The Week



Press Release: Berkeley Law 2012 Graduation Tomorrow: More Protest Against Torture Lawyer John Yoo

From The World Can't Wait
Thursday May 10, 2012 - 12:29:00 PM

Protesters will denounce torture, and the University of California’s continuing connection to torture, outside tomorrow's commencement ceremony at UC Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall). -more-

Flash: Occupy Reports Police Are Raiding UC Berkeley's Gill Tract Property

Wednesday May 09, 2012 - 08:13:00 AM

The Planet has received this report from Occupy the Farm:

"May 9, 7:00 a.m.: Police are staging to raid the Gill Tract Farm. They have locked and barricaded the gates to the property with dozens of people still inside and have threatened to use 'chemical agents.' -more-

Updated: UC Berkeley Says It Will Seek 'Other Remedies' For Farm Protest--Prof. Altieri to Continue Planting on Site Along with Protesters

By Jeff Shuttleworth
Wednesday May 09, 2012 - 12:15:00 AM

University of California at Berkeley officials said yesterday that they will "pursue other remedies" to cope with protesters who have occupied a 10-acre plot of university-owned agricultural land in Albany for 17 days.

However, university spokesman Dan Mogulof declined to specify what actions the university might take against the protesters.

Late last night,according to a release from Occupy the Farm, UC Berkeley Professor Miguel Altieri, who has been a researcher on the Gill Tract for 31 years, will plant his crops tomorrow, demonstrating that research can exist alongside the Farm. He announced his plan at a university community forum, organized by the Gill Tract Farmers Collective, on the UC Berkeley campus Tuesday evening. -more-

Press Release: Berkeley Police Say Suspect Who Shot at Officers Facing Charges in March Homicide and April Attempt Murder of Five Officers

From Sgt. Mary Kusmiss, BPD PIO
Tuesday May 08, 2012 - 04:22:00 PM

The City of BerkeleyPolice Department (BPD) is announcing that the suspect who shot at officers on April 13, 2012 has been charged with a March 2012 Berkeley homicide in addition to the attempted murder of five officers in an April shooting. -more-

The Agony of Aquatic Park (News Analysis)

By Toni Mester
Monday May 07, 2012 - 01:45:00 PM

A special public hearing before the Berkeley City Council will be held tomorrow night (Tuesday, May 8) at 7 PM in the second floor chambers at 2134 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way (Old City Hall). A single item is on the agenda: zoning changes to the master use permits allowing greater development, including two parcels directly on Bolivar Drive at Aquatic Park. -more-

Amyris Loses Major Mutual Fund Investment

By Richard Brenneman
Monday May 07, 2012 - 09:38:00 AM

Editor's Note: Richard Brenneman has been tracking the sinking fortunes of Amyris, a U.C. Berkeley spin-off which is typical of the kind of companies contemplated by the radical amendments proposed for the West Berkeley Plan and its zoning which the Berkeley City Council seems ready to pass in the next couple of weeks. This story first appeared on his blog, Eats, Shoots 'n' Leaves.

UPDATE: Shares just hit another record low as we were posting. They’re now selling for $2.59.

Companies like to drop bad news on Friday. That’s because few people are interested in news on Saturday.

Amyris, the UC-Berkeley spawned genetic engineering company created by Val “bioengineer” Jay Keasling, dropped a bombshell on Friday afternoon: Their biggest mutual find investor, the Fidelity group of funds, is selling off two thirds of their holdings. -more-

Occupation of UC Berkeley Land Continues for 17th Day

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Tuesday May 08, 2012 - 04:20:00 PM

A standoff between protesters and the University of California at Berkeley over a 10-acre plot of university-owned agricultural land in Albany continued into its 17th day today. -more-

Deliberations Begin in Berkeley Murder Trial

Monday May 07, 2012 - 06:57:00 PM

Jurors today began deliberating the fate of a Berkeley man charged with murder for the shooting death of popular former Berkeley High School student Keith Stephens six years ago. -more-

New: Second Suspect in Berkeley Shooting Pleads Not Guilty

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Monday May 07, 2012 - 06:35:00 PM

A 19-year-old Berkeley man pleaded not guilty today to a murder charge stemming from the shooting death of another man outside a Berkeley liquor store in late March. -more-

West Berkeley Traffic to Worsen (News Analysis)

By Toni Mester
Friday May 04, 2012 - 11:12:00 AM

A second public hearing on the West Berkeley Project (WBP) is scheduled before the City Council on Tuesday May 8 starting at 7 PM, a special meeting with a single item on the agenda: the proposed master use permits allowing increased development. A summary of the first hearing on May 1 can be found on Berkeleyside, and the complete video posted on the City Council web pages. -more-

Press Release: City of Berkeley Gets New Planning Director

From Mary Kay Clunies-Ross, City of Berkeley
Friday May 04, 2012 - 09:31:00 AM

Eric Angstadt, the City of Berkeley’s new Planning Director, started work this week. His appointment was confirmed by the City Council at their April 3 meeting. -more-

Deadline for Protesters Passes, U.C. Berkeley Takes No Action

By Sara Gaiser (BCN)
Sunday May 06, 2012 - 09:27:00 PM

A Saturday deadline for protestors to agree to leave a tract of University of California at Berkeley-owned land voluntarily has passed without a response and university officials now say they are weighing their options. -more-

New: UC Berkeley Offers to Talk With Protesters--After They Leave the Gill Tract

By Sara Gaiser (BCN)
Sunday May 06, 2012 - 09:28:00 AM

University of California at Berkeley officials gave protestors occupying a tract of university-owned land in Albany until midnight last night to agree to leave voluntarily. -more-

Press Release: University of California Releases Draft Report on Response to Campus protests

From Steve Montiel, UC Press Office
Friday May 04, 2012 - 05:27:00 PM

University of California officials today (May 4) released a report that examines policies and practices related to UC responses to campus protests. -more-

Try the Road Scholar Program

By Dorothy Snodgrass
Friday May 04, 2012 - 04:59:00 PM

I received the latest Road Scholar program this afternoon -- something that inevitably gets my juices flowing. What truly fabulous programs they offer -- and at remarkably reasonable prices. -more-



Who Thinks What about Re-Zoning West Berkeley, and How Do We Know?

By Becky O'Malley
Friday May 04, 2012 - 02:04:00 PM

There probably won’t be a new formal editorial posted today because we’ve been spending the morning struggling with our server. For the non-techies among you, that’s a computer, maintained on the premises of a Berkeley computing company, LMI Inc., where the program which produces this website is running. A number of readers have complained that when they click on the site, or on links to the site in emails that I send, it doesn’t come up as expected. And my job of posting articles has become very difficult because the server goes down frequently, stopping my work. -more-


Odd Bodkins: The Phone Number (Cartoon)

By Dan O'Neill
Monday May 07, 2012 - 01:58:00 PM

Public Comment

New: Berkeley ZAB to Make Iceland Decision on Thursday

By Tom Killelea
Tuesday May 08, 2012 - 06:14:00 PM

It appears that the Zoning Board hearing to approve the Sports Basement permit is now May 10, not May 24 as originally expected. This is an extremely short schedule between meetings making preparations to get our voices heard are significantly shortened. If at all possible, please come to the ZAB on Thursday - the only way to make it clear to the City what the community needs is by getting a lot of folks out there. Also, write to the Zoning Board secretary Steven Buckley at protesting the plan and providing your comments on the appropriateness of a 70,000 sq. ft. store in what should be a public community recreation space! -more-

Eric Angstadt--Will He Bring His Bad Habits from Oakland to Berkeley?

By Robert Brokl
Friday May 04, 2012 - 09:29:00 AM

We’ve fielded so many questions recently about “who is Eric Angstadt anyway?”, the person just appointed Berkeley’s Planning Director with a $175,000/year salary. He had a modest resume, just planning in Benecia, before working his way up the chain of command in Oakland’s Planning Dept. to Deputy Director of the Community Economic and Development Agency (CEDA), before the Berkeley switch. We can cite some examples of his planning policies in Oakland, but Angstadt, under the Oakland system of government, flew mostly under the radar. It is safe to describe him as a exemplary graduate of the Jerry Brown finishing school for bureaucrats, a product of the Oakland political milieu. -more-


DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE: Latin America Delivers A Swift Kick

By Conn Hallinan
Friday May 04, 2012 - 02:32:00 PM

On one level, April’s hemispheric summit meeting was an old fashioned butt kicking for Washington’s policies in the region. The White House found itself virtually alone—Dudley Do Right Canada its sole ally—on everything from Cuba to the war on drugs. But the differences go deeper than the exclusion of Havana and the growing body count in Washington’s failed anti-narcotics strategy. They reflect profound disagreements on how to build economies, confront inequity, and reflect a new balance of power in world affairs. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: Consumer Chronicles: Maternity Coverage in Health Insurance Plans

By Ralph E. Stone
Friday May 04, 2012 - 02:34:00 PM

I volunteer at Consumer Action assisting consumers by providing consumers with information and resources to help them solve their consumer complaints. Many consumers are unaware that individual health insurance plans in many states do not cover maternity care. One consumer seeking assistance from Consumer Action was sold an individual health insurance policy that did not include maternity coverage even though he had specifically asked for, and was assured by the insurance company agent, that the policy included such coverage. Now the consumer's wife is pregnant and he doesn't have maternity coverage. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE: Campaign 2012: Show Me the Money

By Bob Burnett
Friday May 04, 2012 - 09:21:00 AM

Six months before the November 6th presidential election, Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney by three percentage points. The most common explanation for the closeness of a race that should be Obama’s to lose is the weak economy. Another explanation is the polarization of electorate: the right has solidified behind Romney but the left hasn’t embraced Obama with the same fervor. But money is the culprit; Republicans have spent more money to affect the final outcome. -more-


By Joe Eaton
Friday May 04, 2012 - 08:43:00 AM
Greater roadrunner: not unlike a dinobird.

My first roadrunner encounter was at my grandmother’s funeral in Arkansas. Well, not at the funeral as such; I had snuck off into the woods behind a cousin’s house for a discreet smoke during the post-funeral dinner. When the outlandish bird came strolling through, we were mutually startled. We made eye contact, but the roadrunner didn’t panic. It flicked its tail a couple of times and kept on going. -more-

SENIOR POWER: Cinco de Mayo

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Friday May 04, 2012 - 09:31:00 AM

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Let's Reduce Expectations

By Jack Bragen
Friday May 04, 2012 - 11:15:00 AM

When someone has suffered a severe episode of mental illness, it has likely frightened and upset them and their family, and the expectations for success in life are sometimes off the table. Remaining stabilized and out of the hospital (and perhaps not wandering the streets in a psychotic state) is often a satisfactory goal. Sometimes it is not necessary and not appropriate to try to do more, such as going to school or getting a job, at least until one is ready. Simply remaining stabilized, for someone with a major mental illness, is often an adequate accomplishment. -more-

Arts & Events

New: Around & About Theater: Mansaku-no Kai, Japanese Classical Comedy, the Counterpoint to Noh

By Ken Bullock
Monday May 07, 2012 - 01:49:00 PM

Most theater-goers are familiar with Noh, at least from photos or in film: spare stage with musicians and chorus sitting on the boards, lead actor in gorgeous brocades and usually a mask, moving in a stylized way--something fantastic, tragedy from myth and legend of the Japanese past ... -more-

Don't Miss This

By Dorothy Snodgrass
Friday May 04, 2012 - 04:56:00 PM

You say that nothing interesting happens in the bay area in May? I beg to differ. Catch some of these intriguing and highly unusual activities: -more-