Daily Archives: February 2, 2011

News

The Berkeley Wire: 02.02.11

Print Friendly
Tagged

Justice Sotomayor visits Rosa Parks Elementary

Justice Sonia Sotomayor speaks with students at Rosa Parks Elementary/Photo: Mark Coplan, BUSD
Print Friendly

Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor paid a surprise visit to Rosa Parks Elementary School in West Berkeley this morning. Sotomayor is in Berkeley to judge a moot court competition at the University of California Berkeley Law School, Boalt Hall, this evening. The competition has been moved to Zellerbach Hall because of the demand for tickets.

Sotomayor chose Rosa Parks because two children of law school dean Chris Edley and his wife, Maria Echaveste, attend the school, and she heard about its commitment to diversity and its Spanish language immersion program. Sotomayor is the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice and the third female justice.

The children only found out this morning that Sotomayor would be visiting, but they had been studying her career since the two classroom teachers had been informed of the visit. In the first class the justice visited, the children performed a play about Rosa Parks. Sotomayor then shook every student’s hand before answering questions. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , ,

After Berkeley, school lunches will never be the same

When Helen De Michiel was shooting Lunch Love Community, a series of short films focused on Berkeley’s groundbreaking school lunch program, she would often interrupt her desk work to drop in to King Middle School to see what was on the menu for lunch.

Sharing the food with the school kids, chatting with the cooks and watching the care taken by the servers, dishwashers and cleaners all translated into material for the documentary, the making of which she also documented on her Notes from the Field blog.

In one entry, De Michiel, co-director and co-producer of Lunch Love Community with Sophie Constantinou, writes: “The school lunch cooks are planting seeds for future memories. At some point later in their lives, the kids who have gone through these lunch lines will remember the fine smell of delicately seasoned pinto beans, the crunch of the fresh Mexican slaw, and the ceiling light in the Commons rooms, and that moment when they were twelve years old and peeling a perfect Clementine orange to taste. This is how we make change on a daily level, one plate at a time.” … Continue reading »

Print Friendly
Tagged ,

Royal birth in Tilden, babies thriving

Princess, a heritage Berkshire sow, and her piglets, born yesterday/Photo: Ilana Peterson
Print Friendly

Princess, a heritage Berkshire sow, gave birth to four piglets at 9 am yesterday morning at Tilden Little Farm. Mother and piglets are all doing fine. Ilana Peterson at the Tilden Nature Area reports that Welsh Black Mountain Sheep lambs are expected next month. It’s clearly spring in Tilden.

Tagged ,

Claremont files for bankruptcy, operations unaffected

Claremont Hotel
Print Friendly

The Claremont Hotel & Spa, a fixture in the Berkeley hills since 1915, was part of a luxury hotel group that filed for bankruptcy yesterday. The Claremont and seven other resorts were part of a $6.6 billion acquisition by Morgan Stanley in 2007. When debt of $1.5 billion came due yesterday, lenders foreclosed on five of the properties (three other properties with longer-term debt did not file for Chapter 11 protection).

The lenders, led by hedge fund Paulson & Co, stated in a press release that they intend to work down the debt and position the hotels to benefit as the economy improves. The last few years have been particularly bruising for the luxury end of the travel industry, and the Claremont has suffered from poor occupancy rates.

The Morgan Stanley purchase came right near the top of the market for luxury properties. Although business turned down soon after the acquisition, there was some investment in the Claremont, including a complete revamping of its main restaurant, The Meritage, refurbishment of guest rooms, and the addition of a new children’s pool. … Continue reading »

Tagged ,

Your neighbors: barber Harold Spiller

Kim Aronson is an online community builder who has lived in Berkeley for the past decade. He makes short films on the side. You’ll find his fourth video for Berkeleyside, about Harold Spiller at Porter’s Barber Shop above.

Watch Aronson’s first Berkeleyside film, about Sunday softball organizer Raymond Weschler, his second about poster maker Doug Minkler, and his third, about the “you’re perfect” guy, Benjamin Smythe.

Print Friendly
Tagged ,
Where in Berkeley?

Where in Berkeley?

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

Photo: Peggy Scott

Print Friendly
Tagged

RAW party in Berkeley showcases local artists

berkeley-mandolin
Print Friendly

The party that the national arts organization RAW is throwing Thursday night at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza defies description. It’s part fashion show, part art show, and part disco bash, with a dash of liquor and plenty of attitude thrown in.

About ten local artists will show off their wares in an event that pulsates with music, lights, dancing and talking.

“I call it an artists’ circus,” said organizer Mandolin Kadera-Redmond, who was hired by the southern California group in the fall of 2010 to put on events in Berkeley and other parts of the East Bay.

Patrons who buy tickets will walk into a room and see fashion models strutting around, their bodies clad by local fashion designers and their faces made up by local make-up artists. They can look at the paintings and art installations on display – including one that puts succulents in stiletto heeled-shoes – converse with the artists and even buy their work. In the background music mixed by DJs will be pulsing. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,