News

Downtown Plan, West Berkeley Top Commissioners’ Agenda

By Richard Brenneman
Monday December 01, 2008 - 04:20:00 PM

Planning commissioners meet Wednesday night to take up agenda items sidelined at their Nov. 19 by debate over proposed revisions to Berkeley’s cell phone antenna regulations. -more-


Planners Won’t Approve Cell Tower Revisions

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:30:00 AM

Planning commissioners have refused to endorse a staff-prepared set of amendments to the city statutes governing placement of cell phone antennas. -more-


City’s Verizon Settlement Proves a Minor Embarrassment

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:31:00 AM

While the City of Berkeley-Verizon Wireless “secret settlement agreement” is hardly likely to reach the notoriety of the infamous City of Berkeley-UC Berkeley “secret deal” of 2006, confusion over the Verizon settlement—if, in fact, it is actually a legal settlement—appears to be causing some momentary embarrassment among Berkeley City officials. -more-


Levine Pitches Casino Plan To East Bay Park Supporters

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:31:00 AM

“Bob said that for us, this is like walking into a lion’s den,” said the man who hopes to become the casino czar of Richmond. -more-


Richmond Casino Could Reject Lawsuits by Claiming Immunity

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:32:00 AM

Will Richmond allow a sovereign nation to build an enclave in their city, a state-within-a-city that possesses diplomatic immunity from California’s civil courts? -more-


New Guidelines for Addison Windows Gallery

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:32:00 AM

The Berkeley Civic Arts Commission voted last Wednesday to approve new guidelines for the city-owned Addison Street Windows Gallery and introduced changes to the city’s contract with the gallery’s curator, Carol Brighton, following the public outcry that ensued when she rejected four posters from the national Art of Democracy series, citing curatorial judgment. -more-


Holidays Bring to Light the Need of NonProfits

By Kristin McFarland
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:37:00 AM

Thanksgiving can easily be a family’s most expensive meal of the year. -more-


Grant Creates Wider Reach for Hesperian Foundation

By Kristin McFarland
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:38:00 AM

Despite the holiday trouble for emergency food and shelter programs, the Hesperian Foundation, the Berkeley-based non-profit publisher of community-oriented medical books, including the internationally known Where There Is No Doctor, can report an exciting new grant that will carry the organization to many more people in need of its aid. -more-


Mixed Reactions for Berkeley High Development Plan

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:33:00 AM

Berkeley High School’s proposal to develop a new small school, create advisory programs and block schedules following a $1 million federal grant in July received mixed reactions from the community during a public forum on Monday. -more-


School Board Bids Adieu to Rivera

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:34:00 AM

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-


Richmond’s Newest Councilmember Brings Activist Credentials to the Job

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:34:00 AM
Newly elected Richmond Councilman Jeff Ritterman talks with a constituent during a program held at the city’s RichmondWORKS program.

As a heart doctor, it’s probably only natural that Jeff Ritterman has his fingers on the pulse of the community. Wherever he goes in Richmond, he’s certain to recognize someone, often eschewing the traditional handshake for the hug, as befits a long-time activist with a pony tail that reaches well down his back. -more-


East Bay Mayors File Suit to Block LBAM Spraying

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:39:00 AM

Two East Bay mayors are among the plaintiffs who filed suit in San Francisco Tuesday, taking the battle over Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) spraying into federal court. -more-


Cal Prof to Head White House Council of Economic Advisers

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:35:00 AM

President-elect Barack Obama announced Monday that he had chosen Christina Romer, 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 Parent Co. Hires Leading Bankruptcy Lawyers

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:35:00 AM

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-


Battle Over BRT Continues

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:36:00 AM

The overwhelming defeat of Berkeley Measure KK in the Nov. 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-


Remembering a ‘Dangerous Man,’ Peter Miguel Camejo 1939-2008

By Sharon Peterson
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:36:00 AM

On Nov. 23, an unseasonably sunny Sunday afternoon, over 400 family members, friends, colleagues and occasional opponents packed UC Berkeley’s International House auditorium. They came to remember and celebrate the life of activist, politician, financial manager and family man, Peter Miguel Camejo, a man whom then-Gov. Ronald Reagan called one of the “10 most dangerous men in California.” Camejo died from a recurrence of lymphoma on Sept. 13, at the age of 68. -more-


Rae Imamura 1945-2008

Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:37:00 AM

Rae Imamura passed away on Saturday, Nov. 22 at her Berkeley home. Daughter of Rev. Kanmo and Jane Imamura, Rae is survived by her mother, her siblings, Hiro, Ryo and Mari, and her dog Brandy. Rae graduated from UC Berkeley, and went on to receive her M.F.A. in piano at Mills College, where she found her voice in contemporary music. -more-


Fire Dept. Log

By RICHARD BRENNEMAN
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:40:00 AM

Smokin’ -more-


You Write the Daily Planet

Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:33:00 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-


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
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.

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-