Daily Archives: May 9, 2012
UC Berkeley student dies in fall from dormitory [Oakland Tribune]
New police patrols target Telegraph, People’s Park [Mercury News]
School district begins interviews for new superintendent [Daily Cal]
Occupy the Farm protestors dismantle camp, move nearby [Mercury News]
Fire damages Flavors of India on College Avenue [Mercury News]
Zoning board to consider sports store permit for Iceland [Save Berkeley Iceland]
Photo: Dragonfly in downtown Berkeley, by Gisele Frazão Teixeira.
After sending in police early Wednesday to erect barricades around the Gill Tract, the University of California filed a lawsuit against 14 members of Occupy the Farm.
The university said the legal action was “an additional step that the University is taking to regain control of its property so that it can be used for agricultural research and education.” But the university pointed out that the occupiers could still accept the university’s proposal “that would allow for a peaceful end to the illegal encampment, resumption of research activities and the continuation of urban farming on portions of the land that will not be utilized by faculty and students.”
The lawsuit and non-confrontational barricading of Occupy the Farm appears to reflect the university’s new, gentler approach to dealing with protestors. Last week, Berkeley Law Dean Chris Edley and UC Vice President and General Counsel for Legal Affairs Charles Robinson delivered a report conducted after the violent confrontations with Occupy activists last fall. It concluded that the university should back off from the use of force, including batons and pepper spray, in confronting protesters and instead rely on mediators or de-escalation techniques. … Continue reading »
Sophie Hahn, who grew up in Berkeley and sits on the city’s Zoning Adjustments Board, has announced she is running for City Council District Five, which is currently the post held by Laurie Capitelli.
Hahn says she will provide a different brand of leadership, one that is community-oriented and transparent. “Berkeley is a fantastic place, but people don’t see progress here in basic areas like upkeep and services. We need to make decisions based on facts and data changes, not because of political ties and favoritism,” she says.
Hahn says she believes Berkeley residents are frustrated because they have not been properly informed about the city’s financial predicament. “We have $1 billion of unfunded infrastructure needs that we are committed to paying for and we have to make some hard choices,” she says. “But we have to show trust and transparency in our communication with people. We haven’t even shared a plan with the community for the city’s economic future.”
Hahn cites the decision to raise the compensation of former Berkeley City Manager Phil Kamlarz shortly before he retired as an example of the way the current City Council displays a “disconnect with the realities people are facing.” … Continue reading »
The Berkeley City Council heard close to four hours of testimony Tuesday night about proposed changes to the West Berkeley plan.
Around 90 people lined up in council chambers to talk about the impact of zoning changes in the industrial neighborhood. Those opposed to the plan said increased density and tall buildings would destroy the unique neighborhood, now a mix of old Victorians, small businesses and artisans, machine shops, laboratories, and heavy industry. The large development proposed by a few would drive up property values, cast shadows and ruin views, and bring terrible traffic to West Berkeley, they said.
Those in favor of the changes had a radically different view on what the plan might bring. They see the large-scale development at the Peerless Greens site on Fifth Street and Saul Zaentz site on Tenth as creating a critical mass of people, studios, and offices that will transform the area into a more vibrant, walking neighborhood.
New construction will provide space for growing technology and green companies, which often have to leave Berkeley now because there is no room for them to grow. And, if Berkeley is serious about complying with state and regional laws to create more housing and reduce greenhouse gases, it must change, and West Berkeley is the place to do it, they said. … Continue reading »
UC Berkeley police arrived at the Occupy the Farm encampment at Gill Tract in Albany early this morning in order to block incoming vehicle access to the property. They told activists they do not plan to make arrests.
Several UCPD officers were at the camp as early as 6:00am, according to reports by the Daily Cal and Albany Patch. They used bicycle locks to lock the West gate of the Farm and blocked the East gate to San Pablo Avenue with a concrete barricade.
The arrival of the police prompted TV news crews to dispatch helicopters over the site which were heard by many in north Berkeley as well as Albany.
UC Berkeley spokesperson Dan Mogulof confirmed to ABC Local that UC police put concrete barriers in place at the two vehicle entrances to the property. He said cars not associated with the university would no longer be allowed in, but people on foot would still be able to come and go. … Continue reading »