Discussion about potential rival ice cream stores on Telegraph Ave. consumed nearly two hours of the Berkeley City Council meeting on Tuesday night, with supporters of the two retailers crowding the chamber. For the first public hearing on the city’s budget for fiscal years 2014 and 2015, and comments on the citywide work plan for FY2014? Less than an hour in a council chamber emptied of the public, but with every city department head in attendance.
But despite the apparent lack of public interest, a lively debate sprung up among council members about how the city should be using technology.
“We’ve cut our employees and we’ve cut our days of work and we’ve been able to maintain core services very well,” said Councilmember Susan Wengraf. “But as we continue to cut and try to be more effective we have to pay more attention to our technology department. This is basically the circulation system of the entire city. The key to becoming more effective in the future is to implement better use of the Internet and to get more efficient programs for whatever the city has to do.” … 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 »
Two separate groups of medical staff have gone out on strike in Berkeley.
For the ninth time in two years, a significant number of Sutter Health nurses, including many who work at Alta Bates in Berkeley, have walked out, this time for seven days, protesting what they say are highly unreasonable contract demands by their employer, as well as what they see are its attempt to “bust the union.”
Meanwhile, AFSCME’s patient care and service workers at five UC medical centers, as well as the UC Berkeley Student Health Center, went on a two-day strike yesterday. Health care professionals who are members of UPTE-CWA agreed to go on a one-day sympathy strike yesterday to show their support for their AFSCME colleagues.
Nurses began the 7-day strike at five East Bay Sutter hospitals on Friday May 16, and expect to return to work on Friday this week. The walkout affects more than 3,100 registered nurses (RNs) as well as respiratory, X-ray and other technicians, at Alta Bates Summit facilities in Berkeley and Oakland, Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, and Sutter Delta in Antioch, according to the the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United. … Continue reading »
The Berkeley High School Ultimate Frisbee team were crowned State Champions this past weekend after competing in the California State Championship tournament in San Luis Obispo.
The BHS team, known as Coup, beat the nine-time winners from Alameda in the finals 11-6, which puts them at 18-3 on the season and ranked 13th in the nation.
The team now move on to the Western United States Championships in Corvallis, Oregon, on June 1-2, and hope to bring home another victory as they faces off against powerhouse rivals from across the western United States. … Continue reading »
WHAT’S IN A NAME? A sign declaring “Berserkeley” announces Gilman District, being developed just south of Gilman on 10th, adjacent to the relocated Office Depot and across from the proposed Whole Foods Market. [Update: the developer clarifies that the marketing sign with Berserkeley is not the name of the development. It will be Gilman District.]
Berserkeley Gilman District has two parcels, a divisible 10,735-square-foot lot facing 10th Street for retail, and a 5,376-square-foot lot facing Ninth Street for specialty food outlets. “We are gearing all prospective tenancies to make sure they all are aligned with community, and have dual purpose of retail and customer experience that address active lifestyles,” Michael Fogelman, the developer, said in a press statement. According to Matt Holmes, principal of Retail West, which is marketing the development, ideal tenants would be “a highly specialized bike store like Velo cult in Portland that offers expertise, service in the cycling world and a brew pub in one store experience, or a specialty soccer or running shoe store that can start weekend group runs or activities from our project.” The specialty food annex along Ninth will have a large outdoor deck and feature a mix of restaurants, cafes and specialty food purveyors. … 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 »
Tagged Al Murray, Anna de Leon, Berkeley Property Owners’ Association, Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board, Brad Smith, James Jay, Jennifer Lombardi, Judy Shelton, Kiran Shenoy, Kristy Van Herick, Linda Franklin, Measure S, Nicole Drake, Patrick O’Donnell, Sid Lakireddi, Spencer Pritchard, Stand Up for the Right to Sit Down, Tenants United for Fairness, TUFF
Eucalyptus trees in Claremont Canyon will be cut down to make room for native species and reduce fire risk if FEMA funding is approved. Photo: Tracey Taylor
The plan by UC Berkeley to reduce fire risk in Claremont and Strawberry canyons by eradicating non-native trees has attracted both praise and criticism from neighborhood groups. Over 22,000 eucalyptus, Monterey pine and acacia trees will be chopped down, making room, according to the university, for native trees like oak and California bay laurel.
A homicide on Grizzly Peak Boulevard early last Sunday morning closed the road for much of the day as police investigated the crime. On Wednesday, police released details of the suspect in the killing of 21-year old Fremont student Alverto Santana-Silva. Berkeleyside’s Emilie Raguso also analyzed the 25% rise in robberies in Berkeley this year. According to Berkeley police, most of the robberies involve pedestrians walking alone while carrying a cell phone that’s visible. The opportunity to target victims in this position may be on the increase as more and more people buy smart phones and tend to use them on the go.
The future of the old Cody’s building on Telegraph continues to concern our readers (71 comments and counting). Ken Sarachan, owner of the building, received approval to open his Mad Monk Center for Anachronistic Media from the Zoning Adjustments Board.
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Federal funding to enable UC Berkeley to cut down 22,000 non-native trees in Strawberry Canyon and Claremont Canyon is proceeding through the late stages of an environmental impact review. A final public meeting on the project will be held by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Saturday, May 18, at Claremont Middle School in Oakland at 10 a.m.
The university’s project is a continuation of work it has been doing for the last decade on its land. Over 19,000 non-native trees — eucalyptus, Monterey pine, and acacia — have already been eradicated on 185 acres of campus property. The 22,000 additional trees expand the program to Strawberry Canyon and the hills to the north of Claremont Avenue as it climbs to Grizzly Peak.
“It’s a cohesive strategy that started over a decade ago,” said Tom Klatt, the university’s environmental projects manager. “We target the most fire-prone, fuel-productive trees that we have on our land. Those areas will have less fire intensity as a result.” … Continue reading »