Daily Archives: March 31, 2010


The Berkeley Wire: 3.31.10

Berkeley pier (above): once led to ferry, now to fish [SF Chronicle]
Berkeley hit and run driver injures one, destroys two cars [Berkeley Voice]
Lawrence Berkeley Lab to build new research facility with $18m grant [SF Biz Times]
Credit card skimming scam suspected in Berkeley [SF Chronicle]
Berkeley climber tells of stranded partner on Mount Shasta [Oakland Tribune]

Photo of Berkeley pier by Paula Steele/Flickr creative commons.

Update 20.07: Reader Jenny Wenk adds this interesting footnote to the Chronicle’s Berkeley pier story: The S. F. Chronicle article on the Berkeley pier neglects an important bit of history. in 1960 or 1961 a fire started at the far end of the pier. My husband, who was night Harbor Master, and a friend of his with Model A pick up helped the Berkeley Fire Department get hoses, axes and other equipment out to the fire. Obviously driving several ton fire engines out the pier wasn’t a good idea since the fire was jumping from spot to spot. This explains the current state of the remains of the pier and why people can take their sail boats through some of the gaps. If they know the waters well.

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Alice Waters in firing line over ‘toxic sewage sludge’

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The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is accusing Berkeley restaurateur Alice Waters (pictured left) of hypocrisy and intends to hold a picket demonstration outside her restaurant, Chez Panisse, tomorrow Thursday April 1 at 12 noon.

The subject that has provoked the upset? Sewage sludge, which, the Association says, has been wrongfully presented as organic in the past and used as compost for “unsuspecting” community gardens and edible schoolyards. The Association is not accusing Waters of promoting, or … Continue reading »

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Our sandwiches are good!

A sandwich from Gregoire's
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Who knew questioning the deliciousness of the sandwiches in Berkeley would arouse such passion?

After Berkeleyside ran a post a few days ago pointing out that San Francisco Magazine had not found any sandwich made in Berkeley particularly worthy of note, dozens of readers objected to that characterization of our fine city.

Eater SF even picked up the post, expressing its wonder that Berkeley had been frozen out of the Bay Area-wide contest.

I had pointed … Continue reading »

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Documenting those “only in Berkeley” elements

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Because Berkeley is Berkeley, it was only a matter of time before someone launched a blog about Berkeley being, well, so Berkeleyish.

“Go Back to Berkeley” documents random elements that make Berkeley what it is, be it an altered street sign (pictured above) or environmentally friendly initiatives which, in the blog’s view, belong firmly in “that city in the East Bay“.

“Go Back to Berkeley” is run by Adam Singer and Chelsea Pearl, and … Continue reading »

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Where in Berkeley?

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

Photo by Tracey Taylor.


Neighbors v. neighbors in Mitch Kapor home case

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One group of neighbors is pitted against another in an ongoing discussion about a proposal by software mogul Mitch Kapor to build a new home at 2707 Rose Street. The plan has been rubber-stamped by the city. But an appeal looms on April 27.

On March 15  we published a letter from a group of immediate and adjacent neighbors to the property expressing its “strong support” for the proposed project. They included a letter written by architect Marcy Wong whose firm, Marcy Wong Donn Logan Architects, designed the blueprints for the proposed home (model pictured above).

Today we publish a letter and “rebuttal” from another group of Berkeley neighbors who have objections to the issues she raises therein. [For the back story, and for links to the plans and appeal documents, skip to the end.]

2707 Rose Street

A Letter from Appellants

March 27, 2010

Since January, we’ve kept in touch with more than fifty neighbors about the 2707 Rose Street project.  Many of them wrote letters of concern to the Zoning Adjustments Board back in January.  Thirty-four people signed the appeal.  Of those, all but four are residents of the neighborhood.

We are a pretty diverse group, but from the time we first learned about the proposal we’ve shared a concern about the way the project was handled. After the Zoning Adjustments Board, in a surprising departure from usual practice, ignored our request for a continuance and story poles and approved this uniquely massive residential structure, we had no alternative but to appeal.  Subsequent study of the architect’s submitted documents and the planning staff material have yielded all manner of errors, inconsistencies, and unsupportable conclusions.

This is not a neighborhood fight.  Our appeal challenged the process and the application; it did not challenge neighbors who might not share our views. … Continue reading »

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