Daily Archives: November 8, 2011


The Berkeley Wire: 11.08.11

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A mom goes to Occupy Oakland with her 7-year-old twins

Scott Olsen altar
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By Elisabeth Jay

After activists occupied the Frank Ogawa Plaza outside of Oakland City Hall for the second time, it seemed high time to visit the site that not only had been renamed Oscar Grant Plaza, but was suddenly in the vanguard of the Occupy movement. Enough of the “I’m-too- busy-being-a-working-parent” excuse. According to the Occupy website, something would be happening Saturday October 29 at 11 a.m. But what to do about the kids on a morning when their other mother had grading to do?

“So this morning, we’re going to take BART to somewhere really interesting, where there are going to be a lot of people having a big rally, kind of like what is going on in downtown Berkeley, only bigger” I explained.

“Oh, where they are camping out with tents and the police took away their sleeping bags?” replied my knowledgeable 7-year-old son. “Can I bring my book and read?”

“I don’t know…” said his twin sister. “Will it be fun for kids?” … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Fellini restaurant
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DIVINE FOODFellini Restaurant, at 1404 University at Acton, officially closed on Sunday October 30, but Italian food lovers will be happy to learn that Marco Polo Garbarino will be reopening the space in December. His new restaurant will be called Divino and will serve Italian cuisine with an emphasis on food from the Liguria region of the Italian Riviera. The menu will include local and organic ingredients, as well as vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. [Hat-tip: “Berkeley resident”]

ART INTERNATIONAL Cecilia Fikaris, a Swedish artist who splits her time between Sweden and Berkeley, has opened a new gallery space at 1527 Shattuck Avenue, right in the heart of the Gourmet Ghetto. It is called Ett Litet Galleri, Swedish for a little gallery, and its inaugural show, Pretty is Taking a Nap, is a collection of Fikaris’s work, including oil and acrylic paintings. Fikaris will be exhibiting other artists’ work as well in the gallery, which is open Sunday and Tuesday from 1 to 4 pm, and Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 3 pm, and then again from 6 pm to 8 pm. The space is also available to rent for poetry reading, book parties, and other events. … Continue reading »

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Are Blackberries best bet for Berkeley in emergencies?

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On Tuesday, October 11th, at about 4:00 pm, a power outage in Berkeley shut down the downtown BART station and disabled the city’s computer system, which meant services and documents for elected officials, city agency staff, and city residents were inaccessible for several hours.

On the same day, owners of BlackBerries across the country — which includes all senior City of Berkeley personnel — were experiencing outages on their handheld devices after a system hardware glitch caused a backlog of data to build up in the European servers of Research In Motion, the makers of the BlackBerry.

Both incidents highlight Berkeley’s dependence on potentially unreliable technologies. They also underscore how vulnerable our city’s government might be in a state of emergency. … Continue reading »

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Big Screen Berkeley: Le Havre & El Bulli

Le Havre
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It’s fairly obvious from the get-go where Aki Kaurismaki’s new film Le Havre (opening at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas this Friday) is going — viewers conversant in the language of cinema will probably divine its narrative direction before the end of the second reel. That doesn’t mean the journey isn’t worth taking, however: for all its predictability, Kaurismaki’s latest feature is a near flawless example of how to tell a story on film.

Marcel Marx (Andre Wilm) and wife Arletty (Kaurismaki regular Kati Outinen) are residents of the titular port city. Marcel ekes out a living shining shoes; Arletty feeds the two of them on onions and purloined baguettes. So inured to life’s hardships is Marcel that even the death of a customer barely fazes him: as he drily points out, “at least he had time to pay” before getting hit by a car. … Continue reading »

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