The Week

<b>Hello, Dalai</b>
          On Tuesday night, the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against Chinese occupation, thousands of UC Berkeley students began lining up at the Zellerbach Hall box office for a chance to get tickets to hear the Dalai Lama speak at Berkeley’s Greek Theater April 25. Sleeping bags, mattresses, and even tents festooned Sproul Plaza throughout the day Wednesday, as the line wound back and forth around the south-central campus area. UC Berkeley faculty and staff have a chance to line up to buy tickets starting Monday, March 16. Tickets go on sale for the general public at noon March 23. For event and ticket details, see www.berkeley.edu/dl.
Steven Finacom
Hello, Dalai On Tuesday night, the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against Chinese occupation, thousands of UC Berkeley students began lining up at the Zellerbach Hall box office for a chance to get tickets to hear the Dalai Lama speak at Berkeley’s Greek Theater April 25. Sleeping bags, mattresses, and even tents festooned Sproul Plaza throughout the day Wednesday, as the line wound back and forth around the south-central campus area. UC Berkeley faculty and staff have a chance to line up to buy tickets starting Monday, March 16. Tickets go on sale for the general public at noon March 23. For event and ticket details, see www.berkeley.edu/dl.
 

News

Flash: Court Upholds Decision in Favor of BUSD Student Assignment Plan

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday March 17, 2009 - 04:50:00 PM

Berkeley Unified School District earned another legal victory Tuesday for its student placement plan. -more-


Berkeley Police Chief to Retire in Summer

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday March 17, 2009 - 04:51:00 PM

Berkeley City Manager Phil Kamlarz announced Tuesday morning that Berkeley Police Department Chief Douglas Hambleton will retire from his position this summer. -more-


Community Remembers Zachary Michael Cruz

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday March 16, 2009 - 05:04:00 PM
Flowers surround a photo of Zachary Michael Cruz in front of the UC Berkeley Campanile, one of the 5-year-old's favorite places.

Just as his father promised, Zachary Michael Cruz’s memorial was more a party than a funeral. -more-


Chronicle Union Bows to Hearst, Accepts Longer Hours, Layoffs

By Richard Brenneman
Monday March 16, 2009 - 05:03:00 PM

San Francisco Chronicle workers voted Friday to cut their benefits and extend their working hours so that fewer of their colleagues would lose their jobs. -more-


Commissioners Take Up Revised Downtown High-Rise Boundaries

By Richard Brenneman
Monday March 16, 2009 - 04:51:00 PM

Planning commissioners are scheduled to meet Wednesday night to wrap up their revisions on a critical map that will determine the future skyline of downtown Berkeley. -more-


Friends of Activist Critically Injured in Palestine Plan SF Demonstration Today

Bay City News
Monday March 16, 2009 - 09:43:00 AM

Friends of a Bay Area activist who was critically injured while demonstrating in a village on Palestine's West Bank have organized their own demonstration in downtown San Francisco today as a show of solidarity. -more-


Berkeley Teachers Protest Layoffs; District Rescinds 49 Pink Slips

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Sunday March 15, 2009 - 10:22:00 PM
Berkeley Federation of Teachers Vice President Cynthia Allman hands out pink roses to laid-off teachers at the "Pink Friday" rally.

Pink balloons, pink bow-ties, pink arm bands and even pink toilet seats marked a rally organized by the Berkeley Federation of Teachers Friday. The "Pink Friday" event was part of a statewide protest of teacher layoffs in response to state education budget cuts. -more-


Flash: Former Tree-Sitter Critically Hurt During Protests on West Bank

By Richard Brenneman
Friday March 13, 2009 - 01:03:00 PM
Erstwhile Memorial Stadium tree-sitter Tristan "cricket" Anderson was critically injured Wednesday in the West Bank.

A one-time Memorial Stadium tree-sitter was critically injured in a clash between Israeli troops and Palestinian protesters in the West Bank. -more-


Firefighters Save Family From Monoxide Poisoning

By Richard Brenneman
Friday March 13, 2009 - 04:39:00 PM

Firefighters saved seven members of a West Berkeley family from a Friday the 13th early morning encounter with a silent, deadly killer—carbon monoxide. -more-


School Board Approves Cuts to Programs to Address Budget Deficit

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday March 13, 2009 - 04:39:00 PM

The Berkeley Board of Education unanimously approved revisions to the school district’s 2008-09 budget Wednesday to offset this year’s $3.1 million shortfall. -more-


AC Transit Raises Fares; More Belt-Tightening to Come

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday March 13, 2009 - 05:56:00 PM

AC Transit, battered by the economic downturn, is raising its fares. At a March 4 meeting, AC Transit announced a 25-cent increase for regular bus fares and a 15-cent hike for youth, senior and disabled fares. -more-


Three Home Invasion Suspects Arrested, Five Remain at Large

Bay City News
Thursday March 12, 2009 - 07:52:00 PM
Still at large are Vern Town Saelee, 21, of Fairfield, Vern Sio Saelee, 18, of Fairfield, and Anthony Ray Douglas, 18, of Richmond.

Berkeley police have arrested three suspects in connection with a brutal home invasion robbery two weeks ago but five suspects remain at large. -more-


Late-Night BART Incident Draws Heavy Police Response

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday March 12, 2009 - 05:05:00 PM
A Berkeley police officer stands with weapon drawn at the Downtown Berkeley BART station entrance on the west side of Shattuck Avenue.

Berkeley police officers responded with guns drawn to an incident at the downtown Berkeley BART station late Wednesday night, cordoning off sections of the station for approximately 30 minutes. -more-


Golden Gate Fields Auction Set for April 3

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday March 12, 2009 - 05:09:00 PM

Albany’s Golden Gate Fields goes on the auction block April 3 as part of a court-mandated sale of properties owned by ailing Magna Entertainment. -more-


District Sends Layoff Notices to Berkeley Teachers

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:08:00 PM

The Berkeley Unified School District sent out at least 130 potential layoff notices to teachers and counselors Tuesday, district officials said. -more-


UC Berkeley Considers Tuition Hike

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:11:00 PM

UC Berkeley announced plans to institute a 9.3 percent tuition increase to address a state budget crisis that is taking away millions of dollars in public education funding. -more-


Whole Foods Market Allows Ashby Flowers to Stay Put

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:11:00 PM

Whole Foods Market announced last week that the company has reversed its plans to let the lease expire for its tenant, Ashby Flowers. -more-


Berkeley Humane Society Closes Veterinary Hospital to Public, Focuses on Rescuing Abandoned Animals

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:12:00 PM
Cherry, a rescued papillon mix, recovers after undergoing an eye operation at the shelter’s veterinary hospital.

On a recent Friday morning, the lobby of the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society in West Berkeley was missing the noisy barking and pitter-patter of tiny paws that has greeted visitors for the last five decades. -more-


Landmarks Commission Embraces Modernism

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:13:00 PM
Donald and Helen Olsen house, at 771 San Diego Drive.

The home of Berkeley architect Donald Olsen became a city landmark Mar. 5 in a move that marked the embrace of a new era of design. -more-


Council Makes Minor Changes to Cell Tower Ordinance

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:13:00 PM

The Berkeley City Council took a small step this week toward overhauling the city ordinance governing cellphone towers, approving on first reading Councilmember Gordon Wozniak’s substitute motion to adopt a slightly watered-down version of modifications to the ordinance. -more-


Berkeley Bests Bay Area Competitors For Most Solar Panel Systems

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:36:00 PM

The City of Berkeley continued in its place at the head of urban green technology, winning a first place City Solar Award from the non-profit Northern California Solar Energy Association (NorCal Solar) as the Bay Area city with the highest number of solar panel systems installed within its borders. -more-


Union Concessions Save the Chronicle—For Now

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:13:00 PM

By Richard Brenneman -more-


Berkeley Agrofuel Research Hits Temporary Roadblocks

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:20:00 PM

Just as UC Berkeley researchers are poised to lead a national effort to create new fuels from genetically altered plants and microbes, they have encountered obstacles closer to home. -more-


Golden Gate Fields Owner Delisted by Stock Exchanges

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:20:00 PM

Golden Gate Fields is up for sale as owner Magna Entertainment (MECA on the NASDAQ stock exchange), a move announced when the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Mar. 5. -more-


March 23 Special Meeting Begins Housing Plan Update

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:21:00 PM

Berkeley’s Planning Department will begin its mandatory update of the city plan’s housing element on Monday, Mar. 23. -more-


Three Arrested in South Campus Stabbing

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:21:00 PM

Berkeley police arrested three men in the early-morning stabbing of a UC Berkeley student Mar. 7 in the city’s south campus area. -more-


Police Blotter

By Ali Winston
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:22:00 PM

Hate crime -more-


Oscar Grant Demonstrators Rally but Decide Not to Close Fruitvale BART

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:22:00 PM

Some 50 to 75 demonstrators rallied for an hour and a half in front of the Fruitvale BART station turnstiles on the afternoon of March 5 in continuing protests over the New Year’s Day shooting death of a Hayward man by a BART police officer, but the sponsoring organization backed off on its pledge to attempt to shut the station down. -more-


Spring Garden Events and Sales

By Steven Finacom Special to the Planet
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:35:00 PM

Rain or shine, drought or deluge, the greater Bay Area has an extensive array of spring garden tours, shows, and plant sales from March through June. -more-


Opinion

Editorials

The Price of Everything, the Value of Nothing

By Becky O’Malley
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:24:00 PM

“As UC president, Yudof will receive a compensation package valued at $828,000 in the 2008-09 year, compared to a current package estimated at $790,000 at the University of Texas. (These figures do not include standard retirement plan funding for future retirement benefits for university employees at both institutions.)" -more-


Cartoons

School Cycle

By Justin DeFreitas
Monday March 16, 2009 - 09:07:00 PM

The Fate of Newspapers

By Justin DeFreitas
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:52:00 PM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:25:00 PM

PEDESTRIAN ROUTES -more-


Daily Planet Attacker Shoots Self in Foot

By Mary Lou Van Deventer
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:25:00 PM

It’s the height of cynicism to accuse someone of being hateful in a letter that is itself filled with hate and misrepresentation, then try to inflict financial damage. It’s the best irony when the attacker shoots himself in the foot. -more-


Money to the People

By Fred Foldvary
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:26:00 PM

The bailout money handed to financial firms was supposed to relieve the credit constraints of the economy. Perhaps this prevented a greater crash, but the effects have been relatively minor. Some of the bailout funds will be used by banks to pay dividends, bonuses, and to buy out other banks rather than lending it to credit-starved customers. -more-


Population Growth Is the Problem

By Jane Powell
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:27:00 PM

When God said “Be fruitful and multiply” perhaps he should have added “within reason.” -more-


A Better Choice Than Bus Rapid Transit

By Russ Tilleman
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:27:00 PM

After many months of considering Bus Rapid Transit, my neighbors and I have developed an alternative plan that we think is much better. Our plan should provide the benefits desired by transit supporters without damaging our neighborhood. This should satisfy AC Transit, the City of Berkeley, and the people who live and work in this part of Berkeley. -more-


Reindustrializing America

By Harry Brill
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:28:00 PM

According to the Department of Commerce, foreign affiliates of American multinational corporations employ about 10 million workers. As many as 400,000 jobs annually are being lost as a result of foreign outsourcing. Another study revealed that three years after layoffs about one third of displaced workers were still unemployed. Moreover, about half who did find jobs suffered substantial wage reductions. Millions more blue and white collar jobs are expected to go abroad by the end of this decade, leaving behind the damage—mass unemployment, underemployment, poverty, and even substantially higher mortality rates, as a study at Johns Hopkins showed. -more-


Proposition 8: Contradiction in the Constitution

By Thomas Lord
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:28:00 PM

I watched the oral arguments before the California Supreme Court in challenge and defense of Proposition 8. -more-


Columns

The Public Eye: Afghanistan May Prove to Be Obama’s Weakness

By Bob Burnett
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:22:00 PM

So far, President Obama has kept his campaign promises by addressing the economy, Iraq, healthcare, civil liberties, and a host of other issues. Nonetheless, liberals fear Obama is about to make a big mistake in Afghanistan. -more-


UnderCurrents: To Stop Crime, Strengthen Oakland’s Black Middle Class

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:23:00 PM

Over the past several years, Oakland has been using a two-prong strategy to attack its nagging and serious problem of violent crime: police-related solutions (more police, better targeted policing strategies, “community policing”) and strengthening and creating violence-prevention projects and programs. -more-


Wild Neighbors: Habitat for Harriers and the Restoration Paradox

By Joe Eaton
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:37:00 PM
A female northern harrier cruising for voles.

Tinkering with the natural world often invites unintended consequences. Replacing exotic weeds with native vegetation is usually a laudable goal. But what if a sensitive species has its own plans for the weeds? -more-


About the House: Home Repairs: Best to Broaden Your Approach

By Matt Cantor
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:36:00 PM

Some of you may remember Rube Goldberg. He’s a favorite case study of mine when it comes to home remodeling. If you know who he is, you’re giggling now. Rube, a UC Berkeley grad and local engineer (he worked on the sewer systems in San Francisco!) invented cartoon machinery that would perform one simple task in 20 or more complicated and ludicrous steps. -more-


Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:31:00 PM

THURSDAY, MARCH 12 -more-


Berkeley High Jazz All-Stars Honor Longtime Band Director

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:29:00 PM

The Berkeley High School Alumni Jazz All-Stars, featuring musical director Peter Apfelbaum, will perform Sunday afternoon in almost 20 different groups to honor band director and teacher Charles Hamilton’s 27 years of service. -more-


Alameda’s Virago Stages ‘The Hermit Bird’

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:30:00 PM

Going into Bridgehead Studio in Alameda—practically across the street from the Nob Hill Market on Blanding—the newly-collaged doorway, a real portal now, is the first thing to catch attention. Then, inside, is the “Isolated Beauty” exhibit, featuring works in different visual media which parallel the theme of The Hermit Bird, the original play by John Byrd that Virago Theatre Co. is premiering at the studio. (The band Pike County will play before this Friday’s performance—also thematic to the region in which the play is set.) -more-


SF Cabaret Opera Presents ‘Marriage of Figaro’

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:30:00 PM
The cast of The Marriage of Figaro: Steven Hoffman (Figaro), Eliza O'Malley (Susanna, Berkeley shows), Joaquin Quilez (Count Almaviva), Meghan Dibble (Cherubino), and Suzanna Mizell (Susanna, San Francisco shows)

Stripped of its overtly political satire, Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte premiered their adaptation of Marriage of Figaro, proclaiming a new form of musical theater. San Francisco Cabaret Opera’s production (under the aegis of Goat Hall) teases out the vaudeville still lurking in the sleek new—or Neo-Classical—model, once again fusing entertainment with lavish singing. The show started last weekend in San Francisco and now, with some changes in cast and accompaniment, migrates to the Hillside Club, a few bucolic blocks east of the Gourmet Ghetto. -more-


24th Jewish Music Festival Presents an Eclectic Program

By Ira Steingroot Special to the Planet
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:32:00 PM

If you think Jewish music is confined to singing Hava Nagila at Jewish summer camp, well get ready to have another nagila. The Jewish Music Festival, now in its 24th year, features music in Hebrew, Ladino, Yiddish and English performed by a cosmopolitan array of singers and musicians representing traditions that range from the Sephardic Balkans, European classical, Eastern European Chasidic and klezmer, Indo-European Gypsy, Middle Eastern Mizrachi as well as blues, jazz, swing, bluegrass, gospel, rock, punk and hip-hop. In whatever lands that Jews have lived, they have absorbed musical influences and in turn have influenced the music of their adopted lands. Nowhere has this been truer than in the United States. -more-


Humor and Education in Berkeley Symphony’s Family Concerts

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:33:00 PM

Adventure in Music, the second installment in Berkeley Symphony’s new family concert series, led by conductor Ming Luke and featuring San Francisco Opera violinist Dawn Harms, will include “Spring” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Violin Concerto in D Major”; Leopold Mozart’s “Toy Symphony”—and the theme (by Danny Elfman) from The Simpsons TV series. -more-


Baroque Orchestra in Richmond Sunday

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:34:00 PM

Bay Area Baroque Orchestra, a group of Bay Area musicians led by conductor Frances Blaker, will play a program of Corelli, Bach and Lully at 4 p.m. Sunday, Mar. 15 in Richmond. -more-


Around the East Bay: 'Favorite Cantatas'

Friday March 13, 2009 - 03:58:00 PM

American Bach Soloists bring Favorite Cantatas of their namesake to First Congregational Church at 8 p.m. Saturday (lecture at 7), a show that will also play in Belvedere, San Francisco and Davis, featuring remarkable baritone William Sharp, excellent singers soprano Yulia Van Doren and alto Jennifer Lane, and Bach Soloists’ own extraordinary tenor, musical director Jeffrey Thomas. $10-44. (800) 838-3006. http://americanbach.org. -more-


Around the East Bay: 'The Nose'

Friday March 13, 2009 - 04:31:00 PM

Russian actor-director Oleg Liptsin, who has presented a piquant Beckett’s Happy Days and a remarkable staging of Dostoyevsky (Notes From Underground as Apropos of the Wet Snow) in Berkeley, will premiere the first part of his latest project, The Nose, a solo show centered around Gogol’s Overcoat, celebrating the great Russian author’s 200th anniversary. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Phoenix Theatre Annex, 414 Mason St., Suite 406, San Francisco (near Union Square). $15-20. (415) 944-1555. http://phoenixtheatresf.org, http://theatreensemble.org. -more-


About the House: Home Repairs: Best to Broaden Your Approach

By Matt Cantor
Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:36:00 PM

Some of you may remember Rube Goldberg. He’s a favorite case study of mine when it comes to home remodeling. If you know who he is, you’re giggling now. Rube, a UC Berkeley grad and local engineer (he worked on the sewer systems in San Francisco!) invented cartoon machinery that would perform one simple task in 20 or more complicated and ludicrous steps. -more-


Community Calendar

Wednesday March 11, 2009 - 07:31:00 PM

THURSDAY, MARCH 12 -more-