The Week

Veteran environmental activist Sylvia McLaughlin listens as Berkeley developer James D. Levine pitches his project to build a casino at Richmond’s Point Molate.
By Richard Brenneman
Veteran environmental activist Sylvia McLaughlin listens as Berkeley developer James D. Levine pitches his project to build a casino at Richmond’s Point Molate.
 

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-


Opinion

Editorials

Doing Right By Thanksgiving and Afterwards

By Becky O’Malley
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:42:00 AM

The traditional Thanksgiving editorial starts off by remembering the Pilgrim Fathers. You never, for some reason, hear about the Pilgrim Mothers. They have been added parenthetically in the lead of the Wikipedia article about the Pilgrims for the sake of political correctness, but there’s no link to any article about them. There must have been Pilgrim Mothers, of course, because otherwise there wouldn’t have been a Society of Mayflower Descendants. -more-


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

Reprints: Write to defreitas (at) jfdefreitas.com.

Crude Oil Cruiselines Extended Vacation Getaway!

By Justin DeFreitas
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 11:43:00 AM

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

Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:43:00 AM

COMMON DECENCY -more-


Letters to the Editor

Monday December 01, 2008 - 01:19:00 PM

Few Pay Attention to AC Transit’s Transgressions

By Joyce Roy
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:43:00 AM

This is in response to the Nov. 20 commentary, “Fairness and Climate Change Demand MTC Attention,” by Richard A. Marcantonio, an attorney with Public Advocates Inc. -more-


‘Red Neck Woman’—The Long Coming Legacy of Goldwater

By Jean Damu
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:43:00 AM

In director Sam Peckinpah’s 1962 classic, Ride the High Country, movie legend Randolph Scott yells to a bunch of Southern gunmen, “Hey you red-necked peckerwoods.” This was possibly a first in the history of film when one white character leveled a double-barreled racial epithet to other white characters. -more-


Israel’s Policies in Gaza Inhumane and Self-Defeating

By Annette Herskovits
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:44:00 AM

An Israeli infantry unit entered the Gaza Strip early this month, violating a five-month-old truce between Israel and Hamas, the party now ruling Gaza. The Israelis set up camp in a family’s home, and as clashes with Palestinian militants followed, they called for air support. So it was that, on Nov. 4 and 5, while the world’s attention was focused on the U.S. election, Israeli aircraft fired missiles that killed six Palestinian militants. -more-


Poisonous PR Reported Too Faithfully

By Joanna Graham
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:44:00 AM

The more I study Riya Bhattacharjee’s “hate crime” article in the Sept. 25 Daily Planet, the more troubling I find it. -more-


The Carter-Olmert Middle East Peace Proposal

By Akio Tanaka
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:45:00 AM

There was much hope when the Oslo Peace accords were signed in 1993. However, the peace process was derailed when Dr. Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 Palestinians at the Cave of the Patriarch on Feb. 25, 1994, and the massacre was avenged 40 days later by the first suicide bombing inside Israel in the city of Afula on April 6, 1994. The peace process received further blow when the Prime Minister Isak Rabin was assassinated on Nov. 4, 1995, as he was leaving a rally in Tel Aviv in support of the Oslo process, by Yigal Amir, a radical right-wing Orthodox Jew who opposed the signing of the Oslo Accords. -more-


Creativity in the Face of Climate Change

By Elyse Bekins
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:46:00 AM

In the academic world of our forward thinking and innovative universities, why should a broad over-arching societal issue such as climate change be confined to the department of environmental science? The environmental changes will certainly impact us all, therefore our learning institutions are starting to look at ways to bring in a broad spectrum of subjects into the dialogue, hoping to stimulate different ideas and new ways of dealing with the climate crisis. -more-


Things Obama Should—But Won’t—Do

By Kenneth J. Theisen
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:46:00 AM

Barack Obama was elected by people who hope that he will change the political direction which this nation has taken over the last seven years of the Bush regime. When he takes office he will have the power to undo some of the damage of the Bush administration. But he will not do so because he does not owe his political allegiance to the majority of people in this country, but rather to the small class of people who live on the exploitation of the masses here and throughout the world. These are the people he will serve, regardless of the wishes of millions who voted for him. He may tinker with some of the programs of the Bush regime, but he will fail to reverse the fundamentally fascist trajectory. -more-


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: Contrasting Presidents Bush and Obama

By Bob Burnett
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:40:00 AM

On Jan. 20, George W. Bush will leave office and Americans will breathe a sigh of relief. While national policies will change, there will be a dramatic shift in style. Bush and Barack Obama have different views of presidential power: the imperial presidency will be succeeded by an era of democratic leadership. -more-


Undercurrents: Never Too Early to Start Speculating About 2010

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:41:00 AM

One of the perks of being a newspaper columnist—as well as a newspaper reporter—is that from time to time, you get the chance to write your own fantasies. For political columnists and reporters, this often takes the place of handicapping—sometimes years in advance—political races. Like all good fantasies, political race advance handicapping needs to adhere to certain rules, such as the columnist or reporter clearly stating in advance what rules are to be used for including or excluding certain potential candidates. Without that, such political fantasy-writing provides no useful insight, except into the wishful thinking of the person doing the writing. But we’ll get to that, shortly. -more-


Green Neighbors: Death and Change in the Forest

By Ron Sullivan
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:53:00 AM
Dead live-oaks in forested hillside, Bolinas Lagoon. The dead trees still support live beard lichens.

I remind myself that the Tarot card with Death on it is supposed to mean “change.” As I get older, though, and see more death than change, it gets to be more of a personal threat, an insult of sorts. -more-


East Bay: Then and Now—The House of Three Charlies Conceals Many Stories

By Daniella Thompson
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:50:00 AM
2425 Hillside Ave. today.

Berkeley is full of storied buildings, but few can boast the sheer historic wealth concealed within the walls of the Neo-Georgian brick mansion overlooking Hamilton Creek at 2425 Hillside Avenue. Since 1971 the home of the Tibetan Nyingma Meditation Center (Padma Ling), the building had altogether different beginnings, as well as a different appearance. -more-


About the House: Termite Baiting and Integrated Pest Management

By Matt Cantor
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:51:00 AM

Year ago, my friend Stan Millstein, a protohippie from Brooklyn who, like many, moved to L.A. in the 1960s turned on, tuned in and dropped everything. In L.A., Stan joined a C.R. or consciousness-raising group, which was essential a bull session. This group seemed primarily interested in tackling ethical problems. -more-


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

Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:47:00 AM

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 26 -more-


‘Arabian Nights’ Comes to Berkeley Rep

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:48:00 AM

The hook is perhaps the greatest, besides the most famous, narrative device of all time: a ruler, cheated on by his consort, marries again and again—but only for a night, executing each new bride at dawn. When he demands the hand of his prime minister’s daughter, the young woman proves resourceful, telling him enchanting stories that spawn new tales, each posing a cliffhanger as morning arrives. Many nights go by, and she is spared each dawn, until she presents her overwhelmed husband with the children he has fathered. -more-


Impact Theatre Stages ‘Tailgrass Gothic’ at La Val’s

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:49:00 AM

Tailgrass Gothic, Impact’s production of Melanie Marnich’s new play, in the netherworld below La Val’s Pizzeria, cleverly resets Middleton and Rowley’s harrowing tragedy of 1622 in the modern American Midwest (after the bloody conclusion to Impact’s last Jacobean thriller, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, “Heartland” already takes on an eerier tone of meaning). -more-


CYNTHIA DAVIS SINGS AT ANNA’S JAZZ ISLAND

Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:49:00 AM

Cynthia Davis sings jazz standards, with Eric Shifrin on piano, Sunday, Nov. 30, 4-6 p.m. at Anna’s Jazz Island. 2120 Allston Way. $7, donation. -more-


East Bay: Then and Now—The House of Three Charlies Conceals Many Stories

By Daniella Thompson
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:50:00 AM
2425 Hillside Ave. today.

Berkeley is full of storied buildings, but few can boast the sheer historic wealth concealed within the walls of the Neo-Georgian brick mansion overlooking Hamilton Creek at 2425 Hillside Avenue. Since 1971 the home of the Tibetan Nyingma Meditation Center (Padma Ling), the building had altogether different beginnings, as well as a different appearance. -more-


About the House: Termite Baiting and Integrated Pest Management

By Matt Cantor
Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:51:00 AM

Year ago, my friend Stan Millstein, a protohippie from Brooklyn who, like many, moved to L.A. in the 1960s turned on, tuned in and dropped everything. In L.A., Stan joined a C.R. or consciousness-raising group, which was essential a bull session. This group seemed primarily interested in tackling ethical problems. -more-


Community Calendar

Wednesday November 26, 2008 - 10:41:00 AM

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 26 -more-


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-