The Week

Nancy Skinner celebrates her solid win with supporters at the Downtown on Shattuck Avenue Tuesday night.
By Judith Scherr
Nancy Skinner celebrates her solid win with supporters at the Downtown on Shattuck Avenue Tuesday night.
 

News

Pools Won’t Be on Berkeley’s November Ballot

By Judith Scherr
Wednesday June 11, 2008 - 06:56:00 PM

A ballot measure to fund a new warm pool and rehab neighborhood pools was taken off the table at the Berkeley City Council’s Tuesday night meeting. -more-


Berkeley’s Juneteenth Festival Called Off This Year

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday June 10, 2008 - 01:48:00 PM

It will be a Juneteenthless June for Berkeley residents this year, in the face of what some event organizers said was a myriad of restrictions city officials imposed on the 22-year-old tradition just months before the big weekend. -more-


Let People Decide on Bus Lanes, Proposed Ballot Measure Says

By Judith Scherr
Tuesday June 10, 2008 - 01:47:00 PM

Who will decide if buses get their own lanes on Telegraph Avenue? If Bruce Kaplan and Dean Metzger get their way, the people will. On May 28, Kaplan and Metzger submitted a petition to the City Clerk with 3,240 signatures of Berkeley voters in order to place on the Nov. 4 ballot an initiative “to require voter approval before dedicating Berkeley streets or lanes for transit-only or HOV/Bus-only use.” -more-


Early Candidates Take Out Papers for November Elections

By Judith Scherr
Monday June 09, 2008 - 04:42:00 PM

With hard-fought but largely ignored June primaries behind them, voters will be setting their sights on the Nov. 4 presidential election and, locally, on races for the Berkeley City Council, school board and Rent Stabilization Board. -more-


Planning, Transportation Panels To Consider BRT Alternatives

By Richard Brenneman
Monday June 09, 2008 - 04:35:00 PM

Berkeley's planning and transportation commissioners will meet jointly Wednesday night for the first of two sessions devoted to Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). -more-


Grand Promises, Fast-Track Approval May Speed Point Molate Casino Resort

By Richard Brenneman
Monday June 09, 2008 - 10:03:00 AM

Reports of its death having been greatly exaggerated, Richmond’s Point Molate casino is not only alive—it’s being fast-tracked by state and federal agencies. -more-


B-Tech Grads Look Toward Future

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Saturday June 07, 2008 - 02:10:00 PM

Berkeley Technology Academy Principal Victor Diaz summed up the school year at the 2008 graduation ceremony at UC Berkeley’s Alumni Hall Thursday: “It was a year of extreme highs and extreme lows—a crazy crazy year.” -more-


U-Haul Berkeley Defies Council and Judge’s Order to Stop Renting Trucks, City Attorney Says

By Judith Scherr
Friday June 06, 2008 - 04:18:00 PM

U-Haul Berkeley was doing a brisk business late Thursday afternoon, with customers maneuvering trucks in and out of the lot at Addison Street and San Pablo Avenue, workers cleaning up the vehicles and people queuing up five deep at the indoor customer service counter. -more-


Registrar Responds: Peace and Freedom Party Members Get Non Partisan Ballots

By Judith Scherr
Friday June 06, 2008 - 04:19:00 PM

A number of Peace and Freedom Party members were given “non partisan” rather than Peace and Freedom Party ballots on Tuesday in Alameda County, registrar Dave Macdonald acknowledged Thursday in an interview with the Daily Planet. -more-


Council to Discuss Cell Phone Moratorium Tuesday

By Judith Scherr
Friday June 06, 2008 - 04:20:00 PM

Wireless companies and opponents of wireless telecommunications antennas are likely to be out in force at Tuesday’s Berkeley City Council meeting, taking opposite sides on the question of whether the city should adopt a moratorium on wireless communications. -more-


Special Olympics Returns to Berkeley

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday June 06, 2008 - 09:39:00 AM

It’s time for bocce ball once again. And some volleyball, swimming and tennis as well. -more-


Bill Gates Dumps His Stock in Berkeley Biofuel Partner

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 03:49:00 PM

Bill Gates, the money man behind the company that has formed the first corporate/ UC Berkeley ethanol partnership, is dumping his shares. -more-


Big Wins for Skinner, Hancock in State Elections

By Judith Scherr
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 09:46:00 AM

The champagne was flowing last night at victory parties for Nancy Skinner, who won the Democratic primary for the State Assembly with 46.8 percent of the vote and Assemblymember Loni Hancock, who won the Democratic primary for State Senate with 56.5 percent of the vote. -more-


Challenges to Oakland Council Incumbents Fizzle

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 09:47:00 AM

A campaign season that began with the possibility of a major overhaul of the Oakland City Council’s old guard ended quietly in the status quo early Wednesday morning, as two incumbent councilmembers avoided run-offs against what had been expected to be stiff opposition, and two others easily swamped their opponents. -more-


Plea Delayed in Durant Avenue Shooting

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 09:48:00 AM

Berkeley resident Nathaniel Curtis Freeman, 19, who was charged with murdering Maceo Smith on Durant Avenue on May 13, did not enter a plea at the Alameda County Superior Court Monday. -more-


South Berkeley Homicide City’s 8th of the Year

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 09:48:00 AM

Berkeley Police are offering a $15,000 reward for information that leads to conviction of the shooter who gunned down a 29-year-old Berkeley man on May 28. -more-


Oakland Port Rail Proposal’s Impacts May Hit Berkeley Landscape, Traffic

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 09:49:00 AM

Is Berkeley being railroaded? That’s the question that was raised at the last Planning Commission meeting by both supporters and potential foes of a plan to upgrade and increase rail service through West Berkeley. -more-


Code Pink Organizer Accused of Police Officer Battery

By Judith Scherr
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 09:51:00 AM

Code Pink organizer Zanne Joi was arrested May 29 on charges of trespassing, battery on an officer and resisting arrest at the downtown Marine Recruiting Station. -more-


University Museum Plans Slash Downtown Parking

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 09:50:00 AM
A model of the planned Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive building as seen from campus, with University Avenue on the right and the proposed high rise hotel, condo tower and conference center to the rear.

While UC Berkeley’s new downtown museum may attract praise from architecture critics, downward-directed thumbs may come from those already frustrated with the hunt for downtown parking. -more-


Planners Approve Condos

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 09:51:00 AM

Berkeley planning commissioners voted 8-1 Wednesday to approve a key legal document that paves the way for construction of a long-delayed 24-unit condominium building at 2701 Shattuck Ave. -more-


UC, Workers Return to Table, Two-Day Strike Called Off

By Judith Scherr
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 09:52:00 AM

University of California service employees, working for 10 months without a contract, have scrapped plans to walk off the job for two days this week and are back at the bargaining table. -more-


Governor: Budget Deficit Due to Health, Schools Overspending

By Judith Scherr
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 09:52:00 AM

If education, health and other state services were spent responsibly within their budgets, there would be no budget crisis, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told a group of local elected officials and community representatives at a meeting in Oakland City Hall Monday morning. -more-


Community Views BCM Studio Conversion to Classroom

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 09:53:00 AM

The future of public-access TV in Berkeley is under threat, according to supporters of Berkeley Community Media (BCM), who have requested city councilmembers to call a public hearing on Berkeley Unified School District’s plans to convert the nonprofit’s studio space into a daytime classroom in June. -more-


Scams Use Berkeley High Athletics in Oakland, Kensington

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 09:54:00 AM

Berkeley Unified School District officials said they uncovered an athletic fundraising scam on Friday, when a resident of Glenview in Oakland called to report that a young man was going door to door saying he was raising money for the Berkeley High School baseball team to visit Maui. -more-


Superintendent Points Out Discrepancies in District Ranking

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 09:56:00 AM

The Berkeley Board of Education took an in-depth look at Berkeley Unified’s 2007 Academic Performance Index (API) rankings at the school board meeting Wednesday. -more-


BUSD to Consider Rehabilitating West Campus

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 09:55:00 AM

If the Berkeley Unified School District was hoping for community support for its new $8.3 million West Campus plan at a public meeting last week, it was looking in the wrong place. -more-


City: Derby Street Arsenic Signs On Closed Lot Are Precautionary

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 09:55:00 AM
A sign mounted on the fence enclosing an abandoned stretch of rail line in the 1400 block of Derby Street warns of elevated arsenic levels in the soil.

The city has closed a lot on the 1400 block of Derby Street, across the street from a day care center, because of potentially dangerous levels of arsenic. -more-


Reedley Says OK to Aerial Spray Plan for Bay Area

By Judith Scherr
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:01:00 AM

With some 30 cities and 80 organizations on record opposing the state agriculture department’s plan to spray coastal cities and the Bay Area to eradicate the light brown apple moth (LBAM), one city is bucking the trend. Reedley, a Fresno County agricultural community of around 24,000, has stepped up to support the state. -more-


Union Vote Set for Bay Area Newspapers

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:02:00 AM

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-


Dellums Proposes 12-Day City Shutdown to Help Close Budget Gap

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:03:00 AM

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums proposed $14.4 million in cuts to the City of Oakland budget last week to offset a projected $15 million deficit in the next fiscal year, including calling for the closing down of non-essential city services for 12 days each year. -more-


Ten Questions for Oakland Councilmember Patricia Kernighan

By Jonathan Wafer Special to the Planet
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:03:00 AM
Patricia Kernighan

PATRICIA KERNIGHAN -more-


Opinion

Editorials

On Election Day, It All Adds Up

By Becky O’Malley
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:06:00 AM

It’s all about the numbers today. Barack Obama—perhaps the first Democratic candidate in recent memory who can count—has finally put together the magic number of delegates, both elected and super, and he’s The Man of the Hour. -more-


The Editor's Back Fence

The Editor's Back Fence

By Becky O'Malley
Monday June 09, 2008 - 12:23:00 PM

June is a month of final acts: graduations, performances, recitals. We’ve gone to several recitals in the last two weeks and enjoyed every one. Nothing beats the sight of a bunch of fresh-faced kids polished until they shine and on their best behavior, enjoying themselves—albeit with a bit of tension—making music or dancing. And if the music sounds good, or if the dancing delights, that’s a plus, but it isn’t really about the product, it’s about the process. -more-


Cartoons

Scott McClellan Finally Gets Back to Us

By Justin DeFreitas,
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:38:00 PM

Hillary's Loss

By Justin DeFreitas,
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:29:00 PM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:06:00 AM

BERKELEY HIGH ATHLETIC SCAMS -more-


Letters to the Editor

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

What Total Compensation Is and What It Is Not

By Tim Donnelly
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:07:00 AM

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-


An All-Out War on ‘War’

By Marvin Chachere
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:08:00 AM

I grow increasingly irritated, like a grain of sand in my shoe, when people who make a living talking misuse ordinary words. I am especially enraged when these word merchants—politicians, journalists, newscasters, pundits of all sorts—without exception refer to over 60 months of horror killing in Iraq as war. -more-


The True State of City-University Relations

By Doug Buckwald
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:08:00 AM

There is one obvious reason that Mayor Bates turned his annual State of the City address into an invitation-only private affair this year. It is just so much easier to twist and distort the truth if knowledgeable citizens are kept out of the audience. I will focus on one small part of the speech, to give you some idea of this approach in action: How did Mayor Bates characterize relations between the city and the university? -more-


Correcting the Record on NoCoHo and the ‘Kingfish’

By Karen Hester and Joan Lichterman
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:09:00 AM

The May 29 commentary, “NoCoHo at the ‘Kingfish’: Anatomy of a Deception,” is a vintage Bob Brokl hit piece, venomously twisting and misrepresenting whatever fragments of information he had. For what purpose? We can think of a few reasons for his piece and the timing: Use the co-housing group to attack his traditional opponents—incumbent City Councilmember Jane Brunner, who is running for re-election, and creative local developers of mixed-use projects in the Temescal District that meet Oakland General Plan guidelines for transit-corridor housing. Another may be to hide the court’s dismissal of his group’s lawsuits against these and similar developers. -more-


Cuba: If Change Is in the Air, Does Prosperity Lie Ahead?

By Jean Damu
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:10:00 AM

While aging anti-Castroistas in Florida and New Jersey continue to terrorize gullible U.S. politicians into supporting their quixotic dreams of returning Cuba to the ranks of U.S. gangster economics, this island nation has defied all rational odds against its socialist survival. -more-


School District Poised at a Time of Opportunity

By John Selawsky
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:10:00 AM

Berkeley Unified School District has renewed its efforts to address the achievement gap in our public schools. With City of Berkeley, community, and Alliance (a partnership of UC, the City of Berkeley, and BUSD) support, the district is in the early stages of drafting a proposal that will go to the school board before our summer break, and pending the result at the school board go to the City Council for their feedback and consideration. -more-


Columns

Dispatches From The Edge: Iran—Rumors of War

By Conn Hallinan
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:04:00 AM

The May 8 letter from U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-MI), chair of the House Judiciary Committee, to George W. Bush, received virtually no media coverage, in spite of the fact that it warned the President that an attack on Iran without Congressional approval would be grounds for impeachment. Rumor has it several senators have been briefed about the possibility of war with Iran. -more-


Public Eye: Hillary’s Judgment

By Bob Burnett
Tuesday June 10, 2008 - 04:03:00 PM

Undercurrents: Confusion Over Perata Endorsement in State Senate 9 Race

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:05:00 AM

OK, I’ll bite. Who did termed-out State Senator Don Perata end up endorsing as his successor in this week’s Democratic primary for the 9th Senate District? (A race won easily by 14th District Assemblymember Loni Hancock over former 16th District Assemblymember Wilma Chan.) -more-


Wild Neighbors: The Liminal Life of the Sea Roach

By Joe Eaton
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:18:00 AM
A western sea roach on the beach.

Last week I wrote about an encounter with migrant phalaropes at Hayward Regional Shoreline. On that same day, we wound up having lunch at the edge of the Bay, on a narrow beach littered with driftwood and miscellaneous flotsam and jetsam, including an abandoned doll. -more-


About the House: On Getting Caught

By Matt Cantor
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:17:00 AM

There’s an old aphorism that says that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. Bad phrasing, I’d say. What this old saw attempts to convey is that you are more likely to get what you want when you go ahead and do something and face have to ask for forgiveness than if you were to ask for permission in advance, facing the possibility that your desire may be withheld. -more-


Pondering the Pillar

By Jane Powell
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:16:00 AM
Like the Wicked Witch of the West, the humongous clinker brick pillars of this bungalow appear to be melting onto the lawn, as does the chimney. This bungalow is still extant in Seattle.

In my 20-odd years of studying and writing about bungalows, there are a few questions that have not been answered to my satisfaction. One of those questions is “What’s up with the big honkin’ pillars?” When the bungalow was exported from Britain to America to become an architectural symbol of the American Arts and Crafts Movement (and how that came to be is another question, which will not be answered here), gigantic pillars didn’t seem to be part of the deal. -more-


Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:13:00 AM

MONDAY, JUNE 9 -more-


‘Birth of the Cool’ at Oakland Museum

By Peter Selz Special to the Planet
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:11:00 AM
Frederick Hammersley, Up Within, 1957–58, oil on linen, 48 x 36 in.

Marshal McLuhan in his seminal book, Understanding Media (1967), differentiated between “hot” and “cool” media, the former requiring the viewer’s emotional involvement, while the latter is more abstract and detached. -more-


Fifth Annual World Music Festival On Telegraph Ave.

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:12:00 AM

I think the Berkeley World Music Festival has come of age,” said Gianna Ranuzzi, founder of the fifth annual free festivities along Telegraph Avenue, indoors and out, as well as at People’s Park. This Saturday’s day-long, overlapping series of performances of music, song and dance will both build on the previous festivals and reveal new ideas, new collaborations which promise to enrich future events. -more-


MOVING PICTURES:‘Death of a Cyclist’ Appropriates Hollywood Sheen

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:13:00 AM

It starts with a cold and cold-hearted opening scene. On a fog-shrouded road amid a desolate, Godot-like landscape, a cyclist appears in the foreground and heads toward the horizon where the road bends and vanishes. We hear a car swerve and a quick cut presents us with a close-up of the bicycle, twisted and broken with one wheel spinning. A couple steps from the car and the man kneels over the unseen cyclist as his lover stands at a remove, urging him to get back in the car. He does and the car pulls away. -more-


Altarena Stages Ernest Thompson’s ‘On Golden Pond’

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:15:00 AM

At a reunion, after years, between father and grown daughter on his 80th birthday in the family cabin on a Maine lake: “Look at our little fat girl!” exclaims Dad, and his daughter bristles. He later tells her divorced dentist beau, “Ethel is her Mommy. I’m not her Daddy. I’m ... Norman.” -more-


‘Full Monty’ at Masquers Playhouse

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:16:00 AM

Back in the late ’60s, a rather buff hardhat was introduced on a variety show on TV to sing a song. Expecting an amateur rendition, the audience ended up gaping at a cocky, tossed off “I Gotta Be Me,” rapidly escalating into a full-scale production number of a striptease, hardhat coming off to reveal a cascade of hair, jumpsuit coyly shed to expose the thorax of a workout instructor ... -more-


About the House: On Getting Caught

By Matt Cantor
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:17:00 AM

There’s an old aphorism that says that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. Bad phrasing, I’d say. What this old saw attempts to convey is that you are more likely to get what you want when you go ahead and do something and face have to ask for forgiveness than if you were to ask for permission in advance, facing the possibility that your desire may be withheld. -more-


Pondering the Pillar

By Jane Powell
Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:16:00 AM
Like the Wicked Witch of the West, the humongous clinker brick pillars of this bungalow appear to be melting onto the lawn, as does the chimney. This bungalow is still extant in Seattle.

In my 20-odd years of studying and writing about bungalows, there are a few questions that have not been answered to my satisfaction. One of those questions is “What’s up with the big honkin’ pillars?” When the bungalow was exported from Britain to America to become an architectural symbol of the American Arts and Crafts Movement (and how that came to be is another question, which will not be answered here), gigantic pillars didn’t seem to be part of the deal. -more-


Community Calendar

Thursday June 05, 2008 - 10:00:00 AM

MONDAY, JUNE 9 -more-