The Week

The Carpenters’ Union was picketing the Safeway at College and Claremont on the Berkeley-Oakland border on Tuesday to publicize a dispute with the grocery corporation over the alleged use of non-union carpenters on a San Jose building site, which is now being investigated by the National Labor Relations Board.
Nancy McKay
The Carpenters’ Union was picketing the Safeway at College and Claremont on the Berkeley-Oakland border on Tuesday to publicize a dispute with the grocery corporation over the alleged use of non-union carpenters on a San Jose building site, which is now being investigated by the National Labor Relations Board.


New: Berkeley to Tackle $14.6M Budget Deficit at Council Tuesday

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday March 22, 2010 - 11:54:00 PM

A severe cash crunch has sent the City of Berkeley scrambling to find ways to stay afloat in a tough economy, including a two-year rescue plan whose blueprint City Manager Phil Kamlarz will present to the City Council Tuesday. -more-

New: Berkeley City Council to Vote on Whether to Support Center Street Plaza

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday March 22, 2010 - 12:06:00 AM

When it comes to its city’s downtown, the Berkeley City Council can be extremely picky. But on Tuesday, a concept for creating a plaza with a water feature on Center Street could very well receive its unanimous blessings. -more-

New: Former Berkeley Nursing Home Administrator Suspected of Stealing from Alzheimer’s Patients

By Bay City News
Monday March 22, 2010 - 05:59:00 PM

A former Berkeley nursing home administrator was arrested this morning for allegedly stealing more than $50,000 from elderly patients, including one woman who she allegedly kidnapped and held for nearly a year while cashing her pension and social security checks, state Attorney General Jerry Brown announced. -more-

New: Lawrence Berkeley Lab Gets $13.5M for Cancer Research

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday March 22, 2010 - 04:08:00 PM

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will receive $13.5 million from the National Cancer Institute to develop computational models that predict breast cancer responses to therapeutic agents. -more-

New: UC Student Senate Israel Divestment Vote Sparks Controversy

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday March 19, 2010 - 06:25:00 PM

A controversial UC Berkeley student senate bill opposing UC investments in companies providing military support to Israel has once again added a local twist to the Israel-Palestine conflict. -more-

Berkeley Swims to Save Its Swimming Pools

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday March 18, 2010 - 06:31:00 PM
A 24-hour swimathon is being held to raise funds for the Measure C campaign which seeks to rehabilitate and expand the city's pools.

Swim to save the swimming pools. That’s the unofficial motto of the Berkeley Pools Campaign at least for Friday, when they launch a 24-hour swimathon to raise funds to upgrade and expand the city’s pools. -more-

Lau Resigns from Zoning Adjustments Board, Continues as Aide to Councilmember Moore

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday March 18, 2010 - 12:51:00 PM

Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board member and City Council Aide Ryan Lau has resigned from the zoning board following a report in the Daily Planet last week which revealed that he had violated the city’s permit process. -more-

New: Berkeley Remembers Waving Man on his 100th Birthday

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday March 22, 2010 - 01:41:00 PM
Mr. Charles’ great grandson Charles Kimble, 29, showed up to take part in the birthday celebrations Monday.

The yellow gloves came out once again at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Oregon Street Monday to celebrate the 100th birthday of Joseph Charles, Berkeley’s Waving Man. -more-

New: 24-Hour Swimathon Supports Berkeley’s June Measure C

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday March 19, 2010 - 01:12:00 PM
CAL Men's Water Polo Team swims in support of ballot Measure C -- a bond measure to save, rehab and improve Berkeley's city pools

The 24-hour swimathon to support Berkeley’s June ballot Measure C—a bond measure to save, rehabilitate and improve the city’s public pools—kicked off at sunrise today. -more-

City Council Opens Debate on Bus Alternatives

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday March 18, 2010 - 10:35:00 PM
The City Council is scheduled to discuss a "Build" option at their meeting. Above, a AC Transit Rapid bus on Telegraph Avenue.

Bus Rapid Transit lovers, haters and skeptics are getting ready to make their case at the Berkeley City Council Tuesday, when the council discusses whether to decide on which “Build” alternative if any to forward to AC Transit for environmental review. -more-

Berkeley Building Inspector Halts Lau Building Project

by Fred Dodsworth
Thursday March 18, 2010 - 10:07:00 PM

While Berkeley City Council District 2 representative Daryl Moore says his aide, Ryan Lau, made a mistake in replacing an old funky garage with a larger living structure without obtaining permits or zoning approval, it appears the mistake is much bigger, more expensive and more problematic than simply paying a higher fee. Lau was ordered to cease construction on Monday, March 15, 2010, by Building Inspector Greg Heidenreich. -more-

Students Leave Berkeley for March for America

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday March 18, 2010 - 10:23:00 PM
Father Crespin blesses the delegation on the steps of St. Joseph The Worker Church Wednesday morning before the journey.

A busload of Berkeley students left for Washington D.C. Wednesday morning for the March 21 March for America demonstration at the National Mall. -more-

Major AC Transit Cuts To Go Into Effect Sunday, March 28

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday March 18, 2010 - 06:40:00 PM

Major changes are in store for AC Transit riders in Berkeley, Emeryville and Albany starting next Sunday, March 28. -more-

Updated: Rash of Violence at Berkeley High

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday March 18, 2010 - 02:56:00 PM

New details emerged Tuesday about the string of violent incidents that took place in and around Berkeley High School last week. -more-

New: Berkeley Schools Celebrates Annual Music Education Festival Sunday

By Raymond Barglow, Special to the Planet
Saturday March 20, 2010 - 11:02:00 AM

The Berkeley public schools will present their annual Performing Arts Showcase Sunday, March 21. -more-

Persian New Year Festival in Berkeley

VIDEO by Mike O'Malley
Thursday March 18, 2010 - 11:25:00 PM

Celebrators of the Persian New Year, “Chahrshanbeh Souri”, jumped over a bonfire on Tuesday, at Berkeley’s Persian Center, in order to shake off the darkness of winter and welcome the lightness of spring, a Persian ritual passed down since ancient Zoroastrian times. -more-

Police Ask Help to Identify North Berkeley Burglar Suspect

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday March 17, 2010 - 04:18:00 PM

Berkeley police said Wednesday that they want the community’s help to identify a suspect responsible for a series of North Berkeley residential burglaries. -more-

Charles Muscatine, 1920-2010

From UC Berkeley Media Relations
Wednesday March 17, 2010 - 03:14:00 PM

Editor’s Note: Like many before and after me, I had the great privilege and pleasure of studying Chaucer with Mr. Muscatine. In the olden days, those who taught in the college of Letters and Sciences at Cal (never “UC Berkeley” or “Berkeley”) prided themselves on being just plain Mr., or occasionally Mrs. or Miss. Titles like Doctor or Professor were thought to pertain to lesser institutions where teachers boasted of their research achievements with their titles, but in the English Department at least it was taken for granted that everyone was a scholar. But not everyone was a born teacher, as was Mr. Muscatine. -more-

Edgar Tietjen Monk, 1917-2010

By Edith Monk Hallberg
Tuesday March 16, 2010 - 09:44:00 PM

Edgar T. Monk was born February 29, 1917 in Cowley Wyoming. His mother, Augusta Tietjen Monk died when he was 10 and he was sent to live with his paternal grandparents, devout members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He was a cowboy on his grandfather’s ranch until 1937, when he became an elder in the Church and went on missions to Norway and the UK until his return in 1939. -more-

Monday March 22, 2010 - 04:17:00 PM

Monday March 22, 2010 - 02:42:00 PM
From the Facebook page "Ask the Mayor of Berkeley to recognize Mr. Charles 100th Birthday." The page has more than 700 fans from all over the world.

Friday March 19, 2010 - 01:23:00 PM



New: Worth A Look

By Becky O'Malley
Tuesday March 23, 2010 - 10:14:00 AM

This space this week is being used to direct readers to interesting offerings on other websites. -more-

Where We Are This Week, and What You Can Do About It

By Becky O'Malley
Thursday March 18, 2010 - 01:00:00 PM

It’s time for a bit of housekeeping, to clear up questions we’ve been getting around town and in letters. Many faithful Planet readers have inquired about the absence online of familiar features they knew and loved in the printed paper. In the last few weeks we’ve gotten a better understanding of the peculiar situation in which we find ourselves, and now it’s time to share it with the public. -more-


Odd Bodkins

By Dan O'Neill
Wednesday March 17, 2010 - 04:11:00 PM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday March 18, 2010 - 10:52:00 PM

I was amused years ago when Spiro Agnew used the phrase "nattering nabobs of negativism" against the media. Now it seems a better description for the Republicans in congress. -more-

An Open Letter to Darryl Moore

By Thomas J. Towey
Wednesday March 17, 2010 - 05:26:00 PM

Dear Mr. Moore: I am an architect residing in your district in Berkeley, as is my wife and business partner. I have had occasion to work with you and Mr. Lau in regard to the BUSD's ill-fated plans for the Adult School site, and (with your important support) in turning that project around, creating a much better outcome for all concerned. -more-

Regarding Mr. Ryan Lau

Paola Laverde
Wednesday March 17, 2010 - 09:02:00 AM

Hello there Daily Planet, I'm sending you a copy of the letter I wrote to Berkeley City Auditor Ms Hogan this morning (3-16-10) It is regarding the reckless behavior of Ryan Lau, the ZAB board member and aide to Councilman Moore. -more-

The Richmond Chamber of Horrors

By Tom Butt
Tuesday March 16, 2010 - 05:44:00 PM

The Richmond Chamber of Commerce, erstwhile defenders of land speculators and global oil corporations, just can’t let go of politics. They should rename themselves “Richmond Chamber of Horrors.” -more-

The Snub Heard Around The World

By Ralph E. Stone
Wednesday March 17, 2010 - 05:27:00 PM

In President Obama’s June 2009 Cairo Islam speech, he called for a Palestinian state and a freeze on Israeli settlements. The Obama administration seemed to be announcing a neutral U.S. policy in all things Middle East or at least a less pro-Israel approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. How naive we were. -more-

Ending the Shore Wars

By Jim Rogers
Wednesday March 17, 2010 - 02:30:00 PM

Like Star Wars, Richmond's Shore Wars are a lengthy drama with a familiar cast of characters and endless battles. -more-


THE PUBLIC EYE: Dangerous Visions for Desperate Times

By Bob Burnett
Tuesday March 16, 2010 - 06:20:00 PM

The good ship USA is sailing through an iceberg-laden sea, severely damaged and taking in water. Beset by an array of daunting problems, including a failed economy and global climate change, Americans have two choices. We can ignore how bad our situation is or we can fight to save our democracy. For those of you who feel like taking action, here are ten dangerous visions. -more-


By Conn Hallinan
Wednesday March 17, 2010 - 05:49:00 PM

Earthquakes, like the recent Haitian and Chilean monsters, are not subtle events: They flatten buildings, crush houses, and turn infrastructures into concrete and steel confetti. But earthquakes can also generate a power that remains largely unseen until a huge tsunami rises out of the sea and obliterates a coastline. -more-


By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Wednesday March 17, 2010 - 05:33:00 PM

“Old age comes on suddenly, and not gradually as is thought.” Emily Dickinson -more-

Arts & Events

Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar Selections

By Bonnie Hughes
Thursday March 18, 2010 - 03:05:00 PM

Look here for an ongoing guide to selected arts events in Berkeley compiled by the producer of the Berkeley Arts Festival. -more-

Onstage, Roundabout

By Ken Bullock
Thursday March 18, 2010 - 02:42:00 PM

Theater continues apace in Berkeley and environs, in an almost continual outpouring. -more-

Oakland East Bay Symphony Presents Buster Keaton's The General

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday March 18, 2010 - 03:02:00 PM
Buster Keaton as Johnnie Gray, an engineer determined to reclaim his locomotive from the Union soldiers who stole it, in the great silent comedy <i>The General.</i>

In 1998, amid an orgy of end-of-the-millenium top 100 lists, the American Film Institute released its list of the 100 best American films, a list that included three Charlie Chaplin movies but, inexplicably, no Buster Keaton films, despite the fact that several of his works, most notably The General (1926), rank among the silent era’s best and frequently hover near the top of many critics’ lists of the best films ever made. -more-

Berkeley Historical Society Walking Tours Start March 27

By Steven Finacom
Thursday March 18, 2010 - 03:06:00 PM
Berkeley’s historic, hand-built, Finnish Hall will be featured on the March 27 Berkeley Historical Society walking tour.

The history of two of Berkeley’s early ethnic communities, an elevated residential enclave, a North Hills neighborhood viewed by a Berkeley native, behind the scenes visits to two notable performing arts spaces, and trees of the UC campus—the Spring 2010 walking tours season of the Berkeley Historical Society offers a varied and enticing palette of outdoor opportunities, starting Saturday, March 27. -more-