City Council District 5
City Council District 5

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October 10, 2011

In this issue:

A Note from Councilmember Capitelli
Northbrae: One of the Best Neighborhoods in the Country
100 Years of the Fountain and Walk at Marin Avenue
The University and the City: Ideas for Partnerships
Coffee with the Councilmember
Planning Transportation in Alameda County
Mumps Alert
Cirque des Science: LBNL Open House
North Shattuck Safeway: Construction Begins
Energy Upgrade California
City of Berkeley Customer Service
Berkeley Animal Care Services Special Program for Seniors: 60:6:60
City of Berkeley Annual Report
City Contacts and Resources

A Note From Councilmember Capitelli

Dear District 5 Neighbors,

It was no great surprise to learn that Northbrae is a great neighborhood. After living here for over 35 years I could attest to that. But it was exciting - though a bit humbling - to be recognized by a national organization of planning professionals, the American Planning Association (APA). (Listen to the 10/4/2011 KQED radio report or the text version.)

My office staff and I spend most of our time addressing local problems, or assisting constituents with City-related issues too often contentious or frustrating. It was a shift for us, maybe even an indulgence, to take a moment to appreciate what is great about our community (and I include Thousand Oaks and Westbrae and all the other neighborhoods in Berkeley) and to appreciate it through the lenses of people who live elsewhere.

What does make a great neighborhood? The APA cited the 100-year-old street plan, the careful incorporation of the natural landscape, access to transit, walkability, bay views and good, local shops. This certainly makes the area a great place to live.

But what really makes a neighborhood great is the people who live within it: the residents themselves, who through their personal efforts foster community loyalty and civic pride.

Here is what I see when I walk through our greater District 5 neighborhood:

  • The mural and play structure at King Park that wouldn't be there without the hard work and tenacity of a group of neighbors, the Friends of King Park.
  • The Sonoma Triangle next to North Branch Library, at one moment a memorial during 9/11/2001, then beautifully landscaped by neighborhood volunteers.
  • The King Garden, a gift from a local businesswoman who shared with all of us her vision about healthy children and community.
  • The Thousand Oaks Urns, a memorial to a residential development that incorporates the natural world and a testament to local volunteers who honor that vision and its history.
  • Our public schools, supported by Berkeley voters and now rebuilt and refurbished.
  • The school parent volunteers who, each morning, guide the students safely into their classrooms.
  • The North Branch Library that will reopen next year, revitalized through the generosity and vision of Berkeley voters.
  • The Berkeley Disaster Preparedness Neighborhood Network, that began with three north Berkeley women who saw a huge gap between the City's emergency resources and the individual neighborhoods who needed information and support — and filled it.
  • The Fountain at The Circle, a symbol of both Berkeley's early ambitions to be the state capitol, and of the thousands of community members who resurrected it and the dedicated individuals who continue to maintain it.

So thank you, all of you, who do so much more, who volunteer, vote, donate and collaborate to make ours not just a great place to live, but a truly great neighborhood.

In that spirit, please join members of the community as we celebrate our neighborhood — and its iconic fountain, on Sunday, October 16 at 2 p.m. at the 100th Anniversary of the Fountain at The Circle. Or, have coffee with me Saturday, October 15 at 9:30 a.m. at King Park and Playground to discuss City and neighborhood issues.

I look forward to seeing you


Laurie Capitelli
Berkeley City Council, District 5

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It's Official: Northbrae is
One of the Best Neighborhoods in the Country

On October 4, 2011, the American Planning Association (APA) designated the Northbrae neighborhood as one of "America's Great Neighborhoods" for 2011. ("Northbrae" is bounded by Solano Avenue to the north, Eunice and Hopkins Streets to the south, Spruce Street to the east, and the Albany city limits to the west.)

Citing the original 100-year old street plan that maximizes the natural landscape, pedestrian paths in walkable neighborhoods, a central neighborhood library, Solano Avenue as well as the Monterey Marketplace at Hopkins, the APA included Northbrae in their 2011 Great Places' as a neighborhood that "exemplifies exceptional character and highlights the role planners and planning play in creating communities of lasting value."

So let's celebrate . . . .

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The Fountain at The Circle:
100th Anniversary Celebration

What: 100th Anniversary Celebration for the Fountain at The Circle
When: Sunday, October 16, 2011. 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Where: The Median between Los Angeles and Mendocino

Join the Northbrae neighbors and our favorite Beaux Arts bears to celebrate both the Northbrae designation and the 100th Anniversary of Northbrae's beloved fountain. (Below: Event organizer and Fountain advocate Sara Holmes is helped by one of her neighbors to prepare the Fountain's bears for the festivities.)

For an update on the celebration, please see the Friends of the Fountain and Walk October 2011 Newsletter. You can also contact Sara at 510/526-5347

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The University and the City: Ideas for Partnerships
Free Fall Speaker Series

What: Second in a Series: "The Environmentally Sustainable City"
When: Wednesday, October 19, 7 - 9 p.m.
Where: Berkeley City College, 2050 Center Street, Downtown Berkeley

The second in a series of free panel discussions focusing on University/City issues, "The Environmentally Sustainable City," will highlight how the City and the University can collaborate on strategies for the future. How can both institutions cooperate on future plans around transportation, energy conservation, zero waste and housing? Panelists are: Timothy Burroughs, Climate Action Coordinator, City of Berkeley; Lisa McNeilly, Director of Sustainability, UC Berkeley; Jason Trager, Environmental Sustainability Director, UC Graduate Student Assembly; Claire Evans, Lead Coordinator of the UC Berkeley Compost Alliance. These guests will be in conversation with Jason Mark, Editor of the Earth Island Journal.

The final event in the series, Wednesday, November 9, will be "Late Night in Berkeley," a look at how we can improve the arts, food and entertainment districts adjacent to the University.

This series is sponsored by the Office of Mayor Tom Bates, Councilmembers Laurie Capitelli, Darryl Moore and Susan Wengraf, UC Berkeley Office of the Chancellor - Local and Government Community Relations, Berkeley City College, Associated Students of the University of California, Graduate Student Assembly, Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Berkeley Association, Telegraph Business Improvement District, Livable Berkeley and Berkeleyside.

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Coffee with the Councilmember

What: Coffee, maybe pastries, and an impromptu discussion with Councilmember Capitelli
When: Saturday, October 15, 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Where: King Park Tot Lot and Playground, Hopkins Street

I'll bring the coffee. You bring the questions and comments. While we solve all the problems in the City, your kids can play at the park.

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Planning Transportation in Alameda County

What: Workshop about Alameda County-Wide Transportation Plan
When: Tuesday, October 18, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: South Berkeley Senior Center, 2939 Ellis Street

This is the second of two rounds of interactive workshops about the Alameda County-Wide Transportation Plan (CWTP). One of the goals is to take public comment in order to prioritize transportation improvements in the county.

See the CWTP flyer about this and other scheduled public meetings or call Holly Kulijian at 510-845-7549.

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Mumps Alert

As of October 3, 2011, the Berkeley Public Health Division has confirmed 4 cases of mumps in Berkeley and recognized at least 6 probable cases. Public Health is working closely with the California Department of Health (CDPH) to provide the most current information to the community. Berkeley health care providers have been alerted to the situation.

Mumps is a viral infection that is spread by droplets of saliva or mucus from an infected person. It typically causes swelling of the salivary glands. Although it is not considered life-threatening, mumps can cause complications and outbreaks that are matters of public health concern. The best protection against mumps is the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella).

For more information about Mumps, prevention and follow up after exposure, go to the City of Berkeley Public Health Division/Mumps.

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Cirque des Science: LBNL Open House

What: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: Open House
When: Saturday, October 15, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Where: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will host an open house for kids of all ages on October 15. The program includes lab tours, lectures, exhibits, hands-on science investigations for children and performances.

To ensure safe and comfortable access to all activities, registration is required (including employees), and all guests are asked to attend either a morning (10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) or afternoon (12:30 to 3 p.m.) session. For more information including a schedule of activities, directions to the lab and parking, go to the LBNL Cirque des Sciences website.

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North Shattuck Safeway: Construction Begins

Safeway is beginning phase one of the remodel of its North Shattuck store. This first phase involves Henry St., the closure of the parking garage and the Shattuck corner of the building next to the Bank of the West. The store will remain open.

Construction hours for this project are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m., and 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on Saturday. In addition, construction is allowed inside the building until 4 p.m. on Saturdays. There is no construction allowed on Sundays or federal holidays.

Weekly project updates will be posted at Safeway on Shattuck. Concerns and questions should be directed to their community liaison, Elizabeth Jewel at 510/849-4811 or through the AJE Partners website.

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Energy Upgrade California

A message from our Office of Energy and Sustainable Development:

If you are an Alameda County homeowner, you can qualify for rebates and incentives of up to $4,000 to help pay for home improvements that save energy and water, improve indoor air quality and increase home comfort in hot and cold weather.

Energy Upgrade California is a new, statewide program for homeowners to find everything they need to increase the energy and resource efficiency of their entire home. Alameda County homeowners can qualify for rebates for energy upgrades that can increase the energy efficiency and comfort of their homes. In addition to energy efficiency, the program promotes water efficiency, waste reduction, resource conservation and green building improvements.

All funding is limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Check out the Energy Upgrade California website where you can learn more about the program, available rebates, locate a certified contractor, and begin to improve your home's efficiency and comfort. If you have a specific question about the program, email: or call the Bay Area's Energy Upgrade Helpline at 1-855-464-8484.

City of Berkeley Customer Service

The City of Berkeley has been working for the last several years to improve the ways residents do business with the City. Two of the most visible improvements are the Online Service Center and the 311 Call Center.

The Online Service Center is a great resource for those on the go. Use it day or night to look up City staff phone numbers, download maps, apply for jobs, pay parking tickets, schedule building inspections, report graffiti, broken sidewalks, street lights, potholes and more.

You can utilize the same services by calling the 311 Call Center. By calling (510) 981-CITY (2489) from a landline or cell phone or 311 from any Berkeley landline, you can talk with Call Center staff and report missed garbage pickups, pay bills, make Public Works reports and more. The Call Center is open 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Not sure where to start? Call 981-CITY or email CoB Customer Service.

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Berkeley Animal Care Services
Special Program for Seniors: 60:6:60

A squirming young pup may be fun to watch, but it may be hard to keep up with . If your puppy years are behind you too, you may find that an older animal might be the perfect companion.

The City of Berkeley Animal Services wants to make it easy for you. If you are sixty years old or over, and you adopt a dog or cat who is 6 or more years old, you will get a 60% discount on the adoption fee.

Please call (510) 981-6600, visit www.cityofberkeley.infoanimalservices or see the 60:6:60 flyer to learn more.

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City of Berkeley Annual Report

The City's Annual Report was mailed to every home and business in Berkeley. If you would like to see the interactive version, complete with links to City services, visit

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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