News

Downtown Plan, Report Back Before Commission

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday September 17, 2008 - 01:36:00 PM

Planning commissioners will devote another meeting tonight (Wednesday) to their own rewrite of the new downtown plan, including possible changes to a controversial report on building heights. -more-


Animal Researcher Cyber-Stalking Cited as Long Haul Raid Rationale

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday September 16, 2008 - 11:45:00 AM

UC Berkeley police, joined by federal and county law enforcement, raided the Long Haul Infoshop Aug. 27 in search of the source of threats to university researchers who experiment on animals. -more-


Dellums Administration Rolls Out Preliminary Public Safety Strategy To Skeptical Community Representatives

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Tuesday September 16, 2008 - 11:43:00 AM

The administration of Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums introduced its long-awaited public safety strategy to selected members of the Oakland public Thursday evening to a pointedly skeptical reaction, outlining an ambitious program in which each of Oakland’s neighborhood would be organized for citizen participation, work on local public safety problems would be filtered through area public safety coordinating councils made up of city officials, police representatives, and neighborhood groups, and a citywide public safety policy council would oversee city goals and strategies. -more-


School Board Approves Plan to Sell Hillside School

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday September 16, 2008 - 11:42:00 AM

The Berkeley Board of Education last week unanimously approved a plan to put the historic Hillside School at 1581 Le Roy Ave. up for sale. -more-


Council to Address Noise, Solar Financing

By Judith Scherr
Monday September 15, 2008 - 03:46:00 PM

Fresh from an almost two-month break, Berkeley City Council members will address a full agenda Tuesday, updating the noise ordinance, increasing city worker salaries, approving a 22-meeting annual council schedule, appointing a councilmember to the county Waste Authority, and doubling parking fines near campus on football days. There will be a public hearing on Mayor Tom Bates’ solar financing plan. -more-


School Board Approves $15 Million West Campus Rehab for BUSD Headquarters

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday September 12, 2008 - 04:38:00 PM

West Campus neighbors won a major victory Wednesday night when the Berkeley Board of Education approved plans to rehabilitate the former Berkeley Adult School building on Bonar Street in order to relocate Berkeley Unified School District’s headquarters from the seismically unsafe Old City Hall at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. -more-


Nadel Says Violence Diminished In The Wake Of Operation Nutcracker Raids

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday September 12, 2008 - 04:16:00 PM

Oakland City Councilmember Nancy Nadel says that she was “very concerned” about charges made by Nation of Islam Oakland Mosque Minister Keith Muhammad about problems with this summer’s Oakland police “Operation Nutcracker” raids of the Acorn Housing Project, but says that police officials have assured her that the raids were properly conducted and have had the desired result. -more-


Berkeley School Employees Rally for New Contract

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday September 12, 2008 - 10:59:00 AM
Workers marched from Berkeley Technology Academy to school district headquarters Wednesday to demand contract renewals and pay raises.

More than 150 workers from the Berkeley Council of Classified Employees (BCCE) and their supporters filled the Old City Hall lawn and chambers Wednesday to rally for contract renewals and demand pay raises for the Berkeley Unified School District’s classified unions. -more-


Weekend Fire Demolishes Berkeley Hills Home

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday September 11, 2008 - 06:16:00 PM

A spectacular early morning three-alarm fire visible from miles away demolished a Berkeley hills home Sunday and brought in crews from fire departments in Oakland, Albany, Alameda County and the East Bay Regional Parks District. -more-


Correction

Thursday September 11, 2008 - 03:13:00 PM

An item in the Police Blotter in the Sept. 4 issue of the Planet incorrectly reported the location of a shooting. A shooting on the 2900 block of Sacramento Street on Sept. 2 did not occur at Johnson’s House of Style but at another address on that block. -more-


Chainsaws Level Memorial Stadium Grove

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday September 11, 2008 - 09:39:00 AM

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


Tree-Sit Activists Plan Next Campaigns

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday September 11, 2008 - 09:39:00 AM

Tuesday’s nine arrests—including the last four tree-sitters—cleared the ground, literally, for construction of the four-level gym and office complex that had been stalled for nearly two years by legal action. -more-


Candidates Question Validity Of Club, Union Endorsements

By Judith Scherr
Thursday September 11, 2008 - 09:39:00 AM

Buyer beware! An organization’s endorsement of a candidate or measure may not be as sound as the general public thinks—and in some cases, it may not be as meaningful as the organization itself would like it to be. -more-


Group’s Draft of Sunshine Law Comes to Light

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 11, 2008 - 09:40:00 AM

It was cloudy in Berkeley Tuesday, so a small but dedicated group of people got together at the Lutheran Church of the Christ on University Avenue to make their own sunshine. -more-


Still No Contract for UC Workers

By Judith Scherr
Thursday September 11, 2008 - 09:42:00 AM

When Maricruz Manzanarez isn’t mopping up at student dorms, she’s out fighting for her fellow University of California service workers across the state. -more-


Ed Roberts Campus On Way To Becoming a Reality

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 11, 2008 - 09:43:00 AM

The east parking lot of the Ashby BART reopened last week for a couple of hours to give birth to a vision. -more-


Roberts Made Berkeley Leader in Fight for Rights

By Lydia Gans Special to the Planet
Thursday September 11, 2008 - 09:43:00 AM

Last week several hundred people gathered at the Ashby BART station to celebrate the groundbreaking for the planned Ed Roberts Campus. The campus will provide space under one roof for a number of organizations and facilities for people with disabilities. It will occupy the east parking lot of the station, which will be temporarily unavailable for patrons. Parking will be restored when the building is completed. -more-


Worthington, Mayor Collide Over Appointment

By Judith Scherr
Thursday September 11, 2008 - 09:42:00 AM

Councilmember Kriss Worthington and Mayor Tom Bates clashed Monday afternoon at an obscure but powerful city committee meeting over an appointment to a county commission. -more-


City: Annual Report Doesn’t Promote Tax Measures

By Judith Scherr
Thursday September 11, 2008 - 09:42:00 AM

While a statement on the proposed library and fire tax in the annual city report that goes to every Berkeley citizen is phrased in such a way that some have said it could read like a promotion for the measures, Deputy City Manager Lisa Caronna told the Daily Planet it is not. -more-


Campus Rally Protests Police Raid of Long Haul

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday September 11, 2008 - 09:40:00 AM

Protesters—including Free Speech Movement veterans and a Berkeley city councilmember—gathered in Sproul Plaza Sept. 4 to rally against the UC Berkeley police raid on the Long Haul the week before. -more-


District, State Show Growth in API Scores

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 11, 2008 - 09:44:00 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 last week. -more-


Special Ed Students Take Exit Exam for First Time

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 11, 2008 - 09:45:00 AM

The 2007-08 California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) results released on Tuesday by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O’Connell, show that the estimated passing rates for all first-time test takers in the Berkeley Unified School District are lower than the state rate in math and slightly higher in English. -more-


Mary Lou Wyatt Stern, 1932–2008

By Andrew Stern
Thursday September 11, 2008 - 09:45:00 AM
Mary Lou Wyatt Stern

Mary Lou Wyatt Stern was born on May 16, 1932, in North Wilkesboro, Wilkes County, North Carolina. Her father was killed in an auto accident when she was 1. Her mother died from a heart attack when Mary Lou was 10. She had a mean stepfather and was shunted between relatives and a loving grandmother. While finishing high school, she cleaned people’s homes, worked the night shift at a hospital, and did various odd jobs. Still, she often reminisced about freshly picked green beans and potatoes from her grandmother’s garden. The memory of these flavors and tastes remained with her for the rest of her life. -more-


Dellums: Deal Is Near for Oakland Neighborhoods

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday September 11, 2008 - 09:46:00 AM

The administration of Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums says it is close to completion of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreement with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, establishing a state-city partnership to revitalize close to 500 blocks of Oakland’s most depressed neighborhoods. -more-


Leader Condemns Nutcracker Arrests

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday September 11, 2008 - 09:46:00 AM

The leader of Oakland’s Nation of Islam mosque has charged that few of the 54 individuals arrested in the City of Oakland’s much-publicized June “Operation Nutcracker” raid targeting West Oakland’s Acorn Gang have actually been charged with serious crimes, and that the raid itself endangered many of the Acorn Project residents it was supposed to protect. -more-


Safeway Holds Meeting to Decide Fate of College Ave. Store

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 11, 2008 - 09:47:00 AM

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