Daily Archives: March 26, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 03.26.12

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‘Shark Tank’ it ain’t: Women center stage at pitch event

Ayori Selassie
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On Wednesday night at the Freight & Salvage, the Pitch Mixer Entrepreneur Forum will hold its first Berkeley event. In honor of Women’s History Month, the event will feature five women pitching their business ideas to an all-women panel of judges.

“I started Pitch Mixer because the East Bay — Oakland and Berkeley — lacks a strong foundation of community for entrepreneurship,” said Ayori Selassie, co-founder and director of Pitch Mixer.

“I’m from the East Bay. I know there are so many talented people here. But I had to travel to Mountain View or Palo Alto to go to these kinds of events.”

Wednesday night’s Pitch Mixer is the second Selassie has organized. The first was last month in Oakland City Hall. Nearly 100 people attended to listen to business pitches and then hear the judges dig into the details before rendering judgement. … Continue reading »

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Parishioners continue call for change at Berkeley church

St Joseph3.23.12 018.5
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Some 50 St. Joseph the Worker parishioners gathered Friday night, but they weren’t at the century-old sanctuary on Berkeley’s Addison Street. Instead, they met at old Finn Hall on Tenth Street, because, they say, they can no longer freely gather at the church many attended for decades – and that some no longer frequent.

The group, which some refer to as Salvemos (save us), met to spell out concerns with the St. Joseph leadership – and to strategize on how to reform the church they loved when radical priest Fr. Bill O’Donnell and progressive successors and colleagues were at the helm of the church community.

“We now find ourselves confronted by challenges that test our faith,” said parishioner Raul Ramirez, who moderated the meeting in Spanish and English.

“We have heartfelt concerns… in three key areas of our parish,” he said. “The lack of vision, the lack of communication, and failed leadership.”

Tensions within the church community date back to July 2009 with the arrival at the parish of Fr. John Direen. The appointment was made by Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, a conservative bishop who had been one of the driving forces behind Prop. 8, California’s anti-gay-marriage law. … Continue reading »

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Snapshot: Don Daniels, purveyor of balloons

berkeleyside.com Snapshot
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Born and raised in Berkeley, Don Daniels is not your ordinary purveyor of balloons and party supplies. He came up through the Berkeley schools (he was school president at both Garfield/King and Berkeley High). After blowing up balloons for a birthday party when he was 25, he took some classes in balloon making, and he’s been hooked ever since. Besides his love for the personal experience of sharing in the creation of making balloons for people, Don also has a love of speech, thinking, and a constant curiosity for the world around him. He’s worked at Paper Plus Outlet on San Pablo for a couple decades now, and, if we’re lucky, he’ll be working there for a couple more.

When did you arrive in Berkeley?
1953, Herrick Hospital. The first I ever touched of anything, was in Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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Lady Jackets scrap hard, fall at the last, 57-40

Mater Dei's smothering defense caused problems for the Jackets all game. Photo: BUSD
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Berkeley High’s girls basketball team, the Lady Yellowjackets, started strongly against Mater Dei in Saturday night’s state championship game in Sacramento, leading 16-15 at the end of the first quarter. But the Southern California team, ranked fifth in the country, used a swarming, tenacious defense and solid offensive play to beat the Jackets, 57-40, in a repeat of the 2011 championship game.

Junior Rachel Howard led the Jackets in scoring, with 12 points. Senior Elisha Davis, who has been the team’s consistent scorer and leader all season, often found herself double and triple teamed — she finished with 10 points, with only two field goals. Mater Dei was led by the California player of the year Nirra Fields, who finished with 24 points, nine rebounds and six assists. … Continue reading »

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