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2014.06.09 - [ マイケル富岡 ]

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Editorials from The Berkeley

Editorials from The Berkeley Daily Planet Tomorrow comes yet another April Fools' Day, remembered especially in the O'Malley family as the day in 2003 when we assumed responsibility for the Berkeley Daily Planet. Fourteen years is a long time, and yet it seems to have gone by in a blink. My chances of being around fourteen years hence are slim, so now is as good a time as any to consider what we've done with the last fourteen. For insight, let's first consider the beautiful essay contributed for our first issue by Peter Solomon. He popped up in our new office on South Shattuck as we were moving in. I'd known him somewhat during his distinguished and varied career as a typesetter, an editor of small papers including the Flatlands cheap jerseys newspaper, the original independent Montclarion, and who know what else? His wit and wisdom were famous in certain rarefied circles that I'd moved in during a prior life in journalism so we asked him to accept the title of the Planet's Eminence Grise. His major responsibility was to show up at staff meetings and set everyone straight as needed, which he did with humor and grace. "Berkeley with a view of the bay and San Francisco, and one two three bridges, or Berkeley where a dumpster is the most colorful item in sight through the smudged air? "Whose Berkeley? The aging Nisei couple on the porch of their bungalow with its immaculate yard, very like the house their parents were forced to sell cheap in 1942, do they live in the same town as the high tech success jogging past them to his $750,000 brown shingle a block away? "What is Berkeley to the commuter who drives past the Claremont Hotel and blocks of manicured green toward an office in the business school? To the men, talking to each other in Spanish or Mixtec, lined up outside the lumberyards a couple of miles west hoping to get a day's work? To the African American police officer who grew up here but had to go 40 miles up the freeway to find a house he could afford for his own family?" Much is the same, though some things have changed, notably the price of houses. You can read all of it here. In the editorial slot Mike and I posed this question: Why a Newspaper Now? Here's the lede: "A newspaper? Why a newspaper? Why now? We've been asked these questions often by friends and family in the last three months. From time to time, we've even asked ourselves why we're doing this. It's a lot of work. It's time consuming. It's expensive. We were comfortably retired from the business world, enjoying our grandchildren." You can read the rest of our lengthy answer here if you care to, but be warned, it's still an open question. I still don't know why we did it, or why I'm still doing whatever it is that I'm doing now. But I do know that there's still work to be done, for someone. It's still the job of whatever passes for The Press in this online age to let the public know what's going on. I share what I hear about with readers, but of course I miss a lot, since I do no systematic reporting. We also subscribe to the Bay City News Service on the readers' behalf, which is reliable though it doesn't offer much Berkeley coverage beyond police and fire reports. But basically, these days I'm running what amounts to a blog plus friends. Which is fine with me. Berkeleyans seem to have finally a much better city council that we did in 2003. If this new bunch (a majority of whom the Planet enthusiastically supported in the last election, plus a couple that we previously endorsed) can't build a better Berkeley, we might as well give up. But there's a lot these guys need to get moving on. The city planning staff is still the refuge of all too many incompetent partisans of the development industry embedded by the previous city manager in collusion with the previous mayor and the former planning director, though these people are gradually moving on. Who replaces them is important. And the same goes for new hires in other departments. Case in point: soon a new police chief will be chosen to fill the current vacancy, by the city manager per the city charter, but with the cooperation of the council and mayor. It would be more than sensible if the powers that be solicited extensive public input before offering the top job to anyone. It should be noted that some members of the Berkeley Police made bad decisions at the time of the Black Lives Matter demonstrations, but on the other hand some made good decisions re the March4Trump fiasco. What have we learned from these experiences? Citizens have a lot to say a groundswell of public opinion is already building, as reflected in some letters I've received, and it should be acknowledged in the selection process. And someone needs to figure out why Police Review Commission isn't working the way it was supposed to. I'm told that the Mayor and at least one new councilmember still haven't made their appointments to the PRC and that's urgent! That's a couple of examples of the kind of detail that new councilmembers need to attend to, and soon. There are many more that I could list, and I imagine most readers would be able to make their own to do lists for their representatives. What I think will not work as a form of communication about important civic matters is the dreadful Peak Democracy product now online on the city website, disguised by the new moniker of "Open Town Hall". Oh no, sorry, the new new name is "Berkeley Considers", but it's the same incredibly poorly designed software obviously created to engineer consent that's been around since 2011, when then Councilperson Gordon Wozniak tried to foist it on an unsuspecting city. And now it's back, as evidenced by an email that I got today from Wozniak's District 8 successor. You can see what they were up to the last time here. Nothing much has changed. It still has two properties which I particularly dislike. First, subscriber/participants don't have to publish their real names. Then there are the program's "civility guidelines" which can be seen here. Here's my favorite part: How do I know if my statement is a 'disagreement' or a 'personal attack'? Here are some examples of statements which are, and are not, personal attacks. She will announce her candidacy soon. In the President Trump era, why can't we just call a lie a lie when we see one? When Paul Krugman started at the New York Times, he was not allowed to use the word "lie" in his column, but now the Times uses it even in editorial headlines all the time, thanks to The Donald and his cronies.


Editors share their fall fashion favourites

Editors share their fall fashion favourites Trend followers flocked to the new Loblaws City Market on Lonsdale Avenue mid month to hear two Canadian style experts weigh in on what's hot for fall 2013. Erin McLaughlin, editor in chief at Style at Home magazine, and Jennifer Reynolds, editor in chief at Canadian Living magazine, flew in from Toronto to discuss fresh fads in food, fashion and home decor. According to the pair, here's what's in vogue for the upcoming season:Expect to see the "preppy look" everywhere, says McLaughlin, who attended the trend event sporting her own interpretation of the classic student style. In black corduroy pants with a cuff, nude pumps, a patterned top layered beneath a jean jacket and topped with multiple necklaces, McLaughlin said she was trying to blend preppy and Parisian esthetics to create a more personalized ensemble. When it comes to colour, she said she is loving ink blue a grey blue shade and contemporary alternative to navy. "We're looking at navy right now in a whole new way. Navy used to be that safe colour," McLaughlin says, explaining it's no longer a fashion faux pas to pair dark blue with black. Animal prints are also popular, she says, but expect to see the typically loud motifs take a more subtle turn this fall. Meanwhile, Reynolds showed up to the trend event in timeless black and white: a white collarless long sleeved blouse, slim cheap jerseys fitting black pants and black and white pointy toed pumps. She added a burst of colour with a pair of pink chandelier earrings. "It's interesting that pink keeps creeping up, even in the fall," Reynolds says, noting pink is now especially prevalent in the world of high fashion. Both editors agree the best way to save money and avoid falling out of fashion in a matter of months is to invest in high quality basics and experiment with trendy accessories. "It's all about personal style and pulling together your favourite pieces and rocking them," Reynolds says. "If you walk with the right swagger you can put together any outfit." Home decor Preppy pieces and ink blue aren't just popping up in clothing stores, they can also be found in the home, says McLaughlin, adding that harvest inspired hues such as rusty red are also hot for fall. "We're seeing a lot of mixtures of modern and contemporary lines in more interesting natural materials," McLaughlin says. "We're seeing a lot of bamboo now, which is great because it's more environmentally friendly." She encourages people to play around with decor trends without breaking the bank. "Inexpensive things like toss cushions or even picture frames or a ceramic vase in different colours or patterns that you want to experiment with aren't a huge financial commitment," she says. McLaughlin reminds people: "The most important thing is to buy what you love, not what people tell you to buy." As with fashion, Reynolds says it's OK to splurge on timeless essentials. According to Reynolds, these healthy and versatile foods are still riding a wave of popularity. In the produce department, check out the baby vegetable selection. They're nutrient rich, fun to cook and kid friendly, Reynolds says. "They always look so pretty on the plate as well," she adds. Pulled pork is a popular and economical family dinner. "It's a cheap cut of meat," Reynolds says, explaining the shredded pork can be prepared in the slow cooker and added to pizza, burgers or even tacos. McLaughlin, meanwhile, is noticing a health trend with grocery stores stocking more organic products and guilt free snacks, such as kale chips. "You used to see these things only in tiny health food stores so it's really great to see grocery stores bringing those things in because that's what people want," she says.


Edmonton city council eyes

Edmond hotel and conference center construction set to begin at first of the year "Because it is a public private project, we will have to go through the competitive bidding process," said Clay Coldiron, of Covell Partners in Development and project manager. There have been discussions in Edmond for more than a decade about the need for a convention or conference center. The city decided two years ago to put up $11 million to help develop a sports complex and hotel and conference center, part of a 300 acre development of the three corners of Covell Road and Interstate 35. City official said they think the projects will lead to additional economic development and increased sales tax revenues. Plans for a McDonald's have been approved in the area. Developers said other businesses will move forward once the hotel and conference center construction gets underway. The sports complex and hotel and conference center are being considered as two different projects. Davis Hudiberg, an owner of Summit Sports Complex, said final plans are being tweaked and they are close to getting started on the project. The Hilton Garden Inn and the conference center will be six stories tall and have 158 rooms, said City Planner Bob Schiermeyer. Two proposed 8 foot ground signs will be divided among the three occupants of the building Hilton Garden Inn, Edmond Conference Center and Edmond Convention Visitors Bureau. Brick on the base of cheap jerseys the sign will match the brick on the building. The building, with an inside pool and spa, will be surrounded by 546 parking spaces and 28 bicycle parking slots. The plan is for the developer to operate the hotel and conference center and collect the hotel motel tax. The city will refund up to $173,720 of that tax in the first year and a maximum of $256,350 in years 10 and 15 for a monthly management fee for the operation of the conference center.


Edmonton city council eyes

Edmonton city council eyes City efforts to get motorists to cut back on short cutting through neighbourhoods have hit some roadblocks. "We do not believe the current processes are effectively addressing traffic short cutting," cheap jerseys states an audit report on traffic calming measures presented to council members on Monday. The neighbourhood is sandwiched between two arterial roads and the river valley. When congestion builds up on University Avenue and 114 Street, motorists shortcut through the neighbourhood, causing safety issues. Vehicles cut past schools, through back alleys and a service road meant for one way traffic. "At times, it can take 20 minutes to get out of the neighbourhood if we're trying to head east or south," he said. "As part of that congestion there are frustrated drivers who want to get home." Belgravia is set to undergo neighbourhood renewal construction this fall and he hopes the city will deal with the traffic calming at the same time. "I'll stay optimistic, otherwise I wouldn't be trying to fight city hall," Shroeter said. Coun. Bev Esslinger brought forward a motion to address short cutting in a proactive manner, including clarification of a single point of contact for short cutting issues, addressing policy conflicts, and including best practises and analysis based on other municipalities. On top of that, she wants the city to address quick wins in neighbourhoods where a cheap and fast fix will help. "Too many neighbourhoods are still struggling," she said. She is disappointed some neighbourhoods that have already been on the list for traffic calming are on the list again. The city until now has made residents in affected areas jump through so many hoops that many never make it to the final steps, Esslinger said. Council's traffic calming guidelines were created in 2003, but a pilot project of two neighbourhoods didn't start until 2013. Adam Homes, transportation planning branch manager, said the city is currently working on a modified traffic calming guideline for the Pleasantview and Prince Charles neighbourhoods. Homes blames rapid growth on the city's outer limits and increased density within for the growing traffic woes. Traffic calming can range from small scale local solutions, like speedbumps, costing tens of thousands of dollars to $500,000, to $2 million major projects, like traffic circles.


Edmonton dance club denies

Edmonton dance club denies free tap water to designated driver But if you ask for glass of water, you might have to pay for it. Sarah Kraus explains. Karl Jorden is speaking out after he said he was denied drinking water at an Edmonton dance club. When Jorden's friend cheap jerseys came to visit from Saskatchewan, he rounded up a few more pals and headed to Krush Ultra Lounge in the west end for a night of dancing. "We were there having a good time and spent a lot of time on the dancefloor. It was very warm in there, so we were all thirsty." According to Jorden, the group of five rang up a $250 tab on food and drinks before one of his friends started to feel unwell. Karl recently went to Krush Ultra Lounge in west yeg he was DD, but a friend felt sick after drinking and needed water. Had to pay $3.50. "We tried to get some water [we] went up to the bar and they said, 'It's not our policy to give out tap water.' They provided bottled water at $3.50 and that was it," he said. "I think it's pretty ridiculous. Water's pretty cheap." Jorden thought he was just dealing with an unhelpful bartender, so he found a manager, hoping they could help. Instead, the manager told him the same thing. "I was surprised. I'd never been denied water at an establishment. Being the designated driver, I was like, 'What is going on?' All I wanted was water, and they wouldn't give it to me." Karl says he thinks it a poor business decision to make customers pay for water. He rather pay cover than buy bottled water. "We don't give out free glasses of water," he said. Baudenburger said because they don't have a cover charge, they need to make money somehow off guests that aren't drinking. What do you think yeg should liquor venues have to give free tap water if asked? Krush charges $3.50 a bottle. Baudenburger admits Krush has received complaints about the policy in the past and is always evaluating its stance. "I don't believe that's good business for anyone, really," Jorden said. "If they're interested in the health of their clientele and they want them coming back, they should be doing things that support that." He said he'd be fine with a cover charge. "If I had to choose, I'd rather pay cover, because you never know how much water you're going to consume in a night," Jorden explained. Technically, the practice is not illegal. "Non alcoholic drinks must be provided, but it is up to the licensee if they charge or not. Most venues, however, do provide free water because it's good customer service and it's just the socially responsible thing to do," said Eric Baich, manager of social responsibility with the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission.

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