On a day when most of Berkeley citizens’ eyes are on the current AFSCME strike that bubbles across campus, few are aware that the city just lost one of its “champion” councilmembers. Dona Spring had been in the hospital for the past week due to an extended illness, and was only 55 when she died Sunday afternoon.

According to the City Council District 4 website, she had 27 years of community service under her belt and acted as a strong proponent for public safety, affordable housing and the environment–and was also a “fighter for the disabled, for animal rights, her district and all Berkeley residents.” Additionally, Spring held a degree in anthropology and psychology from Cal.

The Clog sends our well wishes to her family and friends, along with our appreciation for her many contributions to the city.

EDIT: For updates and additions to this story, see the Daily Cal article.

Image Source: Julie Himes, Daily Cal
Berkeley City Councilmember Dies [Daily Cal]

Despite conspiracy theories about Berkeley trying to get rid of the homeless, Mayor Tom Bates’s Public Commons for Everyone Initiative has made it through the red tape to the green light.

Cliches aside, the Clog seems to find the well-intentioned initiative at least partially redundant. Last time we checked, sex on the sidewalks isn’t totally legal anyway, so why raise parking meter prices 25 cents per hour to enforce its apparent uber-illegality?

Ah, because the initiative also increases homeless services–you know, some phone tree to make finding space in homeless shelters efficient and more public toilets to replace the current failed public health experiment on the sidewalks.

But despite pumping parking meter revenue (from all 12 working meters!) into the problem, others, including Councilmember Dona Spring, found the initiative “immoral and also illegal” on grounds that criminalizing homelessness worsens the problem of limited space in homeless shelters. Apparently she missed the part about increasing services for the homeless.

We suppose the Public Commons for Everyone Initiative won’t solve homelessness or really make any marked difference in our lives other than raising the price of parking meters–so, no, we have no spare change–but at least Berkeley’s plan doesn’t include a shuttle bus to Brentwood.

Image Source: Shayan Sanyal under Creative Commons
Council OKs Public Commons Initiative [Daily Cal]
Curb Your Aggression [Daily Cal]
Episode 1107: Night of the Living Homeless [South Park Zone]