News

Stimulus Plan Approved, Berkeley Unified to Get $4 Million

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday January 28, 2009 - 03:24:00 PM

The $819 billion federal economic recovery package that the House approved Wednesday (today) will inject California’s public school system with nearly $10 billion in federal aid over the next two years, providing funds for scholarships, child-care development, at-risk children, Head Start, school renovations and other programs. -more-


UC Student Murder Suspect to Request Bail Again

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday January 27, 2009 - 06:05:00 PM

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson scheduled a bail motion for former Berkeley City College student Andrew Hoeft-Edenfield—accused of murdering UC Berkeley nuclear engineering student Chris Wootton in May—for Feb. 2. -more-


2020 Vision to Launch Citywide Equity Task Force This Week

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday January 27, 2009 - 06:06:00 PM

The 2020 Vision, initiated in June as a collaboration between the City of Berkeley, the Berkeley Unified School District and community organizations to close the achievement gap in the schools, will launch an All City Equity Task Force during a three-day retreat at the Berkeley Yacht Club starting Thursday. -more-


Downtown Plan Draft EIR Now Available for Comment

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday January 27, 2009 - 06:04:00 PM

The first draft of the key regulatory document required before the city and UC Berkeley can sign off on a new downtown plan is now available online. -more-


AC Transit to Consider Service Cuts and Fare Increases

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Tuesday January 27, 2009 - 11:28:00 AM

Two and a half months after local voters passed a $48 million parcel tax increase designed to shore up AC Transit’s financial base, the bus district board is now considering service cuts and fare increases that voters hoped the passage of Measure VV would stave off. -more-


Berkeley Council To Consider Condo Conversion, Sunshine Law and City Manager's Salary Increase

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Monday January 26, 2009 - 05:22:00 PM

The Berkeley City Council takes up—once more—the complicated issue of modification of its condominium conversion law, raising the salary of the city manager and the progress of a city sunshine ordinance on Tuesday, 7 p.m., at Old City Hall, 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. -more-


Planning Commission Tackles West Berkeley

By Richard Brenneman
Monday January 26, 2009 - 05:21:00 PM

Planning commissioners have a single topic on Wednesday night’s agenda: their ongoing effort to implement a City Council directive to create more flexibility in West Berkeley’s zoning rules. -more-


Key Chu Ally Named Interin Chief of LBNL

By Richard Brenneman
Monday January 26, 2009 - 05:21:00 PM

UC President Mark Yudof named a key ally of new U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu to fill the secretary’s former post as head of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. -more-


City Releases Pools Draft Master Plan, Asks Community to Weigh In

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday January 23, 2009 - 05:07:00 PM

The public will be able to comment on the Berkeley citywide pools master plan—out today (Friday), a week later than it was originally scheduled to be released—starting Saturday at a community workshop at the James Kenney Recreation Center. -more-


Woman Initially Charged in Shooting Has Been Released

By Richard Brenneman
Friday January 23, 2009 - 07:40:00 PM

While a Berkeley man has been charged with murder following Tuesday’s death of the victim of a Jan. 11 West Berkeley shooting, a 47-year-old woman originally charged with the shooting has been released. -more-


Study Session, Forum Planned for Berkeley High Redesign Plan

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday January 23, 2009 - 10:21:00 AM

The proposal for the Berkeley High School redesign—which has generated controversy so far but has been moving at a brisk pace since it was first unveiled in November—is scheduled for public discussion twice in the next two weeks to give the community and district officials a chance to comment on its strengths and weaknesses. -more-


Berkeley, County Face Growing Budget Problems

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Wednesday January 21, 2009 - 07:28:00 PM

With the national, state, and local economies continuing to tank and the California State Legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger stalled on how -more-


The Public Eye: Mayor Bates: Raise City Manager Salary to $232,020 (And Counting)

By Zelda Bronstein
Wednesday January 21, 2009 - 07:34:00 PM

In a nod to the country’s economic turmoil, President Barack Obama's first public act in office Wednesday was to freeze the salaries of high-paid White House aides who make over $100,000 a year. -more-


Berkeley Students Celebrate as President Obama Takes Office

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday January 21, 2009 - 07:35:00 PM

For the 3,500 Berkeley High School students who watched the presidential inauguration unfold Tuesday morning, the steps of the Community Theater could have very well been those of the U.S. Capitol—their solemn expressions and sporadic bursts of laughter capturing one of the greatest moments in the nation’s history. -more-


Building Heights Trigger Commission Questions

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday January 21, 2009 - 07:35:00 PM
Downtown planner Matt Taecker tells planning commissioners about the impacts of proposed new high rises on the city center.

One of Berkeley’s two new planning commissioners last week proposed a move that would scrap outright the key compromise of the downtown plan shaped by a now-disbanded citizen committee. -more-


News Analysis: The Inauguration: Dr. King’s Dream Come True?

By Matthew Taylor
Wednesday January 21, 2009 - 07:43:00 PM
More than a million people came to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to witness the inauguration.

“Directly in front of us is a pool that still reflects the dream of a King, and the glory of a people who marched and bled so that their children might be judged by their character’s content,” President-elect Barack Hussein Obama proclaimed from the Lincoln Memorial, two days before his inauguration. Standing amid a shivering yet rapturous sea of countless thousands who clung to the President-elect’s every word like a comforting mug of hot cocoa, I couldn’t help but wonder: Does this moment represent the fulfillment of Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream? -more-


First Person: Inauguration Brings 4.8 Million Partygoers

By Rio Bauce
Wednesday January 21, 2009 - 07:44:00 PM

As many watched the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States Barack Obama from their homes, I spent the morning and afternoon at the site of the event. Excited as ever to have a seat behind the capitol pool in the “Silver” section, I arrived shortly after the 9 a.m. opening of the gates. Expecting slight amounts of waiting and inconvenience, I rode up the escalator out of the Federal Center Metro Station in downtown Washington D.C. -more-


LBNL: Move West Berkeley Biolabs to New Building on Hill

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday January 21, 2009 - 07:41:00 PM
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory wants to consolidate lab operations now in West Berkeley with other research in this proposed new General Purpose Laboratory building above Strawberry Canyon.

While Planning Commissioners are revising the West Berkeley Plan to attract new biotech labs, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) wants its own biolabs out of the neighborhood. -more-


‘Smart Growth’ Proponents Tighten Grip on Commission

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday January 21, 2009 - 07:42:00 PM

Roia Ferrazares is off the planning commission and, for the moment, no one is willing to say why—at least on the record. -more-


Zoning Meetings Turn Monthly, Kashani Condos Back on Agenda

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday January 21, 2009 - 07:43:00 PM

Berkeley’s Zoning Adjustments Board— which will now meet only one Thursday of the month instead of two because of the scarcity of new projects in the city’s Planning and Development Department—is scheduled to vote Thursday on whether to approve real-estate developer Ali Kashani’s five-story mixed-use project, a proposal to build 98 condos, 7,770 square feet of ground-floor commercial space and 114 parking spaces on a 43,210 square-foot lot. -more-


Demonstrators Jam Oakland Streets In Second Round Of Oscar Grant Protests

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday January 22, 2009 - 11:56:00 AM

More than a thousand protesters jammed the amphitheater at Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of Oakland’s City Hall Jan. 14 and then marched seven blocks to the Alameda County Administration Building and the Alameda County Courthouse, all part of the continuing demonstrations in the aftermath of the New Years Day shooting death of 22-year-old Hayward resident Oscar Grant III by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle. -more-


Families March in Honor Of Martin Luther King Jr.

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday January 21, 2009 - 07:41:00 PM

A small but dedicated crowd came to Jefferson Elementary School in North Berkeley early Monday morning to make the short trek over to King Middle School for Berkeley’s first-ever march to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday—at least in recent history. -more-


High School Performance Data Worry School Board

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday January 21, 2009 - 07:38:00 PM

There were few bright spots in the overview of the Berkeley Unified School District’s high school student data for 2009 at the Berkeley Board of Education meeting last week, especially not the challenges posed in analyzing the test results. -more-


Chef Ann Cooper to Leave Berkeley Unified in June

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday January 21, 2009 - 07:40:00 PM

Berkeley’s self-named “renegade lunch lady,” Ann Cooper, will leave her position as Berkeley Unified School District’s nutrition services director and move to Colorado at the end of the school year to work with a school district there, Berkeley school officials confirmed Tuesday. -more-


5 New Portables for Berkeley High

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday January 21, 2009 - 07:40:00 PM

Five new portable classrooms will be added to the six already on the grounds of Berkeley High School by fall to combat overcrowding in the existing classrooms. -more-


UC Workers Take Over Regent's Office to Demand Pay Raise

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday January 21, 2009 - 07:42:00 PM

More than 60 UC service workers belonging to AFSCME Local 3299 took their fight for higher wages and contract renewals to the office of the chair of the UC Board of Regents, Richard Blum, in downtown San Francisco last week, leading to the arrest of at least 19 workers. -more-


John Allen Brown, Jr. 8/3/35 - 12/4/08

Wednesday January 28, 2009 - 01:02:00 PM
John Allen Brown, Jr. 8/3/35 - 12/4/08

John Brown, longtime student supervisor at Berkeley High School and Berkeley Adult School, passed away December 4, 2008 after a brief and sudden illness. -more-


Police Blotter

By Rio Bauce
Wednesday January 21, 2009 - 07:36:00 PM

Robbery -more-


Fire Department Log

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday January 21, 2009 - 07:40:00 PM

Bug Bomb Blast -more-