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December 27, 2002 | Carol Pogash, Special to The Times
This town's new mayor, the impeccably credentialed progressive Tom Bates, remains under siege. Next month, he is expected to plead guilty to an infraction for stealing hundreds of copies of a student newspaper endorsing his opponent and, officials said, he has offered to speak in local classrooms about the importance of controlling his impulses. Even his closest allies say what he did was unethical and just plain stupid.
December 13, 2002 | From Staff and Wire Reports
Mayor Tom Bates has been charged with stealing copies of the UC Berkeley newspaper a day before he was elected, prosecutors said. A former assemblyman, Bates is expected to appear in court Jan. 8 and plead guilty, said Malcolm Burnstein, who is representing him. UC Berkeley police said witnesses had seen Bates remove the papers and throw them into a trash can on Nov. 4. The paper was running an endorsement of Bates' opponent that day.
November 26, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
A group affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America lost a bid Monday to continue to get free berthing at Berkeley Marina. The city of Berkeley halted free berthing for the Sea Scouts in 1998 because of the group's policies against gays. The Scouts sued, and the 1st District Court of Appeal ruled Monday that they did not have a case. Berkeley provided free berthing for six decades, but stopped after it passed a 1997 ordinance forbidding the city from subsidizing groups that discriminate.
November 24, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
The Berkeley Daily Planet has abruptly closed its doors after more than three years of trying to make it in a market that's tough for new papers to crack. Publisher Arnold Lee told the staff Friday that the newspaper was closing, and Friday's edition was its last. The paper still carried ads seeking a copy editor and a sales representative, and encouraged readers to send letters to the editor.
October 17, 2002 | From Associated Press
About 100 pro-Palestinian protesters at UC Berkeley took their case to the steps of Sproul Plaza, rallying in support of 32 students facing possible suspension for an April sit-in. Calling for "Free Speech, Free Palestine," speakers at the rally Wednesday said the case recalls memories of the Free Speech Movement, which began 38 years ago this month at Berkeley. "This is our university.
October 11, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
Remember the pedestrian flags this city put in bins at four busy intersections, in hopes that walkers would wave them as a safety precaution? All 3,000 have walked off, so the city is ordering replacements. The new ones will cost $1.25 each--that's $3,750 to replace the stolen ones. Peter Hillier, Berkeley's assistant city manager of transportation, said there are no plans to cancel the program--but it will be studied before any expansion.
Its radical heritage aside, Berkeley today is in the vanguard of upscale shopping, dining and real estate as much as anything else. One symbol of Berkeley's hippie era, Peet's Coffee, is now a chain with publicly traded stock, threatening to become to Starbucks what Burger King is to McDonald's. For better or worse, that kind of change is what drew me north last month. My Berkeley memories come mainly from 1980s college road trips with raggedy fellow travelers.
December 8, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
A proposal before the Berkeley City Council next week would have phone calls seeking information on avoiding military combat referred to the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors. The Peace and Justice Commission will ask the council to approve a plan to make the phone number and Web address of the organization available to staff members answering city phone lines.
November 11, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
An Alameda County judge sided with Berkeley in ruling that the city has the right to charge the Sea Scout organization for docking its boats at the marina after the group's admission that it does not allow openly gay members. The city stopped offering free berths in 1998 after the Sea Scouts, and the parent organization Boy Scouts of America, refused to budge on their anti-gay policies. The Sea Scouts sued in 1999, alleging a violation of the group's rights of free speech and association.
The city resolution was watered way down by the time it passed, demanding a halt to the bombing in Afghanistan "as soon as possible." No matter. A week and a half later, America's best-known anti-war town is still being strafed with outrage. More than 1,000 letters and phone messages, many from angry New Yorkers, cover the big oval-shaped conference table in the mayor's office. "Shame on you," they say. And: "What the hell are you people thinking?" And: "Morons, morons, morons!!!"
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