The Week

Councilmember Kriss Worthington joins Arnieville protestors for a closing party in the rain.
Mike O'Malley
Councilmember Kriss Worthington joins Arnieville protestors for a closing party in the rain.


Flash: Haaretz Reports At Least 10 Activists on Gaza Mercy Flotilla Have Been Killed by Israeli Gunfire

From Haaretz and Henry Norr
Sunday May 30, 2010 - 10:50:00 PM

Haaretz Report: At least 10 activists killed as Israel Navy opens fire on Gaza aid flotilla Over 60 pro-Palestinian campaigners wounded after aid convoy sailing for Gaza Strip ignored Israel's order to turn back, Turkish news reports. IDF confirms two commandos also wounded. At least three activists from the East Bay, including Dr. Paul Larudee of El Cerrito, have been taking part in the mission to bring relief to Gaza. -more-

New: Protests Planned This Weekend Against Arizon Immigration Law

By Dan McMenamin (BCN)
Friday May 28, 2010 - 06:03:00 PM

An Arizona immigration bill signed into law last month is facing widespread protests this weekend, both in San Francisco and in Phoenix, where some Bay Area clergy members and immigrant rights activists are traveling for a rally Saturday. -more-

Press Release: Buckle Up Day or Night

Thursday May 27, 2010 - 05:03:00 PM

Berkeley police are taking part in a new campaign to urge seat belt use. -more-

New: Meetings Today

Thursday May 27, 2010 - 04:03:00 PM

Medical Cannabis Commision Meeting - Boards/Commissions
When: 5/27 -5/27
Where: Berkeley City Center
Zoning Adjustments Board Meeting - Boards/Commissions
When: 5/27 -5/27
Where: Council Chambers
What's Hot: Variance for the cafe in the "Trader Joe's" building
Mental Health Commission meeting - Boards/Commissions
When: 5/27 -5/27
Where: Mental Health Clinic -more-

New: Berkeley Today: Thursday

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday May 27, 2010 - 03:44:00 PM

In the news today: The University of California releases its annual report on systemwide employee compensation for 2009 and the Berkeley Board of Education doesn’t approve new charter school. -more-

New: New BP Protest Scheduled Today

Thursday May 27, 2010 - 09:36:00 AM

A coalition of organizations is calling for another demonstration today against BP(aka British Petroleum) at the downtown Berkeley building site of UC’s new Helios building, which will house joint BP-UC research projects funded by BP’s $500 million grant to UC Berkeley. -more-

Police Ask for Public’s Help in Catching Shooting Suspect

By Jeff Shuttleworth(BCN)
Wednesday May 26, 2010 - 05:47:00 PM

Berkeley police are asking for the community's help in catching a suspect in a shooting last week that left two victims critically injured. -more-

Press Release: Police Seek Shooting Suspect

Wednesday May 26, 2010 - 05:51:00 PM

The Berkeley police have released the name and photo of the suspect in last week's South Berkeley shooting incident.


Berkeley Today: Wednesday

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday May 26, 2010 - 04:17:00 PM

In the news today: Berkeley Public schools brace for some stiff cuts, Rosa Parks Elementary School celebrates Harvey Milk Day, a new report from UC Berkeley law school calls for better mental health treatment for juvenile offenders and Waterside Workshops opens a café run by local youth at Aquatic Park. -more-

The Arnieville Sleepout is Over, But They'll Be Back in June

By Becky O'Malley
Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 06:25:00 PM
One of several informative banners at the Arnieville encampment.

The “Arnieville Sleepout” ended today with a celebration of what the participants had already achieved—publicity about budget cuts which threaten the survival of disabled citizens who depend on state support. It was named for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, in the tradition of the Hoovervilles which sprung up around the United States during the Great Depression. -more-

Berkeley Today: Tuesday

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 07:38:00 PM

In the news today: Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates and some councilmembers show support for the Measure C pools bond by jumping into a swimming pool, the East Bay Humane Society continues to receive an outpouring of donations and Japanese American Internment survivors receive honorary degrees at UC Berkeley. -more-

Updated: President Obama Arrives in Bay Area, Demonstrations Expected at Fairmont

By LauraDudnick,PatriciaDecker,JannaBrancolini (BCN)
Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 03:56:00 PM

President Obama has arrived at San Francisco International Airport for a two-day visit to the Bay Area. -more-

Design Review Commission Considers North Shattuck Safeway, Durant Avenue Development

By Steven Finacom
Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 11:41:00 AM
A plan of the North Shattuck Safeway site, showing current buildings in dark gray, and proposed building additions to the Safeway in light gray.

After hearing presentations and public comments at its regular meeting of May 20, 2010, the City of Berkeley’s Design Review Commission gave alternate buffets and praise to a revised design for the North Shattuck Safeway and expressed considerable concern about aspects of a housing development proposed adjacent to the historic Berkeley City Club on Durant Avenue. -more-

Press Release: Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society Suffers Tragic Fire, Turns to Community for Assistance

From the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society
Saturday May 22, 2010 - 09:28:00 AM

BERKELEY, Calif., May 21, 2010 - Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society (BEBHS) suffered a tragic fire during the early morning hours of May 20, 2010, which destroyed much of the building. Although the majority of animals were rescued through swift action by BEBHS staff and volunteers and the Berkeley Fire Department, both the adoption offices and the hospital are now closed due to lack of water and electricity. It is not clear when the organization will be able to resume normal shelter and hospital operations. The Board of Directors and staff are currently developing a comprehensive recovery plan. -more-

UC Staff Hear Budget Presentation

By Norris Lincoln (Partisan Position)
Saturday May 22, 2010 - 09:09:00 AM

On Friday, May 7, 2010 there was a UC Berkeley staff forum on the University budget organized by the Berkeley Staff Assembly. -more-

Measure C Cartoon

Justin Lee
Tuesday June 01, 2010 - 01:06:00 PM

Berkeley Today: Tuesday

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 07:34:00 PM

Humane Society Receives Flood of Donations after Fire

By Janna Brancolini, BCN
Friday May 21, 2010 - 11:16:00 PM

The Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society has raised more than $115,000 since a fire destroyed parts of its facility late Wednesday night, according to a spokeswoman for the organization. -more-



Keeping Up with What's Not Working

By Becky O'Malley
Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 11:07:00 AM

The demise of coverage of Berkeley’s commission meetings by news outlets, including this one, makes it desirable or even mandatory for anyone who’s interested in local public policy (estimated to be about 1000 of our 113,000 citizens) to watch meetings as online video. Currently that’s only possible for city council and the zoning adjustment board, both of which meet in the wired-for-video city council chambers in the Maudelle Shirek building. -more-

The Editor's Back Fence

New: What's New on Friday

Friday May 28, 2010 - 02:26:00 PM

How to report the news continues to be a question. Today (Friday) we’ve been flooded with interesting press releases, and even with Riya’s help I can’t possibly re-write them all to appear that we did original reporting to dig up the information. And besides, I’m thoroughly bored with that technique, a staple of conventional reporting in the many years since I started as a journalist. So what I’ve done instead, thanks to the magic of modern word processing, is simply to swallow them whole: to post full releases, and rely on the good sense of the readers to ignore any hype the senders might have added. -more-

New: Point Richmond Masquers Host a Hundred Garage Sales on Monday

Thursday May 27, 2010 - 11:55:00 AM

Looking for something entertaining to do on Memorial Day this year? How about attending at least a hundred garage sales? -more-

Now Read This

Friday May 21, 2010 - 12:24:00 PM

Here's a book about the right you don't have to read, because Jenny Diski deftly disembowels it in the London Review of Books. -more-


Spring Fever

Odd Bodkins: Spring Fever

Dan O'Neill
Monday May 24, 2010 - 11:43:00 AM

Prop 16

Prop 16

Gar Smith
Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 10:39:00 AM

Public Comment

Letters For May 25, 2010

Thursday May 20, 2010 - 11:36:00 AM

Opposing Zoning Ordinance Changes Regarding Demolishing Libraries

By Peter Warfield
Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 03:05:00 PM

This is a letter Library Users Association sent to the Planning Commission expressing concern about the Berkeley Public Library's product and process for carrying out branch library renovations under Measure FF and the consequent concerns about granting the Library special exemptions from the customary scrutiny that its current and future building projects would undergo: -more-

Berkeley Planning Commission Votes to Allow R&D into Industry’s Protected Space

By Mary Lou Van Deventer
Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 11:51:00 AM

The Berkeley Planning Commission’s usual majority resorted to skullduggery on May 19. They had to, to override the opposition. The only interest groups on their side are realtors and big-property-owning developers. They have money but not many votes. The opposition are a large group of active residents, the Ecology Center, the Sierra Club, the industrial interest group WEBAIC and various of its members, and the Northern California Recycling Association. The votes may be on the opposition’s side, and the city may get the chance to see if they are. -more-

Protest Against BP at the Helios Lab Construction Site

By Nathan Pitts
Saturday May 22, 2010 - 05:28:00 PM

Here is a little clip of some of the protest outside the Helios construction site.
Mainly I got Michael Delacour speaking.
Michael talks about his experiences working as a welder in the oil industry—about unions, and how that the rig that went up in the gulf was not a union rig. -more-

Open Letter to UC Berkeley Officials Re Genetic Testing of Incoming Students

By Jeremy Gruber, JD, President, Council for Responsible Genetics
Wednesday May 19, 2010 - 08:43:00 AM

It was with quite some shock that we learned in the press today that incoming freshman for the class of 2014 in the College of Letters and Science will be sent a swab with which to send in a DNA sample. Your website announcement of the program states “(T)he information Berkeley students will glean from their genetic analysis can only lead to positive outcomes.” This is a woefully naïve. The information produced by these tests, even for ostensibly benign purposes, has the risk of increasingly being used out of context in ways that are contrary to the interests of the individual, perhaps even discriminatory and certainly privacy invasive. Having worked for many years on passing the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) I am keenly aware of the number of entities, from pharmaceutical companies wanting to target their marketing to banks and life insurance companies that want to use such information to discriminate, that are actively seeking this information. Many of these uses remain unprotected and unregulated; such testing should not be taken lightly. -more-

How Did AC Transit Get into Its Fiscal Mess?

By Joyce Roy
Monday May 24, 2010 - 01:26:00 PM

Every transit agency in the Bay Area, and beyond, is hurting financially, but AC Transit has more financial resources than many, so if there had been good stewardship of their funds, they may have had to cut some service, but not to the bone. At a recent Financial and Audit Committee meeting they recognized it was to the bone and said after the presently slated cuts, there would be no more in the foreseeable future. -more-

Of Pools and Many Things, and Why I am Supporting Measure C

by Shirley Dean
Thursday May 20, 2010 - 11:23:00 AM

On June 8th you will be asked to vote on Measure C to provide funds to construct, repair and maintain Berkeley’s four public pools – a therapeutic warm water pool to be built at West Campus, repair of the existing West Campus and Willard pools, and repair and expand the King Middle School pool. I’m voting yes on Measure C, and writing this because many people have asked me why. -more-

Iran Sanctions Won't Work

By Kenneth Theisen
Thursday May 20, 2010 - 11:24:00 AM

Recently the U.S. and Iran have been engaged in an intense battle that involves both diplomacy and sanctions. On May 17, 2010 Iran announced a deal that would have Iran ship low-enriched uranium to Turkey in return for higher-enriched nuclear fuel for a medical research reactor. The announcement of the deal was intended by Iran to deter Russia and China from reaching an accord with the U.S. imposing tougher U.N. sanctions against Iran. -more-

Disasters Come and Go

By R.G. Davis, Ph.D.
Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 02:34:00 PM

When 9/11 occurred, the TV stations played the images of the planes hitting the towers for hours and days, thereby showing it to lots of people, since they couldn't explain it, no one from the government had yet delivered misinformation.The event then sank into the eyes and minds of the watchers as an actual event not a construction of Hollywood. A true disaster has to stay around. How? By repetition. -more-

The Far-Right Policy Shift to Privatize 1.2 Million Public Housing Units

By Lynda Carson
Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 02:28:00 PM

In a stunning move that targets the poor, the Obama Administration is pushing hard to privatize our nations 1.2 million public housing units, in addition to proposing a radical change to the way 13 major federal subsidized housing programs including the Section 8 voucher program, are being funded by congress. -more-

Berkeley's Budget Nightmare (and Ours)

By Barbara Gilbert(adopted from the NEBA Spring Newsletter)
Thursday May 20, 2010 - 11:29:00 AM

As everyone certainly knows, government, families and individuals are facing catastrophic loss of assets and income, a situation deemed by most experts as the most serious since the Great Depression. There is no sure end in sight and there is a reasonable chance that the situation could even worsen. -more-


Dispatches From the Edge:Kyrgyzstan: Tinderboxes & Tangled Webs

By Conn Hallinan
Friday May 21, 2010 - 11:31:00 AM

Trying to sort out the tides and cross currents sweeping across Central Asia in the aftermath of the March revolution in Kyrgyzstan is to revisit the politics of 6th Century Constantinople that led to the adjective “Byzantine.” -more-

The Public Eye: Obama Foreign Policy: The Return of Third Way

By Bob Burnett
Friday May 21, 2010 - 11:43:00 AM

It’s fortunate for President Obama that domestic events swamp international concerns because most voters don’t care about what happens in countries other than Iraq and Afghanistan. For those of us who do, Obama’s foreign policy stances often bewilder both the left and right – they are the international equivalent of the Third Way domestic policies of the Clinton Administration. -more-

Senior Power: “What’s a taxi script?”

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Friday May 21, 2010 - 12:07:00 PM

The word "scrip" may be unfamiliar; it is sometimes heard as "script". The noun scrip refers to a temporary substitute for currency. Scrips originated as payment of employees and where regular money was unavailable, such as remote coal towns and occupied countries in war time. Some communities provide discounted coupons or vouchers, referred to as taxi scrip, for registered persons who are unable to access regular transit. -more-

Blogbeat:Genes, Tuna, Water

By Thomas Lord
Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 11:48:00 AM

Pay your last respects.Say your farewells. A strange gem yet dog yet gem of a building is departing downtown Berkeley, once and for all.Demolition is well under way. -more-

Reader's Recommendation: High Tea at Buttercream Bakery and Cafe

By Dorothy Snodgrass
Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 03:11:00 PM

If you've lived in London for extended periods of time, as I have, you know that the British are slavishly addicted to tea. How they do love their tea! It starts at breakfast (God forbid you should ask for coffee!) and continues throughout the day -- midmorning, lunch, early afternoon and then high tea. Now high tea, if you don't know, is something special, one you might enjoy at Harrod's or Selfridges Department Stores. There you're served from a two-tiered tray with dainty cucumber and watercress sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and, of course, a large pot of tea. Servings are small, mind you, so one often goes away a bit hungry. (At this point I think longingly of a Carl's Jr. Whopper.) -more-

Arts & Events

Popmusic-East Bay Through June 6

Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 11:49:00 AM

"BERKELEY WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL," -- June 5. Event features free continuous performances by some of the finest world music artists. Venues include performances in various Telegraph Ave. cafes and shops, near UC campus and a featured concert in People's Park, 1-6 p.m., sponsored by Amoeba Music. -more-

Classical Music-East Bay Through June 6

Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 11:31:00 AM


Readings-East Bay Through June 6

Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 11:51:00 AM


Stage-East Bay Through June 6

Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 11:51:00 AM


Professional Dance Through June 6

Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 11:50:00 AM


Classical Music-San Francisco Through June 6

Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 11:35:00 AM


Stage-San Francisco Through June 6

Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 11:54:00 AM


Museums-East Bay Through June 6

Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 11:43:00 AM

AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM AND LIBRARY AT OAKLAND The Oakland Public Library's museum is designed to discover, preserve, interpret and share the cultural and historical experiences of African Americans in California and the West. In addition, a three-panel mural is on permanent display. -more-

Galleries-East Bay Through June 6

Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 11:38:00 AM

"BAY AREA HEART GALLERY," -- Exhibit consists of photographs of children, youth and families, accompanied by their compelling stories. The joint exhibit opens in the Alameda County Administration Building, 1221 Oak Street, Oakland and at the Eden Area Multi-Service Center, 24100 Amador Way, Hayward. -more-

Theater Review: Everybody Loves a Good Dog Story

By John A. McMullen, II
Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 05:34:00 PM
Analisa Svehaug, in the title role of stray-dog Sylvia, cowers at the growl of her master’s jealous wife, played by Leontyne Mbele-Mbong.

It’s a simple tale with a poignant, comedic story line (just like a dog!): NYC middle-aged, upper-middle-class, work-disgruntled shlub meets stray dog in the park and brings her home.Wife—who is filling her empty nest with teaching Shakespeare to inner-city children and relishing her freedom—does not like this mutt, and, not without reason, views her as a rival for her husband’s affections. -more-

Theatre Review: "The Cat Has Chlamydia": God's Ear at Shotgun

by John A. McMullen II
Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 01:21:00 PM
Featuring (LtoR): Keith Pinto, Beth Wilmurt, Melinda Meeng, Nika Ezell Pappas.

Hey! You may be living in a Golden Age of Theatre right here in Berkeley! Wake up and go buy a ticket! -more-

The Whistler Sees All at PFA

By Justin DeFreitas
Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 10:50:00 AM

During radio's golden age, there was a surfeit of mysterious men who stalked the airwaves. The Shadow clouded men's minds as he battled big-city crime; the macabre punster Raymond opened a creaking door to reveal each chilling tale from the Inner Sanctum; and every week The Mysterious Traveler invited listeners to "journey into the strange and terrifying." -more-

New: Shadowlight Puppetry at Cowell Theater in San Francisco This Weekend

By Ken Bullock
Thursday May 27, 2010 - 09:17:00 AM

Larry Reed with his Shadowlight Productions has spent decades expanding on the art of shadow puppetry, which he learned in Bali, with techniques from cinematography (which he studied at the SF Art Institute), live music and stories from cultures all over the world, and an international cast of collaborators. Shadowlight shows always have a new wrinkle, using projections, live actors in specially-made masks as shadow actors. This weekend only, at Cowell Theater in San Francisco's Fort Mason, Shadowlight presents THE GOOD-FOR-NOTHING LOVER, from a Ming Dynasty folk song cycle, as translated by Beat Era San Francisco Poets C. H. Kwock and Vincent McHugh, with live music (on stand-up bass and Guo Qin, fretless zither), modern and traditional dance, singing and dialogue in Chinese and English, calligraphy and Abstract Expressionism ("Action Painting")--and a new fluid, experimental storytelling theatrical form, by an international troupe, from a company that never stops experimenting. -more-

God's Ear at Shotgun: Another Take

By Ken Bullock
Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 01:26:00 PM

On an expressionistic set by Lisa Clark that seems poised to feature THE SNOW QUEEN, a talkative, dysfunctional family plays out what would be a whimsical, if tortuous, opera comique of words, words, words—the vernacular, ever in flux--with attendant ballet, if the occasion wasn't the drowning of a son, with the verbal upshot from grotesque strangers and fantasy figures spiraling around other lost boys ... -more-

Outdoors-East Bay Through June 6

Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 11:47:00 AM

ARDENWOOD HISTORIC FARM Ardenwood farm is a working farm that dates back to the time of the Patterson Ranch, a 19th-century estate with a mansion and Victorian Gardens. Today, the farm still practices farming techniques from the 1870s. Unless otherwise noted, programs are free with regular admission. -more-

General-East Bay Through June 6

Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 11:40:00 AM

"CHOCOLATE AND CHALK ART FESTIVAL," -- June 5. The sidewalks along North Shattuck Ave. in the Gourmet Ghetto neighborhood in Berkeley will host artists young and old, professional and greenhorn at this annual event, including a chalk art contest judged at 4 p.m. with prizes up to $250, chocolate sampling and more. -more-

Dance-East Bay Through June 6

Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 11:36:00 AM


Tours And Activities-East Bay Through June 30

Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 11:54:00 AM

ARDENWOOD HISTORIC FARM Ardenwood farm is a working farm that dates back to the time of the Patterson Ranch, a 19th-century estate with a mansion and Victorian Gardens. Today, the farm still practices farming techniques from the 1870s. Unless otherwise noted, programs are free with regular admission. -more-

Kids-East Bay Through June 6

Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 11:41:00 AM

ARDENWOOD HISTORIC FARM Ardenwood farm is a working farm that dates back to the time of the Patterson Ranch, a 19th-century estate with a mansion and Victorian Gardens. Today, the farm still practices farming techniques from the 1870s. Unless otherwise noted, programs are free with regular admission. -more-