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Vista Community College, opened in 1974, will be celebrating its 30th anniversary with a party and fundraiser at Ashkenaz on Dec. 2.
          —Jakob Schiller..
Vista Community College, opened in 1974, will be celebrating its 30th anniversary with a party and fundraiser at Ashkenaz on Dec. 2. —Jakob Schiller..
 

News

Vista Plans Bash To Help Fund Expansion: By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Tuesday November 30, 2004

With its $67 million Center Street campus construction project on schedule for completion in January 2006, Berkeley’s Vista Community College is planning a birthday bash this week to celebrate its 30th anniversary. 

The 4,200-student downtown facility opened in 1974 as the fourth and last of the Peralta Community College District’s colleges. It presently operates out of a building at 2020 Milvia St. 

Public Information Officer Shirley Fogarino said that while the Dec. 2 anniversary event at Ashkenaz is “not expected to raise a lot of money,” it is part of a president’s capital campaign to generate funds to match $2.1 million in state expenditures for supplies and furnishings for the new building. 

Other fund-raising plans include selling naming rights to portions of the new campus and soliciting small donations from Vista alumni. A fund-raising event with actor Danny Glover is scheduled for the Berkeley Repertory Theater next March. 

Meanwhile, Fogarino says that construction on the new facility is presently “in the steel phase. They’re putting up steel for the first floor, and we expect to be topping off the framework in March of next year.” 

When completed, the building will be 165,000 square feet and six stories, and will be northern California’s first single-structure, urban community college campus. 

Swinerton Management & Consulting company is overseeing the project, while S. J. Amoroso Construction Company is the contractor for the building. 

Vista President Judy Walters says that the facility construction is part of a long-range upgrade plan for the college. 

“In ten years, Vista will be in the ranks of the top 25 community colleges in California in terms of reputation for the quality of students we prepare for the workforce and transferring to four-year institutions,” she said in an interview last summer. “Our student body will continue to be wonderfully diverse, not only in terms of ethnicity and skin color, but in their abilities. Vista is here. We are not an appendage, an afterthought, or a struggling child. We are here.” 

When Vista was founded 30 years ago last April as the Berkeley Learning Pavilion, it’s original goal was to service the northern cities of Alameda County—Albany, Berkeley, and Emeryville. Within six months, the college’s name was changed to the Peralta College for Non-Traditional Study (PCNS), with a mission of offering “alternative post-secondary educational programs and services” for students throughout the Peralta Community College District. 

In its first three years, PCNS was considered a “college without walls,” holding classes in such widespread areas as Berkeley High School, the West Berkeley YMCA, the North Berkeley Community Center, and the Oakland Army Base. In 1978, the college’s name was changed to Vista, and three years later, it was granted full accreditation from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. 

Not surprising for a Berkeley college, Vista has had a history of controversy. 

Impetus for construction of the new facility came in 1995, when Albany, Berkeley, and Emeryville residents—including then-Assemblymember Tom Bates and then-Berkeley Vice Mayor Maudelle Shirek—made an abortive attempt to create a Vista Community College District out of a portion of the Peralta Community College District. Part of the citizens’ concerns was that Vista had never had a permanent campus facility. The Peralta District eventually had to sue to prevent Vista from seceding. 

According to published reports from that time, former Vista president Barbara Beno was reportedly fired from her position in 2000 in part because of her support for independence for the college from the Peralta District. 

Earlier this year, charges of racism surfaced when Peralta’s Board of Trustees voted not to renew the contract of former Vista president John Garmon after hearing complaints from the college’s faculty senate. Outgoing trustee Darryl Moore said at the time that Garmon had “dropped the ball” on fundraising for Vista’s new campus, and had failed to build community ties for the 30th anniversary celebration. 

Garmon, who is white, later charged racial bias in his firing, stating that the five African-American members of Peralta’s seven member Board of Trustees voted to end his contract “on racial grounds and voting as a black majority for race-based reasons.”  

The board of trustees later hired Walters—who is also white—to replace Garmon. She assumed the Vista College presidency on July 1 of this year. 

 

The fundraiser, with food, music and dancing, begins Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo Ave. Music will be provided by the Bay Area jazz-blues-swing band Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums. Tickets—$10 for the students, $20 for members of the public—are available at Vista’s cashier’s office at 2050 Center St., at www.vistabash.tix.com, or at 981-2800.


Jubilee Report Reveals Questionable Expenditures: By MATTHEW ARTZ

Tuesday November 30, 2004

Jubilee Restoration Inc., in response to a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) investigation into misuse of funds, released records last week showing that it spent federal grant money designated for a homeless youth outreach program to pay employees working for its housing development arm. 

Jubilee, Berkeley’s third largest affordable housing developer, released the financial records to city and federal officials to answer charges of nepotism and misallocating federal funds. 

HUD and city officials are preparing separate analyses of Jubilee’s response. If either decides Jubilee has proved to be unreliable, it could discontinue funding and effectively shut the organization down. Berkeley would then be at risk of losing the HUD grant for services to homeless youth. 

Officials at Jubilee and the city declined to comment for this story. An official city response to Jubilee is expected this week. 

Under a $121,633 annual grant from HUD, Jubilee, starting April 1 2002, was supposed to hire three full-time counselors to staff a homeless youth drop-in center. The counselors were funded by HUD specifically to provide assistance with drug and alcohol counseling, AIDS and sexually transmitted disease awareness, finding work and avoiding crime.  

Jubilee, however, apparently never filled two of the positions and didn’t fill the third, a youth director, until October 2003.  

Accounting reports show that instead the organization used the federal funds to pay for other staff, several of whom appear to have had little or no contact with the operation of the drop-in center. The three biggest recipients were Developmental Director Mia Medcalf, who earned $60,821 from 3,754 hours billed to the homeless youth program, Deputy Director Gordon Choyce II, who received $54,943 from 3,314 hours billed and Housing Program Manager Todd Harvey, who earned $19,780 from 1,633 hours billed.  

Choyce II, the son of Jubilee Executive Director Gordon Choyce Sr., heads the organization’s housing development business, with Harvey serving under him.  

In a written response to HUD, Jubilee maintained that it had “hired more than three individuals who were working part-time to perform the function of three full-time employees.” Jubilee, however, didn’t specify the names of the individuals assigned to work as counselors or identify the type of work performed by the employees that qualified them to be paid with funds earmarked for the homeless youth program.  

Although it was scheduled to begin in April 2001, reports on the drop-in center show little evidence of a functional homeless youth program before the arrival of Youth Director Rebecca Prophet in October of 2003 and significant gaps in service after she left this summer. The drop-in center, called the Jubispot, is supposed to be open three days a week, but since July 5, Jubilee can only document six days when it served local homeless youth. 

The homeless youth drop-in center was originally proposed by the Berkeley Ecumenical Strategies Team, a collaboration of local churches, but dissension in the group forced Jubilee to assume control of the program from its inception. 

Initially the three churches in south and west Berkeley were to operate complementary services with the grant money, but after the other churches pulled out, Jubilee eventually shifted the program to 2144 Byron Street, a property owned by Jubilee, which is the charitable arm of Berkeley’s Missionary Church of God in Christ, also headed by Gordon Choyce Sr. 

Under Choyce Sr., Jubilee has become a player in nonprofit housing development and has also operated social service programs including a recovery program for men recently released from prison. 

To help fund Jubilee, the city has given it an annual allotment of $86,000—$26,000 to pay for an outreach worker for the homeless youth program and $60,000 in money transferred from HUD. 

The city had frozen this year’s allocation to Jubilee because the organization failed to provide expenditure reports. However, two weeks ago the City Council approved giving the organization $13,000 to help it answer HUD’s charges.›


Vote Count Protests Blast Media Silence: By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Tuesday November 30, 2004

A small but vocal group of demonstrators rallied for an hour in front of the KGO-TV offices in San Francisco on Monday morning, protesting what they called “media silence on 2004 election irregularities.” Demonstrators later marched to the San Francisco offices of United States Senator Barbara Boxer where organizers met with Boxer’s staff. 

Among the rally speakers was Berkeley City Councilmember-elect Max Anderson, who blasted President George W. Bush as a “thief,” saying “we need to go to Washington and make a citizens’ arrest to put that two-time loser out of office.” 

Anderson likened the movement to investigate election irregularities to Berkeley’s Free Speech Movement of the ‘60s. “Just like then, we’re going to have to throw ourselves into the machine and stop its gears,” he said. 

The demonstration of some 150 activists was co-sponsored by the Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club of the East Bay and the Dean Democratic Club of Silicon Valley. Much of the emphasis was on the upcoming recount of Presidential ballots in Ohio, which was declared for President George W. Bush over Democratic challenger Senator John Kerry. 

Demonstration organizers called for “minimum standards in the voting method throughout the United States,” “an auditable paper trail for electronic and all voting machines,” and “upholding and enforcing the Voting Rights Act to prevent the continued disenfranchisement of minority voters,” among other demands. 

Demonstrators sang “Black boxes with no paper trail, as predicted they will fail” to the tune of “O Tannenbaum” and carried signs reading “Support The Ohio Recount,” “Election Fraud Is So Newsworthy,” and “End The Media Blackout Of The Election.”  

Several speakers and signs linked the widely discredited recent elections in the Ukraine with the widely accepted 2004 U.S. presidential election. 

Donald Goldmacher of the Voting Rights Task Force of the Wellstone Democratic Club, a demonstration organizer, quoted outgoing Secretary of State Colin Powell as saying that the United States “cannot accept the Ukrainian results as legitimate because the vote does not meet international standards.” Goldmacher said that the recent United States national election also “does not meet international standards.” 

He said that while KGO-TV was the target of this week’s demonstration, “KGO has actually done a reasonably good job in presenting stories on election fraud issues.” 

Speaker Ross Boylan of United for Peace and Justice said it was ironic that “while U.S. Senator Richard Lugar says that problems with the recent Ukrainian elections were proved by discrepancies between the vote and the exit polls,” the American national media has virtually ignored the same discrepancy in the 2004 U.S. Presidential election. 

Boylan said that while it is still too early to tell if possible fraud in the U.S. election was large enough to overturn the result, “we still are conducting investigations and gathering information.” 

Linda Burnham of Women of Color Resource Center in Oakland described what she called widespread instances of attempts to suppress African-American and Latino votes in Southern states in the election. 

Monday’s event was the fourth in a series of Bay Area election protest demonstrations, which have already been held at the Alameda County Registrar of Voters Office in Oakland and the San Francisco office of United States Senator Diane Feinstein. A Monday, Dec. 6 noon rally is scheduled for the San Francisco office of U.S. House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.


Alta Bates Walkout Met With Five-Day Lockout Threat: By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday November 30, 2004

A one-day strike at Berkeley’s Alta Bates Medical Center and 12 other Sutter Health hospitals in Northern California commencing at 6 a.m. Wednesday will cost strikers five days of pay. 

To fill in the gap the hospital has lined up “incredibly skilled” replacements to fill in for five days, said Alta Bates spokesperson Carolyn Kemp. 

Sutter has responded to the single-day job action called by members of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 250 and joined by members of the California Nurses Association (CNA) with the announcement that those who leave Wednesday will be shut our for an additional four days. 

The chain’s response could put a chill on Christmas plans for union members. 

A flyer put out by the hospitals warned union members to “Do the math: How much will Local 250’s strike—and five days of lost pay from your last paycheck before the holidays—cost you and your family? Is it worth it?” 

The warning followed the declaration, “Unless your contract is ratified before the five-day replacement period, employees who choose to strike on December 1 will not be returned to work until Monday.” 

The announcement described the lockout as a move “to encourage employees to ratify this great offer,” management’s latest contract proposal. 

While Kemp portrayed the strike as a union move to bring their members into line, the union depicts the action as a last-ditch effort to force the chain into raising the quality of health care. 

SEIU Local 250 President Sal Rosselli denounced the five-day lockout, and said the union would institute an unfair labor practices complaint with the National Labor Relations Board if Sutter follows through with the threat. 

“They’re simply doing it to punish the workers,” he said. 

Kemp said many union members had reported they were willing to keep working, while Rosselli said the strike had “overwhelming support” from both unions. 

Rosselli’s union represents most Sutter employees at the hospitals except for Registered Nurses, who belong to the CNA. 

The two unions “are united in this drastic actions—and a walkout is a drastic action—because we have been bargaining since last March and Sutter Health still refuses to give us a voice in setting staffing levels,” Rosselli said. 

Sutter officials have charged the union with trying to force Sutter to sign a master contract—a contract that would apply to all hospitals in the system—a charge which Rosselli denies. 

“They’re lying to the press and the community. We’re not demanding a master contract and we’re willing to accept eight different contracts,” he said. He said the union hadn’t sought a master agreement. 

“We certainly are demanding standards, and it makes sense to have a model contract to base them on,” Rosselli added. 

“We’re very happy they’ve given up on the master contract,” said Kemp. 

The key issue for both unions is an employee role in setting staffing standards and levels, a role granted the unions by all the other Northern California hospital chains, Rosselli said. 

The SEIU contract expired on April 30. 

“We tried to get them to sit down at the table starting in January,” said Kemp. “We implemented new wages and benefits in July” at levels higher than originally offered to the union. 

Kemp said the hospitals’ wages are the highest in East Bay and benefits included 100 percent health coverage for members, their spouses or domestic partners and their dependents, “something offered by only three or four percent of all employers in the country.” 

Between them, Alta Bates in Berkeley and Summit Medical Center in Oakland—two hospitals in the same bargaining unit—have 1,300 SEIU members and 1,700 CNA nurses. 

While Kemp said the strike wouldn’t reduce the quality of care at the hospitals, Rosselii said, “the people they’re hiring don’t know anything about their hospitals,” which would impact the care patients received. 


New Councilmembers’ Appointments Could Set Tone for City’s Development: By MATTHEW ARTZ

Tuesday November 30, 2004

With battles still raging over new development in Berkeley, the three newly elected Berkeley City Councilmembers are facing plenty of scrutiny as they prepare to name members to commissions that have a big say on the future face of the city. 

Their appointments, which can come as early as Dec. 1, could affect the balance of power on the Planning Commission, which recommends land-use policy, the Zoning Adjustment Board, which hears permit applications for the city’s most controversial new developments, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which has authority over exterior alterations to buildings designated as historically significant.  

Already, those who support constructing smaller buildings and conserving older structures are putting the pressure on councilmembers-elect Darryl Moore from District 2 and Max Anderson from District 3. Having found themselves in the minority on all three boards, those in favor of slower growth want the two new progressive councilmembers to appoint commissioners more skeptical of new developments than several of the commissioners selected by their predecessors, Margaret Breland and Maudelle Shirek. 

“People will be very disappointed if there isn’t at least a different Planning Commission,” said Councilmember Kriss Worthington who has traditionally appointed commissioners who favor tighter controls on new developments. 

On the opposing side, members of Livable Berkeley, a pro-development group, have suggested preferred candidates for commission appointments. 

Each councilmember is entitled to appoint a commissioner to each of the city’s 45 citizen commissions, but could also leave current commissioners in place. 

Earlier this year, proponents of more city development seized a majority on the Planning Commission when Councilmember Breland sacked Commissioner John Curl, and replaced him with the more development-minded Tim Perry.  

Over the next few months, the commission is scheduled to review parking requirements for commercial businesses and finalize a land use plan for a section of town just south of the UC Berkeley campus. 

Moore was out of the country Monday and unavailable to comment on Perry’s future as a commissioner. 

Anderson said that it was “very likely” he would quickly replace Jerome Wiggins, who was appointed to the commission by Shirek and has not been directly affiliated with either of the two factions. Anderson, who declined to comment on any other commission posts, also left open the possibility that his appointment to the Planning Commission could come from outside South Berkeley’s District 3. The commission, on which seven of the nine members hail from north of University Avenue, has been criticized recently for not being geographically representative of the city.  

Councilmember-Elect Laurie Capitelli said he hadn’t settled on any appointments to key commissions. On Planning, he is expected to either retain David Tabb, appointed by his predecessor in North Berkeley’s District 5, Miriam Hawley, or to choose a like-minded pro-development commissioner. 

The Zoning Adjustment Board (ZAB), which has had a solid pro-development majority for several years, could also see power shift. Capitelli, soon to be a former board member, will have to quickly appoint a successor. If Moore and Anderson chose to appoint new commissioners the ZAB could be a more harrowing place for developers. Currently, three members of the nine-member board—David Blake, appointed by Worthington, Carrie Sprague, appointed by Spring, and Dean Metzger, appointed by Councilmember Gordon Wozniak—have consistently opposed constructing larger buildings and demolishing older structures.  

Both Moore and Anderson inherit ZAB commissioners who have favored most new developments, but neither of them faces pressure to make a quick change. Moore inherits Deborah Matthews, who, unlike Perry lives in District 2, and chose not to challenge Moore for the council seat. Anderson inherits Jesse Anthony, a close friend of his predecessor Maudelle Shirek. 

On the Landmarks Preservation Commission, those favoring stronger city intervention to protect historic buildings have often found themselves narrowly outnumbered on key items. Capitelli and Moore inherit pro-development commissioners James Samuels and Aran Kaufer, who works for developer Patrick Kennedy. Anderson inherits Patricia Dacey, who has frequently sided with preservationists. 

If new commissioners are appointed to the LPC this week they will get to participate in next Monday’s meeting and could vote on landmarking Brennan’s, a longtime West Berkeley restaurant and pub. 

Anderson and Capitelli will both also have to appoint new members to the Police Review Commission (PRC). Jackie DeBose, appointed by Shirek, and Lucienne Sanchez-Resnik, appointed by Hawley, have both submitted resignation papers, PRC Secretary Barbara Attard said. 


MBNA Switches Cal Alumni Credit Card Without Member’s Approval: By ZELDA BRONSTEIN

Special to the Planet
Tuesday November 30, 2004

Cal graduates: Did you, like me, get your MBNA/MasterCard though membership in the California Alumni Association?  

If so, did you, like me, receive an unsolicited new credit card in the mail last week?  

If that’s so, too, I’m hoping that, unlike me, you immediately noticed that MBNA had switched you from MasterCard to American Express.  

In my case, it took a customer service rep at the New York Times to alert me to the switch. “Is the new card also a MasterCard?” she asked. I noticed, at last, that it was not. My new card bore on its emphatically blue-and-gold front a large Cal insignia; the California Alumni Association’s logo with its stylized campanile; and in the lower righthand corner, the sign of American Express.  

The MasterCard to American Express changeover was not one I would have made voluntarily, since in my experience, MasterCard has much wider acceptance.  

The cover letter from MBNA seemed to indicate that I had no choice in the matter: “Please verify name and address, and sign Card(s) immediately to validate,” it said. “Notify us if corrections are required. Please destroy any cards and unused access checks you previously received.”  

Though I’d already activated the new card, I hadn’t yet destroyed my old one. I resolved to get MBNA to switch me back to MasterCard. Easier said than done: neither the “24-hour Customer Service” number on the back of the American Express card nor the number on my old MBNA statements yielded a live person who could hear my plea, much less do something about it.  

I decided to call the California Alumni Association and complain. I was handed over to a woman who graciously supplied yet another toll-free number for MBNA (1-888-880-6262). If that doesn’t work, she said, call me back, and I’ll put you in touch with the person here who deals with “our royalty partners.” I asked how many Alumni Association members had gotten MBNA credit cards through their membership in the Association. She guessed 30,000. When I wondered if anybody else had complained, she said that although I was the only person who’d called to protest the switch and the seeming impossibility of contacting MBNA about switching back, the Alumni Association itself was unhappy with the company and was making its dissatisfaction known.  

I called the new toll-free number for MBNA and reached a live person who readily switched me back to MasterCard. I’ll still be getting a new credit card number, and, it follows, a new card. But at least I’m back with the credit card company I prefer.  

When I expressed my displeasure about the process, the MBNA rep told me that a month or so ago, the company had sent letters notifying clients of the imminent change. Failure to decline an American Express card was taken as acceptance of it. I assume that I threw away the earlier letter, unread, just as I throw away all unsolicited mail from credit card companies.  

The MBNA rep also said that the American Express card had been made available only “to select groups.” I silently wondered if I’d been classified as “select” because I pay my credit card bill in full each month. MBNA isn’t making any money off of me; perhaps that’s why they switched me to American Express.  

As for my notion that MasterCard has greater currency: The company rep said that the company had researched my area and found that American Express was as widely used as MasterCard. “Maybe it’s just where you shop,” he politely suggested.  

The moral of the story: Read all your junk mail. And, MBNA customers, write down that toll-free number (1-888-88-6262), and put it in a safe place. The next time you want to talk to a live person about your account, you’ll know what to dial.  

 

Zelda Bronstein (B.A. ’70) is a lifetime member of the California Alumni Association.  

 


Bush Victory Makes Europeans Ponder Religion: By PAOLO PONTONIERE

Pacific News Service
Tuesday November 30, 2004

President George Bush’s re-election has some European politicians on the far right and the far left scrambling to rethink the role of faith in the daily life their constituencies, as well as their position on Christian values.  

The lesson of the recent U.S. presidential election was not lost on Rocco Buttiglione, Italian minister for European Affairs and founder of the United Christian Democrats party (CDU). Buttiglione was recently forced to resign as European Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security due to blunt comments he made on homosexuality.  

Reacting swiftly to the Republican victory in the United States, Buttiglione declared plans to found a religious action group modeled on the American Christian Coalition. The group will advocate for “the freedom of Christians in Europe,” where, analysts forecast, Muslims in the next 30 years could account for as much as 50 percent of the population.  

Buttiglione’s aides clarified that the new organization will not be a political party but a movement committed to securing a greater role for Christian principles in Europe’s public life.  

“Inspired by the role played by American Christians (in the U.S. election), Mr. Buttiglione is thinking of a new paradigm: the resurgence of Christian political movements in Europe.”  

Writing for Italy’s conservative daily “Il Foglio,” Buttiglione criticized European intellectuals for believing “that modernity implies the demise of religious beliefs; and instead America, the world’s most progressive country, shows that religion is at the core of a free society and of a modern economy.” Claiming that his thinking is widespread in the European Union, Buttiglione says he has received thousands of letters and e-mails of support from all over Europe, including encouragement from the leaders of Italy’s Jewish and Muslim communities.  

Buttiglione is a controversial character. One of the foremost experts on the current Pope (he’s a close papal friend), the Italian minister is a leading European philosopher and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Formerly a left Christian Democrat, he founded the Popular Party of Italy after the corruption scandals of the 1990s. Attempting to provide stability to the collapsing Italian political system, he launched a dialogue with the reformed Communist Party.  

Last October, Buttiglione incurred the ire of the European parliament. Named to the European Commission by the Berlusconi government, Buttiglione sparked a furor by declaring his opposition to abortion and his belief that gay people are sinners and that homosexuality is an act against nature and the will of God.  

As could be expected in a political Europe that is ever ready to assert its laic and rationalistic nature, his comments didn’t find many sympathetic ears. The European parliament, which ratifies appointments to the European Commission, threatened to veto Buttiglione’s appointment, causing the EU’s first constitutional crisis. On one side was the parliament—elected directly by the people—which asked for Buttiglione to step down. On the other side were the EU’s heads of government—who are generally appointed in a delicate political game by the various national parties—who refused to intervene in the internal affairs of a member country. Bowing in the end to political pressure, Buttiglione left the commission, returning to his post in the Italian government.  

However, the fracas in Strasbourg, the seat of EU’s parliament, has given Buttiglione a tribune from which to advocate his ideal of Catholic rebirth and the refounding of Europe on the basis of Christianity.  

He’s not alone. From the other side of the political spectrum, Fausto Bertinotti, leader of Italy’s Party of the Re-founding Communists, also has been inspired by the American election results. Bertinotti, a leader of Italy’s fourth-strongest political party, declared that Europe can no longer limit itself to its predilection for equality, fraternity and legality—the values put forth by the French Revolution. Bertinotti’s opinion is significant because he’s also the leader of the European Left, a political caucus of 16 of Europe’s leftist parties that represents anywhere from 7 to 10 percent of the continent’s voters. Bertinotti says that shunning religion, in a world that has changed rapidly after the Sept. 11 attacks, doesn’t answer the need felt by people to be part of something that transcends the laic and pragmatic policies promoted by progressives.  

The European left, Bertinotti believes, must recognize that there’s more to life than just labor, economics and material possessions. Urging socialists to rediscover the Christian and humanistic roots of European Democratic Socialism, Bertinotti very publicly called for a “new Bad Godesberg.” In 1959 the German Democratic Socialists (SPD), in an extraordinary congress held at Bad Godesberg, decided to abandon Marxist ideology, embraced the market economy and made the pursuit of happiness the center of its political program.  

The notion that religious life doesn’t need to contradict popular aspirations for social justice, equality, democracy and progress, is not foreign to the Italian left. The Italian Communist Party was historically very tolerant of the clergy and churchgoers. It deliberately sought a coalition government—the “Compromesso Storico,” or the historic compromise—with the Christian Democrats. While Italian Communists were never able to fully realize this compromise on the political level, in everyday life Communists and Catholics cooperated to pull Italy out of its post-WWII depression. The phenomenon was so cherished even the entertainment world celebrated it with an extremely successful TV series called “Peppone e Don Camillo,” which ran in the ‘60s. It recounted the story of a real-life Communist mayor of a small town and its real-life parish priest. Despite being ideological foes, the two were able to work together to solve the town’s pressing problems.  

Now, some of Europe’s leading left voices are eager to rediscover the lessons of that political episode, thanks to the recent shocking defeat of American Democrats and liberals.  

 

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


The Future of MoveOn: By RANDY SHAW

NEWS COMMENTARY
Tuesday November 30, 2004

My wife and I hosted one of the over 1,600 house meetings held Sunday night to chart the future of MoveOn PAC. The tightly structured event asked participants to select their top issue and strategy for the next two to four years, but left no time for the larger questions about how people can get involved in grassroots activism in between elections or how the group should prioritize its funds. 

Should MoveOn PAC return to primarily relating to its members as donors, or can the organization become a national network of grassroots groups for the college-educated middle class that comprise most of its membership?  

Created as an Internet strategy to build opposition to President Clinton’s impeachment, MoveOn.org and its Political Action Committee have become two of the great political successes of the past decade. MoveOn enrolled tens of thousands in e-mail action campaigns, joined with the Howard Dean campaign in waging the first aggressive attacks against President Bush, and ran anti-war and economic issue ads that were consistently brilliant and strategic. 

In 2004, MoveOn Pac transformed itself from a group that raised money for hard-hitting newspaper ads and television commercials to an entity that also funded political organizing. The MoveOn PAC harnessed its grassroots base for phoning and door-knocking in swing states, joining ACT and ACORN as the key 527 groups that galvanized record Democratic voter turnout. 

After thousands of MoveOn members walked precincts and called voter lists, it became clear that the group’s potential went well beyond its fundraising prowess. In an era of declining secular civic engagement MoveOn touched a chord, as further evidenced by the thousands of participants in its Sunday night house meetings. 

The question now is where the phenomenally successful group goes from here. The Sunday night events did not address this issue, focusing instead on external issues and strategies. 

But if our house party was typical, MoveOn members were energized by their electoral activism. While temporarily deflated by Bush’s victory, most are ready to rumble. 

This puts MoveOn’s leadership in the seemingly enviable position of having to figure out how to best harness the energies of tens of thousands of talented people. But the flip-side of this opportunity is that if the group delays too long in getting people re-involved it could lose them; this puts a premium on MoveOn’s quickly figuring out how to complete its transformation from an Internet and donor-driven group to a powerful vehicle for grassroots activism outside electoral campaigns. 

MoveOn’s growth pains reflect its dramatic success—after the presidential campaign galvanized its membership, many MoveOn members will no longer be content to simply give money and vote for their favorite television or newspaper ads. But MoveOn’s organizational structure of a central staff communicating to members via the Internet would have to change to accommodate an ongoing grassroots activist component. 

That’s why MoveOn should explore becoming a national network of grassroots groups along the lines of ACORN, the Associated Communities for Reform Now. ACORN has local chapters that work on local, state and national campaigns, but its demographic membership base-working-class families of color-differs greatly from the overwhelmingly white, college-educated and middle to upper middle class members of Move On. 

I don’t sense much interest among MoveOn members for the group to focus on local issues, but organizing local chapters creates the sense of belonging and community that is the springboard for activism. It would also lessen the group’s dependence on the Internet, which for all the good it does for bolstering activism, is no substitute for in-person meetings and strategy discussions. 

ACORN’s local chapters boost the group’s power at the state level, and MoveOn’s local chapters could dramatically impact politics in California and likely other states. Many of the domestic priorities of the Kerry campaign—such as expanded health insurance, an increased minimum wage, and increased education spending-can be meaningfully addressed through successful state-based campaigns. 

MoveOn members are primarily focused on national politics, and local membership chapters would also be the best strategy for harnessing the group’s energy for national campaigns. Consider how local chapters of CISPES (Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador) and Neighbor to Neighbor built a national progressive movement against US intervention in Central America—this organizational model brought thousands of new activists into national and international struggles in the 1980s and can be replicated today. 

Creating a new organizational structure for MoveOn would take time and money, but the upside is tremendous. America needs an activist-oriented political organization for the progressive middle-class, and MoveOn already has the membership base to create a powerful national organization. 

One of the tragedies of the Central American Peace Campaign is that its mass organizational vehicles for anti-war activism were not replaced with similar groups pushing other national campaigns. The recent Presidential campaign came closest to recapturing the energy and mass participation of the left’s last great political movement, and it would be a tragedy for progressives to again fail to sustain and build the activist organizations responsible for this success. 

ACORN is already off and running to expand its membership in working-class communities of color. MoveOn should also seize upon its gains, and is perfectly positioned to attract tens of thousands of new activists as times get tougher in the months ahead. 

 

Randy Shaw is the author of The Activist’s Handbook. He and his wife live in Berkeley and can be reached  

at rshaw@beyondchron.org. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


East Bay Sanctuary Covenant Holds Holiday Craft Fair: By STEVEN FINACOM

SPECIAL TO THE PLANET
Tuesday November 30, 2004

“Purses, clothing, weavings, holiday décor” and jewelry, with many items priced $10 or less, are among the gifts offered at the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant Holiday Craft Fair Dec. 11-12 at the First Congregational Church. Most crafts for sale are made by indigenous women in cooperatives in Central America, Asia, Haiti, and Africa. 

Proceeds benefit the organization’s programs to “offer sanctuary, solidarity, support, community organizing assistance, advocacy, and legal services to those escaping war, terror, political persecution, intolerance, exploitation, and other expressions of violence.”  

The weekend sale will operate 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Berkeley, Channing Way and Dana Street. Call 524-7989 for further information, or visit www.eastbaysanctuary.org. 

—Steven Finacom


Letters to the Editor

Tuesday November 30, 2004

ACCIDENT INFO 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

I was hit by a car and knocked to the street while walking in the crosswalk at Gilman Street and Santa Fe on Tuesday morning, Nov. 23, at approximately 8:15 a.m. The woman who hit me had been heading south on Santa Fe and was making a left turn onto Gilman Street, heading east. She hit me as I was crossing from the corner where the Westbrae Deli is to the corner where Toot Sweets Bakery is. She said she didn’t see me, which was apparent, since she didn’t hit her brakes until she actually hit me. I was able to stand up after being hit, but I was so shocked and angry that I failed to get either her name or her license plate number. She was driving a bright red Volvo station wagon, relatively new model (or at least in mint condition, if older than a few years), and had at least one, if not two, very young children in car seats in the back seat. She was Caucasian, possibly late 30s-early 40s, shoulder length light brown hair, and was wearing sunglasses. She offered to pull to the side of the road, but again, I wasn’t thinking clearly, and just wanted to get out of the street. If you have any information about this accident, please contact the Daily Planet so that they may forward it to me. Thank you for your help with this, and please, watch out for pedestrians in crosswalks! 

Nora Hale 

 

• 

LETHAL DANGERS 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

I was very interested in—and shocked by—your Nov. 19 article “UC’s Toxics Decision Impacts Campus Bay Site.” In 1995 the Department of Toxics Substances Control disclosed “high levels of mercury, arsenic and lead” in Richmond Field Station samples and “very high levels of arsenic in sediments from the portion of Stege Marsh adjoining the site.” 

My husband, William Berges, was a librarian at the Richmond Field Station from 1956-1985 when he retired because of illness. He died of lung cancer in 1987. 

I am very upset, but also glad that the public is now aware of the lethal dangers incurred by university employees. 

Frances H. Berges 

 

• 

CAMPUS BAY 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

I write to provide some additional information and to correct any misperceptions readers might have from the Daily Planet article “UC Toxics Decision Impacts Campus Bay Site.” In particular, my comments address the cleanup of historic industrial contamination at the neighboring University of California’s Richmond Field Station (RFS). 

To date the university has spent over $15 million dollars at the RFS on site cleanup and restoration of the native tidal marsh that includes habitat for the endangered California clapper rail. We are proud of our extensive and on-going efforts to interact with the public regarding cleanup activities, which has included public presentations, regular outreach by e-mail and a project website (www.cp.berkeley.edu/RFS_MarshRR.html). The campus has maintained good working relations with more than a dozen environmental agencies and community advocacy groups involved with the project. Feedback, including that from staff of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), has been overwhelmingly positive. 

The university was not allowed a choice of which agency would serve in the lead role on the RFS site. The university was in the process of evaluating site contamination and proposed research uses when the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) issued a mandatory site remediation order in 2001. Because the RFS site has been identified as a water contamination risk, RWQCB is the lead agency on the project. Nevertheless, many other regulatory agencies have been actively involved in this work. 

The university has also worked to involve the community in the marsh restoration by partnering with the nonprofit Watershed Project. If any readers wish to participate in the recovery of this valuable tidal marsh, there are a number of upcoming opportunities. Planting native plants in clean marsh lands will take place the third Saturday of each month. For information on the project and volunteer opportunities, please visit the Watershed Project’s website : www.thewatershedproject.org. 

Mark Freiberg 

Director, Environment, Health and Safety, 

UC Berkeley 

 

• 

SIERRA CLUB 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

I am writing to clarify the Sierra Club’s position on the Berkeley creeks ordinance which was incorrectly stated Jerry Landis’ commentary piece (“Sierra Club Backs Creeks Task Force Plan,” Daily Planet, Nov. 23-25). The article attacked the Sierra Club for lacking “social balance” without listing any specific policies the Sierra Club has taken positions on. 

In fact, the Northern Alameda County Group supports an open process with diverse viewpoints, rather than a two-sided process with polarized participants. The Sierra Club supports reasonable efforts to protect and daylight creeks, restore habitat, and improve bay water quality. The City Council recognized these goals when the original creeks ordinance was adopted. Stakeholders now have to opportunity to work with new information to improve Berkeley’s strategy for environmental protection in a way that is fair to homeowners. 

There are diverse viewpoints both within the club and the environmental community as a whole. This is why the Sierra Club democratically elects leadership at all levels, considers all sides before taking a position, and supports sending representatives to collaborative negotiations like the task force. 

With many creek culverts failing and the need for clarification in the ordinance, it is time to come together for a solution. 

Andy Katz 

Sierra Club Conservation Chair 

Northern Alameda County 

 

• 

CLARIFICATION 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

I want to clarify that in my Nov. 23 commentary, the headline “Sierra Club Backs Creeks Task Force Plan” was added by Daily Planet editors.  

Nowhere in the letter do I suggest that the Sierra Club backs the task force plan, nor do I know that they do, but someone may infer, as I do, that, given their interest in creeks activism, they may support it. That they endeavor to influence local elections is indisputable.  

Jerry Landis 

 

• 

PUBLIC MORALITY 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

Pierre Vladimir Stroud has presented the best analysis I have seen of what the Democrats must do to win (“Democrats, Progressives Need to Redefine America’s Public Morality,” Daily Planet, Nov. 23-25). For more than 20 years a constant right-wing drumbeat has branded liberal ideas of social conscience and the common good as “old and failed.” The result is an atmosphere of greedy, self-centered callousness that worships wealth and celebrity and is all too willing to toss those deemed less than worthy “off the island.” Even many self-styled “Christians” seem to think that Jesus loves them best, and that He hates anyone who is not exactly like them. 

Fortunately, most serious studies show that these are not the view of the majority of Americans. However, most who vote seem to use gut-feelings rather than logic to make their choices. As I was a public school teacher for 40 years, I still believe education works. People can be taught to see cause and effect relationships, and, one can hope, act appropriately. 

Judith Wiese 

 

• 

BUDGET DEFICIT 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

When Berkeley’s new City Council considers how best to close our $7.5 million budget deficit, its members might want to take a close look at the largest line item on the spending summary, the Public Works Department’s $77 million. Though Oakland is over five times Berkeley’s size (56.1 square miles vs. 10.5) and has almost four times our population (399,484 vs. 102,743), it spends only 30 percent more on public works ($100 million). To put it another way, Berkeley spends three times as much per person ($750 vs. $250) and four times as much per square mile ($7.34 million vs. $1.78 million). Surely some of that difference is due to inefficiency and waste that could be trimmed without reducing services. 

Robert Lauriston 

 

• 

CAL STADIUM 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

In response to Matthew Artz’s article on the Big Game (“Berkeley-Stanford Big Game Means Big Headache for Stadium Neighbors,” Daily Planet, Nov. 23-25), I would like to say I am one of the long-term Panoramic Hill neighbors that enjoys having the football stadium within easy access and I am strongly in favor of a thorough seismic renovation of the facility. 

I have lived at the base of Panoramic Way for nearly 20 years and have enjoyed the ease of walking to the football stadium. Now that I have young children I have the added bonus of sharing the experience with them. My children enjoy watching the games and particularly like the marching bands and all of the excitement that comes with college football. I feel the city and the university do a great job ensuring a safe and pleasant family experience while I am watching the Bears play. Regardless of what Coach Tedford decides, I believe the stadium needs to be renovated and improved for everyone’s safety and benefit. I am not in favor of permanent lighting but I would support retractable lighting. 

I admit that for roughly six or eight afternoons a year there is significant noise and congestion in and around the stadium area. Those afternoons may be a perfect opportunity for those that do not attend the game to enjoy a movie downtown, go to the library or visit friends and take a stroll down at Cesar Chavez Park. I don’t expect everyone to be a football fan but for the few afternoons a year that non-football fans are inconvenienced there are plenty of places to visit and get away from the noise and people.  

John Benson 

 

• 

SMART GROWTH 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

I thoroughly enjoyed Marcia Lau’s “She’s Not Intimidated By Mad Yelling” (Daily Planet, Nov. 19-22) and was surprised at the response it received. P. Levitt writes (Letters, Nov. 23-25), “Old buildings, some poorly placed and designed (by previous communities who did not plan smart growth), will burn down, fall down, come into dis-use, or will not be economical to maintain”. 

Well, yes, occasionally an old building burns to the ground, but in downtown Berkeley they usually come down with the aid of a bulldozer and an ABAG loan. 

Our local monument to “smart growth” has hardly been economical to maintain. The Gaia building’s $10 million repair job apparently has failed again—the scaffolding and shroud have reappeared for yet another unsightly round of repairs. 

As for our non-vital downtown movie theaters, how can they thrive? A developer just demolished the parking garage where moviegoers parked!  

Gale Garcia 

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Police Blotter: By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday November 30, 2004

Berkeley, Vallejo Men Slain in Emeryville  

After three years without a homicide, Emeryville racked up two slayings in five days, including the murder of a Berkeley man who was moving appliances into a three-unit rental building owned by a relative. 

Donald Malcolm Sims, 40, was shot multiple times Wednesday night outside the triplex on 44th Street near the corner of Adeline Street. Sheri Taylor, the owner of the building, was also hit by a bullet in her leg, said Sgt. LaJuan Collier. 

Sims was shot a few minutes before 7 p.m. and pronounced dead at 7:35 p.m. at Oakland’s Highland Hospital. 

The other murder occurred Nov. 20 outside the Denny’s Restaurant on Powell Street adjacent to the Interstate 80 restaurant. 

Robert Bridges Stanford, a 22-year-old Vallejo resident, was shot once in the head. 

Emeryville detectives arrested a suspect in the Stanford slaying five days later, 18-year-old Vallejo resident Vasega Till.  

Sgt. Collier said there was no evidence that the two shootings were related. 

 

Hands Off, Sonny 

A 73-year-old Berkeley woman called police a few minutes after midnight on Nov. 22 after a man about four decades her junior grabbed her posterior as she was walking along the 1800 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way. 

There are no suspects in the event, which police are calling a sexual battery. 

 

About That Bullet Hole. . . 

A resident of the 900 block of Jones Street made a startling discovery last Wednesday—a bullet hole, evidence that someone had fired a round into the dwelling sometime in the previous week. With no witnesses, police have no suspect, said Berkeley Police spokesperson Officer Joe Okies. 

 

Call Interrupted  

A 77-year-old Berkeley woman was talking on her cell phone as she walked along the 2100 block of Jefferson Avenue around 8:30 p.m. last Wednesday when a young man grabbed the instrument out of her hands and ran away. 

Police have no suspects in the case. 

 

Knife Flasher Busted  

A late night argument between two acquaintances in the 1700 block of Derby Street took a sharper edge Friday when a 60-year-old disputant pulled a knife and flashed the weapon at the other. 

Police took the knife-wielder to the city lockup, pending arraignment on a single charge of brandishing a deadly weapon. 

 

Strong-Arm Purse Snatch  

A tall, slim bandit forced the purse away from a 37-year-old woman in the 2800 block of Russell Street just after 2 p.m. Saturday. The woman was uninjured and the robber remains at large. 

 

Rat Pack Bike Theft 

Five young men in their late teens to early 20s confronted a 19-year-old bike rider near the corner of Adeline and 62nd streets about 6:30 p.m. Sunday and strong-armed his ride, said Officer Okies. 

No suspects have been arrested in the crime. 

 

Pistol-Packin’ Jacker 

A young man believed to be between 16 and 20 years of age pulled a pistol on a motorist near the corner of 7th and Delaware streets about 11:15 Sunday night and demanded the car. 

The driver of the vehicle, a Volkswagen, wisely gave it up and the bandit fled behind the wheel.


Taking AC Transit Again, AfterVowing to Stay Off the Bus: By SUSAN PARKER

COLUMN
Tuesday November 30, 2004

Two years ago my husband and I waited, with others, for an AC Transit bus on the corner of 55th Street and Telegraph Avenue. When the bus came, the driver stopped and allowed the able-bodied people on. Then he closed the doors. “I’m running late,” he sho uted at us. “You’ll have to wait for the next bus.” 

He drove off before we could reply. The second bus appeared a few minutes later. The driver let down the automatic lift and I pushed and pulled Ralph and his wheelchair onto it. The lift went up and I m aneuvered the chair down the narrow aisle into the special section for wheelchairs. It wasn’t easy. Ralph’s electric wheelchair is big and bulky and difficult to manipulate in small spaces. Passengers had to move. The strap that goes around the wheelchair in order to secure it was short. We had to re-situate the chair several times. The people around us were patient, but I couldn’t help feeling as though we were inconveniencing everyone.  

We were taking the bus because our van had broken down. We could not use Para-Transit because they require 24-hour advance notice. The van didn’t break down until just before Ralph was to attend a meeting at the Center for Independent Living. So much for independence.  

After the meeting, we caught the Number 40 bus heading in the opposite direction. “Hurry up,” said the driver when she stopped at the corner and opened the doors. “I’ve been picking up wheelchairs all day long and I’m late.” This was not a positive start. I could feel my blood pressure rising.  

At the intersection of Ashby and Telegraph avenues, the driver put the lift down to allow a woman with a walker off the bus, and that’s when all hell broke lose. The lift would not go back up. It was stuck in the down position, meaning, of course, that Ralph was stuck on the bus. “Everybody off,” ordered the driver. “You’ll have to catch the next bus while I get this fixed.” 

Everyone got off except for Ralph and me. We waited for the mechanic. Ninety minutes later we were on our way. A trip that should have tak en less than 30 minutes from CIL to our doorstep, it instead took almost two hours. I vowed never to use AC Transit again. 

But I didn’t keep my promise. I like leaving my car at home and walking to nearby destinations, or, if necessary, taking a bus. Las t year, when I started graduate school at San Francisco State University, I began using BART regularly. This commute includes a shuttle ride from the Daly City BART station to campus and back. When the shuttle is behind schedule, I take MUNI. Sometimes, instead of walking the half mile from my house to the MacArthur BART Station, I take the No. 15 AC Transit bus that stops at the corner of 51st Street and Martin Luther King Way.  

Last week I was running late. As I walked down MLK, the No. 15 roared past me. I ran to the bus shelter, but when I got there the bus had pulled from the curb and was idling at the traffic light. I knocked on the bus door and looked at the driver. He looked back at me and shook his head no, then stared straight ahead at the red light. I knocked again and asked to be let on. He ignored me. Plenty of time passed before the light turned green. He could have easily let me on the bus and not been delayed, nor caused any drivers behind him to be inconvenienced. Though not against the curb, the Number 15 was still in front of the bus stop.  

I vowed, once again, not to bother with taking the damn bus.


Hate and Lies: By DEAN METZGER

COMMENTARY
Tuesday November 30, 2004

With the election over it is distressing to hear our City Council and staff continue to distort the citizens’ reasons for voting down all of the city’s tax proposals. The latest example is Kriss Worthington’s Nov. 16 condemnation of the groups opposed to eliminating one of the city’s fire truck companies. He accused them of “spreading hate and lies.” 

After almost a year of communicating to the city that eliminating a ladder fire truck company for any portion of time was unacceptable to the neighborhoods and citizens, they did it anyway. There are two sides to every issue. The negotiations between the city and the firefighters union is a prime example. The city tells us that the union refused to reduce their pay so the truck elimination could be avoided. The firefighters union tells us their offer was to allow them to be in line with the other city unions. Take your pick, and argue your case, but you don’t accuse the other side of bad faith unless you have a very good reason for doing so and do make sure your own motives are clean. 

Let’s not forget that the union initially did not support Measure M. When certain councilmembers accused the union of not being a team player and threatened the firefighters with the loss of the truck if they did not support Measure M, the union changed its mind and supported Measure M with both money and time. Measure M failed. The city eliminated the fire truck anyway. So much for team players! 

Because the citizens of Berkeley believe that public safety must be the first priority of the City Council, they came in large numbers to the Nov. 16 City Council meeting. Speaker after speaker demanded that the City Council restore the fire truck. It was after the public speaking session ended that Councilmember Worthington told the audience that the speakers were spreading hate and lies and that the election results were from misinformation that had been given to the voters by the opposition.  

What is astounding about this is that during the election debate the city was unable to materially dispute any of the facts the opposition was using to state their case. Never during the campaign did I hear anyone from the opposition use the words hate or lies, instead they based their opposition to the taxes primarily on facts and figures that are publicly available on the city’ own website. The election results came about not because of any misinformation, but because, for the first time, the voters had an opportunity to learn what the city is actually doing with its money. 

There is a huge disconnect between our City Council and staff with the neighborhoods and voters. In response to this, some councilmembers have said “well we are the elected representatives of the people.” If this is true, why aren’t they representing the majority will of the people now that they have made their wishes clear? 

If Kriss Worthington and the City Council believe that the neighborhoods are spreading hate and lies, the citizens for their part, doubt the credibility of the city. The public safety issues, the creek task force decision, the city’s inability to deal with the university, and its’ failure to address the root causes of the budget crisis are only a few of the reasons many neighborhood leaders have become more cynical, less trustful, and uncooperative. 

At the Nov. 16 council meeting, the speakers repeatedly told the city that they are ready to help the city get through the budget crisis (which will be with us for years). Budget Watch has given the city a blueprint that will work. Instead we were told not to “spread hate.” 

Can someone at City Hall help? 

 

Dean Metzger is a member of the Zoning Adjustments Board.›


Principles for Progressives: By MICHAEL KATZ

COMMENTARY
Tuesday November 30, 2004

Progressives and Democrats (not always the same thing) are still licking our wounds from Nov. 2. But we’ve begun a vigorous discussion about how to rebuild our capacity to win elections and influence people. Some of us debated this with a few thousand of our closest friends on Sunday, Nov. 21, courtesy of MoveOn.org’s national house party and online discussion board. Here’s my contribution to the fray: 

The Revolution Might Not Be Strategized: While rebuilding a real strategy is essential and long overdue, we need to fight and win immediate battles, using improvised tactics. Bush has clearly laid out the battlefield: privatizing Social Security, destroying what’s left of progressive taxation, and denying consumers access to the courts. 

If progressives still can’t articulate a positive message about why these things should be saved, let’s at least put out a ruthlessly disciplined negative message about why not to mess with them: Private pensions are disappearing or going bankrupt, making Social Security more important than ever. A national sales tax means taxes on postage stamps, movie tickets, and coffins—a real “death tax.” Capping medical liability means that when incompetent hospital employees lethally botch Harry’s operation, his widow Louise will be left with next to nothing. 

The Campaign for America’s Future already has a form where you can send your legislators a great letter against Social Security privatization. Sign it now at http://ourfuture.org. 

Hijack The Agenda—Pre-Empt Bush’s State of the Union Address: Better still is to pre-empt the right’s negative agenda with a clear positive agenda. Let’s write our own “State of Union” report, or “Covenant with America,” and overshadow Bush’s official State of Union (SOU) address by releasing it first. 

Invite Congressional Democrats to sign on if they want to regain some definition and relevance. Either way, release it by mid-January, with a strong publicity campaign. 

We want 10 short and pithy calls to action, modeled on the “Contract with America” by which the GOP seized Congress in 1994. The SOU typically frames the whole year’s legislative agenda. If progressives can put the White House on the defensive early, we might destabilize its steamroller throughout 2005. 

Message—Something Beats Nothing: Progressives and Democrats need a clear message and, to paraphrase Ike, I don’t care what it is. (“Hope, Growth, and Opportunity” served Democrats well in their heyday, and Republicans more recently. It’s still in the public domain.) Losing the last six national elections should finally have taught us this. 

The GOP has had all the new ideas, even though they’ve all been wrong. This has helped them pose as “reformers” and “populists,” while we look like dinosaurs. 

We must reclaim the mantle of innovation and of being on average voters’ side. Having some substance and specifics is far more important than the exact details. And we shouldn’t bore voters with mind-numbing details. 

Delivery—Might Makes Right: More important than even our message’s broadest outline is our need to deliver it with determination and conviction. The GOP came on “wrong but strong” this year, forcefully articulating its base’s so-called “values” and thereby energizing that base to turn out and vote. 

As in 2000, they tricked our presidential candidate into wasting time denying mischaracterizations. This left him looking wimpy, unclear, and unreliable—depressing our base’s enthusiasm, growth, and ultimate turnout. 

“Always Attack, Never Defend”: This is Sen. Tom Harkin’s maxim. Democratic candidates must never again start a sentence with “I’m not...,” “I don’t...,” or “I wouldn’t.” Deny nothing, qualify nothing, apologize for nothing—just press our own positive message. 

Stigmatize The GOP Early And Often: We can’t win by treating politics as a courtly croquet match while the right fights trench warfare. The GOP has plenty of vulnerabilities; all we need is the nerve to take aim at them. If the national discussion over the next few months is about those Achilles heels, it won’t be about the GOP’s misleading case for dismantling the New Deal. Let’s talk about Tom DeLay’s fundraising improprieties; the record pace of Congressional pay raises since the GOP took control in 1994; the sneaky legislative “rider” that recently authorized GOP Rep. Ernest Istook to examine individuals’ tax returns; and Porter Goss’ unilateral disarmament of the C.I.A. 

Never Parrot Your Adversary’s Framing Language: We should have learned this lesson back in the Reagan years. We will never win a battle to repeal the Patriot Act. But we might prevail if we accurately call it the “Scoundrel Act,” or the neutral “Public Law 357-66.” 

Let’s never again complain about the underfunded “No Child Left Behind Act,” which is anything but. Howard Dean, an early critic of pointless school testing, ably rechristened it the “No School Board Left Standing Act.” And any media reference to Social Security privatization or a flat tax as “reform” deserves a prompt flood of letters to the editor. 

Messengers—Recruit Team Players: The GOP stands for extreme individualism, while progressives stand for solidarity around common goals. But paradoxically, the GOP’s most successful candidates (Reagan, Dubya) are gregarious men, who’ve maintain a loyal, harmonious, and well-functioning team of aides for years. 

Our recent losing nominees (Gore, Kerry) are reclusive eggheads who visibly dislike meeting voters, and who come across as arrogant nerds. They also have a pattern of trying to micromanage their own campaigns, and of failing to make or delegate decisions. They hire conflicting advisors, fire freely, and yell at the survivors. 

We need to recruit candidates who can win the “Who would you rather sit beside on a plane?” test -- folks who can speak affably, clearly, succinctly, and charismatically. We need fewer Phi Beta Kappa overachievers and more former fraternity presidents (or the palatable equivalent). 

Expel the DLC Trojan Horse: The right-wing “New Democrats” of the Democratic Leadership Council are neither new nor Democrats. These Bubbacrats and Demicrats pose as arbiters of “electability,” yet adhering to their centrist, no-message advice has lost us election after election. 

They’re an albatross—invite them to follow their fellow Dixiecrats into the GOP. Democrats need to play in the South, and the most capable, like John Edwards and Mark Warner, will win statewide races. But we can’t keep giving veto power to a region that we long ago lost. 

Discipline Counts: A party that couldn’t tell Zell Miller to go to hell is not a functional party. The Democrats need to set a party line (see “Message” above), and punish or expel renegades who never toe it. 

Mitigations—Keep Our Hands Clean: If Democrats can’t defeat bad GOP initiatives that are bound to fail, they must learn to keep their fingerprints off them. “Me-tooism” is deadly—a lesson the GOP learned back in the 1950s.  

Kerry squandered Iraq as a winning issue by voting for the war resolution. He fell victim to the “flip-flop” label by also voting for Bush’s extravagant tax cuts, the Scoundrel Act, and No School Board Left Standing.  

Rivals John Edwards and Dick Gephardt suckered themselves into the same voting pattern. This neutralized all these Bush failures as viable partisan issues. Arnold wouldn’t be California governor today if state Dems hadn’t unanimously voted for the disastrous electricity deregulation plan introduced by his mentor, former GOP Gov. Pete Wilson. 

Institutionalize Ourselves: Progressives need the secular equivalent of the religious right’s churches, which have effectively distributed political messages and mobilized their members to vote. Karl Rove won Bush the general election the same way Kerry’s smartest advisor won him the Iowa primary: by ensuring that swing-state voters were shepherded to the polls through a network of personal contacts. 

Phone calls from strangers on the coasts (our countermeasure) was a feeble match. We need to stop bowling alone. We need to extend our strongest electronic networks (like MoveOn) outward, so that they reach the unwired and ensure face-to-face accountability on Election Day. 

We also need to work with unions to build this infrastructure between elections. In European countries where 70 percent or more of the workforce is unionized (including many managers), unions sponsor ongoing social events, daycare, and other social services. 

Tap Into the Cultural Mainstream: Progressives don’t need to start blabbing about “values” and pretending to be churchgoers. But we do need to listen better.  

Michael Moore, who grew up blue-collar, likes to chide liberal audiences for not listening to country and western music. He’s got a point. Get past the overproduced Nashville stuff, and you’ll find some pure, eloquent poetry about real Americans’ lives and yearnings.  

Come on, most Bay Area radio sucks anyway. The country station—whatever its dial position this month—is often the freshest thing on our air. 

Get Born Again For A Day: To understand the evangelical movement’s growth and force, don’t just wonder. Visit one of their churches some Sunday. 

At the Charismatic church in Santa Rosa where I once taped a video documentary, I found a multiracial congregation dressed in everything from three-piece suits to t-shirts and cutoffs. Everyone clearly felt equally welcome and cherished. About how many mainline congregations (or other mainstream institutions) could one say that? 

Between fellowship, counseling, support groups, food baskets, and rock-solid hugs, this church was tangibly helping folks suffering a variety of problems—poverty, layoffs, tragic events, addictions—claw their way into, or back into, the middle class. 

Promoting community and upward mobility is exactly progressives’ longstanding mission—no pun intended. We need to once again learn how to do it effectively. We need to make the obvious case for a government that is less intrusive into people’s private lives, but stronger—not weaker—in efficiently providing a network of essential social supports. 

 

Michael Katz is a Berkeley resident, although his record collection is heavy on Austin.  

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Juana Alicia’s Murals Set Walls Aglow With Color: By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday November 30, 2004

The colorful, vivid imagery born in the West Berkeley studio of artist Juana Alicia that graces buildings across the nation may soon appear on the walls of a five-story building on University Avenue. 

Recognized as one of the nation’s finest muralists, Alicia was taught by two students of perhaps the greatest North America master of the form, Diego Rivera, whose vibrant forms and hues are reflected in her work. 

Alicia’s mentors in the form were Lucien Bloch, who was Rivera’s painting assistant and the daughter of émigré composer Ernest Bloch, and Stephen Dimitroff, Rivera’s plasterer. 

In Detroit, she grew up in the African American cultural renaissance of the 1950s and ‘60s, where she found strong influence in the muralist John Biggers as well as in her godmother and high school art teacher, Dr. Cledie Collins Taylor. Taylor was the founder of Arts Extended Gallery, the city’s first African American gallery, which is still going strong after 50 years. 

For the last year-and-a-half of her public school education, Alicia switched to the Detroit Institute of the Arts, where she found her passion for murals. “I was so inspired that I knew it was what I wanted to do,” she recalls. 

Among her other influences, she cites the two other members with Rivera of the “Tres Grandes” of Mexican murals, Jose Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siquerios; Rivera’s spouse and fellow artist, Frieda Kahlo; German expressionist Kathe Kollwitz; Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi; African American sculptor and print-maker Elizabeth Catlett; and from antiquity, the anonymous painters of Teotihuacan and the Mayan bas-relief sculptors of Chichen Itza. 

While still in Detroit, Alicia came to the attention of Cesar Chavez after he saw her silk-screen prints of the grape boycott. Chavez asked her to come to Salinas to work with the United Farm Workers. 

“Because there were very few Chicanos in Detroit, when I came to California I rediscovered my own culture,” she said. 

Instead of working in the UFW office, Alicia said, “I decided it would be more fruitful to do work organizing in the fields with the highly politically-conscious Mexican working class that was organizing the strike and bringing about a very different kind of cultural revolution.” 

Her labor of love resulted in pesticide and herbicide exposures which caused her serious health problems, including bouts of pneumonia. 

When Alicia was seven months pregnant with her son, she left field work and started working with the Migrant Teacher Corps, with which she became a bilingual educator. 

After taking classes at a local community college, she was recruited by Professor Ralph Guzman at UC Santa Cruz, where she earned two degrees and three teaching credentials. 

As a teacher, she quickly shifted her focus to doing art with the migrant children of Watsonville, where her projects included a large mural at Watsonville High School. The work was destroyed in the 1989 earthquake. 

In 1981, at the urging of her brother—“He said I needed to be in an urban center, where I could find support for my murals”—Alicia moved to San Francisco, though she continued to commute to Watsonville to work with her migrant students. 

Two years later came her first urban mural commission from the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Community Development and the San Francisco Arts Commission. Entitled “Las Lechugueras”—The Women Lettuce Workers—the 1,500-square foot acrylic artwork was installed at 24th and York streets in the Mission District. 

In the intervening years, 29 more murals have followed, invoking not only her Chicano heritage but echoes of the Art Deco, Art Nouveau, and psychedelic styles as well. 

Alicia moved to West Berkeley in 1995, drawn by the creative environment, the multicultural milieu and the schools for her recently born daughter. 

“It’s the arts and ceramics Mecca of the area,” she said. 

Two more murals are in the works: a massive mural project on multicultural healing traditions for the UC San Francisco Medical Center and the exterior of Satellite Housing’s planned 80-unit senior residential facility at 1535 University Avenue—her first Berkeley commission. 

After witnessing the deterioration of her earliest acrylic friezes and the perils of earthquakes, she is using tile for both projects, so the works will endure and can be removed, even from ruined buildings. 

Final drawings for the UCSF panels, which will grace the exterior walls of two adjacent buildings joined by a covered portico featuring a frieze, are due Dec. 17. She’ll then begin fabricating the tiles in February with installation planned for October, when she’ll begin the tiles for her University Avenue commission. 

Meanwhile, Alicia continues her work with activist groups as well as her teaching, offering classes in Chicano Studies at UC Davis and occasional classes in Spanish, Portuguese and Chicano Art History at Stanford and San Francisco State. 

“I have no permanent faculty positions,” she said, “because I spend most of my times doing artwork.” 

Her studio in the basement of her Ninth Street Berkeley home contains a heavy-duty kiln for baking her tiles, drawing tables and pencil sketches—plain and colored—for preliminary renderings of her work, paints, and an assortment of the vibrant works that are her specialty. 

Intense, witty and sharply focused, Alicia brings to her work a unique perspective which has won her numerous commissions and widespread recognition as a leader in her field. 

Alicia will host an open studio exhibit and art sale this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in her studio, 2016 Ninth Street, a block south from University Avenue. 

For more on the artist and examples of her work, visit her web site at http://juanaalicia.com.›


Free Speech and Censorship During Wartime: By JOHN DENVIR

Special to the Planet
Tuesday November 30, 2004

In this history of the American experience of free speech during war time, Geoffrey Stone explodes the myth that elite professors cannot write compelling prose. Stone’s narrative of the ups and downs of the First Amendment in times of national emergency is a gripping read, full of free speech heroes and villains, victories and defeats.  

Stone’s story spans from the 18th century to the current one; but while the wars change, the tensions between our commitment to free speech and democracy endure. The pa st and current problem is that, despite our national commitment to freedom of speech as a necessary part of the democratic process, many Americans instinctively feel that any criticism of governmental policy while American soldiers are at risk is simply t reasonous. Censorship during wartime is a popular political option. And this predilection towards intolerance is often encouraged and capitalized on by opportunistic politicians to the First Amendment’s detriment.  

Stone does an excellent job in describing the patterns that have re-occurred over two centuries and myriad conflicts. Often in the excitement of military crisis, censorship is imposed that we later recognize to be neither militarily necessary nor politically prudent. Everyone now agrees that the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798 and the Espionage Act of 1918 were free speech disasters, but of course when regret seems only to be felt in hindsight, it is not very reassuring to activists who wish to protest military policies in the present day.  

S tone points out that we better respected civil liberties in World War II than in World War I and outright prosecution for the expression of anti-war views was the exception not the rule during the Vietnam War. He attributes these facts to the growth of wh at might be called a “free speech” culture in America after World War I, led by the famous Supreme Court First Amendment dissents of Justices Oliver Wendell Holmes and Louis Brandeis.  

Yet ironically this growth of support for free speech values does not always result in less actual repression during times of war. Sometimes the problem is a failure of courage on the part of judges when free speech issues are raised in a time of national emergency. There sometimes seems to be almost a “national security” exception to the First Amendment.  

Secondly, in the Vietnam War when courts did restrict prosecutions for making statements critical of the war effort, government just moved to new forms of repression. Stone is especially good at telling the story of how the FBI, CIA, and Army, without Congress’s knowledge much less approval, compiled dossiers that would have done the KGB proud on 500,000 loyal American citizens. We still do not know the harm this massive secret government program to “neutralize and dest roy” the anti-war movement caused the individuals personally and the anti-war cause in general. For that matter, we don’t know if a successor program has been instituted after the attacks of 9/11 since the Bush administration prefers to do its business i n secret.  

Finally, sometimes good free speech doctrine is overwhelmed by the presidency’s ability to use its unrivaled access to the media to equate dissent with disloyalty. Most presidents succumb to this temptation, but few were as ruthless and effect ive as Richard Nixon during the Vietnam War. Nixon effectively linked anti-war speech to a patriotism deficit.  

Yet the problem remains. You need not be a media expert to know that it is not difficult for a savvy White House to use its media access and c ontrol over national security information to stunt criticism. As our culture becomes more media-oriented, the power of government propaganda becomes an increasing threat to the marketplace of ideas that the First Amendment is supposed to sponsor. Unfortun ately, this is an issue that current American First Amendment law does not even face, much less resolve.  

Most readers will expect Stone to draw lessons for the future from his riveting history of the past. He does devote a few pages to the post 9/11 wor ld, but his recommendations for change are less compelling than his history. Stone’s suggestions for reform are for the most part both abstract and non-controversial. He speaks little of the corrupting effects of government secrecy and propaganda and even appears to support some policies that severely restrict dissent. For instance, Stone would appear to approve a federal court’s acquiescence in New York City’s refusal to allow a giant anti-war rally in Central Park during the 2004 Republican convention o n the ground that the demonstrators might injure the grass. Millions for police protection, but not one penny for turf repair.  

But, to be fair, Professor Stone’s reticence on how the First Amendment should evolve to meet current and future national secu rity crises in no way diminishes the value of his compelling story of how free speech and fear have faced off in the past.  

 

John Denvir, a Berkeley resident, teaches constitutional law at the University of San Francisco Law School and is author of Democracy’s Constitution:Claiming the Privileges of American Citizenship. 




Berkeley Author Investigates Iraq War Profiteers: By JUDITH SCHERR

Special to the Planet
Tuesday November 30, 2004

Many of us come to understand the Iraq War through the lens of newspaper and TV journalists who track our forces on the battlefield and in Pentagon briefings. 

In Iraq, Inc: a Profitable Occupation, Pratap Chatterjee provides a view of the Iraq War that goes beyond Humvees, firefights and Pentagon spinmeisters, and reveals a complex and lucrative system of private enterprise, where billions of tax dollars are spent—and sometimes misspent—to support the warriors and rebuild Iraq.  

The 248-page paperback, just released by Seven Stories Press, looks at the army of privately contracted dishwashers, barbers, toilet cleaners, security guards, transporters of prisoners, intelligence gatherers and truck drivers, generally invisible to the public. The presence of these workers only comes to light when one among them gets kidnapped or killed or steps out of line and into the media spotlight, as the contract interrogators at Abu Ghraib did.  

At the core of Chatterjee’s research are the multinational corporations that get the contracts, deploy the workers, purchase the equipment and get rich in the process. A project director and managing editor at Oakland’s CorpWatch, Chatterjee, 40, has been tracking military spending for a decade.  

In an interview earlier this month in his downtown Oakland office, Chatterjee, a Berkeley resident and former member of the city’s Community Environmental Advisory Commission, said that since the first war with Iraq, the role of private enterprise in military contracting has changed dramatically. “In the first Gulf War one in 100 ‘boots on the ground,’ as they call it, was a private contractor.” When the U.S. invaded and occupied Iraq in 2003, one in 10 was a private contractor. “Today, as we speak and the U.S. is launching a war in Falluja, one in four ‘boots on the ground’ is a private contractor.” 

Chatterjee, whose well-documented information comes from investigation inside Iraq and from research in the U.S., begins Iraq, Inc. with a hard look at Houston-based Halliburton. The c orporate giant has profited from the war with some $18 billion in contracts to perform such tasks as meal preparation, mail delivery, base construction, and fixing Iraq’s oil industry. (Vice President Dick Cheney, the company’s former CEO, receives more than $150,000 in annual payments from Halliburton.)  

Employees are attracted by Halliburton salaries, which top what they could otherwise earn. The pay varies according to the worker’s home country: a South Asian kitchen worker might earn $300 each month, an Indian fabricator, $550 and an American truck driver can get $8,000.  

The corporation employs few Iraqis. The Iraqi Labor Ministry reported in October, 2003 that 70 percent of the labor force was unemployed. “…Halliburton and the occupation authorit i es simply do not trust Iraqi workers, fearing that they might kick out or kill their colonial bosses,” Chatterjee writes. 

When making purchases, Halliburton doesn’t skimp. Why should it? Its contracts guarantee costs plus 1 percent profit. So greater exp enditures—buying a $5 towel rather than one at $1.60—increase the company’s earnings. 

Should Halliburton be condemned as a war profiteer? Richard Dowling, spokesperson for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers doesn’t think so: “Yes, it is a profit motive tha t brings companies into a dangerous location, but that is what capitalism is all about,” he told Chatterjee. “Halliburton employees are under fire and several have died, but (the companies) are still here. With all due respect to nonprofit organizatio ns l ike the United Nations and the Red Cross, they have pulled out. If it takes profit to motivate an organization to take a tough job, then that’s the only way to do it.”  

Because of the growing resistance and associated sabotage, security has become b ig bu siness in Iraq, with an estimated 20,000 private security guards on patrol. They work for a variety of contractors and earn anywhere from $60 to $200 per month for Iraqis, to $1,000 a day for Americans. The well-paid Yankees guard high-profile targets, tr ain police and have been known to engage in military combat. Several were implicated in the Abu Ghraib scandal where Iraqi prisoners were tortured.  

Chatterjee points out the irony. “I realized that the security for ordinary Iraqis had completely disappeared. I discovered that all the cinemas were closed, the children’s zoo and playgrounds were empty, the banks of the Tigris where musicians once performed on summer evenings had shut down. No, there was no ban on any of these activities, it was jus t fear of suicide bombs, American attacks, and street crime, the latter a hitherto unknown phenomenon under the dictator.” 

Another task the U.S. contracts out is that of bringing democracy to Iraq. Part of the plan is the creation of a “free” media, which, in f act, was designed to put a positive spin on the U.S. occupation. So the military funded the Iraqi Media Network radio and TV station, set up by Science Applications International Corporation of San Diego on a $15 million sole source contract. The group had no media experience. “The closest SAIC has gotten to running a television network is a contract to manage surveillance cameras at the Olympics,” Chatterjee says. 

And North Carolina-based Research Triangle Institute’s $167 million contract was t o bring democratic institutions to 180 Iraqi cities and towns. What was set up, in fact, were town councils chosen by a select group of people, something Chatterjee calls “appointocracy.” Because this top-down system was met with opposition in a number of instanc es, Chatterjee concludes: “Iraqis no longer believe that the Americans intend to allow them to choose for themselves…. (This) has in fact strengthened rejectionists like Moqtada al Sadr—the very opposite of what the occupation authorities wanted to achiev e in the first place.” 

On the economic front, the U.S. put in place new laws that allow foreign ownership of Iraqi banks and businesses. “The Iraqi banks that are able to avoid a foreign takeover now have to compete with foreign banks and their many subs idiaries that have an unlimited source of capital and lending abilities.” The new laws that facilitated foreign investment “sparked a little gold rush in Washington, D.C.” with companies rushing to acquire distribution rights ”for everything from grain or auto parts to shampoo.” 

While putting aside the question of whether we should be fighting in Iraq, this well-researched and thoroughly annotated book provides the reader with a broadened context in which to evaluate the ongoing war effort.  

Why did the author risk his life going several times to the dangerous battle-scarred country to research the book? “If I didn’t go there, the story wouldn’t be told,” he said. “My job as a journalist is to serve the public interest, to stand up and challenge the powers that be.”  

Pratap Chatterjee has done that well in Iraq, Inc. 

 

Judith Scherr is a former managing editor of the Berkeley Daily Planet. ?Í


Arts Calendar

Tuesday November 30, 2004

TUESDAY, NOV. 30 

CHILDREN 

First Stage Children’s Theater “Flights of Fantasy” at 7:30 p.m. at the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts. Tickets are $4 at the door. 845-8542.  

FILM 

Alternative Visions: “Latent Excavations,” new work by Lynn Marie Kirby at 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808.  

READINGS AND LECTURES 

John Ross describes “Murdered by Capitalism: 150 Years of Life & Death on the U.S. Left” at 7:30 p.m. at Cody’s Books. 845-7852. www.codysbooks.com 

MUSIC AND DANCE 

Berkeley Symphony Orchestra “Symphony Not As Usual” Bartók’s “Rhapsody” and Beethoven’s “Grosse Fuge” at 8 p.m. at Hertz Hall, UC Campus. Tickets are $22-$49. 841-2800.  

Gerard Landry & The Lariats at 8:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $9. 525-5054.  

Peter Barshay and Murray Low at 8 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810. 

Taj Mahal at 8 and 10 p.m. Yoshi’s at Jack London Square. Through Sun. Dec. 5. Cost is $16-$24. 238-9200.  

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 1 

EXHIBITIONS 

“Visions of the Holidays” Art work by Berkeley residents, from kindergarteners to seniors, on display in storefronts in downtown Berkeley, through Dec. 31. 549-2230.  

“Innovative Developments in Glass Arts” by five East Bay glass artists on display in the Addison Street Windows Gallery through Jan. 15. 981-7533. 

Jesse Allen, Giclee prints. Reception at 5 p.m. at Epoch Gallery, 2284 Fulton St.  

FILM 

Powerpoint to the People An evening of automated digital presentations at 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808.  

READINGS AND LECTURES 

John Dominic Crossan and Jonathan L. Reed on “In Search of Paul: How Jesus’ Apostle Opposed Rome’s Empire with God’s Kingdom” at 7 p.m. at First Congregational Church of Berkeley, 2345 Channing Way. Sponsored by Cody’s Books. 845-7852. www.codysbooks.com  

Berkeley Poetry Slam with host with Charles Ellik at 8:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $5-7. 841-2082.  

MUSIC AND DANCE 

Wednesday Noon Concert, Javanese Gamelan Ensembles, directed by Midiyanto, at Hertz Hall, UC Campus. 642-4864.  

Music for the Spirit Lenore Mathias, flute, performs Handel, McKean and French works at 12:15 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Oakland, 2619 Broadway. 444-3555. 

Berkeley Symphony Orchestra “Symphony Not As Usual” Bartók’s “Rhapsody” and Beethoven’s “Grosse Fuge” at 8 p.m. at Hertz Hall, UC Campus. Tickets are $22-$49. 841-2800. www.berkeleysymphony.org  

Matthew Bourne’s “Nutcracker!” at 8 p.m. at Zellerbach Hall, UC Campus, through Dec. 5. Tickets are $30-$74. 642-9988.  

Sauce Piquante at 8:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $9. 525-5054.  

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

Bill Miller at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $15.50-$16.50. 548-1761.  

Kaputnik, Mister Loveless, Buffalo at 9:30 p.m. at Blakes on Telegraph. Cost is $6. 848-0886.  

Candela, salsa, at 8 p.m. at Shattuck Down Low, 2284 Shattuck Ave. Cost is $5-$10. 548-1159.  

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

Pacific Rim Shot at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Taj Mahal at 8 and 10 p.m. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square, through Sun. Cost is $16-$24. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 

THURSDAY, DEC. 2 

FILM 

Cine Mexico: “Canoa” at 5:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Free screening. 642-0808.  

EXHIBITIONS 

Keith Wilson, paintings. Reception at 6 p.m. at Giorgi Gallery, 2911 Claremont Ave. at Ashby. 848-1228. www.giorgigallery.com 

Kazutoshi Sugiura, prints. Reception at 6 p.m. at Schurman Fine Art Gallery, 1659 San Pablo Ave. 524-0623. 

“Threshold: Byron Kim” Guided tour at 5:30 p.m. at Berkeley Art Museum, 2626 Bancroft Way. 642-0808.  

THEATER 

“Measures Taken” Workshop production by UC Dept. of Theater and Dance at 8 p.m. in Zellerbach Room 7, UC Campus. Also Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 4 at 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $5. 642-9925. 

“Theatre Rice and the Chocolate Factory” Modern Asian-American theater at 8 p.m. at 155 Dwinelle, UC Campus, through Dec. 4. Tickets are $2-5. www.theatrerice.com 

READINGS AND LECTURES 

Lunch Poems Reading Series with Billy Collins, former U.S. poet laureate and author of “Sailing Alone Around the Room: Selected Poems” at 12:10 p.m. at the Zellerbach Playhouse, UC Campus. 642-0137.  

“The Rebozo: History and Technique” with Virginia Davis, textile artist, at noon at the Phoebe Hearst Museum, Bancroft at College. 643-7648. 

“Food in California Indian Culture” with Ira Jenkins, editor, at 4 p.m. at the Phoebe Hearst Museum, Bancroft at College. 643-7648. 

“Hard Manual Labor of the Imagination” the poetry of Ishmael Reed, at 7:30 p.m. at College Preparatory School, Buttner Auditorium, 6100 Broadway, Oakland. Cost is $5-$10. 658-5202.  

David Thompson on “The Whole Equation,” a history of Hollywood, at 7:30 p.m. at Cody’s Books. 845-7852.  

Andrew Wood on “Road Trip America: A Tour of Off-beat Destinations” at 7:30 p.m. at Easy Going Bookstore, 1385 Shattuck Ave. 843-3533. 

Poetry at the Albany Library with Eva Schlesinger and Jeanne Lupton at 7 p.m. at 1247 Marin Ave., Albany. 526-3720. 

Word Beat Reading Series at 7 p.m. with Michael Kelly and Selene Steese at Mediterraneum Caffe, 2475 Telegraph Ave., near Dwight Way. 526-5985.  

MUSIC AND DANCE 

“Voices of Heaven and Earth” with Holy Names University Chamber Singers at 7:30 p.m. at the Valley Center for Performing Arts, Holy Names University, 3500 Mountain Blvd., Oakland. Tickets are $5-$15. Please bring an unwrapped gift for a child for Project Joybells. 436-1330. 

Oakland Opera Theater “Rake’s Progress” by Igor Stravinsky, at Oakland Metro, 201 Broadway. Thurs. - Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 2 p.m. through Dec. 19. Tickets are $22-$32. www.oaklandopera.org 

Petty Booka, Old Puppy at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $6. 841-2082.  

Ian Tyson, folk and western, at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $17.50-$18.50. 548-1761.  

Gini Wilson, solo jazz piano, at 8 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810. 

FRIDAY, DEC. 3 

THEATER 

Aurora Theatre “Emma” at 8 p.m. at 2081 Addison St. through Dec. 19. Tickets are $36. 843-4822. www.auroratheatre.org 

Berkeley High School “O & E” An original interpretation of the greek myth of Eurydice and Orpheus, at 8 p.m. Fri. and Sat., Sun. at 7 p.m. at the Little Theater, Allston Way. Tickets are $5-$7. 332-1931. 

Berkeley Repertory Theater, “Polk County” A musical about aspring blues musician, Leafy Lee, at the Roda Theater, 2015 Addison St. to Jan. 9. Tickets are $15-$60. 647-2949.  

Impact Theatre, “Meanwhile, Back at the Super Lair” by Greg Kalleres, Thurs.-Sat. at 8 p.m. through Dec. 11, at La Val’s Subterranean Theater, 1834 Euclid. Tickets are $10-$15. 464-4468. www.impacttheatre.com 

“Measures Taken” by Bertolt Brecht, workshop production by UC Dept. of Theater and Dance at 8 p.m. in Zellerbach Room 7, UC Campus. Also Dec. 4 at 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $5. 642-9925. 

“Theatre Rice and the Chocolate Factory” Modern Asian-American theater at 8 p.m. at 155 Dwinelle, UC Campus, through Dec. 4. Tickets are $2-5. www.theatrerice.com 

FILM 

“The Bloods of ‘Nam” Screening of the 1996 film based on the book by Wallace Terry at 7 p.m. at the Oakland Museum of California, 10th and Oak Sts. 238-2200. www.museumca.org 

Cine Mexico: “Bricklayers” at 6:30 p.m., “Midaq Alley” at 8:45 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808.  

MUSIC AND DANCE 

Tallis Scholars performs “O Magnum Mysterium” at 8 p.m. at First Congragational Church, 2345 Channing Way. Tickets are $42. 642-9988.  

Matthew Bourne’s “Nutcracker!” at 8 p.m. at Zellerbach Hall, UC Campus, Sat. at 2 and 8 p.m., Sun. at 3 p.m. Tickets are $30-$74. 642-9988.  

Messiah Sing-Along with the University Symphony at 7 p.m. at Hertz Hall, UC Campus. Tickets are $15. 642-4864.  

“Praetorius and the German Carol Tradition” at 8 p.m. at 2300 Bancroft Way. Tickets are $10-$25. 415-262-0272.  

Desde la Bahia Party with Edgardo Cambón y Candela at 8 p.m. at La Peña. Cost is $15. 849-2568. www.lapena.org 

New Chicano Music with Quetzal at 9:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Lecture and demonstration at 8 p.m. Cost is $5-$15. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir at 8 p.m. at the Jazzschool. Cost is $12-$18. 845-5373. www.jazzschool.com  

Geoff Muldaur & The Fountain of Youth at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $18.50-$19.50. 548-1761.  

Vinyl, Diego’s Umbrella at 9 p.m. at Shattuck Down Low, 2284 Shattuck Ave. Cost is $7-$10. 548-1159.  

Mushroom, The Weepies at 9:30 p.m. at Blakes on Telegraph. Cost is $8. 848-0886.  

The Sadies at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $10. 841-2082.  

Frank Jackson Trio at 9 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810. 

John Zalabak Trio at 7:30 p.m. at Nomad Cafe, 6500 Shattuck Ave. 595-5344.  

Actions Aside, Tiger Uppercut, Sabretooth Zombie at 8 p.m. at 924 Gilman St. Cost is $6. 525-9926. 

Taj Mahal at 8 and 10 p.m. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square, through Sun. Cost is $16-$24. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 

SATURDAY, DEC. 4 

CHILDREN 

Naomi Rose, author and illustrator of “Tibetan Tales for Little Buddhas” at 2 p.m. at the Museum of Children’s Art, 538 Ninth St., Oakland. 465-8770. 

“Wild About Books” with children’s music from the Americas at 10:30 a.m. at the Berkeley Public Library, 2090 Kittredge St. 981-6223. 

Los Amiguitos de La Peña with Rosie and the Railroaders, interactive train songs, at 10:30 a.m. at La Peña. Cost is $3-$4. 849-2568. www.lapena.org 

“Light up the Lights” a multi-holiday winter song festival with Gary Lapow at 3 p.m. at Habitot, 2065 Kittredge St. Cost is $5-$6. 647-1111. www.habitot.org 

THEATER 

Shotgun Players “Travesties” by Tom Stoppard opens at 8 p.m. at The Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby Ave. and runs Thurs.-Sun. through Jan. 9. 841-6500.  

FILM 

Cine Mexico: “Miroslava” at 5:10 p.m. “Reed: Insurgent Mexico” at 7 p.m., “Frida” at 9:10 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808.  

READINGS AND LECTURES 

“Threshold: Byron Kim” Sign lanuage interpreted tour at 1:30 p.m. at Berkeley Art Museum, 2626 Bancroft Way. 642-0808.  

“Painting in Everyday Life in Traditional Japan” gallery talk and tea with Lynne Kimura at 3 p.m. at Berkeley Art Museum, 2626 Bancroft Way. 642-0808.  

John E. Sloan on his new work “Up and Balanced” at 2 p.m. at Nexus Gallery, 2701 Eighth St.  

William Wong introduces “Oakland’s Chinatown” at 4 p.m. at Eastwind Books, 2066 University Ave. 548-2350.  

Joan Reardon on her biography of M.F.K. Fisher “Poet of the Appetites” at 5 p.m. at Cody’s Books on Fourth St. 559-9500.  

Kermit Lynch on “Inspiring Thirst: Vintage Selections for the Kermit Lynch Wine Brochure” at 5 p.m. at Cody’s Books on Fourth St. 559-9500.  

MUSIC AND DANCE 

Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra “A Ceremony of Carols” A free concert at 8 p.m. at St. Joseph the Worker Church, 1640 Addision St. 964-0665. www.bcco.org 

Voci, “Voices in Peace: Litanies and Lullabies” at 3 p.m. at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 2300 Bancroft Way. Tickets are $15-$20, children under 12 free. 531-8714.  

Philharmonia Baroque “Fathers and Son” at 8 p.m. at First Congregational Church, Dana and Durant Sts. Tickets are $28-$62. 415-392-4400.  

Trinity Chamber Concert “The Gregor Experience” at 8 p.m. at Trinity Chapel, 2320 Dana St. Tickets are $8-$12. 549-3864.  

Kairos Youth Choir “Amahl and the Night Visitors” a traditional holiday opera at 7 p.m. at Calvary Presbyterian Church, 1940 Virginia St. Tickets are $8-$10. 704-4479. www.kairoschoir.org 

Young People’s Chamber Orchestra Winter Holiday Concert “Slavic Extravaganza,” at 7 p.m. at All Souls Church, 2220 Cedar St. Tickets are $5-$10 at the door. 595-4688.  

Sing Noel, tradtional and not-so-traditional carols at 8 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1707 Goulding Rd., Oakland. Tickets are $10-$15. 658-2792. 

Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir Christmas Concert with guest Malcolm Williams at 7:30 p.m. at the Paramount Theater, Oakland. Tickets are $10-$35. 465-6400. www.oigc.org 

Mahealani Uchiyama, traditional Polynesian music and dance, at 8 p.m. at Julia Morgan Center for the Arts. Tickets are $12-$20. 845-2605.  

Musical Night in Africa with Kotoja, West African Highlife Band, The Nigerian Brothers at 8 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $11-$15. 525-5054.  

Fred Frith, solo performance at 8 p.m. at the Berkeley Rep, Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison St. in a benefit for the Park Day School. Tickets are $12-$20.  

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

Dancing in the Passion Cave performance by Frank Moore at Wildcat Studio, 2525 Eighth St. Sliding scale $5-$50.  

Navidad Flamenca at 8:30 p.m. at La Peña. Cost is $18-$20. 849-2568.  

Braziu at 9 p.m. at Shattuck Down Low, 2284 Shattuck Ave. Cost is $10-$12. 548-1159.  

Audrye Sessions, IO, Push to Talk, indie rock, at 9:30 p.m. at Blakes on Telegraph. Cost is $7. 848-0886.  

Sally Timms, Johnny Dowd at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $10. 841-2082.  

Geoff Muldaur & The Fountain of Youth at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $18.50-$19.50. 548-1761.  

Snake Trio at 9 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810. 

Samantha Raven, Green and Root at 7:30 p.m. at Nomad Cafe, 6500 Shattuck Ave. 595-5344. 

Girl Talk at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

SUNDAY, DEC. 5 

CHILDREN 

Juan Sanchez at 3 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $4-$6. 525-5054.  

Colibri at 2 p.m. at the Phoebe Hearst Museum, Bancroft at College. 643-7648. 

EXHIBITIONS 

“Earthy Delights” the ceramic sculpture of Ralph Holker, Peter Voulkos and others. Reception at 1 p.m. at Osceola Gallery, 4053 Harlan Street, Suite 305, Emeryville. 658-1440. 

FILM 

Cine Mexico: “Hell Has No Limits” at 5:30 p.m., “Angel of Fire” at 7:40 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. 

READINGS AND LECTURES 

“Surviving Suprematism: Lazar Khidekel” symposium exploring the career of the 20th century Russian artist and architect, from noon to 3 p.m. at the Judah L. Magnes Museum, 2911 Russell St. 549-6950.  

Wendy Burton describes “Joy is a Plum Colored Acrobat: 45 Life-Affirming Visualizations for Breast Cancer Treatment and Recovery” at 2 p.m. at Cody’s Books, 1730 Fourth St. 559-9500.  

MUSIC AND DANCE 

Handel’s “Messiah” Sing Along at 2:30 p.m. at First Church Christ Scientist, 2619 Dwight Way. Donations benefit the restoration of Maybeck’s national landmark building. 845-4367. 

Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra “A Ceremony of Carols” A free concert at 4 p.m. at St. Joseph the Worker Church, 1640 Addision St. 964-0665. www.bcco.org 

Kairos Youth Choir “Amahl and the Night Visitors” a traditional holiday opera at 5 p.m. at Calvary Presbyterian Church, 1940 Virginia St. Tickets are $8-$10. 704-4479.  

“Messiah” Sing-Along with New Millenium Strings Orchestra at 6 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, 1 Lawson Rd., Kensington. Suggested donation $10. 525-0302.  

Philharmonia Baroque “Fathers and Son” at 7:30 p.m. at First Congregational Church, Dana and Durant Sts. Tickets are $28-$62. 415-392-4400. www.philharmonia.org 

Cantare Chorale “Go Tell It” a concert of secular and sacred holiday music at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 2619 Broadway, Oakland. Tickets are $24-$30. 925-798-1300. 

The Cornelius Cardew Choir premiere performance of “Insomnia” by Brad Fischer at 7:30 p.m. at Berkeley Art Center. Tickets are $8-$10.  

Chango Fest! A celebration dedicated to the Yoruba Deity at 7 p.m. at La Peña. Benefit for the Berkeley-Palma Soriano Sister Cities. Tickets are $10-$15. 644-9260. 

Ekaterina Semenchuk, mezzo-soprano, at 3 p.m. at Hertz Hall, UC Campus. Tickets are $46. 642-9988.  

John Gorka, modern folk, at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $19.50-$20.50. 548-1761.  

Alan Pasqua, piano trio, at 4:30 p.m. at the Jazzschool. Cost is $12-$18. 845-5373.


Native Live Oaks Host an Array of Species: By RON SULLIVAN

Special to the Planet
Tuesday November 30, 2004

There aren’t many native live oaks on our streets, though we can see them easily enough up in Tilden Regional Park, in private yards, and in some public places like the UC Berkeley campus. The ones on campus are survivors (so far) of an unfortunate rash of deaths caused not by Sudden Oak Death Syndrome but by landscape errors. 

Our live oaks are very well adapted to the natural climate here. They have small, tight, hard, glossy leaves that don’t transpire a lot of water, so they make it through the long dry season quite nicely. But they’re susceptible to certain root fungi that thrive when they have both warmth and moisture—in other words, with summer irrigation. Watering lawns is the most notorious form of summer irrigation in cities and suburbs, and a nice lawn to relax on in the shade of a mighty live oak seems to be one of those campus idylls. Unfortunately, it can be fatal to the mighty tree in question; also unfortunately, oaks typically die slowly, over a decade or so, and cause and effect aren’t always obvious. 

If you are lucky enough to have a live oak on your property—probably a coast live oak; that’s what we see the most of on this side of the hills in yards as well as in the wild—you’d be well advised to take care what’s planted under it, so you don’t have to irrigate. Plant now to give your understory the winter rains for breakfast; you can find a list of drought, and shade-tolerant plants, many of them native, at any good nursery or in Marjorie Schmidt’s classic Growing California Native Plants. 

Our live oaks, especially coast live oaks, are under well-publicized threat lately from Sudden Oak Death Syndrome, caused by a phytophthora, which is an odd organism indeed—not a fungus, exactly, though it gets called “water mold.” It’s being tracked through a number of other hosts, including garden-variety (unfortunately) rhododendrons and our own wild tanoaks, who seem to be falling to it at a faster rate than true oaks. What effect the disease might have on wildlands is still unknown; it’s possible that individual trees that die of it are just more susceptible than their brethren, and that there’s enough of a resistant population to keep the species going just fine. 

If SOD does prove devastating to live oaks, it will devastate more than them. Oaks in general, and live oaks where they’re plentiful, are “keystone species” here. Upon them depend an incredible number of other species, from charismatic megafauna like deer (who eat acorns) and the predators who eat deer, to smaller animals like tree and ground squirrels, packrats, chipmunks, and arboreal salamanders; innumerable birds: scrub and Steller’s jays, acorn woodpeckers, and others eat acorns, and other species (like sapsuckers) eat sap or (like black-headed grosbeaks) eat spring’s catkin flowers. 

Oaks host other species such as a dizzying array of gall wasps, and parasite mistletoe, which in turn feed ichneumon wasps and other insects, phainopeplas and waxwings. Oak moths can strip a tree—but it usually recovers—and in turn support whatever birds are around and feeding hungry youngsters. And many species nest in, shelter in, hide under, or hunt from oaks. I suppose a commune of acorn woodpeckers in the Berkeley flats is too much to hope for, but I know that the live oaks near my house are supporting wildlife, because I have many optimistic oak sprouts from buried acorns every year. I generally leave them to grow, just to see what happens. If any turns into a tree, I’ll change my garden plan accordingly. 

A staggered file of young live oaks graces the center of University Avenue along with ceanothus and alternating strips of grass lawn and drought-loving groundcover and flowers. There are more in the median lawn of Sacramento Street south of University, along with several other nice species like California buckeye. I notice that there are Crataegus specimens there, too, and senior ash trees along the sidewalks. Some wit has seen to it that the street has oak, ash, and thorn together, and may they all bless the neighbors and the rest of us too.


Berkeley This Week

Tuesday November 30, 2004

TUESDAY, NOV. 30 

Morning Bird Walk at 7:30 a.m. at Briones. 525-2233. 

“Harvest Health Fair” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Berkshire, 2235 Sacramento St. Health screening for blood pressure, hearing and podiatry, plus health education and vendors. 841-4844. 

“Elder Abuse” A video on legal and medical issues at 1:15 p.m. at the North Berkeley Senior Center. 549-2970. 

“The Socio-Ecology of Elephants: Analysis of the Processes Creating Multilevel Societies” with George Wittemyer, UCB, at 4 p.m. at 652 Barrows Hall, UC Campus. 642-8338. www.ias.berkeley.edu/africa 

Argosy University Information Sessions for degree programs in Psychology, Education and Business at 6 p.m. at 999-A Canal Blvd., Point Richmond. To RSVP or for directions to the school, call 215-0277. 

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. 

Family Story Time at the Kensington Branch Library, Tues. evenings at 7 p.m. at 61 Arlington Ave. 524-3043. 

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

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

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 1 

Berkeley Communicators Toastmasters meets the first and third Wednesdays of the month at 7:15 a.m. at Au Cocolait, 200 University Ave. at Milvia. For information call Robert Flammia 524-3765. 

Mini-Farmers in Tilden A farm exploration program, for ages 4-6 years; accompanied by an adult. We will explore the Little Farm, care for animals, do crafts and farm chores. Wear boots and dress to get dirty! Fee is $3-$5. Registration required. 525-2233. 

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

Berkeley Peace Walk and Vigil at the Berkeley BART Station, corner of Shattuck and Center. Sing for Peace at 6:30 p.m. followed by Peace Walk at 7 p.m. www. 

geocities.com/vigil4peace/vigil 

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

THURSDAY, DEC. 2 

Morning Bird Walk Meet at the Tilden Nature Area at 7:30 a.m. to look for locals and winter visitors. 525-2233. 

Lawrence Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Restoration Program Dr. Iraj Javandel, Program Manager, will present a brief overview and information on the Lab’s Draft Corrective Measures Study at 7 p.m. at the City of Berkeley Planning Dept., 2118 Milvia St., 1st floor conference room. 486-7292. 

Vista Community College 30th Anniversary Party at 7:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo Ave. Music by Steve Lucky and Rhumba Bums. Proceeds go toward furniture, equipment for new Vista campus. Tickets are $10-$20 and available at Vista’s Cashier’s Office, 2020 Milvia St., 1st Floor, or online at vistabash.tix.com. 981-2800. 

FRIDAY, DEC. 3 

Outings on Fridays with Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association Tour of the Cameron-Stanford House in Oakland at 11 a.m. Cost is $15. Reservations required. 841-2242. www.berkeleyheritage.com  

American Indian Pow-Wow and Craft Fair from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the R Building cafeteria, Merritt College, 12500 Campus Drive, Oakland. Cultural entertainment and Grand Entry at 1 and 7 p.m. Benefits the American Indian Child Resource Center. www.aicrc.org 

First Fridays Film Series “In Bad Company” Fr. Bill O’Donnell in conversation with Martin Sheen, filmed in Dec. 1998, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph the Worker Church, 1640 Addison St. Free. 482-1062. 

Bhopal: 20 Years of Survival with a screening of “Bhopal Express” at 7 p.m. at the Ecology Center, 2530 San Pablo Ave. Cost is $5-$50. All proceeds to go to The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal. 415-981-1771. 

Christmas Play Auditions for Arlington Community Church Christmas Play 6 to 8 p.m. for children ages six and fourteen, and various adult roles. To reserve audition slot call 526-9146. 

Hayehwatha Institute Peace Ceremonies with Andree Morgana at 7 p.m. at Belladonna, 2436 Sacramento St. Cost is $10. 883-0600. www.belladonna.ws 

Berkeley Chess Club meets Fridays at 7:15 p.m. at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Ave. Players at all levels are welcome. 652-5324. 

Women in Black Vigil, from noon to 1 p.m. at UC Berkeley, Bancroft at Telegraph. wibberkeley@yahoo.com 548-6310, 845-1143. 

Meditation, Peace Vigil and Dialogue, gather at noon on the grass close to the West Entrance to UC Berkeley, on Oxford St. near University Ave. People of all traditions are welcome to join us. Sponsored by the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. 655-6169. www.bpf.org 

Overeaters Anonymous meets every Friday at 1:30 p.m. at the Northbrae Church at Solano and The Alameda. Parking is free and is handicapped accessible. For information call Katherine, 525-5231. 

SATURDAY, DEC. 4 

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 Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Dr. 643-2755. 

Long Walk with Your Dog Meet at 2 p.m. at Meadows Playfield in Tilden Park for a 3.5 mile walk along Wildcat Gorge. 525-2233. 

PAWS Holiday Photos Have your pet photographed in a fundraiser for Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Red Hound Pet Store, 5523 College Ave. Cost is $20. 845-7735 ext. 19. www.berkeleyhumane.org 

Holiday Decorations - Naturally Create wreaths and garlands using natural materials. Bring a pair of small hand clippers, a bag lunch, and a large flat box to take home your creations. From noon to 3:30 p.m. at Tilden Nature Area, Tilden Park. For adults and children 8 and over. Cost is $30-$61. Reservations required. 636-1684. 

Fungus Fair The beauty, tastes, smells and intricacies of the world of fungi from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Oakland Museum of California, 10th and Oak Sts. 238-2200. www.museumca.org 

Decorate a Flower Pot, Plant a Bulb from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Albany Library, 1247 Marin Ave. Free and open to all ages. 526-3720 ext. 17. 

Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios Sat and Sun. from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For map see www.berkeleyartisans.com 

Reused and Recycled Handicraft Sale from 10 a.m. to noon at GAIA, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, 1958 University Ave. 883-9490. www.no-burn.org 

Berkeley Potters Guild Sale from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat. and Sun. through Dec. 19. 731 Jones St. 524-7031. www.berkeleypotters.com 

Holiday Open House Gardening and writing books will be featured at Small Press Distribution from noon to 4 p.m. Readings at 2 p.m. 1341 Seventh St. at Gilman. 524-1668. www.spdbooks.org 

Holiday Crafts Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market, Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Center Park. 548-3333. www.ecologycenter.org 

Holiday Plant Sale with bulbs, house plants, cacti and succulants, carnivorous plants and orchids from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Dr. 643-2755. 

Holiday Arts Fair at the California College of the Arts from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 5212 Broadway at College Ave. 594-3666. 

American Indian Pow-Wow and Craft Fair from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the R Building cafeteria, Merritt College, 12500 Campus Drive, Oakland. Benefits the American Indian Child Resource Center. www.aicrc.org 

Community Arts and Wellness Day with yoga, martial arts, dance classes and more from 2 p.m. to midnight at Studio Rasa, 933 Parker St. Cost is $10-$20. Sponsored by Studio Rasa and Epic Arts. 843-2787. 

Artisan Marketplace from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Belladonna 2436 Sacramento St. 883-0600. www.belladonna.ws 

CopWatch Know Your Rights Workshop A free training from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. covering your rights when you are stopped, how to keep safe while documenting/observing the police, what we can do if police have violated our rights. 2022 Blake St. 548-0425. 

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. 

SUNDAY, DEC. 5 

Celebration of Forest Activism and Silent Auction to benefit the Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters, with food, live music and book signings from 4 to 8 p.m. at Unitarian Fellowship Hall, 1924 Cedar at Bonita. 548-3113. www.HeadwatersPreserve.org 

Voyage Through Time Make a flipper book of the motion’s of the Earth’s continents over the past 250 million years, from 10 a.m. to noon at Tilden Nature Area. Cost is $5-$7, registration required. 525-2233. 

Astronmony of the Star of Bethlehem with a slide show on recent ideas about the star and how great writers have told its tale, at 2 p.m. at Tilden Nature Center. 525-2233. 

Art Show and Holly Fair from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, 1 Lawson Rd., Kensington. 525-0302. www.uucb.org 

Holiday Art Show and Sale with works by the Albany Adult School Senior Painting and Drawing Class from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Albany Senior Center, 846 Masonic Ave. 524-9122. 

Richmond Art Center Arts Festival from noon to 5 p.m. at 2540 Barret Ave., Richmond. 620-6772. www.therichmondartcenter.org 

Pottery of Marty Weinstein on sale from noon to 5 p.m. at 871 Indian Rock Ave. Half of all proceeds go to Bay Area Community Resource. 526-5823. 

She Made Holiday Arts Bazaar to benefit the Women’s Daytime Drop-In Center from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Pro Arts Gallery, 550 Second St., Oakland at Jack London Square. www.she-made.com 

Fungus Fair The beauty, tastes, smells and intricacies of the world of fungi from noon to 5 p.m. at the Oakland Museum of California, 10th and Oak Sts. 238-2200. www.museumca.org 

Introduction to TaKeTiNa, rhythmic group process, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Ashkenaz, back studio, 1317 San Pablo Ave. Cost is $25-$45 sliding scale, no one will be turned away for lack of funds. 650-493-8046. 

“Eyes of the Beholder” workshop from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Hillside Community Church, 1422 Navellier St, El Cerrito. 415-383-7159. www.essential-motion.com 

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 Lee Nichol on “The Self Traversing Time” at 6 p.m. at the Tibetan Nyingma Institute, 1815 Highland Pl. 843-6812. www.nyingmainstitute.com 

MONDAY, DEC. 6 

Public Hearing on Mental Health The public is invited to comment on gaps in services in the mental health system, how to expand services, and on the need for prevention and early intervention at 6 p.m. at the South Berkeley Senior Center. For further information contact Harvey Tureck at 981-5213. 

Civic Arts Grant Workshop Sponsored by the City of Berkeley Civic Arts Commission at 6:30 p.m. at the North Berkeley Senior Center. For information call Charlotte Fredriksen 981-7539. 

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 

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

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

TOPS Take Off Pounds Sensibly meets every Mon. at 9 a.m. in Albany. For information call Mary at 526-3711. 

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

TUESDAY, DEC. 7 

Mid-Day Meander from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Pt. Isabel. Meet at the Parking lot at the end of Rydin Rd. Canine companions welcome. 525-2233. 

Snowcamping 101a training session and slide lecture with Jodi Bailey and Kalle Hoffman at 7 p.m. at REI, 1338 San Pablo Ave. 527-4140. 

Red Cross Mobile Blood Drive from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Berkeley Repertory Theater, 2025 Addison St. 1-800-GIVE-LIFE. www.BeADonor.com 

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. 

Family Story Time at the Kensington Branch Library, Tues. evenings at 7 p.m. at 61 Arlington Ave. 524-3043. 

Berkeley Salon Discussion Group meets to discuss “Why Should We Explore Outer Space” from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Berkeley Richmond Jewish Community Center, 1414 Walnut St. Please bring snacks and soft drinks to share. No peanuts please. 601-6690. 

Berkeley Camera Club meets at 7:30 p.m., at the Northbrae Community Church, 941 The Alameda. Share your slides and prints and learn what other photographers are doing. Monthly field trips. 548-3991. www.berkeleycameraclub.org 

Cantabile Choral Guild Auditions at 7 p.m. at All Souls Episcopal Church, 2220 Cedar St. To schedule an audition time call 650-424-1410. 

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 

St. John’s Prime Timers meets at 9:30 a.m. at St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Ave. We offer ongoing classes in exercise and creative arts, and always welcome new members over 50. 845-6830. 

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 8 

Holiday Wreath Making Class from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Dr. Cost is $25-$30. Registration required. 643-2755. 

“Ethical and Racial Diversity in the Jewish Community” with Booker Holton, Ph.D, at 11:30 a.m. at the BRJCC, 1414 Walnut St. Cost is $5. 848-0237.  

Life Line Screening for stroke at University Inn, 920 University Ave. Appointments begin at 9 a.m. Cost is $125. For information or to schedule an appointment call 1-800-697-9721. 

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

Prose Writers’ Workshop An ongoing group focused on issues of craft. Novices welcome. Community sponsored, no fee. Meets Wed. at 7 p.m. at the Berkeley Jewish Community Center, 1414 Walnut St. 524-3034. georgeporter@earthlink.net 

Poetry Writing Workshop, led by Alison Seevak, every second Wed. at 7 p.m. at the Albany Library, Edith Stone Room, 1247 Marin Ave. Registration required. 526-3700, ext. 20. 

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

HOW TO HELP 

Alameda County Community Food Bank’s Annual Food Drive accepts donations of non-perishable food in the red barrel at any Safeway or Albertson’s. 834-3663. www.accfb.org 

Firefighters Toy Drive Donate new, unwrapped toys and canned food to any Berkeley fire station. For information call 981-5506. 

Find a Loving Animal Companion at the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society Adoption Center, 2700 Ninth St. 845-7735. www.berkeleyhumane.org  

CITY MEETINGS 

Commission on the Status of Women meets Wed., Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m., at the North Berkeley Senior Center. Tasha Tervelon, 981-5347. www.ci.berkeley. 

ca.us/commissions/women 

Fire Safety Commission meets Wed., Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m. at 997 Cedar St. David Orth, 981-5502. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/commissions/firesafety 

Community Environmental Advisory Commission meets Thurs., Dec. 2, at 7 p.m., at 2118 Milvia St. Nabil Al-Hadithy, 981-7461. www.ci.berkeley.ca. 

us/commissions/environmentaladvisory 

Public Works Commission meets Thurs., Dec. 2, at 7 p.m., at the North Berkeley Senior Center. Jeff Egeberg, 981-6406. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/commissions/publicworks 

Council Agenda Committee meets Mon., Dec. 6 at 2:30 p.m., at 2180 Milvia St. 981-6900. www.ci.berkeley.ca. 

us/citycouncil/agenda-committee 

Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board meets Mon. Dec. 6, 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., Dec. 6, at 7:30 p.m., at the North Berkeley Senior Center. Gisele Sorensen, 981-7419. ww.ci.ber- 

keley.ca.us/commissions/landmarks 

Parks and Recreation Commission meets Mon., Dec. 6, at 7 p.m., at the North Berkeley Senior Center. Virginia Aiello, 981-5158. www.ci.berkeley.ca. 

us/commissions/parksandrecreation 

Peace and Justice Commission meets Mon., Dec. 6, 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., Dec. 6, at 6:30 p.m., at 1730 Oregon St. Philip Harper-Cotton, 981-6670. www.ci.ber- 

keley.ca.us/commissions/youth 

City Council meets Tues., Dec. 7, at 7 p.m in City Council Chambers. 981-6900. www.ci. 

berkeley.ca.us/citycouncil 

?


Measure R Loses: By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR By Slim Margin in Final Vote Count

By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR
Friday November 26, 2004

Final vote tallies posted from the Nov. 2 election show that despite significantly closing the margin in post-election counting, Berkeley’s medical marijuana Measure R has lost by 191 votes. The final totals were 25,167 to 24,976. 

When preliminary count ing ended on election night, the measure had trailed by 866 votes. 

The measure had proposed eliminating limits on the amounts of medical marijuana that could be possessed by patients or caregivers. In addition, it would have allowed existing dispensaries to move anywhere within the city’s retail zones. The City Council recently imposed a limit on pot dispensaries, allowing no more than the three currently operating in the city. 

The final vote tally also showed challenger Karen Hemphill losing to Berkele y School Director John Selawsky by 602 votes, 16,366 to 15,764, in the only other city race which remained undecided after election day. 

The final vote count this week had come as something of a surprise, as county election officials had earlier indicate d that a vote update would not be ready until next week. A spokesperson for the Registrar of Voters office said that they simply ran out of ballots to count. 

More than 28 percent of Berkeley’s votes were counted after preliminary tallies were released on election day. Since that time, county election officials have been counting paper ballots as well as absentee ballots turned into precincts on election day. Absentee ballots mailed into the registrar’s office at the Alameda Courthouse were counted on ele ction night. 

Alameda County Assistant Registrar of Voters Elaine Ginnold said that although her office has “no more votes to count,” the tally will not be considered official until Nov. 30, when the county will certify the vote. 

Degé Coutee, campaign manager for Measure R, said the group was considering its options for a recount, but expressed concern about the way the count was handled. 

“We’ve just been looking for some consistency in dealing with the county officials,” she said. “And that isn’t what we had, and that’s what was disconcerting, more than anything else. There hasn’t been much consistency from them regarding the time frame or how many votes they thought they had to count. We’ve been told for the past couple of days that they were going to need until Tuesday, and then—boom—they’re done.” 

Coutee had also said she was concerned that members of the campaign had been denied access to the vote count. 

“We just think it’s strange,” she said, “that’s all, and we think that this particular office has some problems so we’re going to look into it.”ä


A Televised Revolution: Pirate TV Comes to Berkeley: By ANNA OBERTHUR Special to the Planet

By ANNA OBERTHUR Special to the Planet
Friday November 26, 2004

To the untrained eye the mess of snaking wires and blinking electronics hardly looks revolutionary. 

But the television monitors, DVD players and amplifiers in Free Radio Berkeley’s West Oakland warehouse are more than just a jumble of hardware. 

They’re the parts to a TV channel, and the newest wave in micropower media—low wattage, garage-style broadcasting, sometimes referred to as pirate radio, that usually operates without a license.  

It’s a major part of an international movement to claim the airwaves for public use—and it may soon be coming to a television set near you. 

Engineers at Free Radio Berkeley say they have for the first time developed a simple, affordable, low-power television transmitter and antenna which individuals can use to broadcast their own programming.  

“Our goal is to basically empower communities to do their own broadcasting, regardless of what the government or the corporations have to say about it,” said Free Radio Berkeley founder Stephen Dunifer, who has been challenging government regulation and corporate ownership of the air waves through guerrilla broadcasting for a dozen years. 

While Free Radio Berkeley has provided FM micropower broadcasting kits and how-to workshops since its inception, this is the first time it’s been able to make TV broadcasting cheap and easy enough for the masses, Dunifer said.  

Starting next week, would-be TV producers can get from Free Radio Berkeley the parts they need for an estimated $500 to $1100, depending on the power level.  

Once assembled—a process Dunifer claims is no harder than putting together a stereo—the transmitters are capable of reaching four to five miles. They can be hooked up to a DVD player to show prerecorded material or to a video camera for a live broadcast. 

Dunifer started Free Radio Berkeley in 1992. The next year, the group began broadcasting its own FM radio station, often from a perch in the Berkeley Hills.  

The collective made national headlines when Dunifer challenged in federal court the Federal Communication Commission’s attempt to shut it down for operating without a license.  

Dunifer and his lawyers argued the FCC‘s regulations—which require that all broadcasters obtain a license—were unconstitutional. The agency’s regulations were overly burdensome, they said, because the expensive and complicated application process created too high a barrier of entry for average communities to have radio stations. 

The FCC eventually won, saying in a June 17, 1998 statement: “The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California yesterday issued a permanent injunction against unlicensed broadcaster Stephen Dunifer (”Free Radio Berkeley”). The 18-page decision reaffirms the FCC's authority to require a license before any person can broadcast on the public airwaves.” 

Free Radio Berkeley, which had a staff of nearly 100 producers, went off the air. Members later reorganized as Berkeley Liberation Radio, which is still broadcasting. 

Although the licensing process for low power broadcasting has changed, Dunifer and other micropower advocates still argue that the FCC’s “regulatory inertia” makes getting licensed nearly impossible. The airwaves belong to the people, they say, but are being hoarded by corporate interests. 

The FCC didn’t return calls for comment.  

“In reality, (the airwaves) have been taken over,” said Maria Gilardin, a micropower advocate who has worked in the field for 13 years. “Micropower radio has shown that a response with a lot of integrity is to simply take the airwaves back by taking over a slice of the spectrum and using it as we see fit.”  

“Now here comes “illegal” TV,” she added. “Same concept, same technology, same expression of the creative spirit of rebellion.” 

People need a medium where they can experience what it’s like to be their own media, Gilardin said. 

Micropower television could also give people access to a wider variety of perspectives, something lacking in the TV channels that dominate the airwaves, according to UC Berkeley mass communications lecturer Jonathan Gray. 

Most stations are owned by a handful of media companies, which affects their content, intentionally or not, he said.  

“There are viewpoints that we’re not being exposed to,” Gray said. “A thriving democracy should allow access to these viewpoints, and that’s what these independent media outlets allow us to do.” 

There are problems with television. Accessing the majority of viewers who now get their TV from cable companies and therefore wouldn’t be likely to stumble across a micropower station could prove challenging. The medium also doesn’t offer the same anonymity as radio.  

But the benefit is TV has the potential to reach many more people than FM radio. 

“TV has certainly got to be probably the primary means of maintaining the propaganda environment,” Dunifer said. “For average people to be able to reclaim that medium for their own purposes is very important.” 

Free Radio Berkeley is to begin selling the kits this week, and will provide an all day, introductory workshop to low power TV broadcasting on Saturday, Dec. 4.  

 

For more information call Free Radio Berkeley at 625-0314 or check out its website: www.freeradio.org. 

 

 

 


Giving Thanks With 200 Free Dinners: By PATRICK GALVIN Special to the Planet

By PATRICK GALVIN Special to the Planet
Friday November 26, 2004

On Wednesday about 200 hungry East Bay residents enjoyed a free Thanksgiving feast with carved turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, fresh vegetables, and bread at Ann’s Kitchen, a restaurant at 2498 Telegraph Ave. 

For the past 14 years, David and Suki An, husband and wife owners of Ann’s Kitchen Restaurant, have prepared and served a holiday feast to anyone who shows up hungry at their restaurant the day before Thanksgiving. 

The Ans came to the United States from South Korea 29 years ago. After selling his San Francisco hofbrau restaurant, David An purchased Ann’s Kitchen fourteen years ago. Since the name of the restaurant was so similar to his last name, David decided to stick with the original moniker. 

Although Ann’s Kitchen is well-known for its hearty breakfasts and lunches, David enjoys cooking the most traditional American dinner. 

“Before coming to America, I had never tried turkey, but I learned how to cook it when I ran my San Francisco hofbrau,” said David An. 

“I feel grateful that I’ve done so well in this country, and it just seems right that I give something back to others who are less fortunate,” said David An. 

David and Suki’s two children, a UC Berkeley senior and an Oakland high school student, have helped out during the annual free Thanksgiving meal since it began.  

The majority of people who eat at Ann’s Kitchen on the day before Thanksgiving are homeless and needy East Bay residents. But, there are always some UC Berkeley students and people alone for the holidays that come to enjoy the camaraderie of sharing a holiday meal with others. 

“I wish that everybody had enough to eat. But, it seems like there are more hungry people every year who need a free meal,” said David An. 

In spite of working so hard to cook a Thanksgiving meal for hundreds on the day before Thanksgiving, David said he was looking forward to preparing a Thanksgiving meal for his family the following day. 

“I wouldn’t miss Thanksgiving for anything—especially the cranberry sauce,” he said. 


UC Berkeley Plans to Lease Richmond Field Station: By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

By RICHARD BRENNEMAN
Friday November 26, 2004

UC Berkeley officials are in the midst of negotiations to turn much of their Richmond Field Station into a corporate/academic research park, with the facility—including property retained by the university—to be renamed the Bayside Research Campus. 

The U C Field Station property borders the proposed Campus Bay residential development, which has come under heavy criticism from neighbors and state legislators in recent weeks for the management of the toxic cleanup at the site. 

The UC proposal calls for leasing over 70 of the 152 acres at the field station—the vast majority of developable land—to a private developer and construction of new buildings, which, when added to existing structures at the site, would provide two million square feet of research and office space. 

The proposal was circulated with no public fanfare to would-be developers in a request for qualifications (RFQ) mailed out in on April 9. 

Though university has selected a possible candidate for the project, no agreement has been signed, an d “we’re still trying to make sure there’s a viable and feasible strategy for developing the site,” said UC Project Manager Kevin J. Hufferd. “We’re not sure that’s the case.” 

“The idea is to see if it can be redeveloped with a private developer that wou ld meet the university’s need for new facilities and generate some revenue” for the school, Hufferd said. “We have the opportunity to explore that now.” 

Hufferd acknowledged that the university wasn’t eager for publicity on the proposal.  

Among the goal s of the project cited in the RFQ is: “Creating an environment that supports private enterprise collaboration with university-lead research activities, and through working in partnership with the community to establish a unique market identity for the BRC.” 

Ignacio Chapela, the UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources professor denied tenure after his blistering critiques of the University’s controversial research partnership with biotech giant Novartis, said the proposed project at the field station “ra ises the same questions as Novartis multiplied times ten.” 

Despite overwhelming support from scientific colleagues both at the university and nationwide, Chapela was denied tenure and his last scheduled day at UC Berkeley is Dec. 31. In June, the UCB Academic Senate found Chapela’s rights “may have been violated in two ways.” 

An outside review of the Novartis pact contracted by UCB and released in July found that Chapela’s criticisms of the accord had played a role in his ouster and that the university officials involved had ignored some of their own conflicts of interest. Chapela has appealed the ouster and is contemplating legal action.  

“I was shocked to hear about” the RFQ at the field station, Chapela said. “The fact that it had never been discuss ed with the campus community is another example of how the public has lost insight into the operations of the university. 

“This has the net effect of serving to cover up the effects of what could be a major toxics disaster.” 

The field station, purchased by the university in 1950, is located just north of the troubled Campus Bay project, now the center of a battle over the handling of polluted soil and hazardous waste at the site. 

The field station has its own toxics problems, much of them stemming from the same chemical manufacturing complex that polluted Campus Bay and others from a blasting cap factory that left soils contaminated with mercury. 

While the RFQ called for the developer to bear the cleanup costs at the field station, Hufferd said “We h ave since backed away” and the provision has been dropped. Instead, the university would assume that portion of the burden not being borne by Zeneca Pharmaceuticals, the last owner of both Campus Bay and much of the UC site. 

“UC does have some responsibi lity for the costs,” Hufferd said, “and some was allocated to Zeneca under prior agreements.” 

The toxin-laced cleanup sites for which the university does bear responsibility are those associated with the activities of the California Cap Company, which pr oduced explosives and blasting caps made with the fulminate of mercury. 

The resulting contamination produced in concentrations of the dangerous heavy metal compounds both in the dry, upland portions and in the wetlands bordering the site. 

Remediation ef forts began after the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Board in September 2001 served the school with a cleanup order. Six years earlier, UC officials had spurned a voluntary cleanup proposal from the much stricter state Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), an agency that includes greater scientific expertise and invites public participation in the cleanup process as all stages. 

Mark Freiberg, director of UCB’s Office of Environment, Health & Safety, said the offer was declined by universit y official Susan Spencer because the school was then working with the federal Environmental Protection Agency on a voluntary cleanup effort of their own. 

“EPA said there was not an imminent risk, but we knew we had to clean it up,” Freiberg said, so we b egan to do sampling” to test for concentrations of hazardous materials at the site. 

“When the water board sends us an order, we’re forced to take action,” he said, adding that a Nov. 19 Daily Planet article erred in saying that the university asked the w ater board to take jurisdiction. “We didn’t turn to the water board. We opened our mail and found an order. 

“The site is viewed primarily as a water hazard, but we’re also hauling away contaminated soil” from the upland portion of the site. “Soils contam inated by Zeneca are being hauled back to Zeneca”—that is, the Campus Bay site—“and contamination caused by others is being taken to approved toxic waste dumps.” 

Freiberg said that “overall, regulators and community groups have seen our actions in a very positive way. We’re pretty proud of what we’re doing.” 

That doesn’t hold for Sherry Padgett and the other community activists of Bay Area Residents for Responsible Development (BARRD), who have been critical of cleanup efforts at both sites and who have been harshly critical of the burial of Field Stations wastes at Campus Bay. 

BARRD has called for the DTSC to take the oversight of both sites. 

In addition to mercury and iron pyrite ash, the field station also has hot spots contaminated with PCBs, an organic compound linked to several health problems, another other compounds. 


Control of $130 Million at Stake in Peralta District Shuffle: By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR
Friday November 26, 2004

The Peralta Community College District has been making extensive changes in its operations department in recent months. 

Among the changes is a move which consolidates two departments involving the control of $130 million in public construction funds, removing the director heading one of those departments, and then hiring her one month later as a long-term consultant. 

In August of this year, the Peralta Trustee Board approved a recommendation by Chancellor Elihu Harris, upgrading the post of director of purchasing to director of general operations. 

A month later, according the board minutes, that title reappeared as director for general services. At the same time, the trustees approved the hiring of Purchasing Director Sadiq Ikharo in the post of interim director for general services, at an annual salary of $112,000. 

According to Oakland project management consultant Ineda Adesanya, who recently left her $105,000 a year post as interim director of physical plant for the district, the job title change actually involved a consolidation of two departments—the Department of Physical Plant and the Department of Purchasing—with the general services director assigned to oversee both departments. But no record of that consolidation appears in board minutes. 

In a report issued last September, Adesanya had listed the overall function of the Office of Physical Plant as “the administration and development of all physical facilities, grounds, equipment, and energy conservation programs for the district.” 

Those responsibilities included implementing construction, improvement, maintenance and ground programs for the district, as well as negotiating and managing all consultant and construction contracts. 

The report said that as of mid-September, Peralta’s Physical Plant Department was managing nearly $130 million in construction projects. 

The August minutes of the Peralta Trustee Board included the notation that “a copy of the proposed job description [for the Director of General Operations] is included in Board packets.” 

However, unlike governmental bodies such as the Berkeley City Council, the Berkeley Unified School District, or the University of California Board of Regents, the Peralta Community College District does not post reports or other meeting backup materials to its website along with minutes of meetings. 

Chancellor Harris did not return telephone calls related to this story, and newly-appointed Interim Director for General Services Ikharo referred queries to the office of Marketing and Communications Executive Director Jeff Heyman. Heyman said all queries on the matter would have to be submitted in writing, and any documents could be supplied following a written request under the Freedom of Information Act. 

Adesanya left her Peralta position at the end of September of this year. A month later, upon Chancellor Harris’ recommendation, the Peralta Board of Trustees approved entering negotiations with Adesanya’s Oakland-based IPA Planning Solutions company for a three-year, $90,000 contract to develop and coordinate a Facilities Master Plan and Strategic Master Plan for the current facilities and capital construction of the district. 

Adesanya said in a telephone interview that under the proposed contract, “I’ll be developing a Facilities Master Plan, which evaluates use of current facilities, the actual educational programs, and the conditions of the facilities, whether or not the boilers are working properly, the buildings are falling apart or need paint, that kind of stuff. So we are evaluating the existing facilities to see if they are adequate to service the educational programs at our four colleges. And then I will be making recommendations on what is needed in facilities to adequately service the educational programs.” 

Adesanya said her plan would definitely not involve a master land use plan for development of the district’s potentially developable properties, a subject that became an issue in the recent Board of Trustees election. 

That contradicted an earlier assertion by Ikharo, who had told the Daily Planet in an interview concerning a previous story that the IPA contract involved developing a plan for underutilized properties such as the athletic fields at Laney College.f


Proposed Shattuck Condo Site Owned by Choyce Family Trust: By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

By RICHARD BRENNEMAN
Friday November 26, 2004

The owner of the site of the proposed five-story condo and retail project planned for 2701 Shattuck Ave. is the Choyce Family Trust, the creation of the Rev. Gordon Choyce Sr., pastor of the Missionary Church of God in Christ and head of low-income housing builder Jubilee Restoration. 

The trust purchased the property on June 17 from A1 Shattuck, a limited liability corporation (LLC) based in San Francisco. The sales price according to the Alameda County Assessor’s office, was $1.475 million. 

Thirteen days after the sale, Choyce’s son filed papers creating another LLC, 2701 Shattuck Condominiums, although the family trust remains as legal owner. 

The site developer is Ronnie Turner, a former city housing supervisor, now vice president of the board of the Rev. Gordon Choyce’s Jubilee Restoration Inc. 

Berkeley’s Design Review Committee last Thursday panned Turner’s plans and called for a height reduction to four stories.


School District Refinances Bonds: By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR
Friday November 26, 2004

In a time of fiscal problems affecting all government agencies, the Berkeley Unified School District announced last week that all the news isn’t bad: BUSD staff has completed a refinancing of the 1992 Measure A bonds that is expected to save the district $3.2 million over the next 20 years. 

The refunding of the three general obligation bonds issued under Measure A will drop the interest rates paid by Berkeley taxpayers from between 5.7 and 6.1 percent to 3 percent across the board. 

“This is not a typical method of cost cutting we might think of, because we are usually looking for direct income or savings to our budget,” said Superintendent Michele Lawrence. She credited the refinancing idea to Deputy Superintendent Glenston Thompson, who has been with BUSD for three months and is considered the district’s chief business officer. 

The soft-spoken Thompson himself said that the refinancing was merely “being good stewards and good decision-makers over the use of the District’s financial assets. I’m just glad to be able to do my part as a member of the BUSD team.”i


GAO Agrees to Investigate 2004 Election Problems: By MATTHEW CARDINALE Special to the Planet

By MATTHEW CARDINALE Special to the Planet
Friday November 26, 2004

Eighteen days following the initial request, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has agreed this week to investigate several incidents of election problems from the recent November election to satisfy the concerns brought forth by U.S. Reps. John Conyers (D-MI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), and 12 other congressmembers.  

“The right to vote and the right to have our votes counted are both fundamental to our democratic system of government,” Lee said in a statement last week. “As elected representatives of the people, we hold a sacred responsibility to every voter across this nation to ensure that their vote is counted and recorded properly. We cannot, and we should not accept any flaws in our election process.” 

Julie Nickson, press secretary for Lee, adde d, “She signed it because she was aware of the situation. We got some phone calls from constituents.” 

Results from the investigation are not expected to be available prior to Bush’s inauguration. “I don’t think the results are going to be as rapid as peo ple want them to be,” said John Doty, press spokesman for U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). 

A series of letters had been sent to the GAO, beginning on Nov. 5, by U.S. Reps. Lee, Conyers, Nadler, Robert Wexler (D-FL), Robert Scott (D-GA), Melvin Watt (D-NC), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), George Miller (D-CA), John Olver (D-MA), Bob Filner (D-CA), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), and . Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) called the House Judiciary Committee office this week to become the 14th signatory. 

A statement issued by the GAO on their website said that the nonpartisan congressional research office will be conducting an impartial investigation. It will be up to state and federal agencies, however, to respond to findings in order to uphold election laws and citizens’ rights, or challenge the elections results. 

Conyers and the other supporters of the GAO probe are encouraged. A press release out of Nadler’s office, stated, “We are pleased that the GAO has reviewed the concerns expressed in our letters and has found them of sufficient merit to warrant further investigation.” 

The representatives’ statement continued, “We are hopeful that GAO’s non-partisan and expert analysis will get to the bottom of the flaws uncovered in the 2004 election. As part of this inquiry, we will provide copies of specific incident reports received in our offices, including more than 57,000 such complaints provided to the House Judiciary Committee.” 

Doty, spokesperson for Nadler, said, “A lot of peo ple are interested in changing the election results, but I don’t think at this point, at least the Congressmen don’t see enough content to change the election results. The point is to fix irregularities.” 

Nadler, who is the ranking Democratic member of t he Subcommittee on the Constitution, on the House Judiciary Committee, plans to continue supporting Holt’s bill to demand a receipt, or paper trail, for all voters. 

“There will be calls for hearings,” said Doty. “We need to reauthorize the National Voter Registration Act and the Help America Vote Act. We’ve been pushing for the Rush Holt paper trail bill. Nadler intends to play an important role in improving our elections, and in working closely with the Judiciary Committee. As Democrats on the committee, we will continue to investigate the election, but we’re unsure whether Republican Chairman Sensenbrenner will ultimately support a bi-partisan Congressional investigation. We certainly hope he will.” 

CNN has reported that the GAO “will not investigate every charge listed by the Democrats, but will examine ‘the security and accuracy of voting technologies, distribution and allocation of voting machines and counting of provisional ballots.’’’ 

The GAO issued a statement asserting, “Under the nation’s leg al framework, elections are largely a matter reserved to, and regulated by, the states… Congress has, however, asserted its prerogatives under the Election Clause of the Constitution (Article 1, Section 4, Clause 1) to impose certain procedural requiremen ts on federal elections through such federal statutes such as the Help America Vote Act and the National Voter Registration Act, both of which are enforced by the Department of Justice.” 

Actual steps to enforce remedies when election irregularities occur are referred to the following three agencies in the GAO statement: the Civil Rights Division, Voting Section, at the Department of Justice; the Criminal Division, Public Integrity Section, at the Department of Justice; and the U.S. Election Assistance Co mmission. 

Many concerns were brought forth by the congressmembers, including the almost 4,000 votes awarded to Bush in Columbus, Ohio, reported by the AP, which was starkly noticeable because more votes were recorded in the precinct than there were regis tered voters. 

Other reported incidents included votes that were lost on a local initiative in Florida because the computer could only store so many votes; approximately 4,500 votes lost in one North Carolina county; a glitch in San Francisco computers wh ich caused many votes to be uncounted; and Florida’s anomalous results where only districts with touch screen voting had disproportionate votes for Bush than expected. 

A second letter, dated Nov. 8, cited even more problems, including AP reports in Flori da and Ohio of voters who stated when using touch screens, that if they selected ‘John Kerry,’ instead ‘George Bush’ would appear on the screen; long lines reported in urban Ohio areas; 3,000 phantom votes that were added by a Nebraska ‘vote tabulator’ which doubled the votes; 22,000 North Carolina votes the computer initially discarded; 21 voting machines in Broward County, Florida, that malfunctioned, eliminating prior votes; and boxes of absentee votes discovered after the election in a Broward County election office. 

Nine out of the current 14 supporters are members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC). They are Lee (who is a leader of the Caucus), along with Conyers, Nadler, Watt, Baldwin, Miller, Olver, Filner, and Schakowsky. There are cu rrently 55 congressional members on the Progressive Caucus. 

Support by at least one senator and one House Representative is required to formally contest an election result prior to inauguration. 

 

Matthew Cardinale is a freelance writer, activist, and gr aduate student in sociology and democracy studies at UC Irvine. He may be reached at mcardina@uci.edu. 

 

 

 

 


The Marketing of George W. Bush: News Analysis By BOB BURNETT Special to the Planet

By BOB BURNETT Special to the Planet
Friday November 26, 2004

This past January, New Yorker essayist Malcolm Gladwell observed that sports-utility vehicles are bestsellers because Americans have bought into the marketing myth that SUVs are safer than conventional cars. Actually, they are more dangerous because they are less maneuverable and more prone to tip over. 

On Nov. 2 Americans bought into another marketing myth—that George Bush would keep them safe. The truth is that the Bush administration has imperiled our security: Bush domestic policies have made the economic future less secure and his international policies have fueled the flames of terrorism. (In retrospect, the motto of the Kerry campaign should have been, “George Bush—unsafe at any speed.”) 

Many Democrats believe that those who voted for George W. did so because they are unintelligent, but there is a more plausible explanation for his victory on Nov. 2: Americans preferred Bush because they are vulnerable to mass-marketing myth makers. 

Americans bought into a fabricated Bush persona on many levels: Those who voted for George W. believed that he was more pious, patriotic, and athletic than John Kerry. The gulf between the perception of Bush and the reality was the result of a carefully orchestrated marketing campaign. 

After it was clear that John Kerry would be the Democratic nominee, a friend remarked that on election day the American electorate would have the choice between spam (Bush) and prosciutto (Kerry); in other words, voters could pick either a manufactured product, a nutritional illusion, or one that was real but unfamiliar to Middle America. 

Once Kerry secured the nomination, polls showed him with a slight advantage over the incumbent. The Bush marketers responded with the first stage of their image campaign: George W. is just like you, and John Kerry is not—he’s an effete intellectual. At this point, Laura Bush began to play a bigger role in the campaign because she has broad popular appeal. (Laura’s prominence reminded me of a comment that my mother once made about Dick Nixon, “He must be okay; he’s married to that sweet woman, Pat.”) Throughout the campaign, Laura was used to reinforce the “folks like us” theme. Theresa Heinz Kerry was too exotic for much of Middle America; her presence supported the Republican claim that John Kerry was out of touch with average people. 

At the Democratic convention Kerry was packaged as a decorated veteran, “reporting for duty” to protect America. This presented a serious challenge to the Bush image-makers. They responded with two thrusts:         

The first was to say, in effect, Kerry served honorably in Vietnam but since then has had a career primarily characterized by vacillation—he’s a flip-flopper. The Bush marketing campaign claimed that George, in contrast, was resolute, “He says what he means and means what he says.” 

The second thrust was the infamous “Swift-Boat” advertisements, and the accompanying book, “Unfit for Command.” These attacks served two purposes: they marginalized Kerry’s credibility as a decorated war hero. And, they diverted attention from Bush’s greatest vulnerability, the failure of his Administration to respond to the Al Qaeda threat prior to 9/11. 

After Kerry’s campaign was reenergized by his victories in the debates, the Bush image-makers responded with the third stage of their campaign: moral values. Bush was portrayed as the defender of traditional values; he would protect the American family from the “threat” of gay marriage and, more generally, immoral lifestyles promoted by the liberal elite. Kerry was lambasted as a liberal, someone out of touch with core American values.  

The Republican theme, Bush will protect America, was extended to the war on terrorism; George W. was portrayed as a Christian warrior who would defend the American family from threats within and without the United States. 

Democrats didn’t take this marketing campaign seriously enough. They laughed when, for example, Dick Cheney told an audience that if John Kerry were to be elected president there was no doubt that Al Qaeda would “hit us again.” Rather than talk about values, and Kerry’s own positives, the Democratic campaign managers retreated into policy wonkdom.  

When the Bin Laden video ran a few days before Nov. 2, the Democrats had no effective response. But, the video reminded the average American of 9/11 and, therefore, reinforced the artfully constructed image of Bush as protector of the nation. At the last minute, crucial voter groups shifted from Kerry to Bush because of a concern about security and values. 

When push came to shove, the American voting public bought the Bush marketing campaign. They chose spam. Not because it tasted better, or was healthier, but because it was comfort food in perilous times. They disapproved of most of what Bush had done in his first term, but they liked him better, felt more comfortable with him. 

In 1992, Bill Clinton won because Democrats did a better job of marketing him than Republicans did with George H. W. Bush. In 2000 and 2004, Gore and Kerry lost because the Republicans were better mythmakers. There’s a vital lesson to be learned from this experience—in 2008, Democrats must do a far better job marketing their presidential candidate. 

 

 

 

 


San Francisco Lockout Backfired on Hotel Operators: By DAVID BACON Pacific News Service

By DAVID BACON Pacific News Service
Friday November 26, 2004

Sometimes the fate of a single battle foretells the outcome of a war, long before it’s over. The eventual end of the San Francisco hotel lockout promises to be this kind of watershed moment.  

Last Saturday, before San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom strode into his office to announce the end of the five-week lockout before a bank of television cameras, he went down the hall to pay respects to the workers who had made it possible. Dozens of room cleaners, waiters, bartenders and floor sweepers rose to their feet and gave him a standing ovation. It was the culmination of one of the most remarkable political turnabouts in a city known for unconventional politics.  

The mayor, after all, was the candidate of the workers’ adversaries. For years, the city’s hotels had bankrolled Newsom’s political initiatives, especially the “Care not Cash” program, designed to rid the streets of the homeless. When Newsom finally ran for mayor, downtown businesses, including hotels, were his primary supporters. At the time, the hotel union was one of the few that strongly campaigned for his opponent, Green candidate Matt Gonzalez.  

But beginning last summer, UNITE HERE Local 2 skillfully exploited new fault lines in urban politics and the economics of the hospitality industry in its quest for bargaining leverage. In fact, leverage has been at the heart of the conflict from the beginning, more important than even wage increases or benefits.  

By Labor Day, the union was locked in fractious negotiations with the 14 hotels of the Multi Employer Group representing hotel operators, including multibillion-dollar corporations like Hilton, Intercontinental, Starwood and Hyatt. The actual hotels are owned by large investment groups and pension funds.  

While the hotel operators were proposing tiny wage increases and big hikes in health insurance payments of up to $273 a month, the key issue was the duration of the contract itself. Local 2 proposed that a new agreement expire in 2006, when similar contracts with the same corporations expire in other cities around the country, from New York to Chicago to Honolulu. By lining up the expiration dates, the union hoped to form a common front of workers in major urban hotel markets, who could act together to win a new standard of living that individual local unions are too weak to gain alone.  

Barbara French, spokesperson for the hotel group, called this idea “a non-starter from the beginning.”  

Another union proposal sought to unify its membership base and solidify community support. Existing contract language protecting the rights of immigrants would be combined with a new bid to increase the diversity of the hotel workforce, particularly by hiring African American workers. Since the end of the 1960s-era civil rights protests, the largest of which focused on the Sheraton Palace Hotel, black employment in hotels has dropped to less than 6 percent.  

In September the union launched a limited two-week strike against four hotels in the employer group. The operators answered with the first of a series of strategic missteps. They locked the workers out of the other 10 hotels in the group, saying they’d extend the lockout beyond the strike’s end, so long as workers kept demanding the 2006 expiration date.  

Perhaps believing that workers wouldn’t sacrifice paychecks simply for an expiration date, the hotels miscalculated again. Hotel worker Elena Duran, speaking for many others, reacted by saying simply, “It’s important for us to level the playing field.”  

Then the union turned the lockout, meant as a pressure tactic against it, into a weapon against the operators themselves. The 4,300 locked-out laborers mounted large, boisterous picket lines. Bullhorns blasted their chants into the streets, and up into the hotel rooms, from early morning until after midnight. Union members ate on the lines, often bringing their children with them.  

Picketers were a polyglot reflection of the city’s diversity, with all its racial groups, speaking a bewildering variety of languages.  

Some conventions pulled out of picketed hotels, while guests complained about disruption inside, or just refused to cross the lines. When operators brought in strikebreakers from hotels in other cities, the union extended its picket lines to Chicago, Honolulu and Monterey, provoking one-day shutdowns that previewed what coordinated bargaining in 2006 might accomplish.  

Finally, the union turned to the city itself. Matt Gonzalez, Board of Supervisors president, held a crowded hearing at City Hall. The mayor, hitherto quiet about the dispute, decided to make his own attempt to settle it. Here, the hotel operators made their most disastrous error. Newsom asked them to end the lockout while he tried to make progress in negotiations. The hotels turned him down flat. And when he threatened to picket with the workers, a gesture with little actual economic clout, they criticized him publicly. Matt Adams, head of the Multi Employer Group, wondered aloud in the San Francisco Chronicle why the mayor, whose campaign they had financed was not taking their side without question.  

Newsom went to the picket lines and announced he was pulling city business from the hotels, encouraging all their clients to go elsewhere. As complaints of lost revenue and noise from the picket lines mounted from businesses around the hotels, Newsom pulled the police away, saying the operators could end the ruckus any time they liked.  

Finally, the union and its allies, now including the mayor, drove a wedge between the hotel operators and the owners, who gained nothing from the lockout. After five weeks, the operators let the workers return to their jobs, with no agreement on their essential demand that the union give up the 2006 contract expiration date.  

The contract remains unresolved. The union agreed not to strike for 60 days. The operators and the hotels will be able to function unhindered through their busiest season. But the grand strategy to stop the union’s bid for greater bargaining power has unraveled, leaving the Multi Employer Group in disarray and politically isolated. 

 

David Bacon writes regularly on labor and immigration issues. His latest book is The Children of NAFTA (University of California Press, 2004).  


Under Currents: Note to Democrats: Principles Must Precede Popularity: J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR
Friday November 26, 2004

Poor Democrats. They stand like Jack Nicholson as the Joker in the Batman movie, deserted and alone on an inner city street, watching the Republican juggernaut disappearing in the distance overhead, wondering why their toys don’t work like that. 

These days, the Democrats always seem to be functioning one election behind. John Kerry and the national party did all the right things to win the 2000 presidency, plugging all the holes left open by Al Gore’s candidacy. Unfortunately, our Republican friends were running a campaign built for 2004. 

And so, now, the anguish. The soul searching. The pulling of hair and covering of bodies with dust and ashes as Democrats wonder, “What can we do to make the people like us again?” 

The word of the day, today, is “morals,” with polls saying that the national election was largely decided on that issue, our Republican friends squatting contentedly on theirs, and Democrats scramble to try to find some place to make an inroad. The first such “opening” came when Republican members of Congress, worried that House Majority Leader is in some danger of being indicted by a Texas Grand Jury for possible election law violations, rescinded their own rule that an indicted Congressional leader must be automatically removed from his post. 

Hypocrites!, the Democrats shouted. Why, you’re not moral at all! 

The problem is, as my country friends used to say, that when you point a finger at somebody else, three of your own fingers point back at you. 

And so Democrats, if they want to show the public that they are less corrupt than the other guys, might simply want to clean out their own stalls first, before going after the opposition. 

In the largest state of the union—California—a good starting point would be declaring that any state Democratic legislative leader indicted by a grand jury should immediately be removed from her-or his-leadership post. That would send the nation a clear message that the Democrats were serious on this issue. 

It would also mean that our own Democratic State Senator Don Perata—who is reportedly under federal investigation for alleged misuse of his office—would have to remove himself from his newly-achieved post of president pro tem of the California State Senate if that investigation happens to end up in an indictment against Mr. Perata. 

Will California Democratic legislative leaders take that position? In a story this week, the Oakland Tribune’s Sacramento bureau correspondent, Steve Geissinger, gave some interesting—and probably predictable—insight: “[State] senators, however, withheld predictions of what Democrats, who hold 25 of the [California] Senate’s 40 seats, would do if Perata is indicted. On the other hand, if Perata survives the episode, no senators want to have appeared as if they were scheming on his job, lest they be punished.” 

Yes, I see. Let us be known as the party of morality, but only if it means we don’t have to take any risks. But morality is not a soundbite or a political position. Most often it involves the courage to stick to a principled belief, even at personal or political cost. The public recognizes and respects that, even when they don’t hold the same belief. 

Another running theme in the panic following Nov. 2 is that, since Americans are showing that they like Republicans more than they like Democrats, then Democrats should become more like Republicans in order to get Americans to like them again. And so, the talk that Democrats should move more toward the “center,” which is code for “let’s be less like us, and more like them.” 

This defies both logic and history. 

In the election of 1964, Republican conservativism had its clock cleaned by President Lyndon Johnson, who beat Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater 486 to 52 in the electoral vote, 61 percent to 39 percent in the popular vote. In the wake of that debacle, Republicans could have modified their conservatism, and moved their positions closer to the “center” and the mood of the country. Instead, led by people like Ronald Reagan, they set about systematically to move the mood of the country closer to them. Within 20 years they had accomplished a complete reversal, with President Ronald Reagan beating Walter Mondale 525 to 13 in the electoral vote in 1984, 59 percent to 41 percent in the popular vote. 

If Democrats want to take a lesson from Republicans, that would be a good one to start with. 

For progressive Democrats, that would mean not worrying so much about who the party nominates for the presidency in 2008, but instead working to transform the party from the bottom up, concentrating on local office, and setting sites on statewide and national power for 2012 and beyond. We saw a model for that this year in Richmond, where progressive Democrats aligned themselves with Greens and Peace and Freedom Party members and “even” Libertarians (the “even” is their term) to form the Richmond Progressive Alliance and elect Gayle McLaughlin to the Richmond City Council. That’s a model to be studied: perhaps the formation of a Progressive-Populist Democratic coalition as part of the state and national Democratic Party, that would support Democratic nominees in statewide and national elections in the near term, but would run their own slates for local offices, biding their time while they change peoples’ minds and build their strength. 

That might even mean an electoral challenge from the left for politicians like Senator Perata, who ran uncontested for his seat this time by skillfully maneuvering his most serious opposition out of the way before it was time for the votes to be cast. Winning political power by hoping your opposition gets put in jail is not a good political strategy. It’s not a strategy at all. 

The “populist” part is critical to the progressive-populist equation. A lot of my good friends are Green Party members, but once you get outside of the city limits of Berkeley—which is as naturally “green” as you’ll get in the state of California—the Greens tend to be more a debating society than a serious player in community politics. The same—unfortunately—is true for the progressive Democratic clubs, whose platforms and agendas rarely reflect the problems and concerns of a good portion of the population. While the media proclaims that the “exurbs” are the new political battleground, millions of potential progressive voters in the traditional inner cities go abandoned, waiting for their concerns to be heard. You cannot lead people if you’re afraid to walk down their streets. Or worse yet, don’t even know where they live. 

Anyways, forgive me for preaching. I’ll try not to get carried away next time. Thus endeth the lesson. 

 

H


Commentary: Rebuilding Won’t Fix Stadium Safety Problems: By JANICE THOMAS

By JANICE THOMAS
Friday November 26, 2004

My sincere hope is that the Daily Planet follows up with an article on the public safety issues surrounding Cal Stadium’s current location and proposed future location of the Stadium Rebuild Project. It is dramatic to put neighborhoods in an adversarial role against this university and its athletic program, but to do so is missing the point. We are not the best representatives of the public safety issue because of our clear self-interests, but at the same time, we perhaps better than anybody else are all too familiar with the public safety issues because of where we live.  

It is not our fault that the university persists in its denial about the problems with the Strawberry Canyon location. Anybody in their right mind would foresee difficulties too numerous to list in a short letter to the editor. Everybody knows about, but turns a blind eye to, the fact that the stadium is located at a virtual dead end, at the mouth of a canyon, near a state-designated critical fire zone, built on fill, where a waterfall once was. No other campus stadium comes close to having any one of these problems, and the combination of problems is unheard of.  

I will be requesting from this university a headcount of the number of students who do attend games. No matter how the stadium itself is rebuilt to be earthquake safe, no technical solution accounts for 73,000 people (approximately 75 percent of the population of Berkeley concentrated in this one location), evacuating the area. Any realistic scenario accounts for the human tendency to run, to flee, to do what others are doing, which might be correctly named “stampeding.”  

Never have I heard one word from the university, or the city for that matter, that the stadium is located near the most population dense area of the City of Berkeley. It is nice to minimize the problems by the university’s focus on Panoramic Hill, but any realistic scenario accounts for the fact that 73,000 individuals leaving the area will also interfere with emergency access to not only the Panoramic Hill neighborhood, but also to numerous student co-ops, residence halls, fraternities and sororities. But instead of protecting the students, this university uses the students’ enthusiasm to reinforce denial about the real risks associated with rebuilding at this location.  

Already, the City of Berkeley fails to protect the one neighborhood I know most intimately, the Panoramic Hill neighborhood, which is the canary in the mine shaft, if you think about it. As a result of this failure, the university’s environmental review documents historically underestimate impacts by counting on a fire department service that is simply not available to us. Instead, the perception is of a city that manipulates public opinion about budget issues by sacrificing public safety.  

No matter how UC Berkeley administrators package it, retrofitting old concrete means removing the existing concrete, transporting it out through predominantly student neighborhoods, and rebuilding, which means more trucks bringing materials in through two-lane residential streets. It is realistic to imagine air quality and noise impacts even worse than what we already endure with the construction of the Underhill and Northeast Quadrant Projects.  

Let’s call it what it is: a stadium rebuild and not a retrofit. It is not possible to retrofit 81-year-old concrete on a 22-acre site built on fill with a fault running lengthwise without extensive construction work that by any reasonable definition would constitute a new project.  

The map of Strawberry Valley prepared in 1875 shows the natural terrain, a ravine and a waterfall, which we would all do well to remember. This is the least reported fact, i.e. that the stadium is prominently situated near the headwaters of a watershed. How the construction will take place so as to not pollute Strawberry Creek will require significant public input. In the past, the city and university failed to protect the environment: To wit, the portable toilets on Rim Road are testimony if anyone has wondered: The sewers from stadium toilet use contaminated Strawberry Creek. 

The wild turkeys, that Joe Eaton wrote about in the same issue of the Planet as the neighbors versus athletics article, have been sighted on non-game days walking on Rim Road. But this was before the Big Game and the crowds roaming about Tightwad Hill and probable turkey habitat.  

Instead of being protective of the environment, and mindful of public safety, the university spin doctors brush aside each and every issue and somehow manage to blame “selfish neighbors.” This will work in the short-term, but it is not wise.  

Meanwhile, a sexy, magnificent, bright, radiant stadium awaits to be built somewhere else, where it can be used to generate revenue and for uses not limited to intercollegiate sports. The stadium rebuild does not have to be a zero-sum solution.  

 

Janice Thomas is a Strawberry Canyon resident. 


Commentary: Enforcement Change Would Protect Sex Workers: By JANE FREEMAN

By JANE FREEMAN
Friday November 26, 2004

Although the election is over, people still have Query stickers on their cars and signs endorsing or opposing the different measures. The most popular sign in my area, West Berkeley, seems to be the red and white “Vote No on Q.” Measure Q was the Berkeley ballot initiative that would have made prostitution a low priority for local police. The plethora of red and white signs down San Pablo Avenue promised that voting no on Q would protect women and protect neighborhoods. The defeat of Measure Q was a lost opportunity for this historically progressive city and guarantees that the current system will continue to persecute sex workers and fail to make our community safe. 

Sex workers encounter many types of violence. They often report that the greatest violence that is committed against them is by police officers. Many sex workers report being sexually assaulted, harassed and raped by the police, and that the threat of criminal prosecution is used to coerce them into not reporting these acts of violence. This also includes customers, pimps, or strangers who are protected by the criminalization of sex work. Reporting acts of violence that occurred while on the job, they risk criminalizing themselves. 

In this climate of increasing criminalization, there is no immunity for those engaging in sex work, even when they are the victims of violence. Measure Q would have promoted safety of sex workers by reducing their fear of criminal prosecution. 

For the past few months, I have been working as a legal advocate at Justice Now, a local human rights organization that works with women in prison. During the course of my employment, I have learned that many of the roughly 11,000 women imprisoned in California report that one of their first contacts with the criminal justice system was through sex work. 

Once women enter this system, they face a litany of human rights abuses including sexual harassment and abuse, brutality, extreme medical neglect and loss of their parental rights. Significantly, jails and prisons are designed in a manner that creates a climate of sexual violence against women. Such violence is systemic, occurs daily, and is experienced by all women even if they are only held for the few hours of booking. 

For example, women are guarded primarily by male guards who watch them change, shower and use the toilet; there is no privacy. Such an experience can be particularly traumatic for women with histories of sexual violence at the hands of men, as is the case for many women in the sex industry. Measure Q could have helped to reduce the number of women jailed in these conditions by paving the way for communities across California to remove prostitution from the focus of the police. 

Measure Q had the potential to reduce the stigma surrounding sex work, which would have eased the transition for sex workers out of the industry. Once a person is targeted by the criminal justice system, the system itself functions to keep the person trapped within it. People with a criminal record or who are thought to be sex workers face heightened surveillance, prosecution, and harassment by police. People with criminal records find it virtually impossible to legally earn a living wage for themselves and their families; most employers, including those paying only minimum wage such as Jack in the Box and IKEA, screen job applicants based on criminal records. By reducing enforcement of anti-prostitution laws in Berkeley, Measure Q could have relieved these women of the stigma associated with criminal prosecution and thus would have facilitated their exit from sex work if that is what they wished to do. 

Opponents of Measure Q argued that passing it would have led to deterioration of our neighborhoods. Berkeley is not a safer place because we target sex 

workers for punishment and confinement. Instead, the current system perpetuates the cycle of violence against women in our neighborhoods by assuring that sex workers will continue to be victims of both interpersonal and state violence. And as long as they are experiencing violence, how can we be safe? 

 

Jane Ashley Freeman, a Berkeley resident, recently graduated from Mills College with a degree in political, legal, and economic analysis. 

 


Letters to the Editor

Friday November 26, 2004

PERFORMANCE GAP 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

Perhaps it is time for the terminology of the “achievement gap” to evolve to the “performance gap.” Maybe this would shift the perception and attitudes of our schools as victim/villain industries. This might allow for greater personal and collective responsibility, by rewarding individual effort and acknowledging the need for school site achievement plans to use an inclusive framework ensuring the value-added concept for all skill levels. 

Laura Menard 

 

• 

CONDOLEEZZA 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

The cartoon portrait of Condoleezza Rice (“Face of Diplomacy,” Daily Planet, Nov. 19-22) proved Justin DeFreitas a brilliant artist (not that I ever doubted his talent). It captures perfectly—without exaggeration(!)—the mean, intense, obsessively ambitious and twisted determination of this woman. I’m exasperated when people say that the elevation of her and Colin Powell represents progress in integration. An evil person is evil, whatever his or her color. Thanks, Justin. 

Dorothy Bryant 

 

• 

SEAGATE, ROBERTS 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

Thank you for the recent coverage of the proposed Ed Roberts Campus and the proposed Seagate Building. The juxtaposition between the two couldn’t be clearer.  

The Ed Roberts Campus will house many of Berkeley’s most vital services for the disabled next to the Ashby BART station. The developers, led by the Center for Independent Living’s Executive Director Jan Garrett, have worked (and continue to work) with the surrounding neighborhood and have compromised on many issues to lessen the ERC’s impact on the neighborhood. 

The Seagate building is two stories over the maximum height allowed in our downtown. The few units of affordable apartments may, according to the developers, be changed into market-rate condominiums. Our city is under constant pressure from the state to expand affordable housing, yet this oversized residential building may easily contain no units of affordable housing. I have heard of no efforts to address the community’s concerns by the developers. Hopefully with the arrival of the Friends of Downtown Berkeley on the scene, this lack of community input into this major project will be history and we will be able to work together and craft an acceptable, appropriate project at the Seagate site. 

Jesse Townley 

 

• 

BUDGET CRISIS 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

Eureka! Becky O’Malley and her merry band of “amateur policy wonks” have discovered the cause of Berkeley’s budget crisis : The city actually pays its employees! 

Surely, Becky and her merry band has a more sophisticated analysis than this. For example, I’m sure I missed the Daily Planet’s in-depth analysis of city funding streams and the structural limitations that have thrown cities across the state into dire financial situations. Certainly Becky’s band has crunched the numbers regarding the financial impact that the state’s massive takeaway has had on our cities. 

Alas, it’s so much easier to belittle public employees and to complain about being “dissed” (oh Becky, you are hip!) by an overpaid city worker than it is delve into the mind-numbing world of urban finance. Come on Becky! It’s time to climb down from that soap box and do some real work—lest someone might accuse you of being just another lazy journalist... 

Eric Riley 

 

• 

CAL STADIUM 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

I am bemused by some neighbors’ complaints about football games (“Berkeley-Stanford Big Game Means Big Headache for Stadium Neighbors,” Daily Planet, Nov. 23-25).  

One resident who lives at Dwight and College Avenue says he had to stay home on Saturday afternoon, because if he had gone out, he would not have found a parking space when he got back. I used to live at Dwight and College, and it was an easy walk to two nearby shopping districts, an easy bicycle ride to most of Berkeley, and on a bus line that connects with BART. Is this person physically chained to his car, so he cannot go anywhere without it? If so, I suggest that he cut the chain.  

Another resident who lives on Panoramic Hill wants to move the stadium to the site of Golden Gate Fields. Currently, students walk to stadium and many fans come by BART. Golden Gate Fields is not within walking distance of campus and has little transit, so virtually everyone would drive there—creating much worse traffic for all of Berkeley. This proposal to move the stadium proves that some people care only about their own back yards.  

I will repeat a proposal I have made before. The best way to eliminate the conflict between the stadium and its nearest neighbors is to remove the housing from Panoramic Hill and move that handful of residents to a location within walking distance of shopping and transit. That would be less expensive than moving the stadium, and it would be better for the environment: It would mean more open space, improved wildlife habitat, and less traffic.  

Charles Siegel 

 

• 

COMMON SENSE 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

I am unable to understand the complaints of the neighbors of the Cal Stadium. Is it possible they didn’t notice the stadium before they bought their houses? Surely ease of access to their homes could not have been a high priority—I defy anyone to prove that Panoramic is an easy street to drive up and down, and none of the other neighboring streets to the north and south are easy to access either. If there’s an earthquake or fire, the same issues of access exist.  

There are only five or six games a year, and it seems to me that a reasonable, intelligent person would have taken into account the possible inconveniences of living close to the stadium before paying so much for his or her home in this location. However, I have been in Berkeley for 43 years now, and I do know that reasonable, intelligent people are hard to find here. 

Just a little common sense, people—if you live close to a stadium, there are bound to be a few noisy days with incredibly inconsiderate people around, and a few days on which you can’t drive and people park in the most inconsiderate fashion imaginable (ticket and tow those suckers!). Common sense, hard to find in Berkeley, California, Washington, D.C., and most red states... 

Ellen L. Franzen 

 

• 

QUESTIONS 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

How do I feel about the current fashion of asking a question in order to provide the answer? Sick at heart that style is sacrificed to cuteness, that’s how. 

How do I feel about cuteness? Oh dear, I think I just committed it. 

Dyspeptically, 

Bonnie Hughes 

 

• 

SMART GROWTH 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

Ms. Nicoloff’s seemingly rational review on smart growth using short quips from various experts came to an irrational conclusion (“Smart Duplicity,” Daily Planet, Nov. 12-15). She did not consider the basic reason why more people are speaking for smart growth. It is that we cannot continue to build in the same status quo manner as we have since the advent of the auto. We have an energy crisis, warming of the earth and air quality problem, unsolvable congestion problem, the misuse of land, and deteriorating quality of life that needs to be addressed. She basically supports status quo, which does not face these problems. These are the reasons top planners are urging some form of smart growth what ever it is, for smart growth has never been specifically defined.  

She is correct in stating the reason for more density is to reverse the declining ridership of mass transit. We definitely need to consider more compact development where people do not have to travel as far to their day-to-day activities, where we have more walkable communities, have frequent and convenient transit, and develop a community that is less dependent on the auto. I have traveled worldwide, at my own expense examining transit, and found in Curitiba, Brazil they have done this primarily along corridors and not throughout the neighborhoods and now has more than 1.3 million transit trips per day, which balances the number of transit trips versus autos transit even though Curitiba has a population under 1 million and the second largest number of cars per capita in Brazil.  

Roy Nakadegawa 

 

• 

SNOBBISH, SNIDE, STUPID 

Editors, Daily Planet: 

“Apparently, even the news is slow to travel to Yuba City” is a snobbish and stupid thing to print, whether it’s true or not (Letters, Daily Planet, Nov. 19-22). Exactly the mindset that gives our area some of its perhaps deserved negative reputation. 

Did your Police Blotter reporter get beat up, or “relieved of” something? The writing is starting to sound like he actually gets the idea that crime victims do best with a caring treatment, instead of the snide casting as if they were cheap theater pieces. 

The (formerly in-living-) color Nov. 19 shot of the frat boy with the dead pig was... 

Sandy Rothman 

?


New Ishmael Reed Play Debuts at Black Rep: By KEN BULLOCKSpecial to the Planet

By KEN BULLOCKSpecial to the Planet
Friday November 26, 2004

Who’s Who in the Tough Love Game—Ishmael Reed’s “serious comedy” at the Black Repertory Group—opens with a strange tableau, a wild variety of figures posed in front of an American flag and a chart reading “Only Foundation Agenda.” 

The group includes a s eated Klansman holding a microphone, interviewing a professional black woman; a middle-aged, bearded white man in tie-dye and huaraches, impatient on his cellphone; and a black man dozing on a couch, hat pulled over his brow, while a well-dressed black wo man stands over him, steaming. 

Taking it all in, with a weary shake of his head, is an older black man in a business suit, who introduces himself as Cicero Cincinnatus (played by N. Bruce Williams, who also directed the play), “a Republican—party of Linc oln and Douglas.”  

Cicero is an orator indeed. He explains to us he’s a ‘60s Republican, a friend of Nixon (who was, after all, photographed with Dr. King—yet still “took a leaf from George Wallace’s Southern strategy.”) 

Whereas liberals’ “answer to so cial problems,” Cicero explains, “was to pay attention just when they wanted our votes . . . [otherwise] throw money at them,” the old conservatives could offer more (or as Wadsworth Cornilee (Clint Cartridge) puts it after he breaks ranks, the receptions were better, “not just cheese and crackers”). 

But after “the intellectual counter-revolution,” a new breed has taken over: “They think that everybody but them should fend for themselves,” that Reagan didn’t even tip the porters on the train; “no wonder they called him Dutch.” But Reagan “turned out like Nebuchadnezzar, unable himself to appreciate all the splendor.” 

Cicero had been given a fellowship “by Old Man Only” with the Only Foundation, a conservative think tank that preaches that black people are their own worst enemy. But with the father’s death, the yuppie son, Bradley Only Jr. (“Masz” Maszewski, in the tie-dye and on his cellphone with his frat bro, Bush Jr.), an ex-surfer, has taken over the foundation and is downsizing. This has started a cutthroat flurry among the other black fellows, each trying to discredit the others and make the cut. 

They’re all introduced, doing their jobs of giving disinformation: Wadsworth Cornilee (dozing on the couch) and his fashionable wife Kornalessa (played with elan by Pheleta Santos) and their African houseboy, soon-to-be-adopted Wamu Rudurudu (Dawayne Ileyray Jordan), “an enterprising young man” into self-help—who’s helped himself to Kornalessa (as she puts it, when Wads was out protesting Affirmative Act ion); Ring Starr (Penny Donaville/Deborah Sherman-Price), a black academic who’s hip to the critical theory jive and blames the black man, not poverty, for domestic woes; and author Oliver McNutley (Steve Crum in a good turn), who lectures to rehabilitate the memory of Simon Legree, “that compassionate conservative,” and who shouts at the cop who brings him down, “Is this any way to treat a future Pulitzer Prize winner?” 

The canvas is broad, the dialogue can be pretty wayward and spicy, a perfect satiric al antidote to post-election letdown. And a good hook for the valiant Black Rep players to hang their hat on. 

The Black Repertory Group started out as a church drama program in 1964; it still has the feel of a community group in every sense, on stage and in the audience. And, like any community theater project that draws its talent from a range of experience, there are some rough edges and slow patches. But this is a play of moments, of tart sayings, poses and glances, as well as some riffing. 

It brings to mind at a few points the community-based origins and style of the Abbey Players, maybe the original nationalist theater company, successful long before agit-prop. And everybody has their moment, too—including Clarence R. Johnson Jr. (who alternates wi th Monica Greggs) as the Newscaster, and Alan Garth Tuttle as the Klansman-Cop-College Dean (caught tying a noose just before firing Ring Starr—who even the networks have refused and is stuck with cable as venue). 

This tongue-in-the-other-cheek satire by the author of Yellowback Radio Broke Down and Airing Dirty Laundry has been extended through Dec. 11. The performance that night will be followed by a benefit, a Soul Food and Champagne Gala, for the Group’s literacy and after-school programs.  

 

 




Arts Calendar

Friday November 26, 2004

FRIDAY, NOV. 26 

CHILDREN 

Splash Circus Theatre “Circus Rhymes” at 2 p.m. through Nov. 28 at Julia Morgan Center for the Arts. Tickets $8-$15. 925-798-1300.  

EXHIBITIONS  

“Paintings by Keith Wilson” opens at The Giorgi Gallery, 2911 Claremont Ave. and runs through Dec. 24. Gallery hours are Wed.-Fri. 1 to 6 p.m., Sat.- Sun. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 848-1228.  

THEATER 

Aurora Theatre “Emma” at 8 p.m. at 2081 Addison St. through Dec. 19. Tickets are $36. 843-4822. www.auroratheatre.org 

Berkeley Repertory Theater, “Polk County” A musical about aspring blues musician, Leafy Lee, at the Roda Theater, 2015 Addison St. to Jan. 9. Tickets are $15-$60. 647-2949. www.berkeleyrep.org  

Black Repertory Theater, “Who’s Who in the Tough Love Game” a new play by Ishmael Reed. Fri. at 8 p.m., Sat. at 2:30 and 8 p.m., through Nov. 27. Tickets are $5-$20. 3201 Adeline St. 652-2120. 

Impact Theatre, “Meanwhile, Back at the Super Lair” by Greg Kalleres, Thurs.-Sat. at 8 p.m. through Dec. 11, at La Val’s Subterranean Theater, 1834 Euclid. Tickets are $10-$15. 464-4468. www.impacttheatre.com 

FILM 

Marcel Pagnol’s Fanny Trilogy: “Marius” at 6:30 p.m. and “Fanny” at 8:55 p.m. at Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 

MUSIC AND DANCE 

Matthew Bourne’s “Nutcracker!” at 8 p.m. at Zellerbach Hall, UC Campus, through Dec. 5. Tickets are $30-$74. 642-9988.  

Moh Alileche, North African and Berber music at 9 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $13. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum, bluegrass and traditional folk, at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $17.50-$18.50. 548-1761.  

Smoov-E, First Degree the D.E., Equipto at 9:30 at Blakes on Telegraph. Cost is $10-$15. 848-0886. 

Thriving Ivory at 9:30 p.m. at Beckett’s Irish Pub, 2271 Shattuck Ave. 647-1790.  

Eric Crystal Trio at 9 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810. 

David Gans at 7:30 p.m. at Nomad Cafe, 6500 Shattuck Ave. 595-5344.  

Mingus Amungus at 8 p.m. at Shattuck Down Low, 2284 Shattuck Ave. Cost is $5-$10. 548-1159.  

Jinx Jones Trio at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Gather, Jealous Again, The Starting Point at 8 p.m. at 924 Gilman St. Cost is $6. 525-9926. 

Tuck & Patti at 8 and 10 p.m. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square. Cost is $26. 238-9200.  

SATURDAY, NOV. 27 

EXHIBITIONS 

“Up and Balanced” New works by John E. Sloan opens at Nexus Gallery, 2701 Eighth St. and runs through Dec. 12. Gallery hours are noon to 4 p.m. Mon. to Fri., noon to 5 p.m. Sat. and Sun. 

“A Lifetime of Form” Ceramics by Hall Riegger, through Dec. 30. Opening reception at 4 p.m. at TRAX Gallery, 1812 Fifth St. 540-8729. 

FILM 

Marcel Pagnol’s Fanny Trilogy “Fanny” at 4:30 p.m. and Henri Langlois Tribute at 7 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 

READINGS AND LECTURES 

Juliet S. Kono will read from her latest book ‘Ho’olulu Park and the Pepsodent Smile” at 4:30 p.m. at Eastwind Books, 2066 University Ave. 548-2350. 

MUSIC AND DANCE 

Healing Muses “Celtic Spirit” Baroque and traditional music from the British Isles and beyond at 8 p.m. at St. Alban’s Church, 1501 Washington St. at Neilson. Tickets are $15-$18. Advance reservations suggested. 524-5661. www.healingmuses.org 

Fundaraiser for the Jazz House with Marcia Miget and Deep Space Posse, Sun Ra Arkestra members at at 11 p.m. and midnight at the Last Day Saloon, 406 Clement St., S.F. Cost is $10. Help raise funds for the Jazz House to find a new home in Berkeley. 415-258-8122. 

Wadi Gad & The Reggae Angels at 9:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $13. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

The Shots at 2 p.m. at Down Home Music, 10341 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito. 525-2129. 

Weapons of Mass Construction at 7:30 p.m. at Nomad Cafe, 6500 Shattuck Ave. 595-5344. www.nomadcafe.net 

Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum, bluegrass and traditional folk, at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $17.50-$18.50. 548-1761.  

The Vice, Cushion Theory, Ned, The Dead Bullfighters at 9:30 p.m. at Blakes on Telegraph. Cost is $7. 848-0886.  

The Mutilators, The Tantrums at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $5. 841-2082.  

Josh Workman Quartet at 9 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810. 

David Jefrey Fourtet with Keith Kelly at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Local Band Night with Factory Seconds, Sabretooth Tiger at 8 p.m. at 924 Gilman St. Cost is $6. 525-9926. 

SUNDAY, NOV. 28 

FILM 

The World of Astrid Lindgren: “Rasmus and the Vagabond” at 3 p.m. Marcel Pagnol’s Fanny Trilogy, “César” at 5:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 

READINGS AND LECTURES 

Poetry Flash with Bruce Isaacson and Eliot Schain at 7:30 p.m. at Cody’s Books. Donation $2. 845-7852. www.codysbooks.com 

MUSIC AND DANCE 

Ferron, singer, songwriter, and folk music poet, at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $18.50-$19.50. 548-1761. www.freightandsalvage.org 

Odd Shaped Case, Balkan music brunch at 10 a.m. at Nomad Cafe, 6500 Shattuck Ave. 595-5344. www.nomadcafe.net 

MONDAY, NOV. 29 

EXHIBITIONS 

“Art from the Heart” featuring the works of over 50 artists with disabilites at NIAD Art Center, 551 23rd St., Richmond. Exhibition runs to Jan. 7. 620-0290. www.niad.org 

READINGS AND LECTURES 

Gretel Erlich describes winter themes in “The Future of Ice” at 7:30 p.m. at Cody’s Books. 845-7852. www.codysbooks.com 

Poetry Express theme night on “family” from 7 to 9:30 p.m., at Priya Restaurant, 2072 San Pablo Ave. berkeleypoetryexpress@yahoo.com 

MUSIC AND DANCE 

Song Writers Symposium at 9 p.m. at Blakes on Telegraph. Cost is $3. 848-0886. www.blakesontelegraph.com 

Harry Manx, original world music, folk and blues guitarist, at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage Coffee House. Cost is $15.50 in advance, $16.50 at the door. 548-1761. www.freightandsalvage.org 

Zoe & Dave Ellis at 8 and 10 p.m. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square. Cost is $10-$14. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 

TUESDAY, NOV. 30 

CHILDREN 

First Stage Children’s Theater “Flights of Fantasy” at 7:30 p.m. at the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts. Tickets are $4 at the door. 845-8542.  

FILM 

Alternative Visions: “Latent Excavations,” new work by Lynn Marie Kirby at 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 

READINGS AND LECTURES 

John Ross describes “Murdered by Capitalism: 150 Years of Life & Death on the U.S. Left” at 7:30 p.m. at Cody’s Books. 845-7852. www.codysbooks.com 

MUSIC AND DANCE 

Berkeley Symphony Orchestra “Symphony Not As Usual” Bartók’s “Rhapsody” and Beethoven’s “Grosse Fuge” at 8 p.m. at Hertz Hall, UC Campus. Tickets are $22-$49. 841-2800. www.berkeleysymphony.org  

Gerard Landry & The Lariats at 8:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cajun dance lesson with Diana Castillo at 8 p.m. Cost is $9. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Peter Barshay and Murray Low at 8 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810. 

Taj Mahal at 8 and 10 p.m. Yoshi’s at Jack London Square. Through Sun. Dec. 5. Cost is $16-$24. 238-9200.  

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 1 

EXHIBITIONS 

“Visions of the Holidays” Art work by Berkeley residents, from kindergarteners to seniors, on display in storefronts throughout downtown Berkeley, through Dec. 31. 549-2230. www.downtownberkeley.org 

“Innovative Developments in Glass Arts” by five East Bay glass artists on display in the Addison Street Windows Gallery through Jan. 15. 981-7533. 

Jesse Allen, Giclee Prints. Reception at 5 p.m. at Epoch Frameworks and Gallery, 2284 Fulton St.  

FILM 

Powerpoint to the People An evening of automated digital presentations at 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808.  

READINGS AND LECTURES 

John Dominic Crossan and Jonathan L. Reed on “In Search of Paul: How Jesus’ Apostle Opposed Rome’s Empire with God’s Kingdom” at 7 p.m. at First Congregational Church of Berkeley, 2345 Channing Way. Sponsored by Cody’s Books. 845-7852. www.codysbooks.com  

Berkeley Poetry Slam with host with Charles Ellik at 8:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $5-7. 841-2082.  

MUSIC AND DANCE 

Wednesday Noon Concert, Javanese Gamelan Ensembles, directed by Midiyanto, at Hertz Hall, UC Campus. 642-4864.  

Music for the Spirit Lenore Mathias, flute, performs Handel, McKean and French works at 12:15 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Oakland, 2619 Broadway. 444-3555. 

Berkeley Symphony Orchestra “Symphony Not As Usual” Bartók’s “Rhapsody” and Beethoven’s “Grosse Fuge” at 8 p.m. at Hertz Hall, UC Campus. Tickets are $22-$49. 841-2800. www.berkeleysymphony.org  

Matthew Bourne’s “Nutcracker!” at 8 p.m. at Zellerbach Hall, UC Campus, through Dec. 5. Tickets are $30-$74. 642-9988.  

Sauce Piquante at 8:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cajun dance lesson with Diana Castillo at 8 p.m. Cost is $9. 525-5054.  

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

Bill Miller at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $15.50-$16.50. 548-1761.  

Kaputnik, Mister Loveless, Buffalo at 9:30 p.m. at Blakes on Telegraph. Cost is $6. 848-0886.  

Candela, salsa, at 8 p.m. at Shattuck Down Low, 2284 Shattuck Ave. Cost is $5-$10. 548-1159.  

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

Taj Mahal at 8 and 10 p.m. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square, through Sun. Cost is $16-$24. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 

THURSDAY, DEC. 2 

FILM 

Cine Mexico: “Canoa” at 5:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Free screening. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 

EXHIBITIONS 

Keith Wilson, paintings. Reception at 6 p.m. at Giorgi Gallery, 2911 Claremont Ave. at Ashby. 848-1228. www.giorgigallery.com 

Kazutoshi Sugiura, prints. Reception at 6 p.m. at Schurman Fine Art Gallery, 1659 San Pablo Ave. Exhibit runs to Jan. 30. 524-0623. 

“Threshold: Byron Kim” Guided tour at 5:30 p.m. at Berkeley Art Museum, 2626 Bancroft Way. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 

THEATER 

“Measures Taken” by Bertolt Brecht, workshop production by UC Dept. of Theater and Dance at 8 p.m. in Zellerbach Room 7, UC Campus. Also on Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 4 at 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $5. 642-9925. 

READINGS AND LECTURES 

Lunch Poems Reading Series with Billy Collins, former U.S. poet laureate and author of “Sailing Alone Around the Room: Selected Poems” at 12:10 p.m. at the Morrison Library in Doe Library, UC Campus. 642-0137.  

“The Rebozo: History and Technique” with Virginia Davis, textile artist, at noon at the Phoebe Hearst Museum, Bancroft at College. 643-7648. 

“Food in California Indian Culture” with Ira Jenkins, editor, at 4 p.m. at the Phoebe Hearst Museum, Bancroft at College. 643-7648. 

“Hard Manual Labor of the Imagination” the poetry of Ishmael Reed, at 7:30 p.m. at College Preparatory School, Buttner Auditorium, 6100 Broadway, Oakland. Cost is $5-$10. 658-5202.  

David Thompson on “The Whole Equation,” a history of Hollywood, at 7:30 p.m. at Cody’s Books. 845-7852.  

Andrew Wood on “Road Trip America: A Tour of Off-beat Destinations” at 7:30 p.m. at Easy Going Travel Shop & Bookstore, 1385 Shattuck Ave. 843-3533. 

Poetry at the Albany Library with Eva Schlesinger and Jeanne Lupton at 7 p.m. at 1247 Marin Ave., Albany. 526-3720. 

Word Beat Reading Series at 7 p.m. with Michael Kelly and Selene Steese followed by an open mic at Mediterraneum Caffe, 2475 Telegraph Ave., near Dwight Way. 526-5985.  

MUSIC AND DANCE 

“Voices of Heaven and Earth” with Holy Names University Chamber Singers at 7:30 p.m. at the Regents’ Theater, Valley Center for Performing Arts, Holy Names University, 3500 Mountain Blvd., Oakland. Tickets are $5-$15. We encourage you to bring an unwrapped gift for a child of any age for Project Joybells. 436-1330. 

Oakland Opera Theater “Rake’s Progress” by Igor Stravinsky, at Oakland Metro, 201 Broadway. Thurs. - Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 2 p.m. through Dec. 19. Tickets are $22-$32. www.oaklandopera.org 

Petty Booka, Old Puppy at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $6. 841-2082.  

Ian Tyson, folk and western, at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $17.50-$18.50. 548-1761.  

Gini Wilson, solo jazz piano, at 8 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810. 

FRIDAY, DEC. 3 

THEATER 

Aurora Theatre “Emma” at 8 p.m. at 2081 Addison St. through Dec. 19. Tickets are $36. 843-4822. www.auroratheatre.org 

Berkeley High School “O & E” An original interpretation of the greek myth of Eurydice and Orpheus, at 8 p.m. Fri. and Sat., Sun. at 7 p.m. at the Little Theater, Allston Way. Tickets are $5-$7. 332-1931. 

Berkeley Repertory Theater, “Polk County” A musical about aspring blues musician, Leafy Lee, at the Roda Theater, 2015 Addison St. to Jan. 9. Tickets are $15-$60. 647-2949. www.berkeleyrep.org  

Impact Theatre, “Meanwhile, Back at the Super Lair” by Greg Kalleres, Thurs.-Sat. at 8 p.m. through Dec. 11, at La Val’s Subterranean Theater, 1834 Euclid. Tickets are $10-$15. 464-4468. www.impacttheatre.com 

FILM 

“The Bloods of ‘Nam” Screening of the 1996 film based on the book by Wallace Terry at 7 p.m. at the Oakland Museum of California, 10th and Oak Sts. 238-2200. www.museumca.org 

Cine Mexico: “Bricklayers” at 6:30 p.m., “Midaq Alley” at 8:45 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 

MUSIC AND DANCE 

Tallis Scholars performs “O Magnum Mysterium” at 8 p.m. at First Congragational Church, 2345 Channing Way. Tickets are $42. 642-9988. www.calperfs.berkeley.edu 

Matthew Bourne’s “Nutcracker!” at 8 p.m. at Zellerbach Hall, UC Campus, Sat. at 2 and 8 p.m., Sun. at 3 p.m. Tickets are $30-$74. 642-9988. www.calperfs.berkeley.edu 

Messiah Sing-Along with the University Symphony at 7 p.m. at Hertz Hall, UC Campus. Tickets are $15. 642-4864. http://music.berkeley.edu 

“Praetorius and the German Carol Tradition” at 8 p.m. at 2300 Bancroft Way. Tickets are $10-$25. 415-262-0272. www.calbach.org 

Desde la Bahia Party with Edgardo Cambón y Candela at 8 p.m. at La Peña. Cost is $15. 849-2568. www.lapena.org 

New Chicano Music with Quetzal at 9:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Lecture and demonstration at 8 p.m. Cost is $5 for lecture, $15 for lecture and concert. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir at 8 p.m. at the Jazzschool. Cost is $12-$18. 845-5373. www.jazzschool.com  

Geoff Muldaur & The Fountain of Youth at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $18.50-$19.50. 548-1761.  

Vinyl, Diego’s Umbrella at 9 p.m. at Shattuck Down Low, 2284 Shattuck Ave. Cost is $7-$10. 548-1159.  

Mushroom, The Weepies at 9:30 p.m. at Blakes on Telegraph. Cost is $8. 848-0886.  

The Sadies at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $10. 841-2082.  

Frank Jackson Trio at 9 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810. 

John Zalabak Trio with vocalist Beth Robinson at 7:30 p.m. at Nomad Cafe, 6500 Shattuck Ave. 595-5344. www.nomadcafe.net 

Actions Aside, Tiger Uppercut, Sabretooth Zombie at 8 p.m. at 924 Gilman St., an all-ages, member-run, no alcohol, no drugs, no violence club. Cost is $6. 525-9926. 

Taj Mahal at 8 and 10 p.m. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square, through Sun. Cost is $16-$24. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 

ª


Berkeley This Week

Friday November 26, 2004

FRIDAY, NOV. 26 

Reduced City Services Today Call ahead to ensure programs or services you desire will be available. 981-CITY. www.cityofberkeley.info 

Splash Circus Theatre will perform “Circus Rhymes” at 2 p.m. Nov. 26 to 28, Julia Morgan Theatre, 2640 College Ave., Berkeley. Tickets $8-$15. Call 925-798-1300.  

Berkeley Chess Club meets Fridays at 7:15 p.m. at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Ave. Players at all levels are welcome. 652-5324. 

Women in Black Vigil, from noon to 1 p.m. at UC Berkeley, Bancroft at Telegraph. wibberkeley@yahoo.com 548-6310, 845-1143. 

Meditation, Peace Vigil and Dialogue, gather at noon on the grass close to the West Entrance to UC Berkeley, on Oxford St. near University Ave. People of all traditions are welcome to join us. Sponsored by the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. 655-6169. www.bpf.org 

Overeaters Anonymous meets every Friday at 1:30 p.m. at the Northbrae Church at Solano and The Alameda. Parking is free and is handicapped accessible. For information call Katherine, 525-5231. 

SATURDAY, NOV. 27 

Family Bike Ride in Tilden Take a moderate ride with your young ones to discover the natural history of Tilden’s exotic trees. Meet at Inspiration Point at 11 a.m. Bring water, lunch and your helmet. Heavy rain cancels. Registration required. 525-2233. 

Compostable Compounds We’ll see the beginning and end of composting garbage and discover the organisms that dedicate their lives to make soil. For ages 8 to12 yrs. At noon at Tilden Environmental Educational Center. 525-2233. 

Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios Sat and Sun. from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For map see www.berkeleyartisans.com 

Berkeley Potters Guild Sale from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat. and Sun. through Dec. 19. 731 Jones St. 524-7031. www.berkeleypotters.com 

Womyn of Color Arts and Crafts Show Sat. and Sun. from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at La Peña, 3105 Shattuck Ave. 849-2568. www.lapena.org 

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. 

SUNDAY, NOV. 28 

Monarch Migration Adventure in Pt. Pinole Regional Park. Search this waterside park for the illusive colony of Monarchs that spend their winter break in the eucalyptus trees. Pack lunch and liquids, we’ll stop for a break and hear the incredible story of their miles of migration. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For information call Salli or Jessica at 525-2233. 

“Growing Native Seeds from Ferns” A workshop on growing beautiful ferns from nearly microscopic spores. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Visitors Center, Regional Parks Botanic Garden, Tilden Park. Cost is $40-$45. 845-4166. www.nativeplants.org 

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

Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios Sat and Sun. from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For map see www.berkeleyartisans.com 

Tibetan Buddhism with Erika Rosenberg on “Meditation and Successful Work” at 6 p.m. at the Tibetan Nyingma Institute, 1815 Highland Pl. 843-6812. www.nyingmainstitute.com 

MONDAY, NOV. 29 

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 

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. 

Party for Kriss Worthington Debt retirement party, all welcome. From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at La Bateau Ivre, 2629 Telegraph Ave. 

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

TOPS Take Off Pounds Sensibly meets every Mon. at 9 a.m. in Albany. For information call Mary at 526-3711. 

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

TUESDAY, NOV. 30 

Morning Bird Walk at 7:30 a.m. at Briones. 525-2233. 

“Harvest Health Fair” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Berkshire, 2235 Sacramento St. Health screening for blood pressure, hearing and podiatry, plus health education and vendors. 841-4844. 

“Elder Abuse” A video on legal and medical issues at 1:15 p.m. at the North Berkeley Senior Center. 549-2970. 

“The Socio-Ecology of Elephants: Analysis of the Processes Creating Multilevel Societies” with George Wittemyer, UCB, at 4 p.m. at 652 Barrows Hall, UC Campus. 642-8338. www.ias.berkeley.edu/africa 

Argosy University Information Sessions for degree programs in Psychology, Education and Business at 6 p.m. at 999-A Canal Blvd., Point Richmond. To RSVP or for directions to the school, call 215-0277. 

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. 

Family Story Time at the Kensington Branch Library, Tues. evenings at 7 p.m. at 61 Arlington Ave. 524-3043. 

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

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

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 1 

Berkeley Communicators Toastmasters meets the first and third Wednesdays of the month at 7:15 a.m. at Au Cocolait, 200 University Ave. at Milvia. For information call Robert Flammia 524-3765. 

Mini-Farmers in Tilden A farm exploration program, for ages 4-6 years; accompanied by an adult. We will explore the Little Farm, care for animals, do crafts and farm chores. Wear boots and dress to get dirty! Fee is $3-$5. Registration required. 525-2233. 

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

Berkeley Peace Walk and Vigil at the Berkeley BART Station, corner of Shattuck and Center. Sing for Peace at 6:30 p.m. followed by Peace Walk at 7 p.m. www. 

geocities.com/vigil4peace/vigil 

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

THURSDAY, DEC. 2 

Morning Bird Walk Meet at the Tilden Nature Area at 7:30 a.m. to look for locals and winter visitors. 525-2233. 

Vista Community College 30th Anniversary Party at 7:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo Ave. Music by Steve Lucky and Rhumba Bums. Proceeds go toward furniture, equipment for new Vista campus. Tickets are $10-$20 and available at Vista’s Cashier’s Office, 2020 Milvia St., 1st Floor, or online at vistabash.tix.com. 981-2800. 

FRIDAY, DEC. 3 

Outings on Fridays with Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association Tour of the Cameron-Stanford House in Oakland at 11 a.m. Cost is $15. Reservations required. 841-2242. www.berkeleyheritage.com  

American Indian Pow-Wow and Craft Fair from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the R Building cafeteria, Merritt College, 12500 Campus Drive, Oakland. Cultural entertainment and Grand Entry at 1 and 7 p.m. Benefits the American Indian Child Resource Center. www.aicrc.org 

First Fridays Film Series “In Bad Company” Fr. Bill O’Donnell in conversation with Martin Sheen, filmed in Dec. 1998, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph the Worker Church, 1640 Addison St. Free. 482-1062. 

Bhopal: 20 Years of Survival with a screening of “Bhopal Express” at 7 p.m. at the Ecology Center, 2530 San Pablo Ave. Cost is $5-$50. All proceeds to go to The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal. 415-981-1771. 

Christmas Play Auditions for Arlington Community Church Christmas Play 6 to 8 p.m. for children ages six and fourteen, and various adult roles. To reserve audition slot call 526-9146. 

Hayehwatha Institute Peace Ceremonies with Andree Morgana at 7 p.m. at Belladonna, 2436 Sacramento St. Cost is $10. 883-0600. www.belladonna.ws 

Berkeley Chess Club meets Fridays at 7:15 p.m. at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Ave. Players at all levels are welcome. 652-5324. 

Women in Black Vigil, from noon to 1 p.m. at UC Berkeley, Bancroft at Telegraph. wibberkeley@yahoo.com 548-6310, 845-1143. 

Meditation, Peace Vigil and Dialogue, gather at noon on the grass close to the West Entrance to UC Berkeley, on Oxford St. near University Ave. People of all traditions are welcome to join us. Sponsored by the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. 655-6169. www.bpf.org 

Overeaters Anonymous meets every Friday at 1:30 p.m. at the Northbrae Church at Solano and The Alameda. Parking is free and is handicapped accessible. For information call Katherine, 525-5231. 

SATURDAY, DEC. 4 

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 Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Dr. 643-2755. 

Long Walk with Your Dog Meet at 2 p.m. at Meadows Playfield in Tilden Park for a 3.5 mile walk along Wildcat Gorge. 525-2233. 

PAWS Holiday Photos Have your pet photographed in a fundraiser for Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Red Hound Pet Store, 5523 College Ave. Cost is $20. 845-7735 ext. 19. www.berkeleyhumane.org 

Holiday Decorations - Naturally Create wreaths and garlands using natural materials. Bring a pair of small hand clippers, a bag lunch, and a large flat box to take home your creations. From noon to 3:30 p.m. at Tilden Nature Area, Tilden Park. For adults and children 8 and over. Cost is $30-$61. Reservations required. 636-1684. 

Fungus Fair The beauty, tastes, smells and intricacies of the world of fungi from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Oakland Museum of California, 10th and Oak Sts. 238-2200. www.museumca.org 

Decorate a Flower Pot, Plant a Bulb from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Albany Library, 1247 Marin Ave. Free and open to all ages. 526-3720 ext. 17. 

Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios Sat and Sun. from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For map see www.berkeleyartisans.com 

Reused and Recycled Handicraft Sale from 10 a.m. to noon at GAIA, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, 1958 University Ave. 883-9490. www.no-burn.org 

Holiday Open House Gardening and writing books will be featured at Small Press Distribution from noon to 4 p.m. Readings at 2 p.m. 1341 Seventh St. at Gilman. 524-1668. www.spdbooks.org 

Holiday Crafts Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market, Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Center Park. 548-3333. www.ecologycenter.org 

Holiday Plant Sale with bulbs, house plants, cacti and succulants, carnivorous plants and orchids from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Dr. 643-2755. 

Holiday Arts Fair at the California College of the Arts from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 5212 Broadway at College Ave. 594-3666. 

American Indian Pow-Wow and Craft Fair from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the R Building cafeteria, Merritt College, 12500 Campus Drive, Oakland. Benefits the American Indian Child Resource Center. www.aicrc.org 

Community Arts and Wellness Day with yoga, martial arts, dance classes and more from 2 p.m. to midnight at Studio Rasa, 933 Parker St. Cost is $10-$20. Sponsored by Studio Rasa and Epic Arts. 843-2787. 

Artisan Marketplace from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Belladonna 2436 Sacramento St. 883-0600. www.belladonna.ws 

CopWatch Know Your Rights Workshop A free training from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. covering your rights when you are stopped, how to keep safe while documenting/observing the police, what we can do if police have violated our rights. 2022 Blake St. 548-0425. 

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. 

SUNDAY, DEC. 5 

Celebration of Forest Activism and Silent Auction to benefit the Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters, with food, live music and book signings from 4 to 8 p.m. at Unitarian Fellowship Hall, 1924 Cedar at Bonita. 548-3113. www.HeadwatersPreserve.org 

Voyage Through Time Make a flipper book of the motion’s of the Earth’s continents over the past 250 million years, from 10 a.m. to noon at Tilden Nature Area. Cost is $5-$7, registration required. 525-2233. 

Astronmony of the Star of Bethlehem with a slide show on recent ideas about the star and how great writers have told its tale, at 2 p.m. at Tilden Nature Center. 525-2233. 

Art Show and Holly Fair from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, 1 Lawson Rd., Kensington. 525-0302. www.uucb.org 

Holiday Art Show and Sale with works by the Albany Adult School Senior Painting and Drawing Class from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Albany Senior Center, 846 Masonic Ave. 524-9122. 

Richmond Art Center Arts Festival from noon to 5 p.m. at 2540 Barret Ave., Richmond. 620-6772. www.therichmondartcenter.org 

Pottery of Marty Weinstein on sale from noon to 5 p.m. at 871 Indian Rock Ave. Half of all proceeds go to Bay Area Community Resource. 526-5823. 

She Made Holiday Arts Bazaar to benefit the Women’s Daytime Drop-In Center from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Pro Arts Gallery, 550 Second St., Oakland at Jack London Square. www.she-made.com 

Fungus Fair The beauty, tastes, smells and intricacies of the world of fungi from noon to 5 p.m. at the Oakland Museum of California, 10th and Oak Sts. 238-2200. www.museumca.org 

Introduction to TaKeTiNa, rhythmic group process, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Ashkenaz, back studio, 1317 San Pablo Ave. Cost is $25-$45 sliding scale, no one will be turned away for lack of funds. 650-493-8046. 

“Eyes of the Beholder” workshop from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Hillside Community Church, 1422 Navellier St, El Cerrito. 415-383-7159. www.essential-motion.com 

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 Lee Nichol on “The Self Traversing Time” at 6 p.m. at the Tibetan Nyingma Institute, 1815 Highland Pl. 843-6812. www.nyingmainstitute.com 

MONDAY, DEC. 6 

Public Hearing on Mental Health The public is invited to comment on gaps in services in the mental health system, how to expand services, and on the need for prevention and early intervention at 6 p.m. at the South Berkeley Senior Center. For further information contact Harvey Tureck at 981-5213. 

Civic Arts Grant Workshop Sponsored by the City of Berkeley Civic Arts Commission at 6:30 p.m. at the North Berkeley Senior Center. For information call Charlotte Fredriksen 981-7539. 

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 

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

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

TOPS Take Off Pounds Sensibly meets every Mon. at 9 a.m. in Albany. For information call Mary at 526-3711. 

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

HOW TO HELP 

Alameda County Community Food Bank’s Annual Food Drive accepts donations of non-perishable food in the red barrel at any Safeway or Albertson’s. 834-3663. www.accfb.org 

November is We Give Thanks Month! Join participating restaurants in supporting the Berkeley Food and Housing Project. For a list of participating restaurants please visit www.bfhp.org  

Firefighters Toy Drive Donate new, unwrapped toys and canned food to any Berkeley fire station. For information call 981-5506. 

Find a Loving Animal Companion at the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society Adoption Center, 2700 Ninth St. 845-7735. www.berkeleyhumane.org  

CITY MEETINGS 

Council Agenda Committee meets Mon., Nov. 29 at 2:30 p.m., at 2180 Milvia St. 981-6900. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ 

citycouncil/agenda-committee 

Planning Commission meets Mon. Nov. 29 at 7 p.m., at the North Berkeley Senior Center. Janet Homrighausen, 981-7484. www.ci.berkeley. ca.us/commissions/planning 

Zoning Adjustments Board meets Mon. Nov. 29 at 7 p.m., in City Council Chambers. Mark Rhoades, 981-7410. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/commissions/zoning  


A Guide to Holiday Artisan Fairs Around Berkeley: By STEVEN FINACOM Special to the Planet

By STEVEN FINACOM Special to the Planet
Friday November 26, 2004

In a world increasingly filled with big box chain stores, mass-market catalogs, and “unique” gifts manufactured in the millions, where to shop for distinctive and meaningful gifts as the holidays approach?  

A good place to start your search might be one of Berkeley’s holiday artisan and craft fairs and events.  

Several events this season, some starting this weekend, provide direct access to hundreds of fine artists and craftsmen and women, many of who make Berkeley their year-round home or workplace. 

These sales also provide the welcome opportunity to spend your gift money locally and put it directly into the hands of those who conceived and created the artwork you’re purchasing. 

 

Holiday Gift Shoppe,  

Berkeley City Club 

11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28. 2315 Durant Ave., between Ellsworth and Dana. 

 

An intriguing and wonderful building opens its doors for a one-day gift fair this weekend, featuring “a select group of local artists, craftspersons, and artisans” as well as musical entertainment. 

Besides the shopping and music, a strong incentive is the opportunity to tour Julia Morgan’s “Little Castle,” one of Berkeley’s most opulent and well-preserved institutional buildings.  

If you have never been inside this neo-Gothic fantasy, complete with lushly planted courtyards, indoor swimming pool and baronial event spaces, here’s a chance to look. The sale is a benefit for the preservation of the City Club building.  

For more information, call 883-9710 or 848-7800. 

 

Berkeley Artisans Holiday  

Open Studios 

11 a.m.-to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 27-28, Dec. 4-5, 11-12, 18-19. Multiple locations. 

 

This annual event gives shoppers four weekends to visit studios all over town. Nearly 30 locations and scores of artists are included, from the Elmwood in the southeast to Gilman Street in the northwest; a few Emeryville artists also slip in under the Berkeley umbrella.  

Hand-blown glass, ceramics, works of photography, jewelry and oil paintings or watercolors seem to the primary offerings. Within those media, however, the range of type and technique is very eclectic. 

The descriptions of art also include “art glass stepping stones” (Cordelia DeVere), “watercolor and Japanese calligraphy” (Diane Abt), “children’s book illustrations” (Thacher Hurd), the intriguing but enigmatic “unusual egg ornaments & dioramas” (J. Brooke Patterson) and even “handcrafted wines” (Grapeleaf Cellars). 

Since many of the artists work in fairly specific styles, media, or price ranges, it’s unlikely that absolutely every studio you visit will suit your taste or budget. The hunt is intriguing, however, and collectively the range of offerings is vast. Most of the studios are also listed as wheelchair accessible. 

Open Studios also provides a chance to see inside several of Berkeley’s workshop buildings including the Strawberry Creek Design Center and the Sawtooth/Kawneer Building at 8th and Dwight. The next time you read about public policy or development disputes over live/work or affordable artist space, the issues will seem less abstract. 

For more information, visit http://berkeleyartisans.com (which includes links to individual artists’ and artisans’ websites) or send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Berkeley Artisans, 2547 Eighth St., No. 24A, Berkeley, 94710. 

 

Berkeley Farmers’ Market  

Holiday Crafts Fair 

Saturdays, December 4, 11 and 18. 

Downtown, Center Street at Martin Luther, King, Jr. Way. 

 

Along with organic fruits and vegetables, the Ecology Center’s popular DownTown FarMers’ Market offers Earth-friendly arts and crafts in December. 

“A wonderful variety of beautiful handcrafted gifts—jewelry, fabric arts, leather, ceramics, hats, dolls, fine art, photos, soaps and herbal potions, and other surprises,” is promised. Musicians will also provide entertainment.  

The sponsors are requiring that all the craft items sold must be made locally (in California) by the seller’s family, or employees, and “not have extensive negative impacts on the environment”. 

For more information call 548-3333 or visit www.ecologycenter.org. 

 

Telegraph Avenue  

Holiday Street Fair 

Weekends of December 11-12 and 18-19, and Thursday and Friday, December 23 and 24. 

 

For genuine Berkeley atmosphere, nothing beats shopping at the Telegraph Avenue Holiday Street Fair where craftspeople present their handcrafted wares beneath lampposts festooned with politically correct, non-sectarian, holiday decorations.  

The Telegraph Fair typically offers an abundance of special little items, from hand-made ceramic refrigerator magnets to jewelry, silk scarves, and tie-dye clothing.  

Telegraph, immediately south of the UC campus, is closed to traffic during the Fair and scores of colorful booths thickly populate both street and sidewalk from Bancroft to Dwight.  

Many of those selling are Telegraph Avenue regulars, but a number of artists make an infrequent or once-annual Berkeley appearance this time of year.  

You can make the fair a quick stop, but consider spending an afternoon browsing not only the crafts booths but also the excellent book and music stores along the Avenue.  

You can also stop for a sit down meal or get takeout here in Berkeley’s most extensive and eclectic dining district. Try the “Fifth Block” of Telegraph, just south, of Dwight for great Asian fusion at Unicorn, Vietnamese cuisine at Saigon City, traditional Japanese at Norikonono, or Ethiopian at the Blue Nile. 

 

Holiday Plant and Gift Sale 

UC Botanical Garden 

10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4. 

Centennial Drive, Strawberry Canyon, above the UC Berkeley campus. (Free parking in the lot across the street from the garden). 

 

Featured plants for sale will include cacti, species orchids, house plants, begonias, bromeliads, and tillandsias, along with the garden’s ever popular (and hard to get) Lapageria—Chilean Bellflower—vines, carnivorous plants, and unusual bulbs. Pottery, books, jewelry, seeds and garden ornaments are also available in the Garden gift shop. 

You could combine a visit to this sale with a stroll through the tranquil gardens, far from shopping mall parking lots, plastic Santas, and canned caroling. 

For information on garden access and how to get there visit http://botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu. 

 

ASUC Art Studio 2004  

Holiday Sale 

Tuesday, Dec. 7 through Saturday, Dec. 11, noon-5 p.m. Extended hours (6-9 p.m.) on Dec. 7 in a special open house for artists, which is also open to the public. 

 

This year’s sale is the 25th annual holiday event (and fundraiser) at the Associated Students Art Studio that resides on the UC campus just a pot’s throw from Sather Gate.  

The art studio’s primary activity is offering affordable classes in ceramics, photography, and other media. The annual sale features works by both enthusiastic students and accomplished instructors.  

Here you can adopt a homely little vase that represents a budding potter’s first effort, or purchase at quite reasonable prices finely crafted one-of-a-kind pieces by recognized artisans. 

While photographs, jewelry, works on paper and other crafts appear in the sale, the bulk of the offerings—and the strength of the show—are traditionally ceramic works, both decorative and practical. Hundreds of items should be for sale, with new ones added as the event goes on. 

To reach the sale, walk north through Sproul Plaza, turn left right before you pass through Sather Gate, go down the creekside path, and quickly turn left again next to the breezeway. 

For more information go to www.asucartstudio.org. 

 

Berkeley Potters Guild 33rd Annual Sale and Show 

731 Jones St. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 27-28, Dec. 4-5, 11-12, and 18-19, plus Dec. 20-24.  

Work by a score of ceramic artists and a display of gifts built around a kitchen theme highlight this year’s event, held under one roof. Both first-rate handmade works and “seconds” will be for sale.  

For more information call 524-7031 or visit www.berkeleypotters.com. 

 

OTHER OFFERINGS 

 

ACCI Gallery 

1652 Shattuck Ave., at Lincoln. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday. 

 

In addition to the special fairs and open studio events described above, Berkeley’s ACCI Gallery, the oldest arts cooperative in the West, is offering a “Holiday Celebration of Arts and Crafts”, including jewelry, glass, ornaments, cards, ceramics, wood and fine arts during November and December. This airy storefront at the southern end of the North Shattuck shopping district, is always a nice place to browse.  

Call 843-2527 or visit www.accigallery.com. 

 

KPFA Crafts and Music Fair 

10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 11-12, Concourse exhibition center, Eighth and Brannan, San Francisco. 

 

Although it abandoned a Berkeley venue years ago, many locals still maintain an attachment to this annual event, a benefit for Berkeley’s KPFA radio. 

This year there will be some 220 artists and craftspeople selling, as well as music, and food. There is an admission charge of $8 for adults, under 17 free, $5 for seniors and disabled individuals.  

For more information call 848-6767 ext. 611 or visit www.kpfa.org/craftsfair. 

 


Emerson Students Thrive With Help of Mentoring Program: By NICOLE HILL Special to the Planet

By NICOLE HILL Special to the Planet
Friday November 26, 2004

This is the second in a series profiling Berkeley elementary schools. The reports are written by students of the UC Berkeley Journalism School. 

 

Students at Emerson Elementary like doing their homework—at least the ones excitedly waiting for a familiar face to appear around the corner and give them their undivided attention.  

Emerson, one of the smallest schools in the district, nestled in southeast Berkeley on Forest Avenue, provides one-on-one mentoring, matching more than half of the students with tutors from UC Berkeley’s Ethnic Studies Department, the Jewish Coalition for Literacy, Americorp volunteers and Caltrans District Four Office.  

“The kids are so accustomed to seeing their peers being pulled out of the classroom for their mentor time,” said Monica Santos, Emerson mentor coordinator, “that there isn’t any stigma attached to it. It’s a popular thing; kids want to be paired with a Cal student.” 

About 150 UC Berkeley students participate in the program each year.  

“The reason I keep coming back is because of her,” 19-year-old Cal student Pat Campbell said, smiling over a game of battleship with a second-grade student she has mentored for three years. “It’s more of a bonding experience than anything.”  

The Mentor Program was started in 1999 with a state grant, but that money has long since dissipated and school staff has spent the past three years trying to keep the program alive with outside supporters like Dreyer’s Ice Cream, Berkeley Community Fund and the PSTA, Santos says. 

Emerson Elementary typically produces among the highest test scores in the district, said Berkeley Unified School District spokesman Mark Coplan. The school’s 2004 Academic Performance Index, which ranks test scores in math and English, was among the top three in the district. 

And the Mentor Program, Santos says, may have something to do with that.  

“Historically there has been an achievement gap where students of color have not been performing as well as Caucasian and Asian students,” Santos said. “We have seen a closing of the gap. An increased number of students have a 3.0 grade point average or above.” 

Emerson African American and Hispanic students also regularly score higher than other students of color in the district. 

The school draws students through the southeast portion of the city, which starts in the more affluent hills, curving through the middle of the city to lower-income West Berkeley. 

Last year, Emerson’s classes comprised 41 percent black students, 24 percent white, 4 percent Asian, 11 percent Hispanic and less than 1 percent Pacific Island. 

Mentor Coordinator Santos also attributed Emerson’s strides in academic accomplishment to excellent leadership and a creative staff. 

At Back to School Night this year, teachers performed a number from the musical Grease to introduce the staff and features of the school. “We like to get the message out in a fun and interesting way,” three-year Principal Susan Hodge says. 

“We are also a very close staff,” Hodge said. 

Hodge spent the prior 15 years as a teacher at Emerson. Indeed, the school seems to have an aura of camaraderie, as district spokesman Coplan says Hodge has a reputation among teachers and the community for her strong track record of commitment to education. 

“She is not only an active leader of the school, but she’s worked in the trenches with the teachers,” he said. 

Parents can expect a typical school week to include an hour and a half of computer instruction, as well as interactive learning of history, art and geography through activities such as making Inuit hunting hats and writing myths based on multi-cultural texts. Emerson pupils also learn how to cook with organic foods and learn about nutrition. 

“Our biggest concern right now is funding,” Hodge said. In light of the $12 million district-wide budget cut in the past two years, Emerson parent and PSTA secretary Rafael Friedman said classrooms are over-crowded and library hours have been reduced. 

“They say no child should be left behind, but then they don’t fund it,” he said. 


Opinion

Editorials

Smart Growth Backlash Threat: By BECKY O'MALLEY

EDITORIAL
Tuesday November 30, 2004

The long weekend gave us the opportunity to spend a couple of days in what we still call “the country,” on the property where the publisher’s mother settled after she came to Santa Cruz as one of UCSC’s first faculty members. She called it “the ranch”—about 60 rocky acres, a fair portion of which is pretty much vertical, mostly covered with second growth redwoods and eucalypts planted at the turn of the 20th century. The driveway through the woods is about a mile long, rutted dirt with seven switchbacks, an easy ascent for the benefit of the horses who pulled wagonloads of supplies up to the summer camp operated by the owners at the time, but a challenge for automobiles.  

The camp’s long gone, replaced right before World War II by a “modern” country cottage—concrete slab floors covered with linoleum tiles, industrial sash windows, knotty pine paneling—which is now used by the extended family on vacation. My mother-in-law, who was an artist as well as a professor, added her own touches, notably a studio in a prefabricated barn shell and a concrete-block chapel where many of her paintings hang. A stable was converted by hippies in the ‘60s to a house—it’s now the home of a young family with three kids who look after the two aged horses, four peacocks and some goats too mobile to count which are the remains of what was once a sizable menagerie. Another rustic outbuilding now houses the woman who cared for my mother-in-law in her old age, along with a son who is starting junior high in town. In the former water tower, built of old growth redwood by the original owners, lives a winemaker who has a small stand of organic grapes which he makes into organic Kosher wine by hand, only his own hands because of religious requirements. A retired hippy lives in the woods in an old RV. A typical Santa Cruz Mountains establishment of the old school, in other words, home to eight full-time residents and many more from time to time.  

The reason it’s “the country” in quotes is that when you look up to the top of the hill above the property you now see, somewhat disguised but definitely there, a line of expensive homes, probably these days a couple of million dollars a pop. The country road which goes to the bottom of the driveway has a couple of new houses on it every time we come: respectful county-style houses, some of them pretty fair copies of the frame Victorians which have stood there for more than a hundred years, but new, and pricey.  

Santa Cruz County is experiencing feverish growth these days, spilling over from Silicon Valley and generated by UCSC’s industry-fueled expansion. The city of Santa Cruz is building condos and bikeways and praying for transit and grocery stores just like Berkeley is, but people there still want houses in “the country,” and who could blame them? Even with the slowdown in the economy Santa Cruz’s new rich can still afford to build. But if everyone moves to the country it’s no longer the country, but what they used to call on the East Coast the Exurbs: home to people who don’t have to be at work every day at 8, and who are well paid for the privilege. And their megahomes take up a lot of land. 

All of this description is a long-winded prelude to a quick pointer to Oregon’s 60-40 vote on Nov. 2 against the state’s panoply of smart-growth restrictions on population expansion into the countryside. If the vote stands up to legal challenges, the state might have to compensate—at ruinously expensive levels—property owners who can’t turn their rural land into exurbs or even suburbs.  

It’s just plain foolish to believe that building more condos on tram routes in Portland has prevented people who can afford them from wanting ranchettes outside town. Despite the efforts of some smart growth theorists to turn “backyard” into a pejorative term, people with families, even people with modest incomes, still want those backyards, and will commute for hours to get to them. The pent-up demand is there, and it has created a much more extreme-than-necessary reversal of some very important environmental restrictions: The baby has been tossed out along with the bath water.  

The same thing could happen in California. The facile solutions offered by smart growth ideologues might backfire here too, turning angry refugees from too much growth in their city backyards into equally ideological property rights advocates along the lines of the Oregon majority voters. There are no easy answers, and no one has a monopoly on smarts. It’s time for dialogue instead of ultimatums, and for realism from all participants. 

—Becky O’Malley›


Delayed Planning, ZAB Meetings Rescheduled for Monday Night: By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

By RICHARD BRENNEMAN
Friday November 26, 2004

Berkeley planning commissioners will hold an unusual Monday night meeting because the date of their usual meeting date fell on Thanksgiving eve. 

The Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) will also meet Monday night, a session delayed because their meeting on the regularly scheduled date would’ve meant an interruption of Turkey Day.  

The planning session gets underway at 7 p.m. in the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Ave. ZAB’s meeting begins at the same time in City Council Chambers in the second floor of Old City Hall, 2134 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way. 

Planning commissioners will hold a hearing on recommendations by the Mayor’s Task Force on Permitting and Development for changes in commercial parking requirements. 

Also scheduled for discussion are the potential impacts of the City Council’s actions on the Creeks Ordinance and possible comments for the scoping process on the Southside Plan’s draft Environmental Impact Report. 

Two hearings will be conducted on proposed zoning ordinances changes and another will address a proposal to allow conversion of the 29 residential units and three commercial spaces at 1809 Shattuck Ave. into condominiums. 

The major item on ZAB’s agenda is the request by developer Alex Varum to demolish the existing buildings at 1116 to 1132 University Ave. to make way for a three-to-five story building that would house 65 condos, two live/work condos, 5,309 square feet of first floor commercial space and 74 underground parking spaces. 

The project also includes 11 units designated as affordable, meaning they are within the reach of buyers earning 120 percent of the median area income. Adding the inclusionary units allows the developer to exceed the four-story height limit for the area.  

City planning staff has recommended approval of the project.