The Week

 

News

Traffic Safety Comes to Forefront for Berkeley Schools and Parents

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday March 03, 2009 - 10:15:00 PM

The tragic accidents of two Berkeley public school students within less than a month of each other has put the spotlight on traffic safety and improvements for many parents, community members and transportation officials in Berkeley. -more-


Push For West Berkeley Zone Changes Linked To University, Lab Startup Firms

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday March 03, 2009 - 10:15:00 PM

UC Berkeley, already the instigator of a new plan for downtown Berkeley, is leading the effort to reshape West Berkeley as well. -more-


LeConte Remembers Student Killed in Collision

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday March 02, 2009 - 05:26:00 PM
Flowers, photos and stuffed animals have been placed at the intersection of Derby and Warring streets, where Zachary Cruz was struck and killed by a truck Friday.

Even as a winter deluge brought Berkeley to a standstill early Monday, community members continued to place flowers, candles and notes at the intersection of Derby and Warring streets, where 5-year-old Zachary Cruz had been hit and killed by a welder’s truck on Friday, just as they had done all through the weekend. -more-


German Publisher Swallows Berkeley’s Ten Speed Press

By Richard Brenneman
Monday March 02, 2009 - 07:24:00 PM

Berkeley lost a legendary independent publisher Monday when German media giant Bertlesman bought Ten Speed Press through its New York-based publishing unit Random House. -more-


Group Plans Fruitvale BART Disruption To Protest Grant Death

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Monday March 02, 2009 - 07:25:00 PM

A group calling itself No Justice No BART (NJNB) has called for a disruption of service Thursday during the afternoon rush hour at the Fruitvale BART Station to further its demands for justice in the death of Hayward resident Oscar Grant. -more-


Two More Women Assaulted Near UC Berkeley

By Bay City News
Monday March 02, 2009 - 03:53:00 PM

An alleged sexual predator targeting women near the UC Berkeley campus assaulted two more people on Saturday, police said today (Monday). -more-


Kindergartner Killed by Truck

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday February 27, 2009 - 05:32:00 PM
Berkeley police talk with the driver of a construction truck that struck and killed a LeConte Elementary School student at the intersection of Derby and  
                                Warring streets Friday afternoon. The scene was preserved as evidence under the pop-up tent at left.

A LeConte Elementary School kindergartner was struck and killed Friday afternoon by a construction truck at Warring and Derby streets in Berkeley. -more-


Neighbors Share Concerns Over West Berkeley Building Proposal

By Richard Brenneman
Friday February 27, 2009 - 05:16:00 PM

The struggle over the size of Wareham Properties’ latest Berkeley project entered a new phase Thursday night with the first public meeting to gather insight for an environmental impact report (EIR). -more-


School District Plans Layoffs in Light of State Budget Cuts

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday February 27, 2009 - 04:34:00 PM

Statewide education cuts have forced the Berkeley Unified School District to consider eliminating at least 118 teaching positions in the 2009-2010 school year, district officials announced Wednesday. -more-


Berkeley High Investigates Gun Incident on Campus

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday February 26, 2009 - 10:23:00 PM

Berkeley police and Berkeley High School are investigating a report made by a student on Wednesday afternoon that he had been threatened by another student from the school with a gun or an imitation firearm at the end of the lunch period. -more-


Former Hancock Campaign Aide to Replace Kaplan on AC Transit Board

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday February 26, 2009 - 10:22:00 PM

A divided AC Transit Board chose Oakland corporate attorney and former State Senator Loni Hancock's campaign field organizer Joel B. Young this week to fill the vacancy left when At-Large Board Member Rebecca Kaplan left for the Oakland City Council. -more-


Developer Dollars Fell Short in District 4 City Council Race

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 07:57:00 PM

Development dollars played a powerful but ultimately doomed role in the election to represent a City Council district targeted for the lion’s share of housing and commercial development over the coming two decades. -more-


Saturday February 28, 2009 - 02:12:00 PM

Florist Battles Whole Foods Market Over Lease Renewal

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 07:58:00 PM
Councilmember Kriss Worthington joins Halcyon Neighborhood Association co-chair Nancy Carleton and Aaron Vance to protest outside Whole Foods Market’s Emeryville headquarters Wednesday.

Whole Foods Market, the national natural food supermarket chain that represents itself as supporting local communities, found itself under attack Wednesday when a large group of East Bay residents gathered outside its Emeryville headquarters vociferously protesting the company’s decision not to renew the lease of Ashby Flowers, a family-owned business that rents a small building in the corner of the parking lot at the company’s 3000 Telegraph Ave. location in Berkeley. In an interview with the Planet at his company’s regional headquarters Wednesday, Whole Foods Regional President David Lannon said that the company was not renewing the lease since it had plans to open a coffee shop or juice bar there. -more-


Berkeley Council Loosens Downtown Restaurant Rules

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 07:58:00 PM

In what may prove to be a simple solution following a thoroughly confusing debate, the Berkeley City Council moved to solve what it had originally thought was its University Avenue fast-food moratorium problem by voting Tuesday night to allow “quick service” restaurants on University between Oxford Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way, but to continue the prohibition of “carryout service” restaurants in that same area. -more-


Mayor Bates Urges Quicker Implementation of Bus Rapid Transit

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 08:00:00 PM

An enthusiastic Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates wants the AC Transit bus district to dramatically step up its timetable for development, approval, and implementation of the district’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, telling members of the BRT Policy Steering Committee last week that the proposed 2015 end-of-construction date is not nearly soon enough. -more-


Downturn Brings Hundreds Looking for Jobs at Shattuck Hotel

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 08:00:00 PM
Hundreds lined up outside the now-vacant Ross store Wednesday morning to apply for jobs openings at Shattuck Hotel, which opens in April.

The revamped Shattuck Hotel, as expected, drew crowds of people to downtown Berkeley Wednesday, long before its grand opening in April, but all of them were eagerly waiting all morning not to catch a glimpse of the hotel’s swanky interiors but to land a job there. -more-


Suspect Arrested in 2006 Berkeley Murder

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 08:02:00 PM

Berkeley police say they’ve solved the three-year-old murder of an El Cerrito student who was fatally knifed at a North Berkeley party. -more-


School District Explores Possibility of a Solar Future

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 07:59:00 PM

The solar project at Washington Elementary School, the first public school in Berkeley to run on renewable energy, has encouraged the Berkeley Unified School District to investigate whether other schools could save on their electricity bills through a similar initiative, district officials said. -more-


Chronicle Closure Threat Caps a Bad Week for Newspapers

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 08:01:00 PM

The San Francisco Chronicle has joined the ranks of potential newspaper casualties as the devastation of the nation’s print media continues to unfold. -more-


Police Blotter

By Ali Winston
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 08:03:00 PM

Sexual predator strikes again -more-


Durant Avenue Murder Hearing Postponed

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday February 26, 2009 - 12:27:00 PM

Judge Morris Jacobson of Alameda County Superior Court on Monday postponed until March 4 the pretrial hearing of Nathaniel Freeman of Berkeley, charged with the shooting death of Maceo Smith on Durant Avenue last May. -more-


Supreme Court Ruling Raises Richmond Casino Questions

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 08:03:00 PM

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling handed down Tuesday raises new questions about the fate of two Richmond area casino projects. -more-


Fate of Golden Gate Fields Uncertain

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 08:02:00 PM

After failing to raise enough cash to reorganize, the owners of Golden Gate Fields face the threat of liquidation—leaving the future of the Albany race track in doubt. -more-


California State Budget Will Require $6 Million in Cuts for Local Schools

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 08:00:00 PM

The state budget approved by lawmakers Feb. 19 to close California’s $42 billion budget deficit will impose billions of dollars in cuts on public education, leading to larger class sizes in grades K-12, fewer programs in arts and music, and teacher layoffs, officials said. -more-


City Alarmed by Impounding of Cars Owned By Illegal Immigrants

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 07:59:00 PM

Community organizers met with Berkeley city officials Feb. 18 to discuss concerns about the Berkeley police seizing cars of undocumented immigrants, which they said had generated fear among some Latino families. -more-


Environmental Review Hearing Moves Downtown Plan Closer

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 07:58:00 PM

With the struggle to shape the future of downtown Berkeley entering its final months, planning commissioners are moving closer to finalizing their own vision. -more-


Donate to the White Elephant Sale for a Sneak Peek

By Steven Finacom Special to the Planet
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 08:05:00 PM

It’s White Elephant Sale season again. The huge, weeks-long fundraising event sponsored by the Oakland Museum Women’s Board turns 50 years this year, and is as big, varied, and interesting as ever. -more-


A House of Books in the Elmwood

By Phila Rogers Special to the Planet
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 08:00:00 PM
The Claremont Branch is the largest of the Berkeley Public Library branches.

Immediately off busy Ashby Avenue on Benvenue Avenue in the Elmwood district you enter an leafy enclave of Arts and Crafts houses. The Claremont Branch Library, built in 1924 and designed in the same scale and character as the surrounding homes, fits right in. -more-


Opinion

Editorials

Spring Thoughts From Home

By Becky O’Malley
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 07:54:00 PM

In the springtime the thoughts of the average aging English major are apt to turn to the poetry studied in youth. Often, this is poetry read in high school, not college, because it was the pleasure of reading in high school, where we had plenty of time to ponder, that deluded many of us into thinking that four more years of literature would be the best way to spend our ever more precious time. A great deal of the poetry about spring is actually about death, ever a popular topic for adolescents. -more-


Cartoons

Ashby Flowers vs. Whole Foods

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday February 26, 2009 - 07:53:00 PM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 07:56:00 PM

ORGANIC DESIGN -more-


Letters to the Editor

Monday March 02, 2009 - 03:04:00 PM

PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE SCULPTURES -more-


Don’t Shut Down Ashby Flowers!

By Nancy Carleton and John Steere
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 07:57:00 PM

We have learned that Whole Foods Market is planning not to renew the lease of Ashby Flowers, the corner shop located at Telegraph and Ashby, on the property of the market. We are writing as co-chairs of Halcyon Neighborhood Association (HNA). The nearly 900 households in HNA’s territory all lie within a 10-minute walk of Whole Foods; they represent some of the store’s most frequent foot traffic. -more-


Of Mice and Newsmen

By Brian Frederick
Tuesday March 03, 2009 - 10:29:00 AM

The salt marsh harvest mouse is an endangered rodent that lives in the marshes around the San Francisco Bay. Because of development around the Bay Area, the tiny mouse’s existence as a species is now threatened. -more-


Van Jones, Majora Carter and the Green Jobs Movement

By Paul Rockwell
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 07:58:00 PM

In February 2006, Majora Carter, co-founder of Green for All, delivered an impassioned address to a gathering of environmentalists. When she presented a poster that read “Green is the new Black,” the audience burst into applause. -more-


Extramural Solutions for Intramural Problems

By Marvin Chachere
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 07:58:00 PM

Everywhere everyday, Americans, except those lucky enough to have spent the past eight years on another planet, are bludgeoned in the dominant media with two questions: How do we withdraw undefeated from Iraq? And how do we achieve victory in Afghanistan? Not one person with access to audiences beyond family and friends has failed to answer these questions mostly in the form of advice to our new president and no two answers are compatible, much less concurring. -more-


A Community-Owned Daily Planet

By Matthew Taylor
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 07:59:00 PM

It would be a tragedy to lose the Daily Planet—especially Richard Brenneman’s reporting. -more-


Mr. Potter and the Postal Service

By Allen Sanford
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 07:59:00 PM

A few days ago I heard on the radio that Postmaster John Potter was justifying his $800,000 bonus by saying that he gets paid less than most of the C.E.O.s in the country. -more-


The Uncertain Results of Bus Rapid Transit

By Joseph Stubbs
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 07:59:00 PM

As a Berkeley citizen who lives in the Southside, I would like to express my concerns over proposals to go ahead with a Bus Rapid Transit project on Telegraph. This project has received a lot of press coverage not only here in Berkeley but in San Francisco, too. A disturbing thing to me about the important argument which looks at the actual green benefit predicted for this project and compares it with impacts, is that it just isn’t there. -more-


If Americans Knew

By Bing Aradanas
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 08:00:00 PM

Bravo to the Daily Planet for printing Annette Herskovits’ Feb. 12 commentary, “Who Remembers the Holocaust.” It’s ironic that in Israel there is robust and open debate about Israel’s violations of international laws—the 42-year-old illegal occupation, the 42-year-old illegal settlements, the 42-year-old illegal denial of Palestinians’ legal right of return—but in the United States, the national discourse ignores the 42-year criminality and illegality of these actions by the Israeli government against the Palestinian people. -more-


Columns

The Public Eye—Discretionary Conditions: How Developers Win

By Patti Dacey
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 08:04:00 PM

Your neighbor has built her heavily chlorinated hot tub eight feet closer to your kitchen window than allowed by her use permit? Food is being served by the religious organization down the block earlier and later than its permit specifies? A developer is hosting riots downtown instead of the cultural uses commanded by his permit? Good luck in getting the City of Berkeley to enforce any of these use permit conditions, which were put in place, after all, to protect the citizenry’s quality of life. It doesn’t have to. And it probably won’t. -more-


Undercurrents: Here Comes Jerry Brown to Push California Over the Brink

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 08:04:00 PM

California’s recent marathon budget crisis provides our latest and best example of the state’s growing ungovernability. It is not so much that our Republican/conservative friends were willing to risk taking the state into economic collapse in order to force some ideologically driven concessions. It is that for the longest time, there appeared to be no practical, rational, sensible way for the rest of us to stop them. -more-


Green Neighbors: Showdown at Baxter Creek, Part Two

By Ron Sullivan
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 08:05:00 PM

The meeting at Richmond’s Baxter Creek convened at the scene of the crime. -more-


Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 08:05:00 PM

THURSDAY, FEB. 26 -more-


Central Works Stages ‘The Window Age’

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 08:02:00 PM

“I respect your privacy—but I would really like to get inside that head of yours.” The triangulation of the endless ways of seeing another—or ourselves through the eyes of another, who is seen by yet another still—are visited and revisited by the interlocked trio of characters in Christopher Chen’s The Window Age, staged by Central Works at the Berkeley City Club, a triumph of their particular style of collaboration between author, actors, director and designers developing a show. -more-


Two East Bay Youth Art Events

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 08:01:00 PM

Two very different events this weekend feature—and celebrate—the musical talents of East Bay young people. -more-


Contemporary Women and Islam

By Helen Rippier Wheeler Special to the Planet
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 08:02:00 PM

Set against the backdrop of Chaharshanbe Suri, the ancient Iranian tradition that in recent years has taken the form of public protest, Fireworks Wednesday focuses on a young woman from a poor Tehran neighborhood who has been assigned to clean an apartment in another part of the city. It was released as a motion picture in 2006; the DVD is in Farsi with English subtitles. -more-


Berkeley Playhouse Presents ‘Once Upon This Island’

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 08:04:00 PM

On an unnamed island in the French Antilles, a little girl, found sheltered in the branches of a tree after a storm by a peasant couple, grows up to rescue someone herself, the son of a creole “grand homme” who lives in a great “hotel” on the other side of the mountain, and falls in love with the young man she’s healed—a love everyone says she cannot have. -more-


Berkeley’s Modoc Past: ‘A Homesick Indian Girl’

By Richard Schwartz Special to the Planet
Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 08:05:00 PM
This 1908 image of an undeveloped area in Berkley’s Thousand Oaks neighborhood reveals a rock with Indian mortars. There were many scores of Indian sites all over Berkeley, more than anyone, including archeologists, anticipated, most having been recorded only in the past decade or so. There is evidence of Indian occupation from at least 5900 years ago in Berkeley. When the Spanish arrived with the mission system in 1769, the Indians of the East Bay were essentially driven from their homes by the forces of the church and Spanish military. When the Americans arrived, he treatment of Indians in California reached a new low. There were many incidents of slavery, including child slavery in the area around Berkeley. Raids were made to the North and Indians, many women and children, were brought to the area against their will to work on local ranches. By the late 1800s the practice had been modified to the use of Indian children as domestics in houses in the area, including Berkeley.

This article from the Berkeley Daily Gazette of Feb. 17, 1905, gives but a momentary glimpse into the life of a Modoc Indian girl on the threshold of womanhood: -more-


Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival This Weekend

Monday March 02, 2009 - 05:26:00 PM

Just an hour up the road in Sonoma County, the Sebastopol Center for the Arts presents the second annual Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival this weekend, March 6-8. -more-


Community Calendar

Wednesday February 25, 2009 - 08:03:00 PM

THURSDAY, FEB. 26 -more-