Flash: Fire in Telegraph Apartment Building Extinguished Quickly by Berkeley Firefighters

By the Planet (Updated)
Tuesday February 22, 2011 - 05:02:00 PM

The Sequoia Apartments at the corner of Telegraph and Haste, the building which housed Mario's La Fiesta for more than 30 years, experienced a big, smoky fire two-alarm fire this afternoon, attracting fire crews from all stations in the city of Berkeley. -more-

Berkeley City Council Fails to Pass Controversial Resolutions

By Charlotte Perry-Houts
Tuesday February 22, 2011 - 10:11:00 AM

            Last Tuesday the Berkeley City Council discussed open government, Bradley Manning, the Affordable Housing Impact Fee, and PG&E's pipelines in Berkeley.


Updated: Downtown Berkeley's Arpeggio Building is in Trouble

Friday February 18, 2011 - 09:32:00 AM
Exterior of the Arpeggio Building in December, 2010.

It looks like the nine-story SNK Realty Group’s Arpeggio building, under construction on Center Street in downtown Berkeley, is on hold, at least for the moment. Passersby have noticed that construction has been halted for several weeks. The sales office on the site has closed, and the Planet’s calls to the sales number listed on the project’s website instead reached an independent Oakland real estate broker, who said that units would not be for sale until at least June. -more-

Last Council Meeting on West Berkeley will be Tuesday

Friday February 18, 2011 - 11:03:00 AM

The last public hearing on proposals to amend the West Berkeley plan and its zoning will be held in the City Council chambers of the Maudelle Shirek (Old City Hall) Building on Tuesday, February 22 at 7 p.m. The agenda and new written communications from West Berkeley business owners can be found here. -more-

Berkeley Police Seek Holdup Suspect

Friday February 18, 2011 - 10:43:00 AM

The City of Berkeley Police Department has released a photo and description of a suspect in the January 6 holdup of the CVS phamacy on Shattuck. It can be seen here. -more-

Flash: COMPUTER PROBLEMS! Try again soon if you get an error message.

Thursday February 17, 2011 - 05:40:00 PM

We're sorry to inform you that we've been experiencing intermittent outages on the server which a local company maintains for us with the Planet's data. We (and they) are working on the problem, but it might take a while to fix. In the meantime, if you get an error message from our site, try again in a few minutes--that's the best we can do for now. -more-

Berkeley Council Fails to Pass Guantanamo Detainee Refuge Resolution

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Wednesday February 16, 2011 - 09:49:00 PM

The Berkeley City Council has rejected a resolution that would have invited "one or two" Guantanamo Bay detainees to resettle in Berkeley. -more-

School District Committee Plans to Allocate Taxpayer-Provided Funds

By Raymond Barglow, Berkeley Tutors Network,
Wednesday February 16, 2011 - 11:33:00 AM
The information above comes from the BSEP website:

Berkeley public schools are supported by supplementary funds coming from the “Berkeley Schools Excellence Program” (BSEP). These funds are provided by Berkeley voters, who once again this past November passed bond measures in support of the schools. The funds are, by law, allocated for specific educational purposes, and a “Planning and Oversight Committee” (P&O) oversees implementation.

Last week, the BSEP P&O Committee met to hear a report from Superintendent Bill Huyett about allocating funds for the next school year. Huyett noted that it is possible to shift some BSEP funding to compensate for state funding shortfalls, but that this has to be done in accordance with the will of the voters as expressed in the BSEP guidelines. P&O Chair Dan Lindheim also spoke about the importance of maintaining the trust of the voters, while acknowledging that “There is lots of debate about the meaning of words in the regulations.” -more-

Barbara Lee Takes Afghanistan Issue to Democratic Party National Committee

By Tom Hayden / The Peace Exchange Bulletin
Tuesday February 15, 2011 - 09:56:00 PM

Rep. Barbara Lee is proposing that the Democratic National Committee officially commit itself to a policy of "prioritizing job creation and a swift withdrawal of US armed forces and military contractors in Afghanistan which must include a significant and sizable reduction no later than July 2011." The DNC will take up the resolution at its Feb. 24-26 meeting in Washington, D.C. -more-

Updated: The Crowd-funding Revolution and the Reinvention of Capitalism

By Gar Smith
Tuesday February 15, 2011 - 07:59:00 PM

It's never easy raising cash to start a new business. This truism was the focus of a recent meeting of the Sustainable Business Alliance (SBA).

On February 7, scores of local entrepreneurs poured into The Hub, on the forth floor of Berkeley’s David Brower Center (corner of Oxford and Addison), to hear a panel of fund-raising experts discuss a host of cash-chasing solutions -- ranging from community financing and crowd-funding, to peer-lending, socially responsible investment funds and direct public offerings. -more-

In Berkeley's People's Park: A Slow Week in Lake Woebegone
Except for Rats, as Park Activists Eschew Violence,
Focus on 42nd Anniversary

By Ted Friedman
Tuesday February 15, 2011 - 08:07:00 PM

It was a slow week in Lake Woebegone, aka People's Park. Park rats kept to schedule, however. -more-

Joanne Kowalski, 1938-2011

By Nancy Holland
Tuesday February 15, 2011 - 10:09:00 PM

A neighbor's chalk on sidewalk tribute to Joanne reads " to be smart is fine, to be kind is better, to be both can be divine." -more-

In Memory of Fast Eddie

By Lydia Gans
Tuesday February 15, 2011 - 10:30:00 PM

A year ago we ran a story about the weekly drum circle at the Ashby BART station. One of the people featured was Fast Eddie who for years had set the rhythms and inspired many of the other drummers to work on their techniques and to appreciate their African heritage. Last weekend there was a bowl of flowers at the base of the tree by the drum circle and a notice of a memorial service for Eddie. Someone came by and placed a candle with the flowers. Eddie Jones was killed on January 23. He was 62 years old. It was not a random killing. -more-