Monthly Archives: January 2013

Opinionator

Op-Ed: City must step up to restore Ohlone Park mural

Ohlone mural by Bill Newton
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Twenty years ago, the late Dona Spring, a City Council member, asked me to find an American Indian artist to paint a mural on the BART vent building in Ohlone Park. The building was a graffiti-covered eyesore, crying out for public art. The city, having recently changed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day, wanted to honor the Ohlones, who are native to this land.

In 1995, Jean LaMarr, a California Indian who lives in Susanville, painted the mural, incorporating images of Ohlones, including family photographs. Descendants of the original Bay Area residents expressed to her their fear that these images would be defaced. The annual application of anti-graffiti varnish covering the mural was intended to respond to that concern. Graffiti continues to deface the mural nonetheless, especially on the north side, which cannot be seen from the street. … Continue reading »

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 01.31.13

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News

UC employees hold demonstration in Berkeley

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University of California employees held a demonstration today on Bancroft Way at Telegraph on the fringe of the Cal campus to protest what they see as unfair pay, medical and retirement benefits.
The protest was organized by members of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3299.

The union’s shop steward, Arnold Muza, said the union had met today with UC Berkeley and that the employees’ contract had recently expired. … Continue reading »

Three arrested after robbery with gun near UC Berkeley

Authorities said three young men were arrested in Oakland after a robbery near the UC Berkeley campus early Thursday. Image source: Google Maps
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Update, 5:14 p.m. The Berkeley Police Department identified those arrested in connection with Thursday morning’s robbery as James Heater, 24, of Oakland; Stefon Simpkins, 21; and Bart Perrin, 22, of San Ramon. No city of residence was listed for Simpkins.

Original story, 4:25 p.m. Authorities arrested three young men they say are responsible for an early morning robbery with a gun near the University of California, Berkeley, campus on Thursday.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon by the University of California Police Department, police said a 19-year-old was walking near Warring Street and Channing Way just after 1:30 a.m. when two young men approached him.

One of them, who had a gun, demanded the victim’s backpack, cell phone and wallet, police said. … Continue reading »

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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

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A CARNIVAL, GERMAN-STYLE  One of Berkeley’s newest schools is hosting a “German Family Karnevale” on Sat. Feb 2 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at its site at 1581 Le Roy Avenue in Berkeley. The festival at the German International School of Silicon Valley-Berkeley will feature a Karneval Parade led by a Brazilian-style marching band, activities for kids and German food and drinks for sale. … Continue reading »

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Brazil in Berkeley: The Ricardo Peixoto Group

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Rio de Janeiro native Ricardo Peixoto has spent almost his entire adult life in the United States, but his music is still steeped in the luscious melodies and insinuating rhythms of Brazil. The Oakland-based guitarist joins forces with another Brazilian master, pianist Marcos Silva, Saturday at the Hillside Club, performing his original music with flutist Bob Afifi and bassist Aaron Germain in various duo, trio and quartet configurations.

“It’s all Brazilian-based in terms of rhythm and harmonic vocabulary, but it always includes improvisation,” Peixoto says. “My tunes reflect my background, which is classical guitar, jazz, and a whole bunch of Brazilian rhythms: choro, baião, samba. I usually don’t like the term Brazilian jazz because it brings up associations I don’t particularly care for. I think of music as music, and I’m not particularly faithful to any tradition.” … Continue reading »

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After a decade, Berkeley celebrates a new animal shelter

Kate O'Connor, who runs Berkeley Animal Care Services, says the quiet atmosphere, airy and light spaces and new lab facilites are among the highlights at the new site. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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More than 10 years after Berkeley voters approved a $7.2 million bond to build a new home to care for abandoned and sick animals, the Dona Spring Municipal Animal Shelter will hold its grand opening Saturday — costing $5 million more than the original budget and in a smaller space than city officials originally envisioned.

The shelter, which is projected to cost nearly $12.4 million when all is said and done, opened in November after more than a decade in development, as an appropriate site proved elusive, and the venue that ultimately was selected posed a range of challenges during design and construction. … Continue reading »

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At Guest Chef, running your own restaurant is real

the kitchen crew
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Scott Cameron says the idea of transforming a Rockridge property into an opportunity for local chefs came to him as a “shower epiphany.”

Cameron, who launched Guest Chef in November 2011 at 5337 College Avenue, has created the opposite of a pop-up, which tends to be something that moves from place to place. Guest Chef stays put, with its fully equipped kitchen and two-person staff, while the chefs rotate in for two week stints at the stove.

And for many of the guest chefs, it’s the realization of a dream: if they’ve ever fantasized about running their own restaurant, says Cameron, two weeks at Guest Chef will “give them a taste.”  … Continue reading »

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Berkeley moves towards a consensus homeless plan

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After an acrimonious battle last year over Measure S, which sought to prohibit sitting on commercial sidewalks, Berkeley’s City Council pointed the way on Tuesday night to a more consensual approach to homelessness.

Councilman Jesse Arreguín’s Compassionate Sidewalks plan calls for a working group on homelessness to “conduct a series of focused workshops and discussions on a wide range of issues related to homelessness and to develop an action plan with policy, program, and funding recommendations around ending homelessness.” (Arreguín wrote about his proposal in a Berkeleyside op-ed on Monday.) … Continue reading »

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 01.30.13

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The idea of an absence: ‘Silence’ at Berkeley Art Museum

Andy Warhol
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The works in the exhibition Silence, which opens today at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, span a century of artistic practice and explore the question of silence, and whether this intangible can be represented.

Silence is, by definition, uncommunicative and peaceful. It is also mysterious, threatening, meditative and explosive. It is simultaneously a state of quiet and a deafening absence of noise. This conundrum is addressed by the multidisciplinary works in the galleries and in film and video programs that have dispensed with representational imagery to depict the idea of an absence. … Continue reading »

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Stabbing, arson suspect identified, dog died in fire

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The man arrested Tuesday by Berkeley police at the scene of a double stabbing and arson on Harmon Street in South Berkeley is 50-year-old Victor Lamb. Lamb, who had an outstanding warrant for his arrest unrelated to yesterday’s event, is being charged on a total of seven counts: two counts of attempted murder, domestic violence, violation of a court order and resisting a police officer, according to the Berkeley Police Department. He is also being charged with animal cruelty as he left a dog in the house at 1409 Harmon St. after setting it on fire, and the dog perished.

The victims of the stabbings were a 70-year-old female and a 20-year-old male, according to BPD. They were both treated at local hospitals and the male victim has been released. The female victim is still currently being treated for her injuries. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley council approves plans to green downtown

Map of major projects prioritized in SOSIP
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Berkeley City Council last night unanimously approved both the Downtown Streets & Open Space Improvement Plan (SOSIP) and a schedule of fees that will help fund the proposed projects. SOSIP aims to help create a more pedestrian-oriented neighborhood downtown, and will help guide the design of parks, plazas and streetscapes in the area.

The SOSIP is the first concrete action on the streets and open space provisions of the Downtown Area Plan, which was approved by the council in March 2012.

“I’m very excited about a lot of the projects put forward,” said council member Jesse Arreguín, whose district includes downtown. “If we can do even a fraction of these projects, it would really make a difference in making downtown a much more pedestrian friendly and vibrant environment.”

The major projects identified in the SOSIP as priorities are:  … Continue reading »

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