Daily Archives: April 13, 2011


The Berkeley Wire: 04.13.11

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Two Berkeley polls aim to boost business conditions

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Two ongoing surveys in Berkeley are looking to gauge the views of the merchants and residents who live and work in Berkeley — with a long-term goal of improving business conditions for all involved.

Councilmember Gordon Wozniak has launched a survey to determine whether Elmwood locals are in favor of continuing one of the city’s strictest business quota systems, among other things. Another key issue up for discussion is parking — is there enough of it and should meters be extended from one to two hours? The survey also sets out to get a picture of how people get to and use the Elmwood stores.

“Generally the Elmwood works, “said Wozniak. “There’s a special vibrancy there because a significant number of the people that come there do so on foot and retail vacancies are filled more quickly than in other areas. But the tough economic times have hit everyone and we want to find out if people’s feelings are the same or different from when we did a survey four years ago.” … Continue reading »

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Join the party for Berkeley High at BHS Live! on Sunday

John Sasaki: emcee for the night at BHS Live!
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It’s no exaggeration to say that BHS Live, Berkeley High School’s principal fundraiser held every spring, is a major production. The whole community comes together to orchestrate the gala event — but the effort pays off, as the party always comes up trumps.

This year, BHS Live is being held at the Pauley Ballroom on the UC Berkeley campus. KTVU news reporter and BHS alum John Sasaki will be emcee for the night. An East Bay native, he is proud to say he founded the BHS Men’s Lacrosse team and still plays in the school’s alumni game.

The theme of the night is There’s No Place Like Home” and the hall will decorated as “neighborhoods” of Berkeley. When you’re there, look for our Farmers’ Markets, bucolic scenes of California poppies and Tilden Park, among others.

Picante, a Berkeley favorite, is catering the party with a host of hors d’oeuvres and music will, naturally, be provided by the award-winning Berkeley High Jazz Combo, most recently seen performing at Yoshi’s in Oakland. That’s not all. There’s a poetry slam, and, the main event of the night: the Silent Auction. … Continue reading »

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Peter Howard, owner of Serendipity Books, dies

Peter Howard's chair at Serendipity Books. Photo: Ken Sanders
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Peter Howard, the eccentric and brilliant owner of Serendipity Books, and a towering figure in the world of rare books, died at home on March 31.

A Giants season ticket-holder for more than 40 years, Howard died with the opening game of the season blaring on television – while the Giants were still beating the Dodgers.

“He died at the bottom of the sixth inning,” said one of his daughters, Kerry Dahm.

Howard’s death at 72 means that there will be changes at Serendipity Books on University Avenue, but the shape of those changes is still unclear.

There are a number of people interested in buying the store and/or the inventory, according to Dahm. For now, the store is still open.

“I doubt it will continue as it was,” said Dahm.

Howard died seven and a half months after the death of his wife Alison, 71, to whom he had been married for more than 50 years. The couple was able to have a 50th wedding anniversary party with close friends in June.

Howard is also survived by another daughter, Esme Howard, and a number of grandchildren.

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Where in Berkeley?

Where in Berkeley?

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

Update 10:24: Ira Serkes correctly guessed this is tile work on the facade of the building at 2352 Shattuck Avenue — specifically this is next to Extreme Pizza. Congratulations, Ira, on being this week’s winner!

Photo: Tracey Taylor.

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