Another Bad Experience with EDD and BofA (Commentary)

By Marilyn Shaw
Friday September 02, 2011 - 01:10:00 PM

This email is written in response to Gar Smith's story, dated August 31, 2011, concerning the State of California outsourcing and processing of unemployment benefits through Bank of America.

I have an interesting story and more information to add to this story. I personallly believe this process is just another way of bilking the middle class and poor people of this nation. Below is my recent experience concerning this matter. -more-

Point Molate Indian Gaming Application Denied

By Tom Butt, Richmond City Councilmember
Friday September 02, 2011 - 10:35:00 AM

The Department of the Interior has denied the Guidiville Band’s “restored lands” gaming application under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and determined that the Band does not have a modern connection to the proposed gaming site in Richmond and that the band does not have a significant historical connection to the proposed gaming site in Richmond. -more-

Updated: Tire Damage Total in South Berkeley and North Oakland Affects 74 Cars

Press Release From Sergeant Mary C. Kusmiss S-6,BPD Public Information Officer
Thursday September 01, 2011 - 10:31:00 PM

As of this writing, 8:45 p.m., the City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) has made no arrest(s) for the vandalism of tires in South Berkeley. The investigation is continuing and Officers are pursuing some potentially viable leads. The total documented count of vehicles that had tires damaged is 74. (61 in Berkeley, 13 in Oakland) -more-

String of Crimes Starts New School Year at U.C. Berkeley

By Laura Dixon (BCN)
Thursday September 01, 2011 - 10:27:00 PM

As students head back to the University of California at Berkeley for a new school year, police said there have been a string of armed robberies and sexual assaults on or near campus over the past 10 days. -more-

Press Release: Berkeley Unified School District Shows Gains on the API and AYP

From Debbi D'Angelo Garcia, Director Berkeley Evaluation & Assessment (BEA) Berkeley Unified School District
Wednesday August 31, 2011 - 02:24:00 PM

The California Department of Education released the 2011 Accountability Progress Report today. This annual report contains two sections: 1) the state Academic Performance Index (API) measuring year-to-year growth in academic achievement that a school or local educational agency (LEA) has made, and 2) the federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) measuring how well a school meets minimum performance targets. -more-

At Play in the Garden of Chez Panisse

By Steven Finacom
Monday August 29, 2011 - 11:22:00 AM
A Berkeley Art Museum sculpture does double duty as a stand for fresh tomatoes during the OPENeducation event on August 27.

Part selective 60s theme park, part serious educational and eating opportunity, and part sunny day of fun, what was dubbed “OPENeducation” drew hundreds to an outdoor carnival of food philosophy in the sculpture garden of the Berkeley Art Museum on Saturday, August 27, 2011.

It was one element of the celebration of the 40th anniversary of Berkeley’s Chez Panisse restaurant. Most of the other events publicized by the Chez Panisse Foundation (now morphing into the Edible Schoolyard Foundation) were pricey fundraising dinners and galas that unfolded over the week, at which the finely-fed and well-heeled paid anywhere from $100 to a couple of thousand dollars per person to partake.

In contrast, participants at OPENeducation who had made free advance reservations for timed entry were let in through the gates of the terraced sculpture garden that wraps around the west side of the massive concrete museum edifice on Bancroft Way. Each attendee’s hand was marked with a stamp that mimicked the Department of Agriculture stamps placed on inspected meat. -more-

EDD Responds to BofA Debit Card Concerns

By Gar Smith
Wednesday August 31, 2011 - 09:39:00 AM

On August 16, a Planet investigation raised a number of questions about a decision by the State’s Employment Development Department (EDD) to partner with Bank of America to send BofA Debit Cards to all 1.2 million Californians collecting unemployment insurance. Initial attempts to contact the EDD failed. However, following the publication of our story, The Planet received an extensive response from the EDD’s Communications Manager Patti Roberts who offered to provide “clarification for some of the misinformation in the article.” Here is the latest. -more-

Berkeley Police Cite Decrease in Crime for First Six Months of 2011

Wednesday August 31, 2011 - 09:33:00 AM

Berkeley’s police department yesterday issued a press release which claimed that the city has experienced significant decreases in both violent crime and property crime in the first six months of 2011.

The release did not document specifically how the Berkeley statistics compare with national statistics or statistics for comparable college towns in the same period , though it did assert without supporting data that the local property crime decrease was ahead of state and national trends. No comparison of violent crime statistics to state and local trends was included. -more-

Press Release: Vehicles Vandalized in South Berkeley

From Sergeant Mary C. Kusmiss, BPD Public Information Officer
Wednesday August 31, 2011 - 05:16:00 PM

A community member [called] the City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) at about 7:00 a.m. this morning (August 31, 2011) to report that one of her car’s tires had been slashed or punctured. BPD received additional reports of flattened tires in a number of South Berkeley neighborhoods, thus additional BPD patrol officers responded to support the investigation.

The officers began checking the blocks surrounded the initial reports and were either flagged down by vehicle owners or found many more vandalized tries covering 17 blocks on California Street from 62nd to Blake Streets. Four (4) officers pro-actively continued searching for additional vehicles and respond to new calls for service related to the crimes. Additional vehicles’ tries were damaged in the 1600 block of Julia, 1500 block of Russell Street, 2800, 2900, 3000 and 3400 blocks of King Streets.” -more-

FSM Vet Jack Weinberg Salutes Alice Waters at the UC Art Museum

By Gar Smith
Wednesday August 31, 2011 - 01:55:00 PM
Jack Weinberg speaking from top of police car. Mario Savio standing on ground in foreground.

One of the many recent tributes to the work and life of Alice Waters was the Chez Panisse-related OpenEducation event staged at the UC Berkeley Art Museum last Saturday. One of the highlights (especially for old-timers and veterans of the 1964 Free Speech Movement) was a chance to catch Jack Weinberg climbing on top of a squad car positioned against a wall of the Museum to speak about the early days of the student rebellion that refashioned the Sixties. (Note: Kudos to the Museum planners for managing to procure a police car for the occasion. All props to the props department!) -more-

People's Park Tree-Sit 3 Up in the Air Again Despite In-Park Opposition and Telegraph Property Owners’ Pleas to "Revitalize" Park

By Ted Friedman
Wednesday August 31, 2011 - 10:18:00 AM
The latest People's Park tree-sitter, Moon Shadow, in his "mid-twenties," and non-the-less
                  for wear after two nights on the boards

Despite opposition from within People's Park, and calls by adjacent property owners for park reform, a revived tree-sit has become the first revitalizing action in the park—since the last one. The new action launches from the same perch where Matt Dodt, 53, was fork-lifted out in January after three months aloft. -more-