• BETTER BOOKS Reader Carla Shapreau writes in to say she had the pleasure of visiting a new business in Berkeley where rare books are restored and the book arts are taught. “I have an old book in disrepair that needed some conservation, which is what led me to the Family Book Lab on MLK, which is also the workshop of book conservator Coriander Reisbord,” she says. Reisbord, who has been repairing and restoring books for more than 20 years, has just opened Family Book Lab which offers a program of workshops for both adults and kids (or both together, as the name implies). She teaches bookbinding, paper decoration and typesetting among other skills. Both that business and the book repair store are based at 1413 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, three doors down from Mr Mopp’s. Reisbord can be reached at coriander@corybooks.com

  • A ballot initiative to force the city to do biennial reports on obligations for employee and retiree expenses and for Berkeley’s physical infrastructure and capital assets appears likely to appear on the ballot in the November election, according to supporters of the plan. At the same time, at tonight’s City Council meeting a similar measure is being proposed by four councilmembers, led by District 5’s Laurie Capitelli. The council measure, however, lacks the penalties for failing to produce the report that the initiative draft contains.

  • Payback, it is sometimes said indelicately, can be a bitch. Jennifer Baichal’s new documentary Payback, opening this Friday, May 18 at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas (and most definitely not to be confused with the 1999 Mel Gibson thriller of the same name), takes a more contemplative approach to the term: payback, it turns out, can also be a restorative in the right hands.

  • Tonight the Berkeley City Council will vote on whether to adopt a resolution submitting what is known as the Sunshine Ordinance to a vote of the people in the November general election. Dean Metzger and Josh Wolf of the Berkeley Sunshine Committee believe the $2 million price tag that the City calculates is needed to comply with the proposed ordinance is overinflated, and designed to “convince voters to turn their backs on open government.” Read their op/ed piece published in Berkeleyside’s Opinionator section.