The Week

 

News

Press Release: Negotiations at Bayer’s bio-tech plant in Berkeley break down: Company refuses to protect jobs after taking taxpayer subsidies

From Craig Merrilees, ILWU
Monday September 19, 2011 - 05:37:00 PM

Four hundred workers at the Bayer Pharmaceutical plant in Berkeley, California are asking the company to honor promises made two years ago when executives accepted taxpayer subsidies in exchange for providing good-paying jobs.

Workers have been talking with the company since July 25, 2011, seeking guarantees that the company won’t get rid of good-paying jobs after getting a taxpayer bailout. Community concerns increased this spring when Bayer announced it was closing a nearby plant in Emeryville because they were outsourcing 400 jobs to a lower-cost facility overseas.

“It’s wrong for companies to take subsidies, promise good jobs to the community, then outsource those jobs after they’ve taken so much from taxpayers,” said Donal Mahon, a former Bayer veteran employee who is now helping workers negotiate a contract to protect good jobs and secure safer staffing levels at the Berkeley plant. -more-


New Thousand Oaks Urns Dedicated

By Steven Finacom
Monday September 19, 2011 - 09:22:00 AM
Elizabeth Sklut and Trish Hawthorne, co-coordinators of the urn restoration project, led the dedication ceremony.

The first two replica historic urns to grace the Thousand Oaks subdivision were dedicated before an appreciative crowd in Berkeley’s Great Stoneface Park on Saturday, September 10, 2011. -more-


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-


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-


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-


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-


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-


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-


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-


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-


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-


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-


Opinion

Editorials

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
Monday September 19, 2011 - 10:15:00 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. Since we started this practice, there have been three "new issues". Try clicking back through the "previous issue" button to see them--it's not hard. -more-


A New Schedule: PLEASE READ

By Becky O'Malley
Saturday September 17, 2011 - 08:50:00 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 opinion@berkeleydailyplanet.com. -more-


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 opinion@berkeleydailyplanet.com. -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-


Cartoons

Cartoon Page: Odd Bodkins, BOUNCE

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

Public Comment

Letters

Sunday September 18, 2011 - 05:58:00 PM

New Clicking; Palestinian Statehood; My Thinking; Greek Debt -more-


An Explanation of My Withdrawal from Cal

Ruby Pipes
Monday September 19, 2011 - 07:58:00 AM

When I received my notification of acceptance from University of California, Berkeley I cried. I called my father and he wept. There was screaming and cheering and days of telling everyone I could about my incredible good fortune. As if I had won the lottery. I mean, really, I’d been accepted into the best public university in the world. Best in the world. Me: a two-time community college drop-out. Me: the girl who drank through her junior year of high school. Me: small-town kid from Washington state who was considered a success because she hadn’t gotten pregnant or addicted to methamphetamines yet. Everyone got a phone call. “Ruby’s going to Berkeley!” There wasn’t a discussion, just working out the details so that I could get down there and start studying. My dad tapped into IRAs and life savings. We filled out all the forms we had to for the financial aid package that would double my debt within a year. It was worth it. It was Cal. I stayed up at night reading about courses I could take, surfing the internet for virtual tours of the campus. Over and over I found myself watching Mario Savio’s infamous December speech on the steps of Sproul Hall. I’d make friends and family watch, too, and explain matter-of-factly, “I’m going to stand on those steps. I’m going to go down there and changing the world.” -more-


Communicating with BART

By Thomas Lord
Sunday September 18, 2011 - 06:01:00 PM

A relative of mine is a young fellow we call "The Professor" on account of his status as a grad student in economics. Lately The Professor has begun making his case against corporatism including but not limited to the horrible state of the world financial system.

Today news reached his mid-western school of protests on Wall Street. According the Wall Street Journal a group convened for the radical cause of "[drawing] attention to the role powerful financial matters play in damaging the U.S. economy." The protest was colorful and mildly eccentric. It was photogenic and provided a pleasant scene to amuse the bored police officers looking on. No one was harmed and no dinner reservations were lost. Attention was drawn to how the economy is powerfully financial and it matters.

The Professor wondered allowed, "Can't we do any better than this?"

From the other coast I sent word his way. Here is what I had to say:

Dear Professor,

That's pretty abstract to have much mass appeal, isn't it? Their goal is to "draw attention to the role powerful financial matters play in damaging the U.S. economy?" Man, that is some hard hitting bad-ass talk, right there. And what exactly is the credible threat of a successful protest on Wall Street -- the bad guys have to walk an extra block to catch a cab?

For the past several weeks in San Francisco protests have, for some hours during the evening commute, managed to mostly shut down one of the major BART stations. Initially, it was a demand that BART's transit police stop killing passengers and, in fact, disband. That demand stands. Then one of the protests didn't materialize but... where it was expected, BART turned off cell phone service in that station (to thwart "flash mobs"). As a consequence the next protest was especially well attended, successfully shutting down a station, with the added demand to "never do that cell phone thing again, asshats!" -more-


Letters

Saturday September 17, 2011 - 10:05:00 AM

MOCHA and Eaton -more-


Richmond Council Fails to Pass Sustainable Marijuana Ordinance

By Tom Butt, Richmond City Council
Saturday September 17, 2011 - 09:26:00 AM

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

There are those greens who believe global climate change is truly a crisis that we must address at every level of government – and quickly. Then there are those for whom the green of cannabis eclipses the more global meaning of green. And finally, there is the green of money – lots of it – including tens of thousands of dollars from the cannabis industry that has found its way into some council members’ campaign coffers.

Failing to pass the sustainable marijuana ordinance was a disappointment for me. The Richmond City Council has been “high” on marijuana for some time, paving the way for three licenses that are now in the application stage. At least a couple of Council members want to increase that to four, on the theory that if three is good, four is better. At least one councilmember touts marijuana dispensaries as veritable police substations, making areas of Richmond in the vicinity of a dispensary the safest of all.

Now, I really don’t care who smokes weed or why they do it, other than minors, but I remain skeptical about the hypocritical institutionalizing of an industry that characterizes itself as the epitome of healthy living and natural holistic medicine when it is really mostly about money – lots of it.

I introduced the “green” marijuana ordinance after reading a paper, “Energy Up in Smoke, The Carbon Footprint of Indoor Cannabis Production,” (April 5, 2011) by Evan Mills, Ph.D. a long-time energy analyst and Staff Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California. -more-


Letters

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-


Letters

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

Good Story; Dear MOCHA; Homeless -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-


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-


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-


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-


Columns

The Public Eye: Job Wars: Republicans Strike Back

By Bob Burnett
Monday September 19, 2011 - 09:14:00 AM

One week after President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress and proposed the American Jobs Act, House Speaker John Boehner responded for the Republicans. Not with a plan to address the US jobs’ crisis, but with conservative talking points that indicate how difficult it will be to pass meaningful legislation.

The Problem: The two Parties disagree on the origin of the crisis. In his September 8th address Obama indicated the crisis resulted from erosion of America’s social compact: “[belief] in a country where everyone gets a fair shake and does their fair share -- where if you stepped up, did your job, and were loyal to your company, that loyalty would be rewarded with a decent salary and good benefits.”

In contrast, in his September 15th response Speaker Boehner blamed the Federal government, “there’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the economy that leads to a lot of bad decisions in Washington, D.C.” “Private-sector job creators of all sizes have been… slammed by uncertainty from the constant threat of new taxes, out-of-control spending, and unnecessary regulation.” “Job creators in America are essentially on strike.”

Neither side admitted the real problem, the American economy is broken. A healthy economy depends upon steady consumption by working Americans. But starting with Ronald Reagan, Republican ideologues have assumed that rich folks buying yachts and vacation homes would catalyze the consumer economy. This didn’t happened. In 2011 average Americans aren’t consuming because they either don’t have the money or are saving it because they are fearful. Republican dogma fractured the US economy and caused massive unemployment. -more-


Senior Power… Where's the Lavender Soap?

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Monday September 19, 2011 - 08:56:00 AM

Nearly two-thirds of Americans age 70+ have hearing loss. According to a study led by Johns Hopkins and National Institute on Aging researchers, persons of the black race seem to have a protective effect against this loss. And older or male subjects were more likely to have hearing loss or more severe hearing loss than younger or female subjects. It is believed to be the first nationally representative survey of older adults on this often ignored and under-reported condition. Past studies have strongly linked hearing loss to such other health problems as cognitive decline, dementia, and poorer physical function. . Relatively little is known about risk factors that drive hearing loss. [Feb. 28, 2011 Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences] -more-


On Mental Illness: Permission to Be Happy

By Jack Bragen
Saturday September 17, 2011 - 10:01:00 AM

The truism: “life is what happens while you’re waiting,” is very applicable to people who are struggling to recover from mental illness. Frequently, people are unhappy because they believe they should not be happy. A lot of people believe that before they can be happy they need to fix their perceived adverse life circumstances. This is not always true. This partial erroneous belief is present in the minds of people at large and not just those who have a mental illness. Abe Lincoln said: “Most people are about as happy as they make up their mind to be.” -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-


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-


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-


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-


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-


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

Architecture Review: Flashy Architecture and Bad Urbanism at the Berkeley Art Museum

By Charles Siegel
Sunday September 18, 2011 - 06:21:00 PM

The architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro have unveiled their design for the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) on Oxford Street between Center and Addison. They were required to keep the old UC Printing Plant, and they have added a blob-shaped building coated with zinc.

The new addition is in the avant-gardist style that has been typical of museums since Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum opened in Bilbao in 1997. The Guggenheim looks like abstract art of the 1920s and is coated with titanium. It does not work very well as a museum - some visitors say it gives them vertigo - but it was so new, so different, and so shiny that it drew large numbers of gaping tourists to Bilbao.

Avant-garde architects are like teenagers who dye their hair purple to be different from everyone else, who consider themselves very original but obviously are just imitating the cool kids in their clique. Likewise, the designers of BAM/PFA consider its zinc facade very original but obviously are just imitating Gehry’s titanium.

The inept urbanism of BAM/PFA is much worse than its flashy “blobitecture.” Because the goal is to create a sculptural icon, this sort of design focuses on itself and ignores its urban context. -more-


Don't Miss This

By Dorothy Snodgrass
Monday September 19, 2011 - 09:47:00 AM

Ah, yes, "the days grow short when you reach September" (Kurt Weill's beautiful "September Song", sung by Walter Huston in 1938.) So, while one "doesn't have time for the waiting game", we're happy to say that this September and October offers several memorable and very enjoyable events, as listed below: -more-


Theatre Review: Eye from the Aisle: A DELICATE BALANCE by Edward Albee--if your hair is gray, do not hesitate to get a ticket while they last.

by John A. McMullen II
Monday September 19, 2011 - 10:04:00 AM
Ken Grantham as Tobias and Jamie Jones as Claire.

The Aurora Theatre, in its commitment to a theatre of ideas and the eloquence in drama that explores them, has selected A DELICATE BALANCE by Edward Albee. -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; goldenthread.org (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-


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-


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-