BART Arrests Demonstrators, Closes Stations

By Scott Morris (BCN)
Monday August 22, 2011 - 05:28:00 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) Police arrested at least 30 to 40 demonstrators during protests that originated at the Civic Center BART station and then led police back and forth through downtown San Francisco, drawing traffic to a standstill and closing two BART stations at several points throughout the evening. -more-

Press Release: Andronico’s Markets Negotiating with Investor Group

From EON: Enhanced Online News
Monday August 22, 2011 - 05:12:00 PM

One of the Bay Area’s best known family-owned specialty supermarkets today announced it is in discussions with a private investor group to preserve jobs for 400 employees and to ensure its historic markets continue to serve future generations of shoppers. -more-

BART Defends Cellphone Service Disruption, Plans Wednesday Discussion

By Scott Morris (BCN)
Sunday August 21, 2011 - 09:38:00 PM

With the threat of another disruptive protest looming, BART officials issued a letter to BART customers Saturday defending BART's decision to interrupt cellphone service to prevent a protest on Aug. 11, and announcing that the issue would be discussed at a board meeting Wednesday. -more-

Caltopia Brings 30,000 to Berkeley Campus

By Rachel Purdy (BCN)
Sunday August 21, 2011 - 11:51:00 AM

An estimated 30,000 students and supporters of the University of California at Berkeley are expected to attend Caltopia IX, one of the nation's largest experiential college lifestyle festivals, starting this morning. -more-

Berkeley Hikers Get 8 Year Sentence in Iran

By Erika Heidecker and JeffShuttleworth (BCN)
Saturday August 20, 2011 - 04:08:00 PM

Two University of California at Berkeley graduates who have been detained in Iran on espionage charges for two years were sentenced to 8 years in prison, according to their supporters' website. -more-

Amigo: A Tale from America’s Forgotten War

Reviewed by Gar Smith
Thursday August 18, 2011 - 05:31:00 PM

The respected indie director John Sayles (Return of the Secaucus 7, Brother from Another Planet, Matewan, Lone Star) has written and directed a potent and poetic film about the personal struggles of people trapped on both sides of the all-but-forgotten Philippine-American war. -more-

In Search of the Philippine-American War Film

By John Sayles (from
Thursday August 18, 2011 - 05:33:00 PM

Perhaps no armed conflict in the modern era has received less cinematic treatment than the Philippine-American War. When one thinks of the number of movies inspired by individual American gunslingers or gangsters- Jesse James, Billy the Kid, John Dillinger, for example, have graced the screen dozens of times- this dearth seems hard to explain. The Fil-Am war ran ‘officially’ from 1899 to 1902 (though armed hostilities continued at least till the beginning of WWI) and at least a million Filipinos died violently or through related starvation and disease during its course. When the history of Philippine-American relations is examined, however, this cinematic silence becomes more understandable. -more-

About the Philippine-American War

Thursday August 18, 2011 - 05:35:00 PM

AMIGOis set in a very specific time and place- northern Luzon (the largest island in the Philippines) in the year 1900. The situation we find in the movie is the result of a series of events: -more-

Updated: How to Avoid BofA’s Debit Card Clutches

By Gar Smith
Thursday August 18, 2011 - 05:38:00 PM

When I activated my EDD debit card I choose to have the money automatically deposited in my Wells Fargo checking account. B of A deposits the money in my checking account, end of transaction. Please correct your article and inform readers how easy it is to bypass B of A.

-- letter from Planet reader Kevin Clarke

Acting on Planet reader Kevin Clarke’s email, we headed out to the nearest Berkeley Bank of America branch on Shattuck near Vine.
The bank reps insisted that they were unable to set up a transfer deposit to my existing account (at a local Credit Union). I was told that I would have to arrange a direct deposit by contacting the EDD directly. When I pulled out a copy of Kevin Clarke's note, I was informed that Clarke’s transfer must have happened because Mr. Clarke “was already a Bank of America customer." -more-

Privatizing Unemployment: Bank of America’s Sacramento Coup

By Gar Smith
Tuesday August 16, 2011 - 11:18:00 AM

In a letter dated August 9, California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) announced it was discontinuing the practice of mailing unemployment claim checks to EDD recipients. Instead, the letter explained, the EDD was introducing “electronic benefit payments” that could be tapped via an EDD Debit Card. -more-

Under Fire, BART Spokesman Defends Decision to Block Cellphone Access to Prevent Protest

By Scott Morris (BCN)
Wednesday August 17, 2011 - 08:36:00 AM

In a press conference yesterday, BART spokesman Linton Johnson again defended the agency's decision to halt cellphone service in several San Francisco BART stations for several hours Thursday. -more-

Berkeley's Drop-In Center: A Client-Run Help Center

By Lydia Gans
Tuesday August 16, 2011 - 01:43:00 PM

It wasn't so very long ago when people with mental illnesses were generally stigmatized by society and subjected to all sorts of tortures in the name of treatment. People who were powerless, the poor and people of color were particularly victimized by the mental health system. Eventually they revolted. In 1985 they formed the Coalition for Alternatives in Mental Health, also known as the Berkeley Drop-in Center in west Berkeley. Originally on Oregon street they are now located at 3234 Adeline street near Alcatraz. -more-

Nancy Pelosi: "Workers are people too!"

By Jane Stillwater
Wednesday August 17, 2011 - 11:51:00 AM

When I was in Minneapolis in June, I was fortunate enough to attend the kick-off event for this summer's "Speakout for Good Jobs Now" tour, sponsored by the Progressive Congress Action Fund, wherein various members of the progressive caucus of the U.S. Congress spoke to their constituents regarding the desperate need for creating more jobs in America. At this first event, Rep. Alan Grayson and Rep. Raul Grijalva fired us all up.

And so when the Speakout tour arrived in Oakland this week, I really wanted to go to this event too. And Reps. Grijalva, Mike Honda and Barbara Lee would be speaking this time. Doesn't get much better than that. -more-

Checking Out of Berkeley's Hilton to the Homeless

By Ted Friedman
Tuesday August 16, 2011 - 01:51:00 PM

I was in People's Park Saturday, researching a piece on informal Berkeley street communities, when a teenager named Hilton told me her aunt had driven her all the way to Berkeley from Southern California to "dump" her in People's Park.

Okay, so Berkeley is a Hilton to Homeless street tramps and other vagabonds. (Planet: Jul 20, 2011). But what if you were dumped in People's Park--lobby to the Hilton--and wanted to work your way out. How good is Berkeley at that? -more-

St. Augustine in Oakland

By Dorothy Snodgrass
Wednesday August 17, 2011 - 12:49:00 PM

When driving along Telegraph Avenue on your way to downtown Oakland, you've undoubtedly passed St. Augustine's church at 19th Street dozens of times. With its tall, narrow steeple and brilliant rust color, it's been called "Oakland's Little Red Church" and has been a place of worship since 1893. It is the second oldest Episcopal church in continued use in Oakland. -more-