Daily Archives: November 8, 2012

News

The Berkeley Wire: 11.08.12

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And then there was one: Measure T down to single vote

Ballots
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In the latest results from the Registrar of Voters, the Yes on T campaign has inched into the lead: 16,640 to 16,639.

On election night, opponents of Measure T, which would change zoning in West Berkeley, had a 123 vote lead. That narrowed yesterday to 26, and today it vanished.

None of the other Berkeley races have changed much in the latest update. Opponents of Measure S, the sit ordinance, still lead by nearly 1,000 votes, 18,254 to 17,273.

The Alameda County Registrar plans to issue a daily update until all votes are counted.

View a photo gallery of democracy in action as Alameda County Registrar employees continue to process outstanding ballots. … Continue reading »

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Crush: East Bay wine, food fest in Berkeley for 17th year

Crush 2011-2
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Crush, the annual East Bay wine and food festival, takes place this Sunday, Nov. 11, and, incredibly, the gourmet get-together is marking its 17th year in Berkeley.

OFFER: Berkeleyside has four Crush tickets (worth $50 each) to give away to our readers! Simply scoot on over to our brand new NOSH Facebook page (and learn about our incredibly exciting imminent food launch), then “Like” us there and confirm you have done so in an email to nosh@berkeleyside.com (or Facebook message us at NOSH). We will make sure the winners, drawn from a hat, are notified and your  tickets will be waiting for you at the door at Crush.

This year promises to offer the same wide variety of tasting options, be it ultra locavore sips from Berkeley establishments such as Pyramid Alehouse, Takara Sake, or wineries Urbano Cellars and Donkey & Goat – all of them located in what Berkeleyside likes to refer to as the city’s “drinks district” – or pours from many equally well-regarded vineyards in Napa and Sonoma. … Continue reading »

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After loss, mayoral candidates say voters want change

JacquelynMcCormick
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Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates may have won re-election Tuesday, but his challengers say their campaigns still made a difference.

Councilman Kriss Worthington, second place finisher, said he knew the odds were daunting.

“I knew that running against an incumbent with a lot of money who had been in office for 34 years was not a cake walk,” he said. “But I also knew that allowing it to be a coronation where he got 70% or 75% of the votes would mean the drift to the right might continue.”

Worthington had garnered 21.2% of the vote as of Wednesday evening, with perhaps as many as 20,000 ballots still to be counted.

Jacquelyn McCormick, who had 11.3% of the votes by yesterday, and came in third in the mayoral race, said she felt the re-election of Mayor Bates spelled bad news for Berkeley. Reading Mayor Bates’ comments in Berkeleyside yesterday, she said, it was “hard to take his arrogance.” “We need change. [Bates] is pushing an agenda on the backs of everyone who lives in this city.” … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley names Columbia dean as new chancellor

Nicholas B. Dirks says of his appointment, “This is an opportunity I embrace with both excitement and humility.” (Eileen Barroso photo / Columbia University)
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Nicholas B. Dirks, Columbia University’s executive vice president and dean of the faculty of Arts and Sciences, will succeed Robert J. Birgeneau as UC Berkeley’s 10th chancellor, the university announced Thursday.

Dirks is set to begin at Cal on June 1, 2013. Birgeneau announced in March that he would step down in December, but has agreed to serve through May, according to the university.

Dirks was born in Illinois but grew up in Connecticut, according to a statement released by UC Berkeley. He and his wife, Columbia history professor Janaki Bakhle, have a 13-year-old son, and Dirks has a grown daughter from a prior marriage.

Dirks taught in California earlier on his career and has family connections to the state as well; his late father served as vice chancellor and dean for humanities at UC Santa Cruz in the 1970s, and his mother is a longtime California resident.

“This is an opportunity I embrace with both excitement and humility,” Dirks said, via the university statement. “I have immense respect for the countless accomplishments of faculty, students and staff at what I consider to be the premier public research university in the world. I look forward to becoming part of the UC community and to contributing all that I can to the further evolution of a campus that is a beacon of excellence, innovation and aspiration for California, the nation and the world.”

The university’s Board of Regents will vote on the terms of the appointment at a special meeting in late November. … Continue reading »

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10 days left to escape Berkeley Library overdue fines

Patrons who need a replacement card can choose from among four designs. See all of the design options here.
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Starting this week, the Berkeley Public Library is forgiving overdue fines for patrons with outstanding bills and items. The amnesty program, in effect through Saturday, Nov. 17, is a way to bring back books and boost circulation, officials said.

“The reason we’re doing this is not only to try and recover materials that people have been hanging onto for fear of the large fines they’ve accrued,” said Douglas Smith, the library’s deputy director. “We also want to let the community know, people who have been borrowers in the past, that they’re welcome to come back and we miss them. We want people to use the library and not let overdue fines create fear that prevents them from using the resource.”

Smith said the last amnesty took place in early 2008; the library forgave nearly $35,000 in fines at that time.  … Continue reading »

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Election email overload: What gives?

One California voter takes a look at a day of campaign mailers. Photo:  Robert Couse-Baker
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By November in a big election year, many residents are familiar with the daily handful of campaign literature that bursts forth from the mailbox in the form of pamphlets, sample ballots and oversized postcards.

But we heard from several readers this election season who noticed an onslaught of campaign emails in their virtual inboxes as well, from a wide variety of sources.

One reader connected the emails to his decision to opt out of receiving the sample election ballot; he said the Registrar of Voters’ office asked for an email address for confirmation purposes when he opted out.

He said he was concerned to find his information turning up in the hands of third parties without his permission.

He wrote: “If Facebook was doing this people would scream bloody murder. Plus I still get paper sample ballots anyway. Not a catastrophe, I understand, but sketchy as hell…” … Continue reading »

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