Daily Archives: June 1, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 06.01.12

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Berkeleyside says thank you to our advertisers

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Berkeleyside would like to take a minute to express its gratitude to our current advertisers:

Actors Ensemble of BerkeleyAmoeba MusicAshkenazBerkeley World Music FestivalBerkwood Hedge SchoolBernardo Lopez Garden Design & InstallationCarolyn Jones: The Grubb CompanyChocolate & Chalk Art FestivalDowntown Berkeley AssociationEcology CenterFive RestaurantFocal PointThe Grubb CompanyIra & Carol Serkes: Pacific Union/Christie’s International Real EstateLMi.netMarsh InteriorsMcKevitt FiatMechanics BankMrs. Dalloway’s Literary and Garden Arts BookstoreContinue reading »

BUSD renews search for superintendent

Bill Huyett
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The Berkeley Board of Education voted on Thursday to initiate a new search for the position of Superintendent after an first round of interviews failed to throw up a suitable candidate. Incumbent superintendent Bill Huyett has agreed to extend his contract to give the board time to find his replacement.

In a statement, the Board said that a broader search was needed “to find the candidate that possessed the unique qualities desired in the next Superintendent.”

“The Board of Education is taking its responsibility of finding a good match for the District seriously,” said Board President John Selawsky. “The process of interviewing several candidates has already helped us to more clearly identify the kind of leader we are looking for. We have very high expectations for our next superintendent and I am optimistic that we will find the right match for the District in the next few months.” … Continue reading »

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For sale: Handmade, ‘organic’ 70s home in North Berkeley

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If you are interested in homes and architecture, and want a taste of something completely different, you could do worse than visit the newly listed home at 2633 Marin Avenue this weekend.

The two-bedroom, two bathroom home is a rare example, for Berkeley, of what is known as organic  architecture — more commonly seen in Big Sur and Marin County. Designed and built by Mark Hajjar in 1975, the home, which is priced at $749,000, is effectively a giant tree house perched on rough-hewn tree trunks from Cazadero.

As the listing agents explain in the home’s brochure, it makes generous use of recycled materials including salvaged wood and castoffs from both Victorian houses and a WWII era factory — a green approach that was ahead of its time.  … Continue reading »

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Fine musicians pop up at Berkeley Arts Festival

Sheldon Brown Quintet plays BAF on
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Her latest recovery project at 2133 University Avenue opened last July as the headquarters of the confusingly titled Berkeley Arts Festival (also not to be confused with the Berkeley Festival & Exhibition).

Rather than a festival, BAF is a neatly kept but barebones storefront that presents a regular series of concerts by some of the world’s finest improvising musicians. The new season, booked mostly by Oakland saxophone master Phillip Greenlief, kicks off on Sunday with a double bill of two expansive trios. Featuring trombonist/vocalist Ron Heglin, cellist Doug Carroll, and Tom Nunn on electro-acoustic percussion implements of his own invention, the playful and texturally inventive R2D3 opens the concert, followed by trumpeter Tom Djil, electronics explorer Tim Perkis and Heglin on trombone.

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Three Berkeley edible gardens feature on urban farm tour

Tiny Berkeley Garden attracts bees, butterflys, and appreciative passersby. Photo: Kristin Stromberg
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True to its new name, Tiny Berkeley Garden, is a small edible landscape located in the heart of Central Berkeley. But don’t be deceived by its diminutive size. The lot may only amount to 3,500 square feet (with just 1,750 feet for farming) but it’s chock full of trees, plants, and herbs that supply Kristin Stromberg with much of her produce for her home kitchen — with plenty to share and swap with neighbors and a nearby school.

A year ago, with the help of East Bay-based  Planting Justice, Stromberg turned her concrete and weed-filled yard into a haven for apple, apricot, pear, plum, pluot, fig, lemon, and lime trees, raspberry and blackberry bushes, along with chard, kale, tree collards, tomatoes, corn, pumpkins, zucchini, asparagus, and other edibles.

Then, with assistance from family and friends, she built a chicken coop (known as Chez Panisse), which houses Panisse, Coco, Cuckoo, Tikka Masala, and Kung Pao, who provide several eggs a day, and a few rabbits, whose poo, she discovered, makes excellent compost. A beehive is in the works. … Continue reading »

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Police Blotter: Recent crime in Berkeley

Police HQ
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May 28:

Robbery via Gun and possible Taser – Dana Street & Durant Avenue – #2012-28153
On Monday, May 28, 2012 at about 5:45 a.m., a 21 year old male was victim of an armed pedestrian robbery. He told BPD officers that he was walking north on Dana Street at Durant Avenue when he noticed a green Toyota pull up. The victim paid little attention as three Hispanic males got out of the back of the car. The three suspects walked up to him. One suspect pulled out a dark semi-auto handgun and demanded his property – a laptop, a cell phone and a wallet. A second suspect  was holding a possible Taser type device. The third suspect stood by. The victim did not see the car drive away. The suspects then walked south on Dana Street towards Channing Way. The victim called BPD at approximately 5:51 a.m. BPD and UCPD officers did area checks but did not locate any similar cars of suspects. The victim was not physically injured during the robbery. The victim described the suspects as: Suspect #1 – “Hispanic Male Adult, 20s, 6’2-6’4” tall, wearing black jacket, blue jeans and a black Lakers baseball cap carrying a dark semi automatic handgun. Suspect #2 – “Hispanic Male Adult, 19-20 years old, 5’8” tall, wearing a grey sweater holding a black Taser like weapon. Suspect #3 – “Hispanic Male Adult, 20 years old, 5’8” tall, wearing a grey sweater and unknown pants acting as a possible look out. … Continue reading »

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

Tony Hawk (Antton Miettinen photo)
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MACABRE SENSE OF HUMOR  Death normally isn’t a laughing matter, but these writers have managed to find something to laugh about during the darkest periods of their lives. Victoria Zackheim, Zoe Fitzgerald Carter, and Sherry Glaser-Love will read from the new anthology Exit Laughing: How Humor Takes the Sting Out of Death at 7 pm Friday at Mrs. Dalloway’s, 2904 College Avenue. “Whether we face our death or the death of a loved one with fear, sorrow, joy, or confusion, and whether or not we believe in an afterlife, we cannot deny that death happens. Exit Laughing reminds us that in death there is a place for humor.”

SKATEBOARD MANIA  It’s too late to get tickets to see skateboard legend and video-game icon Tony Hawk demonstrate his moves. All the 975 tickets to the Saturday performance at 1 pm at the Lawrence Hall of Science sold out weeks ago. (You can see it recaped here.) But those who love skateboarding should go see Tony Hawk: Rad Science, a new interactive exhibit that shows visitors what it is like to skateboard and explains the physics behind it. Using skateboard-themed simulation booths, visitors can try to balance on a skateboard, go into a replica of a backyard pool and do hands-on experiments with the laws of motion — inertia, acceleration, and action/reaction, or visit the inside of an ambulance – a place where skateboarders often end up. Rad Science runs June 2 through Sept. 3 at the Lawrence Hall of Science. … Continue reading »


Mayor seeks to put sit-lie ordinance on November ballot

Telegraph sitters by Nancy Rubin
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Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates is asking that the City Council consider putting a sit-lie ordinance on the November ballot and the issue will be discussed at the council’s June 12 meeting.

“We’ve been making substantial progress making our streets more civil,” Bates told Berkeleyside. “We want to have people feel comfortable when they walk in the city.”

Bates said an ordinance could be similar to those in force in Seattle, San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Santa Monica. Unlike the San Francisco ordinance, however, his intent is to have an ordinance that would only apply in Berkeley’s commercial zones from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Berkeley law currently makes lying on sidewalks an offense, but Bates said “it’s very difficult to enforce” that provision. … Continue reading »

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