Daily Archives: October 3, 2011

News

The Berkeley Wire: 10.03.11

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Berkeleyside

Berkeleyside introduces “All The News” story skimmer

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Today sees the launch of a new section on Berkeleyside. All The News, which you access by clicking the far-left orange tab under our logo on the homepage, is, we hope, going to greatly improve our readers’ experience and enable them to find and keep up with stories.

“All The News” is a grid that presents clearly and simply in one place — and  in a linear, chronological fashion — all the stories that Berkeleyside publishes.

We listened to readers who told us that sometimes they felt our articles were getting “lost”, and we took our inspiration for a solution from the New York Times Skimmer. We trust that “All The News” will help readers to easily track the stories they are interested in reading.

Here’s how it works: as soon as a story appears on Berkeleyside, it is included in “All The News” with a precis of the article. Readers can skim through all our recent stories, and click the “More” button to find further stories, which go back in time indefinitely. To search for a story, use the “Search” box back on the homepage. It’s at the very top left-hand corner. … Continue reading »

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Architecture

Urban think tank: Student visions for blighted Berkeley lot

Jarrod Hicks' Urban Ecology Center seen from Telegraph Avenue
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By Rudabeh Pakravan

Empty lots raise questions. Projects take years to make progress, leaving people to wonder what ever happened to the ambitious images promised on signs surrounding the fences. Some of us daydream of transforming unused real estate into community gardens or public housing.

The City of Berkeley’s recent ultimatum to the owner of the site on Haste and Telegraph prompts another question: is there an ideal project for a given site? We typically trust city planners, architects, developers, and other experts to zone and build on the land around us. We may protest or applaud, but we usually let the decisions be made for us.

Students, however, can dream. Working outside of any parameters other than the physical boundaries of the site and the constraints set by their professor, students at UC Berkeley’s Department of Architecture spent the summer working on bold and unlikely proposals for the Haste and Telegraph site. Under the guidance of Professor Darell Fields, a lecturer on the design faculty at Cal, students worked on proposals for an “Urban Think Tank.”

“The project is conceived of as an opportunity to investigate the relationship between public discourse, architecture, and ideology,” said Professor Fields.

Students were encouraged to question how architecture can affect change in public spaces and create a link between research and community. Mainly unaware of the complicated and controversial transactions in the site’s history, students focused instead on issues such as the political legacy of People’s Park, sustainability, homelessness, and art as ways to generate an architecture that inspires public debate. … Continue reading »

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Crush time at Berkeley’s Donkey & Goat winery

Amy crush 1
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Jared and Tracey Brandt survived this weekend on very little sleep. It’s wine harvest time which means the Berkeley winery they run on Fifth Street was in full crush mode.

On Saturday evening, as he hosed down the tall silver tanks in which newly crushed grapes would soon be stored, Jared admitted he was feeling a little dazed with all the hard labor. And the crew still had a long day of work ahead of them on Sunday.

The couple, who started Donkey & Goat in 2003 and moved into their new premises this year, had friends along to help them, however. Tony Hecht lives in the neighborhood and stumbled upon the winery about a year ago. “I fell in love with what they’re doing, and also with what they represent: a transformation of this part of West Berkeley from an aging industrial area to a cool-yet-approachable artisan base,” he says.

While Hecht himself didn’t clamber into the barrels of grapes to help crush them by foot, he did help with picking through the fruit to discard debris and leaves, and with the clean-up. He also took several of the photos here.

After three days of work, the workers will have processed six tons of grapes which will eventually produce about 1,000 bottles of wine.

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