The U.S. Geological Survey has downgraded tonight's earthquake from its original preliminary magnitude of 4.2, to 3.9 a short time later, and now experts report it was a 3.8-magnitude tremor. -more-
According to the U.S. Geological Service, a magnitude
4.2 3.9 4.0 earthquake rattled Berkeley today at 02:41:04 PM, with the epicenter located within blocks of the site where U.C. Berkeley's Memorial Stadium is currently being reconstructed.
If a proposal being developed by City and School District staff comes to fruition, a battered, vacant, one-story former cafeteria on a quiet residential side-street in West Berkeley may soon become Berkeley’s new City Council chambers—and meeting place for other City deliberative bodies, from the Rent Board to the School Board.
The project—estimated to cost $2.1 million—would trigger the essential abandonment of Berkeley’s 102 year old City Hall Downtown and the relocation of City Council and School Board meetings to the old cafeteria at “West Campus”, the School District property on University Avenue between Curtis and Bonar Streets.
The cafeteria, a dilapidated one-story structure, faces out on Addison Street between Bonar and Browning.
City and School District staff said at a community meeting Tuesday night (October 18,2011) that they have not yet presented the concept to either the School Board or the City Council for consideration.
Some of the neighbors of West Campus who spoke at the meeting characterized the meeting relocation proposal as “completely crazy”, “nuts”, ridiculous”, “not a good choice”, and “under the radar.” -more-
New: Occupy Berkeley Deliberates Reviving "How Berkeley Can You Be" Oct. 30; Calls for "Grade-in" and Lawn Watering Saturday--in Lieu of a March
Next up for Occupy Berkeley, a teacher grade-in and lawn watering at Martin Luther King Center Park behind City Hall Saturday noon. No March is planned. The following week, Occupy will homage Berkeley's beloved (and not) How Berkeley Can You Be? with its own, "How Occupy Berkeley Can You Be?" -more-
Editor's Note: The Norman Mailer Center and Writers Colony has announced that this year’s recipient of the National Community College Nonfiction Writing Award is Christopher Woodard of Berkeley City College. He'll get his award and a check for $5,000 at the Center’s third annual benefit gala on Tuesday, November 8 in New York City. Honorary Chair Tina Brown (Newsweek and The Daily Beast) and an advisory board of writers including Joan Didion, William Kennedy, Nobel Laureate Gunter Grass, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Gay Talese, and others will host a lively evening of cocktails, dinner, and an awards ceremony. The Planet is pleased to reprint the winning essay below: -more-
Having been warned by scientists that the Bay Area is due a sizable earthquake in the next 30 years, we're passing on valuable information [found on a postcard, author unknown] on what to do when that earthquake occurs. -more-
Launched just over a year ago in the San Francisco Bay Area’s East Bay, the 170-member social network – driven in considerable part by expertise and membership from the University of California, Berkeley – is among the newest additions to the Village Movement, a nationwide, neighbor-helping-neighbor effort that has spread to more than 50 U.S. cities and communities.
“It’s about being engaged with a lot of really smart people and trying to figure out what we want our community to look like as we get older,” said Steve Lustig, former associate vice chancellor of health and human services at UC Berkeley, and an Ashby Village board member.
Next week (Oct. 24-26), the Village to Village Network, a national nonprofit organization that helps communities manage their villages, will host its annual conference in Oakland. An envoy of some two dozen Ashby Village members will attend. Speakers will include UC Berkeley social welfare professor Andrew Scharlach, whose research on aging-friendly communities has contributed to the Village Movement’s success. -more-
I just read Steve Finacom's article [about plans to move the City Council meetings to West Campus] on the Planet website and I wanted to let you know about an item that [Councilmember] Kriss [Worthington] and I have submitted an item for an upcoming Council agenda about moving Council meetings to West Campus. In response to the fact that discussions have occurred between City staff and the School District on relocating our Council meetings from Old City Hall to a new Council Chambers at West Campus, and given the lack of information, and public discussion, Kriss and I have submitted the item for the November 8th Council agenda, asking the City Manager to provide a report on the West Campus plans, alternatives to West Campus, and discussion about what will happen with Old City Hall. The item asks that the report come back to the Council in no less than 60 days and that it be calendared for discussion. -more-
Both Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland for generations have celebrated what’s called “the marching season”, a time of the year beginning around Easter when various groups stage parades to commemorate dates and causes that they consider significant. Here in the United States, October has often been our “marching season”—some of the best protests decrying the first (or was it the second?) Gulf War were in October, as I recall.
This year is no exception. Yesterday’s various Occupy events in Berkeley and the rest of the East Bay, though serious in purpose, had an almost festive air consistent with the fine weather and earnest camaraderie of the participants. If you kept moving, it was possible to enjoy a good cross section of the available color at various locales. -more-
My Commonplace Book (a diary of excerpts copied from printed books, with comments added by the reader.)
For the memory of another is like a ship which one sees coming down a bay—the hull and the sails separating from the distance and from the outlying islands and capes—charged with freight and cutting open the waves, addressing itself in increasingly clear outlines to the impatient eyes on the waterfront; which, before it reaches the shore, grows ghostly and sinks in the sea; and one has to wait for the tides to cast on the beach, fragment by fragment, the awaited cargo.
—Glenway Wescott, novelist (1901-1987), from The Grandmothers -more-
Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–1859), famous for his Democracy in America, wrote about Americans, “I have often admired the extreme skill they show in proposing a common object for the exertions of very many and in inducing them voluntarily to pursue it.”
The traditions of community service and citizen participation have long been at the heart of American civic culture, through town meetings, local school systems, political parties, hospital auxiliaries, and national and local organizations. Many Americans act on the need to give something back to their communities. There’s a good feeling that can come from commitment to an unpaid responsibility that impacts others positively. Some activities that are considered voluntary provide compensation or remuneration in kind. -more-
Arts & Events
Around & About Theater: Central Works Premieres Brian Thorstenson's 'Embassy: A Domestic Diplomatic Comedy'