News

Dean Takes Out Papers for Mayoral Race

By Judith Scherr
Tuesday July 08, 2008 - 04:31:00 PM

Two-term mayor, 15-year councilmember Shirley Dean took out preliminary papers to run for Berkeley mayor today (Tuesday). -more-


Lawsuits Challenge BP Project Lab, Computing Center at LBNL Campus

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday July 08, 2008 - 04:31:00 PM

Environmental activists have filed two lawsuits that seek to block construction of two major facilities at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). -more-


Economy, Downtown Plan Block High-Rises, Consultants Declare

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday July 08, 2008 - 11:47:00 AM

Tall buildings aren’t economically feasible for downtown Berkeley under the proposed new Downtown Area Plan, at least given the current state of the market, according to a city-funded study. -more-


State Announces Free Meals To Help Students During Summer

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday July 08, 2008 - 11:42:00 AM

Berkeley Unified School District families in need will qualify for a free summer meal program, according to an announcement by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell today (Monday). -more-


Missing Rice University Student May Have Changed Identity

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday July 08, 2008 - 11:35:00 AM

Literature and notes on how to assume a new identity were found in the car, abandoned on a Berkeley street, of missing Rice University student Matthew Wilson, Berkeley police said last week. -more-


Council Considers Legal Action Against Proposed Anti-BRT Ballot Initiative

By Judith Scherr
Monday July 07, 2008 - 04:56:00 PM

At a special closed-door session at 6 p.m. Tuesday, the Berkeley City Council, on the advice of its attorney, could vote to go to court to stop a proposed ballot measure that would “require voter approval before dedicating Berkeley streets or lanes for transit-only or HOV/bus-only use.” -more-


Council May Place Tax Measures on Ballot and Address Tree Sitters’ Needs

By Judith Scherr
Monday July 07, 2008 - 04:56:00 PM

After debating for months which tax measures to place before the voters in November, the City Council is likely to take action onTuesday night. -more-


Berkeley Gains New Treesitter

By Richard Brenneman
Monday July 07, 2008 - 04:57:00 PM

Berkeley’s dwindling tree-sitter population notched up by one Sunday night just days after numbers had dwindled by four. -more-


Landmarks Commission Has No Say Over Fencing In Picnic Rock

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 04:44:00 PM

Although some members of Berkeley’s Landmarks Preservation Commission expressed concern about fencing the historic Sutcliff Picnic Rock in North Berkeley, there appears little they can do to prevent it. -more-


Four Builders Picked For Art Museum Bids

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 04:46:00 PM

UC Berkeley has picked four companies to bid on the new Berkeley Art Museum, the structure that is likely to become the architecturally most striking and controversial feature of the city center. -more-


Tree Sitter Jailed at Santa Rita

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 04:46:00 PM

Amanda Tierney, 21, better known as Dumpster Muffin, was among the three tree sitters to leave their perches at UC Berkeley’s Memorial Grove on Wednesday. After the intervention of her doctor, paramedics took her to Highland Hospital. -more-


Public Urges City to Appeal Stadium Decision

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 09:46:00 AM

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


UC, Tree-Sitter Clashes Continue in Court, Grove

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 09:47:00 AM

It’s been a week of tense confrontations between UC Berkeley and the tree-sitters occupying the grove where the university wants to build its showcase high-tech gym. -more-


Fate of Grove May Hinge on Necessity of ‘Grade Beam’

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 09:48:00 AM

UC Berkeley officials believe they’ve side-stepped a judge’s ruling adroitly enough to have removed the last roadblocks to building the Memorial Stadium gym. -more-


Tree-Sitter Collapses

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 04:32:00 PM
Campus Police arrested treesitter Dumpster Muffin after she came down from the branches and collapsed Wednesday afternoon, as Assistant police Chief Mitch Celaya, right, watches. Supporters say she was initially denied medical aide, an account denied by the university.

A tree-sitter 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-


Money Worries Top Cal’s Tree-Sit Woes

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 04:34:00 PM

For UC Berkeley officials, money may or may not be the root of all evil, but it’s at the root of their opposition to the ongoing tree-sit outside Memorial Stadium. -more-


School Board Prefers ‘Curvy Derby’ Plan

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 09:48:00 AM

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


Neighbors Oppose Shattuck Safeway Expansion

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 09:49:00 AM

It was déjà vu all over again for supermarket chain Safeway when it unveiled plans to remodel its north Shattuck Avenue store at the Hillside Club last week. -more-


Computer Book Author Buys Black Oak Books

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 09:50:00 AM
Gary Cornell is the new owner of Black Oak Books.

Cody’s Books was taken off life support June 20, taking its place in the beloved bookstore graveyard next to A Clean Well-Lighted Place, Avenue Books, Mama Bear’s, A Woman’s Place Bookstore and others. -more-


Code Pink Women Claim Court Victory

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 09:51:00 AM

A superior court judge last week 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-


Zoning Board Gives Thai Temple a Chance to Address Violations

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 09:52:00 AM

A 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-


Lake Merritt Tree Removal Complete

BY J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 09:52:00 AM

In this photo are the remains of one of some 200 trees removed by the City of Oakland from the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center parking lot, the 12th Street median between the convention center and Lake Merritt and the Lake Merritt Channel. In the background is the Kaiser Convention Center, which the Oakland City Council closed a year ago in a cost-cutting measure. The tree removal, which took place in mid-June, is part of the multimillion dollar Measure DD renovation of the eastern Lake Merritt grounds that will eventually result in a shrinking of the 12th Street-14th Street corridor from 12 lanes to six, the creation of a four-acre park, and the connection of Lake Merritt with the convention center grounds by a pedestrian walkway bridge. Last October, an Alameda County Superior Court judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Friends of the Lake which had challenged the City of Oakland’s procedures in condemning the trees. -more-


Bumpy Road for Bus Rapid Transit at Planning Commission

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 09:53:00 AM

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


Wireless Law Rewired, More Work Lies Ahead

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 09:54:00 AM

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-


University Moves Ahead With Anna Head Housing

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 09:54:00 AM

UC Berkeley is moving forward with plans to build a 479-bed, $75 million student housing project across the street from People’s Park. -more-


Edgerly Fired After Postponing Retirement

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 09:55:00 AM

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums sought to put an end to the City Hall phase of the Deborah Edgerly controversy this week, firing the Oakland city administrator in a terse letter delivered late Tuesday. -more-


Berkeley Finds Likely Animal Shelter Site

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 09:55:00 AM

After searching for almost six years for a new animal shelter site—one large enough for the animals and where barking dogs won’t raise the ire of sleeping neighbors—it looks like the city has found the right location. -more-


Keene Goes to Palo Alto

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 09:56:00 AM

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-


New Candidates Take Out Preliminary Papers

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 09:56:00 AM

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-


AC Transit Directors Slow Drive to Replace Fleet with Van Hools

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 09:57:00 AM

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-


Van Hool Critic Will Run for AC Transit Board Seat

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 09:58:00 AM

Oakland architect and public transit advocate Joyce Roy announced plans last week 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-


New Layoffs Hit East Bay Papers

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 09:58:00 AM

Last week brought both good and bad news for the 235 newly unionized reporters and editors of the Bay Area News Group-East Bay. -more-


Berkeley Community Media Reaches Share Agreement with BUSD over Studio

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 09:59:00 AM

The Berkeley Community Media (BCM) reached an agreement with the Berkeley Unified School District last week, which allows it shared access to classroom space for its studio. -more-


BUSD Rescinds Most Classified Layoffs

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 10:00:00 AM

Only a handful of employees remain on Berkeley Unified School District’s list of classified personnel who have active layoff notices due to the proposed education budget cuts, according to district officials. -more-


UC Service Workers Set to Walk

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 10:00:00 AM

Service workers at University of California campuses all over the state—including around 1,200 at UC Berkeley—are preparing for a five-day walkout. -more-


Durant Ave. Murder Plea Moved to Monday

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 10:01:00 AM

Nathaniel Freeman, charged with murdering 33-year-old Maceo Smith on Durant Avenue in May, did not enter a plea as he was scheduled to do at the Alameda County Superior Court Friday. -more-


Aquatic Park Plans Raise Issues of Habitat, Flood Management

By Kristin McFarland
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 10:01:00 AM

Plans to renovate Aquatic Park have environmentalists and some members of the Parks Commission’s Aquatic Park Subcommittee concerned about the city’s motives and the plan’s potential ramifications. -more-


City Council Sends Aquatic Park Sludge for Toxics Test, Criticizes $210,00 Clean-Up Cost

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 10:02:00 AM

The Berkeley City Council asked the Public Works department last week to retest the piles of sludge that have been lying next to the Aquatic Park lagoon for the last eight months and explore options for its reuse, citing expenses for its removal as prohibitive. -more-