RS Livestream: Not A Curfew

Berlin finally has an overnight curfew – but not really: we can go out alone from 9pm to 5am. We need a negative test to go shopping – but not really: grocery and household shopping is exempt. We ask – what’s the point of making rules with so many holes? Matilde says Germany’s leaders are like bad parents scared of disciplining their children.

Berlin vaccine centers are throwing away unused doses. People are being turned away due to paperwork. Hotlines are failing. Staff can be fired for being flexible. Joel asks – isn’t it better to vaccinate the wrong people than nobody? Matilde found a doctor giving left-over vaccines to anyone who shows up. Why can’t the rest of Germany be so practical and sensible?

A terrifying concrete building with a horrible history is threatened with destruction: the Mäuserbunker in Lichterfelde. Two architects want to save it. Turns out it’s a fantastic example of form and functionality. Berlin has several amazing examples of Brutalism. Felix Torkar and Gunnar Klack tell us why we should love concrete.
Join their campaign here: www.mäusebunker.de
Get their Berlin Brutalist Map here: https://bit.ly/3sKas0P

People of colour are reporting violent and humiliating experiences while having tickets checked on public transport. Journalist Anne-Marie Harrison has been following the campaign @BVGWeilWirUnsFürchten which details stories of abuse by ticket controllers. Black Womxn Matter are petitioning the city government to reform the BVG’s handling reports of discrimination and violence. The BVG responded, saying it checks all complaints and deals with ticket controller issues through labour law.
Links: Stoppt Diskriminierung und Gewalt durch Kontrolleure Petition – https://bit.ly/3fvfGtA

Thanks to our co-host Matilde Keizer! You can hear her German-language podcasts here:
MUGPU (matilde und georg Produzieren Unterhaltung) https://www.buzzsprout.com/854239
Schamlos: https://play.acast.com/s/schamlos

Radio Spaetkauf is produced by Joel Dullroy, Jöran Mandik, Daniel Stern and Maisie Hitchcock. This episode was made with support from RadioEins, Berlin’s public broadcaster.

RS Live: A Board Game With No Winners

There’s a lot of bad news around about Germany’s slow vaccination rate, and Berlin’s system in particular. The vaccination centers are processing far fewer people than they potentially could and Berlin has doses sitting around that are going unused. One solution may be in sight: Doctors may be allowed to administer vaccinations in their clinics.

State and federal leaders have agreed to extend the current lockdown until March 28th, with a very complicated multi-step plan for reopening. Each step has two weeks in between, and if things don’t improve we don’t move on. The second step arrives on Monday March 8th – flower shops, garden supply stores will be allowed to open. And German residents will be entitled to one free rapid coronavirus test per week – also Aldi wills tart selling them.

Berlin streets are full of yellow and purple posters in multiple languages demanding a real estate revolution. The campaign Deutsche Wohnen und Co Enteignen has entered the next phase of its attempt to trigger a referendum, and they’re out collecting signatures to make it happen. To delve deeper into the Enteignung campaign, we’ve invited on an expert – fellow podcaster Wouter Bernhardt who has just launched a new podcast about the initiative called “Von Menschen und Mieten”. For more info or to get involved go to https://www.dwenteignen.de/

We also speak about a recent incident of racist police violence at Kottbusser Tor, where a well known busker had his leg broken. Help out, find a detailed report and get updated on the aftermath here.

And we take a good hard look at a new anti-semitism project by the police. We have mixed feelings but it turns out the Berlin police has an anti-semitism hotline you can call – 030 / 4664 979 660. Important to point out: this is not an emergency number.

Thank you to our returning co-host Gilda Sahebi.

Radio Spaetkauf is produced by Joel Dullroy, Jöran Mandik, Daniel Stern and Maisie Hitchcock. This episode was made with support from RadioEins, Berlin’s public broadcaster.

RS Lockdown: Snow Crimes

Who stole the snow from a Berlin park? A local newspaper has been investigating one of the winter’s cruelest possible crimes. Parents at Parkaue think a disgruntled local might have cleared a popular toboggan hill of snow. We read the Berliner Zeitung’s in-depth investigation.

Should we have gone walking on the ice? After ten days of minus temperatures, half of the city went out onto the canals. But no Berlin authority is willing to say if the ice is safe. The police spent days flying helicopters over frozen lakes telling people to move on. Several people fell through the ice. One man died trying to swim under the ice layer.

Hairdressers will reopen on March 1 under the latest pandemic lockdown measures. Schools will start returning from February 22, starting with youngest students. Schools are planning to give students self-administered virus tests. There’s no word yet on when small shops, gyms, bars or restaurants might open. Mayor Michael Müller says he hopes normalcy might return after Easter (April 4).

BER needs a financial injection of €3.5 billion – enough for an entire new airport. The Tagesspiegel reported on a leaked document from the airport’s supervisory committee warning of a huge hole in the budget. In other airport news, Flughafen Schönefeld, rebranded as BER Terminal 5, is due to close on Feburary 23 due to the dramatic drop in air traffic. We talk about our favourite Schönefeld memories.

In sports news, Berlin’s newest Bundesliga team, FC Union Berlin, has officially overtaken Hertha Berlin in terms of fan numbers. Union is also ahead of Hertha on the league table (9th vs 15th).

The latest issue of Lola Mag is out now, with an article by Joel. You can get a copy by picking one up in a park. Follow Lola to find out where: https://www.instagram.com/LOLAmagberlin/ Or you can order one on their website: https://lolamag.de

Thanks to our co-host Matilde Keizer! You can hear her German-language podcasts here:
MUGPU (matilde und georg Produzieren Unterhaltung) https://www.buzzsprout.com/854239
Schamlos: https://play.acast.com/s/schamlos

Radio Spaetkauf is produced by Joel Dullroy, Jöran Mandik, Daniel Stern and Maisie Hitchcock. This episode was made with support from RadioEins, Berlin’s public broadcaster.

RS Mini: Getting Vaxxed

Jöran sits down with Eli Wenzel-Fisher, a caretaker at a Berlin retirement home to talk about vaccinations arriving at the residence and getting vaccinated himself.

Getting vaxxed – how does it work? What is it like? And what is the atmosphere like at the home? We get Eli’s detailed report.

Thanks to our recent sponsors! We’re using your donations to buy new audio equipment for our future live shows. You can become a supporter here. http://www.radiospaetkauf.com/donate/

RS Lockdown: Fireproof Nazi Curtains

With the new medical mask rule in force, will the Querdenkers now start wearing banned fabric masks? What about people who can’t afford the expensive masks? Should prices be regulated to stop profiteering?

Already some bars, cafes, restaurants and other cultural spaces have closed down during the pandemic. Our friends at Lola Mag are starting to document these closed culture spaces. Know of a shuttered spot? Send details to hello@lolamag.de

Stoners beware. A Vice documentary says a lot of Berlin weed is laced with addictive and dangerous synthetic cannabinoids. Where’s our organic weed already? Watch the video here.

BER workers are suffering from electric shocks from baggage scanning machines. More than 60 cases have been recorded. The workers’ union wants the new terminal closed until the problem is fixed.

What’s it like to be a teacher in a Berlin school these days? We meet Ryan Plocher, a US emigrant who teaches in Neukölln, and is active in the GEW trade union. He says teachers think schools should be closed until they’re made safe, explains why so many schools are in terrible condition, and tells how expensive fireproof Nazi curtains made him get active in the union. Want some advice about joining a union? Contact Ryan here.

Dan invites Radio Spaetkauf listeners to watch a free live show Saturday the 30th. He will be streaming from an empty comedy club; joined by comedians from Berlin and around the world. “Whoopsie Doopsie Doo is a comedy show streaming live on youtube, facebook and twitch. Goofy shenanigans, preposterous games, total mishegaas and friendly banter.” Dan assures us of a good show; his mom watches all the live streams and says they are great.

Thanks to guest co-host Carmen Chraim! You can find her podcast People of Carmen here.

Radio Spaetkauf is produced by Joel Dullroy, Jöran Mandik, Daniel Stern and Maisie Hitchcock. This episode was made with support from RadioEins, Berlin’s public broadcaster.

RS Lockdown: We Read The News Today, Oh Boy

Jöran ushered in the new year with jelly donuts, Joel an ice cold swim and Dan watched the ZDF livestream. All were pleased with their experiences. Hospital on the water Urban Krankenhaus gets positive reviews from the team, though recent expansions ignore the buildings aesthetic and surroundings.

How was Berlin’s NYE with fireworks sales banned? : 862 fire crew call-outs, 43 in ‘verbotszonen’, and 211 fires; 10 victims in ER, 2 hands partially amputated, one Brandenburg man killed by self-made rocket; one Neukölln supermarket destroyed by stored fireworks. Those numbers are about half of last year’s.

How many fewer fireworks were fired? The Frankfurter Allee air quality station measured one third as much particle pollution. The rubbish collection company BSR said 130 meters of fireworks trash was collected, also about one third the volume of last year. If it was like this every year, we’d have nothing to complain about. 

Christmas is long gone, but the trees are yet to be picked up. 350.000 of them per year according to the BSR. This year, they will begin their tree-pick-up rounds on January 7. They ask to remove all decorations from the tree when putting them out on the street. Even if you have a little baby tree. Don’t put them in the bio-bin – they can’t be used for biogas-production. The collected trees will be shredded and burnt for the production of heating energy. 

The lockdown is set to continue. With about 30% of intensive hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and a boost in testing numbers expected after the holidays. Kitkat Club continues to attract huge crowds with its €25 test. And the ‘queerdenkers’ keep protesting, dancing in a conga line on Alexanderplatz singing about how we need a little virus. Maisie tweeted: “It’s funny how Holocaust denial is illegal here but Corona denial isn’t. Why aren’t they banned outright? Because they don’t use hate speech?”

Public transport tickets have gone up to €3 for a single journey; in Paris it’s €1.90. New S-Bahn trains are on the tracks, with flat windscreen windows, giving them a futuristic vibe. To see them take the S47 between Spindlersfeld and Hermannstraße. Initially there are only ten of the new vehicles on this route. More will be added in 2022. The new trains have air conditioning, a new door signal, faster acceleration and deceleration. But no USB chargers, as was once promised.

You’re going to be seeing a lot more shared electric mopeds on the streets: The company Emmy plans to put 800 more of its red scooters. Joel questions why he only needs a class B European driver’s license to use one, and how much is the fish?

Much of Berlin has already seen and mocked the  “Psychometric WG” . Do they deserve less ridicule or should they be condemned for an embrace of villainous cyborgishness? At €800-€1000, their rent is definitely over the Mietendeckel limits (which also apply within WGs). If you want to report them or any other suspected overcharging landlord to the city government for investigation, here’s the link. Click link under “Online-Abwicklung”: https://service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/330040/standort/123904/

2021 is an election year, which Radio Spaetkauf is excited to report on. But who should we run for office this year? Give Juri another shot despite only garnering 66 votes last time, or run a new candidate? Perhaps Carmen, our recent guest host? Should we really campaign or would that only degrade the democratic process? 

Maisie says thanks for the messages, they have been wonderful.

If you, your business, or organization is interested in starting your own podcast get in touch with the Radio Spaetkauf team. We’ll make sure you have a unique concept that will keep your audience engaged and help you expand your following. hallo@radiospaetkauf.com 

Thanks to all our donors! Support Radio Spaetkauf with a one time or ongoing donation at radiospaetkauf.com/donate. Grab a gift for the Radio Spaetkauf fan in your life at our new merch page, totes, mugs and T-shirts printed in Berlin.

RS Lockdown: Twenty 20 II

Why can’t Germany finally ban fireworks? The failure to prohibit the use of rockets on NYE shows the pandemic response still isn’t being led by science, we say. Many shops are closed, and alcohol outdoors is banned. Berlin is preparing for vaccinations, but unless you’re over 80 you probably won’t get one for quite a while.

We’re joined by guest co-host Gilda Sahebi, a journalist and doctor. Gilda is part of Neue Deutsche Medienmacher, a network that promotes greater diversity in Germany’s very white media industry. Follow Gilda’s here: https://twitter.com/gildasahebi

Gilda’s network helped write a handbook for Berlin’s city government that discourages the use of racist and exclusionary language. For example, city officials have been told to not use the term “Ausländer”, but rather “Einwohnende ohne deutsche Staatsbürgerschaft”. Dan says making such phrases cumbersome should encourage us to question whether we even need to say them at all.

The BVG has a new voice. An actor with a gender neutral tone will read station announcements. Will the BVG also please finally hire a native English expert to check their translations? This new platform announcement is both bad and dangerous: “Please keep distance to each other.” Please don’t!

This episode was hosted by Jöran Mandik, Joel Dullroy, Daniel Stern and Gilda Sahebi.

RS Lockdown: Weihnachts Windows

Radio Spaetkauf Berlin News Podcast Dec 4 2020

We’re joined by guest co-host Carmen Chraim! Listen to her podcast People of Carmen.

Joel shares his experience of having coronavirus: it’s hard to get tested, and contact tracing is no forensic investigation. Luckily more private testing clinics have opened, including at BER and Kitkat Club.

With Christmas markets cancelled, the whole city has become a distributed glühwein markt. Joel and Jöran went on a tour of Neukölln’s weihnachts windows. Can we expand the variety of hot drinks on offer please?

But glühwein is unlikey to save the hospitality sector. A survey by Bars of Berlin found 75% of their members expect to go out of business by 2021. Restaurants are operating on about 40% of their usual trade.

The U5 extension is finished, connecting Hauptbahnhof to Alexanderplatz. It was only 20% over budget and 3 years late. But Friedrichstraße U6 station has closed – Berlin has a ghost station once again. Do we need an U-Bahn extension to BER?

And at BER… Schönefeld airport is closing. The building now called Terminal 5 will shut its doors March for at least a year due to low traffic. Suddenly Berlin has three abandoned airports.

The bill for the police operation to clear the Liebig 34 squat is in: it cost almost €1 million: that’s more than the owner paid to buy the building in the first place. The residents wanted to stay and pay rent, as they had been. The landlord wanted them out. The city sided with the owner.

Thanks for the lovely messages for Maisie – she really appreciates them.

Thanks to all our donors! Support us here: http://www.radiospaetkauf.com/donate

Does your business need a podcast? Hire us to help you produce it! Contact us: hello@radiospaetkauf.com

Rent Freeze #3: Don’t Spend It

This month residents of Berlin should experience the biggest collective rent reduction in history. About 340,000 residents – one in six – may be eligible for a rent cut under the Mietendeckel, Berlin’s radical new housing policy. But landlords are doing their best to stop it.

On November 23 landlords must reduce rents to regulation levels or face fines of €500,000. Tenants can check if they’re paying too much at this website: http://www.mietendeckel.berlin.de
And they can report cheating landlords to the city government here.

Anyone who gets a rent reduction should save the money, as they might have to pay it back. The Mietendeckel is being challenged in Germany’s constitutional court, with a ruling expected in mid-2021. Jöran Mandik explains the court process – and the judges’ red robes.

Furnished flats are not exempt from the Mietendeckel. But some companies are offering a buy-and-lease-back service model to help landlords get around the law. Tenants are told they have no choice but to rent both the flat and the furniture together. Other tricks include renting expensive basements, parking spaces and coworking desks inside their flat.

Double contracts have become standard: residents are offered two prices – a lower one that matches the rent freeze legislation, and a higher one they’ll have ot pay if the law is later ruled unconstitutional. Such double contracts are most likely legal and enforceable, says rental expert Daniel Halmer from Conny.legal (formerly Wenigermiete). But they could still be challenged using the Mietpreisbremse law, an older regulation which limits rent prices under some conditions.

What’s the effect of the rent freeze so far? If you already have an apartment, the rent freeze appears to be working as expected. If you’re looking for an apartment, things are tougher due to landlords restricting supply. A study by the ZIA found average rental prices have sunk by 5.7% in the first half of 2020. But availability has also fallen by about 50%, as property owners withhold empty flats from the market. For new flats built after 2014 – which are exempt from the Mietendeckel – prices are up 7.5%, and availability has increased by 18%, according to real estate portal ImmobilienScout24.

Swedish property management company Heimstaden Bostat isn’t deterred by the rent freeze. The company is trying to purchase about 130 buildings with almost 4000 apartments at a cost of €830 million. Heimstaden told us they had factored the rental regulations into their financial planning.

Researcher Christoph Trautwetter recently produced a report called ‘Who Owns Berlin’ for the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. He debunks the myth that warned the Mietendeckel would scare investors away. “There is an excess of capital looking to invest under any condition, and ready to accept the Mietendeckel as a condition to invest in Berlin,” Trautwetter said. You can read his report here: https://www.rosalux.de/publikation/id/43284

Next up on this series – who is to blame for Berlin’s lack of new properties? We’ll also hear from small-time landlords who face financial ruin under the rent freeze.

On our series we speak about Berlin’s housing market. But of course there are those Berliners who are completely excluded from it and don’t have a home at all. Winter is fast approaching and they need help. Please consider donating to the following organisations to help them take care of our homeless:
Berliner Obdachlosenhilfe: https://www.berliner-obdachlosenhilfe.de/
Caritas: https://www.caritas-berlin.de/
Berliner Stadtmission: https://www.berliner-stadtmission.de/
Kältehilfe Berlin: https://www.kaeltehilfe-berlin.de/
Obdachlosenhilfe Die Brücke: http://www.obdachlosenhilfe-die-bruecke.de/

Rent Freeze is produced and presented by Joel Dullroy, Maisie Hitchcock, Jöran Mandik and Daniel Stern. Music by Tom Evans. Artwork by Jim Avignon. Produced in partnership with RadioEins, Berlin’s public broadcaster.

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RS Lockdown: Tasteless Recipes

First some difficult news: Maisie is in hospital being treated for a rare type of cancer. She is trying to stay positive and says: “Hello to everyone. I’m working on coming back ASAP!” You can send her a personal message via: hallo@radiospaetkauf.com

We’re back in partial lockdown, with all hospitality and cultural venues closed. More than 70 such businesses are trying to sue to stay open, with little hope. They can apply for 75% of their usual monthly income. Will they be scared to ask for money, after the legal recriminations for those who took the last coronavirus support package? Here’s where you find out more about Überbrückungshilfe Unternehmen: https://bit.ly/3lfadHk

Where have people been catching COVID-19? Berlin’s health department has released statistics: 55% at home, 15% in hospitals and care homes, 4% in ‘free time’, 3.5% at work, 2.5% at school – and only 2.1% in restaurants.

Tegel Airport has finally closed. Dan interviews Ben, a flight attendant who was on one of the last flights out of the hexagonal terminal.

This episode was presented by Joel Dullroy, Daniel Stern and Jöran Mandik.