Daily Archives: November 21, 2011


The Berkeley Wire: 11.21.11

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Friday’s fire ‘another hit in the face’ for Telegraph Avenue

Haste fire 2812
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The city of Berkeley and the merchants of Telegraph Avenue are encouraging the community to shop on Berkeley’s most famous street this holiday season after a devastating fire left many people homeless on Friday and closed down one section of the commercial strip indefinitely.

“The message we want to put out is that most stores on Telegraph are open for business. We would like to encourage shopping on Telegraph in part because of this terrible blow,” said Dave Fogarty, Berkeley’s economic development project coordinator.

Several businesses have been directly impacted by the five-alarm fire at the historic building at 2441 Haste Street. Café Intermezzo and Raleigh’s Bar & Grill, both located in the building at street level and owned by the Ent family, the building’s landlords, have been shut down indefinitely, as has the nearby Thai Noodle II.

Amoeba Music lost $20,000 worth of business over the weekend because the store, which is across the street from the building, had to close, according to owner Marc Weinstein. Amoeba re-opened in a limited way Monday morning but customers were only able to enter using a side door. … Continue reading »

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A Berkeley High star-turned-rapper takes tumble

Nathan Simmons, also known as Sliggaty, from his Facebook page
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When Nathan Simmons graduated from Berkeley High School in 2003, he was lauded as an example of a student who seemed destined to go far.

Simmons had been a leader at Berkeley High. He played on the varsity basketball and tennis teams, took many AP classes, got mostly As, and served a semester as student body president. Half-white and half-black, Simmons had been selected by the administration to attend a conference in Cleveland Heights on the achievement gap, an appointment that garnered him mentions in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Daily Californian, and the Daily Planet.

And then there was his acceptance to Harvard.

“When I first got there I was on the Harvard trip — like, I’m gonna do this shit, I’m gonna get a great job, and I’m gonna be living my life,” Simmons told the East Bay Express in April. “Somewhere along the way, that changed.” … Continue reading »

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Donations sought so no-one goes hungry on Thanksgiving

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As we all begin the countdown to one of the most significant dinners of the year — loosening our belts in anticipation of the feast we may be lucky enough to partake in on Thursday — it is timely to remember that not everyone has enough food on their plates at any time of the year, let alone Thanksgiving.

The Berkeley Food and Housing Project is orchestrating donations from members of the community this week, on Tuesday and Wednesday, in order to feed hungry individuals and families, including the homeless, this holiday season. The non-profit’s checklist includes whole chickens and turkeys (frozen), canned cut yams and apple cider mix (see the full checklist).

Make your donations at BFHP,  2nd floor, 2362 Bancroft Way (between Ellsworth and Dana) tomorrow and Wednesday, where volunteers will be assembling food boxes so no one goes hungry this Thanksgiving. Alternatively, a $40 donation will fund a food box for a needy family. … Continue reading »

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Poet writes about Occupy Cal, protesters plan next steps

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Robert Hass, professor of poetry and poetics at UC Berkeley, attended Occupy Cal this month and wrote about his experience in an op-ed piece for the New York Times on Sunday titled “Poet-Bashing Police”.

He decided to go on campus with his wife, Brenda Hillman, after hearing about police beating protesters with truncheons in order gain access to, and dismantle, tents that had been declared unauthorized by the Cal administration.

“I wanted to see what was going to happen and how the police behaved, and how the students behaved. If there was trouble, we wanted to be there to do what we could to protect the students,” he writes.

As we reported on November 14th, the former poet laureate ended up being hit by police and his wife was knocked to the ground. The experience, he writes, got him thinking that “life is full of strange contingencies.” Read the full column in the New York Times. … Continue reading »

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