Daily Archives: November 15, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 11.15.12

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Safeway on College needs all-new design after mediation

A mediation sketch of plans for a Safeway reconstruction on College Avenue on the Berkeley-Oakland border, November 2012. Image: Lowney Architecture
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In response to pressure from neighbors, Safeway has scrapped years of work and agreed to a smaller, street-level store for its site at the junction of College and Claremont avenues, with enough parking, store reps say, for all of its customers.

When the project comes back before the Oakland City Council on Dec. 18, officials and community members will see a whole new set of plans, said architect Ken Lowney of the Oakland-based Lowney Architecture. Tuesday night, Lowney presented the council with rough sketches for the 45,500 square foot store, which is set to open onto College Avenue just north of a plaza separating it from a new, 9,500 square foot retail space.

As for all the site plans, renderings and videos for the project (viewable on the store’s website), “it’s all out the window for now,” said Lowney. Coming up with a whole new design in the next few weeks could pose a major challenge. The previous design took his firm about six weeks to complete. But, he said: “We’re just going take a run at it.” … Continue reading »

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Family of murder victim Cukor files suit against Berkeley

Peter and Andrea Cukor. Photo: Matthew Sumner
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The family of Peter Cukor, killed by a mentally disturbed man outside his Berkeley hills home on February 18, filed a wrongful death lawsuit Thursday against the city.

R. Lewis Van Blois, the Cukor family attorney, charged in the lawsuit that the city and police acted grossly negligently in their handling of Cukor murder. At the core of the case is the issue of how seriously police took Cukor’s call and how promptly officers responded.

“Peter Cukor had called the Berkeley Police Department on their emergency number for help to request a police officer be sent to their home right away because the intruder was attempting to get inside the Cukor home and was acting strangely,” Van Blois said in a press release. “The police dispatcher promised to get someone to their home soon and the Cukors relied on this representation. In fact, the Berkeley Police Dispatcher never intended nor requested a police officer to respond and when a police officer called to say he could respond to the call, he was told not to go. Soon thereafter, the intruder attacked Peter Cukor and fatally struck him on the head with a flower pot.” … Continue reading »

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French-born Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux: In the (right) house

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From the banlieues of Paris to the townships of Cape Town, young rappers have found a voice through hip hop, freestyling over beats inflected by their own rhythmic traditions. But no foreign hip hop artist has created a sound as poetic and personal as Ana Tijoux, the French-born Chilean rapper who gained international prominence with her 2009 album 1977 (which was released in the US by Nacional Records in 2010).

Tijoux, who performs Tuesday at San Francisco’s Brick & Mortar Music Hall and Wednesday at La Peña in Berkeley, has lived mostly in Santiago for the past two decades. She sees hip hop as an ideal form of expression that fits neatly with folkloric Chilean music.

“For me it represents a style of music where you’ve got a lot of leeway,” Tijoux said in a recent phone conversation from Santiago. “You can write a lot in one piece. In a pop song lyrics aren’t so extensive. Now that I’m older and I’ve lived in Chile, we have a lot of décimas made from the folklore from the campos. They tell a story, rhyming with the guitar. We’re a country with a lot of people rhyming in a very natural way.”  … Continue reading »

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Announcing: Berkeleyside NOSH, East Bay food news site

Donut Dolly
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Today sees a thrilling new launch for Berkeleyside and, we hope, an exciting new source of information for East Bay residents on all things edible.

With the launch of Berkeleyside NOSH, Berkeleyside has broken out of Berkeley (gasp!). We felt — and we trust you agree — that if we were covering food and drink locally, we couldn’t ignore all the wonderful things happening in Oakland, as well as neighboring areas like Emeryville, Kensington, Albany and El Cerrito.

Be assured, Berkeleyside itself remains firmly focused on Berkeley. It is purely for our food-related stories on NOSH that we have expanded geographically. … Continue reading »

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Rally held to protest sale of Berkeley’s main Post Office

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Several dozen people gathered outside the downtown Berkeley post office Wednesday to protest both the potential sale of the building by the United States Postal Service, as well as what they see as the organization’s reluctance to hear the community’s views on the issue.

The group held placards with slogans including “Save the People’s Post Office” and “Save Post Office Union Jobs and Services.” They entered the post office building and held a rally on the plaza around the corner on Shattuck Avenue.

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