News

New: Berkeley Post Office Rally Highlights Opposition to Sale

By Steven Finacom
Tuesday July 24, 2012 - 11:25:00 PM
Grey Brechin

The ongoing public protest to keep the Downtown Berkeley Post Office from being “relocated”, and the historic building sold, continued Tuesday evening with a rally on the steps of the building. When the event started I counted about 75 people, and the crowd grew to around 100 before the end. -more-


New: Broken Elevator Forces Berkeley Council to Postpone Tuesday Meeting

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Wednesday July 25, 2012 - 06:03:00 PM

The Berkeley City Council was forced to postpone its meeting last night because the elevator at the aging building where it meets broke down, city spokeswoman Mary Kay Clunies-Ross said. -more-


New: Kriss Worthington's Press Conference Announcing That He's Running to be Mayor of Berkeley--A Complete Transcription

Recorded and Transcribed by Thomas Lord
Tuesday July 24, 2012 - 05:51:00 PM

EDITOR'S NOTE:

Planet reader and occasional contributor Thomas Lord attended and recorded this press conference at noon today and offered his transcription to us for publication. This is unconventional journalism, of course, but we think that some of our readers will appreciate the opportunity to read the whole thing. Tom asked us to emphasize that this is a rush job and probably contains errors--corrections welcome. -more-


Worthington to Run for Mayor

Tuesday July 24, 2012 - 08:41:00 AM

Berkeley Councilmember Kriss Worthington has informed the Planet that he will run for mayor this November. He plans to take out nomination petitions at noon today at Berkeley City Hall. Already in the race are 3-term incumbent mayor Tom Bates, former District 8 Council candidate Jacquelyn McCormick, poet Mark Schwartz and perennials Running Wolf and Khalil Jacobs-Fantuzzi. -more-


New: Worthington Wants to be Mayor of Berkeley (News Analysis)

By Ted Friedman
Wednesday July 25, 2012 - 10:13:00 AM
Back to our futures. Kriss Worthington announces his opposition to Tom Bates--will oppose him on November ballot.

Kriss Worthington has a steep climb on his journey to unseat Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates in November, but he took the first step Tuesday on the steps of City Hall. -more-


I Was a Tourist In People's Park (First Person)

By Ted Friedman
Friday July 20, 2012 - 10:26:00 AM
Meet here, the West end, to begin your tour.

Before the tour busses roll in (see our accompanying Planet piece), I want tourists to know I was here first. -more-


Will The World Watch Berkeley's People's Park Again?

By Ted Friedman
Friday July 20, 2012 - 10:42:00 AM
Telegraph business-man, property-owners president Craig Becker reads Chronicle story on People's Park tourism.

The whole world may again be watching Berkeley's People's Park, if Southside supporters have their way. The last time the whole world watched was 1969—"the Battle for People's Park."

But the whole world's attention can be fickle, and has, over the years, fizzled. I've kept a tourist watch in Berkeley's People's Park for several years, and can report no more than ten tourist sightings, and a few unpublished interviews with them.

The question is whether tourism on Telegraph Avenue has not also fizzled.

Numerous Teley businessmen, and the city's economic planners, attest to tourism declines on Telegraph Avenue. -more-


Press Release: A Practical People’s Platform- Things a Berkeley Mayor could accomplish

From Mayoral Candidate Kriss Worthington
Tuesday July 24, 2012 - 09:15:00 AM

1. FAMILY FRIENDLY COUNCIL MEETINGS: City Council meetings should be moved to a larger room when a controversial proposal is likely to attract a large crowd. This will reduce the frustration factor of people forced to wait outside or in the hallways. People with children, people with jobs the next morning, and disabled residents will be less likely to give up and go home. Any small cost for live television broadcasting is worth it to promote democratic participation.

2. MORE MEETINGS ORGANIZED MORE EFFECTIVELY: Planning Department Public Hearings on ZAB appeals should be scheduled at special meetings with nothing else on the agenda. Staff and management from other departments should not be subjected to hours of unnecessary delay. The number of City Council meetings per year has been decreased. The convenience of hundreds of members of the public is more important than the convenience of nine City Council members. Increasing the number of Council meetings to what they used to be is not an unreasonable burden. -more-


New: The Death of Dude: Berkeley's People's Park Dog Murder

By Ted Friedman
Tuesday July 24, 2012 - 09:22:00 AM

Murder of a People's Park dog, Saturday, 12:45 a.m., has deeply wounded People's Park regulars, for whom the dog was a beloved figure. The regulars are calling it murder by many names, but homicide is the main category. -more-


TOM BATES AND THE SECRET GOVERNMENT OF BERKELEY
Excerpt 5

By John Curl
Thursday July 19, 2012 - 10:00:00 PM

Copyright © 2012 by John Curl. All rights reserved.

This is the fifth in a series of excerpts from John Curl’s long article about Mayor Bates and his effects on the city. The article follows Bates and the progressive movement in city government from its beginnings to today, based on extensive quotes from Bates’ own oral history and interviews with other players in the political events. In this excerpt Bates discusses Congressman Ronald V. Dellums, his mentor; Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, his teacher; Assemblymember Dion Aroner, his aide and successor; his frustrated ambitions for higher office; his ouster from the Assembly by term limits; and his difficulties while out of office while his wife, Loni Hancock, was becoming increasingly successful. You can also download a Full PDF. of the entire article.> -more-


New: Rally Planned Against Berkeley Post Office Sale

By Steven Finacom
Friday July 20, 2012 - 05:51:00 PM
An early postcard shows Berkeley’s Downtown Main Post Office, probably not long after its completion in 1914. (Courtesy, Berkeley Historical Society)

“We’re going to stop them. They picked the wrong building in the wrong town”, geographer Gray Brechin firmly told a crowd of about 100 concerned locals who came to Berkeley’s Hillside Club on short notice Friday evening, July 20, 2012, to discuss what could be done to save Berkeley’s busy and historic Downtown Post Office building from closure and sale. -more-


Police in Berkeley and Elsewhere Get White Powder

By Sasha Lekach (BCN)
Saturday July 21, 2012 - 11:52:00 PM

An envelope filled with white powder was delivered to a San Francisco police station this morning, as well as at the Oakland Police Department Friday evening, San Francisco and Oakland police said. -more-


Bon Appetit in Berkeley

By Dorothy Snodgrass
Friday July 20, 2012 - 11:38:00 AM

While not widely acclaimed for its Epicurean taste in fine food, Berkeley nonetheless boasts dozens of great restaurants and cafes. Offering a wide choice of food, from plain, no-nonsense dishes to ultra gourmet cuisine, you won't go hungry believe me! Depending on your appetite and your financial situation, you may want to try one or two of these popular eateries: -more-


In Memoriam Arlene Sagan: 1928-2012

By Ken Bullock (From SFCV, with permission)
Tuesday July 31, 2012 - 09:37:00 AM

Arlene Sagan, 84, died on July 5 in her Berkeley home, where she lived since 1955. She was music director emeritus of the 180-plus voice Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra (BCCO), which she directed from 1988, when it was a 30-voice group, until her retirement last year, and of Bella Musica Chorus — just two among many Bay Area musical groups and projects with which she was deeply involved.

With the news of Sagan’s death, members of Bella Musica gathered at her home to sing in commemoration of her life and work. Ann Callaway, Bella Musica composer in residence, remarked: “When we all got together, we went up to her room where she was lying and sang for her, and the words to Sibelius’ ‘Finlandia Hymn,’ about ‘love’ and ‘community,’ seemed so ... her. ... We even managed to do ‘How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place’ from the Brahms Requiem.”

Tributes and memorial statements poured into the organizations Sagan led, recalling (as Callaway put it) her “very deep personal connections with people through music, her dedication to music” itself, and her longtime, firm commitment to include amateur singers, including many who couldn’t read music or who’d never sung before, in practice and performance of “major, difficult choral works, such as Brahms’ Requiem and Orff’s Carmina Burana. -more-