News

Flash: Judge Rules for UC Berkeley in Oak Grove Case

by Richard Brenneman
Tuesday July 22, 2008 - 07:10:00 PM

Berkeley’s treesitters and Memorial Stadium neighbors who had sued to block construction of a gym at the site of the adjacent oak grove were dealt a resounding setback Tuesday. -more-


Employee Charges Downtown McDonald's Franchise With Discrimination

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday July 22, 2008 - 05:34:00 PM

The Legal Aid Society Employment Law Center of San Francisco filed charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Tuesday (today), alleging that the McDonald’s in downtown Berkeley unlawfully discriminated against one of its employees and her two co-workers because of their developmental disabilities. -more-


Candidate Watch: Arreguin Declares for District 4

By Judith Scherr
Tuesday July 22, 2008 - 05:36:00 PM

Today (Tuesday) Jesse Arreguin became the fifth candidate to replace recently deceased Councilmember Dona Spring in District 4. Arreguin chairs the elected Rent Stabilization Board, chairs the Housing Advisory Commission and is a member of the Zoning Adjustments Board. -more-


Man Recovering After Falling Multiple Stories

By Kristin McFarland
Tuesday July 22, 2008 - 05:33:00 PM

A man who fell multiple stories from a window in a Berkeley apartment building on Saturday is recovering from his injuries. Police responded to a report of a man down in the 2400 block of Channing Way just before 4 a.m. when witnesses reported seeing and hearing the fall. The police found no sign of foul play and consider the fall an accident. -more-


Community Fears Bevatron Demolition Debris

By Judith Scherr
Monday July 21, 2008 - 05:07:00 PM

Fearing adverse health effects related to toxic debris from dismantling the Bevatron and the associated Building 51 at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and trucking the materials over several years through the streets of Berkeley, Councilmember Max Anderson is sponsoring a resolution for Tuesday’s City Council meeting—originally coauthored by recently deceased Councilmember Dona Spring—asking for a full environmental report on the impact of the demolition. -more-


BUSD, City Differ on Naming West Campus as a Preferred Site for Warm Pool

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday July 21, 2008 - 05:06:00 PM

The Berkeley Board of Education approved a resolution Friday to work with the City of Berkeley to relocate the warm water pool from the landmarked Old Gym to an appropriate location without naming West Campus as a preferred site. -more-


Oak Grove Protesters Arrested by UC Berkeley for Planting Seedling on Chancellor's Lawn

by Bay City News
Monday July 21, 2008 - 08:19:00 AM

Six protesters of the removal of a grove of oak trees on the University of California, Berkeley campus were arrested today after they planted an oak seedling on the lawn of the university's chancellor, a UC Berkeley police spokesman said. -more-


Police Name Suspect in Sunday’s Russell Street Shooting

by Kristin McFarland
Monday July 21, 2008 - 08:36:00 AM

Berkeley police have issued a warrant for Gabriel Alejo, 18, of Berkeley, as the suspect in Sunday night’s Russell Street shooting. -more-


Planning Commission Resumes Work on West Berkeley ‘Project’

By Richard Brenneman
Monday July 21, 2008 - 05:05:00 PM

Planning commissioners will tackle the controversial project of changing West Berkeley’s zoning ordinances when they meet Wednesday night. -more-


Protesters Bring Tree Fight Home to UC’s Birgeneau

By Bay City News and Planet staff
Monday July 21, 2008 - 05:23:00 PM

Campus police arrested six protesters Sunday after they -more-


Candidate Watch: More Filings for Elections

By Judith Scherr
Monday July 21, 2008 - 05:04:00 PM

Three new candidates signed up for local seats today (Monday). -more-


Eyes and Ears for Berkeley Shopping Areas May Help, May Criminalize

By Judith Scherr
Saturday July 19, 2008 - 03:58:00 PM

The Berkeley City Council on Tuesday could approve a two-year $200,000 per-year contract to improve shoppers’ experiences on Telegraph and Shattuck avenues by hiring “hosts” to assist out-of-towners and to direct people with inappropriate behaviors into services or—if they refuse help or if services are not available—to jail. -more-


Candidate watch:

By Judith Scherr
Saturday July 19, 2008 - 03:58:00 PM

The city clerk listed three new candidates filing for office Friday: -more-


RCPC Says No to College Avenue Safeway Expansion, Design Change Sought

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Saturday July 19, 2008 - 03:57:00 PM

After months of deliberating neighborhood concerns about Safeway’s proposed expansion plans on College Avenue, the Rockridge Community Planning Council (RCPC) announced its decision to oppose the project last week. -more-


Planners Sail Through Pair of Downtown Plan Chapters

By Richard Brenneman
Saturday July 19, 2008 - 03:56:00 PM

Berkeley planning commissioners zipped through a chapter and a half of the Downtown Area Plan on Thursday, including the potentially controversial section on historic buildings and design. -more-


Judge Denies Injunction Bid In Police Funding Lawsuit

By Bay City News Service and Berkeley Daily Planet Staff
Saturday July 19, 2008 - 03:53:00 PM

A judge on Friday denied a bid for a preliminary injunction to Oakland attorney-plaintiff Marleen Sacks, who says the city of Oakland should return $60 million to its taxpayers because it has failed to live up to its promise to hire more police officers under the Measure Y mandates. -more-


More Arguments, No Decision In UC Berkeley Stadium Case

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 08:32:00 PM

Although Judge Barbara Miller has not yet issued her final decisions in the lawsuits challenging UC Berkeley's gymnasium project, the Berkeley City Council has scheduled special legal sessions for 5 p.m. Friday and Tuesday, at which they could decide whether or not to join other plaintiffs in any appeal. The meetings are closed, but public comment will be allowed. -more-


Candidates Come Out for District 4

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 08:33:00 PM

Candidates are beginning to line up to fill the District 4 seat left vacant by the death Sunday of Councilmember Dona Spring: Former School Board President Terry Doran, videographer LA Wood and Commissioner Asa Dodsworth have taken out preliminary papers. -more-


State Report Shows High Drop Out Rates for B-Tech

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 08:32:00 PM

The first statewide report on high school dropout and graduation rates tracking individual students revealed a high dropout rate for African Americans and Latinos compared to other ethnic groups, state educators said. -more-


Berkeley Mourns Councilmember Dona Spring

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 09:33:00 AM

Berkeley Councilmember Dona Spring, protector of the environment, fighter for housing rights and champion for human and animal life, died Sunday evening, July 13, at Alta Bates/Summit Hospital, after being diagnosed with pneumonia. She was 55. -more-


Dona Spring: An Appreciation

By Becky O’Malley
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 09:34:00 AM

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-


Berkeley City Council Delays Pools Measure

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 09:35:00 AM

Following the death Sunday of Councilmember Dona Spring, the warm pool’s most dedicated City Council advocate, pool supporters got some—but not all—of what they had wanted at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. -more-


Council Upholds Zoning Board’s Bayer Decision

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 09:35:00 AM

With deceased Councilmember Dona Spring’s spot on the council dais overflowing with flowers and a poster with a photograph and inscription, “Speak truth to power,” the council carried on its regular business of the day, after accolades to Spring from councilmembers and the public. -more-


Sea Scout Leader Gets Six Years in Sex Abuse Case

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 09:36:00 AM

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-


Telegraph Merchants Petition Against Amplified Preaching

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 09:40:00 AM
SOS Ministries, which sets up its amplifiers at Haste Street and Telegraph Avenue, say its making music and preaching to save souls. Nearby merchants want them muzzled.

“Where will you spend eternity?” The preacher’s 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-


Service Workers Strike UC Campuses

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 09:41:00 AM

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—walked the picket line, according to union officials. -more-


Candidates Sign Up for Mayoral, Rent Board, Council Races

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 09:41:00 AM

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


Planning Commission Leaps Tall Buildings

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 09:37:00 AM

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


Planners Approve Wireless Ordinance

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 09:38:00 AM

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


Court Hearing on Stadium Gym Could Spell Oak Grove’s Demise

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 09:39:00 AM

UC Berkeley squares off with its foes in a Hayward courtroom this morning (Thursday) during a hearing on the university’s bid to start construction at the site of the ongoing tree-sit. -more-


Controversy Marks Tree-Sitter’s Arrest

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 09:39:00 AM

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


Bad News Continues In the News Biz

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 09:42:00 AM

It’s been a bad news month for American journalism, starting with layoffs of East Bay journalists. -more-


Loans Approved for Oakland’s Fox Theater

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 09:43:00 AM

The Oakland City Council approved $14.45 million in new city loans and grants to the Fox Oakland restoration project Tuesday night. Councilmembers made no comment in voting for the new expenditures, but not before a small coalition of Oakland residents had plenty to say in opposition. -more-


Oakland Parcel Tax Would Fund Increased Police Staffing

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 09:43:00 AM

Oakland City Council decided Tuesday night to put on the November ballot a police parcel tax compromise measure co-written by Mayor Ron Dellums and Councilmember Jane Brunner, but the final 6-2 council vote did not reflect how close the proposal was to stalling and dying on the council chambers floor. -more-


Oakland Council OKs Four Finalists for Army Base Development

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 09:44:00 AM

The Oakland City Council voted late Tuesday night to approve four finalist developers to bid on its 108-acre Oakland Army Base Gateway Development project. The four finalists—pared down from an original list of eight developers who bid on the job—will now be invited to submit requests for proposals within the next four to six months. -more-


Community Questions Berkeley Mayor About Pacific Steel Agreement

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 09:44:00 AM

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 last week for their first update on the process. -more-


City, University Prepare to Dramatically Reduce Water Usage

By Kristin McFarland
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 09:45:00 AM

In the face of impending water restrictions and drought rates, both the city and UC Berkeley are bracing for water reductions of up to 30 percent. -more-


Judge Sentences Hollis to 24 Years for Willis-Starbuck Death

Bay City News
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 09:45:00 AM

A judge sentenced Christopher Hollis to 24 years in state prison on Friday, 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-


Zoning Board Approves Offices for Ed Roberts Campus

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 09:46:00 AM

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-


Software Firm Must Provide Transit Subsidies

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 09:46:00 AM

The Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board mandated that a private software company provide transit subsidies to its employees as a condition of approval of its use permit onThursday. -more-


Mary Davis Presente!

By Karl Kramer
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 09:47:00 AM
Mary Davis

She has been called a Berkeley icon and a force of nature or, as she was honored on her 70th birthday, simply Bolshevik Mary. -more-


Film Depicts Spring’s Public and Personal Courage

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 17, 2008 - 10:03:00 AM

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-


Clarification

Thursday July 17, 2008 - 09:39:00 AM

Mark Coplan, Berkeley Unified School District spokesperson, was quoted in the June 26, 2008 edition of the Berkeley Daily Planet regarding the departure of former Cragmont Principal Don Vu. This quote contained inaccurate information stating, “Vu’s contract had not been renewed after his first year at Cragmont and ... he was leaving to pursue other options.” -more-