Tag Archives: Gopal Dayaneni

Could UC and Occupy the Farm compromise on Gill Tract?

People in Occupy the Farm work on the Gil Tract in Albany. Photo: Occupy the Farm
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Stranger things have happened: Maybe six months down the track a crop of winter greens will occupy a  stretch of land on San Pablo Avenue along the Berkeley-Albany border known as Gill Tract, site of a nearly two week standoff between the University of California, Berkeley and Occupy the Farm.

And everyone in this growing controversy might be happy. The saga over an often overlooked but special patch of earth began, aptly, on Earth Day. Now, both sides in this brouhaha in the normally quiet enclave of Albany appear to be making noises about having “meaningful dialogue” to facilitate a resolution that could include “shared custody” — though the situation resembles more of a spurned suitor (urban ag activists argue the university has repeatedly ignored requests to use this land for farming) than a marriage gone bad.

At stake: UC-owned land on the last parcel of Class 1 soil (considered the best for growing food) left in the East Bay that, except for a few months every summer when it’s used for corn research, lies largely vacant — aside from a proliferation of wild mustard, wind-carried trash, (often fast food wrappers), and, reportedly, the odd hypodermic needle.

Indeed, a private meeting between Cal representatives, Occupy the Farm advocates, and attorneys for both sides was slated for Thursday night at an undisclosed location to dig into their differences and come to a compromise over the 15-acre plot, the remaining remnant of a 104-acre area that UC Berkeley bought for $400,000  bequeathed to UC Berkeley in 1928. It is named for the family that once owned he land.(No settlement was reached, UC spokesman Dan Mogulof said at 9:20 am) … Continue reading »

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