City Council District 5
City Council District 5

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October 3, 2013

In this issue:

A Note from Councilmember Capitelli
The Future of Berkeley’s Parks
Sunday Streets
AC Transit: Hearings on Fare Structure
New Parking Rates for the Downtown
Coffee with the Councilmember
North Berkeley’s Day of the Dead
BPD Alert: Smartphone Thefts
City Contacts and Resources

A Note From Councilmember Capitelli

Dear District 5 Neighbors,

Whenever I speak to District 5 groups I take a public moment to introduce my office staff and to humbly acknowledge that nothing would probably get done if it were not for their collective efforts and expertise. Their behind-the-scenes constituent work, legislative research, communications and office administration provide the foundation for all the work I do in the public arena.

Last month I reluctantly accepted the resignation of Pam Gray. A legislative Assistant since 2009, Pam recently returned to school to pursue an MBA. She has been a force of nature in our office, spearheading such projects as the trees on Solano Avenue, a City/BUSD collaborative approach to marijuana use by students, and most recently the effort to resurrect the Oaks Theater as a performing arts venue. We will miss her tenacity, her optimism and her gracious spirit. I am so grateful that she will continue her work on the Oaks Theater as a community volunteer.

Jill Martinucci, our veteran of District 5 affairs, will carry on with the competent assistance of Beth Gerstein. Beth is a mother of two BUSD students, at Berkeley High School and Longfellow Middle School. She did her PhD work in anthropology at Stanford - though we won’t hold that against her. Beth has been doing research for the office on a part time basis for almost two years. I am pleased that she will now be a part of our office team.


Laurie Capitelli
Berkeley City Council, District 5

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Public Meetings to Discuss
the Future of Berkeley’s Parks

What: North Berkeley. (Council Districts 5 & 6) A discussion of parks and facilities including King Swim Center, Live Oak, John Hinkel, Indian Rock, Great Stoneface, Codornices, Dorothy Bolte, Terrace View, Grizzly Peak, Thousand Oaks School Park and others.
When: Wednesday, October 9. 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
Where: Live Oak Community Center, Fireside Room. 1301 Shattuck Ave.

What: South Berkeley. (Council Districts 3, 7, & 8) A discussion of parks and facilities including Willard Park and Willard Swim Center, Oak Park, Monkey Island, Greg Brown, Grove, Bateman Mall, Halcyon Commons and the LeConte, Malcolm X, and John Muir Schools Parks.
When: Wednesday, October 16. 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm.
Where: South Berkeley Branch Library. 1901 Russell at ML King Way.

Many Berkeley residents are concerned about the continuing good health of our parks and park facilities especially in regards to today's climate of funding limits and deferred maintenance.

In response, the Parks and Waterfront Commission has taken the opportunity to hold a series of public discussions to review and address the state of the parks and facilities and look for ideas to continue improvements and stewardship in ways that reflect the Berkeley community's values. The first meeting, regarding parks in West Berkeley and the Marina, was October 2. Please consider joining the discussion for the two of the remaining meetings.

Community members who are unable to attend the public meetings may submit written comments by October 30, 2013 to Roger Miller, Secretary, Parks and Waterfront Commission, 2180 Milvia Street, Berkeley, CA 94704, or by email to Roger Miller.

More information about the City’s system of parks and facilities is available at Parks, Recreation and Waterfront.

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Sunday Streets

What: Sunday Streets. Shattuck Ave. will be closed to vehicular traffic from Rose Street to Haste Street.
When: Sunday, October 13, 2013. 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Where: Shattuck Avenue between Haste and Rose Streets

Walk, jog, bike or dance to a one-day, mile-long park on Shattuck Avenue. Due to popular demand, Open Streets are coming back to Berkeley!

This is not a traditional street “fair” - no food vendors, artisans or entertainment. This is an opportunity to stroll with friends and neighbors and to meet local merchants as they showcase their businesses.

“Sunday Streets Berkeley,” modeled after a similar program in San Francisco, is produced by Livable Berkeley in association with the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, the Ecology Center, the Downtown Berkeley Association, the North Shattuck Association, and the City of Berkeley.

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AC Transit Public Hearings
New Fare Structures

What: Community Meeting and Public Hearing regarding AC Transit Fare Change Proposal
When: Monday, October 14. 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Where: North Berkeley Senior Center. 1901 Hearst St. Berkeley.

The AC Transit Board of directors has decided not to increase fares this year but does want to hear from the community about a proposed new fare structure and pricing with potential benefits for riders and service reliability. A series of six community meetings will be held between October 8 and 16 in Fremont, Hayward, Oakland, Berkeley, and Richmond. (The details of the Berkeley meeting is outlined above.) The AC Transit Board will hold a public hearing on October 23. changes adopted would likely go into effect in July 2014.

For more information regarding these meetings, how to comment outside these meetings and for a full proposal description, go to AC Transit Fare Change Proposal.

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New Parking Rates for the Downtown,
Southside and Elmwood Neighborhoods

On October 15th, 2013 the City of Berkeley will launch the goBerkeley pilot program to help you find the parking space that is right for you. It features:

  • Longer time limits in easy-to-remember zones.
  • A new "value" parking zone with discounted parking rates and 4-hour time limits.
  • More available parking spaces in the "premium" zone.

Downtown Value Parking Zone:

  • 4-hour limit
  • Rate of $1.25 per hour

Downtown Premium Parking Zone:

  • 2-hour limit
  • Rate of $2.25 per hour

For more information about goBerkeley and an overview of the new parking rate structure, go to goBerkeley: parking changes.

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Coffee with the Councilmember

What: Neighborhood Conversation with Councilmember Capitelli.
When: Wednesday, October 23, 2013. 8:30 a.m.
Where: Café Roma. 1549 Hopkins St.

Buy a cup of coffee – or whatever – and join me in a conversation about the City Council and the neighborhood. Rain will cancel.

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Dia de los Muertos
In North Berkeley

What: Dia de los Muertos Celebration in the Gourmet Ghetto. Free Admission.
When: Tuesday, October 29, 2013. 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Where: Shattuck Avenue between Vine and Rose Streets.

Celebrate and remember those who have passed on at a time of year when the veil between the living and dead is thought to be at its most diaphanous at the fifth annual Dìa de los Muertos Celebration on Shattuck Avenue. Help create an altar, or ofrenda, by bringing photos or stories of loved ones, candles, breads, or flowers to add to the altar. Cuatli Mitotiana Mexica Aztec dancers will bless the altar with drums and dancing then lead a sidewalk candle light procession through the district.

North Berkeley’s Day of the Dead celebration is sponsored by the North Shattuck Association, Saul’s, Vintage Berkeley, Vignette Wine Country Sodas, East Bay Loop and East Bay Express. For more info visit Berkeley Halloween in the Gourmet Ghetto.

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Berkeley Police Alert
Preventing Smartphone Thefts

During the first half of 2013, Berkeley saw a significant increase in Smartphone thefts. In 57% of cases, people had their phone visible when approached. The data also showed that robbers prefer targeting lone pedestrians, often at night.

Because many of these thefts are easily preventable, the Police suggest pedestrians consider the following:

  • Put your Smartphone in your pocket.
  • Take off your earphones.
  • Be alert to your surroundings.
  • At night, consider walking with others.

With regards to home burglaries, we saw a slight (but encouraging) decrease in burglaries via open door or window. That number is still in the 40% range, so our advice is straightforward: Lock your doors and windows regularly.

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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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