Daily Archives: June 21, 2011


The Berkeley Wire: 06.21.11

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Chalk art contest winner at Chocolate & Chalk Festival

Ryan Sommer of Oakland won first place in the chalk art festival at last week's Chocolate and Chalk Festival in north Berkeley
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Julian Lage delights listeners at Freight and Salvage

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Julian Lage reacts to a smooth guitar lick the way a father stares at a newborn child. There’s a pleasure and grace about his stage presence that cannot be mistaken. An intimate Friday night jazz show at Berkeley’s Freight and Salvage proved this.

Lage, a former child prodigy who first performed publicly at age 6, has been called a virtuoso. The 23-year-old guitarist displayed his skill that night, moving his hand up and down every fret of his guitar effortlessly.

He was humble and appreciative, pausing between songs to speak softly to the audience, praising them for sharing an evening with the band.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be here,” Lage said during the show. “You know, we talk about it in the band that we just don’t take any of this for granted – not a second of it. To be able to just plug in and play music, let alone have a great audience is pretty phenomenal.” … Continue reading »

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Summer weather = more home burglaries in Berkeley

Officer Karen Buckheit addresses neighbors at town hall meeting. Photo: Diana Arbss
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Summer has officially begun, bringing warmer weather and increased crime.

At a town hall meeting last week hosted by Councilman Darryl Moore, an officer from the Berkeley Police Department gave San Pablo Park neighbors tips on how to protect themselves against crime and report suspicious activity. In turn, the neighbors challenged police and city officials to do their part addressing area burglaries and youth nuisance.

Officer Karen Buckheit, Area 4 Coordinator, credited the neighbors for police success in catching repeat youth offenders. She encouraged the neighbors to continue calling in suspicious activity. … Continue reading »

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Did Berkeleyside err publishing a nude photo?

Cyclists convene at People's Park before participating in the Naked Bike Ride Day. Photo: Robert Mills
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Berkeleyside set off a storm of controversy on Monday when it posted a video of a group of naked bicyclists riding through Berkeley.

The shot displayed on Berkeleyside’s front page showed a naked man’s genitals and a naked woman’s breasts.

A number of readers complained, saying the photo was offensive and unprofessional, and should not have been posted. Rather there should have been a link to the video or a less graphic photo displayed, they suggested.

When the Berkeleyside … Continue reading »

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Aurora’s Metamorphosis: a black farce that might bug you

Photo: David Allen
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By Niclas Ericsson

What does one do when a close family member one day turns into a man-sized insect? Invite him to join you for dinner and serve him some old cheese carvings? Or do you gradually turn into a fascist asking for his extermination? Then again, you could simply pretend like nothing has happened.

Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka’s iconic novella from 1915, is a cruel and absurd drama about the incomprehensible and dark side of the seemingly mundane everyday life. It has been adapted to other forms numerous times – opera, graphic novel, dance, theater.

The Aurora Theater Company is now presenting an apt stage adaption of  Metamorphosis done by by David Farr and Gísli Örn Gardarsson and skillfully directed by Mark Jackson. It’s worth seeking out.

Gregor Samsa, the main character of the play and a traveling salesman, is late for work one day. Gregor still lives with his parents and his sister. As they knock on his door to inquire what has happened, they find him transformed into a giant, insect-like creature. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley-born Mike Mills on his new movie “Beginners”

Beginners, which opened in Berkeley on Friday, is by turns moving, sad, and funny. Its director, Mike Mills, has roots in Berkeley. He was born in 1966 at Alta Bates Hospital and lived in the Bay Area for a few years before his family moved to Santa Barbara.

The movie — which is Mills’s second, his first was Thumbsucker — tells the story of his father, Paul Mills, who, after many years of marriage, came out to his son as being gay after his wife had passed away. Soon afterwards, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. It stars Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer and Mélanie Laurent.

Mills spoke to Berkeleyside on Friday June 17, the day Beginners opened in the East Bay, about his early years, including his mother’s endeavors to preserve some local architecture, his personal style as a filmmaker, and about why none of his three leading actors are American.

How close to your own life is the narrative of the film?
Well, I had to turn it into a story and have it talk to an audience, but many of the elements are from my experience. My parents really were married in the Swedenborgian church in San Francisco and the map shown in the movie is right in that they lived very close to where Ginsberg wrote “Howl”. … Continue reading »

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