The Week

Students created an altar at a memorial last Thursday for Berkeley High School teacher Kalpna Mistry who died in August.
By Riya Bhattacharjee
Students created an altar at a memorial last Thursday for Berkeley High School teacher Kalpna Mistry who died in August.
 

News

Berkeley School Board Candidates Face-Off in Debate

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday October 28, 2008 - 07:25:00 PM

With a week to go before the Nov. 4 elections, candidates running for the Berkeley Board of Education turned the spotlight on the achievement gap at a debate organized by the Berkeley PTA Council at Willard Middle School on Monday. -more-


Downtown Plan’s Traffic, BRT, Parking Issues Face Commission

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday October 28, 2008 - 07:26:00 PM

Berkeley planning commissioners have slated yet another special meeting for Wednesday night as they rush to finish their rewrite of the new Downtown Area Plan. -more-


Developers Continue Cash for Council Race Favorites

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday October 28, 2008 - 05:02:00 PM

Development-related contributions continue to pour into the coffers of candidates for next week’s Berkeley city council election, with Mayor Tom Bates in the lead both in total and sector-related contributions. -more-


Bates and Dean Keep The Passion, But Turn Down The Heat

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Monday October 27, 2008 - 03:12:00 PM

When they first ran against each other in 2002, it was Berkeley’s epic political battle. Shirley Dean was the lightning-rod mayor and leader of the moderate-progressive political faction in a City Council and a city that were deeply divided along factional lines. Looking for a way to oust a political powerhouse, members of the opposing left-progressive faction recruited former state Assemblymember Tom Bates to run against Dean. -more-


Maybeck High School Gets Green Light to Move Into St. John’s, Wareham Shows New Design for 740 Heinz

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Saturday October 25, 2008 - 02:23:00 PM

Students at Berkeley’s Maybeck High School can move into new classrooms in St. John’s Presbyterian Church this spring, since the school received a relocation permit from city officials at a public meeting Thursday. -more-


BUSD Fears Mid-Year Cuts Could Jeopardize State Funding Further

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Saturday October 25, 2008 - 02:24:00 PM

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 45-day revision to the state budget gives the Berkeley Unified School District more revenue than what he proposed earlier this year, but leaves it with a minimal cost of living increase, district officials said Wednesday -more-


Developer’s Email: Give To Doran To Solidify Our Control of Council

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 03:01:00 PM

Berkeley developers are making a last-minute push to flood the coffers of Terry Doran as he battles to win the city council seat representing downtown Berkeley. -more-


"Obama is Irish" at the Starry Plough Now a Major YouTube Hit

by Becky O'Malley
Friday October 24, 2008 - 12:41:00 PM

Shay Black is an Irish musician who lives in Oakland just a few blocks from the Planet office on Shattuck. He has led an Irish music session in the nearby Starry Plough every Sunday for the last thirteen years. Recently, he's become a YouTube celebrity. Last month, a jolly video starring Shay was made at the Plough, posted on YouTube and now has 250,000 hits. It's a cover of a song originally written in Ireland which reclaims Barack Obama's Irish roots. Here's the first verse: -more-


Willard Middle School on Alert after Trash Can Fire

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 03:15:00 PM

Middle School is investigating three small fires that started in a couple of trash cans in the school’s restrooms and an open garbage area in the garden during school hours Wednesday, district officials said. -more-


Bates Leads Dean in Developer Funding

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 09:43:00 AM

If money is the mother’s milk of politics, as a legendary California Democrat once explained, then development is its cash cow. -more-


School Board Candidates Focus on Achievement Gap

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 09:49:00 AM

The four Berkeley Board of Education candidates will face off at a debate hosted by the Berkeley PTA Council at Willard Middle School on Monday night. -more-


Students Remember Berkeley High Teacher

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 09:49:00 AM

Pink and green ceramic tiles—stacks of them—lay outside Berkeley High’s Community Theater last 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-


UCPD Arrests Two Students For Clark Kerr Armed Robbery

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 09:50:00 AM

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-


Hahn Tops Incumbent in Funds, but Developers Favor Capitelli

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 09:50:00 AM

Incumbent Laurie Capitelli represents District Five, covering central northern Berkeley, and is facing a difficult race in which his opponent, Sophie Hahn, has raised nearly twice as much campaign funding. -more-


Four Candidates Battle For District 4 Vacancy

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 09:51:00 AM

In the battle to replace the late Dona Spring in the city’s fourth council district, only one of the four candidates in the running is a strongly pro-development advocate. -more-


Only One Major Fund-Raiser In Three City Council Races

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 09:52:00 AM

Incumbents in two Berkeley council races didn’t raise a dime by the end of the Sept. 30 reporting period and only one candidate filed in opposition, leaving District Three’s Max Anderson without a foe. -more-


Berkeley Rep Raises $6,000 To Help Student Newspaper

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 09:52:00 AM

The Berkeley Rep announced last 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-


John Muir Helps Students By Saluting Legends

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 09:53:00 AM

Berkeley’s oldest surviving public school will honor its past on Sunday to preserve its future. -more-


Teacher Resigns in Creationism Controversy

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 09:53:00 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-


Hillside School Sale Meeting

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 09:53:00 AM

The Berkeley Unified School District is scheduled to hold a meeting on Oct. 30 to update the community about the status of the sale of the Hillside School. -more-


Voter’s Guide to Berkeley Measures HH and JJ

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 09:54:00 AM

MEASURE HH City Expenditures -more-


Remembering Thomas Eddie Cooper

By Richard Giordano
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 09:56:00 AM

Family and friends were shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden death of Le Bateau Ivre restaurant owner Thomas Eddie Cooper the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 16. Even those closest to him will never fully understand the depth of depression which drove him to unexpectedly seek respite by taking his own life. It was a final moment of despair that does not define a rich and complicated life. -more-


Police Blotter

By ALI WINSTON
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 09:57:00 AM

Car thefts -more-


Council Tinkers with Condo Ordinance

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 09:58:00 AM

The Berkeley City Council went dabbling back in the condominium conversion waters this week, but for the third time this year came up with nothing definitive. The council has now decided to wait until the new year—and the arrival of new faces on the council itself—to revisit the issue. -more-


Climate Action Plan Mandates Transit Corridor-Based Growth

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:08:00 AM

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


Opinion

Editorials

Propositions: Just Say No?

By Becky O’Malley
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:01:00 AM

Thanks to the modern magic of cell phones, I’ve done a phone survey this week of friends working around the country to elect Barack Obama. A Chicago friend, from a long line of radical leftists, has been enjoying what is probably her first opportunity for enthusiastic participation in a national election. Illinois itself, of course, is Obama country, but she made field trips to neighboring battleground states: Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana. She points with pride to the news that McCain has given up on Michigan, a victory for which she personally claims credit. -more-


Cartoons

The Berkeley Progressive

By Justin DeFreitas
Saturday November 01, 2008 - 09:52:00 AM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:02:00 AM

MISS CORRUPTION -more-


Advance Math and Science in Berkeley Schools

By Priscilla Myrick
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:02:00 AM

Across the country, progressive leaders are calling for a stronger academic program for K-12 students (www.Edin08. com). At the last presidential debate Senator Obama emphasized that academic achievement, particularly in science and technology, is the driver of innovation. Part of Obama’s vision to unleash innovation is to improve science, math and engineering education. -more-


No on Measure KK

By Steve Geller
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:03:00 AM

I voted NO on Measure KK not because it’s anti-transit, but because it’s bad government. Measure KK is another “solution” which creates more problems. It is another defective idea like the two-thirds majority requirement for taxes. Supporters of KK hope that by requiring an (expensive) election, Berkeley will be prevented from allocating a dedicated lane for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on Telegraph Avenue. The measure also requires an election for a bus-only or HOV lane anywhere else in the city. One wonders why only lane decisions must be submitted to voters, and not, say, parking, zoning, staff salaries or library hours. I think some folks really want to keep buses out of the way of their cars. -more-


LL Is for LLies

By Judith Epstein, on behalf of the Berkeley Neighborhood Preservation Organization
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:04:00 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-


Time for a Change in Albany

By James D. Cleveland
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:05:00 AM

In its Centennial year could Albany commit both civic and financial suicide? -more-


Why I’ll Vote for Lieber, Panian, and Toomey

By Nan Wishner
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:05:00 AM

Robert Lieber has a solid list of environmental and progressive accomplishments from his four-year term, including leading both the Albany City Council and the mayors of Alameda County to take a strong stand opposing aerial pesticide spraying of the Bay Area for the light brown apple moth (LBAM). -more-


Oy Vay the Israel Thing

By Joanna Graham
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:06:00 AM

Whenever the topic of Israel arises, there’s always a lineup on both sides of what appears to be an “issue,” and people fire off at each other. But there is no “issue.” As Norman Finkelstein points out, there is at this time among historians, including those in Israel, unanimity on all but a few small points as to what the situation is and how it arose. Furthermore, there has been agreement since the early ‘seventies as to what any possible solution of the conflict would look like: a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza; a shared capital in Jerusalem; international control over the sensitive religious sites; and a solution to the refugee problem, probably some mix of repatriation and reparations. This is also, by the way, what international law demands. In return for compliance, the Arab states have repeatedly offered to fully normalize relations with Israel. -more-


Anti-Zionism Is Not Anti-Semitism

By the Bay Area International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:07:00 AM

As the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN), we would like to thank the Berkeley Daily Planet for publishing commentaries such as Marc Sapir’s that expose the violence of the Israeli occupation and challenge the notion that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. IJAN is a growing international network of Jews whose Jewish identities are not based on Zionism but on a plurality of histories and experiences. We share a commitment to participation in struggles against colonization and imperialism. As such, we struggle against Zionism and its manifestation in the State of Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people and the confiscation of their land. We strongly support efforts to end the war and occupation in Iraq. However, the war waged upon Iraqis is intimately linked to the 60-year occupation of Palestine. Within this context, we ask: -more-


Columns

Dispatches From The Edge: Targeting Unions in Colombia

By Conn Hallinan
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 09:59:00 AM

There are lots of places in the world where you need to watch your step. You don’t want to be a Sunni in a Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad (or vice versa). It’s probably not smart to speak Tamal in southern Sri Lanka. You might want to keep being a Muslim under wraps in parts of Mindanao. But most of all you don’t want to be a trade unionist in the U.S.’s one remaining ally in South America, Colombia. -more-


Undercurrents: Revelations Tell More About America Than It Does About McCain

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:00:00 AM

How much is the relationship—such as it is—between presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain affected by the fact that Mr. McCain’s Mississippi ancestors once held African people in slavery? Is the palpable annoyance—barely disguising a seething underlying anger—which the public observed in Mr. McCain’s facial expressions and mannerisms during the recent series of debates an echo of the feelings old maw’se would have felt if one of the nigger house servants had stopped serving the dinner guests one evening and, primly tucking the swallowtails of his formal coat under his ass, sat down at the table to begin carving up a bit of the main course meat for himself? -more-


Wild Neighbors: Love and Death Among the Mantids

By Joe Eaton
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:23:00 AM

Lately I’ve been running into mantises, or, more properly, mantids. A friend in Vacaville has a sort of colony in the shrubbery outside her condo. On a recent visit she pointed out a mantid egg case, or ootheca, from which legions of miniature predators will emerge. On a hike near Mare Island last week there was a large brown mantid perched atop an animal dropping in the middle of the trail, not at all camouflaged. Waiting for flies? Preparing to lay eggs? Not a clue. -more-


Open Home in Focus: Kofoid House at 2616 Etna St. for Sale

By Steven Finacom
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:19:00 AM
From the street 2616 Etna sits solid and shingled, with the second floor under a gambrel roof.

There aren’t many houses in Berkeley over a century old that have never been sold on the open market. When one comes up for sale, it’s worth taking note, especially if it’s an original Julia Morgan design, relatively unaltered, and the family home of a renowned UC scientist. -more-


East Bay: Then and Now—Samuel Heywood and Sons: Lumber and Politics

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:21:00 AM
Emma Heywood built the flats at 1917-1919 Grove St. in 1909.

Samuel Heywood (1833-1903) was Zimri Brewer Heywood’s fourth son, the first Heywood to have settled in Berkeley, and the one most closely associated with the family’s West Berkeley lumber yard. -more-


About the House: Women and Their Buildings

By Matt Cantor
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:22:00 AM

It’s a sad fact that women are significantly more likely to be overcharged at the auto-repair shop than their male counterparts. I remember reading these studies by consumer advocacy agencies in the 1970s. In the age of Hillary Clinton, this doesn’t seem right or fair but that’s the way it is. Men have been the initiates to the secret information of spark plugs and tire rotation for much of the last century while women have struggled to gain a place at the bull-session in which the arcane knowledge was shared. It is clear that this has extended to the building trades as anyone with eyes can tell you. Even in my profession of building inspection, a look around the room rarely reveals more than about 5 percent women. -more-


Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:16:00 AM

THURSDAY, OCT. 23 -more-


‘Rivets’ aboard S.S. Red Oak Victory

By ken bullock
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:14:00 AM

Going below into the cargo hold of S.S. Red Oak Victory, hearing swing music after the quiet, panoramic sweep of the Bay Area from its decks at night, is to move from the contemplation of thousands of distant lights over water to the close-up ensemble movement and singing of a multiethnic cast of thirty, costumed in wartime (that’s World War II) dress, who present Rivets, an original musical by the Galatean Players Ensemble Theatre, celebrating the Rosie The Riveter legend and touching on the reality of life and work on the Home Front—on site: the Kaiser Shipyards in Richmond. Tonight through Sunday afternoon are the final performances. -more-


Woman’s Will ‘Macbeth’ at Jack London Square

By ken bullock
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:15:00 AM

By the pricking of my thumbs, -more-


Shaw Talks about his Book on Chavez, UFW

By Zelda Bronstein Special to the Planet
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:17:00 AM
Randy Shaw

Randy Shaw’s new book, Beyond the Fields: Cesar Chavez, the UFW, and the Struggle for Justice in the 21st Century, has just been published by the University of California Press. Beyond the Fields reveals the farmworkers movement’s little-known but essential contributions to the progressive politics of the contemporary United States. In particular, Shaw traces a direct line from the UFW to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. -more-


Arab Film Festival Comes to East Bay

By ken bullock
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:18:00 AM

The 12th Annual Arab Film Festival, the first festival of its kind and most ambitious exhibitor of films from the Arabic-speaking world and Arab diaspora, already running in San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles, starts its East Bay screenings this week in Berkeley and Oakland, featuring several films that have won awards at the Beirut International Film Festival, two weeks ago, and at the second annual Noor Awards for the Arab Film Festival’s opening night at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco last Thursday. -more-


Open Home in Focus: Kofoid House at 2616 Etna St. for Sale

By Steven Finacom
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:19:00 AM
From the street 2616 Etna sits solid and shingled, with the second floor under a gambrel roof.

There aren’t many houses in Berkeley over a century old that have never been sold on the open market. When one comes up for sale, it’s worth taking note, especially if it’s an original Julia Morgan design, relatively unaltered, and the family home of a renowned UC scientist. -more-


East Bay: Then and Now—Samuel Heywood and Sons: Lumber and Politics

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:21:00 AM
Emma Heywood built the flats at 1917-1919 Grove St. in 1909.

Samuel Heywood (1833-1903) was Zimri Brewer Heywood’s fourth son, the first Heywood to have settled in Berkeley, and the one most closely associated with the family’s West Berkeley lumber yard. -more-


About the House: Women and Their Buildings

By Matt Cantor
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 10:22:00 AM

It’s a sad fact that women are significantly more likely to be overcharged at the auto-repair shop than their male counterparts. I remember reading these studies by consumer advocacy agencies in the 1970s. In the age of Hillary Clinton, this doesn’t seem right or fair but that’s the way it is. Men have been the initiates to the secret information of spark plugs and tire rotation for much of the last century while women have struggled to gain a place at the bull-session in which the arcane knowledge was shared. It is clear that this has extended to the building trades as anyone with eyes can tell you. Even in my profession of building inspection, a look around the room rarely reveals more than about 5 percent women. -more-


Community Calendar

Thursday October 23, 2008 - 09:58:00 AM

THURSDAY, OCT. 23 -more-