Daily Archives: January 17, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 01.17.12

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Armed robbery at Berkeley gas station spurs manhunt

The Chevron service station on Ashby and Domingo robbed on Tuesday afternoon. Photo: Lance Knobel
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An armed robbery this afternoon at the Chevron station on the corner of Ashby and Domingo led to an extensive manhunt that was continuing at time of writing.

The Chevron gas station was robbed at 2:04 p.m. today at gunpoint by a single suspect who fled on foot. Berkeley police officers were on the scene within a minute, according to BPD Lieutenant Andrew Greenwood. Over one hour after the incident, eight to ten Berkeley officers were still scouring the neighborhood … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Shuttered: A La Folie
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ALL THE FIXINGS You can get “the Kitchen Sink” at The Toaster Oven, a sandwich shop that just opened at 2309 Telegraph Avenue, right by Cal (as tipped by Shop Talk in November). It’s better than it sounds, since it is a sandwich with all the toppings — roast beef, turkey, ham, salami, and cheese. And, like most sandwiches from the five-outlet chain, it only costs $4.99.

SLIPPING AWAY Lingerie boutique A La Folie closed its store yesterday after five … Continue reading »

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Elmwood business quotas may change to help startups

City Council District 8 includes the Elmwood shopping district
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The decades-old retail and food quotas in Berkeley’s Elmwood commercial district face a potentially dramatic overhaul with Councilmember Gordon Wozniak set to propose a review of the quotas to the Planning Commission at tonight’s City Council meeting. If it’s adopted, Wozniak’s scheme would eliminate retail quotas and collapse the current three-tier food quota into a single quota.

“I want to make it easier for startups, but still maintain the special character of the Elmwood,” Wozniak, who represents most of the Elmwood business district, said. The area is centered on the intersection of Ashby and College Avenues in south Berkeley. “There’s a need to keep the balance between food and retail, but having three distinct categories for food is very destructive and consumes an inordinate amount of staff time.”

Under the current quotas (see table below), there are six distinct retail categories and three food categories — carry out, quick service and full service. Wozniak said that the system can be a “real disincentive for a new business”, because of the cost and time needed for permitting.

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A freezing morning in Berkeley

The track at King Middle School. Photo: Aaron Glimme
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The temperature gauge read 29 degrees this morning in Berkeley. Citizen reporter Aaron Glimme took a shot of a determined runner on the frost-covered track at King Middle School.

The cold, clear weather that has parked itself over the Bay Area for the past six weeks should be moving on soon. Weather forecasters have predicted rain for Wednesday and Thursday.

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Big Screen Berkeley: Addiction Incorporated

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Truth in advertising: it’s a simple concept that for some reason seems extremely hard to put into practice. Case in point: the tobacco industry, which spent decades trying to convince people that cancer sticks were good for you. Their own research, of course, proved otherwise — but Big Tobacco couldn’t let anyone know that. Addiction Incorporated, a new documentary opening this Friday at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas, relates the industry’s desperate, decades-long effort to keep the truth under wraps.

Directed by UC Berkeley graduate Charles Evans Jr., the film focuses on the work of research scientist Victor DeNoble, a graduate of New York’s Adelphi University hired in 1980 by Philip Morris to help develop a cigarette less likely to kill their customers. DeNoble did his job, but his research proved a two-edged sword for the industry — on the one hand pointing the way towards expanded sales and greater profit; on the other, dismantling the cartel’s primary line of defense: that they had no evidence proving their product was harmful. … Continue reading »

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