#89: Heat rationing, another drowning, tenure
And the return of a city-wide rave.
Hey 20 Percent!
The Love Parade was a very large part of my life when I first started coming to Berlin at the end of the ‘90s. We would all emerge from the dark winter and suddenly there was this gigantic street party accompanied by a weekend of the best DJs in Berlin’s best clubs. It was like a clubbing harvest festival.
But we all got older. The event got more corporate and suddenly it wasn’t even in Berlin anymore. It became history — and I didn’t miss it (in part because I was busy with diapers and ensuring the bills that come with parenthood were paid).
And now the Love Parade is back but is called Rave the Planet. It starts at 2.40pm at U-Bahnhof Uhlandstraße Saturday and will then slowly move toward the Siegessäule forü the final speech, er, rave (map here). It’s officially a protest with the dubious aim of getting electronic music more respect (I mean, almost all culture deserves more respect).
Who knows if it will become what it once was (the 90s were 20 years ago) but a free open air party’s a free party. And why should Berlin’s streets always just belong to cars?
Have a good weekend!
The Berlin corona stats for Friday, July 8
Received booster: 62.7% (62.6% Tuesday)
New cases in one day: 3,501 (5,211 Tuesday)
Total deaths: 4,661 (+11 over Tuesday)
🔴 7-day Covid-19 incidence (cases per 100,000): 511 (491.8 Tuesday)
🟡 7-day hospitalization incidence (also per 100,000): 9.3 (7.7 Tuesday)
🟢 Covid-19 ICU patient occupancy: 4.1% (4.1% Tuesday)
Source: Berlin’s corona page
And so the rationing begins
Corporate landlord Vonovia, Germany’s largest, said it would turn down the heat in the apartments it owns this fall to lower gas consumption as Russia halts deliveries. Heating systems will be adjusted during regular maintenance to limit heat to 17 degrees between 11pm and 6am, according to RBB24. The company has 43,171 apartments in Berlin and said hot water won’t be affected. Other real estate companies are also considering similar steps but a renters’ protection association said renters should consider legal steps since they have a right to a warm apartment — between 20 and 22 degrees.
The latest drowning
A man died late Thursday after leaping into the Spree from a bridge in Mitte, according to T-Online. The man was with a group of friends and jumped into the water from the Rathausbrücke near the rebuilt castle. He first yelled but rejected any help. His body was later recovered by the fire department. While statistically drownings aren’t higher this year, they seem to be getting more attention. One reader wrote in with a reminder that bathing accidents aren’t always fatal — an acquaintance dove into shallow water and now may be paralyzed. Be careful, y’all!
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It’s one of the most-hated German words: Schienenersatzverkehr (bus replacement service) but it may become a regular part of your vocabulary over the next two weeks if you take the S-Bahn between Zoo and Ostbahnhof. Deutsche Bahn, which runs the S-Bahn, picked summer vacation to work on the tracks in hopes of annoying fewer people. The S3, S5, S7 and S9 between Zoo and Alexanderplatz will be closed starting Monday with replacement service adding up to 15 minutes to the journey — and it won’t stop at Hackescher Markt. Once that work is complete on July 18, the route between Friedrichstrasse and Ostbahnhof will be closed for a week. Good luck!
Teachers getting tenured
Berlin this week granted 220 new teachers tenure (Verbeamtung)— the first time since 2004 — in a bid to lure more educators to Germany’s capital, according to the Morgenpost. Up to 16,000 of Berlin’s 20,000 full-time teachers are expected to get the status as employment laws are changed. Berlin was the only of Germany’s 16 states to not offer teachers Verbeamtung, or civil service status, which is part of the reason experts say about 1,000 full-time teaching positions remain unfulfilled. The status guarantees civil servants a job for life and frees them from paying for unemployment and care insurance as well as a pension, which are instead funded from tax money. Tabloid B.Z. said full-time teachers in Berlin start at about €71,000 per year now but take home just €40,707 compared to tenured teachers who will now start at €52,401 and take home €40,867.
The number of people taking short rail trips jumped by 56% in June over June 2019 (pre-corona times) thanks to the €9 ticket, the German statistics office said. The office used cellphone data to look at trips between 30 and 300 kilometers. Meanwhile car trips of between 100 and 300 kilometers dropped 11% compared to pre-corona times.