Tag Archives: John Caner
Tuesday night, the Berkeley City Council voted to change parking rates in three city-owned garages, downtown and near the Cal campus, as part of its goBerkeley effort to change driver behavior and make it easier for visitors to find street parking.
The multi-pronged campaign has been underway since earlier this year, and has included the promotion of alternative modes of transportation — via the distribution of car-sharing memberships and free transit passes — as well as adjustments to parking meter rates and time limits downtown, south of the UC Berkeley campus and in the Elmwood.
The pilot program aims to reduce pollution, congestion and drivers circling for a spot by using what’s known as demand-responsive pricing, which sets parking rates based on a supply-and-demand philosophy. The most convenient spots tend to be the most expensive and are available for shorter amounts of time, while spots further away, which are in less demand, are cheaper and can be used for longer periods. … Continue reading »
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 »
A mobile art gallery, numerous dancers, DJs, artists, art cars, and a host of surprises are in store when Berkeley Spark is held on Saturday at Civic Center Park. The 10-hour free festival will bring a touch of Burning Man’s Playa to downtown Berkeley.
Berkeley Spark was conceived both for “Burners” deep into preparations for the annual gathering at Nevada’s Black Rock Desert at the end of August, and for Berkeleyans to get a dose of the free spirits and creativity of Burning Man.
“We’re offering a space for other creative instantaneous collaborations to occur,” explains Kat Parkin, project manager for Berkeley Spark. … Continue reading »
A mayor’s office request to set Berkeley’s minimum wage more than $2 above than the state-mandated $8 per hour will be discussed at two city meetings this week.
The proposed policy shift has some local business owners concerned about whether they can afford the change, and how it might affect the city’s economy. Proponents of similar measures say they increase income equality and provide the people who earn the least with more room for discretionary spending. … Continue reading »
Berkeley expects to get $12.7 million in grant funding for changes to BART Plaza, Shattuck Avenue and Hearst Street that should make life easier for people using the Downtown BART station and buses, biking to campus and even just driving through the center of town.
On Thursday, May 23, the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) voted unanimously on an initial approval of the city’s grant proposals for the three transit projects. Construction could begin in 2015, said Matt Nichols, principal transportation planner for the city. … Continue reading »
A free, one-day festival on Saturday, Aug. 10, hopes to bring some of the spirit of the Burning Man Playa to downtown Berkeley. Berkeley Spark plans to bring art, music, performance, dance and workshops led by so-called Burners — Burning Man participants — and East Bay artists to Civic Center Park.
“We want to tap into all the creative energy of Burners in Berkeley and the East Bay,” said John Caner, executive director of the Downtown Berkeley Association, which is sponsoring the event in partnership with Berkeley’s Office of Economic Development, Berkeley Partners for Parks, Livable Berkeley, Ecology Center, Streets Alive and Berkeleyside. “We want to get some of that Burner energy downtown.” … Continue reading »
Berkeley City Council last night unanimously approved both the Downtown Streets & Open Space Improvement Plan (SOSIP) and a schedule of fees that will help fund the proposed projects. SOSIP aims to help create a more pedestrian-oriented neighborhood downtown, and will help guide the design of parks, plazas and streetscapes in the area.
The SOSIP is the first concrete action on the streets and open space provisions of the Downtown Area Plan, which was approved by the council in March 2012.
“I’m very excited about a lot of the projects put forward,” said council member Jesse Arreguín, whose district includes downtown. ”If we can do even a fraction of these projects, it would really make a difference in making downtown a much more pedestrian friendly and vibrant environment.”
The major projects identified in the SOSIP as priorities are: … Continue reading »
On Tuesday, downtown Berkeley was born anew. Billed as a fresh start, the heart of the city was relaunched to a capacity crowd in the ballroom of the Hotel Shattuck Plaza on Allston Way.
For the past three months, the Downtown Berkeley Association has been overseeing an ambitious clean-up operation in the center of the city and yesterday’s event was convened to present the results.
Anyone who has been downtown recently won’t fail to have noticed that the place is sparkling. Streets have been power-washed, often in the middle of the night, unsticking countless pieces of gum in the process, 8,500 lbs of trash have been removed, light poles, postal boxes and fire hydrants have been given a new lick of paint and fresh landscaping has appeared. Tree wells now overflow with blooms and 179 flower baskets hang from aloft. … Continue reading »
The Berkeley City Council last night approved the formation of the third property-based improvement district (PBID) in the city, increasing fourfold the funds available to the Downtown Berkeley Association (DBA) for environmental enhancement and economic development programs. A ballot count showed 71% of downtown property owners approved of the PBID.
“Now we get to work on implementation, not campaigning,” said John Caner, executive director of the DBA. “It’s all about making downtown a lively and vibrant place. It gives us the opportunity to accelerate and build on the successes we’ve already had downtown.” Caner pointed to the coming openings of the Magnes Museum, the Helios Center and the refurbishment of the BART Plaza as key building pieces for the downtown. … Continue reading »
The downtown Berkeley BART plaza is kind of a dead man’s zone. More than 18,000 people pass through it daily, yet only a handful stop to savor its attractions.
On most days, just a few people sit on the benches scattered throughout the plaza. Some of them are a little down and out and loiter for hours, talking and smoking cigarettes.
There is just one vendor – a flower stall – and no other reason to hang out in one … Continue reading »
The Downtown Berkeley Association (DBA) has hired John Caner as its new executive director. The DBA launched its search for a new leader in September when it adopted a new strategic plan. Deborah Badhia, the current executive director, will become director of operations.
Caner was one of over 50 applicants for the post. An 18-year resident of Berkeley, he has been executive director of Rebuilding Together Oakland, where he expanded programs and funding, serving low-income seniors and … Continue reading »