News

Flash: Berkeley Campus Police Raid Long Haul, Seizing Computers, Disks, Drives

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday August 27, 2008 - 02:59:00 PM

UC Berkeley campus police, guns drawn, raided the Long Haul Infoshop Wednesday morning, seizing 13 computers and other gear, but the reason remains a mystery. -more-


CONVENTION SPECIAL: Hillary Rocks Pepsi Center, Disunity threats were just tempest in a teapot

By Christopher Krohn
Wednesday August 27, 2008 - 11:49:00 AM

DENVER—Many wondered, often aloud, how Clinton delegates would react Tuesday night on the floor of the Pepsi Center at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Would the Clintonistas call for a role call vote? Might they go a bit farther and get into an old-fashioned floor fight started by those seeking to throw the nomination into contention and controversy, and risk losing the November election? I spoke earlier in the day with several delegates and elected officials, who were wary, not panicked, but concerned about this scenario. -more-


Flash: Judge Gives Stadium Win to Cal; Losers Say They’ll File an Appeal

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday August 26, 2008 - 05:41:00 PM

The first round of the legal battle over the Memorial Stadium ended late Tuesday, and lawyers for the losing side are preparing their appeal. -more-


CONVENTION SPECIAL:Enviros Launch All-Out Campaign for Obama

By Randy Shaw, Special to The Planet from BeyondChron.org
Tuesday August 26, 2008 - 09:59:00 AM

Next to the “Big Tent” housing bloggers and policy forums here in Denver is an unmarked suite where some of the nation’s leading environmental activists are at work. This is the office where Environmental America, Progressive Future, the Progressive Future Education Fund, Community Voters, and the Public Interest Network are plotting the biggest voter outreach and mobilization drive in environmental group history. -more-


CONVENTION SPECIAL: Police Outnumber Denver Protesters

By Christopher Krohn, Special to The Planet
Monday August 25, 2008 - 02:09:00 PM

The police presence here in Denver is overwhelming. As the Democratic National Convention (DNC) is set to begin tonight, several thousand "alternative convention-goers" have already descended on the Mile High City, with issues as diverse as homelessness, abortion, universal healthcare, and stopping the war in Iraq. -more-


Budget Woes Might Cut UC Faculty, Says Birgeneau

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday August 25, 2008 - 04:37:00 PM

At his annual back-to-school press briefing Monday, UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau said the university, in response to ongoing budget woes, would cut back on hiring new faculty and not replace retiring faculty, which would gradually increase the current 18:1 student-to-teacher ratio on campus. -more-


Weekend Robberies Hit Four Oakland Businesses

By Kristin McFarland
Monday August 25, 2008 - 04:36:00 PM

Four takeover robberies in Oakland this weekend reflect a continuing crime trend in the East Bay. -more-


Unions Score Victories Amidst Economic Woes

By Richard Brenneman
Monday August 25, 2008 - 04:21:00 PM

Despite troubling economic news nationally, last week witnessed two major advances on the Berkeley labor front and a protest by city workers in a neighboring city: -more-


Arpeggio Brings Million-Dollar Condos to Downtown Berkeley

By Richard Brenneman
Monday August 25, 2008 - 11:01:00 AM

Million-dollar condos? In Berkeley? Yes, says Don Peterson, president of SNK Development, the company now building the nine-story-plus Berkeley Arpeggio on Center Street. -more-


King Middle School Gets New Cafeteria, Berkeley Unified Gets New Kitchen

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday August 25, 2008 - 10:16:00 AM

Until earlier this month, students at Martin Luther King Middle School in Berkeley could pretty much eat lunch anywhere they wanted. -more-


CONVENTION SPECIAL: Predictions

By Randy Shaw, Special to the Planet from BeyondChron.org
Monday August 25, 2008 - 09:27:00 AM

Today marks the start of BeyondChron,org's wall-to-wall convention coverage here in Denver. Having predicted in November 2006 that 2008 was Barack Obama’s time to win the presidency, and on Aug. 15 that Biden would be his running mate, I make my predictions for convention week on a roll. -more-


School Board OK’s Design for South of Bancroft Project

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday August 22, 2008 - 01:15:00 PM

At a public meeting Wednesday the Berkeley Board of Education unanimously approved a schematic design for the $35 million South of Bancroft project, which would build about 55,000 square feet of new buildings and improve landscaping in the southern part of the Berkeley High School campus. -more-


CONVENTION SPECIAL: Democratic Party Platform—All things to All People?

by Christopher Krohn
Friday August 22, 2008 - 11:18:00 AM

The Democratic Party’s recently released platform draft, titled “Renewing America’s Promise,” is to be ratified at the party’s Denver convention next week. It appears at first to be a long speech filled with platitudes. It is in fact a document filled with policy responses intended for the widest swath of possible voters, and in some places it offers a rather bold and progressive agenda at that. -more-


University Chainsaws Isolate Tree-Sitters

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 01:01:00 PM

Chainsaws lopped off all lower branches of the last remaining bastion of the Memorial Stadium tree-sit Thursday as UC Berkeley prepared for their final moves against the protesters in the oak grove. -more-


Test Results Show Steady Gains for Berkeley, State

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 09:00:00 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 compared with the state results. -more-


Vik’s Chaat Corner: On the Move

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 09:03:00 AM
Vik’s Chaat House on Allston Way, which draws up to 700 visitors on weekdays alone, is all set to move to a new location at 2390 Fourth Street, two blocks south of its current location.

There’s good news and bad news for Berkeley’s chaat lovers. -more-


Missing Student Returns Home After DA Drops Theft Charges

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 09:02:00 AM
Rice University student Matthew Wilson.

Matthew Wilson, the missing Rice University student who was found by UC police on the UC Berkeley campus last week and charged with possession of stolen property, flew back home to Oklahoma Wednesday with his mother and two sisters after the Alameda County district attorney’s office dismissed all charges against him. -more-


CONVENTION SPECIAL: Delegate Waldman Goes to Denver

By Chris Krohn, Special to the Planet
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 09:07:00 AM

EDITOR’S NOTE: Today the Berkeley Daily Planet launches a full week of online coverage of the Democratic Convention in Denver. It will include coverage by our regular Public Eye columnist, Democratic Party activist Bob Burnett; by special correspondent Chris Krohn, who previously covered the 2004 conventions for us; and by our BeyondChron colleagues Randy Shaw and Paul Hogarth; plus videos and photo essays. -more-


Activist Networking Opportunities Abound According to Organizers

By Chris Krohn, Special to the Planet
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 10:34:00 AM

There’s going to be a party in the streets of Denver—an activist party, according to Recreate68 co-founders, Mark Cohen and Glenn Spagnuolo. The Planet spoke with both of them this week in separate telephone interviews. -more-


Plaintiffs Drop Bid for New Trial In Memorial Stadium Lawsuit

Bay City News
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 09:10:00 AM

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


University Asks for Ruling to Speed Construction

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 09:10:00 AM

UC Berkeley filed a request on Tuesday for a court ruling that could allow them to chop down the Memorial Stadium grove just two days after a superior court ruling becomes final. -more-


Ashby BART East Lot Closed for 18 Months

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 09:11:00 AM
The Ashby BART stations east lot will be closed during construction of the Ed Roberts campus.

The east entrance and parking lot of Berkeley’s Ashby BART station will close for 18 months on Monday to make room for construction of the $45 million Ed Roberts campus. -more-


Suspect Denied Bail in Berkeley Stabbing Case

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 09:17:00 AM

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-


Richmond Casino Pact Illegal, Declares Judge

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 09:18:00 AM

A Contra Costa County judge dealt a blow to plans for a North Richmond casino Wednesday, saying she intends to strike down an agreement for the City of Richmond to provide police, fire and other services. -more-


Health Officials Say Campus Bay Safe for Current Use, Not Homes

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 09:18:00 AM

While state and county health officials said a chemically contaminated site in southeast Richmond poses no dangers to their current users, concerns remain about past users and those to come. -more-


Alta Bates, Nurses Union Agree on New Pact

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 09:20:00 AM

Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, which has three facilities in Berkeley and Oakland, has agreed to a new contract with its registered nurses, their union announced Wednesday. -more-


Corrections

Thursday August 21, 2008 - 09:21:00 AM

The headline and information box for the Aug. 21 review of the Belasco Theatre Company’s The Wiz mistakenly referred to a rival production of the play. The Belasco produciton, directed by founder Edward Belasco and produced by Dr. Samuel Lewis, goes into its final performances 7:30 tonight and tomorrow night at the Malonga Casquelourd Arts Center (formerly Alice Arts), 1428 Alice St., downtown Oakland. (925) 980-0778. www.belasco.org. -more-


Strawberry Canyon: Nature Right Next Door

By Phila Rogers, Special to the Planet
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 10:15:00 AM
UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium stands at the mouth of Strawberry Canyon.

The fog lifting in the morning reveals a beckoning canyon opening in the high hills behind UC Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium. A short walk from the center of the campus brings you to the mouth of the canyon. Probably no other place in the East Bay offers the same close-in accessibility to wildlands. -more-


Paradise in the Oakland Hills

By Annie Kassof, Special to the Planet
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 10:16:00 AM
Pippi the mule at Anthony Chabot Equestrian Center.

“Why a mule?” my mother asked incredulously after I’d told her I was leasing one. -more-


Tot to Trot: A Few Places to Take the Little Ones

By Sonja Fitz, Special to the Planet
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 10:32:00 AM

I suck as a mother. OK, suck is a bit strong. But I have been known to nourish my son with frozen dinners and canned soup, watch QVC fashion shows while pretending to listen to him regale me with the wonders of vacuum cleaners, and raise my voice beyond the Super Nanny-approved Calm Authority Voice decibel level. -more-


History: No Time Like the Present

By Steven Finacom, Special to the Planet
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 10:33:00 AM

History is getting better and better in Berkeley. I don’t mean the daily accumulation of new history—current events—but the preservation and education of the public about local history. -more-


A Quirky and Well-Loved Berkeley Library

By Adam Broner, Special to the Planet
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 10:34:00 AM
Angel Estes offers advice to a patron at the Tool Lending Library in South Berkeley.

By Adam Broner -more-


Exploring Space at Oakland’s Chabot Center

By Lydia Gans, Special to the Planet
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 10:36:00 AM
The Chabot Space and Science Center on Skyline Boulevard.

The Bay Area is known to be home to esoteric scientific research, but we also have an institution which is accessible to all kinds of people, young and old and all levels of sophistication, offering an abundance of science experiences one can’t help but get excited about. At Chabot Space and Science Center a visitor can look through professional telescopes, sit in a space capsule, experience weightlessness, see spectacular shows and lots more. -more-


Doug Minkler Shows His Art on Telegraph

By Carol Denney, Special to the Planet
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 10:38:00 AM

Students streaming toward campus on Telegraph Avenue pass one of the most remarkable artists in Berkeley, quietly selling prints near the corner of Haste Street. -more-


Try La Loma Park for Baseball and More

By Jonathan Wafer Special to the Planet
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:23:00 AM

Looking for a great late-summer outing? Try La Loma Park, nestled in the Berkeley Hills on the northside of UC Berkeley. -more-


Getting to Know the Berkeley Public Library’s South Branch

By Phila Rogers, Special to the Planet
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:07:00 AM

In 1901, the South Branch of the Berkeley Public Library opened for business in a store front on the 3200 block of Adeline Street. The South Berkeley district was then known as Lorin. -more-


From Trash to Art: The Albany Landfill

By Lydia Gans, Special to the Planet
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:08:00 AM

“Let it be, let it be.” Those familiar words echo the sentiments of the scores of people who frequent the Albany landfill—artists, bird watchers, naturalists, people who like to let their dogs run free, to have parties or to sit quietly and enjoy the fine view of the bay. And there are the people who call it home. Some of them actually lived there in camps they built for themselves when they were homeless, and though they are now housed or camping somewhere else they often come back, drawn by the special magic of the place. -more-


Exploring the Bay Trail in Richmond

Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:09:00 AM

Parks are probably not among the first things that spring to mind when you think of Richmond, but the city just north of Berkeley is filled with them, including a 32-mile shoreline with sweeping views of San Francisco and San Pablo bays, an island that provides nesting habitat for the Caspian tern, and a national historic park that commemorates Richmond’s industrial and ship-building past. Linking many of these sites is the San Francisco Bay Trail, a network that will grow to 500 miles of trail around the Bay Area. -more-


Sampling the Fare at Berkeley’s Tokyo Fish Market

By Anna Mindess, Special to the Planet
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:21:00 AM
The Tokyo Fish Market provides a wide array of seafood.

Just as the islands of Japan float like jewels in the Pacific, the two sister stores of the Tokyo Fish Market are little gems perched in the middle of northwest Berkeley. -more-


Lake Chabot Offers a Beautiful Outdoor Escape

By Kristin McFarland
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:21:00 AM
Sunset over Lake Chabot.

On weekends, Lake Chabot’s picnic sites are full and the park completely crowded with families having parties or reunions; it’s impossible to run or ride 20 feet without calling out to slower recreants. -more-


Henry S. Peterson and the Berkeley Lawn Mower Invention

By Richard Schwartz, Special to the Planet
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:21:00 AM
Henry and Caroline Peterson's home at 2222 Dwight Way in 1886.

Mr. Peterson, who lives on Dwight Way, has been offered $15,000 for his patent appliance for a lawn mover. The invention consists of a pan which is attached to the lawn-mower so as not to leave any grass on the lawn after it has been cut. Mr. Peterson perfected his invention and obtained a patent on it some two or three years ago. He has disposed of a two-thirds interest in the invention. -more-


Napa Valley Winery Features Great Art

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:22:00 AM
A young visitor (the writer's daughter) demanded to be photographed beside her favorite sculpture.

In addition to offering some of California’s finest wines, the Napa Valley also places host to some exquisite scenery, art and architecture. -more-


Roots Music Has a Home in Berkeley

By Joe Eaton, Special to the Planet
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:24:00 AM

Somewhere during the Nixon years, a friend of a friend of a friend from San Diego showed up in the Bay Area to explore his musical options, mainly by hanging out in North Beach. We took him to the Freight & Salvage Coffee House on an open-mic night, but for some reason he didn’t manage to sign up. We all stuck around, though; the Freight sold beer in those days, and the acts were relatively painless. Then, when the place had emptied out and the bar was shutting down, our guest, Tom Waits, took over the house piano and picked out “Closing Time.” I would like to be able to report that he also played “The Piano Has Been Drinking,” but I don’t think he did. -more-


Berkeley Is Still a Great Bookstore Town

By Joe Eaton, Special to the Planet
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:25:00 AM
The venerable Moe's Books on Telegraph Avenue boasts four floors of new and used books.

The saga of Cody’s Books finally ended this year when its Fourth Street store (last survivor of a series of venues that started north of the UC Campus 50 years ago, moved to Telegraph for several decades and was briefly in San Francisco’s Union Square) moved to a smaller space on Shattuck Avenue, then closed for good. It’s ironic that this followed the closure of Barnes & Noble’s Shattuck outlet by less than a year. Clearly, both the independents and chains are hurting. But the East Bay still has much to offer those of us who prefer to buy from brick-and-mortar retailers: a whole constellation of bookstores, generalist and specialist, used and new, with something for just about everyone. -more-


Cheap Places to Eat Along Berkeley’s Telegraph Avenue

By Rio Bauce
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:25:00 AM
Four young family members take a break for some cool refreshment on Berkeley's Telegraph Avenue during a warm summer afternoon.

Naan ’N’ Curry -more-