Daily Archives: August 8, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 08.08.12

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Gas prices in Berkeley climb over $4.00 a gallon

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The price of gasoline in Berkeley has gone up more than 14 cents a gallon to more than $4.00 in the last few days, and experts believe it may climb to more than $4.15 a gallon in the coming weeks.

The Aug. 6 fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond immediately created a scarcity of gas in California, which was reflected at the pumps the very next day.

Steve Carvalho, whose family has operated Bridgeway Service on the corner of Ashby and Claremont Avenues for 37 years, said he has seen four price surges over the past few days.

When Carvalho got to his station Tuesday morning at 5:30 am, immediately after the Chevron fire, his wholesaler notified him that gas prices had gone up. He got notification of another price increase at 9 am and then another at 1 pm.

On Wednesday morning the price increased a few more cents. Carvalho was selling regular gas for $3.90 a gallon on Sunday; it was $4.02 for a gallon of regular at 10 am on Wednesday.

“California only has one type of gas,” said Carvalho, who runs an independent station and sells gas under the Coast label. “It’s only manufactured here. We can’t borrow it from any other state, so we’re short of fuel.” … Continue reading »

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Akira Tana’s Secret Agent Band plays 007

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Akira Tana’s affinity for James Bond makes perfect sense when you think about it. A suave and sophisticated drummer with a killer sense of time, Tana quietly infiltrated the Bay Area after some two decades in New York City playing with the baddest cats on the scene. He’s a supremely musical drummer whose persuasive sense of swing leaves a band stirred but not shaken.

After an illustrious career as a first-call accompanist, the San Jose-born, Palo Alto-raised Tana has gradually taken to spearheading his own high concept projects. His 2011 album “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” (Sons of Sound) explores title themes from James Bond films, covering four decades of pop cultural artifacts from the era of Mad Men to the twilight of the Clinton Administration. With songs like “Nobody Does It Better,” “Live and Let Die” and “Gold Finger” set to an enticing array of rhythms, James Bond has never sounded so hip.

“It’s really in the jazz tradition to take pop songs and movie music and reimagine them,” says Tana, 60, who presents the Secret Agents at the Freight on Thursday. “Jazz players are constantly looking for new material to interpret.” … Continue reading »

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Fighting crime in Berkeley one potluck at a time

Residents in the 1000 block of Shattuck Avenue gather for National Night Out. Photo: Hannah Long
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On Tuesday night, the Downtown Berkeley Association, BART Police Department, and more than  50 community and neighborhood groups hosted potlucks and parties on Berkeley’s streets as part of National Night Out.

This annual event, which began in 1984, is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch to promote neighborhood camaraderie and community involvement. This year, more than 37 million people participated in these block parties nationwide, according to the group’s website.

Beany Wezelman, who has lived on the 1000 block of Shattuck Avenue for more 30 years, has organized a National Night Out party for her neighborhood for the past two years. On Tuesday evening, the street was barricaded and tables and chairs were set up right in the middle of the street. As dusk fell, friends and neighbors of all ages chatted, caught up, and enjoyed the potluck-style feast.

Wezelman says that she loves the opportunity to spend time outside and bond with neighbors.

“I think that this would be a great way for neighbors who don’t know each other to come together and really connect,” she said. … Continue reading »

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Where in Berkeley?

Where in Berkeley?

Know where this is? Take a guess and let us know in the Comments.

Update, 9:48am: David Wilkie got it. Elizabeth Crews, who took the photo, describes the location as “east side of Grizzly Peak just off Marin.” Congratulations, David, on being this week’s winner!

Photo: Elizabeth Crews.

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