The Week

Mediation Urged in Thai Temple Dispute—           The Berkeley Thai Temple, at 1911 Russell St., attracts a large Sunday brunch crowd, sparking complaints from neighbors and concern from city officials, who charge that the temple has violated its permit with the weekly brunches.
Riya Bhattacharjee
Mediation Urged in Thai Temple Dispute— The Berkeley Thai Temple, at 1911 Russell St., attracts a large Sunday brunch crowd, sparking complaints from neighbors and concern from city officials, who charge that the temple has violated its permit with the weekly brunches.
 

News

Court Rejects Berkeley Appeal, Police Complaint Hearings Must Still Be Closed

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Wednesday October 08, 2008 - 04:56:00 PM

A California Appeals Court has ruled that the City of Berkeley’s Police Review Commission must continue to exclude the public from complaint hearings against Berkeley Police officers, and must continue to bar public access to peace officer personnel records or other records relating to Police Review Commission investigations or findings in such complaints. -more-


Dual Tragedy Shocks Apartment Residents

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday October 07, 2008 - 05:01:00 PM

The body of a 44-year-old Berkeley man lay decomposing in his studio apartment for at least two weeks, while his aging mother, who suffers from dementia, remained inside, surrounded by an ever-growing mound of garbage bags. -more-


Flash: Suspects Held for June Killing

By Bay City News
Monday October 06, 2008 - 09:53:00 PM

Berkeley police today arrested a 20-year-old man in connection with the killing of his stepfather in June and another suspect turned himself in later in the day. -more-


Richmond Activists Blast Police Union 'Racist' Flyer

By Richard Brenneman
Monday October 06, 2008 - 04:52:00 PM

A rainbow coalition of Richmond activists on Monday demanded that the city’s powerful police union rescind an electoral mailer they described as a racist hit piece. -more-


LPC Approves Mills Acts Contracts, Wareham Tries 'Old Industrial' Look for 740 Heinz

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday October 06, 2008 - 04:51:00 PM

The Landmarks Preservation Commission approved Mills Acts contracts Thursday for two historic Berkeley landmarks—the Durant Hotel and the Charles Keeler House. -more-


Three Robberies in an Hour on Tuesday

By Richard Brenneman
Saturday October 04, 2008 - 08:22:00 AM

Berkeley residents were targeted in three armed robberies that took place within 57 minutes of each other Tuesday evening, police report. -more-


Two Environmentalists Vie For Parks District Vacancy

By Richard Brenneman
Friday October 03, 2008 - 04:41:00 PM

Two candidates with strong environmental records are facing off for an open seat on the East Bay Regional Parks District. -more-


Commission Spurns DAPAC Parking, Traffic Proposals

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 06:26:00 PM

Even planning commissioners who have fought to defend the downtown plan crafted by a citizen committee are backing away from its parking provisions. -more-


Cody’s Workers Charge Store Violated Contract

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:17:00 AM

Two former employees of the now-defunct Cody’s Books have filed a complaint with the state Labor Commission alleging that the bookstore violated its contract with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) by not paying its workers paid time-off when the store closed down in June. -more-


Parents Say Teacher Espoused Creationism

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:17:00 AM

The Berkeley Unified School District is investigating a report that one of its elementary school teachers might have violated the separation of church and state by teaching creationism to her third-grade class, district officials said Tuesday. -more-


Was McCain A Key Player In Point Molate Casino?

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:18:00 AM

Is Republican presidential nominee John McCain the key player in the behind-the-scenes maneuvers that may turn the East Bay into California’s first urban gambling resort? -more-


Dellums Unveils Proposal to Cut Oakland Budget Deficit

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:18:00 AM

With the nation’s attention focused on the national credit crisis and President George Bush’s proposed $700 billion bailout package, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums released his proposals to address Oakland’s fiscal crisis, a $37.4 million shortfall in the 2008-09 budget. -more-


City Tells Temple, Neighbors To Find Middle Ground

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:19:00 AM

Fans of authentic Thai cuisine must wait till Nov. 13 to find out if the city will allow Wat Mongkolratanaram to continue to serve Sunday brunch or ban it. -more-


Planning Commission Gets Few Answers Regarding Bus Rapid Transit Proposal

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:19:00 AM

Planning commissioners last week confronted what Chair James Samuels called “a chicken/egg problem”: How to define a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route without knowing its full impacts. -more-


State Budget Will Have Major Impacts for BUSD

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:20:00 AM

California’s long-overdue state budget, signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last week, leaves the Berkeley Unified School District’s budget virtually unchanged from last year, but forces it to grapple with the rising cost of living, district officials said Thursday. -more-


School District Gets Ready to Sell Sixth Street Property

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday October 03, 2008 - 11:57:00 AM

Berkeley Unified School District’s historic property on Sixth Street—which started out as the Berkeley Day Nursery many decades ago and is now home to West Berkeley’s LifeLong Medical Clinic—will be sold if the district finds a suitable buyer, district officials said. -more-


BHS Spanish Teacher Lobbies for Diagnostic Testing

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:25:00 AM

Visitors to Berkeley High School’s annual back-to-school night last Thursday might not remember the eight Latino students quietly handing out flyers to passers-by amid all the excitement of registering for different tutorials and after-school programs. -more-


A Guide to Berkeley’s Library and Disaster Bonds

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:26:00 AM

Measure FF: Berkeley Library Bond -more-


Brazen Dorm Room Robbery At UC’s Clark Kerr Campus

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:27:00 AM

A pair of brazen bandits staged a “hot prowl” heist at UC Berkeley’s Clark Kerr campus early Tuesday morning, climbing in through an open kitchen window to rob a pair of students. -more-


Police Blotter

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:27:00 AM

Hate crime—or not? -more-


Lincoln, a Comet, and the Politics of a Nation Divided

By Steven Finacom Special to the Planet
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:29:00 AM
Donati’s Comet as seen over Paris above the Palais du Justice, the Conciergerie and the Seine on Oct. 5, 1858, from a plate in The World of Comets, 1877, Amèdée Guillemin.

The year 1858 was one of turmoil and wonder. One hundred and fifty years ago the world was coming together. The United States signed a commercial treaty with hitherto self-isolated Japan, gold seekers rushed to Pike’s Peak, there was talk of a railroad to California, and the first briefly successful transatlantic telegraph cable was laid. -more-


CORRECTION

Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:27:00 AM

In a Sept. 25 story on regional measures on the November ballot (“Analysis of Regional Ballot Measures”), we mistakenly reported that the East Bay Regional Park District Measure WW “appears to be one of the few issues that is not generating any opposition.” In fact, Measure WW has generated opposition. Please see our letters page for rebuttal. -more-


Opinion

Editorials

Worry Global, Vote Local

By Becky O’Malley
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:31:00 AM

The on-going exposure of the number and kind of misdeeds perpetrated by the Bush administration and cronies continues to be staggering. On Tuesday alone, we saw the third-in-command CIA official pleading guilty to funneling big contracts to his college roommate, and we heard that a federal prosecutor will investigate the firings at the U.S. Department of Justice. But these shocking revelations had to take a back seat to the news of the slippery financial dealings which are causing the world economy to collapse, all of which took place with the blessings of the Bushies. -more-


Cartoons

Arnold and the Veto

By Justin DeFreitas
Monday October 06, 2008 - 10:32:00 AM

California's Credit Card

By Justin DeFreitas
Monday October 06, 2008 - 10:38:00 AM

Capitalism Guaranteed

By Justin DeFreitas
Monday October 06, 2008 - 10:39:00 AM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:31:00 AM

CLARIFICATION -more-


Letters to the Editor

Monday October 06, 2008 - 02:11:00 PM

McCain and the Cost of Free Market Profligacy

By Paul Rockwell
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:32:00 AM

From the beginning of his political career as a Barry Goldwater Republican, John McCain denigrated the wise teaching of Franklin Delano Roosevelt: that unregulated free markets are inherently rapacious and unstable. For 27 years, through debt-producing Reaganomics—especially deregulation—McCain promoted corporate permissiveness, a culture that included risky speculation, debt-financed mergers, leveraged buy-outs, quick profit-taking, and the inevitable cry from Wall Street for public bailouts when the casino goes broke. -more-


South Berkeley Neighbors Demand Their Day in Court

By Laurie Baumgarten
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:33:00 AM

By the time this paper goes to press, the Verizon and Sprint cell phone antennas on the UC Storage Building in South Berkeley may well be operating. Neighbors who have been fighting these unnecessary and potentially dangerous antennas for three years watch as the workmen put up wires, pipes, and antennas. And all this goes on in front of our eyes while our legal case against the City of Berkeley, Patrick Kennedy and Verizon is pending. We demand that all work on the UC Storage building immediately halt until the legality of this installation is resolved. We expect our mayor and our councilmembers to demand that Patrick Kennedy not proceed with this installation until the neighborhood has had its day in court! -more-


Why You Should Care About the Mayoral Election

By Sam Herbert
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:34:00 AM

Many Berkeley residents consider national and international politics of high importance. Many of those same individuals are less engaged when it comes to local Berkeley politics and contests. There are several reasons why local politics fail to engage the same spirited, informed debate and interest. Regardless of the reasons for apathy, I believe that local issues are important to all Berkeley residents, and deserve thoughtful consideration. -more-


Graffiti and Israel

By Marc Sapir
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:35:00 AM

Riya Bhattachargjee’s Sept. 25 article “Anti-Israel Graffiti Found Near Campus” is poor journalism. The title is fine, but the article leads with an erroneous use of the term “anti-Semitism,” which then serves as a justification for the outrage of Birgeneau and various Zionist student organizations. The UC chancellor seems to know that the graffiti was “hurtful to…members of the Jewish community.” That’s a half truth (many will agree with him of course) because many Jews, myself included, find nothing hurtful in this act aimed at countering deceptive Zionist propaganda. -more-


No on Albany’s Measure Y

By James Cleveland
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:37:00 AM

Albany is not broken. It doesn’t need radical change by the unprecedented seven Charter amendments on your ballot. It doesn’t need to become another Berkeley. -more-


Measure KK is Pro-Transit

By Bruce Kaplan
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:38:00 AM

Bus Rapid Transit cheerleaders such as Robb Wren, Alan Tobey and Charles Siegel would have you believe that Measure KK and its proponents are anti-transit. They’re wrong. We put Measure KK on the ballot because we care deeply about transit, and want to see bus service improvement done right. -more-


BRT Opposition Ignores Global Warming

By Roy Nakadegawa
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:38:00 AM

I wonder if people who write in opposition to the proposed AC Transit BRT project and in support of Measure KK, which would most likely bring the Bus Rapid Transit project to a complete halt, are concerned with or even bother to consider the future of our city and its environment. In their letters to the Daily Planet, most of them write as though their primary concern is maintaining the status quo of driving in Berkeley. -more-


BRT Won’t Work For Me

By Russ Tilleman
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:39:00 AM

Rob Wrenn’s Sept. 25 commentary “Why BRT Will Work” claims that Bus Rapid Transit is being built for the disabled. Well, I’m disabled, and I don’t ride the 1R bus, whose route BRT will follow, because it doesn’t go where I need to go. It must not go where anyone else needs to go either, because when I see a 1R bus drive by, it usually has between five and 10 people on it, whereas the capacity is around 100. -more-


A Response to False Allegations About BRT

By Len Conly
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 10:38:00 AM

In her latest attack on Bus Rapid Transit (Sept 18), Gale Garcia suggests that AC Transit’s projections for the ridership increase that would result from BRT are inaccurate. -more-


The Free Library Tree

By Winston Burton
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:40:00 AM

Someone recently wrote a letter to the Daily Planet about free libraries not being free. And that may technically be true. But for the thousands of seniors, youth, immigrants and low income people that go to Berkeley branch libraries every day they are free. There’s no ticket price or entrance fee required to check out a book and read. In addition to books, movies and music, you can even take out tools to plant a garden or fix your home or do whatever project you need at no cost. The only charge is a fine for not bringing the items back in a timely fashion. This is meant to encourage each of us to be responsible members of the community, because often there is a long waiting list of other folks who want to share in the free resources provided by our local branch libraries. -more-


Columns

The Public Eye: Obama Wins First Debate

By Bob Burnett
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:28:00 AM

The 2008 presidential election’s initial debate was one of the best contests in recent memory. There were no memorable bon mots or gaffes, and both candidates had convincing moments. Overall, Barack Obama had the stronger performance. -more-


Undercurrents: AC Transit Deteriorated While Public Turned Its Back

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:30:00 AM

Every once in a while, you happen on an experience that serves to put in perspective a complicated situation. I cover AC Transit from time to time as a journalist, but this one came to me as a bus rider. -more-


Wild Neighbors—Amphibian Survivors: The Chorus Frogs

By Joe Eaton
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:56:00 AM

Contrary to popular belief, not all frogs go “ribbet.” Frogs make an amazing and appalling variety of noises. The eastern green frog sounds like someone smashing a banjo against the wall, hard: “Spunggg!” Some peep like baby chicks, trill like songbirds, bleat like sheep, grunt like pigs, skirl like bagpipes, moan like lost souls in torment. A mixed crowd of a dozen or so species, each carrying on in its own fashion, is an aurally stirring thing. -more-


District 4 City Council Candidate Statement: N’Dji Jockin

Thursday October 02, 2008 - 10:40:00 AM

I was born and raised here in Berkeley and have a deep love and respect for its residents, traditions, and culture. We have some of the most forward-thinking, progressive-minded people and policies in the country if not the world. We support organic foods and bilingual education in our schools to enrich our children’s bodies and minds. We support rent control and workforce housing to maintain and enrich the diversity of our residents. We support alternative energy and fair trade coffee. We have one of the nation’s most generous sets of programs to serve the homeless. We should be proud of these lofty principles and ideals we uphold. We are continually on the cutting edge of progress, but somewhere along this journey we have veered off course. -more-


District 4 City Council Candidate Statement: Terry Doran

Thursday October 02, 2008 - 10:40:00 AM

The diversity, culture and beautiful neighborhoods of Berkeley make this a special place to call home. It's the reason I came here to attend Cal in 1960 and, upon graduation, never left. I started a teaching job at Berkeley High School right out of college, My wife Lenore and I raised our children in the same house we live in today on Sacramento Street and we are fortunate to have three generations of Dorans still living in District 41. My granddaughter recently started kindergarten at Washington Elementary School and my grandson will follow next year. -more-


District 4 City Council Candidate Statement: Asa Dodsworth

Thursday October 02, 2008 - 10:41:00 AM

Berkeley needs change. But only by listening to, and increasing the voice and role of our citizens and our neighborhoods can we make Berkeley better. I am committed to increasing the voices of our neighborhoods in the city’s decision-making process. Too many important decisions are being made by professional municipal employees, working hand-in-hand with developers, but without enough input from Berkeley’s taxpayers. Too many of the decisions that negatively affect our lives, our neighborhoods and our businesses are being decided by the ‘Last Man Standing’ at Berkeley’s notorious late-night city council sessions. No one should have to wait for five hours to address the city council, especially about substantial and often negative impacts to their neighborhoods. These problems need to be resolved long before they get to the council. We need to create clear policies that are responsive to the community’s needs and abilities. We need to stick to those policies and not encourage every developer to appeal every aberrant proposal to the city council—where those same developers inevitably get permission to ignore both the rules and the community. -more-


District 4 City Council Candidate Statement: Jesse Arreguin

Thursday October 02, 2008 - 10:42:00 AM

For 16 years, Dona Spring provided visionary leadership for the residents of District 4 and the entire city. Dona was an incredibly courageous person who, despite many personal challenges, devoted her life to serving the community. She was also on the cutting edge of many issues and worked successfully to pass groundbreaking legislation that has made Berkeley a model for other communities. She was also a tireless advocate for numerous progressive causes and was never afraid to stand up for what was right, even when she was the only one doing it. She was also an effective representative, helping each constituent get their questions answered or their problems solved. -more-


District 4 City Council Candidate Statement: L A Wood

Thursday October 02, 2008 - 10:42:00 AM

As voters, we are once again being inundated with campaign banners, catchy phrases and promises from every candidate. This is especially true in our District 4 election. At each endorsement forum, the candidates seem to repeat the same mantra about being the champion for our seniors, disabled and youth, insuring our district receives its fair share of city services and, of course, creating more affordable housing while revitalizing our downtown. Few would disagree with these goals. -more-


District 5 City Council Candidate Statement: Sophie Hahn

Thursday October 02, 2008 - 10:44:00 AM

I have a sense of urgency about important issues affecting District 5 and the City of Berkeley. I am running for City Council to bring a new level of energy and excellence to our government, to enhance community participation in civic affairs, and to ensure that our city develops in harmony with existing neighborhoods and values. -more-


District 5 City Council Candidate Statement: Laurie Capitelli

Thursday October 02, 2008 - 10:44:00 AM

Four years ago you elected me to bring common sense, business experience and a pragmatic progressive approach to the Berkeley City Council. I am running for re-election to continue serving District 5 and all of Berkeley as I have done for the last 30 years. My priorities are fiscal responsibility, constituent service, education, sustainability, the health of our retail districts and housing. One thousand words are not enough to relate all I’ve done in four years on the Council, but I can at least hit the highlights. -more-


District 6 City Council Candidate Statement: Susan Wengraf

Thursday October 02, 2008 - 10:45:00 AM

I have a long history of community involvement, public service, and accomplishment in Berkeley. I have served as the aide to Council member Betty Olds since 1992. I am also the senior member of the Planning Commission. I was the chair of the University Avenue Strategic Plan Sub-Committee, which made recommendations to the City Council on development standards on University Avenue. In addition, I also chaired the Density Bonus Sub-Committee, which examined the very complex rules governing development in California. I served on committees that evaluated the Landmarks Preservation Ordinance, and established a Blight Ordinance that helps neighborhoods deal with abandoned properties in the City of Berkeley. -more-


District 6 City Council Candidate Statement: Phoebe Anne Sorgen

Thursday October 02, 2008 - 10:46:00 AM

I am Phoebe Anne Sorgen, running for retiring Berkeley City Councilmember Betty Olds’ District 6 seat. My slogan is “Sorgen for Safety and Sustainability." My sunflower logo symbolizes my determination to shine light on government, and to increase solar power as well as other economically and environmentally sustainable innovations to make Berkeley a model for the nation and a delight for those who live here. -more-


East Bay: Then and Now—Will the Real William Heywood Stand Up?

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:51:00 AM
Built in 1917, the Heywood Building at 2014 Shattuck Ave. included offices for its architect, James Plachek, and its owner, William H. Heywood.

Lumber magnate Zimri Brewer Heywood was found dead in his bed on July 31, 1879. He was 76 years old and had spent the last two years of his life in Berkeley, presumably at 709 Delaware St. He was buried at Lone Mountain Cemetery in San Francisco, and his death and burial were duly inscribed in the ledger of the Church of the Good Shepherd, of which he was a founding member. -more-


About the House: Knobs, Tubes and French Resistance

By Matt Cantor
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:53:00 AM

As the noted theologian Matthew Fox was heard to say, after a year-long, papally-ordered vow of silence, “Now, as I was saying…” -more-


Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:48:00 AM

THURSDAY, OCT. 2 -more-


Gospel Concert Benefits Berkeley High

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:40:00 AM

“Bringing Down the House for Berkeley High,” a benefit fundraiser for the Berkeley High School Development Group, featuring gospel and spirituals by the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, will be held Saturday in the school’s Schwimley Little Theater, Allston Way at Martin Luther King, Jr. Way. -more-


By Ken Bullock

Druid Theatre Brings 'The Playboy of the Western World' to Rep
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:42:00 AM

Druid Theatre Co. of Galway on Ireland’s West Coast—the first professional theater company in Ireland outside Dublin—will present their celebrated staging of John Millington Synge’s comic masterpiece, The Playboy of the Western World (1907), along with Synge’s earlier short play, The Shadow of Glen, next week, presented by CalPerformances in association with Berkeley Rep. -more-


Altarena Playhouse Stages ‘Bat Boy’ in Alameda

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:49:00 AM

“In a cave many miles to the south/Lived a boy with fangs in his mouth ...” Teenage spelunkers bring back a bundle with pointed ears after caving near their hometown of Hope Falls, West Virginia. And the local citizenry is up in arms—and song—over the advent of Bat Boy in their fold, where the slaughterhouse is empty because the cattle are scrawny and moribund, and the social event of the year is the revival meeting. -more-


Jewish Community Center Presents ‘Degenerate Music’

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:50:00 AM

Degenerate Music,” a remarkable program of songs and compositions by German composers and lyricists, many of them Jewish, branded as “Degenerate Artists” by the Nazis, will be performed this Sunday at the East Bay Jewish Community Center, as part of the Jewish Music Festival. -more-


Expressionism and Escape

By Justin DeFreitas
Monday October 06, 2008 - 10:18:00 AM

German Expressionism Collection -more-


East Bay: Then and Now—Will the Real William Heywood Stand Up?

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:51:00 AM
Built in 1917, the Heywood Building at 2014 Shattuck Ave. included offices for its architect, James Plachek, and its owner, William H. Heywood.

Lumber magnate Zimri Brewer Heywood was found dead in his bed on July 31, 1879. He was 76 years old and had spent the last two years of his life in Berkeley, presumably at 709 Delaware St. He was buried at Lone Mountain Cemetery in San Francisco, and his death and burial were duly inscribed in the ledger of the Church of the Good Shepherd, of which he was a founding member. -more-


About the House: Knobs, Tubes and French Resistance

By Matt Cantor
Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:53:00 AM

As the noted theologian Matthew Fox was heard to say, after a year-long, papally-ordered vow of silence, “Now, as I was saying…” -more-


Community Calendar

Thursday October 02, 2008 - 09:28:00 AM

THURSDAY, OCT. 2 -more-