More Bad News for the News

By Becky O’Malley
Wednesday February 04, 2009 - 06:17:00 PM

The economic news continues to be bad and worse. Today, we are sorry to say goodbye to our old friends at Elephant, founded by Stuart Skorman as Elephant Pharmacy, made over by investors after he moved on with the trendier-sounding name of Elephant Pharm. In the brave new world of the Awful Oughties, neither a good business plan nor honest business practices nor clever marketing turned out to be enough to save Elephant. Like an increasing number of retailers, from large (Circuit City) to small (the deli on your corner, perhaps), it’s not possible to survive without credit, and credit’s broken. -more-


'Lucky Phil' Kamlarz, and other Recession-Era Berkeleyans

By Justin DeFreitas
Monday February 09, 2009 - 06:19:00 PM

Meg Whitman for Governor

By Justin DeFreitas
Tuesday February 10, 2009 - 04:15:00 PM

Daschle's Departure

By Justin DeFreitas
Wednesday February 04, 2009 - 06:49:00 PM

A Drought of Ideas

By Justin DeFreitas
Wednesday February 04, 2009 - 06:31:00 PM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Monday February 09, 2009 - 02:37:00 PM


Letters to the Editor

Wednesday February 04, 2009 - 06:18:00 PM

BRAINS WIN! -more-

Another Gaia Building Riot — With Gunfire

By Anna de Leon
Wednesday February 04, 2009 - 06:18:00 PM

Once again, this past Friday evening, a riot in downtown Berkeley, with fighting and gunfire, was created by another out-of-control party at the Gaia Arts Center. Although the use permit does not allow private parties, and allows only cultural use, the landlord continues to rent to huge hip hop parties, attended by literally hundreds of teens and young adults. Party attendees then text message their friends who arrive by the hundreds, mobbing the streets. This event was closed down by dozens of Berkeley police officers at 9 p.m. It took two hours for police to move the crowd to Shattuck where, in front of the movie theaters, the fighting and shooting ensued. Imagine parents sending their children to the Shattuck Cinema only to be ensnared in a riot as the movies let out. -more-

Ending California’s Education Budget Rollercoaster

By Sheila Jordan
Wednesday February 04, 2009 - 06:19:00 PM

People around the country are celebrating an historic event and a demonstration of the power of individuals united in a vision for hope and change. This is not about one man, Barack Obama, but in what his daring to do the seemingly impossible represents for us all. -more-

Development Kudos and Woes in North Oakland

By Bob Brokl
Wednesday February 04, 2009 - 06:19:00 PM

The Oakland Planning Commission recently unanimously green-lighted the 100-plus unit condo high-rise known as “Creekside” (dubbed “Creekover” by some) at the corner of Telegraph and Claremont, the site of the building that formerly housed Global Video. Given the state of the economy, there is no certainty when, if ever, that project will be built. But the building was emptied out of tenants, with jobs and retail tax dollars lost, plus the built-in security provided by people using the structure. -more-

The Debate Over ‘Clean Coal’

By Jack Bragen
Wednesday February 04, 2009 - 06:19:00 PM

There has been a media campaign in the past year espousing the misnomer that there is such a thing as “clean coal.” In recent months, there has been a counter campaign from environmentalists that ridicules and disputes the myth. Then, the coal corporations found that sound bite of an Obama campaign speech in which Obama promotes the idea that “we can do it” with “clean coal.” -more-

Real Sunshine Could Be in Berkeley’s Future

By Dean Metzger
Wednesday February 04, 2009 - 06:19:00 PM

After two years of work, an independent citizens’ group has submitted a cutting-edge, open-government ordinance to the City Council for its consideration. The Citizens’ Sunshine Ordinance, if adopted by the council in its entirety, would shed real sunshine on city business. All city records, except for those otherwise protected by law, would be made available to the public in a timely way. There would be sufficient time before legislative bodies met for citizens to obtain and review records related to agenda items. Most significantly, this ordinance, unlike any other passed so far in California, would have an independent body to enforce its provisions. Now, it’s up to the City Council to take the bold step of adopting such a progressive ordinance without weakening its provisions. -more-

Human-Scale Smart Growth for Downtown

By Charles Siegel
Wednesday February 04, 2009 - 06:20:00 PM

The extreme wing of Berkeley’s smart-growth movement is pushing hard for high-rises in downtown. -more-

Council Violates Berkeley’s Nuclear Free Berkeley Act

By Gene Bernardi
Wednesday February 04, 2009 - 06:20:00 PM

At the Jan. 27 meeting where the City Council rammed through a waiver for the Library of the Nuclear Free Berkeley Act (NFBA), the council majority’s disdain for the public was palpable. Some 30 persons present to speak against waiving the NFBA were not called to speak until 11 p.m. By then the 20 remaining were forced by the mayor to confine their comments to one minute each unless someone else deferred time. This was not in the spirit of the Brown Act which requires equitable treatment of public speakers. Speakers on other agenda items had two minutes. -more-

3M Company’s Military Contracts, Non-Equal Partner Benefits

By Peter Warfield
Wednesday February 04, 2009 - 06:20:00 PM

A part of the military-industrial complex was invited by the Berkeley Public Library to call on the City Council last week, with favorable references provided by library head Donna Corbeil and Terry Powell of the Board of Library Trustees (BOLT)—and despite the best efforts of the Peace and Justice Commission (which voted 7-1 against granting the waiver of the Nuclear Free Berkeley Act, with two abstentions) plus some two dozen members of the public, the majority of councilmembers said: “Make yourself at home, at least for awhile.” -more-