News

Crime from Willard Students Sparks Community Meeting

By Rio Bauce Special to the Planet
Wednesday June 03, 2009 - 01:41:00 PM

Last Thursday, the LeConte Neighborhood Association held a meeting together with the Berkeley Police Department and Willard Middle School Safety Officer Andre Kellum to discuss the issue of after-school student vandalism. -more-


Berkeley Students Show Decline in SAT Scores, Large Gains in AP Scores

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday June 03, 2009 - 10:52:00 AM

Berkeley High School students showed a sharp decline in 2008 SAT math and verbal scores, but large gains in Advanced Placement tests, according to a report prepared by the Berkeley Unified School District. -more-


Flash: Police Find Shooting Suspect in South Berkeley Dumpster

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday June 02, 2009 - 08:10:00 PM

After a lengthy search, police found the man suspected of firing shots from a car in West Berkeley Tuesday afternoon. -more-


Flash: Search for Suspect Continues in South Berkeley

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday June 02, 2009 - 06:00:00 PM

Three hours after a young man fired shots from a moving car in West Berkeley, police were still searching for the suspect in South Berkeley after chasing him to a neighborhood near the intersection of Ashby and Shattuck avenues. -more-


Flash: Police Search for Armed Suspect in South Berkeley

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday June 02, 2009 - 01:39:00 PM
The Berkeley Police Department SWAT team searches for an armed suspect near the corner of Shattuck and Ashby avenues.

Berkeley police cordoned off two blocks near Shattuck and Ashby avenues at 3:30 p.m. to search for a suspect who fired shots earlier today in West Berkeley. -more-


Campanile Undergoes Restoration Work

By Rio Bauce Special to the Planet
Tuesday June 02, 2009 - 04:56:00 PM
UC Berkeley's Campanile will is undergoing restoration. The work is expected to  be completed by the beginning of the fall semester.

On May 26, UC Berkeley began restoration work on Sather Tower (also known as the Campanile) to repair and clean the marble spire, secure the beacon, and repair the roof. The project is expected to be complete by the beginning of the fall semester. -more-


Black Oak Books Moves Out

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday June 01, 2009 - 01:35:00 PM

Shattuck Avenue lost an icon Sunday. Owner Gary Cornell confirmed Monday morning that Black Oak Books, one of Berkeley’s best-loved bookstores, is moving out. Cornell has been trying to negotiate a lease with landlord Ruegg and Ellsworth for several months. -more-


Counselors Hit Hard by School District Budget Cuts

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday June 01, 2009 - 01:33:00 PM

Teachers, parents and students packed the City Council chambers Wednesday to ask the Berkeley Board of Education to save high school counseling positions threatened by budget cuts. -more-


Harmon Street Apartment Fire

By Richard Brenneman
Monday June 01, 2009 - 01:33:00 PM

Where there’s smoke—even the sweet-smelling kind—there’s sometimes fire, as the occupants of one Berkeley apartment discovered to their chagrin last week. -more-


AC Transit Takes First Step Towards Projected Bus Line Cuts

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday May 29, 2009 - 08:59:00 AM

AC Transit officials took the first step Wednesday toward eliminating or reducing bus lines. The cuts are expected to be implemented later this year. -more-


Planners Approve Easing of Downtown Business Permits, Look at New Housing Allocations

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday May 28, 2009 - 03:59:00 PM

Berkeley planning commissioners finished their adjustments to downtown zoning rules Wednesday night (May 27), easing requirements for entrepreneurs setting up shop in the vacancy-plagued city center. -more-


BART Sets Fare Hike; Changes Take Effect July 1

Bay City News
Thursday May 28, 2009 - 01:46:00 PM

BART directors voted today to adopt three fare hikes that will go into effect July 1. -more-


Group to Hold Meeting About Possible Reopening of Oakland's Parkway Theater

Bay City News
Thursday May 28, 2009 - 01:47:00 PM

Community members in Oakland will meet this Sunday to discuss an investment offer made this week to take over the former Parkway Speakeasy Theater in Oakland, which closed earlier this year. -more-


Drop in Immigrant Students Leads to Loss of Federal Funds

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday May 28, 2009 - 06:55:00 PM

A significant drop in the number of immigrant students in the Berkeley Unified School District has resulted in the loss of federal funding for some services and programs meant to help them. -more-


API Scores Show Growth For State, Berkeley Schools

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday May 28, 2009 - 06:56:00 PM

Although the 2008 Base Academic Performance Index (API) report released Thursday, May 21, shows progress for California’s public schools, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell warned that the mounting budget cuts to education could be a major threat to improving student achievement. -more-


Protesters Decry Proximity of Fast Food Outlets, Schools

By Rio Bauce Special to the Planet
Thursday May 28, 2009 - 06:56:00 PM

Ten Berkeley citizens and leaders of Corporate Accountability International (CAI) protested in front of McDonald’s in downtown Berkeley Tuesday to draw attention to the restaurant’s proximity to schools. -more-


Council Plans Budget Review; Election Fallout Still Unknown

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday May 28, 2009 - 06:56:00 PM

While Berkeley City Manager Phil Kamlarz has scheduled an update on the city’s budget for next Tuesday’s City Council meeting, that update will probably not include the impacts of last week’s defeats of ballot measures designed to plug holes in the state’s budget deficit. -more-


Special Election Results Impact Higher Education

By Rio Bauce Special to the Planet
Thursday May 28, 2009 - 06:57:00 PM

The defeat of five of the May 19 special election ballot initiatives means trouble for the economic future of California’s universities, colleges and community colleges. -more-


Berkeley Couple Challenges Prop. 8 in New Federal Lawsuit

By Bay City News
Thursday May 28, 2009 - 06:57:00 PM

In the wake of the California Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Proposition 8, the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, two couples are pursuing a new tactic with a federal court lawsuit. -more-


Police Arrest 150 in SF Protests

By Bay City News
Thursday May 28, 2009 - 06:58:00 PM

San Francisco police arrested at least 150 protesters on Tuesday after a large crowd blocked a major intersection in response to the state Supreme Court’s ruling upholding Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. -more-


Power Outage Hits 3,880 PG&E Users

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday May 28, 2009 - 06:58:00 PM

A power outage on the Berkeley-Oakland border near the Claremont Hotel darkened nearly 4,000 homes Wednesday, reports Pacific Gas & Electric. -more-


Biofuels Oasis Opens in South Berkeley

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday May 28, 2009 - 06:59:00 PM

It’s not a gas station, yet more than 2,000 people swear by it when it comes to refueling their cars in the East Bay. -more-


Berkeley High Opens Scheduling Meetings to Public

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday May 28, 2009 - 07:00:00 PM

Berkeley High School will allow the public to participate in meetings held by a committee charged with planning a new schedule for the high school, Berkeley Unified School District Superintendent Bill Huyett said Tuesday. -more-


City College Graduates Take Stage at Zellerbach

By Rio Bauce Special to the Planet
Thursday May 28, 2009 - 07:01:00 PM

Zellerbach Auditorium was filled to capacity Thursday, May 21, for Berkeley City College's 2009 graduation ceremony. -more-


Plan to Double West Berkeley Rail Lines Fades With Economy

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday May 28, 2009 - 07:01:00 PM

A plan to double the number of rail lines through West Berkeley has joined banks and car makers as a casualty of the economic crash. -more-


Police Arrest Third Suspect in Homicide Cases

Bay City News
Thursday May 28, 2009 - 07:02:00 PM

A third suspect in a May 16 triple homicide in the East Bay was arrested early Monday in Florida, Berkeley police announced today. -more-


Testimony Continues in Mehserle Hearing

Bay City News
Thursday May 28, 2009 - 07:02:00 PM

An Alameda County Superior Court judge said today he won’t allow witnesses to testify that they overheard former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle mention using his Taser stun gun before he fatally shot Oscar Grant III on New Year’s Day. -more-


First Person: More Thoughts on The Art of Aging

By Rose Green
Thursday May 28, 2009 - 07:02:00 PM

Al Winslow’s article “The Art of Aging” (Daily Planet, Dec. 10, 2008) inspired me to add my two cents to this important issue. -more-


First Person: O Say, Can We Sing?

By Mary Ford
Thursday May 28, 2009 - 07:04:00 PM

In Spring 2008 as I prepared to produce a fall choral concert benefiting Berkeley High School, I went looking for student singers to feature in the concert, only to painfully realize that hardly anyone knew who to ask. Berkeley High, a school of 3,300 kids, hadn’t had a choral arts program for three years, after having enjoyed as many as five separate choirs through the 1990s and early 2000s. California has been hovering at 48th place in state ranking for money spent per student. Choral arts had taken a big hit at Berkeley High. -more-