New: Berkeley Today:Thursday

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 29, 2010 - 02:02:00 PM

A round-up of the day's interesting events as reported in other news media or otherwise. -more-

Updated: Berkeley Today:Wednesday

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 29, 2010 - 03:28:00 PM

A roundup of important events in Berkeley, as reported in other media: -more-

New: Court Rejects Chevron Appeal in Refinery Expansion Case

By Bay City News
Wednesday April 28, 2010 - 02:15:00 PM

A state appeals court in San Francisco on Monday upheld a lower court decision that the environmental report for Chevron's Richmond refinery expansion project is inadequate under state environmental laws. -more-

New: More Cuts Suggested for AC Transit East Bay Service

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday April 27, 2010 - 04:52:00 PM

AC Transit riders should brace for another round of cuts after major service changes and reductions went into effect March 28 to cope with a projected $56 million deficit in the 2010-2011 fiscal year. -more-

Cities Need to be the Deciders on BRT Alternatives

Partisan Position

By Joyce Roy
Tuesday April 27, 2010 - 06:57:00 AM

On April 20 the Oakland City Council did indeed vote to support the full-build “Locally Preferred Alternative,” i.e., the alternative preferred by AC Transit. But it also directed that “Rapid Bus Plus” be studied as an alternative. The Public Works Committee had decided they wanted to “Study East Bay Bus Rapid Transit Project without the use of a dedicated traffic lane” and which would “Provide Level Boarding.” “Rapid Bus Plus,” unlike the no-build and the full-build alternatives, would split the line at downtown Oakland so you won’t get bunching like on the #51 line, and it, also, retains local service. So there is a lot to say for the “Rapid Bus Plus” but, unfortunately, you can’t get level boarding without bulb-outs (which would make it “Curbside BRT” or “Rapid Bus Plus Plus.”) The entry of the present Van Hool low-aisle buses is 14.56” above the street. (And the standard for American low-floor buses are “no more than 15 ½”.) Sidewalk curbs are about 6” so without bulb-outs one would have to do something really weird, and probably hazardous to pedestrians, in order to provide level boarding from sidewalks. -more-

The Albany Waterfront – Open Space Outcome For City Visioning Process.

Partisan Position

By Patricia Jones
Monday April 26, 2010 - 09:06:00 PM

The Albany community came together for open space and recreation for the Albany Waterfront, allowing only minimal ‘green’ development in its vision for the waterfront. -more-

New Orleans After Katrina

News Analysis

By Ralph E. Stone
Tuesday April 27, 2010 - 12:56:00 PM

My wife and I just returned from a visit to New Orleans. While there, we toured some of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, and Hurricane Rita in September 2005. Rose Scott was our personable and knowledgeable guide for the tours. Rose, born and raised in New Orleans, is a retired high school teacher who now works as a tour guide. Katrina flooding and an oil spill rendered her St. Bernard Parish home uninhabitable. -more-

Press Release: Civil Rights Advocates Condemn Arizona Immigration Law at Press Conference

Thursday April 29, 2010 - 08:42:00 AM

PHOENIX, AZ - On Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. (MST), MALDEF, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Arizona and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) will hold a news conference on the House lawn of the State Capitol Grounds in Phoenix, Arizona to announce that they are preparing to challenge Arizona's extreme new law, which requires law enforcement to question people about their immigration status during everyday police encounters and criminalizes immigrants for failing to carry their "papers." The unconstitutional law, the groups say, encourages racial profiling, endangers public safety and betrays American values. -more-

Haiti Earthquake Lecture Wednesday

By Steven Finacom
Tuesday April 27, 2010 - 11:15:00 AM

The massive and shocking Haiti earthquake of January 12, 2010 is still periodically in the news, with much of the current focus on the human suffering and efforts at recovery. It was the fourth most deadly earthquake anywhere since 1900. -more-

Wednesday April 28, 2010 - 03:57:00 PM

THE PUBLIC EYE:Big Liars and the Voters Who Love Them

By Bob Burnett
Monday April 26, 2010 - 09:29:00 PM

It’s not surprising that Republicans oppose the Obama Administration – they want to suck up to the rich by maintaining the status quo. And it’s not surprising that they lie – this is, after all, the Party that created the fictional Iraqi atomic bomb threat so they would have a winning issue in the 2002 mid-term elections. What is surprising is that they’ve been so successful. Why are Republican supporters so enthusiastic when they’ve been force-fed a diet of BS? -more-

48-Day March Culminates in Sacramento Rally Against Budget Cuts

Raymond Barglow
Friday April 23, 2010 - 12:06:00 PM

Thousands of protestors, including a group of marchers who had walked through California’s Central Valley, held a rally in front of the state Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, calling for government and a tax system that serves all Californians. The march had lasted 48 days, during which the marchers covered 365 miles, bringing the message to Californians up and down the state that government in Sacramento ought to be reformed. -more-

Flash: Three More Awards for the Planet

Friday April 23, 2010 - 11:10:00 AM

The Berkeley Daily Planet won three awards in the California Newspaper Publishers Association's 2009 Better Newspapers Contest. -more-

Southside Lofts Residents Triumph Over Laundromat Once Again

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 22, 2010 - 09:15:00 PM
Southside Lofts homeowner Scott Stoller told the City Council Tuesday that the lack of an attendant at the laundromat would put his 4-year-old daughter Arunima's safety at risk when she played in the condo complex.

Southside Lofts residents emerged victorious once again Tuesday when the City Council voted to uphold the Zoning Adjustment Board's decision to deny a use permit for a laundromat in the building. -more-

Berkeley Residents Strongly Oppose BRT at Council Hearing

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 22, 2010 - 09:12:00 PM
A BRT opponent dressed as a rat gets up to speak during the public hearing as Berkeley resident Scott Tolmie looks on.

Even as the Oakland City Council voted to support AC Transit's Bus Rapid Transit plan Tuesday evening, Berkeley residents rallied vociferously against it at their council meeting, prompting Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates to say around 10:30 p.m. he would try to glue together the best parts of BRT to address the community's concerns. -more-

UC Student Senate Still Deliberating on Israel Divestment Bill

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 22, 2010 - 06:36:00 PM

The UC Berkeley student senate did not take any action Wednesday on the contentious Israel divestment bill which was vetoed by their president last month. -more-

Berkeley Police Apprehend Robbery Suspects

Thursday April 22, 2010 - 03:29:00 PM

At 1:00 on Thursday afternoon Officer Jamie Perkins of the Berkeley Police Department announced the arrests of three robbery suspects, all Richmond residents, who were responsible for a series of North Berkeley robberies. -more-

Support for Animal Testing Ban Fails at Humane Commission

By David Blake
Friday April 23, 2010 - 10:17:00 AM

The Humane Commission failed Wednesday night to pass a resolution expressing support for a prohibition against animal testing in the new West Berkeley Plan. Chair Anne Wagley (Arreguin, Dist. 4), who has also been a temporary appointee to the Planning Commission, explained that the rewrite of the West Berkeley Plan now in its last stages is designed to encourage large-scale research and development projects with as few restrictions as possible. She reported that she had introduced the idea of a ban on animal testing and received broad support from other planning commissioners. Wagley suggested that an endorsement of a ban by the Humane Commission would be compelling in the coming weeks as the Planning Commission debates their final recommendations. -more-

Defendant’s Character Examined in Cal Student Stabbing Case

By Bay City News
Thursday April 22, 2010 - 10:35:00 PM

Prosecutors in the trial of a man accused of fatally stabbing University of California at Berkeley student Christopher Wootton to death two years ago said in court today the defendant has a history of angry outbursts. -more-

Science Labs Controversy and Other Governance Issues at Berkeley High

Raymond Barglow
Friday April 23, 2010 - 11:32:00 AM

Following a tumultuous time in March and the beginning of April, Berkeley High School’s science lab controversy seems headed toward resolution. -more-

Bart Fires Second Officer in Grant Killing

By Bay City News
Friday April 23, 2010 - 09:47:00 AM

BART has fired a second police officer, Tony Pirone, who was present when Oscar Grant III was shot and killed in Oakland early on New Year's Day 2009, interim Police Chief Daschel Butler said today. -more-

The People’s Life Fund Awards: A Night to Feel Good about Taxes

Gar Smith
Thursday April 22, 2010 - 10:01:00 PM

On Tax Day, April 15, the Northern California War Tax Resistance (NCWTR) and People’s Life Fund (PLF) handed out nearly $20,000 in grants to local nonprofit organizations. What made this especially newsworthy is that the prize money came from tax resisters who had chosen to give the taxes claimed by the US Treasury to the PLF instead. For pacifists, the PLF offers a way to “positively protest” one’s unwillingness to write checks to a government that currently spends 54 cents of every dollar on the Pentagon’s current costs and past debts. -more-

NEWS ANALYSIS: “We are going to actually start amputating.”

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Thursday April 22, 2010 - 09:59:00 PM

A “Director’s Roundtable Discussion” was held on Tuesday morning, April 20, 2010 at the North Berkeley Senior Center (NBSC), corner of MLK and Hearst, in the dining room section of the multipurpose room. NBSC director Larry Taylor spoke for about 35 minutes. -more-

Bart Launches Bike Officer Patrol Progam

By Bay City News
Wednesday April 21, 2010 - 10:12:00 PM

BART today unveiled a new program that will take more than 60 of the agency's police officers out of their cars and place them on bicycles starting this summer. -more-

New: Reaching Out at the Berkeley Public Library

By Phila Rogers
Thursday April 22, 2010 - 05:19:00 PM
Computer access at the North Branch Library.

For twenty years now, Colleen Fawley, the outreach specialist at the Berkeley Public Library, has been packing up her sturdy canvas bags full of books and other library materials taking them to Berkeley residents who can’t get to the library. Laughing, Colleen refers to herself as the library ‘bag lady.’ -more-

CAL DAY 2010 - Photo Essay

By Steven Finacom
Thursday April 22, 2010 - 07:28:00 PM
The Victory Cannon, fired when the football team scores at Memorial Stadium, was a popular attraction at Cal Day on Memorial Glade, staffed by Rally Committee members.

The UC Berkeley campus was a busy kaleidoscope of people and activities on Saturday, April 17, 2010. -more-

Kyle Harty Strang Memorial On Tuesday

Friday April 23, 2010 - 09:46:00 AM

A Kyle Harty Strang Memorial will be held on Tuesday April 27, 2010 from 5-7pm in the BHS Little Theatre. The public is welcome. -more-

Monday April 26, 2010 - 08:39:00 PM

How do we remember a social protest movement? Often by words that have been left behind: founding documents, manifestos, flyers, and the like. But visual artifacts can be powerful too: sometimes a movement’s images reveal its deepest character and commitments. -more-

Flash: Great news for Richard Goldstone and his family....Mazel Tov!

By Betty Medsger
Friday April 23, 2010 - 02:26:00 PM

Finally, there is good news. We just got a call from Noleen Goldstone telling us that the leadership of rabbis of South Africa, previously quite condemning of Richard and suggesting that threatening conditions might exist if he attended his grandson’s bar mitzvah in Johannesburg in early May, have relented. They have told him that he is free to participate in the event and that there will be no demonstrations against him inside or outside the synagogue. -more-