Can Warren Hellman Save Journalism?

By Becky O'Malley
Monday May 17, 2010 - 12:44:00 PM

It’s an unusual experience to go to a meeting and afterwards read not one but two reasonably accurate reports about what happened there. But since the one I went to on Friday was the latest installment in the ongoing saga of The Future of Journalism, it’s not surprising that at least two accounts were online before two sunsets had passed.

There have been many stories told in various places about what’s happening with Warren Hellman’s media baby, born as the Bay Area News Project but recently rebaptized as the Bay Citizen. I took my little spiral reporter’s notebook to the meeting which they hosted for a few of the Bay Area’s many blogs and online news organs, but I don’t think I can improve on these two renditions. -more-

The Editor's Back Fence

New: Agendas

Thursday May 20, 2010 - 04:53:00 PM

If you want to know what's happening before it lands on you, watch the under-the-radar activities of the Agenda Committee, a cozy Berkeley City Council subcommittee (Bates, Maio, Wozniak) that pre-scripts what the council might do a week or so later. Of course, even when they agree on the agenda, minds can change in the interim. But here's the first draft of what might happen at the June 4 City Council meeting, to be considered at the Monday agenda committee meeting. -more-

In the Next Issue

Thursday May 20, 2010 - 09:10:00 AM

Breaking news stories can be seen on this page in the "extra" section.Click the "next issue" button above to see these new articles: Berkeley's Budget Nightmare (and Ours); Iran Sanctions Won't Work; Open Letter to UC Berkeley Officials Re Genetic Testing of Incoming Students; Of Pools and Many Things, and Why I am Supporting Measure C -more-

New Operating Instructions for This Publication

Becky O'Malley
Friday May 14, 2010 - 02:49:00 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. -more-

The Richmond Plunge is Back

Wednesday May 19, 2010 - 11:57:00 AM

The Richmond Plunge restoration is almost finished. It was filled for the first time last week in a gala celebration that featured smiley-face beachballs standing in for future swimmers. -more-


Odd Bodkins: The Celestial Rock Pile

Dan O'Neill
Monday May 17, 2010 - 01:05:00 PM

Public Comment

Letters to The Editor

Tuesday May 18, 2010 - 10:33:00 PM

Home Services Crucial; Gulf Disaster; A 50th Anniversary at the Newman Center; Don't be Fooled by PG&E; Clean Up, BP; Gulf Disaster; Oil Takeover; Tea Party; Greed and Oil; End Political Parties; BRT Proponents Have Their Facts Wrong; Gestapo Epithets; Action Alert: Sleep-Out Protesting Schwarzenegger’s Deadly Cuts; Radical Republicans Doomed; Zionism; Local Likudnik Nutcases & Group Generalizations; More about Israel; Stop the Dirty Energy Proposition; PG&E Smart Meters -more-

Most Residents Not Notified of Trader Joe's Liquor License Application

Eric Dynamic
Monday May 17, 2010 - 12:11:00 PM

Here for your amusement and horror is a map showing area residents who did not receive their notice (mailed April 14th) of Trader Joe's application for their liquor license as required by law. I polled almost every single residence within the notification area to collect signatures from everyone willing to state that they did for certain not receive any such notice. Only a third of people were home and only half of those who answered could state for certain whether they had or hadn't received the notice, and not all of those who knew they didn't get the notice were willing to sign the poll. And yet I managed to collect 28 signatures. In fact, I did not find anyone who said they had gotten the notice in their mail. -more-

Flashmob Invades Westin Hotel - Video Goes Viral

Sent by Jonah Minkoff-Zern
Friday May 14, 2010 - 02:35:00 PM

Watch the Youtube video that has already been seen over 100,000 times and is being talked about everywhere... Click here. -more-

Open Letter to UC President Yudof Re: UC Statement on Divestment

Mohammad Talaat, PhD, PE
Thursday May 13, 2010 - 03:51:00 PM

Dear UC President Yudof,

I received your enclosed message and statement, “UC Statement on Divestment,” and was saddened and disappointed. Not because I disagree with your position and the UC Board of Regents’ – that’s human – rather because of the thin rationale and less-than-honest language it employs. Let me elaborate. -more-

Berkeley Iceland - A Plan for Creative Reuse

By Tom Killilea
Monday May 17, 2010 - 03:40:00 PM

Imagine Berkeley Iceland reopened with new skating facilities, expanded community spaces, and a new cafe', all filled with kids of all ages. Envision the Berkeley Iceland building widened with a new community housing development designed to enhance the landmark deco look and respecting the neighborhood's character. This is the plan which is the basis of an offer made in recent months to purchase Berkeley Iceland and create a lasting legacy much as as the original design did for over 65 years. This plan provides the vision for a sustainable mixed use complex which the entire Berkeley community can support. -more-

Measure C-3rd grade math doesn't add up for this bond measure

By Justin Lee
Monday May 17, 2010 - 02:42:00 PM

After getting the pro- Measure C flyer (I use the pools and would gladly pay for them if it’s presented correctly) I came up with this: -more-

Our Marines: Ridden Hard & Put Away Wet

Sunday May 16, 2010 - 06:49:00 PM

Now here's a touchy subject -- recently there's been spate of suicides by Marines who have just returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan. But here's the really touchy part: These suicides have all taken place on stateside Marine bases. One Marine recently escaped from a hospital at Camp Lejeune, got hold of a gun somehow and shot himself right there on the base. And another Marine at Quantico jumped in front of a train. -more-

Point Molate Extension on Richmond Council Agenda Tuesday

Councilmember Tom Butt
Sunday May 16, 2010 - 09:27:00 PM

This coming Tuesday, May 18, 2010, may be the most important date for the future of Point Molate since November 9, 2004 (See Point Molate is a Go, November 10, 2004). The City Council will vote on an agenda item placed by Nat Bates to extend the Upstream Point Molate Land Development Agreement (LDA) another two months from May 20 to July 20. -more-

Response to Prof. Kondolf on BRT

By Roy Nakadegawa
Thursday May 13, 2010 - 11:03:00 PM

Matt Kondolf, a professor who teaches environmental sciences, wrote an opinion piece in a recent Daily Planet which shows that, though he may be an expert on hydrology and river restoration, he obviously does not have transportation expertise. Prof. Kondolf makes numerous distorted claims and facts. -more-

The Boy Scouts: A Pact With the Devil

by Harry Brill
Thursday May 13, 2010 - 10:32:00 PM

Both the wireless corporations and the federal government have hidden from the public the substantial number of studies that reveal a cause and effect relationship between cell phone sites -- towers, antennas, and other equipment -- and their adverse health effects, including cancer. In fact, in some instances, discomforting symptoms appear shortly after exposure as well as in the long run. Nor is the public warned that children are especially vulnerable, with twice the leukemia rates for those residing near cell towers compared to children who live further away. Nevertheless, despite the corporate denial of the harm done, a growing number of communities have been catching on. -more-

BRT, Activism, Densification, and Quality of Life

By Joseph Stubbs
Monday May 17, 2010 - 10:05:00 PM

The relationship between the recently defeated Bus Rapid Transit proposal (in Berkeley) and densification of our neighborhoods has ramifications which will continue to come up again and again, and it is vitally important that we look at these issues. -more-

White BHS Jazz on 4th St. Fundraiser

By Steve Logan
Monday May 17, 2010 - 08:58:00 PM

The pros brought to bring in the crowds and supposedly to help a diverse and open music program at Berkeley High School were fabulous. The Jazz Mafia, Zakiya Hooker(John Lee Hooker’s daughter)and her blues band, and a wonderful samba band "Fito Reinoso" made for a great day of music. -more-

Children in Afghanistan Need Used English Books

By Lt. Colonel Donald Davis
Tuesday May 18, 2010 - 08:58:00 AM

I would like to you consider what I believe to be a fairly easy community service project that can potentially make a significant difference in the country of Afghanistan.Making a difference for the people of Afghanistan can make a very real difference for America. -more-