Three lanes of eastbound Interstate Highway 80 in Berkeley are blocked this afternoon by a head-on crash, according to the California Highway Patrol. -more-
A three-alarm fire that destroyed a home and damaged two others in North Berkeley on Thursday afternoon was apparently caused by a faulty lamp switch, an assistant fire chief said today. -more-
This year’s UC Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall) commencement ceremony will be the site of an anti-torture protest initiated by the national organization World Can’t Wait and other anti-torture organizations, lawyers, and activists. -more-
Jurors this morning convicted Andrew Hoeft-Edenfield of second-degree murder for the stabbing death of University of California at Berkeley senior Christopher Wootton near campus two years ago. -more-
A three-alarm fire that destroyed one home and damaged two others in North Berkeley this afternoon has been controlled, a deputy fire chief said. -more-
Protesters ended a 10-day hunger strike yesterday on the University of California at Berkeley campus during a meeting with the university chancellor and top administrators that both sides called productive. -more-
On March 3rd, 2010, over 20 students, the majority being Latinos, decided to go on a hunger strike to call attention issues that affect our community both here on campus and across the nation. This inspired many students, workers, and community members, evident in the solidarity, love, and support we witnessed since then. We say thank you to everyone for this. -more-
PG&E on Monday issued an apology along with 45 reports dating back to August 2006 detailing reviews, monitoring, testing, and corrections identified in the company's SmartMeter program. -more-
Hunger strikers on the campus of University of California at Berkeley are scheduled to meet this afternoon with the university chancellor to negotiate their demands and possibly end the 10-day strike, a spokesman for the group said. -more-
Hunger strikers at the University of California at Berkeley were still on campus as of Monday night. They marched with their supporters to the Chancellor's residence about 7 p.m. after campus police dislodged them from their previous locations. Strikers posted this video of the march on their Facebook page on Monday night. -more-
At its May 6, 2010 regular monthly meeting the Berkeley Landmarks Preservation Commission grappled with landmark issues related to the new, proposed, Downtown Area Plan, continued review of renovation plans for the North Berkeley Public Library, roundly criticized the design of a proposed project adjacent to the historic Berkeley City Club, and made its first landmark designation of 2010. -more-
Negotiators for the city of Richmond and Chevron have reached an unprecedented agreement that settles several major tax issues. Chevron has agreed to pay millions of additional dollars to the city if the city will drop its appeal of Measure T and proposed changes in the Utility Users Tax. (See below for details.).The settlement goes to the city council next Tuesday where the Richmond Progressive Alliance expects and supports its adoption. -more-
The University of California at Berkeley has reached an agreement with the San Francisco Giants for Cal's football team to play their home games in 2011 at AT&T Park in San Francisco while its own stadium is being retrofitted and renovated. -more-
OAKLAND, CA – The BART Police Department is investigating a suspicious death in which a 22-year-old white male from Berkeley, Konstantin Tomashevsky, was found at the UN Plaza entrance of the Civic Center BART Station on May 5, 2010. -more-
The city council has killed BRT in Berkeley. It is time for the city to update the "Nuclear-Free Zone" signs at its border by adding "Transit-Free Zone." -more-
We hear a lot of talk about carbon dioxide as the most dangerous climate culprit. And we should. So far, loading the atmosphere with CO2 is the single biggest cause of climate disruption. But, in the final analysis, methane may prove to be the most deadly of all greenhouse gases. -more-
I’ve lived at the same Oakland address for 41 years. I rented for 9 years and have owned my home since 1978. I am a childless widow. I used to like where I lived. Now, I wish I could move my home out of Oakland. I have no desire to move. I just want to remove my life from the reaches of the egregious oppression of Oakland governance. Oakland has some of the highest paid city employees in the entire country. Clearly a city with this much poverty and serious needs cannot afford to compensate Oakland employees and politicians at the level they have managed to achieve and demand and still viably function and maintain needed services. -more-
Anyone who’s interested in the truth had better read the latest discharge from the seemingly bottomless sewer which calls itself FLAME ( “Facts and Logic About the Middle East”). Prudence would suggest that we should just ignore this garbage, but the serious accusations that the author makes which sully the good name of the Jewish community of the Bay Area can’t go unchallenged. -more-
The Editor's Back Fence
Regular readers (now more than 20,000 visitors a week, with almost 600 subscribers) will find this week’s Planet particularly confusing. We’re in a new phase of our experimental process, so please read this carefully and then bear with us during the transition.
From now on, the only “issue date” will be on Tuesdays. That’s the day we have complete events lists ready to post, which will give would-be audience members ten full days of arts and events listing, starting on Wednesday and going through the next two weekends.
We’ll “publish” the week’s issue that day. What this means is that when readers type in berkeleydailyplanet.com they’ll get the “current” issue, the one “published” on the most recent Tuesday. Then we’ll start adding stories to the “next” issue as they come in. Any time readers want to read these new stories, they can just click on the “next issue” button on the front page of the “current issue”. (Try it now.) To get back to square one, click on "current issue".
If a story is fast breaking and changing fast(the recent student hunger strike, for example), we might also add it to the “current issue” front page, above the original headline and under the red “Extra” heading on the right hand side. As there are new developments, we’ll just add these at the top, while not removing earlier versions.
A summary or final version of stories like this will then be posted in the next Tuesday issue.
The Tuesday issue will also be converted to PDFs (graphic pages) which will be posted on the site . These can easily be printed on home printers and will be available in print from Copy Central at Solano and Peralta for a small charge to cover the printing costs. We’re not going to create a printable version on Fridays any more, but each printable Tuesday issue will have the whole preceding week's content, updated as needed.
I’ll still be sending email updates twice a week to subscribers, with links to especially interesting stories.
If you’d like a free subscription, just click on “subscribe” at the right hand side of this page. And there’s also an “unsubscribe” button there if you want it.
Berkeley Police Seek Four Suspects in Connection With Recent Robberies;PG&E Apologizes for Smart Meter Problems, but Some Aren't Satisfied;;Life and Death on the Arizona Border; Open Letter to UC President Yudof Re: UC Statement on Divestment; Flashmob Invades Westin Hotel - Video Goes Viral;Watch the Youtube video that has already been seen over 100,000 times and is -more-;The Boy Scouts: A Pact With the Devil;Response to Prof. Kondolf on BRT;First Person: Lifestyles of the Mentally Ill;Ghosts of the Alaka’i; Reader's Recommendation: Anzu Restaurant ; -more-
Israeli charges that Syria has transferred Scud missiles to Lebanon’s Hezbollah, coupled with a sharp criticism of the Shiite organization’s arsenal by U.S. Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, have measurably increased tensions in the Middle East. According to the Israeli daily, Haaretz Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed About Gheit said the Lebanese government was in a “complete panic” over the possibility of an attack by Tel Aviv. -more-
Arts & Events
May 14, and every Friday at noon: catch pianist Jerry Kuderna’s Friday Lunch Concerts, -more-
Last Thursday night I came home from TERRORiSTKA[sic], a play about Chechen terrorists by Rebecca Bella at the Berkeley City Club. Before I started to write this review, I clicked on the front page of the New York Times online. The Pakistan Taliban fumbles the bomb in Times Square and in Red Square US GI’s march in the May Day Parade. The play I saw was about striking back at the Russian Empire that maltreats the Chechens; the US is killing civilians with drones in Afghanistan; now the two Empires march together. I just shook my head at this variation on George Lucas’s vision…and at the timeliness of this play. -more-
Berkeley City College will host a visit by the president of the Jolom Mayaetik Mayan weavers' cooperative from San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico on Monday May 17. From noon to 2:30 in the BCC atrium, Celia Santiz Ruiz will exhibit and sell textiles created on the traditional backstrap loom by members of the 250-strong cooperative who live in small communities in the highlands of Chiapas. The collection includes traditional tapestries and huipiles as well as examples of the cooperative's new designs—pillows, scarves, kitchen towels, tablecloths. In the afternoon she will speak to a BCC class about the work of the cooperative and the daily lives of its members. The weavers of the cooperative are proudly carrying on the weaving tradition and ancient designs learned from their mothers and grandmothers and also working to extend the reach of their art by visiting communities in the US and exhibiting their work and speaking about the goals of their cooperative. -more-
Please meet us at 10am on the 16th of May for a field trip co-lead by David Amme and Lech Naumovich on the grasslands of Point Molate. -more-