News

Building Boom Continues in Downtown Berkeley

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday August 05, 2008 - 05:16:00 PM

The business of building is still booming, at least for the moment, in the heart of downtown Berkeley. -more-


Cody’s Won’t Refund Customer Gift Vouchers

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday August 05, 2008 - 05:17:00 PM

Cody’s Books, which closed down forever on June 20 and is currently in the process of liquidating all its assets, will not provide any books or refunds to customers with store credit, according to company officials. -more-


City Workers Vote for 13.5 Percent Raises and Bonuses for Longevity

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

City Manager Phil Kamlarz talks about belt-tightening and eliminating vacant positions in these hard budget times. Still, city workers-many of them, at least-won't be dining on bread and water, according to reports received by the Daily Planet. -more-


City Discusses Helmet Enforcement for Berkeley Skate Park Users

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday August 04, 2008 - 09:37:00 PM

Berkeley has long had a law mandating skateboarders to helmets and other protective gear, but it has been ignored, largely due to enforcement limitations. -more-


Decades-Old Nolo Press Might Move Out of West Berkeley

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Saturday August 02, 2008 - 09:21:00 PM

Nolo Press, which has operated out of a renovated clock factory in West Berkeley for the last 30 years, plans to move from its location at Ninth Street and might relocate from Berkeley altogether, company officials said Friday. -more-


Silence Plus Torture Equals Complicity, Billboard Says

By Judith Scherr
Friday August 01, 2008 - 04:43:00 PM

Peace activists have taken a page from the book of Budweiser and—in addition to using the web and other modern means—are spreading their message by old fashioned billboard advertising. -more-


Oakland Councilmember Files Lawsuit Against Chronicle Columnist Over Corruption Allegations

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday August 01, 2008 - 10:01:00 PM

Oakland City Councilmember Desley Brooks has filed a defamation lawsuit against the San Francisco Chronicle and its East Bay columnist, Chip Johnson, over an item written about her by Johnson in a June 24 column. The lawsuit, filed in Superior Court in Oakland on Tuesday, alleges that the June 24 column item “began a campaign [by Chip Johnson] to smear and defame the reputation of Desley Brooks.” -more-


Commission High-Rise Vote Calls for Point Tower Study

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 31, 2008 - 09:37:00 PM

The ongoing struggle over the shape of Berkeley’s future skyline gained a higher profile during a lengthy session of the city Planning Commission on Wednesday night. -more-


Extended Stay Comes to Downtown Berkeley

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 31, 2008 - 09:37:00 PM

Visitors, business travelers and international students at UC Berkeley might be able to soon stay in the city for up to a year without having to worry about signing leases or dealing with fussy landlords. -more-


Council Declines to Appeal UC Lawsuit

By Judith Scherr and Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 31, 2008 - 09:54:00 AM

Despite pleas and arguments for an appeal of the city’s lawsuit against the university by an overflow crowd last Thursday evening in the Berkeley City Council Chambers, the council went behind closed doors and “decided not to take action,” according to Mayor Tom Bates, who reported the action to the public. -more-


Stadium Appeal Halts Construction for Now

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 31, 2008 - 09:57:00 AM

The legal battle over the grove where tree-sitters and a now-threatened injunction have stymied UC Berkeley’s growth plans has entered a new forum—minus, for now, one litigant. -more-


Public Asks How Council Voted in Closed Session

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 31, 2008 - 09:58:00 AM

The public doesn’t know exactly what the Berkeley City Council voted on at last Thursday’s closed-door session. And it doesn’t know how each elected official voted. -more-


Disabled Criticize Restaurant’s Alleged Discrimination Against Employees

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 31, 2008 - 09:58:00 AM

Disability rights advocates in wheelchairs held a protest Tuesday in front of the downtown Berkeley McDonald’s at University and Shattuck avenues, against what they said was unlawful discrimination against three of its disabled employees. -more-


Cody’s Stock to be Sold to Pay Bank

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 31, 2008 - 09:59:00 AM

Books and furniture belonging to Cody’s Books, which closed its doors for good on June 20 after 52 years due to dwindling sales, will be sold next week to pay off a Uniform Commercial Code lien in favor of Summit Bank, according to Mindy Galoob, the store’s former general manager. -more-


Summertime and the Election Heats Up

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 31, 2008 - 09:59:00 AM

It’s almost August, laid-back vacation time for some. But for candidates for local offices, it’s time to sharpen elbows and dust off the cleats. -more-


Sunday Convention Will Choose Rent Stabilization Board Slate

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 31, 2008 - 10:00:00 AM

On Sunday, a group of self-identified progressives will select five candidates to form a slate to fill the five vacancies on the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board. -more-


Space Once Set Aside for Cinema Will Become Medical Offices

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 31, 2008 - 10:01:00 AM

The ground floor of the Fine Arts Building on Shattuck Avenue—built on the former site of Berkeley Fine Arts Cinema, which evolved from the historic Cinema Theatre, showcasing repertory films from all over the world—was approved to be converted to medical office space by the Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board last week. -more-


BUSD to Unveil Latest Design to Replace Old Gym

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 31, 2008 - 10:01:00 AM

The Berkeley Unified School District will hold a public meeting Wednesday to discuss the latest design for new classrooms and athletic facilities on the south side of the Berkeley High campus. The district proposes to replace the landmarked Old Gym on Milvia Street, which houses the warm water pool, as outlined in the South of Bancroft Master Plan. -more-


BUSD to Show West Campus Rehabilitation Plans

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 31, 2008 - 10:02:00 AM

The Berkeley Unified School District at a public meeting on Monday is scheduled to unveil a plan to rehabilitate West Campus before taking it to the Berkeley Board of Education later in the month. -more-


High School Graduation Rates Mixed

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 31, 2008 - 10:02:00 AM

The 82 percent graduation rate for the Berkeley Unified School District in 2006–07 is higher than the state level (79.5 percent) but lower than the county level (84 percent), according to data released by the California Department of Education Tuesday as required by federal No Child Left Behind standards. -more-


Berkeley High Beat: Summer School Is Out

By Rio Bauce
Thursday July 31, 2008 - 10:03:00 AM

Last Friday, 450 students finished classes for summer school at Berkeley High School (BHS). While most of BHS’s 3,200 students have already been enjoying summer for the last month, many kids have been diligently attending school to receive credit for courses that they either failed or failed to take during regularly scheduled school. -more-


State Party Money Was Key In Hancock-Chan Primary

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday July 31, 2008 - 10:03:00 AM

What determines under what circumstances—and how energetically—the California Democratic Party intervenes in contested Democratic primaries? -more-


Conflicting Agendas Over West Berkeley Project

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 31, 2008 - 10:04:00 AM

The effort to change West Berkeley zoning regulations has produced an unusual show of amity after an initially tense confrontation between city staff and neighborhood activists. -more-


Berkeley Robberies Up in July

By Kristin McFarland
Thursday July 31, 2008 - 10:05:00 AM

A rash of robberies in the past week brings Berkeley to a total of 50 this month, up from 25 in July 2007. -more-


First Person: Not a Time to Be a Smoker

By Al Winslow
Thursday July 31, 2008 - 10:06:00 AM

I’ve smoked cigarettes for 52 years, which is pushing my luck. Statistically, I should have been dead six years ago. -more-


News Analysis: Why Labor Lost on May Day

By Phil McArdle Special to the Planet
Thursday July 31, 2008 - 10:07:00 AM

My wife and I were visiting England when the Labor Party suffered its resounding defeat in the municipal elections held on May Day. Labor’s debacle may offer lessons for us and our own politicians. -more-


Crusader for Justice: Peter Mutnick, 1949-2008

By Ted Friedman Special to the Planet
Thursday July 31, 2008 - 10:08:00 AM
Peter Mutnick

Peter Mutnick was mad as hell and he wasn’t going to take it anymore. So he sued UC Berkeley and the city all the way to the Supreme Court. He died peacefully last week in the Oncology Unit at Alta Bates at the age of 59. He was a frequent contributor to the Daily Planet’s opinion pages. -more-