New: Next Issue Now in Progress

Thursday October 21, 2010 - 10:41:00 PM

The first hot item has been posted on the front page of the next issue. -more-

Berkeley Police Announce Armed Robbery Charges against Six

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Thursday October 21, 2010 - 09:46:00 AM

Six men have been charged with armed robbery in connection with two separate investigations involving five different victims, Berkeley police said last night. -more-

Berkeley City Council Takes Up Energy, Gardens and Housing

By Charlotte Perry-Houts
Thursday October 21, 2010 - 09:31:00 AM

The Berkeley City Council began this Tuesday evening with a special work session on green energy, followed by a regular meeting in which a new Housing Element was moved forward. Councilmember Max Anderson was absent due to an illness. -more-

Point Molate Lawsuit Settles; Some Casino Foes Doubtful

By Caitilin McAdoo (BCN)
Wednesday October 20, 2010 - 05:22:00 PM

Opponents of a proposed casino resort development on the Richmond shoreline were not swayed today by an announcement that developers for the Guidiville tribe and a coalition of environmental groups came to a settlement agreement in a lawsuit. -more-

Report: UC Berkeley-BP pact riddled with conflicts

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday October 14, 2010 - 10:00:00 PM

[Editor's Note: Former Berkeley Daily Planet reporter Richard Brenneman's extensive reporting on the deficiencies of the pact UC Berkeley made with BP has been re-confirmed in a new publication from the Center for American Progress. He spotlights it in his blog, linked and reprinted in part below. And now Amy Goodman has picked up the story--see the video below, sent to us by Brenneman]. -more-

Berkeley Police Report Three Armed Robberies

By Bay City News
Sunday October 17, 2010 - 06:41:00 PM

Three people have been robbed at gunpoint while walking in the northeast and north central part of Berkeley in recent weeks, according to a statement from Berkeley police. -more-

Trick or Treat? More AC Transit Service Cuts Take Effect Oct. 31

By Ari Burack (BCN)
Friday October 15, 2010 - 06:29:00 PM

Ghosts, goblins, the undead, and other assorted creatures of the night who board a bus in the East Bay this Halloween may want to check the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District's new schedule before heading out to feast on the living. -more-

Suspect with Gun Reported at Ashby BART in Berkeley--BART Police Unable to Confirm

By Saul Sugarman (BCN) and Berkeley Daily Planet
Saturday October 16, 2010 - 06:35:00 PM

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-

Bamiyan Diaries – Day One

By David Smith-Ferri
Wednesday October 20, 2010 - 10:32:00 AM

Bamiyan Province in Afghanistan, a stunningly beautiful mountainous region, is located in the center of the country, roughly 100 miles from Kabul. Most people here live in small, autonomous villages tucked into high mountain valleys, and work dawn to dusk just to scratch out a meager living as subsistence farmers, shepherds, or goatherds. The central government in Kabul and the regional government in Bamiyan City exercise little or no control over their lives. They govern themselves, and live for the most part in isolation. -more-

Remembering the Whitney Ranch Before the Developers Came (First Person)

By Bonnie Hughes
Monday October 18, 2010 - 09:09:00 PM

Seeing a developer of the Whitney Estates as a supporter of Measure R brings back memories of the years I spent on the Whitney Ranch as a very young child. In 1932, when I was 3 years old, my father, who was in the sheep business, leased the 18,000 acre Whitney Ranch as pasture for his vast herds, from Beryl Whitney Blaine who lived in the beautiful old Victorian on the ranch. He moved our family there for 3 years leasing out our home in Woodland in the Sacramento Valley . Beryl wanted us to live in her mansion but my father insisted that the manager’s quarters would be adequate for us. Actually she needed her mansion because she had 9 giant mastiffs. They were always fighting and she had scars on her arms from trying to separate them. She also had dyed bright red hair, which was rare in those days, and always wore kimonos. She died in 1935 and we moved back to Woodland. -more-

New: Re-Elect Karen Hemphill for School Board 2010

By Karen Hemphill
Thursday October 21, 2010 - 06:01:00 PM

As current School Board President, what distinguishes me from the other candidates is that I have proven leadership in what it takes to advance student achievement in these difficult economic times. During my tenure and leadership, through careful fiscal oversight and fostering of creative partnerships with the City and other public as well as non-profit agencies (and with the continued support of our community school taxes), the School District has maintained a balanced budget every year for the past four years, while retaining small class sizes; art and music programs; and student support services. Most importantly, with the adoption of the first District-wide student achievement plan (which I championed and led in developing) overall academic achievement has risen, while the District has started to make real progress on the achievement gap that has historically existed among racial groups in our schools. With the decision not to seek re-election of two long-term Board members (Shirley Issel and Nancy Riddle, who both endorse my re-election, as well as do continuing Board members Beatriz Levya-Cutler and John Selawsky), my experience and proven leadership in conducting an open and transparent budget process and advancing data-based, systematic academic growth strategies will be particularly important in continuing the good work, we as a Board have accomplished in the past few years. -more-

Contributions to the Yes on H and I Campaign (Commentary)

By Albert Sukoff
Wednesday October 20, 2010 - 05:07:00 PM

The information comes from the City Clerk’s office. I have sorted it as it now appears. Many of the filings did not identify the contributor as to occupation but I went on line and found most of them and placed them in the appropriate category. Over 86% of the funds for H and I come from potential beneficiaries (no…not the kids). -more-

The Willard/Bateman Election Forum and the Unanswered Questions

By Judith Epstein
Wednesday October 20, 2010 - 11:47:00 AM

I’m sure that many of us who attended the Willard/Bateman election forum hoped for informative and lively debates. In some cases, we were not disappointed. But in addition to the speakers and the audience, there was another notable presence in the room: the Willard Courtesy Policy. When invoked, this policy silenced debate and left some of us to go home with our questions unanswered. -more-

Press Release: Shirley Dean Endorses Jones, McCormick--not Wozniak

From the Berkeley Democratic Club
Sunday October 17, 2010 - 08:04:00 PM

The Berkeley Democratic Club today indicated that it made an incorrect statement indicating that former Mayor Shirley Dean had endorsed incumbent Councilmember Gordon Wozniak for City Council District 8. Ms. Dean has not endorsed Mr. Wozniak and has, in fact, endorsed his two opponents. -more-

Why It Is Important To Vote NO on Measures H and I(Commentary)

By Peter Schorer
Saturday October 16, 2010 - 10:45:00 AM

In these two Measures, the Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) is asking taxpayers to let it borrow a total of $260 million for various projects, only some of which are actually concerned with education. But let me state at the outset that the total that taxpayers will wind up paying if the Measures pass is not $260 million but over $610 million when the cost of debt service (interest, etc.) is taken into account. (See the BUSD's "Plan for School Maintenance and Reconstruction in the Coming Decade" (the so-called "Blue Book").) That's more than half a billion dollars. -more-

Three State Propositions That Aren't Getting Enough Attention

By Paul Hogarth (from
Wednesday October 20, 2010 - 10:24:00 AM

With the November election less than two weeks away, the media buzz is all about Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman. At the grass-roots level, activists have been organizing for Proposition 19 (marijuana) – and environmentalists have focused on defeating Prop 23. But the three propositions that arguably have the greatest impact on California’s future – Propositions 24, 25 and 26 – are barely getting any attention at all. The state budget may be a boring subject, but Sacramento will remain a dysfunctional cesspool that generations of elected officials cannot fix until we make structural changes. Getting rid of the two-thirds budget rule by passing Proposition 25 is a critical first step, and passing Prop 24 will undo some of the most recent damage that is driving the state to bankruptcy. But even passing Props 24 and 25 is not enough, because Proposition 26 threatens to make a terrible situation worse – by extending two-thirds to all fee hikes. In fact, Prop 26 could make the passage of Prop 25 and the defeat of Prop 23 virtually meaningless. -more-

It's Really a Billion Dollars: $100,000 per Student for Capital Improvements (Commentary)

By Albert Sukoff
Wednesday October 20, 2010 - 09:44:00 AM

If you have been driving around Berkeley this election season, you could not help but notice the preponderance of signs on both private and public property which support rather than oppose Measures H and I. That is because the relatively few people who have managed a modicum of time and energy to fight these measures do not have even a small part of the resources available to those in support. Those promoting H and I have been given over $100,000 from various unions, architectural design and engineering firms and building contractors, all of which stand to benefit from the passage of these measures. The proponents have all the signs they need and paid help to put them up (and to sabotage the few signs posted in opposition). What they do not have is a much of a case for passage of these measures. -more-

Election Letters

Friday October 15, 2010 - 06:29:00 PM

Measure R Will Not Prevent Sprawl; Where There's Smoke, There's Fire; Yes on Measure I; District 4 Funding; Worthington, not Beier; Yes on Measure H; Against Sierra Club's Endorsement of Measure R; Supporting H & I; Republicans and Women; No on 26, Polluter Protection; Voting for Beier -more-