Flash: Large Meteor Seen in Berkeley Tonight

By Scott Morris (BCN) and Planet
Wednesday October 17, 2012 - 10:49:00 PM

A large meteor streaked across the night sky tonight and was seen and heard throughout the Bay Area and in Berkeley. -more-

Measure T’s Deceptive Mailers Falsely Claim Union Endorsement, Funds for Community Benefits (News Analysis)

By Rob Wrenn
Wednesday October 17, 2012 - 09:00:00 AM

Many Berkeley voters have now received two mailers from the Yes on Measure T campaign that are full of false claims. The first mailer includes, in its brief list of endorsers, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The SEIU logo appears with “Local 21” underneath. SEIU Local 21 is a local in Louisiana and it’s doubtful that they have taken a position on Measure T.

The second mailer, which arrived at my home yesterday, lists SEIU Local 1021 as an endorser. Unlike Local 21, Local 1021 does actually exist in the Bay Area, representing public sector workers who work for Bay Area cities and counties. However, SEIU Local 1021 has not endorsed the measure. Quite the contrary, it has taken a position against the measure, which can be verified by visiting their Web site. The AFL-CIO’s Alameda [County] Labor Council has also declined to endorse Measure T. There is, in fact, little labor support for Measure T.

The Yes on T mailers make a number of other false claims about what the measure will do: -more-

Who's Financing Berkeley Campaigns?

By Thomas Lord (from The Berkeley Almanac)
Monday October 15, 2012 - 03:42:00 PM

If you wonder who's paying for all the Berkeley campaign information you've been seeing around town lately, now it's easy to find out.

Here's where the council and mayoral candidate campaign finances stood as of 9/30, in an easy-to-browse format created for The Berkeley Almanac:

This link will get the same kind of information regarding Berkeley ballot measures, and more:

The information comes from the city of Berkeley campaign finance web site. -more-

Press Release: UCPOLICE Safety Alert - Possible Mountain Lion Sighting

Friday October 12, 2012 - 06:36:00 PM

On 10-12-12, UCPD received unconfirmed information of a Mountain Lion sighting near the Smyth-Fernwald construction site. Third-hand information was relayed to UCPD regarding a contract security guard that saw three cubs chasing a doe and two fawns, possibly during the evening of 10-10-12.

Deer are a major food source for Mountain Lions. Last year, several sightings of mountain lions occurred in the hills above the Berkeley campus and carcasses of animals suspected to have been attacked by mountain lions were also discovered.

UCPD is following up on this information and will release further information to the public after interviews with the security company/guards are completed. -more-

Creative Protests Blanket Berkeley

By Carol Denney
Friday October 12, 2012 - 12:55:00 PM

A barbecue, a tea party, a meditation circle, a kids’ clown party and a huge chalk-in blanketed Berkeley on Sunday, October 7th, as several groups publicly demonstrated their opposition to the anti-sitting law (Measure S). -more-

Press Release: Berkeley Unified School District Shows Gains on the API and AYP

From Mark Coplan
Friday October 12, 2012 - 10:50:00 AM

The California Department of Education released the 2012 Accountability Progress Report today. This annual report contains two sections: 1) the state Academic Performance Index (API) measuring year-to-year growth in academic achievement that a school or local educational agency (LEA) has made, and 2) the federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) measuring how well a school meets minimum performance targets.

Academic Performance Index (API) - Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) had an overall growth of 19 points resulting in a district-wide Academic Performance Index (API) of 810. The greatest gains in academic achievement are reflected in the 25 point increase in API for English Learners, 37 points for Students with Disabilities, and 16 points for Socio-economically Disadvantaged Students. When disaggregated by ethnicity, the API increased by double digits for African American (15), Asian (12), Hispanic or Latino (15), and White (13) students (see charts 1 & 2). Several district-wide initiatives have contributed to the gains for all student groups including the implementation of Response to Intervention and Instruction (RTI2) in our K-8 schools, focus on English Language Development and academic language instruction, reduced teacher-to-student ratio in middle school math classes, and collaboration time for teachers. -more-

New: Puppets Come to Council Meeting

By Carol Denney
Wednesday October 17, 2012 - 10:18:00 AM

Colorful ten foot puppets of religious and inspirational figures swayed their way up the circular steps to the Berkeley City Council meeting Tuesday along with a crowd of interfaith religious leaders, community members, and children. -more-

New: Sunday Streets Proves Sitting and Business Go Together

By Carol Denney
Tuesday October 16, 2012 - 08:33:00 AM

Anyone who thinks Berkeley needs an anti-sitting law to bring people to the commercial districts must have missed the Sunday Streets event October 14, 2012. Shattuck Avenue between Rose Street and Haste Street was awash with music, bubbles, strollers, dancers, sitters, walkers, bike riders, sunlight, and joy. -more-

A Curmudgeonly Potpourri

by The Occasional Curmudgeon
Friday October 12, 2012 - 09:40:00 AM

As a public service to assist readers in their preparation for the upcoming elections, yr. hmbl. (crmdgn.) svt. has assembled an informal guide for negotiating the 2012 political labyrinth.

Deciphering the Code

To be properly informed today, it’s important to develop translation skills to understand what candidates are really saying. As in George Orwell’s 1984, phrases or pronouncements spoken by today’s politicians often mean their opposite. Here are a few examples: -more-

Return to Telegraph Avenue

By Ted Friedman
Friday October 12, 2012 - 12:45:00 PM
Patches and  his doobie-smoking friend, Little Bird, giving his version of his latest pot bust.

This off-beat reporter, his heart on the South side, has been lured away on the mayoral campaign and measure S, leaving other measures to press releases, and our editor-in-chief's tightly reasoned endorsements.

We have had to base our speculations on the outcomes of the mayor's race and measure S on hearsay, or less.

But something we could sink our teeth into, something palpable...that we will only get from Telegraph Avenue. -more-

Full Election Coverage

Sunday October 14, 2012 - 12:42:00 PM

Are you confused about the upcoming election? Below you'll be able to find all the articles about the November 2012 election that have appeared to date in the Planet, in reverse chronological order, except that Planet editorials are at the top on the front page so they’re easier to find.

Also on the front page are links to a couple of excellent videos on YouTube which will make it possible for you to see the candidates both in a full debate and in sound bites. -more-