News

The Berkeley Wire: 04.24.14

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Smith Dobson V, Friends with Benefits, play Berkeley

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Contrary to what it might seem, the Roman numeral in Smith Dobson V’s name doesn’t mean there are five guys with the same moniker playing music around the region.

Rather, his daunting facility on drums, vibes, and alto and tenor saxophones means he can be found in any number of situations, including Friday at the California Jazz Conservatory (formerly the Jazzschool) with Friends with Benefits, a collective quartet featuring the masterly Berkeley clarinetist Ben Goldberg, bassist Doug Stuart and pianist Michael Coleman. For that band Dobson plays alto and tenor sax.

Dobson holds down a regular Tuesday night gig at Club Deluxe in the Haight playing tenor with a formidable quartet, and then returns on Wednesdays as a drummer with top-shelf saxophonist/composer Patrick Wolff. On May 10 he’ll be holding down the drum chair at the Sound Room with Berkeley-raised trumpeter Erik Jekabson’s New Orleans Quintet, a different band than the one featured on Jekabson’s album Live at the Hillside Club with the superlative rhythm section of Dobson, bassist John Wiitala, and percussion great John Santos. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley volunteer redefines good Samaritanism

JC Orton holds up a copy of xxx. Photo: Matt Werner
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By Matt Werner

Every Sunday morning for the last 17 years, Zyg Deutschman has gone over to JC Orton’s house at 6 a.m. to help prepare breakfast for the homeless in Berkeley. One morning, about a decade ago, JC opened his door to find Zyg slumped over on his doorstep. JC first thought Zyg was drunk but then saw that Zyg’s face was gray. He was having a major heart attack. JC called 911 and continued preparing the meal after the paramedics arrived and took Zyg to the hospital.

Years later, JC recalls how he was able to finish getting the meal out on time that morning. He filled his van with oatmeal, grits, sweet rolls and fruit; arrived at People’s Park in time to feed the 80 or so people who’d gathered for breakfast; then drive to Civic Center Park (also called Provo Park, across from Berkeley’s City Hall), where he fed about 80 more people. This was all in a day’s work for JC, who heads up the organization Night on the Streets Catholic Worker.

JC lives below the poverty line. He suffers from diabetes. Skin cancer has left scars below his left eye and left forearm. His wife is bipolar and recovering from drug addiction. Despite these odds, he and the Worker serve breakfast in the parks every Sunday morning and soup three nights a week. JC, aided by a few college students and recent grads, distributes hundreds of sleeping bags and runs the storm shelter on cold and rainy nights. … Continue reading »

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Saved from Tuolumne Camp blaze: A stopped watch

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As summer approaches, scores of Berkeleyans recall the gaping hole in their lives now that the cherished Berkeley Tuolumne Family Camp is gone — razed to the ground in August 2013 by the devastating Rim Fire.

One young man was reminded of the wonderful times he had spent at the city of Berkeley-run camp with a jolt this week when he went to sign up to be a counselor at the camp, which this year is being held at Echo Lake, and was told a possession of his had been retrieved from the ashes. … Continue reading »

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Police

1 sent to hospital after broadside crash in Berkeley

Car crash at Ashby and Telegraph, April 23, 2014. Photo: Dominick Palamenti
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One driver was sent to the hospital Wednesday morning after broadsiding another vehicle at Ashby and Telegraph avenues, authorities said.

Police got a report of an overturned vehicle in the South Berkeley intersection shortly before 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, said officer Jennifer Coats, Berkeley Police Department spokeswoman, via email.

Coats said one driver had been westbound on Ashby turning left onto southbound Telegraph when another driver struck him. … Continue reading »

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 04.23.14

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3 teens arrested after Berkeley robbery, assault

Police arrested three teens at the downtown Berkeley BART station after a robbery and assault were reported Tuesday night. Photo: Mona Taleb-Agha
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Three teens with a gun assaulted and robbed a man in his 60s in downtown Berkeley on Tuesday night, but were arrested by police a short time later, authorities said Wednesday.

Tuesday just before 9:20 p.m., the man had been walking from his vehicle in the 1900 block of Addison Street, between Milvia Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way, when three males approached him and demanded his wallet, said officer Jennifer Coats, Berkeley Police spokeswoman.

One of the males was holding what appeared to be a gun. Coats said he struck the victim, which knocked the man to the ground. The teens then went through the man’s pockets, stealing cash and his keys. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Sex offender arrested after grabbing 3-year-old

Lew Olive. Image: UCPD
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Authorities in Berkeley arrested a registered sex offender over the weekend after he allegedly grabbed a man and his 3-year-old daughter just south of the UC Berkeley campus.

According to a statement released by the University of California Police Department, officers on patrol Saturday, April 19, just after 5 p.m. saw the disturbance unfold.

Police said the girl and her parents had been walking on Bancroft Way near Barrow Lane, just east of Telegraph Avenue, when Lew Olive approached them and started talking to the 3-year-old.

The family tried to walk away from Olive, police said, but he “followed and grabbed both the child and the father’s arms in an attempt to pull them apart.” … Continue reading »

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Ms Barstool: Taking a trip at the East Bay Spice Co.

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When you enter the world of the East Bay Spice Company, allow yourself to be transported to a place far beyond the edge of the Berkeley campus.

While the tree-lined west side of campus is clearly visible from the window that looks out on Oxford Street, the interior will remind you of anything you might have learned about the spice trade. Scattered along the shelves lined with spirits behind the bar, you’ll find blue and white porcelain spice jars, wooden mills, glass jars full of nutmeg and other spices, and a large old-fashioned brass scale — along with a variety of nautical-themed items we couldn’t readily identify.

On a Friday night at the beginning of a holiday weekend, every available table and barstool — inside, outside, and upstairs — seemed to be occupied. We came into the intimate space in a celebratory mood, owing to the spring weather, the holiday ahead, and finding a place to park right across the street. After a brief wait, we settled at the bar and studied the menu. We are fond of clever titles and literary references on drink menus, and found several here that intrigued us.

While we certainly care the most about the composition of our cocktails, we are initially attracted to a play on words, which is why we hesitated briefly when we saw the Last in Translation (Wild Turkey rye, Green Chartreuse, Star Anise Porter reduction, and lemon) — before settling on the more literary Portrait of a Lady (Anchor Hophead vodka, Tru Organic gin, Weiss Cream ale, honey, lemon, and fennel bitters), a book which we are determined to finish reading some day. … Continue reading »

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Big Screen Berkeley: ‘Alan Partridge,’ ‘Teenage,’ ‘Trap City’

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It was my fourth favorite film of 2013. Now, thanks to the miracle of modern technology – okay, more likely thanks to the erratic release pattern afforded British comedies in the U.S. these days — Alan Partridge (originally titled, somewhat cryptically, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa) finally appears stateside, opening on Friday, April 18 at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas.

For those unfamiliar with the character, Alan Partridge is a massively egotistical radio and television personality plowing a rather small furrow in the backwaters of BBC Norfolk. The subject of several wildly popular UK mockumentary series (including ’Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge’ and ‘I’m Alan Partridge’) that somehow never made it to the States, Partridge went into semi-retirement in 2002, but his rabid fan base clamored for a comeback. This is it. … Continue reading »

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Where in Berkeley?

Where in Berkeley?

WIB 4.23.14

Know where this is? Take a guess and let us know in the comments.

Photo: Neil Mishalov.

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 04.22.14

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News

Mayor proposes East Bay regional minimum wage

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Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates today proposed that a number of East Bay cities, including Berkeley, join together to enact a regional minimum wage.

Bates’ proposal comes little more than a week before the Berkeley City Council holds a special meeting on a citywide minimum wage on May 1. Richmond has already had the first reading of a minimum wage ordinance, and a minimum wage initiative for the November ballot is being circulated in Oakland.  … Continue reading »

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Herb Wong: Visionary founder of Berkeley jazz program

Dr. Herb Wong, Washington Elementary School Principal invited world class big bands to perform for BUSD students.
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Herb Wong, the founding father of  the pioneering jazz program at Berkeley’s schools, died on Sunday April 20, 2014. He was 88.

In an obituary published today on Berkeleyside, Sarah Cline, Jazz Program Director at Berkeley High School, remembers the visionary principal of Washington Elementary School who believed in jazz education for young children — as music education, as a part of the civil rights movement, and as a way of propagating a democratic and artistic spirit — and who brought famous jazz musicians, including Duke Ellington and Oscar Peterson, to give concerts at the school. … Continue reading »

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