Daily Archives: April 27, 2010


The Berkeley Wire: 4.27.10

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Inca Service: The Berkeley community wins

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Two weeks ago, Berkeleyside broke the story about the likely closure of Inca Service, Hugo Cornejo’s long-standing auto repair shop at the Chevron station on Ashby. Reader comments poured in. There are now 42 comments on that original post and five on the follow-up. The comments have been overwhelmingly positive, with many arguing that Chevron must retain a valuable community resource instead of building an unwanted mini-mart.

It looks like the community’s voice matters. Cornejo … Continue reading »

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Are there chickens on the loose in Berkeley?

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Veteran investigative reporter Lance Williams of California Watch tipped us off to this caper: there was a chicken running loose in the Elmwood a few days ago.

Fortunately, a kind citizen noticed the bird trying to cross Ashby Avenue, picked it up, and took it home. The Good Samaritan then put up this poster seeking the bird’s owner.

The rescuer did not identify himself, but Williams used his well-honed investigative skills to determine his identity. As he … Continue reading »

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The Berkeley Bowl effect

Berkeley Bowl West
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Ever since Berkeley Bowl West opened last June, it’s been my supermarket of choice. What’s not to like? The fruits and vegetables are beyond compare, the prices are reasonable (if I don’t get tempted by some of the French cheeses or some of the more expensive fish), the layout is intelligent, and the parking is generally easy.

Yesterday, however, I thought I’d save a bit of time and dropped into Whole Foods Market on Telegraph. It … Continue reading »

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Big Screen Berkeley: Exit Through the Gift Shop — a two-finger salute to craven art-world poseurs?

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The less you know about Exit through the Gift Shop before you see it, the more you’ll appreciate it. Of course, if you go into the film expecting to learn anything about its purported subject, you’ll probably be bitterly disappointed.

Directed by guerrilla artist Banksy, the film is, ostensibly, both a behind the scenes look at the reclusive Englishman’s creative process and a tribute to street art, as seen via video footage shot by an obsessive Frenchman named Thierry Guetta. Guetta, introduced to Banksy’s work by Andre the Giant iconographer (and Obama/Hope poster designer) Shepard Fairey, was entrusted with production of a documentary about the underground art movement. Guetta, who had no previous film-making experience, promptly delivered a (supposedly) unwatchable ninety-minute montage of hyper-kinetic cut-ups, here represented by brief excerpts that actually look pretty interesting.

Enter Banksy, who decides he’s the guy to memorialize the movement on film (the result, of course, being the mock/documentary you’re now reading about). He dismisses Guetta from the assignment (why Banksy has authority to do so isn’t made clear), and his former protégé promptly abandons film-making in favor of art installations and painting. Changing his name to Mr. Brainwash, Guetta begins a tireless effort to create a mountainous body of work which will take the art world by storm—and earn himself a pretty penny in the process. … Continue reading »

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Neighborhood revival: Kick-starting the Lorin district

Ed Roberts campus
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May 1 marks the re-launching of a neighborhood — and a chance to celebrate lots of new happenings in the Lorin district, Berkeley’s lowest income, most economically depressed neighborhood, where over 30% of residents live below the poverty line.

The Adeline Street Merchants Association is setting up shop again. Soon to open is the Ed Roberts Campus, an international center for people with disabilities (rendered above — it doesn’t quite look like that yet, but it’s nearly there). … Continue reading »

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Race and the Berkeley public schools

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Race has been a vexing question in the U.S.’s entire history, and continues to influence public policy and private interactions.

Berkeley was one of the first school districts to integrate and it continues to try and break down barriers between different ethnic groups.

To that end, the school district and the Berkeley Public Education Foundation are paying for Berkeley public school families to visit an exhibit on race at the Lawrence Hall of Science.

On April 28 or … Continue reading »

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