News

Public Asks How Council Voted on Appeal

By Judith Scherr
Wednesday July 30, 2008 - 11:40:00 AM

The public doesn’t know exactly what the Berkeley City Council voted on at last Thursday’s closed-door session. And it doesn’t know how each elected official voted. -more-


Building Heights Before Planners Tonight

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday July 30, 2008 - 09:38:00 AM

Downtown building heights are back on the planning commission agenda, monopolizing Wednesday night’s special meeting. -more-


BUSD To Unveil Latest Design to Replace Old Gym

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday July 28, 2008 - 04:01:00 PM

The Berkeley Unified School District will hold a public meeting Aug. 6 to discuss the latest design for new classrooms and athletic facilities on the south side of the Berkeley High campus. The district proposes to replace the landmarked Old Gym on Milvia Street, which houses the warm water pool, as outlined in the South of Bancroft Master Plan. -more-


Injunction at Oak Grove Could Be Extended 20 Days Following Appeal

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Saturday July 26, 2008 - 10:39:00 AM

The injunction preventing UC Berkeley from cutting down the Memorial Stadium oak grove to build an athletic training facility, set to expire Tuesday, could be extended for 20 days, following a notice of appeal filed Thursday by the California Oaks Foundation and the Panoramic Hill Association, according to UC’s press-spokesperson Dan Mogulof. Plaintiffs’ attorney Stephan Volker was not available for comment to confirm Mogulof’s opinion, but on Friday Volker’s office filed a petition asking the California appeals court for an immediate stay of project implementation until the appeal could be heard. -more-


Berkeley’s Fine Arts Cinema Becomes Medical Office

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Sunday July 27, 2008 - 09:39:00 PM

The ground floor of the Fine Arts Building on Shattuck Avenue— built on the site of Berkeley Fine Arts Cinema, which evolved from the historic Cinema Theatre, showcasing repertory films from all over the world—was approved to be converted to medical office by the Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board Thursday. -more-


Flash: Berkeley City Council Declines to Appeal University Lawsuit

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 24, 2008 - 11:45:00 PM

Despite pleas and arguments for an appeal of the city’s lawsuit against the university by an overflow crowd Thursday evening in the Berkeley City Council Chambers, the council went behind closed doors and “decided not to take action,” according to Mayor Tom Bates, who reported the action to the public. -more-


Flash: Mayor Reveals New UC Letter to Angry Audience at Post-Meeting Press Conference

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday July 25, 2008 - 09:39:00 AM

Boos and hisses filled the Berkeley City Council chambers Thursday night when Mayor Tom Bates announced that the council had decided not to appeal Judge Barbara Miller's decision on the UC Memorial Stadium lawsuit. The mayor revealed, after a council meeting which was closed to the public, that councilmembers had discussed a letter from the university's Vice Chancellor Nathan Brostrom on Thursday afternoon. -more-


Wednesday’s Robberies Bring Berkeley’s July Total to 45

By Kristin McFarland
Saturday July 26, 2008 - 08:47:00 PM

A rash of robberies this week brought Berkeley to a total of 45 this month, up from 25 in July 2007. -more-


A Primer on East Bay Races for the November Election

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Saturday July 26, 2008 - 08:46:00 PM

While hotly contested elections are expected for Berkeley city and school board positions, Berkeley is not the only area of Alameda County where November voting will take place. -more-


Judge Rules for UC Berkeley in Oak Grove Case

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 24, 2008 - 09:49:00 AM

Berkeley’s tree-sitters and Memorial Stadium neighbors who had sued to block construction of a gym at the site of the adjacent oak grove were dealt a resounding setback Tuesday. -more-


Lab Promises Answers on Bevatron Contamination, Demolition

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 24, 2008 - 09:51:00 AM

Fearing adverse health effects related to toxic debris from dismantling the Bevatron and the associated Building 51 at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and trucking the materials through the streets of Berkeley over several years, the City Council Tuesday voted 7-1 for the city manager to write a letter to the lab demanding information on more than 25 issues related to the demolition of the Bevraton. -more-


Council Says ‘Hosts’ Should Help, Not Criminalize

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 24, 2008 - 09:52:00 AM

The City Council Tuesday cautioned against the criminalization of street people when it unanimously approved a contract for the city’s new $200,000-per-year “host” program, aimed at improving the downtown and Telegraph Avenue shopping experience by targeting people from those areas whose behavior is offensive to shoppers. -more-


Oakland Deficit Far Worse Than Estimated

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday July 24, 2008 - 09:52:00 AM

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums confirmed Thursday that Oak-land’s current budget deficit is far worse than originally estimated—in the tens of millions of dollars, the mayor noted—and said that he is asking city department heads to prepare new fiscal year 2008-09 budgets that include 10 to 15 percent across-the-board cuts. -more-


Candidates Come Out for District 4, Other Offices

Thursday July 24, 2008 - 09:53:00 AM

By Judith Scherr -more-


Rockridge Residents Say No to College Ave. Safeway Expansion

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 24, 2008 - 09:55:00 AM

After months of deliberating neighborhood concerns about Safeway’s proposed expansion plans on College Avenue, the Rockridge Community Planning Council (RCPC) has announced its decision to oppose the project. -more-


Employee Charges Downtown McDonald’s with Discrimination

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 24, 2008 - 09:55:00 AM

The Legal Aid Society Employment Law Center of San Francisco filed charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Tuesday (today), alleging that the McDonald’s in downtown Berkeley unlawfully discriminated against one of its employees and her two co-workers because of their developmental disabilities. -more-


Fine Arts Theater Space Could Become Offices

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 24, 2008 - 09:54:00 AM

Chicago-based Equity Residential (whose chair, Sam Zell, now also owns the Los Angeles Times) will ask the Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board Thursday (today) for a modification to the use permit for the Fine Arts Building project to allow retail or offices in a space previously approved for a 4,749-square-foot movie theater. -more-


Picnic Rock Fence Will Just Replace the Old One, Owners Say

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 24, 2008 - 09:54:00 AM

The owners of the Sutcliff Picnic Rock in North Berkeley said a new fence will simply replace the old one at the rock. -more-


BUSD, City Differ on Moving Warm Pool to West Campus

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 24, 2008 - 09:56:00 AM

The Berkeley Board of Education approved a resolution last week to work with the City of Berkeley to relocate the warm-water pool from the landmarked Old Gym to an appropriate location, without naming West Campus as a preferred site. -more-


Work Begins on Washington School Solar Panels

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 24, 2008 - 09:57:00 AM

Washington Elementary is set to become the first school in the Berkeley Unified School District to go solar, once construction of photovoltaic cells on its roof is completed in August. -more-


Report Shows High B-Tech Dropout Rates

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 24, 2008 - 09:57:00 AM

The first statewide report on high school dropout and graduation rates tracking individual students revealed a high dropout rate for African Americans and Latinos compared to other ethnic groups, state educators said. -more-


Berkeley High Gets Federal Grant To Explore Small Schools Expansion

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 24, 2008 - 09:57:00 AM

The Berkeley Board of Education gave Berkeley High the go-ahead to move forward with a five-year federal Smaller Learning Community grant that aims to expand small school programs, provide students with a personalized college prep education and work on closing the achievement gap. -more-


Point Molate Casino Backer to Help Fund Cleanup

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 24, 2008 - 09:58:00 AM

The mysterious financial angel bankrolling a planned billion-dollar casino proposed for Richmond’s Point Molate has emerged from the shadows. -more-


Police Blotter

By Kristin McFarland
Thursday July 24, 2008 - 09:58:00 AM

Russell Street shooter turns himself in -more-


UC Berkeley Building Projects, Lawsuits on Regents’ Agenda

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 24, 2008 - 09:59:00 AM

University of California regents last week made key votes on three major Berkeley campus building projects. -more-


Planners Sail Through Pair of Downtown Plan Chapters

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 24, 2008 - 10:00:00 AM

Berkeley planning commissioners zipped through a chapter and a half of the Downtown Area Plan last week, including the potentially controversial section on historic buildings and design. -more-


Durant Hall Remodel Bids Due by July 31

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday July 24, 2008 - 10:00:00 AM

Bidding closes July 31 for a $7.4 million renovation of UC Berkeley’s Durant Hall. -more-


Council Extends Panoramic Hill Moratorium, Refuses Cell Phone Ban

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 24, 2008 - 10:18:00 AM

The City Council addressed dozens of issues at its Tuesday meeting, the last before its summer break. The council reconvenes Sept. 16. -more-


DONA SPRING MEMORIAL

Thursday July 24, 2008 - 10:01:00 AM

There will be a celebration of the life of Councilmember Dona Spring beginning at 2 p.m. Aug. 10 at Civic Center park, followed by a gathering at the North Berkeley Senior Center. -more-