Search Results for: Berkeley

Berkeley program offers tech tips, connections for seniors

Ivy Duncan, a student at the Center for Accessible Technology. Still from a short video about the senior program there by Alex Orlando and Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou
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By Alex Orlando and Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou

Charlie Falk touched the glossy surface of his Android smartphone with trepidation. After several minutes of swiping up and down, he raised several weathered fingers to his forehead and sighed deeply.

“Where do I go to find my login?” the 74-year old retired taxi driver asked, his voice cracking slightly with frustration.

Assistive technology specialist Jennifer McDonald-Peltier leaned over and placed a hand on his screen. Step-by-step, she helped him connect to the building’s wifi network. After giving Falk’s shoulder a reassuring squeeze, McDonald-Peltier stepped to the front of the classroom and began her class on smartphone basics.

“When you unlock your phone, the very first thing that you see is your home screen,” she explained.

Her students studied the rainbow-colored iPhone screen projected on their monitor. Ivy Duncan, a retired foreign service secretary, leaned forward and narrowed her eyes in concentration.

The class at Berkeley’s Center for Accessible Technology was part of Senior Connects, a free program that provides Bay Area residents over the age of 65 with hands-on technology training. During their sessions, seniors learn how to use computers, smartphones and tablets so that they can become more connected in their daily lives. … Continue reading »

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Where in Berkeley?

Where in Berkeley?


Know where this is? Take a guess and let us know in the Comments below  — that’s where we announce the winner too!

Photo: Becke Aller.

Send your submissions for “Where in Berkeley?” to The more obscure the better —  just as long as the photos are taken in Berkeley. Thanks in advance.

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The Berkeley Wire: 10.25.16

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Berkeleyside’s Voter’s Edge guide helps you sort through the candidates, measures in the Nov. 8 election

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Confused about measures T1, U1 and V1? Want a quick rundown on the candidates for Berkeley mayor, or your local council seat? Berkeleyside would encourage you to check out our own voluminous coverage to really dig into the details. But this election we’ve also partnered with Maplight to give you a powerful tool to sort through candidates and measures up and down the ballot.

Voter’s Edge gives you a personalized ballot, with information on endorsements, positions, donors and more in one easy-to-use site.

See Berkeleyside’s 2016 Election Hub for all our coverage.

Depending on which council district you live in, your ballot probably has 12 or 13 different races (from president to mayor to school board to Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District director) and 32 — yes, 32 — different ballot measures.  … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyside wins SPJ journalism award for comprehensive homelessness coverage

Homeless person sleeps on Berkeley street. Photo: Ted Friedman
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Earlier this year, Berkeleyside joined more than 80 other media organizations in the Bay Area to publish a day of stories focused on homelessness in our midst.

Monday, that coverage was recognized by the NorCal chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists as part of its 31st Annual Excellence in Journalism Awards.

Berkeleyside’s Frances Dinkelspiel and Emilie Raguso won in the explanatory journalism category, in the small division for print media outlets, “for their comprehensive coverage of homelessness in Berkeley using data and effective storytelling to identify problems, seek answers and analyze proposed solutions.”

Dinkelspiel and Raguso created eight in-depth stories that ran sequentially June 29 over a period of about seven hours as part of the San Francisco Homeless Project.

The SF Homeless Project to which Berkeleyside contributed also took home the contest’s Public Service Award: “Participating media organizations collaborated to publish and broadcast during one week in June more than 300 stories about various aspects of homelessness and efforts to address them. The SF Homeless Project is a sign of a new era in journalism in which news outlets join their forces to fight for a better society,” wrote the judges. A follow-up day of coverage is being planned for December. … Continue reading »

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72K people participate in Berkeley’s ‘Great ShakeOut’

Kids participate in the Great Shakeout at LeConte Elementary School. Photo: Daphne White
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The principal did it. The janitor did it. The students did it. At 10:20 a.m. last Thursday, everyone at LeConte Elementary School in Berkeley participated in the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill. They dropped under the nearest table, covered their heads, and held on tight.

The purpose of the annual ShakeOut event is to raise awareness of the need for preparedness and to remind people to practice actual earthquake survival behaviors.

“Your past experience in earthquakes may give you a false sense of safety,” the ShakeOut website notes. “You likely have never experienced the kind of strong earthquake shaking that is possible in much larger earthquakes: sudden and intense back and forth motions of several feet per second will cause the floor or the ground to jerk sideways out from under you, and every unsecured object around you could topple, fall, or become airborne, potentially causing serious injury.”

Read more about disaster preparedness.

Berkeley had 72,000 registered participants in the Great ShakeOut, including the city of Berkeley, UC Berkeley, Berkeley National Lab, Alta Bates, seven schools and 18 neighborhood groups.

“The event gave us an opportunity to test out the Berkeley Emergency Notification System (BENS),” said Dave Brannigan, the Berkeley Fire Department’s assistant chief for special operations. “We don’t get to use the system very often, and it’s a fairly complicated system. The more we practice using it, the better.” … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: Why 10 current and former Berkeley elected officials endorse Laurie Capitelli

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We are former and current Berkeley elected officials who are united in our support for Laurie Capitelli as our next mayor. With our direct firsthand experience, we all deeply appreciate Laurie’s love for Berkeley, his trustworthiness, good humor, compassion, decency and intelligence. We urge you to vote for Laurie as your first choice.

Laurie is a team builder. A leader in the campaign to tax the soda industry, Laurie built the broad coalition and served on the steering committee that beat Big Soda. Laurie has the collaborative skills and leadership that are needed to continue the fight for public health and ensure that Alta Bates continues to serve our community.

Laurie is a mediator and consensus builder. Laurie negotiated the groundbreaking $15 minimum wage, bringing together labor, businesses and nonprofits in a historic agreement. Prior to this achievement, Laurie co-authored and led the passage of two $15 minimum wage measures in 2015 and 2016, which were among the most progressive wage measures in the nation, reaching $15 several years faster than the state of California.

Laurie believes in the transformative power of education and has raised millions of dollars for our public schools. As a former school teacher, Laurie is committed to closing Berkeley’s achievement gap by establishing universal preschool. It’s no surprise that every endorsing School Board member supports Laurie. … Continue reading »

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Big Screen Berkeley: ‘The Handmaiden’, ‘Company Town’

The cast of 'The Handmaiden'
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If you’re familiar with South Korean filmmaker Chan-Woo Park you know his reputation. The creator of such outrageous, over-the-top features as Lady Vengeance and Oldboy (remade by Spike Lee in 2013), Park specializes in pushing the cinematic envelope and making audiences uncomfortable.

His new feature, Ah-ga-ssi (The Handmaiden, opening at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas on Friday, Oct. 28) is no exception to the rule. Despite a sedate opening act suggesting Park may have mellowed with age, The Handmaiden proceeds to prove the director is as challenging and transgressive as ever.

Set in Japanese-occupied Korea early in the 20th century, the film tells the story of pickpocket Sook-Hee (Tae-Ri Kim) and a professional swindler known pseudonymously as Count Fujiwara (Jung-Woo Ha). Fujiwara has his eye on the fortune possessed by Korean collaborator Kouzuki (Jin-Woong Jo), whose work on behalf of the Japanese invaders has made him remarkably wealthy. … Continue reading »


The Berkeley Wire: 10.24.16

The Sunday paper by Film & Photo Archivist

The Sunday paper by Film & Photo Archivist

Snapp Shots: Waving Man still beloved, not forgotten (East Bay Times)
Student groups block Sather Gate to protest relocations (Daily Cal)
Berkeley kept its promise on soda tax (SF Chronicle)
Savagely unsettling ‘Last Tiger in Haiti’ debuts at Berkeley Rep (East Bay Times)

Keep Berkeleyside running! Support independent local journalism by becoming a member. Follow Berkeleyside on Twitter and Facebook or get the latest news in your inbox. Email us at  

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Urban Adamah opens 2-acre farm in West Berkeley

Families make pickles at the Urban Adamah opening celebratoon. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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By Frances Dinkelspiel and Sylvia Paull

Urban Adamah, an urban farm inspired by Jewish beliefs but open to all, moved into its new Berkeley home at Sixth and Harrison streets on Sunday and threw a huge party to celebrate the occasion.

Kids and adults petted goats and chased chickens. They braided flowers to create a sukkah, a temporary shelter for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. They made pickles, wax candles and leaf prints, listened to Klezmer music and ate salads made with greens grown at the farm’s former location at 1050 Parker St.

The opening of Urban Adamah right by Codornices Creek further transforms what once was a quiet, dead-end street in West Berkeley. Now it is bustling with people and activity. Fieldwork Brewing Company has a popular tap room across the street from Urban Adamah, and on Sunday people were relaxing at its outside patio bordered by galvanized planters. Kosher winery Covenant sits directly across from the farm, too. Maker’s Work Space is also across the street. UC Berkeley’s University Village in Albany is connected by a footpath.

“It’s a dream,” said Adam Berman, Urban Adamah’s executive director, who raised millions to transform the once-barren U.S. Post Office land into a farm complete with places to gather, play and sleep. “We’re going to do so much here.” … Continue reading »

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After years of deferred maintenance, Berkeley asks nonprofits to pay for fixes

The Berkeley Rowing Club recently signed a 15-year lease with Berkeley for minimal rent in exchange for redoing the roof for. Photo:Berkeley Rowing Club
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After years of neglect, Berkeley has begun requiring nonprofit organizations renting buildings from the city to undertake and pay for long-deferred maintenance and capital improvements. About one dozen nonprofits have entered into lease negotiations with the Parks, Recreation and Waterfront department over the past few years. While a few of those leases have been signed, many have dragged on for two to four years and are still unsigned.

The nonprofits are facing a combined estimated repair budget of more than $2 million for their leased buildings – and some of them say they cannot afford to pay for the repairs. These deferred maintenance costs are separate from the more than $25.5 million needed to repair city-owned and occupied buildings and facilities.

All the leased facilities are located in city parks and rented by nonprofits such as the Berkeley Art Center, TheaterFIRST, the Youth Musical Theater Company, Ala Costa Services, Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program, the Berkeley Paddle and Rowing Club, The Berkeley Yacht Club, and the Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club. … Continue reading »

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How quirky is Berkeley? DIY quirk on Peralta Avenue

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I often feature quirky yards with high production values — collectors or professional sculptors or painters who are gifting their art to the street. They are fine and good, but there are other types of quirk. Quirk is not one-size fits all. There are the high-produced examples, and then there are the DIY front yards, such as this one. … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: Don’t let developers buy Berkeley’s election

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In Berkeley, it’s sometimes easy to feel like our local politics are immune to the kind of cronyism and monied influence that afflicts most localities. After all, we like to think of ourselves as a well-informed, progressive city. We opposed Citizen’s United. We want money out of politics . . . Bernie Sanders did very well here in the primary…so we would never vote for people or ballot measures that have been bought by corporate, big monied special interests.

Or would we?

Sadly, Big Money has arrived in Berkeley – in the form of Big Development – and more than ever before, they are busy trying to buy this election. Berkeley voters deserve to know which candidates and campaigns are being influenced – bought – by huge infusions of cash from those whose only interest in Berkeley is to maximize their own profits. These folks do NOT have the community’s best interests at heart, or in mind, but they are pouring cash in right now: developers, landlords and the consultants who depend on them to make a living, as well as national, state and local political action committees (PACs). … Continue reading »

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