The Week

Bungalow classroom 11 at Washington  Elementary was declared hazardous and shut down on June 25, after the school year had ended.
Darwin Greenwell
Bungalow classroom 11 at Washington Elementary was declared hazardous and shut down on June 25, after the school year had ended.
 

News

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 news@berkeleydailyplanet.com -more-


Children Exposed to Asbestos at Washington Elementary School

By Raymond Barglow www.berkeleytutors.net
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) www.richmondprogressivealliance.net
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-


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-


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-


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-


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
                event.

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-


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-


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 landmarkheritagefoundation@att.net. -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-


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-


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-


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-


Opinion

Editorials

The Shtupids are Out in Force Again

By Becky O'Malley
Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 10:43:00 AM

A friend sometimes quotes her late father, sometimes with a Middle European accent:

“The Shtupids! They’re everywhere!” -more-


The Editor's Back Fence

Missing Girl Last Seen in People's Park

Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 11:10:00 PM

The girl pictured at this site was last seen at People's Park. Her friend Andrea has written asking us to post this notice, because she's missing and her family is very worried. Her name is Hannah--she's about 5 feet tall, with black hair and brown eyes. -more-


Cartoons

Odd Bodkins: Newt Misses a Few

Dan O'Niell
Monday August 23, 2010 - 06:43:00 PM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 02:51:00 PM

November, November, November is the siren song so many Republicans and Tea Partiers are singing. But the road to this year's midterm elections is not a cakewalk for anyone who voted against health care for all Americans, against the stimulus bill that has turned around a faltering economy and those who voted against unemployment benefits for American workers. Republicans voted no on all of them. -more-


UCB's DNA Testing and Academic Freedom.

By M.L. Tina Stevens, Ph.D.
Friday August 20, 2010 - 01:24:00 PM

Last week, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) instructed UC Berkeley to modify its “Bring Your Genes to Cal” program. From the beginning, UCB’s controversial plan to test the DNA of incoming freshman for three genes, brought into bold relief many of the complex questions that engulf emerging biotechnologies, for example: how best to protect privacy rights; informed consent; the integrity of medical testing and research; and how to identify and reduce conflicts of interest? -more-


The Burka: A Taliban Imposed Canvas Prison

By Ralph E. Stone
Monday August 23, 2010 - 09:42:00 PM

On our Iran Air flight from Frankfurt to Tehran, each of the stewardesses wore a "hiyab." When we entered Iran's airspace, an announcement over the intercom told the women to put on their hiyab or a head scarf. My wife, as did the other women on the flight, obliged by putting scarves on their heads. My wife wore a scarf covering her hair for our entire Iran visit. -more-


Islamophobia and Politicians

By Lawrence Swaim
Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 02:55:00 PM

I am part of an extended family of Jews, Christians, Hindus, atheists, Muslims, Sikhs and a beautiful Seventh Day Adventist saint. Part adoptive, part family by marriage, and part by blood, we thrive in venues from Bangladesh to the Left Coast of California. Some of the most interesting people in this family are Muslims, including one of my own children. For this reason, I am angry and frightened—mainly angry—at the spectacularly ignorant hate rhetoric against Muslims used recently by some politicians -more-


Ending Homelessness

by Ralph E. Stone
Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 03:03:00 PM

Between 2.3 to 3.5 million Americans experience homelessness and it is estimated that the recession will force another 1.5 million more people into homelessness. The 2010 Update of "Without Housing - Decades of Federal Housing Cutbacks, Massive Homelessness and Policy Failures" by the Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP), an update of its 2006 report, has arrived. -more-


New: The Crisis at KPFA

By Matthew Hallinan
Wednesday August 25, 2010 - 11:04:00 AM

Without the intervention of the broader progressive community, KPFA as we have known it, is about to disappear. It is confronted by two serious crises. The first is ‘objective’ – that is, arises from factors outside of the station’s control. The current global economic crisis has hit the station and the whole Pacifica Network hard. While the number of listeners contributing to KPFA has remained steady (perhaps even rising slightly), the amount of individual contributions have declined significantly. Large donations and grant money, in particular, have been sharply reduced. At the same time, costs have risen. In this digital, internet-driven Age, KPFA has to continually modernize its equipment while at the same time providing the basics for its dedicated but woefully underpaid staff. -more-


New: The Crisis at KPFA Redux

By Tracy Rosenberg
Thursday August 26, 2010 - 10:36:00 AM

This is a response to an essay by Matthew Hallinan called "The Crisis at KPFA -more-


Columns

Dispatches From the Edge:The U.S. & Yemen: A “Lethal Blend”

By Conn Hallinan
Friday August 20, 2010 - 01:23:00 PM

How involved is the U.S. military in Yemen, and is the Obama Administration laying the groundwork for a new foreign adventure? According to several news agencies, including Agence France Presse, UPI and the Washington Post, very involved and likely to be more so in the future, -more-


Dispatches From The Edge: Roma: Europe’s Favorite Scapegoat

By Conn Hallinan
Monday August 23, 2010 - 08:22:00 PM

Peggy Hollinger and Chris Bryant of the Financial Times put their fingers on what’s behind the current uproar over Europe’s Roma population: the group is “an easy target for politicians seeking to distract attention from problems at home by playing on fears over security.” That strategy was stage center in early August when France’s conservative government shipped several hundred Roma back to Romania and French President Nicolas Sarkozy pledged he would bulldoze 300 Roma camps over the next several weeks. -more-


The Public Eye: The 2010 Elections: What’s at Stake?

By Bob Burnett
Friday August 20, 2010 - 03:49:00 PM

With the less than three months before the November 2nd elections, the political parameters are clear. Despite the accomplishments of the 111th Congress, Democrats are on the defensive and Republicans smell victory. Regardless of the outcome, it’s likely little will change in Washington; Congress will spend the next two years avoiding America’s most pressing problems. -more-


Senior Power:Senior Center Month

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Friday August 20, 2010 - 03:35:00 PM

National Senior Center Month is coming up, in September. It is estimated that there are 10,000-16,000 senior centers in the United States. Of these, more than 6,000 receive some funding support from the Older Americans Act through service contracts awarded by state and Area Agencies on Aging for program activities. -more-


Wild Neighbors: It’s a Bird! It’s a Bee! No…

By Joe Eaton
Monday August 23, 2010 - 08:04:00 PM
Snowberry clearwing, a day-flying sphinx moth.

A couple of weeks ago I ran into an old acquaintance from the South: a dayflying moth variously known as the bumblebee moth or the snowberry clearwing (Hemaris diffinis.) Unfortunately, the moth was in dire straits, having blundered into a spiderweb in some kind of exotic Asian maple. It was intact but not moving. If the web had been within reach, I would have been tempted to free the moth. Its height saved me from violating the Prime Directive. -more-


Arts & Events

Stage-San Francisco Through September 5

Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 03:20:00 PM

ACTORS THEATRE OF SAN FRANCISCO -more-


Stage-East Bay Through September 5

Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 03:22:00 PM

ASHBY STAGE -more-


Readings-East Bay Through September 5

Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 03:22:00 PM

BOOKS INC., BERKELEY -more-


Professional Dance-San Francisco Through September 5

Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 03:23:00 PM

PENA PACHAMAMA -more-


Museums-East Bay Through September 5

Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 03:26:00 PM

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-


Exhibits-East Bay Through September 5

Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 03:29:00 PM

CARMEN FLORES RECREATION CENTER -more-


Exhibits-San Francisco Through September 5

Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 03:30:00 PM

"SUN SPHERES," -- "Sun Spheres'' is a trio of mosaic sculptures by artist Laurel True at the intersection of Ocean and Granada Avenues in the OMI District of San Francisco. -more-


Classical Music-San Francisco Through September 5

Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 03:31:00 PM

GOLDEN GATE PARK -more-


Popmusic-East Bay Through September 5

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

"DOWNTOWN BERKELEY MUSICFEST," -- through Aug. 29. More than 50 performances will take place at 11 different venues across Berkeley's Downtown Arts District, with bands and artists such as The Blasters, Terence Brewer Trio, Dawn Drake, Turtle Island Quartet, Mark Hummel and more. Visit website for complete lineup and locations. -more-


Museums-San Francisco Through September 5

Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 03:25:00 PM

ASIAN ART MUSEUM OF SAN FRANCISCO The Asian Art Museum-Chon-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture recently unveiled its new building in San Francisco's Civic Center. The building, the former San Francisco Public Library, has been completely retrofitted and rebuilt to house San Francisco's significant collection of Asian treasures. The museum offers complimentary audio tours of the museum's collection galleries. -more-


Galleries-San Francisco Through August 29

Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 03:28:00 PM

A440 GALLERY -- -more-


Galleries-East Bay Through September 5

Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 03:29:00 PM

"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-


Film Review: The Gently Unfolding Dramas of Yasujiro Ozu

By Justin DeFreitas
Monday August 23, 2010 - 08:08:00 PM

Almost from the beginning of the medium, filmmakers were eager to transcend the limits of traditional theater by putting the camera in motion, by sending it racing, swooping and soaring; by using a variety of lenses to shape the image, to magnify, distort and exaggerate; and by using the editing process to suggest, startle and surprise. And while some of the most exciting filmmakers over the past century have been those who found ways to employ these devices with flash and panache, one of the greatest directors the medium has ever produced was one who limited himself to the simplest and most austere techniques. -more-


Theatre Review: Beauty and the Beast-for ages 3 to 8

By John A. McMullen
Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 01:33:00 PM
Liz Shivener and Ensemble

I’ve watched a number of animated feature films lately, and the formula of such rich creations like “Toy Story 3,” “The Fantastic Mr. Fox,” and “Up” seems to be that they are enjoyable for the parents and the kids. This is not the case in SHN’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at the Golden Gate Theater in SF. I was not expecting Cocteau’s surrealistic filmic 1946 version, but neither was I prepared for bad children’s theatre in which everything from the acting to the set is two-dimensional. -more-


Don't Miss This: Fall Showings at PFA

By Dorothy Snodgrass
Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 01:40:00 PM

Have you had it up to here with the insipid, mindless movies currently showing in East Bay theatres -- films certainly not worth eight dollars, much less your valuable time? If such is the case, you'd be wise to pick up a Pacific Film Archives calendar at the Berkeley Art Museum at 2626 Bancroft Way. Whether hosting authors and artists in person, campus discussions, silent film restorations, and old-time music celebrations, the PFA theatre continues to be the place for the campus and local community to come together and access the most eclectic cinema-related live events that the Bay Area has to offer. -more-


Wild Neighbors: It’s a Bird! It’s a Bee! No…

By Joe Eaton
Monday August 23, 2010 - 08:04:00 PM
Snowberry clearwing, a day-flying sphinx moth.

A couple of weeks ago I ran into an old acquaintance from the South: a dayflying moth variously known as the bumblebee moth or the snowberry clearwing (Hemaris diffinis.) Unfortunately, the moth was in dire straits, having blundered into a spiderweb in some kind of exotic Asian maple. It was intact but not moving. If the web had been within reach, I would have been tempted to free the moth. Its height saved me from violating the Prime Directive. -more-


Outdoors-East Bay Through September 5

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

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-


Highlights-East Bay Through September 5

Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 03:27:00 PM

"DOWNTOWN BERKELEY MUSICFEST," -- through Aug. 29. More than 50 performances will take place at 11 different venues across Berkeley's Downtown Arts District, with bands and artists such as The Blasters, Terence Brewer Trio, Dawn Drake, Turtle Island Quartet, Mark Hummel and more. Visit website for complete lineup and locations. -more-


Kids-East Bay Through September 5

Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 03:27:00 PM

"LASTSUNDAYSFEST," -- Aug. 29. A street fair featuring live music, crafts, artisans, mechanical bull riding, clowns, bounce houses, face painting and more. Event takes place along Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley between Dwight and Bancroft. -more-


General-East Bay Through September 5

Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 03:28:00 PM

"LASTSUNDAYSFEST," -- Aug. 29. A street fair featuring live music, crafts, artisans, mechanical bull riding, clowns, bounce houses, face painting and more. Event takes place along Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley between Dwight and Bancroft. -more-


Dance-East Bay Through September 5

Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 03:31:00 PM

ELKS LODGE, ALAMEDA -more-