City Council District 5
City Council District 5

District 5 News Header Image

July 14, 2010

In this issue:

A Note from Councilmember Capitelli
Money For Energy Efficiency (ME2)
The North Berkeley "Growing Connections" Mural
Eat Out To Support Your Community: The Berkeley Dining Passport
National Night Out 2010
Bring Back the Urns to Thousand Oaks
Open Opera: Twice the Mozart
Berkeley Art Center and Six Extraordinary Artists
King Park Community Picnic
Solano Stroll
Deer in Urban Environments
Refrigator Recycling
Out of the Office

A Note From Councilmember Capitelli

Dear District 5 Neighbors,

It was a beautiful Saturday on Solano Avenue when Gary Krauss, manager of Peet's Coffee, and I shared a rare celebratory moment with neighbors, Avenue strollers and coffee drinkers. The June 19th ribbon cutting formally opened four tables and accompanying chairs on Solano Avenue. We received an enthusiastic thumbs-up from most passers by, and some constructive, cautionary suggestions from others. Bottom line: people enjoyed the day and each other as they patronized Solano.

My hope is that this is the just the first step in a series of street amenities for patrons and pedestrians. In the next two months, my office will be spearheading a survey of those who live near, shop around or do business on the Avenue. The community-wide discussion will begin in the fall, and I look forward to talking to many of you at the Solano Stroll on September 12, or maybe over coffee in front of Peet's.

The local June election did not provide reason for celebration, I am sad to say. The defeat of the pools bond Measure C, and the subsequent closing of Willard Pool (heartbreaking though not unexpected), for me, is a defining moment for this City Council, illustrative of the extraordinarily difficult choices around community needs and limited resources that we will be facing in the near future. And though I am disappointed that Measure C did not pass, I am happy to report that we still have three municipal pools that have full summer programming.

As many of us cut back and consolidate this year, we will be enjoying activities at home this summer. There are several very local possibilities detailed below, including the second year of opera at John Hinkel Park, a new mural in the gourmet ghetto and an opportunity to support another mural at King Park, a night out with your neighbors, dining out while supporting resources for those less fortunate, a well-received exhibit of works by some amazing local artists, and the resurrection of a neighborhood icon. Even in challenging economic times, I am continually inspired by the spirit, creativity and vision of our community, providing us the resiliency to not only weather adversity, but to celebrate life in spite of it.

Have a great summer!


Laurie Capitelli
Berkeley City Council, District 5

Back to top

Money for Energy Efficiency (ME2)

What: Federal Stimulus Money for Energy Efficiency
When: Deadline for Rebate Reservation: July 20, 2010
Where: For more information: Apply for Money for Energy Efficiency (ME2) 

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!


  • 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, call 510-981-7438 or view the current program leaflet. Sign on to the City's web page subscription to receive email updates as more information becomes available.

Back to top

It's Finished!
The North Berkeley "Growing Connections" Mural

Thank you David Stern-Gottfried, artist, and his band of King Middle School students and community volunteers for their sustainable contribution to Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto. Check it out at the northwest corner of Shattuck and Virginia.

Back to top

Eat Out to Support Your Community:
The Berkeley Dining Passport

The $20 Berkeley Dining Passport is a new initiative that benefits the Berkeley Food & Housing Project and benefits the holder with a year of dining discounts at more than 20 Berkeley restaurants. Buying local keeps our Berkeley economy running. The Berkeley Dining Passport is a great way to support local businesses and help to alleviate hunger and homelessness in our community.

See the complete list of participating restaurants and offers at You can buy passports online, or at any of the participating restaurants.

If you have questions about the program, please call Visit Berkeley at 549-7040.

Back to top

National Night Out 2010

The City of Berkeley community is participating in the 27th annual National Night Out on Tuesday, August 3, 2010. What had started many years ago as a unique crime and drug prevention event has, in the City of Berkeley, evolved into a celebration of neighborhood communities.

Last year's National Night Out involved community members, law enforcement, fire personnel, community groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations, faith based organizations and local officials from over 15,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories and Canada. In all, over 37 million people participated in National Night Out 2009.

Please consider participating with your neighbors this year. You need not be an organized group to join in the celebration. In the past, groups have hosted BBQ's, pot lucks, picnics, ice cream/dessert socials, kids' parades, neighborhood clean-ups and music performances.

To be part of National Night Out in Berkeley, please complete a National Night Out Registration Form and fax to 510-981-5819. or mail to:

Berkeley Police Department
Community Services Bureau
ATTN: CSO Alicia Escamilla-McNie
2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Berkeley, CA. 94704-1109

Back to top

Bringing Back the Urns to Thousand Oaks

One hundred years ago, large concrete urns graced the then-new Thousand Oaks residential development. They were the neighborhood's "civic art" — kin to the Marin circle fountain and stone pillars by the North Berkeley Library. But time has taken its toll: only one urn, located on The Alameda at the bottom of Indian Trail, remains today. The goal of the Thousand Oaks Neighborhood Association's (TONA) Urn Project has the goal of replicating and installing several new urns and restoring the lone remaining urn to celebrate the development's centennial.

Project coordinators, through the auspices of Berkeley Partners for Parks, have raised over $15,000 towards the $20,000 they need, including a 2009 Chancellor's Community Grant from the University of California. In order to begin the project this fall, to cast and install the first few urns, they are appealing to the community for help.

Please consider supporting this historically iconic project. To contribute, please write a tax-deductable check to: Berkeley Partners for Parks with TONA URN FUND on the subject line and mail to TONA, PO Box 7572, Berkeley, CA 94707.

For more information, read the letter to the neighborhood from project coordinators Elizabeth Sklut and Trish Hawthorne.

Back to top

Open Opera: Twice the Mozart

What: Open Opera in the Park:
Four Performances of Don Giovanni
When: Saturdays and Sundays, August 7-8 & 14-15, 3 p.m.
Where: John Hinkel Park, 41 Somerset Place

Open Opera will mount four fully staged performances of W. A. Mozart's Don Giovanni at John Hinkel Park's historic WPA-era amphitheater. Saturday and Sunday performances begin at 3 pm over two weekends. (Please carpool and come early: nearby parking is very limited on the narrow local streets.)

For more information about the performances, directions, the organization and what to bring to the performance, go to or e-mail to or call 510-547-2471.

Back to top

Berkeley Art Center and Six Extraordinary Artists

What: Local Treasures: Six Extraordinary Artists
When: June 26 - August 8, 2010 12-5 p.m.,
Wednesday - Sunday
Where: Berkeley Art Center 1275 Walnut Street, Berkeley

A personal and insightful look at the work of six accomplished and fascinating Bay Area artists: Robert Brady, Squeak Carnwath, James Melchert, Katherine Sherwood, Livia Stein, and Gale Wagner. Curated by Suzanne Tan and Richard Whittaker, editor of works & conversations, the exhibition includes Richard's perceptive interviews with each of the artists.

For more information go to the Berkeley Art Center.

Back to top

King Park Community Picnic

What: Community Picnic and Family Fun Day at King Park
When: Sunday, July 25, 12 noon to 3:00 p.m.
Where: King Park & Playground, Hopkins Street

Please join the Friends of King Park for a community picnic Sunday, July 25th. Sponsored by the Berkeley Covenant Church, this family-friendly event will include food, a bouncy house, face painting, a "Create with Nature Zone" led by Environmental Artist Zach Pine, planting activities and old-fashioned games. Visit the information table to get a sneak peak at the collaborative mural project and find out more about proposed park improvements.

The event flyer is available here.

To find out how you can help support our neighborhood park, contact

See you there!

Back to top

Solano Stroll

What: 36th Annual Solano Stroll
When: Sunday, September 12, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Where: Solano Avenue between San Pablo Avenue and The Alameda

Sunday, September 12 from 10 am to 6 pm is the 36th Annual Solano Stroll, a "Global Affair." I will be manning a booth with Mayor Bates and Councilmember Wengraf on the upper portion of the Avenue. Please stop by and talk with us.

Back to top

Deer in Urban Environments

My office has received many e-mails related to policies around urban deer. Later this summer my office will be working with the City Manager's Office to coordinate a meeting with representatives from the East Bay Regional Parks and California Fish and Game to assess the local deer population and to look at resources needed to manager those populations. In the meantime, thanks to Bay Nature editor David Loeb, we have received the following link to The Deer Next Door. This is an account of one man's observations of black tail deer in his back yard along a suburban interface. (This is not a commentary on population control or habitat prevention but an insight into deer behavior.)

Back to top

Refrigerator Recycling

Green the earth and get a little green for yourself. Replace your old refrigerator with an energy efficient model and you could save up to $250 in energy per year.

It's easy to do:

  • Make sure your refrigerator is in working order.
  • Log onto or call 1-800-299-7573 to schedule a free pick up.
  • PG&E picks up your old refrigerator.
  • You receive a $35 rebate from PG&E.
  • Begin saving on your energy bill immediately.

Back to top

Out of the Office

The City Council will be on recess from July 14 to September 21. My staff will be on vacation and the office closed from August 16 to the 25, returning to attend to constituent inquiries on August 26. Our next newsletter will be after Labor Day.

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