News

Candidates Face Immigration, Education, Healthcare Questions

By Judith Scherr
Wednesday May 28, 2008 - 06:40:00 PM

The questions posed to Senate and Assembly candidates at Tuesday evening’s forum presented by the Berkeley Organizing Congregations for Action came from real life. -more-


Lone Gunman Strikes Again

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday May 27, 2008 - 04:34:00 PM

The masked takeover bandit dubbed “the Lone Gunman” has pulled off at least two more armed robberies in Berkeley, police announced. -more-


Massive Manhunt Closes Highway 13

By Richard Brenneman
Friday May 23, 2008 - 02:16:00 PM

A massive manhunt in the Berkeley hills Friday afternoon closed Highway 13 along Tunnel Road as officers searched for two men who carjacked a San Ramon man in Oakland. -more-


UC System Workers Vote to Strike

By Bay City News
Friday May 23, 2008 - 04:40:00 PM

Thousands of patient care and service workers for the University of California system announced today (Friday) they plan to strike as soon as June 2 because they feel their wages just don’t cut it. -more-


Berkeley High Students Take Stand Against Immigration Raids

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday May 23, 2008 - 05:02:00 PM

What seemed like typical lunch-time ruckus to visitors at Berkeley High School Thursday was in fact an act of solidarity with immigrants across the nation. -more-


Riders Speak Out Against Possible AC Transit Fare Hike

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday May 23, 2008 - 05:04:00 PM

AC Transit bus district directors took their first steps this week towards a possible fare increase this fall, holding a public hearing on the issue Wednesday at Oakland City Hall. -more-


Big BANG Labor Boom: Union Vote Set for Bay Area Papers

By Richard Brenneman
Friday May 23, 2008 - 05:07:00 PM

Media mogul Dean Singleton’s union-busting moves at his Bay Area newspapers have hit a major roadblock—a regional unionization vote scheduled for next month. -more-


Incumbents Lead Fund-Raising in Oakland Council Races

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday May 23, 2008 - 05:07:00 PM

In the tightly contested June 3 races for the Oakland City Council, incumbent councilmembers are predictably winning the important fund-raising battles, with 5th District Councilmember and Council President Ignacio De La Fuente leading the way. -more-


Downtown Plan Hits Rough Waters in Planning Commission Discussions

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday May 22, 2008 - 04:27:00 PM

The curtain went up on the Downtown Area Plan’s second act Wednesday night, with a sharply divided Planning Commission headed for a rewrite. -more-


Hancock Leads Chan in Large Contributions

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday May 22, 2008 - 09:31:00 AM

With 14th District Assembly-member Loni Hancock pulling away in last-minute large campaign contributors over her rival for the Democratic nomination for the State Senate District 9 seat, former 16th District Assem-blymember Wilma Chan, and a controversy brewing over an anti-Hancock campaign mailer sent out by urban casino interests, the two campaigns traded charges last week over hypocrisy in their fund-raising strategies. -more-


Jump in Willard Suspensions, State Questions Discipline Data

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday May 22, 2008 - 09:35:00 AM

According to recent published reports about violence and suspension rates in California public schools, Berkeley’s Willard Middle School reported one of the highest violent-suspension rates in the Bay Area last year. -more-


Berkeley Teen Arrested in Durant Avenue Murder Case

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday May 22, 2008 - 09:36:00 AM

Berkeley resident Nathaniel Freeman, 19, was arraigned last week for the murder of Oakland Parks and Recreation employee Maceo Smith, who was shot to death in broad daylight one block south of the UC Berkeley campus earlier that week. -more-


Casino Tribes Target Hancock in Mailer

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday May 22, 2008 - 09:37:00 AM

A political hit piece targeting state Senate hopeful Loni Hancock, ostensibly from a band of educators, was bankrolled by casino-owning bands of Native Americans attacking an outspoken foe of Bay Area tribal casinos. -more-


Lawsuit Seeks Halt in Planned Cuts To Medi-Cal

By Angela Rowen, Special to the Planet
Thursday May 22, 2008 - 09:38:00 AM

More than 6.5 million elderly, disabled and low-income people statewide—about 774,000 in the Bay Area—will soon have an even tougher time finding doctors, dentists and pharmacists who will provide care for them, unless a coalition of healthcare pro-viders and recipients are successful in a motion filed last week in Los Angeles Superior Court to block the state’s planned 10 percent cut in Medi-Cal payments. -more-


UC Student Fall Likely Accidental Death

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday May 22, 2008 - 09:42:00 AM

Autopsy results from the Alameda County Coroner’s Office show that UC Berkeley anthropology student Alan Kaname Hamai, who fell from the third-story roof of his apartment building a day after he graduated, died as a result of unforced trauma from a fall, authorities said Tuesday. -more-


B-Tech Senior Surrenders to Police Two Days After Shooting

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday May 22, 2008 - 09:44:00 AM

A Berkeley Tech senior turned himself in to the Berkeley Police Department (BPD) Saturday and is being held at the Alameda County Juvenile Hall for shooting a fellow student, authorities said. -more-


Berkeley Students Lead State Students at Capitol Rally

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday May 22, 2008 - 09:59:00 AM

More than 600 students from Berkeley High School joined their peers from across California at the student rally in Sacramento last week to protest Gov. Arnold Schwarzenneger’s proposed education cuts. -more-


Council Delays Choosing Ballot Measures

By Judith Scherr
Thursday May 22, 2008 - 09:45:00 AM

The Berkeley City Council paid some $16,000 for advice it considered Tuesday night, but—at least for now—ignored. -more-


Reader Report: Planting Community

By JoAnn Conrad and the BCC Urban Anthropology Class
Thursday May 22, 2008 - 09:46:00 AM
Urban Anthropology class members work on a streetscape project.

All winter, every Saturday morning, our Urban Anthropology class at BCC has studied the historical and cultural development of the social space we inhabit—Urban Space. We’ve studied the ways in which we are shaped by the nature of place: the political, economic, social, environmental, cultural aspects of urban life. The City of Berkeley itself was one of the main focuses of the course. -more-


Alta Bates Nurses Get City Support

By Judith Scherr
Thursday May 22, 2008 - 09:46:00 AM

Tuesday evening some two dozen Alta Bates-Summit Medical Center nurses rallied at Civic Center Park before walking across the street to the City Council meeting, where the council voted unanimously to support them in their contract fight with Sutter Health, Alta Bates-Summit’s parent corporation. -more-


Barbara Lee Asks USDA to Oppose Apple Moth Spray Plan

By Judith Scherr
Thursday May 22, 2008 - 09:48:00 AM

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Berkeley-Oakland, has added her voice to those calling for a halt to plans to spray for the light brown apple moth (LBAM) until health and environmental studies are done. -more-


AC Transit Delays Decision on Purchase Of Controversial Van Hool Buses

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday May 22, 2008 - 09:50:00 AM

In what may be a sign of growing political sensitivity over AC Transit’s controversial relationship with the Belgian-based bus manufacturing company Van Hool, transit directors last week failed to approve a request by AC Transit General Manager Rick Fernandez for a no-bid contract to purchase 19 60-foot, articulated Van Hool buses. -more-


Fleeing Motorcyclist Strikes Bus, Bicyclist

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday May 22, 2008 - 09:51:00 AM

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is investigating a hit-and-run incident in which a motorcyclist collided with an AC Transit Bus and a woman bicyclist on Ashby Avenue Sunday night. -more-


Bus Rapid Transit May Be Headed For November Vote

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday May 22, 2008 - 09:52:00 AM

Berkeley voters could be the ultimate decision-makers when it comes to the shape of an upgraded bus service for the city. -more-


Reader Report: Requiem for a Berkeley Strip Mall

By Rob Browning, Special to the Planet
Thursday May 22, 2008 - 09:54:00 AM
Robert Bechtle’s “’60 Chevies” depicting the parking lot of U-Save on University and old Grove, the sight of proposed development that promises to bring back a grocery store to the corner in the form of Trader Joe’s.

Twelve or 14 years before I moved to central Berkeley, Allen Ginsberg was in the neighborhood one rainy night “shopping for images” at the U-Save Market when he came upon Walt Whitman “poking among the meats” and Federico Garcia Lorca “down by the watermelons.” -more-


Same-Sex Marriage Decision Greeted with Cheers

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday May 22, 2008 - 09:56:00 AM

As news of the California Supreme Court’s 4-3 decision affirming same-sex marriage broke last week, gay and lesbian couples in Berkeley declared victory. -more-


First Person: The Meaning of Marriage for Everyone

By Pamela Brown
Thursday May 22, 2008 - 09:58:00 AM

What if you couldn’t marry the person you love? Can you remember your wedding day? I can… -more-