Daily Archives: October 17, 2012


The trouble with Measure T: A lack of definition

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In endorsing NO on Measure T, the SF Bay Guardian says: “Everyone agrees the area needs updated zoning, but this is too loose.” This captures the fundamental problem with Measure T — a lack of definition regarding the scope of possible development and the details of potential community benefits.

A look at the City of Berkeley map of parcel sizes shows that up to two-thirds of West Berkeley could be eligible for increased development rights; i.e. 75 foot height and … Continue reading »


The Berkeley Wire: 10.17.12

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Klezmer dance party: Veretski Pass plays Berkeley

VP 3 brick_1
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The Veretski Pass, a rugged route through the eastern Carpathian mountains, served as the transit point for Jews returning to Hungary after an expulsion in the early 16th century. Once part of Czechoslovakia and now in Ukraine, the pass also brought Gypsies, Ruthenians and Czechs to the region where Berkeley violinist Cookie Segelstein’s father was born. In exploring the music of this lost community, she created Veretski Pass, a chamber klezmer trio that performs Thursday Oct. 18 at the Starry Plough on a triple bill with La Pêche and Balkalicious Fire Drive as part of the pub’s monthly Berkeley Balkan Bachanal series.

Featuring Joshua Horowitz on tsimbl (hammered dulcimer) and button accordion, and Stuart Brotman on bass, baraban (drum), and Carpathian flute, the group reflects Segelstein’s late-blooming fascination with the music imposed on her as a child in Kansas City, Missouri, where her parents, both Holocaust survivors, seemed to have one foot still planted in the Old Country.

“I had a love/hate relationship with this music until I had my own kids,” says Segelstein, who was often pressed to perform klezmer tunes for her parents’ friends gathered at weekly card games. “It felt like someone had lifted the shtetl and dropped it on this street in Kansas City. I wanted to become a Baptist so I could fit in.” … Continue reading »

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Wonky Wednesday: three forums to consider

Michael Lewis
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Wednesday Oct. 17 is one of the days where there is too much in Berkeley to choose from, particularly tonight. Here is a partial listing of offerings:

Michael Lewis will be interviewed by Linda Schacht Gage at the Central Library tonight. He will talk about Obama’s Way, the article he wrote about President Obama for Vanity Fair. Although tickets sold out fast, there will be some tickets available from no-shows. The waiting line will start at 5 pm. The reception begins at 6 pm and the talk is from 7 pm to 8 pm.

The Berkeley Unified School District will hold a forum for middle and high school parents on alcohol, tobacco, and drugs, its effects on teens, and resources available to address the issue. Teens and experts will discuss the best way to talk to your kids. The forum is at 7 pm at Berkeley Technology Academy, 2701 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way. … Continue reading »

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Police pursuit puts Malcolm X, LeConte on lockdown

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Update, 4:30 p.m.: The Berkeley Police Department now reports it was a neighbor, not the victim of a burglary, who chased suspects and asked people to call 911. Officers recovered some of the victim’s property. The suspects are described as: African American male juvenile, 16 years old, 5’7”-5’8”, 140 pounds wearing a gray shirt and baggy blue jeans; and African American male juvenile, 16 years old, 5’7”-5’8”, 140 pounds wearing a black and white short-sleeved striped shirt and baggy blue jeans.

Update, 2:50 p.m.: According to police, the two burglary suspects have not been apprehended. Police are still investigating but the search perimeters have been lifted.

Update, 2:18 p.m.: LeConte Elementary School went off lockdown at around 2 p.m.

Update, 2 p.m.: Berkeley Police officers are hunting two suspects following an interrupted residential burglary in the 2100 block of Ward Street, according to police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats. It is believed two young male suspects fled the house and were chased by the victim, she said. Police established a perimeter north to south on Ashby and Russell and east to west between Deakin and Fulton. They are going house to house looking for suspects. … Continue reading »

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Home winemaker part of a growing East Bay movement

Tim Patterson turns the crank on the de-stemmer while Tricia Goldberg and Chris Bacon load grapes. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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Tim Patterson held up the wine glass filled with a ruby red liquid, twirled it, and then tipped it back to his lips. “Mmmm,” he said with obvious pleasure. “Not bad.”

The red liquid in the glass looked like wine, had the scent of wine, and a taste similar to wine. But it wasn’t wine – at least not yet.

The liquid was only minutes old, produced when Patterson pressed a batch of zinfandel grapes that had been fermenting in a vat in his Berkeley garage for 10 days.

Fall is harvest season in the Bay Area, and hundreds of wineries in Napa and Sonoma counties – as well as urban wine outposts like Berkeley’s Donkey and Goat and Broc Cellars – go into overdrive to turn grapes into wine. Winemaking is so important to the local economy that glossy magazines, newspapers, and websites often cover small details of the harvest – the brix number of the grapes, the rain or heat in the forecast, the optimum time to pick, and how this harvest compares to others.

But there is another kind of wine production, one rarely heralded and often dismissed as an anachronism, a throwback to another era. That is the work of the home winemaker. … Continue reading »

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How much to mail an absentee ballot? Take your pick

California ballot
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Update, Oct. 18, 2016: We got the official word from the Registrar of Voters office: “You can use 3 Forever stamps to return 4 Voted ballot cards in the mail. Just to let you know we have 24 hour drop boxes within Alameda County that are collected daily. Please check our website at www.acgov.org/rov for the list of drop boxes and locations.”

Update, Oct. 17, 2016: It costs up to $1.36 to send a vote-by mail ballot (formerly known as absentee ballot) in Berkeley in 2016, according to local neighbors who have done the legwork. Another source said it costs $1.10. Last time around, rates also varied. (We have updated this post because we noticed people searching for this information and Google was sending them to this article.)

The information that follows is from the 2012 election.

Original story, Oct. 17, 2012: How much will it cost to mail an absentee ballot? It depends who you ask.

Last week, a reader pointed out to Berkeleyside that the mail-in absentee ballot for the November 2012 election requires extra postage, but that the exact amount needed isn’t specified. … 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, 10.18.12, 4:25 pm: Well, it took about 12 hours but eventually “the Deer” identified this as being at 2917 Avalon  Avenue. Congratulations, the Deer, on being this week’s winner!

Photo: Sandy Friedland.

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