Daily Archives: October 15, 2012

Opinionator

Have a say in how the city’s district lines are drawn

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Electoral districts, either within a city, a county, or a state, are drawn to best represent the people and communities within them. That is, unless you live in Berkeley.

In 1986, Berkeley adopted districts for its City Council. Yet rather than permit districts that represent our communities as they grow and change, as is done everywhere else in the country, Berkeley has made the 1986 lines permanent, allowing for only minor deviations for population adjustment.

Big deal, you might say. … Continue reading »

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 10.15.12

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2020 Vision symposium highlights progress in Berkeley

A packed cafeteria at the 2020 Vision Symposium, Oct. 11, Longfellow Middle School, Berkeley, CA. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Last week, more than 100 community members, educators and city and school officials came together to share a meal and a vision for a future of equal opportunities for all children in Berkeley schools.

The theory behind the effort, 2020 Vision, is that success at school should not be predictable based on a child’s race or ethnicity. The goal, as the name suggests, is to eradicate the achievement gap by the year 2020. As it stands, Hispanic and black students, as a group, consistently score lower than peers on standardized tests, while having higher rates of chronic absenteeism, truancy, suspension and dropping out altogether, according to a statement posted by Berkeley Alliance, which is spearheading the Vision 2020 effort. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley happily abandons sidewalks for Sunday Streets

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An estimated 30,000-40,000 people headed to Shattuck Avenue on Sunday for Berkeley’s first Sunday Streets event which saw 17 blocks, from Haste to Rose, closed to traffic and open to pretty much everything else: from scooters, to strollers, from bikes with triangular wheels to roller blades, as well as people playing music, doing yoga, whipping hula hoops, eating, laughing, running and playing.

“It was a wild success,” said John Caner, Executive Director of the Downtown Berkeley Association, who added that he was particularly pleased to see the local merchants doing such great business. “We are absolutely thrilled that it brought so many people downtown. It was zany, creative and a cascade of fun and cultural entertainment for everyone.”

Caner was pleased to see how Shattuck Avenue’s width, originally designed to accommodate trolley cars, was so accommodating to the great numbers of people who stepped off the sidewalks. “It absorbed all those people and could comfortably absorb double that number,” he said. … Continue reading »

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Pools campaign holds mock swimathon for Measures N, O

Angel Jaramillo, a 4th grader at John Muir Elementary School, said he hoped that by 7th grade he would be swimming in a newly reopened Willard pool -- with his snorkel. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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Angel Jaramillo, a 4th grader at John Muir Elementary School, has never swum at Berkeley’s Willard pool. His family sometimes take him to the Richmond Plunge. But, he said, he hopes that by the time he’s in 7th grade he will be able to swim at Willard — and he’ll be bringing his snorkeling mask.

Jaramillo was one of many children who came to the middle school pool on Derby and Telegraph on Saturday Oct. 13 to drum up support for ballot Measures N and O which would raise the funds necessary to re-open the pool, build a new warm pool, and maintain two other city pools. Willard Pool was closed in June 2010 and filled with dirt in January 2011. Corn and other edible plants now grow out of a section of the main pool and vegetation sprouts from the diving pool. … Continue reading »

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