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Jakob Schiller:
          (Left to Right) Randy Olson, an apparatus operator, Lt. Robert Perez and Scott Hall, also an apparatus operator, all from Berkeley Fire Station 5, finish up a day of drills with the number two truck on Monday afternoon. The City Council might reduce the truck company to daytime service only.´
Jakob Schiller: (Left to Right) Randy Olson, an apparatus operator, Lt. Robert Perez and Scott Hall, also an apparatus operator, all from Berkeley Fire Station 5, finish up a day of drills with the number two truck on Monday afternoon. The City Council might reduce the truck company to daytime service only.´


Council Mulls Fate Of Fire Company: By MATTHEW ARTZ

Tuesday October 05, 2004

Backed into a corner by a mounting deficit and an obstinate firefighters’ union, the City Council Tuesday will contemplate approving the first cut to fire response services in over 20 years. 

On the table is a proposal to ground one of the city’s two fire truck companies from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. every day starting Nov. 8 to save $300,000 in overtime expenditures needed to staff it.  

City Manager Phil Kamlarz is also recommending that the council vote Tuesday to reinstate the truck company—which is scheduled for complete elimination next summer to help balance the budget in fiscal year 2006—should voters pass the paramedic tax on the November ballot. 

Opponents of the tax measure were quick to charge that the proposal is pure political gamesmanship. 

“The paramedic tax has to pay for paramedics,” said former Mayor Shirley Dean, who added she believed the city manager’s proposal was intended to get the firefighters’ union behind the tax measure. 

Councilmembers hope to keep both truck companies at full strength this winter by making a deal with the firefighters’ union for a $300,000 salary giveback. Other city unions have either been cajoled or forced into a one-time giveback of a portion of their scheduled raises, but the firefighters’ contract lacks a clause allowing the city to compel it to take a cut.  

The loss of the truck company would come on top of about $250,000 in cuts to the fire department this year, mostly in the elimination and reconfiguration of administrative posts, to help the city close a $10 million budget shortfall. 

In prior lean years, the department has also balanced budgets by shedding top positions. The most recent cut to actual fire response teams came in 1981 when the city reduced engine and truck companies from four firefighters to three. 

Truck companies, armed with aerial ladders and equipment including “the jaws of life,” undertake rescue operations and cut ventilation holes in roofs of building fires.  

With the deadline coming at the end of the month and no formal negotiations underway, some councilmembers ex-pressed frustration at the predicament they face Tuesday. 

“The firefighters have to come around on this,” said Councilmember Betty Olds, who opposes any cut to fire services. 

The union and the city have not seen eye-to-eye since the firefighters signed a contract in 2000 surrendering two years of raises in return for more generous retirement benefits. Union representative Gil Dong said the firefighters were told other unions would have to follow the same formula, but then watched as the city gave police officers a better deal. Although the city extended the firefighters’ contract in 2002 to give them parity with the police, Dong said that animosity lingers. 

“There’s a sensitivity here because the last time we took the city at its word we got burned.” 

Dong, though, seemed to back off the union’s previous stance that it wouldn’t negotiate with the city until every other bargaining unit negotiated a giveback. With the Public Employees Union Local 1 preparing to take an agreement to its members next week, only the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245—the city’s smallest union—is fighting the giveback. 

“We’re trying to make it work,” said Dong, who confirmed both sides have had “informal discussions” on a salary giveback. 

Instead of shutting down the truck company or giving up pay, Dong said the union has proposed subtracting $300,000 from a department fund earmarked for a new truck. Since the city’s fiscal year 2006 budget calls for eliminating the truck company entirely to save $1.3 million, Dong didn’t see the point in keeping the money tied up in the fund. 

But now that City Manager Kamlarz is asking that revenues from the Paramedic Tax go keep the truck company in operation next year at a cost of $1.3 million, tax opponents are again charging that the council isn’t being upfront about the tax. 

Although the $1.2 million Paramedics Tax is billed as preserving and bolstering emergency medical services, it would free up money in the general fund to be spent any way the council chooses. Currently the city is subsidizing its paramedic fund with $1 million from the general fund, which would be replaced by the tax. 

Dean, the former mayor, questioned why councilmembers waited until one month before Election Day to announce their plans for the tax revenue when they could have done so during budget negotiations last June. 

Noting that the city council had already given Kamlarz the authority to exact $300,000 in cuts to fire services, Dean charged that the vote on Tuesday amounted to nothing more than political theater aimed in part at presenting a dire budgetary scenario to voters. 

“I think it’s an out-and-out ploy to frighten people so they can pass the taxes,” she said. 

But Councilmember Gordon Wozniak, who supports the tax, said the proposal “made sense” and that when the council placed the tax on the ballot, the implicit assumption was that the money would go to save public safety programs. 

Should the council approve the city manager’s intention to use the tax to restore the truck company, Dong said the firefighters would likely endorse it. 

The current plan would reduce the hours of the truck company at Station Two on Berkeley Way and Henry Street, leaving Station 4 on Shattuck Avenue and Derby Street as the city’s only night truck company. 

The loss of a second truck will change the department’s response to fires, Acting Chief David Orth said. Currently for a two-alarm fire the department dispatches five engine companies and two trucks. If the truck company is cut, he said, the department would send out six engine companies and one truck, which might limit the department’s ability to get on top of a fire and control it quickly. 

According to a report Orth delivered to the council, over the last three years, the department has only needed a second ladder truck between 10 and 12 times a year. When the need for a second truck arises, Berkeley would rely on a neighboring department, Orth said. Response time for mutual aid from North Oakland averages 10 minutes for South Berkeley and 20 minutes for North Berkeley, he said. 



Hancock Calls For Hearing On Campus Bay Dredging: By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday October 05, 2004

As crews prepare to dredge a shoreline marsh in Richmond on the edge of one of the region’s most polluted sites, Assemblymember Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) is pushing for a legislative hearing. 

“This is extremely important and the public is clamoring for a complete hearing that will get their questions answered,” Hancock said. 

Hancock, who serves on the Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, hopes to hold a formal hearing within the next two weeks, although the office of state Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez has requested that no hearings be slated until after the election. 

“We’ll do an informal hearing if we can’t do it formally,” Hancock said. “This site is a poster child for environmental cleanup and environmental justice. It needs to be done right.”  

Excavators will begin construction today (Tuesday) of a waterproof berm to contain the 25,000 cubic yards of muck they will excavate from the start beginning Friday. The polluted soil will be replaced by clean dirt already stored on the site. 

The muck will remain on site through the winter, worrying neighbors who fear dust from the drying surface could blow onto their properties. San Francisco Bay Regional Quality Control Board (RQWB) staffers, development company officials and the firm handling the cleanup all insist that adequate safeguards have been installed. 

Beyond the immediate issue of the marsh cleanup, Hancock is challenging the plans of developers to build a 1330-unit housing unit over a buried toxic waste dump adjacent to the marsh. 

“This would be the first time housing would be allowed in California on capped toxic soil,” Hancock said. “I don’t want the experiment to be done on my constituents.” 

For the 100 years ending in 1997, chemical plants on the waterfront site produced a wide range of compounds, many of them toxic in and of themselves and together generating a noxious brew that were either buried or penetrated the soil beneath the plants. 

Toxins range from burned iron pyrites to heavy metals and highly dangerous volatile organic compounds. 

The latest phase of the project calls for excavation of saltwater-saturated muck of Stege Marsh between the housing site and the shoreline. The muck contains metals and other toxins hazardous to wildlife, and the cleanup was mandated as part of the work on the site of the larger site. 

The RWQB, as lead agency in the cleanup, gave the go-ahead for the dredging last week despite opposition from neighbors and environmental activists. 

In the second phase of the project, Cherokee Simeon Ventures, a joint venture partnership formed by a Marin County developer and a Colorado venture capital firm, plans an adjacent 1330-unit residential complex on the site of the chemical plants, which contains a concentrated brew of hazardous substances buried under a clay soil cap. 

Site cleanup has been conducted by LFR Levine-Fricke, a firm once headed by James D. Levine, now a Berkeley developer who is pushing plans for a major tribal casino resort, shopping and entertainment complex at Point Molate in Richmond. 

Project critics, including the owners of buildings and businesses adjacent to the site, have said they aren’t satisfied with the level of information they’re been receiving about plans for the site from the developer and the state. 

During a recent meeting at the site, Brunner told RWQB officials that while the level of information had improved, he still wanted a complete breakdown on toxins present on the site. 

Hancock and Contra Costa County Public Health Director Wendel Brunner have both urged state Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Terry Tamminen to take control of the project from the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board and transfer it to the Department of Toxic Substances Control. 

Brunner made a plea for the transfer in a July 16 letter to Tamminen, noting that while the toxic agency had taken the lead on all previous toxic sites in the county, the water board has retained control of this one. 

Tamminen refused the request. After a meeting at the site two weeks ago, Barbara J. Cook of the DTSC declined to comment on the matter. 

Brunner wrote that the state’s Regional Water Quality Control Boards “have neither the expertise nor experience to properly oversee characterization of a site this complex, appropriately evaluate comprehensive remediation plans, assess health hazards and risks from the site and the clean-up process.” 

“A major problem is that this site has been cleaned up only to light industrial standards, and not for residential use,” Hancock said. 

The assemblymember said one problem with current environmental law is that it allows developers to go agency shopping, to find the state entity that will offer the least possible resistance to a project. 

“Since the developer proposes housing, it should be cleaned up to residential standards,” Hancock said. 

“DTSC usually fills the lead role on toxic cleanup. They have the expertise, and they have the authority to set standards, and their process is very open to the public. That’s not the case with the water board, which can only enforce standards and is not nearly as open to public participation,” she said.?

Housing Fund Gap Leaves Projects Wanting: By MATTHEW ARTZ

Tuesday October 05, 2004

The math of building affordable housing in Berkeley looks especially troubling this year. 

With affordable housing developers requesting about $8.7 million and the city’s rapidly diminishing housing trust fund now down to $2.4 million, it appears that not even the most creative calculating can prevent the Housing Advisory Commission from putting some projects on the back burner when it meets Thursday to study the proposed developments. 

“There is no way I can see how we’re going to be able to fund all the projects coming in,” said Berkeley Housing Director Steve Barton. “It certainly does potentially put projects at risk.” 

Heading into the year, the Berkeley Housing Trust Fund stood at a relatively flush $3.4 million, but a series of unexpected cost overruns on projects already approved has essentially cut the fund drastically. The trust fund is a reserve set aside by the city to fund permanently affordable housing developments. 

The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development gives the bulk of the money to the city’s affordable housing fund, which is then allocated to non-profit developers as seed money so they can qualify for other forms of public and private financing.  

Since 2002, the city has developed 2,209 units of affordable housing through grants awarded from the fund. Typically, city allocations equal about 10 percent of the development costs. 

In past years affordable housing developers usually received their entire request, but this year when they are asking for more money, overruns have exhausted the trust fund before they could press their case. 

The trust fund sustained its first hit in July when the council took $450,000 to pay for extra costs at Jubilee Senior Homes on San Pablo Avenue, which had already received $2.3 million from the fund. 

Then last month, the council allocated an extra $529,000 from the fund to Affordable Housing Associates’ University Neighborhood Apartments to pay for unexpected water damage and unbudgeted expenses. 

And before new projects can even vie for the remaining $2.4 million, the Housing Advisory Commission is expected to recommend allocating an extra $727,000 for AHA’s Sacramento Senior Homes, where a lawsuit filed by neighbors has delayed construction for months. 

“This year is going to be really tough,” said Dan Sawislak, executive director of Resources For Community Development (RCD), which is asking for $2.2 million—essentially the entire trust fund—to help pay for its planned 96-unit building beside the proposed David Brower Center on Oxford Street. 

RCD’s building is part of a trend, Barton said, of non-profit developers proposing bigger projects that require bigger city subsidies. 

“We just haven’t had developers coming in and asking for an entire year’s worth of money before,” he said. 

To give developers like RCD a fighting chance, Barton has proposed that the city allocate an extra $1.3 million this year from funds HUD has given to the city for allocation in 2006. The move would leave the city with $500,000 to divvy out next year. 

Competing with RCD for trust fund money is an AHA project requesting $2 million to build 55 live-work units on the 1000 block of Ashby Avenue, a Jubilee Restoration proposal for $1.9 million to build 118 units on the 2600 block of San Pablo Avenue and a Satellite Housing project for $1.9 million to build a 79-unit affordable senior apartments on the 1500 block of University Avenue. 

Todd Harvey, housing manager at Jubilee, said his firm can’t afford to lose out on city financing. 

“If we don’t get the funding our project is probably dead,” he said, adding that Jubilee was scheduled to start making mortgage payments on the property next month. The firm is partnering in the development with The Related Companies of California, one of the state’s biggest for-profit housing developers. 

Working in Jubilee’s favor is that, at $16,102 a unit, the project has the least expensive per unit in the group seeking financing. However, the city has only invested $60,000 in the project to this point, far less than on the other projects, for which the city has already spent hundred of thousands of dollars in pre-development funds and loans. 

The biggest benefactor so far has been the Ashby Avenue AHA lofts project, to which last year the city allocated $1 million from the housing trust fund.  

“We have all our permits, we’re ready to go,” said Housing Manager Kevin Zwick. “I don’t know if the project can sit around for two years until they have enough money for a new round of funding.” 

The AHA proposal runs $72,369 per unit, an expense which has become a growing concern among some councilmembers. 

AHA’s most recent project on University Avenue, after the cost overruns were taken into account, ended up costing the city $90,000 per unit—about a third higher than the city average. 

That raised red flags with Councilmember Gordon Wozniak, who questioned if the city could afford such expensive projects. 

“$90,000 per unit is just way too much,” he said. “If we keep building projects like this we’re doing a disservice to the low income people in the community.”  

Getting costs down could be difficult in a market where the price of construction has skyrocketed. 

The price of steel has surged 66 percent over the past year, primarily due to rising demand in China according to a report published in USA Today. 

With the city not likely to have money to fund much affordable housing development next year and the cost of construction skyrocketing, Zwick said he expected AHA to refocus its efforts. 

“In the last few years the city let housing developers know they wanted new construction,” Zwick said. “But, if there’s no money available for a couple of years we’d probably just look to acquire buildings and rehab them.” 



A Voter’s Guide to the State Ballot Propositions: By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Tuesday October 05, 2004

There are 16 state ballot propositions this year. Enjoy. 


Prop. 1A - Legislative Constitutional Amendment on Local Government Revenues 

This is the compromise proposition worked out between the governor and the California League of Cities and other local governments that replaces Proposition 65. This proposition would prohibit the state from reducing local governments' property tax proceeds except on a two-thirds vote, and only after the governor declares a fiscal necessity. Any money taken by the state under this "fiscal necessity" trigger must be repaid to the local governments, in full, before the state can invoke the "fiscal necessity" trigger again. 


Prop. 59 - Legislative Constitutional Amendment on Public Records and Open Meetings 

Would increase public access to government meetings and writings of government officials 


Prop. 60 - Legislative Constitutional Amendment on Election Rights of Political Parties 

This would put into the state Constitution the present statutory requirement that each party holds its own separate primary, and the winners of the respective primaries then run against each other in the November general election. Prop 60 is directly opposed to Prop. 62, which would establish a Louisiana-type open primary where a single all-y'all-come primary is held for all candidates for a given office-regardless of party-and the top-two vote getters in the primary advance to run against each other in the general election. 

Under Prop. 60, if Democrats and Republicans and the Green Party (for example) hold primaries, the winners of each of these three primaries would run against each other in the general election. Under Prop. 62, there would only be one primary, and the top two vote-getters in that primary would run against each other in the general election. That means that a general election could see two Democrats running against each other, or two Republicans, or a Republican and a Democrat, or any other combination. 

Prop. 60 and Prop. 62 are in conflict. Therefore, if both of them pass, only the proposition that gets the most "yes" votes will be put into effect. 


Prop. 60A - Legislative Constitutional Amendment on Surplus State Property 

Would require the use of revenues from sale of surplus state property to go towards the repayment of some existing bonds. 


Prop. 61 - Bond Initiative for Children's Hospital Projects 

$750 million general obligation bond for construction, expansion, remodeling, renovation, furnishing, and equipping eligible children's hospitals. 


Prop. 62 - Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute on Primary Elections 

Would establish a Louisiana-type open primary where a single all-y'all-come primary is held for all candidates for a given office-regardless of party-and the top-two vote getters in the primary advance to run against each other in the general election. Prop. 62 is directly opposed to Prop. 60, which would put into the state Constitution the present statutory requirement that each party holds its own separate primary, and the winners of the respective primaries then run against each other in the November general election. 

Under Prop. 62, there would only be one primary, and the top two vote-getters in that primary would run against each other in the general election no matter party affiliation. If both Prop. 60 and Prop. 62 pass, the one with the most “yes” votes will be put into effect. 


Prop. 63 - Initiative Statute on High-Income Taxes for Mental Health Services Expansion 

Would establish 1 percent new tax on taxable personal income above $1 million to fund expanded health services for the mentally ill. 


Prop. 64 - Initiative Statute on Private Enforcement of Unfair Business Competition Laws 

Would limit the ability of individual or class action "unfair business practice" lawsuits by private citizens. While the State Attorney General or local district attorneys would still be able to bring such lawsuits on behalf of the public if Prop. 64 passes, individuals would only be able to bring such lawsuits if they show that they, themselves, have suffered injury or lost money or property. 


Prop. 65 - Initiative Constitutional Amendment on State Mandates for Local Government Funds and Revenues 

Essentially, this is an orphan proposition without a current major sponsor. Would require voter approval of any legislative changes to certain local government revenues (particularly the Vehicle License Fee givebacks) that fall below the January 2003 levels. Would also allow local suspension of state mandates if the state fails to reimburse local governments for those mandated programs within 180 days. This proposition was crafted by the League of California Cities in response to the governor's VLF reduction, and came before the compact was reached with the governor that led to Prop. 1A. The league has since abandoned its support for Prop. 65 in favor of Prop. 1A, but since it had already qualified, it remains on the ballot. 


Prop. 66 - Initiative Statute on Three Strikes Law 

Would limit three strikes law to violent and/or serious felonies as well as increase punishment for specified sex crimes against children. 


Prop. 67 - Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute on Emergency Medical Services Funding 

Would increase telephone surcharge by 3 percent and allocate other state funds for various presently-unreimbursed emergency medical services. 


Prop. 68 - Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute on Non-Tribal Commercial Gambling Expansion and Tribal Gaming Compact Amendments 

This initiative has to be seen in conjunction with Proposition 70, as well as with current state gambling laws. Both 68 and 70 would expand casino gambling and slot machines in California and bring in more tax revenue to the state. They would do it in different ways. 

Under current law, on-site and televised "simultaneous-cast" gambling is allowed on horse races at certain locations (at Golden Gate Fields, Bay Meadows, and the Alameda County Fairgrounds, for example). Gambling at certain so-called "gaming" establishments on certain types of card games is also allowed (at card rooms in Emeryville and San Pablo, for example). And slot machines and other casino-type gambling (the type you normally see in Nevada) is allowed on certain Indian lands which have worked out tribal-state gambling compacts. The key here is that the Indian gambling tribes have a monopoly on slot machine establishments in California. In addition, they are paying a relatively low amount to the state in return for the privilege of operating those slot machines. 

64 tribes signed compacts with the state in 1999 that limited them to operating no more than two gambling facilities with a total limit of 2,000 slot machines. In 2004, five of these tribes signed amended contracts with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger which allowed them to increase the number of slot machines they can operate. One of these amended contracts was the controversial Casino San Pablo expansion negotiated with the Lytton Indian tribe. 

Prop. 68 would allow a significant expansion of slot machines—in existing Indian gambling establishments if new tribal-state gambling compacts can be worked out with all of them, or on certain non-Indian gambling establishments if new gambling compacts can't be worked out with all of the Indian gambling tribes—with increased gambling tax revenues expected to be passed on to the state. If the tribes agree to the compacts, they would have to pay 25 percent of their slot machines' net winnings to the state. 

Essentially, Prop. 68 holds a bargaining club over the Indian tribes presently operating gambling establishments in the state. If Prop. 68 passes and the gambling tribes don't all agree to new gambling compacts that give over more of their revenue as taxes to the state, the proposition will trigger a breakup of the Indian monopoly on slot machines in California. 

Prop. 68 and Prop. 70 are in conflict. Therefore, if both of them pass, only the proposition that gets the most "yes" votes will be put into effect. 


Prop. 69 - Initiative Statute on DNA Samples 

Requires collection of DNA samples from all convicted felons, from all adults arrested for or charged with a felony, and from all juveniles arrested for or charged with certain specified crimes. 

This is a significant expansion from present California law, which only requires blood samples for DNA purposes from persons convicted of a serious felony offense. 


Prop. 70 - Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute on Tribal Gaming Compacts  

While Prop. 68 allows the state to expand casino gambling to non-tribal areas if the gambling tribes don't all agree to give up more revenue in new gambling compacts—essentially giving the state more of the bargaining chips— Prop. 70 reverses the bargaining chips, giving more of them to the existing gambling tribes. 

It requires the state to renegotiate gambling contracts with gambling tribes within 30 days after the tribes request such renegotiations. Under those new contracts, the old restriction on numbers of slot machines would be thrown out. The new compacts would subject Indian gambling establishments to California's 8.4 percent corporate tax rate. If for any reason, casino gambling in California was expanded to non-Indian tribes, the tribes would no longer have to pay the corporate tax rates, although they would still be subject to the fees owed to the state under their old compacts. 

Prop. 68 and Prop. 70 are in conflict. Therefore, if both of them pass, only the proposition that gets the most "yes" votes will be put into effect.  


Prop. 71 - Constitutional Amendment and Statute on Stem Cell Research 

Stem cell research, which is in its infancy stage, is associated both with a search for cures for certain diseases as well as with human cloning. Prop. 71 would establish the constitutional right to conduct stem cell research in California. It would both regulate, oversee, and provide state financing for that research. But it would prohibit that research from going into the area of human cloning. 


Prop. 72 - Referendum on Health Care Coverage Requirements 

This initiative allows voters to decide whether a recently-passed state law on worker health care coverage will go into effect. 

Under the 2003 law (SB2), California businesses with 50 or more employees would be required to provide health care coverage to their workers, either by setting up their own health care plans, or by paying a fee to a state agency that would then purchase privately-operated health insurance for those employees. The key here is that the state would not operate its own health insurance program for private employees. It would only purchase that health insurance—from, say, Blue Cross or Kaiser—in the same way that any private employer would purchase that health insurance. 

If Prop. 72 does not pass, SB2 will not become state law, and existing worker health care coverage will remain as it is now. 


Berkeley School Board Considers Fee For Middle School Extended Day Program: By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Tuesday October 05, 2004

With school board elections less than a month away, controversial items are generally absent from BUSD’s board agenda for Wednesday night. One such contested item, however, may be a fee for the Middle School Extended Day Program. 

After some discussion, this item was tabled at the board’s last meeting for the purpose of “further study.” It is a staff recommendation for charging fees for participation in the After School Learning Programs at King, Longfellow, and Willard Middle Schools. The programs include academics, homework tutors, enrichment classes, and recreation. 

Superintendent Michele Lawrence’s office says such fees are needed because of funding changes caused by the federal No Child Left Behind Act.  

Under the proposal, families will be charged on an income-based, sliding scale ranging from $75 to $25 per month per child (each additional child will be charged on a scale ranging from $38 to $13). The proposed policy also states that families which cannot pay the fees will be given the opportunity to meet with school staff to work out other arrangements. 

At the board’s last meeting, directors expressed concern that some eligible students might be kept out of the program because of inability to pay the fees. 

The superintendent has said that she will not recommend funding the middle school after school program out of General Funds. 

In other agenda items, staff has recommended that the board: 

• Authorize the restructuring of $29 million in outstanding General Obligation Bonds. Because of the present interest rate climate, staff believes that restructuring can result in $3.2 million in savings to the district over the life of the bonds. 

• Authorize a $100,000 updating of a portion of the district’s aging technology infrastructure (these routers and switches were five years old, but in computer life, that’s considered “aging”). The new equipment will be purchased from SBC Datacom. The replacement will help the district’s computer network move from the old ATM system to the new Ethernet system. District staff is recommending that the money come from a reduction in bond expenditures for West Campus and not out of the General Fund. 

In addition, the board will have a second reading of: 

• Adoption of an integrated policy for nutrition education, physical activity and food. 

• Adoption of a district food policy. 

• Adoption of a physical education policy. 

• Adoption of an environmental education policy.

A Panoramic Downtown Building Tour: By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday October 05, 2004

As string trios played and wait staff served up wine and munchies Friday evening, a hundred or so Berkeley business and political leaders got their first look at Patrick Kennedy’s newest additions to the downtown. 

The tour, organized by the developer’s Panoramic Interests and Panoramic Management corporations and the Downtown Berkeley Association, took in the Bachenheimer, Touriel and Fine Arts buildings, which opened in time for the fall semester at UC Berkeley. 

Among the officials in attendance were City Councilperson Betty Olds, Zoning Adjustment Board members Bob Allen and Deborah Matthews and Civic Arts Commission Chair David Snippen. 

All the schmoozing occurred on the rooftop expanses where musicians played and food and drink awaited, but tour participants also viewed the unfurnished apartment available for inspection in each building. 

The unit that drew the most attention was the two-bedroom fifth floor apartment on the Shattuck Avenue side of the Fine Arts Building, where architect Daniel Solomon’s oddly angled walls prompted comments. 

The Fine Arts apartments, at 2471 Shattuck, were the most spacious of the three structures. 

The Fine Arts Building also offered the most unusual deck. 

Though the building appears a solid mass from the Shattuck Avenue side, the structure is U-shaped, with the roof of the parking area in the center of the U serving as the floor of a deck. 

The Touriel Building at 2004 University Ave. offered the most unusual hallways, with lines of poetry painted on the walls a foot or so above the floor and unusual art works adorning the hallway ends of and the walls of staircases. 

The most distinguishing feature of the roof garden at the Touriel is a section toward the rear marked by heavy gauge square wire fencing stretched between upright boards, which spurred one of the tour members to quip that it reminded her of a jail exercise yard. 

The courtyard atop the Bachenheimer Building at 2119 University Ave. offered the most spectacular views, taking in the downtown streetscape, the UC Berkeley campus and the hills above, all bathed in the golden hues of twilight. 

District 5 City Council Candidate Statements: Laurie Capitelli

Tuesday October 05, 2004

Like many of you, I came to Berkeley to be a student at the University of California and I liked so many things about the city that I have lived here ever since. My wife Marilyn and I raised both of our children here, and Sarah and Matt went through the Berkeley schools. I graduated in 1967 with a degree in political science and began teaching social studies. I chose to teach high school because I wanted to help people understand the forces, policies, and even mythologies that shape the lives of ordinary people not only in this country but all over the world, and because I wanted to help give young people some of the tools they could use to change those conditions and to create better and fairer conditions for themselves and others. Although I changed careers in 1978, those values are still fundamentally important to me. They are the reasons I became active in city government 25 years ago, and they are the reasons why I’m running for City Council in District 5.  

Serving on the City Council would be an extension of the things I’ve been doing for the past 25 years. As a private citizen, I co-founded ROOF, a non-profit fund that has raised more than $300,000 over the past decade to support Berkeley public schools, housing, and other non-profits. I helped found Ecohouse, Berkeley’s demonstration project in ecological living, and I was a co-founder of the Elmwood Theater Foundation, which raised more than $400,000 to preserve the College Avenue landmark. I’ve also served on the board of the Berkeley Public Education Foundation for 15 years, including two years as president, overseeing more than $8 million in fundraising for our schools.  

Within city government, I’ve served on the Planning Commission and the Zoning Adjustments Board, chairing both bodies at different times. I also served as chair of the Mayor’s Task Force on Development and the Permit Process. The task force accommodated a wide variety of interests and managed to send a comprehensive set of recommendations supported not only by the members of the task force but also by many of the neighborhood activists who participated in the process.  

I want Berkeley to continue to be a city that preserves its rich heritage, its architecture, and its cultural and economic diversity; that continues to celebrate and defend the intellectual nature of Berkeley; and that supports and nurtures our neighborhoods and the small commercial districts that help define our community. At the same time, no city is static. We need to maintain the best of what we have built and developed, but we also need to adapt to the future.  

We need to revitalize our sales tax base and commercial property tax base. We need to continue to make our city more receptive to suitable businesses. It shouldn’t take 11 months to open a bakery on Solano Avenue or seven months to rent a warehouse in West Berkeley.  

We need to work harder to revitalize the downtown. As part of that process, I support the building of the museum, hotel, and conference center project planned by UC for the Shattuck block between Center and Addison provided that the museums remain an integral part of the project and that the buildings are designed to be architecturally significant. 

We need to re-examine the problem of homelessness in Berkeley. In particular, we need to pay careful attention to the comprehensive solution to homelessness that San Francisco is undertaking and to determine if that is a model that could work for Berkeley. 

We should continue the public discussion about the size, scale, and design of new buildings. At the same time, it is important to acknowledge that the recent increase in rental units has helped lower rents in Berkeley.  

I believe I will be an effective councilmember. For the past five years, I’ve managed with my partners a substantial business with over 100 persons. I know budgeting; I know that organizations must live within their budgets; and I know how to make that happen. The successes I’ve had in both my business and civic lives have come from negotiating solutions among individuals and groups who have very specific interests at stake and who have felt strongly about their interests and values.  

The people of Berkeley have very high expectations for our city. We want quality schools; a healthy, vibrant public library system; responsive, highly competent health care, and reliable public safety services. But we also have limited resources, and we need to make careful decisions. I believe that I can continue to help build consensus in making those decisions and to help find solutions that work for all of the different segments of our community. I hope to do so as the City Councilmember for District 5.  


—Laurie Capitelli  

District 5 City Council candidate›

District 5 City Council Candidate Statements: Barbara Gilbert

Tuesday October 05, 2004

District 5 and the city need Barbara Gilbert as councilperson because, put simply, the points of view for which I speak are not now adequately represented on our City Council.  

I will represent and defend the legitimate interests of homeowners and taxpayers, particularly their interest in a fairer system of taxation and an expanded tax base to support city government. We need to expand the tax base to encompass all residents and service users, including students, renters, UC and other wealthy tax-exempt landowners. We need to impose development impact and mitigation fees on developers. And we need to increase our sales tax base through exciting and appropriate retail development. 

I will speak forcefully for the need to reduce the cost and size of city government, to fix the city budget without new taxes, to prioritize essential services, and to establish better city management. Yes, the city budget can be fixed without new taxes. I know that the essential services are fighting crime, fighting fire, disaster readiness, fixing our infrastructure (including creeks and culverts), and providing safety net services for the truly needy (with support for the community agencies that assist them). 

I offer a vision of our city’s future that is not dense, teeming, overpopulated, and family-unfriendly. We need to feel comfortable enough to shop, be entertained, and to mingle in our downtown and along our major corridors. We must restore and maintain Berkeley as a sophisticated college town with a thriving downtown, friendly incremental development, adequate parking, and a place for middle-income, home-owning families in its diverse neighborhoods.  

I will continue to defend the right of the public, the press, and our council to receive accurate, timely, pertinent, and readily-available information so that sound public policy is more likely. I deplore the current trend of late and politically-slanted staff reports. 

With respect to District 5 in particular, I pledge to be a councilmember who is ahead of the curve when critical issues arise, such as creek regulation. Recently, I was the only candidate in District 5 who had already studied the issue, understood its importance, notified creekside homeowners, and knew the correct answer when it came to the right of creekside homeowners to re-build after a disaster with no ifs, ands, buts, or bureaucrats. I did not have to wait for a public meeting of angry constituents to exercise common sense and leadership. The story of creeks regulation, too long to go into here, provides a textbook case of how common sense and property owner interests are too often hijacked in our Berkeley community. 

I have discussed all of the above over the last few years in many publications, forums, meetings, letters, and on my website. Unlike my opponents, who have yet to study and develop positions on most of the critical community issues, I have been articulating my informed perception of the problems and the possible solutions. You know where I stand, but do you really know that much about my opponents, except that they are supported by the usual suspects? My candidacy however, is supported by ordinary Berkeley residents, homeowners, taxpayers, neighborhood leaders, preservation activists, and citizen budget experts. 

District 5 and other concerned Berkeley residents should support my candidacy because the city and our local democracy do not need another machine-made and development-mad clone of the reigning establishment. The establishment candidates always talk about consensus. But if all interests and parties are not adequately represented at the highest council of our local government, then this is a premature consensus and a consensus without content. Positive change, real compromise, and a healthier consensus require that all legitimate viewpoints be expressed and pursued at the City Council level, and by an independent, informed, and articulate proponent.  

If you are one of the thousands of District 5 residents who are fed up, disgusted, dismayed, or simply turned off and worn out by our city’s politics and policies, and if you feel that your interest in homeowners, neighborhoods, sound government, and open government are not now adequately represented, then I urge you to please join my other supporters in our neighborhood and throughout the city, and vote for me on Nov. 2.  


—Barbara Gilbert  

District 5 City Council candidate 


District 5 City Council Candidate Statements: Jesse Townley

Tuesday October 05, 2004

As important as the national elections are, we need to remember that our local democracy is also at risk. While I am not suggesting that we have local equivalents of Dick Cheney or John Ashcroft in our city government, I am suggesting that there is a connection between development and the democratic process which demands our attention. At a time when malign neglect of the economy at the national level and irresponsible grandstanding by our own governor have left cities such as Berkeley in severe economic distress, it is tempting to let the richest and most powerful segments of our community “solve” our problems for us.  

This is a temptation we must resist. Bigger is not better—we need to carefully evaluate all large-scale developments, even though they may bring in more tax dollars than smaller-scale developments. Clearly Berkeley needs new housing and business development to remain an economically vital city. However, we need to make sure that development is sustainable and desirable, and that developers are accountable. In the long run, unfettered development will cost Berkeley dearly in terms of the democratic process and quality of life.  

Development is a partnership between the community and the developer, and it must be a two-way street. If the city reneged on providing infrastructure needed for a project like water or sewer lines, the developer would rightfully cry foul. However, what happens when the developer reneges on promises made to the city? Nothing. 

The Gaia Building developer promised space to the non-profit Gaia Books, yet after Gaia went out of business the space is now available to for-profit businesses. The Fine Arts developer promised space for the Fine Arts Cinema, and subsequently priced the cinema out of its eponymous building. Since the city allowed extra profit-making stories and other bonuses to the developers based on these promises, why aren’t the developers being held accountable for breaking these promises in ways that benefit our city? How about municipal equity, repossession (if it’s formerly city property), or 50 percent “very low income” apartments for 20 years?  

We can also strengthen our economy by encouraging local businesses, which reinvest in the local community instead of shipping profits out of town. We have a long, proud local history of cooperatives, as well as a city full of entrepreneurs, and we should encourage locally-owned businesses and worker-owned businesses over yet another chain. What would downtown look like today if a home-grown cooperative like the Cheese Board or the Juice Bar had moved into the Edy’s building instead of the now-departed national chain Eddie Bauer? 

We need development that serves the entire community. Too often developments are presented as a done deal, with just minor mitigations possible. Developers will always be able to make their profits for their out-of-town investors and move on, while the rest of us have to live here. Shouldn’t we—the person-on-the-street, the neighborhood associations, the community at large—have a real seat at the table from day one instead of just lip service? 

If the larger community has a say in how a development evolves, then we’ll have real community perks like more parks, opened creeks paid for by developers, and appropriately-sized buildings. Developers will face fewer appeals and less litigation, and projects will progress faster since there will be less community resistance. 

We need to make sure decisions about development are made democratically. Otherwise—as a recent Daily Planet article about the financing of development in Berkeley showed—we risk placing our economic future in the hands of global financiers who will make decisions for us from places like Australia and Bahrain. 

As a matter of fact, such financiers have too much influence already. In the last municipal election three percent of registered voters gave money to our mayoral candidates. It’s a safe bet that 100 percent of the developers donated to the candidates. It’s also a safe bet that the lack of democracy in development decisions is related to that disparity in campaign financing.  

Passing Measure H, which provides public financing for candidates with broad-based local support, is the simplest and smartest way to level the playing field and make sure that elected officials make the interests of their constituents their first priority. Monied interests—from developers to realtors to polluters to financiers—will no longer be at the front of the line.  

Berkeley’s economy is supposed to serve the community and not the other way around. It’s time for us to stop allowing our physical space—OUR city—and our local democracy to be used to line private pockets while leaving the public poorer.  


—Jesse Townley 

District 5 City Council candidate 

Party for America Gets on the Phones: By JAKOB SCHILLER

Tuesday October 05, 2004

Paula Casio wants President Bush out of office. But with a daughter and a full-time job, she can’t spend the next month canvassing the streets of swing states. 

With the help of a Berkeley-based organization, Casio is reaching those swing voters nonetheless from her home in Lomita, about 20 minutes south of Los Angeles. 

The organization, Party For America (PFA), which has partnered with America Coming Together (ACT), the largest anti-Bush canvassing group, is providing alternatives for people like Casio who want to make a difference in the election, but don’t have much time or don’t live near a central organizing spot. 

“I was looking for a way to help with the campaign,” Casio said. “I finally determined that I couldn’t travel because I have a daughter. I was looking for something I could do on the phone.” 

She looked on ACT’s website, but saw there was not much she could do without traveling. Then she saw PFA’s link at the bottom of the site for alternative ways of getting involved. After entering her information, she received an e-mail from an organizer offering suggestions.  

The organizer suggested that Casio help the campaign by making calls to swing states from her home. She now has a list of 30 phone numbers for women who live in rural West Virginia whom she’s been trying to convince to vote for John Kerry next month. Those names came from a list of about 11,000 potential women swing voters whom ACT didn’t have time to visit or call. 

“We needed to give [volunteers] an alternative to driving 50 miles” to the nearest event or to canvass, said Robert Vogel, PFA’s director who lives in Berkeley’s Claremont/Elmwood neighborhood. 

Since starting in March, PFA has helped organize about 2,200 people like Casio, Vogel said. And while that’s small compared to the numbers ACT or MoveOn.org have organized, Vogel said that he is happy with the group’s contribution, moving thousands of people who otherwise would have likely sat by the sidelines. 

Large parts of PFA’s organizing strategy come out of the Howard Dean house parties that Vogel, his wife Simona Carini and several of their Berkeley friends, attended and helped organize leading up to the primary elections.  

Attendees to those gatherings saw the power of talking other people instead of sitting in front of their computers, Vogel said.  

Sandi Smith, a volunteer in Austin, said every time she has a question about organizing, she send an e-mail to her organizer and usually gets a response within an hour. She tests software for a living is comfortable with computers and familiar with Internet organizing, but still appreciates the human help. 

Smith joined PFA because she knew Texas is going to be won by Bush and wanted to organize outside her state without leaving her job. Like Casio, she is calling women in West Virginia.  

“I have not been involved in politics much,” said Smith. “The fact that Bush has done such a horrendous job as president has woken me up and made me realize that I need to get off my lazy butt and do something.”  

For those interested in helping PFA contact women in swing states, please visit PFA’s site at http://partyforamerica.editme.com.w

Hersh, Ivins, Krassner on Campus For FSM Anniversary Events: By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday October 05, 2004

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Seymour Hersh, political humorist Molly Ivins and satirist Paul Krassner are among the voices speaking out as the Free Speech Movement’s 40th anniversary commemoration continues throughout the week. 

Texas political commentator Molly Ivins will deliver the annual Mario Savio Memorial Lecture during a 7-10 p.m. program Wednesday in Zellerbach Hall that will also feature the Young Activist Award presentation. 

Free tickets will be available at the hall from 5 p.m. 

Hersh, a reporter for the New Yorker, won journalism’s most coveted honor in 1970 for breaking the story of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam. He will be interviewed by Michael Krasny, host of KQED’s Forum program, in the Pauley Ballroom on the UC campus from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. Friday.  

Hersh is the featured guest at a conference on “Resisting Government Secrecy in a Time of Terrorism” to be held this weekend at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. The conference is being co-sponsored by the journalism school and the California First Amendment Coalition. 

Hersh won his Pulitzer Prize in 1970 while reporting on the My Lai massacre for the Dispatch News Service. After the Washington Post broke the Watergate story, Hersh’s reporting on that story for the New York Times helped that newspaper keep pace with the dispatches of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Earlier this year he broke the story about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib jail. He is the author of Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib, published this year by HarperCollins. 

Other conference topics will include media coverage of the Iraq war, Supreme Court decisions on national security and civil liberties, subpoenas against reporters, and homeland security and restrictions on information access. 

While conference registration is not required for attendance at Hersh’s presentation, seating priority will be given to those who have registered. Registration for the conference is $45 for First Amendment Coalition members, $55 for non-members, and $25 for students. 

Paul Krassner, whose outrageous essays and offerings appeared in The Realist, one of the seminal satirical zines of the 1960s, will participate in a 6:15 p.m. interactive broadcast Friday as he, Scoop Nisker and Kris Welch dissect the evening’s presidential debate between John Kerry and Molly Ivins’ favorite target. 

Other events on the agenda include two programs Tuesday evening, a 6 p.m. DeCal panel on “Students, Power, and the Desires of Society” in the FSM Cafe and a “FSM and Civil Liberties” poetry reading at the Bears’ Lair. 

Wednesday events include a noon showing of the documentary film Berkeley in the ‘60s in the FSM Cafe, a panel discussion on “Effective Strategies of Change” from 3:15 to 5:30 p.m. at 2050 Valley LSB, and a 6 p.m. concert in Lower Sproul Plaza featuring Utah Phillips and other performers, followed by a 9:30 p.m. open poetry reading at The Starry Plough Pub, 3101 Shattuck Ave. 

On Thursday, Jo Freeman, author of At Berkeley in the Sixties will talk on “How Cold War Culture Shaped ‘60s Protest” from noon to 1:15 p.m. in 119 Moses. 

Panel discussions will be “Focus on the FSM & Sixties: Lessons for Today,” starting at noon in Sproul Plaza, “How it Worked: Nuts and Bolts of the FSM” from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at International House followed immediately in the same location by “Berkeley and the Black Freedom Struggle: Then and Now.” The day’s last International House offering will be “Focus on the FSM: Its Genesis, Meanings, and Consequences” from 6:45 to 9:30 p.m. 

For theater buffs, there’s a 3:30 to 5 p.m. play For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union 

Friday’s main even happens—where else?—around a police car in Sproul Plaza at noon. The rally features movement speakers, campus representatives and a dissection of the Patriot Act.  

Other events that day include a 9 a.m. to noon Ideas Fair to be held at political tables in Memorial Glade and another panel, “Effective Strategies of Change,” will be held at 160 Kroeber from 9:15 to 11:45 a.m. 

From 1:30 to 4 p.m., a teach-in on 12 current civil liberties issues will be held in and around Sproul Hall and in 20, 110, 126 and 166 Barrows. 

From 7 to 11 p.m., there’s a Sixties Film Festival featuring Berkeley in the Sixties and Freedom on My Mind at 142 Dwinelle. 

For a complete list of programs and participants see the web site at http://www.straw.com/fsm-a/ 


Staff writer J. Douglas Allen-Taylor contributed to this report.?

FSM Event Organizers Looking for Volunteers

Tuesday October 05, 2004


The organizers of the Free Speech Movement commemorative activities are still looking for a bit of help for next week. According to Michael Rossman, they’d be grateful for facilitators/moderators for most of the Friday workshops and Saturday panels. As of press time, these workshops also need additional panelists: 

Friday: 1:30-4 p.m. The Internet and Civil/Cyber Liberties, The Media and C.L., Drug Policies and C.L., Academic Freedom, Libraries and C.L.  

Saturday: 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Affirmative Action, The Internet and Civil/Cyber Liberties; 1-3 p.m., The Media and C.L., Drug Policies and C.L, Marriage Equality; 3:15-5:15 p.m., The Patriot Act, Libraries and C.L., Racial Justice Disparities  

There’s an updated list and contact information on their website at fsma.org/stacks/FSMat40/program.

Vietnamese Americans Back President Bush —But For How Long?: By ANDREW LAM Pacific News Service

Tuesday October 05, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO—Outside of a Vietnamese coffee shop in the Tenderloin district, two older Vietnamese men are smoking and talking about Bush and Kerry. “Kerry did very well, but Bush came out solid and strong,” says Mr. Tinh Nguyen. “Kerry might still have a fighting chance. Too bad we are voting in California. We can’t help President Bush from here.”  

The scene reflects typical Vietnamese American voting patterns. A recent poll conducted before the debate by Bendixen and Associates and New California Media—a part of Pacific News Service—found that a whopping 71 percent of Vietnamese American said they would vote for George W. Bush, and only 27 percent for Kerry.  

It’s not surprising, coming from a community that considers Viet Dinh and Anh Nguyet Duong among its heroes. Dinh, as assistant to Attorney General John Ashcroft, drafted the Patriot Act, and Duong, called “the Bomb Lady” by the press, created the thermobaric or “bunker-busting” bomb that was mentioned in the first Bush-Kerry debate and was used against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Both Duong and Dinh had been boat people escaping communist Vietnam.  

While the number of Vietnamese registered to vote in 2000 was near 325,000, according to the U.S. Census, Sergio Bendixen, president of Bendixen and Associates, says the number of Vietnamese registered voters now could be as high as 600,000.  

“Their vote will be a little less than one percent of the total registered voters. If you were to look at the 18 battleground states, at most there will be 100,000 Vietnamese votes in those states,” Bendixen says.  

The numbers are small. On the other hand, given the tight race, a few thousands votes could very well make a big difference.  

But Francois Truong, on the other hand, says he definitely belongs to the 27 percent. An openly gay Vietnamese living in San Francisco, Truong says he can’t believe that Vietnamese would vote overwhelmingly for Bush. “I’d do anything to get Bush out.” What does he think of Vietnamese who support Bush? “They’re stupid. Haven’t they seen what happened to this country since Bush has been in office?” 

Nam Nguyen, publisher of Calitoday, the largest Vietnamese paper in San Jose, where over 100,000 Vietnamese reside, says he understands why Vietnamese will still turn out to vote, when many know that California will go for Kerry. “We are forming an impressive voting block. We are saying ‘I’m here, we’re here.’ This large block will solidify in the mind of local politicians... I think especially that’s important when it comes to the next governor’s race in California, where we need to have our voice heard.”  

The reasons Vietnamese Americans are voting for Bush are many, but it comes down essentially to this: Republicans are perceived as being strong against terrorism and, more important, communism. The majority of the Vietnamese population is foreign born who were once refugees fleeing communism, and many still remember what it was like to live under dictatorship. Senator Kerry, who fought in the Vietnam War, but turned into an anti war activist, is perceived by many as untrustworthy. Recently, Kerry blocked a bill that, in order to pressure Vietnam to end its human rights abuses, would have reduced U.S. aid to the country. His opposition to the bill solidified many Vietnamese in their decision to vote against him.  

Minh Tran, who lives in San Jose and who came to the United States in 1981 at age 22, for instance, said that Kerry doesn’t deserve his vote because “Kerry did not support the U.S. resolution against human rights violations in Vietnam.” 

In recent years, polls have also showed Vietnamese consistently voting conservative. Says Bendixen, “They are very conservative in the war of Iraq. On issues like gay marriage they are strongly against. On 9/11, they were very patriotic. So they tend to feel best represented by Republicans.”  

But those who are voting for Kerry are no less vocal. David Ho, on a Vietnamese-language chat room recently urged fellow Vietnamese Americans to rethink a vote for Bush. “With Bush in the White House the next four years, imagine where the U.S. will end up? Please think of the future of your children. Bush will cut all financial support that will help a better life for people in America and move that wealth to finance war in the Middle East.”  

And Pham Phan agrees: “In the last four years all the social supports have been dwindling while taxes for the richest 1 percent are cut. There is no security in America and no WMD in Iraq. Does Bush deserve our votes?”  

The Bendixen poll also found that among Asian Americans aged 18 to 39, only 27 percent would vote for Bush, versus 51 percent for Kerry. Calitoday publisher Nam Nguyen says that within another generation, Vietnamese Americans may become less conservative “as more and more are born in the United States, and their concerns are more domestic and not formed by Vietnam. 

“But,” Nguyen adds, “I don’t know. The next generation may just be as conservative as their parents.”  


Letters to the Editor

Tuesday October 05, 2004


Editors, Daily Planet: 

I walked to Willard to play some basketball. I was shocked. The entire school is a disaster area. (The garden is only the tip of the iceberg.) How can kids go to school in such a mess? 

What idiot runs the school? A person with half a brain would know to do one project, and finish it, and then start the next. Instead, the whole school is torn up. Unbelievable! No wonder schools are always asking for more money. 

Thinking about it, the schools are asking for more money in November. If Willard’s an example of the incompetence running schools, giving them the money they’re asking for would be foolish and dangerous. 

Mark Schapiro 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Thank you for including Matthew Artz’s article, “Iraq War Dead Remembered in Ashby Resident’s Tribute” in the Sept. 24-27 Daily Planet, and please convey my thanks to the anonymous woman who is recording every death in Iraq on her front fence. 

I have opposed our vainglorious and deadly war in Iraq since its beginning and have seethed at the daily naming tributes to Americans killed in the war while murdered Iraqis remain nameless and uncounted.  

The Ashby resident’s posted tribute does not bring the dead back but at least it tries valiantly to give equal honor to all who have died needlessly and unjustly in Iraq. My tearful thanks to Ms. Nameless. 

Fay M. Blake 




Editors, Daily Planet:  

On Monday, Sept. 27, around 8:45 a.m., I was driving south on Martin Luther King. I made a left turn onto Rose. Surprise! A policeman had stationed himself on Rose one block east from Martin Luther King and gave me a ticket for making an illegal left turn. This letter summarizes my concerns with that event. 

There is only one no-left-turn sign going south on MLK and it is at Rose. (No left turn from a.m. to 9 a.m. weekdays.) People living in the area are prone to forget the sign, because its presence is illogical, unnecessary, and capricious. There is no school and not much traffic going east on Rose from MLK. If the object of the no-left-turn sign was to lessen congestion, Cedar would have been a better choice. People living in the area are more liable to get a ticket making this left turn than strangers looking carefully at every sign. This is a “left turn trap” for Berkeley residents, as opposed to the typical “speed trap” of a town preying on strangers for revenue. 

Is this how Berkeley wants to finance its schools? Should police be spending their time lurking on a side street in the pursuit of this kind of revenue rather than patrolling the streets and being on the lookout for reckless drivers? Does Berkeley have so many police that this is their most pressing task at 8:45 a.m. on a weekday? Is this good for community relations between Berkeley citizens and police?  

Marek Kanter 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I urge the people of Berkeley to contact their mayor, the Planning Department, the Landmarks Commission, and their neighbors concerning the terminal fate to be inflicted on Brennan’s restaurant. Word about town has the developer, Urban Housing Group, wanting to speed the timeline up by demolishing this famous structure as soon as possible.  

Forget what you’ve read in the tabloids or heard otherwise. These people are out to erase a Berkeley institution, and my family’s rooted heritage. The voice of the community has yet to be heard on this issue. Come to the Nov. 1 Landmarks Commission meeting (7:30 p.m.) and get the real story. 

In the meantime, tell everyone you know that Brennan’s restaurant needs their friends to spread the word. A vital, historic and family run Berkeley 

institution is in danger of being lost. We need a big turn-out next month. Let them build condominiums somewhere else, and leave our native, and pioneer 

history intact.  

John Brennan, cousin 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

The organizers of the Free Speech Movement commemoration are correct that free speech is under threat today, but not for the reasons they identify. I can pick up any newspaper and find letters and editorials critical of Bush, Ashcroft, and the Patriot Act. 

Compare that with what happens when a conservative attempts to speak in Berkeley. Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Benjamin Netanyahu, David Horowitz, and Michelle Malkin are just a few of the individuals that leftist brownshirts have attempted, sometimes successfully, to prevent from speaking. 

It’s ironic that Berkeley, the home of the Free Speech Movement, is now the spot in the U.S. where there is the least free speech. Perhaps I should expect it in a city where the mayor stole newspapers that endorsed his opponent and then lied to the police about it. 

Mark Johnson 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Like many in this neighborhood, I was delighted to hear that at last the Sacramento Street Senior Housing project “almost certainly” will be going ahead. Many of us who have supported this worthwhile and classily designed project have despaired at the seriously negative tactics and persistently absurd nitpicking legal maneuvers of Marie Bowman. Every time there was a design adjustment, Ms. Bowman would pull a “bait and switch,” next complaining of changes she herself had suggested! This process has needlessly cost our city taxpayers a substantial hit just when funds are so tight.  

Even sadder is how much this expensive delay parallels the opposition pattern to the impressive disabled housing that was constructed next door on the corner of Dwight and Sacramento years ago. (That was the site of a gas station, not the Outback building as the Daily Planet article said.) The corner housing has proved an excellent neighbor, although never using all the numerous parking spots demanded by the opposition grumpies.  

Having participated as an interested neighbor for all these years, I was impressed from the first meetings with the architects and Affordable Housing Associates’ flexibility and openness to suggestions. I can’t even recall how many critically altered versions of the project were created over this amount of time to answer local concerns. I join my neighbors in looking forward to the groundbreaking.  

YES in my back yard!  

Lee Marrs  




Editors, Daily Planet:  

I have heard about the Ron Sullivan articles and Michael Farrells letters focusing on the importance of careful selection of trees with an eye toward the long term impact and notice that the focus seems to be exclusively on privately owned trees, but the problems addressed in both writings also affect our public trees. In making tree planting decisions it is important to think about the success of the tree fifty or a hundred years from now. Trees that drop fruit or having rooting systems likely to lift sidewalks are better suited to parks and median strips, and should not be planted along side walks, although the loss of the some of the mock orange trees along Shattuck with their heavenly aroma is still regrettable. The ability to withstand compacted soil, and drought tolerance (since the small soil area reduces available water, which can not penetrate concrete) are important qualities to look for in sidewalk trees. Some trees, such as those with brittle wood likely to cause falling branches should not be planted in urban environments. Measure S, the Berkeley Public Tree Act, will create a citizen board take these factors into consideration before trees are planted. The detriment of creating a new board far out weigh the deficiencies and waste of the city’s present policy, which seems to be to plant trees and tear them out years later, when a problem that could have been avoided by proper selection becomes apparent. 

Mr. Farrell also talks about the danger of fire-prone trees. Since the 1991 Hills fire every major report on the issue has recommended removal of fire prone trees in the hills, Just a few weeks ago Eucalyptus trees caused a dangerous fire in Marin. Measure S deals with the issue, requiring the tree board to bring all concerned parties together to create a plan to remove of fire-prone trees in the hills and mandating they be replaced with native, more fire resistant species. The issue is somewhat complicated because soil stabilization provided by the trees root system is essential to prevent the hills from collapsing or causing mud slides due to rushing water and the effect of gravity during the rainy season. Measure S thoughtfully requires a plan of successive planting so as to phase out fire-prone species and replace them with native, more fire resistant species. 

The article also mentions the benefits native trees have for birds and other local wildlife. In addition to requiring that fire-prone species in the hills be replaced with native species Measure S also requires the use of native species and prohibits the city from planting “invasive exotics.” Although the city does allow residents to pick the tree they prefer from a variety of species as one who looked into the program by examining the book of trees offered at the libraries reference section I was surprised to learn that the city offers hardly any native species. Measure S specifically encourages the use of native species, which, I believe, would be a substantial improvement over the present policy. 

Gail Garrison 




Editors, Daily Planet:  

In the Oct. 1-4 story “Berkeley Cops Ticketed Claremont Protest Supporters,” Carol Harris complained about the ticket she got for honking her horn at 11:30 p.m. as she drove past the Claremont Hotel a few weeks ago. I can understand how she might think the ticket was unfair, since she was just trying to show her support for the picket in front of the Claremont. 

But as always, there are two sides to every story. My family lives on Tunnel Road across the street from the Claremont Hotel. Carol Harris’s car was only one of many cars that honked as they drove past our house during the 24-hour picket on Aug. 27-28. Tunnel Road actually runs through a residential district. More than 30,000 cars drive by our homes every day, and whenever the union has a picket, many of the 30,000 cars honk to show their support. Some only honk “three short times” at 11:30 p.m., like Carol. Others hold their horns down as they drive up the hill past our homes. Every car that honks is cheered on by the picketers, who hold up signs urging people to honk. These pickets have been going on for more than three years, so I’ve attended lots of them and have heard lots of horn honking. And the honking isn’t even the worst of it. Imagine coming home from work on Friday afternoon, as we did on Aug. 27, expecting to wind down for the weekend, only to be met by 200 people marching up and down in front of your house, some shouting through microphones, others chanting loudly, accompanying themselves with drums and even air horns, urging passing cars to honk. Now imagine that this goes on from Friday afternoon, throughout Friday night, and continues all day Saturday, loudly enough that the words of the chants can be heard clearly in every room of the house with all the windows closed and the radio turned up. This is what it’s like for those of us who live around the Claremont when there is a picket. Whenever this happens, and it’s happened many times in the last three years, we neighbors are at the mercy of the union. The last time, my family was driven out. We had to leave home for two days to stay with friends because the noise was too great to allow us to sleep or even to sit down together for a meal. 

In the article, Claire Darby, a union rep, remarked on the irony of a motorcycle policeman issuing a citation for noise. I would like to assure Claire and others that the noise of a motorcycle is nothing compared to 24 hours of many people shouting through microphones, banging drums, blowing whistles, setting off air horns, and urging passing cars to honk. I don’t need to tell anyone there is lots of traffic noise on my street—Tunnel Road is one of the most heavily trafficked streets in our city. We don’t expect the kind of quiet at home that most other people take for granted. But the noise made by the union on these occasions is truly unbearable for neighbors. The union rep is quoted in the article as saying that the neighbors asked “respectfully” that we be notified in advance of the pickets. Yes we did. Many, many times in the last three years we’ve asked union members “respectfully” to remember the neighbors. We’ve pleaded with them “respectfully” when we’ve been awakened at 6 a.m. by bullhorns, drumming, cheering, and whistles in front of our house. We’ve pleaded with them “respectfully” late at night, when our baby was unable go to sleep because of the flood of noise coming into our house. We’ve pleaded with them “respectfully” when they’ve knocked on our door to give us fliers or ask us to put signs up in our yard. We’ve pleaded with them “respectfully” when they have parked in our driveway and sat in their cars honking along with the chanting. We have phoned the union, and we have written to our councilmembers who have also spoken with the union. The only response we have ever had in three years is that it’s not the union’s fault, it’s the Claremont Hotel’s fault, and that’s who we should complain to. 

The real irony is this: It’s not the Claremont Hotel that suffers when the union has a picket. It’s the neighbors. And the union has made it pretty clear to us that our suffering is not their concern. In three years I have learned not to expect any change in the way the union treats us, but I do hope that our Berkeley neighbors who read my letter will remember the families who live on Tunnel Road, and be supportive of the union without honking. Thanks. 

Ginger Ogle 




Editors, Daily Planet:  

On Saturday afternoon (Oct. 21) I was walking with my husband in the Willard Park when suddenly some police cars got there and sent us away saying that it was a “Death or Life” issue.  

I haven’t found any news about it this morning, and I would like to know what all that operation was about.  

Sabrina Restituiti 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Jane Morson’s excellent opinion piece in the Oct. 1 Daily Planet might have left the impression that the rent increases being proposed for Cal Sailing Club are driven by the city’s ongoing financial crisis. In fact the two are unrelated: There is a statutory and contractual firewall between the Marina Fund and the city’s General Fund, such that all revenue generated in the marina has to stay in the marina. The Berkeley Marina is self-supporting and financially autonomous from the rest of the city. 

No matter how much financial trouble the city may be in, raising the rent on waterfront nonprofits like the Cal Sailing Club has absolutely no effect on the uptown budget or the city’s ability to support other vital services and organizations. 

But this doesn’t mean that the Marina Fund can’t be put to good use in meaningful ways to benefit the greater Berkeley community. Jane tried to explain the value of the Cal Sailing Club as a public resource, and other waterfront organizations make equally important contributions in their own ways. 

The city should not be trying to squeeze a few more dollars out of struggling waterfront nonprofits—especially when there is potential for expanding water-related recreation to supplement some of the shore-based programs now suffering under current funding constraints. 

Playing fields cost $2 million each. A dragon boat (large racing canoe) big enough for 22 novice paddlers costs $8,000, and the water doesn’t have to fenced, landscaped or mowed. Youth programs based on these boats—or on outriggers, kayaks or small sailboats—can serve more kids at a small fraction of the cost of field sports, requiring far lower maintenance and staff resources. Support for the organizations and volunteers who make this happen would be an appropriate use of marina revenue, fully consistent with both the spirit and intent of the financial separation between the Marina Fund and the rest of the city’s finances. And support for water-related programs costs the General Fund nothing. 

Perhaps even more important, water-based sports appeal to many youth who are not attracted to the culture of field sports. Paddling, rowing and sailing offer alternatives that can be found nowhere else, and this can and does happen within the Marina Fund boundaries where the subsidy—if a subsidy is even required at all—comes from private boat berthing fees and restaurant and hotel revenue that has to stay on the waterfront anyway. 

On the other hand, the marina may be facing a financial crisis of its own. This is mostly driven by an ambitious reconstruction project that will replace nearly half of the private boat berths in the harbor. The project is being funded by a $7 million state loan, with a possible $2 million additional to cover likely overruns. Another $5,000 per year in rent from the Cal Sailing Club will have no significant effect on the Marina Fund’s solvency—but it means life or death for the Sailing Club. 

I am only one member of the Waterfront Commission, and can only speak for myself. But my sense of the commission is that we have no interest in seeing the Cal Sailing Club put out of business or forced into a commercial rate structure because of a Marina Fund deficit driven by the high cost of landscaping the marina parking lots and upgrading the docks for private berths. 

Paul Kamen 

Member, Berkeley Waterfront Commission 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

If Susan Parker’s father knows a toggle bolt from a toggle switch, she should tell him to check out the hardware stores in his neighborhood. Most hardware stores welcome experienced older people who can help customers. I am a retired engineer of a similar vintage as your father now working half time at a large hardware store in Berkeley. The oldest employee in the store is in his mid 80s and still going strong. The variety of customers and situations in a hardware store is endless and fascinating. Give it a try!  

Furthermore, there is an insatiable need for volunteers of every kind—meals on wheels, hospital support, food pantries, big brother, tutoring. You name it. You’re wanted! 

Chuck the divots and do something worthwhile! 

Harlan Head 




Tuesday October 05, 2004

Peeper Popped 

A 42-year-old Peeping Tom observed ogling a juvenile through a window along Berryman Path shortly after midnight last Thursday morning was given another sort of window to contemplate, this one featuring bars, after he was spotted and police were summoned, catching him in the act. 


Gunman Gets Wallet 

A man with a gun confronted two pedestrians walking along Ridge Road near Euclid Avenue just a block from the UC Campus shortly before 1 a.m. Thursday and departed with a wallet.  


Alta Bates Sexual Battery 

Police are investigating a report that a 53-year-old woman was subjected to sexual battery at Alta Bates Hospital on Ashby Avenue early Thursday morning. 


Battle Brandisher Busted  

Berkeley Police arrested a 62-year-old man on charges of brandishing a deadly weapon after he was reported slashing the tires of a car on Cedar Street near San Pablo Avenue and threatening the vehicle’s owner with jagged glass. 


Hot Checks and Cold Drugs 

One of Berkeley’s less-than-stellar criminal masterminds suffered a severe setback when he tried to cash checks he’d stolen and forged at the Shattuck Avenue Union Bank at 1 p.m. Friday, said Berkeley Police spokesperson officer Joe Okies. 

The 46-year-old felon was so obvious that bank official called police as he attempted his transaction, enabling Berkeley’s finest to bust him on the spot on no less than 10 criminal charges, including forgery, possession of stolen property (the checks), parole violation, possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia and parole violation. 


Gunmen Get Wallet 

A 24-year-old woman was robbed of her wallet by two armed bandits who approached her near the corner of Adeline and 63rd Street just after 4 p.m. Friday. 


Shell Station Robbed 

A gunman walked into the Shell Station at University Avenue and Bonar Street about 8:30 p.m. Friday and demanded cash. Receiving same, he departed. 


Robbery Try Fails 

Two strongarm artists failed in their attempt to stage the strong-arm robbery of a pedestrian near the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and University Avenue at 9:15 Monday evening. 


Stabbing Investigated 

A Saturday night dustup ended when a 66-year-old man stabbed his victim in the chest, inflicting non-life-threatening injuries. As the victim was transported to the hospital, the suspect was hauled off to jail and booked on two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. 


Strongarm Duo Gets Green 

A pair of strongarm artists robbed a 55-year-old man of his cash near the corner of California and Ward streets just before 1 p.m. Sunday. No suspects have been arrested.

Fire Department Log: By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday October 05, 2004

Arsonist Strikes Julia Morgan Shed 

Flames threatened one of Berkeley’s most venerable architectural landmarks Sunday morning when an arsonist torched a recycling shed adjacent to the Julia Morgan Theater at 2640 College Ave. 

Acting city Fire Chief David Orth said the flames, which were reported at 6:30 a.m., totally demolished the eight-by-ten-foot shed where recyclables were stored and caused minor damage to the front exterior and several windows of the theater. 

Prompt action by firefighters limited the damage to about $15,000, he said. 


Willard Park Chopper  

Residents of the Willard Park area were surprised to see a helicopter landing at the site at 4:15 p.m. Saturday. Acting Fire Chief David Orth said the aircraft was there to transport a critically ill patient from nearby Alta Bates Medical Center to Stanford for emergency treatment.

Coming Out, Coming of Age, And Finding Your Fourth Grade Teacher: By SUSAN PARKER

Tuesday October 05, 2004

Attending the first day of an MFA fiction workshop at San Francisco State, I listened as the instructor took roll. When he came to the name Kirk Read, he hesitated, and then mumbled something about Kirk Read telling him he wouldn’t be taking the class. My ears perked up. The name Kirk Read was familiar. During the school year of 1982-83 in Virginia, when I was teaching fourth grade, I had a student named Kirk Read. Could it be the same little boy, all grown up and enrolled in graduate school?  

The name Kirk Read didn’t come to me completely out of the blue. Several years ago Kirk wrote How I Learned to Snap: A Small-Town Coming-Out and Coming of Age Story (Penguin Books). Former students told me about Kirk’s memoir, and said that he had moved to San Francisco. It wasn’t hard to find him. His name was splashed across the pages of many Bay Area newspapers. He was giving readings, performing, and emceeing practically everywhere.  

I looked up Kirk’s website, e-mailed him to reintroduce myself, and ordered his book. Kirk was out of town, but his automatic e-mail response said he’d return my message soon. When his book arrived I devoured it. Full of juicy tidbits about kids and adults I knew while living and teaching in Lexington, Kirk writes with tenderness and sensitivity about growing up gay in a conservative, southern town. Kirk’s father was a retired colonel in the United States Army and I remember him well. Director of alumni affairs for Virginia Military Institute, Colonel Read was rarely without a smile, a firm handshake, or a highball in his hand. I ran in footraces when I lived in Lexington and Col. Read was often my running partner. He once said to me, as I beat him over the finish line, “once a damn Yankee, always a damn Yankee.” 

After I finished Kirk’s book, I looked on his website in order to catch his next performance. He was going to be at the LBGT Community Center of San Francisco. 

It was easy to find Kirk at the center. Surrounded by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Kirk let out a squeal that could be heard around the block when he saw me coming toward him. “My fourth grade teacher!” he wailed. This set off the Sisters, who began to screech in unison with Kirk. Next thing I knew, I was attacked with hugs and kisses.  

After a blessing from the Sisters, I settled into a chair and watched Kirk perform. Full of amazing energy and enthusiasm, Kirk had the audience follow along as he chanted the Lexington High School football cheer (Go Scarlet Hurricanes!), and later had us weeping as he read about the awkwardness of finding his gay identity in a town known for its military heritage: Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson are buried in Lexington; Generals George C. Marshall and George Patton attended Virginia Military Institute.  

Months later, while in Manhattan, I caught another Kirk performance, and periodically I’d read about him in local newspapers. How I Learned to Snap was a finalist in the 2001 Lamda Literary Awards; Kirk selected and wrote the introduction for Best Gay Erotica 2004 (Cleis Press). 

During a break in the MFA class I asked the prof if the Kirk Read he had called during roll was the author of How I Learned to Snap. “Yes,” said the instructor. “Do you know him?” 

“I was his fourth grade teacher,” I said with pride. 

“No kidding,” he exclaimed. “Amazing!” 

“Yes,” I said returning to my seat. “Can you believe it? That ought to be good for an A in this class, don’t you think?” 


Kirk Read hosts Smack Dab, a monthly open mic/talent show in the Castro. The next Smack Dab will be held at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20 at Magnet, 4122 18th St. between Castro and Collingwood. Go to www.kirkread.com for further information.e

The Right to a Lawyer and to Due Process: By ANN FAGAN GINGER

Tuesday October 05, 2004

Probably the best-known human rights in the U.S. are the right to a lawyer and the right to due process. Anyone who has ever been arrested in a mass protest or in a strike may have also heard of the right to habeas corpus: the right, immediately after being arrested, to be brought before an official in the judicial system and told on what charges you are being held. 


18. The Government’s Duties to Guarantee Due Process of Law, Right to Council, and Habeas Corpus 


The Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures by the Government of the person, and property, of any person suspected of a crime. The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to counsel in all criminal prosecutions, a speedy public trial, a trial by an impartial jury. All defendants have a right to know the charges against them and to “be confronted with the witnesses against [them]; ...” they can have “compulsory process” to bring people to court to testify for them, and they have the right to have lawyers assist in their defense. The Seventh Amendment protects the right to jury trial in civil cases. The Eighth Amendment spells out the right to be freed on bail that is not “excessive” and “no cruel and unusual punishments” shall be “inflicted.” 

These historic procedural rights are also spelled out in modern terms in the UN Charter, Articles 55 and 56, Int’l. Covenant on Civil & Political Rights Arts. 1-27, and Convention on Elimination of Racial Discrimination Arts. 1-9. 

Report 18.2 

PATRIOT Act Labels Ordinary Crimes “Terrorism,” Increasing Penalties (PL 107-56) (David B. Caruso, “Antiterror Laws Often Used Against Street Criminals,” Mindfully.org, Sept. 15, 2003.)  

Report 18.3 

Ashcroft Arrested Well-Known Defense Lawyer for Egyptian Sheik: Lynne Stewart (Susie Day, “Counter-Intelligent: The Surveillance and Indictment of Lynne Stewart,” Monthly Review, Nov. 2002.) 

Report 18.5 

U.S. District Court Kept Secret Habeas Case of Detained Algerian: Bellahouel (Dan Christenson, “Scrutinizing ‘Supersealed’ Cases,” Miami Daily Business Review, December 2, 2003.) 

Report 18.6 

Courts Reject Sections of Anti-Terrorism Act and PATRIOT Act (Press Release, “Key Provisions of Anti Terrorism Statute Declared Unconstitutional,” Center for Constitutional Rights, December 3, 2003.) 

Report 18.7 

Jury Acquits One Charged with Terrorism; DOJ Public Integrity Section Investigates Charges: Koubriti (David Cole, “The War on Our Rights,” The Nation, December 24, 2003.) 

Report 18.9 

U.S. Takes Native Land for Nuclear Waste Repository and Resource Extraction: Despite 1863 Treaty (“Bush signs Western Shoshone legislation: Tribal leaders view bill as massive land fraud,” Western Shoshone Defense Project, July 7, 2004.) 


19. Not to “Detain” “Enemy Combantants” at Guantanamo or Anywhere 

The most pervasive human rights violations since 9/11 occurred during the detentions of people on various grounds. The clear legal right to retain a lawyer, and to go before a judge in a habeas corpus proceeding to find out the charges—the Bush Administration uniformly denied these due process rights to detainees, in violation of federal and international law. 

Most people were detained before they were killed or disappeared by the U.S. Government, or before they were subjected to torture. Thousands were detained after they:  

•Exercised their right peaceably to assemble.  

• Went to register at the request of the U.S. Government. 

• Tried to exercise their right to travel. 

• While awaiting decisions on their applications for political asylum. 

• While the military decided what to do with military personnel seeking conscientious objector status Political prisoners continued to be detained. 

The largest category of detainees, and those held the longest without any due process or procedure for determining why they should be detained, were the men arrested all over the world and held by U.S. military forces at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. 

Victims and their lawyers argued that many provisions of the U.S. Constitution were violated by these detentions, including: 

Art. I, §§§ 8; 9, cl. 2; Art. II, §1, cl. 8; §2, cl. 1; §3; Art. VI, cl. 2; 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 14th Amendments; UN Charter Art. 1.3, 2.2, 55, 55(a)-(c), 56, 73 (a)-(d), 74; OAS Charter Art. 106; ICCPR Preamble, Arts. 1- 27; CAT Preamble, Arts. 1- 10; 3rd, 4th Geneva Conventions 

Report 19.1 

UN and OAS Concerned that U.S. Ensure Competent Tribunal for Guantanamo Detainees (Petition to Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on Behalf of the Guantanamo Detainees,” Center for Constitutional Rights, August 2004.) 

Report 19.2 

U.S. Sends U.S. Citizen Hamdi to Guantanamo; Supreme Court Exercises Jurisdiction (“Jailed American's Parents Sue U.S.,” Associated Press, July 29, 2004.) 

Report 19.3 

Middle Eastern Men Detained, Tortured, Denied Rights (Associated Press, “Guantanamo Camp Expands,” Aug. 26, 2003.) 

Report 19.4 

U.S. Navy Arrested U.S.-Syrian Airman Al-Halabi, Seized His Defense Papers; Released Him (Barbara Grady, “Judge Frees Accused U.S. Guantanamo Spy From Jail,” Reuters News Service, May 12, 2004.) 

Report 19.5 

U.S. Supreme Court Grants Detainees Rasul and Al Odah Habeas Review (321 F.3d 1134; Rasul v. Bush, 124 S. Ct. 2686 (2004).) 

Report 19.6 

U.S. Supreme Court Vacated Judgment for Detainee Gherebi, Remanded (Bush v. Gherebi, 124 S.Ct. 2932 (2004).) 

Report 19.7 

Released British Detainees Allege Abuses at Guantanamo (Clare Dyer, “Britain stands firm against Guantanamo Bay trials by tribunal,” Guardian, June 25, 2004.) 


To be continued... 


Berkeley resident Ann Fagan Ginger is a lawyer, teacher, activist and the author of 24 books. She won a civil liberties case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1959. She is the founder and executive director of the Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute, a Berkeley-based center for human rights and peace law. 

Contents excerpted from Challenging U.S. Human Rights Violations Since 9/11, edited by Ann Fagan Ginger (© 2004 Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute; Prometheus Books 2005). 

Readers can go to mcli.org for a complete listing of reports and sources, with web links. 


Creek Ordinance Widely Misunderstood: By JULIET LAMONT and PHIL PRICE

Tuesday October 05, 2004

Matthew Artz’ article “Owners Can Rebuild Near Creeks and Culverts,” (Daily Planet, Oct. 1-4) focused on the contentious nature of the Sept. 28 public hearing. Readers may remain unaware of some underlying details and issues. 

The hearing was packed with homeowners and creek advocates who were all in favor of allowing rebuilding after disasters. The creek supporters in attendance have always advocated this position, and publicly stated this as a major recommendation in a presentation made to City Council last March. But we also advocate the protection and restoration of our creeks and watersheds, because we believe that this is the responsible environmental action for homeowners and the city alike. 

Unfortunately, the majority of the hearing attendees had been led to serious misconceptions about the nature of the Berkeley Creek Ordinance. Many seemed to think that the ordinance exists in a vacuum in Berkeley, while the fact is that state regulations are getting more and more stringent with respect to water quality, creeks, and watersheds. We’ll have to adhere to these regulations, whether we want to or not. Moreover, city after city—and county after county—have passed ordinances in recent years that far surpass Berkeley’s in their stringency and sophistication about creek and watershed protection. We’re well behind the curve now—not ahead of it. 

City staff made an excellent presentation at the hearing, explaining the many reasons that it’s important to protect our creeks and to avoid building close to culverts. Building too close to creeks can catalyze bank erosion and failure, while culverts can exacerbate flooding. Culverts fail over time, causing costly and potentially catastrophic damage if buildings are built close to them, while damaging water quality and wildlife habitat. This is painfully obvious in the Strawberry Creek case currently being fought in courts, which involves a failing culvert on North Valley Street. Building new structures over or near culverts creates a no-win situation for homeowners, the city, and for creeks. 

As communities, we regulate our water, our air, our building sizes, and we implement fire and safety codes—both to protect and benefit individuals, as well as our communities and environment at large. Berkeley’s Creek Ordinance provides important protections to the environment, to homeowners, and to the city. Before the ordinance was passed, construction near creeks and culverts was common; the costs of these ill-conceived projects will be borne far into the future by homeowners and by the city, which faces at least tens of millions of dollars in expenses to remedy these problems, and perhaps much more. All city taxpayers should be grateful for the ordinance’s success at limiting these costs, no matter how they feel about the additional benefits to the environment. 

We believe that revisions can be made to the Creek Ordinance that will help homeowners, protect the city from future liabilities, and protect the vital ecological assets that are our creeks. Hopefully, now that the City Council has reaffirmed that the ordinance will not prevent people from rebuilding after disasters, we can move beyond fear, and into substantive, thoughtful discussions about how to improve and update the ordinance to reflect the expansive knowledge now existing about the importance of creek health to water quality, flood control, and habitat restoration. Many people see our creeks and watersheds as positive, wonderful treasures in our cities. These treasures deserve our careful stewardship. 

We urge the City Council to create a truly independent, multi-stakeholder Creeks Task Force that will look at the many issues surrounding our creeks, and develop recommendations and innovative funding ideas so critically needed to address the interests and concerns of all residents of the city. 


Homelessness? Try Housing: By CAROL DENNEY

Tuesday October 05, 2004

Daily Planet letter writer Doug Pestrak (Sept. 21-23) doesn’t have to look far for an answer to the homeless situation which puzzles him so much. If he just turns a few pages in the issue of the Planet in which his letter appeared, he’ll see that a site which once housed more than 70 low-income people with come-as-you-are (no large security deposits, leases, etc.) units runs the risk of being replaced with a building housing only 20 people, with possibly one or two “low income” units for the $35,000 a year set. 

The wonderfully researched front-page article by Richard Brenneman (“Building Proposed for Vacant Lot at Telegraph, Haste”) doesn’t mention one important and relevant fact about the building that once stood at Telegraph and Haste, a fact known only to a few. The 1986 fire which rendered the building unlivable was deliberately set. Friends of mine who lived in the building told the story of one entire wing of the building being told to evacuate just before the fire to reporter after reporter, most of whom would not print the story for fear of being sued. No one was ever prosecuted for the arson. 

Mayor Bates and the current council love the theory that condominium and property owners “contribute to community stability” and have “a long-term interest in the community,” neglecting to acknowledge that the rest of us do, too. They neglect to mention that the median income is so distorted by those who never have to think about the minimum wage as to be a useless measure of affordability. 

It is a measure of intellectual bankruptcy to ignore this fact, and an obvious recipe for the most vulnerable, and perhaps occasionally ill-tempered, to end up on the street. Berkeley cannot point to its pathetic assortment of inadequate shelter beds and argue that they are meeting the same need as the building which once stood at Haste and Telegraph. The poor are chased from one end of town to the other and repeatedly, punitively, ticketed; the people who burned down their houses were never charged. 

Our community is understandably bothered by aggressive behavior, name-calling, and maybe begging itself. But the Mayor and the Berkeley City Council, in their aggressive enthusiasm for housing only the wealthy and the upper middle class in the name of “stability” while whining ceaselessly for more taxes, are far more guilty of such behavior than the poor.  


Carol Denney is a Berkeley resident and activist.

Ordinance Still Needs More Updates: By DIANE TOKUGAWA

Tuesday October 05, 2004

I attended the public hearing on the Berkeley Creek Ordinance on Wednesday and was taken aback by the degree of fear and anxiety over the ordinance. The fear is based on the mistaken belief that you could not rebuild your home to the same footprint and height after a disaster or fire. I cannot think of any instance where the Creek Ordinance prevented a home from being rebuilt. Nevertheless, the City Council passed Alternative No. 2 with some amendments to make that clear. When misconceptions are repeated frequently enough, it can give listeners a mistaken impression that the idea is true. This is reminiscent of FOX news. 

The meeting was dominated by frightened property owners. However, several reasonable issues were raised by the participants. Some of these issues are not addressed by the ordinance and others need to be addressed by an updated ordinance and by city staff. Creeks and culverts are not unique to Berkeley. Other cities have had to deal with the same problems, and these cities have enacted newer creek ordinances which can be a model for us. 

The intent of the ordinance is to protect and watersheds and creeks from new or further development, i.e.. not to add insult to injury. It encourages daylighting of creeks, whenever possible. This is not to create a utopian vision, but to provide quality improvement for basic flood control and public and private safety. It is an effort to prevent construction of new culverts and to protect creek corridors that are currently free of “civilized” encroachment. As far as I am concerned, property owners, such as the Friends Church who have an existing parking lot and playground over a culverted creek, should have no fear about rebuilding. This would not be the case if there was an open space and someone proposed building a parking lot over culverted creek. To many people, a creek out of sight, is out of mind. But, putting a creek in a culvert does not make it cease to exist. This may sound like a Zen concept, but whether you see the creek or not, it still exists. 

Creeks are living. It is somewhat akin to the circulation of the human body. Like a bypass graft that circulates blood to parts of your body, a culvert sends water to other areas downstream to the bay, Sooner or later, and more likely sooner, we will pay for the lack of foresight by previous landowners and government who put in these old culverts in the first place. The system is aging and in need of repair. This brought up a separate issue, who is liable for a failed system. Will it be the private property owner, the city, or both? Can there be incentives for homeowners and landowners to rebuild in a more creek friendly manner? Should there be a tax measure? Bond is a four letter word. Another issue that was raised was that the city should have a better map to delineate the creeks and culverts to the best of its ability. Many homeowners were not only surprised by the ordinance, but surprised they were on a culverted creek.  

If there is a disaster, one can rebuild, but it would make sense to check out whether the culvert was damaged. For the safety of the residents, it makes sense to check. Creek ordinance or not, does one think an insurance company would feel comfortable paying for a home rebuilt without checking the status of the culvert? 

So there are many questions that need to be addressed. I support the formation of a Creek Task Force, comprised of representatives of involved stakeholders, including but not limited to creek and environmental advocates, homeowners and landowners, businesses, city staff including Public Works who will have to repair failed culverts and stormwater systems, California state and regulatory boards on water quality management, and hydrologists/scientists who can provide evidence based information. We would want people who are willing to listen to each other and want to work out a compromise that can protect our watersheds and address the concerns of homeowners, institutions, and businesses. A task force is far preferable to  

the Planning Commission because there will be more diverse opinions at the table. The Planning Commission does not have the expertise to deal with the creeks. An independent task force would be less controversial than the Planning Commission. Berkeley’s creeks are more than a land use issue.

Creek Worshipers Pose Threat To Some Homeowners: By JERRY LANDIS

Tuesday October 05, 2004

In 1989 a group of creek enthusiasts, presumably with personal ties to members of the City Council, surreptitiously sold the City a strange bill of goods – an ordinance filled with nitpicking regulations and a glossary of arcane terms (rip-rap, crib-walls, fascines, gabions) – that reads as if it were written not by common-sense conservationists but by a cult of creek-worshipers intent on imposing their obsession on the world. It offered some reasonable constraints – no new construction within thirty feet of a creek, the day-lighting of culverted creeks where feasible – but hidden within it and unnoticed for fifteen years wasa larger vision. Following a major disaster – something like the ‘06 quake and its attendant firestorms – no creek-side structure could be rebuilt without a special variance from the City’s notoriously willful and erratic Zoning Adjustments Board. Thus, after such an event, great swaths of homes and businesses could be replaced by parkland with footpaths and biketrails.  

On Tuesday evening, September 28, 2004, the creek-dreamers were rudely awakened: There would not be trout fishing in Berkeley. This is a denselypopulated city, not a sylvan glade. Fortunately, our conservationist predecessors passed down to us rich gifts: access to natural creeks in Codornices Park,Live Oak Park, John Hinkel Park, the Rose Garden, the U C campus, not to mention the East Bay Regional Parks – 90, 000 acres of natural habitat laced with endless miles of creeks. 

Over 400 residents attended the Tuesday meeting. The City Council, having received many letters and e-mails, and a petition with 600 names collected by Neighborson Urban Creeks, announced that they would amend the rebuilding aspect of the ordinance – and they did. During the speeches by dozens of attendees, however, there were repeated demands that the ordinance be revoked, repealed, thrown out entirely, all met by rousing applause. The Council chose not to take such action, fearing that in the subsequent hiatus someone would build on a creek and a new crisis would erupt.  

They were probably wise not to revoke it, only because it poses another matter of major importance: culverted creeks. Many parts of our creeks, on both public and private property, run through old and deteriorating culverts. The rupture or collapse of a culvert under a structure can be catastrophic. The Council expressed their commitment to deal with the problem of inspecting, repairing, replacing culverts, or day-lighting the creeks flowing through them, and of the enormous cost involved. Some culverts are large enough to allow workers to enter them. Presumably these may be strengthened with internal bracing or sections of precast lining. In the case of smaller culverts, it may be more practical to divert their water into new culverts under adjacent streets, like sewers, for future access. Then the old culverts may be filled with concrete slurry to prevent their collapse. Given the scope of this problem and its potential cost, the City would be wise to forget about open creeks, except to prevent new construction or wanton pollution. Whatever may be done to them, a thousand years from now the creeks will prevail. 

How the matter of culverts will be addressed was not resolved. Creek people want a special task force where their “expertise” may be heard – presumably the same expertise that produced the misbegotten ordinance. A more appropriate venue would be the Planning Commission, where issues of engineering and cost analysis can be co-ordinated. The best choice would be the Public Works Commission, which is devoted to public safety. The Council will address this further on October 12. Stay tuned! 


Art and Craft Become One at Trax Tube Kiln Exhibit: By KAY CAMPBELL

Special to the Planet
Tuesday October 05, 2004

In the past 40 years the world of ceramic art has undergone a metamorphosis. In the 1960s every Berkeley housewife was a potter, producing clunky mugs and vases in the muted, often glassy, grays and browns of high temperature reduction firing. The influence of Bernard Leach was strong.  

Beginning in the 1980s, gradually this mediocrity began a transformation into truly stunning work. Artists such as Gabrielle Koch and Ewan Henderson produced large, even larger than life, forms with resonant, integral finishes. This has raised questions. Is pottery, or ceramics, an art or a craft? If art is of a ceramic nature, what makes it different from the potter’s craft?  

The Trax Ceramic Gallery at 1812 Fifth Street just north of Hearst in west Berkeley (where all the potters live) currently features the work of five artists working with clay in an exhibit that seems to straddle the art-craft divide without worrying about either side. Gallery owner Sandy Simon has a talent for attracting top names (such as Warren McKenzie) in the world of ceramics to her gallery. She is married to sculptor Bill Brady, whose fine figurative work in wood and metal can often be seen in the gallery. His clay figures are part of this show sculptures that although quite large, are more monumental in concept than in size. 

These pieces elevate the argument of art versus craft to one in which concept becomes fundamental to the process of making art. Exhibitor Trent Burkett believes that both art and craft are part of this process: a good idea has to be delivered in a way that exhibits the poetry of the material that embodies it. This is a timely reminder that the word poet derives from the Greek for “maker.”  

All the pieces in the show were fired in Scott Parady’s anagama kiln in Pope Valley. Anagama means tube kiln in Japanese. Such kilns are long, elevated either internally or against a hill, and wood fired. Mr. Parady’s kiln is sixteen or so feet in length. It takes over half a week to load, eight days to fire to 2,470 degrees Fahrenheit, and a week to cool. A crew of 20 people stokes the kiln day and night with pine and oak from dead or pruned trees. Needless to say, two or three firings a year are enough. When one factors in breakage, this is obviously a labor of love. 

Technically (or should one say pyrotechnically) it is also a type of high temperature reduction firing, but what a difference in the end product compared with that of the 1960s. Here, the results are absolutely worth the effort. Because many of the pieces are hand made rather than thrown on the wheel, and because they are fired just once (bypassing the modern practice of a preliminary low-temperature bisque firing), thereby allowing the raw clay to be integrated with pigments and oxides, and to be flashed and even glazed by the hot ashes within the kiln, each piece has an antique quality, a depth and glow, sometimes crusty, always surprising, that is as unique as it is lovely.  

Grand concepts are hard to find these days. We live in an era where heroes and gods have been replaced by terrorists and sociopaths. There are no pharaohs to immortalize, no natural forces to appease. Yet surely this holistic, indeed elemental approach to the process of producing art has a spiritual essence to it. After all, concept alone does not mitigate poor workmanship. And is a well made functional vessel “merely” craft? As Trent Burkett points out, in this kind of art, skill and idea constantly interweave as they reach for the same spiritual point. 

Craig Petey and Tim Rowan are also well represented in the exhibit, which ends on Oct. 31. 


Trax Gallery is open noon-5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. 1812 Fifth St. 540-8729. 

Balinese Artists Join Gamelan for Anniversary Concert: By BEN FRANDZEL

Special to the Planet
Tuesday October 05, 2004

In the shimmering, intricately beautiful music of the Balinese gamelan orchestra, the recurring cycles of melody are marked by the stirring ring of a gong. 

When Gamelan Sekar Jaya, the Bay Area’s internationally renowned gamelan ensemble, takes the stage this Saturday, the gong will resound sweetly to mark the end of a long cycle and the beginning of a new one, as the Berkeley-born ensemble celebrates its 25th birthday.  

For their Oct. 9 concert at a private amphitheater in Kensington, a fundraising gala for the group, the 50-member troupe of dancers and musicians has invited ten of Bali’s most brilliant musicians and dancers, the largest group of guest artists ever to appear with the ensemble on a single program. 

The lineup will include the group’s three current guest artistic directors: I Nyoman Windha, considered by many to be Bali’s leading composer, I Gusti Agung Ayu Warsiki, an expert in the classical legong dance, and multi-instrumentalist and composer I Made Terip who is currently in residence at San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum. The famed mask dancer I Nyoman Catra and virtuoso drummer I Dewa Putu Berata will also be among the performers.  

The 2 p.m. concert will take place in a tree-sheltered setting that Sekar Jaya founding member Jim Hogan calls “a beautiful, magical space.” The show is open to the public. 

The program will feature four different gamelan ensembles, including the rarely seen orchestra of giant bamboo marimbas, gamelan jegog. This most recent addition to the group’s family of ensembles arrived via the generosity of local music luminary Mickey Hart, and will be directed by Terip, also a renowned builder of bamboo instruments. The celebration will also include an appearance by the Barong, the magical Balinese lion that is one of the most powerful figures of Balinese dance; the ethereal singing, dance, and storytelling of a Prembon play; and other rare gems of Balinese arts.  

Over the past quarter-century, the group has toured throughout North America and has made four tours to Bali itself, where it has performed in venues ranging from the Art Center in the island’s capital of Denpasar to remote village squares. Its performances have been greeted with wild enthusiasm by local audiences, artists, and media, and during the group’s most recent tour, they became the first non-Balinese group to receive the Dharma Kusuma award, the Balinese government’s highest award for artistic excellence.  

The ensemble enjoys its international reach, but found the most fitting place to celebrate its anniversary milestone just up the road from its origins in Berkeley. When the group formed in 1979, the Julia Morgan Center was home to the Center for World Music, a fruitful meeting ground for outstanding teachers of music from around the world and the many serious students who were drawn to them.  

At the time the ensemble came together, the great Balinese musician I Wayan Suweca was teaching a workshop in Balinese music at the Center, and the charismatic teacher attracted an energetic group of students who saw the potential for his workshops to evolve into a permanent ensemble. Several of the group’s original members are still performing with it today. Balinese dancer-musician I Nyoman Wenten, who performed in the group’s very first concert and now chairs the World Music Program at the California Institute for the Arts, will also be returning for this program.  

Wayne Vitale, director of Gamelan Sekar Jaya, said, “None of us who gathered in October, 1979, in a friend’s living room in Berkeley to start a ‘six-week gamelan workshop’ had any idea that this workshop—one of the most eye-opening (and ear-opening) cross-cultural experiments I have ever known—would still be happening, a quarter-century later.” 

The anniversary concert’s collaborative spirit typifies Gamelan Sekar Jaya’s cross-cultural work, which has been recognized for its contributions to Bali’s dynamic musical and artistic culture. Over the past twenty-five years, the group has sponsored the creation of more than sixty major new works for gamelan and dance, created both by Balinese and U.S.-based artists. The ensemble has collaborated with theater artists, puppeteers, Indian dancers, film composers, and symphony orchestras.  

In addition to performances, the organization conducts workshops, lecture demonstrations and private lessons for schools, students and the public.  


Ben Frandzel is a member of Gamelan Sekar Jaya.›

Handiwork Comes Easily to Remarkable Raccoons: By JOE EATON

Special to the Planet
Tuesday October 05, 2004

Although nature writers are supposed to have benign feelings about their (nonhuman, anyway) fellow creatures, I draw the line at raccoons: garbage-raiding, koi-eating thugs that make alarming noises in the dead of night. But to give the Devil his due, they’re good with their hands. Lacking opposable thumbs doesn’t seem to slow them down much. Scientists have claimed that raccoons far outrank their fellow carnivores in manual dexterity and are almost up there with the primates. 

The raccoon, in fact, caught the attention of a roboticist named Ian Walker about a decade ago. Walker was interested in nonhuman models for mechanical graspers, and analyzed the kinematics of the raccoon hand as a possible prototype. I don’t think this got much further, though, and Walker seems to have moved on to boneless manipulators like octopus tentacles and elephant trunks. 

Hands and brains work together, of course. It was established around the beginning of the 20th century that raccoons could quickly figure out how to open latches and other fasteners to get at food—not quite as quickly as rhesus monkeys, but faster than cats. And they could remember how they did it for up to a year without practice. 

The anatomy of the raccoons’ brain and nervous system, on which there’s a ton of literature, has tended to reinforce the idea that these critters have superior manual skills. In all of us mammals, there’s a chunk of the cerebral cortex—the somatosensory cortex—where the rest of the body is mapped; there’s a bit where sensory input from the face winds up, another for the forelimbs, and so on. Biologists had learned by the 1940s that some mammals had disproportionately large cortical regions for specialized body parts. In the pig, the area corresponding to the snout is larger than in other hoofed mammals. The spider monkey has extra room for input from its prehensile tail, which serves it as a fifth hand.  

Raccoons—no surprise—have an outsized cortical region corresponding to their forearms and hands. W. L. Welker and Sidney Seidenstein, neurophysiologists at the University of Wisconsin, reported in 1959 that 60 percent of the raccoon’s somatosensory cortex was devoted to the forelimbs, as opposed to 30 percent in the domestic cat and 20 percent in the dog. The hand-related proportion was even higher than in rhesus monkeys and chimpanzees. Welker and Seidenstein also found that raccoons’ auditory and visual cortical regions were relatively smaller than in dogs and cats, and speculated that their somatic cortex had “blossomed” at the expense of those areas. 

The Wisconsin study and others that followed made raccoons a favored lab animal for research on how the brain reconfigures itself after injury. Amputating a forefinger was found to cause a compensatory rewiring of the corresponding part of the cortex. (It turns out that the brain responds to less traumatic influences as well. In most right-hand-dominant musicians, the cortical region mapping to the right hand is enlarged. But for violinists, who finger with the left hand and bow with the right, it’s the left-hand region.) 

Meanwhile, other scientists found the skin of the raccoon’s fingers to be packed with specialized cells which were supersensitive touch receptors. Add that to the presumed superior dexterity, and you have an animal with enormous promise as a safecracker. 

It turns out, though, that the dexterity claim may have been oversold. 

Two neuroscientists at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Andrew Iwaniuk and Ian Whishaw, decided a few years ago to test the notion that raccoons were as skilled as primates by videotaping captives and analyzing their hand movements frame by frame. Their conclusion: the raccoon hand is a relatively crude instrument—not bad for a carnivore, but not in the primate league. And even other carnivores, including otters, mongooses, and the giant panda, may excel the raccoon in fine manipulation. (Giant pandas may be bamboo-eating vegans, but they’re carnivores by ancestry. As Stephen Jay Gould famously pointed out, they have “thumbs” which are actually modified wristbones.) The raccoons made little use of their individual fingers to grasp or manipulate food. 

What impressed Iwaniuk and Whishaw was that raccoons, unlike most carnivores, seemed to rely on their sense of touch alone to locate food items. Their filmed subjects often turned their heads away while fingering an object, and rarely sniffed an item before picking it up. Instead of a specialized manipulator, the hand of the raccoon appears to be a specialized tactile organ. 

That notion would be consistent with other studies that found raccoons did as well as humans in making blindfold distinctions between objects of the same shape but differing in size by as little as half a percent. The world a raccoon experiences must be very different from our own, with exquisite nuances of shape and texture. I have to wonder if their neural wiring enables them to somehow generate a visual image of what they’re touching, as appears to happen in readers of Braille. 

As to how this came about, Iwaniuk and Whishaw have an interesting speculation. The only other carnivore as touch-dependent as the raccoon is the marsh mongoose, which feeds on aquatic crustaceans. Common raccoons, of course, have a penchant for crayfish, and a tropical relative specializes in crabs. The evolution of the raccoon’s hand and brain may have been driven by grabbling in shallow water for food that could deliver a painful pinch if you grasped it wrong. 

Racoons, like them or loathe them, are remarkable creatures. They’re smart, tough, adaptable, and as likely as any species to outlast us. But their future seems unlikely to include tool use.  












Berkeley This Week

Tuesday October 05, 2004


Free Speech in Dangerous Times Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement, Oct. 5 - Oct. 10. at UC Berkeley. For details on events, see www.fsm-a.org  

“Is God a Republican?” with Theodore Roszak and David Randolph at 9:45 a.m. in Mudd Hall 103, Pacific School of Religion, 1798 Scenic Ave. 

Berkeley Ballot Tax Measures, a panel discussion at 5 p.m. at Berkeley Public Library, 3rd flr., 2090 Shattuck Ave. Sponsored by League of Women Voters Berkeley Albany Emeryville. 

Mid-Day Meander Meet at 2:30 p.m. by the bulletin board at Big Springs parking lot in Tilden Park for a rocky trail hike to ponder the “mystery walls” and muse about trees. 525-2233. www.ebparks.org 

“Introduction to Judaism” Explore Jewish spirituality and ethics with David Cooper at 7:30 p.m. at BRJCC, 1414 Walnut St. 848-0237. 

Docent Training at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden every Tuesday through Feb. 8 at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden, Tilden Park. Cost is $125. For more information call 527-9802. www.nativeplants.org 

Eastern European Singing Workshops with Esma Redzepova and Ansambal Teodosievski at 7 p.m. at Eckhardt Room, Naropa University, 2141 Broadway, Oakland. Cost is $25.00. 444-0323. www.kitka.org 

“Cuts to Low-Income Housing” a video at 1 p.m. at the North Berkeley Senior Center. 981-5190. 

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

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


Wednesday Bird Walk Discover the first of the migrants and help us with the monitoring of the shoreline, at 8:30 a.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. Shoreline. Turn into the park off Swan Way, follow the drive to the end and meet at the last parking lot by the observation deck. 525-2233. 

Molly Ivins on “The State of the Union” at 7 p.m at Zellerbach Auditorium, UC Campus. Event is free but tickets are required and will be available at 5 p.m. on Lower Sproul Plaza. Part of the Free Speech Movement’s 40th Anniversary. www.savio.org 

Candidates Night for School Board and Districts 2 and 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Frances Albrier Center at San Pablo Park. Hosted by South and West Berkeley Community Action Team and San Pablo Park Neighborhood Council.  

No Child Left Behind Town Hall Meeting with Graduate School of Education Dean P. David Pearson, UC Berkeley education professors Judith Warren Little and Alan Schoenfeld, and Phil Daro, executive director of the Public Forum on School Accountability, at 7 p.m. at Room 2040, Valley Life Science Building, UC Campus. 

Human Rights Video Project will show “Every Mother’s Son” about police brutality and “Books Not Bars” about the prison industry at 6:30 p.m. at Richmond Public Library Community Room, 325 Civic Center Plaza, near 26th and MacDonald, Richmond. 620-6561. 

“The Issues: Values and the Social Issues” with Kristin Luker, Prof. of Sociology and Doug Strand, UCB Survey Research Center at 3 p.m. at 109 Moses Hall, UC Campus. http://www.politics.berkeley.edu 

“Behind the Sun” a film of rival families living in the desert landscape of the Brazilian Northeast at 7 p.m. at the CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch St. In Portuguese with English subtitles. 642-2088. www.clas.berkeley.edu 

“To Serve and Protect” A documentary on police brutality at 7 p.m. at Humanist Hall, 390 27th St., Oakland. Donation $3-$5, no one turned away. Sponsored by the International Council for Humanity. 419-1405.  

Neighborhood Coffee at 10 a.m. at Cafe Roma, College and Ashby. Hosted by the Council of Neighborhood Associations. www.berkeleycna.com 

Walking Tour of Oakland City Center Meet at 10 a.m. in front Oakland City Hall at Frank Ogawa Plaza. Tour lasts 90 minutes. Reservations can be made by calling 238-3234. 

Bellydance Benefit for John Kerry Performances from classic cabaret to techno tribal and beyond at 7 p.m. at the Afghan Oasis Restaurant, 2086 Allston Way. Donation $15. 684-6530.  

Friends of the Oakland Public Library Booksale at 10:30 a.m. through Oct. 9 at The Bookmark Bookstore, 721 Washington St., Oakland. 444-0473. 

Berkeley Peace Walk and Vigil at the Berkeley BART Station, corner of Shattuck and Center. Sing for Peace and Vigil at 6:30 p.m. Peace Walk at 7 p.m. www.geocities.com/vigil4peace/vigil 

Prose Writers Workshop from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center, 1414 Walnut, at Rose. 524-3034. 

Berkeley Communicators Toastmasters at 7:15 a.m. at Mediterraneum Caffe, 2475 Telegraph Ave. 524-3765. 


Morning Bird Walk: The Birds of Jewel Lake From 7 to 9 a.m. Call for directions or to reserve binoculars. 525-2233.  

Foods of the Americas An exhibit of the abundance of the fall harvest from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Oct. 27 at the Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Drive. 643-2755. http://botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu 

Survey of California’s Native Trees A class on Thurs. evenings to Nov. 4, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Drive. Cost is $155, $135 members. Registration required. 643-2755. http://botanical 


Public Hearing on Housing Trust Fund Proposals at 7:30 p.m. at the South Berkeley Senior Center. Copies of the proposals are available for review at the Central Library, 2090 Kittredge. 981-5400. 

BHS South Campus Construction Plan Workshop with school officials, students, staff and designers at 7 p.m. at Berkeley High School Library, 1980 Allston Way. 644-6320. 

“A Class Divided” A film on a lesson in discrimination taught by Jane Elliott to her third graders in the small, all-white town of Riceville, Iowa in 1970. At 7 p.m. in the Albany High School Library, 603 Key Route Blvd. in Albany. Please enter the gymnasium doors on Thousand Oaks Blvd., turn right, go through another door and walk straight down hallway to the library. Sponsored by Embracing Diversity Films and Albany High School PTA. 527-1328. 

An Evening at the Auction House A benefit for St. Vincent’s Day Home in Oakland. From 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Harvey Clars Auction Gallery, 5644 Telegraph Ave. Cost is $50. For tickets call 526-3883. 


Presidential Debates Meet betterbadnews.tv at 5:30 p.m. at International House, 2299 Piedmont Ave. The debates will run from 6 to 7:30 pm and will be followed by the premiere presentation of Better Bad News.tv Sponsored by Berkeley Arts Festival. www.berkeleyartsfestival.com  

“Resisting Government Secrecy in a Time of Terrorism” Investigative reporter and New Yorker writer Seymour Hersh in discussion with KQED talk show host Michael Krasny, at 6:30 p.m. in the Paulley Ballroom, UC Campus. Free tickets on day of event, starting at 5:30 p.m. at Pauley Ballroom. http://journalism.berkeley.edu 

Candidates for the Peralta Community College District, Districts 2 and 4, will speak and answer questions at Vista College Annex, 2075 Allston Way. Starts promptly at 5:30 p.m. Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Berkeley, Albany and Emeryville. 843-8824. http://lwvbae.org 

Paul Krassner on the second Presidential debate at 6 p.m. in the Redwood Gardens Community Room, 2951 Derby St. Part of the 40th Anniv. of the Free Speech Movement. www.fsm-a.org 

Sustainable Seafood: Your Role in Saving World Fisheries from noon to 6 p.m. at El Cerrito Natural Grocery Store, 10367 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito. 526-1155.  

City Commons Club Noon Luncheon with Fran Packard of the League of Women Voters on “Ballot Issues for November 2.” Luncheon at 11:45 a.m. for $12.50, speech at 12:30 p.m., at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant St. For reservations call 526-2925.  

Womansong Circle: Sending Light, Sending Song and get out the vote letter writing at 6:45 p.m. at First Congregational Church, 2345 Channing Way at Dana. Bring light snacks to share. Suggested donation $10-$15, no one turned away for lack of funds. www.betsyrosemusic.org 

Berkeley Critical Mass Bike Ride meets at the Berkeley BART the second Friday of every month at 5:30 p.m. 

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. 


Shellmound Run in honor of Indigenous Peoples Day. From Berkeley Shellmound to Civic Center Park. Registration at 7:30 a.m. at University Ave. and 4th St. 595-5520. 

Indigenous Peoples Day Pow Wow and Indian Market Native American foods, arts and crafts with intertribal dancing from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Civic Center Park. 595-5520. 

Indigenous People Films Screenings of the documentaries “Shellmound” and “The Rules of the Game” at 4, 5:30 amd 7 p.m. at Florence Schwimmley Little Theater, 1920 Allston Way. Donation $5-10 requested. 508-9069. 

Richmond Shoreline Festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with bird and plant walks, kite-flying and children’s activities, BBQ and live music. 461-4665. www.eastshorepark.org 

Berkeley City Council Candidate Forum from 2 to 4 p.m. at 2239 MLK in Berkeley High School 'G' building, southwest side facing Bancroft. Sponsored by local transportation and environmental groups, including BEST, Carfree Cities, EcoCity Builders and BFBC. 486-1528. 

Albany City Council Candidates Forum from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Albany Senior Center, 846 Masonic Avenue, near Solano. Sponsored by the Albany Chamber of Commerce.  

Free Energy Audit for Berkeley Residents on Oct. 9 and 10 offered by California Youth Energy Services. To sign up for a visit, call 428-2357. www.risingsunenergy.org  

Kids Garden Club How our garden attracts birds. We will also go birding and make a bird feeder. From 2 to 4 p.m. at Tilden Nature Center, Tilden Park. For ages 7-12. Cost is $3-$5, registration required. 525-2233. 

Autumn Arachnids A slide show, followed by exploration for orb weavers, jumping spiders, wolf spiders and more at 2 p.m. at Tilden Nature Center, Tilden Park. 525-2233. 

Junior Rangers of Tilden meets Sat. mornings at Tilden Nature Center. For more information call 525-2233. 

Berkeley Historical Society Walking Tour “Downtown Berkeley as a Possible Eco-City Center” led by Richard Register. At 10 a.m. Cost is $8-$10. For information call 848-0181. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/histsoc/ 

Walking Tour of Old Oakland uptown to the Lake to discover Art Deco landmarks. Meet at 10 a.m. in front of the Paramount Theater at 2025 Broadway. For reservations call 238-3234. 

Gardening Basics: Soil Preparation, Planting and Mulching at 10 a.m. at Magic Gardens, 729 Heinz Ave. 644-2351. www.magicgardens.com 

San Pablo Creek Restoration Workday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the El Sobrante Library. Join us as we extend the native plant garden toward the creek. Refreshments, tools, and gloves provided. Sponsored by San Pablo Watershed Neighbors Education and Restoration Society. 231-9566. 

Best Buddies Fundraiser with lemonade stand to raise funds to fight pediatric cancer, through Sun. at McKevitt Volvo, 2700 Shattuck Ave. Additional funds will be raised for each test drive. 848-2206. 

Bureau of Humane Law Enforcement, an evening of karaoke, food and wine to benefit the protection of animals. At 6 p.m. at Paws and Claws, 2023 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland. Cost is $10-$15. 925-487-4419. info@eastbayanimaladvocates.org 

Know Your Rights A free citizen training in observing police and asserting your rights. From 11a.m. to 2 p.m. at 2022 Blake St. 548-0425. 

Innovative Independent Films, Hot Political Discussion A benefit for the Jesse Townley Campaign at 8 p.m. at The Ivy Room, 858 San Pablo Ave., Albany. Donation $5-$15. 524-9220. 

Moment’s Notice a monthly salon for improvised music, dance and theater at 8 p.m. at Western Sky Studio, 2525 8th St. 415-831-5592. 

Car Wash Benefit for Options Recovery Services of Berkeley, held every Sat. from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Lutheran Church, 1744 University Ave. 666-9552. 


Autumn Insects We’ll look for insects under logs, in the grass and on trees and learn how they adapt to different habitats, at 10 a.m. at Tilden Nature Center, Tilden Park. 525-2233. 

Early Peoples’ Ways We’ll search for the plants the Miwok ate, and make some native tea. Bring your good luck charm for games based on native traditions. from 1 to 3 p.m. at Tilden Nature Center, Tilden Park. 525-2233. 

After Summer, What is Left Behind Seeds, cones and other plant parts dry up and fade away in autumn. We’ll look for them and see what is left after a season of growth and change. From 2 to 4 p.m. at Tilden Nature Center, Tilden Park. 525-2233.  

Natural and Cultural History of the Ohlone Peoples Please join us at noon at the Ohlone Greenway, at the intersection of Neilson St and the Greenway for the dedication of an interpretive exhibit featuring the natural and cultural history of the Ohlone Peoples. karllinn@lmi.net  

California Indian Food and Culture Learn how the Ohlone Indians make acorn soup, soap root brushes and berry cider, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at the UC Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Drive. Cost is $5-$15. Registration required. 643-2755. http://botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu 

Sunday Greens: Sex, Drugs & Rock n’ Roll, The Bottom Line is $$$ Join us for a discussion about Measure H: Public Financing of Local Elections, Measure Q: the Angel’s Initiative, the Oakland & Berkeley Cannabis Initiatives and other local measures on the ballot in Alameda County, and meet musician, activist and progressive candidate for Berkeley City Council, Jesse Townley. From 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Niebyl-Proctor Library, 6501 Telegraph Ave. at 65th in North Oakland. 

Candidates for the Albany School Board will speak and answer questions in the Albany High School multi-purpose room, 603 Key Route Blvd. Starts promptly at 2:30 p.m. Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Berkeley, Albany and Emeryville. 843-8824. http://lwvbae.org 

Candidates for the Albany City Council will speak and answer questions in the Albany High School multi-purpose room, 603 Key Route Blvd. Starts promptly at 4 p.m. Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Berkeley, Albany and Emeryville. 843-8824.  

“Zionism, The Democrats & Kerry” with Lenni Brenner and Ralph Schoneman, at 7:30 p.m. at Fellowship of Humanities, 390 27th St., Oakland. Donation $5. Benefit for Voices for the Middle East & North Africa. 415-867-0628. 

“Truth in Reporting on Iraq” with Dahr Jamal at 7 p.m. at Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, 1924 Cedar at Bonita. 528-5403.  

“Early Twentieth-Century British Women Travelers to Greece” A lecture by Prof. Martha Klironomos at 3 p.m. at 370 Dwinelle Hall, UC Campus.  

Los Días de los Muertos Altar Making at 1 p.m. at the Painting Studio, Richmond Art Studio, 2540 Barrett Ave., Richmond. Cost is $30-$35. 620-6770. www.therichmondartcenter.org 

Contra Costa Civic Theatre White Elephant Sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot adjacent to the theater at 951 Pomona Ave. at Moeser Lane, El Cerrito. To arrange drop-offs call 533-0698. To arrange rental space, call 524-8559. 

Kol Sippur: A Celebration of Jewish Storytelling from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the BRJCC, 1414 Walnut St. Tickets are $5-$25. Registration required. 848-0237. 

Iron Chef Cook-off benefit for the Berkeley Historical Society, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Spengers, 1919 Fourth St. 845-7771. 

Ahoy There! Pancake Breakfast aboard the Red Oak Victory Ship moored in Pt. Richmond. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 1500 Dornan Drive, through the Ferry point Tunnel to the end. Cost is $6.  

Folk Art Society Art Sale featuring artists with disabilities from noon to 5:30 p.m. at the National Institute of Art and Disabilities, 551 23rd St. Richmond. 620-0290. www.niadart.org 

Hands-On Bike Maintenance Class Learn how to perform basic repairs on your own bike from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at REI, 1338 San Pablo Ave. Cost is $85 members, $100 non-members, registration required. 527-4140. 

Small Press Distribution 35th Anniversary Celebration at 4 p.m. at St. John’s Presbyterian Church. Tickets are $35. 524-1668, ext. 340. www.spfbooks.org 

Hunger Project global relief program with Lynne S. Twist, author of “The Soul of Money,” at 9:45 a.m. St. John’s Episcopal Church, at 1707 Gouldin Rd., off Thornhill Road, Oakland. 339-2200. 

“Moral Responsibility: Evolutionary and Genetic Aspects” with Gunther Stent, Prof. of Molecular and Cell Biology, UCB, at 9:30 a.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, 1 Lawson Rd., Kensington. 525-0302.  

Tibetan Buddhism with Sylvia Gretchen on “Dream Yoga: Dream Awareness and Compassion Practice” at 6 p.m. at the Tibetan Nyingma Institute, 1815 Highland Pl. 843-6812. www.nyingmainstitute.com 


City Council meets Tues., Oct. 5, at 7 p.m in City Council Chambers, Sherry M. Kelly, city clerk, 981-6900. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/citycouncil 

Commission on the Status of Women meets Wed., Oct. 6, at 7:30 p.m., at the West Berkeley Senior Center. Tasha Tervelon, 981-5347. www.ci.berkeley. 


Fire Safety Commission meets Wed., Oct. 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the Public Safety Building, 2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, 2nd floor. David Orth, 981-5502. www.ci.berkeley.ca. 


Community Environmental Advisory Commission meets Thurs., Oct. 7, at 7 p.m., at 2118 Milvia St. Nabil Al-Hadithy, 981-7461. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/commissions/environmentaladvisory 

Housing Advisory Commission meets Thurs., Oct. 7, at 7:30 p.m., at the South Berkeley Senior Center. Oscar Sung, 981-5400. www.ci.berkeley. 


Public Works Commission meets Thurs., Oct. 7, at 7 p.m., at the North Berkeley Senior Center. Jeff Egeberg, 981-6406. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/commissions/publicworks 


From Atop a Police Car, A Revolution Was Born: By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Friday October 01, 2004

Two major forces dominating American society in the 1950s—one waning, the other waxing—collided in Sproul Plaza 40 years ago today, Oct. 1, climaxing in an epochal moment. 

“The connections to the civil rights movement are extensive, along with a continuation of the organizing against McCarthyism,” said Bettina Aptheker, a participant in the events of that memorable day and today a professor and chair of Women’s Studies at UC Santa Cruz. 

Many of the activists on Sproul Plaza that day had been active in the movement against McCarthyism and its embodiment in the notorious House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). 

Four years earlier, another UC Berkeley student coalition, SLATE, organized another memorable protest when HUAC came to San Francisco looking for Reds under beds in Berkeley and elsewhere around the bay, said Peter Franck, one of the group’s leading activists. 

Hundreds of Berkeley students arrived outside San Francisco City Hall on the morning of May 13, 1960 to protest the HUAC hearings underway inside. 

After denying students admission to the building, police brought in high pressure fire hoses and blasted them down the steps, arresting dozens, including 31 Cal students. 

The next day brought 5,000 demonstrators. 

Repercussions of the protest included the resignation en masse of the Daily Californian staff after a university crackdown on the publication for urging students to join the protest, the banning of SLATE from campus activities and the sowing of seeds that would burst forth four years later on Sproul Plaza. 

Aptheker had arrived on campus two years after the HUAC protest, and she was on that plaza that day, Oct. 1, 1964, to set up a table for the W.E.B. Dubois Club, a prominent civil rights organization of the day with extensive ties to the Old Left. 

As the daughter of leading Marxist journalist Herbert Aptheker, long reviled by the FBI, she knew first-hand the repressive passions nurtured by Wisconsin Republican Sen. Joseph McCarthy, and her childhood friendship with future African American organizer Angela Davis had deepened her sympathies with the rising demands for equality that were shaking the nation. 

Tables on Bancroft Way at Telegraph Avenue had been banned by university officials on Sept. 14, but organizers for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and other civil rights organizations defied the ban, Aptheker among them. 

In retaliation, campus deans later came out and took the names of all those who were sitting at the tables—Aptheker included—for possible administrative action. 

“For every person whose name was taken, another person would then sit down at the table,” she said. “The deans had taken the names of over 800 students by the end of the day.” 

In response, members of the United Front, a coalition of 18 groups of all political persuasions, held a meeting where Mario Savio, a junior recently arrived form New York, spoke out. 

“I remember him saying that the principle was freedom of speech on campus, not the tables. So he suggested moving the tables to Sproul Plaza. That was when the police car came,” she said. 

Among those who had set up tables directly in front of the administration building was Jack Weinberg, a UC alum with a long involvement in civil rights who was organizing for CORE. 

Bruce Africa, now a psychiatrist on the staff of Napa State Hospital, was one of those at the tables. “It was the first time in my life I ever did anything overtly against the law,” he recalled. “Jack Weinberg was one of those who emerged as a leader, and he’s been one ever since.” 

When police asked Weinberg for his name and non-existent student ID card, the young radical stood mute and the officers arrested him. He went limp, and was carried into the car. 

“I don’t know who shouted ‘Sit down!’ I was standing right by the driver’s side front fender, and sat,” Aptheker said. “There were thousands of us. 

“And that was the beginning.” 

In a brilliant bit of improvisation, the students quickly deflated the tires and the police car was trapped. 

For 32 hours, thousands of students continued the sit-in. 

It wasn’t long before they realized that the roof of the captive car offered a perfect soap box, and it was from there that Savio emerged as the voice of the movement, a figure who had in a few short hours captured the attention of the world. 

“I remember him sitting on top of the police car, talking to a Chronicle reporter in his stocking feet,” said Marilyn Noble, who was to play a unique role in the ensuing events. 

“I said, ‘Who does your laundry? You don’t have time any more.’ Then I got his address,” she said. 

Before the sit-in ended, campus officials released Weinberg, refusing to press charges. 

Yet at the moment, Aptheker and her friends had no sense they were participants in an historic moment. “None of us understood that until much later.” 

For her, the recognition came on Nov. 20., when the UC regents met in University Hall on Oxford Street. 

“We organized a rally on the Sproul footsteps and we marched to the regents’ meeting. There were 5,000 of us, and for me that was when I understood that we had a huge movement and I began to feel that we were part of something that was historic,” she said. 

In the interim, Marilyn Noble had emerged as the caretaker of the core leadership of what had become the Free Speech Movement. 

She fed them and kept them in clean clothes—suits and ties for Savio and the other men in those short-haired, clean-shaven pre-Hippie days. 

When it came time for the November march on the regents, “I took one of Jackie Goldberg’s sorority bed sheets and made a sign” that students carried at the head of the march as the paraded through Sather Gate and on to the regents’ meeting. 

Perhaps the most fitting memorial to those events of 400 years ago will come Friday noon, Oct. 8, during the upcoming Free Speech Movement 40th anniversary, from atop the roof of another police car in Sproul when FSM participants will seize the moment to dissect the latest challenge to free speech in America, the Patriot Act. 

“That’s the best way to commemorate the signal victory of the Free Speech Movement,” said Michael Rossman, a key organizer of the week-long celebration. ª

Owners Can Rebuild Near Creeks and Culverts: By MATTHEW ARTZ

Friday October 01, 2004

Homeowners who live beside Berkeley creeks have less to fear from mother nature after the City Council Tuesday affirmed their right to rebuild their homes after a disaster. 

The unanimous vote, which amends Berkeley’s 1989 Creeks Ordinance, came after property owners, mostly from the Berkeley Hills, spent over three hours lambasting the council’s current policy at Longfellow Middle School. 

After amending the ordinance, the council also voted unanimously to revisit the creeks issue in two weeks and consider whether to form a task force or designate the Planning Commission to revise the ordinance.  

Designed primarily to restrict the construction of new culverts that push creeks underground and are prone to collapse, the 15-year-old law forbids new construction of roofed buildings within 30 feet of the centerline of a creek or culvert. The only way to build in the setback area required obtaining a city variance, which Planning Director Dan Marks said would have been “very difficult.” The council Tuesday decided that existing owners would no longer have to get an variance to rebuild after a disaster such as an earthquake or fire. 

Creek advocates were greatly outnumbered in the packed 450-seat auditorium by homeowners organized under the banner of Neighbors On Urban Creeks. 

Given two choices by city staff, the council granted owners of any type of structure—residential or commercial—the right to rebuild essentially the same building in the same footprint after a disaster with no requirement to study the feasibility of moving the new building outside of the 30-foot setback. Homeowners, however, will need to submit a report by a licensed structural engineer that a new building would not damage the culvert or the creek and would still comply with building codes enacted since their original house was built. 

The issue had remained under the radar, said Planning Director Dan Marks, until last year when creeks advocates started lobbying to tighten restrictions on new structures near creeks and the city produced electronic maps that gave more exact estimates of the roughly 2,400 homeowners possibly affected by the law. 

At the Tuesday council meeting, homeowners declared that once insurers, bankers and real estate agents found out, their homes would be impossible to insure, impossible to refinance, and impossible to sell. 

“This is my retirement, this is my savings, this was what I was going to leave to my children and you made it worthless,” said Katherine Bowman, who learned earlier this month that her house just off Grizzly Peak Road fell under the ordinance. 

John Ellwood, a professor of public policy at UC Berkeley, criticized the council for passing the ordinance without any fiscal analysis of whether the law would diminish assessed property values and consequently cost the city vital property tax revenue. 

“There are no numbers here,” he told the council. “Forget that we’re going to go broke, you’re going to go broke.” 

Ellwood said colleagues with business expertise at UC told him the creek law had make his house worthless, but he questioned why the council didn’t have any real estate or insurance experts to testify if the homeowners’ fears were founded. 

Bill McDowell, an agent for Berkeley Hills Realty, said Wednesday that he didn’t think the ordinance had affected home prices. 

Creek advocate Carole Schemmerling, who also lives beside a creek, drew boos when she said the fears “seemed to have been whipped up by the bogeyman that creeks are bad and that we need to get rid of them.” 

Ann Riley, one of the principal authors of the creek ordinance, said the law was never intended “to prevent someone from rebuilding their home.” 

Creek advocates want the city to strengthen the creek law so it applies to roofless structures such as parking lots and adjusts the 30-foot setback rule in cases where the watershed is wider.  

Several homeowners Tuesday, however, called on the council to scrap the entire law or at least apply it only to public property. 

Not included in the current ordinance, but still looming over the creeks debate, is who will be required to pay the estimated tens of millions of dollars to repair the city’s 17,000 feet of concrete culverts built under private property.  

Already the city is embroiled in a lawsuit with neighbors of Strawberry Creek, who challenge the city’s claim that the property owners are responsible for repairing a dilapidated culvert that runs underneath their homes. 

Creek fans on the council, including Kriss Worthington, Dona Spring, Margaret Breland and Mayor Tom Bates, said they wanted to form a public taskforce to examine creek issues. 

But councilmembers Gordon Wozniak, Betty Olds and Hawley, all representing large swaths of the Berkeley hills, stated their preference for the Planning Commission to tackle the creeks issue. 

Hawley called city task forces “democracy by exhaustion,” where the residents best able to withstand months of relentless meetings—usually activists—ultimately make the decisions. 

City Manager Phil Kamlarz said either option would cost the city several hundred thousand dollars in staff time and consultants. He promised to return to the council in two weeks with estimates on the costs. 













State Grants Bonus Floors to Builders: By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Friday October 01, 2004

Gov. Arnold Schwarze-negger signed into law Thursday a new measure that increases the inclusionary bonus granted to builders who included low income housing in apartment and condominiums building. 

The inclusionary bonus allows developers to builder bigger buildings than normally allowed under local ordinances when the structures contain units reserved for low-income tenants or mid-income buyers. 

Under the old law, builders were granted a 25 percent increase in building size if they set aside 20 percent of units. The new law boosts the bonus to 35 percent. 

Berkeley’s representative Loni Hancock was one of four California Assembly members who voted against the measure when it came up for a final vote on Aug. 24. The measure cleared the Senate on a unanimous vote two days later. 

The density bonus has become a thorny issue in Berkeley politics because of its role in the construction of controversial downtown buildings. 

Though the downtown plan limits structures to five stories, the density bonus allowed Patrick Kennedy to build the seven-story-plus Gaia Building, and a combination of the density and cultural bonuses has resulted in the proposed nine-story Seagate. 

With the additional bonus enacted Thursday, Berkeley could be seeing ten-story edifices in the city center in years to come.ª

Council Ponders Chevron’s Pt. Molate Offer: By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Friday October 01, 2004

Richmond City Council members tabled Tuesday night’s planned vote on a casino complex development pact for Point Molate after ChevronTexaco offered a lucrative last-minute alternative. 

The oil company is offering a total of $80 million: $55 million paya ble on execution of a deed to the city-owned property at Point Molate and Point San Pablo and a million dollars a year for 25 years. 

The annual payments would be earmarked for development and maintenance of public improvements on the site. 

“We have provided the city with both a serious and a generous offer,” said Dean O’Hair, spokesperson for the oil company’s Richmond refinery, situated just across the ridgeline from the Molate site.  

The only reason the oil company was able to make the offer Tuesday was because the exclusive negotiations pact signed by the city with Berkeley developer James D. Levine’s Upstream Point Molate LLC, which proposed building a casino on the site, had expired at midnight Monday. 

Levine and others involved in the Upstream p roject met Wednesday in Sacramento with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s legal staff for an informational meeting. 

Chevron had floated an earlier offer on Aug. 13, when Richmond was legally barred from receiving it. Chevron then offered a $5 million down pay ment followed by another $29 million in payments spread out over two decades. Levine said his deal would give the city over $400 million in the same period. 

Levine offered a $20 million down payment, with additional $2 million a year for the following 15 years. 

In addition, the Guidiville Rancheria band of Pomo tribespeople, who would own the site as a reservation, has agreed to compensate the city for required city services. They would pay $8 million a year for the first eight years after gambling oper ations commence and $10 million annually thereafter. 

The tribe would also pay additional compensatory fees to cover lost sales and hotel occupancy taxes. 

But the path to a tribal casino is strewn with potential stumbling blocks, requiring authorizations at the federal, state, and local levels. 

Then there’s Gov. Schwarzenegger’s stalled pact that would grant Casino San Pablo exclusive slot machine rights within a 35-miles radius. If approved by legislators, the plans for a half-dozen or so other Bay Area casinos, including Point Molate, would be derailed instantly. 

Thus, the promise of an $80 million bird in the hand has to look tempting to a city government struggling with more than $30 million in debt. City councilmembers have laid off large numbers of municipal workers, drastically reduced municipal services and privatized the city’s water and sewer systems. 

Vince Sollitto, deputy press secretary for the governor, said the meeting was requested by Upstream and the governor’s office accepted “becaus e the administration always attempts to learn the plans of sovereign Indian nations. 

“It is my understanding that the tribe does not have land in trust and therefore they are not in a position to pursue a gaming compact at this time,” he said.  

The Upst ream pact was scheduled for signing when the city council met Monday evening, and a sizable contingent of would-be speakers had planned to address the council. 

But right after Mayor Irma Anderson had gaveled the council to order, Assistant City Manager R ichard McCoy, the city’s point man for casino negotiations, asked that the item be pulled from the agenda “to allow the council to have additional information from the proposal just received from Chevron. 

“They have indicated they would be receptive to a n agreement,” he said. “I recommend one week to negotiate a contract with them,” with the new agreement to be presented alongside the Upstream proposal at next week’s council meeting. 

Announcement of the offer drew a few gasps from the audience, but as t he official proposed, the council disposed, shelving the vote and prompting an exodus of would-be speakers. 

The addition of Point San Pablo would give the oil firm control of the entire western side of the Point San Pablo Peninsula, though the site may b e a key sticking point in negotiations with the city. 

The city-owned seven and a half acre terminal at the tip of the peninsula lost its two major tenants in the last decade. 

“The inclusion of Point San Pablo along with our own Point Lorean property ens ures that we’ll have public park and open space all the way to the end of the peninsula,” said O’Hair. 

But McCoy said Thursday that no deal could be signed that included Point San Pablo. During a meeting between Chevron representatives, McCoy, interim Ci ty Attorney Everett Jenkins, and city outside counsel John Knox, “We advised them that inclusion of the point was unacceptable.” 

Because the land was city-owned, it would have to first be offered to other government agencies, McCoy said. 

“That was the s ame point Chevron made when they tried to block the sale of Point Molate, so it’s kind of ironic,” he said. 

The city also advised Chevron that any sale of Point Molate would have to include a guarantee that Chevron would contain provisions that allowed s ome development that would create jobs and boost the local economy—mandates of the Base Closure Act under which the city acquired the former Navy property, McCoy said. 

Councilmember Tom Butt also opposes the Point San Pablo sale, a sentiment apparently s hared by others in municipal government. 

Chevron has until the close of business Monday to present a formal offer, and their legal staff was sorting through records in City Hall Thursday to aid in their effort, McCoy said. 

The proposal will go to the ci ty council for review during a closed-door executive session prior to next Tuesday evening’s public meeting when the council will have the option of accepted either of the two offers or rejecting both. 

O’Hair said the oil company’s cash would give the ci ty up front funds for infrastructure improvements and leave Richmond with cash on hand. 

Councilmember Butt’s accusation 

The most dramatic part of Tuesday council meeting came during a heated discussion of a controversial e-mail from member Butt. 

In a s cathing message dispatched to constituents on his Tom Butt E-Forum, the councilmember blasted acting City Attorney Everett Jenkins and his assistant Bruce Soublett for garnishing his “meager City Council wages” to recoup a 9 year old civil judgment result ing from a Butt Public Records Act. 

Butt, not yet a councilmember at the time, had sued the city to force disclosure of Chevron’s “unique exemption” from the city Utility User Tax. 

Butt wrote in an earlier e-mail on April 2 that he won most of records h e sought the suit. The judgment stemmed from a failed bid to recoup legal costs from the city. 

Butt’s Sept. 27 e-mail declared that “the city attorney’s office is just as dysfunctional as the rest of City Hall” with “a huge backlog of uncollected judgmen ts going back a decade or more that they are too lazy or too incompetent to collect. . .It’s interesting that the only one they have gotten around to acting on is mine.” 

The missive declared that “Soublett was a puzzling choice to play the hatchet man. H e has a troubling reputation for seldom showing up for work and spending long lunch hours with Human Resources Director Cedric Williams at the Hotel Mac paid for by taxpayers through City credit cards. Based on past credit card receipts submitted by Willi ams, Butt’s monthly payments will not even support Williams’ and Soublet’s gourmet dining style.”  

During the Tuesday council session, Jenkins fired back. “I object to the criticism. . .that e-mail is not accurate and not appropriate according to the cou ncil’s own code of conduct.” 

Councilmember Maria Viramontes called the missive “an outrage, an absolute outrage Tom. You’ve totally, utterly crossed the line.” 


Campus Bay Dredging Approved: By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Friday October 01, 2004

State officials Thursday afternoon approved a developer’s plans to dredge marshland at the edge of a highly polluted Richmond site, though some neighbors remain deeply concerned about possible effects to neighboring lives and property. 

Cleanup of Stege Marsh on the South Richmond shoreline is mandated as part of the cleanup of the site of the former Zeneca chemical manufacturing complex, where large quantities of contaminated soil have already been buried under a clay soil cap. 

Work could begin immediately under the approval issued by Bruce F. Wolfe, executive officer of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board. 

Cherokee-Simeon Ventures, a partnership of a Marin County developer and a Colorado firm specializing in developments on rehabilitated toxic sites, is proposing a 1,330-unit residential complex of high-rise, mid-rise and townhouse condos plus low-rise loft apartments adjacent to the marsh. 

Tuesday morning’s meeting in the second-floor conference room of an office building on the site attracted a standing-room-only crowd, with large contingents from state regulators, the developers and concerned neighbors. 

While the marsh cleanup was a foregone conclusion, the residential complex is another matter entirely, said Stephen J. Morse, assistant executive officer for the Water Quality Control Board. 

“We’re not anywhere close to discussing homes on the site,” he said. 

During the century it operated until its closure in 1997, the 40-acre site—located west of I-580, southwest of Meade Street, near the Bayview Avenue exit—housed plants producing industrial and agricultural chemicals. 

At the site, Stauffer Chemical refined sulfur from iron pyrite, adding high levels of contaminants to the soil, and Zeneca, Inc., added additional noxious compounds from the production of nitric acid, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides and a potpourri of other compounds. 

“My understanding is that there are arsenic concentrations on this site,” said Contra Costa County Health Director Wendell Brunner. 

“This site’s got everything,” replied Morse. 

Curtis Scott, chief of the Regional Water Quality Control Board’s Groundwater and Waste Containment Division—the lead agency on the site cleanup—said 98 percent of the site remediation had been completed, 90 percent of it before Cherokee-Simeon bought the property. 

Cleanup of the marsh adjacent to the bay has been mandated because the soils contain levels of metals that, while judged safe for humans, have proven harmful to birds and other creatures living at the interface between land and sea. 

The polluted fill will be replaced by certified clean soil which is now being trucked into the site, Scott said. 

Because of shorebird nesting seasons—including that of the endangered clapper rail, a bird which has been observed on the site—the timeline for marsh excavation is limited to a short window in the fall. 

The excavated muck would be stored on the project site until spring, when it would be shipped out after drying sufficiently to enable on-site compacting, said Bill Carson, a specialist for Emeryville-based LFR Levine Fricke, the environmental clean-up firm conducting the site restoration. 

Many site neighbors were frustrated that the meeting had been called on short notice and scheduled during the workday, and all of them were concerned about surface dust blowing off the muck piles and onto their property. 

Their immediate concerns centered on wind-blown dust from the drying surface of the muck heaps reaching their businesses on property adjacent to or near the site. 

Cecil Felix, the water board’s project manager for the cleanup, said monitoring stations, one of them a mobile unit which could be repositioned as conditions warrant, would detect any wind-blown dust leaving the site and notify staff by pagers. 

Other sensors monitor for volatile organic compounds, a class of chemicals that includes some particularly toxic compounds. 

Work would be shut down at the first visible sign of dust leaving the site, he said. 

In the event they spotted blowing dust, neighbors asked what they could do to spark a shutdown.  

“We have the authority to do that,” Felix said. “We’re not that far away. We can make a trip down here,” from the board’s Oakland office and shut down work. 

How many calls would it take to provoke a shutdown, asked Jesse Kray, whose Kray Cabling Inc. is adjacent to the site on 49th Street. “What is the actual process? Is it one call and you’ll be out here? Two calls? Three calls?” 

“It shouldn’t be the responsibility of people living around here to do the monitoring,” said Dr. Brunner. 

Scott finally acknowledged that the board usually acts after five calls have been received. 

“Please give me a call if you have problems,” said Russ Pitto, head of Simeon Properties. 

“We’re looking for success here,” said Morse. 

The highest ranking state official on the scene was Rick Brausch, assistant secretary for external affairs of the California Environmental Protection Agency, which has overall supervision of the agencies involved in the cleanup. 

“They are asking you as a regulatory agency to give them some assurance that measures are in place to monitor the project and that you will shut things down if there is any risk of exposure,” Brausch interjected. 

Scott assured him that such was the case. 

Shortly before he left the meeting, health director Brunner acknowledged that “things have certainly moved forward since July in terms of responses form regulatory agencies, but it’s clear that there’s more work to do. 

“It will be helpful for future meetings for the regulatory agencies to lay out what’s there on the site and what material they’re moving out. The University of California did that,” he said, adding that “a lot of the questions raised here are absolutely clearly appropriate.” 

Pollution levels are even worse in marshland on the UC Berkeley Field Station to the north of Campus Bay, said Scott, describing them as “very, very huge.” The university site includes portions which also housed Zeneca plants. 

The same neighbors who had harsh words for Cherokee-Simeon joined Brunner in singing the praises of the university, which has conducted tours of the station, pointing out environmental hot spots. 

“The university was very forthcoming, very straightforward. They gave me a greater comfort level than I’ve had over here,” said one neighbor. “Sherry Padgett (a Richmond resident active in opposing the development) and other people in this community have had to fight tooth and nail every time we finally get information, and every time we get it, we find out that there’s more information behind the information and we have to fight to get that.” 

“The residents of Marina Bay have received nothing,” said Dr. Claudia Carr, a resident of Marina Bay, a residential community to the northwest. A UC Berkeley Professor of Environmental Science, Policy & Management, Carr has been active in the movement challenging and the handling of the cleanup. Like many others, she opposes the residential project. ª

Veterans Want Back in to Veteran’s Building: By MATTHEW ARTZ

Friday October 01, 2004

On a typical day Berkeley’s Veterans’ Memorial Building has plenty of veterans inside; they just aren’t where one would expect to find them. 

The door marked “Disabled Veterans of America, Post 25”, just to the right past the front entrance, actually ope ns into the janitor’s closet. As for the door marked American Legion, Post 7, that’s now the entrance to the men’s room. 

Most of the veterans who frequent the building at 1931 Center St. do so to use the numerous city services which operate inside. The b asement is home to a men’s shelter and the Veterans’ Hall on the first floor houses the nonprofit Options Recovery Services. 

Now some local veterans’ organizations—angry over the perceived commandeering of the building by social service agencies—want a s tronger voice in what they say is rightfully theirs.  

“They’ve been made to feel like squatters in a place dedicated to them,” said Mark Chandler of the Alameda County Veterans Affairs Commission. 

Acting on the requests of Berkeley veterans’ groups, Cha ndler has lobbied Mayor Tom Bates, Rep. Barbara Lee and city officials to rehabilitate the seismically unsafe building and restore access to it for both veterans and the community. 

Currently, Chandler said, in the cavernous building the Disabled American Veterans and the American Legion have been relegated to a six-foot by nine-foot meeting room, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars have left for Albany where the veterans’ building has been renovated. 

A seismic upgrade that could open up more of the Berkele y building to public use, however, seems unlikely. The project would cost an estimated $12 million, according a 2002 city manager’s report and with the city already facing a $7.5 million shortfall next year, there is little political support for a bond me asure. 

Currently the second floor of the building is off-limits to the public. The first floor and basement remain open because they have direct exits to egress in the case of an emergency. 

Since the building is on the National Register of Historic Plac es as part of a historic district, Chandler asked Rep. Lee to seek federal funding to upgrade it. 

Ed Harper, adjutant of the Berkeley’s Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Post 25, said his group, which meets once a month, didn’t have designs on taking over space from the social services, but wanted the city to make a concerted effort to restore the building and include them in the building’s management, as required by agreement. 

“What we need is respect that we exist and this is a veterans’ building,” he said. 

One token of respect the city can show, said Chandler, would be to restore veteran access in the evenings to Veterans Hall, where for years veterans held gatherings, but now is essentially an office space for Options.  

“You can’t do anything in th ere anymore,” he said. 

The ornate first floor auditorium had previously been used by a variety of civic groups for formal gatherings, said Ken Cardwell of the Berkeley Historical Society, which is also based in the veterans’ building and like other nonpr ofit tenants doesn’t pay rent to the city.  

Berkeley’s veterans’ building was completed in 1928, around the same time other veterans’ buildings sprung up in Alameda County thanks to a state law allowing counties to set aside taxes revenue to construct buildings “in memory of veterans.” 

The county maintained eight veterans’ buildings, including the one in Berkeley, until the late 1980s when budgetary constraints forced it to transfer most of them to the host cities.  

Berkeley veterans’ groups, fearful they would lose special privileges, fought the transfers. 

As far back as 1980, Councilmembers Gilda Feller and Florence McDonald proposed wresting control of the building from the county to house nonprofits. The building, they wrote in a proposal to the council, was only used two evenings a week for veterans’ meetings and rentals to other groups at the discretion of the Veterans Commission. 

Ultimately, Berkeley veterans negotiated a deal with the city when Berkeley finally took control in 1988, a year b efore the Loma Prieta earthquake. 

The veterans’ groups were given exclusive use of the second floor, one office on the first floor, the right to use other portions of the building on the same conditions as other members of the public, and a guarantee tha t their input “shall be sought by the city manager in developing building uses and improvements.” 

However, Chandler said, the commission designed to guarantee veterans’ input was disbanded and the city closed access to the second floor shortly after the earthquake. 

In 1992, the homeless shelter moved into the basement and a few years ago Options took over Veterans Hall. 

Chandler said his group has fought other cities to preserve the rights of veterans, and after reaching a settlement to transform a po rtion of the veterans’ building in Oakland into a senior center, he said, “Berkeley is the only one we have a problem with right now.” 

If the veterans and other civic groups have gotten squeezed out of Veterans’ Hall, city officials and representatives o f the non-profits insist it wasn’t by design. 

“It never even occurred to me that people couldn’t use [the hall] for general purposes anymore,” said Marci Jordan, who runs the homeless shelter and sits on the board of Options Recovery Services. 

Since Opt ions received permission about three years ago from former City Manager Weldon Rucker to move from the basement to the first floor, the group has erected cubicles along the sides of Veterans Hall and on the main stage, making it difficult for civic groups to use the venue for events. 


Two Berkeleyans Win MacArthur Fellowships: By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Friday October 01, 2004

Building on the city’s reputation as being one of the homes of the best and the brightest, two Berkeley-based winners were among the 23 recipients of this year’s MacArthur Fellowship awards. 

David Green, executive director of technology transfer compan y Project Impact, and UC Berkeley assistant history professor Maria Mavroudi each received five-year, half-a-million-dollar grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Fellowship awards from the Chicago-based foundation come with the po pularly-accepted title of “MacArthur genius.” There are no restrictions on how the monetary awards can be used. 

MacArthur Fellowships cannot be applied for. Rather recipients are nominated by an anonymous committee, and the recipients are not supposed to know that they are under consideration until they receive notice of their awards from the foundation. 

Green, who holds a Master of Public Health Degree from the University of Michigan, founded the nonprofit Project Impact four years ago for the purpose of developing, manufacturing, and distributing affordable medical technologies to Third World countries. His company describes itself as a “compassionate capitalist company.” Green has also received social entrepreneur fellowships from both the Ashoka glo bal organizations and the Schwab Foundation. 

Through its Affordable Hearing Aid Project, Project Impact sells high-end hearing aids in undeveloped areas of the world for less than $200 apiece, more than one-tenth the price that such hearing aids sell for commercially. 

In 1992, Green helped establish Aurolab, an India-based company which manufactures plastic implants used to restore sight to patients suffering from cataracts and other eye diseases. The now independent company produces hundreds of thousan ds of such lenses a year, distributed in more than 85 countries at a substantially lower price ($4 per lens) than such lenses available in developed countries ($100 in the United States). 

Project Impact spokesperson Ramona Lugo Pedersen said that Green was presently traveling on the east coast and “pretty overwhelmed” by the award. She said the MacArthur money “ensures that David will be able to continue his outreach indefinitely, which is fantastic. This really lights a fire under him so that he can go forward with the research and exploration.” 

Pedersen said that Green “now wants to turn inward to apply the affordable hearing aid project to the United States,” a project which she said is being considered in coordination with the Lions organization. Pr oject Impact is also currently working on a program to distribute AIDS medicines at low prices. 

Green says that there is no mystery to his price structure: he simply practices high-volume, low-profit-margin sales as opposed to the low-volume, high-profit-margin practices used by most medical technology companies. Last year, he told Business Week magazine that “demystifying the cost structure” was “the key to making any technology affordable.” 

UC assistant professor Mavroudi has been using her skills as a “language detective” to explore links between the Greek medieval empire of Byzantium and its Islamic neighbors. It is a field of study that once might have been thought of as obscure, but has taken on increasing importance with the need to understand the roots of the current rise of conflict between the Christian and Muslim worlds. 

The 37-year-old Mavroudi said in a statement that when she answered the phone she had no idea of why a MacArthur Foundation might be calling her, and “thought that maybe he wanted my opinion on someone else. I just couldn’t believe he would be calling to announce I was a winner.” 

She said she has not yet decided how she will use the grant money, except that it will almost certainly be an aid in her research. 

Martin Jay, chair of UC Berkeley’s History Department, had high praise for Mavroudi. “In a very short time,” he said, “[she] has established herself as a path-breaking, internationally acclaimed scholar in the history of Byzantine-Arabic cultural relations in the 10th century, as well as a brilliant philologist and translator of earlier texts from the ancient world. The implications of her work for the more general issue of cultural contacts between the great civilizations of the world are profound.” 

A philologist is someone who studies the relationships between literature and language. 

Mavroudi, who grew up in Greece, holds a B.A. from the University of Thessaloniki, Greece and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. She is the author of “A Byzantine Book on Dream Interpretation: The Oneiroticon of Achmet and its Arabic Sources.” 

Berkeley Cops Ticketed Claremont Protest Supporters: By JAKOB SCHILLER

Friday October 01, 2004

After nine straight hours on her feet as an event usher, Carol Harris could sympathize with the workers she passed at 11:30 p.m. who were walking a 24-hour picket outside the Claremont Hotel at the end of August.  

That’s why Harris honked three short times in support as she headed up through the heavy traffic on Ashby Avenue, past the hotel and towards her Oakland home. The next thing she knew, Harris saw flashing lights. A Berkeley police officer pulled her over and issued a ticket for unreasonable use of her horn. 

“I could see if I laid on the horn for 50 years, but three short beeps?” said Harris, who thought about fighting the ticket but finally decided to pay it, but not before calling the Daily Planet to complain. Nonetheless, she is still wondering why she was pulled over for such a minor infraction. “I was so pissed off, just because I empathize with these people who are making slave wages, they must have really meant it if they were out there at 11 p.m.” 

According to Joe Oakies, the Public Information Officer for the Berkeley Police, Berkeley and Oakland officers responded to the picket after neighbors complained about the noise created by the picket, including the car horns. He said officers were in the area from around 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. and issued roughly 30 citations. 

The picket, which started on the night of Aug. 27 and lasted for the next 27 hours, was organized by the Oakland-based Hotel and Restaurant Employees (HERE) union local 2850. It was meant to commemorate the three-year anniversary of their boycott against the hotel which has refused to sign a union contract for spa workers and renew two existing contracts for other employees. 

Before the police showed up, some neighbors came down to the picket and respectfully asked the union to give them warning before scheduling another all-night picket, according to Claire Darby, an organizer with the union. 

“There were one or two that said ‘you are driving me crazy, please go away,’” she said. 

Before issuing the honking tickets, officers also forced the union to shut down their amplified sound in compliance with the sound permit issued by the Oakland city clerk. 

The union did so, but asked the officer’s to refrain from issuing tickets. They told officers that motorists would have no way to know they would violate the law by honking. Picketers tried to make a sign that told passersby not to honk, according to Darby, but they couldn’t find anything big enough to convey the message in the dark. They resorted to using hand gestures to deter people from honking but were not very successful. 

“I think there is a lot of support for Claremont workers in Berkeley and Oakland and you cannot shut it down,” said Darby. It was also ironic, said Darby, because one of the officers issuing citations was on a motorcycle that made noise every time the officer started it up to chase a car. 

“The motorcycle was making more noise that we were,” said Darby.ª

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Berlusconi?: By PAOLO PONTONIERE

Pacific News Service
Friday October 01, 2004

A boor given to embarrassing behavior, an American lackey on Iraq, a clown. He toes the U.S. line of not dealing with terrorists, yet his government may have secretly paid a ransom to free two kidnapped Italian aid workers. These are some of the darts critics throw at Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Yet, none seems to matter to the Italian electorate as Berlusconi has managed to hold onto power. What explains his mystique?  

To Italians who had seen lifelong politicians run their state to the ground and cover it with shame, Berlusconi's rise as a political force was a fresh start. The continuing failure of the Italian political system to represent the aspirations, dreams and needs of Italy’s average citizens has helped keep his grip on the helm of state. 

The famous Mani Pulite (Clean Hands) anti-corruption sweep that ousted Italy’s postwar political elite in the 1990s made room for Berlusconi’s rise. The Tangentopoli corruption scandal confirmed the popular impression that all politicians were from a party-based oligarchy that perpetuated regimes of privilege for politicians and their chosen “special interests” or constituencies. 

Government by coalition prevailed in Italy from the end of World War II, an arrangement in which majority and minority parties co-managed Italian political life. The downfall in the late 1980s of the Christian Democrats, the centrist party that governed Italy alone or in coalitions without interruption, revealed a labyrinth of bribes and kickbacks that consumed the entire political system. Even the Communist Party, which had floated above the fray and was only peripherally touched by the corruption scandals, was infected by the virus of profiteering. 

With the resulting investigation of political leaders and parliamentarians, the Italian political system crumbled like a house of cards. Arrests and convictions decapitated the Christian Democrats, who split in at least three groups to become a shadow of what once Italy’s most powerful party. The Socialist Party, which led the governing coalition from the mid-’80s to the early ‘90s, was swept away by the uproar. Its leader Bettino Craxi—the longest-serving prime minister of postwar Italy, until Berlusconi equaled his record last month—fled to Tunisia to escape arrest.  

In this climate of chaos, institutional crisis and economic recession, Berlusconi—a self-made billionaire with extensive interests in real estate, media and publishing—made his first move for control of the Italian political system.  

Voters believed he knew the value of hard work, and he never missed an opportunity to stress that this was what set him apart from his opponents. Voters ignored his left-wing critics, who accused him of belonging to the Loggia P2, a covert Masonic organization that conspired to control the political system since the 1970s. Voters ignored his 1988 conviction for perjury for denying his P2 ties, and that he was under investigation for corruption and bribery.  

With his media empire Berlusconi has had no problem shaping public opinion to his liking. He conveys the image of an average guy who happens to have the means to launch a personal crusade to save Italy from the grip of leftists and jaded politicians. He founded the Forza Italia (Go Italy!) party, calling for the emancipation of the average citizen from the intrusions of an overbearing state. He won the majority of the popular vote and earned the right to form a new government.  

The first Berlusconi government lasted about 6 months. He lacked the numbers to rule alone. As the coalition he formed fell apart, his government was forced to resign. But he rose again in 5 years. A bickering center-left coalition led by Romano Prodi took over, then fell apart in 1998, followed by a series of governments led by technocrats, including Massimo D’Alema, a former Communist. This political merry-go-round further disenchanted the electorate. 

The second half of the 1990s saw the rise of a strong “me first” mentality among average Italians. Gone were the anti-fascist ideals of post-Resistance Italy. Hedonistic personal improvement and leisure became the national preoccupation. In this climate, Berlusconi’s call to get the state out of people’s personal lives, meaning, out of the citizens’ path to wealth, resonated strongly with former Christian Democrats, disgraced ex-Socialists and the so-called “qualunquisti” or the growing portion of the public disinterested in politics and oblivious of the nation’s history.  

It can no longer be denied that today’s Italians are markedly different, politically and culturally, from those of the first republic born out of World War II. Berlusconi, as a modern-day model of personal success, appeals to these new Italians. His near-monopoly of the TV market and overwhelming influence on the Italian media conveniently perpetuate popular tendencies. Berlusconi understands that Italy needs a new ethic and puts forth a cocktail of American-style-almost Reaganesque-free-market values. 

Left commentators, political analysts and parties have yet to provide a real alternative to Italians’ yearning for personal wealth and freedom. Rehashed ideological programs or tweaked versions of Berlusconi’s political agenda won’t do. Berlusconi may be a “buffoon,” but he has feet planted on the zeitgeist. Italy’s center and left reformers have their work cut out for them: How do you solve a problem like the modern Italian mentality?  


Paolo Pontoniere is the San Francisco-based correspondent of Focus, Italy's leading monthly magazine.  


Wet Cables Continue to Block North Berkeley Phone Service: By MATTHEW ARTZ

Friday October 01, 2004

With nearly 100 residents in Berkeley and Albany nearing the end of their first week without telephone service, SBC, as of press time Thursday, continued to repair water-logged underground cables. 

The telephone company expected to restore service to the customers before Friday, said SBC spokeswoman Bridget Stachowski.  

Since service first failed last Friday evening, she said, the company had restored service to about 90 percent of the estimated 960 homes and business affected in a radius stretching from just north of Solano Avenue to Hopkins Street in Berkeley. 

Telephones died at approximately 8 p.m. Friday when SBC’s air pressure system malfunctioned. Without the system, designed to keep ground water away from fragile telephone cables, water flooded four cables at the corner of Marin Street and Ventura Avenue, one block south of Solano Avenue. 

The damaged cables sit in the heart of the Marin Watershed where the water table is high and culverts are built into adjacent streets to carry creek water into the Bay.  

Stachowski said replacing the cables was a laborious process that entailed connecting thousands of wires. 

“We’ve had people out there nearly 24 hours a day,” she said. 

Business owners interviewed Thursday said the telephone problems hadn’t severely impacted sales. 

“We couldn’t pass through credit card purchases this morning, but for the most part it hasn’t had any effect,” said Pete Raxakoul of Coffee Market on Hopkins Street, which experienced brief service interruptions Thursday. 

Jennie at Lilly’s Restaurant, also on Hopkins, said the restaurant’s telephone had a lot of static, but never went out of service. 

The service disruptions have not followed a consistent pattern. On the 1600 block of Solano Avenue, just one block from the damaged cables, shopkeepers said their telephone service hadn’t been affected. Meanwhile five blocks south at the corner of Hopkins and Monterey Avenue, most of the merchants on the south side of the street said they suffered sporadic service failures, while across the street at the Elixir Salon, telephones worked throughout the week. 

Also several merchants and residents reported not losing service until Sunday or even later this week. 

Stachowski said the service failure likely hit different customers at different times because it took time for the water to seep through different lines in the cable. 

She added that malfunction of the air pressure system was rare. 

Neil Meyer, who doesn’t own a cell phone, has been traveling to his Berkeley office to make personal calls since his telephone service died Sunday. 

“I keep bumping into people who tried to call me,” he said.ª

Gourmet Meals Offered to the Hungry in People’s Park: By LYDIA GANS

Special to the Planet
Friday October 01, 2004

People’s Park is not just a park—it’s an institution. It’s home to all sorts of people, gardeners, hopeful athletes, dancers, poets and musicians, and many of Berkeley’s poor, homeless and hungry. 

In the course of a year the park hosts a variety of events and a big annual bash celebrating the park’s anniversary, now in its 36th year. And in the course of every week a great variety of food appears in the park for distribution to diverse but hungry people. There are drop-offs of quantities of surplus bread, cakes and other goods from local markets and from time to time a group will bring their left-overs from a fancy dinner party. 

Organizations provide regular meals. Progressive, service-oriented Catholic Workers serve breakfasts, social justice activists Food Not Bombs serve vegetarian dinners weekday afternoons. Sometimes the Hari Krishnas or a church group will show up with a meal. The food activities are centered around the stage. There is a log to set the dishes on for servers that don’t bring their own tables and there are plenty of pleasant places for folks to sit and enjoy their meals. 

Since last March another meal serving has been appearing at 4 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, and the word has gone out that these are some delicious meals. Last Thursday for example, people had a choice of any or all of the many dishes—pasta with sausages, seasoned mashed potatoes, a vegetarian tofu and squash dish, fish sticks, and a lovely mixed green salad. There was tea and Pepsi to drink and Ghirardelli chocolate squares for desert. Almost 200 people enjoyed that meal. 

The people who prepare and serve these meals are not strangers on the scene. Ina Ehrenfeucht has been coordinator of Dorothy Day House meal programs for fourteen years. J.C. Orton and his Catholic Worker Night on the Streets van are a familiar sight in the park and the streets providing food for the hungry and homeless. Richard Weaver, who has worked as a chef and caterer and loves to cook, has been cooking for friends, homeless and housed, for many years. Other members of their crew have experienced homelessness and are equally committed to serving good food to the community.  

They are all volunteers. They got together because there was a need, a sudden gap in the fabric of the food network providing for the homeless and poor people. For 30 years the Berkeley Emergency Food and Housing Project (BEFHP) has been providing a number of services for the poor, including the Quarter Meal. It’s a hot meal served every weekday afternoon costing a quarter (though nobody is turned away for lack of a quarter). Quarter Meal is prepared and served at Trinity Methodist Church at Bancroft and Dana.  

But times are tough. Agencies providing social services for the needy are confronting serious erosion of their funding from both government and private sources. BEFHP runs more than a half dozen different programs—and this costs a lot of money. They had to reduce their expenses which meant setting priorities and cutting programs. They decided to focus more on homelessness than on hunger, a terrible decision to have to make. A big expense is paying at least a minimum wage and providing decent benefits for their staff. Ironically, most of the people working at the BEFHP are themselves living marginally, and if they were laid off they would immediately become clients of the agency. Cutting out two days of the Quarter Meal was the least painful way to go. 

When the cutback was announced, Ina called Richard, Richard called some of his friends who like to cook, they connected with J.C. Orton and they all agreed that they had to fill the gap. Officially they’re sponsored by Night on the Streets, much of their food comes from St. Vincent de Paul, BEFHP gives them a small stipend for paper plates and such, and this dedicated crew of cooks gives their collective time and energy and love. 

“Ina and I are sort of directors” Richard says, but “there’s nobody in charge. If Eric or Jim comes up with an idea, fine...” 

Getting those meals out every Thursday and Friday is a big commitment. Richard says he is very aware that “I can’t screw up and not show up one day ... most of the people who come to the meals are friends of mine.” 

Ina is pragmatic about her motivation. “It’s a job that needs to be done. A need which needs to be filled,” she says, but admits “I enjoy doing it.” 

Kevin Foos who comes from a Catholic Worker house in Rochester, New York, says “It’s a good way to do—feed people, fill them up not only with nourishment but good feelings and good love.” 

Philip Williams, who has worked as a cook and been through some hard times, says, “Seeing people eat has always made me happy. ... If people can start their day with a good meal they can make it through the day well. Or end their day well.” 

No one knows how long they will have to continue doing this, if and when Quarter Meal can resume the five days a week meal servings at Trinity, or what will happen when the weather gets cold and rainy.  

Ina and Richard and the rest of the crew have another vision too—they want to establish a catering business of their own. They’ve already had one successful gig and a promise of more. In the meantime, they are giving something very special to the community. What other city can boast about being able to offer free gourmet meals, to anyone in need, prepared by a group of great cooks—with a lot of love and respect included. 


Letters to the Editor

Friday October 01, 2004


Editors, Daily Planet:  

I find it highly amusing to read all the whining about the Berkeley budget when Berkeley is about to spend a couple of million dollars for the rich peoples’ amusement by replacing perfectly serviceable boat docks down at the Berkeley Marina. This approximately $2 million is going to only maybe 20 percent of the slips, so they’re going to be spending more in the future. 

I suggest they be a little more socially responsible and maintain what they’ve got and put those resources to housing the latest round of boat people they kicked out. 

Carl Max 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

The recent letter from Latinos Unidos criticizes some board candidates and touts two candidates who are running. But they neglect specifics. What exactly did the two school board members do or not do? What are the “innovative and effective solutions” which they didn’t “prioritize?” And what is the “vision” of the two candidates? How do they propose to achieve “excellence, equity, and achievement for all students?” 

Without specific details, it is impossible to take their letter seriously. 

Jenifer Steele 




Editors, Daily Planet:  

A recent article cited a lieutenant in Iraq who called his mother in Danville and told her that the heat makes it hard for barefoot Iraqi children to get about. Consequently, a collection of sandals for Iraqi children was initiated at a local school. With religious fury the shoes poured in. 

Piles and piles of shoes poured in, many donated by loving children who understood that other children have no shoes to protect their feet from the hot, hard ground. They don’t know, because we don’t tell them, that the lieutenant and his comrades are killing Iraqi fathers and mothers and yes, even barefoot children, because they live on land which has oil and waterways coveted by our government. Nobody tells the lieutenant and his comrades, either, but everybody knows. 

The husband of a friend of mine has lived for many years in a mental health institution. Every night he dreams of little brown, bare-bottomed children running away. He was told by his commanding officer in Vietnam to “shoot anything that moves.” He was a good soldier and he followed orders. 

Piles of shoes may soothe our consciences, but a dead child is still a dead child, with or without shoes.  

Lillian Euchenhofer 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

As a life-long Democrat, I applaud Gov. Schwarzenegger’s veto of Assembly Bill 2895 to grant driver licenses to undocumented immigrants. I was told by a deputy of Loni Hancock that such licenses would improve traffic safety, but he provided no supporting evidence. Common sense, as well as my personal experience as a result of a temporary illness, suggests that unlicensed people drive more carefully, not less carefully, in order to avoid detection. 

A reported 1,000 undocumented immigrants cross from Mexico into the U.S. each day, and the U.S. Census Bureau projected that California population will increase 52 percent between 2000 and 2025. We need to plan and pay for expanded infrastructure which is not being done, for budgetary reasons, at the present time. Encouraging or partially legitimizing undocumented immigration with driver’s licenses demeans other individuals who follow the rules, both in the native and the host country (my legally adopted son was born in the Dominican Republic). I have not heard good reasons from my fellow liberal Democrats for granting such licenses except political expediency. 

Robert Gable  




Editors, Daily Planet: 

The Latinos Unidos commentary opposing the re-election of Berkeley School Board President John Selawsky (“Latino Group Praises Board Candidates,” Daily Planet, Sept. 28-30) was not only misdirected but entirely omitted any mention of John’s many significant accomplishments as board president. 

It is critical to understand that within the first two months of John’s term, he inherited a fiscal nightmare (the district was $5-$6 million in the red at the time) that threatened to implode the school district and likely force it into a state receivership similar to the state takeover of the Oakland School District. 

Under John’s leadership, a successful three-year recovery plan was implemented that rebuilt the district’s fiscal, personnel and payroll systems. Without this recovery plan, the challenges within the Berkeley Unified School District would likely have been very difficult or impossible to address. 

Working with Berkeley Arts in Education, John spearheaded the effort to maintain art and music program needs for all of Berkeley’s middle schools. Moreover, John has overseen the successful transition to establish “small school” academic settings in district schools—a crucial component toward improved academic success across the district.  

As a middle school teacher, I appreciate John’s professional integrity, knowledge and accessibility as a board member. His board colleagues selected John as board president for these qualities. John is also the father of a Berkeley High School student. 

John is endorsed by Alameda County Schools Superintendent Sheila Jordan, veteran BUSD teacher Jessie Anthony, Community College Trustee Darryl Moore, Mayor Tom Bates and dozens of community members. 

Chris Kavanagh  




Editors, Daily Planet: 

The president was applauded at the beginning of his campaign for declaring that given a choice between defending Saddam Hussein and defending America, “I’ll choose America, every time.” Last week using similar logic Mr. Bush repeated what has become a campaign leitmotiv: “If we stop fighting terrorists in Iraq, they would be free to plan attacks in America and other countries.”  

No one of sane mind advocates giving up the struggle against terrorism. Furthermore, there were no terrorists in Iraq before the occupation and that means his invasion of Iraq was not to fight terrorists. Nevertheless, despite or maybe on account of such meaningless statements, Mr. Bush maintains a high approval rating. 

The same logic is used in the president’s unilateral promise: “I will never cede to other nations responsibility for the security of the American people.” 

The art of politics requires the ability to fashion statements that resonate among voters. Politicians score big if they say things so devoid of meaning that they cannot later be held accountable. In this respect Mr. Bush consistently scores higher than Mr. Kerry. 

Marvin Chachere  




Editors, Daily Planet:  

There has been a ridiculous amount of debate over the feasibility of a paper trail for electronic voting in order to later recount the votes cast to verify the tally—how impossible and/or expensive it would be, etc. Why, I don’t understand. Every time I buy groceries at any of at least four of my local food chains I get a highly itemized receipt telling me not only what I bought but how much, the regular price, the sale price, the quantity, any tax charged, and the amount of money I saved, the date, and the name, address and phone number of the store, and whether or not I am entered into some contest. I go to my local library and leave not only with my books but a printed receipt of the name of the book, its author, bar code number, when it is due, the present date, my name and the name and hours of the branch I visited.  

Yet the argument is that it would be impossible to do this sort of thing on a ballot! Let me point out that voting is not a peculiar, frivolous activity people get up to in a democracy but the very heart of democracy itself! The fact that here in the U.S. we have people who don’t vote because they are sufficiently ignorant about what’s on a ballot that they think there is nothing there for them since they don’t like the choices of candidates at the top only reflects how poorly we educate our populace. Even an enterprising chicken can find a whole corn kernel in what the cow leaves behind—surely there is something on a ballot which affects the voter such that a choice is desirable and welcome. It isn’t necessary for a paper ballot receipt to print out every item of choice available on the ballot, but simply the choices the voter has actually made—just as my supermarket sales receipt does not print out the name of everything available in the store but only what I bought at that time. 

We have sent people to the moon, we have cloned sheep, we have persuaded stem cells to turn into various new body cells—but somehow we find it too difficult to provide a paper trail to make sure there is an accurate recount in an election if any question arises! The makers of voting equipment with ties to particular political parties tell us to trust them, their software is honorable, impeccable and fail-proof as well! Remember Saint Ronald? “Trust, but verify!” Nevada recently managed this. So where in hell are the rest of us?  

Marcia Frendel 




Editors, Daily Planet:  

Mayor Tom Bates should start telling the truth to the taxpayers of Berkeley. The increased taxes are to pay for the outrageously generous salaries, benefits and perks, enjoyed by members of the city’s bloated bureaucracy. City employees, unlike other municipalities, do not contribute to their own retirement fund. They can retire at age 50 at as much as 90 percent of their highest yearly salary for the rest of their lives. This fact alone will keep Berkeley in growing budget deficits year after year and the City of Berkeley will have to continue to raise taxes each year to pay for it! 

When you add the city-negotiated, automatic, five percent yearly salary increase, health and dental care (including family members), city-paid life insurance, city-paid membership to the YMCA, subsidies for public transportation, 14 sick days a year, three weeks paid vacation after four years, every holiday known to man, free parking, and the list goes on and on, you begin to have a real problem. We have more city employees per capita than any city in the East Bay and they can be neither fired or laid off. Mayor Bates signed away any right to renegotiate a contract and then has the nerve to come and ask the tax payers for more money or he is going to close the libraries! 

The people of Berkeley have to say no to any new taxes. They must demand an audit of the city finances and a renegotiation of contracts with the over-numerous and over-compensated city workers. They must wake up and realize that every time a project is approved for one of the numerous “nonprofits,” that parcel of property is taken off the tax rolls. The budget problem is then compounded because the “residents” of these now tax-exempt properties are the very ones who use a disproportionate amount of Berkeley’s generous services and resources. Taxpayers take a double hit. 

The City of Berkeley has been very smart in systematically increasing the number of renters and, therefore, their chances of passing tax increases. If Berkeley was truly concerned with helping families and improving neighborhoods, they would promote home ownership and sell condos instead they are building apartments at break neck speed and keeping people renters all their lives. But, homeowners, of course, bear the tax burden and are less likely to continually vote to raise taxes and more likely to ask questions and demand accountability form Berkeley city government. It is time for Berkeley to get a reality check instead of a blank check. Vote no on all tax measures.  

Michael Larrick  




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, has been a devious crook since way back. He now calls for a tax increase in Berkeley. He ought to cough up the money he misappropriated! Mr. Bates is the kind of Democrat who gives his party a black eye. 

Max Alfert 





Editors, Daily Planet:  

Hillside District 6 was shaped by dedicated early citizens who melded homes and byways with the natural environment. We must continue that stewardship and elect a councilmember who knows this district via shoe sole route, who will protect the essence of this very special place. We need Norine Smith. 

When the shocking plans to destroy the most beautiful section of Codornices Creek at 1301 Oxford St. came forward, Norine protested, portraying a tree holding the bank, an essential component of a natural creek. The green canopy that attracted the first farm in Berkeley is now gone. A treeless channel has been substituted to make way for a driveway wide enough to load six buses. The current representative of District 6, Betty Olds, voted for it! Old’s aide and appointee to the Planning Commission had been instrumental in preventing any expansion on the site by the Chinese Christian Church; then her own congregation purchased the site and brought forward a plan for 35,000 square feet of development and Betty Olds voted for it! 

When a plan more recently came forward to remove a hundred trees from the Marina in order to pave a “spur trail” next to the south shore, Norine Smith led the protest as a member of the Waterfront Commission. Given the limited green space on the south shore of the marina and the necessity of boats crossing to the dock, kids crossing to the little beach to cross this new “spur trail,” and a more than adequate parallel roadway a block away, the proposal was a dangerous and destructive use of Bay Trail funds—funds still needed to complete Bay Trail. Betty Olds voted for the “spur,” to remove trees and widen paving in its place. 

Betty Olds has gone along with many development plans for certain developers that violate our adopted policies. For example, new buildings cantilever out over narrow sidewalks downtown so that there can never be effective street trees—even where the adopted Downtown Plan specifically says wider setbacks should be provided along Oxford Street and no other open space is being provided for all the new residences!  

Norine Smith knows our city as a pedestrian and will protect a human-scale, planet-friendly Berkeley. Betty Olds has demonstrated that she will not protect our heritage. 

It’s past time for a change. 

Eva Bansner 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Kudos to Anthony Moore for his excellent letter in the Sept. 28 Daily Planet. 

Frankly, I have long been appalled at J. Douglas Allen-Taylor’s contorted defenses of the lumpen criminal element in Oakland ( “Police Chief Oversteps Bounds in Banning Shrines,” Daily Planet, Sept. 24-27). There is nothing cute or charming or funky about Oakland’s criminal element. Leftist apologias for underclass crime have longed played into the hands of the Right as the elections of the past 40 years have demonstrated. Nor does the law abiding element of the whole community, regardless of race, benefit from the permissive attitudes toward anti-social behavior indulged in by various public officials. 

That said, I do support the Daily Planet’s call to vote for Prop. 66 to reform the utter arbitrariness of the three strikes laws. One of the more asinine attacks on Prop. 66 came from our right-wing mayor, Jerry Brown, who by the way has done nothing to fight crime in Oakland. Let’s remember that when this joker runs for attorney general in 2006. 

Michael P. Hardesty 





Editors, Daily Planet: 

Voters in Berkeley and others in California hope that in November Bush will be kicked out of the office he was put into by the Supreme Court. 

Unfortunately, after the media took Howard Dean and John Edwards out of the running for the Democrat nomination to be president, the hope for exciting speeches and a lively campaign for ending the disaster in Iraq ended. 

The Kerry campaign seems to think it will win the election on the basis of Kerry being a better war president than Bush. He says he will continue the Bush War in Iraq. The very reasons for Kerry and many others to had for opposing the war in Vietnam and Richard Nixon are the same reasons of those opposing the Bush War in Iraq today. The U.S.A. does not need another “war president.” 

The U.S.A. does not need more billions of dollars to spend on the war. Instead of admitting the war was a mistake and is making this country less safe, not more safe from attacks by those who hate what the Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest of the Bush gang are doing in the Middle East.  

Republicans have gotten control of the commercial TV stations and Dick Cheney, and Dr. Strangelove Rumsfeld and Karl Rove are having their lies believed by over half of the American voters. It was a propaganda coup. If Bush Gang win this election they will also make over the Supreme Court—an issue seldom spoken about by the Kerry campaigners. Berkeley Democrats may think that all those demonstrations at the GOP convention reflect the mood of the rest of America, but unfortunately they do not. 

Unless someone convinces John Kerry that his present campaign strategy will lead to his defeat in November we had better brace ourselves for four more years of Cheney and Rumsfeld in control of the government and W. Bush as their dummy in the White house. 

If you want to know what the U.S.A. will be like then, read what happened in Chili after General Pinochet came to power. 

Max Macks 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

As a student and renter on a limited income, I did not attend the Alligator’s Ball Fundraiser for District 5 Candidate Laurie Capitelli so cannot comment about which developers attended (“Deconstructing the Alligator’s Ball,” Daily Planet, Sept. 24-27.) However, I do know a few things about Capitelli’s record that should alarm all District 5 voters who are concerned about keeping Berkeley an affordable place to live. 

While on the Planning Commission, Laurie Capitelli unsuccessfully attempted to get language into the Berkeley General Plan that would have called for the repeal of rent control. In 2000, he also signed the ballot argument against Measure Y, which helped stop phony owner move-in evictions by real estate speculators. Berkeley voters passed Measure Y with 57 percent of the vote. 

Berkeley Citizens’ Action refused to endorse Capitelli at its meeting on Sunday, precisely because of his record opposing rent control. Nobody benefits if housing is made less affordable except for the real estate industry—which Capitelli has been a part of for over 20 years. Every District 5 voter should think hard before supporting him, and I am extremely disappointed at some progressives for supporting his candidacy because they view him as less objectionable than candidate Barbara Gilbert. 

Fortunately, there is a third candidate running in this race: Jesse Townley. Jesse Townley is the only District 5 candidate who supports rent control, and has been endorsed by City Councilmember Dona Spring, School Board President John Selawsky, and myself. He is also the only District 5 candidate to endorse the four pro-tenant candidates for the Rent Board. Townley deserves our support. 

Paul Hogarth 

Vice-Chair, Berkeley Rent Board  




Editors, Daily Planet: 

As the executive director of LifeLong Medical Care, Berkeley’s Community Health Center organization, I have decided to endorse Measures J and K. 

Every day LifeLong provides approximately 300 much needed medical visits to area residents. This amounts to 100,000 visits a year to people who have no insurance, people who have complex health problems, and people who need health services which fit their language or culture. Most of these people would have no other way to get health care except by waiting hours at a local emergency room to get very expensive and inappropriate care. Many, like our elders, also come to LifeLong because they know that we provide the best care available for their particular problem. 

In addition to payments from public insurance, LifeLong relies heavily on government grants and contracts to pay for the care and pharmacy costs for those who have no insurance. In the last several years we have seen those government funds reduced as budget makers at the federal, state and local levels struggle with deficits related to our war spending and tax cuts for the wealthy. When funds are reduced LifeLong is forced to turn away some of the uninsured people who seek care with us or restrict the pharmaceuticals that we can purchase for their care. 

I have decided to endorse Measures J and K because it is time to say, at least at the local level, that we as a community support people getting basic services and that we will not cave into Bush and Schwarzenegger policies. No budgeting process is perfect but Berkeley has done a good job trying to balance its budget and meet all of our needs at the same time. The city needs Measure J to avoid further cuts and it needs Measure K to assure that our kids get the services they need. 

Please support basic services in our community and join me in voting for Measures J and K. 

Marty Lynch 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I’m reading the follow-up book to Bowling Alone and came across this quote in the chapter titled Portland: Rick Seifert, publisher of the Hillsdale Connection: “Mass media are centrifugal. They pull your attention away from the community. A local paper is centripetal, it draws you in.” I thought it applied beautifully to your paper. That chapter, if no other in the book, is well worth a read. 

Dale Smith 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Are you one of the millions of American who believe George Bush’s policies are bad for our country? 

If so, I urge you not to become discouraged by polls or media coverage of this campaign. Don’t let anything deter you from your objective. If you want to defeat George Bush do everything in your power to register new Democratic voters and get them to the polls. Join a local phone bank calling swing states, write letters to unregistered women in swing states with Mainstream Moms Opposing Bush (www.themmob.com) or go to Nevada or Oregon to help register voters and get out the vote. 

The best political analysts are saying the voter turnout will decide the election. So don’t get discouraged, roll up your sleeves and get busy! 

Carole Bennett-Simmons 


Oakland’s Shrine Ban Mirrors Iraq War Excuses: By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Friday October 01, 2004

East Bay liberal-progressives pride themselves on the fact that they saw the errors of Iraq early-on and long before the rest of the country—the half-truths and misstatements by the nation’s leaders, the faulty conclusions, the failure of the media to as k the tough questions and point out the inconsistencies. 

Odd, then, isn’t it, that Oakland—which sits in the heart of the East Bay—can’t seem to recognize it when that very same type of policy-by-dissembling occurs within its own borders. [American Herit age Dictionary note: Dissemble. “To conceal the real nature or motives of.”] 

We’re talking, again, about Oakland Police Chief Richard Word’s decision last week—without bringing it before the City Council—to ban violence victim street shrines. As far as w e can tell, the shrines—collections of stuffed animals and sympathy cards and flowers and candles and photos of the deceased—are generally spontaneous memorials put together by friends and families of the victims both to honor the memory of the victims an d to provide either a public notice or public protest of the manner of their deaths. 

But in the course of a couple of days last week, the shrines have come to be viewed by the general public as both dangerous and associated with the perpetrators of viole nce, rather than the victims and, thus, fair game for the chief’s banning. 

How did that happen so suddenly? Did the nature of the shrines change overnight, or did we misunderstand their true purpose all along? 

The answer, I think, is that the shrines h ave not changed at all, but have become an easy scapegoat for politicians and police who are under intense pressure from Oakland residents to decrease the city’s cycle of violence. [American Heritage Dictionary note: Scapegoat. “One bearing blame for othe rs.”] 

For the sake of advancing this discussion, let’s make one assumption and assume two facts.  

The assumption is that Oakland public and police officials want to diminish Oakland’s violence (we can leave off talking about why different officials want to diminish that violence for another day). 

The first fact to be assumed is that most of the causes of the city’s violence are well beyond the ability of the present city or police officials to affect. Still, they’ve got the job to do something about it, and when someone in Oakland gets shot, the public holds these city and police officials accountable. 

The second fact to be assumed is that whether or not Oakland’s total level of violence is lessening, the rate of murders in this city—which is the stat istic which the public and the press generally use to conceive whether the level of the city’s violence is rising or falling—has gone down from last year to this year. Because of that, violence in Oakland is less of a public issue than it was at this time last year. 

But now comes a horrific event that vaults Oakland’s violence back into the headlines and the top spot on the evening news. In mid-September, the Tribune reported two possibly-related East Oakland shootings within a dozen blocks of each other that left 10 people injured and two dead. The second shooting took place at the corner of 94th Avenue and A Street on the east side, at a street shrine memorial that had been set up for an earlier shooting victim. The shootings—which Oakland police belie ve are gang-related—were linked to earlier shootings at two separate funerals in Hayward, and caused an Oakland homicide investigator to say that it was “the most violence I’ve seen in such a short period of time since I’ve been an officer with the Oaklan d Police Department.” 

The string of shootings prompted shock and outrage across an Oakland that is, after all, not easily shocked and outraged. In response, Oakland’s police chief could have done a couple of things. He could have issued a statement sayin g that while the September shoot-outs were bad, they were an aberration. Anti-violence efforts are working and Oakland violence is going down, the chief could have said (if that, indeed, was actually true), and the chief could have added that Oakland poli ce were pursuing the perpetrators of these new shootings vigorously, and would have them arrested and brought to justice as soon as possible. In the alternative, if it were warranted, the chief might have made a decision to step up anti-gang efforts of the department. With the available evidence, we can’t judge whether either of these courses were the correct one. But either course might have lessened the public pressure on the police department and allowed them to move forward with serious anti-violence measures. 

Instead, Chief Word made the oddest of choices. He decided to attack the street shrines—rather than the shooters, the gangs, or other conditions—as the source of the September shoot-outs. But it’s not just Word’s choice of the shrines as a targ et that’s the most interesting, it’s the choice of words used by the chief and others in the Tribune that draw our attention. “The [shrines] seem to be a magnet for violence,” Word is quoted as saying. “You can almost count on some sort of retaliatory vio lence while people are mourning at these shrines.” 

And later in the Trib’s Sept. 17 story: “Word said bottles of liquor and drug paraphernalia, which are often a part of the shrines, will be thrown away. Many of the mourners have also begun spray-paintin g slogans of remembrance and gang graffiti around the shrines.” And still later in the same story, the Trib quotes Fruitvale resident Svea O’Banion, a member of a group called Safety First, as saying that her neighborhood has been “held hostage by the shr ines” adding that “the shrines have often become a focal point for drug dealing, littering and loitering.” 

But as far as I can see, the Tribune—Oakland’s only daily newspaper—has not asked any tough questions on this issue or pointed out any inconsistenc ies in the statements of the people in favor of the chief’s unilateral shrine ban. Have any of the Bay Area’s other media outlets done any independent investigation? Not that I know of. 

Are Oakland’s street shrines actually a “magnet for violence,” as th e chief alleges? Can you “almost count on some sort of retaliatory violence” when they are set up? Do the shrines—all of them, most of them, or more than a few of them—contain drug paraphernalia and spray-painted gang signs? Do they “often” become the “fo cal point” for drug dealing and littering? 

How did Oakland’s shrines go so quickly from protests against violence to the actual causes of violence? Did that actually happen, or is that just somebody’s spin? Were the street shrines made the target because it’s easier to take down a stuffed bear and a pot of flowers than it is to break up a violent street gang? Did politics drive this decision? Have Oaklanders been played? Or has our desire for quick solutions to hard problems led to no solutions at all? 

Questions. Questions. Questions. Clearly, my friends, there’s more here to be talked about in order to get some answers. 


The Right Not to Serve in Wartime: By ANN FAGAN GINGER

Friday October 01, 2004

As the election approaches, the Bush Administration is appealing for votes from the military and from civilians who want to feel safe from terrorist attacks.  

It is a good idea to check what this Administration is doing about members of the military who decide they can no longer fight and kill others. 


16. To Deal Fairly With Conscientious Objector Claims 

All males in the U.S., legally or illegally, are required to register with the Selective Service System on reaching 18 (except men on travel or student or diplomatic visas). The form no longer provides space to apply for Conscientious Objector status. 

The No Child Left Behind Act permits school districts to automatically turn over names, addresses, and telephone numbers of every high school student to the U.S. military to receive recruitment material, unless parents request otherwise. The Peace Fresno Education Committee insisted that their school board notify all parents that they could opt out. 

Since January, 2004, several hundred U.S. Service members have applied for Conscientious Objector (CO) status, although few have gone public. Very few applicants receive a discharge. Decisions on CO applications take six months to a year, sometimes longer, and statistics on COs lag about one year. The military also does not count CO applications from servicemen absent without leave. 

Report 16.1 

Department of Defense Consistently Denies Conscientious Objector Status (Gabriel Packard, “Hundreds of Soldiers Emerge as Conscientious Objectors,” Common Dreams, Apr. 15, 2003.) 

Report 16.2 

Department Of Defense Deploys Conscientious Objector Applicant to Iraq (“Army Ships GI Who Tried to File CO Claim to Iraq After First Isolating Him To Barracks,” Citizen Soldier, June 2003.)  

Report 16.3 

Marine Corps Sentences Conscientious Objector Applicant (“Demand Freedom for Stephen Funk 1st War Resister to be jailed Nov. 15, 2003 - Camp Lejeune Military Base, North Carolina,” Refusing to Kill, Nov. 10-14, 2003.)  


17. Not to Maintain Weapons of Mass Destruction or Design New Nukes 

Since 9/11, many people have become concerned about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and about some of the weapons the U.S. is using there. The Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy says the Bush Administration announced that it is out of, or is trying not to comply with: Antiballistic Missile Treaty, Biological & Toxic Weapons Convention, UN Agreement To Curb International Flow of Illicit Small Arms, International Criminal Court Treaty, Land Mines Treaty, and Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.  

Report 17.1 

Administration Acts Against Commitments To Limit Arms (Nicole Deller, Arjun Makhijani, and John Burroughs, “Multilateral Treaties Are Fundamental Tools for Protecting Global Security,” Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy, June 2004.) 

Report 17.2  

DOD, Congress Trying To Change Nuclear Weapons Policies (Carl Hulse, “Senate Backs New Research on A-Bombs,” New York Times, June 16, 2004, p. A16.) 

Report 17.3 

Bush Ignores World Court Opinion on Nuclear Weapons (Walter C. Uhler, “Policy is a dangerous return to anxieties of the Cold War,” Philadelphia Enquirer, March 18, 2002.) 

Report 17.4 

U.S. Forces Use Depleted Uranium in Iraq; Many Affected (Juan Gonzales, “Poisoned?: Shocking report reveals local troops may be victims of America’s high-tech weapons,” The New York Daily News, April 3, 2004.)  

Report 17.5 

U.S. Contaminating Afghanistan with Uranium (Dr. Mohammed Daud Miraki, “The Silent Genocide from America,” Afghan DU & Recovery Fund, June 5, 2003.) 


The Government’s Duties to Protect People’s Rights 

The founding fathers had two basic concerns about the rights and liberties of themselves and their fellow residents of the new United States: fairness and freedom.  


18. To Guarantee Due Process of Law, Right to Counsel, and Habeas Corpus 

It is instructive that the people who had just defeated the King of England in battle immediately put into their written Constitution in Article I, Section 9, the Clause 2: “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.” Anyone arrested or detained or incarcerated has a right immediately to file a petition for the writ to find out why they are being held. A hearing on a habeas corpus petition is the moment when the jailer must tell the judge, in the presence of the detainee, on what charge the detainee is being held.  

The founders placed this right in the basic Constitution, with no limitations on who has this right. They obviously intended that anyone coming within the jurisdiction of the U.S. would have this right, whether citizen or alien, illegal immigrant or person held on territory governed by the U.S.  

The revolutionary citizens of 1787 were willing to wait to spell out further rights in civil and criminal cases in the Bill of Rights, adopted in 1791. The Fifth Amendment “right to due process of law” covers both civil and criminal cases.  


To be continued... 


Berkeley resident Ann Fagan Ginger is a lawyer, teacher, activist and the author of 24 books. She won a civil liberties case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1959. She is the founder and executive director of the Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute, a Berkeley-based center for human rights and peace law. 


Contents excerpted from Challenging U.S. Human Rights Violations Since 9/11, edited by Ann Fagan Ginger (© 2004 Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute; Prometheus Books 2005). Readers can go to mcli.org for a complete listing of reports and sources, with web links. 





Friday October 01, 2004

Bank Robbers Strike 

Two different robbers hit Berkeley banks Wednesday and Thursday. 

A man in his mid-20s walked into the Wells Fargo branch at 1095 University Ave. abut 4:45 p.m. Wednesday and threatened a teller, demanding cash. 

After the teller complied, the robber fled. Witnesses said the suspect, his hair braided into cornrows, was about six feet tall and estimated his weight at 185 pounds. 

Another felon, this one in is late 30s, struck the Union bank branch at 2333 Shattuck Ave. at 11:09 a.m. Thursday, threatening a teller and demanding cash. 

Witness described the second fellow as an thinly built male in his late 30s. He was wearing a long sleeved white pullover shirt and dark jeans. 

Anyone with information on this crimes is requested to call the Berkeley Police Robbery Detail at 981-5742 or e-mail tips to police@ci.berkeley.ca.us.  


Needs Better Wheelman 

A would-be purse snatcher not only failed to steal the purse she tried to grab from a young woman walking along Telegraph Avenue near Prince Street early on the evening of Sept. 23, but she chose the wrong way to flee. 

The young bandit, an underaged girl, leapt on the handlebars of her accomplice’s bicycle, who couldn’t pedal fast enough to evade the officers who responded to the would-be victim’s call, said Berkeley Police spokesperson Officer Joe Okies. 


Gardener’s Nasty Surprise 

A Berkeley man received a rather nasty shock when he walked into his back yard shortly before 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 24. He discovered a young man with a passion for gardening tools who attempted to lay into him with one of his own trowels. 

The would-be assailant had fled by the time officers arrived. 


Unkindest (Hair) Cut of All  

A 50-something fellow sat through his haircut at a Sacramento Street barbershop last Friday afternoon. 

When it came time to settle the tab, the customer walked out. And when the barber tried to confront him, the customer flashed a knife. 

The barber wisely relented and the recalcitrant barbee departed. 


Alarming Awakening 

It was just before 4 a.m. last Saturday when a Russell Street resident was awakened by a loud percussive sound outside his window. 

Roused from his slumber, he looked out his window to investigate, only to discover a fresh bullet hole through his glass. He called police, but the shooter had already departed, said Officer Okies. 


Friendly Fracas Turns Mean 

An Monday night argument among friends took a decidedly unfriendly turn when one of the disputants slammed another into an ice machine, causing enough injury to send the victim trudging off for medical care. 

Police were summoned and the 23-year-old pusher was charged with felony battery. 


Beer-Booster Busted 

When a 33-year-old fellow attempted to walk out of Fred’s Market at Telegraph Avenue and Dwight Way Wednesday night with beer he hadn’t bought, a clerk took exception and a fracas followed. 

Police arrived in time to offer the bandit new accommodations, sans the brewskis. ª

Briefly Noted

Friday October 01, 2004

Moore Denies Endorsing Edwards 

A minor controversy has emerged over a major endorsement in the Area 4 Peralta Community Colleges District Trustee race. 

As published in the Daily Planet earlier this week, candidate Kamau Edwards had listed outgoing Area 4 Trustee Darryl Moore as one of his supporters. Shortly after the publication of the article, Yuen said that the listing of Moore’s endorsement for Edwards was “flat out wrong.” 

Two days later, Moore issued a statement stating that “I have never endorsed Mr. Kamau Edwards.” In a subsequent telephone interview, Edwards agreed. 

Moore has endorsed one of Edwards’ opponents, Nicky Gonzales Yuen. In his statement, he said that he “made this very clear to [Edwards] early on in the race and so [I] was startled to see his listing of me as a supporter.” 

The Planet article also listed Moore as an endorser of Yuen. 

The Moore endorsement information for Edwards in the article came from Edwards’ Candidate’s Statement form obtained from the Alameda County Registrars Office. Instructions on the form are that it is a “statement...expressed by the candidate himself/herself.” At the bottom of Edwards’ typewritten list of education and qualifications for the trustee position, he included a handwritten list of “some of my supporters,” including Moore. 

When asked about the Moore endorsement in connection with this story, Edwards initially said, “That’s not true. I haven’t got Darryl Moore’s endorsement. You must have gotten me confused.” 

When told that the endorsement information came from his filed campaign statement, he initially denied it, stating, “My candidate’s statement doesn’t even have any endorsements on it.” Edwards eventually admitted that Moore’s name was on the statement turned in to the registrar.  

“We turned that in,” he said. “At the time you turn [these statements] in, people were still wrangling to get endorsements. At that time I was trying to get [Moore’s] endorsement, but Nicky [Yuen] ended up getting it.” 

Edwards, a Berkeley attorney, was appointed in late August to the Berkeley Public Works Commission by Councilmember Maudelle Shirek. He also lists membership on the California State Assembly’s Select Committee on Community Colleges, to which he was appointed by Assemblymember Mervyn Dymally (D-Compton) in August. 

Moore is running for the Berkeley City Council District 2 seat being vacated by Councilmember Margaret Breland. 

—J. Douglas Allen-Taylor 


Richmond Progressives Upstage Council Meetings 

A coalition of Richmond activists has been turning recent city council meetings into something akin to guerilla political theater. 

The Richmond Progressive Alliance, a coalition of liberal Democrats, Greens, union activists and others, has fielded two candidates in the November city council race, Andres Soto and Gayle McLaughlin, both frequent visitors to the podium during council meets. 

During Tuesday’s session, Soto made frequent visits to the microphone, often accompanied by allies supporting whatever cause he was espousing at the moment. 

In one of his first appearance, a group of tenants—including several Hmong residents—followed him to the mic when he rose to call for a “just cause” eviction law and a rent stabilization measure.  

Colorful multilingual signs added to the impact. 

Then there’s Jerome Smith, who invariably opens his remarks with a poem (John Milton and Robert Frost were two recent choices) and closed one of his commentaries with a song Tuesday night. 

Smith also includes “the four-gones” in his opening statements, referring to the four sitting councilmembers the alliance hopes to see gone after the elections. 

Their tactics are clearly starting to wear on the council, eliciting the occasional rebuke from Mayor Irma Anderson, who tries to keep her council colleagues under a tight reign. 

The ultimate test of the group’s effectiveness will become apparent on Nov. 3 after the last ballot is counted. 

—Richard Brenneman 


Regents Approve Underhill Funds 

The UC Board of Regents has approved close to $39 million in construction funds for UC Berkeley’s Underhill Parking Facility and field replacement, although the money itself will not come from state funds but from fee-based monies operated by UC Berkeley. 

As part of its Underhill Area Project, UC Berkeley is planning to replace the current Underhill Parking lot on College Avenue between Channing and Haste with a new three-level parking structure with a playing field on top. The Environmental Impact Report for the project was approved in 2000. 

The regents’ approval is intended for money for preliminary plans, working drawings, and construction. 

Actual construction on the facility is expected to begin next summer. 

UC Berkeley Facilities Services Communications Manager Christine Shaff said that the regents’ action, taken at last week’s San Francisco meeting, was “part of the regents’ managerial role. Essentially, they’re giving us the go-ahead to continue with the project based upon the fact that the university has identified a funding source.”  

UCB’s Parking and Transportation and Recreational Sports self-supporting programs will provide $31 million of the funds, while $8 million will come from UCB’s parking System Net Revenue Fund and Parking Replacement Reserve Fund. 

Construction for the new facility has not yet been sent out to bid. 

—J. Douglas Allen-Taylor 


Fire Department Log: By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Friday October 01, 2004

Berkeley firefighters were forced to summon assistance from Oakland, Albany and Alameda County to battle a Tuesday night blaze that nearly destroyed a dwelling at 2811 Stuart St.  

The fire, ignited by spontaneous combustion of tarps being used by painters staining the exterior of the recently remodeled home, did $600,000 in damage to the structure and $250,000 in damages to the contents, said Acting Fire Chief David Orth. 

Fire spread from the tarps to the walls and roofs, and once the flames reached the interior, fighting them became difficult because of so-called “balloon” construction, which doesn’t provide fire barriers in interior ceilings, Orth said. 

An additional complication was the two-story dwelling’s location at the end of a cul de sac with utility wires, preventing the use of a ladder truck to fight flames on the roof. 

“We had to pull our firefighters off the roof and fight the flames from below after they spread through the attic,” Orth said. 

Exhausted by the heat and the intensity of the blaze, Berkeley crews were forced to call in outside aid. One Berkeley firefighter suffering from heat exhaustion was transported to a local hospital for emergency room treatment, said the chief. 

The fire started at 10:30 p.m., and it wasn’t until five-and-a-half hours later that the last of the flames were extinguished, he said. The roof was destroyed, and there was significant damage to both floors. 

The blaze left six people temporarily homeless, the owners and one child from the second floor and three UC students who rented rooms on the ground floor. 


Park Plans Destroyed Habitat: By MARIS ARNOLD

Friday October 01, 2004

Editors, Daily Planet: 

Letters to the Daily Planet criticizing and mourning the destruction of the meadow in Eastshore State Park must have hit a nerve to evoke two heavy hitter articles from the powers that be, among them Mayor Bates, various environmental organizations, and the East Bay Regional Parks District (Daily Planet, Sept. 24-27).  

Since I’m one of the critic-mourners, I think what’s at issue is important enough to respond to meadow-destruction rationales advanced in the articles. Please remember that the background is that the meadow was a thriving, blooming natural habitat, home to many bird species (including redwing blackbirds, finches, crows), wild geese, rabbits, ground squirrels, snakes, and an insect universe. It was managed solely by nature. If you go see what it looks like now, bring your hankies.  

The spokesperson for the Regional Parks District presents like a mantra the removal of non-native plants in the meadow as a rationale for its destruction. However, nature distributes life forms by any means necessary to wherever a niche for survival can be found. Bird droppings, air currents, animal skins etc. are carriers. Thus on-going disbursal ensures diversity and an invigoration of existing ecosystems.  

The standard for the meadow could be, not is it native or not, but does the existing ecosystem provide natural habitat for many species. If this standard is accepted as just as valid, then the argument for “restoring” the meadow falls apart.  

Nextly, before the destruction of the meadow, pedestrian and dog traffic through it was limited to the rugged few. Most dog walkers and pedestrians stuck to the adjacent road. The meadow’s natural design protected it from human invasion. That’s why the meadow was teeming with life.  

However, the proposed installation of four eight-feet-wide “interior trails” of wheelchair-inaccessible (!) gravel, from each corner of the meadow, and the increased traffic these trails will encourage, guarantee that the meadow will cease to exist as a meadow. We will soon have an imitation meadow, a developed, landscaped area, dominated by people not wildlife, with two information buildings in it at each end, where once a real, live meadow used to be. I can’t understand how e.g. Save the Bay can support it.  

We are told though that “nesting locations for the Northern harrier will be protected with fencing.” Pray that the harrier will follow the signs to its designated fenced-in spot. Where is the concern for the plentiful life that lived in the meadow?  

Additionally, the hearings on park plans held two years ago are referred to in the articles tellingly without any mention of the large vocal lobby who argued at many meetings against developing the meadow and for leaving it intact as a natural sanctuary. Our participation in the “process” was a charade without any impact whatsoever. The state and city decided what they were going to do from the beginning, and for their own reasons.  

Finally, the meta-message coming across is that natural creation wasn’t/isn’t good enough for the decision makers. As far as the meadow is concerned, they argue they can improve on what nature did and do a better job. After all, they are the experts.  


Feinstein Bill Fixes Casino Mistake: By MINA EDELSTON

Friday October 01, 2004

Who remembers the proposal a few years ago for the Albany casino development in the vicinity of Golden Gate fields? To sweeten the deal, developers promised a ferry service for the anticipated boatloads of gamblers and shoppers. This proposal went to court and was defeated on appeal.  

On the heels of this Albany waterfront casino defeat, Rep. George Miller created a loophole in Congress that allowed an Indian gaming casino to be built in the nearby town of San Pablo. 

I support Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s last-ditch federal effort to undo the congressional act by Rep. George Miller who caused California’s first urban casino to slip into law by attaching his amendment to a bill all ready to sail through Congress.  

In order to make this urban casino possible, Congress set the clock back 12 years.  

In 2000, Congress designated a real estate parcel acceptable for an Indian card room in the city of San Pablo as land having been taken into trust for the tribe prior to 1988—a federal cutoff date that had passed many years prior. 

The way in which Casino San Pablo came into being was undemocratic. The job of our representative is to represent all of us constituents and the interests of the community-at-large. Every politician has a constitutional responsibility to exercise that basic American principle which declares we are a government of all the people, by all the people, and for all the people. 

Isn’t it intolerable that Rep. Miller created a law that allowed a casino for an Indian tribe to be built when a neighboring community had recently won a court case against another casino developer?  

An act of Congress allowed for one card room called Casino San Pablo. Because the city of San Pablo is only one among several neighboring communities, the decision to build an Indian owned card room or gaming casino should have been a community wide decision instead of a Congressional decision. 

What started out as an act of Congress allowing one card room in the year 2000  

is now, in 2004, permitting the prospect of three additional large casinos in my community. The social and economic impact of four casinos to my area needs to be addressed and discussed with this community and not via Congress. 

This act of Congress failed to address the social and economic impacts of bringing a card room to the city of San Pablo and the neighboring area. Studies have shown that real costs of these impacts exceed the benefits of a casino. 

The one sentence bill by Sen. Feinstein seeks to strike that portion from the law,  

leaving the tribe to once more seek “trusted land” through normal federal channels; and would also block the tribe’s casino plans indefinitely. 

Feinstein is pushing to see her bill clear the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee before Congress finishes its session in mid-October. I urge you to help make this happen. 


Mina Edelston is an El Cerrito resident. 





City Fee Increase Would Kill Off Cal Sailing: By JANE MORSON

Friday October 01, 2004

For the last 35 years Cal Sailing Club has occupied a small piece of land in the Berkeley Marina, on the south side of University Avenue. CSC is a non-profit sailing co-operative. Historically it was a UC student activity, but in 1979 it severed its last ties, and became officially open to the public. 

Cal Sailing Club’s mission has always been to provide very low-cost access to sailing, and over the years it has been phenomenally successful. CSC currently gives free sailboat rides to about 2,000 people per year during bi-monthly open house events, takes at-risk youth from several local organizations out sailing during the summer, and offers very affordable sailboat and windsurfer access to about 1,000 members every year. 

It does this with virtually no financial support from the city, in fact, while most cities with comparable community boating programs have to budget hundreds of thousands a year, CSC manages to actually pay rent to the Berkeley Marina. CSC is a local treasure if there ever was one. 

But all of this is about to change if the Berkeley Marina management has its way. In 1999, the city increased CSC’s annual rent from $2,880 to $4,200 per year, escalating by about $200 per year thereafter. Now the City proposes our rent to $10,000 per year, with $500 per year increase to follow. 

This will kill off the Cal Sailing Club and the access opportunities it provides. CSC has already been forced to raise its dues to cover the increases under the old agreement and membership has declined as a result. There is no further increase that is sustainable. 

The majority of active members are probably not concerned with an extra few dollars dues, but a dues-supported volunteer organization like CSC depends on a delicate balance between low cost, new membership, volunteerism and quality of services. We are already on the wrong side of the curve after the increases in the last few years. Our options will be to shut down or become similar to a commercial sailing school with market-rate pricing three to four times as high and no volunteers to give rides to youth groups or the public. 

Marina staff have insisted that Cal Sailing Club should pay the same rent as nearby Cal Adventures, the recreational arm of the University. But Cal Adventures has a half-million dollar budget compared to CSC’s $90,000. Cal Adventures uses paid employees for teaching, administration and boat repair while CSC relies on member volunteers. Cal Adventures charges high commercial rates for a program which closely resembles commercial sailing schools while CSC’s dues are only a fraction. ($60 for three months of unlimited sailing lessons, cruising, daysailing, and windsurfing. NO other fees are ever charged.) 

We realize the financial plight of the city but Cal Sailing Club is being asked to absorb increases well above what private berthers have sustained and is being asked to pay a percentage of gross revenue well above what the commercial for-profit business in the marina are paying. Doesn’t a public serving, access-enhancing, volunteer based organization, deserve better? 

In these hard times, with recreational programs being cut back all over the city, isn’t it more important than ever to support the ones that tap the resources of volunteer labor and turn them into affordable opportunities for all? Especially when they can run themselves with no direct financial support? 


Questions For The Candidates: By ROSEMARY VINCENT

Friday October 01, 2004

The Planet has asked our readers to submit short questions for Berkeley City Council candidates, who will be given space for short answers. Candidates may answer any questions, even those addressed to other candidates. 


Editors, Daily Planet: 

I am submitting candidate questions for District 5 candidates Laurie Capitelli and Barbara Gilbert: 

1. Both of you were involved in the Mayor’s Task Force on Permitting and Development (Laurie as chair and Barbara as active observer). What were the most important things you learned from that experience? 

2. Many of the Task Force recommendations aimed at improving the public process, yet none of these recommendations—even simple ones that cost no money—has yet been implemented. Which changes in the permitting process do you think are the most important to implement right away, and as council member, what will you do to implement them? 

3. Do you have any other ideas to improve the development process in Berkeley? 

Sharon Hudson 


Editors, Daily Planet: 

A friend told me the Daily Planet asked for questions we’d like to see answered by those running for office in Berkeley, so here are two of mine: 

1. For District 3: Do you favor closing Derby Street for a baseball field? 

2. For all districts: Do you favor enlarging the path around the marina to a width of 12 feet, plus four feet of shoulder, and the removal of 98 mature trees in order to accommodate more bikers? 


Caffe Trieste Brings a Taste of Italy to Berkeley: By MICHAEL HOWERTON

Friday October 01, 2004

Caffe Trieste, the North Beach institution that takes credit for popularizing espresso culture on the west coast, opened a Berkeley café last week. 

The cafe, at 2500 San Pablo Ave., is open late, until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays, until 10 p.m. other days. The owners said that they wanted create something new in the west Berkeley neighborhood, a welcome meeting spot for families and workers, as well as bring a new accent to the city’s storied coffee culture. 

“There are lots of coffee houses and cafes in Berkeley, it’s true,” said Berkeley resident Hal Brandel, one of the four owners of the new Caffe Trieste. “But this is an Italian coffee house. We serve an Italian style of coffee. Trieste is the coffee capital of the world. Yeah, you can get a cup of coffee anywhere, but this is an Italian experience.” 

And entering the cafe does create an Italianesque, or an Italian-American, flavor. The menu offers a full selection of espresso drinks, made from their own blend and roasted at their Portrero Hill plant, wine and beer (including Moretti), pannini, antipasta plates, Italian pizza, an array of specialty desserts, including canoli, tiramisu, and, of course, gelato and afogato, which is espresso poured over ice cream. 

Music completes the scene, ranging from Frank Sinatra to Italian opera. Giovanni Giotta, the founder of Caffe Trieste, plans to sing opera at the cafe on Sunday afternoons. He has performed with his family at the San Francisco shop since it opened and will now bring his act to Berkeley. 

Plans to open the Berkeley cafe began a few years ago when Brandel, a longtime regular at the North Beach cafe, convinced Giotta to come look at the Berkeley property he owned with Walter Wright. Arturo Guariniello, who ran the Caffe Trieste in Sausalito, runs the Berkeley shop. The four men own the cafe together. 

Giotta remembered his enthusiasm upon seeing the Berkeley location, “I said, what a place, che fantastico, so I said why not? I like the people of Berkeley, they are fantastic people. I love Berkeley.”  

Giotta—or Papa Gianni as everyone calls him—was eager to tell his life story to a new customer over an espresso the other day. He was born in Rovigno (now part of Austria) in 1920, near Trieste. The son of a fisherman, he remembers growing up poor and hungry and full of dreams of coming to the United States. 

He told stories of his years in the Navy during World War II. Afterwards, he settled down with his wife Ida and worked in the shipyards of Trieste. Then in 1951 he had the chance to immigrate and landed with family in San Francisco, where he took up window washing. 

A photograph of himself with a group of window washers from those years hangs on the wall of the new cafe, along with dozens of other photos chronicling the history of Cafe Trieste. The photos include many celebrity visits at the cafe over the years, including shots of Giotta singing with Luciano Pavarotti, having a drink with Laurence Ferlinghetti, making espresso with Bill Cosby, and many family gatherings and musical appearances at the cafe. 

Giotta is a energetic man with a great deal of confidence in his product and Caffe Trieste’s place in local coffee history. When he opened the Vallejo Street shop in 1956, he said, he introduced espresso to the Bay Area. 

“Back then espresso was not really known around here,” he said. “We exported this thing. We started cappuccinos and now today they are all over.” 

Even now that he has moved onto the home turf of Peet’s Coffee, Giotta’s said he is undaunted. 

“My name is strong and the coffee is good,” he said. “I’m afraid of nobody, not Starbuck’s, not Peet’s, nobody.” 

Or, to put it another way, Giotta said that he has been pulled to Berkeley by the people, and he was happy to oblige. 

“My name has been big for a half century and people would come to my cafe, many from Berkeley, and say, ‘why don’t you open a cafe in Berkeley?’, so I come to Berkeley so the people can be happy. It’s going to be excellent.”ª

Nabolom Bakery In Crisis Mode: By JAKOB SCHILLER

Friday October 01, 2004

It’s make it or break it for Berkeley’s Nabolom bakery. 

After losing their major wholesale account with Felini Coffeebar on University Avenue last April, along with two years of varying retail sales, the worker-owned cooperative on Russell Street in Elmwood is threatening to close its doors come January if it cannot figure out a new strategy to increase revenue. 

In a last ditch effort, collective members held a town hall meeting in their store Monday evening to ask for any sort of help the community could provide including fundraising suggestions, donations and new business strategies. 

The meeting, attended by between 40 and 45 people, brought well wishers from around the city including long-time patrons, neighbors, a Berkeley city councilmember and several students from the Haas Business school who have teamed up as part of a class project to try and offer their help. 

“I have to have my hamentaschen in April!” said Kathryn Dowling, one of several patrons who said she would do whatever she could to keep the doors open. 

Jim Burr, who manages the bakery’s finances, laid out a grim scene for audience members, telling them the bakery is currently around $10,000 behind on expenses. They haven’t paid their $3,886 rent for two months and still have several outstanding bills with their suppliers. 

On top of that is $33,000 worth of debt, $22,000 of it is on Burr’s personal credits cards charging 18.4 percent interest (about $400 a month). Crow Bolt, another collective member, has contributed about $9,000. 

According to Bolt, the bakery has cut expenses by 40 percent, employees gave up health benefits and several people have taken pay cuts or donated their time, but the debt continues to grow. The bakery specializes in organic products that carry added costs. 

At the meeting, Bolt said the bakery’s main priority is to secure at least one major retail account that pays them enough to break even. Other possible business strategies proposed included staying open later and serving pizza, applying for a beer and wine license, and hosting live music performances. 

“It’s not impossible to get from where we are to a sustainable business,” Burr said.  

The problem with expanding their services, according to Bolt is that it would force them to re-zone. According to Dave Fogerty from the city’s economic development office, Nabolom is currently zoned as a take-out instead of a sit-down restaurant. The zoning rules would also have to be changed if the bakery wanted to stay open later. 

Burr said the co-op is trying to re-finance their loans and have even tossed around the idea of issuing promissory notes where patrons would contribute lump sums and then be paid back over time in backed goods with interest. The idea was a hit with patrons anxious to help right away, and by the end of the night people had pledged over $5,000, with two people pledging $1,000 each. 

Councilmember Kriss Worthington, who lives in the neighborhood, offered his support for the expanded services and said the bakery should try and re-zone. Several patrons offered to chip in and help pay the filing fees the bakery will be charged if they hold a public hearing to change the zoning. 

Worthington also said he thought that it was a more realistic business strategy for the property owners, who were also at the meeting, to help Nabolom stay alive instead of trying to find a new occupant.  

Burr said the bakery is going to decide what to do within the next couple of weeks. They hope to hold another town meeting at that time to announce their decision. They will decide whether or not to close around the beginning of December. 

“We all want the place to stay here,” Burr said. “I’ll work here for another decade, but I won’t do it only eating two meals a day.ª

National Theatre Brings ‘Lysistrata’ to Oakland: By KEN BULLOCK

Special to the Planet
Friday October 01, 2004

Lysistrata, Aristophanes’ classic of ancient comedy—and the preeminent modern antiwar stage production—will be presented by The National Theatre of Greece Friday, Oct. 1 (8 p. m.) and Sunday, Oct. 3 (3 p. m.) at Oakland’s Calvin Simmons Theatre. Adapted to modern Greek and directed by Kostas Tsianos (who will give introductory talks an hour before each performance), Lysistrata will have English supertitles. Lydia Koniordiu stars as Lysistrata. These performances mark its American debut after its presentation at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens—and celebrate the National Theatre's 100th anniversary. 

Originally produced in 411 B. C., Lysistrata tells how the Athenian woman of that name (a pun on "Demobilize!") convinces other women to withhold sexual relations from their husbands and to occupy the Acropolis until peace is declared. The comedy was written after the disastrous Athenian expedition to Sicily; in modern times—particularly since the Popular Front Against Fascism in the 1930s— Lysistrata has been read, illustrated, published and performed as the greatest of antiwar plays, liberating in its comic eroticism.  

On March 3, 2003 (03-03-03), over 1,000 staged readings internationally of the Lysistrata Project, including one on the stage of the Berkeley Rep (with the biggest cast of actor-readers in the world, seen by 1,200 spectators), as well as other productions at several dozen locations throughout the Bay Area, marked a day of protest at the impending invasion of Iraq. 

There have been two schools of thought about the original meaning of Aristophanes’ play: one emphasizes the antiwar aspect, the other focuses on sexual roles overturned in both the civic and domestic life of Athens. In either case, the double meanings and deliberate ambiguities of this bawdy comedy translate easily into contemporary issues—just as, in classical Greek, Aristophanes spoke with extremely up-to-the-minute topicality through his outrageous situations and elaborate puns. Its satire snares every party in its own self-importance.  

Playing Aphrodite, goddess of love, and Athena, warlike virgin and patroness of Athens, against (and yet for) each other, Lysistrata and the woman turn the Acropolis—the heart of the public (that is, men’s) life of the city—into a sacred home, a domestic place just for women. Absurdities like these make the Athens on stage become a brief “comic utopia.” 

A year ago, the National Theatre of Greece brought its production of Euripides’ Medea to the UC Greek Theatre. Critical reaction was overwhelmingly positive for that production, focusing on the brisk pacing yet profound power of the tragedy of a spurned woman, outsider to civilized society. Previous to those performances, the National Theatre had not performed on the West Coast since the 1984 Olympics Arts Festival in Los Angeles, with perhaps the best-known ancient tragedy, Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex. Now this great national troupe has returned on its centennial to show the comic face of classical Greek drama, seemingly just as topical as it was 2,400 years ago, staged amid the savage absurdities of the contemporary world. 


Arts Calendar

Friday October 01, 2004



Berkeley Arts Festival Opening and celebration of National Arts Day at 5 p.m. at Berkeley Arts Festival Gallery, 2324 Shattuck Ave. Exhibition includes woodcuts by Berkeley High Students and teachers. www.berkeleyartsfestival.com 

“Search and Restore” with works by Clayton Bain, Carolyn Gareis, Vannie Keightley, Naomi Policoff and Dorothy Porter. Gallery hours are Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ACCI Gallery, 1652 Shattuck Ave. www.accigallery.com 


Aurora Theatre Company, “The Persians” runs through Oct. 17. Tickets are $28-$45. 843-4822. www.auroratheatre.org 

Berkeley Rep, “The Secret in the Wings” at the Roda Theater, 2015 Addison St. until Oct. 17. Tickets are $10-$55. 647-2949. www.berkeleyrep.org 

California Shakespeare Theater, “All’s Well That Ends Well” Tues.-Fri. at 7:30 p.m., Sat at 8 p.m., Sun. at 4 p.m. at the Bruns Memorial Amphitheater, through Oct. 10. Tickets are $13-$32. 548-9666. www.calshakes.org 

Impact Theatre, “Fluffy Bunnies in a Field of Daisies” a sexually-honest comedy, 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 

National Theater of Greece, “Lysistrata” in Greek with English supertitles at 8 p.m. at the Clavin Simmons Theater, Oakland. Tickets are $35-$65. 866-468-3399. 

Oakland Opera Theater “Akhnaten” an opera by Philip Glass, Fri. and Sat. at 8 p.m. Sun. at 2 p.m. through Oct. 3 at Oakland Metro Theater, 201 Broadway, at 2nd St. Tickets are $18-$32, available on line at www.oaklandopera.org  

Shakespeare in the Yard, “Notes From William, III” Fri. and Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 4 p.m. at Sister Thea Memorial Theater, 920 Peralta St. West Oakland, through Oct. 17. Tickets are $5-$20. 208-5651. 

Shotgun Players “Dog Act” Thurs. - Sun. at 8 p.m. at The Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby Ave. through Oct. 10. Free admission with pass the hat donation after the show. 841-6500. www.shotgunplayers.org 

TheatreFirst “Joe Egg” at 8 p.m. at Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Blvd. Through Oct. 17. Tickets are $22. 436-5085. 

Unscripted Theater Company, “The Short and the Long of It,” an improv theater experience, Fri. and Sat. at 8 p.m. at Temescal Arts Center, 511 48th St. at Telegraph, through Oct. 2. Tickets are $7-$10. 415-869-5384. www.un-scripted.com 

Woman’s Will, “Lord of the Flies” Fri. and Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 3 p.m., at Eighth Street Studios, 2525 Eighth St., through Oct. 24. Every performance followed by a discussion on democracy, violence cessation, and preservation of just societies. Free, donations encouraged. 420-0813. www.womanswill.org 


The Films of Roy Anderson: “Songs from the Second Floor” at 7 p.m. and Commercials and Shorts at 9 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 


Evelyn C. White reads from her biography, “Alice Walker: A Life” at 8 p.m. at Berkeley Public Library’s Community Room, 2090 Kittredge. Sponsored by the Berkeley Arts Festival and the Friends of the Library. 981-6100. www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org 

7th International Juried Enamel Exhibition Slides and lecture with Katy Bergman Cassell at 7 p.m. at ACCI Gallery, 1652 Shattuck Ave. Gallery hours are Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 843-2527. www.accigallery.com 

Aron Ralston describes his decision to amputate part of his right arm to save his life in “Between a Rock and a Hard Place’ at 7 p.m. at Cody’s Books, 1730 Fourth St. 559-9500. www.codysbooks.com 

Francisco Goldman describes his new novel “The Divine Husband” at 7 p.m. at Cody’s Books. 845-7852. www.codysbooks.com 

David Brin, scientist and Hugo Award-winning science fiction author, will discuss his book “The Transparent Society” at 3 p.m. at the Cal Student Store. 642-7294. 


National Ballet of Canada at Zellerbach Hall, UC Campus. Tickets are $36-$68. 642-9988. www.calperfs.berkeley.edu 

“Mediavoid” by Shahrzad Dance Academy at 8 p.m. at the Crowden School, 1475 Rose St. Tickets are $12-$15. 215-2166. www.sdadance.org 

Marcel Dronkers, soprano, at 8 p.m. at Arlington Community Church, 52 Arlington Ave., Ken- 

sington. Tickets are $12-$15.  

Oakstock Concert with Country Joe McDonald and Shana Morrison at 7 p.m. at the Oakland Museum of California, 10th and Oak Sts. in conjunction with the exhibit “California and the Vietnam Era.” www.museum.ca.org 

Jon Langford Ship and Pilot at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $12. 841-2082. www.starryploughpub.com 

Moodswing Orchestra at 9:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Swing dance lesson with Nick and Shanna at 8 p.m. Cost is $13. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Last Band Standing at 8 p.m. at La Peña. Cost is $10. 849-2568. 

Dick Hindman Trio at 8 p.m. at the Jazzschool. Cost is $12-$18. 845-5373. www.jazz- 


Barbary Coast by Night with Daniel Torres, flamenco guitarist at 7 p.m. at Cafe Raphael’s, 10064 San Pablo Ave., by Central Ave., close to El Cerrito BART. Cost is $5. 860-5533. 

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

The Toasters, New Blood Revival, Monkey at 9:30 p.m. at Blakes on Telegraph. Cost is $10. 848-0886. www.blakesontelegraph.com 

Hakim, music of the Middle East and Arab diaspora at 7 p.m. at the Scottish Rite Temple, 1547 Lakeside Drive, Oakland. Tickets are $65-$100. 415-218-1801. www.sheekimage.com 

Reilly & Maloney, contemporary folk duo, at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $18.50-$19.50. 548-1761. www.freightandsalvage.org 

Jackie Ryan Quartet at 9 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810. 

Karrin Allyson at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square, through Sun. Cost is $15-$18. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 

Natural Vibes, reggae, at 9 p.m. at Shattuck Down Low, 2284 Shattuck Ave. Cost is $10. 548-1159. www.shattuckdownlow.com 

Jason Webley, Dear Nora, Readyville, The Flying Marrows at 8 p.m. at 924 Gilman St. Cost is $6. 525-9926. 

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



“Wild About Books” with Larry Kluger on cowboy roping and storytelling at 10:30 a.m. at the Berkeley Public Library, 2090 Kittredge St. 981-6223. 


Richmond Art Center Members’ Showcase Reception from 3 to 6 p.m. at 2540 Barrett Ave., Richmond. Slide lecture and artist talk with Tamara Scronce at 1:30 p.m. 620-6772. www.therichmondartcenter.org 

Emeryville Art Exhibition featuring works of 100 artists and craftspeople in Emeryville. Exhibition open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 5603 Bay St. 652-6122. www.EmeryArts.org 


Ruben C. Gonzales “The Mes- 

siah Complex: Rebelations of a Mad Mexican” at 8 p.m. at La Peña Cultural Center. Cost is $7-$10. 849-2568. www.lapena.org  


The Films of Roy Anderson: “A Swedish Love Story” at 6:30 p.m. and “Giliap” at 8:50 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 


Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival with Robert Haas, Lawrence Ferlingheti, Pattiann Rogers, George Keithley, Lucille Lang Day, Marc Bamuthi Joseph and more from noon to 5 p.m. at Civic Center Park. 526-9105. www.poetryflash.org  

Sarah Stewart and David Small introduce their new picture book for young readers “The Friend” at 10:30 a.m. at Cody’s Books, 1730 Fourth St. 559-9500. www.codysbooks.com 


National Ballet of Canada at Zellerbach Hall, UC Campus. Tickets are $36-$68. 642-9988. www.calperfs.berkeley.edu 

“Mediavoid” by Shahrzad Dance Academy at 8 p.m. at the Crowden School, 1475 Rose St. Tickets are $12-$15. 215-2166. www.sdadance.org 

The Whole Noyse, “From Shawm to Cornett” at 8 p.m. at St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Ave. Tickets are $10-$25. 528-1725. www.sfems.org 

Four Seasons Concerts with Tai Murray, violin at 7:30 p.m. at Calvin Simmons Theater. Tickets are $25-$35. 601-7919. www.fourseasonsconcerts.com 

New Millennium Strings performs Sibelius, Janacek, JS Bach, and Giuliani at 8 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, 15 Santa Fe Ave., El Cerrito. Suggested donation $10-$15. 528-4633. www.newmillenniumstrings.org 

Trinity Chamber Concert “Two Faces of Orpheus” with Franklin Lei, Renaissance lute and classical guitar, at 8 p.m. at Trinity Chapel, 2320 Dana St. Tickets are $8-$12. 549-3864. www.TrinityChamberConcerts.com 

Dan Zemelman, solo jazz piano, at 8 p.m. at Giorgi Gallery, 2911 Claremont Ave. at Ashby. 604-1473. 

Eve of Acapella: A Night of Female Voice, featuring Ya Elah at 8 p.m. at Studio Rasa, 933 Parker St., between 8th and 9th. Cost is $10-$20 sliding scale. 843-2787. www.studiorasa.org 

Groundation, reggae classic and band originals at 9:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $13. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Resistoleros, Eddie Haskells, Proud Flesh at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $6. 841-2082. www.starryploughpub.com  

Old Blind Dogs at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $19.50-$20.50. 548-1761. www.freightandsalvage.org 

Doni Harvey, original acoustic blues, at 8 p.m. at The Jazz House. Cost is $8-$15. www.thejazzhouse.org 

Marcos Silva and Intersection at 8 p.m. at the Jazzschool. Cost is $12-$18. 845-5373. www.jazzschool.com 

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

Braziu, Nobody from Ipanema at 9 p.m. at Shattuck Down Low, 2284 Shattuck Ave. Cost is $10-$12. 548-1159. www.shattuckdownlow.com 

Tom Jonesing, The Sun Kings at 9:30 p.m. at Blakes on Telegraph. Cost is $15. 848-0886. www.blakesontelegraph.com 

Danny Heines & Joey Blake at the 1923 Teahouse at 8 p.m. Suggested donation of $5-$10. 644-2204. www.epicarts.org 

Macy Blackman Quartet at 9 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810. 

Babyland, Pitch Black, Midnight Laser Beam at 8 p.m. at 924 Gilman St. Cost is $6. 525-9926. 



Celebrating the Folk Arts of Mexico Family day activities include paper cuts and paper flower workshop, folk dancing, music and puppets from 1 to 4 p.m. at Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology, UC Campus, Bancroft at College. 643-7648.  


“Celebrating the Berkeley Fire Department’s Centennial” Reception from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Berkeley History Center, 1931 Center St. The exhibit traces the history of the Berkeley Fire Department, its innovations, and the fires it has fought. Gallery hours are Thurs.-Sat. 1 to 4 p.m. 848-0181. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/histsoc/  

“War Peace and Civil Liberties” Works by 52 artists in a variety of media. Opening reception 2 to 4 p.m. at the Berkeley Art Center, 1275 Walnut St. 644-6893. www.berkeleyartcenter.org 

“Fragments of Travel in the Gold Country: Pioneer Jewish Cemeteries,” an installation by Ann Chamberlain. Discussion and reception from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Judah L. Magnes Museum, 2911 Russell St. 549-6950. www.magnes.org 

“Threshold: Byron Kim” Guided tour at 2 p.m. at Berkeley Art Museum, 2626 Bancroft Way. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 

The Korean Potter Gallery presentation with Gary Holt and Sheila Keppel at 3 p.m. at Berkeley Art Museum, 2626 Bancroft Way. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 

“Seawomym Images” Reception at 3 p.m. at Changemakers, 6536 Telegraph Ave. 655-2405. 


National Theater of Greece, “Lysistrata” in Greek with English supertitles at 3 p.m. at the Clavin Simmons Theater, Oakland. Tickets are $35-$65. 866-468-3399. 

“Talking with Angels” A one-woman show with Shelley Mitchell at 7 p.m. at Studio Rasa, 933 Parker St. Cost is $20. 843-2787. www.studiorasa.org 


The Magic Worlds of Czech Animation: Shorts by Jirí Trnka at 5:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 


Poetry Flash with Susan Herron Sibbet and Lynn Lyman Trombetta at 7:30 p.m. at Cody’s Books. Donation $2. 845-7852. www.codysbooks.com 

Sarah Klise, illustrator, introduces “Regarding the Sink” and “Shall I Knit You a Hat” for young readers at 4 p.m. at Cody’s Books, 1730 Fourth St. 559-9500. www.codysbooks.com 


National Ballet of Canada at Zellerbach Hall, UC Campus. Tickets are $36-$68. 642-9988. www.calperfs.berkeley.edu 

“Imagining a Map of the World” solo dance performance by Evangel King at 11 a.m. at 1374 Francisco St. Donation $7-$15. 841-9441. 

“Mediavoid” by Shahrzad Dance Academy at 7 p.m. at the Crowden School, 1475 Rose St. Tickets are $12-$15. 215-2166. www.sdadance.org 

New Millennium Strings performs at 3 p.m. at Arlington Community Church, 52 Arlington Ave. Donation $10-$15. 528-4633. www.newmillenniumstrings.org 

Music and Art Meditations on a Journey of Faith with Vukani Mawethu, Caribbean Rhythms and the Oaktown Jazz Workshop at 3 p.m. at the United Lutheran Church, 8800 Fontaine St., Oakland. Tickets are $10-$20. 569-0689. 

Americana Unplugged, The Circle R Boys at 5 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Moonlife, Round Three Fight, Red Horizon at 8 p.m. at Blakes on Telegraph. Cost is $6. 848-0886. www.blakesontelegraph.com 

The Laura Love Duo, Afro-Celtic funk, at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $17.50-$18.50. 548-1761 www.freightandsalvage.org 

Mimi Fox with Joe Gilman at 4:30 at the Jazzschool. Cost is $12-$18. 845-5373. www.jazz- 




“Life Moments” pictoral narratives by Stan Cohen opens at the BRJCC, 1414 Walnut St. and runs through Nov. 4. 848-0237. 


Actors Reading Writers “Vengeance from Beyond the Grave” stories by Edgar Allen Poe and Bram Stoker at 7:30pm at Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Ave. 

McKenzie Wark introduces “The Hacker Manifesto” at 7:30 p.m. at Cody’s Books. 845-7852. www.codysbooks.com 

Last Word Poetry Series with Mark Schwartz and Francesca Bell at 7 p.m. at Pegasus Books, 2349 Shattuck Ave. 649-1320. 

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


Scott Amendola’s Chambers of Grace at 8 and 10 p.m. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square. Cost is $8-$12. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 



NIAD’S 20th Anniversary with guest artist John Toki. Reception at 5:30 p.m. at 551 23rd St., Richmond. 620-0290. www.niad.org 

Worth Ryder Art Gallery First Year Graduate Exhibition Reception at 4 p.m. at 116 Kroeber Hall, UC Campus. 642-2582. 


Alternative Visions: The Films of Julie Murray at 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 


Poetry Diversified with Jan Steckle at 7:30 p.m. at World Ground Cafe, 3726 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland. 482-2933. 

Art Spiegelman introduces his cartoon autobiography “In the Shadow of No Towers” at 7 p.m. at Cody’s Books, 1730 Fourth St. 559-9500. www.codysbooks.com 

Natalie Goldberg considers “The Great Failure: A Bartender, A Monk and My Unlikely Path to Truth” at 7:30 p.m. at Cody’s Books. 845-7852. www.codysbooks.com  


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 

Jazzschool Tuesdays at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Michael Wilcox & Sheldon Brown 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 

Jenna Mammina at 8 and 10 p.m. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square. Cost is $15. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 


A Bit of the Past Survives in Pleasanton Along With New Pleasures: By KATHLEEN HILL

Special to the Planet
Friday October 01, 2004

While many of us think of the ride to Pleasanton as a nasty commute and weekend excursions eastward as much more pleasant, Pleasanton, in fact, has a rather charming Main Street, complete with the old arched lighted white sign overhead, antique stores, and ye old tack shop. 

I remember Pleasanton as a place my parents used to drive me through on the way to Livermore swim meets. We would never actually stop there! 

Now it’s worth the trip. Located about seven miles west of Livermore in the Amador Valley where elk, grizzly bears, cougars, salmon, coyotes and reptiles once roamed, the area was first settled 4,000 years ago by the Ohlone, who called themselves The People. Native settlements on Pleasanton Ridge and on the lagoon were part of the largest concentration of Native Americans in North America. 

Mission San Jose de Guadalupe in Fremont, the 14th California mission, was founded on June 11, 1797 by Father Lausen, the second successor to Father Junipero Serra as the president of the missions. Lausen’s people raided the Ohlone and took their land as the mission’s pasture in the Alizal area to raise cattle for tallow and income for the mission. 

After Mexico won its independence from Spain, the Secularization Law supposedly meant Mexican citizens would share the land with Native Americans, but it never happened. In the late 1830s, most of Alizal land, as Pleasanton was called, had been granted to Mexican politicians and soldiers as part of the Rancho el Valle de San Jose land grant. 

In 1867 the name was changed from Alizal to Pleasanton, the misspelled effort of pioneer John Kottinger to name it after Civil War General Alfred Pleasonton. 

Eventually Amador Valley became an agricultural center with the oldest horse racing track in the United States, and farmers grew hops here sold throughout the U.S. and Europe to make fine beers. Because of Pleasanton’s Old West Main Street, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm with Mary Pickford was filmed in Pleasanton, making it temporarily “Hollywood of the North.” 

The first housing boom followed the railroad’s arrival in 1869. Successive growth spurts since the 1960s led to development of tract housing, large malls, strip malls, and industrial complexes, all leading to the neglect of downtown. Just in the nick of time, local historians helped revitalize downtown, and the average detached three-bedroom house now sells for nearly $830,000. 

Charles Bruce was the only real architect in town, but many builders bought plans from designers “back east.” The Amador–Livermore Valley Historical Society offers two excellent pamphlet guides to identify historic buildings as you stroll or roll Main Street.  

Once the site of the local Women’s Club, City Hall, the Police Station, and then the Library, the Historical Society Museum is worth the trip, with rotating exhibits, including “The Wonder Years: Pleasanton in the ‘50s and ‘60s” beginning Oct. 2. The Town of Pleasanton still uses the vault in a back room to store important historical papers, and the museum has 6,000 archived documents available to the public. 

Two doors north of the museum is an old fashioned Christensen’s Western & English Wear, with Tack Room, Saddlery, and Remedies, and everything the real or wannabe cowpoke could want. 

The Wine Steward and Wine Bar, supposedly the largest wine shop in the East bay, offers 50 of Kermit Lynch’s wines, local boutique wines from John Christopher Cellars, Darcie Kent, and Wood Family wineries, 60 wines under $10, and different themed tastings each week. Expect to be greeted by Bruce the border collie-malmut mix or Haley the Jack Russell yerrier, who playfully guard the A.G. Ferrari pastas and sauces. 

The historic Pleasanton Hotel has a nice restaurant, and Main Street is lined with several Italian, Mexican, and nouveau Californian restaurants, with local or chain coffee houses and bakeries interspersed.  

Pleasanton hosts its annual Antique Fair on Saturday, Oct. 10 on Main Street. 

Kids will love the water slide in the 296-acre Shadow Cliffs Regional Park just east of town on Stanley Boulevard, which also offers an 80-acre lake with trout fishing, hiking, and picnicking. Rowboats, electric motorboats, and paddle boasts can be rented year round, and bait and tackle are available at the boat house. Shadow Cliffs is a former gravel quarry donated to the East Bay Regional Park District by Kaiser Industries.  

Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park off Foothill Road in Pleasanton is the beginning of a planned Ridgelands Regional Park stretching to Kilkare Canyon, Sunol Ridge, and Stoneybrook Canyon. Because of the park’s multi-purpose trail system, the park is great for hiking, riding horses, cycling, and just meditating over the almost clear canyon streams and views. 



Berkeley This Week

Friday October 01, 2004


City Commons Club Noon Luncheon with Barbara Ertter on “Personal Insights in Iran’s Priceless Natural and Cultural Heritage.” Luncheon at 11:45 a.m. for $12.50, speech at 12:30 p.m., at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant St. For information and reservations call 526-2925 or 665-9020.  

First Fridays Film Series “Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear and the Selling of America” at 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph the Worker Church, 1640 Addison St. Free. 482-1062. 

Berkeley-Palma Soriano Sister City Association report-back from recent trip to Cuba at 6:30 p.m. at the North Berkeley Senior Center. Donation $8-$15. 981-6817. 

“The Election Year 2004” with Prof. Constance Cole at 1:30 p.m. at the North Berkeley Senior Center. 981-5190. 

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. 


Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival with Robert Haas, Lawrence Ferlingheti, Pattiann Rogers, George Keithley and many more from noon to 5 p.m. at Civic Center Park. 526-9105. www.poetryflash.org 

24 Hour Swim for West Campus Pool begins at 10 a.m. at King Pool, 1700 Hopkins St. To participate or donate, call 527-0830, 843-3442. 

Mini Farmers A farm exploration program for children accompanied by an adult. Wear boots and prepare to get dirty. From 2:30 to 4 p.m. at Tilden Nature Area, in Tilden Park. Cost is $3-$5, registration required. 525-2233. www.ebparks.org 

Leaf Art Print Collect dried leaves on a tree study walk, then make a card or decorate a t-shirt of your own. For ages six and up at 10 a.m. at Tilden Nature Area, in Tilden Park. Registration required. 525-2233. www.ebparks.org 

Berkeley Path Wanderers Claremont Elmwood Walk Meet at 10 a.m. at the corner of Ashby and Elmwood Aves, just east of College Ave. 654-5448. 

Berkeley Historical Society Walking Tour “Transformation on the Waterfront” led by Susan Schwartz. At 10 a.m. Cost is $8-$10. 848-0181. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/histsoc/ 

Walking Tour of Old Oakland around Preservation Park to see Victorian architecture. Meet at 10 a.m. in front of Preservation Park at 13th St. and MLK, Jr. Way. Tour lasts 90 minutes. Reservations can be made by calling 238-3234. www.oaklandnet.com/wallkingtours 

California Natives, a free class on site preparation, plant communities and chosing plants at 10 a.m. at Magic Gardens, 729 Heinz Ave. 644-2351. www.magicgardens.com 

Berkeley Solar Home Tour Self-guided tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting at the Shorebird Nature Center, Berkeley Marina. Tickets are $15 per group. For more information call 377-5849. www.norcalsolar.org/tour/berkeley/ 

Voter Education and Political Forum from 10 a.m. to noon at St. Paul AME Church, 2024 Ashby Ave. 848-2050. 

Swim a Mile for Women with Cancer from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Mills College Trefethan Aquatic Center. Also on Sun. Proceeds benefit the Women’s Cancer Resource Center. To register call 601-4040, ext. 180. www.wcrc.org 

Walk Against Domestic Violence at Lake Merritt, Oakland, to support A Safe Place, Oakland’s only shelter for battered women and children. For pledge forms and information call 986-8600. www.asafeplacedvs.org 

Walk for Farm Animals at 11 a.m. at Splash Pad Park, across the street from the Grand Lake Theater, Oakland. For pledge forms and information see www.walkforanimals.org 

A Conversation with Daniel Ellsberg at 2 p.m. at the Oakland Museum of California, 10th and Oak Sts. In conjunction with the exhibition “What’s Going On? California and the Vietnam Era” 238-2200. www.museumca.org 

“A Village Gathering” A day of information, resources and support for African-Americans with disabilities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Claremont Middle School, 5750 College Ave. Oakland. 547-7322, ext. 15. 

The Silence Of Our Friends a workshop presented by the UNtraining, a program for untraining white liberal racism. From 1 to 5 p.m. at Berkeley High School Library, 1980 Allston Way. Sliding scale $10-50, no one turned away for lack of funds. Everyone welcome. Wheelchair Accessible. 235-3957. www.untraining.org  

Great Dog Lick Off A fundraising event for the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society at noon at Alan’s Petzeria. Cost is $5. 

Sick Plant Clinic The first Sat. of every month, UC plant apthologist, Dr. Robert Raabe, UC entomologist Dr. Nick Mills, and their team of experts will diagnose what ails your plants. From 9 a.m. to noon at the UC Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Dr. Free. 643-2755. 

Free Emergency Preparedness Class on Fire Supression from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 997 Cedar St. To sign up call 981-5605. www. 


Pee Wee Basketball for Girls ages 6-8 begins at 10 a.m. at 1255 Allston Way. Cost is $25 for residents and runs for 6 weeks. Sponsored by Berkeley Youth Alternatives. 845-9066. 

Car Wash Benefit for Options Recovery Services of Berkeley, held every Sat. from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Lutheran Church, 1744 University Ave. 666-9552. 


One Long Hike From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. beginning at Tilden Nature Area, in Tilden Park. Bring water, sunscreen and lunch as we take a look at the natural and cultural history of Wildcat Canyon. 525-2233. www.ebparks.org 

Plant It and They Will Come Learn the simple steps to attract wildlife to your backyard, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Tilden Nature Area, in Tilden Park. 525-2233. www.ebparks.org 

Neighborhood Disaster Training for Panoramic Hill from 9 a.m. to noon. Sponsored by the City of Berkeley. For information and to register call 981-5506. 

“Moral Responsibility, the Mind-Body Problem” with Gunther Stent, Prof. of Molecular and Cell Biology, UCB, at 9:30 a.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, 1 Lawson Rd., Kensington. 525-0302.  

Mid-Autum Children’s Festival Celebrating the Vietnamese Moon Festival from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Oakland Museum of California, 10th and Oak Sts. In conjunction with the exhibition “What’s Going On? California and the Vietnam Era” 238-2200. www.museumca.org 

Free Sailboat Rides between 1 and 4 p.m. at the Cal Sailing Club in the Berkeley Marina. Bring warm waterproof clothes. www.cal-sailing.org 

Tibetan Buddhism with Stephanie Hoffman on “Tibetan Text Preservation: Preserving an Endangered Tradition” at 6 p.m. at the Tibetan Nyingma Institute, 1815 Highland Pl. 843-6812. www.nyingmainstitute.com 


“Does America Need a New President?” with William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard and Mark Danner, professor at the UCB Graduate School of Journalism at 7:30 p.m. at Zellerbach Auditorium, UC Campus. Tickets are $10 available from 642-9988. http://journalism.berkeley.edu 

Tea at Four Taste some of the finest teas from the Pacific Rim and South Asia and learn their natural and cultural history, followed by a short nature walk. At 4 p.m. at Tilden Nature Area, in Tilden Park. Cost is $5-$7, registration required. 525-2233. www.ebparks.org 

Berkeley Measure Q: Pros and Cons at the The Oakland/East Bay Chapter of the National Organization for Women meeting at 6 p.m. at Chanel Hall of the Lutheran Church of the Cross, 1744 University Ave. at McGee. 287-8948. 

“Separation of Church and State: Where Are We Today?” A panel discussion sponsored by Americans United Against Church and State, the ACLU, Secular Humanists of the East Bay and Kol Hadash at 7:30 p.m. at BRJCC, 1414 Walnut St. 848-0237. 

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. 

Academic Center of Excellence at St. Paul AME Church, 2024 Ashby Ave. on Mon. and Wed. from 3 to 6 p.m. A free resource for students in grades K-12 in partnership with UC Berkeley. 848-2050. 

Copwatch Class Learn about the history of police, community policing, racial profiling, government surveillance of anti-war protestors and pre-emptive arrests, and what your rights under the Patriot Act. From 6 to 7:30 p.m. at 2022 Blake St., near Shattuck. Free and open to the public. 548-0425. 


Free Speech in Dangerous Times Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement, Oct. 5 - Oct. 10. at UC Berkeley. For details on events, see www.fsm-a.org  

“Is God a Republican?” with Theodore Roszak and David Randolph at 9:45 a.m. in Mudd Hall 103, Pacific School of Religion, 1798 Scenic Ave. 

Mid-Day Meander Meet at 2:30 p.m. by the bulletin board at Big Springs parking lot in Tilden Park (the wide spot on South Park Drive) for a rocky trail hike to ponder the “mystery walls” and muse about trees. 525-2233. www.ebparks.org 

“Introduction to Judaism” Explore Jewish spirituality and ethics with David Cooper at 7:30 p.m. at BRJCC, 1414 Walnut St. 848-0237. 

Family Story Time at the Kensington Branch Library, Tues. evenings at 7 p.m. at 61 Arlington Ave. 524-3043. 

Docent Training at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden every Tuesday through Feb. 8 at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden, Tilden Park. Cost is $125. To register please send check to Dr. Glenn Keator, 1455 Catherine Drive, Berkeley, 94702. For more information call 527-9802. www.nativeplants.org 

Eastern European Singing Workshops with Esma Redzepova and Ansambal Teodosievski at 7 p.m. at Eckhardt Room, Naropa University, 2141 Broadway, Oakland. Cost is $25.00. Advance reservations strongly recommended. 444-0323. www.kitka.org 

“Cuts to Low-Income Housing” a video at 1 p.m. at the North Berkeley Senior Center. 981-5190. 

Acting and Storytelling Classes for Seniors offered by Stagebridge, at Arts First Oakland, 2501 Harrison St. Classes are held at 10 a.m. Tues.-Fri. For more information call 444-4755. www.stagebridge.org 

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 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. 415-595-1289. dan@redefeatbush.com 

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

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


Wednesday Bird Walk Discover the first of the migrants and help us with the monitoring of the shoreline, at 8:30 a.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. Shoreline. Turn into the park off Swan Way, follow the drive to the end and meet at the last parking lot by the observation deck. 525-2233. 

Molly Ivins on “The State of the Union” at 7 p.m at Zellerbach Auditorium, UC Campus. Event is free but tickets are required and will be available at 5 p.m. on Lower Sproul Plaza. Part of the Free Speech Movement’s 40th Anniversary. www.savio.org 

Candidates Night for School Board and Districts 2 and 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Frances Albrier Center at San Pablo Park. Hosted by South and West Berkeley Community Action Team and San Pablo Park Neighborhood Council.  

No Child Left Behind Town Hall Meeting with Graduate School of Education Dean P. David Pearson, UC Berkeley education professors Judith Warren Little and Alan Schoenfeld, and Phil Daro, executive director of the Public Forum on School Accountability, at 7 p.m. at Room 2040, Valley Life Science Building, UC Campus. 

Human Rights Video Project will show “Every Mother’s Son” about police brutality and “Books Not Bars” about the prison industry at 6:30 p.m. at Richmond Public Library Community Room, 325 Civic Center Plaza, near 26th and MacDonald, Richmond. 620-6561. 

“The Issues: Values and the Social Issues” with Kristin Luker, Prof. of Sociology and Doug Strand, UCB Survey research Center at 3 p.m. at 109 Moses Hall, UC Campus. http://www.politics.berkeley.edu 

“Behind the Sun” a film of rival families living in the desert landscape of the Brazilian Northeast at 7 p.m. at the CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch St. In Portuguese with English subtitles. 642-2088. www.clas.berkeley.edu 

“To Serve and Protect” A documentary on police brutality at 7 p.m. at Humanist Hall, 390 27th St., Oakland. Donation $3-$5, no one turned away. Sponsored by the International Council for Humanity. 419-1405.  

Neighborhood Coffee at 10 a.m. at Cafe Roma, College and Ashby. Hosted by the Council of Neighborhood Associations. www.berkeleycna.com 

Walking Tour of Oakland City Center Meet at 10 a.m. in front Oakland City Hall at Frank Ogawa Plaza. Tour lasts 90 minutes. Reservations can be made by calling 238-3234. 

Bellydance Benefit for John Kerry Performances from classic cabaret to techno tribal and beyond at 7 p.m. at the Afghan Oasis Restaurant, 2086 Allston Way. Donation $15. 684-6530. www.home.earthlink.net/~dance4democracy 

Chocolate Cooking Class from 4 to 5 p.m. at Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker and Café Cacao, 914 Heinz Ave. Cost is $30, registration required. 981-4066.  

Blood Drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Pauley Ballroom, UC Campus. Also On Oct. 7. 1-800-GIVE-LIFE. 

Friends of the Oakland Public Library Booksale at 10:30 a.m. through Oct. 9 at The Bookmark Bookstore, 721 Washington St., Oakland. 444-0473. 

Walk Berkeley for Seniors meets 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. 

Berkeley Peace Walk and Vigil at the Berkeley BART Station, corner of Shattuck and Center. Sing for Peace and Vigil at 6:30 p.m. Peace Walk at 7 p.m. www.geocities.com/vigil4peace/vigil 

Prose Writers Workshop from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center, 1414 Walnut, at Rose. 524-3034. 

Berkeley Communicators Toastmasters at 7:15 a.m. at Mediterraneum Caffe, 2475 Telegraph Ave. 524-3765. 


Morning Bird Walk: The Birds of Jewel Lake From 7 to 9 a.m. Call for directions or to reserve binoculars. 525-2233.  

Foods of the Americas An exhibit of the abundance of the fall harvest from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Oct. 27 at the Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Drive. 643-2755. http://botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu 

Survey of California’s Native Trees A class on Thurs. evenings to Nov. 4, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Drive. Cost is $155, $135 members. Registration required. 643-2755. http:// 


Public Hearing on Housing Trust Fund Proposals at 7:30 p.m. at the South Berkeley Senior Center. Copies of the proposals are available for review at the Central Library, 2090 Kittredge. 981-5400. 

BHS South Campus Construction Plan Workshop with school officials, students, staff and designers at 7 p.m. at Berkeley High School Library, 1980 Allston Way. 644-6320. 

“A Class Divided” A film on a daring lesson in discrimination taught by Jane Elliott to her third graders in the small, all-white town of Riceville, Iowa in 1970. At 7 p.m. in the Albany High School Library, 603 Key Route Blvd. in Albany. Please enter the gymnasium doors on Thousand Oaks Blvd., turn right, go through another door and walk straight down hallway to the library. Sponsored by Embracing Diversity Films and Albany High School PTA. 527-1328. 

An Evening at the Auction House A benefit for St. Vincent’s Day Home in Oakland. From 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Harvey Clars Auction Gallery, 5644 Telegraph Ave. Cost is $50. For tickets call 526-3883. 


Council Agenda Committee meets Mon., Oct. 4, at 2:30 p.m., at 2180 Milvia St., Sherry M. Kelly, city clerk, 981-6900. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/citycouncil/agenda-committee 

Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board meets Mon. Oct. 4, at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers, Pam Wyche 644-6128 ext. 113. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/rent 

Landmarks Preservation Commission meets Mon., Oct. 4, at 7:30 p.m., at the North Berkeley Senior Center. Gisele Sorensen, 981-7419. www.ci.berkeley.ca. 


Peace and Justice Commission meets Mon., Oct. 4, at 7 p.m., at the North Berkeley Senior Center. Manuel Hector, 981-5510. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/commissions/peaceandjustice 

Youth Commission meets Mon., Oct. 4, at 6:30 p.m., at 1730 Oregon St. Philip Harper-Cotton, 981-6670. www.ci. 


City Council meets Tues., Oct. 5, at 7 p.m in City Council Chambers, Sherry M. Kelly, city clerk, 981-6900. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/citycouncil 

Commission on the Status of Women meets Wed., Oct. 6, at 7:30 p.m., at the West Berkeley Senior Center. Tasha Tervelon, 981-5347. www.ci.berkeley. 


Fire Safety Commission meets Wed., Oct. 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the Public Safety Building, 2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, 2nd floor. David Orth, 981-5502. www.ci.berkeley.ca. 


Community Environmental Advisory Commission meets Thurs., Oct. 7, at 7 p.m., at 2118 Milvia St. Nabil Al-Hadithy, 981-7461. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/commissions/environmentaladvisory 

Housing Advisory Commission meets Thurs., Oct. 7, at 7:30 p.m., at the South Berkeley Senior Center. Oscar Sung, 981-5400. www.ci.berkeley. 


Public Works Commission meets Thurs., Oct. 7, at 7 p.m., at the North Berkeley Senior Center. Jeff Egeberg, 981-6406. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/commissions/publicworks 




Free Speech—The Next 40 Years: By BECKY O'MALLEY

Tuesday October 05, 2004

This week Berkeley is remembering the grand excitement of the Free Speech Movement, at a time, 40 years later, when a sizable number of movement veterans are still around to reminisce. I wasn’t here in 1964 myself, so what’s entertaining for me is finding out which of my current friends and acquaintances who still live here took part in the action, considering who they are now. Landlords, teachers, corporate lobbyists, lawyers, stock market investors, gardeners, small business owners, farmers, political organizers, librarians…their jobs, if they still have them, run the gamut, as do their experiences over the last 40 years. What was remarkable about the FSM is that it swept up a broad cross-section of students who understood that it was a bad idea for a state university to ban free expression of ideas from its campus.  

It’s a week for nostalgia, but there are still plenty of live controversies today about what constitutes appropriate expression of ideas. In particular, there are two topics that can always raise a ruckus in any gathering, hate speech and heckling.  

It’s become popular in Europe, and even now in some parts of the United States, to ban what’s called “hate speech.” It’s a concept that’s loosely defined, which is one reason it’s a problem, but it most often is applied to speech which denigrates by allusion to race, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual preference. European advocates of banning such speech refer to Europe’s experience with the rise of the Nazis to justify their position. In the United States, our tradition, bolstered by the First Amendment though often violated, has been that free expression of ideas in a democracy is a safety valve which lets us know when trouble is brewing. It’s one reason the Nazis never got much of a toe-hold here. 

Many universities, particularly private ones, have lately been seduced by the European concept, in the interest of maintaining order on campus, but it’s a bad idea. If hating is going on, better we should all know about. Just shutting up nasty people doesn’t put an end to whatever nefarious action plans they may be contemplating, and in fact it makes it harder for the rest of us to combat their influence with effective counter-speech. And it’s easy for those in power to slide over from banning “hate speech” to banning any form of expression of ideas which is annoying someone. Just last week we got a report that the Berkeley police, on orders from above, had been ticketing people who honked their horns to show support as they passed a union demonstration.  

The constitutional analysis of First Amendment rights often has two parts: the speaker’s right to talk and the listener’s right to hear. The second part is what’s the subject of active debate when heckling is the topic. Our letters column today has a typical expression of the anti-heckling point of view. The writer notes that a number of odious right-wing speakers (not his characterization, of course) have lately appeared on campus, standing at a podium in a publicly funded building, with a substantial sound system at their disposal, and, horrors, people who don’t like them have shouted insults from the audience, presumably without benefit of microphone. Some have even chanted outside the building. Now, if the hecklers came with their own PA system, one so powerful that they could drown out the David Horowitzs and the Michelle Malkins, the whiners might have something of a case, but that’s not what’s been happening. Before Malkin spoke on campus a couple of weeks ago, her sponsors, the California Patriot magazine and the College Young Republicans, put out inflammatory press releases drooling over her support of racial profiling and the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Despite their best efforts, not much happened. Malkin exercised her constitutionally protected right to hate speech and a sizable number of hecklers loudly expressed their countervailing views. 

She came, she was heckled, and she left. Some newspapers believed the hype and covered the talk looking for excitement, but they reported on what turned out to be a non-event. We didn’t bother. In our view, that kind of exchange is what should be happening regularly on campuses, and is not news.  

Today’s letter writer also implies that a choleric candidate who trashed a few papers constituted a serious threat to freedom of the press. No, speaking for the press, that’s not the biggest problem we face. The biggest problems that newspapers face today are economic: on the macro level, concentration of ownership in a few super-rich mega-corps like Rupert Murdoch’s empire, and on the micro level, here in Berkeley, the refusal of some small-time merchants to advertise in the Planet because they wish some of our news stories could be suppressed or they don’t like our cartoons. Which is, of course, the signal to cue up the usual tune, A.G. Liebling’s signature refrain, frequently quoted, often misquoted, but still true: "Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one" and can also afford to pay the operating expenses if advertisers don’t approve of what they say. 









Supporting the Arts Without Money: By BECKY O'MALLEY

Friday October 01, 2004

Culture. Or as they say in America’s capital of culture, New York City, kulcha. Everyone’s for it, who could be against it? We’ve gotten a number of communications from representatives of what’s described as the “arts and culture industry” in Mayor Bates’ proclamation endorsing today, Oct. 1, as “California Arts Day” and October as “Arts and Humanities Month.” The Arts Day press releases are chock-full of shocking statistics about the California’s sorry state of support for the arts, the worst of which is this, from the California Arts Council: 

“California is the fifth largest economy in the world, yet California is ranked 50th in the nation for per capita support for the arts. The state spends less than three cents (2.7 cents) per person. The national average is $1.10; New York spends $2.75 per person.” 

It can’t get much sorrier than that: below even Mississippi or Alabama. California has been accumulating dismal statistical comparisons to other states as the Davis-Schwartzegger era moves forward. Just look at spending on schools as compared to spending on prisons in this state, or at slashed funding for state institutions of higher education. We got an anguished anti-Bush letter from a correspondent in Missouri who complained that she seems to have fallen into the Bible Belt by mistake. Here in California, despite our Democratic vote in presidential elections, we seem to have landed in Lower Slobbovia, the home of unwashed illiterates lampooned by Al Capp in the L’il Abner comic strip of yore. 

And yet…we don’t actually lack culture in this state, or in Berkeley. The Bay Area alone supports perhaps 15 small companies which present European classical opera. Blessed with a steady stream of immigrants from countries with respect for culture, we have Persian theater, Chinese classical orchestras, Mexican dance troupes…all kinds of great stuff. What we lack is a decent level of support from our own government for our citizens’ cultural endeavors—no one could argue with that. But instead of beating what in Berkeley should be a dead horse, we’d like to explore here what else can be done to support arts and culture in a time when cash is scarce.  

In the first place, we should try to stop thinking of the arts as a cash cow. The city proclamation says that “arts and culture funding is a critical investment in…the economy of our state, and the arts are a catalyst for economic growth, cultural tourism, and downtown redevelopment.” Well, sure. Accompanying our copy of the Mayor’s proclamation was a pricey city-funded report from a consulting group called “Arts Market” purporting to show actual cash benefits returned to the economy from arts expenditures. The conclusions are probably true, but they’re not 100% relevant. “Art for art’s sake” is a hoary slogan, but the intangible benefits that we gain from cultural pursuits as individuals and as a society are much greater than the dollars involved. Kids who take some time in the school day to sing a few songs or dance a bit are better learners in all subjects. Seniors who join a madrigal singing group almost certainly see benefits in their blood pressure.  

What can Berkeley do to promote involvement in cultural activities besides spend more money that doesn’t seem to be forthcoming? Well, for starters, city policy regarding space for the arts should promote much more than downtown redevelopment. The West Berkeley Plan was carefully engineered to preserve unstructured space for the practice of arts, and yet the last year has seen both open and furtive attempts to snatch that space away from artists and deliver it to real estate speculators. West Berkeley artist John Curl was summarily dumped from the Planning Commission and replaced by a proponent of commercial exploitation of West Berkeley. The Nexus gallery space continues to be the focus of pro-development pressure. Citizen-initiated landmarking might buy a bit of time for Nexus, but the forces which see West Berkeley, and the Gilman freeway exit in particular, as ripe for the picking are strong. 

Even downtown, in Berkeley’s officially designated arts ghetto, it’s been a constant struggle to save space for the arts. The UC Theater was headed for “redevelopment” as yet another cookie-cutter housing project, with faux-storefronts as a sop to the arts, when it was temporarily saved by, again, citizen-initiated landmarking. No one in City Hall, despite campaign promises to the contrary, has yet come up with a viable plan to re-use the great open space which the UC offers as a 700-seat performance hall, which is urgently needed by the Berkeley Symphony, repertory cinema and other endeavors which attract medium-sized audiences. City government greased the skids for the eventual obliteration of the Fine Arts Cinema, which a chorus of cynics accurately predicted would happen, in order for Panoramic Interests to construct more of the luxury student apartments which are going begging this fall. The monster Seagate project is getting away with providing token rehearsal space to Berkeley’s most favored, best-funded arts organization, the Berkeley Repertory Theater, in return for being allowed to build an extremely generous number of bonus condo units. Us cynics aren’t fooled.  

What’s needed, and what has been suggested by a number of critics, some in these pages, is for the city mothers and fathers, at a minimum, to drive much harder bargains with the Panoramics and the Seagates. In return for agreeing to run roughshod over the Downtown Plan on Seagate’s behalf, Berkeley should at least be able to demand a broad-based and substantial contribution to the arts from the developer. Perhaps, for example, Seagate could provide seed money for getting started on the adaptive re-use of the UC, its near neighbor.  

There are many other cases in point, too numerous to list here. The bottom line is that if the city fathers and mothers really believe, as they proclaim, that Berkeley should support arts and culture, there are ways of doing so even in an era of diminished funding.