Daily Archives: October 29, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 10.29.12

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Concussion training: Advice for parents, athletes, today

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A recently published report suggests that 600,000 youth concussions occur yearly in the U.S., about double the 300,000 commonly estimated. The figure is extrapolated from a survey out of Massachusetts that found that 3,000 youth athletes from 164 schools suffered concussions last year.

Schools and parents try to take measures to protect their kids from potentially devastating concussions which happen across many sports, including, but not limited to, football, soccer and boxing. But, especially in football, the only true shield is to prevent the contacts that lead to the concussions in the first place. Even helmets don’t actually protect the brain. … Continue reading »

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Say yes on Measure S: help those living on the streets

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Earlier this month I spent several afternoons walking along Telegraph and then Shattuck Avenues because I wanted to talk one-on-one with the people, particularly the young people, who are sitting and lying on the streets panhandling.  I judged that almost all of them have serious alcohol and/or drug problems and many of them are also mentally ill.

As a medical doctor specializing in addiction treatment, I know that the people on our streets are at grave risk of becoming disabled … Continue reading »

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Measure T: Will it enhance or ruin West Berkeley?

A 5.5-acre section of West Berkeley along Fourth Street might be impacted with the passage of Measure T. Doug Herst, whose family once owned Peerless Lighting, a manufacturing company, wants te develop Peerless Greens, a mix of housing, artists studios, R&D and manufacturing. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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On a recent Wednesday morning, as the sun was trying to make its way out from behind rain clouds, two joggers ran down Fourth Street, passing the Takara Sake Factory, a tiny house hidden behind a woodworking shop, the new Sketch ice cream store, and the massive warehouse of Wine.com.

It may have been a routine run for the two men. But for many of the residents of West Berkeley, the runners’ path exemplifies what is special about the neighborhood: it’s an eclectic mix of housing, manufacturing, industrial production, and small businesses.

Despite this vibrancy, many consider West Berkeley underutilized. It is the only section of the city that is zoned for manufacturing and industrial uses. But over the last few decades, the number of these businesses has dwindled. In 1991, there were 153 manufacturers providing 5,024 jobs in the 94710 zip code. In 2008, that had dropped 38%, with 89 companies providing 3,636 manufacturing jobs, according to a report put together in 2009 by Berkeley’s Office of Economic Development. … Continue reading »

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Kermit Lynch: ‘I abandoned my heart to Europe decades ago’

Kermit Lynch
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It was the 40th anniversary of the founding of his famous wine store, the sun was shining, the band was playing, the wine was flowing and Kermit Lynch was all smiles.

“Long live wine!” Lynch shouted into a microphone to the hundreds of people who had gathered in the parking lot of his store at San Pablo and Cedar to celebrate the anniversary. “Let’s get on with this great party! Let’s have some fun!”

The crowd didn’t need much encouragement. With sausages and frittata prepared by chef Christopher Lee, ice cream by Ici, and a parade of dishes by the newly opened Bartavelle café (occupying spot where the revered Café Fanny once stood) there was plenty to sample.

But, as in all things in Lynch’s life, the centerpiece of the day was wine. Known for elevating the status of wine made from small French and Italian wineries (sourced from his many trips hitting the back roads to find unheralded producers) Lynch chose seven wines for the day’s celebrations that both reflected his store’s past and its future. … Continue reading »

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Do police enforce parking rules on skinny hill streets?

Berkeley Hills. Photo: Google Maps
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In response to our first installation of Ask Berkeleyside, in which we requested your questions about mysteries around town, we received this comment and query from a reader: “I’d like to report that signs with one-way arrows and the caption ‘No Parking at Any Time’ seem totally ineffectual on narrow streets in the Berkeley hills because, while they do inhibit the residents, non-resident cars and trucks park in them constantly, with impunity. Any advice? By the way, what are the penalties and conditions, if there are any?”

Noel Pinto, parking enforcement manager with the Berkeley Police Department, said via email that the fine for a “No Parking Any Time” violation is $64; on game days the fine is $95.

Pinto wrote: “Narrow street restrictions are in place to ensure that emergency vehicles have unrestricted access when responding to an emergency. The Department’s goal is to enforce these violations consistently. However, more often than not, officers do not find many violations when they drive by regularly.” … Continue reading »

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