Daily Archives: February 7, 2011


The Berkeley Wire: 02.07.11

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Berkeley author weaves tale of ancient Turkey

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For months he had been haunted by a vision he had while jogging in Tunisia: of a young girl playing backgammon with two older men. The image appeared in an instant during his run, but Lukas spent many months unsuccessfully trying to define the idea. He first set the story in 8th century Damascus, then in Cairo during the reign of the mamluks. Nothing quite worked.

In frustration, Lukas finally put his writing aside and left for Uzbekistan to visit his ex-girlfriend. But when he arrived at Tashkent, he was turned away at the border. His visa hadn’t come through. So Lukas detoured to Turkey, a place he had enjoyed on previous visits.

One day in the fall of 2004, Lukas was wandering through the narrow, crooked streets of  Istanbul’s Cukurcuma district when he entered an antiques store. There, in the back, he stumbled upon a photograph of a girl, around 7 or 8, standing on a chair and leaning against a pillar. Lukas was struck by the look on her face; the girl had a wise, self-assured expression, something rarely seen on such a young child. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley parking scofflaws: beware of the the boot

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Parking scofflaws who have more than five unpaid parking tickets may soon find an unwelcome visitor on their car: a parking boot.

The City Council on Tuesday will consider becoming the 14th city in the United States to use these wheel blockers to recoup unpaid parking fines.

But as onerous and unfriendly as these “vehicle immobilizers” may sound, they may actually be less expensive and less inconvenient for parking scofflaws, according to a city report. Currently, those whose cars are towed because of an accumulation of unpaid tickets must 1) go down to the city’s customer service center, pay their fines, and pick up a tow release form; 2) hand-deliver the release form to the Berkeley Police Department, pay a $75 fee and pick up a vehicle release form; 3) Take that form to one of the city’s four tow lots, pay off the storage fees ($65 a day), and then, and only then, they will get back their car. … Continue reading »

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BHS seniors sign letters to play college football

Families and friends watch signing ceremony at BHS
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The Berkeley High School library was jammed last week with people who came to watch three seniors sign commitments to play football in college.

Wednesday February 2 was National Signing Day, the first day a high school senior can sign a binding letter indicating he or she will play a sport in college. Three BHS students, all football players, had firm offers on Wednesday and another eight students expect to get offers. Rashad Albert (left in photo) has chosen … Continue reading »

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New Orleans comes to Berkeley: the Treme second line

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If you didn’t make it to the Treme Brass Band second line parade to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Arhoolie Records on Saturday you really missed something. Fortunately, Berkeleyside was there to give you a hint of the wonderful music and atmosphere on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. And it is just a hint: from the start of the band’s performance in the park through the parade to the finish at Freight & Salvage on Addison Street paraders were … Continue reading »

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