Daily Archives: December 14, 2011


The Berkeley Wire: 12.14.11

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Telegraph named a disaster zone to help the fire-affected

The site of the fire at 2441 Haste Street at Telegraph after extensive demolition. Photo: Lance Knobel
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Telegraph Avenue has been declared a disaster zone in order to provide federal aid to businesses, homeowners and tenants affected by the November 18th fire at The Sequoia Building.

The declaration, which was signed today at state level, is seen as a welcome move by Al Geyer, head of the Telegraph Avenue Merchants Association, who says several businesses on the street have seen their sales plummet by up to 60% in the aftermath of the fire.

“It’s excellent that the city is working to help Telegraph and this should help the area in terms of future development,” he said.

Those whose property was damaged or destroyed by the disaster will be eligible for low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Thirty-year loans of up to $40,000 will be available for homeowners and tenants at the rate of just over 2%, while businesses who qualify will be able to apply for loans of up to $2 million at a rate of 4.25%. Non-profits can also apply. … Continue reading »

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Bates: City needs another grocery store, not pharmacy

When the Andronico's on Telegraph closes, city officials are hoping the building's owner will rent to another grocery store
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City officials are lobbying the owners of the soon-to-be-vacated Andronico’s on Telegraph to rent the building to another grocery chain rather than a pharmacy.

Mayor Tom Bates sent a letter on Dec. 1 to the Conference Claimants Endowment Board, the fund that owns the property at 2655 Telegraph, urging its administrator to find a tenant that will “serve the Berkeley community.”

The endowment board had been ready to sign a lease with CVS pharmacy, but agreed to consider an offer from a grocery chain, said Bates.

“I indicated to them it would be wonderful to have a grocery store there,” said Bates. “They indicated to me they had concerns about the viability of a grocery store in that location because of the competition from Berkeley Bowl and Whole Foods. They … told me they would consider it.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s Pinderhughes siblings make music magic

Elena and Samora Pinderhughes
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Samora Pinderhughes was two and a half years old when a teacher at the Centro Vida preschool in Berkeley noticed his musical talent. What his parents thought was just a fascination with making noise by banging on the table, the teacher determined was an uncanny musical ability.

Samora was three and a half when his sister, Elena, was born. From the time she was an infant, her mother Raquel brought her along to Samora’s private music lessons. Soon, she too started to show signs of musical genius. The brother and sister then started to play music together, he on the piano and she on the flute.

Years later, they made their first professional album together at La Peña. Samora was almost 13. Elena was nine.

“They are a very dynamic duo and have been for many years,” said Bennie Maupin, a bass clarinet player who has recorded with Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock. … 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, 5:08 pm: James was this week’s winner. The plaque is by a homemade bench which recently appeared high up along the Panoramic Hill ridge trail. Congratulations, James, on being this week’s winner!

Photo: Tom Miller.

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