Enforce council kiss and make up rule
Volunteers who worked on Berkeley’s election have barely caught up on their sleep and already our two most notorious politicians are at it again. Kriss Worthington characterizes the election as a referendum on the mayor. Mayor Shirley Dean, in turn, accuses him of politicizing the School Board. The two are, in the words of Councilmember Linda Maio, completely dysfunctional when they’re in the same room together (and even when they’re not).
I propose a new policy for the next Council session: whenever either Shirley or Kriss make a snide remark about one another they will have to adhere to an tried and true, family peace-making practice: kiss and make up (including apologies). Perhaps their abhorrence for one another will keep them in line so this “punishment” will not have to be invoked.
Come on, Shirley, Kriss. Do something productive this session instead of the two of you trying to prove who hates the other more.
Group decries project
Ed. note: the council turned down an appeal of this development Nov 7.
The Daily Planet received a copy of this petition submitted to the City Clerk before the council decision and signed by 31 persons.
Honorable Mayor Shirley Dean and City Council:
We urge you to reject the proposal for 95,000 sq. ft. of office space and 450 parking spaces at 1608 4th street. As you know, 1608 4th Street is the former Courtald’s paint factory, the entire block between Cedar & Virginia, 4th street to the railroad tracks. This is a large former manufacturing site in a manufacturing district.
From a transportation perspective, this location is not a great place for offices, and this development is basically car-oriented freeway office development. Freeway intersections in this area are already at E & F levels of service (source: Fehr and Peers, 1999). In contrast to the City’s stated “transit-first” policy, this development is “car-first”. This development, combined with the proposal for a major corporate campus on the eight acre
American Soils/LBL/Winery site, will create gridlock in West Berkeley and access problems for the entire city.
The toxic cleanup plan for this site is based on the former owner’s plan, which did not include an underground parking garage. The Sierra Club opposes the 1608 4th Street project due to its inadequate toxic remediation plan and its inconsistency with Berkeley’s stated “transit first” policy.
Also, the City seems to be much more eager to create office jobs then the housing necessary for all the new jobs. Berkeley has added 16,300 new jobs since 1980 and lost 115 units of housing, according to the Draft General Plan. Over 290,000 sq. ft. of office space was approved in the ten months prior to August 10 (source: City of Berkeley’s Office of Economic Development). This is space for 2,000 workers. Have we provided housing for these 2,000 new workers? No, we have not. We should learn from the cities of Palo Alto, Redwood City, San Mateo and Menlo Park, who are finally putting the brakes on more office development. They’ve learned the hard way that excessive office development out of balance with housing leads to gridlock traffic and sky-high, unaffordable housing.
Everyone claims to love diversity in Berkeley, and yet diversity is being lost in this town. Office building in West Berkeley puts pressure on rents for low-income residents, small businesses, and artists, and creates momentum for full-scale conversion of West Berkeley to offices. Space for non-profits, artists and industries that employ a wide variety of people are being pushed out by the wholesale conversion to office space. Office workers have no shortage of jobs to choose from. Further development proposals in West Berkeley should focus on providing good paying jobs outside the office sector to existing residents.
The current rush to remake West Berkeley like Emeryville flies in the face of the West Berkeley Plan and zoning code, which recognizes the need to maintain a diverse economic base. To approve this development, the City Council must make the finding that it is “unlikely, under reasonably foreseeable circumstances, to either induce a substantial change of use in buildings in the District from manufacturing, wholesale trade or warehousing uses.” Clearly, the Council cannot honestly make this finding.
For these and other reasons, we urge you to reject the proposal for 1608 Fourth St.
and 26 others
all of Berkeley
Thanks for S&W support
By passing Measures S & W by an overwhelming majority, Berkeley’s voters have once again shown their solid support for our parks and playing fields, and have ensured that our park system will have adequate maintenance resources in the coming years. Because of this generosity, the partnership between the Parks Department and volunteer groups, such as Berkeley Partners for Parks and the Association of Sports Field Users, will continue to flourish. Thank you everyone! I’m proud to live in a city where voters care about their parks, libraries, schools, and services for people with disabilities.
Chair, Support Our Parks, the Committee for Measures S & W
3044-B Halcyon Court
Berkeley, CA 94705
Take time, choose the right man for the president’s job
The Republicans, the party of impeachment, had no reservations in tying up the affairs of Congress, the President, and the nation for a year. They can now wait a few days or weeks, if necessary, until the true outcome of the vote in Florida is determined.
This is not a time to be claiming victory and planning transition but a time to respect the will of certain voters in
Florida who have had their right to vote compromised no doubt affecting the 25 electoral votes in this historic election. If leadership is one of the most important qualities of being president, then let’s hope Messrs. Bush and Gore take pause and demonstrate that there is something much more important at stake here than the brass ring. Cooler heads must prevail.
The abuse of 19,000 ballots in Palm Beach County requires a re-vote of the Presidential race in that county. The next President’s ability to govern will be greatly hindered if the election is decided by voting irregularities in Florida.
A re-vote could be avoided if the 19,000 ballots with double votes for President were counted toward the one major candidate included in the double vote.
I’d suggest the proper federal body call a run-off election by around mid December and get on with getting on.
Most people thought, “gee, isn’t it one person one vote in this country?” Never mind! We don’t have enough time, this time, to get rid of the electoral college good and proper, so.... Do a run off under the present laws. And on with life!
But, having gone through part of what we are going through now and many of us leery of going through the rest of it and giving it to our children, let’s also call for a Continental Congress to look eyeball to eyeball at the changes the world has gone through in our dear nation and around the planet.
Maybe in due deliberation, around 2003. There, we would almost certainly get rid of the Electoral College. Then we might like to extend rights to animals and plants in our extended Bill of Rights, recognizing how tenuous thousands of species very existence has become, add a Bill of Responsibilities mentioning “the seventh generation” idea from our first peoples as if our descendants will have rights, and check into proper political response to other things about today’s world that are definitely way different from the good-start semi-democracy of the “Founding Fathers.”
This time maybe we could call it the “Refounding Parents.” I’m sure other people have a few ideas for some reassessments in the face of very different times.