The Week

A large metal framework adorned with an image-boosting icon is the only structure erected to date at the site of the now-removed oak grove along the western wall of UC Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium.
Richard Brenneman
A large metal framework adorned with an image-boosting icon is the only structure erected to date at the site of the now-removed oak grove along the western wall of UC Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium.
 

News

UC Berkeley Professor to Head White House Council of Economic Advisers

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday November 24, 2008 - 04:11:00 PM

President-elect Barack Obama announced Monday that he had chosen Christina Romer, a professor of economics at UC Berkeley and a resident of Oakland, to head the White House Council of Economic Advisers. -more-


Troubled Golden Gate Fields Owner Hires Leading Bankruptcy Lawyers

By Richard Brenneman
Monday November 24, 2008 - 01:06:00 PM

Magna Entertainment, the endangered parent of Albany’s Golden Gate Fields, has hired a bankruptcy lawyer and is surviving on week-to-week loans. -more-


School Board Bids Adieu To Director Joaquin Rivera

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday November 24, 2008 - 01:06:00 PM

The Berkeley Unified School District bade farewell to the longest-serving member on the current Berkeley Board of Education amidst a lot of happy memories, applause and laughter at a public meeting in the City Hall chambers last Wednesday. -more-


With Measure KK Defeated, Opponents And Proponents Battle Over Whether It Means Berkeley Residents Endorsed BRT

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Sunday November 23, 2008 - 10:15:00 AM

The overwhelming defeat of Berkeley Measure KK in the November 4 election has resulted in a dramatic--and completely understandable--reversal of opinion about the meaning of the measure by at least some of its proponents and opponents. -more-


City Council Splits on Cell Phone Antennas

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 09:53:00 AM

In the latest round of Berkeley’s battles over cellphone towers, Berkeley City Council split the difference Tuesday night, voting to hold a Dec. 16 hearing on an appeal from Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) approval of a Verizon Wireless application for a 10-antenna facility on top of the French Hotel on Shattuck Avenue, but holding over any action on a similar citizen appeal of ZAB approval of a T-Mobil eight-antenna request for 1725 University Ave. -more-


Berkeley Says Goodbye to Betty Olds, Arreguin to be Sworn in Wednesday

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 09:54:00 AM

Betty Olds, Berkeley’s oldest and prickliest City councilmember, served at her last City Council meeting Tuesday night, entering to a standing ovation in a packed council chambers amid cheers of “Yay, Betty!” A mayoral proclamation set aside the day in her honor, and a long string of friends and constituents came to the microphone to pay tribute before the meeting was ceremonially gaveled to a close. -more-


Tree-Sitters Get a Day in Court, Cal Bears to Move to Interim Venue

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 09:55:00 AM

Berkeley’s tree-sitters faced another day in court this week, and UC Regents were plotting the fate of Memorial Stadium and an interim venue for the Cal Bears. -more-


Software Problems Leave Thousands of Peralta Students Without Financial Aid

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 09:55:00 AM

A serious glitch in the Peralta Community College District’s new student financial aid software has caused checks for thousands of students to be delayed, with a resolution of the problem apparently not yet in sight. -more-


Phoenix Project Seeks Democratization of UC Regents

By Kristin McFarland
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 09:56:00 AM

At the Phoenix Project for UC Democracy kickoff Tuesday night, panelists discussed the possibilities for democratizing of the UC Regents and creating a powerful enough constituency to effect changes. -more-


BP Lab Building On Hold, Computer Lab Funds Revised

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 09:57:00 AM

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-


UC Police Investigate Campus Israeli-Palestinian Altercation

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 09:57:00 AM

The UC Berkeley 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-


New Ruling Offers Brighter Future For Oakland’s California Hotel

By Kristin McFarland
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 09:58:00 AM

A new court ruling granting further independence to the California Hotel has given its residents hope for a bright future. -more-


UC Berkeley Students Call on Obama to Enact Dream Act

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 09:58:00 AM

UC Berkeley students joined the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigrant Rights, and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) last week 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-


New Analysis: Why the Prop. 8 Protests Matter

By By Paul Hogarth
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 10:52:00 AM

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-


Berkeley Teachers Union Demands Contract Renewal

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 09:59:00 AM

Berkeley teachers rallied at 21 school sites throughout the city Tuesday, citing an urgent desire for an agreement on working hours, wages, health benefits and other contract provisions. -more-


Intervention Sought for Willard Student Involved in Trash Can Fires

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 09:59:00 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 Will Purchase More Van Hools

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 10:01:00 AM
A Van Hool bus runs down Telegraph Avenue where a rapid transit system is proposed.

The AC Transit Board of Directors moved quickly on one of its most controversial projects following this month’s electoral victories, approving a new round of Van Hool bus purchases at last Wednesday’s board meeting. -more-


UC Berkeley Students Become Ambassadors of Peace

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 10:02:00 AM

In Behrampada, a slum in Mumbai, India, the fight for water starts as early as five in the morning. -more-


Police Charge Suspect in Derby Street Murders

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 10:03:00 AM

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


Double Stabbing, Burned Cars

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 10:04:00 AM

An argument over alcohol at the Marina Liquor store on 1265 University Ave. late on the night of Nov. 13 resulted in two Berkeley residents being stabbed, authorities said. -more-


Police Blotter

By Ali Winston
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 10:04:00 AM

Random attack -more-


More Bad News for UCB’s Partner in Ethanol Refinery

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 10:06:00 AM

Despite a wave of bankruptcies and canceled or stalled refinery construction, the ethanol industry got some good news this week. But there was especially bad news for one company with financial ties to UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. -more-


Bread Workshop to Re-Open for Dinner Over Christmas

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 10:07:00 AM

The Bread Workshop on 1398 University Ave. received an approval from the Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board last week to expand into a quick-service restaurant which will serve wine and beer. -more-


You Write the Daily Planet

Thursday November 20, 2008 - 09:56:00 AM

It’s time to submit your essays, poems, stories, artwork and photographs for the Planet’s annual holiday reader contribution issue, which will be published on Dec. 23 (that’s right—a Tuesday!). Send your submissions, no longer than 1,000 words, to holiday@berkeleydailyplanet.com. Deadline is 5 p.m. on Mon., Dec. 15. -more-


First Person: Little Lectures Everywhere

By Martha Dickey
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 10:02:00 AM

One day last June I was driving down Shattuck Avenue through Berkeley. Sun splashed through the sycamore trees as I followed the arrows through the University Avenue intersection. -more-


First Person: Taps for the Abraham Lincoln Brigade

By Don Santina
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 10:07:00 AM

“You fought in Spain.” When the underground leader, Victor Lazlo, spoke this immortal line to Rick Blaine in the 1942 film classic Casablanca, he was acknowledging that the cynical nightclub owner played by Humphrey Bogart had already stood up to the Nazis and could be counted on to stand up again. Rick was one of the good guys. -more-


Opinion

Editorials

Party’s Over—Time to Get Back to Work

By Becky O’Malley
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 10:08:00 AM

As the economic news goes daily from bad to worse, Obamamania continues unabated. The explosion of national good humor which started in the East Bay at about 6 o’clock on election night is still resonating in all the small encounters of daily life. When I went to the lab at Kaiser this week, I saw once again a technician whose cubicle was decorated pre-election with the handsome Shepard Fairey portrait of Barack which was everywhere this fall. The last time I saw her, she was cluck-clucking about John McCain’s links to the S&L crisis. This time, she was all smiles and jokes about the outcome, as were all her colleagues in the lab—and the election was a couple of weeks ago. In the waiting room, a stout grandmother with 2-year-old in tow sported an updated version of the ubiquitious Obama T-shirts, this one with the whole new first family on the front. In front of the Paramount on Friday night, a T-shirt vendor was fast selling out his inventory of new and improved post-election Obama models to well-dressed Oakland Symphony patrons. -more-


Cartoons

Band of Pirates

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 10:08:00 AM

I Voted...

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 10:07:00 AM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday November 20, 2008 - 10:09:00 AM

-more-


How George Bush Helped the Grassroots Movement

By Jack Bragen
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 10:55:00 AM

George Bush and Dick Cheney don’t mind being perceived as villains. Their value system does not prioritize popularity. They both seem to operate from a mysterious agenda that includes their vision of how they think the world ought to be. -more-


What We Don’t Know About Changing UC’s Admission Standards

By Doug Ose
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 11:07:00 AM

The University of California Board of Regents is considering a set of sweeping changes to the UC system’s admissions criteria. Among the proposed changes is the elimination of SAT Subject Tests as an admissions requirement. Unlike the more comprehensive SAT, subject tests are focused on one of 20 different academic areas ranging from physics and chemistry to languages and fine art. -more-


Ask Your Doctor

By Dorothy Snodgrass
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 11:07:00 AM

Having reflected on the matter for quite some time, I’ve reached the conclusion that watching evening television news may very well be injurious to one’s health. I base this conclusion, not on scientific data, but rather on the Power of Suggestion theory. -more-


The Mexican Drug Trade: Supply and Demand

By Ralph E. Stone
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 11:07:00 AM

My wife and I were observing the Mexico Independence Day celebration in Guanajuato, Mexico, on Sept. 16, when we learned that terrorists lobbed three grenades into a group of celebrants in Morelia, the capital of the nearby state of Michoacan. Eight people were killed and hundreds were wounded. This was a new tactic for the drug cartels—indiscriminate violence. Later, it was reported that nine bodies were found dumped in Tijuana, where in the past few months, almost 50 have been murdered related to the drug trade. The Mexican “war on drugs” has resulted in increased drug-related deaths and abductions of judges, police, witnesses, journalists, and now innocent citizens. More than 7,000 deaths have occurred in the last three years, about 4,000 in this year alone. There is a growing perception among Mexicans that the government is losing the war against these well-armed drug cartels. -more-


Proposition 8 Cartoon: How Dare You

By Mondrae Johnson
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 11:08:00 AM

I have just three words (as a starter) for Justin DeFreitas’ African-African phobic, racist cartoon depicting all African Americans as separatists who only care about themselves and not the plight of others: How dare you! -more-


Honk for a New Deal

By Lake Merritt Neighbors Organized for Peace
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 11:15:00 AM

For seven years now, Lake Merritt Neighbors Organized for Peace (LMNOP) has held a weekly antiwar demonstration at the Lake in Oakland, becoming part of the regular Sunday scene along with the geese, pelicans, and boats on the water. We’ve been calling for an end to war and other manifestations of Mad-Cowboy Disease. Now, with the election of Barack Obama, we’ll have a government that just might listen to us, so we feel it’s more important than ever to continue our Sunday walks at Lake Merritt. -more-


Fairness and Climate Change Demand MTC Attention

By Richard A. Marcantonio
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 11:08:00 AM

These pages have hosted vigorous discussion about AC Transit bus service. But they have largely been silent on the critical role of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the nine-county regional transportation funding and planning agency that holds the purse strings for AC Transit. MTC’s funding decisions should treat all communities equitably and address the effects of catastrophic climate change. With the agency soon to adopt a $200 billion Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), it deserves far closer public scrutiny than it has received. -more-


In Support of the Addison Street Windows Gallery Criteria

By Stephanie Anne Johnson
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 11:08:00 AM

The conversation going on about whether or not there should be criteria that excludes 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-


Columns

The Public Eye: A Call for a National Economic Recovery Act

By Arthur Blaustein
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 10:05:00 AM

Make no mistake about it, this election was won on bread and butter economic issues. While John McCain and Sarah Palin focused on the rhetoric of patriotism, “trickle-down” economics, “staying the course” on Bush’s tax cuts and family values; they also embraced the very economic policies that both undermine the middle class and subvert the security of American family life. -more-


Dispatches From The Edge: Latin America, the Crisis, and Mr. Monroe

By Conn Hallinan
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 10:53:00 AM

When the Mexican dictator Porfiero Diaz said the great tragedy of Mexico was that it was so far from God and so near to the United States, the comment summed up the long and tortured relationship between the Colossus of the North and Latin America. -more-


Undercurrents: Bus Rapid Transit Demands Greater Public Discussion

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 10:53:00 AM

One of the most important single development decisions that inner East Bay residents can make in the next several years surrounds AC Transit agency’s proposed Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT). Unfortunately, to date only a handful of officials and residents have been paying close attention to the project. That’s got to change. -more-


Wild Neighbors: Rossmoor, Spare Those Woodpeckers!

By Joe Eaton
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 10:54:00 AM
An acorn woodpecker and a colony’s granary tree.

I have no idea how what kind of readership the Daily Planet has in Rossmoor. For whatever it’s worth, though, here’s my two cents on the acorn woodpecker controversy. You may recall that the Rossmoor homeowner’s association has obtained a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permit to execute 50 of the local woodpeckers for malicious destruction of property, namely drilling acorn-storage holes in human residences. -more-


About the Hous: Freeing Aesthetics from the Constraints of Economics

By Matt Cantor
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 10:58:00 AM

If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow.—G.W. Bush (Heck if I know what a bariff is but if the terriers get torn down, I’m moving to Canada—M.C.) -more-


Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Thursday November 20, 2008 - 10:12:00 AM

THURSDAY, NOV. 20 -more-


‘Do I Hear a Waltz?’ at Masquers Playhouse

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 10:49:00 AM

Leona Samish, an American secretary (played by Alison Peltz), bursts into song (“Someone Woke Up”) as she finds herself on vacation in Venice, so excited she falls into the canal—“but only up to here!”—continuing her dance around the Pensione Fioria veranda, holding her dripping shoes high. -more-


Aurora Presents Bernard Shaw’s ‘Devil’s Disciple’

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 10:49:00 AM

A small, spartan New Hampshire town during the Revolutionary War—directly in line of the march of British redcoats from Canada, aiming to meet Howe’s army moving north from New York, to cut New England off from the other colonies—is the scene of a father’s amended will being read, where Dick Dudgeon (Gabriel Marin), self-styled Devil’s Disciple (title character in Bernard Shaw’s 1897 play at the Aurora), finds himself master of his ramrod-stiff Puritan mother’s (Trish Mulholland) house, as he is oldest son and she but a woman, meeting with her exit-line curse (better than living with her blessing, Dick will later declare) as she storms out, leaving him with only the illegitimate daughter (Tara Tomicevic) of an uncle just hanged by the British as an example to rebels. -more-


Berkeley Rep Stages August Wilson’s ‘Joe Turner’

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 10:50:00 AM

About the Hous: Freeing Aesthetics from the Constraints of Economics

By Matt Cantor
Thursday November 20, 2008 - 10:58:00 AM

If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow.—G.W. Bush (Heck if I know what a bariff is but if the terriers get torn down, I’m moving to Canada—M.C.) -more-


Community Calendar

Thursday November 20, 2008 - 10:05:00 AM

THURSDAY, NOV. 20 -more-