RS Live: Riding under the U1

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New York has its Highline Park. Should Berlin have a lowline bike path under the U1 tracks? We interview a team member behind the idea for the U1 Radbahn.

There’s controversy over plans to rename some streets in Wedding, where a citizen’s jury trying to replace German colonialist names somehow selected the name of a slave trader instead. Our guest Kilian Flad tells us about the revisionist history of street names.

And our friend Konrad Werner is back to talk about whether Germany has an equivalent to Jeremy Corbyn in the coming federal election.

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Dogs, danger and doubt

joel joran june 16

There’s been a spate of mysterious dog deaths around the Tegeler See. The cause is unclear – either a dog hater leaving poisoned food, or a bloom of dangerous blue algae in the water. Swimmers are also advised to avoid the Tegeler See, Berlin’s second biggest lake.

It has been almost a year since a new law was introduced forcing dog owners to carry a plastic poop bag or face a €35 fine. But so far not a single fine has been issued. The law’s vague description of “suitable material” for poop collection could be at fault.

There’s a debate over whether a crucifix should be placed on top of the dome of the new Stadtschloss, or Humboldt Forum. Another suggestion is to install the word “Zweifel” (doubt) on the building. Joel’s preference? No cross, no doubt, no Stadschloss at all.

Come along to our next live recording, Sunday June 18, 17.30, at the Comedy Cafe Neukölln.

This episode was presented by Jöran Mandik and Joel Dullroy, and brought to you by RadioEins.

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Bus Inspectors Coming Soon

Only 26% of Berliners get around by car, a survey found. The rest walk, ride or use public transport. Those who take buses should be aware – the BVG has announced that it is looking for a security company to start checking tickets on buses, starting November 1. That’s because the city government wants the BVG to allow passengers to board buses through the rear doors to speed up departures.

Berlin’s first-league football team Hertha BSC are unhappy with their home ground, the Olympiastadion, which they say is too big to create an energetic atmosphere. Now the mayor Michael Müller says the city would agree to reconstruct the Olympiastadion to extend seats to the edge of the field to keep Hertha happy. It could cost €160 million and push out athletic events.

Karneval der Kulturen is on this weekend. The street festival runs from June 2 to 5, while the main parade is on Sunday June 4, moving from Hermannplatz to Yorckstraße.

This episode was presented by Joel Dullroy and Daniel Stern, and brought to you by RadioEins.

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RS Live: Gangs of Neukölln

rs may 22

The new TV series 4 Blocks depicts Arabic criminal networks in Neukölln. But fiction isn’t far off fact. We interview 4 Blocks writer Hanno Hackford about the real stories behind the show. You can see the show on TNT, or watch it with English subtitles at Mobile Kino.

Are you scared of lakes? Can’t join in the summer trips to Brandenburg? Author Jessica J. Lee decided to get over her fear of still water by swimming in a different lake every week, including winter. She joins us to give her tips on how to brave the cold. You can find her articles at: http://www.slowtravelberlin.com/wild-swimming-in-berlin/

Berlin’s months-old Lidl Bike shared cycle system has deteriorated quickly due to vandalism, leaving Joel disappointed in his fellow citizens. The new rival Nextbike system has now launched, as have a new category of shared transport – shuttle buses. One shuttle company promises to get you from Rosenthaler Platz to Kottbusser Tor for €0.25.

In airport news, Sixt car rental company is being fined €30,000 for interfering in the Tegel referendum by offering €10 vouchers to petition signatories. And the BER boss has taken a philosophical approach to the new airport’s delays: “An airport is never finished.”

This episode was recorded at Comedy Cafe Berlin on May 21, with hosts Jöran Mandik, Maisie Hitchcock, Daniel Stern and Joel Dullroy.

Berlin’s North Korean Hostel

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The official Berlin Mietspiegel rent index has been released. It shows average prices grew by 9.6% in the last two years, twice as much as during the previous review. The Mietspiegel determines how much landlords can charge.

The City Hostel in central Berlin has been ordered to shut down because of its ties to North Korea. The hostel is next door to the North Korean embassy, which since 2004 has rented out the building for €38,000 a month. The German Foreign Ministry has ordered the hostel to close or face fines for breaching UN sanctions. The hostel operator says they will fight the order and are still taking bookings.

Berlin S-Bahn ticket machines were caught in the global computer virus Wanna Cry. Many ticket machines across the city were malfunctioning for several days due to the malware. Passengers might not have noticed as S-Bahn machines are hard to use at the best of times.

A project to make the Spree swimmable is progressing. The Verein Flussbad is installing a 42-meter barge near Museuminsel to test a water filtration system. If all goes to plan, we could be swimming in the Spree by the year 2025.

Come along to our next live show on Sunday May 21 at the Comedy Cafe Berlin in Neukölln. Doors open at 17.30, and entry is free.

This episode was presented by Joel Dullroy and Maisie Hitchcock, and brought to you by RadioEins.

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Two Stars for May Day

dan juri may 3

This year’s May Day party/protest attracted 200,000 people to Kreuzberg 36, including 10,000 demonstrators and 5,000 police. But there were hardly any public toilets outside the official Myfest area. Where people supposed to pee?

Holding the door open on the S-Bahn can be injurious to your body and wallet. A young man was dragged 50 metres along the Brandenburger Tor train platform after sticking his hand in a closing door. He could also be fined or jailed.

A medical research project has applied to distribute marijuana to 25,000 Berliners to test its effects. The Forschungsinitiative Cannabis would give 30 grams of weed a month to each participant. Smokers ignorant about data privacy can register online. But the study probably won’t happen since its chief scientist recently quit as the study wasn’t scientific enough.

This episode was presented by Jöran Mandik and Daniel Stern, and brought to you by RadioEins.

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RS Live: City Saves Kotti From Investors

RS Live April 23

The landmark Neues Kreuzberger Zentrum at Kottbusser Tor will be purchased by the Berlin city government, snatching it from the hands of private investors. NKZ – the giant 70s construction that bridges Adalbertstraße – will be bought by the city’s own housing company Gewobag for €56.5 million. It is the first major example of the government buying back large tracts of housing from the open market to balance property prices.

Why is the metal sculpture in front of the Volksbühne Theater about to disappear? Konrad Werner tells us about departing intendant Frank Carstoff’s decision to take the circular “Rad” with him when he begrudgingly departs. Listen to Konrad’s own podcast News des Nachrichtens: https://soundcloud.com/newsdesnachrichtens

Why do the escalators at Kottbusser Tor U-Bahn station run British style, with traffic on the left? Wouter Bernhardt talks about his discoveries on the U1 line. Listen to Wouter’s own podcast Walrus and the Bear: http://viertausendhertz.de/walrus-and-the-bear/

Think you’re addicted to your smartphone? A group of Berlin activists wants to convince you to put down your Handy. We interview two members of Radikale Anti Smartphone Front: http://rasf.eu/?lang=de

Our friends at Mobile Kino are organizing the Berlin Film Nights series. Check it out at: http://www.mobilekino.de

This episode was presented by Maisie Hitchcock, Jöran Mandik, Joel Dullroy and Daniel Stern, and recorded on Sunday April 23 2017 at the Comedy Cafe Berlin.

Burglary at the Bürgeramt

Joel Dan Radio Spaetkauf

S-Bahn or U-Bahn? Take the U-Bahn if you like free Wi-Fi and fare evading. Figures from the Berlin Senat show the S-Bahn prosecuted over 35,000 repeat ticket cheaters in 2016, three times as many as the BVG. The S-Bahn checked 8.5 million passenger tickets, while the BVG only checked 5 million.

Don’t try it if you want a career in education. A young Berlin man has been denied a career as a teacher because his potential employer ran a police background check and found he had been caught riding public transport with a fake ticket. A labour court upheld the school’s decision.

After the spectacular gold coin robbery at the Bode Museum, here’s another break-in. On Easter Sunday police responded to an alarm at the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf Bürgeramt and caught two men in the building, while a third man escaped. Police said the burglars were trying to steal paper forms.

Barack Obama will be visiting Berlin and will give a public address at the Brandenburger Tor on May 25. He’ll be on stage with Angela Merkel at an event to mark the 500th anniversary since Martin Luther started the protestant reformation.

Our next live show is at 17.30 on Sunday April 23 at the Comedy Cafe Berlin in Neukölln. Come along!

This episode was presented by Joel Dullroy and Daniel Stern, and brought to you by RadioEins.

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Tegel Gets A Referendum

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Berliners will get to vote on whether to keep Tegel open after the campaign to save the airport collected enough signatures to trigger a referendum. But even if Berlin votes yes in September, it doesn’t mean that Tegel will actually stay open due to complicated legal reasons.

The past March was one of the warmest in recorded history, at an average temperature of 8 degrees. The winter was also unusually warm. Bee-keepers in Berlin and Brandenburg are reporting that 40% of their hives have died as a result, due to the growth of the varroa destructor parasite.

Want to take a ride on Berlin’s first cable car? Head along to the International Garten Ausstellung, opening in Marzahn on April 13. The 1.5km cable car will transport guests into the garden show, and is free to ride with a ticket to the IGA. It also gives a great view of the socialist Plattenbauten of East Berlin. More here: iga-berlin-2017.de

This episode of Radio Spaetkauf was presented by Joel Dullroy and Maisie Hitchcock, and brought to you by RadioEins, Berlin’s public broadcaster.

RS Live: The Ugly Side of Anti-Gentrification

Restauranteur Clare D’Orsay is a victim of anti-gentrification violence. She has been unfairly targeted by protesters angry about the planned eviction of Cafe Filou in Kreuzberg. Her restaurant Vertikal is next door, but has nothing to do with the eviction. On this show Clare talks about the attacks against her business at the hands of misguided protesters.
Clare says she’s been spat at, pushed to the ground and had her windows smashed by an organized group for being a foreigner opening a nice looking restaurant.

Investors Charles Skinner also joined the show to announce he’s reached an agreement with Cafe Filou and will allow them to stay. Mr. Skinner said he decided to renew the contract after appeals from Green party politician Hans-Christian Ströbele and Ms. D’Orsay. “In the end we saw reason,” Mr. Skinner said.

Maisie is one of 480 British citizens trying to apply for a German passport to ensure she can stay after Brexit. Unsurprisingly she’s run into bureaucratic hurdles. Mark Whiley from Forward Britain joined the show to talk about what despairing Brits can do to create political pressure back home to try to mitigate the effect of Brexit. Visit http://www.forwardbritain.de

This show was recorded live at Comedy Cafe Berlin on Sunday March 19 2017, and was hosted by Maisie Hitchcock, Jöran Mandik, Joel Dullroy and Daniel Stern.

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