Daily Archives: February 11, 2013


The Berkeley Wire: 02.11.13

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Berkeley artist Vita Wells makes books fly at main library

Berkeley Library Art Installation 6/10
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Berkeley artist Vita Wells‘s newly installed work, Flights of Mind, spans three levels of the atrium of Berkeley’s main Public Library, and it literally makes books fly.

The installation features some two hundred altered, sculpted books suspended and airborne, as if flying in a spectacular natural formation, throughout a large portion of library building. The work was created for — and much admired at — Saturday’s Berkeley Public Library Foundation Authors Dinner (which we reported on earlier today). And now it is open to the general public to view, for free, for the next two weeks, through Feb. 24. … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyside Police Blotter: Crime in Berkeley, 1/31-2/6

There were 25 thefts or burglaries from vehicles reported in Berkeley from Jan. 31 to Feb. 6, via CrimeMapping.com. Thirty-four were reported the prior week. Click the map to see a list of incidents.
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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: 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 may be approximate. From Jan. 31 to Feb. 6, there were 16 burglary reports25 auto break-in or theft from a vehicle reports, and four stolen vehicle reports to the Berkeley Police Department, according to CrimeMapping.comEleven robberies and 12 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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Burrowing owls come out to preen at Berkeley Marina

Burrowing owl by Greg Merritt
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The Berkeley Marina’s much loved burrowing owls were out and about this weekend. Berkeleysider Greg Merritt caught this shot of one of them on Saturday afternoon. He said it was taken at the special fenced-off area near the Tom Bates/Gilman Sports Complex.

dozen volunteer docents from Golden Gate Audubon Society who help passersby spot and learn about the small population of Western burrowing owls who spend each winter at the marina.

As Illana DeBare reported for us this time last year, Western burrowing owls have been designated a “species of special concern” by the state of California, as their population has been declining. Local residents reported seeing as many as 15 owls at the Berkeley Marina a decade ago; last year just five were documented. … Continue reading »

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Local stars come out for the Berkeley Public Library

BPLF Authors Dinner 2013 - Berkeley CA.
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By Mal Warwick

Who knew? Former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart isn’t just a musician. It turns out he’s also a musicologist of considerable note, and he’s collaborating with neurologists to conduct research on the potential use of rhythm to reawaken brain function in people with dementia. Hart’s brief conversation in the spotlight with Event Chair Linda Schacht Gage at Saturday’s 11th Annual Berkeley Public Library Foundation Authors Dinner was the hit of the evening. Yes, Hart writes books on his research, too, and he was one of thirty recently published authors honored at the dinner.

Running a close second as a crowd-pleaser was Sam Barry, a San Francisco humorist, the brother of Pulitzer-Prize-winning humorist Dave Barry, whom he closely resembles and whose greetings he passed along. Sam Barry was recently a candidate for Mayor of San Francisco, running under the slogan, “How bad could he be?” But there’s more. Barry is also a virtuoso on the harmonica, and one short command performance led to an electrifying encore that left smiles stretching all across the room. … Continue reading »

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Ecstasy, guns, marijuana seized during arrest of felon

Police arrested Jamar McClain earlier this month at his Oakland home. Image source: Google maps
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Berkeley Police officers have arrested an Oakland man with three prior convictions after finding him with dozens of ecstasy pills, a loaded stolen handgun, marijuana packaged for sale and six altered credit cards, according to court documents.

Police arrested Jamar McClain, 31, on Feb. 1 after executing a search warrant and probation search at McClain’s home in Oakland.

A Berkeley Police captain declined to comment on exactly what led the agency to arrest McClain, but said criminal investigations in Berkeley often lead investigators outside the city limits.

“I’d like to make it really clear that Berkeley crimes drive our investigations, regardless of where we end up,” said police Capt. Andrew Greenwood, via email. … Continue reading »

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To Die For: Salumi misti at Adesso

Salumi misti of culatto, finocchiana, toscano, njuda
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Much of a restaurant’s popularity in this age of Yelp depends on fanatic online reviews and subsequent adoration of particular dishes. Sometimes these dishes actually reflect the essence of a restaurant’s identity, while other times they are simply too bold and nutty to ignore. In our “To Die For” column, Kate Williams looks at East Bay’s popular restaurants through the lens of a single, sought-after dish. Is the food is a bunch of hype, or is is in fact “to die for?”  

One bite of Adesso’s prosciutto and any omnivore would be hooked. The first sensation is of the smooth, opulent fat melting on the tongue. Then the just-salty-enough pork hits, and the few bites it requires to consume the whisper thin slice are pure heaven. So it’s no wonder that when Adesso opened in 2009, the Piedmont Avenue wine and charcuterie bar was met with long lines and an abundance of praise. The brainchild of Dopo’s John Smulewitz and salumieri Chad Arnold, the bar was designed to function as a casual, free-spirited ode to cured meats of all kinds. Everyone, from the Chronicle’s Michael Bauer to the hordes of Yelperati, sang its praises. … Continue reading »

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Learning to write, one edit at a time

Coaches from WriterCoach Connection help more than 2,000 students in 10 schools throughout the East Bay
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By Mollie Hart

Andrea didn’t make eye contact with her writing coach right away. The 8th grader from Berkeley’s King Middle School brought out her rough draft of “An Open Letter to the Adults of our Country,” and started to read out loud, but kept her face turned away from the woman sitting next to her in the school’s designated “coaching” room.

“What did you think of the assignment?” the coach asked.

“It was okay,” said Andrea, without much enthusiasm.

Despite the young girl’s shy demeanor, the coach forged on. Soon the pair was talking about Andrea’s thesis statement, her conclusion, and how the American Revolution figured into the piece. … Continue reading »

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