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Thursday, Jul 12, 2007
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Issue #1639 :: Thursday, July 12, 2007

Top Headlines

Munching on a Rose
There are many nice things to say about the Crowded Fire Theater Company’s breathtaking “Anna Bella Eema.” Many of them were written last month during the initial run in San Francisco, before the company opted to transport the production across the bay for a two week extension at the Ashby Stage. To my knowledge though, no one has talked about how many times this play gave them goosebumps. So: seven. Eight if you count my drive home. In case you’re the sort of person that checks out after a paragraph, I’ll spell it out for you: It’s very unlikely that you’ll see a better play in Berkeley this year, so if you haven’t already, get your ass down to the Ashby Stage this weekend.

Trade Comfort for Class
Spend enough time link-hopping on Facebook as you make false promises to start doing research for your paper soon and you’ll come across a group called “I Don’t Care How Comfortable Crocs Are, You Look Like a Dumbass in Them.” Keep clicking away as the LexisNexis window remains minimized and you’ll come across another group called “I Don’t Care If I Look Like a Dumbass, Crocs Are Comfortable.”

Not Guilty Plea From Student
REDWOOD CITY—UC Berkeley graduate student Kevin Jones pleaded not guilty yesterday after being formally charged with one count of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter related to his involvement in the car crash that killed Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Halberstam in April.

Rink Purchase Hinges on Council Vote
Owners of the former Berkeley ice rink that closed its doors to skaters in March signed an agreement with a buyer Tuesday, starting a selling process which is pending a landmark decision by the City Council.

News

Not Guilty Plea From Student
REDWOOD CITY—UC Berkeley graduate student Kevin Jones pleaded not guilty yesterday after being formally charged with one count of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter related to his involvement in the car crash that killed Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Halberstam in April.

Rink Purchase Hinges on Council Vote
Owners of the former Berkeley ice rink that closed its doors to skaters in March signed an agreement with a buyer Tuesday, starting a selling process which is pending a landmark decision by the City Council.

On Harry Potter’s Cloak-Tails
As many Harry Potter fans anxiously await the upcoming release of the final book in the series, an independent Berkeley publisher has struck gold with a bestselling book predicting the ending of the seven-novel series.

Proposal for Lab in Former Gold Mine Gets Go-Ahead
The National Science Foundation selected a proposal submitted in part by UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Tuesday for a new underground facility at the site of a former gold mine near Lead, S.D.

Ready to Rock
Rhythmic drum beats, guitar chords and the screams of young vocalists are filling the halls at Freeborn Hall in Unit 1 this week as a summer camp program centered around music begins at UC Berkeley.

Peace Activist Declares Intent to Run for Office
Peace activist and Berkeley resident Cindy Sheehan announced Sunday that she plans to challenge Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in the 2008 election if the Democratic congresswoman does not move to impeach President George W. Bush.

Man Guilty of Molestation Gets 68 Years To Life in Prison
Luis Ponce, Jr., a former paramedic for the Berkeley Fire Department, was sentenced Monday in Nevada County, Calif. to 68 years to life in state prison for multiple counts of child molestation.

Resolution Decries Company’s Handling of Labor Dispute
In response to a lockout of employees of a sanitation company serving parts of Alameda County, several City Council members have created a resolution condemning the company’s tactics.

Despite Vote to Landmark Gym, Demolition Plan Unaltered
School district officials said plans to demolish the old Berkeley High School Gymnasium will remain unaltered despite a close vote by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission last Thursday to designate the gym a historical landmark.

Telegraph Owners Weigh Extended Business Hours
In an effort to attract more business to Telegraph Avenue, local property and business owners are considering advocating to make the street a 24-hour commercial zone.

Alcohol Fee Would Fund Inspection Program
The Berkeley City Council is considering an ordinance that would charge a fee to businesses selling alcohol in order to fund an inspection program, which some council members said could help decrease the number of alcohol-related violations in the city.

Research on Environmental Issues Garners Professor ‘Blue Planet’ Prize
UC Berkeley professor emeritus Joseph Sax was named last week as a winner for this year’s Blue Planet Prize by Tokyo-based group The Asahi Glass Foundation.

UC, Academic Workers Negotiate
Workload issues are taking center stage as the union representing student academic employees, including GSIs, meets with the university to negotiate a new contract this summer.

Hospital Makes Transition to Eco-Friendly Medical Supplies
In a move to become more eco-friendly, the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center announced last week a complete switch away from old IV units that officials said add waste and chemicals to the environment.

A Day at the Races


News in Brief
Police Arrest Man on Suspicion of Domestic Violence

Corrections
Monday's article “ESPN Chooses Virginia Tech for GameDay Broadcast” misspelled Blacksburg, Va.


Arts & Entertainment

Munching on a Rose
There are many nice things to say about the Crowded Fire Theater Company’s breathtaking “Anna Bella Eema.” Many of them were written last month during the initial run in San Francisco, before the company opted to transport the production across the bay for a two week extension at the Ashby Stage. To my knowledge though, no one has talked about how many times this play gave them goosebumps. So: seven. Eight if you count my drive home. In case you’re the sort of person that checks out after a paragraph, I’ll spell it out for you: It’s very unlikely that you’ll see a better play in Berkeley this year, so if you haven’t already, get your ass down to the Ashby Stage this weekend.

‘Intersections’ Depicts Social Inequalities in Brilliant Color
Until a few years ago, David Goldblatt, South Africa's best-known documentary photographer, shot in color only for commercial assignments. His own art photography, on the other hand, was almost always in high-contrast black and white, suffused by the harsh light of his native land. During the Apartheid era, Goldblatt roamed the country with his camera, producing a body of striking, diverse work—always distinguished, however, by his sharp eye for composition and even sharper sensitivity to social inequality. His camera ranged the socioeconomic spectrum, from poor township blacks to sheltered suburban whites. Whatever his subject, however, nearly all of Goldblatt's photography is animated by a quiet rage at his country's institutionalized racism.

Cyndi Lauper Leads All-Star True Colors Tour at Greek Theatre
Surveying the crowd at the Greek Theatre on June 29, Margaret Cho summed it up well: “This is pretty fucking gay.”

Rock ‘n’ Roll Glory, Trash Talk Abound at Air Guitar Show
This has been a weird night,” said Bjorn Turoque, self-proclaimed master of airemonioes for the U.S. Air Guitar: Bay Area Regional Championship and retired air-guitarist, having participated in 10 air guitar competitions between 2003 and 2005, having placed second in five of those 10, whose name is pronounced “byorn to rock” and who wrote a book about the performance art of air guitar, a writer now, who plays actual bass in a “faux-French” band as Jean-Luc Retard and whose real name is Dane Crane, who quit his job as a software designer years ago and is the only MC that I know of to pass around a tip jar.

Photography Exhibit Blurs Notions of Space, Time
The most haunting images in the De Young Museum's current retrospective of Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto come from his “Theaters” series. Like almost all of the works in the exhibition, they're gorgeous large-scale black and white prints, picked out by spotlights in the darkened galleries. Some depict decrepit-looking drive-ins, others magnificent 1930s movie palaces. All, however, are united by a single striking motif: a rectangle of blazing white, shining from the center of the picture.

CD Reviews
Interpol

Despite Corgan's Rage, ‘Zeitgest’ Can’t Engage
The Smashing Pumpkins “reunion” was a dubious concept from the get-go, since the new incarnation of the band features no more original members than Zwan did. But listening to Zeitgeist, the first official entry into the band’s catalog since 1999’s disastrous Machina/The Machines of God, one gets the sense that because Billy Corgan more or less is every band he’s ever been a part of—from the songwriting process to a vast majority of the recorded performances—the Pumpkins are to him more of a concept than an actual band, one that gives him creative license to brazenly mine the depths of self-loathing, stadium art rock all over again.


Opinion

Trade Comfort for Class
Spend enough time link-hopping on Facebook as you make false promises to start doing research for your paper soon and you’ll come across a group called “I Don’t Care How Comfortable Crocs Are, You Look Like a Dumbass in Them.” Keep clicking away as the LexisNexis window remains minimized and you’ll come across another group called “I Don’t Care If I Look Like a Dumbass, Crocs Are Comfortable.”

White Space