Author Archives: Tracey Taylor

Berkeley warned of rampant Godzilla across the bay

godzilla sign fred werner
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Drivers and pedestrians on Panoramic Way in Berkeley did a double take a few days ago when a large mobile LED sign, usually reserved for imparting traffic alerts, instead informed them: “Godzilla rampant in SF.”

Fred Werner spotted the sign and shared a photograph of it with Berkeleyside. “Commuters beware!” he wrote. “This warning sign on Panoramic Way heralds danger across the Bay today.”

We posted the pic on our Facebook page on Sept. 11 where it found an appreciative audience. “Love it. Berkeley ROCKS,” wrote Fred Weissman. “Reference to Big Soda?” cracked David Weisz. … Continue reading »

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What will Oakland food scene look like in 10 years?

Leo Foster, pastry student at Laney College. Photo: Andrew Ellis
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Andrew Ellis has a new book coming out called Oakland: New Urban Eating. Or at least he hopes he does, if he can crowd-source enough money to start printing it (the Kickstarter campaign ends on Sept. 24 and is not far from its $5,000 goal). Ellis, an ethnographer and also a talented photographer, talked to Berkeleyside NOSH about the project which promises to shed light on many of the lesser known Oakland food spots as well as those that tend to hog the limelight.

What led you to create this book?

The concept began as a simple cookbook project between a couple of friends over drinks in an Uptown bar back in August 2012. At the time, I was working for a strategic consulting firm in San Francisco called Collective Invention as a researcher and designer. We brought our clients, usually educational organizations, into the “future” by looking at current trends across diverse sectors, interviewing experts, and then creating plausible scenarios of a world they might soon be living in.

There was always this question posed about what their sector (and the world) might look like in say, 10 or 20 years down the road. I decided to pose this same question to the folks I was interviewing out in the Oakland food scene. The city seemed to be changing so rapidly that I could already imagine my book being dated by the time it came out. Creating a book as an artifact in time during this transformation with a kind of “futurist” perspective made the most sense. … Continue reading »

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Be knocked out by people you don’t know at Uncharted

3 speakers:
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When Berkeleyside unveils the detailed program of Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas 2014 next week, we know people will look for the names they recognize. Here’s a pro tip: the best speakers, the ones likely to knock you out, are almost invariably the ones you didn’t know.

Buy your tickets now to take advantage of the early bird price. Only two weeks before prices go up!

Take Mina Girgis (pictured top right) whose Nile Project will be performing at Cal Performances in February. Girgis has brought together more than a dozen instrumentalists and singers from Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Uganda to bridge cultures, traditions and politics. And their music highlights the environmental and societal challenges along the world’s longest river. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Equipment ready for roll-out at a new Berkeley gym and resource center for kids on the autism spectrum. Photo: We Rock the Spectrum
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OPENING: WE ROCK THE SPECTRUM An innovative new spot for kids on the autism spectrum is opening in West Berkeley this month. We Rock the Spectrum is described as a “full inclusion, full integration educational fitness camp and community resource center” that addresses children’s, parents’, caregivers’ and advocates’ wellness and health. Co-founder of the Berkeley branch Barbara Brodrick tells us the inspiration for the new venture was her 4-year-old son, who is on the autism spectrum and has benefited enormously from intensive early intervention treatment. “We built this facility to have all the resources available to all families with different-abilities children, and a safe fun place for all children and families where we can all feel a sense of belonging, away from the isolated feeling most of us feel,” Brodrick said. We Rock the Spectrum is having its grand opening Saturday, Sept. 27, when kids can try out the facility’s trampoline, zip line and swings. There will also be face-painting, music and a raffle. Tickets are $12 per child, with 20% of the proceeds going to My Brother Rocks the Spectrum Foundation. We Rock the Spectrum is at 2920 Seventh St. in Berkeley. Learn more at We Rock the Spectrum’s Berkeley website. Connect on Facebook. … Continue reading »

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Comal owners settle suit for new Berkeley restaurant

An early rendering of a new restaurant prosed for Ashby Avenue
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lawsuit brought against the City of Berkeley and the owners of Comal restaurant, who plan to open a new restaurant at 2635 Ashby Ave. in the Elmwood neighborhood, has been settled.

A group called the Elmwood Neighborhood Assocation (ENA), concerned that a new upscale restaurant in the area would make traffic and parking unbearable filed a lawsuit in April. This followed a protracted approval process for the restaurant, including a previous appeal.

According to the terms of the settlement, the city has agreed to compile a report on parking in the neighborhood within 12 months of the August settlement — parking difficulties was one of the key issues raised in the suit — and  the restaurant owners will take steps both to advise customers on where to park, and to manage their alcohol consumption. They will close the restaurant to new customers at 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and agreed to pay $5,000 in attorney’s fees to Stuart Flashman, who represented ENA.

John Paluska, owner with Andrew Hoffman of Comal, said he hopes to start the build-out of the new restaurant, which is likely to serve Northern Californian cuisine and will have a full bar serving craft cocktails, early next year, and be open by the summer of 2015. … Continue reading »

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Photo gallery: A great day out for all at Solano Stroll 2014

Solano Stroll 2014 drummers. Photo: gina g10
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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

Hummingbird. Photo: Steve Napoli
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LIVE OAK PARK’S 100TH BIRTHDAY North Berkeley’s first nature park, Live Oak Park, celebrates its 100th anniversary Saturday afternoon. The Live Oak Park Centennial Celebration and Ice Cream Social will include an old-time BYO community picnic and traditional games like croquet and three-legged races. Wavy Gravy and the Berkeley High Jazz Combo will be there. And, at 2:30 p.m., the 100 Dog March will see dogs and their companions ramble around the park’s perimeter. Everyone is encouraged to wear period costume, or at the very least a straw hat! The Berkeley Art Center is organizing outdoor art activities on the bridge that leads to the Art Center. The Live Oak Park Centennial Celebration is on Saturday Sept. 13, noon to 4 p.m., 1301 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley.
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Uncharted speakers just keep doing extraordinary things

Saru Jayaraman
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One of the thrills about putting together Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas 2014 is that our speakers keep doing extraordinary things. It’s hard to keep up. We have Nobelists, Pulitzer winners, and Grammy recipients. And more and more is happening in the run-up to Uncharted on Oct. 24-25!

We just wrote on Berkeleyside about astronomer Josh Bloom‘s $110 earthquake early warning alarm. It’s more than a clever bit of tinkering – it could herald a new era of safety devices for all of our homes.

Tanya Holland has just published her Brown Sugar Kitchen cookbook, with a forward by Berkeley’s Michael Chabon who wrote that Holland and her Oakland restaurant are a way to “ponder the historical spirit of the city or skip straight to the fried chicken.” … Continue reading »

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Obituaries

Remembering entrepreneur, humanitarian Rudolph Hurwich

Rudolph
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Rudolph Hurwich – serial entrepreneur and mentor, international businessman, inventor, philanthropist, investor and a behind-the-scenes supporter of numerous liberal causes and creative endeavors – died peacefully at his Oakland home on August 2, 2014. He was 92.

The self-effacing, MIT-trained mechanical engineer was the founder and longtime CEO and Chairman of Dymo Industries, best known for its hand-held device that stamped out adhesive strips of embossed labels with a rotating wheel. It was used in homes and businesses in more … Continue reading »

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Events

40th Solano Stroll, one mile of free family fun, on Sunday

Solano Stroll-1 Nancy Rubin
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The East Bay’s largest street festival is back for its fortieth year on Sunday Sept. 14, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visitors to the Solano Stroll can look forward to a mile-long stretch of attractions, including food, music, rides and live entertainment.

The annual festival, which is hosted each year by the cities of Albany and Berkeley, will feature 500 street vendors, as well as all the businesses and organizations that line Solano Avenue’s 26 blocks, and also boasts 50 entertainers, 50 food booths, 150 government and non-profit agencies, 150 juried hand-crafters, a 75 entry parade, and state-of the-art mechanical rides.

As in previous years, the event is expected to draw 250,000 visitors,  including folks from across California and from neighboring states. … Continue reading »

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The B-Side: Has Berkeley lost its cool?

Screen The B-Side: Has Berkeley lost its cool?
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The Free Speech Movement was launched in Berkeley exactly 50 years ago. From that point on, Berkeley was a beacon for young people. But what does Berkeley have to offer adventurous youth today? “Cool” is an amorphous concept, but has Berkeley lost it?

This the question that will be addressed at the second B-Side talk presented by Berkeleyside and Impact Hub Berkeley on Tuesday Sept. 16 at 7:00 p.m.

For the “Has Berkeley Lost its Cool?” talk Jennifer Cogley, Sustainable Business Coordinator at the City of Berkeley, will go head to head with media relations, marketing and communications strategist Emunah Hauser in a discussion moderated by Berkeleyside co-founder Lance Knobel. This promises to be a lively debate, and one participants will be encouraged to join. … Continue reading »

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Michael Lewis begs people to help boy who needs donor

Baylor Fredrickson 2
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On Friday last week, best-selling author Michael Lewis posted the two photos of Baylor Fredrickson shown above on his Facebook page.

“I want for people to see two pictures of Baylor Fredrickson,” he wrote. “The first was taken before his latest round of chemotherapy, the second after — and just before he received a cord blood transplant. The transplant failed. Baylor’s mom relates below what this means for Baylor — another round of ever more dangerous chemotherapy followed by an even more experimental bid for a cure. It’s lucky that Baylor is unusually brave; it’s sad that he is being forced, at seven years old, to prove it.” … Continue reading »

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News

5 Berkeley stories you will not want to miss

Target plans to open a TargetExpress store in downtown Berkeley in March 2015. This is a photo of the first TargetExpress store, which opened in July in Minneapolis. Photo: Target
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By far the biggest splash this week was the news that Target will be opening a small city store in downtown Berkeley. But this week also had thousands of readers poring over the latest on the so-called soda tax; questions about perceived overcrowding at Berkeley schools; continued debate about whether our police force should have Taser guns; and our report on an “alcohol-alternative” bar coming to town.

Here are the 5 stories from last week that you won’t want to miss:

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