The Week

<b>Juneteenth Celebration in South Berkeley</b>
          Thousands gathered along Adeline Street in Berkeley Saturday to celebrate a joyous and peaceful Juneteenth. “It’s a wonderful, wonderful day,” said Berkeley City Councilmember Max Anderson, who was on hand to talk with his South Berkeley constituents. Visitors could shop, dine—the scent from one of the barbecue grills proved a consistent draw—as well as watch talented youngsters dance, or join them for a ride on a bright yellow slide. The holiday, which commemorates the day in 1865 when Texas slaves learned of their freedom, is officially celebrated on June 19, but the Berkeley event was held on Saturday so that working families could attend.
Richard Brenneman
Juneteenth Celebration in South Berkeley Thousands gathered along Adeline Street in Berkeley Saturday to celebrate a joyous and peaceful Juneteenth. “It’s a wonderful, wonderful day,” said Berkeley City Councilmember Max Anderson, who was on hand to talk with his South Berkeley constituents. Visitors could shop, dine—the scent from one of the barbecue grills proved a consistent draw—as well as watch talented youngsters dance, or join them for a ride on a bright yellow slide. The holiday, which commemorates the day in 1865 when Texas slaves learned of their freedom, is officially celebrated on June 19, but the Berkeley event was held on Saturday so that working families could attend.
 

News

BART Unions Vote to Strike

Bay City News
Wednesday June 24, 2009 - 01:57:00 PM

Two of BART’s three largest unions have voted to authorize a strike, but BART spokesman Linton Johnson said today that “it’s outrageous to even talk about a strike in these economic times.” -more-


Seniors, Disabled Take to Streets in SF to Protest State Budget Cuts

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday June 23, 2009 - 05:46:00 PM

More than 200 seniors and disabled citizens rallied at the San Francisco Civic Center Tuesday to protest cuts to social, elder and disability services, which they said would force them from their homes and into institutions. -more-


More Cuts On the Way for School District, Adult Education

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday June 22, 2009 - 05:05:00 PM

The Berkeley Board of Education approved more budget reductions at a board meeting Wednesday in response to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s May revision to the state budget. -more-


School District Convenes Committee to Address Drug, Alcohol Use at Berkeley High

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Saturday June 20, 2009 - 09:09:00 AM

In a push to reduce drug and alcohol use by Berkeley’s public school students, the Berkeley Unified School District will collaborate with the City of Berkeley government to form a committee by September to address the issue. -more-


West Berkeley, Housing, Signs Top Planning Commission Slate

By Richard Brenneman
Friday June 19, 2009 - 02:25:00 PM

Housing, West Berkeley and signs will be on the minds and lips of planning commissioners when they meet for their final June meeting Wednesday night, June 24. -more-


Man Pleads Guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter for 2006 Homicide

Bay City News
Friday June 19, 2009 - 02:24:00 PM

One of two men accused of murder for the 2006 death of a man who succumbed to a gunshot wound shortly after stumbling to the door of a University of California at Berkeley sorority house has pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter, a prosecutor said today. -more-


School Board Asks Berkeley High to Weigh in on School Governance Reform

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 09:49:00 PM

The Berkeley Board of Education will seek input from Berkeley High School before crafting any kind of policy seeking to reform its School Governance Council. -more-


Parent Complaints Prompt Berkeley High School Governance Realignment

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:41:00 PM

A Berkeley Board of Education policy subcommittee was scheduled to recommend realigning Berkeley High School’s Governance Council to make it more consistent with that of the district’s K-8 public schools at the board’s meeting, which took place yesterday, Wednesday, June 17, after the Planet went to print. A report on the meeting can be found at berkeleydailyplanet.com. -more-


County Supes Look for Ways to Close Budget Gap

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:43:00 PM

Facing a $177.6 million funding gap for the upcoming fiscal year, Alameda County Administrator Susan Muranishi has proposed a $2.4 billion county budget that makes severe cuts across all levels of county services. -more-


Students Protest Racism on Berkeley High School Campus

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:43:00 PM

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


Berkeley Animal Shelter Gets a New Home

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:44:00 PM
Mia Lancaster, 8; Elanie Cassero, 9; and Mirei Machiyma, 9, shake hands with Autumn, an 8-month-old red and white pitbull mix who was found in the basement of an abandoned house during a police raid in Albany three weeks ago. Her owner, the person who was squatting on the property, has not claimed her yet.

The Zoning Adjustments Board approved a use permit for a new facility for the Berkeley Animal Shelter Thursday, June 11. -more-


Bevatron Demolition Underway

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:36:00 PM

The unique igloo-domed Bevatron building at UC Berkeley is coming down, the closing chapter in a political battle between city activists and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). -more-


Commissioners Praise Plan for Center Street Pedestrian Plaza

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:38:00 PM

As plazas go, Walter Hood’s design was a great one, Berkeley planning commissioners seemed to agree last week. -more-


State Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Berkeley’s Assignment Plan

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:38:00 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-


West Berkeley Zoning Changes Stir Neighbor Concerns

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:33:00 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-


Richmond Toxic Oversight Panel Gets Mixed Message From State

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:35:00 PM

What began as a heated confrontation ended with qualified applause for the state’s top environmental cop during last week’s meeting of the citizen panel advising the state about the cleanup of toxic sites in South Richmond. -more-


Council to Vote on Final Budget June 23

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:35:00 PM

The Berkeley City Council is expected to give final approval to its 2010 and 2011 biennial budget at its meeting on Tuesday, June 23, although “final” is a relative term in the current economic times. With continued certainty that a final state budget package will include reductions in state revenue coming to Berkeley—as well as uncertainty over how much and in what areas—the council is expected to come back after the summer break to make adjustments after the full economic situation is known. -more-


Port Agrees to Seek Airport Connector Money

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:39:00 PM

Members of the Port of Oakland’s Board of Commissioners put off the toughest decision on the controversial BART Oakland Airport Connector (OAC) project for another day, agreeing on Tuesday, June 16, to apply for federal funds for the project but adding a provision to study a rapid bus alternative. -more-


Alameda County Reports Second Swine Flu Death

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:40:00 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-


Chancellor Warns of Hiring Freeze, Program and Wage Cuts for UCB

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:28:00 PM

Calling the current budget crisis “the most difficult financial situation that we have ever encountered in our university careers,” University of California Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer said this week in a general letter addressed to the campus community that the university is facing severe program and personnel cutbacks for the 2009-10 academic year. -more-


Fire Dept. Log

Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:30:00 PM

Fire de-ranged -more-


More Juneteenth Photos

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:44:00 PM

Clarification, Corrections

Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:11:00 PM

CLARIFICATION -more-


Opinion

Editorials

What’s Wrong With Downtown Berkeley, and How to Fix It

By Becky O’Malley
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:06:00 PM

A couple of sort-of-newby sort-of-techies have started a blog where others similarly situated have been pooling their enthusiasms for the many virtues of their new home in Berkeley. You can find out, for example, that there are 10 restaurants within walking distance of College and Ashby that are pretty darn good, and (there’s a connection) that houses in Elmwood (near the same corner) are pretty darn pricey. By and large, their excitement is sweetly touching, kind of like kids at Christmas. Santa’s left all this great stuff for us! -more-


Cartoons

Obsessed With Israel

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 02:44:00 PM

Public Comment

Readers Respond to ‘The Campaign Against the Daily Planet’

Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:09:00 PM

GUTSY INVESTIGATION -more-


Letters to the Editor

Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:47:00 PM

REACHING ACROSS THE AISLE -more-


Helping Berkeley’s Aging Homeless

By Judy Turiel
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:06:00 PM

Terry Kalahar’s job title as a City of Berkeley employee—Assistant Men-tal Health Clinician—tells you little about his job. You are likely to see him arrive at work in jeans, flannel shirt, heavy shoes, helmeted on his bicycle, which he parks inside a shared windowless office at one of the city’s senior centers. -more-


A Challenge to an Open, Public, In-Person Discussion

By Richard Fabry
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:07:00 PM

I found the Daily Planet’s in-depth coverage (June 4th edition) of the organized campaign to “reform” your newspaper or drive it out of business thought-provoking, disturbing, and a reflection of the conservative and fearful times we live in. -more-


United We Stand: Doing It the Berkeley Way

By Regan Richardson
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:08:00 PM

There are some shocking and disturbing misconceptions among some humans in Berkeley that desperately need to be debunked, among them: that any type of development is progress, no matter how inappropriate and ill-conceived; that Berkeley residents get special favors to protect them from said development; that Berkeley residents mysteriously do not have a right to participate in the process, that it is our responsibility to “get out of the way.” -more-


Columns

The Public Eye: Obama’s Honeymoon is Over

By Bob Burnett
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:04:00 PM

Five months after his inauguration, Barack Obama has finished his honeymoon period. Republicans attacked the president from day one, now there’s indication of pushback from Democrats, too. -more-


UnderCurrents: Don Perata Sets His Sights on Oakland

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:03:00 PM

Expressions of relief and joy from supporters of Don Perata were both understandable, expected, and proper in the wake of the decision by the United States Attorney’s office to drop their years-long corruption investigation of the former California State Senate President. Had an indictment gone forward, Mr. Perata faced, at the worst, possible jail time and heavy fines if convicted and, at the least, the end of any plans to run for mayor of Oakland in 2010. This is not a “full vindication” or “a complete affirmation … that I’ve acted appropriately in both my professional life and my career in public service,” as Mr. Perata asserted in a statement released immediately after the announcement, since U.S. attorneys—or federal juries, for that matter—cannot prove innocence of charges, they can only prove and decide guilt. Until then, by U.S. law, innocence is presumed, and needs no proof. Still, this is an enormous victory for Mr. Perata, and he and his supporters have earned the right to gloat. -more-


Wild Neighbors: Parasites Regained: The Case of the Beaver Mites

By Joe Eaton
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:01:00 PM
This beaver is home to a whole community of mites and beetles.

Some books change the way you see the world. Parasite Rex, by Carl Zimmer, was one of those for me—an account of life and evolution from a parasite’s perspective. (Marlene Zuk’s more recent Riddled with Life is also recommended.) One of the things I took away from it was how finely tuned host-parasite relationships can be. Many parasites, like the brown pelican pouch louse, are found only on a specific body part of a single host species. -more-


About the House: Aging In Place

By Matt Cantor
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:02:00 PM

I’m not sure how Led Zeppelin is going to sound to me when I’m 80 but I’m determined to find out. I really don’t mind the idea of getting older. Well, maybe I do mind some of the changes in my body, like my gradual waning of flexibility, the loss of my close-up vision and having to get up too often at night. Aging is annoying but I have no desire to be 14 again. I was miserable. I didn’t like myself. I had few friends and the world seemed terrifying. Age has opened my life more and more and the price of the trip is more than worth it. I understand that I will lose more and more of the capabilities that I used to take for granted but oh well. Better prepare for the road ahead. -more-


Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:14:00 PM

THURSDAY, JUNE 18 -more-


Jericho Road at the Hella Fresh Theater

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:12:00 PM

Lighthearted banter, a little bit of good-humored (if unwanted) advice and a few awkward moments open Jericho Road Improvement Association, seemingly the most unlikely of buddy comedies. -more-


La Fête de la Musique in Oakland

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:15:00 PM

For the longest day of the year, the Laurel Village Association in Oakland presents their fourth annual La Fête de la Musique, amateur and professional musicians playing in “unconventional public spaces” outdoors and in—the website features a photo of a barechested bassist in shades playing his upright, arco, in what looks like a parking lot—from 1 to 7 p. m. along MacArthur Boulevard in the Laurel neighborhood—and all for free. -more-


Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:16:00 PM

“Put on your zoot suit and feathered hat!” The Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus, with Swing Fever and Denise Perrier, is celebrating with its third annual cabaret, Cabaret Zoot Suit, this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, 5 p.m., in the Fellowship Hall of the First Christian Church of Oakland, 111 Fairmont Avenue. -more-


2009: A Space Oddity

By Gar Smith Special to the Planet
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:17:00 PM

How far would rampant capitalism go to exploit the worker? The Honeymooners’ Ralph Kramden had the answer: “To the moon, Alice! To the moon!” -more-


‘Villa Grimaldi’: a Film of Art and Exile

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:27:00 PM

Villa Grimaldi: Archaeology of Memory in Three Cantos, a documentary film by Berkeley producer and director Marilyn Mulford, follows Bay Area Chilean exile musician and writer Quique Cruz, traveling to Chile and back as he creates the multimedia masterwork of the title. The film—a healing task for Cruz and the other contributing artists, some of whom were victims of torture under the Pinochet regime—will be screened tonight, Thursday, June 18, at 7 p.m., and followed by a question-and-answer period with the filmmaker. The program is the latest in the Berkeley Filmmakers Screening Series, which is shown on the third Thursday of every month at the Saul Zaentz Media Center, in the third-floor screening room at the old Fantasy Films and Records Building, 2600 Tenth Street, where Fantasy Studios remains part of the community. -more-


Around the East Bay: Courtney Big Band at Yoshi's

Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:13:00 PM

The late Junius Courtney, trumpeter and vocalist, came west to Berkeley from New Orleans in 1945, founding a number of East Bay combos that broke the color bar. He played society and country club functions before establishing his Big Band in 1966, which long remained a staple at the Shattuck Hotel. Courtney Big Band veteran trumpeter and arranger George “Jazzbeaux” Spencer (also formerly with John Handy and Johnny Otis) now directs the band with the founder’s son, Nat Courtney, on drums and occasional vocals. SF Jazz Heritage Hall of Fame inductee trumpeter Frank Fisher, Cal Tjader alumnus Terry Hilliard on bass, and longtime Courtney pianist Roberta Mandel count for just a few of the 18-member veteran orchestra that makes its long overdue Yoshi’s debut. Bay Area favorite Denise Perrier sings. Monday evening, June 22, at 8 p.m. for The Arrangers’ Showcase. $14. 238-9200; www.yoshis. com. -more-


About the House: Aging In Place

By Matt Cantor
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:02:00 PM

I’m not sure how Led Zeppelin is going to sound to me when I’m 80 but I’m determined to find out. I really don’t mind the idea of getting older. Well, maybe I do mind some of the changes in my body, like my gradual waning of flexibility, the loss of my close-up vision and having to get up too often at night. Aging is annoying but I have no desire to be 14 again. I was miserable. I didn’t like myself. I had few friends and the world seemed terrifying. Age has opened my life more and more and the price of the trip is more than worth it. I understand that I will lose more and more of the capabilities that I used to take for granted but oh well. Better prepare for the road ahead. -more-


Community Calendar

Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:17:00 PM

THURSDAY, JUNE 18 -more-