“The mission of Berkeley Adult School (BAS) is to provide adult learners with access to a learner-centered lifelong education in a safe, supportive, multicultural environment.”
The Equal Opportunity statement of the Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD), of which BAS is a part, declares that the “BUSD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, mental or physical disability, age or sex in any of its policies or procedures related to admissions, employment, financial aide, educational services, programs or activities.” (sic) One of six school wide learner outcomes is To be a life-long learner.
The Superintendent's staff has recommended restructuring off-site (like senior centers) classes so that they are cost-neutral. The BAS does not consider that it is eliminating programming when it reduces hours of instruction and increased fees. I solicited input for this column from several sources; NBSC Advisory Council president, NBSC director, Berkeley Aging Services Division manager, and the Commission on Aging did not respond.
The changes will be for the fall term, which begins in late August. All classes and all instructors in the programs for seniors and disabled will be affected. Life Long Learning Program Classes Designed for Adults55+, Adults with Disabilities, and Frail Elders are three BAS programs that greatly impact their health. Most are held onsite at senior centers and housing. There is already a $35.00 charge per class registration fee per student for each course.
Academically-oriented classes include America 1776, Art History, Living Planet, and Spanish Conversation & Culture at the North Berkeley Senior Center. Arthritis Relief, Feldenkrais, Fun, Fitness & Dance, Iyengar Yoga, Parkinson’s Disease Movement, and Yoga are vital to many participants’ lives. Moving Qi, for example, is being offered at J-Sei (formerly Japanese American Services of the East Bay) and at the Jewish Community Center of the East Bay (JCC.) Tai-Chi is taught at J-Sei and South Berkeley Senior Center, where Dorothy Bryant attends George Yoshida's Tai-Chi class and says: “I pay $35. per semester Berkeley Adult School fee. The class is two hours long— one hour tai chi poses, one hour stretching… 20 to 30 seniors attend regularly and some of them have been attending for years. George is a wonderful teacher… His presence is part of the healthful effect of the class.”
The Superintendent's Budget Advisory Committee’s charge is to present a budget reduction recommendation to the Superintendent, who sends his own proposal on to the School Board. The School Board passes a balanced budget by June 30.
It is out of sync with our community's views to label some people of more importance than others. It is out of sync with our demographics to disregard seniors’ needs. Students have already been lost because of the $35. fee. For years classes were free, then $15, then $30., then $35. While the costs may seem reasonable to some working persons, for many senior citizens and the disabled, a fee can be an insurmountable obstacle.
At the North Berkeley Senior Center, partial scholarships covering $20. of the $35. fee have been made available for students who declared a financial need. This spring, at the South Berkeley Senior Center five $20. scholarships were made available to students, enabled by the generous donation of a BAS teacher. She does not work at that site but was moved by the level of need there. Will the senior centers’ advisory councils continue to provide some support for their constituent senior citizens and disabled persons? The April Nugget reports that although South Berkeley Senior Center “Instructors [of new classes] are volunteering their time and expertise, a $3.00 donation is recommended.”
Write letters of support for this BAS program to the BUSD board members (at firstname.lastname@example.org and at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way 94704) and to Superintendent Bill Huyett. Emphasize the key issues: making the programs "cost-neutral" by having students pay the full cost in reality terminates the programs and abandons some of the poorest and vulnerable members of the community.
It is the BUSD school board that decides whether to fund the Life Long Learning Program classes onsite at senior centers. Their decision is strongly influenced by the superintendent's recommendation. The superintendent has stated that these are not programs of core importance. Many citizens are simply unaware of how many people rely on BAS for their wellbeing — for their mental and physical health.
Contact your Councilmember. Ask the City Council to urge the school board to retain and maintain these senior power programs.
Affordable housing in the U.S. and Canada is a commonly accepted guideline that usually considers housing cost not to exceed 30% of a household's gross income. It is not synonymous with low-income housing. Determining housing affordability is complex, and the commonly used housing-expenditure-to-income ratio tool has been challenged.
Public housing is a form in which the property is owned by a government authority. Although the common goal of public housing is to provide affordable housing, the details, terminology, definitions of poverty, and other criteria for allocation vary.
Section 8 tenants are occasionally confronted in Judge Judith Sheindlin’s TV court as she exposes their illegal use of this Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) subsidized housing provision.
The current Berkeley Housing Authority (BHA) is an agency established in 2002 whose members are appointed by Mayor Tom Bates. First established in 1966, the BHA now administers approximately 1,939 subsidized rental-housing units through the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher and the Moderate Rehabilitation SRO programs. It also owns and manages 75 units of public housing considered by many to be in disrepair. The BHA wishes to convert its public housing units to "project based" housing contracts.
Revenue for administering the project-based housing contracts is generated in exchange for selling the units to a private developer.
The BHA could simply retain these public housing units, but it is felt that HUD does not provide sufficient funds to fix up and maintain them. I am not alone in preferring that they go to a “non-profit” housing developer.
The BHA has been negotiating with The Related Companies of California, part of a nationwide real estate investment and development company. The agreement requirements include former public housing units remaining as affordable housing — they will get project-based Section 8 certificates — and the land under the buildings leased only to Related and continuing to be owned by the BHA or the School District as in the past.
Related Housing Companies was founded in 1972 by Stephen M. Ross, an American real estate developer, chairman and CEO of the global real estate development firm. It began by developing government assisted housing developments. During the 1980s, offices were opened in New York City, Miami, Chicago and California, and the company name was changed to Related. Ross also owns the Miami Dolphins NFL football franchise and 95% of Sun Life Stadium. The University of Michigan renamed its business school Ross School of Business after receiving a $100 million gift from him.
Satellite Senior Homes, Inc. was incorporated in 1966 with purposes to provide rental housing for elderly persons on a nonprofit basis, and to contract a multiple site residential complex for low or moderate income elderly. The central core building was to be sponsored by the Social Service Bureau of the Oakland Council of Churches.
Satellite Housing, Inc, headquartered in Berkeley, is a private company. Records show it was established in 1982 and incorporated in California. With at least 21 properties in its portfolio, it is a provider of “affordable, service-enriched housing.” Unlike many rental entrepreneurs, Satellite provides no tenant reviews at its website; its reference to “archives” leads nowhere.
Satellite Housing, Inc. owns and manages Stuart Pratt Manor and Lawrence Moore Manor.
Who are Stuart Pratt and Lawrence Moore? What are their connections with the Stuart Pratt Manor (2020 Durant Avenue) and Lawrence Moore Manor (1909 Cedar Street) Berkeley apartments? The “Manors” are two of Berkeley’s several rent-subsidized, Section 8, project-based housing facilities. Neither is public housing.
St. Stephens Presbyterian Church began in North Highlands, California, a growing community with new homes and businesses being established in the area surrounding McClellan Air Force Base. The Rev. Stuart Pratt (born 1900) led the efforts to establish the church. It was officially dedicated by the Sacramento Presbytery in 1953. By 1962, Rev. Stuart Pratt was listed in the Oakland Area Phone directory as residing at 275 Kenyon Avenue, Kensington.
The Berkeley property at 2024 Durant is owned by the Presbytery of San Francisco. Stuart Pratt Manor next door at 2020 Durant was conceived as a “Church home. Religious.” It was built in 1969 with a total of 44 rooms. Today, Stuart Pratt Manor includes studios and one-bedroom apartments of affordable housing owned by the Satellite Housing, Inc. nonprofit housing development and management organization.
In 1902 a group of undertakers founded the California Columbarium in Oakland. Later, “a young visionary” named Lawrence Moore was hired to manage the business and engineer its growth. In 1926, Moore took the step that would insure the future, when he commissioned Julia Morgan to design an expanded facility. The Chapel of the Chimes is considered Morgan’s masterwork by some.
The 1924 City Directory describes Lawrence Moore, the Treasurer and manager of the California Crematorium and member of the Piedmont City Council. He was a prominent businessperson, Vice President and manager of the Chapel of the Chimes mortuary, member of several charitable clubs, and mayor of Piedmont from 1939-1946. His membership in the First Congregational Church of Berkeley likely influenced his support for Lawrence Moore Manor.
In 1966 the property at 1909 Cedar Street was acquired by Satellite Senior Homes, with HUD Section 8 rent subsidies. In 1970 a variance was granted to Satellite Senior Homes/University Christian Church to allow construction of a building to house senior citizens, and a 46-unit multiple dwelling designed for occupancy restricted to elderly persons.
Lawrence Moore Manor is Section 8 project-based rental housing owned and managed by Satellite, which administers HUD Section 8 rent subsidies to elderly and disabled tenants.
The property was developed by Satellite Housing in 1972 using HUD’s Section 236(J)(1) program, a mortgage insurance program, as well as the Section 202 program, which provides capital funding and an operating subsidy, the Housing Assistance Payment.
For many years, a portrait of Lawrence Moore graced the area just off the lobby of Lawrence Moore Manor. Recently it was removed by Satellite Housing, Inc. management.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Be sure to confirm. Readers are welcome to share by email news of future events and deadlines that may interest boomers, seniors and elders. Daytime, free, and Bay Area events preferred. email@example.com.
Fridays, April 6-July 13. 10 A.M. Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda. Conversiamo in Italiano. Learn Italian with instructor Donatella Zepplin. 510-747-7510.
Saturday, April 7. Spring Bingo Event—Hot Cross Buns & Colored Eggs
provided by the Mastick Senior Center Advisory Board and the Bingo Committee to be enjoyed by Bingo participants. 1155 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda. 510-747-7510.
Saturday, April 7. 1 – 5 P.M. Berkeley Public Library North Branch, 1170 The Alameda at Hopkins. Grand Reopening Event. Ribbon cutting ceremony planned with local and state officials, music and refreshments. Everyone invited. Library services begin at 2 P.M. (The final open day for BranchVan Service at Live Oak Park was Saturday, March 24, 2012.) Details at www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org.
Saturday, April 7. 2-3 P.M. Artist's Reception @ Central Berkeley Public Library, 2090 Kittredge. Photographer Satoko Myodo exhibits digital color prints of Tilden Park from her Bay Area Nature series. All are invited to meet the artist and discuss her work. 510-981-6100.
Monday, April 9. 2:30-3:30 P.M. North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst. “Receive help with basic technology needs from UCB students…. Also Wednesday, April 11, 12:30-2 P.M. and Friday, April 13, 10:30-11:30 P.M. 510-981-5190.
Monday, April 9. 11:30 – 1:30 A.M. Older Adult Passover Seder. Jewish Community Center of the East Bay, Berkeley Branch 1414 Walnut Street. Kosher meal will include chicken and matzo ball soup, gefilte fish with horseradish sauce, fresh green salad w/ hard boiled eggs, roasted chicken, matzh kugel, and wine. The Seder will be led by Ron Feldman. $10 JCC East Bay Member. $13 Non-Member. RSVP was by March 29. Contact: Front Desk Phone: 510-848-0237. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, April 9 - Thursday, June 7. Alameda Adult School instructors provide computer instruction in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere at Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda. Classes are $40 per class. Students can register on-line at www.alameda-adult-school.org, the Alameda Adult School (2250 Central Avenue, Room 160), or Mastick Senior Center. Classes are available to individuals 50+ years old. Fliers outlining the spring term classes are available in the Lobby and Room C (Computer Lab). 510-747-7510.
Tuesday, April 10. 1 P.M. Alameda Safety & Accessibility Program. Ruth Ann Crawford will explore the benefits of Alameda Fire Department’s Safety and Accessibility Program available for low-income Alameda residents age 62+ or
disabled. Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda. 510-747-7510.
Tuesday, April 10. 7-9 P.M. Albany branch of the Alameda County Library, 1247 Marin Av. Poetry Night. Featured Poet is Barry Goldensohn. Followed by Open Mic. Contact: Dan Hess email@example.com
Tuesday, April 10. 7 – 8:30 P.M. Temple Isaiah, 3800 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette.
Free workshop by experienced Elder Care Professionals who will provide tips, suggestions, and resources for adult children concerned about their aging parents. All are welcome! Same content, two locations and dates to choose from: Also Thursday, May 3, 5:30-7 P.M. JFCS/East Bay, Shattuck Avenue, Suite 210, Berkeley. RSVP to Rob Tufel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 510- 558-7800 and indicate which workshop you will be attending.
Wednesday, April 11. 12:15-1 P.M. Noon concert. UC,B Music Dept. Hertz Concert Hall. New Music by UC Berkeley graduate student composers, featuring Eco Ensemble resident professional new music ensemble directed by David Milnes. Lily Chen: Soundscape for violin, percussion, and piano. Andrés Cremisini: violin, cello, and snare drum. Ilya Y. Rostovtsev: Understatements for stereo fixed media. Tickets not required. Event Contact 510-642-4864.
Thursday, April 12. Annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon. Volunteers will be celebrated for their contributions at the hosted by the Mastick Senior Center Advisory Board. Last year, volunteers donated 22,000 hours of their time, creating a “home away from home” for our 3,300 members. National Volunteer Week is April 15-21. Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Av., Alameda. 510-747-7510.
Thursday, April 12. 7:00 P.M. El Cerrito Library, 6510 Stockton Avenue. Folk singer Tim Holt performs and discusses our heritage of traditional songs and sea chanteys. Sponsored by the Friends of the El Cerrito Library. 510-526-7512.
Friday, April 13. 8:30 A.M. The Annual Thrift Shop Fashion and Spring Luncheon, Good Ship Lollipop. Tickets go on sale at 8:30 A.M. today in the Mastick Senior Center Office, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda. The fashion show is scheduled for Thursday, May 10, in the Mastick Social Hall. Cost of the luncheon is $16 per person. This event guarantees good food, fashion, and fun! All proceeds support Mastick Senior Center. 510-747-7510.
Friday, April 13. 12:15-1 P.M. UCB Music Dept. Noon concert. Department of Music students perform chamber music. Hertz Concert Hall. Free. 510-642-4864
Saturday, April 14. Thrift Shop Half-Off Special. The Thrift Shop Committee is offering a half-off sale (except jewelry and electric carts) to celebrate the IRS tax deadline. All proceeds support Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Ave., Alameda. 510-747-7510.
Saturday, April 14. 2-3 P.M. Be an expert— Genealogy. Berkeley Public Library Central, 2090 Kittredge. Free introduction to online genealogy tools and Ancestry.com, a database of searchable census tracts, immigration records, photos+. 510-981-6100.
Monday, April 16. 12:30-1:30 P.M. Library Brown Bag Lunch Speaker's Forum: Richard Schwartz discusses "The Amazing Volunteer Relief Effort in the East Bay After the 1906 Earthquake." Go to www.richardschwartz.info for more information. The forum is co-sponsored by the Albany YMCA and the Albany Library, 1247 Marin Av..
Contact: Ronnie Davis. 510-526-3720 x16.
Monday, April 16. 7 P.M. Kensington Library, 61 Arlington Av. Author Panel: So You Want to Write a Book? Four local authors discussing their writing journeys. Free. 510-524-3043.
Monday, April 16. 9:30 A.M. – Noon. Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Ave., Alameda. Join Rose O’Neill, custom jewelry designer. Beads and tools will be supplied unless you would like to redesign beads already in your possession. Cost is $15 per person. Sign up in the Mastick Office. 510-747-7510.
Mondays, April 16, 23, 30 and May 7 and 14. 10 – 11:30 A.M. Free. Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Ave., Alameda. Pain Management 201: How Thoughts and Management Imagination Relieve Pain. 5-week class will provide 2 types of tools to assist you in managing physical pain. Elizabeth Dandenell, LMFT and Jeri Ryan, Ph.D. have used these tools with many people. They have also facilitated Pain Management 102 (Guided Imagery), and Pain Management 103 (Relieve Your Pain by Adjusting Your Thoughts) at Mastick Center. Sign up in the Mastick Senior Center Office. Free. 510-747-7510.
Tuesday, April 17. 6:30 P.M. Oakland Public Library, Rockridge Branch, 5366 College Ave.. Vegan Outreach presents Jack Norris, author of Vegan for Life, speaking about the health benefits of a plant-based diet. Program is part of Oakland Veg Week, April 15-21. Linda Jolivet, 510-597-5017.
Tuesday, April 17. 1 P.M. Stress Management with health educator Susan MacLaughlin. 2-part part workshop. In Part 2 (April 17), learn to use guided imagery to remember a state of perfect wellness. This powerful tool is helpful for stress reduction and self-healing. Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda. 510-747-7510.
Wednesday, April 18. 12:15-1 P.M. Noon concert: Music Dept. event. Hertz Concert Hall. Songs of Persephone. Soprano Alana Mailes performs 17th-century Italian and French opera arias and cantatas by Caccini, Peri, Monteverdi, Rossi, Lully, Charpentier. Tickets not required. Event Contact 510-642-4864.
Wednesday, April 18. 1:30 P.M. Berkeley Commission on Aging. South Berkeley Senior Center, 2939 Ellis Street. Be sure to confirm. 510-981-5178.
Wednesday, April 18. 7-8 P.M. Albany branch of the Alameda County Library, 1247 Marin Av. Adult Evening Book Group: Nadifa Mohamed's Black Mamba Boy. Rosalie Gonzales facilitates discussion. Come to one meeting, or all meetings. Books are available at the Library. Contact: Ronnie Davis 510-526-3720 x16.
Thursday, April 19. 10 A.M. – 12 Noon. Dr. Alfred Chong will provide free dentistry, by appointment only. To make an appointment, visit the Mastick Senior Center office, 1155 Santa Clara Ave., Alameda or call 510-747-7506.
Saturday April 21. 1-5 P.M. Oakland Public Library Rockridge Branch, 5366 College Ave.. California Writers' Club, a workshop open to all writers. Contact: Anne Fox 510-420-8775.
Tuesday, April 24. 1-2:30 P.M. James Felton, Ph.D., associate director, UCD Cancer Center, presents “Why We Get Cancer.” Dr. Felton will explore cell division and tumor growth; the affects of diet and environmental exposure; and the role of genetics on developing cancer. This Cal State East Bay Scholar-Olli program is sponsored by the MSCAB. Mastick Senior Center office, 1155 Santa Clara Ave., Alameda. Sign up in the Mastick Office or call 510-747-7506.
Tuesday, April 24. 3-4 P.M. Berkeley Public Library Central, 2090 Kittredge. Tea and Cookies at the Library. A free monthly book club for people who want to share the books they have read. 510-981-6100. See also May 22.
Wednesday, April 25. 12:15-1 P.M. UC,B Music Dept. Gamelan Music of Java and Bali performed by classes directed by Midiyanto and I Dewa Putu Berata with Ben Brinner and Lisa Gold. Hertz Concert Hall. Free. 510-642-4864.
Wednesday, April 25. 1:30-2:30 P.M. Great Books Discussion Group: William Butler Yeats’ poem, Lapis Luzuli. Albany branch of the Alameda County Library, 1247 Marin Av. Rosalie Gonzales facilitates the discussion. Come to one meeting, or all meetings. Books are available at the Library. Contact: Ronnie Davis 510-526-3720 x16.
Wednesday, April 25. 1:30 P.M. Berkeley Gray Panthers. Monthly meeting at North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst. 510-981-5190, 548-9696, 486-8010.
Wednesday, May 2. 12:15-1 P.M. UC,B Music Dept.: Renaissance Music, A Cappella.
Perfect Fifth, Mark Sumner, director, is an a cappella choir in UC Choral Ensembles specializing in medieval and Renaissance music—sacred and secular, as well as contemporary art music. Hertz Concert Hall. Free. 510-642-4864.
Thursday, May 3. 9 A.M. – 1 P.M. 6th Annual Senior Health and Wellness Resource Fair. Kenneth C. Aitken Senior and Community Center, 17800 Redwood Road, Castro Valley. 510-881-6738.
Thursday, May 3. 1:30 P.M. Albany Library, 1247 Marin Av. Cherisse Baptiste from non-profit ECHO Housing will introduce Alameda County Library system audiences to the workings of the reverse mortgage, which is a loan against accumulated home equity that provides cash advances to certain homeowners at least 62 years of age. This free program is for older adults. 510-526-3720. For dates of this presentation at libraries throughout the system, call Patricia Ruscher, Older Adult Services, 510-745-1491
Saturday, May 5. 1 P.M. Ribbon cutting ceremony. Music, Refreshments. Claremont Library Branch Library Reopening. 2940 Benvenue Ave. Library services resume at 2 P.M. Free. 510-981-6100.
Monday, May 7. 6:30 P.M. Castoffs knitting group. Kensington Library, 61 Arlington Av. An evening of knitting, show and tell, and yarn exchange. All levels are welcome and help will be provided. Free. 510-524-3043.
Thursday, May 10. 7-8:45 P.M. Cafe Literario at West Berkeley Public Library, 1125 University Ave. Facilitated Spanish language book discussion. May title: La Casa de Dostoievsky by Jorge Edwards. Free. 510-981-6270.
Thursday, May 10. Annual Spring Luncheon & Fashion Show. The Annual Thrift Shop Fashion and Spring Luncheon, Good Ship Lollipop. Tickets went on sale Friday, April 13, at 8:30 A.M. in the Mastick Senior Center Office, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda. Cost of the luncheon is $16 per person. This event guarantees good food, fashion, and fun! All proceeds support Mastick Senior Center. 510-747-7510.
Friday, May 11. 8:30 A.M. – 2:30 P.M. The African American Caregiving and Wellness Forum V: The End of Alzheimer’s Starts With Me. West Oakland senior Center, 1724 Adeline Street. Registration required by April 27. 1-800-272-3900.
Sunday, May 13. 12-4:30 P.M., 1:30 - 2:45 P.M. Hertz Concert Hall. Concert and Commencement Ceremony. Sponsor: Department of Music. Concert featuring award winners in the performing arts. Open to all audiences. Event Contact: email@example.com, 510-642-4864.
Monday, May 14. 7:00 P.M. Identity Theft Program. Barbara Jue, a Legal Shield associate, will offer information and advice on how to prevent identity theft and how to cope should it happen. She will also talk about children and computer use and cyber bullying. Q&A follows. Kensington Library, 61 Arlington Avenue. Free. 510-524-3043.
Monday May 21. 7 P.M. Kensington Library Book Club: Color of the Sea by John Hamamura. Each meeting starts with a poem selected and read by a member with a brief discussion following the reading. New members are always welcome. Free. 61 Arlington Av. 510-524-3043.
Tuesday, May 22. 3 – 4 P.M. Central Berkeley Public Library, 2090 Kittredge St. Tea and Cookies at the Library. A free monthly book club for people who want to share the books they have read. 510-981-6100.
Sunday, May 27. 130-4:30 P.M. Book Into Film: Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn at Central Berkeley Public Library, 2090 Kittredge. Read the book at home. Watch the movie together. Discuss the book, film and adaptation as a group. Registration required- call 510-981-6236 to sign up.
Monday, June 4. 6:30 P.M. "Castoffs" - Knitting Group. Kensington Library, 61 Arlington Ave. An evening of knitting, show and tell, and yarn exchange. All levels are welcome and help will be provided. Free. 510-524-3043.
Monday, June 18. 7 P.M. Art historian Michael Stehr will discuss Gian Lorenz Bernini, who was the Michelangelo of the Baroque. He will also present a slide show. Kensington Library, 61 Arlington Avenue. Free. 510-524-3043.
Monday June 25. 7 P.M. Kensington Library Book Club: The Chosen by Chaim Potok. 61 Arlington Av. Free. 510-524-3043.