The Week

Robert Burnett shows computers that campus police returned to Berkeley’s Long Haul Infoshop after they were seized in an Aug. 27 raid by the Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Richard Brenneman
Robert Burnett shows computers that campus police returned to Berkeley’s Long Haul Infoshop after they were seized in an Aug. 27 raid by the Joint Terrorism Task Force.
 

News

Police Charge Suspect In Derby Street Murders

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday November 18, 2008 - 04:22:00 PM

Berkeley police Tuesday arrested an already-jailed South Berkeley man for the two Sept. 18 murders in the 1400 block of Derby Street. -more-


Intervention Sought for Willard Student Involved in Trash Can Fires

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday November 18, 2008 - 10:48:00 AM

A student at Willard Middle School in Berkeley has admitted to starting some of the trash can fires at the school more than three weeks ago and will take part in intervention services. -more-


AC Transit To Hold Wednesday BRT Update, Purchases More Van Hools

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Tuesday November 18, 2008 - 10:47:00 AM

The AC Transit Board of Directors moved quickly on its two most controversial projects following this month’s electoral victories, scheduling a special board workshop on Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) for Wednesday afternoon and approving a new round of Van Hool bus purchases. -more-


Cell Phones, Condos, Downtown, West Berkeley All Face Planners

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday November 18, 2008 - 10:47:00 AM

Cell phone antenna regulations, West Berkeley zoning issues, two condo conversion proposals and the land use chapter of the Downtown Area Plan have all been crammed into Wednesday night’s agenda for the Berkeley Planning Commission. -more-


UCPD Investigates Israeli-Palestinian Altercation On Campus

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday November 17, 2008 - 08:51:00 PM

The UC Police Department is investigating a fight that erupted Thursday evening between a group of current and former UC Berkeley students after a Palestinian flag was hung over a balcony overlooking a pro-Israel concert on campus. -more-


BP Lab Building Put on Hold, Computer Lab Funds Revised

By Richard Brenneman
Monday November 17, 2008 - 08:52:00 PM

Plans for a $159 million biofuel and alternative energy lab in the Berkeley Hills have been put on hold by UC President Mark Yudoff while the project is sent back to the drawing board. -more-


News Analysis: Why the Prop 8 Protests Matter

By Paul Hogarth
Monday November 17, 2008 - 03:49:00 PM

I didn’t join the street protests against Proposition 8 right after it passed. My gut reaction was: “Where were all these people when we had the chance to defeat it?” But “No on 8” ran a terrible campaign that would not have effectively used more volunteers, and it’s possible that many had tried to get involved. Now the state Supreme Court will decide what to do about Prop 8, and City Attorney Dennis Herrera has put on a strong case to have it overruled. But that doesn’t mean the Court will do the right thing; even the best legal arguments can lose. A mass movement of peaceful protest is crucial at building the political momentum to attain marriage equality – which can convince the Court it’s okay to overturn the “will of the voters.” Social movements rely too much on lawyers and politicians to make progress—without effectively using the masses of people who want to help. Now people are angry, and this weekend we saw mass protests across the country. It’s now time for everyday people to get involved. -more-


Double Stabbings, Burned Cars Mark Night in Berkeley

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday November 14, 2008 - 04:22:00 PM

An argument over alcohol at the Marina Liquor store on 1265 University Ave. late Thursday night resulted in two Berkeley residents being stabbed, authorities said. -more-


UC Berkeley Students Call On Obama to Enact the Dream Act

by Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday November 14, 2008 - 04:18:00 PM

UC Berkeley students joined the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration & Immigrant Rights, and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) Thursday to launch a national campaign urging President-elect Barack Obama to enact the federal Dream Act, which would legalize federal financial aid and open a path of citizenship for undocumented immigrant college students across the nation, who are otherwise entrapped in complicated paperwork. -more-


Massive Operation Targets Notorious Richmond Gang

Bay City News
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 11:47:00 AM

Authorities served dozens of warrants in the Bay Area this morning as part of a massive California Department of Justice operation targeting a violent Richmond gang known as "Deep C," state officials said. -more-


Paper Trail Reveals Kennedy and Maio Financial Dealings

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:29:00 AM

A battle over the installation of a cluster of cell phone antennas atop a building owned by Patrick Kennedy has revealed a paper trail and testimony focusing on his financial dealings with City Councilmember Linda Maio. -more-


Angry Neighbors Protest Cell Phone Towers

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:31:00 AM

Neighbors worried about cell phone antenna radiation and angry at city officials who have allowed it in their neighborhoods poured out their frustrations at the Berkeley Planning Commis-sion meeting last week. -more-


City Calls Gaia Center a Nuisance After Rowdy Party

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:32:00 AM

An out-of-control party at the Gaia Arts Center in downtown Berkeley two weeks ago prompted Berkeley Police to label the venue a public nuisance, leaving its owners susceptible to a fine from the city if a similar incident occurs there in the next four months, authorities said Thursday. -more-


Long Haul Gets Computers Back, Wants UC to Delete Seized Info

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:33:00 AM

Berkeley’s Long Haul Infoshop finally has its computers back, but its legal battle with UC Berkeley is far from settled. -more-


Citizens’ Draft Sunshine Law Heads to Council

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:34:00 AM

Berkeley Councilmember Kriss Worthington, who for the last seven years has been advocating for a strong sunshine ordinance to give citizens access to government records and meetings, will put the Berkeley Sunshine Committee’s draft ordinance—crafted as an alternative to one written by the city attorney—on the agenda for the Dec. 8 City Council meeting. -more-


Hahn Vetoes Recount in Close Berkeley Council Race

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:37:00 AM

Berkeley City Councilmember Laurie Capitelli can rest easy. Sophie Hahn has decided not to ask for a recount. -more-


Kaplan Credits Volunteers in Oakland Council Race Victory

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:37:00 AM

Incoming At-Large Oakland City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan said that hard work by volunteers and supporting organizations was the key to her victory in last week’s runoff election. -more-


Victorious AC Transit President Surveys the Road Ahead

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:34:00 AM

AC Transit Board President Chris Peeples hit the election trifecta on Tuesday, but by Friday morning, he didn’t sound in the mood for celebration. -more-


School District Threatened By Mid-Year Budget Cuts

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:38:00 AM

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposal to make additional state education budget cuts to stimulate California’s flagging economy set off alarm bells for school districts last week, many of which had been fearful of mid-year reductions when the governor released a delayed state budget in September. -more-


Public Workshops Called to Discuss City’s Aquatic Future

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:38:00 AM

Community members will get a chance to comment at two scheduled meetings on the Citywide Pools Master Plan, which is being developed by the City of Berkeley and the Berkeley Unified School District over the next six months. -more-


More Jobs Lost At BANG’s East Bay Papers

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:39:00 AM

California’s leading newspaper publisher, Dean Singleton’s MediaNews, is shedding eight more jobs in the East Bay. -more-


City Encourages Greening Historic Buildings

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:39:00 AM

At the Landmarks Preservation Commission meeting last week, preservationists and architects warned against stripping historic buildings of their original windows, explaining that it could take away character-defining features, and advised homeowners to instead invest in sealing problem areas, weather-stripping and making use of natural ventilation. -more-


Police Blotter

By Ali Winston
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:40:00 AM

Amoeba smash -more-


Fire Dept. Log

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:36:00 AM

Flameless fire -more-


Climate Action Plan Comment Period Extended

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:36:00 AM

There’s still plenty of time to offer comments on Berkeley’s proposed Climate Action Plan. -more-


Opinion

Editorials

East Bay Voters Speak Up for Local Change

By Becky O’Malley
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:46:00 AM

It’s time for the post-election post-mortems in California races, now that a significant number of the votes in all categories have been counted. First, the one that shocked everyone around here. -more-


Cartoons

I Voted...

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:57:00 PM

We, Not You, Shall Overcome

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 10:21:00 AM

Proposition 8

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:58:00 PM

The Threat of Gay Marriage

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 10:00:00 PM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:47:00 AM

NO ENDORSEMENT -more-


Letters to the Editor

Monday November 17, 2008 - 11:20:00 AM

Hope in the Wake of Proposition 8

By Darren Main
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:50:00 AM

In the wake of the Proposition 8 vote, it is easy for the LGBT community and those that support us to feel deflated. To focus on the temporary loss rather than the amazing strides we have made since Harvey Milk said, “You cannot live on hope alone—but without it life is not worth living.” In spite of this set back, which is admittedly disappointing, we have so much to be hopeful for. -more-


In Support of the Addison Street Windows Gallery Criteria

By Stephanie Anne Johnson
Monday November 17, 2008 - 10:17:00 AM

The conversation going on about whether or not there should be criteria that exclude the use of guns for art work placed in the Addison Street Windows exhibition is very delicate. But now that the conversation has moved from the Civic Arts Commission meetings to the public sphere in the form of flyers and newspaper articles, I feel that it is time that I add my voice. I have served on the commission for the past year and a half and during that time I have had the privilege of learning an enormous amount of information about the ways that a city commission works. I have a newfound appreciation for those who serve in public office, their roles, responsibilities and the challenges of reaching consensus in a city with a progressive history and outlook. -more-


Berkeley High Reforms: Money Well Spent?

By Priscilla Myrick
Tuesday November 18, 2008 - 01:47:00 PM

Controversial and costly changes are planned for Berkeley High School (BHS) as a way to help close the achievement gap. BHS administrators claim that the addition of advisories, block scheduling and another small school will improve standardized test scores and college preparedness for African American and Latino students. While the goal is laudable, the effectiveness of the proposed changes remains questionable at best. The School Board should be critically assessing the costs of implementation of the reforms against a realistic appraisal of the benefits. -more-


How Van Hool Co. Benefits From Measure VV

By Joyce Roy
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:53:00 AM

The ink is barely dry on AC Transit’s Measure VV and Van Hool can’t wait to get a return on their investment. The ABC Company that “sponsored’ Measure VV is the agent for Van Hool buses. (I wonder if it would have passed if more people knew that!) So with indecent haste, the general manager is asking the board to approve more Van Hools at this Wednesday’s board meeting!! -more-


Bates’ Charade Regarding Pacific Steel

By Reva Aimes
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:54:00 AM

I grew up in this city and I am so disappointed in it I could just spit. How its citizenry can keep electing someone as mayor who quite obviously doesn’t care about their wants, needs or rights escapes me. -more-


Mayor Bates: Berkeley At Its Worst

By Zachary RunningWolf
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:54:00 AM

It is unbelievable that Mayor Tom Bates could be re-elected by an astonishing 62 percent of City of Berkeley voters. This is the same mayor who gave University of California at Berkeley the rights to run rough shod over the downtown area for the next 15 years with no input from the residents. This UCB giveaway was signed behind closed doors by our mayor. The pending university land grab will result in reduced property taxes while placing the increased cost of maintenance on the backs of Berkeley residents. You see UCB is exempt from City of Berkeley property taxes. -more-


What I Learned From Measure KK

By Russ Tilleman
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:55:00 AM

Alan Tobey’s strange Nov. 6 rant, “Measure KK Aftermath: Perish by the Sword,” prompted me to reflect on Measure KK and the discussion it generated about Bus Rapid Transit. The Measure KK campaign brought to light some interesting information about our community. Here are some of the most memorable things I learned. -more-


Backwards Sensitivity To Pacific Steel Neighbors

By Pear Michaels
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:56:00 AM

I have to say I’m rather appalled. In the last edition of the Daily Planet, there was an article regarding the United Healthcare Workers SEIU strike and protest and the noise complaints from surrounding Alta Bates area neighbors. Peter Shelton was specifically noted as having his 5- and 7-year-old boys woken up on the morning of the protest. The police, union representatives, the union vice president, the chief of police, a city department director, a city council member and hospital management were all quoted as regretful and solemn about correcting future such problems. -more-


Wife’s Response to Recent Assault

By Myra Paci
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:56:00 AM

As the so-called victim of the Oct. 19 assault in West Berkeley described in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Oct. 28 article “When Wife is Attacked, Husband Becomes Hero,” I would like to express a few thoughts on the matter. While I am grateful to journalist Chip Johnson for bringing attention to the assault and to crime in West Berkeley I am curious as to why he chose not to hear and include “the wife’s” version of the events. Mr. Johnson presented the crime and my husband’s actions as a hyper-masculine fantasy in which a lone-ranger saves a damsel in distress and bashes the bad guy. I found this to be disturbing on a few different levels not least of which was the reaction it received from readers: many readers wrote in to the Chronicle’s blog saying my husband should have simply killed our assailant. -more-


Contradictions Within the United Farm Workers Union

By Marc Sapir
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:57:00 AM

Having worked as a physician for the United Farm Workers Union (UFW) from 1973-78, I was interested in Zelda Bronstein’s interview with Randy Shaw about his new book on Cesar Chavez and the UFW. Since Cesar’s death it’s been my feeling that anyone who tried to write the story of Cesar might either succumb to psychocophancy or else be branded a heretic. Thus I have avoided comment on Cesar’s legacy. Like many former UFW staff I refused to talk publicly. Former KPFA programmer Chuy Varela once did a program on Cesar that I thought lacked insight and I called Chuy to tell him why. He invited me to come on the air. I refused. -more-


The Importance of Protecting Civil Rights in Berkeley

By Earl V. Levels, Sr.
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:58:00 AM

My daughter, who is 28 years old had just picked up her 3-year-old toddler from childcare and was on her way home from work. She made a right hand turn onto a busy street when her car was struck on the passenger front door damaging her front passengers mirror by a Caucasian male riding a bicycle. After the incident happened, she heard a crowd of people yelling and screaming angrily at her. The incident startled her and her baby as well and was frightening, because she was unsure what had occurred at the time; maybe it was a car jacking, or someone trying to snatch her baby. She tried to make a turn on a street to come back on the street where the accident occurred but got lost. When she did return, she parked her vehicle about a block away where the accident occurred and waited for the police to arrive. She was kept separate from the bicyclist and the crowd of people and was questioned by Berkeley Police. The ambulance with the medical team arrived to examine and give first aid to the bicyclist, but the medical team never examined the baby or my daughter to see if they were physically injured or in shock, etc. My daughter was arrested. This was the first time she had ever been arrested and placed in jail. She bailed out of jail three days later and got a public defender to represent her. The public defender stated that there was a possibility her case would be dropped. After I spoke with him, pertaining to the bicyclist being the one to cause the accident, he assured me that the bicyclist was not responsible and that my daughter had left the scene of the accident which made her automatically guilty. -more-


Poem

By Zac Morrison
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:58:00 AM

new blood was needed -more-


Columns

Undercurrents: The Only Regret in the Obama Victory—I Wish My Parents Were Here

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:45:00 AM

Of many things, I wish my parents had lived long enough to see Barack Obama elected as the 44th President of the United States. I think they would have appreciated it far more than I ever could. -more-


The Public Eye: Beware of City of Berkeley Staff Bearing Chain Saws

By Zelda Bronstein
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:45:00 AM

On Oct. 2 the City of Berkeley butchered the big ornamental pear tree that grows in the sidewalk median in front of my house. -more-


The Public Eye: The Obama Moment

By Bob Burnett
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:41:00 AM

On election night, Barack Obama’s magnificent acceptance speech felt like a defining moment in American history. Adding to the elation many of us experienced for having supported the winning candidate in a twenty-two month presidential marathon was our sense that America had turned a page and headed off in a new direction. But what exactly is the Obama moment? -more-


Volunteer Canyon Still Lives Up To its Name

By Ron Sullivan
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 10:08:00 AM
Eileen, a former Berkeley citizen who “moved to Marin for love—nothing else could have dragged me out of my town,” spreads mulch around the mugwort and cow parsnip she’s just planted at Volunteer Canyon, Audubon Canyon Ranch.

On Sunday Nov. 9, some 30 volunteers planted more than 700 young native plants in that section of Audubon Canyon Ranch on Marin County’s Bolinas Lagoon. The canyon is named for the volunteers who worked to save the lagoon and other parts of the local seashore from a catastrophic oil spill in 1971. -more-


Wild Neighbors: The Raccoon Brain Revisited

By Joe Eaton
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 10:07:00 AM

Back to the raccoons. Last week I wrote about one way of indirectly assessing intelligence in non-human mammals: the Encephalization Quotient, the difference between actual brain size and expected brain size based on body size. It’s a measure on which humans outscore all our fellow mammals, bottle-nosed dolphins outrank the great whales, and dim creatures like opossums occupy the cellar. Based on data from the German biologist Dieter Kruska, carnivores have higher indices than hoofed mammals, and raccoons outdo their closest relatives, the bears, pandas, and coatis. -more-


East Bay: Then and Now—The Inventor, His House and the Neglected Bequest

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 10:05:00 AM
The Smyth House

A little-noticed gated driveway branching east off Hillside Avenue north of Dwight Way bears a name most Berkeleyans wouldn’t recognize: Fernwald Road. It leads to a UC apartment complex housing 74 student families. Smyth Fernwald, as the complex is called, is named after the previous owner of the land, engineer, inventor, and social economist William Henry Smyth (1855-1940). Fernwald was the name Smyth gave his estate in the mid-1890s. -more-


About the House: How Good a Deal is a Fixer?

By Matt Cantor
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 11:42:00 AM

It’s funny how little I know about a house prior to pulling up to the curb. Despite some lengthy conversation with my client, it really isn’t until I’ve arrived that I can actually see what I’m going to be dealing with. Had I known on this particular day what it was that I was going to see, I might have turned it down but, in retrospect, it was probably best that I didn’t know and showed up anyway. -more-


Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Thursday November 13, 2008 - 10:00:00 AM

THURSDAY, NOV. 13 -more-


Cabaret Opera Stages an ‘Opera Apocalypse’

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:59:00 AM

“Opera Apocalypse!” The title of San Francisco Cabaret Opera’s show of three short, new pieces conjures up Wagnerian images of The End. Some might say it’s a tautology. But the trio of operas—Mark Alburger’s Antigone, Ophelia Forever by Amy Beth Kirsten and John G. Biloota’s Quantum Mechanic—offer a mix of humor, intensity and thoughtfulness “exploring a post-apocalyptic future focused on women.” -more-


Philharmonia Baroque At First Congregational

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 10:00:00 AM

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra will perform a challenging program, featuring violinist Colin Jacobson, cellist Tanya Tomkins and fortepianist Eric Zivian, with the orchestra conducted by musical director Nicholas McGegan, at First Congregational Church this weekend. -more-


Oakland Symphony Premieres Unusual Work

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 10:03:00 AM

Oakland East Bay Symphony will premiere an unusual commissioned work by San Francisco composer Nathaniel Stookey, Zipperz, with a libretto by Dan Harder, also of San Francisco, to be sung by Berkeley-native Eisa Davis and Manoel Felciano, both recently featured on Broadway in New York, at the opening night of the Symphony’s 20th anniversary season, this Friday at 8 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Oakland. -more-


Virago’s Theatre’s ‘Dream of a Common Language’

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 10:04:00 AM

A young boy looks out from a picture frame hung askew, calling out for his mother, who is herself surrounded by a frame, in the throes of a bad dream, finally waking up and running out into the countryside. -more-


Moving Pictures: Chorus Performs Dramatic Oratorio for Classic Film

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 10:01:00 AM
Carl Dreyer’s Passion of Joan Arc uses dramatic close-ups and sparse backgrounds to dramatize the confrontations of her trial, juxtaposing her youth and sincerity against the corruption and hostility of her persecutors.

A rare event is coming to the Bay Area this next week. One of cinema’s greatest works of art will screen twice—once at San Francisco’s Castro Theater and once at UC Berkeley’s Hertz Hall—accompanied by 200 singers and a 24-piece orchestra. UC Berkeley’s Alumni Chorus will present Voices of Light, an oratorio, as accompaniment for Carl Dreyer’s 1928 landmark film The Passion of Joan of Arc. -more-


Annual Italian Film Fest Returns to San Francisco

By Michael Howerton
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 10:02:00 AM

New Italian Cinema, the annual San Francisco Film Society festival, returns to Embarcadero Cinemas next week with seven new films by emerging Italian directors, three movies by acclaimed Tuscan director Paolo Virzi and two special closing night films. Some of the filmmakers will be on hand for the showings. -more-


East Bay: Then and Now—The Inventor, His House and the Neglected Bequest

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 10:05:00 AM
The Smyth House

A little-noticed gated driveway branching east off Hillside Avenue north of Dwight Way bears a name most Berkeleyans wouldn’t recognize: Fernwald Road. It leads to a UC apartment complex housing 74 student families. Smyth Fernwald, as the complex is called, is named after the previous owner of the land, engineer, inventor, and social economist William Henry Smyth (1855-1940). Fernwald was the name Smyth gave his estate in the mid-1890s. -more-


About the House: How Good a Deal is a Fixer?

By Matt Cantor
Thursday November 13, 2008 - 11:42:00 AM

It’s funny how little I know about a house prior to pulling up to the curb. Despite some lengthy conversation with my client, it really isn’t until I’ve arrived that I can actually see what I’m going to be dealing with. Had I known on this particular day what it was that I was going to see, I might have turned it down but, in retrospect, it was probably best that I didn’t know and showed up anyway. -more-


Community Calendar

Thursday November 13, 2008 - 09:40:00 AM

THURSDAY, NOV. 13 -more-