The Week

Huckleberry, the last Berkeley treesitter to surrender Tuesday, waves to supporters before he climbs down to waiting campus police.
By Richard Brenneman
Huckleberry, the last Berkeley treesitter to surrender Tuesday, waves to supporters before he climbs down to waiting campus police.
 

News

Safeway Announces Meetings to Decide Fate of College Ave. Store

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday September 10, 2008 - 10:28:00 AM

Safeway will hold a series of public meetings starting today (Wednesday) at Oakland’s Claremont Middle School in an effort to come up with a different design for remodeling its College Avenue store. -more-


Flash: Grove’s Last Tree Falls; University Says ‘No Deal’

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday September 09, 2008 - 06:32:00 PM

The last tree occupied by Berkeley tree-sitters before their surrender Tuesday afternoon was itself gone by 5:18 p.m. -more-


Tree-sitters Surrender

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday September 09, 2008 - 03:34:00 PM

As a scaffold rose beneath them, section by section, Berkeley’s last four tree-sitters finally surrendered—with Huckleberry, the last holdout, finally setting his bare feet on the earth at 1:33 p.m. today (Tuesday). -more-


University, Protesters Near Grove Showdown

By Richard Brenneman
Monday September 08, 2008 - 02:38:00 PM

UC Berkeley officials are “weighing their options” to end the tree-sit at Memorial Stadium after negotiations ended between university officials, tree-sitters and their supporters on the ground. -more-


UC's Memorial Stadium Oak Grove is No More; Four Defenders Remain in Lone Redwood

By Richard Brenneman
Sunday September 07, 2008 - 01:01:00 PM

Only one tree remained standing at Memorial Stadium Sunday morning of those the University of California had slated for the chainsaw.Perched in the upper branches of the redwood were the four remaining tree-sitters who had taken to the branches in an ultimately doomed effort to save the impressive collection of coast live oaks and other trees marked for destruction by the university. -more-


Spectators Mourn as UC Destroys Memorial Stadium Oak Grove; Two Arrested

By Richard Brenneman
Friday September 05, 2008 - 11:34:00 PM
Treesitters watched as university contract workers began chainsawing trees at Memorial Stadium, talking to supporters on the ground with a solar-charged cell phone.

UC Berkeley brought out the chainsaws Friday, and the air outside Memorial Stadium jittered to the sounds of saws, woodchippers and the earthward crashes of once mighty oaks. -more-


UC Berkeley Begins Chopping Down Memorial Stadium Oak Grove

By Bay City News
Friday September 05, 2008 - 11:20:00 PM

University of California, Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said the university today began chopping down oak trees next to its football stadium as the first step in a project to build a news sports training center adjacent to the stadium. -more-


UC Gives Tree-Sitters 72-Hour Warning to Leave Grove

By Richard Brenneman
Friday September 05, 2008 - 06:22:00 PM

A day after winning their battle in court Thursday, UC Berkeley gave Memorial Stadium tree-sitters a 72-hour warning Friday morning that their days in the branches were nearing an end. -more-


BUSD, State Show Growth in API Scores

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday September 05, 2008 - 10:19:00 AM

At least 11 schools in the Berkeley Unified School District met their Academic Performance Index targets for 2008 according to the state’s 2007-08 Accountability Progress Report (APR) released by State Superintendent Jack O’Connell Thursday. -more-


Campus Rally Protests Long Haul Police Raid

By Richard Brenneman
Friday September 05, 2008 - 10:18:00 AM

Protesters—including Free Speech Movement veterans and a Berkeley city councilmember—gathered in Sproul Plaza Thursday to rally against the Aug. 24 UC Berkeley police raid on the Long Haul. -more-


Oakland Police Arrest 3 In Takeover Robbery Case

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:15:00 AM

Oakland police said Wednesday that they have made what they consider a major breakthrough in the city’s restaurant takeover robberies, announcing the arrest of three suspects following a Tuesday night takeover at K&T Nail Salon at 108th Avenue and Bancroft in East Oakland. -more-


Chainsaws Level Memorial Stadium Grove

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday September 11, 2008 - 09:37:00 AM

UC Berkeley brought out the chainsaws Friday, and by the time their engines went silent Tuesday, the Memorial Stadium grove was gone. -more-


East Bay Police Collaborating in Identifying Suspects

By Kristin McFarland
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:16:00 AM

The East Bay has been plagued by takeover-style restaurant robberies this summer, with 11 robberies in Oakland, one in El Cerrito, one in Hayward, one in unincorporated Castro Valley, and two in Vallejo. -more-


Rough Arrest at KPFA Stuns Station, Community

By Judith Scherr
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:16:00 AM

All hell broke loose at KPFA Radio Aug. 20 when a station volunteer resisted Berkeley police, summoned by station management to remove her from the premises. -more-


Chef Blyden Reinvents Henry’s

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:17:00 AM
Chef Eddie Blyden prepares spaetzle in Henry’s kitchen.

When Chef Eddie Blyden took over Henry’s at the historic Hotel Durant last spring he brought more than spaetzle from Munich and deviled duck eggs from San Francisco along with him. He brought a bit of controversy as well. -more-


Long Haul Activists Plan Rally at Sproul Plaza

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:17:00 AM

Supporters of Berkeley’s venerable Long Haul, angered by last Wednesday’s raid, plan to rally at Sproul Plaza today (Thursday) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the wake of the seizure of 13 computers and a collection of disc and hard drives from the group’s offices at 3124 Shattuck Ave. as police searched for the source of what they described as threatening e-mails. -more-


Berkeley School Board Race Gets Under Way

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:18:00 AM

With two months left to go for the November municipal elections, candidates for the Berkeley Board of Education are pushing for endorsements and mobilizing supporters through fundraisers, campaign kick-offs and campaign websites. -more-


School District Working to Meet Water Reduction Goal

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:18:00 AM

The Berkeley Unified School District has not yet met the 9 percent water reduction goal set by the East Bay Municipal Utilities District in May but is working with the agency to install water-saving devices in the city’s 16 public schools, district officials said. -more-


New Athletic Director for Berkeley High

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:19:00 AM

Saeed Olushegun, a former softball coach and math teacher, was named Wednesday as Berkeley High School’s athletic director to succeed Kristin Glencher, who was promoted to vice principal. -more-


Citizen’s Group Calls Meeting to Discuss Sunshine Ordinance

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:19:00 AM

The citizens’ group working on an alternative version of the Berkeley city attorney’s draft sunshine ordinance—which promises greater access to open government—will hold a public meeting at the Lutheran Church of the Cross Sept. 9 to get community input on their recently released document. -more-


FINAL DRAFT: CITY of BERKELEY SUNSHINE ORDINANCE

Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:20:00 AM

FINAL DRAFT -more-


Berkeley Sunshine Ordinance: Summary

Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:21:00 AM

Berkeley Sunshine Ordinance ---- Draft, September 2008 -more-


New Pot Club Laws Change Little, Says NORML

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:22:00 AM

California Attorney General Jerry Brown has issued new guidelines for medical marijuana clubs, but Northern California’s leading cannabis advocate says they don’t represent any major changes. -more-


Zoning Board, Westside Artists Want Scaled-Down Wareham Project

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:23:00 AM

The Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board recently asked San Raphael-based Wareham Developers to scale back the size of its 100,000-square-foot project at 740 Heinz St. The applicant proposes demolishing the landmarked Copra Warehouse and building a state-of-the-art biotechnology research center in its place. -more-


New Appeal Filed in Memorial Stadium Lawsuit

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:23:00 AM

The legal battle over UC Berkeley’s building plans at Memorial Stadium is back in the state Court of Appeals for the second time. -more-


Judge Affirms Richmond Council Broke the Law in Casino Accord

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:24:00 AM

Richmond city councilmembers violated state environmental protection law when they approved a $335 million pact to provide road improvements and emergency services for a North Richmond casino. -more-


UC to Brief Landmarks Commission On Design for Historic Cloyne Court

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:24:00 AM

UC Berkeley officials will present their rehabilitation plans for the student co-op Cloyne Court to the Berkeley Landmarks Preservation Commission today (Thursday). -more-


Carrie Sprague 1933-2008

By Nancy Holland
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:25:00 AM
Carrie and Stan Sprague in their garden a few years ago.

Carrie Sprague grew up in the Midwest and graduated from Oberlin College. She moved west where she met and married Thomas M. King. After having three children together, they divorced. In 1980, she met Stan and she moved into their little old house on Allston Way. -more-


Police Blotter

By KRISTIN McFARLAND
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:25:00 AM

Sacramento Street barbershop shooting -more-


Fire Department Log

By RICHARD BRENNEMAN
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:26:00 AM

Back-to-back fires -more-


Statements Stricken from AC Transit Challenger’s Ballot Statement

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:26:00 AM

An Alameda County Superior Court Judge has taken the first vote in the 2008 local general election, ruling that certain portions of AC Transit At Large Board challenger Joyce Roy’s submitted ballot statement were either false or misleading, and ordering them removed. -more-


Haiti Chérie

By Judith Scherr
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:27:00 AM
Herode Garry Laurent poses with three children he works with in Cité Soleil in front of a home converted to a clubhouse, affiliated with Pax Christi, to keep children from the impoverished shantytown off the street and to help break up the factionalism among youth that divides those from upper and lower Cité Soleil.

N’ap bat dlo pou l fé bé (We’re churning water to make it into butter) -more-


Opinion

Editorials

Sarah Palin Fails Her Most Important Job

By Becky O’Malley
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:30:00 AM

What’s a feminist to think? In my youth, people talked about trying to figure out the “standard liberal position” on a controversial issue. Later on, “liberal” got to be a no-no word as the hip left competed to see who could be more radical than thou. “Politically correct” was used without irony for a season or two among those who had an old left background, only to acquire a sarcastic edge among the rest of the left who distrusted the verities of previous eras. The compromise word de jour seems to be “progressive”—it’s a word even Republicans have been known to use. -more-


Cartoons

GOP Hiding Behind Skirts with VP Choice

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 12:26:00 PM

Storming the New Camelot

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 12:26:00 PM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:30:00 AM

RECKLESS -more-


Letters to the Editor

Monday September 08, 2008 - 12:59:00 PM

OAK GROVE -more-


What I Learned in Denver

By Randy Shaw
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:31:00 AM

The last day of the Democratic Convention at Mile High Stadium was an extraordinary occasion that transcended politics and became almost spiritual. I have never been part of such a public event—political or not—and doubt whether an equivalent happening has ever occurred in the United States or will soon be repeated. The crowd at Mile High mirrored the nation: It was overwhelmingly working and middle-class, racially diverse, and appeared to comprise those viscerally impacted by the convention’s focus on restoring the American Dream. In the days prior to Mile High I forswore the talked-about parties and spent 10 hours each day talking to hundreds of delegates, supporters and activists. I saw how artists were engaged with the Obama campaign, gained a deeper understanding of the Democratic Party’s New West revival, got a reality check on the alleged Clinton-Obama rift, and was told why Mitt Romney’s anticipated selection as running mate would really help McCain. Most of all, my experience strengthened my feeling that something very special is occurring in 2008 that will have significance far beyond November. -more-


A Call to Bring Sunshine to Berkeley

By Terry Francke and Shirley Dean
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:31:00 AM

We all want and expect to know what is going on in our government, yet history shows that we rarely achieve this goal. Whether it’s in City Hall, Sacramento or Washington, we are angry when we find out that action was taken on the flimsiest of information and decisions were made behind closed doors that profoundly affect our lives, and we have had no chance to know about it, let alone add our two cents. That’s the very opposite of democracy and our system of representative government no matter where it occurs or when it happens. It cannot be denied that no one can represent the people when the people don’t know what their representative is doing and the representative doesn’t know how the people feel. -more-


A Few Examples of the Success of Advisories

By Karen Hemphill
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:32:00 AM

I want to start by correcting an inaccurate statement made in Peter Kuhn’s letter to the editor. The School Board did not vote against implementing an advisory program at Berkeley High School (BHS). The School Board did not take any action. The presentation on advisories that Mr. Kuhn is referring to was given to the board for comment so that BHS staff would have a framework to develop an advisory proposal that would represent the best approach to address the needs for all BHS students. At that meeting, Board members, including myself, stressed the need for the high school to develop an advisory proposal that included specific expectations, detailed curriculum and activities, and methods for accountability/evaluation. Only with this information, can the School Board competently vote on whether to approve advisories at Berkeley High. While I personally believe that some type of advisory program is needed throughout BHS to provide a more personal and consistent connection between students, teachers, and parents, I will not support advisories without having such a detailed understanding of the purpose, content, and expected outcomes of advisories. I understand and share concerns that good intentions do not necessarily result in good deeds. But, it greatly disturbs me to read that some people are taking public positions against advisories without even having seen an actual completed proposal. -more-


Stem Cells in California — How Have They Fared Over the Past Four Years?

By Raymond Barglow
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:32:00 AM

Science begins in human wonder before the immensity and complexity of the natural world, but then becomes appropriated by social interests that apply its discoveries in humane as well as inhumane ways. So we are right to pay attention to the ethics that underly the development of new technologies. One of the most promising, but also one of the most controversial scientific applications today is the use of stem cells to help us understand and remedy terrible illnesses. -more-


White, Black / Neither, Both

By Marvin Chachere
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:33:00 AM

Nothing distinguishes America from other nations as markedly as the place held by involuntary immigrants from Africa and their descendants. -more-


Green Goals Toward the American Dream

By Willi Paul
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:33:00 AM

The American Dream is fracturing and defragmenting: corporate consolidations, privatization and capricious war making are creating a new rich class and killing citizen soldiers daily. Fifty percent of marriages in America end in divorce. Congress is a ship of fools. Our bridges are falling down. -more-


City Website’s Landmarks Map Laden with Inaccuracies

By John English
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:34:00 AM

During frequent visits to the Planning Palace on Milvia I’ve enjoyed glimpsing, just a block away from it, our very historic Old City Hall (also known as the Maudelle Shirek Building). But very recently while casually Internet surfing, I got a rude shock when I opened the “City of Berkeley Designated Landmarks” map that’s proudly on display in the “map room” part of the Planning and Development Department’s website. According to that map and its legend, Old City Hall is a landmark that’s been “demolished”! -more-


Columns

The Public Eye: The View from One Bus Driver’s Seat

By Zelda Bronstein
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:28:00 AM

Anthony Rodgers has been an AC Transit bus driver for 18 years. I met Rodgers a few weeks ago when I boarded his westbound No. 18 bus in downtown Berkeley. -more-


Undercurrents: Police Sweeps Give Impression of City Under Siege

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:29:00 AM

In some ways, East Oakland this weekend appeared to be a city under siege, and I am not talking about the continued rash of shootings, which is another issue altogether. I’m talking about one of the attempts by the Oakland Police Department to quell the violence. -more-


Wild Neighbors: Wine, Songbirds, and Leftover Salmon

By Joe Eaton
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:42:00 AM

Roughly 60 years ago, the pioneering conservationist Aldo Leopold wrote a short piece called “Odyssey,” collected in his Sand County Almanac. The odyssey in question is that of a nitrogen atom. Leopold imagined its travels from a starting point in a limestone ledge through a multiplicity of prairie food webs, and finally to the sea. -more-


East Bay: Then and Now—Zimri Brewer Heywood: Separating Fact From Myth

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:40:00 AM
1808 Fifth St., an elegant Italianate Victorian built in 1878 for Zimri Heywood’s son Charles.

As Planet Berkeley hurtles away from its past, the figures who dominated its early days, having accumulated a comet-like tail of stories and quasi-histories, take on the burnish of legend. Enshrined in books and articles, these stories have been repeated long enough to be taken for fact. -more-


About the House: Walking on a Roof

By Matt Cantor
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:41:00 AM

Now, straight off, I want to say that climbing ladders and walking on roofs is not for everyone. In fact, it’s not for me. I have to do it for my job and, frankly, I hate it. Well, not all the time, but there are days when I dread it and I’ll tell you some stories of occasions that either validated my dread or exacerbated it. -more-


Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:37:00 AM

THURSDAY, SEPT. 4 -more-


Rough and Tumble Stages ‘Candide’ at City Club

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:34:00 AM

“This is Candide. He’s just like you ... Get out!” The Everyman hero of Voltaire’s tale outlives all the considerable horror of his age. He has a happy childhood as student of an optimistic philosopher in Westphalia (“the best of countries in the best of all possible worlds” in the garden of “the best of all possible castles”), then is ejected from this self-proclaimed paradise into the disasters of war, earthquake and tempest. He survives the Inquisition’s auto-da-fe as well as just plain, low-down deception, the turmoil of love and complexities of friendship, while moving across Europe, the high seas, to the New World and back again—and finally, down on the farm, quietly insists, “We must cultivate our garden.” -more-


‘The Best Man’ Comes to the Aurora

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:36:00 AM

From the first entrance of a candidate and his “entourage” into a tacky hotel room (Richard Olmstead’s set), surrounded by reporters, with the sound of a crowd outside the quickly shut door, to the final cliffhanger of an instruction phoned in to a delegation that changes the voting of a deadlocked convention, the Aurora’s timely revival of The Best Man, Gore Vidal’s 1960 play about politicians, their wives, their flacks and operatives—and their pasts, their secrets—is played out with clockwork timing that emphasizes Vidal’s wit and the inexorable grinding of the great public machine in the convention hall outside the private little rooms, where the decisions and their stakes are mulled, joshed at—and sparred over. -more-


Tayo Aluko Performs ‘Call Mr. Robeson’ in San Francisco

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:38:00 AM

“Take ‘Old Man River,’” said Tayo Aluko, talking about the signature tune of the great singer, actor and activist for human rights, Paul Robeson, whom he portrays in his one man show, Call Mr. Robeson, at downtown San Francisco’s Phoenix Theatre this weekend. “The lyrics in that song are very profound in terms of Robeson himself. ‘He just keeps rollin’ along,’ yes; his memory survives. Then after saying Old Man River doesn’t plant the crops, ‘them that plants them is soon forgotten.’ ... Paul Robeson can still inspire people to shout out his name and the names of the forgotten, to know they’re not alone.” -more-


THE MYSTERIOUS DEATH (AND LIFE) OF RICHARD WRIGHT

Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:36:00 AM

After months of fascinating staged readings at local libraries and other venues, Oakland Public Theater celebrates the centennial of great black novelist Richard Wright (Native Son, Black Boy) and its own 10th anniversary with Richard Talavera’s original play (a distillate, in part, of the readings), Before the Dream: The Mysterious Death (and Life) of Richard Wright, directed by Norman Gee, at the Noodle Factory’s new theater, 1255 26th St., corner of Union, in Oakland, off West Grand and Mandela. $20–9, sliding scale. 8 pm, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 5 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 5. Reservations: 534-9529. Opens Saturday, Sept. 6. First preview tonight (Thursday, Sept. 4), Wright’s actual centennial. -more-


SUPERHEROES EN ROUTE TO CAIRO

Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:37:00 AM

mugwumpin, the innovative physical theater troupe, is trying to take their super: anti: -more-


East Bay: Then and Now—Zimri Brewer Heywood: Separating Fact From Myth

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:40:00 AM
1808 Fifth St., an elegant Italianate Victorian built in 1878 for Zimri Heywood’s son Charles.

As Planet Berkeley hurtles away from its past, the figures who dominated its early days, having accumulated a comet-like tail of stories and quasi-histories, take on the burnish of legend. Enshrined in books and articles, these stories have been repeated long enough to be taken for fact. -more-


About the House: Walking on a Roof

By Matt Cantor
Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:41:00 AM

Now, straight off, I want to say that climbing ladders and walking on roofs is not for everyone. In fact, it’s not for me. I have to do it for my job and, frankly, I hate it. Well, not all the time, but there are days when I dread it and I’ll tell you some stories of occasions that either validated my dread or exacerbated it. -more-


Community Calendar

Thursday September 04, 2008 - 09:28:00 AM

THURSDAY, SEPT. 4 -more-