The first annual Peace Heroine Awards for women peace and social activists over age 70 will be awarded at noon on Mar. 9 at the Marine Recruiting Station, Shattuck Sq. Berkeley. As Pamela Sihvola said when nominating Gene Bernardi, these women “personify peace and social justice.” The 41 award winners include veteran members of EBCOSSI (East Bay Coalition to Support Self-Rule for Iraqis), Grandmothers Against the War, Women for Peace, Veterans for Peace, the Committee to Minimize Toxic Waste, Gray Panthers, Old Lesbians Organizing for Change, California Alliance for Retired Americans, CODEPINK, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Women in Black, Cop Watch, US Labor Against the War, the women's movement, the single payer health care movement, and many more. -more-
[Sent at 5:17 p.m.] On March 8, 2011, just after 1:00 pm, the Berkeley Police Department received a call of “loud reports” in the area of the 1600 block of Blake St. -more-
Poets David Gitin and George Mattingly will read for free at Moe's Books, 7:30 p. m. Wednesday March 9 (849-2089; moesbooks.com ), Gitin from his new collection The Journey Home, Poems 1962-2010, a Blue Wind Press book, published by Mattingly in Berkeley, who has also published other titles among Gitin's nine other books of poetry. -more-
Here is the information we are able to share at this time regarding the barricaded subject incident which occurred for several hours last night and this morning on the 1800 block of Marin: -more-
The City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) BPD Communications Center began receiving many 911 calls at approximately 4:28 p.m. the afternoon of March 7, 2011. -more-
Two female pedestrians were injured this afternoon in Berkeley when one of the women was struck in a crosswalk by a University of California shuttle bus and the other injured herself trying to gain the bus driver's attention, police officials said. -more-
Eight protesters have retreated from the ledge of the University of California at Berkeley building where they have been perched for several hours, according to campus police. -more-
Protesters on top of Wheeler Hall hoist a bag containing water and oranges.
The Daily Californian reports in a live blog that student protesters have taken over Wheeler Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. Heliocopters have been circling the campus area since noon. The Daily Cal also has a twitter feed: See twitter.com/dailycal -more-
Classes inside Wheeler Hall have been canceled as eight student protesters, six of whom are chained together, stand on its ledge on the University of California at Berkeley campus, a UC Berkeley spokesman said. -more-
Six student protesters are chained together on the ledge of a building on the University of California at Berkeley campus, a UC Berkeley spokesman said. -more-
Police have identified a man alleged to have struck an officer with his vehicle while trying to escape with a stolen wallet on Tuesday, Berkeley police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said. -more-
Officers arrested 17 protestors that refused orders to leave a University of California at Berkeley campus building on Wednesday night, according to a campus police officer. -more-
At about 4:38 p.m.today, the City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) received a call regarding the theft of a wallet from Ecole Bilingue French School in the 1000 block of Heinz Avenue in West Berkeley. A witness provided a description of the suspect and car to a BPD dispatcher who broadcast it to BPD officers. Suspects often use debit/ATM and credit cards soon after their crimes, thus officers began doing area checks of convenience marts and gas stations. -more-
In June of 1908, as Berkeley prepared to ceremonially lay the cornerstone of a new City Hall, a group of local women registered a protest. They weren’t against the building itself, but wanted to use the occasion bring attention to the cause of Women’s Suffrage, the campaign to achieve voting rights for women. -more-
Press Release: Outpouring of listener support after KPFA lays off news anchor and threatens to "restructure" newscast
Back from reporting on Wisconsin's historic labor rally this weekend, KPFA news producer John Hamilton arrived in Berkeley to a layoff notice this week from the station's interim program director Carrie Core. Hamilton, who has worked at KPFA for three years, was told his last work day would be March 30. -more-
Leave it to the wonderful Oakland Museum, particularly the History Guild Department, to offer informative and exciting trips, many of them planned by Helen Tryon, a long-time tour leader. Last week's trip had an added feature, as we travelled on a luxurious "Daytripping" bus with the very knowledgeable and well known Tour Guide, Gary L. Holloway, a member of the California Historical Society. What Gary doesn't know about the Valley isn't worth knowing! -more-
In a Feb. 25, 2011 ruling, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Section 8 project-based tenants are allowed to remain in their rental units at the Park Village Apartments in Oakland at 3761 Park BLVD Way, as long as they keep paying their current share of rent. -more-
Caring; Rights and Duties; Good Will; Arpeggio;Response to a Response on the Library Demolition; West Berkeley Zoning; Security Council Veto -more-
The Sierra Club study of commercial solar PV system permit fees by Kurt Newick cited in “Fees for business solar power units vary widely” (Mike Taugher, Contra Costa Times 2/27/2011) is both misleading and misplaced, and it unfairly and inappropriately targets Richmond as having the highest permit fee in Contra Costa County. -more-
In 2008, Berkeley voters passed Measure FF “to renovate, expand, and make seismic and access improvements at four neighborhood branch libraries.” In his impartial analysis of the measure, the City Attorney wrote, “Current plans for renovation include restoration and refurbishment of historic features at the branch libraries as part of any renovation.”
Yet, sometime after the passage of Measure FF, plans to demolish and rebuild the South and West Branch Libraries surfaced. Both of these libraries have historic features, and their proposed demolitions triggered an Environmental Impact Report – a public process required under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
Few people would claim that the branch libraries aren’t in need of improvement, in particular, the South and West Branches, which have been historically neglected by the City of Berkeley. While the Claremont and North Branch Libraries have been carefully and beautifully maintained, the South and West Branches have not fared so well. Ironically, the City’s pattern of poor treatment of these libraries is being used as reason to demolish them. In an excellent commentary in the February 16, 2011 edition of the Berkeley Daily Planet, Gale Garcia questioned the social justice of neglecting buildings in less affluent neighborhoods, which leads to the idea that demolition is the only viable alternative. Sometimes it’s not. -more-
When the zoning changes now called the West Berkeley Project were begun, the Planning Department said it simply wanted “flexibility” to negotiate with landowners in developing their properties. The West Berkeley Plan itself wouldn’t be changed. Planning staff said that was their “mantra.” Industry would be protected. -more-
RE: South and West Berkeley Branch Libraries and Zoning Ordinance amendment to allow development flexibility for existing public libraries.
Editor's Note: This letter was addressed to the Berkeley Planning Commission and copied to the Daily Planet.
As a long-time resident of South Berkeley, a former member of the Berkeley City Council and Vice Mayor, parent and grandparent, I ask that you support approval of the proposed zoning ordinance amendment. I also want to take this opportunity to express my strong support for the Berkeley Library plans for all four branch libraries. I strongly support the demolition and renovation plans for South and West Branch libraries.
As you are aware the Berkeley voters overwhelming approved the Measure FF directing the City of Berkeley to issue general obligation bonds not to exceed $26 million dollars to renovate, expand, and improve four (4) neighborhood branch libraries, but not the central library. When these libraries are renovated and rebuilt, they will be brought up to code standards and fully be able to provide services to Berkeley's diverse population. -more-
Before this subject fades into the twilight let's get the facts straight. -more-
Editor's Note: The latest issue of the Pepper Spray Times is now available. -more-
So, is it okay to censure and/or boycott arts organization on account of “political” questions? A friend forwarded Chronicle music critic Joshua Kosman’s gutsy column twitting the Vienna Philharmonic for continuing to limit most of their hires to white guys in a world where female and non-white musicians are increasingly prominent.
In my knee-jerk liberal innocence, I assumed that the sender agreed with the sentiments express therein. I posted the link in The Editor’s Back Fence space last week, and I forwarded it to a list of my musical friends. Well, it seems that the male sender wasn’t quite on the same page—he followed up with a letter explaining from his perspective the justifying rationale for the Vienna orchestra’s hiring polices, and pointing out that they do now have a couple of women in the group, including one in a leadership role.
But my musical friends—at least those who wrote back—didn’t agree with him. Oddly enough, those who answered were all women. I’ll quote them without names because they weren’t intending to write for publication, -more-
Shakespeare wrote, “the evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.” In American politics the process is reversed, as the longer a President is out of office the more his reputation is sanitized. Tricky Dick Nixon is recast as a “statesman.” And Ronald Reagan, who did more than any contemporary President to kill the American dream, is elevated to sainthood. -more-
While the media focused on the massacre of the conservative Fianna Fail Party in the recent Irish elections, the real story may be the earthquake on the Left, particularly the success of the new kids on the block, the United Left Alliance (ULA). -more-
Political campaigns have been compared to marketing campaigns for products where the candidates market themselves to the voters using modern marketing techniques such as market research, advertising, branding, product differentiation, product placement, and often, disparaging Brand X, the other product. The successful sale of the product depends in large part on marketing. Long ago, Republicans accepted and perfected this reality as did Obama in the last presidential election. Progressives, on the other hand, just do not seem to understand this concept. -more-
A reader posed an important question in her letter to the editor in The Planet: What is it that makes persons with mental illness resist taking medication? This is one of the things that seem to perplex people in the community; and it also makes it more difficult for mentally ill persons to receive much sympathy. I will try to give a detailed answer to this enigma in this week’s column. -more-
A few years back I wrote about the bestowal of the Ig Nobel Prize for medicine on UC-Davis ophthalmology professor Ivan Schwab for his explanation of why woodpeckers don’t get headaches. (Other Ig Nobels have honored studies of the effect of Viagra on jet-lagged hamsters and the fluid dynamics of swimming in syrup.) -more-
Senior Power: “History is written by winners... and the bad witch is old.” -- Child, interviewed on PBS program, The Goddess Remembered
March is Women’s History Month. Why a celebration of the history of women in particular? And what’s it got to do with senior power? It’s annual recognition that recorded history still omits the history of females, and that when something is noted about them, it is often distorted. -more-
Arts & Events
With the nation agonizing over the heart-wrenching trials and tribulations of Charlie Sheen, it's high time we turn to loftier thoughts and maybe come up with a few worthwhile programs and events to enrich our lives. A good beginning would be the University of California's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, an educational program for older adults who are learning just for the joy of it. On Tuesday, March 15, OLLI will host an Open House at Freight and Salvage Coffee House, from 9:30 - noon. For information on the courses offered, call (510) 642, or berkeley_olli@berkeley edu. -more-
“Of Gods and Men” opens at the Embarcadero in San Francisco on March 4 and at the Albany Twin on March 11.
A war film about monks may seem an odd choice for the big screen, but “Of Gods and Men” was the Grand Prize Winner at the Cannes Film Festival and went on to become France’s official selection for an Oscar as Best Foreign Language Film. Writer-director Xavier Beauvois’ challenging human drama is “loosely based” on the 1996 tragedy that befell an isolated band of Christian monks that became caught up in the war between the Algerian army and a Muslim insurgency. -more-
Music: Other Minds 16; Berkeley Western Edge Opera Carmen Fixation. Theater: Philip Kan Gotanda's new play, I Dream of Chang and Eng, premieres at UCB -more-