News

Press Release: Bates and Berkeley Council Violated Brown Act in Measure S Process, Says ACLU in Letter

From Bob Offer-Westort, Berkeley Standing Up for the Right to Sit Down; Michael T. Risher, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California: 415 621 2493
Thursday September 06, 2012 - 02:38:00 PM

The ACLU of Northern California has sent a letter to the City Council, the Mayor, and the City Attorney alleging that Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates and city councilmembers violated the California Brown Act when they approved the "sit-lie" ballot measure S this July. The letter was sent to the City Council on August 28, and was received this week.

In a letter sent to the city, the ACLU stated, "As a result of these violations, members of the public and of the Council were denied their rights to speak about this controversial proposal, and the proposal was adopted without the public debate by council members that is a crucial part of our democracy."

According to the ACLU complaint, during a heated July 10 Berkeley city council meeting at which councilmembers approved “sit-lie” for this November’s ballot, the council violated both the Brown Act and its own rules by voting on the measure before public comment was completed. -more-


New: Berkeley Schools, the Billionaires, and the New Superintendent (News Analysis)

By Thomas Lord
Wednesday September 05, 2012 - 08:54:00 AM

Billionaires such as Bill Gates and Eli Broad (pronounced brōd) use charitable donations to school districts, schools, and education professionals to change public education policy nationwide. Berkeley feels its share of influence from these billionaires.

In 2003, the Gates Foundation helped Berkeley High School transition to a small schools model, a policy Gates was aggressively pushing nationwide. Today in 2012, the Broad Foundation has influenced the school district's choice for a new superintendent. -more-


There's Something About Tom Bates (News Analysis)

By Ted Friedman
Saturday September 01, 2012 - 01:59:00 PM
There's Something About Tom.

Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates rallied his supporters at his fourth mayoral run kick-off and fund-raiser, Wednesday, showing some of the style that has made him Berkeley's longest sitting mayor, ever. He's been mayor since 2002.

The elegant setting was Berkeley Mills, a furniture design workshop and showrooms on 7th Street.

There's something about "Tom"…which most of his constituents call him. A big glad-handing guy, even some of his most persistent opponents can't help liking him--even sixteen year council-veteran Kriss Worthington, who nonetheless made a last minute decision to oppose Bates after repeatedly clashing with him at council meetings

At his own opening event, Worthington said that the last straw which convinced him to run for mayor was the majority’s vote, at Bates’ insistence, to place a loosely specified bond issue (Measure M) on the November ballot. It prioritizes undefined street repairs over needed environmental infrastructure improvements, especially to watershed management, which would have benefited now-deteriorating Aquatic Park and addressed periodic flooding, particularly in South and West Berkeley.

But there's something about Tom, something that keeps him running for Berkeley mayor. His detractors say the "something" is a network of developers and other special interest groups. -more-


Berkeley School Board Chooses Finalist for Superintendent

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Saturday September 01, 2012 - 10:44:00 PM

The Berkeley school board has chosen Edmond Heatley of Georgia as the sole finalist for superintendent job that's being vacated by departing superintendent Bill Huyett. -more-


Got Free Speech in Berkeley’s Constitution Square? (First Person)

By Carol Denney
Wednesday August 29, 2012 - 09:48:00 PM
Poster girl. Carol Denney, Berkeley activist, who has postered Berkeley since 1972, posters Sunday in Constitution Square (at downtown Bart entrance). Above her restricted area poster ("Wealthy People Only) is a "No Smoking" sign.  The glop running down the pole is her own special-formula glue, shot from her spray bottle.

The “Ambassadors” in the Downtown Berkeley Association’s Block By Block program claimed on Sunday, August 19, 2012, that only fliers authored by the City of Berkeley were allowed on Constitution Square’s light poles. -more-


Rare 'Blue Moon' to Shine Bright Over Berkeley Tonight

By Sasha Lekach (BCN)
Friday August 31, 2012 - 11:15:00 AM

A blue moon will light up the night sky tonight. -more-


New: Berkeley Election News in Other Media

Tuesday September 04, 2012 - 11:27:00 AM

Two summer interns at Berkeleyside.com have done a bang-up job reporting how incumbent Berkeley councilmembers use their city-paid funding to support worthwhile causes. Kriss Worthington comes out as "most liberal", with Laurie Capitelli on the parsimonious end of the scale.

Noteworthy in Berkeleyside's election-to-date roundup: The Berkeley Democratic Club, traditionally the Moderates when the Mod vs. Prog grouping meant something, endorsed District 2 incumbent Darryl Moore over his two progressive challengers, making Moore perhaps the new Mod standard bearer. Not to worry: few if any BDC members live in District 2—it's a Hills outfit primarily. -more-


New: Wellstone Club Endorsement Meeting for the Berkeley November Election to Take Place in Oakland on Thursday

From the Wellstone Newsletter
Tuesday September 04, 2012 - 11:20:00 AM

On Thursday, September 6, the Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club will consider Berkeley offices and initiatives, and elected positions for a variety of special districts including Directors for BART, AC Transit, and the Peralta Community College District, as well as Oakland city attorney. -more-


Profiles of the Candidates for Berkeley Office in the November Election

From the Berkeley City Clerk
Tuesday August 28, 2012 - 10:15:00 AM

Names of and information about all candidates for office in Berkeley's November election can be found below: -more-


Berkeley Mayoral Candidates Forum on Sept 26th

By Margot Smith
Wednesday August 29, 2012 - 04:49:00 PM

Meet the candidates for Berkeley Mayor at a forum on Wednesday, September 26th at 1:30 PM at the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst, corner of MLK. Moderated by George Lippman of the Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission, the candidates will present their positions and discuss their visions for Berkeley. Sponsored by the Berkeley-East Bay Gray Panthers. -more-


Election Information: 2012 Berkeley Ballot Measures

Wednesday August 29, 2012 - 09:38:00 PM

Here the measures which will be on the Berkeley ballot for the November 6 election, along with the arguments for and against them: -more-


Berkeley's General Election Calendar

From the Berkeley City Clerk
Wednesday August 29, 2012 - 09:40:00 PM

Here are the relevant dates for Berkeley's General Election, which will take place on Nov. 6, 2012: -more-


Jacquelyn McCormick for Mayor (Opinion)

By Martha Nicoloff
Wednesday August 29, 2012 - 05:30:00 PM

Five candidates have taken on the challenge of beating the Mayor Bates machine. One citizen to sign up early is Jacquelyn McCormick, a person with experience evaluating Council actions. She has a continuing website called "Berkeley Council Watch". one of the few sources of reporting on local politics. She has attended every Council meeting for the last two years. -more-