The Week

City workers hear plans for cutting the number of workers on each refuse collection truck from two to one.
Riya Bhattacharjee
City workers hear plans for cutting the number of workers on each refuse collection truck from two to one.
 

News

Berkeley Tackles $14.6M Budget Deficit, Plans Refuse Rate Increases

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday March 24, 2010 - 02:46:00 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 presented to the City Council Tuesday. -more-


ASUC President Vetoes Divestment Bill

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday March 24, 2010 - 05:25:00 PM

ASUC president Will Smelko on Wednesday vetoed a controversial UC Berkeley student senate bill opposing UC investments in companies providing military support to Israel, the Daily Cal reported late Wednesday night. -more-


Berkeley City Council Votes to Support Center Street Plaza

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday March 25, 2010 - 05:22:00 PM

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 received its blessing. -more-


Council Delays BRT Discussion, Extends Ashby Arts’ Housing Trust Funds

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday March 24, 2010 - 06:32:00 PM

The most controversial topic on the Berkeley City Council agenda was pushed to the end of the council meeting Tuesday, resulting in boos and angry calls for recalling the mayor. -more-


New: Telegraph Laundromat Dilemma Gets Postponed for a Month

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday March 26, 2010 - 07:43:00 PM

Southside Lofts residents were back Tuesday to make one last plea to the Berkeley City Council to deny a laundromat a permit to move into their building, or so they thought. -more-


NEWS ANALYSIS:Marching for California's Future Through Today's Desolation

By David Bacon
Thursday March 25, 2010 - 10:41:00 AM

TULARE, CA -- As the March for California's Future heads up the San Joaquin Valley towards Sacramento, participants are coming up hard against the reality of the economic crisis in rural California. The march began in Bakersfield, the day after widespread protests swept through the state's schools and universities on March 4. It is a protest against the impact of state budget cuts on education and social services, and marchers are finding that Valley communities are among those that feel their effects most strongly. -more-


New: Unlicensed Driver Cited in West Berkeley Chain of Crashes

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday March 29, 2010 - 09:47:00 PM

A traffic violation set off a chain reaction of vehicle collisions in West Berkeley Monday morning. -more-


New: Berkeley Police Arrest Berkeley High Student for Suspected Robbery

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday March 25, 2010 - 03:04:00 PM
Berkeley police Wednesday arrested a Berkeley High School student in downtown Berkeley in connection with a robbery.

Berkeley police arrested a Berkeley High School student in downtown Berkeley on Thursday in connection with a robbery. -more-


New: Berkeley Woman Killed in Motorcycle Crash on I-80

By Bay City News/Berkeley Daily Planet
Friday March 26, 2010 - 04:41:00 PM

A Berkeley woman was killed in a solo-motorcycle crash on Interstate Highway 80 in Richmond on Thursday night, according to the California Highway Patrol. -more-


Updated: Berkeley Celebrates Music Education on Sunday

by Raymond Barglow, www.berkeleytutors.net
Wednesday March 24, 2010 - 01:36:00 PM

This past Sunday, a music celebration was held at the Berkeley High Community Theatre. Featured were 500 students from 15 Berkeley public schools. Before a packed house, choirs, orchestras, concert and jazz bands played music and sang songs that they have learned over the past year. -more-


Updated: Berkeley Remembers Waving Man on his 100th Birthday

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday March 24, 2010 - 05:37:00 PM

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-


Updated: Measure C Campaign Launched with Berkeley Swimathon

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday March 24, 2010 - 07:35:00 PM

Swim to save the swimming pools. That was the unofficial motto of the Berkeley Pools Campaign at least for last Friday, when they launched a 24-hour swimathon to raise funds for Measure C, a ballot measure to raise money from taxpayers to upgrade and expand the city’s pools. -more-


Worth a Look

By Becky O'Malley
Wednesday March 24, 2010 - 07:34:00 PM

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/23/against-pro-israel/?hp -more-


Opinion

Editorials

The Sisters Set the Slackers Straight

By Becky O'Malley
Wednesday March 24, 2010 - 07:56:00 PM

Let’s hear it for the nuns. -more-


Public Comment

SUNSHINE in BERKELEY – The NEXT HURDLE

By Dean Metzger
Tuesday March 23, 2010 - 10:28:00 AM

After a couple of weeks of negotiating with the city bureaucracy the Berkeley Sunshine Ordinance has cleared all of the hurdles for circulating an initiative. Due to the lack of support from our city elected officials and city staff, the committee felt that the only way to get real sunshine (open government) in Berkeley was to circulate the ordinance as an initiative and place the ordinance on the November 2010 ballot -more-


New: If you don’t want to find anything, don’t look anywhere

By Daniella Thompson
Friday March 26, 2010 - 05:23:00 PM

By now, practically everybody in Berkeley knows that on January 28, the Zoning Adjustments Board approved a use permit for a nearly 10,000-square-foot house and garage at 2707 Rose Street. The story got national play because the property owners are Mitch Kapor and Freada Kapor Klein. -more-


THE ANNUAL CALIFORNIA BUDGET BATTLE

By Ralph E. Stone
Wednesday March 24, 2010 - 04:28:00 PM

Fasten your safety belts. It's budget time again in Sacramento. Prepare for a repeat of last year's contentious budget battle. California is still one of only three states – Arkansas and Rhode Island are the others – to require a supermajority to adopt a budget. And it still takes a two-thirds supermajority to raise taxes. True UC Berkeley linguistics Professor George Lakoff's California Democracy Act initiative is now circulating; it would enable a simple legislative majority to pass a budget and to raise taxes. However, there is some doubt whether the proposed initiative will be able to gather the necessary 694,354 valid signatures by April 12 to get the measure on the November ballot. -more-


Immigration Reform: We Need a Better Alternative

by David Bacon
Thursday March 25, 2010 - 10:36:00 AM

OAKLAND, CA (3/19/09) - Senators Charles Schumer and Lindsey Graham announced last week their plan for immigration reform. Unfortunately, it is a retread, recycling the same bad ideas that led to the defeat of reform efforts over the last five years. In some ways, their proposal is even worse. -more-


Nurse Practioners Provide Cost-Effective Care

By Matt Freeman
Thursday March 25, 2010 - 04:30:00 PM

During this month’s health care summit, President Obama pleaded for practical solutions to our healthcare crisis. During America’s ongoing debate about cost control, access to care, and healthcare quality, the role of the primary care provider has become particularly critical. The family doctor is the first line of care, a gatekeeper, and a coordinator of care in our complex healthcare structure. -more-


Health Care Bill: The Morning After

By Ken Shilling
Wednesday March 24, 2010 - 03:59:00 PM

Critics called it "a cruel hoax and a delusion," a socialist program that would compete with private insurers and kill jobs. If it passes, Americans will feel "the lash of the dictator," and "end the progress of a great country." One New York Republican Representative said, "Never in the history of the world has any measure been brought here so insidiously designed as to prevent business recovery, to enslave workers." We were told that to cooperate with it would be "complicity in evil." -more-


Lau's Resignation

Carol Denney
Wednesday March 24, 2010 - 03:20:00 PM

I'm glad Councilmember Linda Maio agrees that Lau's resignation from the Zoning Adjustment Board is appropriate, given his gross indiscretions. -more-


AIPAC Doesn't Speak for Me

Rosalind Gordon
Wednesday March 24, 2010 - 04:07:00 PM

Those of us who truly care about Israel's peaceful existence know that President Barack Obama is right to confront Israel about its housing expansion in East Jerusalem. The expansion undermines prospects for peace. -more-


Congress Did the Right Thing

Gary Robinson
Thursday March 25, 2010 - 04:24:00 PM

Congress and President Obama did a great job in passing health care reform. But the big winners are the American people. -more-


A Message of Hope

Marilyn McPherson
Wednesday March 24, 2010 - 04:26:00 PM

I am responding to the news reports of a shooting at New Gethsemane Church of God in Christ in Richmond on February 14th and its aftermath. “Violence won’t crush us, Richmond’s faithful promise“ was the headline for one article describing a march and rally following the shooting. Bishop J.W. Macklin and others asserted the right of communities and youth to be free from violence and despair: "Never again. Our voice. Our city. Our hope." -more-


Marijuana, Bipolar, and the Governor

Thomas Massey
Wednesday March 24, 2010 - 04:37:00 PM

As much as I appreciate the reality expressed by reader Jack Bragen (3/10/2010) and agree with much of it. As an adult child of a mentally ill single mom and it appears world in many regards, certainly schizophrenic based society in America, I am compelled to retort. -more-


War and Unemployment

Terry Cochrell
Wednesday March 24, 2010 - 04:39:00 PM

AS OF TODAY, FOR SEVEN YEARS We citizens, but mostly our ruling class carelessly threw hundreds and thousands of billions of dollars into the deserts and quicksands and quagmires of IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN, PAKISTAN, IRAN, and the like; then Congress and the President expect the citizens to applaud when they toss a paltry, measly couple tens of billions at the U.S. joblessness dilemma. I just don’t get it; give me a break. -more-


The Permit Process and More

Sas Colby
Wednesday March 24, 2010 - 04:42:00 PM

As a regular reader of Daily Planet I want to add my voice to those who are saddened by the loss of the print version. -more-


Solidarity:How to Block PG&E Smart Meters

Gar Smith
Wednesday March 24, 2010 - 04:46:00 PM

A PG&E technician knocked on my door ten minutes ago and announced that he wanted to install the first of two "Smart Meters." -more-


The Party of No

Ron Lowe
Wednesday March 24, 2010 - 04:49:00 PM

Last minute thoughts for those just waking up: Republicans could care less if health care reform fails, if Americans get soaked to the tune of billions by insurance companies. The end game of the GOP is that President Obama fails. How insidious of the Grand Old Party. -more-


Columns

THE PUBLIC EYE: Confronting the Politics of Rage

By Bob Burnett
Thursday March 25, 2010 - 09:16:00 AM

In mid March, a bankruptcy examiner suggested that executives at Wall Street financial giantLehman Brothers used "materially misleading" accounting gimmicks to delay its collapse. At the same time, the national press speculated about the evolution of the Tea Party movement. The juxtaposition of the two articles raised the question, "What would Tea Party activists have done about Lehman Brothers?" How does inchoate rage translate into pragmatic political policy? -more-


SENIOR POWER:Medicare and “MY MEDICARE” -- What’s the difference?

by Helen Rippier Wheeler
Wednesday March 24, 2010 - 02:20:00 PM

“MY MEDICARE” is one of the best kept secrets around. It is a secure online service of Medicare, located at my.medicare.gov . It is useful for accessing your Medicare information, in English or Spanish. -more-


WILD NEIGHBORS: Possums and Parasites

By Joe Eaton
Wednesday March 24, 2010 - 01:59:00 PM

Last week I got a salutary reminder about the consequences—sometimes unforeseeable—of bringing exotic animals and plants to a new habitat. I was interviewing Melissa Miller, a Department of Fish and Game wildlife veterinarian, who studies the pathogen loads of sea otters. Miller happened to mention a die-off six years ago during which up to four sick or dead otters were being stranded every day along the coast between Morro Bay and Pismo Beach. The sick animals exhibited clinical signs of brain damage, and necropsies showed evidence of brain inflammation and enlarged lymph nodes. The casualties tested positive for a protozoan parasite called Sarcocystis neurona. -more-


Arts & Events

ONSTAGE, ROUNDABOUT

By Ken Bullock
Wednesday March 24, 2010 - 01:46:00 PM

This weekend, one notable music event and several in the theater: -more-


WILD NEIGHBORS: Possums and Parasites

By Joe Eaton
Wednesday March 24, 2010 - 01:59:00 PM

Last week I got a salutary reminder about the consequences—sometimes unforeseeable—of bringing exotic animals and plants to a new habitat. I was interviewing Melissa Miller, a Department of Fish and Game wildlife veterinarian, who studies the pathogen loads of sea otters. Miller happened to mention a die-off six years ago during which up to four sick or dead otters were being stranded every day along the coast between Morro Bay and Pismo Beach. The sick animals exhibited clinical signs of brain damage, and necropsies showed evidence of brain inflammation and enlarged lymph nodes. The casualties tested positive for a protozoan parasite called Sarcocystis neurona. -more-