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New UC Statement: University to Plan Research, Urban Farming at Gill Tract

Click the "Keep me posted" button below for an alert about new items on this topic. See all the Gill Tract stories on Albany Patch at http://patch.com/bvbHo.

The University of California at Berkeley released a new statement at 12:39 p.m. Friday about activities at the Gill Tract. It has been reprinted below in full after a short summary. (See all our past coverage here.)

According to the statement, signed by George Breslauer, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, and John Wilton Vice Chancellor of administration and finance, a planning meeting has been set for Saturday morning to "tackle the details of how the Gill Tract will be shared by our researchers and urban agriculture, and how the effort will be supported, coordinated and sustained under the university’s supervision."

The meeting agenda was developed along with the city of Albany, and the talk will include appointed city officials, members of the Albany community identified by the city manager’s office, residents of University Village and UC Berkeley faculty members and students.

According to the statement, two seats at the table have been reserved for members of Occupy the Farm: "In order to take their seat at the table, all they need to do by Saturday at 10:00am is pack up the encampment, leave our property and join a discussion that will advance one of their key goals."

The university statement continues that, if members of Occupy the Farm "leave peacefully and do not attempt to re-occupy" the area, "we will also cease to pursue criminal prosecution and/or civil litigation against the occupiers."

Occupiers said they have no intention of leaving by Saturday and have numerous scheduled events through the weekend, including Mother's Day celebrations.

"If we walk away, then we can have two people participate in some meeting that they've created that's not public," Gopal Dayaneni said this afternoon. "It doesn't seem like the open, public, transparent process that we've been trying to cultivate."

The demonstrators have, however, cleared their gear and equipment from the space on the parcel's north side that researchers need to proceed with their work, Dayaneni said.

"Really, the university is in the way of the researchers coming in at this point," he said.

A college representative spoke with protesters today about the university's planned meeting, although Dayaneni said they "more or less" heard about their plans through the media.

The occupiers say they will not back down until the university agrees to allow them to co-exist with the researchers, grant them continued access to the plot and pursue a public dialog about the land's future.

MORE FROM THE STATEMENT

The university also included in its statement a "promise to our neighbors" to "work with city officials and community leaders to ensure there is every opportunity for public input, questions and comments."

Members of the public can reach the university with feedback by emailing gilltract@berkeley.edu.

The university also notes that, despite their disagreement with the tactics used by Occupy the Farm, "their actions helped to raise the public profile of urban agriculture and generate constructive conversation about its value."

The College of Natural Resources, according to the latest statement, was already, "in an advanced stage of planning for an expanded urban agriculture program and the discussion has sharpened the college’s focus on getting the program underway."

Click the "Keep me posted" button below for an update when we publish future stories on this topic. Read more on Albany Patch about the Gill Tract occupation

Bay City News contributed to this report. 

If there's something in this article you think , or if something else is amiss, call editor Emilie Raguso at 510-459-8325 or email her at albany@patch.com.

***

Talks planned on shared use of Gill Tract

By Public Affairs, UC Berkeley | May 11, 2012

On May 11 the UC Berkeley administration released the following statement concerning the Gill Tract:

After weeks of patient dialogue and rejected proposals for a peaceful resolution of the occupation, UC Berkeley will be taking the steps necessary for research to commence, and urban agriculture to continue on the Gill Tract.

On Saturday morning the dean of our College of Natural Resources, Keith Gilless, will lead a planning meeting that will tackle the details of how the Gill Tract will be shared by our researchers and urban agriculture, and how the effort will be supported, coordinated and sustained under the university’s supervision. The meeting and its agenda were developed in collaboration with the City of Albany, and participants will include appointed city officials, members of the Albany community identified by the city manager’s office, residents of University Village and UC Berkeley faculty members and students.

We are also reserving two seats at the table for representatives of the group that is still occupying our property. They have claimed that they do not want to interfere with our research and seek only to support urban agriculture. If that’s the case, we are hard-pressed to understand why the occupation needs to continue, given the fact that we are now moving forward with plans to have a portion of the land used for urban agriculture. In order to take their seat at the table, all they need to do by Saturday at 10 a.m. is pack up the encampment, leave our property and join a discussion that will advance one of their key goals. If they leave peacefully and do not attempt to re-occupy University property, we will also cease to pursue criminal prosecution and/or civil litigation against the occupiers. If, however, they elect to continue preventing us from regaining complete control and supervision of our property, planning for shared use will continue in their absence. And, if they refuse to depart, we will also take the unilateral steps necessary to protect the academic freedom of our faculty to pursue their interests without interference. The research work must begin in a very few days and our commitment to act in its support is firm and non-negotiable.

We also want to assure the entire Albany community that we have no intention of retreating from the open and transparent collaboration that has characterized the planning process for the long-term future of the Gill Tract and the adjacent parcels of land. We fully support the sentiments expressed in a recent op-ed from an Albany resident who condemned “the tactics taken by the Gill Tract occupiers, who have ignored due democratic process and… ignored years of arbitration between the university, University Village, the city of Albany, and Bay Area environmental groups.”

We promise to keep our neighbors fully updated on the planning for a continuation of urban agriculture, will work with city officials and community leaders to ensure there is every opportunity for public input, questions and comments. We will also do everything in our power to ensure there is ample opportunity for the broadest possible public participation in the urban agriculture endeavor, as well as any discussions about long-term plans for the land. We will also everything necessary to ensure that the ongoing operations at the Gill Tract remain under university supervision and are conducted in a manner that is respectful of the interests and needs of our neighbors. In support of those goals the College of Natural Resources has established an email address to allow our neighbors to weigh in, request information and have their voices heard.

As much as we abhor the tactics embraced by the occupiers, we acknowledge that their actions helped to raise the public profile of urban agriculture and generate constructive conversation about its value. Our College of Natural Resources was, prior to the occupation, already in an advanced stage of planning for an expanded urban agriculture program and the discussion has sharpened the college’s focus on getting the program underway. So, we urge the occupiers to take ”yes” for an answer, leave our property, allow the research to commence and have a seat at the table. We are moving on and can only hope they will quickly decide to choose collaboration over confrontation.

This statement, like every previous message, is the result of a careful, broad-based decision-making process that includes senior administration leaders, the chair of our Academic Senate and other members of faculty, the deans of the College of Natural Resources and the Graduate Division, UCPD, Student Affairs and Community Relations.

George Breslauer
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

John Wilton
Vice Chancellor, Administration and Finance

Arwen May 12, 2012 at 05:56 PM
M luudensis: You wrote: "Keep talking please, you do way more harm than good every time you open your mouth trying to proselytize. Do you think you are converting anyone? People are generally not as gullible and closed minded as you seem to think." I do not need permission to talk. We live in the United States and I, as you, have the right to express my opinion. Perhaps you were raised in another country where that was not the case. There is a thing known as karma which in essence is "what goes around comes around". For all your personal insults and your lack of compassion, I only hope I am around when you lose your job so I can watch what your future holds for you. Right now, it is not looking for good.
Dover May 12, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Why would you think I am mad? Quite the contrary, in fact. "Amused" would be an accurate assessment. It's like watching over-tired toddlers try to reason for a later bedtime. The adults simply smile, pat them on the heads and put them to bed anyway, because the adults know this is what is best for the kids. I guess if you can justify dumping your crap in someone else's backyard, you can learn to justify ANYTHING. "Whether you agree with the farm or not, to attack it as wrong, based solely on the illegality feels short-sighted to me." Once again, I see you are confused. I am not "attacking" anything. If I show up with a pitchfork and start chasing the trespassers out into traffic, that word will be accurate. Until then, no, sorry. It's just a poor attempt at inflammatory language. "Based solely?" Hardly. Had you been paying attention you would have seen a list of reasons. Paying attention is fun. Try it sometime!
Dover May 12, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Arwen, I'm curious about something. I hope you can answer. Why did you feel the need to lie about your background? Did you honestly believe that people would respect your opinion more if they thought you were a Harvard educated attorney and not just an independent legal assistant? You seem to be on a determined quest for truth, your reference to karma reinforces that, why resort to lies to reach your goal? It doesn't make sense.
Arwen May 12, 2012 at 06:33 PM
According to Eric Holtz, Executive Director For Food and Developmental Policy, "..the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act pushed public land-grant universities to generate revenue through research that resulted in patents to be commercialized by industry with such multi-national corporations... such as.. , Monsanto, BP and Novartis ..While..public-private partnerships were supposed to generate income for universities, multi-national corporations have gobbled up the lion share of benefits by subsuming public research to these private agendas...." and privatizing University land. "[A]n. example of this egregious corporate takeover of public education, ..specifically singles out the University of California's 1988 partnership with Novartis (then the world's largest agribusiness company). With $25 million, the company was able to direct ..the University's agricultural research,[and] ..the flow of publications. Novartis' donation also bought them a third of the licensing options for innovations produced in the department of plant and microbial biology -- even for research Novartis did not fund!" The decades-long privatization of public universities has not only shifted research, hiring and resources away from public concerns in favor of corporate interests, it has put the financial burden for education on [] students who can afford to pay and left those who cannot to fend for themselves. " http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-holt-gimenez/occupy-the-farm-democracy_1_b_1494968.html
Arwen May 12, 2012 at 06:35 PM
They voted last night not to leave.
Arwen May 12, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Emilie...to go a full picture of what is going on with the Unversity and why they are putting up such a fuss about The Farm read this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-holt-gimenez/occupy-the-farm-democracy_1_b_1494968.html I did a brief synopsis below. It all has to go with corporate money, multi-national corporations such as Novartis, Monsanto, BP, etc. and the University entering into agreements for the use of the public land and researcg for corporate agendas as opposed to serving the needs of Americans. Berkeley's Department of Plant and Microbial Biology is doing research for Novartis. Any of its employees have a vested interest in keeping their jobs while ignoring the needs of average American citizens....particularly the 93,000 Californians who received notices today that their long term unemployment benefits have been terminated.
Michael Barnes May 12, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Gentle readers, Arwen, the elf princess of Middle Earth, really does come from another world. Serious writings on the topics she discusses could fill several bookshelves. Some simple google research will reveal this information to you. We've already had this discussion with Ulan, there is no need to repeat it.
Arwen May 12, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Dover....I have not lied about my background. I am a retired attorney and am not licensed to practice law in California. As such I cannot say that I am an "Attorney at Law" and put that on a business card. My practice mostly federal. Nonetheless I can act as a legal consultant and currently have volunteered to work for a prominent civil rights attorney in Berkeley as well as The National Lawyers Guild. I do not accept payment for any of this. It is my contribution. There are some training programs I am organizing for less experienced trail lawyers as I was a supervisor and have trained trial lawyers and judges in my career as well as law enforcement. I also teach constitutional law.
Arwen May 12, 2012 at 07:03 PM
I have been involved in mass legal defense cases and that is what the Guild is doing now. Many of these lawyers are young and inexperienced. They have not done even one jury trial. They need to be trained as to how to do these cases and that is what I am helping them with. I do not represent anyone in court but I help their lawyers with everything they need to succeed. The lawyers ask me questions and I give them ideas to think about, cases to read,, suggested arguments, strategy. I am a mentor.
Dover May 12, 2012 at 07:05 PM
"Dover....I have not lied about my background." You are not a graduate of Harvard, as you claimed.
Arwen May 12, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Michael Barnes...to not so gentle reader is an idiot and anything he writes is not worth reading. Perhaps you are an employee of Noviat but the fact of the matter is who cares? You cannot run from the truth Michael.....too many people know what the University is doing with corporations like Noviat, Monsanto, BP, Wal Mart and it is not serving the public. Your greed and sociopathic personality will not help you in your final hours and all the ones leading up to them. Karma is a awful for people like you. Unfortunately it can and will spill over on to your friends, your family... anything else you touch. Good luck with that!
Arwen May 12, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Dover...really? LOL!!! Considering it is my life, I have personal knowledge you do not. LMAO! And Dover....who in the heck are you? The local janitor...
Dover May 12, 2012 at 07:18 PM
"In your rush to attack me, you failed to see that one." No, actually, I referenced that statement, so it should be obvious to (almost) all that I did see that statement. See my first of two posts right above your last post? There you go! You'll get the hang of things eventually. "She has already demonstrated that she does not care about the feelings of the majority of Albany residents." O P I N I O N I'm sure if KJ were speaking for others, rather than just expressing her own opinion, she would let us know. I still don't understand why you assume she is, unless you are speaking for others? Perhaps you should sign their names to your posts so we know. Just a thought!
Arwen May 12, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Does Dover rhyme with Rover? Perhaps you are canine in origin...just a guess.
Dover May 12, 2012 at 07:19 PM
"KJ actually used the phrase "the majority of Albany residents" in reference to HER opinion about Joanne Wile, NOT in reference to her informal poll." See where I mentioned Joanne Wile? Now scroll up. There you go!
Dover May 12, 2012 at 07:22 PM
"Your greed and sociopathic personality will not help you in your final hours and all the ones leading up to them." Odd. One would think a well educated, albeit now retired attorney would know that "sociopathic personality" is a slanderous statement.
Dover May 12, 2012 at 07:28 PM
You're not listed in the directory. That's how I know. I have a general idea of how old you are based on your My Space photos. I checked ten years in either direction. You're not there. What's wrong with being a janitor? I have great respect for people who take the time to make a bit of the world a better, cleaner, more pleasant place. Why would you denigrate their efforts? You believe in karma, right? Here's some food for thought: "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:18
Dover May 12, 2012 at 07:29 PM
"Does Dover rhyme with Rover?" A Harvard alumnus would not have to ask. ;-}
Arwen May 12, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Dover....I am not in My Space...so much for that!! So who are you Dover? You have asked who I am and yet do not provide any information about yourself.
Dover May 12, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Interesting. So someone is wearing your face then. Same face you currently wear on Twitter. Or perhaps you are occupying the face of another? I guess I can't rule that one out, can I? And I didn't search by face. Your name is not in the directory. Period. It would be if you were a graduate, sorry. "You have asked who I am and yet do not provide any information about yourself" Not true at all. A good attorney pays attention. ;-}
Arwen May 12, 2012 at 08:04 PM
It is not slander if it is true. Nor has it been ever held to be slander in the first place. There are MANY sociopathic personalities in the United States including the people who sit on corporate boards, on Wall Street and policitians. The consensus among psychiatrists and in the psychiatric community is many of these people are sociopaths. Perhaps Dover you are quite familiar with a few.
Dover May 12, 2012 at 08:15 PM
So now you're a psychiatrist? Harvard Med School, I presume?
Michael Barnes May 12, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Well, folks, I think Emilie should probably step in at some point since this conversation violates Patch principles, but until then, I think the Arwen's posts speak to the quality of thinking among the defenders of the trespassers on the Gill Tract. In that sense, it is probably more useful than her silence. The following quite has been attributed to various people, including Presidents Lincoln and Wilson, and it fits here: "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."
Peggy McQuaid May 13, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Interesting note about the photo on this story.The photos of the Gill House and Haying on the GIll Tract are property of the Albany Library. I do not see any mention that they have been used with the permission of the library. Should I be surprised?
Kirsten Schwartz May 13, 2012 at 04:13 AM
Dover, on the Occupy the Farm Agrees article, I posted some information that Jonathan Swift had posted on another thread, connecting Arwen here to someone named Mary Ann Uribe. I'm waiting for Arwen to confirm or deny on those two threads, but she seems to be leaving them alone. Maybe here she'll come forth from behind the veil of Middle Earth. Tolkien. Now THERE was an academic. Perfect grammar and usage. Sigh.
Kirsten Schwartz May 13, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Arwen: I'm still waiting. Are you really Mary Ann Uribe? If not, who are you? You are under no legal obligation to tell us, but because of your continued posting--some of it nasty (it's good the Patch removed your speculation about me being Kirsten Fisher because Ms. Fisher may have had a good libel lawsuit there)--your continued posting telling us in Albany what to do is (1) continued and (2) very strong and assertive. Who are you? Okay, not (1) continued, because on the three threads, okay maybe 2, where I've posted this request, you've stopped posting.
lubov mazur May 13, 2012 at 03:58 PM
I heard the same radio program. It wasn't "Sociopaths" it was "Psychopaths".
Dover May 14, 2012 at 02:15 PM
It's been confirmed. The reason she is not confirming it directly is because she knows that by admitting the truth, she will also be admitting the lies.

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