The Week

Dona Spring declared her support for the treesitters at UC Berkeley’s Memorial stadium on June 22. She was applauded by supporters as she spoke from her wheelchair.
By Richard Brenneman
Dona Spring declared her support for the treesitters at UC Berkeley’s Memorial stadium on June 22. She was applauded by supporters as she spoke from her wheelchair.
 

News

Berkeley Mourns Loss of Dona Spring, Fierce Advocate for the Environment, Justice, and Human and Animal Rights

By Judith Scherr
Monday July 14, 2008 - 10:50:00 AM

Berkeley is mourning the loss of Councilmember Dona Spring, protector of the environment, fighter for housing rights and champion for human and animal life. She died Sunday evening at Alta Bates/Summit Hospital in Berkeley, after being diagnosed with pneumonia. She was 55. -more-


Bates, Crowder, Alberti, Welford File for Offices

By Judith Scherr
Tuesday July 15, 2008 - 05:10:00 PM

With the official opening of the candidate filing period Monday, four new candidates have declared their interest in running for Berkeley offices. -more-


Berkeley Sea Scout Gets Six Years for Child Molestation

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday July 15, 2008 - 05:18:00 PM

Berkeley Sea Scouts leader Eugene Evans was convicted of two counts of child molestation Monday and is expected to spend six years in prison under a plea deal with the Alameda County district attorney’s office. -more-


Service Workers Strike UCs

By Judith Scherr
Monday July 14, 2008 - 09:17:00 PM

Despite what appeared to be a judge’s injunction not to strike, thousands of University of California hospital and service workers—including hundreds of UC Berkeley custodians, gardeners, cafeteria workers, bus drivers and more—put in an eight-hour shift today (Monday) walking the picket line, according to union officials. -more-


Controversy Marks Treesitter’s Arrest

By Richard Brenneman
Monday July 14, 2008 - 09:18:00 PM

Controversy over the jailing of an oak grove tree-sitter who came down after a death in the family has sparked outraged among supporters of the 17-month-old Berkeley protest. -more-


Newest Toxic Metal Discovery Poses Richmond Site Worries

By Richard Brenneman
Monday July 14, 2008 - 04:41:00 PM

The ongoing struggle over the future of two contaminated sites on the southeast Richmond shoreline has heated up again after the discovery of yet another contaminant. -more-


Film Shows Dona Spring’s Public and Personal Courage

By Judith Scherr
Saturday July 12, 2008 - 01:59:00 PM

In Lindsay Vurek’s film, “Courage in Life and Politics: the Dona Spring Story,” the 15-year Berkeley councilmember’s fierce advocacy for the environment, animals, the downtrodden and the disabled shines bright. -more-


Picnic Rock Fence Will Just Replace the Old One, Owners Say

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday July 14, 2008 - 04:37:00 PM

The owners of the Sutcliff Picnic Rock in North Berkeley told the Planet Friday its new fence will simply replace the old one. -more-


ZAB Approves Offices for Ed Roberts Campus

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday July 14, 2008 - 04:40:00 PM

The Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board approved a use permit modification for the Ed Roberts Campus Thursday to allow offices of several nonprofits to be located in a residential zone near the Ashby BART, but they limited the ruling to include only those organizations. -more-


Oakland City Council To Consider Four Finalists For Oakland Army Base Development

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Monday July 14, 2008 - 04:34:00 PM

Oakland City Council’s Community and Economic Development Committee chopped the Oakland Army Base suitors in half last week, approving a staff recommendation to pare down from eight to four the list of proposed developers for Oakland’s massive 108-acre Gateway Development project. -more-


Judge Enjoins UC Worker Strike, University Says; Workers Say Strike is OK

By Judith Scherr
Saturday July 12, 2008 - 01:57:00 PM

Although a University of California press statement issued Friday says a San Francisco Superior Court judge has enjoined University of California service workers around the state from participating in a five-day strike scheduled for July 14-18, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Union says the university misinterpreted the judge’s order, so the service workers will be out in force on strike beginning Monday. -more-


Planning Commission Leaps Tall Buildings

By Richard Brenneman
Saturday July 12, 2008 - 01:57:00 PM

Berkeley planning commissioners continued their march through the Downtown Area Plan Wednesday night with a side excursion through a controversial economic study. -more-


New Dellums-Brunner Police Increase Parcel Tax Measure Barely Makes It Out Of Council Committee

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Saturday July 12, 2008 - 01:56:00 PM

The roundabout road to an Oakland ballot measure to increase the city’s police strength—projected to be placed before Oakland voters in some form or other in November—took another series of twists and turns this week. -more-


Judge Sentences Hollis to 24 Years for Willis-Starbuck’s Death

Bay City News
Friday July 11, 2008 - 03:00:00 PM

A judge today (Friday) sentenced Christopher Hollis to 24 years in state prison, the toughest sentence possible, for fatally shooting his friend Meleia Willis-Starbuck after responding to her plea for help in a Berkeley street confrontation nearly three years ago. -more-


Telegraph Merchants Petition Against Noise from Amplified Preaching

By Judith Scherr
Friday July 11, 2008 - 12:40:00 PM

“Where will you spend eternity?” The preacher is saving souls. His voice-amplified at no more than 65 decibels according to SOS Ministries-resonates through speakers, carrying the message of salvation through Jesus Christ along the Telegraph Avenue/Haste Street corridors. -more-


Community Questions Berkeley Mayor About Pacific Steel Agreement

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday July 11, 2008 - 12:39:00 PM

Almost five months after the Berkeley City Council voted unanimously to enter into an agreement with Pacific Steel Casting to cut emissions and odor within a specific timeline, community activists met with Mayor Tom Bates and Councilmember Linda Maio at the City Hall Wednesday for their first update on the process. -more-


Planners Approve Wireless Ordinance

By Richard Brenneman
Friday July 11, 2008 - 12:38:00 PM

Berkeley planning commissioners finally approved a new wireless ordinance for the city Wednesday, after making two minor tweaks to a revision of the 17th version prepared by city staff. -more-


UC Berkeley Building Projects, Lawsuits on Regents’ Agenda

By Richard Brenneman
Friday July 11, 2008 - 12:38:00 PM

The UC Regents are scheduled to make key votes Tuesday on three major Berkeley building projects. -more-


Berkeley Residents Line Up Early for New iPhone

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Saturday July 12, 2008 - 02:00:00 PM

In a city that’s synonymous with protests against cell phone antennas, more than 100 people queued up outside the downtown Berkeley AT&T Wireless store as early as 7 a.m. for the launch of Apple Inc’s next generation iPhone Friday. -more-


City Won’t Sue Over Anti-BRT Initiative

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:27:00 AM
Dean Metzger, president of the Claremont-Elmwood Neighborhood Association, accompanied by Martha Jones, mayoral candidate Shirley Dean and Barbara Gilbert, speaks at a press conference Tuesday on the steps of the Maudelle Shirek Building, calling on the City Council not to sue its citizens and to honor the initiative process by placing the “Voters’ Right to Approve Certain Major Transportation Changes” initiative on the ballot.

The Berkeley City Council huddled behind closed doors Tuesday evening to hear Acting City Attorney Zach Cowan tell them why a citizen-initiated anti-Bus Rapid Transit measure might not pass legal muster—and to consider whether the city should file suit to keep the measure off the ballot. -more-


Dean Running for Mayor

Judith Scherr
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:28:00 AM

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


Committee Approves $14 Million in Loans, Grants for Renovation of Oakland’s Fox Theater

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:28:00 AM

Oakland City Council’s powerful Community and Economic Development Committee approved $14.45 million in new city loans and grants to the Fox Oakland restoration project Tuesday afternoon, bringing the total projected cost of the project to $82.7 million. -more-


Civil Grand Jury ‘Appalled’ By Oakland’s Credit Card Policies

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:29:00 AM

The Alameda County Civil Grand Jury took a major swipe at what it called a lax City of Oakland credit card policy, but otherwise made no blockbuster charges or recommendations in its final report for the 2007-08 session issued this week. -more-


No Permit Required for Fencing of Sutcliff Picnic Rock

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:29:00 AM
The owners of Picnic Rock intend to fence off the popular rock climbing site.

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


Landmarks Preservation Commission Criticizes Copra Warehouse Demolition

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:30:00 AM
Above: Drawing of building proposed by San Rafael-based Wareham Development that was presented to the Berkeley Landmarks Preservation Commission on Thursday. The building would replace the Copra Warehouse. Only the façade of the warehouse (pictured below) would remain, as pictured on the right-hand side of the drawing. Bottom: The proposed project has changed considerably since it was presented three years ago.

Plans to demolish the landmarked Copra Warehouse (Durkee Famous Foods) in West Berkeley to make way for the construction of a four-story, 106,795-square-foot research and laboratory building were criticized by the Berkeley Landmarks Preservation Commission on Thursday. -more-


Landmarks Commission OKs Magnes Museum’s Downtown Move

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:31:00 AM

The Berkeley Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the Judah L. Magnes Museum’s request for a structural alteration permit to rehabilitate the historic Armstrong University building in downtown Berkeley last week. -more-


Lawsuits Challenge BP Project Lab, LBNL Computer Lab

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:30:00 AM

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


Drought Water Rates Hit Conservers and Wasters Alike

By Kristin McFarland
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:32:00 AM

Despite public and board member concerns, the East Bay Municipal Utility District passed updated drought rates this week that will go into effect Aug. 1. -more-


Identity-Change Literature Found in Missing Texas Student’s Car

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:33:00 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, and a Pleasanton group is hoping to recruit local volunteers to search for him in Berkeley this weekend. -more-


State Announces Free Meals to Help Students During Summer

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:34:00 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 on Monday. -more-


Police Alarmed by Several Recent Berkeley Crimes

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:34:00 AM

Several crimes in the last three weeks have prompted the Berkeley Police Department to issue a community warning Tuesday, which asks residents to keep their doors and windows locked and remain alert. -more-


Berkeley Firefighters Fear ‘Perfect Storm’

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:34:00 AM

California firefighters are exhausting themselves as they battle blazes from one end of the state to the other. Throughout the state, politics and housing policies are combining to create the conditions for the firefighting equivalent of a perfect storm. -more-


Four Builders Picked for Art Museum Bids

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:35:00 AM

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


Three-Vehicle Crash Causes Major Injuries

Bay City News
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:36:00 AM

A slowed or stopped vehicle on eastbound Interstate Highway 80 near Gilman Street in Berkeley caused a three-vehicle crash early Wednesday morning that sent one person to a hospital with major injuries, according to the California Highway Patrol. -more-


At-Risk Youth Beautify South Berkeley with Art Projects

By Kristin McFarland
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:38:00 AM
Under the guidance of local artist Rev. Alan Laird, teenagers are painting 10 street-side benches along Adeline and will help with eight mosaic street barricades and three tiled traffic turnarounds.

In the littered pavement desert of Adeline Street, above the Ashby BART, Youth Spirit Artwork’s “Healthy South Berkeley” painted benches are oases of vibrant color. -more-


Dellums Fires Edgerly’s Second in Command

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:38:00 AM

In a sign of a continuing shakeup in Oakland City Hall growing out of the Deborah Edgerly controversy, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums has fired Assistant City Administrator Cheryl Thompson. -more-


Ed Roberts Campus Administrators Ask Zoning Board to Allow Offices in Residential Zone

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:40:00 AM

Almost four years after the Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board approved plans for the Ed Roberts Campus at the Ashby BART station, the nonprofit will return to the zoning board Thursday to request a use permit modification to allow offices in a residentially zoned neighborhood. -more-


Warm Pool Bond Might Make November Ballot

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:54:00 AM

A revamped proposal to place a $15 million bond on the November ballot for a replacement warm pool got thumbs up from warm-pool users at Tuesday’s Berkeley City Council meeting. -more-


Council Approves Placing Ballot Measures, Request for Tree-Sitters’ Food

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:56:00 AM

Tuesday’s council meeting began with the council honoring the Berkeley Opera company. -more-


Excursions: Livermore—Wine Tasting, Cooking, Bocce Ball and More

By Carole Terwilliger Meyers Special to the Planet
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:39:00 AM
Richard Dixon, owner of Les Chenes winery, examines Bent Creek’s vines.

Surprisingly, out there in the Tri-Valley suburbs, just past Livermore’s tract homes, more than 40 wineries are busy making darn good wines. They’re less touted only because they aren’t in Sonoma-Napa, and many still offer free tasting. And should you be in the market for a new house, it’s still possible to buy a home surrounded by a vineyard that is maintained by a winery (no more mowing the grass). -more-


Opinion

Editorials

Dona Spring: An Appreciation

By Becky O’Malley
Monday July 14, 2008 - 12:30:00 PM

Dona Spring was the bravest person I’ve ever met. No, she wasn’t just brave, she was fierce, as fierce as a lioness defending her cubs. She loved justice as much as she despised injustice, and for Dona “Justice for All” included all species, not just all humans. -more-


Oil, Out-Gassing and Mad Tea Parties

By Becky O'Malley
Monday July 14, 2008 - 12:22:00 PM

A recent correspondent took umbrage at my use, in an “Editor’s Back Fence” column on the Planet website, of a line from My Fair Lady to describe UC Berkeley’s main flack (or less colloquially, principal spokesperson) Dan Mogulof: “Oozing charm from every pore, he oiled his way across the floor.” Well, I listened to Mogulof at length on Monday night on KALW’s City Visions call-in program on UC’s stadium gym proposal, and I stand by my story, as we say in the trade. He’s an oily kinda guy. -more-


Cartoons

Dona Spring

By Justin DeFreitas
Tuesday July 15, 2008 - 09:07:00 AM

Falling Statues

By Justin DeFreitas
Tuesday July 15, 2008 - 09:06:00 AM

Democratic Principles

By Justin DeFreitas
Tuesday July 15, 2008 - 09:07:00 AM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:45:00 AM

TIME FOR A DECISION -more-


Letters to the Editor

Tuesday July 15, 2008 - 05:31:00 PM

Police Misconduct Along the Berkeley-Oakland Border

By Joseph Buddenberg
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:46:00 AM

I am writing to individual city council members in hopes that I can resolve this issue. I plan to go to Berkeley Police Review Commission and file a formal complaint about this unjust harassment and political persecution at the hands of the Berkeley Police Department, more specifically Officer O’ Donnell. -more-


A Failed Effort to Feed the Tree-Sitters

By Carol Gesbeck DeWitt
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:47:00 AM

I was among a group of people who tried to bring fresh food to the UC Berkeley tree-sitters. I am a licensed vocational nurse and have spent my life taking care of people. I believe that it is immoral for the UC administration to use starvation as a claimed legitimate method to end a peaceful civil disobedience dispute with the tree-sitters. For the length of this tree-sit-in, Sunday at 2 p.m. has been the time when those in the community who support the goals of these people come together to provide balanced and healthy food. I don’t show up every week as some of the faithful have, but I consider myself to be a regular participant. -more-


Berkeley’s Anti-Environmentalist Movement

By Charles Siegel
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:47:00 AM

The current anti-BRT initiative highlights the split in Berkeley politics between environmentalists who support better public transportation and more walkable neighborhoods and anti-environmentalists who oppose these things. -more-


No Sense

By Pamela Collett
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:48:00 AM

Of time or space -more-


Fix Memorial Stadium Before Building Athletic Center

By Doug Buckwald and Shirley Dean
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:49:00 AM

It does not take a degree in engineering to notice that California Memorial Stadium is in very bad shape—it just takes common sense. Even a casual observer cannot help but notice the cracks throughout the structure; the cavities where concrete has fallen away revealing rusted reinforcement bars; the support columns that are leaning and separating; the warped and splintered bench seats; and the weathered metal plate that covers the expanding gap in section KK caused by fault movement. The Hayward Fault that runs from goal post to goal post is slowly splitting the stadium apart and the effects are clearly visible. The geological reality is that two giant pieces of the earth’s crust, the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate, are slowly sliding in opposite directions, building up a tremendous amount of strain. When the Hayward Fault next suffers a major rupture, and there is no doubt that this event is imminent, the stadium itself will be severely damaged. -more-


Absurdity at the Top

By Marvin Chachere
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:50:00 AM

In 1955 the late Jacques Barzun put his teaching and research on hold to be dean and then provost at Columbia University. He wanted, among other things, to learn first hand just what a top university administrator had to do. Not surprisingly he did not like the job and after a decade or so he eagerly returned to his former position on the faculty. -more-


Commercial Sports Is Not UC’s Mission

By Anamaria Sanchez Romero
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:50:00 AM

Big-time college athletics” training facility destroying the oak grove—far from the mission of the university: teaching, research and public service—yet so close to the Hayward Fault? -more-


Bulldozed in Berkeley

By Kim Fogel
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:51:00 AM

I sent this letter about to the American Pain Foundation, a national pain patients’ advocacy group (www.painfoundation.org). -more-


Columns

The Public Eye: Obama’s Oil Opportunity

By Bob Burnett
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:41:00 AM

It’s the price of oil, stupid! The most recent Gallup Poll shows three issues dominating the 2008 presidential election: “energy, including gas prices,” “the economy,” and “the situation in Iraq.” Oil connects these concerns and also the prospect of global climate change. To win in November, Barack Obama has to focus on America’s oil problem. -more-


Undercurrents: With Edgerly Gone, Are There More Witches Left to Be Hunted?

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:43:00 AM

No one should waste sympathy on Ms. Edgerly for her abrupt firing from her job as Oakland city administrator by Mayor Ron Dellums. City administrators serve on an “at will” basis, meaning that they can be removed at any time by the mayor without cause. That’s the nature of the position, and anyone taking the job knows the risks. Also, if you can believe the local media accounts of Ms. Edgerly’s severance package—and if you’re a regular reader of this column, you know that I faithfully believe local media accounts of Oakland government—then the ousted city administrator has made for herself a soft place to land after being thrown out of her office. -more-


Wild Neighbors: Three Beers for The Olive-Sided Flycatcher

By Joe Eaton
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:59:00 AM

Birding by ear is not one of my strengths. Every spring I have to learn to distinguish the songs of the American robin, black-headed grosbeak, and western tanager all over again. I have always envied people who can hear one hear one passing chirp and announce, confidently: “Pine grosbeak!” -more-


East Bay: Then and Now—The Shrinking Legacy of Volney D. Moody and His Heirs

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:56:00 AM
George E. Stone’s pioneering film laboratory was converted into a charming residence in 1926.

When pioneer banker Volney D. Moody died in March 1901, he left an estate worth over $600,000—the equivalent of many millions today. Moody’s will earmarked two-fifths of the estate to his second wife, Mary Moody, with the remaining three-fifths going to a son and two daughters from his first marriage. Displeased with their share, the three offspring contested the will. Some of the objections they cited were the unusually large portion left to the widow, the preponderance of choice properties she received, leaving them the dregs, and her two daughters being made beneficiaries of her share. -more-


Abou the House: Some Thoughts on Learning How to Surf

By Matt Cantor
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:58:00 AM

In many ways my job is quite a joy. I get paid to do what many do on a free Sunday as their idea of fun. Looking at houses is both complex and deeply satisfying. Houses, especially those built in the early part of the 20th century (if not earlier) have so many pleasing features that it often feels more like art appreciation during my work day than data gathering. Then there’s the complex part. -more-


Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:52:00 AM

THURSDAY, JULY 10 -more-


American Bach Soloists Stage Annual Festival

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:51:00 AM

SummerFest, the American Bach Soloists’ annual midsummer evening festival, features three nights of music in each of three locations—Belvedere, San Francisco and Davis—begining this weekend. -more-


SF Mime Troupe Brings ‘Red State’ to East Bay Parks

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:53:00 AM

“It’s a punishment from the Lord!” -more-


ISHMAEL REED, FAE MYENNE NG AT MOE’S BOOKS

By Ken Bullock
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:52:00 AM

Books: My Commonplace Book

By Dorothy Bryant Special to the Planet
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:42:00 AM

Back in my teaching days I required that my students keep a journal, covering at least one page a day with whatever was on their minds. Later, in Writing a Novel, written after I’d left the classroom, I insisted that aspiring writers keep a journal, and, whenever beginning writers asked me for advice, face-to-face, I said it again. And again. -more-


East Bay: Then and Now—The Shrinking Legacy of Volney D. Moody and His Heirs

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:56:00 AM
George E. Stone’s pioneering film laboratory was converted into a charming residence in 1926.

When pioneer banker Volney D. Moody died in March 1901, he left an estate worth over $600,000—the equivalent of many millions today. Moody’s will earmarked two-fifths of the estate to his second wife, Mary Moody, with the remaining three-fifths going to a son and two daughters from his first marriage. Displeased with their share, the three offspring contested the will. Some of the objections they cited were the unusually large portion left to the widow, the preponderance of choice properties she received, leaving them the dregs, and her two daughters being made beneficiaries of her share. -more-


Abou the House: Some Thoughts on Learning How to Surf

By Matt Cantor
Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:58:00 AM

In many ways my job is quite a joy. I get paid to do what many do on a free Sunday as their idea of fun. Looking at houses is both complex and deeply satisfying. Houses, especially those built in the early part of the 20th century (if not earlier) have so many pleasing features that it often feels more like art appreciation during my work day than data gathering. Then there’s the complex part. -more-


Community Calendar

Thursday July 10, 2008 - 09:37:00 AM

THURSDAY, JULY 10 -more-