Daily Archives: February 7, 2013


The Berkeley Wire: 02.07.13

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Children read in the company of dogs at Berkeley Library

PAWs to Read 1/10 2/5/13
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The popular Paws to Read program started up at the Berkeley Public Library’s North Branch on Tuesday this week, and Berkeleyside photo intern Kaia Diringer dropped by to capture the event.

The program, which runs weekly through March 12, sees children in grades kindergarten through five reading aloud to a gentle dog provided by TherapyPets, a nonprofit all volunteer organization based in Oakland.

Paws to Read allows children to practice oral fluency, spend time with a friendly dog, and have fun. “The goal is to help build a child’s self-esteem and confidence, as well as foster a fondness for reading,” the library said in a statement. Other Bay Area communities have successful Paws to Read programs. … Continue reading »

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Police: Latest crime narratives; 4 robberies in 24 hours

A selection of calls for service from the Berkeley Police Department from Jan. 27 to Feb. 2. See an interactive version of the complete map.
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The following items represent just a sampling of calls, and were selected by the Berkeley Police Department, unless otherwise noted. See past crime narratives from the police, and Berkeleyside’s most recent compilation of calls for service.

On Wednesday, the University of California Police Department also issued an alert about three recent armed and strong-arm robberies that occurred near campus. According to Berkeley Police Department data, four robberies took place near campus in less than 24 hours. Scroll down past the next map for more information.

From Jan. 27 to Feb. 2, there were 20 burglary reports, 24 auto break-in or theft reports, and 10 stolen vehicle reports to the Berkeley Police Department, according to CrimeMapping.comSeven robberies and 10 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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The Soul of a Man: Chester “CT” Thompson plays Berkeley

Screen shot 2013-02-07 at 12.14.50 PM
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Four decades is a long wait between albums, but Chester “CT” Thompson hasn’t been wasting his time. A rising Hammond B3 organ star on the chitlin’ circuit jazz scene in the late 1960s, he recorded his first album as a leader in 1971 for the Black Jazz label, Powerhouse, an LP that’s now a pricey collector’s item (listing for $175 on eBay).

When Thompson gained national notoriety with Tower of Power during its 1970s heyday he gave up his solo career, and went on to a quarter-century run with Santana from 1983-2009, including key contributions to the smash album Supernatural. Since coming off the road, he’s started to delve back into his original soul jazz bag, and he celebrates the release of his second album Mixology (Doodlin’ Records) Friday at Freight & Salvage.

“It’s a little different for me, but I’m having a ball,” Thompson said from his house in Millbrae. “Normally I’m in other bands as one of the supporting cats. I’m working with great players, and that says it all for me. We’ll be featuring cuts off the new CD, and maybe a couple of surprises.” … Continue reading »

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1,000 new apartments planned for downtown Berkeley

A rendering of 2701 Shattuck Avenue by Todd Jersey Architects
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The view from the L-shaped deck off the penthouse apartment at 2055 Center St. is spectacular. One side looks west toward San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. Another side offers a sweeping vista of Berkeley’s downtown and hills.

For $6,300 a month, the amenities ought to be top-of-the-line, and at the recently opened Berkeley Central — formerly known as the Arpeggio Building — they are. From Bosch appliances and stainless steel designer lights to the wood floor (dark or light, depending on the unit), the six penthouse units on the ninth floor promise an urbane, urban lifestyle.

The building, which the developer CityView acquired in a fire sale in July 2012 for $60 million, has been open for about seven weeks, and about 35% of its 143 units have been leased, according to Natasha Moses, a property manager for Riverstone Residential Group, the leasing agent. … Continue reading »

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Edible Schoolyard head says school kids go hungry

Katrina Heron
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In 1946, President Harry Truman signed the National School Lunch Act to provide what were then a significant amount of malnourished American children with at least one nutritionally balanced, low-cost, or free meal a day. Today, the program feeds 30 million children in public and private schools, but the degree of nutritional balance these meals provide is moot.

Katrina Heron, a former reporter and editor of Wired magazine who was recently appointed director of The Edible Schoolyard Project, says hunger is still a pressing issue among our nation’s children. And, thanks to the federal subsidies provided to corporate food growers of wheat, corn, and soy — as well as to big dairy makers of low-quality cheese — most school lunches focus on processed foods, high in fat, sugar and salt, contributing to the rise in obesity and diabetes among our children. … Continue reading »

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Big Screen Berkeley: John Dies at the End

John Dies at the End
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When is a doorknob not a doorknob? If that variation on the classic Freudian aphorism confuses you, you can probably skip the rest of this review — but if you find yourself intrigued, you may be the target audience for Don Coscarelli’s new horror comedy, John Dies at the End, opening at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas on Friday, Feb. 8.

Best known for creating the Phantasm series, Coscarelli has been plowing the independent horror fields since the mid 1970s. Despite the success of the first Phantasm feature in 1979, however, Coscarelli was never able to emulate the big studio success of his contemporaries John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper. Perhaps as much by choice as by fate, he’s spent the last few decades developing his unique and warped vision on limited budgets and with marginal financial reward. … Continue reading »

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Fingerprints help police arrest 3 in Senior Avenue assault

The 300 block of Senior Avenue
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Berkeley Police detectives have arrested three West Sacramento residents in connection with an interrupted burglary in the Berkeley hills in December during which thieves ran over a local resident.

Authorities announced the arrests Tuesday night at a special session before the City Council related to the Berkeley Police Department’s 2012 crime report. They provided additional detail Wednesday in a written statement.

According to the statement, a man walking his dog on Dec. 11 returned home to the 300 block of Senior Avenue around 3:15 p.m.

He “saw an unfamiliar car parked in the driveway of his house, occupied by a female sitting in the driver seat. At the same time, the resident heard noises coming from inside his house.” … Continue reading »

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