Daily Archives: July 15, 2011


The Berkeley Wire: 07.15.11

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Skydeck Innovation Center receives $50k boost

The view from the Skydeck, formerly Intel Labs. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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The Skydeck Innovation Center, planned for the top floor of the tallest building in Berkeley, received a $50,000 grant from the Chancellor’s Community Partnership Fund this week. The Skydeck, a project of the Berkeley Startup Cluster (BSC), will be a 10,000 sq. ft. incubator for fledgling technology companies. The grant was the largest award in the $260,000 distributed by the university fund for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

“The grant will enable us to operationalize the innovation center,” said Michael Cohen, director of the university’s Innovation Ecosystem Development and chairperson of BSC. Cohen said the Skydeck should be open for startups by the end of September.

The space at the top of the former Powerbar building in downtown Berkeley is currently occupied by Intel Labs Berkeley. Cohen said that Intel is doing a lot of work to leave the space in good shape for the Skydeck, so an exact date for opening is still uncertain. … Continue reading »

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Heads up homesteaders: Crop swap launches in Berkeley

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It’s that time of year when the abundance from a backyard vegetable garden can be a tad prolific. How many zucchini squash can one family eat? Or perhaps your produce problem comes from human error: you simply planted way too many onions and not enough greens.

Help is on the way. Beginning next Monday night the people behind the newly formed grassroots group Transition Berkeley invite residents to share their harvest at a Crop Swap in the public park next to the Ohlone Greenway on Sacramento Street.

It couldn’t be simpler: you show up with your freshly harvested lettuces or lemons and share or swap them for some plums or potatoes. That’s it. No money changes hands.

Berkeley is just one of a grassroots network of more than 300 transition towns around the globe organizing their communities to become more resilient, self-reliant and sustainable. In keeping with that philosophy, the Berkeley coalition, which numbers 80 members and counting, encourages locals to lower their carbon footprint, grow food close to home, pool resources, reduce their use of fossil fuels and foster community. Such behaviors are critical, transition advocates say, to facing challenges such as climate change, oil dependency and depletion, and a persistent economic downturn. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley bids for second Lab campus fly under the radar

LBNL's primary campus in the Berkeley hills
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Richmond is pulling out all the stops in its bid to persuade the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab to build its second campus there. A full-blown, city-sponsored advertising campaign includes a billboard on I-80, lawn signs for residents’ front yards and “Richmond (Heart) LBNL” buttons available for all to wear.

Alameda, another bidder for the site, has put $20,000 behind a “Let’s put the (Alameda) Point to work” campaign.

Three Berkeley sites are also on the Lab’s shortlist of six — but if there’s a Berkeley welcoming committee, it’s certainly not making its efforts very visible.

The main reason for that is that the three Berkeley-related bids were submitted by private companies, unlike in Richmond and Alameda where the cities signed off on the bids. … Continue reading »

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The last Harry Potter keeps Berkeley up late

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It’s 10:40 p.m. in Downtown Berkeley, and the line at the United Artists Theater near Shattuck and Bancroft has already started moving. The last Harry Potter movie has officially hit cinemas nationwide.

Hundreds of excited moviegoers banded around the edge of the Berkeley Public Library in anticipation of the midnight showing on Thursday night. According to theater employee Yurida Ramos, devoted fans started lining up for the film at least around 1:00 p.m.

“Since this is the last one, people are more excited,” said Ramos, … Continue reading »

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Police blotter: Recent crime in Berkeley

Police HQ
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This is a partial list of recent crimes in Berkeley prepared by the Berkeley Police Department. For other sources of information on crime in Berkeley see Community CrimeView and Crimemapping.com.

Robbery of a Bike via Punches – Thousand Oaks School (after school hours)        #2011-00038709
An 18 year old Berkeley young man was riding his “Fit” brand BMX style bicycle on the Thousand Oaks School grounds, 800 block of Colusa Avenue. It was 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 and school was done for the day. A male suspect walked up to the cyclist and began punching him until he got off his bike. A nearby neighbor called BPD after witnessing what appeared to be a crime in progress. BPD officers converged in the area looking for the suspect but were not able to find him. The victim declined medical attention at the scene and said he was not injured during the crime. … Continue reading »

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