News

The Campaign Against the Daily Planet

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:17:00 AM

A few East Bay individuals are threatening to bankrupt the Berkeley Daily Planet unless it stops publishing criticisms of Israel’s policies and actions—opinions and ideas they brand “anti-Semitic.” -more-


Sidebar: ‘Kill the Cops, Kill the Jews,’ and Other Fabricated Quotes

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:11:00 AM

“Kill the cops, Kill the Jews,” screams the dpwatchdog headline, adding “The First Amendment as the Last Refuge of Scoundrels.” -more-


Sidebar: Red Scare: Conn Hallinan

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:15:00 AM

John Gertz has singled out Daily Planet columnist Conn Hallinan for an extra measure of rancor, resorting to red-baiting when all else fails. -more-


Sidebar: Strange Bedfellows

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:16:00 AM

FLAME’s founder and president is octogenarian Holocaust survivor Gerardo Joffe. In 1967, Joffe founded Haverhill’s, a mail order firm that has advertised heavily in both liberal magazines—including The Nation—as well as conservative magazines such as National Review. -more-


Sidebar: Will the Real Dan Spitzer Please Stand Up?

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:12:00 AM

Responding in December 2007 to a critic who had questioned his journalistic credentials in the East Bay Express letters column, Spitzer called the critic lazy , then cited “the Google index in which my name is referenced 1,340,000 times.” Note that Spitzer said “in which my name is referenced,” not “in which I am referenced.” -more-


Sidebar: Two Refusals

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:10:00 AM

Both Jim Sinkinson and Dan Spitzer declined to be interviewed for this article. -more-


Sidebar: Sanne DeWitt and the Israel Action Committee of the East Bay

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:11:00 AM

A man identifying himself as “Dan Patterson” walked into South Berkeley’s Vault Cafe recently and brandished a letter in the face of proprietor Houishi Ghaderi which threatened consequences for any business which continued to advertise in the Daily Planet, -more-


Sidebar: The Arianpour Affair, and Other Controversies

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:16:00 AM

Though most reader submissions the Daily Planet has published on the Israel-Palestine conflict have been based on legal and moral arguments, the Aug. 8, 2006, reader-submitted commentary by Kurosh Arianpour crossed a critical threshold, perceived by many as extending beyond a criticism of Israel and its supporters to an attack on all Jews. -more-


Police Still Looking for Last Suspect in West Berkeley Homicide

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday June 09, 2009 - 03:28:00 PM
Rafael Campbell.

Authorities are looking for the last suspect wanted in connection with the murder of Berkeley resident Charles Davis. -more-


First Swine Flu Death Reported in Alameda County

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday June 09, 2009 - 03:28:00 PM

Alameda County reported its first swine flu death Tuesday, a middle-aged man who tested positive for the H1N1 virus and had pre-existing chronic health conditions. -more-


Obata Studio Designated a Landmark

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday June 08, 2009 - 04:47:00 PM
The former studio of Japanese-American artist Chiura Obata was granted landmark status by Berkeley's Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The Berkeley Landmarks Preservation Commission voted 5-3 Thursday night to designate renowned artist Chiura Obata’s former studio on Telegraph Avenue a landmark. -more-


City Council Will Consider Telecommunications Master Plan, Downtown Plan

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Monday June 08, 2009 - 02:42:00 PM

The Berkeley City Council will consider creating a Wireless Telecommunications Master Plan Tuesday night. But with the budget stretched and planning staff busy with other major projects, this one may be put on the back burner. -more-


Tiny Quake Strikes Beneath El Cerrito

By Richard Brenneman
Monday June 08, 2009 - 02:41:00 PM

A mild earthquake sent a seismic shudder across the East Bay Saturday afternoon, rating a modest 3.2 on U.S. Geological Survey seismometers. -more-


Flash: Two Girls Recovering after South Berkeley Shooting

By Bay City News, Special to the Planet
Sunday June 07, 2009 - 07:06:00 PM

Two girls are being treated at a hospital today after they were shot in a Berkeley home this morning, a police spokeswoman said. -more-


MediaNews' East Bay Papers Ratify Union Contract

By Richard Brenneman
Saturday June 06, 2009 - 08:17:00 AM

Media News Union Vote -more-


Planners to See Designs for Center Street Plaza

By Richard Brenneman
Saturday June 06, 2009 - 08:15:00 AM

Berkeley planning commissioners are scheduled for lots of talk and no action this week. -more-


West Berkeley Pedestrian Killed by Amtrak Train

By Richard Brenneman
Saturday June 06, 2009 - 08:04:00 AM

A pedestrian who apparently leapt in front of an Amtrak passenger train in West Berkeley Thursday morning was fatally injured, according to railroad spokesperson Vernae Graham. -more-


Two Assault Cases Cap Officers’ Busy Tuesday

By Richard Brenneman
Saturday June 06, 2009 - 08:09:00 AM

A pair of assaults kept Berkeley Police hopping in the hours after a massive manhunt in South Berkeley Tuesday. -more-


Black Oak Books Moves Out

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 06:55:00 AM
The shelves are empty at Black Oak Books.

Shattuck Avenue lost an icon Sunday. -more-


Police Find Shooting Suspect in South Berkeley Dumpster

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 06:58:00 AM
The Berkeley Police Department SWAT team searches for an armed suspect near the corner of Shattuck and Ashby avenues.

After a high-speed car chase and a lengthy search Tuesday afternoon, police found the man suspected of firing shots from a vehicle in West Berkeley earlier that day. -more-


City Council Approves Climate Action Plan

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 06:59:00 AM

The Berkeley City Council moved forward on its two major policy initiatives Tuesday night, giving unanimous approval to a slightly amended version of the Climate Action Plan (CAP) and holding its first public hearing on the Downtown Area Plan (DAP) before giving suggestions to staff for possible changes. -more-


News Analysis: A Tale of Two Downtown Plans

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 10:08:00 AM

The two downtown plans before the City Council offer two conflicting visions, one defined by the dream of a “green,” human-scale city center, the other by the developers’ high-rise imperatives. -more-


Students Show Decline in SAT Scores, Gains In AP Scores

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:00:00 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-


Christian Minister Fights for Gay Marriage

By Paul Gackle, Special to the Planet
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:12:00 AM
Rev. Mark Wilson.

Rev. Mark Wilson’s eyes were misty and his lower lip was curled as he stood on the steps of the San Francisco Civic Center in front of hundreds of same-sex marriage supporters on Tuesday, May 26. Just a few hours earlier, the California Supreme Court had issued a 6–1 ruling upholding Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that amended the state constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. -more-


Fujimotos Bid Adieu to Monterey Market

Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:14:00 AM
Bill and Judy Fujimoto.

About 200 North Berkeley shoppers gathered along California Street across from Monterey Market Wednesday afternoon to bid a fond farewell to Bill and Judy Fujimoto, who are leaving the business his father built. The Fujimotos specialized in buying fruits and produce from growers they cultivated. And unlike another popular Berkeley grocer, Monterey Market under their leadership often invited its customers to taste before they bought—without the threat of lifetime banishment. -more-


Counselors Hit Hard by School District Cuts

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:00:00 AM

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-


Willard Student Crime Sparks Community Meeting

By Rio Bauce, Special to the Planet
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:02:00 AM

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-


Daily Planet Wins Three East Bay Press Club Awards

Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:02:00 AM

Berkeley Daily Planet staffers won three prizes at the 2008 East Bay Press Club Journalism Awards dinner Friday, May 29. -more-


UC Berkeley Scrambles to Find New Police Chief

By Rio Bauce, Special to the Planet
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:03:00 AM

Since UC Berkeley Police Chief Victoria Harrison announced in early March that she would be leaving the force on July 31 after 19 years of service, administrators have been scurrying to find her replacement. -more-


School Board Raises Meal Prices

By Rio Bauce, Special to the Planet
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:04:00 AM

In response to state budget cuts, the Berkeley Board of Education voted unanimously at its May 27 meeting to increase the price of all school lunches by 25 cents effective July 1. The price increase would not affect students who receive free or reduced-price lunches. -more-


Landmarks Commission Considers Pre-WWII Building From Berkeley’s Japantown

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:05:00 AM

A piece of pre-World War II history from Berkeley’s lost Japantown will come before the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission Thursday, June 4. -more-


Campaign Launched in Opposition To Elimination of Cal Grants

By Rio Bauce, Special to the Planet
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:07:00 AM

In response to the governor’s proposed elimination of the Cal Grant for incoming freshmen, Berkeley High School students and administrators are launching a campaign to convince state legislators otherwise. -more-


BART Fare Increase Takes Effect July 1

Bay City News
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:08:00 AM

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


Campanile Undergoes Restoration

By Rio Bauce, Special to the Planet
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:09:00 AM

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-


Fire Department Log

By Richard Brenneman By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:10:00 AM

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-


Remembering Claire Burch

By Lydia Gans, Special to the Planet
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:12:00 AM
Claire Burch, seen here interviewing a man at People’s Park, was rarely seen without a video camera in hand.

Claire Burch died May 21 at the age of 84. A tiny woman with a video camera always in hand, she was a familiar figure in People’s Park and on Telegraph Avenue. -more-


Planners Approve Easing of Downtown Business Permits

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:15:00 AM

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-


Port Commissioners Postpone Vote on BART Airport Connector

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:13:00 AM

The president of the Port of Oakland Board of Commissioners abruptly removed an agenda item proposing port funding for BART’s Oakland Airport Connector this week, only hours before commissioners were due to consider it, but a spokesperson for the port said that the action was no indication that there was any problem with commission approval of the item. -more-


AC Transit Takes First Step Toward Bus Line Cuts

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:16:00 AM

Officials of the AC Transit bus agency took the first step this week that they project will end with the elimination or reduction of bus lines within the two-county district sometime later this year. -more-