Daily Archives: March 8, 2012


Live coverage: Berkeley community meeting after murder

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[View the story “March 8 Berkeley community meeting in wake of Peter Cukor homicide” on Storify]

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The Berkeley Wire: 03.08.12

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Criminal charges filed against four Occupy Cal protesters

A November 9, 2011 Occupy Cal rally - before the confrontation with police
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Three UC Berkeley students and one professor have been charged with resisting arrest and other charges in connection with their participation in a Nov. 9 Occupy Cal protest.

Professor Celeste Langan, who became well-known after a video was posted on You Tube showing a UC Berkeley police officer grabbing her hair and yanking her to the ground, has been charged with resisting arrest and remaining on the scene of a riot, according to Assistant District Attorney Teresa Drenick.

Ricardo Gomez, Zakary Habash and Ramon Quintero have also been charged with resisting arrest and some other misdemeanors, said Drenick.

Langan, a professor of English, is scheduled to be arraigned on March 16 and the others are scheduled to be arraigned on March 21. … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyside: Now with added opinion!

Opinionator offers a platform for your views. Photo: The Paradigm Shifter on Flickr
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All Berkeleyans know that our city is not short of opinion on just about any subject under the sun. We’ve shied away from providing opinion on Berkeleyside, feeling that the core of what we do is news and we didn’t want to distract from that.

We still don’t want to distract from the news, but we do think it would be valuable for Berkeleyside to also offer a regular forum for opinion pieces (in addition to the many opinions expressed in our comments).

So Berkeleyside is today launching Opinionator (name stolen shamelessly from the excellent New York Times blog — see Picasso’s dictum). Our first op-ed contribution is from Mayor Tom Bates and Berkeley Unified School District Superintendent Bill Huyett, writing about progress to date with Vision 2020.

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UC presents a searing play about Ishi, the last of his tribe

Intae Kim plays Ishi in TDPS' production of Ishi: The Last of the Yahi
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In this day and age, when UC Berkeley is cutting staff and its budget and raising student fees, it’s hard to imagine a time when the school saw no bounds to its growth.

In 1911, the University of California (there was only one campus then) was enjoying a Golden Age. Benjamin Ide Wheeler had assumed the presidency in 1899, providing the university with the stability and vision it had long lacked. Phoebe Hearst’s contest to create a new architectural plan for Cal had led to the construction of stately, Beaux Arts structures around campus. The size of the faculty and student body had grown exponentially.

In that context, perhaps it is not hard to understand the arrogance that led Alfred Kroeber, the head of the burgeoning anthropology department, to install a Native American at the Lowie Museum of Anthropology, then located in San Francisco. His name was Ishi, and he was the last of the Yahi, a tribe that once numbered 400 and lived in the hills around Oroville. Forty-nine when he wandered out of the hills, desperate for food, Ishi would live at the museum from 1911 until his death from tuberculosis in 1916, when he was 53. … Continue reading »

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Alice Waters’ Café Fanny in West Berkeley to close

Cafe Fanny on San Pablo Avenue, which is closing Friday March 9. Photo: shinasfo.exblog
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Café Fanny, which is co-owned by Chez Panisse restaurateur Alice Waters, is closing. Tomorrow will be the café’s last day, according to staff at the popular eatery who were only informed of the development today.

A senior staff member said the reason given for the abrupt shuttering was that the café was not financially viable.

Café Fanny was opened by Jim Maser (who also owns Berkeley’s Picante) and his sister-in-law Alice Waters in 1984 and named after the heroine in Marcel Pagnol’s 1930s movies, as well as Waters’ daughter.

A statement from the owners reads:

Twenty-­eight years ago Café Fanny was conceived in the spirit of Marcel Pagnol’s trilogy -­ a love story involving the whole community, centered around a little standup café.

So it is with a heavy heart that we are closing Café Fanny today after 28 memorable years. … Continue reading »

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Using 2020 Vision to help Berkeley’s children

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Three years ago, the City of Berkeley, the Berkeley Unified School District, the UC Berkeley campus, and United in Action, a community-based, multi-ethnic coalition, began working together on a collaborative effort to improve our kid’s futures. Our institutions are committed to eliminating the disparities in health and educational outcomes, but we had never worked hand in hand to achieve our goals.

Berkeley’s white families have a longer life span than the national average and score higher on standardized school tests … Continue reading »

Berkeley developer sees future in small, smart homes

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In a top-secret location in Berkeley, Patrick Kennedy is showing a reporter around a tiny living space — so compact in fact that, at 160 sq ft, it is the smallest apartment one is legally allowed to build.

“It is how small you can go without causing psychological problems,” jokes Kennedy, who, through his company, Panoramic Interests, is responsible for developing swathes of Berkeley. His projects include the Gaia Building on Allston Way, the Berkeleyan Apartments on Oxford Street, and the Touriel Building on University.

The “bijou” apartment in which we are standing, with its trompe l’oeil view of the Bay Bridge, is the prototype for the SmartSpace, a largely prefabricated, furnished space that, when multiplied and stacked together like Lego blocks, creates a fully fledged apartment building. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley fire leaves at least 9 people homeless

Neighborhood residents evacuated because of a two-alarm fire at apartment building at 2227 Dwight Way huddle on the sidewalk in Berkeley, California early Thursday, March 8, 2012. Photo: David Yee
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Update, 6:20pm: The City of Berkeley has made a preliminary finding that the fire was accidental in nature and started in a water-heater closet. Damage is estimated to be at least $1 million to the 3-story, 6-unit building. Dwight Way has one lane closed, but is otherwise open to traffic. The fire-damaged building has been red-tagged by the City’s building official, designating it as unsafe to enter. Because of the risk that the fire-damaged building could collapse, several surrounding buildings received yellow tags. The yellow tag designation generally means that the building is unsafe to live in, but residents can enter with a police escort in order to retrieve their belongings. Building access is limited to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. … Continue reading »

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Out in Berkeley: First annual Women in Jazz Festival

Susan Muscarella performs during The Jazzschool's International Women's Day concert on March 11
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Trumpeter Ellen Seeling and saxophonist Jean Fineberg have never been the types to sit around and moan about injustice. When they got frustrated by the dearth of opportunities for women in Bay Area jazz orchestras, they went ahead and launched their own rip-roaring combo, the Montclair Women’s Big Band, which has earned a devoted following on the strength of its tight ensemble work and improvisational firepower.

Two years ago, they struck another blow for female players by creating a summer Girls’ Jazz & Blues Camp, a program produced with the Jazzschool in downtown Berkeley. And this weekend, Seeling and Fineberg introduce another showcase for the region’s impressive array of women instrumentalists, the First Annual Women in Jazz Festival. … Continue reading »

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Early morning apartment fire near campus, no injuries

A still from a video shot by a resident of the Dwight Street apartments that appeared on KRON News
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Update, 8:09am: The fire has largely been contained. BFD still on scene checking for hot spots. View a full set of photos of firefighters working on the fire, taken by Ira Serkes who was up to shoot the moonset.

Update, 7:32 am: Ira Serkes provides the following video, which was shot at around 6:30am:

Update: 7:24 am: Deputy Fire Chief Gil Dong tells Berkeleyside at 7:03 am that the fire department is still on the scene and … Continue reading »

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