Daily Archives: October 26, 2011


The Berkeley Wire: 10.26.11

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Occupy Oakland demonstrations on Tuesday October 26. Photo: Queena Kim/The Bay Citizen

The Berkeley Police Department sent fifteen officers to the Occupy Oakland demonstration Tuesday evening to support the Oakland Police in its efforts to break up the protests. “The Oakland Police Department (OPD) requested mutual aid through the Alameda County Mutual Aid Coordinator, who in turn requested mutual aid from various law enforcement agencies within the county,” BPD Public Information Officer Sergeant Mary C. Kusmiss told Berkeleyside.

“The basis of the request was that OPD was unable to address and manage the situation safely (and take care of the City of Oakland) with their internal resources. On the night of Tuesday, October 25, BPD sent one squad of 12 BPD officers, two sergeants and a Lieutenant.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley ramps up Dìa de los Muertos celebrations

This year, if there’s one thing Dìa de Los Muertos in the Gourmet Ghetto promises not to be, it’s low-key. “We are going all out,” said organizer Lisa Bullwinkel. The fact that the event will coincide with November 2nd’s Off The Grid, Berkeley’s popular weekly street-food fest — and takes place right next to the food trucks — should ensure a lively and engaged crowd.

Dìa de Los Muertos celebrates those who have passed on, and it has been marked in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto for the past two years. The additions to the festivities this year include interactive craft stalls, a beer and wine stand, and the Con Permiso Mariachi band. A community altar, or ofrenda, is being created for and by community members who may bring photos or stories of their loved ones, candles, breads, or flowers to add to the altar.

Masked participants at last year’s Dia de los Muertos celebration in Berkeley

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Berkeley author explores the tragedy of Jonestown

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Julia Scheeres was only eleven in 1978 when 918 people in Jonestown committed mass suicide. She learned of the episode when she spotted her family’s copies of Time and Newsweek, both of which featured cover photos of bloated bodies rotting in the jungle. Scheeres’ parents quickly realized the images were not appropriate for young children and spirited away the magazines.

It was not until 30 years later, when Scheeres was working on a novel about a charismatic preacher in Indiana, that she thought again of Jim Jones, the Pentecostal leader of the People’s Temple and the man who created Jonestown in Guyana and induced so many of his followers to kill themselves. Jones was from Indiana and Scheeres googled him to see if there was some aspect of his life that might inform her fiction.

She found herself at the Jonestown Institute website and started to poke around. Soon Scheeres was reading FBI documents about Jonestown, as well as letters and diaries from those who lived and died there. Scheeres, who had herself spent time in a strict, religious reform school (which her bestselling memoir, Jesus Land chronicles) was fascinated by the stories. They resonated with her. … Continue reading »

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All quiet at Occupy Berkeley camp at MLK Park

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The scene at MLK Park in downtown Berkeley was quiet on Wednesday morning in sharp contrast to the demonstrations and tear gas that engulfed Oakland Tuesday night. Despite a recent directive by City Manager Phil Kamlarz that people should not spend the night in the park, there were approximately 25 tents in the park. Protestors said they had not been disturbed by the Berkeley police. … Continue reading »


Berkeley street style: Gray days indeed

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The first (and only) time I visited Ireland, I was 21 and in the middle of my art history studies. Upon stepping off the ferry from France I exclaimed, “I love the juxtaposition of green against the gray sky!” Spoken like a true art history major.

As we head into the gray season (who said we don’t have seasons?), it is as true today in Berkeley as it was on that Irish hillside: A gray sky is the ultimate backdrop for making a bold color statement. And aren’t we lucky to have so many gray-sky days to make the most of our yellows, turquoises, and, my personal favorite these days, royal blues? Could anything be more cheerful than a shock of color revealing itself through the mist?

I know how tempting it is, as the air reaches maximum saturation levels, to reach for our tried and true Gore-Tex gear in all its variations of drab (mine is a thoroughly uninspired forest green.) But I’m going to resist the urge to blend in this year and get more wear out of my turquoise Adidas logo trench. Or maybe troll eBay for one of the 1970’s foul weather jackets I used to wear on my family’s sailboat as a kid.

Let these pictures be your inspiration as the days turn dark and damp, knowing you’ll only look brighter the grayer it gets.

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Where in Berkeley?

Where in Berkeley?

Know where this is? Take a guess and let us know in the Comments.

Update, 9:20am: Ira Serkes correctly identified this window as being at 709 Jones Street between the railroad track and Fourth Street in west Berkeley. Congratulations, Ira, on being this week’s winner. (Here’s the map reference.)

Photo: Ralph Nagel.

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