Daily Archives: August 16, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 08.16.12

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The deadline for filing for the Berkeley Unified School District Board ended at 5 p.m. on Wednesday and four candidates will be running for two spots.

An incumbent, Beatriz Levya-Cutler, is running for re-election for the four-year post. Judy Appel, the executive director of Our Family Coalition is also running, as is Norma J.F. Harrison, a social activist, and Tracy Hollander, a former teacher.

The deadline for mayoral, city council, and rent stabilization board seats was Friday, August 10. Since John Selawsky, a current school board member, did not turn in papers to run for re-election, the filing period was automatically extended by five days.

The election is Tuesday, November 6.

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

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MO’WHAT?  Mo’Fone‘s funky brand of jazz might sound like it comes from New Orleans, but don’t be deceived. The trio’s roots are right here in the Bay Area, and the group is playing at Berkeley’s own Jupiter on Saturday Aug. 18 from 8 pm to 11 pm. A unique combination of two saxophone players and one drummer, the Mo’Fone men play energetic, danceable jazz that Consequence of Sound described as “downright mesmerizing.” Best of all, the show’s free!

NOT JUST FOR STUDENTS  UC Berkeley’s annual welcome extravaganza is back for its 10th anniversary this Sunday Aug. 19 and Monday Aug. 20. Caltopia—the self-proclaimed “two greatest days on planet Earth”—boasts dozens of booths set up by local businesses and community organizations, live music, and boatloads of free goodies. And we’re not just talking keychains and water bottles—there’s a Droid up for grabs. Originally created as a showcase for Cal’s Recreational Sports department, Caltopia has morphed into an anticipated event for students and community members alike. … Continue reading »


Two interim superintendents to take reins at BUSD

The new headquarters of the Berkeley Unified School District
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The Berkeley Unified School District may have new leadership as early as next week, but it will only be temporary.

The school board voted in closed session Wednesday night to hire two administrators to serve as tandem superintendents. The idea is to have the pair lead the district for two to three months while the search for a permanent superintendent continues, according to Karen Hemphill, a member of the BUSD board. The current superintendent, Bill Huyett, is retiring.

The board voted in closed session on the concept of hiring tandem superintendents, but did not vote on any individual contracts, so the names of those under consideration do not have to be released, said Hemphill. She added that two have stepped in for Huyett in the past when he went on vacation.

“We don’t have a contract signed,” said Board President John Selawsky. “It’s premature to name people.” … Continue reading »

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Trees and seating focus for Solano Avenue improvements

A rendering of envisioned phase 3 of improvements. Source: John Northmore Roberts & Associates
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Solano Avenue, one of Berkeley’s principal commercial districts, has been hit hard in recent years by recession-induced vacancies as well as more typical business turnover. But among small signs of a turnaround — like the move of Five Star Video to a new location near the top of the avenue — there’s a concerted effort by local businesses, the city and the local councilmember, Laurie Capitelli, to give a boost to Solano.

Some of the improvements — a series of pavement bulb outs — result from a 2009 grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission for “Safe Routes for Transit”. Others are spurred by the Solano Business Improvement District’s (SBID) advisory board.

“We did a poll two years ago,” said Capitelli, “and it’s clear the people want more street seating and more trees. I’m thrilled to see it finally get going.”

The plans for Solano were presented last month at a public meeting of the SBID advisory board. David Peattie, a board member of the Thousand Oaks Neighborhood Association, took notes for Berkeleyside: … Continue reading »

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With start of new semester, Cal cheers on students

Screen shot 2012-08-16 at 11.40.37 AM
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The fall semester starts today at UC Berkeley. Cal officials made a new video, “This is Bear Territory,” to drum up school spirit. It’s got Nobel Prize winners, Olympic athletes, the famous “Play” when Cal beat Stanford in the 1982 Big Game, and a lot of blue and gold. Classes begin Aug. 23.