Flash: Suspect with Gun Reported at Ashby BART in Berkeley--BART Police Unable to Confirm

By Saul Sugarman (BCN) and Berkeley Daily Planet
Saturday October 16, 2010 - 06:39:00 PM

BART police responded to reports of a male suspect with a gun in a Bay Area Rapid Transit station at Ashby Avenue in Berkeley this afternoon sometime after 4 p.m.. -more-

New: Click the Next Issue Button to See Today's New Articles

Friday October 15, 2010 - 06:31:00 PM

Don't forget that from now on you can see the new articles by clicking on the "Next Issue" button at the top of this page. Among other exciting news, there's a link to Richard Brenneman's latest column about the BP/UC collusion. -more-

Changes to the Planet Schedule, No More Printed Planets

By Becky O'Malley
Tuesday October 12, 2010 - 03:58:00 PM

First: sad news. If you have friends who have been enjoying the Planets which have been printed by a public-spirited copy shop, please tell them that they won’t be able to get printed copies any more. The usual suspects, the same kind of people who harassed the advertisers in the print Planets for the last few years, are at it again. Please don’t blame the generous people at the copy company, who were just trying to be of service to Berkeley readers.

Second: Mike O’Malley and I, who are solely responsible for online production these days, have decided that the Tuesday deadline isn’t working as well as we’d hoped. For one thing, we miss the City Council when it’s in session on Tuesday nights. And right now, we’re happy to say that we have had so many election-oriented contributions that we just can’t do it all in one day.

What you have today (Tuesday afternoon) is NOT the whole issue for this week. Much more is in the works—it will probably all be online by tomorrow afternoon. But since we’ve been getting new submissions every day, there will be new pieces posted almost every day, at least until the election, so keep putting into your browser and clicking through to see what’s new. -more-

The Will of the People: Measure R is Debated (Sort of) Yet Again

By Christopher Adams
Wednesday October 13, 2010 - 05:51:00 PM

Is the air too “dramatic” in the block of Addison which houses the city’s self-described “arts district;” is there something that fuzzes minds and prevents rational discourse? In January I went to a panel discussion about downtown development in the Aurora Theatre where not one of the panelists mentioned most of the activities which draw people downtown (like retail or restaurants or libraries or gyms). This Tuesday I went to a panel discussion in the same venue about Measure R, characterized by drama, if drama means “artifice,” “fictionalizing,” and “upstaging,” but mostly not including discussion of Measure R. Maybe the Chamber of Commerce, which had organized the panel, wanted it that way, but I went wanting to learn more, and I left as flummoxed as I had been in January. -more-

Who Paid for "the Sierra Club's" Yes on R mailer? (News Analysis)

By Daniella Thompson
Tuesday October 12, 2010 - 11:11:00 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-

"Gerrymandering”: The Movie, the Proposition, the Conflict of Interest

By Gar Smith
Tuesday October 12, 2010 - 12:51:00 PM
Jeff Reichert

“You don’t pick your representatives; your representatives pick you.”— A popular definition of the “gerrymandering” process -more-

League of Women Voters Hosts Lively Measure R Forum

By Steven Finacom
Tuesday October 12, 2010 - 11:40:00 AM

A forum on Measure R, the controversial downtown high-rise development proposal on Berkeley’s November ballot, provoked a sharp exchange of views last Tuesday.

More than 50 people attended the event that was held in the Berkeley City College building on Center Street and was sponsored by the League of Women Voters. -more-

Draconian Budget Cuts to Senior and Disabled Programs

by Lydia Gans
Wednesday October 13, 2010 - 08:40:00 AM

Arnieville, the name inspired by the Hoovervilles in the depression years, was a month long camp out in Berkeley in July to protest threatened cuts in services for elderly and disabled people. Last week Arnieville went to Sacramento with their allies in a last ditch effort to prevent the legislature and the governor from making cuts in their desperately needed programs. The results – nothing. Other than a few arrests for “obstructing state business” they were not heard. The budget was passed with the cuts the legislative leaders had agreed on (in closed sessions). -more-

Chase Bank Logo To Rise Above Berkeley (News Analysis)

By Steven Finacom
Tuesday October 12, 2010 - 01:14:00 PM
A Chase Bank logo is proposed for the upper right hand corner of the
                  south façade of the 13-story 2150 Shattuck office building, shown here from far
                  down Shattuck Avenue.

Blue and gold may be the revered historic colors of the University of California, but if a current proposal is approved, they may also become literal colors of controversy in the University city. -more-

An Eclectic Afternoon on Telegraph - Art Cars Parade

Steven Finacom
Saturday October 09, 2010 - 11:59:00 PM
More than 20 art cars rolled up Telegraph Avenue past Amoeba Music
                  mid-day on Friday, October 8, 2010.

For a few minutes midday on Friday, October 8, 2010, Telegraph Avenue experienced a burst of color, oddity, and originality out in the street as well as on the sidewalks. A group of art cars came to town. -more-

Press Release: Cultural Trust Hosts Berkeley City Council Candidates Forum on Oct. 20

From Lisa Manning, Chair, Berkeley Cultural Trust Marketing Director, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse
Friday October 15, 2010 - 10:11:00 AM

Berkeley Cultural Trust (BCT) hosts a Berkeley City Council candidates forum, moderated by the League of Women Voters, from noon-1:30 pm October 20, 2010 at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley CA 94704. The forum is open and free to the public. -more-

Support Education and Accountability—Yes on H…No on I

By Priscilla Myrick
Wednesday October 13, 2010 - 10:45:00 AM

Measure H is a parcel tax that will provide approximately $5 million per year for 10years (from 2013 to 2023) at a total cost of $50 million. The revenues from the parcel tax will be used to maintain school facilities.

Measure I authorizes the District to issue $210million in school construction bonds that will be used to construct classrooms and renovate district facilities over the next ten years. However, the cost to repay the bonds (principal and interest) will be $611 million over 50 years through 2060. -more-

An Open Letter to Professor Robert Reich Regarding Berkeley Measure R

By Susan Cerny
Friday October 08, 2010 - 04:18:00 PM

Dear Professor Reich,

On September 30, 2010 I wrote you regarding your endorsement of Measure R and my observation that your endorsement conflicted with statements you make on public radio and on your blog site. (The letter is included below) -more-

Berkeley Measure R: 2 Cons and a Pro

By B. Soffer
Saturday October 09, 2010 - 05:24:00 PM

[EDITOR’S NOTE:The Bay Area News Group (San Jose Mercury. Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times, West County Times, Berkeley Voice and more) has come out against Berkeley’s proposed Measure R.

Here’s a link to their editorial

Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates wrote an op-ed in response supporting Measure R.

Now B. Soffer of the Green Party has sent us his rebuttal, reprinted below:] -more-

Measure R: Claims and Facts

By John English
Tuesday October 12, 2010 - 11:05:00 AM

Measure R is a deceptive attempt to slip through some highly controversial specifics by linking them to a parade of nice-sounding vague generalities and an alleged “green vision for the Downtown.” Don’t be fooled by proponents’ greenwashing rhetoric. Read the fine print. -more-

Privatizing VA Medical Care: Another Tea Party attack against blacks, Latinos and poor whites

By Jean Damu
Wednesday October 13, 2010 - 09:51:00 AM

The Republican Party and the Tea Party Express are on a roll, if the pundits and pollsters are to be believed.They say the opportunity will exist after the mid-term elections for them to be in a position to undo some of the positive legislation passed by Democratically controlled congresses. At the top of their hit list- undo the healthcare reforms and privatize social security, as well as the VA hospitals. -more-

Marijuana Measure T is not the Solution

By Shirley Dean, Former Mayor, City of Berkeley and Sophie Hahn, Community and School Leader
Wednesday October 13, 2010 - 09:04:00 AM

This week we got our first look at the “Yes on T” flyer currently being distributed. We support the efforts of those Berkeley advocates for medical marijuana who have acted responsibly to help people find their way through the complex legal and practical problems that the chaos of State law around this issue has created. However, the assertions in the flyer urging a “yes” vote on Berkeley Measure T are so misleading that we feel compelled to reply. -more-

George Beier in His Own Words: A Cautionary Tale for Neighborhoods

By Judith Epstein
Wednesday October 13, 2010 - 06:05:00 PM

The first time I met George Beier, he was charming, friendly, and he told me exactly what I wanted to hear. It just wasn’t the truth. Beier is a self-described “neighborhood activist,” but when Elmwood residents and merchants needed a champion, he took the side of the developer who would have destroyed our neighborhood. -more-

Sierra Club Local Endorsements = Machine, NOT Green

By Merrilie Mitchell
Wednesday October 13, 2010 - 10:51:00 AM

The Sierra Club, terrific on national issues like BP, has a Berkeley based local Chapter that seems to have eclipsed our own UC - BP horror story without a peep. UC-BP plans massive Research and Development (R and D) in biofuels here, and they are planning for Berkeley to become the world capitol for this research. -more-

Press Release: Big win for SaveKPFA slate in KPFA's Local Board Election

Sent by Mal Burnstein of SaveKPFA
Wednesday October 13, 2010 - 08:30:00 AM

The SaveKPFA slate has won a big victory in elections to KPFA’s local governing board. Listeners elected SaveKPFA members to six of nine open seats. -more-

Press Release: Who Are These Crooks--Er, Suspects?

From the City of Berkeley Police Department
Tuesday October 12, 2010 - 10:19:00 AM

Here's a Berkeley Police Department press release showing suspects in a recent car burglary and credit car theft case. -more-

Press Release: Campaign Launched: Berkeley City Council Resolution to Welcome Cleared Guantánamo Detainees to Berkeley

FROM: Cynthia Papermaster, Director, National Accountability Action Network; Codepink Women for Peace,510-333-6097; Susan Harman, Progressive Democrats of America, 510-866-6743; Nancy Talanian, No More Guantanamos (
Wednesday October 13, 2010 - 08:33:00 AM

Berkeley, CA. On Tuesday, October 12, a coalition of human rights and torture accountability groups [launched] a campaign to pass a Berkeley City Council Resolution welcoming one or two cleared Guantánamo Bay Prison detainees to Berkeley once Congress lifts its current ban. The resolution’s supporters, including groups and individuals who organized “Berkeley Says No to Torture Week”, Oct. 10-16, hope the Berkeley City Council will adopt the resolution promptly, making the City of Berkeley the third U.S. municipality, and the first in California, to do so. No city funds would be used to support the men. They would be sponsored by volunteers, with the help of nonprofit organizations that help asylees. -more-