Daily Archives: August 2, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 08.02.12

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BART tests allowing bikes on trains at all times

Bike on BART
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BART wants to make its system more bike-friendly. With that in mind, the transit company today launched a new Commute Period Bike Pilot Program that allows passengers to brings their bikes on trains all day every Friday in August. Bikes are usually banned from BART trains during commute hours.

BART Board Vice President Tom Radulovich says the pilot program is part of an ongoing effort to increase the number of bicyclists using BART.

“The pilot program is an experiment to expand bike access. BART has always had a willingness to try new things. We’ve experimented with cyclist permits and lockout periods. BART is once again experimenting,” he said Thursday at an event at the Berkeley Bike Station to launch the program.

The program will run through August, at which point the BART Board will determine whether to make any permanent changes to the rules regulating bike usage. … Continue reading »

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Police blotter: Not comprehensive, but a snapshot

Berkeley Police Department vehicles at the scene of a crime on Sacramento Street. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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Each week, Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats peruses hundreds of “calls for service” that come into the Berkeley Police Department.

There are auto burglaries, purse snatchings, cell phone thefts and strong-arm robberies. Occasionally there are killings and other violent crimes.

To show Berkeley residents what kind of crime is happening, Coats prepares a weekly narrative of crime that is distributed to numerous media outlets, including Berkeleyside. On most weeks, Coats writes a description of about 10 to 20 incidents. She describes the crime, the setting, and occasionally a description of the suspects.

“We try and find stuff that will be interesting to the community,” said Coats, a 15-year police veteran who took over the spokewoman position in late June. “I try and pick areas that cover all of the city. I don’t try and focus on just one area. I try and include things so all the neighborhoods get an idea about what is going on in their community.”

The narrative takes hours to put together. Yet some Berkeleyside readers have criticized the police blotter, speculating that it deliberately leaves things out to give a rosy picture of the crime in Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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Jazz at Jupiter: Hermann Lara’s integral rhythm

Hermann Lara
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When the grooves get fierce, Hermann Lara feels right at home. Since moving back to the Bay Area in 1998 after earning a degree at Berklee College of Music, the San Francisco-born saxophonist has played in a vast array of dance-inducing settings, from Cuban timba ensembles and merengue bands to salsa combos and funk orchestras.

This month he’s settling into Jupiter for a Tuesday night residency, opening on Aug. 7 with a trio featuring keyboardist Mark Davis and Berkeley electric bassist Scott Thompson (who plays with many leading Brazilian musicians). Toward the end of the month he presents his trio Organomix with the young Hammond B3 player Brian Ho and drummer Lorca Hart.

“Both groups are working with the same kind of music, a lot of originals and original arrangements,” says Lara, 40. “I really avoid playing standards, but when I pull one out I’ll do more than change the key. I change the harmony and rhythm and play it with say, a reggaeton feel or a songo beat.” … Continue reading »

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