News

West Berkeley Zoning Changes Stir Concerns from Neighbors

By Richard Brenneman
Monday June 15, 2009 - 10:49:00 PM

With changes in West Berkeley zoning rules on the Planning Commission’s slate, residents of the area say they want a seat at the stakeholders’ table. -more-


Students Protest Racism on Berkeley High Campus

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday June 12, 2009 - 09:23:00 AM

At Wednesday’s Berkeley Board of Education meeting, about 20 Berkeley High School students protested what they called campus racism. -more-


State Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Berkeley’s Assignment Plan

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 05:56:00 PM

The state Supreme Court Wednesday rejected a challenge to Berkeley Unified School District’s student assignment plan, upholding a March appellate court decision and paving the way for other school districts to replicate it. -more-


Second Swine Flu Death in Alameda County

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 05:04:00 PM

Alameda County public health officials announced the county’s second swine flu death Thursday. A middle-aged man who had been hospitalized for pre-existing health conditions died two days after the first death was reported. -more-


South Berkeley Crime Has Neighbors Outraged

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 07:23:00 PM
Two young girls were injured when gunfire pierced the glass of the Oregon Street bedroom where they slept.

A day after two children were injured when the house in which they were sleeping came under a barrage of gunfire, it looked like everything was back to normal in their South Berkeley neighborhood. -more-


County Reports First Swine Flu Death

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 07:29:00 PM

Alameda County reported its first swine flu death Tuesday, June 9, a middle-aged man who tested positive for the H1N1 virus and had pre-existing chronic health conditions. -more-


UC’s Downtown Hotel Project Stalls

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 07:52:00 PM

The flagging economy has already stopped—at least for the moment—one of the two tallest new buildings planned for downtown Berkeley. -more-


Zoning Board Considers New Site for Animal Shelter

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 07:53:00 PM
The kennels at the current Berkeley Animal Shelter.

It’s been a long time coming. And if the city’s Zoning Adjustments Board gives the green signal Thursday, June 11, the Berkeley Animal Shelter will have a new home after a decade-long battle. -more-


Council Moves Forward With Bates-Maio Downtown Plan Proposals

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 07:53:00 PM

The Berkeley City Council moved several steps closer to a finished Downtown Area Plan late Tuesday night, approving on a 6-2-1 vote a proposal by Mayor Tom Bates and Councilmember Linda Maio to modify the Planning Commission’s version of the plan and bringing in elements from the Downtown Area Plan Advisory Commission (DAPAC) version. But rather than building a full council consensus on the final plan, a majority-minority council split appeared to be widening, and at least one councilmember—a visibly agitated Jesse Arreguín—pounded his palm on the podium and said that the method in which the plan deliberations were being handled might force him to vote against the Downtown Area Plan in the end. -more-


City May Raise Fees in Light of State Cutbacks

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 07:54:00 PM

In what Mayor Tom Bates called “a sobering update,” City of Berkeley Budget Manager Tracy Vesely told the City Council Tuesday night that proposed cutbacks in state funds being discussed in Sacramento could cost Berkeley as much as $8.2 million in the upcoming fiscal year. -more-


University Makes First Moves To Raze Public Health Building

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 07:54:00 PM

UC Berkeley has taken the first step toward demolition of one of the city center’s biggest buildings, the 120,000-square-foot, eight-story former home of the state Department of Health Services. -more-


Chevron Defeated in CEQA Lawsuit; Richmond Refinery Plans in Doubt

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 07:55:00 PM

Chevron’s environmental study of a proposed expansion of their Richmond refinery received a fatal blow Friday at the hands of a Martinez judge. -more-


State Fines UC, Zeneca for Richmond Toxics Disposal

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 07:55:00 PM

The state has fined UC Berkeley and an international agropharmaceutical corporation a total of $510,000 for illegally disposing of toxic waste in Richmond, prompting outrage from Sherry Padgett, the woman who has spearheaded the battle to clean up the sites, because the total penalties for illegal disposal of more than 3,000 truckloads of soils contaminated with deadly organic chemicals and poisonous metals work out to less than $170 a load. -more-


Daily Planet Wins Two Peninsula Press Club Awards

Thursday June 11, 2009 - 07:56:00 PM

The Daily Planet won two awards in the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club’s 2008 annual Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards dinner, held June 6 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City. -more-


Obata Studio Is Newest City Landmark

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 07:56:00 PM
Artist Chiura Obata’s studio on Telegraph Ave.

The Berkeley Landmarks Preservation Commission voted 5–3 Thursday, June 4, to designate renowned artist Chiura Obata’s former studio on Telegraph Avenue a landmark. -more-


Crime in Berkeley Down Slightly in the First Quarter

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Saturday June 13, 2009 - 07:57:00 PM

Outgoing Berkeley Police Chief Douglas Hambleton told the City Council Tuesday night that the number of violent crimes in Berkeley had a small drop in the first quarter of 2009 and serious property crimes an even larger drop, something the chief called “a hopeful sign.” -more-


EBMUD Approves Two-Year Rate Increase

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 07:58:00 PM

The East Bay Municipal Utility District on Tuesday, June 9, adopted a two-year budget amidst financial constraints which will raise rates by 7.5 percent for each of the next two years. -more-


Corrections

Thursday June 11, 2009 - 07:58:00 PM

The first names of both Bill Fujimoto (Page Nine) and Rev. Mark Wilson (Page One) were botched in the June 4 edition. We regret the errors. -more-


Fire Department Log

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 07:59:00 PM

Fireworked -more-


Two Assaults Cap Busy Day for Berkeley Police

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 08:00:00 PM

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


Berkeley Pedestrian Killed by Amtrak Train

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 08:00:00 PM

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


Tiny Quake Strikes Beneath El Cerrito

Thursday June 11, 2009 - 08:00:00 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-


MediaNews’ East Bay Papers Ratify Union Contract

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 08:01:00 PM

Pressed by repeated waves of downsizings, Bay Area journalists have been giving up pay, benefits and one of the hardest-won icons of the labor movement: pay differentials based on years of experience. -more-


Police Still Looking for Last Suspect in West Berkeley Homicide

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 08:01:00 PM
Rafael Campbell.

Authorities are looking for the last suspect wanted in connection with the murder of Berkeley resident Charles Davis, Berkeley police announced Tuesday, June 9. -more-


Hurrah for Weeds

By Shirley Barker Special to the Planet
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 07:12:00 PM

Recently, as I read for and against comments in the Daily Planet concerning the restoration of the meadow at Berkeley’s marina, I realized my feelings were mixed. There is no question that the fenced trails that cross the meadow already show protection for the jack rabbits and other wild creatures that have struggled to survive there for decades. Wet areas when restoration is finished will doubtless attract migrating birds and aquatic life. -more-