Daily Archives: October 16, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 10.16.12

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Lovingly restored mid-century modern opens for a tour

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Joanne Koch knew it was a tall order: she wanted a mid-century modern home in Berkeley within walking distance of a Peet’s. Even her realtor told her she might have to revise her thinking. Most homes built in that period are perched in the hills to take advantage of their inherent indoor-outdoor design and to offer the best views of the bay.

But the Berkeley architect struck lucky. In 1999, a level-in home designed in 1952 by the well-regarded Bay Area architect Roger Lee came on the market. The 1,125 sq ft home needed attention, but this was not a deterrent for Koch who had the remodeling chops, as well as a passion for mid-century homes. She and her husband snapped it up for $365,000 and moved in with their young daughter. The icing on the cake? The house is three block’s from the original Peet’s on Vine Street.

Koch’s Oxford Street home, which she has sensitively rehabilitated and extended, will be one of five homes on the East Bay Modern Home Tour on Saturday Oct. 20. … Continue reading »

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Op-Ed: Measure T needed to see all West Berkeley thrive

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The status quo has not helped West Berkeley be the best it can be, argues Alan Tobey in an Opinionator piece published today. Because there is little space available for new or growing businesses, he writes that Berkeley has lost 75 companies and over 1,500 jobs to other cities in recent years, including Clif Bar and SunPower. For West Berkeley to thrive, in order to create new jobs and successful companies and gain millions in new tax revenues to support citywide … Continue reading »

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

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ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME The Chronicle’s Inside Scoop has more details on the restaurant Lisa Holt and David Shapiro are opening in the old Pasand space at 2286 Shattuck (which prompted the landlord not to renew the lease of the Shattuck Down Low nightclub). It will be a Roman-style pizzeria called A90, referring to the road that circles Rome and the number of seconds it takes to cook a thin-crust pizza. The restaurant will be “something unique that has not been seen in the Northern California area at all,” Holt told Inside Scoop, and will let diners “be individual and creative about their food.” The chef will be Brian Langevin, a pizzaiolo trained by Tony Gemignani, the paper reports.  [Update: The name has been changed to Build Pizzeria.] … Continue reading »

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Reviewed: “Panic in the Streets, “The Waiting Room”

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Have you ever woken up in the morning and thought ‘I wish I could go and see a good movie about public health tonight?’ Well, guess what — this week you have not one, but two, movies to choose from that satisfy that very desire. One’s fiction, the other a documentary, and both are highly recommended.

Elia Kazan’s 1950 problem picture Panic in the Streets (screening at Pacific Film Archive at 6:30 pm on Sunday, October 21) was produced in an era when most Americans believed government was the solution, not the problem. The problem in this case is pneumonic plague, introduced into the United States via a stowaway on a rat-infested merchant ship.  … Continue reading »

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Measure T is a new chapter in the West Berkeley story

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Berkeley west of Sixth Street has long supported a vibrant community of small manufacturers, artists, artisans and local-serving businesses. Yet much of the rest of the district has been contributing little to the city, holding abandoned former manufacturing sites and sleepy warehouses that can’t be better used because of current zoning.

The status quo has not helped West Berkeley thrive. Because there is little space available for new or growing businesses, we’ve lost 75 companies and over 1,500 jobs to … Continue reading »

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Are we ready for a repeat of the 1868 earthquake?

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By Richard Schwartz

It is a sobering endeavor to remember the 1868 Hayward Fault earthquake, the last major eruption on our local fault. The USGS states that major, destructive earthquakes occur along the Hayward Fault, on average, every 138 years. This means that, since 2006, we have been due for another. There is no doubt that the Hayward Fault, the most densely populated earthquake fault in the United States, is going to lash out mightily sometime soon.

Is “soon” in a few decades, a few years, or a few minutes?

The fact is that, as a community, we have chosen to ignore what happened on October 21, 1868, at 7:54am, and at what is most likely in store for us. Few know the facts of this history. What is to be seen is not pretty. It is rather ominous.

The forty-five-second 1868 Hayward earthquake (over 2½ times longer in duration than the Loma Prieta quake, and equal in intensity to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake) arrived with a rumble and then increased shaking. Then it stopped for a second or two. It then resumed with a growing and overwhelming power and clamor. It ended with an oscillating motion in many locations. … Continue reading »

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