Economics, not Aesthetics, Shape Berkeley's Downtown

By Becky O'Malley
Monday June 21, 2010 - 03:18:00 PM

It’s counter-productive to whine continuously about the inadequacies of the remnant metro dailies in the Bay Area, because they’re all we’ve got, so I try not to do so too often. I appreciate that the Hearst Corporation continues to allow John King to post occasional critiques of urban planning and architecture amid the welter of real estate puff pieces which he and others generate on a regular basis.

But his piece last week, in which he damned with faint praise the new University Avenue complex which houses Trader Joe’s, was below his usual standard, falling back all too easily on Bezerkeley clichés instead of relying on reported facts. Predictably, the crowd of illiterate yahoos who monopolize the Chronicle’s online comments were all over him as usual, but they weren’t completely wrong in every case. -more-

The Editor's Back Fence

New: City of Berkeley Drops News Scan Service

Thursday June 24, 2010 - 10:28:00 AM

[Editor's note: We learned today with regret via the notice below that the City of Berkeley has decided to cancel its valuable News Scan Service. It has provided an invaluable way for city employees and citizens to find out how the city is being perceived in the local and national media. The city's tightly controlled public relations office is not a substitute for the independent and diligent News Scan, nor is the Convention Bureau.And a media list which does not include online publications, in the age of the Internet, is sorely deficient, since these days most news about Berkeley can be found only online. ] -more-


Odd Bodkins: Number 47

Dan O'Neill
Monday June 21, 2010 - 02:46:00 PM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday June 17, 2010 - 05:22:00 PM

Republicans? In Berkeley?; President Obama's Speech; Oil Hell; Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill; Lackeys; Energy Policy; Hooked on War -more-

More Letters

Thursday June 24, 2010 - 10:40:00 PM

Obama Sacks McChrystal -more-

New: Berkeley Bowl: What is to be Done?

By Harry Brill
Thursday June 24, 2010 - 09:23:00 PM

The workers at Berkeley Bowl on Oregon Street just voted by 99 to 74 to decertify the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) despite the Union's record of achieving major gains for the store's employees. The Union conducted a vigorous campaign to win employee support. In addition to union staff speaking to workers on a one-on-one basis, delegations from other unions and a very large one from the community spoke with management. In a low key non-confrontational approach we told employees that we support them and the union. We explained that food purchased in a unionized supermarket tastes a lot better. -more-

And Then They Came for Councilmember Capitelli...

By Mal Burnstein
Monday June 21, 2010 - 11:39:00 PM

There are many opinions in the Bay Area about the Israeli blockade of Gaza and its bloody interdiction of the flotilla trying to break that blockade. This piece is not about the substance of that debate. A multitude of resolutions on the subject have been introduced and debated in clubs, organizations and public bodies. And, unfortunately, but not surprisingly, out of the woodwork has appeared some insidious operatives seeking not to win the public debate but to cut it off entirely by means of, not to mince words, threats and economic and political pressure. Again, not surprisingly, some of the same characters that used those tactics against the Planet are at it again. Look at the following posts in the web site of the Jewish Weekly, the week of June 10, 2010, following that paper’s reporting of the introduction of such a resolution condemning the Israeli action in the Richmond City Council: -more-

Human-Made Disasters Are Preventable: Repeal the GA Time Limits

By boona cheema
Monday June 21, 2010 - 04:28:00 PM

Alameda County has implemented a 3-month time limit to General Assistance (GA) that will increase homelessness, hunger, crime and suffering. Without GA, people without any other income—who have not been able to find work in the worst economy since the great depression—will have ZERO income for 9 months out of the year. -more-

Economic Bizarro World

By Sonja Fitz
Saturday June 19, 2010 - 05:08:00 PM

The economic news goes from bad, to worse, to bizarre. And poor people currently find themselves knee-deep in Bizarro world. -more-

Gender Apartheid Online

By Ruth Rosen
Saturday June 19, 2010 - 04:58:00 PM

Forty years ago, feminists demanded that special "women's pages," which featured fashion, society and cooking, be banished from newspapers. Instead, they insisted, newspapers should mainstream serious stories about the lives of women throughout their regular news. -more-

The Mythologies of Militarism

By Steve Martinot
Saturday June 19, 2010 - 04:57:00 PM

I went to hear a panel on drone warfare last Saturday (6/12/2010) at the Berkeley Public Library, organized by a group called Grannies Against War (which I revere simply for their existence). The chair of the meeting expressed the hope, in her opening remarks, that the information to be discussed would arouse anger, and bring people into activism. Drone warfare is a form of mechanized killing, in which a technician in a war room, perhaps in Colorado or Iowa, or on shipboard in the Indian Ocean, flies a pilotless plane remotely, and can target people from the air, unleashing lethal force against them. It has been used in Afghanistan, Gaza, and Pakistan. Its use by the US has increased dramatically over the last two years. Its kill rate is high, and its ratio of civilians to actual "combatant targets" is around 50 – 1. -more-