The Week

By Michael Howerton


Neighbors Launch Effort to Save Historic Hillside School

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday October 23, 2009 - 03:51:00 PM

Neighbors and tenants of Berkeley’s Hillside School say they are determined to do what it takes to save the 80-year-old architectural landmark. -more-

Black Oak Books Buys West Berkeley Home

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:11:00 AM

Berkeley’s Black Oak Books is planning a resurrection. -more-

AC Transit Manager Resigns as District Faces Test

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:12:00 AM

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor -more-

Judge Halts Disability Home Care Cuts

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:13:00 AM

Disability rights advocates won part of a battle Monday when a federal district court judge issued a preliminary injunction against home care cuts that were scheduled to take place next month. -more-

UC Week of Action Begins

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:15:00 AM

A week of major events focusing on the crisis in California education kicks off Saturday with a daylong event, the Statewide Mobilizing Conference for Higher Education. -more-

Lab Bus Drivers in Danger of Losing Contract

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 12:31:00 PM

Bus drivers employed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory protest a lab plan Monday to outsource their jobs to private contractors. -more-

Nader, Students Hold Second Teach-In

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:15:00 AM
Anthropology professor Laura Nader addressed UC Berkeley students during a teach-in Friday at Tolman Hall.

UC Berkeley students held a second teach-in on Friday, protesting budget cuts, staff reductions and the increasing dependence of public education on corporate funds. -more-

Berkeley High Forms Equity Group to Address Racism

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:16:00 AM

Berkeley High School took a first step to address campus racism Tuesday. -more-

Tests Rule Out Dredge Spoil Use at Aquatic Park

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:17:00 AM

After nearly two years, the mounds of dredge spoils dotting Berkeley Aquatic Park’s western shoreline might finally be removed, if a report by the Berkeley Public Works Department is anything to go by. -more-

Bear’s Lair Food Vendor Gets Extension

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:18:00 AM

The Bear’s Lair food court vendor who refused to accept UC Berkeley’s hefty rent increase and was planning to quit in December has been given a lease extension. -more-

Mysterious Explosion Rattles Residential Street

Bay City News
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:21:00 AM

Berkeley police and fire officials are investigating an explosion a few blocks from the UC Berkeley campus Tuesday night. -more-

Energy Department Appeals Defeat in Computer Lab Lawsuit

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:23:00 AM

The battle over the supercomputing lab planned for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) shifted to a new venue Friday: the U.S. Court of Appeals. -more-

Roy Speaks Out on Fernandez’ Exit

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:24:00 AM

Retired Oakland architect Joyce Roy is a public transit advocate who was one of the first, and most vocal, opponents of AC Transit’s Van Hool buses. A year ago, she ran unsuccessfully for the AC Transit Board against at-large board member Chris Peeples. -more-

Partisan Position: Confronting the Threats Facing Point Isabel, Hoffman Marsh

By Eleanor Yukic
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:14:00 AM
A pair of unleashed pooches take in the fine weather at Point Isabel.

Point Isabel Regional Shoreline Park is a jewel on the shoreline of the East Bay city of Richmond, with a riveting view of the Golden Gate Bridge, Mount Tamalpais and San Francisco. To the east, it is bordered by the Bay Trail and the Hoffman Marsh, a protected preserve for thousands of migrating birds. -more-



Reporting on the State of the Planet

By Becky O'Malley
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:31:00 AM

The folks who showed up for the first-ever Planet supporters’ picnic in September have been waiting until now for a followup report on the event. We invited all of the approximately 500 people who have already contributed to the financial support of the paper, and more than 10 percent of them—50 lively souls—showed up to share food and their thoughts about the future. -more-

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:32:00 AM

Animal Shelter -more-

Twenty Years Later, Are You Ready? The ‘Network’ Can Help

By Norine Smith, Charlotte Nolan and Lynn Zummo
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:34:00 AM

Anniversaries bring remembrance and reflection, as does this one, the Loma Prieta earthquake 20 years later. Hopefully our reflections then, now, and the years in between, have led us to become as individually prepared as possible and to participate with our neighbors in setting up neighborhood disaster response capability. If this preparation has not been undertaken, it is long past time to do so. As you all know, the U.S. Geological Survey predictions say the Hayward Fault is due for a major shake, which further underscores the need to be prepared.  -more-

What Paris Can Teach Berkeley

By Jean-Luc Szpakowski
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:35:00 AM

Or, What Do High-Rises Have to Do with It? -more-

A White Elephant Ferry—in Berkeley?

By David Fielder
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:35:00 AM

Perhaps it is to be expected that the latest incarnation of an SF Bay ferry system will have its own associated color, but most unfortunate that it will be that of a White Elephant. -more-

What the Courthouse Was

By Tao Matthews
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:36:00 AM

Thank you for the urgently needed summary story by R. Brokl. We are steadying ourselves from the shocking and utterly unjustifiable destruction of a B+ noted important Oakland Historic Resource, the Courthouse Club, 2935 Telegraph Ave. Mr. Brokl reported the plundering and pillaging of this property and its surroundings with accuracy and compassion. The beloved resource has withstood the test of time, having lived nobly through two earthquakes: 1906 and 1989. It had been retrofitted and became a very successful rehab gym that catered to, among others, vets returning from conflicts in Desert Storm and Bosnia. Truly it was a one-of-a-kind gym business that brought income and interesting people into our community. Its ample parking lot was often full all throughout open hours, with a Black Belt security guard on duty. -more-

Advocating for Amends: The Unnecessary Death of Alana Williams

By Sam Herbert
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:37:00 AM

I heard on the evening news that Frick Middle School student Alana Williams was killed on the morning of Oct. 16 while crossing the street—in the crosswalk at a four-way stop—to school. Her hit-and-run assailant was witnessed by other pedestrians, so I hope he will be caught and held accountable in a court of law. As shocking as the untimely death of a child will always be, and as shocking as the callousness of someone who would speed through a stop sign and hit anyone, without stopping to give assistance, I am struck by how completely and inutterably unecessary was this loss. -more-

Citizens Outraged by Berkeley’s ‘Stealth and Camouflage’ Ordinance

By Jack Shaughnessy
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:38:00 AM

  Resistance to the proliferation of radiation-emitting rooftop antennas in residential neighborhoods rises to outrage, as Berkeley citizens realize their powerlessness in public hearings and call for a referendum to resolve the malaise. Three focus areas emerge confounding our democratic efforts: -more-

Berkeley Guide to Profiting at Your Neighbors’ Expense

By Vincent Abeyta
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:39:00 AM

What’s the secret? It’s called “illegal development” and the Planning Department of the City of Berkeley will go out of its way to help you succeed. The Southside Lofts, at 3095 Telegraph Ave., is a case study on how to ensure that you maximize your profitability while fending off your helpless victims: homeowners. -more-

Laundromat Letters

Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:39:00 AM

What? You Thought it Was Over at KPFA? ...

By Virginia Browning
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 11:35:00 AM

I just finished listening to Sasha Lilley the Program Director “until recently” as she says on the show—is she resigning—on KPFA’s program “Against the Grain” which often includes in-depth analysis about the economy, culture, etc. -more-

KPFA Management

By Richard Phelps
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 11:33:00 AM

Does the Current Concerned Listener Management Group at KPFA Understand What Pacifica is About? Do They Care About  Pacifica’s Mission to Present Multiple Views? -more-

The Goldstone Report and Delegitimization

By Joanna Graham
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:40:00 AM

On Friday night, in response to the U.N. Human Rights Council’s vote to send the Goldstone report to the Security Council, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu convened an emergency meeting. In it, he reportedly said this remarkable thing: “We are now setting out to delegitimize those who try to delegitimize us. We will not tolerate it and we will respond on a case by case basis.” -more-


The Public Eye: The Dumbing of America

By Bob Burnett
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:25:00 AM

In 1994, when Forrest Gump famously observed, “stupid is as stupid does,” no one expected that Forrest would become the poster boy of the Republican Party. Nonetheless, as an integral component of its “just say no” strategy, the GOP is steadily dumbing down the level of American political discourse. Meanwhile, the US is faced with numerous challenges that require our citizens to use their brains. -more-

About the House: Oblique Strategies and the Home Remodeling Process

By Matt Cantor
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:55:00 AM

Before I proceed to plagiarize, I’d like to pay homage to the memory and, in this case, the extraordinary creativity and insight of the makers of the oracle Oblique Strategies. -more-

Green Neighbors: Help for Getting a Grip on Sudden Oak Death: Part Two

By Ron Sullivan
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:56:00 AM
Matteo Garbelotto flashes a photo of Sudden Oak Death on a California bay laurel leaf.

Two years ago, the State of California decided it didn’t have the budget to support individual oak-owners’ efforts to save their trees from Sudden Oak Death. We’re on our own, folks, but we can get help from the University of California, in particular from Matteo Garbelotto’s lab at Berkeley. -more-

Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:53:00 AM

THURSDAY, OCT. 22 -more-

TheatreFIRST Makes Return Throwing ‘Stones’

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:50:00 AM

On a mostly-bare set—a couple of chairs at skewed angles across the stage, a cabinet with a broadbrimmed hat and a cap on the shelves and clothing on hangers at the sides—two men pose, seeming to lurch together as Irish music strikes up to open TheatreFIRST’s production of Marie Jones’ Stones in his Pockets—the first production in the company’s return to downtown Oakland. -more-

‘Islam and Authors’ Series Begins at Oakand Islamic Cultural Center

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:51:00 AM

“With the expulsion of the Moors by decree of the Spanish crown, assisted by other European powers, 400 years ago, in 1609—at 5 percent of the population, the worst ethnic cleansing in modern Europe until the 20th century—the Moor became the template, the archetype for the alien, the universal minority figure in the modern world,” said Professor Anouar Majid, director of the Center for Global Humanities at the University of New England, who will discuss his book, We Are All Moors (University of Minnesota Press), with Hamza Van Boom and the audience Saturday for the inaugural event in the Islam and Authors series at the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California, near the main library in downtown Oakland. -more-

Recalling the Days When Savio Spoke for the Movement

By Conn Hallinan, Special to the Planet
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:52:00 AM

There are few more difficult tasks than writing an interesting biography, particularly if the subject is someone most people know very little about. -more-

Coen Brothers’ ‘A Serious Man’: A Goyishe Guide

By Dave Blake, Special to the Planet
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:54:00 AM

Mick LaSalle’s SF Chronicle review of A Serious Man does the Coen brothers an injustice—although his little man was jumping out of the chair‚ because he fails to recognize the movie’s roots. And it’s set in the ’60s not to show, as LaSalle said, that “everything happened, and it all amounted to nothing,” but because the Coens are talking about, literally, the Religion of their Fathers. No other time—or place, a suburb of Minneapolis where they grew up—would do. The Coens are working with sacred material, on the level of what Tom Stoppard did with Hamlet in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. A Serious Man is a retelling of Job, with its comic potential realized. -more-

Schwartz’s ‘Berkeley 1900’ Celebrates 10th Birthday

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:54:00 AM

Richard Schwartz’s montage of century-old newspaper stories from the Berkeley Daily Gazette, Berkeley 1900: Daily Life at the Turn of the Century, with a great wealth of pictures from a variety of sources, has been reprinted in a 10th anniversary edition of more than 300 pages, featuring hundreds of new photos (and six pages of acknowledgments), available from Schwartz’s RSB Books, as well as local bookstores. -more-

Community Calendar

Thursday October 22, 2009 - 09:22:00 AM

THURSDAY, OCT. 22 -more-