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July 17, 2013

In this issue:

A Note from Councilmember Capitelli
New Plastics Recycling
Sundays on Telegraph
National Night Out August 6
Solano Stroll
Sunday Streets is Back
The Hayward Fault: Lessons from 1868
Do Not Feed the Wild Turkeys
City Contacts and Resources

A Note From Councilmember Capitelli

Dear District 5 Neighbors,

Summer in Berkeley marks the onset of our “street season” when certain roads are claimed for locals to meet and greet, walk and bike, listen to music, eat and enjoy the sunshine (if the fog cooperates). From National Night Out to the Solano Stroll to the second annual Sunday Streets – and now Sundays on Telegraph - there are ample opportunities for us to transform thoroughfares into lively pedestrian communities.

But for most of the year our streets are for movement of people, vehicles and sometimes storm water. The pavement below our feet will be the topic of the final Measure M community meeting on July 18 (announced in last month's newsletter). City Commission members, City staff and local citizens have developed criteria and a frame work for street selection that they hope to be a living and evolving document. The goal is to maximize our $30 million bond resources and begin the work as soon as possible in 2014. Process documents can be found at Measure M: The Public Works Commission and the Public Process.

One District 5 street that will be transformed this summer – for safety not for street parties - is The Alameda. The culmination of a three-year process, the street from Hopkins to Solano will go on a “Road Diet.” It will be reconfigured a la Marin Avenue from four lanes to three, with outside lanes for traffic, a center lane for left-hand turns and dedicated bike lanes for bicyclists and right turns.

As presented by my office through this newsletter and several community meetings, the project has several goals:

  • Improving pedestrian safety particularly around the library.
  • Improving the safety of left turns.
  • Creating bike lanes.
  • Improving safety for exiting parked cars.
  • Providing room for The Alameda residents to back out of their driveways.
  • Eliminating the south bound merge lane below Hopkins.
  • Reducing traffic speeds.

The Public Works Department will be sending notifications to residents who might be impacted during the project work. That notice will include specific dates and department contact information.

Whether you are strolling, biking, walking or driving, please be safe. As our summer and fall events remind us, our streets are a shared community space. We are all in this together.

Have a great summer.


Laurie Capitelli
Berkeley City Council, District 5

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New Plastics Recycling

Berkeley has moved one step closer to our goal of Zero Waste by 2020! Berkeley residents can now recycle more plastic containers in their Ecology Center curbside carts. In addition to plastic bottles, the Ecology Center will now collect food storage containers, dairy tubs (like yogurt), plastic cups, and trays. Residents can drop off oversized plastic objects at the Berkeley Recycling Center at 2nd Street and Gilman.

There are still plastics that should not go in to the blue curbside carts like Styrofoam, plastic bags or wrap, compostable plastics, utensils, straws, and coffee lids. China, where the US ships most of its plastic recyclables, has become more selective in what it allows. Berkeley remains vigilant about only collecting plastics that have viable markets and producing clean, high quality materials for recycling. You can help by only placing clean plastic containers in your cart.

Plastics continue to pollute our oceans and waterways, and are associated with a growing variety of health hazards. For these reasons, the Ecology Center continues to urge Berkeley residents to reduce their overall use of plastics. Check out Ways to Eliminate Plastics at Home for helpful tips on using less plastic in your life. Plastics are expensive to recycle. The less you use, the more efficient our programs can be. Do your part: Use Less and Recycle More.

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Every Sunday until mid-September, Telegraph Avenue becomes a car-free people zone full of life. The streets are closed between Durant and Haste for your enjoyment. Bring your friends for music, al fresco meals, shopping, and more.

Like us at Facebook for information about the weekend’s music, activities, and special discounts from Telegraph merchants.

Parking is available in the Telegraph-Channing garage.

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National Night Out

What: 30th Annual National Night Out
When: Tuesday, August 6, 2013, starting at 5:30 p.m.
Where: Organized and Registered Berkeley Neighborhoods (see below)

The City of Berkeley welcomes all Neighborhood Watch Groups, local businesses, faith based organizations and community/neighborhood groups to organize and participate in National Night Out, a festive and positive expression of community and neighborhood safety. It’s an opportunity to celebrate our neighborhoods, the fight against crime, safety and disaster preparedness with members of the City of Berkeley Police and Fire Departments, City staff and elected officials.

The annual "National Night Out" (NNO) program, held on the first Tuesday each August, has been extraordinarily successful in promoting involvement in community, crime prevention activities, strengthening community relations, and encouraging neighborhood camaraderie as part of the fight for safer streets. Since 1984, "National Night Out-America's Night Out Against Crime"has grown to involve over 37 million people from more than 10,000 communities.

Register today to be included in the group list of block parties around the City. All groups who want to hold their event in the street must submit a block permit with the City of Berkeley for street closures for this event. Please read the Block Party Permits and necessary requirements to download the necessary forms.

Go to National Night Out 2013 to download the City of Berkeley National Night Out registration form.

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Solano Stroll

What: 39th Annual Solano Stroll
When: Sunday, September 8, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Where: Solano Avenue between San Pablo Avenue and The Alameda

Sunday, September 8 from 10 am to 6 pm is the 39th Annual Solano Stroll where you and your family and friends can "Step into the Future”, the theme of this year’s event. The Stroll is a great opportunity to see your friends and neighbors, check out local merchants on the Ave., learn about local service organizations while enjoying lots of local music and entertainment.

Go to the Solano Stroll website to find out about hours, the parade, booth applications and shuttle buses.

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Save the Date:
Sunday Streets October 13

What: Sunday Streets. A Car-free Mile in Downtown Berkeley
When: Sunday, October 13, 2013. 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Where: Shattuck Avenue between Haste and Rose Streets

Walk, jog, bike or dance to a one-day, mile-long park on Shattuck Avenue. Due to popular demand, Open Streets http://www.sundaystreetsberkeley.com/are coming back to Berkeley!

This is not a traditional street “fair” - no food vendors, artisans or entertainment. This is an opportunity to stroll with friends and neighbors and to meet local merchants as they showcase their businesses.

“Sunday Streets Berkeley,” modeled after a similar program in San Francisco, is produced by Livable Berkeley in association with the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, the Ecology Center, the Downtown Berkeley Association, the North Shattuck Association, and the City of Berkeley.

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Learning from History:
1868 Earthquake on the Hayward Fault

What: Illustrated lecture by Richard Schwartz
When: Thursday, September 19. 7:00 p.m.
Where: Northbrae Community Church. 941 The Alameda. Parlor Room

Did you ever wonder what the next "Big One" on the Hayward Fault will be like for you, your family, your home, and your neighborhood? The best way to learn what to expect from the next big one is to learn and see what the last Big One was like- the 1868 Hayward Fault Earthquake.

Richard Schwartz, Berkeley historian and District 5 resident (author of “Berkeley 1900”), will give an illustrated talk, share first-hand accounts of those who witnessed and lived through the 1868 earthquake, and show us what the effects of it were in the east bay and near our neighborhood. The stories and scenes of damage in 1868 are probably much more severe and sobering than we all realize or are prepared for, but they are what we need to know so we can be mentally and physically prepared for our "Big One," which, according to the USGS, was due five years ago, based on this fault's average eruption intervals. If you want to see, hear, and know what is most likely coming to your neighborhood, this lecture is a must see for you, your family, and your neighbors.

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Don’t Feed the Deer . . .
Or the Wild Turkeys . . .
Or the Mosquitos

Every spring, my office staff fields reports about deer in neighborhoods far away from where we imagine deer should live. Raccoons, skunk and possum have also found happy homes in our urban ecosystem. Now there are regular sightings of wild turkeys in North Berkeley. If fed and made to feel at home they can destroy vegetable gardens, leave droppings and be very aggressive during mating season.

That’s why the California Department of Fish and Game, as part of their Keep Me Wild program, reminds residents: don’t feed wild animals. If they have access to human food and garbage, they want more and more. Ultimately they lose their natural fear of humans, can become aggressive and be pests. This goes for turkeys and all our wild neighbors.

Certainly no one wants to intentionally feeds mosquitoes. So we are encouraging folks to be part of a “source reduction” program; eliminate breeding opportunity by eliminated any standing water on your property. If you have any questions or want to report standing water in a public area, go the Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District or call 510-783-7744.

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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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