Daily Archives: December 6, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 12.06.12

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High lonesome holidays: Nell Robinson at the Aurora

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One of the pleasures of old-time music is that it acts as a force-field repelling shallow notions of hipness and callow ironic stances. In the hands of a generous artist like Nell Robinson, the specter of kitsch is banished by an abundance of soul.

Next week Robinson, a tremendously gifted singer in the throes of a late-blooming career, joins with her musical partner, guitarist Jim Nunally, to inaugurate Aurora Theatre’s new cabaret space, Harry’s UpStage, with “A Down Home Christmas with Nell and Jim,” which runs Dec. 13-21. Featuring original material, seasonal standards, and sundry songs that seem appropriate, the show is new, but the concept is old indeed.

“We’ve done a lot of singing at the holidays with family and friends,” says Robinson, aka long-time Berkeley resident Hilary Perkins. “We’re taking the music that we love to sing in our living rooms and bringing it into the new Aurora performance space, hoping to make it feel like a living room, singing music people will know, and some new stuff we’ve written.” … Continue reading »

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New downtown Berkeley bakery channels New York

Cakes and Purls 2
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Marie Sitaro, who opened Cakes and Purls bakery on Allston Way in downtown Berkeley on Saturday, would like everyone to slow down just a little. “We all need to get away from this fast-paced world sometimes,” says the baker who, with her new venture, is hoping to combine her passion for sweet treats with her love of knitting.

The new small-batch bakery offers the types of New York-style pastries Sitaro, who is of Italian heritage, remembers eating as a child growing up in Brooklyn: thick, luscious cheesecakes, seven-layer cookies, and pignoli made with pine nuts. ‘The types of things you don’t see so much here,” she says.

Sitaro worked as a pastry chef under the direction of Jean Georges and is a graduate of Women’s Initiative, which provides high-potential, low-income women with the training, funding and support to start their own businesses. She says she chanced upon the cute brick building in Trumpet Vine Court, around the corner from Jupiter and kitty-corner from Café Panini, and seized the opportunity to lease it when she saw it was for rent. … Continue reading »

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Police Blotter: Recent crime in Berkeley

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See also Local Crime News’ regularly published list of arrests of Berkeley residents. For other sources of information on crime in Berkeley see BPD’s CrimeView Community and Crimemapping.com.

November 25:

Robbery, 2200 Block of Shattuck Avenue
On Sunday, November 25, 2012 at approximately 6:18 PM a robbery occurred in the 2200 block of Shattuck Avenue.  The male victim entered the restroom to a business.  He was followed in by the unknown suspect.  The suspect punched the victim and attempted to take his cell phone.  The victim was able to maintain control of his phone.  The suspect then fled the area.  The victim suffered minor physical injuries. The suspect is described as: Suspect – “Black Male Adult, 24 years old, 5’6”-6’1” tall, 160-170 lbs, black chin length dread style hair, clean shaven, light complexion wearing a black puffy jacket.” … Continue reading »

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Few clues in Berkeley’s fourth homicide of 2012

The family of Pam Mullins, who was killed Dec. 4 while riding her bicycle on Sacramento Street, set out tea lights spelling her first name. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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The family of Pam Mullins, who was shot dead Tuesday night while riding her bicycle on Sacramento Street, honored her memory by setting up a street memorial – and insisting she was not involved with drugs or gangs.

“We put the vigil up here to let people know she had a family,” said Mullins’ 26-year old niece Elexis Norris, who lives in San Leandro. “She ain’t alone. She had a family. That’s why we are out here.”

Norris, her first cousin Danielle Easley, 24, and some of Mullins’ six siblings attached a stuffed teddy bear and some balloons to a chain link fence that surrounds the field at Longfellow Middle School on Wednesday night. They set out tea lights to spell “Pam.” … Continue reading »

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