News

Treesitter Collapses; Doctor Blasts Police

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday July 02, 2008 - 06:48:00 PM

A treesitter collapsed moments after climbing down from her perch at the UC Berkeley oak grove, and campus police initially refused to allow a doctor in to examine the ailing woman, known as Dumpster Muffin. -more-


Public Urges City to File Appeal over UC Gym Project Decision

By Judith Scherr
Tuesday July 01, 2008 - 04:16:00 PM

More than 60 people came to the open session before the Berkeley City Council closed meeting Monday to urge the council to “do what’s right” by standing up to the university and appealing the judge’s final decision in the lawsuit on the sports training/stadium issue. -more-


Wireless Law Rewired; More Work Lies Ahead

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday July 01, 2008 - 04:19:00 PM

Berkeley’s proposed new wireless antenna ordinance, now in its 15th revision, still faces stiff opposition in a game in which one side holds almost all the cards. -more-


Treesitters, University Win Split Court Ruling

By Richard Brenneman
Monday June 30, 2008 - 04:19:00 PM

A judge ordered the University of California not to endanger the lives of Berkeley’s treesitters Monday but refused to order the university to give them food and water. -more-


Keene Goes to Palo Alto

By Judith Scherr
Monday June 30, 2008 - 04:20:00 PM

Jim Keene, city manager in Berkeley from 1996 to 2000, has a new gig: On Sept. 2 he’ll become city manager of Palo Alto, with a yearly salary of $240,000. -more-


Magnes Museum Moves Ahead With Relocation Plans

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday June 30, 2008 - 04:52:00 PM

The Judah L. Magnes Museum will ask the Berkeley Landmarks Preservation Commission Thursday to approve a structural alteration permit to rehabilitate the landmarked Armstrong College at 2222 Harold Way, where it plans to relocate in spring 2010. -more-


UC Drops Stadium Brace To Avoid Alquist-Priolo Valuation for Gym Project

By Bay City News and Planet Staff
Sunday June 29, 2008 - 01:49:00 PM

UC-Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said Friday that UC Berkeley has told Judge Barbara Miller that it will not be placing a new grade beam on Memorial Stadium's foundation during construction of its new training facility. The university is also dropping its plan to hold up to seven non-football events at the football stadium. -more-


Police Send Up Water To Tree-sitters; Court Hearing Set for Monday

By Richard Brenneman
Saturday June 28, 2008 - 02:50:00 PM
A package of bottled water, provided by UC Berkeley police, is pulled up by tree-sitters Thursday.

Lawyers representing the treesitters at Memorial Stadium said Friday that UC Berkeley officials have agreed to provide food and water for arboreal protesters. -more-


School Board Picks Curvy Derby as Preferred Option for East Campus

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Saturday June 28, 2008 - 07:12:00 AM

The Berkeley Board of Education picked Curvy Derby as its preferred option for the Berkeley Unified School District’s East Campus field Wednesday, but acknowledged that the district lacks funds to build it. -more-


New Layoffs Hit East Bay Papers

By Richard Brenneman
Saturday June 28, 2008 - 07:13:00 AM

It’s been a good news/bad news week for the 235 newly unionized reporters and editors of the Bay Area News Group-East Bay. -more-


Council Shuts Out Public in Tree-Sit Discussions

By Judith Scherr
Friday June 27, 2008 - 09:02:00 PM

While some tree-sit supporters applaud the city decision to look at suing the university over the barriers it has erected on city streets and sidewalks to keep tree-sit supporters away from Memorial Grove protesters, they also are saying that the city should include the public in discussions about the issues of the health and safety of the protesters. -more-


BRT Hits A Bumpy Road At Planning Commission

By Richard Brenneman
Friday June 27, 2008 - 09:03:00 PM

Declaring that Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) “looks to me like a huge development scheme,” Berkeley Planning Commissioner Patti Dacey said she couldn’t cast a vote without more information about its potential impacts. -more-


Neighbors Oppose Safeway’s Plans to Expand Shattuck Avenue Store

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday June 27, 2008 - 09:05:00 PM

It was déjà vu all over again for supermarket chain giant Safeway when it unveiled plans to remodel its North Shattuck store at the Hillside Club Wednesday. -more-


ZAB Gives Thai Temple a Chance to Address Use Permit Violations

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday June 27, 2008 - 09:02:00 PM

A recent report from city officials says the Berkeley Thai Temple repeatedly violated its zoning permit by selling food to the public during religious events on Sundays. -more-


Code Pink Women Claim Court Victory

By Judith Scherr
Friday June 27, 2008 - 09:06:00 PM

A superior court judge Tuesday reaffirmed the rights of four Code Pink women to demonstrate at the downtown Berkeley Marine Recruiting Station, according to Zanne Joi of Code Pink. -more-


Three Days After Expressing Support For Edgerly, Dellums Suspends Her As City Administrator

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday June 27, 2008 - 08:59:00 PM

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums has placed City Administrator Deborah Edgerly on administrative leave effective immediately, removing her from all duties until her previously announced retirement July 31. -more-


AC Transit Directors Slow Drive Toward Van Hools

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday June 27, 2008 - 09:00:00 PM

The AC Transit Board of Directors temporarily put the brakes on the district’s recent push to transform a large portion of its fleet into buses made by Belgian bus manufacturer Van Hool, rejecting a request by District Manager Rick Fernandez to replace 30 retiring 60-foot buses made by New Flyer with 19 new buses made by Van Hool. -more-


New Candidates Take Out Preliminary Papers

By Judith Scherr
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 02:49:00 PM

Looking only at candidates for office who have taken out preliminary papers, it appears as if the rent board is the most contested race—actually, it is the only contested race—to date. -more-


Van Hool Critic Announces Plans To Run For Seat Occupied By AC Transit’s Biggest Van Hool Supporter

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 02:24:00 PM

Oakland architect and public transit advocate Joyce Roy announced plans Wednesday to run against AC Transit Board President Chris Peeples for Peeples’ at-large board seat in the November election, setting up a probable electoral clash over the transit district’s controversial Van Hool bus policy. -more-


Confrontation at Stadium Triggers New Arrests

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:20:00 AM

Tensions escalated outside UC Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium Sunday, following a confrontation between Berkeley City Council-member Dona Spring and campus Assistant Police Chief Mitch Celaya. -more-


Monday July 07, 2008 - 10:57:00 AM

Cody’s Closes For Good, Black Oak Now Under New Ownership

By Judith Scherr
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:21:00 AM

After 52 years at various Berkeley locations—and one in San Francisco—Cody’s Books has closed the store it opened just three months ago on Shattuck Avenue. Barring a miracle, Cody’s will not reopen, according to Hiroshi Kagawa, the store’s third and last owner. -more-


Stadium Ruling Invites Various Interpretations

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:22:00 AM

No sooner had Judge Barbara J. Miller ruled on the California Memorial Stadium projects lawsuit last week than all sides were spinning her June 18 decision faster than a pool hustler’s cue ball. -more-


City Refuses to Weigh In on Tree-Sitter Safety

By Judith Scherr
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:22:00 AM

The most notable event at the Tuesday night/Wednesday morning City Council meeting was what did not happen: The council scheduled the issue of the health and safety of the tree sitters as an emergency item, then refused to extend the meeting late enough to discuss and vote on the matter. -more-


Bates Declares Lawsuit Victory; Wozniak Says Not So

By Judith Scherr
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:33:00 AM

While Mayor Tom Bates declared victory last week, the day after a judge’s ruling on Berkeley’s lawsuit over UC Berkeley’s proposed construction of a sports facility adjacent to Memorial Stadium, City Councilmember Gordon Wozniak called the ruling a loss for the city. -more-


News Analysis: Stadium Decision: An Initial Assessment

By Antonio Rossmann
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:34:00 AM

Judge Barbara Miller has given cause for celebration by both the university proponents of the stadium-with-athletic-center project and the litigants and other community members opposed to the present proposal. Each side could rightfully claim on release of the opinion that they were victorious. But neither side can rightfully deny the other side’s success. -more-


Tree-Sitting, Since 1930

By Hank Chapot Special to the Planet
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:35:00 AM
A clipping from the July 21, 1930, San Francisco Chronicle

The Memorial Stadium oak grove standoff at UC is a dangerous and dramatic business, but tree sitting has a more prosaic origin. In the summer of 1930, when “endurance marathons” were the rage, schoolboys and girls across the country became tree sitters for glory and prizes and a chance to get their picture in the paper. -more-


State Withdraws Aerial Spray Plan

By Judith Scherr
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:23:00 AM

After months of local government and citizen condemnation from Monterey to the East Bay of the state’s proposed plan to spray by air to disrupt the reproduction of the light brown apple moth (LBAM), with anti-spray bills moving rapidly through the state legislature and with lawsuits temporarily tying up the spray program in two counties, California Secretary of Agriculture A. J. Kawamura announced last week that he has a new attack plan aimed at the tiny moth native to Australia. -more-


South Berkeley Man Fatally Shot in Home

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:23:00 AM
A relative of Charles Faison collapses after learning that Faison, the father of his niece and nephews, had been slain Wednesday morning in his Emerson Street home.

A Berkeley man, described by neighbors as a private security guard and a father, was fatally gunned down in his home on the morning of June 19. Although police initially refused to release the victim’s identity, they later said he was Charles Faison, 39. -more-


Planning Commission Continues Downtown Plan Chapter Review

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:24:00 AM

Planning commissioners continued their ongoing review of the Downtown Area Plan this week, taking up chapters focusing on economic development and historic preservation and urban design during their meeting last Wednesday. -more-


Safeway Unveils New Plans for College Avenue Store

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:30:00 AM

Safeway had few supporters among the 300 people who turned up at the Peralta Elementary School last week to listen to the supermarket giant’s new plans to remodel its College Avenue store. -more-


Down Home Music Leaves Fourth Street

By Judith Scherr
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:25:00 AM

After only 11 months in Berkeley, Down Home Music is moving out of its Fourth Street store. -more-


New Principal Named for Cragmont Elementary

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:25:00 AM

The Berkeley Unified School District named Berkeley High School Independent Studies Coordinator Evelyn Bradley as the new principal for Cragmont Elementary School earlier this month. -more-


School Board Asks District to Draw Up West Campus Rehabilitation Plans

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:26:00 AM

The Berkeley Board of Education last week refrained from approving the use of prefabricated modular buildings for West Campus and instead directed staff to develop rehabilitation plans for the Bonar Street building, and return with both options on Aug. 20. -more-


Jefferson Kitchen Plans Scrapped, for Now

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:27:00 AM

Plans to remodel the central kitchen at Jefferson Elementary School have been dropped to cut costs and make the nutrition services program function independently of school bond money, district officials said Monday. -more-


West Berkeley Food Festival Introduces Culture Through Cuisine

By Kristin McFarland
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:27:00 AM

At Casa Latina, owner Jose Ruiz tries to meld cultures by appealing to all the senses. Inside the brightly painted taqueria, cafe and bakery, reggae, Brazilian and hip-hop music provide ambient background to the brightly lit cases of Mexican pastries and the artwork-covered walls. Visitors are embraced by a multicultural tapestry of sights, smells and sounds. -more-


Edgerly Announces Retirement

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:28:00 AM

The administration of Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums sought to put a quick end to the controversy surrounding Oakland Administrator Deborah Edgerly this week by announcing that, based upon a longstanding agreement between the mayor and the administrator going back to January, Edgerly will retire effective July 31 of this year. -more-


Local, Nor-Cal Blazes Keep Berkeley’s Firefighters Busy

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:28:00 AM

In addition to fighting two fires and rescuing a woman from the waters off the Berkeley Marina, Berkeley firefighters tackled two out-of-town assignments in the last seven days. -more-


Honoring Luanne Rogers: Paying It Forward

By Anne-Marie Hogan
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:29:00 AM
Luanne Rogers

The Berkeley community came together in April to celebrate the life of Luanne Rogers, who died peacefully this month. The outpouring of love and appreciation at that event was a testament to Luanne’s full participation in and powerful effect on nourishing our community’s spirit and challenging us to make a difference. -more-


Bayer Moves Administrative Offices to West Berkeley

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:31:00 AM

The Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) approved a use permit for Bayer Healthcare earlier this month, giving the pharmaceutical giant the green light to move some of its administrative offices into 921 Parker St., a space zoned specifically for industrial use. -more-


City Says Thai Temple Violated Food Sales Use Permit

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:32:00 AM

Wat Mongkolratanaram users will request the Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) today (Thursday) for a use permit once again to build a new Buddha shrine at the Russell Street Thai Temple and add four parking spaces on an adjacent vacant lot. -more-


Campaign Finance Reports Show Skinner Won Fundraising Battle in Assembly District 14

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:32:00 AM

In the waning days of the June 3 primary campaign, running out of the capital needed for a last-minute electoral push, and his dream of becoming a member of the California State Assembly slipping away from him, Berkeley City Councilmember Kriss Worthington loaned his campaign $20,000. That was on top of another $22,000 he had loaned his campaign in mid-January. -more-


Council Scorecard

By Judith Scherr
Thursday June 26, 2008 - 09:48:00 AM

A Berkeley City Council meeting Tuesday that stretched into Wednesday began on a light note, honoring local poet Adam David Miller. -more-