Berlin is a noisy city, and it's getting louder. Stats show police cars activated their lights and sirens 158,000 times last year - or more than 400 times a day. That's a 5% increase on the previous year. The famous open-air karaoke sessions in Mauerpark can go ahead again after the Pankow authorities reversed their plan to close the event down. Authorities were refusing to issue the regular permits due to nearby construction work. After a public outcry, the authorities backed down. Apparently it wasn’t so hard to move a few fences around after all. Expect the singing to resume sometime around Easter. The BVG says more than 41,000 square meters of its Ubahn carriage walls were graffitied last year - 20% more than the previous year. They plan to stick yellow heart stickers on top of graffiti to annoy the vandals. Our next live show is Sunday March 31 at Comedy Cafe Berlin in Neukölln. Come along! More info here: https://bit.ly/2HKPN83 This episode was presented by Jöran Mandik and Daniel Stern, and brought to you by radioeins.
#44 No More Ausländerbehörde
The Ausländerbehörde will soon no longer exist - in name only. The much feared foreigner's office will be rebranded as the Landesamt für Einwanderung (Regional Department for Immigration). Snappy, right? More than 13.5 million tourists visited Berlin last year, a new record The city is this year trying to discourage visitors from coming to party in Kreuzberg on May 1. The formerly revolutionary event is going to be scaled down. Residents want the event to continue, but more quietly please. BVG workers could go on strike again in the coming weeks. They're still negotiating a pay increase with the city government. U-Bahn drivers are currently paid around 40% less than S-Bahn drivers. The Berlin Feminist Film Week is on until March 13. It’s taking place at the Berliner Union Film, a historic studio on the south-east edge of Tempelhofer Feld. Check it out: www.berlinfeministfilmweek.com Come along to our next live recording on March 31 at the Comedy Cafe Berlin in Neukölln. This episode is presented by Joel Dullroy and Daniel Stern, and brought to you by radioeins.
#43 Five out of Six Dogs
Berlin police are deploying decoy bicycles with GPS trackers to catch bike thieves. It's already worked several times. Soon you'll be able to register your own bike GPS details. It might help reduce the 30,000 bike thefts reported annually.
In more bike news, little green arrows will be installed on several Berlin traffic signals. They permit right-turning bicycles to go through a red light.
Starting this month, dogs have to be on a leash in public. But there's a huge list of exceptions - if you have a dog license, if you had your dog before 2016, or if you're walking on a wasteland.
Want to hear Radio Spaetkauf's monthly live shows? You'll have to subscribe to our other podcast feed as well. Find it here: https://apple.co/2UWO3Nn
This show was presented by Maisie Hitchcock and Joel Dullroy, and brought to you by radioeins.
#42 Get Used to the U-Bahn Squeeze
The U-Bahn announcement about "trains running at irregular intervals" is becoming quite regular. Passenger numbers are up by 20% in the past decade, while carriage numbers are falling. Replacement trains won't be ready until 2021.
How safe is your restaurant? Berlin health authorities handed out warnings to 26% of the eateries it inspected last year. In Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, the failure rate was 50%. But most passed after a second inspection.
Low-grade cannabis is on sale in Berlin spaetkaufs. It's not real weed, but rather the leaves from hemp plants grown for producing textiles, with low levels of THC and CBD. Police will have to decide if the loophole is legal.
Berlin Tierpark has another new baby polar bear. The last one, named Fritz, died after just 26 days. Zoologists think a mouse may have infected him with a virus. Did you know Radio Spaetkauf also produces monthly hour-long live shows? You can hear them by subscribing to our other podcast feed. Searching for Radio Spaetkauf (without umlauts) in your podcast catcher. Or simply click here and subscribe: https://apple.co/2UWO3Nn
This show was presented by Joel Dullroy and Daniel Stern, and brought to you by RadioEins.
Thanks for listening in 2018!
#41 Keep Berlin Colourful
Billboards have gone up encouraging people to voluntarily leave Germany. The Interior Ministry - run by the CSU's Horst Seehofer - is offering to pay up to twelve months living expenses back where you came from. The multi-lingual ads have been attacked with paintballs and 'refugees welcome' tags. Dan's take: freedom of movement is good, especially if paid for by the German state, but only if it goes in both directions.
It's Christmas market season. Festive lights have gone up along Unter den Linden, paid for by Lidl. But the city's heritage protection department says they are too multi-coloured. Are only white lights allowed now in Berlin?
Berlin will get a new public holiday in 2019 - May 8, also International Women's Day. It means seven of ten public holidays will occur in the first half of the year.
Come to our next live recording on Sunday December 16. Check our website for location details.