News

Press Release: Final UC Report on Protests and Policing Released

From University of California Office of the President
Thursday September 13, 2012 - 12:34:00 PM

The final "Response to Protests on UC Campuses" report was released by the University of California today (Sept. 13).

The report from UC General Counsel Charles F. Robinson and UC Berkeley Law School Dean Christopher F. Edley Jr. includes 49 recommendations and synthesizes months of inquiry into best practices for handling demonstrations, civil disobedience and free-speech issues related to protests throughout the 10 campuses of the UC system.

The report is online at http://campusprotestreport.universityofcalifornia.edu/. -more-


Fire at Berkeley Duplex Causes $700,000 Damage

By Bay City News
Monday September 10, 2012 - 07:59:00 PM

A two-alarm fire at a two-story duplex in Berkeley this afternoon caused an estimated $700,000 in damage and displaced seven residents, according to Berkeley Deputy Fire Chief Gil Dong. -more-


Where in the World is West Berkeley? (News Analysis)

By Toni Mester
Friday September 07, 2012 - 04:32:00 PM

At a League of Women Voters meeting, convened in late July to discuss the West Berkeley Project and other ballot measures, a member asked for a definition of West Berkeley. Where exactly is West Berkeley, she wanted to know, west of Sacramento or San Pablo Avenue? The location matters, because when it comes to real estate, geography is fate.

For the purposes of the master use permit ordinance, now known as Measure T, West Berkeley refers to the manufacturing zones (M zones) west of San Pablo Avenue. The ordinance, a revision of the 1993 West Berkeley Plan, relaxes zoning restrictions there to allow for 75 foot buildings of greater mass (floor area ratio) on sites of 4 acres or more and permits new uses like R&D, biotech labs, offices, and denser residential development.

Mayor Tom Bates and other supporters of the measure say it will bring jobs and revenue while opponents believe that the up-zoning will spur land speculation and degrade existing homes and businesses. The environmental report commissioned by the City found that the main impacts will be worsening traffic congestion including ten failing intersections or freeway ramps. -more-


New: Unfunded Liabilities And The New Berkeley Police Contract (News Analysis)

By Shannon Brown
Saturday September 08, 2012 - 10:51:00 AM

The city has published a draft of its proposed three-year contract (we are currently in year two) with the Police Union. Unfortunately, the draft does not include all the demographic and actuarial information that is necessary for a complete understanding of its terms, but some analysis is possible and useful. -more-


New: Chronicle Covers Up 'Green-on-Blue Deaths' in Afghanistan

By Gar Smith
Saturday September 08, 2012 - 10:21:00 PM

On August 13, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on the tragic death of US Marine Capt. Matthew Manoukian. The Chron cited a Pentagon report that claimed the Los Altos Hills native was killed "while conducting combat operations" in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Chronicle reporter Henry K. Lee should have questioned the Pentagon's account. -more-


Fiancee of Chilean Man Killed in Berkeley Asks Public to Help Find Killers

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Wednesday September 12, 2012 - 12:42:00 PM

The fiancée of Adolfo Ignacio Celedon Bravo today marked the second anniversary of his shooting death in Berkeley by asking people to come forward to help police find and arrest his killers. -more-


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

By Thomas Lord
Thursday September 06, 2012 - 10:34:00 PM

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-


Planning Commission Special Workshop On MUP Community Benefits to Be Held on Wednesday

From WEBAIC
Friday September 07, 2012 - 12:38:00 PM

Three consecutive weekly meetings on master use permit community benefits for West Berkeley have been scheduled:

1. Sept. 12 - Planning Commission Special Meeting – Workshop On MUP Community Benefits
2. Sept. 19 - Planning Commission Public Hearing On MUP Community Benefits
3. Oct. 3 - Planning Commission MUP Community Benefits Discussion

The Community Benefit Concept: The concept of municipalities requiring developers of large-scale developments to return ''benefits'' to the community is well established across the country. In the case of West Berkeley, the Master Use Permit, as compared to the existing, underlying zoning, gives developers the potential ability to build higher and more massively, to have greater lattitude in allowable uses, and to request reductions in required parking. These entitlements are expected to provide significantly greater profits for developers taking advantage of a Master Use Permit. The logic of Community Benefits says that the City is entitled to require a developer to return a percentage of this greater, MUP-facilitated profit to the community in the form of ''benefits'', either through fees, programs, or other on-the-ground methods.
-more-


Press Release: Public Meeting for Proposed Relocation of Berkeley Post Office to Be Held on Thursday at 11 a.m.

From Augustine Ruiz, Jr., San Jose
Monday September 10, 2012 - 07:56:00 PM

A public meeting will be held to explain the proposal and hear comments on the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) proposal to sell and relocate the Berkeley Main Post Office, 2000 Allston Way Berkeley, CA 94704. The public meeting will be held Thursday, September 13, 2012, 11:00 a.m., at the City Hall chambers, 2180 Milvia Street, Berkeley CA. -more-


Nature Shows Its Right Angles

Story and photos by Gar Smith
Friday September 07, 2012 - 04:33:00 PM

Gertrude Stein's observation, "There is no straight line in nature," has prompted critics to supply a long list of nature's linear rebuttals—the path of a falling acorn on a windless day, the flat membrane that forms at the merging of two soap-bubbles, the hexagonal walls of a honeycomb, the edge of a crystal, a stand of bamboo. -more-


Three Other Towns Eat Berkeley-Albany Solano Stroll

By Ted Friedman
Monday September 10, 2012 - 11:46:00 PM
In the beginning of epic stroll. The Oaks, now dark, may come back as a brew-pub, according to applications posted on the theater door for food and wine permits on behalf of Gordon Properties.

Some other towns came to town Sunday to stroll Solano Avenue, a guesstimated mob, the population of Berkeley, Albany, and Richmond joined. -more-


Press Release: Berkeley Citizens Action Candidate Endorsement Convention on September 16

From Linda Franklin
Wednesday September 12, 2012 - 11:03:00 AM

The Berkeley Citizens Action Candidate Endorsement Convention will be held on Sunday, Sept 16 from 1:30-5pm at the South Berkeley Senior Center, 2939 Ellis Street at Ashby Avenue. -more-


Election Update

Friday September 07, 2012 - 10:02:00 AM

Here are previous Planet articles with information and opinion about Berkeley’s November election:

ENDORSEMENT SPECIAL: Berkeley Mayor and City Council 09-05-2012

Berkeley Heats Up For the Fall Election Season 08-29-2012

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 09-06-2012

There's Something About Tom Bates (News Analysis) By Ted Friedman 09-01-2012

New: Berkeley Election News in Other Media 09-04-2012

Profiles of the Candidates for Berkeley Office in the November Election From the Berkeley City Clerk 08-28-2012

Berkeley Mayoral Candidates Forum on Sept 26th By Margot Smith 08-29-2012

Election Information: 2012 Berkeley Ballot Measures 08-29-2012

Berkeley's General Election Calendar From the Berkeley City Clerk 08-29-2012

Jacquelyn McCormick for Mayor (Opinion) By Martha Nicoloff 08-29-2012 -more-