The Week

LeConte parent Carly Strouse and her son Marlow Buettner—wearing a Superman cape—rake mulch in the school’s new garden Friday.
Riya Bhattacharjee
LeConte parent Carly Strouse and her son Marlow Buettner—wearing a Superman cape—rake mulch in the school’s new garden Friday.
 

News

Prosecutors: Insufficient Evidence to Charge Foster Father in Hasanni Campbell Case

Bay City News
Monday August 31, 2009 - 02:59:00 PM

An Alameda County assistant district attorney said today that there is insufficient evidence to file murder charges against the foster father of missing 5-year-old boy Hasanni Campbell. -more-


Hassani Campbell’s Foster Mother Will Not Face Charges

Bay City News
Friday August 28, 2009 - 05:27:00 PM

An attorney who has consulted with the foster parents of 5-year-old Hasanni Campbell, who was reported missing three weeks ago and is now believed to have been murdered, said today that he’s “glad” that no charges are being filed against the foster mother. -more-


UC Police Officers Describe Events That Led to Kidnapping Suspect's Arrest

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday August 28, 2009 - 07:00:00 PM
UC Berkeley police officers Lisa Campbell and Ally Jacobs describe their meeting with Phillip Garrido, the Antioch man suspected of kidnapping 11-year-old Jaycee Lee Dugard in South Lake Tahoe in 1991.

UC Berkeley police officers Friday gave a detailed account of their encounter with Phillip Garrido, the Antioch man accused of holding 29-year-old Jaycee Lee Dugard captive for 18 years on his property. -more-


Swanson's Office Denies Charges of 'Watering Down' BART Police Oversight Bill

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday August 28, 2009 - 05:50:00 PM

The attempt to pass state legislation authorizing a civilian oversight of the BART Police Department—which had already featured a political disagreement between BART Board member Lynette Sweet and Assembly Public Safety Committee Chair Tom Ammiano—took another turn this week when Oakland Assemblymember Sandré Swanson came under criticism for "watering down" provisions in the proposed BART police oversight bill at the request of police lobbyists. -more-


Kidnap Victim Lived in Antioch Backyard for 18 Years

Bay City News
Friday August 28, 2009 - 04:32:00 PM
Phillip Craig Garrido, 58, and Nancy Garrido, 55.

Jaycee Lee Dugard, who was kidnapped from South Lake Tahoe at age 11 in 1991, spent 18 years living in the backyard of an Antioch home, raising two daughters fathered by the man who kidnapped her, investigators said today. -more-


Foster Parents of Hasanni Campbell Arrested for Murder

Bay City News
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 01:51:00 PM

The foster parents of 5-year-old Hasanni Campbell have been arrested for murder, police Officer Jeff Thomason said. -more-


Man Gets 50 Years to Life for Shooting Near UC Campus

Bay City News
Friday August 28, 2009 - 04:30:00 PM

A Richmond man was sentenced today to 50 years to life in state prison for the shooting death of 23-year-old Wayne Drummond of Oakland near the University of California, Berkeley campus three years ago. -more-


Downtown Plan Referendum Qualifies for Ballot

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 12:47:00 PM

Mayor Hints at Possible Compromise -more-


Berkeley Schools Will Not Offer In-House Clinics For Swine Flu

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 12:49:00 PM

Berkeley Unified School District Superintendent Bill Huyett said Wednesday that the district will not be holding in-house H1N1 immunization camps at schools, contrary to reports that have been circulating in the press in the last few weeks. -more-


A Drought-Resistant Garden at LeConte

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 12:50:00 PM

When LeConte Elementary School students come back to school Sept. 2, they will have a brand new garden—one that is drought resistant, saves water and attracts plenty of butterflies. -more-


Homeowners’ Possessions Hamper Firefighters

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 12:51:00 PM

Firefighters waged a two-hour battle against heavy flames in the predawn hours Wednesday, battling to save a South Berkeley home after a neighbor had rescued one of its two occupants. -more-


Passion for Community Revealed in Curl’s History of Co-ops

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 12:55:00 PM
Author and woodworker John Curl in his West Berkeley shop.

Though his hair has turned white, John Curl’s passion burns undiminished by the passage of nearly seven decades. -more-


Citizen Oversight of BART Police Stalled by Conflict Between SF Legistlators

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 12:51:00 PM

The fate of civilian oversight of the Bay Area Rapid Transit Police Department is being decided—for this year, at least—in a contest of wills and purpose between two San Francisco officeholders with longtime credentials in progressive politics. -more-


AC Transit to Begin Public Outreach On Proposed Bus Line Cuts

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 12:52:00 PM

AC Transit will begin its community outreach in Berkeley to publicize and explain the bus district’s planned December line cuts and adjustments, but long-promised maps outlining the extent of the changes have yet to be released to the public. -more-


UC Starts Year With 8 Percent Course Cut, Layoffs

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 12:53:00 PM

Budget cuts, furloughs, layoffs and course reductions dominated the UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Back-to-School briefing Wednesday, as students trooped back to school for the first day of fall classes. -more-


Police Blotter

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 12:54:00 PM

Daylight snatch -more-


First Person: Chocoholics Anonymous

By Dorothy Snodgrass
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 12:56:00 PM

Hopelessly addicted to chocolate since early childhood, I take comfort in the knowledge that I’m not alone in this addiction. Au contraire! There are millions and millions of people out there afflicted with the same—shall we say, neurotic—obsession. Recognizing this as a serious mental health problem, I’ve come up with what I consider to be a brilliant proposal: that there be a Chocoholics Anonymous organization, similar to the effective and time honored Alcoholics Anonymous program. -more-


Opinion

Editorials

Death of a Prince

By Becky O'Malley
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 12:59:00 PM

The Internet yesterday was flooded with tributes to Teddy Kennedy. For many Americans he was the last surviving representative of a generation of liberals who believed that with steady work and good will all noble things were possible. It was a faith that was severely tried during the Reagan and Bush I and II administrations, and it was a bit shaken even under Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. -more-


Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday August 27, 2009 - 01:00:00 PM

URBAN DENSITY -more-


Poisoning the Debate About Downtown

By Charles Siegel
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 01:02:00 PM

The downtown plan could have moved Berkeley toward a more cooperative approach to planning. Instead, it has stirred up antagonisms that will poison the debate about smart growth for many years to come. -more-


Thanks for the Thuggery

By Gale Garcia
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 01:03:00 PM

The referendum of the Berkeley Downtown Area Plan will go down in history for the assistance it received from the most unlikely of sources—its opponents.  -more-


Dick Cheney, Enemy of Justice

By Jack Bragen
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 01:03:00 PM

A bad characteristic of the Bush-Cheney Administration, one of many, was the reliance on fear as a weapon to manipulate the American people. One would think that, now they are out of office, this would stop. However, Dick Cheney has other ideas. -more-


Why Are the Drug and Health Insurance Companies Smiling?

By Ralph E. Stone
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 01:04:00 PM

An important objective of meaningful health care reform is cost control. President Obama’s sweetheart deal with the drug companies and the dropping of a public option to provide meaningful competition to for-profit health insurance companies will not provide needed cost control. Given the way health care reform is heading, is it any wonder the drug and health insurance companies are smiling? -more-


The Limits of Healthcare Reform

By Marvin Chachere
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 01:22:00 PM

For 12 years, beginning in 1970, I was director of studies for international educational programs sponsored by UC Berkeley Extension at Oxford, Leningrad, Venice and elsewhere. On several occasions both in England and the Soviet Union, persons in my programs got sick. -more-


Some Thoughts and Questions About the Health Care Debate

By Kathie Zatkin
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 01:22:00 PM

Why aren’t reporters asking the following questions of those they choose to interview? This in-cludes the predictable “public television” (e.g., News Hour, Bill Moyers’ Journal) programs.   -more-


The Bay Area’s August 29, 2005 is Coming

By Mike Bishop
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 01:24:00 PM

If television cameras had focused on the urban poor in New Orleans…before Katrina, I believe that the initial reaction to descriptions of poverty and poverty concentration would have been unsympathetic.” So writes Harvard scholar William Julius Wilson in More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City. As we approach the fourth commemoration of the storm and flood, the nation has reverted to its pre-Katrina blindness to the poverty endemic to New Orleans—and to local Bay Area communities, whose conditions are ripe for just such wide scale disaster given our proximity to the ticking Hayward fault. -more-


Countering Kéllia Ramares

By Virginia Browning
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 01:25:00 PM

Kéllia Ramares’ Commentary in the Planet Aug. 20 calls KPFA’s elections “silly” because “a tiny minority of listeners get totally worked up about” them but notes they “do not yield democratic results.” -more-


Let’s Get Real About Community Media

By Tracy Rosenberg
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 01:41:00 PM

It’s 2009, and the first community radio station in the country, KPFA, born right here in Berkeley in 1949, is entering its election cycle once again. And I feel sick.  -more-


Fair and Truthful and Unbiased? You Decide

By Richard Phelps
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 01:46:00 PM

Was Donald Goldmacher’s commentary on the KPFA election fair, truthful and unbiased? Or did he conveniently leave out many crucial facts? You decide. -more-


KPFA: Lords and Ladies vs. The Peasants

By Daniel Borgstrom
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 01:48:00 PM

KPFA listeners remember 1999 as the year of the Lockout and the massive response. 10,000 people marched through the streets of Berkeley chanting “Save KPFA!” “Save Pacifica!” That dramatic moment was followed by a decade of board meetings, mostly held inside the dark chambers of the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse. And yet, basic issues are still not settled, their resolution still up for grabs. -more-


Columns

Dispatches from the Edge: Of Bases, Big Bombs and Earthquakes

By Conn Hallinan
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 12:57:00 PM

Behind the uproar over a U.S.–Co-lombia base deal is a growing disquiet throughout South America that Washington is trying to counter that continent’s leftward tack, directly intervene in Bogotá’s long-running civil war, and reassert itself in a part of the globe that it formerly dominated. -more-


Undercurrents: How Public Opinion Gets Swayed in an Election

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 12:58:00 PM

If you’re interested in a textbook example of how public opinion gets swayed and massaged in a political campaign, you don’t have to go any further than the opening item in Sunday’s (Phil) Matier & (Andy) Ross column in the San Francisco Chronicle (“Perata Had Hand In Oakland’s Police Chief Pick”). -more-


Wild Neighbors: Spiketails and Meadowhawks: Dragons of the Air

By Joe Eaton
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 01:30:00 PM
Blue-eyed dragonfly: a male Pacific spiketail.

Dragonflies enliven the doldrums of August. Wherever there’s still or slowly flowing water, you can see them and their smaller relatives, the damselflies, patrolling for food or mates. (Dragonflies spread their wings out when at rest, while most damselflies fold them over their backs). -more-


About the House: Words of Advice When Dealing With a Neighbor

By Matt Cantor
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 01:29:00 PM

Everyone’s different. Now, isn’t that a novel comment? OK, so it isn’t a fresh idea but it’s true. My wife and I are different. I’ll bet you and your partner, spouse or closest friend are pretty different too, but, by the grace of some deity, alien influence or, maybe, the Constitution, we manage to get along or at least act out some version of concord in our daily affairs. -more-


Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Thursday August 27, 2009 - 01:29:00 PM

THURSDAY, AUGUST 27 -more-


Machiavellian Dealings at Central Works

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 01:27:00 PM
Richard Frederick and Michael Navarra in Central Works’  Machiavelli’s The Prince

A copy of Leonardo’s “Battle of Anghieri” adorns the wall, its howling tangle of warriors and horses breaking the calm of the sparely appointed office where two men in suits will meet—a reunion, after many years, between student and teacher. -more-


‘Loot’ Takes Comic Turn at Masquers in Richmond

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 01:25:00 PM

We can’t accept the evidence of a ghost. The problems it poses would be insuperable.” There’s no ghost, but there is a load of equally questionable evidence, though hard to say what it could prove, in Joe Orton’s Loot, that catastrophically funny play now on stage at the Masquers Playhouse in Point Richmond. -more-


Anna Leads a Busy Weekend at Downtown’s Jazz Island

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 01:27:00 PM

Music is the way I interpret the world,” said Anna De Leon of Anna’s Jazz Island. “That’s been true my whole life. And it’s how I view my place in the world, too.” -more-


Puppet Shows at Children’s Fairyland

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 01:28:00 PM

Bruce Sedley—“Skipper Sedley” and “Sir Sedley” of Bay Area TV during the 1950s and ’60s—will make a rare appearance Saturday with his puppet, King (or Professor) Fuddle, at Children’s Fairyland, by Lake Merritt in Oakland, where he’ll present the millionth Magic Key for the theme park’s Talking Storybooks, an invention of his own in the late ’50s, to one of Fairyland’s young visitors. -more-


An ‘Articulate Enthusiast’

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 01:29:00 PM

Lifelong Learning” is the slogan, the motto of Berkeley Adult School, which starts up anew with enrollment on Sept. 8. Its teachers can bring an astonishing wealth of life experience to their courses, and not always what their academic or professional background might indicate. Perhaps this is something fundamental to a program aimed at students looking to renew old interests, refresh longtime preoccupations—or discover new pursuits—during or after their own vocational commitments. -more-


About the House: Words of Advice When Dealing With a Neighbor

By Matt Cantor
Thursday August 27, 2009 - 01:29:00 PM

Everyone’s different. Now, isn’t that a novel comment? OK, so it isn’t a fresh idea but it’s true. My wife and I are different. I’ll bet you and your partner, spouse or closest friend are pretty different too, but, by the grace of some deity, alien influence or, maybe, the Constitution, we manage to get along or at least act out some version of concord in our daily affairs. -more-


Community Calendar

Thursday August 27, 2009 - 01:01:00 PM

THURSDAY, AUGUST 27 -more-