The Bates Update:  February
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Feb. 28, 2016 - In This Issue:


Visit a Public School Class on 
"College & Career" Day on March 9

Scenes from last year's College & Career Day. Photos: Berkeley Unified School District

A few words about your own work experience could make a big difference for young people wondering about their future possibilities.

Community members are invited to talk about their careers at Berkeley's "College & Career Day" on March 9. The best part sometimes can be answering the often unexpected questions from the students.

Volunteers can request the school level they'd like to visit (elementary, middle school or high school) and the time or times they'd prefer. They can sign up here:

This will be Berkeley's 4th annual College & Career Day, which is part of the 2020 Vision for Berkeley's Children & Youth, a citywide initiative launched in 2008 with the goal of providing equal opportunities for all children regardless of race, ethnicity or income and eliminating the achievement gap in Berkeley schools by 2020.

The classroom visits are a key element of a weeklong series of workshops and events in the public schools called the Berkeley College & Career GradNation Community Summit, organized by the Mayor's Office with other City staff, the School District, Berkeley City College, UC Berkeley and other community partners. It is one of dozens of GradNation Summits nationwide presented by AT&T.

The theme is "Picture Yourself There," and the goal is to help more students graduate from high school and be prepared for college or technical training so that they can find rewarding careers.

Berkeley's weeklong Summit also includes:
  • a summer jobs and internships fair
  • a community college fair
  • a talk by Kemba Smith Pradia, author of Poster Child, her memoir about redemption after serving a prison term for non-violent drug offenses
  • a talk by Berkeley resident Tarik Glenn, who played football at Cal and played in three Pro Bowls during his decade-long NFL career with the Indianapolis Colts, and founded the nonprofit Dream Alive with his wife Maya to help urban youth become civic leaders
  • a workshop on careers in producing virtual and augmented reality by Berkeley filmmaker Siciliana Trevino, Executive Producer of and founder of OffPlanet VR
  • and several other events

City Council Takes Plunge Into Murky Legal Waters

Law Takes Effect Jan. 1, 2017

The City Council voted unanimously on Jan. 26 to raise the legal age to buy tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, in Berkeley to 21 -- effective Jan. 1 of next year.

The 8-0 vote followed the recommendation of the Community Health Commission, to which the Council had referred the issue on Sept. 15. The measure must come back to Council and be approved officially as a revised ordinance before it can take effect.

The legal age statewide is 18. Some other local governments in California have considered raising the local legal age to 21 for tobacco but have refrained in light of state law that could be interpreted as banning local regulation of tobacco sales, according to a City staff report. Staff had recommended that Council not take action pending the outcome of proposed State legislation to raise the age statewide to 21. That legislation, ABX2-8, appears stalled in the Assembly.

Berkeley is a leader is local measures to discourage tobacco use. In 1977, it was one of the first cities to sharply limit smoking in restaurants, stores and other public places. Its most recent clampdown, before the vote to raise the legal purchasing age, came on Sept. 29 last year when the Council gave final approval to a new ordinance to ban sales of electronic cigarettes and flavored tobacco products within 600 feet of schools.  The same ordinance also bans the issuance of new business licenses to sell any kind of tobacco product in the 600-foot zones.


Prime Location Between Downtown and UC Campus

Ribbon-cutting for the Jan. 31 opening of the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive
Jan. 31 was a historic day for Berkeley's cultural landscape. That's when the new home for the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, also known as BAMPFA, finally threw open its doors to welcome the public.

A week of festive events preceded the opening of the UC Berkeley project that's been gestating since 2001 when the university declared that the museum and film center's seismically unsafe former home on Bancroft Way was not suitable for retrofitting.

The new home occupies a prime site on the Oxford Street border between the campus and Berkeley's downtown, a block away from the Downtown Berkeley BART station.

Main entrance to BAMPFA on Center Street
An earlier plan for the building -- a design by renowned Japanese architect Toyo Ito -- had to be abandoned in 2008 because the cost exceeded university resources in the economic downtown. The campus commissioned a less expensive design by the New York firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, which renovated Cal's 48,000-square-foot former printing plant and added a modernistic, steel-skinned wing of 35,000 square feet

The opening was widely covered  locally and nationally by both the mainstream news media and architectural publications. A Berkeleyside article includes many photos.

New 'UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall' Debuts March 25

Rendering courtesy of UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall

Berkeley's 99-year-old UC Theatre on University Avenue is a City landmark with a colorful past. 

Its peculiar distinctions include the record for longest run of midnight showings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show (22 years) and the location where filmmaker Werner Herzog famously settled a lost bet by eating his shoe after it was prepared by Chez Panisse. (Even though ithe theatre's name includes "UC," it has no affiliation with UC Berkeley.) 

In recent times it was known for its wide variety of foreign films mixed with domestic movies that appeal to serious film fans. But the 1,466-seat venue was not able to weather the decline in movie-going and closed in 2001.

Many in the community grappled with various possibilities for bringing the space back to life but to no avail -- until the nonprofit Berkeley Music Group, headed by former Biil Graham Presents chief operating officer David Mayeri, hit on the idea of a renovation into a music hall. Funding is provided by an ongoing community fundraising campaign -- boosted by a significant contribution from philanthropist Tad Taube and Taube Philanthropies.

The reborn UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall will not only host touring music performers of many kinds but also provide education and training programs for youth. Also included are a state-of-the-art Meyer sound system as well as a bar and restaurant. 

The first show, on March 25, features Brooklyn-based two-time Grammy winners They Might Be Giants. (The opening show originally was March 1, featuring Best Coast Wavves. It still appears on the UC Theatre's online calendar, but its location has moved to the Fillmore.)


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Mayor's Signature in White
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