Berkeley Chancellor Birgenau to Step Down at End of Year

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Tuesday March 13, 2012 - 01:40:00 PM

University of California at Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau announced today that he will step down at the end of the year after more than eight years of heading the campus. -more-

The Santorum Strategy (News Analysis)

By George Lakoff, Reader Supported News
Monday March 12, 2012 - 10:29:00 PM

The Santorum Strategy is not just about Santorum. It is about pounding the most radical conservative ideas into the public mind by constant repetition during the Republican presidential campaign, whether by Santorum himself, by Gingrich or Ron Paul, by an intimidated Romney, or by the Republican House majority. The Republican presidential campaign is about a lot more than the campaign for the presidency. It is about guaranteeing a radical conservative future for America. I am old enough to remember how liberals (me included) made fun of Ronald Reagan as a not-too-bright mediocre actor who could not possibly be elected president. I remember liberals making fun of George W.Bush as so ignorant and ill-spoken that Americans couldn't possibly take him seriously. Both turned out to be clever politicians who changed America much for the worse. And among the things they and their fellow conservatives managed to do was change public discourse, and with it, change how a great many Americans thought. -more-

Berkeley Police Officers Express Concern About Chief's Action

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Monday March 12, 2012 - 10:26:00 PM

Berkeley police officers are expressing concern about Police Chief Michael Meehan's decision to send an officer to a reporter's home early Friday morning to demand a correction to a story about a community meeting on a recent high-profile crime.

Members of the Berkeley Police Association, which represents the city's officers, said in a statement that they "stand with our community and share in their concerns about the appearance and correctness of the chief's orders."

They also said they "are gravely concerned about the impact his actions will have on our ability to maintain the vital trust of the community we serve."

Police union members said, "We are committed to providing the best possible service to the community, and protecting the constitutional rights of the citizens of Berkeley to whom we ultimately answer."

They said, "We do not believe that the actions tak en by Chief Meehan represent the will, spirit, or sentiment of the membership of the Berkeley Police Association." -more-

Press Release: Statement on Recent Incident Involving Chief of Police and a Member of the Press

From Anthony Sanchez for Councilmember Jesse Arreguin
Wednesday March 14, 2012 - 09:58:00 AM

Sending a police officer in the middle of the night to a reporter’s house to ask for changes to a story is flat-out inappropriate and just plain wrong. It is a serious trespass that treads dangerously close to State censorship of the Press. Chief Meehan has taken full responsibility for the incident, apologizing for his grave error and assuring the City, the Public, and the Press that it will never happen again. -more-

Updated: The Deal's Gone Down [maybe]: Oakland's Angstadt Reported to be Berkeley's New Planning Director

By Becky O'Malley
Monday March 12, 2012 - 03:41:00 PM

UPDATE at 7: Well, not so fast. When we raised the question in the public comment period that preceded today's special 5:30 Berkeley City Council meeting, councilmembers roundly denied that Oakland's Eric Angstadt already had a lock on the city's director of planning job. -more-

Statements from City Manager and Police Chief

Saturday March 10, 2012 - 11:42:00 PM

Editor's note: These statements were published on the blog at 2:30 on Saturday afternoon. After I wrote to the city manager at 5.58 p.m. asking why they were never sent to the Planet, we received a copy at about 6:15. While city staff is brushing up on media etiquette, someone might take the time to compile a press list through which they can release information to all media outlets at the same time. -more-

Berkeley Hills Murder Update: Raucous North Side Mob Charmed by Berkeley Police

By Ted Friedman
Friday March 09, 2012 - 04:26:00 PM
Chief Meehan, to right, 3rd, taking the heat Thursday night at community meeting on Hills murder. Officer White, left; Dispatch supervisor Lauborough, middle

Berkeley police representatives charmed an initially raucous mob assembled at Northbrae Community Church Thursday night to discuss last month's murder in the hills. -more-

Watch Out for Whales in the Bay

By Scott Morris (BCN)
Friday March 09, 2012 - 04:24:00 PM

At least one gray whale was spotted in San Francisco Bay near Alcatraz Island again today, and the U.S. Coast Guard is alerting boaters of the location of whales so that mariners can steer clear, a Coast Guard officer said.

There have been several whale sightings in the Bay over the last several days, including a mother and a young calf, as whales are migrating from breeding areas near Mexico to feeding areas near Alaska, officials from the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary said.

This morning at least one gray whale has been seen near Blossom Rock, a submerged rock near Yerba Buena Island. -more-