The Week

U.C. Berkeley crews begin to clear redwood grove.
Daniella Thompson
U.C. Berkeley crews begin to clear redwood grove.


U.C. Berkeley Is Cutting Down Ridge Road Redwood Grove

Sunday April 06, 2014 - 10:23:00 AM

This morning (Sunday) U.C. Berkeley has begun cutting down redwood trees at Ridge Road and Le Roy Avenue in order to build the Paul Jacobs Design Institute. Students, faculty/staff and Berkeley residents want the trees to stay, but the UC has ignored the community.The ground breaking ceremony for the design center is April 12th, Cal Day. The trees are being cut down to clear the lot for the public ceremony.

Update from a reader: That isn’t a UC crew cutting the redwoods, it's an outside contractor. They’ve also recently cut down some pretty old olives and younger redwoods at Kleiberger Field for a new parking structure. -more-

New: Man Held on Battery Against Berkeley Police Officer

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Wednesday April 09, 2014 - 12:32:00 AM

A 41-year-old man is being held on suspicion of attempted murder, battery on an officer and other charges after allegedly trying to take a gun from a Berkeley police officer on Monday, police said today. -more-

Berkeley Pedestrian Killed Crossing Sacramento on Friday

By Laura Dixon
Saturday April 05, 2014 - 10:51:00 PM

A 98-year-old man died after being hit by a car while crossing the street in Berkeley on Friday, a police spokeswoman said today. -more-

Another U.C. Berkeley Student Diagnosed with Measles

By Laura Dixon
Saturday April 05, 2014 - 10:53:00 PM

A second University of California at Berkeley student has been diagnosed with measles, according to university officials. -more-

BAHA 2014 Spring House Tour Focuses on Rose Walk

By Daniella Thompson
Saturday April 05, 2014 - 10:02:00 AM
Rose Walk

Maybeck’s Rose Walk and Surroundings

On Sunday, May 4, the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association (BAHA) will hold its 39th annual Spring House Tour and Garden Reception. This year’s tour, themed Maybeck’s Rose Walk and Surroundings, will focus on the beloved path and the adjacent Wheeler Tract.

The Berkeley hills abound in scenic paths and byways, many of them vestiges of the early twentieth century, when commuter traffic was largely based on the Key System’s trains and streetcars.

Each weekday, morning and evening, hill dwellers on their way to and from work in San Francisco and Oakland bounded up and down the shortcut paths that connected their residential streets with the traffic arteries along which the streetcars ran.

Although the Berkeley Path Wanderers Association has identified 136 named paths in Berkeley, it is safe to say that none of them is as famous as Rose Walk, whose name has spread virtually around the world. Its gracefully curving double stairway, “elephant pink” stucco, and carefully tended flowerbeds, surrounded by rustic cottages, continue to charm visitors from far and wide.

Like many notable street improvements in the districts lying directly to the north of the University of California campus, Rose Walk owes its distinctive appearance to the members of the Hillside Club and its moving spirit, Bernard Maybeck. -more-



Whatever Became of Interpretative Local Journalism?

By Becky O'Malley
Sunday April 06, 2014 - 02:54:00 PM

A fellow ex-Pasadenan riffed in his column last week about the difficulties attached to covering the news while also trying to make money. I imagine he remembers the Pasadena Star-News from our childhood (I’m just a bit older), a prototypical small-city daily which has been published in one form or another since 1884. By the time I noticed it, it had been acquired by Barney Ridder’s nascent Ridder Publications, which was M&A’d into Knight-Ridder, briefly the largest newspaper chain in the country, or maybe even the world. But throughout the 50s and early 60s it was the voice of a reasonably self-sufficient quasi-urban streetcar suburb not unlike Berkeley in its relationship to its metropolitan area (L.A.). -more-

The Editor's Back Fence

New: The Real Richmond Story in the Spotlight Again

Wednesday April 09, 2014 - 12:09:00 AM

Former Berkeley Daily Planet reporter John Geluardi, in a story in this week's East Bay Express , nails the beyond-sloppy Center for Investigative Reporting's "exposé" of maintenance problems in Richmond's Hacienda public housing project.

The Planet first reported on this story on February 26, when it published a 5,000 word rebuttal by Richmond Councilmember Tom Butt citing numerous errors and omissions in the CIR piece, which was picked up by the Chronicle and KQED--see today's editorial for more. -more-


Odd Bodkins: Bad Poetry (Cartoon)

By Dan O'Neill
Saturday April 05, 2014 - 12:29:00 PM

Odd Bodkins: The Great Race (Cartoon)

By Dan O'Neill
Saturday April 05, 2014 - 12:26:00 PM

Public Comment

City Council Continues to Give HUD a Pass in Public Housing Funding Issue

By Richmond Councilmember Tom Butt
Sunday April 06, 2014 - 09:58:00 AM

Despite growing evidence that lack of sufficient funding from HUD is the root cause of public housing deficiencies, the [Richmond] City Council continues to blame everyone else, including itself, for conditions at the Hacienda that require a $19 million capital infusion to bring the building up to acceptable standards. Not only that, but they are prepared to spend nearly a million dollars of general fund money to relocate tenants while giving HUD a complete pass if HUD doesn’t provided the money. HUD owns the public housing in Richmond and has a responsibility to provide adequate funding to maintain it, yet the City Council refuses to hold HUD accountable. -more-

Reflections on Ukraine and Regime Change

By Michael Parenti
Saturday April 05, 2014 - 10:06:00 AM

More than 83 percent of the qualified voters of Crimea recently participated in a referendum to rejoin Russia. And of that number well over 93 percent voted to separate themselves from Ukraine and once more become a part of Russia, in what was a massively one-sided victory . -more-

Insider Trading

By Tejinder Uberoi
Saturday April 05, 2014 - 03:24:00 PM

In a recent ‘60 Minutes’ expose’, Michael Lewis, author of "Flash Boys," demonstrated how the US market is rigged in favor of the ‘big banks’, who like competing athletes taking performance enhancing drugs, have rigged the system in their favor. The ‘insiders’ eavesdrop on other traders orders, select the ones that look most promising, then using superior technology, called high frequency trading (HFT), ‘front run’ other traders to the exchanges and then place buy and sell orders cashing in huge amounts of money – all in the blink of an eye. Conversely, the ‘little guy’ is left gasping wondering why his order never got executed. -more-

April Pepper Spray Times

By Grace Underpressure
Saturday April 05, 2014 - 12:23:00 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-

Israel: The Peace Process is Doomed

By Jagjit Singh
Saturday April 05, 2014 - 10:09:00 AM

Predictably, the Mideast talks appear to be near collapse. Fortunately, Mr. Abbas has seen through the façade of pursuing the moribund peace talks and has wisely chosen to join 15 international organizations affiliated with the United Nations. Abbas should also present his grievances to the International Court at The Hague and expose the myriad of crimes and injustices heaped on his people. -more-

Fatal Results

By Ted Rudow III, MA
Saturday April 05, 2014 - 09:48:00 AM

The challenges faced by U.S. soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. "I went to the VA, and I wanted treatment for this or that or the other thing, and all they would give me is highly addictive narcotic painkillers, opiates, which are similar in their chemical makeup to heroin." They found a 270 percent increase in the number of opiate prescriptions that these doctors at the VA were writing. And we also found incredible, wild variation in how many prescriptions doctors were writing depending on where a veteran happened to live. -more-


New: ECLECTIC RANT: More Troubles for Criminally Indicted PG&E

By Ralph E. Stone
Saturday April 05, 2014 - 03:19:00 PM

Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) was recently criminally indicted for twelve violations of the federal Pipeline Safety Act. No executives of PG&E were indicted. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE: Building the New Populism

By Bob Burnett
Saturday April 05, 2014 - 09:44:00 AM

It’s a treasured American maxim that every problem is an opportunity in disguise. Seven months before the mid-term election Democrats face a serious problem: most Americans feel the country is headed in the wrong direction and many blame the President. Meanwhile, Republican billionaires are spending millions of dollars on attack ads with the intent of sweeping Dems out of Congress. Nonetheless, 2014 is an opportunity for progressives to remake the Democratic Party with a clear populist ethic. -more-

SENIOR POWER Five “aging” moving pictures

By Helen Rippier Wheeler,
Saturday April 05, 2014 - 09:55:00 AM

Seen any good films lately that were about the passage of time? About people aging? Here are Anita, Gloria, Honey, five people Out Late, plus three Old Goats. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Judgment (as in Discernment) And The Brain

By Jack Bragen
Saturday April 05, 2014 - 09:47:00 AM

I have not formally studied neurology. But, from exposure to mainstream media, from what I have read, and from living in venues of mental health treatment, I have picked up a smattering of information. -more-

Arts & Events

AROUND AND ABOUT THEATER: Aurora Stages 'Wittenberg'

By Ken Bullock
Saturday April 05, 2014 - 09:50:00 AM

Aurora Theatre Co. previews for 'Wittenberg,' a wry view of Hamlet's higher education, begin Friday, April 4th, with opening Thursday the 10th, performances continuing through May 4th. -more-

AROUND AND ABOUT MUSIC: Philharmonia Baroque Plays & Sings Vivaldi's Surviving Oratorio

By Ken Bullock
Saturday April 05, 2014 - 09:53:00 AM

Philharmonia Baroque, led by music director Nicholas McGegan, will perform Vivaldi's only surviving oratorio, Juditha triumphans, with an extraordinary all-female cast, the full Philharmonia Chorale, led by Bruce LaMott, and an impressive array of baroque instruments, including viols, recorders, two theorbos, and chaulumeaux, this Saturday and Sunday evenings at the First Congregational Church. -more-