Daily Archives: April 16, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 04.16.12

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Dragon boats take to water at Berkeley Bay Festival

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Some 395 paddlers of all ages had a chance to try out for the dragon boat team during the Berkeley Bay Festival on the Berkeley Marina on Saturday April 14, thanks to volunteers from the Berkeley Racing Canoe Center.

The Bay Festival was a free event organized by the City-run Marina Experience Program. This year marked the 75-year anniversary of the Marina which opened in 1937. The Bay Festival showcased activities and environmental education available here at the Marina and around the region accompanied by music and good food. … Continue reading »

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From a Berkeley garage, a solar initiative that saves lives

Laura Stachel and Hal Aronson
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The week before last, the city of Berkeley took time to honor two of its citizens. Laura Stachel and her husband Hal Aronson were issued with a proclamation and words of praise from Mayor Tom Bates and Councilmember Linda Maio, among others, at the April 3 meeting of the City Council. The following night, PBS Newshour ran an eight-minute segment on the couple’s work (watch it below). Six months ago, Diane Sawyer introduced Stachel as “Person of the Week” on ABC World News Tonight. Also in October, the pair appeared on CBS after winning the Nokia Tech Awards as part of the San Jose Tech Museum Tech Awards.

Such plaudits have come to the couple, who live with their kids near College Avenue in south Berkeley, because they are literally helping to save people’s lives on a regular basis, and are doing so through a combination of smarts and sheer determination. … Continue reading »

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Exhausted pelican makes surprise visit to UC Berkeley

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By Dick Cortén

An unexpected visitor used the grass outside of Sproul Hall as a landing field one day in early April. Safely on the ground, the flyer, a full-grown pelican of indeterminate age, ignored the humans streaming by, who were heading off to home and dinner. The main rush was over, and most didn’t notice the grey ball of feathers, hunkered down and unmoving, as they hurried along.

A few people did spot it, and kept watch. This was a sizable bird, and — despite the much larger statue of its ilk a mere hundred yards or so away, in front of Anthony Hall — a living, breathing pelican is virtually never seen on campus. (Seagulls commonly swoop around the Sproul Plaza when blustery weather tempts them inland to relatively calm oases with fresh garbage-snacks. Turkeys occasionally venture down from the oak and chaparral of the hills.  But pelicans generally stay quite close to large bodies of water.) … Continue reading »

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Cal students celebrate Holi Festival in riot of color

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UC Berkeley students have embraced the traditional Holi Festival which sees Hindus in India, Pakistan and Nepal, among others, celebrate the arrival of spring in a riot of color. Saturday on campus, hundreds of them gladly allowed themselves to be drenched both with colored powders and water. Luckily for Berkeleyside, Michael Armbrust was on hand to take the photographs shown here.

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