The Week

Day laborers wait for work at Hearst Avenue and Fifth Street Wednesday afternoon.
Michael Howerton
Day laborers wait for work at Hearst Avenue and Fifth Street Wednesday afternoon.


Walgreens Shooting Suspect Still At large

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday December 08, 2009 - 01:03:00 PM

Berkeley police are still looking for a suspect involved in a shooting Sunday night. -more-

UC Protesters Return to Wheeler Hall

By Raymond Barglow
Tuesday December 08, 2009 - 09:07:00 AM

Having barricaded themselves in Wheeler Hall on Nov. 20, on the last day of a three-day strike, UC Berkeley students who oppose cuts to public education in California returned to Wheeler Monday night, Dec. 7. -more-

DA Drops Criminal Charges Against Marine Recruitment Center Protester

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday December 07, 2009 - 03:57:00 PM

The Alameda County district attorney’s office Monday dropped charges against anti-war activist Stephanie Tang pertaining to her involvement in demonstrations two years ago outside downtown Berkeley's Marine Recruitment Center. -more-

Berkeley City College Hosts Another Meeting Against Cuts

By Raymond Barglow
Monday December 07, 2009 - 03:54:00 PM
BCC Global Studies Program Coordinator Joan Berezin, De Anza instructor and Peralta Community College Trustee Nicky Gonzalez Yuen, Galileo High School teacher Kristy Morrison and BCC Multimedia Arts Co-Chair Joe Doyle at Saturday's meeting at Berkeley City College.

A meeting and lunch were held Saturday at Berkeley City College as a follow-up to an early November meeting at which several hundred representatives of California schools gathered to organize against cutbacks to public education. -more-

Court Orders South Berkeley Problem House Boarded Up

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday December 07, 2009 - 12:59:00 PM

Responding to a motion filed by City Attorney Zach Cowan, a judge last week ordered a longtime South Berkeley problem property boarded up. -more-

Activist Involved in Berkeley Marine Recruitment Center Protest to Appear Before Court

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday December 07, 2009 - 12:58:00 PM

Stephanie Tang, an activist with the anti-war group World Can’t Wait, is scheduled to appear in court Monday for a hearing in a criminal case involving demonstrations outside the Marine Recruitment Center in downtown Berkeley. -more-

AC Transit to Consider Revised Service Cuts at Dec. 16 Meeting

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday December 07, 2009 - 08:07:00 AM

AC Transit’s Board of Directors may vote on whether to reduce bus service by 8.4 percent at its Dec. 16 meeting in the light of a severe budget deficit expected to reach $57 million by June. -more-

Berkeley Police Still on Lookout for Elmwood Robbery, Shooting Suspects

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday December 07, 2009 - 08:07:00 AM

Berkeley police are still looking for two suspects involved in a robbery and shooting in the Elmwood district more than a week ago. -more-

Machines Approved for Instant Runoff Voting in Alameda County

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday December 04, 2009 - 07:36:00 PM

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen approved the use of instant runoff voting equipment in Alameda County Friday, Dec. 4, clearing the way for its use in Berkeley, Oakland and San Leandro for the November 2010 elections.  -more-

BART to Hold Dec. 17 Hearing on Search for New Police Chief

Bay City News
Friday December 04, 2009 - 11:21:00 AM

BART Director Carol Ward Allen says the transit agency will hold a public hearing Dec. 17 to get input from the public on the criteria they think should be used in hiring a new police chief. -more-

Day Laborers Struggle Amid Tough Economic Times

By Carl Nasman, Special to the Planet
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 08:38:00 AM

Smells of turkey drifted from the kitchen while shouts and laughter echoed from a soccer game in the gymnasium below. This was the scene on Thursday as many of Berkeley’s day laborers spent their Thanksgiving Day at the James Kenney Community Center in James Kenney Park at 1720 Eighth St. between Virgina and Delaware streets. Teeming with friends and food, the event, organized by the Multicultural Center in Berkeley, contrasted sharply with an increasingly difficult struggle on the streets. The recession has hit day laborers hard, and many are searching for ways to make ends meet. -more-

School Board Approves District Zoning Changes

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 08:45:00 AM

Parents looking to enroll their kids at Berkeley public elementary schools next year will have a few more choices at Saturday’s annual kindergarten fair. -more-

Post Office Patrons Protest Closures

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 08:45:00 AM

A small but spirited crowd turned up at a town hall meeting at Longfellow Middle School Tuesday, Nov. 24, to protest the proposed closure of Berkeley’s Park Station post office on Sacramento Street. -more-

BUSD Trails State Averages in Fitness

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 08:47:00 AM

Results of the 2009 Physical Fitness Test released Monday by the state Department of Public Education show Berkeley public schools trailing their peers in six fitness categories. -more-

Free Speech Movement Commemoration Held at UC

By Raymond Barglow, Special to the Planet
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 08:48:00 AM

A commemoration of the 45th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement took place at noon Wednesday at Sproul Plaza on the UC campus. -more-

Amended Berkeley Noise Ordinance Doesn’t Please Everyone

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 08:51:00 AM

Although the Berkeley City Council unanimously approved an amendment to the city’s existing noise ordinance more than two weeks ago, a small group of people is getting ready to oppose some of the changes at the Dec. 8 meeting where councilmembers are scheduled to confirm their decision. -more-

Council Debates Sending Coat Hanger to Congressmen

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 09:13:00 AM

The Berkeley City Council will decide at its Dec. 8 council meeting whether to send a coat hanger along with a letter opposing the Stupak-Pitts Amendment to the health reform bill to 20 congressional representatives who voted to approve the amendment. -more-

Judge Rules Long Haul Activists Can Sue Over Raid

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 08:52:00 AM
The Long Haul Info Shop on Shattuck Avenue in South Berkeley.

A federal judge ruled Monday that Berkeley’s Long Haul Infoshop can sue federal agents for an Aug. 27, 2008, raid by University of California police. -more-

More Than 100 UC Faculty Condemn Police Actions During Strike

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 08:52:00 AM

Calling for a prompt, “impartial and comprehensive” investigation into police brutality that allegedly took place on the UC Berkeley campus during the recent Wheeler Hall occupation, more than 100 faculty members signed an open letter to Chancellor Robert Birgeneau Nov. 25 condemning the violence. -more-

Claremont Hotel, Labor Union Fail to Achieve Contract

By Raymond Barglow, Special to the Planet
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 08:53:00 AM
Union members demonstrate outside the Claremont Hotel Monday.

On Monday, Nov. 30, afternoon the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Workers Union (HERE) Local 2850, picketed at the entrance to the Claremont Resort on Ashby Avenue. -more-

Former Cal Performances Chief Named New City Arts Commissioner

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 08:49:00 AM

Former Cal Performances head Robert W. Cole joined the Berkeley Civic Arts Commission Tuesday. -more-

Court Orders South Berkeley Problem House Boarded Up

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 08:50:00 AM

A judge on Wednesday ordered a longtime problem property at 1610 Oregon St. boarded up as provided for in health and safety codes, siding with the plaintiff, the city of Berkeley, on the issue. -more-

Jack Harrison Dies at 69

By Dave Blake
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 08:49:00 AM

Jack Harrison, longtime labor activist, defense attorney and drug rehab counselor, died Nov. 16 of gastrointestinal stromal cancer. Jack served for the last five years on the Rent Stabilization Board and was the 2006 Peace and Freedom Party candidate for California attorney general. Anyone who attended Rent Board hearings will remember him well—a rangy, stereotypically irascible Irishman, he always let you know when you were dancing around an issue, that life was far too short for bullshitting. -more-

Holiday Shopping at the Berkeley Flea Market

By Lydia Gans, Special to the Planet
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 09:04:00 AM
Sher Hickerson tries on Tibetan jewelry at vendor Tseten Khangsar's booth.

The Berkeley Flea Market, happening every Saturday and Sunday at the Ashby BART station parking lot, has it all—exotic clothing, jewelry, local and imported arts and crafts, books, CDs, electronic equipment, foods, plants, home-crafted soaps and scents, and much, much more. There are vendors selling household goods and a section for the traditional kind of flea market goods—the pots and pans and things no longer in use. You can go there to look for a gift for a lover, a friend, a child or a parent—find it all and have so much fun at the same time. -more-

A Game of Chess: Teen Doings at the Public Library

By Phila Rogers, Special to the Planet
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 09:12:00 AM
Librarian Will Marston looks on as members of the teen chess club battle over the boards at the north branch of the Berkeley Public Library.

It’s 3:30 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon at the North Branch of the Berkeley Public Library. A dozen teens are gathering as Teen Services Librarian Will Marston lays out chess sets on the tables along with the all-important bowls of popcorn. By 3:45, the full bowls are reduced to a few unpopped kernels. -more-

Hilda Bell Roberts, 1915–2009

By Jane Welford
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 08:56:00 AM

I knew Hilda Roberts for the last 16 years of her life. She had a most remarkable life. She grew up in Philadelphia in a secular Jewish family. After finishing nursing school in Philadelphia in 1937, she joined the Medical Bureau to Aid Spanish Democracy, a group of medical personnel leaving for Spain to help the wounded from the fight against the fascists. She was 21 years old. She was so impressed with the many doctors who treated the patients, the doctors and the nurses equally, that she never forgot this. As a student nurse, the nurses would have to stand when a doctor entered the room. -more-

Partisan Position: Neighbors Oppose Expansion of College Avenue Safeway

By Annette Floystrup
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 08:46:00 AM
Rockridge residents are not happy with expansion plans for the College Avenue store.

Rockridge is a successful neighborhood that has recovered several times from severe economic impacts, including highway construction and the Oakland Hills fire, without any help from the City of Oakland. Following the construction of BART and Highway 24, more than 50 percent of the businesses were vacant, empty lots dotted College Avenue, and Rockridge was one of the most crime-ridden neighborhoods in Oakland. -more-

Bernard Maybeck and Berkeley’s Concrete Grid-Form Wall Panels

By Susan Dinkelspiel Cerny, Special to the Planet
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 09:15:00 AM
1007 University Ave., photographed this year.

On July 20, based on nine separate findings, Berkeley’s Landmarks Preservation Commission designated 1007 University Ave. a city landmark because architecturally and culturally the building met all of the Landmark Preservation Ordinance’s criteria for designation. The designation was appealed on the premise that Maybeck had “nothing whatsoever to do with the project.” The appeal goes to the City Council on Dec. 8 for a final decision. -more-

First Person: Remembering the Free Speech Movement On its 45th Anniversary

By Raymond Barglow
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 08:57:00 AM

I walked onto the UC Berkeley campus today, Wednesday, to attend the noon rally, in commemoration of the Free Speech Movement. On this day 45 years ago, I also came to the campus, and got arrested along with 800 others because of our occupation of Sproul Hall. This was the day that Mario Savio gave his famous speech from the steps of Sproul: “There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part ...” -more-



Keeping the Home Fires Burning

By Becky O’Malley
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 08:58:00 AM

What’s to become of us? After a brief halcyon period in which concerned Americans were allowed to believe that Barack Obama was a smart guy who had all the answers, reality set in. His economic recovery plan, colloquially known as the bailout, seems to have prevented total collapse, but it’s left a bad taste behind with those who are well aware that, as usual, most big finance players are making out like bandits. Employment recovery lags, as it always does. -more-


Two Quagmires

Justin DeFreitas
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 12:07:00 PM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday December 03, 2009 - 08:59:00 AM


Letters in Response to New York Times Article On the Campaign Against the Daily Planet

Thursday December 03, 2009 - 09:00:00 AM

Editors, Daily Planet: -more-

A Response in Favor of BRT

By Roy Nakadegawa
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 09:01:00 AM

It is very disheartening to read what a UC Berkeley professor who teaches a class titled “Introduction to Environmental Science” wrote in a Nov. 19 commentary, “Bus Rapid Transit Feel Good Environmentalism,” which is fraught with lay comments and is not a knowledgeable article. -more-

BRT and the Noisy Minority

By Charles Siegel
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 09:02:00 AM

We know that Berkeley’s citizens support Bus Rapid Transit. Opponents of BRT made the mistake of putting measure KK on the ballot. When they circulated the initiative to get signatures, they said people should sign to stop BRT. When they ran their campaign, they said people should vote Yes on KK to stop BRT. -more-

BRT Letters

Thursday December 03, 2009 - 09:02:00 AM


The Death of A Public Law School

By Benjamin Eisenberg
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 09:03:00 AM

The University of California Berkeley Law School is poised to become the most expensive publicly owned law school in the world. Over the next two years, fees will increase by 32 percent. That means that California students will soon pay almost $52,000 a year in tuition, only a few thousand less than equivalent private law schools. Out-of-state students will pay the same as if they had gone to Harvard or Yale. -more-

Oakland Rezoning Process Off the Rails

By Robert Brokl
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 09:04:00 AM

Oakland’s flawed zoning update process lurches ahead, but it’s now clear the Planning Commission and City Council will have the final say. Citizen participation has been misused or unwelcome. -more-


Dispatches from the Edge: A Coup at Foggy Bottom

By Conn Hallinan
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 08:54:00 AM

Watching the Obama administration’s about-face in the Middle East and Latin America raises an uncomfortable question: have neo-conservative Democrats—a section closely associated with the Clinton wing of the party—undermined U.S. foreign policy? Whatever the source of the shifts, their effect has been to heighten tensions in both areas of the world and marginalize the United States just as it was beginning to break out of the isolation of the Bush years. -more-

Undercurrents: Why I Didn’t Write About Dellums’ Tax Troubles

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 08:55:00 AM

Someone identifying himself as Javier Melendez took me to task in last week’s letters column for my failing to take Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums to task for the mayor’s recently reported tax difficulties. I quote the relevant parts in whole: -more-

Wild Neighbors: The Fine Points of Gull Identification: Why Bother?

By Joe Eaton
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 09:15:00 AM
A western gull, aggressively panhandling at Drakes Beach in Point Reyes.

It’s been a long time coming, but there was one identifiable point in my life when I realized I was no longer a Serious Birder. That was two years ago, when Gulls of the Americas, a Peterson Reference Guide, was published, and I didn’t buy it. I still haven’t bought it. In fact, I passed up a discounted copy at the end-of-Cody’s sale. -more-

Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

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

THURSDAY, DEC. 3 -more-

Subterranean Shakespeare’s ‘The Bronte Cycle’

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 09:05:00 AM

Subterranean Shakespeare, working their way through the Shakespearean canon in Monday night staged readings (they’re at number 25 now), will finish out the year with something different: playwright John O’Keefe’s The Bronte Cycle, performed on two Monday evenings, Dec. 7 and 14, at the Berkeley Unitarian Fellowship on Cedar Street. -more-

Berkeley Symphony Presents Stucky, Stravinsky, Sibelius

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 09:06:00 AM

Joana Carneiro will conduct the Berkeley Symphony in Steven Stucky’s Radical Light and Elegy from August 4, 1964, Jean Sibelius’ Seventh Symphony, and Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird Suite (1919 version), tonight (Thursday) at 8 p.m. at Zellerbach Auditorium. -more-

‘La Danse’ Fundraiser for Dancer’s Group

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 09:08:00 AM

Come join us in the dark and we will shine new light on the world.” -more-

Pacific Film Archive Presents the Work of Otto Preminger

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 09:09:00 AM

Otto Preminger: Anatomy of a Movie,” a 14-film retrospective of the famed Hollywood director’s work, opened last weekend at Pacific Film Archive. The series, which continues through Dec. 20, ranges from the romantic film noir Laura (1944) to the bizarre 1968 LSD crime burlesque Skidoo (starring Jackie Gleason, Carol Channing, Frankie Avalon, Mickey Rooney, George Raft—and Groucho Marx as God) and includes such well-known titles as The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), St. Joan (1957), Anatomy of a Murder (1959), Exodus (1960) and Advise and Consent (1962). -more-

Sacred and Profane Presents Holiday Concert

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 09:10:00 AM

Spain and the New World: A Holiday Concert” will be performed by Sacred and Profane, the Berkeley- and Oakland-based chamber chorus, now in its 32nd season, that specializes in a cappela music of different periods and places, at 8 p.m. Friday night at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Bancroft Way. -more-

Oakland PEN Awards

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

Oakland PEN will present the 19th Annual Josephine Miles Literary Awards for 2009 from 3–6 p.m. Sunday at Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way to Doren Robbins, Charles L. Robinson and Al Young, Herbert Gold, Janice Blue, E. Paolo Caruso, and Richard Bruce Nugent—as well as Reginald Lockett Lifetime Achievement Awards to A. D. Winans, Harriet Rohmer and Kristen Lattiny, and the Censorship Award to Jefferson Morley. A brief reading by the winners and reception will follow. Free admission. -more-

Golden Thread Presents ReOrient, an Annual Festival of One-Act Plays

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 12:09:00 PM

ReOrient, Golden Thread’s annual festival of one-acts about Middle Eastern identity, is celebrating its 10th anniversary, Thursday through Saturday nights and Sunday late afternoons through Dec. 13 at the Thick House on San Francisco’s Potrero Hill. -more-

Golden Thread Stage Live Online International Theater Presentation

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Tuesday December 08, 2009 - 03:44:00 PM

A male writer wants his girlfriend’s opinion of a story he’s written. The writer is in the States; the woman in question is living in Cairo. The text could be obliquely about their relationship, or at least his attitude about relationships, with Arab women in particular. What are her thoughts? “Be frank, even brutal,” he says. The writer—and lover—is asking for it. -more-

Community Calendar

Thursday December 03, 2009 - 08:56:00 AM

THURSDAY, DEC. 3 -more-