The Week

Planet Correspondents


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-



Remembering Pat Cody

By Becky O'Malley
Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 11:46:00 AM

Last Thursday night we were sorry to learn that Berkeley’s beloved Pat Cody, who founded Cody’s Books along with her late husband Fred, had died at 5:30 that evening, with her children at her side. We put a brief version of these comments on line on Friday, and Pat’s son Anthony Cody sent us an obituary which we published. We asked friends and admirers to send along their reminiscences of Pat, and since then we have been hearing about the mark she left on the world from some of the many people whose lives she touched. -more-

The Editor's Back Fence

Who’s Behind Measure R? “Sam Zell” is the Answer

By Becky O'Malley
Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 09:51:00 PM

Last night (Tuesday, October 5) a League of Woman Voters debate on Measure R, on the Berkeley ballot in the upcoming election, served as the arena for dramatic revelations about the financial muscle behind the advisory ballot measure which purports to give citizens the opportunity to endorse their mayor’s “green vision” for downtown development.

As they say in clichéd movies about investigative reporting, all you have to do is “follow the money.” Measure R opponents, including anti-R debaters Councilmember Jesse Arreguin and Planning Commissioner Patti Dacey, showed up clutching the hot-off-the-internet documentation of California Form 460, the Campaign Disclosure Statement, which was made available only yesterday. .

It revealed that the “Berkeley Alliance for Progress – Yes on Measure R” committee has raised $32,450 so far, of which by far the greatest percentage,$25,000, came from—wait for it—billionaire Sam Zell’s Equity Residential Corporation. .

Yes, that Sam Zell. The same one who bought the L.A Times and the Chicago Tribune and sucked them dry, ran them into bankruptcy. -more-

Now Read This: A Selection of Links of Interest to Berkeley and Environs

Monday October 04, 2010 - 12:23:00 PM

UC-BP opens a new raptor- and bat-free hall? (From Richard Brenneman's Blog)

UC Berkeley, which bill’s itself as The Nation’s Finest Public Research University™, is opening a new center, and they promise it’s free of bats and raptors.

But there’s at least one old bat who’ll be on hand for it’s dedication today, former Reagan Secretary of State and military/industrial entrepeneur George Shultz, and as for the raptors, what about the center’s namesake, UC Regent Richard Blum, whose been steadily feasting off the carcass of America’s dying public universities for years? -more-


Odd Bodkins: Frog Oil Beer

Dan O'Neill
Monday October 04, 2010 - 10:01:00 PM

BOUNCE: Crackerbox Palace

Joseph Young
Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 09:28:00 AM

BOUNCE: Wizard Fribitty Ribbity

Joseph Young
Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 09:24:00 AM

Pinocchio in the 21st Century

Bob Crabb
Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 09:30:00 AM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 01:41:00 PM

Whitman Deceives -more-

Response to Commentary in Favor of Measures H and I

By Henrik Bull
Saturday October 02, 2010 - 11:18:00 AM

The Reader Commentary from Cathy Campbell, Karen Hemphill, William Huyett and Eric Weaver carefully avoids any discussion of the Bond Authorization limit of $210 million for Measure I. In 2000 we voted for a $116.5 Bond Issue which promised new classrooms at Berkeley High as the highest priority. In the ensuing 10 years no new classrooms were built. Instead, the money was spent on a $10 million bus and transportation center, and another $10+ million will be spent on a new "high school stadium under construction". Neither the transportation center nor the Stadium (also called Field House in recent BUSD literature) were mentioned in the 2000 Measure AA voter's manual. -more-

Vote Yes on Measures H and I for Berkeley Schools

Cathy Campbell, Karen Hemphill, William Huyett, Eric Weaver
Friday October 01, 2010 - 12:11:00 PM

With sample ballots and election materials landing in mailboxes, we want to tell Berkeleyans why we are voting “Yes” on Measures H & I and, why we encourage all residents to join us to protect our community’s investments in our schools and to build for the future. -more-

The Pepper Spray Times

by Grace Underpressure
Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 09:46:00 AM


Dispatches From The Edge: Bedding Down With The Devil in Indonesia

By Conn Hallinan
Friday October 01, 2010 - 12:24:00 PM

Bedding down with the Devil is the only way one can describe a recent decision by the Obama administration to resume contact with the Indonesian military’s (TNI) most notorious human rights abuser, the Special Forces unit, Kopassus. Following a July meeting with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, U.S. Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates lifted the 1999 ban on any contact with the unit. -more-

Wild Neighbors: Roadkill Revisited

By Joe Eaton
Monday October 04, 2010 - 02:08:00 PM

The California Roadkill Observation System has been up and running for a year now. Maine recently got into the act, and I would expect additional states to follow. It’s straightforward enough: if you spot dead wildlife on the road, you can report your observations to a website where they will be tabulated and mapped. -more-

The Public Eye: Polarization Politics: So Far, So Good

By Bob Burnett
Friday October 01, 2010 - 11:47:00 AM

It’s a familiar joke: A man falls off a forty-story building; as he passes the twentieth floor, a friend yells out the window, “How’s it going?” and the faller screams, “So far, so good!” Now it’s become the Republican campaign theme. -more-

Senior Power:“I Am Worn To A Raveling”-- Helen Beatrix Potter (1866-1943). “The Tailor of Gloucester” (1901)

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Friday October 01, 2010 - 12:08:00 PM

This is about chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) and chronic myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) and their relationship to pain and depression. -more-

Arts & Events

Stage-East Bay Through October 17

Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 03:00:00 PM


Professional Dance-San Francisco Through October 17

Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 02:59:00 PM


Readings-East Bay Through October 17

Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 02:59:00 PM


Popmusic-East Bay Through October 17

Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 02:58:00 PM

924 GILMAN ST. All ages welcome. -more-

Galleries-East Bay Through October 17

Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 02:52:00 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-

Galleries-San Francisco Through October 17

Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 02:52:00 PM

"35TH ANNUAL SF OPEN STUDIOS," -- through Oct. 31. More than 800 artists will open their studio doors to the public during this month-long event taking place throughout the city, with different areas participating on different weekends. See website for complete details. -more-

Classical Music-San Francisco Through October 17

Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 02:48:00 PM


Classical Music-East Bay Through October 17

Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 02:47:00 PM

CAL PERFORMANCES All performances in Zellerbach Hall unless otherwise noted. -more-

Stage-San Francisco Through October 17

Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 02:44:00 PM


Around & About Onstage

By Ken Bullock
Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 09:57:00 AM

—TheatreFirst wrapped up performances of Anton in Show Business, Jane Martin's play about an unlikely troika of actresses—one from Southern Methodist U. trying to make her way in Manhattan, asking Jesus' indulgence (comic ingenue Megan Briggs); another a princess of the (unpaid) Off-Off Broadway stage, cynical and down (Beth Deitschman, an unusual actor, with finally a role in the East Bay she can begin to sink her teeth in); the third a TV star "slumming" onstage in hopes of a film deal (Josie Alvarez)—flying to Texas to rehearse and play some kind of interpretation (always-game trouper Phoebe Moyer, as a rash of pretentious directors) of the Russian playwright's Three Sisters. -more-

Faculty Club Recitals Delight

By Dorothy Snodgrass
Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 01:18:00 PM

Remember that great Masterpiece series a few years back, "Jewel In the Crown?" Well, in my humble opinion, the Women's Faculty Club on the U.C. campus is a jewel in the crown of the University of California. Designed by John Galen Howard and completed in in 1923, this lovely building is a Berkeley treasure. -more-

Museums-San Francisco Through October 17

Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 02:57:00 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. "In a New Light," There are some 2,500 works displayed in the museum's new galleries. They cover all the major cultures of Asia and include Indian stone sculptures, intricately carved Chinese jades, Korean paintings, Tibetan thanksgas, Cambodian Buddhas, Islamic manuscripts and Japanese basketry and kimonos. -more-

Outdoors-East Bay Through October 17

Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 02:57:00 PM

"INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY," -- Oct. 9. A festival celebrating native American culture, with dancing, food, arts & crafts, a market and more. Event takes place at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, between Center Street and Allston Way, Berkeley. -more-

Museums-East Bay Through October 17

Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 02:56:00 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-

Kids-East Bay Through October 17

Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 02:55:00 PM

"OAKTOBERFEST," -- Oct. 9. Enjoy craft beer, live entertainment, food, an eco fair, kids activities and more. Event takes place at MacArthur Blvd. and Fruitvale Ave. in the Dimond district of Oakland. -more-

Highlights-East Bay Through October 17

Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 02:54:00 PM

"LIVERMORE ART WALK," -- Oct. 9. More than 150 artists will be on hand displaying their work, ranging from pottery to painting, stained glass, jewelry, and much more. Event takes place throughout downtown Livermore; see website for details. -more-

General-East Bay Through October 17

Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 02:53:00 PM

"INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY," -- Oct. 9. A festival celebrating native American culture, with dancing, food, arts & crafts, a market and more. Event takes place at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, between Center Street and Allston Way, Berkeley. -more-

Exhibits-San Francisco Through October 17

Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 02:51:00 PM

"35TH ANNUAL SF OPEN STUDIOS," -- through Oct. 31. More than 800 artists will open their studio doors to the public during this month-long event taking place throughout the city, with different areas participating on different weekends. See website for complete details. -more-

Exhibits-East Bay Through October 17

Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 02:50:00 PM


Dance-East Bay Through October 17

Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 02:49:00 PM

"INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY," -- Oct. 9. A festival celebrating native American culture, with dancing, food, arts & crafts, a market and more. Event takes place at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, between Center Street and Allston Way, Berkeley. -more-

Pow Wow Now: Part 4: The Dancers

By John Curl
Tuesday October 05, 2010 - 09:27:00 AM

Dawn on pow wow day greets the vendors, many coming from long distances, setting up booths displaying an amazing array of craft items and traditional foods. With them is vendors coordinator Hallie Frazer and her clip board, straightening out any confusion about spaces and checking that all the booths are carrying only creations hand made by Native people. Every vendor contributes a piece to the raffle, and winners are announced throughout the day. -more-