Because of the hallowed California tradition of “non-partisan” local elections, it’s hard for the infrequent voter to figure out which candidate to vote for. In Berkeley the local elections, which used to be held in the spring, have been added to the huge November ballot. As a result, a lot of occasional voters here will be confronted on election day with a list of unfamiliar local names and incomprehensible local proposals when they show up to cast their Democratic ballots for statewide offices (as we dearly hope they will). -more-
The Editor's Back Fence
UC's Media Relations Department points with pride to two young faculty members who've named MacArthur Foundation fellows, complete with YouTube videos.
Bay Area News Group investigative reporter Thomas Peele endorses the Sunshine Ordinance proposed for Berkeley.
Berkeley's Angela Arnold thrills the opera crowd at the ballpark on Friday.
Mercury critic gives Koh top marks, Berkeley Symphony orchestra a bit less.
Bayer Stays but Jobs Go, says The Bay Citizen.
Someone who's caught the city of Berkeley planning department violating its own zoning rules has put her findings online for all to see. -more-
Where Have All the Drugstores Gone? -more-
Some assertions by Councilmember Jean Quan in her Sept. 20th commentary need to be corrected. -more-
It’s interesting that the mayoral challengers have chosen to make this election about jobs, probably the one issue that the mayor has the least ability to influence. We are part of a regional economy that is well above the national average in unemployment, largely because of the bubble bursting in California’s overinflated housing market. This was not a city-driven phenomenon, nor will there be a city-driven solution. -more-
Recently, President Obama announced the reduction of our military presence in Iraq to 50,000. What we now need is a U.S. acknowledgement that the Iraq war was a hoax on the American people and the world so the country can move on. -more-
The city is about to solicit public comment on a draft of the Streets and Open Space Improvement Program (SOSIP) for downtown Berkeley. -more-
KPFA Radio, America's first listener-sponsored station, has an impressive history of groundbreaking journalism. Throughout its 61 years, the station has been justly famous for hard-nosed reporting, award-winning radio documentaries, cutting edge and wide ranging music, and coverage of some of the key events of our time—whether Iran Contra or the Iraq War. -more-
When last I counted there were over 100 vacant commercial storefronts in our community. That’s a total of well over 200,000 sq. ft. of storefront space that sits unused for any purpose whatsoever in Berkeley on any given day. Calling commercial realtors and landlords to pitch ideas for use of vacant space does just about NOTHING to change the status quo. In the last three years I have made over eighty calls to commercial realtors and landlords proposing innovative, yet practical and aesthetically pleasing uses of space for exhibits of artwork by homeless and low-income participants in the program I run, Youth Spirit Artworks. When I’ve been lucky enough to get a call back I’ve have heard countless POOR EXCUSES for why it wouldn’t be possible to engage a space that’s currently for rent…even when the property has sat vacant for three or more SOLID years. -more-