Daily Archives: October 4, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 10.04.12

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Kim Nalley: Masterly singer has focus on jazz’s roots

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Discussions about race and jazz can get heated pretty quickly, like the recent row over New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton’s campaign to rechristen jazz as Black American Music (BAM). A few years back, the Jazzschool and Yoshi’s became embroiled in a controversy over a perceived dearth of black representation, a conversation that aired concerns much bigger than the two local institutions.

Rather than pointing fingers, vocalist Kim Nalley decided to take it upon herself to address jazz’s shifting demographics with a scholarship aimed at reversing a disconcerting lack of young black musicians engaging with the historically African-American art form. A masterly jazz and blues singer equally authoritative belting salty Bessie Smith tunes, caressing Billie Holiday ballads, or interpreting Nina Simone’s charged anthems, Nalley raises funds for the scholarship Saturday at Berkeley’s Jazzschool with her longtime trio featuring bassist Michael Zisman, drummer Kent Bryson and pianist Tammy Hall. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley targets underserved for disaster preparedness

Emergency kit
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Berkeley’s City Council Tuesday night debated how the city’s disaster preparedness program has been disproportionately adopted in the hill districts, and left vulnerable — and generally poorer — districts in the flats far behind in terms of both training and allocation of emergency caches.

A report from the Disaster & Fire Safety Commission (DFSC) featured a map showing the heavy concentration of emergency caches in Districts 5 and 6, and a thin scattering in Districts 3 and 4. The caches are containers of equipment awarded to communities who have demonstrated a minimum level of readiness, which includes completing a certain amount of emergency training. There are currently 79 caches in total in the city’s neighborhoods. … Continue reading »

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Litquake to Berkeley: Let’s shake things up

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Berkeley’s literary arts scene is about to get a huge injection of energy in the next nine days, as the Litquake Literary Festival – the largest in the West – stages two events in Berkeley.

It starts on Tuesday Oct. 9 with actors reading stories out loud on the Ashby Stage and continues on Saturday Oct. 13 with The Berkeley Ramble, a word play on Litquake’s famous Lit Crawl, the Saturday event in the Mission District that has dozens of readings by dozens of authors in bars, art galleries, Laundromats, and other unusual spaces.  It’s where “literature hits the streets.” The Berkeley version – The Ramble – will bring authors over an afternoon to five venues: The Magnes, the David Brower Center, the Marsh Arts Center, Pegasus Books on Shattuck, and Bec’s Bar & Bistro, also on Shattuck.

“A bunch of the folks on the Litquake committee live in the East Bay and we were interested in doing some programming close to home,” said Elise Proulx, a Berkeley resident and Litquake’s director of marketing and development. … Continue reading »

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Valley sting: Albany-Berkeley 12U wins at Davis/Dixon

Softball league 10.12
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By Mark Galbraith

The Albany-Berkeley Girls Softball League’s 12U team, Sting, continues its victorious streak. You may remember the team from the article Michael Lewis wrote for Berkeleyside last year. We’ve been following their progress. Here’s the latest installment:

As a previous cub reporter on the Sting beat noted last year, dropping into the Central Valley used to be a daunting journey for Albany Berkeley Girls’ Softball League’s finest. Infernal heat, adobe-hard infields, and battle-hardened opponents often added up to disappointment: players dismayed at not having a chance to play for a tournament title and its accompanying trophies, and their parents downhearted at an early exit leaving them no legitimate excuse for blowing-off weekend errands.

However, this is a new trail-blazing Sting team. Coming off a championship run earlier in the month, they entered the Valley without fear, confident in their bats and gloves. Make no mistake: there would be no trips to Pastime Ace or Berkeley Bowl for the traveling Sting faithful this weekend. … Continue reading »

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