Flash: Missing Rice University Student Arrested on UC Berkeley Campus

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday August 13, 2008 - 09:36:00 PM

UC police located missing Rice University student Matthew Wilson in Dwinelle Hall on the UC Berkeley campus tonight (Wednesday), and are investigating him for theft of university property, according to the Berkeley Police Department and UC Berkeley police. -more-

Richmond Meeting Addresses Toxic Cleanup Health Concerns

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday August 12, 2008 - 05:45:00 PM

Contra Costa County Public Health Director Wendel Brunner and three state officials will present a draft public health assessment of Richmond’s Campus Bay site during a public meeting Thursday night. -more-

Bomb Scare at Bayer Plant Halts Seventh Street Traffic

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday August 12, 2008 - 05:38:00 PM

A bomb scare forced evacuation of Bayer employees in West Berkeley Wednesday morning, ending only after the Berkeley bomb squad blasted a suspicious suitcase with water and found nothing but papers inside. -more-

Four Candidates Disqualified in Berkeley Political Races

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday August 12, 2008 - 05:36:00 PM

Four people who did not have 20 valid signatures on their nomination forms, as required by state law, were disqualified from running in Berkeley’s 2008 municipal elections Monday, city officials said. -more-

Santa Cruz and UC Settle Development Plan Suit

By Richard Brenneman
Monday August 11, 2008 - 10:34:00 PM

While Berkeley has been going through a highly public confrontation over expansion of its University of California campus, a similar dispute has ended in Santa Cruz. -more-

Berkeley Remembers Councilmember Dona Spring at Sunday’s Memorial

By Riya Bhattacharjee and Rio Bauce
Monday August 11, 2008 - 10:01:00 PM

More than 100 local activists, city officials and community members—some in wheelchairs—paid homage to Dona Spring, one of Berkeley’s most beloved public figures, at a memorial gathering at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park Sunday. -more-

Court Says Homeschooling OK in California

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Saturday August 09, 2008 - 02:29:00 PM

The Second District Court of Appeal reversed itself and ruled Friday that parents in California had the right to homeschool their children even if they lacked teaching credentials under state law. -more-

AC Transit Van Hool Survey Comes Too Late

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Saturday August 09, 2008 - 02:18:00 PM

AC Transit says it wants to get community feedback on the re-engineered Van Hool buses soon to go out on local routes, but the timing of the district’s public input process appears to make it unlikely that any suggestions or criticisms will come in time to have much effect on the buses’ manufacture. -more-

Berkeley High Teacher Dies in Philippines While On Fulbright Scholarship

By Riya Bhattacharjee and Rio Bauce
Friday August 08, 2008 - 03:31:00 PM
Berkeley International High School teacher Kalpna Mistry passed away Aug. 4 while on a Fulbright Scholarship to the Philippines.

Kalpna Mistry, a global studies teacher at Berkeley International High School, died from natural causes Monday, Aug. 4 while on a Fulbright Scholarship to the Philippines. -more-

Court Says Appeal Must Wait for Final Trial Court Judgment; Injunction in Place At Least Until Aug. 25

By Richard Brenneman
Friday August 08, 2008 - 05:39:00 PM

Three state appellate court justices said Thursday that it is too soon for them to hear the plaintiffs’ appeal challenging the trial court decision on UC Berkeley’s plans for Memorial Stadium and the adjacent grove The ruling leaves an injunction barring construction and demolition of the grove in place at least until after a hearing later this month. -more-

BUSD Unveils Design to Replace Berkeley High’s Old Gym

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday August 07, 2008 - 09:01:00 PM

Parents, teachers and athletic coaches crowded inside the Berkeley High School library Wednesday for their first look at the Berkeley Unified School District’s new design for classrooms and sports facilities to replace the landmarked Old Gym on Milvia Street. -more-

Many East Bay Incumbents Face No Challengers

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday August 07, 2008 - 03:25:00 PM

With only one day left for candidates to file for the November elections, online filing records at the offices of the Alameda and Contra Costa Registrar of Voters indicate that not many have yet taken the plunge. -more-

UC Berkeley Biofuel Critic Fires a Farewell Salvo

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday August 07, 2008 - 12:49:00 PM

Tad Patzek bid his farewell to Berkeley Saturday, launching a final, stinging attack on the university’s half-billion-dollar-partnership to turn plants into fuels. -more-

Dellums Gets Celebrity Treatment on Tour of Oakland National Night Out Events

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday August 07, 2008 - 12:48:00 PM

If Mayor Ron Dellums is losing popularity in Oakland, as has been suggested by recent polling data, it wasn’t apparent in this week’s National Night Out events in the city. -more-

Downtown Building Boom Continues

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday August 07, 2008 - 09:34:00 AM

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

Thursday July 10, 2008 - 06:40:00 PM

Football Coach Tops UC Payscale at $2.8 Million

By Rio Bauce Special to the Planet
Thursday August 07, 2008 - 11:13:00 AM

The University of California released its annual employee compensation report last week, reporting both the base pay and gross pay, as well as overtime pay, of its 170,000 employees. UC Berkeley has 21,836 employees. -more-

University Sends Mixed Messages Over Stadium

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday August 07, 2008 - 11:46:00 AM

UC Berkeley seems to be telling the Berkeley City Council one thing about its construction plans at Memorial Stadium while telling something different to the state Court of Appeal. -more-

City Workers Vote for Raises, Longevity Bonuses

By Judith Scherr
Thursday August 07, 2008 - 11:54:00 AM

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-

Services and Celebration for Dona Spring This Sunday

Thursday August 07, 2008 - 11:52:00 AM

A memorial service for former councilmember Dona Spring, who died July 13, will be held from 2-4 p.m. Sunday at Civic Center Park (Martin Luther King Jr. Way, between Center Street and Allston Way). Seating at the memorial service is park-style, so those who attend are asked to bring blankets or folding chairs. Wheelchair users will be given priority for the paved areas in front. -more-

Parks and Rec Commission Recommends Fee Increases

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday August 07, 2008 - 11:55:00 AM

If a proposal by the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission is approved by the City Council in September, Berkeley residents will have to wait longer for senior citizen discounts for some city programs. -more-

Landmark Status Considered For David Brower’s House

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday August 07, 2008 - 11:56:00 AM

The Berkeley Landmarks Preservation Commission will decide whether to designate the childhood home of noted writer and environmentalist David Brower as a city landmark at a public meeting today (Thursday). -more-

Zoning Board Approves Permit For Extended-Stay Hotel

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday August 07, 2008 - 11:57:00 AM

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

Commission High-Rise Vote Calls for Point Tower Study

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday August 07, 2008 - 11:58:00 AM

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

Peace Activists Use Billboard to Call for Firing of UC Law Professor

By Judith Scherr
Thursday August 07, 2008 - 12:00:00 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-

Cody’s Won’t Refund Gift Vouchers

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday August 07, 2008 - 12:01:00 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 Discusses Helmet Enforcement for Skate Park Users

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday August 07, 2008 - 12:11:00 PM

Berkeley has long had a law mandating skateboarders to wear 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
Thursday August 07, 2008 - 12:02:00 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. -more-

BUSD’s New West Campus Design Draws Enthusiasm

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday August 07, 2008 - 12:12:00 PM

More than 30 West Berkeley residents supported the Berkeley Unified School District’s plans to refurbish the old Bonar Street red-brick building at West Campus at a community meeting Monday. The district plans to use the building as its new headquarters. -more-

Oakland Councilmember Sues Chronicle Columnist

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday August 07, 2008 - 12:16:00 PM

Oakland City Councilmember Desley Brooks filed a defamation lawsuit last week 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. -more-

Tregub Is Top Rent Board Slate Vote-Getter

By Al Winslow - Special to the Planet
Thursday August 07, 2008 - 12:13:00 PM

Igor Tregub, 23, a recent UC Berkeley graduate, was the top vote-getter at a convention this week to pick five progressive candidates to run on as a slate for the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board. -more-

Local DMV Workers Protest Wage, Job Cuts

By Rio Bauce
Thursday August 07, 2008 - 12:14:00 PM

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) workers across the Bay Area held protests outside DMV offices on Monday to protest Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s plan to reduce state worker wages to the federal minimum wage of $6.55 per hour from the California minimum wage of $8 per hour. -more-