Daily Archives: December 6, 2011


The Berkeley Wire: 12.06.11

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UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley shooting ruled to be ‘suicide by police’

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The fatal shooting of UC Berkeley student Christopher Travis was likely to have been “suicide by police”, according to Richard Lyons, dean of the Haas School of Business, where the shooting took place on November 15.

In an email to students, faculty and staff today, Lyons wrote that the UC Police Department had nearly concluded its investigation of the incident. “While we will likely never know Chris’s intent, [the police department’s] leading theory, based on his history of recent … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Schools Superintendent Bill Huyett to retire

Bill Huyett
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In a surprise move, Berkeley Unified School Superintendent Bill Huyett announced today that he will retire on June 30, 2012.

In a statement published on the BUSD website, Huyett said: “I was drawn to Berkeley because I saw an opportunity to work on the achievement gap. With a committed Board, dedicated staff, an involved community and the 2020 Vision, much has been accomplished in the past four years.  Now I’m ready to pass the torch so I can spend more time with my wife and family.”

“Bill is an intense family man,” said BUSD spokesperson Mark Coplan, adding that when Huyett accepted his current position, his wife took retirement. “Bill’s wife has been enjoying retirement for four years now and Bill would like to do the same,” he said. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Closing: Magic Gardens
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VIDEO NO MORE After 22 years in business, Video Maniacs at 1482 University is shuttering its doors at the end of the year. Owner Henry Bhukhan said rentals are half what they were two years ago because of Netflix and online streaming. The closure leaves only two freestanding videos store in Berkeley — Five Star at 1550 University Avenue, and Blockbuster at 2390 Shattuck (near Channing). And, as we reported last month, the latter is scheduled to shut down in 2012 when a branch of Chase Bank takes over the space.

COLD OUT, SPICY IN Yogurt Harmony at 2259 Shattuck Avenue (between Allston Way and Kittredge) has shut its doors. Angeline’s Louisiana Kitchen, which “brings the flavor and atmosphere of a New Orleans neighborhood restaurant to downtown Berkeley,” is filing for a permit to expand into the 1,013 sq ft space, which is located next door to its current location. … Continue reading »

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Councilman: Look at unauthorized collectives

A sign warning against drug dealing near the location of a new medical cannabis collective.
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City Councilman Jesse Arreguín will ask the city manager tonight to investigate whether two medical cannabis collectives are operating in violation of Berkeley’s zoning laws.

Arreguín’s announced his intent after a contentious meeting of the Medical Cannabis Commission on Thursday, Dec. 1. The MCC spent a large part of its meeting debating whether to send a letter to city officials drawing attention to the proliferation of collectives in commercial districts, but could not agree on the wording. The MCC will take up the matter again in January.

“I don’t think this should be swept under the rug,” said Arreguín. “It is an important issue. Some action needs to be taken. The city is trying to be sensitive to these particular collectives, which provide medicine to patients. At the same time, they are clearly violating the city’s zoning laws and medical marijuana ordinances.” … Continue reading »

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Big Screen Berkeley: Outrage

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Google the words ‘Beat Takeshi Clint Eastwood’, and you’ll get well over 5 millions hits: film fans know that actor-director ‘Beat’ Takeshi Kitano has been giving Clint a run for his stone-faced money since the late 1980s. But the similarities go well beyond the pair’s leathery, inanimate fizzogs: while neither Kitano nor Eastwood are great actors, each possess undeniable physical presence and are, arguably, more skilled behind the camera than in front of it.

Eastwood’s fame, of course, sprang from the trilogy of iconic westerns he made in Spain with Italian director Sergio Leone, while Kitano’s stems from gangster movies of more recent vintage such as Sonatine (1993) and Fireworks (Hana-bi, 1997). While it’s been many years since Clint wore a pair of chaps, however, Takeshi is still milking the yakuza genre cow with considerable success. … Continue reading »

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Tilden’s Merry Go Round at heart of seasonal spectacular

Merrry 3
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If you don’t have young kids, the Tilden Park Merry Go Round Christmas Fantasy in the Woods will probably make you want to go out and find some just so you have an excuse to visit.

Running every evening through December 23, the event sees the much-loved antique carrousel transformed into a whimsical holiday spectacular.

When Berkeleyside contributing photographer Nancy Rubin visited recently, not only did she meet Santa, but also a live camel and a Shetland pony. She said the whole effect was “magical indeed”.

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