July 20 2018

On Monday, July 23rd, Council will discuss whether all of our first responders can participate in a regional disaster preparedness program called Urban Shield. I wrote to you about this last June. Since then my staff and I have attended Urban Shield so please feel free to email any questions.

On Tuesday, July 24th, Council has 77 items on the agenda but I don’t think we will get to them all. Here are a just a few of the items Council we will be voting on:

  1. Putting a measure on the ballot to increase the transfer tax on property sales to fund municipal and  homeless services.
  2. Putting a measure on the ballot that amends the rent ordinance. This also relates to the statewide bill to repeal Costa Hawkins and expand rent control options for cities.
  3. Accessory Dwelling Unit ordinance updates
  4. An item that would repeal a Berkeley Municipal Code and a 2016 Open Government item. This proposed item would allow paid Council or Mayoral employees and city staff to serve on city commissions advising Council on policy. I co-authored an op-ed about my concerns about transparency and conflict of interest in 2016.

PG&E Work on Panoramic Hill:

PG&E will be upgrading and modernizing overhead electric lines. Construction will take place on Panoramic Way in Berkeley on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. In addition, crews will be completing pre-work the week before construction begins and restoration work the following week. This type of upgrade usually takes several weeks to complete, but PG&E is working to minimize disruption by completing the improvements in one day. This will require work outside usual business hours and the closure of Panoramic Way during construction.

Potential traffic impacts

Panoramic Way will be closed to traffic on July 31, 2018. Vehicles will not be able to enter or leave during that time, and no parking will be allowed on the street. PG&E will post “No Parking” signs at least 72 hours in advance of the work and route traffic around construction areas. Please plan to park personal vehicles in your driveway or outside the construction area the evening of July 30.

What you can expect

During construction, you may see PG&E crews, contractor trucks and other heavy equipment, as well as emergency vehicles standing by so first responders can get to homes in the event of an emergency. To ensure the safety of PG&E customers, the public and our employees, a temporary service interruption will be necessary. Residents will receive a separate letter in advance to provide you with the details and schedule of the interruption. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact your local PG&E Customer Outreach Specialist, Lina Tate, at 510-423-8279, during normal business hours, or email us at electricreliability@pge.com.

Office Hours

My monthly office hours will be on August 2nd, from 9:30-11am, at Espresso Roma on College at Ashby. As always, if you can’t make this time, please feel free to reach out and schedule an individual appointment!

A list of community events is below.  

Lori Droste
Berkeley City Councilmember, District 8

Need a street or sidewalk repair? Want to request a City service?

Use Berkeley's online 311 form (either through the General Request form or a specific topic) or call 311 from a landline, or 510-981-2489. Please note that my office routes all the service requests we receive through this customer service center, so your request will be handled most efficiently by directly contacting 311.

Sign up for emergency notifications on AC Alert  and crime prevention/updates on Nixle.  

July 27th, 8:30pm: Mulan, James Kenney Park, 1720 8th Street
August 10th, 8:15pm: Paddington 2, Codornices Park, 1201 Euclid Avenue
August 24th, 8:00pm: Coco, Cedar Rose Park, 1300 Rose Street
September 7th, 7:45pm: Lion King, San Pablo Park, 2800 Park Street 
September 21st, 7:30pm: Kubo and the Two Strings, Willard Park, 2730 Hillegass Avenue

Enjoy all the fun of a drive in movie at your local park.

Please arrive at least 30 minutes before the movie begins. Bring blankets, sleeping bags, and/or low-back beach chairs with a maximum height of 9 inches off the ground, so the view of other patrons is not blocked. A flashlight or headlamp makes walking out at the end of the night easier. Limited street parking is available. This is an alcohol free event.

Help the City of Berkeley better prepare for disasters such as earthquakes, wildfires, and climate change by filling out a short questionnaire.Your anonymous feedback will help us to better share information and science about disaster risk. It will also help inform the City's current and future disaster readiness programs. The questionnaire will be available until September 30, 2018 on the Berkeley Considers platform. It is a first step in our update to the 2014 Local Hazard Mitigation Plan. The updated plan will evaluate potential disasters and use the latest science to create a list of projects that could protect Berkeley when the next disaster strikes.

The effort to update the mitigation plan is led by the City's Office of Emergency Services, which coordinates a suite of programs to build disaster resilience in Berkeley. Visit the Berkeley Ready website to create a disaster plan, sign up for Community Emergency Response Team Training, and sign up to receive emergency alerts.

The City, its partners, and individuals throughout Berkeley have been working together for years to make Berkeley safer in disasters. The Local Hazard Mitigation Plan continues this work and will be better informed when you share your concerns. We appreciate your feedback.