Let the Sun Shine in Berkeley

By Becky O'Malley
Thursday May 29, 2008 - 10:04:00 AM

If you sometimes read the Planet online (and we hope you do) you will have seen our new experimental web-only feature, The Editor’s Back Fence. It’s a collection of items too small or too silly to dignify with print, and will appear randomly at the executive editor’s pleasure. Of course it has another goal, to motivate readers to check out the really-Daily-online Planet each and every day so that they don’t miss anything. This week I answered a teacher’s complaint that our education reporter didn’t talk to a school principal for a story she did. That’s one of those “thank you for asking” questions, and you can see the full reply online. But it also served the purpose of opening up a larger topic that can’t be addressed too often or too seriously. -more-

The Editor Endorses:

By Becky O'Malley
Thursday May 29, 2008 - 09:42:00 AM

State Senate District 9: Wilma Chan -more-

The Editor's Back Fence

The Editor's Back Fence

By Becky O'Malley
Friday May 30, 2008 - 09:59:00 AM



Upon Further Reflection...

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday May 29, 2008 - 03:14:00 PM

Kissing Hillary

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday May 29, 2008 - 03:17:00 PM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Tuesday June 03, 2008 - 02:00:00 PM

Letters to the Editor

Monday June 02, 2008 - 04:09:00 PM

Letters to the Editor

Thursday May 29, 2008 - 10:05:00 AM


What Total Compensation Is and What It Is Not

By Tim Donnelly
Tuesday June 03, 2008 - 01:59:00 PM

There was a time in the misty, not-too-distant past, when Sacramento’s Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA ) was passed along directly to their Teachers and Classified Staff. No More. -more-


By Dave Blake
Tuesday June 03, 2008 - 08:48:00 AM


NoCoHo at the ‘Kingfish’: Anatomy of a Deception

By Bob Brokl
Thursday May 29, 2008 - 10:06:00 AM

A group of well-intentioned individuals (North Oakland Cohousing) with a laudatory goal—creation of a cohousing community in the heart of Oakland’s Temescal District—partners with local entrepreneurs of several controversial projects. They enter a marriage of convenience with a high-density/multistory advocacy group. -more-

Prop. 98 Would Deeply Subvert California’s Future

By John English
Thursday May 29, 2008 - 10:07:00 AM

Our state and our cities and counties are again in grave peril. At the November 2006 general election hugely harmful Proposition 90 failed by just a slim margin. Now the same greedy special interests are back with something even worse: Proposition 98. And they’ve cleverly timed it for the June 3 primary when (because the presidential-preference contest got moved earlier) voter turnout may be woefully low. -more-

Oak Grove Issue Springs Back to Life

By Doug Buckwald
Thursday May 29, 2008 - 10:07:00 AM

Time is definitely not the thing that flies when you are living in a tree. Birds fly, to be sure, and squirrels and insects, too, and—thanks to the people on the ground below—your food flies up to you on ropes, but time passes incrementally, governed by the rhythms of nature. Sunlight, moonlight, stars, rain, wind, and the changing seasons become your clock. It has been almost one and a half years since tree sitters first occupied the threatened trees in Memorial Stadium oak grove on Piedmont Avenue, and they are still up there. They are a visible example of the concern that many in our community feel about the fate of this special natural place. -more-

The View from the Gutter

By Marvin Chachere
Thursday May 29, 2008 - 10:08:00 AM

Presidential campaign reporting wallows in the language of competitive sports, especially racing: who’s ahead, who’s losing ground, who dropped out. Political analysts, like Las Vegas odds makers, deploy their assessment of strengths and weakness in attempts to predict the outcome—“If the election were held today, so-and-so would be the winner.” The normal perspective of analysts and reporters is from outside and above the fray. What does the current presidential race look like from below, from the gutter? -more-

South Berkeley Cell Antenna Dispute: Maio Recuses Herself, Telecoms Threaten Legal Action

By Michael Barglow
Thursday May 29, 2008 - 10:09:00 AM

At the end of the May 20 Council meeting, Linda Maio recused herself on a Max Anderson motion which calls for a moratorium on cell antenna applications in the city. Maio did not explain her action. However, her husband has for many years been a tenant of developer Patrick Kennedy. Kennedy owns UC Storage. And UC Storage is the site where Kennedy would like to rent cell phone antenna space to the telecommunications industry for over $200,000 a year. -more-

Re-Imagining Berkeley as a City Within a Park

By John N. Roberts
Thursday May 29, 2008 - 10:09:00 AM

One of the most compelling visions for Berkeley’s parks included in Louise Mozingo and Marcia McNally’s study, is the early 20th century proposal that parks be part of an integrated system of large and small open spaces linked together along the natural creek channels from the hills to the bay. Underlying this vision is the seemingly revolutionary idea that natural open space would be the primary infrastructure used to define the physical form of the built environment. A century ago as this city was being formed, an enlightened thinker imagined an urban structural system for this place with nature and the built environment deliberately and dynamically balanced. And it could occur throughout the city, with all citizens having equal access to open spaces. -more-

Kawamura’s Misinformation

By Robert Lieber
Thursday May 29, 2008 - 10:10:00 AM

In a May 16 editorial on his department’s plan to eradicate the light brown apple moth (LBAM) by aerial spray and other means, California Agriculture Secretary A. G. Kawamura ac-cuses those who oppose the LBAM program of spreading “misinformation” and urges us all to rely on “sound science” and to “draw the line” on “exaggerated and unsubstantiated claims” that cause “unwarranted fear.” (www.california progressreport.com/2008/05/california_secr_6.html.) -more-