Press Release: Why the Future Availability of Affordable Space for Manufacturing, Warehouse, Wholesale Trade, Arts & Crafts, Recycling, Contracting, & Retailing Is At Stake and What This Means

Sunday March 27, 2011 - 07:33:00 PM

At their February meeting, the City Council took a 5 to 4 sense vote to open up ALL Protected Industrial Wholesale Trade and Warehouse space (an unverified 2 million sq ft) to Research and Development (R&D). WEBAIC has proposed opening up a smaller subset of this space (100,000 sq ft) so as not to create destructive displacement pressure on valuable industrial & arts enterprises and good jobs and more closely match projected R&D demand.

On April 29th the City Council will discuss this issue, public comment will be taken, and Council may direct staff to write actual zoning language that would open a Council-directed amount of protected industrial space to R&D. Whatever the amount, this directive will have far reaching consequences for the future viability of industry and arts, the sustainability of our economy and culture, and the economic equity and ethnic diversity of our community and region. WEBAIC has been in discussions with City Council members on this issue over the last 2 months. Your presence on the 29th provides the best chance of a positive resolution to this issue for our companies, studios, jobs, and for Berkeley.

Press Release: Driver Arrested after Evading Police

From Lieutenant Kevin Schofield, Berkeley Police Department
Sunday March 27, 2011 - 07:29:00 PM

On 3/18/11, Berkeley Police Officers investigated of report of a robbery and assault with a deadly weapon at a grocery store in Berkeley. As a result of that investigation, the getaway vehicle, a 1996 Honda Passport, was entered into the computer system as a wanted “Felony Vehicle”. -more-

The Public Eye: Understanding Berkeley's Budget Woes

By Zelda Bronstein
Thursday March 24, 2011 - 08:52:00 AM

Berkeley’s deteriorating finances were the subject of the council’s work session last Tuesday. The proceedings should make citizens sad and mad. Sad, because the people who will be hit the hardest by the $12.5 million deficit forecast for Fiscal Year 2012 are among those in our community who are most in need of support—the aged, the mentally ill and the poor. Mad, because City officials blamed the looming debacle wholly on “outside forces,” when in fact the budget crisis results in good part from their own fiscal imprudence.

First, a few more numbers. According to the staff report, the $12.5 million shortfall has two parts: a $3 million deficit in the general fund and a $9.5 million deficit in so-called special programs—specifically public and mental health, refuse, clean storm water, the permit service center and federally funded programs. In addition, the housing department currently faces non-structural funding losses of $.9 – 1.5 million. And this is just for 2012; in 2013 revenue sources are likely to shrink further. -more-

Berkeley High School's Response to Firearms

By Dan McMenamin (BCN)
Thursday March 24, 2011 - 08:52:00 AM

School officials are taking several steps to address two separate incidents Tuesday involving firearms on the Berkeley High School campus. -more-

Three Students Arrested for Bringing Guns to Berkeley High Campus

By Janna Brancolini (BCN)
Wednesday March 23, 2011 - 12:39:00 PM

Three Berkeley High School students were arrested on campus today in two separate incidents for bringing — and in one case discharging — firearms on campus, a school district spokesman said.

Two students were arrested after a gun they brought to the school went off in a bathroom, and the third was arrested a short time later for having an unloaded handgun, Berkeley Unified spokesman Mark Coplan said. -more-

Foundry Workers Strike to Save Their Healthcare (News Analysis)

Photos and text by David Bacon
Wednesday March 23, 2011 - 11:07:00 AM

A strike of over 450 workers in one of the largest foundries on the west coast brought production to a halt Sunday night, at Pacific Steel Castings. The work stoppage, which began at midnight, has continued with round the clock picketing at the factory gates in west Berkeley. -more-

The Future of Education in America (News Analysis)

By Michelle Melamed, UC Berkeley student,assisted by Raymond Barglow.
Wednesday March 23, 2011 - 10:54:00 AM
Waiting for Superman

Twenty, maybe even ten years ago, securing a job in the US economy without a college degree was feasible and commonplace. But as a college sophomore in the twenty first century, it’s clear to me and everyone I know that higher education is a must. Sometimes even that will not be enough; with competition more intense that it has been in the past, many will be lucky to land even an internship with their college diploma in hand. -more-

Press Release: An Examination of the Proposed Sit-Lie Ordinance [for Berkeley]

From the Committee on Government Affairs, Berkeley Chamber of Commerce
Tuesday March 22, 2011 - 08:18:00 PM

The Committee on Government Affairs, Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, will meet on Monday, April 4, 2011, 1834 University Ave., to talk with a panel of five community leaders about the proposed Sit-Lie Ordinance which is likely to be debated and voted on by the Berkeley City Council before mid-July, 2011. -more-

Press Release: Claremont Branch Library Temporary Closure for Renovations and New Construction

From Alan Bern
Tuesday March 22, 2011 - 08:55:00 PM

Beginning Monday, April 4, 2011, the Claremont Branch will be closed for approximately 9 to 12 months. -more-

A Vietnamese Immigrant Writes from Fukishima

Tuesday March 22, 2011 - 02:12:00 PM

Editor’s note: This letter, written by a Vietnamese immigrant working in Fukishima as a policeman to a friend in Vietnam, has been circulating on Facebook among the Vietnamese diaspora. It is an extraordinary testimony to the strength and dignity of the Japanese spirit, and an interesting slice of life near the epicenter of Japan’s current crisis, the Fukushima nuclear power plant. It was translated by NAM editor, Andrew Lam, author of East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres.


How are you and your family? These last few days, everything was in chaos. When I close my eyes, I see dead bodies. When I open my eyes, I also see dead bodies. Each one of us must work 20 hours a day, yet I wish there were 48 hours in the day, so that we could continue helping and rescuing folks. -more-