The Week



New: Family Hopes 15th Anniversary of Death of Man Killed in Berkeley Will Bring New Leads

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Monday December 16, 2013 - 11:08:00 PM

The brother of a San Lorenzo man who was deliberately run over by a suspect outside the family's business in Berkeley said today that he hopes the 15th anniversary of the crime will generate new leads in the unsolved case. -more-

UC Berkeley Gill Tract Development Approved by Albany Planning Commission

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Friday December 13, 2013 - 03:04:00 PM

A commercial development plan by the University of California at Berkeley that calls for a senior housing complex and a grocery store on a plot of land it owns in Albany has cleared a major hurdle.

The Albany Planning Commission voted 4-0 Wednesday night to approve the university's plan to have 175 units of senior housing, a Sprout's Farmers Market and two other retailers on 6.3 acres at San Pablo Avenue and Monroe Street, near the University Village student housing complex.

The site is also near the Gill Tract, another plot of university-owned land that's used by students and faculty of its College of Natural Resources for agricultural research.

The Gill Tract has been the site of protests the past two years by Occupy the Farm activists who say the tract should be used for sustainable community farming.

UC Berkeley officials say the parcel of land they plan to develop hasn't been farmed since World War II.

The university's plan has been in the works for six years and has been the subject of numerous hearings. -more-

New: Christmas Bird Count in Berkeley on Sunday

By Bay City News
Saturday December 14, 2013 - 03:34:00 PM

Bay Area birders will soon be stumbling in the dark to count owls, tromping through cemeteries and parks to tally songbirds and raptors and chartering boats and paddling kayaks to count water birds as part of the 114th Christmas Bird Count. -more-

Gertrude Hoodoff Khuner

Saturday December 14, 2013 - 03:27:00 PM

Gertrude Khuner—teacher, dancer, and matriarch—died peacefully in her sleep in her Berkeley home at age 100 on December 9, 2013. Throughout her century of life, she brought joy and inspiration to many generations of family, friends, students, and community. Gertrude leaves her brother, Harvey Hoodoff of New York; four children Margo Leslie, Kathy Khuner, Jonathan Khuner, and Eliot Khuner, all of Berkeley; their spouses Theda, Jillian, and Anne; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. -more-



Swarthmore Students Lead the Way

By Becky O'Malley
Friday December 13, 2013 - 03:15:00 PM

The death of Nelson Mandela prompted many reminiscences about what people around the world did to support the movement to end apartheid in South Africa. On college campuses, students organized to persuade their institutions to withdraw the investments of their endowments from companies and financial agencies doing business in or with South Africa. -more-

The Editor's Back Fence


Odd Bodkins: The Union Square Massacre. (Cartoon)

By Dan O'Neill
Friday December 13, 2013 - 08:01:00 PM

Public Comment

Honor the Hero

By Bruce Joffe
Friday December 20, 2013 - 06:23:00 PM

Although enforcement of his decision is pending appeal, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon's order that the NSA stop collecting "bulk telephony data" on Americans' phone calls indicates that we can be a nation ruled by law, rather than by personal dictates, as is North Korea. There, a man-child can have anyone executed, and all are afraid to protest. Here, citizens can take their grievance that a government spy agency violated our privacy rights to court, and justice can prevail. -more-

U.S. On the Wrong Side in South Africa For Too Long

By Chuck Mann
Friday December 13, 2013 - 03:42:00 PM

I remember when South Africa was called the only democracy in Africa. Unfortunately that was when the racist apartheid regime ruled South Africa. The white minority had all of the political power, and the black majority had what little rights the racist government would give them. The South African government was the opposite of a democracy. -more-

Syria Intelligence Selective

By Jagjit Singh
Friday December 13, 2013 - 03:31:00 PM

According to Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh, the Obama administration appears to have “cherry-picked” intelligence to justify its original planned attack on Syria. It failed to disclose that it was well aware that radical Islamic groups - Syrian forces al-Nusra Front and AQI, al-Qaeda of Iraq had significant quantities of sarin and the know-how to produce other lethal chemical agents. Hersh asserts that the administration clearly had this knowledge and deliberately misled the public by asserting through their official spokesman, press secretary, James Carney that only the Assad regime had stockpiles of chemical weapons and that an attack was, therefore, justified. -more-

Ring the Bell of Justice Loudly

By Romila Khanna
Saturday December 14, 2013 - 03:32:00 PM

How is it that whatever laws lawmakers pass they themselves never get hurt in the process? Laws that make it harder for poor people to get by or get health care or get education pass easily. Laws that remove subsidies from corporations never pass. Don't we want to offer our poor people a chance to climb up the ladder? Why would lawmakers reduce unemployment benefits at a time of recession? -more-

December Pepper Spray Times

By Grace Underpressure
Friday December 13, 2013 - 07:55:00 PM

Editor's Note: The latest issue of the Pepper Spray Times is now available.

You can view it absolutely free of charge by clicking here . You can print it out to give to your friends.

Grace Underpressure has been producing it for many years now, even before the Berkeley Daily Planet started distributing it, most of the time without being paid, and now we'd like you to show your appreciation by using the button below to send her money. -more-


New: ECLECTIC RANT:Protect Yourself from Scams This Holiday Season

By Ralph E. Stone
Monday December 16, 2013 - 08:02:00 AM

As a former Federal Trade Commission attorney and currently a volunteer for Consumer Action and Seven On Your Side, the consumer hotline for ABC-TV Channel 7, I have heard a wide range of scams that separated unsuspecting consumers from their money, especially during the holiday season. Below are a number of scams consumers should be aware of and things consumers can do to protect themselves. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE: Boycott the Winter Olympics

By Bob Burnett
Friday December 13, 2013 - 03:10:00 PM

Beginning February 7th, the Winter Olympic Games will be held in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia. Over the course of 16 days, 98 events will be held. In most circumstances our focus would be on high-level competition and international camaraderie. But we cannot ignore the deplorable Russian human-rights environment. That’s why Americans should boycott the 22nd Winter Olympics. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

By Jack Bragen
Friday December 13, 2013 - 03:06:00 PM

Post-traumatic stress is its own category of mental illness which doesn't have a genetic cause. Human beings were designed as sensitive and vulnerable organisms--we are easily damaged, and that includes psychological damage. -more-

Arts & Events

THEATER REVIEW: An Amazing Performance in INDRA’S NET “QED” at Berkeley City Club

By John A. McMullen II (Eye from the Aisle)
Friday December 13, 2013 - 03:27:00 PM
Kendra Oberhauser and Jeff Garrett

INDRA’S NET THEATER “QED” by Peter Parnell at Berkeley City Club has reasonably good writing, but it is Jeff Garrett that makes it fly. The play is an exploration of the extraordinary life of legendary Nobel Prize-winning Physicist Richard Feynman, and was inspired by the writings of Richard Feynman and Ralph Leighton’s “Tuva or Bust!” -more-