Daily Archives: January 25, 2011

News

The Berkeley Wire: 01.25.11

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Street art watch: a new image on Ashby at Telegraph

Trolley street art
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We’ve been keeping an eye on the changing canvas that is the street-facing side of the former photo processing booth on Ashby at Telegraph. Here’s the latest work of art there.

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Council considers dramatic changes in West Berkeley

Change ahead for West Berkeley?/Photo by Jingletown
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After three years of discussion, dramatic changes to the West Berkeley plan will be discussed by the City Council tonight.

The amendments to the plan will first be presented in a special worksession of the council at 5:30 p.m. At the council meeting, which begins at 7 p.m., there will be a public hearing on the amendments.

The plan, approved by the planning commission on a 7-2 vote last October, would allow for more re-use of existing buildings and … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyside Local Business Forum: a call to action

Laurie Capitelli, Amanda West, Michael Caplan, Amy Thomas and Richard Fletcher/Photo: Keoki Seu
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Over 300 business leaders, politicians, policymakers and interested Berkeleyans came to the first Berkeleyside Local Business Forum last night. Over the course of two hours, they engaged in a lively, civil discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing business in Berkeley.

The discussion opened with a forward-looking vision for business growth in Berkeley, reflected through the ideas of Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Wired, and Carl Bass, CEO of Autodesk. They both felt there was tremendous potential in harnessing the energies of the so-called Maker Movement, to generate enterprises in small-scale manufacturing that could grow. Anderson said Berkeley was a “perfect place” for such efforts, because of the concentration of digital know-how and excellent coffee shops. He advocated the creation of a “hacking space”, like Tech Shop in Menlo Park and San Francisco.

Bass said there was a need for “clarity of purpose and intent”. He talked about how his own West Berkeley workshop for his passion for woodworking is surrounded by wine warehouses and a sake maker. Those are the kinds of spaces, he said, where new companies could be thriving.

Anderson asked Mayor Tom Bates, who had welcomed participants to the Forum, what the response in the city would be if he wanted to set up a small manufacturing operation (Anderson’s own start-up, 3D Robotics, manufactures in San Diego and Tijuana). “Go to Emeryville,” Bates responded. But Bates then explained that the new-wave companies being described by Anderson and Bass were exactly what he believed could be part of Berkeley’s future. The debate on the West Berkeley plan, to be introduced in a special session of the City Council tonight at 5:30 p.m., and discussed in the regular agenda starting at 7 p.m., should be the catalyst for a shift in what’s possible in Berkeley, the mayor said. … Continue reading »