Daily Archives: June 15, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 06.15.12

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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 Music, Aurora Theatre: SalomaniaBerkwood Hedge SchoolBernardo Lopez Garden Design & InstallationCarolyn Jones: The Grubb Company, Contemporary Jewish Museum: Do Not DestroyDowntown Berkeley AssociationEcology Center StoreFive RestaurantFocal PointThe Grubb CompanyIra & Carol Serkes: Pacific Union/Christie’s International Real EstateLMi.netMarsh InteriorsMcKevitt FiatMrs. Dalloway’s Literary and Garden Arts BookstorePhoto Laboratory, Thornwall PropertiesTom … Continue reading »

Wit and grace are hallmarks of book awards ceremony

Winning author Andrea Lingenfelter knows firsthand that a translator’s work often goes unrecognized
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Michael Pollan, taking the stage at the 31st Annual Northern California Book Awards on Sunday June 10, accepted the Fred Cody Award for Lifetime Achievement with two caveats: first, he’s not that old. And second, he’s lived in California (on Berkeley’s north side) for only nine years.

The internationally renowned food activist, journalist, and author gave a humorous account of a reading he gave early in his career at Cody’s Books on Telegraph Avenue. Botany of Desire had just come out, and among the fans to hear him read was a woman in purple attire who repeatedly raised her hand during his presentation. When called upon, the woman objected to Pollan’s use of the word “pests” to describe aphids that attack plants. Doing a fine imitation of himself as the bemused young writer, Pollan recalled asking what term she might prefer. The woman’s lightning-quick reply? “Associate species.”

Sedge Thomson, who maintained admirable poise on crutches after breaking his ankle a few days earlier, emceed the awards ceremony. Thomson, a Berkeley resident, announced the names of finalists in six categories, beginning with Fiction and Poetry in Translation. The translators received applause from the audience at San Francisco Public Library’s Koret Auditorium before exiting stage right to await the verdict. … Continue reading »

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

Fermented vegetables
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IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE NEWS, GO OUT AND MAKE SOME OF YOUR OWN  Any long-time KFOG listener will remember Scoop Nisker’s famous line, delivered right after he read the day’s news on the radio show. Nisker, a Buddhist and bestselling author in addition to being a radio personality, is bringing his one-man comedic monologue, Crazy Wisdom Saves The World Again, to Freight & Salvage. The show is on Friday June 15 at 8:00 pm.

ART OF FERMENTATION  Why not spend some time Sunday morning learning how to ferment? Berkeley’s BioFuel Oasis is organizing a “Fermentation 101” workshop at Sticky Art Lab on University Avenue led by licensed acupuncturist Nishanga Bliss. Learn how to preserve the harvest, strengthen your digestion and immunity, and create intriguing flavors in your kitchen by learning the simple art of fermentation. This class is suitable for beginners and those who are already fermenting and includes instruction on fermenting with a culture, including dairy ferments: creme fraiche, yogurt, and cultured butter. Everyone will make a simple condiment to ferment at home. Visit BioFuel Oasis for details. … Continue reading »


Third phase of West Berkeley Plan passes, heads to ballot

west berkeley
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After five meetings and countless hours of public testimony, the City Council decided on Tuesday to ask the residents of Berkeley to vote on proposed zoning changes to large parcels in West Berkeley.

Councilmember Laurie Capitelli introduced a measure to place the matter on the Nov. 6 ballot and it was adopted in a 6-2-1 vote, with councilmembers Kriss Worthington and Jesse Arreguin dissenting. Max Anderson abstained. City staff will now draw up wording for the measure and the council will take another vote on July 10 on whether to put it on the ballot.

“I really think it’s time for the community to discuss it and make a call,” Capitelli said on Friday. “Of course I believe the community will chose to move forward. I think it is a reasonable plan and will provide economic revitalization.” … Continue reading »

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Judge arrested in elder theft of Berkeley neighbors

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Alameda County Superior Court Judge Paul David Seeman has been charged with elder financial abuse and was in custody Thursday night on $525,000 bail.

Seeman, 57, has been under investigation by the Berkeley police for many months, according to media reports. He is accused of stealing as much as $1.6 million from his neighbor, Anne Nutting, 97, after her husband, Lee, died in 1999 at age 90. He also allegedly sold her art and other possessions, tried to bar her from her own home, and used her garage to store his 1957 Ford Thunderbird, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Court documents state that Seeman began stealing from Nutting in 1999 after she and her husband were banned from living in their home on Santa Barbara Road in Berkeley because it was deemed to be uninhabitable. The couple were hoarders and the Berkeley Fire Department deemed it unfit during a visit to treat Lee Nutting, 89, for a fall. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley group has plan to fix school food in Oakland

Cooking classes at Met West High School in Oakland. Photo: Tyler, Center for Ecoliteracy
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The meeting was held in San Francisco earlier this week at the offices of SPUR, a nonprofit created to promote good planning and good government. The focus of the discussion: an ambitious plan to overhaul Oakland Unified School District‘s inadequate and antiquated school food service. But the driving force behind what could be a model program for re-imagining school lunch in large school districts around the nation is a Berkeley-based nonprofit that has quietly been rethinking school lunch for many years.

No, not that nonprofit. The Center for Ecoliteracy recently released a detailed feasibility study that, if implemented, would amount to a massive makeover for the OUSD school food program. It includes recommendations for a newly outfitted, green central commissary with a 1.5-acre edible farm in West Oakland, refurbished existing kitchens, and the development of 14 school-based community kitchens dotted throughout the school district, which serves 38,000 students at 101 schools, 70% of whom are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. The community kitchens are envisaged as places where budding edible entrepreneurs and local organizations with a food focus could work, for a fee, during after-school hours. … Continue reading »

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Police blotter: Recent crime in Berkeley

Police HQ
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June 9

Armed Robbery, College Avenue and Channing Way #12-30503
On Saturday, June 9, 2012, at approximately 3:50 a.m., an armed robbery occurred at College and Channing.  The 26 year old victim was walking northbound on College.  At the intersection of College and Channing the victim was approached by a male suspect who pointed a knife at him and demanded his property.  The suspect took several items from the victim and then punched the victim several times. The suspect fled the scene in an unknown direction.  BFD paramedics transported the victim to a local emergency room where he was treated. BPD searched the area but was unable to locate the suspects. The suspect is described as: a black male in his early 20s, with a dark complexion, short dreadlocks, medium build, wearing a red and white shirt with animal cartoons on it and dark blue jeans. … Continue reading »

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