What’s Subsequent for Berkeley’s Folks’s Park

What’s Next for Berkeley’s People’s Park

2022-08-17 18:29:00

The saga of Folks’s Park continues.

In the event you don’t already know, the park, simply blocks from U.C. Berkeley’s campus, is likely one of the Bay Space’s most storied plots of land, the positioning of huge counterculture protests within the Sixties.

And after going through many years of opposition to creating Folks’s Park, the leaders of the College of California system final yr permitted a $312 million plan to construct housing there for each college students and unhoused folks from the neighborhood. However the college’s efforts to rework the park have been stricken by delays, lawsuits and protests, particularly in latest weeks.

On Aug. 3, employees arrived at Folks’s Park to fence off the positioning and lower down timber to start development. However protesters quickly confirmed up, too. Park supporters view the land as valuable neighborhood area and a historic website that represents the wins of the Free Speech Motion.

Demonstrators breached the fences and occupied timber. They chanted: “Whose park? Folks’s park!” A stand off with the police ensued and 7 folks have been arrested, in line with U.C. Berkeley officers.

In a victory for the protesters, campus officers paused development. Two days later, a choose issued an order formally halting additional improvement, in response to a lawsuit filed by activists.

It’s now unclear what’s going to occur subsequent. If the college prevails in courtroom, development may start once more as quickly as October. However campus officers say they need to be sure that the work doesn’t disrupt courses and that employees will probably be secure, so an actual timeline is up within the air.

“Clearly, we’re going to hunt to keep away from any repeat of what occurred final time round,” Dan Mogulof, a campus spokesman, informed me. “The dedication to the undertaking is unwavering, however we have to rethink how we’re going to method that given the type of response and habits we’ve seen.”

The college’s plan for the park consists of constructing housing for 1,100 college students, in addition to for 125 people who find themselves homeless. About half the park will stay open area and can embrace a commemoration of the park’s historical past.

In an e mail despatched to college students and employees members this week as the autumn semester begins, the U.C. Berkeley chancellor, Carol Christ, mentioned the adjustments to Folks’s Park have been needed to fulfill an pressing want for pupil housing. Berkeley’s housing scarcity has already created different kinds of authorized bother for the college.

U.C. Berkeley homes solely about 20 p.c of its college students, the bottom within the College of California system. Christ has vowed to create sufficient pupil housing to ensure that incoming college students have a spot to stay for not less than two years.

“To realize that purpose the college should — and can — construct housing on each piece of appropriate property we personal in shut proximity to the campus, together with some at present getting used for different functions,” Christ wrote within the e mail. “It isn’t an both/or proposition; we can not meet college students’ wants with out utilizing a portion of the Folks’s Park website for pupil housing.”

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At the moment’s tip comes from Sue Miller, who lives in Rocklin:

“We love the city of Healdsburg — its welcoming downtown park, fascinating purchasing and plenty of eating places. The encompassing countryside is rolling hills coated with vineyards and plenty of wineries inviting you to style. A tranquil break for a weekend away.”

Inform us about your favourite locations to go to in California. E mail your strategies to CAtoday@nytimes.com. We’ll be sharing extra in upcoming editions of the e-newsletter.


California dad and mom, kids and lecturers: How are you feeling concerning the begin of the college yr?

E mail us at CAtoday@nytimes.com together with your hopes, fears and tales. Please embrace your identify and town that you just stay in.

Virtually each summer season, Levon Alyanakyan, a highschool junior in San Juan Capistrano, visits family in Armenia. This summer season, his baggage was slightly heavier than regular — seven suitcases stuffed with books.

Alyanakyan put in 30 free-standing picket bins often known as “Little Free Libraries” in provinces round Armenia, notably in areas with no native libraries. He stuffed them with ebook donations from family and friends that he had collected again dwelling in California.

“What it does is it allows the villages to every have a library of their very own,” Alyanakyan informed The Orange County Register. “It doesn’t need to be an enormous concrete library with a woman there. These are small communities, to allow them to all share this one little library and provides everybody entry to books.”


Thanks for studying. I’ll be again tomorrow. — Soumya

P.S. Right here’s as we speak’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Cozy place for a cat (3 letters).

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