Daily Archives: March 6, 2012

News

The Berkeley Wire: 03.06.12

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Interior of Brasa: A Peruvian Joint
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CASHIERS NO MORE Laz Parking, which operates Berkeley’s three parking facilities, is installing prepay ticket machines in all of its garages, which should help eliminate that long backup of cars waiting to get out of the Center Street garage after a play or concert. Patrons can also just use a credit card to get in and out, said Farid Javandel, manager of the City of Berkeley’s Transportation Division. Laz Parking will install the first machines March 12 on Center Street (and permanently open the second exit as well), and in the Oxford and Telegraph/Channing garages soon after. New lights, signs, and paint are on the way, too. There will no longer be any cashiers in the garages, but there will be security patrols and customer assistants, said Javandel. … Continue reading »

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Startup Forum: What does it take to make it in Berkeley?

Forum Panel 2
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What makes a city a magnet for startups? Why do entrepreneurs and financiers flock to the South Bay even though there are so few good places to eat there? Does Berkeley want to be Silicon Valley anyway? (You can guess the answer to that one.) Maybe Berkeley is just not hip enough to attract young talent? Does the city’s red tape makes it too cumbersome to be innovative? And, perhaps most significantly, is there just too much distrust of businesses as they thrive and grow? Perhaps Berkeley should focus on what it already does well: incubating startups then allowing them to fly to pastures new, be that San Francisco or Palo Alto.

All these questions were raised and debated at Berkeleyside’s Startup Berkeley Local Business Forum, last night in downtown Berkeley. An estimated 220 people gathered at the Freight & Salvage to listen and engage directly with two sets of panelists, and to discuss the issues among themselves both before and after the program.

[...View a Photo Gallery of the Startup Berkeley Forum, with photographs taken by Berkeleyside contributing photographer Nancy Rubin...] … Continue reading »

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Snapshot: Arlene Blum, scientist, author, climber, activist

Arlene Blum. Photo: Pete Rosos
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Arlene Blum PhD, biophysical chemist, author, and mountaineer, is a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley’s Department of Chemistry, and also Executive Director of the Green Science Policy Institute. Blum led the first American­ all-women’s ­ascent of Annapurna I, considered one of the world’s most dangerous and difficult mountains, and is the founder of the annual Berkeley Himalayan Fair. Blum’s current “mountain,” which she considers her life’s most challenging and important, is to change policy worldwide to protect global health and environment from toxic chemicals in consumer products. (For more information, visit the Green Science Policy Institute website.)

When did you arrive in Berkeley?
I first came to Berkeley in the fall of 1967 and walked into a quantum mechanics class where I was a teaching assistant. Bob Harris, the professor said “Class is canceled, we’re going to the Oakland induction center,” and that was my introduction to Berkeley.

What’s your hood?
I live in the Berkeley hills near the Lawrence Hall of Science. I love it because I’m near Tilden Park, but I’d also like to be walking distance from shops. So I’m torn about living in the hills. … Continue reading »

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Up close with Berkeley’s wildlife at Tilden Regional Park

Coyote2-Elaine Bond
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Photographer Elaine Miller Bond didn’t have far to go to take these beautiful photographs of a coyote and a red-shouldered hawk. They were shot right here in Tilden Regional Park late last year. Read her descriptions of the encounters:

My eyes went straight to this coyote, crouching low in the grass, when I drove my usual road home. I pulled my car onto the shoulder, and surprisingly, the coyote seemed unfazed. It took leaping bounds; it dug with its paws; it waved its tail side to side as it stuck its snout down a hole — part puppylike, much bigger part: predator. The coyote pounced again, pressing its forepaws to the ground, and then threw its head back.

When it turned back my way, I saw that it was gnawing on a burrowing rodent, which a scientist later told me was a species of vole. For a photographer who spent months documenting the lives of prairie dogs (another burrowing rodent), I delighted in this visit to other side of the grass.

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