Daily Archives: February 10, 2011


The Berkeley Wire: 02.10.11

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Walgreens prepares old Elephant space before opening

This Walgreens on Shattuck is moving within two blocks of a CVS store
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Three and a half months after Berkeleyside broke the news that Walgreens was to take over the old Elephant Pharmacy space at 1607 Shattuck Avenue, the giant retail chain has started construction work on the building ahead of opening.

On hearing of the move in October, many Berkeleysiders were dismayed with the idea of Walgreens moving in. Reader C.J. Higley wrote something of a eulogy to the building’s previous occupant:

“Dear Elephant: Please forgive … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s newest ‘skyscraper’ reveals itself

The Arpeggio Building while still under construction
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Eric Mai works in the Great Western building on Shattuck Avenue downtown and sent in this photograph of the “reveal” of the new Arpeggio building at 2055 Center Street.

He writes: “I have been enjoying watching the ugly black construction tarp and scaffolding on the south side of the Arpeggio building come down yesterday and today. Exciting times for the tallest building built in Berkeley in 40 years!”

The Argeggio, which will open imminently, is a … Continue reading »

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Could Cal rugby be reinstated, along with four other sports?

Cal has delayed an announcement that was expected earlier today on whether the athletic department would reinstate some or all of the teams it cut from its roster in September due to budget constraints. “There will not be an announcement today about Cal Athletics,” UC Berkeley spokesperson Dan Mogulof told Berkeleyside. Mogulof said he did not know whether the university would be ready to make a statement tomorrow. He added: “I also need to state in no uncertain terms that the anonymously sourced stories claiming that the process has been completed and a final decision rendered are categorically false. If that was the case we would have had news to share today.” The sports in question are baseball, rugby, men’s and women’s gymnastics and women’s lacrosse. In the fall, the university said it would require $80 million in private donations to save the sports. More recently, that has been scaled back to $25 million and a plan to ensure long-term funding from private sources.

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City says it is addressing Telegraph Avenue rat problem

Rats scurrying around at night at lot on Haste and Telegraph
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The city of Berkeley’s environmental health division says it is working to solve the problem of a rat infestation on a vacant lot on the corner of Telegraph Avenue and Haste.

City of Berkeley spokesperson Mary Kay Clunies-Ross tells Berkeleyside that city officials have been to the site “a couple of times” since a report on Berkeleyside highlighted the presence of the rodents, which can clearly be seen by passers-by walking on the sidewalk.

“We have been baiting the rats,” Clunies-Ross says. “There is a long history of rats at this location and at other spots in Berkeley. The rodent population goes up and down according to the season and depending on whether they have sources of food and water.” She added that the city is also in communication with the owner of this particular lot, Ken Sarachan, to address the problem. … Continue reading »

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As rumors swirl that the military has seized power in Egypt and that President Hosni Mubarak (left) might step down, UC Berkeley’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies will host a panel discussion this evening on the pro-democracy protests. Titled “Egypt: Reflections on the Uprising,” the panel will feature professors from Cal and other institutions. It will take place from 6:45-8:30 p.m. in room 112 of Wurster Hall.

The panelists will include:

  • Nezar AlSayyad, chair of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies
  • Charles Hirschkind, associate professor of anthropology
  • Saba Mahmood, associate professor of anthropology
  • Moustafa Bayoumi, associate professor of English, City College, NY
  • Yasmeen Daifallah, graduate student in political science
  • As’ad AbuKhalil, professor of politics, at CSU Stanislaus
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UC Berkeley

Tickets in Berkeley scarce for Joyce Carol Oates’ talks

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As soon as word leaked out that Joyce Carol Oates, one of the country’s most prolific and respected writers, would be appearing at the Berkeley Public Library 9th Annual Authors’ Dinner, tickets were snatched up.

The event, the major fundraiser for the library, generally sells out, but often not until right before the gala dinner in early February. This year, the Berkeley Library Foundation sent out a “Save the Date,” notice in December 2010. Before it could send out a formal invitation in January, all but four seats to the dinner were gone, according to Linda Schacht Gage, a director of the foundation.

“This has never happened before,” Gage wrote in an email. “I am not sure it was entirely because of Joyce Carol Oates, because the list of authors is really great. This was both a blessing and a curse as we have so many loyal Authors Dinner folks from years past who expect to get the invitation but we couldn’t invite them to something they couldn’t get a ticket for!” … Continue reading »

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Pointing the way: questions over mystery sculpture

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Berkeleysider Colleen Neff sends us this photo of a sculpture she spotted yesterday at the intersection of Marin and Monterey. “I wonder who made this and placed it there?” she asks. “It says Polk on the base. I like it and wish it was up higher so we could see it better!”

Can anyone shed any light on the artist and why the sculpture has been placed in this particular spot?