Daily Archives: June 14, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 06.14.12

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Berkeley honors David Brower’s environmental legacy

David Brower. Photo by G. Paul Bishop 1978
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When Kenneth Brower was finishing up his freshman year at UC Berkeley, his father – the famed environmentalist David Brower – recruited him to work on a project: a book featuring stunning photos of the Big Sur coast entwined with the poetry of Robinson Jeffers.

Never mind that Kenneth Brower, born and raised in the hills of Berkeley, was still in his teens. Never mind he had never edited anything before. The younger Brower moved into the home of famed photographer Ansel Adams in Carmel and started to make forays into the studios of other celebrated photographers.

The result was Not Man Apart and when it was published in 1965 it became one of the most popular of the large-format nature coffee table books that the elder Brower produced. Kenneth Brower went to work on or edit 14 books in the series, including one on the Galapagos Islands during his sophomore year at Cal, before launching his own career as a noted nonfiction writer.

2012 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of David Brower, widely considered to be one of the greatest environmental activists of his time, and second only to John Muir in calling attention to the critical need to preserve America’s wilderness areas. … Continue reading »

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BART expects to resume full Transbay service by 4:00pm

Commuters wait for buses this morning in Berkeley after BART was shut down in the wake of a fire in Oakland. Photo: Sandy Friedland
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BART expects to resume full Transbay service by 4:00pm today following a shutdown of services between the East Bay and San Francisco caused by a three-alarm fire at a construction site near West Oakland BART early this morning.

BART had initially planned to begin single-tracking trains between San Francisco and Oakland early this afternoon and then reopen both tracks for the evening commute according to a Bay City News report, but changed tack when they realized it would be easier to get both tracks open for the evening commute if they kept both closed for longer.

The fire was reported at 2:18 a.m. at a site at Fifth Street and Mandela Parkway, next to the BART station. The blaze spread to the elevated BART tracks, prompting the shutdown. … Continue reading »

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School edible programs get reprieve from the feds

Photo: Students shuck corn at the Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley.
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As the academic year winds to a close this week there is welcome news for next year. Schools are to get a one-year reprieve on the funding front from the federal government for the gardening and cooking programs at three of Berkeley Unified School District‘s elementary schools.

Earlier in the year it was feared that the schools — Malcolm XRosa Parks, and Washington  — were going to lose these federal funds, due to failure to meet existing guidelines that require a school to have at least 50% of its students enrolled in the free and reduced-lunch programs.

In April — following a series of school board meetings where parents and community members made an impassioned case for the importance of keeping such curricula — the BUSD Board voted to authorize funding up to $350,000 for edible programs at the three elementary schools in question for the following year.

Now comes word that won’t be necessary. The Network for a Healthy California, the state program that administers the federal monies to local school districts, recently informed the BUSD of its intention to extend the funding for an additional year, according to Leah Sokolofski, program supervisor for the BUSD Cooking and Garden Nutrition Program. The scope of work and budget must remain the same at each school, and no additional schools will be able to use the funds, noted Sokolofski in an email sent to school principals on Tuesday. … Continue reading »

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Library shows local aerial photographer Michael Layefsky

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A solo exhibition of the work of Berkeley-based photographer Michael Layefsky recently opened at the main branch of the Berkeley Public Library.

Layefsky, who was profiled by Berkeleyside in January, captures his stunning images from the sky with the help of kites, helium balloons, and long poles.

Whether it’s the roof of Berkeley’s Forge and Tool complex, or the striking architecture of the Berkeley Art Museum as seen from above, the rice terraces of Bali or San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral, Layefsky’s images are never less than enthralling.

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Zan Stewart: Music writer turned musician plays home

Portrait of Zan Stewart
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Seekers and dreamers have been finding their way to Berkeley for more than a century, but I doubt anyone’s arrived with a quest quite like Zan Stewart’s. After four decades as one of the nation’s most prolific and respected jazz writers, he’s exchanged his pen for a horn, devoting himself to honing his craft as an improviser and interpreter of jazz standards.

Since settling in Berkeley about a year ago, he’s found a home base at Nick’s Lounge on Adeline near the Ashby BART station, an unpretentious neighborhood joint where bebop blends perfectly with the posters of Herman Leonard’s classic black and white photos capturing Billie Holiday, Dexter Gordon, and Dizzy Gillespie in all their 52nd Street glory. Starting on June 16th, the tenor saxophonist performs at Nick’s every third Saturday this summer with a responsive quartet featuring bassist Adam Gay, veteran drummer Ron Marabuto, and New York HardBop Quintet pianist Keith Saunders, who recently settled in Albany. … Continue reading »

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