Daily Archives: April 23, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 04.23.12

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UC Berkeley calls for peaceful end to Occupy the Farm

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On Monday afternoon, a group of several dozen activists were working the land, tending to tents, working at a welcome desk and makeshift food preparation area, and fielding media interviews on a plot of agricultural land on the Albany-Berkeley border that is owned by UC Berkeley.

The action to plant a renegade farm on part of what is known as the Gill Tract began on Sunday when several hundred members of a movement calling itself Occupy The Farm broke into the property, which is on the corner of San Pablo and Marin avenues, and planted carrot, broccoli and corn seedlings on a section of a 77-acre lot that comprises the Cal-owned University Village.

The part of the land being occupied is used by UC Berkeley for agricultural research by UC Berkeley’s School of Natural Resources and by a group under Prof. Miguel Altieri from Cal’s Department of Environmental Science.

The university has plans to build a for-profit senior housing complex and a Whole Foods grocery store on a separate portion of the Village land. In addition, a Little League fields that currently stands on Village land will eventually be moved to the Gill Tract, occupying about half of the 10 acres, with the rest of the land to remain open in some form, according to Albany City Councilman Robert Lieber, as reported in Albany Patch. [View the 2004 master plan for University Village.] … Continue reading »

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Berkeley police identify suspect who was shot

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Berkeley police have identified the man who was shot by an officer on April 13 as Calvester Stewart, a 20-year-old Berkeley resident.

Stewart was shot in the arm and the leg after he fled from a traffic stop and went inside an apartment in the 900 block of Delaware Street, according to a police statement. He came out of the apartment and shot at several Berkeley police officers, several of whom returned fire.

“Stewart then continued to flee and was confronted by an officer who shot and wounded Stewart,” said the press release.

Stewart was taken to the hospital for treatment of non life-threatening injuries. When he was released he was sent to jail, where he is being held on suspicion of violating his probation. Berkeley police are asking the District Attorney to charge him with several counts of attempted murder against a peace officer. … Continue reading »

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2012: The year to end racist mascots

Protest against Indian mascots in Oakland on Sunday. Photo: Hinhanska Haney
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This summer’s AIM-West campaign against racist mascots in sports refers to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, though the movement against racist stereotypes long pre-dates UNDRIP. Article 8 says, “States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for… any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their dignity as distinct peoples, or of their cultural values or ethnic identities.”

Oakland’s Chinatown Youth Center Initiative called off a collaborative fundraiser with the Oakland A’s because on the date of the event the A’s will play against the Cleveland Indians, a sport team with a Native American mascot. On April 12 Fundraising Committee Chair of the Chinatown Youth Center Initiative Michael Lok wrote, “Our organization stands in complete solidarity with the movement to eliminate discriminatory practices and the commodification of people of color/ethnic communities’ identities, not just in sports but in all facets of our society.”

Tony Gonzalez of AIM-West welcomed the stance, “This extraordinary courage by a non-profit organization, and display of support to also sacrifice August 19, and a badly needed fundraiser for their youth center, should not go unnoticed by the American Indian, and the progressive community! Instead, let it be an example of solidarity with American Indians in other cities who plan similar protests where major league teams with racist images as logos are scheduled to play.” … Continue reading »

Local business

In case you missed it: Startup Berkeley Forum highlights

Screen shot 2012-04-23 at 3.51.50 PM
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Last month, Berkeleyside held its second Local Business Forum, concentrating on “Startup Berkeley” — the strengths and weaknesses of the city for startups. If you weren’t able to attend, or if you just want a quick refresher on the evening, we’ve condensed the two hours into a little more than six minutes of highlights (above).

Speakers at the Forum were Mayor Tom Bates’ chief of staff, Judy Iglehart, Stupid Fun Club founder Will Wright, MOG founder and CEO … Continue reading »

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Anatol: Wit, whimsy, self-preoccupation of cad about town

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Time stands still — or at least repeats itself in striking fashion — in Anatol, the Aurora Theatre Company’s current production of Austrian dramatist Arthur Schnitzler’s 1893 play.

In a series of six episodes, connected with threadlike chronology by central characters and themes forged in steel, the play unveils the wit, whimsy and withering self-preoccupation of an affluent “cad about town” and his obsession with sexually emancipated women.

Aurora Artistic Director Tom Ross became convinced of Schnitzler’s importance as a playwright after a meeting with translator Margret Schaefer, a Berkeley resident, and soon they were jointed by Barbara Oliver, a founding director at the Aurora, to bring the project to fruition.

The result, in tailored performances designed to be enjoyed in the moment, then savored in reflection, is near perfect. If the play’s central theme and fascination is with faithfulness over a lifetime, Shaefer’s selective ear, Oliver’s brilliant economy of staging, and the quality of the cast captures the audiences’ well-placed trust in mere minutes. … Continue reading »

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Concern over future location of cannabis collective

Front entrance to Berkeley Patients Group
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Last Tuesday afternoon, around 1:30pm, Rebecca, who describes herself as a “50ish” recent transplant from Los Angeles, headed over to the Berkeley Patients Group at 2747 San Pablo Avenue. For the past six months, ever since she moved north, Rebecca has gone to the medical cannabis dispensary once a month to get marijuana to help her with her insomnia brought on by menopause.

“It’s my favorite place,” said the Rockridge resident, who did not give her last name. “It just feels like a community place. The folks are very knowledgeable. I really rely on what they say.”

Rebecca does not know what she will do when BPG closes its doors on May 1, a casualty of the recent federal crackdown on dispensaries located within 1,000 feet of a school or park. She has visited other collectives, but none has made her feel as welcome as Berkeley Patients Group. … Continue reading »

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