Daily Archives: July 2, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 07.02.12

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The It List: Berkeley on the Fourth of July

Fireworks above the Berkeley Marina. Photo: TheRealMichaelMoore
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The United States turns 236 on Wednesday and people throughout the country will be charring burgers, lighting firecrackers (where they are legal) and hanging out with friends. Remember to send us your Berkeley July 4th experiences (you can use the hashtag #berkeley4th on Twitter).

RED, WHITE, AND BLUE AND A WHOLE LOT MORE   In Berkeley, the Marina and Cesar Chavez Park will the places to be on the Fourth, as the city throws an all-day party with activities geared towards young and old. During the day, kids can get their faces painted or ride the giant slide at Adventure Park. Magicians and jugglers will perform at the Buddy Club stage in Shorebird Park. Grown up kids can play Zorba balls at Cesar Chavez Park or try jousting, a trampoline, a climbing wall, dragon boat racing and more. Music starts at noon and continues throughout the day. When the sun sets and the sky grows dark at 9:30 pm, the fireworks will begin.

ANIMALS ARE PATRIOTIC   There are 740 acres of open space around the Little Farm and Environmental Education Center at Tilden Park and the Fourth of July is a great day to explore what’s available. The center is is holding an open house in the Nature Area from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., complete with homemade ice cream, crafts, farm activities, and hikes. Of course, all of Tilden and the other East Bay Regional Parks will be open on the Fourth. … Continue reading »

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Op-Ed: Mayor Bates on the state budget

Mayor Bates: "I'd be delighted to continue doing the work I've been doing." Photo: Lance Knobel
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In an Opinionator piece today, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates looks at the impact of the state budget for Berkeleyans. The state, he explains, is facing two budget scenarios. If the Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act passes in November, then cuts to important services will be mitigated. If the act doesn’t pass, then a further $6 billion will be cut from schools and a range of other state programs.

Berkeleyside welcomes submissions of op-ed articles of 500 to … Continue reading »


Mayor Bates: How the state budget affects Berkeleyans

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After months of intense negotiations and wrangling, the governor’s proposed budget for 2012-13 was passed by the legislature. It remains, however, dependent on the passage of the Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act in the November 2012 election. What are the two budget scenarios facing the state? Continue reading »

Max Anderson kicks off Council re-election campaign

Max Anderson is running for a third term for Berkeley City Council
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The Max Anderson campaign kickoff was held at La Peña on Sunday. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel

In a campaign kickoff filled with poetry, tears, fried chicken, Acme bread, and a huge Sweet Adeline’s chocolate cake, Max Anderson launched his third bid for City Council Sunday night.

Dozens of local politicians, union activists, and residents of south Berkeley gathered at La Peňa Cultural Center to show their support for Anderson, who has represented District 3 since 2004. So far, he is running unopposed.

“This is the kickoff, so we’re kicking it off,” said Anderson as he stood before the crowd, surrounded by his election staff, his wife Linda Olivenbaum, daughter Marisha Anderson, and other family members. “We’re kicking it in the streets.”

Supporters had gotten on the stage throughout the evening to testify to Anderson’s willingness to support the weak and helpless, including African-American babies, whose survival rate in Alameda County is lower than average, struggling students, African-Americans suffering from hypertension, and the disabled. … Continue reading »

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Downtown Berkeley ambassadors help, monitor homeless

Carmen Francois was one of the five original downtown ambassadors. There are now 16.
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On a recent Tuesday afternoon, Carmen Francois was on a mission.

“We’re supposed to say hi to 60 people in 60 minutes,” she said.

Francois, one of Berkeley’s downtown “ambassadors,” didn’t have any trouble meeting the quota. She ducked into businesses and greeted employees by name, asking if they had any safety issues. She waved to police officers and directed tourists. She hugged homeless panhandlers, asking if they had gotten in touch with the Berkeley Mental Health Center counselor she had recommended the previous week. She pointed others toward the nearest public shower.

For the last three years, Francois has been walking up and down Shattuck Avenue interacting with those who spend their days sitting on blankets or leaning against walls, part of a larger effort to make downtown a more amenable area. But her stomping grounds have now become the center of a new debate: whether or not Berkeley should adopt a measure that makes it illegal to sit on the sidewalk in a commercial district between 7 am and 10 pm. … Continue reading »

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