Full Text

via Alejandro Garcia: Students march to Chancellor's house.
via Alejandro Garcia: Students march to Chancellor's house.
 

News

Flash: Head-On Crash Blocks 3 Lanes of Highway 80 in Berkeley

Monday May 17, 2010 - 04:03:00 PM

Three lanes of eastbound Interstate Highway 80 in Berkeley are blocked this afternoon by a head-on crash, according to the California Highway Patrol.  

The accident, which involved a Ford Thunderbird and a street sweeper, was reported just before 3 p.m. on Highway 80 just east of Ashby Avenue, CHP Officer Scott Cakebread said.  

As of 3:15 p.m., lanes No. 1, 2 and 5 were blocked, Cakebread said.  

He did not know if anyone was injured.  

 


Updated: Lamp Switch Started House Fire

Dan McMenamin, BCN
Friday May 14, 2010 - 05:22:00 PM

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. 

The blaze was reported at 12:02 p.m. at a home in the 500 block of San Luis Road, Assistant Fire Chief Sabina Imrie said. 

The fire was caused by a malfunction in the lamp switch, and the lamp was surrounded by papers that fueled the fire, Imrie said. 

The blaze caused at least $500,000 in structural damage to the home, rendering it uninhabitable. It also caused at least $100,000 in damage to two neighboring homes, according to Imrie. 

The owner of the home where the fire started was displaced, along with her sister and their dog. The dog was rescued from the home by a neighbor during the blaze, Imrie said.  

The residents in the two neighboring homes were able to return to their houses later Thursday after they were deemed safe and utility services were turned back on in the area, she said. 

No residents or firefighters were injured by the blaze. 

 


Press Release: World Can't Wait Sparks anti-Yoo Protest on Friday Morning

From The World Can't Wait
Thursday May 13, 2010 - 06:10:00 PM

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.  

Yesterday, World Can’t Wait student organizer Giovanni Jackson said: “The University of California can’t continue to employ a war criminal, John Yoo.We’ll greet the graduates, inviting them all to join the fight to end America’s torture program, and end UC and Boalt’s complicity with it.”  

As a key legal architect of the Bush-Cheney administration’s torture policies and practices, Yoo and his then-supervisor Jay Bybee are key subjects of the recently released report by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). Protest organizers claim the OPR report provides new evidence that both men are not only guilty of professional misconduct – but that by legal standards established through the post-World War II Nuremberg trials,Yoo and Bybee have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity and should face prosecution.  

For several years the protesters have been calling for Yoo to be fired from the University of California, and disbarred, as well as prosecuted for war crimes. Frequent protests and arrests in the Bay Area and other cities continue whenever or Bybee (and other members of the Bush-Cheney team) appear publicly.  

“We’ll be there because the torture victims cannot speak for themselves. Justice and the law mean nothing if war criminals walk free, enjoying academic respectability and public celebrity while their victims go unheard,” said Curt Wechsler, editor of the website FireJohnYoo.org  

Stephanie Tang, a World Can’t Wait leader arrested protesting outside Yoo’s classroom in 2009, added: “Yoo and Bybee represent a simple question: do people in the U.S. find torture an acceptable weapon in their government’s arsenal? Is torture part of the world we want to live in? And if we answer NO – what will we do to make that real?” 

 

WHEN: Friday, May 14 8 a.m. Gates Open; 8:30 a.m. Graduates’ Processional; 

WHERE: Hearst Greek Theater, Gayley Road, UC Berkeley  

11:30 a.m. Reception at the Clark Kerr Campus, Gayley Road  


Hoeft-Edenfield Convicted of Second-Degree Murder for Stabbing UC Berkeley Student

Bay City News
Thursday May 13, 2010 - 04:13:00 PM

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.  

Wootton was stabbed in a confrontation in the parking lot of a sorority house in the 2400 block of Warring Street at about 2:45 a.m. May 3, 2008.  

Jurors announced their verdict after deliberating for the equivalent of three full days.  

Yolanda Huang, the defense attorney for Hoeft-Edenfield, 22, told jurors in her closing argument that Wootton's death "could well have been an accident."  

The stabbing occurred at the end of a drunken shouting match that developed when Hoeft-Edenfield and a group of his friends encountered Wootton and his friends on a street near campus.  

Huang admitted that Hoeft-Edenfield, who worked at Jamba Juice in Berkeley and attended Berkeley City College, stabbed Wootton but said he acted in self-defense after he was outnumbered, surrounded, kicked and stomped by Wootton and a large group of Wootton's friends.  

Huang said Hoeft-Edenfield should be acquitted, telling jurors, "It's time for you to send Mr. Hoeft-Edenfield home to his family and for this to be over."  

But prosecutor Connie Campbell called the idea that the death was an accident "outrageous."  

Campbell said Hoeft-Edenfield intentionally drove his three-and-a-half-inch knife into Wootton's chest with so much force that it broke a rib and created a gash in Wootton's heart, causing him to die from blood loss.  

The prosecutor alleged that Hoeft-Edenfield and his friends had an opportunity to walk away from the confrontation but that Hoeft-Edenfield escalated the situation.  

Wootton, 21, who was from Bellflower in Southern California, was only weeks away from graduating with honors in nuclear engineering. He planned to continue studying nuclear engineering in graduate school at UC Berkeley.  

Hoeft-Edenfield bowed his head and put his hand over his head after the jury's verdict was read and remained seated with his back to jurors when they left court.  

He faces a term of at least 15 years to life when he returns to court on June 10 to be sentenced by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Horner.


Three-Alarm Fire Destroys North Berkeley Home, Damages Two Others, Dog Rescued

Bay City News
Thursday May 13, 2010 - 04:05:00 PM

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.  

The blaze was reported at 12:02 p.m. at a home near the intersection of Avis and San Luis roads.  

No injuries have been reported but a dog was rescued from the home that was destroyed, Berkeley Deputy Fire Chief Gil Dong said.  

Nearly 40 firefighters battled the flames. The cause of the fire remains under investigation but it does not appear to be suspicious, he said.  


UC Berkeley Hunger Strike Ends with Meeting

By Bay City News
Thursday May 13, 2010 - 08:43:00 AM

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. 

The protest was in part a response to Arizona's new immigration law, which allows police to question people they believe to be in the country illegally. On Friday, UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau publicly denounced the law. 

That denouncement was one of a number of demands protesters made since beginning the hunger strike last week outside of California Hall. 

The group's other demands included making the UC Berkeley campus into a "sanctuary campus" for students and workers, dropping the charges against the students involved in a protest late last year at Wheeler Hall, revising student code of conduct rules, and bringing back laid-off workers. 

Protesters held a rally Tuesday urging Birgeneau to meet with them to address their demands, and the chancellor met the group's negotiators at 4 p.m. today inside California Hall, said Marco Amaral, a spokesman for the hunger strikers. 

UC Berkeley spokeswoman Claire Holmes tonight called the meeting "very productive'' and said the university and protesters came to several agreements that will be officially worked out over the next week in a "common statement of understanding.'' 

Among the agreements, Holmes said the university will expand a task force that looks at issues surrounding undocumented students and workers, will continue to examine the student code of conduct, and will continue to work with labor management to address concerns regarding layoffs. 

Holmes said the university would also continue to consider community service as a substitute disciplinary measure for those involved in the protests at Wheeler Hall.  

Following the meeting, Amaral said the protesters and the university had found a "middle ground'' and he was happy with the outcome, but added, "Our biggest accomplishment was within our community, raising awareness.'' 

He said fasters broke their strike by eating corn. 

On Tuesday, eight of the 15 students and workers who had been participating in the hunger strike since the beginning started a "dry strike," meaning they did not eat or drink until it ended today, Amaral said. At least 20 people partook in the strike. Amaral said four were hospitalized, but returned for today's gathering. 


Press Release: UC Berkeley Hunger Strike To Be Suspended

From "Hungry For Justice" site, posted May 12, dated May 13 (Thursday)
Wednesday May 12, 2010 - 09:18:00 PM

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. 

After much pressure from students, workers, and faculty and lengthy discussions with California Hall, the administration has agreed to enter negotiations over our concerns. These are first steps in working towards making CAL a better, safer, more inclusive, place for the Raza community in particular, and the CAL community at large. 

Our vision for social justice, through the hunger strike, has inspired many beyond UC Berkeley. We showed the world that we have a vision for a University that makes student’s concerns central, and that it’s imperative that administration condemns racism and racist logic, such as reflected in Arizona’s passage of SB 1070 and HB 2281. We showed the world that we had passion, dedication, and determination to make a better university and society possible. 

This movement is far from over, and we will continue to organize and struggle to transform our society. Please come back here for more updates. 

 

 

For more information check  

 

here.


PG&E Apologizes for Smart Meter Problems, but Some Aren't Satisfied

By Bay City News
Wednesday May 12, 2010 - 03:55:00 PM

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. 

"While 99 percent of our SmartMeter devices are installed and working properly, we recognize that even having less than 1 percent of meters with issues is still 50,000 customers, and that's too many," said Helen Burt, senior vice president and chief customer officer of the San Francisco-based utility that serves much of Northern and Central California. "We pledge to address customer service issues better than we have been, more quickly, and more aggressively." 

SmartMeters are advanced utility meters that wirelessly communicate usage information to customers and utility companies. The California Pacific Utilities Commission approved PG&E to install the newer, smarter meters because, they said, the meters would give customers detailed information about their own energy usage, encouraging them to cut down. 

But since PG&E began sporadic installation of the SmartMeters throughout the state in November 2006, the CPUC, PG&E, and various consumer advocacy groups have received numerous complaints about overcharging and other concerns. 

Specifically, the CPUC said they have received approximately 600 complaints in PG&E's service area since January 2009, compared to 10 in Edison's service area in Southern California and 15 in the San Diego Gas and Electric Company's service area. 

As a result of the complaints - many of which came from consumers in the San Joaquin Valley during the summer of 2009 - and pressure from legislators like Senator Dean Florez, D-Shafter, the CPUC launched an investigation into the company in March of this year. 

PG&E spokesman Paul Moreno said the company has received roughly 1,000 complaints, and he also confirmed that there have been some 23,000 cases since 2006 in which a piece of equipment called the "gas module" was incorrectly installed, many of which resulted in an incorrect gas bill. 

But Moreno said that nearly all of those situations have been rectified with customers and others preempted. He said the company expects all of their customers to have SmartMeters installed by 2012. 

"We're installing about 15,000 per day," he said. 

After issuing their apology on Monday, PG&E outlined some of the steps they are taking to address consumer complaints, including expanding testing, increasing the number of customer service "answer centers" and adding more customer service representatives, among others. 

But Mindy Spatt, spokeswoman for the consumer advocacy group The Utility Reform Network, said the company should stop installing the meters altogether until the CPUC has completed their investigation. 

The CPUC stated that it nixed the moratorium idea because the number of complaints compared to the total number of installations doesn't validate it. "There are millions of SmartMeters operating around the globe with no complaints," it said. 

In the meantime, customers like Larry Chang, who is a small business owner in Oakland, have decided to refuse the SmartMeters by posting signage on their meters. 

Chang said the company has not provided enough information about the benefits to the customers to warrant the installations. Although the company has touted that the technology will allow customers to track their energy usage, Chang said he would have to buy all new "Smart" appliances if he really wants to use SmartMeters as a personal energy auditing system. 

Chang was one of 50 community members in Oakland who agreed to refuse SmartMeter installations in a neighborhood meeting focused on the potential benefits and detriments of the technology held last Tuesday. He plans to keep a sign on his old utility meter that reads "Don't even think about installing a 'SmartMeter' here," until PG&E caves. 

"If I could find a way to get off of PG&E Service, I might very well do that at some point," said Chang. 


Hunger Strikers to Meet with UC Berkeley Chancellor

By Bay City News
Wednesday May 12, 2010 - 03:49:00 PM

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. 

The protest is in part a response to Arizona's new immigration law, which allows police to question people they believe to be in the country illegally. On Friday, UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau publicly denounced the law. 

That denouncement was one of a number of demands protesters have made since beginning the hunger strike last week outside of California Hall. 

The group's other demands include making the UC Berkeley campus into a "sanctuary campus" for students and workers, dropping the charges against the students involved in a protest earlier this year at Wheeler Hall, revising student code of conduct rules, and bringing back laid-off workers. 

Protesters held a rally Tuesday urging Birgeneau to meet with them to address their demands, and the chancellor has agreed to meet with the group at 4 p.m. today inside California Hall, said Marco Amaral, a spokesman for the hunger strikers. "We're going in with the belief that all our demands will be met, but we're going to negotiate in there," Amaral said. 

UC Berkeley officials were not immediately available to comment. 

Amaral said that depending on what happens in the meeting, the strike could end today. 

The 4 p.m. meeting will be preceded by a rally outside California Hall at 3:30 p.m. 

Amaral said he anticipates that about 200 people will show up at the rally, which will include speeches from the strikers and their supporters. 

On Tuesday, eight of the 15 students and workers who had been participating in the hunger strike since the beginning started a "dry strike," meaning they are not eating or drinking, Amaral said. At least 20 people have joined the strike since it began, he said. 


Hunger Strike on UC Berkeley Campus Enters Second Week

By Bay City News, Riya Bhattacharjee and Online Sources
Tuesday May 11, 2010 - 11:14:00 AM
via Alejandro Garcia: Students march to Chancellor's house.
via Alejandro Garcia: Students march to Chancellor's house.

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. 

A twitter message at about 5 pm said "Admin has contacted us: there will be a meeting only if we end up the hunger strike." “ 

They say they’re doing this for our health and for the good of the students” Marco Amaral, a freshman who is helping to organize the strike said in a statement. “But if Chancellor Birgeneau really cared about the health of the students he wouldn’t be forcing those on the strike to leave in this manner. If the chancellor truly cared about the students and workers of this campus he would meet our demands and end the strike.”  

Claire Holmes, the university's assistant vice chancellor of public affairs, said yesterday that about 40 people tried to block the doorway of California Hall Monday morning but campus police made sure the building is still accessible. 

However, Holmes said the situation at the front entrance to California Hall was "awkward" so people are entering and exiting the building at other entrances. 

The attempt to block California Hall came several hours after campus police moved students who have been on a hunger strike for the past week to leave the spot in front of the building where they have been camped out.  

About 17 people have been refusing to eat until the school agrees to publicly oppose Arizona's new immigration law that empowers local law enforcement to question people they believe may be in the U.S. illegally.  

Police woke the demonstrators at 5:45 a.m. Monday and told them to disperse within 20 minutes or they would be arrested, according to Rufino Romero, who is one of the students on strike.  

The students moved their things, but then returned to their spot, Romero said. Holmes said police helped the demonstrators move their things this morning and the university had a physician on hand to make sure the demonstrators were healthy. 

She said the move was peaceful and there was no arrests, but confirmed that the demonstrators returned to the lawn in front of the building soon after they were moved.  

Holmes said UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau strongly denounced Arizona's immigration law Friday, which is one of the protesters' demands. 

Holmes said Birgeneau, who is out of the country on university business, talked to the hunger strikers by phone on both Saturday and Sunday and has agreed to some of their other demands but not all of them.  

She said, "We're trying to work with them" and "there's been quite a bit of back and forth."  

 

 


Landmarks Commission Takes Up Downtown Plan and Project Proposed Next to City Club

By Steven Finacom
Tuesday May 11, 2010 - 06:19:00 PM
 The development firm of Hudson McDonald showed the Landmarks Commission this image depicting a proposed new five story-over-garage residential infill building at the northeast corner of Durant and Ellsworth.   St. Mark’s Church is at the left, with the domed towers, and the Berkeley City Club is on the right.
Steven Finacom
The development firm of Hudson McDonald showed the Landmarks Commission this image depicting a proposed new five story-over-garage residential infill building at the northeast corner of Durant and Ellsworth. St. Mark’s Church is at the left, with the domed towers, and the Berkeley City Club is on the right.
The revised design for the North Berkeley Library addition removes the overhang and angled façade elements of earlier designs.  This view, presented at the May 6 LPC meeting by the design consultants, is from Josephine Street.
The revised design for the North Berkeley Library addition removes the overhang and angled façade elements of earlier designs. This view, presented at the May 6 LPC meeting by the design consultants, is from Josephine Street.
City Planning Director Dan Marks, standing at podium, talks at the May 6 meeting with the Landmarks Commission about historic review provisions of the City Council’s proposed new Downtown Area Plan.
Steven Finacom
City Planning Director Dan Marks, standing at podium, talks at the May 6 meeting with the Landmarks Commission about historic review provisions of the City Council’s proposed new Downtown Area Plan.
The Joseph Esherick designed University YWCA building at Bancroft Way and Bowditch Street was designated Berkeley’s newest landmark at the May 6, 2010 meeting. (Photo, Steven Finacom)
Steven Finacom
The Joseph Esherick designed University YWCA building at Bancroft Way and Bowditch Street was designated Berkeley’s newest landmark at the May 6, 2010 meeting. (Photo, Steven Finacom)

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. 

All members of the Commission were in attendance. The meeting began several minutes after 7 pm and ended close to 11 pm. The public audience ranged from about 20 at the beginning of the meeting to two (including this writer) at the end. 

In summary, the Commission: 

• Voted unanimously to landmark the University YWCA building at Bancroft Way and Bowditch Street; 

• Expressed strong concern about the design of a proposed new building adjacent to the Berkeley City Club on Durant Avenue; 

• Discussed concerns about the new Downtown Area Plan with the City’s Planning Director; 

• Signed off, after several meetings of discussion, on the proposed design for an addition to the landmark North Berkeley Branch Library. 

Downtown Plan 

At the beginning of the meeting Commissioners engaged in a lively discussion with Planning Director Marks who attended the meeting to discuss historic preservation issues in the proposed new Downtown Area Plan. 

Marks said “the Downtown Area Plan that was previously proposed was rescinded by the City Council” after a voter referendum on the Plan gained enough signatures. A revised plan has been proposed by the Council and is now undergoing Planning Commission review.  

It includes a “green pathway” provision under which developers, if they meet certain requirements, could have “essentially an as-right development” with “nothing but design review” by the City, Marks said.  

Under the “green pathway,” developers would also get a “streamlined historic review process” which Marks said was similar to, but not the same as, the controversial Request for Determination (RFD) provision that was incorporated in a previous revision of the Landmarks Ordinance that was rejected by Berkeley voters in 2008. 

Marks said the historic process under the “green pathway” would involve having developers “submit a landmark application for a city conducted analysis of the historic value” of a particular property. When the analysis was complete, it would be sent to the Landmarks Commission.  

The Commission would be required to act in 90 days to determine if the building should be a landmark. Their decision would remain in effect while use permits for the proposed development were being reviewed. 

“I want to emphasize this is not a staff recommendation,” Marks said. “It’s what Council directed.” 

Marks said that if the new plan goes on the ballot, “this is plan level language. It doesn’t amend the LPO. But it does direct the staff to amend the LPO.” If the new Downtown Area Plan is approved by voters in November, “we will have to go back to amend the LPO to reflect this language,” Marks said. 

Marks said that on May 12 the Planning Commission would consider the new Downtown Plan and the Council would return to it in June. The Council must decide in July whether to actually put it on the ballot in November. He said the Landmarks Commission would be welcome to provide input in June to the City Council. 

Marks spoke to a concern raised during the Public Comment period by John English. The new Downtown Plan provisions would apply to properties throughout the Downtown Plan area, which now includes several low-rise residential areas north and south of the commercial Downtown core.  

English had worried that older historic houses in those areas might be caught in a regulatory trap where they could not get permits for renovations or seismic upgrades without meeting all the intense “green” standards the Plan proposes for major new development in the Downtown. 

“As we going to stick all of the requirements on a site to discourage historic preservation?” Marks said. “It’s a very good question. I certainly understand the unintended consequences of discouraging historic preservation.” He said specific zoning language could be developed addressing this issue. 

“I find it in incredibly poor faith that this hasn’t been brought to us,” said Commissioner Carrie Olson. “I would be happy to come back” to the Commission and talk further, Marks said.  

He added, “there has to be a CEQA (environmental review) process” on the Downtown Area Plan but did not have details to spell out for the Commission at this meeting. 

He said in his opinion when a building goes through the green pathway process “if a historic resource survey doesn’t find it’s a historic resource and the Commission doesn’t act within that 90 days, the historic aspect of CEQA should be satisfied.” 

“I’m concerned about this,” Commissioner Anne Wagley said. “I think it changes the Downtown Plan significantly from the DAPAC Plan,” which was developed last year by an advisory committee to the Council. 

“I would argue for a full CEQA review of what you’re doing with ‘green pathways’…you may be getting yourselves in trouble by doing policies and not articulating the implementation.”  

“The last time it was tried, it didn’t work,” Wagley said, referring to the rejection of the City Council’s revised Landmarks Ordinance by Berkeley voters in 2008. What happens, she asked, “when the voters have been sold something you can’t implement?” 

In a moment of humor Marks replied, “Just for the record, the ‘you’ part of this is the City Council. I’m not promising anyone anything.” 

“You’re selling the voters a pink elephant that might not materialize because of the implementation process,” Wagley continued. “That’s entirely possible,” Marks replied. 

Commissioner Robert Johnson quizzed Marks on the application of the 90-day review provision in the proposed streamlined historic process. When would the 90 days allowed the LPC to review the historic status of a building start?  

Marks said the details would need to be worked out but that “90 days will be three (LPC) meetings at least…” 

What if there’s a flood of “green pathway” applications all brought to the LPC, wondered Chair Gary Parsons and the Commission can’t deal with all of them at once? “I have a hard time believing there are going to be a lot of projects using the green pathway,” Marks replied. 

In answer to a question from Commissioner Steve Winkel, Marks said, “if it’s a designated landmark (already) you can’t do a green pathway. It’s a different animal.” 

Commissioner Austene Hall said that the historic component of the green pathways plan “sounds very much like the old RFD process.” She said that she had attended a recent meeting where the new proposed process was described as a way to circumvent the LPC and “the developers were really, really, happy.”  

“As a voter I would be scared to vote on a lot of things ‘to be determined’,” she added. 

Marks said, “I’m sure we’ll resurrect many of the ideas in that process,” referring to the Request for Determination (RFD) plan for landmarks in the 2008 ballot measure. He then noted, “None of this gets implemented until we go through a whole secondary process” developing zoning language and specific regulations. 

Commissioner Antoinette Pietras asked if there was a way for the Commission to be involved. “If the LPO is modified, you’ll be the guys we’ll come to,” Marks replied. 

 

University YWCA 

The Commission continued, and then closed, a public hearing on a landmark nomination for 2600 Bancroft, the University Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) building designed by Joseph Esherick in 1958.  

The Commission had originally opened the public hearing in late 2009, then deferred further consideration of the nomination several meetings into 2010 at the request of the YWCA. In the interval, a subcommittee and LPC staff met with YWCA representatives. 

John English led off the public hearing testimony, saying, “Bowditch (Street) is an architectural showpiece. A fine complement of it is the YWCA building.” He urged that the building be landmarked. 

The next three speakers were from the YWCA.  

Executive Director Sharon Bettinelli said, “We have preserved the building, we love the building.” “We have no plans to make changes to anything that’s here.”  

She did ask that one feature, diamond shaped signage on the Bancroft frontage, be removed from the list of features of significance since it was not original to the building. “We have no problem with the rest that’s here” on the significance list, she said. 

Jennifer White, who identified herself as a Y Board member and a volunteer since 1963, said “We love the building. We’re actually quite thrilled you’re thinking of landmarking it.” She urged that the City allow “flexibility in building” in the future if the Y wishes to make changes. 

Marilyn Cleveland, another Board member said “we also have a concern about the west terrace.” “It would be preferable to have that removed” from the list of significant features of the building, she said. 

Another member of the YWCA Board also spoke, and three others turned in public comment cards but declined to speak when their cards were called, deferring to their colleagues. 

This writer also spoke at public comment, urging the Commission to keep the west terraces in the significance list and also to include the magnolia tree on one of the terraces and the presence of foundation plantings around the base of the building as significant features. 

I noted that this is one of three important buildings within a block of each other that were designed to have full-sized trees growing on elevated terraces. The others are Henry Gutterson’s Christian Science Organization at the University building down Bowditch Street from the Y, and the Maybeck / Morgan Hearst Gymnasium across the street from the Y, where several full sized live oak trees stand on west facing second floor terraces. 

I also asked the Commission to specify that having different colors for the walls and wood trim elements of the exterior was an important element of the design. 

During the ensuing Commission discussion Commissioner Olson noted, “on the issue of the terrace, I realize this is a prickly thing.” She said she had talked to her father who worked as an architect in the same era as Esherick and he confirmed for her that the indoor/outdoor character of buildings like this was an important, intended, design feature.  

“To me the western terrace is really important, but I’m not going to be prescriptive about the tree,” she concluded. 

After discussion, the Commission decided to add contrasting exterior colors (stucco walls verses wood trellises and trim elements) to the list of significant features—without making any statement on paint colors themselves—and to retain the western terraces on the significance list, but not include the foundation plantings.  

“I think the women are good stewards of the building and understand how well those foundation plantings work,” Olson said. 

The diamond-shaped building signage was also dropped from the significance list as the Y had requested. 

Regarding the exterior colors, “we chose to paint it two years ago exactly as Esherick had,” Bettinelli reassured the Commission. 

Olson noted that this is the first Joseph Esherick-designed building in Berkeley proposed for landmark designation.  

Commissioner Steve Winkel said, “I’m so delighted this has come to the point where everyone seems to be happy.” “We’re still talking,” said Bettinelli. 

Olson moved the designation of the building as a Landmark, and the Commission voted unanimously in favor, and then spontaneously applauded, joined by some in the audience. 

(Context: The first official City of Berkeley Landmarks was designated in 1975, 35 years ago. The 2600 Bancroft designation is #309. Thus, Berkeley has averaged a little fewer than 9 landmark designations a year since the ordinance was adopted and the rate has been dropping. In 2009, four new landmarks were designated; in 2008, two; in 2007, five. That totals 12 designations in the past 3 ½ years. No landmark nominations are currently pending.) 

St. Mark’s Development 

The Commission heard a presentation from the development firm of Hudson McDonald on a proposed infill project at the northeast corner of Ellsworth and Durant.  

The site is currently occupied by the one-story above ground parking structure of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. On top of the parking structure there’s a courtyard, a two story building currently rented as a private school and a one story social hall for the church, designed by noted Bay Area Post-Modern architect David Baker in the 1980s. 

The older St. Mark’s sanctuary and parish house are to the north of the site. To the east rises the Berkeley City Club. 

Hudson McDonald has an arrangement with St. Mark’s, to demolish the parking structure, school structure, and social hall, and construct a new development there that would incorporate housing, parking, and additional social facilities for the church.  

Chris Hudson gave the Commission a preview of the project that, he said, would incorporate “44 dorm style units” arranged as suites, generally with four single bedrooms each. About 160 beds would be developed, along with a common lounge and kitchen on each of five residential floors. 

The new building would rise in an “L,” with a main façade along the Durant Avenue frontage and one level of parking underneath on the same footprint as the existing parking structure on the corner. 

The building would stand immediately west of the landmark Berkeley City Club, designed by Julia Morgan. On top of the parking roof, along Ellsworth, it would also incorporate a freestanding single story structure and courtyards to be associated not with the housing but with the St. Mark’s church. 

Hudson showed some photos of the current site and others with the proposed new building inserted, asserting “as you walk up and down Durant you’ll see there aren’t that many great views of the City Club.” He said the new building would rise to the height of the third floor windows of the City Club. 

Commissioners who spoke were uniformly critical of the design. 

“The last thing I want is a faux Julia Morgan (building)” said Miriam Ng. “That’s not what I’m talking about. I have a problem with the design of the building. It makes no acknowledgement of the two landmarks you have flanking the building.” 

“It looks like the architect just took a building that looks like it was already designed in Emeryville and dumped it on this site.” 

“It’s way too urban,” said Commissioner Austene Hall. “It could be on San Pablo, or University Avenue. Not here, though.” “It could be a far more creative design. Not so big, not this massive block. It doesn’t fit in that neighborhood at all.” 

Commissioner Robert Johnson said that on the block “none of the other buildings goes up to the sidewalk.” 

Hudson countered, “The front part of the (existing) garage is almost identical to what is there now.” Others noted, however, that the garage, while close to the sidewalk, is one story high while the new building would effectively rise six stories from the same setback. 

“Deferentially set yourself back” from the street urged Commissioner Anne Wagley. “It’s going to look very extreme. The massing looks too much like a dormitory.” 

“To acknowledge the City Club along the street is a pretty important gesture to make,” said Chair Gary Parsons in the same vein. 

Parsons urged the design team to make the east end of the building along Durant, adjacent to the City Club, somewhat shorter. “We looked at that,” Hudson said. 

Commissioner Steve Winkel asked that the stair towers projecting on top of the structure be less obvious. “We’ll look at that,” said Hudson. 

Winkel also criticized the one story social hall structure in the design, calling it “suburban.” “Looking at the mass of that building…too small to hold its own against the (adjacent) church. It has a very suburban character. It doesn’t play well with either the church or the new building.” 

He urged the design team to look at making it a taller element. “I think when we come back we can present some different design concepts,” Hudson said. 

Commissioner Carrie Olson said of the presented design, “the building form and material palette is wild, it’s just like carnival time…metal panels will never fly.” 

“That particular block has the best tower elements in all of Berkeley—Trinity, St. Mark’s, the City Club. So to try to do a tower on this building is going to be difficult,” she said, referring to the higher element in the design at the Durant / Ellsworth corner. 

She echoed the other Commissioners in saying that the site “is not a transit corridor, it’s not a hub” and should have a building that relates better to the freestanding institutional structures on the block.  

“I get it,” said Hudson. But, he added, “I don’t know we can make everyone completely happy.” 

Olson added that she felt additions to the historic Westminster House and First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley in the same neighborhood had been successful and “in both of those cases the program of the institution was to restore their old building.”  

She noted that the developers had not mentioned in their presentation whether any restoration of the older St. Mark’s building or parish house on Bancroft would benefit from the new building project. 

Hudson said that St. Mark’s had “asked to maintain the footprint of the parking structure and maintain 60 parking spaces” for the church use. There would be no on-site parking for the housing. He said the project is divided into residential tower and freestanding social hall because “we thought it made the most sense to keep those elements separate.” 

“When we got involved with the project we were very cognizant of our neighbors,” Hudson said. He said St. Mark’s was “trying to figure out how to continue to operate and meet their religious mission. They provide housing for homeless teens, they provide a meal service for the homeless, they provide health services for the homeless.”  

The proposed development would yield income for St. Mark’s. Hudson said that the program of housing came about “to generate the sort of income St. Mark’s needs to generate.” “How do you build something that makes economic sense?” 

Hudson said, “We originally had a design from Kirk Peterson that we thought was competing with the other buildings” including St. Mark’s and the City Club. Erick Mikiten is currently their project architect. He was not at the LPC meeting. 

“We’ll be very receptive to design comments,” Hudson said. “We’re hearing what everyone says.” 

After listening to the Commissioner comments Hudson said “what we’ve spent a fair amount of time on is looking at different architectural treatments of additions to historic buildings.” But “I’m sort of hearing ‘have some of the traditional forms’” in the design, he added. 

Since there was not a public hearing scheduled on this project, there were no comments from the public allowed when the item was discussed.  

Several members of the public (including this writer) spoke about the project during the general Public Comment period at the beginning of the LPC meeting. 

John English said, “one of the nice things about the City Club is that you can see it in the round…if this new building is built most of the west façade will be blocked. You won’t see it any more.”  

“I don’t think that the proposed project should come any closer to Durant than the nearest wing of the City Club.” “This is not a commercially zoned avenue like San Pablo; this is a residential zone where buildings are supposed to have setbacks. This large building is being crowded into the south end of this property.” 

This writer also criticized the massing of the design, urging that the building be more articulated and avoid having one long wing right along Durant Avenue. I argued that the program could be met by incorporating the one story social hall into the base of the larger building and breaking up the mass of the larger structure.  

I said that the design proposed would be a decent building along a commercial corridor such as Shattuck or University Avenue, but was not appropriate for this special block which is occupied by extremely important institutional buildings, all of them free standing, with setbacks from the street and each other. 

Celia McCarthy read a statement on behalf of the Landmark Heritage Foundation at the Berkeley City Club, saying that the Club was built “to provide a refuge” and “provide residents with an atmosphere of seclusion and quiet.” She noted that the City Club was not built with the assumption that another large structure would someday be created immediately next door to the west.  

At the time the Club was constructed there were three large wooden houses on what is now the St. Mark’s parking garage site. 

The Landmark Heritage Foundation letter asked that story poles be built on the site to “better assess the effects of the project on views from the BCC and shadows on the BCC.” 

The Hudson McDonald project will next go to the City’s Design Review Committee for their review. 

North Berkeley Library 

Commission review of the proposed addition to the North Berkeley Public Library, as well as planned interior renovations, came to a quiet partial conclusion at this meeting as Cathleen Malmstrom from Architectural Resources Group presented revised plans for the addition.  

The design team has dropped the more controversial elements of the design.  

They “eliminated the overhang of the second floor of the addition” said Malstrom, and put the Josephine street wall of the addition in the same plane. “Now they (the two floors) align and everything is orthogonal to the design of the original building.” 

Malmstrom said that bringing the new basement level out to the same plane as the new second floor allowed some further, positive, rearrangements of the interior spaces including moving the manager’s office to the rear of the building.  

The elevator in the addition is now wrapped around by the stairs rather than against the exterior wall. 

Commissioners responded favorably to the changes. 

“I like the design much better, it’s simple I think it works” said Austene Hall. “Your interior design works really well.” 

“Thank you, I’m very pleased,” said Commissioner Antoinette Pietras to Malmstrom. “I know it was a lot of work.” 

Susan Bailey, whose father designed the library while working in the office of James Plachek, said “I really think what has been done is so much better,” but also expressed concern about the appearance of the window frames in the new curtain walls that will connect the original building to the addition.  

Malmstrom and the Commission discussed those windows at length and the Commission ultimately seemed pleased. Malmstrom noted that it is hard in drawings to show the exact appearance of window glass. 

Commissioner Carrie Olson also asked Malmstrom to make sure that any replacement sidewalk in front of the building is tinted the proper color to match the historic sidewalks in the neighborhood. Malmstrom also noted that after consultation with City staff the design team had eliminated a proposed sidewalk on the Josephine Street side of the building. 

On the motion of Commissioner Robert Johnson, the Commission unanimously endorsed the revised design. Some design details will be brought back to the Committee for later review. 

Olson—who also sits on the City’s Design Review Committee—said that the LPC approval essentially completes preliminary design review for the building. Details such as exterior paint colors will still have to come back to the Commission for discussion and approval.  

South Berkeley Library 

The Commission briefly heard comments from Berkeley Public Library staff about plans for the South Berkeley Library. The 1960s building has problems with accessibility, ability to accommodate today’s program, and seismic strength, said a library staffer. 

“For all these reasons the Board of Library Trustees voted we should proceed with an all new building on the site.”  

She said that the Library would be undertaking a focused EIR on the development. In response to a question about whether the Library could demolish the building when the bond funds appropriated for the project referred to renovation, another library staffer said “we did talk to the City Attorney’s office and they did tell us we could build a new library with the bond funds.” 

Commissioners asked that the Library work to salvage and reuse materials from the existing building in the new construction. 

In terms of official action by the LPC, “I think what we do in this case is nothing,” said Chair Gary Parsons. Which is what they did. 

Commissioner Carrie Olson temporarily left the meeting during this discussion. 

2707 Rose Street 

Commissioners briefly talked about the controversial new house approved for 2707 Rose Street in north Berkeley. Chair Gary Parsons said that the LPC’s letter to the City Council about flaws in the application review process for the project “not only fell on deaf ears, but was prevented from being heard. And we were reminded by the Mayor that it’s the Council that makes landmarks.” 

There was a brief debate amongst Commissioners when Commissioner Miriam Ng said she felt the letter from the LPC to the Council on 2707 Rose did not reflect what the Commission had discussed. Commissioner Anne Wagley who drafted the letter strongly defended the wording, saying the letter included exact statements she read to the Commission, and was reviewed by the Chair and Commission Secretary before it was sent. “It was verbatim. We didn’t vote on it but we discussed it.” 

Commissioner Carrie Olson said the City Council rejection of the LPC concerns was “an eye opening experience.” Parsons added, “The Mayor didn’t allow the letter to be read at the meeting.” “We have to watch for similar things happening in the future.” 

Other Business 

In other business, the Commission briefly discussed storefront signage in one of the commercial spaces in the Shattuck Hotel building and gave approval to proposed signage, with some modifications. 

Commission Secretary Jay Claiborne gave a staff report in which he noted that some Commissioners will be meeting with the Berkeley Historical Plaque Project in mid-May, and that the Berkeley City Club is turning 80 this year, and has a series of events. 

Claiborne said that Commissioners and the public should understand that written correspondence to the Commission or the City Council becomes part of the public record, whether it’s a letter or an e-mail. He said there had been concerns about identity theft involving people who had put their addresses and contact information in their correspondence. “Once it’s there (submitted to the City), it can’t be removed.” 

Claiborne also asked Commissioners to consider ways to cut costs. “We’re in a real cost sensitive mode,” at the City, he said. He said that distributing printed agenda packets to the Commission was expensive and “we’re trying to see if there are ways to reduce that cost.”  

He asked that Commissioners individually consider whether they would be able to pick up their packets from the City, rather than having the City pay to have them hand-delivered, and whether any individuals on the Commission would be willing to receive electronic agenda packets rather than paper ones. Some were, others weren’t.  

The Commission also briefly discussed ideas for future Commission training sessions. Training on how to write a historic district application or landmark application, and how the Mills Act works, were suggested. 

Finally, the Commission deleted from future agendas outdated subcommittees for 2208-10 Shattuck, 2237 Shattuck, and 2130 Center Street. 

 

Steven Finacom has written for the Planet on historic and feature topics. At the meeting discussed in this summary he made public comments on three of the items: the North Berkeley Library; the St. Mark’s development; the YWCA landmark proposal. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Richmond and Chevron Reach Agreement

From the Richmond Progressive Association, via Councilmember Tom Butt (Partisan Position)
Monday May 10, 2010 - 09:25:00 PM

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. 

As in all settlement agreements, the city did not win everything it rightfully deserves. But we did win a substantial increase in financial support for the city from Chevron and we can move onto other issues that we need to deal with like crime, jobs, education, public health and the environment.  

No one fought for this victory like the RPA. No one put the pressure on Chevron for fair taxation like we did. We receive this victory reaffirming our commitment to fairness, justice and health 

for all Richmond residents and we expect our City to put a significant part of the income from this victory into programs our citizens need, determined by democratic process. Those were the goals of our succesful Measure T and of the End Chevron's Perks Campaign.  

As Mayor Gayle McLaughlin says. "This agreement shows that the Richmond community can be successful in gaining more fairness when we stand strong and together. The people of Richmond organized and mobilized to pressure Chevron to do better. Chevron realized it could not defeat the people of Richmond. It gave in to many of our demands. Not everything we wanted, but this partial victory marks the beginning of a new phase in our ongoing struggle for a better, more just, and healthier Richmond."  

 

This agreement does not resolve all issues with Chevron. Chevron has still not agreed to come to the table to resolve environmental protections on its expansion project and get workers back on the job on those projects.  

We expect that the fifth-largest multi-national company whose bottom line is profits will be at odds with communities that its refining facilities dominate. Chevron is still attempting to get reductions in its county property tax. Chevron benefits from Proposition 13 loopholes for all corporations, and the failure of California to have an oil severance tax like other oil producing states.  

Some of the lessons of recent events are:  

It is possible to stand up against the power of a multi-national company. The additional money for vital city services comes in part from voters challenging Chevron's money, power,and public relations by passing measure T in 2008;  

from the City Council's placing the End Chevron's Perk measure on the ballot for this fall; and from the community mobilization against Chevron's cynical plan to try to strangle the city with its own ballot measure to slash city income. It helped that the entire City Council on May 4th (Nat Bates was absent) strongly denounced Chevron's actions. Standing up and organizing makes the difference. It levels the playing field and makes possible settlements and outcomes that promote the community's wellbeing.  

Councilman Jeff Ritterman:"This is a real advance for the City of Richmond. In the current economic downturn we have wonsignificant new financial support for the city, which will prevent layoffs of city workers. Itwill enable us to work harder on the many other problems that face us."  

Jovanka Beckles, RPA endorsed candidate for City Council: "There is no power like the People's power! It does not quit. I'm proud of this step forward that we have achieved and even when I know that the road ahead is long today I am hopeful and joyful. How do we get justice for the Richmond residents? How do we change our City into paradise? One struggle, one victory at the time. I'm happy today with this progress"  

Agreement Specifics: 

The city had a negotiating team consisting of City Manager. Bill Lindsey; City Attorney, Randy Riddle; Finance Director, James Goins; and three council members Jeff Ritterman, Jim Rogers, and Tom Butt. They met with Chevron using professional mediation over a period of months.The agreement calls for Chevron to pay the city $114 million in revenue over the next 15 years on a "front-loaded" schedule. Chevron will guarantee its level of utility tax payments for the next 5 years. Chevron affirms certain CBA obligations like support for the Bay Trail and ground level air quality monitoring.Chevron agrees to drop its campaign for cutting the utility tax. The agreement calls for the city to drop its appeal of the Measure T decision, and withdraw the proposed End Chevron's Perks measure. 

 

Details of the unofficial agreement can be found here.


UC Berkeley Football Team Will Play 2011 Games at AT&T Park

By Bay City News
Monday May 10, 2010 - 09:19:00 PM

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.  

Cal's Memorial Stadium, which opened in 1923, is located on top of the Hayward earthquake fault and is being upgraded so it will be more seismically safe. The work is expected to cost $321 million and is scheduled to be completed in 2012. Cal's football team will be able to play its home games at Memorial Stadium this fall but has been looking for an alternate site for 2011. 

Cal said its 2011 schedule is not complete and will be released later. The team said it will make a collaborative effort with the San Francisco Giants and Major League Baseball to accommodate both teams' playing requirements during September and October of 2011.  

Cal coach Jeff Tedford said in a statement, "We are thrilled to be playing our 2011 home games at AT&T Park." 

Tedford said, "The facility is one of the finest sports venues in the world and is located in a nearby and desirable location in San Francisco. It is a terrific setting for college football and our team and fans had a fantastic experience there during the 2008 Emerald Bowl victory against the University of Miami."  

He said, "We look forward to our fans helping us create a tremendous home field advantage at AT&T Park in 2011 while enjoying amenities on par with what the renovated Memorial Stadium will feature when we return in 2012."  

Cal Athletic Director Sandy Barbour said, "While our own Memorial Stadium is undergoing much-needed improvements, I believe we have selected the best possible location to support the needs of our players, coaches and fans. Both Cal Athletics and the staff at AT&T Park are committed to work together to make the stadium feel like a true home away from home for the Golden Bears." 

Cal officials said one of the advantages of AT&T Park is its proximity to public transportation, as that's an important factor for the football team's fans in the East Bay. Cal Athletics will also provide bus service for Cal students to attend games to help ensure their continued support for the Bears.  

The university said sideline bleachers will be added in the baseball outfield and an adjusted field alignment will allow for team benches to be on opposite sides of the field, as opposed to the bowl games, when both teams were on the same side of the field. The capacity for Cal football games at AT&T Park will be just over 45,000. 

San Francisco Giants President and Chief Operating Officer Larry Baer said in a statement, "The Giants are honored to welcome Cal football to AT&T Park for the Bears' 2011 season."  

Baer said, "The opportunity to have two of the Bay Area's most storied institutions share the same playing field is really exciting and will provide a unique experience for both Giants and Cal fans."  

University officials said the retrofit and renovation of Memorial Stadium will create a restored facility that will address existing seismic safety issues, modernize game-day facilities and services and upgrade access for the disabled.  

They said preliminary construction activities will begin this summer, which will include moving the football office and athletic training and weight training facilities to temporary quarters adjacent to Witter Rugby Field. 


UC Berkeley's Rowdy Fraternities On TV

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday May 11, 2010 - 12:14:00 PM

CBS's Inside Edition reported May 7 on a class action lawsuit filed in January by Southside neighbors seeking respite from UC Berkeley's rowdy fraternities. 

 

The program, which used some footage taken by southside resident Paul Ghysels as well as some taken by the network, shows loud and unruly behavior spilling out into the streets, with fraternity members passing out drunk on the sidewalk. 

 

One scene shows drops of blood outside someone's house after a fight between fraternity members. 

 

UC Berkeley currently has 2,700 students in 40 fraternities and 21 sororities, roughly 11 percent of the campus population. 

 

A lawyer representing the neighbors told the Planet in an earlier interview that more than 600 complaints and service requests were filed to the police against 34 fraternity houses in Berkeley in 2007, with an average of 18 calls for each frat house. 

 

Ghysels has put up a website about problems with fraternity behavior. 

 

 

 

 

 


Press Release: Bart Police Ask for Public's Help in Investigating Suspicious Death

Monday May 10, 2010 - 09:26:00 PM

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.  

He was found in the early morning unconscious and breathing. Mr. Tomashevsky was transported to San Francisco General Hospital, found to have traumatic injuries and later died. Tomashevsky’s identity was confirmed by the San Francisco Medical Examiner’s Office. 

The BART Police Department is looking for anyone who may have seen Mr. Tomashevsky in the early morning hours of May 5, 2010. Mr. Tomashevsky was wearing a black and grey Gore-Tex jacket and brown pants when he was found. If you have any information, please contact the BART Police Criminal Investigations Section at (877) 679-7000 Ext.7040is ongoing


Friday May 14, 2010 - 04:30:00 PM


New: UC Berkeley Strikers Still On Campus

By Bay City News and Online Sources
Monday May 10, 2010 - 06:38:00 PM
via Alejandro Garcia: Students march to Chancellor's house.
via Alejandro Garcia: Students march to Chancellor's house.

Hunger strikers at the University of California at Berkeley tried to block the school's administration building today but people could still get inside, according to a university spokeswoman. The students held a rally today at 3:30 p.m, and then marched to the Chancellor's residence. A twitter message at about 5 pm said "Admin has contacted us: there will be a meeting only if we end up the hunger strike." Strikers posted this video of the march on their Facebook page on Monday night. 

Claire Holmes, the university's assistant vice chancellor of public affairs, said about 40 people tried to block the doorway of California Hall late this morning but campus police made sure the building is still accessible. 

However, Holmes said the situation at the front entrance to California Hall is "awkward" so people are entering and exiting the building at other entrances. 

The attempt to block California Hall came several hours after campus police moved students who have been on a hunger strike for the past week to leave the spot in front of the building where they have been camped out since last Monday.  

About 17 people have been refusing to eat until the school agrees to publicly oppose Arizona's new immigration law that empowers local law enforcement to question people they believe may be in the U.S. illegally.  

Police woke the demonstrators at 5:45 a.m. and told them to disperse within 20 minutes or they would be arrested, according to Rufino Romero, who is one of the students on strike.  

The students moved their things, but then returned to their spot, Romero said. Holmes said police helped the demonstrators move their things this morning and the university had a physician on hand to make sure the demonstrators were healthy. 

She said the move was peaceful and there was no arrests, but confirmed that the demonstrators returned to the lawn in front of the building soon after they were moved.  

Holmes said UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau strongly denounced Arizona's immigration law Friday, which is one of the protesters' demands. 

Holmes said Birgeneau, who is out of the country on university business, talked to the hunger strikers by phone on both Saturday and Sunday and has agreed to some of their other demands but not all of them.  

She said, "We're trying to work with them" and "there's been quite a bit of back and forth."  

 


New: UC Berkeley Football Team Will Play 2011 Games at AT&T Park

By Bay City News Service
Monday May 10, 2010 - 04:32:00 PM

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.  

Cal's Memorial Stadium, which opened in 1923, is located on top of the Hayward earthquake fault and is being upgraded so it will be more seismically safe. The work is expected to cost $321 million and is scheduled to be completed in 2012. Cal's football team will be able to play its home games at Memorial Stadium this fall but has been looking for an alternate site for 2011. 

Cal said its 2011 schedule is not complete and will be released later. The team said it will make a collaborative effort with the San Francisco Giants and Major League Baseball to accommodate both teams' playing requirements during September and October of 2011.  

Cal coach Jeff Tedford said in a statement, "We are thrilled to be playing our 2011 home games at AT&T Park." 

Tedford said, "The facility is one of the finest sports venues in the world and is located in a nearby and desirable location in San Francisco. It is a terrific setting for college football and our team and fans had a fantastic experience there during the 2008 Emerald Bowl victory against the University of Miami."  

He said, "We look forward to our fans helping us create a tremendous home field advantage at AT&T Park in 2011 while enjoying amenities on par with what the renovated Memorial Stadium will feature when we return in 2012."  

Cal Athletic Director Sandy Barbour said, "While our own Memorial Stadium is undergoing much-needed improvements, I believe we have selected the best possible location to support the needs of our players, coaches and fans. Both Cal Athletics and the staff at AT&T Park are committed to work together to make the stadium feel like a true home away from home for the Golden Bears." 

Cal officials said one of the advantages of AT&T Park is its proximity to public transportation, as that's an important factor for the football team's fans in the East Bay. Cal Athletics will also provide bus service for Cal students to attend games to help ensure their continued support for the Bears.  

The university said sideline bleachers will be added in the baseball outfield and an adjusted field alignment will allow for team benches to be on opposite sides of the field, as opposed to the bowl games, when both teams were on the same side of the field. The capacity for Cal football games at AT&T Park will be just over 45,000. 

San Francisco Giants President and Chief Operating Officer Larry Baer said in a statement, "The Giants are honored to welcome Cal football to AT&T Park for the Bears' 2011 season."  

Baer said, "The opportunity to have two of the Bay Area's most storied institutions share the same playing field is really exciting and will provide a unique experience for both Giants and Cal fans."  

University officials said the retrofit and renovation of Memorial Stadium will create a restored facility that will address existing seismic safety issues, modernize game-day facilities and services and upgrade access for the disabled.  

They said preliminary construction activities will begin this summer, which will include moving the football office and athletic training and weight training facilities to temporary quarters adjacent to Witter Rugby Field. 


New: Richmond and Chevron Reach Agreement

From the Richmond Progressive Association, via Councilmember Tom Butt (Partisan Position)
Monday May 10, 2010 - 08:53:00 AM

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. 

As in all settlement agreements, the city did not win everything it rightfully deserves. But we did win a substantial increase in financial support for the city from Chevron and we can move onto other issues that we need to deal with like crime, jobs, education, public health and the environment.  

No one fought for this victory like the RPA. No one put the pressure on Chevron for fair taxation like we did. We receive this victory reaffirming our commitment to fairness, justice and health 

for all Richmond residents and we expect our City to put a significant part of the income from this victory into programs our citizens need, determined by democratic process. Those were the goals of our succesful Measure T and of the End Chevron's Perks Campaign.  

As Mayor Gayle McLaughlin says. "This agreement shows that the Richmond community can be successful in gaining more fairness when we stand strong and together. The people of Richmond organized and mobilized to pressure Chevron to do better. Chevron realized it could not defeat the people of Richmond. It gave in to many of our demands. Not everything we wanted, but this partial victory marks the beginning of a new phase in our ongoing struggle for a better, more just, and healthier Richmond."  

 

This agreement does not resolve all issues with Chevron. Chevron has still not agreed to come to the table to resolve environmental protections on its expansion project and get workers back on the job on those projects.  

We expect that the fifth-largest multi-national company whose bottom line is profits will be at odds with communities that its refining facilities dominate. Chevron is still attempting to get reductions in its county property tax. Chevron benefits from Proposition 13 loopholes for all corporations, and the failure of California to have an oil severance tax like other oil producing states.  

Some of the lessons of recent events are:  

It is possible to stand up against the power of a multi-national company. The additional money for vital city services comes in part from voters challenging Chevron's money, power,and public relations by passing measure T in 2008;  

from the City Council's placing the End Chevron's Perk measure on the ballot for this fall; and from the community mobilization against Chevron's cynical plan to try to strangle the city with its own ballot measure to slash city income. It helped that the entire City Council on May 4th (Nat Bates was absent) strongly denounced Chevron's actions. Standing up and organizing makes the difference. It levels the playing field and makes possible settlements and outcomes that promote the community's wellbeing.  

Councilman Jeff Ritterman:"This is a real advance for the City of Richmond. In the current economic downturn we have wonsignificant new financial support for the city, which will prevent layoffs of city workers. Itwill enable us to work harder on the many other problems that face us."  

Jovanka Beckles, RPA endorsed candidate for City Council: "There is no power like the People's power! It does not quit. I'm proud of this step forward that we have achieved and even when I know that the road ahead is long today I am hopeful and joyful. How do we get justice for the Richmond residents? How do we change our City into paradise? One struggle, one victory at the time. I'm happy today with this progress"  

Agreement Specifics: 

The city had a negotiating team consisting of City Manager. Bill Lindsey; City Attorney, Randy Riddle; Finance Director, James Goins; and three council members Jeff Ritterman, Jim Rogers, and Tom Butt. They met with Chevron using professional mediation over a period of months.The agreement calls for Chevron to pay the city $114 million in revenue over the next 15 years on a "front-loaded" schedule. Chevron will guarantee its level of utility tax payments for the next 5 years. Chevron affirms certain CBA obligations like support for the Bay Trail and ground level air quality monitoring.Chevron agrees to drop its campaign for cutting the utility tax. The agreement calls for the city to drop its appeal of the Measure T decision, and withdraw the proposed End Chevron's Perks measure. 

 

Details of the unofficial agreement can be found here.


Flash: Police Roust UC Berkeley Hunger Strikers

From a press release.
Monday May 10, 2010 - 08:43:00 AM

The hunger strikers on the UC Berkeley campus who are protesting Arizona's new immigration law were ordered to disperse by UC police early this morning.  

This press release was sent out by spokesperson Dave Graham-Spires:

 

 

"At 6am UC Police arrived at the site of the 7 day-old hunger strike with an order to disperse the encampment or face arrest. 

This all comes as UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, who has been traveling in Europe during the duration of the strike, returns today to face the strikers for the first time. Many had criticized the Chancellor for not returning earlier to work to resolve the situation, though it appears the administration’s techniques have taken a more forceful turn as with the Chancellor’s return. Hunger strikers, visibly weak after fasting for over 170 hours, are currently struggling to take down the camp. 

“They say they’re doing this for our health and for the good of the students” says Marco Amaral, a freshman who is one of the organizers of the strike. “But if Chancellor Birgeneau really cared about the health of the students he wouldn’t be forcing those on the strike to leave in this manner. If the Chancellor truly cared about the students and workers of this campus he would meet our demands and end the strike.” 

Students, workers, and community supporters have been protesting on the front lawn of California Hall since last Monday. The 19 individuals on the hunger strike have demands of denouncing racist legislation in Arizona, creating a sanctuary campus and ending retaliation against student and worker activists (see next page for complete demands).  

“Our demands are very reasonable and the Chancellor could meet them at any time”, continued Amaral. “We are not ending this strike until they are all met. The Chancellor needs to decide if he’s going to stand with the students, workers, faculty and supporters at the Berkeley campus, and the people of California, or if he’s going to stand with the racists who are passing these laws in Arizona and perpetuating violence against people of color”.  

A rally has been planned today at 3:30pm to increase the pressure on the administration. In addition, regularly scheduled demonstrations each day with an 11am mass and prayer service and a 7pm rally.

 

 

More information on the hunger strike can be found on the strikers' Facebook page.  

 


Press Release: Bart Police Ask for Public's Help in Investigating Suspicious Death

Saturday May 08, 2010 - 09:53:00 AM

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.  

He was found in the early morning unconscious and breathing. Mr. Tomashevsky was transported to San Francisco General Hospital, found to have traumatic injuries and later died. Tomashevsky’s identity was confirmed by the San Francisco Medical Examiner’s Office. 

The BART Police Department is looking for anyone who may have seen Mr. Tomashevsky in the early morning hours of May 5, 2010. Mr. Tomashevsky was wearing a black and grey Gore-Tex jacket and brown pants when he was found. If you have any information, please contact the BART Police Criminal Investigations Section at (877) 679-7000 Ext.7040is ongoing 


Updated: UC Berkeley Hunger Strike against Arizona Law Continues

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday May 07, 2010 - 12:47:00 PM

The UC Berkeley hunger strike urging university officials to publicly denounce Arizona's illegal immigration bill that began Monday at noon has garnered strength over the last few days. 

The fasters, comprised of Latino students and others, have a number of demands, including turning UC Berkeley into a sanctuary campus for undocumented immigrants, re-hiring laid off custodians and dropping charges against those who took part in the Wheeler Hall occupation earlier this year. 

A press release sent Tuesday on behalf of the fasters said that although university officials have had informal conversations with the group, they have not agreed to any of the demands yet. 

The press release said that hundreds of students, faculty, staff and community members have stopped by the place near California Hall where the students, alumni and community members who are calling their coalition “Hungry for Justice” have set up camp. 

A local priest said Mass for the group at 11 a.m. Tuesday and up to 200 supporters took part in a 7 p.m. rally. 

The two largest unions on campus have supported the strike. 

 

The “Hungry for Justice” coalition was scheduled to meet with Chancellor Robert Birgeneau Thursday afternoon, a day after he sent them a letter saying he was “personally prepared” to oppose Arizona's strict illegal immigration law.  

Although a meeting was called Wednesday between the strikers and the university administration it was not held after a campus union member was refused entry.  

Birgeneau responded to all the demands made by the hunger strikers, explaining that it was not possible to turn UC Berkeley into a sanctuary campus, citing safety concerns. 

 

He denounced the Arizona anti-mmigration bill Friday in a statement saying that he made it widely known last week to the campus community "he was horrified by this law." 

"I, along with many others on this campus, and others across the nation, am profoundly disturbed by the passage of this bill which so many of us personally believe cannot be implemented without engaging in racial profiling," he said. "The drafting of similar bills by other states is truly frightening." 

Birgeneau further acknowleged in his statement that some of the university's Chicano/Latino stidents and staff "are engaged in the desperate measure of putting their health and wellness in jeopardy through a hunger strike to denounce this law. I am personally ready to stand in solidarity with our students and other members of our community in speaking out against SB 1070." 

The statement also said: "Universities are international communities based on the fundamental principles of academic freedom and freedom of expression. These values cannot exist when members of our community fear being targeted for the color of their skin. The passage of SB 1070 has created a chilling climate for many members of our campus community who feel that the bill will encourage repressive measures against those who are undocumented. 

"SB 1070, which President Obama has called "misguided," should be repealed and replaced with comprehensive federal immigration reform that will best serve our country and protect the rights of all who aspire to live in this great nation. As an academic community, we stand ready to use our immense intellectual resources to assist the president in this task." 

The university has dropped charges against some students who took part in the Wheeler Hall occupation last year—the strikers are demanding that all charges be dropped—while undertaking a review of campus procedures to investigate and charge students of wrongdoing. 

According to an e-mail sent by campus Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Harry Le Grande more than 30 students who were arrested during the Wheeler occupation Dec. 11 will not be facing any charges due to the “genuine confusion” stemming from dispersal orders. 

The e-mail also said that the university's Code of Student Conduct had been changed to reflect that students receive individual letters outlining specific charges and violations. 

The American Civil Liberties Union wrote to Birgeneau last month objecting to the university’s handling of student misconduct charges following a Dec. 11 protest outside his house.  

The nine-page letter drew attention to what it alleged were problems with the university's disciplinary procedures, particularly in the case of UC Berkeley students Zach Bowin and Angela Miller. 

Although charges against Bowin were later dropped, Miller was kept on on interim suspension. Although she was scheduled to have a student hearing today, the university agreed to an informal resolution which requires her to carry out 20 hours of community service right after it announced the changes to the student conduct code. 

 

 

Follow the strikers on their Facebook page.  

 

 


Rabbi Lerner Asks for Media's Help to Publicize Vandalism

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday May 07, 2010 - 12:45:00 PM

In a message to supporters Thursday, Rabbi Michael Lerner--whose Berkeley Hills home was recently vandalized by right-wing Zionists— urged the media to draw attention to the incident and what it means for “Americans and for American Jews.” 

 

Although police are not calling the recent vandalism at Rabbi Michael Lerner's house a hate crime, supporters of Tikkun, the progressive Jewish journal which he edits, are extremely shocked and upset by the incident. 

A statement sent out by Tikkun Monday said: “The police say that this is not a 'hate crime' because the attackers were not attacking Rabbi Lerner for his religion, but for his politics. That is scant comfort for those of us who continue to believe that America and Israel are best served by the voices willing to publicly share critique, though incidents like this are of course meant to scare people into silence, Tikkun will not be silenced.” 

Lerner, who is the rabbi of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue in San Francisco, has been criticized by Jewish groups for his controversial views on the Israel-Palestine conflict, the most recent of which came in the form of graffiti and vandalism at his house. 

According to the statement from Tikkun, the vandals used a “powerful form of glue” to stick posters to the door of Lerner's house in the 900 block of Cragmont and around his property attacking him personally as well as liberals and progressives as being supporters of terrorism and Islamo-fascism. 

The incident occurred on May 2 or the early hours of May 3. Berkeley Police Department spokesperson Officer Jamie Perkins told the Planet that the vandalism was reported at 11:40 a.m. Monday.  

The vandals also posted a bumper sticker which read “fight terror—support Israel” next to a caricature of Justice Richard Goldstone, whose UN report on Israel's alleged human rights violations in Gaza last year was denounced as anti-Semitic by right wing groups. 

The caricature shows Goldstone talking about how he was prevented from attending his grandson's bar mitzvah, with Lerner responding by saying “any enemy of Israel is a friend of mine.” 

According to the Tikkun statement, the vandalism follows a week of hate mail being sent to Lerner and his staff which they said was apparently prompted by “Tikkun's announcement that in case the South African Zionists had succeeded in preventing Goldstone from attending his grandson's bar mitzvah, as they threatened several weeks ago, that Rabbi Lerner would gladly” hold it in the Bay Area instead.” 

Tikkun had also said it would award Goldstone the Tikkun Award in 2011 for his “willingness to stand up for human rights in Israel,” an announcement which it said had angered supporters of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.  

Tikkun's supporters said in the statement that although its staff has received many death threats and phone calls in the past, they were particularly worried about this week's incident because it had been an attack on Lerner's home. 

“As law enforcement people told us, this is a way of conveying the message to Lerner 'we know where you live, we know your house is vulnerable, so don't ignore our threats' … Needless to say, this latest attack on Lerner's home has caused great concern to his family.” 

 

 


Berkeley This Week

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday May 07, 2010 - 12:00:00 PM

In the news since the last issue: Berkeley City Council postpones new marijuana regulations, tables fine proposal for large daycares, approves a proposal for amendments to Telegraph late night zoning; Berkeley Rep plays get Tony nominations and Berkeley police ask for help on missing teen. 

 

City Council forms committee to gauge new medical cannabis clinic regulations 

The Berkeley City Council at Tuesday's meeting did not have enough votes to pass a new policy which would have allowed the city's three cannabis dispensaries to expand beyond retail space to grow cannabis and bake marijuana-laced baked goods in residential and commercial spaces. 

The Berkeley Medical Cannabis Commission had recommended a few improvements to existing city policy which would have given more protection to growers cultivating cannabis for medical purposes.  

The new policy would put a cap on the number of operations and how big they could be, and has support from the City Manager, the City Attorney and the Planning Department.  

But the city council chose to take a more conservative approach, with only three councilmembers—Max Anderson, Kriss Worthington and Jesse Arreguin—voting in favor of the new law. 

The council decided to form a four-person committee—comprised of Mayor Tom Bates, Linda Maio, Darryl Moore and Max Anderson—who will discuss the issue and come back with a recommendation. 

The committee will also look at a proposal from City Attorney Zach Cowan which aims to balance Berkeley's current deficit by increasing business taxes for medical marijuana dispensaries. 

Those dispensaries which seek non-profit status in the future will be taxed according to their square footage, similar to any big non-profit. If the council approves the tax at a future meeting, it will be put on the Nov. 2010 ballot. 

 

Daycare fines postponed by two weeks 

Large daycare center owners in Berkeley got some breathing room Tuesday when the City Council decided to postpone making any decisions on whether to fine them for not getting the proper permits or not paying license fees for their businesses. 

If the council had given the City Manager's office the green light to review these cases at the meeting, it would have developed an amnesty period during which large daycares operating without permits would be allowed to register their businesses without facing penalties. 

The group would also have to pay business fees due since 2007. 

However, some large daycare operators told council that when they went to the city's permit center to obtain the proper permits they were told it was not required. 

Councilmembers Kriss Worthington and Max Anderson objected to what they called a “punitive retroactive proposal.” and asked that it be tabled. 

Although small day care centers in Berkeley don't need to get permits, the big ones do. According to some city officials, sometimes when the small daycares expand, they just get certified by the Fire Department—as mandated by state law—but bypass getting a permit from the city. 

California law doesn't require big daycare centers to get special zoning permits. 

 

Changes to Telegraph Avenue and Panoramic Hill Zoning 

The Berkeley City Council unanimously voted to ask City Manager Phil Kamlarz to work with several commissions on proposals to modify the current Telegraph Avenue zoning. 

The changes would allow businesses to stay open until 3 a.m. with a zoning certificate 

Other adjustments include implementing a six month trial project to change the yellow loading zone parking regulations in the Telegraph commercial zone between Bancroft and Dwight Way to mirror the rest of the city's yellow zones, which revert to regular parking after 6 p.m. The council is expected to listen to the City Manager's recommendations in October. 

The council also approved changes to Panoramic Hill zoning after a discussion, but will be looking at parking requirements separately. 

 

Two Plays Born at Berkeley Rep Gets SixTony Nominations 

American Idiotand In the Next Room (or “the vibrator play”) are two plays born at the Berkeley Rep which picked up six Tony nominations. The winners will be announced during a national broadcast June 13. Punk rock group Green Day's American Idiot premiered in Berkeley before going on to Broadway. The rock opera was nominated for three Tonys, including best musical. In the Next Room, which was also nominated for a Pulitzer, also chalked up three nominations, including best musical. For more information on the plays and the nominations visit berkeleyrep.org/press/pr.asp  

 

Berkeley police alert for missing teen 

Berkeley police Tuesday asked the community to remain alert about a missing teen who disappeared more than 14 years ago. 

John McColl vanished after telling his family he was going to a Telegraph Avenue bookstore on August 28, 1995. He was 16 then. His family have spent all this time wondering what happened to the teenager who was about to become a junior at Berkeley High. A member of the crew team, McColl was described by his family as a “quiet loving man who liked playing the guitar.” 

Anyone with any information about McColl can contact BDP at 981-5741 or 981-5900. 

 


Skyline High Students Visit Their Representatives in Sacramento

Raymond Barglow, Ph.D. www.berkeleytutors.net
Friday May 07, 2010 - 12:29:00 PM
Students prepare to board the bus at Skyline High in Oakland.
Raymond Barglow
Students prepare to board the bus at Skyline High in Oakland.
A student asks Sandre Swanson a question.
Raymond Barglow
A student asks Sandre Swanson a question.
Nancy Skinner talks with students in her office.
Raymond Barglow
Nancy Skinner talks with students in her office.
Loni Hancock talks with students in the Senate chambers.
Raymond Barglow
Loni Hancock talks with students in the Senate chambers.

It’s one thing for California high school students to read or hear a lecture about how government works. It is quite another for them to experience this in person. 

Shortly after 8 AM on May 4, a group of 45 students in Michael Barglow’s history class at Skyline High clambered onto a charter bus headed for the state capitol. Michael is my brother, and since I also work with high school students, helping them prepare for college, I’m quite interested in educational issues. So I boarded the bus as well. 

Michael’s students had been preparing during the past week to meet with East Bay political representatives: Assemblypersons Sandre Swanson, Nancy Skinner, and Senator Loni Hancock. 

The students, accompanied by several adults and student volunteers from UC Berkeley, arrived at the Capitol Building in downtown Sacramento, ready to present some challenging questions to their representatives. 

First on the agenda was a discussion with Sandre Swanson. The students packed into his office and were greeted first by Swanson’s aide and then by the assemblyman himself.  

Swanson said he strongly favors more funding for public education, and that he opposes the rule that requires a 2/3 vote of the state legislature to pass a budget or to raise property taxes. In fact, Swanson was one of three Democrats whose committee chairmanships were taken away from them by party leadership following their votes against state spending caps and cutbacks. 

One student asked Assemblyman Swanson about a possible relationship between the state’s financial crisis and federal priorities, including the expenditure of nearly a trillion dollars on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Swanson acknowledged that the state is dependent on funding from the federal government but declined to take a position against the two wars. 

The next visit was to Nancy Skinner’s office, where she not only listened to the students but also queried them about their knowledge of state government and challenged some of their figures about the state of education in California. She too, though, applauded their interest in government. 

Skinner discussed some of the difficulties she faces in defending public education, given the current power of conservative politicians to veto education-enabling legislation. 

The final visit was with Senator Hancock, who spoke to the students inside the state senate chambers.  

She said that it is so important that students take an interest in the education they are getting and that they try to improve that education by getting involved in government. She pointed out that many of her colleagues do not prioritize public services in California such as education and transportation. She noted that many Californians aren’t even aware of how much they depend on these services. Hancock asked the students: “How many of you think that BART is public?” and “How many of you think that BART is private?” In this informal poll, “private” received as many votes as “public,” indicating that students share in a common misconception. 

At the end of the day, how did the students evaluate their interviews with the politicians? Some of the students expressed their appreciation for the welcome they received. But not all were satisfied with the responses given to their questions. Donnie Jones said although going to Sacramento was a valuable educational experience, the representatives “might not be doing what they need to do” to serve their constituents. Kenny Ward agreed, and said that the representatives “did not quite answer the questions.” Madonna Lee also found the answers evasive. Jacob Froneberger, an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley who helps out in the classroom, said that the controversy about the 2/3 rule for passing legislation is “something of a red herring,” since “a majority of the legislature has voted consistently to lower corporate taxes, which causes the lack of adequate revenue.” 

Swanson, Skinner, and Hancock, who are among the most progressive legislators in state government, didn’t shield the students from the difficulties they face in protecting public education and other public services. And for many of the students, the prospect of really bettering their lives through their own participation in electoral politics is far from clear. In class, they’ve been learning how government works in theory. But in practice, they’re learning that it’s an ongoing struggle to have government serve the people. 

On the whole, the students were quite enthusiastic about their trip to the state capitol, and grateful to the three representatives for taking the time to meet with them. Some of the students said that now for the first time they really understand how state government works, and how challenging it is for politicians to govern well. 

Below is the list of questions that the students wanted to discuss with their state legislators: 

California Public Policy: Questions for our State Representatives  

We have gathered the information below from our study of California’s education crisis. Please correct us if we have been misinformed. How can we help you improve our state’s situation? 

1. We have been told that compared to other states, California is #1 in spending on prisons and #48 in spending on education. It has been projected that by the 2012-2013 fiscal year, $15.4 billion will be spent on incarcerating Californians, as compared with $15.3 billion to be spent on educating them. In other words, more money will soon be spent on imprisoning Californians than on educating them. Who in the Senate or Assembly is leading the fight to change this? What can you do to improve the situation?  

2. California has among the 10 largest economies in the world, and is the wealthiest state in the United States. It is home to the largest number of billionaires in the United States. Yet corporate taxes have steadily decreased. Who in the Senate or Assembly is leading the fight to change this? What can you do to improve the situation?  

3. U.S. citizens have paid approximately 950 billion dollars on the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Of that amount Californians have spent 115 billion dollars. The current California budget deficit is 26 billion dollars. Is there a relationship between California’s budget deficit and these wars? What is your position on spending for these wars versus spending on education and other critical social services normally provided to Californians? 

4. California is the only state that does not enforce an oil severance tax? Do you believe in a progressive tax which taxes the rich? How would you change California’s tax structure to do so? What can you do to improve the situation for ordinary citizens?  

5. California spends $1,900 less than the national state average on each student. What can you do to improve the situation?  

6. It takes a 2/3 vote of the State legislature to pass a budget and to raise property taxes. Do you support or oppose these laws. If you oppose them, how do you propose to change them?  

7. We now have term limits on State representatives? What is your position on term limits? Should we replace this rule and why? With what would we replace it? 

8. Should the State boycott Arizona to voice opposition to Arizona Senate Bill 1070 which asks Arizona police authorities to arrest anyone they suspect might be an illegal immigrant? 

Information provided to our class by the Oakland Education Association about the crisis in Oakland: 

9. Oakland public school teachers have the lowest salaries in Alameda County. They have received only a 1.75% salary increase since 2010. Is this true and what can you do to improve this situation? 

10. The State appointed school Trustee’s salary and benefits per year are over $311,000. With that money OUSD could hire 7 first year teachers. Meanwhile under state administration the OUSD debt and loan obligation to the state has more than doubled. Is this true and what can you do to improve this situation? 

11. 19% of the OUSD budget is spent on outside contracts and services. The average school district in California only spends 10% of its budget on outside contracts and services. Is this true and what can you do to improve this situation? 

12. The amount of money that the OUSD spends on administrative services is significantly higher than in other comparable districts. Is this true and what can you do to improve this situation? 


UC Workers Join Student Hunger Strike: Say UC must realign its priorities to put students, workers first

From AFSCME 3299 Press Release
Thursday May 06, 2010 - 12:52:00 PM

Saying the University of California's sharply misguided priorities call for unprecedented and unified action, two University of California employees represented by the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3299 have joined students in a hunger strike at the UC Berkeley campus. Today's action comes after workers last week called on prominent graduation speakers at UC campuses statewide to refuse to deliver their commencement addresses unless workers' demands are met (see list of demands below).  

Abel Salas, a gardener at UC Berkeley, and the latest addition to the hunger strikers, said, "It is the most important thing we can do, to show that students and workers deeply care about these issues and each other, and are both willing to put our bodies on the line for justice." 

Maricruz Manzanares, a custodian who also joined the students in the hunger strike, said,  

"If UC can afford millions in pay raises for executives, the University can certainly afford to keep front-line workers on the job to keep the campus healthy and safe. Students realize that a strong educational community includes the dedicated staff who keep the university running, and we join with students in demanding that UC make education -- not executive perks -- its top priority."  

Workers say UC has for too long ignored the calls of students and staff to halt raises and bonuses for UC executives while classes are overflowing, students are turned away, and low-wage workers see their hours and jobs cut.  

UC executives claim that the cuts to workers’ jobs and hours are a necessary byproduct of reduced state funding, but workers who are struggling to keep their homes and feed their families see things differently. According to Lakesha Harrison, president of AFSCME 3299, “UC executives claim to be saving $7 million by cutting low wage workers. Yet UC executives have received over $9 million in bonuses and raises since the cuts were implemented. This is just wrong.”  

Full-time UC workers making as little as $12 per hour, or $24,000 annually are experiencing anywhere between 4% to 20% reductions in take-home pay. As a result, many of these workers at UC are being pushed into poverty, losing their homes, and having to work multiple jobs to support their families. 

AFSCME 3299 and UPTE Local 1, two of the largest unions representing UC Berkeley workers, have called for a speakers' boycott of UC Berkeley graduations, and today said that they will not call off their upcoming speakers boycott of UC graduations unless the hunger strikers’ demands are met. The boycott asks prominent commencement speakers to refuse to address graduations unless UC: 

1) Restores jobs for laid off service workers, Cal Performances workers, and UPTE union activists at UC Berkeley 

2) Restores the hours that were cut from low-wage service workers at UC Berkeley 

3) Drops the student conduct charges that occurred during the academic year 2009-10. Students should not be prosecuted for peacefully protesting UC executives' misplaced priorities. 

4) Commits to doing everything within UC’s power to preserve quality, affordable benefits for UC workers 

5) Suspends the student code of conduct and initiates a democratic, student-led process to review the code.  

6) Accepts responsibility for the violence and escalation of the confrontation surrounding Wheeler Hall on November 20th that resulted in injuries to many students and commits to using non-violent means of ensuring safety at student demonstrations in the future. 

7) Publicly denounces Arizona's law and deems UC Berkeley a sanctuary campus for immigrant students and workers. 


San Pablo Citizens Win Four Year Moratorium on Eminent Domain

By Marilynne L. Mellander (Partisan Position)
Friday May 07, 2010 - 01:58:00 PM

Hundreds of citizens attended the San Pablo City Council meeting Monday night 5/3/10 to voice their opposition to the reinstatement of eminent domain (ED) in their city, a provision that lapsed in March 2009. Redevelopment project areas currently cover over 90% of the city leaving most citizens in fear of losing their homes.  

Local activists began working with Christina Walsh of the Institute for Justices' Castle Coalition in March. This is the same Virginia based advocacy group that represented Suzette Kelo before the Supreme Court in the infamous Kelo decision.  

Citizens held rallies before both the April 19 City Council meeting--at which the Council put off a decision on ED--and before the May 3 Council meeting outside City Hall. 

During both meetings, many citizens pleaded with Councilmembers not to take their homes and businesses during public comment. Mayor Leonard McNeil declared that the Council had held meetings since Feb. 2010 and listened to citizen's concerns, had taken the concerns seriously but needed to "reach consensus" on the eminent domain issue. Further, he stated that he wanted citizens to "understand what the agency is trying to do." Several citizens replied in public comment that they understood only too well what the Redevelopment Agency was trying to do: take their homes and businesses for big developers. Later, one speaker advised the Council that they were circulating a petition to recall all Councilmembers.  

Unexpectedly, at the end of the meeting, Councilman Paul Morris introduced a resolution for a 4 year moratorium on eminent domain which passed 4-0 with Councilmember Cruz abstaining.  

 

 

 


Opinion

Editorials

For Whom This Bell Tolls

By Becky O'Malley
Tuesday May 11, 2010 - 11:22:00 AM

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. 

Jim Sinkinson, the author of the diatribe reproduced on this web site , claims credit for depriving the people of Berkeley of the print edition of the Berkeley Daily Planet, a dubious distinction which he freely shares with John Gertz, not named, but the putative proprietor of the slimy dpwatch.com web site which is mentioned. That’s bad enough, but the outrageous libel Sinkinson adds is this: thanks for“the encouragement by members of our local Jewish community, most of whom overwhelmingly supported our efforts.”  

This is simply a lie. It is grossly unfair to blame most of the Jews of the Bay Area for his own vicious behavior, when many of them to their eternal credit rose to defend the Planet from the attacks of Sinkinson, Gertz and their colleague Dan Spitzer. Even today, I can’t go to any public gathering in Berkeley without some Jewish person making a point of coming up to me and apologizing for the behavior of this unholy trinity. We appreciate the support, but no one should ever think for one minute that Jews as a group are to be blamed for our financial difficulties.  

That honor actually goes to our crooked payroll preparer, whose disgruntled former employees have told us he is an adherent of some sort of peculiar Christian sect in the Phillipines. (And while we’re on the subject of religious charges by disgruntled employees, one of Sinkinson’s former employees told us that he was originally a evangelical Christian fundamentalist who converted to Judaism, but we have no proof of that allegation.) 

Sinkison’s latest attack on the Planet in today’s posting is used as fodder for an unashamed fundraising pitch: 

“ If you agree that FLAME's outspoken brand of public relations on Israel's behalf is critical, I urge you to support us. I hope you'll consider giving a donation now, as you're able---with $500, $250, $100, or even $18. (Remember, your donation to FLAME is tax deductible.) To donate online, just go to http://www.factsandlogic.org/make_a_donation.html. Now more than ever we need your support to ensure that Israel gets the support it needs---from the U.S. Congress, from President Obama, and from the American people.”
 

That’s the story in a nutshell: Sinkinson and his cronies at FLAME are playing on the very real anxieties of people concerned about Israel to line their own pockets. He’s asking for money to support his operation and he admits that whatever he doesn’t skim off for himself will be used to lobby Congress and the President. And it’s even tax deductible ? Something’s badly wrong with this picture.  

Sinkinson does make one claim in this letter which would be easily verifiable, if he could in fact verify it. He says that “Our concerted campaign against the Planet's anti-Semitism lasted about a year, and we convinced at least a dozen—virtually all—of its largest advertisers to cease spending with the paper.”  

Who were these advertisers? Can Sinkinson provide a list of them, so that concerned citizens might inquire? Or perhaps so that anyone who doesn’t agree with their political decisions could have an equal opportunity to shop elsewhere? We’ll eagerly await publication of the list. 

We’re tired, desperately tired, of this whole topic. But we’re encouraged by the many voices, both Jewish and non-Jewish, which have just in the last couple of months spoken up for an honest look at what the government of Israel is doing. We’re proud of the students at UC Berkeley who have put the topic on the table for the first time—of those students, faculty and friends, on all sides of the question, who were able to start a much-needed discussion in a civil and respectful way. Those who supported pulling back investment funds from arms suppliers lost this round, but they’ll be back.  

We’re proud that we’ve been able to publish statements from various points of view, both pro and con the divestment campaign. 

.It’s not our fight, really, except as enunciated by John Donne in our own tradition: ” any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde”.; All people of good will need to be concerned about the fate of the Palestinians in Israel, as well as about the fate of the Israelis of Jewish origin. Jackals like Sinkinson, feeding on the misery which this longstanding conflict has inflicted on both sides, are a disgrace to any cause which they claim to be supporting. 


Making Transit Work for People: Why BRT is Doomed to Fail

By Becky O'Malley
Friday May 07, 2010 - 11:21:00 AM

Today we have an excellent reader commentary from an environmental scientist explaining, once more with feeling, why AC Transit’s Bus Rapid Transit boondoggle will do absolutely nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, contrary to the claims of some local pols. To that can be added what’s even more pathetic: It won’t do anything to improve public transit either. 

To discuss that question, all of us who have ever tried to use public transit to reach a new destination should mentally review the trip, and what went wrong, because inevitably plenty did. I’m not talking about taking the same bus or BART train every day to commute to the same job site—that often works, if you’re lucky enough to live and work in the right places. But for anything except regular commuting for the favored few, it’s a crap shoot. 

A friend visiting the Bay Area for a few months is trying to support herself by cleaning out houses for people who are moving—a good gig, one which she’s good at, which takes her all over the place. And she’s also trying to get along without a car, a noble endeavor for sure. Besides that, she’s incredibly energetic and fit, able to walk many blocks or even miles if necessary to make the right connections. But oh, her tales of woe! 

For a job in El Sobrante, for example, she has to connect in Orinda between a BART train and an AC transit bus, and if one or the other is off schedule—and there’s no way to find out—the better part of an hour is added to her journey. And getting to the Oakland Hills? Don’t ask. 

Each of the many, many transit agencies which “serve” the Bay Area has its own payment scheme, too. Keeping track of the various fares, and which ones require exact change, is a job in itself.  

But it doesn’t have to be that way. In London last summer we bought “oyster cards”, electronic marvels which could just be waved in the general direction of a device on all buses and trains, and the appropriate amount was automatically deducted from a prepayment. Seattle has them—why don’t we? 

Then there’s the simple trip to downtown Berkeley. As AC gears up for mega-bus monstrosities, it’s surreptitiously cutting back on local routes. There’s always been a much appreciated bus stop right in front of my house, for various lines that over the years travelled different routes, but always went through the downtown, and now it’s gone, vanished.  

Just in time for my old age, I need to walk six more blocks to catch a bus downtown. I’m lucky to be mobile now, but no one can count on that forever. 

The idea is that customers would surely be willing to walk a few more blocks in returned for catching a big bus that could complete its route a few minutes faster. Wrong! The total travel time is what matters, not to mention the exertion required if the bus passenger happens to be aged or otherwise infirm.  

My favorite moment in the hearings on the BRT EIR (one more time, Bus Rapid Transit Environmental Impact Report) hearing before the Berkeley City Council was when someone asked how many miles per gallon those big diesel double-long buses get. AC’s expert somehow just didn’t have the data on that at his fingertips when asked. Later an audience member came up with the answer: 3. That’s right, THREE miles per gallon. It might even be all right if those buses were full of people, but when they’re transporting one or two, as they most frequently are, it’s disgraceful. 

Another favorite hearing vignette was Councilmember Susan Wengraf’s parsing of a report she’d read about how AC transit service could be improved. She pointed out that one of the suggestions for on-time scheduling was that the buses should really leave their barns on time at the beginning of their route. Well, yes, that would be a good start. Perhaps if buses ran on time more people would want to use them. 

Doesn’t someone have the smarts to come up with six passenger electric cars which could run regular shuttle routes? No, that’s too easy, and wouldn’t create any revenue for the construction industry, anxious as ever to feed at the public trough at every opportunity. 

And while we’re on the subject of construction opportunities, it’s widely believed that one motivation for BRT backers is that it will create “transit hubs” near which it will be possible to override local zoning in the interest of adding density, per a state law backed by Mayor Bates when he was in the Assembly. The actual effect of that law hasn’t yet been litigated, as far as I can determine, but the fears expressed seem plausible on the surface at least. 

In many ways, public transit in the Bay Area is too easy a target, a sitting duck for potshots from every direction. My favorite sustainability guru, David JC MacKay of Cambridge University, is still bullish on transit if it’s done right. In his marvelous book Sustainable Energy—without the hot air he sums it up in a big diagram on page 128 of the energy requirements of different forms of passenger transport.  

Bottom line? “The race is over, and I’ve announced two winners—public transport and electric vehicles,” he says. But that’s when transport is done right, so that people want to use it. Every proposal has to be evaluated on a per-passenger-mile basis. To get Californians out of their personal vehicles won’t be easy, and the “if we build it they will come” cargo-cult planning at AC transit can’t do the job.  

Electric cars, on the other hand, might be no more than 20 years away. MacKay says “Hurray! To achieve economical transport, we don’t have to huddle together in public transport—we can still hurtle around, enjoying all the pleasures and freedoms of solo travel, thanks to electric vehicles.” For the sake of California and the world, I hope he’s right. 

 

 


The Editor's Back Fence

New: New Operating Instructions for This Publication! Please Read Before Tuesday.

Becky O'Malley
Friday May 14, 2010 - 03:58:00 PM

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.


In the Next Issue Now

Friday May 14, 2010 - 04:21:00 PM

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 ;


Blips on the Screen: BP's a Threat in Berkeley Too; Raging Deer in Thousand Oaks; McMansion Marches On

Friday May 07, 2010 - 09:16:00 AM

Anyone who's worried about BP's seeming lock on a lot of space and people here in Berkeley had better read this :"...from my investigation, BP has figured out a very low-cost way to prepare for this task: BP lies. BP prevaricates, BP fabricates and BP obfuscates. That's because responding to a spill may be easy and simple, but not at all cheap. And BP is cheap. Deadly cheap." 

That's from an article Slick Operator: The BP I've Known Too Well by well-known muckraker Greg Palast on today's Truthout website. He links BP's involvement with the Valdez oil spill with the current mess they've made off the Lousiana coast. Those of us in Berkeley had better worry even more than we have already about their planned incursions into downtown Berkeley and the hills and canyons east of the UC Berkeley campus.  

By the way, one of BP's main men at UC Berkeley is now Secretary of Energy. Seems to me like that could be a problem too. 

 

And of course Richard Brenneman has been on BP's case for a long time... 

*** 

 

 

Deer attacks Thousand Oaks woman --and her two dogs, of course. Deer and dogs don't mix. My environmental consultant says that if it is a male deer with antlers in the mating season, a completely unprovoked attack is possible though not likely. The best course of action is to shout and wave to scare the deer away--oh, and call off the dogs.  

*** 

 

Is it now legal to tear down a dwelling before building plans for its replacement have been approved, as this squib in the Chronicle's business section on the ever-irritating McMansion planned for 2707 Rose claims? I thought the Neighborhood Preservation Ordinance barred that. But this particular applicant may be more equal than others similarly situated. 

 


Cartoons

Odd Bodkins -- Sprung

By Dan O'Neill
Monday May 10, 2010 - 07:05:00 PM

In Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari, if you click on this image, it will be magnified. This no longer works in the latest Internet Explorer.


BP

By Marian Kamensky
Friday May 07, 2010 - 01:07:00 PM
Marian Kamensky

In Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari, if you click on an image, it will be magnified. This no longer works in the latest Internet Explorer.


Odd Bodkins -- The Miracle

By Dan O'Neill
Friday May 07, 2010 - 01:03:00 PM

In Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari, if you click on an image, it will be magnified. This no longer works in the latest Internet Explorer.


Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Monday May 10, 2010 - 09:17:00 PM

NEW: Zionist  

ms. o'malley, 

 

how much i've enjoyed seeing your personal failure. 

 

as your reach becomes ever smaller, your anti-zionism grows. how very interesting. 

 

the fact is, the majority of the jewish people, americans in general and most of congress supports israel right to exist as a jewish state with defensible borders. 

 

you live in a bubble, surrounded and supported by a few hundred berkeley nuts. your blind and unfair criticism of israel puts you in the company of the worlds most criminal inhabitants. you can be sure that if the jihadists grown in power with the help of an iranian nuclear weapon that their liberal friends in berkeley and around the world will be be in their crosshairs soon after israel. in other words, you are hastening your own demise. 

 

enjoy clinging to your bully pulpit. 

 

jonathan wornick 

 

Jonathan Wornick is Councilmember Gordon Wozniak's appointee to the City of Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission. 

 

Administration and Bain & Co. Are Destroying UC Berkeley  

 

It's official. UC Berkeley has put snake-oil salesmen Bain & Co. on the payroll, and the "Operational Excellence" snake-oil is seeping through the campus with the full consent of Chancellor Robert Birgeneau. If you are a Cal campus community member who will be away for the summer, it's likely you won't recognize Cal when you return in the fall. 

 

The Chancellor's response to Bain & Co's report on its "final diagnostic phase" has carefully avoided Bain's corporate gibberish, but he can't avoid their sloppy and intentionally vague thinking in several crucial sentences. 

"I am accepting the (Operational Excellence Steering) Committee's recommendation to proceed with initiatives in five areas: procurement, organizational simplification, information technology, energy and student services." Look at this sentence. Are the five areas parallel? Do you even understand what the sentence means? "Two more teams will be appointed to address broader organizational challenges..." What? 

 

In the next paragraph: "The Steering Committee also recommended that we immediately establish a Program Office...I agree with this approach and have initiated processes to put this structure in place quickly. We will have more information to share with you in the coming weeks." Wait. He's adding a new layer of bureaucracy? He's spending more money? 

 

In a pithy piece for "In These Times" last week, Noam Chomsky wrote, referring to California: "The world's greatest public system of higher education is being dismantled." 

 

This is it. It's happening now, and we are all complicit. Are we ever going to speak up as a community? As members of the Cal community, citizens of Berkeley, Albany, San Francisco, Richmond, Oakland, Fremont, Foster City, citizens of the world? What would happen if we each sent e-mail to the Chancellor in care of Vice Chancellor for Communications Claire Holmes (claireholmes@berkeley.edu) with our own version of "I am a citizen of the UC community and I will not stand for the University's dismantling." What then? 

 

 

Bronwen Rowlands 

*** 

 

Dirty Energy  

As a resident in the San Francisco Bay Area, I'm disgusted to see that Texas oil giants have succeeded in placing a proposition for dirty, non-renewable energy on our California state ballot. The tragedy unfolding in the Gulf makes it clear how dangerous our addiction to fossil fuels is - for environmental, economic, and national security reasons. I've dedicated my Ph.D. research to developing clean, renewable bio-energy sources to combat the global climate and energy crises. How can we let California regress by revoking crucial mandates which would have cut carbon pollution to 1990 levels and would have us derive a third of our energy from renewable sources within the next decade? This dirty energy proposition will reverse established laws that would have guided the state into a responsible and renewable energy future. Clean energy will help the economy, and this deceptive initiative will decrease investments and jobs, while preventing us from cleaning our dirty, smog-filled air. Does California really want to let Texas oil companies gut our clean energy and clean air laws? Let's think again and make the right choice for our future. 

 

Meera Atreya 

*** 

 

Raw Milk is Better for Me  

I could not drink milk since I was a kid, but when I discovered the health benefits and the truth behind the false claims of the BIG MILK industry to demonize raw mild, I started drinking Raw Milk, I have noticed a great improvement in my health which I could not even imagine from drinking regular milk. 

So, if you are not yet in the Pocket of BIG Milk Already, Please help us, to protect our health and Freedom by supporting this legislation and the little people behind it. 

 

Ken Khan 

*** 

No More Due Process 

 

Underpinning all the demands of the UC campus hunger strikers is the deterioration of the application of "due process under the law" to all individuals. People of color, workers, union members and leaders, student protestors--all have seen their legal rights truncated by discriminatory laws, administrators' careless or heedless application of contractual obligations, arbitrary interpretations of regulations, and uninformed, reactionary responses to public gatherings and the use of public facilities.  

Any one instance may seem an insignificant reason for the current level of campus disaffection, but when they affect a broad swathe of the campus community, and continue over months and years, they form a pattern which is replacing the oft-stated ideals of California higher education with a climate of mistrust and misappropriation of power and resources.  

This is not original, but it is true: If those few with the power can deny due process to student protestors, hunger strikers, and campus workers, then they can do it to anyone, including you who are reading this letter. And if history is any witness, they will do it if they can.  

 

Kathryn A. Klar  

Lecturer in Celtic Studies  

 

*** 

 

Musical Interlude  

Much to the delight of music lovers in the Bay Area, the Women's Faculty Club on the U.C. campus presented another of its popular programs, "Arts in the Afternoon" on Thursday, May 6th. Warmly welcomed by the Club's gracious manager, Mary Remy, members and guests hunted for seats in the crowded Stebbins Lounge. Indeed, there was an overflow audience, barely leaving room for the musicians of the University Baroque Ensemble. Professor Davitt Moroney, Director of this unique musical group, gave an introductory talk. 

The University Baroque Ensemble was founded in 2003 and is open to all students, music majors, minors and non majors. It's believed to be the only student group in the world that performs not just on copies of original instruments, but also on original eighteenth-century instruments. These include some of the fine antique violins in the A. Salz Collection donated to the Music Department over forty years ago. Whenever possible, students perform directly seventeenth-century and eighteenth-century scores. 

 

There were fifteen youthful musicians performing in this splendid program of baroque music. Professor Moroney, a witty and droll "master of ceremonies" introduced the musicians, describing the priceless instruments they were playing ( a Lute, a Continuo and a handsome harpsichord.) Then began an enchanting program of ancient music by George Frederic Handel, Telemann, Johann Sebasian Bach, and concluding with the famous Canon in D major for three violins by Pachelbel. 

Professor Moroney pointed out that individual instruction for one student costs about $1,500 each year, or $6,000 for the four years a student is an undergraduate. The Baroque Music Fund is dedicated to promoting all aspects of learning about baroque music on the Berkeley campus. Donations to this Fund are gratefully received and may be sent to the Department of Music, University of California, 104 Morrison Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-1200. 

Following the concert, guests were invited to a reception in the dining room featuring a tempting buffet table. It also provided an opportunity to chat informally with the young musicians who willingly discussed their backgrounds andplans for the future. All in all, it was a wonderful afternoon of music, made possible once again by the Women's Faculty Club. 

 

Dorothy Snodgrass 

*** 

Fast Buses Must Inconvenience Cars  

 

I still can't understand why anyone would think we can leave out bus-only lanes for the BRT and still expect to get faster, more frequent and reliable bus service. 

The whole concept of BRT has been to give these buses enough advantage over the car traffic that a bus trip will be faster than a car trip. This is the transit performance that is supposed to motivate a large number of people to keep their cars off the road and use the bus to get to work, and for most other trips. 

Surprise! We can't give buses an advantage over cars without some inconvenience to the cars. What a concept! 

We don't need bus-only lanes on every mile of the BRT route. Oakland, which has approved a full-build study, is probably not going to have bus-only lanes in the region around Broadway & 12th Street. 

It's clear that Berkeley should not have a bus-only lane on Telegraph in the street vendor region. 

It would be a shame for BRT to fail because political foolishness caused it to be designed to fail. 

We need a full-build of BRT, complete with bus-only lanes. It's that or don't waste time and money on the project at all. 

If more people were riding buses, we wouldn't need so much parking. 

And fewer cars might make less carbon dioxide. 

What a concept! 

 

Steve Geller 

 


Berkeley: Transit-Free Zone

By Charles Siegel
Monday May 10, 2010 - 09:28:00 PM

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." 

Though it no longer is a live issue, it is worth taking a moment to correct some errors about AC Transit's proposed project in the editorial and an opinion piece in the latest Daily Planet. 

The editorial claims that BRT cannot work because buses do not run on schedule. But buses don't run on schedule because they get stuck in traffic, and BRT would have let them stay on schedule by separating them from traffic. Currently, AC Transit expects delays of up to 15 minutes in bus service. With BRT, it would have expected delays of up to 5 minutes. 

For this reason, it is also wrong to complain that BRT would not attract riders because it saves only a couple of minutes of travel time for the average trip. Yes, but it might also save 10 minutes of time waiting at the bus stop. Keeping on schedule is particularly important to commuters, who have to get to work on time, and BRT would have shifted many commuter trips to the bus. 

The opinion piece claims that BRT would only increase transit ridership by 1.5%. But that figure, taken out of context from the EIR, calculates how much this project on one route would have increased transit ridership in the entire East Bay. BRT would have increased ridership on the route by 50%. 

The opinion piece also claims that BRT would not work because it would not have grade separation at intersections, as BRT does in Bogota and Curitiba. But the new BRT line in Cleveland, called the Healthline, does not have grade separation, and it has increased ridership by 50% and has helped to revitalize the city economically. The BRT project is very similar to ours: the street is a similar width, and it even passes next to a university. 

The opinion piece also claims that BRT would have caused congestion. But the EIR showed that it would not have caused a significant degradation of level of service at any intersection in Berkeley. 

Finally, the editorial claims that we do not need BRT because we will have electric cars in 20 years. Let me make a few responses to this claim. 

First, there is general consensus among climate scientists that greenhouse gas emissions must peak in this decade to avoid the worst effects of global warming. Twenty years is an optimistic estimate for when electric cars will become widespread, but even it is too late. 

Second, I ask readers to imagine what they would think is the city proposed a plan to insulate houses to reduce energy used in heating, and someone objected that we don't need it because we will all have electric heaters in twenty years (and maybe all the electricity that powers them will be clean in fifty years). Everyone who is serious about controlling global warming knows that we must shift to clean energy as quickly as possible and we must also reduce the amount of energy we consume. It is not good enough to say that we will have clean energy decades from now. 

Third, shifting to a more balanced transportation system is one of the best ways to reduce energy consumption, because it will actually make our cities more livable. 

I think most of us choose to live in Berkeley rather than in Pleasanton, because we like having walkable neighborhood shopping districts and a walkable downtown rather than shopping malls built around parking lots. But we also hear constant complaint about parking and traffic congestion because these walkable streets work best when there is more use of public transportation and automobiles are not so dominant. BRT would have moved Berkeley back toward its roots as a streetcar suburb, where public transportation was a larger part in the mix. 

With this decision about BRT, Berkeley has shown that is behind the rest of the nation on transportation issues. 

When George W. Bush was president, he supported only one method of reducing emissions from transportation: electric cars. 

The Obama administration is pushing hard for cleaner cars, but it is also pushing hard for what Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood calls "livable cities" - which he defines as cities where you do not need a car. 

After the Obama administration overhauls the federal "TEA" transportation law, there will be more funding for public transportation than there has ever been in the past. There will be many more transit proposals, and maybe even Berkeley will catch up. 

Charles Siegel is a Berkeley resident and environmental activist. 

 

 


The Grim Reaper of Greenhouse Gases

By Craig Collins
Monday May 10, 2010 - 09:58:00 PM

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. 

Unlike CO2, methane is flammable. BP's Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf was triggered by a bubble of methane gas that escaped from the well and shot up the drill column, expanding quickly as it burst through several seals and barriers before exploding. The fiery blast killed eleven workers and sank the platform. Since then an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil has spewed into the Gulf every day, making it the biggest oil spill in the US since the wreck of the Exxon Valdez in 1989. 

Methane is a menace to coal mining. Mines use giant fans to keep this colorless, odorless gas below dangerous concentrations. But if this fails, the tiniest spark can set off a deadly blast. Methane explosions killed 29 miners in the Massey coal mine disaster last month and claimed 12 miners in the Sago mine disaster back in 2006. 

However, methane's explosive properties are a miniature menace compared to its heat-trapping capacity. As a greenhouse gas, methane is about 25 times more potent, molecule for molecule, than carbon dioxide. Today, the amount of methane in our atmosphere is spiking at an alarming rate. Scientists studying this situation call methane “a ticking time bomb,” and warn that vast stores could be released from frozen deposits on land and under the ocean in the coming decades. 

Over the last few years, research ships in Arctic seas have found methane bubbling and foaming on the surface. These "methane chimneys" are caused by 10-degree jumps in temperature over eastern Siberia. Warmer temperatures cause methane to be released from thawing tundra and from melting methane deposits beneath the ocean. "These deposits rival fossil fuels in terms of their size. It's like having a whole additional supply of coal, oil and natural gas out there that we can't control," says James White, a geochemist at the University of Colorado. 

The Siberian Shelf alone harbors an estimated 1,400 billion tons of methane—about twice as much carbon as is contained in all the trees, grasses and flowers on the planet. If just one per cent of this escaped into the atmosphere within a few decades, it would be enough to cause catastrophic, uncontrollable climate change. This process could initiate a self-reinforcing feedback loop that would spiral out of control even if we cut our greenhouse emissions to zero. Scientists have no idea how close we are to crossing this point of no return, but the signs that we're approaching this tipping point are growing every day. 

 

Craig Collins, Ph.D. of California State University East Bay, is the author of the newly released book,Toxic Loopholes:: Failures and Future prospects of Environmental Law (Cambridge University Press) 

 


Failed Leadership and Predatory Fees

By Carol Gesbeck DeWitt
Tuesday May 11, 2010 - 12:50:00 PM

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. 

My life has been sucked into the vortex of a “through the looking glass rabbit hole” that has put me in financial distress and a nightmarish situation. By the end of February it was obvious that my irregular, 90-foot rear lot line of six to ten foot vegetation had been illegally defoliated with some type of herbicide. This is 15 to 25 feet from my deck, kitchen and breakfast room and I fear health risks from this poisoning. The other three sides of my yard are thriving nicely. The value of the dead vegetation and what it contributed to my property value places this destruction in the category of felony vandalism…except apparently in Oakland. One Oakland Police Officer refused to clarify or even define felony vandalism when asked. The police would not come out and make a report. They did send me forms I have yet to fill out and mail in. Obviously that would merely be an exercise in futility. I have three letters from the owners of the property on the other side of my yard wanting this vegetation removed. We have conflicting interests. They inherited millions of dollars worth of rental property and the family business. Last summer, without bothering to obtain a permit they put an addition on the other side of the small rental cottage they own that shares part of this lot line. Apparently, breaking the law and defoliating my property does not violate their moral compass. (Nor, it seems, fall under the category of even breaking the law in this jurisdiction.) I admit that I have no “proof” that the neighbors destroyed my vegetation, but a preponderance of circumstantial evidence indicates that nobody else had a stake in this matter. Nor, have I heard of any other random backyard defoliations in crime-riddled Oakland. Too bad I didn’t realize that I would need surveillance cameras mounted on my home to catch the neighbors in any acts of vandalism. In March while I was still trying to figure out what had happened, consider my options and form a plan to deal with the disaster I received a “Blight Abatement” notice from the City. “Someone” had anonymously reported the dead vegetation to the City. In April I received an astonishing “Assessment” from the City. Seeing is believing: 

1 Process violation $339 

2 Blight violation investigation $96 

3 Prepare notice to abate $210 

4 Fee charge reinspection $371 

5 Prepare scheduled reinspection $210 

6 Prepare invoice $210 

7 Records management fee $136 

8 Technology enhancement fee $75 

Total Amount due in one month or face further fines and possible foreclosure of my property: $1,647.00!! I can expect probably at least another $600 in assessments as the inspector (who admitted by phone that at her second inspection, which I failed (items 4 & 5) she did not even set foot on my property, but viewed it from the neighbors!) is scheduled to reinspect on May 11. It appears that the criterion for compliance is arbitrary and capricious and subject to the whims of the inspector. One wonders if they are under a behind-closed-doors policy of 

per-inspector-fee-assessment-quotas… I can hardly wait for May 11 and wish a news reporter witness could be present…to me and many others this assessment and the City policies that support it are pernicious, predatory and punitive. Kafkaesque comes to mind. This money that I cannot afford to forfeit to Oakland would have been much better spent on the long list of repair needs my old house has. Paradoxically, the inspector claims, in justifying abatement demands that have nothing to do with the claimed hazard of dead vegetation, (my front door is “delaminating”…hollow core door installed by previous owner…may look unsightly, but the peeling layer of the door is near the bottom, causes no entry access for critters or criminals and is only visible if you open my gate (posted keep out/private property) that the City wants to “insure that homes do not deteriorate!” Apparently, once they have an anonymously reported “just cause” to invade your privacy they can “throw the book at you” for anything they think they can get away with. Fascism comes to mind. As owner and sole occupant I supposedly have more latitude in how I live in my home and use my property. Instead I feel intimidated, bullied, menaced, threatened and under siege. Apparently my home isn’t “pretty” enough to suit City inspectors. My small budget means that peeling trim is not high on my priority list 

I suppose that if I worked for the City or lived in a pricey hills zip code I could afford these bizarre fees and heavy burden. However, like the majority of homeowners in Oakland who are low income, I am struggling just to make ends meet, especially hard on my meager Social Security check and these terrible economic times. I have also had to pay a lot to have this destruction removed and my once lovely, enjoyed and loved yard is ruined. I feel that I have been victimized twice; first by the neighbors and then by the City. 

This horrendous experience has caused me to reevaluate my loyalty to Oakland. This unfortunate cascade of escalating and costly events has completely alienated me. The Community and Economic Development Agency has guaranteed my enmity and turned me from a likely booster to angry adversary. I now shop anywhere but Oakland. I’d rather spend my money in communities that don’t prey on visitors and residents and treat folks with fairness and respect. I will vote against incumbents and I will vote against any and all tax increases. I will speak out in letters to the editor. I also urge anyone thinking of buying a home to be very wary of Oakland. Sooner or later most detached homeowners need to have a City permit for major home projects and the bureaucracy, codes, hassles and fees in Oakland are considerably worse than in other nearby communities. I will definitely procrastinate and be very reluctant to embark on home repair projects that require permits and inspections. It is obvious that current inspection policies, processes and fee structures are counterproductive to Oakland’s claimed and supposed desire to have homes maintained. Blatant revenue generation is the primary goal in Oakland. I am also left wondering if I have been especially targeted because I benefit by Prop 13 tax level. I gratefully appreciate that Prop 13 was intended to protect elderly people like me living on small/fixed incomes from being taxed out of our homes. Too bad it didn’t go far enough to protect folks from predatory city inspections and fee structures. By calling taxes “fees” the city circumvents the 2/3 vote needed to increase taxes. The City can, at will “fee” us into poverty, oblivion and even foreclosure. Financial malfeasance and corruption are not unheard of in Oakland, so it is not necessarily a symptom of paranoia to wonder if a white millionaire property owner has been able to grease some palms to benefit his agenda and get away with behaviors and activities poorer people could not get away with. Mayor Dellums shamefully reneged on his promise to take a 10% pay cut. It does not comfort me to know that the hideous fees being legally extorted from me will help pay the salary of this seemingly incompetent, minimally effective, distracted and part-time-committed Mayor who likes to travel first class on the taxpayers dime. 

I sincerely hope that the serious issues mentioned in this commentary inspire investigative journalist to delve further into my concerns regarding Oakland fee structures, policies and possibly illegal actions. Comparisons with surrounding cities would be nice. Certainly more light needs to be shed on how Oakland generates revenue by squeezing into hardship impoverished and elderly homeowners. I do not in anyway condone or rationalize criminals and their crimes, but I completely understand the palpable and permeating Citywide hopeless frustration and anger of those most disenfranchised in Oakland who lash out at anyone in their paths. C.G. DeWitt 


Letters to the Editor

Friday May 07, 2010 - 02:04:00 PM

Mother's Day really was in its origin an antiwar day, an antiwar statement. Julia Ward Howe was sickened by what had happened during the Civil War, the loss of life, the carnage, and she created Mother's Day as a call for women all over the world to come together and create ways of protesting war, of making a kind of alternate government that could finally do away with war as an acceptable way of solving conflict. Countries used to go to war just for pride over some incident because they were offended or one king made a bad remark about another king. 

But in modern years, recent years, they go to war for commercial reasons, they're trade wars. Nearly every one of America's wars were for some kind of trade advantage or money or for territory-which of course were always fought under different excuses, even as far back as the Civil War. Before every war, there's a long period of mental conditioning and psychological preparation. You never saw how self-righteous nations can get just before a war! So righteous and so convinced that they are right and the other fellow's the criminal, the devil who needs to be conquered! "FROM WHENCE COME WARS?" 

 

Ted Rudow III,MA 

 

*** 

After months of negotiating with Chevron under the facilitation of Oakland mediator Randy Wulff, of Wulff, Quinby & Sochynsky, the City of Richmond negotiating team struck a proposed deal regarding taxation at about 6:30 PM yesterday (Thursday) evening. The details will be reduced to writing, made public today and agendized for the City Council to publicly debate and consider at a special meeting on May 11. 

The negotiating team included City Manager Bill Lindsay, Finance Director Jim Goins, City Attorney Randy Riddle and City Councilmembers Jim Rogers, Jeff Ritterman and me. We were acting under instructions provided by the entire City Council on May 4. 

The underlying foundation of the proposed 15-year agreement is to provide a long term level of certainty for both Chevron and the City. The City’s objective was to both substantially increase revenue from Chevron and be assured that Chevron would not attempt to reduce it such as it has done with the Chevron-sponsored ballot measure for which it has been collecting signatures. 

For Chevron’s part, it wanted assurances that the City would not continue to mount or support ballot measures to raise Chevron’s taxes, such as with Measure T or the measure to remove the cap that the City Council has placed n the November 2010 ballot. 

See the story in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal that describes the dueling ballot measures that would be withdrawn under the proposed settlement. 

I’m glad I participated in the exercise, which was about as unpleasant as anything I can recall. I frankly wanted to gag when it was all over, but I believe the resolution is the best thing for the City. 

Tom Butt 

City Councilmember, Richmond 

*** 

Dirty Oil Measure on California Ballot  

 

As a resident of Berkeley, I am disgusted and saddened that Texas oil giants have succeeded in placing a dirty energy measure on our state ballot. 

The tragedy unfolding in the Gulf makes it clearer than ever just how costly our dangerous addiction to dirty fossil fuels really is. 

Clean energy has been a bright spot in the economy and this deceptive initiative will kill investments and jobs. Not to mention that our dirty air is killing us – the nation’s 10 smoggiest counties are all in California. 

Following this Gulf oil spill disaster, does California really want to let Texas oil companies gut our clean energy and clean air laws? 

 

Tom Tomkinson 

 

*** 

Boxer’s Support of Berkeley Ferry Project is Disappointing 

 

I was disappointed to learn recently that Barbara Boxer is requesting a $2.5 million earmark to begin construction of a Berkeley to SF ferry system. Once again big money talks. This ferry proposal is a boondoggle that will only benefit the wealthy at great taxpayer expense. More importantly, this unnecessary amenity will continue to degrade the environmental and aesthetic quality of the Berkeley shoreline. Backers of the ferry project are trying to convince people that a ferry system is necessary for earthquake preparedness and will facilitate travel to the city. In a very limited sense this may be true. But the project cannot be justified on the basis of cost effectiveness or overall effectiveness in addressing these concerns. Backers ignore the fact that the Oakland ferry system is hemorrhaging financially and requires constant infusion of public monies. We're talking about money that could otherwise support health care, education, and keeping violent criminals behind bars. It's a shame this misguided and unneeded project can't just die a dignified death but it's such a convenient vehicle for designers, consultants, contractors, and politicians to sup at the public trough. 

 

David Daniels 

Berkeley 

 

 

 

 

 


Updated: Of Polar Bears and Concrete Islands in Telegraph Avenue

By Matt Kondolf, with an addendum by Robert Lauriston
Friday May 07, 2010 - 10:02:00 PM

Shortly before the November 2008 election, I received in the mail a glossy flyer with a picture of a polar bear, which said “We can’t afford to wait…” The flyer argued that we must implement transit projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to save the polar bear, and that we should oppose a citizen initiative (Measure KK) to require voter approval of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) along Telegraph Avenue. My interest was piqued, and I began to follow the debate about the proposal for BRT with interest. As one trained to evaluate scientific claims, I was intrigued. The scientific question (with obvious policy implications) is whether building the proposed BRT down Telegraph Avenue will result in less greenhouse gas emissions than the current situation. But who paid for this slick flyer, and what scientific basis underlay the claim that pouring concrete islands in the middle of Telegraph Avenue was likely to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?  

To evaluate whether building the proposed BRT will actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions requires that we look closely at what the BRT would accomplish with what impacts. The basic argument in favor of the Berkeley BRT is that by building the BRT, people will use the bus instead of their cars.  

Last week, the Berkeley City Council held a public meeting at Longfellow School auditorium, at which dozens of residents expressed their views. It was fascinating to watch the process, to hear the diverse viewpoints, to see some of the passion about this issue (on both sides). Most of the opponents who showed up were Telegraph Ave merchants and street vendors. Many of the pro-BRT speakers made convincing cases for the need to increase transit ridership, but did not make the link between transit benefits more generally and the specific BRT proposed for Telegraph Avenue. The construction trades were in favor of the project. Interestingly, the most effective anti-BRT speakers simply quoted from the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the project. The DEIR concluded that the proposed BRT might increase net transit ridership by about 10 thousand over the no-project 660 thousand trips/day, or only about 1.5% (DEIR, p.3-28), much less than observed in other cities where BRT has been implemented under very different circumstances. The DEIR analysis projected emissions of gases and particulates CO, ROG, NOx, SOx, PM10, and PM2.5 (proxies for greenhouse gases) would decrease only 0.03 percent. The DEIR (p.4-152) also concluded that building the BRT would results in essentially the same gasoline and diesel use, and thus that “The energy impacts of the Build Alternatives as compared to the No-Build Alternative would be negligible.” 

I spoke to the Council to point out that the proposed BRT for Telegraph Avenue would be unlike the successful systems in Latin American cities like Bogota, Quito, and Curitiba, which have: 1. large populations of poor people who don’t own cars, and who need to travel from population centers to industrial/commercial centers, and 2. ‘grade separation’ from traffic – buses have their own lanes and cross over intersections on overpasses. In the San Francisco Bay region, we have over 800 cars per 1000 households compared to around 100 in Latin American cities, so people here have more options and thus would not automatically ride BRT if available. Moreover, the natural market for BRT is already served by BART and AC express buses. The proposed line in Berkeley and Oakland would follow Telegraph Avenue and International Boulevard down to San Leandro, essentially duplicating (and poaching passengers from) the BART Fremont line. Because the Telegraph Avenue line would not have grade separation at intersections, its travel times will be similar to existing buses, so it’s not obvious why it would attract new riders not already using AC express buses or BART.  

The proposed Berkeley BRT would involve massive concrete islands down the middle of Telegraph Avenue, eliminating two lanes of traffic. The snarled traffic resulting from choking down a major traffic artery would produce its own greenhouse gas emissions, and BRT would be an enormous construction project, which in itself would produce massive greenhouse gas emissions.  

So back to the question: where did the polar bear flyer come from? It turns out that $75 million may be available from the Federal Transit Administration to AC Transit if AC Transit builds a project with a dedicated bus lane. The proposed BRT represents an attempt to qualify for those funds. That’s why a spokesman for the construction trade unions showed up at Longfellow School to support the BRT proposal, citing the economic benefits of the construction project. I am certainly not opposed to seeing $75 million in federal funds flow into Oakland and Berkeley, but as a scientist I would much prefer to see the question posed thusly: honestly recognizing that we are helping AC Transit get this “free” federal money, but in return we must accept massive concrete islands in the middle of Telegraph Avenue. Pity that such federal largesse could not be used to support a project that would actually benefit the environment. And fascinating to see that the “party line” among the ecologically correct has become to support BRT, despite the inherent weakness of this BRT proposal.  

To really reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we need to get people out of their single-person cars and into mass transit. It’s not likely that the BRT proposed for Berkeley would accomplish this. One need look no farther than the project’s DEIR to see the weakness of the proposed project. The main benefit appears to be a short-term shot to the local economy from some federal funds, but in the long run the environmental impact is likely to be negative. To claim, as the polar-bear flyer did, that the proposed BRT on Telegraph Avenue of Berkeley and Oakland will reduce greenhouse gas emissions is quite a stretch, and certainly unjustified scientifically.  

 

 

Matt Kondolf has been a Berkeley resident for two decades. As Professor of Environmental Planning and co-director of the Environmental Sciences Program at UC Berkeley, he teaches environmental sciences, hydrology, river restoration, and environmental planning. He has served on expert panels for governmental agencies in the US and abroad, including the National Academy of Sciences, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the California Bay-Delta Program, and the Mekong River Commission, and has presented expert testimony before committees of the US Congress and the California State Legislature. His views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of the University of California. 

 

Addendum from Robert Lauriston: 

In his "Of Polar Bears and Concrete Islands in Telegraph Avenue" article (May 7), Matt Kondolf raises but fails to answer the question, who paid for the slick "We can’t afford to wait" flyer distributed in 2008? Looking at the campaign statements filed by the Coalition for Effective Government, the major contributors to its $40,000 campaign against measure KK were: 

$20,000: Committee to Safeguard AC Transit Measure VV 

$5,000: Cambridge Systematics, Cambridge, MA 

$5,000: AC Transit AFSCME Local 3916 

$3,000: Kimberly-Horn and Associates, Inc. 

$2,397.79: Hank Resnik 

Hank Resnik is a pro-bicycle / anti-car activist who was one of the main leaders of the no-on-KK campaign. 

Kimberly-Horn and Cambridge Systematics are a consulting firms that have done work for AC Transit on BRT, so they were acting in their direct self-interest. 

Presumably the union thought BRT would be good for its members. 

The Committee to Safeguard AC Transit Measure VV is funded by ABC Companies, the US distributor of the imported Belgian Van Hool buses to which AC Transit has a mysterious addiction. 

 


Berkeley Budget Mess? Fix the Public Servant Cartel

By Victoria Peirotes
Friday May 07, 2010 - 10:06:00 PM

Recent headlines: “Berkeley Tackles $14.6 Million Budget Deficit”. Some may recall that ten months ago Mayor Bates was featured, in color, front page-and-center, in the Berkeley Voice, saying “The Future is Rosy for Berkeley.” Now “Rosy-the-Rivet-You” sings a different Looney-Tune. What a difference a year makes!  

 

While Bates was patting himself and his cohort city manager on the back a number of Berkeley residents had reservations. One didn’t need to be a rocket scientist. One only needed to follow non-stop coverage in national and local media regarding the financial crisis rocking the country, the state and neighboring communities.  

 

In July 2009, a coalition of 150+ Berkeley residents directed a petition to Mayor Bates and council. The petition urged directing the city manager to explore pro-active measures to modestly reduce the cost to the City Treasury of our 1600 + public employees by 12%, or approximately $25 million. Already most other municipalities had fashioned and begun implementing strategies to contain these tax-payer funded, pandemic costs.  

 

Petition endorsers were rebuffed by the mayor and largely ignored by council members. Had the Mayor and Council acted on citizens’ advice the $14.6 million budget deficit that is now a “fait accompli” would not exist. 

 

In January 2010, a letter to the mayor and council reminded that the public expected a report on the real budget problem, the outlays and unfunded liabilities for city employees. The letter implored council (1) to authorize an independent audit of the City’s short and long-term obligations, (2) to make this information available to the public, and (3) to hire a professional labor negotiator in lieu of relying on the city manager, to deal with the Police/Fire Department contracts that are before the City in May 2010.  

 

Fast-forward to May 2010. Mr. Kamlarz, the City Manager, announced Berkeley’s budget shortfall and will present a two-year rescue blueprint for the city. From released plan outlines it appears he will again recommend increased taxes and to further reduce city services. These so-called fixes target taxpayers and programs taxpayers overwhelmingly support, such as Senior Centers, Public Health Clinics, the Animal Shelter, and swimming pools, to mention a few. It does nothing to broach the subject or propose remedies for the financial stranglehold that he, and his fellow city employees have on the city, nor the detriment this stranglehold has on the programs most citizens endorse.  

 

This strategy from Mr. Kamlarz is understandable. For years he has been Berkeley’s budget architect. In that capacity he has engineered benefits for city employees that far exceed anything comparable in any public or private sector. And he is personally the biggest beneficiary of Berkeley’s largesse. Indeed, he is the poster-child for how public servants profiteer.  

 

Consider the 04/05/2009 article in the Contra Costa Times by Daniel Borenstein: “If you want an example of public employee pensions mushrooming out of control, consider the case of Berkeley City Manager Phil Kamlarz … he is now set up to earn more each year in retirement than the governor of California is entitled to annually while on the job.”  

 

What is less understandable is why the mayor and eight elected city council members blindly follow the city manager’s lead or why they refuse to exercise a modicum of oversight or to direct public policy. Is it too much to ask that council serve the best interests of the city, rather than those of city employees?  

 

An article, “Class War: How Public Servants Became Our Masters”, Feb 2010, explains: 

“Although Americans may have a vague sense that the nation has run up a great deal of debt, the public employee benefit problem is not well known. The wave of benefit promises is poised to wash away state and local government budgets and large portions of the incomes of most Americans. Most of these benefits are vested, meaning that they have the standing of a legal contract”.
 

 

The article goes on to say: 

“Local governments may have to triple their annual pension contributions during the next six years. That money will come from taxpayers such that they will have to work longer, retire later, and pay more so that their public-employee neighbors can enjoy the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.”
 

 

Consider a few basic facts: 

(1) A monumental 78% of Berkeley’s current budget is consecrated to our “public employees”. This % will rise significantly in 2011 and beyond when unfunded debt to city employee pension and “Cadillac” health plans becomes due. 

(2) Berkeley has a population of about 105,000 people; it has a disproportionate 1,600 + city employees, many of whom are not Berkeley residents, including City Manager Mr. Kamlarz, a city employee for 35 years who continues to reside in Oakland. 

(3) The SF Chronicle reports: City employees receive about $128,000 in salary and benefit packages while the average taxpayer who funds them draws on only $82,000. USAToday reports: Salaries for 80% of public employee positions exceed comparable salaries in the private sector.  

(4) The State, UC, UCSF, EBMUD, BART, and municipalities, including LA, SF, San Jose and Oakland, have conducted independent audits to assess short and long-term liabilities. These assessments have informed civic leaders and the public such that “action plans” have been developed. For example, theSF Chronicle reports “Charter amendment would revamp S.F. pensions”, “City employees fired and then (mostly) rehired” and “Cal seen as bloated, wasteful, and sluggish; simplified purchases, layoffs recommended”.  

(5) Mayor Bates and council stubbornly continue to rely on the skewed and selective reporting of the city manager to appreciate the city’s long-term debt and liabilities, and entirely on him to craft the budget.  

This question goes begging: In Berkeley, do public employees exist to serve the public or does the public exist to serve employees? Our city governance appears to support wholeheartedly the latter.  

It seems the wolves, in politically-crafted sheep clothing, have taken over the hen-house. They feather their lairs while robbing the cluckers (make that “suckers”) of their small nest-eggs. And yes, as you can gather, I am an unhappy hen!  

 

To learn more see links:  

(1) articles by Daniel Borenstein in the Contra Costa Times  

(2) reason.com  

(3) Berkeley employee salaries  

(4) Information on state-wide municipality pension plans 

 

 

 

Victoria Peirotes is a Berkeley resident. 


Imploding

By R.G. Davis
Friday May 07, 2010 - 03:41:00 PM

If we take the BP oil slick, now 23000 gallons a day (May 3, 2010), floating disaster into the gulf of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas onto Florida and then into the Atlantic Ocean as the greatest, the biggest, the primo example of how oil companies are killing the ecological resources, the breeding grounds fly-ways of birds and aquatic life; and make a connection by adding a report from the US Disease Control Agency, revealing that cigarette smoking, (still!) junk food and sedentary life are now causing obesity and diabetes thus increasing heart disease in 50 percent of the adult population (Chron., Disease Control April 27, 10: A8), then we could predict, with qualifying evidence and substantial data, based upon third party research of Government agencies and official news of the established press, that these ruinous events might well weaken the courage and resources of the US economy, the society, the military and the Empire. 

As the old line Communists used to say about capitalism: “The internal contradictions will bring it down." 

Well those days are gone, however the ever-increasing internal contradictions with Nature are with us, as the expansion of the Empire requires more and more resources, despite the destruction visited upon the earth.  

The oil slicks, visited on other countries, have come home to float. "A stitch in time saves nine" hasn't worked." I told you so" is an unworthy statement, "Prevention is worth a pound of cure" is not learned—the 500K safety valve that BP was supposed to put on either didn’t work or was not put on. Halliburton is in the mix (once again) and BP with $680 billion assets said it will pay the costs in billions, while the ecology of the gulf of Louisiana will be crushed for 20 years. The Exxon-Valdez spill affecting the coastline of Alaska took 20 years to rehab.  

Two days after the oil break, Obama said he would continue drilling; now he might not advocate it. His speechwriters caught up with nature. Isn't that a relief and how bizarre while destroying whole ecological areas the speechmakers and officials can't see the dead ecozones for their own corporate donors.  

Ecology matters? Not important to oil moguls or elected officials. However this horrific disaster might be a good thing, since it will re-frame off-shore drilling in the short run, and the downside of expanding oil exploration and exploitation, while it might bleed over to the disasters within the crisis ridden capitalist system. The Empire has now allowed the original Anglo-Persian Oil Company (BP) [Iran, Mossadegh, UK, CIA] to spoil the waters and natural habitats not in Nigeria, Venezuela, Indonesia and elsewhere but in the home waters of the exceptional nation.  

With achievements such as two hot wars, and a few cooler ones in smaller countries, a failing economy with trillions to the banks and brokers and less to the workers plus a population that is sickly and likely to go to hospitals with expensive insurance programs should make for a weakening of the Empire. Maybe. 

Eventually one too many contradictions will cause the juggernaut to sneeze-- the beginning of a cold. If the energy corporations (capitalists as they used to say) have avoided essential regulations (not enforced) as in coal mines or oil rigs and the corporations can get away with paying fines while not fixing anything but when a disaster erupts—explosion in the mines, explosion in an oil rig, 49 dead workers in West Virginia and 11 dead in the Gulf, while the US commercial media likes to focus on the Chinese dead in coal mines. Now what? A Greek general strike? Get out the Trotsky signs!! 

BP, British Petroleum, the Greenest of all the Green-Washing oil corporations—what was their slogan a month ago? We are the Greenest of all Green? Well now they are the most destructive of all the destructive corporations, and off shore drilling will be slowed, or will Obama and his oil friends continue destroying local ecological areas as well? If so then we can hope—I use that word again—hope the US Empire takes a good kick in the under-structure so that it begins imploding.  

In the old days the orthodox (Stalinist) Communists said: "the contradictions in capitalism will bring it down- it will collapse under the weight of its own contradictions." The New Left said you’re kidding—you will wait a long time. They have ways of manipulating, avoiding, and continuing on. The Maoist said, "A Mountain will fall if you push it.” Now, it might be that the old Communists were correct, because of the destruction of the resources (predicted by James O'Connor), with the destruction of ecological areas for fish, birds, wildlife, food, people’s occupations, vegetation, vacation lands, industry and so on. It is not exactly what the old Communists thought of, but it will do. 

We can hear right wing religious leaders muttering: "God’s work. Sinful country, the Banks, Wall Street, now the Gulf and the Wildlife" They too may be correct. Well, what is the cause, is it capitalism or sin?  

 

 

[Editor’s Note: what’s the difference?] 


Columns

Dispatches From the Edge:Mid-East Tensions/Venezuela & the Media

By Conn Hallinan
Monday May 10, 2010 - 05:53:00 PM

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. 

Gheit sent letters to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and several European Union leaders asking for their intervention to head off an Israeli attack. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri apparently made similar pleas to EU leaders, including Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi  

While Gates did not refer to the Scud allegation in an April 27 joint press conference with his Israeli counterpart, Ehud Barak, the U.S. Defense Secretary said “Hezbollah has far more rockets and missiles than most governments in the world.”  

Israeli President Shimon Peres made the Scud charge last month. 

Since the 2006 Israeli invasion, Hezbollah has rebuilt its missile arsenal, but Syria and Lebanon deny the group has acquired any Scuds. Syria’s Scud-B is a 33-foot long ballistic missile with a range of 189 miles that can carry a 600lb warhead. But it is not an easy system to miss. “It makes no sense,” Gheit told Haaretz, “These are large missiles that are difficult to hide.” 

According to Barak Ravid of Haaretz, “A number of Western intelligence agencies, including those of the United States, have expressed great doubts about the reliability of the Israeli intelligence, or at least the analysis of the available data.”  

In a somewhat tongue-in-cheek comment, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said ”We do not confirm or deny if we have received weapons or not.” The wording is the same that Israel uses when asked if it has nuclear weapons or has carried out a targeted assassination. Nasrallah also played down the possibility of a conflict with Israel: “I don’t believe that all this fuss about the missiles is a prelude to a war, and God willing I am right. It is not a climate for war.” 

The Hezbollah leader may be right about Lebanon, particularly since the U.S. would not be happy to see the Israeli Defense Forces smash up the Lebanese Army that Washington has showered with $500 million since 2006. 

But while the Americans might be embarrassed by an Israeli attack on Lebanon, Syria is a different matter.  

“Transferring weapons to these terrorists [Hezbollah]—especially longer-range missiles—would pose a serious security threat to Israel,” Clinton said April 29. “[Syrian] President [Bashar] Assad is making decision that could mean war or peace for the region.” 

Dianne Feinstein, chair of the U.S. Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence, said there was a “high likelihood” Hezbollah had obtained Scuds. 

The Obama administration has also just renewed sanctions on Syria for Damascus’ “continuing support for terrorist organizations and pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and missile programs, [that] continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.” 

In one as yet unexplained incident, U.S. intelligence agents apparently toured the Masnaa sector of the Syrian-Lebanese border without informing Lebanese Internal Security Director Gen. Ashraf Rifi. The unofficial visit drew a protest from the Lebanese Foreign Ministry, as well as supporters of Hezbollah and Prime Minister Hariri. Hezbollah Parliament member Hassan Fadlallah was concerned that any intelligence information would be shared with Israel and wondered “who will be held responsible if the Masnaa area is targeted [by Israel] in the future?” 

The Israeli national news outlet Arutz Sheva quoted the London Sunday Times that “an unidentified Israeli Minister” told the newspaper, “We’ll return Syria to the Stone Age by crippling its power stations, ports, fuel storage and every bit of strategic infrastructure if [Hezbollah] dares to launch ballistic missiles against us.” 

Israeli Deputy Minister Ayoub Kara said last month that “If Israel is attacked by an element supported by the Syrians”—read Hezbollah—“there will be no avoiding a retaliatory attack on Syria.”  

Peter Harling, a project director for the International Crisis Group, finds the U.S. statements “regrettable” and urges the Obama Administration “to defuse the rhetoric.” He adds, “this type of escalation in the past has led to air raids, has sometimes led to war, so one cannot take it lightly.” 

With U.S. rhetoric aimed at Syria sharpening, and the recent threats by Israeli officials, might Damascus become a target this summer? 

 

 

The headlines on Venezuela these days are pretty grim: “Spanish Judge Accuses Venezuela of Aiding Basque and Colombian Militants” claims a New York Times story by Andres Cala; “Chavez Quells Challenges With Arrests of His Critics,” writes the Times’ Simon Romero. Viewed from the north, President Hugo Chavez seems increasingly erratic and his country mired in economic crisis, power shortages and a crime wave. 

But as Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Political Research writes in the Guardian (UK) argues, much of the bad press is less about reality than an effort by the U.S. media “to discredit the government, and to de-legitimise the September elections—in case the opposition should choose to boycott, as they did in the last legislative elections, or refuse to recognize the results if they lose.” 

The Basque/Colombia story is based on a 26-page indictment released Mar. 1 by Judge Eloy Valasco of the Spanish National Court. The evidence, according to the Times, “comes from a computer belonging to a top FARC [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia] commander that was captured in a Colombian raid into Ecuador in 2008.” 

But as Weisbrot points out, the laptops were captured by the Colombian military, “the same military that has been found to have killed hundreds of innocent teenagers and dressed them up in guerrilla clothing. These laptops and hard drives will continue to be tapped for previously undisclosed ‘evidence,’ which will then be deployed in the campaign against the Venezuelan government. We will be asked to assume these ‘captured documents’ are authentic, and most of the media will do so.” 

The Spanish indictment took a hit Mar. 11 when the head of U.S. Southern Command, Gen. Douglas Fraser, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that, “We have not seen any connections [between Venezuela, the Basque’s ETA, and FARC] specifically that I can verify that there has been a direct government to terrorist connection.” 

Venezuela does not deny that it maintains connections with FARC. It was those connections that Caracas used to spring Colombian Army Captain Pablo Emile Moncayo in March after 12 years of captivity. Those ties were also used to free six Colombian-ex-lawmakers in 2008. But Chavez denies that Venezuela aids the FARC, and he categorically rejects any connection to ETA. 

The story on jailing opponents revolved around the imprisonment of Judge Maria Lourdes Afiuni for—according to the Times—issuing a ruling “that irked President Hugo Chavez.” The Judge is then quoted from her prison cell saying, “I’m in this hell because I had the temerity to do my job as a judge in a way that didn’t please Chavez.” 

The Judge, said the Times, had released “a businessman jailed on charges of circumventing currency controls” because his pretrial detention had exceeded Venezuelan law. The detention did indeed exceed the law, but the “businessman” was a banker charged with using a false import contract to steal $27 million, and Lourdes released him without informing the prosecution, which is also a violation of the law. 

What the Times never bothered to report was that the businessman, Eligio Cedeno, jumped bail and turned up in Miami. That was when the prosecution charged her with corruption. 

The Chavez government’s campaign to clean up corruption in the banking industry has been frustrated by absconding bankers who turn up in the U.S. claiming they are victims of political persecution. According to James Suggett of Upsidedownworld, neither Afiuni nor Cedeno has been associated with the opposition. 

“She was an accomplice of a crime, and what’s more, she facilitated Cedeno’s escape,” said Carlos Escarra, a former Supreme Court Justice. “Justice should be equal for everyone.” 

According to human rights groups, there is nothing to indicate that Lourdes was jailed on the say-so of President Chavez. General Coordinator Pablo Fernandez of the Red de Apoyo para la Justicia y la Paz, an independent human rights group based in Caracas, asks, “Was the [Chavez] declaration about Afiuni understood and reacted to as an order, or did the Attorney General’s Office follow the normal procedures for such a case? So far, it appears prosecutors have followed procedural norms for a judge charged with a crime.” 

What you are unlikely to read about Venezuela is that structural poverty fell from 31.2 percent to 23.6 percent, and chronic poverty from 23.7 percent to 11.4 percent. Extreme poverty has been reduced by 70 percent, according to Weisbrot. 

Weisbrot says he finds the stream of negative articles and statements coming out of Washington “ominous”, particularly given the close association the U.S. had with the failed 2002 coup. He argues it is part of “campaign to de-legitimise the Venezuelan government prior to a national election. This looks like a signal to the opposition: ‘we will support you if you decide to return to an insurrectionary strategy, either before or after the election.’ The U.S. state department is playing an ugly and dangerous game.” 

 

 

 


The Public Eye:Budrus: Good News from the West Bank

By Bob Burnett
Friday May 07, 2010 - 12:23:00 PM

I flinch every time I read a headline that includes the words Israel, Palestine, West Bank, or Gaza. Usually the articles contain horrific news: suicide bombs maiming Israeli civilians, troops dragging Palestinians off their ancestral lands, escalating anger and violence. At long last, the documentary film Budrus brings good news, a tiny ray of hope in what’s seemed to be an ocean of despair. 

 

Beginning in 2001, Israel built a security wall more or less along the 1949 Armistice line, the Green Line, between Israel and the Palestinian West Bank. In many cases this wall meandered away from the Green Line, following a surreal course that arbitrarily seized Palestinian land. 

 

The documentary tells what happened in the tiny town of Budrus when Israeli security forces decided to extend the security wall through the town’s ancient olive groves and cemetery. In 2003, Budrus’ 1400 residents united in a protracted nonviolent campaign against the wall, eventually forcing the government of Israel to back off and move the wall west to the Green Line. 

 

Directed by Julia Bacha (and produced by Bacha, Ronit Avni, and Rula Salameh) the documentary skillfully mixes archival footage of the actual conflict with recent interviews with the Palestinian and Israeli principals: Ayed Morrar, Iltezam Morrar, Ahmed Awwad, Yasmine Levi, Kobi Snitz, and Doron Spielman. Although it’s impossible not to sympathize with the plight of Budrus residents faced with the loss of their ancient trees, the Israeli stance – we need to stop the killing of our civilians – is understandable. Budrus lets viewers hear what both sides have to say and trusts us to draw our own conclusions. 

 

There were several reasons why nonviolent resistance worked in Budrus. 

 

 

1. There was excellent leadership. The key leader was Ayed Morrar, a member of the Fatah Party, who the Israelis had imprisoned several times and who learned about nonviolent resistance in his most recent incarceration. Ayed is a natural community organizer who convinced angry Budrus residents of the efficacy of nonviolence, got them involved, and kept them with the program over an eighteen-month period. 

2. The campaign included everyone in Budrus. Ayed Morrar’s then fifteen-year-old daughter, Iltezam, convinced her father that women should be part of the front-line confrontation with the Israeli security forces and bulldozers. She then assumed a major leadership role. The documentary’s most memorable scene shows a huge backhoe pulling out an olive tree, whereupon Iltezam jumped in the hole and forced the backhoe to retreat. 

3. Because the entire Budrus community was involved, old political loyalties were set aside and there was enough support for a protracted campaign. The other adult leader of the resistance was Ahmed Awwad, a Hamas member, who worked effectively with Ayed, Iltezam, and the others. 

4. There was support from Israeli peace activists. Kobi Snitz and other Israelis participated in the resistance, which encouraged the Budrus residents and attracted worldwide attention. 

5. The demonstration had a simple focus. The Budrus residents didn’t dispute Israel’s right to protect itself with a wall, but rather the location. Throughout the protracted struggle they repeated a compelling plea: move the wall out of our olive groves and cemetery

6. The heavy-handed Israeli tactics got media attention. Particularly after the Budrus women got involved, the Israeli and international media filmed the confrontations. The Israeli high command escalated the confrontation by beating women as well as men and using live ammunition. This produced compelling vignettes for the nightly news and damning publicity for Israel. 

7. There were no Israeli settlements near Budrus. One of the reasons the security wall deviated from the Green Line was the presence of new Israeli settlements in the Palestinian West Bank. Therefore, the wall periodically looped deep inside Palestinian land to protect a settlement and provide it safe access to Israel. Because there were no settlements near Budrus, the Israelis had no convincing rationale for their route through olive groves and the cemetery. In the end, it was easier for them to back off. 

 

 

There are many who believe that the situation in Israel-Palestine and the Middle East, in general, has deteriorated to the point where nonviolence is no longer a viable alternative. The documentary Budrus proves this to be untrue. 

 

But it makes clear that nonviolence can’t be a tactic. It has to be a strategy. And for in order for a long-term strategy to succeed, there has to be effective leadership. There has to be men like Ayed Morrar and Ahmed Awwad and women like Iltezam Morrar. 

 

Budrus is currently making the round of film festivals. Everyone who cares about the Middle East -- all of us who cling to the faint hope that the anger and violence can diminish rather than escalate – should see this inspirational movie.  

 

Bob Burnett is a Berkeley writer. He can be reached at bobburnett@comcast.net


Wild Neighbors: The Dog That Runs in the Rough Water

Joe Eaton
Friday May 07, 2010 - 11:38:00 AM
Oblivious Hawai'ian monk seal, Po'ipu Beach Park, Kaua'i.
Ron Sullivan
Oblivious Hawai'ian monk seal, Po'ipu Beach Park, Kaua'i.
Honu's day off: green turtle on the beach
Ron Sullivan
Honu's day off: green turtle on the beach

The trick to spotting a Hawai’ian monk seal, according to Kaua’i-based naturalist David Kuhn, is to look for the orange plastic cones delimiting its space on the beach.  

It works. That’s how we found one of the endangered seals plus a bonus green turtle at Poi’pu Beach Park on the South Shore one afternoon. We spotted the turtle first, hauled out at the edge of the water, its carapace about the size of one of the larger paella pans at the Spanish Table. It wasn’t there to lay eggs, as it turned out, although there are nesting beaches not far away. It just seems to like to hang out on that stretch of beach. The turtle was awake, but immobile. 

The seal, an adult female maybe seven feet in length, was a little farther along, on a kind of isthmus between the sandy beach and an outlying shelf of rock. The volunteer seal wrangler, a woman from Buffalo who wisely spends her winters on Kaua’i, told us that a half-dozen monk seals had come ashore that day. The previous day’s heavy rain had left nearshore waters too murky to hunt for fish, and the seals had opted for some down time. 

At any given time, she said, there are about 30 monk seals on and near the island. Some even give birth on Kaua’i; there was a heavily pregnant female at Hanapepe, further west along the coast. Most of the species’ population occurs in the Northwestern Hawai’ian Islands, though, on Midway and Laysan and more obscure specks of sand like Lisianski Island, French Frigate Shoals, and Pearl and Hermes Reef. The monk seal is one of Hawai’i’s two native mammals, the other being a subspecies of hoary bat; it was designated the official state mammal a couple of years ago, edging out the small Indian mongoose, the feral pig, and the poi dog. 

The seal was more restless than the turtle. Every now and then she would turn over, stretch her neck, or give herself a desultory scratch with one flipper. She seemed oblivious to the human gawkers, surrounding her at a distance that would have freaked out the most tolerant harbor seal. Her pelt was silver-gray, a little paler on the belly, and she had big brown eyes. The docent pointed out a couple of semi-circular scars on the seal’s skin: “Cookie-cutter shark.” These are small sharks that bite into a marine mammal or another fish and then twist, excising a plug of flesh. 

Seal taxonomists say that monk seals are the most primitive of living seals, having diverged from the mainstem of phocid evolution some 15 million years ago. They are thought to have originated in the ancient Atlantic, leaving descendant species in the Mediterranean (also endangered) and the Caribbean (extinct.) One population swam through the intercontinental gap where Panama would eventually be and colonized the atolls northwest of Kaua’i. Hawai’ian monk seals retained their cold-water ancestors’ insulating layer of blubber. To prevent overheating, hauled-out seals move as little as possible and slow down their respiration and heart rates. 

The first Hawai’ians, who didn’t know from seals, named the animal ‘ilio holoikauaua—“the dog that runs in the rough water.” Judging from the absence of monk seal remains in archeological sites, they seem to have left it alone. A Russian captain named Lisianski encountered the species in 1805. Subsequent Europeans slaughtered monk seals for their skins and blubber; they were also killed by feather hunters, guano collectors, and bored servicemen. Population counts in recent decades have never exceeded 1500, and have sometimes dipped as low as 500. NOAA Fisheries, the federal agency with jurisdiction over marine mammals, gives a current estimate of 1200 and falling. 

Like all species with small populations, Hawai’ian monk seals are vulnerable to random events, like an outbreak of ciguatera—algal toxins that concentrate in fish—on Laysan in 1978. Beach erosion in the northwestern islands has reduced their breeding habitat. And basic demographics are not on the seals’ side. Females don’t give birth until they’re six years old; only 60 or 70 percent produce pups in any given year. The sex ratio at some breeding sites is skewed toward males, who have an unfortunate tendency to mob females, sometimes with fatal results. Pups are especially prone to entanglement in lost or discarded fishing gear. 

The Poi’pu seal wrangler told us one factor driving the decline is a change in a predator’s strategy. At French Frigate Shoals, home to the largest subpopulation of monk seals, Galapagos sharks have learned to patrol the shore for pups entering the ocean. In the water, the pups are defenseless, and mortality rates have risen. Wildlife managers have responded by relocating pups and removing the sharks, although it would be difficult to eradicate them all.  

In an uncharacteristic moment, the Bush administration designated much of the northwestern chain as the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in 2006. That may at least give the seals some relief from the effects of commercial fishing. These engaging beasts could use a break. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Arts & Events

Readings-East Bay Through May 23

Tuesday May 11, 2010 - 12:27:00 PM

A GREAT GOOD PLACE FOR BOOKS  

Kate Moses, May 14, 7 p.m. The author talks about "Cakewalk: A Memoir.''  

Phil Cousineau, May 16, 4 p.m. The author talks about "Wordcatcher: An Odyssey Into the World of Weird and Wonderful Words.''  

Jandy Nelson, May 20, 7 p.m. The author talks about "The Sky is Everywhere.''  

6120 LaSalle Ave., Oakland. (510) 339-8210, www.greatgoodplace.indiebound.com.

 

BOOKS INC., BERKELEY  

Laurie R. King, May 18, 7 p.m. The author talks about "God of the Hive.''  

Annie Barrows, May 20, 4 p.m. The author talks about "Ivy and Bean: Doomed to Dance.''  

Sam Barry and Kathi Goldmark, May 23, 6 p.m. The author talks about "Write that Book Already! The Tough Love You Need to Get Published Now.''  

1760 4th Street, Berkeley. (510) 525-7777, www.booksinc.net.

 

DIESEL, A BOOKSTORE  

Aife Murray, May 16, 3 p.m. The author talks about "Maid as Muse.''  

Steve Kowit and Alicia Suskin Ostriker, May 23, 3 p.m. Kowit talks about "Crossing Borders'' and Suskin talks about "The Book of Seventy.''  

5433 College Avenue, Oakland. (510) 653-9965.< 

 

EASTWIND BOOKS  

William Ayers, May 18, 6 p.m. The author talks about "The Journey of a Teacher.''  

2066 University Ave., Berkeley. (510) 548-2350.< 

 

MOE'S BOOKS  

"Bukowski Night," May 18. Editor David Calonne discusses the works of Charles Bukowski.  

Michael McClure, May 19. The author and journalist shares his recent work.  

Cathy Colman and Barbara Tomash, May 20. Poetry Flash presents the authors reading their recent work.  

10 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. 2476 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley. (510) 849-2087, www.moesbooks.com.

 

MRS. DALLOWAY'S  

Christi Phillips, May 14, 7:30 p.m. The author talks about "The Devlin Diary.''  

Marcia Gagliardi, May 15, 4 p.m. The authors talk about "The Tablehoppers Guide to Dining and Drinking in San Francisco.''  

Mac Barnett and Eli Horowitz, May 16, 4 p.m. The authors talk about "The Clock Without a Face.''  

Elizabeth Biller Chapman and Lynne Knight, May 20, 7:30 p.m. Chapman talks about "Light Thickens'' and Knight talks about "Again.'' $16.  

Michael Chabon, May 21, 7:30 p.m. The author talks about "Manhood for Amateurs.''  

Deborah Underwood, May 22, 2 p.m. The author talks about "The Quiet Book.''  

Barbara Quick, May 23, 4 p.m. The author talks about "A Golden Web.''  

2904 College Avenue, Berkeley. (510) 704-8222.<


Stage-East Bay Through May 23

Tuesday May 11, 2010 - 12:27:00 PM

AURORA THEATRE COMPANY  

"A Marvelous Party: A Noel Coward Celebration," May 20 through June 26, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 2:30 and 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2:30 p.m. This exhilarating evening of song and sparkling repartee features Coward's witty lyrics and contagious melodies. $18-$45.  

Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison St., Berkeley. (510) 843-4822, www.auroratheatre.org.

 

CASA PERALTA Once the home of descendants of the 19th-century Spanish soldier and Alameda County landowner Don Luis Maria Peralta, the 1821 adobe was remodeled in 1926 as a grand Spanish villa, using some of the original bricks. The casa features a beautiful Moorish exterior design and hand painted tiles imported from Spain, some of which tell the story of Don Quixote. The interior is furnished in 1920s decor. The house will be decorated for the holidays during the month of December. Call ahead to confirm hours. 

CLOSING -- "Dial 'M' for Murder," by Frederick Knott, through May 16, Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. San Leandro Players present the story of an ex-tennis star who plots to murder his wife.  

Free but donations accepted. Friday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 384 Estudillo Ave., San Leandro. (510) 577-3474, (510) 577-3491, www.ci.sanleandro. ca.us/sllibrarycasaperalta.html.< 

 

DIABLO ACTORS ENSEMBLE THEATRE  

CLOSING -- "Same Time Next Year," by Bernard Slade, through May 23, Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. An accountant and a housewife meet at a Northern California inn once a year, despite the fact that they are both married to other people. $10-$25.  

1345 Locust Street, Walnut Creek. (925) 482-5110, www.diabloactors.com.

 

EAST BAY IMPROV  

"Tired of the Same Old Song and Dance?" 8 p.m. East Bay Improv actors perform spontaneous, impulsive and hilarious comedy on the first Saturday of every month. $8.  

Pinole Community Playhouse, 601 Tennent Ave., Pinole. (510) 964-0571, www.eastbayimprov.com.

 

JULIA MORGAN CENTER FOR THE ARTS  

CLOSING -- "Oliver," through May 16. An all-ages cast brings Dickens' classic to life in this musical romp. $19-$33.  

2640 College Ave., Berkeley. (510) 845-8542, www.juliamorgan.org.

 

LA VAL'S SUBTERRANEAN THEATRE  

"Twelfth Night," by William Shakespeare, through June 12, Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m. Impact Theatre presents this classic Shakespeare comedy. $10.  

1834 Euclid Ave., Berkeley. (510) 464-4468.< 

 

THE MARSH BERKELEY  

CLOSING -- "What Just Happened," by Nina Wise, through May 22, Friday, 9 p.m.; Saturday, 8 p.m. Wise presents an evening improvisation based on personal and political events which have transpired over the previous 24 hours. $20-$35.  

The Gaia Building, 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley. Info: (415) 826-5750, Tickets: (800) 838-3006, www.themarsh.org.

 

WILLOWS CABARET AT THE CAMPBELL THEATRE  

"You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," through June 6. The Red Baron patrols the skies, the Doctor is in, and the "blankie'' is in jeopardy again. $14-$32.  

636 Ward St., Martinez. (925) 798-1300, www.willowstheatre.org.<


Popmusic-East Bay Through May 23

Tuesday May 11, 2010 - 12:17:00 PM

924 GILMAN ST. -- All ages welcome. 

DCOI, Bum City Saints, Short Attn Span, Side Effects, Holiday Bowl, Public Suicide, May 14, 7:30 p.m. $7.  

Crow, Conquest for Death, Cross Stitched Eyes, Acephalix, Surrender, No Statik, May 21, 7:30 p.m.  

$5 unless otherwise noted. Shows start Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 5 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 924 Gilman St., Berkeley. (510) 525-9926, www.924gilman.org.

 

ALBATROSS PUB  

Whiskey Brothers, First and third Wednesdays, 9 p.m. Free.  

Fred Randolph Jazz Trio, May 15, 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. $3.  

Free unless otherwise noted. Shows begin Wednesday, 9 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 1822 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. (510) 843-2473, www.albatrosspub.com.

 

ARMANDO'S  

Seth Augustus Band, May 14, 8 p.m. $10.  

Kally Price and Her Old Time Blues and Jazz Band, May 15, 8 p.m. $10.  

Jazz Jam, May 17, 7 p.m. $3.  

Aka Bella, May 18, 8 p.m. $10.  

California Honeydrops, May 20, 8 p.m. $10.  

Joe and Vicki Price, May 21, 8 p.m. $10.  

Calle 49, May 22, 8 p.m. $10.  

Steven Espaniola, May 23, 3 p.m. $10.  

707 Marina Vista Ave., Martinez. (925) 228-6985, www.armandosmartinez.com.

 

ASHKENAZ  

Native Elements, 7th Street Sound with Luv Fyah and Brother Ayouba, May 14, 9:30 p.m. $10-$13.  

Canote Brothers with Brendan Doyle, Puncheon Floor, Callers Evie Ladin and Jordan Ruyle, May 15, 8 p.m. $15.  

Barnyard Boogie featuring Zac Matthews, Arann Harris and Dr. Jenny Matthews, May 16, 3 p.m. $4-$6.  

Sara Ayala and Students, May 16, 7:30 p.m. $10.  

Tom Rigney and Flambeau, May 18, 8:30 p.m. $10.  

Thompson Blues Stompers featuring Eric and Suzy Thompson, May 19, 9 p.m. $10.  

Soulfege, Audiopharmacy, Seasunz and Ambessa, Aaron Ableman Ensemble, May 20, 8 p.m. $10-$15.  

Mystic Man and Rascin Gede Haitian Drum Band and Rara Fusion Dance Troupe, May 21, 9:30 p.m. $10-$13.  

Tambores do Remelexo, Aquarela Dance Troupe and Pagode Grup da Sete, May 22, 9 p.m. $10-$13.  

Bishop O'Dowd Jazz Band End of the Year Blowout, May 23, 7 p.m. $8.  

Ladybug Picnic, May 23, 3 p.m. $4-$6.  

1317 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. (510) 525-5054, www.ashkenaz.com.

 

BECKETT'S IRISH PUB  

Blue Diamond Fillups, May 14.  

DigiiN, May 15.  

"Beckett's Musical Forum," May 19.  

BASSment, May 20.  

Rhythm Doctors, May 21.  

Shark Alley Hobos, May 22.  

Free. Shows at 10 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 2271 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 647-1790, www.beckettsirishpub.com.

 

BERKELEY FELLOWSHIP OF UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST HALL  

"Blues for Social Justice," May 15, 8 p.m. Featuring Voodoo Junk $10-$75.  

1924 Cedar St., Berkeley. (510) 495-5132, www.bfuu.org.

 

BLAKE'S ON TELEGRAPH  

Wonderland PD, Waves of Perception, Chanel the Suns, May 16, 7 p.m. $8.  

The Golden Hour, Among the Living, May 22, 9 p.m. $10.  

For ages 18 and older. Music begins at 9:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 2367 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley. (510) 848-0886, www.blakesontelegraph.com.

 

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF BERKELEY  

Womansong Circle, May 14, 7 p.m. $15-$20.  

2345 Channing Way, Berkeley. (510) 848-3696, www.fccb.org.

 

FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF OAKLAND  

Cinyakare and the KTO Project, May 14, 8 p.m. $5-$18.  

685 14th St., Oakland. (510) 893-7056, www.uuoakland.org.

 

FREIGHT AND SALVAGE  

"Freight Open Mic," Tuesdays. $4.50-$5.50.  

Jimmy Webb, May 14. $30.50-$31.50.  

Lost Weekend, May 15. $18.50-$19.50.  

Jody Stecher & Kate Brislin, Canote Brothers, May 16. $14.50-$15.50.  

Quartet Rouge, May 17. $8.50-$9.50.  

Freight Open Mic, May 18. $4.50-$5.50.  

Ian Tyson, May 19. $24.50-$25.50.  

KlezExtravaganza, May 20. $18.50-$19.50.  

Kathy and Carol, May 21. $20.50-$21.50.  

Rick Di Dia and Aireene Espiritu, May 22. $18.50-$19.50.  

Greencards, May 23. $18.50-$19.50.  

Music starts at 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 2020 Addison St., Berkeley. (510) 548-1761, www.freightandsalvage.org.

 

JAZZSCHOOL  

UC Berkeley Jazz and Improvised Music Ensemble, May 14, 8 p.m. $15.  

"First Annual Jazzschool High School Invitational," May 15 through May 16, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 4:30 p.m. $5.  

Dann Zinn Ensembles, May 21, 8 p.m.  

Steve Erquiaga Ensemble, May 22, 8 p.m.  

John Santos/David Belove Ensemble, May 23, 5:30 p.m.  

Michael Zilber Ensemble, May 23, 4:30 p.m.  

Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 4:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 2087 Addison St., Berkeley. (510) 845-5373, www.jazzschool.com.

 

JUPITER  

"Americana Unplugged," Sundays, 5 p.m. A weekly bluegrass and Americana series.  

"Jazzschool Tuesdays," Tuesdays, 8 p.m. Featuring the ensembles from the Berkeley Jazzschool. www.jazzschool.com. 

The Way, May 14, 8 p.m.  

Beep! Trio, May 15, 8 p.m.  

Hopeful Romantics, May 16, 5 p.m.  

Mojo Stew, May 19, 8 p.m.  

Dietsnaks and Karamo Sissoko, May 20, 8 p.m.  

Dana Salzman Quartet, May 21, 8 p.m.  

CV One, May 22, 8 p.m.  

Claudia Russell, May 23, 5 p.m.  

8 p.m. 2181 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 843-8277, www.jupiterbeer.com.

 

KIMBALL'S CARNIVAL  

"Monday Blues Legends Night," 8 p.m.-midnight. Enjoy live blues music every Monday night. Presented by the Bay Area Blues Society and Lothario Lotho Company. $5 donation. (510) 836-2227, www.bayareabluessociety.net. 

522 2nd St., Jack London Square, Oakland. < 

 

PARAMOUNT THEATRE  

Kevin Hart, May 15, 8 p.m. $29.50-$39.50.  

2025 Broadway, Oakland. (510) 465-6400, (415) 421-8497, www.paramounttheatre.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

 

SHATTUCK DOWN LOW  

"It's the Joint," Thursdays, 9:30 p.m. Featuring DJs Headnodic, Raashan Ahmad and Friends. $5.  

"King of Kings," Doors 10 p.m. $6-$8.  

"Live Salsa," Wednesdays. An evening of dancing to the music of a live salsa band. Salsa dance lesson from 8:30-9:30 p.m. $5-$10.  

"Thirsty Thursdays," Thursday, 9 p.m. Featuring DJ Vickity Slick and Franky Fresh. Free.  

For ages 21 and older. 2284 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 548-1159, www.shattuckdownlow.com.

 

STARRY PLOUGH PUB  

The Starry Irish Music Session led by Shay Black, Sundays, 8 p.m. Sliding scale.  

For ages 21 and over unless otherwise noted. Sunday and Wednesday, 8 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday, 9:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 841-2082, www.starryploughpub.com.

 

UPTOWN NIGHTCLUB  

Bitter Honeys, Aerosols, Joel Robinow vs. Black Water, Water DJ Sean Sullivan, May 14, 9 p.m. $8.  

Hella Gay, May 15, 9 p.m. $7.  

Belly of the Whale, Dashing Suns, Pentacles, 21st Century, May 19, 9 p.m.  

Free.  

Black Widow Gothic Strip Review, May 21, 9 p.m. $10.  

Geographer, Silver Swans, Northern Key, May 22, 9 p.m. $8.  

1928 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. (510) 451-8100, www.uptownnightclub.com.

 

YOSHI'S  

David Grisman Quintet plus special guest Mike Barnett, May 14 through May 16, Friday and Saturday 8 and 10 p.m.; Sunday, 2 and 7 p.m. $30.  

"For the Love of Mike: A Benefit for Mike Cogan," May 15, 1-4 p.m. Featuring Leon Oakley, John Santos, Clairdee, Ken French, Anton Schwartz, Wayne Wallace, Ed Reed, Lavay Smith, Joe Gilman and more. $20.  

Northgate High Jazz Band, May 17, 8 and 10 p.m. $12-$15.  

Patrice Rushen, Ndugu Chancler, May 18, 7:30 p.m. $20-$75.  

Pam & Jeri Show, May 19, 8 p.m. $18.  

The Jazz Crusaders featuring: Joe Sample, Wayne Henderson and Wilton Felder, May 20 through May 23, Thursday-Saturday, 8 and 10 p.m.; Sunday, 2 and 7 p.m. $35-$40.  

Shows are Monday through Saturday, 8 and 10 p.m.; Sunday, 2 and 7 p.m., unless otherwise noted. 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland. (510) 238-9200, www.yoshis.com.<


Classical Music-East Bay Through May 23

Tuesday May 11, 2010 - 12:07:00 PM

 

BANKHEAD THEATER  

"Strings, Tuba and Mahler," May 15, 8 p.m. Program features works by Gustav Mahler, Gustav Holst and Alexander Arutiunian. $8-$28.  

"Beethoven and Rodrigo 'Eroica' to 'Aranjuez'," May 20, 8 p.m. Pacific Chamber Symphony presents guitarist Paul Galbraith. $26-$38.  

2400 First Street, Livermore. (925) 373-6800, www.livermoreperformingarts.org.

 

EDEN UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST  

"Vocal Recital Benefiting Girls in Need," May 16, 3 p.m. Program features works by Manuel de Falla and Richard Strauss. $15.  

21455 Birch St., Hayward. (510) 582-9533, www.edenucc.com.

 

EL CERRITO COMMUNITY CENTER  

Mozart Youth Camerata, May 23, 1 p.m. Program features works by Mozart, conducted by George Cleve. $12-$20.  

7007 Moeser Ln., El Cerrito. (510) 215-4370.< 

 

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF BERKELEY  

"Volti Concert: Nocturnes," May 14, 8 p.m. Program features works by Morten Lauridsen, Robin Estrada, Ted Hearne and Donald Crockett. $20-$30.  

2345 Channing Way, Berkeley. (510) 848-3696, www.fccb.org.

 

FIRST COVENANT CHURCH OF OAKLAND  

"New Day for Children," May 16, 3:30 p.m. Featuring Tiskela Celtic Harp Trio, Bay Area Youth Harp Ensemble, Bay Area Children's Harp Ensemble, Patten University Symphonette, Gero Nimu Band and the Chronicles. $10.  

4000 Redwood Road, Oakland. (510) 531-5244, www.oaklandfcc.org.

 

HERTZ HALL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY  

"57th Annual Noon Concert Series," Noon.  

Bancroft Way and College Ave., Berkeley. (510) 642-4864, www.music.berkeley.edu.

 

HILLSIDE CLUB  

"Cavalleria Rusticana and Suor Angelica," May 22, 7:30 p.m. Program features works by Pietro Mascagni and Giacomo Puccini. $12-$17. (707) 864-5508. 

2286 Cedar St., Berkeley. < 

 

LAFAYETTE PUBLIC LIBRARY  

"Fantasy-Phantasies," May 22, 8 p.m. Program features works by Frank Bridge, Ralph Vaughn Williams, Charles Loeffler and Arnold Bax. $10-$30. (925) 284-7404. 

3491 Mt Diablo Blvd., Lafayette. (925) 283-3872, www.lafayettelib.com.

 

LAFAYETTE-ORINDA PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH  

"Go Lovely Rose," May 16 and May 22, May 16, 3 p.m.; May 22, 8 p.m. Program features works by Britten, Bay Area composer Stephen Richards, Morten Lauridsen, Eric Whitacre, Daniel Forrest, Eric Barnum and beloved folk songs. $7-$30. (510) 836-0789. 

Diablo Valley Masterworks Chorale and Orchestra, May 21, 8 p.m. Program features works by Faure and Part. $20-$25. (925) 687-4445. 

"Beethoven and Rodrigo 'Eroica' to 'Aranjuez'," May 22, 8 p.m. Pacific Chamber Symphony presents guitarist Paul Galbraith. $7-$30. (925) 284-7404. 

49 Knox Drive, Lafayette. < 

 

LAKE MERRITT UNITED METHODIST CHURCH  

Community Women's Orchestra, May 15, 4 p.m. Program features works by Hilary Tann, Fanny Mendelssohn Hansel, Gwyneth Walker and Dame Ethel Smyth. $5-$10.  

"Songs Eternity: Musical Contemplations on Time and Space," May 22, 4 p.m. Voci Women's Vocal Ensemble performs works by Daniel Pinkhaam, Stephen Paulus, Gustav Holst, Alice Parker and Libby Larsen. $17-$20. (510) 531-8714. 

1330 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland. < 

 

LESHER CENTER FOR THE ARTS  

Diablo Symphony, May 16, 2 p.m. Program features works by Sibelius, Barber and Dvorak. $12-$20.  

1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. (925) 943-7469, www.lesherartscenter.com.

 

MUSIC SOURCES  

"Transfigured Bach," May 23, 5 p.m. Program features Gilbert Martinez's reconstructions of missing works. $15-$20. (510) 528-1685. 

1000 The Alameda at Marin, Berkeley. (510) 528-1685, www.musicsources.org/.< 

 

NORTHBRAE COMMUNITY CHURCH  

"Rachmaninoff, Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and Bartok, Hungarian Folk Songs," May 16, 4 p.m. Program features Rachmaninoff's "Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom'' and Bartok's "Slovak Folk Songs.'' $12-$15.  

941 The Alameda, Berkeley. < 

 

PARAMOUNT THEATRE  

Oakland East Bay Symphony, May 14 and May 16, Friday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. Program features Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Jake Heggie's "The Deepest Desire: Four Meditations on Love.'' $20-$65. (510) 444-0801, www.oebs.org. 

2025 Broadway, Oakland. (510) 465-6400, (415) 421-8497, www.paramounttheatre.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

 

TRINITY CHAMBER CONCERTS  

ChamberBridge, May 15, 8 p.m. Program features works by Gabriela Lena Frank and a work written for ChamberBridge by Christian Henking. $8-$12.  

 

$12 general; $8 seniors, disabled persons and students. Trinity Chapel, 2320 Dana St., Berkeley. (510) 549-3864, www.trinitychamberconcerts.com.

 

TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH  

"Folk Songs with a Touch of Jazz," May 22, 8 p.m. Valley Concert Chorale presents folk songs from around the world. $20-$25. (925) 866-4003. 

1225 Hopyard Road, Pleasanton. < 

 

UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CHURCH OF BERKELEY  

"Songs Eternity: Musical Contemplations on Time and Space," May 23, 4 p.m. Voci Women's Vocal Ensemble presents works by Holst, Pinkham, Paulus, Larsen and Parker. $17-$20. (510) 531-8714. 

One Lawson Road, Kensington. (510) 524-2912, www.uucb.org.<


Professional Dance-East Bay Through May 23

Tuesday May 11, 2010 - 12:23:00 PM

CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, EAST BAY (HAYWARD CAMPUS)  

"Wayward," through May 16, May 7-8, 14-15, 8 p.m.; May 16, 2 p.m. Program features "Big Red,'' which leads audiences on a journey through and around the theater, and "Dan Pionsy's Bar Mitzvah,'' which will premiere at the Contemporary Jewish Museum of San Francisco in July. $10-$15.  

25800 Carlos Bee Blvd., Hayward. www.csueastbay.edu.

 

LESHER CENTER FOR THE ARTS  

"Company C Contemporary Ballet," May 14 through May 15, 8 p.m. Program features Artistic Director Charles Anderson's "Beautiful Maladies,'' an amorous exploration set to recording by Chet Baker, Twyla Tharp's arresting take on Euripides, "Surfer at the River Styx'' and Val Caniparoli's buoyantly retro "Boink!'' $18-$40. www.spreckelsonline.com. 

1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. (925) 943-7469, www.lesherartscenter.com.<


Galleries-East Bay Through May 23

Tuesday May 11, 2010 - 12:15:00 PM

 

"BAY AREA HEART GALLERY," -- Exhibit consists of photographs of children, youth and families, accompanied by their compelling stories. The joint exhibit opens in the Alameda County Administration Building, 1221 Oak Street, Oakland and at the Eden Area Multi-Service Center, 24100 Amador Way, Hayward. 

Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.< 

 

AMES GALLERY  

"New Show," through June 30. Exhibition features drawings by Deborah Barrett, Ted Gordon, Dwight Mackintosh, Inez Nathaniel Walker, AG Rizzoli, Barry Simons and others.  

2661 Cedar St., Berkeley. (510) 845-4949, www.amesgallery.com.

 

ANNA EDWARDS GALLERY  

"Poverty, Protest and Resistance," through June 30. Exhibition features photographs of political struggle and global poverty by Francisco Dominguez and Robert Terrell.  

237 E. 14th St., San Leandro. (510) 636-1721, www.annaedwards.com.

 

BEDFORD GALLERY  

"Dutch Impressionism and Beyond," through June 27. Exhibition features selections from the Beekhuis Collection.  

$3 general; $2 youth ages 12 through 17; free children ages 12 and under; free Tuesdays. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday, noon-5 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. (925) 295-1417, www.bedfordgallery.org.

 

FLOAT  

"Enigma," through June 12. Exhibition features works by James Barnes MacKinnon and Dave Meeker, as well as sonic textures and ambient grooves by dj fflood.  

Free. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; by appointment. 1091 Calcot Place, Unit 116, Oakland. (510) 535-1702, www.thefloatcenter.com.

 

GARAGE GALLERY  

OPENING -- "Collages," May 22 through June 6. Exhibition features works by Susan Jokelson.  

3110 Wheeler St., Berkeley. (510) 549-2896, www.berkeleyoutlet.com.

 

HALL OF PIONEERS GALLERY  

"Oakland Chinatown Pioneers," Twelve showcases, each focusing on historic leaders and personalities of the community.  

Free. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Chinese Garden Building, 275 Seventh St., Oakland. (510) 530-4590.< 

 

HEARST ART GALLERY AT SAINT MARY'S COLLEGE OF CALIFORNIA  

"Andy Warhol's Quick Pix and Pop Icons," through June 20. Exhibition features original Poloraid photographs from the Andy Warhol Foundation's Photographic Legacy Program.  

$3. Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 1928 Saint Mary's Road, Moraga. (925) 631-4379, www.gallery.stmarys-ca.edu.< 

 

JOYCE GORDON GALLERY  

"Cross Roads," through June 28. Collaborative exhibition features works by Chukes and Ruth Tunstall Grant.  

Free. Wednesday-Friday, noon-7 p.m.; Saturday, noon-4 p.m.; Monday by appointment. 406 14th St., Oakland. www.joycegordongallery.com.

 

PHOTOLAB  

"Loud and Fast: 15 Years of Punk Rock Performances," through June 5. Exhibition features black and white photographs by Larry Wolfley.  

2235 5th St., Berkeley. (510) 644-1400, www.photolabratory.com.

 

SUN GALLERY  

CLOSING -- "The Wild, Wild West II," through May 15, Noon-6 p.m. Exhibition features works by Benny Alba, Larry Gipson, Celia Huddleston and many others.  

1015 E. St., Hayward. (510) 581-4050, www.sungallery.org.

 

TRAYWICK CONTEMPORARY  

"The Oblivion Before the Beginning," through June 26. Exhibition features works by Diana Guerrero-Macia.  

895 Colusa Ave., Berkeley. (510) 527-1214.<


Classical Music-San Francisco Through May 23

Tuesday May 11, 2010 - 12:12:00 PM

CALVARY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH  

"Celebrating American Heroes," May 15 through May 16, Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 4 p.m. Program features the Eric Davis work "A Thanksgiving for Heroes.'' $15-$35.  

2515 Fillmore St., San Francisco. (415) 346-3832, www.calvarypresbyterian.org.

 

DANCE MISSION THEATER  

"New World Echoes," May 14, 8 p.m. Program features works by William Susman and Richard Warp. $12-$15.  

3316 24th St., San Francisco. (415) 826-4441, www.dancemission.com.

 

DAVIES SYMPHONY HALL  

"San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra Concert," May 16, 2 p.m. Program features works by John Adams, Vaughan Williams and Tchaikovsky. $12-$36.  

"MTT Conducts Ravel and Stravinsky," May 19 through May 23, May 19-21, 8 p.m.; May 23, 2 p.m. Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. $15-$130.  

201 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco. (415) 864-6000, www.sfsymphony.org.

 

GRACE CATHEDRAL  

"Piazza del Popolo," May 21, 6 p.m. Program features Real Vocal String Quartet with Jeremy Kittel. $100. (415) 869-7813. 

Free unless otherwise noted. 1100 California St., San Francisco. (415) 749-6355, www.gracecathedral.org.

 

HERBST THEATRE  

Tokyo String Quartet, May 14, 8 p.m. Program features works by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. $32-$44.  

401 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco. (415) 392-4400, www.cityboxoffice.com.

 

LEGION OF HONOR MUSEUM DOCENT TOUR PROGRAMS -- Tours of the permanent collections and special exhibitions are offered Tuesday through Sunday. Non-English language tours (Italian, French, Spanish and Russian) are available on different Saturdays of the month at 11:30 a.m. Free with regular museum admission. (415) 750-3638.  

ONGOING CHILDREN'S PROGRAM --  

"Doing and Viewing Art," For ages 7 to 12. Docent-led tours of current exhibitions are followed by studio workshops taught by professional artists/teachers. Students learn about art by seeing and making it. Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to noon; call to confirm class. Free with museum admission. (415) 750-3658. 

ORGAN CONCERTS -- 4 p.m. A weekly concert of organ music on the Legion's restored 1924 Skinner organ. Saturday and Sunday in the Rodin Gallery. Free with museum admission. (415) 750-3624. 

"Rinaldo," May 22, 2 p.m. San Francisco Pocket Opera presents this concertstyle Handel in Italian. $20-$34. www.pocketopera.org. 

$6-$10; free for children ages 12 and under; free for all visitors on Tuesdays. Tuesday-Sunday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Lincoln Park, 34th Avenue and Clement Street, San Francisco. (415) 750-3600, (415) 750-3636, www.thinker.org.

 

MISSION DOLORES Take a self-guided tour of the historic mission. Originally titled Mission San Francisco de Assisi, Mission Dolores is one of a chain of missions in California begun by Father Junipero Serra in 1776. The mission chain, a day's walk apart, stretches from San Diego to San Rafael. Mission Dolores was built in 1776. 

"Words From Paradise," May 18, 8 p.m. Program features works by Dan Forrest, Frank Ferko, Eric Whitacre, Alberto Grau and Aaron Copland. $10-$20. (415) 668-GGMC. 

$2-$3; $5 additional for Audio Tour. Daily, May 1-Oct. 31: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; November 1-April 30: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Good Friday: 9 a.m.-12noon, Easter Sunday: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. 3321 16th St., San Francisco. (415) 621-8203, www.missiondolores.org.

 

NOE VALLEY MINISTRY  

"Thomas Glenn, Tenor and Jack Perla, Piano," May 23, 4 p.m. Program features works by local composer Jack Perla and more. $40.  

1021 Sanchez St., San Francisco. (415) 454-5238, www.noevalleymusicseries.com.

 

SAN FRANCISCO CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC  

Eugene Brancoveneau and Peter Grunberg, May 16, 2 p.m. Program features works by Mahler and Vaughan Williams. $32.  

$15 to $20 unless otherwise noted. Hellman Hall, 50 Oak St., San Francisco. (415) 864-7326, www.sfcm.edu.

 

SAN FRANCISCO PARLOR OPERA  

"W.A. Mozart's Don Giovanni," May 15 through May 22, May 15, 20, 22, 7 p.m. SF Parlor Opera presents a modern day adaptation of Mozart's opera, set in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. $55. (415) 235-9178. 

1652 Hayes St., San Francisco. (425) 235-9178, www.sfparloropera.org.

 

SEVENTH AVENUE PERFORMANCES  

"The Armed Man -- Josquin Des Prez," May 15, 7:30 p.m. Presented by San Francisco Renaissance Voices. $15-$20.  

1329 7th Ave., San Francisco. (415) 664-2543, www.sevenperforms.org.

 

ST. MARK'S LUTHERAN CHURCH  

"Volti Concert: Nocturnes," May 15, 8 p.m. Program features Morten Lauridsen, Robin Estrada, Ted Hearne, Donald Crockett. $20-$30. (415) 771-3352. 

1111 O'Farrell St., San Francisco. (415) 928-7770, www.stmarks-sf.org.<


Stage-San Francisco Through May 23

Tuesday May 11, 2010 - 12:28:00 PM

AMERICAN CONSERVATORY THEATER  

CLOSING -- "Round and Round the Garden," by Alan Ayckbourn, through May 23. Librarian Norman channels Casanova in his fervent attempts to seduce his two sisters-in-law, as well as his estranged wife during a weekend family gathering.  

Geary Theater, 415 Geary St., San Francisco. (415) 749-2228, www.actsf. org.< 

 

BATS IMPROV THEATRE  

"BATS Improv," through May 29, Friday, 8 p.m. BATS presents themed improv theater nights. $17-$20.  

All shows at 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Bayfront Theatre, Building B, Third Floor, Fort Mason Center, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, San Francisco. (415) 474-8935, www.improv.org.

 

CHANCELLOR HOTEL UNION SQUARE  

"Eccentrics of San Francisco's Barbary Coast," Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m. Audiences gather for a 90-minute show abounding with local anecdotes and lore presented by captivating and consummate conjurers and tale-tellers. $30.  

433 Powell St., San Francisco. (877) 784-6835, www.chancellorhotel.com.

 

CLIMATE THEATRE  

"The Clown Cabaret at the Climate," First Monday of the month, 7 and 9 p.m. Hailed as San Francisco's hottest ticket in clowning, this show blends rising stars with seasoned professionals on the Climate Theater's intimate stage. $10-$15.  

285 Ninth St., Second Floor, San Francisco. www.climatetheater.com.

 

COUNTERPULSE  

CLOSING -- "Tender Stone," through May 16, 8 p.m. ARTSHIP Ensemble performs an original theater piece with an interpretive exhibition based on the nurturing wisdom of women storytellers of the Persian and Mogul empires. (800) 838-3006. 

1310 Mission St., San Francisco. (415) 626-2060, www.counterpulse.org.

 

CURRAN THEATRE  

"In the Heights," through June 13, Tuesday-Saturday, 8 p.m.; Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday, 2 p.m.; May 16, 7:30 p.m. Hear the story about the bonds that develop in a vibrant, tight-knit community at the top of the island of Manhattan. $30-$99.  

445 Geary St., San Francisco. (415) 512-7770, www.shnsf.com or www.bestofbroadway-sf.com.< 

 

CUTTING BALL THEATER  

"'Bone to Pick' and 'Diadem'," May 21 through June 20. Eugene Chan's "Bone to Pick'' reimagines the myth of Ariadne, Theseus and the Minotaur in a postmodern exploration of love, war and complicity. "Diadem,'' also by Chan, is a romantic retelling of the earlier parts of Ariadne's myth.  

The EXIT Stage Left, 156 Eddy St., San Francisco. (415) 419-3584, www.cuttingball.com.

 

EUREKA THEATRE  

"First in the Jerome Kern Celebration," through May 24, Wednesday, 7 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 6 p.m.; Sunday, 3 p.m. 42nd Street Moon presents a giddy romp that takes the old "barn musical'' plot and turns it on its head. $38-$44.  

215 Jackson St., San Francisco. (415) 255-8207, (415) 978-2787, www.42ndstmoon.org/42newweb/finding/eureka.htm or www.ticketweb.com/.< 

 

THE JEWISH THEATER SAN FRANCISCO  

CLOSING -- "Andy Warhol: Good for the Jews?" by Josh Kornbluth, through May 16, Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2 and 7 p.m. This one-man performance examines the legacy of Andy Warhol and the ten Jewish luminaries he painted. $15-$45.  

470 Florida St., San Francisco. (415) 292-1233, www.tjt-sf.org.< 

 

KIMO'S BAR  

"Fauxgirls," Every third Saturday Drag cabaret revue features San Francisco's finest female impersonators.  

1351 Polk St., San Francisco. (415) 885-4535, www.denkitiger. com/.< 

 

THE MARSH  

"The Mock Cafe," Stand-up comedy performances. Saturday, 10 p.m. $7.  

"The Monday Night Marsh," An ongoing series of works-in-progress. Monday, 8 p.m. $7.  

EXTENDED -- "The Real Americans," by Dan Hoyle, through May 30, Thursday and Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 5 p.m. Fleeing the liberal bubble of San Francisco and his hipster friends, Hoyle spent 100 days traveling through small-town America in search of some tough country wisdom and a way to bridge America's urban/rural divide. $15-$35.  

CLOSING -- "Geezer," by Geoff Hoyle, through May 23, Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 8:30 p.m.; Sunday, 8 p.m.; May 9, 8 p.m. Hoyle reminisces of his youth in England and young manhood in America. $20-$35.  

1062 Valencia St., San Francisco. (415) 826-5750, www.themarsh.org.

 

MISSION CULTURAL CENTER FOR LATINO ARTS  

"DIS-oriented," May 14, 8 p.m. Featuring "All Atheists Are Muslim,'' by Zahra Noorbakhsh, "Soft Tissue,'' by Colleen "Coke'' Nakamoto and "Fortunate Daughter'' by Thao P. Nguyen. $15-$20.  

Gallery admission: $2. Gallery hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 2868 Mission St., San Francisco. (415) 643-1115, www.missionculturalcenter.org.

 

NEW CONSERVATORY THEATRE CENTER  

"Proud and Bothered," through June 26, Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. Gomez, a professional Gay Pride MC takes the walk of shame in this comedic tell-all. $22-$34.  

25 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco. (415) 861-8972, www.nctcsf.org.

 

NOH SPACE  

OPENING -- "The Breath of Life," by David Hare, May 21 through June 6, 8 p.m. Two women betrayed by the same man meet. $18-$25.  

2840 Mariposa St., San Francisco. < 

 

OFF-MARKET THEATER  

"ShortLived 3.0," through June 26, Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m. The largest audience-judged playwrighting competetion in the nation returns with experienced playwrights, unknown up-and-comers and local, independent theater companies. $20. www.pianofight.com. 

CLOSING -- "City Solo," through May 23, Sunday, 7 p.m. Program features four short pieces, written and performed by the solo artists themselves, including Monica Bhatangar, Susan Ito, Kathy Jetnil-Kijner, Sarah Weidman and Nicole Maxali. $15.  

965 Mission St., San Francisco. < 

 

ORPHEUM THEATRE  

CLOSING -- "Wicked," Tuesday-Saturday, 8 p.m.; Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m.; Oct. 11 and Dec. 27, 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 27, 2 p.m.; Dec. 21 and 28, 8 p.m. "Wicked'' is the untold story of the witches of Oz. Long before Dorothy drops in, two other girls meet in the land of Oz. One, born with emerald-green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. "Wicked'' tells the story of their remarkable odyssey, how these two unlikely friends grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch. $30-$99.  

1192 Market St., San Francisco. (415) 512-7770, www.shnsf.com.

 

PIER 39 -- A pier filled with shops, restaurants, theaters and entertainment of all sorts from sea lions to street performers.  

"SAN FRANCISCO CAROUSEL" -- The Pier's two-tiered, San Francisco-themed carousel with hand-crafted ponies that rock and move up and down and tubs that spin. In addition, carousel has hand-painted pictures of San Francisco scenes like the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown and Coit Tower. $3 per ride. "FREQUENT FLYERS'' -- A bungee trampoline where people can safely jump and flip over 20 feet in the air thanks to the help of bungee cords and a harness. Jumpers must weigh at least 30 pounds and not more than 230 pounds. $10 per session. (415) 981-6300.  

"RIPTIDE ARCADE" -- A 6,000-square-foot, surfer-themed arcade offering the Bay area's only 10-gun, Old West-style shooting gallery and 100 cuttingedge video games, virtual reality units and popular novelty games. Included are the "Dance Dance Revolution'' game, driving and roller coaster simulators, the "Global VR Vortex'' virtual reality machine, "Star Wars Trilogy,'' "Jurassic Park,'' "Rush 2049,'' and classics such as "Pac Man'' and "Galaga.'' Games are operated by 25-cent tokens and range in price from 25 cents to $1.50. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; through Feb. 26: Sunday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (415) 981-6300.  

"TURBO RIDE" -- Three simulated rides where the hydraulic seats move in synchronization with events on a giant screen are available at the Turbo Ride complex. The 12-minute-long rides in 3-D and 4-D are: "Dino Island II''; "Haunted Mine Ride,'' and "Extreme Log Ride.'' $12 general for one ride; $8 seniors and children ages 3 to 12 for one ride; $15 general for two rides; $11 seniors and children ages 3 to 12 for two rides; $18 general for multi-rides; $14 seniors and children ages 3 to 12 for multi-rides. (415) 392-8872.  

STUDIO 39 MAGIC CARPET RIDES -- A comedy action adventure utilizing special effects to created a personalized movie with visitors as the "stars'' flying above San Francisco. The Magic Carpet Ride is free. No reservations required. Ride is approximately five minutes. Personalized videos will be available for $30 for one: $10 for each additional tape. (415) 397-3939. SEA LIONS -- California sea lions, nicknamed "Sea Lebrities,'' "hauled out'' on Pier 39's K-Dock shortly after the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake and by January of 1990 had taken over the docks. Due to a plentiful supply of herring and a protected environment, the population has grown and now reaches as many as 900 during the winter months. Weather permitting, free educational talks are provided by Marine Mammal Center volunteers on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Free. (415) 705-5500. 

"Tony n' Tina's Wedding," The original interactive comedy hit where audience members play the roles of "invited guests'' at a fun-filled wedding ceremony. The popular dinner comedy performs at Swiss Louis Italian Restaurant. Thursday-Saturday, 7 p.m.; Matinees: Thursday and Saturday, noon. $88.50-$115.50. (888) 775-6777, www.pier39shows.com. 

"Insignificant Others," by L. Jay Kuo, A musical comedy about the romantic foibles of two gay men and three straight women who move to San Francisco from the Midwest seeking love and adventure. Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. $39-$46. www.isomusical.com. 

Free. 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; certain attractions and shops have differing hours. The Embarcadero and Beach Street, San Francisco. (415) 623-5300, (800) SEADIVE, www.pier39.com.

 

SAN FRANCISCO COMEDY COLLEGE CLUBHOUSE (800) 838-3006, www.clubhousecomedy.com.  

"Naked Comedy," A comedy showcase featuring some of the best comedians in San Francisco. BYOB for 21 and over. Saturdays, 9 p.m. $10. 

"Hump Day Comedy," Host Rich Stimbra and a variety of stand-up comics will get you over the Wednesday work hump. BYOB for 21 and over. Wednesday, 8 p.m. $5. 

414 Mason St., Suite 705, San Francisco. (415) 921-2051, www.sfcomedycollege.com.

 

SHELTON THEATER  

"Shopping! The Musical," by Morris Bobrow, A quick-paced musical about those obsessed with buying things. Friday-Saturday, 8 p.m. $27-$29. www.shoppingthemusical.com. 

Big City Improv, Friday, 10 p.m. $20. (510) 595-5597, www.bigcityimprov.com. 

533 Sutter St., San Francisco. (415) 433-1227, www.sheltontheater.com or www.sheltontheater.com.<


Dance-East Bay Through May 23

Tuesday May 11, 2010 - 12:14:00 PM

ELKS LODGE, ALAMEDA  

"All You Can Dance Sunday Socials," Sunday, 4-6 p.m. Marilyn Bowe and Robert Henneg presents monthly socials with ballroom, swing, Latin and rock & roll themes. www.dancewithme.info. 

2255 Santa Clara Ave., Alameda. (510) 864-2256.< 

 

LA PENA CULTURAL CENTER  

Bill Santiago, May 14, 8 p.m. Learn salsa, tango and other dance styles. $12-$14.  

3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 849-2568, www.lapena.org.

 

SHATTUCK DOWN LOW  

"Live Salsa," Wednesdays. An evening of dancing to the music of a live salsa band. Salsa dance lesson from 8:30-9:30 p.m. $5-$10.  

For ages 21 and older. 2284 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 548-1159, www.shattuckdownlow.com.

 

SOLAD DANCE CENTER  

"Persian Dance," Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:30 and 10 p.m. Rosa Rojas offers traditional dance classes. $10.  

Citrus Marketplace, 2260 Oak Grove Rd., Walnut Creek. (925) 938-3300.< 

 

STARRY PLOUGH PUB  

"Ceili and Dance," Traditional Irish music and dance. The evening begins with a dance lesson at 7 p.m. followed by music at 9 p.m. Mondays, 7 p.m. Free.  

For ages 21 and over unless otherwise noted. Sunday and Wednesday, 8 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday, 9:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 841-2082, www.starryploughpub.com.<


This Week at the Berkeley Arts Festival

By Bonnie Hughes
Thursday May 13, 2010 - 11:32:00 PM

May 14, and every Friday at noon: catch pianist Jerry Kuderna’s Friday Lunch Concerts, 

the always surprising repertoire of and comments of one of a Berkeley's unique musicians. 

On May 15 at 8 pm Jerry Kuderna and vocalist Anna Carol Dudley, longtime stellar exponents of contemporary American music, going back to their legendary concerts at the Old Spaghetti Factory in the late 60's, appear together at the Berkeley Arts Festival. It is the duo’s first performance of Aaron Copland's seminal song cycle on poems by Emily Dickinson composed in 1949. Also on the program will be works by Bay Area composers with whom Dudley-Kuderna have been associated, including Robert Helps, Herb Bielwa and Roger Sessions.  

On May 19, at 8 pm the Festival will present composer, multimedia artist Dean Santomieri  

Santomieri's multimedia excursions feature resonator guitar, spoken word and video. For the Arts Festival he will engage in a duo-log with actress, screenwriter Julie Oxendale. 

The Berkeley Arts Festival will run for the entire month of May at 2121 Allston Way, the future home of the Judah L. Magnes Museum in downtown Berkeley. 

Suggested donation: $10. 

For entire calendar of events see berkeleyartsfestival.com  

 


Hot-Button Topic Dramatized at City Club

By John A. McMullen II
Tuesday May 11, 2010 - 12:20:00 PM
Kate Jepson and Sarah Rose Butler in TERRORiSTKA playing through May 16 at Berkeley City Club
by ClayRobeson.net
Kate Jepson and Sarah Rose Butler in TERRORiSTKA playing through May 16 at Berkeley City Club

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. 

The hot-button topic of this play is women suicide bombers in Chechnya. Many of the bombings and the much publicized school invasion a few years back involved many women terrorists, and now they are strapping on the C-4 in the ultimate commitment to their cause. (FYI Chechnya is north of Georgia, Turkey and Iran on the southern tip of the old USSR between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea—I had to look it up, too.) 

Its source is a true story that resonated with the playwright: a would-be terrorist—a woman—decides not to blow up herself and her target and walks away from the bomb, but a Russian soldier is killed disarming it, so she is arrested and imprisoned. The story explores the use and abuse of women, wherein the cell gives the lost and rebellious girl a family just like any pimp or cult does, while reminding her that “a woman without a family is like a drying twig.” It prods her to use her sexuality while dealing with police in one breath (“You won’t feel the kiss with Allah’s purpose in your mind”), while cautioning her to preserve her modesty with the next breath, then implies that runaways from the training camp get gang-raped into submission. 

TERRORiSTKA is an extended reminiscence of an action, a regretful looking back from a prison cell on things lost. It doesn’t have the reversals, surprises, revelations, plot points, or the moment-to-moment anticipation which we use to judge plays that zing. But it lingers in the memory because of the abuse and injustice it records and an occasional memorable moment.  

It starts with a strong first moment: a large young blonde guard (Andy Strong wearing a red tie and latex gloves) wrestles a beautiful young female prisoner/”jailbird” (Kate Jepson dressed in prison stripes) into a cage and taunts her with all the implicit libidinal tension that comes from such a scene. Wearing latex gloves makes things creepy and clinical with the dread of anticipated blood and other fluids. With Matthew Cowell’s fight direction, their struggling is convincing and sends the blood racing. 

The first act is about our heroine’s training at a terrorist camp in the Caucasus Mountains. She is immersed in fundamentalist Islamic scripture by a crone in a chador and hijab (played with a powerful voice by Adrienne Krug), bullied by the commander, wooed by his younger brother, and indoctrinated that herself and her sexuality are tools for Allah and the Chechen people to strike at the White Russian Infidel Oppressor. There is much made of the mountain clansmen Chechens being “black” as opposed to the more Nordic-looking Russians. In a conversation at intermission, the playwright described Chechens as looking like Iranians but photos also show them as somewhat Asiatic. However, the male actors who are cast as Chechens, while bearded, are pretty white-looking themselves and devoid of any stage makeup or hair dye that might resemble that ethnic group. 

The second act is about the much-planned train trip to Moscow to blow something up and our heroine with it. While trying to pass for turisti, their encounters with the overbearing and lecherous Russian official—though it may be accurate—casts Muscovites as “the bad guys.”  

When they get to the sin pit of the big city, red lights come up and the dialogue switches to rhymed couplets. The poetry is near doggerel, but effective. I’m not sure that this rhyming could have been sustained effectively through the whole play, but using rhyme in this scene heightens the moment and tension and shakes us awake with anticipation of the next thought and completion of the rhyme. Alas, the playwright needs to resolve things on a note of hope with a Kumbaya-like duet between the two lovely voices of the widow and the jailbird. It occurred to me that this work might lend itself toward a treatment as a musical. 

Sarah Rose Butler plays our protagonist Zarema with a whiny, post-teenage, wisp of a girl approach which is convincing if annoying; she employs the sneers and faces of disdain by which young people express their emotional reactions to most everything, but her flirtation with the Russian guard shows a range that wasn’t used enough. Her character, like the others, has a personal tragic story that has pushed them to this desperate action. But she ultimately realizes that she just wants have her own apartment, go on a shopping spree, and have boyfriends like many young women. Not the committed stuff of which suicide-bombers are made. 

Regrettably, the beats in TERRORiSTKA are repeated—by which I mean the same sort of interaction is acted out in different words repeatedly—so perhaps there isn’t enough material to justify the length, or different expressions of it by the actors need to be explored. Overall, the actors seemed to need more direction on changing intentions and using subtext since their range of expression seemed limited and repetitive. 

Playwright Rebecca Bella is a Fulbright scholar who went to St. Petersburg to translate Russian poetry. Her attempt at heightened language and imagery aspires to soar, but never quite gets off the ground. It relies overmuch on aphorisms: if they are of the playwright’s invention, it is commendable since they sound like wise sayings from mountain people. The production toys with the Greek chorus; however, the choral parts are badly recorded and not spoken in the unison that is necessary when many speak the same words. It thereby comes out garbled and devoid of emotional content with an off-putting, momentary echo between voices. The only effective use of poetry doesn’t occur until the Expressionist scene in Moscow late in the play. Other than that, the poetry, when it is used, does not fly.  

The space is challenging to work in: a long room with 45 seats on risers on two or three sides. Chad Owen’s set book-ends the far sides of this rectangle with grand red tapestries with platforms beneath them to form a prison on one side and a nursery on the other. The actors entrances were through the door to the hall which was not masked, and the theatrical spell was momentarily broken each time the light flooded in.  

Using a mostly bare stage, director Jessica Holt musters good staging ingenuity for this difficult space. The actors need to change position more than on a proscenium stage to avoid blocking the audience’s view by having an actor rooted in one spot too long.  

Moving, memorable moment #1: when our heroine Zarema’s fellow fanatics strip her down to her underwear and wrap the explosive device around her bare skin; then they videotape her political pre-suicide statement while in her Islamic cover-everything-but-the-face chador. This was an effective contrast to the mini-skirt and boots Zarema was wearing a moment before to blend in unnoticed in her secret mission. 

Moving, memorable moment #2: synchronizing the sound effect with the miming of closing the imaginary train door; it was a magic that escaped my knowledge of stagecraft outside of some dead-on timing by the sound operator.  

Moving, memorable moment #3: Molly Holcomb plays Lena, the widow of the Russian soldier who is blown up by the bomb that Zarema walks away from. Lena sings lullabies to her fatherless baby; the lullabies grow more virulent and vicious with ethnic slurs spewed in song: one lyric of a peaceful starry night abruptly turns dark with the image of a Chechen who slithers on the riverbank sharpening his knife. Holcomb has a lovely voice made for lullabies which makes this devolution into macabre imagery more disturbing. 

The costumes by Tammy Berlin merit comment. The sparkly shirts and short skirts worn when going undercover to Moscow are what I’ve seen a lot of Russian kids wear in NYC. Putting the old woman in a chador invoked the Greek tragic female character. The Jailbird’s black-and-white bold striped prison costume is almost a monochromatic “motley,” i.e., fool’s clothing. Motley served the important purpose of keeping the fool outside the social hierarchy and therefore not subject to class distinction; since the fool was outside the dress laws, the fool was able to speak more freely. So it is here, that our prisoner is freed to speak her truth. 

 

TERRORiSTKA by Rebecca Bella 

Presented by Threshold Theatre 

Playing at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant, Berkeley, CA 

Thu-Sat 8pm & Sun 5 pm through May 16 

Tickets 1-800-838-3006 www.brownpapertickets.com 

Info: (415) 891-7235 www.Thethresholdproject.blogspot.com 

 

Written by Rebecca Bell, directed by Jessica Holt, scenic design by Chad Owens, sound design by Gregory Sharpen, costumes by Tammy Berlin, lighting by Alison Ostendorf, movement by Marilee Talkington, fight direction by Matthew Cowell. Fiscal Sponsorship by Counter Pulse. 

 

WITH: Kate Jopson (Jailbird), Andy Strong (Official Shadow), Molly Holcomb (Lena), Geof Libby (Mohamed), Sarah Rose Butler (Zarema), Adrienne Krug (Fatima), Alex Curtis (Rustan). 

 

 

John A. McMullen II is a free-lance theatre critic; he has advanced degrees in theatre and sometimes wonders if that’s a good thing. Complaints/comments/queries to EyeFromTheAisle@gmail.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Highlights-East Bay Through May 23

Tuesday May 11, 2010 - 12:35:00 PM

A GREAT GOOD PLACE FOR BOOKS  

Phil Cousineau, May 16, 4 p.m. The author talks about "Wordcatcher: An Odyssey Into the World of Weird and Wonderful Words.''  

6120 LaSalle Ave., Oakland. (510) 339-8210, www.greatgoodplace.indiebound.com.

 

ARMANDO'S  

California Honeydrops, May 20, 8 p.m. $10.  

707 Marina Vista Ave., Martinez. (925) 228-6985, www.armandosmartinez.com.

 

BANKHEAD THEATER  

"Strings, Tuba and Mahler," May 15, 8 p.m. Program features works by Gustav Mahler, Gustav Holst and Alexander Arutiunian. $8-$28.  

"Beethoven and Rodrigo 'Eroica' to 'Aranjuez'," May 20, 8 p.m. Pacific Chamber Symphony presents guitarist Paul Galbraith. $26-$38.  

2400 First Street, Livermore. (925) 373-6800, www.livermoreperformingarts.org.

 

BOOKS INC., BERKELEY  

Laurie R. King, May 18, 7 p.m. The author talks about "God of the Hive.''  

Sam Barry and Kathi Goldmark, May 23, 6 p.m. The author talks about "Write that Book Already! The Tough Love You Need to Get Published Now.''  

1760 4th Street, Berkeley. (510) 525-7777, www.booksinc.net.

 

EDEN UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST  

"Vocal Recital Benefiting Girls in Need," May 16, 3 p.m. Program features works by Manuel de Falla and Richard Strauss. $15.  

21455 Birch St., Hayward. (510) 582-9533, www.edenucc.com.

 

HERTZ HALL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY  

"57th Annual Noon Concert Series," Noon.  

Bancroft Way and College Ave., Berkeley. (510) 642-4864, www.music.berkeley.edu.

 

LESHER CENTER FOR THE ARTS  

Diablo Symphony, May 16, 2 p.m. Program features works by Sibelius, Barber and Dvorak. $12-$20.  

1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. (925) 943-7469, www.lesherartscenter.com.

 

MOE'S BOOKS  

"Bukowski Night," May 18. Editor David Calonne discusses the works of Charles Bukowski.  

Michael McClure, May 19. The author and journalist shares his recent work.  

10 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. 2476 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley. (510) 849-2087, www.moesbooks.com.

 

MRS. DALLOWAY'S  

Michael Chabon, May 21, 7:30 p.m. The author talks about "Manhood for Amateurs.''  

2904 College Avenue, Berkeley. (510) 704-8222.< 

 

PARAMOUNT THEATRE  

Oakland East Bay Symphony, May 14 and May 16, Friday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. Program features Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Jake Heggie's "The Deepest Desire: Four Meditations on Love.'' $20-$65. (510) 444-0801, www.oebs.org. 

2025 Broadway, Oakland. (510) 465-6400, (415) 421-8497, www.paramounttheatre.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

 

YOSHI'S  

David Grisman Quintet plus special guest Mike Barnett, May 14 through May 16, Friday and Saturday 8 and 10 p.m.; Sunday, 2 and 7 p.m. $30.  

Shows are Monday through Saturday, 8 and 10 p.m.; Sunday, 2 and 7 p.m., unless otherwise noted. 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland. (510) 238-9200, www.yoshis.com.<


Museums-East Bay Through May 23

Tuesday May 11, 2010 - 12:32:00 PM

AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM AND LIBRARY AT OAKLAND The Oakland Public Library's museum is designed to discover, preserve, interpret and share the cultural and historical experiences of African Americans in California and the West. In addition, a three-panel mural is on permanent display. 

Free. Tuesday-Saturday, noon-5:30 p.m. 659 14th St., Oakland. (510) 637-0200, www.oaklandlibrary.org.

 

ALAMEDA MUSEUM The museum offers permanent displays of Alameda history, the only rotating gallery showcasing local Alameda artists and student artwork, as well as souvenirs, books and videos about the rich history of the Island City. 

Free. Wednesday-Friday and Sunday, 1-4 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 2324 Alameda Ave., Alameda. (510) 521-1233, www.alamedamuseum.org.

 

BADE MUSEUM AT THE PACIFIC SCHOOL OF RELIGION The museum's collections include the Tell en-Nasbeh Collection, consisting of artifacts excavated from Tell en-Nasbeh in Palestine in 1926 and 1935 by William Badh, and the Howell Bible Collection, featuring approximately 300 rare books (primarily Bibles) dating from the 15th through the 18th centuries. 

"Tell en-Nasbeh," This exhibit is the "heart and soul" of the Bade Museum. It displays a wealth of finds from the excavations at Tell en-Nasbeh, Palestine whose objects span from the Early Bronze Age (3100-2200 BC) through the Iron Age (1200-586 BC) and into the Roman and Hellenistic periods. Highlights of the exhibit include "Tools of the Trade" featuring real archaeological tools used by Badh and his team, an oil lamp typology, a Second Temple period (586 BC-70 AD) limestone ossuary, and a selection of painted Greek pottery.  

"William Frederic Bade: Theologian, Naturalist, and Archaeologist," This exhibit highlights one of PSR's premier educators and innovative scholars. The collection of material on display was chosen with the hopes of representing the truly dynamic and multifaceted character of William F. Badh. He was a family man, a dedicated teacher, a loving friend, and an innovative and passionate archaeologist.  

Free. Tuesday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Holbrook Hall, Pacific School of Religion, 1798 Scenic Ave., Berkeley. (510) 848-0528, www.bade.psr.edu/bade.< 

 

BERKELEY ART MUSEUM AND PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE  

"French Film Posters from the BAM/PFA Collection," through May 31. Part of the Pacific Film Archive's collection of over eight thousand international film posters, these rare prints were bequeathed to BAM/PFA by the late Mel Novikoff, founder of San Francisco's first repertory cinema chain, Surf Theaters, which included the Surf, the Lumiere, and the Castro. Novikoff collected these posters during many trips to Europe, and for years they graced the lobbies of cinemas in the Surf chain. Now they can be enjoyed in the museum's Theater Gallery, where admission is free.  

"Thom Faulders: BAMscape," through Nov. 30. This commissioned work, a hybrid of sculpture, furniture, and stage, is the new centerpiece of Gallery B, BAM's expansive central atrium. It is part of a new vision of the gallery as a space for interaction, performance, and improvised experiences.  

"Nature into Action: Hans Hofmann," through June 30. This installation drawn from BAM's extensive Hans Hofmann collection reveals the relationship between nature as source and action as method in the great abstract painter's work.  

"James Buckhouse: Serg Riva," through May 31. Welcome to the world of Serg Riva, self-declared "aquatic couturier,'' enfant terrible, and man about town"-and sly fictive creation of artist James Buckhouse.  

CLOSING -- "Realm of Enlightenment: Masters and Teachers from the Land of Snows," through May 16. A new installation of extraordinary objects from Tibet explores the role of the teacher and master in the transmission of the Buddhist canon.  

"What's It All Mean: William T. Wiley in Retrospect," through July 18. This retrospective surveys the witty, idiosyncratic, and introspective work of William T. Wiley, a beloved Bay Area artist and "a national treasure'' (Wall Street Journal). Layered with ambiguous ideas and allusions, autobiographical narrative and sociopolitical commentary, Wiley's art is rich in self-deprecating humor and absurdist insight.  

"Perpetual and furious refrain / MATRIX 232," through Sept. 12. Exhibition features works by Brent Green.  

OPENING -- "No Right Angles: The 40th Annual University of California Berkeley Master of Fine Arts Graduate Exhibition," May 21 through June 20. Exhibition features work by UC Berkeley's graduating M.F.A. students.  

2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley. < 

 

BLACKHAWK MUSEUM  

AUTOMOTIVE MUSEUM -- The museum's permanent exhibition of internationally renowned automobiles dated from 1897 to the 1980s. The cars are displayed as works of art with room to walk completely around each car to admire the workmanship. On long-term loan from the Smithsonian Institution is a Long Steam Tricycle; an 1893-94 Duryea, the first Duryea built by the Duryea brothers; and a 1948 Tucker, number 39 of the 51 Tuckers built, which is a Model 48 "Torpedo'' four-door sedan.  

ONGOING EXHIBITS --  

"International Automotive Treasures," An ever-changing exhibit featuring over 90 automobiles.  

"A Journey on Common Ground," An exhibit of moving photographs, video and art objects from around the world exploring the causes of disability and the efforts of the Wheelchair Foundation to provide a wheelchair for every person in need who cannot afford one.  

ONGOING EVENT --  

Free Public Tours, Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. Docent-led guided tours of the museum's exhibitions. 

$5-$8; free for children ages 6 and under. Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 3700 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Danville. (925) 736-2280, (925) 736-2277, www.blackhawkmuseum.org.

 

CHABOT SPACE AND SCIENCE CENTER State-of-the-art facility unifying science education activities around astronomy. Enjoy interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, indoor stargazing, outdoor telescope viewing and films. 

"Beyond Blastoff: Surviving in Space," An interactive exhibit that allows you to immerse yourself into the life of an astronaut to experience the mixture of exhilaration, adventure and confinement that is living and working in space.  

"Chabot Observatories: A View to the Stars," Explore the history of the Chabot observatories and how its historic telescopes are used today. Daytime visitors can virtually operate a telescope, experiment with mirrors and lenses to understand how telescopes create images of distant objects and travel through more than a century of Chabot's history via multimedia kiosks, historical images and artifact displays.  

EVENTS -- CLOSED FOR MAINTENANCE: SEPT. 2-16.  

"Galaxy Explorers Hands-On Fun," Saturday, noon-4 p.m. The Galaxy Explorers lead a variety of fun, hands-on activities, such as examining real spacesuits, creating galaxy flipbooks, learning about telescopes, minerals and skulls and making your own comet. Free with general admission. 

"Live Daytime Planetarium Show," Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Ride through real-time constellations, stars and planets with Chabot's full-dome digital projection system. 

"Daytime Telescope Viewing," Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. View the sun, the moon and the planets through the telescopes during the day. Free with general admission. 

Center Admission: $9-$13; free children under 3; Movies and evening planetarium shows: $6-$8. Telescope viewing only: free. Wednesday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland. (510) 336-7300, www.chabotspace.org.

 

HABITOT CHILDREN'S MUSEUM A museum especially for children ages 7 and under. Highlights include "WaterWorks,'' an area with some unusual water toys, an Infant Tree for babies, a garden especially for toddlers, a child-scale grocery store and cafe, and a costume shop and stage for junior thespians. The museum also features a toy lending library.  

ONGOING EXHIBITS --  

"Waterworks." A water play gallery with rivers, a pumping station and a water table, designed to teach about water.  

"Little Town Grocery and Cafe." Designed to create the ambience of shopping in a grocery store and eating in a restaurant.  

"Infant-Toddler Garden." A picket fence gated indoor area, which includes a carrot patch with wooden carrots to be harvested, a pretend pond and a butterfly mobile to introduce youngsters to the concept of food, gardening and agriculture.  

"Dramatic Arts Stage." Settings, backdrops and costumes coincide with seasonal events and holidays. Children can exercise their dramatic flair here.  

"Wiggle Wall." The floor-to-ceiling "underground'' tunnels give children a worm's eye view of the world. The tunnels are laced with net covered openings and giant optic lenses. 

"Architects at Play," This hands-on, construction-based miniexhibit provides children with the opportunity to create free-form structures, from skyscrapers to bridges, using KEVA planks.  

SPECIAL EXHIBITS --  

$6-$7. Wednesday and Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Closed Sunday-Tuesday. 2065 Kittredge St., Berkeley. (510) 647-1111, www.habitot.org.

 

HALL OF HEALTH A community health-education museum and science center promoting wellness and individual responsibility for health. There are hands-on exhibits that teach about the workings of the human body, the value of a healthy diet and exercise, and the destructive effects of smoking and drug abuse. "Kids on the Block'' puppet shows, which use puppets from diverse cultures to teach about and promote acceptance of conditions such as cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, leukemia, blindness, arthritis and spina bifida, are available by request for community events and groups visiting the Hall on Saturdays.  

ONGOING EXHIBITS --  

"This Is Your Heart!" An interactive exhibit on heart health.  

"Good Nutrition," This exhibit includes models for making balanced meals and an Exercycle for calculating how calories are burned.  

"Draw Your Own Insides," Human-shaped chalkboards and models with removable organs allow visitors to explore the inside of their bodies.  

"Your Cellular Self and Cancer Prevention," An exhibit on understanding how cells become cancerous and how to detect and prevent cancer. 

Suggested $3 donation; free for children under age 3. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 2230 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 549-1564, www.hallofhealth.org.

 

HAYWARD AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY MUSEUM The museum is located in a former post office and displays memorabilia of early Hayward and southern Alameda County. Some of the features include a restored 1923 Seagrave fire engine and a hand pumper from the Hayward Fire Department, founded in 1865; a Hayward Police Department exhibit; information on city founder William Hayward; and pictures of the old Hayward Hotel. The museum also alternates three exhibits per year, including a Christmas Toys exhibit and a 1950s lifestyle exhibit. 

EVENTS --  

50 cents-$1. Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 22701 Main St., Hayward. (510) 581-0223, www.haywardareahistory.org.

 

JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM The museum's permanent collection includes objects of Jewish importance including ceremonial art, film and video, folk art and fine art, paintings, sculptures and prints by contemporary and historical artists. 

"Projections," Multimedia works from the museum's extensive collections of archival, documentary and experimental films. Located at 2911 Russell Street.  

SPECIAL EXHIBITS --  

$4-$6; free for children under age 12. Sunday-Wednesday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. CLOSED APRIL 3-4 AND 9-10; MAY 23-24 AND 28; JULY 4; SEPT. 3, 13 AND 27; OCT. 4; NOV. 22; DEC. 24-25 AND 31. 2911 Russell St., Berkeley. (510) 549-6950, www.magnes.org.

 

LAWRENCE HALL OF SCIENCE  

ONGOING EXHIBITS --  

"NanoZone," Discover the science of the super-small: nanotechnology. Through hands-on activities and games, explore this microworld and the scientific discoveries made in this area.  

"Forces That Shape the Bay," A science park that shows and explains why the San Francisco Bay is the way it is, with information on water, erosion, plate tectonics and mountain building. You can ride earthquake simulators, set erosion in motion and look far out into the bay with a powerful telescope from 1,100 feet above sea level. The center of the exhibit is a waterfall that demonstrates how water flows from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Bay. Visitors can control where the water goes. There are also hands-on erosion tables, and a 40-foot-long, 6-foothigh, rock compression wall.  

"Real Astronomy Experience," A new exhibit-in-development allowing visitors to use the tools that real astronomers use. Aim a telescope at a virtual sky and operate a remote-controlled telescope to measure a planet.  

"Biology Lab," In the renovated Biology Lab visitors may hold and observe gentle animals. Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.  

"The Idea Lab," Experiment with some of the basics of math, science and technology through hands-on activities and demonstrations of magnets, spinning and flying, puzzles and nanotechnology.  

"Math Around the World," Play some of the world's most popular math games, such as Hex, Kalah, Game Sticks and Shongo Networks.  

"Math Rules," Use simple and colorful objects to complete interesting challenges in math through predicting, sorting, comparing, weighing and counting.  

"Science on a Sphere," Catch an out-of-this-world experience with an animated globe. See hurricanes form, tsunamis sweep across the oceans and city lights glow around the planet.  

EVENTS --  

$5.50-$10; free children ages 2 and under. Daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. University of California, Centennial Drive, Berkeley. (510) 642-5132, www.lawrencehallofscience.org.

 

LINDSAY WILDLIFE MUSEUM This is the oldest and largest wildlife rehabilitation center in America, taking in 6,000 injured and orphaned animals yearly and returning 40 percent of them to the wild. The museum offers a wide range of educational programs using non-releasable wild animals to teach children and adults respect for the balance of nature. The museum includes a state-of-the art wildlife hospital which features a permanent exhibit, titled "Living with Nature,'' which houses 75 non-releasable wild animals in learning environments; a 5,000-square-foot Wildlife Hospital complete with treatment rooms, intensive care, quarantine and laboratory facilities; a 1-acre Nature Garden featuring the region's native landscaping and wildlife; and an "Especially For Children'' exhibit.  

WILDLIFE HOSPITAL -- September-March: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hospital is open daily including holidays to receive injured and orphaned animals. There is no charge for treatment of native wild animals and there are no public viewing areas in the hospital. 

EXHIBITS --  

SPECIAL EVENTS --  

$5-$7; free children under age 2. Wednesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek. (925) 935-1978, www.wildlife-museum.org.< 

 

MEYERS HOUSE AND GARDEN MUSEUM The Meyers House, erected in 1897, is an example of Colonial Revival, an architectural style popular around the turn of the century. Designed by Henry H. Meyers,the house was built by his father, Jacob Meyers, at a cost of $4000.00. 

EXHIBITS --  

$3. Fourth Saturday of every month. 2021 Alameda Ave., Alameda. (510) 521-1247, www.alamedamuseum.org/meyers.html.< 

 

MUSEUM OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN TECHNOLOGY SCIENCE VILLAGE A science museum with an African-American focus promoting science education and awareness for the underrepresented. The science village chronicles the technical achievements of people of African descent from ancient ties to present. There are computer classes at the Internet Cafi, science education activities and seminars. There is also a resource library with a collection of books, periodicals and videotapes. 

$4-$6. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, noon-6 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.-6 p.m. 630 20th St., Oakland. (510) 893-6426, www.ncalifblackengineers.org.

 

MUSEUM OF CHILDREN'S ART A museum of art for and by children, with activities for children to participate in making their own art.  

ART CAMPS -- Hands-on activities and engaging curriculum for children of different ages, led by professional artists and staff. $60 per day.  

CLASSES -- A Sunday series of classes for children ages 8 to 12, led by Mocha artists. Sundays, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.  

OPEN STUDIOS -- Drop-in art play activities with new themes each week.  

"Big Studio." Guided art projects for children age 6 and older with a Mocha artist. Tuesday through Friday, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. $5.  

"Little Studio." A hands-on experience that lets young artists age 18 months to 5 years see, touch and manipulate a variety of media. Children can get messy. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $5.  

"Family Weekend Studios." Drop-in art activities for the whole family. All ages welcome. Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. $5 per child.  

FAMILY EXTRAVAGANZAS -- Special weekend workshops for the entire family.  

"Sunday Workshops with Illustrators," Sundays, 1 p.m. See the artwork and meet the artists who create children's book illustrations. Free. 

EVENTS --  

"Saturday Stories," 1 p.m. For children ages 2-5. Free. 

Free gallery admission. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, noon-5 p.m. 538 Ninth St., Oakland. (510) 465-8770, www.mocha.org.

 

OAKLAND MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA  

ONGOING EVENTS --  

"Art a la Carte," Wednesdays, 12:30 p.m. Art docents offer a variety of specialized tours focusing on one aspect of the museum's permanent collection. Free with museum admission.  

"Online Museum," Thursdays, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Explore the museum's collection on videodisks in the History Department Library.  

Docent Gallery Tours, Saturday and Sunday, 1:30 p.m. 

"Mini Okubo: Citizen 13660," through Aug. 1. Curated by Senior Curator of Art Karen Tsujimoto, this small exhibition of Okubo's poignant works on paper from the Museum's collection charts Okubo's odyssey.  

$5-$8; free for children ages 5 and under; free to all on the second Sunday of the month. Special events are free with museum admission unless noted otherwise. Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m.; first Friday of the month, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. 1000 Oak St., Oakland. (510) 238-2200, www.museumca.org.

 

PACIFIC PINBALL MUSEUM  

"Pinball Fantasies," through June 30. Exhibition features works by Shane Pickerill.  

1510 Webster St., Alameda. www.pacificpinball.org.

 

PARDEE HOME MUSEUM The historic Pardee Mansion, a three-story Italianate villa built in 1868, was home to three generations of the Pardee family who were instrumental in the civic and cultural development of California and Oakland. The home includes the house, grounds, water tower and barn. Reservations recommended. 

EVENTS --  

$5; free children ages 12 and under. House Tours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sundays by appointment. 672 11th St., Oakland. (510) 444-2187, www.pardeehome.org.

 

SAN LEANDRO HISTORY MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY The museum showcases local and regional history and serves as a centerpiece for community cultural activity. There are exhibits on Ohlone settlements, farms of early settlers, and contributions of Portuguese and other immigrants. There will also be exhibits of the city's agricultural past and the industrial development of the 19th century.  

ONGOING EXHIBIT --  

"Yema/Po Archeological Site at Lake Chabot," An exhibit highlighting artifacts uncovered from a work camp of Chinese laborers, featuring photomurals, cutouts and historical photographs. 

Free. Thursday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 320 West Estudillo Ave., San Leandro. (510) 577-3990, www.ci.sanleandro. ca.us/sllibrarymuseum.html.< 

 

SHADELANDS RANCH HISTORICAL MUSEUM Built by Walnut Creek pioneer Hiram Penniman, this 1903 redwood-framed house is a showcase for numerous historical artifacts, many of which belonged to the Pennimans. It also houses a rich archive of Contra Costa and Walnut Creek history in its collections of old newspapers, photographs and government records. 

EXHIBITS --  

$1-$3; free-children under age 6. Wednesday and Sunday, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.; Closed in January. 2660 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek. (925) 935-7871, www.ci.walnut-creek.ca.us.< 

 

SMITH MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY AT CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, HAYWARD The museum houses significant collections of archaeological and ethnographic specimens from Africa, Asia and North America and small collections from Central and South America. The museum offers opportunities and materials for student research and internships in archaeology and ethnology. 

SPECIAL EXHIBITS --  

Free. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Meiklejohn Hall, Fourth Floor, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd., Hayward. (510) 885-3104, (510) 885-7414, www.isis.csuhayward.edu/cesmith/acesmith.html.< 

 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY HEARST MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY  

ONGOING EXHIBITS --  

"Native California Cultures," This is an exhibit of some 500 artifacts from the museum's California collections, the largest and most comprehensive collections in the world devoted to California Indian cultures. The exhibit includes a section about Ishi, the famous Indian who lived and worked with the museum, Yana tribal baskets and a 17-foot Yurok canoe carved from a single redwood.  

"Recent Acquisitions," The collection includes Yoruba masks and carvings from Africa, early-20th-century Taiwanese hand puppets, textiles from the Americas and 19th- and 20th-century Tibetan artifacts.  

"From the Maker's Hand: Selections from the Permanent Collection," This exhibit explores human ingenuity in the living and historical cultures of China, Africa, Egypt, Peru, North America and the Meditteranean. 

$1-$4; free for children ages 12 and under; free to all on Thursdays. Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sunday, noon-4:30 p.m. 103 Kroeber Hall, Bancroft Way and College Avenue, Berkeley. (510) 643-7648, www.hearstmuseum.berkeley.edu.

 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY MUSEUM OF PALEONTOLOGY  

ONGOING EXHIBITS --  

"Tyrannosaurus Rex," A 20-foot-tall, 40-foot-long replica of the fearsome dinosaur. The replica is made from casts of bones of the most complete T. Rex skeleton yet excavated. When unearthed in Montana, the bones were all lying in place with only a small piece of the tailbone missing.  

"Pteranodon," A suspended skeleton of a flying reptile with a wingspan of 22 to 23 feet. The Pteranodon lived at the same time as the dinosaurs.  

"California Fossils Exhibit," An exhibit of some of the fossils that have been excavated in California. 

Free. During semester sessions, hours generally are: Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.-10 p.m. Hours vary during summer and holidays. Lobby, 1101 Valley Life Sciences Building, #4780, University of California, Berkeley. (510) 642-1821, www.ucmp.berkeley.edu.

 

USS HORNET MUSEUM Come aboard this World War II aircraft carrier that has been converted into a floating museum. The Hornet, launched in 1943, is 899 feet long and 27 stories high. During World War II she was never hit by an enemy strike or plane and holds the Navy record for number of enemy planes shot down in a week. In 1969 the Hornet recovered the Apollo 11 space capsule containing the first men to walk on the moon, and later recovered Apollo 12. In 1991 the Hornet was designated a National Historic Landmark and is now docked at the same pier she sailed from in 1944. Today, visitors can tour the massive ship, view World War II-era warplanes and experience a simulated aircraft launch from the carrier's deck. Exhibits are being added on an ongoing basis. Allow two to three hours for a visit. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to climb steep stairs or ladders. Dress in layers as the ship can be cold. Arrive no later than 2 p.m. to sign up for the engine room and other docent-led tours. Children under age 12 are not allowed in the Engine Room or the Combat Information Center.  

ONGOING EVENTS --  

"Limited Access Day," Due to ship maintenance, tours of the navigation bridge and the engine room are not available. Tuesdays.  

"Flight Deck Fun," A former Landing Signal Officer will show children how to bring in a fighter plane for a landing on the deck then let them try the signals themselves. Times vary. Free with regular Museum admission.  

"Protestant Divine Services," Hornet chaplain John Berger conducts church services aboard The Hornet in the Wardroom Lounge. Everyone is welcome and refreshments are served immediately following the service. Sundays, 11 a.m. 

SPECIAL EVENTS -- Closed on New Year's Day. 

"Flashlight Tour," Receive a special tour of areas aboard the ship that have not yet been opened to the public or that have limited access during the day. 

"Family Day," Discounted admission for families of four with a further discount for additional family members. Access to some of the areas may be limited due to ship maintenance. Every Tuesday. $20 for family of four; $5 for each additional family member. 

"Living Ship Day," Experience an aircraft carrier in action, with simulated flight operations as aircraft are lifted to the flight deck and placed in launch position. Some former crewmembers will be on hand. 

"Heroes of the Pacific," May 16, 3:30 p.m.-8 p.m. The USS Hornet pays tribute to the soldiers who survived the desperate days of the Pacific Campaign with a screening of the finale of the HBO miniseries "The Pacific,'' along with guest speakers, including some of the Hornet's very own World War II veteran crew who will share their experiences. 

$6-$14; free children age 4 and under with a paying adult. Daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Pier 3 (enter on Atlantic Avenue), Alameda Point, Alameda. (510) 521-8448, www.uss-hornet.org.<


General-East Bay Through May 23

Tuesday May 11, 2010 - 12:34:00 PM

ASHKENAZ  

"I Like My Bike Night," First Friday of the month, 9 p.m. This monthly series brings bicycle innovators, enthusiasts, artists and organizations together under one roof, as well as encourages regular Ashkenaz show-goers to leave their cars in the driveway and arrive at the venue by bicycle instead. $8-$25.  

1317 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. (510) 525-5054, www.ashkenaz.com.

 

AUCTIONS BY THE BAY  

"ArtiFacts: A Lecture Series for Collectors," Guest curators, scholars and conservation experts from throughout the Bay Area discuss the art of collecting. First Sunday of every month, 3 p.m. $7.  

Auctions by the Bay Theater-Auction House, 2700 Saratoga St., Alameda. (510) 835-6187, www.auctionsbythebay.com.

 

BAY AREA FREE BOOK EXCHANGE  

"Free Books," Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Donate your unwanted books and receive new titles for free.  

10520 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito. (510) 526-1941, www.bayareafreebookexchange.com.

 

CALIFORNIA GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY AND LIBRARY  

"California Genealogical Society and Library Free First Saturday," 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Event takes place on the first Saturday of every month, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Trace and compile your family history at this month's open house event. Free. www.calgensoc.org. 

2201 Broadway, Suite LL2, Oakland. (510) 663-1358.< 

 

CALIFORNIA MAGIC THEATER  

"Dinner Theater Magic Show," Friday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Enter the joyous and bewildering world of illusions and magic while chowing down on a home cooked meal. Each weekend features different professional magicians. Recommended for ages 13 and older. $54-$64 includes meal.  

729 Castro St., Martinez. (925) 374-0056, www.calmagic.com.

 

CHABOT SPACE AND SCIENCE CENTER State-of-the-art facility unifying science education activities around astronomy. Enjoy interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, indoor stargazing, outdoor telescope viewing and films. 

ASK JEEVES PLANETARIUM -- The planetarium features one of the most advanced star projectors in the world. A daily planetarium show is included with general admission. Call for current show schedule.  

"Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity," Take a ride to the inside of a massive black hole and learn about the latest scientific evidence, which suggests that black holes are real. Narrated by Liam Neeson. Suitable for age 12 and older. Free with General Admission ticket. 

"Sonic Vision," Friday-Saturday, 9:15 p.m. This show uses the latest digital technology to illuminate the planetarium with colorful computer-generated imagery set to today's popular music, including Radiohead, U2, David Bowie, Coldplay, Moby and more. 

"Tales Of The Maya Skies," "Tales of the Maya Skies'' is a new full-dome planetarium show that explores the cosmology of the ancient Maya, along with their culture and their contributions to astronomy. Starts November 21. 

"Astronaut," What does it take to be part of the exploration of space? Experience a rocket launch from inside the body of an astronaut. Explore the amazing worlds of inner and outer space, from floating around the International Space Station to maneuvering through microscopic regions of the human body. Narrated by Ewan McGregor. 25 min. 

"Space NOW!", Each week, this real-time ride through constellations, stars, and planets will reflect current happenings in our sky. Space NOW! will also tie in activities going on throughout the center. This is Chabot's first daytime guided tour of the universe. 

"Immersive Space: Fly Through the Cosmos," Fridays, 8 p.m. Experience the "digital universe'' in a new full-dome system. Travel to the nearest star and beyond in seconds. 

"Sunshine," A 15-minute planetarium show for children ages 5 and under. In the show, Sunshine, a lovable animated cartoon of the Sun, urges the children to sing and play along with his tricks. In the process, he introduces the colors of the day sky and the other suns of the night sky. Free with regular general admission. 

"Secret of the Cardboard Rocket," Take a journey through the solar system with two young adventurers who turn an old cardboard box into a rocket. Recommended for ages 5-10. 

"The Search for Life: Are We Alone?" A voyage from the ocean deep to the outer reaches of the cosmos in search of life, narrated by Harrison Ford. 

"The Sky Tonight," Saturdays, 8 p.m. Take a live tour of the starry sky overhead on the night of your visit. The show includes a look at constellations, planets and special celestial objects. 

CHALLENGER LEARNING CENTER -- "Escape from the Red Planet," a cooperative venture for families and groups of up to 14 people, age 8 and up. The scenario on this one hour mission: You are the crew of a shuttle to Mars that has been severely damaged in a crash landing. Your replacement crew is gone, the worst dust storm ever recorded on Mars approaches, and air, food, and water are extremely low. The mission: get the shuttle working again and into orbit before the dust storm hits. Reservations required. Children age 8-12 must be accompanied by an adult; not appropriate for children under age 8. $12-$15; Does not include general admission to the Center. Reservations: (510) 336-7421. 

SPECIAL EXHIBITS --  

"Chabot Observatories: A View to the Stars," This new permanent exhibit honors the 123-year history of Chabot and its telescopes. The observatory is one of the oldest public observatories in the United States. The exhibit covers the three different sites of the observatory over its history as well as how its historic telescopes continue to be operated today. Included are informative graphic panels, multimedia kiosks, interactive computer programs, hands-on stations, and historic artifacts. 

TIEN MEGADOME SCIENCE THEATER -- A 70-foot dome-screen auditorium. Show times subject to change. Call for current show schedule. Price with paid general admission is $6-$7. Theater only: $7-$8. (510) 336-7373, www.ticketweb.com. 

"Forces of Nature," This film showcases the awesome spectacle of earthquakes, volcanoes, and severe storms as scientists continue their quests to understand how these natural disasters are triggered. 

"The Living Sea," The film celebrates the beauty, power and importance of the ocean. Produced in association with The National Maritime Center, the Ocean Film Network and Dr. Robert Ballard. 

"Dinosaurs Alive," A global adventure of science and discovery, featuring the earliest dinosaurs of the Triassic Period to the monsters of the Cretaceous, "reincarnated" life-sized for the giant screen. Audiences will journey with some of the world's preeminent paleontologists as they uncover evidence that the descendents of dinosaurs still walk (or fly) among us. From the exotic, trackless expanses and sand dunes of Mongolia's Gobi Desert to the dramatic sandstone buttes of New Mexico, the film will follow American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) paleontologists as they explore some of the greatest dinosaur finds in history. 

"The Human Body," This show explores the daily biological processes that go on in the human body without our control and often without our notice. This amazing story is revealed in detail on the giant screen. 

"Cosmic Voyage," A breathtaking journey through time and space. Zoom from the surface of the Earth to the largest observable structures of the Universe and back down to the sub-nuclear realm, a guided tour across some 42 orders of magnitude. Explore some of the greatest scientific theories, many of which have never before been visualized on film. 

Center Admission: $9-$13; free children under 3; Movies and evening planetarium shows: $6-$8. Telescope viewing only: free. Wednesday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland. (510) 336-7300, www.chabotspace.org.

 

DUNSMUIR HOUSE AND GARDENS HISTORIC ESTATE Nestled in the Oakland hills, the 50-acre Dunsmuir House and Gardens estate includes the 37-room Neoclassical Revival Dunsmuir Mansion, built by coal and lumber baron Alexander Dunsmuir for his bride. Restored outbuildings set amid landscaped gardens surround the mansion.  

ESTATE GROUNDS -- Self-Guided Grounds Tours are available yearround. The 50 acres of gardens and grounds at the mansion are open to the public for walking Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Booklets and maps of the grounds are available at the Dinkelspiel House. Free.  

GUIDED TOURS -- Docent-led tours are available on the first Sunday of each month at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. (except for July) and Wednesdays at 11 a.m. $5 adults, $4 seniors and juniors (11-16), children 11 and under free. 

Dunsmuir House and Gardens, 2960 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland. (510) 615-5555, www.dunsmuir.org.

 

FRANK OGAWA PLAZA  

"Oakland Artisan Marketplace," Fridays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The City of Oakland and Cultural Arts & Marketing Department presents a weekly market featuring fine arts and crafts of local artists. Free. (510) 238-4948, www.oaklandartisanmarketplace.org. 

14th Street and Broadway, Oakland. < 

 

JACK LONDON AQUATIC CENTER  

"Oakland Artisan Marketplace,"' Saturdays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sundays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The City of Oakland and Cultural Arts & Marketing Department presents a weekly market featuring fine arts and crafts of local artists. Free. (510) 238-4948, www.oaklandartisanmarketplace.org. 

115 Embarcadero, Oakland. < 

 

JC CELLARS  

"Spring Fling," May 15, 6:30-10:30 p.m. Venture off the island for a night of art, wine, music, food and fun. $25-$30.  

55 Fourth St., Oakland. (510) 465-5900.< 

 

LA PENA CULTURAL CENTER  

Grupo Raiz, May 15, 8 p.m. $20-$25.  

"Foodshare," May 16, 7 p.m. Event features cutting edge work by young people and their adult mentors to build a more just and sustainable food system in the Bay Area. $15.  

"Ohana," May 20, 7:30 p.m. Program features Asian American music, poetry and performance from local talent. $5-$8.  

Andres Alejandro, May 21, 8 p.m. $13-$15.  

Bang Data, May 22, 8:30 p.m. $10.  

"Revolutionary Ecology," May 23, 7 p.m. Program recognizes the 20th anniversary of the bomb attack on Earth First with activist Judi Bari with speakers, music and film. Free.  

3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 849-2568, www.lapena.org.

 

LAWRENCE HALL OF SCIENCE  

ONGOING EXHIBITS --  

"NanoZone," Discover the science of the super-small: nanotechnology. Through hands-on activities and games, explore this microworld and the scientific discoveries made in this area.  

"Forces That Shape the Bay," A science park that shows and explains why the San Francisco Bay is the way it is, with information on water, erosion, plate tectonics and mountain building. You can ride earthquake simulators, set erosion in motion and look far out into the bay with a powerful telescope from 1,100 feet above sea level. The center of the exhibit is a waterfall that demonstrates how water flows from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Bay. Visitors can control where the water goes. There are also hands-on erosion tables, and a 40-foot-long, 6-foothigh, rock compression wall.  

"Real Astronomy Experience," A new exhibit-in-development allowing visitors to use the tools that real astronomers use. Aim a telescope at a virtual sky and operate a remote-controlled telescope to measure a planet.  

"Biology Lab," In the renovated Biology Lab visitors may hold and observe gentle animals. Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.  

"The Idea Lab," Experiment with some of the basics of math, science and technology through hands-on activities and demonstrations of magnets, spinning and flying, puzzles and nanotechnology.  

"Math Around the World," Play some of the world's most popular math games, such as Hex, Kalah, Game Sticks and Shongo Networks.  

"Math Rules," Use simple and colorful objects to complete interesting challenges in math through predicting, sorting, comparing, weighing and counting.  

 

HOLT PLANETARIUM Shows on Saturdays and Sundays. Programs recommended for ages 6 and up unless otherwise noted. $2.50-$3 in addition to general admission.  

"Mysteries of Missing Matter," Investigate the complexity of the universe and learn why astronomers now think that most of the matter in our universe mysteriously invisible to us. 

"Journey to the Moon," Experience a time traveler's view of the changing shapes of the moon as it waxes and wanes in the planetarium. Ages 4-7. 

"Constellations Tonight," Learn to identify the most prominent constellations of the season in the planetarium sky with a simple star map. 

$5.50-$10; free children ages 2 and under. Daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. University of California, Centennial Drive, Berkeley. (510) 642-5132, www.lawrencehallofscience.org.

 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE Exploring cinema from the Bay Area and cultures around the world, the Pacific Film Archive offers daily film screenings, including rare and rediscovered prints of movie classics; new and historic works by world famous directors; restored silent films with live musical accompaniment; retrospectives; and new and experimental works. Check Web site for a full schedule of films.  

"First Impressions: Free First Thursdays," first Thursday of every month. Special tours and movie presentations. Admission is free. 

Single feature: $5-$8; Double feature: $9-$12 general. PFA Theater, 2575 Bancroft Way, Berkeley. (510) 642-5249, www.bampfa.berkeley.edu.

 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY, MORRISON LIBRARY  

"Lunch Poems," First Thursday of the month, 12:10-12:50 p.m.  

2600 Bancroft Way, Berkeley. (510) 642-3671.< 

 

USS HORNET MUSEUM Come aboard this World War II aircraft carrier that has been converted into a floating museum. The Hornet, launched in 1943, is 899 feet long and 27 stories high. During World War II she was never hit by an enemy strike or plane and holds the Navy record for number of enemy planes shot down in a week. In 1969 the Hornet recovered the Apollo 11 space capsule containing the first men to walk on the moon, and later recovered Apollo 12. In 1991 the Hornet was designated a National Historic Landmark and is now docked at the same pier she sailed from in 1944. Today, visitors can tour the massive ship, view World War II-era warplanes and experience a simulated aircraft launch from the carrier's deck. Exhibits are being added on an ongoing basis. Allow two to three hours for a visit. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to climb steep stairs or ladders. Dress in layers as the ship can be cold. Arrive no later than 2 p.m. to sign up for the engine room and other docent-led tours. Children under age 12 are not allowed in the Engine Room or the Combat Information Center.  

ONGOING EVENTS --  

"Limited Access Day," Due to ship maintenance, tours of the navigation bridge and the engine room are not available. Tuesdays.  

"Flight Deck Fun," A former Landing Signal Officer will show children how to bring in a fighter plane for a landing on the deck then let them try the signals themselves. Times vary. Free with regular Museum admission.  

"Protestant Divine Services," Hornet chaplain John Berger conducts church services aboard The Hornet in the Wardroom Lounge. Everyone is welcome and refreshments are served immediately following the service. Sundays, 11 a.m. 

SPECIAL EVENTS -- Closed on New Year's Day. 

"Family Day," Discounted admission for families of four with a further discount for additional family members. Access to some of the areas may be limited due to ship maintenance. Every Tuesday. $20 for family of four; $5 for each additional family member. 

"Flashlight Tour," Receive a special tour of areas aboard the ship that have not yet been opened to the public or that have limited access during the day. 

"Living Ship Day," Experience an aircraft carrier in action, with simulated flight operations as aircraft are lifted to the flight deck and placed in launch position. Some former crewmembers will be on hand. 

"Heroes of the Pacific," May 16, 3:30 p.m.-8 p.m. The USS Hornet pays tribute to the soldiers who survived the desperate days of the Pacific Campaign with a screening of the finale of the HBO miniseries "The Pacific,'' along with guest speakers, including some of the Hornet's very own World War II veteran crew who will share their experiences. 

$6-$14; free children age 4 and under with a paying adult. Daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Pier 3 (enter on Atlantic Avenue), Alameda Point, Alameda. (510) 521-8448, www.uss-hornet.org.<


Exhibits-East Bay Through May 23

Tuesday May 11, 2010 - 12:29:00 PM

AUTOBODY FINE ART  

"Beautiful Dreamers: A Benefit for Autobody Fine Art Inc.," May 14 through May 23. Celebrate Autobody's incorporation as a 501 (3) non-profit charitable organization with a silent auction of pieces by artists whose work has defined the gallery's programming.  

1517 Park Street, Alameda. (510) 865-2608.< 

 

BERKELEY PUBLIC LIBRARY, CENTRAL BRANCH  

"Bay Area Nature," through July 1. Exhibition features photography by Satoko Myodo-Garcia.  

Free. Monday-Tuesday, noon-8 p.m.; Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 1-5 p.m. 2090 Kittredge St., Berkeley. (510) 981-6100, www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org/.< 

 

CARMEN FLORES RECREATION CENTER  

"El Corazon de la Communidad: The Heart of the Community", Painted by Joaquin Alejandro Newman, this mural installation consists of four 11-foot panels that mix ancient Meso-American and contemporary imagery to pay homage to local activists Carmen Flores and Josie de la Cruz.  

Free unless otherwise noted. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. 1637 Fruitvale Ave., Oakland. (510) 535-5631.< 

 

CHANDRA CERRITO CONTEMPORARY  

CLOSING -- "Kagami," through May 15. Exhibition features works by Kana Tanaka.  

480 23rd St., Oakland. (415) 577-7537, www.chandracerrito.com.

 

FRANK BETTE CENTER FOR THE ARTS  

"Les Femmes et Fleurs," through May 29. Exhiition explores themes of spring and the blossoming of women and flowers throughout their life cycles.  

Free. Wednesday and Friday-Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. 1601 Paru St., Alameda. (510) 523-6957, www.frankbettecenter.org.

 

JOHANSSON PROJECTS  

CLOSING -- "The Velveteen Order," through May 15. Exhibition features works by Keer Tanchak and Christina Corfield.  

Free. Thursday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m. 2300 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. (510) 444-9140, www.johanssonprojects.com.

 

LAWRENCE HALL OF SCIENCE  

ONGOING EXHIBITS --  

"NanoZone," Discover the science of the super-small: nanotechnology. Through hands-on activities and games, explore this microworld and the scientific discoveries made in this area.  

"Forces That Shape the Bay," A science park that shows and explains why the San Francisco Bay is the way it is, with information on water, erosion, plate tectonics and mountain building. You can ride earthquake simulators, set erosion in motion and look far out into the bay with a powerful telescope from 1,100 feet above sea level. The center of the exhibit is a waterfall that demonstrates how water flows from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Bay. Visitors can control where the water goes. There are also hands-on erosion tables, and a 40-foot-long, 6-foothigh, rock compression wall.  

"Real Astronomy Experience," A new exhibit-in-development allowing visitors to use the tools that real astronomers use. Aim a telescope at a virtual sky and operate a remote-controlled telescope to measure a planet.  

"Biology Lab," In the renovated Biology Lab visitors may hold and observe gentle animals. Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.  

"The Idea Lab," Experiment with some of the basics of math, science and technology through hands-on activities and demonstrations of magnets, spinning and flying, puzzles and nanotechnology.  

"Math Around the World," Play some of the world's most popular math games, such as Hex, Kalah, Game Sticks and Shongo Networks.  

"Math Rules," Use simple and colorful objects to complete interesting challenges in math through predicting, sorting, comparing, weighing and counting.  

"Kapla," The hands-on exhibit features thousands of versatile building blocks that can be used to build very large, high and stable structures and models of bridges, buildings, animals or anything else your mind can conceive.  

$5.50-$10; free children ages 2 and under. Daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. University of California, Centennial Drive, Berkeley. (510) 642-5132, www.lawrencehallofscience.org.

 

LINDSAY WILDLIFE MUSEUM This is the oldest and largest wildlife rehabilitation center in America, taking in 6,000 injured and orphaned animals yearly and returning 40 percent of them to the wild. The museum offers a wide range of educational programs using non-releasable wild animals to teach children and adults respect for the balance of nature. The museum includes a state-of-the art wildlife hospital which features a permanent exhibit, titled "Living with Nature,'' which houses 75 non-releasable wild animals in learning environments; a 5,000-square-foot Wildlife Hospital complete with treatment rooms, intensive care, quarantine and laboratory facilities; a 1-acre Nature Garden featuring the region's native landscaping and wildlife; and an "Especially For Children'' exhibit.  

WILDLIFE HOSPITAL -- September-March: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hospital is open daily including holidays to receive injured and orphaned animals. There is no charge for treatment of native wild animals and there are no public viewing areas in the hospital. 

EXHIBITS --  

SPECIAL EVENTS --  

$5-$7; free children under age 2. Wednesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek. (925) 935-1978, www.wildlife-museum.org.< 

 

MILLS COLLEGE  

"Between You and Me," through May 30. Mills College presents its 2010 MFA Exhibition.  

5000 Macarthur Blvd., Oakland. (510) 430-2296, www.mills.edu.

 

OAKLAND ASIAN CULTURAL CENTER  

"Oakland's 19th-Century San Pablo Avenue Chinatown," A permanent exhibit of new findings about the rediscovered Chinatown on San Pablo Avenue. The exhibit aims to inform visitors about the upcoming archaeological work planned to explore the lives of early Chinese pioneers in the 1860s.  

Free. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Pacific Renaissance Plaza, 388 Ninth St., Suite 290, Oakland. (510) 637-0455, www.oacc.cc.

 

OAKLAND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT  

"Going Away, Coming Home," A 160-foot public art installation by Mills College art professor Hung Liu. Liu hand painted 80 red-crowned cranes onto 65 panels of glass that were then fired, tempered and paired with background panes that depict views of a satellite photograph, ranging from the western United States to the Asia Pacific Area. Terminal 2.  

Free. Daily, 24 hours, unless otherwise noted. Oakland International Airport, 1 Airport Drive, Oakland. (510) 563-3300, www.flyoakland.com.

 

OAKLAND MARRIOTT CITY CENTER  

"Leroy Parker," through May 31. Exhibition features drawings, paintings and mixed media by the artist.  

1001 Broadway, Oakland. (510) 451-4000.< 

 

OAKLAND PUBLIC LIBRARY, DIMOND BRANCH  

"Priority Artists Exhibition," through May 29. Exhibition features works by a varied group of skilled creators, ranging in age from 30s to 70s, and made up of many of the diverse ethnic groups that reside in the Bay Area.  

Free. Tuesday, 12:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Friday, noon to 5:30 p.m. 3565 Fruitvale Ave., Oakland. (510) 482-7844, www.oaklandlibrary.org.

 

RICHMOND ART CENTER  

"Cream From the Top," through June 5. Exhibition features surfacing talent from fine arts programs at California College of the Arts, Mills College, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco State University, University of California, Berkeley and University of California, Davis.  

Free. Tuesday-Sunday, noon-5 p.m. 2540 Barrett Ave., Richmond. (510) 620-6772, www.therichmondartcenter.org.

 

WOMEN'S CANCER RESOURCE CENTER  

"Edible East Bay," through June 25. Exhibition featurse works by Zina Deretsky, Kieren Dutcher, Rosalie Z. Fanshel and more.  

5471 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. <


Outdoors-East Bay Through May 23

Tuesday May 11, 2010 - 12:38:00 PM

ARDENWOOD HISTORIC FARM Ardenwood farm is a working farm that dates back to the time of the Patterson Ranch, a 19th-century estate with a mansion and Victorian Gardens. Today, the farm still practices farming techniques from the 1870s. Unless otherwise noted, programs are free with regular admission.  

ONGOING PROGRAMS --  

"Blacksmithing," Thursday, Friday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Watch a blacksmith turn iron into useful tools.  

"Horse-Drawn Train," Thursday, Friday and Sunday. A 20-minute ride departs from Ardenwood Station and Deer Park.  

"Animal Feeding," Thursday-Sunday, 3-4 p.m. Help slop the hogs, check the henhouse for eggs and bring hay to the livestock.  

"Victorian Flower Arranging," Thursday, 10:15-11:30 a.m. Watch as Ardenwood docents create floral works of art for display in the Patterson House.  

SPECIAL EVENTS --  

"Horse-Drawn Train Rides," Thursday, Friday and Sunday, 10:15 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Meet Jigs or Tucker the Belgian Draft horses that pull Ardenwood's train. Check the daily schedule and meet the train at Ardenwood Station or Deer Park. 

"Country Kitchen Cookin'," Sundays, 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Enjoy the flavor of the past with treats cooked on Ardenwood's wood burning stove. Sample food grown on the farm and discover the history of your favorite oldtime snacks. 

"Animal Feeding," Thursday-Sunday, 3 p.m. Feed the pigs, check for eggs and bring hay to the livestock. 

"Toddler Time," Tuesdays, 11-11:30 a.m. Bring the tiny tots out for an exciting morning at the farm. Meet and learn all about a new animal friend through stories, chores and fun.  

"Potato Harvesting," Learn the spectacular history of this New World native as you dig with your spade and help find the spuds. 

"Cool Crisp Kites," May 15, 1:30-2:30 p.m. Learn how to make your own kite and navigate it. 

"Barnyard Buddies," May 15, 11 a.m. Feed the goats a snack and more. 

"April Showers Bring May Herbs and Flowers," May 15, 12:30-1:30 p.m. Read a story about nature and plant your own herb or flower and watch it grow. 

"Excellent Eggshells," May 16, 11 a.m.-noon. Use eggshells as flowerpots for seedlings. 

"Play With Dough," May 16, Noon-1 p.m. Discover the fun of kneading pretzels. 

"Hooray for Honeybees," May 16, Noon-1 p.m. Discover how special these insects are. 

"Tending the Vegetable Garden," May 22, Noon-1 p.m. Lend a hand planting seeds and turning compost. 

"Fuzzy Wuzzy," May 22, 1 p.m. Design your own fuzzy farm friend with real wool. 

"Quit Buggin' Those Bugs," May 23, Noon. Learn insect biology and replicate them through a craft. 

"Lovely Ladies Croquet," May 23, 1-3 p.m. Enjoy a croquet game. 

"Herb Butter is the Best," May 23, 1 p.m. Shake up heavy whipping cream to make fresh farm butter. 

"Corn Mosaic Magic," May 23, 2 p.m. Select colorful pieces of Indian corn to place in your own unique design. 

$1-$5; free children under age 4. Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont. (510) 796-0199, (510) 796-0663, www.ebparks.org.

 

BAY AREA RAIL TRAILS A network of trails converted from unused railway corridors and developed by the Rails to Trails Conservancy.  

BLACK DIAMOND MINES REGIONAL PRESERVE RAILROAD BED TRAIL -- This easy one mile long rail trail on Mount Diablo leads to many historic sites within the preserve. Suitable for walking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Accessible year round but may be muddy during the rainy season. Enter from the Park Entrance Station parking lot on the East side of Somersville Road, Antioch.  

IRON HORSE REGIONAL TRAIL -- The paved trail has grown into a 23 mile path between Concord and San Ramon with a link into Dublin. The trail runs from the north end of Monument Boulevard at Mohr Lane, east to Interstate 680, in Concord through Walnut Creek to just south of Village Green Park in San Ramon. It will eventually extend from Suisun Bay to Pleasanton and has been nominated as a Community Millennium Trail under the U.S. Millennium Trails program. A smooth shaded trail suitable for walkers, cyclists, skaters and strollers. It is also wheelchair accessible. Difficulty: easy to moderate in small chunks; hard if taken as a whole.  

LAFAYETTE/MORAGA REGIONAL TRAIL -- A 7.65 mile paved trail converted from the Sacramento Northern Rail line. This 20-year old trail goes along Las Trampas Creek and parallels St. Mary's Road. Suitable for walkers, equestrians, and cyclists. Runs from Olympic Boulevard and Pleasant Hill Road in Lafayette to Moraga. The trail can be used year round.  

OHLONE GREENWAY -- A 3.75-mile paved trail converted from the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railway. Suitable for walkers, strollers and skaters. It is also wheelchair accessible. The trail runs under elevated BART tracks from Conlon and Key Streets in El Cerrito to Virginia and Acton Streets in Berkeley.  

SHEPHERD CANYON TRAIL -- An easy 3-mile paved trail converted from the Sacramento Northern Rail Line. The tree-lined trail is gently sloping and generally follows Shepherd Canyon Road. Suitable for walkers and cyclists. It is also wheelchair accessible. Begins in Montclair Village behind McCaulou's Department Store on Medau Place and ends at Paso Robles Drive, Oakland. Useable year round. 

Free. (415) 397-2220, www.traillink.com.

 

BAY AREA RIDGE TRAIL The Bay Area Ridge Trail, when completed, will be a 400-mile regional trail system that will form a loop around the entire San Francisco Bay region, linking 75 public parks and open spaces to thousands of people and hundreds of communities. Hikes on portions of the trail are available through the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council. Call for meeting sites.  

ONGOING EVENTS --  

ALAMEDA COUNTY -- "Lake Chabot Bike Rides." These rides are for strong beginners and intermediates to build skill, strength and endurance at a non hammerhead pace. No one will be dropped. Reservations required. Distance: 14 miles. Elevation gain: 1,000 feet. Difficulty: beginner to intermediate. Pace: moderate. Meeting place: Lake Chabot Road at the main entrance to the park. Thursday, 6:15 a.m. (510) 468-3582.  

ALAMEDA-CONTRA COSTA COUNTY -- "Tilden and Wildcat Bike Rides." A vigorous ride through Tilden and Wildcat Canyon regional parks. Reservations required. Distance: 15 miles. Elevation gain: 2,000 feet. Difficulty: intermediate. Pace: fast. Meeting place: in front of the North Berkeley BART Station. Wednesday, 5:30 p.m. (510) 849-9650. 

Free. (415) 561-2595, www.ridgetrail.org.

 

BICYCLE TRAILS COUNCIL OF THE EAST BAY The Council sponsors trail work days, Youth Bike Adventure Rides, and Group Rides as well as Mountain Bike Basics classes which cover training and handling skills.  

ONGOING EVENTS --  

"Weekly Wednesday Ride at Lake Chabot," Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. A 13- to 20-mile ride exploring the trails around Lake Chabot, with 1,500 to 2,000 feet of climbing. Meet at 6:15 p.m. in the parking lot across from the public safety offices at Lake Chabot in Castro Valley. Reservations requested. (510) 727-0613.  

"Weekly Wednesday 'Outer' East Bay Ride," Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. Ride some of the outer East Bay parks each week, such as Wild Cat Canyon, Briones, Mount Diablo, Tilden and Joaquin Miller-Redwood. Meeting place and ride location vary. Reservations required. (510) 888-9757. 

Free. (510) 466-5123, www.btceb.org.

 

BLACK DIAMOND MINES REGIONAL PRESERVE Originally the home of several Native American tribes, white men began coal mining in the area in the 1860s. The preserve today features old mines and displays of the history of the area. 

SPECIAL EVENTS --  

"The Old Fashioned Cemetery," May 15, 10 a.m.-noon. View a nineteenth century burial grounds. 

"The Pittsburg Mine Trail Omnibus," May 22, 10 a.m.-noon. Get the complete story on a trail that blends the best of Black Diamond's natural and cultural history. 

Free unless otherwise noted; $5 seasonal parking fee on weekends. Daily, 8 a.m. to dusk Somersville Road, about five miles south of state Highway 4, Antioch. Information: (925) 757-2620, Tickets: (925) 555-1212, www.ebparks.org.

 

BOTANIC GARDEN  

EVENTS --  

"Botanizing California: Mount Vision at Point Reyes National Seashore," May 16, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Join a semi-strenuous loop hike of 5 to 6 miles down into Muddy Hollow near Limantour Beach and back up again to Inverness Ridge. 

Intersection of Wildcat Canyon Road and South Park Drive, Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley. www.ebparks.org.

 

COYOTE HILLS REGIONAL PARK The park is located on the shoreline of Fremont Bay and features rich wetland areas as well as Ohlone Indian shellmound sites. Hiking in the park allows scenic views of San Francisco Bay and southern Alameda County. The 12-mile Alameda Creek Trail runs from the Bay east to the mouth of Niles Canyon and features an equestrian trail as well as a bicycle trail; hikers are welcome on both. The park conducts naturalist programs and has a visitor center with a nature store and Ohlone, natural history and wildlife exhibits.  

SPECIAL EVENTS -- Free unless otherwise noted.  

"Shutterbugs," May 15, 10 a.m.-noon. Learn to photograph bugs and other natural wonders. 

"Nature Bytes for Busy Families," May 15, 2-3 p.m. Get to know the natural world with activities. 

"Animal Defenses," May 16, 1:30-2:30 p.m. Learn about how animals protect themselves. 

"Reptiles With Styles," May 16, 11 a.m.-noon. Get up-close and personal with reptiles. 

"Nectar Garden Open House," May 23, 1-3 p.m. Gain ideas and inspiration to create a home or neighborhood nectar garden. 

"Ohlone Cultural Activities," May 23 and May 30, 10:30 a.m.-noon.; 1-4 p.m. Find out how Ohlone peoples balanced human needs with that of the land through demonstrations of cultural skills past to present. 

Free unless otherwise noted; A parking fee may be charged. Registration required for events. April through October: daily, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; October through April, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., unless otherwise posted. 8000 Patterson Pass Road, Fremont. (510) 636-1684, (510) 795-9385, www.ebparks.org.

 

CRAB COVE VISITOR CENTER At Crab Cove, you can see live underwater creatures and go into the San Francisco Bay from land. You can also travel back in time to Alameda's part. The goal is to increase understanding of the environmental importance of San Francisco Bay and the ocean ecosystem. Crab Cove's Indoor Aquarium and Exhibit Lab is one of the largest indoor aquariums in the East Bay. 

SPECIAL EVENTS --  

"Sea Squirts," 10-11:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Discover the wonders of nature with your little one. Registration is required. $6-$8. 

"Catch of the Day," Sundays, 2-3 p.m. Drop by to find out more about the Bay and its wildlife through guided exploration and hands-on fun. 

"Sea Siblings," Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Explore the natural world and take part in a theme related craft. Designed for the 3-5 year old learner. Registration is required. $4. (888) 327-2757. 

"Concerts at the Cove," May 14, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Celebrate with free music and family fun. 

"Native Plant Gardening," May 15, 3-5 p.m. Spend an afternoon planting in the Visitor Center. 

Free unless otherwise noted; parking fee may be charged. 1252 McKay Ave., Alameda. (510) 521-6887, www.ebparks.org.

 

DUNSMUIR HOUSE AND GARDENS HISTORIC ESTATE Nestled in the Oakland hills, the 50-acre Dunsmuir House and Gardens estate includes the 37-room Neoclassical Revival Dunsmuir Mansion, built by coal and lumber baron Alexander Dunsmuir for his bride. Restored outbuildings set amid landscaped gardens surround the mansion.  

ESTATE GROUNDS -- Self-Guided Grounds Tours are available yearround. The 50 acres of gardens and grounds at the mansion are open to the public for walking Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Booklets and maps of the grounds are available at the Dinkelspiel House. Free.  

GUIDED TOURS -- Docent-led tours are available on the first Sunday of each month at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. (except for July) and Wednesdays at 11 a.m. $5 adults, $4 seniors and juniors (11-16), children 11 and under free. 

Dunsmuir House and Gardens, 2960 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland. (510) 615-5555, www.dunsmuir.org.

 

FIFTY-PLUS ADVENTURE WALKS AND RUNS The walks and runs are 3-mile round-trips, lasting about one hour on the trail. All levels of ability are welcome. The walks are brisk, however, and may include some uphill terrain. Events are held rain or shine and on all holidays except Christmas and the Fifty-Plus Annual Fitness Weekend. Call for dates, times and details. 

Free. (650) 323-6160, www.50plus.org.

 

FOREST HOME FARMS The 16-acre former farm of the Boone family is now a municipal historic park in San Ramon. It is located at the base of the East Bay Hills and is divided into two parts by Oak Creek. The Boone House is a 22-room Dutch colonial that has been remodeled several times since it was built in 1900. Also on the property are a barn built in the period from 1850 to 1860; the Victorian-style David Glass House, dating from the late 1860s to early 1870s; a storage structure for farm equipment and automobiles; and a walnut processing plant. 

Free unless otherwise noted. Public tours available by appointment. 19953 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon. (925) 973-3281, www.ci.sanramon. ca.us/parks/boone.htm.< 

 

GARIN AND DRY CREEK PIONEER REGIONAL PARKS Independent nature study is encouraged here, and guided interpretive programs are available through the Coyote Hills Regional Park Visitor Center in Fremont. The Garin Barn Visitor Center is open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In late summer, the Garin Apple Festival celebrates Garin's apple orchards. The parks also allow picnicking, hiking, horseback riding and fishing. 

Free; $5 parking fee per vehicle; $2 per dog. Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. 1320 Garin Ave., Hayward. (510) 562-PARK, (510) 795-9385, www.ebparks.org/parks/garin.htm.< 

 

GREENBELT ALLIANCE OUTINGS A series of hikes, bike rides and events sponsored by Greenbelt Alliance, the Bay Area's non-profit land conservation and urban planning organization. Call for meeting places. Reservations required for all trips.  

ALAMEDA COUNTY --  

"Self-Guided Urban Outing: Berkeley," This interactive smart growth walking tour of central Berkeley examines some of the exciting projects that help alleviate the housing shortage in the city as well as amenities important to making a livable community. The walk, which includes the GAIA Cultural Center, Allston Oak Court, The Berkeley Bike Station, University Terrace and Strawberry Creek Park, takes between an hour-and-ahalf to two hours at a leisurely pace. Download the itinerary which gives specific directions by entering www.greeenbelt.org and clicking on "get involved'' and then "urban outings.'' Drop down and click on Berkeley. Free. 

Free unless otherwise noted. (415) 255-3233, www.greenbelt.org.

 

HAYWARD REGIONAL SHORELINE With 1,682 acres of salt, fresh and brackish water marshes, seasonal wetlands and the approximately three-mile San Lorenzo Trail, the Hayward Shoreline restoration project is one of the largest of its kind on the West Coast, comprising 400 acres of marshland. Part of the East Bay Regional Park District. 

EVENTS --  

Free. Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. 3010 W. Winton Ave., Hayward. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org/parks/hayward.htm.< 

 

HAYWARD SHORELINE INTERPRETIVE CENTER Perched on stilts above a salt marsh, the Center offers an introduction to the San Francisco Bay-Estuary. It features exhibits, programs and activities designed to inspire a sense of appreciation, respect and stewardship for the Bay, its inhabitants and the services they provide. The Habitat Room offers a preview of what may be seen outside. The 80-gallon Bay Tank contains some of the fish that live in the Bay's open waters, and the Channel Tank represents habitats formed by the maze of sloughs and creeks that snake through the marsh. The main room of the Center features rotating exhibits about area history, plants and wildlife. Part of the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District.  

ONGOING EXHIBIT --  

"Exploring Nature," An exhibit of Shawn Gould's illustrations featuring images of the natural world. 

SPECIAL EVENTS --  

"Nature Detectives," 11 a.m.-noon. An introduction and exploration of the world of Black-Crowned Night-Herons. Ages 3-5 and their caregivers. Registration required. 

"Weekend Weed Warriors," 1-4 p.m. Help the shoreline to eliminate the non-native plants that threaten its diversity. Ages 12 and older. Registration required. 

"Waterfowl of the Freshwater Marsh," 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Join an expert birder to go "behind the gates'' to areas of the marsh that are not open to the public. 

"For the Love of Ducklings," May 15, 10:30 a.m.-noon. Look for baby ducks and geese swimming around with their parents.  

"Biking the Bayshore," May 16, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Bring your family out for a 5-mile ride along the Bay Trail.  

"Coyote Hills Bird Hike," May 22, 8:30-11:30 a.m. Spot a variety of birds in different habitats.  

"Cyotaku -- Fish Printing," May 23, 1 p.m. Make a bandana using an ancient Japanese technique with rubber fish.  

Free. Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 4901 Breakwater Ave., Hayward. (510) 670-7270, www.hard.dst.ca.us/hayshore.html.< 

 

JOHN MUIR NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE The site preserves the 1882 Muir House, a 17-room Victorian mansion where naturalist John Muir lived from 1890 to his death in 1914. It was here that Muir wrote about preserving America's wilderness and helped create the national parks idea for the United States. The house is situated on a hill overlooking the City of Martinez and surrounded by nine acres of vineyards and orchards. Take a self-guided tour of this well-known Scottish naturalist's home. Also part of the site is the historic Martinez Adobe and Mount Wanda.  

ONGOING EVENT --  

Public Tours of the John Muir House, Begin with an eight-minute park film and then take the tour. The film runs every 15 minutes throughout the day. Wednesday through Friday, 2 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.  

MOUNT WANDA -- The mountain consists of 325 acres of grass and oak woodland historically owned by the Muir family. It offers a nature trail and several fire trails for hiking. Open daily, sunrise to sunset. 

JOHN MUIR HOUSE, Tours of this well-known Scottish naturalist's home are available. The house, built in 1882, is a 14-room Victorian home situated on a hill overlooking the city of Martinez and surrounded by nine acres of vineyards and orchards. It was here that Muir wrote about preserving America's wilderness and helped create the national parks idea for the United States. The park also includes the historic Vicente Martinez Adobe, built in 1849. An eight-minute film about Muir and the site is shown every 15 minutes throughout the day at the Visitor Center. Self guided tours of the Muir home, the surrounding orchards, and the Martinez Adobe: Wednesday-Sunday, 1 a.m.-5 p.m. Public tours or the first floor of the Muir home: Wednesday-Friday, 2 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Reservations not required except for large groups.  

$3 general; free children ages 16 and under. Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 4202 Alhambra Ave., Martinez. (925) 228-8860, www.nps.gov/jomu.< 

 

KENNEDY GROVE REGIONAL RECREATION AREA The 95-acre park contains picnic areas, horseshoe pits and volleyball courts among its grove of aromatic eucalyptus trees.  

$5 parking; $2 per dog except guide/service dogs Through September: daily, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. San Pablo Dam Road, El Sobrante. (510) 223-7840, www.ebparks.org.

 

LAKE CHABOT REGIONAL PARK The 315-acre lake offers year-round recreation. Services include canoe and boat rental, horseshoe pits, hiking, bicycling, picnicking and seasonal tours aboard the Chabot Queen. For boat rentals, call (510) 247-2526. 

Free unless noted otherwise; $5 parking; $2 per dog except guide/service dogs. Daily, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. 17930 Lake Chabot Road, Castro Valley. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org.

 

LINDSAY WILDLIFE MUSEUM This is the oldest and largest wildlife rehabilitation center in America, taking in 6,000 injured and orphaned animals yearly and returning 40 percent of them to the wild. The museum offers a wide range of educational programs using non-releasable wild animals to teach children and adults respect for the balance of nature. The museum includes a state-of-the art wildlife hospital which features a permanent exhibit, titled "Living with Nature,'' which houses 75 non-releasable wild animals in learning environments; a 5,000-square-foot Wildlife Hospital complete with treatment rooms, intensive care, quarantine and laboratory facilities; a 1-acre Nature Garden featuring the region's native landscaping and wildlife; and an "Especially For Children'' exhibit.  

WILDLIFE HOSPITAL -- September-March: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hospital is open daily including holidays to receive injured and orphaned animals. There is no charge for treatment of native wild animals and there are no public viewing areas in the hospital. 

EXHIBITS --  

SPECIAL EVENTS --  

$5-$7; free children under age 2. Wednesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek. (925) 935-1978, www.wildlife-museum.org.< 

 

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. SHORELINE This 1,200-acre park situated near Oakland International Airport offers picnic areas with barbecues and a boat launch ramp. Swimming is not allowed. The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Grove, a group of trees surrounding a grassy glade, is at the intersection of Doolittle Drive and Swan Way. The area also includes the 50-acre Arrowhead Marsh (part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network) and a Roger Berry sculpture titled "Duplex Cone,'' which traces the summer and winter solstice paths of the sun through the sky. 

Free. Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., unless otherwise posted Doolittle Drive and Swan Way, Oakland. (510) 562-PARK, Picnic reservations: (510) 636-1684, www.ebayparks.org.

 

MILLER-KNOX REGIONAL SHORELINE A 295-acre shoreline picnic area with a secluded cove and swimming beach, and a hilltop offering panoramic views of the north Bay Area. 

Free. Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., unless otherwise posted. 900 Dornan Dr., Richmond. (510) 562-PARK, Picnic Reservations: (510) 636-1684, www.ebparks.org.

 

MOUNT DIABLO STATE PARK The 3,849-foot summit of Mount Diablo offers great views of the Bay Area and an extensive trail system. Visitors to the park can hike, bike, ride on horseback and camp. Notable park attractions include: The Fire Interpretive Trail, Rock City, Boy Scout Rocks and Sentinel Rock, Fossil Ridge, Deer Flat, Mitchell Canyon Staging Area, Diablo Valley Overlook, the Summit Visitor Center (open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), the Art Gallery, the Observation Deck and the Mitchell Canyon Interpretive Center. 

Free. $6 per vehicle park-entrance fee; $5 for seniors. Daily, 8 a.m. to sunset. Mount Diablo Scenic Boulevard, from the Diablo Road exit off Interstate Highway 680, Danville. (925) 837-2525, www.mdia.org or www.parks.ca.gov.

 

OAKLAND ZOO The zoo includes a Children's Petting Zoo, the Skyride, a miniature train, a carousel, picnic grounds and a gift shop as well as the animals in site specific exhibits, which allow them to roam freely. Included are "The African Savanna,'' with its two huge mixed-animal aviaries and 11 African Savanna exhibits; the Mahali Pa Tembo (Place of the Elephant), with giraffes, chimpanzees and more than 330 other animals from around the world; "Simba Pori,'' Swahili for "Lion Country,'' a spacious 1.5-acre habitat offering both a savanna and woodland setting for African lions; "Footprints from the Past,'' an anthropology exhibit showcasing four million years of human evolution and an actual "footpath'' of the first hominids to emerge from the African savanna; "Sun Bear Exhibit,'' a stateof-the-art space the zoo has developed for its two sun bears; and Siamang Island, a state-of-the-art, barrier-free area that emulates the gibbons' native tropical rain forest habitat. Also see the Malayan Fruit Bats from the Lubee Bat Conservancy in Florida that are now roosting in trees at the zoo. In addition there are special exhibits and events monthly.  

ONGOING EXHIBITS --  

"Valley Children's Zoo," The three-acre attraction offers a completely interactive experience for both children and adults. The exhibits include lemurs, giant fruit bats, otters, reptiles, insects and more. Daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

"Endangered Species," An exhibit of photographs about the most endangered animals on the Earth and what can be done to save them. At the Education Center. Open daily during zoo hours. ONGOING EVENTS --  

"Valley Children's Zoo," Daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The three-acre attraction will offer a completely interactive experience for both children and adults. The exhibits include lemurs, giant fruit bats, otters, reptiles, insects and more. Free with regular Zoo admission.  

"Wildlife Theater," Saturday, 11:45 a.m.; Sunday, 1:45 p.m. On Saturday mornings listen to a story and meet a live animal. On Sunday afternoon meet live animals and learn cool facts about them. Meet in the Lobby of the Zoo's Maddie's Center for Science and Environmental Education. Free with regular Zoo admission. (510) 632-9525, ext. 142. 

SPECIAL EVENTS --  

$7.50-11; free children under age 2; $6 parking fee. Daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Knowland Park, 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland. (510) 632-9525, www.oaklandzoo.org.

 

PLEASANTON RIDGE REGIONAL PARK This 3,163-acre parkland is on the oak-covered ridge overlooking Pleasanton and the Livermore Valley from the west. A multi-purpose trail system accommodates hikers, equestrians and bicyclists. 

Free. Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Foothill Road, Pleasanton. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org.

 

POINT PINOLE REGIONAL SHORELINE The 2,315-acre parkland bordering Pinole, Richmond and San Pablo offers views of Mount Tamalpais, the Marin shoreline and San Pablo Bay. There are trails through meadows and woods, and along the bluffs and beaches of San Pablo Bay. Visitors can hike, ride bikes or take the park's shuttle bus to reach the 1,250-foot fishing pier at Point Pinole. 

$5 per vehicle; $4 per trailered vehicle; $2 per dog (guide/service dogs free). Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., unless otherwise posted. Giant Highway, Richmond. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org.

 

QUARRY LAKES REGIONAL RECREATION AREA The park includes three lakes sculpted from former quarry ponds. The largest, Horseshoe Lake, offers boating and fishing, with a swim beach that will open in the spring. Rainbow Lake is for fishing only, and the third lake, Lago Los Osos, is set aside for wildlife habitat. In addition, there are hiking and bicycling trails that connect to the Alameda Creek Regional Trail. The park includes three lakes sculpted from former quarry ponds. The largest, Horseshoe Lake, offers boating and fishing, with a swim beach that will open in the spring. Rainbow Lake is for fishing only, and the third lake, Lago Los Osos, is set aside for wildlife habitat. In addition there are hiking and bicycling trails that connect to the Alameda Creek Regional Trail. 

$5 parking; $2 per dog except guide/service dogs; boat launch fees; Park District fishing access permit fee of $3. Through Labor Day: daily, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sept. 6 through Sept. 30, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. 2100 Isherwood Way,, between Paseo Padre Parkway and Osprey Drive,, Fremont. (510) 795-4883, Picnic reservations:: (510) 562-2267, www.ebparks.org.

 

REI BERKELEY A series of lectures on hikes and outdoor equipment. 

"Free Hands-on Bicycle Class: Flat Repair," May 15, 11 a.m.-noon. Learn how to fix a flat tire.  

"REI Cycling Festival," May 15, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Discover how easy and fun it can be spend more time on your bike.  

"REI Paddle Fest," May 15, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Learn about the newest kayaks, canoes, standup paddleboards and paddling gear.  

"Family Cycling Workshop," May 16, 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Join bike safety instructors for a fun, interactive family workshop on safe road cycling skills.  

Events are free and begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 1338 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. (510) 527-4140.< 

 

ROBERT SIBLEY VOLCANIC REGIONAL PRESERVE East Bay residents have several volcanoes in their backyard. This park contains Round Top, one of the highest peaks in the Oakland Hills. 

Free. Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. 6800 Skyline Blvd., Oakland. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org.

 

RUTH BANCROFT GARDEN One of America's finest private gardens, the Ruth Bancroft Garden displays 2,000 specimens from around the world that thrive in an arid climate. Included are African and Mexican succulents, New World cacti, Australian and Chilean trees, and shrubs from California. 

DOCENT TOUR SCHEDULE -- Saturdays, 10 a.m. Docent-led tours last approximately an hour and a half. Plant sales follow the tour. By reservation only. $7; free children under age 12.  

SELF-GUIDED TOURS -- Monday-Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-noon; Friday, 9:30 a.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.; Sunday, 5 p.m. Self-guided tours last two hours. No reservations required for weekday tours; reservations required for Friday and Saturday tours. Plant sales follow the tours. $7; free children under age 12.  

Gardens open only for tours and special events listed on the garden's telephone information line. 1500 Bancroft Road, Walnut Creek. (925) 210-9663, www.ruthbancroftgarden.org.

 

SHADOW CLIFFS REGIONAL RECREATION AREA The 296-acre park includes an 80-acre lake and a four-flume waterslide, with picnic grounds and a swimming beach. Water slide fees and hours: (925) 829-6230. 

$6 per vehicle; $2 per dog except guide and service dogs. May 1 through Labor Day: daily, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; shortened hours for fall and winter. Stanley Boulevard, one mile from downtown, Pleasanton. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org.

 

SULPHUR CREEK NATURE CENTER A wildlife rehabilitation and education facility where injured and orphaned local wild creatures are rehabilitated and released when possible. There is also a lending library of animals such as guinea pigs, rats, mice and more. The lending fee is $8 per week.  

ONGOING EVENTS --  

"Toddler Time," Learn about animals by listening to stories and exploring. Themes vary by month. Call for schedule. $7 per family.  

"Day on the Green Animal Presentations," Meet an assortment of wild and domestic animals. Wildlife volunteers will present a different animal each day from possums to snakes, tortoises to hawks. Saturday and Sunday, 2:30 p.m. 

CHILDREN'S EVENTS --  

Free. Park: Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Discovery Center: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Animal Lending Library: Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Wildlife Rehabilitation Center: daily, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 1801 D St., Hayward. (510) 881-6747, www.haywardrec.org/sulphur_creek.html.< 

 

SUNOL REGIONAL WILDERNESS This park is full of scenic and natural wonders. You can hike the Ohlone Wilderness trail or Little Yosemite. There are bedrock mortars that were used by Native Americans, who were Sunol's first inhabitants. 

SPECIAL EVENTS --  

"Sunol Sunday Hike," Sundays, 1:30-3 p.m. A natural history walk in the wilderness. 

"Sunol Sunday Hike," Sundays, 1:30-3 p.m. A natural history walk in Sunol Regional Wilderness. 

"Valley Nature Ride," May 23, 10 p.m. Enjoy an introduction to the cultural and natural history of Sunol Regional Wilderness during a horseback ride. 

Free unless otherwise noted; $5 parking; $2 dog fee. Geary Road off Calaveras Road, six miles south of Interstate Highway 680, Sunol. (510) 652-PARK, www.ebparks.org.

 

TILDEN REGIONAL PARK This park is large and contains hiking trails, a golf course, a miniature scaled train to ride, The Brazilian Building and picnic areas. 

SPECIAL EVENTS --  

"Chicky Chickens," May 15, 2-3 p.m. Visit, feed and pet our country pals. 

"Wonderous Wildflowers," May 16, 2-3 p.m. Familiarize yourself with local wildflowers. 

"The Truth About Bees," May 22, 2:30-4 p.m. Learn all about bees in the farm classroom. 

Free unless otherwise noted. Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Entrances off Wildcat Canyon Road and Grizzly Peak Boulevard, Berkeley. (510) 525-2233, www.ebparks.org.<


Kids-East Bay Through May 23

Tuesday May 11, 2010 - 12:36:00 PM

ARDENWOOD HISTORIC FARM Ardenwood farm is a working farm that dates back to the time of the Patterson Ranch, a 19th-century estate with a mansion and Victorian Gardens. Today, the farm still practices farming techniques from the 1870s. Unless otherwise noted, programs are free with regular admission.  

ONGOING PROGRAMS --  

"Blacksmithing," Thursday, Friday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Watch a blacksmith turn iron into useful tools.  

"Horse-Drawn Train," Thursday, Friday and Sunday. A 20-minute ride departs from Ardenwood Station and Deer Park.  

"Animal Feeding," Thursday-Sunday, 3-4 p.m. Help slop the hogs, check the henhouse for eggs and bring hay to the livestock.  

"Victorian Flower Arranging," Thursday, 10:15-11:30 a.m. Watch as Ardenwood docents create floral works of art for display in the Patterson House.  

SPECIAL EVENTS --  

"Horse-Drawn Train Rides," Thursday, Friday and Sunday, 10:15 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Meet Jigs or Tucker the Belgian Draft horses that pull Ardenwood's train. Check the daily schedule and meet the train at Ardenwood Station or Deer Park. 

"Country Kitchen Cookin'," Sundays, 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Enjoy the flavor of the past with treats cooked on Ardenwood's wood burning stove. Sample food grown on the farm and discover the history of your favorite oldtime snacks. 

"Animal Feeding," Thursday-Sunday, 3 p.m. Feed the pigs, check for eggs and bring hay to the livestock. 

"Toddler Time," Tuesdays, 11-11:30 a.m. Bring the tiny tots out for an exciting morning at the farm. Meet and learn all about a new animal friend through stories, chores and fun.  

"Potato Harvesting," Learn the spectacular history of this New World native as you dig with your spade and help find the spuds. 

"Cool Crisp Kites," May 15, 1:30-2:30 p.m. Learn how to make your own kite and navigate it. 

"Barnyard Buddies," May 15, 11 a.m. Feed the goats a snack and more. 

"April Showers Bring May Herbs and Flowers," May 15, 12:30-1:30 p.m. Read a story about nature and plant your own herb or flower and watch it grow. 

"Hooray for Honeybees," May 16, Noon-1 p.m. Discover how special these insects are. 

"Play With Dough," May 16, Noon-1 p.m. Discover the fun of kneading pretzels. 

"Excellent Eggshells," May 16, 11 a.m.-noon. Use eggshells as flowerpots for seedlings. 

"Tending the Vegetable Garden," May 22, Noon-1 p.m. Lend a hand planting seeds and turning compost. 

"Fuzzy Wuzzy," May 22, 1 p.m. Design your own fuzzy farm friend with real wool. 

"Corn Mosaic Magic," May 23, 2 p.m. Select colorful pieces of Indian corn to place in your own unique design. 

"Herb Butter is the Best," May 23, 1 p.m. Shake up heavy whipping cream to make fresh farm butter. 

"Lovely Ladies Croquet," May 23, 1-3 p.m. Enjoy a croquet game. 

"Quit Buggin' Those Bugs," May 23, Noon. Learn insect biology and replicate them through a craft. 

$1-$5; free children under age 4. Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont. (510) 796-0199, (510) 796-0663, www.ebparks.org.

 

ASHKENAZ  

Barnyard Boogie featuring Zac Matthews, Arann Harris and Dr. Jenny Matthews, May 16, 3 p.m. $4-$6.  

1317 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. (510) 525-5054, www.ashkenaz.com.

 

BLACK DIAMOND MINES REGIONAL PRESERVE Originally the home of several Native American tribes, white men began coal mining in the area in the 1860s. The preserve today features old mines and displays of the history of the area. 

SPECIAL EVENTS --  

"The Old Fashioned Cemetery," May 15, 10 a.m.-noon. View a nineteenth century burial grounds. 

"The Pittsburg Mine Trail Omnibus," May 22, 10 a.m.-noon. Get the complete story on a trail that blends the best of Black Diamond's natural and cultural history. 

Free unless otherwise noted; $5 seasonal parking fee on weekends. Daily, 8 a.m. to dusk Somersville Road, about five miles south of state Highway 4, Antioch. Information: (925) 757-2620, Tickets: (925) 555-1212, www.ebparks.org.

 

BLACKHAWK MUSEUM  

AUTOMOTIVE MUSEUM -- The museum's permanent exhibition of internationally renowned automobiles dated from 1897 to the 1980s. The cars are displayed as works of art with room to walk completely around each car to admire the workmanship. On long-term loan from the Smithsonian Institution is a Long Steam Tricycle; an 1893-94 Duryea, the first Duryea built by the Duryea brothers; and a 1948 Tucker, number 39 of the 51 Tuckers built, which is a Model 48 "Torpedo'' four-door sedan.  

ONGOING EXHIBITS --  

"International Automotive Treasures," An ever-changing exhibit featuring over 90 automobiles.  

"A Journey on Common Ground," An exhibit of moving photographs, video and art objects from around the world exploring the causes of disability and the efforts of the Wheelchair Foundation to provide a wheelchair for every person in need who cannot afford one.  

ONGOING EVENT --  

Free Public Tours, Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. Docent-led guided tours of the museum's exhibitions. 

$5-$8; free for children ages 6 and under. Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 3700 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Danville. (925) 736-2280, (925) 736-2277, www.blackhawkmuseum.org.

 

CHABOT SPACE AND SCIENCE CENTER State-of-the-art facility unifying science education activities around astronomy. Enjoy interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, indoor stargazing, outdoor telescope viewing and films. 

ASK JEEVES PLANETARIUM -- The planetarium features one of the most advanced star projectors in the world. A daily planetarium show is included with general admission. Call for current show schedule.  

"Immersive Space: Fly Through the Cosmos," Fridays, 8 p.m. Experience the "digital universe'' in a new full-dome system. Travel to the nearest star and beyond in seconds. 

"Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity," Take a ride to the inside of a massive black hole and learn about the latest scientific evidence, which suggests that black holes are real. Narrated by Liam Neeson. Suitable for age 12 and older. Free with General Admission ticket. 

"Space NOW!", Each week, this real-time ride through constellations, stars, and planets will reflect current happenings in our sky. Space NOW! will also tie in activities going on throughout the center. This is Chabot's first daytime guided tour of the universe. 

"Astronaut," What does it take to be part of the exploration of space? Experience a rocket launch from inside the body of an astronaut. Explore the amazing worlds of inner and outer space, from floating around the International Space Station to maneuvering through microscopic regions of the human body. Narrated by Ewan McGregor. 25 min. 

"Tales Of The Maya Skies," "Tales of the Maya Skies'' is a new full-dome planetarium show that explores the cosmology of the ancient Maya, along with their culture and their contributions to astronomy. Starts November 21. 

"Sunshine," A 15-minute planetarium show for children ages 5 and under. In the show, Sunshine, a lovable animated cartoon of the Sun, urges the children to sing and play along with his tricks. In the process, he introduces the colors of the day sky and the other suns of the night sky. Free with regular general admission. 

"Secret of the Cardboard Rocket," Take a journey through the solar system with two young adventurers who turn an old cardboard box into a rocket. Recommended for ages 5-10. 

"The Search for Life: Are We Alone?" A voyage from the ocean deep to the outer reaches of the cosmos in search of life, narrated by Harrison Ford. 

"The Sky Tonight," Saturdays, 8 p.m. Take a live tour of the starry sky overhead on the night of your visit. The show includes a look at constellations, planets and special celestial objects. 

"Sonic Vision," Friday-Saturday, 9:15 p.m. This show uses the latest digital technology to illuminate the planetarium with colorful computer-generated imagery set to today's popular music, including Radiohead, U2, David Bowie, Coldplay, Moby and more. 

SPECIAL EXHIBITS --  

"Chabot Observatories: A View to the Stars," This new permanent exhibit honors the 123-year history of Chabot and its telescopes. The observatory is one of the oldest public observatories in the United States. The exhibit covers the three different sites of the observatory over its history as well as how its historic telescopes continue to be operated today. Included are informative graphic panels, multimedia kiosks, interactive computer programs, hands-on stations, and historic artifacts. 

TIEN MEGADOME SCIENCE THEATER -- A 70-foot dome-screen auditorium. Show times subject to change. Call for current show schedule. Price with paid general admission is $6-$7. Theater only: $7-$8. (510) 336-7373, www.ticketweb.com. 

"Dinosaurs Alive," A global adventure of science and discovery, featuring the earliest dinosaurs of the Triassic Period to the monsters of the Cretaceous, "reincarnated" life-sized for the giant screen. Audiences will journey with some of the world's preeminent paleontologists as they uncover evidence that the descendents of dinosaurs still walk (or fly) among us. From the exotic, trackless expanses and sand dunes of Mongolia's Gobi Desert to the dramatic sandstone buttes of New Mexico, the film will follow American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) paleontologists as they explore some of the greatest dinosaur finds in history. 

"The Human Body," This show explores the daily biological processes that go on in the human body without our control and often without our notice. This amazing story is revealed in detail on the giant screen. 

"The Living Sea," The film celebrates the beauty, power and importance of the ocean. Produced in association with The National Maritime Center, the Ocean Film Network and Dr. Robert Ballard. 

"Cosmic Voyage," A breathtaking journey through time and space. Zoom from the surface of the Earth to the largest observable structures of the Universe and back down to the sub-nuclear realm, a guided tour across some 42 orders of magnitude. Explore some of the greatest scientific theories, many of which have never before been visualized on film. 

"Forces of Nature," This film showcases the awesome spectacle of earthquakes, volcanoes, and severe storms as scientists continue their quests to understand how these natural disasters are triggered. 

Center Admission: $9-$13; free children under 3; Movies and evening planetarium shows: $6-$8. Telescope viewing only: free. Wednesday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland. (510) 336-7300, www.chabotspace.org.

 

CHILDREN'S FAIRYLAND A fairy tale theme park featuring more than 30 colorful fantasy sets. Designed especially for children ages 10 and under, there are gentle rides, a train, the "Peter Rabbit Village,'' puppet shows, story-telling and lots of slides and animals. Admission price includes unlimited rides, special shows, guest entertainers and puppet shows.  

OLD WEST JUNCTION -- Children's Fairyland's newest attraction is a Wild West-themed town sized just for children, with a livery stable, bank, jail and a water tower slide.  

PUPPET SHOWS -- Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. All shows are at the Open Storybook Theatre. Free with regular Fairyland admission.  

ARTS AND CRAFTS CENTER -- Activities on Saturday and Sunday, noon to 3 p.m.  

ANIMAL OF THE DAY -- Saturday and Sunday, 1-1:20 p.m. at the Humpty Dumpty Wall. Learn about one of Fairyland's animal friends. 

SPECIAL EVENTS --  

"Arts and Crafts," Noon-3 p.m. Event features arts and crafts projects for children and their families. $6. 

"Animal of the Day!" Saturdays and Sundays, 1-1:20 p.m. Come up close and learn about Fairyland's creatures. 

"Puppet Show: Perez and Mondinga," May 15 through May 16, 11 a.m. and 2 and 4 p.m. It's fiesta time in Mexico. Mondinga, the cockroach, wants to marry and share her hacienda with someone special. Rooster, Pig and evil Cat all want to marry her, yet none is right. Finally she meets Perez the gentle mouse and marries him. This is the silly story of their meeting, marriage and mishaps, just in time for Cinco De Mayo! Ole'! Scenery &Puppets by Lewis Mahlmann  

Kirk Waller, May 15 through May 16, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. Storyteller Waller presents a series of classic tales with an original flair.  

"Act in a Box," May 22 through May 23, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. Owen Baker Flynn presents a lively show featuring juggling, fire eating and a multitude of surprises.  

$6; free for children under age 1; $2 for a Magic Key. No adult admitted without a child and no child admitted without an adult. Summer (June through Labor Day): Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Fall and Spring: Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Winter: Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. CLOSED DEC. 25-JAN. 4. 699 Bellevue Ave., Oakland. (510) 452-2259, www.fairyland.org.

 

COYOTE HILLS REGIONAL PARK The park is located on the shoreline of Fremont Bay and features rich wetland areas as well as Ohlone Indian shellmound sites. Hiking in the park allows scenic views of San Francisco Bay and southern Alameda County. The 12-mile Alameda Creek Trail runs from the Bay east to the mouth of Niles Canyon and features an equestrian trail as well as a bicycle trail; hikers are welcome on both. The park conducts naturalist programs and has a visitor center with a nature store and Ohlone, natural history and wildlife exhibits.  

SPECIAL EVENTS -- Free unless otherwise noted.  

"Nature Bytes for Busy Families," May 15, 2-3 p.m. Get to know the natural world with activities. 

"Shutterbugs," May 15, 10 a.m.-noon. Learn to photograph bugs and other natural wonders. 

"Animal Defenses," May 16, 1:30-2:30 p.m. Learn about how animals protect themselves. 

"Reptiles With Styles," May 16, 11 a.m.-noon. Get up-close and personal with reptiles. 

"Ohlone Cultural Activities," May 23 and May 30, 10:30 a.m.-noon.; 1-4 p.m. Find out how Ohlone peoples balanced human needs with that of the land through demonstrations of cultural skills past to present. 

"Nectar Garden Open House," May 23, 1-3 p.m. Gain ideas and inspiration to create a home or neighborhood nectar garden. 

Free unless otherwise noted; A parking fee may be charged. Registration required for events. April through October: daily, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; October through April, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., unless otherwise posted. 8000 Patterson Pass Road, Fremont. (510) 636-1684, (510) 795-9385, www.ebparks.org.

 

CRAB COVE VISITOR CENTER At Crab Cove, you can see live underwater creatures and go into the San Francisco Bay from land. You can also travel back in time to Alameda's part. The goal is to increase understanding of the environmental importance of San Francisco Bay and the ocean ecosystem. Crab Cove's Indoor Aquarium and Exhibit Lab is one of the largest indoor aquariums in the East Bay. 

SPECIAL EVENTS --  

"Catch of the Day," Sundays, 2-3 p.m. Drop by to find out more about the Bay and its wildlife through guided exploration and hands-on fun. 

"Sea Squirts," 10-11:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Discover the wonders of nature with your little one. Registration is required. $6-$8. 

"Sea Siblings," Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Explore the natural world and take part in a theme related craft. Designed for the 3-5 year old learner. Registration is required. $4. (888) 327-2757. 

"Concerts at the Cove," May 14, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Celebrate with free music and family fun. 

"Native Plant Gardening," May 15, 3-5 p.m. Spend an afternoon planting in the Visitor Center. 

Free unless otherwise noted; parking fee may be charged. 1252 McKay Ave., Alameda. (510) 521-6887, www.ebparks.org.

 

DUNSMUIR HOUSE AND GARDENS HISTORIC ESTATE Nestled in the Oakland hills, the 50-acre Dunsmuir House and Gardens estate includes the 37-room Neoclassical Revival Dunsmuir Mansion, built by coal and lumber baron Alexander Dunsmuir for his bride. Restored outbuildings set amid landscaped gardens surround the mansion.  

ESTATE GROUNDS -- Self-Guided Grounds Tours are available yearround. The 50 acres of gardens and grounds at the mansion are open to the public for walking Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Booklets and maps of the grounds are available at the Dinkelspiel House. Free.  

GUIDED TOURS -- Docent-led tours are available on the first Sunday of each month at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. (except for July) and Wednesdays at 11 a.m. $5 adults, $4 seniors and juniors (11-16), children 11 and under free. 

Dunsmuir House and Gardens, 2960 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland. (510) 615-5555, www.dunsmuir.org.

 

FOREST HOME FARMS The 16-acre former farm of the Boone family is now a municipal historic park in San Ramon. It is located at the base of the East Bay Hills and is divided into two parts by Oak Creek. The Boone House is a 22-room Dutch colonial that has been remodeled several times since it was built in 1900. Also on the property are a barn built in the period from 1850 to 1860; the Victorian-style David Glass House, dating from the late 1860s to early 1870s; a storage structure for farm equipment and automobiles; and a walnut processing plant. 

Free unless otherwise noted. Public tours available by appointment. 19953 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon. (925) 973-3281, www.ci.sanramon. ca.us/parks/boone.htm.< 

 

HABITOT CHILDREN'S MUSEUM A museum especially for children ages 7 and under. Highlights include "WaterWorks,'' an area with some unusual water toys, an Infant Tree for babies, a garden especially for toddlers, a child-scale grocery store and cafe, and a costume shop and stage for junior thespians. The museum also features a toy lending library.  

ONGOING EXHIBITS --  

"Waterworks." A water play gallery with rivers, a pumping station and a water table, designed to teach about water.  

"Little Town Grocery and Cafe." Designed to create the ambience of shopping in a grocery store and eating in a restaurant.  

"Infant-Toddler Garden." A picket fence gated indoor area, which includes a carrot patch with wooden carrots to be harvested, a pretend pond and a butterfly mobile to introduce youngsters to the concept of food, gardening and agriculture.  

"Dramatic Arts Stage." Settings, backdrops and costumes coincide with seasonal events and holidays. Children can exercise their dramatic flair here.  

"Wiggle Wall." The floor-to-ceiling "underground'' tunnels give children a worm's eye view of the world. The tunnels are laced with net covered openings and giant optic lenses. 

SPECIAL EXHIBITS --  

$6-$7. Wednesday and Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Closed Sunday-Tuesday. 2065 Kittredge St., Berkeley. (510) 647-1111, www.habitot.org.

 

HALL OF HEALTH A community health-education museum and science center promoting wellness and individual responsibility for health. There are hands-on exhibits that teach about the workings of the human body, the value of a healthy diet and exercise, and the destructive effects of smoking and drug abuse. "Kids on the Block'' puppet shows, which use puppets from diverse cultures to teach about and promote acceptance of conditions such as cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, leukemia, blindness, arthritis and spina bifida, are available by request for community events and groups visiting the Hall on Saturdays.  

ONGOING EXHIBITS --  

"This Is Your Heart!" An interactive exhibit on heart health.  

"Good Nutrition," This exhibit includes models for making balanced meals and an Exercycle for calculating how calories are burned.  

"Draw Your Own Insides," Human-shaped chalkboards and models with removable organs allow visitors to explore the inside of their bodies.  

"Your Cellular Self and Cancer Prevention," An exhibit on understanding how cells become cancerous and how to detect and prevent cancer. 

Suggested $3 donation; free for children under age 3. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 2230 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 549-1564, www.hallofhealth.org.

 

HAYWARD SHORELINE INTERPRETIVE CENTER Perched on stilts above a salt marsh, the Center offers an introduction to the San Francisco Bay-Estuary. It features exhibits, programs and activities designed to inspire a sense of appreciation, respect and stewardship for the Bay, its inhabitants and the services they provide. The Habitat Room offers a preview of what may be seen outside. The 80-gallon Bay Tank contains some of the fish that live in the Bay's open waters, and the Channel Tank represents habitats formed by the maze of sloughs and creeks that snake through the marsh. The main room of the Center features rotating exhibits about area history, plants and wildlife. Part of the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District.  

ONGOING EXHIBIT --  

"Exploring Nature," An exhibit of Shawn Gould's illustrations featuring images of the natural world. 

SPECIAL EVENTS --  

"Waterfowl of the Freshwater Marsh," 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Join an expert birder to go "behind the gates'' to areas of the marsh that are not open to the public. 

"Nature Detectives," 11 a.m.-noon. An introduction and exploration of the world of Black-Crowned Night-Herons. Ages 3-5 and their caregivers. Registration required. 

"Weekend Weed Warriors," 1-4 p.m. Help the shoreline to eliminate the non-native plants that threaten its diversity. Ages 12 and older. Registration required. 

Free. Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 4901 Breakwater Ave., Hayward. (510) 670-7270, www.hard.dst.ca.us/hayshore.html.< 

 

JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER OF THE EAST BAY  

"Shabbat Celebration for Young Children," Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-noon. Join other families with young children to sharethis weekly Jewish holiday of joy and renewal.  

1414 Walnut St., Berkeley. (510) 848-0237, www.jcceastbay.org/.< 

 

JEWISH GATEWAYS  

"Wonderful World," May 15, 10:30 a.m.-noon. Join other families with young children to explore the outdoors together.  

409 Liberty St., El Cerrito. < 

 

LAKE CHABOT REGIONAL PARK The 315-acre lake offers year-round recreation. Services include canoe and boat rental, horseshoe pits, hiking, bicycling, picnicking and seasonal tours aboard the Chabot Queen. For boat rentals, call (510) 247-2526. 

Free unless noted otherwise; $5 parking; $2 per dog except guide/service dogs. Daily, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. 17930 Lake Chabot Road, Castro Valley. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org.

 

LAWRENCE HALL OF SCIENCE  

ONGOING EXHIBITS --  

"NanoZone," Discover the science of the super-small: nanotechnology. Through hands-on activities and games, explore this microworld and the scientific discoveries made in this area.  

"Forces That Shape the Bay," A science park that shows and explains why the San Francisco Bay is the way it is, with information on water, erosion, plate tectonics and mountain building. You can ride earthquake simulators, set erosion in motion and look far out into the bay with a powerful telescope from 1,100 feet above sea level. The center of the exhibit is a waterfall that demonstrates how water flows from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Bay. Visitors can control where the water goes. There are also hands-on erosion tables, and a 40-foot-long, 6-foothigh, rock compression wall.  

"Real Astronomy Experience," A new exhibit-in-development allowing visitors to use the tools that real astronomers use. Aim a telescope at a virtual sky and operate a remote-controlled telescope to measure a planet.  

"Biology Lab," In the renovated Biology Lab visitors may hold and observe gentle animals. Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.  

"The Idea Lab," Experiment with some of the basics of math, science and technology through hands-on activities and demonstrations of magnets, spinning and flying, puzzles and nanotechnology.  

"Math Around the World," Play some of the world's most popular math games, such as Hex, Kalah, Game Sticks and Shongo Networks.  

"Math Rules," Use simple and colorful objects to complete interesting challenges in math through predicting, sorting, comparing, weighing and counting.  

 

HOLT PLANETARIUM Shows on Saturdays and Sundays. Programs recommended for ages 6 and up unless otherwise noted. $2.50-$3 in addition to general admission.  

"Journey to the Moon," Experience a time traveler's view of the changing shapes of the moon as it waxes and wanes in the planetarium. Ages 4-7. 

"Constellations Tonight," Learn to identify the most prominent constellations of the season in the planetarium sky with a simple star map. 

"Mysteries of Missing Matter," Investigate the complexity of the universe and learn why astronomers now think that most of the matter in our universe mysteriously invisible to us. 

$5.50-$10; free children ages 2 and under. Daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. University of California, Centennial Drive, Berkeley. (510) 642-5132, www.lawrencehallofscience.org.

 

LINDSAY WILDLIFE MUSEUM This is the oldest and largest wildlife rehabilitation center in America, taking in 6,000 injured and orphaned animals yearly and returning 40 percent of them to the wild. The museum offers a wide range of educational programs using non-releasable wild animals to teach children and adults respect for the balance of nature. The museum includes a state-of-the art wildlife hospital which features a permanent exhibit, titled "Living with Nature,'' which houses 75 non-releasable wild animals in learning environments; a 5,000-square-foot Wildlife Hospital complete with treatment rooms, intensive care, quarantine and laboratory facilities; a 1-acre Nature Garden featuring the region's native landscaping and wildlife; and an "Especially For Children'' exhibit.  

WILDLIFE HOSPITAL -- September-March: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hospital is open daily including holidays to receive injured and orphaned animals. There is no charge for treatment of native wild animals and there are no public viewing areas in the hospital. 

SPECIAL EVENTS --  

$5-$7; free children under age 2. Wednesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek. (925) 935-1978, www.wildlife-museum.org.< 

 

THE MARSH BERKELEY  

"The World's Funniest Bubble Show," through June 27, Sunday, 11 a.m. Bubble Man Louis Pearl presents his fun and family-friendly antics. $7-$50.  

The Gaia Building, 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley. Info: (415) 826-5750, Tickets: (800) 838-3006, www.themarsh.org.

 

MUSEUM OF CHILDREN'S ART A museum of art for and by children, with activities for children to participate in making their own art.  

ART CAMPS -- Hands-on activities and engaging curriculum for children of different ages, led by professional artists and staff. $60 per day.  

CLASSES -- A Sunday series of classes for children ages 8 to 12, led by Mocha artists. Sundays, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.  

OPEN STUDIOS -- Drop-in art play activities with new themes each week.  

"Big Studio." Guided art projects for children age 6 and older with a Mocha artist. Tuesday through Friday, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. $5.  

"Little Studio." A hands-on experience that lets young artists age 18 months to 5 years see, touch and manipulate a variety of media. Children can get messy. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $5.  

"Family Weekend Studios." Drop-in art activities for the whole family. All ages welcome. Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. $5 per child.  

FAMILY EXTRAVAGANZAS -- Special weekend workshops for the entire family.  

"Sunday Workshops with Illustrators," Sundays, 1 p.m. See the artwork and meet the artists who create children's book illustrations. Free. 

EVENTS --  

"Saturday Stories," 1 p.m. For children ages 2-5. Free. 

SPECIAL EVENT --  

"Saturday Stories," 1 p.m. For ages 2-5. Free. 

Free gallery admission. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, noon-5 p.m. 538 Ninth St., Oakland. (510) 465-8770, www.mocha.org.

 

OAKLAND ZOO The zoo includes a Children's Petting Zoo, the Skyride, a miniature train, a carousel, picnic grounds and a gift shop as well as the animals in site specific exhibits, which allow them to roam freely. Included are "The African Savanna,'' with its two huge mixed-animal aviaries and 11 African Savanna exhibits; the Mahali Pa Tembo (Place of the Elephant), with giraffes, chimpanzees and more than 330 other animals from around the world; "Simba Pori,'' Swahili for "Lion Country,'' a spacious 1.5-acre habitat offering both a savanna and woodland setting for African lions; "Footprints from the Past,'' an anthropology exhibit showcasing four million years of human evolution and an actual "footpath'' of the first hominids to emerge from the African savanna; "Sun Bear Exhibit,'' a stateof-the-art space the zoo has developed for its two sun bears; and Siamang Island, a state-of-the-art, barrier-free area that emulates the gibbons' native tropical rain forest habitat. Also see the Malayan Fruit Bats from the Lubee Bat Conservancy in Florida that are now roosting in trees at the zoo. In addition there are special exhibits and events monthly.  

ONGOING EXHIBITS --  

"Valley Children's Zoo," The three-acre attraction offers a completely interactive experience for both children and adults. The exhibits include lemurs, giant fruit bats, otters, reptiles, insects and more. Daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

"Endangered Species," An exhibit of photographs about the most endangered animals on the Earth and what can be done to save them. At the Education Center. Open daily during zoo hours. ONGOING EVENTS --  

"Valley Children's Zoo," Daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The three-acre attraction will offer a completely interactive experience for both children and adults. The exhibits include lemurs, giant fruit bats, otters, reptiles, insects and more. Free with regular Zoo admission.  

"Wildlife Theater," Saturday, 11:45 a.m.; Sunday, 1:45 p.m. On Saturday mornings listen to a story and meet a live animal. On Sunday afternoon meet live animals and learn cool facts about them. Meet in the Lobby of the Zoo's Maddie's Center for Science and Environmental Education. Free with regular Zoo admission. (510) 632-9525, ext. 142. 

SPECIAL EVENTS --  

$7.50-11; free children under age 2; $6 parking fee. Daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Knowland Park, 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland. (510) 632-9525, www.oaklandzoo.org.

 

POINT PINOLE REGIONAL SHORELINE The 2,315-acre parkland bordering Pinole, Richmond and San Pablo offers views of Mount Tamalpais, the Marin shoreline and San Pablo Bay. There are trails through meadows and woods, and along the bluffs and beaches of San Pablo Bay. Visitors can hike, ride bikes or take the park's shuttle bus to reach the 1,250-foot fishing pier at Point Pinole. 

$5 per vehicle; $4 per trailered vehicle; $2 per dog (guide/service dogs free). Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., unless otherwise posted. Giant Highway, Richmond. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org.

 

ROBERT SIBLEY VOLCANIC REGIONAL PRESERVE East Bay residents have several volcanoes in their backyard. This park contains Round Top, one of the highest peaks in the Oakland Hills. 

Free. Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. 6800 Skyline Blvd., Oakland. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org.

 

SCHARFFEN BERGER CHOCOLATE FACTORY This hour-long tour covers the history of chocolate making, from the cultivation of cacao beans to the finished product. After a chocolate tasting, visitors take a walking tour of the factory floor. Open to children 10 and up. Reservations required. 

Free with reservation. Every hour on the half-hour, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 914 Heinz Ave., Berkeley. (510) 981-4066, www.scharffenbergertour.com.

 

SHADOW CLIFFS REGIONAL RECREATION AREA The 296-acre park includes an 80-acre lake and a four-flume waterslide, with picnic grounds and a swimming beach. Water slide fees and hours: (925) 829-6230. 

$6 per vehicle; $2 per dog except guide and service dogs. May 1 through Labor Day: daily, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; shortened hours for fall and winter. Stanley Boulevard, one mile from downtown, Pleasanton. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org.

 

SULPHUR CREEK NATURE CENTER A wildlife rehabilitation and education facility where injured and orphaned local wild creatures are rehabilitated and released when possible. There is also a lending library of animals such as guinea pigs, rats, mice and more. The lending fee is $8 per week.  

ONGOING EVENTS --  

"Toddler Time," Learn about animals by listening to stories and exploring. Themes vary by month. Call for schedule. $7 per family.  

"Day on the Green Animal Presentations," Meet an assortment of wild and domestic animals. Wildlife volunteers will present a different animal each day from possums to snakes, tortoises to hawks. Saturday and Sunday, 2:30 p.m. 

CHILDREN'S EVENTS --  

Free. Park: Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Discovery Center: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Animal Lending Library: Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Wildlife Rehabilitation Center: daily, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 1801 D St., Hayward. (510) 881-6747, www.haywardrec.org/sulphur_creek.html.< 

 

TILDEN REGIONAL PARK This park is large and contains hiking trails, a golf course, a miniature scaled train to ride, The Brazilian Building and picnic areas. 

SPECIAL EVENTS --  

"Chicky Chickens," May 15, 2-3 p.m. Visit, feed and pet our country pals. 

"Wonderous Wildflowers," May 16, 2-3 p.m. Familiarize yourself with local wildflowers. 

"The Truth About Bees," May 22, 2:30-4 p.m. Learn all about bees in the farm classroom. 

Free unless otherwise noted. Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Entrances off Wildcat Canyon Road and Grizzly Peak Boulevard, Berkeley. (510) 525-2233, www.ebparks.org.

 

USS HORNET MUSEUM Come aboard this World War II aircraft carrier that has been converted into a floating museum. The Hornet, launched in 1943, is 899 feet long and 27 stories high. During World War II she was never hit by an enemy strike or plane and holds the Navy record for number of enemy planes shot down in a week. In 1969 the Hornet recovered the Apollo 11 space capsule containing the first men to walk on the moon, and later recovered Apollo 12. In 1991 the Hornet was designated a National Historic Landmark and is now docked at the same pier she sailed from in 1944. Today, visitors can tour the massive ship, view World War II-era warplanes and experience a simulated aircraft launch from the carrier's deck. Exhibits are being added on an ongoing basis. Allow two to three hours for a visit. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to climb steep stairs or ladders. Dress in layers as the ship can be cold. Arrive no later than 2 p.m. to sign up for the engine room and other docent-led tours. Children under age 12 are not allowed in the Engine Room or the Combat Information Center.  

ONGOING EVENTS --  

"Limited Access Day," Due to ship maintenance, tours of the navigation bridge and the engine room are not available. Tuesdays.  

"Flight Deck Fun," A former Landing Signal Officer will show children how to bring in a fighter plane for a landing on the deck then let them try the signals themselves. Times vary. Free with regular Museum admission.  

"Protestant Divine Services," Hornet chaplain John Berger conducts church services aboard The Hornet in the Wardroom Lounge. Everyone is welcome and refreshments are served immediately following the service. Sundays, 11 a.m. 

SPECIAL EVENTS -- Closed on New Year's Day. 

"Living Ship Day," Experience an aircraft carrier in action, with simulated flight operations as aircraft are lifted to the flight deck and placed in launch position. Some former crewmembers will be on hand. 

"Flashlight Tour," Receive a special tour of areas aboard the ship that have not yet been opened to the public or that have limited access during the day. 

"Family Day," Discounted admission for families of four with a further discount for additional family members. Access to some of the areas may be limited due to ship maintenance. Every Tuesday. $20 for family of four; $5 for each additional family member. 

"Heroes of the Pacific," May 16, 3:30 p.m.-8 p.m. The USS Hornet pays tribute to the soldiers who survived the desperate days of the Pacific Campaign with a screening of the finale of the HBO miniseries "The Pacific,'' along with guest speakers, including some of the Hornet's very own World War II veteran crew who will share their experiences. 

$6-$14; free children age 4 and under with a paying adult. Daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Pier 3 (enter on Atlantic Avenue), Alameda Point, Alameda. (510) 521-8448, www.uss-hornet.org.<


Museums-San Francisco Through May 23

Tuesday May 11, 2010 - 12:37:00 PM

ASIAN ART MUSEUM OF SAN FRANCISCO The Asian Art Museum-Chon-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture recently unveiled its new building in San Francisco's Civic Center. The building, the former San Francisco Public Library, has been completely retrofitted and rebuilt to house San Francisco's significant collection of Asian treasures. The museum offers complimentary audio tours of the museum's collection galleries.  

ONGOING EXHIBIT --  

"In a New Light," There are some 2,500 works displayed in the museum's new galleries. They cover all the major cultures of Asia and include Indian stone sculptures, intricately carved Chinese jades, Korean paintings, Tibetan thanksgas, Cambodian Buddhas, Islamic manuscripts and Japanese basketry and kimonos.  

ONGOING FAMILY PROGRAMS --  

Storytelling, Sundays and the first Saturday of every month, 1 p.m. This event is for children of all ages to enjoy a re-telling of Asian myths and folktales in the galleries. Meet at the Information Desk on the Ground Floor. Free with general admission.  

"Target Tuesday Family Program," first Tuesday of every month. Free with general admission.  

"Family Art Encounter," first Saturday of every month, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Drop in to make art related to the museum's collection. Children must be accompanied by an adult. In the Education Studios. Free with admission.  

DOCENT-LED ART TOURS -- The museum's docents offer two types of tours: a general introduction to the museum's collection and a highlight tour of specific areas of the collection. Free with museum admission.  

ARCHITECTURAL GUIDES -- Tuesday through Sunday at noon and 2:30 p.m., Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Learn about the former Main Library's transformation into the Asian Art Museum on this 40-minute tour. Free with museum admission.  

RESOURCE CENTER -- Tuesday through Sunday, 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Watch a video, or learn more about Asian art with slide packets, activity kits and books. Free with museum admission. 

SPECIAL EVENTS -- Free with general admission unless otherwise noted.  

"Shanghai," through Sept. 5. Exhibition features more than 130 artworks including oil paintings, Shanghai Deco furniture, revolutionary posters, works of fashion and more.  

"Japan's Early Ambassadors to San Francisco, 1860-1927," through Nov. 21. Timed to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the ship Kanrin Maru and the first Japanese embassy to the United States, this thematic exhibit focuses on some of the first Japanese diplomats and cultural emissaries in San Francisco, and how they responded to the experience of being in America.  

$7-$12; free children under age 12; $5 Thursday after 5 p.m.; free to all first Sunday of each month. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. 200 Larkin St., San Francisco. (415) 581-3500, www.asianart.org.

 

BEAT MUSEUM Formerly located on the California coast in Monterey, the Beat Museum now sits in historic North Beach. The Museum uses letters, magazines, pictures, first editions and more to explore the lives of leading beat figures such as Jack Kerouac, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady and many others. A gift shop and bookstore are open to the public free of charge. 

SPECIAL EVENTS --  

"North Beach Walking Tour,", A 90-minute walking tour of North Beach with Beat Museum curator Jerry Cimimo. See the bars, coffeehouses, homes, and other Beat-related highlights of North Beach. Call for info. $15. 

SPECIAL EXHIBITS --  

$4-$5. Monday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. CLOSED MONDAY. 540 Broadway, San Francisco. (800) KER-OUAC, www.kerouac.com.

 

CABLE CAR MUSEUM The museum is located in the historic Cable Car Barn and Powerhouse. Visitors can see the actual cable winding machinery, grips, track, cable and brakes, as well as three historic cable cars, photo displays and mechanical artifacts. The best way to get to this museum is by cable car; street parking is practically non-existent. 

SPECIAL EVENTS --  

Free. April 1-Sept. 30: daily, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 1-March 31, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 1201 Mason St., San Francisco. (415) 474-1887, www.cablecarmuseum.org.

 

CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES  

"Nightlife," Thursdays, 6 p.m. Every Thursday night, the Academy transforms into a lively venue filled with provocative science, music, mingling and cocktails, as visitors get a chance to explore the museum.  

"Where the Land Meets the Sea," Exhibition features sculpture by Maya Lin.  

BENJAMIN DEAN LECTURE SERIES --  

"Extreme Mammals," through Sept. 12. Exhibition features a far-reaching survey of members of the mammal family.  

$14.95-$24.95. Daily, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. (415) 379-8000, www.calacademy.org.

 

CALIFORNIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY  

HISTORY WALKABOUTS -- A series of monthly walking tours that explore the history, lore and architecture of California with veteran tour guide Gary Holloway. Walks take place rain or shine so dress for the weather. Reservations and prepayment required. Meeting place will be given with confirmation of tour reservation. Tour price includes admission to the Museum.  

MUSEUM -- The museum's permanent collection is made up of the Fine Arts Collection, consisting of 5,000 works of art that represent the history of California from pre-Gold Rush days to the early decade of the 20th century; and The Photography Collection, containing nearly a halfmillion images in an array of photographic formats documenting the history of California in both the 19th and 20th centuries. The Library and Research Collection contain material relating to the history of California and the West from early exploration time to the present including texts, maps, and manuscripts.  

"Landscape and Vision: Early California Painters from the Collections of the California Historical Society," open-ended. An exhibit of oil paintings including a large number of early landscapes of California, from the museum's collection.  

"Extreme Mammals," through Sept. 12. Exhibition explores mammals, from the towering to the tiny.  

$1-$3; free children under age 5. Wednesday-Saturday, noon-4:30 p.m. 678 Mission St., San Francisco. (415) 357-1848 X229, www.californiahistoricalsociety.org.

 

CARTOON ART MUSEUM  

ONGOING EXHIBIT --  

"An Exploration of Cartoon Art," This exhibit explores the history of cartoon art including works from the most renowned and creative cartoonists of the last century. The exhibit traces the evolution of cartooning through its many forms including animation, comic strips, comic books, editorial cartoons and underground cartoons.  

CARTOONING CLASSES FOR KIDS -- Saturday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. For children ages 6 to 14. Call for schedule. Free with admission. 

"Small Press Spotlight on Jamaica Dyer," through June 13. Exhibition features works by the Santa Cruz artist.  

OPENING -- "60 Years of Beetle Bailey," through Sept. 19. Exhibition showcases the comics of Mort Walker.  

$2-$6; free children ages 5 and under; the first Tuesday of the month is paywhat-you-wish day. Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 655 Mission St., San Francisco. (415) 227-8666, www.cartoonart.org.

 

CHINESE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA The CHSA Museum and Learning Center features a permanent exhibition, "The Chinese of America: Toward a More Perfect Union'' in its Main Gallery, and works by Chinese-American visual artists in its Rotating Galleries.  

ONGOING EXHIBIT --  

"Leaders of the Band," An exhibition of the history and development of the Cathay Club Marching Band, the first Chinese American band formed in 1911. 

SPECIAL EXHIBITS --  

$1-$3; free children ages 5 and under; free for all visitors first Thursday of every month. Tuesday-Friday, noon-5 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, noon-4 p.m. 965 Clay St., San Francisco. (415) 391-1188, www.chsa.org.

 

CONTEMPORARY JEWISH MUSEUM The museum, formerly known as the Jewish Museum San Francisco, has a new addition designed by Daniel Libeskind and is dedicated to exploring the richness and diversity of Jewish thought and culture.  

GALLERY TOURS -- Sunday and Wednesday, 12:30 p.m. Free. 

"As It Is Written: Project 304,805," through Oct. 3. Exhibition centers around a soferet (a professionally trained female scribe) who writes out the entire text of the Torah, at the Museum, over the course of a full year. She will be one of the few known women to complete an entire Torah scroll, an accomplishment traditionally exclusive to men.  

"Our Struggle: Responding to Mein Kampf," through June 15. Linda Elia presents a a host of artists' page-by-page response to Hitler's notorious memoir and manifesto.  

$4-$5; free for children under age 12; free third Monday of every month. Sunday -Thursday, noon-6 p.m. DEC. 25, NOON TO 4 P.M.; CLOSED JAN. 1. 736 Mission St., San Francisco. (415) 655-7800, www.thecjm.org.

 

DE YOUNG MUSEUM The art museum has now reopened in a new facility designed by Swiss architecture firm Herzog and de Meuron and Fong and Chan Architects in San Francisco. It features significant collections of American art from the 17th through the 20th centuries; modern and contemporary art; art from Central and South America, the Pacific and Africa; and an important and diverse collection of textiles. 

ARTIST STUDIO PROGRAM -- Wednesday-Sunday, 1-5 p.m. A monthly interactive program during which the public can meet and work with a featured artist. Demonstrations take place in the Kimball Education Gallery, which does not require paid admission. (415) 750-7634. 

CHILDREN'S ACTIVITIES --  

"Children's Workshops: Doing and Viewing Art and Big Kids-Little Kids," Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.-noon and 1:30-3 p.m. Family tour and art activity for ages 4-12. 

LECTURES AND SYMPOSIA --  

LECTURES BY DOCENTS -- These lectures are free and are held in the Koret Auditorium unless otherwise noted.  

SPECIAL EVENTS --  

"Friday Nights at the de Young: Cultural Encounters," 5-8:45 p.m. The de Young stays open until 8:45 p.m. each Friday night and hosts special events including live music, dance, film, lectures and artist demonstrations.  

Aug. 22: "Cultural Encounters presents Hot Brazilian Nights.''  

Event features music by Forro for All and art-making for the entire family.  

Aug. 29: "Cultural Encounters.''  

Event features live music by the Scott Amendola Trio. Free with admission. 

"Poetry Series," 7-8:30 p.m. $8-$12. (415) 750-7634. 

"Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs," through May 28. More than 3,000 years after his reign, and 30 years after the original exhibition opened in San Francisco, Tutankhamun, ancient Egypt's celebrated "boy king," returns to the de Young Museum. In the summer of 2009 the de Young presents Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs, a glorious exhibition of over 130 outstanding works from the tomb of Tutankhamun, as well as those of his royal predecessors, his family, and court officials. Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs includes many new and exciting elements not seen in previous versions of the exhibition, including a revised version of the catalogue, a new audio tour, and additional artifacts from Tutankhamun's tomb.  

"Amish Abstractions: Quilts from the Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown," through June 6. This exhibition features approximately 48 fullsize and crib quilts dating from the 1880s to the 1940s. Quilts made by girls and women of various Amish communities in Pennsylvania and the Midwest are visual distillations of their way of life. The Amish faith embodies the principles of simplicity, humility, discipline, and community, but their quilts are anything but humble. Using a rich color palette and bold patterns, these quilts are truly a unique contribution to American textile history. The quilts highlight the beauty and complexity of the abstract patterns.  

"I Keep Foolin' Around: William T. Wiley as Printmaker," through July 4. Exhibition features paintings, sculpture and more by Bay Area artist Wiley.  

OPENING -- "Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musee d'Orsay," May 22 through Sept. 6. Exhibition puts forth nearly 100 works by the famous masters who called France their home during the mid-19th century and from whose midst arose one of the most original and recognizable of all artistic styles, Impressionism.  

$6-$10; free for children ages 12 and under; free for all visitors the first Tuesday of every month. Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday-Sunday, 9:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m.; Friday, 9:30 a.m.-8:45 p.m. Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco. (415) 863-3330, www.deyoungmuseum.org.

 

GLBT HISTORICAL SOCIETY AND MUSEUM The museum is a project of the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) Historical Society. 

EVENTS --  

EXHIBITS --  

$2-$4. Tuesday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. 657 Mission St., Suite 300, San Francisco. (415) 777-5455, www.glbthistory.org.

 

INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM OF WOMEN  

EVENTS --  

101 Howard Street, Suite 480, San Francisco. (415) 543-4669, www.imow.org/home/index.< 

 

LEGION OF HONOR MUSEUM DOCENT TOUR PROGRAMS -- Tours of the permanent collections and special exhibitions are offered Tuesday through Sunday. Non-English language tours (Italian, French, Spanish and Russian) are available on different Saturdays of the month at 11:30 a.m. Free with regular museum admission. (415) 750-3638.  

ONGOING CHILDREN'S PROGRAM --  

"Doing and Viewing Art," For ages 7 to 12. Docent-led tours of current exhibitions are followed by studio workshops taught by professional artists/teachers. Students learn about art by seeing and making it. Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to noon; call to confirm class. Free with museum admission. (415) 750-3658. 

ORGAN CONCERTS -- 4 p.m. A weekly concert of organ music on the Legion's restored 1924 Skinner organ. Saturday and Sunday in the Rodin Gallery. Free with museum admission. (415) 750-3624. 

SPECIAL EVENTS -- In the Gould Theater unless otherwise noted. $4 after museum admission unless otherwise noted. (415) 682-2481. 

"Sunday Jazz Brunch," 11 a.m.-3 p.m. $21-$53. 

"Very Postmortem: Mummies and Medicine," Oct. 31. Exhibition explores the modern scientific examination of mummies providing new insights into the conditions under which the Egyptians lived, bringing us closer to understanding who they were.  

$6-$10; free for children ages 12 and under; free for all visitors on Tuesdays. Tuesday-Sunday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Lincoln Park, 34th Avenue and Clement Street, San Francisco. (415) 750-3600, (415) 750-3636, www.thinker.org.

 

MARKET STREET RAILWAY MUSEUM The museum will permanently display a variety of artifacts telling the story of San Francisco's transportation history, including dash signs, fare boxes, a famed Wiley "birdcage'' traffic signal and more. 

Free. Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 77 Steuart St., San Francisco. (415) 956-0472, www.streetcar.org.

 

MEXICAN MUSEUM  

THE MEXICAN MUSEUM GALLERIES AT FORT MASON CENTER ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED --  

The Mexican Museum holds a unique collection of 12,000 objects representing thousands of years of Mexican history and culture within the Americas. The permanent collection, the Museum's most important asset and resource, includes five collecting areas: Pre-Conquest, Colonial, Popular, Modern and Contemporary Mexican and Latino, and Chicano Art. The Museum also has a collection of rare books and a growing collection of Latin American art. 

Fort Mason Center, Building D, Buchanan Street and Marina Boulevard, San Francisco. (415) 202-9700, www.mexicanmuseum.org.

 

MUSEO ITALOAMERICANO The museum, dedicated to the exhibition of art works by Italian and Italian-American artists, has a small permanent collection of paintings, sculptures, photographs and works on paper by such renowned artists as Beniamino Buffano, Sandro Chia, Giorgio de Chirico and Arnaldo Pomodoro.  

DOCENT TOURS -- Wednesdays, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Free. 

"From Toscana to Sonoma," through June 27. Exhibition features recent works by Douglas Gayeton.  

$2-$3; free children under age 12; free to all first Wednesday of the month. Wednesday-Sunday, noon -4 p.m.; first Wednesday of the month, noon-7 p.m. Fort Mason Center, Building C, Buchanan Street and Marina Boulevard, San Francisco. (415) 673-2200, www.museoitaloamericano.org.

 

MUSEUM OF ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS AT SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY  

EXHIBITS --  

Free. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Humanities Building, Room 510, SFSU, Font Boulevard and Tapia Drive, San Francisco. (415) 405-0599, www.sfsu.edu/~museumst/.< 

 

MUSEUM OF CRAFT AND FOLK ART The museum, now open at a new downtown location, features craft and folk art from various cultures, both past and present, and includes styles ranging from utilitarian objects to contemporary art. 

OPENING -- "Clare Rojas: We They, We They," May 14 through Aug. 22. Where neo-folk meets contemporary art, artists operate as "authors'' of the collective voice. The new exhibition showcases the first solo exhibition of the Bay Area artist who identifies and inserts herself in the folk art continuum. MOCFA is proud to present new work that has yet to be seen by the public.  

$4-$5; free for youths under age 18. Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 51 Yerba Buena Lane, Mission Street between Third and Fourth streets, San Francisco. (415) 227-4888, www.mocfa.org.

 

MUSEUM OF PERFORMANCE AND DESIGN  

EXHIBITS --  

Free. Wednesday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Veterans Building, 401 Van Ness Avenue at McAllister, 4th Floor, San Francisco. (415) 255-4800, www.mpdsf.org.

 

MUSEUM OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA A new museum exploring and celebrating the influence of the African Diaspora on global art and culture through interactive, permanent and changing exhibits and special programs. The museum occupies the first three floors of the new St. Regis Hotel at Third and Mission streets.  

PERMANENT EXHIBITS --  

"Celebrations: Rituals and Ceremonies," "Music of the Diaspora,'' "Culinary Traditions,'' 'Adornment,'' "Slavery Passages,'' and "The Freedom Theater.'' 

SPECIAL EVENTS --  

"Urban Kidz Film Series," Noon-3 p.m. An offshoot of the San Francisco Black Film Festival, featuring a striking assemblage of short and feature films designed to spark the imaginations of the 5-to-12-year-old set. $10 adults; children free. (415) 771-9271. 

SPECIAL EXHIBITS --  

$5-$8; free children age 12 and under. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m.; CLOSED MARCH 13 THROUGH MARCH 21. 685 Mission St., San Francisco. (415) 358-7200, www.moadsf.org.

 

NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM LIBRARY (THE J. PORTER SHAW MARITIME LIBRARY) Closed on federal holidays. The library, part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, focuses on sail and steam ships on the West Coast and the Pacific Basin from 1520 to the present. The museum library holdings include a premiere collection of maritime history: books, magazines, oral histories, ships' plans and the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park's 250,000 photographs. 

Free. By appointment only, Monday-Friday, 1-4 p.m., and the third Saturday of each month. Fort Mason Center, Building E, Third Floor, Buchanan Street and Marina Boulevard, San Francisco. (415) 560-7080, (415) 560-7030, www.nps.gov/safr/local/lib/libtop.html.< 

 

PACIFIC HERITAGE MUSEUM The museum presents rotating exhibits highlighting historical, artistic, cultural and economic achievements from both sides of the Pacific Rim. The museum features a permanent display documenting the history and significance of the Branch Mint and Subtreasury buildings. 

Free. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 608 Commercial St., San Francisco. (415) 399-1124.< 

 

RANDALL MUSEUM  

ONGOING EXHIBITS --  

"Earthquake Exhibit," Learn about plate tectonics. Make a small quake by jumping on the floor to make a "floor quake'' that registers on the seismometer in the lobby. See the basement seismometer that registers quakes around the world. Walk through a full-size earthquake refugee shack that was used to house San Franciscans after the 1906 earthquake that destroyed so many homes.  

"Creativity and Discovery Hand in Hand," A photography exhibit that gives visitors a look into the wide variety of programs the Museum offers in the way of classes, workshops, school field trips, and special interest clubs.  

"Toddler Treehouse," Toddlers may comfortably climb the carpeted "treehouse'' and make a myriad of discoveries, from the roots to the limbs.  

"Live Animal Exhibit," Visit with more than 100 creatures including small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, raptors and small birds, insects, spiders and tide pool creatures.  

ONGOING EVENTS --  

"Saturdays Are Special at the Museum," Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A series of drop-in ceramics and art and science workshops. All ages are welcome, though an adult must accompany children under age 8. $3 per child, $5 per parent-child combination.  

"Bufano Sculpture Tours," first and third Saturdays of the month, 10:15 a.m. A tour of the giant animal sculptures of Beniamino Bufano. The sculptures were carved out of stone in the 1930s and include a giant cat and a mother bear nursing her cubs.  

"Animal Room," Visit some of the animals that live at the museum, including reptiles, raptors, tide pool creatures and small mammals.  

"Meet the Animals" Saturdays, 11:15 a.m. to noon. See the Randall's animals close-up and in person.  

"Animal Feeding," Saturdays, noon. Watch the animals take their meals.  

"Golden Gate Model Railroad Exhibit," Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

DROP-IN ART AND SCIENCE WORKSHOPS -- 1-4 p.m. $3-$5.  

SPECIAL EVENTS --  

"Golden Gate Model Railroad Exhibit," Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 

"Drop-in Family Ceramics Workshop," Saturday, 10:15-11:15 a.m. $5. 

"Animal Feeding," Saturday, noon. 

"Meet the Animals," Saturdays, 11:15 a.m. Learn about the animals that live at the Randall Museum. 

"Drop-in Family Ceramics Workshop," Saturday, 1:15-2:15 p.m. 

"Third Friday Birders," 8 a.m. The hike through Corona Heights Park allows participants to enjoy the early morning views and learn more about the feathered inhabitants of the area. Children aged 10 and older if accompanied by adult. 

"Film Series for Teenagers," Fridays, 7 p.m. 

"Meet the Animals," 11:15 a.m.-noon. 

Free. All ages welcome; an adult must accompany children under age 8. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; CLOSED ON CHRISTMAS. 199 Museum Way, San Francisco. (415) 554-9600, www.randallmuseum.org.

 

SAN FRANCISCO CABLE CAR MUSEUM The museum is located in the historic Cable Car Barn and Powerhouse. Visitors can see the actual cable winding machinery, grips, track, cable and brakes, as well as three historic cable cars, photo displays and mechanical artifacts. The best way to get to this museum is by cable car; street parking is practically non-existent. 

Free. October 1-March 31: Daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; April 1-September 3-: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Closed on New Year's Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving and Christmas. 1201 Mason St., San Francisco. (415) 474-1887, www.cablecarmuseum.com.

 

SAN FRANCISCO MARITIME NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK One of only a few "floating'' national parks, the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park includes four national landmark ships, a maritime museum, a maritime library and a World-War-II submarine named the USS Pampanito.  

HYDE STREET PIER -- Demonstrations, ship tours, programs, music and special events offered throughout the day. Check ticket booth for schedule. At the foot of Hyde Street, Hyde and Jefferson streets.  

Entering the Pier is free but there is a fee to board the ships.  

HISTORIC SHIPS AT THE HYDE STREET PIER -- The historic ships at the Pier are the 1886 square-rigger "Balclutha,'' the 1890 steam ferryboat "Eureka,'' the 1895 schooner "C.A. Thayer'' (not available at this time due to restoration), the 1891 scow schooner "Alma,'' the 1907 steam tug "Hercules,'' and the 1914 "Eppleton Hall,'' a paddlewheel tug.  

"Balclutha." This historic ship, a three-mast square-rigger, has undergone extensive repairs and preservation work. She now contains more original materials and fittings than any other historic merchant square-rigger in the United States. The Balclutha is a designated National Historic Landmark. At Hyde Street Pier.  

"Eureka." Explore this 1890 ferryboat with a 40-foot walking-beam engine. The boat once carried passengers and autos across the San Francisco Bay. At Hyde Street Pier. Daily, call for times of boat tour.  

"C.A. Thayer." A three-mast schooner used in the lumber and cod fishing trades. At Hyde Street Pier.  

"Alma." Between 1850 and the early 1900s, the best highways around the San Francisco Bay area were the waterways and the delivery trucks and tractortrailer rigs of the time were the flat-bottomed scow schooners. Able to navigate the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta region's shallow creeks, sloughs and channels, the scows' sturdy hulls could rest safely and securely on the bottom providing a flat, stable platform for loading and unloading. Made of inexpensive Douglas fir, scow's designs were so simple they could be built by eye or without plans.  

"Hercules." Tugs in the early part of the 20th century towed barges, sailing ships and log rafts between Pacific ports. Because prevailing north/west winds generally made travel up the coast by sail both difficult and circuitous, tugs often towed large sailing vessels to points north of San Francisco. In 1916 Hercules towed the C.A. Thayer to Port Townsend, Wash., taking six days to make the trip. At the end of the sail era, the Hercules was acquired by the Western Pacific Railroad Company and shuttled railroad car barges back and forth across San Francisco Bay until 1962.  

"Eppleton Hall." Built in England, the steam side-wheeler plied the Wear and Tyne rivers of Northeast England. Designed to tow ocean-going colliers (coal-carrying sail vessels) the tugs saved transit time getting the sail vessels upriver to load. The side-wheelers were also used to tow newly built ships out to sea. From 1969 to 1979, the Eppleton Hall served as a private yacht. She was modified for an epic steam via the Panama Canal to San Francisco, passing through the Golden Gate in March of 1970.  

HISTORIC SHIP AT FISHERMAN'S WHARF --  

"USS Pampanito." This World-War-II-era submarine is berthed at Fisherman's Wharf. The submarine celebrated her 50th anniversary in November of 1993 and is perhaps best known for her participation in a "wolf pack'' attack on a convoy of enemy ships during World War II. The entrance fee includes a taped audio tour that describes what life on this submarine was like. At Pier 45, near foot of Taylor Street. Monday through Thursday, Sunday and holidays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. $9 general; $5 seniors, $4 active duty military, $4 youth ages 6 to 12; free children under age 6. (415) 775-1943.  

ONGOING EVENTS --  

"Historic Ship Volunteer Work Party," Saturday, 9 a.m. Become part of an effort to preserve four of the park's nautical treasures. Work on a different ship each Saturday. Bring work clothes, work shoes and lunch. Call for meeting place. (415) 332-8409.  

Unless noted otherwise, events take place on the Hyde Street Pier, located at the foot of Hyde Street on Jefferson Street. 

EXHIBITS -- Current Exhibits at the Visitor Center:  

"What's Your Pleasure? Recreational Boats of California's Past," openended. This exhibit includes 1940s Sacramento Hydroplanes, a Russian River launch from the 19th century, classic wooden motor launches and motor boats, and other smaller crafts.  

"Hydroplanes and Racing Boats," open-ended. A small exhibit showcasing 1930s racing engines and hydroplane boats.  

"Frisco Bound," an exhibition about immigration to San Francisco, clipper ships, and the Gold Rush era.  

"Hyde Street Ship Models," an exhibit of models of the historic ships at the Hyde Street Pier.  

"Discovery Room," a preview of the Maritime Library where visitors can look up documents and photographs.  

(415) 447-5000. 

SPECIAL EVENTS --  

"Modeler's Workshop," Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. Learn how to build ship models from experts. Meet on the car deck of the Eureka. Vessel admission. 

"Adventures at Sea: Life Aboard a 19th century Sailing Ship," Daily, 2:15 p.m.-3 p.m. Take a guided tour of the sailing ship Balclutha and learn about the hardships and awards of the sailors show fought for survival during the treacherous Cape Horn passage. Vessel admission. 

VISITOR CENTER -- Daily, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.  

Entering the Pier is free but there is a fee to board the ships. The fee allows access to all ships and is good for seven days. $5; free children under age 16. May 28-Sept. 30: daily, 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Oct. 1-May 27: Daily, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Foot of Hyde Street, San Francisco. (415) 561-7100, www.nps.gov.

 

SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF CRAFT AND DESIGN A museum celebrating and promoting the art of contemporary craft and design. The museum showcases diverse exhibitions from regional, national and international artists, working in mediums such as wood, clay, fiber, metal and glass. 

EVENTS --  

CLOSING -- "Designers on Jewelry," through May 16. More than 70 pieces of jewelry created by 51 internationally-renowned designers offer an imaginitive, thought-provoking and sometime shumorous vision of contemporary jewelry.  

$2-$4; free youths under age 18. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 550 Sutter St., San Francisco. (415) 773-0303, www.sfmcd.org.

 

SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART  

ONGOING EXHIBITS --  

"Matisse and Beyond: The Painting and Sculpture Collection," This newly reconceived exhibition of SFMOMA's modern art collection features paintings, sculptures and works on paper from the first 60 years of the 20th century. Featured artists include: Joseph Cornell, Ellsworth Kelly, Yves Klein, Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Diego Rivera, Andy Warhol and Paul Klee.  

"Between Art and Life: The Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Collection," This new presentation of the SFMOMA collection features works from the past five decades by Louise Bourgeois, Robert Gober, Eva Hesse, Anish Kapoor, Sherrie Levine, Brice Marden, Gordon Matta-Clark, Barry McGee, Bruce Nauman, Robert Rauschenberg and Kara Walker.  

"The Art of Design: Selections from the Permanent Collection of Architecture and Design," The exhibit will feature 100 selections from their architecture, graphic design and industrial design collections on a rotating basis. It features classic works plus new designs by up-andcoming artists.  

"Picturing Modernity: Photographs from the Permanent Collection," Photography is possibly the quintessential modern art medium because its 160-year history corresponds almost exactly with Modernism's duration as a cultural movement. This exhibit looks at the photograph's unique pictorial ability and its ever-growing pervasiveness in modern culture, putting the medium in dialogue with paintings and other kinds of art.  

KORET VISITOR EDUCATION CENTER -- This facility includes multimedia display technology, "Pick Up and Go'' guides for adults and children, art videos, and a community art gallery created by participants in school, teen and family programs. Thursday, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

SPECIAL EVENTS --  

"Tony Labat's I Want You," The latest installment in the newly launched program series "Live Art at SFMOMA.'' The artist invites denizens of the Bay Area to make their own demands of the public which riffs on the iconic "I Want You'' army recruitment campaigns of World Wars I and II, he asks you what you would do if you had only one minute to seize the voice of authority, to be the finger-pointing Uncle Sam. 

CLOSING -- "Focus on Artists: Selections from the Collection," through May 23. This exhibition looks at SFMOMA's long-term relationships with several modern masters whose iconic works were influential in defining movements from Abstract Expressionism to Postminimalism and beyond.  

"Dispatches from the Archives," through July 6. How does a museum best known for showing the work of others choose to publicly present itself?This presentation in the Koret Visitor Education Center showcases museumproduced ephemera, design pieces, and publications, while revealing the museum's long history of innovative programming and exhibitions. The materials are culled from SFMOMA's Library and Archives, which have recently processed and catalogued thousands of items spanning the museum's 75-year history. From exhibition posters and magazines to belt buckles and chocolate bars, the exhibition illustrates the story of an institution that cherishes the spirit of innovation.  

"Ewan Gibbs: San Francisco," through June 27. This suite of drawings, commissioned by SFMOMA, offers an evocative glimpse of San Francisco's urban landscape and landmarks.  

"The View from Here," through June 27. Just as photography has been instrumental in shaping California's popular image, the state -- and San Francisco, in particular -- has played a key role in the history of photography as an art form.  

CLOSING -- "Long Play," through May 23. In Bruce Conner's electric "THREE SCREEN RAY'' (2006), a new acquisition premiering in this exhibition, Ray Charles's 1959 hit song "What'd I Say'' is set to an ecstatic, frenzied collage -- nude women, bomb explosions, fireworks -- of original and preexisting imagery. A tour de force of experimental film techniques, the piece features Conner's manipulations of the film surface and his signature use of countdown leader. The work's central image is Conner's 1961 film "COSMIC RAY,'' which he adapted to three screens in 1965 and later reedited to create this gallery installation of three video projections.  

$7-$12.50; half price on Thursdays after 6 p.m.; free for all visitors on the first Tuesday of every month. Monday, Tuesday and Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m.-5:45 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.-8:45 p.m. 151 Third St., San Francisco. (415) 357-4000, www.sfmoma.org.

 

SAN FRANCISCO PERFORMING ARTS LIBRARY AND MUSEUM  

ONGOING EXHIBITS --  

"Dance in California: 150 Years of Innovation," This permanent exhibit traces the history and artistic range of modern dance in California, with photographs and documents highlighting the achievements of Lola Montez, Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis, Martha Graham, the Christensen brothers, the Peters Wright School, the company of Lester Horton, Anna Halprin and Lucas Hoving.  

"Maestro! Photographic Portraits by Tom Zimberoff," This permanent exhibit is a comprehensive study of a generation of national and international conductors. In Gallery 5.  

"San Francisco 1900: On Stage," In Gallery 4.  

"San Francisco in Song," In Gallery 3. 

Free. Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, 1-5 p.m. San Francisco War Memorial Veteran's Building, 401 Van Ness Ave., Fourth Floor, San Francisco. (415) 255-4800, www.sfpalm.org.

 

SEYMOUR PIONEER MUSEUM The museum, owned by The Society of California Pioneers, houses a permanent research library, art gallery and history museum. Exhibits include a photography collection documenting California history. 

$1-$3. Wednesday-Friday and the first Saturday of the month, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Society of California Pioneers, 300 Fourth St., San Francisco. (415) 957-1859, www.californiapioneers.org.

 

TREGANZA ANTHROPOLOGY MUSEUM AT SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY The museum, founded in 1968, houses collections of archaeological and ethnographic specimens from Africa, Oceania, Asia, and North America as well as small collections from Central and South America. There are also collections of photographs, tapes and phonograph records from Africa and Europe. In addition, there is an archive of field notes and other materials associated with the collections. The museum also houses the Hohenthal Gallery that is used for traveling exhibits as well as exhibits mounted by students and faculty. 

Free. Museum office: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-noon and 1 p.m.-4 p.m.; Hohenthal Gallery, SCI 388: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Science Building, SFSU, 1600 Holloway Ave., San Francisco. (415) 338-2467, www.sfsu.edu/~treganza/.< 

 

WALT DISNEY FAMILY MUSEUM  

"Peter Pan," through June 27. Exhibiton features concept drawings, sketches, model sheets and much more.  

104 Montgomery St., San Francisco. (415) 345-6800, www.disney.go.com/disneyatoz/familymuseum/index.html.< 

 

ZEUM Zeum is a technology and arts museum for children and families featuring exhibits and workshops that cover a variety of fascinating subjects. 

EVENTS --  

$6-$8. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday. 221 Fourth St., San Francisco. (415) 820-3220, www.zeum.org.<


General-San Francisco Through May 23

Tuesday May 11, 2010 - 12:34:00 PM

THE ARMORY  

"Castro County Fair," May 23, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. AIDS Emergency Fund hosts a day of games, entertainment, food and fun.  

15th and Mission, San Francisco. < 

 

CALIFORNIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY  

HISTORY WALKABOUTS -- A series of monthly walking tours that explore the history, lore and architecture of California with veteran tour guide Gary Holloway. Walks take place rain or shine so dress for the weather. Reservations and prepayment required. Meeting place will be given with confirmation of tour reservation. Tour price includes admission to the Museum.  

$1-$3; free children under age 5. Wednesday-Saturday, noon-4:30 p.m. 678 Mission St., San Francisco. (415) 357-1848 X229, www.californiahistoricalsociety.org.

 

COMMONWEALTH CLUB OF CALIFORNIA  

"Theodore Sorensen: JFK's Most Trusted Advisor Looks Back and Forward," May 17, 6 p.m. Hear a conversation with an insider of the Kennedy Camelot era. Free-$35.  

"Turning Over a New LEAF: The Start of an Electric Vehicle Revolution?," May 18, 3 p.m. As legislation compels manufacturers to innovate with cleaner vehicles, the world's need for mobility is increasing. Free.  

"Shanghai and Beyond," May 19, 6 p.m. Celebrate the 30-year sister city relationship of SF and Shanghai. $12-$20.  

"Sip and Swirl -An Evening of Wine Tasting Education," May 19, 6:30 p.m. Join in an evening of wine tasting that is fun and educational and is equally delightful for novices and aficionados. $39-$45.  

"Michael Moss: A Pulitzer Prize-Winning Look at the Food Industry," May 20, Noon. Pulitzer Prize winning Times reporter Moss will share his insights gained while uncovering some of the food industry's best kept secrets. $7-$20.  

"The New Ruralism: Smart Growth and Local Food," May 20, 6 p.m. There's no place like home when it comes to your food source. $12-$20.  

595 Market St., Second Floor, San Francisco. (415) 597-6705, www.commonwealthclub.org.

 

FEMINA POTENS GALLERY  

"Open Eyes," First Friday of every month, 8 p.m. Screening of films by local artists followed by a wine and vegan cookie reception along with a question and answer session with the filmmakers. $7-$10.  

Free unless otherwise noted. Thursday through Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. 2199 Market Street at Sanchez, San Francisco. (415) 217-9340, www.feminapotens.org.

 

THE GREEN ARCADE  

William Ayers, May 21, 7 p.m. The activist and theorist appears with artist Ryan Alexander to discuss the graphic novel adaptation of Ayers' memoir "To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher.''  

1680 Market St., San Francisco. (415) 431-6800, www.thegreenarcade.com.

 

HAAS-LILIENTHAL HOUSE This historic Queen Anne is distinguished as the only intact private home of the period that is open regularly as a museum, complete with authentic furniture and artifacts. The House has elaborate wooden gables, a circular corner tower and luxuriant ornamentation. Volunteer docents lead tours through the House and explain the Victorian architecture of the exterior. A display of photographs in the downstairs supper-room describes the history of the home and the family that lived here until 1972.  

Tours are offered regularly on Sundays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and on Wednesdays and Saturdays from Noon-3 p.m. Special group tours are also available. 

$5-$8. 2007 Franklin St., San Francisco. (415) 441-3000, www.sfheritage.org.

 

PRESIDIO DANCE THEATER  

"Breakfast with Enzo," Fridays, 10 a.m.-noon. A highly acclaimed live family music show. $5. (415) 561-3958, www.enzogarcia.com. 

1158 Gorgas Road at Marshall, San Francisco. (415) 608-4503, www.boomercize.com.

 

SAN FRANCISCO MARITIME NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK One of only a few "floating'' national parks, the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park includes four national landmark ships, a maritime museum, a maritime library and a World-War-II submarine named the USS Pampanito.  

HYDE STREET PIER -- Demonstrations, ship tours, programs, music and special events offered throughout the day. Check ticket booth for schedule. At the foot of Hyde Street, Hyde and Jefferson streets.  

Entering the Pier is free but there is a fee to board the ships.  

HISTORIC SHIPS AT THE HYDE STREET PIER -- The historic ships at the Pier are the 1886 square-rigger "Balclutha,'' the 1890 steam ferryboat "Eureka,'' the 1895 schooner "C.A. Thayer'' (not available at this time due to restoration), the 1891 scow schooner "Alma,'' the 1907 steam tug "Hercules,'' and the 1914 "Eppleton Hall,'' a paddlewheel tug.  

"Balclutha." This historic ship, a three-mast square-rigger, has undergone extensive repairs and preservation work. She now contains more original materials and fittings than any other historic merchant square-rigger in the United States. The Balclutha is a designated National Historic Landmark. At Hyde Street Pier.  

"Eureka." Explore this 1890 ferryboat with a 40-foot walking-beam engine. The boat once carried passengers and autos across the San Francisco Bay. At Hyde Street Pier. Daily, call for times of boat tour.  

"C.A. Thayer." A three-mast schooner used in the lumber and cod fishing trades. At Hyde Street Pier.  

"Alma." Between 1850 and the early 1900s, the best highways around the San Francisco Bay area were the waterways and the delivery trucks and tractortrailer rigs of the time were the flat-bottomed scow schooners. Able to navigate the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta region's shallow creeks, sloughs and channels, the scows' sturdy hulls could rest safely and securely on the bottom providing a flat, stable platform for loading and unloading. Made of inexpensive Douglas fir, scow's designs were so simple they could be built by eye or without plans.  

"Hercules." Tugs in the early part of the 20th century towed barges, sailing ships and log rafts between Pacific ports. Because prevailing north/west winds generally made travel up the coast by sail both difficult and circuitous, tugs often towed large sailing vessels to points north of San Francisco. In 1916 Hercules towed the C.A. Thayer to Port Townsend, Wash., taking six days to make the trip. At the end of the sail era, the Hercules was acquired by the Western Pacific Railroad Company and shuttled railroad car barges back and forth across San Francisco Bay until 1962.  

"Eppleton Hall." Built in England, the steam side-wheeler plied the Wear and Tyne rivers of Northeast England. Designed to tow ocean-going colliers (coal-carrying sail vessels) the tugs saved transit time getting the sail vessels upriver to load. The side-wheelers were also used to tow newly built ships out to sea. From 1969 to 1979, the Eppleton Hall served as a private yacht. She was modified for an epic steam via the Panama Canal to San Francisco, passing through the Golden Gate in March of 1970.  

HISTORIC SHIP AT FISHERMAN'S WHARF --  

"USS Pampanito." This World-War-II-era submarine is berthed at Fisherman's Wharf. The submarine celebrated her 50th anniversary in November of 1993 and is perhaps best known for her participation in a "wolf pack'' attack on a convoy of enemy ships during World War II. The entrance fee includes a taped audio tour that describes what life on this submarine was like. At Pier 45, near foot of Taylor Street. Monday through Thursday, Sunday and holidays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. $9 general; $5 seniors, $4 active duty military, $4 youth ages 6 to 12; free children under age 6. (415) 775-1943.  

ONGOING EVENTS --  

"Historic Ship Volunteer Work Party," Saturday, 9 a.m. Become part of an effort to preserve four of the park's nautical treasures. Work on a different ship each Saturday. Bring work clothes, work shoes and lunch. Call for meeting place. (415) 332-8409.  

Unless noted otherwise, events take place on the Hyde Street Pier, located at the foot of Hyde Street on Jefferson Street. 

EXHIBITS -- Current Exhibits at the Visitor Center:  

"What's Your Pleasure? Recreational Boats of California's Past," openended. This exhibit includes 1940s Sacramento Hydroplanes, a Russian River launch from the 19th century, classic wooden motor launches and motor boats, and other smaller crafts.  

"Hydroplanes and Racing Boats," open-ended. A small exhibit showcasing 1930s racing engines and hydroplane boats.  

"Frisco Bound," an exhibition about immigration to San Francisco, clipper ships, and the Gold Rush era.  

"Hyde Street Ship Models," an exhibit of models of the historic ships at the Hyde Street Pier.  

"Discovery Room," a preview of the Maritime Library where visitors can look up documents and photographs.  

(415) 447-5000. 

Entering the Pier is free but there is a fee to board the ships. The fee allows access to all ships and is good for seven days. $5; free children under age 16. May 28-Sept. 30: daily, 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Oct. 1-May 27: Daily, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Foot of Hyde Street, San Francisco. (415) 561-7100, www.nps.gov.

 

YERBA BUENA CENTER FOR THE ARTS The center's visual arts exhibitions feature contemporary art and popular culture by local, national and international artists. There are four rounds of exhibitions in the galleries each year. 

"To the Limit: Pina Bausch on Film," through May 30. May 23, 2 p.m.: "Two Performance Films: Walzer and Cafi Muller  

May 27-29, 7:30 p.m.: Dancing Dreams (Tanztraume).  

May 30, 2 p.m.: Bluebeard  

"Typeface," May 15 through May 16, Saturday, 6 and 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2 and 4 p.m. Follow the story of the Hamilton Wood Type Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin.  

"Scandinavian Blue: Book Launch and Screening with jack Stevenson," May 20, 7:30 p.m. Jack Stevenson presents his new book "Scandinavian Blue'' with a screening of the Danish film "Venom'' from 1966 and a couple of short surprises.  

$3-$6; free the first Tuesday of every month. Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday, noon-5 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday, noon-8 p.m. 701 Mission St., San Francisco. (415) 978-2787, www.ybca.org.<


Mayan Textile Exhibit and Sale at BCC on Monday

By Charlene Woodcock
Sunday May 16, 2010 - 10:55:00 PM

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.


Point Molate Conservation Hike – May 16th

By Tom Butt
Tuesday May 11, 2010 - 10:25:00 AM

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. 

 

The grasslands of the Potrero Hills at Point Molate are one of the last undeveloped landscapes on San Francisco Bay, with intact native coastal bunchgrass prairies. These prairies are currently threatened by a proposed mega-casino project being considered by the City of Richmond and the US Interior Dept. Point Molate is a peninsula in the narrows of San Pablo Bay, in the rain shadow of the Marin County hills and with a spectacular view of Mount Tamalpais, San Francisco and San Pablo bays. On the knolls and swales overlooking the bay are coastal prairie meadows, transitioning into valley grassland. California oatgrass grows with purple needlegrass, squirreltail, junegrass, and red fescue next to patches of California fescue and the unique form of creeping wildrye. On this trip we will revel in this as yet undisturbed beauty and discuss what can be done to save it. 

 

Directions: From the East Bay, take the Western Drive/Point Molate exit from 580, just before the toll booths at the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. Proceed straight at the first 3-way fork, which gradually rises up a hill, curving more towards the north. As the road descends the hill, park at the parking lot right before the open gate marked “Point Molate Restricted Area”.


Friday Through Tuesday

Friday May 07, 2010 - 11:48:00 AM

Listings for the next week can be found in the previous issue.


At the Berkeley Arts Festival This Weekend

By Bonnie Hughes
Friday May 07, 2010 - 11:43:00 AM

This weekend the Berkeley Arts Festival will present the third night of John Schott's Typical Orchestra Retrospective and the India Cooke Bill Crossman Duo Audiences coming into the future home of the Judah L. Magnes Museum at 2121 Allston Way are greeted by the large figurative works of painter Bob Brokl.  

Friday at 8 pm. The final performance of John Schott's Typical Orchestra which has been in residence for three consecutive nights to thoroughly explore a 25-year retrospective of John's compositions. The sprawling, knotty guitarist of T.J. Kirk, Junk Genius, and Dream Kitchen, Schott's contribution to last year's Berkeley Arts Festival was the 8-hour solo guitar meditation on "Round Midnight". This year he and longtime colleagues Steve Adams, saxophone (Rova); Dan Seamans, bass (New Klezmer Trio); and John Hanes, drums and Darren Johnston, trumpet, turn an empty warehouse in downtown Berkeley into a Jazz cellar, an original blues research woodshed. 

Sunday at 8 pm . The India Cooke Bill Crossman Duo (with India on violin and Bill on piano) plays beautiful, passionate improvised music. Within each piece, the Duo weaves in elements of various world musics yet maintains an overall sound based in African-rooted musics (jazz and blues). The Duo has performed at the Berkeley Arts Festival and other venues, been featured on KCSM-FM radio, and has recorded two CDs.  

The Berkeley Arts Festival has been playing in empty store fronts in downtown Berkeley for close to twenty years. The Allston Way site is its most impressive site by far. Many friends of the festival came together on short notice to transform a sort of warehouse warren of a space into a room with warm lighting, beautiful paintings and exciting music. 

 


Wild Neighbors: The Dog That Runs in the Rough Water

Joe Eaton
Friday May 07, 2010 - 11:38:00 AM
Oblivious Hawai'ian monk seal, Po'ipu Beach Park, Kaua'i.
Ron Sullivan
Oblivious Hawai'ian monk seal, Po'ipu Beach Park, Kaua'i.
Honu's day off: green turtle on the beach
Ron Sullivan
Honu's day off: green turtle on the beach

The trick to spotting a Hawai’ian monk seal, according to Kaua’i-based naturalist David Kuhn, is to look for the orange plastic cones delimiting its space on the beach.  

It works. That’s how we found one of the endangered seals plus a bonus green turtle at Poi’pu Beach Park on the South Shore one afternoon. We spotted the turtle first, hauled out at the edge of the water, its carapace about the size of one of the larger paella pans at the Spanish Table. It wasn’t there to lay eggs, as it turned out, although there are nesting beaches not far away. It just seems to like to hang out on that stretch of beach. The turtle was awake, but immobile. 

The seal, an adult female maybe seven feet in length, was a little farther along, on a kind of isthmus between the sandy beach and an outlying shelf of rock. The volunteer seal wrangler, a woman from Buffalo who wisely spends her winters on Kaua’i, told us that a half-dozen monk seals had come ashore that day. The previous day’s heavy rain had left nearshore waters too murky to hunt for fish, and the seals had opted for some down time. 

At any given time, she said, there are about 30 monk seals on and near the island. Some even give birth on Kaua’i; there was a heavily pregnant female at Hanapepe, further west along the coast. Most of the species’ population occurs in the Northwestern Hawai’ian Islands, though, on Midway and Laysan and more obscure specks of sand like Lisianski Island, French Frigate Shoals, and Pearl and Hermes Reef. The monk seal is one of Hawai’i’s two native mammals, the other being a subspecies of hoary bat; it was designated the official state mammal a couple of years ago, edging out the small Indian mongoose, the feral pig, and the poi dog. 

The seal was more restless than the turtle. Every now and then she would turn over, stretch her neck, or give herself a desultory scratch with one flipper. She seemed oblivious to the human gawkers, surrounding her at a distance that would have freaked out the most tolerant harbor seal. Her pelt was silver-gray, a little paler on the belly, and she had big brown eyes. The docent pointed out a couple of semi-circular scars on the seal’s skin: “Cookie-cutter shark.” These are small sharks that bite into a marine mammal or another fish and then twist, excising a plug of flesh. 

Seal taxonomists say that monk seals are the most primitive of living seals, having diverged from the mainstem of phocid evolution some 15 million years ago. They are thought to have originated in the ancient Atlantic, leaving descendant species in the Mediterranean (also endangered) and the Caribbean (extinct.) One population swam through the intercontinental gap where Panama would eventually be and colonized the atolls northwest of Kaua’i. Hawai’ian monk seals retained their cold-water ancestors’ insulating layer of blubber. To prevent overheating, hauled-out seals move as little as possible and slow down their respiration and heart rates. 

The first Hawai’ians, who didn’t know from seals, named the animal ‘ilio holoikauaua—“the dog that runs in the rough water.” Judging from the absence of monk seal remains in archeological sites, they seem to have left it alone. A Russian captain named Lisianski encountered the species in 1805. Subsequent Europeans slaughtered monk seals for their skins and blubber; they were also killed by feather hunters, guano collectors, and bored servicemen. Population counts in recent decades have never exceeded 1500, and have sometimes dipped as low as 500. NOAA Fisheries, the federal agency with jurisdiction over marine mammals, gives a current estimate of 1200 and falling. 

Like all species with small populations, Hawai’ian monk seals are vulnerable to random events, like an outbreak of ciguatera—algal toxins that concentrate in fish—on Laysan in 1978. Beach erosion in the northwestern islands has reduced their breeding habitat. And basic demographics are not on the seals’ side. Females don’t give birth until they’re six years old; only 60 or 70 percent produce pups in any given year. The sex ratio at some breeding sites is skewed toward males, who have an unfortunate tendency to mob females, sometimes with fatal results. Pups are especially prone to entanglement in lost or discarded fishing gear. 

The Poi’pu seal wrangler told us one factor driving the decline is a change in a predator’s strategy. At French Frigate Shoals, home to the largest subpopulation of monk seals, Galapagos sharks have learned to patrol the shore for pups entering the ocean. In the water, the pups are defenseless, and mortality rates have risen. Wildlife managers have responded by relocating pups and removing the sharks, although it would be difficult to eradicate them all.  

In an uncharacteristic moment, the Bush administration designated much of the northwestern chain as the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in 2006. That may at least give the seals some relief from the effects of commercial fishing. These engaging beasts could use a break. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Friday Through Tuesday

Friday May 07, 2010 - 11:56:00 AM

Listings for the next week can be found in the previous issue.