The Week

Walter Hood describes two of his proposals for Strawberry Creek Plaza as Kirstin Miller (left) of EcoCity Builders, one of the organizations sponsoring the proposals, and Kitty McClain, listen in.
Richard Brenneman
Walter Hood describes two of his proposals for Strawberry Creek Plaza as Kirstin Miller (left) of EcoCity Builders, one of the organizations sponsoring the proposals, and Kitty McClain, listen in.
 

News

Hodge Asks Court to Put Him on Ballot for Oakland Council Race

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday March 21, 2008

Posted Mon., March 24—Oakland School Board member Greg Hodge filed a motion with the Superior Court today (Monday), asking that the court reverse the Oakland City Clerk’s decision to keep him off the June 3 ballot for the District 3 Oakland City Council race. -more-


New Rent Board Member and Acting Housing Director Chosen for Berkeley

By Judith Scherr
Friday March 21, 2008

Posted Sat., March 22—Corinne "Corie" Calfee will fill the seat on the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board left vacant by the resignation of Chris Kavanagh, Jay Kelekian, rent board executive director, said Friday. -more-


West Berkeley Speakers Say Keep Industrial Jobs

By Richard Brenneman
Friday March 21, 2008

Posted Fri., March 21—Workers, residents and small business owners gathered Thursday night to hear planners and labor activists offer evidence and arguments for exercising restraint in making any zoning changes in West Berkeley. -more-


Two Designs Promise Center Street Changes

By Richard Brenneman
Friday March 21, 2008

In the space of two days, UC Berkeley unveiled plans for a provocative new museum on Center Street, and a noted university landscape architect revealed his vision for the Center Street landscape it will face. -more-


Protests Mark War’s Fifth Anniversary

By Judith Scherr
Friday March 21, 2008

Calling for immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq, participants in daylong events in Berkeley marked the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War on Wednesday with protests at the downtown Marine Recruiting Center and a rally in Civic Center Park. -more-


Mayor Speaks Against War at Chamber Lunch

By Judith Scherr
Friday March 21, 2008

Flying in the face of his hosts’ concerns regarding demonstrations at the Marine Recruiting Center, Mayor Tom Bates spoke out about his opposition to the war in Iraq and support for peaceful demonstrations. The speech was delivered Tuesday at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon where the mayor was the featured speaker. -more-


Emeryville, El Cerrito Say No To Apple Moth Spray Plan

By Judith Scherr
Friday March 21, 2008

Berkeley May Sue State of California -more-


Hodge Fails to Qualify for Run Against Nadel for Oakland Council

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday March 21, 2008

One of the most highly anticipated Oakland election battles in years may have been knocked off the ballot when veteran District 3 Oakland School Board member Greg Hodge came up one qualifying signature short to run in the June 3 race for Oakland City Council. -more-


Ten Students Arrested at UC Regents Meeting Protest

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday March 21, 2008

San Francisco police arrested ten UC students who chained themselves to the doors of the UCSF Mission Bay community center Wednesday morning in an attempt to prevent the UC Board of Regents from meeting. -more-


AC Transit Sets Fare Increase Hearing for May 21

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday March 21, 2008

The embattled AC Transit District is considering its fifth fare change in the last 13 years, with a possible increase in adult fares of as much as 25 cents and increases to the youth and senior passes coming as early as this summer. -more-


Progressive Campus Ministry Offers Housing to UC Students

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday March 21, 2008

The city’s Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) unanimously approved last week the demolition of the 83-year-old building housing the Wesley Foundation Student Center on Bancroft Way to construct a four-story mixed-use structure with a religious assembly space, a library, six residential units and group-living space. -more-


Future Uses for BHS Old Gym Discussed

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday March 21, 2008

Friends Protecting Berkeley’s Resources—the local group which sued the Berkeley Unified School District for an inadequate environmental impact report on the demolition of the gymnasium and warm-water pool within its Berkeley High School South of Bancroft Master Plan area—met with school district officials and community members Saturday to discuss the adaptive reuse of the Berkeley High Old Gym and the warm-water pool to settle the lawsuit. -more-


Stadium Lawsuit Arguments Finish

By Richard Brenneman
Friday March 21, 2008

Lawyers for both sides in the legal battle over UC Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium projects got in their last licks in a Hayward courtroom Thursday afternoon. -more-


Alta Bates, Herrick Nurses Stage Walkout

By Richard Brenneman
Friday March 21, 2008

Registered nurses at Berkeley’s Alta Bates Summit and Herrick Hospitals are walking out this morning (Friday) for a 10-day strike against the Sutter hospital chain. -more-


Fire Department Log

By Richard Brenneman
Friday March 21, 2008

New responders -more-


News Analysis: Up 420 Points! Down 293 Points! Up 261 Points! Down...?

By Richard Hylton
Friday March 21, 2008

It’s called the stock market, and that’s what the past few days have been like on Wall Street. Go easy on yourself if you have no idea what is going on and who is responsible for it. Sure, you’ve heard lots of people talking about “market meltdown” and “major banking crisis,” but how did we get to a worldwide financial crisis so quickly? It seems like only yesterday that Berkeley’s 1920s shingle houses were flying off brokers’ shelves for a paltry million each. And sure, a lot of people got mortgages that they couldn’t really afford. But the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression? -more-


Council Sets Key Vote on Downtown Plan

By Richard Brenneman
Friday March 21, 2008

With an economy in partial meltdown and three in five Americans predicting a severe depression of several years’ duration, what can any economic expert predict about the likelihood of new construction in downtown Berkeley? -more-


Alta Bates Registered Nurses Stage Walkout

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday March 18, 2008

Posted Thurs., March 20—Registered nurses at Berkeley’s Alta Bates Summit and Herrick Hospitals are walking out Friday for a 10-day strike against the Sutter hospital chain. -more-


Peaceful Protests in Berkeley Mark Five Years of War

By Judith Scherr
Tuesday March 18, 2008

Posted Thurs., March 20—Calling for immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq, participants in daylong events in Berkeley marked the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War on Wednesday with protests at the downtown Marine Recruiting Center and a rally in Civic Center Park. -more-


UC Students Arrested at Regents Rally

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday March 18, 2008

Posted Wed., March 19—San Francisco police arrested 10 UC students who chained themselves to the doors of the UCSF Mission Bay community center this morning (Wednesday) in an attempt to prevent the UC Board of Regents from meeting. -more-


Mayor Speaks Against War at Chamber Lunch

By Judith Scherr
Tuesday March 18, 2008

Posted Wed., March 19—Flying in the face of his hosts' concerns regarding demonstrations at the Marine Recruiting Center, Mayor Tom Bates spoke out about his opposition to the War in Iraq and support for peaceful demonstrations. The speech was delivered Tuesday at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon where the mayor was the featured speaker. -more-


Greg Hodge Fails to Qualify for Oakland Council Race

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Tuesday March 18, 2008

Posted Wed., March 19—One of the most highly anticipated Oakland election battles in years may have been knocked off the ballot when veteran District 3 Oakland School Board member Greg Hodge came up one signature short of qualifying to run in the June 3 race for the Oakland City Council. -more-


AC Transit Sets Hearing for Fare Increase

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Tuesday March 18, 2008

Posted Tue., March 18—The embattled AC Transit District is considering its fifth fare change in the last 13 years, with a possible increase in adult fares of as much as 25 cents and increases to the youth and senior passes coming as early as this summer. -more-


School District Sends Out 55 Layoff Notices

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday March 18, 2008

Fifty-five teachers and counselors in the Berkeley Unified School District received pink slips over the weekend notifying them of anticipated layoffs in face of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposal to slash state education funds by $4.6 billion. -more-


Thurmond Leads Fundraising In Race for Assembly 14 Seat

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Tuesday March 18, 2008

Candidates in the hotly contested Democratic primary race to succeed Loni Hancock as District 14 Assemblymember are relying upon distinctly different fund-raising strategies, with a Richmond City councilmember dividing his contributions almost evenly between individual and business or labor group donors and Berkeley City Councilmember Kriss Worthington and Berkeley physician Phil Polakoff taking 98 percent of their donations from individuals, but with the majority of Worthington’s donations coming from inside District 14 and the majority of Polakoff’s coming from outside. -more-


Police Review Commission Plans Crowd Control Review

By Judith Scherr
Tuesday March 18, 2008
World War II vet Selwyn Jones, 86, speaks at the hearing on police response to demonstrations. Jones said police pushed him to the ground.

World War II veteran Selwyn Jones, 86, told the Police Review Commission at Thursday’s public hearing on the Berkeley Police Department’s response to recent demonstrations that he’d been pushed to the ground by police during a recent protest at the Marine Recruiting Station. -more-


Tree-Sitter Arrested Upon Descending

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday March 18, 2008
Fresh led away by campus police after ending his tree-sit.

UC Berkeley’s local tree-sitter Michael Schuck—who calls himself Fresh—climbed down from his leafy perch outside Wheeler Hall Friday and was promptly arrested by university police for trespassing. He was issued a citation and released later that day. -more-


Two Code Pink Members Arrested For Trespassing

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday March 18, 2008

Two Code Pink members who entered the Marine Recruiting Center at 64 Shattuck Square Friday and asked its officers to leave were arrested by Berkeley police for trespassing on private property. -more-


Council Considers Questions of Peace and Justice

By Judith Scherr
Tuesday March 18, 2008

The question of how to approach matters of peace and justice took center stage at the March 11 Berkeley City Council meeting. At the meeting the council also looked at a new report on pedestrian safety, asked staff to write a graywater permit process and more. -more-


Peace Notes: Bay Area Marks Iraq War’s Fifth Anniversary

By Judith Scherr
Tuesday March 18, 2008

A number of events were held last weekend leading up to the five-year anniversary of the Iraq War—among them a demonstration at the Richmond Chevron refinery, where two dozen protesters were arrested, a rally in Walnut Creek and a town meeting with Rep. Barbara Lee in Oakland. -more-


Neighbors Nix Plan to Paint John Muir School Blue and Green; BHS Gets International Program

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday March 18, 2008

Objections from the Berkeley Landmarks Commission and the Elmwood-Claremont Neighborhood Association over the Berkeley Unified School District’s proposal to paint John Muir Elementary School blue and green forced the Berkeley Board of Education to reject the proposed colors and stick to its original scheme instead. -more-


Pacific Legal Foundation Appeals BUSD Diversity Ruling

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday March 18, 2008

The Berkeley Unified School District’s student assignment system was once again challenged by Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) Monday when the Sacramento-based right-wing public interest litigation firm appealed an April 2007 court decision which had ruled in favor of the district. -more-


Berkeley Ladies Take Second Place— Again

Tuesday March 18, 2008

Berkeley High Lady Jackets were soundly defeated by Long Beach Poly 55-31 Saturday in the state CIF Basketball Championship Div. I game at Arco Stadium in Sacramento. -more-


Hearings This Week in Stadium, Trader Joe’s Cases

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday March 18, 2008

Court hearings are slated this week in two major Berkeley land disputes, one involving the university and the other the so-called Trader Joe’s building. -more-


Opinion

Editorials

Editorial: Walking the Walk and Talking the Talk on a Spring Day

By Becky O'Malley
Friday March 21, 2008

It’s the vernal equinox again, sometimes called the first day of spring, and it’s the new year for those whose ancestors lived in places which were part of ancient Persia. That’s always seemed to me to be a better time to celebrate the new year than January, often cold and nasty, even better than the lunar new year as observed by many Asians, when the weather can also be dicey. By March 21 or so, no matter where you live in the northern hemisphere, some birds will be courting and some flowers will be blooming. (Of course in New England, where I lived for two miserable years, it has been known to snow again in May, but never mind.) -more-


Editorial: Bubbles Come and Go, But Builders Thrive Regardless

By Becky O'Malley
Tuesday March 18, 2008

On Oxford Street these days a massive pile of concrete and steel is starting to take shape. It’s already impossible to look past it to see the hills above to the east or a slice of ocean to the west. It comes right up to the sidewalk on the corner, leaving no room for a patch of green to refresh pedestrians. When the two buildings on the site are completed to the planned heights, that stretch of Oxford will become a canyon. -more-


Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Friday March 21, 2008

Commentary: A Letter to the Berkeley Community

By William Huyett
Friday March 21, 2008

As your new superintendent I have enjoyed meeting many of you as I have gone to schools and attended events in my first month on the job. Unfortunately, I come to the district in the middle of a state budget crisis caused by insufficient revenue. -more-


Commentary: Food for Bodies And Souls

By Mary Lee Noonan
Friday March 21, 2008

On March 12 my husband and I paid for our dinner at a remarkable place where the dinners are usually free. Every day the St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room serves an average of approximately 1,000 hot meals to people who would otherwise go hungry. That evening its large, sparkling white space was transformed for the celebration of two ongoing accomplishments: 70 years of St. Vincent de Paul’s devoted service in Alameda County and the beginning of their Kitchen of Champions job training program. The tables were set with the royal blue and white of St. Vincent de Paul and decked with yellow rose petals and votive candles. Quietly, without extensive publicity or social flourishes, a profoundly affirmative statement was being made by an extended community that cares deeply about our East Bay cities and is determined to address their problems. -more-


Commentary: How to Help Stem the Tide of Public Education Cuts

By John Selawsky
Friday March 21, 2008

I write from a sense of immediacy, I write from a sense of continued need, and I write from a sense of both frustration and anger. Once again, after a 30-year history of underfunding of our public schools in the state of California, a governor is proposing massive cuts and reductions in the state’s contribution to local public schools. Since between 70 and 80 percent of any local school district’s funding comes directly from Sacramento, this potential loss is of major concern to the school and wider community. In a time of escalating utility costs, fuel, salaries, books, materials and supplies, the Governor has proposed a 0 perent cost of living adjustment (COLA) for 2008-09, as well as massive cuts in school funding. For a local perspective on the real price districts will pay, we are estimating that Berkeley Unified School District will lose between $3.7 and $4.5 million in the next school year! These potential cuts will impact every school and every program in Berkeley Unified. It is important for the public to know that there are no good nor easy choices for the school board to make with possible reductions in revenue that are this deep. -more-


Commentary: Wilma Chan To the Rescue

By Barry Wolfsy
Friday March 21, 2008

Berkeley is fortunate to have the opportunity to support Wilma Chan, rated the most progressive California assemblymember, for state senator this coming June, in our District 9. The March 17 Daily Planet article indicated that Wilma Chan has raised almost all of her campaign donations from individual voters and citizens, which is exactly what we, in Berkeley, expect from clean, progressive candidates. On the other hand, I was shocked at the Loni Hancock-Tom Bates political machine’s campaign donations. A huge portion of Hancock’s donations came from developers who want special treatment by Hancock and Bates, corporate interests, and gambling interests such as Point Molate LLC, which wants to build a major casino on our proposed East Bay State Shoreline Park. -more-


Letters to the Editor

Tuesday March 18, 2008

Commentary: The 20/20 Vision: How Good is Our Garden?

By Santiago Casal and Michael Miller
Tuesday March 18, 2008

The 20/20 Vision is a public declaration that sets a goal for the elimination of the “achievement gap” by the year 2020. 2020 is the year when our children who entered kindergarten in September 2007 are scheduled to graduate from Berkeley High School. United In Action (UIA), a multiethnic community coalition in Berkeley, conceived the declaration. It poses a challenging question: “On that graduation day in 2020, will we be able to beam with pride at our success?” -more-


Commentary: The Nature of Cesar Chavez

By Rafael Casal
Tuesday March 18, 2008

Since my childhood, the Berkeley Marina has been a place of sanctuary and reflection for my wandering mind and feet. As a child I went to birthday parties there, flew kites on windy days, and rolled down the big hills with my hermana. It was a place of infinite beauty, with a panoramic view of the bay area and a sunset that no words could be tailored for. Before we’d leave, my father would always calm us to take a moment and appreciate our place in the universe. We would breathe in deep, feel the setting sun against our faces, and stare at the horizon with a humbling appreciation for the world we often forget is bigger than ourselves. To this day, I still frequent the Berkeley Marina and César Chávez Park, and am always met with the same feelings of reflection and awe during my peaceful visits. -more-


Commentary: Blame Bipartisan Collusion, Not Nader, for Hard Times Ahead

By Harry S. Pariser
Tuesday March 18, 2008

Becky O’Malley’s savaging of Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez (Editorial, March 10) is singularly unfair. Pollit’s editorial hit piece, which O’Malley cites, explicitly states that “Ralph Nader has a perfect right to run for president.” -more-


Commentary: Hillary Clinton’s Shameful Vote on Cluster Bombs

By Paul Rockwell
Tuesday March 18, 2008

In her autobiography, Living History, Senator Hillary Clinton portrays herself as an advocate for children, a defender of women and human rights. In fact, the Clintons have a long history of sacrificing the rights, even the lives of children, for political expediency. It is time to set the record straight. -more-


Commentary: Dangerous Mind Virus Strikes the East Bay!

By Bob Marsh
Tuesday March 18, 2008

Daily Planet Executive Editor O’Malley and many of the readers of this newspaper have been affected with a dangerous infection of the mind recently identified as the “anti-Nader” virus. This virus was created by leaders of the Demopublican Party after the narrow victory of their candidate Al Gore in the 2000 presidential selection. When Republican Party apparatchiks and Cuban-American thugs barged into the Dade County elections office and forced a stop to a recount, when winning candidate Gore refused to call for a full recount, when tens of thousands of Floridians and New Mexicans of color were deliberately prevented from voting, when the Supreme Court unconstitutionally intervened to steal the election in a bloodless coup d’etat, these so-called “leaders” did nothing to defend the constitution or the right to vote. -more-


Columns

Column: Undercurrents: African-Americans Do Not Have the Luxury of Ignoring the Race Issue

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday March 21, 2008

My mother’s older relatives lived through the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, an event that has no parallel in our times. One of the favorite family stories was passed down from one of her uncles, Theodore (always called Uncle Thee with a soft-sound on the “th”), who walked about in downtown San Francisco an hour or so after the quake through streets littered with overturned carriages and dead dray horses and fallen bricks, the surrounding wooden buildings just beginning to be licked by the flames that would later engulf and destroy much of the city. It must have been a scene reminiscent of hell, and indicative of God’s vengeance on a sinful humanity. So reminiscent and indicative, in fact, that Uncle Thee said that when he met up with a white fellow walking numbly through the same chaotic streets, the white fellow rushed up to him, dropped to his knees, hugged his arms around Uncle Thee’s legs, and shouted, “Save me, brother! O, save me!” -more-


East Bay Then and Now: Allenoke Manor Was a Scene of Hospitality for 5 Decades

By Daniella Thompson
Friday March 21, 2008
The south elevation of Allenoke Manor faces the gardens and Ridge Road.

When Berkeley boosters publicized the city circa 1905, they invariably pointed to the 1700 block of Le Roy Avenue as their shining example. Situated one block to the north of the UC campus, the short stretch between Le Conte Avenue and Ridge Road boasted two of Berkeley’s most opulent and ballyhooed residences: the Volney D. Moody house, known as “Weltevreden,” and the Allen G. Freeman house, “Allenoke.” Each was designed by a fashionable architect (A.C. Schweinfurth and Ernest Coxhead, respectively) and was clad in clinker brick-a material popular with Arts and Crafts builders. -more-


Garden Variety: The Accidental Gardener Confesses, or Brags

By Ron Sullivan
Friday March 21, 2008
Salsify—“oyster plant”—is a common local weed with an edible root.

I do have a modest talent for growing things. The catch is that what grows isn’t always what I had in mind. -more-


About the House: Who’s Buried in the Yard?

By Matt Cantor
Friday March 21, 2008

I crawled out from underneath someone’s house the other day and placed in the hands of a brow-knit homeowner, a pithy black rock. Before she could form the words for what she could not quite specify, I said “Coal … Anthracite, I think” (as though I know anything about coal). Since she continued to bear that befuddled look, I explained that I’d been under the house and that there, near the furnace, I’d found a few of these black shiny artifacts of geophysics. -more-


The Public Eye: Campaign 2008: Act III

By Bob Burnett
Tuesday March 18, 2008

The March 11 Mississippi primaries signaled the end of the second of four acts in the competition for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. Act I began on Jan. 5 with the Iowa caucuses and ended on Jan. 26 with the South Carolina primary, where the race was winnowed down to Sens. Clinton and Obama. Act II began on Feb. 5, Super Tuesday, and plodded on for five weeks. Act III begins with the Pennsylvania primary on April 22 and ends on June 3 or possibly later if Florida and Michigan have to revote. Act IV will be the convention beginning Aug. 25, where the nominee will be selected. -more-


Green Neighbors: The Brave Little Quince

By Ron Sullivan
Tuesday March 18, 2008
Fruit, flowers, and lots of thorns on the Brave Little Quince under the BART tracks on Martin Luther King, Jr. Way.

On the median strip under the BART tracks along Martin Luther King Jr. Way, just a few blocks past the city line and into Oakland, there lives a flowering quince I’ve always thought of as The Brave Little Toaster. Aside from the fact that it’s nothing like a toaster at all, I find the name apt. -more-


Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Friday March 21, 2008

FRIDAY, MARCH 21 -more-


Berkeley Opera Stages Donizetti’s ‘L’Elisir D’Amore’

By Ken Bullock, Special to The Planet
Friday March 21, 2008

The village flirt tosses aside the book of the romance of Tristan and Isolde she has been reading aloud, flippantly singing, “If only I knew that recipe” for the famous love potion, as the chorus of peasants idling in the piazza picks up the refrain—and her forlorn, would-be suitor Nemorino, who’s caught the storybook as if it was the garter flung after a wedding, finds himself in the same predicament. -more-


Fonts, Facades, And Frolicking Femme Fatales

Friday March 21, 2008

Helvetica—a Greek tragedy? No, a typeface. Who would think of making a documentary film about a typeface? And who would attribute political significance to a font? Well, the writers of this 80-minute film did. -more-


Moving Pictures: The Shakespeare Films of Orson Welles

By Justin DeFreitas
Friday March 21, 2008
Orson Welles in the title role in his 1948 adaptation of Macbeth.

With just a few exceptions, when we talk about an Orson Welles film we talk about a tangled mess of topics all at once. We talk about the film as it exists and the film as it might have been; we talk about intentions and motivations, disagreements and compromises, edits and changes; we talk about artistic integrity versus commercial considerations, about the rights of the artist contrasted with the rights of studios, stockholders, producers and distributors. -more-


Working With Welles on ‘Macbeth’

By Ken Bullock, Special to The Planet
Friday March 21, 2008

"What Orson always said about his career,” Richard Connema reminisced about working on Macbeth with Orson Welles at Republic Studios in 1946, “was that when he came out with Citizen Kane, he was a big shot and everybody gave him Christmas presents. During the making of The Magnificent Ambersons, they still gave him presents. But the next year, after he got back from Brazil and with all the problems with the release of Ambersons, nobody gave him presents.” -more-


East Bay Then and Now: Allenoke Manor Was a Scene of Hospitality for 5 Decades

By Daniella Thompson
Friday March 21, 2008
The south elevation of Allenoke Manor faces the gardens and Ridge Road.

When Berkeley boosters publicized the city circa 1905, they invariably pointed to the 1700 block of Le Roy Avenue as their shining example. Situated one block to the north of the UC campus, the short stretch between Le Conte Avenue and Ridge Road boasted two of Berkeley’s most opulent and ballyhooed residences: the Volney D. Moody house, known as “Weltevreden,” and the Allen G. Freeman house, “Allenoke.” Each was designed by a fashionable architect (A.C. Schweinfurth and Ernest Coxhead, respectively) and was clad in clinker brick-a material popular with Arts and Crafts builders. -more-


Garden Variety: The Accidental Gardener Confesses, or Brags

By Ron Sullivan
Friday March 21, 2008
Salsify—“oyster plant”—is a common local weed with an edible root.

I do have a modest talent for growing things. The catch is that what grows isn’t always what I had in mind. -more-


About the House: Who’s Buried in the Yard?

By Matt Cantor
Friday March 21, 2008

I crawled out from underneath someone’s house the other day and placed in the hands of a brow-knit homeowner, a pithy black rock. Before she could form the words for what she could not quite specify, I said “Coal … Anthracite, I think” (as though I know anything about coal). Since she continued to bear that befuddled look, I explained that I’d been under the house and that there, near the furnace, I’d found a few of these black shiny artifacts of geophysics. -more-


Berkeley This Week

Friday March 21, 2008

FRIDAY, MARCH 21 -more-


Arts Calendar

Tuesday March 18, 2008

TUESDAY, MARCH 18 -more-


‘Jazz Explosion VII’ Spotlights Young Musicians

By Zelda Bronstein, Special to the Planet
Tuesday March 18, 2008
Portola Middle School Music Director Tiffany Carrico (right) leads the school jazz band at the El Cerrito BART Station in preparation for its upcoming concert. Left to right: Aidan Brorsen, trumpet; Caroline Umali, tenor sax; Roschelle Hood, baritone sax; Dan Marsh, tenor sax; Freeman Schlesinger, percussion.

Coming down the escalator at El Cerrito BART last Wednesday afternoon, I heard jazz. It sounded live, but musicians were nowhere in sight. Had BART started piping music into its stations along with its public safety and elevator messages? Out in front of the station, the surprising source of the music appeared: Five young people—three saxophonists, a trumpeter and a drummer—were swinging away. -more-


Remembering Malvina Reynolds

By Michael Rossman, Special to the Planet
Tuesday March 18, 2008

Since she died in 1978, if people now know of Malvina Reynolds at all it’s mostly as the writer of “Little Boxes” and “What Have They Done to the Rain,” among many memorable progressive and children’s songs. Even here, during her lifetime, she was known mainly from afar as The Singing Grandmother of Berkeley, a screechy fountain of song for noble, poorly funded causes. Few looked beneath this action-costume of a quirky, homegrown Superhero to recognize the astute sociologist and cornucopia of life-affirming spirit at work within. -more-


Green Neighbors: The Brave Little Quince

By Ron Sullivan
Tuesday March 18, 2008
Fruit, flowers, and lots of thorns on the Brave Little Quince under the BART tracks on Martin Luther King, Jr. Way.

On the median strip under the BART tracks along Martin Luther King Jr. Way, just a few blocks past the city line and into Oakland, there lives a flowering quince I’ve always thought of as The Brave Little Toaster. Aside from the fact that it’s nothing like a toaster at all, I find the name apt. -more-


Berkeley This Week

Tuesday March 18, 2008

TUESDAY, MARCH 18 -more-