The Week

Russell Grant, who has been homeless for 20 years, sits with his dog Gabriel outside Smart Alec’s on Telegraph Avenue.
Riya Bhattacharjee
Russell Grant, who has been homeless for 20 years, sits with his dog Gabriel outside Smart Alec’s on Telegraph Avenue.
 

News

Planning Commission Adopts West Berkeley Building Subdivision Regulations

By Richard Brenneman
Monday July 27, 2009 - 02:28:00 PM

Planning commissioners finished the easy part of their West Berkeley zoning changes Wednesday night, but the hardest part will be on their agenda after their August break. -more-


School District Not Surprised by Latest State Budget

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday July 27, 2009 - 02:27:00 PM

The latest round of proposed state budget cuts to public education did not come as a surprise to the Berkeley Unified School District. -more-


Is Berkeley Mean To Its Homeless?

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:35:00 AM

Is Berkeley mean to its homeless? A new study by two national homeless advocacy groups says so. -more-


City Says Economic Downturn’s Impacts Lessened by Local Institutions

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:36:00 AM

While Berkeley suffers from the same impacts from a beleaguered economy as do other East Bay cities, the effects seem to be milder, says Michael Caplan. -more-


Rent Hike Prompts Bear’s Lair Departure

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:36:00 AM

Two of the three food vendors at the Bear’s Lair Food Court have accepted a new lease agreement and will stay on. The third, Healthy Heavenly Foods, rejected the offer and plans to move out by December. -more-


UC Names Mitch Celaya Police Chief

By Rio Bauce, Special to the Planet By Rio Bauce, Special to the Planet By Rio Bauce, Special to the Planet
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:37:00 AM

UC Berkeley officials announced Tuesday that Assistant Police Chief Mitch Celaya will be promoted to chief Aug. 1. -more-


City Council Holds Rare Thursday Meeting

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:38:00 AM

The Berkeley City Council holds a rare Thursday meeting today, with a light “mopping up” agenda planned before the summer break. -more-


Initiative Provides Students With School Supplies

By Rio Bauce, Special to the Planet
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:39:00 AM

The East Bay Community Scholarship Fund (EBCSF) will provide $70 worth of school supplies to 3,500 Berkeley Unified School District K-12 students starting next spring. -more-


Peralta College Board Begins Investigations

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:40:00 AM

Peralta Community College District’s board of directors moved quickly to look into charges of district improprieties raised in last week’s series of Bay Area News Group articles, beginning an investigation by their own inspector general and calling on the state chancellor of the California Community Colleges to appoint a special investigator to look into the charges as well. -more-


Toll Plaza Delays Called Main Richmond Casino Impact

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:40:00 AM

The $1.5 billion gambling, hotel, entertainment and housing resort planned for Richmond’s Point Molate would only create three significant impacts that couldn’t be readily remedied, concludes the project’s draft environmental impact report (EIR). -more-


School District Seeks New Personnel Commissioner

Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:41:00 AM

The Berkeley Unified School District’s Personnel Commission is looking for a new member. -more-


UC Berkeley Plans Whole Foods, Senior Housing Along San Pablo Ave.

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:43:00 AM

UC Berkeley wants someone to demolish “approximately 35 structures located at the UC Gill Tract Agricultural Field Station in Albany.” -more-


Daily Cal Excused Back Rent, Gets Three-Year Lease

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:43:00 AM

The Daily Californian, UC Berkeley’s independent student newspaper, can stay put—for now. -more-


City College Gets $2 Million Grant

By Rio Bauce, Special to the Planet
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:44:00 AM

Berkeley City College has a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. -more-


Development Financier Faces Tax Woes

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:45:00 AM

David Teece is having a bad year. -more-


Chevron Appeals Refinery Decision

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:46:00 AM

Chevron Monday filed an appeal challenging Contra Costa County Superior rulings that forced the company to shut down construction in Richmond. -more-


Housing Advisory Commission Policy Review

By Lydia Gans, Special to the Planet
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:47:00 AM
“Extremeley Low” comes out of his box.

The July 9 meeting of the Berkeley Housing Advisory Commission kicked off with a bit of improv theater. -more-


Berkeley Police Seize Explosives From Grizzly Peak House

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:49:00 AM

A 911 call led to an arrest and seizure of explosives by Berkeley police Saturday. -more-


Police Investigate Two Berkeley Sexual Assaults

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:50:00 AM
Sketches of the suspects in the Cedar (left) and Hillegass (right) sexual assaults.

Berkeley police are investigating two sexual assaults which took place early Thursday morning. -more-


Man Gets Five Years Probation in Connection with Fatal Berkeley Shooting

By Bay City News
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:51:00 AM

A Berkeley man who had been charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of a former friend near the University of California at Berkeley campus three years ago will be released from jail today after serving only 18 months. -more-


Behind the Scenes at the Library: The Journey of a Book

By Phila Rogers, Special to the Planet
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:58:00 AM

When you visit the Berkeley Public Library you’ll see staff at the circulation desk, at the reference desk, and others who are shelving books. What you are less likely to see are all those library employees, mostly in offices on the second floor of the Central Library, who move a book along from the time it’s either requested by a patron or a librarian. These are the employees who select, order, catalog, and process the 50,000 items added to the library’s collection every year. -more-


Opinion

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:54:00 AM

DEATH BY TRAIN -more-


Letters Regarding Israel-Palestine

Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:58:00 AM

SETTLER MOVEMENT -more-


Commentary: Top Ten Super-Sized Flaws of the Downtown Area Plan

By Kriss Worthington
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:54:00 AM

During the City Council and public debate on the downtown, much of the discussion revolved around the super-sized height of the buildings. My comments focused on affordable housing, public transit and environmental impacts such as greenhouse gases. Here I will describe what I see as the super-sized flaws of the Downtown Area Plan. -more-


Commentary: Ah, Collegiality!

By David Kaun
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:55:00 AM

The ethnic diversity of faculty across the campuses of the University of California is the subject of debate and controversy; however there can be little doubt about ethical diversity. It abounds. We need look no further than the present university budget woes, and in particular two competing proposals offered by faculty at Santa Cruz and San Diego. -more-


Commentary: A Death Sentence for Oakland Businesses

By Allen Michaan
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:56:00 AM

Times are tough. We are all very aware of this inescapable fact. Individual citizens are struggling with unemployment and reduced incomes. Businesses have seen a sharp drop-off in spending by their customers and, of course, government at every level is struggling to balance budgets that have been affected by declining tax revenues of every category, resulting in a scramble to find solutions to budget woes. -more-


News Analysis: Honduran Violence, U.S. Aid Test Obama’s Global Image

By Roberto Lovato, New America Media
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:57:00 AM

While English language television in the United States mined the minutiae of Michael Jackson’s upcoming funeral, millions watching Spanish, Portuguese and French language media in the rest of the Americas were transfixed by live broadcasts of the Honduran military shooting and killing a 10-year-old boy and other protesters. -more-


Columns

The Public Eye: Overcoming George Bush’s Pottery Barn Foreign Policy

By Bob Burnett
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:52:00 AM

After six months as president, Barack Obama has put his own imprint on U.S. foreign policy. That’s fortunate because George Bush broke everything he touched. -more-


Undercurrents: Explosion at Port Chicago Reverberates Throughout the Years

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:53:00 AM

I probably first heard the term “Port Chicago” from a 1982 article by now-UC Berkeley professor Robert Allen and researcher-historian Peter Vogel about “the Port Chicago disaster and mutiny” in The Black Scholar magazine. I did not finish the article at the time. I was interested in all things African-American history in those days, and certainly would have been drawn to the subject of a Black naval mutiny. I’m sure I lost interest when I found that the “Port Chicago Mutiny” mentioned in the Allen-Vogel article was not a mutiny in the sense of the Bounty mutiny or a slave revolt-Black sailors taking over a ship from its white officers at gunpoint-but was more of a work stoppage, and, further, that it had occurred during World War II. I was born just a few years after V-J Day and grew up inundated with the subject. World War II was my parents’ war-or so I thought-and I was of a generation that sought desperately to separate ourselves from our parents and leap over them to a more distant past. -more-


Green Neighbors: Turn-of-the-(last) Century Gardening

By Ron Sullivan
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 10:12:00 AM

Joe gave me an antique garden book as a 36th anniversary present. A true antique, over a century old: The Garden Book of California, by Belle Sumner Angier, 1906, Paul Elder and Company. It does not have an ISBN number, nor does the publisher’s address have a ZIP code. -more-


About the House: A Do-It-Yourself Energy Audit

By Matt Cantor
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 10:10:00 AM

A few weeks ago, I made the dangerous trek out of Berkeley and into Contra Cost County. I took off my tie-dye, trimmed my mustache and put on dark glasses. True, the “Hate is not a family value” license plate holder was still visible but I parked far enough from the house to be safe. It was OK. We avoided politics. For all I know, they voted for Obama. Lots of people voted for Obama and, despite all my joking, they were actually very nice. -more-


East Bay Then and Now: The Carpenter, the Baker and the Classics Professor

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 10:09:00 AM

The sky-blue Victorian villa—part Stick-Eastlake, part Gothic Revival, and proudly holding aloft a tower and weathervane on the northeastern corner of Francisco and Milvia Streets—is a striking sight. -more-


Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Thursday July 23, 2009 - 10:06:00 AM

THURSDAY, JULY 23 -more-


Altarena’s ‘Spitfire Grill’ Serves Up Moody Tales, Music

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 10:00:00 AM

The sweep of bowed strings—cello and violin—blends in with piano and guitar, coming down from the musicians’ loft in the Altarena Playhouse, a little moody, impersonal yet country-flavored, powering the singing and texturing the story of The Spitfire Grill, the 2001 musical from the 1996 movie of the same name. -more-


Mort Sahl and Dick Gregory at SF’s Rrazz Room

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 10:01:00 AM
Dick Gregory, Mort Sahl.

A few years back, pioneering stand-up comedian and social satirist Mort Sahl—who is appearing with veteran humorist Dick Gregory at the Rrazz Room in downtown San Francisco through Saturday—was asked, after a show at the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center, where he placed himself in the political spectrum. -more-


Actors Ensemble Lovingly Revives the ‘Peanuts’ Gang

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 10:07:00 AM

Summertime ... Charlie Brown stolidly leading his baseball team down to defeat, hit after hit flying high over his head as pitcher, while the players gossip about him in the outfield. Soon it’ll be fall—with Lucy yanking away the football she’s suckered the ever-gullible Charlie Brown into trying to kick off. -more-


Summer Opera: ‘Agrippina’ and ‘Figaro’

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 10:07:00 AM

This weekend may prove to be the choicest moment of summer opera in the East Bay, indoors and out—and over a span of millennia, from ancient Rome through the 18th century to the present day. Two adventuresome independent local companies, Open Opera and Oakland Opera Theater, will stage, respectively, Mozart’s most famous opera, The Marriage of Figaro in period dress, outdoors (and free) in John Hinkel Park, and a “a post-modern view” of Handel’s opera on its 300th anniversary, Agrippina 2000, American Emperor at their Oakland Metro Operahouse near Jack London Square. -more-


About the House: A Do-It-Yourself Energy Audit

By Matt Cantor
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 10:10:00 AM

A few weeks ago, I made the dangerous trek out of Berkeley and into Contra Cost County. I took off my tie-dye, trimmed my mustache and put on dark glasses. True, the “Hate is not a family value” license plate holder was still visible but I parked far enough from the house to be safe. It was OK. We avoided politics. For all I know, they voted for Obama. Lots of people voted for Obama and, despite all my joking, they were actually very nice. -more-


East Bay Then and Now: The Carpenter, the Baker and the Classics Professor

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday July 23, 2009 - 10:09:00 AM

The sky-blue Victorian villa—part Stick-Eastlake, part Gothic Revival, and proudly holding aloft a tower and weathervane on the northeastern corner of Francisco and Milvia Streets—is a striking sight. -more-


Community Calendar

Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:48:00 AM

THURSDAY, JULY 23 -more-


Correction

Thursday July 23, 2009 - 09:46:00 AM

Clarification -more-