Daily Archives: October 31, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 10.31.12

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‘Three Michaels’ sold out, last chance to snag tickets

Screen shot 2012-09-16 at 10.15.06 PM
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As you may have heard, Berkeleyside is organizing what promises to be a hugely entertaining evening on Monday Dec. 10. The “three Michaels of Berkeley” — Michael Chabon, Michael Lewis and Michael Pollan, all Berkeley residents — will come together for the first time to talk place, politics, people and, no doubt, writing. The event is a benefit for 826 Oakland, a new youth writing program for the East Bay, inspired by Dave Eggers’ pioneering 826 Valencia. The event is sponsored by One PacificCoast Bank.

We are delighted to announce today that “The Three Michaels: A Berkeley Conversation” is sold out. Clearly many people are as eager as we are to support a great cause and to hear from three of the country’s best writers, all of whom do fascinating work in their fields.

There is one last chance to snag tickets, however. … Continue reading »

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Measure S: Will it help or hurt the homeless?

Measure S would prohibit sitting on the sidewalk, during certain hours, in Berkeley’s commercial districts. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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On Nov. 6, Berkeley voters will decide whether to approve a controversial ordinance to ban, in most cases, sitting on sidewalks in the city’s business districts from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Measure S is Berkeley’s second attempt to pass a law limiting where and when people can sit on sidewalks. (A 1994 attempt, which included lying on the sidewalk as well, later was repealed by the City Council, after initial approval by voters. The ACLU challenged the law before it went into effect and, in 1997, “a newly elected Berkeley City Council voted to repeal the sit-and-lie ban.”)

Supporters of Measure S have poured more than $90,000 into the campaign, while those opposed have raised just under $16,000, according to campaign reports filed with the city clerk’s office. (See a breakdown of the contributions at Berkeley’s Voter’s Edge.)

The proposed ordinance counts among its proponents developers such as the Beacon Group (which owns 2150 Shattuck, the old Power Bar building) and Panoramic Interests (which sold its large property holdings to Sam Zell’s Equity Residential REIT and now is involved in infill development); opponents include the ACLU of Northern California and Patricia Wall of the Homeless Action Center.

Posts related to the measure have resulted in more than 1,000 reader comments on Berkeleyside. The proposed ban has spurred coverage in local, regional and national media outlets. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley says ‘no’ to federal immigration detainers

A battle for immigrants' rights has been intensifying throughout 2012, as deportations linked to Secure Communities have risen. Here, protestors outside an ICE processing facility in Colorado call for an end enforcement efforts. Photo: Justin Valas
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In a surprising twist, the Berkeley City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to decline requests from U.S. immigration officials to apply more stringent detention rules to arrested individuals depending on citizenship status.

Advocates in attendance said the council made a landmark policy decision believed to be the most comprehensive and definitive in the nation as far as refusing altogether to cooperate with a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) program to detain and potentially deport non-citizens who are arrested.

The decision will, at least initially, have a limited impact given that the vast majority of these individuals ultimately are turned over to county agencies that do cooperate with the feds. Advocates said they believe, however, that the decision will have a ripple effect throughout the state to convince other jurisdictions to take a similar stand. … Continue reading »

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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: 10:33 a.m.: Natedahl got it right. The photo was shot at the bottom of the Bancroft steps, at Bancroft and Warring, behind the I-House. Congratulations, Natedahl, on being both very observant and this week’s winner!

Photo: Daniel Bucher.

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Santa Cruz is a model for Berkeley civil sidewalks

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In the early 1990s, Pacific Avenue merchants were suffering in Santa Cruz. We had encampments of youth sitting on our sidewalks in front of businesses and in our public spaces, often with pit bulls and belongings. They engaged in unwelcoming aggressive panhandling and rowdy behavior, frequently fueled by drugs and alcohol. Many Santa Cruzans—particularly seniors and parents with children—felt uncomfortable in our Downtown, and so they stayed away, or would make their visits short, because they did not want to … Continue reading »

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