Author Archives: Guest contributor
A funeral mass was held last week in Berkeley for John Paul (“JP”) Koehn, 29, who died Nov. 21 in a car accident linked to the windstorm of Nov. 21.
Koehn helped manage the family manufacturing firm, Edward Köehn Co. Inc., established in Berkeley in 1943.
Much loved by many, J.P. attended St. Mary’s High and graduated from Albany High in 2003. After graduation he studied wood working, furniture building, and worked in cabinet making for a time.
In 2005, he joined the family manufacturing firm in Berkeley as part of the third generation of Koehns. With his dad’s retirement a few years ago he assumed all sales duties and much of the management of the firm, helping it grow to its present size.
Perhaps the most important events in his life were the birth of his daughter in 2009 and the death of his older brother Michael when JP was 13. Like his folks and siblings, he never really got over Mike’s death. … Continue reading »
Stubbornly, Frederic Brunke, who died on Nov. 19, never learned to drive. Walking one end of Berkeley to the other with his signature hat and rucksack, Fred knew more people than most of us. In earlier years he carried a beautiful wooden Japanese umbrella to shade his delicate exposed skin from the sun. I learned of his death from a mutual friend — Fred was one of the first people we met when we moved to Berkeley in 1968.
Fred was a born bookman: owner of Myths & Texts next to the old Serendipity Books on Shattuck Ave. in the early 70s; small press publisher, Shaman Drum; even one of the early copy shop workers at Carbon Copy on Solano Avenue, next door to our Sand Dollar Books, where the newness of copy machines became a vehicle for making art late into the night. … Continue reading »
The homeless are the most marginalized and dispossessed people in the United States. To be
homeless is to experience a wide spectrum of discrimination. In the past decade, legislation
seeking to criminalize the homeless has gained popularity in cities that are fed up or exasperated
with the “homeless problem”.
The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty reported that between 30% and 50% of major American cities criminalize some form of homelessness, ranging from “aggressive” panhandling to simply sitting … Continue reading »
The Tom Bates Regional Sports Complex, located just south of Golden Gate Fields, has been a boon to local athletes since it opened in 2008. The Mayor’s office estimated at that time that the fields would be used by about 250,000 people each year, and a look at the fields at almost any time of day confirms that they are indeed well-used year-round by both adults and children.
However, the complex is through the insanely dangerous Gilman/80 interchange, which … Continue reading »
Isabelle Gaston, president of the North East Berkeley Association, recently did an email interview with Christine Daniel, Berkeley’s City Manager, about the financial health of Berkeley for NEBA’s newsletter. Gaston provided the interview for reprinting on Berkeleyside. It has been edited to conform to Berkeleyside style:
Gaston: How would you characterize the overall financial health of the city?
Daniel: The City of Berkeley weathered the financial downturn better than many jurisdictions. While reductions in staffing were felt throughout the city organization and resources for a variety of programs were reduced or eliminated due to decreased funding from sources such as the state and federal governments, Berkeley property values remained relatively stable compared to values in the region, and sales taxes, while suffering a decline in FY 2010, have recovered. However, property transfer taxes suffered a significant decline which affected the city’s ability to invest in infrastructure maintenance. Those revenues are now beginning to recover, but are not yet at pre-recession levels. … Continue reading »
By Shikha Kaiwar (of Shikha la mode)
Lisa Murphy, chief sauce maker and co-founder of Sosu Sauces, has created a line of artisan ketchups that are available at local stores around the Bay Area. As a first-hand taster, I can attest that they take ketchup to another level – you may never go back to regular ketchup after you try it. I caught up with Lisa to learn more about her vision and her company, which was formerly based in San Francisco but moved to Oakland this year. Sauces are available to order online, and Murphy plans to launch a seasonal Sauce Club soon. [Update, Dec. 4: Sauces are also available at Berkeley Bowl, Heat Hot Sauce Shop, the Pasta Shop, Rockridge Market Hall, Monterey Market and Tokyo Fish Market.] … Continue reading »
[Editor's Note: Several local neighborhood groups have been buzzing recently about problems around their homes related to wildlife. One local resident, Phil Price, offered these tips based on experiences he and his wife, Juliet Lamont, have had in North Berkeley.]
By Phil Price
A few people in recent weeks have mentioned deer depredations and other issues with birds and wildlife causing problems with landscaping. My wife and I have a lot of experience with these issues.
About 15 years ago we removed all of the ivy, Himalayan blackberry and Algerian ivy that made up the understory of our backyard, and replaced it all with native plants. … Continue reading »
One of the latest places to open on Telegraph is Black Spring Coffee Company on the edge of Pill Hill. Continue reading »
By Karen Hester
[Editor's Note: This post first appeared on LOAKAL, and has been reprinted here with the permission of its author, Karen Hester. Hester, a community advocate who has followed the Safeway project for years, shares her personal reflections of how the project approvals came about, and what it entails.]
For those of us who live in North Oakland, the redevelopment of the Safeway store and its surrounding parcels at 51st and Broadway is the biggest development to happen in the area for possibly the next 50 years, after MacArthur BART’s makeover. At its September meeting, the Oakland Planning Commission unanimously gave the green light to Safeway to completely raze the current site in two phases. Safeway has the master lease for the whole site and its main motivation has been to compete with the upscale and thriving markets in Oakland and Berkeley, including the Berkeley Bowls and the two Whole Foods, as well as Trader Joe’s. Another extreme makeover for the Safeway at College and Claremont also received Planning Commission approval last summer after a long fight with local neighbors. Demolition has already been completed on that site. … Continue reading »
Frank Moore, June 25, 1946 – October 14, 2013, Berkeley, California
Frank Moore, shaman, performance artist, teacher, poet, essayist, painter, musician and internet/television personality, who had experimented in art, performance, ritual, and shamanistic teaching since the late 1960s, died on Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 in Berkeley, California.
Moore is perhaps most well known as one of the NEA-funded artists targeted by Jesse Helms and the GAO (General Accounting Office) in the early ’90s for doing art that was labeled “obscene”. Frank Moore was featured in the 1988 cult film Mondo New York, which chronicled the leading performance artists of that period. He is well known for long (5-48 hours) ritualistic performances with audience participation, nudity, and eroticism. But he had also become well known for his influential writings on performance, art, life, and cultural subversion, for his historic influence on the San Francisco Bay Area music and performance scene, and, more recently, for his performance/video archive on Vimeo.com that has been viewed by over 7 million people worldwide. … Continue reading »
Berkeley councilmember Darryl Moore’s proposal to declare Marriage Equality Day is polluted by inclusion of a damaging provision that would close down the city’s Domestic Partnership Registry.
The city Registry is more than symbolic, unlike a “day” declaration. The Registry offers unique legal protections that are not otherwise available to some Berkeleyans.
For example, some couples avoid marriage because they have unique circumstances where marriage or state-level domestic partnership would jeopardize military pensions, Social Security, or one partner’s credit rating; … Continue reading »
This fall has seen the launch of an exciting new food organization in Berkeley.
Five different UC Berkeley schools have joined together to develop a research institute dedicated to studying and galvanizing the transition to a more resilient and just food system.
The Berkeley Food Institute aims to “foster innovative connections between research, education, policy, practice, and social movements to develop and strengthen sustainable food and agriculture systems that are healthy, just, diverse and resilient.”
It’s a collaboration between The College of Natural Resources (CNR), the Goldman School of Public Policy, the Graduate School of Journalism, Berkeley Law, and the School of Public Health, and it is only fitting that it should arise in Berkeley, a city with a rich history of activism and leadership in the food arena. … Continue reading »
We recently moved our four-person software startup from the Mission district of San Francisco to downtown Berkeley. It’s been a fantastic change and, upon further reflection, I believe there are three mains reasons many will follow us.
Software startups require less investment capital to start than ever. Thanks to mature open source projects and turnkey cloud services, the time and expertise needed to launch most startups is falling dramatically.
This means that fewer companies seek capital … Continue reading »