Daily Archives: June 7, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 06.07.12

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Reviewed: ‘Daisies,’ an exercise in cheeky absurdity

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Daisies, of course, are a colorful and common species of wild flower that bloom in the spring and summer. In Vera Chytilova’s 1966 feature Daisies (Sedmikrasky, screening at Pacific Film Archive at 8:30 pm on Saturday, June 9 as part of a brief, three-film Czech New Wave series), they’re a pair of colorful but decidedly uncommon young women rebelling against the strictures of Communist orthodoxy.

Jitka Cerhova and Ivana Karbanova play Jarmila and Jitka, two teenage dolly birds who delight in defying convention at every opportunity.* Spoiled brats with no self-control, the girls steal money, magazines, and food, play with scissors, set fires, and delight in ignoring ‘no entry’ signs.

Their favorite game, however, involves dating older men, taking advantage of their generosity at expensive restaurants, and ditching them at the nearest train station before delivering the expected sexual quid pro quo’s. At heart, Jarmila and Jitka are American teenagers who consume, consume, consume — which is probably why a Czech parliamentarian strongly objected to the film’s release. … Continue reading »

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Armed men assault bank security guard in Berkeley

Screen shot 2012-06-07 at 3.08.16 PM
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Today at about 1:20 pm two male suspects assaulted a security guard outside the Bank of America at 2546 San Pablo Avenue and robbed him of his revolver. The suspects were armed with semi-automatic handguns and apparently struck the guard in the head before fleeing on foot.

According to BPD spokesperson Sgt Mary Kusmiss, the guard sustained some pain and swelling to his head but declined any paramedic treatment. The bank itself, which is at the intersection with Parker, was not … Continue reading »

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Legendary Beat Poet David Meltzer up for an award

David Meltzer
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When Joyce Jenkins, the editor of Poetry Flash magazine, wants to describe poet David Meltzer, she uses language evoking his love of jazz music and association with the San Francisco Beat and Berkeley Renaissance poetry movements: “He’s a colorful cat,” she said. “Nobody can riff like him.”

Meltzer is one of ten East Bay authors who will be honored this Sunday at the Northern California Book Awards ceremony in San Francisco. Michael Pollan will receive the Fred Cody Award for Lifetime Achievement, and winning books will be announced in a range of categories, from Young Adult to Creative Nonfiction. Besides Meltzer, whose When I was a Poet is in the running for the Poetry Award, the East Bay finalists are Barry Eichengreen, Sandra M. Gilbert, Adam Hochschild, Andrea Lingenfelter, Mary Mackey, Edie Meidav, Amy Reed, and Katherine Silver. The Poetry Flash-sponsored event has been held every spring for the past thirty years. … Continue reading »

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Crack down on massage parlors suspected of prostitution

Allouette Massage
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The City Council will consider revoking the use permits of two Berkeley massage parlors that are suspected of operating as prostitution houses, and a third has relinquished its permit after the Zoning Adjustments Board recommended in late April that the Council scrutinize the establishments’ operations.

Crystal Massage on Shattuck Avenue voluntarily relinquished its permit and was given 120 days to leave its premises after signing a consent form. Acupressure Health Center and Berkeley Alouette, both on University Avenue, have vacated their properties.

The Council will take up the matter before late July, according to City of Berkeley spokesperson Mary Kay Clunies-Ross. … Continue reading »


Retreat center’s expansion plans provoke concern

An aerial view of the Ratna Ling Retreat Center. Photo: Coastal Hills Rural Preservation
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High up in the hills of a remote stretch of the Sonoma County coast sits the world’s largest printing press for sacred Tibetan texts.

In a 21,234 square foot factory on the grounds of Ratna Ling, a Tibetan Buddhist retreat center near Cazadero, volunteers work six days a week to print and collate more than 100,000 books a year. The texts are then shipped off to India and Nepal for distribution to monasteries and refugees from China’s brutal crackdown on Tibet.

The operators of Dharma Publishing – which was located in Berkeley for 36 years until it moved north in 2007 – say producing sacred texts is a mandate of their religion. They are followers of Tarthang Tulku, a Tibetan Buddhist lama who came to Berkeley in 1969 and over 40 years created a religious organization made up of 12 different foundations (known collectively as The Tibetan Nyingma Meditation Center), large real estate holdings in Berkeley and Sonoma County, and assets of more than $25 million $60 million, according to SEC and property tax files … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Tuesday farmers’ market moving to Lorin District

Berkeley's Tuesday farmers' market in its current Derby Street location. Photos: Courtesy Ecology Center
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Some say change is as good as a holiday. Others counter that most resist change. But here’s what everyone can agree on: change comes, regardless.

And so it is that the Ecology Center’s Farmers’ Market on Tuesdays is set to move to a new location. The first formalized farmers’ market in the city, which has called Derby Street at MLK Way in South Berkeley home for 25 years, is slated to relocate come July 10 to the parking bay at Adeline and 63rd Streets in the Lorin District. The market will run, as it does now, from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 6:30 p.m. (It’s a half hour earlier, to accommodate a church service on the site.)

The Ecology Center views the switch to a new spot in South Berkeley as part of an overall plan to increase access to farm-fresh food to areas that lack a major grocery store, though the shift also comes because the Berkeley Unified School District will be converting the adjacent playing field at the markets’ current location into a regulation-size baseball field. … Continue reading »

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