Even though no firm date has been set for the closure of the Claremont and North Branch libraries, Berkeley is throwing a bon voyage party for the two buildings.
The days of waiting for many hours to voice one’s opinions to the Berkeley City Council may soon be over if a suggestion being put forward by Councilmembers Kriss Worthington and Jesse Arreguin is adopted. The agenda item, which will be heard at the Council’s March 8 meeting, proposes starting public hearings at City Council meetings at a set time — most probably 8pm. Councilmembers Worthington and Arreguin suggest establishing a six-month trial period to test out the idea. The set time would apply to items heard on appeal to decide whether or not to have a public hearing, as well as hearings that are already on the schedule. As it stands, public hearings occur in tandem with the time of the agenda item. For members of the public wishing to speak about an issue, this can sometimes mean having to be present in Council chambers for many hours, sometimes late into the night or early morning.
When the famed conservationist Aldo Leopold was a young ranger in the early part of the 20th century, he and some friends came upon a pack of wolves crossing a river. It was an era when killing wildlife was routine, and the group whipped out their shotguns and sent a fusillade of bullets at the wolves.