Departed City Manager Leaves Big Mess In Alameda

By John Geluardi Special to the Planet
Tuesday April 21, 2009 - 02:41:00 PM

Nearly two months after Alameda City Manager Debra Kurita resigned, the island city is still trying to sound the depths of the financial crisis caused by her falsely inflated budgets. -more-

Climate Action Plan: Chronicle Got it Wrong, Say Berkeley Officials

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Tuesday April 21, 2009 - 10:50:00 AM

Berkeley city officials are hitting back swiftly against a recent San Francisco Chronicle article which the officials say “mischaracterized” the city’s proposed Climate Action Plan (CAP). -more-

Berkeley High Plans Safety Overhaul

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday April 21, 2009 - 12:33:00 PM

Berkeley High School officials plan to ramp up safety and security measures as a result of multiple written complaints from members of the school’s Safety Committee earlier this year. -more-

City Council to Consider Climate Action Plan Tuesday

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday April 17, 2009 - 09:37:00 PM

Creation of Berkeley’s Climate Action Plan heads into its final phase Tuesday night when the City Council will consider whether to send the 139-page document for environmental review. -more-

Air District Releases West Berkeley Air Monitoring Results

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday April 17, 2009 - 09:34:00 PM

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District this week released the results of the air monitoring it carried out near West Berkeley's Pacific Steel Casting last year. -more-

Berkeley School District Will Receive Stabilization Funds

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 16, 2009 - 09:59:00 PM

The U.S. Department of Education Friday approved $4.9 billion in funds for California’s public schools over the next two years, which will help prevent teacher layoffs and improve student achievement. -more-

School District Sends Out Pink Slips to Classified Employees

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 16, 2009 - 07:25:00 PM

The Berkeley Unified School District sent out at least 62 pink slips to classified employees Thursday to offset cuts to state public education funding, district officials said. -more-

Students, Parents Thank School Board for Preserving Bilingual Program

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 16, 2009 - 09:40:00 PM
Angelica Perez talks with Franklin State Preschool and Parent Nursery students Isabella Perez and Amalia Flores at Wednesday night's Berkeley Board of Education meeting, just before they joined with many other students and parents in thanking the school board for preserving the school's half-day Spanish bilingual program.

A large number of parents and students from Franklin State Preschool and Parent Nursery showed up at the Berkeley Board of Education meeting Wednesday night to thank the district for not changing the school’s half-day Spanish bilingual program. -more-

School Board Tells City to Proceed With Pools Plan

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 16, 2009 - 06:40:00 PM

The Berkeley Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday night to ask the city to proceed with an environmental review of the citywide pools master plan. -more-

Planning Commission Approves New Downtown Plan

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday April 16, 2009 - 06:38:00 PM

Planning commissioners voted 7-2 Wednesday, April 15, to approve their taller, denser rewrite of the plan that will guide the development of downtown Berkeley for the next 20 years. -more-

Watchdog Group Sues Air District

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 16, 2009 - 07:12:00 PM

A Berkeley-based environmental group is suing the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, alleging that the agency violated the California Public Records Act by denying access to Pacific Steel Casting’s Odor Control Plan. -more-

City Pools Plan Goes Before City Council, School Board

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 16, 2009 - 07:14:00 PM

The Berkeley Board of Education and the Berkeley City Council were getting ready to vote on whether the city should proceed with an environmental review of plans to expand and improve the city’s pools as the Daily Planet went to press on Wednesday, April 15. If the board made its decision at its April 15 meeting, it will be found on the Planet website at -more-

Council to Vote to Send Refuse Fee Increase to Property Owners

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday April 16, 2009 - 07:14:00 PM

Berkeley property owners may soon be asked to approve a 20 percent increase in city refuse fees in a somewhat controversial “majority protest” mail-in voting procedure. The unusual ballot process automatically counts votes not received as “yes” votes. -more-

Gaia Building Permit Review Postponed; Building’s Owners Given Month to Negotiate with Marsh Theater

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 16, 2009 - 07:15:00 PM
The Gaia Arts Center has been the subject of controversy following a few rowdy parties which drew police to the scene.

The Berkeley Zoning Adjust-ments Board last week postponed discussion on whether the Gaia Building was adhering to its use permit, in order to give its owners, Equity Residential, a month to negotiate leasing terms with the Marsh Theater. The zoning board will resume the discussion May 14. -more-

Award Will Help Animal Care Groups During Tough Times

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 16, 2009 - 07:15:00 PM

The Berkeley Alliance for Homeless Animals Coalition will receive $474,200 on April 23 for winning the Maddie’s Fund Lifesaving Award. -more-

More Program Cuts Lined Up For Berkeley School District

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 16, 2009 - 07:09:00 PM

The Berkeley Unified School District is planning to eliminate at least 25 classified employee positions in response to state public education budget cuts, district officials said Wednesday. -more-

Activists Call on Police Union to Apologize for Disrespecting Dellums

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday April 16, 2009 - 07:11:00 PM

An ad hoc group of Oakland community leaders and activists demanded on Tuesday that the Oakland Police Officers Association (OPOA) police union apologize for its role in preventing Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums from speaking at the joint funeral of the four Oakland police officers killed in the March 21 MacArthur Boulevard shootings. -more-

City Warns of Traffic Delays For University Ave. Repairs

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 16, 2009 - 07:01:00 PM
University Avenue will be subject to traffic delays through Oct. 30.

Berkeley’s Public Works Department last week announced anticipated traffic delays and possible street closures due to street repairs on University Avenue, between Sixth and Grant streets. -more-

Final EIR for Downtown Plan Released

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday April 16, 2009 - 07:08:00 PM

The final environmental impact report for the Downtown Area Plan, released Wednesday, April 15, has been posted online for public review. -more-

UC Berkeley Receives Record Number of Applications; Students Demand Increase in Minority Admissions

Bay City News
Thursday April 16, 2009 - 07:00:00 PM

UC Berkeley announced Tuesday, April 7, that the school had received a record number of applications for the 2009-2010 academic year and has accepted nearly 13,000 students to its fall freshman class. -more-

Police Blotter

By Ali Winston
Thursday April 16, 2009 - 06:58:00 PM

Glue in locks -more-

First Person: Hollywood Revisited

By Dorothy Snodgrass
Thursday April 16, 2009 - 06:57:00 PM

As an avid moviegoer since early childhood, I happily signed on for the Oakland Museum’s “Hollywood Revisited” tour, arranged through the History Guild this past March. The trip also included Los Angeles, about which I had misgivings, having been brainwashed by the late Herb Caen, who viewed this city with utter disdain. -more-