Daily Archives: October 18, 2011


The Berkeley Wire: 10.18.11

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Youth program to close after 18 years for lack of funds

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Update, 6:34pm: An earlier version of this story erroneously reported that the city had withdrawn funding this year for the garden program which is closing. The funding was in fact for the BYA’s landscaping program. In addition, Calworks funded BYA’s Steps to Success Program in 2010, not the garden program as reported. We apologize for the confusion.


The Berkeley Youth Alternatives garden program is scheduled to close at winter’s end after 18 years in operation, and Kim Allen, the program’s manager, will leave at the end of the month after 4.5 years in the position.

Allen said the program has been tight on funds for at least the past year. “Berkeley Youth Alternatives as a whole has been affected by state and local budget cuts, and we have lost foundation support too,” she said. The garden program has been funded largely by private grant monies for a few years and these have run dry, while other grants have not come through, she added.

Berkeleyside reported in July that the program was in trouble but it received a temporary reprieve over the summer. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

The interior of A Priori on Vine Street
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FIRST THINGS FIRST A Priori, which calls itself a store where “global meets local” had a soft opening on Monday October 17th. The shop, owned by Lisa Tana, is at 2112B Vine Street and sells modern sustainable products, including home decor and gifts  made by local artists.

OUT OF THE CLOSET As reported last month, California Closets has opened in Berkeley, bringing on-site manufacturing and new jobs to Fourth Street. An official ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce will be held Wednesday October 19th at 6pm.

ITALIAN DELICACIES Clarine Hardesty launched Clarine’s Florentines in Lafayette in 2007, but then saw sense and moved to a production facility on Gilman Street in Berkeley. Hardesty was a 2nd-grade teacher for seven years before deciding to launch the florentine-focused company. She took inspiration from time spent in Florence while in college and from her dad, a successful entrepreneur. Her buttery caramel and chocolate cookies are available locally at the Pasta Shop on Fourth Street, as well as at several other Bay Area locations. … Continue reading »

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Twenty years after a catastrophe, recollections — Part 2

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Berkeleyside invited readers to submit their stories about the 1991 Oakland-Berkeley Firestorm. Here we publish the second part of three selections.

By Lori: Heading back to Berkeley from Walnut Creek, the smoke was already visible over the Caldecott Tunnel. I usually take Fish Ranch Road back to North Berkeley, but that day, I went through the tunnel. Although I saw no flames, the smoke was covering the sky. Back at home, I watched the smoke plume head west from the … Continue reading »

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Chez Panisse birthday fundraising declared a success

The children say it all at the Berkeley Art Museum party for Chez Panisse. Photo: Christina Diaz
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Now that the hoopla is over, it’s time to take stock of how the Chez Panisse 40th anniversary celebrations fared as a fundraising effort.

Answer: pretty well. The Chez Panisse Foundation had a goal to raise $500,000 for all its 40th birthday activities combined, which it exceeded by a lot, said event producer Carolyn Federman, who didn’t specify exactly how much the private dinners, restaurant parties, and other activities raised.

The money will go to support the recently launched Edible Schoolyard Project (ESYP) website, which has an estimated annual operating cost of about $1.5 million, according to Federman. This new, national nonprofit, building on the work of the Edible Schoolyard locally, intends to serve as a “best practices” resource for kitchen and garden classes in schools across the country looking for ideas, tools, resources, curriculum and community to support their work. Interviews for candidates for the ESYP director position are currently under way. … Continue reading »

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Johnny Depp and Tom Waits storm through Berkeley

Johnny Depp signs autographs after talking about The Rum Diary at UC Berkeley Photo by Rashad Sisemore/Twitter
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Berkeley got a taste of Hollywood Monday night when actor Johnny Depp and musician Tom Waits rolled into town.

The pair started their night eating at Prospect restaurant in San Francisco, where they got to sample the fare cooked by the newly appointed chef Pamela Mazzola (Depp had the duck.) Then Depp went to UC Berkeley for a Q&A session about his new film, The Rum Diary. It was a private, invitation-only screening. Journalist Ben Fong-Torres interviewed Depp and the director Bruce Robinson. (See video above.)

After the 9:30 pm discussion, Depp and Waits went to the Shattuck Down Low.  The bar served a special “Hunter’s Punch,” (named after Hunter S. Thompson, a central figure in the movie) made with Sailor Jerry rum.

Depp’s movements in the Bay Area were tracked via Twitter (including some tweets from this reporter, who happened to be eating at the same restaurant in San Francisco).

RT @Frannydink: Johnny Depp may be expected at UC Berkeley tonite for Q & A about Rum Diary but he is at Prospect restaurant now w/Tom Waits (around 7:45 pm) … Continue reading »

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Big Screen Berkeley: Scrapper & Patagonia Rising

Recycling the War on Terror in "Scrapper"
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Have you ever hankered to go dumpster-diving on a military firing range? If so, you’ll get a much needed reality check from Scrapper (screening at 2:45 pm on Wednesday October 19th at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas), director Stephen Wassmann’s salute to a hardy group of Southern California recyclers.

Known as ‘scrappers’, these rugged individualists don’t waste their time crushing soda cans. Instead, they make their living in and around the Chocolate Mountains Aerial Gunnery Range, a massive (465,000 acre) military reserve in California’s Colorado Desert where the Navy and Marine Corps test ordnance on a daily basis. The Range has been a testing ground since World War II: this was the place the Enola Gay took its practice runs before dropping Little Boy on Hiroshima. … Continue reading »

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