The Week

A laundromat trying to move into a ground floor commercial space  on Telegraph Avenue had raised the ire of potential neighbors.
By Riya Bhattacharjee
A laundromat trying to move into a ground floor commercial space on Telegraph Avenue had raised the ire of potential neighbors.


Hikers With Connections to UC Berkeley Charged with Espionage in Iran

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday November 09, 2009 - 04:11:00 PM

The three American hikers, all graduates of UC Berkeley, who were detained by Iranian authorities were charged with espionage Monday, according to reports by national and international media. -more-

Rockridge Safeway Buys Union 76 Gas Station, Moves Ahead With Expansion Plans

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday November 06, 2009 - 05:08:00 PM

Safeway took ownership of the Union 76 gas station site in Rockridge this week and is moving ahead with plans to incorporate it into a proposed remodeling project for its supermarket at the corner of College and Claremont avenues. -more-

Telegraph Neighbors Clash With City Over Laundromat

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday November 05, 2009 - 08:33:00 AM

Residents and neighbors of Southside Lofts at 3095 Telegraph Ave. are fighting to keep a national retail chain off the property. -more-

Seattle Captain Chosen as New Berkeley Police Chief

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday November 05, 2009 - 08:34:00 AM
Captain Michael Meehan of the Seattle Police Department was named Berkeley’s new police chief.

Berkeley City Manager Phil Kamlarz introduced Captain Michael Meehan of the Seattle Police Department as Berkeley’s new police chief in a closed session of the Berkeley City Council Tuesday, Nov. 3. -more-

EPA Says Berkeley Violated Water Act

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday November 05, 2009 - 08:36:00 AM

The East Bay Municipal Utility District and Berkeley are in trouble with the Environmental Protection Agency for violating the federal Clean Water Act. -more-

Police Review Commission Report Finds Rise in African-American Complaints

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday November 05, 2009 - 08:37:00 AM

A new report by the Berkeley Police Review Commission found that the majority of complaints filed against police officers are by African-Americans, a fact some city councilmembers view as troubling. -more-

Council Plans to Consider Law Banning Cat Declawing

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday November 05, 2009 - 08:39:00 AM

The controversy surrounding cat de-clawing is about to hit close to home for Berkeley, when its City Council votes on whether to approve an ordinance banning the procedure on Tuesday, Nov. 10. -more-

Berkeley Ferry Project Makes Waves But Fails to Win Support

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday November 05, 2009 - 08:39:00 AM

When news of the Bay Bridge closure broke at the Berkeley City Council meeting on Tuesday, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates asked, jokingly: “Where’s our ferry?” -more-

Partisan Position: UC Ducks Alquist-Priolo Ban on Rebuilding Stadium on Fault Line

By Janice Thomas
Thursday November 05, 2009 - 08:34:00 AM
According to California’s Omnibus Act of 2009, UC Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium site, atop the Hayward Fault, is exempt from the Alquist-Priolo Fault Zoning Act, which prohibits most new construction on earthquake faults.

UC Berkeley has found a way to evade the limitations that are imposed by the Alquist-Priolo Fault Zoning Act on new construction atop earthquake faults. UC has persuaded the California Legislature to add just a few sentences to its 61 page Omnibus Act of 2009. -more-

Partisan Position: UC Faculty Raises Questions about Value of School’s Athletic Programs

By Raymond Barglow
Thursday November 05, 2009 - 08:35:00 AM

Although it is widely believed that the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA) earns a profit for the Berkeley campus, its financial statements reveal that it significantly outspends its revenues every year, depleting precious campus resources.” -more-

Remembering Alexander Hoffmann

By Elijah Wald and Lincoln Bergman
Thursday November 05, 2009 - 08:40:00 AM
Alexander Hoffmann (at left), with Mario Savio

Alexander P. Hoffmann, a well-known Bay Area radical attorney and activist, died Thursday evening at Piedmont Gardens in Oakland at the age of 81, after a long illness. -more-

Clarifications and Corrections

Thursday November 05, 2009 - 08:41:00 AM

The photograph of Harold Murphree that ran in the Oct. 29 issue of the Planet was taken by John Reynolds. -more-



Dealing Sensibly with H1N1

By Becky O'Malley
Thursday November 05, 2009 - 09:27:00 AM

In the last week we’ve been deluged with press releases and even proffered op-eds from quasi-medical providers who want to publicize their contrarian views on the need for swine flu vaccine, hopefully creating a profit opportunity for themselves in the process. This just in: the Planet is open to all legitimate opinions, but not to junk science, not even junk science embellished with strings of faux footnotes. -more-

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday November 05, 2009 - 08:46:00 AM


Seldom a Day Goes By, or The Shape of Things to Come

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Thursday November 05, 2009 - 08:46:00 AM

He spent his final decades alone, a tenant—“resident” is the preferred term—in a low-income seniors’ and disabled persons’ rent-subsidized housing project. He was, in fact, all three: low-income, elderly, disabled. A paid “caregiver” jabbed, pushed and yelled at him. The apartment, a small studio, reeked. While inventorying his possessions during one of his hospital stays, she was heard to comment to a compeer, “We can sell this.” She had his pin number and had gotten her name onto his bank account. Asked why he didn’t request a different caregiver, he responded “I’m afraid.” No eccentric recluse, he wanted to be out and about. On weekends, when no building staff were on the premises, he would emerge from his cell and, leaning on his walker, navigate the corridor back and forth as many times as he possibly could. -more-

Discrimination at Bear’s Lair Food Court

By Ann My Linh Vu
Thursday November 05, 2009 - 08:47:00 AM

My name is Ann My Linh Vu and I am the owner of Healthy Heavenly Foods inside the Bear’s Lair Food Courts. -more-

A New Community Garden

By Patty Marcks
Thursday November 05, 2009 - 08:48:00 AM

The community garden movement, it appears, has taken root across our nation. In cities and in hamlets, people are planting veggies and herbs for their own dining tables. Indeed, in the wake of the current economic downturn, the practice of growing one’s own food feels somehow reassuring, practical, perhaps even patriotic. In addition to lower food bills, widely touted benefits include fostering self-sufficiency and community while reducing or even eliminating transportation costs and carbon footprints. -more-

To the Passion Born: Such a Full Tilt Radical Boogie Brave

By Arnie Passman
Thursday November 05, 2009 - 08:49:00 AM

Now looka here, -more-

2020 Vision Looks Beyond Just Improving Schools

By Jennifer Tillett
Thursday November 05, 2009 - 08:48:00 AM

It seems to me that those who are opposed to the Berkeley Unified School District taking recommendations from the 2020 Vision Planning Team feel this way because they misunderstand the intentions. According to the Berkeley Unified School District, “2020 Vision is a call to action to make educational success and well-being of all Berkeley’s children and youth a community-wide priority.” After reading through the recommendations draft myself, I can confidently say that I agree with the synopsis. However, this positive step toward improving academic and health outcomes among Berkeley’s most vulnerable youth is being unfairly portrayed by opposing groups as unnecessary, and even racist. -more-

First Person: Still a Mad as Hell Doc for Single Payer Health Care

By Mark Sapir, M.D., MPH
Thursday November 05, 2009 - 08:50:00 AM

I guess I haven’t held up my end of the bargain with the readers of the Berkeley Planet. A few Planet readers have approached me to ask why I didn’t finish writing my cross-country travelogue. So what happened, they wanted to know, when you got to Washington, D.C.? -more-


Undercurrents: Making an Alternative to Sideshows Work

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday November 05, 2009 - 08:42:00 AM

A friend and reader asks what I think of Mayor Ron Dellums’ and Police Chief Anthony Batts’ proposal for a safe and legal alternative to Oakland’s illegal street sideshows. The alternative, presumably, would be to recreate the street sideshow experience in an off-street location, with police and safety precautions in place, and would be designed to draw the illegal sideshow participants away from their street activity to the city-run event, thus eventually helping to shut the illegal street events down. -more-

The Public Eye: Financial Reform We Can Believe In

By Bob Burnett
Thursday November 05, 2009 - 08:44:00 AM

Prudent homeowners recovering from pest or water damage remove all compromised material before they rebuild. Similarly, surgeons prepare wounds for sutures by excising diseased tissue and sterilizing the damaged area. Nonetheless, as the United States struggles to restart its economy, we’re not identifying what caused the financial crisis or cleansing compromised institutions. -more-

Wild Neighbors: Honey Bees in America: Return of a Native?

By Joe Eaton
Thursday November 05, 2009 - 09:01:00 AM
European-descended honeybees like native Cailfornian flowers. These are on a matilija poppy blossom: Romneya coulteri.

A couple of weeks ago we heard, among others, a West Virginia group called the Dry Branch Fire Squad at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. One of the musicians told a string of jokes that I think I would have found less amusing if they had been about Arkansas. “They just found our great aunt,” he said. “Her name was Ardi … That’s the best picture she ever took. They say she could climb trees and walk upright. I never saw her do neither.” -more-

Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Thursday November 05, 2009 - 09:00:00 AM

THURSDAY, NOV. 5 -more-

Burlesque Revue Takes Over Ashby Stage

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Thursday November 05, 2009 - 08:52:00 AM

Hubba Hubba Revue, a local burlesque troupe, will be mounting a show in an unusual location this Saturday night. Rather than in a club, the show will open at the Ashby Stage. -more-

Masquers Get it Right with ‘Rocky Horror’

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Thursday November 05, 2009 - 08:56:00 AM

“You can’t rely on anyone!” laments ingenue Janet Weiss (Sophia Rose Morris) when a TV monitor reveals her nerdy fiancé Brad Majors (Raymond C. Duval) necking with their monstrously androgynous host, Dr. Frank N. Furter (Todd Carver) elsewhere in the castle that just happens to be on the route when their car breaks down in a rainstorm, setting in motion the louche goings-on—offspring of the unholy coupling of Sci-Fi, Rock ‘n Roll and a good number of the characters—comprising The Rocky Horror Show, creaking the boards at the Masquers Playhouse. -more-

Rep’s ‘Tiny Kushner’ Doesn’t Measure Up

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Thursday November 05, 2009 - 08:51:00 AM

Berkeley on fire!” read a recent New York Times article. It was about Tiny Kushner, five one-act plays by Tony Kushner, directed by Tony Taccone, at Berkeley Rep. -more-

Wiley, Baraka Team Up for Celebration of Music, Poetry at Yoshi’s

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Thursday November 05, 2009 - 08:58:00 AM

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet -more-

Books: Roszak Continues Work with New Study of ‘Elder Culture’

By Dorothy Bryant, Special to the Planet
Thursday November 05, 2009 - 08:59:00 AM

In 1969 Theodore Roszak’s book The Making of a Counter Culture hit the bestseller lists and won awards for its optimistic analysis of middle-class, non-conformist, anti–Vietnam War students of the post-war-generation “baby boom.” Forty years and 20 books later, he takes up the present-day challenges and opportunities of that same generation in his new books The Making of an Elder Culture. -more-

Community Calendar

Thursday November 05, 2009 - 08:43:00 AM

THURSDAY, NOV. 5 -more-