Briefly Noted

Friday May 14, 2004

Reddy Family Restaurant Loses Liquor License 

The tap has run dry at the Indian restaurant owned by Berkeley’s most notorious real estate dynasty. 

Last month the State Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) suspended the liquor license for the Pasand Madras Cuisine and Gift at 2286 Shattuck Ave. for 270 days on grounds of “moral turpitude.” 

The restaurant is owned by the family of Lakireddy Bali Reddy, who is serving his third year of a 97-month sentence for his role in a family plot to smuggle Indians into the country for sex and cheap labor. 

Alcohol licenses are forbidden to people who plead guilty to certain federal crimes, said ABC District Administrator Andrew Gomez.  

In addition to Reddy, the other licensees listed at the restaurant were Reddy’s brother, Jayaprakash Lakireddy, and his sister-in-law, Annapurna Lakireddy, each of whom pled guilty to once count of conspiring to commit immigration fraud in connection with the family’s illegal activities. 

The suspension runs until Jan. 8, 2005. As part of an agreement reached between the Reddy’s and ABC, the agency will allow the family to transfer the license to a trust for the Reddy children managed by family members. Reddy, his brother and sister-in-law are prohibited from having any future ownership or managerial stake in the restaurant. 

They will not be able to apply for another ABC license for a “rehabilitation period” that typically lasts seven years, Gomez said. 

State Colleges Heads Make Private Budget Deal With Governor 

Over the howls of state Democratic Party lawmakers, the heads of the University of California and California State University systems reached a six-year deal with Gov. Schwarzenegger this week that promises to offset this year’s budget cut with increased funding in future years. 

The compact, announced Tuesday, calls for a three percent annual increase in state funding for salaries and other cost increases through 2006-7, and a four percent increase thereafter. Starting in 2005-06, the state would also provide annual funding for an additional 5,000 students at UC and 8,000 students at CSU. 

UC estimates it will have to enroll 60,000 new students by 2010 to meet the requirements of its master plan to accept the top 12.5 percent of state high school students. Because of the state’s budget shortfall, this year will be the first that UC and CSU fail to enroll all qualified students. 

The college/governor agreement also softens the immediate impact of student fee increases, proposed in the governor’s budget last January. Instead of a 40 percent hike for UC graduate students this coming fall, they will be hit with a 20 percent hike with a 10 percent increase in 2005 and 2006. 

Assemblymember Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) joined a chorus of Democratic Party colleagues in criticizing the agreement for not providing enough money for state universities. “The governor has gone over the heads of the Legislature to make this deal. I hope Californians will do the same and go straight to the governor with their outrage,” Hancock said in a prepared statement.