To commemorate National Women’s History Month, the City of Berkeley Commission on the Status of Women (COSOW) recognizes and honors the efforts of extraordinary women who live, work or learn in Berkeley, and who have done outstanding work in the Berkeley community. The Commission seeks to honor and recognize the contributions of a wide spectrum of women, especially those who may be under-recognized for their work or are unconventionally successful. Awardees were selected through a competitive nomination process and represent a wide range of achievements and contributions. -more-
Berkeley police called off a search late Friday night when a grandmother and granddaughter, who had been missing for over six hours, were found hungry but safe, police said. -more-
A new season of five Berkeley Historical Society walking tours starting April 2 and running through early June delves into the local history of tennis, art, the UC Berkeley campus, and two north Berkeley neighborhoods.
All the walks take place on Saturday mornings from 10 – 12 and are led by knowledgeable volunteer guides from the Berkeley community. Proceeds benefit the non-profit Berkeley Historical Society. -more-
As Accused People's Park Stabber Faces Another Court Hearing
His Supporters Are Encouraged by Recent Developments in the Case
Accused People's Park stabber, Matthew Dodt, 53, aka Midnight Matt, appeared Thursday from behind the glass prisoner's wall, which had previously blocked spectators' view to once more plead not guilty to assault with a deadly weapon in Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse, Oakland. -more-
Police are still trying to identify a man who groped a University of California at Berkeley student on campus Tuesday night. -more-
The City of Berkeley is offering a $15,000 reward, and Bay Area Crime Stoppers (BACS) is offering an additional $2,000 reward, for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect or suspects responsible for the City of Berkeley’s first homicide of 2011.
On Tuesday, March 8, 2011, at about 1:00 p.m., the City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) got a call of possible gunshots in the area of the 1600 block of Blake Street. Officers found Tobias Pemadorji Eagle, 30 years old of Berkeley, the victim of a shooting. Eagle was lying in the rear yard of a home on the 1600 block of Blake Street. City of Berkeley Fire Department (BFD) Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene. -more-
Editor’s Note: We’d like to see what our readers can do with this information. We’ve revived our old Berkeley Free Press blog site, which we started before we took over the Planet. We hope to give writers the chance to inform readers and express their opinions more spontaneously there than the Planet’s inherited newspaper format permits. To comment or see comments, click here.
The very earliest results of the 2010 Census are starting to be published. The Census Bureau has created a handy-dandy web site to help citizens explore the data. We're only getting the first trickle of data so far but here is a kind of "citizen's users guide" to help people get started, along with some basic facts that might be of interest. -more-
[Sent at 5:17 p.m. Tuesday] On March 8, 2011, just after 1:00 pm, the Berkeley Police Department received a call of “loud reports” in the area of the 1600 block of Blake St.
Officers investigating the call ultimately located an unresponsive adult male, apparently shot, in the rear yard of a house on the 1600 block of Blake St. Berkeley Fire Department paramedics confirmed the victim’s death at the scene.
Berkeley Police Homicide detectives are investigating the matter as a homicide. We are not releasing the identity of the deceased at this time. -more-
Presentation of a report to the Berkeley City Council on city recycling services sparked a vigorous protest and turnout of hundreds at a special 5:30 pm workshop yesterday.
The core issue was whether, as the consultants recommended, the City of Berkeley should shift curbside pick-up recycling services from the non-profit Ecology Center to an expanded City Solid Waste Division. -more-
A woman who was struck by a University of California shuttle bus Monday was in serious, but stable condition after surgery, a Berkeley police official said.
The 54-year-old woman was one of two female pedestrians who were injured Monday afternoon in Berkeley when one of the women was struck in a crosswalk by a University of California shuttle bus and the other injured herself trying to gain the bus driver's attention, police spokeswoman Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said. -more-
Devil Dog: The Amazing True Story of the Man Who Saved America By David Talbot (Simon & Schuster, 2010)
‘Pulp History’ Reveals a Corporate Plot to Overthrow American Democracy
It was more than 25 years ago, while researching a story in a dark alcove of UC Berkeley’s little-visited newspaper library, that I chanced upon some transcripts from the first hearings of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). What I discovered was shocking beyond belief. The records revealed an organized conspiracy to overthrow the US government but it was not one hatched by a secretive Moscow-directed Communist cell. HUAC’s initial alarm was focused on a plot bankrolled by the owners of major US corporations — including Goodyear, US Steel, JP Morgan, Heinz, and Maxwell House. -more-
War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small 'inside' group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes. -more-
The City Council honored the Centennial of Women's Suffrage in California with a proclamation at the March 8, 2011, Council meeting. Local celebrations and commemorations will concentrate in the Fall, around the October 10 one-hundredth anniversary of the election in which women won the vote in California. -more-
With a whimsical, free form, spirit of celebration, several dozen partiers took to the streets and parks of Berkeley Tuesday, March 8, 2011. Loosely organized around “The Church of the Great Green Frog”, the annual event coincides with Mardi Gras “Fat Tuesday”. -more-
The Alameda County Coroner's office has identified the man who shot himself while barricaded in his home in the 1800 block of Marin Avenue in Berkeley as Owen Davis. -more-
What is Kaiser Permanente Doing? Repeal McCarron-Ferguson to Control Insurance Costs;The Founders on War;The White Elephant Sale; Vote For the Balanced Budget; Berkeley Library Funds;Who Are the Anti-Abortionists; Get Rid of Guns -more-
Intimidated by both Upstream, which has threatened to sue, and its own City Attorney’s Office, the Richmond City Council’s wimped out majority exposed their jellied backbones last night and certified a final EIR (FEIR) for the Point Molate casino project that almost everyone agreed was substantially flawed, including other credible public agencies like the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) Bay Trail Project, the East Bay Regional Parks District and the West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee. -more-
This morning the news on NPR, which at our house is turned on right after the alarm goes off, was vigorous backpedaling on the part of management. This followed an earlier story of how a bigtime fundraising guy for the organization had been trapped in a sting by far right activists, and had admitted to the faux donors sent to ensnare him that he was contemptuous of the tea baggers and wished NPR didn’t have to depend on federal funding. The shills even caught the exchange on video, it seems.
For a change, let’s just quote Fox News:
“Embattled NPR CEO Vivian Schiller resigned Wednesday after a hidden-camera video was released showing a fellow executive criticizing Republicans as ‘anti-intellectual’ and calling the Tea Party ‘racist.’ “
Well, whoop-de-do! The guy seems to have said that the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes—and heads have rolled because of it. -more-
Was American CIA agent Raymond Davis secretly working with the Taliban and al-Qaeda to destabilize Pakistan and lay the groundwork for a U.S. seizure of that country’s nuclear weapons? Was he photographing sensitive military installations and marking them with a global positioning device? Did he gun down two men in cold blood to prevent them from revealing what he was up to? These are just a few of the rumors ricocheting around Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar in the aftermath of Davis’s arrest Jan. 27, and sorting through them is a little like stepping through Alice’s looking glass. -more-
As US warships approached, on February 22nd four American hostages were killed by Somali pirates. It was an ominous harbinger of the crisis in Washington, where Republican pirates are holding hostage the legislative process and threatening to kill the American dream unless their ransom demands are met. -more-
Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives are trying to terminate funds for foreclosure-prevention programs that help families fend off foreclosure and trying to strip the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of its funding before it even opens its doors. -more-
Ron Reagan suggests in his new book, My Father at 100; A Memoir (Viking/Penguin,) that his father suffered from the beginning stages of Alzheimer's disease while he was still in the White House. President Ronald Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 1994, five years after leaving office. He died in 2004 at age 93. Reagan's son (born 1958) writes that he believes his father would have left office before his second term ended in 1989 had the disease been diagnosed then. "I've seen no evidence that my father (or anyone else) was aware of his medical condition while he was in office," Reagan writes. "Had the diagnosis been made in, say 1987, would he have stepped down? I believe he would have." -more-
I remember from better than twenty years ago, an encounter with a counselor in a psychiatric hospital who said: “Hi Jack. Have you written any Pulitzer Prize winning novels lately?” A few years later, another counselor commented that I have a better chance of trying out for a professional basketball team than I have at becoming a professional writer. (I am five foot six.) -more-
I’ve been watching acorn woodpeckers in the Bay Area for years, from the Stanford campus to Point Reyes, and have always found these noisy, conspicuous birds engaging. “This sociable woodpecker impresses one as an exceptionally jolly bird”, writes ornithologist Alexander Skutch, “and certainly it is one of the most amusing to watch.” -more-
Arts & Events
"I've been trying to write this play for 25 years," said famed Asian-American playwright Philip Kan Gotanda. "Finally I let go of everything--fact, fiction, documentation, history--and wrote. this is what came out." -more-
Two notable masterpieces of the modern orchestral repertoire, Stravinsky's Symphonies of Wind Instruments (1919; a tribute to Debussy) and Shostakovich's Chamber Symphony in C Minor (1960; "dedicated to the victims of fascism and war," but considered an autobiographical work) share the Berkeley Symphony program, under the baton of Joana Carneiro, at 8 tomorrow night (Thursday, March 11) with Scottish composer James MacMullen's Seven Last Words from the Cross (1994), featuring the Symphony's first collaboration with the UC Chamber Chorus and Alumni, Marika Kuzma, director. -more-
Book Review: LASTINGNESS: The Art of Old Age
By Nicholas Delbanco
Grand Central Publishing, 2011 (261 pages; $25)
At seventy, Nicholas Delbanco has racked up forty years of teaching and two dozen books of fiction and non-fiction. He has served as director of creative writing programs and prestigious literary panels and has himself been awarded several grants and honors. -more-
Lynn Nottage won the Pulitzer Prize for RUINED. I almost ended that sentence with a question mark. Hard to believe it won, since it is short on plot, action, and language. -more-
Since it’s about teenagers and ever since West Side Story, the text most taught and known is ROMEO AND JULIET. I have a personal relationship with the play. When I was a junior in high school, I cried when I finished it, and it hooked me on that fellow’s blank verse. I’ve directed it, and taught it, acted in it, and so I came with a critical eye to the performance at IMPACT THEATRE at La Val’s Pizza on Hearst. -more-