Oakland’s Example for Berkeley

By Becky O’Malley
Wednesday February 11, 2009 - 07:15:00 PM

The first writing I did for publication after we moved back to California in the early ‘70s was a little article for a four-page pickup paper whose name now escapes me. -more-


"Lucky Phil" Kamlarz and Other Recession-Era Berkeleyans

By Justin DeFreitas
Wednesday February 11, 2009 - 07:20:00 PM

Meg Whitman for Governor

By Justin DeFreitas
Wednesday February 11, 2009 - 07:23:00 PM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Tuesday February 17, 2009 - 11:40:00 AM


Letters to the Editor

Wednesday February 11, 2009 - 07:15:00 PM


Who Remembers the Holocaust?

By Annette Herskovits
Wednesday February 11, 2009 - 07:16:00 PM

Three weeks into the Hamas-Israel truce, the Gazans are still imprisoned. The Israeli military, poised on the border, enters and shoots at will, the terrifying sound of jet fighters and helicopters continues, day and night. Truckloads of humanitarian aid are barred from entering. -more-

Telegraph Ave., Past and Present

By Dorothy Snodgrass
Wednesday February 11, 2009 - 07:17:00 PM

Hearing the sad news that La Fiesta Restaurant on Telegraph Avenue will close its doors in a couple of months, my friend Joy and I had dinner there last evening. We were a decidedly morose pair, lamenting the many changes that have occurred in the years we’ve lived in the area. Losing Mario and Rosalinda Trejeda is in itself a great loss, although this wonderful couple will happily still operate their beautiful Banquet Hall on Haste Street. -more-

Meleé at the Gaia Building

By Dorothy Bryant
Wednesday February 11, 2009 - 07:17:00 PM

When I read Riya Bhattacharjee’s account of yet another incident at the Gaia Building (Feb. 5-11 edition) I had one of those old-geezer “in-my-day” moments. I was born with the Great Depression, and grew up in San Francisco’s Mission District. My parents, Italian immigrants with strict traditions on the rearing of daughters, did not allow me to date, but I was allowed, at 14 or 15, in the last year of World War II, to attend cheap, well-advertized public dances with half a dozen other girls. We walked about a mile (from Army Street, now Caesar Chavez) and crossed Market Street, to Civic Auditorium, then not much more than a vast barn-like dance floor with a stage filled by whatever “big band” was in town. Hundreds of teenagers from every corner of the city converged on Civic Auditorium. I danced with strangers or stood in the clapping, stomping circles that gathered around the best (usually black or hispanic) jitterbuggers. There were probably some discreetly pocketed pints of whiskey in some boys’ zootsuit pockets, but no noticeable drunkenness. There was probably police presence, but we hardly aware of it in all the noise and excitement. If the place became filled to capacity, I never heard of any problem turning people away. At about ten, as ordered by our parents, our group of girls walked back home together through the Mission’s dark streets, quite assured, as our strict parents were, of our safety in numbers. -more-

Charles Darwin’s 200th Birthday

By Ralph E. Stone
Wednesday February 11, 2009 - 07:18:00 PM

Feb. 12 marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth. Darwin’s theory of evolution as set forth in his Origin of Species, published in 1859, and his subsequent writings, is considered the foundation of biology. Darwin’s theory is supported by information that has been tested again and again. The later discovery of DNA further confirmed Darwin’s theory and explained how traits are passed on. Genetics also confirmed the most controversial part of Darwin’s theory: that humans and apes have a common ancestry. Remarkably, today only 40 percent of Americans accept Darwin’s theory of evolution. Here is a bit of background on the issue. -more-

Richmond’s School District Bailout: Like Putting a Band-Aid on Gangrene

By Charles Rachlis
Wednesday February 11, 2009 - 07:17:00 PM

A palpable wave of relief passed through the crowd during the Feb. 4 meeting when the representatives of the City of Richmond announced their bailout of four schools potentially slated for closure. While not looking a gift horse in the mouth, however, the community understands that one-time bailouts from the cities won’t put the West Contra Costa County School District (WCCUSD) in the black. Without a commitment for another $2 million from somewhere, prior to Feb. 11, the School Board sees no road to a balanced budget other than closing the doors of a number of our neighborhood schools. -more-

AC Transit’s Divide-and-Conquer Strategy

By Russ Tilleman
Wednesday February 11, 2009 - 07:18:00 PM

As the Berkeley City Council prepares to vote on AC Transit’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) proposal, people in the neighborhoods surrounding Telegraph seem to be overwhelmingly against the idea. I live four blocks from Telegraph, and I shop on Telegraph every day and often eat dinner in restaurants on Telegraph. Essentially everyone I talk to in the area hates the idea of losing two driving lanes and two parking lanes on the avenue, and they find it difficult to believe that BRT might actually be approved. It seems like such an obviously bad idea that most people don’t even take it seriously. They are expecting the City Council to make a responsible decision and preserve the neighborhoods for the people who live and work here. I hope their faith in our government is justified. -more-

The Obamas and Washington, D.C., Statehood

By Jean Damu
Wednesday February 11, 2009 - 07:19:00 PM

News item: In a Feb. 2 press release, President Barack Obama announced the theme of this year’s African American History Month as “The Quest for Black Citizenship in the Americas.” -more-

Growthzilla Still Ravaging Berkeley—And Everybody Loses

By Gale Garcia
Wednesday February 11, 2009 - 07:19:00 PM

It was the mother of all housing bubbles, fueled by a lending industry gone mad. For years I warned members of the Berkeley City Council and Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB)—in e-mails, hand-delivered letters and colorful flyers—to stop approving every turkey of a housing project that came before them. I was completely ignored. -more-

UC Service Workers Examine Settlement Offer

By Hank Chapot
Wednesday February 11, 2009 - 07:19:00 PM

As you read this, low-wage employees at all 10 University of California campuses represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) are voting on a new contract, one close to that given union-represented patient-care workers a few months ago. -more-

A New Climate for Our Downtown Plan

By Alan Tobey
Wednesday February 11, 2009 - 07:20:00 PM

In 2005 the city and the university agreed to cooperate on the completion of a new city plan for downtown Berkeley—the Downtown Area Plan (DAP). In pursuance of that plan a 21-member citizen task force—the Downtown Area Plan Advisory Committee or DAPAC—met more than a hundred times. Its draft plan, completed late in 2007, has since been undergoing review by the Planning Commission; that commission’s comments, potentially including its alternative version of the plan, will go to the City Council in April. The Council must approve a final DAP in May or begin to forfeit significant fees from the university. The university (whose own properties within our downtown district are not constrained by city zoning) must also agree to the completed DAP. -more-

Predicting Success

By Marvin Chachere
Wednesday February 11, 2009 - 07:20:00 PM

Malcolm Gladwell is a good writer with a flair for shining lights on smudged but well-worked subjects. In the Dec. 15 New Yorker he takes on a question at the rotten root of our education system: How can we know which teachers are “Most Likely to Succeed”? -more-