The Week



Updated: Berkeley Police Are Investigating Derby Street Homicde

By Bay City News
Thursday July 18, 2013 - 08:53:00 AM

Police are investigating the shooting death of a man in South Berkeley last night, a police spokeswoman said.

The shooting was reported at 6:52 p.m. in the 1800 block of Derby Street between Grant Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Officer Jennifer Coats said.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene. Police are investigating and talking to witnesses in the area but have not identified any suspects, Coats said.

A story from the Bay Area News Group has identified the victim as a Berkeley High graduate, Jermaine Davis, 26. -more-

New: Berkeley Police Investigate Hit-and-Run Death

By Zack Farmer ( BCN)
Monday July 15, 2013 - 05:30:00 PM

Berkeley police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run incident that occurred early this morning on the University Avenue overpass above Interstate Highway 80, a police spokeswoman said. -more-

New: Napolitano to Be UC President

By Dan McMenamin (BCN)
Friday July 12, 2013 - 08:57:00 AM

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has been nominated for appointment as president of the University of California, UC officials said today. -more-

New: Berkeley's Telegraph Ave. Regains Its Mojo;
Struggling Street Fair On A Roll;
Record Rains Followed By Record Heat
And A Landmark Student Building Reduced To Rubble

By Ted Friedman
Wednesday July 17, 2013 - 11:29:00 AM

It was a wild and bumpy Berkeley Week. Even Bette Davis would be impressed. -more-


The Editor's Back Fence

Letters We Never Finished Reading

Wednesday July 10, 2013 - 11:13:00 PM

"Greetings, I appreciate you taking the time to read my email. I have pasted below a press release for a editing and book shepherding service..." -more-

What's Happening Here

Becky O'Malley
Wednesday July 10, 2013 - 02:17:00 PM

This issue was late to be published and contained just a few pieces from our faithful regulars, due to the editor's being occupied with personal matters. I'm just going to keep posting pieces as they come in, but I hope to be able to resume a more regular schedule before too long. -more-


Odd Bodkins: The bear wants beer. (Cartoon)

By Dan O'Neill
Thursday July 11, 2013 - 09:53:00 PM

Odd Bodkins: They left a mess you wouldn't believe. (Cartoon)

By Dan O'Neill
Thursday July 11, 2013 - 09:31:00 PM

Public Comment

New: Sign the NAACP Petition to the Justice Department for Justice for Trayvon Martin

By Ben Jealous
Tuesday July 16, 2013 - 02:15:00 PM


New: Berkeley Residents Should Study "One Bay Area Plan"

By Martha Nicoloff
Friday July 12, 2013 - 06:50:00 PM

Only recently has the text of "One Bay Area Plan" been available. Berkeley citizens complain they have not had enough time to study the 155 page document. Throughout the text were an incredible number of acronyms, (see list below) almost like a code for planners. -more-

July Pepper Spray Times

By Grace Underpressure
Thursday July 11, 2013 - 09:26:00 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-


ECLECTIC RANT: Snowden and the NSA Surveillance Program

By Ralph E. Stone
Wednesday July 10, 2013 - 09:01:00 AM

Much, maybe too much, has been reported on Edward Snowden's leaking of classified information, the NSA Surveillance Program, and Snowden's desperate attempts to find asylum. I would just add a brief comment, -more-

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE: Poison Gas & Arabian Tales

By Conn Hallinan
Wednesday July 10, 2013 - 08:39:00 AM

“It is not unlike Sherlock Holmes and the dog that didn’t bark. It’s not just that we can’t prove a sarin attack, it is that we are not seeing what we would expect to see from a sarin attack.”

--Jean-Pascal Zanders, former senior research fellow at the European Union’s Institute for Security Studies

Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional detective, cracked the case of the “Silver Blaze” by concluding that a murder and theft had to be an inside job because the watchdog never barked. It would be a good idea to keep this in mind when it comes to determining whether the Syrian government used poison gas against its opponents. And since the Obama administration is citing “proof” that the chemical warfare agent sarin was used by the Syrian government as the basis for escalating its intervention in the two-year old civil war, this is hardly an academic exercise.

Like Holmes, start with the facts. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE: The Arc of the Moral Universe: Same-Sex Marriage

By Bob Burnett
Wednesday July 10, 2013 - 08:36:00 AM

Martin Luther King, Jr., famously observed, “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards Justice.” The American civil rights movement has made slow progress since May 17, 1954, when the Supreme Court struck down the “separate but equal doctrine” in Brown vs. Board of Education. Nonetheless, few anticipated the rapidity of acceptance of same-sex marriage.

The American civil rights era began on December 1, 1955, when Rosa Parks launched the Montgomery Bus Boycott by refusing to give up her seat to a white man. As the African-American civil rights campaign began to produce results, it was joined by the women’s liberation movement, the campaign for Hispanic-American civil rights, and the gay pride movement. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Self Acceptance, Employment and Other

By Jack Bragen
Wednesday July 10, 2013 - 08:57:00 AM

Persons with mental illness, because we have a legitimate disability, should not feel bad about ourselves if unemployed.

Our society puts a great deal of value on employment. This is changing to an extent, since unemployment has become rampant. To many people's surprise, unemployment has become somewhat of an acceptable occupation. Furthermore, employment at a "good" volunteer job is often seen as more valuable than paid unskilled employment.

When seeking some type of employment or volunteer work, you might ask yourself if you are doing so in order to receive appreciation or to survive. These are two very different motivations. If you are trying to survive, go ahead and work at a carwash. If you're after respect from others, or from oneself, you should seek something more meaningful. (If things were ideal, a person would work at something mostly because they are interested in what they're doing. However that's off the subject of self-esteem.)

As a good starting point, why not learn to accept yourself, or even respect yourself, regardless of what you're doing or not doing? -more-


By Helen Rippier Wheeler,
Wednesday July 10, 2013 - 08:47:00 AM

If you enjoyed PBS’ ‘Call The Midwife’ and want to know more about Jennifer Worth, RN RM, read on. You can also go to YouTube for an April 14, 2009 interview with her plus lots of related photographs. -more-

Arts & Events

Theater Review: Oleg Liptsin's Production of Beckett's 'Endgame

By Ken Bullock
Friday July 12, 2013 - 11:02:00 AM

"What else is there to keep me here?”... "The dialogue!"

Oleg Liptsin, the Bay Area's resident veteran of Russia's outstanding theater of the late 20th century, has produced a marvel—an intimate, remarkably original show of Samuel Beckett's masterpiece, 'Endgame,' billed as being in Laurel and Hardy style, even opening with the great comic pair's theme music, but more of wonderfully bittersweet comedy of the endlessly repeated encounter of a longwinded old master in his wheelchair, appropriately named Hamm(Greg Young), his skittering, ever-upright servant Clov (Liptsin)—and interruptions, asides by Hamm's captive parents (in adjoining dumpsters) Nagg (Phil Estrin) and Nell (Gale Bradley), as well as a few eruptions from the light booth and some well-chosen video footage, counterpoint to Hamm's drawn-out tale of acquiring a boy servant from a starving man—probably the young Clov, though Hamm's too coy to say. -more-

New: San Francisco Silent Film Festival Starts July 18

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday July 11, 2013 - 10:00:00 PM
Louise Brooks in Prix de Beauté.

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival presents its annual summer event July 18–21 at the Castro Theater in San Francisco. This year's festival features a wide range of genres from an array of nations: Germany, Japan, Sweden, Bali, the USSR, the UK, Denmark, France, and America. -more-

I'm So Excited! Almodóvar at Cruising Altitude—
Opens at Berkeley's Rialto Elmwood theater on July 5.

By Gar Smith
Wednesday July 10, 2013 - 02:12:00 PM

Would I be the first to characterize Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar as the Gay Woody Allen?

The two directors have much in common. Like Allen's Midnight in Paris and From Rome with Love, Almodóvar's latest, I'm So Excited, is a travelogue filled with a dozen colorfully dysfunctional and self-absorbed characters who are thrown together by chance and spend more than an hour of screen-time furiously fussing and yammering at one another in a torrent of nonstop nuttiness.

With both Almodóvar and Allen, the fuel that propels the exercise is overtly sexual. In Allen's films the sexual tension is hetero-neurotic. In Almodóvar's films, the characters are unrepressed, gay, straight, bent and bi. In both cases, the result is a cinematic comedy of eros. If you need more proof that these two directors are twin souls, look no further than the tribute casting of Penelope Cruz as a constant in both director's work. And, like Woody's From Rome with Love (which features Cruz), Almodóvar's latest also includes a musical centerpiece.