Daily Archives: September 7, 2011


The Berkeley Wire: 09.07.11

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Berkeley High Junior wows judges on America’s Got Talent

Update, 11.40pm: PopLyfe made it to the finals in tonight’s America’s Got Talent show.

Kehlani Parrish, a Berkeley High Junior, received an outpouring of praise from all three America’s Got Talent judges last night, along with her band PopLyfe, who performed a foot-tapping medlée of Jackson Five songs on the show’s semi-final season episode.

Parrish not only packed a punch into her singing, she had the chutzpah to encourage judge Piers Morgan to join his fellow judges in a standing ovation after the performance, calling on him to “stand up” from the stage.

Morgan acknowledged that PopLyfe fully warranted him leaving his chair, and said: “What we’re looking for right now is an act that can represent our show and America. An act that can go out, entertain, inspire, have fun, make money, live the life of stars. You are a great pop band, that’s what you are.”

Sharon Osbourne was also full of praise for the group and for Parrish personally. “Kehlani, you belong missus. You are loved. You’ve got yourself going a huge fan base already,” she said.

Howie Mandel, the show’s third judge, was unambiguous: “Everybody in America: you are idiots if you do not start voting and put these people through to the final. There is no other act that will appeal to a wider audience.”

Parrish’s band mates are students at the Oakland School of the Arts. Berkeley High put out a note on its e-tree yesterday encouraging the BHS community to watch the show, and news the band’s success was broadcast on the school’s P.A. this morning.

Read about the band, who practice in Oakland, in their bio on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” website. The next episode of the show airs tonight at 9pm PST.

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Historic urns restored in Berkeley’s Thousand Oaks

One of the new urns is unloaded prior to being placed in at its new site. Photo:  Suzanne Riess
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By Jane Tierney

Some things are a hundred years in the making. On Saturday, a dedication will be held to celebrate the restoration of three giant urns, signature features of the Thousand Oaks neighborhood, which were originally installed in the early 1900s.

When Thousand Oaks was subdivided in 1909, the developers placed monumental urns, in the style of Maxfield Parrish, around the new residential tract. Civic art, like the stone pillars of Northbrae and Cragmont, the fountain at Marin Circle and the gates of … Continue reading »

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City hands ultimatum to Sarachan on vacant Telegraph lot

Ken Sarachan, who owns multiple properties on Telegraph Avenue, bought 2501 Haste St. in 1994. The Berkeley Inn sat there until a fire destroyed it. Photo:Frances Dinkelspiel
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The Berkeley City Council last night voted unanimously to file for “non judicial foreclosure” on the long-vacant and desperately blighted lot on the corner of Telegraph and Haste.

The action means that property owner Ken Sarachan will have to pay off liens on the property or the site will be auctioned off at the Alameda County courthouse, with the proceeds used to pay the city and the remainder paid to Sarachan. With interest, the total liens come to $640,000.

“It’s … Continue reading »

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Large rattlesnake causes traffic back-up on Berkeley trail

Rattle snake
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Berkeley’s Claremont Canyon fire trail, one of the city’s most popular spots for swift bouts of aerobic hiking, is also a source of regular diversions. Last week it was an intriguing note, taped to a barrier at the foot of the path, which caught our attention.

Yesterday it was a potentially more dangerous beast. A rattlesnake, approximately 3 feet long, crossed the trail not once but twice as this intrepid reporter made her way first up the hill, … 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.

Updage, 9:50am: Short and sweet today: one guess just 20 minutes after we posted the photo, and it was correct. BerkeleyChris identified it as the mural at the Saint Ambrose Catholic Church at the corner of Gilman Street and Cornell Avenue. Congratulations, BerkeleyChris,  on being this week’s winner.

Photo: Neil Mishalov.

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