Berkeley City Council member meets with Obama

Berkeley City Councilmember Jesse Arreguin traveled to Washington, D.C., today in order to attend an intimate reception with the president and meet with members of his administration. According to a statement released by his office, Arreguin was one of a few members from the Young Elected Officials Network invited to
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City officials and workers compromise on pension reform

City officials and workers announced Tuesday at the Berkeley City Council meeting their agreement on a two-tiered pension system and a deferral of a previously agreed upon salary increase in hopes of ameliorating Berkeley’s current budget deficit. After nearly four months of negotiations, an agreement that would work to decrease
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Preschool Spanish program to open in fall

Championing the words of the ancient French king Charlemagne — “to have another language is to possess a second soul” — an East Bay Spanish immersion preschool program is opening a new branch in Berkeley. Kids Into Speaking Spanish is set to finalize arrangements to transfer ownership of a West
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A proposed project on University Avenue and Walnut Street is being developed with money from the Housing Trust Fund, which is managed by the city and receives federal funds.

City Council promotes affordable local housing

Berkeley real estate developers now have more of an incentive to build affordable housing units after the Berkeley City Council voted to pass an ordinance at its meeting Tuesday that would impose a fee on developers who do not meet the required percentage of affordable units. First introduced in Berkeley
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Pablo Paredes and his son pose at Franklin Preschool. The Board of Education voted to continue funding certain preschools.

City officials examine preschool funding options

Following the Berkeley Unified School District’s proposal to eliminate extended day care programs to offset budget cuts to preschool funding, concerns from low-income families who rely on the programs to watch their children prompted further discussion between city and school officials. At the school district’s June 8 Board of Education
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Some stores boarded up their windows in anticipation of rioting.

Hundreds gather to protest release of former BART police officer

Protesters have gathered in Downtown Oakland to protest the release of former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle, who was convicted of killing Oscar Grant III and has served 11 months for his crime. A Los Angeles jury convicted Mehserle in July 2010 of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Oscar
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A 1994 Mercedes Benz station wagon, above, was destroyed in the fire on the 500 block of Cragmont Avenue, which broke out on Wednesday.

Berkeley hills house fires investigated for arson

Two fires that broke out within 20 minutes of each other at residences about one block apart in the Berkeley Hills Wednesday morning are being investigated by the Berkeley Fire Department for arson. While responding at 12:43 a.m. to a report of a fire at a home at 548 Cragmont
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County leaders met to discuss a plan to shift responsibility for funding some services to local governments.

Forum covers proposed shift of state services to local control

Several Alameda County officials met and hosted a forum at The Way Christian Center in Berkeley on Friday to discuss Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to shift responsibility for certain state services to local governments. Programs including mental health services, child and foster care and criminal justice have been proposed to
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