Helios Builder Sought, Public Meetings Set

By Richard Brenneman
Monday October 05, 2009 - 05:37:00 PM

UC Berkeley wants bidders for its first major downtown construction project in the city center, the Helios Energy Research Facility, with the contract to be awarded Oct. 15. -more-

School District Plans Zone Changes to Address Overcrowding

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Saturday October 03, 2009 - 04:01:00 PM

Berkeley public elementary schools are bursting at the seams and there is no quick fix for the problem. -more-

Student Protesters Gear Up for Oct. 24 Conference at UC Berkeley

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 01, 2009 - 05:27:00 PM
Students gathered in Lower Sproul Plaza Wednesday evening to plan for an Oct. 24 conference at UC Berkeley regarding the university's budget cuts, furloughs and fee hikes.

About 200 students gathered in Lower Sproul Plaza Wednesday evening to discuss the upcoming Oct. 24 mobilizing conference at UC Berkeley, potentially the next big event planned in protest of the university’s budget cuts, furloughs and fee hikes. -more-

Two Stabbed in Downtown Berkeley, Suspect in Custody

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 01, 2009 - 02:42:00 PM

Berkeley police have arrested a man in connection with two stabbings that took place in downtown Berkeley Wednesday. -more-

UC Protest Movement Continues to Unfold

By Richard Brenneman and Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 01, 2009 - 09:06:00 AM

UC Berkeley students headed back to Sproul Plaza Wednesday evening to discuss possible actions to protest the university’s budget cuts and related topics. -more-

AC Transit to Request Use of BRT Funds to Stave Off Service Cuts

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday October 01, 2009 - 09:07:00 AM

The AC Transit Board of Directors took a step back from its signature Bus Rapid Transit project last week. But just how big a step back is yet to be determined. -more-

Downtown Association Adopts Three-Year Plan

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 01, 2009 - 09:08:00 AM

The Downtown Berkeley Association (DBA) is moving in a new direction with the creation of a three-year strategic plan and a search for a new executive director in order to generate more revenue for the 20-year-old organization with hopes of making the downtown more attractive. DBA President Mark McLeod has revealed the organization’s intention to explore the creation of a property-based business improvement district (PBID) and a parking revenue district. The existing Business Improvement District is controlled by business owners, who are not necessarily property owners but can also be tenants. -more-

Shattuck Hotel Officially Opens in Downtown Berkeley

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 01, 2009 - 09:09:00 AM
Josh Buckelew, Hotel Shattuck Plaza's welcome ambassador, greets guests outside the hotel last week.

The Shattuck Hotel has been born again. The 100-year-old six-story landmark, Berkeley’s oldest hotel, officially reopened Thursday, Sept. 24, with much fanfare after a two-year, multi-million-dollar remodeling effort. -more-

State, PG&E Pick Berkeley High for Green Energy Program

By Riya Bhattacharjee By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 01, 2009 - 09:09:00 AM
State Superintendent Jack O'Connell, state Sen. Loni Hancock, California Public Utilities Commission President Michael R. Peevey and Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell was in Berkeley Wednesday to announce the names of five California public high schools—including Berkeley High—selected for a new “green energy” partnership academy pilot program that seeks to train students in clean energy technologies. -more-

Council Raises Parking Meter Rates, Adds Meters, Sets Affordable Housing Push

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday October 01, 2009 - 09:10:00 AM

In a short-agenda meeting Tuesday night where controversy was notably absent, the Berkeley City Council unanimously agreed to an across-the-board 25-cent-per-hour increase in parking meter rates, added 420 new parking meter locations around the city, and set an Oct. 27 date to begin a series of council discussions and action on how to increase the amount of affordable housing in the city. -more-

‘People’s Park: Still Blooming’

By Lydia Gans, Special to the Planet
Thursday October 01, 2009 - 09:11:00 AM

People’s Park: Still Blooming, brilliantly compiled by Terri Compost, longtime Park activist and gardener, is a book that grabs your attention. On the cover is a captivating picture of a sweet-faced child peeking out from behind a flower, and, as you look more closely, below it a vaguely familiar black and white photo of a mass of soldiers standing at attention, wearing gas masks and armed with bayonets. The 190-page book contains hundreds of photographs interspersed with short segments of text culled from museum and newspaper archives, and conversations and recollections from a wide variety of sources. It’s an unusual way to construct a book, but it works well. -more-

Charges Against Yoo Protesters Dropped

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 01, 2009 - 09:12:00 AM

The Alameda County district attorney’s office announced Wednesday, Sept. 23 that it would not press criminal charges against four protesters cited for misdemeanors during a rally at UC Berkeley’s School of Law. -more-

Firefighters Battle Blaze Near Fish Ranch Rd.

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 01, 2009 - 09:13:00 AM

Firefighters from the East Bay Regional Park District and four other state and local agencies battled a fire near the Fish Ranch Road exit off Highway 24 Tuesday afternoon, according to park district officials. -more-


Thursday October 01, 2009 - 09:13:00 AM

John Gertz has told the Daily Planet that he alone did not pay for the signature ad which appeared in the East Bay Express. This was his own prior description of his relationship to the series of ads denouncing the Planet, which have been appearing in the Express, as e-mailed to the Planet’s advertising sales representative on Sept. 8: -more-

First Person: Michael and Me

By Cecil Brown
Thursday October 01, 2009 - 09:14:00 AM
Michael Moore and Cecil Brown with the latter's book.

In the early ’70s, I lived at 2700 Virginia St. in the Berkeley Hills with a sublime view of the Golden Gate Bridge. My next-door neighbor was Adam, a Jewish guy who took care of his son, David, while his wife taught at UC Berkeley. I, as a black writer, and Adam, a stay-at-home father, had a lot of free time on our hands. While taking care of David, we talked a lot about writing fiction and the books we loved. And, of course, we also talked about how we were going to change the literary world. With the publication of my novel, I was something. I threw parties and invited everybody—English department celebrities like Mark Schorer, Larry Ziff, and Leonard Michaels, and lots of writers, like Richard Brautigan, Claude Brown, Richard Pryor and Ishmael Reed. Adam was always invited. -more-