The Week



Flash: Berkeley Police Report Shooting in 3000 Block of San Pablo

Thursday June 26, 2014 - 11:06:00 PM

The Planet has received this report from Ofc. Jennifer R. Coats, Berkeley Police:

"I can confirm [that there] is a report of a shooting in the 3000 block of San Pablo Avenue. The call came in at 9:54 p.m. The victim was transported to a local hospital by the Berkeley Fire Department. I do not know their condition. I am on my way in and will head to the scene." -more-

Press Release: Berkeley Police Seek Suspect in June 11th Shooting

From Ofc Jennifer Coats, BPD
Thursday June 26, 2014 - 06:46:00 PM

This morning members of the Berkeley Police Department’s (BPD) Special Response Team and Investigations Bureau served three search warrants in Berkeley and one in Oakland related to the June 11, 2014 shooting that occurred in the 1600 block of Russell Street. -more-

Press Release: Tony Thurmond for Assembly Announces Endorsements from Berkeley City Councilmember Kriss Worthington and Former Berkeley Mayor Gus Newport

From Kate Maeder, Tony Thurmond for Assembly
Tuesday June 24, 2014 - 03:20:00 PM

Tony Thurmond's campaign for State Assembly announced today the endorsements of Berkeley City Councilmember Kriss Worthington, former Berkeley Mayor Gus Newport, former Berkeley City Councilmember Ying Lee, Berkeley School Boardmember Beatriz Levya-Cutler, former Berkeley Unified School District Superintendent Michele Lawrence, former Berkeley School Board Member and Alameda County Board of Education Trustee Joaquin Rivera and environmental activist Van Jones. -more-

Press Release: UC Berkeley Police Arrest Top-Hatted Grand Theft Suspect; Accused of Trying to Steal a Golf Cart from a Campus Construction Site

From UC Berkeley Police Department
Monday June 23, 2014 - 04:43:00 PM

On Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 10:05 p.m. a UCPD Community Services Officer (CSO) noticed a suspicious person entering a locked construction site. The CSO radioed UCPD Dispatch and UCPD officers responded. The officers made contact with the suspect, Gary WYRICK, who was attempting to steal a golf cart. The suspect entered the site by cutting a hole in the fencing with wire cutters. UCPD searched the suspect and found burglary tools and a knife on him. WYRICK was arrested by UCPD for grand theft, possession of a weapon on UC property and vandalism to the fence.

The suspect arrested is described as:

WYRICK, Gary, a White male, 53 years-of-age, 6’01” in height, 185 lbs., with a medium build, with brown eyes and black wavy hair, wearing a top hat, white coat and tan cargo pants. -more-

Updated: Tunnel Road in Berkeley Open After Early Morning Crash

Drew Himmelstein (BCN)
Friday June 20, 2014 - 02:08:00 PM

Tunnel Road in Berkeley has reopened in both directions after an apparent DUI crash early this morning, according to Berkeley police. -more-

Driver Arrested, Passenger Seriously Injured in Berkeley DUI Crash

Sasha Lekach (BCN)
Friday June 20, 2014 - 10:44:00 AM

A driver was arrested after an apparent DUI crash on Berkeley's Tunnel Road early this morning, according to Berkeley police. -more-



Staying the Course

By Becky O'Malley
Friday June 20, 2014 - 10:33:00 AM

The only thing more boring than having someone say “I told you so” is wanting to say it yourself. The recent news from Iraq is excruciatingly predictable. I’d wager that there are not ten readers of today’s Berkeley Daily Planet who could not have predicted, before the first American soldier ever went into Iraq, that intervention would never work. Eleven years ago this spring I marched down Market Street in San Francisco with ten members of my extended family and about a hundred thousand other Northern Californians to tell the people in charge that they were making a big mistake—but did anyone listen? -more-

Public Comment

New: Israel & the growing BDS movement

Jagjit Singh
Monday June 23, 2014 - 03:12:00 PM

Throughout its short history Israel has adopted an extremely aggressive posture occupying more and more land displacing the indigenous population. The prospect for peace grows dimmer by the day. Many Jews and non-Jews are increasingly dismayed by Israel’s long standing intransigence to reach a peaceful accord with the Palestinians.

Recently, The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted in its general convention to divest from three companies (Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions) that exports equipment to the occupied Palestinian territories. This is an effort to pressure Israel to stop building settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and to end the occupation; this comes on the heel of a much wider campaign known as B.D.S., for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.

Jewish activists from Jewish Voice for Peace wore black T-shirts with the slogan “Another Jew Supporting Divestment” at the Presbyterian convention. Rabbi Alissa Wise, director of Jewish Voice for Peace, stated that divestment can serve a constructive purpose. “To me, this helps Palestinians build their power, so that Israel is convinced, not by force, but by global consensus that something has to change.” -more-

Press Release: Is Zero Waste Working in Berkeley?

From Berkeley City Auditor Ann-Marie Hogan
Friday June 20, 2014 - 09:21:00 PM

Is Berkeley meeting its goal of achieving Zero Waste by 2020? On July 1, our audit Underfunded Mandate: Resources, Strategic Plan, and Communication Needed to Continue Progress Toward the Year 2020 Zero Waste Goal answers that question. Click here to read the audit, which goes to Council on Tuesday, July 8 at 7 p.m.. -more-

What Caused the Iraq Situation

Jagjit Singh
Friday June 20, 2014 - 10:49:00 AM

The multiple conflicts in the Middle East are raging out of control largely driven by our ill-fated intervention in Iraq in 2003. It is a pity that the architects of this foreign policy blunder- Tony Blair, Dick Cheney, Paul Bremer. . . have been granted air time and print media space to level charges of incompetence at the Obama administration. This is a classic example of the ‘pot calling the kettle black”. -more-

Berkeley Street Proposal

Daniel Youngjoo Kim
Friday June 20, 2014 - 10:52:00 AM

I am a current student at the University of California, Berkeley and I have just completed my first year. After living in Berkeley for 10 months, I have made many observations about the town: it is dirty, it is run down, it smells like piss, there so many homeless people around, and the buildings look like there are about to collapse in the next earthquake. However, the one thing that stood out to me the most was the condition of the roads. It is not just the roads near campus. Downtown, Northside, Southside, and up near the Berkeley Hills have roads that are made 16th century wagons to travel on. -more-

New: To Daniel Youngjoo Kim

Constance Wiggins, 45 year resident
Monday June 23, 2014 - 03:01:00 PM

There is a UC Irvine, I believe. If you think Berkeley is old and run down you should see some of the eastern cities which are even older.

Maintenance of roads, buildings and the “homeless” all takes money and you may have noticed that no one wants taxes raised for any reason, not for infrastructure and certainly not programs for the poor. I don’t know what your major is but perhaps you should look into City Planning and make a positive contribution rather than coming to our city to point out what is wrong with it as if we haven’t noticed.

BTW, what is Irvine’s policy regarding the homeless? -more-


THE PUBLIC EYE: The Return of Sixties Values

By Bob Burnett
Friday June 20, 2014 - 10:29:00 AM

The level of US political rancor has reached an intensity not seen since the sixties with its battles over civil rights and the Vietnam War. On the one hand we have Republicans advocating a new Iraq war and more tax breaks for the rich. On the other hand we have Democrats saying no to war and standing up for working families. For populists it’s the return of the sixties theme, “peace and justice.” -more-

ECLETIC RANT:Bush's Iraq War Spiraling into Civil War

By Ralph E. Stone
Thursday June 19, 2014 - 05:43:00 PM

Iraq is descending into civil war. The Sunni militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) and the Levant are wreaking havoc in the north of Iraq and heading toward Baghdad. Majority Shiites are trying to fight back, but government troops have been seen fleeing their positions. The nation is close to a partition of the country into Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish zones, a predictable result of Bush’s ill-advised, unnecessary war. -more-

SENIOR POWER: Read my lips…

By Helen Rippier Wheeler,
Thursday June 19, 2014 - 05:36:00 PM

Just across the pharmacy counter, inches away, a sales person is asking me for something. It’s likely “your address?” And I respond “February 19, 1926.” Sometimes vice versa. When one is merely “hard of hearing” (hearing impaired), one takes chances. And soon learns that asking her/him to speak slowly or to look right at you is usually a waste of time and energy! Ditto learning to lip-read late in life. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Surviving as an Aging Man with Mental Illness

Jack Bragen
Friday June 20, 2014 - 09:28:00 PM

I have reached the latter part of middle age, and my life is more than half over. -more-

Arts & Events

New: Citizen Koch:
Voters, Workers, Filmmakers All Get Screwed by the Kochs --
Opens June 27 at the Landmark Shattuck

Review by Gar Smith
Monday June 23, 2014 - 02:48:00 PM

It's not for nothing that the "MPAA Rating" on the Citizen Koch press packet warns the 86-minute documentary contains some coarse language "and terrifying political maneuvering." Case in point: The reason we will be watching Citizen Koch on the Big Screen is because we weren't allowed to see it on PBS.

The film was originally set for broadcast on PBS—until the Independent Television Service (ITVS) pulled its promised $150,000 in completion funds. Why? Out of concern the film might rile the bile of a particular donor named Koch (who also sits on the boards of two of the largest PBS stations). ITVS had earlier aired Alex Gibney's exposé, Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream, which included a scathing critique of David Koch and his brother Charles. Citizen Koch arrived just as WNET (the flagship PBS station in Manhattan) was anticipating a seven-figure gift from Koch. Aware of Mr. Koch's displeasure over the Ginbey film, WNET's president refused to schedule the film for broadcast. As one senior ITVS exec subsequently explained: "We live in a world where we have to be aware that people with power have power."

Ironically, this was the very message the filmmakers were trying to make.

Directors Carl Deal and Tia Lessin were forced to "go grassroots" to finished their film. A Kickstarter campaign drew more than 3,000 supporters who contributed nearly $170,000 in 30 days.

The film is arriving in Bay Area movie theaters on June 27. The Kochs will not be pleased.

Co-director Tia Lessin will be at the Landmark Shattuck on Saturday to discuss the film. There will be a Q&A after the 5, 7 and 9:30 screenings. Common Cause CA will host the second Q&A and Tia Lesin will introduce the final screening. -more-

New: Arianne MacBean & The Big Show Company at ODC in San Francisco June 26-8

Previewed by James Roy MacBean
Sunday June 22, 2014 - 08:52:00 AM

Although Becky O’Malley, editor of the Planet and mother of an opera singer, shares with me the perils of writing about one’s own offspring, she has encouraged me to write, if not a review, at least a preview to alert readers to the forthcoming modern dance events Thursday, June 26 through Saturday, June 28, at ODC, 351 Shotwell Street (between 17th & 18th) in San Francisco’s Mission District.

My daughter Arianne MacBean brings her modern dance troupe, The Big Show Co., from Los Angeles for three performances, including a world première of a new piece entitled “Present Tense.” As a choreographer much praised by the Los Angeles Times, Arianne MacBean combines dance, music, movement, gesture, and text—sometimes spoken by the dancers, sometimes in a dialogue between an off-stage voice and the dancers, and sometimes written on the bodies of the dancers. Her work is full of humor and whimsy, and it usually deals with issues of communication across gender lines. I heartily recommend her shows; but then she’s my daughter. Come and see for yourself. -more-

MUSIC REVIEWS: Mendelssohn’s ELIJAH in Hertz Hall and
Verdi’s LA TRAVIATA at San Francisco Opera

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Thursday June 19, 2014 - 10:18:00 AM

On Friday, June 13, 2014, the Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra gave the first of three performances of Felix Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah at Hertz Hall on the UC Berk-eley campus. Elijah was composed by Mendelssohn on a commission from the Birmingham Triennial Music Festival in England, where it was first performed in 1846. It is the second oratorio composed by Mendelssohn, the first being St. Paul, which also received an English première, though ten years earlier. These two oratorios, set to religious texts, and following in the tradition of Bach and Handel, firmly established Mendelssohn in the English musical scene. In the course of Mendelssohn’s brief life, he made nine different trips to England, even becoming friends with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who championed his music. -more-