News

Press Release: Occupy Oakland Say Oakland Police Violate Their Own Policies

From Occupy Oakland Media Committee
Sunday January 29, 2012 - 07:52:00 AM

Yesterday, the Oakland Police deployed hundreds of officers in riot gear so as to prevent Occupy Oakland from putting a vacant building to better use. This is a building which has sat vacant for 6 years, and the city has no current plans for it. The Occupy Oakland GA passed a proposal calling for the space to be turned into a social center, convergence center and headquarters of the Occupy Oakland movement.

The police actions tonight cost the city of Oakland hundreds of thousands of dollars, and they repeatedly violated their own crowd control guidelines and protester’s civil rights.

With all the problems in our city, should preventing activists from putting a vacant building to better use be their highest priority? Was it worth the hundreds of thousands of dollars they spent? -more-


Oakland Police Say 200 Arrested During Occupy Actions

By Bay City News
Saturday January 28, 2012 - 11:11:00 PM

Police arrested around 200 Occupy Oakland protesters during a day of action Saturday that began with the protesters' attempt to take over a vacant building to establish a community center there. -more-


Press Release: Audio of Oakland Press Conference with Mayor Jean Quan and Oakland City Officials

From Sgt. Christopher Bolton, Oakland Police Department and Harry Hamilton Oakland City Administrator’s Office
Saturday January 28, 2012 - 10:58:00 PM

A downloadable audio file of the press conference has been posted at http://bit.ly/wuOsp8. -more-


Press Release: City Provides Update on Occupy Activities in Downtown Oakland – 10:30 pm

From Sgt. Christopher Bolton, Oakland Police Department and Harry Hamilton Oakland City Administrator’s Office
Saturday January 28, 2012 - 10:48:00 PM

Oakland, CA – At an 8:30 pm press briefing, Oakland officials provided updates on the Occupy activities in downtown Oakland. -more-


Occupy Breaks into Oakland City Hall

By Bay City News
Saturday January 28, 2012 - 07:47:00 PM

Oakland City Hall was broken into by multiple people tonight during Occupy Oakland protests, according to police. -more-


Press Release: Occupy Oakland Responds to Oakland Police Repression Tonight, Demands Accounting of Brutal Tactics, and End to Disinformation

From Jamie Omar Yassin, Occupy Oakland
Saturday January 28, 2012 - 08:41:00 PM

Occupy Oakland's building occupation, an act of constitutionally protected civil disobedience was disrupted by a brutal police response today. Protesters were met with baton strikes, shot with rubber bullets, and exposed to tear gas. Police immediately issued denials that tear gas was used, however, as many victims can attest, it was used freely and without regard to safety. -more-


Updated: Oakland: At Least 100 People Detained Near YMCA in Occupy Protest

By Bay City News
Saturday January 28, 2012 - 07:54:00 PM

At least 100 people have been detained and face possible arrest outside the YMCA at 2350 Broadway in Oakland after allegedly attempting to force entry into the building, according to Oakland police. -more-


Oakland Protesters Prepare for Second Try to Enter Building

By Laura Dixon (BCN)
Saturday January 28, 2012 - 05:40:00 PM

Around 250 to 300 Occupy Oakland protestors have gathered at Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland to rest and reorganize following a failed attempt to take over a building this afternoon. -more-


Press Release: Update on Occupy Activities in Downtown Oakland – 4:30 pm

From Officer Johnna Watson, Oakland Police Department and Harry Hamilton, Oakland City Administrator’s Office
Saturday January 28, 2012 - 05:26:00 PM

Oakland--By 12 pm, a crowd of approximately 250 had gathered in Frank Ogawa Plaza for the Occupy rally. Just before 1:30 pm, the group started marching southbound on Broadway. As the group of approximately 450 marched, traffic disruptions occurred on downtown streets. At approximately 2:15 pm, some of the marchers entered the campus of Laney College. -more-


Flash: Occupy Oakland Protest: Police Tear Gas, Threaten to Forcibly Remove Protesters

By Laura Dixon (BCN)
Saturday January 28, 2012 - 03:32:00 PM

Police tear gassed Occupy Oakland protesters this afternoon near Lake Merritt and warned them to leave an area where they had gathered or they would be forcibly removed. -more-


Flash: Man Shot and Killed on Emerson near Shattuck in Berkeley

By Becky O'Malley
Friday January 27, 2012 - 12:22:00 AM

A man was shot and killed on Emerson Street near Shattuck in Berkeley tonight. This account, author unknown, was forwarded to the Planet from the neighborhood watch group:

"My husband just finished talking to the police. We heard a group of shots (maybe 10?) and then a pause, then a few more shots (maybe 5?), then a pause, then another group of shots (maybe 10?). I went and called the police. My husband went to the window and saw a man with dark skin (maybe African American) get into a dark grey Honda (Accord?) and drive off heading east on Emerson without his headlights on. My husband walked outside and there was smoke in the air. We thought it was firecrackers and he was looking for a burn mark on the pavement or something to indicate firecrackers. He went back inside the house and got a flashlight and then saw bullet casings on the pavement but didn't see anyone injured. The police arrived and other neighbors came out. Other people came by and were screaming. Someone screamed, "Oh my god it was Donnie! Oh my god oh my god! No!" It was really terrifying as this was in the apartment building [near] our house. The paramedics came and did CPR on someone on the balcony of the apartment building. The victim was on the second floor. The paramedics took him away and we don't know if he was alive or dead. The police are now going door to door taking statements. I believe the officer used the word 'homicide.' "

Berkeley Police confirmed at midnight that the shooting did take place as reported, and that the victim has died. Comments on the Berkeleyside website indicate that the victim may have been the nephew of Don Warren, the owner of Don's HeadQuarters barber shop on Shattuck, a well-regarded fixture and a stabilizing influence in the neighborhood for decades, including the eight years when the Planet office was located next door. -more-


Video Report on Berkeley Murder Scene Last Night

By Florian Charread
Friday January 27, 2012 - 12:59:00 AM

[Editor's Note: Reader Florian Charread sent the Planet this video which he made last night at the scene of the shooting which took place at the corner of Emerson and Shattuck in Berkeley.]

Shooting aftermath-Berkeley from manaovisual on Vimeo. -more-


Berkeley Police Identify Victim of Last Night's Murder

By Becky O'Malley
Friday January 27, 2012 - 01:01:00 PM

Berkeley Police Lt. Dave Frankel has informed the Planet that the victim of the murder last night at the corner of Shattuck and Emerson has been identified as Kenneth Warren, who worked at Don's Headquarters, a popular neighborhood barber shop at the same location, as well as at the Port of Oakland. -more-


Police Respond to Berkeley Shooting on Thursday Night

By Erika Heidecker (BCN)
Thursday January 26, 2012 - 08:34:00 PM

Police are responding to a fatal shooting in Berkeley tonight, police said.

Officers responded to the 3000 block of Shattuck Avenue and found a male victim suffering from multiple gunshot wounds near an apartment building at the corner of Shattuck Avenue and Emerson Street, according to police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss.

The victim was taken to a trauma center where he was pronounced dead.

"The evidence suggests that this was not a random shooting," Kusmiss said. -more-


Free-Market Medicine—A Personal Account

by Michael Parenti
Friday January 27, 2012 - 12:36:00 AM

When I recently went to Alta Bates hospital for surgery, I discovered that legal procedures take precedence over medical ones. I had to sign intimidating statements about financial counseling, indemnity, patient responsibilities, consent to treatment, use of electronic technologies, and the like.

One of these documents committed me to the following: “The hospital pathologist is hereby authorized to use his/her discretion in disposing of any member, organ, or other tissue removed from my person during the procedure.” Any member? Any organ?

The next day I returned for the actual operation. While playing Frank Sinatra recordings, the surgeon went to work cutting open several layers of my abdomen in order to secure my intestines with a permanent mesh implant. Afterward I spent two hours in the recovery room. “I feel like I’ve been in a knife fight,” I told one nurse. “It’s called surgery,” she explained.

Then, while still pumped up with anesthetics and medications, I was rolled out into the street. The street? Yes, some few hours after surgery they send you home. In countries that have socialized medicine (there I said it), a van might be waiting with trained personnel to help you to your abode.

Not so in free-market America. Your presurgery agreement specifies in boldface that you must have “a responsible adult acquaintance” (as opposed to an irresponsible teenage stranger) take you home in a private vehicle. I kept thinking, what happens to those unfortunates who have no one to bundle them away? Do they languish endlessly in the hospital driveway until the nasty weather finishes them off? -more-


Fire Hits Great China Restaurant in Downtown Berkeley

By Scott Morris (BCN) and Planet
Thursday January 26, 2012 - 04:06:00 PM

A fire badly damaged a Chinese food restaurant on Kittredge near Oxford in downtown Berkeley on Wednesday night, Berkeley fire officials said. -more-


Press Release: Alameda County Bans Bags, Mandates Recycling

From Jeff Becerra, Stopwaste.org
Thursday January 26, 2012 - 10:20:00 AM

Yesterday the Alameda County Waste Management Authority (ACWMA) adopted two ordinances that will help the county achieve its long-term waste reduction goals. The first ordinance requires recycling of high market-value materials from larger businesses and multi-family properties. The second ordinance prohibits free distribution of single-use bags at check out in stores that sell packaged food. The initiatives are designed to reduce waste and litter, stimulate the local economy and create jobs. -more-


New: The Tea Party, Planning and Democracy(Part One)

By Zelda Bronstein
Wednesday January 25, 2012 - 10:08:00 AM

[Editor's Note: This is the first part of a two-part news analysis which explores some unexpected synergies between Tea Party protesters and progressive opponents of planning policies which are perceived as anti-democratic. Part 2 will appear on Friday.]

Most people regard meetings about regional planning, if they regard them at all, as soporific, PowerPointed affairs frequented by policy wonks. But on January 11, I attended a regional planning workshop in Dublin that was anything but dull. That’s because protesters from the East Bay Area Tea Party showed up along with some “fellow travelers” and nearly took the evening over. Their appearance was no surprise. -more-


New: Two Arrested as Suspects in December Berkeley Shooting

By HannahAlbarazi/JeffShuttleworth (BCN)
Wednesday January 25, 2012 - 10:31:00 AM

Police arrested two teens suspected of injuring two people in a daytime shooting in Berkeley last month, police said. -more-


Press Release: Study Shows Restored Wetlands Rarely Equal Condition of Original Wetlands

By Robert Sanders, UC Berkeley Media Relations
Wednesday January 25, 2012 - 10:45:00 AM

Wetland restoration is a billion-dollar-a-year industry in the United States that aims to create ecosystems similar to those that disappeared over the past century. But a new analysis of restoration projects shows that restored wetlands seldom reach the quality of a natural wetland. -more-


New: Ghosts of the Past: Blake's Re-opening on Telegraph Avenue as Pappy's--a Happy, If Haunted, Reminder of Berkeley's Past

By Ted Friedman
Wednesday January 25, 2012 - 09:54:00 AM
Sleek new lookout at Pappy's, Saturday, retains Blake's view of the Avenue, but not from tables.

Ghosts of Berkeley's Blake's past happily haunt us on Telegraph Avenue.

Don't expect a chronology here, but ever since I can remember, Larry Blake's on upper Teley, has been closing and re-opening. Re-opened once more as Pappy's Bar and Grill, Saturday, it is more Blake's than ever, thanks to "smart" Alex Popov, who runs Smart Alec's next door. -more-