Daily Archives: December 9, 2011


The Berkeley Wire: 12.09.11

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Berkeleyside says thank you to its advertisers

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Berkeleyside would like to express its gratitude to our current advertisers:

The 25th Street CollectiveAmoeba MusicBerkwood Hedge SchoolBernardo Lopez Garden Design & InstallationBuy Local BerkeleyCarolyn Jones at The Grubb CompanyClaremont Hotel, Club & SpaDonkey & Goat WineryEcology CenterFocal PointThe Grubb CompanyHealth and Wellness MattersHotel Shattuck Plaza/Five Restaurant, Marsh Interiors, McKevitt FiatOccupy Wall StreetOrinda AcademyPark Day SchoolPhoto LaboratoryThe Psychotherapy InstituteSt … Continue reading »


Cases of BHS-related teen prostitution misreported

Reports about teen prostitution locally have been exagerrated
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A number of stories in the media this week suggesting that teen prostitution was on the rise at Berkeley High School has prompted both the Berkeley Police Department and Berkeley High to hit back with evidence to the contrary. Principal Pasquale Scuderi also expressed his disappointment with some of the coverage and its potential impact on the school’s reputation.

A December 8th piece on KTVU Channel 2, headlined “Reports of teenage hookers rock Berkeley High” spoke of “high school girls pacing the blocks of San Pablo Avenue for sex” and said the Berkeley police were receiving one to two referrals a month from Berkeley High officials about suspected student prostitution.

BUSD spokesperson Mark Coplan told Berkeleyside there have been “zero” referrals from BHS about juvenile prostitution. And, in a release put out on Thursday, BUSD Superintendent Bill Huyett said: “We have reviewed the two years referred to, and have confirmed that there have been no referrals for prostitution of any kind from Berkeley High School in 2010 or 2011.” … Continue reading »

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Police blotter: Recent crime in Berkeley

Police HQ
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This is a partial list of recent crimes in Berkeley based on information from the Berkeley Police Department and the UC Berkeley Police Department. For other sources of information on crime in Berkeley see Community CrimeView and Crimemapping.com.

Robbery, Shattuck Avenue and Center Street

On Saturday, December 3, at approximately midnight a robbery occurred at the corner of Shattuck and Center. The victim, a 21-year old male, was standing at a bus stop when a male came up behind him. The victim turned around and the suspect demanded his wallet. Fearing for his safety, the victim gave the suspect the cash from his wallet.  The suspect fled on foot southbound on Shattuck. BPD officers detained a male matching the description of the suspect on Shattuck and Haste. The suspect was positively identified by the victim and taken into custody. The victim was not physically injured during the encounter.

The suspect arrested is described as John Hee Lee, an Asian male, 29 years of age. The UCPD site has a photo of the suspect. … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley

From the king a medal, from Berkeley a parking permit

The coveted NL parking place. Photo: Derrick Schneider
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By Derrick Schneider

When news broke in October that physicist Saul Perlmutter had won the Nobel Prize, most people focused on his astonishing discovery that the universe’s expansion is accelerating.

In Berkeley, we focused on his parking spot.

Every Nobel Laureate gets prestige, influence, and money, but UC Berkeley’s winners also receive a large, yellow parking permit, known as the NL permit, and a guaranteed parking space on campus. Although Perlmutter receives his Nobel Prize from King Carl XVI Gustaf on Saturday in Stockholm, he already received his NL permit in October.

When Perlmutter gave a press conference about the prize he joked, “Probably the single most important thing about the Nobel Prize for most people is whether they get the coveted parking space on campus.” … Continue reading »

What’s behind the Café Gratitude closure, what’s next?

Café Gratitude.
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Update, 01.26.12: We learn from Café Gratitude co-owner Terces Engelhart that the Berkeley restaurant on Shattuck may not close after all. “Wanting to let you know that we are planning on being able to keep Berkeley Café Gratitude open!,” she writes in a January 24th email. We will keep readers updated.

Original story: Last week’s unexpected announcement that all eight Northern California Café Gratitude restaurants — including the one in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto — will close because of former employee legal action prompted a range of responses from readers and eaters from “I am Sad” to “I am Amused” to “I am Indifferent.”

The raw-and-cooked organic, vegan food chain, where every item on the menu is an affirmation that begins “I am…” prompted one wag on Twitter to comment that the naming convention in itself was actionable.

Citing “aggressive lawsuits,” owners Matthew and Terces Engelhart revealed the pending shuttering on Facebook and, later, on their website, a few days after Thanksgiving. “Although we believe that we have done nothing wrong and our policies are completely legal, it will cost us too much money to defend them in court,” read the Facebook message. The margins in the food business are notoriously slim and, the couple maintain, they simply don’t have the finances to fight a protracted legal battle. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Rep’s The Wild Bride is fantastical theater

Éva Magyar performs at Berkeley Rep in the American premiere of The Wild Bride, a new show from the creators of Brief Encounter.  Photo: Steve Tanner/Berkeley Rep
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By Emily S. Mendel

Berkeley Rep’s The Wild Bride is a fantastic theatrical experience. Fresh from England, the extraordinary Kneehigh Theatre traveled to Berkeley to bring us a rare holiday gift — an imaginative creation based on an ancient fairy tale, with a cast of only six ultra-talented actors/musicians/dancers. In the course of the evening, the troupe enchants us, scares us, moves us and jokes with us.

This haunting, yet animated theatrical event follows the Grimm Brothers’ version of the fairytale, The Handless Maiden, but is set in the rural South. A daughter is mistakenly sold to the devil by her naïve father. The daughter, aka The Girl, is too clean for the devil to take her, so she is bathed in excrement and mud. The devil, finding her still too pure,  forces her father to cut off her hands. The Girl’s bloody arms emerge from a bucket. Thus, shamed, angry and amputated, The Girl escapes into the woods to begin the next phase of her life. … Continue reading »

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Book thief who looks like Roy Orbison is arrested

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Knute Young, who was implicated in a series of book thefts in Berkeley and Oakland, has been arrested by the Berkeley Police Department.

Virtually every bookstore in Berkeley and Oakland had come to know Young, according to the BPD. He is described as resembling Roy Orbison and booksellers said that they knew him as Ed Young.

The case is reminiscent of the the 2009 narrative “The Man Who Loved Books Too … Continue reading »

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