The Week

Mojgan Deldari reads from Farsi poet Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh to Darya Massih and Lily Namdaran.
By Riya Bhattacharjee
Mojgan Deldari reads from Farsi poet Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh to Darya Massih and Lily Namdaran.
 

News

Albany Woman Killed Friday By Amtrak Train in Berkeley

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday July 07, 2009 - 09:53:00 PM

A 69-year-old Albany woman died early Friday afternoon when she was struck by an Amtrak passenger train just north of the Berkeley Amtrak station. -more-


Flames Force Evacuation of Russell Street Apartments

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday July 07, 2009 - 04:20:00 PM
A firefighter tosses a shovelful of broken wallboard out the window of a third-floor apartment in the 2300 block of Russell Street Tuesday afternoon. Layers of aluminum, melted by the intense flames, formed metallic icicles visible on the drainpipe and the bottom of the window frame.

Flames gutted most of the interior of two third-floor Berkeley apartments Tuesday as firefighters and neighbors worked to evacuate tenants. -more-


Richmond Man Convicted of Murder for Fatal Berkeley Shooting

Bay City News
Tuesday July 07, 2009 - 04:46:00 PM

A Richmond man was convicted today of first-degree murder and attempted second-degree robbery for the shooting death of 23-year-old Wayne Drummond of Oakland near the University of California at Berkeley campus three years ago. -more-


Judge Halts Chevron's Richmond Refinery Expansion

By Richard Brenneman
Monday July 06, 2009 - 06:01:00 PM

Chevron must stop all work on expanding its Richmond refinery until a new project environmental review is completed and approved, a Contra Costa County judge has ruled. -more-


Hearing Scheduled For Oakland Contractor Arrested For Underpaying Immigrant Workers

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Monday July 06, 2009 - 03:13:00 PM

A July 20 hearing has been scheduled in Alameda County Superior Court in Hayward for a prominent Oakland general contractor arrested in an alleged scheme to defraud workers and illegally lower her company’s insurance rates. -more-


Trial in Telegraph Avenue Murder Nears End in Oakland Courtroom

Bay City News
Monday July 06, 2009 - 03:12:00 PM

A prosecutor told jurors today that a Richmond man should be convicted of murder for shooting an Oakland man during a confrontation and an attempted robbery outside a Berkeley bar three years ago. -more-


Two Wednesday Meetings Focus on City Land Use

By Richard Brenneman
Monday July 06, 2009 - 03:10:00 PM

Berkeleyans concerned about land issues may have a tough time choosing which city meeting to attend Wednesday night. -more-


Golestan Kids

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 09:34:00 AM

Iran is always on the minds of students and teachers at Berkeley’s Golestan Kids, but more so than usual in recent weeks. The adults at this Iranian culture, language and education program—perhaps the only one of its kind in the country—are busy teaching preschoolers about Iranian culture during the day and anxiously monitoring the news from Iran at night. -more-


School District Reduces Bus Services

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 09:35:00 AM

State budget cuts to education will force more parents to take responsibility for dropping off and picking up their children from Berkeley’s 11 public elementary schools starting in August. -more-


East Bay Green Corridor Meeting Long on Talk, Short on Details

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 09:36:00 AM
Mayors, university and college administrators, city officials and entrepreneurs gathered at the Oakland Museum of California to discuss the East Bay Green Corridor.

If it’s not easy being green, as Kermit the Frog famously sang, it’s getting easier in the East Bay—at least for businesses spawning clean, green tech and for programs that train workers how to use it. -more-


School Board Approves New Contract for Teachers

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 09:37:00 AM

The Berkeley Board of Education approved a two-year contract between the Berkeley Unified School District and the Berkeley Federation of Teachers at the board’s June 24 meeting. -more-


Unions Challenge UC President’s Proposed Pay Cuts

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 09:38:00 AM

With California caught in financial turmoil, the University of California wants its employees to share the pain. -more-


AC Transit Gives Public First Look at Line Cuts

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 09:39:00 AM

AC Transit took its first steps June 24 toward implementing a December districtwide bus service cut. The bus district held a public board workshop to reveal the first details of its plan and set a Sept. 9 date for a formal public hearing. -more-


Bus Rapid Transit Advisory Committee Recommends Consolidating Stops

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 09:40:00 AM

AC Transit’s Policy Steering Committee has approved the bus district’s plan to consolidate station stops along the route of its prosped Bus Rapid Transit route in principle, but made it plain that any decisions on setting aside dedicated bus lanes must go to the governing bodies of the affected cities. -more-


School Board Approves Sixth St. Property Sale, Berkeley High Late-Start Mondays

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 09:41:00 AM

The Berkeley Board of Education approved the lease and sale of its Sixth Street property to the City of Berkeley at the June 24 School Board meeting in exchange for a two-year lease of Old City Hall. -more-


Downtown Development Tops Council Agenda

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 09:42:00 AM

Development of downtown Berkeley will be much on the minds of Berkeley City Council as they meet Tuesday, July 7, for the next-to-last meeting before the summer break. On the agenda is certification of the environmental impact report and adoption of the Downtown Area Plan. -more-


Westside ‘Fast Track’ Proposal Draws Ire

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 09:43:00 AM

West Berkeley residents and business owners voiced their concerns to planning commissioners Wednesday, June 24, about proposals to ease development rules on larger parcels in Berkeley’s only industrial area. -more-


Planning Commission Ponders Housing Law Update

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 09:48:00 AM

Mandated by state law to analyze the city’s Housing Element, a key section of the city’s General Plan, for constraints on building new housing, Berkeley Deputy Planning and Development Director Wendy Cosin couldn’t find any. -more-


Zoning Board Approves Housing Projects for Homeless

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 09:49:00 AM

The Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board on Thursday, June 25, approved use permits for two new residential projects that plan to make use of President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus funds to provide affordable housing for homeless youth and low-income seniors. -more-


Fate of Wareham’s Bioscience Lab To Be Decided

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 09:49:00 AM

After months of deliberation, Berkeley’s Zoning Adjustments Board and Landmarks Preservation Commission will meet Thursday, July 2, at the City Hall Chambers to decide the fate of Wareham’s proposed biosciences lab at 740 Heinz St., the site of the landmarked Copra Warehouse. -more-


UC Berkeley Seeks Bids for Stadium Renovation

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 09:50:00 AM

UC Berkeley has just issued a call for bids from builders for the $190 million “seismic safety improvement” overhaul of Memorial Stadium. -more-


Arson Blaze Devastates South Berkeley Duplex

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 09:51:00 AM

A two-alarm arson fire caused nearly $200,000 in damage to a South Berkeley home early Saturday evening, the first in a series of three arsons on the same street that evening. -more-


Elderly Pedestrian Struck by Vehicle

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 09:52:00 AM

A 79-year-old man, recently arrived from Iran, was seriously injured Monday night, June 29, when he stepped into traffic on Gilman Street. -more-


Ted Vincent 1936-2009

By Paul Gackle, Special to the Planet
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 09:53:00 AM
Ted Vincent.

Family and friends of the late Ted Vincent will remember him as a loving family-man, a selfless teacher, a natural entertainer and a devoted egalitarian, but for Berkeley and the rest of the world his legacy will rest in his five published books and the untold history he uncovered. -more-


Opinion

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday July 02, 2009 - 10:00:00 AM

THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST -more-


Commentary: Why You Should Support the Proposed Refuse Rate Increase

By Kent Lewandowski
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 10:01:00 AM

There are two primary reasons that environmentalists support the 20 percent refuse rate increase currently proposed in Berkeley. -more-


Commentary: A Brief Update on Iran

By Sally Williams
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 10:02:00 AM

Ralph Stone knows his 20th century Iranian history (“Reflections of the Iranian Election,” June 25), but we discovered some new concerns from Iranians when we went there this past April. We expected Iranians to dislike Americans because of our involvement in the coup that Stone described that put the Shah back into power in 1953 and caused the take-over of the American Embassy in 1979. We found that Iranians like Americans and have concerns about the American government just as we like Iranians and have concerns about their government. -more-


Commentary: Why We Need the Employee Free Choice Act

By John Logan
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 10:02:00 AM

The Employee Free Choice Act, one of the most bitterly contested bills currently facing Congress, would strengthen workers’ right to choose a union and bargain with their employers over issues of wages and benefits. When making the case for this landmark legislation, its supporters often point to the actions of the country’s most aggressively anti-union employers. And there are plenty of good examples to go round. According to a report just released by Cornell University, both legal and illegal anti-union tactics have become much more widespread in recent years. -more-


Commentary: City Needs to Rethink Emergency Services Hierarchy

By Martin J. Alperen
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 10:03:00 AM

Berkeley is about to implement a wrong decision that will impact its emergency services for decades. Specifically, my comments are about the placement of the emergency services coordinator (ESC) within the City of Berkeley hierarchy, i.e., as a third level reporting employee of the Fire Department—and the restrictive role of emergency services that such positioning supports. -more-


Columns

Dispatches From The Edge: Of North Korea; Lebanon’s Vote; Irish Shame

By Conn Hallinan
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 09:55:00 AM

Most Americans think of North Korea as a nation of belligerent crazy people with a political succession system more akin to the 15th century than the 21st. Indeed, it is a repressive place, with a bizarre personality cult, but the United States, Japan, and South Korea share much of the blame for the current crisis over nuclear weapons and long-range missiles. -more-


Undercurrents: Finding Other Lines of Discussion About East Bay Crime

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 09:57:00 AM

One of the iconic call-and-response chants of the hip-hop world comes when a rapper shouts out to the audience, “Somebody make some noise!” It’s a phrase often overlooked by both the hip-hop youth themselves and any adult observers who might come across such an event while flipping channels, but it has a deep and profound meaning. Almost every human born to this world wants to be noticed, wants to make some noise. In many cases, that is all they ask of society and the people around them. And when they cannot get recognition for their place in the world in the accepted ways, they find other—less acceptable—means to make the point. -more-


Wild Neighbors: Force of Nature: How Beavers Build the World

By Joe Eaton
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 09:58:00 AM
 One of several dams built by the beaver family in residence in Martinez.

Although you may not think of beavers as Bay Area wildlife, they’re common along the Contra Costa shoreline and even more abundant in the Delta, a major source for the 19th-century fur trade. The beaver family that moved into lower Alhambra Creek in Martinez three years ago is still going strong. The founding pair had their third litter of kits this year, around the time the surviving 2-year-olds struck out on their own. The yearlings are helping care for the new arrivals. -more-


About the House: Avoiding Floods with Hoses, Pans, Sensors and Pressure

By Matt Cantor
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 10:11:00 AM

Your washing machine is following you. OK, so I’m being a bit dramatic but it’s true. Your washing machine is trying to get into your bedroom. -more-


Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Thursday July 02, 2009 - 10:04:00 AM

THURSDAY, JULY 2 -more-


Alphonse Berber Gallery Opens on Bancroft

By Peter Selz, Special to the Planet
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 10:06:00 AM

A spirited new gallery opened recently on Bancroft Way in the former J. Goode men’s clothing store, which was designed by Julia Morgan. The new owners had the good sense to retain the fine mahagony racks which are now used as frameworks for showing paintings. The space was launched with an innovative group exhibition that included amazing kinetic sculptures by Margolin. -more-


Some Old Town Fun: ‘Millie’ Takes the Stage in El Cerrito

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 10:07:00 AM

A Midwestern gal takes a bite of the Big Apple, gets her hair bobbed, dances the Charleston in a speakeasy and is busted in a raid; falls for the first ne’er-do-well she meets, instead of the successful boss she’s determined on; evades the toils of White Slavery—and lives happily ever after. -more-


Fabulous and Loopy ‘Jack Goes Boating’ at the Aurora

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 10:08:00 AM

Jack Goes Boating, Bob Glaudini’s play now onstage at the Aurora, is a little bit of a double work-buddies comedy—Jack and Clyde drive limo for Jack’s uncle; Lucy supervises Connie, selling grief seminars in a funeral home phone tank—combined with a couples comedy, though these four are no Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice, much less the lost souls of Carnal Knowledge. -more-


Habimah Resurrects ‘The Dybbuk’

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 10:09:00 AM

Habimah, Israel’s national theater—which is first associated with Stanislavsky, the Moscow Art Theatre and the stylized direction of Yevgeny Vakhtangov in 1917 in Moscow—will perform its signature play, The Dybbuk, in its only West Coast performances, July 8, 9 and 12. This new production, featuring live actors and puppets, will be at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in downtown San Francisco, complementing the ongoing exhibition, Chagall and the Artists of the Russian Jewish Theater 1919–1949, through Sept. 7. The exhibition features Natan Altman’s “faux-naif” color drawings for sets and costumes, as well as a set model, poster and program, and photographs of the original 1922 Habimah production—and Marc Chagall’s celebrated 1920 murals for the Moscow State Yiddish Theatre (GOSET). -more-


Moe’s Books Celebrates 50 Years

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 10:10:00 AM

Who could have foreseen, in 1959 when Moe and Barb Moskowitz founded fabled, semi-eponymous Moe’s Books, that the 50th anniversary would be celebrated in the Telegraph Avenue store from 3 to 8 p. m., Saturday July 11, at full gale force, with hula dancing by Hui Hula o na Pu’u i ka Noe, cake, balloons, door prizes—and The Duke of Windsor as host? -more-


About the House: Avoiding Floods with Hoses, Pans, Sensors and Pressure

By Matt Cantor
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 10:11:00 AM

Your washing machine is following you. OK, so I’m being a bit dramatic but it’s true. Your washing machine is trying to get into your bedroom. -more-


Community Calendar

Thursday July 02, 2009 - 09:54:00 AM

THURSDAY, JULY 2 -more-