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Greener Than Thou: Berkeley Defends Car Wash Over Biodiesel

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Greener Than Thou is our report on San Francisco’s obsession with all things green, calling bullshit in the poseurs and lavishing praise on those who have secured their place in environmental paradise. Have a 40 foot hot tub in your backyard? Holler!

South Berkeley is up in arms over a land-use quarrel that some allege results from institutionalized racism. The Kandy Man is an infamous car wash— and black-owned business protected by local legislation— that is now slated for possible takeover by Biofuel Oasis, a biodiesel filling station in sore need of space. The Kandy Man hires those who may have trouble gaining employment anywhere else; owner Kandy Alford is well loved in the community, known for giving anyone a fair shot. As a green business, Berkeley city counsel voiced Biofuel Oasis's business fees— about $8,000— which fueled local accusations of racism and gentrification. While Oasis Proprieter Amy Anderson is undoubtedly horrified by the harsh clash between grease-fueled idealism and cold, hard reality, she claims the desire to reach a compromise with her fellow neighbors. While we're saving the earth everyday here at Curbed SF H.Q., we nearly kissed the ground Pope-style upon hearing that someone in Berkeley had willingly removed their green blinders for a couple of minutes and surveyed the scene as-is.
· Neighborhood fights to keep Berkeley car wash

[video still courtesy abc7 News]