The Week

 

News

Hoeft-Edenfield Denied Bail in UC Stabbing Case

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday August 18, 2008 - 08:02:00 PM

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson denied bail on Monday to Berkeley City College student Andrew Hoeft-Edenfield, who has been charged with the stabbing death of UC Berkeley senior Chris Wootton. -more-


STAR Test Results Show Steady Gains for BUSD, State

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Saturday August 16, 2008 - 11:27:00 AM

The results for California's 2008 Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program show a higher percentage of students in the Berkeley Unified School District scored proficient or above in reading, writing and mathematics as compared with the state results. -more-


Ashby BART Parking Lot To Close Monday for Ed Roberts Construction

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Saturday August 16, 2008 - 10:42:00 AM

Starting Monday the east entrance and parking lot of Ashby BART will be closed for 18 months to allow construction of the $45 million Ed Roberts Campus. -more-


UC Berkeley Gym Plaintiffs Drop New Trial Bid

By Bay City News
Saturday August 16, 2008 - 10:11:00 AM

Three plaintiff groups who filed suit to try to stop the University of California, Berkeley from building a new sports training center next to its football stadium Friday withdrew their bid to have a judge reverse her most recent ruling in the case. -more-


Rice University Student Tells Police He Wanted to Come West and Disappear

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday August 15, 2008 - 11:56:00 AM

Matthew Wilson, the missing Rice University student who was found by UC police on the UC Berkeley campus Wednesday, was transported to a local hospital for medical assessment after being interviewed by a homicide detective from the Berkeley Police Department later that night. -more-


Power Outage Shuts Down West Berkeley

By Kristin McFarland
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 03:40:00 PM

Approximately 1,000 West Berkeley PG&E customers were without power for more than four hours on Thursday. -more-


BART Services Restored After Delay from Cracked Rail

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 03:28:00 PM

BART services to the East Bay were restored around 11 a.m. after a cracked rail north of Lake Merritt Station caused a two-hour disruption earlier this morning. -more-


Walker’s Restaurant and Pie Shop to Close Sept. 30

By James Carter Special to the Planet
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:43:00 AM

Solano Avenue, one of the last remnants of Main Street U.S.A., will soon lose a piece of its fabric as American as apple pie. -more-


No August Issue of Street Spirit

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:44:00 AM

There’s a sudden dearth of homeless people in Berkeley crying out the ever-familiar “Street Spirit, only $1.” -more-


Berkeley High Teacher Dies In Philippines

By Riya Bhattacharjee and Rio Bauce
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:44:00 AM

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


First Person: My Memories of Ms. Mistry

By Lucy Sundelson
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:44:00 AM

One of the most satisfying experiences of my freshman year at Berkeley High was a trip to Sacramento to protest Gov. Schwarzenegger’s proposed education budget cuts. There were busloads of students from Berkeley High alone and hundreds of other students from all over California. We spent the day buttonholing members of the Assembly, touring the state capitol building and demonstrating in front of it. The whole energizing experience only happened because of the determination and tireless efforts of my global studies teacher, Ms. Mistry. -more-


Four Candidates Dropped from Berkeley Political Races

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:45:00 AM

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-


Van Hool Bus Survey Comes Too Late

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:46:00 AM

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-


Commission Landmarks Brower House

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:47:00 AM

The Berkeley Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the former home of noted writer and environmentalist David Brower, at 2232-2234 Haste St., as a local landmark at a public meeting last week. -more-


Santa Cruz, UC Settle Development Plan Lawsuit

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:49:00 AM

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-


Specifics of the UC Santa Cruz Agreement with City, County and Citizen Plaintiffs

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 12:36:00 PM

Santa Cruz Mayor Ryan Coonerty said the agreement just signed by his community’s UC campus, Santa Cruz County and citizen litigants “all boils down to housing, water and traffic.” -more-


Citizen Group Founder Unhappy with UC/Santa Cruz Settlement

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:50:00 AM

While the mayor of Santa Cruz and the chancellor of the city’s University of California campus say they’re delighted with the settlement of their lawsuit over campus expansion plans, Don Stevens, founder of the Coalition to Limit University Expansion (CLUE) isn’t. -more-


Court: Berkeley Appeals Must Wait for Final Trial Judgment

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:50:00 AM

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. -more-


Berkeley High Newspaper in Financial Straits

By Rio Bauce
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:48:00 AM

Staff members of the Berkeley High Jacket, a student-run newspaper, an-nounced last week that they don’t have enough money to produce the paper for the upcoming school year. The Jacket receives no funding from the Berkeley Unified School District—its revenue comes only from subscriptions, advertising and donations. The staff is composed of eighteen student editors and about twenty reporters. -more-


Court OKs Homeschooling in California

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:48:00 AM

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-


Design Unveiled for Berkeley High’s Old Gym

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:48:00 AM

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-


Students Hit by High Tuition Cost

By Rio Bauce
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:49:00 AM

With a 19.4 percent increase in applications for financial aid at UC Berkeley and an expected tuition increase in the fall, students are feeling the effects of the slumping economy. -more-


Berkeley Remembers Dona Spring

By Riya Bhattacharjee and Rio Bauce
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:50:00 AM
Anna de Leon shares her memories of Dona Spring at a Sunday memorial service.

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-


Cal-OSHA Files Citation Against AC Transit

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:51:00 AM

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal-OSHA) has filed a citation and notification of penalty against the Alameda–Contra Costa Transit District, charging that the district is not adequately providing bus drivers with protection from heat-related illness, including not providing access to sufficient water. -more-


Berkeley Police Report High Recovery Rate of Stolen Cars

By Kristin McFarland
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:52:00 AM

Berkeley police report a 96 percent recovery rate for cars stolen in Berkeley. -more-


Catalytic Converter Thieves Strike Berkeley

By Kristin McFarland
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:52:00 AM

Three catalytic converter thefts last week represent an ongoing trend in Berkeley and a nationwide epidemic. -more-


Zoning Board Agenda

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:53:00 AM

San Raphael-based Wareham Development will brief the Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board Thursday about its plan to demolish the landmarked Copra Warehouse (Durkee Famous Foods) in West Berkeley to make way for the construction of a four-story, 100,000-square-foot research and laboratory building. -more-


Bomb Scare at Bayer

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:54:00 AM

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-


Washington Elementary Goes Solar

By Rio Bauce
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:57:00 AM

Yesterday, construction workers for the Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) laid down 480 solar panels on the roof of Washington Elementary School as part of a project by Kyoto USA, a climate change group located in Berkeley. -more-


Fire Department Log

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:58:00 AM

Monday proved a busy day for the Berkeley Fire Department, with engines racing to three separate blazes, including one that caused heavy damage to a three-story home. -more-


Desley Brooks’ Sister Opts Out of Peralta Race

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:54:00 AM

One of the more anticipated Alameda County special district political races will not take place this year, as Alameda County Department of Social Services Civil Rights Coordinator Darleen Brooks—the sister of Oakland City Councilmember Desley Brooks—has opted not to run for the seat of incumbent Peralta Area Two Trustee Marcie Hodge. Brooks, who had taken out filing papers and held at least one fund-raising event earlier this year, said only that she has decided not to run for “personal reasons.” -more-


Enviro Commission Offers Tough Critique Of Downtown Plan Sustainability Chapter

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 09:15:00 AM

“It felt much like a dream to me,” said Robert Clear. -more-


Richmond Meeting Addresses Toxic Cleanup Health Concerns

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 09:19:00 AM

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-


Opinion

Editorials

Editorial: When the Personal Becomes Political

By Becky O'Malley
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:46:00 AM

The buzz of the week is that John Edwards was carrying on with the cute little blonde videographer wanna-be who was trailing his campaign for a while. Some commentators affected surprise. Not, of course, the irrepressible Alexander Cockburn, who’s been avidly repeating the National Enquirer’s breathless reports about the affair for months. -more-


Cartoons

California Test Scores

By Justin DeFreitas
Monday August 18, 2008 - 09:40:00 AM

This cartoon originally appeared in the Daily Planet in November 2006.

Berkeley At Its Best

By Justin DeFreitas
Monday August 18, 2008 - 09:41:00 AM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday August 14, 2008 - 09:01:00 AM

Letters to the Editor

Tuesday August 19, 2008 - 10:35:00 AM

Debate Without Facts Serves No One

By UC Berkeley’s Seismic Review Committee
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 09:03:00 AM

We, the members of UC Berkeley’s Seismic Review Committee (SRC), write to rebut and fully refute the recent Daily Planet op-ed, “UC Berkeley Ignores New Earthquake Safety Report.” -more-


Schools Parcel Tax A Cause for Concern

By Sheila Jordan
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 09:02:00 AM

Teacher quality and effectiveness have a profound impact on the growth and achievement of children, yet securing the talent necessary to maintain consistent improvements is no easy task. To attract and retain the very best teachers, districts not only need the vision of high quality teaching, they need the resources to see it through—to provide competitive salaries and to invest in programs to keep outstanding teachers. This is often a challenge for cash-strapped districts like Oakland. -more-


What the District Doesn’t Want You to Know About Berkeley High’s Master Plan

By Marie Bowman
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 09:02:00 AM

The Trustees of the Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) have hidden behind “the children” in an attempt to convince students, parents and the greater community that the unreasonably idealistic Berkeley High School Master Plan must be implemented. Here’s what you really need to know about the BHS Master Plan: -more-


Candidate X Speaks on Energy Policy

By Brad Belden
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 09:03:00 AM

A press release from the California headquarters of the fictional Candidate X presents his speech about America’s Energy Policy: -more-


Barack Obama — Liberal Trojan Horse?

By Liam Frost
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 09:03:00 AM

There have been many false accusations leveled at Barack Obama during this never-ending campaign season—from the malicious, such as being a Muslim or a follower of black liberation theology, whichever you choose—to the mostly benign, like being derided as an appeaser. But there is one aspersion in particular that has so far struggled to gain momentum, though as he becomes his party’s presumptive nominee it will be very potent indeed. The charge is that Obama is some kind of liberal Trojan Horse, ready to unleash a barrage of leftist measures as soon as he steps into the Oval Office. -more-


The Legacy of President George W. Bush

By Marvin Chachere
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 09:04:00 AM

Unless the earth reverses its rotation or gravity fails, future historians will look back and see in the Bush II presidency the start of a new America. Or, from the historian Arnold Toynbee’s point of view, America today is in its senescent stage. A simpler view is that the government presided over by the 43rd president has almost nothing in common with the original government. To be sure, the country has never fully realized those ideals on which its government was founded even though from time to time there have been sincere attempts to do so. The experiment launched in 1789 has produced interesting, exciting, unintended and sometimes admirable results as well as tragedies. Congressional representatives, for example, are not representative; “close to half” are millionaires (Associated Press, December 2002). The ship of state, once sturdy, is lost at sea like the “Flying Dutchman.” The American dream, for at least 99 out of 100, has morphed from an aspiration to an inspiration into a hallucination. The links “of,” “by” and “for” between government and people have been permanently severed. -more-


Kids, Alcohol and Science: A Warning to Parents

By the Berkeley Alcohol Policy Advocacy Coalition
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 09:05:00 AM

Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part series from BAPAC. -more-


Columns

Dispatches From the Edge: Afghanistan: The Good War?

By Conn Hallinan
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:59:00 AM

Every war has a story line: World War I was “The war to end all wars.” World Ear II was “The war to defeat fascism.” -more-


Undercurrents: Chronicle Freezes Out Brooks, While Columnist Switches Gears

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 09:01:00 AM

From time to time, people ask me why I periodically highlight Oakland Councilmember Desley Brooks’ summertime constituent entertainment events, but rarely, if ever, do the same for other local officeholders. It seems to me that the reasons ought to be obvious, given recent history and the current social situation in East Oakland. But perhaps I need to go over it again. -more-


Wild Neighbors: Tools of the Trade: A Brief History of Fangs

By Joe Eaton
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 09:12:00 AM
A juvenile northern Pacific rattlesnake, the only dangerously venomous snake native to the Bay Area.

A while back I wrote about research by University of Melbourne biologist Brian Fry demonstrating that many lizard species, from the cuddly bearded dragon to the not-at-all cuddly Komodo dragon, were venomous. The orthodoxy used to be that there were only two venomous lizard species, the Gila monster and the beaded lizard. Now there were dozens, at least. Venom glands seem to be a shared characteristic of most lizard lineages. It may help to remember that snakes, among which venom is common, are basically just highly specialized lizards. -more-


About the House: Home Inspection Confidential

By Matt Cantor
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 09:11:00 AM

Everyone has something particularly annoying about their job. I’m sure yours has at least one (I can see the heads nodding). OK, it’s more than one. Me, too. I’ve got a few and one of these serenity-busters that bugs me the most is being asked which building code justifies an item that I’ve called out during an inspection. -more-


Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Thursday August 14, 2008 - 09:08:00 AM

THURSDAY, AUGUST 14 -more-


Crowded Fire Stages ‘The Listener’

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 09:09:00 AM

In a rush of oft-repeated words, The Listener sits in her studio, a conning tower of junk electronics, and broadcasts: “Calling anyone who is anyone out there, do you read me?” -more-


Belasco Theatre Company Presents ‘The Wiz’ at Oakland's Malonga Casquelourd Arts Center

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 09:08:00 AM

The Wiz isn’t exactly “We’re off to see the Wizard.” Both follow the Yellow Brick Road with high spirits, but The Wiz proceeds to a different, syncopated beat. Both eventually get to the same place: back (or down) home, where it all began. -more-


Cal Shakes Brings ‘Uncle Vanya’ to Orinda’s Bruns Amphitheater

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 09:10:00 AM

When a pompous old professor (James Carpenter as Serebryakov) and his alluring young wife (Sarah Grace Wilson as Yelena) take up residence with his relations by marriage on his late wife’s country estate, their extravagant style unsettles the household—and some of its visitors. It’s not just the professor’s pontificating, or the hours they keep, it’s the demands they make that get under everyone’s skin. -more-


Moving Pictures: Tales of Terror and Demagoguery

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 09:10:00 AM
Juan Guzman besieged by the press in The Judge and the General.

Two new films in Berkeley theaters this week depict the dangers of demagoguery from two different perspectives—from the relatively small-scale harassment of the Hollywood 10, to the murderous horrors of Augusto Pinochet’s reign in Chile. -more-


San Francisco Triennial at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

By Peter Selz Special to the Planet
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 09:11:00 AM
Deep Gradient Complex by John Roloff, 2008

The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts presents an important multifaceted exhibition which demonstrates the varieties of directions of art at this juncture. For the past 15 years the center has presented surveys of the visual arts every three years. Unlike the former San Francisco Annuals, which were limited to painting and sculpture, these “Bay Area Now” shows include photographs, films, videos, films, maps, books, sound and many installations. -more-


About the House: Home Inspection Confidential

By Matt Cantor
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 09:11:00 AM

Everyone has something particularly annoying about their job. I’m sure yours has at least one (I can see the heads nodding). OK, it’s more than one. Me, too. I’ve got a few and one of these serenity-busters that bugs me the most is being asked which building code justifies an item that I’ve called out during an inspection. -more-


Community Calendar

Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:52:00 AM

THURSDAY, AUGUST 14 -more-