The Week



WikiCable: Did ‘creepy’ Russian put the arm on Cal?

By Richard Brenneman
Monday September 12, 2011 - 11:43:00 AM

When we ran the name “Berkeley”through Cable Search, the nifty web tool that lets users troll through the WikiLeaked State Department cables, we came up with a grand total of 142 hits, many of them referring to Cal grads who’d gone on to bigger and better things. -more-

State Department Following Reports that Iran May Free Berkeley Hikers

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Tuesday September 13, 2011 - 10:37:00 PM

The U.S. State Department is closely following reports that the Iranian government may soon release two University of California at Berkeley graduates who have been detained in Iran on espionage charges for more than two years. -more-

Press Release: Citizens Create a Grant Fund for South and West Berkeley from Library Lawsuit Settlement

From Susan Brandt-Hawley and Dr. Judith Epstein
Monday September 12, 2011 - 11:04:00 AM

The Concerned Library Users group settled its lawsuit against the City of Berkeley over the demolitions of the South and West Berkeley Branch Libraries after the City Council agreed to CLU’s proposal to create a $100,000 grant fund benefiting South and West Berkeley neighborhoods. -more-

New Women's Vote Exhibit Opens This Sunday

By Steven Finacom
Wednesday September 14, 2011 - 12:26:00 PM
Photos: costumed volunteers complete with a replica of a 1911 banner and signs with 1911 suffrage slogans marched this past Sunday in the Solano Stroll, winning second place among the parade contingents.

The local story of the successful statewide campaign to win women the right to vote in California one hundred years ago will be unveiled this Sunday, September 18, 2011, at the Berkeley Historical Center. -more-

Party Shuts Down Telegraph for Two Hours Sunday

By Ted Friedman
Wednesday September 14, 2011 - 12:18:00 PM
"Telegraph Community Improvement District" shutting down Telegraph Sunday morning. Red Ribbon is a barricade.

Calling themselves the "Telegraph Community Improvement District"--a riff on the Telegraph Avenue Business Improvement District--seventy-five neighborhood partiers shut down a block of Telegraph Sunday morning for two hours as four police squad cars joined the peaceful scene. -more-

Battle for People's Park Heats Up at Telegraph Property Owners Meeting

By Ted Friedman
Wednesday September 14, 2011 - 10:31:00 AM
Russell Bates, a street vendor, declares war on Telegraph Avenue property owners.

The battle of words over the future of People's Park heated up at the monthly meeting of Telegraph property owners Tuesday morning at the Henry Durant Hotel. -more-

Who Felled People's Park Fallen Angel?

By Ted Friedman
Wednesday September 14, 2011 - 10:44:00 AM
Amy Blue, her latest name,joined Moon Shadow Friday in a "love tree" at the North east corner of People's Park near a crowded Haste St. walkway. The two met a year ago, while fellow "travelers" on the road. The attractive pair have put a new face on a tired tree-sit which ran out of steam and died in January when the previous tree-sitter, Matt Dodt, 53, was charged with attempted murder. Those charges were reduced and later dropped.

In the aftermath of "Amy Blue's" back-breaking twenty-foot plunge from a majestic tree in the latest tree-sit protest in People's Park last week, park regulars are attempting to affix blame; the usual suspects (cops and university) may include some unlikely suspects as well. Her fall abruptly ended an eight day protest that had been growing. -more-

Flags and Cranes Memorialize 9-11 at UC Berkeley

By Steven Finacom
Wednesday September 14, 2011 - 09:37:00 AM
9-11, symbolizing the Pentagon and two towers, was made of United States flags planted in
                Memorial Glade on September 11, 2011.

Walking through the UC Berkeley campus late in the day on Sunday, September 11, 2011 I came across two small, temporary, memorials to “9-11” that were both thought provoking and, when viewed in comparison and contrast, expressed quite different reactions to the tragedy a decade ago. -more-

Solano Stroll Crowds in Evidence Sunday

By Steven Finacom
Wednesday September 14, 2011 - 09:35:00 AM
Solano Stroll marchers honor the centennial of women's suffrage in California.

The Solano Stroll this year was threatened by symbolic and actual storm clouds. Some were unhappy with a decision of the Stroll organizers not to pay invited musicians, and a late summer storm cast gray over the morning. A sprinkling of rain fell nearby in portions of Berkeley and north Oakland, but by the afternoon the skies had cleared and the throngs came out. -more-

In Memory of Eva S. Goodwin

By Leah Goodwin
Wednesday September 14, 2011 - 12:31:00 PM
Eva S. Goodwin

Eva Goodwin of Santa Rosa, California passed peacefully after a long battle with a variety of illnesses on April 7, 2011 at the age of 81. She was born in Vienna, Austria, the onlychild of Erwin and Piri Stanton. They moved to New York in October of 1938, after the invasion of Austria. -more-



Tough Talk from President Obama is Too Little Too Late

By Becky O'Malley
Wednesday September 14, 2011 - 08:50:00 AM

The headline on The Economist’s story a couple of weeks ago said it all:
The administration hands a victory to America’s polluters.-more-

The Editor's Back Fence

A New Schedule: PLEASE READ

By Becky O'Malley
Friday September 16, 2011 - 10:19:00 AM

A bonus contribution from regular columnist Conn Hallinan has inspired us to move to a new form of daily publication. Instead of doing a weekly roundup issue on Wednesdays, as we've done for about a year, we're going to create a new "issue" as soon as we have something new to post, including comments of all kinds. If you only check out the Planet infrequently, you'll be able to see what you've missed since your last visit by clicking the "Previous Issue" button at the top of the page as many times as you need to get back to what you last saw. To comment on this change or on anything else, just write us by clicking on -more-

New: Opposition to MOCHA Ban on Palestinian Kids' Art Grows

By Becky O'Malley
Wednesday September 14, 2011 - 09:16:00 PM

Is it possible that the baddies have finally gone too far? Since today's issue was published we've received several urgent communications expressing disgust at the action of the Museum of Children's Art in Oakland pulling an exhibit of work by Palestinian kids who are victims of the violence which has been inflicted on their country. We've added them to the issue. I was especially gratified to see among the national signers of the letter opposing this horrendous mistake the names of a number of old allies from the civil rights and anti-war movements of years gone by. They will overcome. -more-


Cartoon Page: Odd Bodkins, BOUNCE

Wednesday September 14, 2011 - 09:39:00 AM

Public Comment


Saturday September 17, 2011 - 09:16:00 AM

9/11, Another View -more-

Oakland Children's Art Museum's Ban on Palestinian Works is Futile

By Joanna Graham
Friday September 16, 2011 - 10:32:00 AM

In summer 2005, Berkeley resident John Gertz confirmed to a Daily Planet reporter the rumors that he had indeed packed the Peace and Justice Commission with persons who could be depended on not to criticize Israel.“What I have observed is that a lot of people were sick of the commission being run by the lunatic left and some brave people came forward to put a stop to it,” he said.

Although I was at the time aware of widespread censorship activities by the Jewish lobby, I was naively shocked to learn that the same processes were at work in liberal Berkeley, the home of the Free Speech Movement, a city where people frequently and publicly debate each other over everything possibly debatable. -more-

Richmond Council Fails to Pass Marijuana Ordinance

By Tom Butt, Richmond City Councilmember
Saturday September 17, 2011 - 09:21:00 AM

There are clearly different shades of green on the Richmond City Council. -more-


Wednesday September 14, 2011 - 12:36:00 PM

Good Story; Dear MOCHA; Homeless -more-

New: Sign National Letter to Protest Closing of Gaza Children's Art Exhibition in Oakland

Forwarded by Lorie Brillinger
Wednesday September 14, 2011 - 08:43:00 PM

Dear Friend,

You may be aware of a controversy related to the recent decision of the Museum of Children's Art (Oakland, CA) to cancel an exhibition of art by children in Gaza. (Relevant links are are pasted at the end of this message.) The open letter to MOCHA that follows is being circulated for signatures by the Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine. We are inviting signers to provide name and city to demonstrate that the museum’s action has drawn condemnation across the US and internationally. Feel free to forward this letter to others. -more-

New: Oakland Children's Art Museum's Ban on Palestinian Works is Futile

By Joanna Graham
Wednesday September 14, 2011 - 08:29:00 PM

In summer 2005, Berkeley resident John Gertz confirmed to a Daily Planet reporter the rumors that he had indeed packed the Peace and Justice Commission with persons who could be depended on not to criticize Israel.“What I have observed is that a lot of people were sick of the commission being run by the lunatic left and some brave people came forward to put a stop to it,” he said.

Although I was at the time aware of widespread censorship activities by the Jewish lobby, I was naively shocked to learn that the same processes were at work in liberal Berkeley, the home of the Free Speech Movement, a city where people frequently and publicly debate each other over everything possibly debatable. -more-

Finally, a Liberal Hawk Repents

By Ruth Rosen
Monday September 12, 2011 - 05:52:00 PM

Bill Keller was just beginning his "new life" in the opinion section of the New York Times when the catastrophic events of 9/11 altered his life. Once, he had been skeptical about the use of American military force. Now, for reasons he still doesn't seem to fully understand, he joined, "an imaginary association of pundits of the I-Can't Believe-I'm a Hawk Club, made up of liberals for whom 9/11 had stirred a fresh willingness to employ American might." He supported the war in Iraq. -more-

Obama's Proposal: Mainly Smoke and Mirrors

By Harry Brill
Monday September 12, 2011 - 11:22:00 AM

There are some excellent recommendations in President Obama's speech on the economy. He proposed a one year extension on unemployment insurance, closing business tax loopholes, and raising taxes on the rich. He was as right as right can be to complain that the billionaire Warren Buffet paid less on federal taxes than his secretary. -more-


Dispatches From the Edge: Of Kabul & Tet & Generals

By Conn Hallinan
Friday September 16, 2011 - 10:12:00 AM

“Now we can see [success in Vietnam] clearly, like the light at the end of a tunnel” -more-

Dispatches From The Edge: The New Scramble for Africa

By Conn Hallinan
Wednesday September 14, 2011 - 08:54:00 AM

Is current U.S. foreign policy in Africa following a blueprint drawn up almost eight years ago by the rightwing Heritage Foundation, one of the most conservative think tanks in the world? While it seems odd that a Democratic administration would have anything in common with the extremists at Heritage, the convergence in policy and practice between the two is disturbing. -more-

The Public Eye: Will Obama Control the Jobs Message?

By Bob Burnett
Monday September 12, 2011 - 11:08:00 AM

Watching President Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress, Americans were reminded of his oratorical prowess. That’s never been his problem. In the two years 230 days plus of his Presidency Obama has given many powerful speeches but not followed up – lost control of the message. On September 8th he laid out a strong jobs plan; now he has to push it through Congress. -more-

Senior Power … ’goin to the dogs

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Monday September 12, 2011 - 11:36:00 AM

Animals affect human emotions and physiology. Studies have shown that owning and handling animals benefit health significantly. The relevance of pets in the lives of senior citizens is no longer big news. Everyone knows that pets may help elderly owners live longer, more enjoyable lives. It has been demonstrated that independently-living seniors who have pets tend to be more active, cope better with stress, and have better overall health. (May 1999 Journal of the American Geriatrics Society) Another study showed that elderly pet owners had significantly lower blood pressure than their contemporaries without pets. -more-

Eclectic Rant: Corporate Personhood

By Ralph E. Stone
Monday September 12, 2011 - 11:32:00 AM

Last year, the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission invalidated the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, a federal law which prohibits corporations and unions from using their general treasury funds to make independent expenditures for speech that is an “electioneering communication” or for speech that expressly advocates the election or defeat of a candidate. (2 U.S.C. §441b). -more-

Wild Neighbors: The Hummingbird Dive Chirp Revisited

By Joe Eaton
Wednesday September 14, 2011 - 10:03:00 AM
Male Allen's hummingbird: a one-man band.

Three years ago, UC Berkeley students Chris Clark and Teresa Feo cracked the mystery of the dive chirp of the Anna’s hummingbird. The noise, produced at the nadir of a courting male’s vertical plummet, was thought by some ornithologists—included the late Luis Baptista of the California Academy of Sciences—to be vocal in origin, in part because its frequency was similar to that of the bird’s call. -more-

On Mental Illness: Episodes of Fear and Anger

By Jack Bragen
Monday September 12, 2011 - 11:28:00 AM

I periodically have phases of a lot of anger. During those times, I am not very pleasant to be around; I raise my voice, behave stubbornly or walk out of a room to the bafflement of whoever is with me; usually my wife. There is never an excuse for physical violence, and I don’t do that. However, my mere anger, expressed in facial expressions and tone of voice, apparently is enough scariness to be unpleasant to others. -more-

Arts & Events

Theater Review: Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance at the Aurora

By Ken Bullock
Wednesday September 14, 2011 - 10:27:00 AM

"I find most astonishing ... the belief that I may, very easily, as they say, lose my mind one day."

In an upper middle class Connecticut home, circa 1960-something, Agnes, very much in control, gives vent to her carefully delineated fantasy. -more-

Around and About Music: Toledo, Morris, Philharmonia

By Ken Bullock
Wednesday September 14, 2011 - 09:12:00 AM

--Martha Toledo, singer from Juchitan on Mexico's Tehauantepec Peninsula, will return to La Pena Sunday at 7:30--after a free in-store appearance at Down Home Music in El Cerrito at 2--with guitarist Jose Roberto. Toledo, who is working on her third CD, is "a luminous presence," performing popular and original songs in Juchitan regalia (popularized by Frida Kahlo--Toledo performed at SF MoMA's Kahlo retrospective several years back). Berkeley filmmaker Maureen Gosling, who first met Toledo while working on her award-winning documentaries on Juchitan and its unusual women's culture, has brought Toledo, now resident of Oaxaca, to Berkeley twice before. -more-

Around & About Theater--Golden Thread Productions' Latest Middle Eastern Play; James Keller's Poor Players ...

By Ken Bullock
Wednesday September 14, 2011 - 08:54:00 AM

Golden Thread Productions, the Bay Area's Middle Eastern play company, whose ReOrient festival of short plays has graced Berkeley stages, will present their world premiere of Adriana Sevahn's Night Over Erzinga, September 15-October 9, at the Southside Theater, Magic Theater, Fort Mason, Marina & Buchanan, San Francisco--a story of those who escaped to America from the Armenian Genocide, haunted by the past, yet the survivors reunited with their ancestors, from Armenia 1913 to 1930s Massachusetts to New York in the 60s. Directed by Hafiz Karmali, who directed Island of Animals for Golden Thread and the Afghan Alliance a few years ago, with original music by Penka Kounava. Previews, Thursday (September 15) at 8:30, Friday-Saturday at 8: $20 advance or pay-what-you-can at the door. Opening night, Sunday at 5, $100 with gala reception following. 8:30 Thursdays, 8 on Friday, Sunday at 2: $28; Saturdays at 8: $36. (415) 345-7575; (In November, Golden Thread presents Hafiz Karmali's Rumi X 7 with the Islamic Cultural Center in Downtown Oakland: seven stories from the great Persian poet and founder of the whirling dervishes, onstage in the ICCNC's Moorish Revival hall, dating from 1908. -more-