The Berkeley City Council is set to consider a potential $20 million parks bond in conjunction with a 10% increase to the existing parks tax after a unanimous vote Wednesday night by the city’s parks commission.
By Eli Wolfe
As part of a new planning effort starting next week, Berkeley’s Parks and Waterfront Commission wants to hear from the public about ways to improve city parks, pools, community centers, camps and the marina. In recent years, the city has struggled to find enough money to pay for its parks, pools and recreation facilities. Several council members have been spreading the word this month about the upcoming meetings, but otherwise there has been little publicity. In addition to a series of three meetings with commission members, Councilman Laurie Capitelli’s office, along with city staff, will meet with the public about John Hinkel Park and possible plans for Measure WW funds. Scroll to the bottom of this post to see past related coverage on Berkeleyside.
Eight days after the raging Rim Fire swept through the Berkeley-run Tuolumne Family Camp, all but destroying it, city officials visited the site of the conflagration to assess the extent of the damage. Meanwhile a group of camp fans, whose number is swelling by the day, is pulling together to rally support and work with the city to determine what future, if any, the camp may have.
Update, 3:20pm: VIGIL PLANNED FOR 8PM TONIGHT
While the Rim Fire in central California continues to rage out of control, the Berkeley Tuolomne Family camp appears to be safe for now, according to the tweets of San Francisco Chronicle reporter Vivian Ho.
The Cal Alumni Association’s Lair of the Golden Bear camp evacuated campers and staff on Thursday due to very poor air quality caused by the Rim Fire which is raging in the Yosemite area.
Update, 8.23, 12:55pm: FIRE RETARDANT DROPPED ON BERKELEY FAMILY CAMP The Berkeley Family Camp has been doused with retardants from the air, according to Jerry Snyder, spokesman for the Stanislaus National Forest office of the U.S. Forest Service, who spoke to Berkeleyside around 10:30am. The Forest Service fire area map published at 8am today, Friday, shows that the perimeter of the fire has not reached the Berkeley camp.
Update, 6:50pm STAFF LEAVE CAMP: Tuolumne Camp staff have now left the camp, according to unconfirmed reports. A staff member spoke to a parent of a camper who had already left and said staffers were making their way through Yosemite. They described the sky as being red. It is unclear whether there is anyone left at the camp. Meanwhile, 110 students from Berkeley’s Maybeck High School have evacuated voluntarily from the San Jose Family Camp which is along the Tuolumne River, according to the San Jose Mercury News.