The Week

Walter Armer, left, and Don Peterson of SNK Development watched crews at work on the Berkeley Arpeggio, their nine-story-plus loft project that will bring Berkeley at least nine $1 million condos.
By Richard Brenneman
Walter Armer, left, and Don Peterson of SNK Development watched crews at work on the Berkeley Arpeggio, their nine-story-plus loft project that will bring Berkeley at least nine $1 million condos.
 

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-


Opinion

Editorials

Discovering the East Bay’s Local Paper

By Becky O'Malley
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 10:06:00 AM

The price of gasoline makes the Planet’s annual “Discovering the East Bay” issue even more relevant than it has been in previous years. Just about this time every summer a whole lot of new people come to Berkeley, most of them drawn by the University of California, either as students or as employees. All of them need places to live. After that, they need to buy things to set up housekeeping, and when that job’s done, they’re ready for a little pleasure. That’s where the Planet comes in. -more-


Cartoons

The Democratic Recipe for Victory

By Justin DeFreitas
Tuesday August 26, 2008 - 10:50:00 PM

Obama's Text Message

By Justin DeFreitas
Monday August 25, 2008 - 10:22:00 AM

California State Test Scores

By Justin DeFreitas
Friday August 22, 2008 - 08:19:00 AM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday August 21, 2008 - 10:13:00 AM

Letters to the Editor

Tuesday August 26, 2008 - 09:59:00 AM

OTHER BLACK SPOTS -more-


The Ripple Effects of Bus Rapid Transit

By Russ Tilleman
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:20:00 AM

As an opponent of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), I sincerely hope the initiative measure requiring voter approval for BRT will pass in the November election. This is the chance we have to stop BRT before construction begins. But if BRT does get built, what will the ramifications be? I feel it is better to consider these ramifications now, while we can still stop BRT, rather than waiting until it is too late. -more-


Notes on Women’s Equality Day in 2008

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:20:00 AM

The Woman Suffrage Amendment provided American women with full voting rights in 1920. An amendment is defined as “a change for the better; improvement. A correction. A revision or change.” In the United States, Aug. 26 is designated as Women’s Equality Day to commemorate passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. -more-


Advisories for All Students!

By Beatriz Leyva-Cutler
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:19:00 AM

Having been present during the BUSD school board process and vote on Monday, Aug. 10, I witnessed what a challenge it is for a community to grasp that disparities in achievement cannot be remedied solely within the school district itself, but rather will require a city-wide approach. -more-


Columns

The Public Eye: Hillary Hits a Homer

By Bob Burnett
Wednesday August 27, 2008 - 11:51:00 AM

Tuesday - As she took center stage at the Denver Democratic convention, there was a huge amount of pressure on Hillary Clinton. She followed not only the keynote address of former Virginia Governor Mark Warner, but also the unexpectedly dynamic oration of Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer. And many Dems felt Senator Clinton's presentation would determine whether or not Democrats united behind presidential nominee Barack Obama. Clinton proved equal to the task, responding with the best speech of her career. -more-


Dispatches From The Edge: Georgia On the Mind

By Conn Hallinan
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:18:00 AM

One of the major causes of the recent war in Georgia has nothing to do with the historic tensions that make the Caucasus such a flashpoint between east and west. Certainly the long-standing ethnic enmity between Ossetians and Georgians played a role, as did the almost visceral dislike between Moscow and Tbilisi. But the origins of the short, brutal war go back six years to a June afternoon at West Point. -more-


The Public Eye: McCain's Surge, Obama's Challenge

By Bob Burnett
Friday August 22, 2008 - 11:44:00 AM

Over the last six weeks, John McCain's campaign has gotten its act together. The latest Pew Research Poll indicates the 2008 presidential contest has tightened and Barack Obama's lead is now within the statistical margin of error. -more-


The Public Eye: The Return of Joementum

By Bob Burnett
Monday August 25, 2008 - 09:29:00 AM

As Democrats trooped into Denver, they breathed a collective sigh of relief. After a roller-coaster week, the collective wisdom was that Barack Obama's campaign had gotten back on track. And that the selection of Delaware Senator Joe Biden had greatly strengthened the ticket. -more-


The Public Eye: Who is Barack Obama?

By Bob Burnett
Tuesday August 26, 2008 - 10:36:00 AM

Monday: Much of the opening night of the Denver Democratic convention was devoted to a reintroduction of Barack Obama. If you’re a loyal Dem or one of the millions who’ve read his autobiography, Dreams From My Father, you probably don’t need to be told who he is and what he stands for. But there are still a substantial number of Americans who don’t know the Illinois Senator; who are worried about him because they’ve heard he’s a Muslim or wonder what they have in common with a brown-skinned intellectual from Hawaii. This night was for them. -more-


Undercurrents: Public Safety Requires Dellums to Return to Original Plan

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:19:00 AM

If the administration of Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums feels that its public safety accomplishments are not being fully appreciated by the public, or that it is being drawn into a silly, meaningless, back-and-forth media dialogue over crime and violence that does nothing to either calm the public’s concerns about the issue or advance the public understanding or lead us to a solution, the Dellums administration has only itself to blame. This is a self-inflicted wound. -more-


The Public Eye: Framing the Election

By Bob Burnett
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:09:00 AM

Three months before the 2008 presidential election, we know the parameters of the contest. McCain’s fear campaign will be relentlessly negative. Both sides will spend obscene amounts of money. Roughly half the states will be in play. And, the frames will be simple: age, continuity and scope of vision. -more-


About the House: A Very Rude Survey of Local Hardware Resources

By Matt Cantor
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:30:00 AM

When I graduated from Cal in 1981, I was summarily struck jobless by the haughty world of architecture and forced to seek refuge among the squalid functionaries of the city who toil by day repairing toilets and caulking leaky siding. These weary souls took me in as one of their own and showed me their simple ways. I learned how to reuse a paper face mask, how to stuff fix-all into the holes left by old deadbolts and the lost art of screw extraction. Fingers smeared with paint and grime, these ascetics showed me the arcane ways of the handyman, still mysterious to all but the indoctrinated. Some are now gone, like the lurid and brilliant Martin Metal and others remain who shall, for reasons of liability, remain shielded by circumspection. -more-


East Bay:Then and Now — Berkeley Square: From Transport Hub to Urban Core

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:28:00 AM
Berkeley Square, anchored by House of Harris, in the 1940s.

Between Center Street and University Avenue, Shattuck Avenue forks into two branches, enclosing an island intersected by Addison Street. The rectangular northern portion of this island is called Shattuck Square; the wedge-shaped southern portion is known as Berkeley Square. -more-


Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:25:00 AM

THURSDAY, AUGUST 21 -more-


A Roundup of East Bay Theater Companies

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

The end of summer ushers in the busiest theater season after Labor Day—and this year, summer was unusually busy, so the first fall openings will overlap with the last performances of the summer season. -more-


Classical Music Venues in the East Bay

By Jaime Robles, Special to the Planet
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:26:00 AM

The Bay Area has more classical musicians and venues than a glam rock singer has sequins. And the East Bay’s musical glitterati have always displayed an interest in more than Mozart and Beethoven, as some of the nation’s best musicians compose, improvise and flash their considerable talents into the dark and cozy audience of tradition. You can find everything here from the most radical to the most sedate, but what’s best of all is the combination that breeds the original and the spellbinding. -more-


Berkeley Symphony Features Emerging Composers

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:26:00 AM

“Our ‘Under Construction’ new music series is really about composer development more than music development,” says James Kleinmann, Berkeley Symphony’s executive director. “We’ve spent over 15 years developing an orchestra that’s very proficient at taking on challenging work with short preparation. We give the composers’ works ‘cold readings,’ with the pieces extensively marked up before a, say, 25-minute performance. We give it our darnedest, with the audience hearing the pieces played and corrected, and, in spite of any trepidations, even a ‘gnarly’ score, something beautiful and unique to the composers’ voice and style comes through. And over time, the composers can get a sense of how a real orchestra works, and push through the boundaries, let their personalities shine through; test out, develop their craft—and hopefully fall in love with creating symphonic work.” -more-


Around the East Bay: 'The Great Night of Soul Poetry'

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:27:00 AM

The Zolas, Dan and Dale, present another “variety show” of spoken word with music, singing and performace, “The Great Night of Soul Poetry,” running a gamut of poets from Hafiz to Neruda, Roethke to Ferlinghetti, performed by a dozen or more presenters, singers, dancers/body musicians (Keith Terry) and players (Sheldon Brown, Gary Haggerty, Arshad Sayeed and Claude Palmer on instruments from East and West). 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23 at Freight and Salvage. $18.50-$19.50. 548-1761. www.freightandsalvage.org. -more-


Belasco Company Presents 'The Wiz'

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:28:00 AM

Belasco Theatre Company’s The Wiz, with many of the cast members from the 2000 production, directed by founder Edward Belasco (coming out of retirement) 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. Tickets: (925) 980-0778. www.belasco.org (Last week’s review of this exemplary community theater show for families confused it in headline and contact info with a shorter-run Berkeley production—ah, late summer staff vacations!) -more-


About the House: A Very Rude Survey of Local Hardware Resources

By Matt Cantor
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:30:00 AM

When I graduated from Cal in 1981, I was summarily struck jobless by the haughty world of architecture and forced to seek refuge among the squalid functionaries of the city who toil by day repairing toilets and caulking leaky siding. These weary souls took me in as one of their own and showed me their simple ways. I learned how to reuse a paper face mask, how to stuff fix-all into the holes left by old deadbolts and the lost art of screw extraction. Fingers smeared with paint and grime, these ascetics showed me the arcane ways of the handyman, still mysterious to all but the indoctrinated. Some are now gone, like the lurid and brilliant Martin Metal and others remain who shall, for reasons of liability, remain shielded by circumspection. -more-


East Bay:Then and Now — Berkeley Square: From Transport Hub to Urban Core

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday August 21, 2008 - 11:28:00 AM
Berkeley Square, anchored by House of Harris, in the 1940s.

Between Center Street and University Avenue, Shattuck Avenue forks into two branches, enclosing an island intersected by Addison Street. The rectangular northern portion of this island is called Shattuck Square; the wedge-shaped southern portion is known as Berkeley Square. -more-


Community Calendar

Thursday August 21, 2008 - 10:37:00 AM

THURSDAY, AUGUST 21 -more-