Editorial: ‘Part of Being a Good Friend Is Being Honest’

By Becky O'Malley
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:04:00 AM

Why did the Planet devote so much space this week to chronicling the misbegotten crusade of a few unpleasant twerps to destroy this paper? Many friends and family members have counseled us just to ignore them, in the hope that they’d eventually slink off into the shadows whence they came. -more-


Harrassing Advertisers

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 10:28:00 AM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:06:00 AM


Is the Berkeley Ferry Cost-Effective?

By Paul Kamen
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:07:00 AM

Is the Berkeley ferry cost-effective? Of course not, as a recent letter to the editor by David Fielder demonstrates. Without even considering operating costs, just the capitalization of the boats, terminal and parking structure amount to about $8 per ride. Ferries are never cost-effective when there’s already a bridge and a tunnel spanning the same body of water. -more-

Why Local Newspapers Matter

By Glenn Scherer
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:07:00 AM

This February, Denver’s Rocky Mountain News died. In March, The Tucson Citizen followed. Meanwhile hundreds of other American newspapers reduced staff and declared themselves in significant economic trouble. -more-

Berkeley Low-Income Rental Housing Not Necessarily Affordable

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:07:00 AM

The U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program was established in 1974. It provides project-based and tenant-based housing assistance to low-income persons who rent. It has been one of the best possible uses of federal funds, because it countermands need for costly welfare-type expenditures. For example, sheltering seniors and persons with “certain disabilities” with low incomes who are willing, able, and eager to live independently. (Most low-income seniors are not frail and do not need costly “assisted living.”) When you and your landlord qualify under Section 8 for tenant-based housing assistance, you pay one third of your income for rent, and the balance subsidized. -more-

Two Torture Tentacles

By Marvin Chachere
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:08:00 AM

In 2004 a senior advisor in the Bush White House made this incredible remark to Ron Suskind: “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality” (New York Times, “Without Doubt,” Oct. 17), thereby updating Nixon’s famous remark to David Frost, “When the President does it that means it is not illegal” (1977). -more-

New Leadership in Pacifica Radio

By Daniel Borgström
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:08:00 AM

After years of stumbling leadership, Pacifica radio has new people in key positions: LaVarn Williams, formerly a local board member here at KPFA, is now the interim chief financial officer (CFO); Ricardo de Anda is the interim general counsel; and Grace Aaron, now the interim executive director (ED), oversees the five-station network. -more-

Underground Berkeley Utility Wires for a Safer City

By Pamela Doolan
Thursday June 04, 2009 - 07:08:00 AM

Since the installation of overhead wires for technology and cable television, the old telephone poles of Berkeley are heavily overloaded causing a public safety hazard and visible blight. The city of Berkeley needs to join the 21st century and countless other California communities up and down the state by putting utility wires throughout the entire city underground. -more-