The Week

Carol Denney, before she was cited for obstructing the walk. Her band, "Failure to Disperse,"  accompanies her. Left to right, Jim Nelson, Denney, Hali Hammer, who wrote Kriss Worthington's campaign for mayor song.
Ted Friedman
Carol Denney, before she was cited for obstructing the walk. Her band, "Failure to Disperse," accompanies her. Left to right, Jim Nelson, Denney, Hali Hammer, who wrote Kriss Worthington's campaign for mayor song.


Flash: Berkeley's Measure T is All Tied Up

Thursday November 08, 2012 - 04:33:00 PM

Can you believe it? Now Berkeley Measure T, special planning for several large landholdings in West Berkeley, is totally tied, with Yes and No each getting almost exactly 50% of the vote. More votes still outstanding, of course. At the Alameda County Registrar of Voters' office, Phillip (he didn't want to give his last name) said that they hope to be finished counting, including thousands of provisional ballots "before Thanksgiving". Jeff, another worker there, said that they need to enter all the vote by mail ballots first, and then check the provisional ballots to make sure the voter hadn't already voted by mail. He thinks there will be another update tomorrow. -more-

Many Votes Yet Uncounted, But Turnout Lower than 2008

By Sasha Lekach (BCN)
Thursday November 08, 2012 - 12:24:00 PM

Although many vote-by-mail and provisional ballots have yet to be counted, Bay Area counties are projecting strong voter turnout for Tuesday's presidential election, however numbers are expected to be below those from the 2008 race. -more-

UC Berkeley Announces New Chancellor

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Thursday November 08, 2012 - 12:17:00 PM

University of California President Mark Yudof announced today that he has chosen Nicholas Dirks, Columbia University's executive vice president, to serve as the new chancellor of UC Berkeley. -more-

Fate of Berkeley Measure T Is Still Not Sealed;
No on S Maintains Lead

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Wednesday November 07, 2012 - 09:40:00 PM

The fate of a ballot measure that would allow more flexibility in the development of large parcels of land in West Berkeley remained up in the air in updated election results released late this afternoon.

Measure T, which would amend the West Berkeley Plan and the city's zoning ordinance for areas west of San Pablo Avenue, is trailing by only 26 votes, or 50.04 percent to 49.96 percent.

The gap in the results posted by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters shortly after 4 p.m. is smaller than the 123-vote margin in the results announced shortly after midnight.

It will take several more days to count additional vote-by-mail and provisional ballots, voting officials said.

Countywide, about 85,000 vote-by-mail ballots and 40,000 provisional ballots still need to be tabulated. Voting officials don't have a breakdown of how many of those are from Berkeley. -more-

Outcome of Measure S, Measure T and Rent Board Still in Doubt as Many Votes Remain to be Counted (News Analysis)

By Rob Wrenn
Wednesday November 07, 2012 - 08:58:00 AM

It appears that many votes in Berkeley have yet to be counted. A quick comparison with 2008 election results shows that either there was an extraordinary drop in turnout in Berkeley or as many as 25,000 votes have yet to be counted.

For instance, the final results from 2008 show at total of 56,270 votes cast for mayor. So far the results from Berkeley show only 32,661 votes cast for mayor.

Votes remaining to be counted would include absentee ballots dropped at the polls and provisional votes cast at the polls. It probably also includes some other absentee ballots, perhaps those that arrived at the county closer to the election. -more-

Berkeley Measure T in Narrow Loss?

Wednesday November 07, 2012 - 07:23:00 AM

Final results posted at the office of the Alameda County Registrar of Voters seem to show Measure T, which attempted to re-zone several large property holdings in West Berkeley, losing by a narrow margin. -more-

Flash: Berkeley Measure S Seems to Be Defeated

Wednesday November 07, 2012 - 07:16:00 AM

Based on totals supplied by the Alameda County Clerk's office early this morning, Berkeley voters, by more than a thousand votes, rejected an attempt to make sitting down on the city's commercial sidewalks illegal. The measure was backed by more than $110,000, largely supplied by big commercial property interests. The "No on S" campaign was carried by citizen volunteers on a much lower budget of contributions from private individuals. -more-

Berkeley Rejects Change on City Council:
All Incumbents Re-Elected
Tenants' Slate Ahead for Rent Board

Wednesday November 07, 2012 - 07:31:00 AM

Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates garnered a majority vote to secure his long-held position for another term, and all the other incumbents on the city ballot were also re-elected. Three of the tenant-backed slate candidates appear to have won seats on the Berkeley Rent Board. -more-

Flash: Up-to-the-Minute
Berkeley Election Results

Tuesday November 06, 2012 - 11:20:00 PM

Use these links to get all the official up-to-the-minute Berkeley election results from Alameda County.

Be warned: these early results are primarily from permanent absentee ballots.

Results from polling places are almost never available until 11 p.m. at the earliest, sometimes even later.

Refresh your browser to make sure you've got the latest results, but don't be surprised if nothing much has changed.




Flash: Berkeleyans in Ohio
Report Obama Victory

By Becky O'Malley
Monday November 05, 2012 - 08:38:00 PM

Berkeley's Jackie DeBose, temporarily living in Akron, Ohio, has been working hard for Obama there for the past few months. She reports that in her area there have been long lines in the predominantly African-American precincts all week--so local Democrats are sure they've carried the state. It's been a hard struggle, with extensive voter suppression efforts by the Republican-dominated state government. Early voting has been proceeding under court order, but Jackie says that opening and closing hours have changed every day, making it hard for voters to know when they could vote. Nevertheless, when I talked to her at 6 o'clock, she and her husband, CSU Emeritus Professor Charles DeBose, were on their way out the door to a couple of victory parties. And Ohio is the key swing state that Obama needs to win nationally.

UPDATE: She's right, he won! -more-

Updated: Berkeley Council Candidate Capitelli's Aide Accused of Trespassing at Home of Rent Board Candidate in Search for Signs

By Becky O'Malley
Monday November 05, 2012 - 10:09:00 PM

Alejandro Soto-Vigil, a candidate for the Berkeley Rent Board and aide to Councilmember Kriss Worthington, charged last night that an aide to Councilmember Laurie Capitelli violated state law by entering his private property without permission while Capitelli waited at the site in a car. -more-

In Berkeley, Standing Up For Your Right to Sit Down Is Already a Crime

By Ted Friedman
Sunday November 04, 2012 - 11:00:00 PM
Musician Carol Denney is cited Sunday at Telegraph/Haste, for obstructing walk.

In Berkeley Standing Up For Your Right to Sit Down may be a crime, and it becomes a crime if a cop says it is.

In this case, the police incident was just the latest in a series of continuing crackdowns, since a two-man telegraph foot/bike patrol set out to "set parameters, and establish protocols." Most street kids understand: they cooperate.

Carol Denney is no street kid. She went to the streets Sunday, as one last protest against Measure S, which would ban sitting (even on chairs) on sidewalks in commercial districts She got a ticket (BMC ch.14.48.020, obstructing foot traffic) for sitting on Teley.

You could say Denney, of “Failure to Disperse," an acoustic road show band, the event organizer, sat down for her right to sit down at Telegraph and Haste performing music -more-

Where Do I Vote?

By Harry Brill
Monday November 05, 2012 - 08:54:00 AM

If you come across anyone (in California) who doesn't know where to vote, the Yes on Prop 30 Campaign has made it easy.. Click the web address below, write in the address where the person lives, and then click right below.

Updated: Berkeley Mayoral Candidate Running Wolf Jailed for Stickering a Garbage Can

By Ted Friedman
Sunday November 04, 2012 - 11:11:00 PM
Garbage can electioneering, or how to get busted?

Blackfeet Indian elder Zachary Running Wolf Brown, 49, a notorious Berkeley/Oakland protester with more than ninety scalps on his arrest belt, was busted last week for stickering a city-owned garbage can. -more-

The Planet's November 6 Ballot Recommendations

By The Berkeley Daily Planet Editorial Board
Friday November 02, 2012 - 09:59:00 AM

Below you'll find a list of the Planet's endorsements for the November 6 election. -more-

Berkeley in the News

Thursday November 01, 2012 - 10:29:00 PM

Measure S on the national stage: -more-

Berkeley's "S" Conflicting Findings

By Ted Friedman
Friday November 02, 2012 - 09:36:00 AM

The Daily Californian reported Monday that a U.C. Berkeley School of Law student study had concluded, last month, that key yes on "S" (sitting-ban) claims were false. -more-

The Mittmobile: Imagining a Nuclear-powered Car

By Gar Smith
Friday November 02, 2012 - 09:29:00 AM

In his campaign speeches, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has made it carbon-clear: if you live on his planet, you're going to be consuming "good, old-fashioned American power"—the kind produced by coal, oil and uranium. "You can't drive a car with a windmill on it," Romney scoffs. -more-

Election Coverage in Review: See what You Missed in Past Issues

Friday November 02, 2012 - 10:48:00 AM

Are you confused about the upcoming election? Below you'll be able to find all the articles about the November 2012 election that have appeared to date in the Planet, with editorial endorsements at the top of the stack. -more-



Berkeley's Rent Board Election Degenerates Into Farce

By Becky O'Malley
Friday November 02, 2012 - 07:39:00 AM

Trying to keep up with the last days of the Berkeley Municipal Election 2012, I feel like I’ve landed in the middle of a French bedroom farce. For those of you too young to remember when sex could be silly, that would be, per Wikipedia, a “light comedy centered on the sexual pairings and recombinations of characters as they move through improbable plots and slamming doors.”

Not, of course, that sex itself has much to do with most of the Berkeley elections, with the possible exception of the endorsement of one of the mayoral candidates by a state senator. Oh, and perhaps with one of the Rent Board candidates

But “pairings and recombinations” with “improbable plots and slamming doors’? Sure, we’ve got those in spades. -more-

The Editor's Back Fence

A Personal Plea from a Neighbor to Vote No on Berkeley Measure T

Tuesday November 06, 2012 - 08:10:00 AM

This morning on our doorstep we found a letter from a neighbor asking us to vote against Measure T. I won't use his name because I don't have his permission, but here's part of what he says: -more-

Voting for School Board?

Monday November 05, 2012 - 09:21:00 AM

I've punted on endorsing school board candidates until now because I really don't know much about school board politics, since the Planet no longer has a reporter to assign to covering education. I did get the idea that current school boards members, whoever they are, and some of whom I've supported in the past, were badly misinformed in a variety of ways in their recent attempt to find a superintendent. But on Saturday I encountered candidate Judy Appel campaigning at the Farmers' Market, talked to her for a long time, and decided to vote for her. She's smart and has had a variety of experiences which should improve her perspective on the information she'll have to process, and she has kids in school now. You can vote for one more candidate, but you're on your own for that one. -more-


Odd Bodkins: A Wish (Cartoon)

By Dan O'Neill
Friday November 02, 2012 - 10:28:00 AM

Public Comment

New: Why Should Berkeley Have Another Law Banning Sitting?

By Russ Tilleman
Sunday November 04, 2012 - 10:58:00 PM
Berkeley Police Cite Protesters for Demonstration Against Measure S on Sunday

On Telegraph Avenue at Haste, around 2:10pm today [Sunday], the Berkeley Police ticketed Measure S opponents for having a campaign event outside of a "designated free speech zone". -more-

New: Ballot Recommendations From Berkeley City Councilmember Jesse Arreguin*

By Councilmember Jesse Arreguin
Sunday November 04, 2012 - 10:15:00 PM

People have asked me which local candidates and ballot measures I am supporting. With the election just 2 days away, I want to share with you who I am supporting and why.

Here are my recommendations (please see explanation below): -more-

Bruce Love's Ballot Measure and Mayoral Recommendations

By Thomas Lord
Friday November 02, 2012 - 07:26:00 AM

Measure M: -more-


By Arthur Blaustein
Friday November 02, 2012 - 10:52:00 AM

The stakes are high.

These issues matter to me and they should matter to you! -more-

November Pepper Spray Times

By Grace Underpressure
Friday November 02, 2012 - 10:21:00 AM

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-

Who Manages the Economy Better--Republicans or Democrats?

By Arthur I. Blaustein
Friday November 02, 2012 - 09:25:00 AM

Most Americans have one eye on the nation’s economic crises and the other on the presidential election. And they are asking themselves, “Are the Democrats or the Republicans better for the economic health of the country as well as for my own financial well-being?” That is the defining question of this election. -more-


Dispatches From the Edge: Turkey Haunted by Hubris

By Conn Hallinan
Friday November 02, 2012 - 09:33:00 AM

Two years ago Turkey was on its way to being a player in Central Asia, a major power broker in the Middle East, and a force in international politics. It had stepped in to avoid a major escalation of the 2008 war between Georgia and Russia by blocking U.S. ships from entering the Black Sea, made peace with its regional rivals, and, along with Brazil, made a serious stab at a peaceful resolution of the Iran nuclear crisis. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE: Obama vs. Romney: The Bottom Line

By Bob Burnett
Friday November 02, 2012 - 07:30:00 AM

While national presidential polls show a dead heat between President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney, roughly five percent of likely voters remain undecided. Their perception of which candidate can best address America’s problems will decide the election. -more-

SENIOR POWER… a balancing act

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Friday November 02, 2012 - 09:18:00 AM

When my uncle latched on to sweet Aunt Pearl, she was merely “hard of hearing.” She carried a black box hearing aid that I, as a child, thought was a Brownie camera. She was a skilled teletype operator, employed throughout the Depression, bringing home the rent money and the groceries. He made no bones about being irritated by her handicap. Half a century later at their sister’s funeral, my mother and uncle briefly conversed. Pearl had long since lost all her hearing. In December 1953, we sat next to each other in a limousine on the way to bury my aunt. It was a spring-like day as we drove through the bucolic Green-Wood Cemetery grounds with the windows open, and Pearl asked me, “Are there birds singing?” -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: Consumer Action Has Launched a "Know Your Card" Website to Help Consumers

By Ralph E. Stone
Friday November 02, 2012 - 09:31:00 AM

Consumer Action ( launched its new website ( to help consumers understand the new laws and other changes regarding credit, debit, prepaid, and gift cards. The website's homepage presents key payment card changes, explains how they could affect cardholders and offers tips to help consumers make better decisions. Sidebar links to the At-a-Glance Card Rulebook provide more detailed information and an overview of changes for each type of payment card. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Medication is Not Always the Magic Bullet

By Jack Bragen
Friday November 02, 2012 - 09:14:00 AM

Taking medication is important for most people who suffer from a psychiatric illness. Since these illnesses are usually caused by a brain malfunction, they (the psychiatric illnesses) must be addressed by addressing the problem. Mental illnesses are believed to be caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. Psychiatric medication changes the balance of neurotransmitters. -more-

Arts & Events

FILM REVIEW: The Loneliest Planet: Trek Stars and Zen Sum-Opens November 2 at the Shattuck Cinema

By Gar Smith
Friday November 02, 2012 - 09:17:00 AM

If I had to assign one word to the experience of viewing this film, that word would be: interminable. -more-

Around & About Music: Conlon Nancarrow Centennial Events at UC this Weekend (Some Free!)_

By Ken Bullock
Friday November 02, 2012 - 07:33:00 AM

Conlon Nancarrow, that unique American composer, best-known for his dense, complex compositions on piano rolls for player piano that date from the late 1940s to his death in the late 90s, will be celebrated in style this weekend at events within a two-block radius at the University of California. -more-