Author Archives: Guest contributor
If you happened to come across a group of people on bikes criss-crossing their way through Berkeley last Sunday afternoon, you may have caught a glimpse of this year’s Berkeley Affordable Housing Bike Tour. The tour was one of the events held as part of the East Bay Housing Organization’s Affordable Housing Week.
A group of people on bikes gathered on Oxford outside the offices of Resources for Community Development (RCD), the non-profit that organized the tour. The group consisted of a variety of housing activists, community members, and representatives from other affordable housing developers, who set out to learn about over 15 affordable housing sites in Downtown, South and West Berkeley.
Dan Sawislak, Executive Director of RCD led the tour and offered a wealth of information about the history of affordable housing, how projects are funded and the benefits to residents. The tour included a wide variety of housing projects ranging from the five unit 9th Street Cooperative, to the Harriet Tubman Terrace with 90 units for seniors on Adeline, to Harmon Gardens on Sacramento, a 16-unit building for youth transitioning out of the foster care system, and other small to large sites. Some projects housed the formerly homeless and others specialized in serving people with disabilities, low-income families with children and/or people with special needs. Some of the housing we visited also offered on-site supportive services, including medical clinics, counseling, resident activities, and classes. … Continue reading »
More than 6,000 police dispatches are made annually to homes and business when sensors are tripped sending signals to alarm monitoring companies who dial 911 reporting an intrusion to the police. In general, the vast majority of these types of alerts, a percentage as high as 98% according to the U.S. Department of Justice, are false alarms. In an Opinionator piece published this morning on Berkeleyside, Pat Mapps and James Barter argue that Berkeley police resources would be better deployed on … Continue reading »
…Or How to Add More Police Officers Without Additional Cost
It’s a late Friday night as the Berkeley police officer patrolling Beat 12 on the swing-shift rolls south on Russell looking for activity at Grove Park after closing time. While slowly sweeping the baseball field with his floodlight, his radio crackles a code 21A on the 2600 block of Sacramento; a silent burglar alarm – burglary in progress. The officer slams on the accelerator lifting the hood of the car … Continue reading »
Mal Warwick gives the book a glowing review:
Pick up a copy of Isabel Allende’s new novel, Maya’s Notebook, and get ready for a wild and wonderful ride through the years and up and down the length of the Western Hemisphere. Though structured as a coming-of-age novel of young Maya Vidal, recounting the four seasons of her 20th year, Maya’s Notebook ranges from the glorious madness of Berkeley, where she was born and raised, to the back alleys and casinos of drug-addled Las Vegas and an Oregon rehab center for incorrigible teenagers, to the magical solitude of an island off the Chilean coast. … Continue reading »
When Nikki Hodgson, a writer and climate researcher, knew she would soon be moving from Berkeley to Boulder, Colorado, she sat down to chronicle her thoughts about the city she would be leaving behind.
When I find out I’m moving, I walk home slowly. The temperate climate of Berkeley, its warm April sunshine stretching over green hills, crowds the sidewalks with flowers — an explosion of California poppies, mountain lilac, hummingbird sage, fawn lilies, and pink-flowering currant erupting from winter into hard, bright colors. I bend over a shaggy bush of Cecile Brunner roses, listening to the whir of a hummingbird as it hovers over the fuchsias, their brilliant pink and purple petals swaying softly.
At San Pablo and Addison I look at my neighborhood as if I had already left, gazing over my shoulder at the mural painted along Mi Tierra market — the Indigenous woman with her arms extended high over her head, snapping a fence in her hands, the bold colors standing out against the muted Bay Area fog. Between Mi Ranchito Bayside Market and the Middle Eastern shop where I buy labneh and za’atar, an old woman sits in a hard plastic chair watching novelas at the local laundromat, her age-swollen hands folding faded t-shirts and jeans. On Monday evenings, my neighbors sit at the sidewalk tables in front of Luca Cucina, swirling wine in long-stemmed glasses. On Sunday mornings, I read the New York Times book review at Local 123, breathing in the scent of Four Barrel coffee against the brick walls of their backyard patio. … Continue reading »
By Deborah Grossman
After stints in Los Angeles and at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro in Las Vegas, Scott Quinn has traded the bustle of the big city for a Berkeley kitchen.
It’s not just any kitchen. In October, Quinn became Chef de Cuisine at Meritage, the fine-dining restaurant at the Claremont Hotel Club and Spa. The change of scene — and pace — is having a positive effect on the dishes he creates, Quinn said.
“Northern California is more laid back than L.A. I have more time to think about the food I cook and its provenance. This lets me develop more interesting recipes,” he said.
The Meritage menu breaks with tradition. Eschewing sections labeled “appetizers, soups, salads, or mains,” both the wine and food are listed under a newer wine classification called a progressive list. This method is becoming more common for wines — they are listed progressively from light to full-bodied for both whites and reds rather than by grape variety or wine region. … Continue reading »
By Marcia Tanner
Art lovers looking to do well by doing good, while having fun and maybe coming home with new treasure, will want to show up for “Kala-fornia: State of the Art 3,” Kala Art Institute’s 2013 gala auction this Saturday, April 27.
This year’s auction features over 175 contributions. Most are artworks in a wide variety of media, donated by the artists themselves, but there are also fine wines, museum memberships, spa services and getaways, and other alluring goods and services. The artists represented are mostly from California; many have shown at or been affiliated with the Berkeley-based Kala as participants in its printmaking residencies, fellowships and workshops.
The live auction offers pieces by such well-known artists as Squeak Carnwath, Jim Melchert, Richard Misrach, Naomie Kremer, and Christopher Brown. Kremer contributed a lush, richly colorful painting, Secret Garden, based on the video-projected “sets” she created for the opera The Secret Garden performed at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall in March. … Continue reading »
Today, April 19, 2013, is my 18th birthday. Yesterday I ventured from Berkeley to Boston on a week-long college tour. The plan was to travel to Boston and New York to celebrate my birthday and visit Wellesley and Barnard colleges. With the lockdown of this city, my plans have been put on hold. Sitting in my uncle’s house in Boston, in the midst of the rumors, suspects and shoot-outs, I can’t help but wonder how many more people will be ushered into adulthood in a sea of violence.
I was born the day of the Oklahoma City bombings. How many more times will we have to hear about bombings or shootings; how many more innocent lives will we lose?
As this city and our country mourns the loss of an 8-year-old boy, a 29-year-old woman and a 23-year-old foreign exchange student, I can’t help but think about the Palestinian, Afghani, Congolese and Syrian children, adults and loved ones killed every day. … Continue reading »
By David Malinowski and the students of UC Berkeley’s freshman/sophomore seminar East Asian Languages 39A
Perhaps nothing visible in the streets of Berkeley seems more straightforward than the signs that name its businesses. The “heat” of the new Heat Hot Sauce Shop and “sliver” of Sliver Pizzeria highlight key traits of the products being sold. Andronico’s, Philz, Moe’s and Oscar’s name their founders. FedEx, McDonald’s, and Bank of America are instantly recognizable for the scale of their brand. Even the bowling alley origins of Berkeley Bowl can be confirmed with a little asking around.
Yet what becomes of the seeming straightforwardness and simplicity of a name when it is written in two languages? Do the names written onto Berkeley’s many bilingual shop signs say the same thing in both languages? How might speakers of these languages read the identities of these businesses differently? And what lessons can be learned about the naturalness of familiar business names in English by studying names in other languages? … Continue reading »
By Deborah Grossman
For the Grand Opening reception of the Berkeley Wine Festival Mike Wanless of TateDog Wines decorated his table with a canine statue resembling his former pet. While pouring his wines, he shared stories about TateDog, “a not particularly good, but a ‘great’ dog.”
A first-timer at the festival, which is held at The Claremont Hotel Club and Spa, Wanless lives in Oakland, and sources his grapes from Livermore where he also makes his small production wines. The vintner said he was pleased to participate in a major-league festival with big-name producers such as Joseph Phelps, ZD Wines and Michael David Winery.
More pragmatically, he was thrilled that his table was sited right next to Rockridge restaurant Wood Tavern. “TateDog Cabernet Sauvignon pairs well with the restaurant’s lamb meatballs. After folk got their food, they came right over for more wine,” he said. … Continue reading »
By Paul Kamen
In a proof-of-concept demonstration early Monday morning, an 800-foot cruise ship berthed briefly in the North Sailing Basin, the body of water east of Cesar Chavez Park in the Berkeley Marina.
“This had to be done at high tide, naturally,” explained Capt. Fidley Grating in a press conference Monday. “But it does demonstrate that it’s feasible. We will be able to bring the ships into Berkeley’s Aquatic Park without any major dredging operations.”
The demonstration, conducted on the north side of the marina, is part of a plan that has been taking shape over the last year to bring new commercial, residential and technology-oriented lab and office space to West Berkeley, but without the cumbersome and time-consuming zoning and use permit process. … Continue reading »
By Mal Warwick
A review of ‘Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party,’ by Joshua Bloom, a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at UCLA. and Waldo E. Martin III, a professor of history at UC Berkeley.
When I moved to Berkeley in 1969, the Black Panther Party was in its heyday. Only three years earlier, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale had begun building the party around an image and a name they’d appropriated from other Black organizations then active in those turbulent years of the Vietnam War and exploding ghettos. Yet before the decade of the 1970s was out, the Black Panther Party had all but disappeared. Black Against Empire, Joshua Bloom and Waldo Martin’s excellent study of the Panthers and their politics, makes clear why and how they grew into such a force — and why the party collapsed so few years later. … Continue reading »
By Ross Stapleton-Gray
The production of Guys and Dolls that opened at the Berkeley Playhouse this past Saturday is very good. But you should see it so that you’ll be able to say (and odds are 8 to 5 that you will), “I saw Sarah Mitchell’s Miss Adelaide (in a very good production of Guys and Dolls).”
I had seen Mitchell once before, as Mayzie La Bird in the Berkeley Playhouse production of Seussical, and she was quite good in that rather small role, As Adelaide she steals the show.
Miss Adelaide and her fiancé of 14 years, Nathan Detroit, are the secondary romance in the show. They’re the comic counterparts to the central love interests, the missionary Sara Brown and the gambler Sky Masterson, but it’s easy to see the two couples as sharing the limelight equally. … Continue reading »