Author Archives: Robert Mills

Robert Mills

About Robert Mills

Robert Mills is a writer and videographer. He's a native Californian from Plumas County and a masters student at University of Nevada, Reno's Reynolds School of Journalism. He enjoys music, art, video games and pizza.

With open doors, Firehouse Bazaar creates community

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This summer art began to thrive at the corner of Martin Luther King and Adeline. Every Saturday, members of Berkeley’s Firehouse Collective gather at the Firehouse Bazaar to share artwork, entertainment and food with the community.

“We’re right by the Ashby BART,” said Firehouse Director Tom Franco. “The Ashby Flea Market is happening at the same time. It’s the old police station. So we kind of jokingly call this the police house.”

Franco, along with partner Julia Lazar and members of the collective, opened the bazaar doors this summer. He said the old building is full up with painters, food artisans, ceramists, and every kind of Berkleyan. … Continue reading »

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More than 30 years of “thinking sound” in Berkeley

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Sound is life at the Meyer Sound facility on San Pablo. The 32-year-old Berkeley business continues to churn out professional sound products for concert halls, churches and traveling bands from around the world.

“We’re a family-run company, privately owned still,” said Helen Meyer, executive vice president of Meyer Sound. “We’re still private to this day. That’s kind of a unique feature of our company.”

I sat down with the Meyers to discuss sound, local lifestyles and new technologies.

CEO John Meyer founded the company in 1979 after he and Helen attended an inaudible Donovan concert at the Oakland Coliseum. When they sat down to take in the performance from one of their favorite folk singers, the couple soon realized they couldn’t hear a thing.

“It was barely louder than if someone was just there without anything,” John said. “Everyone in the audience was dead quiet and we still couldn’t hear. We said, ‘there’s got to be a better way.’ ” … Continue reading »

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News

Protect your home from rats this summer

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Rats and other rodents are out and about. The cunning, nocturnal critters seem to grow in numbers during the hot summer nights, and Berkeley residents can do their part to cut down on their nighttime scavenging.

“We need to remind the community that there are things they can do to eliminate outside food, water and places where rodents can live,” said Manuel Ramirez, general manager of the city’s Environmental Health Department. “We respond everyday to overgrowth of vegetation, and we … Continue reading »

News

New crop swap comes to Berkeley’s Lorin District

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The sun blessed Berkeley gardeners with heaps of homegrown produce this summer. To address burgeoning baskets, Councilmember Max Anderson announced the addition of the the Lorin Station Crop Swap this Sunday, August 21 at 1 p.m.

The one-hour, edible-garden swap hosted by Transition Berkeley and The Victory Garden Foundation at the corner of Alcatraz and Adeline is free to the public. Attendees lacking in produce are encouraged to bring something else (aside from money) in the spirit … Continue reading »

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 08.12.11

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The Berkeley Wire: 08.11.11

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The Berkeley Wire: 08.10.11

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Buffers take on taggers in Berkeley-based documentary

Good and Wollman shooting for the film. Photos: Vigilante Vigilante
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Max Good and Nathan Wollman’s new documentary, Vigilante Vigilante, focuses on a little known aspect of the street-art scene. Rather than exploring the work of street artists like Banksy or Richard Hambleton, and the many artists who have followed in their wake, the new film shines a light instead on taggers’ most outspoken adversaries.

“It’s not a graffiti movie in the traditional sense,” Wollman said. “It’s not stereotypical. It’s more about human behavior.”

The documentary chronicles the lives of “buffers” – impassioned vigilantes who combat graffiti with more graffiti.

Good and Wollman fell into the turf war when they noticed recurring silver blotches on Berkeley buildings and street signs. The dripping silver paint markings were not city-regulated, yet they appeared with some regularity.

Curiosity turned into obsession once the two men began pointing hidden cameras at fresh Berkeley tags, waiting to capture the elusive “Silver Buff” on camera. … Continue reading »

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 08.09.11

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The Berkeley Wire: 08.04.11

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Community

Explore the Bay in a dragon boat this Saturday

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Bay Area boaters and aquatic enthusiasts can look forward to fun in the water this Saturday at the third annual Paddle and Picnic hosted by the Berkeley Racing Canoe Center (BRCC). The free event will feature dragon boat rides, live music, kid’s crafts, an ice sculptor, a raffle and a silent auction at Berkeley Marina.

BRCC will provide a barbecue lunch for $10, and all proceeds and donations will go toward the center’s dragon boat team, Continue reading »

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Sky sailors flew high in Berkeley this weekend

Kites of all colors flew high this weekend at the 2011 Berkeley Kite Festival. Several hundred Bay Area sky sailors met at Berkeley Marina to take in the two-day event hosted by Highline Kites.

July 30 and 31 marked the 26th year of the festival. Strong winds blessed the sunny blue skies at the Marina on Saturday. Professional, intermediate and beginner kite enthusiasts flew homemade and collectible kites, single-line cartoon floaters, parafoils and dual- and quad-line stunt kites from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. … Continue reading »

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Arts

Rocking once a day keeps the doctor away

A passerby joins in on harmonica outside Beads & Rocks on Telegraph Photo: Jean McCloskey
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Will Crum refuses to stop rocking – at least for a year anyway. The Berkeley guitarist and rock singer pledged to play one guerrilla rock show per day for 365 days.

Twenty-five days in, Crum, alongside drummer Danny Hodge, is on track with his goal. The rockers play obscure venues, plugging amplifiers into outdoor outlets and sometimes sneaking into buildings to borrow power.

“We’ve played at an Ikea or Rite Aid and other places,” Crum said. “We’ve crashed the San Francisco Art Institute or Berkeley University [sic] or anywhere that’s an interesting place to have music.”

Crum posts all of his shows to his Facebook page the next day. His friend Joe W. Shapiro and his girlfriend Jean McCloskey help capture the footage.

There are only a few rules to the experiment: play one show per day, play random places and play without a generator.

“We find a place we want, then we always find a power outlet,” Crum said. “Sometimes there’s one on a roof and we have to climb up there and do it.” … Continue reading »

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