Daily Archives: April 9, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 04.09.12

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Berkeley library not thrilled about yarnbombing

Yarnbombing NBPL by Streecolor
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One creative contribution to the newly reopened North Branch Library was not seen by the crowds of supporters who turned up on Saturday to celebrate the library’s return to service. Local “yarnbomber” Streetcolor had made some custom knitted coverings for the new circular bike racks outside the library — but they barely saw the light of day as they were quickly removed by librarians displeased with the rogue artistic action.

Streetcolor, who likes to remain anonymous and has created many stealth knitting installations around the Bay Area and beyond, said she spent a couple of months spinning and knitting the covers for the curvy bike racks. She put them up on Friday night. “Lots of locals stopped to take pictures and thank us,” she said. But, on the morning of the reopening on Saturday, when she drove by to take pictures, the yarn had been taken down, she said.

Yarnbombing, like any unauthorized street art in public spaces, is illegal, but the Berkeley community has generally welcomed installations in the city in the past — at least as expressed in the many hundreds of comments our stories on the subject have garnered. Not everyone loves it, however, and some have expressed concern about how the yarn fares long term, exposed as it is to the elements. Most installations are taken down after a few weeks. … Continue reading »

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Study: City commissions don’t reflect Berkeley’s diversity

Sydney Fang
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Berkeley’s city commissions are overwhelmingly white and do not reflect the city’s ethnic makeup, a new study by a group of UC Berkeley students has determined.

While 55% of Berkeley’s 112,000 residents are Caucasian, whites make up 59% of the appointees to the city’s 35+ commissions, according to the study, which will be released at a press conference today.

Asian and Pacific Islanders make up 19% of the city’s population, yet that group only holds 7% of the commission seats. African-Americans, who make up 10% of Berkeley, hold 7% of the seats. Latinos, who make up 11% of the city, hold just 4% of the commission seats. Students, who make up about 20%-25% of Berkeley, are also under-represented, holding 11% of the spots, according to the study. … Continue reading »

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Acheson Commons: Large change for downtown

Aerial from NE
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One of the first projects to be built under Berkeley’s recently adopted Downtown Area Plan will be Acheson Commons which will transform the entire city block bordered by University Avenue, Shattuck and Walnut streets, and Berkeley Way.

The project, which has been under discussion for some time, was the subject of a rare joint meeting of the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the Design Review Committee on March 29.

The proposal for the area sees the creation of 205 new residential units and above-ground floor retail space. The developer is Equity Residential, of Chicago which builds and owns rental housing projects nationwide. EQR previously purchased the Bachenheimer Building at 2119 University Avenue from local developer Patrick Kennedy, and subsequently bought the adjacent properties. … Continue reading »

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Never let it be said that Berkeley doesn’t love its libraries

BPL Friedman 7
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The North Branch of the Berkeley Public Library reopened on Saturday, and Berkeley residents turned out in impressive numbers to welcome its return. We’re delighted to say that some of our favorite photographers were on hand to document the occasion. For a look inside the newly refurbished library, check out our sneak peek photo tour, published on April 3.

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