Reporting the Bad News

By Becky O'Malley
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 06:47:00 PM

At a farmers’ market, we sat down to share a table with a mother and two small children. The little girl, who looked to be about 3, or perhaps a clever 2 and a half, announced that my companion had “a big white beard!” -more-


John Gertz and Dan Spitzer

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 08:21:00 PM

Arnold and the State Parks

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 08:17:00 PM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Tuesday June 16, 2009 - 11:45:00 AM

SALES TAX -more-

Readers Respond to ‘The Campaign Against the Daily Planet’

Thursday June 11, 2009 - 07:06:00 PM


A Frightful Decision for Downtown

By Dave Blake
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 06:57:00 PM

Tuesday night the City Council, led by Councilmember Maio and Mayor Bates, adopted guidance for staff to craft a Downtown Area Plan that will open the downtown up to the hugest extensive expansion, both up to the sky (and a bit beyond), and outward into the neighborhoods, in the city’s history. The plan, proposed by Councilmember Maio (District 1), creates incentives for two 225-foot (20-story-plus) hotels and a 180-foot office or residential structure, and extends the downtown area buildable to 85 feet to Dwight to the south, MLK to the west, and north to Hearst. UC, which isn’t technically bound by the city’s zoning, has always agreed to adhere to the city’s zoning limits in principle, and by this plan will be free to build any additional buildings that fit those general guidelines (that is, hotels to 225 feet and office or residential buildings to 180 feet.) -more-

The Costs of a Berkeley High School Graduation Ceremony

By Judson H. Owens
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 06:59:00 PM

As of late I have read a number of articles regarding the expenses for the Graduation of Berkeley High School at the UC Hearst Greek Theater. With over 30 years of experience (1974-2005) assisting, producing and directing the production of the graduation at the Greek Theater, I believe I can speak with some authority. -more-

The War on Medi-Cal

By Anne Richardson
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 06:59:00 PM

Nine years ago, Medi-Cal saved my life. I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and could not pay for my care. Medi-Cal covered two surgeries, two hospital overnights, two diagnostic outpatient visits, an examination and consultation with a prominent oncologist, and the coordinative work and monitoring laboratory work of my primary care provider, who was proactive throughout the experience. My surgeon operated twice, because the foci of cancer in the second lobe were submicroscopic at the time of the first surgery, and he concluded from the slides he examined microscopically that this lobe was healthy. It is good surgical practice not to perform a complete thyroidectomy, when one lobe can remain and do the work of both. When, months later, the foci of carcinoma in the remaining lobe became microscopic, it was clear that this lobe, too, needed to be removed. I asked this well-thought-of young surgeon what motivated him to do such conscientious work for such a low rate of reimbursement under Medi-Cal, and he said, “ love.” Those were the high and palmy days of Medi-Cal, when increasing numbers of specialists were not taking Medi-Cal patients but the perception was, still, that the best doctors considered such a denial of service unconscionable. -more-

Morning Scramble: Reflections on Courtroom Conditions At Mehserle’s Trial

By Bisola Marignay
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 07:01:00 PM

Preliminary hearing were resumed today (June 2) at the Alameda County Courthouse for Johannes Mehserle, the Bart police officer who shot and killed Oscar Grant, Jan. 1, 2009. And I was up at 6:30 this morning preparing to leave and get to the courthouse by 7:30, even though, I live only 10 walking minutes away from it. But the courtroom has seating for only 27 people. So, getting there early to stand in line is part of the ritual of doing one’s civic duty to support the implementation of justice. -more-

Governor Should Rethink Cal Grant Cuts

By Ilene Abrams
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 07:02:00 PM

Gov. Schwarzenegger’s freeze of the Cal Grant, the state’s primary college financial aid program for low-income students, and his plan to eliminate it in its entirety is both short-sighted and cruel. It backtracks on the promise to make higher education available to all eligible students. Republicans who have signed a pledge to never raise taxes are in fact cynically taxing those who can least afford it, low income students, by increasing fees and rescinding grants. -more-

Insurance Coverage Should Be Available for Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified

By Natasha Kim
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 07:04:00 PM

In 1996, California mandated that insurance cover anorexia and bulimia, but excluded Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS). This policy should change to include EDNOS coverage, as the current information readily available about EDNOS invalidates the original policy’s oversights. -more-

Police Put Community At Risk

By Larissa Cummings
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 07:05:00 PM

As a resident of South Berkeley I am outraged that the Berkeley Police Department claims its recent high-speed police pursuits were “by the book.” Just weeks ago, two innocent people were killed as a result of BPD engaging in a high-speed chase down heavily populated neighborhood streets into a major corridor. This is not unprecedented; it is increasing. Our community has been victimized by these tactics numerous times over many years. It needs to stop. -more-

Pacifica’s Financial Crisis: Part II

By Richard Phelps
Thursday June 11, 2009 - 07:05:00 PM

Brian Edwards-Tiekert starts his reply to my original commentary (May 14) by calling me “delusional,” after saying he is not prone to hyperbole, which he then uses throughout his reply. -more-