Homeless Suffer in Cold Weather

By Becky O'Malley
Thursday December 10, 2009 - 09:23:00 AM

Baby, it’s cold outside! Ask the regulars who spare-change in your neighborhood shopping area (you do know them by name, don’t you?) and you’ll find they are anxious about where they’re going to be able to sleep as the temperature drops. Many of Berkeley’s beggars are comfortable enough “sleeping rough,” as they say in Britain, except in weather like we’ve been having this week, when it’s just too cold to sleep on the ground. -more-

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday December 10, 2009 - 09:24:00 AM


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

Thursday December 10, 2009 - 09:24:00 AM

Editors, Daily Planet: -more-

Maybe We Should Bark

By Kathie Zatkin
Thursday December 10, 2009 - 09:25:00 AM

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors decided to cut General Assistance (G.A.). Currently, a full “grant” is $336. Beginning Jan. 1, Alameda County Social Services is directed to cut $84 if living with a roommate—and who on GA isn’t?—cut $40 more if not receiving Medi-Cal; cut an additional $231 if rent is more than GA grant; requiring landlords to sign a W-9 IRS form and penalizing recipient up to $231 if landlord fails to sign the form. -more-

BOCA Supports REALM Public Charter School 

Thursday December 10, 2009 - 09:26:00 AM

The Berkeley Unified School District has the largest racial achievement gaps of any school district in the State of California. While Berkeley schools have worked exceptionally well for a segment of the population, catapulting many students on to top tier colleges where they excel as leaders throughout their lives, many others don’t make it past the tenth grade. With the best of our collective efforts, our results are still tragically below acceptable standards. In a school of 3,300, there is only one African-American male taking an AP class. One. Our research, using data from the CA Department of Education, has shown us that less than 30 percent of black and Latino students who enter as ninth graders graduate from the Berkeley schools eligible to apply to attend the UC/CSU colleges.  -more-

Repairing the Reputation of Berkeley’s Largest Park

By Amber Rich
Thursday December 10, 2009 - 09:27:00 AM

Until recently, if highway 580 commuters glanced eastward toward Berkeley, they saw a collage of green shoreline with dilapidated, graffiti laden buildings, and a strip of flat water on the backdrop of an industrial landscape. This view has started to change in recent years and will continue to change for the better in coming months. -more-

An Open Letter to Obama

By David Z. Weinstein
Thursday December 10, 2009 - 09:27:00 AM

I would like to offer two suggestions for today’s job summit you are hosting at the White House. I think that it is President Franklin Roosevelt who we should all look to for inspiration during this great recession for his clarity of thinking and resoluteness of values in bringing the economy out of the great depression for the average American not Wall Street that got us there then as now. -more-

Reforming the Democratic Party?

By Harry Brill
Thursday December 10, 2009 - 09:28:00 AM

It is already apparent that any health bill approved by Congress will provide fewer benefits at a higher cost than health systems in any other industrialized nation. Although it is clear that the considerable clout of the pharmaceutical and insurance industries frustrate our ability to achieve a progressive health care law, we nevertheless need to know more about how political power intervenes to the advantage of corporations. Keep in mind that the health care issue serves as only one example of the high success rate achieved by business. But though we cannot stop corporations from trying, we can influence the conduct of legislative bodies. In crafting a political strategy also keep in mind that gains are made not only after we achieve our objectives. Working toward what we seek to accomplish begins the process of reshaping our social and political environment. -more-