Editorial: The Art and Science of Living Well

By Becky O'Malley
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:29:00 AM

When you get to be a certain age, news of death comes all too often. It’s been only a week or so since we mused on the loss of a couple of good friends in this space, and now another good man is gone. Readers, especially younger readers, might be getting tired of all this talk of death. -more-

The Editor's Back Fence

The Editor's Back Fence

By Becky O'Malley
Tuesday May 20, 2008 - 12:20:00 PM

Every week a new experiment...this week, we're trying out a Web-only column of short items. People send us things that are not serious enough or big enough or current enough for a full-fledged news story or a full-dress editorial essay, but are too good to pass up. And increasingly they send us links to good stuff in other Internet locations which Planet readers would like to see. -more-


Stubborn Ass

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday May 29, 2008 - 03:20:00 PM

Going Berzerkeley

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday May 29, 2008 - 03:21:00 PM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Monday May 19, 2008 - 04:01:00 PM


Letters to the Editor

Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:32:00 AM


Commentary: Call for a Moratorium on the Approval of Cell Antenna Applications

By Michael Barglow
Monday May 19, 2008 - 04:07:00 PM

Once again, Berkeley’s position on cell antennas is on the City Council agenda. -more-

BRT: It’s Big; It’s Boondogglicious — Let the Voters Decide!

By Gale Garcia
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 12:17:00 PM

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is AC Transit’s plan for a massive project including Telegraph Avenue and parts of Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley. Two traffic lanes would be allocated to AC Transit buses, forcing all other vehicles (cars, bikes, trucks, motorcycles) to share just one lane each way. Most of the parking on Telegraph would disappear, to the chagrin of the local merchants. -more-

Join Protests Against John Yoo This Saturday

By Henry Norr
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:51:00 AM

Pleased with the thought that your tax dollars are paying John Yoo, the former Justice Department attorney whose memos provided pseudo-legal cover for the Bush administration’s torture policies, to mold the minds of future lawyers? -more-

10 Reasons Why I’m Supporting Worthington for Assembly

By Nancy Carleton
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:55:00 AM

In his 11-plus years on City Council, Kriss Worthington has been such an effective leader on so many issues that it would be easy to come up with a list of well over a hundred reasons he’s earned my support in his bid for a state Assembly seat. Here are just 10 of them: -more-

40 Years After Paris, Can Mass Protests Still Make a Difference?

By Randy Shaw
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:54:00 AM

On May 13, 1968, students, workers, and activists marched through the streets of Paris to challenge the nation’s social, economic, and political structures. The marches were a prelude to what became a two-week general strike, the impact of which remains hotly debated to this day. The events of May 1968 were not the world’s first mass protests, but their role in the subsequent alteration of French society was widely hailed as proving the power of political action outside the electoral process. The United States also saw mass protests in 1968, but their failure to end the Vietnam War and the election of Richard Nixon that November left many activists frustrated. The successful WTO protests in Seattle reasserted the power of mass protest, but this appears to have dissipated as the Bush Administration invaded Iraq despite millions taking to the streets and the federal government failed to legalize undocumented immigrants despite the mass protests of the spring of 2006. Can mass protest still make a difference in the United States, or is the electoral process—embodied in the mass involvement of those in the Obama campaign—now seen as the leading if not exclusive route to progressive change? -more-

No on Prop. 98, Yes on Prop. 99

By John Katz
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:58:00 AM

Proposition 98 is a deceptive and very dangerous initiative that will be on the June 2008 ballot in California. Hiding behind some legitimate concerns about the potential misuse of eminent domain by local governments, this constitutional amendment if enacted would eliminate all rent control on any new unit anywhere in the state, including mobile homes. Its hidden provisions would also preclude the construction of new water supply projects, gut many environmental laws, and make most zoning laws unenforceable. -more-

Yes on Proposition 98, No on Proposition 99

By Robert Cabrera
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:56:00 AM

Proposition 98 in the June 3 ballot is good for tenants. It phases out rent controls on a unit only when that unit becomes voluntarily vacant. Via Prop. 98, the local rent law is folded into the state constitution and the current tenant is protected from any changes in the law. Changes do happen: the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, undermined rent control in Berkeley, San Francisco, Oakland, and other California cities. Many people say that if 98 passes then there will be mass evictions. This same claim was made prior to the passage of vacancy decontrol (Costa-Hawkins) in the mid ’90s, but the evictions never materialized. It is nearly impossible to evict a tenant and Prop. 98 does not change that fact. -more-

Reasons to Vote for Hancock for State Senate

By Mim Hawley
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 10:02:00 AM

Fortunately for all of us in the East Bay, Loni Hancock is running to continue to represent us in Sacramento by seeking a seat in the state Senate. I hope you’ll join me in supporting the campaign for this remarkable woman whose contributions to Berkeley are historic and who will long be revered as a path-breaking leader. -more-

‘Rapid Bus Plus’— An Alternative to Bus Rapid Transit

By Berkeleyans for Better Transportation Options
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 10:03:00 AM

Editor’s note: This is a summary of the complete proposal, which is available on the Planet’s website, www.berkeleydailyplanet.com. -more-

Hancock: The Developers’ Ally

By Martha Nicoloff
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 10:04:00 AM

Most people who know of Loni Hancock remember her as mayor of Berkeley, from 1988 to 1995. At that time she faced very real and important criticisms for the way she ran the city. -more-

Progressive: Now It’s Just a Convenient Name Tag

By Dave Blake
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 10:06:00 AM

The battle for political control in Berkeley has been handily dominated by progressives for 20 years. But that victory was consolidated not in the body of a party but in the persons of Mayor Tom Bates and Assemblymember Loni Hancock. Many of those of us who have watched and participated in that consolidation are astounded at how few of the purposes that founded our progressive efforts survive today. When a progressive government hands out $7 million favors to a major businessman at the direct expense of the right of his workers to unionize, something has gone horribly awry. -more-

How AC Transit Can Cut Expenses Instead Of Raising Fares

By Joyce Roy
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 10:07:00 AM

Just before their May 21 public meeting on raising fares, AC Transit is proposing to buy more Van Hool buses the riders and drivers hate. Nineteen more of the no-bid buses imported from Belgium at $577,739/bus for a total of $10,977,041. -more-