ENDORSEMENT SPECIAL: Yes on Berkeley Measures U, V, N, O. No on Berkeley Measure M.

By Becky O'Malley
Friday September 28, 2012 - 10:17:00 AM

Today we’re going to try to make some sense out of a passel of ballot measures which address attempts to specify how the city of Berkeley should raise and spend its funds. Really, the best way to figure out what’s going on is to look at all the information which will be on the ballot, and which is now on the city’s website. To make this possible, a full set of links is posted at the bottom of this piece in alphabetical order.

But for a quick take on what’s happening locally, we’ll look at these measures in a different sequence. Voters are being asked by the City Council majority to vote to raise money with two bonds and one tax, which we’ll get to in a moment, but first let’s talk about a pair of initiative measures which reflect citizens’ desire to know more about what the city government is doing with their money before they vote to provide it. -more-

The Editor's Back Fence

Should This Be Against the Law in Berkeley?

Tuesday October 02, 2012 - 10:17:00 PM

These sidewalk-sitters were enjoying the warm weather on Tuesday at Berkeley's South West Farmer's Market. Tyler, seated with his back to the side wall of Sweet Adeline's Bakery at the corner of 63rd and Adeline, is a tourist, in town from San Diego. We didn't get the name of the family resting on the curb in the same block, but they were clearly having a good time too. If Measure S passes, all of these satisfied market patrons would be subject to citation and possible arrest for the crime of sitting on the sidewalk in a commercial district. Some measure backers claim that such a law would be enforced selectively, but guess what? That's probably unconstitutional, and would certainly provoke lawsuits to test it. -more-

On the Berkeley Election: Two Good Pieces in One Day

Tuesday October 02, 2012 - 04:31:00 PM

Here are two good stories about the upcoming Berkeley City Council election: -more-

Public Comment

New: Berkeley Street Renaming Hearing this Week: A Proposal with Troubling Implications

By Steven Finacom
Tuesday October 02, 2012 - 09:45:00 PM
Dharma College, a private institution recently moved to Downtown Berkeley, is asking the City of Berkeley to change the name of the street in front of its facilities to “Dharma Way”.    “Harold Way”, has been the name of the street for almost a century.

This Thursday night, the Public Works Commission of the City of Berkeley is holding a public hearing, and discussion, on the proposal to rename Harold Way in Downtown Berkeley to “Dharma Way”, at the behest of the adjacent Dharma College, which owns one side of the block.

This proposal should be turned down. It violates an informal, but long, tradition against giving names directly associated with a religious or spiritual tradition to public facilities in Berkeley; it would remove a historic name, nearly a century old, from the heart of Downtown Berkeley; and it creates a really troubling precedent that an institution can move into a new space and almost immediately expect the City to rename adjacent public facilities in its honor. -more-

Measure R: The Name of the Game is POWER

by Former Berkeley Mayor Shirley Dean
Friday September 28, 2012 - 03:41:00 PM

With some twenty-four ballot measures to consider on November 6th, you probably are feeling a bit overwhelmed. At least Berkeley Measure R is easy to connect the letter with what the measure is about. “R” stands for “Redistricting,” but after that, it’s not so easy! You’ll be told that Measure R is just a matter of drawing fair and up-to-date district boundaries. Not so!! Be very, very careful! -more-

Berkeley's Measure U: $1 million for sunshine? That’s a stretch! And it would still be a bargain!

By Richard Knee
Friday September 28, 2012 - 03:32:00 PM

Opponents of Berkeley’s proposed Sunshine Ordinance (Measure U) claim it would increase the cost of city government by between $1 million and $2 million annually.

They don’t itemize that estimate; they just want you to take their word for it.

Even if it were accurate, the cost for each of Berkeley’s 130,000 residents would be at most about $15.40 a year or just under $1.30 a month.

But if San Francisco’s experience is any indication, the estimate is way off the mark. -more-

No on Berkeley Measure T

By Sam Greyson
Friday September 28, 2012 - 03:57:00 PM

My West Berkeley mechanic alerted me to the danger of ballet measure "T" some time ago. He has been in west Berkeley since the seventies employing a dozen or so people and believes that if Measure "T" passes there will be no room in Berkeley for a business like his. -more-

Please Help “Ruby”; Limited Equity Tenants Need Help

By Carol Denney
Friday September 28, 2012 - 04:00:00 PM

“Ruby” never believed our building manager’s personal animosity toward her roommate could result in her own eviction. Neither did I. We live in a “limited equity co-op”, where limited income tenants are supposed to have more safety and security than ordinary renters. But it doesn’t work out that way. -more-