Daily Archives: August 20, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 08.20.12

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Armed robberies in Berkeley used Craigslist fraud

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In all the reported crimes, victims saw an ad on Craigslist and arranged to meet the purported seller at his alleged home address. Upon arriving, the victims were held up at gunpoint. Similar crimes have been reported in Oakland this summer, but the Berkeley Police Department said they have so far been unable to establish any links between the Berkeley and Oakland crimes.

Three of the four Berkeley crimes took place in the Elmwood/Claremont neighborhoods: on July 3 at 9:20 p.m. in the 2800 block of Piedmont Avenue; on July 9 at 10:45 p.m. in the block of 80 Hillcrest Road; and on July 31 at 9:13 p.m. on Hillcrest Road/Hillcrest Court. The other reported Berkeley crime was June 28 at 9:22 p.m. on the 3000 block of Wheeler Street in South Berkeley.  … Continue reading »

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Local business

DeClercq stepping down as joint CEO of Berkeley Chamber

John Declercq photo(1)
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John DeClercq will step down as joint-CEO of the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce at the end of this month after 18 months in the job. Polly Armstrong, with whom he shares leadership responsibilities, will continue to head up the local business organization solo, most likely on a part-time basis.

DeClercq is returning to the commercial real estate field after being approached about a job by a company that owns a portfolio of low-income housing across the country. He says the Chamber is now on a steady footing and that, for financial reasons, he needs to take up a full-time job.

DeClercq was appointed as joint-CEO with Armstrong in January 2011 and they have brought some consistency to the organization. The previous three years saw four CEOs arrive and depart in quick succession.

“There were rough waters before Polly and I took over and crafted a job that was good for both of us,” he says, adding that the past 18 months have been about stabilization. The Chamber’s membership is now approaching 400, he says, and he feels optimistic about the future for businesses in Berkeley. “The downtown P-Bid passed and we’re excited that the West Berkeley Project and civil sidewalks are both on the November ballot,” he says. … Continue reading »

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Wendell Brooks: Educator, singer, citizen of the world

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Wendell Houston Brooks: May 24, 1940 – August 3, 2012

Wendell Brooks died peacefully at home on August 3, 2012. He was a consummate singer, lifelong educator, and a citizen of the world. His wonderful smile and non-stop energetic personality brought great joy to all who knew him.

Wendell was born in a suburb of Kansas City, Kansas to Julius Blaine Brooks and Golden Mitchem Brooks, spent his childhood in Omaha, Nebraska, moved to Sacramento at the age of 12, and graduated from C.K. McClatchy High School.

After graduation from Whittier College, Wendell served in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia, lived in Europe, earning his Master’s Degree from Uppsala University in Sweden, and returned to the United States in 1971. For the rest of his life he taught primarily at California State University East Bay, Berkeley High School, and Holy Names University.

Wendell was an avid follower of politics, and his wide-ranging interests, including sociology, history, music, religion, and African American studies, made him an outstanding and inspiring educator. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s second Coffee & Tea Festival leaves a buzz

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The second annual Berkeley Coffee & Tea Festival took place on Saturday morning at the Hotel Shattuck and, if you attended, you’re probably only now coming down from the caffeine- and sugar-induced buzz it induced.

Hundreds of people wandered the hotel’s elegant ballroom and exterior patio, sampling espresso drinks and fine teas, miniature bundt cakes, chocolate bites and gelato… not a bad way to spend a lazy weekend morning, many participants agreed.

The Coffee & Tea Festival was orchestrated by the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce and included a program of talks, and both coffee and tea ceremonies. Exhibitors included Berkeley Coffee & Tea, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Café V, Twenty Twenty Studios, Madecasse Chocolate, Genuto Gelato, Jade Chocolates, Five Mountains, Café Clem, Nothing Bundt Cakes and Tisano Tea. … Continue reading »

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