The Week

Eagles Up demonstrates support for the troops and the war Saturday at the downtown Marine Recruiting Center. Code Pink has been demonstrating against the war and recruitment since September.
Judith Scherr
Eagles Up demonstrates support for the troops and the war Saturday at the downtown Marine Recruiting Center. Code Pink has been demonstrating against the war and recruitment since September.
 

News

Judge Orders Oakland to Prove Hodge Should Be Kept Off Ballot

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Tuesday March 25, 2008

Posted Tue., March 25—A Superior Court judge has ordered the City of Oakland and the Alameda County Registrar of Voters to put Oakland School Board member Greg Hodge on the June 3 ballot for the District 3 Oakland City Council race, or to show cause why he should be kept off. -more-


Pro-War Group Roars Into Berkeley

By Judith Scherr
Tuesday March 25, 2008

Roaring into Berkeley on their Harley’s—with the more sedate aboard red-white-and-blue-draped SUVs—a leather-clad flag-bearing conservative America took center stage Saturday at the downtown Marine Recruiting Center. The event, which drew some 350 people at its height, was organized by two groups, Eagles Up and Move America Forward (MAF). -more-


Code Pink Arrests Mark 4,000 Deaths In Iraq War

By Judith Scherr
Tuesday March 25, 2008

Screaming and wailing to mark the 4,000th America soldier who had died in Iraq, four Code Pink women blocked the doorway at the downtown Marine Recruiting Center Monday, then walked inside where police handcuffed and arrested them. -more-


West Berkeley Speakers Plead for Industrial Jobs

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday March 25, 2008

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-


School District Employees Protest State Budget Cuts

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday March 25, 2008

Dozens of community members joined Berkeley Unified School District employees and parents to protest Gov. Arnold Schwarzenneger’s proposed $4.6 million state education budget cuts Friday. -more-


Council Discusses Tax Measures, Condo Conversion

By Judith Scherr
Tuesday March 25, 2008

A long-awaited revision of the Condominium Conversion Ordinance will be before the Berkeley City Council tonight (Tuesday). -more-


Neighbors Try to Stop Chevron Mini-Mart

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday March 25, 2008

Some LeConte neighborhood residents trying to stop plans for a 24-hour mini mart at the Chevron franchise at 2996 Shattuck Ave. are scheduled to appear before the city’s Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) Thursday as it takes up the question of changing the use permit for the business. -more-


Nurse Strike Numbers Disputed by Sutter, CNA Officials

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday March 25, 2008

Just how many Alta Bates Summit nurses have honored picket lines at the two Berkeley hospitals and Oakland’s Summit Medical Center remained an open question Monday. -more-


West Berkeley, Density, Downtown Plan On Planning Commission Agenda

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday March 25, 2008

West Berkeley zoning changes are back on the Planning Commission’s agenda for Wednesday night, along with the Downtown Area Plan and the density bonus. -more-


Thurmond Continues to Lead Assembly 14 Fundraising

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Tuesday March 25, 2008

With a new round of campaign finance filings due Monday to the California Secretary of State’s office, the big surprise was that Richmond City Councilmember Tony Thurmond continued to hold the lead in fundraising for the District 14 Assembly seat. -more-


Hancock Leads Chan in District 9 Fundraising

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Tuesday March 25, 2008

Fourteenth District Assemblymember Loni Hancock continued to outraise her opponent, former 14th District Assemblymember Wilma Chan, in their race for the Senate District 9 seat vacated by Don Perata, according to the most recent reports filed by both campaigns with the California secretary of state. -more-


Bennett ‘Bud’ Hassink, 1926-2008

By March Hajre-Chapman
Tuesday March 25, 2008

Bennett James Hassink, known to his many friends as “Bud,” died in Berkeley on Monday Feb. 25, 2008, at the age of 81, from congestive heart failure. -more-


Berkeley Gets New Rent Board Member And Acting Housing Director

By Judith Scherr
Tuesday March 25, 2008

Corinne “Corie” Calfee will fill the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board seat vacated by the resignation of Chris Kavanagh, Rent Board Executive Director Jay Kelekian said Friday. -more-


West Berkeley Man Dies in I-80 Collision

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday March 25, 2008

Samuel Torres, a 60-year-old West Berkeley man, died in an early morning accident Saturday near the Ashby Avenue exit on eastbound I-80. -more-


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
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.

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-


Opinion

Editorials

Editorial: Dreaming About Bringing the Country to the City

By Becky O'Malley
Tuesday March 25, 2008

The black phoebe is back in Santa Cruz. A handsome bird, black on top and white below, check. Found near water, often around houses, southern exposures, check. Sits on top of posts (the umbrella pole), check. Builds nest on vertical surface with shelter above (under the eaves of the studio), check. -more-


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-


Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Tuesday March 25, 2008

Commentary: Thoughts on the New Center Street Designs

Tuesday March 25, 2008

CENTER STREET -more-


Commentary: Family Traditions: Easter and Passover

By Brooke Chabot
Tuesday March 25, 2008

My husband and I bounce through each year from holiday to holiday. Living in a bi-religious house, we have many to celebrate. Mostly they serve as a means to invite our friends and family over to our house to eat, drink and have a good time. The presents, candles, or type of food are all just a back drop to the same party. But Easter and Passover are different. These two holidays seem more in opposition to each other than any other. Maybe it’s because Hanukah isn’t as big of a holiday as Christmas that the duality doesn’t surface in winter. I think it is a given for my family that I will celebrate Christmas, despite the two religions that coexist in our home. -more-


Commentary: Trying Times for Teachers

By Beth Trevor
Tuesday March 25, 2008

This is a challenging time for teachers, and we already have a challenging job. These possible government cuts to education would be devastating to us. -more-


Commentary: How Relevant is the Economy?

By Marvin Chachere
Tuesday March 25, 2008

Self interest precedes community interest. Therefore, when the votes are cast for our 44th president each of us will choose the one who is more likely to improve our personal well being. So, if the economy means a collection of everything that will enhance one’s financial situation—then of course, “It’s the economy, stupid!” And the presidential nominee who waves this slogan best will win….again. -more-


Commentary: Hillary Clinton Lied About Outsourcing, Too

By Paul Rockwell
Tuesday March 25, 2008

Job security is the foremost domestic issue for working people in Pennsylvania, where Sen. Hillary Clinton is expected to win the Democratic Party primary. For many months, as a candidate for president, Senator Clinton has cultivated a pro-labor image. She claims to be an opponent of NAFTA, and she often denounces the outsourcing of American jobs. Before a crowd of students in New Hampshire, she claimed that she hated “seeing U.S. telemarketing jobs done in remote locations, far, far from our shores.” -more-


Commentary: Why Are the Democrats Determined to Self Destruct?

By Bob Smith
Tuesday March 25, 2008

Sen. Clinton voted for a criminal war, she declinee to disclose her tax returns and the financial sources for her husband’s library, her much talked about experience is grossly exaggerated, by exploiting her relationship with Bill Clinton, she is less feminist than a beneficiary of nepotism, and her poor management of her campaign has demonstrated an alarming weakness as a manager. This is not to deny her intellect, her grasp of the issues and her capabilities as a political campaigner. However four more years of Republican rule are unthinkable. One must be objective and consider which of the two remaining candidates is best suited for the office, and which has a better chance of winning in November. The primary numbers provide the evidence—Obama has a commanding lead—delegates, popular vote, and states. -more-


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-


Columns

Wild Neighbors: Egrets, Deer and Prince Kropotkin

By Joe Eaton
Tuesday March 25, 2008
A great egret, perched on a fence at Lake Merritt.

Partnerships across species lines aren’t all that uncommon in nature. Where Darwin saw evolution as a process of deadly competition, the Russian aristocrat-anarchist Pyotor Kropotkin observed “mutual aid” everywhere-cooperative behavior not just within species, as in the beehive or wolfpack, but even between unrelated creatures. -more-


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-


Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Tuesday March 25, 2008

TUESDAY, MARCH 25 -more-


Books: Prof. Joseph Voyle’s Buried Ancient City Under UC Berkeley

By Richard Schwartz
Tuesday March 25, 2008
Professor Joseph Voyle using his psychic compass divining rod to reveal to the public his newly discovered buried city under the UC Berkeley campus. From the San Francisco Call, June 22, 1908.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second of a three-part series featuring stories of forgotten Berkeley history excerpted from Richard Schwartz’s book Eccentrics, Heroes, and Cutthroats of Old Berkeley. -more-


The Theater: ‘Tragedy: A Tragedy’ at Berkeley Rep

By Ken Bullock, Special to The Planet
Tuesday March 25, 2008

“Tonight’s forecast: Dark. Increasing darkness, with widely scattered daylight in the morning.” So George Carlin’s stoned weatherman predicted the nocturnal trend in his ’60s stand-up comedy act. -more-


Wild Neighbors: Egrets, Deer and Prince Kropotkin

By Joe Eaton
Tuesday March 25, 2008
A great egret, perched on a fence at Lake Merritt.

Partnerships across species lines aren’t all that uncommon in nature. Where Darwin saw evolution as a process of deadly competition, the Russian aristocrat-anarchist Pyotor Kropotkin observed “mutual aid” everywhere-cooperative behavior not just within species, as in the beehive or wolfpack, but even between unrelated creatures. -more-


Berkeley This Week

Tuesday March 25, 2008

TUESDAY, MARCH 25 -more-


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-