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City Council District 6
City Council District 6

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Councilmember Susan Wengraf 
Councilmember Susan Wengraf

Newsletter #10
March, 2010

Included in this newsletter is information about

    It's a challenging time to be an elected official.  As you are all aware, the fiscal crisis is hitting us hard in California, and here in Berkeley we will begin to feel the effects as state and county funds to local programs are slashed.  The city is facing a $14 million deficit with an even bleaker outlook for 2011.  Revenues in all city departments are depressed and well under projected levels.  The program areas hit the hardest are those that rely on state funding, like our Health Department.

    I am committed to maintaining our basic services at their current levels, and will try to keep you updated and informed about program cuts as they evolve.  We are lucky here in Berkeley to have very competent fiscal management, and I am optimistic that we will be able to get through this difficult period.


 Berkeley Is Blooming! 

 Le Roy steps
    The good news is that Berkeley is blooming!  It's a wonderful time of year to walk through Berkeley's beautiful neighborhoods and experience the extraordinary variety of trees, shrubs and flowers that are blossoming.

    While you are walking, visit the Le Roy Steps where more than 400 daffodil bulbs are now in full bloom.  What a gift to the community! Hurry over to see them because they won't be there much longer. The Le Roy Steps is a popular route for students and others who walk to the UC campus.  The steps run between Virginia Street and Hilgard Ave. at Le Roy.  A big thank you to the special residents of Hilgard Ave. for their generosity and all of their hard work to improve the Le Roy Steps and to make Berkeley a prettier place for all of us.

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Community Town Hall March 18th - 7pm 

    Join us for a Spring Town Hall Meeting, co-sponsored with District 5 Council member Laurie Capitelli, on March 18th.  We have a full Michael Meehanevening planned for you that includes welcoming our new Police Chief Michael Meehan, and discussions with Budget Manager Tracy Vesely, Asst City Manager Christine Daniel, and Ecology Center Director Martin Bourke.  Ms. Vesely and Ms. Daniel will provide an update on our budget situation.  Chief Meehan will speak about crime and safety, and Mr. Bourke will address your ongoing concerns about recycling and poaching.  Light refreshments will be served.
March 18th at 7:00 pm
 Northbrae Community Church
941 The Alameda

Heads Up!   AC Transit Bus Service Changes 
Service Change

    On Sunday, March 28, AC Transit will implement major service changes in every community from Richmond to Fremont. These changes wll result in an 8.4 percent reduction in service.

    The changes are extensive, and getting familiar with them will take some time and effort. Riders are encouraged to review the following resources:

Detailed list of changes 

Quick reference to major changes by community

Maps & Schedules (for line-by-line "preview schedules" and system map) 

Printed materials, including brochures and maps, will be on buses the second week of March.  AC Transit staff will also set up information tables at specific locations, dates, and times to distribute materials in person.  New timetables will be stocked on buses approximately one week before March 28, .

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Green Scorecard - How are We Doing?
   Acting on the principle that what gets measured gets managed, the City of Berkeley launched an interactive web-based tool that presents scorecards on local sustainability trends such as annual energy use, waste disposal, and tree planting in our community.  The website enables residents to access relevant, up-to-date information about Berkeley's progress toward its climate action goals.
 Save earth    The City's goal, established by a vote of the people in 2006, is to achieve an 80 percent reduction in global warming emissions by 2050 -- about a two percent reduction per year.
     The performance data presented on the site reveal several interesting trends.  Community-wide solid waste disposal decreased 25 percent between 2000 and 2008.  Electricity use in Berkeley homes decreased by eight percent and natural gas use decreased by 15 percent in that same time period.  The number of street and park trees in Berkeley increased by approximately eight percent between 2000 and 2009.
 Please visit the Berkeley See-It website.

2010 Census Information

    The census is a headcount of everyone residing in the United States: in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Island Areas.
     The 2010 Census form, which all residents will receive in the mail this month asks only 10 questions, taking just minutes to complete.

    Since much financial aid depends on census information, it is critical that Berkeley be accurately counted.  Please return your forms!
     Visit for more information

 Low Cost Pet Vaccines
    Does your pet need a Rabies, DHPP, Kennel Cough or FVRCP vaccine?  Low cost vaccines ($5 each) will be available at the Berkeley Animal Care Services Center, located at 2013 Second Street, on Sunday, March 14th.  Microchips are also available.  All dogs must be on leash and cats must be in carriers.  This low cost clinic is a collaborative effort of both Berkeley Animal Care Services and the East Bay Humane Society, and is sponsored by the Berkeley Animal Welfare Fund.

Daylight Savings Begins Sunday, March 14th 
DST clock
    Set your clocks ahead one hour before going to bed Saturday night, March 13th.

    The Berkeley Fire Department encourages you to change the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors when you set your clocks forward this weekend.  These detectors save lives only when the batteries are working!  A working smoke detector more than doubles a person's chances of surviving a home fire.  More than 90 percent of homes in the United States have smoke detectors.  However, it is estimated that one-third have worn-out or missing batteries.

    For maximum protection, test your batteries every month and replace them when the time changes twice a year.
     Click here for more information regarding smoke & carbon monoxide detectors.

Susan Wengraf
Berkeley City Council District 6
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