Daily Archives: May 10, 2011


The Berkeley Wire: 05.10.11

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BPEF honors three Berkeley teachers and volunteer group

Kim Laurance and Hilary Mitchell
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Three Berkeley school teachers and a parent-run educational support organization were honored Friday at the Berkeley Public Education Fund‘s annual fundraising spring luncheon. The event, which was attended by more than 450 supporters, raised over $180,000 for Berkeley’s public schools.

Hilary Mitchell and Kim Laurance, respectively 5th and 1st grade teachers at Washington Elementary School, were named “Distinguished Educators” at the event. Since 2005, Mitchell and Laurance have led their teaching peers in the Collaborative Active Research for Equity (CARE) program which focuses on equity and culturally relevant teaching strategies in the classroom.

According to Washington’s principal, Rita Kimball, the pair have inspired a collegial and dynamic teaching environment at Washington and their work has had an impact in raising test scores above expectations for all children. Accepting the award, Laurance said that she was inspired by the connections she had made with the children she teaches, especially the African Amercian and Latino kids. “They teach us how to teach them better,” she said. … Continue reading »

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Friends of Berkeley library resurrect beloved book sale

Library sale rush
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The last time the Friends of the Berkeley Public Library held a huge used book sale, hundreds of people lined up early in the morning to get first crack at rare and unusual books.

That was back in 1999.

In the ensuing 12 years, the Friends have sold used books at their two bookstores, one located on the first floor of the main library and the other at 2433 Channing near Telegraph. But the two stores don’t move inventory quite like a big sale, so the Friends of the Berkeley Public Library have decided to resurrect their once-much-beloved book sale.

It will take place Saturday May 14 from 10 to 4 pm in the community room on the third floor of the Main Library.

“In the past year, more book donations than ever have poured in, and it was these surplus donations that convinced the Friends to re-institute an annual sale — not yet as big as the “old” sale and with three big changes: everything will sell for 50 cents, the sale will be held inside the Library, and more than books will be sold — videos, phonograph records, maps, pamphlets, DVDs, CDs, and so on,” the Friends announced in a press release. “There’ll even be a whole section for vampire books!” … Continue reading »

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Big Screen Berkeley: Nostalgia for the Light

A Chilean miners' graveyard in Nostalgia for the Light
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What do Augusto Pinochet, archaeology, and radio-astronomy have to do with each other? More than you might imagine, as you’ll learn from Chilean director Patricio Guzman’s brilliant new documentary, Nostalgia for the Light, which opens this Friday, May 13 at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas after premiering at the 54th San Francisco International Film Festival.

This is a film that conceals its hand brilliantly. First we see images of glistening gears, wheels, and belts quietly working together to some mysterious purpose. As the camera pulls back, more is revealed and the machine begins to resemble a gleaming Rube Goldberg-style contraption. And finally, the truth is revealed: we’re looking at a telescope.

Accompanied by the elegiac strains of a score composed by musicians Miranda and Tobar, Nostalgia for the Light proceeds to dazzle the viewer with detailed close-ups of the surface of the moon, still photographs of the furthest reaches of the universe, and stunning time-lapse photography of some of the bluest, most translucent skies imaginable. So far, so Discovery Channel: this is the sort of stuff you might see on one of the Chabot Space and Science Center’s IMAX screens. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley school district faces deep cuts

Berkeley Adult School, Berkeley, CA, USA
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Dozens of teachers and staff from Berkeley schools are planning to leaflet local BART stations Tuesday afternoon to get out the word that planned state budget cuts will decimate the school system.

The 4 pm leafleting, and a planned march in San Francisco on Friday, are part of a week-long effort called “State of Emergency” to pressure lawmakers into extending expiring taxes. Governor Jerry Brown wanted to place tax extensions on the June ballot to close a $26 billion budget gap, but couldn’t get the Republican support he needed to do so.

“If you believe the funding is inadequate for public education, the practical way is to extend the taxes we have in place,” Bill Huyett, the superintendent of Berkeley schools, told a group assembled Monday for a hearing on the BUSD budget. “Your job is to talk to your legislator or if you know a legislator who is in a Republican district, talk to them.”

“We need to get the word out,” said Josh Daniels, a school board member. “I can’t urge you enough. Don’t just walk away. Talk to your friends, your neighbors, your fellow staff. Get them involved.”

Without the tax extension, BUSD is facing a $3.7 million deficit for fiscal year 2012. That translates to a drop of at least $330 each student, although the numbers might get even worse. There is a chance the state will slash $700 from each student, according to Javetta Cleveland, the deputy superintendent for business. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley High crew qualifies for national championships

The BHS lightweight coxed four qualified for the national championships. Photo: Signe Henderson
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The Southwest Regional Junior Championships (CJs) is usually the last race of the season for the rowers on the Berkeley High crew team. But for the lightweight coxed four, the races last weekend on Lake Natoma in Gold River extended their season by another month.

The lightweights finished second in their qualifying heat to go to the finals on Lake Natoma. In the final they finished third, three seconds behind Marina Aquatic in second, and 12 seconds behind the … Continue reading »

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Ashby booth for sale: No more rotating street art canvas?

Photo booth for sale
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We’ve lost track of the number of works of street art, mostly wheatpaste works, we have written about that have appeared on the wall of the former photo processing shop at Ashby and Telegraph. Now it appears the booth is for sale. Does this spell the end of our every-changing gallery? Perhaps not such a bad thing if a new business moves in and spruces the corner up.

Street art watch: New images on Ashby shack … Continue reading »