The Week



Press Release: Final UC Report on Protests and Policing Released

From University of California Office of the President
Thursday September 13, 2012 - 12:34:00 PM

The final "Response to Protests on UC Campuses" report was released by the University of California today (Sept. 13).

The report from UC General Counsel Charles F. Robinson and UC Berkeley Law School Dean Christopher F. Edley Jr. includes 49 recommendations and synthesizes months of inquiry into best practices for handling demonstrations, civil disobedience and free-speech issues related to protests throughout the 10 campuses of the UC system.

The report is online at -more-

Fire at Berkeley Duplex Causes $700,000 Damage

By Bay City News
Monday September 10, 2012 - 07:59:00 PM

A two-alarm fire at a two-story duplex in Berkeley this afternoon caused an estimated $700,000 in damage and displaced seven residents, according to Berkeley Deputy Fire Chief Gil Dong. -more-

Fiancee of Chilean Man Killed in Berkeley Asks Public to Help Find Killers

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Wednesday September 12, 2012 - 12:42:00 PM

The fiancée of Adolfo Ignacio Celedon Bravo today marked the second anniversary of his shooting death in Berkeley by asking people to come forward to help police find and arrest his killers. -more-

New: Chronicle Covers Up 'Green-on-Blue Deaths' in Afghanistan

By Gar Smith
Saturday September 08, 2012 - 10:21:00 PM

On August 13, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on the tragic death of US Marine Capt. Matthew Manoukian. The Chron cited a Pentagon report that claimed the Los Altos Hills native was killed "while conducting combat operations" in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Chronicle reporter Henry K. Lee should have questioned the Pentagon's account. -more-

New: Unfunded Liabilities And The New Berkeley Police Contract (News Analysis)

By Shannon Brown
Saturday September 08, 2012 - 10:51:00 AM

The city has published a draft of its proposed three-year contract (we are currently in year two) with the Police Union. Unfortunately, the draft does not include all the demographic and actuarial information that is necessary for a complete understanding of its terms, but some analysis is possible and useful. -more-

Where in the World is West Berkeley? (News Analysis)

By Toni Mester
Friday September 07, 2012 - 04:32:00 PM

At a League of Women Voters meeting, convened in late July to discuss the West Berkeley Project and other ballot measures, a member asked for a definition of West Berkeley. Where exactly is West Berkeley, she wanted to know, west of Sacramento or San Pablo Avenue? The location matters, because when it comes to real estate, geography is fate.

For the purposes of the master use permit ordinance, now known as Measure T, West Berkeley refers to the manufacturing zones (M zones) west of San Pablo Avenue. The ordinance, a revision of the 1993 West Berkeley Plan, relaxes zoning restrictions there to allow for 75 foot buildings of greater mass (floor area ratio) on sites of 4 acres or more and permits new uses like R&D, biotech labs, offices, and denser residential development.

Mayor Tom Bates and other supporters of the measure say it will bring jobs and revenue while opponents believe that the up-zoning will spur land speculation and degrade existing homes and businesses. The environmental report commissioned by the City found that the main impacts will be worsening traffic congestion including ten failing intersections or freeway ramps. -more-

Planning Commission Special Workshop On MUP Community Benefits to Be Held on Wednesday

Friday September 07, 2012 - 12:38:00 PM

Three consecutive weekly meetings on master use permit community benefits for West Berkeley have been scheduled:

1. Sept. 12 - Planning Commission Special Meeting – Workshop On MUP Community Benefits
2. Sept. 19 - Planning Commission Public Hearing On MUP Community Benefits
3. Oct. 3 - Planning Commission MUP Community Benefits Discussion

The Community Benefit Concept: The concept of municipalities requiring developers of large-scale developments to return ''benefits'' to the community is well established across the country. In the case of West Berkeley, the Master Use Permit, as compared to the existing, underlying zoning, gives developers the potential ability to build higher and more massively, to have greater lattitude in allowable uses, and to request reductions in required parking. These entitlements are expected to provide significantly greater profits for developers taking advantage of a Master Use Permit. The logic of Community Benefits says that the City is entitled to require a developer to return a percentage of this greater, MUP-facilitated profit to the community in the form of ''benefits'', either through fees, programs, or other on-the-ground methods.

Berkeley Schools, the Billionaires, and the New Superintendent (News Analysis)

By Thomas Lord
Thursday September 06, 2012 - 10:34:00 PM

Billionaires such as Bill Gates and Eli Broad (pronounced brōd) use charitable donations to school districts, schools, and education professionals to change public education policy nationwide. Berkeley feels its share of influence from these billionaires.

In 2003, the Gates Foundation helped Berkeley High School transition to a small schools model, a policy Gates was aggressively pushing nationwide. Today in 2012, the Broad Foundation has influenced the school district's choice for a new superintendent. -more-

Press Release: Public Meeting for Proposed Relocation of Berkeley Post Office to Be Held on Thursday at 11 a.m.

From Augustine Ruiz, Jr., San Jose
Monday September 10, 2012 - 07:56:00 PM

A public meeting will be held to explain the proposal and hear comments on the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) proposal to sell and relocate the Berkeley Main Post Office, 2000 Allston Way Berkeley, CA 94704. The public meeting will be held Thursday, September 13, 2012, 11:00 a.m., at the City Hall chambers, 2180 Milvia Street, Berkeley CA. -more-

Three Other Towns Eat Berkeley-Albany Solano Stroll

By Ted Friedman
Monday September 10, 2012 - 11:46:00 PM
In the beginning of epic stroll. The Oaks, now dark, may come back as a brew-pub, according to applications posted on the theater door for food and wine permits on behalf of Gordon Properties.

Some other towns came to town Sunday to stroll Solano Avenue, a guesstimated mob, the population of Berkeley, Albany, and Richmond joined. -more-

Nature Shows Its Right Angles

Story and photos by Gar Smith
Friday September 07, 2012 - 04:33:00 PM

Gertrude Stein's observation, "There is no straight line in nature," has prompted critics to supply a long list of nature's linear rebuttals—the path of a falling acorn on a windless day, the flat membrane that forms at the merging of two soap-bubbles, the hexagonal walls of a honeycomb, the edge of a crystal, a stand of bamboo. -more-

Press Release: Berkeley Citizens Action Candidate Endorsement Convention on September 16

From Linda Franklin
Wednesday September 12, 2012 - 11:03:00 AM

The Berkeley Citizens Action Candidate Endorsement Convention will be held on Sunday, Sept 16 from 1:30-5pm at the South Berkeley Senior Center, 2939 Ellis Street at Ashby Avenue. -more-

Election Update

Friday September 07, 2012 - 10:02:00 AM

Here are previous Planet articles with information and opinion about Berkeley’s November election:

ENDORSEMENT SPECIAL: Berkeley Mayor and City Council 09-05-2012

Berkeley Heats Up For the Fall Election Season 08-29-2012

Press Release: Bates and Berkeley Council Violated Brown Act in Measure S Process, Says ACLU in Letter From Bob Offer-Westort, Berkeley Standing Up for the Right to Sit Down; Michael T. Risher, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California: 415 621 2493 09-06-2012

There's Something About Tom Bates (News Analysis) By Ted Friedman 09-01-2012

New: Berkeley Election News in Other Media 09-04-2012

Profiles of the Candidates for Berkeley Office in the November Election From the Berkeley City Clerk 08-28-2012

Berkeley Mayoral Candidates Forum on Sept 26th By Margot Smith 08-29-2012

Election Information: 2012 Berkeley Ballot Measures 08-29-2012

Berkeley's General Election Calendar From the Berkeley City Clerk 08-29-2012

Jacquelyn McCormick for Mayor (Opinion) By Martha Nicoloff 08-29-2012 -more-



Odd Bodkins: The Terrorist (Cartoon)

By Dan O'Neill
Saturday September 08, 2012 - 12:14:00 PM

Public Comment

New: Berkeley Police Chief and City Manager Flip Flop on Police Department Agreements

By Gene Bernardi
Monday September 10, 2012 - 11:39:00 PM

The Berkeley Municipal Code requires that all terms and conditions of agreements with law enforcement agencies must be presented to the City Council in writing and copies of these agreements be made available to the public at least 10 days before the public hearing. THE HEARING IS SCHEDULED FOR THE TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 18, 2012, 7pm CITY COUNCIL MEETING UNDER ITEM 10a. -more-

New: When in Rome...See How Well They Use Their Post Offices

By Antonio Rossmann
Monday September 10, 2012 - 08:15:00 PM

The four of us are here on sabbatical, the girls having just started school at St. Stephen's yesterday. Just before we left in August Gray Brechin brought our firm and the National Trust together to knock heads on the Berkeley Post Office threat. But rather than litigation, section 106 review, and the like, perhaps our Italian cousins offer a better solution. -more-

Press Release: Berkeley City Council That Opposed Main Post Office Sale Holds First Public Meeting With Postal Service Representative

From Harvey Smith and Gray Brechin
Friday September 07, 2012 - 12:33:00 PM

The U.S. Postal Service, through its designated real estate agent CBRE, is conducting a fire sale of America’s historic and architecturally distinguished post offices. Built to the highest standards and with the finest materials, those buildings and the New Deal artworks they often contain are the anchor for many U.S. cities and towns. They were designed to educate those who used them and to inspire pride in a universal public service honestly and efficiently conducted, and they are often beloved community landmarks. Many are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. -more-

New: A Letter the Chronicle Didn't Publish:
PG&E Admits Nuclear Power Isn't Needed!

Monday September 10, 2012 - 11:41:00 PM

It is to be expected that PG&E and Southern Cal Edison would collectively oppose SB843 and AB1990 -- two promising renewable energy bills ("Big utilities fight solar legislation," August 28, 2012). Proponents argue that expanding the state's use of clean, unlimited solar power could generate 2 gigawatts of electricity or "roughly the equivalent of two nuclear reactors." -more-

September Pepper Spray Times

By Grace Underpressure
Saturday September 08, 2012 - 05:44:00 PM

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-

Whatever Happened To "Republican Women for Choice"?

By Ron Lowe
Saturday September 08, 2012 - 02:47:00 PM

Republican convention time and what did I find at a yard sale, a campaign button for a group as extinct as the dinosaurs. A large red, white and blue, stars and strips button with NATIONAL REPUBLICAN COALITION FOR CHOICE on it. -more-

Billionaire Arrogance: Gates, Broad and Public Schools

By Stephen Redmond
Friday September 07, 2012 - 12:32:00 PM

Bill Gates, Eli Broad—what do they have in common? Two things: money and arrogance. The very idea that because a person has so much money they should be permitted by any rational society to meddle in the education system is laughable and dumb. Mr. Gates never finished college and is relative uneducated in a formal sense. Mr Broad... well I don't know. But what I do know is that these 'uberrich' have little expertise or knowledge to improve our schools. -more-

An Open Letter to Jacquelyn McCormick and Adolpho Cabral;

By Norma J F Harrison
Saturday September 08, 2012 - 02:44:00 PM

Can you include in your work the need for Berkeley to continue its historical, renowned identification of our problems, not as the personal interest of the local big pooh-bahs, but as the structure of the system that controls what's done, now almost everywhere; enforcement of the power and profit system controlled by our Owners, the people who move the armies around the world to conquer lands and peoples?. These are not only the electeds. These are the people we don't see or know, our aristocracy, now internationally based. -more-


THE PUBLIC EYE:Obama vs. Romney: The Popularity Contest

By Bob Burnett
Friday September 07, 2012 - 04:44:00 PM

At the start of the Democratic Convention, polls showed Barack Obama tied with Mitt Romney. That’s surprising because many Americans do not look favorably on the Obama Administration; they hold the President responsible for high unemployment and trust Romney to fix the problem. Nonetheless, voters expect Obama to win, because he’s more popular. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Psychotic Depression

By Jack Bragen
Friday September 07, 2012 - 12:50:00 PM

Psychosis is sometimes believed to be an opposite of depression. It is not happiness, but it is sometimes marked by an excessive level of energy, where depression is known for slowness. Medications used to treat psychosis sometimes create depression, and that could be related to why they work. -more-

SENIOR POWER: Oxymoronic

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Friday September 07, 2012 - 12:29:00 PM

Several serious ‘months’ are designated in September. Healthy Aging Month, for example. World Alzheimer’s Day on the twenty first. Forty-six states celebrate the 5th annual National Falls Prevention Awareness Day on Sept. 22. Grandparents Day is September 9. National Senior Center Month will again be celebrated in some communities. Thirty-eight percent of Berkeley’s 112,580 population are seniors, elders or boomers (2010 Census). The boomer demographic consists of persons born in the postwar years, generally considered in the USA and other Allied nations between 1945 and the early 1960s, when there was an increase in the birth rate following the return of World War II service personnel. -more-

Arts & Events

Early 20th Century California Art is Focus of Moraga Exhibit Closing Sept. 16

By Becky O'Malley
Saturday September 08, 2012 - 12:02:00 PM

If you love either early 20th century art or the California out-of-doors, you have just one more week to enjoy a delightful exhibit at St. Mary’s College Museum of Art, just a couple of stops through the Tunnel in Moraga. “The Nature of Collecting: the Early 20th Century Fine Art Collection of Roger Epperson” showcases works collected by an East Bay Regional Park ranger between 1984 and his untimely accidental death at the age of 54 in 2008. -more-

AROUND AND ABOUT THEATER: A Slew of Plays--and a Performance--by James Keller at Live Oak Theater

By Ken Bullock
Saturday September 08, 2012 - 02:29:00 PM

A Hindu flight attendant, a wealthy New York social matron, two aging former seminarians, a dance instructor ...

Some plays are character studies, some plays take a situation and play it out--James Keller writes the rare play that does both. A prolific playwright, who was long associated with the Magic Theatre as well as other venues in the Bay Area, around The States and in Britain, Keller has been producing his own plays and adaptations locally for the last few years with his company, Poor Players, resulting in some of the most engaging theatrical events here in recent memory. Two programs of his short plays, Men Only, directed by Martha Luehrman (an Actors Ensemble of Berkeley member, who has acted in Keller's productions) and Women Alone, directed by Keller, will play in repertory at Live Oak Theater, with a rare appearance by Keller himself, soloing onstage in his one-man adaptation of James Joyce's 'Ulysses'--a great opportunity to experience the wit and perception of one of our truly accomplished writers for the stage. -more-