News & Notes 

Reading the stars' stars; Haas biz students to learn ethics from crooked CEOs; He's a political master, Bates.

There's an A in astrology: Few Oakland Athletics fans are as far out in left field as Andrea Mallis, the team's unofficial astrologer. The Berkeley resident began reading the stars in 1989, but it wasn't until last season that she decided to apply her cosmic craft to our local nine. Now she's a semiregular guest on KFRC's post-game show Extra Innings: "Of course Barry Zito threw a great game," Mallis told host Robert Baun, a Scorpio, one night. "His Jupiter is in transit!" She also recently began writing each player's "planetary profiles" for the team's Web site. "In baseball, there's cycles," says Mallis over the phone last week. "Players talk about their slumps, or their bats heating up. They go on hot streaks, or they go cold. So there's a definite correlation between the cycles in baseball and cycles of the planet. It's all about timing; it's all about cycles."

To divine a player's future performance, Mallis plugs his date of birth from the team roster into her computer. She can't predict particular events like a psychic, but says she can read "energies and trends."

Earlier this season, pitcher Mark Mulder, a Leo, suffered a strained muscle in his throwing arm and Mallis says she knew it, sort of, before he did. Mallis saw that Mulder's Mars -- a planet of energy, aggression, and assertion that is, the astrologer notes, a very important planet for an athlete -- was in connection with Saturn, a planet of limitation. "I knew that was a time of less physical energies, of delays and frustration for Mark," she says. "But I knew it would pass. The beauty about astrology is that it's kind of like reading a map."

So how do the A's look in the playoffs?

Luckily for fans, some of the team's principal players -- Zito, Mulder, pitcher Tim Hudson, and third baseman Eric Chavez -- are all experiencing positive Jupiter transits. Jupiter, we now know, is the planet of expansion and good fortune. As Mallis puts it, the giant of our solar system is "the Santa Claus of the zodiac. It makes things bigger, more, and better."

Shortstop Miguel Tejada, a native of the Dominican Republic and a candidate for MVP this year, proves a tougher read for the star-watcher: "A lot of the players from that region, their birth certificates aren't always accurate," she says.

With the A's looking relatively charmed, is there anything, or anyone, in the universe that could stop them, namely Yanks slugger and former Athletic star Jason Giambi? "Don't get me started with him," coos Mallis. "He's a Sun-sign Capricorn, born in 1971, so he was just about done with his Saturn return -- I got the sense he was ready to be moving on before he actually left -- but the Capricorn part is an Earth sign, so it can be very materialistic and opportunistic and overambitious. He's got a status-consciousness that pervades in Capricorn energy."

Uh-oh.

Mallis knows Giambi better than the other players. During an A's game last year, she spotted his father, John, in the stands and seized the opportunity to introduce herself and ask him what time his son was born. The detail helps Mallis make her readings more precise. "So I've got a quasi-accurate birth time on him."

After logging in Giambi's vital stats and mulling over the reports, Mallis' voice took on a tone of resignation. "Well, he'll definitely be making his presence known this time of year. His yearly career peak is October 11 through November 10. That's when the sun goes through his tenth house, which is the house of career, status, duty, and ambition."

As Mallis continues to read, the news doesn't get any better. "Mars is hitting his Pluto, his planet of power," she says. Giambi's most powerful days, the astrologer adds, will fall on October 12, 13, 14, smack-dab in the middle of what could be an A's-Yanks American League championship series.

"Powerful energy will be there for the taking," she sighs, "but only if he decides to tap into it." -- Justin Berton

A dean with connections: Respected former South Bay Congressman Tom Campbell is still settling in as the new dean of UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business and, as the countless accounting and business scandals continue to evaporate the nation's consumer confidence and stock holdings, he has decided to do something about it, by God.

Campbell, a moderate Republican, has established the Socially Responsible Leadership Initiative, a new series of expanded classes in business ethics that will cover everything from corporate responsibility to social entrepreneurship and sustainable development. But the jewel in the business school's new ethics crown is undoubtedly Campbell's plan to have Haas graduate students visit white-collar criminals as they squat in their dank prison cells (or perhaps tool around the links or play a few sets of tennis at their penal country clubs).

The dean's staff hasn't drawn up a list of corporate crooks yet, but we have a few suggestions. Maybe Campbell's students could one day visit executives from Tyco International, whose CEO Dennis Kozlowski has been indicted for paying himself millions in bonuses without the authorization of the company's board of directors. Or they could visit employees at Merrill Lynch, which a Senate investigative committee has accused of helping Enron to hide untold millions in debt and defraud its investors. Then there's America Online, where officials are being investigated on charges of misreporting $49 million as advertising revenue.

Now there's a fine roster for the syllabus. The administrator should have no problem hooking those guys up. After all, they contributed to Campbell's 2000 campaign to unseat Senator Dianne Feinstein. Such stellar connections -- and there could be even more by the time spring semester rolls around -- will undoubtedly serve him well in his new capacity. Welcome to Berkeley, Tom. -- Chris Thompson

Setting up Shirley: For all of the incredulous eye-rolling over Berkeley's notoriously contentious politics, the city's 28-year-old political ethics panel known as the Fair Campaign Practices Commission has largely managed to stay out of the fray.

That can't be said of campaign watchdogs in other, supposedly more civilized places like Santa Clara County. The Board of Supes down there neutered its Ethics Commission in 1997 after a single election cycle, amid widespread grumblings that politicians were gaming the commission to generate bad press for rival candidates.

Now it looks like the same thing is happening in B-Town.

Earlier this month, backers of mayoral wannabe Tom Bates filed complaints against Mayor Shirley Dean for violating city campaign finance rules during, um, her 1998 re-election bid.

In one official gripe, the designated nitpicker complained that, in 1998, Dean accepted five contributions exceeding the $250 individual donation limit, for a whopping illegal excess somewhere between $550 and $700. Hardly a game-breaker in a $100,000 campaign.

In the other complaint, Bates' treasurer Mal Burnstein accused Dean of an accounting technicality too boring to waste newsprint on.

The skinny: The commission, which is heavy with Bates sympathizers, ruled last week that Dean committed "probable violations" of the city campaign-finance law. The headline in the Berkeley Daily Planet the next day: "Mayor broke campaign laws." If given the opportunity, the Bates crew couldn't themselves have written a headline so tailor-made for a pre-election hit piece.

"I guarantee you this will be coming soon to a mailbox near you," says one local political operative who is unaffiliated with either campaign.

Shirley-philes needn't fret just yet. Why, 7 Days received a press release from the mayor's campaign this week, touting the results of a new poll. Dean, they boasted, "enjoys a three-point lead in her hotly contested re-election bid." Oh, wait a minute. Somehow the release neglects to mention that the poll had a four-point margin of error. Whoops. Shirley-philes, feel free to fret when ready. -- Will Harper

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