Daily Archives: December 3, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 12.03.12

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Live Oak Theatre plan calls for ‘true community facility’

A recent production of Richard III by the Actor's Ensemble of Berkeley at Live Oak Theatre. Photo: Anna Kaminska
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TheatreFIRST, which is to lease Live Oak Theatre at 1301 Shattuck Avenue, plans for a greatly increased community involvement at the venue in North Berkeley.

“We’re looking forward to a cross-pollinating, really lively environment,” said Michael Storm, artistic director of TheatreFIRST. “One of our goals is to make this space a true facility for the community.”

But Actors Ensemble of Berkeley remains concerned about the transition to TheatreFIRST. Actors Ensemble has managed Live Oak for 34 years and performed there for 48, but it has been on a month-by-month agreement with the city since 1986. In 2011, the city started a competitive Request for Proposal process for the Live Oak Theatre lease. A panel of two independent theater professionals and three city staff determined that TheatreFIRST’s proposal was preferred. … Continue reading »

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Nearly $30k in fines waived in library fee amnesty

The Berkeley Public Library at 2090 Kittredge St. Photo:
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A recent effort by the Berkeley Public Library to encourage patrons to return, and get back misplaced items, was, according to library staff, a success.

“We’re really pleased with how the Fines Amnesty went. More users came back to the Library, we recovered lost materials, and I think it generated a lot of goodwill right before the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Douglas Smith, deputy library director, via email.

The amnesty program took place for about two weeks in November; patrons had to go into the library or otherwise speak with staff to get overdue fees waived. (Patrons were still held responsible for fees for missing items, damaged materials and the like.)

The library waived $28,139 in fines, and collected about $4,300 in fees not subject to the amnesty, such as replacement charges for lost or damaged books. … Continue reading »


Nosh Talk: Bocanova Chef-Owner Rick Hackett

Bocanova Chef Owner Rick Hacket.5cropped
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What is always in your refrigerator? 
Cheese, St. Benoît yogurt, fruit, almond milk, and bottled water.

What do you cook up for a late night snack?
Quesadillas with avocado and sprouts.

Where/what do you eat on your day off?
Dim Sum at Yank Sing in the Rincon Center.

Do you have a secret ‘junk food’ vice?  Popcorn.

Any food you can’t stand? 
Not yet.

What is your fantasy “last meal?” Tripe done seven different ways.

What ingredient is overused and needs to be retired? 
Foam. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley High seeks donations for annual Holiday Meal

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Every year, dozens of Berkeley High School students produce a holiday meal extravaganza for some 300-500 homeless or low-income people and families in the Berkeley community. As well as preparing and serving a warming meal, the school offers clothing, books, shoes, toys, blankets and provides entertainment.

The annual Holiday Meal will take place on Saturday, Dec. 15, and the school needs donations. So far the organizers, the BHS Student Leadership Team, have collected almost $1,000 and over 500 pounds of food, but the goal is to reach 10,000 pounds of food before Dec. 14. … Continue reading »

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Tea and sympathy: The cake

ts cake 1
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Before I heard that “tea and sympathy” was a play, a restaurant and a song, I only knew it as a soothing cocktail: hot tea with a splash of Grand Marnier. A warm mug of tea is my go-to drink for relaxation and comfort, and I’ve always loved the idea that sympathy can be added to it with a splash of orange liqueur. When I recently discovered a local and remarkably delicious Earl Grey tea – fragrant with vibrant bergamot and speckled with beautiful, tiny flower petals – I found myself drinking it daily and, naturally, I couldn’t help but think of turning it into a dessert.

I decided to pair it with orange liqueur and create my very own version of tea and sympathy: the cake. Here is the recipe.  (If you’re short on time, don’t miss the simplified version at the end of this post.) … Continue reading »

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