Daily Archives: November 20, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 11.20.12

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Zimmerman reinvents Chinese legend at Berkeley Rep

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The worldwide premiere of The White Snake, Mary Zimmerman’s atmospheric retelling of an ancient Chinese legend, is a visual and artistic wonderland. Zimmerman conceived, wrote and directed The White Snake in the spirit of her previous Berkeley Rep productions, which include Metamorphoses and The Arabian Nights. Zimmerman and the talented cast and crew make the ancient story come alive by using their imagination, creative vision, beautiful aesthetic and inventive stage techniques.

The tale of the white snake, originally published in 981 CE, has transmogrified over time. It began as a cautionary fable in which a man has a brief affair with a woman dressed in white. The man soon becomes ill and dies. It later seems that there never was a woman dressed in white, only a white snake. Moral: beware the evil snake disguised as a beautiful woman. Much later, the fable developed into a love story in which a white snake risks all for love. … Continue reading »

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In memoriam: RoseAnn Santa Cruz, Berkeley teacher

RosaAnn Santa Cruz
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RoseAnn Santa Cruz (née Rosie Candelaria) passed away on Oct. 19, 2012, after a two-year battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Santa Cruz was an elementary school teacher for 30 years, the past 23 of which were in the Berkeley Unified School District. She taught at Thousand Oaks, Jefferson, Franklin and Columbus Schools in Berkeley.

A mass will be held at St. Ambrose Catholic Church at 1145 Gilman St. in Berkeley on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, at 1 p.m., to commemorate her life.

Following the … Continue reading »

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Actual Café spin-off Victory Burger to open soon

Victory Burger
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Update, 11.29.12: Victory Burger opened on Friday Nov. 23. (Read Berkeleyfarm’s snapshot review in the Comments.)

Victory Burger, a new venture from the good folks behind Actual Café on San Pablo Avenue, will open imminently, says Sal Bednarz, owner of both operations. How soon? Well, he wouldn’t be specific, but put it this way: burgers are cooking up on the grills already. “We will be open by the time you publish your story,” he told Berkeleyside Tuesday. (Given how quickly we go to press, we would advise readers to follow Victory Burger on Facebook for updates on its actual opening, however.)

The burger place, which is at 1099 Alcatraz Ave., next door to the Actual Café, will serve locally and sustainably farmed meat burgers, with artisan buns and organic produce, along with other sandwiches, crispy fries, and shakes. … Continue reading »

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Op-Ed: Disappointed but still inspired at the Gill Tract

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[On Friday November 16, 2012, the University of California (UC) razed all of the publicly planted crops on the Gill Tract.]

Occupy the Farm is disappointed that the UC has unneccessarily destroyed the hard work of the community and food that could have fed it. Over the course of the last month, members of the public sowed edible winter greens together with fava beans, a popular and effective cover crop. Had the UC left these in place, the … Continue reading »

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Op-Ed: Activists disappointed by Cal moves at Gill Tract

Occupy the Farm
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Activists who have been advocating for an urban farm at the Gill Tract in Albany say they are disappointed by a recent decision by UC Berkeley to raze crops they planted this fall. The Gill Tract is closed to the public but activists have been trying since earlier this year to convince the university to open the locked research field to the community. Activists have continued to force entry into the Gill Tract throughout 2012, and recently planted winter greens and a fava bean cover crop.

Friday, the university continued to prepare the field for its own cover crop, chopping up the activists’ crops in the process.

In an Opinionator piece published on Berkeleyside today, Occupy the Farm explains why the fight isn’t over. … Continue reading »

Nurses at Alta Bates, other Bay Area hospitals, on strike

Striking nurses in 2012
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Nurses at Alta Bates Summit Hospital on Ashby Avenue in Berkeley went out on strike today and will do so again tomorrow, the seventh walk-out since September 2011. The nurses are protesting what they term “employer demands for sweeping cuts in nurses’ and patient care standards.”

The strike is by 3,300 registered nursess and several hundred respiratory, X-ray and other technicians who work at eight Sutter corporation hospitals – Alta Bates Medical Center facilities in Berkeley and Oakland, Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, San Leandro Hospital, Sutter Solano in Vallejo, Sutter Delta in Antioch, and Novato Community Hospital.

In a statement published online, the nurses explained why they were striking: “This is the latest protest over demands by Sutter corporate officials for sweeping reductions in patient care protections and nurses’ contract standards – despite Sutter being one of the wealthiest hospital chains in the U.S,” they wrote. … Continue reading »

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Cal football coach Jeff Tedford sacked after 3-9 season

Jeff Tedford by Joe Parks
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Jeff Tedford, head coach of the Cal Golden Bears football team since 2002, was fired today after a 3-9 season and a combined 15-22 record over the last three seasons. Tedford was the highest paid state employee in California, with a salary of $2.3 million a year. His contract with Cal ran through the 2015 season.

“This was an extraordinarily difficult decision, one that required a thorough and thoughtful analysis of a complex set of factors,” Cal Athletic Director Sandy Barbour said in a press statement. “Ultimately, I believed that we needed a change in direction to get our program back on the right track. Cal football is integral to our department and our university, and its influence can be felt well beyond the walls of Memorial Stadium. The program clearly serves as an important part of the connective tissue that binds our community together, and it is imperative that Cal football be recognized as a leader in competitive success, academic achievement and community engagement.”  … Continue reading »

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Officials push UC Berkeley mixed-use project forward

A drawing from an October 2011 University of California presentation on the mixed-use project designed for University Village; Monroe Street splits the project in two. The site is bordered by San Pablo Avenue to the east. Source: University of California, Berkeley
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Plans for a senior living complex, new retail shops and a grocery store in Cal’s University Village in Albany have cleared another hurdle despite a campaign by activists over the summer to stall the development.

The Albany City Council voted Monday night to rescind what some saw as a controversial contract between the city and the property owner, the University of California, rather than to delay further by putting project approval before the voters in a special election.

(Albany City Clerk Nicole Almaguer said an election could cost from about $52,000 to about $122,000, depending whether the city required polling stations or opted for mail-in ballots only.) … Continue reading »

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‘Generation P’: Savage satire on the advertising industry

Generation P-2
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Advertising insults the intelligence of everyone exposed to it, but of course, the stuff works. Consider the gnashing of teeth and rending of hair that followed the recently reported demise of the Twinkie: if not for the anthropomorphic sponge cake we all grew up watching on Saturday mornings, would anyone care? Twinkies, after all, taste disgusting — but Hostess’ ad agency convinced us all that taste didn’t enter into the equation.

A business ripe for parody, advertising has been well skewered on the big screen in such films as Frank Tashlin’s Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957), Robert Downey’s Putney Swope (1969), and Bruce Robinson’s How to Get Ahead in Advertising (1989). As the decades have passed, the films have become grimmer and more acerbic — which brings me to perhaps the most disturbing of the lot, Generation P. Directed by former ad man Victor Ginzburg, this savage satire opens Friday, November 30 at an as yet undetermined Landmark cinema in San Francisco. (The film was originally booked to open at Berkeley’s Landmark Shattuck Cinemas on Friday, November 23.) … Continue reading »

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