City Council District 5
City Council District 5

District 5 News Header Image

June 10, 2010

In this issue:

A Note from Councilmember Capitelli
Money for Energy Efficiency (ME2)
Host a Free Climate Action Workshop
North Berkeley Mural Project: "Growing Connections"
Berkeley Food and Housing Project: Wish List
Summer Singing Under the Trees
Garbage and Recycling
E-mail Announcements. . . and more

A Note From Councilmember Capitelli

Dear District 5 Neighbors,

No doubt the summer of 2010 will be remembered for the live, graphic images of oil billowing up into the Gulf of Mexico. We continue to see horror upon horror as the oil creeps up onto the fragile coasts and marshlands of the Gulf States. (It adds new meaning to the 1999 BP introductory US ad campaign, "We're bringing oil to American shores.") Most of us on the west coast, feeling helpless and distracted by our own budget sorrows, can only muster an occasional sense of "there but for the grace of God . . ."

The implications of the spill will be experienced and debated for years. One thing that resonates with me is that our fossil fuel-dependent life style is not sustainable from any perspective, be it environmental, geo-political, financial or in term of the limits of our natural resources. Even those of us in energy-conscious Berkeley with our solar arrays and hybrid vehicles have just begun to scratch the surface on the level of energy conservation needed to bring us to a sustainable level of energy consumption. Our work has just begun.

In our discussions last year about our local portion of that work, Berkeley's Climate Action Plan, many of you stated very clearly that mandatory conservation and retrofit requirements were too expensive and often too arbitrary. Let's try the carrot before the stick, you said. I agreed whole heartedly and encouraged City staff to first provide information and resources for those who want to move forward.

So, I am pleased that this month the City will begin such a program. Starting July 6, 2010, the City of Berkeley will offer cash incentives through the Money for Energy Efficiency (ME2) Program to individuals who are interested in increasing the energy efficiency of their home or business. The ME2 program is funded by federal stimulus money awarded to Berkeley from the U.S. Department of Energy.

To kick off the program, the Office of Energy and Sustainable Development is offering two free public workshops (see below) to provide information on how to qualify for cash incentives for both home energy audits and energy-saving improvements to your home of business.

So please join me in taking the next step towards energy independence. Though the images of this summer are cautionary, they can also inspire us to act locally.


Laurie Capitelli
Berkeley City Council, District 5

Back to top

Money for Energy Efficiency (ME2)

What: Public Information Workshops about Federal Money for Energy Retrofits
When: Tuesday, June 15 and Thursday, 17, 6:00p.m. to 8:00p.m.
Where: North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst St. (6/15)
South Berkeley Senior Center, 2939 Ellis Street (6/17)

Federal stimulus funding is available for whole-house energy retrofit programs! The City of Berkeley will be offering cash incentives to increase the energy efficiency of your home, apartment building or business. Funding is provided by the US Dept. of Energy and is available for all types of buildings and income levels! Energy retrofits help you save money, improve building comfort, safety and durability as well as reduce your carbon footprint! (For those who cannot attend, presentations will be available on website after June 15th.)


  • Up to $8,500 for single-family & duplex homes (including rebates through PG&E)
  • Up to $30,000 for commercial & multifamily properties

For more information, please see info/me2 or call 510-981-7438. A copy of the flyer announcing the public workshops can be found here.

Sign on to the City's web page subscription to receive email updates as more information becomes available.

Back to top

Host a Free Climate Action Workshop

Berkeley's Ecology Center is continuing to facilitate free workshops in community actions around climate change. The Ecology Center is now offering to send a trained facilitator to facilitate a 1, 2, 3, or 4-session workshop series at your workplace, with your congregation, neighborhood, housing complex, school or other community group at a time and location that works for you. At this moment, June and July workshops are preferable.

For more information, go to Ecology Center/Climate Change Action or write to 

Back to top

North Berkeley Mural Project:
"Growing Connections"

A community art project celebrating
the Slow Food Culture of North Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto

What: Fundraising Party for North Berkeley Mural: "Growing Connections"
When: Thursday, July 1, 2010, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Where: ACCI Gallery, 1652 Shattuck Ave.

A group of local artists, teachers, chefs and community organizers is working to produce a mural on the south facing wall of Virginia Bakery at 1690 Shattuck. The theme of the piece will be sustainable agriculture and the Slow Food culture of North Berkeley. The artists have worked with students from MLK Middle School this year to develop ideas and images that will be incorporated into the mural. They are inviting the community to provide input and support for the project.

The group will hold a Fundraising Party to be held at the ACCI Gallery on Thursday, July 1st from 6-8pm. There will be a guest speaker, a raffle, and a silent auction at the event. Community members can make a tax- deductible donation to the project through The Berkeley Foundation for the Arts, the non-profit arm of the ACCI Gallery.

You can contact the artists or make a tax-deductible donation through the website for the project:

The mural has been endorsed by the Berkeley Cultural Arts Commission. The North Shattuck Association and ACCI Gallery are providing seed money and technical support for the project. The artists have worked on several other murals and community art projects in Berkeley and the East Bay, and the project coordinator, David Stern-Gottfried, completed several large-scale murals in Philadelphia.

Please check out the video introduction to the artist and mural concept.

Back to top

Berkeley Food and Housing Project: Wish List

Terrie Light, Executive Director of the Berkeley Food and Housing Project, sent my office the following message:

"We have begun two new employment programs for men in our shelter in downtown Berkeley. We are in desperate need of the following items. Please contact Al at the men's shelter if you can help out by email or by calling the shelter to arrange a time to drop off the items. The direct men's shelter number is 510-649-4980. Men's shelter is open every day from 5 pm to 7:30 am.

"We appreciate all the support that you can offer. Walgreen's gift cards would work as well."

Wish list:

Foot Powder
Foot Spray
Bar Soap

BFHP assists low-income and homeless individuals with needs and disabilities that are not effectively met by mainstream social services. The agency hallmark is to provide services with compassion to foster a nurturing, healing environment that can effectively end an individual's cycle of homelessness.

Back to top

Summer Singing Under the Trees

What: Open Opera in the Park
When: Sunday, June 27, 2010 at 3:00 p.m.
Where: Live Oak Park

We are blessed with another summer of music under the trees! North Berkeley is the home for two summer free opera events: a concert performance at Live Oak Park (above) and in August a full performance of Mozart's Don Giovanni at John Hinkel Park scheduled to span two weekends, August 7-8 and 14-15.

For more information about these and other Open Opera events, go to

Back to top

Garbage and Recycling

We have received several reports of random garbage left in the gutter from weekly garbage pick-ups, particularly shredded paper. It's great that folks are recycling their paper and shredding it to prevent identity theft. I would also encourage residents to put their shredded documents into paper bags or boxes before putting out to the curb to prevent their escape into our public areas.

More about recycling paper can be found at How to Recycle in Berkeley from the Ecology Center.

If you want to know more about the solid waste pick-up program, including scheduling and other services, go to Refuse Information.

Back to top

E-mail Announcements. . . and more.

My office receives regular correspondence from local organizations that do amazing work in our community, everything from building and maintain foot paths to promoting local businesses in our neighborhoods. I occasionally forward their event announcements, but I wanted to give you all the opportunity to receive their regular e-mails. . . if you wish. This is by no means a comprehensive list. E-mail to the addresses below and request to be put on their mailing list:

     Friends of Five Creeks
     Berkeley Farmers Market
     Berkeley Path Wanderers
     Area 1 Police Updates
     North Shattuck Association
     Solano Avenue Business Association
     Berkeley Cultural Trust

And if you would like to receive notices and updates from one or a number of City of Berkeley Departments (your choice) go to City of Berkeley Web Page Subscription User's Guide

Back to top

Home | Residents | Businesses | Visitors | Services | Elected Officials
Web Policy | Text-Only Site Map | Contact Us
City of Berkeley - Central Administrative Offices, 2180 Milvia St, Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903