Daily Archives: January 28, 2013

News

The Berkeley Wire: 01.28.13

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Berkeley sex surrogate: ‘My work is like cooking school’

Cheryl Cohen Greene
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Just in time for Oscar season, Cheryl Cohen Greene — the Berkeley-based certified sex surrogate whose relationship with the polio-stricken writer Mark O’Brien forms the basis of the indie crowd-pleaser The Sessions — has a new memoir, An Intimate Life: Sex, Love, and My Journey as a Surrogate Partner (Soft Skull Press). Here she talks with San Francisco magazine’s Nina Martin. Cohen Greene will be reading Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 7 pm at Books Inc. on Fourth St. in Berkeley.

How did you decide that you wanted to do your own version of the story?
The timing with the movie was somewhat coincidental. I had been writing a book for many years [but it got derailed for various reasons, including the death of her collaborator at the time]. Eventually I found [Oakland-based coauthor] Lorna Garano, who is fabulous.

Meanwhile, [the movie’s director/screenwriter] Ben Lewin, who had polio as a child, had read Mark’s essay [On Seeing a Sex Surrogate, 1990]. It touched him so deeply and he decided to make a movie. Ben and I met [in the mid 2000s], and then for three years I didn’t see him. We talked occasionally on the phone. His wife Judi, whom I adore, said to me, “Get on his case. We have to make some money, but I want him to write this.” They actually re-mortgaged their home to finance the movie. They sold jewelry. For them, making this movie was an act of love. … Continue reading »

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Community says ‘no way’ to new signs at Marin Circle

Marin_Circle_4 Larry Raines
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On Jan. 16 some new traffic signs were erected at Marin Circle in north Berkeley: four yellow, reflective oblongs bearing the words ‘Traffic in circle has right of way.” It wasn’t long before local residents were up in arms about the signs, claiming they were an unnecessary eyesore on an historic, cherished local landmark.

On Saturday, the city quietly removed the signs. “Victory,” declared Sara Holmes, President of  Friends of the Fountain and Walk, who was one of several local residents to fire off emails to city departments, the media and and local councilman Laurie Capitelli complaining about the signs. On Saturday Holmes had received a minimalist email from the city of Berkeley’s Kevin Lewis. It read: “To all the signs will be taken down.” … Continue reading »

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Three cookbooks to savor, from kimchi to preserving

kimchi
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Stanislaw Sobolewski, cookbook manager at Moe’s Books, gets lost reading three beautiful cookbooks that cover home cooking, kimchi and preserving. Continue reading »

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Budget: Spending cuts needed to avoid shortfall

Calpers
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Berkeley’s General Fund projections include a deficit of more than $5 million over the next two years, requiring city leaders to take a tough look at its more cash-strapped departments to reign in costs.

To close the gap, the city’s budget manager has recommended recurring 2% General Fund reductions across the board for city departments. Departments will present their recommendations to the city manager and City Council in the coming months.

In a work session last Tuesday night, the city’s budget manager gave Berkeley City Council members a forecast for the next two years, and pointed to areas that may pose challenges going forward. (See a PDF of her presentation.)

Three more work sessions have been planned to allow council members, city staff and members of the public to learn more about, and weigh in on, city finances. Scroll to the bottom of this story to see the dates for upcoming public meetings on the budget.

Council members called the presentation, by budget manager Teresa Berkeley-Simmons, “sobering.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyside Police Blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Jan. 17-23

Thirteen auto burglaries were reported to the Berkeley Police Department on Jan. 22.
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This is a partial list of recent crimes in Berkeley based on reports to the Berkeley Police Department, unless otherwise noted. See past crime blotters here. (Note to readers: Please provide feedback in the comments section if you notice anything new or have ideas for more coverage. We always appreciate tips about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at tips@berkeleyside.com.)

The following items represent just a sampling of calls, and times appear to be approximate. From Jan. 17-23, there were 10 burglary reports42 auto break-in or theft from a vehicle reports, and seven stolen vehicle reports to the Berkeley Police Department, according to CrimeMapping.comSeven robberies and 18 assaults, domestic violence incidents or batteries were reported. These numbers are subject to change. Click the previous links for the most current information. … Continue reading »

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