Daily Archives: May 16, 2011


The Berkeley Wire: 05.16.11

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There’s an app for that: Read Berkeleyside on your iPhone

The app gives you another way to interact with Berkeleyside
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Berkeleyside spoke to a lot of people at yesterday’s Jazz on Fourth festival and we were surprised how few of them knew about our iPhone app — even many regular readers were unaware it existed.

That’s probably our fault for not promoting it enough. So here goes…

We want our readers to have as many ways as possible to access Berkeleyside. There are tweets, Facebook posts, daily emails and RSS feeds, in addition to our main focus — the website.

The Berkeleyside iPhone app (the link takes you to our app in the iTunes Store) was launched in December 2010. The Berkeleyside app has all the news from Berkeleyside, a tab to find our latest tweets, a neat gallery display of the photos on our Flickr pool and a search function.

We have also taken advantage of the iPhone’s capabilities with a citizen reporter capability. You can take a photo with your iPhone and then send it directly to us with a short note to tell us te story. Many Berkeleysiders are using the app to expand our reach around the city — such as on the occasion of a serious house fire on Queens Road last month. Why don’t you join them? … Continue reading »

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In Berkeley, a venerable grocery market comes under fire

Shirley Ng, owner of Country Cheese Coffee Market, says
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By Niclas Ericsson

Emotions are running high in the Northbrae area of Berkeley, and the friendly spirit of the neighborhood is at stake, according to a number of small merchants who are afraid they will not survive in the wake of what is being perceived as aggressive marketing strategies at Monterey Market.

Several small businesses say the owners of Monterey Market have begun to deliberately stock items that they specialize in — including certain cheeses, wine and flowers — and they are selling them at predatory prices, which threatens the local merchants’ livelihoods.

A group of Northbrae neighbors has distributed a hand-out in support of the small local merchants in which it criticizes Monterey’s approach. “We are making a moral and ethical appeal,” said Tom Meyer, speaking for the group. Signatories on the hand-out include Monterey Fish, Gioa Pizzeria, Hopkins Launderette, and Storey Framing. (See the hand-out here.)

A manager at Monterey Market said he had no comment to make last week when asked by Berkeleyside for his side of the story. Follow-up phone calls requesting an interview were not returned.

“This used to be the happiest neighborhood I have ever worked in,” said Shirley Ng, owner and manager of Country Cheese Coffee Market at 1578 Hopkins Street. Ng said that things started to change in June 2009 when Monterey Market’s former manager, Bill Fujimoto, left his position due to disagreements within his family, the owners of the business. … Continue reading »

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A year after fire, Berkeley animal shelter lands on its feet

Chaps, a special-needs dog, at the East Bay Humane Society. He would get less one-on-one attention a the city shelter. Photos: Rachel Gross
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Against the back wall of the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society’s adoption room is a maze of cages, containing one lone cat. Magdalene, as she is called, is a black feline with patches of tan. She lies curled on a towel. When approached, she promptly rolls onto her back and paws the air, revealing a white underbelly.

Magdalene was found by a woman and brought to Berkeley Animal Care Services, the city’s animal shelter, two weeks ago, according to Valerie Mizuhara, the Humane Society’s Shelter Manager. At the time, the cat was extremely pregnant. Now, two faint blue lines on her stomach attest to the spay and surgery the Humane Society gave her to prevent “just one more unwanted litter,” from entering the world.

Magdalene sits up and emits a guttural purr. She is behaving so affectionately, Mizuhara says, because of residual pregnancy hormones in her system.

That Magdalene is the only cat in the room is a telling sign. It has been almost one year since a fire ravaged the nonprofit East Bay Humane Society nonprofit on May 20, 2010, killing 15 cats and wreaking $1.5 million worth of damage on the building. Most of the facilities remain condemned by the city, and the room that housed the cats is sealed with plastic and still smells eerily of smoke.

Since the fire, the shelter has spent $200,000 on rent and construction, according to interim Director Stephanie Erickson. It will be at least two years and potentially millions of dollars before the fire-damaged areas are completely rebuilt. … Continue reading »

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Jazz on Fourth: Great music and food, good cause, no rain

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After everyone crossed their fingers hard, and the weather gods took heed, the sun shone bright, the live jazz exceeded all expectations, great food sizzled on the grill, the vibe was mellow and Jazz on Fourth, a benefit for Berkeley High’s award-winning jazz program, was a splendid affair. Thanks to all of you who stopped by Berkeleyside’s booth to say hello. It was great to meet you.

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