Daily Archives: June 1, 2011


The Berkeley Wire: 06.01.11

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Street art watch: Romeo, where art thou? Oh, there you are

Ellis St. posters
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Citizen reporter Chris L. sent us this photo of stencil art on the abandoned apartment building at Ellis and Alcatraz. He said they went up on Saturday.


City votes to raise parking fees in downtown zone

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Berkeley City Council Tuesday voted to raise hourly parking rates by 25 cents to $1.75 an hour within a pre-determined “premium” zone in Downtown in order to raise an estimated $125,000.

The area where the new rates will apply has the highest intensity of use, as calculated by the city, and includes around 750 parking spaces within the bounds of University Avenue to Bancroft Way, and Oxford Avenue to Martin Luther King, Jr. Way.

The new rates could be effective as early as July 11 as they are being raised ahead of the Council’s expected approval of the designation of Downtown as a Property-based Business Improvement District. In a property-based BID, all property owners within the affected district are assessed, including public property, and the City’s total assessment will be $104,072 — hence the decision to cover that bill through increases to parking rates.

The recommendation was passed somewhat reluctantly by five votes. Councilmembers Gordon Wozniak, Susan Wengraf and Laurie Capitelli voted against it, arguing that the public would not take kindly to rate hikes and that downtown businesses would suffer as a consequence. … Continue reading »

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New sustainable food TV show has its roots in Berkeley

Screen shot 2011-05-31 at 6.08.43 PM
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By Liza Mock

In November of 2008 three friends — food journalist Stett Holbrook, producer Brian Greene and producer and photographer Greg Roden, who lives and works in Berkeley — met for dinner at a low-key BBQ joint in the South Bay. Besides being a chance to catch up, the dinner was set up so the three could talk about an idea they had been mulling over for some time. The thought was to film a documentary-style TV show about sustainable food, driven by interactions and interviews with farmers, cheesemakers, and other food purveyors who weren’t doing things the conventional way.

The evening ended with three content friends, a table full of crumpled, barbecue-stained napkins, and the seed for a TV show that would come to be called “Food Forward“.

The pilot of the public television series will be presented by KQED this fall. A preview screening takes place on Thursday this week at the David Brower Center in Berkeley starting at 6:00pm.

In many ways it’s a feat of endurance that has got the team to where they are today. Early on, when “Food Forward” was nothing more than the seed of a dream, Roden contacted KQED. After describing the idea on the phone to a producer, there was silence, followed by a huge sigh. “You sound really nice and I don’t want to be negative, but I have to tell you right now it’s just not going to happen,” said the woman on the other end of the line. … Continue reading »

Bartlett’s Coffee closes its doors

Many students studied at Bartlett's on Kittredge
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Bartlett’s Coffee, a small café in the Library Gardens on Kittredge near Milvia, has shut its doors.

The café, which served as a social hub for many Berkeley High students, is not going completely out of business, however, according to Benjamin Bartlett, who owned the place with his family. It is looking to move to a new location.

“Yes, we had to close the café,” Bartlett wrote in an email. “We thought long and hard about it, but an … Continue reading »

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Sketchbook: Gardening for free in Berkeley

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Berkeleysider Diana Howard sketched some of the plants she has been collecting for her Berkeley garden.

She writes:

Because I do not own the land on which I grow my garden, I try to keep gardening costs down. One of the things I’ve been doing belongs to the old-fashioned way of gardening: gathering seeds, runners and cuttings.

All of the plants I show are rampant and considered invasive in our Berkeley gardens. But if you’ve got a lot of land that … Continue reading »

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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, 09:28am: Steverman17 was quick to work out that this is a window on the south façade of International House, facing Bancroft Way. Congratulations, Steverman17 on being this week’s winner!

Photo: Niclas Ericsson.

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