Local Theaters Demand Statistics from Reviewers

By Becky O'Malley
Friday May 18, 2012 - 11:11:00 AM

What is it about “free” that’s so hard to understand?

Someone who frequently provides the Planet—gratis—with his excellent reviews of local theater productions forwarded to us a letter he received which displays the truly remarkable sense of entitlement which afflicts some members of the Bay Area theatrical industry.

It’s from the flacks who work for a few local theaters—oh sorry, from “PR representatives for nine of the most prominent theaters in the Bay Area.” -more-

Public Comment

New: The Chronicle Wipes Palestine Off the Map

By Gar Smith
Saturday May 19, 2012 - 01:57:00 PM

Note: The following is a copy of a letter to the editor sent to the San Francisco Chronicle and to Michael Collier, the paper's National-Foreign Editor. Since a week has passed with no response, I am now sharing this letter with the Daily Planet.

Dear Editors:

The Chronicle's World section for Sunday, May 12, contained a curious inconsistency. The first three pages featured six stories, five of which were introduced with "sky heads" identifying the location of the story—Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan, Greece and Russia. The only exception to this rule was the story about the imminent destruction of farming villages in the West Bank. Instead of a sky head reading "Palestine," "West Bank," or "Occupied Territories," readers were offered a region—"Middle East."

Also curious: While the headline on the original AP story read "In West Bank, barrier threatens Roman terraces," the Chronicle reconfigured the headline to read "Ancient ways threatened in farming village." -more-

Destroying West Berkeley = $ for City Employees and Developers

By Barbara Gilbert
Friday May 18, 2012 - 11:11:00 AM

After years of mismanagement and denial, the City is at the end of the fiscal line. There is over $1B in unfunded liabilities for employee benefits and capital improvements and inadequate annual revenues to keep up with annual costs. About $262M, about 80% of the City budget of $325M, goes toward employee costs, with almost nothing left over to put toward these unfunded liabilities. The City has even cut worthwhile community social service agencies just to preserve its own employee structure. -more-

Berkeley/Albany/UC Police Want Armored Vehicle

By Gene Bernardi SuperBOLD, Berkeley
Friday May 18, 2012 - 12:29:00 PM

Three North Alameda County Police Departments; Berkeley, U.C. and Albany, known as the North County Tactical Working Group (NCTWG) have identified common concerns which have “a nexus to terrorism”. Mentioned are these large incidents: Cal Games, Solano Stroll and “in progress crimes or warrant services”. The plan is to request funding for an Armored Tactical Intervention Vehicle from the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) a Homeland Security program now in place in Berkeley, and apparently the adjoining agencies. -more-

We Need to Change Our System to Protect All

By Romila Khanna
Friday May 18, 2012 - 11:11:00 AM

Enough is enough. How many more shooting deaths will turn the attention of our lawmakers and attorneys towards ending the easy access to guns and other firearms to end the untimely deaths in neighborhood? -more-

Jesse vs. Mayor Tom Bates?

By Merrilie Mitchell
Monday May 21, 2012 - 05:57:00 PM

Remember the saying, “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” -more-

New: Bank of America Refuses to Meet with Community People

By Harry Brill
Saturday May 19, 2012 - 12:32:00 PM

A delegation of nine of us, peaceful and mainly senior citizens from ages 60 to 85 years walked into the Albany branch of the Bank of America to discuss with the bank manager community concerns about its foreclosure practices and its poor record of providing mortgage modifications to homeowners in trouble. Also, the BofA has recently agreed to reduce mortgages up to 35 percent on homes whose value is lower than the mortgage payments. We want to make sure that the Bank fulfills its promise. -more-

Is the Climate Change Movement a Grassroots Movement?

By Vivian Warkentin
Friday May 18, 2012 - 12:54:00 PM

Is the Climate Change movement actually a grassroots movement, or a well-funded top-down power grab which has hijacked the grassroots? -more-