As many as 50 people have been evacuated from a Berkeley apartment building that burned for nearly four hours early this morning and four buildings surrounding it, a deputy fire chief said.
Two walls of the building at 2227 Dwight Way were evaluated as unsafe and at risk of collapse by a structural engineer this afternoon, Berkeley Deputy Fire Chief Gil Dong said.
Residents of four adjacent buildings will remain displaced until crews can come in tomorrow to resolve the structural issues, as officials fear that a collapse could damage the surrounding buildings, Dong said. -more-
As many as 50 people have been evacuated from a Berkeley apartment building that burned for nearly four hours early this morning and four buildings surrounding it, a deputy fire chief said.
On Thursday, March 8 at about 4:15 a.m., a fire was reported at 2227 Dwight. It was a 2 alarm fire and was ultimately contained at about 8 a.m. Because there was still some smoldering, fire crews monitored the building for the rest of the day. -more-
A two-alarm fire at an apartment building in Berkeley was controlled this morning after burning for nearly four hours, a deputy fire chief said.
The fire was reported at 4:13 a.m. at 2227 Dwight Way, a six-unit building located a few blocks from the University of California at Berkeley campus, Berkeley Deputy Fire Chief Gil Dong said.
The roof of the building collapsed, making it difficult for firefighters to access various hot spots that remain from the blaze, Dong said. The fire was under control at 8:05 a.m., he said. -more-
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A two-alarm fire is burning at an apartment building in Berkeley this morning, a deputy fire chief said.
The fire was reported at 4:13 a.m. at the building at 2227 Dwight Way, a six-unit building located a few blocks from the University of California at Berkeley campus, Berkeley Deputy Fire Chief Gil Dong said. -more-
Editor's Note: Current proposals for developing the area around Aquatic Park in the draft revision of the West Berkeley Plan threaten views and wildlife. This photo essay by two Berkeley artists highlights what's at risk.
Berkeley’s Aquatic Park , an unmanicured, still environment filled with wildlife and accessible to all, sits directly to the east side of busy Interstate 80 and yet gives the feeling of being a wildlife sanctuary. The park, built in 1935 as part of a WPA project, serves today as a wetlands preserve as well as a lovely place for individuals and families to refresh themselves on nature’s beauty.
A convergence of species takes place here. The park is home to many resident and migrating birds, a shelter for animals and a preserve for fish (no fishing permitted). Birds, the last of the few truly free species on earth, take shelter to feed and rest here.
Louis Cuneo and Marcia Poole created these digital prints. Cuneo took the photographs and Poole edited them in such a way that one takes a second, deeper look at the images. She printed them on archival watercolor rag paper with archival inks. Their collaborative work captures a series of moments — the intersections of time and space — in the Japanese tradition of Haiga, the visual form of Haiku. -more-
Public hearings on the Downtown Plan and West Berkeley Project, two development plans that envision significant increases in building heights and mass as well as housing density, begin Tuesday night at the City Council meeting with a public hearing on the Downtown Plan. The meeting starts at 7 PM at City Hall with the public hearing scheduled as the first item on the action calendar. The hearing will be followed by certification of the EIR and adoption of the Downtown Area Plan (DAP 2012) and the first reading of changes to the zoning ordinance and maps. -more-
Last night I attended Berkeleyside’s latest Start-up Forum at the Freight and Salvage. The event yielded one piece of news: panelist Judith Iglehart, Mayor Bates’ new chief of staff, who’s being paid $90,000 (plus benefits) in that position, revealed that she's still working at her old job; she’s still Vice President for International Chapter Development and Operations at Keiretsu Forum. The Keiretsu website describes the organization as “the world’s’ largest angel investor network with…twenty-one chapters on three continents.”
Reminding us that “we’re living in a global economy,” Iglehart reeled off the cities around the world that she’s visited for Keiretsu—Barcelona, Istanbul, and then I lost track—and ended by noting that she was about to return to Istanbul. She responded to several questions by stating that she didn’t know the answer, observing that she’d been in the mayor’s office for only two months. I wondered how much of that time she’d spent jetting off to exotic destinations for Keiretsu. I also wondered why it hasn’t occurred to her or her new boss that paying a public employee $90,000 to do a full-time job part-time is problematic. -more-
If cuts could sting, there was lots of pain in Berkeley, Thursday, as Occupy Oakland teamed up with Occupy Cal for a march from Cal to downtown Oakland to protest cuts in services, classes, and increased tuition. Our students want you to know. -more-
The Berkeley Police Department on Monday provided information on two shooting incidents over the weekend in West Berkeley with a total of six injuries: -more-
A 4.0 magnitude earthquake centered in the East Bay shook the Bay Area early this morning, followed by a second magnitude 2.0 quake about 30 minutes later, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. -more-
On Monday, March 5th, 2012, the City of Berkeley’s Peace and Justice Commission unanimously affirmed a resolution to encourage the Berkeley City Council to express concern over the University of California’s bulldozing of the community garden in the west end of People’s Park on December 28th, 2011, and to halt any further construction or alteration of the park until the People's Park Community Advisory Board has been included in the planning process. -more-
A University of California at Berkeley freshman who fell two stories from the side of a fraternity building and suffered severe head trauma Saturday night remains hospitalized in critical condition, a Berkeley police spokeswoman said Thursday. -more-
A small fire at the University of California at Berkeley this morning forced the evacuation of Etcheverry Hall, fire officials said. -more-
Bay Area Campuses, Including U.C. Berkeley, Participate in National Day of Action for Public Education
Bay Area students are gathering today to protest rising tuition costs and state budget cuts to public education in a wave of demonstrations at U.C. Berkeley and other campuses up and down California. -more-
Approximately two dozen UC Berkeley faculty will join the “99 Mile March for Education and Social Justice” on Friday, March 2nd. The march departs Oakland on Thursday, March 1st, and will arrive in Sacramento on Monday March 5th for a rally on behalf of public education at the State Capitol Building. -more-
A Berkeley High School safety officer has been charged with one count of felony identity theft for allegedly stealing bank account information from a special education teacher and using it to pay his utility bills.
William "Billy" Keys Jr., 41, was arraigned in Alameda County Superior Court on Friday and is scheduled to return to court Monday to enter a plea. He is free on $10,000 bail.
Keys, who graduated from Berkeley High and has worked for the school for about 20 years, was arrested Thursday after he allegedly admitted to Berkeley police Officer Darren Rafferty that the account numbers that he used to pay his bills were not his own. -more-
Living in a university town sometimes feels like being part of the movie “Groundhog Day”. That’s the one where the same scenario repeats and repeats and repeats every day, driving the characters nearly mad in the process. Now the University of California at Berkeley, the distinguished institution which I graduated from some years ago, is doing yet another instant replay of “Let’s Mark People’s Park”.
Or maybe it’s like the old joke about programmers: “Why do programmers take such long showers? Because the label on the shampoo bottle says ‘lather, rinse, repeat.” But you’d probably need to have worked with programmers as much as I have to get that joke. The point is that U.C. seems to have an unshakeable determination to make the same mistakes in their dealings with the Park over and over and over again, following some kind of crazy instruction set that they can’t seem to shake. -more-
Re: Berkeley School Safety Officer Charged with Identity Theft; Gun Violence and Its Impact;The Republicans Are at It Again -more-
Other than the title of the editorial, which I don't think expresses what you meant to say, this is certainly the most thoughtful and well composed piece that I have seen written in the BDP. I think you meant to say that 'this sort of thing is predictable', not that it 'could have been predicted'; the title you chose is inaccurate and has an inflammatory feeling.It is clearly predictable that there will be fatalities when cars are driven, but a particular fatality is not predictable based on that knowledge alone. -more-
Editor's Note: The latest issue of the Pepper Spray Times is now available.
You can view it absolutely free of charge by clicking here . You can print it out to give to your friends.
Grace Underpressure has been producing it for many years now, even before the Berkeley Daily Planet started distributing it, most of the time without being paid, and now we'd like you to show your appreciation by using the button below to send her money. -more-
I think this is a letter to the editor. -more-
In her article, “People with Potential” (Daily Planet and ACCESS blog of the American Jewish Committee, Friday, Feb 17), Wendy Kenin provides brief reports on the activities of four people, two Palestinians and two Israeli Jews, who, she avers, “speak sanely about how to move forward” with respect to what she describes as “Palestine-Israel peace.” I have been trying to think deeply and respectfully about Kenin’s piece, since I believe her underlying assumptions to be far more serious in their implications than her cheerful, bouncy tone suggests.
Kenin is not careful with language. The “meaning” range of many of her words tends to be broad and blurry and thus open to multiple interpretations. Therefore, I will start by deconstructing the title of her piece, which, in full, on both websites (and, therefore, I will assume, provided by her) is “People with Potential: Providing Sanity to the US’ Struggle for Israel’s Peace” (note the parallel with “speak sanely,” above).
Just in passing, “sanity” is a word that rings bells for me; we all, I’m sure, remember John Gertz in the pages of the Daily Planet promising to restore “sanity” to the Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission (a commission on which by what I am sure is total coincidence Kenin now serves.) “Sanity,” one comes to realize, is reserved to those who support Israel. Critics are medicalized as “insane” or sociopathologized as “anti-Semites” or, as the case may be, “self-hating Jews.” In either case, obviously, no considered response is required from any sane or nonsociopathic person.
Anyway, what exactly does Kenin mean by “the US’ [sic] struggle” or, for that matter, “Israel’s peace”? She is not addressing potential actions by the U.S. government or even by any organized nongovernmental bodies nor, with one partial exception to which I will return, is she addressing possibilities for peace in Israel—not, I might mention, that Israel really needs any help on the issue, let alone “struggle,” since the country is at peace and has been so (with the multiple exceptions of its many wars of choice) since 1973, the one and only time in its existence Israel has ever been attacked. As for internal terrorist attacks, for what are probably multiple reasons they stopped years ago; recent Israeli polls show security concerns to rank far below other issues, such as housing or the ultraorthodox, which are far more pressing for ordinary Israelis. -more-
Last week, Berkeley moved forward a small step forward towards new civil rights and civil liberties protections. In this note I will share some of my personal reflections on this accomplishment. This is not a statement of the Coalition for a Safe Berkeley or the Peace and Justice Commission. -more-
When someone with mental illness is presumed guilty of a crime, it's all over the news, and this promotes the misconception that mentally ill people are automatically criminals and that criminals are automatically mentally ill. Persons with mental illness are far more likely to be victims of crimes than perpetrators of them. -more-
There are two tales about the crisis in Syria.
In one, the vast majority of Syrians have risen up against the brutality of a criminal dictatorship. The government of Bashar al Assad is on the ropes, isolated regionally and internationally, and only holding on because Russia and China vetoed United Nations intervention. U.S. Secretary to State Hillary Clinton describes Assad as “a war criminal,” and President Barak Obama called him a “dead man walking.”
In the other, a sinister alliance of feudal Arab monarchies, the U.S. and its European allies, and al-Qaeda mujahedeen are cynically using the issue of democracy to overthrow a government most Syrians support, turn secular Syria into an Islamic stronghold, and transform Damascus into a loyal ally of Washington and Saudi Arabia against Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. -more-
Rather than move forward, Republicans wants America to return to the fifties. They’ve resurrected Cold War themes: plutocracy, patriarchy, and militarism. Plutocracy: Today’s GOP wants America to be run by the 1 percent. Patriarchy: Republicans regard American women as second-class citizens, who should have no access to birth control. Militarism: GOP presidential candidates want a gargantuan military and believe the United States should prepare to “drop the big one” on Iran. -more-
If you haven't read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest -- The Millennium Trilogy -- by the late Swedish mystery writer Stieg Larsson, you are among the very few who haven't. All three books spent much time on best seller lists. The Hornets' Nest is still on the National Best-Seller list and has been for 78 weeks. The Dragon Tattoo and Played With Fire are on the National Paperback Best-Seller list. By December 2010, over 65 million copies of The Trilogy had been sold worldwide. -more-
Word has been out for a while about federal plans for lethal control of barred owls in the range of the endangered spotted owl, but the first media coverage I’ve seen was a short Associated Press article on page A12 of Wednesday’s Chronicle. The story covered Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s announcement of a new critical habitat designation for the northern spotted owl, oddly described (by the AP writer, not by Salazar) as a “passive, one-pound bird”, and a concurrent plan to remove “selected barred owls.” -more-
Shortly before her death in 1998, Bella Abzug declared "They used to give us a day-- it was called International Women's Day. In 1975 they gave us a year, the Year of the Woman. Then from 1975 to 1985 they gave us a decade, the Decade of the Woman. I said at the time, who knows, if we behave they may let us into the whole thing. Well, we didn't behave and here we are." -more-
Noncompliance of people with schizophrenia with treatment including not taking medication has been a problem for a very long time that adversely affects many people's quality of life. The dilemma between protecting someone's civil rights (which we fought for in order to improve the conditions of our lives and which was intended to prevent inhumane treatment in mental health facilities) versus protecting a person essentially from their own folly (because of the willingness of many people with schizophrenia to let a mind-altering disease go untreated) has been a major issue of contention for decades. -more-
MY COMMONPLACE BOOK (a diary of excerpts copied from printed books, with comments added by the reader.)
You have every right to be happy no matter what. If other people are unhappy, you do the best you can for them . . . but you do not deny yourself happiness on their account. It does them no real good if you do. On the contrary . . . so be happy for other people’s sake as well as for your own sake. And if you believe in God, be happy for God’s sake too because that is what God created you to be.— Frederick Buechner (clergyman, author), from The Clown in the Belfry(a book for young people) -more-
Forwarded by a friend:
Thursday, March 1 begins a series of nationwide actions around public education coordinated by Occupy Education. At UC Berkeley, March 1 will include a daylong student strike, an Open University, a noon rally on Sproul Plaza, and a march to Oakland where we will converge with other East Bay schools at Oscar Grant Plaza. While the massive cuts to public education in California have clear roots in the systemic failures of our state government and financial system, we cannot ignore the active role upper administrators at the UC continue to play in the privatization of our university. Nor can we afford to forget that administrators like Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and Provost George Breslauer have repeatedly ordered the brutal criminalization of Cal students, faculty, workers, and community members. We will kick off March 1 at UC Berkeley with a protest against the UC administration for its mishandling of university resources and repression of campus activism. Please join us at 7:30am to begin this protest outside of California Hall—where much of the upper administration works (including Chancellor Birgeneau). -more-
Arts & Events
Eva Soltes' long-awaited film, Lou Harrison: A World of Music, is just as charming, playful and soulful as its titular subject. It is only now that Harrison (who died in 2003) is becoming recognized as one of the greatest composers of the 20th century. A World of Music will certainly help bring Harrison's genius to a larger audience. -more-
Screening at the Green Film Festival in San Francisco, March 7, 7:30/
Closing night premiere and party at the SF Film Society Cinema, 1748 Post St.
Just Do It, Emily James' bright and engaging eco-doc, takes a cheeky reality-show look at environmental activism. A big hit in the UK, where much of the action is set, Just Do It has finally "crossed the pond." (In addition to the Green Film Fest screening, Just Do It will be showing at college campuses and Occupy encampments across the country. For info on scheduling a "community screening" see the contact info at the end of this review.)
With dry British wit and droll commentary, the film documents the lifestyle of a fun-loving clutch of creative and good-natured British activists. Filmmaker James was given rare permission to tag along for more than a year as this eclectic group of "professional domestic extremists" busied themselves by "hiding, running around" and generally proving a good-humored annoyance to the 1%. This is the world of Climate Camp, an ad hoc collective of environmental activists who take their agit-prop cue from Greenpeace. -more-
At Zellerbach Playhouse on the UC Berkeley Campus, the opening scene of John Fisher’s ISHI, the last of the Yahi, appropriately enough, is a lecture by a young anthropology professor who relates the shocking incident—enacted for us—of a starving gold prospector who kills and eats a Native American. In the first of many action scenes, the prospector chases him around the spacious Playhouse underscored by banjo breakdown music (think “Smokey and the Bandit”). Finally, the weakened prospector shoots the Indian and eats him (offstage). -more-
EYE FROM THE AISLE: Henne’s MESMERIC REVELATION at Central Works at Berkeley City Club —exquisite and challenging!
MESMERIC REVELATION, written and directed by Aaron Henne, is a special play of intellectual depth and exquisite performance now at Central Works at the Berkeley City Club. It is appropriate that Aaron Henne should present this profound and concentrated 80-minute argument in this special community. It might not play in Peoria, but for those theatre-goers who have a sense of intellectual history and are concerned about the current cultural battles, this is a must-see. -more-
One sometimes takes a shine to a particular theatre company, perhaps out of a combination of the sustained quality of their work, their effort at keeping it affordable, and their aim to reach an audience that is not just made up of folks my gray age. For me, IMPACT THEATRE is one of those few. -more-
My name is the Lorax and I speak for the trees.
So how'd I get sucked up in Hollywood sleeze?
My message was lost in the Stremulous Stream!
Even Swomee-swans told me to "Get with the Team!"
"My films are not fiction, but about fiction." Raul Ruiz, the Chilean filmmaker, who over a 50 year-plus career was playwright, novelist, ghostwriter for Mexican soap operas ("telenovelas"), film advisor to Salvador Allende—and maker of something like 120 films and videos—died last summer at 70. This weekend, the Pacific Film Archive will launch "The Library Lover," curated by Kathy Geritz, March 2-April 15, a retrospective of some of his films adapted from literature—including his acclaimed version of Proust's 'Time Regained' and 'Mysteries of Lisbon,' the last film of his to be distributed here, widely pronounced a masterpiece, from the 19th century Portuguese novelist Camilo Castelo Branco (whose works have also been adapted to the screen by Manoel De Oliveira). -more-
'In Search of My Father ... Walkin' Talkin' Bill Hawkins'--W. Allen Taylor at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts
"Hey, Daddy-oo!" Allen Taylor's brought back his one-man show about the search for his father, the first Black disc jockey in Cleveland, Walkin' Talkin' Bill Hawkins. He says it's for the last time onstage—at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, a fine venue off Macdonald near Richmond BART, which originally commissioned it and where it premiered in 1999. (I reviewed it for the Planet, January 10, 2006, when it was at the Marsh, Berkeley.) -more-