Daily Archives: January 24, 2013


The Berkeley Wire: 01.24.13

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The Face of the Bass: Denson, Zilber and Friends

Jeff Denson
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Good bass players are rarely in want of work, but since arriving in the Bay Area two years ago to teach at the Jazzschool Institute, Jeff Denson has been keeping a fairly low profile. Over the past two years he’s generally been too busy teaching or performing internationally with the cooperative trio Minsarah or the octogenarian alto sax legend Lee Konitz to forge ties with Bay Area players, but Sunday afternoon’s Jazzschool gig with saxophonist Mike Zilber offers an opportunity to witness some promising musical relationships taking shape.

One of the most incisive post-Coltrane tenor saxophonists on the West Coast, Zilber is also a dedicated educator who teaches at the Jazzschool Institute and runs the jazz studies program at Los Medanos College. His proximity to Denson led to some informal sessions last year, and when Jazzschool founder Susan Muscarella happened to hear one “she said I want you guys to do something together,” Zilber recalls. … Continue reading »

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Op-Ed: It’s time to act on homelessness in Berkeley

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At the November elections Berkeley voters rejected Measure S, a controversial proposal that would have banned sitting on commercial sidewalks. City Councilman Jesse Arreguín believes it’s important to continue the conversation around homelessness, and, in an Opinionator piece published today, outlines the Compassionate Sidewalks Plan — what he calls a blueprint for creating consensus-based solutions to homelessness.

Berkeleyside welcomes submissions of op-ed articles of 500 to 800 words. We ask that we are given first refusal to publish. Topics should … Continue reading »

With Duende, chef Paul Canales breaks free

Paul Canales of Duende. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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Paul Canales, who opened his new restaurant and bodega Duende in Uptown Oakland last week, admits to having been more than ready to embark on his new venture. Canales was at the venerable Oliveto in Rockridge for 15 years — he joined as an intern and left as Executive Chef — and he loved it there. But, even before he handed in his notice in 2010, he had been fantasizing for months about a different cuisine, a different aesthetic — in fact an altogether different approach.

He was drawn to small plates and Spanish food, mainly because of his heritage — his father was raised in the Basque region — and partly because his passion for Italian food had run its course.

“Entrées never seem that exciting to me. They are a lot of commitment for a dinner,” he said this week sitting on a stool clutching a carton of coconut water in his vibrant new space on 19th St., a stone’s throw from Oakland’s beautiful Fox Theater. Adding to the disconnect was the fact that Canales and his wife — Ici Ice Cream owner Mary Canales — and their daughters didn’t eat that way. “We don’t eat a lot of one thing — we like ethnic food,” he said. … Continue reading »

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Countdown to new CVS in former Andronico’s on Telegraph

CVS on Telegraph. Photo: Ted Friedman
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Construction workers have been spotted on Telegraph Avenue in the former Andronico’s location north of Derby Street, which is set to feature a CVS store and pharmacy in the 26,455-square-foot space.

Bill Cantrell, superintendent of construction for Eleven Western Builders, Inc., estimated recently that work could be completed by April, “but we don’t want to raise false expectations,” he said. (Ted Friedman, who has written for Berkeleyside, shared this information with us.) (Update: After this story was published, Berkeleyside heard from a CVS spokesperson who said they plan to open the store in May.)

Cantrell told Friedman that the new CVS, at 2655 Telegraph Ave., will include a discount liquors section. … Continue reading »

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Contest: Name that nosh [01.24.13]

Smokey J's Q House, Name that Nosh, Jan. 24, 2013. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Think you know food in the East Bay? Prove it by naming the restaurant and dish in the comments section. Continue reading »

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Berkeley Library wants your feedback to improve services

South Branch Library under construction 2 of 3 1.24.13 Photo: Tracey Taylor
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The Berkeley Public Library has set up a 25-question survey to get the scoop from local residents about how they see and use library programs, events and facilities.

Through Feb. 19, Berkeley library users can fill out the brief online survey or a paper version of the survey at all library locations. (Take the online survey here.)

According to a notice sent Wednesday from Councilman Max Anderson‘s office, the library “will be seeking community input on how to improve Library services and communications.” … Continue reading »

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Op-Ed: After Measure S, it’s time to act on homelessness

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Although Berkeley voters rejected Measure S, a controversial proposal that would have criminalized sitting on commercial sidewalks, we shouldn’t mistake it as an endorsement of inaction. The simple fact still remains: we need to address homelessness.

I didn’t support Measure S, but I’m not calling it a day as many do post-election. Next Tuesday, City Council will have the opportunity to continue the critical conversation around homelessness with the Compassionate Sidewalks Plan — a blueprint for creating consensus-based solutions … Continue reading »

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Willard students semi-finalists in national art contest

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By Catherine Ference

Three of Willard Middle School’s 8th grade students — Karah Giesecke, Desiree Minkler and Sydney Tong — along with their families and Willard’s art teacher, Nancy Funk, celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday this week by attending a very special ceremony at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.

Karah, Desiree and Sydney were all semi-finalists in The Dream@50 Art Contest, an award program that covers 10 cities and three school levels: elementary, middle and high. For the contest, students were invited to create artwork inspired by a word or phrase from Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Their artwork was judged on originality in form and content as well as the artistic merit, including use of color and visual impact.  … Continue reading »

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