Berkeley Today: Thursday

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday May 20, 2010 - 02:29:00 PM

In the news today: The City of Berkeley approves fee increases for various city programs to combat deficit; fire at the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society kills 15 cats and Berkeley’s Reel Video threatened by closure. 

Council Approves fee increases to city programs 

Faced with a $16.2 million deficit in the next fiscal year, the Berkeley City Council Tuesday approved fee increases or new fees for the Residential Preferential Parking Program, Public Health Clinical Services and Environmental Health Division, estimated to generate $107,605. The city’s latest budget plan proposes to reduce expenses by $11.9 million and projects $4.3 million in new revenues. 

The Residential Preferential Parking Program is expected to bring in $83,605 with the help of a 14 to 15 percent hike in parking permits related to annual residential and in-home care, semi-annual residential and in-home care, one-day visitor, 14-day visitor and merchant permits among others. 

The annual residential permit fee will see an increase of $34.50 from $30 per year. According to the Daily Californian , the council delayed discussion about raising fees for the city’s Permit Service Center to its next council meeting on June 1. The proposed resolution will raise fees for building and safety, land use and planning and engineering and traffic engineering permits and projects and is expected to generate $200,000. 

Fire at Berkeley’s East Bay Humane Society kills 15 cats 

The Berkeley East Bay Humane Society suffered a tremendous loss Thursday when a fire destroyed a part of its building on Ninth and Carleton streets and killed 15 of its cats. A message on the organization’s website, says: 


Breaking News: In the early morning of May 20, a major fire destroyed a large section of our shelter. We lost our entire cat sheltering area as well as laundry facilities and offices. We are currently without water, electricity and phone service. We lost 15 of our beautiful cats that were ready for adoption but all the dogs survived and are being cared for in our kennels and at a veterinary emergency service. 

Our most immediate needs are: 

Monetary donations. Any amount you can donate will make a difference. You can help us three ways. 

- Online, press any DONATE button on the website 

-By phone at (510) 845-7735. Our phone system is being switched to Fliqz to help you donate. 

- Mail donations to:BEBHS, 2700 9th St, Berkeley,CA 94710 

Foster Homes for dogs and cats. 

Please Contact: foster@berkeleyhumane.org 

if you have temporary space for a dog or cat. 

Volunteers: In the immediate future, we will have major cleaning and repair tasks as well as animal care. Please contact: 


if you can spare some time to help once the tasks are organized. 

We will post updates of our needs on the website as we assess the situation. 

We want to get back to helping the community with homeless pets just as we have done since 1927. We desperately need your help in this crisis, especially with donations, to get us going again. We can only do it with your help. 

Berkeley’s Reel Video in danger of closing 

A letter by community members posted on Oaklandlocal.com informs readers that Berkeley’s Reel Video on Shattuck Ave. is in danger of closing because the parent company is losing money. Videots, another neighborhood video store in the Elmwood also closed its doors recently. The letter asks community members to write to Pixar urging them to take over Reel Video to preserve its animated film collection or to think of other ways to save the store. Read the letter here. oaklandlocal.com/blogs/2010/05/reel-video-danger-closing