San Francisco voters yesterday rejected two ballot measures that would have allowed a condominium project to be built along the city's waterfront. -more-
Unofficial Returns at 10 pm
Measure B - 8 Washington Street—Initiative
Ballots cast Percentage
No 58464 62.17%
Yes 35570 37.83%
Total 94034 100%
Measure C - 8 Washington Street —Referendum
Ballots cast Percentage
No 61829 66.51%
Yes 31126 33.49%
Total 92955 100 -more-
Berkeley and cities across the nation are fighting to keep their historic postal buildings. In Stamford, CT, the National Post Office Collaborate based in Berkeley won its first legal victory on Sept. 26, when U.S. District Judge Vanessa Bryant granted a Temporary Restraining Order preventing the sale of the Stamford CT post office. to the Capelli Organization. Capelli is a New York-based real estate developer planning to build apartments on the Post Office site. -more-
Police have identified a man whose body was found along the shoreline adjacent to Interstate Highway 80 in Berkeley Wednesday as a man reported missing a week before. -more-
Play takes many forms. Do you recall as a child the great fun playing games outside with friends? What games can you remember? I recall the fun of playing games like Hopscotch, Jacks, yo yo, jump rope, and watching the skills of other players who tossed marbles or played stickball.
We know that that one of the negative effects of the pervasive encroachment of electronics into the lives of children and adults, is the reduction of fun time spent actively playing with friends and as a family. This deficit takes a serious toll on personal health, socializing, shared group experiences, and better mental health.
We want to share some exciting group game events, and encourage parents to share the fun of games with their children, and to be inspired by exciting activities happening around the world that are happily stimulating more interests, fun, and increased playfulness.
New: Letter to the Berkeley Planning Commission Regarding Proposed Changes to the Demolition Ordinance
The Berkeley Tenants Union is extremely concerned about proposed changes to the demolition ordinance. As you may recall, you already approved changes to this zoning code in the spring. We think it might be a bit confusing that this law is before you once again, so we have tried to provide a comprehensive summary with links to all relevant documents in this correspondence. -more-
Bravo to the courageous Saudi women who are defying a government ban on driving. This oppressive ban is so unjust; it relegates Saudi women to a suffocating role as subservient members of their own society unable to venture outdoors independently. Predictably, Saudi clerics heaped scorn and called women drivers ‘prostitutes’. Only male drivers are issued driving licenses. -more-
Once upon a time, Berkeley was seeing an unprecedented wave of construction, with new -- but perhaps ugly -- apartment buildings popping up right next to our famous brown shingles and lovely craftsman bungalows. At the same time, rents were rising much faster than income. Thus Berkeley in the 1970s began the move toward rent control, and voters passed the Neighborhood Preservation Ordinance to prioritize neighborhood character and affordable housing over unbridled growth.
Today, Berkeley is again seeing a huge wave of development, with 1,000 new apartments being constructed in the wake of upzoning and other changes under the Downtown Area Plan. At the same time, market rents in the Bay Area increased 9.2% last year, according to RealFacts.
But the Neighborhood Preservation Ordinance is still the law of the land. That voter-approved initiative recognized that “new construction in a city as built-up as Berkeley requires demolition, often of attractive low rent older homes,” and so it called for any new construction to contain a decent proportion of low-income housing. Later, parts of the NPO were incorporated in Berkeley’s Demolition Ordinance (BMC 23C.08), which prohibits demolition of rent controlled units unless they are in really bad shape and they will be replaced with affordable housing.
However, the City Council majority has decided we need to ease restrictions on development further, so there are new drafts of the Demolition Ordinance. The latest of these drafts would allow developers to tear down rent controlled apartments if they are empty, and not require that they be replaced with units for lower income residents. The Berkeley Tenants Union objects to the changes to this zoning code, because easing restrictions on empty units encourages eviction and harassment. -more-
Editor's Note: The latest issue of the Pepper Spray Times is now available.
You can view it absolutely free of charge by clicking here . You can print it out to give to your friends.
Grace Underpressure has been producing it for many years now, even before the Berkeley Daily Planet started distributing it, most of the time without being paid, and now we'd like you to show your appreciation by using the button below to send her money. -more-
Dear The Berkeley Daily Planet,
We the People are NOT "Keeping Our Doctors, Keeping Our Insurance plans..... The RED Man in The White House is not going to keep your policy down by 2,500.00. America WAKE-UP -more-
Over 100 people came to the last Planning Commission meeting--60 spoke FOR the Zoning Overlay and only 3 spoke for the developers. At this next meeting, the Commission will finalize its recommendation to the City Council. It is possible that more will speak against rezoning, so we must be there! -more-
Donald Edwin Rasmussen, 96, died peacefully, surrounded by his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, on Friday, October 18, 2013, in Berkeley, California. Don remained active and independent to the end, walking daily, attending exercise classes, and enjoying people. -more-
The discussion of the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act, coming as it did around Halloween, reminded me that it’s time to extend my traditional Halloween offer: $100 to anyone who can prove that a trick-or-treater was harmed in any way by a stranger.
No one has ever, in perhaps 15 years, taken me up on it, for good reason. It just doesn’t happen.
When I first started making this offer, the media abounded in reports of razor blades in apples and similar devilish plots perpetrated on unsuspecting children. These were usually retracted—in fine print—some weeks after Halloween, but the damage was done by then.
Parents everywhere cautioned their kids to accept nothing but commercial candy, wrapped by the manufacturer. No homemade cookies, no apples—who knew what could be in them?
An occasional case of Junior sampling dad’s marijuana brownies was reported, but nothing having to do with strangers was ever proved. The useful Snopes.com exposed such stories as urban legends. Probably they were started by candy manufacturers. This year, as always, we offered kids apples along with the candy, and every year more and more have enthusiastically chosen the apples (I do live in Berkeley, after all).
How does this connect to the Affordable Care Act? This year’s razor-blades-in-apples story is how some percentage of the 5% of Americans who use privately-paid health insurance will be forced to change their coverage, even though President Obama said they wouldn’t have to. -more-
The Editor's Back Fence
Recent polls indicate that Americans do not appear to be concerned about global climate change or national energy policy. Understandably, most of us are worried about jobs, the economy, and gridlock in Washington. America’s narrow focus is unfortunate, because the decisions we make about energy today will determine the quality of life for our descendants. -more-
More often than for most people in mainstream society, psychiatrically disabled people do not outlive our parents. -more-
Arts & Events
Mrs. Dalloway's Bookstore is holding a Benefit Weekend for Berkeley High School!
When: Friday & Saturday, Nov. 22-23, 10am-9pm AND Sunday, November 24, 11am-6pm -more-
"To the barricades!" The epic tale of the Siege of Paris and the Paris Commune of 1870-71 is retold by Central Works in their first musical theater production, 'Red Virgin,' focusing on the figure of Louise Michel (Anna Ishida), one of the more famous of the bands of valiant women, mostly unsung, who took on a major role in the popular uprising and early attempt to govern a modern city from the bottom up. -more-