City Hall

Emeryville Mayor Jennifer West – State of the City Address TONIGHT

February 7, 2012
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Emeryville Mayor Jennifer West – State of the City Address TONIGHT

  Mayor West’s State of the City Address 7:15 pm tonight, City Hall (City Manager, Patrick O’Keeffe, will also speak.) For those who can’t attend tonight’s meeting, the address will be televised (find the link on the city website) or on Emeryville TV, channel 27. As with all city council meetings, it will be reshown on Ch. 27 at other times as well, and will be archived on the City Council website. The City Council agenda for tonight’s meeting includes: Study Session on Proposals to contract out our Fire Services (starts at 6:30 pm) Discussion on the new LED street lights around town Design for the new park to be located next to Stanford Ave. between Hollis and Doyle (which includes a dog run in the plans) Appointment of a new Planning Commissioner Update from Ohana, a new non-profit that is working to support ECAP and other needs of the neediest in town Sustainable Communities Strategies update (this is the regional plan from MTC for transportation and land use going forward to address greenhouse gas emissions) All of these items are discussed in a bit more detail on Mayor West’s blog post here. She invites residents to come, listen and

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Meet the Candidates 2011

October 26, 2011
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Meet the Candidates For Emeryville City Council The information below is based on personal interviews with the candidates and is either quoted directly or paraphrased (in the first person), with the exception of information in parentheses. JACQUELINE (Jac) ASHER (Interviewed by Brian Donahue) Age 40,  married with two children (one enrolled in the Emeryville Child Development Center and one attending Anna Yates Elementary School); A Ph.D. Educator at UC Berkeley. She has lived four years in Emeryville. Where jacasher.com What Development: Cites Doyle/Hollis park as successful land use development but Oakwalk “could have been better”. Oakwalk suffers from a “lack of family friendly common space, the stairs are problematic and in general it doesn’t conform to presentations given to the city in order to define and work toward family friendly housing.” However she believes having said that there are some family friendly units there. She takes issue with the city’s lack of family friendly housing on the whole, “We’ve weighted things too heavily towards studios and one bedrooms.” Center of Community Life “We need more direct engagement with parents and families already enrolled in the schools. We need absolute transparency with expenditures and the budget for this project to maintain

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Bigger, and Better, Emeryville Finance Committee

September 12, 2011
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I recently attended my first meeting of the Finance Committee as a resident member and came away with positive impressions.  The Committee now has an expanded cadre: two city councilors, two business representatives, and two resident members.  By the time we next meet, a representative of the labor community in Emeryville will be added.  This is a striking improvement over its previous incarnation when just two city councilors served. Staff support for the Committee, led by Karen Reid, City Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, came informed and responsive to the queries of members.  City Manager Patrick O’Keeffe and Assistant City Manager Dolores Turner also attend the Committee’s meetings. For citizens interested in how the city fares financially, the quarterly meetings of the Committee are a great place to get answers.  I found Reid’s “City of Emeryville Quarterly Financial Report: Fourth Quarter 2010-11, as at June 30, 2011″ especially useful, with its comparative data between this year and last. (Look for it on the City’s website.) Given the shaky state of the national, state, and local economies, the Committee spent most of its time looking at ways to keep tax revenues in town and to manage our investments expertly.  A comment

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Hostages Held Overnight in Botched Office Depot Robbery

September 10, 2011
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Hostages Held Overnight in Botched Office Depot Robbery

OAKLAND (CBS 5) – A suspect who held hostages overnight at an Emeryville office supply store in a botched attempt to rob the store was taken into custody Saturday morning, an Oakland police officer said. After police reviewed surveillance video from the store, an employee was also arrested for allegedly assisting the suspect with entering the store to commit the robbery, police spokeswoman Holly Joshi said. The 45-year-old suspect from Oakland held an unknown number of people hostage at an Office Depot at 3535 Hollis St. starting at 9:36 p.m. Police were in a standoff with the suspect for six and a half hours, Oakland police Officer Kevin McDonald said. Read more at CBS San Francisco

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Shirley Enomoto Quits Measure J Oversight Committee

September 8, 2011
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Shirley Enomoto Quits Measure J Oversight Committee

  Enomoto Questions Committee’s Role and Responsibility for Future Emeryville Center for Community Life (ECCL) Long-time Emeryville resident Shirley Enomoto said she had complained for months that the Measure J Citizen Oversight Committee (COC) lacked a clearly defined role and appeared to have little or no power, or respect, from the educators and city council members who  appointed it. To no avail. After getting no meaningful response to her concerns, Enomoto resigned from the Committee “with a heavy heart.” “It’s very obvious to me that the City/ Schools Committee still does not know or want to say what the role and responsibilites of the COC are,” Enomoto said in her resignation letter, which she submitted to COC Committee Chair Brian Carver. “They seem very reluctant to give any control to the COC and appear fearful that the Committee wants to “approve” expenditures rather than simply review them, which is one of the committee’s principal responsibilities.” Enomoto said that of the five meetings she attended, more focus, time and attention was given to community engagement than to expenditures. There were lots of refreshments, she said, but no meaningful action. Bottled water and pizza or sandwiches were always served, despite the meeting

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Comments from Our Readers: While Sherwin Williams Denied Extended Hours, Residents Should Still Demand Results from Dust Testing

September 8, 2011
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At the City Hall meeting (Tues Sept 6), I raised the issue of the dust with high lead content during the public comment period. Surprisingly enough, no local residents came to raise this issue. A rep from the artists’ co-op was the only other public commenter, and she said that most of the people who attended the artists’ co-op supported the extended work hours, with only a “couple of” people strongly opposed, and she ignored the “toxic dust” issue altogether. Surprisingly enough, Larry Mencin did not take the podium to address the lead in dust/testing issue I had publicly called to the Council’s attention, and initially it looked like the City Council itself was going to brush over it. However, after some extended discussion about the noise and impact on quality of life that would result based on the proposed after hours work, both Ruth and Jennifer DID ask questions about dust testing. At that time Larry Mencin did step up to the podium and confirmed that they just ran some tests and hope to have results back soon. I suspect he was advised not to even mention the positive (they DID run tests, according to him) unless there was

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City Council Meeting Sept. 6: Sherwin Williams’ Request for Extended Work Hours

September 1, 2011
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City Council Meeting Sept. 6: Sherwin Williams’ Request for Extended Work Hours

The Emeryville City Council will consider Sherwin Williams’ request to extend its work hours at the Horton and 45th streets clean-up site to include Saturdays and evenings until 9 pm. Current hours are 7 am to 6 pm on weekdays. The clean up has been ongoing for 45 days and is expected to continue for at least another three months. Despite repeated requests from neighborhood residents, Sherwin Williams, the state Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), and Bay Area Air Quality Management (BAAQM) have so far refused to conduct testing of dust being generated by the clean-up. Soil at the site contains arsenic, lead, and benzene, among other toxins. Sherwin Williams now says it is working with DTSC to configure a dust sampling plan, but so far no sampling has been done. Several residents first complained of the dust three weeks ago, including a call to the BAAQM hotline. Mara Feeney, a public relations person hired by Sherwin William to address community concerns, said that they have problems with testing of the dust because “there is no ‘baseline’ data to use for scientific comparison.” Sherwin Williams has the same resources as any other multi-billion dollar corporation, with the very best

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Is It Safe?

August 27, 2011
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Is It Safe?

Sherwin Williams asks for extended work hours (evenings, Saturdays), while refusing repeated requests for testing Sherwin Williams has spent the past 45 days cleaning up the mess it made during its heyday dacades ago, when it was busy “covering the world.” And it’s quite a mess. More than 8 acres of land at the corner of Sherwin and Horton streets in Emeryville is contaminated with arsenic, lead, and solvents like benzene. While the clean-up –- reportedly just one-third of the way done –- is good news, the bad news is the clean-up is generating dust – a dust that residents say is sticking to their cars, blowing into their open apartment windows, and leaving a layer of grit on their morning newspapers. “It’s a change I’ve noticed since the clean up started,” said nearby resident Archana Horsting, referring to the dust on her newspaper. “I feel like I need to wash my hands because I don’t know what it is.” Horsting, a long-time resident of the Emeryville Artists’ Cooperative (EAC) and Executive Director of the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, spoke at a recent meeting between EAC residents, and representatives of Sherwin-Williams (S-W) and the state Department of Toxic Substances

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Emeryville City Council Race: Here’s Who’s Running

August 17, 2011
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Emeryville City Council Race: Here’s Who’s Running

It’s official. Here are the candidates running for three City Council seats in November. Election Day is Nov. 8. Don’t forget to vote! More information on each candidate will be coming soon in The Secret News.         (From left: Jacqueline Asher, incumbents Nora Davis, Ken Bukowski, and Ruth Atkin, and Michael Webber). (Click on the photos, or the names below, to go to more information about each candidate. In the case of the incumbents, the information provided reflects each of the candidates’ “political philosophy” touted in their last election campaign(s), in 2007. Did their actions over the past four years reflect those philosophies?) New candidates Jacqueline Asher Mike Webber Incumbents Ken Bukowski Nora Davis Ruth Atkin (To comment on this story, or to see the comments of others, click on the headline to go to the story page, and then scroll to the bottom.)  

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Berkeley, Emeryville pull out stops for lab campus

August 10, 2011
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by Doug Oakley Contra Costa Times August 9, 2011 Berkeley and Emeryville officials wooed representatives from Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory on Monday, in hopes the institution will choose their cities to build a second campus for 800 scientists. The meeting in Emeryville was the last of six held over the past three weeks that included Oakland, Richmond and Albany as possible sites for a new lab facility. At each meeting, cities tried to show why their sites are the best. When the process is over and the second campus is finished in 2016, 800 scientists will go to work in 500,000 square feet of labs and offices, a size that could grow to 2 million square feet over time. Landing the lab in any of the six proposed sites would be a boon for jobs and spending. Monday night’s proposal by Wareham Development was actually three in one: One alternative in Berkeley would house the lab on an 18-acre site just north of Ashby Avenue and Seventh Street; a second option would be located in Emeryville at Emery Station near the Amtrak Station; and a third would use both sites. On hand to hear the proposals were lab Director Paul Alivisatos

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