Daily Archives: March 15, 2010


The Berkeley Wire: 3.15.10

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Berkeley High Live draws crowds and funds

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Last night’s Berkeley High Live went off with a bang. Auctioneer extraordinaire Steve Haworth Chris Ragalia from Berkeley Honda (pictured above) — which also hosted the event  — did a masterful job of running the Live Auction, music was provided by the Berkeley High School Jazz Combo, and KTVU Channel 2 reporter John Sasaki made a fine compere.

As one would expect for a Berkeley party, the food and drink was top-notch — donated by a slew of … Continue reading »

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Police ask for ID help on Andronico’s robbery

Andronico's use
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The  Berkeley Police Department is asking for the community’s help in identifying the above pictured  suspect who is responsible for the robbery that took place at Andronico’s on 2655 Telegraph Avenue on Sunday, March 7.

At approximately 10:00 pm, an unidentified suspect entered Andronico’s, approached an employee, brandished a handgun and demanded cash. After the robbery, the suspect was last seen running west-bound on Carleton Street from Telegraph Avenue.

The suspect was described as follows: black male adult, mid-20s, … Continue reading »

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We all know those “so Berkeley” moms

mom is so berkeley
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It started out as a joke at work, but little did Roberto Santiago (known as Berto) realize the resonance those two words, “Berkeley mom”, would have.

Last week Berto’s Facebook group, “Your Mom is So Berkeley”, welcomed its 1,000th fan (today the number stands at 1,062).  Berkeleyside discovered the group back in December and has been hooked ever since.

Some recent entries testify to how rich this seam is for rib-tickling memories:

My mom is so Berkeley my … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley

A close relationship: Obama and Berkeley

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President Obama and Berkeley seem to be having a love affair.

With the White House’s recent nomination of UC Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and its expected nomination of Janet Yellen, an economics professor emeritus, for the No. 2 spot at the Federal Reserve, there will be at least 11 people from Berkeley who have assisted the president.

Here is a run-down:

Steven Chu is the Secretary of … Continue reading »

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Neighbors express support for 2707 Rose Street home

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On January 28, Berkeley’s Zoning Adjustments Board approved a plan submitted on behalf of Mitchell Kapor to build a new home at 2707 Rose Street (model pictured left). The approval is being appealed.

Berkeleyside first drew attention to this issue on January 25. We published an explanation of the thinking behind the appeal, written by architect Gary Parsons, here.The original application can be viewed here and drawings associated with the application can be seen here. The full appeal can be viewed here. The zoning board is due to hear the appeal on April 27th.

A group of immediate and adjacent neighbors to the property at 2707 Rose Street has written a letter expressing its “strong support” for the proposed project. We publish it today. Following the letter is a letter written by architect Marcy Wong whose firm, Marcy Wong Donn Logan Architects, created the designs for the proposed new home. At the request of the signatories to the letter below, Wong has responded to specific assertions made in the appeal to show, in her words, that they are erroneous.

March 10, 2010

Re: 2707 Rose Street

Dear Friends and Neighbors

We are a group of four families who are all the immediately adjacent neighbors to the property at 2707 Rose Street, where a new house is proposed to be built. The purpose of this letter is to let the neighborhood know of our strong support for the proposed project, and the reasons for it. We are communicating with you, the larger neighborhood, because we are concerned about the unity of the neighborhood and harmony among its residents, and believe that this project deserves to be supported.

A year ago we all received a letter from Mitch Kapor and Freada Kapor Klein, the new property owners, asking if they could introduce themselves and describe their plans to build a house immediately adjacent to us, on Rose St. We met them, and later with their architects to review their design. We informed them of long standing problems with the property, and gave our own suggestions about what was needed to be done to resolve these issues while maintaining our own privacy. Mitch and Freada were exceptionally collaborative, responsive and sensitive to our concerns and issues.

Over a month ago, their initial proposal was approved by Berkeley’s Zoning Adjustment Board (ZAB) (7 for, 1 abstention, 1 absent), a necessary step for all new house construction. However, an appeal against the ZAB approval was then filed, and signed by people who live beyond our immediate street. The appeal raises concerns both about the project and the City’s process. From what we see, the eight month City Zoning process, preceded by the five months of working with the neighbors, was neither short nor deficient but rather, complete and proper. The project is completely in keeping with the standards of the City Zoning Ordinance, blocks no protected views and poses no other detriments. In fact it provides amenities and improvements valuable to the neighborhood, such as the extensive landscaping, a turn-around on Rose Street, and ample off street parking. … Continue reading »

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Michael Chabon calls himself overrated

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Michael Chabon may be the best-known writer living in Berkeley (although other Pulitzer Prize winners, like Alice Walker, have lived here at times). He certainly is among the most-respected.

The Wall Street Journal interviewed Chabon recently about the Bay Area literary life, which Chabon called a “vibrant, fun scene, and much less of a pressure cooker than New York.”

New Yorkers are too consumed by status, said Chabon. “That interconnectedness allows information to flow fast. Who got … Continue reading »

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