Flash: Appeals Court Rules for Berkeley Hillside Preservation--City Must Do a Full EIR on Mitch Kapor's Proposed House
Today the California Court of Appeals ruled that the City of Berkeley must do a full environmental impact report on software entrepreneur Mitch Kapor's plan, with his wife Freada Kapor-Klein, to build a house of close to 10,000 square feet with a ten car garage at 2707 Rose in the Berkeley Hills.
The court reversed a lower court decision by Judge Frank Roesch that an EIR was not required, and supported the contention of a group calling itself Berkeley Hillside Preservation, with named appellants Susan Nunes Fadley and Lesley Emmington Jones, that the proposed construction was not categorically exempt under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and that environmental concerns should be reviewed in an environmental impact report (EIR). -more-
On February 15th, the First District Court of Appeal reversed the Alameda County Superior Court and ruled that the City of Berkeley’s approval of the 10,000 square foot Kapor residence and 10-car garage proposed for a steep lot in the Berkeley Hills was unlawful. The Court agreed with Berkeley Hillside Preservation that the project is not exempt from environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act. -more-
Last night, despite verbal protests from a long list of civil liberties organizations, the Berkeley City Council voted, with only one dissent, to renew a package of mutual aid agreements with a variety of organizations, which were supported by Berkeley's police chief and city manager. Councilmember Jesse Arreguin, in conjunction with a group of commissioners and civic organizations, had proposed modifications to the agreements which were intended to address their deficiencies, but the text of his proposed amendments was not delivered to the council until 8:30 during last night's meeting, enabling six councilmembers to avoid going on record as supporting them. Councilmembers Anderson and Worthington spoke in favor of the changes, but the amendments failed, and when the final vote on the agreements was taken, only Kriss Worthington voted no. Arreguin said after the meeting ended that the contracts will be up for renewal in a year, and in the intervening time the council and city staff will have time to prepare desired changes.
The testimony and council discussion can be seen below, despite the misleading heading at the beginning of the video clip.
At 6:09 p.m. today Berkeley residents felt a magnitude 3.7 earthquake centered near Vallejo. -more-
People are back in the streets because of Pacific Steel Casting Company. In the past, it has been the issue of pollution. The workers have struck over the issue of health and safety (the same issue, as seen from inside). And now, some 200 workers are protesting unjust job termination, owing to intervention by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), in violation of the spirit of Berkeley as a sanctuary city. This factory remains a problem. There will be a march to publicize this problem on Friday, Feb. 17. -more-
Lawyers for 46 minority students and a civil rights group asked a federal appeals court in San Francisco today to allow them to go forward with their challenge to a voter-approved ban on affirmative action in University of California admissions. -more-
For the first time in many years a city wide gathering of neighborhood leaders was held Saturday at the Hillside Club The objective of the meeting was to increase contact, explore local issues and to have more impact on City government. -more-
Occupy Oakland protesters sought to draw connections between police actions at recent demonstrations and what they say is a history of misconduct by the department at a forum held at the Grand Lake Theater on Thursday. -more-
In response to concerns of police involvement in activities ranging from domestic surveillance and reporting, to the use of mutual aid to crackdown on political demonstrations, Berkeley City Council will consider changes its policy on mutual aid requests and to agreements with local and federal law enforcement agencies this Tuesday night. -more-
After yet another Caffe Med Berkeley Cop-Op Friday, to restrain a mentally ill man, it seemed the man was on his way to a forty-eight hour mental evaluation. But that's not the way it went down, as the Cop-Op devolved into a cop-out. -more-
My visit of a couple of years ago to a Zen place of worship has left me with some loose ends that I don't know exactly how to resolve. When I went there I had already practiced meditation of another sort, and had done this diligently. By the time I went to this Zen temple, I believe I already had achieved some degree of meditative attainment, and yet was not accustomed to Zen practices. -more-
Well, by now everyone in the Occupy movement is hotly debating "nonviolence" vs. "diversity of tactics", as recently so in, "Chris Hedges and Kristof Lopaur of Occupy Oakland debate black bloc, militancy and tactics," February 8, 2012, on KPFA in Berkeley, California.
Both Lopaur and Hedges made some critically weak, flawed, at times somewhat disingenuous or self-contradictory and, in Lopaur's case, often specious arguments in their radio debate. This so, even though I politically agree with Hedges, and although Hedges' recent commentary, "The Cancer in Occupy," seemed, journalistically, poorly supported. But, Hedges is dead on about, 'Go do violence under your own name, not the Occupy movement's.' -more-
What’s up with local news these days? How is it going to be possible, in the brave new world of the corporate future, to find out what’s going around home? Here’s what one Berkeley-based superflack has to say about it on her blog:
“Merging CIR with The Bay Citizen and Berkeleyside.com would be a northern California media lover's wet dream.”
Do we believe that? And even, do most consumers of local news know what she’s talking about? -more-