The Week



New: Interview: New Owners of the Oaks Theater

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday April 07, 2010 - 07:34:00 AM

It might take five men from India to save Berkeley’s historic Oaks Theater. -more-

New: Panoramic Hill Neighbors Settle Memorial Stadium Lawsuit with UC

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday April 07, 2010 - 07:18:00 AM

A lawsuit filed by a Berkeley neighborhood group over UC Berkeley’s controversial Memorial Stadium expansion project has been settled out of court. -more-

New: A Candlelight Vigil Mourns Prentice and Kyle

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Saturday April 03, 2010 - 01:53:00 PM

A candlelight vigil for Kyle Strang, who died in a car accident in Richmond Wednesday, was held at the park next to Strang's house on Acton Street and University Avenue around 7:30 p.m. Friday. -more-

New: Berkeley Hiker Describes Climbing Partner's Fatal Mount Shasta Climb

By Bay City News
Friday April 02, 2010 - 12:06:00 AM

The family and the climbing partner of an Oakland man who was found dead on Mt. Shasta this morning released a statement today detailing the climb and recalling their loved one. -more-

Oaks Theater Finds New Tenant, One that Promises Foreign Fare

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 01, 2010 - 06:19:00 PM

Tired of watching the same old Hollywood blockbusters or even independent flicks at your local Berkeley Theater? Well, starting very soon, the historic Oaks Theater will be showing foreign fare—Indian, Korean and even Mexican—and perhaps serving dinner and drinks with it. -more-

Updated: Friends, Family Shocked By Death of Berkeley High Students

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 01, 2010 - 03:10:00 PM
Berkeley High graduate Prentice Gray and Berkeley High student Kyle Strang were killed in a car accident in Richmond Wednesday.

For Berkeley High School students Prentice Gray and Kyle Strang, the end of their incredible friendship came too soon. -more-

Berkeley Police Investigate Credit Card Skimming Reports

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 01, 2010 - 12:16:00 PM

Berkeley Police Department fraud detectives are currently looking at approximately 10 cases where community members say they have been victims of credit card skimming scams. -more-

Police Arrest Westside Gang Suspects For Robbery

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 01, 2010 - 10:53:00 AM

Berkeley police Saturday arrested alleged members of the city’s notorious Westside gang after being alerted by witnesses who said gang members had committed a robbery. -more-

Berkeley High School – the Science Labs and Governance Council Controversies Continue

By Raymond Barglow,
Thursday April 01, 2010 - 09:18:00 AM

A rift between science teachers at Berkeley High School and the administration deepened at the end of 2009, when the School Governance Committee (SGC) approved Principal Slemp’s recommendation to eliminate science lab instruction being offered before and after regular school hours (in the 0th and 7th periods). This decision resulted in a campaign by parents and other members of the school community, including a group of parents calling itself “Science and Equity,” to preserve the labs. School district superintendent Bill Huyett intervened personally and met with school administrators and teachers, coming up with a compromise plan to reduce but not eliminate the labs. That compromise plan is currently not being implemented by the school administration, according to SGC parent representative Peggy Scott and science department head Evy Kavaler. -more-

Point Richmond Turkeys Headed for the Soup

By Tom Butt, Special to the Planet
Thursday April 01, 2010 - 10:02:00 PM

Nat Bates is at it again. He wants to wipe out Point Richmond’s wild turkey flock and even go after the stragglers in North and East. -more-

Pacific Steel Agrees to Release Some Odor Plan “Trade Secrets”

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 01, 2010 - 07:23:00 PM

Pacific Steel Casting has agreed to release certain parts of its Odor Management Plan, which it had previously declined to do, after arriving at a settlement agreement in February with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. -more-

UC Study Finds Deportation of Lawful Immigrant Parents Harms U.S. Children

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 01, 2010 - 05:56:00 PM

A new study by the UC Berkeley and Davis law schools concludes that forced deportation of lawful immigrant parents convicted of minor crimes can be harmful to U.S. children. -more-

New: Organic Consumers Association Pickets Chez Panisse

By Raymond Barglow,
Thursday April 01, 2010 - 02:40:00 PM
Picketers protest outside Chez Panisse in Berkeley Thursday afternoon.

Picketers claiming that Alice Waters, known worldwide as an advocate of organic foods and gardens, supports “growing food on toxic sewage sludge” appeared today at noon in front of her Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley. The protestors, from the Organic Consumers Association, say as well that the Executive Director of Alice Water’s Chez Panisse Foundation, Francesca Vietor, is a Vice President of the PUC, which has been giving away the sludge “compost” to gardeners in the Bay Area. -more-

News Group Tackles Offending Newsracks in Berkeley

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 01, 2010 - 01:20:00 PM
News racks not in use were removed from the pedestal near the downtown Berkeley BART station

Berkeley may have finally found a way to regulate offending newsracks. -more-

Suspected Drug Deal Leads to Car Crash

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 01, 2010 - 12:18:00 PM

A suspected drug deal investigation Wednesday morning set off a chain of crashes in Berkeley, sending a woman to the hospital with minor injuries -more-

New: Berkeley Supports Amnesty for Military War Resisters and Veterans

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday April 02, 2010 - 05:28:00 PM

The Berkeley City Council recently sent out letters to President Barack Obama, Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressperson Barbara Lee recommending amnesty for Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan war military resisters and veterans. -more-

UC President Outlines Actions in Response to Campus Racism

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 01, 2010 - 04:05:00 PM

University of California President Mark Yudof at a Board of Regents meeting last week outined a series of actions to address recent racist incidents on campus. -more-

Berkeley Woman Killed in Motorcycle Crash on I-80

By Bay City News/The Berkeley Daily Planet
Wednesday March 31, 2010 - 04:03:00 PM

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

Berkeley Police Arrest Berkeley High Student for Suspected Robbery

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday March 31, 2010 - 04:01:00 PM

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

Telegraph Laundromat Dilemma Gets Postponed for a Month

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday March 31, 2010 - 03:31:00 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-

Kyle Harty Strang,1993-2010

Friday April 02, 2010 - 05:29:00 PM

Kyle was born July 4th 1993 in Berkeley California, son of Craig Strang and Sharleen Harty, stepson of Persis Karim and brother of Niko Karim-Strang. Kyle and his dear friend and neighbor Prentice Gray, Jr. died in an automobile accident on March 31, 2010. -more-

Saturday April 03, 2010 - 01:58:00 PM



Worth a Look

By Becky O'Malley
Thursday April 01, 2010 - 10:39:00 PM

Some interesting links to relevant pieces appearing elsewhere: -more-

Letting the Sunshine In After Eight Years

By Becky O'Malley
Thursday April 01, 2010 - 12:58:00 PM

The great pitcher and philosopher Satchel Paige (may he rest in peace) used to say “Don’t look back—something might be gaining on you.” That’s advice I’ve always liked, but once in a while looking back can’t be avoided. Last Saturday Peter and Mary, old and dear friends from Ann Arbor in the 60s, who’ve been in central Pennsylvania even longer than we’ve been in Berkeley, unexpectedly came to town, and we met them at the Farmers Market for a lavish Berkeley breakfast of Blue Bottle coffee and crepes. -more-

The Editor's Back Fence

New: Piedmont Publisher Eyes Berkeley Market

Friday April 02, 2010 - 11:51:00 PM

The Planet has always needed a gossip column, and here's the perfect item to kick it off: -more-


Odd Bodkins

By Dan O'Neill
Wednesday March 31, 2010 - 10:51:00 PM

Odd Bodkins

By Dan O'Neill
Wednesday March 31, 2010 - 09:57:00 PM

Pepper Spray Times

By Carol Denney
Thursday April 01, 2010 - 12:32:00 PM

Public Comment


Thursday April 01, 2010 - 04:44:00 PM

Financial Aid Relief -more-

The Sunshine Ordinance and the People's Republic

By Alan Tobey
Wednesday March 31, 2010 - 05:23:00 PM

Dean Metzger's March 23 commentary on the proposed Berkeley Sunshine Ordinance (BSO) provides a summary list of changes it would bring to Berkeley civics in the cause of "open government." Most of them sound indisputably attractive. But as usual the devil is in the details -- the degree and extent of the specific changes -- and what those details add up to for the way we want to manage our city. Almost all of us are for more-open government. But as my mother used to say, more of a good thing is not necessarily a better thing -- not if it goes too far. -more-

Culminating Debate on BRT Begins

By Joseph Stubbs
Friday March 26, 2010 - 05:11:00 PM

The big debate on Bus Rapid Transit in city council has finally begun. The games began in earnest on March 23 in Council chambers when Mr. Bates and possibly others delivered their first stomach blow to the public by scheduling the item in such a way as to guarantee it would not come up until about twenty minutes to midnight, after droves of people had waited four to six hours to speak and many had left. This was acknowledged by councilmember Kriss Worthington, who referred to it as profoundly "disrespectful" to the public, and moved that an entire council meeting be dedicated to this important subject. So, on April 20 at 8pm the public will get their hearing, and on April 27, the Council will vote on whether to submit the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) in its current form to AC Transit for official study in the Environmental Impact Report. -more-

The Tea Party Crowd: Little More Than Thugs

By Ron Lowe
Thursday April 01, 2010 - 05:03:00 PM

I find it humorous to read about the so-called Tea Party movement and their cry to return to core conservative values. Why the outcry now as they work to place more fiscally irresponsible Republicans back in office? -more-

Analyzing Obama

By Marvin Chachere
Thursday April 01, 2010 - 04:58:00 PM

For almost two years - nomination through fourteen months in office - Barack Obama has occupied center stage. Usually that would be time enough for every interested voter to see where he stands and decide what he’s likely to accomplish. This has not happened. Instead his position is hard to figure out which has no doubt caused his approval ratings to plummet. -more-

Celebrate and Give Thanks

Janine Kovac
Thursday April 01, 2010 - 04:51:00 PM

On December 30, 2009, my little boys landed on the planet with pre-existing conditions. They were born at twenty-five weeks of gestation — three months early. They have been in the hospital for the last eighty-two days, racking up a combined sub-total of two million dollars in hospital bills. And that’s just for the first forty-five days. -more-

Welfare Cheat Confesses All

By Gar Smith
Wednesday March 31, 2010 - 01:55:00 PM

You've heard of me but we've never met. I've been part of America's political landscape for around 60 years. You might call me one of the original Baby Boomers. Like other boomers, I'm at the age when I can expect to look forward to retirement and the enjoyment of my government pension. But I'm not your typical Boomer. -more-

Future Shock, Carl Jung and President Obama

By Jack Bragen
Wednesday March 31, 2010 - 07:15:00 PM

As a mentally ill and yet hopefully a studious person, I have had some exposure to Carl Jung’s philosophy both through reading some of his books and talking with Jungian therapists. Some of his ideas are applicable to phenomena occurring in Obama’s presidency. -more-

Food Sovereignty

by R.G. Davis
Wednesday March 31, 2010 - 05:30:00 PM

In this short thought piece I repeat the phrase “food sovereignty“ a few times to see if it can replace “food security,” “food choice,” “slow food,” “gourmet food,” and “sustainable agriculture.” -more-



By Conn Hallinan
Thursday April 01, 2010 - 11:04:00 AM

When Israeli Minister without Portfolio Yossi Peled said recently that a war with Lebanon’s Hezbollah was “just a matter of time” and that such a conflict would include Syria, most observers dismissed the comment as little more than posturing by a right-wing former general. But Peled’s threat has been backed by Israeli military maneuvers near the Lebanese border, violations of Lebanese airspace, and the deployment of an anti-missile system on Israel’s northern border. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE:Life after Healthcare: What’s Next for Democrats?

By Bob Burnett
Wednesday March 31, 2010 - 03:05:00 PM

If there was every any doubt, the rowdy passage of the Healthcare Bill indicated we have begun the mid-term elections campaign. Building upon the momentum from their healthcare victory, Dems need to challenge Republicans with a series of bold initiatives to create jobs. -more-

SENIOR POWER: Nursing Homes

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Wednesday March 31, 2010 - 01:40:00 PM

There it was, on the March 22 TV news. Reportage of events associated with the Elmwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (2929 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley) once again brought nursing homes and caretakers, and thereby, elder abuse, into the news. Briefly. -more-

Arts & Events

MUSICAL OFFERINGS: Berkeley Symphony Plays Widmann, Barber, Brahms Tonight at Zellerbach

By Ken Bullock
Thursday April 01, 2010 - 06:05:00 PM

Joana Carneiro takes up the baton again tonight, Thursday, April 1, when the Berkeley Symphony performs a triple bill: Jorg Widmann's “Con brio”, in its West Coast premiere; Samuel Barber's Knoxville, “Summer of 1915”, sung by exquisite soprano Jessica Rivera, the Symphony's artist in residence; and Brahms' First Symphony. -more-

ONSTAGE, ROUNDABOUT: A Seagull in the Hamptons

By Ken Bullock
Thursday April 01, 2010 - 09:36:00 PM

Orson Welles staged a voodoo Macbeth and a fascist Italian Caesar in the 1930s. Now, Shakespeare's plays are set in Victorian garb, the Wild west, outer space ... Marco Bellochio's TV movie of Chekhov's The Seagull seems to subtly shift locale to Italy, and Andre Gregory's modern dress show for Louis Malle's camera fulfills its title: Vanya on 42nd Street. -more-