Daily Archives: February 16, 2012
Berkeley based CIR gets $1m MacArthur Foundation grant [Chronicle]
Cal frat boy’s “American Idol” dreams come to an end [Mercury News]
Origen review: good promise, some uneven dishes [Chronicle]
Feb. 27 memorial will honor former Cal chancellor Heyman [UCB]
Berkeley shoreline: from reptiles to a park [Chronicle]
Review: Kiraku, a fresh look at Japanese Izakaya [EBX]
BHS freshman attends White House science fair [BUSD]
Molière farce at Berkeley Rep will keep you in stitches [Mercury News]
How infamous Berkeley trafficking case fueled reform [SF Public Press]
Cal seniors give Golden Bears precious mettle [Chronicle]
Police Review Board holds second public hearing [Daily Cal]
Administrators continue to reach out to Occupy Cal [UCB]
Lakireddy sex slave case still haunts survivors [SF Public Press]
Dorothea Lange’s photos of Japanese American internees [BANG]
Photo: Wet Seal, by kukkurovaca/Berkeleyside Flickr pool.
The City Council heard a sobering report from outside actuary John Bartel at its special meeting on Tuesday night this week.
“I wore my Valentines Day tie, but that’s unfortunately the only good news I have here,” Bartel said. “Your contribution rate will not be going down. It will actually be going up in the future.”
The council has had a number of presentations on the unfunded pension liabilities in the last year. On Tuesday, Bartel explained that the actuarial target he was encouraging the city to meet was to reach 100% funding of the liabilities “over a reasonable period of time”.
But the difficulty of achieving that was highlighted by the figures Bartel presented. For the police safety plan — overwhelmingly the largest cost and the largest unfunded liability for the city — the city is currently paying 42% of salary in pension contributions. To reach a target of 80% of the liabilities funded in 20 years, Bartel said the city contribution would have to rise to 50.7%. To reach 80% funded in 10 years, the contribution would climb to 61.5%. … Continue reading »
Plans by Lotus founder and philanthropist Mitch Kapor to build a new home in Berkeley, which have been more than two years in the making, have been put on hold following a court ruling in favor of a citizen group challenging the construction.
The City of Berkeley is to be ordered to conduct an environmental impact report on Kapor’s project, a reversal of a previous decision by the Alameda Superior Court which ruled that Berkeley’s Zoning Adjustments Board had conducted due process in approving use permits for the Kapors to build a home at 2707 Rose Street.
The Feb. 15th ruling, by the First District Court of Appeal, makes Berkeley’s January 2010 decision unlawful.
In its appeal, the Berkeley Hillside Preservation Group argued that the project, which would see a contemporary style home (including a 10-car garage) built on the north Berkeley lot, should not be exempt from environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Single family homes are normally exempt, but the group used expert opinion to argue that the construction would have “significal environmental impacts.” … Continue reading »
At a time when unsettling rumors of impending war seem inescapable, there’s something altogether fitting about a concert presenting two giants of Persian classical music at a West Berkeley center for yoga and meditation. Tehran’s Hossein Alizadeh and Los Angeles-based Pejman Hadadi conclude a North American tour Saturday at the Rudramandir Center on Bancroft Way.
Alizadeh is best known in the West as a founding member of the Masters of Persian Music, an ensemble that has helped raise the international profile of Iran’s millennia old classical tradition. Hailed as his generation’s most vivid and eloquent instrumentalist, he’s a visionary composer, and virtuoso of the Persian plucked lute, or tar. In Iran, where the 1979 Islamic revolution led to a stark generational gap as older masters fled overseas, Alizadeh provides invaluable continuity as an artist steeped in the vast body of traditional melodies known as the Radif, a vocabulary intimately intertwined with the rhythms of classical Persian poetry. … Continue reading »
By Ilana DeBare
Most people go to Cesar Chavez Park at the Berkeley Marina to walk dogs, fly kites or stroll kids.
Karen Smith goes to monitor owls.
Smith is one of about a dozen volunteer docents from Golden Gate Audubon Society who help passersby spot and learn about the small population of Western burrowing owls who spend each winter at the marina.
This year, five owls have been documented – two in the area set off from pedestrians by a new owl-friendly art installation and three in other parts of the marina. The small ground-dwelling birds spend much of the day sitting alertly near their burrows, astonishingly close to all those humans with dogs, kites and strollers. … Continue reading »
The atmosphere at Martin Luther King Middle School is normal today, following a fight on Wednesday between two students that sent one to the hospital.
Two 14-year old eighth graders who are friends got into an argument on the blacktop outside the school gym around 8:15 am, according to Sgt. Mary Kusmiss of the Berkeley Police Department. It quickly evolved into a physical fight.
One of the teens used his hands and feet to punch and kick the other, according to police. He continued to beat up his friend once he fell to the ground.
The injured youth was taken to Kaiser Richmond where he was treated for his wounds and released. He was not seriously injured.
Berkeley police took the perpetrator to a holding cell at police headquarters and he was released into the custody of a guardian. The case has been referred to detectives at Youth Services Detail, said Sgt. Kusmiss.
Today, Berkeley joins Los Angeles as only the second city in the nation to provide specific civil recourse for harassed and assaulted cyclists. The ordinance was approved by the Berkeley City Council on January 17th.
Dave Campbell, Program Director at the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, says the legislation is as much about educating drivers as anything else.
“Drivers, with no ill intent, often don’t know the rules of the road for cyclists,” he said. Campbell cites as an example drivers who wonder why cyclists can’t just ride on the sidewalk, although they actually should be in traffic sharing the road with cars.
Below, Christopher Kidd explains what the new ordinance does and why he thinks it is needed:
Why is this ordinance needed?
It may be hard to fathom for those who rarely ride a bicycle, but there are drivers out there who will assault or harass bicyclists simply because they are using the road. … Continue reading »