Sunday, December 20, 2009

457. Assorted El Cerrito stories, headlines only because...I WANT TO FINISH THIS BLASTED THING!




Photo of my cat, pleading with me to finish this library of published work so she can eat by December 25, 2009.

Email Lurene in 2014 at lurenexyz@gmail.com


457.

Published news stories by Lurene K. Helzer, July 11, 1991, El Cerrito Journal, “Community liaison post undefined, unfilled”, and “San Pablo site needs a tenant”. Text in library for these first two only. Following listings only headlines for stories I wrote:

May 2, 1991, El Cerrito Journal, “Triceratops might feel at home with tree plan”.

November 22, 1990, El Cerrito Journal, “EC names successor to Barraza”.

November 15, 1990, El Cerrito Journal, “El Cerrito moves to improve its municipal hiring of minorities”.

January 14, 1987, El Cerrito Journal, “Council Takes Sides In The Dump Dispute”.

January 18, 1987, El Cerrito Journal, “Acquiring Property Is Next Step Towards Schurgin Shopping Mall”.

November 8, 1990, El Cerrito Journal, “Fire chief looks back, prepares to step down”.

Published news stories by Lurene K. Helzer, July 25, 1991, El Cerrito Journal, “Liaison job is official; Duffy fills it”; “Bartke only confirmed EC council candidate”; “Warm welcome for parking garage”;

September 12, 1991, El Cerrito Journal, “Council candidate commits to schools”.

Published news stories by Lurene K. Helzer, August 15, 1991, El Cerrito Journal, “Council race taking shape, Fiscal restraint expected to be campaign issue”; Mixed feelings on council raise”.

Published news stories by Lurene K. Helzer, November 15, 1990, El Cerrito Journal, “Agency OKs $3.5M in bonds”.

Friday, December 18, 2009

456. Martin Luther King Birthday Celebrated in 1992 El Cerrito



Photo by Lurene Helzer for El Cerrito Journal, 1992. Martin Luther King birthday celebration/rally. These marchers shown were with an area church. When MLK day was first observed, it was as important to devout Christians in the East Bay as it was to political activists. This remained true in 1992. Note man with bible in hand.

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456.

Published news story by Lurene Helzer, January 23, 1992, El Cerrito Journal, “King celebration revives memories; Moving commentary recalls the spirit of revered civil rights leader”. Photo by Lurene Helzer runs with caption, “About 200 marchers celebrated Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday in El Cerrito Monday”.

I have only part of the story’s text here now, but it will probably turn up elsewhere in my pile of work. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a national U.S. holiday in 1986:

Barbara Cross remembers the day in the early 1960s when she introduced herself to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at an airport terminal. She had heard of him, but had never seen him until that moment.

She asked how he expected people to remain non-violent when facing hate. He answered by taking a small button off his jacket and placing it in her hand. It said, “Grow.”

Cross was one of several speakers who appeared Monday at an assembly in El Cerrito for the celebration of King’s birthday. About 200 participants went from City Hall to the El Cerrito Community Center on foot, in wheelchairs, in strollers and by car. Some came in running shoes and sweats, others came fit for a formal dinner in colorful African patterns.

It was a celebration meant to lift spirits. Musicians from the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts led the parade. People sang and chanted their way through town as bystanders holding babies observed the demonstrators from balconies and doorsteps.

The festivity was sponsored by the El Cerrito Human Relations Commission, St. Peter’s C.M.E. Church in El Cerrito, and the local branch of the NAACP. City Man-...—end of partial clipping—



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Monday, December 7, 2009

451, 452, 453, 454, 455: Various Items, Published and Unpublished

451.

Lurene's email in 2014: lurenexyz@gmail.com

Letter to Lurene from Riad Adameh of Jerusalem, May 10, 2002. It was a friendly letter, but with no content of major public interest. He mentions his family, asks about my travels, and touches on the economics of his daily life in 2002 Jerusalem.

I kept the letter simply because it seemed silly to throw it in office waste bin when I received it in San Francisco. Also, I got so few handwritten letters from Jerusalem. His English was quite good, too. His native language is Arabic. I can't right now find the nice photos I have of him, but will in the next week or so.

452.

Published news story by Lurene Kathleen Helzer, January 7, 1987, El Cerrito Journal or Hills Publications, “City reaches deeper into pockets; Insurance Costs Take Heavy Toll On Budget”.

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453.

Published news story by Lurene Kathleen Helzer, January 14, 1987, El Cerrito Journal or Hills Publications, “Council Takes Sides In The Dump Dispute”.


454.

Published news story by Lurene Kathleen Helzer, January 14, 1987, El Cerrito Journal or Hills Publications, “Acquiring Property Is Next Step Towards Schurgin Shopping Mall”. Partial clip only.

455.

Published news story by Lurene K. Helzer, July 18, 1991, El Cerrito Journal, “New EC planner trades in long commute; Ready to tackle unique needs of built-up city”. Photo by Lurene Helzer runs with caption, “Mark Coughey works and lives in the same city, a great situation for bicycle commuting.”



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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

450. Budget in the East Bay, 1987; El Cerrito Had One Word Processor



No matter what financial problems plagued the East Bay in the late 1980s, you had baseball. Photo by Lloyd Francis.

450.

Published news story by Lurene Kathleen Helzer, El Cerrito Journal and/or Hills Publications, December 10, 1986, “1986-87 Budget Passed Finally By City Council”.

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Here is a section of the budget story. City budget stories are normally quite uninteresting, especially when more than two decades have passed; 2009 is closing as I post this little 1987 city budget story. But this story may be interesting for Californians today because it shows that those who run the state’s municipalities have been through financial crises before, and have found the paths through them. In the late 1980s, city managers and elected leaders were over and over and over again bashing California’s Proposition 13. It’s all we heard each night on local news shows as residents of the state – believe me!

But this small section gives some insight into attitudes and problems some Northern California local leaders adopted and faced through the difficulties:

“If we are going to continue the services we have with the city, we’re going to have to continue to revitalize” said El Cerrito council member and former mayor, Charles R. Lewis.

“I think most of the sophisticated developers in town will understand that the city is not an impediment to development…we’re not trying to come in with a bunch of restrictions like: ‘you can’t build this, you can build that,’” said Lewis.

“We are in the development business hand in hand with the developers.”

Cutbacks in city services were made in earlier years when, after the passage of Prop 13, the Council had to reduce allocations for street and park maintenance and eliminate some jobs. Now the Council is rebuilding what was lost or deferred during those years, Council members say.

A study initiated by the Council revealed that the City’s pension program was severely underfunded, Lewis said. Commenting on that study, he said the finding that the program was some two million dollars underfunded “shocked everyone.”

The results of a wage classification study found El Cerrito employees in some cases earning 28 percent less than their counterparts in other cities of comparable size, according to council member and mayor pro tempore, Anna G. Howe.

“The city’s limitations are still rather strong but were not laying off people,” said Howe. “We’re staying within the taxes that are allocated to us. We are adopting a very responsible and conservative fiscal line. We’re working for a government that has limits, but that works well within that limit.”

Another long-term project will be the purchase of computers, Howe indicated. She described it as a project that will enable the city to increase their services and process information more efficiently.

“It’s hard to believe in a city our size we have one word processor with two terminals,” said Lewis.



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449. Project Listen in El Cerrito Debates City Finance, 1987. Photo of Lurene in 1987 New York City.




Photo of Lurene in 1987 visiting New York city. This photo, by Lloyd Francis, taken at 7 a.m. in Manhattan apartment I slept in for few nights. Was in NYC, but on way to news events elsewhere. In this pic, am watching update about Iran-Contra Hearings as they were unfolding, I am fairly sure. Smoking cigs back then, drinking coffee. 

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I still drink coffee, but quit smoking, thank goodness!! I hate this photo of me because of the cig, but others always liked it.


449.

Published story by Lurene Helzer and Ocie Hudson, Hills Publications, October 18, 1990, “Project Listen works toward EC consensus”, describes effort by El Cerrito City Council to create citizen task forces to deal with its shortage of revenue. This story was published in several Hills Publications, but this version reminds me that my old roommate, Ocie Hudson, a man originally from Texas, assisted me in covering that city council meeting in El Cerrito.

I remember Ocie, normally an East Bay computer-geek before that term was fashionable, being enthusiastic about helping with this story. He did a great job, and got along well with people at the meeting. He needed no help in public relations because he was a fine communicator. I do not remember, however, why he was asked by us to assist with the story. I have a photo of Ocie Hudson somewhere in my collection, and want to find it to post it here.


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