A small earthquake occurred in Berkeley this morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. -more-
BERKELEY (BCN) Two fires that broke out simultaneously at homes a block away from each other in the Berkeley hills early this morning may have been caused by arson but there is no definitive proof at this time, Berkeley Fire Chief Debra Pryor said. -more-
Here in Berkeley, the zealously pro-business mayor and his city council majority have been using the claim that start-up businesses spawned by the University of California will save the local economy.
Their claim is used as a pretext to give developers a free hand, most recently in setting the stage for the destruction West Berkeley, the last part of the city where low-income artists and crafts workers have been able to hang on.
Mayor Tom Bates and his allies are bankrolled by the real estate development community, which provides the lion’s share of their campaign funds, as we documented during our days as a reporter for the Berkeley Daily Planet, and the Bates coalition has responded by opening up the city to their wrecking balls and construction cranes.
But a just-posted page full of charts from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the startup bonanza was dying well before the onset of Bush/Obama crash. -more-
Speaking at a June 6 lunchtime forum hosted by the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce Committee on Governmental Affairs at the Chamber’s office, Sam Chapman, Manager for State and Community Relations of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, offered an informative overview of the Lab’s ongoing search for the site of its second campus that included times and dates of community meetings to be held later this summer.
Chapman’s talk was free and open to the public and attracted about a dozen people, including Berkeley councilmembers Linda Maio and Darryl Moore, City of Berkeley Office of Economic Development Director Michael Caplan, a representative from Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner’s office, Elizabeth Jewel of the public relations firm Aroner, Jewel and Ellis, brothers Michael and Steve Goldin. The Goldins and their partners own property adjacent to Aquatic Park that is one of the six venues shortlisted by the Lab as possible locations for the new campus. -more-
In a low key meeting on June 2, 2011, the Berkeley Landmarks Preservation Commission wrapped up approvals of changes to one historic Berkeley home, commented on plans for changes to UC Berkeley’s Student Center complex, and heard, with evident frustration, a presentation on how a million dollar overrun in bids for the North Berkeley Library renovation had resulted in some preservation-related elements being removed from the project. -more-
Press Release: So Much for Digital Democracy: New U.C. Berkeley Study Finds Elite Viewpoints Dominate Online Content
Anyone with Internet access can generate online content and influence public opinion, according to popular belief. But a new study from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that the social Web is becoming more of a playground for the affluent than a digital democracy. -more-
Redistricting fights are hot and heavy throughout the country this year as states and other jurisdictions adjust political boundaries to reflect the results of the 2010 Census and make strategic preparations for 2012, a Presidential and Congressional election year.
However, if the number of people attending one meeting is any reliable indicator, interest in Alameda County Supervisor redistricting is almost vanishingly small in Berkeley. -more-
Among the 57 California counties that have GIS-formatted parcel basemaps, 49 counties provide their GIS parcel basemap data for free, or the cost of duplication, as required by the California Public Record Act (§6250-6259 of the Government Code). The other eight counties have been selling their data, with Orange County charging the highest price by far at $375,000 for their 640,000 parcel database. -more-
“On Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at about 7:33 a.m. a man had pulled over his car to make a phone call in the south end of South Aquatic Park in the City of Berkeley. He noticed a car that was submerged in the water just north of the roadway. This is the route that many commuters take to enter Highway I-80 eastbound. (referred to as Potter Street)” -more-
Not everything that goes on in south Berkeley these days involves drive-by shootings. There is some pretty neat stuff in my neighborhood too. I can't imagine living anywhere else besides across the street from the Berkeley Bowl. And what about the Ashby flea market? Or the Daily Kos or the East Bay Community Law Center? Or the Ashby BART station that can whisk me away on the first step of a journey to Antarctica or Iraq? Or how about story time at the south branch of the Berkeley Public library? Wonderful stuff. I rest my case. -more-
The Topp Twins, New Zealand’s beloved yodeling, comic, lesbian activists came to Berkeley on May 22 and won the hearts of a sold-out crowd that packed the Landmark Cinema to see the new documentary that celebrates the remarkable lives of these two “Untouchable Girls.” (Read the May 20, Planet review here.) -more-
A "closed case" that brought six gun-pointing UCPD officers to the entrance of the Cafe Mediterraneum on Telegraph late last Tuesday remains an open sore to sorehead Medheads. A cluster of Berkeley police squad cars stood guard at Dwight and Teley in case…in case. In case, what?
Sore or not, Medheads who want to know what went down will have to sift through competing eye-witness accounts and competing critiques of the police operation, viewed by some as wrong-headed, if not soft-headed.
The police say they were responding to a man-with-a-gun report and proceeded accordingly—storming the Med for the public good as if they were taking Iwo Jima. -more-