Author Archives: Frances Dinkelspiel
After lying vacant for years, work has begun on a controversial, five-story, 98-unit mixed-use housing development on a lot at the southeast corner of San Pablo and Ashby avenues.
City officials and representatives from Gerding Edlen, the developer, will host a ceremonial “turning of the dirt” ceremony Tuesday at noon. Mayor Tom Bates and Councilman Darryl Moore plan to be there, as well as Brent Gaulke, vice president of Gerdling Edlen. … Continue reading »
A 21-year-old Berkeley man was shot and injured Sunday night at the Ashby Flea Market and Ashby BART shut down for the evening.
BART police received multiple reports of gunfire at 5:54 p.m., according to BART Lt. Paul Qwan. When BART and Berkeley police arrived on the scene, however, no victim could be found, he said. The victim later took himself to an area hospital. He is in stable condition and was conscious and could talk when police arrived, according to BART Detective Sgt. Tom Smith. His injuries did not appear life-threatening. … Continue reading »
When Tomas Moniz, the author of the new novella Bellies and Buffalos, was in New York City a few years ago, he stopped by the mammoth American Girl doll store on Fifth Avenue. His youngest daughter had begged him to visit, part of her campaign to snare one of the pricey dolls.
Moniz was astounded to see the store’s tearoom, where not only girls – but their dolls — were served actual tea.
“That was actually the impetus of the story, the experience of seeing them actually serve tea to dolls,” said Moniz, who will celebrate the publication of his book tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Pegasus Books at 2349 Shattuck St.
Moniz, 46, is best known for his award-winning zine, Rad Dad, which looks at parenting from a radical perspective – i.e. from queer parents, poor parents, political activist parents, and from parents of color. His own essays, which often touch on drugs, drinking, and teenage sex, offer a strong critique about conventional and mainstream views on raising children. … Continue reading »
Berkeley’s lauded garden and cooking program, which has helped students learn to plant radishes and cook kale for the past 14 years, was struck a severe blow in October when it lost the majority of its $1.9 million in federal funding. The program in 19 schools has cobbled together a $700,000 budget for this year through a one-time federal grant, funds from the Berkeley Unified School District, and loans and donations. But the program needs to develop new sources of revenue.
The school district recently hired Jezra Thompson to oversee the Gardening and Cooking Program, and one of her first tasks is to generate excitement about a year-long fundraising push which begins Tues. Nov 12 at A Taste of North Berkeley. From 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m, more than 20 stores and restaurants in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto will offer food and craft samples. Tickets cost $30 and all the proceeds will go to the BUSD Gardening and Cooking Program.
In advance of the event, Berkeleyside interviewed Thompson about the gardening and cooking program and the challenges it faces. … Continue reading »
When Peter Howard, the owner of Serendipity Books, died in March 2011, he left behind more than one million books crammed into his two-level store on University Avenue in Berkeley with the oak barrel hanging out front.
Howard’s collection of rare and antique books was considered one of the best in the country; he often sold books and manuscripts to places like the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley or the Lilly Library at Indiana University.
The collection included so many amazing items that Bonham’s held six different auctions of his holdings, selling off early editions of John Steinbeck, a broadside by James Joyce, many modern first editions, early baseball memorabilia — even poet Carl Sandburg’s guitar.
But there are still books left to sell. More than 100,000 books, in fact. … Continue reading »
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett was first published in book form in 1905 and has remained one of the most popular children’s books for more than 100 years. Three versions of the story have come to the big screen.
The theatricality of the story was limited, however, because the action is set in a girls’ boarding school in London during the Victorian era. The father of young Sara Crewe, fresh from living in India, enrolls her at Miss Minchin’s, a finishing school for young ladies. The wealthy Sara is friendly, generous, not snobbish, and becomes the darling of the school (even though Miss Minchin secretly hates her). She befriends the scullery maid and the school’s least popular girls, and uses her imagination to tell exotic stories. … Continue reading »
A coalition of city and campus groups is proposing to erect a decorative lighted archway on Telegraph Avenue to better define the shopping district.
The arch, which would be erected near Dwight Way, would serve to “emphasize and celebrate the four blocks of Telegraph between Dwight and Bancroft that distinguish it from Oakland’s Temescal and Berkeley’s Downtown,” according to an encroachment request letter submitted to the city. Students standing at the soon-to-be remodeled Lower Sproul Plaza would be able to look down the street and see the arch, and those at Dwight could look north to the campus, creating a visual connection between the University and the Avenue. … Continue reading »
The Berkeley High Yellowjackets lost to Bishop O’Dowd 21-0 on Friday, Nov. 1, but the evening still held some special moments. The parents of senior players escorted them out to the field; the Cheer King and Queen were announced, the Pep Band was bigger than ever, and dozens of alumni attended. Mark Coplan, the spokesman for the Berkeley Unified School District, was there and took these photos. … Continue reading »
The city of Berkeley and Ken Sarachan have settled a lawsuit over his empty lot at 2501 Haste St. on the corner of Telegraph Avenue, clearing the way for the construction of a a six-story, mixed-use, Moorish, palace-like structure inspired by Italian hill towns, Tibetan forts and the rock-cut architecture of Petra in Jordan.
Under the settlement, Berkeley agreed to drop its lawsuit to force Sarachan to pay $640,000 in liens or have the city sell the lot at auction. In exchange, Sarachan agreed to meet specific deadlines to pursue and build something on the lot that has been vacant for more than 20 years. … Continue reading »
The city of Berkeley has declared the Forty Acres Medical Marijuana Growers’ Collective a public nuisance and ordered it to cease and desist all its cannabis operations by Monday Oct. 28.
Gregory Daniel, Berkeley’s code enforcement supervisor, sent Forty Acres and its co-founder, Chris Smith, a letter on Oct 21 detailing the results of the city’s surprise Oct. 8 inspection of 1820 San Pablo Avenue. Daniel said that Smith’s four apartments are clearly being used for cannabis operations and there is no sign of residential use. That is a violation of Berkeley law since collectives are only allowed in residential areas and must be “incidental” to the use of the building, according to the letter. Not only does Smith not live at 1820 San Pablo Ave., but Forty Acres is operating in a commercial zone, which is illegal, according to city officials. … Continue reading »
Barbour takes the blame for Cal’s academic woes (SF Chronicle)
Infected bat a reminder to use caution (Daily Planet)
New UC Berkeley Chancellor is against rating colleges based on graduate earnings (Washington Post)
Latest home sales in Berkeley (Patch)
Helen Breger, artist, dies (SF Chronicle)
Thousands of UC Berkeley students fanned out across the city on Saturday to participate in the university’s largest day of service.
The students sanded, painted, pulled non-indigenous plants at Tilden Park, and beautified sidewalks in downtown Berkeley, among many other activities.
The volunteer effort was run by The Berkeley Project, created in 2006 by students and completely student-operated. The Berkeley Project, according to its mission statement, not only provides powerful assistance to the public, but aims to create “a lasting culture of service-learning among its participants” and to “permanently change the relationship between the students and residents of Berkeley through hands-on community service.” … Continue reading »