The Week

A giant rolling frog loomed above all at Berkeley's Mardi Gras Frog Parade.
Steven Finacom
A giant rolling frog loomed above all at Berkeley's Mardi Gras Frog Parade.


Berkeley Commission Honors Women

By Carole Kennerly
Monday March 14, 2011 - 03:48:00 PM
Dr. Vicki Alexander

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-

Missing Grandmother Found--
Berkeley Police Cancel Search

By Erika Heidecker (BCN)
Saturday March 12, 2011 - 10:21:00 AM

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-

Berkeley Historical Society Spring Walks
Start April 2

By Steven Finacom
Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 11:14:00 PM
Senior Hall, the campus “log cabin” was built in 1906 as a gathering space for men of the Senior Class.  It’s the oldest surviving student facility on the UC Berkeley campus.  The April 16 Berkeley Historical Society walking tour will describe its history, and a century of other student activity buildings on the campus

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

By Ted Friedman
Saturday March 12, 2011 - 09:30:00 AM

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-

UC Berkeley Police Looking for Campus Groper

By Rachel Purdy (BCN)
Thursday March 10, 2011 - 04:57:00 PM

Police are still trying to identify a man who groped a University of California at Berkeley student on campus Tuesday night. -more-

Press Release: Victim Identified and Reward Offered in Berkeley’s First 2011 Homicide

From Sgt. M. Kusmiss, BPD
Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 03:55:00 PM

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-

The New Berkeley Census Data--and What You Can Learn From It

By Thomas Lord
Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 03:44:00 PM

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-

Press Release: Berkeley Police Release Information on Blake Street Homicide

From Lt. Andrew Greenwood, BPD
Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 11:13:00 AM

[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-

Hundreds Attend Berkeley Council Workshop on Controversial Recycling Proposal

By Steven Finacom
Tuesday March 08, 2011 - 10:49:00 PM
After Fire and Police Department employees closed the doors to the crowded
                Council Chambers, scores of late arriving audience members packed the downstairs
                hall, watching a TV monitor showing the Council workshop.

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-

Woman Struck by UC Berkeley Bus in Stable Condition

By Bay City News
Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 08:32:00 AM

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)

Reviewed by Gar Smith
Monday March 07, 2011 - 10:01:00 AM

‘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

By Major General Smedley Butler
Tuesday March 08, 2011 - 09:59:00 PM
Major General Smedley Butler

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-

Berkeley Council Honors Local Suffrage Pioneers

By Steven Finacom
Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 10:18:00 AM
The two women on the current City Council, Susan Wengraf and Linda Maio, took turns reading the proclamation.

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-

Berkeley Mardi Gras Frog Parade Celebrates "High Hoppy Holiday"

By Steven Finacom
Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 09:32:00 AM
Costumed participants gathered under the banner of the “Hoppy Mardi Gras”
                                celebration for lunch in People’s Park.

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-

Berkeley Barricade Suicide Victim Identified

By the Berkeley Daily Planet
Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 01:01:00 PM

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-



Can NPR Be Saved? Once Again, Board Caves to Critics

By Becky O'Malley
Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 10:27:00 AM

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-


Cartoon Page: Odd Bodkins, BOUNCE

Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 09:21:00 AM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 12:38:00 PM

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-

City Council Rolls Over on Point Molate EIR

By Tom Butt, Richmond City Councilmember
Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 10:56:00 AM

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-

The Hidden Costs of Library Demolitions

By Lori Kossowsky
Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 11:12:00 AM

As a disabled person and a South Berkeley resident, I wouldn’t have voted for Measure FF if it had said that my branch library would be demolished. Did I miss something in the fine print? -more-


Dispatches From The Edge: The CIA, Pakistan & Tangled Webs

By Conn Hallinan
Monday March 07, 2011 - 09:59:00 AM

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-

The Public Eye: Pirates Threaten Washington

By Bob Burnett
Tuesday March 08, 2011 - 10:34:00 PM

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-

Eclectic Rant: GOP Says No To Distressed Homeowners and Consumers

By Ralph E. Stone
Tuesday March 08, 2011 - 10:26:00 PM

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-

Senior Power: Alzheimer’s and Dementia

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Tuesday March 08, 2011 - 12:41:00 PM

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-

On Mental Illness: Delusions of Grandeur

Jack Bragen
Tuesday March 08, 2011 - 10:49:00 PM

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-

Wild Neighbors: Communards in the Oak Trees

By Joe Eaton
Tuesday March 08, 2011 - 10:19:00 PM
Nature's file clerk, the acorn woodpecker.

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

Stage-San Francisco Through March 20

Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 07:01:00 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-

Professional Dance Through March 20

Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 07:00:00 PM


Readings-East Bay Through March 20

Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 07:00:00 PM


Popmusic-East Bay Through March 20

Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 06:59:00 PM

924 GILMAN ST. All ages welcome. -more-

Galleries-San Francisco Through March 20

Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 06:55:00 PM


Galleries-East Bay Through March 20

Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 06:54:00 PM

ALBANY ARTS GALLERY ongoing. -more-

Classical Music-San Francisco Through March 20

Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 06:52:00 PM

AUDIUM -more-

Classical Music-East Bay Through March 20

Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 06:34:00 PM


Theater Review: "I Dream of Chang and Eng" at Zellerbach

By Ken Bullock
Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 06:15:00 PM

"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-

Berkeley Symphony on Thursday Features Russians

By Ken Bullock
Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 05:17:00 PM

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)

Reviewed by Dorothy Bryant (
Tuesday March 08, 2011 - 10:26:00 PM

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-

Eye from the Aisle: RUINED at BRep—Soft on Plot, Action, for Gruesome Subject

By John A. McMullen II
Tuesday March 08, 2011 - 10:14:00 PM

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-

Eye from the Aisle: ROMEO & JULIET at IMPACT THEATRE--Rough, Bold, Alive

By John A. McMullen II
Tuesday March 08, 2011 - 10:04:00 PM
Juliet (Luisa Frasconi) ponders her new love from her balcony in the Russian Mafia-themed R&J.

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-

Outdoors-East Bay Through March 20

Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 06:59:00 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 March 20

Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 06:58:00 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-

Museums-San Francisco Through March 20

Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 06:58:00 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-

Kids-East Bay Through March 20

Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 06:57:00 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-

General-East Bay Through March 20

Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 06:56:00 PM

"DAY OF WINE AND POODLES," -- March 12. An afternoon for dog lovers to bring their friends to frolic, taste wine, food, and more, all to benefit Bay Area Poodle Rescue. Event takes place at Red Feather Winery, 5700 Greenville Rd., Livermore. -more-

Highlights-East Bay Through March 20

Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 06:56:00 PM

"DAY OF WINE AND POODLES," -- March 12. An afternoon for dog lovers to bring their friends to frolic, taste wine, food, and more, all to benefit Bay Area Poodle Rescue. Event takes place at Red Feather Winery, 5700 Greenville Rd., Livermore. -more-

Exhibits-San Francisco Through March 20

Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 06:54:00 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-

Exhibits-East Bay Through March 20

Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 06:53:00 PM


Dance-East Bay Through March 20

Wednesday March 09, 2011 - 06:53:00 PM