While We Were Away: Woman Hit By Car Despite Waving Flag

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A Berkeley woman was struck by a vehicle while carrying an orange flag just days after the city initiated a program to protect pedestrians by providing the brightly colored flags at dangerous intersections for them to wave as they crossed the street.

The incident occurred last month at the intersection of Claremont Avenue and Russell Street, where, one day before, the new pedestrian flag program had been unveiled. The 53-year-old woman was not seriously injured.

Councilmember Polly Armstrong, who proposed the program, said she still has hope for it.

"The jury's still out," she said.

Council Bans Wood Burning Stoves

In an effort to curb air pollution, the Berkeley City Council at a December meeting banned the construction of new wood-burning fireplaces and stoves in the city.

The resolution may hurt local restaurants the most because they can no longer build wood-burning pizza ovens or grills. In addition, substantial renovations of existing stoves and fireplaces are also forbidden.

City Hall to Direct Callers to Conscientious Objectors

On the heels of their opposition to the U.S. bombing in Afghanistan, the Berkeley City Council approved a policy of helping residents achieve conscientious objector status.

City workers who answer general information phone calls, are now directed to refer interested callers to the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors, in Oakland, a group opposed to serving in the armed forces.

Centrist council member, Betty Olds, proposed an amendment to the policy which would have also provided interested callers with military recruitment information. But the amendment failed.

Berkeley Woman Found Dead In Bay

The only Berkeley homicide of the year was discovered just two days before the new year, when police pulled the body of a 55-year-old Berkeley woman from the San Francisco Bay.

Charlotte Ortega, a teacher in Oakland, was found strangled to death near the Berkeley Pier.

Her 21-year-old adopted son, Lazarus, has been charged with the murder. He is being held without bail at Santa Rita Jail.

More Cases of Tree Killer on Campus

Compounding worries over the welfare of trees on the UC Berkeley campus and the entire East Bay, researchers last week announced Sudden Oak Death has infected many more trees than previously thought.

UC Berkeley researchers have discovered the pathogen in 34 trees and shrubs on campus. Because of the high number of campus infections, researchers speculate that many more trees throughout the East Bay may also have the disease.

Local Paper Editor Steps Down

Less than two years after assuming the post, Berkeley Daily Planet Editor Judith Scherr announced her resignation on Jan. 8.

Scherr said in a statement that she hopes to use her time away from the "increasingly professional newspaper," to file her 2000 income tax report, teach and write a book.

Compiled by Nate Tabak


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