BART police responded to reports of a male suspect with a gun in a Bay Area Rapid Transit station at Ashby Avenue in Berkeley this afternoon sometime after 4 p.m.. -more-
Don't forget that from now on you can see the new articles by clicking on the "Next Issue" button at the top of this page. Among other exciting news, there's a link to Richard Brenneman's latest column about the BP/UC collusion. -more-
First: sad news. If you have friends who have been enjoying the Planets which have been printed by a public-spirited copy shop, please tell them that they won’t be able to get printed copies any more. The usual suspects, the same kind of people who harassed the advertisers in the print Planets for the last few years, are at it again. Please don’t blame the generous people at the copy company, who were just trying to be of service to Berkeley readers.
Second: Mike O’Malley and I, who are solely responsible for online production these days, have decided that the Tuesday deadline isn’t working as well as we’d hoped. For one thing, we miss the City Council when it’s in session on Tuesday nights. And right now, we’re happy to say that we have had so many election-oriented contributions that we just can’t do it all in one day.
What you have today (Tuesday afternoon) is NOT the whole issue for this week. Much more is in the works—it will probably all be online by tomorrow afternoon. But since we’ve been getting new submissions every day, there will be new pieces posted almost every day, at least until the election, so keep putting berkeleydailyplanet.com into your browser and clicking through to see what’s new. -more-
Is the air too “dramatic” in the block of Addison which houses the city’s self-described “arts district;” is there something that fuzzes minds and prevents rational discourse? In January I went to a panel discussion about downtown development in the Aurora Theatre where not one of the panelists mentioned most of the activities which draw people downtown (like retail or restaurants or libraries or gyms). This Tuesday I went to a panel discussion in the same venue about Measure R, characterized by drama, if drama means “artifice,” “fictionalizing,” and “upstaging,” but mostly not including discussion of Measure R. Maybe the Chamber of Commerce, which had organized the panel, wanted it that way, but I went wanting to learn more, and I left as flummoxed as I had been in January. -more-
If you’re a Berkeley voter, you’ll have received the colorful mailer from the Yes on Measure R campaign conspicuously designed to look as if it had come from the Sierra Club.
Like Measure R itself, the mailer harps on the word “green” numerous times. Of course, there is nothing in the ballot language that guarantees any green (or even rosy) outcome for downtown Berkeley.
What we have here is a case of flagrant greenwashing, financed by developers. -more-
“You don’t pick your representatives; your representatives pick you.”— A popular definition of the “gerrymandering” process -more-
A forum on Measure R, the controversial downtown high-rise development proposal on Berkeley’s November ballot, provoked a sharp exchange of views last Tuesday.
More than 50 people attended the event that was held in the Berkeley City College building on Center Street and was sponsored by the League of Women Voters. -more-
Arnieville, the name inspired by the Hoovervilles in the depression years, was a month long camp out in Berkeley in July to protest threatened cuts in services for elderly and disabled people. Last week Arnieville went to Sacramento with their allies in a last ditch effort to prevent the legislature and the governor from making cuts in their desperately needed programs. The results – nothing. Other than a few arrests for “obstructing state business” they were not heard. The budget was passed with the cuts the legislative leaders had agreed on (in closed sessions). -more-
Blue and gold may be the revered historic colors of the University of California, but if a current proposal is approved, they may also become literal colors of controversy in the University city. -more-
For a few minutes midday on Friday, October 8, 2010, Telegraph Avenue experienced a burst of color, oddity, and originality out in the street as well as on the sidewalks. A group of art cars came to town. -more-
Berkeley Cultural Trust (BCT) hosts a Berkeley City Council candidates forum, moderated by the League of Women Voters, from noon-1:30 pm October 20, 2010 at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley CA 94704. The forum is open and free to the public. -more-
Measure H is a parcel tax that will provide approximately $5 million per year for 10years (from 2013 to 2023) at a total cost of $50 million. The revenues from the parcel tax will be used to maintain school facilities.
Measure I authorizes the District to issue $210million in school construction bonds that will be used to construct classrooms and renovate district facilities over the next ten years. However, the cost to repay the bonds (principal and interest) will be $611 million over 50 years through 2060. -more-
Dear Professor Reich,
On September 30, 2010 I wrote you regarding your endorsement of Measure R and my observation that your endorsement conflicted with statements you make on public radio and on your blog site. (The letter is included below) -more-
[EDITOR’S NOTE:The Bay Area News Group (San Jose Mercury. Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times, West County Times, Berkeley Voice and more) has come out against Berkeley’s proposed Measure R.
Here’s a link to their editorial
Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates wrote an op-ed in response supporting Measure R.
Now B. Soffer of the Green Party has sent us his rebuttal, reprinted below:] -more-
Measure R is a deceptive attempt to slip through some highly controversial specifics by linking them to a parade of nice-sounding vague generalities and an alleged “green vision for the Downtown.” Don’t be fooled by proponents’ greenwashing rhetoric. Read the fine print. -more-
The Republican Party and the Tea Party Express are on a roll, if the pundits and pollsters are to be believed.They say the opportunity will exist after the mid-term elections for them to be in a position to undo some of the positive legislation passed by Democratically controlled congresses. At the top of their hit list- undo the healthcare reforms and privatize social security, as well as the VA hospitals. -more-
This week we got our first look at the “Yes on T” flyer currently being distributed. We support the efforts of those Berkeley advocates for medical marijuana who have acted responsibly to help people find their way through the complex legal and practical problems that the chaos of State law around this issue has created. However, the assertions in the flyer urging a “yes” vote on Berkeley Measure T are so misleading that we feel compelled to reply. -more-
The first time I met George Beier, he was charming, friendly, and he told me exactly what I wanted to hear. It just wasn’t the truth. Beier is a self-described “neighborhood activist,” but when Elmwood residents and merchants needed a champion, he took the side of the developer who would have destroyed our neighborhood. -more-
The Sierra Club, terrific on national issues like BP, has a Berkeley based local Chapter that seems to have eclipsed our own UC - BP horror story without a peep. UC-BP plans massive Research and Development (R and D) in biofuels here, and they are planning for Berkeley to become the world capitol for this research. -more-
The SaveKPFA slate has won a big victory in elections to KPFA’s local governing board. Listeners elected SaveKPFA members to six of nine open seats. -more-
Press Release: Campaign Launched: Berkeley City Council Resolution to Welcome Cleared Guantánamo Detainees to Berkeley
Berkeley, CA. On Tuesday, October 12, a coalition of human rights and torture accountability groups [launched] a campaign to pass a Berkeley City Council Resolution welcoming one or two cleared Guantánamo Bay Prison detainees to Berkeley once Congress lifts its current ban. The resolution’s supporters, including groups and individuals who organized “Berkeley Says No to Torture Week”, Oct. 10-16, www.wesaynototorture.net hope the Berkeley City Council will adopt the resolution promptly, making the City of Berkeley the third U.S. municipality, and the first in California, to do so. No city funds would be used to support the men. They would be sponsored by volunteers, with the help of nonprofit organizations that help asylees. -more-
Californians are tired of University of California President Mark Yudof saying one thing but doing another. Yudof has spearheaded a drive to hike tuition on students struggling to pay their room and board while spending lavishly on his own housing. He has forced furloughs and reductions on the lowest-paid staff while he hauls down an outsized salary and bevy of perks of close to $1 million annually. -more-
In an audacious display of hypocrisy, President Obama signed an executive order on September 28, 2010, imposing financial sanctions against eight Iranian officials for "serious and sustained human rights abuse" violations committed in the year since Iran's disputed presidential election. The order freezes any U.S. assets they might own and bars them from receiving a visa to travel to the United States. -more-
In the Indian Subcontinent you should never get caught shop-lifting--no, not for legal reasons, for your own physical safety. Most of the time, the mob takes sadistic pleasure in beating up the suspect--sometimes the suspect dies, even though it might later be proven to be a mistake. -more-
This has been a busy week for the hardy little band of Berkeleyans who follow what’s going on in city government. They’re mostly downtown dwellers anxious about what’s about to land on their neighborhood, so they follow everything the City Council and the Planning Department are prepared to inflict on them with laser gaze.
For those of you who actually read the Daily Planet on a daily basis, much of what follows will be familiar, because an earlier draft was posted on Wednesday in the Editor’s Back Page category. Since then a great deal of new information has been added to the public discourse by public watchdogs. I’m revisiting the topic in this space (traditionally the best read section) to make sure no one who cares will miss a beat.
Here’s the instant replay: last Tuesday a League of Woman Voters debate on Measure R, which will appear on the Berkeley ballot in the upcoming election, served as the arena for dramatic revelations about the out-of-town financial muscle behind the advisory ballot measure which purports to give citizens the opportunity to endorse the mayor’s “green vision” for downtown development. -more-
The Editor's Back Fence
A police riot over an austerity bill, or a failed attempt to oust leftist Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa from office? In the aftermath of the Sept. 30 attack on Correa by police in Quito, it is looking more and more like this was an orchestrated coup. And while there is no evidence that the U.S. was directly involved, the Obama administration’s strong support for the current Honduran government may well have encouraged the plotters to expect similar treatment by Washington. -more-
Here in California, I’ve been calling voters, asking them to vote no on Proposition 23 – the Texas Oil attempt to roll back our enlightened environmental law (AB32). I’ve been impressed both by voters’ determination to defeat Proposition 23 and their reports of hard times. Many voters say they are hurting financially. -more-
Candidates running for election in the November election are invited to email to Senior Power ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) a statement of your “platform” regarding senior citizens, -- e.g. housing, health, transportation. If you are running for re-election, please describe the h ighlights of your record on issues important to seniors. -more-
When we arrived at the industrial site in Marin County (and that’s as specific as I can get) around 6:15 pm last Monday, a few swifts were already circling the tallest of three chimneys. Berkeley birder Rusty Scalf discovered this roost of migrating Vaux’s swifts in late September. I had assumed that the birds had subsequently moved on south, but friends had reported their continuing presence the day before. Since we had other business in Marin County that day, Ron and I decided to hang around until dusk and catch the show. -more-
Arts & Events
It's fitting that the great Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa began his career with a traveling shot. Sanshiro Sugata (1943) opens with a camera pushing forward through a village street, probing into the life and secrets of the hamlet and its denizens. -more-
—Mark Jackson's adaptation of Mary Stuart for Shotgun Players
—Dancing on Glass, a social comedy from India
—Backyard Theater Revolution -more-