Daily Archives: May 30, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 05.30.12

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Chocolate and Chalk Festival promises to be delicious fun

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It’s time to eat chocolate and get creative with chalk — what’s not to like about that? This year’s Chocolate & Chalk Art Festival takes place on Saturday June 2, 10:00 am-5:00 pm, in the Gourmet Ghetto — and, as a proud media sponsor, Berkeleyside will have a booth there. So come say hello when you’ve sampled enough of the cacao products.

Admission is free to this perennially favorite, family-friendly Berkeley event. Areas of the sidewalks on Shattuck between Rose and Vine Streets will be assigned to participants to create their own fanciful chalk drawings. A Chalk Art Contest for the best drawing will be judged after 4 p.m. (First prize is $250 cash and runners-up get a gift certificate from Philz Coffee — see last year’s winners.)

To eat chocolate, start by purchasing a packet of tickets (20 for $20) at event booths located at 1400, 1495 and 1673 Shattuck Ave. The to-go menu features picante habañero chocolate chunks gelato, Nutella crepes, adult brownies, or savory chocolate ricotta pizza, Caribbean chocolate soup, chicken molé and lots more. Spend your tickets on these delights available in the local businesses then savor your chocolate as you stroll along the sidewalks, viewing the artwork. … Continue reading »


Council hears police, transit plans, appoints city manager

All of the city's department heads stood at the back of the hall for the appointment of Christine Daniel as city manager. Photo: Lance Knobel
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The largest part of last night’s City Council meeting was consumed by public comment and council debate over potential ballot measures for the November election (full report coming later). But a number of other important items were on the agenda as well.

Police community engagement

At a special, one-hour meeting before the regular council, Berkeley Police Department Captain Andy Greenwood presented a number of new community engagement initiatives, including an online crime reporting system, a revamped CrimeView site, and an expanded program of “coffee with the commanders”.

The online reporting system, dubbed CopLogic, enables residents to self-report non-emergency matters, where there are no witnesses or suspects. Greenwood said the types of crimes where the system could prove helpful include auto burglary and theft from autos, identity theft, petty theft, harassing phone calls, and vandalism. … Continue reading »

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Bayer unveils Berkeley’s largest solar installation

Bayer solar panels
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Yesterday, Bayer Healthcare’s manufacturing facility in west Berkeley unveiled the city’s largest solar installation. Mayor Tom Bates cut the ribbon to the 1,000-panel installation which provides shading to Bayer’s parking lot, and was designed and installed by SolarCity.

At 295 kilowatts, the system is nearly three times as large as any other installation in the city and will help offset more than 10 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions over the next 20 years.

“Bayer has a global commitment to CO2 reduction,” Joerg Heidrich, SVP Product Supply Biotech and head of the Berkeley site said in a prepared statement. “We have learned that achieving these goals takes action on many fronts. Last year our water use declined by 14% over 2010, and solid waste was reduced by 20%. This new solar installation is one more step in our efforts and we look forward to working with the City of Berkeley to achieve our shared goals in climate protection.” … Continue reading »

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Three Squares benefit to help free cooking class program

Three Squares volunteers with Kitchen on Fire chef Olivier Said. Photo: Sarah Nelson
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For the past three years Sarah Nelson has run free cooking classes for low-income families under three different names. While working as a special projects coordinator for the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market she brought the program then known as Operation Frontline to the Bay Area.

That effort, a national initiative sponsored by the nonprofit Share our Strength, changed its name to the more apt Cooking Matters in October 2010. Last August, when Nelson left the farmers’ market, she took the cooking class concept with her and now heads up the non-profit organization Three Squares, which is holding a fundraising brunch at UC Berkeley’s Pauley Ballroom this Sunday.

Name changes aside, the core concept of this program remains the same: six weeks of cooking instruction that focuses on kitchen skills, fresh foods, and meal planning for those in need. Three Squares is a lean operation: in addition to Nelson, 31, the staff includes three AmeriCorps members and relies on 400 volunteers to teach about 15 classes a week in the Bay Area, typically two each week in Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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Where in Berkeley?

Where in Berkeley?

Know where this is? Take a guess and let us know in the Comments.

Update, 9:52am: Jef Poskanzer got this one very quickly.  This is the roof of a building located at the northeast corner of San Pablo Avenue and Jones Street. The building, 1499 San Pablo Avenue, is occupied by Auto Alpina, a car repair shop. Congratulations, Jef, on being this week’s winner!

Photo: Neil Mishalov.

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