The Berkeley Wire: 09.19.14

Fall is here. Photo: Daniel Parks

Fall is here. Photo: Daniel Parks

Berkeley’s Maria Echaveste nominated to become ambassador to Mexico (UCB)
UC Berkeley mechanical engineering alumna receives MacArthur grant (Daily Cal)
Ledger’s Liquor sells one of the most popular beers you’ve never heard of (Marketplace)
Healthcare inequality plagues UC Berkeley (Daily Cal)
Peking Express set to close doors soon (Daily Cal)

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The It List: Five things to do this weekend in Berkeley

Coastal cleanup day is Saturday Sept. 20 -- a chance to help keep our local coastal areas beautiful. Photo: Clean Water Program
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COASTAL CLEAN UP DAY On Saturday Sept. 20 citizens throughout Alameda County will join volunteers worldwide for the 29th annual Coastal Cleanup Day. Last year the international event drew close to 650,000 participants in 92 countries, who picked up more than 12.3 million pounds of trash, according to the Ocean Conservancy. To help Alameda County residents find an event near them, the Clean Water Program Alameda County has compiled a list of local creek and shoreline cleanup events organized by its member cities and agencies. Visit Clean Water Program online for details of how to get involved.  Continue reading »

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Review: Maya Lin at Berkeley’s David Brower Center

Portrait of Maya Lin, photo credit Walter Smith
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Art/Act: Maya Lin – an exhibition of environmentally themed sculpture and interactive work by the internationally known Chinese-American artist, architectural designer and creator of the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial in Washington, D.C. (1982) — opens at the David Brower Center in Berkeley on Friday, Sept. 19.

Lin’s show is something of a coup for the Brower, and a rare opportunity for Bay Area residents to experience her current work on their home turf.

Lin created her landmark piece at age 21 while still an undergraduate in architectural studies at Yale, having won a competition against 1,441 other submissions. In subsequent years, she has directed her vision toward projects — often site specific sculptures and earthworks — with environmental themes. … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: Berkeley schools need a facilities master plan

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In an op-ed published on Berkeleyside yesterday, Mark Lemkin, a long-time Berkeley resident with two children at local schools, says it’s time Berkeley Unified School District had a Facilities Master Plan.

“For the past 14 years, BUSD has authorized $327 million in capital improvements,” he writes. “That represents approximately $15,000 in taxes per household, or about $35,000 per student, a generous investment by Berkeley residents. Most people are surprised to learn, however, that BUSD has allocated these resources without a Facilities Master Plan.  … Continue reading »

‘The Zero Theorem:’ Terry Gilliam’s twisted brain on view

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The very first new release I ever reviewed for Berkeleyside was Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. Released in January 2010, it was Gilliam’s best effort in a while – and now, four years later, he’s finally completed a feature follow-up, which (while not quite being up to Imaginarium’s standards) will still satisfy the director’s many rabid fans.

Opening at Rialto Cinemas Elmwood on Friday, Sept. 19, The Zero Theorem once again allows viewers to explore Gilliam’s decidedly twisted brain, a cavernous place resembling a slightly surreal dystopia of the near future, or, perhaps, a parallel universe of the now. It’s also a place not so very far from the one seen in the director’s 1985 classic Brazil. … Continue reading »

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Richmond man dies after Berkeley motorcycle crash

Photo: Alexander Sinclair Merenkov‎
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A 48-year-old Richmond man died after a collision with a pick-up truck in Berkeley last week, authorities reported Thursday evening.

Friday, Sept. 12, Berkeley Police officers responded to an injury collision at Martin Luther King Jr. Way and University Avenue just after 8:30 p.m., said Officer Jennifer Coats, department spokeswoman, in a prepared statement.

The motorcyclist was identified as Gregory Allen Scoggin of Richmond. … Continue reading »

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The Berkeley Wire: 09.18.14

Bird with fish by TJ Gehling

Pull a great big fish from the bottom of the hole. Aquatic Park. Photo: TJ Gehling

Review: An Audience with Meow Meow at Berkeley Rep (Variety)
Bound for Berkeley, Lea Robinson leaves legacy at Columbia (Columbia Spectator)
Police hope new evidence in 48-year-old Berkeley cold case (KTVU)
Berkeley police see spike in car burglaries in West Berkeley (Co Co Times)
From the foot of the Campanile, a chorus of black pride (UCB)
Five candidates running for three Berkeley School Board posts (Co Co Times)
500 Berkeley students missed sex-abuse classes (Porterville Recorder)

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Bites: CREAM, B-Dama, See’s Candies, Eat Real Fest

Eat Real
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Openings, closings…

B-DAMA OPENING NEXT WEEK We hear from the manager of Swan’s Market in Old Oakland that B-Dama will have the soft opening of its new restaurant there next week. Japanese restaurant B-Dama’s original location is on Piedmont Avenue. Swan’s Market in Old Oakland now has a wealth of eating options to choose from. According to its website, restaurant tenants include Breads of IndiaCoobi Yogurt & WrapsCosechaThe Cook and Her FarmerMiss Ollie’sPeriscope CellarsRosamunde Sausage Grill, Sincere Seafood and Taylor’s Sausages. Connect with B-Dama on Facebook.

NEW CREAM (PHILZ?) LOCATIONS CREAM, the hot spot for good-value ice cream sandwiches, is looking at opening a new shop on the Oakland-Berkeley border in one of the retail spaces created by the new Safeway project currently under construction at College and Claremont avenues. According to Inside Scoop SF which first reported the news, Philz Coffee may also snap up one of the street-front spaces. CREAM’s Telegraph Avenue store in Berkeley is a Cal student staple, and the chain has been in expansion mode with seven new franchise and corporate locations around the Bay Area, most recently in the Mission. CREAM co-owner Gus Shamieh told Inside Scoop that Philz Coffee was also considering one of the Safeway spaces. The Berkeley coffee chain recently opened its second location at the emerging Gilman district shopping hub. … Continue reading »

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Drugs, guns seized during 2 CHP arrests in Berkeley

Photo: CHP
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Two vehicle stops in Berkeley, near Gilman Street on Interstate 80, early Wednesday morning led to arrests and the seizure of weapons and drugs, authorities reported.

The Oakland CHP said “quite a bit of contraband” was recovered during the stops. Two men were arrested in separate incidents.  … Continue reading »

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After Haven, Plum: Checking in with Chef Kim Alter

Kim Alter. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Nosh touched base recently with Chef Kim Alter, who’s on the verge of signing papers for a new restaurant in San Francisco. The 34-year-old won acclaim at Haven, then headed up Plum — both Daniel Patterson Group (DPG) enterprises in Oakland. Since a shake-up in May at Plum, which briefly became Ume, Alter has been taking a much-needed break from cooking full time. Nosh joined her at the San Francisco Ferry Building farmer’s market to learn a bit about her approach to food and more. Photographs by Emilie Raguso.

Last we heard about you, in May, Plum became Ume, and you were going to take a bit of a rest while helping out at other DPG restaurants until you got your own restaurant in the city. What’s the latest news?

I was going to the markets for Haven and Ume, until July when my transmission failed. Now I just go casually. I still help out at the DPG, but the helping out isn’t super defined right now. Until not long ago, I was working at Plum Bar doing all the liquor production for all the restaurants, and I was cooking at the bar a few nights a week. There are some changes in the next few weeks, where my role will be more defined. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s own return to town to perform jazz the LA way

UCLA Charles Mingus Ensemble
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You’ll rarely get an argument on the streets of Berkeley by disparaging Los Angeles. While oft-maligned as a cultural wasteland, LA actually boasts a vast, vibrant and well-entrenched cultural scene that continues to draw the East Bay’s sons and daughters, particularly standout players from Berkeley High’s vaunted jazz program. On Sunday, several recent BHS graduates return from the Southland to perform at Freight & Salvage with the UCLA Charles Mingus Ensemble under the direction of composer James Newton.

Originally created as part of a class that Newton teaches as a professor of ethnomusicology in UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music (he’s arguably the most celebrated jazz flutist of the past four decades and a longtime collaborator with Berkeley percussionist/bandleader Anthony Brown), the group took on an identity of its own during a tour of Macedonia and Kosovo earlier this year. … Continue reading »

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Update: PG&E outage in North Berkeley, El Cerrito, Richmond, San Pablo caused by fire

Image: PG&E
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More than 5,000 customers are without power in North Berkeley and El Cerrito, according to PG&E’s outage map.

The outage began at 12:28 a.m. and was expected to be repaired by 3:45 a.m.

According to PG&E, 5,327 homes — from the Berkeley Hills west to Interstate 80 and north almost to Moeser Lane in El Cerrito — were without power as of the latest update, at 1:28 a.m.

The cause is listed as unknown, with an investigation underway.

A PG&E crew has been assigned to assess the damage, according to PG&E’s online Electric Outage Center. … Continue reading »

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The Berkeley Wire: 09.17.14

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Berkeley warned of rampant Godzilla across the bay

godzilla sign fred werner
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Drivers and pedestrians on Panoramic Way in Berkeley did a double take a few days ago when a large mobile LED sign, usually reserved for imparting traffic alerts, instead informed them: “Godzilla rampant in SF.”

Fred Werner spotted the sign and shared a photograph of it with Berkeleyside. “Commuters beware!” he wrote. “This warning sign on Panoramic Way heralds danger across the Bay today.”

We posted the pic on our Facebook page on Sept. 11 where it found an appreciative audience. “Love it. Berkeley ROCKS,” wrote Fred Weissman. “Reference to Big Soda?” cracked David Weisz. … Continue reading »