Opinion

Editorials

The City Council and the School District Play Fast and Loose with Public Funds in Berkeley

By Becky O'Malley
Monday October 24, 2011 - 10:51:00 PM

While no one’s paying much attention, a substantial part of the last remaining open space in flatlands Berkeley is being reconfigured by the Berkeley Unified School District in collusion with bureaucrats working for the City of Berkeley. There has been almost no meaningful public discussion either of the goals of planned lavish and well-funded building projects or of the schedule for carrying them out. -more-


The Editor's Back Fence

Updated: Department of Urban Legends, Earthquake Prediction Division

Monday October 31, 2011 - 09:26:00 AM

[RUMOR UPDATE: Some callers now believe they've traced the origin of the imminent earthquake legend to a staffer in the Office of the Mayor, not an assistant to a councilmember as originally reported. The Planet was given the name of the suspect and we've asked her if it's true. She has declined comment, saying she wants wanted to talk to her chief of staff first. If Since she doesn't didn't call back with her story, we'll just have to add her name to this story without it. here's the name we were given:

Sbeydeh Viveros-Banderas, Assistant to the Mayor, Scheduler and Constituent Services . According to the office website, she is the office manager and handles the Mayor's schedule. She also runs the Intern program and handles many constituent services.

We have been trying without success to get anyone in the Mayor's office or the city's public relations office to confirm or deny that Ms. Viveros-Banderas was the student who originally told the earthquake story in a class at San Francisco State. No one there seems to be answering the phone at the moment (about 4 on Monday). -more-


Opera Program Canned by NPR Because of Host's Occupy Participation

By Becky O'Malley
Tuesday October 25, 2011 - 01:17:00 PM

Here's something which really outrages me, both as an opera lover and as a journalist. Lisa Simeone is the host of the independently produced World of Opera radio series, live broadcasts of opera from around the country which have been distributed by National Public Radio. Evidently, she also took part in an Occupy action somewhere, sometime..

For the sin of having political opinions and acting on them, she (and her program) have been dropped from the NPR lineup, in spite of the fact that the show has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with politics.

And anyway, what if it did? But we won't even bring up that question, because this situation is bad enough. For full details, and to sign a petition to lily-livered NPR, consult the Fairness and Accuracy in Media website. -more-


Cartoons

Cartoon Page: BOUNCE

By Joseph Young
Monday October 31, 2011 - 09:49:00 AM

Cartoon Page: Odd Bodkins: Jack

Dan O'Neill
Tuesday October 25, 2011 - 11:37:00 AM

Public Comment

Keep Neighborhoods Intact – Redistricting Berkeley

By Vincent Casalaina
Monday October 31, 2011 - 02:36:00 PM

When I looked at most of the plans that were put forward for redistricting Berkeley's Council districts, I was taken aback by the way the lines were drawn. I believe the most important thing to consider in redistricting is the preservation of neighborhoods (communities of interest) within Council districts. -more-


Football is not Going Away--But the Warm Pool is Gone.

By Paul Lecky
Sunday October 30, 2011 - 12:37:00 PM

Your apparent belief that the only purpose behind the south of Bancroft renovation at BHS is to get a larger football field is incorrect. For example, the new building will house many classrooms and make room for a cozy softball field for the girls’ team. The process of the renovation was a long process with many public meetings and the input of the community. Also, despite the belief of many in our community, the obligation of BHS is to its students and not to maintain a warm pool for a relatively small group of non-students. The warm pool at BHS is gone. -more-


Homeland Security and Local Police

By Maris Arnold
Sunday October 30, 2011 - 01:03:00 PM

One hears over and over that on Tues. 10/25 the police overreacted in their attempted eviction of Oakland's nonviolent Occupy Oakland encampment. I beg to differ. It was not an "over-reaction." What occurred was a well-planned exercise orchestrated by Homeland Security, coordinating 17 police jurisdictions. -more-


Occupy

By Ove Ofteness
Sunday October 30, 2011 - 12:26:00 PM

"Class warfare?"
They won't win this fight.
We've only begun to unite.
Grass roots and no mowers,
It's lawnless. We're growers.
There won't be a golf cart in sight. -more-


Press Release: Barbara Lee Comments on Occupy Oakland

Thursday October 27, 2011 - 10:15:00 AM

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) issued the following statement on Occupy Oakland:

“I shared my outrage and grave concern about the police brutality in Oakland directly with the Mayor. My thoughts go out to the injured and especially Scott Olsen. I strongly support the occupy movement and continue to stand with the peaceful protesters in this struggle for economic justice and equality.” -more-


Press Release: NLG Condemns Excessive Force Used by Oakland Police Against Occupy Demonstrators

From Rachel Lederman, Bobbie Stein, Michael Flynn
Wednesday October 26, 2011 - 12:14:00 PM

The National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter (NLGSF) condemns Oakland Police excessive force against Occupy demonstrators and violations of OPD Crowd Control Policy. -more-


New: Dealing Sensibly with Occupy Berkeley--Learning from Oakland's Mistakes

John Vinopal,Resident, District 4
Wednesday October 26, 2011 - 04:57:00 PM

As a nearby resident of Civic Center Park, I've cast a wary eye on the "Occupy Berkeley" encampment since it metastasized away from the B of A circle. Dated signs ("No Taxes For Star Wars") reinforce my impression that Berkeley has never not been Occupied and this just becomes an excuse to put up tents in the park. I figured the ardor would cool come the rains. Friends who grew up here suggested the sprinklers would put an end to it (as they recalled some of their high-school evenings concluding). All saw a risk of People's Park West and wondered how it might conclude or how bad it might get in the meanwhile. -more-


Why Were Berkeley Police Involved in Evicting Occupy Oakland?

By Barbara F Barbour
Wednesday October 26, 2011 - 10:49:00 AM

To:Tom Bates, Mayor; Laurie Capetelli, Council person; Michael K. Meehan, Chief of Police

Why were police from the City of Berkeley involved in the violence of and by the police of Oakland (and others) on the the people of Occupy Oakland?

I am a tax-paying Berkeley homeowner and am outraged that my tax dollars were used to destroy that encampment-or any others; the more so because an already reduced police force was further diminished to be pulled away from their jobs. But that is not the major issue; it is that of both provocative and violent police actions toward citizens protesting peacefully. -more-


Supporting the Occupy Movement

By Victoria Q. Legg
Wednesday October 26, 2011 - 10:57:00 AM

For all practical purposes I would be considered one of the 5% and yet I whole heartedly support the actions of the Occupy movement worldwide. My children are highly educated, underemployed and unlikely to ever own their own home unless I pass before becoming infirm or diagnosed with chronic disease. They are not alone. -more-


Press Release: California Nurses Condemn Mayor Quan's Raid on Occupy Oakland

Wednesday October 26, 2011 - 09:48:00 AM

The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United today condemned the early morning police raid on the peaceful Occupy Oakland encampment, and criticized Oakland Mayor Jean Quan for joining the list of mayors employing repression against the occupy movement. -more-


Letters to the Editor

Tuesday October 25, 2011 - 08:13:00 AM

Occupy Advice -more-


Press Release: NLG Demands Immediate Release of Occupy Oakland Arrestees

Contacts: Rachel Lederman 415-350-6496 Michael Flynn 510-866-4981 Carlos Villarreal 415-377-6961
Tuesday October 25, 2011 - 02:09:00 PM

The National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter (NLGSF) calls for the release of approximately 100 people who were arrested this morning in the police raid on Occupy Oakland. The NLGSF has learned that the arrestees are being illegally booked in Alameda County's Glenn Dyer Detention Facility in downtown Oakland and in Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. -more-


The Clown with the Broken Leg

By Carol Denney
Tuesday October 25, 2011 - 08:08:00 AM

My grandparents came from Pennsylvania to live with us when I was little, dazzling us with schtick from their vaudeville days. Our meals became a riot of quick patter and music hall jokes. “The show must go on”, my grandfather used to say, “is what the ringmaster says to the clown with the broken leg.” -more-