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Council Postpones a Number of Decisions at June 10 Meeting

By Judith Scherr
Thursday June 12, 2008 - 09:58:00 AM

No one showed up from the Firefighters Union to speak to the issue of putting a fire safety/disaster relief bond measure on the November ballot, so councilmembers decided to put off discussion on the measure until they could hear from the union at the June 17 meeting. They also took no action regarding a possible library bond measure. 

Councilmember Kriss Worthington was ill and left the council meeting early; he asked that two items be discussed the following week: the moratorium on cell-phone antennas and a moratorium on issuing new zoning approvals in the Panoramic Hill area. 

With Councilmember Betty Olds abstaining, the council approved a recommendation from the Peace and Justice Commission in support of the people of Burma that includes declaring Aug. 8, 2008, as Burma Day in Berkeley. 

The council unanimously approved:  

• An increase in funding for $15,000 to the Berkeley Food and Housing Project to support its Quarter Meal program;  

• To refer a request for $100,000 for the Options Recovery Program to the City Manager for budget consideration; 

• Helping the YMCA secure $16 million in bond financing.  

It unanimously upheld the Zoning Adjustment Board’s decision to approve a full-service restaurant at 2130 Center Street, the site of the former Act 1 and Act 2 Theater, and ZAB’s decision to allow construction of an addition at 3025 College Ave. 

Before the meeting, about 15 people gathered on the steps of the Maudelle Shirek Building to call on the city to prevent the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory from demolishing the Bevatron, scheduled to begin this month.  

Mark McDonald of the Peace and Justice Commission was among the protesters. He told the Planet that there would be 47,000 truck trips through Berkeley with debris that will contain asbestos, mercury and low-level radiation. The Bevatron should be sealed and allowed to decay in place, he said, noting that LBNL, unlike many other labs, has no buffer zone between it and neighboring residences. 

“Residents look out their windows and see these things,” he said.