UC Berkeley Students and Staff Protest Budget Cuts (Photo Essay)

By Planet Correspondents
Friday October 08, 2010 - 10:43:00 AM

October 7, 2010 was a day of protest in the UC system, focusing on budget cuts but extending to a range of other student and labor issues. The main planned event of the day at the UC Berkeley campus was a Sproul Plaza rally.

Following a march through the campus, perhaps 500 protestors occupied the Reading Room at Doe Library for several hours, before leaving the building.

These photos, contributed to the Planet by a reader who wishes to remain anonymous, show the chronological sequence of events during the day. -more-

Student Protests Rock UC Berkeley and Other Schools

By Saul Sugarman (BCN)
Thursday October 07, 2010 - 09:45:00 PM

More than 500 protesters rallied against tuition fee hikes and budget cuts at the University of California at Berkeley today, including about 100 who planned to gather at the school's library well into the evening, a university spokeswoman said. -more-

Plaintiff's Brief Filed in Rose Street Lawsuit

By Becky O'Malley
Thursday October 07, 2010 - 10:54:00 PM

The first shot has been fired in the suit filed by Berkeley Hillside Preservation, an unincorporated association, and neighbor Susan Nunes Fadley against the city of Berkeley and the City Council, with architect Donn Logan and his clients, software mogul Mitchell D. Kapor and his wife Freada Kapor-Klein named as real parties in interest. -more-

Thieves Snatching Credit Cards Left in Bank of America ATMS

By Bay City News
Thursday October 07, 2010 - 06:39:00 PM

Police in Berkeley are warning residents of a crime trend in which scammers stake out ATMs and gain access to debit and credit cards. -more-

Copy Shop Will No Longer Print Planet

Thursday October 07, 2010 - 11:31:00 AM

The Daily Planet has been informed that the copies of the paper printed by Copy Central and distributed through news racks will no longer be available. The printer has also been asked to collect outstanding copies of this week’s issue immediately. Several hundred copies were printed weekly and sold for $2 each. -more-

“Bankrupting America”: The Truth behind those ‘Hole in the Ground’ Ads

By Gar Smith
Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 11:59:00 AM

Suddenly, the ads were everywhere — flashing on TV screens and popping up on local radio stations. The TV ads featured a sweating white guy in a business suit shoveling dirt in the bottom of an ever-expanding trench while a voice-over boomed: “When you’re in a hole, stop digging.” In the radio spots, the scrunch of a shovel was interrupted by an echo-chamber-enhanced voice pleading: “Hello? Can we have a little help down here?” -more-

Yogurt, Oil and Tenants' Rights Dominate Berkeley Council Meeting

By Charlotte Perry-Houts
Friday October 01, 2010 - 12:38:00 PM

Frozen yogurt, British Petroleum, and political prisoners were a few of the lively subjects discussed at Tuesday's regular City Council meeting. -more-

Council Postpones Sunshine Ordinance Until At Least January

By Charlotte Perry-Houts
Friday October 01, 2010 - 12:34:00 PM

Tuesday's City Council worksession on the Sunshine Ordinance for open government ended with Mayor Bates' promise that “we will bring this item back into the Council in January. And we will be ready to make it happen.” The Sunshine Ordinance, an attempt to make city governance more accessible to the public, has been on the table in various forms for the last ten years and has seen 24 drafts by the City Attorney. The ordinance is an attempt to improve upon the “minimum standards” set by the Brown Act of 1953 and the California Public Records Act of 1968. -more-

Mehserle Lawyer Seeks New Trial

By Janna Brancolini (BCN)
Monday October 04, 2010 - 11:21:00 PM

Lawyers for former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle have asked a Los Angeles judge to issue a new trial after the defense team unearthed a 2008 incident that was "pretty much identical" to the defense rejected by jurors last year. -more-

Proposed Acheson Commons Development Would Add 200 Units to Downtown Berkeley

By Steven Finacom
Saturday October 02, 2010 - 11:18:00 AM
The Acheson Commons development would see a new five story residential tower
                  built above the foreground building at the corner of University and Shattuck, and
                  other new construction and renovation housing extending up the 2100 block to the

Preliminary designs for a block long, six building, 200 rental unit development planned for downtown Berkeley were unveiled September 30, 2010, by the developer and the project architect. -more-

Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory Open House

By Steven Finacom
Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 10:05:00 AM
LBNL Researchers demonstrated a simple, efficient, stove designed for use in
                  northwest Africa.

Thousands of curious locals, including many children, ascended to the usually off-limits grounds of Berkeley’s Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on Saturday, October 2, 2010, at the Lab’s open house. -more-

Cougar Watch (Reader Report)

From Jennifer Pearson
Sunday October 03, 2010 - 11:06:00 AM

[Editor’s Note: Reader Jennifer Pearson has been keeping us up-to-date on recent discussion of sightings of mountain lions (aka cougars) in the Berkeley Hills on neighborhood listservs.] -more-

Updated: Cragmont School Evacuated: Suspicious Package Harmless

By Dan McMenamin (BCN)
Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 02:54:00 PM

A bomb squad has determined that a suspicious package found this afternoon at a Berkeley elementary school is harmless, a police spokeswoman said. -more-

New: “Sierra Club” Yes on R mailer financed by Sam Zell

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday October 07, 2010 - 11:31:00 AM

If you’re a Berkeley voter, you’ll have received the colorful mailer from the Yes on Measure R campaign conspicuously designed to look as if it had come from the Sierra Club.

Like Measure R itself, the mailer harps on the word “green” numerous times. Of course, there is nothing in the ballot language that guarantees any green (or even rosy) outcome for downtown Berkeley.

What we have here is a case of flagrant greenwashing, financed by developers. -more-

Updated: The Berkeley Democratic Club's Endorsement Meeting (Opinion)

By Abigail Surasky
Monday October 04, 2010 - 09:46:00 PM

[Editor’s Note: A reader saw my plea for a report of what happened at the endorsement meeting of the Berkeley Democratic Club (formerly known as The Moderates) and she volunteered this report of what she saw. We asked her if she is supporting any candidate or issue. “Sure,” she said, “I'm endorsing Jesse Arreguin (because of his presentation on Measure R, which I previously knew nothing about); Measures H&I; and for School Board I'm endorsing Julie Holcomb and Leah Wilson.” She seems to have done her best to be fair to all however.]

City Council Highlights

As a whole, the city council candidates were a colorful crew, reflecting a healthy diversity of opinions and styles (though disappointingly not race) that make Berkeley what it is. -more-

How I'm Voting on the State Propositions

By Stu Flashman
Monday October 04, 2010 - 01:56:00 PM

[Editor’s Note: Stu Flashman is a Rockridge-based environmental attorney and an avid follower of local and state politics. He’s a normal East Bay progressive, but just to keep you confused, here’s also a link to the web site of a Los Angeles progressive organization, which differs with Stu on some propositions.]

My sample ballot came today, which says to me it’s time for me to share my opinions on the ballot measures and candidates. It is, as it usually is in a statewide November election, a pretty long ballot. I’m going to start with the ballot measures. This year, they’re a pretty easy group for me to decide on. Maybe not so much for you. For the first time I can remember, I’m 100% in agreement with the positions of the California League of Women Voters, where they’ve taken a position. You can find their analysis here: I go beyond the League, however, by sticking my neck out on the other ballot measures as well. -more-

Why I Support Julie Holcomb for Berkeley School Board

By David Manson
Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 01:00:00 PM

I have worked on the "front lines" of youth and community development work in Berkeley ever since I moved here in 1991. During my time with the South Berkeley YMCA, Berkeley Youth Alternatives, and Berkeley Boosters Police Activities League, I have worked with some of Berkeley's most at-risk youth in programs designed to support their success in our public schools and help move them to higher education and to become successful, contributing members of our community. -more-

Bayer US: Layoffs despite Tax Breaks

From Coalition against BAYER Dangers (Germany) (in English)
Friday October 08, 2010 - 10:23:00 AM

Only 14% of US-workers have collective agreements / Unions systematically pushed out of Bayer factories / protests at Bayer Berkeley plant

Bayer Corporation announced the laying off of 29 union workers in Berkeley/California. The factory is one of the last unionized Bayer plants in the US. About 150 workers protested in front of the plant despite Bayer's threats against those going to the rally. -more-