Search Results for: jesse arreguin
The Fair Campaign Practices Commission has decided to investigate whether any campaign laws were broken when the Yes on Measure S campaign paid people from $50 to $100 in cash to pass out campaign material on election day.
The commission also wants staff to look into whether the Yes on S campaign paid for an extra printing of endorsement fliers put out by the Berkeley Democratic Club without declaring its participation.
The decision to investigate came as the commission considered another complaint on Sept. 19 filed by Patricia Wall, executive director of the Homeless Action Center, and Bob Offer-Westort, the coordinator of the No on Measure S campaign. Measure S, which was defeated in November 2012, would have made it illegal to sit on sidewalks in commercial districts for much of the day. … Continue reading »
Raised fees for a number of city services were agreed on Tuesday night by the City Council with relatively little debate and no public comments. Dog licenses will at least double: from $7.50 to $15 for a one-year altered dog licence and from $18 to $40 for a three-year altered dog license. Fees for animal adoptions from the city shelter are also going up.
Kate O’Connor, manager, Animal Care Services, said that her department estimated there were about 40,000 dogs in Berkeley. In FY12, 1,722 animal permits were issued (virtually all for dogs — she said only two cat licenses were issued). O’Connor’s estimate was that 20-25% of Berkeley’s dogs are licensed, which Councilmember Laurie Capitelli pointed out is probably an overestimate given the number of issued licenses. … Continue reading »
The Fair Campaign Practices Commission on Thursday levied its second heaviest fine in 20 years on a landlord-backed group that spent more than $42,500 during the 2012 election.
The FCPC approved a stipulation agreement worked out between city staff and the people behind a Slate Mailer Organization that sent out five campaign mailers in support of the TUFF (Tenants United for Fairness) Rent Board slate. … Continue reading »
Berkeley in 2012 was filled with drama — a contested election, a failed nomination for a new school superintendent, a few missteps by the Chief of Police, and major changes at the University of California, among other events. Here’s a recap of the issues that had the deepest impact on Berkeley, plus a few fun ones thrown in.
The year got off to a tragic start with the untimely death of 37-year-old City Clerk Deanna Despain. She fell down the stairs of her Oakland home on Jan. 8. Her husband discovered her body when he returned from a late-night meeting. Their daughter was soundly asleep upstairs. Since then, Mark Numainville has been filling in as acting city clerk. In May, after serving as interim city manager for six months, the City Council appointed Christine Daniel permanently to the job. She replaced Phil Kamlarz, who had held the city’s top job for eight years. … Continue reading »
On a recent Wednesday morning, as the sun was trying to make its way out from behind rain clouds, two joggers ran down Fourth Street, passing the Takara Sake Factory, a tiny house hidden behind a woodworking shop, the new Sketch ice cream store, and the massive warehouse of Wine.com.
It may have been a routine run for the two men. But for many of the residents of West Berkeley, the runners’ path exemplifies what is special about the neighborhood: it’s an eclectic mix of housing, manufacturing, industrial production, and small businesses.
Despite this vibrancy, many consider West Berkeley underutilized. It is the only section of the city that is zoned for manufacturing and industrial uses. But over the last few decades, the number of these businesses has dwindled. In 1991, there were 153 manufacturers providing 5,024 jobs in the 94710 zip code. In 2008, that had dropped 38%, with 89 companies providing 3,636 manufacturing jobs, according to a report put together in 2009 by Berkeley’s Office of Economic Development. … Continue reading »
Developers of new residential rental properties in Berkeley can now choose to pay into a special city fund instead of including on-site affordable housing after an 8-1 vote Tuesday by the City Council. It’s the latest step by City Hall to create policies that will increase Berkeley’s affordable housing stock.
But whether developers will choose to pay the fee remains to be seen, and some members of the City Council caution that setting the fee too high could have unintended, unavoidable, consequences for future projects.
The city requires developers of new market-rate rental properties to make one of their units affordable — to households earning 50% or less of the region’s median family income — for every 10 market rate units. This means that the units would have to be affordable, for example, to a family of three in Berkeley making $42,100 or less. … Continue reading »
Mayor Tom Bates said Thursday that the vote the City Council took on Tuesday during a raucous and unruly meeting was legal, and that he has no intention of bringing the matter back to the council, despite critics’ complaint that the vote violated the Brown Act.
Bates said that City Attorney Zach Cowan reviewed the tape of the meeting and determined that there were no violations.
“There is no need for a special meeting” to take another vote, Bates said from northern California, where he is on vacation. … Continue reading »
After five meetings and countless hours of public testimony, the City Council decided on Tuesday to ask the residents of Berkeley to vote on proposed zoning changes to large parcels in West Berkeley.
Councilmember Laurie Capitelli introduced a measure to place the matter on the Nov. 6 ballot and it was adopted in a 6-2-1 vote, with councilmembers Kriss Worthington and Jesse Arreguin dissenting. Max Anderson abstained. City staff will now draw up wording for the measure and the council will take another vote on July 10 on whether to put it on the ballot.
“I really think it’s time for the community to discuss it and make a call,” Capitelli said on Friday. “Of course I believe the community will chose to move forward. I think it is a reasonable plan and will provide economic revitalization.” … Continue reading »
The Berkeley City Council Tuesday night moved the controversial West Berkeley Project one step further towards adoption when it approved a series of amendments and modifications designed to mollify critics. The entire plan will come before the council again for a final vote on June 12.
As at previous meetings, the Council heard many passionate arguments against the third phase of the West Berkeley Project, as well as many in support. The focus during this third phase of the project was on Master Use Permits (MUP), which provide for greater flexibility in developing large sites.
The West Berkeley plan aims to expand the area’s manufacturing base to include more green businesses, R&D, and housing uses. … Continue reading »
Berkeley’s Latino community and allies came together Thursday evening to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the farm worker movement, memorialize United Farmworkers Co-Founder Cesar Chavez, and honor Dolores Huerta, the other UFW co-founder, a guest of honor in front of a capacity crowd at the Berkeley Adult School auditorium.
While the historical movement that empowered farm workers was not forgotten, speakers focused on the theme of the evening: “The State of Latinos in Berkeley.”
Latinos comprise just under 11% of the city’s population, but the community is underrepresented in its governance and overrepresented in impoverishment, speakers said.
“We’re here to celebrate the life and legacy of Cesar Chavez and reflect on what his legacy may mean to each of us,” Berkeley Councilmember Jesse Arreguìn told the crowd. “Cesar’s legacy was a legacy of service, fighting for social change….While Cesar made a huge difference, many of the struggles he fought for are still with us today.” … Continue reading »
Update 10:30 pm: By 10 pm Thursday there were no more tents in Civic Center Plaza. Protesters had left the park by then or thier tents had been picked up by public works crews. The sprinklers were on and about 20 police officers were patrolling the park. Those remaining from Occupy Berkeley were hanging out across the street by Berkeley High School.
Berkeley city workers came into Civic Center Park around 1 pm on Thursday and cleaned out the majority of the Occupy Berkeley encampment.
Workers from the public works department, some dressed in light blue haz mat suits, drove a big truck onto the grass and started loading abandoned tents, sleeping bags, chairs, and other items. The 14 workers were accompanied by about 30 Berkeley police officers who stood ready to moderate any clashes with protestors.
But the bulk of the camp had already vacated. Protestors had taken down more than half of the 70 tents at the park by Wednesday night, and another dozen in the morning.
“What we are doing here is a collaborative project to pick up trash and unattended property,” said Sgt. Mary Kusmiss of the Berkeley police department. She said police would not be dismantling occupied tents since it is legal to be in the park in daylight hours.
But the city strategy seemed very effective. By mid-afternoon there were only about seven tents left in the park. The huge mounds of garbage were gone and only ghosts of tents remained, mainly in patches of grass that had turned brown because they had been covered by nylon tents for so long. … Continue reading »
By Frances Dinkelspiel and Judith Scherr
Under the threat of eviction, protestors at Occupy Berkeley took down about 40 tents in Civic Center Park Wednesday night, preparing for the raid that never came.
As a 10 pm deadline to stop camping in the park loomed, many activists were packing up their gear and loading it up on trucks. Some had stashed their possessions in a safe place, but had returned to the park to confront the police if they showed up. Soon, only about 29 out of about 70 tents remained.
“I’ve got my stuff packed but I’m not leaving,” a man who identified himself as Cincinnati said as the deadline loomed. “I’m going to take the streets.”
But the desire to confront police and stand ground was shared by only some of the 150 people who have made up Occupy Berkeley. Maxina Ventura, who has been staying in the park off and on with her children ever since it started two months ago, took down her tent on Wednesday. She said she could no longer stand behind the radical fringe of protestors who seemed determined to fight police at all costs.
“We had to make it clear we were not a front for those people,” said Ventura.
Berkeley police, acting on orders from interim City Manager Christine Daniel, handed out notices on Dec. 20 that the city would no longer look the other way during the park’s 10 pm to 6 am curfew. … Continue reading »