The Week

iCLEM interns Ruty Miyazaki-Smith and Edgar Ulu learn from Laney College student and iCLEM Teaching Assistant Ahmed Akbar (center) how to label cellulase samples at the Joint BioEnergy Institute’s Deconstruction lab.
Riya Bhattacharjee
iCLEM interns Ruty Miyazaki-Smith and Edgar Ulu learn from Laney College student and iCLEM Teaching Assistant Ahmed Akbar (center) how to label cellulase samples at the Joint BioEnergy Institute’s Deconstruction lab.
 

News

Flash: Shots Fired in Berkeley Park; Homeless Man Detained by Police

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday September 09, 2009 - 10:30:00 PM

Berkeley police have held a homeless person in connection with shots which were fired at Martin Luther King Civic Center Park in downtown Berkeley Wednesday night. -more-


District Attorney Tom Orloff Announces Retirement

Bay City News
Tuesday September 08, 2009 - 03:16:00 PM

Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff announced at today’s Board of Supervisors meeting that he has decided to retire, effective as soon as the board can appoint a replacement. -more-


Missing Disabled Berkeley Woman Found

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday September 08, 2009 - 01:36:00 PM

Less than four hours after Berkeley police asked the community to keep an out for Eva Pena, a developmentally disabled Berkeley woman who was missing since Sept. 2, the department issued a press release saying she had been found. -more-


Hello, Goodbye: Berkeley Chamber of Commerce CEO Resigns

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday September 04, 2009 - 06:38:00 PM

The new CEO for the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce has left before he even arrived. -more-


School District Appoints New Director of Nutrition Services

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday September 04, 2009 - 04:25:00 PM

Marni Posey replaced Chef Ann Cooper as Berkeley Unified School District’s director of nutrition services Tuesday. -more-


Planners to Consider Housing, Urns, Condos

By Richard Brenneman
Friday September 04, 2009 - 04:26:00 PM

Berkeley planning commissioners face a full agenda when they return from their summer break Wednesday night. -more-


Wednesday September 09, 2009 - 10:55:00 PM

Wednesday September 09, 2009 - 10:57:00 PM

AC Transit Proposes Series of Line Cuts

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 12:18:00 PM

Faced with falling revenues, AC Transit is proposing a series of cuts and adjustments of service throughout the two-county bus district. -more-


Taking Biofuels From the Lab to the Classroom

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 12:19:00 PM

Kate Trimlett is bringing biofuels into Berkeley High School’s science curriculum. -more-


Report: Integration Plan a Model for Other Districts

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 12:20:00 PM

A new report says that Berkeley’s student assignment plan is a model for other districts struggling to maintain diversity in their schools. -more-


School Board Weighs Secondary Redesign

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 12:20:00 PM

Is a new alternative high school the answer to closing Berkeley’s achievement gap? -more-


UC Cops Describe Events That Led to Garrido’s Arrest in Dugard Kidnapping

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 12:19:00 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-


News Analysis: Parker Place: Floating Cubes Planned for South Shattuck

By Steven Finacom Special to the Planet
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:23:00 AM
The street level photomontage, presented by the developer at the Design Review Committee meeting, shows the proposed development along Shattuck at Parker.

While public policy storm clouds have hovered over downtown Berkeley development in recent months, a large mixed-use commercial and residential project has quietly been in the planning stages further south along more tranquil south Shattuck. -more-


California’s High School Exit Exam Results

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 12:16:00 PM

California’s High School Exit Exam results released today show a higher success rate in English and math for first-time test takers in the Berkeley public high schools compared with the rest of the state, but the achievement gap persists. -more-


More Students Take SAT, But Achievement Gap Persists

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 12:17:00 PM

The 2009 SAT college entrance exam results released by the College Board last week showed increased participation but a widening achievement gap for California public school students. -more-


Will California Use Student Test Scores to Evaluate Teachers?

By Raymond Barglow Special to the Planet
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 12:17:00 PM

In decades past, education in California was a top priority for government, and the state’s schools were “the cutting edge of the American Dream.” Today, spending per pupil in the state has fallen to 47th in the country. Due to deep budget cuts, California school districts have been laying off teachers, expanding class sizes, closing some schools, and canceling bus service and summer school programs. -more-


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

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 12:15:00 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-


Mehserle to Return to Court for Motion to Dismiss Charges

Bay City News
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 12:15:00 PM

Former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle will return to court on Friday for a hearing on his motion asking that the murder charge against him for the shooting death of Oscar Grant III be dismissed on the grounds that the judge at his preliminary hearing made errors. -more-


Battle Over Long Haul Raid Sparks U.S. Court Hearing

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 12:15:00 PM

The legal battle over a controversial Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force raid on a South Berkeley countercultural icon heads for a key courtroom battle Friday. -more-


Fire Department Log

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 12:16:00 PM

Spontaneously combust -more-


Drowned Body Found Near Berkeley Marina

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:22:00 AM

Coast Guard crew members pulled a man’s body from the waters of San Francisco Bay near the Berkeley Marina Wednesday morning, and investigators are trying to confirm if the body is that of a possible suicide reported to Richmond Police Aug. 24. -more-


Police Blotter

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:22:00 AM

Four heists, 20 minutes -more-


Carl C. Wilson, 1915–2009

By Linda Rosen
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:25:00 AM
Carl C. Wilson

Carl Wilson, the beloved Berkeley Historical Society docent, archivist and “lone” forest ranger, has ridden into the sunset on his horse named Copper. Born in the small town of Halfway in eastern Oregon, he died Aug. 21 in Oakland at the age of 94. He had been a professional forester for almost four decades and, yes, he did ride a big-toothed horse named Copper (not Silver!) while covering territory as District Forest Ranger of the Angeles National Forest. -more-


Opinion

Editorials

Learning From the UC Theater Success

By Becky O'Malley
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:17:00 AM

The Zoning Adjustment Board’s recent approval of plans by a new company in which Berkeley and San Francisco entrepreneurs have combined to revive the old UC Theater as a music venue has been universally applauded. In this very space last February we suggested that someone around here should learn from the example of Oakland’s recently reopened Fox, and lo-and-behold, it seems to be happening. That stretch of University Avenue is an ideal location for a music club—some of us old-timers remember hearing Jerry Garcia, on his nights off from the Grateful Dead, playing Keystone Berkeley across the street where yet another boring condo-to-be now rises. -more-


Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:16:00 AM

STUDENT PARTIES -more-


A Failure of Transparency At KPFA

By Brian Edwards-Tiekert
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:15:00 AM

In J. Douglas Allen-Taylor’s latest article about Pacifica’s moves on KPFA’s money, Grace Aaron is quoted as saying “[Brian Edwards-Tiekert] should have attempted to verify his facts.” To be clear, I asked KPFA’s Business Manager to confirm with the bank that they were under orders to transfer $100,000 out of KPFA’s account; they did. I also wrote two e-mails to Pacifica’s Interim Chief Financial Officer (ICFO) seeking clarification of the issue (Grace Aaron was copied on them). In five days, I received no response. I’m not sure what other verification efforts she wanted me to make—I guess I could have waited for the bank to actually move money out of KPFA’s account and asked for a receipt. -more-


Putting the Community Back in Community Radio at KPFA

By Akio Tanaka
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:15:00 AM

As many Berkeley Daily Planet readers are aware, the 2009 election for the KPFA Local Station Board has now begun. Although most candidates running for the board claim to espouse progressive politics, there is a clear difference in the direction each wants to take KPFA. -more-


Top Five Healthcare Reform Lies

By Ralph E. Stone
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:15:00 AM

MoveOn’s Real Voices for Change campaign put together this list of healthcare reform lies that are spreading via anonymous e-mail chains. Remember when Sarah Palin bizarrely said that President Obama was going to set up a “death panel,” whatever that is. Here is MoveOn’s list of lies and their efforts to set the record straight. Spread the word. -more-


Bike Safety as Political Fodder

By H. Scott Prosterman
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:13:00 AM

Bike safety has been part of the script for every Berkeley politician since the Free Speech Movement. Unfortunately, this generation of Berkeley politicians has done nothing to improve it. They talk big about asking people to give up their cars and ride a bike but have done nothing to initiate an education program, improve existing laws, or even enforce them.   -more-


Where Is Robin Hood?

By Winston Burton
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:14:00 AM

For many years I thought that the Robin Hood Syndrome—taking from the rich to give to the poor—was a no brainer, so why make such a big deal about it? Why would anyone want to steal from the poor and give to the rich? The wealthy have the resources and the money so who would waste their time robbing people who don’t have anything?  Seems logical, right? Boy was I naïve! -more-


Bugs, Lies, and Special Effects

By Nan Wishner
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:12:00 AM

Imagine children morphing into swarms of bugs. See fruit falling to the ground and rotting instantaneously. Many who view these images in the new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) commercials about invasive species (“They’re here and they're hungry”) will likely find them disturbing, even haunting.  -more-


Going After Cheney

By Cynthia Papermaster
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:12:00 AM

To borrow terminology from Dick Cheney’s world, it’s open season for hunting Dick Cheney. -more-


Welcome to the Twilight Zone

By David Esler
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:13:00 AM

The regrettable emergence of the “Birthers” movement, in which a desperate and disenfranchised neoconservative fringe is attempting against all evidence to prove President Obama was not born on U.S. soil (and therefore has no right to office), shows once again the power of conspiracy theory to palliate those not content to live with reality.  -more-


Columns

The Public Eye: At Last, Liberals Get Angry

By Bob Burnett
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:21:00 AM

The 1976 movie classic Network is best known for the scene where deranged newsman Howard Beale (Peter Finch) persuades his viewers to join his rant, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” Thirty-three years later, faced with the news that the Obama administration was considering dropping the public option for healthcare, liberals finally invoked their inner Howard Beale and got angry. -more-


UnderCurrents: Confusing the Past with the Present

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:21:00 AM

Our British friends have an old children’s riddle that illustrates the importance of context in the understanding of things. -more-


Wild Neighbors: Seals of Approval

By Joe Eaton
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:05:00 AM
Lunchtime at Point Lobos: female harbor seal and pup.

Years ago at Point Reyes, I was taking a solo hike down Drake’s Beach in the direction of the lighthouse. Suddenly, a sleek gray head, like a bowling ball with big dark eyes, popped up just beyond the surfline: a harbor seal, checking me out. It kept pace with me for half a mile or so, tethered by curiosity, until I found a break in the cliffs and turned inland. -more-


East Bay Then and Now: Edward F. Niehaus, West Berkeley Stalwart

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:06:00 AM
The Edward F. Niehaus residence at 839 Channing Way.

On Jan. 28, 1905, the first concatenation of the Order of Hoo-Hoo was held in Oakland. The ceremonies were conducted by the “Supreme Nine” of the local chapter of this lumbermen’s fraternity, many of whose officers’ titles were derived from Lewis Carroll’s nonsense poem “The Hunting of the Snark.” The office of Gurdon (sergeant-at-arms) was occupied by veteran lumberman and West Berkeley resident Edward Frederick Niehaus. -more-


About the House: In So Many Ways, We’re Getting Stupider and Stupider

By Matt Cantor
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:06:00 AM

I can recall the first time I inspected a turn-of-the-20th-century house and noticed one of those funny little doors in the hallway closet next to the bathroom and, upon prying it open, realized that this was a little repair access panel for the shower. -more-


Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:09:00 AM

THURSDAY, SEPT. 3 -more-


Baba Ken Okulo Comes Home to Ashkenaz

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:11:00 AM

“Ashkenaz is always the place for me in the Bay Area,” said Baba Ken Okulolo. “Ashkenaz is home.” The Nigerian music master will be playing with the West African Highlife Band, 9:30 p. m. this Saturday at Ashkenaz, after an African dance lesson by Comfort Mensah. -more-


Clifford Odets’ ‘Awake and Sing!’ At Aurora Theatre

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:10:00 AM

From disaster -more-


Works on Paper at the Berkeley Art Center

By Peter Selz Special to the Planet
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:10:00 AM
Mariet Braakmam’s Last of Memories #13 (2006) in which a large rock n a downward journey is stuck between two vertical forms.

Every year the Berkeley Art Center presents a juried exhibition. This year’s jurors were Rene de Guzman, curator at the Oakland Museum of California and formerly curator at the Yerba Buena Center, and Kate Eilertsen, who was director of the Art and Crafts Museum as well a temporary head of the Berkeley Art Center and is now the director of the Sonoma Valley Art Museum. Their judicious selection spared us the fare to which we have been subjected at the ubiquitous art fairs and group shows, which are based on the fashions and vulgarities of the art market. In fact, many of the pieces in this show retain the mark of authenticity. It was also a good idea to choose more than a single piece by most of the artists. -more-


A Mother’s Odyssey Through War’s Carnage

By Conn Hallinan
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:07:00 AM

In her book Long Time Passing, Susan Galleymore asks a question: “Are mothers supposed to simply sit and wait while their children are imperiled?” -more-


Mariah Parker's Indo Latin Jazz Ensemble Packs Yoshi's in Oakland

By Lynda Carson Special to the Planet
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 12:20:00 PM

On Tuesday Aug. 25, Mariah Parker's Indo Latin Jazz Ensemble packed Yoshi's in Jack London Square, and the incredible live performance had the audience roaring and screaming for more of the Indo-Latin jazz rhythms filling the celebrated jazz club during the CD release event for Mariah Parker's debut recording, Sangria. -more-


East Bay Then and Now: Edward F. Niehaus, West Berkeley Stalwart

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:06:00 AM
The Edward F. Niehaus residence at 839 Channing Way.

On Jan. 28, 1905, the first concatenation of the Order of Hoo-Hoo was held in Oakland. The ceremonies were conducted by the “Supreme Nine” of the local chapter of this lumbermen’s fraternity, many of whose officers’ titles were derived from Lewis Carroll’s nonsense poem “The Hunting of the Snark.” The office of Gurdon (sergeant-at-arms) was occupied by veteran lumberman and West Berkeley resident Edward Frederick Niehaus. -more-


About the House: In So Many Ways, We’re Getting Stupider and Stupider

By Matt Cantor
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:06:00 AM

I can recall the first time I inspected a turn-of-the-20th-century house and noticed one of those funny little doors in the hallway closet next to the bathroom and, upon prying it open, realized that this was a little repair access panel for the shower. -more-


Community Calendar

Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:24:00 AM

THURSDAY, SEPT. 3 -more-