Page One

Nurses at Alta Bates in Berkeley and Other Hospitals Told to Stay Away Until Thursday

By Sara Gaiser (BCN)
Friday September 23, 2011 - 04:05:00 PM

A nursing strike at Bay Area hospitals is over today, but participating nurses at Sutter hospitals and Children's Hospital in Oakland have been told they cannot report back to work before Tuesday, officials said today. -more-

Two Arrested During Protests on UC Berkeley Campus

By Patricia Decker (BCN)
Friday September 23, 2011 - 12:17:00 PM

Two people were arrested on the University of California at Berkeley campus Thursday night during protests of the UC system's proposed plan to hike tuition by as much as $10,000 per year.

Students and other demonstrators gathered at noon in Sproul Plaza to express their frustration over the university's plan to require more money from students because of wavering funding support from Sacramento. -more-

Fall Budget and Fee Protests Begin at UC Berkeley

By Steven Finacom
Friday September 23, 2011 - 12:05:00 AM

Student, staff, and community demonstrators kicked off a fall season of budget cut and fee increase protest at the UC Berkeley campus on Thursday, September 22, 2011, with a modest but spirited noontime rally, followed by a march through campus and occupation of classrooms.

At day’s end some of the group was gathered, watched by campus police, in part of Tolman Hall, the sprawling Education / Psychology building in the northwest corner of the campus along Hearst Avenue.

I watched part of the Sproul Plaza demonstration and march that fell during my lunch hour. An array of speakers focused on placing the campus protests in the context of national efforts to stop budget cuts, protect labor rights, and reverse growing economic inequality in the United States.

I arrived when Professor of Geography Dick Walker was speaking. “This is not a pay for play institution”, he told the crowd. “It is a public institution.” -more-


9/11 in the Comics

By Gar Smith
Friday September 23, 2011 - 08:26:00 AM

Commentary on the 9/11 Anniversary wasn't confined to the news pages and editorial section of our daily papers. It also flew smack into the middle of the Sunday comics. The various ways America's mainstream cartoonists addressed the anniversary tells us something about how the nation continues to process the trauma of that day. In most cases, the response was a retreat into unquestioning patriotism; in other cases, there was simply a sense of fatigue; in a few rare instances, there were surprising expressions of dissent. -more-


What's the News Today, and Why?

By Becky O'Malley
Wednesday September 21, 2011 - 02:26:00 PM

The eternal paradox about what is commonly called journalism is why so many people who commit it manage not to see what’s going on before their eyes, even as a reasonable number of others, in and out of journalism, do.

Ever wonder about what’s happening in the global economy? Well, here it is, a summary which could fit on the back of an envelope, and it’s even perversely funny:

“Quarterly GDP data don’t, on the whole, tend to make the person studying them laugh out loud. The most recent set, however, are an exception, despite the fact that the general picture is of unrelieved and spreading economic gloom. Instead of the surge of rebounding growth which historically accompanies successful exit from a recession, we have the UK’s disappointing 0.2 per cent growth, the US’s anaemic 0.3 per cent and the glum eurozone average figure of 0.2 per cent. That number includes the surprising and alarming German 0.1 per cent, the desperately poor French 0 per cent and then, wait for it, the agreeably frisky Belgian 0.7 per cent. Why is that, if you’ve been following the story, laugh-aloud funny? Because Belgium doesn’t have a government. Thanks to political stalemate in Brussels, it hasn’t had one for 15 months. No government means none of the stuff all the other governments are doing: no cuts and no ‘austerity’ packages. In the absence of anyone with a mandate to slash and burn, Belgian public sector spending is puttering along much as it always was; hence the continuing growth of their economy. It turns out that from the economic point of view, in the current crisis, no government is better than any government – any existing government.”

(From an opinion article by John Lanchester in a recent London Review of Books.)

That paragraph alone is worth column inch after column inch of sententious pieces in the American press attempting to convey what the hell the U.S. Congress is up to—yes, even in the New York Times, most of whose staffers appear not to read what Professor Paul Krugman writes on their own op-ed page. We’d be better off without this current Congress, wouldn’t we, so why not just say so? This is not an endorsement, by the way, of the Tea Party anti-government ideology, just a glum statement of observable fact. -more-

The Editor's Back Fence

New Feature: "The Week" Button

Friday September 23, 2011 - 08:26:00 AM

Under the new Planet schedule, we start entering each day's news every morning in a new issue. After that, new articles are added to the issue all day long.

To find out what happened yesterday and in the last seven days, click on "The Week" button to find links to all articles posted in the past week. The "Full Text" button makes it possible to scroll back through a week's worth of complete articles. -more-

Arts & Events

Architecture, Dance, Music in Berkeley This Weekend

By Steven Finacom
Friday September 23, 2011 - 10:38:00 AM

Dance, music, historic architecture and culture in general are on tap in Berkeley for this weekend, September 24-25, 2011.

On Saturday evening there’s a special chance to see the interior of the National Landmark First Church of Christ, Scientist, and hear from an author with a new book about the architect, Bernard Maybeck. Maybeck’s granddaughter will also be there to share family stories.

Sunday, the creative impulses of Cal Performances scatter and sparkle around the UC Berkeley campus in the second annual “Free for All,” with a day of gratis performances in several indoor and outdoor venues. -more-

Back Stories



What's the News Today, and Why? 09-21-2011

The Editor's Back Fence

New Feature: "The Week" Button 09-23-2011

About the New Schedule 09-22-2011

It's a New Schedule for the Planet 09-21-2011

Keep Those Comments Coming under the Planet's New Schedule 09-20-2011

A New Schedule: PLEASE READ 09-19-2011

A New Schedule: PLEASE READ 09-17-2011


Cartoon Page: Odd Bodkins, BOUNCE 09-21-2011

Public Comment

New: Letters 09-22-2011

Death Panel Machine By Bruce Joffe 09-21-2011

City Stalls Its Response to Report about Unfunded Liabilities By James Fousekis 09-21-2011

Is Arreguin's "Vacancy Registration Fee" a Solution to Downtown Berkeley Problems? By Thomas Lord 09-20-2011

A New Paradigm for Downtown Berkeley's Retail Spaces? By Thomas Lord 09-20-2011

Letters 09-18-2011

An Explanation of My Withdrawal from Cal Ruby Pipes 09-19-2011

Communicating with BART By Thomas Lord 09-18-2011

Letters 09-17-2011

Richmond Council Fails to Pass Sustainable Marijuana Ordinance By Tom Butt, Richmond City Council 09-17-2011


Nurses at Alta Bates in Berkeley and Other Hospitals Told to Stay Away Until Thursday By Sara Gaiser (BCN) 09-23-2011

Two Arrested During Protests on UC Berkeley Campus By Patricia Decker (BCN) 09-23-2011

Fall Budget and Fee Protests Begin at UC Berkeley By Steven Finacom 09-23-2011

9/11 in the Comics By Gar Smith 09-23-2011

New: Protesters in Berkeley March against Tuition Hikes, Occupy Classrooms By Scott Morris (BCN) 09-22-2011

Press Release: Bayer Biotech Workers in Berkeley Send Company a Stinging Rebuke From Craig Merrilees, ILWU 09-22-2011

New: "Unofficial Mayor" of Telegraph Busted for "Interfering" with a Cop As Medheads Get Front-Row Seats By Ted Friedman 09-22-2011

Updated: California Nurses Strike at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley and Elsewhere By Laura Dixon, Bay City News Service 09-22-2011

Nurses Strike Throughout California By Bay City News Service 09-22-2011

Just Another Berkeley South Side Crime Story: Who Killed People's Park Activist Gina Sasso? by Ted Friedman 09-22-2011

Mark Coyote By John Curl 09-22-2011

Updated: Families Say Release of Hikers is "Best Day of Our Lives" By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN) 09-21-2011

Flash: Two UC Berkeley Graduates Released in Iran By Bay City News 09-21-2011

Berkeley's Public Housing Units May Be Bought by Billionaire (Analysis) By Lynda Carson 09-21-2011

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 09-19-2011

New Thousand Oaks Urns Dedicated By Steven Finacom 09-19-2011


New: Dispatches From The Edge: Arms, China & the Obama Administration By Conn Hallinan 09-22-2011

New: Laura's Law in a Nutshell By Ralph E. Stone 09-22-2011

Senior Power… The Only Disease By Helen Rippier Wheeler 09-22-2011

My Commonplace Book (a diary of excerpts copied from printed books, with comments added by the reader.) By Dorothy Bryant 09-22-2011

New: On Mental Illness: Something for Nothing By Jack Bragen 09-22-2011

Wild Neighbors: Post-Communist Birds By Joe Eaton 09-21-2011

The Public Eye: Job Wars: Republicans Strike Back By Bob Burnett 09-19-2011

Senior Power… Where's the Lavender Soap? By Helen Rippier Wheeler 09-19-2011

On Mental Illness: Permission to Be Happy By Jack Bragen 09-17-2011

Arts & Events

Architecture, Dance, Music in Berkeley This Weekend By Steven Finacom 09-23-2011

Theater Review: Golden Thread Premieres Night Over Erzinga By Ken Bullock 09-21-2011

Theater Review: Rita Moreno: Life Without Makeup at Berkeley Rep By Ken Bullock 09-21-2011

Theater Review: Remember the Ladies: Poor Players at Unitarian Fellowship and Live Oak Theater By Ken Bullock 09-21-2011

Around & About Music: Fall Free For All; Inga Swearingen's Swedish Farm Jazz By Ken Bullock 09-21-2011

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 09-19-2011

Don't Miss This By Dorothy Snodgrass 09-19-2011

Architecture Review: Flashy Architecture and Bad Urbanism at the Berkeley Art Museum By Charles Siegel 09-18-2011