Monthly Archives: June 2012

News

Best of Berkeleyside: This week’s most popular posts

Berkeleyside’s revelation that all the seating removed from UC Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium before its renovation had been saved by a local wood specialist — and was now available to buy in the form of carefully crafted tables and benches — came as welcome news to many. Those numbered bleachers (above) surely have stories to tell…

When we broke the news on Monday that Berkeley’s main post office, a distinguished Renaissance Revival work completed in 1915, was to be sold by the financially troubled US Postal Service, many readers reacted with shock. Many also had innovative ideas for what the building could become.

The Alameda County Grand Jury’s damning verdict  on Berkeley’s Rent Stabilization Board inevitably ruffled feathers. The report described the Board as a “self-sustaining bureaucracy that operates without effective oversight and accountability.”

Other popular reads this week: local business alert Shop Talk; our report on latest City Council decisions; our Snapshot of Grégoire restaurant owner Grégoire Jacquet; a summary of new bike-friendly initiatives in Berkeley; and a question: is it a fox or a coyote? (Readers voted on the former.)

Remember: we want to hear about, or see pictures of, your July 4th activities! We plan to publish a community round-up on July 5th.

Do you like staying informed about local news? Would you miss Berkeleyside if we were gone? Then please consider helping to sustain this independently owned, locally grown news site by supporting us with a subscription of as little as $5 a month.

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 06.29.12

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Berkeleyside

Berkeleyside says thank you to our advertisers

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Berkeleyside would very much like to express its gratitude to our current advertisers:

Amoeba MusicAurora Theatre: SalomaniaBerkwood Hedge SchoolBernardo Lopez Garden Design & InstallationCarolyn Jones: The Grubb CompanyContemporary Jewish Museum: Do Not DestroyDowntown Berkeley AssociationEcology Center StoreFive RestaurantFocal Point, Freight & Salvage: Woodie Guthrie’s American SongThe Grubb CompanyIra & Carol Serkes: Pacific Union/Christie’s International Real EstateLMi.netMarsh InteriorsMcKevitt FiatMrs. Dalloway’s Literary and Garden Arts BookstoreContinue reading »

The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

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IF YOU CAN’T AGE GRACEFULLY, LAUGH  The comedienne Marga Gomez many not be getting any younger, but she is always getting better. Twenty years after her first solo piece Memory Tricks premiered at The Marsh, Gomez is still at it, stripping down bare, revealing her soul, and making you crack up at the same time. Friday and Saturday are the last times to see Gomez in her solo show Not Getting Any Younger, which San Francisco Chronicle theater critic Robert Hurwitt awarded the little man jumping out of his chair. (highest honor) Gomez’s ninth solo show is about “the coming of middle age,” its indignities (being called Ma’am is not a compliment) and how she copes with her creaky joints and graying hair. Not Getting Any Younger plays at 8 pm Friday and 5 pm Saturday at The Marsh, 2120 Allston Way.

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Berkeley approves number of bike-friendly initiatives

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By Dave Campbell

At a time when cities are facing budget cuts and reducing staff, Berkeley is pushing ahead with several bikeway projects and initiatives to make the city more walkable and more bikeable.

Many of the Berkeley’s bikeway improvements were highlighted at the June 25 meeting of the Berkeley Bicycle Subcommittee, where the City’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Planner, Eric Anderson, had a lot of exciting updates to share with a group of 18 interested residents. Anderson led a discussion of the Hearst Avenue Corridor Study and its proposed road diet, green bikeway features, and significantly improved pedestrian crossings. … Continue reading »

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Police blotter: Recent crime in Berkeley

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June 17

Welfare Check becomes Drunk in Public, Probation Violation Arrest – #2012-32138
On Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 1:22 .a.m., a BPD officer responded to a report of a person down in the 1100 block of Bancroft Way. The officer arrived and located a 33 year old male asleep in a driveway. The officer determined that the subject was too intoxicated to care for himself. The officers arrested the Berkeley man for violation of 647(f) PC and 1203.2 PC.

June 18

Tip Jar theft leads to Parole Violation – #2012-32445
On Monday, June 18, 2012 at 10:26 p.m., BPD officers responded to a report of money stolen from a tip jar at a local business in the 2200 block of Shattuck Avenue. The suspect was located and after further investigation was arrested. The suspect a 41 year old man was arrested and booked for violation 484 PC, 422 PC and 3056 PC. … Continue reading »

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News

Car plunged off Grizzly Peak, three occupants survived

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A car went off the road at Grizzly Peak Blvd on the evening of Friday June 8 and plunged 200-300 feet down the embankment. The car’s three occupants survived with relatively minor injuries.

The accident occurred south of Centennial Drive, according to Gil Dong, Berkeley Deputy Fire Chief.

At 9:13 pm, Berkeley Fire responded to a report of a car over the cliff at Grizzly Peak. Two of the car’s three occupants had managed to extricate themselves and climb up to the roadway. They were able to use their cell phones to call emergency dispatchers and give them their location. Berkeley Fire treated the two occupants and took them to Highland Hospital for further medical attention.

Emergency personnel from Berkeley Fire and Police, East Bay Regional Parks Police and Fire, Oakland Police, and CHP searched the scene for a reported third occupant. Ultimately the third occupant was found safe at his parents’ house, according to Dong. … Continue reading »

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Tell us: Is it a fox or a coyote on a Berkeley deck?

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Ann O’Brien was visiting from Iowa when she spotted what she thought was a coyote sunning itself on a deck in north Berkeley on Thursday. Clearly, the local wildlife is feeling comfortable in the urban environment — some would say making itself a little too much at home. Here at Berkeleyside, we’re not naturalists enough to provide a definitive identification of the animal. Is it a coyote or a fox? Let us know.  … Continue reading »

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 06.28.12

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Sameer Gupta: North meets South

Tabla player Sameer Gupta
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Sameer Gupta is on a mission to bring classical Indian music into places where it rarely ventures. A percussionist who plays tabla and trap drums, Gupta was a mainstay in Bay Area creative music circles until his 2008 move to Brooklyn, where he’s helped kindle a thriving Indian music scene with a weekly jazz-style jam session in a Prospect Park cowboy bar. He returns to California this weekend for a performance Sunday at the Subterranean Art House with Rohan Krishnamurthy
, a master of mridangam, the drum that plays a central role in South Indian music.

“It’s a North Indian meets South Indian percussion concert,” Gupta says. “We want to present each drum on its own and show them together, trading the rhythmic languages back and forth. Both the tabla and the mridangam have amazing timbres and mathematics, so we’ll talk about that and where the instruments fit in the Hindustani and Carnatic traditions.”

You can listen to Gupta’s Aaye Na Balam here. … Continue reading »

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News

Historic Berkeley High Old Gym makes way for the new

Woman's Pool Interior (1929 Addition) after seismic upgrade c.1937 BH-217
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Demolition work began this week on Berkeley High’s Old Gym on Milvia Street. The building has not been in use by students since October 2011 when it was abruptly closed by the school district. Its removal has been on the cards for a while, however.

The Old Gymnasium was built in 1922 and designed by William Hays. An addition, designed by Walter Ratcliff, Jr., was built in 1929 which included the warm-water pool. Following the Long Beach earthquake in 1933, the building was seismically upgraded in 1939.

Over the past few years the Old Gym has fallen into significant disrepair and was in need of further seismic upgrades. A proposal to rehabilitate it was rejected, despite the building having been landmarked in 2007. In 2008, a group of volunteers conducted a study to ascertain whether the Old Gym could be reasonably adapted to fulfill the needs of the school. Architect Henrik Bull was part of the group and wrote about the work for Berkeleyside, arguing that it could be saved.

Demolition of the Old Gym will continue over the summer and construction of what is known as the South of Bancroft Project is scheduled to begin in the fall. … Continue reading »

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Jim the Tailor, a Berkeley institution, to shut its doors

Helmut Drewes, who runs the 69-year old store Jim the Tailor, is retiring. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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For almost 70 years, there has been a Jim the Tailor in Berkeley.

No one remembers who the original Jim the Tailor was, but for the last 56 years the title has belonged to a member of the Drewes family.

Henry Drewes adopted the moniker around 1956, when, as a recent German immigrant, he took over the operation of the store, then located at 2480 Bancroft Way. In 1962, his son Helmut joined the business and they moved Jim the Tailor to 2486 Channing Way. Four years later, the Drewes moved a few doors down to 2436 Channing Way, where the store remains today.

But on Friday, after 69 years, a legacy will end. Helmut Drewes is shuttering the store, ready at last to retire to his Hayward garden. The closing ends a business that started in the difficult years of World War II, prospered during the post war boom when men and women still dressed up to go downtown and needed clothes that made them look elegant, and suffered broken windows during the 1960s protests against the Vietnam War and UC Regents.

“I am going to be 78 and I have been working 62+ years in the business, so I think it’s time to call it quits,” said Drewes. … Continue reading »

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Stop thief! Councilmember turns cop, solves crime

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On a recent Friday evening, City Councilmember Susan Wengraf put on a heavy bulletproof jacket and went on a ride-along with a Berkeley Police patrol officer. By the end of a thoroughly exciting night, Wengraf was talking enthusiastically about a second career in law enforcement — she had also been instrumental in solving a crime.

The ride-along  — which was a first for Wengraf who looks after District 6 in the Berkeley hills — started out routinely with the police officer responding to calls coming in over the dispatch radio. “There was a traffic accident with a woman who was 7-months pregnant,” recalled Wengraf. “A call about a 5-year old child who was missing, and an alarm going off at a home on Indian Rock.”

After a couple of hours roaming the city streets, there was word of a house robbery on Buena Vista Way, right in the heart of Wengraf’s district. The suspect had fled the scene, but there was a description, as a neighbor had seen him. … Continue reading »

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