Category Archives: Comment
How can we end homelessness in Berkeley? The answer is more housing — specifically more affordable housing, according to Jason Budge, who argues the point in an Opinionator piece published on Berkeleyside.
Building more affordable housing — such as the complex currently under consideration by the city in the space where a parking lot is currently located on Berkeley Way and Henry Street – is the best way to solve the homelessness crisis and will save the city money in the long term, says Budge, a junior at UC Berkeley who has worked with the Berkeley Food and Housing Project as part of his minor in Global Poverty and Practice.
Nancy Humphrey, a soccer mom who drives to the Tom Bates Regional Sports Complex in West Berkeley several times a week, acknowledges that the fields have been a boon to local athletes since they opened in 2008.
But access to the complex is via the “insanely dangerous” Gilman/I-80 interchange, she writes in an Opinionator piece published today — which is difficult enough for vehicles to navigate safely, and is essentially impassable by foot or on a bike.
Humphrey … Continue reading »
Sure, San Francisco is a diverse, exciting city with good coffee, but there are several reasons why Berkeley is a more attractive proposal for startups, argues Alex Gourley, in an Opinionator piece published today.
Gourley is the co-founder and CEO of BitGym, which transforms ordinary cardio machines into fun multiplayer fitness activities. He and his co-founders recently decided to move the company across the bay from the city into a co-working space in downtown Berkeley. He believes many more startups will follow … Continue reading »
The U.S. Postal Service is set to list Berkeley’s downtown Post Office for sale. It’s a beautiful, landmarked building and the City Council opposes its sale which is understandable, but the city needs a position regarding possible future uses of the building, argues Dorothy Walker, a former member of Berkeley’s Downtown Area Plan Advisory Committee, in an Opinionator piece published today.
Whether the building becomes a community art center, a food hall, retail specialty shops, a museum, or a performance space … Continue reading »
Last week, Adena Ishii, a senior student at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, was mugged in the street close to where she lives. A bystander saw what was happening and did little to help. In an Opinionator piece published today, Ishii argues that we need to come together as a community to prevent this sort of almost casual violence from happening.
Ever since news broke that the U.S. Postal Service had plans to sell Berkeley’s main post office on Allston Way, city and state officials, community activists and preservationists have been trying to stop the sale. They contend the historic structure was built with public funds and should stay in the public domain, that the historic murals inside need to be available to all, and that the post office’s “financial crisis” is contrived. In an Opinionator piece published this week, former Berkeley resident John … Continue reading »
Ever since news broke that the U.S. Postal Service had plans to sell Berkeley’s main post office on Allston Way, city and state officials, community activists, and preservationists have been trying to stop the sale. They contend the historic structure was built with public funds and should stay in the public domain, that the historic murals inside need to be available to all, and that the post office’s “financial crisis” is contrived. In an Opinionator piece published today, … Continue reading »
As the city of Berkeley considers raising the minimum wage in line with related policy changes in San Francisco, Van Nguyen argues, in an Opinionator piece published today, that a higher minimum wage both in Berkeley and nationally would go a long way toward ensuring that all workers — from large restaurant corporations to small mom-and-pop shops — would have a secure base wage with which to feed their families, just as they feed us daily. Nguyen, who is with the … Continue reading »
On June 26, two pieces of legislation related to same-sex marriage made history and had an immediate impact on thousands of families across the country. In an Opinionator piece published today, Julia Hannafin, an undergraduate at Colombia University currently interning at Berkeleyside, talks about what this landmark event meant for her. “It held a heavy weight in my own heart,” she writes. Hannafin was raised in Berkeley by two mothers who were one of the first five couples in Alameda … Continue reading »
The city of Berkeley is considering raising its minimum wage. In his recommendation to the city’s Labor Commission, which has been studying the issue, Mayor Tom Bates asked the panel to consider setting special rules that could potentially grant an exception to the minimum wage for tipped workers. A final determination has not yet been made but, thus far in the discussions, commissioners have said they don’t believe tipped workers should be excluded from the new rules.
In an Opinionator piece published today, a local restaurant owners says those who back the idea have “no idea what they are doing” by raising the minimum wage without some kind of relief for tipped employees. “In the long run it will be pushing out opportunity as it financially squeezes small business, which will be replaced by corporate chains,” she writes. … Continue reading »
Last month the Berkeley City Council considered seven submitted maps that aim to adjust council district boundaries to correct for population and demographic changes across the city. The council voted to grant further consideration to two plans — the ASUC-endorsed student district map and a similar map designed by Eric Panzer — both of which would create a student-majority district with the aim of creating a new seat on the council for a student. In doing so, it approved a motion by Councilman Gordon Wozniak (seconded by Councilman Darryl Moore) to eliminate from Council consideration a redistricting map submitted by the Berkeley Neighborhoods Council (BNC).
In an Opinionator piece published today, Jacquelyn McCormick argues that the BNC map needs to be put back on the table for consideration as it is the only redistricting map submitted which was based on the dual principles of creating a majority student district and keeping neighborhood groups together under one Council representative. … Continue reading »
Last week, Berkeley’s only youth shelter closed its doors for the summer, as it does every year. Despite months of effort by the staff at Youth, Engagement, Advocacy, and Housing (YEAH!), few of the residents could be placed in the limited number of transitional housing spaces available. In an Opinionator column published today on Berkeleyside, Susan Halpern and Elisa Della Piana write that the debates about homeless youth in Berkeley intensify every summer precisely because of the shelter’s closure. They argue that this year’s debate on homelessness should focus on the need for a year-round youth shelter. … Continue reading »
More than 6,000 police dispatches are made annually to homes and business when sensors are tripped sending signals to alarm monitoring companies who dial 911 reporting an intrusion to the police. In general, the vast majority of these types of alerts, a percentage as high as 98% according to the U.S. Department of Justice, are false alarms. In an Opinionator piece published this morning on Berkeleyside, Pat Mapps and James Barter argue that Berkeley police resources would be better deployed on … Continue reading »