Flash: Shots Fired on Sacramento Street

By Thomas Lord
Tuesday August 31, 2010 - 03:10:00 PM
Shotgun shells remain on the pavement after Sacramento Street shooting.

Shortly after 2PM on this last day of August approximately 10 shots rang
out on Sacramento St. in Berkeley between Russell and Ashby. No injuries are reported although the rear window of an occupied vehicle driven by a resident of the neighborhood was hit. The south-bound portion of Sacramento St. in that area is currently shut down while police investigate. -more-

Press Release: Berkeley Police Report on Mountain Lion Shooting

From Sgt. Mary C. Kusmiss, City of Berkeley Police Department, Public Information Officer
Tuesday August 31, 2010 - 12:23:00 PM

On Tuesday morning 8/31/10 around 0213 hours, the City of Berkeley Police and Fire Departments got a call from a community member reporting that there was a mountain lion in the area Shattuck Avenue and Cedar Street. The first caller said that the animal was in the parking lot of the now vacant Elephant Pharmacy building. -more-

New: Highly Urbane Mountain Lion Shot Dead in North Berkeley

By Daniel Turman (from Fear the Beard)
Tuesday August 31, 2010 - 11:58:00 AM

Having lived in the Tenderloin for a number of years, when I awake to the sound of large arms fire, I do what any sensible human being would. Wait until the bang bang stops and then go investigate. In the official uniform of such investigations, hoop shorts and house shoes. And so it was that I crept out into the cool night. What I found? A phalanx of Berkeley Police officers and a single, very large, and very dead mountain lion. -more-

Flash: Mountain Lion Shot in Berkeley Near Gourmet Ghetto

Tuesday August 31, 2010 - 10:42:00 AM

From Planet reader Ursula Schulz this morning: “I was woken this morning at 3:30 or 4:00 am by a shotgun being fired across the street. When I phoned 911 they told me that a mountain lion had been shot by the police. I live on Walnut between Cedar and Virginia. I just confirmed that it was a 100 lb female mountain lion that was first sighted at Rose and Shattuck and as the police were unable to herd it back up to the park they shot it.” -more-

No New Issue This Week

Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 03:45:00 PM

Labor Day Weekend is coming up, and not much is happening around here.

Our dauntless volunteer printer Greg Tomeoni is taking time off to attend the wedding of his son, Emio Tomeoni, filmmaker extraordinaire, known to those of you who saw Power Trip, his brilliant send-up of political correctness and the culture of greenwashing in Berkeley.

It seems like a good time for us to take a little time off too. We’ve been cleaning out the office, a dreary and seemingly endless task.

If anything big happens, we’ll post it in this issue as an extra. If not, we’ll see you again in this space on September 7. -more-

Copies of Back Issues Wanted: Can You Help?

Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 03:42:00 PM

We're looking for copies of a few old Planets, listed below. When I posted this notice last week, I forgot to include contact information. If you can supply any of the back issues listed below, please leave a message at our usual phone number, 510-845-8433, or email -more-

Children Exposed to Asbestos at Washington Elementary School

By Raymond Barglow
Monday August 23, 2010 - 03:07:00 PM
Exposed asbestos tile three feet away from sink.

“I love teaching the kids, seeing their eyes light up when they learn something. But it has to be done in a safe environment.” -- Darwin Greenwell

For five months at Washington Elementary School in Berkeley, children attended cooking classes and music classes in a classroom that may have exposed them to dangerous asbestos. This hazard was verified by Cal/OSHA (California Division of Occupational Safety and Health) in late June 2010, and the room was closed down. -more-

ACLU Sues FBI to Reveal Surveillance of Bay Area Muslims

By Julia Cheever (BCN)
Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 03:23:00 PM

The American Civil Liberties Union and two other groups sued the FBI in federal court in San Francisco today in a bid for information on the possible investigation and surveillance of Bay Area Muslim communities. -more-

Chevron Tries Sacramento End-Run Around CEQA

By Mike Parker (Partisan Position)
Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 11:09:00 AM

Chevron is trying to use Sacramento lobbying to bypass environmental protections for Richmond.

Negotiations are still going on between environmental groups, the city of Richmond and Chevron about protections for restarting the Chevron expansion project. But Chevron is now lobbying the state legislature to sneak through a special exemption which allows the giant oil company to do its project without having to file an Environmental Impact Report and reach agreement with the city about environmental protections. -more-

Berkeley Orders Marina Boatyard to Clean Up or Else

By Thomas Lord
Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 01:28:00 PM
Dry sanding generates paint dust which is
                  only partly captured using vacuum sanders.
                  The paint used on some boats contains large
                  quantities of copper and lead, making the
                  dust a toxic hazard.   Behind these men
                  sanding, a tarp which is supposed to cover
                  the fence to reduce the spread of dust
                  has fallen.

The Berkeley Marine Center, a boatyard at the Berkeley Marina, has been ordered by the City of Berkeley’s Toxics Management Division to take immediate corrective actions or else halt significant portions of its operations. At stake is an issue that pits deep environmental concerns against a popular local small business—and which involves a lease on City of Berkeley property that won’t expire until 2028. From the perspective of the city, the boatyard has dragged its feet on urgent environmental clean-ups for years. From the perspective of the boatyard, the City is overreaching and threatens to shut down a vital local business. Whichever side is closer to correct, push is coming to shove in the legal process. -more-

New Muslim College Launched in Berkeley

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 09:11:00 PM

Classes started today at a new school in Berkeley that aims to be one of the first accredited Muslim-run liberal arts colleges in the United States. -more-

It’s a Bird—It’s a Plane—It’s a —HELICOPTER! In Memorial Stadium

By Steven Finacom
Monday August 23, 2010 - 08:22:00 PM
To demonstrate the stability of his aircraft Stanley Hiller, Jr. sticks his
                  hands out of the helicopter during one of his Memorial Stadium test flights in 1944.

This Thursday afternoon, August 26, 2010, there will be something out of the ordinary occurring at Memorial Stadium on the eastern edge of the UC Berkeley central campus. -more-

Everyone Invited to Free High Holiday Services

By Dorothy Snodgrass
Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 01:52:00 PM

With Fall just around the corner, it follows that the Jewish High Holidays will be celebrated, as always, in September. I'm reminded of this fact thanks to an announcement from Rabbi Sara Shendelman, who, with Rabbi Steven Fisdel, will be leading uplifting free High Holiday Services with musical accompaniment in an extraordinary, little known church, the South Berkeley Community Church, located at 1802 Fairview Street. This church was built in 1880 as the first purposely integrated church in the country. It has a beautiful and very peaceful sanctuary. -more-

Birgenau Greets Incoming Students at Convocation

By Steven Finacom
Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 01:49:00 PM
The Cal Band, sans formal uniforms, marched in and played to open the

Thousands of new arrivals to Berkeley thronged Memorial Glade on the UC campus Monday, August 23, 2010 to participate in a campus convocation welcoming new students. -more-

UC Campanile Open Two Evenings This Week for Sunset Viewing

By Steven Finacom
Monday August 23, 2010 - 09:48:00 PM

The Campanile on the UC Berkeley campus can be a beautiful sight at sunset. The low rays of evening light often turn the white granite shaft a gentle gold. -more-

New: A Unique Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur Celebration in Berkeley

From Mike Godbe, Iikkun
Tuesday August 31, 2010 - 09:18:00 PM

While many other synagogues will be going through the normal set of prayers for the Jewish High Holidays (Rosh Hashanah starts the eve of Sept 8 and first day is Sept 9), one Berkeley synagogue is taking the notion of repentance seriously—and not just for Jews. -more-

Campus, City Police Form Joint Safety Patrol

By Caleb Dardick, U.C. Government and Community Relations Office
Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 02:13:00 PM

A new joint police patrol by the University of California Police Department and the Berkeley Police Department will target improving public safety at night in the city's Southside neighborhoods as well as after UC Berkeley home football games. -more-

UC Berkeley Students Release Alternative “Disorientation Guide” for 2010 School Year

From Alex Ghenis
Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 07:54:00 AM

A group of UC Berkeley students have created an alternative guide to the campus and are releasing copies this week. The packet, termed “Disorientation Guide,” features over 20 articles highlighting rarely-discussed aspects of Berkeley. It is meant to show student perspectives from the campus’s activist core. -more-

Celebrate! “TAKE THE PLUNGE”

By Mary Breunig
Monday August 23, 2010 - 09:34:00 PM
Janet Hartzell, left; Janice Graff, right; February 1932, BCC RECORD

Built 80 years ago, the Berkeley City Club and the Landmark Heritage Foundation invite you to help celebrate this extraordinary building and its creation story. Sunday, September 19, from 2-5 p.m., you are invited to don an historic bathing suit (last year’s model will do too!) then “Take the Plunge” in the beautiful, Julia Morgan designed warm water pool. After your swim, take a refreshing shower (towel included), and then move on to Fish ‘n’ Chips and more. This is your opportunity to soak up the pool’s current beauty while supporting its future restoration. All proceeds support the Landmark Heritage Foundation’s pool restoration fund. Adult swim $50, children 5 to 13 years (no toddlers) $15 when accompanied by a paying adult. Space is limited, so please make reservations by September 1. Call the LHF office, 510-883-9710, or email -more-

Franz Schurmann, 1926-2010

By Sandy Close
Monday August 23, 2010 - 07:58:00 PM

Franz Schurmann, the foremost scholar of communist China during the Cold War, an early opponent of the US war in Indochina, and the co-founder of Pacific News Service, died at his home in San Francisco on Aug. 20. The cause was advanced Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. He was 84. -more-

AC Transit Proposes More Cuts to Berkeley Service

Tuesday August 31, 2010 - 12:06:00 PM

Read the bad news here. -more-