Daily Archives: October 24, 2012

News

The Berkeley Wire: 10.24.12

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Opinionator

Measure T: A step towards a more consistent set of rules

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It’s easy to dismiss the most vocal opponents of Measure T (West Berkeley up-zoning) as nimbies and bananas (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything). It’s also easy to see that the objections to development near Aquatic Park on environmental grounds are exaggerated beyond the breaking point. But one of the more cogent arguments against T has been put forth by Toni Mester in several op eds in the Berkeley Daily Planet. (Google “Toni Mester West Berkeley” for links.)

Toni argues … Continue reading »

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Which Berkeley council campaigns shopped local?

Spending in the mayor's race
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With the next round of election finance statements due Thursday, Berkeleyside took a look at which City Council candidates have kept their spending local for campaign materials and services.

Not surprisingly, candidates posted their largest expenses to date for the November 2012 election during the year’s second filing period, from July 1 through Sept. 30. The statements due Thursday will include donations received and expenses from Oct. 1 to Oct. 20.  Statements for all the races are public and can be downloaded from the city’s website.

We focused on spending on campaign paraphernalia, literature and mailings; consultant fees; polling services; professional services; print advertising; and website-related costs. The charts and descriptions below reflect these primary categories, not the entire amount of spending in the period. (Unless otherwise noted, we did not include office expenses, donation-related fees, fundraising event costs, filing statements or campaign workers’ salaries, which, even when combined represented a small part of overall expenditures.) … Continue reading »

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Science

Elephant toothpaste, rockets for National Chemistry Week

Plants_Molecules_5578
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By Alex Madonik and Jeanne Pimentel 

National Chemistry Week is happening right now — it runs from October 21 to October 27 — and last Thursday, the California Local Section of the American Chemical Society held a kickoff event, “Family Science Night” at King Middle School in Berkeley. Explosive demonstrations and rock music were all part and parcel of the event.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of National Chemistry Week (NCW), the brainchild of UC Berkeley Professor George Pimentel. In 1987, when he was the President of the American Chemical Society, he saw the need to convey to the public the vital role that chemistry plays in our lives. He wanted to combat the prevalent negative view of chemicals and promote the basic understanding needed to make wise decisions on issues related to science. The Lawrence Hall of Science helped launch NCW that year, inviting busloads of schoolchildren to join the public in discovering the fun of doing chemistry while learning about its importance to society. … Continue reading »

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Opinionator

Five lies about Measure S — from both sides of the debate

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According to Goebbels, you could establish a lie as true by repeating the lie often, and loudly. This worked until the collapse of the Third Reich.

Berkeley is presently up to its eyeballs in an emotional debate over a proposed sitting ban in business districts — Measure “S.” To read the pros and cons on what has become a melodramatic spectacle, you would almost think you’re at the Biden-Ryan debate. Who was big-lying?

In order to lie, you have to deliberately … Continue reading »

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Opinionator

Yes on Measure S mailer is full of falsehoods

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Recently a mailer went out across Berkeley that puts a false ‘kinder, gentler’ spin on Measure S than actually lies at the heart of this ordinance. The language on the mailer sounds good, naturally. “Yes on S: Helps People. Saves Jobs.” A grand claim that warrants some fact-checking.

“Helps People”. Moving homeless people away from storefronts does not help them. Measure S will have “ambassadors who will conduct outreach to connect people to social services.” Homeless people by and large … Continue reading »

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Opinionator

Sunday Streets every day in Berkeley?

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On Sunday Oct. 14, people experienced public space in a new way in Berkeley by strolling, cycling, and skating along a car-free Shattuck Avenue from Haste to Rose. I really had no idea what to expect with the first Sunday Streets Berkeley, but the experience was energizing and wonderful. Based on the attendance numbers from other cities, I assumed about 10,000 people might show up. All my expectations were exceeded when over 40,000 people spent their day in downtown Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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Destruction of campaign signs is rampant in Berkeley

The Tom Bates sign left on Anna Avellar's doorstep
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The campaign sign gremlins are out in full force.

Two weeks before the Nov. 6 election, many of the candidates for major Berkeley offices are reporting that their signs have been torn down, ripped up, stolen, or vandalized – and, in some cases, the destruction feels personal.

Anna Avellar, the aide to Councilwoman Susan Wengraf, woke up Sunday to find her “Tom Bates for Mayor” sign ripped into small pieces and deposited on her doorstep. What made the vandalism creepy, she said, is that her front door is about 30 steps from the sidewalk. So someone had to tear up the sign and come up the stairs in the dark to set down the pieces.

“A couple of weeks ago someone shoved dozens of “Kriss” (campaign signs for mayoral candidate Kriss Worthington) and other … flyers into my gate,” Avellar posted to her Facebook page. “Strangely enough, no one else on my lane was as lucky. Do I think I am being targeted? YES!”

Jacquelyn McCormick, Laurie Capitelli, Worthington and others have also seen their campaign signs removed or vandalized. … Continue reading »

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Where in Berkeley?

Where in Berkeley?

Where in Berkeley indeed? In fact it’s nowhere in Berkeley, as we have, after more than two years — 134 editions — of our weekly contest, run dry on “Where in Berkeley” photos.

So, people, get snapping and send us the results! The more obscure the better — zoom in on those details of the fabric of our city and stump the Berkeleyside chumps.

Send photos to tips@berkeleyside.com with subject headline “Where in Berkeley?” (and include the answer and the name of the photographer) and, hopefully, we will return next week with a tank full of mysteries for you.

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