As the World Burns, Berkeley Fiddles

By Becky O'Malley
Wednesday March 23, 2011 - 11:40:00 AM

Last week a reader asked why the Planet wasn’t covering the disaster in Japan. We responded that our focus was local, and that there are better sources to check for international news. We’ve done a modest story about local fundraising efforts, which have been numerous and well-covered in almost every Bay Area publication. But it’s hard to ignore the international news, both about Japan and about what is loosely called the Middle East. And then there’s the news from the Mid West, specifically Wisconsin but also Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and more—popular uprisings are everywhere, and where they will lead, we still don’t know. Meanwhile, California is falling apart as we watch, and Berkeley’s part of the debacle.

It’s hard to keep in mind that world upheaval is not exclusively the curse of the first decades of the twenty-first century. Or more precisely, that upheavals and disasters have always taken place around the world—what’s new is that because of the speed of modern communication news everywhere is present everywhere, all the time. It’s all local news now. -more-


Cartoon Page: Odd Bodkins, BOUNCE

Wednesday March 23, 2011 - 09:48:00 AM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Wednesday March 23, 2011 - 10:26:00 AM

The Report on the Library Lawsuit Meeting; Steven Finacom replies; Community Engagement – For Insiders Only?;Library Lawsuit Meeting; Let There be Light;The State Budget; Library Advertising is Free; Osher Lifelong Learning Institute; EPA; Nuclear Power -more-

No More Taxes Blues

By Bruce Joffe
Sunday March 20, 2011 - 11:30:00 AM

Slip-sliding down the highway,

Storm drains need repair.

School teachers are being laid-off,

Pot holes everywhere.

Working people struggle

To pay to keep their home.

They can't take another bill,

And so they cry alone,

"No More Taxes."

BRT, NIMBYs, and the New York Times

By Charles Siegel
Tuesday March 22, 2011 - 08:44:00 PM

On March 12, the New York Times ran an article named “Green Development? Not in My (Liberal) Backyard.”

It began by saying, “Park Slope, Brooklyn. Cape Cod, Mass. Berkeley, Calif. Three famously progressive places, right? …. But just try putting a bike lane or some wind turbines in their lines of sight.” -more-

Berkeley Budget SOS--Fixing the City's Sewers

By Barbara Gilbert
Monday March 21, 2011 - 02:24:00 PM

Berkeley Budget SOS is a civic organization dedicated to fiscal clarity, accountability and sustainability in the City of Berkeley. Of particular concern to us is a complete audit of the City’s long-term financial obligations and needs, including those in relation to the City’s physical infrastructure. We are wondering why our water drainage and sewer system is in such apparent disrepair given the substantial annual sums of money apparently available. -more-