Author Archives: Lance Knobel

Mayor paints general picture of progress for Berkeley

Mayor Tom Bates. Photo- Frances Dinkelspiel
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Mayor Tom Bates last night delivered a picaresque tour of developments in Berkeley in his State of the City address at the Shotgun Theatre’s Ashby Stage.

Bates lauded projects and improvements in each of the city’s main areas, singled out efforts to address street repairs with revenues from Measures M and BB, talked about the need for affordable housing, the police department and the December protests, and touched briefly on challenges the city faces with unfunded pension liabilities and an aging infrastructure.

“That’s a general rosy picture of how we’re doing,” Bates said at the conclusion of his main tour of what’s happening in the city.  … Continue reading »

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When the stars come out: A Night in Berkeleywood

Yes, there's a red carpet at Berkeleywood. Photo courtesy Berkeleywood
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It’s 342 miles between Berkeley and Hollywood, but on Oscar night, Sunday, Feb. 22, that distance will be shortened for those who flock to the live Academy Awards telecast at A Night in Berkeleywood at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza.

The Berkeleywood celebration, in its second year, benefits the Berkeley Film Foundation, which has been supporting independent filmmakers in Berkeley and the East Bay since 2009 (Berkeleyside is a media sponsor of Berkeleywood). Nearly $800,000 in grants have been made to 90 film projects by the foundation in six years.

“It’s important to take care of our artists,” said David Bergad, executive director of the BFF. “People really look to us for support.”  … Continue reading »

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Events

The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

Peter Nero. Photo: Courtesy Cal Performances
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GERSHWIN PROJECT Pianist Peter Nero, a two-time Grammy winner, “romps through” George Gershwin’s music with bassist Michael Barnett and vocalist Katherine Strohmaier on Sunday, Feb. 8 at Zellerbach Hall, as part of Cal Performances’ jazz series. Nero’s trio will perform songs from musicals and films like “Strike Up the Band,” “Porgy and Bess,” “Funny Face,” “Girl Crazy,” and “Shall We Dance,” as well as standards from the Great American Songbook. Zellerbach Hall, 7 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 8. Tickets available from Cal Performances.  … Continue reading »

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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

Mobile InTent: Alta California + parts close by
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ALTA CALIFORNIA In October 2014, a group of artists from Oakland, Berlin and Guadalajara began to travel, pushing against walls and borders from the permeable walls of a tent. Departing from the mythical island known as Alta California, they have been mapping geography and possibility for the last three months. The last segment of this body of work will arrive at Berkeley Art Center, as the Mobile Office for Applications for Passport and Visas to a Borderless Country. “On bicycles, towing balloons, wooden appendages, desks and signs, they ask the progressive city of Berkeley to recognize hidden work and dreams while cultivating the borderless imaginary.” Alta California is a project of Ann Schnake/MobileInTent with Victor Figueroa Infante, Marlet Torres Martínez/la compañia de artes vivas Alariete, with creative input from Ursula Maria Berzborn, Theater Grotest Maru and Kunsthaus KuLe, Berlin. Admission free, 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 24, Berkeley Art Center, 1275 Walnut St., Berkeley.  … Continue reading »

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Where in Berkeley?

Where in Berkeley?

WiB 2

Know where this is? Take a guess and let us know in the Comments.

Photo: James Corr.

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

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King’s legacy celebrated at Berkeley breakfast

Caption. Photo: Lance Knobel
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Since its start three years ago, the annual celebration breakfast on Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been one of the key community events on the calendar. On Monday morning, more than 350 people packed HS Lordships overlooking the bay to break bread with fellow Berkeleyans, to honor Berkeley students and to reflect on King’s legacy at a time of heightened awareness of racial disparities and injustice.

“If we ever need the legacy of Martin Luther King, we need it today,” said Michael McBride, pastor of The Way Christian Center. In a powerful talk which ranged from Ferguson, Mo. to Berkeley protests, McBride said, “We will wrestle with the question, ‘Which side are you on?'” … Continue reading »

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Fire guts abandoned clubhouse in John Hinkel Park

The historic redwood clubhouse in John Hinkel Park, gutted by fire. Photo: Lance Knobel
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A fire gutted the John Hinkel Park clubhouse early on Friday, Jan. 16. The Berkeley Fire Department received reports of sparks seen in the clubhouse at 6:45 a.m. on Friday, and four engines, a truck, an ambulance and a batallion chief were dispatched to the scene.

When engine 4 arrived at the park, just off the Arlington in north Berkeley, they saw the west end of the clubhouse in flames, according to Deputy Fire Chief Avery Webb. Because of pre-planning at the site, the department knew the building was not in use and the location of the nearest water supply. The fire was under control in about 30 minutes, Webb said.  … Continue reading »

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Events

The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

Amanitarita
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PALLADE MUSICA A young early music quartet from Montreal will have its West Coast debut in a series of concerts by the San Francisco Early Music Society this weekend. Pallade Musica will play instrumental works from the 17th century, including compositions by Sweelinck, Castaldi and Buxtehude. The program “journeys from the beginnings of the Stile Moderno in the breathtaking sonatas of Dario Castello to the pinnacle of the Stylus Phantasticus with Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber’s ‘Mystery Sonatas’ for violin.” Pallade Musica will perform at St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Ave., at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 17. Call the box office for ticket availability on 510-528-1725.  … Continue reading »

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Berkeley competes for $5M energy efficiency prize

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Berkeley is one of 50 communities across the country selected as a semifinalist for the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a national competition to reduce energy use with a $5 million prize for the winning community. Berkeley is one of six Northern California cities in the competition, with other semifinalists coming from 26 states.

“We have a legacy of innovation and leadership in energy efficiency and we’ve been making steady progress on our Climate Action Plan commitments,” said Neal De Snoo, Energy Program Officer for the City of Berkeley. “Berkeley is ready for a bit of friendly competition, and we’re ready to bring home the prize.”

The 50 cities and counties in the competition will be judged on their performance over the next two years in reducing utility-supplied energy consumption “in a manner that is likely to yield continuing improvements within their own community and replication in other communities.”  … Continue reading »

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Berkeley MLK breakfast offers community, celebration

Over 350 Berkeleyans gathered for the third annual community breakfast honoring the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Photo: Lance Knobel
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The fourth annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast takes place on Monday, Jan. 19, 8-10 a.m., at Hs Lordships, on the Berkeley Marina.

The breakfast, which opens Berkeley’s celebrations of MLK Jr. Day, brings together a diverse and friendly crowd to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy and to honor the next generation of young leaders. The food isn’t half bad either.

The breakfast will be emceed by Berkeley schools superintendent Donald Evans and Pastor Anthony Hughes from St. Paul AME Church. Members of the Berkeley High Jazz Ensemble will perform, as will a youth choir from a number of Berkeley churches.

The lifetime achievement award will be presented this year to Berkeley native Thelette Bennett, a long-time Berkeley High administrator. Bennett became student activities director at BHS in 1974… and stayed for 18 years. She went on to become vice principal at Willard Middle School, Longfellow Middle School and BHS.

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Berkeleyside

Berkeley resolutions for 2015 – and how 2014 went

Photo: jngai58
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For five years we’ve been making New Year’s resolutions on Berkeleyside, putting down markers for 10 things we’d like to see in the year ahead for our city. Let us know in the comments what your hopes and expectations are for 2015. After our 10 for 2015, we review how our 2014 resolutions fared.

1. Turn the soda tax into something concrete

It would be too easy to take a breather after the clamorous, successful campaign for Measure D, Berkeley’s nation-leading soda tax. But now the legislation has to be shown to work, producing funds for nutrition and health programs on a rapid schedule. Applications for the Panel of Experts, which will advise the City Council on how to spend tax proceeds, are due on Jan. 17. Dithering will be seized upon by the soda industry. … Continue reading »

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Deal to buy Post Office fizzles; police clear encampment

Tents on the front of the building were not being taken down at lunchtime on Thursday. Photo: Lance Knobel
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The proposal by Berkeley developers Hudson MacDonald to buy the downtown Berkeley Post Office has fallen through after they were unable to reach agreement with the Post Office on a deal.

Meanwhile, police from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service prompted an orderly clearance of parts of the makeshift encampment at Berkeley’s main Post Office Thursday morning. Protesters, who call themselves Berkeley Post Office Defenders, and a homeless advocacy group, First They Came for the Homeless, have been camped around the building for four weeks.

According to a spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, officers provided protesters with a list of federal regulations and criminal statutes that prohibit the encampment. No arrests were made.  … Continue reading »

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Cleophus Quealy: A tech start-up approach to beer

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Cleophus Quealy Beer Company has both an unusual name and an origin story that is decidedly different for a craft brewery.

Founders Peter Baker and Dan Watson are software developers who met while working at Google in 2005. A friendship bloomed, and when Baker and Watson were traveling together in Europe, they confirmed a joint love for beer. Five years ago they started brewing together in a garage.

“In some ways we’re trying to follow the tech path of doing a startup and iterating,” Baker explained. “Two years ago we had a showcase event to see if people liked our beer. We wanted to see how people responded to the beer and how we responded to the people.”  … Continue reading »

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