News about the 2012 November election filled Berkeleyside this week as candidates ramped up their campaigning and organizations hosted forums and debates. The first scheduled debate among the four candidates running for two seats on the school board focused, in part, on where each candidate stood on BUSD’s controversial nomination of Edmond Heatley for superintendent, and their opinion of the Broad Academy, from where he graduated. Bert Wahl is running for mayor, but said his primary goal isn’t winning, but putting forward some new ideas. The race for the District 5 City Council seat took an ugly turn when supporters of incumbent Laurie Capitelli said challenger Sophie Hahn was misrepresenting his voting record — a charge that Hahn denies.
And Berkeleyside unveiled Voter’s Edge Berkeley, a one-stop, non-partisan voting guide to the ten measures on the November ballot. The guide, which will be updated continuously until the election, is produced in partnership with MapLight, a non-profit, nonpartisan Berkeley company dedicated to revealing money’s influence on politics.
Berkeley finally moved toward shuttering the Perfect Plants Patients Group, a cannabis collective that the city has said is operating on Sacramento Street in violation of zoning codes. The discussion at Thursday’s ZAB meeting was as much about the city’s failure to address serious issues in south Berkeley as it was about the collective.
Finally, nine months after the Downtown Business Association launched its clean-up of the downtown, a survey shows that the organization’s hopes have been partially realized. Perceptions have been improving, although there is a way to go.