Daily Archives: January 16, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 01.16.12

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City Council looks for new Berkeley meeting space

The City Council currently meets in the Maudelle Shirek building but is looking for new meeting space.
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After looking at 11 possible locations to hold future City Council meetings, Berkeley city staff is recommending that the council select between the auditorium at Berkeley City College, the multipurpose room at the North Berkeley Senior Center, and the auditorium at Longfellow Middle School.

Those three sites are centrally located, have sufficient capacity to hold the crowds that come to council meetings, are convenient to public transit, and can be fitted with audio-visual equipment to broadcast and tape meetings, according to a report that will be presented to the council Tuesday night.

The City Council has been meeting in the Maudelle Shirek Building at 2134 Martin Luther King Way since 1909, but needs to find a new spot because the building is seismically unsafe, according to Mary Kay Clunies-Ross, a city spokesperson. The Berkeley Unified School District currently uses the building for its administrative offices, but will move to a newly refurbished building on University Avenue near Bonar in March.

The move of BUSD is prompting the City Council to move as well. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley FILM Foundation to air powerful documentary

A shot from Better This World by filmmakers Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega
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By Emily S. Mendel

The Berkeley FILM Foundation will hold a benefit screening Thursday of Better This World, a powerful, award-winning documentary produced and directed by  filmmakers Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega and funded, in part, by a grant by the foundation. Galloway, of Berkeley, and de la Vega will host a Q and A after the 7 pm screening at the Zaentz Media Center. The screening is part of the FILM Foundation’s monthly documentary series, held the third Thursday of every month

Better This World, which was partially funded and aired by PBS’s Point of View, follows two boyhood friends from Midland, Texas as their world spins out of control. David McKay, 22 and Bradley Crowder, 23, had been opposed to the Iraq War, yet had no idea of what, if any, action to take. Within six months, in a stunning turn of events, they wound up arrested on terrorism charges at the 2008 Republican National Convention.

The film explores their initial naiveté (“We just want to make the world a better place.”) and their bonds with the intense older Brandon Darby, a radical agent provocateur, who mentored and challenged them until their arrests. Much of the film is about the Feds’ relentless prosecution of McKay and Crowder, and the eventual (here, undisclosed) outcome. … Continue reading »

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