News

BUSD Fiscal Crisis Improving, But Not Over By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Tuesday September 06, 2005

In its final six-month progress report on the Berkeley Unified School District, the Fiscal Crisis Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) praises the district for making what it called “good progress” in its operational areas, but says that the district “still faces significant fiscal challenges” and cautions that BUSD “will need to remain vigilant to avoid fiscal insolvency.” -more-


UC Halts Field Station Talks; Radioactivity Fears Raised By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday September 06, 2005

UC Berkeley has called a halt to talks with a Marin County developer whom they had selected as a potential developer of a corporate/industrial research park at their Richmond Field Station. -more-


Exhibit Explores African-American Improvisational Quilts By BECKY O’MALLEY

Tuesday September 06, 2005

Different cultures and historic eras have had various approaches to imitation, originality and improvisation in art forms. -more-


Berkeley School Board to Consider Facilities Plan, Test Results, Recruiters By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Tuesday September 06, 2005

The Berkeley School Board will review the final Fiscal Crisis Management Assistance Team report and the district’s facilities plan update when the board meets this Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., at Old City Hall at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. -more-


Doing Well by Doing Good With Campaign Software By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday September 06, 2005

Henri Poole and his colleagues have formed a smoothly functioning creative community even though none of the collaborators has ever met all the others. -more-


ZAB Hearing Thursday on David Brower Center By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday September 06, 2005

The David Brower Center complex is the biggest thing on the agenda when the Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board meets Thursday. -more-


News Analysis: How 9/11 Destroyed New Orleans By KRISTIN BALDWIN SEEMAN Special to the Planet

Tuesday September 06, 2005

I happened to be present in Khao-I-Dang Camp, on the Thai/Cambodia border, the day it opened to refugees from Pol Pot’s terror: Thanksgiving Day, 1979. It was an empty field on that day, with tired figures who had been trudging through mine fields arriving with all their belongings in bundles on their heads, to line up to receive inoculations and malaria prophylaxis. -more-


Editorial Cartoon By JUSTIN DEFREITAS

Tuesday September 06, 2005

http://www.jfdefreitas.com/index.php?path=/00_Latest%20Work@ -more-


Letters to the Editor

Tuesday September 06, 2005

GUESTS? -more-


Column: A Response to My Critics By SUSAN PARKER

Tuesday September 06, 2005

It’s 6:45 a.m. and Clyiesha’s grandmother has just gotten off work and dropped by to pick her up and prepare her for first grade at Santa Fe Elementary School. She leaves half asleep, clad in her Snoopy Dog pajamas, clutching a Safeway bag filled with dirty clothes in one hand, and a Cowboy Bob doll in the other. Upstairs, LaKisha and baby Kemora are still sleeping. -more-


Column: Can You Hustle and Flow with the Aristocrats? By P.M. Price

Tuesday September 06, 2005

When I went to see Hustle and Flow recently, I knew I was going to see a movie about a pimp approaching middle age who has lingering dreams of making it big, of doing something really important with his life before it’s too late. I also knew that this slice of struggling black life was written by a white guy named Craig Brewer and that the making of this film was the culmination of a hard-fought-for dream of his own. I didn’t know whether or not a pimp could be likable or at least, empathetic and I’m still not certain he can be. -more-


Commentary: Diebold Delivers Untrustworthy Results By RICHARD STEINFELD

Tuesday September 06, 2005

I’m following up on Peter Teichner’s insightful Aug. 16 piece, “How Many Diebolds to Screw Up an Election.” -more-


Commentary: A Corrupt Track Record By KARLA BEAN

Tuesday September 06, 2005

Regardless of the performance of Diebold’s electronic voting machines, we are putting our whole election system in jeopardy by placing it into the hands of private corporations who refuse to allow anyone to analyze the programming code unless they sign a non-disclosure agreement. -more-


Commentary: The Future of the Albany Track: Park? Casino? Housing? By TONY CAINE

Tuesday September 06, 2005

Albany has been hosting a huge urban gambling operation on its waterfront for 60 years, maintaining one of the lowest bay area crime rates while deriving up to 20 percent of its budget from the racetrack. In recent years the track’s usefulness has faltered as patronage and income dropped. Part of our community prefers a park in place of the track and another part is mainly interested in increased income from the site. Some of our politicians seem to think the track will die a quiet death if we just leave things alone. -more-


Arts Calendar

Tuesday September 06, 2005

TUESDAY, SEPT. 6 -more-


Celebrating the Sweet Songs of the Katydids By JOE EATON Special to the Planet

Tuesday September 06, 2005

Even after a quarter-century in California, I still miss lightning bugs—especially in late summer. By some quirk of biogeography, they never made it west of the Rockies. We have a few species of glowworms, with luminescent wingless females and larvae, but no fireflies as such. And I also miss the nocturnal chorus of the katydids: what Sue Hubbell called “the audible essence of a summer night.” -more-


Berkeley This Week

Tuesday September 06, 2005

TUESDAY, SEPT. 6 -more-


Off and Running at Berkeley High By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Friday September 02, 2005

Construction crews were still carting away trash by the forklift near the Donahue Gymnasium and in the newly refurbished Academic Building, many baseboards were still not in place and some of the wall tiles had not been cemented into place. -more-


Citizens File Suit Seeking To Overturn UC-City Pact By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Friday September 02, 2005

A group of Berkeley citizens filed a lawsuit against the City of Berkeley and several city officials in the California Superior Court in Oakland yesterday, asking the court to set aside the city’s settlement agreement with the University of California over UC’s Long Range Development Plan because it “contracted away the City Council’s right to independently exercise its police power in the future.” -more-


Noise Complaints Raise Tensions in South Campus Neighborhood By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Friday September 02, 2005

If, as the poet Robert Frost once wrote with a touch of irony, “good fences makes good neighbors,” the Berkeley corollary is clearly, “loud parties don’t.” -more-


Berkeley Emergency, Medical Workers Rush to Aid Hurricane Katrina Victims By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Friday September 02, 2005

Three firefighters and one healthcare worker from Berkeley have flown to the South to aid in the rescue and care of victims of Hurricane Katrina. -more-


County Will Seek Instant Runoff Voting Machines By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Friday September 02, 2005

Alameda County Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to call for proposals from voting machine vendors who can provide both a verifiable paper trail and the capacity for instant runoff voting (IRV). -more-


Union to Announce Hospital Strike Deadline By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Friday September 02, 2005

Officials of the union representing 8,000 workers at Sutter Health hospitals—including the Alta Bates Summit facilities in Berkeley and Oakland—are holding a press conference this morning (Friday) to announce a strike deadline. -more-


Turmoil In Oakland School for the Arts, Parents Say By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Friday September 02, 2005

An Oakland parent who transferred her ninth-grade daughter from the Oakland School for the Arts to Skyline High School after only one semester says that OSA’s academic program and some of its art programs are in “turmoil,” adding several other parents have pulled their children from the school during the past year. -more-


Editorial Cartoon By JUSTIN DEFREITAS

Friday September 02, 2005

http://www.jfdefreitas.com/index.php?path=/00_Latest%20WorkÉ -more-


Letters to the Editor

Friday September 02, 2005

HOUSING CRISIS -more-


Column: The Public Eye: The Difference Between Getting it Right and Getting it Done By BOB BURNETT

Friday September 02, 2005

A key Silicon Valley rule is that to be successful at developing new products one must focus on getting the job done, rather than on being right. The failure of the Iraq constitutional process brings America to a critical decision-point, where the American public has been presented with only two options, both based on the notion of taking the “right” next step in Iraq. -more-


Column: Undercurrents: Media Reports Muddle Questions on Oakland Shooting By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Friday September 02, 2005

Did someone fire seven shots “at” Oakland police officers following a motorcycle club charity event at the Kaiser Convention Center last Saturday night? Were the motorcycle clubs—composed of mostly black members—in any way connected with the fired shots or the reported “chaos” that surrounded it, including what has been described by police officials as a “massive sideshow” that rolled from the downtown area out into East Oakland? And what were the exact events that led to the fired shots? -more-


Police Blotter By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Friday September 02, 2005

Rape suspect busted -more-


Commentary: Looting New Orleans, and America’s Poverty Crisis By EARL OFARI HUTCHINSON Pacific News Service

Friday September 02, 2005

Two things happened in one day that tell much about the abysmal failure of the Bush administration to get a handle on poverty in America. -more-


Commentary: Seeing Through the Fads of City Planning By JANE POWELL

Friday September 02, 2005

I think that in the beginning, redevelopment was either a good idea or an act of desperation. I believe it was initially spurred by massive disinvestment in inner cities in the East. I have to laugh when I hear redevelopment people in California talking about blight and abandoned buildings; do you know that Baltimore has 40,000 empty buildings? Oakland only has 80,000 buildings altogether. In any case, the good idea or act of desperation, once it was in place, turned out to be not so good. It led to “urban renewal”—the destruction of mostly historic and intact neighborhoods deemed “blighted,” and the removal of the residents. Eventually urban renewal fell from grace and was replaced by new planning fads like: turning your downtown into a pedestrian mall, festival marketplaces, building aquariums, gambling facilities, or the current favorite, downtown baseball stadiums, and of course, “smart growth.” Because you have to understand, planning is subject to fads, and planners like to think big. Politicians like to think big, too, because it gives them big things to point at when they run for reelection. -more-


Commentary: An Urban Myth By GORDON WOZNIAK

Friday September 02, 2005

First, I would like to commend Daily Planet Executive Editor O’Malley for her two editorials welcoming UC Berkeley students back to Berkeley and presenting them with information on the myriad of opportunities to shop and participate in community life. I would also like to take this opportunity to correct a pervasive urban myth that the University of California and non-profits “dominate the majority of square acreage in Berkeley”. -more-


Commentary: Listeners Marched to Support KPFA, Not Staff By MARA RIVERA

Friday September 02, 2005

I was one of those 12,000 or more KPFA supporters Bob Baldock referred to in his Aug. 26 opinion piece, and I have a different take than Mr. Baldock (for whom I have a lot of respect) on both the meaning of that march for KPFA six years ago and of the present situation. We did not march to support the staff, but the station. And we listeners not only won it back, but we won recognition as the guardians of the station, and network, and a role in station and network governance which we hadn’t had before. Now we find some staff blocking us in this role. -more-


Arts: Patsy Krebs’ Show at GTU Explores the Boundaries By PETER SELZSpecial to the Planet

Friday September 02, 2005

One of the most beautiful exhibitions to be seen hereabouts in a long time is currently on view at the library of the Graduate Theological Union on Holy Hill (2400 Ridge Road) in Berkeley, a venue that has mounted fine art exhibitions for over 30 years. -more-


Arts Calendar

Friday September 02, 2005

FRIDAY, SEPT. 2 -more-


Pick a Spot — Any Spot — on the Spectacular Redwood Coast By MARTA YAMAMOTO Special to the Planet

Friday September 02, 2005

Calf-deep in the snappy waters of the Pacific, on a driftwood-tossed beach across the river from the town of Gualala, I gaze at the portrait of raw beauty around me. My weekend escape was to be work-free but a travel article is writing itself in my head. Some places are just too good to keep to oneself. -more-


Berkeley This Week

Friday September 02, 2005

FRIDAY, SEPT. 2 -more-