A Little Bit of Berkeley History

Unfortunately, CNA ceased operations in 2015. No further comments are being accepted, but we will maintain the website, and we’re converting all the old editions of our newsletter to text-searchable pdf files. The first 10 issues, from 1975 and 1976, are available at this link:

Newsletter Archive

We plan to add all our old issues, to allow viewers to follow 40 years of Berkeley’s history. Thank you for your support.

Plan Bay Area Open Houses

The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) has arranged a series of open houses to discuss the plan, which is the primary driver of “smart growth”, or dense residential development along mass-transit corridors. Details can be found here. Berkeley and its surrounding cities are conspicuously absent.

The Selling of the City in 2005

This is an article from our October-November 2005 newsletter which discusses how our present mayor and the Council sold the City to UC. If you’ve ever wondered why Berkeleyans pay such high City taxes, a good part of the reason is because UC doesn’t.

2005 Newsletter Article

The article refers to the Settlement with UC. This is the 2005 Settlement of the lawsuit by the City against the Environmental Impact Report for UC’s Long Range Development Plan (2020 LRDP):

City-UC LRDP Settlement Continue reading

Who pays?

We’re sure we come across very negatively in our attitude to developers and UC. However, there is no question that the Council majority gives extremely favorable treatment to both these interests. Developers aren’t required to pay the full cost to the City of the services they use – inquiries to the Planning Department have revealed that the Department doesn’t even know the impact of large new projects on the Sewage Treatment plant, or on Emergency Services. As for UC, if it buys a property, it takes it off the Property Tax Roll, so UC pays nothing to the City. Continue reading

Downtown Area Plan

Does anyone really believe that the Plan (DAP) will benefit Berkeley? It adds a huge number of high-priced apartments, plus a large hotel, to the downtown, with minimal parking. The assumption is that the new residents and hotel guests won’t have cars. All you have to do is look at other cities in this country and Europe to see that this won’t happen. So there are two possibilities. Either the projects will be successful, and traffic in downtown Berkeley will grind to a standstill, like San Francisco, New York or London, or apartment seekers will go to Oakland, where parking is more available. Continue reading

UC’s Helios Project

Eight years ago, UC Berkeley made a controversial deal with the British oil company, BP: UC would receive $350 million to create the Energy Biosciences Institute, which was eventually built between Hearst and Berkeley Way.

Now, BP is exercising its contract option to cut back sharply on funding. That means the elimination of up to 20 current post-doctorate positions, and the layoff of more than half the support staff. Continue reading

BESO Update (Rev.)

The Council passed the first reading of the amended ordinance on February 24th. The only Councilmember who raised any objections was Susan Wengraf.

The amendments are purely cosmetic. Residential buildings with up to 4 units are exempt for 3 years, unless they are sold during that period. In 3 years, the ordinance will be revisited, and smaller buildings could/will be included. As the regular audit requirements don’t take effect until 2020, the changes make virtually no difference. Continue reading