Friday, February 18, 2011

Our Downtown in Trouble. Who's Surprised.

While our city council debates the pros and cons of making roosters illegal ("Cock Blocking Berkeley," as one wag put it), our downtown further deteriorates.

Now the Arpeggio Building, long a contentious project in the downtown core, blocking Center Street for nearly half a decade, has financially collapsed again! This is exactly what over-sized, non-responsive downtown development looks like, this is exactly what happens when the city council climbs into bed with developers to change the very character of our community.

Soon the city will allow the notorious bankruptcy artist, newspaper defiler, and would-be 'Manhattanizer' Sam Zell, an out of town billionaire, to further destroy our downtown with his six-story, block-sized development project running from Oxford to Shattuck, from University to Berkeley Way, to create yet another doomed fiasco project while strangling Berkeley's Ace Hardware, the Missing Link repair shop, Zatar restaurant, etc. What a shame our city council is so quick to encourage this inappropriate development which will further exacerbate our precarious financial situation. It's not ironic that this doomed project is across the street from the former home of Radston's Office Supply, which once generated $400,000 a year in retail sales taxes for Berkeley but now does so for the city of Hercules.
Sad, sad, sad.

For more on the latest of Arpeggio's financial failings see the Berkeley Daily Planet story at

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What a livable urban town should look like

A picture perfect example of why I'm against Berkeley's Measure R
click here and see what real livability looks like.
Vote NO! on Measure R.
If the link above doesn't work for you, the URL is

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Stop Mayor Bates Wrecking Crew!
Measure R is a Trojan Horse that will bring many, many more enormous skyscrapers to downtown Berkeley. It is the nature of development to always push the boundaries. Every building allowed is far more valuable when its much larger.

There is no carbon neutral option when buildings are torn down and replaced. Even the most aggressive LEED standards don't compensate for carbonload dumped into the environment by these destructive practices. Carbon neutral development is creative reuse, not search and destroy development.

Tom Bates and the clown circus that calls itself Livable Berkeley are developer apologists who would happily bulldoze the entire downtown and replace it with canyons of steel for a few more shekels in their own pockets. Mark Rhoades, the former Berkeley Associate Planning Director and his wife are Livable Berkeley and he personally is now attempting to profit from his former position with the city by playing on the alliances he still has within that corrupt department.

Tom Bates and Mark Rhoades are pushing a green-washed developer scam that will destroy downtown Berkeley and severely damage the rest of our community. The Bates machine is trying to bulldoze the community into changing the very character of our lovely city and Manhattanize (Bates term) our small town into the sort of bleak skyscraper wasteland seen in downtown Oakland.

Already UC is adding a million square feet of building and the National Lab is adding another million square feet of building and we can’t do anything about that but we can stop R. The Yes on R folks are claiming their new monstrosities will be green but even a LEED Platinum building will net far more carbon waste over the lifespan of the building than creative reuse of our existing (vacant) retail stock.

Don't let "Chairman Tom" Bates choke a million more feet of non-retail construction into our downtown.

Stop Mayor Bates' Wrecking Crew. VOTE NO ON R

Vote Jasper Kingeter for District 1
Vote for Jesse Arreguin for District 4
Vote Kriss Worthington for District 7
and vote Stewart Jones for District 8 and VOTE NO ON R.

For RENT BOARD vote for the incredible Lisa Stevens of Spiral Gardens, my son Asa Dodsworth, the very committed Jessie Townley, Dave Blake, Katherine Harr, and Pam Webster. STEVENS, TOWNLEY, HARR, WEBSTER & BLAKE are incumbents ...

Regarding SCHOOL BOARD, I voted for Karen Hemphill, Leah Wilson, and Julie Holcomb, all endorsed by the Green Party of Alameda County. The Berkeley Federation of Teachers endorsed Karen Hemphill, Leah Wilson and Josh Daniels.(

I met Josh, a local lad and a lawyer, and I came away very, very skeptical. He feigned ignorance about Measure R and he's been endorsed by Gordon Wozniak, the most conservative member of the city council and a major financial supporter of Yes on R, which will destroy Berkeley as we know it. That was enough for me NOT to vote for Josh.

Vote NO on R!! Save Berkeley from Tom Bates' Wrecking Crew!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

We Want to Live in Patti Dacy World!!!

At the Friday night City Council debate at Willard Jr. High School, it was reported that Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates dismissed any suggestion that massive Downtown Skyscrapers weren't the best way to deal with the city's numerous financial problems by claiming that those who weren't in favor of just giving away our downtown to Tom Bate's developer campaign contributor/cronies were living in "Patti Dacy World"!! Let me be the first to suggest I'd rather live in Patti Dacy World, a green and friendly small town version of Berkeley than in Mayor Tom Bates filthy over-crowded, crime-ridden, Manhattanized Berkeley.

Come on, if this city council were able to do anything better than our current disgraceful commercial shopping districts, where filth and empty storefront are epidemic, we'd have already seen it. They've had years to ruin our city, it's time to elect folk who can run our city for our benefit, not just for the developers.

Vote for Kriss Worthington in District 7
Vote for Stewart Jones in District 8
Vote for Jesse Arreguin in District 4
Vote for Jasper Kingeter in District 1

and VOTE NO ON R, the latest version of Tom Bates' Downtown Giveaway!!

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fred dodsworth