Daily Archives: February 21, 2013


The Berkeley Wire: 02.21.13

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Berkeley aims to bolster housing fund with fee discount

Six housing projects buffering the downtown area are in the pipeline that would be subject to the city's affordable housing requirements.
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Berkeley officials voted Tuesday night to reduce, temporarily, a fee required of developers in hopes of both replenishing a city fund for affordable housing and curtailing building heights in projects planned to buffer downtown.

The Berkeley City Council has, for quite some time, grappled with how to build up its affordable housing stock. Developers in Berkeley are required to provide a certain amount of affordable housing, either by paying into a city fund that’s used to build this housing elsewhere, or by including below-market-rate units in their projects.

If they elect to pay rather than build, the money goes into the city’s Housing Trust Fund. The fund was established in 1990 to pool available federal, state and local money for these projects. Some officials have said the city might be able to build more units, as compared to what private developers would produce, if developers pay into the public fund. … Continue reading »

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Bites: What’s new, what’s hot, what’s happening, XI

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Bites is Berkeleyside Nosh’s round-up of restaurant and bar news in the East Bay. Got a tip or a scoop? Send it our way at nosh@berkeleyside.com. Bites is produced by Nosh in collaboration with Christina Mitchell, founder of East Bay Dish. (And we number Bites so you can check out previous editions of Bites and be sure you’re up to date with all the food news.)

Freshly served…

FUSION LATINA COOPERATIVE Friday afternoon sees the grand opening of Fusion Latina Cooperative, a catering service that features a fusion of Latin American flavors, and is Richmond’s newest worker cooperative. The cooperative comprises seven Richmond area women. Expect free tastings of dishes — such as tinga chicken, roasted pork with achiote marinade, salpicon beef salad, nopales salad, and drinks such as Semilla de Jicaro and lemon and mint with chia — at the opening reception, which is open to all. Fusion Latina can be reached at 510-730-6072 or fusionlatinarestaurant@gmail.com. Friday, Feb. 22., 3-5 p.m., Richmond Civic Center, Multi-Purpose Room, 440 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond.  … Continue reading »

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Evie Ladin: Stompin’ In the East Bay

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Evie Ladin was practically born dancing, and she’s made it her life’s work to get everyone around her moving and grooving. Best known as a founding member of the all-female East Bay old-time combo The Stairwell Sisters, she’s also a bandleader in her own right who has released two albums featuring her inventive arrangements of old-time tunes and consistently captivating original songs.

Ladin performs Friday in a duo distilled from last year’s Evie Ladin Band CD with guitarist/banjoist Erik Pearson at Starry Plough as part of a twangy triple bill featuring Bay Area honky-tonkers Emily Bonn and the Vivants, and Michigan’s Western swingers Lindsay Lou and Flatbellys. At full strength, Ladin’s band is a rollicking quartet featuring her husband, body music maestro and bassist Keith Terry, Pearson, and the ubiquitous fiddler/vocalist Dina Maccabee, though Ladin can hold an audience as a one-woman band.

“I do a mix of music, song and dance,” Ladin says. “Some traditional songs done with a different feel, and some straight up. I play old time claw hammer banjo, clog dance, and sometimes dance and sing and play all at once.” … Continue reading »

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16-year-old missing 6 months, possibly seen in Berkeley

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The Oakland Police Department is asking for help in locating missing person 16-year-old Gaijin Holquin, who was last seen by his family in August 2012.

On August 3, 2012, at about 9:00 a.m., Holquin told his mother that he was going to see a movie at the AMC theaters and then that he was going to shop at GameStop and Best Buy in Emeryville. He never returned home.

Holquin is a male, 16 years of age, 5’8, 150 pounds, brown hair, and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a blue jacket, gray shirt with blue and white stripes, and black jeans. He was carrying a back pack.

Holquin is reported to be in good mental and physical condition. He has no history of being reported missing or running away. Since Holquin’s disappearance, he has been reportedly seen in the cities of Berkeley and Alameda. … Continue reading »

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Crime narratives from the Berkeley Police, Feb. 10-16

A Berkeley police cruiser. Photo: D.H. Parks
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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.

From Feb. 10-16, there were 21 burglary reports, 19 auto break-in or theft reports, and nine stolen vehicle reports to the Berkeley Police Department, according to CrimeMapping.comNine robberies and five assaults, domestic violence incidents or batteries were reported. These numbers are subject to change. Click the previous links for the most current information.

This week, police also released a “calls for service” report from Jan. 20 through Feb. 16. See the spreadsheet here.

Feb. 10, Sunday: At about 1 p.m., residents in the 2100 block of Los Angeles Avenue reported hearing several loud reports. Officers responded and discovered that the sounds were fireworks related to a Chinese New Year celebration. … Continue reading »

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At Magnes, fictional woman illuminates 20th-century life

Moira Roth's passport photo from the 1970s.
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 By Marcia Tanner

Through the Eyes of Rachel Marker occupies a single gallery in the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life. Within its four walls, this fascinating multimedia exhibition interweaves the lives of three extraordinary European-born women, the evolving chronicles of a fourth, fictional woman, and decades of 20th-century European literary, artistic, intellectual and political history.

If this sounds like a complicated scenario, it is. How and why did such a complex cosmopolitan convocation convene in downtown Berkeley?

Rachel Marker — the fictional protagonist of this intertwining narrative of actual and imagined characters — is the creation of Berkeley-based writer, art historian and Mills College art history professor Moira Roth. Writing at cafés in Berkeley (Nabolom), Berlin, Prague and Paris, Roth conceived the character of Rachel as a sort of female Zelig: a peripatetic Czech Jew who flees her native country during the rise of fascism. She witnesses most of the major events, and becomes involved with many of the major cultural figures, of the first half of the 20th century. … Continue reading »

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Swan’s Marketplace: Oakland’s new gourmet hotspot

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The best time to visit Swan’s Marketplace is early on a sunny Friday afternoon. The Old Oakland Farmers’ Market will be in full swing, and 9th and Washington streets will be swarmed with shoppers, sellers and office workers taking a long lunch break. This usually quiet swath of downtown Oakland will teem with a vibrancy unknown since the construction of the 880 and 980 interstates.

Of course, this energy is only part of the reason to aim for Friday afternoons. Another is that the often-unending line at Cosecha will be mercifully shorter as many visitors will be distracted by the Roti Roti food cart and the roasted nuts tent. Many may scoff at the prices for a taste of the Cosecha tacos. Indeed, $4.00 to $5.00 is quite a steep charge for a single tortilla plus filling, but the quality of the ingredients and composition of each bite is why people are willing to pay it.

Friday’s special shrimp tacos are a prime example. Two shatteringly crisp fried wild shrimp intermingle atop a stately pile of cabbage slaw with a drizzle of brilliantly orange chipotle crema and a sliver of jalapeňo balancing on top. The single warm, slightly sweet house-made tortilla underneath is thick enough to support the fillings without coming close to ripping. There is no need for a double-layer here. This taco is a sight to behold, but a challenge to eat. The gigantic shrimp seem to require an un-hinged jaw with which to attack the taco in a reasonable bite. Tear it apart and eat it piece by piece, instead. … Continue reading »

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