Full Text

The police composite sketch of the murder suspect as published in the San Francisco Chronicle in August 1970.e
The police composite sketch of the murder suspect as published in the San Francisco Chronicle in August 1970.e


Suspect: Sketch Doesn’t Fit By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Tuesday August 23, 2005

The attorney for the Oakland man briefly arrested for the 1970 slaying of a Berkeley police officer says a composite drawing made of the suspected killer at the time of the murder “has no resemblance to the way Styles Price appeared during that time. These are not minor differences. They are major.” 

Price, 56, a retired high school educator, was arrested by Berkeley police on Aug. 10 for the murder of officer Ron Tskukamoto, the man for whom the Berkeley Public Safety Building was named. Price was released two days later after the Alameda County District Attorney’s office said there was not enough evidence to bring Price to trial. 

While there are no pending charges against Price, the retired Berkeley police lieutenant coordinating the case, Russell Lopes, told the San Francisco Chronicle at the time of Price’s release that “We are absolutely sure, beyond any doubt—reasonable or otherwise—that [Price] cold-bloodedly killed Ron. We’re going to prove it. It ain’t over.” 

Morris Jacobsen, the Alameda County Deputy district attorney assigned to the Tsukamoto case, said that his office is not investigating the case. 

“It is presently in the hands of the Berkeley Police Department,” Jacobsen said. “The procedure is for the police department to collect evidence and then present it to our office. Until that time, we are not involved.” 

Price has repeatedly denied that he was involved in the Tsukamoto shooting. 

According to Price’s Oakland attorney, William DuBois, Price’s arrest by Berkeley police was partly based upon a confession from Don Juan Graphenreed, 56, of Oakland. Berkeley police say they believe Graphenreed was the getaway driver during the murder. Graphenreed was also released from jail without charges being filed. 

Last week, DuBois released the 35-year-old composite drawing of the alleged Tsukamoto shooter to buttress Price’s claim of innocence. DuBois said the drawing came from a copy of the Aug. 22, 1970 issue of the San Francisco Chronicle. 

Lt. Lopes has said that the composite drawing is one of the factors which has convinced him that Styles was the shooter. He has also said that his office has a computerized “age regression” drawing that advances the composite drawing 35 years, and resembles Price as he currently appears. 

“They keep saying this is the spitting image of Styles,” DuBois said. “But I’ve seen photographs of my client contemporaneous with the Tsukamoto murder. There’s no resemblance between my client and the original composite.” 

Price pointed out one major discrepancy between himself and the drawing of the alleged Tsukamoto shooter. While the composite shows a man without glasses, Price said that he has worn prescription lenses constantly since he was 10. 

“My eyesight is 2,400-plus,” Price said. “What the normal person can see at 400 feet, I can only see at 20 feet. I’m extremely nearsighted. I literally have to hold something up to my nose to read it. I wouldn’t be able to make out someone’s face 10 feet in front of me.” 

The composite drawing was based on statements made by a motorcyclist who was stopped by Tskukamoto on the night of the police officer’s killing. The witness was reportedly within a few feet of both the officer and the killer while they held a brief conversation shortly before the shooting. That witness died several years later in an automobile accident. 

At a press conference at DuBois’ office last week, Price said that “in no way do I resemble the assassin” of Tskukamoto. 

Price said that he remains “very concerned that the Berkeley police may re-arrest me. This has caused me continual paranoia and emotional unease. Since no formal charges have been brought against me, it’s like a sword hanging over your head. I feel if they can do it to me, they can do it to anyone.” 

Price said he has never been convicted of any crime, and has lived what he calls a “blameless life.” He said that he is consulting with his attorney about possible legal action. 

Meanwhile, Price’s sister, Anola Price Small, released a statement from the Price family to the Tskukamoto family, stating that “my family expresses sympathy for you. We cannot believe that the Berkeley Police Department would advance their own agenda using your grief. This is so egregious and unkind as to be unbelievable. Why they would present false hope to your family and accuse an innocent person is beyond comprehension. I believe, without knowing your brother, that he would not want an innocent person to go to prison for his murder.” 

Small called her brother “a productive member of the Oakland community who has spent his entire life as a civil rights activist trying to correct discrimination and racism. He is a pacifist who would never harm a fly, let alone walk up to another human being and shoot him point-blank. Those that know Styles throughout our community know that this is not in his character to commit a crime like this.” 


Small is married to the physician of the author.ˆ

Initiatives Take Aim at City By MATTHEW ARTZ

Tuesday August 23, 2005

For several Berkeley political watchdogs this has been their summer of discontent.  

They see developers getting too many concessions, the all-white school board acting as an rubber stamp, the library using technology they fear could one day monitor patrons, the city attorney’s office giving poor legal advice and city and school budgets that are out of control. 

“There’s a complete frustration with the way the city is being managed,” said Marie Bowman, president of Berkeleyans Against Soaring Taxes (BASTA). 

As Berkeley politics cools off during its August breather, Bowman and others outside the city’s political establishment haven’t taken summer vacations. 

They are working on ballot initiatives aiming to change the way the city elects its officials, balances its budget, pays its employees, oversees new development and even checks out library books. 

If in the June 2006 primary election a majority of Berkeley voters are in agreement, next year could be the establishment’s summer of discontent. 


City Finance Measures 

After forming last year to successfully fight off proposed city tax hikes, BASTA is taking the offensive for the June election. It has already written three ballot measures and is working on two more, Bowman said. 

One initiative would require city employees to contribute to their pension fund. Currently most city labor contracts call on Berkeley to pay full pension contributions. BASTA’s proposal would force Berkeley employees to pay the average pension contribution made by employees in surrounding cities. 

BASTA, concerned by the recent sale of three properties, is sponsoring an initiative that would require a two-thirds popular vote before the city sells surplus property. 

A third initiative would limit the city’s ability to increase taxes for special funds like the library fund. Currently the City Council can raise the library fund tax through its choice of two cost of living indexes. Typically it chooses the larger tax increase, but the BASTA measure would require it to use the smaller increase.  

Library Director Jackie Griffin has said the higher tax rate approved this year by the council will enable the library to reopen on Sundays starting next month. 

BASTA is also considering a measure that would require the city to more than double its emergency cash reserve from 6 percent of the total budget to 13 percent.  

That would tie lawmakers hands, said Councilmember Linda Maio. 

“A larger reserve would mean cutting all of the services that have already been cut,” she said. “I don’t think people really understand the kind of impact that would have.” 


School District 

Typically when there is a school measure on the ballot it comes from the school district. Not next year. A recently reformed organization, Berkelyans Endorse School Management Accountability Responsiveness Transparency (BESMART), spearheaded by staunch district critic Yolanda Huang, is seeking to remake the school board. 

One measure would abolish the five-member school board elected at-large throughout the city, and replace it with a nine-member board. Eight members would represent the eight City Council districts and a ninth member would represent the city as a whole, Huang said. 

“If they ran in districts, that would bring greater diversity for the board as a whole,” said Councilmember Darryl Moore, who has signed on to the initiative. 

Berkeley, where one-third of the students are African American, hasn’t had an African American school board member since Lloyd Lee stepped down in 1998. 

A second initiative from BESMART would establish a directly elected auditor to oversee district finances. 

“The district’s financial accountability is not strong,” Huang said. “I think it would help to have an internal auditor whose goal is good management and accountability.” 

School Board Member Terry Doran said he didn’t think either measure would improve Berkeley schools. He held that the district already had an outside auditor and county supervision, and that “a nine-member school board seems awfully unwieldy.” 

BESMART has also proposed an initiative that would prevent the school board from selling off excess property without a two-thirds vote. The measure could disrupt plans for the former Hillside Elementary School, which the district has rented, but might one day sell. 



Councilmember Kriss Worthington said he is drafting an initiative that would clearly define zoning rules for new development and foster affordable housing. Worthington said his measure would spell out density requirements, which critics of the city say have been used to super-size new developments. But if a proposed development contained more than half affordable units, Worthington said, “they would be given bonus space up the wazoo.”  

Meanwhile, Bowman said that BASTA is also considering a measure to better define density standards. The BASTA plan, she said, would restrict much of the city’s authority to deviate from its land use plans. 


Other Proposals 

Elliot Cohen, author of last’s year’s failed Tree Ordinance, is working on a ballot measure to render the public library’s new checkout system illegal. Cohen agrees with privacy advocates who fear the radio devices placed on library materials to track books could be used by authorities to track patrons. If the measure is passed, the library would have to scrap its new $650,000 system. 

Bowman said several residents have spoken to her about a ballot initiative to call for the city attorney to be directly elected, rather than appointed. 

“A lot of people are upset with the city attorney in the wake of the UC-city deal,” said Bowman, adding that she didn’t expect BASTA to put the measure on the ballot.  

Most California cities appoint city attorneys, although surrounding cities—Oakland, Albany and San Francisco—have elected city attorneys. 


Can They Win 

Bowman has a mixed track record in Berkeley elections. As leader of BASTA, she is coming off an election-year sweep where voters rejected city tax measures. But two years prior, Bowman was a key figure in Measure P—a campaign to restrict height limits on Berkeley buildings that garnered just 20 percent of the vote. Last year voters defeated all three citizen-sponsored ballot initiatives. 

“I learned a lot from Measure P,” Bowman said. “That campaign started too late and it never really had a chance to get its ideas out.”  

Time is of the essence for several of the proposed initiatives. For those like the district-wide school board elections, which would require a change to the city’s charter, roughly 10,500 signatures are needed to get on the ballot, said City Clerk Sara Cox. A standard ballot initiative requires 2,007 signatures. 


Shifting Alliances 

To gather signatures and mount a campaign, Bowman will need to find financial backing at a time when a major force behind BASTA’s victory last year has pulled out of the group. The Berkeley Property Owners Association (BPOA), which last year gave money and manpower to BASTA’s efforts, is working on its own ballot measure for next November to change rent control laws and abolish the rent board. 

“BASTA united a lot of people over a specific issue last year,” said BPOA President Michael Wilson. “Now there isn’t a specific issue so it’s a bit formless and shapeless.” 

While he said the BPOA might support some of BASTA’s proposals, he questioned whether the group was over-extending itself. “I would never run five ballot initiatives,” he said. 

Bowman countered that collecting signatures for multiple ballot measures was more efficient and that BASTA planned to team up with other groups floating initiatives.  

Already Bowman and Huang—strangers until bumping into each other at a recent City Council meeting—have joined forces.  

“We started talking and we realized that we have similar concerns about financial accountability,” said Huang. She added that Bowman had helped her to better understand the initiative process, but stopped short of saying that she would try to remake BESMART in BASTA’s image. 

“Let’s see if we win first,” she said. 





Local Artists Create Time To Burn By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday August 23, 2005

The most improbable thing in a most unlikely place Sunday was a giant wooden clock, an intricate creation resembling nothing so much as a Walt Disney design on LSD. 

The creation of twenty or so people, the resplendent wooden weight-and-pendulum-driven t imepiece took shape in the Shipyard, a West Berkeley artist’s collective built of stacked shipping containers. 

Volunteers—technically, the Time to Burn Regulators—were still adding the final touches Sunday evening as artists began arriving for a celebrat ion of the work before it was disassembled Monday. The artwork was then loaded on a truck headed for the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, where the festival will be held. 

There, it will serve as one of idiosyncratic landmarks of the Burning Man Festival, which begins next Monday. 

The highlight of every year’s gathering is the immolation of the eponymous Burning Man, when the Regulators will ignite the Berkeley clock as well. 

“I don’t like to overexplain myself,” said McNamara, before doing just that. 

“We’re playing with time. That’s what’s important. We just like to play with things, take them apart, whatever,” he said, adding, “we got a little out of control.” 

McNamara and fellow Regulator Matt Snyder said there’s some controversy about sacrificing their work to the flames. 

“It’s very controversial,” said Snyder. “It’s a beautiful thing.” 

“It’s about impermanence,” said McNamara, “and Burning Man is about impermanence.” 

The best part about sacrificing the work to the flames is that “we don’t have to bring it back,” he said. “That’s the beauty of it. We don’t have to fix it either. Besides, I want to build something different next year.” 

The clock is built almost entirely of wood, save for a few pieces of metal joinery, the brass kerosene lan terns that illuminate it, and the 200 pound empty compressed gas cylinders that serve as counterweights to drive the pendulum. 

The most modern touch, ironic in its execution, are the wooden binary numbers adorning one of the clock’s six faces. 

“We’ve go t woodworkers, machinists, a guitar-maker, a carpenter. You might say its really about working with all these people,” McNamara said. 


Burning Man legacy 

The Shipyard and Burning Man were inexorably linked form the get-go. 

Artist Jim Mason, a leading li ght at the festival, created the unusual workspace four years ago by assembling 27 shipping containers around a central courtyard as a haven for local artists—kinetic sculptors being the first to sign on. 

When city building inspectors declared the comple x un-Kosher, Burning Man founder Larry Harvey beseeched the Zoning Adjustments Board to issue a use permit. 

Joining him during the October 2003 meeting were 150 or so local artists lamenting the lack of workspace in the city. 

The shipyard was saved by Z AB’s enthusiastic endorsement. 

Many of the artists working at the Shipyard are Burning Man buffs, and about a fourth of them worked on McNamara’s vision, with the remainder drawn from the larger community of devotees. 

When they finished, they had time to burn.

Dead Trees at Campus Bay Raise Alarm By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday August 23, 2005

Trees are dying around two controversial sites in Richmond, and highly regarded UC Berkeley plant pathologist Dr. Robert Raabe thinks toxins are to blame. 

Raabe, the conductor of the university’s popular Sick Plant Clinics at the Botanical Garden, examined plants at the request of Professor Claudia Carr of the College of Natural Resources and activist Sherry Padgett. 

Carr and Padgett are two of the founders of Bay Area Residents for Responsible Development, which has been demanding increased scrutiny of a pair of major developments planned for construction on adjacent sites in South Richmond. 

The first site is Campus Bay, built atop a massive mound of buried hazardous and toxic waste accumulated during a century of chemical manufacturing. 

Cherokee Simeon Ventures, the creation of a developer and an investment fund specializing in development of projects on rehabilitated hazardous waste sites, is planning a project on the site of the former Zeneca Pharmaceuticals plant just south of UC Berkeley’s Richmond Field Station (RFS). 

The same consortium is also negotiating with UC Berkeley to develop the field station as a corporate/industrial research park. The university site hosted a blasting cap factory that left a legacy of mercury pollution, and some Zeneca wastes were also left at the field station. 

Trees have been dying on both properties, and the two activists sought Raabe’s expert opinion to learn the causes. 

Barbara Cook, project manager for the cleanups at both sites for the state Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), has sought the opinion of DTSC staff botanist Allan Fone. 

“He looked around the trees and at the soil and found that the soil was very wet and the drainage system was either plugged or not working,” Cook said. 

Raabe looked not only at the trees along Meade, but along the business park immediately to the southeast of the site and along the RFS to the northwest. 

“I came to the conclusion that that it was not root rot, nor was it too much water. This would leave something else, and I suggested tests of plant tissue and soil for chemicals,” Raabe said. “It was of interest that the sides of the trees facing areas charted as chemical hot spots showed more damage than the opposite sides.” 

Cherokee-Simeon gardeners have been removing diseased trees from along Meade. 

“If it were excess soil in the water, you would expect to see root rot,” said Raabe. “It can usually be tested by cutting into the bark right at the soil line.” 

But Raabe’s cut showed no evidence in the plant tissue. “If there’s rot, it usually turns brown, but it had not. There are other fungi that can cause problems, but I didn’t expect to see or find them and I didn’t.” 

Among the tests Raabe suggested was an analysis of plant tissue from both sides of trees showing one-sided damage. 

“Damage isn’t usually one-sided like this. It usually girdles the plants,” he noted. 

Joan Lichterman, system-wide Health and Safety Director for UC members of Local 9119 of the United Professional and Technical Workers-Communications Workers of America, said tress have also been dying at the Richmond Field Station. 

“Employees have told me the university spent the last few weekends removing trees and grinding them up into wood chips,” she said. 

The ailing trees are major concerns to critics who contend that the cleanup at both sites has failed to address health care concerns of people who work and live near the site. 

“The national leaders of our union are very concerned,” she said, and Larry Cohen, the executive vice president who is expected to be elected to head the union after next week’s national convention in Chicago, has asked to be informed of all developments at RFS. 

Cook said enhanced testing will be done at the Campus Bay site and in the business park area to the southwest. Soil gas testing is already underway near the Zeneca building that houses the Making Waves after-school program, and preliminary results indicated no vapor readings above acceptable levels. 

Further testing of the business park scheduled to begin in September will include soil gas, soil analysis and water testing. 

“These will give us a better understanding of what chemicals, if any, may be affecting the trees,” Cook said.  

“All the trees along 49th Street (in the business park) are showing signs of stress,” Padgett said. “The branches are falling off on windy days. There are 210 chemicals known to be at the Zeneca site, and we need a lot more testing.” 

Calls placed to UC Berkeley’s Office of Environment, Health & Safety were not returned by deadline Monday, nor was a call made to Cherokee Investment Partners. 

Iceland Wins Extension By MATTHEW ARTZ

Tuesday August 23, 2005

Berkeley officials granted Iceland a one month extension Friday to install a temporary cooling system and pump out 4,200 pounds of potentially toxic ammonia. 

“The city recognizes, based on the information provided us, that the extension is a reasonable request,” said Assistant Fire Chief Gil Dong. 

Last month Berkeley ordered Iceland to have a temporary cooling system in place by Aug. 22. Now the skating rink will have until Sept. 23 to install the system, which Iceland General Manager Jay Wescott said will cost about $100,000 to operate over the next seven months. 

Dong said Iceland will be allowed to use the temporary system through April 15, 2006, at which time Iceland must complete upgrades to its permanent cooling system.  

Iceland has contracted with Willy Bietak Productions to supply the temporary cooling system, which will contain 800 pounds of ammonia. The company has said that it had too many projects to install the system before Sept. 23. 

Iceland’s current system lacks key safety features and the city lacks the resources to handle an accidental release of 4,000 pounds of ammonia, said Dong. In the case of a major release, ammonia could harm residents as far as a mile downwind from the South Berkeley rink. 

There has been little progress on fixing the rink’s cooling system. Berkeley Building Official Joan MacQuarrie confirmed last week that the city rejected Iceland’s application to do the work and have yet to receive updated plans. 

“Once we get the temporary system up and running then we’ll move quickly getting the permanent system done,” Wescott said. He added that Iceland might have to shut down temporarily next April if cooling system upgrades are not completed.m

‘Flying Cottage’ at ZAB By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday August 23, 2005

The Flying Cottage has landed again, this time on the agenda for Thursday night’s meeting of the Zoning Adjustments Board. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers at Old City Hall, 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. 

The controversial popup at 3045 Shattuck Ave. has had a hard time passing muster with neighbors and city officials. Repeated appearances before the Design Review Committee (DRC) have resulted in rejections—the latest on June 16—prompting architect Andus Brandt to appeal to the Zoning Adjustments Board, which will hear the pleas of Brandt and owner Christine Sun Thursday. 

DRC member and architect Burton Edwards said “we did not respond favorably” to Brandt’s latest revisions. 

“We still find a number of difficulties, both on esthetic grounds and in terms of ZAB issues. If we had the opportunity we would have preferred to continue with the design review process, but the applicant preferred to take it directly to ZAB,” Edwards said. 

The project will only come back to DRC if ZAB requests that the panel address very specific design issues. 

Sun’s project is a sore point with neighbors, who contend that completion of the three-story structure will pose parking, esthetic and privacy issues. 

Also on Thursday’s agenda are proposals to: 

• Add three new units to a two-story, four-unit building at 2538 Hillegass Ave. 

• Demolish a 14,500-square-foot two-story warehouse at 2039 Fourth St. and replace it with a 19,000-square-foot, three-story office and retail building. 

• Approve a request to open up a new gelato store at 2170 Shattuck Ave. 

• Modify the use permit for a mixed-use project at 2310 Fulton St. 

• Approve a fast food restaurant in a new mixed use building at 3075 Telegraph Ave. s

BUSD Board Returns To New School Year By J DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Tuesday August 23, 2005

After a year that saw a months-long teacher contract protest, budget uncertainty, and construction disputes, the Berkeley Unified School District Board of Education returns this week from an August recess. 

The first meeting of the new school year will be held Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., at the Old City Hall at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. 

The board will hear a presentation by WLC Architects and Vallier Design on a construction plan for the district’s Derby Street-area school properties that includes a proposed closure of Derby Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Milvia Street. 

The East Campus Project—encompassing both the old East Campus buildings and a portion of the property occupied by the Berkeley Alternative High School across Derby Street—set up one of the major battles of last school year. 

Proponents of a regulation-size Berkeley High School baseball field want to use the site for a field, the only available district-owned property large enough. The only way to build such a field on the two properties would be to close Derby Street. 

Neighborhood residents objected. They said they did not want the baseball field in their neighborhood and wanted Derby Street to remain open. 

Meanwhile, the district moved forward this summer with the demolition of the old East Campus buildings. 

One 2004-05 issue that district officials hope will not return this year is the district’s labor problems. Those problems were highlighted by a contract dispute with the district’s teachers, including a “work-to-rule” action in which they refused to work past their contracted eight-hour days. Berkeley teachers had been working without a new contract for two years. 

The district was also held contract talks with its bus drivers, custodians, instructional assistants, office workers, administrators, managers and supervisors. Those disputes were almost all settled in May, when tentative contract agreements were reached with all but the administrative workers. 

Budget matters also dominated the 2004-05 district board meetings and promise to continue this year. The district spent much of the year on “qualified” budget status, meaning that while the present budget was balanced, the district could not present balanced budgets for the following years. Public school districts must present balanced budgets or face severe sanctions, including possible takeover by the state. 

District officials blamed much of the budget problems on decreased funding from the state.?

Nurses Vote For Accord By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday August 23, 2005

Registered nurses voted Thursday to settle their strike with the Alta Bates hospital in Berkeley and Summit Alta Bates in Oakland. 

As part of the accord with the California Nurses Association (CNA), the hospitals agreed to replace licensed nurses with RNs in non-relief positions in medical and surgical units, emergency and critical care units and in woman and infant care units. 

Among the provisions of the new three-year contract are signing bonuses of up to $2,000, wage increases of 12 percent over two years, and a new 25-year tenure step with a two percent salary increase over the current 20-year position. 

The contract also creates up to 50 new positions for nurses who want to work 60 percent of regular hours and still receive benefits. The hospital also agreed to pay all medical benefits for employees and to cover health care premiums for retired nurses and their spouses. 

CNA spokesperson Charles Idelson said that the pact was also ratified by nurses at Eden Hospital in Castro Valley, Sutter Solano Medical Center in Vallejo and St. Luke’s in San Francisco. All are members of the Sutter Healthcare system. 

Idelson said that the contract didn’t include all Sutter Hospitals, though both CNA and the non-RN SEIU-United Healthcare Workers-West (UHW-W) have striven for system-wide contracts. 

In a statement, Alta Bates Summit Chief Nursing Officer Viki Ardito, said, “Summit Alta Bates is staffed with the very best nurses. We’ve always committed to providing wages, benefits and a workplace environment that are second to none.” 

The settlement, announced Monday, resolves half the labor problems confronting Sutter Healthcare in the East Bay. The major hurdle remaining is a contract with UHW-W, which represents licensed vocational nurses and other employees. Hospital officials failed to meet with union officials at an Aug. 8 negotiating session. 


Nabolom May Survive By MATTHEW ARTZ

Tuesday August 23, 2005

The Nabolom bakery will cease operations as a cooperative Sept. 1, but one cooperative member has made an offer to keep the ovens running as a private business. 

Crow Bolt said he has secured an $80,000 loan from a private financier to cover the cooperative’s debts and stave off eviction proceedings. Nabolom’s landlord, Carrie McCarthy, has given the bakery until Sept. 1 to repay thousands in back rent. 

Nabolom, founded 29 years ago, has been beset by management troubles and on the brink of bankruptcy for the past year. 

Bolt declined to disclose the identity of his financier. “It’s someone who has faith in this bakery, but not faith in collectives,” he said. 

Besides his offer, Bolt said Nabolom has received offers from a former pastry chef and the former owner of a bakery in Fremont. Nabolom’s board reviewed the competing offers at a meeting Monday night. The board has until Sept. 1 to select a bid, Bolt said.  

Bolt appears to have an inside track on buying Nabolom since his name is already on Nabolom’s $3,886 a month lease and he said the landlord would have to honor it. 

Last week, Miette’s Cakes, which has a shop at San Francisco’s Ferry Building, withdrew a bid to buy the bakery after McCarthy asked them to pay $5,000 a month, according to Bolt. 

Should the board select his bid, Bolt said Nabolom would continue operations with a similar selection of baked goods and consensus-oriented management style. 

“It would no longer be a collectively-owned bakery, but it would still operate as a collective,” Bolt said.s

Editorial Cartoon By JUSTIN DEFREITAS

Tuesday August 23, 2005


Letters to the Editor

Tuesday August 23, 2005


Editors, Daily Planet: 

Let me get this straight: Grad student of several years Devin Pope lives in a two bedroom apartment with a bay view close to campus with free parking for only $900 while I pay more than that for a one bedroom place with no parking a few miles from campus and Pope is whining that he is being treated unfairly? Pope is whining that his life is going to get oh so difficult? Just what does he have to complain about—that he will no longer have additional free parking for visitors? My god, he should shut the hell up and be thankful for the handouts he is getting already. 

I have a question for Mr. Pope: After several years of studying, when are you going to graduate and get a job and stop being a parasite on society because I’m tired of my taxes supporting a whining child who’s mad that he isn’t given everything free year after year while the rest of us work for a living? 

Mark Stillman 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

A huge thankyou to Matthew Artz for covering UC Berkeley’s latest anti-family action, the new parking fees and the elimination of visitor parking for families at Smyth Fernwald. I would like to call attention to the dubious statements made by Nad Permaul, director of parking and transportation for UC Berkeley, who indicated that the university is trying to “treat students fairly across the board.” Permaul neglected to mention that student families who live in Albany Village pay nothing for parking, and have ample spaces for their visitors. Smyth residents were told that since we live close to campus, our spaces are “desirable” for students to use, and that is why they are being made available to the general student population. Some student families pay, while other don’t? It isn’t fair, it is exploitative. 

Furthermore, students who live in other dormitory facilities around the campus at the very least have street parking for their visitors—something that is sorely lacking near the hilltop community of Smyth Fernwald, which is nestled at the tip-top of Dwight way, with most buildings at least two blocks from a city street, straight up hill. 

UC Berkeley is not considering the needs of student families when it makes decisions such as these. I was told by Mark Miller, associate director of parking and transportation, that there were no financial or neighborhood impact studies performed to assess the hardship these changes will place on students who are trying to support their kids. Most of us are now recommending that our friends applying to grad school go elsewhere. 

Elizabeth Bremner 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Reading all of these points of view (Cohen, Wornick, etc.), my old head is in a swirl until I begin to get a glimmer of understanding. The prickliness, antagonism and arrogance stem from pain and fear. I am reminded of W. H. Auden’s telling us in his moving poem “September 1, 1939,” “Those to whom evil is done/ Do evil in return.” 

The first evil our society does is to our children. Every woman should have access to birth control information so she need have only a chosen child, preferably with a man who knows that every child deserves to have his basic needs met in a loving home. Otherwise, the child is warped from the outset by mistreatment, poverty or neglect. I remember a client’s saying to me, “I wish I had known about Planned Parenthood years ago. My husband would never have left me if I hadn’t had ten children.” Though other evils are perpetrated as well, this basic one, in the light of today’s knowledge is inexcusable and unacceptable. 

Dorothy Headley 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I and many other Berkeley residents are very dismayed by the contentiousness surrounding the Peace and Justice Commission. This commission periodically and predictably erupts on the scene, causing unnecessary ugliness and ill will. There are a multitude of local issues to argue about, discuss, and resolve (such as land use, crime, taxes, budget, education) without developing expertise and policy on foreign policy matters, particularly on questions, such as the Middle East, that create great discord and disruption of the peace at home in Berkeley. 

On balance, the Peace and Justice Commission does more harm than good, and I would support any initiative to disband it. 

Barbara Gilbert 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

California’s Democratic Party can’t seem to look outside the box—offering us political hacks like Angelides and Westly, whom no one knows or cares about. Meanwhile the GOP ran Reagan all the way to the White House and was planning to do the same with Schwarzenegger until he stumbled. Looking for star power, some friends and I immediately thought of West Wing. Martin Sheen is too obvious—and President Bartlett had some story line problems. No, the obvious choice is Allison Janney—a tall, smart, striking, articulate, commanding presence. Everyone loves C. J. So let’s all say it together, just to see how it sounds: “Janney for Governor — Thrive.” 

Jerry Landis 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Your article failed to capture the uniquely Berkeley results demonstrated by standardized testing. Every neighboring district that adds significant resources to state funds showed a high pass rate. Uniquely Berkeley with its unprecedented decision not to actively enforce residency has achieved a high cost but low pass rate school district. The special policy of Berkeley schools, an experiment in non-enforcement of residency so to use the schools to promote social justice, is undermined by these results.  

It is time to establish the priority of creating a productive learning environment for residents. Non-residents (about one-third the student body) can be welcome when they perform to grade. High percentages of non-resident students who do not meet minimal grade achievements undermine every aspect of the school district. Albany, Piedmont and Orinda have substantial residency validation offices. Berkeley has none. A PG&E bill is all it takes to gain over a hundred thousand dollars of cumulative tax payer paid service. We need leadership from BUSD to achieve better schools. There must be a sensible middle ground in this, the most important education policy issue. 

David Baggins 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I should like to respond to Daniel Magid’s letter of last Tuesday concerning the “war” between the Beth El community and the Live Oak Codornices Neighborhood Association (LOCCNA). Although I cannot claim to speak for LOCCNA, my home is immediately opposite the site of the new community center, and so I am an interested party. 

Firstly, this is not a “war.” Trying to be melodramatic or to relate this debate to some sort of religious conflict is escalating a simple issue of neighborliness beyond what it merits. 

The fact is that Beth El has built a very large building on a rather small site and that they have not provided sufficient parking to support its intended use. That is the argument. Period! 

It is irrelevant that Beth El have been in this neighborhood for 60 years. 

It is irrelevant that their existing, smaller, building may attract only a modest number of congregants. The new building has been designed with ten classrooms and a large meeting hall, and is intended to support a membership of several hundred people. This can be seen clearly by any passerby. 

I personally rather like the idea of a mixed neighborhood, where houses rub shoulders with community centers, churches, shops, parks, etc. Such areas support life: If I wanted homogeneity I would move to El Dorado Hills! But part of the livability of a mixed neighborhood comes from the ability of the different components of the society to get on with one another. There has to be a certain amount of give and take, without any one part swamping the others. 

I do not see this attitude in Daniel Magid’s letter; I see no concern for more than his immediate congregation. He talks of the need to provide encouragement to his membership to park responsibly as being “draconian,” and objects to the need to measure the actual impact of their parking on the neighborhood. If his claim is correct that the on site parking is sufficient and that the parking impact will actually be decreased, then I should have expected him to welcome measurement, since this will vindicate him. Or not! 

LOCCNA has placed great emphasis on the restoration of the creek. I think that Mr. Magid and his community deserve praise for what they are doing on behalf of the creek, even though it was actually required of them and has yet to be fully successful. The creek was indeed in a poor state when they took over the site and over the years I am sure that an active community will find it in their interests to look after what is after all one of the greatest assets of the site. Although I would have preferred to see the site added to the existing Live Oak Park, a well maintained creek, with its natural plants, animals and fish, is a part of what makes a great neighborhood. 

Ultimately, I suspect that the parking issue will take its natural course: If it becomes too hard for the Beth El community members to find parking near to the site, or if the proposed off-site parking schemes prove to be unworkable, then the members will stop coming to events and the membership will naturally reduce itself over time, as it has already done as a result of their reaction to the construction and cost of this monstrous building. It is in Beth El’s interests to recognize this and to do what they can for all concerned.  

This is what neighborliness and respect is all about, and is the message of the street signs. 

Bob Mackay

Column: The Public Eye: Democrats Must Cease To Be The ‘Un’ Party By BOB BURNETT

Tuesday August 23, 2005

A few years ago, the 7-Up soft drink company ran a successful ad campaign branding itself the “un” cola. This defied the conventional advertising wisdom that argued one could not successfully define a product in the negative—by focusing on what it is not. The paradoxical success of the 7-Up campaign offers a ray of hope for the Democrats, who either by skillful design, or bumbling accident, have defined themselves as America’s “un” political party. The only thing that voters understand about Democrats is that they are not Republicans. 

Recent polls found that while the public lost confidence in President Bush, Democrats had fallen even further out of favor—only 34 percent of the electorate had positive feelings about them versus 38 percent for the Republicans. Voters know that the Dems oppose the policies of the Bush administration but they are unsure of what they offer to replace them with. For many, Democrats are best characterized as the party whose unifying slogan is, “Just say no.” 

A review of the painful presidential race between John Kerry and George Bush reinforces this impression. Democrats picked Kerry because he supposedly was a safe choice; as compared to Howard Dean, Kerry was thought to be a predictable commodity, someone who could be trusted, by the Democratic powers-that-be, to reliably represent mainstream Democratic values. The problem was that these values were never made clear. Kerry’s campaign went through so many twists and turns that what most of us remember about him are not his values but the label, “flip flopper.” George Bush won because he stuck to his guns; while never overwhelmingly popular, he managed to portray himself as resolute, compared to Kerry.  

As UC Berkeley Professor George Lakoff, and others, have pointed out, when American voters are asked about the core values of the Republican Party, they believe they know what they are: cutting taxes; strengthening national defense; reducing the role of government; and protecting the traditional family. The GOP has successfully hammered these themes into the American consciousness. 

On the other hand, when the public ponders the core values of the Dems little comes to mind, merely the refrain that they are not Republicans. The tragedy, in the continuing saga of the Un Party, is that Democrats actually have a powerful story to tell if they return to their historic role as the defender of the interests of the average American. Such a stance builds upon the inherent populism of the party—it portrays Republicans as representing the rich and powerful and the Dems as defending the rest of us. 

If they were to stake out this moral high ground—the true center of American democracy—then Democrats could elaborate four core values that would resonate with the voting public. First, they might differentiate themselves as the Party that tells the truth. Rather than harp on an ever-growing list of the ethical failings of the Bush administration, the Dems should focus on the fact that George Bush and company habitually lie and, therefore, cannot be trusted. Democrats should adopt the candor displayed by Howard Dean. 

Based upon a foundation of truth telling, the Democrats could next make the case that they, not the GOP, are the true defenders of America. Dems might argue that since 9/11 the policies of the Bush administration have weakened the U.S.: their war on terror has failed; George’s war in Iraq has strengthened the hand of terrorists; and, Bush has ignored vital aspects of Homeland Security. Dems should propose a realistic program to protect America. 

Democrats might also attack the Bush administration for shamelessly pandering to their base—the rich and powerful—while ignoring the needs of the rest of us. Republicans should be characterized as the party of plutocrats and administration policies revealed for what they are: assaults on common decency, deliberate attempts to destroy the social safety net. Dems should propose a real plan for social security and fund it by increasing taxes on the wealthy. 

Finally, the Democrats could reestablish protection of the environment as a core value. Again, they might start with the fact that Republicans are not telling the truth: the Bush administration has misled the American public about the dangers of global warming, and dirty air and water. George Bush and company have deceived the electorate in order to favor the rich and powerful and, in so doing, have condoned the looting of America’s resources. Dems should strengthen environmental safeguards and propose a responsible energy plan.  

Democrats have a powerful case to make but to do so they will have to return to their historic populism. It is one thing to label the Republicans as the party of deceit, the party that is willing to do anything so long as it benefits the rich and powerful. But it is quite another thing for Dems to stand up as the party that speaks the truth and doggedly defends the common good. By remembering who they are, they can find the strength to cease being the Un Party and become Democrats by deed as well as word. 


Bob Burnett is a Berkeley writer and activist. He can be reached at bobburnett@comcast.net. 




Column: Queen LaSuzy is Big Momma for a Day By SUSAN PARKER

Tuesday August 23, 2005

Our summer houseguest has departed and I can’t say that I’m terribly sad about it. Fifteen-year-old Jernae spent the past nine weeks vacationing on our third floor and volunteering at the Emeryville Recreation Center. It was a learning occasion for everyone, including me. 

We’ve never had a teenager live with us. Weekend visits, yes, but 24/7 was a new, and often frustrating, experience. There were hours when I couldn’t get into the bathroom. The door was locked and there was no response when I knocked. The radio was always tuned to a station I didn’t like, my computer was often unavailable, and my cell phone was set for speed dial to people with names like Boo, and Poo, and Buckethead. The attic bedroom was a disaster. There were dirty dishes in the kitchen sink, and empty ice cream containers in the freezer. 

But the most difficult part of having a teenager in the house was the angst, the silent treatments, the way she looked at me with half closed eyelids, as if the very sight of me made her nauseous. It was precisely the way, 40 years ago, I would respond to my mother whenever she’d ask me something inane and perky such as, “How was your day, dear?” 

Several years ago, local writer Adair Lara wrote an essay about her children acting like happy, enthusiastic, obedient puppies when they were small. But as they grew older and morphed into full-fledged teens, Lara complained that her kids had become cat-like and unbearable: moody, unpredictable, superior-thinking beings who slinked around the house with negative attitudes. I know now exactly what she was referring to: that annoyed, evil feline look that screams silently, “Back-off now, I’m hormonal.” 

Our situation grew so disagreeable, I had to call in the military, i.e., Jernae’s mother and grandmother, for some womanly advice. Renee, Jernae’s mother, told me to crack down on her daughter, and if that failed, I was to send her home to Hunter’s Point where she could sit inside their apartment and stew while her three sisters were in daycare and Momma was at work, driving a MUNI bus. 

Jernae’s granny had a different approach. One Sunday she pulled her Cadillac in front of our house and blew the horn. She was dressed in her church-going clothes: a white flowing, regal ensemble, big brimmed hat, and sensible heels. “Bring that child to me,” she boomed from curbside. Jernae and I did as she commanded. 

“What’s wrong with you?” she asked Jernae. “I know you know how to behave. What’s the three R’s I taught you?” 

Jernae hesitated before answering. 

“Say them,” shouted Granny. 

“Reliability, responsibility and...,” she paused, trying to collect her thoughts. 

“And?” Granny leaned in close, as if she was hard of hearing. 

“Respect,” answered Jernae. 

“That’s right,” said Granny, shaking her head and raising a perfectly manicured finger. “This is Suzy’s house,” she continued, “and you ain’t the diva here, you hear me?” 

Jernae nodded. 

“When you come over to Granny’s house, who’s the queen?” she asked. 

“You are,” said Jernae. 

“You got that right,” said Granny. “I’m the queen, I’m the diva, I’m Big Momma and don’t you forget it. And when you’re at Suzy’s house, she’s Big Momma. You’re not the Diva or the Queen or Big Momma yet. You hear me?” 

“Yes, Granny,” answered Jernae softly. 

“All right then,” said the Queen. She turned to me. 

“There’s only room for one diva in your house, Suzy, and that’s got to be you. Now go inside and act the part. Call me if you have any more troubles.” 

Granny revved the engine of her champagne-colored Escalade and roared off. 

I don’t know if her words had much impact on Jernae, but they sure made a difference in me. I tossed back my shoulders, stood up straight, entered my little castle, and slammed the door behind me. Queen for at least one day, I thought. It feels all right to me. 






Tuesday August 23, 2005




A sorely inebriated man took the wheel of his SUV Sunday morning and proceeded on a rampage starting shortly before 4 a.m., inflicting serious damage to 15 parked cars before he crashed his mini-tank into a phone pole about 5:05 a.m. 

Berkeley police spokesperson Officer Joe Okies said that police were alerted by a report of an SUV crashing into a pole in the 2100 block of Essex Street. 

The 24-year-old driver had abandoned the wreck by the time officers arrived, but a search quickly located the blotto blitzer. 

Somewhere along the way, the SUV lost a wheel, accounting for the shower of sparks callers reported from the careening vehicle as it battered its way along Russell and Wheeler streets. 

Berkeley Unified School District spokesperson Mark Coplan, who lives on Wheeler near Ashby, said that after the car lost the wheel, “You could hear it from three blocks away. It was like a scraper going down the street. By 4 a.m. there was a line of cops taking reports from car owners. The dude missed my car, but he hit my neighbor’s car.” 

The fellow was booked on multiple hit and run charges plus the deuce rap. 


Students beware! 

Berkeley police and agents of the state board of Alcoholic Beverage Control have teamed up to catch underage drinkers who hope to dupe tavern-keepers with their cleverly forged IDs. 

Officer Okies said that Friday night action actions resulted in a total of 56 citations. Two others were booked into the city pokey. 

A search of one south campus bar turned up six minors with fake IDs inside, while officers cited eight others who were trying to get in. 

“We’ll be doing stepped up enforcement throughout opening week and rush week,” said Okies. The enhanced enforcement is funded by a grant from the ABC. 


Domestic, violent 

Summoned by a phone call report of a threatened incident of domestic violence, Berkeley police arrived at a residence near the corner of Acton Street and Channing Way Wednesday afternoon to find the threatened woman still on the phone with the caller. 

While an officer was talking to the woman, the 18-year-old caller appeared and approached the officer and the threatened woman, in the process of which he dropped a loaded shotgun and a knife from his coat. 

A brief flight ensued before the suspect was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence and two concealed weapons charges. Officers also discovered outstanding warrants against the fellow as well. 


Rat pack heist 

A gang of four or five felons ranging in ages between 15 and 20 confronted a man outside Iceland in the 2800 block of Milvia Street and robbed him of his money, a cell phone and his XBox games just before 7 p.m. Saturday. 

One of the fellows was wearing a “spark” (a removable gold tooth cap) and a basketball shirt emblazoned with the number 20, said Officer Okies. 

They were long gone ’ere police arrived. 


Lone gunman 

A young man with a gun robbed a woman of her purse, cell phone, cash, credit cards and ID about 9:20 p.m. Sunday in the 2400 block of Woolsey Street.?

Commentary: UC Must Support an Equitable Class Pass By Manuel Buenrostro, Sharon Han, Jesse Arreguin and Alan Lightfeldt

Tuesday August 23, 2005

This November, UC Berkeley students will be voting to extend the successful Class Pass program for another seven years.  

Over 85 percent of students have used their Class Pass on AC Transit and campus shuttle buses since its inception six years ago. During the same period, the number of students who have purchased parking permits has decreased to 12 percent. This universal transit pass has made it easier for students to commute to campus, improved air quality, and reduced the amount of congestion on Berkeley roadways.  

The ASUC recognizes the benefits that students have received by the Class Pass. Nevertheless, we are deeply concerned over proposed fee increases in the new Class Pass model outlined in the upcoming referendum. While students agree with an increase in AC Transit’s portion of the fee, there is serious concern over a more than $3 increase in the student contribution to the Bear Transit system and a $1.50 per semester fee for Translink implementation.  

As opposed to continuing to fund alternative transportation, some faculty members have advocated for using parking funds for only parking-related expenditures, such as construction of new parking lots. While this benefits one segment of the campus, it undermines the progress made to provide access for students and staff.  

Furthermore, the substantial increase in the student contribution to Bear Transit will not ensure that service will improve. In fact, certain buses are slated to be cut altogether despite increased funding. Therefore, we are being asked to pay more for less service.  

Recognizing this unnecessary burden, the ASUC Senate passed a bill supporting the Class Pass itself, but opposing these additional increases. With student fees increasing every semester, it is disconcerting that the administration would make students shoulder the burden in maintaining a balanced transportation program. 

We hope that the university recognizes these concerns and is willing to negotiate with students over the next few months to address these increases. The university has the financial resources to fund a portion of the Bear Transit system. While a minor increase in the student contribution is understandable given increased operating costs, we urge on the university to maintain an equitable Class Pass for its students. 

We are paying for this program, and it is our hope that the final model will reflect our needs and our budgets.  


Manuel Buenrostro is the ASUC president; Sharon Han is the ASUC external affairs vice president; Jesse Arreguin is the ASUC city affairs director; and Alan Lightfeldt is the ASUC representative to the Class Pass Advisory Committee.

Commentary: Pro-People Commissioners Champion Justice By PHOEBE ANN SORGEN

Tuesday August 23, 2005

Admired and emulated across the U.S. and in Canada, Romania and Japan, Berkeley’s Peace and Justice Commission was established almost 20 years ago. It has furthered Berkeley’s proud tradition of activist democracy, standing up to human rights violations in Afghanistan, Burma, China, Iran, Mexico and apartheid South Africa. We have championed citizen authority over transnational corporate power and vindicated the rights of women, workers and voters in the U.S. Residents bring concerns to volunteer commissioners who organize background information and formulate recommendations for the City Council, according to our mandate. We save city employees valuable time. Those of us who craft the approximately 10 recommendations per year put in countless research hours. Our preparation is arduous, so the City Council usually adopts our recommendation with little discussion. We help people reach for their highest ideals. Using the democratic process to address concerns “constructively, creatively” is healthy for the community and for individuals.  

Open communication and trust are all important, and particularly challenging if one feels emotionally threatened. I was initially stumped by recently published recriminations of anti-Semitism. I am sure the accusers believe that. I am also sure that “the peace faction” commissioners, some of whom are Jewish, are innocent. I believe commissioners share the goal of a world that is fair and just for all. Is distrust obstructing that common goal?  

Critiquing Bush’s policies is healthy. Critiquing the Israeli government’s policies is no more anti-Semitic than critiquing Bush policy is un-American. A Jewish man wrote the Rachel Corrie Resolution, adopted two years ago, which did not criticize Israel at all but expressed condolences to her parents and endorsed the request for an independent investigation. “The City of Berkeley supports peace and justice and opposes the senseless killing of innocent civilians including Palestinians, Israelis and others.” Many believe a Jewish Israel with 1967 borders will be more secure if the Palestinians have a viable state, too, and that Corrie was trying to block the gears of oppression with her young body. She was a nonviolent peace worker engaging in civil disobedience.  

Can time heal? At a protest outside City Hall during debate on the resolution, some extremists on both sides shouted insults. Some sent hate mail. Some people remained calm and tried to calm others. Passionate Berkeleyans do exercise their right of free speech. Could part of the solution be respectful communication and listening? We might learn that most Jewish people and others who support Israel want a fair deal for Palestinians, too, as long as Israel is secure. We might learn that most who endorse a Palestinian state want safety and health for Israelis, too, if the Palestinians can thrive. Most Berkeleyans oppose violence, especially against unarmed, peaceful civilians. It is sad to see people’s values and good intentions distorted or compromised by fear and insecurity.  

The issues are complex. It can help to communicate compassionately, without loaded language, giving the benefit of the doubt, finding common ground. Taking a stand is our proud m/patriotic duty. Criticizing suicide bombers and Republicans and even Berkeley commissioners asserts American free speech. Criticizing the policies of the Israeli government is not anti-Semitic but pro-democracy. Can honest, fair criticism be worded so as to push fewer buttons?  

In chapter 3.68.010 of the city code, the Council finds that, “...It is the responsibility of one and all to labor hard for peace and justice within forums of appropriate scale. The residents of Berkeley have continually demonstrated their concern for peace and justice based on equality among all peoples...The Berkeley City Council, to act successfully in furthering peace and justice, must have wise counsel, accurate research, vigorous analysis, articulate formulation of issues and proposals for action, and thus the establishment of a Peace and Justice Commission is proper.”  

I am grateful for Berkeleyans “solving differences constructively, creatively” to uphold democracy and assert citizen authority over corporate greed and the military industrial complex’s shortsightedness. You strengthen my hopes for an increasingly just and peaceful city and world.  


Phoebe Anne Sorgen is a member of the Peace and Justice Commission.  




Commentary: Continuing Cost of RFID Technology By SHIRLEY STUART

Tuesday August 23, 2005

The Friday, Aug. 5 article in the Daily Planet, “Library Workers, Patrons Denounce RFID System,” has several omissions and distortions.  

Opposition to RFID ballooned as the community became aware of its impact on our budget, of its potential for compromising patrons’ privacy, and the health risks imposed on library staff working in close proximity to the equipment day after day. To place this protest at the doorstep of the ACLU and EFF is insulting to all of us. Citizens in Berkeley approached these groups for advice about how to get rid of RFID in Berkeley, not the other way around. 

The article failed to include a major concern of people attending the forum: the exorbitant cost of RFID to the taxpayers of Berkeley: 

• Six hundred fifty thousand dollars was only the initial payment to Checkpoint, the company from which the library director bought the RFID system, and the cost will go higher the longer the system is in place (currently 60 to 65 cents for each book, magazine, CD, DVD, etc. in the collection). 

• In addition to buying more RFIDs as materials are added to the collection, RFIDs are routinely thrown away as weekly and monthly periodicals are discarded (again, at a cost of plus or minus 65 cents each, amounting to a waste of hundreds of dollars per week since the devices cannot be reused). 

• We will be at the mercy of Checkpoint for maintaining and updating the system for years to come (assuming that the company stays in business). 

When Paul Simon, Checkpoint System’s representative at the forum, was asked what the turnaround time was for repairs to the equipment, he replied, “Twenty-four to 48 hours.” It was then that a library staff person forced him to acknowledge that equipment at the Claremont branch has been down for six weeks, is still not working and he had no estimate for when it will be fixed. 

Once again, RFIDs will NOT replace bar codes on materials at the Berkeley Public Library. RFIDs read the bar codes and are another layer of equipment placed on top of what is an already functioning, cheap method of checking books in and out of our library. 

Panel member David Molnar, a U. C. graduate student, said he was able to buy an RFID reader that worked at Caeser Chavez branch library in Oakland for only $150. The thousand dollar model referred to in the article is for monitoring tags at a greater distance. 

Attacks are directed at Jackie Griffin, the current library director, because she is the primary reason that we are having to deal with RFID. She promoted it from the beginning of her employment at our library, she persuaded the Berkeley Board of Library Trustees to borrow a half a million dollars from the City of Berkeley budget to buy it, and she continues to champion it.  

If some of the people at the meeting were rude and angry, it is because we have reached a level of frustration that has turned up the volume on protest. This will continue until RFIDs are removed from our library and its branches. 


Shirley Stuart is a Berkeley resident.

Commentary: Controlling the Message By Anne Cromwell

Tuesday August 23, 2005

Michael Stephens of Chicago in his Aug. 16 letter to the editor says Rabbi Sara Schendelman “tells it exactly like it is” when she states that we in Berkeley “are the most intolerant place in the U.S. when faced with a differing view.” 

Mr. Stephens then proceeds to compare Berkeley’s close-minded residents to the “extremely conservative Republican” Mormons, who he found to be so open-minded while attending a convention in Salt Lake City. 

Mr. Stevens, I grew up in Salt Lake City. Mormons, including my family, are hospitable. So were white Southerners famous for their hospitality to outsiders even in the darkest days of Jim Crow suppression of blacks. Mormons have a long history of being pro-Zionist. Their entire religion is based on their belief that the 10 lost tribes came to America and became American Indians. How do you suppose a rabid anti-Palestinian, pro-Zionist such as Sen. Orrin Hatch keeps getting re-elected? Today, (Monday, Aug. 22) President Bush will be speaking in Salt Lake City. The ABC affiliate in Salt Lake City refused to air an anti-war commercial put out by the Democratic Party. Republicans outnumber Democrats twelve to one in the state of Utah. This is open-minded? 

I’ve often wondered how when all the facts are readily available, as pointed out by Gerald Schmavonian’s Aug. 16 commentary, that people such as Lawrence White (Aug. 5) still continue to make up fables about the history of this conflict. My kudos to Mr. Schmavonian. Finally someone succinctly and methodically confronted their lies. 

Dan Spitzer (Aug. 16) says “a local publication shouldn’t waste time and space on international matters which can be found elsewhere.” Then why does he keep writing to the Daily Planet about international matters? The problem is the major news organizations all slant their coverage. This week we are witnesses to the removal of a few thousand illegal Israeli settlers in Gaza. They will be compensated to the tune of over one billion dollars in U.S. taxpayer money. Gaza is home to over one million Palestinians, most of whom are refugees or descendants of refugees expelled from Israel proper by Israel after the 1948 War. None were compensated for their properties expropriated by the Israeli government, not even one cent. Then, after the 1967 conquest of Gaza, Israel took 40 percent of Gaza for a few thousand illegal Israeli settlers, removed all the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians living there, killing thousands of Palestinians in the process, and bull-dozed tens of thousands of their homes. And not a word on Nightline, nor any American TV news network, nor the New York Times, nor the Washington Post at the time. Compare that to the coverage a few thousand illegal settlers being removed from illegal settlements receive from those news sources. The fact is, Mr. Spitzer, a local publication is not wasting time or space on international matters since much of it cannot be found elsewhere. But Mr. Spitzer and his buddies all know: If you control the sound bites, you control the message. 


Anne Cromwell is a Piedmont resident. r

Arts Calendar

Tuesday August 23, 2005



P&T Puppet Theater at 6:30 p.m. at the Kensington Library, 61 Arlington Ave. 524-3043. 


Eyeing Nature: “13 Lakes” at 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 


Pamela Cranston reads from “Coming to Treeline: Adirondack Poems” at 7:30 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 2352 Shattuck Ave. 644-3635. 

Sara Halprin talks about “Seema’s Show: A Life on the Left” at 7:30 p.m. at Black Oak Books. 486-0698. www.blackoakbooks.com 

Riley LaShea discusses the role of women in fairytales and reads from her new novel, “Bleeding Through Kingdoms: Cinderella’s Rebellion” at 7 p.m. at Change Makers, 6536 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. 655-2405. 

The Whole Note Poetry Series with Gg and Ralph Dranow at 7 p.m. at The Beanery, 2925 College Ave., near Ashby. 549-9093. 


Tom Rigney & Flambeau at 8:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cajun dance lesson at 8 p.m. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Noel Jewkes Trio at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ. www.AnnasJazzIsland.com 

Howard Barkan Trio, jazz, at 7 p.m. at Caffe Trieste, 2500 San Pablo Ave. 548-5198.  

Calvin Keys Trio, CD release concert, at 8 and 10 p.m. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square. Cost is $6-$10. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 

Jazzschool Tuesdays, a weekly showcase of up-and-coming ensembles from Berkeley Jazzschool at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Danny Caron at 8 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810. 



For Your Eyes Only: “13 Frightened Girls” at 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 


Chuck Klosterman explores rock star demise in “Killing Yourself to Live” at 7:30 p.m. at Cody’s Books. 845-7852. www.codysbooks.com 

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


Mark Little Trio at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ.  

Ned Boynton Trio at 8 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810.  

Balkan Folkdance at 8 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $7. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Outbound Trio at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Mitch Marcus Quintet, 13 Big Band at 8 and 10 p.m. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square. Cost is $8-$12. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 



Magical Arts Ritutal Theater, “Equus” Thurs.-Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 2 p.m. at Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby Ave. Tickets are $25. 523-7754. www.ticketweb.com 


Latino Film Festival “The Storytellers” at 7:30 p.m. at La Pena Cultural Center. Cost is $8. 849-2568. www.lapena.org 

Louis Malle: “God’s Country” at 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 


Word Beat Reading Series with Diana Q. & Patricia Edith at 7 p.m. at Mediterraneum Caffe, 2475 Telegraph Ave., near Dwight Way. 526-5985. 


Karashay: Chirgilchin & Stephen Kent Lecture/demonstration on Tunvan Throat Singing at 8 p.m., concert at 9:15 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $12-$15. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Fiddle Summit at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $25.50-$26.50. 548-1761. www.freightandsalvage.org 

Jason Davis Quartet at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ. www.AnnasJazzIsland.com 

Abel Moulton and The Tastemakers, The Radishes, The Fuxedos at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $7. 841-2082 www.starryploughpub.com 

Peter Barshay Trio at 8 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810.  

Kenny Burrell Quintet at 8 and 10 p.m., through Sun. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square. Cost is $14-$20. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 

Selector, laptop funk, beat machines, at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 



California Shakespeare Theater, “Nicholas Nickleby” Part 2 at 8 p.m. at Bruns Amphitheater, 100 Gateway Blvd., Orinda, through Sept. 16. Tickets are $10-$55. 548-9666. www.calshakes.org 

Impact Theater “Nicky Goes Goth” at 8 p.m., Thurs.-Sat. at La Val’s Subterranean, 1834 Euclid, through Oct. 1. Tickets are $10-$15. 464-4468. www.impacttheatre.com 

“Livin’ Fat” Fri. at 8 p.m., Sat. at 2 and 8 p.m., Sun. at 4 p.m. at Malonga Casquelord Center for the Arts, 1428 Alice St., Oakland, through Aug. 26. Tickets are $15-$25. 332-7125. 

Magical Arts Ritutal Theater, “Equus” Fri. and Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 2 p.m. at Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby Ave. Tickets are $25. 523-7754. www.ticketweb.com 

The Marsh Berkeley “When God Winked” by Ron Jones. Thurs.-Sat. at 7 p.m. at the Gaia Building, 2120 Allston Way, through Sept. 16. Tickets are $10-$22. 800-838-3006. www.themarsh.org  


Louis Malle: “Au reviour les enfants” at 7 p.m. and “Atlantic City” at 9:05 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 


Dr. Loco’s Rockin’ Jalapeño Band at 9 p.m. at La Peña Cultural Center. Cost is $7-$10. 849-2568. www.lapena.org 

The Nika Rejto Quartet at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ. www.AnnasJazzIsland.com 

Wake the Dead at 9 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $13-$15. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Lua at 8 p.m. at Caffe Trieste, 2500 San Pablo Ave. 548-5198.  

Anna Maria Flechero, singer-songwriter, at 8 p.m. at Maxwell’s 341 13th St., Oakland. 839-6169. www.maxwellslounge.com 

Lee Waterman Trio at 9 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810.  

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

Tom Freund at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $8. 841-2082. www.starryploughpub.com 

Akimbo, Lords, Ass End Offend, Paint Out the Light, at 8 p.m. at 924 Gilman St. Cost is $6. 525-9926. 

London Street and Baby James at 10 p.m. at Shattuck Down Low, 2284 Shattuck Ave. Cost is $5. 548-1159.  

Bitches Brew at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Kenny Burrell Quintet at 8 and 10 p.m., through Sun. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square. Cost is $14-$20. 238-9200.  



Oakland-East Bay Shakespeare Festival “Much Ado About Nothing” Sat. and Sun. at 4 p.m. at Lakeside Park at Lake Merritt, corner of Perkins and Bellevue, through Aug. 28. Free. 415-865-4434. www.sfshakes.org 

San Francisco Mime Troupe “Doing Good” at 2 p.m. at Cedar Rose Park, 1300 Rose St. 415-285-1717. www.sfmt.org 

Shotgun Players, “Cyrano de Bergerac” at 4 p.m., Sat. and Sun. through Sept. 11, at John Hinkle Park, labor day perf. Sept. 5. Free with pass the hat donation after the show. 841-6500. www.shotgunplayers.org 


“New Visions: Introductions 2005” artists’ talk at 1 p.m. at ProArts Gallery, 550 Second St., Oakland. www.proartsgallery.org 

“CCA Faculty New Work” opens at the Oliver Art Center, California College of the Arts, 5212 Broadway, Oakland. 594-3600. 


A Theater Near You: “F for Fake” 7 and 8:45 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808.  


Rhythm & Muse with poet and prose writer Jan Steckel at 7 p.m. at Berkeley Art Center. Free. 527-9753. 

Poetry Flash with Michael McClure and M.L. Liebler at 7:30 p.m. at Cody’s Books. Cost is $2. 845-7852.  


Diablo Street Jazz Band from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Bay Street Plaza, near Old Navy, Emeryville. 

Robin Gregory & Her Trio at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ.  

Bolokada Conde, child prodigy drummer from West Africa, at 8 p.m. at La Peña Cultural Center. Cost is $15. 849-2568. www.lapena.org 

Ray Abshire with Andre & Louis Michot of Lost Bayou Ramblers at 9 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cajun dance lesson at 8 p.m. Cost is $11-$13. 525-5054.  

Don Villa & Gary Wade, original compositions for guitar, at 7 p.m. at Spuds Pizza, 3290 Adeline St. Cost is $7. 558-0881. 

Deanna Witkowski Trio at 9 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810.  

Dave Lionelli, singer songwriter, at 7:30 p.m. at Nomad Cafe, 6500 Shattuck Ave. 595-5344. 

Toychestra, The Loins at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $8. 841-2082.  

Allegiance, Blacklisted, Cast Aside, Down to Nothing at 8 p.m. at 924 Gilman St. Cost is $6. 525-9926. 

Will Bernard & Motherbug at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 



San Francisco Mime Troupe “Doing Good” at 2 p.m. at Cedar Rose Park, 1300 Rose St. 415-285-1717. www.sfmt.org 


A Theater Near You: “Edvard Munch”at 2 and 5:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808.  


Jazz Spoken Word featuring Dayna Stephens Quartet at 6 p.m. at Kimball’s Carnival, 522 Second St., Oakland. Sponsored by The Jazz House. Cost is $5. 415-846-9432. 

Poetry Reading by contributers to Diner, a Journal of Poetry at 7 p.m. at Pegasus Books, 2349 Shattuck Ave. 649-1320. 

Poetry Flash with poet Bryce Milligan and novelist Cecile Pineda at 7:30 p.m. at Cody’s Books. Donation $2. 845-7852.  


Oakland Lyric Opera “Love Songs and Lullabies,” songs by African American composers at 2 p.m. at Chapel of the Chimes, 4499 Piedmont Ave., Oakland. 836-6772. www.oaklandlyricopera.com 

Live Oak Concert with Amy Likar, flute, Bruce Foster, clarinet, Yueh Chou, bassoon, Erika Wilsen, horn, at 7:30 p.m. at Berkeley Art Center, 1275 Walnut St. Cost is $8-$10. 644-6893.  

Du’Vo’ from Hungary, at 7:30 p.m. at Finnish Hall, 1970 Chestnut St. Tickets are $5-$15. 526-7757. 

Oak, Ash & Thorn at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $18.50-$19.50. 548-1761.  

Crying High Brazilian Band and Choro Band at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ.  

Koko de la Isla, flamenco, at 8 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $10. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

David Serotkin, CD release party, at 7:30 p.m. at Epic Arts, 1923 Ashby Ave. Cost is $5-$10. 644-2204.  

Shotgun Ragtime Band at 10 a.m. at Nomad Cafe, 6500 Shattuck Ave. 595-5344.  

Americana Unplugged with The Dark Hollow Band at 5 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 



“The Danube Exodus” Interactive installation by Péter Forgács & the Labyrinth Project opens at the Judah L. Magnes Museum, 2911 Russell St. www.magnes.org 


“Stolen Childhoods” a documentary on child labor, at 7:45 p.m. followed by discussion with director Len Morris, at Pacific Film Archive. Sponsored by Amnesty International.  


Poetry Express Theme Night: “Ex’s” at 7 p.m., at Priya Restaurant, 2072 San Pablo Ave. berkeleypoetryexpress@yahoo.com 


Trovatore, traditional Italian music, at 7 p.m. at Caffe Trieste, 2500 San Pablo Ave. 548-5198.  

Oaktown Jazz Workshop with Najee & His Band at 8 p.m. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square. Cost is $35. 238-9200.

Often Disparaged Pigeons Deserve Some Respect By JOE EATON Special to the Planet

Tuesday August 23, 2005

The feral or rock pigeon doesn’t have a lot of fans. True, these birds add a touch of nature to the urban jungle; when I worked in San Francisco, I looked forward to the occasional pigeon visit to the window ledge outside my cubicle. But I still harbored a grudge against the one that guano-bombed me in the Piazza di San Marco in Venice years ago, and tended to think of them as feathered vermin. 

Alberto Palleroni, a former UC Davis doctoral candidate now a post-doc at Harvard, sees it differently. “The feral pigeon is an amazing balance of adaptations and success,” he told a New York Times reporter earlier this year. “I’m always one to defend them.”  

Pigeons have intrigued scientists for a number of reasons. That homing instinct, for example, which has been exploited since antiquity. Roman magistrates took pigeons along to the theater in case they were delayed and had to send word home. Pigeons carried the results of the ancient Olympics, relayed Genghis Khan’s battle orders, and linked besieged Paris with the outside world in the Franco-Prussian War. The British Air Force employed 20,000 homing pigeons in World War I. As of a couple of years ago, at least, a Police Pigeon Service still functioned in the Indian state of Orissa.  

The birds seem to use a mix of navigational tools. Tiny particles of magnetite in their beaks help them orient by the earth’s magnetic field, with assists from their sense of smell and possibly their perception of low-frequency sound. 

Psychologists, from B. F. Skinner on, have also explored the mental world of the pigeon. At Cardiff University in Wales, John Pearce discovered that they can discriminate between pictures of trees and pictures of non-trees, then went on to establish that they can tell Picassos from Monets—pattern recognition on a pretty sophisticated level. What interested Palleroni, though, is the pigeon’s own plumage patterns, and how one particular variant helps protect the birds from that avian superpredator, the peregrine falcon.  

In the centuries after the first wild rock pigeons started hanging around Middle Eastern villages for spilled grain and other treats, their descendants have been tweaked into a dizzying variety of plumages, shapes, and behaviors: aerobatic tumblers, bizarrely feathered Jacobins, pouters, shakers. Charles Darwin used pigeon breeding as a model for the shaping force of natural selection. With typical Darwinian thoroughness, he joined two London pigeon clubs and tried his hand at breeding. You could argue that pigeons had more to do with the origin of The Origin of Species than Darwin’s famous finches. Today’s street pigeons are reasonably uniform in shape, but diverse in plumage pattern. Most have uniformly dark backs, but a minority—20 percent in Palleroni’s study—have a white rump patch. 

Palleroni, a serious falconer who works with an African crowned eagle named Biko, decided to study peregrine predation on Davis’s rock pigeon population. His lab was strategically located under the birds’ flight path between the campus and a favored feeding location. Over seven years, Palleroni and his associates logged 1794 peregrine predation attempts on the commuting pigeons. In a typical attack, the falcon barrels down on its target at a speed of up to 250 miles per hour, then levels out and hits the pigeon from behind, killing or stunning it with a blow from its clenched talons.  

Adult peregrines were found to have a higher success rate than juveniles (40 percent versus 19 percent). One unanticipated finding was that white-backed pigeons made up only 2 per cent of the total kill for both falcon age classes—much less than a representative share of the pigeon population. To eliminate the possibility that white-backs were simply better at dodging, Palleroni did an ingenious cut-and-paste experiment, trapping 756 pigeons of the white-back and the more common blue-bar forms and changing the color of their rump feathers. He couldn’t just paint the birds, since peregrines can see into the ultraviolet range and would have detected the fraud; he had to excise the pigeon’s rump plumage and glue in feathers of the opposite color. Once up to speed, it took his research team only 10 minutes to customize a pigeon. When released in falcon territory, former white-backs now sporting blue rumps suffered heavy casualties, but former blue-bars with white rumps were caught just 2 per cent of the time. 

What happens, according to Palleroni, is that the diving falcon fixates on the conspicuous white rump patch. While the raptor closes in, the pigeon executes its standard evasive maneuver, dipping one wing, rolling, and veering off like a jet fighter breaking formation. At 250 mph, the falcon is moving faster than its brain can process what it sees. It takes 1/ 50 of a second for the pigeon’s dip and roll to register. That’s apparently all the time the pigeon needs. “In effect, it’s a kind of card trick,” Palleroni says. “The patch may disguise the start of the evasive roll, confusing the attacker with the sudden contrast between conspicuous white and dull gray-blue body.” 

Trying to baffle a predator by breaking a visual pattern is not uncommon among prey species. The white flags of the cottontail rabbit and the white-tailed deer serve a similar purpose. If you’ve ever watched a falcon going after a flock of shorebirds, you’ve seen the dazzling reversal of dark backs and white bellies as the birds twist and turn in flight. Schools of baitfish pursued by bigger fish do the same thing.  

So it makes sense that the white-back pattern would confer enough of a survival advantage for the responsible genes to be preserved. But it seems the trick only works for peregrines, old familiar enemies of the rock pigeon; the two evolved side by side in Eurasia before pigeons spread worldwide. According to Palleroni, the red-tailed hawks that patrol Harvard Yard have no trouble at all catching white-backs.

Berkeley This Week

Tuesday August 23, 2005


Tilden Tots Join a nature adventure program for 3 and 4 year olds, each accompanied by an adult (grandparents welcome)! We’ll look for our reptile friends from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Cost is $6-$8. Registration required. 636-1684. 

Groundbreaking Ceremony of West Street Right of Way Improvements Project for Bikeway and Pedestrian Path between University and Delaware at 2 p.m. in Berkeley Way Mini Park, 1294 Berkeley Way. 981-6396, 981-7534.  

Tuesday Tilden Walkers Join a few slowpoke seniors at 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot near the Little Farm for an hour or two walk. 215-7672, 524-9992. 

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

Tai Chi for Health and Long Life from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Elephant Pharmacy, 1607 Shattuck Ave. 549-9200. www.elephantpharmacy.com 

Healthy Eating Habits and Hypnosis A free seminar at 6:30 p.m. in Oakland. Registration required. 465-2524. 

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


Tilden Tots Join a nature adventure program for 3 and 4 year olds, each accompanied by an adult. We’ll look for our reptile friends from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Cost is $6-$8. Registration required. 636-1684. 

“Aggression in Dogs: Safety Solutions for You and Your Pets” Learn how to prevent dog agression in your home, and how to avoid it in the community. From 7 to 9 p.m. at the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society, 2700 Ninth St. 845-7735. www.berkeleyhumane.org 

Bus Riders Meeting on Van Hool Buses with Jim Gleich, Assist. GM of AC Transit, at 7 p.m. at Shattuck Senior Homes, 2425 Shattuck Ave. All welcome. 655-7508. 

Walking Tour of Old Oakland around the restored 1870s business district. Meet at 10 a.m. in front of G.B. Ratto’s at 827 Washington St. Tour lasts 90 minutes. Reservations can be made by calling 238-3234. 

“Breema: The Art of Being Present” With Angela Porter at 4:30 p.m. at Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, 1744 Solano Ave. 527-8929. 

The Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club provides free instruction every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at 2270 Action St. 841-2174.  

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

Sing your Way Home A free sing-a-long at 4:30 p.m. every Wed. at the Albany Library, 1247 Marin Ave. 526-3720. 

Fresh Produce Stand at San Pablo Park from 3 to 6:30 p.m. in the Frances Albrier Community Center. Sponsored by the Ecology Center’s Farm Fresh Choice. 848-1704. www.ecologycenter.org 

Stitch ‘n Bitch Bring your knitting, crocheting and other handcrafts from 6 to 9 p.m. at Caffe Trieste, 2500 San Pablo Ave. 548-5198. 

Kundalini Yoga for All Ages at 2:30 p.m. at Elephant Pharmacy, 1607 Shattuck Ave. 549-9200. www.elephantpharmacy.com 

Berkeley Peace Walk and Vigil at 6:30 p.m. at Berkeley BART station followed by Peace Walk at 7 p.m. www.geocities.com/ 



85th Anniversary of the Passage of the 19th Amendment Community Luncheon with Professor Cynthia Gorney, Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at UCB at 11:30 a.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel, Berkeley Marina. Tickets $65. Sponsored by the League of Women Voters. 843-8824. http://lwvbae.org  

“Sierra Birds: A Hiker’s Guide” a lecture and slide show with John Muir Laws at 7 p.m. at the Ecology Center, 2530 San Pablo Ave. 548-2220. 

Easy Does It Disability Assistance Board of Directors Meeting at 6:30 p.m. at 1744A University Ave., behind the Lutheran Church between Grant and McGee. Meetings are fully accessible and open to the public. 845-5513. 

Activism Series on 9/11 truths and strategies for social change at 7 p.m. at Fellowship Hall, Cedar and Bonita. 528-5403. 

Protest Rally at Berkeley Honda every Thurs. at 4:30 p.m. and Sat. at 1 p.m.  

World of Plants Tours Thurs., Sat. and Sun. at 1:30 p.m. at the UC Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Drive. Cost is $5. 643-2755. http://botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu 


Reduced City Services Today Call ahead to ensure programs or services you desire will be available. 981-CITY. www.cityofberkeley.info 

“Building a Community FM Broadcast Station” by T.J. Enrile. Book Release Party at 7 p.m. at AK Press, 674-A 23rd St., Oakland. Donation $5-$10. 208-1700. 

Middendorf Institute for Breathexperience Open House at 6 p.m. at 830 Bancroft Way, #104. RSVP to 981-1710.  

Berkeley Chess Club meets Fridays at 8 p.m. at the East Bay Chess Club, 1940 Virginia St. Players at all levels are welcome. 845-1041. 

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

Celebrate a Humanistic Shabbat with Kol Hadash, led by Rabbi Jay Heyman, with song leader Bon Singer, at 7:30 p.m. at the Albany Community Center, 1249 Marin Ave. Free and open to the public. 428-1492. info@KolHadash@org  

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 


San Francisco Mime Troupe “Doing Good” at 2 p.m. at Cedar Rose Park, 1300 Rose St. 415-285-1717. www.sfmt.org 

Names on the Land: George R. Stewart Hike to learn the origin of local names Orinda, Treasure Island, Golden Gate and others. Meet at 10 a.m. in the overflow parking lot off Lomas Cantadas and Grizzly Peak Blvd. in Tilden Park. 525-2233. 

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

All Life Strives to Have Grandchildren Learn why there is so much activity by insects, birds and flowers aimed at finding a mate. From 2 to 4 p.m. at Tilden Nature Center, Tilden Park. 525-2233. 

Natural Hormone Therapy at 10:30 a.m. at Elephant Pharmacy, 1607 Shattuck Ave. 549-9200. www.elephantpharmacy.com 

Oakland Heritage Alliance Walking Tour of Picardy Drive and Mills Gardens. Cost is $5-$10. For details call 763-9218. www.oaklandheritage.org 

Free Sailboat Rides between 1 and 4 p.m. at the Cal Sailing Club in the Berkeley Marina. Bring warm waterproof clothes. www.cal-sailing.org 

Free Help with Computers at the El Cerrito Library to learn about email, searching the web, the library’s online databases, or basic word processing. Workshops held on Sat. a.m. at 6510 Stockton Ave., El Cerrito. Registration required. 526-7512.  

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 


San Francisco Mime Troupe “Doing Good” at 2 p.m. at Cedar Rose Park, 1300 Rose St. 415-285-1717. www.sfmt.org 

Community Garden Party and Fundraiser from 1 to 5 p.m. at Peralta Community Garden, 1400 Peralta Ave. near Hopkins. Live music, food, on-site raffle, kid’s activities, and peace-tile painting. 798-8148. 

“Birdbrain” is Really a Compliment We’ll look for smart birds and see what they are doing with all their brain power. From 10 a.m. to noon at Tilden Nature Center, Tilden Park. 525-2233. 

All of Life is a Great Thirst Learn how life copes with keeping as much water as it can inside. From 2 to 4 p.m. at Tilden Nature Center, Tilden Park. 525-2233. 

Social Action Forum with Chris O’Sullivan who had a Fulbright Fellowship in Jordan, at 9:30 a.m. at Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, 1 Lawson Rd., Kensington. 525-0302, ext. 306. 

Hungarian Folk Dancing with Du’Vo’ from Hungary, at 7:30 p.m. at Finnish Hall, 1970 Chestnut St. Tickets are $5-$15. 526-7757. 

All Our Voices: Celebrating Diversity through Storytelling with Jewish, Latino, Asian, African American and Native American stories from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the BRJCC, 1414 Walnut Ave. Cost is $20-$45. 444-4755. www.stagebridge.org 

Oakland Heritage Alliance Walking Tour around the Claremont. Cost is $5-$10. For details call 763-9218. www.oaklandheritage.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 group reservations or more information, call 848-7800. 

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 

Free Garden Tours at Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Tilden Park Sat. and Sun. at 2 p.m. Call to confirm. 841-8732. www.nativeplants.org 

Lake Merritt Neighbors Organized for Peace Peace walk around the lake every Sun. Meet at 3 p.m. at the colonnade at the NE end of the lake. 763-8712. lmno4p.org 


“Stolen Childhoods” a documentary on child labor, at 7:45 p.m. followed by discussion with director Len Morris, at Pacific Film Archive, 2575 Bancroft Way. Sponsored by Amnesty International.  

Stress Less with Hypnosis A free seminar at 6:30 p.m. in Oakland. Registration required. 465-2524. 

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. 


Return of the Over-the-Hills Gang Hikers 55 years and older who are interested in nature study, history, fitness, and fun are invited to join us on a series of monthly excursions exploring our Regional Parks. Meets at 10 a.m. at Pt. Pinole. For information and to register call 525-2233.  

GPS Mapping Learn how to make your own maps at 7 p.m. at REI, 1338 San Pablo Ave. 527-4140. 

Tuesday Tilden Walkers Join a few slowpoke seniors at 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot near the Little Farm for an hour or two walk. 215-7672, 524-9992. 

Tai Chi for Health and Long Life from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Elephant Pharmacy, 1607 Shattuck Ave. 549-9200. www.elephantpharmacy.com 

“Supporting Your Child’s Attention Holistically” at 7 p.m. at Elephant Pharmacy, 1607 Shattuck Ave. 549-9200. www.elephantpharmacy.com 

Family Story Time at 7 p.m. at the Kensington Branch Library, 61 Arlington Ave., Kensington. Free, all ages welcome. 524-3043. 

Brainstormer Weekly Pub Quiz every Tuesday from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Pyramid Alehouse Brewery, 901 Gilman St. 528-9880. 

Healthy Eating Habits and Hypnosis A free seminar at 6:30 p.m. in Oakland. Registration required. 465-2524. 

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

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


Back to Berkeley: A Sampling of This Year’s Parades and Festivals By JOE EATON Special to the Planet

Tuesday August 23, 2005

Diversity is not just a lofty abstraction: It tastes great, and you can dance to it. 

With the exception of the wet months, the Bay Area calendar is full of street fairs, music festivals, parades, and other events where you can hear everything from mariachi to taiko and sample endless variations on grilled-meat-on-a-stick. A sampling follows, and my apologies to anyone whose favorite event I’ve inadvertently omitted; write to the Daily Planet if you have suggestions. I tried really hard to find a local observance of Loy Kratong, the Thai celebration where you apologize to the spirit of the waters, but no luck. 

For updates, visit http://sanfrancisco. about.com/od/festivalsandstreetfairs. 


Oakland Chinatown StreetFest 

Aug. 27-28 

A pan-Asian event, bigger than anything in San Francisco; martial arts demonstrations, music, food. 893-8988. 


Arab Cultural Festival 

Sept. 18 

Food, dance, crafts, with a side of politics. San Francisco County Fair Building, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. (415) 664-2200. 


Sebastopol Celtic Festival 

Sept. 22-25 

Mostly music--Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Celto-Spanish, Cape Breton, Quebecois—in a great outdoor venue. Sebastopol Community Center. (707) 823-1511. 


How Berkeley Can You Be? Parade and Festival 

Sept. 25 

Is Berkeleyan an ethnic group? A philosophy? A cult? You decide. The parade down University Avenue ends at Civic Center Park with more entertainment. 644-2204. 

Reggae in the Park 

October 2005 

Legendary bands, tasty Caribbean food and culture. Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. (866) 384-3060. 


San Francisco Italian Heritage Parade 

Oct. 9 

North Beach’s big day. Wine tasting in Washington Square Park and a Ferrari show. No phone information available. 


Indigenous Peoples Day 

Oct. 8 

Pow-wow dancing and drumming, traditional and modern arts and crafts, frybread, bison burgers. Springer Gateway/West Entrance, UC Berkeley. 595-5520. 


Oktoberfest by the Bay 

Oct. 13-16 

Closer than Munich. Organizers promise “nonstop music, dancing, and singing.” The Chico Bavarian Band headlines. Fort Mason, San Francisco. (888) 746-7522. 


Vietnamese Spring Festival and Parade, February 2006 

Celebrate Tet, the Lunar New Year, with the people who brought us banh mi; music, martial arts demos, crafts. Parkside Hall, 180 Park Ave., San Jose. (408) 292-0623. 


Cherry Blossom Festival 

April 2006 

Taiko and tako in Nihonmachi; classical and folk dances, martial arts. Remember, it’s a good thing if the lion bites you. Japantown (Post and Buchanan), San Francisco. (415) 563-2307. 


Ukulele Festival of Northern California, April 2006 

All ukuleles, all day, with occasional hula. Kalua pig and other island treats available. Hayward Adult School, 22100 Princeton St., Hayward. (415) 281-0221.  

Portuguese Pentecostal Festival, seven weeks after Easter 2006 

Not a fiesta—a festa. Half Moon Bay. (650) 726-2729. 


Oakland Cinco de Mayo Festival 

May 2006 

Celebrate the end of one of Napoleon III’s really bad ideas, when Mexico defeated French imperial troops in the battle of Puebla. International Boulevard between 34th and 41st Avenues, 535-0389. Other Cinco de Mayo events in San Francisco, Berkeley and elsewhere. 


Festival of Greece 

May 2006 

Souvlaki, bouzouki, maybe ouzo in the Oakland hills; dancing with and without tables. Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension, 4700 Lincoln Ave., Oakland. 531-3400. 


Himalayan Fair 

May 2006 

Safer than Katmandu—music, dancing, arts, and crafts from the Roof of the World, plus curries and handmade momos. Live Oak Park, Berkeley. 869-3995. 


Carnaval San Francisco 

May 28, 2006 

A couple of months later than the rest of the world, but it’s colder here in February than it is in Rio or Trinidad. San Francisco’s version centers on a huge parade through the Mission District. (415) 920-0125. 


Israel in the Gardens 

June 2006 

More than just falafel; last year’s event featured an Israeli rock band and belly dancers. Yerba Buena Gardens San Francisco. (415) 512-6423. 


Campbell Highland Games and Celtic Gathering 

June 2006 

Watch out for the caber! Food (haggis at your own risk), music, dancing as well as feats of strength and skill. Campbell Community Center. (408) 219-9264. 



June 2006 

Commemorating the day that word of the Emancipation Proclamation reached Texas, this celebration of African American heritage also features music, food, and crafts from Africa and the Caribbean. Adeline Street, Berkeley. 655-8008. 


Eritrean Western USA Festival 

August 2006 

Listen to exotic Red Sea beats and learn how to handle your injera. Wood Middle High School, 420 Grand Ave., Alameda. 986-1991. 


Nihonmachi Street Fair 

August 2006 

Japantown hosts a celebration of Asian and Pacific cultures, with a dazzling variety of street food. Post Street between Laguna and Fillmore San Francisco. (415) 771-9861. 


San Francisco Aloha Festival 

August 2006 

Polynesia (and Micronesia) at the Presidio. Hula, slack key guitar, canoe races, island-style plate lunches, miles of vendors. Parade Grounds, Presidio of San Francisco. (415) 281-0221. 


International Dragon Boat Festival, August 2006 

Drums propel the rowers at Oakland’s Jack London Square. 452-4272. 


Pistahan Festival, August 2006 

The Bay Area’s Filipino community follows a parade down Market Street with music, traditional dancing and hip hop, art exhibits, and an adobo cook-off. Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco. (415) 777-6950.

Back to Berkeley: Every Dog Has Its Day In Berkeley By MATTHEW ARTZ

Tuesday August 23, 2005

Like many Berkeley dog owners, Tracy Koretsky and Ken McMillan would rather have their shepherd-airedale mix Jezebel by their side than stuck indoors at home or tethered to a pole when they’re about town. 

Plenty of local businesses feel the same way. 

Whether you want a beer, a book, a DVD, cigars, or even a fresh coat of paint, several local shops won’t just let your dog come inside, they’re liable to give it some water and a treat. 

“We travel a lot and this is probably the best place in the country to have a dog,” Koretsky said. 

The first rule about having a dog in Berkeley is that the city has a lot of dog rules and often it seems as if lawmakers are chasing their tails.  

For instance, according to city humane commissioner Jill Posener, the city prohibits residents from having more than four dogs in a single home. But someone who owns four dogs would be breaking the law if he walked all of them on Telegraph Avenue, since Berkeley forbids more than three dogs from congregating at the same place on Telegraph. The law was passed to target homeless youth and their dogs, Posener said. 

Tethering dogs outside shops is illegal, although typically not enforced, in Berkeley. Yet, the city allows well behaved dogs to be walked off-leash. Owners—or “guardians” as they are called by law in Berkeley—who can show that their dog responds to voice commands and can stay within a safe distance of them don’t have to use a leash. 

“Try telling that to the police,” Posener warned. As a native of England, she said she pines for her native land where dogs are welcomed in several movie theaters and restaurants. 

“Europeans are much more dog savvy,” she said. “Americans are obsessed with dogs, but not in a healthy way.” 

In Berkeley, only licensed service dogs can go wherever their owners take them, and even that isn’t always easy. Recently a woman needed to call the police to force the local Subway shop to let her service dog inside the eatery, Posener said. 

For dog owners like Koretsky and McMillan a visit to Subway is out of the question, but there are plenty of places that roll out the red carpet for canines. 

The best place to have beer with your dog is the Albatross Pub (1822 San Pablo Ave). While your dog might be no match for you when it comes to the pub’s full compliment of board games and Sunday night trivia, he is welcome to sit at your side. 

Book lovers have plenty of dog-friendly options. Cody’s welcomes dogs in their Telegraph Avenue and Fourth Street stores. Pegasus & Pendragon Books allow dogs at its stores on Shattuck and Solano Avenues, and Barnes and Noble lets dogs in its Shattuck Avenue store. In fact, one of the few places full of books that doesn’t allow dogs is the public library. Only service dogs are allowed there. 

When it comes to the video rental stores, dog owners say that Reel Video (2655 Shattuck Ave.) and Five Star Video (1550 University Ave. and 1501 Solano Ave.) are as dog-friendly as they come. The folks at Five Star might even have a few treats up their sleeves. 

Not surprisingly, the most dog-friendly shops happen to sell pet supplies. Pet Food Express (1101 University Ave. and 6398 Telegraph Ave.) welcomes dogs as does George, an upscale boutique (1829 Fourth St.) where Louis Vuitton dog biscuits are available. 

Fourth Street is generally considered by dog owners to be the most dog-friendly shopping district in the city. “Richer business neighborhoods tend to be more amenable towards dogs,” Posener said. 

No matter how high-end the neighborhood, dog owners shouldn’t expect to see the inside of a restaurant or a supermarket with their best friends by their side. State law prohibits pets in shops where fresh food is sold. 

The best option in Berkeley are restaurants with spacious outdoor seating and a dog-friendly waiter. Several people said Cafe Trieste (2500 San Pablo Ave.) will sometimes offer dogs water while they sit outside waiting for their owners to finish their espressos. The courtyard on Domingo Street, just across the street from the Claremont Hotel, also wins high marks. Customers at the Peet’s Coffee or at Rick and Ann’s can sit outside with their dogs while enjoying a Sunday brunch. 

Most dog owners seemed to have a favorite pro-dog establishment. Sally Reyes said the people at Pursel Paints (2161 University Ave.) often have a treat for her Australian Shepherd. Margo Robatto said her shepherd mix has been allowed in Amoeba Music on Telegraph Avenue. Melisa Frilot said her dog is welcome at Lucky Smokes, a tobacco shop on Shattuck Avenue.  

For most Berkeley dogs the shorter their stature the greater their access to area shops. Judith Phelan said she has been allowed to take her lap-sized Chihuahua mix into Target. “As long as she can fit into the shopping cart, they don’t have a problem,” she said.  

A Target employee said the Albany store actually allowed all dogs, but that might change because the store has received complaints. 

For overnight guests, the Golden Bear Inn on San Pablo Avenue allows pets. 

If you just want your dog to get some exercise, there are plenty of places to recommend. Berkeley is home to the Ohlone Dog Park, the nation’s first, founded in 1979 at Hearst Avenue and Grant Street. It has enough space to let small dogs run and their owners sit and talk about their four-legged pals. “We all come here so we can socialize with each other,” Robin Davis said as she was sitting with friends at the park bench.  

An Oakland resident, Davis also takes her dog to the dog park on Claremont Avenue underneath Highway 24. But the dog park that gets the best reviews is in Alameda. 

“It has a separate park for big dogs and small dogs,” said Frilot. “Nothing else compares.” If you’re in Alameda, you can also take your dog on the ferry as long as you can squeeze it into a carrier. 

When dog owners want to get some exercise too, they recommend the Lower Jordan Fire Trail at the eastern edge of the UC Berkeley campus. Take Centennial Drive and park in the dirt lot just before the Botanical Garden. The trail features a creek and a redwood grove. “It’s fantastic how removed you feel from city life when you’re up there,” said Sasha Futran. 

Other friendly places for dogs are the Berkeley Marina, home to Cesar Chavez Park, and Tilden Park in the Berkeley hills. Tilden has a mini train ride that allows dogs. For information call 549-6100. 

While Point Isabelle in Richmond remains the most popular place to have your dog off leash, many dog owners still flock to the beach at the Albany Bulb in the Eastshore State Park even though off leash dog walking is illegal at state parks. To the dismay of many local environmentalists fearful for the welfare of migrating birds, dogs still roam free at the Bulb, which is the only East Bay beach that at least tacitly allows off leash dogs.  

“We think the state law is stupid,” said Nancy Jean, who takes her lab and border collie mixes to the Bulb. “What are they going to do, eat the weeds?” 

Back to Berkeley: An Incomplete Guide to Local Pizza Joints By CASSIE NORTON

Tuesday August 23, 2005

Hello, my name is Cassie Norton, and I’m a college student. 

When my editors asked me about contributing to a “Back to Berkeley” edition of the Daily Planet, I thought for a few minutes about what information students need to know when they arrive at their college of choice. 

There are things you will only learn by asking, like the best place to do laundry on or off campus, the best bar for wasting a Friday night, and the easiest way to pass a particularly difficult class. These are the things freshmen discuss with sophomores and juniors, those who are in the know—and they make friends in the process. Or you can just go find out for yourself. 

But it’s easy to get in a rut after that first, exciting year. You found a bar you like, so you don’t go anywhere else. You do laundry in the basement of your dorm because it’s close and convenient, though maybe not the cheapest. And you ordered pizza one night when you were starving, and though it’s never tasted quite as good since that first time, that’s the parlor of choice for you. 

Wake up, people! There are dozens of pizza places in Berkeley and almost all of them deliver. It’s time to rediscover that staple of college life—and possibly save a couple bucks in the process. Keep reading for places that deserve your patronage and places to avoid. 


Domino’s Pizza 

I’m starting with Domino’s for one simple reason. It’s a chain, and as such, it sucks. If you have a particular attachment to their pizza, there are two in town, one on Adeline (652-8077) and one on University (849-9000). The only good thing about Domino’s is that they’re open fairly late—the stores are open until 1 a.m. and the last delivery is at 12:30 a.m. A large pizza (all large pizzas are 14 inches, unless noted otherwise) is $10.99. Minimum charge for delivery is $10.39 and there is a $1 delivery fee. 

There, now that we’ve addressed that point, let’s move on to better, more unique fare. 


La Val’s Pizza 

There are two La Val’s locations, and though the one on Euclid (540-9333) is closer to campus, I’m going to tell you about the one on Durant (845-1652), off of Telegraph, because that’s the one I went to. Also because I hear it’s better, atmospherically speaking. 

La Val’s is in the basement of 2516 Durant. It’s pretty large for a pizza place, which is good, since it also features an arcade complete with DDR and a pay-to-play pool table. There are booths and long, family-style tables upon which to consume your pizza and beer. A large cheese is $12.95 and a pint is $3.50. If you’re looking for atmosphere with your pizza, this is the place for you. The crowd is mixed and there are always a few biker dudes hanging around. 

On the other hand, if you’re looking for great pizza, this is probably not the best place. The cheese pizza is so greasy, my dinner companion and I used 22 napkins to mop up the slices and our fingers. For comparison purposes, I ate a slice (or more) of plain pizza at every parlor—the pizza may or may not be better with the addition of toppings—but I’m talking about bare bones, brass tacks pizza. Also I don’t like stuff on my pizza. 

Anyway, La Val’s isn’t the best for value or flavor, but it is on campusfood.com. What’s that, you say? Campusfood.com is a website that allows you to order your food from local vendors online rather than picking up a phone and interacting with an actual human being. Vendors also offer specials that are not available elsewhere. 


Fat Slice Pizza 

Right around the corner on Telegraph is one of my favorite pizza places. Fat Slice (548-6479) lives up to its name—the pieces are big and thick, and if you insist on toppings, a fully loaded veggie pizza at $15 is just a dollar more than the plain. The pizza is pretty good—nothing to swoon over, but it’s certainly not going to kill you. They don’t deliver, but they are open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and are located smack in the middle of bustling Telegraph Avenue, just down the block from the popular night spot Blake’s. 

The pizza is expensive, but you get a lot for the money. If you’re in the neighborhood and hungry, drop by for a big, fat slice. 


Extreme Pizza 

Extreme Pizza (486-0770) is on Shattuck Avenue, conveniently in the same block as Blockbuster Video. They too have beer on tap. Happy hour specials from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. will get you a pitcher for $8 and a pint for $2. I have say, this whole pizza and beer in the same place thing is pretty smart. Where I go to school (Albany, New York, in case you care), you have to buy your pizza and take it with you to the bar. So props for that. 

Props for not much else, unfortunately. The pizza has a paltry amount of cheese and is fairly greasy. The crust is thin and crisp, which is nice, but not very tasty on its own. A large cheese is $12.45 and the last delivery is at 10:30. The décor is suggested by its name and features photos of people engaged in “extreme” activities. Also, there’s a bike hanging from the ceiling. Seating is fairly minimal, supplemented by an outdoor courtyard shared with High-Tech Burrito. 


The Cheeseboard Pizza Collective 

More frequently referred to as simply The Cheeseboard (549-3055), this is a venerable Berkeley institution. An offshoot of the neighboring Cheeseboard Collective, the pizza parlor has wonky hours (Tues.–Fri. 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m., 4:30 p.m.–8 p.m.; Sat. 12 p.m.–3 p.m., 4:30 p.m.–8 p.m.) and offers only one flavor of pizza each day. It’s cash only, not much seating, and the lines are usually long. But they move quickly and there’s often live music to entertain you while you wait. 

A pie is $18 (which is actually a pie plus two pieces) and a slice is $2.25. There’s no delivery, so you’ll just have to go down there. I can’t tell you what the plain pizza is like, because they don’t make plain pizza, but here’s the amazing part. I ate the pizza they gave me, with tomatoes, red peppers, onion, mozzarella, parmesan, basil and olive oil. I didn’t pick any of it off, and that’s the highest endorsement I can give to a pizza. This is the place in Berkeley for gourmet pizza. 


Fiesta Pizza 

If you’ve made it this far, well done. Your reward is learning about my favorite pizza place, Fiesta Pizza on Shattuck Ave. 

Now the only reason I know about this place is that it’s right up the street from the Daily Planet office, but I’m very glad it is. Fiesta Pizza’s slices are thick and very big, with a crispy crust and a tangy sauce. And if you’re a cheese fan, this is the place for you. I think this is the only pizza parlor I found that uses only mozzarella—and there’s a lot of it. It’s not a traditional kind of pizza, but it’s pretty cheap and damn tasty. 

The seating is practically non-existent, so call them at 644-1222, and if you’re picking it up, don’t forget to grab a menu for all those weird people who want toppings on their pizza. Delivery goes to 10:30 p.m. and is free. A large plain is $9.95 and an extra large (16 inches) is $11.95. 

And so I say unto to you, “Good eating, my fellow pizza lovers!” Even if you choose to ignore my sage advice and eat at Domino’s, at the very least you’ll know where to find them. There are plenty of other pizza places in Berkeley, as a Google search will reveal, and I encourage you to broaden your culinary horizons by sampling as many of them as possible. College is a time for discovery and learning, and it will serve you well to know, for future posterity, whether you prefer Chicago or New York style pizza, and what kind of beer goes best with each. 

Back to Berkeley: Now is the Time to Plant for Many Natives By RON SULLIVAN Special to the Planet

Tuesday August 23, 2005

One pleasant surprise when I moved here from Pennsylvania was being able to garden year-round. You’re arriving just in time for planting season. 

September in wild California is a lot like February in the Northeast, but warmer and without the grimy leftover snow. If you’ve never seen February here, just wait. But you’ll have to wait only till October or so for the first winter rains to open the clenched soil and the native plants to start showing themselves. Meet them in the Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Tilden.  

If you want to plant them, now is the time. The closer to the first rains, the less you’ll have to irrigate them. Some natives resent being watered when the weather’s warm, and become more susceptible to soil pathogens. The natural watering is perfectly timed for them.  

Why plant natives? They attract native wildlife, and foster the populations we’ve threatened by paving their homes and groceries. Some are good pollinators, like our native bees, generally more peaceable than honeybees. Some are just beautiful, like Anna’s hummingbird, or the hermit thrush and varied thrush and assorted warblers that winter here. You’ll be amazed at the color of ceanothus flowers in spring, and what you see visiting them. 

But say you have only a windowbox, or a few containers, or a little square of dirt to play in, or a decent fringe of natives in the landlord’s border already. You can brighten your table anyway, and there’s no need to wait six months for home-grown salad. This is the perfect time to plant greens and culinary herbs. 

Lettuce, arugula, mache, chicory, endive, most salad greens do well in winter, especially with just a bit of sun part of the day. If you plant them before the hot days of September and early October, they will probably bolt, so don’t rush. You can plant root veggies soon, too; carrots get weird in our clay soil, so try them in a planter box, for early spring eating. Cabbage relatives like broccoli (or better, broccoli raab), collards, kale, bok choy, and turnips (for roots and greens) grow all winter.  

Swiss chard, sorrel, purslane/ verdolaga (that one grows as a weed here), and other cooking greens love winter, and so does spinach, another one best grown in a planter box. Radishes and scallions are practically instant gratification.  

Plant a chayote vine for lots of tasty weird squashlike fruit; artichoke (full sun) to eat flowers; fava beans for a spring harvest plus soil improvement. Snow peas, no surprise, are a classic winter crop. 

Herbs! Lemon balm is easy—it’s feral in Tilden Park, even in shade, so it might like a sunny windowsill. (Even a sunny window is shady to outdoor plants.) Winter savory wants sun; so do parsley and cilantro. Try any perennial herb now, even lavender, soon for a good start with minimal irrigation. If you can water till the rain starts, many will benefit from still-warm soil temperatures.  

Savvy local nurseries carry seedlings of most of these, and you can get natives at the California Native Plant Society’s huge sale, first weekend in October at Merritt Community College in Oakland. I’m increasingly impressed with Spiral Gardens’ new nursery at Sacramento and Oregon streets, open Tuesdays through Saturdays. They have most of the stalwarts mentioned above, including natives, plus surprises like the funny cloverleafed tuber, oca; vining Malabar spinach; sugarcane; tobacco and horseradish. Get some catnip for your cat, and you can both sit under thy (grape)vine and thy fig tree, or even a loquat, from their well-labeled and inexpensive stock.  


Back to Berkeley: A Few Places To Enjoy Nature, Even When the Weather is Bad By JOE EATON Special to the Planet

Tuesday August 23, 2005

The Bay Area, with its wealth of regional, state, and national parks and wildlife refuges, is a great place to discover the natural world. This is true even in late fall and winter, when the hills begin to green up, mushrooms emerge, newts migrate to their mating ponds, and manzanitas start to bloom. But hiking in the rain can be a drag, and even on dry days it can get seriously mucky out there. Fortunately, there are options for getting in touch with nature during the wet season. 


University of California Botanical Garden 

The greenhouses near the entrance are home to succulents, orchids, carnivores and more, including the grotesque Welwitschia of the Namib Desert and giant Rafflesias from the East Indies. Centennial Drive. 643-2755. Free to UC faculty and students. 


University of California Museum of Paleontology 

The fossil collection isn’t on public view, but you can see the Bay Area’s only Tyrannosaurus rex and a soaring pterosaur. Other exhibits include remains of giant marine reptiles from a time when the Central Valley was a shallow sea. 1101 Valley Life Sciences Building, UC Berkeley. 642-1821. 


Tilden Nature Area Visitor Center 

In a walk-through exhibit, you can follow the Wildcat Creek watershed from Volmer Peak to the bay and meet some of its wild inhabitants; see wildflowers through a bee’s eyes, learn about the architectural skills of the woodrat and the sex life of the newt. Off Wildcat Canyon Road and Grizzly Peak Boulevard. 636-1684. 


Oakland Museum of California 

One of the best starting points for newcomers to California, the museum’s natural history gallery is set up like a transect across the state, from coast to mountains and desert. 

Displays feature our major ecosystems and the web of interaction between land, climate, plants, and animals. The history gallery also shows how California’s Indians related to the natural world. A special exhibit of California wildflower portraits runs through December 4. 1000 Oak St., Oakland. 238-2200. 


Lindsay Wildlife Museum 

A good place to meet a raptor. The Lindsay Museum’s staff and volunteers care for injured or orphaned wildlife; some nonreleasable hawks and owls become permanent residents, along with bobcats, foxes, lizards, and snakes. 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek. (925) 935-1978. 


Coyote Hills Regional Park Visitor Center 

Interpretive displays explore the vanishing world of San Francisco Bay’s tidal marshes, along with the lifeways of the Ohlone people who harvested their resources and traveled the bay in tule-reed boats. 8000 Patterson Ranch Road, Fremont. 636-1684. 


California Academy of Sciences 

In temporary quarters downtown pending completion of its new home in Golden Gate Park, the Academy has many of its exhibits in storage. But you can still visit the inhabitants of the Steinhart Aquarium: fish, reptiles, and amphibians both local and exotic, and an entertaining colony of penguins. Beginning Nov. 17, a special exhibit will spotlight California’s biodiversity, with the state’s last grizzly bear on display. 875 Howard St., San Francisco. (415) 321-8000. 


Conservatory of Flowers 

There’s a rain forest in the heart of Golden Gate Park, with monster philodendrons, bizarre insect-eating plants, spectacular orchids, water lilies the size of roulette wheels. Keep an eye out for the geckos and anole lizards that handle pest control. Through Oct. 16 the “Nature’s Pharmacy” exhibit showcases traditional and modern sources of herbal remedies, including some from Native California. (415) 666-7001; free admission first Tuesday of the month. 


Coyote Point Museum for Environmental Education 

Meet the yellow-billed magpie, a bird found only in California, and other native species in their walk-through aviary; watch the exuberant antics of river otters. 1651 Coyote Point Drive, San Mateo. (650) 342-7755. 


Point Reyes National Seashore Bear Valley Visitor Center 

An introduction to the mosaic of habitats of the Point Reyes Peninsula and its offshore waters—forest, marsh, mudflat, sea cliffs, open ocean, sea floor—as well as local human history. Bear Valley Road near Olema. (415) 464-5100. 


Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History 

A small but choice collection, including the skeletons of ancient sea mammals from the California coast, exhibits on seabirds and tidepool creatures. 1305 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz. (831) 420-6115. 



Back to Berkeley: How to Get Into Bay Area Museums For Free By JOE EATON Special to the Planet

Tuesday August 23, 2005

Access to art shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg, or even an ear. Many Bay Area museums follow the enlightened practice of waiving admission for one day every month—sometimes more often. And a handful are always free.  


Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive 

First Thursday of the month, including 5:30 p.m. PFA screening; always free to UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff. 2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley. 642-0808. 


Hearst Museum of Anthropology 

Free every Thursday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 102 Kroeber Hall (corner of Bancroft and College) 642-3682. 


Oakland Museum of California 

Second Sunday of the month. Fee required for special exhibits. 100 Oak St., Oakland. 238-2200. 


Mills College Art Museum 

Free every day, hours vary, closed Monday. 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland. 430-2164. 


San Francisco Museum of Modern Art 

First Tuesday of the month, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. after Labor Day. 151 Third St. between Mission and Howard, San Francisco. 357-4000. 

California Academy of Sciences 

First Wednesday of the month, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 875 Howard St. between Fourth and Fifth streets, San Francisco. (415) 321-8000. 


Asian Art Museum of San Francisco 

First Tuesday of the month, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 200 Larkin St. between Fulton and McAllister, San Francisco. (415) 581-3500. 


Legion of Honor 

Free every Tuesday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Fee required for special exhibits. Lincoln Park, 34th Avenue and Clement Street, San Francisco. (415) 863-3330. 


The Mexican Museum 

Free every day through the end of 2005, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed Sunday-Tuesday. Fort Mason Center, Building D, San Francisco. (415) 202-9722. 



First Wednesday of the month (reservations required for groups of 10 or  

more), 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 3601 Lyon St., San Francisco. (415) 561-0399. 


San Jose Museum of Art 

Free every day, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed Monday. 110 South Market St., San Jose. (408) 271-6840. 


Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University  

Free every day, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 328 Lomita Drive and Museum Way (off Palm Drive), Stanford. (650) 723-4177.

Back to Berkeley: Cal Football Preview: Huddling With Coach Tedford By ZELDA BRONSTEIN Special to the Planet

Tuesday August 23, 2005

On Friday, Aug. 5, Cal head coach Jeff Tedford and his coaching staff hosted the second annual Cal Women’s Football Huddle from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in Memorial Stadium. As advertised on the official Golden Bear Athletics website, the event—“for women only”—would “interactively teach participants about the ins and outs of football, from officials’ signals to individual position responsibilities.” More than 300 women had signed up in 2004; many more were expected this year.  

As soon as I heard about the Huddle, I asked Daily Planet Executive Editor Becky O’Malley if I could cover it. The request surprised her. My regular beat at the Planet, local politics, does involve Cal football, thanks to the controversy over certain questionable changes planned for Memorial Stadium. But the Huddle doesn’t qualify as a political event.  

More to the point, as far as Becky knew, I was the antithesis of your stereotypical football fan: a woman and an intellectual with a Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness and a former career as an English professor. She wasn’t aware that ever since my sixth-grade teacher required all the girls in class to learn the rules of football, I’ve harbored an intense if sporadic interest in the game. Last fall, I informed her, I’d followed the Golden Bear’s rise to glory: at one point they were ranked ninth among the nation’s college teams and were strong contenders for a Rose Bowl berth.  

My predilection for football aside, the Huddle sounded like a fun story—which is to say, it sounded utterly unlike current Berkeley politics. I was up for a fun story.  

Becky said go ahead. She told me that Anne Wagley, who works at Planet, was going to be at the Huddle (Anne’s husband coaches football at Berkeley High). I promised to look for her at Memorial Stadium.  

The Huddle was indeed delightful. After a buffet supper, the 550 attendees split up into teams of 25, each bearing the name of an NFL franchise, plus one group named the Bears composed mainly of Cal coaches’ wives. By the end of the evening, each team had moved through 16 stations on and off the field. At each station, the women got a seven-minute lesson from a member of the Cal football coaching staff or, in one case, from a PAC-10 referee. The subjects included recruiting, videos, equipment, training, weight-lifting, officiating, side-line communications, and the positions on the team, starting with running back and ending with linebacker. Every time the clock ran down to zero, Director of Football Operations Mike McHugh sounded an air horn, and everyone had a minute to hustle to the next class.  

In the golden light of the long August afternoon, hundreds of women cavorted on the artificial turf, kicking, passing, receiving, tackling, pushing the exercise sled. At one end of the field, five participants lined up across from five others, each of whom was holding a big pad in front of chest. “When I say go,” said special teams coordinator and tight end coach Pete Alamar, “we’re going to see if you can drive anyone off the line of scrimmage.” In the officiating class, held in the stands, David Lambros, back judge and official for the PAC-10 conference, asked if anyone could name the most commonly called foul on offense in college bowl. The answer: false start (holding is second). Wide receiver coach Eric Kiesau offered a simple formula for impressing “husbands”: more receivers on the field means they’re going to pass; less means they’re going to run. The thing to remember when you’re trying to make a tackle, advised linebacker coach Justin Wilcox, is to “wrap and grab.”  

There was a lot of laughter, whooping, cheering, and of course huddling. Many of the women had attended last year’s event and had come back for more. “It was fabulous,” said returnee Helynn Rueda, from Castro Valley, who added that she’d bought season tickets “because of this event.” Jeanna Rushwood, from Concord, also attended last year. This time, she said, she and her friend “came for the strip.” In 2004 “the equipment guy explained all the parts of the uniform” by taking off “each piece, all the way down to his undies.” The demonstration was not repeated this year because, she said, there were “disparaging phone calls ... That sucks.” Like most others, Rushwood came to the Huddle with somebody else. Christina Polk, a season ticketholder from Moraga, attended with her mother. “I love Cal athletics,” said Polk. “You’re pregnant,” I noted, stating the obvious. She replied, “I’ve been watching and taking lots of pictures of my mom.”  

The students weren’t the only ones enjoying themselves. “Are you having a good time?” I asked Justin Wilcox. “It’s awesome,” he said. To all appearances, he could have been speaking for the entire Cal football staff. “That girl just booted that ball all the way through the uprights,” said a coach who was watching from high up in the stands. “A 30-footer.” “Sign her up,” said another.  

I never did find Anne. I’d figured it would be easy to spot her, with her long blonde hair. As it turned out, a great many of the attendees fit that description.  

But I did connect, in a manner of speaking, with somebody else: a handsome man holding a diagram that showed the order in which the women’s teams moved from station to station. He was the only member of the staff who wasn’t wearing a name tag. That should have tipped me off. Ditto for the autograph-seekers who kept stopping by. Somehow I missed those clues.  

“You are…?” I asked.  

An infinitesimal hesitation. “Coach Tedford.”  

Some rich and famous individuals, when they’re not recognized, get huffy. Coach Tedford was totally cool.  

We chatted a bit longer. I asked him for a prediction about the coming season.  

He smiled, graciously. “We don’t make predictions,” he replied. “We’re going to work hard and do our best.”  

Then he said: “The Daily Planet—is that a new thing around here?”  


East Bay Turns Out for Cindy Sheehan Nationwide Vigil Draws 100,000 By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Friday August 19, 2005

Hundreds of East Bay folk gathered Wednesday in candlelight vigils, organized by Berkeley’s MoveOn.org, to oppose the Iraq war and offer support to the Vacaville woman who has managed to give a sympathetic face to the war’s opposition . 

These and similar MoveOn.org rallies held in all 50 states Wednesday were at the request of Cindy Sheehan, the Vacaville mother whose vigil outside George W. Bush’s Texas ranch has captured the imaginations of the news media. 

Sheehan’s son, Casey, was 24 years old and serving as an Army Humvee mechanic stationed in Sadr City, Iraq, when he was killed on April 4, 2004. 

Earlier this month Sheehan headed to Crawford, Texas, to demand a meeting with the president. Her ongoing vigil there has drawn the attention of the world’s media and personalized opposition to the war in a new and powerful manner, attracting massive support from anti-war groups. 

“It’s such a thrill to be able to support Cindy in what she’s doing,” said Carrie Olson, Berkeley resident and chief operating officer of MoveOn.org. 

“Based on the sign-ups and their guests, we think over 100,000 attended 1,627 rallies nationwide Wednesday,” Olson said “We also know that there was at least one rally in Paris.” When the final numbers are in, she said, Wednesday night’s gatherings may have generated a record turnout for events organized by the group’s volunteers. 

More than 10,000 signed up to attend vigils in the Bay Area, she said, adding that the actual turnout was probably closer to 20,000. The only locale with a larger turnout was New York City. 

The crowded street vigils around Berkeley reminded one observer of similar protests staged back in the days when President Nixon was blasting Cambodia. Those rallies were attended by many of the same people who gathered in front of the French Hotel on Shattuck Avenue and on Solano Avenue Wednesday. 


East Bay protesters  

Tina Estes, one of those gathered by the French Hotel, had protested during the Vietnam War. “I was very young then,” she said, smiling. One of her protesting stints—this one against the nuclear power plant in Seabrook, N.H.—even earned her an arrest. 

Estes said she and her friend have been following the machinations of the Bush regime since the 2000 election. “We drove out to Colorado to get out the vote, and we were in a debriefing with the MoveOn.org folk when we realized the election had been stolen. We’ve been in a tirade ever since.” 

Val Hammell said she came out “because the war is totally disgusting, a move by the Saudi/Bush clan to keep their profits up when sanctions were about to be lifted so that Iraq could sell their oil in Europe for Euros, which would have brought the price down.” 

Brazilian-born Berkeley resident Oswaldo Rosa, a business development manager for Magnussen’s Lexus of Fremont, said he came in part because he was raised in a peace-loving culture. 

“I really like Berkeley politics. People always listen to people from Berkeley, and I like that,” he said. 

Noah Biglin said he came because “I’ve always been against the war from the start.” He said he was very impressed by Sheehan’s efforts. “It seems to be working. She’s getting national attention and it’s sympathetic.” 

“I’m usually known as Noah’s dad,” said Ed Biglin. “I’m here because it’s important for everyone in this country to see that apathy isn’t cool. I’m worried about the fact that a lot of people still don’t realize that they pulled off this war without finding any weapons of mass destruction and without finding any involvement by Al Qaeda. It’s important that people are aware that there’s another side to this.” 

MoveOn.org volunteer Alyss Dorese said that while 274 people had signed up to attend the Berkeley rallies, at least double that number had turned out. “When I signed up as an organizer last Friday, I was number 18. Now it’s close to 2,000 rallies.” 

Olson, who attended the rally at the French Hotel, said that she estimated the turnout there at close to 600. Turnout at the Solano Avenue protest may have topped 1,000. 

Berkeley police spokesperson Officer Joe Okies offered lower estimates, which he said were “very loose,” of 400 to 500 on Solano and 300 to 400 in front of the hotel. 

Okies said two other rallies were held along Shattuck, one at Derby Street and a second in front of the Starry Plough at Shattuck and Prince Street. 

Other Berkeley vigils were held on Ashby Avenue, at the intersection of Adeline Street and another at the College Avenue intersection, and at the Marin Avenue circle. 


Focus for activism 

“Cindy’s story has been remarkable,” said Olson. “Had you asked me a month ago, I would’ve been cynical. But she’s such a sincere person that it’s hard not to stand by her.” 

The next stage depends on the man behind the barbed wire in Crawford, she said.  

“The best thing for him to do would be to come out and meet with her,” Olson said. “Because he has not met her so far, he has galvanized not only the anti-war protesters but people with family members serving in Iraq right now. 

“If you are going to take these brave young men and women and send them off to war, you’d better have a pretty good reason,” Olson said. 

Particularly impressive for Olson and her colleagues at MoveOn.org was the turnout in the Red states that Bush carried so handily in the 2000 elections. 

“We had 389 sign up for Omaha, the turnout was probably twice that,” she said. 

Locally, at least 50 people turned out for a vigil in El Cerrito, and in Walnut Creek, 150 or so protesters lingered after a San Francisco Mime Troupe performance to stage their own vigil. 

For those interested in learning more about the rallies, see www.moveon.org. 

The Daily Kos, a Berkeley-based blog, is offering a comprehensive online “diary” with scores of entries about the rallies from all over the country along with numerous photos at http://dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/8/17/214516/840.$

UC Berkeley Eliminates Free Parking From Family Housing By MATTHEW ARTZ

Friday August 19, 2005

Devin Pope, an economics graduate student at UC Berkeley, says he’s going to have a problem the next time his parents visit to help care for his toddler. 

Since he moved into UC Berkeley’s family-oriented Smyth-Fernwald Housing Complex several years ago, Pope has had his own parking space and available visitor parking near his apartment. 

But this month UC Berkeley stripped residents of their roughly 90 parking spaces. Now, with the university’s Department of Parking and Transportation controlling the spaces, students insist this year they will have less available parking, even though as young parents they said they need cars to get around more than other students. 

“My parents will probably have to park across town and we’ll have to pick them up,” said Pope from his hilltop apartment that boasts a bay view, but few nearby parking spaces. “How are we ever going to get anybody to visit us?” 

Smyth-Fernwald, located on the eastern edge of Dwight Way several blocks northeast of the central campus, is one of two UC Berkeley housing facilities designed for students with young children. Although the 74 apartments are hardly luxurious, students said they were getting a good deal with a two-bedroom apartment going for just over $900, parking included. 

Until this month, Smyth-Fernwald residents managed the nearby parking spaces, and residents were effectively granted free spaces for one car and paid a small fee for a second car.  

But free parking for residents will soon be a thing of the past. Under the new rules, incoming residents will have to pay the standard $79 a month for a student parking pass. Current residents will be allowed to keep their free parking spaces. Also any UC Berkeley student with a parking pass will be able to park at designated spaces beside the housing complex, meaning fewer spaces for visitors.  

“We’re simply trying to treat our students the same across the board,” said UC Berkeley Director of Parking and Transportation Nad Permaul. “Why should [Smyth-Fernwald residents] pay less for parking than other students all over the university?” 

Permaul said the university was moving to take control of all the university owned parking spaces around the central campus, as directed by a chancellor’s oversight committee on parking and transportation. 

“Instead of eclectic pockets of parking, we want a unified system managed in a coherent way,” he said. Permaul said that extra parking permit revenue didn’t factor into the university’s thinking and that city officials had been pressuring the university to centralize control over parking as a tool to help keep students and workers from parking on residential streets. 

“Berkeley is telling the university that this is what it needs to do,” he said 

Angela Davies, a Smyth-Fernwald resident, said the new parking rules were further evidence that, “UC is family unfriendly.” She feared that with other students now allowed to park by the dorm, she might be relegated to one of the lower parking lots. 

“People don’t realize how hard it is to drag your child and groceries up the hill,” she said. 

The parking fight at Smyth-Fernwald comes as student parents charge that UC Berkeley is eliminating most of the affordable housing available for them. The university has embarked on a rebuilding project at its other student family housing complex, University Village, that will improve living conditions, but nearly double rents. 

“This is the last affordable housing that UC Berkeley offers for families,” said Elizabeth Bremner, who lives at Smyth-Fernwald with her 6-year-old daughter.  

The new parking policy has many residents concerned that the university ultimately plans to tear down the World War II-era dormitory complex built just beside the Hayward fault. 

“Frankly it might not even exist as student housing [in a few years],” Permaul said during a telephone interview Thursday. Eddie Bankston, the university’s housing and dining executive director, was unavailable for comment. 

The residents have squabbled with UC officials in recent years. Last year, the university prohibited residents from selling their spaces to Cal football spectators on game days, which Bremner said deprived the community of the roughly $10,000 it annually collected from football parking and used for social events.  

Previously, the university closed off the recreation room because of seismic concerns, Bremner said. The university is scheduled to install two trailers to serve as a new community space, she added. 

Before, when students ran the parking spaces, residents paid a small fee for having a second car. Now they will have to pay roughly $27 a month and within three years they will have to pay for a regular parking permit to keep the second car. 

“This is a modest and incremental proposal to bring residents into the system,” Permaul said. He added that the university was looking to address the residents’ concerns over visitor parking. 

“We certainly will try to come up with a solution to that problem,” he said. 




BUSD Sees Mixed Results in State Test Scores By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Friday August 19, 2005

Results of the newly released public school test reports show that Berkeley Unified School District students continue to rank far above state testing scores in the California Standardized Test (STAR) in elementary school, but that advantage tends to evaporate as students enter the higher grades.  

At the same time, Berkeley Unified students’ scores rank slightly above the statewide average in the California High School Exit Exam. 

The results were released earlier this week by the California Department of Education. 

STAR results are used to determine federal school funding support under the No Child Left Behind Act, and this year, for the first time, the exit exam will be used as a requirement for high school graduation in the state. 

Exit exam results dropped significantly in the district and the state for socio-economically disadvantaged students, with Berkeley doing slightly worse than the county or the state. 

In Berkeley, 49 percent of such students passed both the math and English Language Arts portions of the exit exam. The results were 49 percent and 50 percent passage for the same two tests; in the state, the numbers were 50 percent and 51 percent.  

Lisa Rosenthal, senior editor of the GreatSchools.net website, which evaluates schools throughout California and the nation, said that there are good things and bad things to see in the test results. 

“Generally, test results are up all across the state, and that’s good,” Rosenthal said. 

The downside, she said, is that in order to bring the test scores up, many California schools are placing more emphasis on teaching those things which are being tested. 

“That means that we’ve had a de-emphasis on teaching in such areas as the arts, history, social science, and science,” she said. “That’s kind of sad when those programs suffer, because students need a well-rounded education.” 

She said that the state has plans to add history, social science, and science to the testing regimen in future years, and that schools will therefore almost certainly put more weight on those courses. 

Rosenthal also said that it was a positive sign that a majority of students statewide are passing the exit exam, adding that there appears to be a correlation between students not passing the test and not fulfilling other graduation requirements. 

“One of the fears about the exit exam was that it would be a gatekeeper, keeping some students by itself from graduation who had otherwise fulfilled all the other graduation requirements,” Rosenthal said. 

But she said that students who are not passing the exit exam are also generally not completing necessary course work in required subjects, or are not passing their classes, and so would not be able to graduate in any case. 

Rosenthal also said that there had been fear that California’s high school exit exam would increase the state’s dropout rate. 

“We can’t determine that as yet because of the weakness in the state’s reporting system,” she said, noting that although schools keep records of how many students have left their schools, they do not keep records of whether or not those students actually dropped out of school altogether or transferred to another school district. 

BUSD Public Information Officer Mark Coplan said that BUSD administrators have been in a management retreat at the Berkeley Marina over the past two days, and had not had the chance to analyze the test results. Coplan said that after a preliminary look, district officials “are pleased to see that the number of students passing the exit exam is higher than we originally anticipated.” 

Coplan said that “as in all tests, our numbers tend to be higher than the norm,” but added that “the district still needs to look at the areas where some of our kids are struggling. That’s where our focus needs to be.” 

In the California High School Exit Exam, 69 percent of the BUSD students passed the math portion of the exam, while 68 percent passed the English Language Arts portion. Results were 65 percent and 68 percent countywide, and 63 percent and 65 percent throughout the state. 

In his press statement announcing the test results, State Superintendent of Instruction Jack O’Connell noted the continued discrepancy in test scores, noting that “while the consistent growth of our subgroups across all measures should be celebrated, I am seriously concerned that our achievement gap remains unacceptably wide.” 

O’Connell added that “of particular concern are the overall results of our African-American and Hispanic/Latino students, as well as our English learners and special education students. While they have made impressive gains, we must seek extraordinary progress for those students in order to close the achievement gap that persists for all groups.” 

Alameda Council Approves Theater Plan Despite Opposition By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Friday August 19, 2005

After four hours of sometimes emotional public testimony from a packed City Council chambers, a divided Alameda City Council voted in the early hours Wednesday morning to move forward with the Historic Alameda Theater Rehabilitation Project. 

Seventy-one speakers spoke against either the parking garage or the cineplex portion of the project, or both, while 11 speakers spoke in favor. 

Opponents of the project said they turned in some 3,000 signatures opposing the garage and multiplex. Both opponents and proponents of the project support the rehabilitation of the original Alameda Theater, but opponents are objecting to the multiplex and parking garage portion of the project. 

And while opponents of the project said they were “disappointed” by the 3-2 council decision, they said their fight to try to kill the controversial project was by no means over. 

“We have the opportunity to do this,” said Alameda Mayor Beverly Johnson, announcing her support for the project. “We have a developer who is willing to do this. There have been suggestions that we simply open one to three screens at the old theater, but that theater has been sitting there vacant for twenty years, and nobody has done that.” 

Johnson said that the council needed to move forward with a decision “because there will be people who are going to be mad with us either way we vote.” 

And Vice Mayor Marie Gilmore, who also voted for the project, noted that “people have said clearly that they want to restore the theater, but restoring the theater does not come cheaply.” She called the theater a “public amenity.” 

But Councilmember Doug deHaan, who voted against the garage and cineplex, called the design “butt-ugly,” and said that the total number of screens approved for the theater complex would probably not be enough for the project to break even. 

“So are we just chasing our tail on this?” he asked. DeHaan said he opposed the garage project “because it appears that we are putting too much building on too small a parcel.” 

The vote was on a citizen appeal of a decision last June by the Alameda City Planning Board to approve the multiplex and parking garage design. The financial design of the project has been approved by the Council for several months. 

Alameda has now committed itself to a $23.7 million downtown project that will rehabilitate the 77-year-old Alameda Theater as a one to three-screen venue, as well as build an adjacent seven-screen multiplex movie theater that will share the lobby with the original theater. 

A third component of the rehabilitation project is the construction, next door, of a six-level parking garage. When and if it is finally constructed, the entire project is projected to take up a third of a block on the corner of Central Avenue and Oak Street in the heart of Alameda’s Park Street downtown area, a block from City Hall. 

Both the original theater and the multiplex will be owned by the City of Alameda, but will be operated by developer Kyle Conner of Santa Rosa under lease from the city. The original Alameda Theater has not operated as a movie venue since 1979, although the building has supported other business operations since that time, including a roller rink and a gymnastics center. 

Following the City Council meeting, which did not decide the theater project issue until 2:15 a.m., an emotionally and physically exhausted Conner shook hands in the corridor outside council chambers. 

Saying that while he was “pleased with the council decision,” he wanted to caution that “there are still more hurdles to clear.” 

Conner said that architects must return to the city with details of minor design changes suggested by councilmembers during the deliberations, with the permitting process to follow. Conner estimated that “if all goes smoothly from this point,” completed construction of the three building complex was at least two years away. 

Opponents Ani Dimusheva and Valeria Ruma, who organized the Citizens for a Megaplex-Free Alameda that is leading the fight against the multiplex and garage and filed the appeal against the Planning Board decision, said they hope that does not happen. 

Both said that while they had not yet decided what next steps to take in reaction, they said those steps might range from further intervention as the project goes through the city’s permitting process, as well as, according to Ruma, “maybe making changes in the makeup of the city government itself. We haven’t made any conclusions yet.” 

“The democratic process was absent during the hearing,” Dimusheva said by telephone. “If public opinion doesn’t matter, what does?”  

And Ruma added that “we really feel that there is some higher power driving this initiative.” 

The 200-person-capacity council chambers could not hold the audience at Tuesday’s hearing, and the city set up overflow rooms, one in City Hall and one at the Elks Club, where the hearing was simulcast. Mayor Johnson said the city chose that solution rather than moving the hearing to a larger venue so that the hearing could be televised live to residents over cable. 

The hearing had the electrically-charged aspects of a political convention, with opponents wearing red T-shirts proclaiming “Listen To The People” and proponents wearing badges reading “We Support The Project.” Just before the hearing began, a project opponent with badges in her hands walked through the crowd asking “are you for the project or against it?” while handing them out. 

One man who identified himself as a project supporter surveyed the anti-project crowd and said that the Alameda Theater in its abandoned form “has been a real blight on downtown. If this doesn’t pass, the council should just tear it down and put up a bank. Maybe then these people will be happy.” 

Several opponents said they did not want a downtown Alameda project to look like projects in other areas, many citing Oakland’s Jack London Cinema and parking garage complex as an example of what they did not want. Alameda resident Michael Carvalho said “you might as well call us San Leandro West if you build this.” 

Others, like Mary Fambrough, said they doubted the economic feasibility of the project, saying the cineplex would not attract the needed patrons from other areas. 

“How many people are going to come to the island to go to a movie when they have Emeryville and Jack London Square?” she asked. 

Fambrough also expressed worries that the cineplex would change the small town character of Alameda, saying that “cineplexes tend to bring problems with them such as crime and vandalism.” 

The meeting itself grew testy as it went into the early morning hours and it became clear how the vote would go, with project opponents at one point exchanging heated words from the audience with Mayor Johnson.u

Bayer Corp. Janitors Hold on To Their Jobs By MATTHEW ARTZ

Friday August 19, 2005

Bayer Corp.’s 54 janitors no longer have to fear for their jobs. 

The pharmaceutical giant dropped plans Wednesday to contract out janitorial work at its Berkeley facility. 

“We think Bayer realized that it was going to be a strike-worthy issue so they pulled it off the table,” said Donald Mahon, business agent for the International Longshoreman’s Warehouse Union, which represents 544 Bayer employees. 

Bayer’s union contract expires on Thursday. The company had told union officials that it was considering replacing its janitors with contract workers represented by the Service Employees International Union. 

Bayer spokesperson Clelia Baur declined to discuss any details of the ongoing negotiations. 

Contracting out the jobs would have netted a significant savings for Bayer. The contract janitors would have made $11 an hour, compared to $20.29 an hour for Bayer janitors. 

Mahon said Bayer is not asking its janitorial staff to take a pay cut, but refused to disclose the terms of the company’s offer. 

“I’m pretty optimistic we can come back with a proposal we can recommend to the workers,” he said. “The most critical issue is finally off the table.”

Shootings Bring Police, Command Van to Russell Street By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Friday August 19, 2005

A bullet fired by a cyclist near the corner of Julia and California streets blasted through the windows of a city Seniors Van, missing the driver and two passengers Tuesday morning. 

Berkeley police spokesperson Officer Joe Okies said that shots were fir ed by two teenage bicyclists who opened fire on two men in a passing car. No arrests have been made, he said. 

City Manager Phil Kamlarz cited the incident as the latest in “an unusually high number of calls in the 1500 block of Russell [Street],” including “man with a gun” and “loud report” calls—the latter being police lingo for “shots fired.” 

A Monday afternoon probation search of an ex-convict who lives on the block turned up a sawed-off shotgun and resulted in three charges against the 20-year-old. 

Okies said the man was booked on suspicion of four charges: possession of an illegal weapon, being an ex-con in possession of a firearm, an attached enhancement of being a member of a street gang, and probation violation. 

The one-block stretch of Russel l Street is the apparent hub of violence that is occurring along a four-block stretch of California Street. 

As a result, the city manager reported in a “Safety Bulletin” sent to city councilmembers and several city staff members, the city is spending fun ds from a violence suppression grant to increase police presence on the block. 

“An e-mail alert was distributed by the police department ... to the surrounding area as part of the city’s ongoing efforts to keep the community informed about crime events in the neighborhood,” Kamlarz noted. 

The most notable police presence is the department’s big black-and-white Mobile Command Vehicle and its crew, which was stationed at the northwest corner of the Russell and California intersection Thursday afternoon. 

“We had already stepped up patrols in the area after we received a number of ‘loud report’ calls over the weekend,” Okies said. “We added the command vehicle following the shooting Tuesday.” 

Neighbors believe the apartment buildings along Russell Street are a center of drug activity, and Okies said that “in the past there has been some drug-dealing and drug-related activities in that block.” 

Another site in the neighborhood, a sidewalk in front of a vacant property at the corner of Sacramento and Julia streets, was the site of a memorial and gathering following the death of a young drug dealer who was killed by a drive-by shooting at the corner of 60th Street and San Pablo Avenue in Oakland two days earlier. 

“Chief (Douglas M.) Hambleton and his staff are making every effort to manage the situation to ensure community safety,” Kamlarz wrote. 

Reached Thursday afternoon, Councilmember Max Anderson, who represents the area, said he had just come back from vacation and hadn’t brought himself up to speed o n the incidents. 

“I’ll be checking with Phil Kamlarz tomorrow morning,” he said. 

Laura Menard, a former City Council candidate who lives in the area, said neighbors have called and e-mailed her to let her know how pleased they are with the heightened po lice presence. 

She said her most unusual call came from woman who identified herself as an aide to Mayor Tom Bates, who offered the suggestion that neighborhood residents should approach the city’s Peace and Justice Commission and suggest they ought to p ut aside looking at international issues and take up the cause of a neglected neighborhood in South Berkeley. 

“I laughed at that one,” she said, “because Peace and Justice has no authority to demand increased police patrols.” 

Kent Brown, another area r esident, said he welcomed the stepped-up enforcement, “especially in light of all the shooting lately. I see their van right around the corner, and I welcome their presence.”

LBNL Staff Facing Cuts After Budget Reduction By MATTHEW ARTZ

Friday August 19, 2005

Facing federal funding cuts, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is bracing for layoffs and asking administrative workers to consider early retirement. 

“We’re looking at about a $5 million to $6 million cut in the operations budget,” said lab spokesperson Ron Kolb. “Because labor costs represent 85 percent of the budget, this boils down to people.” 

On Monday Lab Director David McGraw sent out a memo calling on volunteers to take early retirement. As of Monday, LBNL also began a hiring freeze and halted promotions. 

Kolb said the lab hopes to find enough volunteers to limit layoffs to less than 20. However, he declined to disclose how many early retirements the lab was hoping to grant. Employees targeted for layoffs are scheduled to be notified by Sept. 15. 

The lab, which employs about 5,000 people, relies on the Department of Energy for its funding. Although Congress has not set the DOE’s budget, Kolb said lab officials have been told to expect a roughly 10 percent cut. Two years ago, the lab received $54.5 million from the DOE, the highest allotment in its history, Kolb said. 

LBNL works on a wide range of projects, with specialties in super computing, genome work, cancer research and nuclear physics. 

Lawrence Livermore Laboratory does not anticipate facing any layoffs this year, said Anne Stark, lab spokesperson. She said that Livermore, which conducts weapons research, gets significant funding from the Department of Homeland Security as well as from the DOE. 

Robert Clear, a part-time scientist at LBNL and city environmental commissioner, suspected that Livermore and Los Alamos, two other UC-run labs, wouldn’t face the same kind of cutbacks because, unlike LBNL, they do primarily classified work. 

“Everything we do is public,” he said. “If the government wants something that’s private they can’t do it here.” 

The cutbacks are targeted at the 515-person operations department that includes facilities maintenance, environmental safety oversight, human resources, and public affairs. 

Under federal funding guidelines, the lab must use a defined portion of research money to pay for the support staff. As research money has dried up, so has available funding for the operations staff, according to Kolb. 

Clear said the city should be concerned if LBNL is forced to cut back the 107-member Environmental Health and Safety Team. 

“They’re the ones that monitor the lab and do the cleanup,” he said. LBNL is scheduled to remove contaminated soil from sections of its campus as demanded for years by city officials and residents. 

Kolb said LBNL hasn’t faced an across-the-board staffing reduction since DOE budget cuts in 1995. The cuts have impacted scientists as well, he said. Recently 16 scientists working on a light source project agreed to take early retirement to minimize layoffs in the midst funding cuts. 

The layoffs will depend on which project areas are in the highest demand, Kolb said. Within a specific project area, layoffs will be determined by seniority. 

City Councilmember Gordon Wozniak, who retired from the lab three years ago, said staff morale seemed low during a visit last April. 

“People were gloomy because DOE funding was down and it looked like it would be down for a number of years,” he said.

Suicide Bomber Shocks China — Was Health Care the Catalyst? By GABRIELLE ORLEANS Pacific News Service

Friday August 19, 2005

On Aug. 9, a suicide bomber killed two people and critically injured 30 in a gruesome bus explosion in Fuzhou, the capital of Fujian province in southern China. According to the police, the suicide bomber, who died on the scene, was a 42-year-old peasant with end-stage lung cancer. In a society that emphasizes stability and harmony, the suicide bombing has shocked many and moved China’s health care—or lack thereof—to the center of public debate.  

Details of the bombing remain unknown. The Xinhua News Agency, China’s state-run news agency, reported that two people died, but local sources said at least nine people were killed in the blast. The Chinese police found a letter left by the suicide bomber but have refused to make it public.  

“Huang’s posthumous writing should be published, which will help the police investigation as well as discover the truth about why he committed the suicide bombing,” the South Metropolitan Daily in China said in an editorial.  

While most of the Chinese media speculated that the peasant committed the suicide bombing in despair over his lung cancer, other speculations abound, especially in the United States-based Chinese language media. Qingchuan Ji, from the America Fujian Assembly in San Francisco, suspects there are other reasons for the suicide bombing in his hometown.  

Ji told the World Journal, a Chinese-language newspaper with six operations in North America, that it “defies common sense” to assume the cancer was the catalyst. People with incurable diseases may commit suicide, he said. They “might kill themselves at home,” said Ji, “but they don’t kill or hurt people in public.”  

Other commentators point to the negative impact of world news on Chinese society. Che Hon Wu, the director of the American Chinese Business Association, told the World Journal that Chinese people have been increasingly exposed to news from the outside world and are changing the way they respond to society. “People have more freedom,” Che said. “They can do anything they want, and they can dare to do anything they want.”  

But inside China, the culprit is widely perceived as the inept health care system. China Youth Newspaper, a Beijing-based government news agency targeting the young generation, asked in an editorial, “Had he been kicked out of the hospital because he could not afford his medical bills? Was his lung cancer an occupational disease (as many peasants left their homes to work in the cities)? Could his children afford to go to school after he fell ill?”  

The suicide bombing happened just days after the Chinese government acknowledged that health care reform efforts were “unsuccessful.”  

Before 1985, the Chinese government financially supported its hospitals, so people only paid a small fee to visit doctors under the government-controlled economic system. In 1985, the Chinese government introduced market-driven reforms, requiring patients to pay in full for hospital visits, even in emergencies. Patients are often turned away from emergency rooms because they can not pay a deposit first.  

Commenting on the failure of the reform, Ge Yanfeng, deputy chief of the Development Research Center of the State Council (DRC), a policy research and consulting institution directly under the Chinese State Council, told the China Youth Newspaper that the Chinese health care system has been infected by the “American Disease,” whose symptoms are inefficiency and inequity.  

Such criticism further fueled public speculation that the suicide bombing was done as a protest against China’s health care system. Two days after the suicide bombing, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao vowed in a State Department meeting to speed up the building of a new medical system in rural China. Wen pledged to cover 40 percent of the peasants in his new medical system by 2006, up from 21 percent now. Peasants make up of 80 percent of China’s more than 1.3 billion people.  

Statistics from Chinese Health Department show that though hospital visits did not increase much from 2000 to 2003, the profits made by hospitals increased by 70 percent during that period. It enormously overran the income raise in China. The Chinese Health Department reports that 48.9 percent of people who need hospital care never go to the hospital, and 29.6 percent of those who need hospital stays choose to go home instead. Peasants now have a saying, “An ambulance costs a pig; a day in the hospital costs a whole year’s work.”  

The true motives of the suicide bombing, a rare form of violence in China, lingers in mystery. In an editorial titled “We Are on the Same Bus,” the China Youth Newspaper said, “the exploded bus is just like our society—while endangered by despairing ones, it’s no longer a safe place for all of us.”  


Gabrielle Orleans has worked as a correspondent in China, Egypt and the United States, where she is currently a graduate student in journalism. ?

News Analysis: Being Liberal Now Means Being African American By Phil Reiff and Jason Alderman Special to the Planet

Friday August 19, 2005

If American liberals had four legs and fur, they would have been put on the Endangered Species List following last year’s presidential election. Defining who is liberal has become a national sport among politicians, as Democrats frantically run from the moniker, while Republicans hurl the invective blindly at everyone on the other side of the aisle.  

New research done by the Bay Area Center for Voting Research (BACVR) reveals who the real liberals in American are and the answer is not the tree-hugging, ponytail wearing ex-hippies you might expect. Instead, the new face of American liberalism is of a decidedly different hue. The nation’s remaining liberals are overwhelming African Americans. 

The BACVR study that ranks the political ideology of every major city in the country shows that cities with large black populations dominate the list of liberal communities. The research finds that Detroit is the most liberal city in the United States and has one of the highest concentrations of African American residents of any major city. Over 81 percent of the population in Detroit is African American, compared to the national average of 12.3 percent. In fact, the average percentage of African American residents in the 25 most liberal cities in the country is 40.3 percent, more than three times the national rate. 

The list of America’s most liberal cities reads like a who’s who of prominent African American communities. Gary, Washington D.C., Newark, Flint, Cleveland, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Birmingham have long had prominent black populations. While most black voters have consistently supported Democrats since the 1960s, it is the white liberals that have slowly withered away over the decades, leaving African Americans as the sole standard bearers for the left. 

Despite being the core of America’s liberal base, a major split exists between who the nation’s liberals are and who leads them politically. White politicians still control the levers of power within the Democratic Party, and black faces are rare around the decision making tables of America’s liberal advocacy groups. 

While there are some noteworthy pockets of liberals who are not African American, these places end up being the exceptions. College towns like Berkeley and Cambridge have modest black populations, but remain bastions of upper middle-class, white, intellectual liberalism. These liberal communities, however, are more reminiscent of penguins clustering together around a shrinking iceberg, than of a vibrant growing political movement. 

Further reinforcing this racial and ideological divide is BACVR research which shows that the most conservative city in America is the ultra white community of Provo, Utah, where less than 1 percent of the population is black. 

Political pundits have noted the highly polarized nature of the American electorate, postulating that religion, age, education, wealth, and even the love of car racing are at the heart of the schism between liberals and conservatives. While these experts have identified some of the symptoms of our national rift, they have missed the root cause. 

BACVR’s research gives us the real answer. The great political divide in America today is not red vs. blue, north vs. south, coastal vs. interior, or even rich vs. poor—it is now clearly black vs. white. 


Phil Reiff and Jason Alderman are directors at the Bay Area Center for Voting Research, a nonpartisan think tank based in Berkeley. BACVR’s web site is www.votingresearch.org. ›

Editorial Cartoon By JUSTIN DEFREITAS

Friday August 19, 2005


Letters to the Editor

Friday August 19, 2005


Editors, Daily Planet: 

The loudmouth chicken-hawks criticize Cindy Sheehan because her cause is being supported by pro-peace groups such as MoveOn.org, Democracy for America, and TrueMajority. When a person stands up on her own initiative, arising from her own pain and moral outrage, it is wonderful that other people respond and stand with her. We are all connected; our survival as Americans and as humans on this Earth depends upon our mutual compassion and support of each other. 

If Cindy stood all alone, the hate-mongers would call her a “kook.” If she stands with others, they call her a “dupe.” Their hateful slurs show these media puppets to be hollow, cynical, limited individuals. Cindy is outraged at the callous and fatal exploitation of her son. She expresses what most parents feel, that Bush’s government ruthlessly disregards the lives of our children. 

Bruce Joffe 





Editors, Daily Planet: 

President Cindy Sheehan. President Sheehan. What more could America ns want in a president? She’s smart, courageous, thoughtful and humanistic. She wants to bring home our American troops from Iraq now. She has called for the Impeachment of President Bush. Cindy Sheehan says that we can end the threat of terrorism by withdrawing American troops from Iraq and getting the Israelis to withdraw from Palestine. 

When Bush and Cheney are Impeached, Tried, Convicted and Removed, Cindy Sheehan can be appointed president and “a liberal to be named later” can become vice president. I m sure that Cindy will be happy to pick a fine vice president. 

James K. Sayre 





Editors, Daily Planet: 

As a member of Beth El, and long time resident of the Live Oak Park Area, I wish to thank my neighbor Alan Gould, and all my other neighbors, for their continuing support our right to exist, congregate, worship, educate our children, and provide social services to the community. 

During the years that I lived next to Live Oak Park I found that most residents have off-street parking a nd therefore did not have any need to park on the street. Even residents with off-street parking qualified for a residential parking permit that allowed them to exceed the two-hour restriction applicable to all cars without the permit. The parking situati on for residents is pretty good and this not likely to change after Beth El moves several blocks to the new location. 

I now live near the North Berkeley BART station on a street that does not have any daily parking restrictions! Shocking as this may seem, our block is completely parked up by daily commuters! People park their cars for as long as they want. Later they get back in their cars and drive them away. After they leave, somebody else can park in their spot. This daily occurrence does not bother m e. The movement of people in and out of the area is a sign that our vibrant community is thriving; and is not experiencing the type of large scale urban decay prevalent in Detroit where there is an abundance of free parking now that the majority of the po pulation has abandoned the community. 

I support Alan Gould’s suggestion that we concentrate on more important matters such as educating our children and living in harmony with the environment. 

David Lerman 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Regar ding an advertisement for Ringling Bros. appearing in the Daily Planet: 

It’s disappointing to see your complicity in animal abuse, even if it is a paid ad. We are supposed to become more aware and educated over time; it has been well documented as to the abuse and deprivations suffered by animals in circuses in the pursuit of shallow “entertainment.” This attitude and its acceptance needs to be halted; it might just make us better human beings. 

David Horn 





Editors, Daily Planet: 

I commend your Aug. 12 article on KPFA by Matthew Artz. He cites several sources in addition to those named in the release which gave a much broader perspective on events at the station. This differed from a San Francisco newspaper that quoted the press release an d the GM who is advised by his attorney to comment as little as possible.  

Some respondents believe that the complaints of sexual harassment are a cover for a much broader objective, i.e., to avoid complying with the decision to move Amy Goodman’s “Democracy Now!” to the 7 a.m. hour as mandated by the 2004 LSB. (I understand that the current GM decided (and later rescinded the decision) to move “Democracy Now!” to the 7 p.m., hour thus disrupting all the 7 p.m. shows including the popular “Africa Today” public affairs program produced by Walter Turner.) The question who really controls decisions or “who governs?” is still being contested at the reorganized KPFA-Pacifica and the staff is a powerful contestant.  

The Berkeley Daily Planet makes it clear th at individual complaints of sexual harassment are not the only driving force in the controversy although some workers such as Lemlem Rijio and Sasha Lily are covering themselves with this umbrella and others’ complaints. Their complaints, I’m told, stem f rom the GM’s failure to praise their performances and suggested that they may not be well-selected for some of the tasks they are attempting to perform. Performance evaluation, essential in all industries, may never have been done and is strongly resisted at KPFA except for the staff driven GM evaluation scheduled for later this year. We discussed calling performance evaluations “performance enhancement reports” as a member of the Program Council. This was done to overcome resistance to staff evaluations by staff and their presumed supporters. Again, thanks for actually working on the KPFA story that is very important to many listeners and readers.  

Willie Thompson 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

On Sept. 23, 2000, a mountain bike race was held in Briones Regional Park, near Walnut Creek, California (see http://home.pacbell.net/mjvande/ebrpd16). A 37-year-old man crashed and ended up in a coma for a long time. I asked the Parks District and the race sponsor what eventually happened to him, but they refused to tell me. I finally found out yesterday: He ended up brain damaged and divorced. 

Both the East Bay Regional Park District and the race organizer deny responsibility, and refuse to talk about this incident, and the utter irresponsibility of allowing mountain biking races in wildlife habitat, in public parks, and in places not suited and designed for racing. Serious injuries and deaths from this destructive sport have become an almost weekly occurrence. Meanwhile, the International Mountain Bicycling Association continues to lobby hard in Congress for mountain biking, for allowing bikes in wilderness, and for promoting mountain biking among children (they would like the entire nation to celebrate a “Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day”)! 

It’s hi gh time that we put a halt to this abuse and sacrifice of our natural areas and of our young people. Mountain biking accelerates erosion, creates V-shaped ruts in trails, kills small animals and plants on and next to the trail, and drives wildlife and oth er trail users off the trails and out of the parks. What’s good about that? 

Mike Vandeman 





Editors, Daily Planet: 

This is with regards to the article by Richard Brenneman entitled, “No Charges Filed Yet in Firearms Case.” I feel it nec essary to correct some errors, some omissions, and some pejorative terminology. 

Possession of fully automatic firearms is only a violation of federal law if the individual possessing that firearm did not pay the tax, have the firearm registered, and have passed a criminal background check. For more information research the 1932 National Firearms Act (NFA) and the 1968 Gun Control Act (GCA). 

Although BATF is now under the Department Homeland Security, it was previously under the Treasury Department. The 1932 NFA did not prohibit ownership of firearms but did establish a $200 tax.  

However, California state law does not allow individual to possess fully automatic firearms. A person must be a registered FFL Class 3 dealer to possess and sell fully automat ic firearms to eligible people. That is why in California it is illegal to own firearms but in states such as Arizona and Nevada is completely legal. 

I object to the author’s use of the term “assault weapons.” It is pejorative term for an inanimate objec t. Under California state law, the battlefield rifle of WWII (M1 Garand) which semi-automatically fires the venerable 30-06 cartridge is not an assault weapon. Under the same California state law, the semi-automatic version of the battlefield rifle of Vie tnam (AR-15) which fires a puny .22 caliber bullet is classified as an assault weapon. The difference between the two rifles is that one has a classic wood stock (M1 Garand) and the other has a black plastic stock with “conspicuously protruding” pistol gr ip. If I had to go to battle, I would prefer the venerable M1 Garand over the AR-15 any day of the week and twice on Sunday. 

Vicki Weaver who was standing on the front porch of her home at Ruby Ridge (cradling her baby in her arms, no less) was shot in t he head by FBI sniper, Lon Horiuchi, over this $200 tax. Agent Horiuchi later went on to participate in the massacre at Waco ... also over this $200 tax. None of the agents of the FBI or BATF who were responsible for the murder of these innocents have eve r been brought to justice. 

Alec Dawson 





Editors, Daily Planet: 

I am writing regarding Becky O’Malley’s Aug. 12 editorial, “Crying Wolf Can Backfire,” which states that “religious institutions in Berkeley, particularly the large ones with regional drawing power like Beth El. . . . should remember that they are guests in this city which is our home, and that we are supporting their religious mission, even if we re not ourselves believers, by providing them with streets to park on while exe mpting them from paying property taxes.” What a shocking statement! I have to wonder how you arrived at these distinctions. Just how did you decide that Beth El is too large? And, in your mind, just how pure does a membership have to be to qualify as a lo cal institution?  

The idea that Congregation Beth El and other religious institutions in Berkeley are “guests” of yours, who need to learn to behave themselves, is shocking, offensive, and just plain wrong. In the first place, the vast majority of Beth E l members live in Berkeley—just like you. We are not “guests” of yours; we are a vital part of the cultural and religious life of our city. Don’t you realize that our churches, schools, fire houses, parks and police stations are the social threads that bi nd together the commercial, industrial and residential components of our city? Zoning and tax considerations are provided in consideration of these essential community elements.  

Beth El has been at the corner of Arch and Vine for over 50 years. My husba nd and I have lived here since the early ‘60s and have enjoyed many of the benefits of our residence here. Our home was saved by Berkeley firefighters, our children played in city parks and were educated in Berkeley schools, and our family continues to th rive in the nurturing arms of the Beth El community. I completely reject the notion that Beth El, or any other of our religious institutions or seminaries should be considered “guests” in their own community. Beth El is a fundamental fact of this city’s h istory and contributes daily to the goodness of our lives. Before issuing authoritative moral mandates from the editorial page, please spend some time in the company of congregants, students, officers and residents to learn how things “are” before preaching about how they “should” be.   

Shirley Issel 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

A contributor to the Daily Planet’s letters section personally challenged me to prove the statement that the Palestinian Authority has used its schools and TV stations to teach children that the best thing they can grow up to be is a suicide bomber. 

To see the evidence, log on to www.honestreporting.com, enter “relentless” in the search box, and buy the $24.95 video by that name. 

As I appreciate the chance to make this evidence well-known, I won’t expect an apology from the previous writer.  

David Altschul 



Editors, Daily Planet: 

The Daily Planet again treats us to Middle East “history” lessons straight from the annals of Arab propaganda, an d bearing little, if any, resemblance to actual facts. This time the lessons come from Schmavonian and Hardesty. I am not going to refute them, since I assume others will, but rather note that people are better served by learning their history from source s other than a tabloid that chooses not to do even rudimentary fact checking. I once met with Linda Maio, and asked her why she chose to make anti-Israelism a policy of the City of Berkeley. She professed to know next to nothing about the Israel/Palestine conflict. She told me, however, that someone had given her a book on the subject, and that she planned to read it one of these days. So why the anti-Israelism? No answer, except the obvious. It was a cynical sop to her radical base. So, this is what Ms. Maio and the old Peace and Justice have wrought. Day after day of incessant wrangling between the parties’ supporters in the Daily Planet, with roughly half the commentaries and letters devoted to the subject. Hasn’t this city any more immediate problems to solve, Ms. Maio, than a far away conflict of which you professedly know nothing? 

John Gertz 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I am writing regarding Ms. O’Malley’s Aug. 12 editorial. If parking is what troubles some members of LOCCNA so much, let’s lo ok at the facts. 

Beth El, not LOCCNA as erroneously reported in Diane Tokugawa’s Aug. 9 letter to the Daily Planet, initiated an optional environmental impact report (EIR) that was completed and filed with the City of Berkeley in 2000. Among the many thi ngs assessed by the two engineering firms that did the required studies was parking. Engineers evaluated parking on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings, peak periods of Beth El operations. Assessments were done when Beth El operated at Arch and Vine and Netivot Shalom held Saturday morning services at the JCC at Walnut and Rose. 

This is what the EIR found. On Saturday mornings there were, on average, 301 surplus, unused parking spaces within a mile of the property at 1301 Oxford St., and 78 surplus spa ces within one block. On Friday nights, there were 83 surplus spaces within one block. This does not count the 23 spots on the frontage of the 1301 Oxford St. property or spaces on private property in the neighborhood. I suspect that many Daily Planet rea ders would be happy to have even 25 percent of those parking spaces available on their own Berkeley blocks.  

In the parking management plan approved by the City of Berkeley, Congregation Beth El is committed to using no more than 50 percent of the unused spaces on the public streets in an area defined by the city. If we exceed that amount, we have to make other plans. So, for example, at the block level, the parking issue is likely to come down to this: sharing up to 50 percent of the 78-83 parking spaces that are currently unused, perhaps, a dozen times a year. Frankly, the furor over parking seems to be much ado about very little. 

Katherine Haynes Sanstad 

First Vice President,  

Congregation Beth El 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

It’s heartening to read Phillip Maldari, co-host of KPFA’s morning news program, respond to charges of sexist behavior against General Manager Campanella by saying, “I’m astounded that a leftist political organization like this one is so ignorant of the importance of tak ing seriously sexual harassment on the job” (Daily Planet, Aug.16) 

Gee Phil, if you are so all-fired upset by sexual harassment, why don’t you, Barbara Lubin, and Dennis Bernstein, on either KPFA News or Flashpoints, discuss the gender apartheid and hono r murder so prevalent amongst Pacifica’s Palestinian pets? And have you no words of condemnation for your buddy, Bernstein, who once again is being accused of sexism by a former female co-host of Flashpoints? 

On another matter, I think it’s appropriate t o respond to Michael Hardesty, master of Middle East historical fiction, who implied because of my support for Israel that I was a disloyal U.S. citizen. Hardesty wrote (Aug. 7), “If you really are such a great Zionist, Spitzer, go live in Israel.” I woul d like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Hardesty for assisting me in taking a trip down Nostalgia Lane as when I protested the Vietnam War, I remember right-wing bystanders urging me to go live in Russia.  

Question, Mr. Hardesty: Were you one of the vermillion-necked folks urging that I and my fellow protesters move to Moscow? Anyhow, thanks so much for the memories, to say nothing of the levity! 

Dan Spitzer 





Editors, Daily Planet: 

Gerald Schmavonian’s op-ed (“Some Myths Are Dangerous,” Aug. 16-18) inadvertently makes two things clear: (1) the far left has replaced the far right as the most important source of anti-Semitism in the United States; and (2) what really sets the left’s teeth on edge is the fact that Isra el refuses to accept the notion that there is virtue in cowardice when faced with the constant threat of violence.  

Eric Tremont 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I don’t intend to participate in the pissing contest about whether the Daily Planet is anti-Semitic, and I don’t claim to be knowledgeable about the Beth El situation, but I want to point out that David Spieler (Letters, Aug. 16) is factually very wrong about Nazi Germany. Spieler states: “If you remember Germany in the ‘30s the Nazis were n’t anti-Semitic when they started out.”  

Well, I was a German Jew when Hitler came to power, and I know from personal observation that the troubles started immediately. Some relatives were promptly denied the right to practice their professions, the Naz is having been helped to power by Aryan competitors. Similarly, an uncle who owned a successful business fled the country on the first day, knowing that he would be a prime target. Another uncle was picked up by the Gestapo within days and thoroughly beat en up. 

Hitler’s Mein Kampf was written long before he came to power and reeked of anti-Semitism. Also, Jewish cabinet members had been assassinated by Nazis during the ‘20s. 

I feel embarrassed to be defended from anti-Semitism by someone as uninformed a s Spieler. 

Gilbert Bendix 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

The Salinas Prison lock-down is highly disturbing, to all family members who have loved ones there. The continual lock-downs are state wide. Why are families tolerating this type of m ental torture to their loved ones? Lock-downs plummet the inmates into deeper mental illness, slow down their court cases and cause great stress among their children and wives. Families have been forced to travel hundreds of miles. Salinas Valley Prison h as been locked down for four months. The inmates cannot call home, mail is held up. The inmates report horrible chaos. The guards are not processing their 602 appeals, and are forcing them to drop them, through coercive means. The inmates are depressed, d ue to the separation from their families by telephone and visits denied.  

Salinas Valley is in a state of emergency, in political defiance, there is truly a crisis in effect. This is the same prison, that went without water for days, because the water th ey had be drinking was poisonous. This lock-down is worse than usual. Two guards were recently stabbed, so a good measure of this is retributive. The cycle of retribution never ends. Overcrowding and psychological torture of the inmates. Guards are pittin g gangs against one another, so that lock-down will continue, guards have an easy job during lock-downs. Guards are psychologically strained, so they behave badly. Prison administrators do nothing, to relieve the distressed guards’ torments, due to over-crowding. The courts create this entire problem. Our tax dollars at work!  

Alexis Endurance 

San Bruno 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I’m writing in response to David Magid’s recent opinion piece, in which I am singled out. Contrary to his assumption, I’m not a member of LOCCNA, nor did I fully agree with LOCCNA in their dispute with Beth El. My knowledge of the controversies between the congregation and its neighbors is derived from the local papers. It may be that Beth El used no undue political influence, but my perception was the opposite.  

I’ve lived half a block from Beth El’s current site for 30 years. While my house is closer to their new site than they are, I don’t think of myself as a Live Oak neighbor. Beth El’s impact will be felt most by the blocks of Oxford and Spruce that it immediately adjoins. I believe that most other neighbors display these signs out of solidarity with them.  

Whatever they choose to believe about their neighbors, Beth El will benefit from putting those thoughts asi de and responding to the actual words on the signs. The congregation would get a lot of mileage if its leaders would simply affirm, once again, that it intends to honor its agreements and respect its neighbors. Do this, and act on it, and all will be well.  

John Parman 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Enough already, can’t we get along! For the last month there have been numerous columns and letters for and against evolution and intelligent design. Good debate but a lot of rehash and ludicrou s positions. How about this: There is a self-evident creator behind everything and evolution is a scientific method used to explain manifestation and these two facts compliment and coexist with each other. Materialists seem to have problems accepting this simple insight. It’s time for the uninformed to move on to the next wedge issue. Science and a creative source can and do exist together, maybe just not in the classroom. Evolution can be experienced and validated and soul, spirit and source can be experienced and verified. 

Ron Lowe 

Nevada City 


Column: The Public Eye: Bush Administration’s Position on Iraq: No Exit By Bob Burnett

Friday August 19, 2005

In Jean-Paul Sartre’s existentialist play No Exit, three damned souls find themselves locked in a room in hell, where they are psychologically tortured forever. The Iraqis’ failure to meet the Aug. 15 deadline for a draft constitution, is more evidence that America is trapped in its’ own no exit hell. 

The president recently reported, “progress is being made. Our strategy can be summed up this way: As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down.” Yet, it is difficult for the average citizen to see this “progress.” The most recent Gallup poll finds that only 44 percent of Americans support the war—versus 65 percent in March of 2004. More telling is the poll result that 57 percent believe that the war has made the United States “less safe from terrorism.” 

Before the 2003 invasion, Brent Scowcroft, President George H.W. Bush’s national security adviser, argued against an attack, warning that military action would, “divert us for some indefinite period from our war on terrorism ... the most dire consequences would be the effect in the region.” Scowcroft opined that the most likely outcome for Iraq would be civil war, because of the existing antipathy between the Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis. (These considerations led the previous President Bush to stop short of a full-scale occupation in 1991.) One by one Scowcroft’s warnings have come true; failure to agree on a constitution presages another step towards anarchy. 

After two years, the American public is finally realizing that we are ensnared in our own version of no exit. We see that the only thing that has been consistent about the Bush Iraq policy has been its ineptitude. Since the president declared “Mission Accomplished” on May 2, 2003, all of the Administration’s “evidence” justifying the invasion have been refuted: presence of WMDs, delivery systems, ties to Al Qaeda, etc. Moreover, the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq has strengthened the terrorist position and fueled discontent throughout the region. 

The failure of the Iraqi parliament to meet the Aug. 15 deadline for a draft constitution is the result of yet another Administration misstep. Bush advisers had an opportunity to head off the conflict over regional autonomy a year ago. When Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis were considering the American-written Transitional Administrative Law, in February 2004, the Kurds came up with a workable solution to the sticky problem of autonomy. Writing in the Aug. 11 New York Review of Books, diplomat and Middle-East expert Peter Galbraith reported that the Kurds proposed, and the Shiites and Sunnis accepted, a rule that, “the permanent constitutions would come into effect if ratified by a majority of Iraqis, but would only be operative in [each of the three regions] if ratified by a majority of [that region’s] voters.” The Bush administration foolishly balked at this compromise. 

Now, as the American public grows increasingly skeptical of this war, the Administration is ratcheting down expectations: the new Iraq will not be the model democracy the president touted, but instead a partial democracy, where all laws will be compliant with Islam—and women’s rights greatly diminished. The new Iraq will not be economically independent; it will not even have a self-supporting oil industry. Most telling, the administration has quietly abandoned its oft-stated objective of ending the insurgency; now it expects to reduce it to a level consistent with the turnover to Iraqi forces. Despite Bush’s bombast, we will stand down well before the Iraqi forces stand up. 

Although the administration publicized the draft Iraqi constitution as a major milestone, the critical objective for Bush and company occurs a year from now—the beginning of the 2006 Congressional races. Remembering that the invasion of Iraq was, in part, a device to help Republicans win the 2002 off-year elections, it seems unthinkable that the administration would let the occupation fester and, thereby, drag Republican Senators and Congress people down to defeat. Bush and company have to be aware that in the Aug. 2 special election, Ohio Democrat Paul Hackett nearly took a “safe” congressional seat from the Republicans on the basis of his anti-war campaign. 

We will probably see Bush institute a two-pronged Iraq strategy: First, he will drastically reduce the U.S. troop allocation, regardless of whether the Iraqi security forces are ready. Then, he will declare “victory,” much as Richard Nixon did at the end of the Vietnam war. To counter any negative press that a precipitous departure from Iraq might garner, Bush will find a way to distract the attention of the American public: the most likely source for such a diversion would be an attack on Iran’s nuclear capability. 

In a recent interview, Karen Armstrong, the writer and commentator on religion, warned that the war in Iraq ,coupled with Bush’s religious zealotry, is fanning the flames of fundamentalism. She worried that the administration would provoke Islamic fundamentalists into using weapons of mass destruction. That seems to be the “no exit” hell that Bush is leading us into: There is no exit from Iraq that does not leave us more vulnerable to terrorists. 


Bob Burnett is a Berkeley writer and activist. He can be reached at bobburnett@comcast.net.?

Column: Undercurrents: Examining the Racism of Jack London J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Friday August 19, 2005

What should progressives do when confronted with the fact that they live in a city that honors a figure who has advocated beliefs or committed acts that progressives would normally condemn? 

Berkeley faced that dilemma some weeks ago after a majority of the Jefferson Elementary School community voted to change that school’s name because of Thomas Jefferson’s status as a man who kept African captives. The Berkeley School Board later decided to keep the school name, but not without agonizing over the decision. 

Oakland may some day—if it so chooses—face that same difficulty over its most famous favorite son, author Jack London. While Mr. London is best known for his writing (such as The Call of the Wild) and somewhat lesser-known as a socialist activist (which Oakland’s corporate community would like us to conveniently overlook), it is an open secret that Mr. London was almost certainly an open and unashamed racist during a period when the term had a clear and present meaning. 

Mr. London’s mostly-forgotten 1911 novel Adventure starts with the passage: “He was a very sick white man. He rode pick-a-back on a woolly-headed, black-skinned savage.” It gets worse. The novel’s black-stereotype contents prompted UC Berkeley’s digital library, where the entire book is posted, to include the notation in the link to the book: “Located in the Solomon Islands, this devastating portrayal of copra plantation slavery has scholars arguing whether London was criticizing the racism of the colonialists or approving of it.” 

We are reminded, again, of Mr. London’s views of the darker races of the world by the recent release—by Heyday Books of Berkeley and Santa Clara University—of a collection of Mr. London’s San Francisco Bay boys’ stories Tales of the Fish Patrol. In his foreword to the book, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jerry George notes, a little gingerly, it seems, that “Considering the atmosphere of Jack London’s times, it’s not surprising that the villains—cunning, conniving, and arrogant, perfect for youthful adventure—are Chinese and Greek fishermen. …[W]e cannot expect the stories to be written with 21st century sensibilities about ethnicity.” 

We will resist the temptation to debate Mr. George about what we might expect or not expect from writers of the early 20th century (after all, in the face of the raging anti-African propaganda that was sweeping the country 20 years before Mr. London’s birth and 60 years before the Fish Patrol stories were written, a little New England woman named Beecher Stowe managed to write a whole book that portrayed black people as whole human beings). 

But a glance at the first story in Tales of the Fish Patrol, “White and Yellow,” shows immediately what Mr. George was referring to. Unable to communicate with a group of Chinese shrimp-fishermen about the fact that their boat is about to sink, Mr. London has the main character, the 16-year-old hero, resort to child-like, Chinese-stereotype gibberish to try to get them to understand. “Allee same dlown, velly quick, you no bail now,” he tells them. “Sabbe?” 

(For those born in a different, more enlightened time and never exposed to this kind of oddly-written language, Mr. London’s character was mocking the fact that because there is no “r” sound in some Chinese languages, native speakers of those languages regularly substitute an “l” for an “r.” Many Africans were similarly ridiculed because they—we—came into this country during the slave trade often came from countries with no “th” in their language, and so they substituted a “d” for a “th.” And so Margaret Mitchell has the captive African Mammy ask Missy Scarlett, in Gone With The Wind, say the almost incomprehensible concerning the Tarleton twins, “Is de gempmum gone? Huccome you din’ ast dem ter stay fer supper, Miss Scarlett? Ah done tole Poke ter lay two extry plates fer dem.” 19th and 20th century authors often used the device to show ignorance in the darker races—how dumb of them that they can’t grasp our language is the subtext—but it is, of course, a cultural-physical phenomenon rather than a mental defect. Those who don’t learn these linguistic tricks in childhood most often find them impossible to pick up in later years. Native English speakers sound equally awkward trying to trill our r’s, and one wonders how that is portrayed in Spanish literature.) 

In any event I’m sure the merchants and shoppers in Oakland’s Chinatown would be highly offended if I walked the six or seven blocks from Jack London Square—where the author of Tales of the Fish Patrol is honored by the citizens of Oakland with a statue and other such stuff—and stood in front of one of the grocery markets and asked people to get out of my way “velly quick.” 

So does that mean that Oakland needs to rethink its honoring of Jack London based on a reappraisal of the anti-black, anti-Chinese, anti-dark-folk aspects of the author’s beliefs and work? Absolutely. If Jack London continues to deserve our honor, we should give it only with full knowledge of all of his public attributes, the bad as well as the good. Private matters such marital infidelity can be overlooked—President Dwight Eisenhower and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. come immediately to mind on that score—when these are things which our heroes attempted to keep hidden from public eye, and when they do not contradict the things for which the honored one is honored. But though Oaklanders have been doing a pretty good job of it, it is hard to pretend not to notice the sentiments that Mr. London prominently promoted in his books when it is for the writing of those books, alone, that he is being honored. 

But does that mean that Oakland should stop honoring Jack London? Not necessarily. (Since we are the children of the children of those times—and thus continue to carry the prejudices and the results of those prejudices with us—it would do some good to understand why a man like Jack London, who championed the little white guy against the “iron heel” of the American corporations did not seem to understand how the dark races and nations suffered equally under the “iron heel” of the European imperial powers of his day.) Or, for that matter, suffered under the prejudice of Mr. London’s own writings. What was it about him—or the times he lived in—that gave Mr. London such a blind eye? Answering such questions might give us some insight into our own lack of sight. 

A public dialogue on Mr. London’s prejudices might also lead to an understanding of how men like Tom Jefferson and George Washington were ready to sacrifice their lives to win democratic rights for the landed planters of Virginia and the merchants of Massachusetts, but did not believe that such “inalienable rights given by God” were also due to women and blacks and all people without property. 

Discussions of the long-hidden backsides of longtime honorees can be painful, of course. But if we want our heroes and heroines to be real men and women whose examples of struggle can be followed—rather than gods and goddesses merely to be worshipped—then such discussions are necessary. 



Friday August 19, 2005

Witnesses sought 

The California Highway Patrol and six UC Berkeley students Thursday issued a call for more information about a fiery pre-dawn crash on July 16 that claimed the lives of three graduate students. 

The students were riding in a southbound 1995 Toyota that was struck by a tractor-trailer rig that swerved to miss another vehicle. 

Benjamin Boussert, 27, Giulia Addesso, 26, and Jason Choy, 29, were doing post-graduate studies in the university’s chemistry department. 

CHP spokesperson Officer Trent Cross said that a team of investigators had established that the crash may have been caused by “several vehicles that were being driven in a reckless or spectacular manner.” 

He declined to say how many and what might have been the characteristics of the vehicles witnesses observed, adding, “we want to preserve that aspect of the investigation.” 

Cross said investigators have located “many good witnesses, but we feel we have not heard from everyone who observed the crash or who might know who was involved.” 

He asked anyone with any information about the crash to contact the Highway Patrol at 1-800-CALLCHP. 



Police arrested a 43-year-old woman at a residence in the 800 block of Page Street just after 3:30 p.m. Monday after she reportedly struck her male companion in the head with a metal pipe.  

Berkeley Police spokesperson Officer Joe Okies said the woman was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and spousal abuse. 


A real gas 

A caller tipped police that a man had just sprayed a woman with tear gas at the Subway sandwich shop in Shattuck Square about 9:19 Monday evening. Officers arrived in time to find the 30-year-old suspect still on the scene. 

He was booked on suspicion of illegally discharging a tear gas weapon, said Officer Okies. 


Rainbow robbery coalition 

A gang of four, including one Anglo man, a Hispanic man, an Asian woman and a dark-skinned woman described as “mixed-race” snatched the purse of a 32-year-old woman as she walked along Hearst Avenue near the corner of Fourth Street Tuesday evening. 

The four fled in a gray or silver import. 


Odiferous arson  

Police believe an arsonist may have set the blaze that flared up in a portable toilet at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School at 1701 Rose St. shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday. 


Productive stop 

When police stopped a suspiciously acting pedestrian in the 1700 block of University Avenue at 1 a.m. Wednesday, they discovered that the fellow was wanted on warrants. 

The burglary tools and narcotics paraphernalia they discovered in the subsequent search added two more charges to his rap sheet. 


Threatens three 

A 45-year-old man was arrested in the 3100 block of Fairview Street at 12:21 p.m. Wednesday after officers were summoned to the scene of a reported fight involving a man and three women. 

He was booked on suspicion of disturbing the peace, battery and making criminal threats to injure the three woman. His attempts to flee added yet another count. 


Deadly nugget in Urban Ore 

Workers at Berkeley’s Urban Ore thought there was nothing particularly special about the box of junk metal they bought from a woman early in the week, but when they started sorting through it just after noon Wednesday, they thought again. 

Inside the box they discovered an ominously familiar-looking object that resembled nothing so much as one of those old-fashioned “pineapple” hand grenades. 

An examination by Berkeley ordinance technicians confirmed their suspicions. 

After the bomb squad stabilized the device, Officer Okies said it was taken to a remote undisclosed location and detonated. 

After further investigation, no criminal charges were filed, said the officer. 


Commentary: Beth El’s New Parking Plan Provides Everything LOCCNA Wanted By Amy Oppenheimer

Friday August 19, 2005

As a Beth El representative on the parking committee for our new building, I have spent many hours working with LOCCNA about parking concerns and worked hard to come up with a plan that addressed those concerns. Over the years I have grown fond of many LOCCNA members. Many of us on each side of the table have listened respectfully to each other’s perspective.  

Gould and O’Malley’s criticisms of the final parking plan are unwarranted. The parking plan approved by the City of Berkeley provides for everything LOCCNA said they wanted—including numerous satellite spaces available at all times, a monitoring program and parking impact thresholds—obligations undertaken by no other religious institution in Berkeley. 

Our agreement with LOCCNA calls for us to “minimize” parking impacts in the neighborhood. LOCCNA’s current position (one that is not necessarily advocated by all LOCCNA members and certainly doesn’t represent the many neighbors who have nothing to do with LOCCNA) is that “minimize” means that no Beth El member should be able to park on the street. This is why, despite prior optimism about LOCCNA operating in good faith, I am sadly beginning to believe that at least some LOCCNA members do not want Beth El at that site under any circumstances. 

Some other important facts—Beth El has sufficient parking in the lot and frontage for about 50 cars, which, given those who walk, take public transportation, get dropped off and carpool, translates to about 150 people. Beth El rarely has more than 150 people at the building at one time. Furthermore, it is doubtful, even with events of over 150, that Beth El will use anywhere near 50 percent of the available spaces.  

The current site, where we have operated for about 60 years, is two and a half blocks away, has parking and frontage space for about 12 cars, yet street parking is available most Saturdays—when usage is greatest. Furthermore the new site will reduce problems caused by parents dropping off their children. They will be dropped off on Beth El property, not on the street. 

LOCCNA has accused Beth EL of not honoring agreements, which is not true, yet LOCCNA has violated the agreements they made. LOCCNA agreed not to oppose Beth El’s plans publicly until and unless there had been mediation. However they did not ask for mediation before the city approved the plan, nor did they do so before they put up lawn signs or before they orchestrated a PR campaign full of misinformation.  

We are looking forward to carrying our sacred Torahs to our new site on Sept. 9. We will to continue to be the best neighbors we can be from that day forward. We hope LOCNNA members will make the same commitment. 


Amy Oppenheimer is a Berkeley resident. 



Commentary: Coup Crystallizes Inside KPFA — Again? By Marc Sapir

Friday August 19, 2005

A powerful minority of the KPFA staff is intent upon ousting General Manager Roy Campanella II, on the job less than a year. The last manager, Gus Newport, resigned after nine months in the position due to difficulties in working with the factionalized staff.  

Meanwhile, before Campanella became manager, and despite helping pay off the Pacifica Network’s national deficit left in the wake of the Mary Francis Berry take-over debacle, the station’s salaried staff was near doubled to 42 full-time employees. Expenditures are beyond income despite expanded fundraising efforts. Inevitably any general manager will have to make salaried staff cuts, increasing tensions. 

The effort to force out Campanella is led by a core group of paid unionized staff and includes key department heads. In June the dissident group presented a petition of no confidence with 78 signers (from about 300 staff) to the Local Station Board. Later, eight women in the group publicly claimed sexual harassment by Campanella. Since Aug. 12, the dissidents have aired their side of the controversy repeatedly. A San Francisco Chronicle article covered their filing with the state, quoting two managers who say they were harassed. An Aug. 15 Daily Planet article reported that the Local Station Board (LSB) had voted 15 to 5 not to fire Campanella, and quoted morning show co-host Phillip Maldari that the LSB was jeopardizing the station by not taking action.  

KPFA staff’s filing harassment charges with the state seems unprecedented given that the accusation against Campanella is mainly that he invited staff members on a one on one basis to share free pairs of tickets he regularly receives to newly released film screenings. These free pairs of tickets, according to Campanella, come to him regularly because of his past work as an independent film producer and director. The tickets can’t be given away so he’s always asking people around him if they want to share the tickets to new films. 

Campanella says he’s offered the tickets to many people at KPFA, including men and not so young women. But apparently some of the young female staff interpreted the offer quite differently. Others offered tickets have not complained.  

According to the complainants, when they confronted Campanella directly about his “inappropriate” behavior, he became irate and used their complaints as a basis for on the job retaliation. Campanella categorically denies those latter allegations. They appear to involve individual interpretations of tone of voice and body language rather than documented retaliatory behavior. Some in the dissident group, such as recently elected shop steward Sasha Lilley, have gone outside the station spreading the word on the street that their boss, Campanella, is a sexual harasser. On Aug. 16, in a rhetorical escalation Phillip Maldari accused me of supporting a “sexual predator” when I asked him if taking a sexual harassment issue to the state and federal governments might not also jeopardize KPFA. 

Many activist listeners who have been trying to assure more community input into reforming some of the antiquated internal processes at the station have a contrary view of what is going on as they watch the staff uprising unfold. These listeners view the effort as an attempt by some staff to block broader community input and open discussion of the station’s direction.  

According to Joe Wanzala, a member of the Local Station Board, "Roy is listening to people outside as well as within the staff. We feel the community needs to be engaged in expanding and reforming the station because of the way all kinds of diversity and progressive ideas are under attack in the corporate media and in the Government dominated environment. Campanella, whether or not he’s the perfect fit here, is at least trying to be open minded."  

An example of how much the dissenters have stymied Campanella in trying to evaluate the station’s problems is that despite being the general manager he has been unable to meet with many individuals on staff because they or their department heads resist it.  

“How can a news director be allowed to prevent the general manager from talking with news staff?" asks boardmember and chair of its News Subcommittee, Chandra Hauptman. "But this problem has deeper roots than Campanella,” she insists. “For example, the News department leaders won’t even permit a daily News Department staff meeting to discuss and prioritize the main stories of the day. This has been going on for years. Staff are just handed individual assignments by the department managers. Talk about lack of collectivity and open processes. Even the corporate media is more collaborative than that." 

The outcome of this crisis is far from certain. Campanella retains the support of the majority of the Local Station Board. Yet, the station remains ungovernable, largely under the control of the large dissident group and their strategy of non-cooperation with their boss. The mutiny threatens station function. And the dissidents believe they can and must run the station by locking out substantial elements of the left movement on the board and in the Bay Area, while building their own support base. With one sidedness in air coverage most listeners are baffled.  

KPFA listener activist groups on the other hand may end up solidifying behind a long smoldering view that many of the permanent staff have little respect for the activist community and care mainly for their own security. It is easy to imagine that a failure to find a workable middle ground might lead to a decline rather than expansion in KPFA’s quality, listener base and influence as the premier alternative radio station in the region, regardless of who comes out the victor.  

Certainly this station cannot operate without a high quality and diverse staff. Nor can it expand into broader ethnic and working class communities without integrating the sometimes raw critiques of its most dedicated listeners. Balancing the concerns of the regular staff with those of the politically active community and the need to resist the growing attacks on democracy in the U.S. is a huge challenge. Assuring changes in KPFA’s internal culture and creating a culture of openness, dialogue and conflict resolution would seem a prerequisite to other needed changes. But the going is very slow, as the concerted and personal attacks on Campanella seem to indicate.  

Commentary: Cynicism and Contempt for Community Standards By Stephen Wollmer

Friday August 19, 2005

I was touched by Mr. Kennedy’s concern for affordable housing when, in addressing the Zoning Adjustments Board’s density bonus implementation subcommittee, he stated: “If the committee is interested in providing affordable housing,” he said, the committe e’s work “shouldn’t be done in the way of what is clearly the agenda of some people here who are interested in decreasing density” in the city (Berkeley Daily Planet, Aug. 5). 

I beg to differ: I believe that our common goal is preserve and enhance Berkeley’s commitment to affordable housing through the proper application of our community standards as expressed by our General Plan, Zoning Ordinance, and our Inclusionary Housing Ordinance. Mr. Kennedy’s goal, and one which he has had some success up until now, is to maximize his profit from cramming incredibly dense projects into selected neighborhoods through dissembling, subterfuge, and outright lies. Mr. Kennedy’s goals and strategies have at their core a deep cynicism and contempt for Berkeley’s commun ity standards shamelessly described in his own words in his presentation: “The Ten Commandments if Moses had been an infill developer” (from www.fundersnetwork.org/usr_doc/Patrick_Kennedy_Presentation.pdf) in which he presents his goals and outlines his s tratagems to: 

1. Increase allowable density. 

2. Reduce parking requirements. 

3. Reduce open space requirements. 

4. Reduce setback requirements. 

5. Encourage mixed-use projects, and allow them in areas zoned for commercial-use only. 

6. Get enabling l egislation from the state legislature to allow modification of local zoning ordinances, i.e. to do all of the above. (E.g. Ca. Gov. Code Sec. 65589.5). 

7. To avoid unnecessary controversy, begin by designating only one or two areas for high-density housi ng and locate it close to mass transit, in whatever form that may be. 

8. Identify the existing successes in the designated area—a landmark, institution, or local hot spot—and build around that. 

9. Encourage a multitude of smaller projects, different and finely grained, rather than one mega project. 

10. Do whatever it takes to get one project built; make sure it is a good one. 

This is the same developer who told my Berkeley Way neighborhood that the five-story wall of windows and 193-foot long shadows from his Kragens project next to our modest residential street is the result of our city’s requirement that all projects include at least some affordable housing; the same developer who invited our economically, racially, and generationally diverse neighb orhood to work together with him and his company to frustrate the expressed will of the city to include all of our population in all new housing projects. We declined then, and decline now. We at least believe that inclusionary housing can be built withou t destroying the quality of life in our livable Berkeley flatland neighborhoods adjacent to commercial districts.  

The question I have for Mr. Kennedy is, how many affordable units have you built in Piedmont recently? Or do your “commandments” apply only in poor and besieged flatland neighborhoods, where staff and elected officials are easily bullied by “Smart Growth” thugs? The question for the subcommittee is how do we reclaim our city from the damage that Mr. Kennedy and his ilk have already caused to our General Plan, Zoning Ordinance, and Inclusionary Ordinance?  


Stephen Wollmer is a member of Neighbors for a Livable Berkeley Way. 


Commentary: Medication Risks Ignored by Media By Kathie Zatkin

Friday August 19, 2005

Thank you for having the courage to publish the “Chemical Therapy Endangers Psychiatric Patients,” commentary in your Aug. 5 edition. It is a sad commentary on the state of so-called investigative journalism that articles affecting so many individuals are not reported, let alone investigated, by mainstream media.  

The fact that pharmaceutical companies spend more on direct lobbying, front groups, and political advertising than any other industry is old news. Revelations about “hidden” dangers or silencing of researchers who dare question whether a new or not-so-new drug really is “safe and effective” initially were more likely to appear in the business section of a newspaper than on the front page. These numerous revelations are beginning to raise suspicions in the public—at least with regard to medications that are not touted as remedies for mental illness. 

The risks associated with psychotropic medications continue to be minimized, while drug companies support a deliberate campaign to convince the public that persons who resist taking drugs do so, not because of the effects (or lack thereof) of the medication, but because the person lacks “insight.” Family members of persons diagnosed with mental illness, many of whom are the strongest supporters of forced drugging laws, are an important, if unwitting, force in this drug company funded campaign. 

(See Boston Globe reporter Robert Whitaker’s Mad in America for a sobering introduction to the pattern of deliberate deception, feeding of misleading reports to the media, conducting research with a knowing disregard for the subjects of that research, and the heavy conflicts of interest between “independent” researchers and their funders surrounding drug treatment for the mentally ill. Whitaker points out that the modicum of independent testing that previously existed was replaced in the late 1980s by for-profit clinical trials. Academic research had been replaced by for-profit research. Drug companies got more and more control over study design and therefore the results; clinical researchers and their research “institutions” got more and more money.) For a local angle, think of the recent Novartis UC Berkeley “partnership.”  

Tremendous weight gain, the significant increase in diabetes associated with the new anti-psychotics, the risks of seizures and perhaps suicide associated with new anti-depressants, the acknowledged risk of irreversible tardive dyskinesia and the fact muscle rigidity, movement disorders and a general lethargy and unpleasant feeling was present for almost every person taking traditional anti-psychotics, would be unacceptable to the FDA and certainly the public if the target population for the drugs was not labeled mentally ill. Warnings would at least be more prominent and risks and adverse events more prominently reported. Most significantly, persons who declined such “treatment” would not have their capacity to do so questioned. However, when it comes to mentally illness, instead of acknowledging the effects of this “treatment, ” other drugs are added to supposedly combat the effects of the psychotropics. While polypharmacy may not help the patient, it certainly helps the drug companies. 

The FDA’s mission is to protect public health… and speed innovations … With the passage of PDUFA (Prescription Drug User Fee Act) in 1992 and its reauthorization in 1997 with the FDA Modernization Act, manufacturers (pharmaceutical companies) became explicit clients of the agency. (See Sec. 903 Food and Drug Administration.)  

Drug companies have deep pockets, but federal and state governments and those acting in a fiduciary capacity should be liable for harms caused by drugs that persons are forced or coerced to accept. In spite of the trickling reports of adverse consequences associated with psychotropics, there is clearly a missionary zeal to embrace the belief that these drugs are safe and that research methodologies and reports are unbiased. It’s much more palatable to believe that emotional “disease” and/or homelessness is the product of a “broken brain,” chemical imbalance, or genetic propensity, than to actually reflect upon the myriad causes of dis"ease"and the risks associated with this “treatment.”  

We are all on notice. While we can argue in good faith and conscience about the causes of suffering and human behavior, we should not permit willful blindness to allow us to force harmful treatments on others. We must ensure that all persons have the right to fully informed consent and that others, even those who claim to be using the latest scientific methods, do not determine the amount of risk that is acceptable to another. 


Kathie Zatkin is a Berkeley resident.

Commentary: City Cedes Powers to UC In Settlement Deal By Dennis Walton

Friday August 19, 2005

In her column of Aug. 2, Zelda Bronstein aptly referred to violations of the municipal code in the agreement between the city and UC but failed to suggest that there might be any other legal problems involved. Although I make no claim of expertise in this area, here are some thoughts on the matter. 

The settlement agreement of May 25 between the University of California and the City of Berkeley served to terminate the lawsuit that the city had brought in response to the environmental impact report of the new Long Range Development Plan of the university. The settlement involved, in part, the city effectively selling to the university (ostensibly for services) certain powers of municipal decision-making, including a veto capacity over land-use plans in the downtown until the year 2020. 

The city’s action of conferring power to UC appears to be in conflict with the city charter, which vests the city’s officials with exclusive responsibility for governance: “The council shall be the governing body of the municipality. It shall exercise the corporate powers of the city” (section 38) and “The City of Berkeley shall have the right and power to make and enforce all laws and regulations in respect to municipal affairs” (section 115). 

Nowhere in the charter are city officials authorized to delegate legislative or administrative powers to an extra-municipal party. If they were allowed to do so, then the City Council could give or sell zoning and planning powers to developers, real estate companies or anyone else.  

What the mayor and five members of the City Council did was transfer a quantity of formal power to a non-elected, non-accountable party outside of the city. The charter does not allow for the abrogation of civic autonomy by any means, including the delegation of sovereign powers. 

At the state level, it is questionable whether UC has the authority to establish a shared jurisdiction with a charter city. 

Another dubious facet of the settlement is that the residents and property owners of a substantial portion of District 4 (the downtown area) are to be subject to different authorities, standards and processes of planning and zoning than those in the other districts of Berkeley. This clearly constitutes a violation of their right to due process. 

Also, the settlement agreement appears to violate the California Environmental Quality Act. The settlement recognizes that the city is the lead agency for preparation of the Downtown Area Plan (DAP) and its environmental impact report, but then allows an outside agency, UC, to intervene extensively in the planning and execution of the EIR. It even allows UC to extort $15,000 per month if the city fails to complete its own Downtown Area Plan and EIR by an arbitrary deadline. 

The settlement states, “Any mitigation measures included in the EIR must be acceptable to UC Berkeley and applicable to all projects in the Downtown Area, regardless of ownership.” It seems to me very doubtful that CEQA would allow the city council to confer its responsibilities to another party. The settlement further states, “UC Berkeley reserves the right to determine if the DAP or EIR does not accommodate UC Berkeley development in a manner satisfactory to the Regents.” The settlement’s provisions that dispose the EIR analysis to conform to a pre-determined conclusion, regardless of the nature of the data or the public input, may well be in violation of CEQA. 


Dennis Walton serves as an aide to Councilmember Dona Spring. 


Commentary: First Person: Finding Faith in a Multi-Religious Upbringing By ISAAC GOLDSTEIN Special to the Planet

Friday August 19, 2005

I am a living, breathing interfaith experiment. I had a briss and a baptism; a confirmation and a bar-mitzvah. My family attended synagogue on Friday nights and went to church on Sunday. Raised by parents of separate faiths, my mother is a minister for the United Church of Christ and my father is a lay Jew. Starting with me, they decided to raise their children both religions, not just half and half. I don’t call myself a “halfie” or “half and half.” I would never want to get only half of two religions. My parents have insisted that I get the whole of both religions.  

I can hear you now. “How is that possible!? Didn’t you grow up confused? How could your parents do that to you?” Sure, growing up interfaith isn’t simple. As I’ve taken my faith into my own hands, I’ve started to realize the liturgical complexities of being both at the same time. Like, how does Jesus figure into my religious identity? That’s a very complicated question, one that I haven’t figured out how to integrate into my faith just yet. I have grown up feeling like I’m half in one religious community and half in another. I always thought my Sunday school compatriots knew I was a little weird; in Hebrew school I never felt like I belonged. They had it easy, I thought. Their parents told them who they were and they didn’t need to have questions about their “identity.” 

Regardless, it has been a blessing to grow up in a family that cares deeply about faith and religion in general. Without my parents’ insistence, I wouldn’t have had the privilege of wrestling with questions of faith and identity in our complex world. I am blessed to have been exposed to God’s majesty and feel instructed to do God’s work; blessed to have the access to the solace and comfort God’s grace provides during difficult times.  

Though I have had difficult integrating into specific religious communities, as an American and a dual-faith worshipper, I feel as if I belong. My upbringing is an essentially American experience. In Europe, for example, my parents would probably never have even thought of marrying. Outside of Western developed countries, one could assume my parents never would have even met! Cultural and ethnic identities are much stricter in other places in the world than in the United States. If you disagree, just look at current debates over immigration in France and Germany, or the struggles against extremism in the Mideast.  

But how can I talk about my experience? What vocabulary or metaphor works best to describe my religion? In school, we do learn how to describe diversity with metaphors. A popular and, I think, inadequate example is the “melting pot.” Mixing different kinds of metal into a melting pot creates a really ugly—probably brown—and useless metal. Sure, the metal is a well-mixed and uniform alloy, but the brilliance of gold and the flexibility of tin are lost in the smelting process. The strengths of American diversity—the vibrant personalities of cultural identities that make up our societal mixture—are dulled in the process, lost in the melting pot.  

With the rise of multiculturalism, a new metaphor has taken hold—the salad bowl. Much better, but not quite right. The melting pot was too industrial and metallic; a salad can be a wonderful dish with lots of interesting flavors and colors. The salad metaphor appealing and functional. When one makes a salad, adding lots of different parts makes it taste better, but each bit retains its good flavor—cranberries, feta cheese, spinach salad, garbanzo beans with a sharp raspberry vinaigrette. And a toasted baguette on the side, hmmm.  

A study of the children of immigrants, conducted six years ago among young Haitians, Cubans, West Indians, Mexican and Vietnamese in South Florida and Southern California, suggests that the salad bowl has its flaws. Asked by researchers how these children identified themselves, most chose categories of hyphenated Americans. Though they are Americans, few choose “American” as their identity. What holds the salad bowl together? What makes a group of appealing and very different parts into a single national character? One might answer, “it’s the dressing!” However, I’m still uncomfortable leaving our national identity to a topping. 

The melting pot does have the strength of suggesting a general mixing of the population marked by religious, ethnic and cultural differences. But my status as a Jew and a Christian doesn’t make me a mix of brown ugliness, but two energetic parts. The salad bowl has the strength of keeping each identity intact so that we can experience the richness of our diversity. Both of these metaphors are taking place inside of me. The melting pot is a part of who I am—I’m smelting my two religions together. The salad bowl is taking place inside me—I’m putting two awfully tasty vegetables together. But neither quite gets it, but they do bring us closer to what we’re looking for. Americans have struggled since the Revolution to combine our unmatched diversity into a cohesive character that doesn’t ignore the importance of each individual part. 

Finding a way to celebrate diversity and describe a cohesive American identity is all but impossible. We are beginning, however, to find a way to put it all together. One of the best examples of a new way to think about diversity is the junior senator from Illinois—Sen. Barak Obama. He’s the son of a white mother from Kansas and a black father from Kenya. Obama grew up around the Pacific Rim, from Indonesia to Hawaii, a set of locales that increased his exposure to the world’s cultures. Benjamin Wallace-Wells, an editor of the Washington Monthly, writes of him, “What was perhaps most brilliant about Obama’s speech at the convention, and indeed about much of his campaign, was the way in which he revamped his unusual, foreign-seeming biography so that it fit the central American political myth, the ascent from the Log Cabin, with a post-racial 21st-century spin.”  

The way that Obama manages to talk about his life in a way that presents himself as the quintessential American, even though he grew up in Hawaii and was born to Kenyan man and white woman, addresses exactly the same problem of choosing either the salad bowl or the melting pot. People love the taste of his personality, in its richness and diversity. At the same time, voters can feel how his experience—the salad bowl of his upbringing and career—fit into a full and unified identity.  

“A post-racial 21st century spin.” Cute, but not quite right. The fact that Barak Obama has a successful way of portraying himself to the American public is not post-racial; it is successful because it is racial. The power of his candidacy is that he stays our fears about the melting pot and salad bowl, white folks feel more comfortable with his blackness and black folks feel comfortable with his whiteness. He walks, he sprints, along the lines of racial division without withdrawing the racial component of his candidacy. He is both races at once rather than neither race. Wallace-Wells gets it later on in the article when he writes, “Masterfully, Obama had used race to unite.” As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said 40 years ago and Barak Obama is living today, Americans “are caught up in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied to a single garment of destiny.” 

Racial identity and religious identity, critics may say, are different categories altogether. We choose religion and born a particular race. Religious identity, however, is as much as cultural experience as racial identity. Being born Episcopal links you to the culture and identity of that religion. As much as our sons and daughters try to run from their religious identities, they will always be linked and will likely return to their roots. Equally powerful are the cultural implications of race. Ever heard of a Black or Asian parent telling their child that they’re acting White? Running away from your racial or religious heritage are equally difficult. As a tool of analysis, we can consider that racial and religious identities are close enough.  

It’s a wonderful talent Obama has, and I’m trying to learn from him as I try to constitute my dual-faith experience as a whole rather than separate parts. I’ve never liked the feeling of holding onto two separate and different identities. As I’ve gotten older, I have been able to gain some perspective over the problems with my identity at Hebrew School and in Sunday school. I’ve realized how much that my experience was rooted in my own distress with who I was, rather than not being allowed to fit in. Though I have made progress toward a more unified religious identity, I am not done wrestling with the two-sided-ness of my experience. 

The tension between identity and diversity, one of those hard questions about America, has hit me particularly hard. I am still searching for a way to make my faith walk the line between Christianity and Judaism, so that I can be both at once. I wouldn’t want to divorce the tradition of either of my parents. Though it has sometimes been a difficult and frustrating burden, I am learning to respect and appreciate the responsibility that my upbringing gives me in my life. I am an experiment in religious cohesion and the American experience. 

The way I learn to deal with the blessed both-ness that God has given me will, God-willing, be helpful to a world racked with religious strife. It already has allowed me to confront and penetrate the American experiment, to engage more deeply in the promise of America. To a world stricken by the deadly battle between religious extremisms, interfaith worship and dialogue provides a value-rich counterpoint to an agenda of war and broken religion. I am excited to be a part of that conversation. 

As for an effective way of thinking about American diversity, the closest I can come to a functioning metaphor is the concept of the ethnic stew where all the ingredients are mixed in a sort of goulash where different kinds of meat and vegetables still keep their solid structure. What I like about this metaphor is the broth flavours each bit and each part keep their singularity as well. Oh, I can hear the criticisms now. What about the vegetarians?  

Americans will continue to rethink who we are, and we would be half as mysterious and interesting if a simple food metaphor could explain us. I feel similarly about myself. Asking questions about who I am or what religion I am is what life is all about anyway. 


Isaac Goldstein is a Berkeley resident

Arts: Jazz Festival Livens Up Downtown Berkeley By KEN BULLOCK Special to the Planet

Friday August 19, 2005

The first Downtown Berkeley Jazz Festival, “A Celebration of Latin Jazz,” presented by The Jazz School (on Allston Way) is in full swing and gearing up for the weekend. With 15 stages throughout downtown for 40 events (the festival ends Sunday), including music, dance, poetry and culinary arts, festivity’s abounding. 

The festival’s focus is on Afro-Caribbean (Cuban and Puerto Rican) and Brazilian music and culture, specifically. 

“We realized ‘Latin Jazz’ is an ambiguous term. What is it?” said Susan Muscarella of The Jazz School, the festival’s director. “I originally wanted to title it ‘Una Celebracion De La Jazz Latino,’ but of course that would’ve left out the Brazilians! So we settled on ‘A Celebration of Latin Jazz,’ to avoid a clash between Spanish and Portuguese titling.”  

A advisory committee of 10 experts, including teachers, musicians and DJs, narrowed the program down to the two styles, she said. 

“It’s not just ‘Latin Jazz’ and any old thing,” Muscarella said. “We have a wonderful mix of musicians at both The Jazz School and the festival, a great pool of some of the best in the world in these styles, right here in the Bay Area. And we hope to cover all the bases.”  

“The festival is an extension of the community outreach of The Jazz School, promoting the city, especially downtown, through the arts.” she said. 

She added that Audi, the major sponsor, deserved praise for getting the festival off the ground. 

“We may be the first event of our type to embrace all of downtown, rather than just a block or so,” Muscarella said. “There are hundreds of businesses, and we involve several dozen, spread across downtown. Our goal has been to involve as many businesses as possible. We bit off a lot for our first time and we’ll be back, with a focus on a different style of Jazz. Maybe, ‘The Children of Hard Bop’?” 

Musicians will play at a wide variety of venues, including such standbys of jazz as Anna’s Jazz Island (at her new location in the Gaia Building), La Note and Downtown Restaurant, as well as Jupiter and other cafes and eateries. 

“We wanted to get bodies into businesses,” said Muscarella. “A street fair alone doesn’t get them in the door.” 

There are noontime shows at Berkeley BART, “with such players and groups as Wayne Wallace and Fourth Dimension, Marcos Silva and Intersection, John Santos—all with quite a following around the Bay,” said Jayne Sanchez, Jazz School publicist and host of “Jazz Oasis” on KCSM. 

“We’ve let the festival set the tone for August, emphasizing Latin Jazz groups before the festival’s start,” said Anna De Leon of Anna’s Jazz Island. She opened her new club, at 2120 Allston Way, 10 weeks ago. 

On her new location, near BART and the UC Campus, she said, “I’m thrilled to be downtown! It’s wonderful to be in the Gaia Building. With tropical decor, a full bar and a new Bose sound system, we can comfortably seat 88 with all focussed on the music. It’s not a recital hall or a huge cavern, but a club, a nice intimate space to hear jazz.” 

“We’re open to any correlated arts,” said Muscarella. For instance, California Poet Laureate Al Young is scheduled to read, along with other writers, at the Berkeley Library Saturday. And the Act 1 & 2 cinemas will screen Louis Malle’s 1957 first feature, Elevator to the Gallows, with Jeanne Moreau and a jazz score, improvised by Miles Davis, introduced by poet Michael Shepler. 

Arts: Downtown Berkeley Jazz Festival Schedule

Friday August 19, 2005

“A Celebration of Latin Jazz” begins runs through the weekend. This year’s festival features jazz and film, poetry, dance and food celebrating Afro-Caribbean and Brazilian music and culture. 


Anna’s Jazz Island 

2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ or 845-5515, www.annasjazzisland.com. 

Weber Iago Trio, Friday, Aug. 19, 8 p.m. $7. 

Snake Trio, Saturday, Aug. 20, 8 p.m. $7. 

Carlos Oliveira and Brazilian Origins, Sunday, Aug. 21, 8 p.m. $5. 


Berkeley BART Station Plaza  

Shattuck Avenue between Allston and Center. Marcos Silva and Intersection, Friday, Aug. 19, noon-1:30 p.m. Free. 

John Santos and the Machete Ensemble, Saturday, Aug. 20, noon-1:30 p.m. Free. 

Urban Latin Jazz Project with Special Guest Pete Escovedo, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Free. 

L atin Percussion Petting Zoo Workshop: Learn how to play Latin percussion instruments with Curt Moore, Saturday, Aug. 20, 11 a.m.-noon and 1:30 p.m.-2 p.m. Free. 


Berkeley Public Library  

2090 Kittredge St. 981-6241, www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org. 

Trio Pa radiso, Friday, Aug. 19, 8 p.m. Free. 

Poetry by Al Young (California’s Poet Laureate), dartanyan brown, Francisco Alarcon, Lucha Corpi, Lucille Lang Day, Adam David Miller, George Davis. Saturday, Aug. 20, 4 p.m. Free. 


2000 Shattuck Ave. 849-075 4, www.calfed.com. 

Ben Stolorow Duo, Aug. 19, 4 p.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 20, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. 


Landmark’s Act 1 & 2 

464-5980. 2128 Center St. 

Elevator to the Gallows (Ascenseur pour l’chafaud). Reissue of Louis Malle’s 1958 French thriller, with jazz score by Miles Davis. Nightly shows, Friday, Aug. 19 through Thursday, Aug. 25. Matinees on Saturday and Sunday).  


Downtown Restaurant 

2102 Shattuck Ave. 649-3810, www.downtownrestaurant.com. 

Guitarist and Vocalist Rolando Morales, Friday, Aug. 19, 9-10 p.m.  

Que Calor, 10:15 p.m. Prix Fixe Menu $40. 

Rebeca Mauleon Sextet, Saturday, Aug. 20, 9 p.m. Prix Fixe Menu $40. 

Maria Marquez, Sunday, Aug. 21, 8 p.m. Prix Fixe Menu $35. 


Farmers’ Market  

Milvia Street between Center and Allston. 548-333 3, www.ecologycenter.org. 

Jessica Neighbor and the Hoods “Cookin’ at the Market,” Saturday, Aug. 20, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. 



2087 Addison St. 845-5373, www.jazzschool.com. 

John Calloway and Diaspora, Friday, 8-10 p.m. Free. 

Mark Levine and the Latin Tinge, Saturday, 8-10 p.m. Tickets $18/$15/$12. 

Jovino Santos Neto Trio, Sunday, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Tickets $20. 



2181 Shattuck Ave. 843-8277, www.jupiterbeer.com. 

Cuarteto Sonondo, Friday, Aug. 19, 3-6 p.m. Free. 

Wayne Wallace Latin Big Ban d, Friday, Aug. 19, 8-11 p.m. 

The Rio Thing, Saturday, Aug. 20, 3-6 p.m. Free. 

Mas Cabeza, Saturday, Aug. 20, 8-11 p.m. Free. 


Shattuck Down Low 

2284 Shattuck Ave. 548-1159. 

Fito Reynoso, Friday, Aug. 19, 10 p.m. 

Mingus Amungus, Saturday, Aug. 20 10:15 p.m. 

Arts Calendar

Friday August 19, 2005



Stage Door Conservatory, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at 7:30 p.m., Sat. and Sun. at 5 p.m. at Julia Morgan Center for the Arts. Tickets are $7.50-$20. 925-798-1300. 


Bay Ensemble’s “Dancing at Lughnasa” Fri. and Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 7 p.m. at Kinell Hall, behind Lutheran Church of the Cross, 1744 University Ave. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. 658-8835. 

California Shakespeare Theater, “Nicholas Nickleby” Part 2 at 8 p.m. at Bruns Amphitheater, 100 Gateway Blvd., Orinda, through Sept. 16. Tickets are $10-$55. 548-9666.  

“Livin’ Fat” Fri. at 8 p.m., Sat. at 2 and 8 p.m., Sun. at 4 p.m. at Malonga Casquelord Center for the Arts, 1428 Alice St., Oakland, through Aug. 26. Tickets are $15-$25. 332-7125. 

The Marsh Berkeley “When God Winked” by Ron Jones. Thurs.-Sat. at 7 p.m. at the Gaia Building, 2120 Allston Way, through Sept. 16. Tickets are $10-$22. 800-838-3006.  


Cinema in Occupied France: “La Nuit fantastique” at 7:30 p.m. and “Douce” at 9:20 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808.  


Latin Jazz Festival: John Calloway and Diaspora, lecture and demonstration at 8 p.m. at the Jazzschool. Free. 845-5373. www.jazzschool.com 


Latin Jazz Festival: Marcos Silva and Intersection at noon at the Berkeley BART Station. 

Latin Jazz Festival: Ben Stolorow Duo at 4 p.m. at Citibank, 200 Shattuck Ave. 849-0754.  

Latin Jazz Festival: Weber Iago Trio at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ.  

Latin Jazz Festival: Steve Erquiaga and Trio Parasiso at 8 p.m. at the Berkeley Public Library. Free. 981-6241. 

Latin Jazz Festival: Wayne Wallace at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Latin Jazz Festival: Que Color at 9 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810.  

Frito Reynoso at 9 p.m. at Shattuck Down Low. Cost is $8. 548-1159.  

Palenque, traditional Cuban music, at 9 p.m. at La Peña Cultural Center. Cost is $12. 849-2568. 

Full Moon, Full Voice, song and chant with Betsy Rose and Francesca Genco at 7:15 p.m. at Vara Healing Arts Center, 850 Talbot St. (enter though courtyard in back), Albany. Donation $10-$15. 525-7082. 

George Kuo, Martin Pahinui, Aaron Mahi, Hawaiian music, at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $18.50-$19.50. 548-1761.  

Vowel Movement, vocal percussion, at 8 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $10-12. 525-5054.  

Clairdee at 7 p.m. at Maxwell’s 341 13th St., Oakland. 839-6169. 

Ilene Adar and Megan Barton at 7:30 p.m. at Nomad Cafe, 6500 Shattuck Ave. 595-5344. www.nomadcafe.net 

Wayne “The Train” Hancock, Val Esway & Mirage at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $7. 841-2082.  

Partyline, Origami, Paper Lanterns, Make Me at 8 p.m. at 924 Gilman St. Cost is $7. 525-9926. 

Eddie Palmieri with Giovanni Hidalgo, El Negro, Brian Lynch, and others at 8 and 10 p.m. Yoshi’s through Sun. Cost is $14-$26. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 



Latin Percussion Petting Zoo at the Berkeley Bart Station from 11 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 2 p.m.  


Shotgun Players, “Cyrano de Bergerac” at 4 p.m., Sat. and Sun. through Sept. 11, at John Hinkle Park, labor day perf. Sept. 5. Free with pass the hat donation after the show. 841-6500. www.shotgunplayers.org 

Oakland-East Bay Shakespeare Festival “Much Ado About Nothing” Sat. and Sun. at 4 p.m. at Lakeside Park at Lake Merritt, corner of Perkins and Bellevue, through Aug. 28. Free. 415-865-4434. www.sfshakes.org 


“Flamenco: A Personal Journey” a documentary film by Tao Ruspoli at 8 p.m. at La Peña Cultural Center. Cost is $7. 849-2568. www.lapena.org  

Cinema in Occupied France: “Groupi Mains Rouge” at 7 p.m. and “Le Corbeau” at 9:10 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 


Al Young, California’s Poet Laureate, at 4 p.m. at the Berkeley Public Library, 2090 Kittredge St. 981-6241. 

Bob Baker, author of “Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook” at 8:30 p.m. at Epic Arts Studios, 1923 Ashby Ave. Donation $5-$10. 644-2204.  

Geoff “Double G” Gallegos, founder and conductor of daKAH Hip Hip Orchestra at 1 p.m. at La Peña Cultural Center. free. 849-2568. www.lapena.org 


Jessica Neighbor & The Hoods “Cookin’ at the Market” at 11 a.m. at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market, Center St. and MLK, Jr. Way. 548-3333. www.ecologycenter.org 

Latin Jazz Festival: Ben Stolorow Duo at 11 a.m. at Citibank, 200 Shattuck Ave. 849-0754. 

Latin Jazz Festival: John Santos and the Machete Ensemble at noon at the Berkeley BART Station.  

Latin Jazz Festival: JRay Obiedo and the Urban Latin Jazz Project at 2 p.m. at the Berkeley BART Station.  

Latin Jazz Festival: The Snake Trio at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ. www.AnnasJazzIsland.com 

Latin Jazz Festival: Mas Cabeza at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Latin Jazz Festival: Rebecca Mauleon Ensemble at 9 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810.  

Asylum Street Spankers at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $14. 841-2082. www.starryplough.com 

West African Highlife Band at 9:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $11-$13. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen, roots country and west coast bluegrass, at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $19.50-$20.50. 548-1761. www.freightandsalvage.org 

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

Mark Levine and the Latin Tinge at 8 p.m. at the Jazz- 

school. Cost is $12-$18. 845-5373. www.jazzschool.com 

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

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

P.D.A., The Rosenbombs, The Dangers, The Spark 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. 



Cinema in Occupied France: “Safe Conduct” at 3 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 


Jazz Spoken Word Sponsored by The Jazz House at 6 p.m. at Kimball’s Carnival, 522 Second St., Oakland. Cost is $5. 415-846-9432. 


“Hip Science: The Human Body 101 Live” musical theater combining rap and hip hop and science at 3 p.m. at the Malonga Casquelord Center for the Arts, 1428 Alice St. Tickets are $7-$10. 655-8078. www.hiplearning.com 

Midnight Star at 3 p.m. at Music in the Park at Arroyo Viejo Park, 7701 Krause St., Oakland. Sponsored by Councilperson Desley Brooks. 

Ace of Spades Acoustic Series with Alela Menig, Parker Frost, Judith & Holofernes at 1 p.m. at MamaBuzz Cafe, 2318 Telegraph Ave. Oakland. Free, all ages.  

Chris Rowan and friends at 5 p.m. at Oakland Metro, 201 Broadway. Cost is $7. All ages. 763-1146. www.oaklandmetro.org  

Viviana Guzman, tango music, at 7:30 p.m. at La Peña Cultural Center. Cost is $12. 849-2568. www.lapena.org 

Latin Jazz Festival: Carlos Oliveira & Brazilian Origins at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ. www.AnnasJazzIsland.com 

Latin Jazz Festival: Maria Marquez Quartet at 8 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810.  

Latin Jazz Festival: Jovino Santos Neto Trio at 4:30 p.m. at the Jazzschool. Cost is $20. 845-5373. www.jazzschool.com 

Shweta Jhaveri, lecture and demonstration at 8 p.m., concert at 9:15 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $8-$10. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Todd Boston at 10 a.m. at Nomad Cafe, 6500 Shattuck Ave. 595-5344. www.nomadcafe.net 

King of Kings, reggae, at 9 p.m. at Shattuck Down Low, 2284 Shattuck Ave. Cost is $5-$7. 548-1159.  

Americana Unplugged with The Whiskey Brothers at 5 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 



Poetry Express with Eugene David at 7 p.m. at Priya Restaurant, 2072 San Pablo Ave. berkeleypoetryexpress@yahoo.com 


Taylor’s Friends Forever, Sixes, Ultra Boyz and Universal Baltimore at 8 p.m. at 21 Grand, 416 25th St., Oakland. Cost is $5. 510-44GRAND. 

Trovatore, traditional Italian music, at 7 p.m. at Caffe Trieste, 2500 San Pablo Ave. 548-5198.  

Sovoso, CD release concert, at 8 and 10 p.m. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square. Cost is $10-$14. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 



P&T Puppet Theater at 6:30 p.m. at the Kensington Library, 61 Arlington Ave. 524-3043. 


Eyeing Nature: “13 Lakes” at 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 


Pamela Cranston reads from “Coming to Treeline: Adirondack Poems” at 7:30 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 2352 Shattuck Ave. 644-3635. 

Sara Halprin talks about “Seema’s Show: A Life on the Left” at 7:30 p.m. at Black Oak Books. 486-0698. www.blackoakbooks.com 

Riley LaShea discusses the role of women in fairytales and reads from her new novel, “Bleeding Through Kingdoms: Cinderella’s Rebellion” at 7 p.m. at Change Makers, 6536 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. 655-2405. 

The Whole Note Poetry Series with Gg and Ralph Dranow at 7 p.m. at The Beanery, 2925 College Ave., near Ashby. 549-9093. 


Tom Rigney & Flambeau at 8:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cajun dance lesson at 8 p.m. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Noel Jewkes Trio at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ. www.AnnasJazzIsland.com 

Howard Barkan Trio, jazz, at 7 p.m. at Caffe Trieste, 2500 San Pablo Ave. 548-5198.  

Calvin Keys Trio, CD release concert, at 8 and 10 p.m. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square. Cost is $6-$10. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 

Jazzschool Tuesdays, a weekly showcase of up-and-coming ensembles from Berkeley Jazzschool at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Danny Caron at 8 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810. 



For Your Eyes Only: “13 Frightened Girls” at 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 



Chuck Klosterman explores rock star demise in “Killing Yourself to Live” at 7:30 p.m. at Cody’s Books. 845-7852. www.codysbooks.com 

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


Mark Little Trio at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ. www.AnnasJazzIsland.com 

Ned Boynton Trio at 8 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810.  

Balkan Folkdance at 8 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $7. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Outbound Trio at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Mitch Marcus Quintet, 13 Big Band at 8 and 10 p.m. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square. Cost is $8-$12. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 



Magical Arts Ritutal Theater, “Equus” Thurs.-Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 2 p.m. at Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby Ave. Tickets are $25. 523-7754. www.ticketweb.com 


Latino Film Festival “The Storytellers” at 7:30 p.m. at La Pena Cultural Center. Cost is $8. 849-2568. www.lapena.org 

Louis Malle: “God’s Country” at 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 


Word Beat Reading Series with Diana Q. & Patricia Edith at 7 p.m. at Mediterraneum Caffe, 2475 Telegraph Ave., near Dwight Way. 526-5985. 


Karashay: Chirgilchin & Stephen Kent Lecture/demonstration on Tunvan Throat Singing at 8 p.m., concert at 9:15 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $12-$15. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Fiddle Summit at 8 p.m. at Freight and Salvage. Cost is $25.50-$26.50. 548-1761. www.freightandsalvage.org 

Jason Davis Quartet at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ. www.AnnasJazzIsland.com 

Abel Moulton and The Tastemakers, The Radishes, The Fuxedos at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $7. 841-2082 www.starryploughpub.com 

Peter Barshay Trio at 8 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810.  

Kenny Burrell Quintet at 8 and 10 p.m., through Sun. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square. Cost is $14-$20. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 

Selector, laptop funk, beat machines, at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 



California Shakespeare Theater, “Nicholas Nickleby” Part 2 at 8 p.m. at Bruns Amphitheater, 100 Gateway Blvd., Orinda, through Sept. 16. Tickets are $10-$55. 548-9666. www.calshakes.org 

Impact Theater “Nicky Goes Goth” at 8 p.m., Thurs.-Sat. at La Val’s Subterranean, 1834 Euclid, through Oct. 1. Tickets are $10-$15. 464-4468. www.impacttheatre.com 

“Livin’ Fat” Fri. at 8 p.m., Sat. at 2 and 8 p.m., Sun. at 4 p.m. at Malonga Casquelord Center for the Arts, 1428 Alice St., Oakland, through Aug. 26. Tickets are $15-$25. 332-7125. 

Magical Arts Ritutal Theater, “Equus” Fri. and Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 2 p.m. at Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby Ave. Tickets are $25. 523-7754. www.ticketweb.com 

The Marsh Berkeley “When God Winked” by Ron Jones. Thurs.-Sat. at 7 p.m. at the Gaia Building, 2120 Allston Way, through Sept. 16. Tickets are $10-$22. 800-838-3006. www.themarsh.org  


Louis Malle: “Au reviour les enfants” at 7 p.m. and “Atlantic City” at 9:05 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive. Cost is $4-$8. 642-0808. www.bampfa.berkeley.edu 


Dr. Loco’s Rockin’ Jalapeño Band at 9 p.m. at La Peña Cultural Center. Cost is $7-$10. 849-2568. www.lapena.org 

The Nika Rejto Quartet at 8 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way. 841-JAZZ. www.AnnasJazzIsland.com 

Wake the Dead at 9 p.m. at Ashkenaz. Cost is $13-$15. 525-5054. www.ashkenaz.com 

Lua at 8 p.m. at Caffe Trieste, 2500 San Pablo Ave. 548-5198.  

Anna Maria Flechero, singer-songwriter, at 8 p.m. at Maxwell’s 341 13th St., Oakland. 839-6169. www.maxwellslounge.com 

Lee Waterman Trio at 9 p.m. at Downtown. 649-3810.  

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

Tom Freund at 9:30 p.m. at The Starry Plough. Cost is $8. 841-2082. www.starryploughpub.com 

Akimbo, Lords, Ass End Offend, Paint Out the Light, at 8 p.m. at 924 Gilman St. Cost is $6. 525-9926. 

London Street and Baby James at 10 p.m. at Shattuck Down Low, 2284 Shattuck Ave. Cost is $5. 548-1159.  

Bitches Brew at 8 p.m. at Jupiter. 848-8277. 

Kenny Burrell Quintet at 8 and 10 p.m., through Sun. at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square. Cost is $14-$20. 238-9200. www.yoshis.com 


Library Dispenses Tools and Home-Repair Advice By PHILA ROGERS Special to the Planet

Friday August 19, 2005

On a recent Wednesday morning at 11:45, two pickup trucks and a station wagon had already pulled into the drive in front of the Berkeley Tool Lending Library at the corner of Russell and Martin Luther King Way. 

Adam Broner, who maintains the library, and Bud Burleson, a retired city electrician who is filling in that day, wheeled out several containers holding an assortment of shovels, posthole diggers and other garden tools. On the wall Burleson hung the pole saws and below them he arranged several aluminum step ladders. 

When Broner opened the two doors to the library, another busy day began. Some patrons came in returning tools, others were checking them out. Broner checked library cards and IDs while answering the phone that never seemed to stop ringing. Burleson tried to find a minute to attend to the ongoing job of sharpening a few tools. 

Even though folks are often lined up several deep, Broner, who has been working at the tool library for 14 years, manages to be full of good humor and ready to dispense advice. 

“This time of year, our garden tools are most in demand. In fact, I’m going to order some new weed eaters. We just can’t keep up with the demand,” he said.  

But garden tools make up a small part of the inventory. There’s a big assortment of carpentry and woodworking tools, just about everything you might need for a concrete or masonry project, equipment to lay a floor, put up a wall, and even equipment for electrical work or solving a plumbing and drainage problem.  

Broner said that over 5,000 tools go out each month. “Once I figured that added up to 2.37 tools per patron,” he said, laughing. 

Charlie Bowen, with the Berkeley Path Wanderers group, does her share to increase that average. If it’s late in the week, you might run into her loading up the trunk of her car with as many as 10 garden tools—the borrowing limit. The tools will be handed out to the volunteers who work together most weekends in the arduous—but satisfying—task of carving out usable pathways on the unimproved public pathways that link streets in the Berkeley hills. 

Broner has help to meet all these diverse needs. He works with several other tool library employees: Angel Entes, a cabinet maker, Robert Young and Jason Armstrong. 

“Together we add up to just over two full time employees,” he said. 

The tool lending library has come a long way since 1979 when it was started by Pete McElligott in a trailer. He worked by himself for 10 years, originally operating under a federal grant. Now the library has expanded into its permanent building and is funded by property taxes like the rest of the library system. 

The place is not just about tools. The shelves to the right when you come in are stacked with copies of Fine Homebuilding magazine and another shelf of binders contain information on other subjects. If you can’t find what you want there Broner can direct you to publications available at the South Branch Library a few steps away. 

The tool lending library itself is open five days a weeks: Saturday and Tuesday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday noon to 7:30 p.m., Friday afternoon from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Along with a Berkeley Public Library card and a photo ID, you’ll need some kind of proof that you’re a Berkeley resident (a recent utility bill will do). Depending on the tool, tools are loaned for either three or seven days.  

Unlike the more muted atmosphere in the branch library next door, the tool lending library is always bustling and sometimes noisy. Patrons swap stories, and advice is passed back and forth. “What’s the best way to unplug the toilet fast?” 

Broner can probably best be described as having a full plate. In addition to the 25 hours a week he spends at the lending library, he is also the preparer for the Berkeley Art Center at Live Oak Park and is presently hanging a new exhibit. In his “spare time” he is building a sound studio for some local musicians. 

Through a long-time patron, Gil Ferrey, Broner heard about the Berkeley Rotary project helping to build a public library in Chacala, a fishing village on the west coast of Mexico. Broner volunteered his time to set up a tool library, beginning with tools mostly donated by the local Rotarians. 

“Once I was back in the Bay Area, I thought often about their tool library, wondering how it was doing,” Broner said. “When I returned the next spring the number of tools had almost doubled, and a young guy who was apprenticing to become an auto mechanic had volunteered to keep the tools in good repair.”  

When the Friends of the Berkeley Public Library (a group of dedicated volunteers who raise funds for library with their two bookstores) got wind of the project, they helped fund his trip to Mexico. 


Phila Rogers is a Friends of the Berkeley Library board member. 






Berkeley This Week

Friday August 19, 2005


Conscientious Projector Film Series “The Future of Food” at 7 p.m. at Fellowship Hall, Cedar and Bonita. Discussion to follow with Prof. Ignacio Chapela. 528-5403. 

Arts and Crafts Cooperative, Inc. Seconds Sale from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Aug. 21 at 1652 Shattuck Ave. 843-2527. 

Berkeley Chess Club at 8 p.m. at the East Bay Chess Club, 1940 Virginia St. Players at all levels are welcome. 845-1041. 

Women in Black Vigil noon to 1 p.m. at UC Berkeley, Bancroft at Telegraph. 548-6310. 

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. 655-6169. www.bpf.org 


Berkeley Alliance of Neighborhood Associations meets at 9:30 a.m. in the Sproul Conference Room, St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Ave. www.berkeleycna.org 

Berkeley Path Wanderers in Joaquin Miller Park, where Joaquin Miller, “Poet of the Sierras,” lived from 1886 to 1913, planting today’s redwood groves and building fanciful monuments. Meet at 10 a.m. at the ranger station. From Rt. 13, take Joaquin Miller Rd. uphill 1 mi to Sanford; go left (north) to the Ranger Station. Bring water and snack for this moderate hike. 549-2908. www.berkeleypaths.org 

Introduction to Bio-intensive Gardening We will discuss and give hands-on demonstrations of garden design and planning, hand cultivation of vegetable, flower and fruit garden beds, home composting and soil management, seedling propagation and transplanting, and more. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Grandma Mary’s Organic Farm near the El Cerrito Plaza Bart station. Bring a bag lunch and cup for refreshments. Cost is $60. 707-367-2567. plant_veggies@yahoo.com 

Chabot Space and Science Center Anniversary with festivities from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sat. and to 4 p.m. on Sun. 336-7300. www.chabotspace.org 

Walking Tour of Old Oakland “New Era/New Politics” highlights African-American leaders who have made their mark on Oakland. Meet at 10 a.m. at the African American Museum and Library at 659 14th St. 238-3234. www.oaklandnet.com/walkingtours  

Richmond Seedlings and “Weedlings” Join a fun group of volunteers to transplant seedlings in our native plant nursery, and pull a few “weedlings” to help with the restoration of West Stege Marsh. From 9 a.m. to noon. Pre-registration required; youth under 18 will need a waiver signed by their parent or guardian. Sponsored by the Watershed Project. 665-3645. www.thewatershedproject.org 

Kid’s Garden Club for ages 7-12 to explore the world of gardening, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Tilden Nature Area, Tilden Park. Cost is $5-$7, registration required. 525-2233. 

“The Global Backyard: Nature, Fire Safety and Green Materials” a slide show and talk with Robin Freeman, Chair of the Merritt College Environmental Program, at 4:30 p.m. at Rabbitears, 303 Arlington Ave. $20 suggested donation. 525-6155. 

Brooks Island Voyage Paddle the rising tide across the Richmond Harbor Channel to Brooks Island. For experienced boaters who can provide their own canoe or kayak, and safety gear. For ages 14 and up. Cost is $20-$23. 636-1684. 

Salem Lutheran Home Summer Festival with live entertainment, BBQ, handmade quilt show and sales, baked goods and more. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 2361 East 29th St., Oakland. Benefits dementia programs. 434-2811. 

Berkeley Cybersalon with Dave Winer, author of Scripting News, inventor of RSS, progenitor of podcasting, and host of the OPML Roadshow, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar St. Dinner is from 8:30 to whenever. Cost for dinner is $20.  

Garage Sale to benefit the Northbrae Community Church, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 941 The Alameda. Items include furniture, kitchenware, china, toys, car seats, children’s clothes, electronics, and many, many books. 526-3805.  

“What Girls Should Know About Puberty” with Mary Arnold, women’s health nurse practitioner, for girls ages 8-14 accompanied by an adult, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hall of Health, 2230 Shattuck, lower level. Cost is $50 per child. Registration required. 595-3814. 

Historical and Botanical Tour of Chapel of the Chimes, a Julia Morgan landmark, at 10 a.m. at 4499 Piedmont Ave. at Pleasant Valley. Reservations required 228-3207. 

Oakland Outdoor Cinema “Some Like it Hot” at 8 p.m. on Washington St. between 9th and 10th Sts. Limited seating, bring chairs and blankets. 238-4734. www.filmoakland.com 

Free Garden Tours at Regional Parks Botanic Garden Sat. and Sun. at 2 pm. Regional Parks Botanic Garden, Tilden Park. Call to confirm. 841-8732. www.nativeplants.org 

“Heal Your Back, Straighten Your Spine” with Jay Bunker, chiropractor, at 3 p.m. at Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, 1744 Solano Ave. 527-8929. 

Free Help with Computers at the El Cerrito Library to learn about email, searching the web, the library’s online databases, or basic word processing. Workshops held on Sat. a.m. at 6510 Stockton Ave., El Cerrito. Registration required. 526-7512.  


Guided Trails Challenge Hike at Point Pinole from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to discover this area’s explosive and peaceful past. For information call 525-2233. 

Bay Trail Exploration A nine-mile afternoon stroll from downtown Oakland to the Coliseum to see wetlands, waterfronts and community art, from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Sponsored by the Greenbelt Alliance. For information call 415-543-6771, ext. 321. www.greeneblt.org 

Ducksan Distones, a 12+ piece jazz assortment, featuring Donald “Duck” Bailey, perform bright new originals & vocal standards, served with delicious home style BBQ. From 4 to 8 p.m. at Rooster's Roadside, 1700 Clement Avenue, Alameda. Cost is $12 adults, $10 children. 337-9190. 

Honoring Father Bill O’Donnell with guest speaker Dolores Huerta at 1:30 p.m. at St. Joseph the Worker Church, 1640 Addison St. Sponsored by Berkeley Organizing Congregations for Action. 658-2467. www.berkeleyboca.org 

Social Action Forum with Virginia Handley, a lobbyist for animals, at 9:30 a.m. at Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, 1 Lawson Rd., Kensington. 525-0302, ext. 306. 

Tibetan Lama and Filmmaker Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche will speak at 7 p.m. at the Malonga Center, 1428 Alice St., Oakland. Benefits New Dharma Meditation Center and UrbanPEACE. Tickets are $20. 547-3733. www.newdharma.com  

Music in the Park at Arroyo Viejo Park with Midnight Star at 3 p.m. at 7701 Krause St., Oakland. Sponsored by Councilperson Desley Brooks. 

Hands-on Bike Maintenance Learn how to do a bicycle safety inspection at 10 a.m. at REI, 1338 San Pablo Ave. Bring your bike and tools. 527-4140. 

Bike Tour of Oakland A leisurely-paced tour covering the history of Oakland. Meet at 10 a.m. at the 10th St. entrance of the Oakland Museum of California. Registration required, 238-3514. 

“Hip Science: The Human Body 101 Live” musical theater combining rap, hip hop and science at 3 p.m. at the Malonga Casquelord Center for the Arts, 1428 Alice St. Tickets are $7-$10. 655-8078. www.hiplearning.com 

Wolfin’ Down Books, a summer reading program finale celebration for children and families from noon to 4 p.m. at the Oakland Museum of California. Cost is $5-$8. 238-2200. www.museumca.org 

Lake Merritt Neighbors Organized for Peace Peace walk around the lake every Sun. Meet at 3 p.m. at the colonnade at the NE end of the lake. 763-8712. lmno4p.org 


Sufi Teaching and Zikr presented by M.T.O.Shahmaghsoudi at 7 p.m. at the M.T.O. Center, 2855 Telegraph Ave., Suite 101. RSVP to 704-1888. 

Stress Less with Hypnosis A free seminar at 6:30 p.m. in Oakland. Registration required. 465-2524. 

Berkeley CopWatch organizational meeting at 8 p.m. at 2022 Blake St. 548-0425. 


Tilden Tots Join a nature adventure program for 3 and 4 year olds, each accompanied by an adult (grandparents welcome)! We’ll look for our reptile friends from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Cost is $6-$8. Registration required. 636-1684. 

Groundbreaking Ceremony of West Street Right of Way Improvements Project for Bikeway and Pedestrian Path between University and Delaware at 2 p.m. in Berkeley Way Mini Park, 1294 Berkeley Way. 981-6396, 981-7534.  

Tuesday Tilden Walkers Join a few slowpoke seniors at 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot near the Little Farm for an hour or two walk. 215-7672, 524-9992. 

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

Tai Chi for Health and Long Life from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Elephant Pharmacy, 1607 Shattuck Ave. 549-9200. www.elephantpharmacy.com 

Healthy Eating Habits and Hypnosis A free seminar at 6:30 p.m. in Oakland. Registration required. 465-2524. 

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


Tilden Tots Join a nature adventure program for 3 and 4 year olds, each accompanied by an adult. We’ll look for our reptile friends from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Cost is $6-$8. Registration required. 636-1684. 

“Aggression in Dogs: Safety Solutions for You and Your Pets” Learn how to prevent dog agression in your home, and how to avoid it in the community. From 7 to 9 p.m. at the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society, 2700 Ninth St. 845-7735. www.berkeleyhumane.org 

Bus Riders Meeting on Van Hool Buses with Jim Gleich, Assist. GM of AC Transit, at 7 p.m. at Shattuck Senior Homes, 2425 Shattuck Ave. All welcome. 655-7508. 

Walking Tour of Old Oakland around the restored 1870s business district. Meet at 10 a.m. in front of G.B. Ratto’s at 827 Washington St. Tour lasts 90 minutes. Reservations can be made by calling 238-3234. 

“Breema: The Art of Bring Present” With Angela Porter at 4:30 p.m. at Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, 1744 Solano Ave. 527-8929. 

The Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club provides free instruction every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at 2270 Action St. 841-2174.  

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

Sing your Way Home A free sing-a-long at 4:30 p.m. every Wed. at the Albany Library, 1247 Marin Ave. 526-3720. 

Fresh Produce Stand at San Pablo Park from 3 to 6:30 p.m. in the Frances Albrier Community Center. Sponsored by the Ecology Center’s Farm Fresh Choice. 848-1704. www.ecologycenter.org 

Stitch ‘n Bitch Bring your knitting, crocheting and other handcrafts from 6 to 9 p.m. at Caffe Trieste, 2500 San Pablo Ave. 548-5198. 

Kundalini Yoga for All Ages at 2:30 p.m. at Elephant Pharmacy, 1607 Shattuck Ave. 549-9200. www.elephantpharmacy.com 

Berkeley Peace Walk and Vigil at 6:30 p.m. at Berkeley BART station followed by Peace Walk at 7 p.m. www.geocities.com/ 



85th Anniversary of the Passage of the 19th Amendment Community Luncheon with Professor Cynthia Gorney, Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at UCB at 11:30 a.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel, Berkeley Marina. Tickets $65. Sponsored by the League of Women Voters. 843-8824. http://lwvbae.org  

“Sierra Birds: A Hiker’s Guide” a lecture and slide show with John Muir Laws at 7 p.m. at the Ecology Center, 2530 San Pablo Ave. 548-2220. 

Easy Does It Disability Assistance Board of Directors Meeting at 6:30 p.m. at 1744A University Ave., behind the Lutheran Church between Grant and McGee. Meetings are fully accessible and open to the public. 845-5513. 

Activism Series on 9/11 truths and strategies for social change at 7 p.m. at Fellowship Hall, Cedar and Bonita. 528-5403. 

Protest Rally at Berkeley Honda every Thurs. at 4:30 p.m. and Sat. at 1 p.m.  

World of Plants Tours Thurs., Sat. and Sun. at 1:30 p.m. at the UC Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Drive. Cost is $5. 643-2755. http://botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu›



Editorial Welcome Back, From The Daily Planet By BECKY O'MALLEY

Tuesday August 23, 2005

Today’s paper contains the first of two “Back-to-Berkeley” pullout magazine sections. Students are arriving this week at the University of California, some coming back and some for the first time. Many new non-students also arrive at the beginning of each semester: faculty, staff, significant others, kids. Whoever you are, and wherever you came from, welcome. You’ll find a lot to read in the Planet. 

The Berkeley Daily Planet, for those of you who are reading the paper for the first time, is oddly named, for historic reasons. The name itself was originally a tribute to Superman’s hometown paper, but this year’s freshman class might not even know who Superman was. Also, we’re not exactly a daily. The paper comes out on Tuesdays (weekday edition) and Fridays (weekend edition). It is distributed every day in high-traffic locations, but not published daily. And, when we say that we’re the paper for Berkeley, we don’t just mean the 100,000-plus population of the City of Berkeley. We’re talking about Greater Berkeley: people who live in Berkeley, but also people who work in Berkeley, shop in Berkeley, go to school in Berkeley, or even just wish that they lived, worked or shopped in Berkeley. We’re read all over the world on the Internet, and we have at least one mail-order subscriber in Indiana. We believe that Berkeley is a state of mind which has expansive boundaries. 

Our East Bay coverage has extended through Albany and El Cerrito, as far north as Richmond, over to Alameda and south through Oakland to the San Leandro border. If something big is happening near you, tell the Planet about it and we’ll try to report on it. We even do occasional pieces about events and places worth traveling for: west across the bay or to other parts of northern California. Our calendar pages focus on close-by events, in greater detail and with more variety than you’ll find in metro daily entertainment pages.  

Our opinion pages are lively and unique. This year we won two first prizes in the statewide California Newspaper Publishers Association, both for our editorial pages and for our editorial cartoons (as well as four more prizes in other categories.) We are holdouts against prevailing beliefs in corporate metro dailies about what opinion pages should be. Our letters are more than just snappy soundbytes, although we get our share of those too. The longer commentaries are almost all written by local people, not by the syndicated op-ed professionals who dominate the opinion pages of many papers these days. There are big fights on our opinion pages, and even readers who don’t participate enjoy watching the byplay. Greater Berkeley people are literate, perhaps excessively so, and they put on a good show. (We don’t have a sports section as such, but watching the opinion writers go at it is a good substitute.)  

We’re independent and locally owned, not part of any corporate chain like the other papers which are distributed around here. You can find the paper free in boxes and cafes all over town, with occasional teaser deliveries in selected neighborhoods to induce readers to pick it up when they see it. We’re supported financially by our loyal advertisers, so we encourage you to patronize them, and when you do, tell them you found them in the Daily Planet.  





Editorial: After the First Death By BECKY O'MALLEY

Friday August 19, 2005

As I blew out my candle and walked away from the vigil in front of the French Hotel last night, I told the friends who were with me that this is as close as many of us in Berkeley ever get to church. Demonstrations like this are the most inclusive of our indigenous religious institutions, with all the elements which contribute to a soul-satisfying religious experience. Congregants from my generation spontaneously sang our oldest hymns--“We shall overcome…we shall not be moved….ain’t gonna study war no more”—memorabilia of our successful struggles to end segregation and stop the war in Vietnam.  

We had elders there, the white-haired, fragile but still fiery old commies, and babies like the dimpled smiling grandson of a MoveOn founder. I even wore a holy relic: one of departed trooper Norine Smith’s brilliantly-colored scarves, given to mourners at the wake following her memorial. 

“It won’t make any difference” said my friend the red diaper baby, “but I had to come anyway.” When I first met her, she was flirting with Reaganism (she’ll deny it now) as a reaction to a difficult childhood in the bosom of The Party. But she still believes in hoping. “We should be going to Martinez or somewhere that they don’t know about this,” she said, but Thursday’s dailie s carried stories about vigils in Pleasant Hill and other improbable outposts.  

Those of who periodically attend services like this share a deep-down lingering faith in the perfectibility of the human species. We talk like cynics, but we’re bluffing. Soo ner or later, we think, they’re going to see the light. We marched against the first Gulf war, we marched against the second Gulf war, and it didn’t do any good, so many of us have skipped the last few attempts at big marches. But in Cindy Sheehan we’ve f ound a new Joan of Arc to lead us in battle against the forces of darkness.  

The parents among us are especially moved by her tragedy, a mother’s loss of a child for a cause she cannot even support. It’s not just that we agree with her that it’s a sensel ess war. It’s not about ideology, particularly when most Americans, even some Republicans, now know that Bush’s excuses for going into Iraq were completely manufactured.  

We join vigils to support Cindy Sheehan because we understand her pain as if it were our own. Pundits have been saying that opposition to this folly would be stronger if the television news shows carried pictures of flag-draped coffins, as they did during the Vietnam war, or will be greater when the body count rises. But Cindy Sheehan’s manifest grief over her son’s death illustrates what Dylan Thomas said about the death of another child: “After the first death, there is no other.” We don’t need to hear from more mothers of dead children to know what we have to do. 

The mothers of the living are starting to cry out as well. We received this letter on Wednesday from Evelyn Hannett of Christiansburg, VA: 


I too have a son in Iraq and am worried every single minute of my waking day that my son will be another casualty like Casey Sheehan. Doesn’t the president even care what this is doing to the families here in his own country just waiting for that day when they find out their precious loved one has been killed in a senseless war ? Is he going to be able to financially take care of the single mother that can no longer work because she can’t cope with holding down a job because she is crying all the time ?  

These men and women that are in Iraq have good jobs, are a asset to society and have families that love them deeply. If the Preside nt wants to “fix” a country he just needs to look in his own back yard. We have people starving, homeless people, people that are sick and can’t afford medicine. We have the single mother raising children making $6 per hour. Some of that money that is bei ng spent in Iraq could be spent on “Our Country.”  

President Bush obviously does doesn’t care for the people in his own country or he would have our troops home and safe. Let other countries handle their own affairs, who died and appointed President Bush ruler of the world ? 

What does it have to take to make President Bush wake up and bring our troops home ?  

If anything happens to my son and he does not make it home alive, I am holding President Bush responsible. He needs to send his own daughters over there and then see how he feels about this senseless war.  

Thank you for your time.  


Thank you for taking the time to write to us, Ms. Hannett, and for your courage in saying what many other parents would like to say. We’d like you to know that many of us here do still believe, as our old song says, that we will overcome someday. We’ve won some big battles, and we will win this one if we persevere. We didn’t end racism, but we did stop segregation. We didn’t end war for all time, but we did end one war in our time. We’ll do our best to help you get your son home alive from this one.  





Back to Berkeley: Want to Impress Your Parents? Try These... By JOE EATON and RON SULLIVANSpecial to the Planet

Tuesday August 23, 2005

After the ritual stop at the Lawrence Hall of Science parking lot for the view of the bay, you might want to show your parents around your new home.  

If you’re a Goth and want to give them a dose, you know where to find others of your kind. But don’t mi ss The Bone Room for atmospherics and jewelry (1569 Solano Ave., 526-5252), or the East Bay Vivarium for lovely snakes, lizards, and arachnids (1827-C Fifth St., 841-1400). 

Mom’s a gardener? Take her to Mrs. Dalloway’s, a unique independent bookshop in t he Elmwood neighborhood (2904 College Ave., 704-8222). Dedicated to the literary and garden arts, the store has a thoughtful selection of books and periodicals, live plants and containers. It’s only one of our many alternatives to Barnes and Noble and Bor ders; others include Cody’s (stores on Telegraph Avenue and Fourth Street), Moe’s, Black Oak, Pegasus (stores on Shattuck and Solano avenues), Pendragon, Half Price Books (moving from Solano to Shattuck), and for genrephiles, Dark Carnival and Other Chang e of Hobbit. 

If it’s the first Sunday of the month and the weather’s decent, give them a megadose of yesterday and the surreal for a mere $5 each at the Alameda Antiques Fair on the former Naval Air Station (follow Pacific Avenue; 522-7500). There’s no s hade, but there is chow, and you can listen to the folks exclaiming, “My mother has a pair of those!” or even, “I used to have that game!” 

If they brought the dog along, they’ll all love the scene at Berkeley’s Cesar Chavez Park or Richmond’s Point Isabe l Regional Shoreline, where they can mingle with Catahoula hounds, komondors, and other canine curiosities. At Point Isabel, dogs that have gotten into the Bay can be hosed off at Mudpuppy’s Tub & Scrub. 

For out-of-staters, the Oakland Museum of Californ ia provides a painless introduction to the state’s ecology, history, and art (100 Oak St., 238-2200). Check out the 1940’s kitchen and the beat and hippie exhibits. 

Food and drink? There’s a wealth of options. For cocktails by the bay, try Hs Lordships a t the Berkeley Marina (199 Seawall Drive, 843-2733). Unlike many popular bars, you can actually have a conversation there. And for Hong Kong-style dim sum with a view, you can’t beat Emeryville’s East Ocean (3199 Powell St., 655-3388). For tiki and pupu a ficionados, Emeryville also has the legendary Trader Vic’s (9 Anchor Drive, 653-4300). 

Eating your way down Solano Avenue can be a rewarding experience. Start with Ajanta (1888 Solano Ave., 526-4373 ) for some of the Bay Area’s best Indian food; other choices include Japanese, Thai, Nepalese, several kinds of Chinese and Mediterranean. 

Fourth Street, the Anti-Telegraph Avenue, has splendid Mexican food, mostly small plates, at Tacubaya (525-5160) and breakfast fare at Bette’s Oceanview Diner (972-6879). Everyone knows about North Shattuck’s Gourmet Ghetto, but downtown Shattuck offers microbrews at Jupiter (2181 Shattuck Ave., 843-8277), rustic French at La Note (2377 Shattuck Ave., 843-1535), and kosher vegetarian Italian at Raphael Bar Ristorante (2132 Center St., 644-9500). College Avenue has memorable Italian food, with Trattoria La Siciliana (2993 College Ave., 704-1474) and Locanda Olmo (2895 College Ave., 848-5544). 

If your parents are more the meat-and-potatoes or fish-and-fries type, The Dead Fish is worth the drive to Crockett: crab and prime rib, white-tablecloth nautical decor, and a view of the Carquinez Straits (20050 San Pablo Ave., 787-3323). 

And then there’s Fatapple’s classic burgers and pies (1346 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, 526-226 0), and for weekend brunch, the scones, cornmeal pancakes, and oyster po’-boys at Meal Ticket (1235 San Pablo Ave., Albany, 526-6325). 

In Emeryville, try Lois the Pie Queen (851 60th St. just off MLK, 658-1516) for downhome cooking; Lois has passed on, b ut her son keeps the culinary tradition going. 

Back to Berkeley: By Land, Sea or Air — Pleasures Await at the Berkeley Marina By MARTA YAMAMOTO Special to the Planet

Tuesday August 23, 2005

Approaching the Berkeley Marina along University Avenue one is greeted by multicolored flags moving enthusiastically in the wind. They’re waving you forward, eager for you to join in. Each color—teal, goldenrod, lime and forest green, tangerine, violet—represents different choices awaiting you. 

Great cities have great resources. The Berkeley Marina’s resources can be used in different ways depending on your interest and level of activity. Enjoy walking, cycling, boating, fishing, kite flying, and bird watching or just sitting and soaking up the scenery. A renewable resource, one visit won’t use it up. Just one short mile from city center, you’ll return often. 

A get-acquainted walking tour along a wide, paved path lining the bay and marina points out “places of interest.” Recently I followed this tour, catching up on old friends and making new ones. 

Beginning at the southeast corner of the Marina, I admired the attractive landscaping of lawns, strands of pines and large ceanothus shrubs while gazing across the water toward Emeryville. Benches invited me to sit-a–spell watching the sunlight dance on the water.  

For anyone interested in sailing or windsurfing, the Cal Sailing Club is worth a visit. This non-profit cooperative has been around for 60 years providing lessons, equipment rentals, cruises and races. Free rides are offered at open houses held twice a month. 

Leaving the sound of wind-ruffled sails I next heard a concerto of hammering accented by excited voices and the zing of a zip-line. I’d reached the entrance to Shorebird Park and Adventure Playground where kids bring imagination into reality using recycled materials, nails and paint to construct forts, boats, towers or whatever they fancy. Opened in 1979, this playground has long been a favorite among kids and their parents. Encouraging skills not often called upon, what children gain is far greater than their enjoyment. Sadly, my age greatly surpassed the Playground’s 26 years of adventure, so I continued into Shorebird Park. 

A wood-frame play structure, giant concrete pipe and swings continue the theme while expansive lawns and benches appeal to the less active. Picnic tables with grills border a sheltered cove and rocky beach. Gentle breezes, warm sun and the sound of birds evoke a sense of peace and timelessness. Here one can escape alone or with friends for an hour or a day. Just keep an eye out for the explosion of gray ground squirrels. Signs warning against feeding them appear to be too late. 

Opposite the beach stands the Nature Center in the Straw Bale building. Attended by students from all parts of the Bay Area, the center’s goal is to educate about the ecology of the bay, watershed and estuary. Using salt-water aquariums, touch tables, hands-on stations and outdoor activities, children visit with their school or sign up for afternoon classes.  

If you’re hoping to get involved with your community, two programs sponsored by the Nature Center welcome your participation. The Bay Clean Up on Sept. 17 draws concerned citizens of all ages for a three-hour shoreline “fall-cleaning” Day. It requires a longer commitment but offers greater rewards. This docent-training program will fulfill your lifelong dream to emulate Jacques Cousteau; you’ll spend time among the rocks and docks with fellow enthusiasts, learn about marine biology and share this knowledge with the young. 

The Straw Bale Building is an attraction in itself, drawing design students, builders and home remodelers interested in sustainable architecture. This handsome building of gray stucco trimmed in teal is entirely constructed of recycled or salvaged materials: straw bales of rice by-products, natural linoleum, recycled glass windowsills and seats and cellulose insulation. Interpretive panels describe the building process and a brochure lists all products used and their suppliers. Create a family project by constructing Adventure Playground designs using “green” materials.  

Heading west along the path I felt and heard the breeze intensify, more so when I reached the bay’s edge at Seawall Drive. White caps provided visual evidence of a wind strong enough to clear away cobwebs crowding my head. This area is often enjoyed within the comfort of an automobile; many come to read, nap or just enjoy the view. From here it’s possible to see the two generations of the Berkeley Pier, where the new pier ends, the remains of the old, burned pier continue out onto the bay. 

At the entrance to the pier you can stop for a tasty hot dog or hot link from Eat and Run or take a photo of Frederick Fierstein’s Guardian, a mysterious sculpture that appeared in 1985, protecting the life spirit. Strolling to the end of the pier requires an investment of 3,000 feet, a salt-tinged walk on water. I passed a dad and his two kids with lines out for ocean perch and traps out for crab, not a bad way to spend the day, even when the fish aren’t running.  

Directly ahead lay Alcatraz Island and beyond a hovering fog bank, the Bay Area’s personal air conditioner, keeping us cool as inlanders swelter in the heat. 

Back on Seawall, I headed north toward the Berkeley Yacht Club, looking out at the protective breakwater and then did a u-turn into the 52-acre marina. Boats of all sizes with bright marine-blue sail coverings and sentinel masts filled the 975 berths. Dreams of adventurous or romantic cruises come easily gazing across these beautiful craft. Grounds landscaped with lawns, agapanthus and pines, regularly placed benches and a horseshoe park add to this area’s appeal, as does the whimsically painted sculpture, Calliope, by Joseph Slusky.  

Across from the Marina Office I entered the Marina Deli. More than hot dogs and chips await you here. Stocked with fishing lures, line, fishing weights, and of course, live bait. Fancy some pile worms, anchovies or grass shrimp? Home to the Berkeley Marine Sport Center, you can sign up here to cruise the bay or out to the Farallon Islands on the new Easy Rider or El Dorado fishing for salmon, rock cod or albacore tuna, as well as hear the latest fishing report. 

Following the marina east I reached Marina Blvd. then followed rows of berths accommodating an interesting variety of live-on boats to Spinnaker Way and Cesar Chavez Park. 

Loved by both dog-walkers and kite flyers, ninety-acres of former landfill now offer large multi-use turf, wetland and shoreline areas. Fido can run off-leash in the seventeen-acre center section or accompany you on-leash along the 1.25-mile Dorothy Stegman perimeter trail where you’ll pass picnic areas and an undeveloped wildlife sanctuary frequented by bird watchers. 

As kites fluttered overhead, I watched families on the leeward side of the bluff picnicking while holding onto their kite strings. Here the winds reach maximum strength explaining why this is the site of the annual Kite Festival. I feasted on the San Francisco skyline, the Marin hills, Angel Island and the three bay bridges, an incredible panorama before me.  

Views worth millions of dollars, personal benefits priceless, cost to be here, zero. Whether you tack your sail into the wind, watch gulls wheel above fishing boats, smell burgers on the grill, or just claim a bench—the Berkeley Marina has a spot with your name on it.  



Berkeley Marina 

201 University Ave., 981-6740. www.cityofberkeley.info/marina. 


Adventure Playground 

Open 11-4 p.m. Sat. and Sun., free drop in. 


Straw Bale Nature Center Open Tues.-Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., 981-7620. 


Cal Sailing Club 



Berkeley Marina Sport Center 849-2727, www.sfbayfishing.com. 


The best way to get to the Berkeley Marina from campus using AC Transit is to take the 51 bus from the south side of campus, or the 52L bus from the north side, or either one from the intersection of Shattuck and University avenues. Ride west on University Avenue until Sixth Street. Transfer to the 9 bus at Sixth Street to ride over the highway to the marina.?