The Week



New: Prosecutors File Murder Charges in Berkeley's First Homicide of 2014

By Bay City News
Wednesday April 02, 2014 - 11:01:00 PM

Prosecutors filed murder charges today against two people suspected in Berkeley's first and so far only homicide of 2014. -more-

Press Release: Berkeley Homicide Suspect Arrested

From Ofc. Jennifer Coates, BPD
Wednesday April 02, 2014 - 10:57:00 PM

The City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) would like to announce two arrests for the February 28, 2014 murder of Sylvan Fuselier. BPD Homicide Detectives have arrested Michael Diggs, a 28 year old male, of Berkeley, and Kneitawnye Sessoms, a 40 year old female, of Berkeley. -more-

New: Redwood Explodes in Berkeley During Storm

By Drew Himmelstein (BCN)
Tuesday April 01, 2014 - 09:00:00 PM

An 80-foot tree exploded on a residential street after lightning struck it during a storm Monday afternoon, breaking windows and skylights and damaging cars, homes and roofs, according to Berkeley Deputy Fire Chief Avery Webb. -more-

Environmental Groups Sue Air Quality Management, Energy Company over Crude-by-Rail Project

By Laura Dixon (BCN)
Saturday March 29, 2014 - 09:06:00 AM

Environmental justice groups have filed a federal lawsuit against the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and energy company Kinder Morgan after learning that the company has quietly been receiving crude oil by rail at its Richmond facility with the district's approval. -more-

Twenty People Safely Exit Burning Tour Bus in Berkeley

BySasha Lekach (BCN)
Friday March 28, 2014 - 06:18:00 PM

A tour bus caught fire on eastbound Interstate Highway 80 in Berkeley late this morning, according to the California Highway Patrol. -more-

Press Release: In Reaction to New Federal Study Documenting Pervasive Racial Disparities in Education, Parents of Black Students in Berkeley, CA Say: It’s No Better Here

From Parents of Children of African Descent (PCAD),
Friday March 28, 2014 - 06:09:00 PM

In this liberal enclave 13 miles from San Francisco, famous for its protest politics and a world-class university, it’s not uncommon to hear people say how fortunate they feel to live in a city that has overcome so much of the racial tension still endemic in the rest of the nation.

But for Black students in Berkeley’s public schools, publicly available information indicates a dire situation, and one that is getting worse.

Today, a group of parents in Berkeley, California organized as Parents of Children of African Descent, or PCAD, called on the Berkeley Unified School District to revamp its disciplinary actions and devote more resources to address racial disparities in its public schools.

“Many parents of African American students in the Berkeley Public Schools feel that their children are not being treated fairly or being offered a quality education,” said Laura Babitt, a member of PCAD’s Executive Board. -more-

"The Greatest Movie Never Made": Before Star Wars there Was Jodorowsky's Dune

By Gar Smith
Friday March 28, 2014 - 05:30:00 PM

Jodorowsky's Dune is a real treat for film buffs but it may prove a challenge for the average filmgoer. Director Frank Pavich sets out to tell the story of "The greatest movie never made"—a film that anticipated (and influenced) Star Wars and a generation of fantasy films that followed in its wake. The story is told by a half-dozen of the surviving principals—most notably the mercurial would-be director, Alejandro Jodorowsky. -more-



Should the Berkeley Daily Planet Move to Texas?

By Becky O'Malley
Friday March 28, 2014 - 05:08:00 PM

Here’s an idea for how to spend the rest of my life that I hadn’t previously considered. I got this letter in today’s email:

“I am with the North East Texas Economic Development Alliance and will be in your area April 7th - 10th. I would like to speak with you about the opportunity for expansion or relocation of Berkeley Daily Planet to Texas.
“Our region offers an abundance of opportunities for companies, particularly, manufacturing and wholesale/distribution related companies.

“It is well known that Texas offers many advantages to California companies. In fact, according to Chief Executive's eighth annual survey of CEO opinion of Best and Worst States in which to do business, ‘Texas easily clinched the No. 1 rank, whereas, California was ranked dead last’.

“Please reply to this email or contact me at 866-820-9389 to schedule a meeting.

“Kind Regards,

“Brian J. Malone
“President/CEO, NETEA
“Commerce, Texas
Well, there are days when it seems alluring. Much of what used to appeal to me about California in general and Berkeley in particular seems to be evaporating. Maybe starting over in Commerce, Texas, is the cure for the Berkeley blues.

At this juncture I’m inevitably reminded of Molly Ivin’s story about the small town in Texas that advertised for some gay guys to start chichi antique stores to attract tourists. Perhaps what Commerce, TX, (pop. 9,100 in the 2010 census) wants is a Bit o’ Berkeley to spice up the place. -more-

Public Comment

Ten Suggestions for Navigating Pacifica Radio’s Newest Crisis

By C. Denney
Friday March 28, 2014 - 05:22:00 PM

1. Demonize. Anything, anyone, anytime. Simply suggest a nefarious agenda at work, however ridiculous. In this way people will hesitate to get involved which helps because that can get so messy. -more-

NSA Spying

By Jagjit Singh
Friday March 28, 2014 - 05:29:00 PM

Cyber wars and spying have intensified creating greater mistrust amongst our allies and corporate competitors. Classified documents released by Edward Snowden show that the NSA is targeting the Chinese Huawei’s network in Shenzhen and monitored the company’s top executives. The NSA is recording every single phone call made in an undisclosed foreign country. A surveillance system called MYSTIC stores the billions of phone conversations for up to 30 days. According to Ashkan Soltani, who co-wrote the Washington Post exposé on MYSTIC, revealed how the NSA uses Google cookies to pinpoint targets for hacking and how the NSA secretly broke into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world. This is another example of U.S. government overreach. -more-

Uranium Mining

By Tejinder Uberoi
Friday March 28, 2014 - 05:58:00 PM

In a stark example of environmental racism, Native Indians have become the target of toxic uranium mining. Energy Fuels Resources recently obtained federal approval to reopen a mine in close proximity to the Grand Canyon’s popular South Rim entrance. Environmental activists have joined forces with Native Navajos to protest the decision siting serious health risks. Earlier uranium mining has scarred the landscape and left deposits of radioactive waste from 1,000 closed mines. The mining companies failed to adequately remove the radioactive wastes which have resulted in a dramatic increase in cancer and other serious ailments. -more-

Concerning Rail Transport of Crude

By Jack Bragen
Friday March 28, 2014 - 05:20:00 PM

My apartment in Martinez is in close proximity to the railroad tracks that are now transporting crude oil. Nobody asked me if it was okay to put me at risk by enacting this plan. I try not to think about it that while I am asleep at night, I could be blown to fiery pieces if there were a derailment near where I live. -more-

LIBRARIES: Facts First

By Thomas Lynch
Friday March 28, 2014 - 05:23:00 PM

In 2000 the American Library Association (ALA) got up in arms about the filtering of library computers. With the help of Playboy and the American Civil Liberties Union they fought filtering and won. Filters violated First Amendment Rights. That news remains in peoples’ heads to this day. -more-


New: ECLECTIC RANT: ObamaCare and the McCarran-Ferguson Act's Exemption from the Antitrust Laws

By Ralph E. Stone
Tuesday April 01, 2014 - 09:07:00 PM

The Patient Protection Act and the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) seems to be working. Admittedly, this is not a universal view. But as of the March 31st deadline, it appears that the goal of 7 million signees may have been reached. This is quite an achievement considering the computer glitches encountered by consumers along the way. One problem, however, is that private, for-profit insurers are not under enough competitive pressure to keep premiums low. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE:Accelerating Use of Renewable Energy

By Bob Burnett
Saturday March 29, 2014 - 09:35:00 AM

US energy policy is stuck on reliance on natural gas. Most Americans understand that by the middle of the century most of our energy will have to be supplied by renewables – wind, water, and solar – but we seem content to use natural gas for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, this is not a realistic policy. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Accepting and Validating Ourselves

By Jack Bragen
Friday March 28, 2014 - 05:37:00 PM

It is not necessary to incorporate other people's expectations into your mind and heart. Other people may or may not understand you, and you need not follow their standards. When we allow ourselves to absorb other people's messages that try to define who and what we are, it sometimes leads to our own programming mimicking these ideas in the form of self-denigrating thoughts. -more-

Arts & Events

EYE FROM THE AISLE: TOP GIRLS at Custom Made Theatre is a Moving, Feminist Hit!

By John A. McMullen II
Friday March 28, 2014 - 06:00:00 PM

Laura Lundy-Paine has cast and constructed an emotional and enlightening evening of entertainment in her direction of TOP GIRLS at CUSTOM MADE THEATRE on Gough St in SF. -more-

AROUND AND ABOUT THEATER AND MUSIC: Marion Fay's Theater & Music Classes

By Ken Bullock
Friday March 28, 2014 - 05:26:00 PM

Marion Fay's excellent theater & music classes are just beginning, held weekly in Berkeley's Northbrae Community Church, 941 The Alameda, Berkeley (near Solano Avenue & the tunnel), but include trips to performances, as well as visiting artists speaking to classes. -more-