Berkeley Neighborhoods Council


Dedicated to improving the quality of life for all
by creating a unified neighborhood voice
for promoting livability and resolving problems


BNC eNEWS, Issue 5, January 2014

BNC is all about uniting neighborhoods so that neighborhoods will have a stronger voice in City decision-making.  One example of what we do are the many articles that the BNC eNEWS has published regarding the Mini-Dorm issue, an issue that once was a pretty silent one.  Not only is the Mini-Dorm issue a major one for Berkeley's neighborhoods, it is an outstanding example of how and why neighborhoods can work together.  Even if you think such problems will never, ever affect your neighborhood, you need to understand that neighborhoods all over Berkeley must work together if a neighborhood voice is to be heard.  So, from I-80 to Grizzly Peak, the Albany border to the Oakland border, let's all help each other - write letters, show up at meetings, send e-mails, keep your neighbors informed by distributing this eNEWS and make a difference.  Someday, your neighborhood may need support, and the BEST way to get it is to make those connections now.

That being said, once again we ask you to distribute this eNEWS to as wide a readership as possible by asking that you forward it to your own e-mail list, and include this same request regarding forwarding.  And please remember: if you want to subscribe directly to the BNC eNEWS, please e-mail us at and enter “subscribe” in the subject line.  If you want to unsubscribe, use that same e-mail address and enter “unsubscribe” in the subject line, but keep in mind that if you “unsubscribe,” while BNC won't send the eNEWS to you directly, you might continue to receive it because you are on a separate neighborhood or friend's list.

In this Issue…

  • What We're Thinking About:
    • We ask our City leaders about their 2014 goals for protecting and preserving neighborhoods .
    • We give the reasons for a Referendum of the Council proposed Redistricting map that divides students and ignores neighborhoods.
    • We tell you how the Suitcase Clinic got its name, what it does and its staff.
  • Neighborhood News, Round and About:
    • A proposal from the Mayor regarding zoning appeals.
    • Just when you thought the process concerning the proposed micro-dorms at 2701 Shattuck was over, another plan pops up out of nowhere.
    • March 3, 2014 is the public hearing regarding 3001 Telegraph and everyone needs to be there.
    • A new Kennedy building that is already sparking controversy may be coming to Telegraph Avenue.  There is going to be a meeting about it on January 30th.  Find out where.  BNC vows to find out how to get better designed buildings.
    • North Berkeley Hills Neighborhood named the 2nd hottest neighborhood in the San Francisco region, right behind the Bernal Heights, North Slope Neighborhood.
  • Neighborhood Forum:  Durant Avenue neighbors in the Downtown area speak out about the lack of legally required notice regarding the Downtown Area Plan and the upzonings that occurred in that area.
  • Featured Neighborhoods:  Southside neighborhoods unite in their opposition to a proposed massive mini-dorm project that includes historic landmarks.
  • Outside Agencies That Affect Berkeley:  Read about BNCs complaint about how the City failed to provide Berkeley residents with information about Plan Bay Area and our focus on getting the Open Government Ordinance amended so that this doesn't happen again.
  • The Cultural Corner:  The corner is fully occupied in this issue with a review regarding an art gallery in West Berkeley, but while the gallery isn't controversial, the building is.
  • On the Neighborhood Food Prowl: Our reviewer finds an Italian gem in central Berkeley where the food is delicious and the prices are moderate.
  • Let's Just Get It Fixed:  There seems to be good news on the way about that “pot hole zone” that's waiting to separate you from your bike.  Find out about the next problem around John Muir Elementary School that we hope to get fixed.
  • Letters:  A long-time neighborhood person shares his proposal for making neighborhoods cheerier and safer too!

As we enter 2014, we hope you enjoy Issue 5 of the BNC eNEWS.  We are not complaining, but the amount of news is growing so fast that it is getting harder and harder to include it all in one issue.  So, we would like to give you a brief hint that future issues will not only bring you lots and lots of updates about issues that we have already written about, there will also be articles on the Post Office, Berkeley history, Maxwell Field, Memorial Stadium, and parking, to name just a few.  Happy Reading and please remember, your comments about articles, suggestions regarding improving the newsletter, requests for issues that you would like to see covered, are always welcome at