Daily Archives: July 24, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 07.24.12

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Venezia bar
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DOUBLE SHOT Fertile Grounds Café at 1796 Shattuck Ave, is adding a mezzanine with more tables which will double its seating capacity. The café has been open on and off during construction. Fertile Grounds opened in March 2002, shortly after owner Ayman Morrar graduated from UC Berkeley. Ayman’s goal is to have an intimate, cozy café, with an emphasis on quality food, and a vibrant, robust menu. Lebna plates, falafel, homemade hummus, grilled tuna sandwiches are among his most popular dishes. Fertile Grounds doubles as an art gallery, featuring exclusively Berkeley artists. Right now Julia Kosivchuk‘s work is on display. Follow the café’s progress on Facebook.

STUDENT SPOT A new café is opening across the street from the UC Berkeley campus. The Berkeley Floor Café, located at 2244 Bancroft Way, is in “soft launch” mode, according to the Daily Californian, and will be operating at full throttle once students are back at school. Owner Razan Faraj says the café will be a multifunctional space and will offer the usual hot and cold drinks, pastries, and some homemade dishes. Wine and beer are also on the menu. “The area needs us,” Faraj told the Daily Cal. “They just don’t know it yet.” … Continue reading »

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Worthington runs for mayor, urging ‘progressive’ policies

Kriss cropped
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City councilmember Kriss Worthington today announced his entry into Berkeley’s mayoral contest. Worthington has been a councilmember since 1996, representing District 7 in south Berkeley.

“Someone has to stand up and say to the mayor that what you’re doing is unaffordable, unreasonable and damaging to the people of Berkeley,” Worthington said, standing on the steps of the city’s municipal building on Milvia. “Every single council meeting it seems the mayor is drifting more to the right.”

He joins incumbent Mayor Tom Bates, Kahlil Jacobs-Fantauzzi, Mary Rose Kaczorowski, Jacquelyn McCormick, Zachary RunningWolf, and Mark Schwartz in the mayoral contest. Worthington’s own District 7 council seat is not up for election this year, so he would retain his council seat if his mayoral bid does not succeed.  … Continue reading »

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Mountain lion and her cubs spotted in Berkeley hills

Mountain lions have been spotted in the Berkeley hills
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UC police are warning hikers to be on the outlook for a mountain lion and her cubs that may be living near the Greek Theater.

In the past few weeks, hikers have reported several sightings of a mountain lion, including one on Thursday.

“In the past few weeks there have been several sightings of a mountain lion and her cubs near the Switching Station #6 construction site on the western side of Stern Hall,” UC Police said in a safety alert sent out Tuesday. “The latest sighting was of a female mountain lion which occurred on Thursday, July 19th.”

Stern Hall is located on Gayley Road right near the Greek Theater.

Last year, there were several sightings of mountain lions in the hills above campus, according to police. Hikers also found carcasses of deer and other animals, providing further evidence that mountain lions were living nearby. … Continue reading »

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Big Screen Berkeley: Shadow and light in “Awaara”

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Charlie Chaplin may have been The Little Tramp, but unbeknown to most Occidental film fans, he had some serious competition in the screen hobo sweepstakes. I’m referring, of course, to Indian filmmaker and actor Raj Kapoor.

Born in Peshawar in 1924 and one of the biggest stars of post-independence Indian cinema, Kapoor was frequently cast as cheeky rogues struggling against the strictures of stuffy high society while pitching woo to ladies far above his station. Massively popular at home, he was also a huge star throughout Eastern Europe, Russia, and China.

Beyond the festival circuit, however, his films remain virtually unknown to westerners. Perhaps his greatest film, Awaara (The Tramp), all but forgotten in the U.S. until an airing on Turner Classic Movies in 2003, screens at Pacific Film Archive at 7:45 pm on Saturday, July 28th as part of the Archive’s current series, ‘The Eternal Poet: Raj Kapoor & the Golden Age of Indian Cinema’. … Continue reading »

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