Daily Archives: June 6, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 06.06.12

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Lawsuit challenges Berkeley’s new Downtown Area Plan

A new lawsuit is challenging the Downtown Plan adopted by the City Council in March 2012
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Three neighborhood associations have filed a lawsuit against Berkeley, claiming that the adoption of the Downtown Area Plan in March 2012 did not comply with state environmental laws.

The Council of Neighborhood Associations, which has been operating since 1975 but which gained renewed energy in 2009 when it successfully placed a measure on the ballot to rescind an earlier version of the Downtown Area Plan, is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which was filed in May in Alameda County Superior Court. The other two groups, Friends of Downtown Berkeley and Berkeley Citizens for Responsible Planning, were only formed recently.

The lawsuit alleges that Berkeley erred when it adopted the Downtown Plan because it did not prepare a new EIR, as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Instead, the city used the EIR that had been prepared in 2009 for one of the plan’s precursors, according to Rachel Mansfield-Howlett, the Sonoma County attorney who is representing the neighborhood groups. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley grabs rare chance to see Venus in transit

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Mother Nature has a veritable smörgåsbord of delights for us this month, particularly in the astronomical department. Yesterday saw six hours of viewing time for the Transit of Venus, such a rare event that, if you missed it, like many of us who weren’t prepared with the requisite telescope or custom viewers, you won’t get another chance to see it — well, ever. The next scheduled appearance is on Dec. 11, 2117.

So thank goodness for trusty Berkeleyside readers on whom we can rely to send us visual documentation of such momentous events (see, for no better example, Ira Serkes’ stupendous photograph of the May 5-6 Supermoon).

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Where in Berkeley?

Where in Berkeley?

Know where this is? Take a guess and let us know in the Comments.

Update, 9:25am: Fittingly, “A. Student” quickly identified this week’s photo. This is Senior Hall, built in 1906 under the supervision of John Galen Howard, and paid for by a “secret society” called the Order of the Golden Bear. Apparently members of the society still maintain the outsize log cabin and meet there regularly, in secrecy. Congratulations, “A. Student”, on being this week’s winner!

Photo: Tracey Taylor.

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