Daily Archives: May 7, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 05.07.12

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Hip-Hop in the Park: Marking its 16th year in Berkeley

Hip Hip 3
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By Tefari Casas

Hip-Hop in the Park celebrated its 16th year in Berkeley on Saturday. Organized by Students for Hip-Hop, the annual festival held in People’s Park showcases the various elements of Hip-Hop culture.

Graffiti artists decorated large canvases on the southern lawn and, on the basketball court, DJs played 1970s funk and soul music to a gathering of breakdancers and pop-lockers that spanned three
generations. Local independent rappers moved a steadily growing crowd, and the Bay Area’s own Gift of Gab and Los Angeles emcee Dumbfoundead finished the show and brought the whole park to its feet. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley High counselor given seven-day suspension

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The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) has issued Berkeley High School counselor Anthony Smith with a seven-day suspension notice, after a former student took a sexual harassment complaint to the Commission last year.

Former BHS student “Lilah R.” (a fictitious name) filed a complaint with CCTC on December 16, 2011 2010 against Smith for engaging in sexual misconduct during the 2009-10 school year. The Berkeley school board voted earlier this year to approve a settlement in the student’s separate federal sexual harassment lawsuit. The settlement included compensation of  $57,500 and imposed conditions on Smith when he carries out his counseling duties.

BUSD spokesperson Mark Coplan said the district could not comment on a personnel issue that involved disciplinary action, but that Berkeley High administration and BUSD would follow whatever directive is imposed on them. “We will do as directed by the authoritative body,” he said.

CCTC issued the notice on May 4. Coplan could not confirm when Smith would begin the suspension. … Continue reading »

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Aimee Baldwin’s creatures come home to Tilden Park

Aimee Baldwin and Great Blue Heron. Photo: Ilana DeBare
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By Ilana DeBare

As a child, Aimée Baldwin spent Saturday mornings learning about the wildlife of Tilden Park in its junior ranger program.

Now her own wildlife is about to be displayed there.

Baldwin, 36, is a Berkeley artist who specializes in what she calls “vegan taxidermy” – extraordinarily lifelike sculptures of birds made by hand from crepe paper, wire and Styrofoam.

On Thursday May 10th, her work will be exhibited at the Brazilian Room, in the center of her old Tilden haunts. The one-night show is part of a silent auction and dinner to benefit Golden Gate Audubon Society, the local Audubon chapter covering San Francisco, Berkeley and neighboring communities.

“Bird people really appreciate what I do and all the effort I put into making things realistic, versus people who can’t tell the difference,” Baldwin said. … Continue reading »

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A spectacular sight: Berkeley shoots the supermoon

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Why are we not surprised that this weekend’s supermoon brought out the photographically talented among our readers? Berkeleyans are blessed with a natural curiosity, be it intellectual or for the environment that surrounds us — and clear skies on the night of May 5th allowed for some spectacular views of the special lunar phenomenon.

According to Wikipedia, a supermoon is “the coincidence of a full moon or a new moon with the closest approach the Moon makes to the Earth on its elliptical orbit, or perigee, leading to the technical name for a supermoon of the perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system.”

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Berkeley police officers honored for distinguished service

Officer Darrin Refferty pins a distinguished service medal on Officer Susan Lee at the Berkeley Police Association Awards ceremony on May 3, 21012. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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The Berkeley Police Association honored seven Berkeley police officers for their outstanding service to the community in an awards ceremony on May 3 at Freight & Salvage.

The officers were honored for a variety of actions, including chasing down and apprehending a murder suspect, providing life-saving CPR and other medical treatment, and spearheading a program to help police officers deal with stress from the difficult demands of the job.

“We honor today those officers whose extraordinary work and heroic actions distinguish them from an already outstanding group of officers,” Said Officer Darrin Rafferty, the secretary of the Berkeley Police Association.

The awards ceremony started 30 years ago, he said. The last time awards were handed out was in 2007. … Continue reading »

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