Daily Archives: November 23, 2011


The Berkeley Wire: 11.23.11

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The Sequoia Building: At heart of Berkeley’s rich heritage

Sequoia historical #2
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By Steven Finacom

Telegraph Avenue’s Sequoia Apartments building, seriously damaged in a fire on Friday, November 18, 2011, is a stately and historic edifice that helped define the character of Telegraph Avenue in both the early 20th century and in the 1960s.

Constructed in 1916, the 96-year-old, 39-apartment, building was part of an early 20th century development boom that transformed Telegraph Avenue into a bustling business and residential district.

When the Sequoia was built, Berkeley was one of most populous cities in California, riding a wave of suburb development and urbanization that had started with the construction of streetcar lines around the turn of the century, and accelerated after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. … Continue reading »

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Skippin’ and flyin’ with Berkeley fiddler Laurie Lewis

Laurie Lewis
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Berkeley’s musical blessings are bountiful, but I’m going to start this holiday season by giving thanks for Laurie Lewis.

Creatively ambitious and utterly unpretentious, steeped in tradition but doggedly progressive, Lewis is a gifted fiddler, deft guitarist, inspired songwriter and powerfully evocative singer. A creative force on the Bay Area bluegrass scene for decades, the long-time Berkeley resident has mentored several generations of brilliant young string players, while also honing an impressive body of evocative original songs (projects that she releases on her own label, Spruce and Maple Music).

Lewis showcases both sides of her musical life on her new album “Skippin’ and Flyin’,” a loving tribute to bluegrass patriarch Bill Monroe on the 100th anniversary of his birth. She celebrates the album’s release Saturday at Freight & Salvage, where she’ll be joined by most of the album’s cast, including her long-time musical partner Tom Rozum on mandolin and vocals, fiddler Chad Manning, bassist Todd Phillips and Patrick Sauber on banjo.  … Continue reading »

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Pacific Flyway Survey comes to Berkeley’s Aquatic Park

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By Chris Hammond

At Berkeley’s Aquatic Park, Mike Perlmutter bent over his bird-watching telescope, intent on finding more of the birds he’s seen in years past. The traffic on highway 580/80 roared behind him. A freight train pulling empty container cars clickity-clacked on the other side of the park. In between were the birds, all of them are year-rounders like great egrets, coots and ducks. There were no migratory shorebirds yet.

Volunteer bird watchers and scientists combed the sandy San Francisco Bay marshes for shorebirds at high tide Tuesday morning. Perhaps 350,000 of the spindly legged, long-distance travelers were counted in northern and central California as they fattened themselves on crabs, worms and muscles in the flats and rocky shoreline.

“This is as many birds as we get in winter,” said Julian Wood, who works for PRBO Conservation Science, the group leading the Pacific Flyway Shorebird Survey. He said that tracking the birds is no easy feat. “It’s hard to get numbers for migrating shorebirds. The ones we see breed in Alaska and winter here.” … Continue reading »

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Everyone deserves to eat: Andre Green’s kitchen wisdom

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Andre Green’s mission is both simple and heartfelt: no one should go hungry. It’s a mantra that has worked for him in his more than seven years serving food to the homeless and poor.

After a long stint in the kitchen at the East Oakland Community Project, Green began cooking for Berkeley’s most vulnerable residents on Valentine’s Day this year, as the new food services coordinator for Berkeley Food & Housing Project. The non-profit group serves hot meals to homeless men, women, and children from food purchased from the Alameda County Community Food Bank and wholesale grocery stores, along with donations from individuals, organizations, and businesses. … Continue reading »

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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, 9:55 am: Eric Panzer got it right. This is a detail of the Telegraph facade of Fred’s Market at 2521 Telegraph Avenue at Dwight. Congratulations, Eric, on being this week’s winner!

Photo: Tracey Taylor.

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