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The reality of life today in California's Central Valley
David Bacon
The reality of life today in California's Central Valley
 

News

New: Richmond Activist Involved in Freedom Flotilla Returning Home

By Bay City News Service
Saturday June 12, 2010 - 07:54:00 PM

Another Bay Area activist who was on board a flotilla of ships that were taken over by Israeli troops last month as they approached Gaza with a shipment of humanitarian aid is returning home tonight. 

Kathy Sheetz, a 63-year-old retired nurse from Richmond, is scheduled to arrive at San Francisco International Airport at 7:10 p.m. on American Airlines Flight 1669. 

The six ships in the Freedom Flotilla left Greece on May 24 and headed through international waters to bring medical equipment and other supplies to Gaza, according to Gene St. Onge, a 63-year-old Oakland resident who was on one of the ships. 

In the early morning hours of May 31, Israeli troops boarded one ship, the Mavi Marmara, and fired on its passengers, killing nine people and injuring dozens more. 

They boarded the other ships in the flotilla as well, but took them over with non-lethal force, activists said. After the takeover, the 700 people onboard the flotilla, including Sheetz, were taken to Israel. 

 


Flash: Convicted Killer of UC Berkeley Student Gets 16 Year Sentence

By Jeff Shuttleworth, BCN
Friday June 11, 2010 - 12:27:00 AM

Former Berkeley City College student Andrew Hoeft-Edenfield was sentenced at an emotional and lengthy hearing today to 16 years to life in state prison for fatally stabbing University of California at Berkeley senior Christopher Wootton near campus two years ago.  

Wootton, 21, was from Bellflower in Southern California and was only two weeks away from graduating with honors in nuclear engineering when he was stabbed during a confrontation in the parking lot of a sorority house in the 2400 block of Warring Street at about 2:45 a.m. on May 3, 2008.  

The stabbing occurred at the end of a drunken shouting match that developed when Hoeft-Edenfield, who worked at Jamba Juice in Berkeley, and a group of his friends encountered Wootton, who was a member of the nearby Sigma Pi fraternity house, and his friends on a street near campus.  

Yolanda Huang, the defense attorney for 22-year-old Hoeft-Edenfield, admitted during his long and contentious trial that he stabbed Wootton, saying he acted in self-defense after he was outnumbered, surrounded, kicked and stomped by Wootton and a large group of Wootton's friends.  

But jurors rejected Hoeft-Edenfield's self-defense claim and convicted him of second-degree murder after the equivalent of three full days of deliberations.  

Summing up the case at the end of today's hearing, which lasted more than five hours and included tearful statements by family members of both Wootton and Hoeft-Edenfield, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Horner said each of the two young men pulled out objects during the confrontation. He said the difference between those objects "speaks volumes" about the differing ways in which they handled the situation.  

Horner said Wootton pulled a cell phone out of his pocket, called police and told a dispatcher that Hoeft-Edenfield and a friend "are threatening our lives" and "are trying to kill us."  

The judge said, "Those were the very last words he said on earth," and he was fatally stabbed less than a minute later.  

Horner said that although Hoeft-Edenfield used his cell phone all the time and had it with him that night, "He never called police and never claimed self-defense."  

Instead, Hoeft-Edenfield pulled out a knife, asked Wootton and his friends, "Who wants to die?" and fatally stabbed Wootton, Horner said.  

The judge said Hoeft-Edenfield fled from the scene after the stabbing, discarded his knife and hid out at a friend's house, where he attempted to destroy evidence.  

However, Berkeley police arrested Hoeft-Edenfield later that day after witnesses implicated him in the stabbing.  

Hoeft-Edenfield didn't testify at his trial but said today he feels the Wootton family's pain.  

"I want to let the Wootton family know I'm sorry for their loss and I pray for them every night," he said.  

Dressed in a yellow jail jumpsuit, Hoeft-Edenfield said he was a son of God and a Christian and asked for mercy. He asked what use he was in prison and said if he were placed on probation, he could "give back to society" and volunteer at an animal shelter or with youth, which he has done in the past.  

"God has a higher purpose for me," he said. He told Horner, "I ask for your consideration."  

Horner said he thinks Hoeft-Edenfield's tears in court today were genuine, but said, "The tears are not for Christopher Wootton but are for himself."  

Wootton had been drinking heavily the night he was killed, and Huang alleged during the trial and again today that the confrontation was started by a group of drunken and arrogant fraternity brothers.  

But prosecutor Connie Campbell said, "You can't blame it on drunken frat boys" and alleged that Hoeft-Edenfield escalated a verbal altercation into a murder because he's had anger management problems most of his life.  

Wootton's grandmother, Sharon Privey, said in a letter that Campbell read aloud in court that Wootton "was to be the first one in my family to graduate from college."  

Huang said she thinks the message of the jury's second-degree murder verdict is, "If you're attacked by frat boys, you just have to take it" and can't fight back.  

But Horner called that an unfair statement, saying it was "an enormous disservice to the jury and an insult."  

"I reject it," he said.  

Steven Lund, a physicist at the Lawrence Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories who supervised Wootton when he worked at the Berkeley lab in the summer of 2007, said Hoeft-Edenfield's action "deprived the world of a significant talent with a chance to do much good work in the future."  

Lund said Wootton "was a good-hearted and hard-working man" who had planned to get a master's degree and doctorate in nuclear engineering.  

 

 


New: Alameda County Administrator Proposes $2.4 Billion Budget

By Jeff Shuttleworth, BCN
Friday June 11, 2010 - 12:29:00 AM

Alameda County Administrator Susan Muranishi today presented a proposed $2.44 billion budget for the 2010-2011 fiscal year, beginning July 1, that closes a $150 million budget gap by cutting 33 jobs and reducing services.  

In a briefing with reporters before she presented the budget to the county's Board of Supervisors, Muranishi said the county is facing "a double whammy" when trying to balance its budget because the need for vital county services is increasing, but revenues are down because of the poor economy.  

In fact, Muranishi said this is the first time in at least 50 years that the county's revenues have declined.  

She said revenues have dropped by 4.4 percent because of declines in property taxes, sales taxes and interest earnings.  

The proposed budget is only 0.3 percent, or $8.2 million, higher than the budget for the current fiscal year, which ends on June 30, Muranishi said.  

She said that while the $150 million gap between the county’s revenues and expenditures is significant, it is smaller than the $178 million budget gap from the 2009-2010 fiscal year.  

Muranishi said she plans to balance the county's budget by reducing some programs and keeping a lid on labor costs.  

She said "labor has largely stepped up to the plate," and most unions that represent county employees have agreed to freeze workers’ salaries for the next three years.  

The salary freeze had already been applied to managers, Muranishi said.  

Although Muranishi is proposing to cut the number of county employees, she said she plans to achieve that goal through attrition instead of layoffs.  

As bad as the county's budget situation is now, Muranishi said it could get even worse if the state follows through on its proposal to make further reductions in its funding for cities and counties.  

"It's very likely that we will have to reopen the budget and it will be a long summer," she said.  

Muranishi said funding cuts by the state could result in the elimination of the CalWORKs program, which provides short-term cash assistance and self-sufficiency support for 20,000 needy families in Alameda County and supports 400 County employees.  

And she said a reduction in benefits and increased premiums and co-pays in the Healthy Families Program would affect 15,000 children in the county who receive health insurance through the program and would otherwise be uninsured.  

There also could be reductions in in-home supportive services for elderly and disabled people, Muranishi said.  

The Board of Supervisors will hold public hearings on the budget June 22, 23 and 24 and is scheduled to adopt the budget on June 25.  

 


Berkeley School District Proposes Ballot Measures, Discusses Budget Shortfall

By Raymond Barglow, www.berkeleytutors.net
Thursday June 10, 2010 - 01:42:00 PM

The Berkeley School District Board voted on Wednesday evening to place two measures before the voters in November. The first is a bond measure for 210 million dollars “to improve school safety and facilities for learning and teaching.” This measure would fund construction of classrooms and science labs, seismic upgrades and technology upgrades, and would renovate playgrounds, restrooms, cafeterias, heating and fire safety systems, and other facilities. 

The bonds would be sold “over a period of approximately ten years” and would be paid from property taxes. This would cost property owners about $60 dollars annually per $100,000 of assessed valuation. 

The second measure is a renewal of a parcel tax, costing residential property owners about $65 per 1000 square feet and businesses about $97 per 1000 square feet. Revenue collected over ten years would be used to maintain and upgrade educational buildings and grounds. 

Most of the rest of the meeting was taken up by budgetary matters. Superintendent Huyett’s public letter summarizes the current situation, “Over the last two years, we trimmed $11 million from the budget, and now more reductions are required. For the next school year the Governor’s proposed reductions, coupled with our increasing costs, force us to reduce the General Fund budget by $3.1 million.” The district’s cuts are drastic ones, slashing support for classroom supplies, field trips, and many educational programs, and eliminating six staff positions. Adult school programs have been savaged, meaning fewer classes, larger class sizes, and higher fees. 

The most contested proposal at the meeting on Wednesday was the elimination of a vice principal position at Martin Luther King Middle School. About 30 teachers, students, and family members from the school community were in attendance, holding placards and speaking in favor of retaining their vice principal who, they say, is essential to ensuring an orderly and effective learning environment at the school. 

The school currently has three vice principals, which is an unusually large number, given the size of the school. Audience members argued, however, that all three are required to provide the quality of personal attention that students need. Classroom teachers typically see a student for only one year. Vice principals, on the other hand, provide guidance throughout a student’s stay at King.  

Board members didn’t take exception to the case made for keeping the VP position, but Superintendent Huyett said that the district was doing its best to make cuts in a sensible and balanced way. The Board agreed not to cut the position at once, but requested that the school think about how it can compensate for one less VP position. It also remains possible that some alternative funding for the position may be found. 

Huyett and Board members painted a devastating picture of the financial situation facing the district over the next several years. Huyett commented that when Jerry Brown was Governor, he was “very tight with money” and that the two current Republican candidates for this office are both fiscal conservatives. So we cannot expect much support from the Governor’s office. Board member Riddle said “We’ve been lobbied not to make cuts, but actually we’re being required to cut further.”  

Javetta Cleveland, Deputy Superintendent of the district, gave a detailed report on budgetary matters for the upcoming school year. Although Berkeley schools are supported by local parcel taxes and are therefore not as vulnerable to cuts as a school district like Oakland is, the district faces major challenges. The 2010-11 deficit is projected to exceed a million dollars. Even more daunting is the outlook for future years. $3.4 million that the district receives from federal stimulus funding is scheduled to end in 2011. Board member Riddle said that it’s very unlikely that this funding source will be renewed. Huyett anticipated a shortfall of “4 to 6 million. We think it’s closer to 6 million.”  

Berkeley voters have come to the district’s rescue in the past, providing parcel tax revenues that have shored up local public education. With its placement of two new measures on the fall ballot, the Board is hoping that the community will re-affirm that support. 

 


Both Sides React to Measure C Vote in Berkeley

By Jeff Shuttleworth, BCN and BDP
Wednesday June 09, 2010 - 04:31:00 PM

  A Berkeley parcel tax measure that would have floated $22.5 million in bonds to improve the city's pools received 60.4 percent of the vote in Tuesday's election but fell short of the two-thirds majority it needed to pass, according to complete unofficial results.

 

   Supporters of Measure C said in their ballot argument that Berkeley's municipal swimming pools are a treasure but badly need to be renovated because they are deteriorating and are nearing the end of their useful lives.

 

   They said children, families, the disabled and the elderly rely on the pools for revival, relaxation, exercise and swimming instruction.

 

   The measure would have renovated the Willard and West Campus pools, relocated the warm water pool, which is now at Berkeley High and is slated for demolition next year, and build a new competitive pool at King Middle School. The measure also would pay for maintaining and operating all four pools.

 

   But opponents, such as anti-tax groups and some neighborhood groups, said the city can't afford the measure and there are more cost-effective alternatives.

 

   Marie Bowman of Berkeleyans Against Soaring Taxes, or BASTA, said the city's finances already are stretched too thin, as it faces a $14 million deficit next year, and $20 million in new taxes were added last year.

 

   Bowman said rehabilitating existing pools can be done at one-third the cost of the bond measure and paying for memberships for pools at the YMCA or the University of California at Berkeley would only cost about 1 percent of the money that the measure would pay for maintenance.

 

   However, supporters of Measure C said that it will lower, not raise, maintenance costs through modernization and energy efficiency and that the city's debt isn't skyrocketing because the City Council is making budget cuts.

 

Robert Collier, co-chair of the supporters’ committee, gave the Planet this statement in an email message:

 

 

“The schools, like the pools, are facing disaster because of budget cuts and long-term deferred maintenance. This is the hard reality of Berkeley and many other cities, despite conservatives' predictable claims that it's just a liberal plot to fleece the taxpayer. Two of Berkeley's four pools are scheduled for closure because Measure C failed to get the two-thirds minimum. Berkeley voters will soon have another choice -- will we also allow our public education to crumble and decay?”

 


Flash: Berkeley Measure C Fails in Final Vote

Wednesday June 09, 2010 - 07:13:00 AM

Berkeley’s Measure C has been defeated, failing to get the 2/3 majority it needed to pass with a low turnout of 17,258 votes overall. By comparison, 41,314 votes were cast in Berkeley's last mayoral election.  

All 99 precincts in the city had reported their returns as of 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning. 

Yes votes = 10,421 , or 60.38% of the total. 

No votes = 6,837,or 39.62% of the total. 

To get Alameda County returns for all elections go to the Alameda County Registrar of Voters website

For Measure C results alone, look here. 

Statewide results can be found here.


Election Results as of Midnight

Wednesday June 09, 2010 - 12:25:00 AM

Here are the election returns at midnight for Berkeley’s Measure C. At the moment, Measure C is losing. 

It needs a 2/3 majority of the votes cast to pass. 

 

There are 99 precincts in the city, of which 52 precincts (52.53 % of the total) have reported returns so far. 

 

Yes votes = 7870 , or 59.39% of the total. 

 

No votes = 5382 ,or 40.61% of the total. 

 

To get all the returns for all statewide elections and track the election all night, go to the Alameda County Registrar of Voters website

For Measure C results alone, look here.


Out of Work, Sleeping in the Fields

By David Bacon
Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 11:13:00 AM
The reality of life today in California's Central Valley
David Bacon
The reality of life today in California's Central Valley
David Bacon
David Bacon
David Bacon
David Bacon
David Bacon
David Bacon
David Bacon
David Bacon

The People of the Central Valley - 4:
A photodocumentary project on the reality of life today in California's Central Valley 

Near Reedley, on the east side of the San Joaquin Valley, three men live in a camp they've built under the trees of an abandoned orchard. A blue tarp and the cardboard from an unfolded carton make up the roof. The mattresses for their beds sit on shipping pallets, or nearby under a bush. One of the men made a doll of straw, which sits in the branch of a dead tree overlooking the camp. 

Humberto comes from Zihuatanejo in Guerrero. Pedro, who wears an earring in his ear, comes from Hermosillo in Sonora. Ramiro comes from a tiny town in the Lancandon jungle of Chiapas, about halfway between Tapachula on the coast, and Palenque, the site of the Mayan ruins. 

None of the men has worked more than a few days in the last several months. The riteros (people with vans who give workers rides to the fields to work) won't pick them up, because they say they live with the vagabundos (vagabonds). The men use bicycles for transportation. 

The three would send money home to their families if they could, but they don't even have enough to pay rent, which is why they're living under the trees. The rancher who owns the land has abandoned the orchard where they sleep. A number of other fields in the area are also abandoned. 

The camp used to be located in another orchard nearby, but the workers were burned out. Nevertheless, one man hasn't moved, and sleeps under a tree in the old camp in the middle of the day, since he too has no work. 

Not far away Erica lives with two brothers, Fernando and Vladimir, in a plywood shack they've built next to a field of lemongrass and another field of abandoned trees. Surrounded by dogs and puppies, their shack is tiny, with enough room for only a mattress. They also have no work, and during the day work on a jigsaw puzzle with a religious image. 

This trio also used to live under the trees. After telling the rancher when strangers had robbed lemongrass from his field, he gave them permission to build the shack on his land, and told the local sheriff not to bother them. 

Fernando and Vladimir come from Zihuatanejo in Guerrero. Erica was born in the U.S., but her parents are indigenous Huichol migrants from the sierra in Nayarit. Erica wears a U.S. Census t-shirt, and Vladimir a Census cap, given them by Jorge Sanjuan, a Census outreach worker who finds people living in informal encampments, and who makes sure the Census counts them. At the edge of a field next to the shack someone has painted the aztec eagle symbol of the United Farm Workers union on a concrete irrigation drainpipe. 

David Bacon lives in Berkeley.


East Bay Activists Returned from Freedom Flotilla Tell Their Story

By Bay City News
Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 09:37:00 AM

Three East Bay activists who were on board a flotilla of ships that were taken over by Israeli troops as they approached Gaza with a shipment of humanitarian aid held a news conference in San Francisco today to tell their story. 

The six ships in the Freedom Flotilla left Greece on May 24 and headed through international waters to bring medical equipment and other supplies to Gaza, according to Gene St. Onge, a 63-year-old Oakland resident who was on one of the ships. 

St. Onge is a civil and structural engineer who was hoping to use his expertise to help re-build homes in Gaza, he said. 

In the early morning hours of May 31, Israeli troops boarded one ship, the Mavi Marmara, and fired on its passengers, killing nine people and injuring dozens more. 

They boarded the other ships in the flotilla as well, but took them over with non-lethal force, activists said. Paul Larudee, a 64-year-old El Cerrito resident, was on board one of the ships in the flotilla, but not the Mavi Marmara. He is a professional piano tuner and a former professor of linguistics and is co-founder of the Free Palestine Movement. 

After the takeover, the 700 people on board the flotilla were taken to Israel, where Larudee said he was imprisoned, repeatedly beaten, kicked in the head and had his arms twisted behind his back because he refused to cooperate. 

"This is really an outrageous act and we want the American people to be made aware of it," Larudee said. 

Larudee said he wanted to urge international officials to conduct a prompt and independent investigation into the incident. 

Janet Kobren, a 67-year-old Oakland resident and retired math teacher, said she felt compelled to join the effort to bring aid to Gaza because she believed it was the right thing to do. 

She said Israeli soldiers were wearing black masks and armed with M-16s when they came on board the ship she was on. 

George Bisharat, a professor of law at University of California Hastings, was not on board the flotilla, but is an expert on law and politics in the Middle East. He said he believes "Israel wrongly and unjustifiably stopped a peaceful effort to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza." 

He claimed the 700 people on board the ships were illegally abducted. Their passports and equipment were taken and not returned. 

Daniel Morgan, director of public affairs for the Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest, however, said that a maritime blockade is in effect off the coast of Gaza because Israel is currently in a state of armed conflict with the Hamas regime. The regime controls Gaza and has repeatedly bombed civilian targets in Israel with weapons that have been smuggled into Gaza via the sea, Morgan said. 

According to the Laws of Armed Conflict and U.S. law, a State party to an armed conflict has the right to establish a naval blockade on its enemy's coast for security reasons, Morgan said. A blockade may be imposed at sea, including in international waters, so long as it does not bar access to the ports and coasts of neutral states. A vessel is considered to be in violation of a blockade as soon as it leaves its port of origin, with the stated intent of averting the blockade, Morgan said. 

He also said that Israeli defense forces intercepted the flotilla ship after they allegedly ignored instructions to re-direct to an Israeli port, where their cargo would be transported to Gaza following a security inspection. 

Morgan said the activists on the Mavi Marmara attacked the Israeli soldiers with firebombs, metal clubs and knives. 

"The actions taken by the people aboard the ship prompted the naval forces to then use force sufficient to defend their lives," Morgan alleged. 

He said the activists who were taken into custody were offered transportation to their home countries immediately. If they refused, they were transferred to a detainment facility while they underwent the deportation process, which was completed within 48 hours. All of the activists were offered medical assistance, and none of them were beaten while they were custody, Morgan said. 

Bisharat said he did not believe that the activists were simply on a mission to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza, but rather that they had sought to highlight what he called Israel's illegal occupation of Gaza and it's targeting of Palestinian civilians living in Gaza. 

"The illegal siege of Gaza simply has to come to an end," Bisharat said. 


Press Release: Police Offer Reward in Berkeley Shooting Death Case

Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 10:04:00 AM

The City of Berkeley is offering a $15,000 reward, and Bay Area Crime Stoppers (BACS) is offering an additional $2,000 reward, for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect or suspects responsible for the shooting death of a Berkeley man. He has been identified as Kenneth Jerome Tims, Jr., 30 years old.

 

 

 

 


Boxer Tours Caldecott Tunnel Construction Site

By Caitilin McAdoo, BCN
Thursday June 03, 2010 - 04:55:00 PM

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer toured a construction site in Orinda this morning where crews are creating a fourth bore at the Caldecott Tunnel. 

The four-year, $420 million project broke ground in January and has so far created 225 jobs, according to Bijan Sartipi, director of Caltrans' District 4. 

The project is expected to create between 4,000 and 4,500 new jobs by the time it's finished, Boxer said. 

"We're putting Californians to work right here, right now," Boxer said. 

About $197.5 million for the project came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  

An estimated 160,000 drivers pass through the Caldecott Tunnel between Contra Costa and Alameda counties each day. 

The project will increase safety and efficiency and improve the quality of life for Bay Area residents, Boxer said. 

Right now, crews are building retaining walls on the east and west portal, and next week a 130-ton, $4.5 million boring machine is expected to arrive at the project site. 

 


UC Chancellor Speaks to Staff Assembly

By Norris C. Lincoln
Saturday June 05, 2010 - 03:58:00 PM

The University had a bad financial year but survived it, is now in a more stable position, but faces continuing challenges, UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau told the annual meeting of the Berkeley Staff Assembly on Wednesday, May 26. He was the principal speaker at the event. 

The meeting, which was somewhat sparsely attended, was held in the Maude Fife Room of Wheeler Hall.It was open to all campus staff regardless of BSA membership. 

“In the last month or so I’ve attended several staff events which have been very uplifting”, Birgeneau began. 

“I sometimes get accused of being excessively optimistic.I’ll be modestly optimistic in this presentation,” he said. 

I’ve only heard him speak a few times, but it seems to be his typical style when talking extemporaneously to mix statistics, arguments, and anecdotes in an energetic delivery. He rapidly shifts from subject to subject. 

Birgeneau said he started on the Yale faculty 44 years ago and “this past year has been the single most difficult year I’ve ever experienced in academia.” 

In terms of personal experience with economic hardship during the current recession Birgeneau added, “one of my kids is in a mortgage crisis right now”.“All of us in a privileged position, you just have to go one person removed before you encounter someone in distress.” 

But he noted some positive indications though during a bad year for the campus. So far the campus hasn’t seen either “an exodus of talented people”, or fewer student applicants.“People really want to still come here.” 

He spoke with pleasure of the recent graduation convocation. 900 graduating students signed up to march, 1,500 showed up to participate, and 11,000 people attended the event. 

He said another positive indicator is the number of graduate students with National Science Foundation grants who choose to attend Berkeley.These grants can be taken to any institution; they are not tied to a particular university.So it is the recipient’s choice as to what institution to attend. 

“It’s an indication of what the young people in the country thing is the best place to pursue their graduate education.” Berkeley was the first this year, had more than MIT, Stanford, Harvard. 

“The most talented young people still look at Berkeley and say they want to come here,” Birgeneau concluded. 

Private fundraising for the University, he said, “had held up quite well.” But “there’s a strange conversation you have with the ultra rich” during an economic crisis, he added.He talked about sitting down with a potential donor who had lost one third of his assets—that is, one billion dollars out of a three billion dollar fortune. 

But “it looks like we’re going to hit the 300 million mark for public fundraising” for the year. 

Alumni, he said, now recognize that the University of California needs private support.It used to be, he said, that wealthy alumni who had attended both UC and private schools would say they were giving their money to the private institutions because UC had public funding and didn’t need the support as much. 

Now, “the one really good thing I’ve seen come out of the progressive disenfranchisement by the State is that everybody knows we have the same sort of financial challenges” as private institutions, Birgeneau said. 

He added that major private foundations used to weight their grant policies in favor of private schools but, with one exception, he now feels “we’ve leveled the playing field.” 

Birgeneau talked about hiring a new Vice Chancellor for Administration, the administrative position under him who is directly responsible for the non-academic programs of the campus. 

“Getting the caliber of person you want at the kinds of salaries Berkeley pays is a challenge”, he said. His profile for this hire is “someone who has had a very successful business career and still has a high level of energy…and for whom money is not a driver.” He added, “ideally a Cal grad.” 

He then discussed the budget crisis of the past year.He recalled that three days before he last spoke to the BSA the campus received an eighty million dollar budget cut.He said, somewhat wryly “it ruined my whole summer.I had no vacation that summer. I was literally on the computer all the time.” 

The effect has been since January 2009, he said, “512 people have been laid off, a large number of them staff.”“Truth in advertising”, he added.“I’m very sad about that.” 

Campus employees also received mandatory work furloughs, which were temporary pay cuts accompanied by days off.“The furlough program had only one purpose which was to save staff jobs”, he said. “The furlough saved 460 staff positions.We would have become dysfunctional.”It “generated about 30 million in salary savings” for the year. 

He added that he recently went to a meeting of University presidents at Yale. “Every single other university president said it would not be possible at their university” to temporarily reduce salaries across the board. “They could put the staff but not the faculty on furlough.”At Berkeley, Birgeneau said, faculty were included. 

Would furloughs continue?“According to President Yudoff the furloughs will end this year”, Birgeneau said. 

Birgeneau said he was upset that some people in the University had criticized the institution rather than focus on the external budget problems. 

“I pleaded with people, as you circle the wagons, to shoot out, not in.Not everyone did.That’s been my biggest sadness.”“There are people who shot in.I think they should be ashamed of themselves.” 

He then spoke about the campus protests in the fall, including the Wheeler Hall occupation, the march to University House where he lives, and other demonstrations.“The peaceful protests had a positive impact”, he said.“Peaceful protests are part of our culture.”“Violence and vandalism are damaging.” 

He said legislators and others had told him the more violent protests had hurt the University’s reputation. 

Next, he moved to the question of whether Berkeley can remain a public institution with only limited public funding, something he called “evolution in character of public universities which we’re working hard to stave off at Berkeley.” He said “sooner or later the Federal government will have to play a role in public higher education.” 

He suggested that a possible solution was a 21st century version of the 1860s Morrill Act through which the Federal government gave one time funding to states for university support.A proposal he prepared with Vice Chancellor Frank Yeary “has caught the imagination”, he said. 

The idea is that the Federal government would give one time funding to the public colleges and universities throughout the country, distributing the money following a formula he described as “one plus, per state,” that is one or more institutions getting the infusion of funds. 

He noted that in large states like California there is more than one major public university that should get support. 

“How much would the Federal Government have to put up?” under this formula, he asked.“One half the money they gave to AIG” insurance as a bailout.And this would be a one-time grant.“This is not impossible”, he concluded.“There is a lot of attention being paid to maintaining the public character of our universities.” 

Next he talked about the status of the State budget for the coming year.He said “I will be surprised if we have a budget by September 1” because of the ongoing financial crisis and differences among legislators and the governor on how to meet it.
 

For the University’s state funding for the coming year, “if we stay flat, we will not be in luxury but we’ll be OK.”He said 22% of the budget of the Berkeley campus is State money. 

He added the State Finance Director has told the UC Regents that UC funding from the State probably won’t grow through 2015. Birgeneau said the University should not expect a funding increase in that period, “it would be irresponsible to plan on that.” 

How would the campus deal with a long-term decrease in State funding? Fee increases, for one. 

And also an increase in the number of foreign and out of State students.“I was surprised when I came to Berkeley how few international students we had”, Birgeneau said, framing the issue as a matter of having “students with backgrounds that are geographically diverse.” 

For that reason he said he favored increasing the number of students from outside California.But he emphasized that this did not mean a decrease in the number of “in-state” students supported by State funding. 

He explained his understanding of the formula as follows.How much does it cost the University each year to educate a student at Berkeley?“My own number, ballpark, is $30,000” for the “full cost of education” he said. 

And “during this academic year we had an over enrollment of 2,400 Californians for which we get no State money.” 

So the plan of the campus is to reduce the number of unfunded Californian students to 1,900, and “replace these students with out of state students who are paying full costs”, which would bring it about 50 million dollars more a year in fee income. 

“You will not eliminate any Californian from a slotted position”, he emphasized, saying the press has misunderstood the issue.“Our over-enrollment will be dominated by out of state and international students.” 

The last topic Birgeneau discussed was his “Operational Excellence” initiative.“We believe we can ultimately, in our operations over time, save about 75 million a year,” he said.“Many of us would agree we’re not really world class in administration.” 

A “significant amount” of the savings, he said will come from “doing purchasing more cleverly.” 

He said there are eight initiatives, each chaired by a staff member and faculty member. “We have all of these strategies and they all need to work.” 

“We will maintain Berkeley’s excellence.We will maintain our public character,” he said. 

He added that the recession has resulted in the families of many UC students encountering financial hardship.Now, the university has “more low-income students for the worst of reasons.” 

But having a large number of low income students “doesn’t happen by accident. We invest a lot in financial aid.”He said that of $310 million in recent fee increases, $85 million goes to low-income student financial aid, and that’s “illustrative of our public character.” 

Birgeneau then briefly took questions from the audience. Only a few were asked. 

One employee asked if the START program would continue. It allows employees to voluntarily work less than full-time and take a temporary proportional salary cut . 

That’s a UCOP (Office of the UC President) decision”, Birgeneau said.But “I’m strongly in favor of the START program.I presume people like the START program?” he asked, to general assent from the audience. 

Another question was about when the University would extend health care benefits to older children of employees, as the new Federal health care law mandates.Birgeneau deferred to one of his staff in the audience who answered, “right now we don’t know.We are assured UCOP is in discussion with health care providers.” 

On ending employee furlough pay reductions, Birgeneau said, “I hope we all get our salaries back!That’s the goal.” 

A staff member asked how the Operational Excellence goal of centralizing purchasing contracts could be balanced with the goal of supporting local small businesses.“I’ve been getting letters from small suppliers,” Birgeaneau said.“On the one hand I would like to support local business.On the other hand we’re in this budget situation and have to save every dollar.It’s a conflict.” 

One of his staff in the audience said the campus was working with local small businesses to get them better qualified to compete for UC contracts. 

Norris C. Lincoln is a pseudonym for a UC staff member.


UC Berkeley Professor Randy Hester Receives Retirement Tribute

By Steven Finacom
Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 12:26:00 PM

Music, heartfelt tributes, reminiscences of colleagues, students, and friends and a jovial and appreciative crowd filled the lobby of Wurster Hall on the UC Berkeley campus on May 8, 2010, as Professor Randy Hester was honored. 

North Carolina native Hester, who has taught at Berkeley since 1980, is retiring from the faculty of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning (LAEP). During his time there he had served as Department Chair.  

His wife, Marcia McNally, is an Adjunct Professor in LAEP. The two of them also have a private practice, Community Development by Design. 

A series of faculty colleagues, family members, and friends trooped to the microphone to pay him tribute. The reception was proceeded by an earlier dinner for donors to the newly formed Hester Award in Ecological Democracy, and followed by vigorous dancing to 1960s and 70s favorites. 

One speaker recalled that Hester had assigned his landscape students to read Martin Luther King, Jr’s “Letter from the Birmingham Jail”.  

The writing was not, of course, specific to landscape architecture but “has a lot to do with dedication, with sacrifice, with passion, and with courage…and that’s what Randy has been teaching at Berkeley.” 

The speaker also described how working with Hester provided the opportunity “to learn in conversation with a mentor who does not view you an inferior.” 

“What we’re going to celebrate is not a career but a portion of a life well lived”, he concluded. 

Professor Linda Jewell, one of Hester’s faculty colleagues, brought down the house with the comment that she encountered Hester in college, and “I first met Randy at a fraternity party when I was a freshman”. (Hester, with his passionate progressive politics and neat, long, ponytail is today far from the stereotype of a person one would expect to meet at a fraternity.) 

Professor Louise Mozingo told Hester “you have taught us all to think with both florid imagination and sharp rationality”, and thanked him for “three decades of provocation, whether we wanted it or not.” She said Hester had raised “not always comfortable matters but utterly necessary ones.” 

She praised him “for never forgetting the world as wondrous.” 

Hester has “consistency, endless energy, active listening”, said Michael Rios, a former Hester student and current faculty member at UC Davis.  

Jeff Hou, Chair of Landscape Architecture at the University of Washington said Hester “has a profound impact on communities of the world.”  

Hou was a colleague in Taiwan, where Hester has worked for years in an effort to preserve from industrial development the endangered Tsengwen wetlands, migratory home to rare black-faced spoonbills. 

For years Hester took students to Taiwan to study environmental and planning issues there and, back in Berkeley, had classes build creative sculptures of the spoonbill that were displayed on the Berkeley campus to help bring publicity to the cause. 

Professor Tamesuke Nagahashi, who studied at Berkeley and at Kyoto University, where Hester and McNally spent a sabbatical, recalled that Hester told him that at the start of a planning study there, “Don’t do anything without listening to people.” “Randy, don’t retire!” he concluded, to applause from the crowd. 

“I appreciate so much how many, many answers you give me in my day-to-day life”, said Rachel Berny, now on the faculty at USC, who was a graduate student at Berkeley studying with Hester. 

“We could go on all night talking about Randy”, said UC Santa Cruz Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Tim Duane, who was previously on the Berkeley faculty. He recalled how Hester tenaciously encouraged him to pursue finishing a book that others said wouldn’t have an audience.  

“We need some people around here who won’t let go of ideas”, Duane concluded. 

Former student Aditya Advani read a poem and paid tribute to “the optimism of his idealism.”  

Faculty colleague Joe McBride recited a comic poem he wrote to honor Hester in the manner of “The Cremation of Sam McGee” by Robert Service, recalling research trips, faculty meetings, and Hester’s successful fight as LAEP chair to protect funds for the department. 

“I’m so proud”, said Hester’s son, Nate, the final speaker. “For this community for having had you, and this community for having shaped you.” 

“He taught me to interact with the miracle and majesty and power of the natural world”, he said. “He taught me about outrageous creative hope. Outrageous in taking risks and creative in proposing solutions…he’s been brave enough to hope for a better world.” 

Hester and McNally live in West Berkeley, near San Pablo Park, and have been actively engaged in the local community. In recent years McNally—who was also lavishly and fondly praised at the retirement party—helped lead a community process to assess Berkeley’s public park system at its 100th anniversary. 

Hester is the author of Design for Ecological Democracy and several other books. The College of Environmental Design has established the Professor Randy Hester Graduate Student Award in Ecological Democracy in his honor. 

The award was founded by four Hester students-- Bill Eisenstein, Rachel Berney, Sarah Minick, and Amy Dryden—who took the initiative and raised over $50,000 on their own in initial funding, despite the recession. 

Ecological democracy”, the terms of the Award say, “involves the participatory making of places that, in Randy’s words, enable community-building, are resilient to ecological and economic forces of change, and impel people to want to live in them by fostering joy and beauty, and touching their hearts. Ecological democracy’s greatest themes are participation, connection, sacredness, and engagement with nature. These involve strengthening bonds between people and their community, providing regular access to nature inside the city, and honoring our deepest attachments to the places we inhabit. A participatory approach to place-making is also indispensable.” 

Gifts to the Award fund made by current or former faculty or staff, and current student before June 30, 2012 will be matched under the Chancellor’s Challenge for Student Support initiative, up to a maximum of $250,000 in the fund. 

 


Berkeley High School Governance Copes With Cuts and other Issues

By Raymond Barglow, www.berkeleytutors.net
Saturday June 05, 2010 - 04:00:00 PM

As the academic year comes to a close, the School Governance Council (SGC) at Berkeley High, which last met on May 25, continues to grapple with major issues, including replacement of the SGC itself by a newly formed “school site council” (SSC). 

To comply with the California Education Code, the district is designing an SSC governance structure that will assure parity between school personnel on the one hand and parents and students on the other. District Superintendent Bil Huyett, BSEP Manager Monica Thyberg, and BUSD members Shirley Issel and John Selawsky were present at the SGC meeting to discuss the new structure.Its most controversial provision is the one for teacher representation on the SSC.Huyett explained that the BUSD is considering three options for choosing the ten teacher members: 

A. 1 teacher from each of the 4 smaller schools (4 reserved seats) 

2 from each of the two larger schools (4 reserved seats) 

2 at large 

B. 1 teacher from each of the 4 smaller schools (4 reserved seats) 

1 from each of the two larger schools (2 reserved seats) 

4 from the leadership team 

C. 10 at large 

A concern that has been voiced by parents and teachers is that the reserved seat provisions in options A and B would result in the two larger schools – “AcademicChoice” and “Berkeley International High School” – having too few representatives.The alleged problem is that the two larger schools, in which about 73% of the students are enrolled, will be under-represented in comparison to representation for the four smaller programs, which between them enroll about 27% of the student body.  

Alex Angell, a history teacher at BHS, spoke from the audience and commented that he’s concerned about equitable teacher representation on the School Site Council (SCC) that will be replacing the SGC.He said that one of the motivations for creating the new council – to correct imbalances in representation – may be thwarted by the current plan, resulting in “a disproportionate representation of some schools and programs over others, by means of a reserved seat scenario.” 

One rationale given by Huyett for options A and B above is that strict proportionality of teacher representation would make the school site council too large and unwieldy. 

Annie Johnston, academic coordinator for the Community Partnerships Academy, said that finding teacher representatives to the SSC may be difficult, since the teachers don’t have the time to take on this additional work. Teachers in the four smaller schools, according to Johnston, are “loaded down with responsibility.”Upon polling the staff in her program, she said, no one offered to volunteer as a representative to the SSC.  

Principal Slemp too expressed a “concern about teachers being asked to do more without compensation.”Huyett commented that there may be a prospect of stipends for teachers doing this work.Teacher Phil Halpern also addressed the matter of teachers’ capacity to serve on the SSC, saying that such service “pulls teachers away from their classrooms.He added that “It’s hard to ask teachers to do more, stipend or not.”  

Huyett responded by saying that all the public schools in California confront this problem but manage to cope with it.Frequency of SSC meetings, for example, is flexible and can be arranged to meet teachers’ needs.Huyett said that much about the functioning of the SSC is not prescribed by its bylaws and will be left up to the high school itself to decide.  

Shirley Issel explained the underlying ethical rationale for school governance by a site council representing the entire school community, “Together we set policy and govern our schools.”This is a participatory value, Issel suggested, that is quite appropriate here in Berkeley. She added that “governance is one of the highest forms of community service,” and she expressed confidence that teachers will be found who are willing to serve.  

The BUSD will discuss the school site council plan at its June meetings and aims to approve the school plan by the end of the month. The California Education Code specifies, however, that “ A school plan shall not be approved unless it was developed and recommended by the school site council.”In the case of Berkeley High, this approval has not been given this year.The Berkeley Daily Planet has tried during the past week to find out more about the BUSD’s certification to the state of this approval, but Christina Faulkner, Board Director of Curriculum and Instruction, has not responded to phone calls or emails. 

Although the SGC voted to postpone evaluation of the School Plan until the WASC review gets underway in the fall, the meeting attendees did divide themselves briefly into several subgroups to take a look at the “Action Plan” for evaluating and improving the high school.Upon reconvening as a whole, several of the subgroups reported that improvement processes have taken place and goals have been achieved. 

The curriculum subgroup, however, expressed the view that a number of tasks checked off as “completed” have in fact not been accomplished. Sherene Randle, Co-Lead of the “Academic Choice” program, with the agreement of others in this subgroup, said that the school curriculum needs to be revised to meet State standards, in keeping with School Plan Task 4. Also unachieved, according to this subgroup, is the directive to “Implement an assessment system to insure that all teachers are using these standards as a basis upon which to build their curriculum.”Parent rep Peggy Scott said that establishing equitable average class sizes, as specified in the Plan, is another task that remains undone. 

Given the many unresolved issues and questions raised at this SGC meeting, including the drastic cuts in funding that are affecting all public education in California, the newly constituted SSC will have its hands full when it convenes in the fall. 

 


Harry Dov Weininger
September 28, 1933 – May 31, 2010

Sunday June 06, 2010 - 10:24:00 PM

Harry Dov Weininger, who was a force in community and civic affairs in the East Bay from the 1960s until quite recently, has died at the age of 76. Harry lived a full life, without complaint, despite significant health issues in recent years, including Parkinson’s Disease and congestive heart failure. He enjoyed Berkeley Akademie and San Francisco Symphony performances in his last days, and on his final evening on the town, dined at a Berkeley bayside restaurant – metaphorically, at sunset. He suffered a cardiac arrest that evening, never regained consciousness, and died four days later. Harry ended life just as remarkably as he lived it: he managed to pass away on Memorial Day, surrounded by family and friends. 

Harry’s orbit was Berkeley. He became proprietor of The Carpet Center in Berkeley in 1966 and immediately reached out to neighboring business owners, creating an informal merchant association. People would slow their cars to read the philosophical messages on The Carpet Center’s marquee, and the annual Back Door Sale brought in so many customers that the line at the cash register wound through the entire store and onto the street. As The Carpet Center grew and required more space, Harry moved the business to 8th and Parker, becoming a pioneer in the revitalization of West Berkeley. During the 1970s and 1980s he became involved in a number of community and civic organizations, to which he brought wisdom, humor, expertise, and hard work. He was known as a conciliator in fractious times, diligently maintaining good relationships with people of all political stripes. 

After a near-miss run for Berkeley City Council in 1975, Harry devoted his prodigious energy to behind-the-scenes efforts. He spent many years on the Board of Directors of the Berkeley Democratic Club. As its President between 1983 and 1986, and as President Pro Tem between 1990 and 1996, he dedicated himself to expanding its voice in the political life of Berkeley. He was President of the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce; active in Rotary Club of Berkeley; a Member of the City of Berkeley Civic Arts Commission and the Planning Commission; and on the Board of Trustees of Planned Parenthood: Shasta-Diablo, which honored his visionary work with The Margaret Sanger Award. He also contributed witty and insightful pieces to The Berkeley Daily Planet and other publications. 

Education was highly valued by Harry. His stint in the U.S. Army included graduation from Officer Candidate School in 1958. He received his B.A. from the University of Chicago in 1960, and, realizing a lifelong dream to study law, his J.D. from the University of San Francisco in 1988 (at the age of 54). During the course of his legal studies, he took great pleasure in attending programs abroad at both Trinity College in Dublin and the University of Oxford. He was also strongly supportive of the education of his daughters and granddaughter, and the children of other family members and close friends. 

Harry loved Berkeley, and it loved him back. March 16, 1997 was proclaimed “Harry Weininger Day” in Berkeley by then-mayor Shirley Dean, and in 2000 he was honored by the Berkeley Community Fund for his civic and cultural leadership building consensus and understanding in the community. 

Harry believed in and supported a number of organizations, and backed up these beliefs with his efforts and donations. Among the many organizations that were especially important to him were the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the Aurora Theatre, The Berkeley Public Library Foundation, Jewish Family and Children’s Services of the East Bay, Jewish Community Center of the East Bay, and The Parkinson’s Institute in Sunnyvale. 

Harry treasured his family and friends, and his wide circle of interests and acquaintances guaranteed that his introductions led to delightful discoveries as people realized their connections through him. Some who thought they were determined adversaries found themselves pleasantly sharing a meal at his dining table. His annual New Year’s Day parties were legendary. More than one successful long-term pairing occurred after an encounter at a “Harry” gathering. He was also masterful at orchestrating unique outings and trips, both locally and globally, for friends and family to come together and share an experience of a lifetime. 

Harry was born in the Carpathian Mountains, a region in the Ukraine that has at various times been in Austria, Romania, and Moldavia. He emigrated to the U.S. with his parents in 1950. They initially settled in Chicago, and in 1963, Harry moved to Berkeley where he lived for the next 47 years.He is survived by his daughters, Carmi Weininger of Oakland and Nehama Weininger of Oakland and Greece; granddaughter Aria Rose Fisilani of Oakland and Greece; partner Yvette Vloeberghs of Berkeley; cousin Jean Weininger of Berkeley; and cat Melchior, also of Berkeley. 

Private services have already been held. A memorial service will take place in the near future – contact the family for details. If desired, donations in his name may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice. 


Now Read This

Friday June 11, 2010 - 10:22:00 AM

A couple of sometime Berkeley residents, Alison Weir and Robert Scheer, express themselves on Helen Thomas’s recent fall from grace. 

And Jweekly.com has a different take on the situation.


Now Read This

Friday June 11, 2010 - 10:21:00 AM


Opinion

Editorials

Last Minute Voting Decisions Stir the Pot

By Becky O'Malley
Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 09:11:00 AM

At about nine o’clock on Monday night, three members of my family tried to call me simultaneously.Thanks to the magic of Call Waiting, I took their calls one at a time, but if I’d known how to work conference calls, it might all have been over in thirty seconds. Why?They were all asking me how I thought they should vote on Tuesday, and my answer was simple. 

I dunno. 

Nine o’clock on Monday night, and I still hadn’t been able to face my sample ballot.That’s embarrassing.But what I’d picked up from the zeitgeist about the election was frightening, and I was disinclined to learn more. 

What about, for example, Gavin Newsom? “He’s icky,” I said with assurance.But what about the people running against him?Brutal honesty compels me to admit that what my mother, my sister, my daughter and I all think is icky about Newsom is mostly his hairdo. 

He’s one of the those Kinda Sorta Liberal types, a pale imitation of the real thing as compared to his peers on his home turf, but possibly not so bad when moved to a higher level, if Lieutenant Governor is one. Like a lot of the people the East Bay sends along to the state level, perhaps—not great in their grasp of local issues, but sadly a bit better than the rest of the clowns in Sacramento…. 

So who’s Newsom running against?I seem to remember that Janice Hahn is the daughter of someone who used to be a leftish contender in L.A. long ago.Is that a good reason to vote for her? Probably not. Or maybe. 

I know there’s a lot of mail downstairs in the basket, but I haven’t read it.Too much to face, and who can you trust?My mother says she’s just going to vote for the person “the Democrats” have recommended on their slate card, but I with my greater sophistication know that those slate cards are more than likely scams, pay-to-play opportunities for candidates or propositions to buy their way on to a list of recognizable Democrats to fool the unwary.Scratch that. 

As I often have done in the past, I consult the endorsements made by my friends at the San Francisco Bay Guardian.This is in spite of my vivid memory of being in the Guardian’s newsroom when I was working there many years ago as someone shouted “Anyone know anyone in Marin?” preparatory to writing the endorsement article with Marin represented. 

But surely they’ll know if Hahn is okay. I check. It’s thumbs up on Hahn.One decision down. 

After that it gets harder.Late Monday night I get a Facebook message from an Oakland lawyer friend.It’s very convincing, terrifying even: 

“As most of you know, I've been pretty involved in politics, off & on. Tomorrow's election has a lot of stuff on the ballot. I'm going to focus on one item, which I think is of crucial importance. Proposition 15 would repeal a prohibition against allowing public financing of election campaigns. I think repealing that prohibition is an absolutely necessary first step if we are to keep corporations from taking total control of California politics. U.S. Supreme Court decisions have sharply limited what can be done to control the big-money influence over elections. One of the few avenues still available is the leverage in being able to offer public financing to candidates who agree to limit how much they spend. That leverage has been employed to great advantage in Arizona and Maine, where public financing laws have allowed grassroots candidates to compete with self-funded millionaires and corporate-funded candidates on a level playing field. If we don't pass Prop. 15 this time, you can bet the corporations will spend enormous amounts of money to make sure we never get another chance. As I've said many times, regardless of what your issue is, if it's not one big corporations favor, campaign finance reform has to be the first step, and Prop. 15 is necessary if California is to have a shot a campaign finance reform. Late polling shows that whether Prop. 15 passes or not could depend on an extremely small number of votes. If you haven't yet voted absentee, PLEASE go to the polls tomorrow and vote for Prop 15.” 

Now I’m even more embarrassed.I’ve always thought of myself as “pretty involved in politics” and I don’t have even a clue about this one.And even worse, when he mentions Arizona I remember reading something about Unintended Consequences of the Arizona campaign reform—the standard parties lost control of the primaries, the nuts got campaign financing and were elected, and that’s why we have dreadful legislation like the recent Arizona immigration law being enacted. 

True or false?It’s too late to figure this out. 

At least we all know (we being my family and close friends) that PG&E is not on our side, so when PG&E says vote Yes on Proposition 16 we can vote No without worrying. But I got a Facebook message from the 40ish daughter of a deceased friend urging me to vote Yes—her mother would be turning over in her grave if her ashes hadn’t been scattered at sea. 

Even glancing at the Republican primary list is enough to raise the little hairs on the back of your neck.Poor Poizner never had a chance because of his name, but he’s no prize except as compared with Whitman, who could be even worse.Tom Campbell is what used to be called a moderate Republican, furiously backpedaling to look more like a right wing wacko—he might even end up persuading himself.Carly Fiorina’s main claim to fame seems to be that she almost ran a fairly respectable Silicon Valley company into the ground before she was fired. 

 

Luckily no one in our family has been a Republican for many years except my late father.He stopped voting for Republicans 30 years before he died, but my mother persuaded him not to change his registration so that he could write letters (which she often drafted for him) signed “Outraged Lifelong Republican”. But Republicans were different back in the days of Thomas Kuchel and Earl Warren. 

Thinking of the old days reminds me of Jerry Brown, running unopposed in the Democratic primary if you don’t count Lowell Darling, who seems to have capitulated. 

Why oh why oh why-o can’t we do better than Jerry Brown?I was hanging around a bit in Sacramento while he was governor before, and he was responsible for some monumental bits of tomfoolery.He gets a large share of the blame for setting the voters up to pass Proposition 13, whose effects are responsible for most of what’s wrong in California today. 

And his recent performance in Oakland was nothing to be proud of.His boast that he’d bring 10,000 new residents (or was it units?) to downtown Oakland has produced nothing but a huge glut of vacant apartments and big profits for the building industry.But I’ll probably find myself voting for him in November. 

We urban East Bay voters learn about all of the local Democratic candidates when they are Deals Done Elsewhere—the state and national representative slots for the Berkeley area ever since I’ve lived here have been passed around in a very small group of family members, longtime employees and close friends, and there’s not a damn thing we can do about it. 

Maybe if Prop. 15 passes it might help this situation—but probably not. Oh well, the candidates the machine chooses for us are usually not that bad. 

And finally we come to the real hot button, Berkeley’s Measure C.Of the four of us, only my mother and I get to vote on that one.She has a lifelong liberal habit of generously voting yes on all new taxes. I was brought up that way myself, but I’ve been following the discussion in these pages of whether or not the kind of bond financing chosen for the pools project is the right instrument for the job.The Sunday Chronicle had an interesting article about a bond issue on the Peninsula which was used to build a posh athletic club which was never mentioned in the ballot proposition. 

Could that happen here?We might get a chance to find out if Measure C passes.


The Editor's Back Fence

Now Read This

Wednesday June 09, 2010 - 10:11:00 PM

BP in Berkeley; Helen Thomas 

A paper in Indiana brings you up to date on what BP is doing in Berkeley--originally in the Sacramento Bee. 

A couple of sometime Berkeley residents, Alison Weir and Robert Scheer, express themselves on Helen Thomas’s recent fall from grace. 

And Jweekly.com has a different take on the situation.


Bezerkeley Stories

Monday June 07, 2010 - 03:23:00 PM

These are the stories the metro papers love to write: Funny Stuff Going on in Quirky East Bay Town. Here at the Planet we're pleased that they're doing this so we don't need to bother. Think of these as our soft features. 

Do bumperstickers predict road rage everywhere? 

Or 

Only in Berkeley

Or how about the shocking news that the contest to choose the new stamps which go on duck hunting permits is being held here? 

Only in Quirky Bezerkeley, says the Chron. 

And here's a sensible story about something that has always struck me as a silly project: a plan to start a Berkeley paper which apparently will be devoted to heartwarming tales of kids and pets. That's a formula which works in many places, including Piedmont, but it hasn't worked here, though it's been tried before--and the Berkeley Voice (local version of the Bay Area News Group) covers the territory pretty well for its mostly Hills readers. If the sample issue reproduced in this piece is any indication, they might need to hire a fact-checker: the lead headline is "A community newspaper resumes print in Berkeley." Resumes?


New: Department of Further Clarification

Saturday June 05, 2010 - 05:44:00 PM

City Manager Kamlarz put out a new memo about Measure C on Friday: 

 

"DATE:June 4, 2010 TO: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council 

FROM: Phil Kamlarz, City Manager 

RE: City Budget 

This memo is in response to certain questions raised about the Pool's measure (Measure C) and funds on the June 8, 2010, ballot. 

All funds for Measure C would be dedicated for the Berkeley pools. That includes proceeds from the bonds for construction as well as operating funds. 

The City is managing its long-term debt. Our most recent debt rating from Standard and Poor's placed the City of Berkeley within the top 1% of California cities. 

I hope this clarifies the issues raised ." 

 

Well, no, not exactly.The point made by the more responsible critics, here and elsewhere, is that the money in the current budget which is now being spent on swimming pools could be spent elsewhere if Measure C passes.That’s true, isn’t it? 

The value of a Standard and Poor’s bond rating is the subject of much current discussion in the world outside the Berkeley Bubble, too much for the time and space available before the election on Tuesday.One can assume that Kamlarz’ statement is true, but what it means as the world of finance turns topsy-turvy is not so clear. 

Still unanswered: Is there any guarantee that the warm pool will ever be rebuilt? If so, when? 

Our citizen reporter said this: 

 

“Nothing in Measure C obligates the City to borrow the full $22.5 million or spend it unwisely or on overly ambitious upgrades. At the same time, nothing in Measure C appears to prevent it.”  

Can anyone provide official language which contradicts his assessment? 

A blog offers discussion of these topics in staggering detail. 


Cartoons

Obama and Tony Hayward

Marian Kamensky, www.humor-kamensky.sk
Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 08:46:00 AM
Marian Kamensky


Odd Bodkins

Dan O'Neill
Monday June 07, 2010 - 11:47:00 PM
The man who wrestled furniture
Dan O'Neill
The man who wrestled furniture

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.


Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday June 03, 2010 - 11:01:00 AM

Oil Disaster; Why 'C' Matters to Me; Israel Attack on Gaza Freedom Flotilla ; Tea Party; Oil; Refuse Tax Increase; Yes on Measure C; And The Greatest of These Is Charity 

Oil Disaster 

All of us Americans are complicit in this disaster, as we indulge our love affair with our cars. Why is gas not taxed more? Even now, no one is suggesting we discipline ourselves a little 

Raise the tax on gasoline. Prohibit drilling at such a risky depth. Are all tankers finally required to be double hulled? 

Christina Metcalfe 

*** 

Why 'C' Matters to Me 

All the public pools in Berkeley matter dearly. That's why we need to pass Measure "C" on June 8th. 

We should all remember that are pools are teaching and learning centers. My daughter, now 13, attended well-taught, affordable swimming and Red Cross lessons for four years at Willard Pool (which would close permanently if Measure 'C' fails.) She is now a Junior Life Guard, along with dozens of other Berkeley children. 

Equally importantly, the pools provide a literal lifeline to the disabled, to seniors, and to those of us who develop temporary disabilities. 

Five years ago I developed a disabling back condition and could not move without severe pain. I was able to get into the Warm Pool and it provided a slow recovery to my having full mobility and pain-free movement. I still go to the Warm Pool for preventive back care. Berkeley's population is aging - and the chance of developing a disability -- temporary or permanent will hit a huge percentage of Berkeley residents. If I hadn't experienced a disability I would find it puzzling that the 'Y' can't substitute for the Warm Pool. The pool at the 'Y' that's warm enough for disabled use can't be used by most disabled people because it's too shallow to provide the buoyancy that makes their mobility possible. 

There are claims being made by the Anti-'C' campaign that aren't true. They are saying that the Ed Roberts Campus is constructing a Warm Pool as part of their current building development. It's not true. They are saying there are other sources of dollars to keep Willard Pool open after July 1 - less than a month away, but there aren't. Don't take my word for it - call the City (#981-CITY) or just take a look at the Summer Recreation Programs schedule for city programs and note that there is no mention of Willard Pool having any programs in operation after June 30th. 

It's very challenging that we're up against a campaign that does not present facts. It's very daunting that Berkeley voters must provide a 2/3rds majority to pass Measure 'C'. But that's the reality. So your support of Measure 'C' can serve all of us. Not supporting 'C' because you may not personally need the precious resources of these pools reminds me of the cartoon with the libertarian whose house is on fire and as the fire engines arrive to save his home he says, "No thanks - I'm a Libertarian." 

Some say we can't afford Measure 'C' - it's expensive. But losing a lifeline and not having a public safety program for our youth to learn to swim is more than expensive. It's life-threatening. 

Susie Bluestone 

*** 

Israel Attack on Gaza Freedom Flotilla  

By attacking the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, Israel has again acted in a heavy-handed manner just like it did in its 2006 war with Lebanon, its 2009 invasion of the Gaza strip, and its continued settlement building. Before, it was David (Israel) versus Goliath (the Arab ring states). Now Israel has become the neighborhood bully. And Israel doesn't seem to care about worldwide condemnation. Why? Because it has had the lockstep support of the U.S. Isn't it time to redefine U.S.-Israeli relations? Our credibility in the Middle East and the world depends on a more even-handed Middle East policy. I waited in vain for President Obama and Congress to condemn Israel's killing and wounding of activists aboard the flotilla in international waters. But right on cue, Obama vetoed the UN Security Council from an independent probe of the raid. However, another U.N. body, the Human Rights Council launched its own probe. Get ready for Goldstone II, the sequel. 

Judi Iranyi
Ralph E. Stone
 

*** 

Tea Party 

The Tea Party seems very confused. It is difficult to determine where the party stands on issues. Its members rail against social programs like Medicare but readily accept their Medicare benefits; they don't like federal bailouts of our financial markets, but would be angry if the government did nothing to protect their investment and their retirement programs. Tea Partiers cry "we the people". Who do Tea Party activists stand for besides themselves? 

The Tea Party is a cult of angry and frustrated older white conservatives. Tea Party Republicans are a vocal fringe group whose members are drawn from anti-abortionist, anti-gay, anti-immigration and anti- tax movements. The only other groups as white as the Tea Party are Republicans and the Ku Klux Klan. 

Ron Lowe 

*** 

Oil 

The vigor with which so-called public representatives leap to exonerate destructive and irresponsible oil companies shows why we need to forge their accountability for their misdeeds into law. Immediately after which we should also form an oversight body to make sure they don't perpetrate more Exxon Valdez' or deep horizon atrocities. 

Glen Kohler 

*** 

Refuse Tax Increase 

On June 1, the Berkeley City Council unanimously approved a 1.72% increase to the refuse tax/fee that was just increased 20% last year. If readers recall, the 20% rate increase was "voter approved" (sic) via the hugely unpopular protest vote process whereby only mailed in no votes were counted as no, and silence was construed as yes! This marginally legitimate tax measure even included a provision for annual CPI increases! 

But there is more. At the end of June some as-yet-undefined additional refuse tax/fee for waste diversion will be considered by Council, supposedly to raise an additional $1.5M. It is not yet clear how big a hit this will be for our struggling property owners, but it will be another hit. 

Meanwhile, we have overmanned refuse collection routes, half-empty trucks, wasteful work rules, and $1M in refuse collector overtime. 

Unbelievable. 

Barbara Gilbert  

*** 

Yes on Measure C 

I am dismayed by Measure C opponents’ aggressive campaign to distort the facts (see Measure C: Fact vs. Fiction on May 30). The people who are spreading lies about Measure C are the same conservative, anti-everything people who opposed recent bond measures to improve schools, libraries and fire protection measures. These three bonds all won by landslides, reinforcing just how out-of-touch Measure C’s opponents are with Berkeley’s progressive and inclusive values. 

Measure C has all the elements of an important and well-developed bond measure: it addresses pressing needs for the community (two of the pools are slated to close permanently if the bond measure doesn’t pass), it was crafted based on extensive professional research and broad community input, and it is unanimously supported by Berkeley City Council and School Board as well as a wide range of Parent-Teacher Associations and other community leaders. 

Berkeley prides itself on having both progressive and fact-based politics. Measure C is Berkeley politics at its best. The vocal opposition to Measure C is taking a page out of the conservative playbook: manipulate the facts and repeat them frequently and loudly. Don’t buy the hype, Berkeley. Vote yes on Measure C. 

Heather Sarantis 

*** 

And The Greatest of These Is Charity 

In her letter to the last issue ofthe Online Planet , under the heading "Charity", Susan Sholin claims that I'm incredibly naive or not very smart for feeling sorry for the forlorn woman often seen asking for handouts in downtown Berkeley. I accept Ms. Sholin's point of view, although I do not agree with it. I choose to share what I have with someone who apparently needs it. 

Dorothy Snodgrass  

*** 

Cruelty 

I would have thought Susan Sholin’s loss of her home and job might have inspired more compassion in her soul. But her vitriolic response to Dorothy Snodgrass’ compassion clarifies a disturbing fact– there is no shortage of pointless cruelty in Berkeley, the odd place where an arguably educated electorate can be counted on to vote in favor of throwing the poor under the nearest bus. 

Carol Denney 

*** 

The Same Old Story 

It's the same ol’ story , every timeit's told, we're doing what's right for America , blessed is the fruit of the Tax burdened working person, for THEY ( Government, Corporations.) shall inherit our wealth. And inherit is definitely the wrong word, for WE the People, are JUST giving it to them, without any accountability. The real weakness IS the PEOPLE of THESE UNITED STATES, for we have not the guts or the will and certainly not the desire, to be weened of the complacency that American Democracy has bred in U.S. Why if I were King!!! 

Gene Dussell
Richmond 

*** 

Corporations Should Not be Persons 

It fits exactly that the law saying that corporations are
persons was passed during the Eisenhower administration
when Big Oil was going after ANWR and the Arctic
and offshore oil drilling half a century ago, and now it came up again with
the Bush Supreme Court. The Supreme Court was put there
only to promote the interests of Big Oil, Mining and Minerals.
I ask for full disclosure and overturning of this
corrupt decision by the Supreme Court. Treating
Big Oil, the Minerals and Mining industries like persons puts all of our heath and lives in jeopardy—e.g. the oil spill in the Gulf and EXXON and if they are persons then we will all be in our graves soon. 

Claire Englander
Oakland 

*** 

Warm Pool Essential 

I am a "graduate" of the Warm Pool at Berkeley High School, which was very helpful to me when my back became very painful. Even after chiropractic, surgery, etc., I was still hurting. I found two good physical therapists, one of whom designed exercises for me in Grace's Pool at the YMCA.I then practiced these in the Berkeley High Warm Pool, as Grace's Pool, though warmer than the YMCA lap swimming pool, was way too cold for me to relax while doing the exercises. The YMCA's small warm pool was too shallow, as many of my exercises needed to be done in deep water, i.e. they were non-weight-bearing. Thanks to these exercises, I am now out of pain most of the time and able to sit, drive, work, and backpack again. I strongly support Measure C, and urge others to vote YES on this important resource for all of us! 

Nancy Lemon 

*** 

The Cost of War 

The amount of money the United States has spent on wars in Afghanistan and Iraq surpassed the $1 trillion mark last week, according to the National Priorities Project Cost of War counter. To date, over $747 billion has been appropriated for the war in Iraq and $299 billion for the war in Afghanistan. The US is spending over $136 billion on the wars this year. 

Former U.S. president General Dwight D. Eisenhower highlighted the wanton waste of war when he declared, 

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. … Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. ... Is there no other way the world may live?" 

Ted Rudow III,MA
Menlo Park 

*** 

Corporations Should Not Buy Elections 

Although "corporate person-hood" (an oxymoron if ever there was one!) is not a new concept, it is nevertheless corrosive to our democracy. I have been concerned about candidates indirectly buying offices by virtue of the fact that they have access to huge resources of corporations which allow a candidate to have their face and voice out in the media so much that they begin to seem familiar to the viewer/listener. The thing is, familiarity does not constitute leadership with integrity. In fact, given the influence of corporations, one can assume the exact opposite. We must put a stop to the unreasonable interference of corporations in our legislative process. Our voices must be heard above a corporation’s. 

Mary Hein
Richmond 

*** 

Important Library Meetings This Week 

Three important meetings are taking place this week: 

1. The PLANNING COMMISSION meets THURSDAY JUNE 10 to discuss, among other things, the Library's plans for Claremont Branch and North Branch library renovations These will be "previews" with action scheduled later this month / early next month. 

2. The Board of Library Trustees (BOLT) meets WEDNESDAY, JUNE 9. 

3. The Peace and Justice Commission met Monday night, JUNE 7, 7pm, North Berkeley Senior Center. Their agenda included discussion of a letter to the City Council advising on the Berkeley Public Library's foot-dragging on moving forward with a replacement checkout/checkin system. 

Agendas for all these meetings are available online. 

Peter Warfield
Executive Director
Library Users Association
 

*** 

Looking ahead after the flotilla disaster 

The deadly confrontation between the Israeli military and activists off of Gaza's coast should not be turned into another stale debate between "pro-"and "anti-" Israel activists. Rather, we should use this moment to ask what can be done to improve the situation. 

At the root of this disaster is the effort to restrict the flow of people and goods to Gaza. This effort was initiated by Israel (and supported by the Bush administration) after Hamas came to power. This policy failed to improve Israeli security. Nor did it weaken Hamas 

It is time for the Obama administration to show leadership on this issue. It should work with the international community - including Egypt, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority - to create a new security regime for Gaza. 

Mechanisms that guarantee Israel's security needs—like crossing points monitored to prevent arms smuggling by international forces—are possible. What is needed is the political courage to admit failure and to try a new path. 

Donna Pedroza
Alameda 

*** 

Rank Hypocrisy regarding alcohol sales at TJ's 

Remember how the Ayyads (Fred's Market) were raked over the coals for their liquor license on Telegraph? How the police demanded that (a) alcohol not be advertised in the window and (b) it wasn't to be visible from the street? 

PLEASE contact the POLICE and ask them to GO LOOK AT Trader Joe's FRONT WINDOW and FILE A COMPLAINT, because the alcohol is PROMINENTLY DISPLAYED TO THE PUBLIC. (including all the cheap stuff the WINOS LOVE SO WELL.) (including HARD LIQUOR.) I would ASK THAT THEY REQUEST THE SAME ACTION FROM TJ's. PUT IT AWAY FROM PUBLIC NOTICE. 

I can't believe the HYPOCRISY of letting Trader Joe's just do whatever it feels like, with NO Police concern, NO ZAB concern and NO city council concern ... when a 25-YEAR LOCAL VENDOR is twiddled endlessly because they can't afford to sue the fools who harass them (and them only.) 

Curious how NOBODY BOTHERS A CORPORATE APPLICANT TO FOLLOW THE SAME RULES THAT THE LITTLE GUY HAS TO. 

That is hardly "support for local business." 

Eric Dynamic


New: More Letters

Thursday June 10, 2010 - 06:26:00 PM

Midwives in Peril; Cost of Doing Business; Mind the Meter Maids (and Men);Alaska Project Danger to Wildlife; Why 2/3 Vote? Scorched Earth policy by Pro-C Proponents Drained the Pool Measure of Life; Birgenau Puff Piece; BP Responsible; Dealing with Hamas; Gates Foundation Grants; BP Should Clean Up What it Messed Up; Why Should Israel Feel Embarrassed?; Leadership 

Midwives in Peril 

Dear Parents, Grandparents and Families, 

I've just learned that Alta Bates is allowing East Bay Perinatal to charge the only two remaining independent midwives at Alta Bates -- Lindy Johnson and Jeri Zukoski -- $150 per patient to provide back-up assistance.These new fees could put Lindy and Jeri out of business, by over tripling their annual back-up costs from $6,000 on average to $20,000. 

In contrast, East Bay Perinatal, will continue to provide back-up services to all of Alta Bates Ob/Gyns free of charge. 

So, not only is this decision by Alta Bates unfair and discriminatory, worse, it could end the option that my family and many families like mine have had to access affordable midwifery care that will accept HMO, PPO and Calworks insurance. 

I can tell you that Lindy was an amazing midwife and pre/postnatal care provider.With her help, we were well prepared to do a fully natural birth at Alta Bates and we have taken steps to retain our existing insurance plan so that we can work with her again in the future 

If you are as outraged as I am, please let Alta Bates know.You can write to the CEO of Alta Bates (see address below). 

If you are interested in more information or getting on a list for future ‘Save the Midwives’ actions, please contact Lindy Johnson directly by emailing her at: lindyberk@yahoo.com. 

Lindy also has access to a sample letter you can use to make sending a letter or email easier. 

Here is Alta Bates' contact information.

Warren Kirk 

CEO 

Alta Bates Summit Medical Center 

2450 Ashby Avenue 

Berkeley, CA 94705 

 

If you can, please also copy the following folks to your letter: 

East Bay Perinatal/Drs. Lovett, Weiss, Marinoff, De Palma, Fong 

Katie Rose, Director of Women and Infant Services 

Dr. Katarina Lanner-Cusin, Medical Director Women and Infant Services 

 

Lindsay S. Imai 

 

*** 

Cost of Doing Business 

Let's see, Meg Whitman bought the Republican nomination for governor for$81 million -- $71 million of her own money -- by winning1,101,074 vote sor $73.56 per vote. And this is just to win the primary. Over the last five California gubernatorial elections, the winning candidate has won with 52%, or about 4,446,480 votes. At $73.56 a vote, Meg Whitman will have to spend $327,083,069 to win the governorship.That's $100 million more than John McCain spent running for president in 2008. It's $58 million more than George W. Bush spent running in 2004. That's obscene. This amount of money could stave off some expected cuts in education, health, and social services. Unfortunately, that's not how it works in real life. 

 

Ralph E. Stone 

 

*** 

Mind the Meter Maids (and Men) 

 

I swear to God, and I know She'll agree with me, there must be a meter maid for every car in Berkeley! Up and down the street they go, round and round the block, marking tires with chalk and gleefully writing citations. The last past few days I've had occasion to to run several errands in town, and everywhere I've gone, I've run into those wretched white wagons issuing parking citations with reckless abandon. Now I realize that Berkeley has a severe budget problem, as do so many California cities, but scaring away shoppers fearful of a large penalty for getting back to their cars a few minutes late, will do nothing to ease that problem. I therefore suggest to the mayor and the city council that they dismiss some of those meter maids and give drivers a break! 

Dorothy Snodgrass 

 

**** 

Alaska Project Danger to Wildlife. 

 

As the BP Disaster treks forward, another threat looms. A proposed tar sands oil pipeline will be unspeakably damaging to wildlife. Cleaner energy projects should be considered. 

Tar sands oil production threatens irreplaceable forests, which are home to grizzly bears, wolverines, woodland caribou and over a billion birds. These lands are scarred and ravaged to access the tar sands under the soil. 

Polluters have to use three barrels of fresh water to create a barrel of tar sands. Virgin forests are replaced with permanent waste water dumps, toxic tailings ponds that are inviting but deadly to birds, and mine pits so massive they are visible from outer space. 

People suffer from tar sands development. Communities downstream are seeing a spike in rare cancers and other serious health conditions like heart and lung disease. 

Please consider looking into this in greater depth. People must know about something before they can decide what to do about it. Thank you very much. 

 

Kate Roessler 

*** 

 

Why 2/3 Vote? 

I am new to Berkeley and don’t understand WHY a 2/3rds majority of voters is needed to pass a measure? Can anyone explain the history of such nonsense to me. Thanks 

Mary Lou Erickson 

*** 

Scorched Earth policy by Pro-C Proponents drained the pool measure of life 

Measure C Pool Bond coordinator Robert Collier went on an open-ended incoherent rant about many things at the Berkeleyside blog after the bond measure was rejected by voters: 

This is the typical mindset of the myopic, and really points to how incompetent Pro-C people have treated their fellow citizens during the whole process. BADLY. It’s also indicative of the lack of talent and abilities of the bond proponents to construct a proposal that makes any sense in a terrible economy and soft election cycle. 

A rational discussion of cost alternatives was replaced by name calling(teabaggers,Republicans, liars,Howard Jarvis lovers etc.)and the endless 4-color glossies and heartstring marketing was appalling. It’s also indicative of blowback to Mayor Bates’ divisive, adolescent political style. 

Collier blaming Prop 13 and the 2/3rd majority vote was misdirected and bitter. A 2/3rds vote prevents the tyranny of the majority to force mortgage-paying homeowners to unfairly pay for everything. 

Collier and Bates made a swing for the fences, adding expenses and nebulous accounting tricks to a guaranteed win. This is truly a case of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Just imagine if the bond was constructed fairly and property+use taxes were within reason. The bond would have passed easily. Instead, it was another case of threats and shoot-the-hostage(pool closures) fear tactics. 

The typical recourse in this matter would be for the Mayor and Collier to speak to Mary Bowman and the homeowner groups to see what bond and tax would be acceptable for everyone. Mayor Bates needs to calm down and lose the tantrum attitude immediately because it truly injures our chances of developing recreational facilities across all sports and hobbies. If both sides could agree upon a financing schedule that would really benefit kids and pool users, these expensive failures would be avoided in the future. The measure could be presented in a joint news conference with a fiscal stamp of approval by the people who understand budgets and spending. It’s hard to imagine the current City Government doing this however and until they grow up, pools will close and the City will continue in its current path to decline. 

Mathew Parker
South Berkeley Homeowner 

*** 

Birgenau Puff Piece 

I expect more from the Berkeley Daily Planet than what I found in the puff-piece
on UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau "UC Chancellor Speaks to Staff Assembly" on June 5.
I'd use a pseudonym too if I'd committed such a pathetic exhibition.

It's a funny thing how Berkeley Staff Assembly events have such low campus turnout. The BSA
is a small group of select sycophants who frequently hold vitally important meetings but
somehow don't manage to tell the rest of the staff about them. Funny, too, how UCB administrators like
to pretend they've met with all the campus staff when they've only done a little tap dance for the groupies.

As for the "Operational Excellence" $75 million savings scam (Bain & Co. consultants): When was the last time you saw a large
complex bureaucracy save money by setting up an entirely new layer of administrators with its own program office,
hiring a head, a director, a hitman----er, communcations specialist-- and implementing "eight initiatives?"

Bronwen Rowlands 

P.S. FYI: here are a couple of good sources of general info about the goings-on at UC.:http://tinyurl.com/yjz7afv , http://tinyurl.com/yfdn2j3 

*** 

BP Responsible 

We have no idea what BP's blunder will cost the country and its citizens over the next few years. The damage of the Exxon Valdez spill is still burdening the aquatic life in Alaska. We have to hold them responsible and keep their obligation open. Furthermore, BP still owes us for damages in their Alaska spill due to their neglect. Let us hold the line here! 

David Romain
El Sobrante 

*** 

Dealing with Hamas 

The Israeli interdictions of the humanitarian ships is the only way to deal with Hamas. Sure, now it looks like only relief supplies but once they get free passage Hamas will begin importing war materials and soon Pampers and Preparation H will become grenade launchers and missiles. There is no other way to deal with the Palestinians, but by force. Perhaps if the United States would adopt some of Israel's methods, it would not be in the bind it's in now and probably will be forever. 

Joanne Silverman
New York. 

*** 

Gates Foundation Grants 

I call on readers to wake up to the Gates Foundation again making big donation to bring about more people facing starvation. In June 8, SF Chronicle, page 5, the Foundation is indicated as granting 1.5 billion dollars for health projects for children that will likely help a lot of them to end up starving. This is not as much as the foundation put up earlier this year with $10 billion for children's vaccinations that will likely end up with a million or more children staying alive but likely close to starving and catching many diseases. 

. When will Gates and his foundation stop grandstanding the health aspects of children and face the reality that survival of children and mothers that his donations give some health help to requires getting much improved food and water supply systems for them? Is it ethical and moral to just help, the children especially, to a better chance to live at the start, but wash one's hands of helping to get them needed food and clean water? The decreasing amounts of food and water that will be available with the world's growing population hardly make it a better chance. Readers here interested in getting this and other foundations to be more actively helping to get better food and clean water to the world's poor might start by e-mailing them, especially the Gates one, pointing out that getting control of some diseases does not stop people from being too weak from lack of proper nutrition to survive. 

Dr. James Singmaster
Fremont 

*** 

BP Should Clean Up What it Messed Up 

The Gulf oil spill is a case of corporate malfeasance, both the destruction of the well and the aftermath with its attendent liabilities. President Obama and other environmentally conscious leaders are demanding that BP be financially responsible for damage caused by the Gulf oil spill. 

What BP messes up, BP needs to clean up without any delaying maneuvers. The oil giant is responsible for the economic and environmental degradation it has caused.
There have been all sorts of solutions floated around besides capping of the well. Put an umbrella type device over the remaining leak and capture up to 90% of the oil, returning it to waiting tankers above. 

The once-beautiful Louisiana wetlands have been turned into an ecological tragedy. Vegetation, birds and animals, are dying of oil contamination. The water in some areas has been turned into goo and muck. 

It is time for BP and the rest of the oil industry to become more sensitive and ecologically-minded - now, rather than later 

The oil spill in the Gulf illustrates how technology, used improperly, can get us into trouble. This environmental wreck is a warning for the future. 

Ron Lowe 

*** 

Why Should Israel Feel Embarrassed? 

I find it interesting that the Israeli government and its supporters complain that the goal of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla is to to embarrass Israel. At the same time, they deny that the blockade is evil and immoral. So, why exactly do they feel embarrassed? 

Israel has, for a very long time, maintained that Gaza was liberated and denied the existence of the blockade. Its policy has always been to assure that the Palestinins continue to suffer in silence without any observers. That is why they did not stop the first 5 Free Gaza Movement ships that sailed into Gaza from August to December 2008. Only after the initial missions generated media coverage did Israel acknowledge its blockade. 

All crossings into Gaza (including Rafah) have been under effective Israeli control per agreement between USA –Israel and the Palestinan Authority. That agreement was dictated to the hapless Palestinian “Authority” by U.S. Secretary of State, Condi Rice in 2005 before Hamas won the legislative council elections. In January 2006, I was stranded on the Egyptian side of the border for more than 24 hours, with an American delegation, due to Israeli objections, even though we all had UN authorization to enter Gaza as election observers. The Rafah crossing was manned by European personnel with cosmetic Palestinian presence while the Israelis observe by remote cameras. No one can cross without explicit Israeli approval. Egypt has, to its shame, continued to honor the American sponsored agreement. 

Hassan Fouda 

*** 

Leadership 

President Obama and Secretary of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar demonstrated great leadership in their decision to postpone Arctic offshore drilling until at least 2011. In light of the Gulf Oil Spill Disaster, this was the responsible decision to make. As President Obama stated, "All drilling must be safe." Let us hope that this is one of many steps to show real leadership on the necessary transition to a clean energy economy and future. 

Bita Edwards
Woodacre


We Have Lost Our Way

By Julia Chaitin, PhD
Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 01:10:00 PM

 I have been trying to get my head around what happened on the Gaza flotilla, with no success.

 

When I turned on the Israeli news at 6:40 a.m. on Monday morning, knowing that the flotilla must be nearing our shores, the broadcaster's first words were a knife to the heart: "Something very bad has happened. The commanders knew ahead of time that this was a lose-lose situation…" I could not help but wonder why the naval commanders (and obviously the higher-ups in the government) would knowingly go into a situation that was "lose-lose." I could not help but wonder why, once again, we had thrust ourselves into an impossible situation, endangered so many lives, perpetuated violence and severely damaged our relations with the world community in a nonsensical effort to enforce the unjustifiable blockade of the Gaza Strip.

 

I can turn off the radio and television and internet, but I cannot turn off my thoughts about all that has happened this week. My thoughts revolve around the steady stream of disturbing news and articles, interviews, photos and videos broadcast on the radio, television, internet, and youtubes. Each new photo, video, interview and article purports to give the "facts" of what happened in the dark, early morning hours of Monday. Each new photo, video, interview and article from outside of Israel puts the blame on my country. Each new piece of news from inside of Israel puts the blame on the 'terrorists' on the boats, on the Hamas, on Iran, and on the Turkish government. Each new 'fact' widens the chasm between Israel and the rest of the world.

 

Over night, our world has turned into one angry and volatile demonstration. It is impossible to count how many people from how many countries are marching, shouting and demanding Israel's blood for the attack on the 'peace ships.' I cannot count how many Israelis are draped in the Israeli flag, portraying the citizens on the boats as 'terrorists', calling Hanin Zuabi – an Arab Knesset member who was on board the Mavi Marmara – a traitor and calling for her blood. We cannot measure how much anger and hatred has resulted from this terribly destructive fiasco. And we do not know how long it will take to dissipate, if it will ever really dissipate.

 

The attack on the flotilla, and all that ensued (whether or not the citizens on board attacked first, second, or later is of no importance) has shown us, once again, how the blind perspective that force can solve the problem has made the problem uglier, deeper, more senseless.

 

With all this darkness, the attack on the flotilla has had one good effect:  It brought the blockade of the forgotten Gaza Strip, from the land, the sea and the air, into the homes of billions/millions of people around the world. More importantly, it brought this immoral and inhumane blockade into the homes of millions of Israelis, who, for the last three years, have chosen to ignore this destructive act that our government has inflicted on an innocent population. This may be the light at the end of the tunnel(s). This might be the beginning of the end of a government and military policy that was borne in vengeance, and has been carried out with a vengeance.  

 

In these dark days, I have tried to understand how my country has so terribly lost its way. From my perspective, for the last number of years, but most especially since the Gaza War, we have rushed to stumble in the darkness because: 

 

We (Israelis) constantly push ourselves deeper and deeper into this black hole called "the conflict." It consumes us, shutting out any other way to see our relations with the Palestinians.

 

We can no longer see any option but the military option.

 

Anyone who does not agree with the government and/or military policy is perceived as a traitor. Democracy is to be feared and freedom of speech has become profanity.

 

Any call for human rights is seen as a call against Israel.

 

We are obsessed with the quality of our hasbara (information/explanations) to the rest of the world concerning our actions. We are obsessed with trying to understand why our hasbara is ineffectual. We are obsessed with explaining our unexplainable behaviors, instead of being passionate about changing them. We spend our resources on embarrassing hasbara instead of using our energies to look for ways to end the conflict that offer the promise of peace, justice and security to Israelis (and Palestinians).

 

We are alienating country after country. We are isolating ourselves in the world, creating new enemies everyday, forgetting that we belong to the world, and that we cannot survive in this world on our own, without friends.

 

We are so obsessed with our own victimhood, that we do not see how we are victimizing others. We see threats and dangers at every turn, and dismiss our actions as self defense against the evil forces that would destroy us. We are militarily strong, but psychologically very, very weak.

 

We have become so indifferent and blind to the suffering of the Palestinians that our hearts have turned to stone.

 

I search for the magic wand (knowing this to be a childish fantasy) that would make my fellow Israelis (ordinary citizens and 'leaders') soften the stone, open the borders, gather in the friends, embrace our Palestinian cousins, spread the rights. I unsuccessfully and naively search in the darkness for this wand, only to realize that if it ever existed, it has fallen into the depths of the black hole of guns and warships and airplanes and helicopters and rockets.

 

From my home near the Gaza border, I hear the drone of the army helicopters, the booms of the artillery, the sirens from the Qassam rockets. I try to remember what life was like when the borders between our two regions were open and we Israelis and Palestinians traveled freely between the two. I vainly search the horizon for Israeli peace trucks and ships that herald the end of the blockade and for the beginning of a new era that offers us a life of peace and security that we Gazans and Israelis need and deserve so desperately. 

 

Julia Chaitin, Ph.D., teaches in the Dept. of Social Work - Sapir Academic College and lives on Kibbutz Urim, Hanegev, Israel.

 

 


AC Transit Has Painted Itself Into A Corner

By Joyce Roy
Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 11:11:00 AM

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is on this Wed.’s AC Transit board agenda after having failed to get buy-in from any of the three cities, Berkeley, Oakland and San Leandro, for their preferred alternative that would require dedicating two out of four lanes for bus only and removing most street parking along its Telegraph/International/14th Street route. They have painted themselves into a corner with an EIR that basically has only one other alternative, the old stand-by—no-build. 

 

AC Transit planners have propagated a myth that unless the buses have dedicated lanes it cannot be called BRT and will not qualify for Federal Small-Starts funds. (They have received $15 million of the $75 million requested.) Dedicated lanes are encouraged but NOT required. (See the Small Starts Fact Sheet.) If it were, very few projects would qualify.Some BRTs create dedicated lanes by adding new lanes but only one in the USA has taken two out of four existing lanes for buses, and that is Euclid Ave. in Cleveland. 

 

Planners use Euclid Ave. as a role model but its story is completely different.A bus agency did not foist it on the city and then request their approval.The whole corridor was part of a redevelopment project with years of public participation involving comprehensive planning including zoning updates and all modes of travel. 

 

Probably most Oaklanders have not even heard of BRT; there was so little public outreach.This past January, the City finally held public meetings.The one in Fruitvale was poorly attended. The one in north Oakland was well attended but neither the Councilmember nor any member of her staff attended.The Council only agreed on a STUDY of the dedicated lanes alternatives after being assured numerous times by staff that they were only voting for a study and NOT a project.They also wanted a curbside BRT studied, which would not remove traffic lanes and parking. 

 

Berkeley has been studying BRT for years with lots of public input, so one can say theirs was a more informed decision—they voted to reject the dedicated lane BRT. 

 

The San Leandro City Council voted reluctantly to study dedicated lanes on a few blocks although their Planning Commission had unanimously opposed it. 

 

AC Transit told the cities that only the alternatives in the draft EIR could be studied.For new alternatives, they would have to find separate funds for a study apart from the EIR. But if they are not included in the EIR, they leave themselves open to a CEQA lawsuit. 

 

Other cites are studying various curbside BRT alternatives that do not have such negative impacts on pedestrians, parking, and vehicular traffic. Los Angeles is proposing a BRT on Wilshire Blvd that operates in the curb lane. San Diego is proposing one with “pop-outs,” bulb-outs at stops. 

 

Geary Blvd includes a curbside alternative with bulb-outs in addition to dedicated lanes in the center.The center one will probably be preferred because they have three lanes in each direction and a median wider than a lane. The planning process included a Citizen Advisory Committee and since the lead agency is not a bus agency but San Francisco County Transportation Authority, all modes have been considered, pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles as well as transit. 

 

One AC Transit boardmember’s response to complaints about impacts on traffic and parking was “that isn’t our concern.We’re a bus agency; our job is increasing bus ridership.” 

 

But the cities are interested in the complete street and they have final say. If there is no acceptable build alternative, the only choice will be “no-build.”I repeat, AC Transit has painted itself into a corner. 

 

 


Three Short Letters of Complaint About Conditions In South Berkeley

By Jerome Wiggins
Monday June 07, 2010 - 09:27:00 PM
Jerome Wiggins

We taxpaying property owners in South Berkeley have to be subjected to the Drop In Center and its dope problem, the illegal housing conversion at 3228 Adeline(Carlson bldg), people getting killed on the corner of Harmon and Adeline due to excessive speed in the corridor, continued lack of enforcement by the city of preferential street parking despite the fact those of us with ZERO street parking are fattening the city’s coffers by paying the permits for preferential street parking, and last but not least, the ongoing street trash problem of Domino’s and the other local businesses. Yet if these instances were occurring in any other part of the city of Berkeley, I would not be writing this email because it would not be an issue, now would it? 

(PS: I left off the pigeon crap and the growing pigeon problem and the recent shooting in front of Sweet Adeline’s bakery.)  

**** 

In late December 2009 and /or early January 2010 as follow-up to a meeting I had with the City of Berkeley City Manager., the city issued a notice to the owner of the above referenced property of city housing, health and fire violations and ordered the vacating of the premises. As of March 2010, the property had been re-rented out again with a new set of tenants living in these illegally converted units in the building, which continues to be a safety and health hazard to the residents now living in the building and to the community as well. The sighting of these new occupants was also confirmed by Sam Dyke of People’s Bazaar. 

The commercial property which is at 3228 Adeline street (Carlson building) illegally converted the ground floor commercial space to substandard housing. I complained to the city about the problem in December 2009, and they inspected it, found it be illegal, and it’s my understanding ordered the property vacated.Recently the property has been reoccupied, moving in new people who appear to be so-called students who are living in there.  

You know we have had another shooting on the South Berkeley /North Oakland border one evening after 6 pm, resulting in another death. This is the second or the third shooting in the last two weeks. The Berkeley iron triangle appears to be the 62nd/King Street area.  

**** 

And just so you know a gentlemen living in the Lorin station housing complex at Adeline and Harmon was struck by a car at the intersection. He was disabled and was stuck in his wheelchair.


Which Demonstration?

By R.G. Davis, Ph.D.
Thursday June 03, 2010 - 11:28:00 AM

If it is evident that a crisis weeks ago will be replaced by another crisis this week: Which demonstration should we go to? Is there a demonstration against both crises? Perhaps comparing the similarities between BP’s underwater oil spew and the Israeli assault on 6 humanitarian aid ships, we might be able to decide. 

The over-arching similarity is the hubris by both sets of perpetrators.The oil corporation didn’t have back up protection, didn’t test equipment, lobbied for deregulation, rather than go slow they plunged ahead and now blame Halliburton (perhaps true) or Transoceanic (also probably true).BP's actions and their partners killed eleven (11) oil workers. 

The Israelis stopped a 6-ship flotilla from delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza residents. The seizure of the ships in international waters, and kidnapping civilians is illegal in addition to their siege/ closure of Gaza. They reportedly killed 9-10-16 or 20 people on board, and wounded others on the ship they invaded, (KPFA, NYT, WSJ, Counterpunch) 

The second similarity is that their instantaneous response to such horrific actions is to spin, lie, distort and produce confusing statements and images in order to control the perception of the event. 

BP faced with “surprise conditions” made the wrong choices while the riggers made a mistake, the cement didn't hold, the sea was rough, therefore eleven (11) workers died.These are the risks one has to take while obtaining oil by drilling 13,000 feet (almost 3 miles) down. 

After seizing 6 ships in international waters, [piracy] the Israelis immediately closed off information about the people seized and distributed videos of passengers with steel pipes about to hit soldiers.The commandos had paint ball guns (this is the good part of the story, even a Zionist would have to belch at this one) and then obviously used their other weapons to kill civilians. The deaths are unfortunate, said Netanyahu. When the deaths in the 2006 Gaza invasion were finally verified it was 1400 Gazans dead and 30-120 IDF soldiers killed by Hamas. The thousands of destroyed buildings and the wounded evaporated in accounts, however, as with cluster bombs, the wounded cause greater hardships then the dead. 

The puffery is both linguistic and horrendous; as it becomes obvious they both are lying.BP said the spew was only 2500 barrels a day, 60 gallons in a barrel—that makes for 150,000 gallons a day. Even though they used a smaller figures calculated in barrels, not gallons, it still was a lie. When NOAA, the Coast Guard and University scientists saw the underwater spew they said it was 12,000 to 18,000 barrels a day. BP’s $25,000 full page ads in major papers stated: “We will get it right.”The mega oil company is careful to avoid using the name British Petroleum(AKA Anglo-Persian Oil) since patriotic nationalistic Americans might realize their economy is being plundered by foreign corporations as in smaller countries. Free Trade, & NAFTA, at home. 

British petroleum executives will not be jailed for killing eleven workers, nor will the Israeli officials be jailed for killing 9 to 16 civilians from different countries. For BP it is insurance payout for dead workers, and for the Israelis the dead are Palestinian supporters, all lesser peoples. 

Who did what, when, where (and why)? 

In BP’s case, a month ago we didn’t know the size of the wells, the rigs, and the depth of destruction, as BP kept the public confused until government agencies, university and ecological tests and cameras investigated. 

We won't know all the details of the Israeli raid until we receive Turkish, French and Spanish information. Israel’s statements like BP’s are flak.The UN Security Council condemned the attack, and requested the Israelis investigate—certainly an opportunity for double-speak.Israeli feeds to the commercial press already claim the people on the ship attacked the Israeli commandos first, with knives, steel rods and deck chairs. Some reports by soldiers said guns, but that item dropped out of later news reports. 

What else unites these two crises? 

These actions affect millions of wild life creatures/critters. The oil spew depletes deep water feeding beds, wetlands, shore life, plus the livelihood of fishermen, tourists, workers operating off the waters plus those who eat the fish or don't because hydrocarbons poison the crustaceans. The Israeli’s argue that their security demands they destroy and kill anywhere; the US and the UK do it.Seven hundred (700) people on the boats were kidnapped: "an act of piracy" said the Turkish ministers, as a million and half Gazans are deprived of healthy necessities. 

The crossover for both is the deep ecological damage. The true unity is an ecological one as resources and people are destroyed in the process of retrieving oil, or the destruction and occupation of homes, farms and villages with walls, special roads, blockades plus periodic air bombardments to hinder Palestinian reconstruction.Imperialist wars, and the concurrent spew of C02, methane, and nitrous oxide from ships, airplanes and helicopters, are a destructive event from inception: Military vehicles are designed polluters. 

In both cases, the subjects ignored by anthropocentric reports are the diseased millions of wild life, fish, phytoplankton, bivalves, in both the Gulf and the Mediterranean. Nature nevertheless responds in ways that capitalist resource hunters or hubristic militarists think it won’t affect them.We, around the edges, will eventually feel the effects of Israeli attempts to prevent Palestinians from living in Palestine, when Moslems, Arabs and religious fundamentalists around the world take up their scimitars for good reason while the phytoplankton in larger numbers will die off, thereby reducing wildlife, and fish. 

The ultimate similarity of BP and Israel is their systemic praxis, and their noted special relationship with the USA.


"Pirates of the Mediterranean" Alert

By Jane Stillwater
Thursday June 03, 2010 - 11:22:00 AM

Question: "When the Israel's navy forcibly boarded an international fleet carrying humanitarian goods to Gaza last week, was this a justifiable military action or was it simply a case of hijacking on the high seas?" Answer: "I don't know. I'm not Captain Jack Sparrow. If you want to know about the finer points of piracy, you had better ask him. But to a mere land-lubber such as myself, it does seem to be a bit dicey that Israeli commandos attacked a humanitarian fleet in international waters, killing ten people and injuring a lot more in the process." 

Perhaps the answer to this question lies in the fact that the boarding attempt took place in international waters? Israel's violent invasion of a ship sailing in international waters seems an awful lot like piracy to me. One would think that Israel's navy could have at least waited until the fleet entered the territorial waters of Israel or until the fleet posed some sort of threat to Israel itself. Israel's premature action has pretty much led the rest of the world to begin to think in terms of hijacking and piracy -- and that's just not cool 

Let's leave hijacking to Somalia, okay? However. We may soon have an instant replay of this whole event -- wherein Israel may be getting a second chance to show that it is or is not still acting like Bluebeard or flying the Jolly Roger. An Irish cargo ship, the "Rachel Corrie," is still steaming full speed ahead toward Gaza and it also contains humanitarian aid in its hold. So. What will the Israeli government do this time? Will it negotiate with the Rachel Corrie? Will it let the good ship Rachel Corrie go through? Or will it repeat last week's disaster? 

We'll soon see. 

But whatever happens during this instant-replay drama on the high seas coming up and whatever the government of Israel decides to do to the "Rachel Corrie," all of this "Pirates of the Mediterranean" behavior on behalf of the Israeli government is still rather short-term stuff -- and perhaps it's time for the Israeli government to look at what is happening over the long run as well. 

Perhaps it is time for the Israeli government to look at the big picture here, back off on its ill-conceived siege of Gaza and get OVER the fact that Hamas actually did win the 2007 Gaza elections fair and square. Perhaps it's time for the Israeli government to forget about "Talk like a Pirate Day," stop pretending that a country approximately the size of New Jersey has the same power, resources, invincibility and chutzpah as Russia or China or America -- and to stop alienating all of its neighbors and more than a few of its friends. 

At some point in time, Israel's government may need to finally realize that it is NOT Johhny Depp or even Erroll Flynn, and does not have the wherewithal to indefinitely keep up all this swagger and booty-hunting -- without pissing a whole bunch of people (and nations) off. 


Columns

The Public Eye: Mad Deficit Disease

By Bob Burnett
Monday June 07, 2010 - 11:30:00 PM

As Congress rushed to adjourn, Democrats dithered over a jobs bill and ultimately reduced benefits to the unemployed because of the concerns of “deficit hawks.” It’s another indication of the prevalence of a form of political dementia, mad deficit disease. It’s insanity to worry about the US deficit when we’re struggling to pull out of a recession. 

It’s not that deficit hawks are operating in a bubble. A recent Gallup Poll found that 45 percent of poll respondents rated the budget deficit a “very important issue,” ahead of terrorism and just behind the economy, healthcare, and unemployment.  

Americans are split on US economic policy. An April CBS/NEW YORK TIMES poll found that 50 percent believed, “The federal government should spend money to create jobs, even if it means increasing the budget deficit,” but 42 percent felt reducing the deficit was more important than creating jobs. 

For those of us who took at least one college course in economics, or studied the lessons of the Great Depression, 2010 economic policy seems obvious: we should spend money to create jobs, even if it means increasing the budget deficit. Nonetheless, millions of Americans disagree. While their stance may be due to the fact that they’ve never taken an economics course or studied the great depression, there are several other explanations. 

There are few business people among members of Congress, most are lawyers or career public servants. The composition of the 110th Congress shows five accountants and no economists. (Arguably, there are more former members of law enforcement than there are congresspeople who started their own business.) When the economy gets in trouble, members of Congress are thrown into a complicated arena outside their personnel experience. 

Liberals and centrists, who aren’t sure what to do about the economy, are confronted by conservatives obsessed with shrinking the size of government. Dogmatic Republicans want to give the market free rein, arguing that a robust open market will ultimately solve all social problems. For years their primary tactic has been to cut taxes, believing that would reduce the size of government. But the Bush Administration cut taxes and the Federal government continued to grow, so conservatives adopted a new mantra: reducing the size of the deficit. 

The success of the new conservative tactic can be explained by several factors. Americans, in general, are concerned about debt. A recent Associated Press/GFK poll found that 46 percent of respondents reported “suffering from debt-related stress.” In order to survive, they’ve taken on mountains of debt. 

US public debt is $13 trillion and growing every day. That’s roughly $42,000 per citizen

Conservatives scream that the government is out of control and argue that no reasonable family or business would run up a trillion dollar debt and keep piling it on. But their argument fails on two accounts. First, the US government isn’t a family or a business. (Arguing that it is a logical fallacy of composition.) The government can print money and change interest rates, while a family or business doesn’t have that power. 

Second, conservatives ignore the reality that, under certain circumstances, families and business may operate in the red. A family may go into debt to buy a new home or to pay for someone’s education. A business may go into debt because it needs to build a new factory or expand its sales force. The average personal debt per US citizen is $53,455. If we asked American debtors if their debt load was justified, most would argue that it was because it enabled them to remodel their house or enhance their job prospects or pay for an operation. 

Two things lie behind the conservative reduce the deficit mantra. One is their blind drive to shrink the size of government no matter whom it hurts. The other is their belief that the federal government shouldn’t have an economic strategy; US fiscal policy should arise organically from the marketplace. 

Conservatives are wrong. In times of economic chaos, the federal government needs a comprehensive strategy. The 2008 financial crisis clearly demonstrated that we couldn’t trust Wall Street or the mythical marketplace to manage the economy. The Federal government needs to do that. 

The Obama Administration has a plan to revive the economy. It includes increasing the deficit, temporarily, to provide benefits for the unemployed and to stimulate employment. That’s a worthy objective, comparable to a family going into debt, temporarily, to put a son or daughter through medical school.  

Philosopher George Santayana famously said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Apparently, deficit hawks cannot remember the lessons learned from the Great Depression, which was made infinitely worse by the failure of the Hoover Administration to embrace deficit spending in order to save banks and spur employment. 

Blind opposition to increasing the deficit runs the risk of killing the recovery. We can’t let that happen. Liberals need to fight back. We need to eradicate mad deficit disease. 

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


Blogbeat: Does BP Stand for Berkeley Petroleum?

By Thomas Lord
Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 10:40:00 AM

Stuff found on-line about Berkeley and its neighbors... Two topics this week:First, Berkeley’s love/hate relationship with BP is back in the news.Second, at an author’s event you’ll have a chance to learn how the Internet is messing with your head. 

BP and Berkeley: Oil and Vinegar? 

A relative I’ve long since lost track of used to work in the high tech coatings field. I suppose that one point you could say that he was basically a paint salesman who sold particularly fancy paints to oil companies for use on oil rigs. Because of his training in chemistry he’d fly out into the Gulf of Mexico to spend some time on the rigs, seeing how the coatings were performing in the harsh, real-world conditions. I once asked him about the problem of oil spills – there were some in recent news at the time.“Bah,” he said, “you can basically just pour that stuff directly on the ground.It’s clean.” 

He was not a fellow to take too lightly abuses of the environment. And he was not a fellow too quick to make lousy excuses for his livelihood. I was pretty young at the time but his comment seemed out of character to me. I’ve pondered it, off an on, over the years. 

I still think he was rather a lot too cavalier in that pronouncement but recently the blog Berkeleyside carried discussion and a video link to a lecture by Terry Hazen of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab . The piece was contributed by Jane Tierney,who was formerly a Scientific and Technical Information Manager for LBL.(See http://www.berkeleyside.com/2010/06/04/berkeley-scientist-advises-on-clean-up-in-gulf-oil-spill/) 

The lecture linked to is by no means easy going for us average folks. It is a lecture by a microbial ecologist primarily for an audience of biologists and other scientists – chock full of complicated jargon and scientific details that are hard to follow. Nevertheless it’s interesting viewing. It turns out that naturally occuring processes, perhaps very gently nudged along, are one of the best techniques we have so far for cleaning up after spills and other environmental disasters. 

Meanwhile, the “blogosphere” (is it too soon to drop the quotation marks) is showing signs of re-igniting old controversies over BP’s funding of the Energy Biosciences Institute .For example, the Daily Clog (blog of the Daily Californian) raises the issue , concluding “But hey, before we get into this fight, let’s clean the pelicans off. We need to prioritize.” They and other bloggers re-raising the issue are mostly reacting to a recent article in the Sacramento Bee . (Those links, spelled out: http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2007-03-23/article/26618 , http://clog.dailycal.org/2010/06/07/berkeley-and-bp-strange-bedfellows/ , and http://www.sacbee.com/2010/06/06/2801531/bp-funds-search-for-green-fuels.html ). 

While some begin to renew the question of whether or not BP has too much influence over Berkeley institutions, Robert Reich (Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley) is defending on his blog his notion that the government ought to take greater control of BP .He argues for placing the company into receivership – temporarily seizing control – to better align its corporate interests with the public welfare. Critics appear to be having to stretch a bit to try to argue why that would be a bad idea. 

Just Relax and Let the Links Gently Massage Your Brain 

The “stuff” above about BP and Berkeley is pretty much what this column is for: to offer up some topical starting points for finding news about Berkeley on the web with particular attention to non-conventional sources. In some sense, the goal of this column is to encourage readers to go away and read something else. But, wait, before you go: 

There is a lot of interesting scientific evidence that, well, all of these link following distractions are, as they said at Woodstock, “not specifically good”. Does the wealth of content on the Internet not merely provide excuses for wasting time but actually change the way you think, and not obviously for the better? 

A highly praised and non-hysterical exploration of the science and its implications is available in a new book by Nicholas Carr:“The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains”. 

Mr. Carr will be speaking at the Hillside Club on June 24 ($10 in advance, $12 at the door). 

I have a selfish reason for mentioning the event: he surprised me by quoting me in the book.He apparently liked a comment I’d posted to his blog and, in addition to quoting from it in the book, re-posted it as Tom Lord on ritual, knowledge and the web , a title that almost makes me sound like I know what I’m talking about. 

(Links: http://www.hillsideclub.org/programs/author-talks (see about halfway down the page) and http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2008/11/tom_lord_on_rit.php ). 

Do be in touch: lord@emf.net


Gaza Flotilla: Prelude to a Wider War?

By Conn Hallinan
Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 10:49:00 AM

Looked at from a diplomatic point of view, Israel’s attack on the Gaza aid flotilla was an act of astonishing stupidity: it burned bridges to Israel’s one friend in the Middle East, Turkey; it drew world-wide condemnation for what many call an act of piracy; and it shifted the focus from Hamas to the inhumanity of the blockade.What were Tel Aviv’s decision makers thinking? 

 

Well, a leading Jerusalem Post columnist suggests “a possible way to explain Israel’s decision to stop the flotilla to Gaza…was the Israeli government’s readiness to accept the development of a potential war with none other than Teheran.” 

 

While the idea of jumping from the Gaza disaster into an Iranian frying pan seems insane, Shira Kaplan argues that Israel has used such “casus belli” in the past as a rationale for making war: the 1956 Suez Crisis sparked by an Egyptian move to nationalize the Canal; the 1967 Six-Day War in response to Nasser’s closing of the Tiran Straits; and the 2006 invasion of Lebanon following the seizure of two Israeli soldiers. 

 

“Israel may very well be meaning to seize this regional crisis as a casus belli to challenge Teheran, “she writes. 

 

There are a few developments that give one pause. 

 

First, Israel recently deployed Flotilla 7 in the Persian Gulf, consisting of three submarines—the Dolphin, the Tekuma, and the Leviathan—armed with nuclear tipped missiles. According to an Israeli naval officer quoted in the Sunday Times, “The 1500 kilometer range of the submarines’ cruise missiles can reach any target in Iran.” 

 

Second, the Netanyahu administration has elevated the use of unreasonable force to its standard modis operandi.The recent debacle in Dubai is a case in point. The Israelis sent a team of 27 assassins to kill a mid-level Hamas official who didn’t even merit a bodyguard. The hit not only deeply angered Dubai—which at the time had a cordial relationship with Tel Aviv—but annoyed Australia, Great Britain, Ireland, and Germany by counterfeiting their citizens’ passports. 

 

According to the Financial Times, the Gaza flotilla calamity bears a lot of similarity to the disastrous 2006 decision to invade Lebanon. Yehezkei Dror, a member of the Winograd Committee that examined the 2006 invasion, concluded that a major reason things went wrong was that the Israeli cabinet deferred to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), which long has had a tendency to underestimate an enemy. 

 

In the case of Gaza, however, the key decision-makers didn’t have to defer to the IDF. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are both former members of the Sayeret Matkal special forces, and the Minister of Strategic Affairs, Moshe Yaalon, is a former IDF chief of staff. According to the newspaper Maariv, Netanyahu and Barak never even bothered to hold a full cabinet discussion about the Gaza operation, and even cut out the cabinet’s five member inner core. To Netanyahu and Barak—two hammers—the Gaza flotilla was a nail. 

 

Kaplan suggests that the Israeli government “has probably decided to come nearer to a point of no return with Teheran.” Certainly things are not going Tel Aviv’s way right now. 

 

The Brasilia-Ankara initiative to ship 1,200 kilos of Iranian nuclear fuel to Turkey for reprocessing is gaining support, and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva is launching a full-court press aimed at getting Russia, China and France on board. 

 

Israel has never been this internationally isolated, and its charge that the Gaza blockade is aimed at preventing Iran from establishing a foothold on the Mediterranean is gaining few supporters.But rather than backing off, Netanyahu has pulled the wagons in a circle and stepped up the rhetoric about the Iranian threat. All the talk about Iran being an “existential threat” and references to the Holocaust is the kind of language that leads people to make very bad decisions.. 

 

Right now the last thing the Obama administration needs is a war with Iran, because a war between Teheran and Tel Aviv would almost surely involve the U.S. on some level. But the Israelis are not listening much these days to Washington. The White House said it told the Israelis not to “over-react” to the Gaza flotilla, a plea that was clearly ignored. 

 

Polls show two out of three Israelis disapprove of the attack on the flotilla, but are the two military men running the Tel Aviv government listening? Or are they about to take advantage of a crisis to launch a regional war that would make the Gaza boat attack look like a glass of spilled milk? 


Senior Power:... awareness, prevention, and confrontation

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 12:15:00 PM

Elder abuse has not received adequate media exposure, funding from various levels of government, or recognition by the public. Within an institution, staff members are usually the guilty parties; outside, family members are often involved. The U.S. Census Bureau projects 62 million Americans will be age 65 or older by 2025. What’s needed?Awareness, prevention, and confrontation of elder abuse. 

“Elder abuse” is a general term used to describe certain types of harm to older adults. Some other commonly used, sometimes more or less specific, terms include: battering, domestic violence, elder mistreatment, intimate partner violence, OLDER PEOPLE—ABUSE OF. The San Diego District Attorney’s office has defined elder abuse as the physical or psychological mistreatment of a senior; it can include taking financial advantage or neglecting the care of a senior. Elder abuse crimes fall into several categories:  

Physical abuse, including assaults, batteries, sexual assaults, false imprisonment and endangerment;  

Physical neglect by a caregiver, including withholding medical services or hygiene that exposes the elderly person to the risk of serious harm;  

Psychological mental abuse, including making threats or the infliction of emotional harm;  

Financial abuse, including theft of personal items such as cash, investments, real property and jewelry and neglect. 

xxxx 

Worldwide, newspapers report elder abuse “a hidden national epidemic,” a crime in many locations. England’s Guardian reports a government-backed study to examine risk of abuse and neglect of older people on National Health Service wards. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports “Japanese visit for ideas on elder care: Social workers want to avoid senior abuse.” California Bay Area newspaper reportage has included: “Dementia patients mistreated, suit says”; “Elder abuse, fraud alleged at rest home near Lake Merritt;” “Murder, elder abuse charges for 2 in death of their client;” “Early involvement critical to curbing elder scams; “Elder Protection Court crucial to halting abuse; “Real estate broker pleads no contest to cheating senior;” “Senior-abuse agencies short on funds,” and “Elder facility accused of abuse.”  

March 22, 2010 TV news reportage of events associated with the Elmwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (a for-profit corporation, 2929 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley) once again brought nursing homes and caretakers, and thereby, elder abuse, into the news. Briefly. (See also Planet April 1, 2010).Caregivers and nursing homes are allied in a symbiotic relationship of mutual benefit and dependence. Approximately 25% of elder abuse occurs in nursing homes and other retirement facilities. 

Staff (and oversight agencies and board members) of senior centers, senior housing, nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities, retirement communities and ombudsmen, certain college and university classes, caregivers and related commissions and agencies are responsible for communicating elder abuse facts of life to their associates: what it is and where to go for help. Mandated reporter definitions and requirements apply in all counties within California (Welfare and Institutions Code section 15630-32.)  

Because the crime of elder abuse is under-reported, no statistic conveys the situation. A nationwide analysis of elder abuse estimated that reported cases increased 30% percent from 1997 to 2007. Each state has its own elder abuse laws, so definitions of abuse and prosecution vary across the country. State adult protective service programs, which handle elder abuse, are severely underfunded, a problem exacerbated by recession-era cuts in state budgets. Florida — the state with the second-highest 65+ population — reports of elder abuse have greatly increased. The California Legislature voted to eliminate the Attorney General’s Crime and Violence Prevention Center from the State’s 2008/09 budget. Five years have passed since the Sacramento County District Attorney declared that “We are on the cutting edge of a large movement around the country to establish Elder Death Interdisciplinary Review Teams, and little progress appears to have been made. 

The good news. President Obama has signed into law the Elder Justice Act and the Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act as part of health care reform legislation, thus enacting what the non partisan 622-member Elder Justice Coalition considers “The most comprehensive federal legislation ever to combat elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.”  

The Elder Justice Act’s provisions include Adult Protective Servicesfunding and grants supporting the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. It establishes an Elder Justice Coordinating Council to make recommendations to the Secretary of HHS on coordination of activities of federal, state, local and private agencies and entities relating to elder abuse, neglect and exploitation; report recommendations are due in 2 years.  

The Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act creates a national program of criminal background checks for persons seeking employment in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. 

The decennial White House Conference on Aging is in the planning stages. Its purpose is to make recommendations to the President and Congress to help guide national aging policies for the next 10 years and beyond. The theme of the 2015 White House Conference on Aging is “The Shape of Things to Come.” Urge your U.S. Senators and Congressional Representative do their part to make consideration of elder abuse prominent.  

xxxx 

A neighbor who is concerned wants both confirmation that what s/he observes is indeed elder abuse and that something will be done about it. 

Some of the signs that warn of possible elder abuse are: 

An elder who looks dirty, has sores or rashes, poor hygiene, may be neglected. 

Helplessness or hesitation to talk openly. 

Depression, withdrawal, suicidal acts, refusing medical attention. 

Sudden social isolation. 

Sudden involvement of a previously uninvolved relative or a new friend. 

Pressure to change a will, power of attorney or to add a name to a property deed or to bank accounts. 

Disparity between lifestyle of the elder and the elder’s caregiver. 

 

What action can you take to cope with elder abuse? Here are a few suggestions geared to Berkeley, California, but which can be extrapolated.  

(1) If you suspect elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799 -7233. To connect with services by state and city, contact the U.S. Administration on Aging’s Eldercare Locator at 800-677-1116 or www.ncea.aoa.gov . In Alameda County, call Adult Protective Services at 866-225-5277. To report suspected elder mistreatment in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, call 800-231-4024.  

(2) Check libraries’ catalogs under the subject heading OLDER 

PEOPLE—ABUSE OF. If there is a publication that you want and it is not in the library catalog, request its acquisition. Don’t forget magazines and newspapers.  

The UCB Resource Center on Aging’s library data base [catalog]has titles of videos, books, pamphlets, newsletters and reports under the subject heading elder abuse. Phone before visiting: 510-643-6427; an appointment is necessary.  

(3) Urge your local government to acknowledge that “senior services” includes recognition that elder abuse is everywhere. Ask your area agency on aging, advisory commission on aging, and county supervisor to spearhead a task force on elder abuse. 

Berkeley’s Commission on Aging is “charged with identifying the needs of the aging, creating awareness of these needs, and encouraging improved standards of services to the aging.Council shall appoint one of its members as liaison.” Contact your Councilmember to convey your interest and concern, willingness to work on the problem and or awareness of a particular instance. Attend Commission on Aging meetings.  

Affiliate with a congenial and active senior center. Attend related classes and meetings. If there is none, start one! Consult center directors regarding their responsibility to program meetings, workshops, and seminars on elder abuse.  

(4) Get on online mailing lists of such organizations as the Elder Justice Coalition and the National Center on Elder Abuse, Washington, D.C. 

(5) Attend meetings of the Alameda County Advisory Commission on Aging. The Alameda County Area Agency on Aging is at 6955 Foothill Blvd., Oakland 94605. 510-577-1900.It operates a “Senior Information & Assistance” line: 800 510 2020. For information about your Area Agency on Aging, www.cahf.org/public/consumer/areaagcy.php

(6) Check into the nearest chapters of the Older Women’s League and Gray Panthers.If they don’t evidence activism regarding elder abuse, don’t abandon them!Don’t agonize… organize! 

(7) Write letters to newspapers. When you read a newspaper article or reportage on the subject of elder abuse, write a letter commending (or critiquing as necessary) to the editor. When writing a letter, be sure to clear-copy someone else who has (or should have) similar concerns. 

(8) Convey your concern to your elected officials-- state legislators and federal Representative and Senators at both their local and Sacramento/D.C. addresses. Note whether their websites list ELDER ABUSE among current topics… or even senior issues!Speak up. 

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: 

Preventing Elder Abuse and Neglect in Older Adults: Tips from the American Geriatrics Society Foundation for Health in Aging.” 

“Seniors & the Law; A Guide for Maturing Californians.” Free from the California Bar Foundation.. 

Helen Rippier Wheeler can be reached at pen136@dslextreme.com 

No email attachments; use “Senior Power” for subject.


Iran, Brazil, Turkey & the Ghost of Lord Palmerston

By Conn Hallinan
Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 11:01:00 AM

Lord Palmerston—twice England’s prime minister during the middle 1800s—once commented, “England has no permanent friends and no permanent enemies, only permanent interests.” Watching the fallout over Brazil’s and Turkey’s recent diplomatic breakthrough on Iran brings Palmerston’s observation to mind: while U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hailing our “friends” support for tough sanctions aimed at Teheran, much of her supporting cast were busy hedging their bets and deciding that their interests just might lay elsewhere. 

 

True, Russia and China signed on, but their endorsement was filled with ambiguity and diplomatic escape hatches. 

 

As Clinton was dismissing the efforts of Brazil and Turkey, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said his country “expressed its welcome and appreciation for the diplomatic efforts of all parties.” A Foreign Ministry spokesman added that the agreement to send 58 percent of Iran’s nuclear fuel to Turkey for enrichment “will benefit the process of peacefully resolving the Iran nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiations.” 

 

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called for “urgent consultations with all interested parties, including Iran, to decide what to do next,” hardly a call to arms. His First Deputy Prime Minister, Sergi Ivanov, said that while his country was “supportive” of the U.S., it was drawing a “red line” at sanctions that were “suffocating” or would affect ordinary Iranians. 

 

He then added a pinch of Palmerston: “We have a completely different position. We have a trading relationship, and the potential to develop it. We have energy interests, human interests, and tourism.” 

 

The Russians also made it clear that they would be unhappy with unilateral sanctions by the U.S. and the European Union. Such unilateral actions would be “of an extraterritorial nature beyond the agreed decision of the international community and contradicting the principle of the rule of international law, enshrined in the UN Charter,” according to the Russian Foreign Ministry. 

 

The U.S. State Department’s claim that the “international community” is behind the U.S. is increasingly sounding like whistling past the graveyard. 

 

Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna said the Brazil/Turkey/Iran deal was “a constructive move,” and pointed out that India has a “deep desire to have a friendly relationship” with Iran. He also pointed out that “The U.S. has its own foreign policy and India has its own.” 

 

The Arab League’s General Secretary Amr Moussa said he hoped the agreement would “solve the current problem regarding the Iranian nuclear file.” 

 

United Nation Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, “We hope that this and other initiatives may open the door to a negotiated settlement.” 

 

France’s President Nicholas Sarkozy, normally hawkish on Iran, called the deal a “positive step.” 

 

Even the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) Supreme Commander, U.S. Admiral James Stavridis said the fuel swap deal was a “a potentially good development.” 

 

This should hardly come as a surprise; just follow the ruble, the yuen, and the franc. 

 

In his visit to Ankara earlier this month, Medvedev said, “Russia and Turkey are strategic partners, not only in words but genuinely.” That was certainly strange talk about a key member of NATO with which Moscow has gone to war in the past. 

 

But with rubles at stake, who worries about history? 

 

Medvedev and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed 17 agreements worth some $25 billion, including building four nuclear power plants. The two countries also discussed Russian participation in a Black Sea- Mediterranean pipeline that would make Ankara a player in the Central Asia energy game. The Turks also seem to be more favorably disposed toward Moscow’s South Stream natural gas pipeline to Europe. 

 

And lastly, the Russian president said he would push to raise bilateral trade from $40 billion a year to $100 billion within five years. 

 

If the U.S. thinks the Russians are going to have a falling out with the Turks over the Iran sanctions, then delusion is the order of the day in Washington. 

 

And China? Brasilia’s number one trading partner, which loaned Petrobras $10 billion to develop Brazil’s huge South Atlantic subsalt oil deposits? And just signed an agreement with Brasilia to develop a joint defense industry (no doubt lured by the $20-plus billion that Brazil is handing out in defense contracts)? Will China go to the mat for the U.S. over the Iran sanctions?See “order of the day” above. 

 

France appears to be playing the dog that didn’t bark. Might Gallic discreetness have anything to do with a $12 billion defense deal with Brazil for 50 helicopters and four Scorpene submarines? Could it be the $10.2 billion Brasilia is shelling out for 36 of France’s Rafale fighter jets? The Rafale is very a cute airplane, not terribly fast, that came in third in an open competition with fighters made by Boeing and Saab. But as Rhys Thompson of ISN Security Watch notes, “The Brazilian government reiterated that the final choice of a fighter jet would be based on political and strategic considerations and not primarily guided by technical aspects.” In short, we buy your cookies, you be nice to us in return (and maybe lower European Union tariffs for Brazilian agricultural goods). 

 

As more and more countries line up behind the Turkish-Brazilian deal, it looks less and less likely that the Security Council will pass sanctions, in part because the deal is a good one and represents a sea change in international power relations. But also because countries like Russia, China, India, and France are also keeping Lord Palmerston’s dictum in mind. 


Restoration Comedy:Let Them Eat Paperwork

By Jane Powell
Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 11:26:00 AM

If you missed the previous installment, this is part two of the story of attempting to get my mortgage modified under HAMP, the Home Affordable Mortgage Program rolled out last year by the Obama administration. 

 

I should make it clear that I don't think the problem lies with NACA- they are clearly overwhelmed by the number of people they are trying to help, and they didn't set up the rules or the process. Rather, it's clear that the process is being used by the banks to delay actually doing any modifications and hoping homeowners will just give up and let them foreclose, because the federal government offered them a carrot without a stick. 

 

Funny, the Bush administration basically handed Hank Paulson a check for $700 billion to give to the financial industry on about two days notice, but it's taking regular people a year or more to maybe, MAYBE get their interest rate lowered for a few years. Principal reduction- no way. After all, we peons have been told that we have A Moral Obligation To Repay Our Debts, even though large developers and investment firms are just walking away from their projects or land because it no longer makes financial sense, yet their credit ratings aren't being destroyed, and no one is trying to make them feel ashamed. So even though we, the taxpayers, are now the owners of all these mortgages- essentially they have been paid off, or at least taken off the books, it is still left to individuals to negotiate with the lenders on their own- lenders who have no real incentive to do a damn thing. Some people who now owe more than their house is worth who can't get a modification are now making the eminently rational business decision of letting the bank foreclose and just walking away-but there are so many people who have drunk the kool-aid about The Moral Obligation To Repay Your Debts that every time there's a newspaper article about people struggling to get modifications or facing foreclosure there will be vitriolic letters and comments- I expect to get a few, since I put my e-mail at the end of this article. Apparently the banks didn't feel any moral compunction about crashing the entire global economy with their greed, but let one regular person who is suffering in the current depression ask for a few thousand dollars worth of help, and it's the end of the freaking world. I just love social Darwinism. 

 

Anyway, just when I thought I was done with the bank statements, I talked to another counselor who inquired about my rental income. You guessed it- had to go back through the bank statements and circle the rental income deposits too. More faxing. Then I was told I also had to total all the deposits and expenses and write them on the front page of the statements. Jesus, it's like effing kindergarten!Makes it easier for NACA and the bank, I suppose- no one trying to make it easier for the homeowners. More faxing. 

 

In early February I talk to yet another person at NACA. He's looking at my income- says basically I have negative income. Duh. He asks how much I pay for health insurance. I tell him:$1163 a month. “That's a year?” he says. “No,” I say, “that's per month.” I have to repeat it three times. But we wouldn't want to have that socialist single-payer health care, would we? He asks for paperwork documenting the premium- more faxing. Tells me he's going to ask the lender for a forbearance- a six month payment suspension which no doubt gets added on to the end of the loan and probably destroys my credit rating to boot- I don't know. During the six month forbearance, I am supposed to try to increase my income somehow- probably by succeeding in renting the empty room that I had to evict the deadbeat asshole from back in January. Of course it took me six months to re-rent the last empty room I had- and that's how it is these days. He tells me it will take 30 days to get an answer and that I should call to check on my file status in two weeks. 

 

Unfortunately, he doesn't bother to give me his extension, so when I call in two weeks I am unable to get hold of him, instead I try the regular customer service line. All representatives are currently busy, naturally. But my call is important to them. I put on the headset phone and go outside to pull weeds. After two hours on hold I give up, though I do get an entire green can full of weeds pulled. 

 

Eventually a reply from the lender shows up when I check my file on the NACA website. They are offering a three month forbearance. I send them an email refusing the offer, and explaining it's going to take at least six months to rent the room. Then, nothing. No response from the lender. I try twice to make phone appointments with NACA- no one calls. I have no idea who has my file at the lender, and calls to their 800 number lead only to rounds of voicemail hell. 

 

Meanwhile, I've been trying to rent the room since the first of April. Anybody want to move into the fabulous bunga-mansion? 

 

 

 

Jane Powell writes for the Planet whenever she gets around to it and can be reached at hsedressng@aol.com 

 


Wild Neighbors: Western Bluebird Family Values

By Joe Eaton
Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 12:05:00 PM

I was surprised to learn earlier this year that western bluebirds have been nesting in South Berkeley. I suspect this is pretty uncommon; in the 1920’s, Joseph Grinnell and Margaret Wythe reported “rare cases” of nesting in Berkeley (and elsewhere this side of the East Bay Hills.) Local birder Rusty Scalf caught the bluebirds in the act last May, using a tree cavity at San Pablo Park. In January, a city tree maintenance crew removed the dead limb that contained the cavity. After some prodding by Scalf and other local bluebird advocates, a nest box was installed on the tree; the birds adopted it and successfully reared four nestlings. 

 

Scalf says he was surprised by his discovery as well; he would have expected any suitable bluebird nest site to be preempted by house sparrows. These ubiquitous aliens have been known to stage hostile takeovers of bluebird nests, pecking the nestlings to death. Scalf theorizes that Berkeley’s house sparrows have become imprinted on terra cotta roof tiles as nest sites and don’t bother with tree cavities. 

 

This year a second pair nested in a street tree on Parker Street. A couple of weeks ago I saw what appeared to be two males, both with intensely blue plumage, foraging together around the corner on Sacramento. Scalf writes: “A second male is hanging out in that area, sometimes right next to the nest tree. The parents go on about their business, feeding the young in the box and ignore this male.” The literature on western bluebird behavior suggests that the supernumerary male may be a sibling of the nesting male, tolerated by the normally territorial pair. 

 

The family life of western bluebirds can, in fact, be somewhat complicated. Several field studies have documented the role of helpers that assist a pair in caring for their young. A lot of the data on cooperative breeding in this species has come from a multi-year study by Janis Dickinson, now at Cornell, at UC’s Hastings Reserve in the Carmel Valley. According to a 1996 article by Dickinson, Walter Koenig (best known for his acorn woodpecker research), and Frank Pitelka, all the adult helpers and most of the juvenile helpers observed over a twelve-year period were male. Almost three-quarters of the adult helpers assisted birds that were presumed to be their parents. 

 

Having helpers is an obvious boon to the parents, and seems to favor nestling survival. In the Hastings study, nests with adult helpers fledged 12 percent more young than unassisted nests. Nestlings attended by adult helpers received more feeding visits per hour, had higher growth rates, and were more likely to fledge successfully. In Oregon, assisted parents lived longer, fledged more nestlings, and had more offspring live to adulthood than those without helpers. 

 

But what’s in it for the helpers? Dickinson and her colleagues reported that their rates of survival, future mating, and breeding success are not significantly different from those of nonhelpers. 

 

In an evolutionary fitness sense, though, they benefit from the increased survival of their siblings, whose genes they share. It’s the logic of the anthill and the beehive, where sterile female workers care for sisters produced by the queen. 

 

Helpers may also be in a position to take over a territory when their parents die. And recent work out of the Hastings Reserve shows that some young males are allowed to set up their nesting territories on the periphery of their parents’—the avian equivalent of an in-law apartment. (It’s not clear from what I’ve read whether these birds are former or current helpers. Some males do attend their parents’ nests while raising their own broods.) 

 

The catch to this starter-home scenario is that the senior male sometimes mates with his daughter-in-law. The cuckolded son winds up rearing his father’s offspring instead of, or at best along with, his own. Still, from a genetic standpoint, that would be better than expending your energy on nestlings sired by a rank stranger. 

 

Researchers are using DNA paternity studies to assess the fitness costs and benefits to the younger males. 

 

Biologists used to state confidently that most bird species were monogamous. Genetic studies have shown that while many are socially monogamous, they still manage a fair number of extra-pair copulations (EPCs for short.) Bridget Stutchburys’ new book The Private Lives of Birds is a good source for the multitude of variations on this theme. The family arrangements of western bluebirds are in fact fairly conventional compared to those of their oak-savannah neighbors, the acorn woodpeckers, who carry on like Sixties communards. 

 


 

 


Arts & Events

Classical Music-East Bay Through June 20

Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 01:38:00 PM

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF BERKELEY 

"Magnificat," June 11, 8 p.m. Program features motets by Chiara Margarita Cozzolani. $32-$38. (510) 642-9988, www.bfx.berkeley.edu. 

Marion Vebruggen Trio, June 11, 5 p.m. Program features works by Telemann, Handel and Bach. $32-$38. (510) 642-9988, www.bfx.berkeley.edu. 

"Early Music Discovery for Children," June 12, 10 a.m.-noon. Kids can try out early music instruments, supervised by skilled practitioners. (888) 722-5288, www.earlymusic.org. 

Artek, June 12, 8 p.m. Program features works by Monteverdi. $32-$38. (510) 642-9988, www.bfx.berkeley.edu. 

Music's Re-Creation, June 12, 5 p.m. Program features works by William Lawes, John Jenkins, William Young and Matthew Locke. $25. (510) 642-9988, www.bfx.berkeley.edu. 

"Festival Finale Celebration: Vespers in Venice from Monteverdi to Vivaldi," June 13, 4 p.m. Featuring Magnificat, ARTEK, Marion Verbuggen Trio, AVE, Sacabuche, Music's Re-creation and Archetti and soloists performing works by Monteverdi, Rovetta and Cavalli. $32-$38 (510) 642-9988, www.bfx.berkeley.edu. 

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

 

LA PENA CULTURAL CENTER 

"Ayer, Hoy y Pa'lante," June 12 through June 13, 8 p.m. Original musical suite by Wayne Wallace; libretto by Aya de Leon. $12-$14. 

3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 849-2568, www.lapena.org.

 

LIVE OAK PARK 

"Fresh Voices X Festival of New Works," June 17, 18, 19 at 8 p.m., July 20 at 7 p.m. Program features works by John G. Bilotta, Chris Whittaker, Edward Knight and Daniel Felsenfeld. $15-$25. (415) 289-6877, www.goathall.org. 

1300 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. < 

 

ST. PAUL'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH 

San Francisco Choral Artists, June 20, 4 p.m. Program features 25 works selected from 130 works premiered under Artistic Director Magen Solomon. $10-$23. 

114 Montecito Ave., Oakland. < 

 

TRINITY CHAMBER CONCERTS 

Paul Garcia and Henry Kramer, June 19, 8 p.m. Program features works by Beethoven, Debussy, Cage and Adams. $8-$12. (510) 549-3864. 

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


Popmusic-East Bay Through June 20

Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 01:30:00 PM

924 GILMAN ST. -- All ages welcome. 

Subhumans, MDC, A-Heads, Sahn Maru, June 11, 7 p.m. $12.  

Ceremony, Paint it Black, Until Your Heart Stops, Purple Mercy, June 13, 5 p.m. $12.  

Stellar Corpses, June 18, 7:30 p.m. $8-$10.  

Chris Murray, Monica and the Explosions, Monkey, Bohunks, Boss 501, Down Syndrome, June 19, 7:30 p.m. $8.  

One in the Chamber, Thou, Moloch, Badr Vogu, June 20, 5 p.m. $7.  

$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.

 

ALAMEDA COUNTY COMMUNITY FOOD BANK  

"Ayer, Hoy, y Pa'lante," June 13, 7 p.m. $12-$14.  

7900 Edgewater Dr., Oakland. (510) 635-3663, www.accfb.org.

 

ALBATROSS PUB  

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

George Cotsirilos Jazz Trio, June 12, 9 p.m.  

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  

Jeffrey Halford and the Healers, June 12, 8 p.m. $10.  

Hopeful Romantics, June 13, 3 p.m. $10.  

The Hopeful Romantics, June 13, 3 p.m. $10.  

"Blues Jam," June 14, 7 p.m. $3.  

Left Coast, June 16, 8 p.m. $8.  

Nez B. and Bass Culture, June 18, 8 p.m. $10.  

Caroompas Room, June 19, 8 p.m. $10.  

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

 

ASHKENAZ  

Luv Fyah, June 11, 9:30 p.m. $10.  

Tom Rigney and Flambeau, June 12, 9 p.m. $10-$13.  

Jeff Johnson, June 13, 7 p.m. $10-$12.  

Creole Belles with Andrew Carriere, June 15, 8:30 p.m. $10.  

Quinn Deveaux and the Blue Beat Review, June 16, 9 p.m. $10.  

Dgiin, Eric John Kaiser, June 17, 8:30 p.m. $10.  

Boleros, June 18, 9:30 p.m. $10-$12.  

Baba Ken and Kotoja, June 19, 9:30 p.m. $10-$13.  

Israeli Folkdancing featuring Adama, June 20, 2 p.m. $8.  

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

 

BLAKE'S ON TELEGRAPH  

Caldecott, Big Nasty, Jonathon Beast and the Bathroom Floors, June 11, 9 p.m. $10.  

Sludgebucket, To Worship the Silence, Calling Doctor Howard, June 12, 9 p.m. $10.  

Winters Fall, June 18, 9 p.m. $10.  

The System Relief, Exit Eden, June 19, 9 p.m. $10.  

Terrible Things, June 20, 7 p.m. $8-$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.

 

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. 

Foreverland, June 11, 5:30 p.m. Free.  

Free unless otherwise noted; parking fee may be charged. 1252 McKay Ave., Alameda. (510) 521-6887, www.ebparks.org.

 

ED REED, SEKHOU SENEGAL, ASSANE AND OUSSEYANE KOUYATE June 11. Point Richmond Music presents a summer concert. Event held in downtown Point Richmond on Park Place, just off I-580. 

Free.5:30 p.m.www.pointrichmond.com/prmusic/index.htm.< 

 

FREIGHT AND SALVAGE  

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

John and Hope Keawe, June 11, 8 p.m. $20.50-$21.50.  

Phil Marsh with the Cleanliness and Godliness Shuffle Band, June 12, 8 p.m. $18.50-$19.50.  

Austin Lounge Lizards, June 13, 8 p.m. $20.50-$21.50.  

Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, June 17, 8 p.m. $32.50-$33.50.  

Barbara Higbie, June 18, 8 p.m. $18.50-$19.50.  

House Jacks, June 19, 8 p.m. $20.50-$21.50.  

Sweetback Sisters, June 20, 8 p.m. $18.50-$19.50.  

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

 

JAZZSCHOOL  

Kitt Weagant, June 11, 8 p.m. $15.  

Raz Kennedy and Pollyanna Bush, June 12, 8 p.m. $15-$18.  

Dick Conte Quartet, June 13, 4:30 p.m. $15.  

Michael Zilber, John Gove, Erik Jekabson, Peter Barshay, June 20, 7:30 p.m.  

$5-$10.  

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. 

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. < 

 

LA PENA CULTURAL CENTER  

Jose Luis Orozco, June 12, 10 and 11:30 a.m. $5-$12.  

Linda Tillery, June 18, 8 p.m. $20-$25.  

Osvaldo Torres, June 19, 8:30 p.m. $15-$18.  

3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 849-2568, www.lapena.org.

 

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  

Red Meat, B Stars, East Bay Grease, June 11, 9 p.m. $10.  

Sugar and Gold, Sir Lord Von Raven, Planet Booty, June 12, 9 p.m. $10.  

Shellshage, As Sharp for Objects, Turks, Dos Perros Locos, June 17, 9 p.m. $8.  

Bell Rays, Sassy, June 18, 9 p.m. $12.  

Hella Gay, June 19, 9 p.m. $7.  

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

 

YOSHI'S  

The Jack DeJohnette Group feat. Rudresh Mahanthappa, David Fiuczynski, George Colligan and Jerome Harris, June 11 through June 13, Friday and Saturday, 8 and 10 p.m.; Sunday, 2 and 7 p.m. $18-$25.  

2wo 4our 1ne featuring Ric Alexander and Levi Seacer Jr., June 14, 8 p.m. $15.  

Mimi Fox Trio, June 15, 8 p.m. $16.  

Pupy y Los Que Son Son, June 16 through June 18, Wednesday and Thursday, 8 and 10 p.m.; Friday, 8 and 10 p.m. $20-$28.  

Cassandra Wilson, June 19 through June 20, Saturday, 8 and 10 p.m.; Sunday, 7 and 9 p.m. $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-San Francisco Through June 20

Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 01:38:00 PM

AFRICAN AMERICAN ART AND CULTURE COMPLEX  

Jack Curtis Dubowsky Ensemble, June 11, 7:30 p.m. Ensemble presents program "Submerged Queer Spaces: Music and Architectural Remains.'' $12-$20. (415) 762-2071. 

762 Fulton St., San Francisco. www.aaacc.org.

 

DAVIES SYMPHONY HALL  

San Francisco Symphony, June 10 and June 12 through June 10, 8 p.m. Program features works by Mozart, Berg and Beethoven. $15-$130.  

San Francisco Symphony, June 17 through June 19, 8 p.m. Program features Stravisnky's "Rite of Spring,'' as well as works by Poulenc, Villa Lobos and Ravel. Michael Tilson Thomas conducts. $15-$30.  

San Francisco Symphony, June 20, 2 p.m. Program features works by Catoire, Poulenc and Beethoven.  

201 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco. (415) 864-6000, www.sfsymphony.org.

 

GREEN ROOM OF THE SAN FRANCISCO WAR MEMORIAL AND PERFORMING ARTS CENTER  

Pacific Mozart Ensemble, June 11, 7:30 p.m. "Jazz and Pop'' program features songs in various musical styles. $15-$25. (510) 848-8022, www.pacificmozart.org. 

War Memorial Veterans Building, 401 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco. < 

 

HERBST THEATRE  

Yuja Wang, June 20, 7 p.m. Program features works by Scarlatti, Schumann, Scriabin and Prokofiev. $32-$49. (415) 392-2545, www.performances.org. 

401 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco. (415) 392-4400, www.cityboxoffice.com.

 

KNUTH HALL  

"25th Annual Irving M. Klein International String Competition: Semifinals," through June 13, Thursday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m., 8 p.m.; Sunday, 4 p.m. Program features works by Bach and Hyman. $5-$50. (415) 338-2467. 

Free. Creative Arts Building, San Francisco State University, 19th Avenue and Hollaway, San Francisco. (415) 338-1431.< 

 

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. 

$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.

 

OLD FIRST CHURCH  

San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra, June 11, 8 p.m. Program features new works by Bay Area composers, performed by the composers themselves. $12-$15. www.sfcco.org. 

Miriam Abramowitsch and Kumaran Arul, June 13, 4 p.m. Program features works by Mahler, Lizst and Schubert. $14-$17. www.oldfirstconcerts.org. 

Trio Brillante, June 15, 12:30 p.m. Featuring works by Mendelssohn, Bruch and Mozart.  

1751 Sacramento Street, San Francisco. (415) 474-1608.< 

 

ST. MARK'S LUTHERAN CHURCH  

San Francisco Choral Artists, June 13, 4 p.m. Program features 25 works selected from the 130 works premiered under Artistic Director Magen Solomon. $10-$30. (415) 979-5779. 

1111 O'Farrell St., San Francisco. (415) 928-7770, www.stmarks-sf.org.< 

 

WAR MEMORIAL OPERA HOUSE  

San Francisco Opera, through July 1, Jun. 5, 8 and 11, 7:30 p.m.; Jun. 16, 23 and Jul. 1, 7 p.m.; Jun. 20, 26, 1:30 p.m. Francois Gounod's "Faust'' stars teno Stefano Secco in the title role alonside soprano Patricia Racette and Marguerite. $15-$360. www.sfopera.com. 

San Francisco Opera, through July 2, Jun. 9 24, 29, 7:30 p.m.; Jun. 15, 18, Jul. 2, 8 p.m.;; Jun. 27, 2 p.m. "The Girl of the Golden West'' featuring conductor Nicola Luisotti, soprano Deborah Voigt and tenor Salvatore Licitra. $15-$360. (415) 864-3330, www.sfopera.com. 

San Francisco Opera, through June 30, Jun. 10, 19, 22, 25, 30, 7 p.m. "Die Walkure'' features stunning soprano performances by Nina Stemme and Eva-Maria Westbroek and Mark Delavan as Wotan in this second installment of Wagner's "Ring'' cycle. $15-$360. (415) 864-3330, www.sfopera.com. 

301 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco. (415) 865-2000.< 

 

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. 

Jenny Lind, June 17, 12:30 p.m. The soprano performs with soloist Astrid Robillard and pianist Henrik Berg.  

$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.<


Readings-East Bay Through June 20

Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 01:28:00 PM

A GREAT GOOD PLACE FOR BOOKS  

Kristin Craven, June 11, 7 p.m. The author talks about "Perfectly Revolting: My Glamorous Cartooning Career.''  

Kristen Chandler, June 12, 4 p.m. The author talks about "Wolves, Boys and Other Things That Might Kill Me.''  

Maureen Duffy, June 18, 7 p.m. The author talks about "Poetry.''  

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

 

BOOKS INC., ALAMEDA  

Lee Kravitz, June 17, 7:30 p.m. The author talks about "Unfinished Business: One Man's Extraordinary Year of Trying to Do the Right Things.''  

Free. Readings at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 1344 Park St., Alameda. (510) 522-2226, www.booksinc.net.

 

BOOKS INC., BERKELEY  

Neil Landau, June 11, 6 p.m. The author talks about "101 Things I Learned in Film School.''  

Peter Steiner, June 14, 7 p.m. The author talks about "The Terrorist.''  

Joshilyn Jackson, June 19, 7 p.m. The author talks about "Backseat Saints.''  

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

 

MOE'S BOOKS  

Indigo Moor and Judith McCombs, June 17, 7:30 p.m. Poetry flash presents the authors reading their work.  

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

 

MRS. DALLOWAY'S  

Michael Sledge, June 11, 7:30 p.m. The author talks about "The More I Owe You.''  

Bloomsday, June 16, 3 p.m. Featuring readings by Thomas Lynch, George Davis and others.  

Jane Smiley, June 16, 7:30 p.m. The author talks about "Private Life.''  

Alan Furst, June 19, 7:30 p.m. The author talks about "Spies of the Balkans.''  

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

 

NEFELI CAFI  

Tom Odegard, Marc Hofstadter, Judith McCombs, June 11, 7 p.m. The authors read their poetry.  

1854 Euclid Avenue, Berkeley. (510) 841-6374.<


Professional Dance- Through June 20

Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 01:28:00 PM

"Moving for Peace," June 12, 3 p.m. More than 100 youth performing artists celebrate community and creativity. Free.  

1000 42nd St., Oakland. www.destinyarts.org.

 

COUNTERPULSE  

Scott Wells and Dancers, through June 19, May 28-30, Jun. 4-6, 8 p.m.; Jun. 18-19, 8 and 9:30 p.m. Program "Ball-ist-ic'' features high-flying, gravitydefying dance. $18-$22. www.scottwellsdance.com. 

1310 Mission St., San Francisco. (415) 626-2060, www.counterpulse.org.

 

DANCE MISSION THEATER  

"Life, Love and Rituals," June 11 through June 13, 8 p.m. Program features choreography by Peter Litwinowicz, Peter Litwinowicz and Jose Ivan Ibarra. $20.  

3316 24th St., San Francisco. (415) 826-4441, www.dancemission.com.

 

ODC DANCE COMMONS PERFORMANCE ART COMPLEX  

"Great Integration," June 18 through June 19, 8 p.m. Composer Joowan Kim and choreographer Raissa Simpson present a groundbreaking chamber hip-hop opera. $15-$25.  

351 Shotwell St. (between 17th and 18th streets), San Francisco. (415) 863-6606, www.odctheater.org.

 

PALACE OF FINE ARTS THEATRE  

"San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival," through June 27, Saturday, 2 and 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.; Benefit gala June 11, 6 p.m. From the powerful dance and music of Haiti to a special Mexican Bicentennial Tribute, event presents an unparalleled cultural feat, including four new works representing the cultures of the Congo, Afghanistan, China and Mexico, and the debut of 26 world premieres. $22-$44. www.worldartswest.org. 

3301 Lyon St., San Francisco. (415) 567-6642, www.palaceoffinearts.org.

 

PENA PACHAMAMA  

"Carnaval Del Sur," Saturdays, 8:30 p.m. Sukay, Eddy Navia and the Pachamama Dancers present a program of Latin music and dance. $13.50.  

"Cuban Nights," Fridays, 8:30 p.m. Fito Reinoso, Sukay and Eddy Navia present Latin dancing Buena Vista style. $13.50.  

"Flamenco Thursdays" with Carola Zertuche, Thursdays, 8:30 p.m. Music and dance with performers of traditional flamenco. $10.  

Georges Lammam Ensemble, Sundays, 8:30 p.m. Event features music and dancing from the Middle East. $10.  

For ages 21 and older. 1630 Powell St., San Francisco. (415) 646-0018, www.penapachamama.com.

 

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. 

Liss Fain Dance, June 17 through June 19, 8 p.m. Program features world premieres "How it Ends'' and "Finite Memory.'' $10-$30.  

$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.<


Stage-East Bay Through June 20

Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 01:26:00 PM

ALTARENA PLAYHOUSE  

CLOSING -- "Sylvia," through June 13, Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. Jun. 3 and 10, 8 p.m. Can long-married empty-nesters Greg and Kate learn to love their adopted new family member, an abandoned street-smart mutt named Sylvia? Will Sylvia bring them closer together or compete for their affection? $19-$22.  

1409 High St., Alameda. (510) 523-1553, www.altarena.org.

 

BERKELEY REPERTORY THEATRE  

David Sedaris, June 14 through June 20, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m.; Wednesday, 7 p.m.; Sunday, 2 and 7 p.m. The NPR humorist and bestselling author takes the stage to workshop stories from his upcoming book with a live audience. $35.  

2025 Addison St., Berkeley. (510) 647-2949, (888) 4BR-Ttix, www.berkeleyrep.org.

 

CALIFORNIA CONSERVATORY THEATRE OF SAN LEANDRO  

"The Glass Menagerie," by Tennessee Williams, through June 27. An overbearing mother has grand ambitions for her fragile, misfit daughter. $20-$22.  

999 E. 14th St., San Leandro. (510) 632-8850, www.cct-sl.org.< 

 

CALIFORNIA SHAKESPEARE THEATER  

"The Pastures of Heaven," by Octavio Solis, through June 27, Tuesday-Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 4 p.m. Jonatahn Moscone directs this adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel about the search for happiness in the author's own Salinas Valley.  

$112-$220 for series. Bruns Memorial Amphitheater, 100 Gateway Blvd., Orinda. (510) 548-9666, www.calshakes.org.

 

CENTER REPERTORY COMPANY OF WALNUT CREEK  

"A Marvelous Party: A Noel Coward Celebration," 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.  

Lesher Theatre, Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. (925) 943-SHOW, www.centerrep.org.

 

DOUGLAS MORRISSON THEATRE  

"I Love a Piano," June 19 through July 11, Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. The works of American composer Irving Berlin are the subject of this musical which follows the journey of a piano from 1910 through the 1950s. $20-$28. (510) 881-6777. 

22311 N. Third St., Hayward. (510) 881-6777, www.dmtonline.org.

 

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.

 

LA VAL'S SUBTERRANEAN THEATRE  

CLOSING -- "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.< 

 

LESHER CENTER FOR THE ARTS  

CLOSING -- "Into the Woods," by Stephen Sondheim, through June 20, Jun. 4, 11, 12, 17-19, 8 p.m.; Jun. 12, 13, 19, 20, 2 p.m. Diablo Theatre Company presents a fractured musical fairytale, reimagined with a move from the woods to an orphanage. $29-$42.  

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

 

THE MARSH BERKELEY  

CLOSING -- "East 14th -- True Tales of a Reluctant Player," by Don Reed, through June 20. Play chronicles the true tale of a young man raised by his mother and ultra-strict stepfather as a middle class, straight A, godfearing church boy. $20-$50.  

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

 

MASQUERS PLAYHOUSE  

"Fuddy Meers," by David Lindsay-Abaire, through July 10, Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. Claire, a sweet amnesiac, wakes up each morning remembering nothing. Her family must teach her who she is, each day. When she is kidnapped, the adventures really begin. $18.  

105 Park Place, Point Richmond. (510) 232-4031, www.masquers.org.

 

THEATREFIRST  

"The Drawer Boy," by Michael Healey, June 12 through July 4, Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. An actor visits two aging farmers and uncovers their long-buried family secret. $10-$30.  

Old Oakland Theatre, 461 Ninth St., Oakland. (510) 436-5085, www.theatrefirst.com.

 

TOWN HALL THEATRE  

"Proof," by David Auburn, through July 3, Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m.; Jun. 13 and 20, 2 p.m.; Jun. 27, 7 p.m. Catherine lives in the shadow of her father's legacy -- a legacy of brilliance and insanity. The question is: How much of this brilliance and insanity did she inherit? $22.50-$29.50.  

3535 School St., Lafayette. (925) 283-1557, www.thtc.org.<


Stage-San Francisco Through June 20

Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 11:02:00 AM

AMERICAN CONSERVATORY THEATER  

"The Tosca Project," by Carey Perloff and Val Caniparoli, through June 27. Loosely structured around the themes of Puccini's "Tosca,'' this imaginative new work is gorgeously choreographed, achingly moving and scored with some of the best music ever made, from Hendrix to Stravinsky.  

Geary Theater, 415 Geary St., San Francisco. (415) 749-2228, www.actsf. org.< 

 

BEACH BLANKET BABYLON This long-running musical follows Snow White as she sings and dances her way around the world in search of her prince. Along the way she encounters many of the personalities in today's headlines, including Nancy Pelosi, Condoleezza Rice, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harry Potter, Tiger Woods, Oprah Winfrey, Britney Spears, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Hillary Clinton, George and Laura Bush, Michael Jackson, Martha Stewart, Tom Cruise, Angelina, characters from Brokeback Mountain and Paris Hilton. Persons under 21 are not admitted to evening performances, but are welcome to Sunday matinees. 

"Steve Silver's Beach Blanket Babylon," Wednesday and Thursday, 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.  

$25-$78. Club Fugazi, 678 Beach Blanket Babylon Blvd. (formerly Green Street), San Francisco. (415) 421-4222, www.beachblanketbabylon.com.

 

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.

 

CURRAN THEATRE  

CLOSING -- "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.< 

 

THE CUSTOM MADE THEATRE CO.  

"Durang Me," by Christopher Durang, through July 10, Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 7 p.m.; No show Jul. 4. Featuring two of Durang's scripts, "Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You'' and "The Actor's Nightmare.'' $18-$28.  

965 Mission St., San Francisco. < 

 

CUTTING BALL THEATER  

CLOSING -- "'Bone to Pick' and 'Diadem'," 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.

 

EXIT THEATRE  

CLOSING -- "Giant Bones," by Stuart Bousel, through June 19, Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m. Bousel weaves together four of Peter S. Beagle's "Innkeeper's World'' stories into this dramatic narrative. $15-$50. (415) 816-9661, www.brownpapertickets.com. 

"Obscura -- A Magic Show," June 18 through Aug. 14, Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m. Featuring illusionist Christian Cagigal. $15-$25.  

156 Eddy St., San Francisco. (415) 673-3847, www.theexit.org.

 

THE JEWISH THEATER SAN FRANCISCO  

EXTENDED -- "Andy Warhol: Good for the Jews?" by Josh Kornbluth, through June 20, 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/.< 

 

MAMA CALIZO'S VOICE FACTORY  

"The Golden Girls: The Pride Episodes," through June 25, Monday-Wednesday, 7 and 9 p.m. The "girls'' are back with two new episodes in time from Pride Month, starring Heklina, Cookie Dough, Matthew Martin and Pollo Del Mar. $20-$25.  

1519 Mission St., San Francisco. (415) 368-1244, www.voicefactorysf.org.

 

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.  

CLOSING -- "The Festival of New Voices II: The Next Wave of Solo Performance," through June 13, Wednesday and Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 5, 5:30, 8:30 and 9 p.m.; Sunday, 3 p.m. Showcase features new solo theater pieces by up-and-coming artists from the Marsh's 2009/10 Performance Initiative, including pieces by Sia Amma, Pidge Meade, David A. Moss, Marilyn Pittman, Sigal Shohan, Kenny Yun and others. $15-$50. (800) 838-3006. 

1062 Valencia St., San Francisco. (415) 826-5750, www.themarsh.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.

 

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 June 20, Sunday, 7 p.m. Rotating solo show features the pieces "My Diary, No Grownups Allowed,'' by Janine Brito, "I Didn't Sign Up For This,'' by Julia Jackson, "I Am Sooooo Gay,'' by Thao P. Nguyen and "Lady Parts,'' by Martha Rynberg. $15-$20.  

"SummHER Lovin," through June 28, Monday, 8 p.m. PianoFight's "Monday Night ForePlays'' series returns with the fifth all-new installment of their female-drive variety show. $20.  

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.

 

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. 

"Androcles and the Lion," by George Bernard Shaw, June 11 through June 13, Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 3 p.m. Featuring original music by Richard Taylor. Free.  

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 COMEDY COLLEGE CLUBHOUSE (800) 838-3006, www.clubhousecomedy.com.  

"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. 

"Naked Comedy," A comedy showcase featuring some of the best comedians in San Francisco. BYOB for 21 and over. Saturdays, 9 p.m. $10. 

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.

 

STAGE WERX THEATRE  

"Ungrateful Daughter," by Lisa Marie Rollins, through June 12, Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m. Hear one black girl's story of being adopted into a white family who aren't celebrities. $20-$25.  

533 Sutter Street, San Francisco. < 

 

THEATER ARTAUD  

"2010 Fresh Meat Festival," June 17, Thursday-Friday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 7 p.m. Transgender and queer performance festival features motivational speakers, cross-dressing freedom fighters, Craigslist hookups, Filipino gay love songs and much more. $17-$20. www.freshmeatproductions.org. 

450 Florida St., San Francisco. (415) 621-7797, www.theaterartaud.org.

 

THICK HOUSE  

CLOSING -- "The Bakla Show II," through June 12, Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m. Myths are retold and realities unfold in this theatrical exploration of Filipino Queer identities inspired by traditional myths, legends and folktales. $10-$20.  

1695 18th St., San Francisco. www.thickhouse.org.

 

THRILLPEDDLERS HYPNODROME  

"Hot Greeks," through June 27, Thursday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 7 p.m. Thrilpeddler's presents a revival of this 1972 Cockettes musical extravaganza. $30-$69.  

575 10th Street, San Francisco. www.thrillpeddlers.com/.<


Galleries-East Bay Through June 20

Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 01:35:00 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.< 

 

ALBASTUDIOS AND GALLERY  

"The Language of Clay," through July 1. Exhibition features selected works from the members of Orchard Valley Ceramic Arts Guild.  

"The Eyes Have It," through June 6 and June 12 through June 6, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Exhibition features works by 11 artists and Blue Eyed Bandit the dog.  

4219 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Oakland. < 

 

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.

 

CHANDRA CERRITO CONTEMPORARY  

"Stillness," through July 24. Exhibition features works by Keira Kotler.  

480 23rd St., Oakland. (415) 577-7537, www.chandracerrito.com.

 

CRAFT AND CULTURAL ARTS GALLERY  

"Vanishing Birds of the Bay and Beyond," through June 25. Exhibition featues works by Rita Sklar.  

Free. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. State of California Office Building, 1515 Clay St., Oakland. (510) 622-8190, www.oaklandculturalarts.org.

 

EIGHTH STREET STUDIOS  

"Pro Arts East Bay Open Studios," June 12 through June 13. Featuring works by Susan Brooks.  

2525 Eighth St., Berkeley. (510) 527-8119.< 

 

EXPRESSIONS GALLERY  

"Labor and Art," June 12 through Aug. 6. Group art show features paintings, photography, sculpture, mixed media, digital art, monotypes and more.  

Free. Wednesday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m.; Sunday, noon-3 p.m. 2035 Ashby Ave., Berkeley. (510) 644-4930, www.expressionsgallery.org/.< 

 

FLOAT  

CLOSING -- "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.

 

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  

CLOSING -- "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.

 

K GALLERY  

"The Locals II," June 11 through July 31. Exhibition features works by Jon Kerpel, Ginny Parsons, K.C. Rosenberg, Peter Tonningsen and Danielle Wallis.  

Free. Thursday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. 2515 Blanding Ave., Alameda. (510) 865-5062, www.rhythmix.org.

 

LAFAYETTE GALLERY  

"Summer Daze," through Aug. 7. Exhibition features works by Nancy Hartley and Jill Landau.  

50 Lafayette Circle, Lafayette. www.lafayettegallery.net.

 

PRO ARTS GALLERY  

"East Bay Open Studios," through June 6 and June 12 through June 6, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Showcase features works from over 460 artists.  

Free. Tuesday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m. 550 Second St., Oakland. (510) 763-4361, www.proartsgallery.org.

 

PUEBLO NUEVO GALLERY  

"Catastro de Colores y Esperanzas/Registry of Colors and Hopes," through July 4. Exhibition features works by Osvaldo Torres.  

1828 San Pablo Ave. #1, Berkeley. (510) 452-7363.< 

 

ROYAL NONESUCH GALLERY  

"I-Object," through June 29. Featuring works by Laura Boles Faw, Justin Hoover, David Pena Lopera and Kathryn Williamson.  

4231 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. (415) 690-3041, www.royalnonesuchgallery.com.

 

SUN GALLERY  

"High Art," through Sept. 25. Exhibition features works by local high school students and high school homeschoolers.  

CLOSING -- "Beauty, The Name is Night," through June 19. Exhibition features works by Benny Alba.  

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.<


Theatre Review: Bobo Boo-Hoo: Berkeley Rep Boo-Boo

By John A. McMullen II
Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 12:42:00 PM
At Berkeley Rep, Heidi Schreck and Emily Donahoe (right) star in the world-premiere 
              production of In the Wake.
kevinberne.com
At Berkeley Rep, Heidi Schreck and Emily Donahoe (right) star in the world-premiere production of In the Wake.

About a decade ago, an article in the National Geographic described a new social class named “bobos”—a portmanteau of “bourgeois” and “bohemian”—as, “…that subset of thirty- or forty-something -year-olds who don't allow their socialist leanings to interfere with an enjoyment of material pleasures." My immediate reaction to this disturbing definition was two-fold: 1) that doesn’t sound like a group I would have much sympathy for, and, 2) oh, crap! I’m one of them.  

 

At Berkeley Rep, Lisa Kron’s In the Wake presents us with a chapter in the life of tall, blonde, bi-curious Ellen (Heidi Schreck).From the dramaturgical form, we may suspect this is the playwright’s own story.It is set during the Bush Years, a time most of all of us would prefer to forget.Regrettably, it goes on about as long as the Bush Years did.This vastly overwritten play (caution: 3 hours with intermission) is made entertaining by the effortless realism of the very talented and well-cast actors.Three hours is reserved for works of importance, and this self-important frippery, which expects us to have sympathy for a character that in no way merits it in a story that leads nowhere, made me almost as angry as W’s two terms did. 

 

We need a little distance to appreciate things.When they started projecting newscasts of those eight-long-years, they may as well have brought on a chalkboard and a lady with long finger nails.I couldn’t empathize with this egocentric, oblivious do-gooder; she is a blindly ironic character Bay-Areans might well laugh at if she weren’t tall, blonde, educated and progressive.When an actor begins the play with a monologue to the audience trying to explain themselves, my hackles go up; my lip curls when they repeatedly appear spotlit to further explain themselves.The monologues are only emotional commentary and neither advance the play nor add exposition nor provides any resolution.I didn’t come to hear your confession or description; dramatize the damn thing. 

 

The program notes set my teeth for some hearty intellectual meat by invoking implications of systems theory, chaos theory, the “butterfly effect,” and the idea that the randomness of the universe has much to be said for it.Instead, the play served up jello—pretty and bouncy but without substance. 

 

Set mainly in a Manhattan apartment, it begins at a Thanksgiving with close knit friends. Ellen and Danny (Carson Elrod) live together without benefit of wedlock.Their ever-present neighbors are a “married” lesbian couple.They are visited by Ellen’s depressive friend Judy (Deidre O’Connell, whom you will recognize from films and TV) who works for an NGO in strife-ridden Africa.The focus is on the TV and the Gore v. Bush election debacle. 

 

Our heroine goes on a political rant at every opportunity, blithely stepping on others’ feelings, followed by profuse apologies.Danny, the sole man in the play, is cute and charming with a capacity for understanding that only enlightened heirs of Alan Alda share: he accepts Ellen’s regular visits to Boston and her black-haired, film-maker lover Amy (Emily Donahoe).Brunette lesbian Laurie (Danielle Skraastad) is a not particularly liberal, nuts-and-bolts woman who wants stability and is frightened/angered by 9/11. Her red-haired partner Kayla (Andrea Frankle) is about to abandon her dreams of creativity for the security of a corporate job. This, predictably, drives Ellen up the wall and she tries to interfere. In turn, the married couple has judgments about Ellen’s polyamorous out-of-town adventures, and her leaving her long-suffering male partner behind for long weekends.Too close for comfort, and too much in each other’s business.They seem to be constantly in one another’s company, sharing ordered-out meals, or those cooked by Laurie; we never see Ellen use a microwave or wash a dish which tells us a lot about her character.  

 

There is some witty amusement but no real laughs, it’s all very recognizable and cozy, but the conflict is minimal and derives mainly from our heroine’s wanting to “have it all” without paying any price.The players admirably fill their roles with nuance and quirk—one of the more difficult acting challenges—but are constrained by uninspired writing that includes break-up scenes with dialogue more appropriate to a Danielle Steel novel. 

 

While the expansive Roda Theatre dwarfs the play, the scenic artists fill up the stage expertly.David Korins recreates the Manhattan apartment that I think I lived in 30 years ago, with walls that hadn’t been painted for the previous 30 years, with no window but a fire escape, and shelving so high that you will never again be able to access those books you put up there.He puts the whole set in an inset shadow box-like frame.When Alexander V. Nichols’ collage of newsreel images of W, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the other still-at-large war criminals are projected onto the set, the angle of the proscenium’s frame bends and warps them and—with the choice to project them in black-and-white—conjures an Orwellian bad dream. Even Gore’s Mr. Rogers-like concession speech makes the skin crawl.To change venues, he flies in a lateral strip of background that foreshortens the stage and transports us to Boston and some hot foreplay in her lover’s bedroom. 

 

A highlight of the play is when Judy’s mixed-race but distinctly African-American niece Tessa (Miriam F. Glover) from Kentucky, who has come to live with her, is fussed over by this family of friends.When their various nouveau lifestyles are revealed to the country girl, her discomfort is realistic and palpable, yet she precociously points out some ironies that get a laugh. 

 

The key scene is when friend Judy reveals that she doesn’t vote, which outrages Ellen.With the wisdom and patience that comes from seeing the depths of humanity, Judy calmly explains that voting is a feckless charade and that the American system is designed to secure the status of the wealthy, to keep the middle class mollified, and to keep the poor down.Her polemic concludes that Americans like Ellen think that “anything is possible” by dint of a ditzy idealism fed to middle-class girls in the latter 20th century.In a notable elevation of the otherwise commonplace prose, this political lesson is delivered with such moving articulation from a character who has fought her way out of her trailer-trash Kentucky background that we forgive the didacticism. 

 

This revelation might have reversed the course of our heroine and brought her to some wisdom, but, alas, the final monologue of this politics-filled and time-specific domestic dramedy ends with an abrupt and depressing solo fugue. Ellen’s arc just doesn’t happen. This play does not feed the soul, transport us to another world, or make us wiser 

 

Both Ellen and the play end as they began: still clueless and all about her.Even the title of the play is a stretch and self-referential: the detritus that our Ellen leaves and is left with in the wake of her self-absorbed life. 

 

 

 

In the Wake plays Tue-Sun through June 27, at Berkeley Rep in the Roda Theatre, 2025 Addison Street 

 

Tickets/info: (510) 647–2949 or http://www.berkeleyrep.org 

 

Written by Lisa Kron, directed by Leigh Silverman, scenic design by David Korins, costume design by Meg Neville, lighting and projection design by Alexander V. Nichols, sound design by Cricket S. Myers, dramaturgy by Pier Carlo Talenti, casting by Bonnie Grisan, Amy Potozkin, and Erika Sellin. Stage Management by Elizabeth Atkinson. 

 

WITH: Emily Donahoe (Amy), Carson Elrod (Danny), Andrea Frankle (Kayla), Miriam F. Glover (Tessa), Deirdre O’Connell (Judy), Heidi Schreck (Ellen), and Danielle Skraastad (Laurie). 

 

 

 

John A. McMullen II was just accepted into the American Theatre Critics Association. 

 

Email comments to EyeFromTheAisle@gmail.com 


Berkeley Arts Festival 2010 (reprise): Dean Santomieri

By Bonnie Hughes
Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 11:35:00 AM

Back by popular demand??? 

 

Having given up on juggling fire, Dean Santomieri will be up to his old tricks presenting a multimedia potpourri of minimalist guitar music, spoken word and video works. 

 

In addition to a series of brief solo guitar pieces, including two in tribute to Terry Riley, he will also present two single-channel video works and two original spoken word pieces. 

 

The Berkeley Arts Festival after celebrating the entire month of May is extending into June at 2121 Allston Way, the future home of the Judah L. Magnes Museum in downtown Berkeley, mere steps from the downtown Berkeley Bart station. 

 

Sunday, June 13th, 2010m 7:00 pm, Suggested Donation: $10l 

 


Around & About--Here and There--in Theater & Opera

By Ken Bullock
Monday June 07, 2010 - 12:49:00 PM

Playing at the Berkeley City Club: Just Theater's terrific '1001,' by Jason Grote, billed as a riff on the Arabian Nights--that and much, much more ... A small cast in an intimate spacedoubles, triples, quadruplesplayingprotean roles that unfoldfrom, and fold back into,the fabled tales of—and about--Sharhar and Scherazade,bawdy yet unsettling, as are the originals, with an unsteady time-warp opening up (silly to call it mere anachronism), out of which pop Flaubert in the Mideast, Jorge Luis Borges and a strange kind of romance set in Gaza and, during 9/11,New York. Hilarious, unpredictable and impossible to pin down.(The genie warned you!) Much more creative, wilder and yet more thoughtful, than the Mary Zimmerman improv on some of the same material at Berkeley Rep a few years back. And at a fraction of the cost--for company and audience as well. Thursdays-Saturdays at 8, Sundays at 5, city Club, 2315 Durant. $15-$20. 488-4116 or www.brownpapertickets.com 

*** 

Cinnabar Theater in Petaluma was founded by an operatic baritone38 years ago, and has produced many excellent operas in the old schoolhouse on a knoll where its performing arts series and school classes are held. But the current show, Tobias Picker's EMMELINE, in its West Coast premiere, is something else again. 

Based on a true story, fictionalized by Judith Rossner, it tells the tale of a 14 year-old girl in 19th century New England, sent to a garment factory, where she's seduced and sent home pregnant, and the doomed romance that follows 20 years of spinsterhood, in thrall to her family's sense of shame, when the past boomerangs back into the present. Picker's music is, in SF Classical Voice critic Jeff Kaliss's comment on opening night, reminiscent at times of Benjamin Britten's operas. Sublime and relentless, it carries along a story which could prove melodramatic, though it finally touches on a genuine modern sense of tragedy. 

Yet there's humor, and wonderful little moments (Emmeline, smiling at the oppressive factory, when she sees her own face for the first time in a mir$ror--and years later smiling at a simple tune on harmonica, played by the young man she falls for). An unusually balaced opera, musically and dramatically. 

Superb singing and acting by the principals, in particular the remarkable Carrie Hennessey, who runs the gamut of the years as Emmeline, a part Patricia Racette (now at SF Opera as Marguerite in a fine FAUST) originated at Santa Fe. Excellent small orchestra, conducted byNina Shuman (Samuel Bill's arrangement) and chorus, many the young students of Cinnabar's own program, playing and singing the factory girls their own age.Excellent stage direction by Cinnabar artistic director Elly Lichtenstein. Picker has also composed an opera to Dreiser's AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY. This packs a similar social--and emotional--wallop. 

Petaluma might seem a ways off--really not so far--and if you go,you won't forget a great, yet intimate musical and dramatic experience. $32-$38. (707) 763-8920; www.cinnabartheater.org


Bruce Barthol and Friends at Art House Gallery on Friday

By Harold Adler
Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 12:55:00 PM

Bruce Barthol, original bassist with Country Joe and the Fish and for over 3 decades the resident composer/lyricist with the San Francisco Mime Troupe, brings his eclectic collection of songs, satiric, subversive and occasionally normal, to the Art House on Friday, June 11 at 8:00.

 

He will be joined harmonica master Will Scarlett and multi-instrumentalist Greg Pratt.  Will Scarlett has played with so many people, any list would be incomplete.  Local credits include the Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Hot Tuna., and many times, over the last 40 years, with Bruce Barthol.

 

Greg Pratt began playing in utero and hasn’t stopped.  He’s been a presence on the Bay Area music scene for years.  He plays mandolin, guitar, fiddle and anything elso you’d like him to play.

 

Art House Gallery Presents: Bruce Barthol ( Country Joe & The Fish), Will Scarlett & Greg Pratt; Friday Night June 11th; 7:30 Door 8PM SHOW; $10.00 Donation; Art House Gallery & Cultural Center; 2905 Shattuck Ave.; Berkeley, CA 94705; INFO: 510-472-3170

 

 


Restoration Comedy:Let Them Eat Paperwork

By Jane Powell
Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 11:26:00 AM

If you missed the previous installment, this is part two of the story of attempting to get my mortgage modified under HAMP, the Home Affordable Mortgage Program rolled out last year by the Obama administration. 

 

I should make it clear that I don't think the problem lies with NACA- they are clearly overwhelmed by the number of people they are trying to help, and they didn't set up the rules or the process. Rather, it's clear that the process is being used by the banks to delay actually doing any modifications and hoping homeowners will just give up and let them foreclose, because the federal government offered them a carrot without a stick. 

 

Funny, the Bush administration basically handed Hank Paulson a check for $700 billion to give to the financial industry on about two days notice, but it's taking regular people a year or more to maybe, MAYBE get their interest rate lowered for a few years. Principal reduction- no way. After all, we peons have been told that we have A Moral Obligation To Repay Our Debts, even though large developers and investment firms are just walking away from their projects or land because it no longer makes financial sense, yet their credit ratings aren't being destroyed, and no one is trying to make them feel ashamed. So even though we, the taxpayers, are now the owners of all these mortgages- essentially they have been paid off, or at least taken off the books, it is still left to individuals to negotiate with the lenders on their own- lenders who have no real incentive to do a damn thing. Some people who now owe more than their house is worth who can't get a modification are now making the eminently rational business decision of letting the bank foreclose and just walking away-but there are so many people who have drunk the kool-aid about The Moral Obligation To Repay Your Debts that every time there's a newspaper article about people struggling to get modifications or facing foreclosure there will be vitriolic letters and comments- I expect to get a few, since I put my e-mail at the end of this article. Apparently the banks didn't feel any moral compunction about crashing the entire global economy with their greed, but let one regular person who is suffering in the current depression ask for a few thousand dollars worth of help, and it's the end of the freaking world. I just love social Darwinism. 

 

Anyway, just when I thought I was done with the bank statements, I talked to another counselor who inquired about my rental income. You guessed it- had to go back through the bank statements and circle the rental income deposits too. More faxing. Then I was told I also had to total all the deposits and expenses and write them on the front page of the statements. Jesus, it's like effing kindergarten!Makes it easier for NACA and the bank, I suppose- no one trying to make it easier for the homeowners. More faxing. 

 

In early February I talk to yet another person at NACA. He's looking at my income- says basically I have negative income. Duh. He asks how much I pay for health insurance. I tell him:$1163 a month. “That's a year?” he says. “No,” I say, “that's per month.” I have to repeat it three times. But we wouldn't want to have that socialist single-payer health care, would we? He asks for paperwork documenting the premium- more faxing. Tells me he's going to ask the lender for a forbearance- a six month payment suspension which no doubt gets added on to the end of the loan and probably destroys my credit rating to boot- I don't know. During the six month forbearance, I am supposed to try to increase my income somehow- probably by succeeding in renting the empty room that I had to evict the deadbeat asshole from back in January. Of course it took me six months to re-rent the last empty room I had- and that's how it is these days. He tells me it will take 30 days to get an answer and that I should call to check on my file status in two weeks. 

 

Unfortunately, he doesn't bother to give me his extension, so when I call in two weeks I am unable to get hold of him, instead I try the regular customer service line. All representatives are currently busy, naturally. But my call is important to them. I put on the headset phone and go outside to pull weeds. After two hours on hold I give up, though I do get an entire green can full of weeds pulled. 

 

Eventually a reply from the lender shows up when I check my file on the NACA website. They are offering a three month forbearance. I send them an email refusing the offer, and explaining it's going to take at least six months to rent the room. Then, nothing. No response from the lender. I try twice to make phone appointments with NACA- no one calls. I have no idea who has my file at the lender, and calls to their 800 number lead only to rounds of voicemail hell. 

 

Meanwhile, I've been trying to rent the room since the first of April. Anybody want to move into the fabulous bunga-mansion? 

 

 

 

Jane Powell writes for the Planet whenever she gets around to it and can be reached at hsedressng@aol.com 

 


Wild Neighbors: Western Bluebird Family Values

By Joe Eaton
Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 12:05:00 PM

I was surprised to learn earlier this year that western bluebirds have been nesting in South Berkeley. I suspect this is pretty uncommon; in the 1920’s, Joseph Grinnell and Margaret Wythe reported “rare cases” of nesting in Berkeley (and elsewhere this side of the East Bay Hills.) Local birder Rusty Scalf caught the bluebirds in the act last May, using a tree cavity at San Pablo Park. In January, a city tree maintenance crew removed the dead limb that contained the cavity. After some prodding by Scalf and other local bluebird advocates, a nest box was installed on the tree; the birds adopted it and successfully reared four nestlings. 

 

Scalf says he was surprised by his discovery as well; he would have expected any suitable bluebird nest site to be preempted by house sparrows. These ubiquitous aliens have been known to stage hostile takeovers of bluebird nests, pecking the nestlings to death. Scalf theorizes that Berkeley’s house sparrows have become imprinted on terra cotta roof tiles as nest sites and don’t bother with tree cavities. 

 

This year a second pair nested in a street tree on Parker Street. A couple of weeks ago I saw what appeared to be two males, both with intensely blue plumage, foraging together around the corner on Sacramento. Scalf writes: “A second male is hanging out in that area, sometimes right next to the nest tree. The parents go on about their business, feeding the young in the box and ignore this male.” The literature on western bluebird behavior suggests that the supernumerary male may be a sibling of the nesting male, tolerated by the normally territorial pair. 

 

The family life of western bluebirds can, in fact, be somewhat complicated. Several field studies have documented the role of helpers that assist a pair in caring for their young. A lot of the data on cooperative breeding in this species has come from a multi-year study by Janis Dickinson, now at Cornell, at UC’s Hastings Reserve in the Carmel Valley. According to a 1996 article by Dickinson, Walter Koenig (best known for his acorn woodpecker research), and Frank Pitelka, all the adult helpers and most of the juvenile helpers observed over a twelve-year period were male. Almost three-quarters of the adult helpers assisted birds that were presumed to be their parents. 

 

Having helpers is an obvious boon to the parents, and seems to favor nestling survival. In the Hastings study, nests with adult helpers fledged 12 percent more young than unassisted nests. Nestlings attended by adult helpers received more feeding visits per hour, had higher growth rates, and were more likely to fledge successfully. In Oregon, assisted parents lived longer, fledged more nestlings, and had more offspring live to adulthood than those without helpers. 

 

But what’s in it for the helpers? Dickinson and her colleagues reported that their rates of survival, future mating, and breeding success are not significantly different from those of nonhelpers. 

 

In an evolutionary fitness sense, though, they benefit from the increased survival of their siblings, whose genes they share. It’s the logic of the anthill and the beehive, where sterile female workers care for sisters produced by the queen. 

 

Helpers may also be in a position to take over a territory when their parents die. And recent work out of the Hastings Reserve shows that some young males are allowed to set up their nesting territories on the periphery of their parents’—the avian equivalent of an in-law apartment. (It’s not clear from what I’ve read whether these birds are former or current helpers. Some males do attend their parents’ nests while raising their own broods.) 

 

The catch to this starter-home scenario is that the senior male sometimes mates with his daughter-in-law. The cuckolded son winds up rearing his father’s offspring instead of, or at best along with, his own. Still, from a genetic standpoint, that would be better than expending your energy on nestlings sired by a rank stranger. 

 

Researchers are using DNA paternity studies to assess the fitness costs and benefits to the younger males. 

 

Biologists used to state confidently that most bird species were monogamous. Genetic studies have shown that while many are socially monogamous, they still manage a fair number of extra-pair copulations (EPCs for short.) Bridget Stutchburys’ new book The Private Lives of Birds is a good source for the multitude of variations on this theme. The family arrangements of western bluebirds are in fact fairly conventional compared to those of their oak-savannah neighbors, the acorn woodpeckers, who carry on like Sixties communards. 

 


 

 


Museums-East Bay Through June 20

Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 01:32:00 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  

"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.  

"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.  

CLOSING -- "No Right Angles: The 40th Annual University of California Berkeley Master of Fine Arts Graduate Exhibition," through June 20. Exhibition features work by UC Berkeley's graduating M.F.A. students.  

"Marisa Olson: Double Bind," through Aug. 31. With a pair of provocative YouTube videos, Olson unravels the promise and pitfalls of online participatory culture.  

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.

 

CALIFORNIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY  

HISTORY WALKABOUTS -- A series of walking tours that explore the history, lore and architecture of California with veteran tour guide Gary Holloway. Walks are given on specific weekends. There is a different meeting place for each weekend and 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. Call for details.  

678 Mission St., San Francisco. (415) 357-1848, www.californiahistoricalsociety.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 --  

"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. 

"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. 

Center Admission: $14.95; $10.95 children 3-12; free children under 3; $3 discount for seniors and students. 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.; Also open on Tuesdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m. after June 29. 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.

 

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.  

 

"Animal Discovery Room,,' 1:30-4 p.m. Visitors of all ages can hold and touch gentle animals, learn about their behavior and habitats and play with self-guided activities and specimen models.  

"Forces That Shape the Bay," This science park shows and explains why the San Francisco Bay is the way it is, with information on water, erosion, plate tectonics and mountain building.  

"Ingenuity in Action," Summer 2010. Enjoy the best of the Ingenuity Lab. Engage your creative brain and use a variety of materials to design, build and test your own innovations.  

"Kapla," Play with simple, versatile building blocks that can be used to build very large, high and stable structures.  

"KidsLab," This multisensory play area includes larger-than-life blocks, a crawl-through kaleidoscope, the Gravity wall, a puppet theater and a reading area.  

"NanoZone," Discover the science of nanotechnology through handson activities and games.  

"Planetarium," Explore the skies in this interactive planetarium.  

"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 --  

"Scream Machines -- The Science of Roller Coasters, through Jan. 2. This head-spinning, stomach-churning exhibition for thrill-seekers features interactive exhibits, artifacts and images to explore.  

OPENING -- "Summer Fun Days," June 16 through Aug. 18. Become a raptor expert, learn the science of the trapeze, engineer the perfect boat or test the ice cream that you yourself make.  

$6-$12; 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. 

OPENING -- "What the World Needs Now." through July 15. Exhibition features artwork by Bay Area children in grades K-12 on themes of social justice, community awareness and world peace, selected by a jury of artists, professionals and community leaders.  

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.

 

MUSEUM OF THE SAN RAMON VALLEY The museum features local artifacts, pictures, flags and drawings commemorating the valley's history. It also houses a historical narrative frieze. In addition to a permanent exhibit on the valley's history, the museum sponsors revolving exhibits and several guided tours. The restored railroad depot that houses the museum was built on the San Ramon Branch Line of the Southern Pacific Railroad 108 years ago. 

SPECIAL EXHIBITS --  

Free. August: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. The Depot, West Prospect and Railroad avenues, Danville. (925) 837-3750, www.museumsrv.org.

 

MUSEUM ON MAIN STREET Located in a former town hall building, this museum is a piece of local history. It has a photo and document archive, collection of artifacts, local history publications for purchase, and a history library. It is supported by the Amador-Livermore Valley Historical Society. 

EXHIBITS --  

"The Horse, Of Course," through Aug. 15. Exhibit examines how the horse has played an important role in the life of the Amador-Livermore Valley.  

$2. Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.; CLOSED DEC. 23-JAN. 8. 603 Main St., Pleasanton. (925) 462-2766, www.museumonmain.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  

"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  

"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. 

"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. 

$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.<


Dance-East Bay Through June 20

Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 01:37:00 PM

ASHKENAZ  

Israeli Folkdancing featuring Adama, June 20, 2 p.m. $8.  

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

 

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.< 

 

JACK LONDON SQUARE  

"Dancing Under the Stars," June 11 and June 18, 8:30-10 p.m. The Linden Street Dance Studio provides free dance lessons to all at the foot of Broadway.  

Foot of Broadway, Oakland. (866) 295-9853, www.jacklondonsquare.com.

 

RHYTHMIX CULTURAL WORKS  

"Global Dance Groove," June 11, 7:30 p.m. Dance in the mix with David Taurek. $15.  

Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 2513 Blanding Ave., Alameda. (510) 845-5060, www.rhythmix.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.<


Exhibits-East Bay Through June 20

Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 01:36:00 PM

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.< 

 

CREATIVE GROWTH ART CENTER  

"Straight to the Bone," through July 23. Exhibition features works by Regis-R, Prince of Plastic and Creative Growth artists.  

Free. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 355 24th St., Oakland. (510) 836-2340 X15, www.creativegrowth.org.

 

DAVID BROWER CENTER  

"Water, Rivers and People/ Agua, Rios y Pueblos," through Aug. 31. Exhibition depicts those who are fighting to defend rivers and the people who depend on them.  

2150 Allston Way, Berkeley. < 

 

FLOAT  

"Surrender," June 13 through July 31. Exhibition features digital paintings by Android Jones and light sculptures by Michael Clarke.  

Free. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; by appointment. 1091 Calcot Place, Unit 116, Oakland. (510) 535-1702, www.thefloatcenter.com.

 

JACK LONDON SQUARE  

"37 Artists," through June 6 and June 12 through June 6, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Featuring watercolors, acrylic, mixed media, oils, pastels, photography, sculpture and more. artrospection.com/jls. 

Foot of Broadway, Oakland. (866) 295-9853, www.jacklondonsquare.com.

 

JOHANSSON PROJECTS  

"If Only ," through July 17. Exhibition features works by Rune Olsen.  

Free. Thursday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m. 2300 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. (510) 444-9140, www.johanssonprojects.com.

 

LAWRENCE HALL OF SCIENCE  

$6-$12; 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.< 

 

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  

"Spirits Known and Unknown," through July 31. Exhibition features photographs of Kamau Amen-Ra.  

1001 Broadway, Oakland. (510) 451-4000.< 

 

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. <


Highlights-East Bay Through June 20

Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 01:34:00 PM

924 GILMAN ST. -- All ages welcome. 

Subhumans, MDC, A-Heads, Sahn Maru, June 11, 7 p.m. $12.  

$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.

 

ARMANDO'S  

Jeffrey Halford and the Healers, June 12, 8 p.m. $10.  

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

 

FREIGHT AND SALVAGE  

Austin Lounge Lizards, June 13, 8 p.m. $20.50-$21.50.  

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

 

LIVE OAK PARK  

"Live Oak Park Fair," June 12 through June 13, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Event features over 100 premier artists and crafts people showcasing contemporary art, fine crafts, handcrafted jewelry and accessories, couture clothing, handmade quilts and baskets and more. Free. (510) 227-7110, www.liveoakparkfair.com. 

1300 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. < 

 

YOSHI'S  

Cassandra Wilson, June 19 through June 20, Saturday, 8 and 10 p.m.; Sunday, 7 and 9 p.m. $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.<


General-East Bay Through June 20

Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 01:34:00 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 HISTORICAL SOCIETY  

HISTORY WALKABOUTS -- A series of walking tours that explore the history, lore and architecture of California with veteran tour guide Gary Holloway. Walks are given on specific weekends. There is a different meeting place for each weekend and 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. Call for details.  

678 Mission St., San Francisco. (415) 357-1848, www.californiahistoricalsociety.org.

 

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.

 

CASTRO VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL  

"Run-to-Play 5 and 10K," June 13, 8 a.m. Proceeds benefit Castro Valley High School's athletic programs. Event also includes a Kids' Fun Run. www.cvhsathleticboosters.org. 

19400 Santa Maria Ave., Castro Valley. (510) 537-5911, www.cv.k12.ca.us.

 

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. 

Center Admission: $14.95; $10.95 children 3-12; free children under 3; $3 discount for seniors and students. 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.; Also open on Tuesdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m. after June 29. 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. < 

 

JACK LONDON SQUARE  

"East Bay Open Studio," through June 6 and June 12 through June 6, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The Pavilion Building hosts over 35 local artists presenting their work.  

"Dancing Under the Stars," June 11 and June 18, 8:30-10 p.m. The Linden Street Dance Studio provides free dance lessons to all at the foot of Broadway.  

"Dog Days of Summer," June 13, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Take your dog for a walk and join the Oakland SPCA in getting a photographic portrait of your pet.  

"Leading Local Talent," June 18, 7 p.m. The producers of the Oakland Underground Film Festival bring to Jack London Square a special viewing of one of their favorite non-mainstream movies.  

Foot of Broadway, Oakland. (866) 295-9853, www.jacklondonsquare.com.

 

LA PENA CULTURAL CENTER  

"Trust Your Struggle Collective, World Bridges, and ALAY," June 11, 8 p.m. Event features music, art, photography, food and live silk-screening. $10.  

"HomeGrown: HipLife in Ghana," June 17, 8 p.m. View a documentary about the group V.I.P. (Vision in Progress). $5.  

3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 849-2568, www.lapena.org.

 

LAWRENCE HALL OF SCIENCE  

$6-$12; 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.

 

LIVE OAK PARK  

"Live Oak Park Fair," June 12 through June 13, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Event features over 100 premier artists and crafts people showcasing contemporary art, fine crafts, handcrafted jewelry and accessories, couture clothing, handmade quilts and baskets and more. Free. (510) 227-7110, www.liveoakparkfair.com. 

1300 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. < 

 

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.  

$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 June 20

Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 01:31:00 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.  

"Think California," through Feb. 5. Exhibition features artworks, artifacts and ephemera exploring California's colorful history.  

$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.  

"60 Years of Beetle Bailey," through Sept. 19. Exhibition showcases the comics of Mort Walker.  

"Cartoon Storytelling," June 12, 12:30 p.m. Featuring Joe Wos.  

Bruce McKay, June 12, 1-3 p.m. Meet McKay and talk about cartooning and his work.  

$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. 

"I Keep Foolin' Around: William T. Wiley as Printmaker," through July 4. Exhibition features paintings, sculpture and more by Bay Area artist Wiley.  

"Photo/Synthesis," through Oct. 3. Exhibition highlights the dynamic trend in the field of contemporary photography, collages, assemblages, and other multi-part or composite photo-based projects.  

"Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musee d'Orsay," 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.  

"Over and Out Past the Lines," through June 27. Exhibition features work by Michael Horse and Kim Shuck.  

$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. 

"Clare Rojas: We They, We They," 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 --  

"Drop-in Family Ceramics Workshop," Saturday, 1:15-2:15 p.m. 

"Drop-in Family Ceramics Workshop," Saturday, 10:15-11:15 a.m. $5. 

"Animal Feeding," Saturday, noon. 

"Film Series for Teenagers," Fridays, 7 p.m. 

"Golden Gate Model Railroad Exhibit," Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 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. 

"Meet the Animals," 11:15 a.m.-noon. 

"Meet the Animals," Saturdays, 11:15 a.m. Learn about the animals that live at the Randall Museum. 

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 --  

"FourSite: 4 Artists, 4 Materials, 4 Sites," through Sept. 18. Artists Tanya Aguiniga, Paul Hayes, Tom Hill and Christine Lee transform the museum space with four distinct, large-scale installations of fiber, paper, metal and wood.  

$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. 

"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.  

"Paul Klee: Three Exhibitions from the Djerassi Collection," through Aug. 1. Carl Djerassi's generous promise to give SFMOMA a substantial group of intimate works - mostly drawings, prints, and watercolors - by Paul Klee allowed the museum to begin in 1984 what would become an ongoing series of exhibitions devoted to this beloved artist.  

$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/.< 

 

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.<


Kids-East Bay Through June 20

Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 01:33:00 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 --  

"Potato Harvesting," Learn the spectacular history of this New World native as you dig with your spade and help find the spuds. 

"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. 

"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. 

"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.  

"Farm Chores for Kids," June 6 and June 13, 11 a.m.-noon. Young farmers are invited to help with the morning chores. 

"Hay Harvesting," through June 13, 1 p.m. Join in an old-fashioned hay harvest. 

"Barnyard Pictionary," June 19, 1-2 p.m. Test your artistic and guessing skills. 

"Got Milk? Not Without Those Dairy Cows," June 19, 11 a.m.-noon. Learn cool dairy cow facts and make a craft to take home. 

"Father's Day Ice Cream," June 20, 2-3 p.m. Celebrate Father's Day with a delicious treat. 

$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.

 

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 --  

"Sleuthing Animal Signs," June 12, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Search for animal clues. 

"Father's Day Mine Open House," June 20, Noon-4:30 p.m. Join a tour to explore 1,000 feet of the Hazel-Atlas mine. 

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.

$10-$25; clothing and accessories extra. Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sundays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Broadway Plaza, 1248 Broadway, Walnut Creek. (925) 946-4697, www.buildabear.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. 

Center Admission: $14.95; $10.95 children 3-12; free children under 3; $3 discount for seniors and students. 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.; Also open on Tuesdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m. after June 29. 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 --  

"Animal of the Day!" Saturdays and Sundays, 1-1:20 p.m. Come up close and learn about Fairyland's creatures. 

"Arts and Crafts," Noon-3 p.m. Event features arts and crafts projects for children and their families. $6. 

"Lady Emerald," June 19 through June 20, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. Jacqueline Lynaugh enchants guests of all ages with her stories and the magical sounds of her harp.  

"Mariposas," June 19 through June 20, 12:30 and 3 p.m. Woven from Latin American folktales about butterflies, "Mariposas'' tells stories of why the butterflies are silent, why they don't fly straight, and why they migrate each year. Created by the cast.  

"The Wind In The Willows," June 19 through June 20, 11 a.m. and 2 and 4 p.m. The story by Kenneth Graham of Mr. Toad, Badger, Mole and Ratty comes to life at Fairyland. It's up to Mr. Toad's friends to save the day when he gets into trouble. Will it work out in the end? Come to Fairyland and see. Puppets and script by Randal Metz, with scenery by Lewis Mahlmann.  

$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.  

"Introduction to Ohlone Culture," June 12, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Practice string making and learn about Ohlone tools. 

"Celebrate Father's Day in the Stone Age," June 20, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Explore the lives of Paleolithic tribes. $10. 

"Panoramic Bay-View Hike," June 20, 3-5 p.m. Enjoy an energetic 2-mile round trip hike on the ridge of the hills. 

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 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. 

"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. 

"Children's Storytime and Exploration," June 12, 9-10:30 a.m. Watch duckling, ladybug and crabs at the pond. 

"Return of the Terns," June 19, 11 a.m. Journey to the proposed Alameda Wildlife Refuge to view a nesting site teeming with several hundred pairs of endangered California least terns and their chicks. 

"Turtle Talk," June 20 and June 27, 1:30-2 p.m. Meet Esmeralda the threetoed box turtle. 

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.  

$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.

 

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. 

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/.< 

 

JUNIOR CENTER OF ART AND SCIENCE A center dedicated to encouraging children's active wonder and creative response through artistic and scientific exploration of their natural urban environment. The center's classes, workshops, exhibits and events integrate art and science.  

EXHIBITS -- Three educational exhibits are mounted in the "Children's Gallery'' each year. A docent-led tour, demonstrations, hands-on activities and art projects are available to school groups throughout the year.  

"Jake's Discovery Garden," Jake's Discovery Garden is a new interactive studio exhibit designed for preschool-aged children and their adult caregivers that teaches young visitors about the natural environments found in their backyards, playgrounds and neighborhoods. 

SPECIAL EVENTS --  

Free; programs and special exhibits have a fee. September through May: Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June through August: Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 558 Bellevue Ave., Oakland. (510) 839-5777, www.juniorcenter.org.

 

LA PENA CULTURAL CENTER  

Jose Luis Orozco, June 12, 10 and 11:30 a.m. $5-$12.  

3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 849-2568, www.lapena.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.

 

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.  

$6-$12; 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 --  

"Little Farm Goat Hike," June 12, 1:30-3 p.m. Come on a short hike with the Little Farm goats. 

"Sushi Basics Workshop," June 13, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Learn the natural and cultural history of this cuisine and prepare seven basic types of rolls. $25-$39. 

"Sushi Basics Workshop," June 13, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Learn the natural and cultural history of this cuisine and prepare and taste seven basic types of sushi. $29-$39. 

"Frondiferous Ferns," June 20, 2-3 p.m. Learn about these ancient pteridophytes. 

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. 

"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. 

"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. 

$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.<


Outdoors-East Bay Through June 20

Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 01:30:00 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 --  

"Potato Harvesting," Learn the spectacular history of this New World native as you dig with your spade and help find the spuds. 

"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.  

"Hay Harvesting," through June 13, 1 p.m. Join in an old-fashioned hay harvest. 

"Farm Chores for Kids," June 6 and June 13, 11 a.m.-noon. Young farmers are invited to help with the morning chores. 

"Got Milk? Not Without Those Dairy Cows," June 19, 11 a.m.-noon. Learn cool dairy cow facts and make a craft to take home. 

"Barnyard Pictionary," June 19, 1-2 p.m. Test your artistic and guessing skills. 

"Father's Day Ice Cream," June 20, 2-3 p.m. Celebrate Father's Day with a delicious treat. 

$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 --  

"Sleuthing Animal Signs," June 12, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Search for animal clues. 

"Father's Day Mine Open House," June 20, Noon-4:30 p.m. Join a tour to explore 1,000 feet of the Hazel-Atlas mine. 

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 --  

"Introduction to Botanical Drawing for Kids," June 19, 10 a.m.-noon. Children age 8-12 can learn the basics of botanical drawing. $10-$15. 

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.  

"Introduction to Ohlone Culture," June 12, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Practice string making and learn about Ohlone tools. 

"Panoramic Bay-View Hike," June 20, 3-5 p.m. Enjoy an energetic 2-mile round trip hike on the ridge of the hills. 

"Celebrate Father's Day in the Stone Age," June 20, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Explore the lives of Paleolithic tribes. $10. 

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. 

"Children's Storytime and Exploration," June 12, 9-10:30 a.m. Watch duckling, ladybug and crabs at the pond. 

"Return of the Terns," June 19, 11 a.m. Journey to the proposed Alameda Wildlife Refuge to view a nesting site teeming with several hundred pairs of endangered California least terns and their chicks. 

"Turtle Talk," June 20 and June 27, 1:30-2 p.m. Meet Esmeralda the threetoed box turtle. 

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 --  

"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. 

"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. 

"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. 

"Father's Day Campout," June 19 through June 20, Saturday, 2 p.m.-Sunday, 11 a.m. Feat on BBQ and celebrate Dad's special day. Bring tents for this exclusive camping event.  

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.< 

 

LIVERMORE AREA RECREATION AND PARK DISTRICT  

4444 East Ave., Livermore. (925) 373-5700, www.larpd.dst.ca.us/.< 

 

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.

 

REI BERKELEY A series of lectures on hikes and outdoor equipment. 

"Free Hands-on Bicycle Classes," June 13 and June 27, 11 a.m.-noon. Join an REI bike technician to learn how to keep your bike in top condition.  

"Camp Cooking Basics," June 15, 7 p.m. Attend an introductory class on campsite cooking.  

"Car Camping Basics: Roughing it in Comfort," June 19, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Learn simple tips to make your car camping adventures full of comfort and fun.  

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. 

"Atlatl and Dart Making Workshop," June 13, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Learn about the history of dart-throwing in hunting. 

"Daddy Creek Bugs," June 20, 2-4 p.m. Explore Alameda Creek in search of waterbug wonders. 

"Dad's Day Mini Hike," June 20, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Celebrate Father's Day with a 3/4 mile long hike. 

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 --  

"Little Farm Goat Hike," June 12, 1:30-3 p.m. Come on a short hike with the Little Farm goats. 

"Sushi Basics Workshop," June 13, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Learn the natural and cultural history of this cuisine and prepare and taste seven basic types of sushi. $29-$39. 

"Sushi Basics Workshop," June 13, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Learn the natural and cultural history of this cuisine and prepare seven basic types of rolls. $25-$39. 

"Frondiferous Ferns," June 20, 2-3 p.m. Learn about these ancient pteridophytes. 

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.<


Don't Miss This

By Dorothy Snodgrass
Tuesday June 08, 2010 - 12:57:00 PM

Since faithful readers of the Berkeley Daily Planet are without question of high intellectual and eclectic tastes, 

this week's "Don't Miss This" column will be of a literary nature. We'll feature leading book stores in our area and the distinguished authors they present in entertaining and stimulating readings. 

First, we start off with the beloved Mrs. Dalloway's Book Store on College Avenue, owned and operated by Marion Abbott and Ann Leyhe, who, year after year have offered readings by distinguished writers. Here's an opportunity to meet these charming ladies, who will be guests of Friends of the Library at their Annual Luncheon on Wednesday, June l6, 12 noon at the Northbrae Community Church, 941 The Alameda, Berkeley. For reservations, call (510) 981-6152. Later, that same day, local actor Thomas Lynch will once again treat fans to his wonderful James Joyce reading at 3 p.m. And if that were not enough, Jane Smiley will read from her new novel at 7:30 p.m. All of this in one day! 

On June 23rd at 12:30 p.m. the Nooner Book Club will discuss "Among the Missing" by Dan Chaon at Books, Inc. in Berkeley. Also, on June 28, at 7:00 p.m. at Books, Inc., best selling author Michael Pollan will toast 75 years of Penguin Books at an author event featuring his latest book, "Food Rules." And here's great news for all book lovers, when 

Books, Inc. will offer a Lunch Break Book Club, meeting on the 4th Wednesday of each month from 12:30 - 1:00 p.m. (Bring your lunch for this one.) 

We'd be remiss not to mention other fine book stores in Berkeley -- i.e., Moe's, Pegasus, Half-Priced Books, and