The Week

Artist Diana Hartman with her mural of Barack Obama on a McGee Avenue house on Wednesday.
By Richard Brenneman
Artist Diana Hartman with her mural of Barack Obama on a McGee Avenue house on Wednesday.
 

News

UCPD Arrests UC Berkeley Students for Clark Kerr Robbery

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday October 21, 2008 - 08:49:00 PM

UC Berkeley police arrested one current and one former member of the Cal Bears football team on Monday in connection with the Sept. 30 break-in robbery of two students in their suite at the university’s Clark Kerr residential complex. -more-


Voters' Guide to Berkeley Measures HH and JJ

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Tuesday October 21, 2008 - 04:35:00 PM

MEASURE HH City Expenditures -more-


Maybeck High School Goes to ZAB for Relocation Permit

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday October 20, 2008 - 06:53:00 PM

Maybeck High School—a private school in Berkeley—may be moving to a new location in February. -more-


Downtown Plan, West Berkeley Plus Condos Top Planning Slate

By Richard Brenneman
Monday October 20, 2008 - 06:51:00 PM

Berkeley planning commissioners will tackle the downtown plan again Wednesday as they rush to meet the deadline for getting their own version to the City Council. -more-


Peralta Trustee Challenger Charges Hodge’s Brother Improperly Sought Confidential Employment Information

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Monday October 20, 2008 - 06:50:00 PM

The race for the Area 2 Peralta Community College District Trustee seat suddenly grew a little chippy last week with the charge that the brother of incumbent Marcie Hodge improperly tried to gain confidential employment information about challenger Marlon McWilson from one of McWilson’s former employers. -more-


Jefferson Teacher in Creationism Controversy Resigns

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday October 20, 2008 - 10:00:00 AM

A Jefferson Elementary School third-grade teacher has resigned following allegations that she might have violated the separation of church and state by teaching creationism to her third-grade class, district officials said Friday. -more-


Students Remember Berkeley High Teacher in Heartfelt Memorial

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday October 20, 2008 - 09:58:00 AM

Pink and green ceramic tiles—stacks of them—lay outside Berkeley High’s Community Theatre Thursday, waiting to be used to make a table honoring one of the school’s newest but most-loved teachers, who died from a heart attack in August while she was in the Phillipines on a Fulbright Scholarship. -more-


Climate Action Plan Mandates Transit Corridor-based Growth

By Richard Brenneman
Monday October 20, 2008 - 09:59:00 AM

Though called a climate action plan, the document presented to Berkeley planning commissioners Wednesday night looked more like a developer’s dream. -more-


Berkeley Rep Raises $6,000 to Help Struggling Student Newspaper

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 10:32:00 PM

The Berkeley Rep announced Thursday that it had raised $6,000 at the world premiere of Yellowjackets to help the Berkeley High School student newspaper The Jacket stay afloat. -more-


Smoke Got in Their Eyes, And Now There’s a Law

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 09:44:00 AM

The persistent efforts of 30 to 40 Berkeley neighbors have given Berkeley a new law, one that proponents say promises relief from a chronic, unhealthy and all-too-frequent menace. -more-


Big Bright Blue Barack Delights McGee Ave.

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 09:44:00 AM

Tina Estes and Val Hammel first learned that two dozen or so Berkeley schoolchildren had stopped outside their McGee Avenue apartment Wednesday when they heard the “Ohhs.” -more-


State Budget Cuts Threaten Men’s Shelter

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday October 21, 2008 - 12:26:00 PM

To the world, 1931 Center St. in downtown Berkeley is little more than what it claims to be at first glance: the historic Veterans’ Memorial Building. -more-


News Analysis: Public Relations (Again) Trumps Public Safety at UC Berkeley

By Gray Brechin Special to the Planet
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 09:45:00 AM
A bird's-eye view of Memorial Stadium from a vintage photo postcard.

With the alacrity of a dying sloth, the San Francisco Chronicle waited until the University of California had evicted and arrested the remaining tree-sitters at California Memorial Stadium before asking what it should have at the top of the hour: Is the stadium safe, and can it ever be made safe enough to accommodate anyone, let alone 75,000 spectators? -more-


Emeritus Professor of Geology Weighs In on Memorial Stadium

By Garniss H. Curtis
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 10:11:00 AM

Subject: regarding certification of final environmental impact reports for the proposed computational research and theory facility and the helios energy resource facility and project approvals. -more-


State Budget Cuts Threaten Men’s Shelter

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 09:43:00 AM

To the world, 1931 Center St. in downtown Berkeley is little more than what it claims to be at first glance: the historic Veterans’ Memorial Building. -more-


Tilden Carousel Reopens

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 09:47:00 AM
East Bay Regional Park District Regional Parks Foundation Board member William Acevedo takes his daughter for a ride at the recently renovated Tilden Park Carousel.

After undergoing a $700,000 renovation, which lasted nearly nine months, the rare 1911 Herschell-Spillman Menagerie edition merry-go-round has reopened in Tilden Park. -more-


Newspaper Thieves Charged

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 09:47:00 AM

A pair of newspaper pilferers were cited for a variety of offenses early Wednesday morning following a citizen’s arrest in North Berkeley. -more-


Sather Gate Gets a Facelift

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 09:49:00 AM
Sather Gate should be back in place by April after undergoing extensive repairs.

It has weathered the Great Depression, World War II, the McCarthy Era and the Free Speech Movement. -more-


North Oakland Residents as Divided as Berkeley Over Bus Rapid Transit Proposal

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 09:50:00 AM

While the battle over the North Oakland portion of AC Transit’s proposed Bus Rapid Transit line has not reached the level or volume that it has in neighboring Berkeley, a Saturday morning political forum at Peralta Elementary School showed that the battle lines are drawn around similar issues. -more-


UC Considers Owl Box for People’s Park Rat Problem

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 09:50:00 AM

People’s Park might not get a free clothing box any time soon, but an owl box is more than welcome, especially if it acts as a rat patrol. -more-


Berkeley Cracks Down on Unruly Parties for Second Time This Year

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 09:50:00 AM

Two weeks ago, for the second time in a year, the Berkeley Police Department and city officials sent out a letter to 400 restaurants in Berkeley, warning them against holding late night parties, which have resulted in fights, gunfire and unruly crowds. -more-


A Guide to Berkeley Measures KK and II

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 09:51:00 AM

Measure KK (Berkeley Bus Ordinance)-more-


Mounting Criticism Targets Biofuel Programs

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 09:53:00 AM

While UC Berkeley is betting big on biofuels—a half-billion-dollar wager funded by British oil giant BP—the notion of fueling cars with crops is drawing international fire. -more-


In Praise of Parsley

By Shirley Barker Special to the Planet
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 09:54:00 AM

If I could choose only one green leafy vegetable to eat for the rest of my life, it would be parsley. I almost put my money on the versatile cabbage, delicious raw or cooked, stuffed, grated and even fried, but for sheer flavor, and ease and speed of growth, parsley edged cabbage by a nose. -more-


Opinion

Editorials

Hunkering Down in the Home Stretch

By Becky O’Malley
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 09:55:00 AM

We went to three Obama fundraising parties last week, and there’s another one scheduled for this week. As the polls look better and better, the atmosphere has changed from apprehension to a carefully modulated exhilaration. One of our hostesses, an elegant African-American classical singer whose husband is a professor, no hippie she, confessed that though she seldom has visions, she had experienced a clear mental image of Obama’s inauguration ball which she took as a sign that he was going to win. Her party, co-hosted in Oakland by an assortment of young couples, featured comedy-show videos starring Tina Fey and others projected on the wall. General hilarity prevailed, and $3,500 was added to Obama’s war chest, contributed by people who didn’t seem to be the idle affluent. And yet, our hostess confessed, she still wakes up in the middle of the night worrying about the election. -more-


Cartoons

Foreclosed Nation

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 11:01:00 PM

Unraveling the Straight Talk

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 11:01:00 PM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday October 16, 2008 - 09:56:00 AM

BERKELEY SCHOOLS -more-


Berkeley Police and Abraham Lincoln: A Modest Proposal

By Jean Damu
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 09:59:00 AM

The Berkeley police and Abraham Lincoln? What the...? What’s the connection? Hang with me a minute. I’ll explain. -more-


LL is for LLies

By Judith Epstein
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 11:05:00 AM

There are a lot of good reasons to vote no on Measure LL, but perhaps the best one is that the campaign to pass it is based on lies. Measure LL would repeal our current, green Landmarks Preservation Ordinance (LPO) and put in its place a loophole-laden ordinance, designed to expedite the demolition of our historic homes and neighborhoods. The fact that proponents refer to it as a landmarks preservation ordinance may be the biggest lie of all. That’s because if a developer chooses the right options among the new and confusing bureaucratic procedures for landmarking, a historic building could be cleared for demolition before the public even knows what’s going on. In effect, Measure LL provides a means to keep historic structures from being preserved. -more-


John McCain and the Keating Five Scandal

By Ralph E. Stone
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 09:59:00 AM

Sen. Barack Obama recently made public a video (http://my.barackobama.com/keatingvideo) outlining Senator John McCain’s role in the Keating Five scandal. The release may be in response to the personal attacks on Obama by McCain and his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin. Bringing up McCain’s role now isn’t just about the past because his role in that scandal has possible implications to the present financial crisis. The video shows McCain as someone who helped out a constituent, Charles Keating, while—just like today—taxpayers got stuck with the bill. Is his admitted poor judgment then an indication as to how he would handle the current financial crisis as president? You will have to decide that on Nov. 4. -more-


Berkeley Mayoral Race: The Lesser Evil Is Still Evil

By Zachary RunningWolf
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 10:00:00 AM

The two opposing mayoral candidates both have had the position of mayor, both with highly marred terms. First, let’s revisit the Shirley Dean administration which started off with Mrs. Dean not giving up her job with the largest employer in the town (UC Berkeley) while mayor. Can you say conflict of interest? One might say that Shirley Dean is the Dick Cheney of Berkeley. Even Dick Cheney quit Halliburton before taking the vice president’s job after awarding most of the post-war contracts to his former employer. It got worse when Mrs. Dean decided to go after our favorite city councilmember (at that time), Kriss Worthington. She decided to go to Mr. Worthington’s alma mater (in Ohio) posing as his aunt to pull information to get dirt on Mr. Worthington and had it sent to her summer home in Lake Tahoe. Mrs. Dean has also had her share of backroom deals with developers. -more-


School Board Candidate Statement

By Beatriz Leyva-Cutler
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 10:00:00 AM

For close to 30 years I have worked my way up the ranks from teen youth worker in a child care program in the Mission District to the position that I have held for over 20 years, as Executive Director. I have worked for BAHIA Inc., located in West Berkeley since 1980. This year I celebrate 28 years with the organization. My work most of my adult life has been in Berkeley, and I live within walking distance from my child care center. -more-


Improve Transit for the Whole Region

By Jonathan Bair
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 10:01:00 AM

With so much discussion about transportation planning in Berkeley focused on details like street width, the number of on-street parking spaces, or the decision-making process, it’s easy to lose the sight of the big picture. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a regional system that will serve the interconnected East Bay. Even though I live in Oakland, I am one of the many people outside of Berkeley’s borders affected by its transportation decisions. I ask Berkeleyans, when thinking about the transit questions posed on their November ballot, to consider their neighbors in Oakland and San Leandro who use regional buses. -more-


District Elections: The Balkanization of Berkeley

By Sharon Hudson
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 10:01:00 AM

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second of a three-part series. -more-


Citywide Pools Task Force and Aquatics for All

By Bill Hamilton and James Cisney
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 10:02:00 AM

Berkeley residents who are interested in swimming and who care about public recreation for youth have something to cheer about. City of Berkeley staff, Berkeley Unified School District, PTA representatives, neighborhood pool representatives, Park and Recreation and Disability Commissioners, and representatives of the warm pool are sitting down together as a citywide Pools Task Force. -more-


Columns

Undercurrents: A Woman Fears Obama and McCain Misses a Moment

By J. Douglas Allen-Tay
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 09:54:00 AM

Every major political campaign has at least one memorable moment—the point, either, where you later could say that the contest turned, or where some great insight was gained into what it was really all about. -more-


Wild Neighbors: Keeping Time With the Frogs

By Joe Eaton
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 10:13:00 AM

My column about chorus frogs a couple of weeks ago drew a couple of reader inquiries: Why are chorus frogs more resistant to the fungus that is devastating other amphibian species? And how are the chorusers able to stop calling at the same time? -more-


About the House: The Magic of Good Electrical Wiring

By Matt Cantor
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 10:12:00 AM

It’s amazing to me how differently two professionals can do their jobs. This applies to price, efficiency, safety and our comfort in working with the varied commercial connections we all make in our lives. It’s true with medical professionals, auto mechanics and tax accountants and it never ceases to stun me when I encounter either end of the scale. At the low end (and we know how bad things can get there, right?) there are those behind the counter at stores who have such small mandates and cannot seem to manage to provide us with even the most modest bits of service. My personal pet peeve is the clerk who can’t get off the phone with her boyfriend to sell me a roll of floss. -more-


A Rude Survey of Local Hardware Resources

By Jane Powell
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 10:12:00 AM

Matt Cantor’s recent survey of local hardware resources, which I agree with entirely, got me thinking about how much I love hardware stores. I even have a copy of The Periodic Table of Hardware (and you can too, for a mere $11.95 at www.thisandthat.com/periodictable.htm—not only is it printed on an excellent pegboard background, but you’ll be supporting a local artist as well). -more-


POETRY READINGS AT MOE’S

Thursday October 16, 2008 - 10:10:00 AM

Two unusual poetry events at Moe’s Books on Telegraph: Jack Marshall of El Cerrito, long an influential Bay Area writer and teacher, reads Mon. Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m.; the following Monday the great Nathaniel Tarn, poet, translator and anthropologist, celebrates his 80th birthday, reading and in conversation with Moe’s Owen Hill, after a week of Bay Area events. see sfsu.edu-poetry or call the Poetry Center (415) 338-2227. Moe’s readings are free. -more-


Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Thursday October 16, 2008 - 10:04:00 AM

THURSDAY, OCT. 16 -more-


War, Empire, Art and Democracy

By Peter Selz Special to the Planet
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 10:03:00 AM

Not since the 1930s, facing a previous great depression and the impending danger of a fascist New World Order, and the ’60s with a previous illegal and immoral war, has there been such a great outpouring of political art. -more-


UC Theater Department Stages Bard’s ‘Measure for Measure’

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 10:08:00 AM

“All difficulties are but easy when they are known.” This line from Measure for Measure is like a key to The Bard’s comedies—and maybe comedy in general. Howard Hawks, who pioneered the screwball comedy on screen, said the difference between comedy and drama was one of perspective: in drama, obstacles are to be overcome; in comedy, they’re embarrassing roadblocks (or banana peels on the road), getting in the way of what’s desired, making the seeker look ridiculous. -more-


TheatreFIRST Celebrates 15 Years

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 10:09:00 AM

TheatreFIRST is celebrating their 15th anniversary with a fete for supporters, 7 p.m. Saturday at Chapel of the Chimes on Piedmont Avenue with a staged reading and Paul Bregman’s piano music, special guests including performers Dana Kelly, Wanda McCaddon, Sandra Schlechter and Simon Vance, with co-founder and Artistic Director Emeritus Clive Chafer and TheatreFIRST’s new artistic and producing team, Dylan Russell and Allison Studdiford. -more-


‘Prepare for the Future,’ a Pre-Election Concert

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 10:10:00 AM

Jazz and soul singer Valerie Troutt and Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir will headline “Prepare for a Future,” an intergenerational pre-election concert in downtown Berkeley, featuring more than a dozen other local performing artists, Friday Oct. 17, at Shattuck DownLow, 2284 Shattuck Ave. The concert comes three weeks before the election and three days before the deadline for voter registration in California, Mon., Oct. 20. -more-


PBS Film Shines Light on Murky Morality of War

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 10:09:00 AM

Soldiers of Conscience, a new documentary airing at 9 p.m. today (Thursday) on PBS, begins with a surprising fact: Approximately 75 percent of World War II combat soldiers, when presented with the opportunity to fire on the enemy, did not pull the trigger. Turns out the inhibition that keeps a man from killing was stronger than all the training, conditioning and propaganda thrown at them in preparation for just such a moment. -more-


About the House: The Magic of Good Electrical Wiring

By Matt Cantor
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 10:12:00 AM

It’s amazing to me how differently two professionals can do their jobs. This applies to price, efficiency, safety and our comfort in working with the varied commercial connections we all make in our lives. It’s true with medical professionals, auto mechanics and tax accountants and it never ceases to stun me when I encounter either end of the scale. At the low end (and we know how bad things can get there, right?) there are those behind the counter at stores who have such small mandates and cannot seem to manage to provide us with even the most modest bits of service. My personal pet peeve is the clerk who can’t get off the phone with her boyfriend to sell me a roll of floss. -more-


A Rude Survey of Local Hardware Resources

By Jane Powell
Thursday October 16, 2008 - 10:12:00 AM

Matt Cantor’s recent survey of local hardware resources, which I agree with entirely, got me thinking about how much I love hardware stores. I even have a copy of The Periodic Table of Hardware (and you can too, for a mere $11.95 at www.thisandthat.com/periodictable.htm—not only is it printed on an excellent pegboard background, but you’ll be supporting a local artist as well). -more-


POETRY READINGS AT MOE’S

Thursday October 16, 2008 - 10:10:00 AM

Two unusual poetry events at Moe’s Books on Telegraph: Jack Marshall of El Cerrito, long an influential Bay Area writer and teacher, reads Mon. Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m.; the following Monday the great Nathaniel Tarn, poet, translator and anthropologist, celebrates his 80th birthday, reading and in conversation with Moe’s Owen Hill, after a week of Bay Area events. see sfsu.edu-poetry or call the Poetry Center (415) 338-2227. Moe’s readings are free. -more-


Community Calendar

Thursday October 16, 2008 - 09:53:00 AM

THURSDAY, OCT. 16 -more-