For Whom This Bell Tolls

By Becky O'Malley
Tuesday May 11, 2010 - 11:22:00 AM

Anyone who’s interested in the truth had better read the latest discharge from the seemingly bottomless sewer which calls itself FLAME ( “Facts and Logic About the Middle East”). Prudence would suggest that we should just ignore this garbage, but the serious accusations that the author makes which sully the good name of the Jewish community of the Bay Area can’t go unchallenged. -more-

Making Transit Work for People: Why BRT is Doomed to Fail

By Becky O'Malley
Friday May 07, 2010 - 11:21:00 AM

Today we have an excellent reader commentary from an environmental scientist explaining, once more with feeling, why AC Transit’s Bus Rapid Transit boondoggle will do absolutely nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, contrary to the claims of some local pols. To that can be added what’s even more pathetic: It won’t do anything to improve public transit either. -more-

The Editor's Back Fence

New: New Operating Instructions for This Publication! Please Read Before Tuesday.

Becky O'Malley
Friday May 14, 2010 - 03:58:00 PM

Regular readers (now more than 20,000 visitors a week, with almost 600 subscribers) will find this week’s Planet particularly confusing. We’re in a new phase of our experimental process, so please read this carefully and then bear with us during the transition.

From now on, the only “issue date” will be on Tuesdays. That’s the day we have complete events lists ready to post, which will give would-be audience members ten full days of arts and events listing, starting on Wednesday and going through the next two weekends.

We’ll “publish” the week’s issue that day. What this means is that when readers type in berkeleydailyplanet.com they’ll get the “current” issue, the one “published” on the most recent Tuesday. Then we’ll start adding stories to the “next” issue as they come in. Any time readers want to read these new stories, they can just click on the “next issue” button on the front page of the “current issue”. (Try it now.) To get back to square one, click on "current issue".

If a story is fast breaking and changing fast(the recent student hunger strike, for example), we might also add it to the “current issue” front page, above the original headline and under the red “Extra” heading on the right hand side. As there are new developments, we’ll just add these at the top, while not removing earlier versions.

A summary or final version of stories like this will then be posted in the next Tuesday issue.

The Tuesday issue will also be converted to PDFs (graphic pages) which will be posted on the site . These can easily be printed on home printers and will be available in print from Copy Central at Solano and Peralta for a small charge to cover the printing costs. We’re not going to create a printable version on Fridays any more, but each printable Tuesday issue will have the whole preceding week's content, updated as needed.

I’ll still be sending email updates twice a week to subscribers, with links to especially interesting stories.

If you’d like a free subscription, just click on “subscribe” at the right hand side of this page. And there’s also an “unsubscribe” button there if you want it.


In the Next Issue Now

Friday May 14, 2010 - 04:21:00 PM

Berkeley Police Seek Four Suspects in Connection With Recent Robberies;PG&E Apologizes for Smart Meter Problems, but Some Aren't Satisfied;;Life and Death on the Arizona Border; Open Letter to UC President Yudof Re: UC Statement on Divestment; Flashmob Invades Westin Hotel - Video Goes Viral;Watch the Youtube video that has already been seen over 100,000 times and is -more-;The Boy Scouts: A Pact With the Devil;Response to Prof. Kondolf on BRT;First Person: Lifestyles of the Mentally Ill;Ghosts of the Alaka’i; Reader's Recommendation: Anzu Restaurant ; -more-

Blips on the Screen: BP's a Threat in Berkeley Too; Raging Deer in Thousand Oaks; McMansion Marches On

Friday May 07, 2010 - 09:16:00 AM

Anyone who's worried about BP's seeming lock on a lot of space and people here in Berkeley had better read this :"...from my investigation, BP has figured out a very low-cost way to prepare for this task: BP lies. BP prevaricates, BP fabricates and BP obfuscates. That's because responding to a spill may be easy and simple, but not at all cheap. And BP is cheap. Deadly cheap." -more-


Odd Bodkins -- Sprung

By Dan O'Neill
Monday May 10, 2010 - 07:05:00 PM


By Marian Kamensky
Friday May 07, 2010 - 01:07:00 PM

Odd Bodkins -- The Miracle

By Dan O'Neill
Friday May 07, 2010 - 01:03:00 PM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Monday May 10, 2010 - 09:17:00 PM

NEW: Zionist -more-

Berkeley: Transit-Free Zone

By Charles Siegel
Monday May 10, 2010 - 09:28:00 PM

The city council has killed BRT in Berkeley. It is time for the city to update the "Nuclear-Free Zone" signs at its border by adding "Transit-Free Zone." -more-

The Grim Reaper of Greenhouse Gases

By Craig Collins
Monday May 10, 2010 - 09:58:00 PM

We hear a lot of talk about carbon dioxide as the most dangerous climate culprit. And we should. So far, loading the atmosphere with CO2 is the single biggest cause of climate disruption. But, in the final analysis, methane may prove to be the most deadly of all greenhouse gases. -more-

Failed Leadership and Predatory Fees

By Carol Gesbeck DeWitt
Tuesday May 11, 2010 - 12:50:00 PM

I’ve lived at the same Oakland address for 41 years. I rented for 9 years and have owned my home since 1978. I am a childless widow. I used to like where I lived. Now, I wish I could move my home out of Oakland. I have no desire to move. I just want to remove my life from the reaches of the egregious oppression of Oakland governance. Oakland has some of the highest paid city employees in the entire country. Clearly a city with this much poverty and serious needs cannot afford to compensate Oakland employees and politicians at the level they have managed to achieve and demand and still viably function and maintain needed services. -more-

Letters to the Editor

Friday May 07, 2010 - 02:04:00 PM

Mother's Day really was in its origin an antiwar day, an antiwar statement. Julia Ward Howe was sickened by what had happened during the Civil War, the loss of life, the carnage, and she created Mother's Day as a call for women all over the world to come together and create ways of protesting war, of making a kind of alternate government that could finally do away with war as an acceptable way of solving conflict. Countries used to go to war just for pride over some incident because they were offended or one king made a bad remark about another king. -more-

Updated: Of Polar Bears and Concrete Islands in Telegraph Avenue

By Matt Kondolf, with an addendum by Robert Lauriston
Friday May 07, 2010 - 10:02:00 PM

Shortly before the November 2008 election, I received in the mail a glossy flyer with a picture of a polar bear, which said “We can’t afford to wait…” The flyer argued that we must implement transit projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to save the polar bear, and that we should oppose a citizen initiative (Measure KK) to require voter approval of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) along Telegraph Avenue. My interest was piqued, and I began to follow the debate about the proposal for BRT with interest. As one trained to evaluate scientific claims, I was intrigued. The scientific question (with obvious policy implications) is whether building the proposed BRT down Telegraph Avenue will result in less greenhouse gas emissions than the current situation. But who paid for this slick flyer, and what scientific basis underlay the claim that pouring concrete islands in the middle of Telegraph Avenue was likely to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? -more-

Berkeley Budget Mess? Fix the Public Servant Cartel

By Victoria Peirotes
Friday May 07, 2010 - 10:06:00 PM

Recent headlines: “Berkeley Tackles $14.6 Million Budget Deficit”. Some may recall that ten months ago Mayor Bates was featured, in color, front page-and-center, in the Berkeley Voice, saying “The Future is Rosy for Berkeley.” Now “Rosy-the-Rivet-You” sings a different Looney-Tune. What a difference a year makes! -more-


By R.G. Davis
Friday May 07, 2010 - 03:41:00 PM

If we take the BP oil slick, now 23000 gallons a day (May 3, 2010), floating disaster into the gulf of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas onto Florida and then into the Atlantic Ocean as the greatest, the biggest, the primo example of how oil companies are killing the ecological resources, the breeding grounds fly-ways of birds and aquatic life; and make a connection by adding a report from the US Disease Control Agency, revealing that cigarette smoking, (still!) junk food and sedentary life are now causing obesity and diabetes thus increasing heart disease in 50 percent of the adult population (Chron., Disease Control April 27, 10: A8), then we could predict, with qualifying evidence and substantial data, based upon third party research of Government agencies and official news of the established press, that these ruinous events might well weaken the courage and resources of the US economy, the society, the military and the Empire. -more-