The Week



Senior seriously injured in Berkeley carjacking

Keith Burbank (BCN)
Thursday September 01, 2016 - 11:47:00 AM

An elderly woman suffered life-threatening injuries when she was punched, knocked to the ground and dragged by a vehicle during a carjacking Tuesday evening in Berkeley, police said. -more-

Press Release: Advisory: Berkeley Carjacking Ends in Oakland Arrests

From the Berkeley Police Department
Wednesday August 31, 2016 - 04:17:00 PM

[Editor's Note: This BPD press release originally mentioned the race of the suspects at the point where they were spotted by the Oakland police. The racial adjective has been omitted by the Planet from this posting of the otherwise verbatim BPD press release because it adds nothing useful to the story, since race alone is not enough information to apprehend a suspect without additional descriptors.]

On 8/30/16 at 5:37pm, the Berkeley Police Communications Center received a report of a vehicle versus pedestrian collision near the intersection of California and Oregon Streets in south Berkeley. Officers responded to the scene and found an elderly female victim on the ground with life-threatening injuries. The victim was transported by the Berkeley Fire Department to the Alameda County Hospital where she underwent surgery for injuries and is expected to survive. Initial information was difficult to obtain from the victim due to a language barrier.

It was later determined what occurred was more than a case of hit and run. Through an interpreter the victim shared that as she parked her car an SUV pulled up next to her. She said that after she got out, someone punched her in the face and knocked her to the ground while someone else pulled her bag away from her. -more-

Berkeley city officials offer $15k reward for information about homicide

Dan McMenamin (BCN)
Tuesday August 30, 2016 - 01:41:00 PM

Berkeley city officials announced today they are offering a $15,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the fatal shooting of a 22-year-old man earlier this month. -more-

Berkeley City Council passes new minimum wage ordinance at a second try do-over special meeting

Jeff Shuttleworth/ Scott Morris(BCN)
Friday August 26, 2016 - 08:41:00 AM

After failing for months to reach a consensus on the issue, the Berkeley City Council voted unanimously at a special meeting today to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour in two years. -more-

Press Release: A milestone anniversary for Berkeley's beloved fountain

Michael Gray
Friday August 26, 2016 - 11:32:00 AM

On Sept. 15, 1996, thousands of people gathered at The Circle in Berkeley’s Northbrae neighborhood to celebrate a landmark occasion: the dedication of the restored Fountain at The Circle, the sparkling centerpiece of the city’s first public art project.

Designed by famed architect John Galen Howard and erected in 1911, the original fountain had been gone from The Circle for nearly 40 years, after being struck and destroyed by a runaway truck in 1958. Meanwhile, Howard’s adjacent Fountain Walk had become overgrown and fallen into serious disrepair.

This month, the fountain celebrates another landmark: its 20th birthday – a milestone reached thanks in large part to neighbors and friends near and far who have donated generously to keep it smoothly functioning and flowing over the years. -more-



Updated: Full speed ahead, and damn the facts! CEQA in operation in Berkeley

Becky O'Malley
Monday August 29, 2016 - 04:42:00 PM

“What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

.Weed: a wild plant growing where it is not wanted and in competition with cultivated plants.”


“A weed is a plant considered undesirable in a particular situation, "a plant in the wrong place".


Last weekend I had two more lessons in how powerless the California Environmental Quality Act is to inform politically-based decisionmaking. One was at the Wellstone Democratic Club's endorsement meeting and the other was the Superior Court hearing on the EIR for 2211 Harold Way. -more-

Public Comment

Self-driving Vehicle Blues (3/4 time,written on Route 79 on the way to the Augusta Music Heritage Festival)

Carol Denney
Friday August 26, 2016 - 11:45:00 AM

a self-driving car tried to take me

to a place I did not want to go

it kept going faster and faster

when I wanted to go really slow

that self-driving car was annoying

it just had a mind of its own

it wanted a clear destination my dear

and me I just want to go home


The Political Dilemma of African Americans: From the 1960s to Now

Harry Brill
Friday August 26, 2016 - 11:48:00 AM

Consider the major differences in the political life of African Americans during the 1960s and now. Let's take the very important issue of voting rights. Among the major achievements then was the voting rights bill in 1965, which gave African Americans their long overdue right to vote. Also, suffrage has served for some as a springboard for political office. Over 40 African Americans, for example, now serve in the House of Representatives. Many others have been elected to State and local government positions. -more-

Press Release: Community Presentation by The TreeSpirit Project: Why are Berkeley & Oakland forest being cut down, then herbicides? And what you can do about it!

Jack Gescheidt, Founder, The TreeSpirit Project
Friday August 26, 2016 - 11:37:00 AM

Hundreds of thousands of healthy trees are targeted for eradication; precious SF East Bay forests that mitigate global warming, create oxygen, sequester carbon, are home to wildlife and provide renewal for you, your children and your grandchildren. Thousands of gallons of Monsanto Roundup and Dow Garlon will follow the deforestation, poisoning plants, land, waterways, wildlife, pets, children and adults alike. -more-


Ron Lowe
Friday August 26, 2016 - 11:42:00 AM

You can put lipstick on a pig and it's still a pig. This is a perfect description of Donald Trump, who marches to his own drummer, adheres to his own set of morals, and has seduced millions of Americans into believing that his tremendous brain and business acumen are just what the country needs. -more-

Can we regain our reputation as decent Americans?

Romila Khanna
Friday August 26, 2016 - 11:35:00 AM

Can we accord priority to the most important issue? It seems we don’t give sufficient importance to values-orientated education. By ‘education’ I don’t mean the acquisition of book knowledge or perfection in sports. I mean awareness of our responsibilities towards other human beings as I was shocked to learn about how some American athletes behaved in Rio. Winning a gold medal should not entitle an athlete to behave badly. I wish our team had the character to act responsibly while they were guests. Can we regain our reputation as decent Americans? -more-


SENIOR POWER: Looking back ahead

Helen Rippier Wheeler,
Sunday August 28, 2016 - 02:34:00 PM

Women finally got a piece of the action in 1920. Passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution provided American women with full voting rights fifty years after all American men were enabled to vote. Sixteen other nations had already guaranteed women this right.

August 26th is designated as Women's Equality Day to commemorate this event. Women’s Equality Day is officially proclaimed in some locales. It was instituted by Congressional Representative Bella Abzug (1920-1998) when she was 60 years old. Women and girls have come a long way but there is still much work to be done to achieve true equity. Women’s Equality Day is not on the calendars of the Berkeley public library, the City of Berkeley, nor Berkeley senior centers. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE:Donald Trump’s Heart of Darkness

Bob Burnett
Friday August 26, 2016 - 11:26:00 AM

On August 17th, Donald Trump once again shook up his campaign. While there were early indications that Trump would “soften” his image, these were refuted by the August 19th release of his first general election campaign ad “Two Americas: Immigration”. This TV ad stems from the same darkness that fueled Trump’s acceptance speech: bigotry and hate. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: Devastating Louisiana Flooding

Ralph E. Stone
Friday August 26, 2016 - 11:39:00 AM

By mid-morning on August 12, more than a foot of rain had fallen near Kentwood, Louisiana, in just a 12-hour stretch — a downpour with an estimated likelihood of just once every 500 years, and roughly three months’ worth of rainfall during a typical hurricane season. It’s the latest in a string of exceptionally rare rainstorms that are stretching the definition of “extreme” weather. It’s exactly the sort of rainstorm that’s occurring more frequently as the planet warms. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: More Rehashing of Employment

Jack Bragen
Friday August 26, 2016 - 11:11:00 AM

If you have a life-changing psychiatric illness, the expectation that you can't work a job can be bad for you, yet so can the expectation that you can. Either way, you are dealing with some type of expectation that affects how you perceive yourself. Expectations or judgments that we can or can't work could come from family, from mental health workers or from oneself. -more-

Arts & Events

AROUND & ABOUT Opera: Fresh Voices XVI: Two New Operas Closing This Weekend at the Lesher Center

Ken Bullock
Friday August 26, 2016 - 11:23:00 AM

Fresh Voices XVI, Memories & Desires, the always fresh, always entertaining ongoing program of new opera, artsong and composition, is closing this weekend, with two shows—Friday the 26th and Saturday the 27th, both at 8:15—at the Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Drive in Walnut Creek. -more-

AROUND & ABOUT THEATER: Solo Show About Dr. Carlton Goodlett

Ken Bullock
Friday August 26, 2016 - 11:16:00 AM

AfroSolo: Black Voices Performance Series, with a Solo Performance About Dr. Carlton Goodlett

Dr. Carlton Goodlett (1914-97), publisher of the Sun-Reporter, the California Voice and seven other Northern California black weekly newspapers, was a seminal figure, from the late 40s until his death, for the Californian black community—as well as union, progressive and left causes, including Anti-Vietnam action and the student strike at SF State. Goodlett also traveled internationally, including to East Germany and the Soviet Union, at a time when that was highly unusual, in pursuit of journalistic and socio-political goals. -more-

Who knew? Marty Nemko’s “Odd Man Out” reveals, entertains, and moves!

John McMullen
Friday August 26, 2016 - 11:13:00 AM

When I was in graduate school, our professor Mel Shapiro—who was a two time Tony winner-- wrote an important book on Acting. The first exercise was to tell your life story in ten minutes. But you couldn’t just talk about it. You had to act it out, use props, add whatever you like. -more-