The Week

This computer simulation shows what the view from Aquatic Park looking southeast could be if the Berkeley Planning Department's proposed changes to West Berkeley zoning were adopted. Images of existing Emeryville buildings were superimposed on a current photo of the park.
This computer simulation shows what the view from Aquatic Park looking southeast could be if the Berkeley Planning Department's proposed changes to West Berkeley zoning were adopted. Images of existing Emeryville buildings were superimposed on a current photo of the park.


Berkeley City Council Preview

By Charlotte Perry-Houts
Sunday February 06, 2011 - 09:44:00 AM

This Tuesday, February 8, the Berkeley City Council will continue its public hearing on the West Berkeley Plan, carried over from the January 25th meeting when dozens of commentators lined up to speak. Plan changes and accompanying zoning changes are supposed to be aimed at increasing the amount of economic activity in West Berkeley, especially industrial production. Backers say they are focused on the reuse of existing buildings, the development of large multi-parcel sites, and start-up of new types of industrial activities. Public commentators have expressed concern about the proposed 75-foot height limit for buildings and the preservation of the arts in the area. -more-

Press Release: Larry Blake's on Telegraph in Berkeley Closes

From John Lineweaver, Diablo Holdings Ltd.
Friday February 04, 2011 - 11:44:00 AM

[Editor's Note: This press release was sent by John Lineweaver, who is referred to in the third person in the text. It is our policy to post press releases which we think are of general interest, but readers should be aware that there might be other interpretations of this story.]

After 71 years in business at Telegraph & Durant in Berkeley, Larry Blake’s Restaurant & Bar, also known as Blake’s on Telegraph, has closed its doors. Blake’s was once among the most popular hangouts for the Cal community—both students and faculty/employees—and until the late1990’s was famous for the Blake Burger, voted Best Hamburger in the East Bay numerous times, and for the delicious salad dressing developed in the 1940’s by Larry Blake, himself. -more-

Flash: Egyptian Students and Supporters Demonstrate on U.C. Berkeley Campus

Thursday February 03, 2011 - 12:45:00 PM

A small but heartfelt demonstration engaged UC Berkeley's Sproul Plaza lunch hour throngs mid-day on Thursday as Egyptian students and their supporters staged a die-in at Sather Gate to support anti-Mubarak protesters in Egypt. -more-

Garden Book Chapter on Vegetable Roots Available Free for Downloading

From Roots Demystified, by Robert Kourik
Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 09:01:00 PM

This week there’s a special garden feature from author Robert Kourik. He’s offering an ebook version of downloadable chapters from two of his books, Drip Irrigation and Roots Demystified, on his website. -more-

Berkeley Man Dies in San Pablo Shooting

By Caitilin McAdoo (BCN) and Planet
Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 08:54:00 PM

Police are continuing to investigate a fatal drive-by shooting in San Pablo that happened Tuesday evening, but so far they have no leads and only a minimal description of the shooter's vehicle, a San Pablo police lieutenant said today. -more-

Updated: Berkeley's People's Park Knife-Slashing
in a Tree Gets Seriouser and Seriouser
as Midnight Matt Held Over For Trial

By Ted Friedman
Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 08:02:00 PM

Describing knife wounds to the fingertips of Austin D. White, 35, allegedly inflicted by Matt Dodt, 54, as "serious," and later "very serious," Alameda Superior Court Judge Rhonda Burgess refused to lower his $100,000 bail, declined to release him on his own recognizance, and set Feb. 17 for a pre-trial hearing on an assault with a deadly weapon charge. -more-

Bay Area Residents Share Experiences from Egypt

By Khalida Sarwari (BCN)
Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 01:32:00 PM

When Layma Murtaza touched down at Cairo International Airport in late August 2010, the first image she saw was of families sitting on the floor, yelling and having a picnic as they waited for their luggage. -more-

Press Release: Bay Area Resident joins Egyptians on the Ground in Cairo, Available for Phone Calls, Interviews
Eye-witness Accounts of Mubarak Unleashing His Thugs on Peaceful Egyptian Protesters

From Rae Abileah for Code Pink and others
Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 12:31:00 PM

Human rights activists with CODEPINK, including Sharat Lin of Fremont, CA, joined Egyptian protesters this week in Cairo as perhaps the only international solidarity delegation on the ground in the country. They have been in the streets with the Egyptian people for the last five days. Several members of the group of nine activists are available by phone for interviews this week. Tomorrow the delegation plans to do a solidarity action at the US Embassy. Medea Benjamin, a leader of the delegation and co-founder of CODEPINK Women for Peace, is currently available by cell phone in Cairo at 011 20-107148431. Sharat Lin is the president of the San Jose Peace and Justice Center and first visited Gaza and the region in 1973. He will return to the Bay Area by the end of the week. Bay Area groups are planning a protest and march to stand in solidarity with the people of Egypt and Tunisia this Saturday, February 5th at 1 pm at the UN Plaza (Market and 8th in San Francisco), and a march across the Golden Gate Bridge on Sunday, February 13. -more-

Cousins Held for Almost Four Years without Trial on Trumped Up Charges—Rape, Kidnapping (News Analysis)

By Jesse Strauss
Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 01:38:00 PM

In early 1994, two men violently robbed, kidnapped, and carjacked an Oakland couple. The victims were forced into their own trunk, driven around to ATMs for the purpose of withdrawing cash (which was unsuccessful), and brought to a clearing in the hills only to see the male violently beaten, tased and forced back into the trunk before the female was violently raped. With no expectation but being buried alive, the couple was released. In the short time it took for someone who lived nearby to allow the couple to call the police, the two men disappeared. -more-

Check here for Last Week's Extras

Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 02:41:00 PM

Don't miss the extra stories from last week. They include city council reports, People's Park updates, and more. -more-



Who Will Profit from West Berkeley Changes?

By Becky O'Malley
Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 10:11:00 AM

Famously, Calvin Coolidge said in a speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, "After all, the chief business of the American people is business." He did qualify it a bit: "Of course the accumulation of wealth cannot be justified as the chief end of existence." But the main theme of his speech was his attempt to refute a maxim from Oliver Goldsmith’s poem "The Deserted Village":

Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates, and men decay.”

Making the accumulation of wealth possible, which Coolidge promoted, seems to have again become the chief function of government in the last couple of decades. It’s interesting that we’ve recently seen a crash rivaled only by the one which followed the accumulative period under Coolidge in the 1920s.The late and much lamented Tony Judt devoted his last book (title from Goldsmith: Ill Fares the Land) to examining how and why this has happened.

The people who run Berkeley these days are engaged in a major push to re-shape the zoning of West Berkeley and modify the West Berkeley Plan. A lot of politicians and professional planners who know very little about business, especially about science-based entrepreneurial ventures, are behind this effort, as are the corporate owners of big West Berkeley parcels who are eager to build big buildings on them, along with representatives of all levels of building trades from construction workers’ unions to architects. -more-


Cartoon Page: Odd Bodkins, BOUNCE

Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 10:22:00 AM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 02:03:00 PM

Can You Hear Me Now? Keith Olberman’s Firing; Don’t Gut the Clean Air Act; Alzheimer’s Reign of Terror;Street Music; Basic Needs;Republicans are at It Again; Tree-Sit as Viewed by a Yahoo from La-La Land -more-

West Berkeley Project Worries Environmentalists

By Toni Mester
Sunday February 06, 2011 - 09:44:00 AM

As the planning effort to revise West Berkeley zoning approaches its second public hearing before the City Council on Tuesday February 8, the environmental impacts of increased development on Aquatic Park, the aesthetics of scale, traffic, and air quality are emerging as community concerns. -more-

New: The Future of West Berkeley & Our City’s Environmental Sustainability, Economic Vitality, & Community Equity Depends Upon A Strong Feb 8th Turnout at the Berkeley City Council

Friday February 04, 2011 - 05:03:00 PM

Sit Down With Council Members Demonstrates Strength of Existing Production & Distribution Economy -more-

Berkeley Public Library’s Interim Services :
Library Lite ‘BranchVan’ is Really a Twig-van

By Peter Warfield
Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 01:28:00 PM

The recent arrival of the library’s new bookmobile represents a door slammed shut on expectations of first-class interim service during planned closure of branches for Measure FF-related construction. -more-

New: The Academy Awards, linguistic opposition and Isha Sesay

by Jean Damu
Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 09:27:00 PM

Most of the nation enjoyed a white holiday season so now we fully should be prepared to enjoy a white Academy Awards. Not one African American appears on the 2011 nominees list. -more-

Sonnet to Bags

By Carol Denney
Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 12:53:00 PM

it hails me from the recess of my mind
I park and cross the threshold of the store
to shop, perhaps to drift among my kind
forgetting that I should have one thing more
I have my wallet, keys, my shopping list
my patience, my forbearance all in hand
my willingness to change should I insist
on suddenly a switch from fresh to canned
I’m ready! I’m a shopper! Hear me roar.
I’m headed for the register and then
that voice, that sense of something from before
speaks out just as my items hit the scan
my urge to green is sturdy, true and strong
like bags that I forgot to bring along -more-

Support the Egyptians Now

By Julie Ross
Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 10:30:00 AM

I hope to see thousands of Americans on the street yelling and holding signs saying "Mubarek Go NOW!" We need to support the Egyptian people's desperate struggle for freedom. I heard a man in Cairo being interviewed this morning and the interviewer asked him if he would stop protesting now because of the violence. He said "Never. For the first time I feel like a man. I never knew freedom before but now I have freedom." When asked if he expected to be protesting for a year he said, "Inshallah, I will always protest for freedom." -more-

What's Happening at KFPA

By Tracy Rosenberg
KPFA Local Station Board/Pacifica National Board
Monday January 31, 2011 - 09:09:00 PM

Matthew Hallinan knows perfectly well that KPFA lost over half a million dollars in 2008-2009. And lost another half a million in 2009-2010. He himself voted, not once, but twice – for budgets that called for hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary reductions at KPFA. What did he expect to happen after he did that? -more-

Pepper Spray Times

Grace Underpressure
Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 08:42:00 PM

Editor's Note: The latest issue of the Pepper Spray Times is now available. -more-


Dispatches From The Edge: Iran, the NY Times & the Laws of Physics

By Conn Hallinan
Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 08:58:00 AM

Why is the New York Times claiming the laws of physics are different in Iran then they are anywhere else? Well, the tip off to that answer is the word “Iran.” -more-

The Public Eye: Obama Wins Round One

By Bob Burnett
Monday January 31, 2011 - 09:21:00 PM

Twenty-two months will pass before Americans cast their votes on November 6th, 2012, but few who saw Barack Obama’s State-of-the-Union address on January 25th doubted that the Presidential campaign had begun. The President’s stirring speech contrasted with the tepid Republican responses delivered by Representatives Paul Ryan and Michele Bachmann and established the ideological battle lines for the next election. -more-

Eclectic Rant: Fiftieth Anniversary of U.S. Orchestrated Assassination of Congo's Patrice Lumumba

By Ralph E. Stone
Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 02:54:00 PM

January marked the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of Patrice Émery Lumumba, a Congolese independence leader and the first legally elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo after he helped win its independence from Belgium in June 1960. Ten weeks later, the United States helped orchestrate a coup of Lumumba's government. Lumumba was then imprisoned and murdered. -more-

Senior Power: Caregiving

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Monday January 31, 2011 - 09:11:00 PM

Syndicated political cartoonist Bulbul says it well. Hands on hips, faced with a lengthy medical bill and zero Medicare, an elder confronts a gent who displays a MedBiz diploma on his office wall. She grrrs “No it’s not senile dementia— It’s too much MEDI and not enough CARE!” -more-

Wild Neighbors: Lifestyles of the Small and Strange

By Joe Eaton
Monday January 31, 2011 - 08:50:00 PM
California slender salamander: smaller than it appears to be.

During last week’s warm dry spell, I finally got around to attacking the Bermuda sorrel. (You never quite get it all, but you can make a dent; and in theory it will die out if sufficiently discouraged.) In the process, I was gratified to find two California slender salamanders (Batrachoseps attenuatus) in the front bed. Ron reported a couple more in the back yard. We hadn’t seen any of these odd amphibians for a while; good to know they’re still around. -more-

Dispatches From The Edge: Lebanon: Roots of the Crisis

By Conn Hallinan
Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 01:32:00 PM

Viewed through the prism of the American mainstream media, Lebanon always appears a place that best defines the term Byzantine: a bewildering mélange of different religions, rival militias, cagey politicians, and shadowy regional proxies taking orders from Teheran, Tel Aviv, Damascus, Riyadh, and Ankara. -more-

On Mental Illness: Insight Development is the Key to Recovery

By Jack Bragen
Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 01:52:00 PM

In the past, you have seen a person with bizarre or unusual behavior, and may have heard a comment from someone next to you that “he is off his medication…” People often believe medication is the solution for problems with mentally ill people. And while there is significant truth to this belief, a solid recovery requires more than taking the prescribed medication. If this weren‘t true, mentally ill people would be relapsing much less than they do. -more-

Arts & Events

Readings-East Bay Through February 13

Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 01:23:00 PM


Stage-San Francisco Through February 13

Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 01:23:00 PM

BEACH BLANKET BABYLON This long-running musical follows Snow White as she sings and dances her way around the world in search of her prince. Along the way she encounters many of the personalities in today's headlines, including Nancy Pelosi, Condoleezza Rice, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harry Potter, Tiger Woods, Oprah Winfrey, Britney Spears, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Hillary Clinton, George and Laura Bush, Michael Jackson, Martha Stewart, Tom Cruise, Angelina, characters from Brokeback Mountain and Paris Hilton. Persons under 21 are not admitted to evening performances, but are welcome to Sunday matinees. -more-

Classical Music-San Francisco Through February 13

Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 01:11:00 PM

AUDIUM -more-

Professional Dance Through February 13

Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 01:22:00 PM


Popmusic-East Bay Through February 13

Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 01:21:00 PM

924 GILMAN ST. All ages welcome. -more-

Eye from the Aisle: NEXT TO NORMAL—Manic Ride with a Down Side

By John A. McMullen II
Monday January 31, 2011 - 09:04:00 PM
Alice Ripley and Jeremy Kushnier

The days of Cockney flower girls and Indiana librarians as our heroines are long past. Admittedly,NEXT TO NORMAL pushes limits: it’s a contemporary story could have been written by Ibsen. It takes us behind the façade of normal into domestic despair. -more-

and that thing in your pocket

by John A. McMullen II
Monday January 31, 2011 - 09:00:00 PM

We all love it when the curtain is pulled and the hubristic man behind it is revealed. We don’t all love it when the I-thing we just turned off and slipped into our pocket is shown to be the product of something near slave-labor. -more-

85 Films, 7 Nights of Live Music, and Parties Galore
SF Indiefest Opens with a Kaboom!

By Gar Smith
Monday January 31, 2011 - 08:56:00 PM

Grab your popcorn and fasten your seatbelts — San Francisco’s 13th annual explosion of independent cinema is set to light up the Bay Area beginning February 3. This year, Indiefest’s intrepid organizers plan to screen more than 80 films from the US, Britain, Canada, France, Israel, Mexico, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan at the Roxie Theater (3117 16th at Valencia) over two event-packed weeks. -more-

Eye from the Aisle: MAD STASH--Hysterical, Not to be Missed, closes Feb 5

By John A. McMullen II
Monday January 31, 2011 - 08:52:00 PM

I’m nearing Medicare age, so when I go to a place where everybody is under 30, I get a little antsy; then, with a little liquor, I start to transform and regress and get back to 25 again--in about 5 minutes.

Many times I have bemoaned that too many gray and bald heads comprise the view of the audience in local theatre. I am pleased to tell you that there is a bonfire of theatrical talent glowing bright in a garage down on 55thSt. near MLK in Oakland mysteriously named the K & S Ranchito.

MAD STASH (or Mad Stache) is a series of bawdy, hysterically funny and insightful “sketches” combined with professionally edited short films combined with a band whose lead singer may well shortly become a star. It follows the Saturday Night Live model with the major difference being that MAD STASH is entertaining and you don’t want to change the channel. It makes me wish I tweeted. -more-

Theater Review: Heartbreak House Takes Shape at Live Oak

By Ken Bullock
Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 12:48:00 PM

Heartbreak House, a comedy Bernard Shaw began writing before the First World War and finished after war's end, is playing now at Live Oak Theater, an Actors Ensemble production directed by Robert Estes. Shaw called it "a fantasia in the Russian manner, on English things"--and fingered Chekhov's plays as an inspiration to write a comedy with a sting in its tail about the leisure classes of Europe in the build-up to the holocaust that lit up from the tinder of their studied obliviousness in 1914. -more-

Tours And Activities-East Bay Through February 28

Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 01:24:00 PM

ARDENWOOD HISTORIC FARM ongoing. 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-

Museums-San Francisco Through February 13

Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 01:19:00 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," ongoing. 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 February 13

Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 01:19:00 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-

Museums-East Bay Through February 13

Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 01:18:00 PM

AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM AND LIBRARY AT OAKLAND ongoing. 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-

Highlights-East Bay Through February 13

Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 01:16:00 PM

924 GILMAN ST. All ages welcome. -more-

Kids-East Bay Through February 13

Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 01:16:00 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-

Exhibits-San Francisco Through February 13

Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 01:15:00 PM

"SUN SPHERES," -- ongoing. "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-

General-East Bay Through February 13

Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 01:15:00 PM


Exhibits-East Bay Through February 13

Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 01:13:00 PM


Dance-East Bay Through February 13

Wednesday February 02, 2011 - 01:12:00 PM