of identity with multiple points of view. Tackett explores Antarctica’s other-worldly landscape in a series of stunning digital photographs. 1060 Heinz Ave. 549-2977 

 

Tyler James Hoare Sculpture and Collage Through June 27, call for hours. 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 Through 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. Now - September. Berkeley History Center, Veterans Memorial Building, 1931 Center St. Wheelchair accessible. 848-0181. Free.  

 

 

Readings 

 

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

 

Julia Morgan Center for the Arts June 29: 7:30 p.m., “Berkeley Stories” by local Celebrity Artists. 2640 College Ave. 549-3564  

 

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

 

Tours 

 

“Berkeley in the Sixties” Berkeley Arts Festival presents free speech Veterans Kate Coleman and Michael Rossman leading a tour from Sather Gate Friday June 29, 3 p.m. 

 

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  

 

 


FORUM

Friday June 22, 2001

Don’t forget us 

Editor, 

When Robert and Dorothy Bryant (6/21) suggested donating tax refund checks to a favored charity (preferably one Bush hates), they wrote that it was difficult to choose just one charity from a list they could not even name. While their decision to donate to the Library Foundation was a very good one, I’d like to offer another choice to those who agree with the Bryants. 

Endorse your check over to the Berkeley Community Fund (2320 Shattuck Avenue, Suite A; Berkeley, CA, 94704; 843-5202). As a community foundation, we consider it a serious responsibility to know about the nonprofit organizations serving our city. We encourage proposals from small, innovative, “below the radar” organizations you might never know about, as well as from long-established ones. All of our grantees have programs in areas that match our mission of narrowing inequities within our community and creating hope and opportunity for disadvantaged youth. All of them provide their services in BERKELEY.  

Our staff and board carefully review every grant proposal, including the organization’s financial information and history. Each grant cycle, though, we have to turn down proposals from organizations doing wonderful, important work in our community simply because our funding is limited. While I doubt President Bush could really hate any of our grantees, many of them are too small, too local, or too innovative to benefit from federal programs. Your gift would make a real difference right here in Berkeley. 

And here is the very BEST part: every cent of your gift will go to grants. How can this be? Our Board of Directors covers all administrative costs of the Fund from their own pockets! This is something very few foundations can say (and something very few in Washington D. C. would even believe).  

Lisa Allphin 

Executive Director, Berkeley Community Fund 

EIR failed to look at cumulative traffic  

The Daily Planet received the following letter addressed to Mayor Shirley Dean: 

During the June 5 City Council hearing on 1301 Oxford St., you asked me a good question regarding the current impact of Congregation Beth El’s Saturday morning parking on the neighborhood that includes both the current site of the congregation and the proposed future site between Oxford and Spruce streets. Your question deserves a better and more detailed answer than I was able to provide at the time. 

Indeed, the fact that you had to ask the question, and my inability to provide more than an anecdotal answer, are both testimony to the inadequacy of the Environmental Impact Report, which could and should have answered the question but did not. While acknowledging that neighbors had expressed concerns about the current, existing facility, the final EIR states that “it is not within the bounds of CEQA to appraise the operational conditions and capacities of the existing Congregation facility.” This was their conclusion in the face of numerous letters and testimony from neighbors that during the frequent Saturday Bar Mitzvahs at the present site, the neighborhood is indeed “parked up” between Cedar and Rose streets on Spruce and Arch, on Eunice between Cedar and halfway up Spring Way, and on Vine from near Hawthorn Terrace to Oxford St. 

Worse yet, the EIR specifically declined to examine what it acknowledged is a “potential for cumulative (parking) impacts if both the existing and proposed sites of Congregation Beth El are operated with institutional uses,” as will clearly be the case. It also totally ignores the cumulative impact of parking at the proposed site in combination with the Berkeley-Richmond Jewish Community Center, which is one and a half blocks away. These two institutions offer virtually the same programs and services, and they share the same operating calendar. When they start doing so within a block and a half of one another, they will find themselves in fierce competition for the same few available parking spaces, and those who live in the neighborhood will be caught in the squeeze. Imagine the additional impact when yet another institution starts using Beth El’s Arch St. site! 

Unfortunately, neither the drafters of the EIR nor the city staff nor the ZAB members dared to imagine such a thing. The EIR almost casually dismissed the problem with the observation that “a more detailed analysis of the potential cumulative (parking) impacts of operation of Congregation Beth El and the existing Arch/Vine site (by another religious institution) is not possible since no new use has been proposed for that site.” 

What we are left with is totally inadequate data and analysis, which should be more than sufficient grounds for the City Council to decertify the ZAB report and require a new report, with reliable, objective data that will respond to your own very relevant question. 

Jon Stewart 

Berkeley 

Beth El planning process worked 

Editor: 

In a recent article, Kevin Powell claims that in the case of the Congregation Beth El Synagogue and School project, the City Planning process has been dysfunctional. Nothing can be further from the truth. Mr. Powell cites the unprecedented turnout (some 450 people) as evidence for his claim. He fails to mention that about 85 percent of the turnout were Beth El supporters. This expression by Beth El members, by Berkeley clergy, by Camp Kee Tov bus drivers, and by neighbors who are not Beth El members reflects the breadth and depth of support for this fine project.  

Remarkably, in Mr. Powell’s long article about process, he has only one sentence about the EIR. He claims that although the EIR dissected the project in extraordinary detail, it did not guide ZAB’s decision. Mr. Powell is simply wrong. The EIR was a central event in the planning process. The EIR concluded that the project would have no significant environmental impacts that cannot be mitigated. 

The final EIR contained responses to the extensive public comments made during this process. The EIR also included the significant ruling by the city attorney that no Berkeley ordinances or policies require the daylighting of Codornices Creek. Mr. Powell should have been at the numerous EIR discussions at ZAB. ZAB members discussed the three thick volumes, the analysis of parking, traffic, storm run-off, fish, sound, trees and the other environmental issues surrounding the project. ZAB members reviewed in detail the work of the team of engineering and environmental specialists.  

This EIR went far beyond the scope of a standard EIR. It had an additional section analyzing planning and zoning impacts that are not “environmental impacts” under EIR law. It did so explicitly for the guidance of ZAB. ZAB used that analysis in coming to its decision to certify the EIR as complete and, ultimately, to revise and approve the project. 

Mr. Powell would also have a different perspective of this process if he read the numerous City Planning Staff reports issued during the course of 13 ZAB public hearings - they represent many hours of time and effort. Significant among these were the detailed parking analysis of the staff. As is now well known, Berkeley has no specific parking requirements for religious institutions, this being determined on a case by case basis. As it was ZAB responsibility to determine the parking for Beth El, staff aided the ZAB by first reviewing the Fehr & Peers and CCS Engineering traffic and parking studies. Staff then analyzed other local projects, surveyed other localities in California and reviewed how Berkeley’s policies and treatment of parking have evolved over the years. This resulted in a staff recommendation of 1 space per eight seats in the sanctuary formula (31 spaces) which the ZAB eventually approved on March 8. 

Mr. Powell also complains that there was little change in the plans during the ZAB hearings. But the original application reflected the most important of the values urged upon Beth El by the neighborhood. And there were numerous significant changes made during the ZAB process. The huge crowd in support of the project demonstrates that this is a balanced project. 

James H. Samuels AIA,  

Berkeley


Calendar of Events & Activities

Friday June 22, 2001


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 

 

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 

 

Schools for Chiapas Benefit 

7 p.m. 

Shattuck Down-Low Lounge 

2284 Shattuck 

El Camioncito Escolar Por La Paz en Chiapas  

“The Little School Bus for Peace in Chiapas” is coming to Berkeley after two months on the road accompanying the Zapatistas on their historic march to Mexico City. Ride in the bus, enjoy music and support Schools for Chiapas. Featuring Bay Area bands Fleeting Trace, Bern and others. Age 21 and over. $5 - 10 sliding scale. 

415-699-5686 

 


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 

 

Strawberry Creek Walking Tour 

10 a.m. - Noon 

Learn about Strawberry Creek’s history, explore its neighborhoods, and consider its potential. Meet four experts on the local creeks. Reservations required, call 848-0181. 

 

Energy-Efficient Wood  

Windows 

9:30 - 11:30 a.m. 

Truitt and White Lumber 

642 Hearst Avenue 

Free seminar by Marvin Window’s representative Chris Martin on how to measure and install the double-hung Tilt Pac replacement unit, as well as a review of the full line of Marvin’s energy-efficient wood windows. 649-2574 

 

What You Need to Know Before You Build or Remodel 

10 a.m. - Noon 

The Building Education Center 

812 Page Street 

Free seminar by professional builder Glen Kitzenberger. 

525-7610 

 

Choosing to Add On:  

The Pros and Cons of  

Building an Addition 

Noon - 2 p.m. 

The Building Education Center 

812 Page Street 

Free seminar by author/designer Skip Wenz 525-7610 

 

Schools for Chiapas Benefit 

7 p.m. 

Lost City 23 Club 

23 Vistitacion Ave., Brisbane 

El Camioncito Escolar Por La Paz en Chiapas  

“The Little School Bus for Peace in Chiapas” is coming to the Bay Area after two months on the road accompanying the Zapatistas on their historic march to Mexico City. Meet at the downtown Berkeley BART station on Shattuck at 6 p.m. Sharp! 

 


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 www.uncle-eye.com 

 

Carefree/Carfree Tour 

1 p.m. 

Berkeley Arts Festival Gallery 

2200 Shattuck Avenue 

Artful garden tour, part of the Berkeley Arts Festival. Ride AC Transit to Marcia Donohue and Mark Bulwinkle’s Our Own Stuff Garden and Gallery, then walk to the Dry Garden. 486-0411 

 

Carefree/Carfree Tour #2 

1:30 p.m. 

Berkeley Arts Festival Gallery 

2200 Shattuck Avenue 

Ride the bus to the Codornices Creek Restoration Project and the Peralta Community Garden and enjoy a concert by Nicole Miller. 

486-0411 

 

Music and Meditation 

8 - 9 p.m. 

The Heart-Road Traveller 

1828 Euclid Avenue 

Group meditation using instrumental music and devotional songs. Free. 496-3468  

 

Buddhist Philosophy 

6 p.m. 

Tibetan Nyingma Institute 

1815 Highland Place 

Barr Rosenberg, co-dean of the Nyingma Institute, will present some of the central ideas and perspectives of the Madhyamaka School of Buddhism. 843-6812 

 

— compiled by Sabrina Forkish and Guy Poole 

 

 


Monday, June 25

 

Tectonic Theater Project 

7 p.m. 

Berkeley Rep’s Roda Theater 

2015 Addison Street 

“Page to Stage: Surviving the Media” is a conversation with the Tectonic Theater Project and professor Douglas Foster. The Tectonic Theater Project traveled to Laramie, Wyoming after the murder of openly gay student Matthew Shepard and wrote a play about the impact Shepard’s death, and the following media scrutiny, had upon the small community. The Laramie Project is running through July 8 at the Berkeley Rep.  

647-2900 

 

What You Need to Know Before You Build or Remodel 

7 - 9 p.m. 

The Building Education Center 

812 Page Street 

Free seminar by professional builder Glen Kitzenberger. 

525-7610 

 

NOW Meeting 

6:30 p.m. 

Mama Bears Book Store 

6537 Telegraph Avenue 

The general meeting of the National Organization for Women. 

 


Tuesday, June 26

 

Saranel Benjamin of Globalization 

7 p.m. 

Oakland YMCA 

1515 Webster Street, Oakland 

Saranel Benjamin, trade unionist from South Africa, will discuss the impact of corporate globalization on South African workers. Sponsored by Berkeley’s Women of Color Resource Center. 

848-9272 

 

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 Don, 525-3565 

 


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 

 

Disaster Council 

7 p.m. 

Emergency Operations Center 

997 Cedar Street 

Update on Measure G. 

644-8736 

 


Thursday, June 28

 

 

Quit Smoking Class 

6 - 8 p.m. 

South Berkeley Senior Center 

2939 Ellis Street 

A six week quit smoking class. Free to Berkeley residents and employees. 

Call 644-6422 or e-mail at: quitnow@ci.berkeley.ca.us 

 

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. 

 

Pink Slip Party and Career Mixer 

6 - 9 p.m. 

Pyramid Brewery and Alehouse 

901 Gilman Street 

Meet with East Bay job seekers while listening to music by DJ and Emcee Marty Nemko. Also, cash bar, free hors d’oeurves, and prize giveaways. Free and open to the public. Call 251-1401. 

www.eastbaytechjobs.com/mixer/  

 


Friday, June 29

 

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.  

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: Arts, Herstory and Literature 

1:15 - 3:15 p.m. 

North Berkeley Senior Center  

1901 Hearst Ave. 

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  

 

Bonfire III: Stories and  

Songs By the Sea 

7:30 p.m. 

Berkeley Marina 

Spinnaker Way, near Olympic Circle Sailing Club 

Come for Havdala and share stories, sing and watch the flames dance. Bring food and drink to share, kosher s’mores provided. 

848-0237 

 

Know Your Rights 

11 - 2 p.m. 

2022 Blake St. 

Copwatch workshop: learn what your rights are when dealing with the police. Special section on juvenile rights.  

548-0425 


72-year-old business still going

By Jennifer Dix Daily Planet correspondent
Friday June 22, 2001

Don’t go to the Berkeley Stamp Company to beef up your postage stamp collection.  

“We get people in every so often looking for that,” said owner W. H. Ellis, with a smile. The modest store with the sign that boasts “Since 1929” caters not to philatelists but to corporations, turning out office signs, name plates and plaques.  

And don’t mention retirement to Ellis, who turns 89 this month and has been with the company from the beginning. 

A slight but active man with twinkling brown eyes, Walter Herbert Ellis was just 17 when his father, Herbert Ellis, was laid off from his job as an office manager on the eve of the Great Depression. The senior Ellis decided to launch his own office-supply business from the basement of the family home on Josephine Street, and the younger Ellis, third of seven children, went to work for his dad.  

It wasn’t always fun working in such close quarters, Ellis said. But the H.R. Ellis Company grew slowly and steadily. H.R. Ellis retired in the late 1940s and his son took over, moving the company into a University Avenue storefront in 1952, where it has remained ever since. He changed the name to Berkeley Stamp Company, but the vintage sign hanging outside proudly reminds passersby that this is a company that’s been around for more than 70 years. 

Ellis’ family spans quite a stretch of history. His parents met on Alcatraz when the island served as an Army base. His mother was a San Francisco native and his father came from Pennsylvania to fight in the Spanish-American War. Ellis was born in San Francisco, but grew up in Berkeley. He remembers the Key Route System that preceded BART, and says his father gave the Westbrae station its name. “The sign said Albany, but it wasn’t in Albany, it was in Berkeley,” he said. “My father wrote (officials) a letter and suggested Westbrae.” 

Ellis graduated from Berkeley the year after his father began the company, and worked at the business until 1943, when he enlisted in the Navy. After three years on a troop transport ship, he came back to Berkeley and the family business. Soon thereafter, his father turned the reins over to him. 

When Ellis began working for his father, print jobs meant setting type by hand. The company made rubber stamps using a vulcanizing machine that pressed the rubber into molds. The vulcanizer, long unused, still sits in a back corner of the shop, near a stack of metal molds that are also gathering dust.  

Today, it’s all done by computer. On a recent day, employee Steve Patton was seated at the computer, pulling up a fancy font for an engraved invitation. On a nearby desk are scattered colorful plastic name tags, some for a church, some for a local pet food store. Patton simply scans the company logo and engraves it on the tags using a laser machine. 

While technology has made work easier, it’s also taken its toll on the business. “It’s dropped off quite a bit,” Ellis said, musing back over the past few decades. “The computers have taken over.”  

There is far less demand for personalized stationery, business cards, or other documents, which professionals can now create on their own desktops. Business rubber stamps are slowly becoming extinct. Where Ellis once employed eight people, he now has a staff of three. The business today is mostly name plates and plaques, such as one listing the winners in an area bowling league. Major clients include the University of California and Peet’s Coffee, which buys individualized labels for its various coffee blends. 

Ellis still works full time every day. But he says he’s planning to cut back to half time, any day now. “My wife wants to see more of me.” He fairly beams when he mentions his second wife, Patricia, an organist at the Unitarian Church in Kensington. He met her about seven years ago, following the death of his first wife. “I wish you could meet Pat,” he says, looking around as if she might appear. “She’s really something.” He speaks with pride of her many abilities – she keeps the books for the store – and her large social circle. “You wouldn’t believe how many people she knows – oh, it’s amazing.” 

His wife’s music and social engagements will certainly keep him busy in semi-retirement, and Ellis has projects of his own. “I need to catch up on my reading,” he said. “I follow the stock market.” Though he has no children of his own, he speaks warmly of his stepson, and his stepdaughter, whom he recently gave away at her marriage. His zest for life clearly remains undiminished. He speaks with delight of his home in Kensington, which has Bay views and shade trees. 

But don't expect W. H. Ellis to spend all his time at home. Retiring completely from the job he’s held since he was a teenager seems inconceivable. “I like coming in here, seeing the customers and talking to them.”  


BHS players head to Cuba for baseball tour

By Jared Green Daily Planet Staff
Friday June 22, 2001

Rattlers to be first junior team to visit Castro. 

 

 

Sometime late on Saturday night, a plane will be landing in Cuba carrying with it historic significance. On it will be 58 Americans, which is unusual enough for a country that has been at odds with the United States for most of the 20th century. And among the company will be several Berkeley representatives. 

The Oakland Rattlers AAU baseball team will be the first high-school-age team to tour the last bastion of communism since the U.S. embargo was enacted in the early 1960s. The 16-and-under team has three players who also play for Berkeley High: Cole Stipovich, Andre Sternberg and Ryan Nelson. 

Stipovich, who has played for Rattlers’ head coach Eddie Abrams for two years, was one of the first kids Abrams recruited for his new team from his old team, the Oakland Oaks. 

“He told us he was going to make a new team with us and a bunch of other players, Stipovich said. “The trip came along after that, so I was one of the first to know about it, and I got pretty excited.” 

The Rattlers were chosen mostly due to Abrams’ reputation for fielding highly successful teams, but also because he puts together racially diverse squads. 

“It’s very important to the Cubans that the team not be lily-white,” assistant coach Jim Stipovich said. “When we play in national tournaments, so many of the teams don’t have any minorities. It’s almost shameful.” 

The team will be accompanied by a crew from Fox Sports World, which will be creating a documentary on the unique trip. 

The trip will be one week long, with the first day dedicated to sightseeing in Havana. The team will play doubleheaders against the Cuban junior Olympic team on Monday and Tuesday, then visit the National Sports School in Havana on Wednesday. Thursday will bring another doubleheader, but the two teams will mix and play together. The final day of the trip will consist of a dinner with Cuban leader Fidel Castro, himself a former ballplayer. 

According the elder Stipovich, the Rattlers are set on sweeping the two formal doubleheaders. 

“We want to show them what we’ve got,” he said. “But the Cubans are going to be desperate to win on their own turf, in front of their fans. All the pressure will be on them.”


BUSD accused of ignoring student help program

By Ben Lumpkin Daily Planet staff
Friday June 22, 2001

Members of Berkeley’s African American community – church leaders, community leaders, parents, teachers, and students – turned out en masse at the Wednesday night School Board meeting to denounce the school district for not doing enough to help students of color improve their academic skills. 

“The level of disenchantment with this school district by black people in particular, and people of color in general, is rather astounding,” said Alex Papillon, president of the Berkeley Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. 

In a separate meeting last week at St. Joseph the Worker Church, members of Berkeley’s Latino community listed grievances against Berkeley High School, arguing that their children are receiving a second-class education through the school’s English Language Learner program. 

On Wednesday, African Americans also focused their complaints on the high school, arguing that the administration has done nothing to address the achievement gap and is even turning its back on a popular, parent-backed program aimed at addressing the issue. 

Concerned that 242 Berkeley High freshman were in danger of failing two or more classes midway through the first semester this year, the group Parents of Children of African Descent (PCAD) took a plan for intervention to the school board in January. The school board later joined the city in giving PCAD the money it needed to launch its program for eight months – from the beginning of the second semester to the end of the summer.  

The program they called “Rebound” took 50 of the 180 students who finished the semester with failing grades in two or more classes and placed them in smaller classes of longer duration, where teachers could give students more one on one attention.  

According to statistics presented to the school board by Rebound supporters Wednesday, Rebound students’ grades and attendance improved dramatically in just their first few months in the program.  

The statistics compare 30 Rebound students to a “control group” of 30 freshman from similar racial and economic backgrounds who were also failing two or more classes at the end of the first semester but did not join Rebound.  

Of the 30 students in the control group, all were failing English at the end of the first semester and 26 were still failing midway through the second semester. Of the 30 Rebound students, 29 were failing English at the end of the first semester but only 11 were still failing the class midway through the second semester. 

Rebound students posted similar grade gains over their peers in algebra and history classes, although Berkeley High Principal Frank Lynch cautioned Thursday the results from statewide standardized tests taken in the spring will provide a more objective measure of changes in students’ academic performance. 

Rebound supporters also argued Wednesday that the program had a dramatic impact on student attendance. Whereas the 30 Rebound students accumulated 259 absences in the math class during the first half of the first semester, they accumulated only 121 absences in the class during the first half of the second semester. In the control group, meanwhile, 268 math absences in the first half of the first semester grew to 464 absences in the first half of the second semester. 

Rebound student Elizabeth Feamster explained the difference to the school board. There was a large group of students of color who “messed up the first semester and decided to just give up,” she said. 

“It’s hard to be in a big class...where you don’t know what to do and you’re scared to ask because you feel like you’re the dumb one,” Feamster said. 

“Once you fall short on your grades, you’re in the lost land of no support at Berkeley High school,” agreed Ryan Collins-Lee, a Berkeley High freshman who didn’t join Rebound and barely managed to pass his classes. 

Despite graduating Willard Middle School with a 3.7 GPA, Collins-Lee said, he nearly didn’t make it to his sophomore year at Berkeley High. 

“No one seems to care, except for a very few teachers, and my parents and my friends, who give me the power to keep going,” Collins-Lee said. 

Given the universal acknowledgment of the seriousness of the achievement gap problem at Berkeley High, PCAD Steering Committee member Debrah Watson said she was “at a loss” to understand why school board members and other school administrators haven’t paid closer attention to Rebound’s successes, or laid out plans for emulating those successes in the larger Berkeley High community. 

“By not doing anything, they have shown that they are not concerned about the community or the students,” Watson said. 

In a comment that brought applauding audience members to their feet Wednesday, Peralta Community College District Board member Darryl Moore said: “Instead of eliminating (Rebound), the program should be expanded.”  

Lynch said Thursday that, as he understood it, there was never any intention either by the school board or PCAD to continue Rebound beyond the end of the summer. It was a pilot program to identify effective ways for addressing the achievement gap, which it did, he said. 

“We learned from (Rebound), and we will do something, but we can’t replicate what’s been going on,” Lynch said. 

With five teachers and one coordinator working with just 50 students, the Rebound program provided a level of support to students and their parents that simply isn’t feasible in the larger school environment, where teachers have an average of 150 to 180 students passing through their classroom each day, Lynch said. 

Rebound supporters are justly proud of the record for getting parents involved in the academic life of their students through weekly meetings and phone calls, Lynch said. But the sheer numbers make this strategy unworkable for other Berkeley High teachers, he said.  

The school does plan to follow Rebound’s lead next year, Lynch said, by dividing incoming freshman into different core groups based on their academic support needs and then connecting them with backup programs, counseling and after school services. 

“The only thing that we can’t duplicate is the 12-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio,” Lynch said. “That’s totally impossible to do, unless you’re a school district rolling in dollars.” 

It’s not ideal, Lynch said. It just the way it is. 

“As long as you have students in classes with 30-to-1 ratios as opposed to 12-1 (some students) are going to feel like people don’t care,” Lynch said. “And that is really unfortunate.” 

Still, PCAD members and their supporters vowed to continue fighting Wednesday until the district institutes reforms that truly impact the achievement gap. 

“PCAD is not going to stop until those kids have the same opportunities” as other Berkeley High students, PCAD Steering Committee member Michael Miller told the school board. 

The NAACP’s Papillon said the time has come for Berkeley’s African American community to come together in a “town hall” meeting to bring more pressure to bear on the school board. 

“It is abundantly clear that this school district will not respond to the concerns that we have until we stand before you at the size of a gorilla,” Papillon said Wednesday. 


Northern California’s top players facing off at Berkeley Tennis Club

By Jared Green Daily Planet Staff
Friday June 22, 2001

The best junior tennis players in northern California are squaring off this week at the Berkeley Tennis Club, trying to add on points to qualify for the junior national tournament in August. 

Starting Monday, 68 boys and 37 girls opened the United States Tennis Association NorCal 18-and-under Sectionals Tournament. By Saturday, each bracket will be pared down to two competitors in the finals. 

Tournament director Todd Mitchell, who is the Director of Tennis and head pro at the Berkeley Tennis Club, said this year’s draws are smaller than usual. 

“Some kids have already signed with colleges, so they don’t want to play,” Mitchell said. “But it’s just a fact that the numbers particpating at this age are down across the board.” 

But for the ones who are playing, the sectionals are a good chance to up their national standing. Since the tournament is only open to the finalists from smaller events, the point values are doubled, making this an opportunity to jump up in the rankings. 

In addition, this is the last tournament before the seeding for the national finals is selected. So a big upset or a surprise loss could have a sudden impact that can’t be fixed. The boys’ national tournament will be held in Kalamazoo, Mich., with the girls’ in San Jose, both on August 6-13. Mitchell said he expects about five boys and five girls from the NorCal region to be selected for the nationals. 

With the cream of the crop all in one tournament, the competition is very tough. Complicating matters is that most of the competitors know each other, having come up in the same system for many years. 

“By the time they get here, they usually know each other pretty well,” Mitchell said. “That can be good, but it can also make things harder. 

The doubles finals will be held at approximately 2:30 p.m. today, depending on singles results. The singles finals will be on Saturday, 10 a.m. for the girls, 11:30 a.m for the boys.


Residents want to purchase project

By John Geluardi Daily Planet staff
Friday June 22, 2001

Residents of the University Avenue Co-op Homes want to take advantage of a rare opportunity to buy their affordable housing development and have asked the City Council to fund a study of the proposed purchase. 

Because of the tenant-co-op structure of the development, the 47-unit property on Addison Street, has been managed and maintained by the tenants since the complex first opened. The co-op is now seeking to purchase the property from Capitol Housing Partners, the for-profit East Coast real estate company that owns the apartments.  

The city owns the land the apartments are built on and currently leases it to CHA for $1 a year. 

Housing officials say no purchase price has been discussed. Co-op tenants would likely secure low-interest federal, state and city loans to buy the property, according to Councilmember Dona Spring, who represents District 7 where the apartments are located. 

CHA’s contract with the Housing and Urban Development Department expires on Jan. 3 and the residents are concerned the housing will revert to market rates and that the development will lose its project-based Section 8 status, which provides rental subsidies for qualified residents. 

The co-op’s board of directors has carried out the responsibilities of property owners since the project first opened in the mid 1980s. The tenants have balanced the project’s budget and have been responsible for all the repair work performed on the property. The board of directors even instigated a $750,000 lawsuit against the development’s contractor for shoddy work in 1991. 

Dan Sawislak, a project manager for the nonprofit developer Resources for Community Development, said the co-op’s tenant control has encouraged many of the residents to get involved with the development’s upkeep and management. 

Resident Elsie Blunt, 74, who is raising her 13-year-old great-grandson in the complex said the tenants have created a pleasant atmosphere. 

“This place is kept up very nice, it’s quiet, the people are friendly and there isn’t any drug problems here,” Blunt said. “I’ve lived in Berkeley since 1947 and if we lose this place, I won’t be able to afford another.”  

Sawislak said the co-op’s opportunity to purchase the property is rare. The tenant-purchase option was written into the development’s contract in the early 1980s when co-ops were popular structures for affordable housing projects. 

Ellen Rodin, an attorney and long-time resident of the co-op, said the project was structured by Irv Routenberg, who was a project manager for University Avenue Housing, Inc., which developed the property.  

“What we have here is a very unique situation because of the way Irv organized this project,” she said. “The management lives on site and because of it you get a much better place. People who visit the apartments never believe it’s low-income housing.” 

The study the tenants are requesting from the city would examine a variety of purchase scenarios, said Interim Housing Director Stephen Barton. 

“We’ll have to examine when the best time to purchase the building would be, whether it’s now or five years down the road. We also need an estimate of value and we have to find out just what the nature of the private investors ownership is. Right now that’s still unclear,” Barton said. 

He added the study would likely cost $2,000 to $4,000. 

Spring has been supportive of the co-op purchasing the apartments and put the tenants’ request for funding the study in the biennial budget, which is scheduled to be adopted next Tuesday. “This would be a great thing for the tenants and it would guarantee the project would remain affordable in perpetuity.” 

Spring said she would like to see a county bond measure go before the voters that would create a pool of money for assisting low-income tenants who want to purchase the affordable housing complexes they live in, as they came up for sale.


Playground soil tested for arsenic

By Daniela Mohor Daily Planet staff
Friday June 22, 2001

The American Chemistry Council, an organization representing the U.S. chemical industry, tested the soil at the Cedar and Rose Park playground in north Berkeley Thursday, to determine whether the site is contaminated with arsenic. 

The sampling plan of the laboratory commissioned by ACC to do the analysis indicates that the Berkeley park is one of only five playgrounds throughout the country to be tested. The ACC was not available for comment. 

City officials say the testing may be related to the nationwide controversy surrounding the safety of wooden play structures treated with a preservative made of chromium, copper and arsenic (CCA). In Berkeley, at least four parks, including Cedar and Rose present risks of arsenic poisoning. 

“They clearly decided to do it because there was all this brouhaha,” said Nabil Al-Hadithy, manager of the Toxics Management Division.  

The brouhaha started last March when three parks were closed in Miami because arsenic leaching from CCA-treated wooden play structures was found in the soil. Florida citizens’ concern quickly grew into a national worry. And in May, the Environmental Working group and the Healthy Building Network asked the government to ban the use of CCA-treated wood in playgrounds.  

According to the study the two groups made public in Berkeley that same month, a 5-year-old child exposed to that kind of equipment for five hours a day, would reach his or her lifetime acceptable load of arsenic in fewer than 14 days. The health risks of such exposure include lung, bladder, and skin cancer. 

The EWG/HBN report brought to light the negligence of the city in meeting the codes adopted in 1987 by the California Department of Health Services. According to these codes the arsenic-treated play structures have to be coated with sealant every two years, but Berkeley did it for a couple of years only. 

After the study was made public, Parks and Waterfront Department Director Lisa Caronna, immediately addressed the issue. She had the hazardous structures coated and plans to replace them within five years. However, officials fear that contaminants have leached into the soil during the years the structures were not protected. 

“The concern is the dusting and the fact that with the run off the soil is contaminated too, because there was a long period of time when it wasn’t coated and the sealant was lost,” said L.A. Wood, vice chair of the Community Environmental Advisory Commission, who attended Thursday’s sample collection.  

The results of the American Chemistry Council’s soil analysis should be available within two and one-half weeks. But to the city, the ACC’s findings make little difference. Caronna said she was pleased that the ACC, unlike other organizations in the past, informed the city of the testing and asked officials to supervise the sample collection. But she added that it will not influence city policies – the Parks Department will soon do an independent and thorough soil analysis. 

“From our perspective, we want to know if there is any other site that presents a danger,” she said.  

The testing should be done in the next couple of months if the City Council approves the recommendation that the Community Environmental Advisory Commission will present to it July 17. 

Among other things, the commission requests the city replace all CCA-treated structures, test all playgrounds with treated wood, and address the problem of Berkeley’s non city-owned playgrounds, including those belonging to the school district, private schools and day care centers. 

 


Teachers vie for prized housing spots on district land

The Associated Press
Friday June 22, 2001

SANTA CLARA — Forty teachers in one of the nation’s tightest housing markets won coveted spots Thursday in inexpensive apartments being built on school district property as part of a program believed to be the first of its kind anywhere. 

About 85 Santa Clara teachers entered the lottery for the new apartments in “Casa del Maestro” – Home of the Teacher. It is expected to open next spring with rents about one-half the market rate. 

School district officials hope it helps them retain new teachers, who are increasingly fleeing Silicon Valley’s exorbitant cost of living after a few years. 

A local disc jockey plucked the lucky teachers’ names from a plastic bin in a stuffy room at an elementary school, where the apartments are being built on the edge of a soccer field. Besides the 40 winners, 20 teachers were placed on a waiting list. 

Most of the winners were not at the ceremony because this is the break between the regular school year and summer school. But those attending were delighted when their names were called, while their fellow teachers applauded. 

First-grade teacher Aimee Brinks hugged the superintendent. Toby Stack, who starts teaching fifth grade in the fall, pumped his fist and grinned. 

Stack, 24, moved to Santa Clara from Missoula, Mont., last week and has been sleeping on a friend’s couch. Now he has his eye on a 1,200-square foot, two-bedroom apartment with a den, deck, washer and dryer that will cost around $1,200 a month. 

“Now I can make a commitment to the district and these kids,” he said. When asked what he would have done if he hadn’t won the lottery, he said: “Struggle like the rest of them. Try as hard as I can to get by, and if it doesn’t work, I’d probably leave like the rest of them.” 

The downturn in the technology economy has softened the real estate market in Santa Clara County somewhat, but the median price of a single-family home in May still was $561,350, according to the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors. That’s up from $525,000 last year. 

Apartment rents in the county have dropped as much as 20 percent from their peak prices last fall, said Alan Pontius, senior vice president at Marcus & Millichap, a real estate investment company.  

But that follows a 30 percent rise at the height of the Internet boom, and the market remains relatively tight, he said. 

That situation is becoming a crisis for schools. 

In the Santa Clara Unified School District, which has about 850 teachers and 15,000 students, teachers earn between $41,000 and $75,000 a year. Those who leave their jobs very often cite the area’s cost of living as the reason, Superintendent Paul Perotti said. 

To fight the problem, the district tapped funds left over from the sale of schools that closed long ago. The $6 million Casa del Maestro is being built at a school the district owns but leases to a private school. 

A nonprofit organization set up by the district is overseeing the project, and a private company will manage the apartments – so school administrators can stay out of the landlord business. 

The lottery for Casa del Maestro was limited to teachers with less than three years of experience in the district, but they will be able to stay as long as they remain teachers at a Santa Clara public school. Spouses are welcome, of course, as long as the couple’s combined income does not exceed $136,000. 

While other districts have helped subsidize homes for teachers, no other public school system has built teacher housing on its property, according to Lawrence D. Carr, director of education for the Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group, which helped plan the project. 

 

American Federation of Teachers spokeswoman Janet Bass also said she had not heard of another program like this one. A similar project proposed at a San Francisco school last year never materialized. 

Before the lottery began, special-education teacher Christine Williams said an apartment in Casa del Maestro would help her save for her daughter’s college education. For now, they live with two other teachers in a four-bedroom apartment in Los Gatos that rents for a total $2,200 a month, but they’re forced to move because one roommate is leaving the area. 

“You’d think a teacher could be able to find a house — not Beverly Hills, of course,” Williams said with a laugh. “Prices haven’t come down as much as I thought they would.” 

As the winning names were announced, Williams sat by herself on a metal folding chair, looking anxious. But her name was never called, and she left out a back door without saying a word. 

——— 

On the Net: 

School district: http://www.scu.k12.ca.us 


High-speed rail project trying to limp along

The Associated Press
Friday June 22, 2001

SACRAMENTO — Facing a bare-bones budget, California’s high-speed rail planners are trying to scrape together enough money to keep the project limping along over the next 12 months. 

The Legislature’s budget-writing committee approved only $1 million for the project in the fiscal year that starts July 1. 

That’s enough to cover staff costs but it leaves little or nothing to continue the 2 years of environmental studies needed before the state can begin building the 700-mile, $26 billion system. 

“It’s one of those years you limp along but you’ve got to run faster to catch up,” said Medhi Morshed, executive director of the state’s High-Speed Rail Authority, the nine-member board that’s overseeing the project. 

The proposed system would link Sacramento, the San Francisco area, Los Angeles and San Diego with trains that could reach speeds of more than 200 mph. 

Lawmakers put $5 million in the current state budget to begin the environmental reviews, and the authority hired teams of engineering and environmental firms to do the work.  

The authority asked for $14 million in the next budget to continue those studies. 

But warnings of looming deficits put the Legislature’s budget writers in a cost-cutting mood. 

“Everyone got axed,” Edward Graveline, the authority’s acting chairman, said Thursday.  

“It wasn’t just us. ... It’s regrettable but I don’t think it’s insurmountable. I do think we can make progress.” 

Morshed said the authority should be able to augment its budget by getting about $500,000 in voter-approved bond money from the state Transportation Commission. 

That money is already earmarked for environmental reviews of a high-speed train line between Bakersfield and Los Angeles, according to Morshed. 

The authority could also do some more environmental work on a potential coastal route between San Diego and Los Angeles by teaming up with the state Department of Transportation, Morshed said. 

The department is planning to expand conventional rail passenger service between the two cities and needs environmental reviews too. 

“If we can come to terms with what they need, we can continue working on that corridor,” Morshed said. 

The authority also plans to generate more planning money by leaving vacant two staff positions, and it hopes to get as  

much as $8 million from the 

federal government. 

Morshed said he didn’t know what the prospects were for getting federal assistance.  

“The (federal) budget crunch time has not arrived so I don’t know if anyone’s focused on it,” he said. 

Assemblyman Dean Florez, D-Shafter, said California could get $15 million or $16 million in federal support over a two- or three-year period.  

He also said there might be discretionary funding in the state Department of Transportation budget that the authority could tap. 

State Sen. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, said Sen. Dianne Feinstein was working on lining up federal support for the project. Costa said he also plans to try to get the backing of U.S. Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta, a former California congressman. 

Graveline said some counties “that recognize the imperative of having high-speed rail” might be willing to chip in planning funds if the state repaid them. 

“That’s been a common practice with highway projects,” he said. “We’re just getting creative about how we can continue to operate.”


Bluesman John Lee Hooker dies at 83

The Associated Press
Friday June 22, 2001

Veteran bluesman John Lee Hooker, whose foot stompin’ and gravelly voice electrified audiences and inspired several generations of musicians, died Thursday at his Los Altos home. He was 83. 

He died at in his sleep at his home, said Hooker’s agent Mike Kappus. 

Hooker died of natural causes with friends and family near, said his manager Rick Bates. 

During a more than six-decade-long music career, the veteran blues singer from the Mississippi Delta estimated he recorded more than 100 albums. Some of his better-known songs include “Boogie Chillen,” “Boom Boom” and “I’m In The Mood.” 

Throughout it all, Hooker’s music remained unchanged. His rich and sonorous voice, full of ancient hurt, and his brooding and savage style remained hypnotic but unpredictable. To the strains of his own guitar, he sang of loneliness and confusion. Neither polished nor urbane, his music was raw, primal emotion. 

His one-chord boogie compositions and rhythmic guitar work were a distinctive sound that influenced rock ’n’ rollers as well as rhythm and blues musicians. 

In 1991, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Last year at the Grammys, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Among those whose music drew heavily on Hooker’s style are Van Morrison, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt and ZZ Top. In 1961, the then-unknown Rolling Stones opened for him on a European tour; he also shared a bill that year with Bob Dylan at a club in New York City. 

Even in the ’90s, when his fame was sealed and he was widely recognized as one of the grandfathers of pop music, Hooker remained a little in awe of his own success, telling The Times of London, “People say I’m a genius but I don’t know about that.” 

Like many postwar bluesmen, Hooker got cheated by one fly-by-night record producer after another, who demanded exclusivity or didn’t pay. Hooker fought back by recording with rival producers under a slew of different names: Texas Slim, John Lee Booker, John Lee Cocker, Delta John, Birmingham Sam and the Boogie Man, among others. 

Hooker’s popularity grew steadily as he rode the wave of rock in the ’50s into the folk boom of the ’60s. In 1980, he played a street musician in “The Blues Brothers” movie. In 1985, his songs were used in Steven Spielberg’s film, “The Color Purple.” 

Hooker hit it big again in 1990 with his album “The Healer,” featuring duets with Carlos Santana, Raitt and Robert Cray. It sold 1.5 million copies and won him his first Grammy Award, for a duet with Raitt on “I’m in the Mood.” 

Several more albums followed, including one recorded to celebrate his 75th birthday, titled “Chill Out.” 

In his later years, Hooker laid back and enjoyed his success. He recorded only occasionally; he posed for blue jeans and hard liquor ads.  

Born in Clarksdale, Miss., in 1917, Hooker was one of 11 children born to a Baptist minister and sharecropper who discouraged his son’s musical bent. 

His stepfather taught him to play guitar. By the time Hooker was a teenager, he was performing at local fish fries, dances and other occasions. 

Hooker hit the road to perform by the age of 14. He worked odd jobs by day and played small bars at night in Memphis, then Cincinnati and finally Detroit in 1943. 

“I don’t know what a genius is,” he told the London newspaper. “I know there ain’t no one ever sound like me, except maybe my stepfather. You hear all the kids trying to play like B.B. (King), and they ain’t going to because, ooh, he’s such a fine player and a very great man. But you never hear them even try and sound like John Lee Hooker.” 

“All these years, I ain’t done nothin’ different,” he added. “I been doing the same things as in my younger days, when I was coming up, and now here I am, an old man, up there in the charts. And I say, well, what happened? Have they just thought up the real John Lee Hooker, is that it? And I think, well, I won’t tell nobody else! I can’t help but wonder what happened.” 

 

 

On the Net: www.boomboomblues.com


Liberal Democrats declare war on GOP, moderates

The Associated Press
Friday June 22, 2001

 

LOS ANGELES — With “Bulworth” actor and political wannabe Warren Beatty as its headliner, a group of liberal Democrats is declaring war on Republicans this weekend, and possibly some Democrats as well. 

The organization wants Democrats to abandon all efforts at bipartisanship and do battle with the GOP over the Bush administration’s agenda. The new Southern California Americans for Democratic Action goes so far as to say it will work to oust Democrats from office who deviate from the liberal party line. 

“I think they’ve been handling things naively. I think bipartisanship is a myth,” Lila Garrett, the group’s president, said of congressional Democrats. “We’re really in danger of losing all of the social gains we’ve made.” 

Garrett hopes to rally support at an all-day conference on Sunday. Specifically, she wants attendees to lobby members of Congress to support the group’s positions on such things as universal health care, public education and a limited defense budget, with no room for compromise. 

For those who don’t pass the group’s litmus tests, Garrett wants funds raised in the coming months to get them booted from office during primaries. In the Senate, for example, there only 38 “real Democrats,” she said. 

Democrats enjoy a 50-49 advantage in the Senate with one independent. The House is 222-210 in favor of Republicans, with independents holding two seats and one seat vacant. 

Bipartisanship and compromise have become the Washington buzzwords of the day in the wake of November’s tight elections and President Bush’s controversial electoral win over Al Gore. 

Among the speakers are Beatty – whose flirtation with a bid for president gained momentum at a SCADA event in 1999, film director Rob Reiner, environmentalist and actor Ed Begley Jr. and House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo. Liberal California lawmakers, including Rep. Maxine Waters and Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg, also are scheduled to speak. 

Democratic and Republican analysts alike describe the group’s approach as unrealistic and dispute Garrett’s claims that bipartisanship can’t work. Voters have no interest in political posturing, analysts say, they simply want lawmakers to get things done. 

“I think it’s a classic case of people who misunderstand the political arena. It’s about compromise. It’s about finding the middles – it’s rarely about the extremes,” said Jim Duffy, a Democratic consultant in Washington. “Those who tend to say it’s my way or the highway don’t tend to be very effective in politics.” 

Duffy also predicted that any efforts to campaign against Democrats who fail the group’s litmus tests may backfire. Moderate Democrats tend to hail from swing states anyway, he said, where voters might be inclined to support a Democrat who draws the ire of a left-wing, Hollywood group. 

Nonetheless, Duffy said he welcomes input from any political group. 

“I’m always encouraged when people want to get involved and be involved in the political dialogue,” he said. 

Rudy Fernandez, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, described the group’s actions as “a shame.” 

“It send a negative tone,” he said. “This group is definitely politicizing issues that are important to all Americans, and we should be working together.” 

Fernandez said Congress and Bush have shown that bipartisanship works during the past few months as they’ve worked together on tax and education bills. 

Even the speakers who agreed to attend Sunday’s event are quick to point out they don’t follow the strict ideological approach of the Southern California Americans for Democratic Action. 

Reiner, who is well known as both an activist and fund-raiser, plans to continue supporting candidates based on their support for early childhood education and generally not get involved in primaries, his spokesman said. 

Both Reiner and Begley, the “St. Elsewhere” actor and staunch environmentalist, also said they are comfortable crossing party lines to work with or support people who share their beliefs 

 

“I think Rob is very pragmatic in the policies that he advocates for and the politics it takes to get things done in Washington,” Reiner’s spokesman, Chad Griffin said. 

Gephardt’s spokeswoman, Kori Bernards, said the Missouri congressman planned to talk in broad terms about the direction of the Democratic party. 

“We’re just speaking, we’re not endorsing their views on not being bipartisan,” she said. “Certainly the leader has been someone who has worked to bring bipartisanship to the House.” 


Pit bulls’ owner faces charges in attack on boy

The Associated Press
Friday June 22, 2001

 

RICHMOND — A home health care nurse whose three pit bulls chewed off a 10-year-old boy’s face and ears was arraigned Thursday on two misdemeanor charges for allegedly concealing the dogs after the attack. 

Benjamin Moore, 27, was charged in Contra Costa County Superior Court in Richmond and was held on $50,000 bail. He pleaded innocent to the charges. 

Prosecutors had hoped to charge Moore with felony mayhem and failing to exercise care with dogs trained to fight, attack or kill, but said their investigation did not support those charges. 

Moore’s girlfriend, Jacinda Knight, 33, was released without charges. 

Moore’s lawyer, public defender Michael Friedman, asked Commissioner Stephen Houghton to release Moore without bail, but Houghton said he thought Moore should stay in jail because he did not call 911 after the attack. 

“The court is concerned with the alleged disregard for the victim in this case,” Houghton said. He set a pretrial hearing for July 13. Moore said he fled with his dogs Monday evening because he thought the boy was dead. Now two of the dogs are still missing, and Shawn Jones is in critical condition.  

He spent most of Monday night in surgery, but his ears could not be reattached, said Dr. James Betts, chief of surgery at Children’s Hospital Oakland.  

If he survives, the boy faces years of plastic surgery and may never fully recover, the doctor said.  

He’s also suffering through painful rabies shots because the dogs haven’t been tested. On Thursday, Shawn’s blood pressure dropped precipitously but doctors did stabilize him, said Carol Hyman, a spokeswoman for Children’s Hospital Oakland. 

Animal control officials said Thursday they found one dog in an unincorporated part of Contra Costa County near Richmond. Police Sgt. Enos Johnson said late in the day that the dog has been identified as one of the three dogs involved in the attack. 

Moore insists the dogs were current with their vaccinations, have no history of violence and do not pose a threat now that they’ve been separated. But county officials say they have no records proving the dogs have been vaccinated. 

 

 

“I’d provide as much money as I could to help. I feel real sorry for the family and the boy,” he said. 

But Darryl Cyrus, Shawn’s stepfather, only wants to find the dogs. 

“I raised pit bulls, and I know when you raise them, you love them,” he said. “I know his heart wouldn’t allow him to just turn them loose. Someone’s got those dogs.” 

The city of Richmond is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of the dogs, which would have to be destroyed to be tested for rabies. 

A trust fund for Shawn’s medical treatment also has been set up at the Mechanics Bank in Richmond. 

“I’m a God-fearing man. I’m not going to be angry at him,” Cyrus added. “I want to plead with him. Turn those dogs in and let them be destroyed. If you have kids, your kids could be next.” 


Judge orders release of killer saying Gov. Davis can’t stop it

The Associated Press
Friday June 22, 2001

LOS ANGELES — Gov. Gray Davis does not have blanket powers to deny parole to murderers, a judge ruled Thursday in ordering the release of convicted killer Robert Rosenkrantz. 

Rosenkrantz, who killed a boyhood friend in Calabasas 16 years ago for revealing Rosenkrantz’s homosexuality, has become the rallying point against Davis’ reluctance to grant parole to murderers. 

“There is a total absence of any evidence in the record supporting the governor’s opinion that (Rosenkrantz) represents a ‘continued threat to the public,’ ” Superior Court Judge Paul Gutman wrote.  

“While the governor is entitled to express his opinion, the opinion itself must be factually supported and it is not.” 

The decision “reverses a policy that says even people who have a chance to be redeemed are having that chance taken away,” said Alan Schlosser, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Northern California chapter. 

“This is a strong testament showing that no one, even the governor, is above the law ... he can’t act cavalierly and capriciously,” Schlosser said. 

The state will file an appeal to keep Rosenkrantz in prison “as soon as possible,” said Nathan Barankin, spokesman for Attorney General Bill Lockyer. 

Davis’s decision was unconstitutional, Gutman wrote, because he failed to apply the standards used by the Parole Board for inmate release. 

The governor says he does not employ a no-parole policy, but Gutman found that his actions and public statements show he denies parole to murderers “regardless of any extenuating circumstances.” 

Of the 48 convicted murderers granted parole by the Board of Prison Terms since Davis took office in 1999, the governor has rejected all but one of them. Rose Ann Parker, who shot her abusive boyfriend in 1986 after he threatened to kill her and her son, was released in December. 

Barry Goode, Davis’ legal affairs secretary, reiterated the governor’s contention that he does not arbitrarily rule against granting murderers parole. 

“Gov. Davis studied Mr. Rosenkrantz’s case carefully before deciding that he is not suitable for parole at this time,” Goode said in a statement Thursday.  

 

“Gov. Davis gives each case careful scrutiny. He determines each on its own merits and will continue to do so.” 

Rosenkrantz, 33, was convicted of second-degree murder and was sentenced to 17 years to life in prison, where he became a model prisoner and a computer expert. But the Board of Prison Terms’ decision to release him sparked immediate controversy — as did Davis’ decision to overturn it. 

Davis said in his October decision to block the release that Rosenkrantz was fortunate not to have been convicted of first-degree murder, a verdict he said would have been supported by the facts. 

During court hearings before Gutman, Deputy Attorney General Robert Wilson argued that Davis does not arbitrarily deny parole to all murderers. His denial in Rosenkrantz’s case was made because of the vicious nature of the killing, Wilson said. 

Rosenkrantz had just graduated from high school when he shot and killed 17-year-old Steven Redman with an Uzi semiautomatic weapon on June 28, 1985. Days earlier, Redman had told Rosenkrantz’s father that Rosenkrantz was gay. 

A jury convicted Rosenkrantz of second-degree murder; he was sentenced to 17 years to life in prison. 

Rosenkrantz’s attorney Donald Specter said Rosenkrantz and his family were thrilled. 

“They’re all extremely happy and relieved and thankful for the courage that the judge showed to make a ruling such as the one he did,” Specter said. “They’re looking forward very much to having Robert Rosenkrantz released.” 


Water conservation can take many forms

By Lee Reich The Associated Press
Friday June 22, 2001

No one wants to stand by and watch their tomato plants wilt away to nothing in dry weather. Then again, who wants to run their well dry or waste water? The challenge is to keep plants happy and, at the same time, conserve water. 

Water conservation begins with making sure that every raindrop gets into the soil instead of running elsewhere. Hillside gardens catch rain best if they are terraced or have low ridges built perpendicular to the slope. On flat ground, soil formed into slightly raised basins around individual plants ensures that water runs right to those  

plants’ roots. 

Bare soils form surface crusts that shed rainfall almost like concrete. Encourage percolation by loosening the surface with a hoe or, even better, covering the surface with an organic mulch like straw, leaves, or compost. Peat moss is not a good choice because, although very absorbent when moistened, it sheds water when dry. 

Once water is in the soil, keep it there for plants as long as possible. Organic mulch also conserves water by preventing evaporation from the soil surface. 

Despite efforts to catch and hold rainwater, supplemental watering might be needed. If you use a sprinkler, apply a lot of water infrequently – a 1-inch depth once a week suits most plants. The best time to sprinkle is midmorning so that leaves dry off quickly enough to avoid diseases, yet temperatures are not yet warm enough to cause excessive evaporation. 

The idea behind a second watering method – drip irrigation – is to apply water frequently, but only a little each time. Drip irrigation is applied through inexpensive tubes and emitters, and has the advantages of using less water than sprinkling, pinpointing water just where it is needed, and being easily automated. 

You also can conserve water by only putting it where and when it is needed. For instance, many types of lawngrass go dormant in dry weather, but will green up again once rainfall returns. Leafy vegetables, on the other hand, need a steady supply of water to remain succulent and flavorful. Cucumber, squash, and corn plants need plenty of water just as their edible portions start growing. 

Lee Reich is a features writer for The Associated Press


Test for radon leak before starting to fill cracks

AP
Friday June 22, 2001

Q: I have two questions. I have cracks in my concrete basement floor from which I believe radon gas is creeping in.  

What is the best way to seal those cracks? How can I decide what type of heavy-duty snow shovel to buy? I want one that doesn’t get its edges rolled up by snow and ice. What should I expect to pay? 

A: Before you do anything about that cracked floor, test for radon first. Better yet, have a professional make the test for you.  

Another reason for contacting a professional: You might need to install a system to exhaust the vapors if the radon is present in a dangerous concentration. The concentration of radon should be checked both before and after the concrete is sealed. Sealing the cracks in the floor of your basement might be all that you need to do.  

Then again, maybe more work will be needed.  

Perhaps you will not have to install the exhaust system we mentioned. In any event, use a polyurethane concrete caulk.  

Remember: You are dealing with simple, old-fashioned gas vapors.  

There doesn’t seem to be much pressure associated with radon vapors, so most any concrete caulk will do. We have recommended the type that bonds the best and that holds up the longest. 

As to snow shovels, we suggest that you contact someone at your local tool rental store for unbiased advice. The brand that they buy will be the one that probably holds up the best and will more than likely have been purchased locally, and therefore, should be readily available to you as well. 

Q: Chris asks: The paint on my outside wall is peeling. What is the best way to remove it before I put on a new coat of paint? 

A: Paint removal by a do-it-yourselfer is most easily accomplished with a pressure washer. Although pressure washers are available for rent, if you are a homeowner, we suggest you consider purchasing one. Its uses around the house are endless.  

Be careful. If you aren’t, you can damage the siding below. Pressure washing takes patience, attention to the matter at hand and a careful touch. Once you have finished pressure washing, you might want to touch things up with a paint scraper.  

Also, sand those areas where the pressure washer lifted the wood grain. Finally, use sandpaper to feather in all the edges between the remaining paint and any bare wood. Next, apply a coat of high quality, oil-base primer and then your finish coat. We suggest high-quality acrylic latex.


Poll shows Americans see divide in economy

The Associated Press
Friday June 22, 2001

 

 

WASHINGTON — Americans increasingly see an economic divide between the haves and have-nots, according to a new poll that also finds a majority of people dissatisfied with the country’s direction. 

The poll, released Thursday, indicated the economic boom of the 1990s helped the upper middle-class and wealthy, but had little impact on the outlook or financial condition of those who make less money. 

“The boom has passed these people by,” said pollster Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. 

Overall satisfaction with the country’s direction has fallen in the past six months, with 43 percent now saying they’re satisfied and 52 percent saying they’re dissatisfied. That dropoff from a 55-41 positive split in January was led by a decline among women and minorities. 

The number of people who think the country is divided between those who have enough and those who don’t has grown steadily and now is at 44 percent — up from 26 percent in 1988. 

Just over four in 10 in the new poll thought President Bush was mostly concerned with helping those who have enough, while one in 20 said he was interested in helping those who don’t. Four in 10 said he was treating both groups about the same. 

The president has pitched his recently passed tax cut as a way to help all Americans. Just over a third said they were looking forward to getting their income tax rebates, while almost six in 10 said they hadn’t thought about it. 

Less than half, 44 percent, now say they are in good or excellent financial shape personally, a drop of 8 percentage points from a year ago. 

“The economic gains the middle class have made seem to be very much threatened by the credit crunch and by energy costs,” said Kohut. 

The people who say they have more debt than they can afford to owe have grown from a fifth of Americans in 1992 to almost three in 10 in 2001. More than a third of those who have family incomes of less than $50,000 said they have credit card and loan debts that are more than they can afford. 

A fourth of people in the survey said not having enough money to make ends meet was the biggest problem facing them and their families. High prices were right behind that. The poll of 1,200 people was taken last Wednesday through Sunday and had an error margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. 

Those at the lower end of the economy saw few signs of economic progress. 

“The survey gives a lot of evidence that poor people remain about as poor as they were in the early 1990s,” Kohut said. 

The numbers who said they didn’t have enough money for food, clothes and health care were all up slightly from other polls taken over the past two decades. 

Middle-income and wealthy people said it is now easier for them to afford housing, appliances and vacations. 

Some other findings from the poll: 

—Women were more concerned about rising prices than men. 

—Four in 10 Americans now say there are plenty of jobs available, up from one in 10 who felt that way eight years ago. Those from wealthy households were twice as likely to feel that way as those with low incomes. 

—Blacks, Hispanics and other minorities were more likely than whites to struggle with economic issues, even when compared with whites in the same economic ranges. 

Despite stark differences in perceptions between those with money and those without, the public still had a generally upbeat view of the economy. 

“The only measure in this poll that is less positive overall is the question of how much debt do you have,” said Kohut. “It’s not high-income people, but lower-income and middle-income people — that’s where the credit crunch comes in.” 

——— 

On the Net: Pew Research Center Web site — http://www.people-press.org 


Trade deficit decreases

The Associated Press
Friday June 22, 2001

WASHINGTON — Americans’ demand for foreign-made TVs, toys and clothes waned in April, helping to narrow the U.S. trade deficit. Exports fell for the second month in a row. 

The country’s trade imbalance shrank to $32.2 billion, a 2.7 percent decrease from March’s $33.1 billion deficit, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. 

Imports, hurt by sagging demand because of the weak U.S. economy, fell more than exports did in April, narrowing the trade gap.  

The two-month drop in exports reflected the impact of sluggish demand overseas. 

“This is really a sign of weakness all around,” said Paul Kasriel, chief economist at the Northern Trust Co. 

On Wall Street, growing anticipation that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates for a sixth time this year to revive the U.S. economy helped lift stocks higher.  

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 68.10 at 10,715.43. 

 

 

In April, imports of goods and services declined by 2.2 percent to $119.1 billion, while exports dipped by 2 percent to $86.9 billion. 

“We have a lackluster American consumer and slowing growth abroad,” said economist Clifford Waldman of Waldman Associates. 

Through the first four months of this year, the deficit swelled to $127.2 billion, compared with $116.8 billion during the same period last year. 

For all of last year, the deficit mushroomed to a record $375.7 billion, according to annual revisions also released Thursday. The government had previously reported a trade shortfall of $368.9 billion for all of 2000. 

America’s continuing trade deficits represent a political challenge for President Bush as he tries to overcome congressional resistance to give him unfettered authority to negotiate new regional and international trade pacts. 

Bush administration officials pressed their case for that on Capitol Hill on Thursday, a day after Bush criticized opponents who want to add labor and environmental conditions to his “fast track” trade authority. 

Fast-track authority would allow Bush to strike a new free-trade agreement with all the democratic nations in the Western Hemisphere, as well as open a new round of World Trade Organization talks on lowering trade barriers. 

The Bush administration argues that American companies have no choice but to compete in the global economy, but critics contend that lower trade barriers subject American workers to unfair competition from low-wage countries with lax environmental standards. 

The monthly trade report also showed that the United States’ politically sensitive deficit with China jumped by 9.7 percent in April to $6.3 billion. The U.S.’ deficit with Japan widened by 3.1 percent to $6.4 billion, as U.S. exports to the country hit their lowest point in a year. 

Exports of U.S.-made capital goods, such as airplanes and semiconductors, fell to $27.9 billion in April, the lowest level since March 2000, adding to the woes of domestic manufacturers, who have been hardest hit by the domestic economic slowdown. 

At the same time, imports of capital goods declined to $26 billion, the lowest level since November 1999, as U.S. businesses, struggling with the slowdown, cut back on their purchases, economists said. 

In a bright spot for U.S. companies, sales of U.S.-made consumer goods, such as artwork, books and furniture, to other countries rose to a record $7.9 billion in April. 

A broader measure of cross-border activity, the “current account,” narrowed in the first three months of this year to $109.6 billion from an imbalance of $116.3 billion in the fourth quarter. 

The current account includes not only goods and services but also investment flows between countries and unilateral transfers, including U.S. foreign aid payments. 

In a third report, the Labor Department said the number of Americans filing new claims for state unemployment insurance fell sharply by 34,000 to 400,000 last week. Even with the unexpected drop, claims are still at a level suggesting that the weak U.S. economy has sapped demand for workers. 

——— 

On the Net: 

April trade report: 

http://www.census.gov/indicator/www/ustrade.html 

Current account:http://www.bea.doc.gov/briefrm/tables/ebr10.htm 


Gene mutation helps fight malaria

The Associated Press
Friday June 22, 2001

WASHINGTON — A gene mutation that arose thousands of years ago now protects hundreds of millions of people from severe malaria, the mosquito-borne disease that is the world’s deadliest infection. 

Researchers report Friday in the journal Science that they have traced the natural evolution in Africa, Asia and the Mediterranean area of the mutation that gives some protection from malaria’s most serious effects. 

Malaria annually infects about 500 million people and kills more than 2 million, making it globally a more deadly infection than HIV/AIDS or tuberculosis. Without the mutation, it could be even worse. 

“This is a striking example of how infectious disease can shape the path of human evolution” and how organisms battle for survival on a molecular level, said Sarah A. Tishkoff of the University of Maryland. 

Tishkoff is first author of the study with 17 co-authors from eight countries. 

The researchers traced the development of a malaria resistant gene that they believe first appeared in humans thousands of years ago in Africa and later among people in the lands of the Mediterranean and parts of Asia. 

Tishkoff said the mutation of an X chromosome gene called G6PD evolved as a natural response to widespread infection from the mosquito-borne parasite that causes malaria. In its mutated form, it helps block the reproduction of the malaria parasite. 

“Malaria may have been present in a mild form throughout human evolution,” said Tishkoff. Primitive hunters and gatherers wandered the land, not staying in one place long enough for malaria to take a significant toll. 

That all changed, she said, with the development of agriculture about 10,000 years ago. Forests were cleared and sunlit still waters became mosquito breeding sites. People stayed near their crops, and the first cities were born. 

There also was a change in African weather, which became wetter and hotter about 12,000 years ago. 

“We think a more deadly strain became prevalent and began having a major impact on humans,” said Tishkoff. 

Evidence of this is indirect. Specimens from Egyptian mummies contain swollen spleens and antigens to malaria. Homer, an 8th century B.C. Greek poet, described a disease thought to have been malaria. Later, rich Romans left their city in the summer to escape a disease Tishkoff said was probably malaria. 

It’s even possible, said Tishkoff, that the army of Alexander the Great spread malaria throughout the Middle East, North Africa and India in the 4th century B.C. 

The mutation of G6PD provides a more direct indication of how malaria affected humans. 

Since humans developed a genetic defense, said Tishkoff, it suggests that the disease was prevalent enough to exert “a strong selective force.” 

She said mutations occur randomly. If some such mutation protects against a disease that is killing others, then people with that gene change have a greater chance to survive and to reproduce. Over many generations, this advantage becomes more common and widespread. 

By analyzing how and where the mutations accumulated over time, Tishkoff and her colleagues determined that a G6PD mutation arose in Africa 3,800 to 11,700 years ago. The gene variant developed independently at 1,600 to 6,640 years ago around the Mediterranean, in the Middle East and in India. 

The G6PD gene variant differs slightly from region to region, but Tishkoff said about 400 million people now carry the mutation. 

In Africa, studies have shown the mutation lowers the risk of severe malaria by up to 58 percent. 

Such protection, however, is not without risks. Some people with the mutation develop a severe anemia from infection, drugs or from eating fava beans. 

A mutation that causes sickle cell anemia also is thought to have originated as a defense against malaria, but double mutations of the gene can cause a deadly disorder. 

Jonathan Friedlaender, a biological anthropologist at Temple University in Philadelphia, said the study by Tishkoff and her colleagues is an “elegant” look at how disease and resistance can develop over time. 

“It’s like an arms race, but nobody wins because everything is constantly changing,” he said. 

Understanding how disease and resistance evolve may help scientists develop therapies, he said. 

 

On the Net: 

Malaria: http://www.diseaseworld.com/malaria.htm 

Science: http://www.eurekalert.org


Opinion

Editorials

GOP withholds votes, budget fails in Assembly

The Associated Press
Thursday June 28, 2001

SACRAMENTO — An estimated $101 billion state budget failed to win Assembly support Wednesday, with Republicans following their Senate counterparts and withholding their votes. 

The party-line vote was 50-28, four shy of the two-thirds approval needed to send a budget to Gov. Gray Davis. 

“There’s work to be done,” said Assemblyman George Runner, R-Lancaster, who sat on a legislative budget negotiating committee. 

For Republicans, that work involves a quarter-cent increase in the state sales tax that will automatically take effect next year because of declining state revenues. 

To pass, the budget needs votes from at least one Senate Republican and four in the Assembly.  

Tuesday night, all 14 Senate Republicans stuck together to oppose the budget. 

Democrats – who control both houses of the Legislature and the governor’s office – Wednesday accused GOP lawmakers of stalling for political reasons. 

The failed plan, Democrats said, boosts education spending, trims more than $1 billion in new spending proposed in January and includes a $2.2 billion reserve fund. 

The budget is “thoughtful and intelligently responds to the needs of Californians, given our current situation,” said Assembly Speaker Robert Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys.  

Analysts have said the state will face deficits in the next two years because of a sinking stock market and incomes  

tax revenues. 

A booming economy triggered a quarter-cent cut in the sales tax last Jan. 1.  

That was because of a sales tax adjustment included in a 1991 law introduced by Republican Gov. Pete Wilson. The tax is now 7 percent statewide but higher in some counties. 

Assemblywoman Sarah Reyes, D-Fresno, said the sales tax increase would amount to pennies a day for the average Californian. “Six pennies a day from Californians, that’s it,” she said. 

Now, as the budget process has reached the deadlock predicted by legislators of both parties, it’s time for the serious bargaining that accompanies most budget negotiations. 

Democratic leaders say they’ll look for Republicans in either chamber who may switch their votes in exchange for a specific deal.  

The final deals will likely be concluded in closed meetings involving five top elected officials, party leaders and Davis. 

The 2001-02 budget likely won’t be done before the Sunday deadline. However, previous court rulings and history show state government will not shutdown because of a late budget. 

Davis has signed the budget on time for the past two years since he took office, when the state was flush with money. 

But in the past two decades the budget has been signed 12 times after July 1, including the 1992 budget Wilson signed on Sept. 2. 

On the Net: 

Read about the budget at http://www.lao.ca.gov


Farmers eager to jump into ethanol industry

The Associated Press
Wednesday June 27, 2001

GRIDLEY — A handful of rice farmers are poised to capture part of California’s expectedly huge ethanol market now that the state must comply with a Bush Administration order to continue using gasoline additives to reduce air pollution. 

Since 1997, eight Butte County farmers have been quietly working with local government officials and a New England company to build a plant that would refine into ethanol the straw stalks left over after rice is harvested. 

If the project is successful, its backers say thousands of the state’s farmers, who have been struggling with disastrously low crop prices, will likely follow suit. Those farmers will have to race to get into the ethanol business before the well-established Midwestern processors divvy up California’s market among themselves. 

“It’s a new industry, and if California doesn’t get off its butt and get going with it, the Midwest is going to have the market,” said Butte County rice farmer Ken Collin, president of the Rice Straw Cooperative. 

The coop’s members will sell agricultural waste to the $100 million ethanol refinery near the small farm town of Gridley after its planned opening in early 2003. The city has agreed to help buy the land and build the refinery. It will also form a partnership with BC International Corp. of Dedham, Mass., to help run the facility, which will produce about 30 million gallons of ethanol a year, said Gridley energy commissioner Tom Sanford. 

Along with producing ethanol, the plant will generate about 20 megawatts of electricity, half of which will be used by the refinery and half sold to Gridley residents through the city-owned utility company, Sanford said. 

It’s not clear how much farmers will be paid for their rice straw, but they hope at least to cover the cost of bailing and trucking it to the Gridley plant. Because of a 1993 state law that bans the traditional method of rice straw disposal – field burning – farmers have paid about $40 an acre to plow the stubble under every fall. 

“It’s a chance for us to get back to revenue-neutral. About 35 to 40 percent of our profits every year are invested in getting rid of rice straw,” Collin said. 

Also, prices paid to rice farmers have been hovering at break-even or below for the last couple of years, and any money farmers can earn beyond their production costs for ethanol is welcome relief, Collin said. Gov. Gray Davis and the Legislature laid the foundation for California’s fledgling ethanol industry when they banned the use of the suspected carcinogenic water pollutant MTBE as a fuel additive by the end of 2002. MTBE and ethanol are oxygenates that help gas burn cleaner. Federal law requires that areas with severe smog problems use the additives to help keep pollution in check. 

Unless California delays its MTBE ban or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reverses itself and grants an exemption under the Clean Air Act, the state will have to add 580 million gallons of ethanol to its gas every year, said California Air Resources Board spokesman William Rukeyser. 

That will account for about a 20 percent increase in ethanol demand nationwide – a huge market expansion that may require more than a dozen new refineries, many of which California farm leaders hope to see built inside the state. 

“There’s a potential for producing 200 million gallons of ethanol in California,” said Bob Krauter, a spokesman with the California Farm Bureau Federation. While Midwestern ethanol is produced from corn, the West Coast product will likely be made from agricultural waste including orchard clippings, wood chips from lumber mills and lawn and garden trimmings from urban areas, Krauter said. 

“We think the EPA’s order is a good move. We do have a small ethanol industry in California, and we think with this decision, there is potential to more fully develop the industry within our borders,” Krauter said. 

There are two Southern California plants making ethanol, one using whey left over from cheese manufacturing and the other using waste from breweries and soft drink factories. Together they churn out between 5 million and 7 million gallons annually, Krauter said. 

There are other California projects in the works, including a plan to convert a bankrupt beet sugar refinery in Woodland into ethanol production and a plan to build a plant along side a lumber mill in Chester. 

But state energy officials are still considering ways to get around the EPA order to continue using oxygenates in its gas. Using Midwestern ethanzol could raise gas prices by 5 cents to as much as 50 cents a gallon, Rukeyser said. 

“Ethanol is traded on the spot market. If there are shortages or contaminated batches or logistical problems, that could translate into price spikes,” he said. 

To encourage California’s infant ethanol industry, a bill currently being debated in the Legislature would allow producers and local air quality districts to apply for state grants. Moreover, pending state legislation would provide a roughly 20-cent-per-gallon tax credit to ethanol producers, said Charles Lombard, president and CEO of Waste Energy Integrated Systems, a Palo Alto company working on the Woodland project. 

Also, a federal tax break cuts 5.4 cents from the sale of each gallon of gasoline containing the alcohol-based fuel additive. U.S. Department of Agriculture grants are available to help ethanol producers buy crops or farm waste, with the condition that the fuel is used to expand existing production capacity. 

“It’s possible that in the short term the traditional ethanol industry (in the Midwest) will supply California. But there’s also a great opportunity for California to develop its own ethanol industry,” said Roger Conway, director of the USDA Office of Energy Policy and New Uses. 


Court maintains Napster infringement

The Associated Press
Tuesday June 26, 2001

A federal appeals court has upheld its February decision that Napster contributes to copyright infringement and must remove protected works from its song-swapping service. 

In a Friday ruling made public Monday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it would not revisit the three-judge decision with 11 judges. 

The court’s ruling leaves the U.S. Supreme Court as the remaining legal arena for Napster Inc. The Redwood City-based company, embroiled in litigation from the recording industry, acknowledged that chances were slim the circuit court would rehear the case. 

“We will review our legal options going forward,” said Jonathan Schwartz, Napster’s general counsel. 

In February, the three-judge circuit panel upheld a federal judge’s order demanding that Napster remove copyright works from its system. Napster argued that it was not facilitating copyright infringement, a position the appeals panel strongly rejected. 

Napster is now removing songs from its service, an undertaking that is proving difficult as users continue to resurrect songs killed from the system. 

“As far as we are able to tell, a lot of our stuff is available on Napster in some shape, form or the other,” said Russell Frackman, an attorney for the recording industry. 

But as finding songs on the service gets more difficult, fans are abandoning the service.  

A recent analysis by the Internet research firm Webnoize found that Napster use has plunged 41 percent since the online company added song-screening technology to begin complying with orders to remove copyright works. 

Frackman said the Recording Industry Association of America is still pursuing a federal court trial in the case and will seek an unknown amount of damages for copyright infringement from Napster. Also Monday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards Oscars once a year to movie standouts, filed a federal copyright infringement lawsuit against Napster. 

The lawsuit accused Napster of allowing its users to download live, copyrighted music performed on the March 25 broadcast of the awards show. Artists who performed include Garth Brooks, Bob Dylan, Faith Hill and Sting. 

That suit is nearly identical to one filed in March against Napster by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, which produces the music industry’s Grammy Awards. 

Despite Monday’s legal developments, Napster is moving toward legitimacy. Three weeks ago, the former music industry bad boy said it struck a distribution deal with three record labels that are expected soon to launch an online music subscription service. 

The recording industry case is A&M Records Inc. v. Napster Inc. 00-16401. The case filed Monday is Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences v. Napster Inc., C012483. 

On the Net: 

http://www.napster.com 

http://www.riaa.com 

htt://www.oscars.org


Single winning ticket sold for record lottery jackpot

By Karen A. Davis Associated Press Writer
Monday June 25, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO – The largest single-state jackpot in U.S. history has a winner. 

A single ticket was sold with all six winning numbers — three, 22, 43, 44 and 45 and Mega number eight. That ticket was bought at Union Avenue Liquors in San Jose, Calif., lottery officials said. The winner has 180 days to claim the record jackpot. 

Liquor store owner Alex Wang, 56, will receive about $705,000 — or one-half of one percent of the total jackpot — if the winning ticket is confirmed, said lottery spokesman Sid Ramirez. 

“I couldn’t believe it, but it looks like it’s true,” Wang said. Wang, who moved to the U.S. from Taiwan in 1970, has owned the liquor store for 27 years. 

He has no immediate plans for the money he won for selling the winning ticket at his store, although he said he may buy a new home. 

“First, I’ll probably put it in the bank.” 

Ramirez and other lottery officials were at Wang’s store Sunday to tie up some legal loose ends. 

“As part of our security system that’s been in place ever since the lottery began, we take the (lottery ticket) machine to make sure there has been no tampering or malfunctions of sorts,” Ramirez said. 

He said lottery officials will return to Wang’s store in three to four weeks with his check. Officials will then give Wang special banners to hang at his store saying “this store made a million dollar winner.” 

By 7 p.m. Saturday, ticket sales boomed and the record prize grew to $141 million. Sales were about $43 million Saturday alone, with 84,000 tickets sold every minute in the last hours before the 7:58 p.m. drawing — this despite the fact that the chance of winning was one in 41 million. 

The huge prize built up during the past month as nine drawings came and went without a winner. 

The largest previous single-state lottery prize before the current record jackpot was $118.8 million in 1991, that also in California. The jackpot has exceeded $100 million only three times in the entire history of lotto. 

Ramirez said this winning jackpot raised $80 million for public schools in the state. 

If no one comes forward to claim the record-breaking jackpot, that money will also be handed over to public education.


BRIEFS

Saturday June 23, 2001

Public can view project environmental review 

A Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Northeast Quadrant Science and Safety Projects is now available for public review. A public hearing on the report will be held July 9 at 105 North Gate Hall at 7 p.m. 

Outdated and seismically unsafe Stanley Hall and Davis Hall North are slated to be replaced with new buildings to house interdisciplinary research facilities, according to a UC Berkeley Office of Physical and Environmental Planning press release.  

The projects will also include construction of a new low-rise structure north of Soda Hall, seismic reinforcement of the Naval Architecture Building, and removal of recreational facilities at the top of the Lower Hearst Parking Structure to make way for more parking. 

The DEIR finds significant “unavoidable” impacts – construction noise and loss of recreation facilities – that will result from the approximately 325,000 square feet of developed space that NEQSS projects will create.  

The Draft EIR is available at the UC Berkeley Physical and Environmental Planning Office in Room 300, 1936 University Avenue, or at the Berkeley Public Library downtown branch at 2121 Allston Way.  

James Joyce Conference and Festival begins July 2 

 

The weeklong 2001 James Joyce Conference and Festival will officially begin at 9 a.m. on July 2.  

This year’s event is sponsored by the UC Berkeley English Department and the Irish Arts Foundation, and takes place primarily at UC Berkeley’s Clark Kerr campus. James Joyce conferences have occurred around the world annually since 1962, making them the longest running academic conferences devoted to a single author.  

Joyce’s works (Ulysses, Finnegans Wake, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Dubliners) have an international following of readers who claim his writing is life-transforming, according to a UC Berkeley Department of English press release. The conference theme this year is “Extreme Joyce/Reading on the Edge” and will explore Joyce’s revolutionary literary style and the ways in which it challenges readers. 

The conference and festival provide an opportunity for those who are not familiar with Joyce, or have found his works too difficult or intimidating, to learn more about the author.  

Drop-in panels will take place all day July 2, 3, 5 and 6, with topics ranging from “Ulysses in Overview” to “Geopolitical Joyce: Some Joycean Border-Crossings.” The conference is $25 per day for the general public and $15 per day for students and will take place at 2601 Warring Street. 

The festival portion of the week will begin at 8 p.m. on July 2 with Leopold’s Fancy giving a free performance of Irish music at Beckett’s Irish Pub, 2271 Shattuck Ave.  

On July 3 at 7:30 p.m. dramatic interpretations of Joyce’s work will be performed at the Krutch Theater on the Clark Kerr Campus, also free and open to the public. 

For more information about the conference, call the Irish Arts Foundation at 642-2754. 

 

Berkeley resident  

earns high school award 

 

Adam Stern of Berkeley has received an Excellence Award for academic achievement during his junior year at Hyde School in Bath, Maine. Hyde is a character-based school which emphasizes attitude and effort more highly than aptitude and talent, according to a Hyde School press release. The growing school now includes a campus in Woodstock, Connecticut and the Hyde Leadership Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.


Two versions of biotech protest story told

The Associated Press
Friday June 22, 2001

SAN DIEGO — Launching a week’s worth of protests tied to a biotechnology convention, activists entered a supermarket Thursday and slapped warning labels on shelves they say were filled with foods made with genetically-engineered crops. 

“People don’t know they are eating this stuff,” said Ama Marston, 26, of San Francisco, before placing a yellow warning label below boxes of Frosted Flakes. The label warned fans of Tony the Tiger: “Genetically Engineered Food – Hazardous for kids, health and the environment.” 

Across town, San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy joined a number biotech executives to praise an industry that saves lives – kicking off the BIO 2001 convention, which officially begins Sunday. 

“Biotechnology is a big word for hope,” said BIO President Carl Feldbaum. 

The two events about an hour apart amounted to a long-distance debate over an industry taking center stage next week when 15,000 people and thousands of protesters are expected to converge on the San Diego Convention Center. 

The convention will be a showcase for an industry that claims to benefit humanity with new cures for diseases and medicines that ease the suffering of millions. Outside, thousands of protesters are planning marches, demonstrations and other colorful, telegenic actions to drive home the message that biotech firms are introducing potentially harmful, genetically engineered products into homes and farms, placing profits above people. 

Police plan a major presence throughout downtown. 

There have been mounting fears that the protests may turn violent, but Thursday’s half-hour event at the Albertson’s supermarket was peaceful. The dozen or so activists were careful to avoid defacing merchandise, labeling only the shelves. They left the store moments before police arrived. 

No arrests were made. Supermarket employees told police they would not press charges. 

Montie Robinson happened to be shopping with his mother for his favorite cereal, Frosted Flakes at the moment the Greenpeace activists were busy attaching labels, with a gaggle of reporters watching. 

“I don’t know what’s in all our food,” he said. “No one is telling me whether I should eat it.” 

At the mayor’s conference, four people with life-threatening diseases stepped forward to say that treatments pioneered by the biotech industry helped save their lives. 

Larry Kincaid, an attorney from East San Diego County, said he is living with a rare form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma with the help of a drug produced by Ligand Pharmaceutical Co. 

“A year ago I was planning my funeral. Now, I’m looking forward to retiring and spending time with my grandchildren,” Kincaid said.  

“This kind of technology gives us a future. It gives our children a future.” 

The three others were an AIDS survivor taking a drug discovered by a pharmaceutical company, a man with lupus who is participating in a clinical trial and a breast cancer survivor who showed her support for firms pioneering new cancer therapies. 

“They are why this conference is important – not just to San Diegans but to people around the world,” Murphy said. 

Protesters are holding their own convention, called Beyond Biodevastation 2001, beginning Friday. Organizers have issued pledges promising all events will follow a strict code of non-violence. 

Police, however, aren’t taken any chances. Officers have been training for months to deal with protesters who plan on being disruptive or violent. The biggest concerns are the so-called “black blocs” of masked anarchists who brought mayhem to the 1999 World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle and other areas. 

“There will be the heaviest presence of blue uniforms in downtown San Diego that this city has seen in some time,” said police spokesman David Cohen. He declined to provide specifics on weapons or tactics. 

As many as 4,000 demonstrators, many from the West Coast, converged on the industry’s conference last year in Boston. San Diego police expect the crowd to be much larger this year. 

Officers will move quickly to arrest any demonstrators who block intersections and violate laws and get them off the streets for the duration of the convention, which ends Wednesday. 

“We will be very aggressive,” Cohen said. “Our goal is to not let it become a Seattle.”