City Council District 5
City Council District 5

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December 10, 2010



In this issue:

A Note from Councilmember Capitelli
Holiday Event and Toy-Making Workshop at Aquatic Park
Say Good-Bye to Paper Bus Tickets
Downtown Street Parking — Watch the Signs
Berkeley Artisans Holiday
"Power Trip" at the Oaks Theater
Berkeley Project Day
Gas Powered Leaf Blowers: Illegal in Berkeley
One More Comment on the New Recycling Cart



A Note From Councilmember Capitelli

Dear District 5 Neighbors,

December has turned out to be a particularly cold month. Though Thanksgiving is almost two weeks behind us and the bombardment of holiday sentiment is in full swing, I find myself lingering on the warmth of the past holiday, and thinking of all the things for which I am particularly thankful. Here are a few . . .

Berkeley is a stunning city, even in a rainy December, with a warm winter palate that takes my breath away.

Berkeley neighborhood shopping districts are unique and shoppers are invited to PARK FREE on Saturday, December 18 and Friday, December 24. At Council's meeting this week, we agreed to extend this city-wide parking fee holiday to Berkeley residents and visitors, to encourage local shopping and support our many valued businesses.

At any time of year, Berkeley is home to a wide variety of visual and performing artists, community organizations and advocacy groups. Please read below for three suggestions for holiday activities in town: the Waterside Workshop Toy-Making event, independent film showing Power Trip and Berkeley Open Studios. If you have time over the holidays, check out our very own Berkeley Art Center and their annual Members Showcase. If you want to be in the loop about regular art events, request to be put on the Berkeley Cultural Trust Hotline.

Berkeley citizens are engaged, passionate and creative. I am continually amazed at the vibrancy of our civic debate and the heart and clarity with which Berkeleyans face their challenges. In our neighborhood discussion about urban deer, one District 5 resident wrote us the following email:

Years ago, our neighbor and I were talking about the problem and tribulations we homeowners face with keeping up our properties such as finding good contractors for repairs etc.. Suddenly Larry said "Let's face it. It actually is just a problem of ABUNDANCE". I will never forget his statement and recall and quote it often. Doesn't it fit right in with all your concerns about the deer? We are privileged to live in a beautiful urban area yet close to nature, wild life (yes, our wonderful deer), plants, flowers and even fresh air. Perhaps stepping back and counting our blessings that we live in such a wonderful area should not be overlooked. I can think of a fate much worse than the deer problem.

On a personal note, I am thankful for my office staff, Jill and Pam, who keep you all informed and me on task. I couldn't do this job without them.

Finally, my wife and I were blessed this past year with our second grandchild. There is nothing like a new life to bring joy and renewed hope for the future.

Thanks to all of you who have called, e-mailed or flagged me down on the street. I look forward to continuing our community-wide conversation in the New Year.

Happy Holidays from the District 5 Office.

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Holiday Event and Toy-Making Workshop at Aquatic Park

What: Waterside Workshops' Holiday Event and Toy-Making Workshop
When: Sunday, December 12th from 1-5p.m.
Where: 84 Bolivar Dr. in Berkeley's Aquatic Park

Come on down to this workshop for an afternoon of hands-on activities, live local music, food, and fun for people of all ages. Kids can make their own wooden toy from scratch and enter a $1 raffle to win one of 25 kids bikes that will be given away at the end of the day!! All of the toy-making materials are from sustainable sources, and are non-toxic. There is a suggested $5 donation to support our free programs for low-income kids. Free refreshments provided by Grocery Outlet!

For more information and directions, go to: www.watersideworkshops.org

Please contact Amber Rich, 510-644-2577 if you have any questions.

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Say Good-Bye to Paper Bus Tickets

Using Paper Tickets to Pay Local Fares Ends December 31

FREE Clipper Cards Still Available During The Transition

Paper 10- Ride tickets and 31-Day local adult passes will no longer be accepted as fare payment starting January 1, 2011. The paper tickets are being eliminated as part of the move to the Clipper card as the universal fare instrument for all Bay Area transit agencies.

To help the transition, Clipper cards, which normally cost $5 each, are being made available for FREE to adult bus passengers. The cards can then be "loaded" with value - including 31-Day passes -- and used instead of the soon-to-be-eliminated paper tickets.

AC Transit discontinued the sale of adult paper tickets for local fares on October 31, 2010 but passengers are allowed to continue to use the tickets until the end of this year. Any unused adult paper ticket can be exchanged for a free adult Clipper card with the value of the unused paper ticket preloaded onto the card. This can be done by visiting AC Transit's downtown Oakland ticket office at 1600 Franklin Street, which is open Monday - Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Or phone (510) 891-4706 for more information.

Go to Clipper Card to find out more. To learn more about how to use the card riding AC Transit, go here.

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Downtown Street Parking — Watch the Signs

If you are parking near the downtown, around the Saturday Farmers Market, Trader Joe's or the North Berkeley Senior Center, please be alert to the parking restriction signs. Select streets now limit parking to only those with RPP permits. Vehicles without permits will be ticketed.

This unusual configuration was instituted as mitigation to the Trader Joe's Project, which was expected to dramatically increase street parking in the neighborhood. Impacts have not been as predicted, so the new restrictions may change. But until then, please read the signs.

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Berkeley Artisans Holiday

What: BERKELEY ARTISANS HOLIDAY OPEN STUDIOS
When: 11-6p.m., December 11-12, 18-19, 2010
Where: Over 100 locations in Berkeley. See the On-Line Guide.

Over 100 handpicked artists and craftspeople at studios, workshops and galleries in Berkeley, California will open their doors to the public during the 20th annual Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios.

All manner of fine art and craft will be shown, including blown glass, functional & decorative ceramics, ornaments, lamps & lighting, painted & custom furniture, garden art, floor cloths, one-of-a-kind clothing, textiles, many styles of jewelry, leather bags, recycled art, sculpture, photography, paintings, mosaics, stained glass, original prints & works on paper, musical instruments, children's art from around the world, artisan food products and naturally made wines.

All work is handcrafted, and many pieces are one-of-a-kind.

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"Power Trip" at the Oaks Theater

What: "Power Trip; Theatrically Berkeley" Independent Film
When: Saturday, December 18th at NOON
Where: The Oaks Theater, Solano Ave. 510-526-1836

Billed as an "unintentional comedy," independent film maker and Berkeley High School graduate (class of 2000) Emio Tomeoni pokes fun at City of Berkeley political and public process. The film stars some well-known current and former elected officials, City staff and local advocates. Relive some of Berkeley's more recent infamous moments.

Tickets are $7 each. Twenty-five cents of each ticket purchased will go to the Berkeley Humane Society Shelter Fire Relief Fund.

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Berkeley Project Day

On Saturday, November 6, hundreds of University of California, Berkeley students dispersed into the City of Berkeley to work with dozens of community partners at a multitude of project sites. In District 5, almost one hundred students worked at both Thousand Oaks Elementary School (above) and John Hinkel Park, to clear weeds and invasive ivy. Pam Boland, from the City's Parks Department, oversaw both projects. Below is Pam standing by the impressive pile of ivy and weeds at John Hinkel.

The Berkeley Project's origins trace back to March 2006 with two undergraduates at Cal, who wished to increase the level of social conscience and service within the student body at the university. The goal has been to serve the needs of Berkeley and its residents and to forge a positive relationship between the campus and the community.

Because the campus population is so large, Cal students have a big impact on the city of Berkeley. The Berkeley Project was created with the idea that the dynamic energy in the student body has the power to effect ongoing change in the community. BP is closely modeled after the organization The Detroit Partnership (formerly The Detroit Project) at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Now entering into its 5th year, the Berkeley Project has successfully been established as a link between students and our community. We very much appreciate their efforts!

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Gas Powered Leaf Blowers: Illegal in Berkeley

During the fall, we had several constituents call to complain about gas-powered leaf blowers, mostly used by landscape contractors. Since 1982 it has been illegal under the City's Noise Ordinance (Berkeley per Berkeley Municipal Code Section 13.40.070) to use these devices within Berkeley City limits.

"... it shall be unlawful for any person, including any city employee, to operate any portable machine powered with a gasoline engine used to blow leaves, dirt, and other debris off sidewalks, driveways, lawns, or other surfaces within the City limits." (Ord. 6026-NS § 1, 1990: Ord. 5500-NS § 1 (part), 1982)

Please take note and advise your landscape contractors. Violations of the ordinance can be reported to Environmental Health at (510) 981-5310 or envhealth@ci.berkeley.ca.us

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One More Comment on the New Recycling Cart

This is not a photo of one of our new recycling carts. But this bike is hiding in plain sight, and that's our challenge with all our solid waste cans. If you are one of the Berkeley residents who have objected to the new carts, then since you can't hide it, camouflage it. Or make it beautiful. Share your ideas with us and we will select the most viable and creative to share with the community.

FYI — The Ecology Center says that recyclable tonnage has increased 30% since the introduction of the carts so at least they are effective.

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