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Jakob Schiller:
          
          Casino San Pablo would become the largest casino west of the Mississippi under terms unveiled by Gov. Schwarzenegger Thursday.?
Jakob Schiller: Casino San Pablo would become the largest casino west of the Mississippi under terms unveiled by Gov. Schwarzenegger Thursday.?
 

News

Governor’s San Pablo Casino Deal Fulfills Hopes of GOP Operatives By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

By RICHARD BRENNEMAN
Friday August 20, 2004

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s award of exclusive Bay Area casino gaming rights to Casino San Pablo gives a multi-million-dollar plum to a project launched by a three-time GOP contender for the Philadelphia mayoralty and backed by the GOP operative who stage-managed the “Brooks Brothers Riot” during the 2000 Florida presidential recount.  

The Republican governor’s move lobbed a political grenade at the hopes of the would-be developers of two East Bay tribal casinos, while handing the plum to Casino San Pablo. 

The deal gives the Bay Area casino monopoly to the Lytton Pomo Indian band, whose plans were backed by Republican financier Samuel P. Katz, a three-time failed candidate for mayor of Philadelphia, and Roger Stone, a tribal casino lobbyist identified by the Florida Election Commission as the GOP “dirty tricks” operative who stage-managed the irate Republican mobs during the 2000 ballot recount in Florida. 

Katz, whose unsuccessful mayoral run last November was backed by $800,000 in GOP funds, spearheaded the effort to turn the land into a tribal casino, with Stone as one of his participants, according to the April 19 Village Voice. 

The Philadelphia Republican successfully fought back a federal lawsuit filed by Bay Area card clubs in Sacramento federal court in an attempt to block his plans.  

Stone’s history as a Republican operative goes back to the Nixon era, when as a teenager he infiltrated the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern on behalf of the Committee to Re-Elect the President, according to the Jan. 25 edition of the New York Times. 

Stone also worked behind the scenes in the Rev. Al Sharpton’s abortive run for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, reports the Times. 

Sonoma Entertainment Partners, L.P., bought the San Pablo card club in October, 2000, from Ladbroke U.S.A., a casino operating arm of the Hilton Group. Ladbroke had been unable to turn a profit on the East Bay Club. 

A check with the Pennsylvania secretary of state’s office shows that Sonoma Entertainment is owned by Sonoma Amusement Management Inc., an Elkins Park, Ill., corporation formed in 1996 with Sam Katz as president. 

Katz’s partnership struck a deal with the Lytton Band of the Pomos to transform the site into a full-scale tribal casino, and the Lyttons brought in yet another tribe to run the casino with the help of the Maloofs, an Arab-American family which also happens to own the National Basketball Association’s Sacramento Kings and The Palms, a trendy 50-story Las Vegas casino. 

The second tribal group is the Wintun band of the Rumseys, which already runs the highly successful Cache Creek Casino Resort in western Yolo County.  

The Katz Group has ended their active involvement in the project and will be paid off over the next few years, according to several published accounts. 

After his latest mayoral loss, Katz was found liable in an embezzlement lawsuit brought by partners in an ice skating rink venture and has vanished from the Philadelphia political scene, according to a reporter at the Philadelphia Inquirer. 

If the California Legislature approves the governor’s deal with the Lytton Band of the Pomo tribe and hands them exclusive rights to gambling machines within 35 miles of San Pablo, plans for two Richmond area casinos—one on Point Molate in Richmond and the other in unincorporated North Richmond—would be vaporized, along with any hopes of a Canadian firm for a “racino” at Golden Gate Fields. 

Under terms announced Thursday, the Lytton casino would make mitigation payments to the City of San Pablo and Contra Costa County and pay CalTrans to mitigate all traffic impacts. 

The massive casino, slated to be the largest west of the Mississippi, would house 5,000 slot machines—two-thirds more than the largest Las Vegas casino—and is expected to pay the state $200 million annually once it’s up and running, Schwarzenegger’s office reported. 

The deal would also kill hopes for a casino resort on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay, a racino—gambling industry-speak for slot machines at race tracks—at the Bay Meadows on the Peninsula, and the expansion of a Pacheco cardroom, the California Grand Casino, into a full-scale casino. 

The racinos and the Pacheco casino hinged on approval of Propositions 68 and 70 on the November ballot, which would authorize expansion of slots to tracks and selected card clubs unless every one of the state’s 62 casino-operating tribes signed pacts within 90 days of passage—with the concurrence of federal agencies and the courts—agreeing to turn over 25 percent of their gambling revenues to the state. 

Four similar deals were announced with other tribal bands. 

Schwarzenegger opposes both November ballot measures, and current polling shows voters leaning heavily against them. 

The governor’s plan, first leaked to the Los Angeles Times Tuesday, stunned area lawmakers and city officials.  

“It first came up in the press today,” said one legislative aide Tuesday. “There was nothing shared with the legislature, and there’re 11 days left in the session.” 

“We knew there had been thought of expanding the San Pablo casino, but we had absolutely no idea this was coming,” said Assemblymember Loni Hancock. “It’s being rushed through at the last minute.” 

Hancock, whose district includes the sites of the proposed San Pablo, Richmond and Albany casinos, makes no secret of her distaste for gambling as an economic strategy to fill the coffers of needy government. 

“The governor is talking about expanding casino gambling and the lottery. Is gambling his vision of the future of California?” she asked. “We used to be known as a land of opportunity and vision. 

“I see the governor attempting to solve the budget crisis at the costs of low income people in desperate straits,” Hancock said. 

Schwarzenegger’s plan took state Assembly leaders by surprise, said Hancock. “There’s been an enormous flurry of activity around here” since word of the plan leaked Tuesday morning, she said. 

Asked about the announcement, Richmond City Councilmember Tom Butt said, “Obviously, people are very concerned around here.” He said  

Berkeley developer James Levine had offered Richmond a package of economic incentives if he could negotiate a compact to build a casino at Point Molate. In addition to a $50 million purchase price for the city-owned site, the agreement held out the promise of $10 million to $20 million a year in tribal fees paid to the city in lieu of taxes that would otherwise be lost on sovereign Indian land. 

The Richmond Chevron refinery raised a counter-offer last Friday, offering $34 million for the land for use as a buffer to protect its refinery. Chevron already owns the land surrounding the site. 

While a coalition of environmental groups urged Richmond City Councilmembers to give consideration to the refinery’s offer, both the Chevron and Levine proposals called for extending the Bay Trail through the area and barring development from all but the currently developed portion of the site. 

Reached after the leak of Schwarzenegger’s preliminary deal with the Lyttons, refinery spokesperson Dean O’Hair said the $34 million offer still stands. “We’ve made an offer, and regardless of what happens, the offer is genuine,” he said. “It will protect Point Molate as open space and public land for generations to come.” 

The proposed San Pablo casino even became an issue in last November’s Philadelphia mayoral contest, when supporters of incumbent Democrat John Street demanded that Katz reveal his fellow investors in the San Pablo casino venture. 

The 9.53-acre San Pablo site only obtained official recognition as a Lytton reservation on June 29, when Aurene M. Martin, principal deputy assistant secretary for Indian affairs, issued the official proclamation. 

Legislation initiating the declaration was sponsored by Rep. George Miller, who inserted it as a rider into a budget bill on the final day of the 2000 Congressional session. 

Nevada Democratic Sen. Harry S. Reid, sponsor of the initial federal legislation authorizing Indian gambling legislation, led the fight to reverse the Miller amendment in the 2001 Congress, charging that his law never intended for tribes to be allowed to run casinos on land that was out of their historic areas. 

Sen. Diane Feinstein opposed the measure in the Senate, where it was strongly supported by Pennsylvania Republican Senators Rick Santorum and Arlen Specter. 

Reid withdrew his opposition in October 2001, reportedly under pressure from Senate leaders eager to pass a funding bill for the Interior Department, according to stories in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. 

News of the compact between the Lyttons and the Wintuns first broke in the Sacramento Business Journal on Oct. 17 of last year, where a spokesman for both groups was quoted as saying that the tribes hoped to start dealing with then- governor-elect Schwarzenegger soon after he was installed in office. 

Several published accounts have the Katz consortium phasing out its investments over the next few years, with the former mayoral candidate and GOP operative Stone taking healthy profits. 

Stone has emerged as one of the nation’s leading lobbyists for casino-seeking tribes, according to the Washingtonian and other publications—although his activities to block a New York tribal casino on behalf of casino mogul Donald Trump cost Trump and his allies $250,000 in fines. 

Stone’s Ikon Company paid an additional $100,000 fine in that case, according to Indian Country Today, a website that reports on Native American affairs. 

Throughout California, Native American groups have been staking out land for casino sites. Many of the groups had been disbanded by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) in past decades when the agency operated under a policy of trying to integrate Native Americans into mainstream culture. 

Many of the California tribes seeking casinos were disestablished during those years, and other recognized tribes have been seeking casino sites far from their present reservations. 

The Scotts Valley band of Pomos, the group seeking a casino in North Richmond, is based in Lakeport in Lake County, and the Guidiville band, which seeks a casino at Point Molate, is located in Talmadge, near Ukiah in Mendocino County. 

Despite the substantial Republican backing for the Lytton’s successful move for federal recognition of the Casino San Pablo site as a reservation, several key national GOP leaders are on the record as opposed to “reservation shopping.” 

In a June 10. 2003, letter to Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, Majority Leader Tom Delay and the House majority and chief deputy whips complained about “reservation shopping,” that is, “recent attempts of certain Indian tribes to develop off-reservation casino sites. We strongly believe that these attempts run counter to Congressional intent and pose a serious threat to the current regulatory scheme that governs Indian gaming.” 

The Ione Band of the Miwoks Wednesday joined the environmentalist-led Coalition to Protect Point Molate, land the Miwoks regard as their ancestral territory. 

“The Miwok arose from Mt. Diablo (Olumbuulye) when the sun first rose in the east and migrated to the area now known as Point Molate. It is both a place of spiritual as well as historical significance for our tribe,” Villa said.


Special Edition

Friday August 20, 2004

 

Dear Readers, old and new, 

This is a double issue of the Daily Planet, which will be distributed for a full week, between Aug. 20 and Aug. 26. Its special features will give people who’ve just come to Berkeley, including UC students, staff and faculty, tips from long-term residents on fun things to see and do which they might otherwise miss. We’re taking Tuesday off, but we’ll be back on Friday, Aug. 27. Next week we’ll have more specials for newbies, as well as the same incisive coverage of local news that our readers expect. 

—The Publishers?


Low Algebra Marks Add Up To Low State Test Scores By MATTHEW ARTZ

By MATTHEW ARTZ
Friday August 20, 2004

For too many Berkeley public school children X+Y=?  

While Berkeley students again outperformed their cohorts in Alameda County and statewide on the California Standards Test, and sparkled in biology and chemistry, test scores dropped slightly overall and Algebra I remained the district’s Achilles heel, according to the latest round of test scores released Monday by the State Department of Education.  

Berkeley’s results mirrored mostly stagnant test scores across the state on STAR tests after several years of steady gains.  

The state also released results of last spring’s High School Exit Exam, showing that 82 percent of Berkeley tenth graders passed the math and English sections. Last year’s tenth grade class is the first required to pass both portions to receive a diploma. Students who failed will get four more chances to take the test. 

The STAR tests, also taken by students last spring, include the four-year-old California Standards Test (CST) designed to measure achievement in math, history, science, writing and reading against state adopted proficiency standards, and the California Achievement Test, Sixth Edition that compares California students against students nationwide. 

STAR exams are used by the state to determine Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) as mandated by the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Schools that repeatedly fail to meet AYP face strict reform including possible state intervention. AYP calculations, based on the test results, are scheduled for release Aug. 31. 

On the CST, 39 percent of Berkeley second graders ranked as “proficient” or “advanced” in English and 57 percent in math. By the fourth grade English proficiency levels rose to 46 percent, but math levels dropped to 47 percent. Test scores plummeted across the board in seventh grade with 39 percent of students ranking proficient or above in English and 33 percent in math. Overall English scores remained relatively stable from second to eleventh grade, but math scores fell every year through the seventh grade. 

Measuring high school math performance is trickier since students in different grades at different skill levels take the same test, but scores on the Algebra I exam defied explanation. 

Of the 756 eighth through eleventh graders tested only 17 percent ranked as “proficient” or “advanced” and 56 percent of students scored “below basic” or “far below basic”. Even among the 425 eighth graders, who are assumed to be more advanced, only 27 percent reached proficiency and 42 percent were below or far below basic. 

“This definitely seems to be an area where a lot of students are struggling,” said district director of curriculum Neil Smith. The district has already implemented two math curriculum improvements including an algebra-only effort in conjunction with San Francisco State University. 

In brighter news, Berkeley students excelled in biology, where 66 percent of students were proficient or better and chemistry where 51 percent hit the same mark. In comparison, throughout the county only 35 percent of students were proficient in biology and 31 percent in chemistry. 

On the CAT/6 Exam, Berkeley students scored between the 47th percentile and the 69th percentile on math, depending on the grade. Math scores dropped from second through seventh grades and then improved through the eleventh grade. 

Berkeley students scored between the 49th percentile and the 64 percentile in reading comprehension and between the 48th percentile and the 65th percentile in language skills, depending on grades. For both subjects scores tended to improve as students progressed through high school. 

Responding to the scores, Smith said, “There’s some disappointment that putting a lot of work into math education and literacy programs didn’t seem to be reflected in the test.” 

He cautioned against reading too much into the results, however. The district has stressed including standardized tests as just one of several measures it uses to calculate student achievement. District officials will enter the results, along with other performance measures, into a database for teachers to see how their students scored last year and how their current crop of students performed. 

Berkeley received better news on the High School Exit Exam, besting the state average with 82 percent of students passing math and English. Statewide 74 percent passed math and 75 percent passed English. 

When sorted into racial groups performance in Berkeley varied but still topped state marks. Among African American students in Berkeley, 58 percent passed math and 64 percent English, compared with 54 percent and 62 percent statewide. Latinos scored higher, with 81 percent passing math and 75 percent passing English compared to 61 percent and 62 percent statewide. Fifty-one percent of Berkeley’s English Language Learners passed English compared to 43 percent statewide. 

Whites and Asians in Berkeley scored highest, with 96 percent of whites passing math and English and 91 percent of Asians passing math and 87 percent English. 

The achievement gap among racial and socioeconomic groups was also evident in the CST. For white elementary school students between 69 percent and 83 percent were “proficient” or “advanced” in English and between 75 percent and 81 percent in math depending on the grade. African American elementary school students scored between 19 percent and 25 percent “proficient” or “advanced” in English and between 19 percent and 37 percent on math, depending on the grade.  

Elementary school students listed as economically disadvantaged scored between 14 percent and 26 percent “proficient” or “advanced” in English and 25 percent and 37 percent in math. 

When compared to neighboring districts on the CST Berkeley students trailed their competition in Albany and Piedmont, both districts with an overwhelming majority of white students. When only white students were compared, however, Berkeley elementary and middle school students outperformed Albany in both math and English and bested Piedmont in math.


Minority Students Sue BUSD Over Expulsions By MATTHEW ARTZ

By MATTHEW ARTZ
Friday August 20, 2004

Three Berkeley High students have joined a class action lawsuit alleging that school district officials violated their civil rights when they expelled them without a state-mandated hearing. 

The three plaintiffs are either African American or Latino, and the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court last week charges that the district has “arbitrarily and discriminatorily excluded African American and Latino students” from the high school, “assigning them to substandard alternative programs.” 

The lawsuit asks the district to take corrective action and to provide compensatory educational services and monetary damages to the plaintiffs. 

Berkeley Unified spokesperson Mark Coplan declined to comment Thursday. Superintendent Michele Lawrence, Director of Student Services Gerald Herrick and school board members were all named as defendants in the case. 

The plaintiff’s attorney, Bill Koski of the Education Law Clinic at Stanford University, believes there are as many 55 students in the district whose rights to an expulsion hearing and proper notice of a hearing were similarly violated. All three plaintiffs have been invited to re-enroll at Berkeley High, according to the pleadings in the lawsuit, but the district has refused to reform its procedures to the plaintiffs’ satisfaction. 

One plaintiff, Juan Munoz, alleges that he received a 5-day suspension for an incident on Sept. 9, 2002, but was kept out of school for 30 days. He claims that after he was ordered home a second time, Herrick told him and his father that “he could not return to Berkeley High School because he wore red clothing to school.” 

Munoz also says that Herrick didn’t allow him to enroll in his preferred alternative programs (one of which was the Berkeley Alternative School on Martin Luther King Jr. Way) because they were located too near Berkeley High, effectively denying him schooling from Fall 2002 though this summer. 

“As a result of being excluded...Juan has fallen very far behind academically and has been overwhelmed by feelings of hopelessness and rejection,” the complaint says.  

Another plaintiff, Summer McNeil, alleges that after being denied entry to Berkeley High after a suspension last fall, she wasn’t offered any educational services until May, when the district offered to enroll her in “Home Hospital Instruction.” The program is intended for students suffering from a “temporary disability,” yet McNeil “was neither ill nor incapacitated,” the complaint says. 

Suspension and expulsion data for Berkeley High is left blank on the school’s California State Accountability Report Card in 2002 and 2003, which is found on the district’s website. 

Koski said reports presented to him show that the number of expulsions recorded at Berkeley High has dropped in recent years, a sign, he believes, that the district has begun denying more students a formal hearing. 

Laura Menard, a member of the High School Safety Committee, said that she found it hard to believe that the high school, which she thinks has a reputation of shying away from discipline, would flagrantly break state law. “I’ve heard frustration from deans about how long it took to process expulsions because Herrick insisted on following proper procedure,” she said. 

The district can legally avert expulsion hearings through a process called a “stipulated expulsion” whereby the student, guardian and district official all sign an agreement to enroll the student in an alternative school. Koski said none of the three plaintiffs signed a stipulated agreement. 

The case emerged, he said, when the families of students brought their complaints to the Legal Services for Children in San Francisco, which then contacted his office about half-a-year ago. 

Koski said he is contact with other families and is seeking to have the case certified as a class action so other students not listed as plaintiffs would be eligible for relief if the case is successful. 

Before his affiliation with Stanford, Koski successfully sued the East Palo Alto Ravenswood City Unified School District for failing to implement state special education guidelines and at one point sought to place the district under judicial receivership when district officials failed to implement the corrective action plan effectively. 

The settlement in that case, ultimately carried out by a new school board and superintendent, included compensatory educational programs, but not monetary damages for the plaintiffs.


Federal Cuts Threaten Key Fresh Food Programs By ANGELA ROWEN

By ANGELA ROWEN
Friday August 20, 2004

The United States Department of Agriculture is proposing to cut funding for school gardens, farmers’ markets, and other programs that seek to expand low-income communities’ access to fresh fruits and vegetables and promote holistic nutrition as a way to prevent chronic disease. 

The cuts would come as a result of changes that the USDA wants to make in the way it allocates money from the agency’s Food Stamp Nutrition Education (FSNE) program, which seeks to improve the likelihood that food stamp recipients and applicants make healthy food choices. Since the FSNE was created in 1992, the amount of money approved for the program rose from $661,000 to $192 million in 2003. In recent years, as more attention has focused on obesity and its associated diseases, activists have succeeded in getting more of that money to go into farmers’ markets and outreach efforts that seek to change the eating habits of those who live in communities where a Big Mac and 40-ounce malt liquor are easier to come by than fresh produce. 

But the continued survival and growth of such programs might be undermined by the USDA’s proposal. Under the new policy, the USDA would no longer give money to groups doing outreach and education unless they target people who already receive or have applied for food stamps. The new rule would give priority to food-stamp recipients and applicants who are women with children. 

Projects likely to suffer include the Ecology Center’s Farm Fresh Choice program, which currently receives a yearly $30,000 grant to sell affordable organic produce in West and South Berkeley and increase nutrition awareness in low-income minority communities, which suffer disproportionately from diseases caused by dietary factors. The group’s “Five a Day” message, which urges eating five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, can be found on billboards, in cooking classes, and in brochures distributed at homeless shelters, food pantries and other social service agencies. 

Other programs targeting underserved communities that are likely to feel the squeeze are the Mandela Street Market in West Oakland and the Millsmont Farmer’s Market on Seminary Avenue in East Oakland, both of which get federal support. School districts will also suffer under the proposed rule change. In Berkeley, several of the district’s 16 school gardens receive money from the USDA. 

Farm Fresh Choice founder Joy Moore said the West and South Berkeley markets probably would never have gotten off the ground had the proposed new policy been in effect four years ago.  

“We are being successful, we are starting to change people’s habits, but the federal government wants to continue with the old ways,” Moore said. “And that’s because this is not just about getting people to eat healthy so we can deal with health care on the front end rather than on the back end, which is more expensive. It’s also about promoting local and sustainable agriculture, which relies more on human power than gasoline and which would conserve our energy resources. The work we are doing is really part of the larger environmental movement.” 

On its website, the USDA says its decision to focus on mothers with children stems from a growing concern that nutrition education is not reaching food stamp recipients, which total 19 million nationwide in an average month. It cites a report released this year by the Office of Management and Budget, which concluded that the food stamp nutrition education program “is better designed to reduce hunger and malnutrition related to inadequate income, than to achieve further incremental improvements in the dietary status of low-income people.” The USDA says it hopes that by focusing on women heads of households, who make most of the decisions regarding food, it will have more of an impact on low-income people. 

Jessica Bartholow is director of education, advocacy and outreach at the Alameda County Community Food Bank, which has received $40,000 from the USDA in over the past two years. She said the USDA’s proposed change contradicts the main goal of outreach. “The USDA’s own data show that only half of those eligible to receive food stamps actually participate in the program, so there is need to educate people about the program,” Bartholow said. “In the past year, we have educated 30,000 families about the food stamp program. We couldn’t have done that without (USDA) funding.” 

But what’s even more necessary, Bartholow says, is the work the Food Bank is doing in soup kitchens, shelters, senior centers and schools, where it holds cooking demonstrations and holds classes on nutrition, often focusing on how to adjust diet to deal with specific diseases, like diabetes and hypertension.  

The website says funds may go into nutrition education of other populations, such as seniors and single adults, “as resources allow,” and details circumstances where waivers may be granted to allow money to go into programs that target groups outside of the priority population of women with children. For example, the new guidelines would require schools seeking FSNE money to show that the majority of its students qualify for free lunch. 

Bartholow said this requirement would effectively exclude most schools from getting USDA funding, and said other such restrictions would significantly reduce the $80,000 per year that the state receives from the USDA. “What’s really disturbing is that all of these cuts are being done at an administrative level,” she said. “This should be decided upon by Congress, so that the public can debate it.” 

In early August, Bartholow and more than 1,000 other community-based organizations, church leaders, and public health offices sent letters to the USDA requesting that they reconsider implementing the new policy. And 24 representatives from California’s Congressional Delegation signed a letter circulated by Congressman Joe Baca (D-CA) opposing the new guidelines. 

The USDA plans to submit a final draft by the fall of 2004, and to phase in the new guidelines gradually, beginning in 2006. 

 


Alta Bates Puddles PoseThreat of West Nile Virus By MATTHEW ARTZ

By MATTHEW ARTZ
Friday August 20, 2004

Since the West Nile virus arrived in town, Berkeley residents haven’t stepped lightly over freestanding puddles, favored breeding grounds for the mosquitoes that carry the disease. So it’s odd that some of the most persistent puddles in town are being pr oduced by the Alta Bates Medical Center. 

An antiquated de-watering system which pumps out uncontaminated ground water from below the hospital’s emergency room onto Colby and Prince streets and beyond, instead of into storm drains, became more than a mino r nuisance Aug. 5 when a dead crow in Berkeley tested positive for West Nile. 

The mosquito-borne illness, imported from the Middle East and Asia and first detected in New York City five years ago, has since moved across the continent, reaching Southern C alifornia last year and the Bay Area this summer. In 2003, 264 Americans died from the virus, according to a report from the Center for Disease Control. None of the fatal cases originated in California. 

Now Alta Bates officials are scurrying to solve the ir three-decade-old water woes after persistent complaints from the city and neighbors. 

“It’s like a little harvest for [mosquito] larvae,” said Marcy McGaugh, who lives near the biggest puddle at a cul-de-sac on the 3200 block of Colby Street, where every three hours the hospital pumps out naturally occurring ground water through cylindrical drains drilled into the gutter. If the ground water remained it could percolate into the emergency room. 

At about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, the shoe-deep pool of water at the bend of the cul-de-sac measured about 12 feet long and three feet wide, enough to “make a couple of hundred mosquitoes fairly easily,” said John Rusmeisel, the district manager of the Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District.  

Drains on Prince S treet release water downhill and onto Dana Street, where the city recently repaired potholes to stop water from pooling, although two neighbors said puddles still form. 

“We have to figure out how to fix it,” said Frank Clements, Director of Facilities fo r Alta Bates and Summit Hospitals. As a stopgap measure he ordered hospital gardeners to sweep the water throughout the street to foster evaporation. 

Perhaps the simplest remedy—diverting the water into the sanitary sewer system—is prohibited by East Bay MUD, which among other reasons doesn’t want to pay to treat additional gallons of sewer water. 

Clements doesn’t think simply regrading the street would do the trick either. “It’s a natural low spot," he said. “It’s a dead end, turn around and cul-de-sac all in one.” he said. Plus, he added, there’s not a storm sewer drain for three blocks. 

One possible solution involves an Alta Bates-financed plan already in the works that includes digging up Colby Street for underground repairs. If engineers determine that a storm drain is in close enough proximity, Clements said the hospital could possibly pipe the water through a revamped Colby. 

Otherwise, the hospital will have to design a de-watering system that captures the ground water and use it to irrigate th e campus. Such systems are standard today, but were not in 1968, when the system was designed. Neither plan, however, would offer a quick solution, Clements warned. 

Old infrastructure, along with hilly terrain and a moist climate, explains why Berkeley a nd Oakland lead the county in requests for service, said ACMAD’s Rusmeisel. Since July 1, the department has received 25 calls from Berkeley about water seepage. He said about one-quarter of the puddles have tested positive for mosquito larvae. 

Rusmeisel has no record of a formal complaint at the Colby Street puddle and therefore hadn’t ordered testing to determine if the puddle has spawned mosquitoes. McGaugh insists she has contacted ACMAD, but says that the department has not adequately responded to her requests. 

Rusmeisel said his reports showed that tests performed on the Dana Street puddles by the City of Berkeley Health Department tested positive for mosquito larvae. Puddles on Dwight Way between Milvia and Martin Luther King Jr. Way, caused by Alta Bates’ Herrick Campus, which uses the same antiquated de-watering system as the emergency room, have tested negative, he said. 

Preventing standing water where mosquitos breed is among the most important preventative methods for controlling mosquito populations and consequently lowering the risk of West Nile. Rusmeisel said his department treats larvae-infested puddles with methoprene, an active ingredient in most flea collars, which kills the pests in their pupal stage. 

Transmitting the West Nile virus starts when a mosquito first acquires the infection by feeding on a bird with virus in its blood. The virus lives in the mosquito and is transmitted to a new host in the mosquito’s saliva when the insect bites a person or an animal. 

Only about one in every 150 people infected with West Nile virus develop severe illness, according to the CDC. Severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. People with weak immune systems, including elderly people, are most at risk. 

So far this year in California, 189 people have been infected, nearly all in southern California and none in Alameda County.  

For residents who keep open pools of water for fish ponds or water gardens, ACMAD offers larvae eating fish to control mosquito breeding. 




Berkeley’s Impact Fund Sues Big Box Retailer By JAKOB SCHILLER

Staff
Friday August 20, 2004

Brad Seligman and the Berkeley-based Impact Fund are at it again. Only two months after winning a decision that created the largest class action lawsuit of all time in a case against Wal-Mart, Seligman helped file a lawsuit in a Federal District court Tuesday against the warehouse giant Costco Wholesale Corp., alleging sexual discrimination against female employees. 

At a San Francisco news conference, Seligman and two co-counsels sat by Shirley Ellis, the only named plaintiff in the suit, who detailed a six-year history of being passed over for promotion after promotion in favor of her male co-workers. Ellis’ case is not unique, said her lawyers, in a company where 50 percent of the workforce are women but only 17 percent of its top managers are women. 

“This is not a situation in which there is one individual woman with unique circumstances,” said Bill Lann Lee, co-counsel and a partner with Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP. 

Lawyers estimate that more than 600 other women would be covered if the case is granted class action status. They do not know when the judge will decide, but estimate that it could take up to a year. 

In the meantime, Costco which is based in Issaquah, Wash., responded with a prepared statement, saying “We strongly disagree with any claim that Costco has discriminated against individual or group of employees, and we will respond to this particular claim in the proper form.” 

The complaint deals with promotions to upper level positions in particular. Ellis alleges that the company has created a “non-system” where women who are interested in pursuing high level promotions have run into a glass ceiling, because there is no meaningful promotion process nor any published promotion criteria for the upper level jobs. In a press release, the Impact Fund said the promotion “non-system” system has allowed discrimination to “flourish.”  

Over her six years as an assistant general store manager, said Ellis, she didn’t find out about promotion opportunities until they were already filled. 

Ellis, who works in a store in Denver, Colorado, took a pay cut to come to Costco because she said she was told she would be promoted within a year. She currently makes around $70,000 a year, less than she used to make as a general manager at Sam’s Club, another warehouse company. She was willing to take the cut, she said, because Costco GMs start at around $100,000 and receive valuable stock options and bonuses.  

Ellis said she told Costco during her efforts to secure a GM job that she would be willing to travel anywhere in the country. Instead, she said, she was transferred to the store farthest from her house in Denver, with a multi-hour commute, as part of what she alleges is a reprisal for initially filing a charge of discrimination with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing . 

According to the complaint, Costco operates 433 warehouses worldwide, with more than 300 in the United States and “at least 100” warehouses in California. Worldwide, Costco employs 103,000 people with more than 78,000 of them in the United States. 

 

  

 

  

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Police Blotter Richard Brenneman

Police Blotter
Friday August 20, 2004

Looked for Strange, Found Badges 

A number of East Bay gentlemen cruising San Pablo and Heinz avenues for a little bit of commercial amorous relief bought more than they bargained for last Thursday when the objects of their amorous desires produced not momentary ecstasy but Berkeley Police badges. 

Berkeley Police spokesperson Officer Joe Okies said the sting, which ran from 5 to 9 p.m., netted 10 arrestees ranging in ages from 22 to 46.  

 

Stings Net Crosswalk Scofflaws 

For every pedestrian who’s ever harbored dark thoughts at motorists who treat crosswalks like bowling alleys, rejoice! 

Berkeley Traffic Officers Thursday ran the sixth in a series of recent stings aimed at drivers who ignore folks who walk between the painted lines, this time targeting the intersection of Ensenada and Solano avenues. 

Even though merchants and others were yelling “stop” to warn the hapless drivers, 42 wayward drivers earned tickets. 

Officer Okies said 49 drivers were ticketed during a similar operation at San Pablo Avenue and Bancroft way on the 12th, and 52 drivers garnered citations on July 29. 

Since the citations are for moving violations, some citees may end up with higher insurance bills. 

Police take the offense seriously. Last year, Okies said, Berkeley racked up 127 pedestrian involved accident, and three pedestrians have died this far in 2004.  

 

Exposer Stalks BART Rider 

A woman arriving at the North Berkeley BART station last Friday afternoon found herself being pursued by a not-so-gentlemanly fellow who exposed his shortcomings before fleeing in his wheelchair. 

 

Ex-Boyfriend Stabbed After Assault 

The ex-boyfriend of a South Berkeley woman paid an unwanted visit to her home late last Friday evening, where he produced a pistol and confronted the woman and a friend. 

In the ensuing scuffle, one of the occupants of the home was struck on the head with the pistol. The 25-year-old attacker was stabbed in self-defense. 

The man was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, stalking and probation violation. 

 

Knife-flashing Assailants Foiled  

Two men approached pedestrians near the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Parker Street and flashed a knife. Before they could say what they wanted, the would-be victims fled to a nearby house, where the owner let them call police. 

By the time officers arrived, the bad guys were gone. 

 

Doorway Arsons Cause Minor Damage 

An arsonist armed with Molotov cocktails tried twice to ignite blazes in West Berkeley, one Saturday morning, the other on Sunday morning, according to Berkeley Police. 

The first attempt ignited a door near Eighth Street and Channing Way, and the second targeted a home near Rose Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way—where the bottle didn’t break. 

Neither incident caused much damage, according to Deputy Fire Chief David Orth. 

 

Dispute Leads to Hammer Attack 

A dispute between two acquaintances at Skates on the Bay in West Berkeley took a nasty turn Wednesday afternoon when one produced a hammer and swung it at the other. No serious injury resulted, and no arrest has been made..


City Makes Requested West Berkeley Traffic Changes

Friday August 20, 2004

Responding to appeals by local merchants and the West Berkeley Association of Industrial Companies, as reported in the Daily Planet in early July, the city’s Public Works Department and its Office of Transportation have implemented changes in striping, signage and signalization at Ninth Street and Ashby Avenue and at Seventh and Murray streets. City staff have reinstated the “Keep Clear” sign that was formerly painted on Seventh just west of Murray. At Ashby and Ninth they’ve restriped the westbound lanes and removed the left turn prohibition sign. According to traffic engineer Hamid Mostowfi, the signal at Ashby and Ninth will be turned on by Sept. 3. This will all come as a surprise to the San Francisco Chronicle, which reported on Thursday that the work had not yet begun. 

 

—Zelda Bronsteinf


Finances, Jobs, Safety Top Issues in Richmond Race By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR
Friday August 20, 2004

A large majority of the candidates running in a crowded field for the Richmond City Council agree that fiscal accountability and responsible financial management will be important issues in the upcoming Nov. 2 election. That was the result of a survey of candidate websites and campaign statements, as well as unofficial polling done this week by the Berkeley Daily Planet. 

It was a not surprising view, coming from candidates in a city that was considered on the brink of bankruptcy last January in the wake of a fiscal crisis caused by the state budget crunch, escalating PERS bills, and massive bond payments. 

Economic development/job creation and public safety were also high on the list of candidate concerns. 

Fifteen candidates, including four incumbents, are competing for five seats on the at-large Richmond City Council. One incumbent councilmember, Rev. Charles Belcher, chose not to run for re-election. 

Crowded City Council elections are not new to Richmond. While in 2001, only six candidates ran for three seats on the Richmond City Council, two years earlier fully 12 candidates put their names in for five seats. (In 2001, Richmond voters approved a measure moving municipal elections from odd to even-numbered years.) 

Three of this year’s candidates will be quite familiar to each other, as well as to voters. Councilmembers Tom Butt, Nathaniel Bates, and John Marquez all ran for Richmond mayor in the November 2001 election, all losing to current mayor Irma Anderson. Marquez was forced to give up his council seat because his term ended in 2001. He is running this year to reclaim a seat on Council. 

This year’s field can be divided up into three categories: incumbents, serious challengers (defined as candidates who already have some combination of money, in-place campaign organization, and major endorsements, and possibles (defined as candidates who might move up to become serious challengers if their message takes hold). 

 

Incumbents 

(Nathaniel Bates, Gary Bell, Tom Butt, Mindell Penn) 

Nathaniel Bates is running for his seventh four-year term on Richmond City Council, stretching back to 1967 (he sat out for 12 years between 1983 and 1995). He lists hiring an independent city auditor and creating a Citizen’s Budget Committee as his goals if he is re-elected. Bates leads all fund-raising for this year’s election with close to $33,000 in his campaign account. His past campaigns have been associated with controversial political consultant Darrell Reese, who was once investigated—but not charged—with vote-buying in Richmond elections, and has been convicted of failure to report lobbyist earnings. 

One-term incumbent and Kansas native Gary Bell is a former bank manager who once served as the youngest member of the Wichita (KS) City Council before migrating to California in 1989. He reports close to $29,000 in his re-election account. He cites financial stability and public safety as his major concerns, as well as moving the Richmond City Hall from its rented location on the Richmond waterfront, which was supposed to be temporary, back to its original downtown civic center site. 

Two-term incumbent Tom Butt, who recently was cited by the East Bay Express as the “best local politician and pain in his colleagues’, uh, necks” in part for standing up to the Chevron Corporation, Richmond’s largest employer. Butt, an architect, boasts that he is the “only city councilmember with a Richmond business.” He lists the “three E’s” as his campaign platform: Economic Development, Environmental Health, and Equity of Service. His campaign cash balance currently stands at nearly $7,000. 

One-term incumbent Mindell Penn—an education trustee with a degree from the UC Davis Financial School of Management—says that her “mission is to make Richmond a clean, safe and beautiful destination waterfront city” as well as a “top priority” of “restoring services for children and seniors.” She also lists fiscal accountability as one her major goals, including the hiring of an independent city auditor. Penn has $20,000 in her campaign re-election account. She is affiliated with the Black Women Organized For Political Action (BWOPA), the powerful Bay Area advocacy group originally founded in 1968. 

 

Serious Challengers 

(John Marquez, Gayle McLaughlin, Eddrick Osborne, Andrés Soto) 

John Marquez, a retired peace officer who gave up his seat on Richmond City Council when he ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2001, says he wants to “restore Richmond back to the days of full service with a full employment workforce” with “responsible spending and balanced budgets” to end the city’s “identified $35 million deficit.” He is expected to count on Richmond’s growing Latino population as one of his major bases of support. Last November, he helped rally close to a thousand Latino residents who turned out to the Richmond City Council to protest a proposed yard fence height limit ordinance. 

Kaiser Permanente Optical Lab supervisor, Library Commissioner, and former Parchester Neighborhood Council President Eddrick Osborne was once awarded an Environmental Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for his work with the EPA brownfields project in the Richmond area. Running on a platform of “One Richmond” (“we can no longer afford to be divided as a city over policy issues”), he lists affordable housing and employment as his key concerns. 

Gayle McLaughlin and Andrés Soto should be considered serious contenders for the council, if only for their endorsement by the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA), a coalition of progressive Democrats, Greens, and independents.  

Andrés Soto, a UC Berkeley graduate, legislative policy director, and jazz saxophonist, is best known in Richmond for his lawsuit against the City of Richmond because of alleged mistreatment by the police department during a 2002 Cinco de Mayo festival. He says that “change is exactly what Richmond needs.” His filed Candidate Statement of Qualifications refers voters to his website “to learn more about my experience and my stands on the issues,” but the website presently only presents a single campaign banner announcing “Andrés Soto For City Council.” 

Gayle McLaughlin, an educator, describes herself as a “lifelong social activist who has participated in movements for peace, social justice, civil rights, and environmental protection.” She lists securing the city’s financial health, re-establishing a “full services city” (rehiring laid-off employees), and promoting environmental health as her key concerns. 

The remaining candidates for Richmond City Council, still in the “possible” category, are Herman Blackwell, Courtland “Corky” Boozé, Bill Idzerda, Arnie Kasendorf, Kathy “Storm” Scharff, Deborah Peston Stewart, and Tony Thurmond. 

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Berkeley Hears Venezuela Story Big Media By JAKOB SCHILLER Ignore

By JAKOB SCHILLER
Friday August 20, 2004

In a page three article in the New York Times last Saturday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is said to have “rankled Washington with his leftist agenda and authoritarian impulse,” and “provoked controversy through his coziness with dictators like Mr. Castro, Saddam Hussein, and Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.” 

Not until the fifth-to-last paragraph in the full-page article does the author interview a person from the “barrio,” one of the well-known working class neighborhoods that fill cities throughout the country.  

“Now there is concern for the barrios, for the people who are in need,” a local says about Chávez’s presidency.  

This disparity in the media, according to Lisa Sullivan, a Catholic Maryknoll missioner who has lived in Venezuela for 16 years, is exactly the kind of disinformation that she says has unfairly tainted Chávez and the new political and social programs he’s created as president. 

“All people need are two or three words like ‘authoritarian’ and ‘dictator,’” she said, and their view is immediately skewed. 

“Not only is [Chávez] not authoritarian, [the establishment of the Venezuelan government] has been the most democratic process in any Latin American country in recent years,” she said. 

“He is very strong and he’s a very colorful guy,” she said. “He very clearly has positions that are different from the Bush administration and he does not hide those.”   

Sullivan, who is on a speaking tour of the Bay Area, shared this message Tuesday evening with a group of more than 50 people who packed into the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall in Berkeley. The group listened with enthusiasm uncharacteristic even for Berkeley as Sullivan told stories and answered questions about the country where she’s lived, worked and raised three children. 

For many, whose only exposure to Chávez had come through American mainstream media, Sullivan’s presentation was an insider’s perspective on what event organizers and enthusiasts called the most exciting social and political experiment in years. 

Chávez, who has never characterized himself as anything in particular, is seen by many as a strong progressive and has made headlines since coming to power while his opposition has continually tried to oust him. 

Mainstream reporting, said Sullivan, has focused on the opposition and completely forgotten to interview those who have been most affected by new social and political policies set up by Chávez. 

Throughout the evening, Sullivan told stories about these under-reported programs such as Barrio Adentro, which brought in several hundred Cuban doctors to set up local health clinics. Today, that program has blossomed and now includes 15,000 doctors who have helped to create an extensive and effective public health program. 

Other stories included one about an idea borrowed from India where small groups of women received targeted grants meant to help them open small business and empower women throughout the country.  

And while his plan isn’t viewed as perfect by “Chávistas” (supporters of Chavez), Sullivan said he has built the respect of the people who see his commitment to them. 

All of these programs are funded by money produced by the national oil-company which Chávez pushed to re-vamp soon after coming to power. 18 months ago, after what the media called a national strike, but Sullivan argued was a lockout, Chávez fired the 18,000 top executives at the oil company and re-made it to insure the money it made reached the people instead of being hoarded. Today, the company, called Pdvsa, produces a healthy 2.6 million barrels a day as Venezuela maintains its spot as the world’s fifth largest oil exporter. 

Broadly, said Sullivan, Chávez is trying to create his own unique system based on bits and parts of the systems used by other countries. 

“The sense is we are going to try to pick the best of what we see around us,” she said.  

The timing of the Berkeley event was also important because it happened just days after the recall election that Chávez squarely won as the country experienced its highest voter turn-out of all time.  

Although the New York Times quoted polls that said Chávez “might win an endorsement of his rule,” Sullivan told the audience that the word on the street was that he would almost certainly win.  

According to the Venezuelan National Electoral Council, 58 percent of the electorate who turned out voted for Chávez, as opposed to 42 percent who voted against him.  

The very idea of a recall election, said Sullivan, was another sign of Chávez’s push for democracy because it was written into the Constitution by Chávez himself, giving the opposition a way to oust him. 

And as a sign of how seriously people have taken their newfound democratic opportunities, Sullivan told the audience about how her son waited in blistering heat for 12 hours just to register to vote and about her husband who waited in line until 1 a.m. to cast his vote, passing the time by playing dominoes with friends. 

“The recall is the first one that has been legally binding in Latin America, and it’s an example of participatory democracy,” said Sullivan. And because this and other Chávez programs, she said, “people have a renewed sense of dignity.”Å


UnderCurrents: Let Kerry be Vague Until the Election is Over J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR
Friday August 20, 2004

As the presidential campaign settles down into that crucial back-stretch period, progressive commentators continue to argue that Sen. John Kerry needs to explicitly articulate an Iraq exit strategy. 

The latest to take up this position is Los Angeles Times columnist Robert Scheer, whom I greatly respect for past and present work. 

“At Bush’s prompting,” Mr. Scheer writes in a recent column, “reporters asked Kerry if he, knowing what we all know now about Iraq’s lack of weapons of mass destruction, would still have voted, as he did in October 2002, to authorize the president to use force against Iraq. Instead of smacking that hanging curveball out of the park by denouncing the Bush administration for deceiving Congress and the nation into a war, Kerry inexplicably said yes. … Unfortunately, then and now, it is the wrong answer to the wrong question. … Half the country now thinks invading Iraq was a bad idea, and nobody can be comfortable with the way it has turned out. The American people want to know how we got into this mess, how we can get out and how we will avoid making such stupid mistakes in the future. To win the debates and the election, Kerry needs to establish himself as the clear alternative to a president who has lied us into a quagmire.” 

Respectfully, I disagree. This is a case, I think, of progressives fighting the last anti-war. 

The great anti-war protests of ‘67 and ‘68 helped fuel the insurgent, anti-war challenge of Sen. Eugene McCarthy to sitting President Lyndon Johnson in the 1968 presidential election. McCarthy came within a few percentage points of beating Johnson in the New Hampshire primary and that event—coupled with the entrance of Robert Kennedy into the Democratic race on a rising anti-war tide—forced Johnson to announce his decision not to run for re-election. Richard Nixon won the presidency over Vice President Hubert Humphrey later that fall, partly on a pledge that he had a “secret plan” to get the U.S. out of Vietnam. 

But that was then. This is now. 

There are two reasons why progressives should not look to the election of 2004 as a reprisal of ‘68. The first is that—unlike 1968—there is not yet a broad consensus among anti-war Americans as to what should be done about Iraq. And second, John Kerry is not a formidable advocate of his positions, and would probably fumble the attempt to explain in detail an exit strategy. And fumble it badly. 

In 1968—with ever-growing numbers of U.S. military casualties—the belief solidified across a large section of America that U.S. forces should be unilaterally withdrawn from Vietnam. The smaller group of this coalition was made up of those who felt that Vietnam was an illegal, immoral, unjustified colonial war. But the larger—and eventually decisive—element was made up of a broad group of citizens who felt it was an unnecessary war, at least from the point of view of United States security. And later events, of course, proved that view to be correct. 

Jump, now, to the present. There is no such unconditional withdrawal consensus concerning the war in Iraq, for one quite obvious reason: the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. While my friend, Mr. Scheer, is entirely correct in his statement that “half the country now thinks invading Iraq was a bad idea, and nobody can be comfortable with the way it has turned out,” the “how” of the getting back out is another thing entirely. Many—and I count myself among that many—believe that it is the U.S. military presence in Iraq that is exacerbating the problem. We are developing two new terrorists for every one U.S. soldiers manage to kill, and an immediate, unconditional U.S. withdrawal is the first, necessary step for healing the wounds and promoting homeland security. But many other Americans—thoughtful, reasonable friends and neighbors—while now believing that we never should have invaded, also believe that a precipitous U.S. withdrawal would make things infinitely worse, helping to advance the terrorist cause. These folks believe that it is our responsibility to clean up the mess we have caused. 

These are two legitimate but opposing views holding—almost certainly—a majority of the Democratic Party between them. One would have hoped that the spring Democratic primaries could have been used to debate these positions, as the primaries were used to debate the pro-war and anti-war Democratic Party positions in 1968. But elections aren’t run that way, these days. John Kerry became the Democratic Party nominee precisely because he fudged his positions on Iraqi withdrawal, straddling the great American divide: yes, we shouldn’t have gone in, but how we should leave is a matter yet to be determined. Turning from that course in either direction would now tip the balance and lose Kerry one wing of the Democratic Party or the other, dumping all of us into the abyss. 

There is another problem with pushing Kerry to clarify his exit strategies. We have heard John Kerry, and he is no Gene McCarthy or Bobby Kennedy. Under relentless attack from the Bush camp on the charge of “nuancing” and “flip-flopping,” Sen. Kerry and his advisors have so far flubbed the explanation of his two key Iraqi war votes—the war authorization vote and the $87 billion funding vote—in a way that has put Kerry on the defensive when he should not be. 

The charge from the Bush camp? That Sen. Kerry voted for the war, but later voted against the money to fund it. 

The perfectly reasonable and obvious explanation: Sen. Kerry voted to authorize President George W. Bush to go to war in Iraq, believing that the president would use that authorization in the manner that recent presidents would almost certainly have done—presidents Reagan and Clinton and Mr. Bush’s own father, for example—building a powerful international coalition and using threat of war to force concessions out of the Saddam Hussein regime, but only using war as a last resort. Instead, President Bush screwed it up, going to war as a first resort and, in doing so, causing the mess in which we presently find ourselves. In other words, Bush misplayed a good hand. The United States Congress was thereafter presented with an $87 billion appropriation bill by the Bush administration, $67 billion of which was to go to fund U.S. troops, $20 billion which was supposed to go to some sort of “reconstruction aid” to Iraq. Sen. Kerry felt that there was no solid plan or safeguards for the spending of the $20 billion “reconstruction aid” money, and voted against the entire appropriation while asking that the troop money be brought back for separate consideration. In fact, Sen. Kerry was absolutely right on that issue. There is considerable controversy over that $20 billion, much of it apparently unspent, some of it possibly misspent, with the Coalition Authority going out of business before a full accounting. There should have been better safeguards and a detailed spending plan. 

If Sen. Kerry cannot handle explanations for these perfectly reasonable past positions, I don’t have much confidence that he can make his way through the quagmire of Iraqi withdrawal—not while the election is going on. And entering that quagmire probably ensures his defeat. 

Let Kerry be Kerry and keep vague on what he may or may not do, leaving the specifying and educating part in the capable hands of folks like Mr. Scheer. That’s the only way Sen. Kerry is going to win, and the only way the nation will have a chance—within the next four years—of pulling itself out of this Middle East mess. If Mr. Bush wins, we go in deeper, without a doubt. If Mr. Kerry wins, we may not. It’s not the best of choices. But it’s the best choice we’re going to get.›


Commentary: A Modest Proposal For a Berkeley Roadside Attraction By ALBERT SUKOFF

By ALBERT SUKOFF
Friday August 20, 2004

After decades of living in Berkeley, I have come to the conclusion that the dominant political forces in this town are sufficiently entrenched that significant change in the short term is unlikely. Their view of the world, somewhere between left-of-center and way-left-of-center, does not consume everyone in Berkeley, but it is sufficiently widespread that the current flavor of local governance will probably endure for the foreseeable future. As the rest of the country has gone decidedly, if fitfully, to the right, Berkeley has stayed with its basic 1960s mentality. Almost certainly Berkeley has attracted those who find it conducive to their own political proclivities and repelled those who feel otherwise, thereby reinforcing itself as a the nation’s citadel of collectivist wisdom.  

Official Berkeley operates from a premise that there is more or less a monolithic polity in this town and that the local government, by word and by deed, should promote the credo pertaining thereto. The Mods and the Progs duke it out and those who do not subscribe to one camp or the other are Trogs. They deserve—and get—no consideration.  

Paradoxically this city has a reputation as a bastion of “progressive” politics but is at the same time reactionary in the truest sense of the word, i.e. it reacts negatively to virtually any proposal for change. Berkeley, in fact, strives very hard not to change. While Emeryville thrived and Oakland prospered throughout the ‘90s, Berkeley chose to spurn a decade of opportunity offered by some of the most sustained economic growth in history. The Bay Area may be the heart of the new economy but Berkeley wants none of it. Is it any wonder that Silicon Valley spun out of Stanford and not UCB? Even San Francisco, like-minded to a degree, allowed the industrial South of Market area to grow and change and become a vibrant urban place. Berkeley, on the other hand, has no interest in more of anything. It wants no more housing, no more cars, no more CAL, no more offices, no more stores, no more, no more, no. No! NO! Berkeley’s municipal mantra is: “We don’t want any!” Several years ago, a spokesperson for the so-called Berkeley Party summed it up: “We’ve done our growth.”  

If truth be told, “progressive” Berkeley does not want to progress but rather to regress. To where? The more accurate question would be: to when? The obvious answer: back to the glorious ‘60s, of course. I say, let’s do it. If economic development in the usual sense is such an anathema, Berkeley should adopt the model of Williamsburg, VA. Berkeley could become a community frozen in the 1960s, just as Williamsburg, for the edification and amusement of tourists, is a colonial town frozen in the 1760s. I would propose that the area from Sather Gate, through the Sproul Plaza and down Telegraph Avenue to Dwight Way, become a dedicated theme park named, of course—ta da—SIXTIESLAND.  

Tourists could be bussed in from San Francisco to see this living anthropological display. Daily demonstrations would be scheduled on the plaza: the Free Speech Movement would be recreated at 10 o’clock, filthy speech at noon and an generic anti-war theme would take center stage at 2 o’clock. The highlight of the day would come every afternoon at 4 o’clock with a recreation of the 1964 incident when demonstrators encircled a police car, a bronze replica of which would be installed as a permanent sculpture on Sproul Plaza. A Mario Savio look-alike would take to the roof and give the memorable throw-your-bodies-on-the-levers-of-the-machine speech. Holy Hubert would threaten all with hell and damnation at Ludwig’s Fountain a few feet away. (A little theatrical license compacting time and space for dramatic effect is permissible here.) All this would culminate when, taunted as “pigs,” the police stage an attack, a pair of paddy wagons roar in with sirens blaring, the demonstrators go limp and are carried off one-by-one, chanting as they are thrown into the vehicles. End of show. Round of applause. The actors emerge from the wagons, take a bow, sing a few choruses of Kumbaya and pass the hat for a monetary expression of appreciation from the tourists. At the height of the summer season, simultaneous demonstrations on the upper AND lower plazas would be offered and maybe even an occasional appearance by hometown ‘60s celebs Country Joe McDonald and Wavy Gravy.  

Telegraph Avenue would be reconstituted with shops and street venders, each a fitting exemplar of the politics and/or craftsmanship of the period. Tourists would watch ersatz hippies as they tie-dye t-shirts, dip scented candles, tool leather and macramé basket hangers; all items available for a few filthy establishment lucre. Also on sale: beaded curtains, sandals, bell-bottoms pants, lava lamps, peace symbol jewelry, fringed leather jackets and, of course, time-appropriate bumper stickers. Anticipated as very big sellers: reproduction concert posters featuring classic artists who never saw their 30s; i.e. the ever-popular Janis and Jimi collection. And, of course, this homage to the ‘60s would not be complete without a head shop featuring a wide array of drug paraphernalia, with maybe something like the world’s largest collection of roach clips in the window. (The city attorney advises that the actual drugs cannot be a formal part of the program but a wafting odor of marijuana in the air would likely be ignored.) At the reestablished Cinema Guild (Pauline Kael’s little repertory movie house) a double bill of Easy Rider and The Seventh Seal would run daily from morning to late evening, to be followed by a midnight-only showing of Reefer Madness.  

The economic benefits on this program are obvious. Students could be employed as period hippies and street people as, well, street people. Hippies, both vestigial and reconstituted, would wander up and down Telegraph Avenue excoriating capitalism and the “system.” A cottage industry would emerge to make all the ‘60s memorabilia. Eventually, if all goes well, Berkeley could build the “Museum of the ‘60s” with a psychedelic VW bus on the front steps and inside, maybe a wax vignette of Max Scheer putting together the first issue of the Berkeley Barb. If done right, Berkeley could proclaim its values to the world. Ya’know, a little peace, a little love, some sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll and a whole lot of government to run your life. Berkeley knows how the world should be and this is its chance to show it. Man, it would be soooo groooovy.  

 

Albert Sukoff is an Oakland real estate developer and past president of the Berkeley Property Owners Association.?


Commentary: Coming Upon August 26 By HELEN RIPPIER WHEELER

By HELEN RIPPIER WHEELER
Friday August 20, 2004

Coming up on Aug. 26, I am reminded of 30 years ago. In 1974 the Wisconsin Commission on the Status of Women inaugurated a series of regional conferences to examine the status of the homemaker, and Oakland resident Tish Sommers coined the term “displaced homemaker” to describe the “middle-aged woman forcibly exiled” from her role as wife and mother, struggling to find a place in the job market. The Mexican American Women’s Association was founded. A study by Cherokee/Choctaw physician Constance Uri exposed widespread use of sterilization of Native American women and led to the 1977 revision of DHEW’s guidelines on sterilization. Congresswoman Bella Abzug’s bill to designate Aug. 26 Women’s Equality Day in honor of the adoption of the Suffrage Amendment became law. The Civil Rights Act was amended to prohibit sex discrimination in housing financing, sale or rental or in provision of brokerage services. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act became law after Abzug, Margaret Heckler and Lenor Sullivan fought for it in the House; later, “Battling Bella” led a delegation of women members of Congress to protest unsatisfactory implementation regulations, and they were revised. The first woman state governor to be elected in her own right—Ella Grasso—was elected governor of Connecticut. I remember well all of these events and more that year, as well as defeats and losses of women’s lives and careers. 

Aug. 26 is Women’s Equality Day, a special opportunity to pay tribute to the many women who helped pave the way for women’s suffrage. It is also a good time to reflect on our progress over the years and recommit ourselves for the future. “The right is ours. Have it, we must. Use it, we will.” Elizabeth Cady Stanton, one of America’s greatest pioneers for women’s rights, delivered these words at the first women’s convention in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848. From this convention to the election of Jeannette Rankin to Congress in 1916 and the eventual certification of the 19th Amendment on Aug. 26, 1920, women and men fought together for the right of all women to vote in America. Stanton’s words—“Use it, we will”—should serve as a reminder to all women of the importance of their vote. Vital issues face our nation, and women’s votes count. The assault weapons ban should be renewed. All families should be able to obtain basic health care coverage and to afford decent housing. The right to vote was a hard-fought achievement for women in the United States, and it is our responsibility to use it. On this special day, as the many achievements of women in this country throughout history are reflected upon and enjoyed, let us make sure that our voices are heard by exercising the most fundamental right a U.S. citizen can possess—the right to vote. Celebrate Women’s Equality Day by registering to vote and by voting. Easy mail-in voter-registration postage-paid forms are available at Berkeley’s senior centers and public libraries. (See www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/elections/). 

 

Helen Rippier Wheeler is a feminist and long-time Berkeley resident who has taught Women Studies. Her latest book publication is A Guide To The Literature of Women and Aging. In 1984 she was a visiting scholar in Women Studies in Japan. She has taught in the Berkeley Adult School Older Adults Program and produced programs such as the forthcoming March 2005 Women’s History Month celebration at the North Berkeley Senior Center.


Letters to the Editor

Friday August 20, 2004

TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

My family moved to West Berkeley three years ago. In that time we have yet to see a single traffic stop along San Pablo by a Berkeley police officer. We have to cross San Pablo as drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians daily and put our lives in danger by doing so. My 5-year-old daughter and I were nearly struck at a San Pablo crosswalk by a woman speeding while on her cell phone. By avoiding us she rear-ended another vehicle that had stopped for us. This is one example of many that we encounter as heavily taxed citizens of Berkeley. In my 20 years of driving in California (including Los Angeles and a number of congested cities in Orange County) I have never witnessed such disregard of the law by drivers and complete absence of police traffic enforcement (which go hand in hand). If this is a question of a budget and staff resources than why not generate those much needed resources by issuing traffic tickets to the countless violators that abuse the law? 

Kit Smith  

 

• 

WOMEN FOR PEACE 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

Womens International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), with Jane Addams as its first president, was founded in 1915—while WW-I was raging—by women from the warring countries who were determined to seek a better way than war and violence to resolve conflicts. We are still doing so today. An international organization, WILPF has sections in 36 countries around the world, including Israel, Palestine and Lebanon in the Middle East. 

To assure the safety and survival of both Israel and Palestine, solutions are required which meet the needs of both peoples. We reject the narrow view of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth which is often the justification for continued warfare. We are convinced that people now in conflict can come together to make peace. 

Just two weeks ago, women from Israel, Palestine and Lebanon and 28 other countries met in Sweden to work together for non-violent solutions in the Middle East and elsewhere. We long have actively promoted non-proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, negotiations between peoples to bring peace to the area, and now are working to prevent the privatization of water. 

WILPF is concerned about both Israel’s and Palestine’s safety and survival in the Middle East. As our Israeli sisters said to us in Sweden, current Israeli policies such as “targeted assassinations,” mistreatment of Palestinians at checkpoints, building the security wall so that it divides people from their land, jobs and medical care will not prevent attacks on Israelis. They only create the conditions for more violence and greater danger to Israel’s security. A different way is possible. 

Dolores Taller 

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, East Bay Branch 

 

• 

KENNEDY COMPARISONS 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

Dona Spring in her effort to express her support for Berkeley City Council candidate Jesse Townley, compared the candidate to the late President John F. Kennedy, and expressed the belief that both had “that hope of the future” (“Green Council Candidate Courts Left-Out Voters,” Daily Planet, Aug. 17-19). 

I would remind Ms. Spring that President Kennedy, when he was a senator, was absent from the Senate floor and did not vote for the censure of Senator Joe McCarthy. As president, Mr. Kennedy supported right-wing dictatorships in Latin America. He urged civil rights leaders to call off a major march in Washington, D.C., in support of the civil rights movement in the 1960’s. He also supported secret plans for war in Vietnam, according to the Pentagon Papers. 

If Ms. Spring believes that her candidate has a “hope of the future” consistent with the conservative policies of President Kennedy, I urge voters to reject her candidate. 

Lenora Young 

 

• 

PRO-TENANT? 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

The headline “Pro-Tenant Candidates Dominate Rent Board Field” (Daily Planet, Aug. 17-19) irked me just a little, not because I have an aversion to rent control abuses, but rather because a rent board commissioner, I think, is supposed to interpret the law, whether it favors a landlord or a tenant. Walking into a job favoring one side, and advertising it, seems like they should be called lobbyists, not commissioners. Furthermore, in case no one has noticed, the old law of supply and demand has started to really favor tenants lately. There are more “For Rent” sign in this town than ever before. The market speaks in different ways, and thanks to a few ambitious developers, and the university, we probably have more housing than we need in Berkeley, which means rents will drop. I think we all can agree that there are good and bad landlords, and good and bad tenants. What I hope, in my idealistic fantasy, (hey, I was born in Berkeley, after all) is that the new commissioners administer the law fairly for both sides. 

Tim Cannon 

 

• 

MIDDLE EAST 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

Dan Spitzer’s latest letter (Daily Planet, Aug. 13-16) contained his predictable gloating over the recent San Francisco Chronicle staffers let go. The thing the three different writers had in common was that they dared to challenge certain policies of the State of Israel, which by the way are underwritten by the American taxpayer. Even though the Palestine conflict was not the prime subject matter of the dismissed writers, any dissent from the AIPAC party line is verboten to the totalitarian mentality represented by people like Spitzer. There is no crime, no outrage that their “Holy State” could commit that they would not apologize for. They are eerily like the old Communist apologists for Stalin and Mao. And in some cases they are the same people ! If this ruffles a few old Left feathers in Berkeley tough. 

The apologists for the criminal policies of Israel and the U.S. are always happy to see dissenting voices silenced. Maybe the BDP should return the favor and spare us any future letters from Spitzer. 

Michael P. Hardesty 

 

• 

WILLIARD GARDEN 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

Concerns have been raised about the work going on in and around the Willard Middle School garden which is part of the site-wide beautification work being done this summer. The work was approved by a site committee and the School Board.  

There are two main purposes to the work along Telegraph Avenue. 

One is to create wheel-chair accessible paths through the garden, so that all children may appreciate the garden, and also follow state law. Given that there were no paths previous to this, some plants needed to be removed, but the path of the path was decided with input from the school community. Some plants were saved also at the request of parent volunteers. 

The second part of the project is to improve the entrance from the Telegraph Avenue to reduce traffic flow through the neighborhood streets such as Stuart Street. The entrance into the site is being widened and the chain link fence is being replaced by something much more pleasing to the eye. The goal is to have more parents use the drop-off zone on Telegraph Avenue. 

Work in the garden will proceed without use of a tractor until we are sure there will be no damage to plants or the garden. 

Mark Coplan  

Public Information Officer 

Berkeley Unified School District 

 

• 

WHAT ABOUT THE UNION? 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

One thing I found puzzling about Sarah Norr’s piece in your Aug. 10 issue (“SF Chronicle Cracks Down on Liberal Staffers”) is her failure to mention the union. Why haven’t Rosen, Norr, Pates et al. filed grievances? If they sought union help and were denied they ought to file a joint NRLB complaint against the union, their legally certified representative, for failure to represent them. It would be a great way to expose the Chronicle and, if necessary, the union.  

Ernie Haberkerny


Watch the Top Hits on the Berkeley Birder’s List By JOE EATON Special to the Planet

By JOE EATON Special to the Planet
Friday August 20, 2004

If you’re not from around here, you may be encountering an unusual number of Unidentified Flying Objects: birds that look different from the ones you’re accustomed to seeing at home, and behave differently. Here are a few you’re likely to notice on campus or around town. 

The plain brown birds with long tails, bigger than sparrows but smaller than robins, are California towhees. They’re ground-dwelling seed-eaters and seem not to mind human company; I’ve had them walk in my back door, just checking the place out. 

House finches—red males, streaky brown females—are also common. Even if you don’t see them, you’ll hear the males’ rapid-fire warble. Native Californians, house finches have become naturalized through most of the U.S. 

Black phoebes may show up along Strawberry Creek, or any other urban waterway. These members of the flycatcher family are black with white bellies, have short crests and an upright posture. They like elevated perches from which they can scan for flying insects. 

The jays here are blue, but they aren’t blue jays—that’s an eastern species. The ones with black heads and swept-back crests are Steller’s (not “stellar”) jays, named after an unfortunate 18th-century Russian naturalist. The crestless jays are western scrub-jays. Both have raucous calls and a strong sense of entitlement. 

The big black birds you see may be either American crows or common ravens. Ravens are larger, have wedge-shaped tails, shaggy throats, and bigger beaks, and tend to show up singly or in pairs. Crows have rounded tails and hang out in flocks. Crows caw; ravens croak, in addition to making a wide variety of unlikely noises. The small black birds with baleful yellow eyes and lots of attitude are blackbirds—Brewer’s blackbirds. 

Jays, crows, and ravens seem to be particularly vulnerable to the West Nile virus. If you happen to find one that looks freshly dead, report it by calling 877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473).  

Our local hummingbird is the Anna’s hummer, whose namesake was a French duchess. Males have flashy iridescent rose-red throats and crowns, and a pathetic excuse for a song. Anna’s hummingbirds live here year-round and start nesting in December or January, well ahead of most small birds. Allen’s hummingbirds, with orange-red throats and green-and-rufous plumage, are spring and summer residents. 

Winter is warbler season. Yellow-rumped warblers, small grayish birds with the trademark yellow patch at the base of the tail, are the most common species. With luck you may spot a Townsend’s warbler, which has a striking yellow-and-black head pattern. 

Small birds abound, especially around conifers and other trees: chestnut-backed chickadees, who announce themselves by name; common bushtits, tiny long-tailed birds that almost always travel in flocks; oak titmice, gray with pointed crests; dark-eyed juncos, sparrow-sized with white outer tailfeathers that flash in flight. 

We’ve got doves (mourning) and a variety of hawks. Red-tailed hawks, symbols of a fine Northern California ale, and red-shouldered hawks can be seen soaring overhead. Cooper’s and sharp-shinned hawks, built for close pursuit of smaller birds, nest in street trees not far from campus. Northern harriers and white-tailed kites patrol the waterfront. Peregrines and kestrels are possible, especially in winter.  

And you can’t miss the gulls. Most are California gulls that may have nested at Mono Lake or other oases in the high desert. Other waterbirds include the cormorants that build their nests on the bridges that span the Bay, brown pelicans in summer, flotillas of scaup, scoters, canvasbacks, and other ducks in winter. 

In spring and fall, migrants may touch down in wooded areas of campus: warblers, vireos, grosbeaks, tanagers, thrushes. Some of these travelers spend the summer in wilder locales like Strawberry Canyon before heading back to the tropics.  

There’s always something to watch, even if it’s only pigeons courting or house sparrows wrangling over a crumb. Warning: birding tends to become addictive. If you’re not careful, you may find yourself frequenting sewage ponds and landfills (where rarities often show up), listening for owls in the predawn cold, or braving the waves of Monterey Bay in albatross season. ›


A Few Options for Out-of-Town Jaunts By JOE EATON Special to the Planet

By JOE EATON Special to the Planet
Friday August 20, 2004

When urban life begins to get to you, the Bay Area offers a wealth of refuges. Thanks to enlightened planning, our cities are surrounded by a greenbelt of regional, state, and national parkland: wonderful places for photography, hiking, birding, botanizing, whale-watching, and general communing with nature. 

 

Briones Regional Park 

Bigger and wilder than Tilden (described elsewhere). Briones’ freshwater lagoons attract mating newts in late winter. Birds abound, and you might even cross paths with a bobcat, or a rare Alameda whipsnake. 

 

Mount Diablo State Park 

On the park’s north side, trails into Mitchell, Donner, and Back Canyons offer prime spring wildflower viewing. The Mount Diablo globe lily blooms here—and nowhere else in the world—in April and May. When it’s sunny, California king snakes and coast horned lizards come out to bask. The view from Diablo’s summit on a clear day stretches as far as the Sierra. 

 

Hayward Regional Shoreline 

At this tidal marsh, still in the process of restoration, long-legged stilts and avocets nest just off the trail. Waterbirds and shorebirds are present throughout the year, but this is an especially good spot to catch the spring and fall migrations. 

 

Coyote Hills Regional Park 

Rising anomalously from the flat bayshore, the Coyote Hills overlook freshwater marshland, home to muskrats and marsh wrens. There’s also an archeological site with reconstructions of Ohlone dwellings. The adjacent Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge has its own network of trails into the marshes.  

 

Pescadero Beach 

A favorite among San Mateo County coastal sites, with harbor seal haulouts on the rocky shore and a freshwater marsh across Highway 1. After a morning with the pelicans, you can stop at Duarte’s Tavern for pie and coffee. Nearby Pebble Beach is great for tidepooling.  

 

Muir Woods National Monument 

Yes, it’s congested with tourists. But visit early on a weekday, when you can have these magnificent redwoods mostly to yourself. Early spring is best for redwood wildflowers. With luck, you may hear or see a spotted owl. 

 

Golden Gate National Recreation Area 

The Marin Headlands, once the site of gun batteries and missile installations, provide unparalleled views of the Bay and the offshore Pacific—and, in fall, a ringside seat for the southbound hawk migration.  

 

Audubon Canyon Ranch 

From a vantage point above Bolinas Lagoon, you can watch great blue herons and great egrets rear their gawky young in treetop nests. The lagoon itself teems with ducks and other waterbirds in winter, and seals year-round.  

 

Point Reyes National Seashore 

The crown jewel of Bay Area parks. Try the Chimney Rock trail in spring, when wild irises and other wildflowers carpet the coastal bluffs. Migrating gray whales bring seasonal crowds. Other wildlife ranges from herds of tule elk to bratwurst-shaped elephant seals crowding the beaches. And the Seashore is a birder’s Mecca, especially during migration when rarities from eastern North America or Siberia may drop in.  

 


Ringers Animals

Friday August 20, 2004

Ten ubiquitous animals you may have thought were native Northern Californians: 

 

Opossum (southeastern U.S.) 

Bullfrog (eastern U.S.) 

Honeybee (Europe, originally) 

Red fox (eastern U.S.) 

Wild turkey (eastern U.S.) 

Striped bass (eastern U.S.) 

Cabbage white butterfly (Europe) 

Ring-necked pheasant (Asia) 

Muskrat (eastern U.S.) 

Fox squirrel (eastern U.S.) 

 

—Joe Eaton


Glorious Gardens Close to Home Provide Respite By SHIRLEY BARKER Special to the Planet

By SHIRLEY BARKER Special to the Planet
Friday August 20, 2004

Let’s face it, going to a four-year university is stressful. Most of the time the adrenaline rush seems to keep one on one’s toes, enabling one to nail a good grade and giving one a sense of making a start at something important. Perhaps working for a degree will lead to a cure for cancer or a Nobel prize. At the very least, it’s an opportunity to make life-long friendships. 

There’s no denying, however, that the processes of applying, the long wait for acceptance, the muddle of red tape to be unraveled before one’s registration is confirmed—transcripts obtained, financing and accommodation arranged, majors declared—all add up to a time of stress. And that’s before classes actually begin. 

Once the semester starts, there’s the newness of it all. Even students born in Berkeley who know the campus for what it is, a serene parkland studded with elegant architecture and mature trees, can suffer a few twinges of apprehension during their first few weeks. Change may be as good as a rest for some, but more often than not it’s unsettling. 

The university seems to recognize that nature heals all ills if we allow her to do so. Without actually offering students a mandatory one unit in recreation and rest, it has worked with nature to produce two glorious gardens for interest as well as solace, and the East Bay’s Regional Parks District has created a third. All three are within easy reach of the Berkeley campus. 

Blake Garden is the first on our list, because it is least well known and farthest away, in Kensington. The garden is the setting for an Italianate villa that is the official residence of the university’s president. It is well worth a visit, is open (on weekdays only) at no charge to the public as well as students, and is partially wheelchair accessible. A reflecting pool fronts the villa. Paths meander around a mixture of wild and formal garden “rooms.” Barriers of stone and vegetation are used to create these, so that, for instance, after walking across a sunken lawn buttressed on one side by the back of the house, one is guided towards an unexpectedly rough and secret area of native grasses and shrubs, which in turn leads to a pond, and ahead of that, a vegetable garden.  

Such clever contrasts and juxtapositions make this fairly small acreage seem spacious and inviting. There are plenty of places to sit and enjoy a picnic. Since the theme is described as Mediterranean, it is should be a great place to look for ideas for summer-dry/ winter-wet plantings. There is usually a gardener visible and willing to answer questions.  

To find Blake Garden, either take a No. 7 bus from Bancroft, or drive along the Arlington, make a left on Rincon opposite the library, and go down the hill directly into the parking area. Parking is free. Berkeley has been fortunate from its beginning in the generosity and acumen of its benefactors such as the Blake family. Apparently thanks to them, the garden’s natural rock formations are part of its landscaping design. 

Much closer to campus, in fact within walking distance, the university’s Botanical Garden has been created from land on both sides of Strawberry Canyon, half a mile up the road from Haas Clubhouse and the outdoor swimming complex on Centennial Drive. Like all botanical gardens, it is divided into climatic and geographic regions, from alpine to tropical, and old and new worlds. The first stop for me is always the same, the vernal pool just past the entrance, on the right. 

Vernal pools are found in few places in the world, one of them being on our doorstep, the grasslands of California. Caused by patches of impervious hardpan, vernal pools fill up in winter with rain, which as it evaporates during our dry summer, leaves behind rings of native flowers in pastel shades of yellow, lavender, pink, mauve and white. The university gardeners have recreated this phenomenon with a concrete substratum and appropriate soil. They re-sow the pool every winter. By April it is spectacular.  

Further along the same path, past a bed of tiny alpines, the garden features plants growing in a bed of serpentine soil, which is also found in California and in few other places in the world. Serpentine rock, so named because it is slippery to the touch and greenish in color. The soil deriving from it is loaded with minerals, such as manganese, which most plants find too toxic for growth. The plants that have adapted to serpentine soil are therefore truly endemic. To create this quite extensive bed, the gardeners dug out huge amounts of red clay, and replaced it with a serpentine mix. 

The garden has great variety. Among many other horticultural delights there’s a mediaeval herb garden, a Chinese garden of medicinal plants with explanatory labels in Chinese and English, a hothouse with tropical food plants, other hothouses of cactuses and carnivorous plants, gritty slopes of desert plants, and a knot garden. Majestic trees, lawns, pools, and shady alleys make altogether a charming scenery in which to loiter, with a picnic and a book, and come away refreshed. Before leaving, cross the road and enter the redwood grove. Redwoods have a solemnity, a hushed dampness, a dark quality appropriate to giant survivors of glaciation. 

It is open daily except on university holidays and the first Tuesday of every month. If you have forgotten your student ID, it is free on Thursdays. Parking is not, but a Bear Transit bus, free for students and a dollar for others, leaves from the middle of campus and will drop you at the garden’s main entrance. 

If you have driven to the Botanical Garden, why not continue up Centennial Drive to our third garden? Go straight across Grizzly Peak Boulevard and down into Tilden Park on Golf Course Drive. The golf course is on your right. Golf Course Drive dead ends at Shasta Road. Turn right, right again on Wildcat Canyon Road, and you will see EBRPD’s Botanic Garden on your left, at its junction with South Park Drive. South Park Drive is closed at certain times of the year to allow salamanders safe access to Wildcat Creek, in which they deposit their eggs. 

This charming botanic (note spelling) garden entirely of native plants is also open daily except for certain holidays, and is free to everyone. It can be reached by No. 67 bus from downtown Berkeley. Since the growing season for our native plants starts in the fall, it’s a great place for a winter walk. Seacoast bluffs and mountains, dry foothills, canyons, groves, alpine slopes and deserts show site-specific flora . Garden space can be rented for weddings and other ceremonies for a small fee. Annually the garden holds a sale of plants propagated by volunteers. Go early to this popular event.  

If these three gardens are not sufficiently natural to lave away tension, at the garden’s exit, turn left, and stride up into the Berkeley hills. Go with a friend. Puma or wildcats roam there. Keep an eye out for rattlesnakes and leave them alone. I have never seen either of these secretive creatures. Spend several hours in that unspoiled wilderness. Although Tilden Park has drinking fountains, if you go off the beaten track use common sense. Carry water, a few raisins, and a hat. Mist can descend rapidly. If you lose your bearings, walk downhill. You’ll return to the world of academe with bodies invigorated and souls restored, guaranteed. 

 

 

?


Ringers Plants

Friday August 20, 2004

Ten plants you may have thought were native Northern Californians: 

 

Blue gum eucalyptus (from Australia, like all eucs) 

Iceplant (South Africa)  

Pampas grass (South America) 

Water hyacinth (South America) 

Broom (Europe, North Africa) 

All those dry grasse s on the hills (mostly Europe) 

Ivy (Europe or North Africa, depending on species) 

“Wild” mustard (Eurasia) 

Monterey pine, and 

Monterey cypress (Both from around Monterey Bay, not here) 

—Ron Sullivan


Delicacies All in the Family at Country Cheese By LYDIA GANS Special to the Planet

By LYDIA GANS Special to the Planet
Friday August 20, 2004

This is a story about cheeses and a 35-year-old store that sells them. It’s about a burgeoning alternative gourmet ghetto in a less than affluent part of west Berkeley. And it’s about an immigrant family that has established a niche for itself and become, if not totally Americanized, decidedly Berkeleyized. 

The store is called Country Cheese. It has been on San Pablo at Addison since it first opened in 1968. The neighborhood has never been upscale—a check-cashing establishment on the next block testifies to that—but a theater space around the corner currently occupied by Freight and Salvage and a post office next door have always guaranteed a flow of customers. Today a number of food stores and restaurants within a few blocks of University and San Pablo offer a veritable feast of ethnic diversity for the budget conscious gourmet. A couple of markets selling products from Italy and several central and south American countries are right across the street and within a few blocks there is an Indian restaurant with white tablecloths, a Turkish restaurant with average decor and a very informal Everett and Jones barbecue. 

Getting back to Country Cheese and the part of the story that touches the heart as well as the stomach, we meet the owners, the Raxakoul family. Usually at the front counter is the mother, Khamyong Raxakoul. Her husband has a full-time job but comes in after work. Her son Pete is the general manager of the store, son Paul handles the deli, daughter Mola is a student and helps part time. They bought the business 14 years ago and just last year purchased the building. Now they will not have to worry about the rent being raised. 

The family immigrated to the United States from Laos in 1979, landing at San Francisco airport with $35 and not much else. They had fled Laos in 1977 and spent the next two years in a refugee camp in Thailand. Pete tells their story. He was 7 when they left Laos and he remembers; “It’s not a pretty sight. (We were) very poor. ... we sold everything just to have enough money to pay someone to get us across safely into Thailand.” He recalls the first weeks in the processing center in Bangkok. “It was monsoon season and we were sleeping on pallets. And the pallets were floating away.” The facilities in the refugee camp were minimal, they had tents to sleep in and a thin soup to eat. Some fortunate people received financial help from friends abroad. Others might get permits to leave the camp to work and earn some money.  

In spite of the hardships, Pete says, “We were fortunate that we came to the United States with the full family intact.” None of them spoke any English but they had friends here who put them up when they arrived. Then, through their church they met a family in Hayward who took them under their wing. They “helped us with clothing, money, processing paper work, taking us to Kaiser, getting us shots, just showing us how to live. Showing my mom how to do canning with fruits, teaching us how to read and write. Everything.”  

They worked hard. For a time their father worked four jobs. Both parents took ESL classes. There was a cousin who was working at Country Cheese and in 1984 Mrs. Raxakoul got a job there. Pete worked there during summer vacations when he was still in high school. So in 1991, when the owners decided to sell the business, the Raxakouls took the plunge. It was a bit of a stretch—they didn’t really like cheese. Cheese is not a popular food anywhere in Asia. Pete says, “They were a little skeptical, but they start to like it. They even have their favorites now.” It’s a good thing, because the store carries more than 300 different kinds of cheeses, sometimes as many as 360. There are also deli meats, grains, spices, coffees, teas, baked goods, canned and packaged delicacies, big jars of pickled herrings and capers, and lots more—most of it at bargain prices. There are made-to-order sandwiches and smoothies for the lunch crowd. 

Pete does all the buying. He explains that “you just have to have a feeling for it, the way people eat, the way people change their habits of eating.” He waxes enthusiastic. “Berkeley eats everything. They do not discriminate in food, Berkeley loves to try new things. That’s what I love about Berkeley. It’s like, ‘wow, it’s new, I’m gonna try it!” He started expanding beyond cheeses when the Middle Eastern Market across the street burned down and went out of business. “A lot of customers suggested selling their products,” Pete says. “Customers brought me lists of products that they want and then one of the reps who used to deliver to their store suggested bringing in their stuff.” Now the store has shelves stocked with Middle Eastern foods. “Hummus is such a big thing in Berkeley!” he says. 

Besides providing variety and encouraging his customers to try new things, Pete has deeper principles. “We try to do more organics, more fair trade. We like to support small business because we are a smaller business and we want to keep that going.” He decries the big corporations that are buying up the small companies and lowering the quality and raising the prices of the foods they produce. He is determined to provide good quality at reasonable prices, recognizing that “a lot of elderly people come in on fixed incomes, retired, looking for bargains. ... We want to give the best.” And indeed, they do. 

?


Playing the Role By RON SULLIVAN Special to the Planet of Sunday Tour Guide

By RON SULLIVAN Special to the Planet
Friday August 20, 2004

One of the chief pleasures of living here is playing tour guide. Over the years I’ve lined up a few: The Food Tour (North Berkeley, the Farmer’s Markets when possible, Market Hall in Rockridge, whatever sort of restaurant they don’t have at home) and the Book Tour (Cody’s, Moe’s, Shakespeare, University Press, Pegasus, Black Oak, whatever specialty stores tickle their fancy) and the Architecture Tour (assorted Maybecks, Eugene Tsui’s “Fish House” (more aptly, “Tardigrade House,” officially “Ojo del Sol”) on Matthews Street). There’s even the Sex Tour: take them to Good Vibrations and then send them to North Beach or Castro, depending on their tastes. Sometimes I’ll stoop to the Tourist Tour, including Fisherman’s Wharf and the Alcatraz boat.  

When folks are here just for the weekend, I have it easy. We can sleep in on Sunday and then have brunch at Wat Mongkolratanaram (1911 Russell St.), the yellow houses with dragons just east of the Berkeley Tool Library which serve a Thai Buddhist congregation. It’s definitely a scene, and good eating too: home cookin’ and donated stuff from (and by) assorted community restaurants. Sometimes it’s a bit challenging; be nice to your tourists. Warn them about green papaya salad. As the Wat has just bought the community garden adjoining it, maybe there will be fresh homegrown exotic veggies and fruits, too. 

Then we waddle down MLK to the Berkeley Flea Market at Ashby BART parking lot, to walk off a few calories. This gets aerobic only if the drum guys inspire you to jump around and dance. Otherwise, the tricky part is keeping the group together, loosely enough to accommodate both used-book and Tibetan-jewelry cravings, but close enough so no one gets lost. 

After that, another short walk, east on Ashby to Wheeler Street, a couple of blocks past Shattuck on the left. At 3017 Wheeler is a house of a different collard, and a plant-savvy visitor will spot it fast: Our Own Stuff Gallery-Garden is the work of Marcia Donahue, Mark Bulwinkle, and Sara Floor. When Mark met Marcia, it was an aesthetic match made in… Well, you decide. Just follow the bowling balls ‘round the side of the house. The display fits into a little Berkeley backyard, but you’ll need lots of time to see it all. After all these years, this is still the damnedest garden I know.  

 


Sampling the Berkeley Bran Muffin Diet By MARTY SCHIFFENBAUER Special to the Planet

By MARTY SCHIFFENBAUER Special to the Planet
Friday August 20, 2004

So I was sitting at the café engaged in my daily matudinal session of pseudointellectual combat when, as it often will, the question arose: “Is there a God”? 

According to my habit in such colloquies, I swiftly and emphatically stood up for atheism. With a commensurate table thump, the group’s star semantic arguer N. (no, not Noam) hammered down his stake in the agnostic camp. Ordinarily, I would have depressed N. with a gloomy Schopenhauer quote; you know, the atheist guy immortalized by Ira Gershwin in these lyrics from the Broadway musical Pardon my English: 

Imagine all the lonely years I’ve wasted, 

Fishing for salmon, 

Losing at backgammon 

What joys untasted  

My nights were sour 

Spent with Schopenhauer 

However, fate played me a different tune, as I was suddenly overcome by a tidal wave of testosterone. Instead of channeling Schopenhauer, what pumped through my lips was Schwarzenegger. “You’re a girlie-man,” I exclaimed. “Agnostics are all girlie-men.”  

My ad hominem assault was sufficiently discombobulating to leave N. and the others at the table speechless. For this group a noiseless nanosecond is rare, so I was astounded my outburst had utterly terminated talk. The silence was deafening and I feared for my sensitive cochleas, already compromised during my military service. 

I knew I was in big, big trouble and paranoia paraded down the boulevards of my brain: “Had I become an Arnold clone baby? Had I, not unlike Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo, become a useful idiot for the Republican Party? Had Trotsky’s betrayal taught me nothing? Was I the Manchurian candidate, programmed to kill by Skull & Bones?” 

Then, not a moment too soon, The Saviour intervened. Well, actually, it wasn’t The Saviour, merely my savior. One of the café irregulars returned from the restroom and, oblivious to the tension at the table, casually inquired: “Anyone know where I can find a decent bran muffin?” 

Snatching my opportunity, quick as a brown fox, I replied: “Funny you should ask.” 

As luck would have it, I had devoted the prior month to researching the bran muffins of Berkeley. My intention in this endeavor was to create a Berkeley Bran Muffin Diet. Clearly, if South Beach, the Hamptons and Minsk have diets Berkeley must not remain a dietless town. And what a blow it would be to our fair city’s gastronomical reputation if we were unprepared for the inevitable Reality TV show, Dueling Diets. 

I proceeded to describe my diet system to the group, whose curiosity and attention were gratifying. Happily, my discourse on bran muffins entirely flushed out the memory of my earlier faux pas and my comrades did not excommunicate me after all. 

My guess is gentle readers of this fine newspaper would consider my bran muffin diet equally fascinating. And having just completed its formulation, I will unveil it publicly here for the first time. 

These are the three rules of the Berkeley Bran Muffin Diet: 

Rule No. 1: You’re only allowed to eat bran muffins, with beverages limited to water, black coffee and green tea. 

Rule No. 2 : You may eat as many bran muffins as you can stomach Monday to Saturday. There will be no calorie-counting in my diet. 

Rule No. 3: Sunday is a dark chocolate and red wine-only fast day. 

Some may be questioning whether a bran muffin-only diet is nutritionally adequate. 

OK, I’m no nutritionist, but think about it. Most bran muffins have raisins and walnuts, meaning you’ve got your fruit, protein and omega-3s covered. Plus, you’ll obviously be getting plenty of fiber. Additional nutrients you may require will surely be provided on Sunday, with the humongous health benefits of dark chocolate and red wine having been scientifically validated. But, hey, if you’re still worried take a multivitamin. 

In contrast to the typical complex and confusing diet regimen, the Berkeley Bran Muffin Diet is simplicity itself. Also, it’s vegetarian! Furthermore, I’ve devised a schedule under which you’d consume a bran muffin crafted by a different baker each of the six B.M. days. All the purveyors sell their muffins to go and, as an extra bonus, dieters following the schedule will have a chance to explore the unique attributes of Berkeley’s diverse neighborhoods. 

The schedule: 

Monday 

Semifreddis, 3084 Claremont Ave. 596-9942. Dark Carnival, one of Berkeley’s superb browsing bookstores, is a few shops away. Also nearby is the Star Grocery, which carries an excellent selection of premium chocolate bars for your Sunday fast. 

Tuesday 

Rick & Ann’s, 2922 Domingo Ave. 649-8538. Located across the way from the Claremont Hotel tennis courts. Fans might want to watch a couple of sets through the fence. 

Wednesday 

Fat Apple’s, 1346 Martin Luther King Way. 526-2260. Their own olallieberry jam is too tasty to pass up. We’ll let you cheat a little by spreading a small amount on your muffin. 

Thursday 

Westside Bakery Café, 2570 Ninth St. 845-4852. Nolo Press, the legal self-help publisher, has its outlet store across the street on Parker. It’s always prudent to update your estate plan before embarking on a new diet, so you’d be wise to check Nolo’s relevant guides. 

Friday 

Toot Sweets, 1277 Gilman St. 526-0610. The New Leaf sculpture gallery and the Westbrae Nursery across Gilman are both worth at least a short tour. 

Saturday 

The Cheese Board Collective, 1504 Shattuck Ave. 549-3183. Located in the center of the Gourmet Ghetto. For a cheap, vicarious thrill, carefully cross Shattuck and peruse the Chez Panisse menu posted out front. 

A word of caution: The Westside Bakery Cafe and Toot Sweets bran muffins are on steroids. 

Something to look forward to: Once the Berkeley Bran Muffin Diet has slimmed you to your target svelteness, you’ll be able to sample the other delicacies offered by the above establishments. 

A final note: You may be wondering which of the bran muffins listed gets the Gold Medal. But that is for the people to decide. Let them eat bran muffins and vote. For me, all bran muffins are fantastic! 


Cheese Board Bran Muffins

Friday August 20, 2004

Reprinted with permission from The Cheese Board Collective Works: Bread, Pastry, Cheese, Pizza by the Cheese Board Collective. Copyright 2003, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley. 

 

(This recipe produces bran muffins with a crusty top and a moist interior. The molasses, whole- wheat flour, and bran all make the batter a very dark color. Because of this, it is easy to be fooled into thinking that the muffins are through baking before they actually are. Before removing them from the oven, touch the tops gently; if they spring back, they are done.) 

 

Makes 12 muffins 

Preparation time including baking: 1 hour 

 

Ingredients 

2 eggs 

1 cup buttermilk 

1/3 cup vegetable oil (safflower or canola) 

3/4 cup dark molasses 

1/2 cup water 

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour 

3/4 cup whole-wheat flower 

1 teaspoon baking soda 

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 

1/2 cup wheat bran 

1/2 cup All-Bran cereal 

1/2 cup raw wheat germ 

3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts 

2/3 cup raisins 

 

Preparation for making by hand (book has mixer instructions, as well). 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter or spray the top and cups of a 12-cup muffin pan. 

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, buttermilk, oil, molasses and water: Whisk until blended. 

Sift the flours and baking soda together into a large bowl. 

Add the salt, wheat bran, bran cereal, wheat germ, walnuts and raisins to the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Make a well in the center and pour in the wet ingredients. With a few strokes of the spoon, gently combine, taking care not to overmix the batter. Let the batter rest for at least 15 minutes to allow the ingredients to soak and expand fully. 

Using an ice cream scoop or large soup spoon, fill the prepared muffin cups until the batter just peeks over the top of the pan. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until the muffins are dark brown and springy. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Unmold the muffins onto a wire rack to cool. 

 


Shopping for Special Stuff in Greater Berkeley By JOE EATON Special to the Planet

By JOE EATON Special to the Planet
Friday August 20, 2004

This town is full of establishments that sell things you never knew you needed. Here’s a personal selection. 

 

East Bay Vivarium  

1827 Fifth St., 841-1400 

Snake Central. The Vivarium has an astonishing variety of reptiles, amphibians, and arthropods: enormous pythons and monitor lizards, bizarre chameleons, jewel-like day geckos, giant cockroaches. They also sell cages and other equipment, reptile chow, and really cool T-shirts. A great place to browse, and you might just walk out with your own bearded dragon. 

 

The Spanish Table 

1814 San Pablo Ave., 548-1383 

More than just a food source, this local outpost of the Seattle flagship store is a tasty introduction to Spanish and Latin culture. The smoked paprika alone is worth the trip. But the Table also has lemon-stuffed olives and Serrano ham, paella pans the size of wading pools, a fine selection of Spanish and Portuguese wines (with some real bargains), cookbooks, CDs. 

 

The Bone Room 

1569 Solano Ave., 526-5252  

Maybe what your apartment needs is a skull, for that Georgia O’Keefe look. But not just your standard cow: walrus, perhaps, or giraffe. Proprietor Ron Cauble sells an eclectic array of animal parts—some replicas, some real. How about fossil ammonite dinnerware? Beetle-wing jewelry? A toadskin purse? Desktop dinosaur dung? 

 

Tokyo Fish Market 

1220 San Pablo Ave., 524-7243  

If it swims, it’s here—and it’ll be fresh. But beyond the sashimi makings, this is a mother lode of Japanese products. They’ve got natto, that acquired-taste fermented soybean delicacy, if you really want it. And if you’ve returned from Hawaii with a taste for island food, this is one of the few places I know that stock frozen poi and lau lau. 

 

Dark Carnival 

3086 Claremont Ave., 654-7323  

Calling this multilevel warren a bookstore doesn’t do it justice. It’s more like a parallel universe. Sure, there’s shelf after shelf of science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, and esoterica—Tolkien and LeGuin rubbbing elbows with Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse. But where else can you buy a plush Chthulu, or a Mr. Creosote action figure? 

 

Berkeley Bowl Marketplace 

2020 Oregon St., 843-6929  

The Mother Church of Fresh Produce, and a full-service supermarket to boot, with its own line of wines, condiments, and other goodies. The fruit and vegetable section is a revelation. Depending on the season, you can find ramps, jackfruit, sugar cane, strange gnarly edible roots, heirloom tomatoes, purple carrots. Much of the produce is organic. Carnivores will appreciate the meat and fish counters as well. 

 

Urban Ore 

Seventh Street and Ashby Avenue, 841-7283  

One man’s trash is another’s treasure. This Berkeley institution, a salvage yard like no other, is cheaper than Home Depot, and a lot more fun to explore. Unexpected wonders lurk among the window frames and kitchen sinks. 

 

Milan International 

990 University Ave., 843-9600  

Walk through this Indian emporium and inhale. Spices, chutneys, lentils, rice, cookware, and produce you rarely find anywhere else. This is my most reliable source for curry leaves, an essential for South Indian cooking. 

 

Mi Tierra Foods 

2096 San Pablo Ave., 540-6972  

The best place in Berkeley for Mexican and Latin American ingredients: queso fresco, chiles by the bushel, Puerto Rican recaito and sofrito, Peruvian papas secas and purple corn. There’s pan dulce, too, and for those days when you just feel like hitting something, a selection of pinatas. 

 

Down Home Music 

10341 San Pablo Ave., 525-2129  

It’s in neighboring El Cerrito, not Berkeley, but there’s no way I could leave this place out. From blues fiddle to Tuvan throat-singing, Sacred Harp gospel to Indonesian guitar, Down Home is your one-stop roots music store. Don’t miss the CD bargain bins and the vintage vinyl vault. There are also music DVDs and books.


International Jazz Pioneer Revisits California By IRA STEINGROOT Special to the Planet

By IRA STEINGROOT Special to the Planet
Friday August 20, 2004

Saxophonist John Tchicai’s life might be viewed as an example of ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny. Jazz was born in the United States when the descendants of African natives were confronted by the instruments and harmonies of European music. By brushing that music against the grain they found the blue notes between the well-tempered notes, the rhythmic swing that hovered uncertainly, mysteriously, doubtfully around the strict metrical structures. The Middle Passage was both disruptive and quickening so that “nothing of him that doth fade, but doth suffer a sea-change into something rich and strange.” 

Tchicai’s is that story in microcosm. His father left his native Congo for Europe, where he met and married a Danish woman, John’s mother. John was born in 1936 in Copenhagen and grew up in Denmark’s second city, Argus. He studied violin at the age of 10, switching to clarinet and alto sax at 16. Ten years later, he met American free jazz tenor saxophonist Archie Shep while appearing at festivals in Helsinki. He soon moved to New York and began working with Shep and trumpeter Don Cherry in a group they co-founded in 1963, the New York Contemporary Five. The following year he co-founded the New York Art Quartet, another key avant-garde ensemble, with trombonist Roswell Rudd and drummer Milford Graves. In the same year, he was a founding member of the Jazz Composers Guild along with such luminaries as Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, Carla Belie and Shep. 

These were heady times for jazz with new voices and new ideas erupting constantly, a media frenzy around the concept of free jazz and a torrent of fresh albums. Besides his records with Shepp, Cherry and Rudd, he also recorded with Carla Bley and Albert Ayler. All of this hectic activity led to his biggest break when John Coltrane invited him to participate in the recording of Ascension in 1965, a benchmark album featuring eleven players of the new music playing both free solos as well as free, energy-drenched ensembles. Tchicai, in company with such giants and future giants as Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, Jimmy Garrison, Shepp, Marion Brown, Freddie Hubbard and Pharaoh Sanders, acquitted himself brilliantly on this seminal album. 

The following year he returned to Denmark, and most jazz fans lost sight of him. Tchicai, though, is a survivor. He continued to work with and inspire other European musicians; taught in elementary schools, gave private lessons and master classes; performed around the world and recorded with such musicians as the South African bassist Johnny Dyani and Pierre Dørge’s Ellington-inspired New Jungle Orchestra. He also began to meditate, studying hatha yoga and pranayama. In the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, he began playing bamboo flutes, percussion, bass clarinet and especially soprano saxophone. By the early Eighties, the tenor sax became his main axe. 

Luckily for us Californians, he began to spend part of the year in the Davis area around 1991 teaching in schools and prisons, composing, recording and founding new ensembles. He was a California Artist-in-Residence in 1996-97 and in 1997 was awarded an NEA fellowship for composition. If you listen to his albums or catch him in live performance now, you may be surprised if you are expecting something like Ascension. Of course, his music is grounded in the concepts of freedom that came out of the early ‘60s, but there is always an informing mind that shapes and structures the music; a sense of variety in tempo, texture and mood; an ability to build dramatically; and a lyrical, even poetic tone that reflects his interest in other artistic disciplines. Like the great American creators of jazz, Tchicai has found that interior space in which to be free both within himself and within the music.  

 


Picturing Berkeley in Photographs and Words By STEVEN FINACOM Special to the Planet

By STEVEN FINACOM Special to the Planet
Friday August 20, 2004

Unlike iconic destinations such as San Francisco, New York or London where the shelves of bookstores and gift shops sag under the weight of tourist fare, Berkeley has been the subject of relatively few pictorial books. 

Thus, any offering about the Berkeley scene deserves to be greeted with optimism and offered a place on the still relatively slim “Berkeley gift book” shelf.  

The latest product, scheduled to arrive this month, is Berkeley: The Life and Spirit of a Remarkable Town, a handsomely printed soft cover book from Berkeley’s own North Atlantic Books/Frog Ltd., with photographs by Kiran Singh, text by Ellen Weis, and an introductory essay by Michael Chabon.  

Life and Spirit is organized around a series of geographical and topical chapters, photo essays really, profiling Berkeley neighborhoods, plus “Gardens, Paths, and Parks,” “Architecture” and “Cultural Life and Festivals.”  

The book will make a first public appearance, with slide show and talk by the authors, at the Easy Going Travel Shop and Bookstore at 7:30 pm. on Wednesday, Aug. 25. 

Easy Going puts on fine book events and I’d encourage you to go, take a look at the book, and consider purchasing a copy there. 

In part because of the paucity of books of this type about my adopted hometown, I would have loved to give Life and Spirit an enthusiastically positive review. But it falls short in some respects. 

I generally enjoyed the photographs. They provide what strength the book has.  

Kiran Singh has an eye for people and setting. He depicts locals and local scenery, from skaters at Iceland to skateboarders in West Berkeley, shoppers at the Farmer’s Market, coffeeistas at the French Hotel, Earth Day festivities, a cyclist on the new bridge to the Marina, exotic fauna at the East Bay Vivarium, dancers in the Greek Theatre.  

The book is more visually rich than the typical fare one might find on the tourism shelf, next to the postcards of the Campanile and Telegraph Avenue. 

If there’s any mild disappointment that attaches to the photographs, it has to do with the fact that while the front and back cover images imply broad, sweeping, visual splendor, Golden Gate sunsets and golden hills, most of the photographs are close-ups of people and buildings. 

Singh has an interesting way of dealing with the sky in his outdoor shots. It’s often either prominently blue, sometimes with wispy white clouds, or almost absent from a picture.  

It’s not a bad approach, but one could also wish for a more varied depiction of the local weather, a foggy day or three, a rainy street, or a skyline backed by storm clouds. 

The writing is a disappointment. The book contains a number of errors that detract from a publication that aspires to be polished.  

There are a few lamentable typographical or editing mistakes such as “Acquatic Park” and the architects “Blackwell and Brown” (it’s Bakewell). “Greek Theatre” is spelled two different ways on facing pages and “Malcom X” appears in a caption above a photograph that shows proper spelling of the school name. I’m told errors will be corrected in the second edition. 

Other mistakes imply, to me, either poor fact checking or background research that may have relied too heavily on other books, websites perhaps (which, in my experience, can be replete with errors and omissions), and newspaper articles or press releases rather than painstakingly complete primary research. 

The university has a College of Letters and Science, not a “College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.” There’s no “Martin Luther King Avenue” in Berkeley, and the essential “Jr.” is missing from most references to the civil rights leader. And where’s “Dwight-Derby Park,” with or without a Tuesday farmer’s market? 

A mural of a bear in Edwards Track Stadium was painted in the 1990s, not in 1933. The Zellerbach Playhouse is not “just to the west” in relation to downtown. The Free Speech Movement was not “in the late ‘60s.”  

The name of George Berkeley was not suggested for the town by “one of the founders of the University of California.” Bishop Berkeley’s famous “westward the course of empire...” observation is not his poem’s “first line.” 

The small historical “essays”—just a few paragraphs here and there—are too short to give much detail about their topics such as “The Free Speech Movement,” “Cooperatives and Collectives,” “Julia Morgan.”  

Perhaps it is unfair to be too critical of them, since a book like this is not intended to be a full-fledged local history and should not be evaluated by that standard. However, it is fair to say that some of the essays fall short of presenting an accurate summary of their topic.  

For example, the two paragraphs on the Berkeley waterfront don’t name the pivotal “Save the Bay” movement, and read as if preserving Berkeley’s waterfront from fill and development was a tranquil, almost inevitable, change of civic perspective, not a tenacious, decades-long confrontational struggle at the municipal level and beyond. 

The longest piece of text in the book is an essay (originally published in Gourmet magazine in 2002 and often reprinted) by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Berkeley resident Michael Chabon (Wonder Boys, The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay). 

Chabon has some nice turns of phrase and clever observations—this has come to be a much-quoted essay about Berkeley, and there’s much worth quoting—but the effect is somewhat soured by an attempt to confess Berkeley’s presumed faults on your, my, and his behalf. 

To paraphrase: Berkeley’s homeless can be brilliant but also crazy! Old factories sit empty in the flatlands because Berkeley insists they be preserved to await non-existent blue-collar jobs! People in the grocery store will “scold you for exposing your child to known allergens”! Berkeley is full of “neurotic geniuses and rapt madwomen!” And what about those wacky traffic barriers that don’t allow you to drive straight and fast across town!? 

These tend to be stereotypical commonplaces about Berkeley, some of them less than half true and not even half funny anymore because of their frequent repetition by less-talented commentators or, quite possibly, your own out-of-town friends or relatives.  

In my view, they undermine the rest of Chabon’s essay which is considerably, and often astutely, complimentary of the town, praising trees, houses, people, and places and saying, “I can’t imagine living happily anywhere else.”  

 

.


Worshipping at City’s Literary Shrines By JOE EATON Special to the Planet

By JOE EATON Special to the Planet
Friday August 20, 2004

San Francisco has Mark Twain; Oakland has Jack London. Berkeley has had its share of literary lights as well. Some—George R. Stewart, who memorably destroyed the town in Earth Abides; Robert Hass, Maxine Hong Kingston, Josephine Miles, Ishmael Reed—had, or have, university connections. The town has also been hospitable to Beat poets, speculative-fiction writers, and other non-Establishment types. Heyday Books has an entire anthology (Berkeley! A Literary Tribute) of fiction, poetry and memoir set in Berkeley, with contributors running the gamut from John Kenneth Galbraith to Thomas Pynchon. 

For most of what follows, I’m indebted to Don Herron’s The Literary World of San Francisco and its Environs (City Lights, 1985). 

Just after writing Howl in 1955, Allen Ginsberg moved from San Francisco to 1624 Milvia St. in Berkeley, now the site of a nondescript apartment building. Jack Kerouac described the cottage that once stood there in The Dharma Bums, as the home of poet “Alvah Goldbook.” Shopping for produce in Berkeley inspired Ginsberg to write “A Supermarket in California,” with its vision of Walt Whitman “poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys.” 

At 1943 Berkeley Way, now swallowed by an apartment complex, Kerouac first saw On the Road in print. Kerouac’s mother and the legendary Neal Cassady were there when he opened the package from Viking Press. Yes, Beat icons had mothers, and Jack Kerouac had a close, if troubled, relationship with his.  

1325 Arch St., in the hills north of campus, was the home of anthropologist Alfred Kroeber and his second wife, Theodora Kroeber, author of Ishi in Two Worlds. Their Bernard Maybeck-designed house is also the birthplace of their daughter, science fiction and fantasy writer Ursula K. LeGuin (The Left Hand of Darkness). 

Another genre fiction landmark is Greyhaven, in the first block of El Camino Real, where Marion Zimmer Bradley, creator of Darkover, presided over a communal sanctuary for fantasy writers. 

Anthony Boucher (real name William Anthony Parker White), a key figure in fantasy, science fiction, and mystery fiction as author and editor, lived in the tan stucco house at 2805 Ellsworth St., and later on Dana near Derby. It was Boucher who first introduced the work of Jorge Luis Borges to American readers, in a short story he translated for the unlikely venue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. 

Then there’s Philip K. Dick, dubbed “our own homegrown Borges” by LeGuin. Dick, who moved around a lot, was at 1126 Francisco St. for a while, in a frame house, now painted yellow, with a pine tree in front. Long before Blade Runner and Minority Report became hit movies, Dick—living hand to mouth—had to subsist on not-for-human-consumption frozen horsemeat from the Lucky Dog Pet Shop at 2154 San Pablo Ave. (several changes of ownership ago). There was talk at one point of creating a Lucky Dog Award for rising science fiction writers, but I don’t think this ever got off the ground.  

 

 

 

 

 

 


Local Youth’s Death Is City’s Third Murder in 4 Weeks: By MATTHEW ARTZ

Tuesday August 17, 2004

A youth was shot dead and witnesses said another was wounded in broad daylight Monday at the corner of Adeline and and Harmon streets, the third murder in South Berkeley in the past month. 

Berkeley Police spokesperson Joe Okies reported that a male died of multiple gunshot wounds shortly after 2 p.m., but would not confirm witness testimony that another male, also believed to be a teenager, was shot and rushed to Highland Hospital.  

Okies said police were searching for the gunman who he described only as a black male. He expected to receive more information on the murder from detectives as the investigation progresses. The county coroner’s office was not releasing the murder victim’s name when the Daily Planet went to press. 

Sam Dykes, an Adeline Street merchant, said he was looking out his window at around 2:15 p.m. and saw five youth gesticulating to each other on the northeastern corner of Adeline and Harmon when “one kid on a bike pulled out a 38 [caliber revolver] and used six shots.”  

The gunman fled on his bike south on Adeline, Dykes said, while two others fled on foot, one running north on Adeline and the other running east on Harmon. 

Racing to the murder scene, Dykes said both the boy lying dead beside a bicycle and the victim “scampering” around from a bullet wound that appeared to have struck the side of his stomach were teenagers. 

“They couldn’t have even started shaving yet,” he said. Dykes added he had seen both victims previously on Adeline. 

Monday’s murder comes just two weeks after Samuel Anderson, 64, was gunned down Sunday evening in his apartment at 1820 Alcatraz Ave. Two weeks prior, Mario “Tip-Toe” Jackson died after a gunman opened fire as he stood in the driveway adjacent to the 1317 Ashby Ave. apartment building where his grandmother lives. 

The murders—Berkeley’s first three of 2004—have refueled community concerns that a North Oakland-South Berkeley turf battle is heating up.  

“This stuff is always reactionary. It never ends,” said South Berkeley resident Rebecca Renfro who works on the corner of Adeline and Fairview and was among about two dozen onlookers at the murder scene. 

Last year Oakland and Berkeley police chalked up a series of shootings, including a daylight gunfire exchange at Sacramento Street and Ashby Avenue, to a battle between rival Berkeley and Oakland factions. 

Okies said it was too early in the investigations to draw any connection between the recent murders or to conclude that a cross-city battle has re-ignited. 

“No one has said anything to suggest there’s a turf war,” he said. 

With four and a half months left in the year murders are still down in Berkeley, where five murders were recorded in 2003, seven in 2002. The city’s death toll has now passed 2001’s single homicide..


Casinos, Malls and Politics Mix at East Bay Meetings: By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday August 17, 2004

In the realm of strange political bedfellows, pairing off a massive petroleum firm with a gaggle of environmental activists has to rank as one of the oddest couplings ever. 

But that’s precisely what’s happening in Richmond, where Chevron and four East Bay environmentalists shared a wind-swept podium on Point Orient on Saturday, when the petro producer rolled out its offer to buy the adjacent Point Molate. 

Also on hand, though not on the platform, was James Levine, the Berkeley developer who hopes to thwart the oil giant and erect an enormous four-hotel gambling resort and shopping center on the Richmond site.  

Neither Chevron nor Levine were in attendance 24 hours later when most of the same environmentalists addressed a standing room only crowd that filled the Albany Community Center Saturday for the second of two East Bay casino-related meetings held within a 27-hour stretch. 

The Albany session focused on another prime piece of East Bay waterfront, Golden Gate Fields, where Magna Corporation wants to erect its own gigantic shopping complex and hopes to install a 3,000-slot-machine “racino” should California voters approve measures on the November ballot. 

While only one political figure—Richmond City Councilmember Tom Butt—attended the Point Molate Session, the Albany meeting featured Assemblymember Loni Hancock along with five of that city’s six City Council candidates, with Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates and City Councilmember Kriss Worthington watching from the audience. 

The proposal for the big retail complex and casino just across from city limits is grounds for concern in a Berkeley where vacant storefronts line the main thoroughfares. 

Of the two issues, the struggle over the fate of the former Navy fuel depot on Point Molate promises to generate the most immediate heat. 

While representatives of the Sierra Club, Golden Gate Audubon Society, Save the Bay and Citizens for the East Bay State Park didn’t give formal endorsements to Chevron’s Point Molate proposal, they made no secret that they much preferred it to Levine’s grander schemes. 

Bob Doyle, assistant regional manager for the East Bay Regional Parks District, urged the city to give “due consideration” to Chevron’s proposal for the site. 

Robert Cheasty, a leader of Citizens for the Eastshore State Park, echoed Doyle’s plea, urging the city to adopt a course that would give Richmond “the kind of world class park this community deserves.” 

“Point Molate. . .should not be sold to a private developer without” adequate review, said the Sierra Club’s Norman LaForce, urging the city to “stop this fire sale of public land.” 

Arthur Feinstein of the Audubon Society urged the city “to step back and take a look” at both offers before approving the casino option. 

Rounding out the environmental slate was Berkeley’s Sylvia McLaughlin, who co-founded Save the Bay four decades ago. 

Chevron’s proposal calls for extending the Bay Trail hiking and biking path along the waterfront and the eventual transfer of most of the site to the East Bay Regional Park District for a shoreline park. 

“At the refinery, we call it a buffer,” said Dean O’Hair, external affairs manager for the Richmond refinery. “We want to keep the refinery secure as a vital part of the nation’s energy system in the West.” 

But for cash-strapped Richmond city officials, the Levine plan has to look a lot more interesting than Chevron’s. 

The reason: While Chevron promises $34 million over a couple of decades, Levine is dangling a carrot he says will give the city over $400 million in the same period. 

While Chevron’s proposal offers a $5 million down payment with the balance to be paid out over the years, Levine is offering a $30 million down payment, with another $20 million paid over 10 to 20 years.  

The Guidiville Rancheria band of Pomo Indians, selected to run the site, would also pay the city between $10 million to $20 million a year in lieu of taxes that would otherwise be lost to the municipality because the site would become sovereign tribal land. 

Levine’s Emeryville-based Upstream Investments has already shelled out $750,000 for exclusive negotiating rights on the parcel, and until those expire at the end of September, the Richmond City Council is legally barred from considering Chevron’s offer, said Councilmember Tom Butt after the press conference. 

Upstream plans to invest $500 million on the site itself, which would feature four hotels, a 200,000-square-foot casino in the old Winehaven winery, a Las Vegas-style showroom, a 300,000-square-foot retail mall with 85 stores and eateries, with promises of on-site jobs for 2,000 workers and 3,000 additional secondary jobs for workers in local businesses supplying the project. 

“We’ll be meeting with local churches to form linkages for hiring from within the community. They will be sending us people they believe will make good, reliable workers,” Levine said. 

Levine said his plans would include an extension of the Bay Trail through the property, and said construction would be limited to the 100 acres of the site which have already been developed. 

Levine’s is one of two casinos currently in the early stages of development for Richmond. The second proposal, sited on unincorporated land in North Richmond, calls for another 3,000-slot-machine gambling palace. 

Both developers have targeted their pitches to the city’s African American population, gaining considerable support by doing so. 

An avid fan of both projects who testified in favor of the North Richmond project at a Bureau of Indian Affairs-sponsored meeting on Aug. 4 offered pointed questions to Chevron’s representative at Friday’s press conference. 

“Once the city put out the property for development, why didn’t you step up?” he asked Chevron’s O’Hair. “I’m interested in people who don’t have access to the park, people who look like me.” 

Asked his name by a reporter after the meeting, he said, “My name in Mud, M-U-D. That’s all I mean to these people.” But at the meeting on the North Richmond casino, he identified himself as Ted Stevens. 

Also on hand for the press conference was Sallie Melendez, a lobbyist and public relations manager for Zell & Associates—which reportedly represents Levine’s project. In questions she posed to O’Hair, she managed to tout the casino project as a source of jobs for the city. 

The rival firm of Singer Associates, which staged the Point Molate gathering, also represents the North Richmond casino as well as the consortium planning to build a high density Richmond waterfront Campus Bay residential complex—which has drawn considerable heat from some of the same groups who shared the platform with Chevron Friday. 

Richmond Councilmember Butt said after the press conference that his biggest concern with Chevron’s proposal was its lack of specificity. 

He also faulted the company’s failure to respond when the city issued a request for plans for the site last year. “We got six credible proposals, but Chevron neglected to respond. We selected Upstream, and about the same time Chevron suggested ‘We might give you a couple of million.’ 

“Right now, all we have is a proposal to make a proposal.” 

The other potential monkey wrench in Levine’s plans was raised by O’Hair, who said “the Department of Homeland Security is concerned about large numbers of people having access to buffer areas near strategic facilities” and suggested that casinos were a particular cause for concern. 

Levine—who has retained former Clinton administration Secretary of Defense Richard Cohen to assist with the project—said “DHS has indicated it’s not their intent to impose a buffer.” 

But with a White House known for inseparable ties with the oil industry, the question remains open. 

The big variable in Albany is the November ballot, which will determine whether or not the state allows “racinos,” as the gambling trade dubs race tracks with slot machines on site. 

While early polling shows California voters strongly opposed to the notion of track casinos, the fate of an 800,000-square-foot waterfront mega-mall proposal for a little used race track on the site may ultimately hinge on the vote of Albany residents. 

Magna Entertainment Corp., the Canadian firm which owns the racing concessions at tracks across the country, including Golden Gate and Bay Meadows in Northern California and Santa Anita in Southern California, operates its own racino division and would be ready to jump if California voters approved Proposition 68 in November. 

That measure offers Indian casinos a simple choice: either all 53 gambling tribes agree to pay 2.5 percent of their casino revenues to the state or race tracks and card rooms would be allowed to install a total of 30,000 slot machines statewide. 

As the operator of three major tracks, Magna would be one of the biggest beneficiaries. 

“Given the number of proposals for enacting gambling, we could become the most heavily impacted region in the West other than Las Vegas,” Loni Hancock told the Albany gathering Saturday. “This is probably not a place we want to go.” 

The good news for Albany, she said, “is that the race track is a private entity, not a sovereign nation,” as are the tribes developing the other three casinos in the immediate area, two in Richmond and one in San Pablo. 

Hancock also expressed concern that the shopping malls planned for Point Molate and Gold Gate Fields “could do great damage” to merchants along Solano Avenue and Fourth Street in Berkeley. “I was sorry to hear that we have impact already from the El Cerrito Mall,” she said. 

Robert Cheasty opened Saturday’s packed meeting in the Community Center with a Power Point presentation of alternatives for the site. Then the Sierra Club’s Norman LaForce floated the organization’s own plans for the race track site, contrasting Magna’s proposal with the club’s proposal for a much smaller 325,000-square-foot hotel and shopping area—which would also include ball fields at the base of Gilman Street. 

The race track complex was notably absent from the rendering that flashed on the screen, replaced by restored marshland. 

James Carter, executive director of the Albany Chamber of Commerce, said both he and the chamber’s president are opposed to the mall, and said he expects the chamber will vote formal opposition at its meeting Wednesday. 

“There’s already too many malls, and they hurt small businesses,” he said. 

Five of the six candidates running for City Council seats in November appeared near the end of the session, when they were asked to state their positions on the Sierra Club proposal. 

While Richard Cross, Farid Javandel, Robert Lieber and Brian Parker all offered endorsements of the plan, Alan Riffer charged that the plan included development on wetlands, “and I find it hard to believe that even with the Bush administration the Army Corps of Engineers would approve it.” 

LaForce vigorously denied Riffer’s claim. 

After the meeting ended, Riffer said he remained open to the Magna plan. “We’ve got to think about what’s best for Albany and the region,” he said. “Fortunately, the final decision will be up to the city.” 

The missing candidate, Jewel Okawashi, is favorably disposed to Magna’s plan, Parker said.›


Green Council Candidate Courts Left-Out Voters: By MATTHEW ARTZ

Tuesday August 17, 2004

Here’s how one city councilmember described her fellow Green Party member running in the District 5 council race. 

“He’s so much more than a punk rocker. He’s kind of like a John Kennedy.” 

Now Councilmember Dona Spring never knew Jack Kennedy. She never served with Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy wasn’t her friend. So how can she talk about Jesse Blackman Townley, 33, in the same breath as JFK? 

“He’s kind of got that hope of the future,” she said. “He’s energetic and very civic minded. It’s wonderful that Berkeley is getting a new generation of leaders to emerge.” 

A visit to Townley’s home on Sunday, where the candidate hosted Green Party supporters, conjured up instead images of the only man younger than JFK to preside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the bi g game hunter Teddy Roosevelt.  

Mounted on the walls and sprawled on shelves are the heads of deer, moose and even a jackalope, all courtesy of Townley’s wife, Jane, an aspiring taxidermist. Townley, a vegetarian and punk rock singer, takes responsibility only for the collection of over a thousand records in their living room. 

Rhetorically Townley evokes a more contemporary commander-in-chief. He says he’s a “pragmatic progressive” and a uniter, not a divider. 

“I’m interested in working with people to find realistic solutions to the city’s problems,” he said. 

While he remains true to the Green Party’s support of ecological innovation and rent control, many of the positions Townley laid out in an interview Sunday were decidedly middle of the road. 

H e favored new housing development on transit corridors, but he ridiculed some buildings for towering over adjacent neighborhoods and chastised the city for backroom planning that keeps neighbors in the dark on new projects. 

“A lot of people would be fine with many of these developments if they knew about it at a reasonable time,” he said. 

Although he favors installing bike lanes on Shattuck and University avenues, he opposes the further loss of downtown parking spaces. “We can’t ignore the people who ca n’t ride bicycles and we can’t keep building assuming that public transportation is going to fill the gaps,” he said. 

On an issue of particular concern to District 5 voters, Townley wants a grand coalition to review the city’s creek ordinance and he call ed on the council to suspend one section which he says would prohibit home owners living beside a culverted creek from rebuilding their homes after a natural disaster. 

And even though he hasn’t taken a position on the city’s four tax hike measures on the November ballot, Townley, a renter, said the city can’t look just to homeowners to raise needed revenue. 

How his carefully calibrated positions play in homeowner-heavy District 5 remains to be seen. The district, which covers the lower section of the North Berkeley hills from Vine Street to the Upper Solano Avenue shopping district, has traditionally voted for mainstream Democratic candidates. 

Endorsements from Councilmember Spring and other Greens, including School Board President John Selawsky and former San Francisco mayoral candidate Matt Gonzalez might not prove persuasive in a district that sent former mayor Shirley Dean to the City Council four times and in 2000 backed Miriam Hawley, who isn’t seeking reelection. 

Conventional wisdom has Townley placing third behind his older and more established competitors, Laurie Capitelli, a Zoning Adjustment Board Commissioner and Barbara Gilbert, a former aide to Shirley Dean. Capitelli has already netted $13,000 in contributions, roughly double Townley’s tally. 

Capitelli, endorsed by Mayor Tom Bates, councilmembers Linda Maio, Gordon Wozniak and Hawley, Planning Commissioners Harry Pollack, David Stoloff and Tim Perry and Landmark Preservation Commission member Carrie Olson, has secured the backing of a substantial part of Berkeley’s political establishment, both “moderates” and “progressives.” Gilbert expects to draw support from neighborhood groups. So who comprises Townley’s base? 

“Everybody else,” he answered.  

After 15 years of service to the local indie music scene, he hopes to attract younger residents into Berkeley politics while still appealing to the rank-and-file voter. His landlord was among his supporters at a Sunday gathering. 

“I’m very much in touch with different parts of society n ot being represented,” he said. 

Although Townley might be the alternative choice in District 5, his story is quintessentially Berkeley, with a punk twist.  

Raised in Philadelphia, Townley moved to Berkeley at age 18 to join its activist and emerging punk rock scenes. If elected, he may well be the only councilmember who has performed at the Warfield in San Francisco, where last year his band, The Frisk, opened for punk rock icons Rancid. 

A trained emergency medical technician, Townley drove a paratransit vehicle for years and worked his way up to executive director of Easy Does It, a paratransit nonprofit that employs 30 people.  

Townley now works for Alternative Tentacles, a progressive record label and still sits on the executive boards of Easy Does It and 924 Gilman, a punk club that caters to teenagers and doesn’t serve alcohol. 

It was in his capacity as secretary of the punk club that Townley determined the City Council needed someone of his ilk.  

In 1999 police inexplicably started cracking down on the club. For six months, Townley said he and other club leaders weren’t told why they were suddenly being policed so rigidly, until finally they learned a neighboring company, DiCon Fiberoptics, had complained to the city’s Office of Eco nomic Development. 

The club contacted DiCon and settled the matter, but the experience left its mark on Townley. 

“It was clear that some people in the city had no conception of who we were or the services we provided. Someone had to step up and fill tha t gap,” he said.  

Townley promised to quit his other pursuits if elected to the City Council, but if the vote doesn’t break his way, he will remain actively involved for years to come. 

“My goal in life isn’t to be on the City Council,” he said. “My goal is to serve my community.” 

 

 


Green Presidential Candidate Makes Pitch for Local Votes: By MATTHEW ARTZ

Tuesday August 17, 2004

Making a weekend campaign stop in Berkeley, Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb asked party faithful not to judge him on his showing in November. 

“Our goal this election is to nurture the Green Party at the local level and build capacity,” he told roughly 15 supporters at the home of Jesse Townley, a Green Party candidate for Berkeley City Council. Earlier in the day he addressed a few dozen supporters at a fundraiser at Berkeley’s Cafe de la Paz. 

Berkeley should be the poster child for Cobb’s pitch. Berkeley Greens, already outnumber Republicans, number more than 4,800 (nearly seven percent of registered voters), and boast five elected representatives, including City Councilmember Dona Spring, School Board President John Selawsky and Rent Board commissioners Howard Chong, Chris Kavanagh and Selma Spector. 

But if 2004 is the year to bolster the ranks of Green officeholders, other cities are going to have to pick up Berkeley’s slack. 

Besides Townley, only Selawsky, who is seeking reelection, is running as an active member of the local Green Party. District 3 candidate Jeffrey Benefiel has told party leaders that he’s a registered Green, but they haven’t had prior contact with him. 

In 2002, the Greens ran five candidates in city elections and the only one to lose, L. A. Wood, was defeated by Spring. 

“There is disappointment that we aren’t running many candidates,” Commissioner Chong said in a Monday interview. “A lot of people active in the Green Party don’t seem interested in holding political office.”  

“This was a difficult year to recruit,” said Bob Marsh, treasurer of the Alameda County Green Party. “It’s not easy to find someone to run for City Council in particular.” 

Spring, however, wasn’t bothered by the lack of candidates this year. 

“People’s politics are more important than their party,” she said. “Ultimately you have to base your support on a record of experience. 

Spring is backing Democrat Max Anderson over Benefiel in District 3. Her willingness to cross party lines is typical of local Greens. Chong, who two years ago helped persuade Mayor Tom Bates, a Democrat, to run for office, has not yet endorsed Townley. Selawsky has signed the ballot argument opposing a citywide measure to decriminalize prostitution, which the Green Party has officially endorsed. 

Lack of party discipline is rooted in the Greens’ political culture, Chong said. “People are passionate and work on whatever they feel like so it’s hard to keep them under control.” 

For Berkeley Greens, perhaps more important than any local candidate this November is a ballot measure to publicly finance city campaigns. If Berkeley voters pass the proposal and Alameda County allows for instant runoff voting, approved by Berkeley voters in March, party leaders hope it will build momentum to initiate the reforms statewide. 

“That would really level the playing field,” Selawsky said. “In Berkeley we can run candidates and win elections. On the state and national levels, that’s another story.” 

Cobb has no delusions of leading the Greens to victory in 2004. As he tours the country, he’s urging party members in swing states to vote Green locally, but giving them carte blanche to support John Kerry for president. 

However he said that California, where polls show Kerry ahead by a comfortable margin, is a different story. 

“Any [California Green] who votes for Kerry is wasting his vote,” Cobb told supporters. He labeled Kerry “a corporatist military sellout,” but added he was far preferable to President Bush. 

Cobb, a 1993 graduate of the University of Houston Law School, quit his law practice in 2000 to manage Ralph Nader’s presidential campaign in Texas. He has since moved to Humboldt County and in June won the Green Party nomination after Nader announced he would not represent the party in 2004. 

Aside from strengthening the Green Party base, Cobb has also struggled to emerge from his former boss’s formidable shadow.  

He said he encounters many Greens at rallies who announce their intention to vote for the former Green standard bearer, but argued he was assuming Nader’s legacy of creating a viable alternative to the two major parties. 

“Ralph will do what he will, but the Green Party will continue to build on Nov. 3,” Cobb said.›


Pro-Tenant Candidates Dominate Rent Board Field: By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Tuesday August 17, 2004

Last June, Berkeley Property Owners Association President Michael Wilson said emphatically that his group did not plan on running a pro-landlord slate for the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board in this November’s election. 

True to Wilson’s word, no pro-landlord candidate filed by last Wednesday’s extended deadline for four seats up for grabs in the nine-member board, ensuring that the Rent Board will continue the tenant/progressive leaning that has been present for the past six years. 

Instead, the filings were dominated by a slate of four candidates—Eleanor Walden, Jason Overman, Jesse Arreguin, and Jack Harrison—nominated by an informal gathering of progressives last June. There is also one additional non-slate candidate—a Boalt Hall law student—who wants to establish better relations between landlords and tenants. 

In addition to administering and evaluating Berkeley’s residential rent-related programs, the Rent Stabilization Board sets rent ceilings, makes rent adjustments, conducts administrative hearings, and issues rules and regulations regarding residential rent in the city. 

Retired patient health advocate Eleanor Walden, an Alameda County Peace and Freedom Party Central Committee member, is running for re-election. She was elected by the Rent Board members last February to complete the term of Commissioner Matthew Siegel. Stating that “decent housing should be a right, just as health care and education should be a right,” Walden says that “Berkeley has tried to live up to those values, but we run a hard race against corporate landlords and subservient politicians.” She promised to “enforce and expand our city’s protections against illegal evictions and unreasonable rent increases.” 

Jason Overman, director of Associated Students of the University of California Tenants’ Rights, calls high rents the cause of a continuing “housing crisis” in Berkeley. He called rent control “the most effective affordable housing program in history [which is] needed now more than ever” and pledged to expand affordable housing “not as [a] passive legislator, but as [an] engaged civic activist working to empower the disenfranchised.” 

Berkeley Housing Commissioner Jesse Arreguin also cited rent control as essential in Berkeley, and called “unjust evictions” and tenants being “forced into unlivable housing and fac[ing] problems such as mold, lack of proper heating and ventilation and roof leaks” as significant problems in the city. He said “strengthen[ing] tenants rights” was a key element of his platform. 

Labor attorney Jack Harrison says he “know[s] first hand how difficult it is for people who have reduced means due to disability to secure decent, safe, affordable and accessible places to live,” and says that additional residential rental problems have surfaced recently in Berkeley “in light of what the state has imposed on us in eliminating rent control on single family homes and imposing vacancy rent decontrol.” He called for support for “tenant’s rights to replace roommates and Section 8 tenants to be able to live in Berkeley.” 

UC law student Seth Morris, the lone non-affiliated candidate in the Rent Board race, said affordable housing was an important element in his campaign, with “reasonable rent ceilings and well-managed rent control.” Morris also said he wanted to “unify the rental community with a progressive educational campaign aimed at expanding access to its services through clinics, weekend workshops, and evening office hours.” Among other notables, Morris lists Councilmembers Gordon Wozniak and Betty Olds, once a pro-landlord rent board member herself, as references in his nomination papers.


Poet, Teacher Czeslaw Milosz Dies in Poland: By PEGGY SIMPSON

Special to the Planet
Tuesday August 17, 2004

Czeslaw Milosz, in his 1953 groundbreaking book The Captive Mind, spelled out the many subtle and insidious mind-control methods he said Soviet communists used to attempt to dominate countries handed over to Josef Stalin after World War II.  

In so doing, he helped ensure the ultimate liberation of his native Lithuania and his second home country, Poland. In Poland, his books provided almost a laundry list of pitfalls to avoid for Poles who had survived five years of Nazi terror only to be held captive i n a different but alien way by the “liberators” from Josef Stalin.  

Milosz died Saturday at his home in Krakow at the age of 93. Since 1960, he had taught at the University of California at Berkeley. He retired in 1978 at the age of 67 but continued to teach. When he received the 1980 Nobel Prize for literature in 1980, he cut short celebrations to teach his undergraduate course on Dostoevsky. 

In some Eastern European countries controlled by the Soviets, the totalitarian techniques of control described by Milosz took root. That was not the case in Poland. Nikita Khrushchev despaired of making Poland an obedient communist province, saying it was as unlikely as saddling a cow.  

Milosz came of age in a sophisticated, multi-cultural Vilnius, Lithuania, whi ch when he was born was part of Tsarist Russia along with Poland, Latvia and Estonia. By World War One, Lithuania was partly absorbed into a newly reconstituted free Poland. He studied law, continued his studies in Paris and before the Nazis invaded Polan d in 1939 he had published two volumes of avant-garde verse and translated French poetry into Polish. He wrote for the Polish underground publications for the five years the Nazis occupied Poland. 

Afterward, he stayed put rather than emigrating and had a n inside look at state socialism. He gave it a try himself, as a self-described leftist with no strong political affinities but a dislike of “the right-wing groups whose platform consisted chiefly of anti-Semitism.” He said later that he had felt that “only men true to a socialist program would be capable of abolishing the injustices of the past and rebuilding the economy of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.” 

From 1945 until 1951, he was a freelance writer in Poland, a cultural attaché at the Polish embassy first in Washington and later in Paris. And then he bolted, admitting defeat in his attempts to maintain some semblance of freedom of thought within state socialism. It was, he recalled in a 1981 post-Nobel Prize updated version of Captive Mind, “a revolt of the stomach.”  

He set to work on exposes of Stalin’s totalitarianism. In the 1981 update of Captive Mind, after winning the Nobel Prize, Milosz reflected on how his concerns got short shrift from French intellectuals who “resented thei r country’s dependence upon American help and placed their hopes in a new world in the East, ruled by a leader of incomparable wisdom and virtue—Stalin.” He said he and Albert Camus, another critic of Stalin, were vilified and ostracized and his book when published “displeased practically everybody.”  

Captive Mind and a thinly disguised novel about the co-option of intellectuals by the Soviet Communists, The Seizure of Power, became underground best sellers behind the Iron Curtain, however. They provided case studies of what was happening and gave sustenance to dissidents. 

The Nobel judges honored Milosz as Polish dissidents were making a key move. In 1980, Gdansk shipyard electrician Lech Walesa was leading a Solidarity workers’ strike against the Comm unist rulers of Poland. After Walesa won concessions from the central government to establish a free union movement at the shipyard, half of the adult population rushed to join hastily organized Solidarity chapters at workforces across the country, including in universities and hospitals and government offices.  

With Soviet troops gathering on the border, the Polish Communist prime minister declared martial law and outlawed Solidarity. By 1989, however, with the country in economic collapse, talks began between the Polish communists and Walesa, leading to the first partly free elections in mid-1989 which were overwhelmingly won by Solidarity and led to a peaceful turnover of power to the Solidarity activists. Walesa later won his own Nobel Prize and serv ed a controversial five-year stint as president. 

A Gdansk monument to Solidarity today heralds three key figures in Poland’s revolution: Milosz, Walesa and Pope John Paul II. Milosz was a towering presence in Poland in its first decade of freedom. He nev er took any formal political role but while commuting there from Berkeley he regularly made time for formal and informal meetings with students and professors both in Krakow and in Warsaw.  

He did write bluntly about Poland’s chaotic politics, however, i ncluding articles in U.S. political - literary outlets warning against too much religion in politics at the time when the religious right wing of the Catholic Church pushed for a dominant role in ruling Poland. He also remained outspoken about anti-Semiti sm, including in poetry readings and speeches at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. 

And he kept on writing poetry. His latest poems would be published in the national Catholic newspaper based in Krakow, Tygodnik Powszechny. For 20 years, until a ye ar ago, he and UC Berkeley professor Robert Hass would meet every Monday morning to translate the poems into English. 

“He was one of the towering poets of the 20th century,” Hass said. 

 

Peggy Simpson spent 10 years as a freelance reporter based in Polan d, covering democracy and economic transition. 


Friends, Family Remember The Dashing Dr. Lipscomb: By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Tuesday August 17, 2004

Some 200 friends and relatives gathered on Sunday afternoon in the auditorium of the International House to commemorate Dr. Wendell Lipscomb, the 84-year-old Berkeley native and African-American physician and former Tuskegee Airmen flight instructor who died last May in a downtown Berkeley automobile accident. 

The memorial ended with a slideshow of photographs from various points in Dr. Lipscomb’s life. There were World War II era images of a handsome, dashing young man in a flight suit, snapshots from various world travels, and one memorable image in a near-legendary green Jaguar XKE that Lipscomb drove at more-than-legendary speeds, the familiar sight of which brought sighs and murmurs of recognition from the crowd. The slideshow flickered past to the taped accompaniment of Dr. Lipscomb himself, singing “Jacob’s Ladder,” “Shenandoah,” and songs in Italian and French in a clear voice while he strummed the melody on a guitar. 

But the highlight of the afternoon was the brief testimonies by several speakers—a few of them who claimed Lipscomb as either their surrogate father or actual stepfather. What emerged was the portrait of an earthy, multifaceted man, a “glorious human being” whose enormous love of people and “enormous appetite for knowledge and experience” left lasting impressions on everyone he came in contact with. 

“He never let the racial thing get him down-I never did figure that out about him,” said Emmett Rice, a longtime friend who knew Lipscomb at Tuskegee during World War II as well as when both of them lived at the International House in the late ‘40s. “I carry those [racial] scars around with me to this day. Almost all of us did. But Wendell didn’t. That was the remarkable thing about him. He always focused on ways around the obstacles—not on the obstacles themselves.” 

Kathryn Raphael, Lipscomb’s step-daughter through his marriage to his second wife, Ellen Gunther, recalled the tragedy that ensued when Lipscomb contracted throat cancer and could no longer sing. “I remember—before that—how he had this incredible voice,” Raphael said. “He played the guitar, and later, the mandolin. At Christmastime he sang Handel’s Messiah-he would go out caroling with groups of singers.” 

Others recalled Lipscomb as a fixture at dining room tables around Berkeley—so welcome a guest in his later years in several households that he could let himself in and help himself to food at the refrigerator, entertain everyone with some new song he had heard or new skill he had learned, then nap at the table while the talk ranged around him. 

“Sometimes—with his eyes still closed—he’d make a witty comment when the conversation took a turn that was interesting for him,” said John Hanscom, who spoke with a brown Eeyore doll plopped in front of him—a long-treasured gift, he said, from his “Uncle Lippy” while Hanscom was an infant. 

Craig Woolridge, who described himself as Lipscomb’s godson, also mentioned Lipscomb’s throat cancer as a defining memory of the doctor’s spirit. “He was diagnosed 10 years ago with a less than favorable outcome,” Woolridge said. “But he had more things to explore, and he’d be damned if a death sentence would get in his way.” 

Another surrogate son, Chris Lawrence, talked of a harrowing ride across Alameda at speeds approaching 160 mph in Lipscomb’s Jaguar, which he described as “12 cylinders rolled up in a rocket. The steering wheel was just a formality. We entered a state of calmness that heretofore I could never imagine. Wendell seemed perfectly natural in this state. He was not constrained by gravity. He looked to the horizon as if he were thinking that if we had enough takeoff room, he could just continue on up. It was all about up with Wendell.” 

International House Executive Director Joe Lurie, who became close to Lipscomb during the years the doctor served on the I-House board of directors, described Lipscomb as “the master of saying things in a short way that had enormous meaning. I asked him one time how it was living at the I-House in the ‘40s, and he told me of an East Indian man he met there. The man had recently come to the United States, and hadn’t met any African-Americans before. And one day, Wendell said this man turned to him and said, ‘I didn’t know.’ That was Wendell’s way of saying that this East Indian man had never heard of African-Americans who studied medicine or spoke multiple languages… And that was Wendell’s life. Changing people’s perceptions-turning incidents of ‘I didn’t know’ to ‘now I know.’”


How to Garner an Invitation With the Scrabblettes: From Susan Parker

Tuesday August 17, 2004

“How did you hook up with the Scrabblettes?” asked my friend Laura. She had just given each of the ‘Lettes a large bag of personal hygiene products. Laura’s husband, Rob, works for a consumer products company. Her Walnut Creek garage is filled with boxes of free samples. The Scrabblettes were so delighted with their bags of goodies that they threatened to rent a U-Haul, back it into Laura’s driveway, and fill it with more free stuff. Laura had instantly become their friend.  

“One of the Scrabblettes sent me a kind e-mail,” I said. “Then she wrote to the newspaper and defended my character against critics who said I was insensitive, racist and clueless. She purposely left out a defense against the clueless criticism because she feels I need to work on that aspect of my personality.”  

“Well,” said Laura, “I’d love to have friends like them. I mean, I do have friends, just not any that will set me straight.”  

“If you want to be set straight, Laura, all you have to do is join the Scrabblettes for an afternoon game of Scrabble.” 

Laura took up my offer. One day when Bipsy was out of town participating in an Elder Hostel program, Laura filled in as a substitute. But it turned out that Laura was not such a hot Scrabble player. She used words that started with the letter S, she but didn’t utilize them in conjunction with making an intersecting word plural. She squandered her blanks, and she didn’t know any helpful words like xi (the fourteenth letter in the Greek alphabet), or zo, (another word for zoo). The Scrabblettes have memorized every obscure two- and three- letter word in the dictionary. Clever two-letter word usage garners great respect among the ‘Lettes.  

But Laura made up for her lack of Scrabble expertise by being enthusiastic, and by passing out large tubes of hand cream and toothpaste during the second game. “You can come anytime,” said Rose. “I could especially use some more of that face scrub.” 

I was worried about first impressions three years ago when I was invited to play with the Scrabblettes. I called my friend Corrie for advice. “What should I do?” I asked.  

“Do you want to be invited back?” quizzed Corrie.  

“Yes,” I said. “At least I think I want to be invited back. It depends on how badly they beat me.”  

“Do you know how many games you’re going to play?” she asked.  

“Two,” I answered. “Lunch first, dessert during the first game, coffee during the second.” 

“Look,” said Corrie, thinking quickly. “You need to come in last in the first game, so they don’t feel threatened. But then you need to do better than last place in the second game so that they don’t think they’re wasting time playing with you.” Corrie paused for a moment. “Don’t come in first,” she added. “Aim for second place.” 

“Sounds like a plan,” I said.  

“And another thing,” added Corrie. “You need to take them something good to eat. Never underestimate the power of food when it comes to board games. Bring something elegant, thoughtful and sweet, but not too sweet. Too many calories and they’ll suspect you’re up to no good. But not too sour or you’ll leave a bad taste in their mouths. I’m guessing that the Scrabblettes are not short on taste buds or memory cells.” 

“Okay,” I said.  

“Report back to me after the games,” instructed Corrie. “I want to know how you made out.’ 

The following day I went to Louise’s West Berkeley home, an old, graceful, two-story house with a hot tub and a large, beautiful garden in the sunny backyard. I had no trouble losing the first game. But it was a real effort to finish second in the next. I called Corrie when I got home.  

“I did what you said,” I shouted. “And they’ve invited me back!”  

“Good,” said Corrie. “Now see what you can do about getting me invited next time.” ›


Letters to the Editor

Tuesday August 17, 2004

SNEAKY LEGISLATION? 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

Terry Cochrell (Letters, Daily Planet, Aug. 13-16), attempting to cast Maudelle Shirek’s failure to submit enough signatures to appear on the ballot in a sinister light, describes the change in nomination procedures for City Council races as “sneaky legislation.” 

On Nov. 11, 2003, Ms. Shirek voted with the City Council majority to place Measure J on the March 2004 primary ballot. The summary that appeared on the ballot began, “Shall the Charter of the City of Berkeley be amended to require that candidates for council office be nominated by voters registered in the applicable council district ...” and 62 percent of Berkeley voters said “yes.” Can legislation get less sneaky than that? 

Robert Lauriston 

 

• 

GENTRIFIED 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

I hate to sound like William Safire, but Jaqueline DeBose misuses the language with her phrases “gentrified left wing conspiracy” and “the gentrified left” (“Signature Snafu Knocks Councilmember Shirek Off November Ballot,” Daily Planet, Aug. 10-12). Since gentry refers to a class of people, in the current and local context home owners, the adjective “gentrified” refers to places impacted, changed, or improved by the gentry such as streets and neighborhoods. A conspiracy cannot be gentrified, nor can the left and its wing. “Berkeley’s left-wing gentry” would be the proper term, and not one of abuse, we would hope. 

Toni Mester 

 

• 

WILLARD GARDEN 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

The Berkeley Unified School District has hired contractors to do work in the beautiful flower beds of Willard. The work was to be on the edges of the garden, but the contractor is using a large John Deere tractor, driving around in the garden beds, killing all the flowers and plants in its way, pulling out plants. The tractor is driving across the roots of trees, imperiling the survivial of the trees. The heavy tractor is compacting the soil—which has taken 12 years to build. Another week of this and the garden will be destroyed. Half of it has already been reduced to bare dirt and dust. And sadly, it’s our tax dollars which is being spent to do this. 

The north plot is basically emptied out. There’s a row of roses in the front, and a few trees, but it’s barren behind it all. Stop by and look—it’s horrible. 

Please call and ask BUSD to stop this destruction. Ask them to get that tractor out of the garden! 

Yolanda Huang  

 

• 

INVASIVE PESTS 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

I would like to expand briefly on a comment made by Professors Gutierrez and Altieri (“Reflections on Berkeley-Novartis Report,” Daily Planet, Aug.10-12). Invasive pest species cause hundreds of millions in losses in California alone. It turns out that over 100 exotic species enter the United States each year. Many fail to establish, but at least three or four find suitable homes and multiply to pest levels—many serious. (Take weeds for example: Approximately one-half of the major weeds in the U.S. were introduced from other lands.)  

This ongoing influx of foreign pests would be formidable if it weren’t for the fact that most have co-evolved natural enemies that hold them in balance in their native areas. Biological control practitioners search out these natural enemies, test them for safety of release, and then place them in areas where their hosts have become pests. This is a familiar story to many of your readers, but often overlooked is the fact that nature provides this pest control service free. This is the type of public service that UC Berkeley excelled at its Gill Tract location (corner, Marin and San Pablo Avenues) from the mid 1940’s until recent years. The balance sheet on these efforts is measured annually in multi-millions of dollars in pest control savings to the California public both directly (farmers) and indirectly (less pesticide pollution). Although these organisms are not be sold for profit, they enhance California’s bottom line. 

As you might guess, these natural enemies are a key element in integrated pest management efforts, so critical to the sustainable food production programs we hear so much about.  

Lloyd Andres 

 

 

• 

POLICE BLOTTER 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

Apparently readers who find the Police Blotter insensitive have one point, Richard Brenneman sometimes makes light of serious street crime. Maybe he will take a hint from one of the finest editors working in the U.S. today, Kevin L. Hoover of the Arcata Eye, who writes the police log with his sensitivities intact. 

Hank Chapot 

 


Quiet Censorship: By Gray Brechin

Commentary
Tuesday August 17, 2004

Editors, Daily Planet: 

Thank you for publishing Sarah Norr’s excellent article on the San Francisco Chronicle’s quiet purge of its liberal staffers, most recently demoting letters page editor William Pates after a media watchdog group revealed that he ha d given $400 to the Kerry campaign although, as Norr points out, George Hearst gave $30,000 to Republican candidates without losing his job as chair of Hearst Corporation. Americans are today far more ignorant of how those who own the mass media determine what they know than when Upton Sinclair published his classic The Brass Check over 80 years ago. 

It will come as no surprise to anyone who has seen the documentary Outfoxed that those who claim loudest to be journalistically fair and balanced can afford to be quite the opposite since they own the pulpit. Shaping public thought depends more on those views excluded than on those that are openly expressed. Former Republican hatchet man David Brock explains the means by which political discourse has been de liberately shunted to the extreme right by limiting liberal and excluding left voices altogether in his recent book The Republican Noise Machine. 

In my own book, Imperial San Francisco, I analyzed the ways in which three local dynasties used leading news papers to aggrandize their own fortunes and power—the Hearsts’ San Francisco Examiner, the deYoungs’ San Francisco Chronicle, and the Spreckels’ San Francisco Call (the best of the lot, and killed by its colluding rivals in 1913.) As the Hearst Corporatio n was engaging in some fancy secret “horsetrading” to acquire the Chronicle and kill its old flagship Examiner, it promised to give the Bay Area a world-class newspaper, an action which would have been a historic first for that company. Though the Chron i s by no means as crummy a product as those newspapers to whose terrified editors William Randolph Hearst sent memos from San Simeon instructing how he wanted the news slanted—even as he was syndicating the likes of Hitler, Goering, and Mussolini—it’s beco ming obvious by the roster of those silenced and stories demoted that omission is becoming a subtle tool there, as when a humane voice like Stephanie Salter’s is put on permanent leave while the likes of Debra Saunders and Ken Garcia continue to vent thei r diseased spleens like the old Hearst pit bull Westbrook Pegler, or when news of environmental catastrophe is relegated to blurbs at the back of Saturday’s sports page while junk like the Peterson murder case consumes front page acreage month after month. 

I’ve been in the field long enough to know that journalists with mortgages and health care needs soon get the message from on high by watching the fate of their colleagues, thereby learning to write the kind of “fair and balanced” material that Hearst and Rupert Murdoch expect of their employees. Ursula K. LeGuin called this form of self-censorship the Stalin in the soul, which increasingly overcasts the Chronicle and those of us who depend upon it for our news. 

 


You Can’t Have it Both Ways: Community Policing is a Two-Way Street (By SAM HERBERT)

Commentary
Tuesday August 17, 2004

Mr. Allen-Taylor’s recent article regarding community citizens buying cell phones for their beat officers reveals more about his prejudices about law enforcement than about uneven access to the police. Cell phone use is just one more tool to help solve local problems, not a substitute for any level of traditional police service. Further, responsibility for communication between the police and the community they serve is a two-way street, and only effective when both sides are active participants. 

It is understandable that Mr. Allen-Taylor longs for a simpler time, when individual officers had the luxury of time and limited responsibilities, and could reasonably expect to be able to meet and greet each resident in their district by name. Peace officers working in an environment with little, if any, violent crime, and a much smaller resident population, can do that. By contrast, current beat assignments involve responsibility for densely-populated urban communities, and cover geographical areas too extensive to cover on foot. A typical work day has any given beat officer racing from one location to another, in response to serious, life-threatening incidents. Given the logistical problems of being forced (to try and) be everywhere at once, and be everything to everybody, they are to be congratulated for making the best of whatever resources are available to them. If they find a cell phone handy for improving access to the most up-to-the-minute information, then I am happy they have them. 

It is true that not everyone knows their beat officers equally well. There is a wide range of personal involvement on the part of community members, from fully-involved down to the marginally aware. While those who choose minimal contact with the police have the right to expect an equal response to real needs for solid police services, such as access via dispatch to address actual crimes in progress, they cannot complain about a failure to connect on a personal level if they don’t do their part. 

I am particularly offended by the libelous assertion that “the Oakland Police Department plays favorites in whom it responds to.” By any notion of what a modern police department is supposed to “respond to,” there is of necessity a hierarchy of importance. The decision to send one or more officers to the site of a requested call for service is based on the likelihood that a human life is at stake. Whether or not dispatch sends out one officer or several, and how quickly, depends on the seriousness of the call, as well as the availability of personnel to send. The quality and speed of the response has nothing to do with who is calling, or how familiar they are with their own beat officer. 

Neither do patrol officers “respond to” neighborhood residents calling for help in preference to their assigned calls. Should that ever happen, it would be a clear case of negligence, and should be reported immediately. I have never heard of anything of the sort occurring. Instead, those officers who carry cell phones with them while working (regardless of who paid for them), use the phones to provide a direct source for gathering information. Local residents have the best, most current information about what is going on in their neighborhoods. By passing it on directly to the officer driving their streets, they extend the effectiveness of that officer. No officer with a cell phone ever responds to a voicemail message, much less answering the phone directly, if there are any other matters pending. Communications with dispatch are always the higher priority. 

In a time of budget cutbacks, when (on average) 35 beat officers patrol the streets of Oakland, and stretched staffing means that workloads are doubled up, we ought to be supportive of any officer working as efficiently as possible. The effect of better-informed officers means that they can help to prevent crime, not just respond after the fact. That makes everyone safer, even those who choose limited contact with the police. 

I also take exception to the author’s assertion that participation in community meetings makes “their jobs infinitely easier.” Many officers attend these meetings on their days off, and/or when they are not on duty, out of a sense of personal dedication to the community they serve. We are only too lucky that we have officers willing to go so far beyond the call of duty, to better get to know their area and those neighbors working to help fix the problems, instead of causing them. 

 

Sam Herbert is South Berkeley resident.›


Not A Good Idea: By John Delmos

Commentary
Tuesday August 17, 2004

 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

Regarding J. Douglas Allen-Taylor’s column about Oakland Police and cell phones: I agree, not a good idea, and also isn’t there a thing called public accountability? If only certain members of society have instant access to the police, then only certain members will get “service”. And as a homeless person, I dread the idea even more. It’s bad enough the way it is. A couple years ago, I was taking a nap on the UC Berkeley campus, when two cops came up to me and wrote me a ticket for “lodging.” (I was resting on a piece of cardboard, not bothering anybody, in a relatively out-of-the-way place on lower Sproul Plaza.) I will never forget what the cops told me there; they said that someone had called them because I made them (the person who called) feel uncomfortable! I ended up getting banned from campus for two years for that horrible crime. 

When I read stuff like this, I just wonder what some people are thinking. It’s already enough of a police state for people like me, and I bet this will just make it worse for people who still go through what I just described. 

If Berkeley wants to “clean up it’s streets,” they ought to hire some homeless people, give them brooms, grass clippers...and let them make some money (market rate!) by cleaning Shattuck Avenue (among other places). It looks filthy.  

Let’s get real, people. Hire me! 

 


Death of a Redwood: By PETER SCHORER

Commentary
Tuesday August 17, 2004

Last week I arrived at 2812 Hillegass to see a beautiful redwood tree had been cut, ground into sawdust, and loaded onto a truck. I and two neighbors were the only persons there apart from the workmen. My guess is that the tree was at least 40 years old. How is it that we have an ordinance in this town that prohibits cutting of live oaks, but doesn’t prohibit the cutting of redwood trees? I know of several other cases of cutting of old redwoods. 

More disturbing is that no laws protect us from city government pork barrel practices of destroying mature healthy trees and replacing them with saplings just to grant contracts to favored companies. Why are they clear cutting 98 trees at the Berkeley Marina for a bicycle path without bothering to consider alternatives that go around the trees? 

The marina clear cut is a make work project that will waste public funds clear cutting dozens of mature healthy trees and replacing them with pathetic saplings. The city manager loves these projects because it allows them to use public funds to enrich favored private companies that profit from urban redesign work. With all the serious economic problems our city faces why does the city waste money removing mature healthy trees? In July the Berkeley City Council approved almost $300,000 in tree removal contracts to one company without any discussion. I estimate $100,000 of that money is being spent removing mature healthy trees, and the contract is overly generous in the amount being paid for removal of those trees that need to be removed. Not only that, but in the event the contractor does shoddy work the city should be able to terminate the contract before spending $300,000. Why didn’t anyone on council ask about that? 

Fortunately, this November we have a chance to vote for Measure S and rein in wasteful spending on make-work projects like the Marina clear-cut. Measure S will make it more difficult to remove mature, healthy public trees, will allow a Board to raise private funds so we can plant more trees and create parks without raising taxes, and will prevent pork barrel spending by requiring proposed tree care contracts to be reviewed by a tree board to prevent wasteful spending. I urge people to vote for Measure S, the Berkeley Public Tree Act, in order to stop pork barrel tree removal schemes that allow companies to line their pockets with our tax dollars while removing perfectly healthy public trees. 

 

Peter Schorer is a Berkeley resident.›


Moderne Masterpiece Evokes Art Deco Glamour: By STEVEN FINACOM

Special to the Planet
Tuesday August 17, 2004

Two generations ago many architects, designers, and their patrons were throwing out the traditional rulebooks and conventions and venturing into new territory. Sleek buildings and vehicles appeared, matched with equally avant-garde clothing, appliances, furniture, music and art. It was the height of the Deco or Moderne era. 

On Sunday, Aug. 29, locals will have a rare opportunity to step into an outstanding architectural product of that time, a unique Berkeley home from the age of Hollywood movie spectacles, swank Manhattan penthouses, and “streamline” décor.  

The J.W. “Call Me Joe” Harris House at 2300 LeConte Ave. can be viewed from basement to balcony during “An Afternoon of Art Deco Glamour,” a special 3-6 p.m. open house, hosted by the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association (BAHA).  

Billie Jean Harris D’Anna, daughter of the original owner and a resident of the house as a child, is scheduled to attend, along with prominent architectural historian and Art Deco Society co-founder Michael Crowe. Well-known author Jane Powell will also be on hand to talk about the house. Refreshments will be served. 

From the 1920s through the ‘40s a number of important institutional and commercial buildings in Berkeley were built in the Art Deco or Moderne architectural styles. Prominent survivors include the Community Theatre, Central Library, and United Artists Theatre. However, only a few Moderne residences were constructed in Berkeley, and the Harris House is among the best. 

If you’ve driven, walked, or bicycled up Hearst Avenue from Oxford with the UC campus on your right, you’re probably familiar with the three-story house that’s seemingly all curves, standing on a small triangular lot where LeConte descends to meet Hearst. 

Step inside at the Aug. 29 event and you can easily imagine Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing in the mirror-lined living room, or Claude Rains wreathed in shadow and cigarette smoke awaiting some mysterious assignation on the curving second floor balcony. 

The Harris House is a three-bedroom, two-bath, family home, not a mansion. It’s the architectural character of the house that makes it opulent, particularly on the inside. The event is a one-time opportunity to see that interior. 

There’s hardly a room that’s conventionally square or rectangular. From breakfast nook to basement nearly every area has at least one curved wall.  

The living room is entered from a two-story triangular atrium with an elegant staircase. A second staircase sweeps regally from the entrance lobby to the lowest level. The living room seems like a stage set with inset fluorescent light panels framing a mirrored fireplace fronted by a black marble hearth resembling a half moon in eclipse.  

No fewer than 240 glass blocks are built into the living room walls, and the room flows into a curved, glassed-in, conservatory flooded with daylight.  

Upstairs, the master bedroom is oriented to face double doors opening onto a curved balcony like the bridge of a ship, running along the whole projecting front of the second floor.  

Period features from the 1930s remain throughout the house, all meticulously maintained and refurbished by the family of the current owner. They include inset light fixtures and an “all electric kitchen” with original burners that fold up against the wall when not in use and a top-loading 1930s dishwasher. 

Tropical hardwoods panel the octagonal formal dining room where one corner wall opens to reveal a “secret” bar cabinet with glass shelves and mirrored sides. Aluminum details adorn the house, from the fireplace screen to the sinuous staircase rails. 

The master bathroom is walled with beige marble, with the floor painted to match. A second bath is covered—floor, walls, ceiling—with original tilework and has a circular mirror that pulls back to reveal a medicine cabinet shaped like a ship’s porthole.  

The house is currently unfurnished and between renters, and the owners generously offered to make it available for the BAHA event. 

Berkeley architect John B. Anthony designed the Harris House in 1936 as a family home for Joseph W. Harris, a successful local merchant called a “human dynamo” by the Berkeley Daily Gazette.  

Raised in Brooklyn, Harris served in the Navy, worked in his father’s business, and moved to Berkeley in 1923 where he opened a tiny shop on Shattuck Avenue.  

By 1939 he had expanded the store to cover much of the 2000 block of Shattuck Square where the Kaplan building now stands just across from the BART station. The “House of Harris” sold a wide array of men’s and boy’s clothing and specialty items like Boy Scout uniforms.  

Sleekly replete, like Harris’s home, with curved corners and hundreds of glass blocks, the three story commercial building proclaimed his slogan, “Call Me Joe” in an enormous lighted marquee that was said to be visible from North Oakland. 

“Berkeley has been swell to me,” Harris told an interviewer in 1939. He was 42 at the time and his portrait adorned a special eight-page section of the Berkeley Daily Gazette that celebrated the enlargement of his business. He was a “large property owner here and in Oakland” the Gazette said, and his name was familiar throughout the East Bay and beyond. 

Today, it’s probable that only Berkeley old timers remember the House of Harris. But the elegant 1936 family home of “Call Me Joe” remains, and still draws the eye and admiring attention. 

 

Steven Finacom is a regular contributor to the Daily Planet and a member of the board of directors of the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association. 

 


UC Swimmer Triumphs in Athens

Tuesday August 17, 2004

UC Berkeley Senior Natalie Coughlin won Olympic gold in the 100-meter backstroke Monday. The Concord native, who already owned the world record in the event, has a shot at two more gold medals when she competes in the 100 meter Freestyle and the 4X100 meter Freestyle relay. 

2


Arts Calendar

Tuesday August 17, 2004

TUESDAY, AUGUST 17 

FILM 

Time’s Shadow: “Ruins” at 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 

Black Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Film Festival opens at 6 p.m. at the Parkway Speakeasy, 1834 Park Blvd. and runs through Aug. 22. 814-2400. www.apeb.org 

READINGS AND LECTURES 

Hamsa Lila at 9 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $15. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Richard M. Krawczyk discusses his new book “Financial Aerobics” at 7:30 p.m. at Barnes and Noble. 644-0861. 

MUSIC AND DANCE 

King David String Ensemble, comprised of immigrants to Israel from the former Soviet Union, at 7:30 p.m. at the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts. Tickets are $15-$20 available from 925-798-1300.  

Dick Conte Duo at 8 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810. 

Jazz House Jam, hosted by Darrell Green and Geechy Taylor, at 8 p.m. at The Jazz House. Donation $5.  

www.thejazzhouse.com 

George Cables with Gary Bartz, Eric Revis and Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts at 8 and 10 p.m. Yoshi’s at Jack London Square. Also on Wed. Cost is $12-$20. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 

Jazzschool Tuesdays, a weekly showcase of up-and-coming ensembles from Berkeley Jazz- 

school at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18 

THEATER 

“John Muir’s Mountain Days,” a musical, to Aug. 29 at the Alhambra Performing Arts Center, 150 E St., Martinez. Call for show times and reservations, 925-798-1300.  

www.willowstheatre.org  

FILM 

Exploit-O-Scope: “Dementia 13” at 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808.  

www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 

READINGS AND LECTURES 

Oakland Open Stage with poets and playwrites including Marc Bathmuthi Joseph, Aya De Leon, and Hanifah Walidah at 8 p.m. at The Oakland Box. Cost is $10. 

www.openstagefest.com 

Café Poetry hosted by Paradise Freejahlove at 7:30 p.m. at La Peña. Donation $2. 849-2568. www.lapena.org 

Berkeley Poetry Slam with host Charles Ellik, featuring Three Blind Mice, at 8:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $5-$7. 841-2082 www.starryplough.com 

MUSIC AND DANCE 

Jules Broussard, Ned Boynton and Bing Nathan at 8 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810.  

Zydeco Flames at 8:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Zydeco dance lesson with Diana Castillo at 8 p.m. Cost is $9. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Ben Adams Trio at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Bearfoot, youthful bluegrass ensemble from Colorado, at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage Coffee House. Cost is $15.50 in advance, $16.50 at the door. 548-1761.  

www.freightandsalvage.org 

Whiskey Brothers at 9 p.m. at Albatross, 1822 San Pablo Ave. 843-2473. www.albatrosspub.com 

Ducksan Distones play straight ahead jazz at 8 p.m. at The Jazz House. Cost is $8-$15 sliding scale.  

www.thejazzhouse.org 

THURSDAY, AUGUST 19 

EXHIBITION OPENINGS 

“Past and Present Connection” an exhibition featuring local print artists and selected artists with disabilities. Reception from 6 to 8 p.m. at Niad Art Center, 551 23rd St., Richmond. 620-0290. www.niadart.org 

“Pieces of Cloth, Pieces of Culture” An exhibition of Tapa from Tonga and the Pacific Islands. Gallery tour at 5 p.m. and documentary screening at 6:30 p.m. Through Sept. 7 at the Craft and Cultural Art Gallery, State of California Office Building, 1515 Clay St., Oakland. 

“Elements of the Garden” sculpture by Trent Burkett. Reception from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Oakland Museum of California, 1111 Broadway.  

FILM 

Luchino Visconti: “The Leopard” at 7 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 

READINGS AND LECTURES 

David Ulin discusses earthquakes in “The Myth of Solid Ground” at 7:30 p.m. at Cody’s Books. 845-7852.  

www.codysbooks.com  

Word Beat Reading Series at 7 p.m. with featured readers Bert Glick and Randy Fingland at Mediterraneum Caffe, 2475 Telegraph Ave., near Dwight Way. 526-5985.  

MUSIC AND DANCE 

Oakland Open Stage with the new music of Hanifah Walidah, Tim’m West and Nonameka at 8 p.m. at Oaklandish, Jack London Square. Cost is $10. www.openstagefest.com  

The Dunes at 9 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $9. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Phil Marsh, original and traditional folk, at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage Coffee House. Cost is $15.50 in advance, $16.50 at the door. 548-1761. www.freightandsalvage.org 

7th Direction, Saul Kaye Band at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $5. 841-2082. www.starryplough.com 

Brian Kane at 9 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810. 

Aaron Novick plays jazz originals at 8 p.m. at The Jazz House. Cost is $8-$15 sliding scale. www.thejazzhouse.com 

The James Affair at 9:30 p.m. at Beckett’s Irish Pub, 2271 Shattuck Ave. 647-1790. www.beckettsirishpub.com 

Ron Carter Quartet at 8 and 10 p.m. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square, through Sun. Cost is $12-$24. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 

Jazz Mine, string swing jazz quartet, at 6:30 p.m. at King Tsin Chinese Restaurant, 1699 Solano Ave. www.jazzmine.net 

Circlesinging Workshop with David Worm of SoVoSó from 7 to 9 p.m. at First Congregational Church, 2501 Harrison, Oakland. Cost is $10-$20 sliding scale, no one turned away. Resevations suggested. 444-8511, ext. 15. www.artsfirstoakland.org 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 20 

EXHIBITION OPENINGS 

“Bohemian Berkeley 1890 - 1925” exhibit extended until September 19 at the Berkeley History Center, 1931 Center St. Open Thurs. - Sat. 1 to 4 p.m. 848-0181. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/histsoc/ 

FILM 

Luchino Visconti: “White Nights” at 7 p.m. and “The Stranger” at 9:10 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 

THEATER 

Alameda Civic Light Opera “Bye Bye Birdie,” directed by Frederick L. Chacon. Fri. and Sat. at 8 p.m. Sun. at 2 p.m. to Aug. 22. Kofman Auditorium, 2220 Central Ave. in Alameda. Tickets are $23-$25. 864-2256. www.aclo.com 

Butoh & Action Theater Performances at 8:30 p.m. Fri. and Sat., also Aug. 27 and 28 at Temescal Arts Center, 511 48th St. at Telegraph, Oakland, near MacArthur BART. Tickets are $15-$20. 601-7494. www.temescalartscenter.org  

California Shakespeare Theater, “The Importance of Being Ernest” Tues.-Fri. at 7:30 p.m., Sat at 8 p.m., Sun. at 4 p.m. at the Bruns Memorial Amphitheater, through Sept. 3. Tickets are $13-$32. 548-9666. www.calshakes.org  

Shotgun Players “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” Sat. and Sun. at 4 p.m. in John Hinkel Park, Southampton Ave., until Aug 29. 841-6500. wwwshotgunplayers.org 

MUSIC AND DANCE 

30th Anniversary Celebration at the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, in honor of The American Society for Eastern Arts, featuring Aniruddha Knight, Bharatanatyam dancer at 8 p.m. at Julia Morgan Center for the Arts. Tickets are $20-$25 and are available from 925-798-1300. 

Sequoia Concerts “A Concert of Mainly Contemporaries” with William Bouton, violin, and Leonore Hall, piano, at 7:45 p.m. at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Ave. Tickets are $15-$25. 415-342-6151, www.sequoiaconcerts.com  

Bay Area Classical Harmonies performs Mozart’s C Minor Mass at 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 114 Montecito Ave., Oakland, Tickets $10-15 available from 866-233-9892. www.berkeleybach.org  

The Dayna Stephens Sextet at 8 p.m. at The Jazz House. www.thejazzhouse.com 

Palenque, CD release celebration at 9:30 p.m. at La Peña Cultural Center. Cost is $10. 849-2568. www.lapena.org 

Tchiya Amet at 9:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $13. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Sourdough Slim and the Saddle Pals, the last of the vaudeville cowboys, at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage Coffee House. Cost is $15.50 in advance, $16.50 at the door. 548-1761. www.freightandsalvage.org 

Pamela Z and Shoko Hikage, with Jesse Quattro, Moe Staiano and Vicky Grossi in an evening of experimental and avant garde music, a benefit for the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan at 8 p.m. at 21 Grand, 449B 23rd St., Oakland. Cost is $7-$70 sliding scale, no one turned away. Presented by Fire Museum. 415-273-4681. 

Pit of Fashion Orchestra with Peter Barshay at 9 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810.  

DJ & Brook, jazz trio, at 7:30 p.m. at Nomad Cafe, 6500 Shattuck Ave. 595-5344. www.nomadcafe.net 

Pistola, Research and Development, 3 Piece Combo at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $12. 841-2082. www.starryplough.com 

Killing the Dream, Blue Monday, Verse, The Answer at 8 p.m. at 924 Gilman St., an all-ages, member-run, no alcohol, no drugs, no violence club. Cost is $5. 525-9926. 

The Katie Jay Band at 9:30 p.m. at Beckett’s Irish Pub, 2271 Shattuck Ave. 647-1790. www.beckettsirishpub.com 

Soul at 9:30 p.m. at Shattuck Down Low, 2284 Shattuck Ave. Cost is $5. 548-1159.  

Dynamic plays jazz-funk at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Barbary Coast by Night Join maestro Omar for an evening of authentic music and food from Algeria. Every Sat. at 7 p.m. at Cafe Raphael’s, 10064 San Pablo Ave. El Cerrito. 525-4227. 

SATURDAY, AUGUST 21 

CHILDREN 

Kids on the Block Puppet Show promoting acceptance and understanding of physical and cultural differences at 2 p.m. at the Hall of Health, 2230 Shattuck Ave., lower level. Sug- 

gested donation $3. Children under 3 free. 549-1564. 

THEATER 

Breaking Ground Collective, “Blood Wedding” at 8 p.m. and Sun. at 2 p.m. at Live Oak Theater, 1301 Shattuck Ave. Tickets are $5, and reservations can be made toll free at 1-877-519-3300. 

FILM 

Luchino Visconti: “vaghe stelle dell’orsa” at 7 p.m., and “Conversation Piece” at 9:05 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 

READINGS AND LECTURES 

Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson introduce their latest science fiction “Dune: The Battle of Corrin” at 7:30 p.m. at Cody’s Books. 845-7852. www.codysbooks.com 

MIUSIC AND DANCE 

New Millennium Strings will feature works of Franck, Berlioz, Ravel and Rapf at 8 p.m. at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 2300 Bancroft Way. Tickets are $10-$15, children under 12 free. 528-4633. www.newmillenniumstrings.org 

Bay Area Classical Harmonies performs Mozart’s C Minor Mass, at 7:30 p.m. at Arlington Community Church, 52 Arlington Ave. Kensington. Tickets $10-15. 866-233-9892. www.berkeleybach.org 

Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus at 8 p.m. at Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, 3534 Lakeshore Ave. 800-706-2389. www.oebgmc.org 

Houston Jones Country Rock and Blues Band plays a benefit for BOSS’s homeless programs at 8 p.m. at Oakland Metro Opera Theater, 2001 Broadway, Oakland, Cost is $15 in advance, $17.50 at the door. 649-1930. 

The Frisky Frolics, Tin Pan Alley troubadours at 2 p.m. at Down Home Music, 10341 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito. 525-2129. 

Swanee: The Stephen Foster Story, with Joe Weed, Marti Kendall, Katie Kendall-Weed and Marty Atkinson, at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage Coffee House. Cost is $15.50 in advance, $16.50 at the door. 548-1761. www.freightandsalvage.org 

Orquesta la Moderna Tradición at 9:30 p.m. at La Peña Cultural Center. Cost is $10 in advance, $12 at the door. 849-2568. www.lapena.org 

Ambrose Akinmusire Project at 8 p.m. at the Jazzschool. Cost is $12-$15. 845-5373. www.jazzschool.com 

California Brazil All-Star Band at 9:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $12. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Damon Zick and Friends at 8 p.m. at The Jazz House. Cost is $8-$15. www.thejazzhouse.org 

Fred Randolph Jazz Trio at 9:30 p.m. at Albatross, 1822 San Pablo Ave. Cost is $3. 843-2473. www.albatrosspub.com 

Spanish Enchantments with Flamenco music and dance at 9 p.m. at Downtown. A special supper club event, reservations required. 649-3810.  

Jerry Kelly, singer, songwriter at 7:30 p.m. at Nomad Cafe, 6500 Shattuck Ave. 595-5344. www.nomadcafe.net 

Swingueria Baiana at 9:30 p.m. at Shattuck Down Low, 2284 Shattuck Ave. Cost is $7. 548-1159.  

Will Bernard and Motherbug at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $6. 841-2082. www.starryplough.com 

Modern Machines, Period Three, Love Songs, Max Fischer at 8 p.m. at 924 Gilman St., an all-ages, member-run, no alcohol, no drugs, no violence club. Cost is $5. 525-9926. 

Anton Schwartz Quartet at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

 

SUNDAY, AUGUST 22 

CHILDREN  

Asheba at Ashkenaz at 3 p.m. Cost is $4-$6. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

EXHIBITION OPENINGS 

“Open Heart Surgery: Seeing the Truth: A Memorial” reception for the artists, Annamarta Dostourian, Andrew Juris and Laura DuBois at 6 p.m. at the Oakland Box, 1928 Telegraph Ave. 451-1932. www.oaklandbox.com  

FILM 

Luchino Visconti: “White Nights” at 5:30 p.m. and “The Stranger” at 7:35 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 

READINGS AND LECTURES 

International Women’s Writing Guild celebrates summer with Opal Palmer-Adisa and Earthlyn Marselean Manuel at 3 p.m. at Cody’s Books on Fourth St. 559-9500.  

www.codysbooks.com 

MUSIC AND DANCE 

New Millennium Strings will feature works of Franck, Berlioz, Ravel and Rapf at 3 p.m. at Arlington Community Church, 52 Arlington, Kensington. Tickets are $10-$15, children under 12 free. 528-4633. www.newmillenniumstrings.org 

Flamenco Open Stage with Stephanie Niera at 7:30 p.m. Ashkenaz. Cost is $9. 525-5054.  

www.ashkenaz.com 

Slammin’ an all-body band that comines a cappella singing with beat boxing and body music at 4:30 at the Jazzschool. Cost is $12-$18. 845-5373. www.jazzschool.com 

Acme Observatory presents Rothbaum, Drake, Bruckmann and Stackpole at 8 p.m. at The Jazz House. Donation $10. www.thejazzhouse.com 

Bev Grant, activist, feminist singer-songwriter, at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $15.50 in advance, $16.50 at the door. 548-1761.  

www.freightandsalvage.org 

Americana Unplugged: Homespun Rowdy at 5 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

MONDAY, AUGUST 23 

READINGS AND LECTURES 

Poetry Express Tribute to Dixi Cohn from 7 to 9:30 p.m., at Priya Restaurant, 2072 San Pablo Ave. berkeleypoetryexpress@yahoo.com 

MUSIC AND DANCE 

Africando at 8 and 10 p.m. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square. Also on Tues. Cost is $26. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 

 

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Honey Locusts Cast Golden Glow on City Streets: By RON SULLIVAN

Special to the Planet
Tuesday August 17, 2004

We’re getting a bit of fall color already, especially in the row of smallish honey locusts on Cedar Street between MLK and Sacramento. There are a few of their golden brethren around the corner, too, and more scattered around town and in people’s yards. This is a nice, easy tree if you want light shade and a little drought tolerance. It’s often one of the first trees to go deciduous here, but it seems everyone’s putting the fall colors on early this year.  

Gleditsia triacanthos gets its genus name from an 18th century director of the Berlin Botanic Garden, Johann Gottleib Gleditsch, and its species name from its usual habit of bearing triple thorns. The ones planted here—specimens of one of several tame cultivars—have only rudimentary thorns, but you can see some at the joints of the ziggyzag twigs.  

Aside from “honey locust” G. triacanthos gets called “black locust” (one of at least two trees with that common name) and thorny locust; three-thorned acacia (it’s not an acacia either.); “honeyshucks”; “sweet locust”; or “Confederate pintree”—because those long thin thorns were supposedly used to pin ragged uniforms together in the late years of the Civil War. It’s native to the eastern United (nevertheless) States, where, in the wild, its thorns can be formidable indeed, reportedly growing a foot long sometimes. They appear in frightening fierce clusters on the trunks, too, not just the twigs.  

Amid all that armament is a curious, spectacular seedpod. Look at the Cedar Street trees—especially at the ones that are staying green longest—and you’ll see lots of flat, foot-long pods, extravagantly wavy. These are the reason for the “honey” and “sweet” parts of the English name—and maybe even the “locust,” as a nod to John the Baptist, who lived on locusts and honey, and to the carob tree, called “St. John’s bread.” They’re sweet—they make so much sugar that there have been serious proposals to grow groves of the tree instead of sugarcane.  

The wild honey locust is obviously protecting itself against something, and just as obviously trying to attract something. These might be the same things, if Connie Barlow’s thesis in her book The Ghosts of Evolution is correct.  

The original distribution of honey locust is not on the upper Midwest prairie, but in the forested East and South. But that big fruit, the spiral pod, is too much of a mouthful for your average rabbit or squirrel; it begs for a big herbivore to eat the sweet pod and disperse the tough seeds inside to places beyond their parents’ reach. But just about the only herbivores big enough, with the right chewing equipment, would be bison and elk, and those have a more northwestern range than honey locust. (Deer are browsers, and like more tender fare.) The seed is incredibly hard to break and scarify, too, and most won’t sprout without being treated very roughly. Early, rather fanciful explanations of the function of the pod—that it rolled away in the wind, breaking open and flinging seeds as it went—stumble on this part of the seeds’ needs.  

Barlow proposes that several North American species—honey locust, Osage orange, Kentucky coffetree for example—“remember” the mastodons. Not only mastodons, but horses, too—that line did originate here, but like camels and maned lions, spread to other continents and died out in its hometown. Horses and cattle still find locust pods compellingly tasty; they have sugars, fats, and proteins enough to make them quite nutritious. Other dispersal agents served in the interim, but cattle have spread wild honey locust to a wider range since Europeans came.  

Big herbivores often bash tree trunks, or gnaw them to eat sweet inner bark—and that can kill a tree; hence those fierce thorn clusters. The ancestors of that double file of pretty golden trees on Cedar Street may well have equipped themselves to fine-tune the behavior of animal neighbors and commensals who had long vanished from the continent thousands of years before streets—and street trees—were invented. 


Berkeley This Week

Tuesday August 17, 2004

TUESDAY, AUGUST 17 

Mini-Rangers An afternoon of nature study for ages 8 to 12. Dress to get dirty, bring a healthy snack to share. At Tilden Nature Center, Tilden Park. Fee is $6-$8. Registration required. 525-2233. 

African Affairs Benefit Brunch with Patrick Hayford, the United Nations’ Director of African Affairs in the office of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, at noon at House of UNITY in Eastmont Town Center, 7200 Bancroft Ave. #209, Oakland. Minimum contribution of $25 requested for the brunch; also there will be a free 7:00 p.m. public event. Sponsored by AFSC’s African Initiative, Aseya Africa and others. www.afsc.org 

Contemporary Political Election Issues, a discussion with Millie Barsh at 1:15 p.m. at the North Berkeley Senior Center. 981-5190. 

“What is Ahead for Venezuela?” with Lisa Sullivan who hosted the 2004 Marin Interfaith Task Force Delegation to Caracas, at 7 p.m. at Berkeley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall, 1924 Cedar. 528-5403. 

Organic Produce at low prices sold at the corner of Sacramento and Oregon Sts. from 3 to 7 p.m. This is a project of Spiral Gardens. 843-1307. 

Tuesday Tilden Walkers We are a few slowpoke seniors who walk between a mile or two each Tuesday, meeting at 9:30 a.m. in the Little Farm parking lot. To join us, call 215-7672.  

Berkeley Camera Club meets at 7:30 p.m., at the Northbrae Community Church, 941 The Alameda. 548-3991. www.berkeleycameraclub.org 

St. John’s Prime Timers meets at 9:30 a.m. at St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Ave. 845-6830. 

Phone Banking to ReDefeat Bush on Tuesdays from 6 to 9 p.m. at Cafe de la Paz, 1600 Shattuck Ave. Bring your cell phones. Please RSVP if you can join us. 415-336 8736. dan@redefeatbush.com 

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18 

An Evening with Arundhati Roy, David Barsamian, Amy Goodman and Boots Riley, at 7:30 p.m. at Berkeley Community Theater, 1930 Allston Way at Milvia. (wheelchair access, ASL provided). Supported by Global Exchange & Mother Jones Magazine. Tickets are $21, available from Cody’s or www.cityboxoffice.com 

Walk Berkeley for Seniors meets every Wednesday, rain or shine, at 9:30 a.m. at the Sea Breeze market, just west of the I-80 overpass. Everyone is welcome, wear comfortable shoes, sunscreen and a hat. 548-9840. 

Walking Tour of Oakland Chinatown Meet at 10 a.m. at the courtyard fountain in the Pacific Renaissance Plaza at 388 Ninth St. Tour lasts 90 minutes. Reservations can be made by calling 238-3234. www.oaklandnet.com/wallkingtours 

“Dr. Strangelove” a film adaptation of Peter George’s thriller “Red Alert” at 7:30 p.m. at the Humanist Hall, 390 27th St., Oakland. Free, donations are welcome. 393-5685. 

Berkeley Communicators Toastmasters meets the first and third Wednesdays of the month at 7:15 a.m. at Mediterraneum Caffe, 2475 Telegraph Ave. For information call Robert Flammia 524-3765. 

Fun with Acting Class every Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the North Berkeley Senior Center. Free, all are welcome, no experience necessary.  

Berkeley Peace Walk and Vigil at the Berkeley BART Station, corner of Shattuck and Center. Vigil at 6:30 p.m. Peace Walk at 7 p.m. www.geocities.com/ 

vigil4peace/vigil 

THURSDAY, AUGUST 19 

“Who Owns Water?” Protecting the world’s water from corporate takeover. Join us for a discussion with Juliette Beck and John Gibler of Public Citizen’s Water for All Campaign, at 7 p.m. at the Ecology Center, 2530 San Pablo Ave. 548-2220, ext. 233. 

Safe Boating Class on “Boating Skills and Seamanship” offered by the US Coast Guard Auxiliary begins today and runs for 13 weeks, on Thurs evenings from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the US Coast Guard Air Station, San Francisco International Airport. A $50 fee covers textbook and certificate. For reservations please contact Wayne Wattson at 650-755-9739. 

Circlesinging Workshop with David Worm of SoVoSó from 7 to 9 p.m. at First Congregational Church, 2501 Harrison, Oakland. Cost is $10-$20 sliding scale, no one turned away. Resevations suggested. 444-8511, ext. 15. www.artsfirstoakland.org 

Lavender Seniors of the East Bay, a group for gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals and transgenders over the age of 55, catered lunch at 12:30 p.m. at Lakeside Park Garden Center, 666 Bellevue, Oakland. 667-9655. 

Mills College Open House for the graduate program in Interdisciplinary Computer Science from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Program open to women and men with a talent and interest in computing, and a bachelor's degree in another field. Financial assistance available. Mills College is located on the MacArthur exit of 580 East. 415-336-4466. http://ics.mills.edu 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 20 

“Oscar in the Wild: Camping with Cal Shakes” from 5 p.m. to Sat. 10 a.m. at the Bruns Amphitheater, 100 Gateway Blvd., Orinda. Cost is $28-$35. Performance tickets sold separately. To register call 548-9666. 

Old Oakland Outdoor Cinema on Washington St., between 9th and 10th Sts. Music at 5 p.m., and film, “Tootsie” at 8 p.m. Bring your own chairs and blankets. Sponsored by the City of Oakland and the Old Oakland Historic District. 238-4734. www.filmoakland.com 

“Manhattan” A Woody Allen film at 8:30 p.m. at the Long Haul Infoshop, 3124 Shattuck Ave. 540-0751. www.thelonghaul.org  

SATURDAY, AUGUST 21 

Plant Nursery Work Party from 9 a.m. to noon Join the Richmond Bayshore Stewards to restore a tidal marsh and improve wildlife habitat on the south Richmond shoreline along the Bay Trail. We will be working in the native plant nursery on the UC Richmond Field Station building plant tables, and doing nursery work. Tools, gloves and snacks provided. Please pre-register so we can send directions. Youth under 18 years need signed permission from a parent or guardian so please contact us for a waiver in advance. Sponsored by The Watershed Project (formerly Aquatic Outreach Institute). To register or for more information, contact Elizabeth O’Shea, 231-9566 or Elizabeth@thewatershedproject.org 

Berkeley’s Front Row Festival from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Addison St. and Shattuck Ave., with arts acrafts, gourmet foods, children’s activities and entertainment. Sponsored by the Downtown Berkeley Association.  

Temescal Street Fair from noon to 6 p.m. on Telegraph Ave. between 48th and 51st St., with live music, entertainment for children, food and craft booths. 

Late Summer Color with Aerin Moore at 10 a.m. at Magic Gardens Nursery, 729 Heinz Ave. 644-2351. www.magicgardens.com 

Sushi for the More Adventurous A hands-on opportunity to make and taste exotic varieties of sushi for youth and adults. Parent participation required for childen age 8-12. From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Tilden Nature Center. Cost is $29-$44. Registration required. 525-2233. 

Oakland Heritage Alliance Walking Tour of Richmond Boulevard from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meet at the pergola, Croxton Ave. and Richmond Blvd. Cost is $5 for OHA members, $10 for nonmembers. 763-9218. www.oaklandheritage.org 

Walking Tour of Historic Oakland Churches and Temples Meet at 10 a.m. at the front of the First Prebyterian Church at 2619 Broadway. Tour lasts 90 minutes. Reservations can be made by calling 238-3234. www.oaklandnet.com/ 

wallkingtours 

Angel Island Kayak Overnight with Save the Bay. We will paddle our kayaks to a secluded beach, cook our meals and sleep in a restored Victorian, learn about the rich history of the island. From 9:30 a.m. Sat. to 4:30 p.m. Sun. Cost is $129-$139. For more information or to register call 452-9261. www.savesfbay.org.  

Neighborhood Coffee at 9 a.m. at Cafe Expresso Roma, 1549 Hopkins St. Sponsored by Berkeley Alliance of Neighborhood Associations. www.berkeleycna.com 

Berkeley Alliance of Neighborhood Associations meets at 9:15 a.m. at St. John’s Presbyterian Church, Sproul Conference Room, 1st Floor, 2727 College Ave. www.berkeleycna.com 

“Attica” a 1975 documentary of the three-day prison uprising at 8:30 p.m. at the Long Haul Infoshop, 3124 Shattuck Ave. 540-0751. www.thelonghaul.org  

“Spirituality in Daily Life” by Arnaud Maitland at 3 p.m. at Dharma Publishing, 1910 San Pablo Ave. Suggested donation for the lecture is $10. 548-5407. 

Tibetan Text Preservation Project A fundraiser from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Dharma Publishing, 1910 San Pablo Ave. 548-5407. 

Berkeley Youth Orchestra Auditions from 10:30 a.m. to noon. To schedule an audition or to find out more about the orchestra see www.byoweb.org 

“The Wisdom of Chakras” from 7 to 9 p.m. at Change Makers, 6536 Telegraph Ave. 655-2405. 

SUNDAY, AUGUST 22 

Friends of Strawberry Creek and Greens at Work Anniversary Celebration at 1 p.m. at Strawberry Creek Lodge, 1320 Addison St. For information call Jane Kelly at 845-7549, 528-3949. 

Berkeley’s Front Row Festival from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Addison St. and Shattuck Ave., with arts acrafts, gourmet foods, children’s activities and entertainment. Sponsored by the Downtown Berkeley Association.  

Nature Exploration for Toddlers in the meadows, around the pond and on the trails of Tilden. From 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Tilden Nature Center. 525-2233. 

Late Summer Ponds Capture and release nymphs and naiads, backswimmers and boatmen from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Tilden Nature Center. For youth and families. 525-2233. 

Berkeley City Club free tour from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tours are sponsored by the Berkeley City Club and the Landmark Heritage Foundation. Donations welcome. The Berkeley City Club is located at 2315 Durant Ave. For group reservations or more information, call 848-7800 or 883-9710. 

Oakland Heritage Alliance Walking Tour of Rockridge Arts and Crafts from 10 a.m. to noon. Meet at the pillars on the corner of Broadway and Rockridge Blvd. Cost is $5 for OHA members, $10 for nonmembers. 763-9218. www.oaklandheritage.org 

“Accomplishments and Future of the UN” with Chris O’Sullivan, UN historian, at 9:30 a.m. at Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, 1 Lawson Road, Kensington. 525-0302.  

Tibetan Buddhism with Lama Palzang on “Vairochana: Awakened master of Ancient Tibet” at 6 p.m. at the Tibetan Nyingma Institute, 1815 Highland Pl. 843-6812. www.nyingmainstitute.com 

“Buddha is Here Now” with Prof. Akira Omine, Osaka University, at 9:45 a.m. at Berkeley Buddhist Temple, 2121 Channing Way. Donation $10. 415-776-5600, ext. 24.  

MONDAY, AUGUST 23 

Friends of Strawberry Creek Meeting with City Storm Water Program Engineer Lorin Jensen on creek, culverts, flooding issues from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Central Berkeley Public Library Meeting Room, 2090 Kittredge St.  

Restoration and Monitoring of Watercourses A class with Steve Cochrane, a naturalist with Friends of the SF Estuary and the San Francisco Estuary Project. Class meets Mondays 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. and on 3 Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. At Lake Merritt College, Oakland. Cost is $38. To register call 434-3840 or ecomerritt@sbcglobal.net. Enroll online at www.peralta.cc.ca.us with class code M0488 and course #EMART 048NG. 

World Affairs/Politics Discussion Group for people 60 years and over meets Mondays at 10:15 a.m. at the Albany Senior Center, 846 Masonic Ave. Join at any time. 524-9122. 

Fitness for 55+ A total body workout including aerobics, stretching and strengthening at 1:15 p.m. every Monday at the South Berkeley Senior Center. 981-5170. 

Iyengar Yoga on Mondays from from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Ave. Cost is $12. 528-9909. gay@yogagarden.org 

Berkeley CopWatch organizational meeting at 8 p.m. at 2022 Blake St. Join us to work on current issues around police misconduct. Volunteers needed. For information call 548-0425. 

ONGOING 

Free Summer Lunch Programs are offered to youth age 18 and under at various sites in Berkeley, Mon. - Fri. 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. until Aug. 20. Sponsored by the City of Berkeley Health Dept. 981-5351.  

This Land is Your Land Day Camp Weekly sessions to Aug. 27 for children ages 5-12, at Roberts Regional Park in Oakland and at Tilden Park in Berkeley. Science and nature studies with art, music, hiking, swimming, and outdoor games. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is $245 per week. 581-3739. www.sarahscience.com 

CITY MEETINGS 

Citizens Humane Commission meets Wed., Aug. 18, at 7 p.m., at the North Berkeley Senior Center. Katherine O’Connor, 981-6601. www.ci.berkeley. 

ca.us/commissions/humane 

Commission on Labor meets Wed., Aug. 18, at 6:45 p.m., at the North Berkeley Senior Center. Delfina M. Geiken, 644-6085. www.ci.berkeley.ca. 

us/commissions/labor 

Design Review Committee meets Thurs., Aug. 19, at 7:30 p.m., at the North Berkeley Senior Center. Anne Burns, 981-7415. www.ci.berkeley. 

ca.us/commissions/designreview  

Transportation Commission meets Thurs., Aug. 19, at 7 p.m., at the North Berkeley Senior Center. Peter Hillier, 981-7000. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ 

commissions/transportation 

Solid Waste Management Commission Mon., Aug. 23, at 7 p.m., at 1201 Second St. Becky Dowdakin, 981-6357. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/commissions/solidwasteô


Opinion

Editorials

Editorial: A Gentrified Left? In Berkeley? By Becky O'Malley

Becky O'Malley
Friday August 20, 2004

A letter writer this week took umbrage at a flippant remark which we quoted in a story on the failure of a councilmember’s aide to collect the signatures his boss needed to file for re-election. The speaker suggested that the incident might be a “gentrified left-wing conspiracy,” parodying Hillary Clinton’s often ridiculed suggestion that accusations against her Bill were part of a right-wing conspiracy.  

There’s no real way at this point to know if there was a conspiracy involved, as the quoted person suggested, or just one man’s mistake. But the question of whether there’s a gentrified left in Berkeley isn’t hard to answer. Of course there is. There always has been. 

The letter writer equated “gentry” in Berkeley with “homeowners,” and opined that a m ore proper term would be “left-wing gentry.” But “gentry” usually describes a class of property owners who own more than their own houses, as in the term “landed gentry.” “Gentrification” is most often a critical term, used in the urban context to refer t o the displacement of poor residents by well-off buyers. It doesn’t take much imagination to extend these usages to people as well as places, to describe the way the political left is changed by the socio-cultural influence of the better-fixed left partis ans. There’s a long list of similar terms which have been used historically to describe this class: limousine liberals (now updated to latte liberals), parlor pinks, radical chic….. 

New residents—and a lot of you are arriving this week—should be aware th at Berkeley is the mother church of the gentrified left. Berkeleyans are fervent about political abstractions, but often fuzzy on the local consequences of their beliefs. For example, we’ve recently experienced labor strife at a previously non-union groce ry store. Nevertheless, it’s easy to encounter devout leftists who say proudly that they always shop at that store because it combines exotic merchandise with being much cheaper than the competition. Since they’re gentrified, they miss the connection between low wages and low prices. And godforbid they should shop at the unionized but pedestrian supermarket, where the coffee is pre-ground, the lettuce is iceberg and the fizzy water is generic seltzer.  

The gentrified leftist loves the poor in principle (he calls them “low-income”) but he quails when accosted on Shattuck or Telegraph by a homeless person asking for a handout. He supports the First Amendment, but confiscates newspapers which back his opponent. He believes in public education, but sends his kids to a “progressive” private school. (Or, of course, she does all of the above, since praise and blame in Berkeley must always be meted out in equal shares to all genders.) 

The errant aide is a case in point. Councilmember Shirek, his boss, has been the fire-breathing dragon of the left for 20 years, and a strong voice for rent control. Her staffer also has impeccable Old Left lineage. But he owns many rental units around town, and he was recently hit by the Rent Board with a substantial violation of Berkeley’s rent control law, to the tune of a $100,000 fine. How does he reconcile the two roles of landlord and leftist? Is there a connection between his real estate holdings and his “mistake,” conscious or subconscious? Because of his income propertie s, he might actually be considered “left-wing gentry,” as contrasted with the “gentrified left,” who are more likely to be wanna-bes with pretensions than people who profit from capital investment in land.  

What you won’t find in Berkeley politics is Rep ublicans in any numbers. Some of you probably came here from Orange County on purpose to escape Republicans, but for those who are used to having a few Republicans around there might be some culture shock. A quick check of contributors to Republican natio nal campaigns at www.fundrace.org turns up only a couple of them in the whole “9470x” Berkeley zip code area. One might own your building, however: UC Business School Professor David Teece, a lead investor in “Moldy Manor,” the Gaia Building in downtown B erkeley, who gave at least $1,000 to the Republican National Committee. (His behind-the-scenes financing of the Berkeley building boom was recently documented in these pages.)  

But Teece is the exception, not the rule. The Piedmont developer who has pro vided a public face for Teece’s Berkeley holdings, Patrick Kennedy, was spotted at a John Kerry fundraiser this summer which was well attended by the gentrified left.  

Or were the guests at that party, held in the lovely garden of a gracious Berkeley home, the left-wing gentry? Are they members of the left with ruling class pretensions, or members of the ruling class with leftist affectations? Hair-splitting like this is what makes Berkeley politics fun for our humongous chattering class to chat about. 

 

—Becky O’Malley ?


When the FBI Comes Calling: By BECKY O'MALLEY

Editorial
Tuesday August 17, 2004

The New York Times reported on Monday that “the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been questioning political demonstrators across the country, and in rare cases even subpoenaing them, in an aggressive effort to forestall what officials say could be violent and disruptive protests at the Republican National Convention in New York.” The report went on to say that “FBI officials are urging agents to canvass their communities for information about planned disruptions aimed at the convention and other coming political events, and they say they have developed a list of people who they think may have information about possible violence.”  

This is the kind of news that worries those of us who are concerned about protecting whatever civil liberties we still have left. Of course, it’s no surprise to Berkeley people who grew up in circles which were “monitored” by the FBI. One friend tells about a childhood with a car with two men in business suits, conspicuous in a working class neighborhood, parked at the end of her block most of the time. Another, the daughter of one of the legendary Petaluma chicken farmers, tells a story of the time an FBI agent came to question her father as he was shoveling out the chicken house. As the story, perhaps now apocryphally embroidered, goes, he handed the agent a shovel and exaggerated his already substantial Slavic accent until the job was done. Then he went into the house, got out his shotgun, and ordered the agent off his property.  

During the Vietnam War we sent out invitations to a party at our Ann Arbor house for the benefit of the Winter Soldier anti-war project, with special guest Jane Fonda. The male member of the household got a call from the FBI saying that they wanted to show him a few pictures of wanted fugitives. Curiosity overcame caution, and he told them they could come over. They were scrupulously careful to find a time when they would not be alone with the woman of the house, but two of them finally showed up when both of us were home. I made a great show of minding the babies, and they ignored me in favor of showing him a pile of blurry Xeroxes of faces of famous fugitives, including H. Rap Brown. “You know, they don’t all look alike,” one of them said. But he’s never been one for remembering faces, so he was able to say with complete honesty that he didn’t recognize anyone. The clear intent, not successful, was to frighten us out of having the party. We held it anyhow, and our small seedy house was deluged with 300 Fonda fans, but that’s another story. 

FBI visits can still be intimidating. The Times quoted someone who was interviewed recently: 

“The message I took from it,” said Sarah Bardwell, 21, an intern at a Denver anti-war group who was visited by six investigators a few weeks ago, “was that they were trying to intimidate us into not going to any protests and to let us know that, ‘hey, we’re watching you.’”  

It’s likely that a good number of Planet readers are planning to go to New York for the Republican convention. Three lively (not violent, occasionally disruptive) ones (Osha Neumann, Jane Stillwater, Patti Dacey) have offered to send us dispatches from the action. It’s a pretty good bet that none of them will be reporting from inside the hall, though you never know. We’d like to hear from anyone else who’s going who is contacted by “investigators” of any kind regarding their participation. E-mail us at news@berkeleydailyplanet.com, or call the front desk (841-5600) and tell us what’s happening. Same old refrain: Sunshine is still the best way to make sure that democracy flourishes despite a climate of fear. 

• • • 

One more historic footnote: Federal personnel in the past have also functioned as agents provocateurs, people who mingle with legitimate protesters and goad them into counter-productive behavior. Exactly what in New York will turn out to be counter-productive remains to be seen, but anyone who goes should be careful not to be provoked into doing something that helps the Bush re-election effort. Please. 

 

 

 

 


Columns

Five Easy Houseplants By RON SULLIVAN Special to the Planet

By RON SULLIVAN Special to the Planet
Friday August 20, 2004

Something living in that soulless dorm room, the weird-shaped nook the landlord calls a bedroom, or that gorgeous Craftsman that was such a find you can hardly believe it—that’s what makes it something better than a box to sleep in. Plants are easier than puppies. You have a brown thumb? No worries. The dirty little secret of having a green thumb is that most of us had to murder a lot of plants along the way. 

To minimize the slaughter, try one of these: 

Spiderplant (Chlorophytum comosum) 

If you have a bit of light, even a north window, go for the white-striped kind; it’s more cheerful. The roots get fat, so give it pot room. Finding one for free should be easy; root the flying babies in water for a week or two.  

Snakeplant (Sanseveria species) Will live in the dark at the back of the room—just don’t water it much. The Dry Garden on Shattuck sometimes has nifty, different specimens.  

Cast-iron plant (Asphidistra eliator)  

Can be hard to find, but lives up to its name. Tall and dark-green, and like spiderplant will do fine outdoors here. 

Pothos (Epipremnum pinnatum)  

Easier to grow than to spell. It’s a vine with heart-shaped leaves splashed with yellow or white. More light = more color, if you keep it watered. Let the soil dry out on top between waterings. Roots easily from cuttings. 

Peace “lily” (Spathiphyllum species)  

Actually an arum, with soft dark green leaves. Wants water whenever the soil surface gets dry; if you put it in filtered light, like a sheer-curtained window, it will give you elegant white flowers. 

 

 

 


Tilden: Nature’s Jewel Outside Our Back Door By MARTA YAMAMOTO Special to the Planet

By MARTA YAMAMOTO Special to the Planet
Friday August 20, 2004

The dog days of summer leading into fall and the return to school don’t spell the end of outdoor activities. In Berkeley’s Mediterranean climate, you’ll find the warmth of the air, the stir of the breeze and the angle of the light calling you to come out and play. 

Tilden Regional Park is the ideal playground. A short drive or bus ride from Berkeley’s city center, it offers a broad range of outdoor attractions to fill an hour, an afternoon or an entire day. Encompassing 2,077 acres preserved for natural beauty and recreation, Tilden Park has been an integral part of Berkeley life since it opened to the public in 1936 (and of my life since 1964, when I arrived as a student.) Through the years it has exercised my body and mind, entertained family and friends, and even provided a name for my son. 

Miles of trails for hiking and biking, a fresh water lake for swimming and fishing, multiple picnic areas to accommodate groups both large and small, a Nature Area with its Little Farm and never-ending bridge, a Botanic Garden rich with California native plants, and for the child in all of us, a merry-go-round, steam train, and pony ride—enough to keep drawing you back again and again. 

The Tilden Nature Area is the place to get acquainted with the park. Inside the Visitor Center, walk through the model exhibit of Wildcat Creek Watershed to learn how the movement of water in its various forms has carved and shaped the unique combination of geologic features, plants and animals that make up this park. Enjoy the changing displays of quality nature photographs, the interactive Nature of Water Hall, and the small gift shop. The posted schedule of ranger-led activities for the month will help you plan for future events. A park map and a dancing chicken t-shirt will set you up to step outside and meet the park firsthand. 

Bring your lettuce and celery to the Little Farm, built in the 1950s by a Berkeley High School woodshop class. The cows, sheep, goats, chickens and turkeys at this working farm will become your best friends, regardless of your age.  

Seven different trails wind through the 70-acre Nature Study Area. The .9-mile Jewel Lake Trail loops gently to a small lake along a boardwalk built through a marshy, lush green jungle of trees and resident wildlife. You might encounter a chattering Scrub Jay, a foraging raccoon, an underwater newt or a shy, bolting deer. At the lake make time for a peaceful visit among its ducks, turtles, and often-present Great Blue Heron. 

Warm weather and water—a natural combination. At Lake Anza’s sandy beach join the multigenerational sunbathers and water sprites and step back in time. No distractions, just sparkling, chilly water surrounded by a forest of conifers and eucalyptus, open to the sun and protected from the wind. Little has changed over the 30 years I’ve visited, on my own and with family. It remains the same mellow haven, though often noisy with the delighted voices of children having fun.  

Lake Anza is a special place in any season; visit in the quiet early morning or on a day when mist hangs over the lake and drips from the leaves. A lovely way to view the entire lake and its creek is to walk the perimeter trail, alone or with a water-loving canine companion. Dogs are permitted, off leash, on trails in the park, except in the Nature Area.  

Well marked hiking trails lead you through a variety of habitats: Big Springs Canyon’s colorful wildflower display, the lost waterfall of Laurel Canyon, riparian forests of alder and bay, cool, moist, and alive with the sound of water over creek cobbles. Some trails are narrow and secluded; others are wide, open, and well traveled, comfortable for a single walker, as I am almost daily. A favorite loop hike, perfect for a one-hour break, begins at Lone Oak picnic area where the Meadow Canyon trail climbs through open grassland and expansive sky to the Curran trail. This steep decline through pines, redwoods and eucalyptus brings you to the canyon floor and Wild Gorge trail which follows the creek under a canopy of trees back to your starting point, about 3 miles total length.  

The Botanic Garden, open since 1940, has accomplished a formidable task. Its ten acres, divided into 10 floral areas, represent California’s 160,000 square miles. Within the garden’s boundaries is the world’s most complete collection of California native trees, shrubs, and flowers, landscaped for exploring, study and relaxation. Seacoast bluffs, coastal mountains, interior valleys, alpine zones, deserts—diverse areas make up California’s botanic bounty. Pick up a map of the garden and a list of scheduled events at the Visitor Center as you arrive. 

When it’s time to nourish the body as well as the soul you won’t be disappointed. There are picnic areas throughout the park, many available for reservation. Big Leaf, Meadows, Buckeye, Lake View, Acacia—equipped with tables, grills, and water. Don’t be surprised to see colorful balloons if you arrive for an early morning hike; Tilden Park is a hot party venue. 

When you just need a break from acting like an adult, head for the Herschell Spillman antique merry-go-round. Wonderful hand-carved carousel animals and the music of the calliope will lift your spirits, and adults can ride too. On the Steam Train you can sit inside boxcars or out in the elements for a scenic ride, complete with appropriately attired engineer, billows of steam and a piercing whistle. Only children can ride the ponies as they circle the pony ride ring, but watching can bring back fond memories. 

Welcome to Berkeley. Welcome to Tilden Regional Park. Throughout the year and regardless of the weather, you’ll find yourself making excuses to walk its trails and absorb its quiet beauty. So close to home and yet remote with its potential for escape.  

Å


Getting There

Friday August 20, 2004

Tilden Regional Park, entrances off Wildcat Canyon Road and Grizzly Peak Boulevard. 562-PARK.  

www.ebparks.org/parks/tilden.htm. 

No entrance fee for the park. Fees required for swimming at Lake Anza, the merry-go-round, steam train and pony rides. 

Group Picnic reservations: 636-1684 

 

Driving directions: There are many entrances and facilities in Tilden Regional Park. The Nature Area, Little Farm, Pony Ride, Carousel, Lake Anza and the Botanic Garden are easily reached through the Canon Drive entrance at the intersection of Wildcat Canyon Road and Grizzly Peak Boulevard. 

Public transportation: On weekends and holidays, AC Transit No. 67 from the Berkeley Bart station takes you into the park along Central Park Drive and Wildcat Canyon Road; on weekdays it operates only to the Canon Drive and Shasta Road entrances.


Berkeley This Week Calendar

Friday August 20, 2004

FRIDAY, AUGUST 20 

Cavalia: A Magical Encounter Between Horse and Man under the big-top at Golden Gate Fields, Tues.-Fri. at 8 p.m. Sat. at 3 and 8 p.m., Sun. at 1 and 5 p.m. extended to Aug. 29. Tickets are $44-$79 available from 1-866-999-8111. www.caval ia.net 

“Oscar in the Wild: Camping with Cal Shakes” from 5 p.m. to Sat. 10 a.m. at the Bruns Amphitheater, 100 Gateway Blvd., Orinda. Cost is $28-$35. Performance tickets sold separately. To register call 548-9666. 

Old Oakland Outdoor Cinema on Washington St., between 9th and 10th Sts. Music at 5 p.m., and film, “Tootsie” at 8 p.m. Bring your own chairs and blankets. Sponsored by the City of Oakland and the Old Oakland Historic District. 238-4734. www.filmoakland.com 

“Manhattan” A Woody Allen film at 8:30 p.m. at the Long Haul Infoshop, 3124 Shattuck Ave. 540-0751. www.thelonghaul.org  

SATURDAY, AUGUST 21 

Plant Nursery Work Party from 9 a.m. to noon. Join the Richmond Bayshore Stewards to restore a tidal marsh and improve wildlife habitat on the south Ri chmond shoreline along the Bay Trail. We will be working in the native plant nursery on the UC Richmond Field Station building plant tables, and doing nursery work. Tools, gloves and snacks provided. Please pre-register so we can send directions. Youth un der 18 years need signed permission from a parent or guardian so please contact us for a waiver in advance. Sponsored by The Watershed Project (formerly Aquatic Outreach Institute). To register or for more information, contact Elizabeth O’Shea, 231-9566 o r Elizabeth@thewatershedproject.org 

Berkeley’s Front Row Festival from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Addison St. and Shattuck Ave., with arts and crafts, gourmet foods, children’s activities and entertainment. Sponsored by the Downtown Berkeley Association.  

Temes cal Street Fair from noon to 6 p.m. on Telegraph Ave. between 48th and 51st St., with live music, entertainment for children, food and craft booths. 

Late Summer Color with Aerin Moore at 10 a.m. at Magic Gardens Nursery, 729 Heinz Ave. 644-2351. www.magicgardens.com 

Sushi for the More Adventurous A hands-on opportunity to make and taste exotic varieties of sushi for youth and adults. Parent participation required for childen age 8-12. From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Tilden Nature Center. Cost is $29-$44. Registration required. 525-2233. 

Oakland Heritage Alliance Walking Tour of Richmond Boulevard from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meet at the pergola, Croxton Ave. and Richmond Blvd. Cost is $5 for OHA members, $10 for nonmembers. 763-9218. www.oaklandheritage.org 

Walking Tour of Historic Oakland Churches and Temples Meet at 10 a.m. at the front of the First Prebyterian Church at 2619 Broadway. Tour lasts 90 minutes. Reservations can be made by calling 238-3234. www.oaklandnet.com/ 

wallkingtours 

Angel Island Kayak Overnight with Save the Bay. We will paddle our kayaks to a secluded beach, cook our meals and sleep in a restored Victorian, learn about the rich history of the island. From 9:30 a.m. Sat. to 4:30 p.m. Sun. Cost is $129-$139. For more information or to register call 452-9261. www.savesfbay.org.  

Neighborhood Coffee at 10 a.m. at Cafe Expresso Roma, 1549 Hopkins St. Sponsored by Berkeley Alliance of Neighborhood Associations. www.berkeleycna.com 

Berkeley Alliance of Neighborhood Associations meets at 9:1 5 a.m. at St. John’s Presbyterian Church, Sproul Conference Room, 1st Floor, 2727 College Ave. www.berkeleycna.com 

Alameda County Peace and Freedom Party and Picnic at Shorebird Park, south of University Ave. from noon to 5 p.m. Bring food and drink to s hare.  

“Attica” a 1975 documentary of the three-day prison uprising at 8:30 p.m. at the Long Haul Infoshop, 3124 Shattuck Ave. 540-0751. www.thelonghaul.org  

“Spirituality in Daily Life” by Arnaud Maitland at 3 p.m. at Dharma Publishing, 1910 San Pablo A ve. Suggested donation for the lecture is $10. 548-5407. 

Tibetan Text Preservation Project A fundraiser from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Dharma Publishing, 1910 San Pablo Ave. 548-5407. 

Indian Dance and Music Open House Guest artists from India will be on hand to demonstrate the arts of flute, drum, santoor and singing. From 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Jyoti Kala Mandir Studio, 1452 Cornell Ave. www.jyotikalamandir.org 

Berkeley Youth Orchestra Auditions from 10:30 a.m. to noon. To schedule an audition or to find out more about the orchestra see www.byoweb.org 

“The Wisdom of Chakras” from 7 to 9 p.m. at Change Makers, 6536 Telegraph Ave. 655-2405. 

SUNDAY, AUGUST 22 

Friends of Strawberry Creek and Greens at Work Anniversary Celebration at 1 p.m. at Strawberry Creek Lodge, 1320 Addison St. For information call Jane Kelly at 845-7549, 528-3949. 

Berkeley’s Front Row Festival from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Addison St. and Shattuck Ave., with arts and crafts, gourmet foods, children’s activities and entertainment. Sponsored b y the Downtown Berkeley Association.  

Nature Exploration for Toddlers in the meadows, around the pond and on the trails of Tilden. From 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Tilden Nature Center. 525-2233. 

Late Summer Ponds Capture and release nymphs and naiads, backswimmers and boatmen from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Tilden Nature Center. For youth and families. 525-2233. 

Berkeley City Club free tour from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tours are sponsored by the Berkeley City Club and the Landmark Heritage Foundation. Donations welcome. The Berkeley City Club is located at 2315 Durant Ave. For group reservations or more information, call 848-7800 or 883-9710. 

Oakland Heritage Alliance Walking Tour of Rockridge Arts and Crafts from 10 a.m. to noon. Meet at the pillars on the corner of Broadwa y and Rockridge Blvd. Cost is $5 for OHA members, $10 for nonmembers. 763-9218. www.oaklandheritage.org 

“Accomplishments and Future of the UN” with Chris O’Sullivan, UN historian, at 9:30 a.m. at Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, 1 Lawson Road, K ensington. 525-0302.  

“Celebrate Pride with New Spirit Community Church” A special worship service celebrating LGBT spirituality and pride at 11 a.m. at Pacific School of Religion Chapel, 1798 Scenic Ave. 704-7729. www.newspiritchurch.org 

Tibetan Buddhism with Lama Palzang on “Vairochana: Awakened Master of Ancient Tibet” at 6 p.m. at the Tibetan Nyingma Institute, 1815 Highland Pl. 843-6812. www.nyingmainstitute.com 

“Buddha is Here Now” with Prof. Akira Omine, Osaka University, at 9:45 a.m. at Berkeley Buddhist Temple, 2121 Channing Way. Donation $10. 415-776-5600, ext. 24.  

MONDAY, AUGUST 23 

Friends of Strawberry Creek Meeting with City Storm Water Program Engineer Lorin Jensen on creek, culverts, flooding issues from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Central Berkeley Public Library Meeting Room, 2090 Kittredge St.  

Restoration and Monitoring of Watercourses A class with Steve Cochrane, a naturalist with Friends of the SF Estuary and the San Francisco Estuary Project. Class meets Mondays 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. and on 3 Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. At Lake Merritt College, Oakland. Cost is $38. To register call 434-3840 or ecomerritt@sbcglobal.net. Enroll online at www.peralta.cc.ca.us with class code M0488 and course #EMART 048NG. 

World Affairs/Politics Discussion Group for people 60 years and over meets Mondays at 10:15 a.m. at the Albany Senior Center, 846 Masonic Ave. Join at any time. 524-9122. 

Fitness for 55+ A total body workout including aerobics, stretching and strengthening at 1:15 p.m. every Monday at the South Berkeley Senior Center. 981-5170. 

Iyengar Yoga on Mondays from from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Ave. Cost is $12. 528-9909. gay@yogagarden.org 

Berkeley CopWatch organizational meeting at 8 p.m. at 2022 Blake St. Join us to work on current issues around police misconduct. Volunteers needed. For information call 548-0425. 

TUESDAY, AUGUST 24 

West Berkeley Foundation Awards Night Celebrating 11 years of serving West Berkeley’s children, seniors and families at 6:30 p.m. at Rosa Parks Elementary School Auditorium, 920 Allston Way. Keynote talk by Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson. Free and open to the public. 559-2202. 

El Cerrrito Library Book Club meets to discuss “White Teeth” by Zadie Smith at 7 p.m. at the El Cerrito Library, 6510 Stockton Ave. 526-7512. www.ccclib.org 

City Employee Appreciation Day at The Berkeley Cold Stone Creamery at 2204 Shattuck Ave. from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Berkeley City Personnel must bring a current and valid Berkeley City Emplo yee ID and will receive $1 off one of our ice cream Creations. 

Organic Produce at low prices sold at the corner of Sacramento and Oregon Streets every Tuesday from 3 to 7 p.m. This is a project of Spiral Gardens. 843-1307. 

Phone Banking to ReDefeat Bush o n Tuesdays from 6 to 9 p.m. at Cafe de la Paz, 1600 Shattuck Ave. Bring your cell phones. Please RSVP if you can join us. 233-2144. dan@redefeatbush.com 

Berkeley Camera Club meets at 7:30 p.m., at the Northbrae Community Church, 941 The Alameda. Share you r slides and prints and learn what other photographers are doing. Monthly field trips. 548-3991. www.berkeleycameraclub.org 

St. John’s Prime Timers meets at 9:30 a.m. at St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Ave. We offer ongoing classes in exercis e and creative arts, and always welcome new members over 50. 845-6830. 

Tuesday Tilden Walkers We are a few slowpoke seniors who walk between a mile or two each Tuesday, meeting at 9:30 a.m. in the Little Farm parking lot. To join us, call 215-7672 for inf ormation or check our web page, http://home.comcast.net/~teachme99/tildenwalkers.html or email teachme99@comcast.net 

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 25 

The Knitting Hour at 6 p.m. at The Berkeley Public Library West Branch, 1125 University at San Pablo. All are welcome. Learn to knit for the first time. Get inspired by other knitters and hang out. Limited supplies available. 981-6270.  

Community Conversation on “The Hamlet Project” in the development of a new play about Oakland’s history by Naomi Iizuka. At 7 p.m. at E verett and Jones Barbeque Restaurant in Jack London Square. This is the first in a series of public events sponsored by California Shakespeare Theater, Campo Santo and Intersection for the Arts. 415-626-2787. 

“Viridiana” a film from 1960 Spain by Luis Buñ uel at 7:30 p.m. at the Humanist Hall, 390 27th St., Oakland. Free, donations are welcome. 393-5685. 

Bayswater Book Club meets at 6:30 p.m. at Barnes and Noble Coffee Shop, El Cerrito Plaza to discuss “Catholicism - Study Edition” by Richard P. McBrien. 4 33-2911. 

Walk Berkeley for Seniors meets every Wednesday, rain or shine, at 9:30 a.m. at the Sea Breeze market, just west of the I-80 overpass. Everyone is welcome, wear comfortable shoes, sunscreen and a hat. 548-9840. 

Walking Tour of Jack London Waterfr ont Meet at 10 a.m. at the corner of Broadway and Embarcadero. Tour lasts 90 minutes. Reservations can be made by calling 238-3234. www.oaklandnet.com/wallkingtours 

Fresh Produce Stand at San Pablo Park from 3 to 6:30 p.m. in the Frances Albrier Community Center. Sponsored by the Ecology Center’s Farm Fresh Choice. 848-1704. www.ecologycenter.org 

Fun with Acting Class every Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the North Berkeley Senior Center. Free, all are welcome, no experience necessary.  

Berkeley Peace Walk and Vigil at the Berkeley BART Station, corner of Shattuck and Center. Vigil at 6:30 p.m. followed by Peace Walk at 7 p.m. www.geocities.com/vigil4peace/vigil 

Calming the Storm of Menopause with Dr. Derik S. Anderson at 6 p.m. at Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, 1744 Solano Ave. 442-2304. 

THURSDAY, AUGUST 26 

North Shattuck Farmer’s Market Grand Opening from 3 to 7 p.m. at Shattuck Ave. at Rose St. Welcome by Mayor Bates and Alice Waters at 3 p.m., cooking demonstrations and jazz at 5 p.m. 548-3333. www.ecologycen ter.org 

Tilden Tots A nature adventure program for 3 and 4 year olds each accompanied by an adult. We’ll explore the world of reptiles. From 10 to 11:30 a.m. in Tilden Nature Area, in Tilden Park. Cost is $6-$8, registration required. 525-2233. www.ebparks.org 

Tilden Explorers A nature adventure program for 5-7 year olds who may be accompanied by an adult, no younger siblings, please. We’ll learn about insects, their body parts, and families. From 3:15 to 4:45 p.m. at Tilden Nature Area, in Tilden Park. Cost is $6-$8, registration required. 525-2233. www.ebparks.org 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 27 

Free Compost for Berkeley Residents from 8:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Berkeley Marina Maintenance Yard, 201 University Ave., next to Adventure Playground. 644-6566.  

Young Adult P roject Annual All Star Basketball Weekend Come support some of the best basketball players in Twilight Basketball from 7 to 10 p.m. Fri. and 4 to 10 p.m. Sat., at the Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Services Center, 1730 Oregon St. 981-6678. 

Tilden Tots A nature adventure program for 3 and 4 year olds each accompanied by an adult. We’ll explore the world of reptiles. From 10 to 11:30 a.m. in Tilden Nature Area, in Tilden Park. Cost is $6-$8, registration required. 525-2233. www.ebparks.org 

Caltopia 2004 at the Recreational Spots Facility and Evans Field, UC Campus. Fri. and Sat., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event is free to all Cal Students, staff, faculty and the community. 

Berkeley Chess Club meets Fridays at 7:15 p.m. at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Ave. Players at all levels are welcome. 652-5324. 

Women in Black Vigil, from noon to 1 p.m. at UC Berkeley, Bancroft at Telegraph. wibberkeley@yahoo.com 548-6310, 845-1143. 

Meditation, Peace Vigil and Dialogue, gather at noon on the grass close to the West E ntrance to UC Berkeley, on Oxford St. near University Ave. People of all traditions are welcome to join us. Sponsored by the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. 655-6169. www.bpf.org 

Overeaters Anonymous meets every Friday at 1:30 p.m. at the Northbrae Church at S olano and The Alameda. Parking is free and is handicapped accessible. For information call Katherine, 525-5231. 

ONGOING 

WriterCoach Connection (formerly Writers’ Room) seeks volunteers for this coming academic year. Help students improve their writing and critical thinking skills; become a WriterCoach Connection mentor to students at Berkeley High, King, Longfellow or Willard Middle Schools. Fall coach training sessions begin Sept. 1. For information call 524-2319. www.writercoachconnection.org 

Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour Seeks Host Gardens The Bringing Back the Natives Garden tour, which will be held in the spring of 2005, will showcase Alameda and Contra Costa County gardens that contain at least 30% native plants, don't use synthetic pestic ides of fertilizers, and provide habitat for wildlife. The gardens featured in this tour will demonstrate that, from postage stamp sized yards to large lots, beautiful California native plant gardens are possible for anyone. This tour is sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Coastal Program, the Urban Creeks Council, and the National Wildlife Federation. To be added to the mailing list, or to receive a host application, contact Kathy Kramer at Kathy@KathyKramerConsulting.net or 236-9558.  

Fi nd a Loving Animal Companion at the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society Adoption Center (open from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday). 2700 Ninth St. 845-7735. www.berkeleyhumane.org  

Medical Care for Your Pet at the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society l ow-cost veterinary clinic. 2700 Ninth St. For appointments call 845-3633. www.berkeleyhumane.org  

CITY MEETINGS 

Solid Waste Management Commission Mon., Aug. 23, at 7 p.m., at 1201 Second St. Becky Dowdakin, 981-6357. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/commissions/solidwaste 

Citizens Budget Review Commission meets Wed., Aug. 25, at 7 p.m., at the North Berkeley Senior Center. 981-7041. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ 

commissions/budget 

Civic Arts Commission meets Wed., Aug. 25, at 6:30 p.m. at the North Berkeley Senior Center. Mary Ann Merker, 981-7533. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ 

commissions/civicarts 

Energy Commission meets Wed., Aug. 25, at 6:30 p.m., at the North Berkeley Senior Center. Neal De Snoo, 981-5434. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/commissions/energy 

Zoning Adjustments Board meets Thurs., Aug. 26 at 7 p.m., in City Council Chambers. Mark Rhoades, 981-7410. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/commissions/zoning   

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Arts Calendar

Friday August 20, 2004

FRIDAY, AUGUST 20 

EXHIBITION OPENINGS 

“Bohemian Berkeley 1890 - 1925” exhibit extended until Sept. 19 at the Berkeley History Center, 1931 Center St. Open Thurs.-Sat. 1-4 p.m. 848-0181. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/histsoc/ 

“Travels with Margot” Photography show by Margot Smith, Berkeley activist, Gray Panther, video maker and photographer, to Aug. 31 at the French Hotel Cafe 1538 Shattuck Ave.  

FILM 

Luchino Visconti: “White Nights” at 7 p.m. and “The Stranger” at 9:10 p.m. at Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 

THEATER 

Alameda Civic Light Opera “Bye Bye Birdie,” directed by Frederick L. Chacon. Fri. and Sat. at 8 p.m. Sun. at 2 p.m. to Aug. 22. Kofman Auditorium, 2220 Central Ave. in Alameda. Tickets are $23-$25. 864-2256. www.aclo.com 

Butoh & Action Theater Performances at 8:30 p.m. Fri. and Sat., also Aug. 27 and 28 at Temescal Arts Center, 511 48th St. at Telegraph, Oakland. Tickets are $15-$20. 601-7494. www.temescalartscenter.org  

California Shakespeare Theater, “The Importance of Being Ernest” Tues.-Fri. at 7:30 p.m., Sat at 8 p.m., Sun. at 4 p.m. at the Bruns Memorial Amphitheater, through Sept. 3. Tickets are $13-$32. 548-9666. www.calshakes.org  

Shotgun Players “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” Sat. and Sun. at 4 p.m. in John Hinkel Park, Southampton Ave., until Aug 29. 841-6500. wwwshotgunplayers.org 

MUSIC AND DANCE 

30th Anniversary Celebration at the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, in honor of The American Society for Eastern Arts, featuring Aniruddha Knight, Bharatanatyam dancer at 8 p.m. at Julia Morgan Center. Tickets are $20-$25. 925-798-1300. 

Sequoia Concerts “A Concert of Mainly Contemporaries” with William Bouton, violin, and Leonore Hall, piano, at 7:45 p.m. at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Ave. Tickets are $15-$25. 415-342-6151. www.sequoiaconcerts.com  

Bay Area Classical Harmonies performs Mozart’s C Minor Mass at 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 114 Montecito Ave., Oakland. Tickets $10-15. 866-233-9892. www.berkeleybach.org  

The Dayna Stephen s Sextet at 8 p.m. at The Jazz House. www.thejazzhouse.com 

Palenque, CD release celebration at 9:30 p.m. at La Peña Cultural Center. Cost is $10. 849-2568. www.lapena.org 

Tchiya Amet at 9:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $13. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Sourdo ugh Slim and the Saddle Pals, the last of the vaudeville cowboys, at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $16.50 at the door. 548-1761. www.freightandsalvage.org 

Pamela Z and Shoko Hikage, with Jesse Quattro, Moe Staiano and Vicky Grossi, experimental a nd avant garde music, a benefit for the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan at 8 p.m. at 21 Grand, 449B 23rd St., Oakland. Cost is $7-$70 sliding scale, no one turned away. Presented by Fire Museum. 415-273-4681. 

Pit of Fashion Orchestra with Peter Barshay at 9 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810.  

DJ & Brook, jazz trio, at 7:30 p.m. at Nomad Cafe, 6500 Shattuck Ave. 595-5344. www.nomadcafe.net 

Pistola, Research and Development, 3 Piece Combo at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $12. 841-20 82. www.starryplough.com 

Killing the Dream, Blue Monday, Verse, The Answer at 8 p.m. at 924 Gilman St. Cost is $5. 525-9926. 

Masoose at the 1923 Teahouse at 8 p.m. Donation of $5-$10. 644-2204. www.epicarts.org 

The Katie Jay Band at 9:30 p.m. at Beckett’s Irish Pub, 2271 Shattuck Ave. 647-1790. www.beckettsirishpub.com 

Soul at 9:30 p.m. at Shattuck Down Low, 2284 Shattuck Ave. Cost is $5. 548-1159.  

Dynamic plays jazz-funk at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

SATURDAY, AUGUST 21 

CHILDREN 

Kids on the Block Pupp et Show promoting acceptance and understanding of physical and cultural differences at 2 p.m. at the Hall of Health, 2230 Shattuck Ave. Donation $3. Children under 3 free. 549-1564. 

THEATER 

Breaking Ground Collective, “Blood Wedding” at 8 p.m. and Sun. at 2 p.m. at Live Oak Theater, 1301 Shattuck Ave. Tickets are $5. 1-877-519-3300. 

Shakespeare Festival, “Twelfth Night” at Lakeside Park, Oakland, Sat. and Sun. at 4 p.m. Free. 415-865-4434. www.sfhhakes.org 

FILM 

Luchino Visconti: “vaghe stelle dell’orsa” a t 7 p.m., and “Conversation Piece” at 9:05 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 

READINGS AND LECTURES 

Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson introduce their latest science fiction “Dune: The Battle of Corrin” at 7:3 0 p.m. at Cody’s Books. 845-7852. www.codysbooks.com 

MIUSIC AND DANCE 

New Millennium Strings will feature works of Franck, Berlioz, Ravel and Rapf at 8 p.m. at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 2300 Bancroft Way. Tickets are $10-$15, children under 12 free. 52 8-4633. www.newmillenniumstrings.org 

Bay Area Classical Harmonies performs Mozart’s C Minor Mass, at 7:30 p.m. at Arlington Community Church, 52 Arlington Ave. Kensington. Tickets $10-15. 866-233-9892. www.berkeleybach.org 

Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus at 8 p.m. at Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, 3534 Lakeshore Ave. 800-706-2389. www.oebgmc.org 

Houston Jones Country Rock and Blues Band plays a benefit for BOSS’s homeless programs at 8 p.m. at Oakland Metro Opera Theater, 201 Broadway, Oakland, Cost is $15-$17.50. 649-1930. 

The Frisky Frolics, Tin Pan Alley troubadours at 2 p.m. at Down Home Music, 10341 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito. 525-2129. 

Swanee: The Stephen Foster Story, with Joe Weed, Marti Kendall, Katie Kendall-Weed and Marty Atkinson, at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $15.50 in advance, $16.50 at the door. 548-1761. www.freightandsalvage.org 

Hal Stein Quartet at 8:30 p.m. at Cafe Van Kleef, 1621 Telegraph Ave. Cost is $5. 

Orquesta la Moderna Tradición at 9:30 p.m. at La Peña Cultural Center. Cost is $10-$12. 849-2568. www.lapena.org 

Ambrose Akinmusire Project at 8 p.m. at the Jazzschool. Cost is $12-$15. 845-5373. www.jazzschool.com 

California Brazil All-Star Band at 9:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $12. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Damon Zick and Friends at 8 p.m. at The Jazz House. Cost is $8-$15. www.thejazzhouse.org 

Fred Randolph Jazz Trio at 9:30 p.m. at Albatross, 1822 San Pablo Ave. Cost is $3. 843-2473. www.albatrosspub.com 

Spanish Enchantments with Flamenco music and dance at 9 p.m. at Downtown. Reservations required. 649-3810.  

Jerry Kelly, singer, songwriter at 7:30 p.m. at Nomad Cafe, 6500 Shattuck Ave. 595-5344. www.nomadcafe.net 

Swingueria Baiana at 9:30 p.m. at Shattuck Down Low, 2284 Shattuck Ave. Cost is $7. 548-1159.  

Will Bernard and Motherbug at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $6. 841-2082. www.starryplough.com 

Evan Gold and Wendy DeRosa at the 1923 Teahouse at 8 p.m. Donation of $5-$10. 644-2204. www.epicarts.org 

Modern Machines, Period Three, Love Songs, Ma x Fischer at 8 p.m. at 924 Gilman St. Cost is $5. 525-9926. 

Anton Schwartz Quartet at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Barbary Coast by Night An evening of music and food from Algeria. Every Sat. at 7 p.m. at Cafe Raphael’s, 10064 San Pablo Ave. El Cerrito. 5 25-4227. 

SUNDAY, AUGUST 22 

CHILDREN  

Asheba at Ashkenaz at 3 p.m. Cost is $4-$6. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

EXHIBITION OPENINGS 

“Open Heart Surgery: Seeing the Truth: A Memorial” reception for the artists, Annamarta Dostourian, Andrew Juris and Laura DuBo is at 6 p.m. at Oakland Box, 1928 Telegraph Ave. 451-1932. www.oaklandbox.com  

FILM 

Luchino Visconti: “White Nights” at 5:30 p.m. and “The Stranger” at 7:35 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 

READINGS AND LE CTURES 

International Women’s Writing Guild celebrates summer with Opal Palmer-Adisa and Earthlyn Marselean Manuel at 3 p.m. at Cody’s Books on Fourth St. 559-9500. www.codysbooks.com 

MUSIC AND DANCE 

New Millennium Strings will feature works of Franck, Ber lioz, Ravel and Rapf at 3 p.m. at Arlington Community Church, 52 Arlington, Kensington. Tickets are $10-$15, children under 12 free. 528-4633. www.newmillenniumstrings.org 

Flamenco Open Stage with Stephanie Niera at 7:30 p.m. Ashkenaz. Cost is $9. 525-505 4.  

www.ashkenaz.com 

Slammin’ an all-body band that comines a cappella singing with beat boxing and body music at 4:30 at the Jazzschool. Cost is $12-$18. 845-5373. www.jazzschool.com 

Acme Observatory presents Rothbaum, Drake, Bruckmann and Stackpole at 8 p.m. at The Jazz House. Donation $10. www.thejazzhouse.com 

Bev Grant, activist, feminist singer-songwriter, at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $15.50 in advance, $16.50 at the door. 548-1761.  

www.freightandsalvage.org 

Americana Unplugged: Homespu n Rowdy at 5 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

MONDAY, AUGUST 23 

READINGS AND LECTURES 

Poetry Express Tribute to Dixi Cohn from 7 to 9:30 p.m., at Priya Restaurant, 2072 San Pablo Ave. berkeleypoetryexpress@yahoo.com 

MUSIC AND DANCE 

Africando at 8 and 10 p.m. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square. Also on Tues. Cost is $26. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 

TUESDAY, AUGUST 24 

FILM 

Time’s Shadow: “Nosferatu A Symphony of Horror” at 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 

READINGS AND LECTURES 

Poets Gone Wild open mic night, at 7:30 p.m. at Barnes and Noble. 644-0861. 

MUSIC AND DANCE 

Sauce Piquante at 8:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cajun dance lesson with Cheryl McBride at 8 p.m. Cost is $9. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Jazz House Jam, host ed by Darrell Green and Geechy Taylor at 8 p.m. at The Jazz House. Donation $5. www.thejazz- 

house.com 

Jazzschool Tuesdays, a weekly showcase of up-and-coming ensembles from Berkeley Jazz- 

school at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Dick Conte Duo at 8 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810. 

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 25 

FILM 

Exploit-O-Scope: “Nightmare in Wax” at 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 

READINGS AND LECTURES 

“Berkeley: The Life and Spirit of a Remarkable Town” a new book of photographs by Kiran Singh and commentary by Ellen Weis at 7:30 p.m. at Easy Going Travel Shop and Bookstore, 1385 Shattuck Ave at Rose. 843-3533. 

Bay Area Writing Project, summer reading featuring teachers who are also authors from Berkeley and Oakland, at 7:30 p.m. at Barnes and Noble. 644-0861. 

Berkeley Poetry Slam with host Charles Ellik, featuring Three Blind Mice, at 8:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $5-$7. 841-2082 www.starryplough.com 

MUSIC AND DANCE 

Jules Broussard, Ned Boynton and Bing Nathan at 8 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810.  

Balkan Folk Dance at 8 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $6. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Candela with salsa lessons at 8 p.m. at Shattuck Down Low, 2284 Shattuck Ave. Cost is $5-$10. 548-1159.  

Famous Last Words, alt-rock and blues at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Swing Mine at 9 p.m. at Albatross, 1822 San Pablo Ave. 843-2473. www.albatrosspub.com 

Sovosó at 8 and 10 p.m. through Sun. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square. Cost is $10-$14. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 

THURSDAY, AUGUST 26 

FILM 

“Collect Call/Por Cobrar” on the pursuit of the American dream by a young Guatemalan at 7:30 p.m. at La Peña. Cost is $8. 849-2568. www.lapena.org 

Luchino Visconti: “Conversation Piece” at 7 p.m. and “Vaghe stelle dell’orsa” at 9:20 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 

READINGS AND LECTURES 

Bharati Mukherjee reads from her new novel “The Tree Bride” at 7:30 p.m. at Cody’s Books. 845-7852. www.codysbooks.com 

Word Beat Reading Series at 7 p.m. w ith featured readers Gg Re and Al Averbach, followed by an open mic, at Mediterraneum Caffe, 2475 Telegraph Ave., near Dwight Way. 526-5985.  

Bradley Chabonneau, Kristine Enea, Dean LaTourrette and Jack Boulware introduce us to their books about San Franc isco at 7:30 p.m. at Easy Going Travel Shop and Bookstore, 1385 Shattuck Ave at Rose, 843-3533. 

MUSIC AND DANCE 

Freight Fiddle Summit with Alasdair Fraser, Natalie Haas, Jennifer and Hazel Wrigley, and Rodney Miller, at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $19.50 in advance, $20.50 at the door. 548-1761. www.freightandsalvage.org 

Jazz Mine,string swing jazz quartet, at 6:30 p.m. at King Tsin Chinese Restaurant, 1699 Solano Ave. www.jazzmine.net 

Michael Fracasso, AJ Roach at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Ploug h. Cost is $6. 841-2082.  

www.starryploughpub.com 

Gini Wilson at 9 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810. 

Eddie Palmieri at 8 and 10 p.m. through Sun. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square. Cost is $15-$26. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 27 

FILM 

Luchino Visconti: “Death in Venice” at 7 p.m. and “The Innocent” at 9:30 p.m. at Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 

THEATER 

California Shakespeare Theater, “The Importance of Being Ernest” Tues.-Fri. at 7:30 p.m., Sat at 8 p.m., Sun. at 4 p.m. at the Bruns Memorial Amphitheater, through Sept. 3. Tickets are $13-$32. 548-9666. www.calshakes.org 

Butoh & Action Theater Performances at 8:30 p.m. Fri. and Sat. at Temescal Arts Center, 511 48th St. at Telegraph, Oakland, near MacArthur BART. Tickets are $15-$20. 601-7494. www.temescalartscenter.org  

Impact Theatre, “Fluffy Bunnies in a Field of Daisies” a sexually-honest comedy, opens at 8 p.m. at La Val’s Subterranean Theater, 1834 Euclid, and runs Thurs. - Sat. through Oct. 2. Tickets are $10-$15. 464-4468. www.impacttheatre.com 

Shotgun Players “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” Sat. and Sun. at 4 p.m. in John Hinkel Park, Southampton Ave., until Aug 29. 841-6500. wwwshotgunplayers.org 

READINGS AND LECTURES 

Julia Vinograd at 7:30p.m. at the Book Zoo. Open mic will follow. 2556 Telegraph Ave., #7. 883-1332. 

MUSIC AND DANCE 

Bay World, a celebration of world music in the Bay Area, produced by Iluminado Yaya Maldonado, with performances by Unity Nguyen, Omar Ait Vimoun, and Reunion Boricia, at 8 p.m. at La Peña Cultural Center. Cost is $10. 849-2568. www.lapena.org 

Trevor Dunn, Ches Smith and Heather Greenlief at 8 p.m. at The Jazz House. Donation $8-$15. www.thejazz- 

house.com 

Dub Congress with Dub FX at 9:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $13. 525-5 054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Tom Rush, New England folk singer, at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $20.50 in advance, $21.50 at the door. 548-1761. www.freightandsalvage.org 

Rock the Plough with ArnoCorps, The Rulers, El Faye at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Pl ough. Cost is $6. 841-2082. www.starryploughpub.com 

Wayne Wallace Quartet at 9 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810. 

Henry Kaiser, guitarist, at 7:30 p.m. at Nomad Cafe, 6500 Shattuck Ave. 595-5344. www.nomadcafe.net 

Animal Liberation Orchestra at 9:30 p.m. at Shat tuck Down Low, 2284 Shattuck Ave. Cost is $5-$8. 548-1159. www.shattuckdownlow.com 

Will Bernard & Motherbug at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Lights Out, The Physical Challenge, Countdown to Life at 8 p.m. at 924 Gilman St. Cost is $5. 525-9926. 

 

 

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