The Week

A notice on the wall of the Park Station post office at Sacramento and Russell streets alerts customers to possible consolidation plans for three Berkeley post offices.
Riya Bhattacharjee
A notice on the wall of the Park Station post office at Sacramento and Russell streets alerts customers to possible consolidation plans for three Berkeley post offices.
 

News

Federal Judge Overturns Convictions in Berkeley's 1985 ‘Deadhead’ Murders

Bay City News
Monday September 14, 2009 - 02:44:00 PM

A federal judge in San Francisco has overturned the conviction and death penalty of a man who was convicted of murdering two followers of the Grateful Dead band at a homeless encampment in Berkeley in 1985. -more-


Swine Flu Cases Hit Campus, But UC Doctor Calls Symptoms Mild

By Richard Brenneman
Monday September 14, 2009 - 02:42:00 PM

Swine flu is alive and well at UC Berkeley, and so are the many students who have contracted the H1N1 influenza virus, reports campus Medical Director Brad Buchman. -more-


Urns Raise Temperature At Planning Commission

By Richard Brenneman
Friday September 11, 2009 - 03:05:00 PM

Berkeley organizations shouldn’t get their hopes up about any urned income in the new future. -more-


Homeless Man Arrested in Civic Center Park Shooting Had Prior Record of Violence

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

Berkeley police arrested a homeless man in connection with a shooting at Martin Luther King Civic Center Park in downtown Berkeley Sept. 9. -more-


Judge Denies Motion to Dismiss Charges Against Mehserle

Bay City News
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 12:41:00 PM

A judge today denied a defense motion asking that a murder charge against former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle for the shooting death of Oscar Grant III at the Fruitvale station in Oakland be dismissed or reduced. -more-


Shots Fired in Berkeley Park; Homeless Man Detained by Police

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 12:32:00 PM
Police handcuff a man at Civic Center park following Wednesday night's shooting incident.

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


Community Fights to Save Berkeley Post Offices

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 11:46:00 AM

In the past couple of days, customers at Berkeley’s South Station post office may have noticed a woman in a sun hat standing outside urging passersby to sign a petition. -more-


Public Comment Begins for Pool Plan Study

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 12:15:00 PM

The City of Berkeley announced Sept. 1 that the public could weigh in on the Citywide Pools Master Plan environmental initial study for a 30-day period ending Oct. 2. -more-


Swanson Withdraws BART Oversight Bill

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 12:15:00 PM

Hopes for some form of citizen oversight of the Bay Area Rapid Transit District police department died for the year when Oakland Assemblymember Sandré Swanson abruptly withdrew his proposed state authorization legislation. -more-


Hello, Goodbye: Berkeley Chamber CEO Resigns

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 12:14:00 PM

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


Environmental Justice Coalition Seeks to Stop Oakland’s BART Airport Connector

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 12:13:00 PM

A coalition of environmental justice organizations filed a formal administrative complaint to the Federal Transportation Commission last week seeking to derail plans by the Bay Area Rapid Transit District to build a 3.2-mile rail connection between BART’s Coliseum Station and the Oakland Airport. -more-


School District Appoints Nutrition Services Director

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 12:13:00 PM

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


Agrofuel Lab Appears Twice on Regents’ Slate

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 12:12:00 PM

The UC Board of Regents will hold two meetings Wednesday, Sept. 16, on the controversial plans to build a new UC Berkeley lab to house research on turning plants into fuel for planes, trains and automobiles. -more-


San Pablo Fears Huge Loss Due to Point Molate Casino Competition

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 12:13:00 PM

Officials in San Pablo, long one of the East Bay’s poorest cities, fear their community could lose up to 42 percent of its municipal budget if the Point Molate casino resort is built, said City Manager Brock T. Arner. -more-


Media Downsizings To Set New Record

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 12:11:00 PM

With the year only two-thirds over, American journalism has already lost nearly as many jobs as in all of last year. -more-


Public Health Buildings May Be Eligible for National Register

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 12:14:00 PM

A city of Berkeley public health building previously deemed ineligible for landmarking might fit the criteria to be on the National Register, the Berkeley Landmarks Preservation Commission said last week. -more-


Zoning Board to Review Pacific Steel Use Permit

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 12:14:00 PM

The Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board will review Pacific Steel Casting’s use permit at a public meeting Thursday, Sept. 10. -more-


Whites and Men Most Likely to Jump From Golden Gate Bridge

Bay City News
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 12:11:00 PM

Caucasians comprise 80 percent of the people who jump to their deaths from the Golden Gate Bridge and men outnumber women 3-1, according to a report issued today by Marin County Coroner Ken Holmes regarding suicides on the Golden Gate Bridge over the past 15 years. -more-


Teen Arrested, Two Others Sought After Brief Police Pursuit

Bay City News
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 12:11:00 PM

Berkeley police have arrested a 17-year-old boy and are seeking two other suspects in connection with a brief car chase this morning in which a gun may have fired by accident, a police spokesperson said. -more-


Fire Department Log

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 12:09:00 PM

Bucket brigade -more-


Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff Announces Retirement

Bay City News
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 12:10:00 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-


Berkeley Architectural Walking Tours Shed Light on City’s History

By Steven Finacom Special to the Planet
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 12:09:00 PM

Although best known for its spring historic House Tour, this fall the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association (BAHA) is offering up a varied bouquet of events; no less than 10 separate activities plus a book release. -more-


Berkeley Historical Society Fall Walking Tours

By Steven Finacom Special to the Planet
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 12:06:00 PM

Explore President Franklin Roosevelt’s legacy in Berkeley. Take a look inside some of Berkeley’s boutique hostelries or West Berkeley artisan shops. Picnic in the idyllic north Berkeley hills. Learn the overlooked history of one major local street. Tour several newly constructed, and rehabilitated, housing developments along another major avenue. -more-


Opinion

Editorials

Bombshell or Blip on the Screen

By Becky O’Malley
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 12:03:00 PM

A couple of weeks before Van Jones resigned his Washington job, I happened to have a casual conversation with an old friend about a media organization we’d both been instrumental in founding in the distant last millennium. He was complaining that the group had, rather soon after it began, turned into an arena for ambitious self-promoters instead of being the advocacy organization which its founders intended. Most of this happened in the 15 or so years when I was too preoccupied with earning a living to pay attention, but I believed my friend’s annoyed recital of pointless power struggles within the group, since anyone who’s ever been politically active knows that it happens all the time. -more-


Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday September 10, 2009 - 12:02:00 PM

BERKELEY GUIDES -more-


Of Birthers, Baggers and Butchery

By Marc Sapir
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 11:58:00 AM

Around town I saw this bumper sticker on a hulking SUV: “Bring Back Capitalism.” Next to it was another bumper sticker: “Pro-life.” And a third: “Go Cal.” I know a lot of self-proclaimed “socialists” in Berkeley who, from the vantage of the not-very-perceptive owner of this energy sink, should be dancing in the streets And yet most of them see themselves falling into a ring of fire, going “down, down, down, and the flames go higher,” as Johnny Cash wrote. -more-


KPFA:  Let’s Get Real

By Sasha Futran
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 11:58:00 AM

Brian Edwards-Tiekert, a reporter at KPFA, the board treasurer and power on the Concerned Listeners faction, says there is a failure of transparency at KPFA. I don’t agree. What he is doing is adequately transparent.   -more-


Terrorizing Civilians in Afghanistan

By Kenneth J. Theisen
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 11:58:00 AM

In May of this year, the Obama administration fired General David McKiernan as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. In announcing the decision, Defense Secretary Robert Gates stated he was seeking “fresh thinking” and “fresh eyes” on Afghanistan. McKiernan was replaced by General Stanley McChrystal. His selection marked the continued ascendancy of officers who have advocated the use of counterinsurgency tactics in Iraq and Afghanistan. General David Petraeus, the head of Central Command, was another such officer. He implemented COIN strategy in Iraq. Petraeus is McChrystal’s commander. Gates praised McChrystal for his “unique skill set in counterinsurgency. -more-


Please Don’t Destroy Bus Route 51

By John English
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 11:57:00 AM

AC Transit staff’s proposal to trash the vital 51 bus line is appallingly wrongheaded. -more-


Emeryville City Council Favors Influential Developer

By Reem Assil
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 11:55:00 AM

Scores of residents, hotel and construction workers, local artists and small business owners rallied in front of Emeryville City Hall Tuesday evening to protest the preferential treatment of D.C.-based developer Madison Marquette. The Council took a four to one vote to approve a “sweetheart deal” with Madison Marquette, the fifth consecutive extension of an exclusive agreement to develop shopping complex Bay Street Site B. Among the speakers at the public hearing was Maha Ibrahim, Field Representative for State Assemblymember Nancy Skinner in whose district the Bay Street project is located.  -more-


Response to ‘Bike Safety as Political Fodder’

By Andrew Ritchie
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 11:57:00 AM

Prosterman’s piece is an odd mixture of sense and nonsense. As someone who has ridden a bicycle for 51 years now, in the UK, Europe and the United States, and also run a one-year Bicycle Safety Program for the City of Berkeley in the late 1970s, I sympathize with some of his points, but I contest others. In the end, I find his attitude and the details of his arguments provocative but not very useful, practical or accurate. -more-


Columns

Dispatches From the Edge: German Thunder; Brazilian Muscle; Sign Wars

By Conn Hallinan
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 12:05:00 PM

Germany’s upcoming national elections were supposed to be less of a competition than a coronation for Prime Minister Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU). But rising unemployment, the country’s worst economic crisis in 50 years, the erosion of the social safety net and the Afghan War combined to punish the right and give the newly minted Left Party a huge boost. -more-


UnderCurrents: Waking Up People Who Are Not Actually Asleep

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 12:05:00 PM

Some years ago, in my South Carolina days, I was part of a delegation that met with an old-line civil rights leader in an attempt to get him to join us in a more militant campaign. The leader—a Baptist minister—seemed somewhat befuddled by the initial presentation, and so, midway through the meeting, I weighed in with what I believed were my formidable talents for bringing clarity to an issue. The more I clarified, however, the more confused the old man got, until, finally, the meeting dissolved in frustration, without his having committed either to support or to oppose what we proposed. -more-


Wild Neighbors: Dead Skunks and Others: Looking at Roadkill for Science

By Joe Eaton
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 12:16:00 PM

It had to happen. Some enterprising folks at UC Davis have launched the California Roadkill Observation System (CROS), an interactive database whose users can report deceased wildlife they observe while driving. You can either submit your sightings online (wildlifecrossing.ucdavis.edu) or download and mail in a printed form, indicating species if identifiable, location, type of road, and speed limit. -more-


Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Thursday September 10, 2009 - 11:47:00 AM

THURSDAY, SEPT. 10 -more-


Woodminster Summer Musicals Presents ‘Brigadoon’

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 11:52:00 AM

Many musicals have some fairytale or fantasy element. How many versions of Cinderella, by any other name, have been mounted on Broadway? -more-


Berkeley Old Time Music Convention

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 11:54:00 AM

The Berkeley Old Time Music Convention, dating back to the “35th Annual” Stringband Contest in Provo Park in 1968 and its lineal descendants, the 17th and 22nd Annuals the succeeding years, is underway through this weekend, featuring shows tonight and tomorrow night. -more-


The Films of William Klein at Pacific Film Archive

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 11:55:00 AM

American expatriate filmmaker William Klein’s work shows a wide and eclectic range. He started as a photographer before making his way into motion pictures, both fiction and nonfiction. -more-


PEN Oakland Writers’ Group Stages Four Plays

By Ken Bullock Special to the Planet
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 11:48:00 AM

PEN Oakland, a chapter of the International Organization of Poets, Essayists and Novelists (PEN), will stage A Night of Short Plays at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 13, at the West Oakland Senior Center, and at 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 17 and 18, at Live Oak Theater in Berkeley. -more-


Community Calendar

Thursday September 10, 2009 - 12:08:00 PM

THURSDAY, SEPT. 10 -more-