The Week



Press Release: Berkeley Police identify one shooting victim

Ofc. J. Coats, BPD
Wednesday December 31, 2014 - 05:05:00 PM

On Monday, December 29, 2014 at approximately 9:45 p.m. BPD received multiple 911 calls of a shooting in a parking lot in the 1900 block of San Pablo Avenue. Police and Fire personnel responded to the scene. A male and female victim was located, suffering from gunshot wounds. The male victim was pronounced deceased at the scene. The other victim, a 28 year old female, was transported to a local hospital for treatment, she is currently in stable condition.

The male victim has been identified as Kamahl Middleton, 36 years old. -more-

Flash: Two shot, one dies in parking lot on San Pablo in Berkeley--suspect still at large this morning

Bay City News and Planet
Tuesday December 30, 2014 - 09:15:00 AM

The suspect or suspects in the third homicide in Berkeley this year are still at large, a Berkley Police Department spokeswoman said this morning. -more-

New: Berkeley's Elmwood Theater will show "The Interview" tomorrow

Jeff Burbank (BCN)
Wednesday December 24, 2014 - 05:18:00 PM

At least 10 theaters in the Bay Area and Monterey Bay regions, including the Elmwood Theater in Berkeley, plan to show the controversial comedy "The Interview" on Christmas Day since Sony Pictures Entertainment announced it would release the film despite an online group's threats to harm patrons. -more-

Dead man was U.C. Berkeley student

Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN
Tuesday December 23, 2014 - 05:22:00 PM

A 20-year-old man who was found dead in the heart of the University of California at Berkeley's fraternity and sorority residential area early Saturday morning was from San Ramon, according to online posts. -more-

Flash: Berkeley Police report deceased youth found in 2500 block of Piedmont

Jamey Padojino (BCN)
Saturday December 20, 2014 - 03:52:00 PM

Berkeley police are investigating the suspicious death of a man found outside his home early this morning, a police spokeswoman said. -more-

Troubles in Berkeley's Redwood Gardens

Lydia Gans
Thursday December 18, 2014 - 10:15:00 AM

The residents of Redwood Gardens are experiencing a disruption in their lives that they seem to be powerless to affect. Redwood Gardens at 2951 Derby Street is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) housing complex of 169 apartments for low income seniors and people with disabilities. The management company, CSI Support and Development, has been making decisions and taking actions and ignoring any input from the residents. Complaints, questions, requests are often simply ignored. They have converted a popular community room into offices for their staff. They are changing garden areas against the residents' wishes. Most recently they have converted a pleasant sun room into a laundry in spite of vehement protests by the residents. One long-time resident commented bitterly, “There is increasing enmity between the residents and management.”

Now they have embarked on a huge project that will disrupt the residents' lives for a long time to come. With a zero interest loan from HUD, CSI will do major renovations throughout the complex. The process will certainly be extremely long and stressful. And it is not at all clear what, if any benefit there will be for the tenants. It appears to be more in the interest of the management. Board member Eleanor Walden suggests that “The only reason for this renovation is to raise the value of corporate owned multi-family low income housing because the senior/low income population is the fastest growing population and as such it is potentially a highly profitable commodity in the future.” It turns out that similar projects are also going on in other HUD housing complexes. -more-


The Editor's Back Fence

Slow Start

Friday December 19, 2014 - 03:11:00 PM

This issue of the Planet has gotten off to a slow start because our server was down for much of the past 24 hours. There are still some excellent pieces waiting to be posted, which will happen in due time, whenever that might be, given the holiday crush. Check in from time to time to see what's happening. -more-

Public Comment

Police officers' death

Ron Lowe
Tuesday December 23, 2014 - 12:28:00 PM

Two police officers are gunned down in New York City and everyone is searching for meaning in these two senseless deaths; talking about everything but the obvious - the elephant in the room - It's the guns stupid! -more-

Peshawar Attack

Khalida Jamilah
Thursday December 18, 2014 - 10:15:00 AM

The same day Taliban gunmen attacked students in Peshawar my youngest sister received an honor roll award. I was wondering if this brutal incident happened to my sister, my heart would have been torn and she would not be standing at the podium cheerfully while holding the certificate. Instead, she would be lying on the ground in a pool of blood. -more-


In Elizabeth Warren we trust

Bob Burnett
Friday December 19, 2014 - 03:19:00 PM

A recent Pew Research poll found that only 24 percent of Americans trust the government in Washington. This says a lot about US politics, but it doesn’t answer the question: which politicians can we trust? -more-

Senate torture report released, but does the American public really care?

Ralph E. Stone
Thursday December 18, 2014 - 06:08:00 PM

I, for one, applaud the release of the Senate Torture Report and urge those responsible be held accountable. Kudos to Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif), Chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, for getting the executive summary released to the public.

The Report is available online. The print version is available for purchase at GPO’s retail and online bookstore.

The Senate Torture Report found, among other things, that the CIA misled Congress, the Justice Department and President George W. Bush about the “effectiveness” of torture methods used, including waterboarding, shackling detainees in painful positions, prolonged sleep deprivation, rectal feeding and slamming detainees against walls. The report also found that those abuses did not help locate Osama bin Laden or thwart any terrorist plots, and were in fact counterproductive. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Acknowledging Cause and Effect

Jack Bragen
Thursday December 18, 2014 - 10:26:00 AM

For people with mental illness, thinking in terms of miracles can worsen an already difficult predicament. When someone has suffered from psychosis, it is a step forward to think in terms of cause and effect and not to see oneself as immune to the repercussions of mistakes. Pragmatism can be healing. It is valuable to think in terms of our actions and words as often but not always creating the results we obtain. It is also useful to refrain from blaming anyone, including oneself, if a bad circumstance that we did not cause creates hardship. -more-


Helen Rippier Wheeler,
Thursday December 18, 2014 - 10:20:00 AM

Oh, Joy… Jocelyn Ferguson, that is… and Kim Brewer too, staffing the reception desk, welcoming people as we entered the North Berkeley Senior Center recently. These two are old old-timers. There are other volunteers of course. -more-

Arts & Events

Handel’s MESSIAH at Grace Cathedral

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Wednesday December 24, 2014 - 05:09:00 PM

Handel’s Messiah, that old chestnut (roasting on an open fire), has been performed in Grace Cathedral every Christmas season for the last 15 years by American Bach Soloists under the direction of Jeffrey Thomas. This year, once again, ABS brought together at Grace Cathedral four eminent singers, a choir of 36 choristers, and 34 orchestra members playing period instruments, all led by conductor Jeffrey Thomas in three performances of Handel’s Messiah, December 16, 18-19. -more-