City Council District 5
City Council District 5

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April 3, 2014

In this issue:

A Note from Councilmember Capitelli
Berkeley Police Survey
Budget Town Hall: Spending the State’s Money
The Berkeley Bay Festival
Drugs and the Adolescent Brain
Pete Seeger Sing-a-Long
Berkeley Emergency Preparation Fair
Branch Out! Celebrating our Branch Libraries
When Children Are Present: 15 MPH
City Contacts and Resources

A Note From Councilmember Capitelli

Dear District 5 Neighbors,

To be “struck by lightning.” The phrase conjures both the arbitrary nature of our environment and a fateful, possibly intentional “act of God.” A few staggering lightning strikes this week gave us sobering opportunities to witness nature’s brutal strength. (Thank goodness no one was hurt.) It also provided a minor showcase for the City’s response during an emergency. Not only were Police and Fire on site, but Public Works crews were front and center assisting with residents’ temporary repairs and assessing damages to City infrastructure. The response may have been routine, but its effect was reassuring.

The health and welfare of the City’s residents – whether through emergency response or proactive planning - is one of the primary missions of local government. As an elected official charged with the approval of an annual budget that reflects our municipal priorities, I am continually conscious that the most important work we do is providing an environment that is safe, healthy and as predictable as possible.

Unfortunately, and quite honestly, we Berkeley electeds too often get distracted with international policy or “sending a message” to the rest of the world. Though those discussions are passionate, heart-felt and time-consuming, they are rarely about our day-to-day lives. I often think the most powerful message we can send to the world is that a community can only be thoughtful and “progressive” if its citizens are served effectively and efficiently.

The list of events and announcements in this month’s newsletter underscore that point. Included are a variety of announcements, everything from a Berkeley Police Survey/Community Meeting and emergency preparedness to the health effects of marijuana on our kids’ brains and limiting vehicle speed around schools “when children are present.”

We cannot control the weather, predict an earthquake or eliminate risk from our lives. But we can insure that our municipal systems and community networks are in good working order. Our job is to promote safety and healthy lifestyles and to be ready to respond if and when lightning does strike.


Laurie Capitelli
Berkeley City Council, District 5

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Berkeley Police Survey
And Community Meeting

What: Community Meeting with the Berkeley Police Department regarding Policing Survey.
When: Thursday, May 15, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Northbrae Community Church. 941 The Alameda, Berkeley.

The Berkeley Police Department (BPD) is currently undertaking a review and reevaluation of its beat structure in order to ensure that the most efficient and effective police service is being provided to those who live, work and visit the City of Berkeley. To that end, the BPD is inviting community members to provide feedback and comments by:

  1. Taking a survey regarding police patrol deployment by April 11, 2014; and/or
  2. Participating in a North Berkeley community meeting on May 15 with representatives from the BPD and Councilmembers Wengraf (District 6) and Capitelli (District 5).

In May of 1993, the Berkeley Police Department adopted a system whereby the City was divided into 18 police patrol beats. This beat system was based primarily on crime trends, calls for service, crime statistics, and staffing levels. While there have been changes over the last 20 years related to crime trends, calls for service, and staffing levels, the Department continues to operate with the same beat system designed in 1993. In light of the changes that the Department and the City have undergone since that time, the Department decided to analyze its beat deployment strategy.

Any recommended changes to the geographic beat areas will take into consideration an even distribution of workload across beats, boundaries which utilize efficient routes of travel, the minimization of natural barriers and the minimization of neighborhood divisions. Any proposed changes will be brought to the City Council for review and discussion.

Please complete The Berkeley Police Survey by Friday, April 11, 2014.

If you have any questions about completing the survey, please feel free to contact Matrix project manager, Richard Brady, at (650) 858-0507 or

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Budget Town Hall:
Spending the State’s Money

What: Assemblymember Nancy Skinner’s Budget Town Hall.
When: Thursday, April 10, 2014. 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Ed Roberts Campus. 3075 Adeline Avenue, Berkeley.

This month Berkeley citizens will have a unique opportunity to help influence the state’s budget. Please join Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, for her annual Town Hall Meeting: a community discussion of state budget priorities.

For more information see the event flyer. To RSVP, please call 510-286-1400 or go to Assemblymember Skinner’s website.

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Berkeley Bay Festival

What: Berkeley Bay Festival. Free.
When: Saturday, April 12. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Shorebird Park, 160 University Ave., Berkeley.

  • Listen to jazz and rock and roll music.
  • Take a sailboat ride or paddle a Dragon Boat.
  • See a live shark.
  • Build a structure with recycled materials.
  • Learn about Berkeley’s environmental education programs.

The City of Berkeley and the Marina Experience Program invites you to the The 2014 Bay Festival.

Inaugurated in 1937, the Bay Festival now showcases activities and programs that are available here at the Marina and all around the region. Come celebrate the earth and our Bay by listening to music, eating wonderful food, and enjoying a day by the Bay.

The Bay Festival is accessible by AC Transit 51B bus. For more information call 510-981-6720, or visit The 2014 Bay Festival.

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Drugs and the Adolescent Brain

What: “Drugs and the Adolescent Brain.” Free community lecture for parents by Ralph Cantor, drug prevention counselor.
When: Thursday, April 17, 6:30 - 8 PM.
Where: Berkeley High School Library. 1980 Allston Way. Use the Allston/Milvia entrance and follow the signs to the Library.

Please join the Berkeley High School PTSA for a not-to-be-missed talk by Ralph Cantor entitled, "Drugs and the Adolescent Brain." Students and guests are welcome! There will be Spanish translation available. Pizza will be served from 6-6:20pm.

Ralph Cantor is a 30-year teacher and counselor with expertise in the prevention of substance abuse by school-age students. He specializes in: Marijuana awareness and drug prevention education for teachers and counselors; marijuana and drug prevention education for middle, high school and high risk youth; parent presentations on drug and alcohol abuse prevention for their children and communities. Mr. Cantor has presented this lecture to the BUSD School Board, the Berkeley City Council and hundreds of Berkeley High School students.

For more info, please contact Jon Squire at .

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Berkeley Emergency Preparation Fair

What: 2014 Berkeley Emergency Preparedness Fair. Free to the Public.
When: Saturday, April 26, 2014, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Where: North Berkeley BART Station, 1750 Sacramento St. (at Virginia St.), Berkeley.

Kids growing up in earthquake country need a disaster-prepared household. Pet owners need to know how to keep pets safe in a disaster. At the 2014 Berkeley Emergency Preparedness Fair, we invite people at all levels of preparedness to take steps towards emergency readiness for their whole family.

At the FREE community event you'll find family friendly activities, tips and information, on-site training, and interactive demonstrations of safety resources available to you in our community. There will be a showcase of emergency vehicles, prizes, kids’ activities, a blood drive and more.

Join families, kids, pets, schools, community organizations and businesses, and people of all ages to have fun, celebrate our community's resilience and protect those you love by getting ready together!

For more information email the Office of Emergency Services or call 510-981-5506 or see the event flyer.

Organizers are asking for help to set up, break down and man tables. If you are interested in volunteering please sign up here.

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Branch Out!
Celebrating our Branch Libraries

This April, Branch Out! with the Berkeley Public Library as we celebrate the reopening of four new modern library branches. The month-long celebration is not only an opportunity for Berkeley citizens to experience each of the branches, but also to expand their own horizons via a FULL CALENDAR of FREE events and activities to inspire all ages, including:

  • after-hour concerts
  • author talks
  • art shows
  • “pop-up” libraries connecting patrons to ebooks
  • family activities

Enjoy the modern amenities of the new buildings while exploring the expanded services and community meeting spaces. Download the guide to Branch Out celebration events and activities or pick up a hard copy at any of our library branches.

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Beginning in March 2014 the City of Berkeley will be installing 15 mph speed limit signs on the residential streets surrounding our public schools. The first installations will be at the preschools followed by the elementary schools. The installations will be performed one school at a time and are anticipated to be completed before the end of the school year in June.

This is the implementation of 2008 California Assembly Bill AB 321 that allows local governments to extend school zones to 1,000 feet and reduce speed limits within 500 feet of a school site to 15 mph on residential streets or two-lane roads where speed limits are already 30 mph or less. On December 17, 2013, the Berkeley City Council passed a resolution authorizing installation of 15 mph speed signs on residential streets around all elementary schools in Berkeley.

Please pay attention to the new signage and slow down to 15 mph when children are present around these locations. Berkeley Police Department will be enforcing the new speed law.

California Vehicle Code Section 22358.4 defines “when children are present” as “while children are going to or leaving the school, either during school hours or during the noon recess period

For more information about the new speed limit and a list of participating schools, please go to New 15 mph School Zones.

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City Contacts and Resources

Listed below are important city phone numbers to keep close by:

Laurie Capitelli, District 5 Office


Tom Bates, Office of the Mayor


Officer Byron White, BPD Area Coordinator for North Berkeley


Non-emergency (to report a past event or suspicious activity)


Emergency (to report a crime in process or an emergency)
from a landline


From a cell phone


To report nonfunctioning street lamps, graffiti, missed garbage pick-ups

On Line Service Center
or dial 311

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