Author Archives: Lance Knobel

Berkeley’s 16 schools welcome students back for new year, Pasarow starts as principal at BHS

New BHS principal Sam Pasarow meets with parents. Photo: Mark Coplan
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More than 9,000 students returned to Berkeley’s 11 elementary, three middle and two high schools schools today. Detailed enrollments will be announced by the school district in the coming weeks, but spokesman Mark Coplan said that district administrators believe the total will be very close to forecast.

The major change in the district is the arrival of Sam Pasarow as the new principal at Berkeley High. Pasarow, formerly principal of Edna Brewer Middle School in Oakland Unified School District, started at Berkeley High on July 1, succeeding interim principal Kristen Glenchur.

“He is a taskmaster. He will get things done,” said Superintendent Donald Evans, describing Pasarow to parents at a public meeting on Thursday last week. Evans pointed out that Berkeley High ranked in the nation’s top 200 high schools. “His job is to get Berkeley High into the top 100.”  … Continue reading »

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Events

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

The last free outdoor movie of the summer will be Big Hero 6 at Live Oak Park
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BIG HERO 6 The last of this summer’s free movies in the park will be on Friday, Aug. 28 at Live Oak Park, starting at 8 p.m. The free movies are shown by Berkeley’s Parks Recreation & Waterfront Department on an inflatable, 20′ x 12′ screen. Moviegoers are asked to arrive at least 30 minutes before the movie begins. Bring blankets (although it may stay unseasonably warm tonight), sleeping bags and low-back beach chairs (maximum height: 9 inches off the ground). A flashlight or headlamp will help you walking out of the park at the end of the movie. The outdoor films are alcohol-free events. Friday, Aug. 28, 8 p.m., Live Oak Park, 1301 Shattuck Ave.  … Continue reading »

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Events

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

Russian chorus
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KING LEAR You might think summer theater in the park is a time for light-hearted romps. Think again. Inferno Theatre, together with the Actors Ensemble of Berkeley, will be performing Shakespeare’s “King Lear” for free in John Hinkel Park, opening on Saturday, Aug. 22. The production is adapted and directed by Guilio Cesare Perrone. Inferno Theatre says the production “condenses and intensifies this seminal family tragedy with striking visuals, physicality and live music. Gender is fluid with many male roles presented as female.” The amphitheater opens at 3 p.m. for picnicking and the performance begins at 4 p.m. Runs Saturdays and Sundays, with a special Labor Day performance on Sept. 7 to close the run. John Hinkel Park, 41 Somerset Place.  … Continue reading »

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Hearing on Berkeley cellphone law leans in city’s favor

Lawrence Lessig (left) chats with Theodore Olson (right) before the two lawyers battled with each other in Federal District Court. Photo: Lance Knobel
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In a fascinating 90 minutes of arguments in the U.S. District Court Thursday, two of the country’s most eminent lawyers tussled over whether Berkeley’s cellphone Right to Know ordinance violated phone retailers’ First Amendment rights. The CTIA – The Wireless Association is seeking a preliminary injunction to stop the Berkeley law.

District judge Edward Chen meticulously prodded and poked at the arguments of Theodore Olson, representing the CTIA, and Lawrence Lessig, representing Berkeley. Olson claimed that the city was requiring retailers to disseminate a “controversial, non-factual, misleading statement.” Lessig countered that the city’s required statement is “factual and uncontroversial,” and that the legal standard the plaintiff had to prove was that the city had “chilled commercial speech.”

Chen said he would rule on the injunction at a later date, but his questioning suggested that he might reject the plaintiff’s case if Berkeley slightly modified the language of the required notice, removing a sentence stating the “potential risk [of radio frequency radiation] is greater for children.” Lessig said the city would be happy to modify the notice.  … Continue reading »

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Crime

Police respond to shooting near San Pablo Park

Police responded to West Berkeley for a report of a shooting Saturday. Photo: Tom Price
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Berkeley police are investigating a shooting in the 1300 block of Russell Street early Saturday evening, near the southwest corner of San Pablo Park.

At 6:38 p.m. police received several 911 calls for reports of gunshots from the area of San Pablo Park in West Berkeley.

While responding to the location, another caller reported a male victim suffering from a gunshot wound in the 1300 block of Russell Street.

The victim has been taken to a local hospital for treatment, according to a police statement.

Officers are currently on scene investigating the shooting.  … Continue reading »

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 08.14.15

Library tiles. Photo: gina g10

Library tiles. Photo: gina g10

Berkeley police panel addresses mutual aid, armored vehicles (CoCo Times)
Berkeley tragedy: Plans ‘well underway’ to move Clodagh Cogley home (Irish Independent)
Construction begins on Shattuck Square for Taiwanese bakery (Daily Cal)
For Jewish studies center’s new director, music is a bridge (Berkeley News)

Follow Berkeleyside on Twitter and on Facebook where we often break news. Email us at tips@berkeleyside.com. Would you like the latest Berkeley news sent to your email inbox once a day? Click here to subscribe to Berkeleyside’s free Daily Briefing.

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Events

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

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WATKINS FAMILY HOUR Okay, perhaps it’s nuts for Berkeleyside to suggest the Watkins Family Hour’s two concerts at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse this weekend, since it’s sold out. But standing room is available for the hearty. The Watkins Family Hour is a “moveable musical feast” hosted by siblings Sean and Sara Watkins. On Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.) Sean and Sara will play various instruments and be joined by Fiona Apple on piano, Don Heffington on drums, Sebastian Steinberg on bass, and other special guests who might hop on stage. Suffice to note that Watkins family friend Jackson Browne is playing up the road at the Greek Theatre, so who know’s what might happen. Standing room only tickets will go on sale when the music starts at 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 14 and Saturday, Aug. 15, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison St.  … Continue reading »

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 08.13.15

Baby grizzlies watch over the Marin Circle fountain. Photo: Sylvia Rubin

Baby grizzlies watch over the Marin Circle fountain. Photo: Sylvia Rubin

Lefties come home for reunion of Berkeley Barb underground paper (SF Chronicle)
Former UC Berkeley football player sues university for alleged concussion-related medical malpractice
(Daily Cal)
Honoring Chuck Teller, Ecology Center board treasurer (Ecology Center)
From knishes to noshes: Tasty tales of a Berkeley food peddler (J Weekly)
Berkeley ranked one of the coolest, greenest schools (Berkeley News)
Possible armed robbery trend concerns campus, police (Daily Cal)

Follow Berkeleyside on Twitter and on Facebook where we often break news. Email us at tips@berkeleyside.com. Would you like the latest Berkeley news sent to your email inbox once a day? Click here to subscribe to Berkeleyside’s free Daily Briefing.

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 08.12.15

Foothill pedestrian bridge over Hearst Avenue. Photo: Nancy Rubin

Foothill pedestrian bridge over Hearst Avenue. Photo: Nancy Rubin

No. 16 Bears open camp ahead of 2015 campaign (Cal Bears)
A new Sichuan king on the rise (EBX)
Berkeley: Center offers training in construction and solar energy installation (CoCo Times)
Berkeley’s Revival Kitchen hosts Donkey & Goat winemaker dinner tonight (Inside Scoop)
Cal, Stanford release men’s basketball non-conference schedules (SF Gate)

Follow Berkeleyside on Twitter and on Facebook where we often break news. Email us at tips@berkeleyside.com. Would you like the latest Berkeley news sent to your email inbox once a day? Click here to subscribe to Berkeleyside’s free Daily Briefing.

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Library

Berkeley library director admits vast discrepancies in numbers of weeded books

Berkeley’s Central Library on Kittredge Street: its collection is being weeded and not everyone is happy and how it’s being done. Photo: Kaia Diringer
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Over 39,000 items have been weeded from Berkeley Public Library this year, far more than the couple of thousand previously cited by Library Director Jeff Scott. The 39,000 items include 13,850 deleted last copies of books. According to Scott, however, the 39,000 items is comparable to the average weeded over the last two years.

“I had the wrong information,” Scott said. “There was an internal process different to what I realized.”

The vast discrepancies emerged following protests by an ad hoc group of retired librarians and other library users over a new system for deaccessioning, introduced by Scott. Two Public Records Act requests — by a Berkeley High student and a Bay Area News Group reporter — failed to produce either the number of weeded items or details on which titles had been removed. Councilman Kriss Worthington met with Scott on July 24 and, according to Worthington, he was able to find the real number of weeded items after Scott “pushed the right buttons” on his computer.

Worthington and the retired librarians are holding a rally at noon today, Aug. 12, on the main library’s steps protesting what he has dubbed “Librarygate.” … Continue reading »

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 08.11.15

Will Brown/Matrix 250. Photo: Will Brown

Will Brown/Matrix 250. Photo: Will Brown

A ghostly green glow beckons on Bancroft (Berkeley News)
How to spend 50 perfect hours in Berkeley (7×7)
Berkeley activists lend support to saving Napa’s post office (Napa Valley Register)
UC Berkeley women’s field hockey team still doesn’t have a field (HuffPo)
A Berkeley canvas: Painter Jim Riksheim has provided decades of service to Cal (Cal Bears)

Follow Berkeleyside on Twitter and on Facebook where we often break news. Email us at tips@berkeleyside.com. Would you like the latest Berkeley news sent to your email inbox once a day? Click here to subscribe to Berkeleyside’s free Daily Briefing.

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The Berkeley Wire: 08.10.15

Peace lantern ceremony at Aquatic Park, in memory of lives lost at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Photo: Steve Gumina

Peace lantern ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 8 at Aquatic Park, in memory of lives lost at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Photo: Steve Gumina

Seeking shelter for animal services (Daily Cal)
Computers taken from 9 offices on UC Berkeley campus in burglary
(CBS Local)
The Advocate opens to a warm welcome in Berkeley’s Elmwood neighborhood (Bay Area Bites)
Berkeley couple welcomes Shabbat guests for 25 years (Forward)
Search begins for campus vice chancellor for research (Daily Cal)
New York’s Mark Bittman dishes on California produce, new Web series (Mercury News)

Follow Berkeleyside on Twitter and on Facebook where we often break news. Email us attips@berkeleyside.com. Would you like the latest Berkeley news sent to your email inbox once a day? Click here to subscribe to Berkeleyside’s free Daily Briefing.

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 08.07.15

Sunset over the Bay, taken on August 6, 2015 by seaangel12.

Sunset over the Bay, taken on August 6, 2015 by seaangel12.

Most checked-out books from Berkeley Public Library (Daily Cal)
Deadline looms to apply for below-market rental units (Bay Area News Group)
Berkeley chef again rules in Lamb Jam (Bay Area News Group)
UC Berkeley: student robbed at gunpoint on campus (Mercury News)
Fetch a new Berkeley brew! (Berkeley Humane)

Follow Berkeleyside on Twitter and on Facebook where we often break news. Email us at tips@berkeleyside.com. Would you like the latest Berkeley news sent to your email inbox once a day? Click here to subscribe to Berkeleyside’s free Daily Briefing.

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