Author Archives: Tracey Taylor

Photos: Green Day makes triumphant return to Berkeley

Green Day. Photo: Kelly Owen
Print Friendly

They famously got their start in the late 1980s playing local venues like 924 Gilman and Berkeley Square, and Thursday the mega-band that is Green Day made a triumphant return to their roots by playing the newly renovated UC Theatre on University Avenue.

The concert was a sell-out, as you might expect, and security, including some provided by Berkeley Police, was tight.

Almost as soon as the band took to the stage at 9 p.m. lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong was referencing the band’s local credentials.

“The Representative from Alameda County has the floor,” he hollered, slightly altering a line from one of the band’s biggest hits, Holiday, which was next up on the slate. (Holiday is from the 2004 American Idiot album which went on to be adapted for the stage by Berkeley Rep in 2009.) A little later, after playing a couple of other standards, Armstrong reminded the capacity crowd about the group’s origins to much applause, shouting: “We’re fucking East Bay boys!”

If you were at the concert, tell us how you liked it in the comments (now that we have them back).

Kelly Owen took these photographs for Berkeleyside. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , ,

Update: Berkeleyside comments, Twitter account back after widespread internet attack

Print Friendly

UPDATE, 1:55pm: Both Twitter and our comments are back in action.

ORIGINAL STORY: The major attack Friday that has caused big websites to go down — including Netflix, the New York Times, The Guardian, Spotify and Reddit — has affected Berkeleyside too.

Our Twitter account is unavailable, as Twitter is one of the sites that has shut down. Our comments are not functioning as they operate on the Disqus platform which also appears to have been affected by the outage.

The New York Times reported that many large websites were inaccessible to some East Coast users Friday morning and to people across the country by the early afternoon after Dyn, a company that serves as an internet switchboard, came under attack. … Continue reading »


Berkeleyside’s 4th annual Uncharted Berkeley Festival of Ideas: Fighting the good fight

Mark Bittman talks with UC Berkeley's Jill Bakehorn. Photo: Kelly Sullivan
Print Friendly

Sitting down on the stage of the Berkeley Rep Roda theater to talk with Autodesk distinguished researcher Andrew Hessel about the synthetic genome project in the first session of the fourth annual Uncharted Festival of Ideas, Quentin Hardy, deputy technology editor of The New York Times, said, “Uncharted is our humble attempt to make America smart again.” It was a joke, but it resonated throughout the two-day festival.

The Republican candidate for the president was not actually name-checked that often during the festival, but the reasons for his rise and his impact — what speaker Aaron James, author of Assholes: A Theory of Donald Trump, described as “American-born fascism” — both in this country and globally, underscored much of the discussion this year.

View photo galleries of the Uncharted 2016 festival: day one and day two.

Uncharted curator Lance Knobel, co-founder of Berkeleyside which produces the festival, deliberately avoids planning the program with a theme in mind, preferring that themes emerge organically. And if there was one that rose to the top this year it was that there is a silver lining to Trump’s ascendency: the fight to ensure he doesn’t enter the White House has brought issues and campaigns that were dormant back on the table. Positive change can be spurred by hatred, negativity and fear-mongering.

Scroll down for ways to connect with Uncharted and to see photos of the 2016 festival. See a gallery of day one photos and day two photos. … Continue reading »


Berkeley’s The Advocate restaurant to close Oct. 27

The Advocate. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
Print Friendly

The Advocate restaurant in Berkeley’s Elmwood neighborhood will close permanently on Thursday Oct. 27 after just over one year in business. Owners John Paluska and Andrew Hoffman, who also own Comal in downtown Berkeley, said they were not able to achieve the level of business necessary to make the restaurant sustainable.

“We felt a lot of confidence that we could make something that would click in this neighborhood and we weren’t able to pull that off,” Paluska told Berkeleyside.

The Advocate opened in August 2015 after over two years of planning and community outreach — and also delays caused by a lawsuit from the same group that had put a halt to a previous restaurant project at the same location, at 2635 Ashby Ave. (at College).

Read more about The Advocate on Berkeleyside.

The restaurant, with its California-meets-Mediterranean cuisine, was designed, like Comal, by Berkeley’s Abueg-Morris Architects, cycled through three chefs in its 14 short months: inaugural chef John Griffiths left in February to be replaced by Michelin-starred Joseph Humphrey, who departed a few months later to take over the kitchen at the recently opened Limewood at the Claremont Hotel.

“It’s never helpful to have chef changes — it was certainly not our desire,” said Paluska. “It’s harder to maintain a consistent point of view.” Paluska added that he felt a confluence of bad luck and bad circumstances stood in contrast to their experience at Comal.  “We’ve ben amazingly lucky to have continuity and consistency at Comal both with our chef [Matt Gandin has been there from the start] and front-of-house staff.” … Continue reading »

Tagged ,

School on alert, students on edge about ‘evil clowns’

Pennywise the Dancing Clown: thought to be an influence for the 'evil clown' phenomenon that put a Berkeley school on edge Friday Oct. 7. Photo:
Print Friendly

The principal of King Middle School in Berkeley contacted the police Friday after becoming concerned about a threat posted on social media about ‘killer clowns’ coming to the campus, as well as to two other local schools.

Principal Janet Levenson sent an email, labeled ‘important message,’ to the school community around 2:45 p.m. explaining that many students had been “on edge all week for fear that these evil clowns will come to King or kidnap students on their way home.”

Levinson said one of King’s students showed her an Instagram posting that stated they “were going after BHS, Longfellow and King on Friday.”

Levinson said the rumor spread on campus that the clowns would arrive during fifth period. Erring on the side of caution, she contacted BPD. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , ,

UC Berkeley law students hold ‘Black Out’ demo on campus

Berkeley Law students held a 'Black Out' demo on the UC Berkeley campus on Thursday Oct. 7. Photo: Ted Friedman
Print Friendly

The UC Berkeley Law Students of African Descent (LSAD) group held a ‘Black Out’ demonstration on campus Thursday afternoon to “stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and show our continued questioning and resistance of racism, oppression, and violence against our communities.”

LSAD spokeswoman Samya Abdela, a doctorate candidate at Berkeley Law, said the purpose of the protest was to “continue to raise awareness and keep the conversation going about police brutality and its staggering effects on communities of color.” Abdela added that LSAD was hoping to use Thursday’s event as a launch pad for other projects it is planning in future, including addressing structural reform of oppressive policies at the state level, and supporting Cal’s Black athletes. Ted Friedman took the photographs published here.

On the Berkeley Law website, LSAD describes the purpose of its organization as being “to articulate and promote the needs of Black law students in the law school.”

Berkeleyside contributing photographer Ted Friedman took the photos published here. … Continue reading »

Tagged ,

Berkeley Community Fund celebrates 25 years of supporting young scholars with party at UC Theatre

The 27 Berkeley Community Fund High Hopes scholars. Photo: Courtesy BCF
Print Friendly

Saturday Oct. 8 the Berkeley Community Fund will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a big party at the UC Theatre in downtown Berkeley.

“We wanted to do something really special to mark the anniversary,” said BCF Executive Director Joleen Ruffin.

The evening includes a sit-down dinner prepared by Chef Dov and California Rose, wines curated by Narsai David, live music and an awards ceremony.

Read more about the Berkeley Community Fund on Berkeleyside.

The BCF certainly has much to celebrate: its principle mission is to provide $16,000 needs-based scholarships to motivated Berkeley youth from lower income families. In June, it honored its latest cohort of 27 Berkeley High seniors with scholarships. A total of $432,000 was awarded to the students who will receive the funds over the course of the next four years. In all, the BCF has given out $2.68 million in scholarships between 2008-2016, and has 107 active scholars as of this Fall.  73% of its scholars come from families earning less than $50,000 a year, and 90% of them are first-generation college students. … Continue reading »


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

Pop-Up and California Sunday Magazine bring the Golden State Record to the Greek Theatre on Friday Sept. 30. Photo: Pop-Up
Print Friendly

THE GOLDEN STATE RECORD Pop-Up Magazine, California Sunday Magazine and Noise Pop present The Golden State Record at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley Friday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. The show, inspired in part by The Golden Record, launched into deep space by NASA and Carl Sagan in 1977, celebrates and explores the sounds, ideas, and culture of California and the West today. Described as a “first-of-its-kind music and storytelling event,” the lineup includes musicians Shamir, Lil B, Thao Nguyen and the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, and performers including Janna Levin, Jace Clayton andJon Mooallem. More information and tickets ($52 and $60).  … Continue reading »


2 shot and injured at Alcatraz and King in Berkeley

Parmedics wheel a shooting victim into an ambulance, in Berkeley, on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016. This was the most recent in a string of shootings over the past few days. Photo: David Yee ©2016
Print Friendly

The Berkeley Police Department responded to shootings near King Street and Alcatraz Avenue Sunday night at around 8:23 p.m.

According to Lt. Alyson Hart from the Berkeley Police Department, dispatch received a call at 8:23 p.m. of “six-seven loud reports” in the area of Alcatraz Avenue, King and 63rd streets. Police located two victims on King Street north of Alcatraz. One victim was shot twice in the abdomen and the other in the leg. Lt. Hart said neither wound was considered to be life-threatening. Both shooting victims were transported to Highland Hospital.

Photos taken by Berkeleyside contributing photographer David Yee show a person being transported by first responders out of a residential building on a stretcher. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , ,

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

Berkeley Chamber 2016 Visionary Award winners
Print Friendly

BERKELEY VISIONARY AWARDS It’s not on the weekend — unless you’re in the habit of taking long ones —but the 2016 Berkeley Visionary Awards that take place Monday just had to be mentioned. The Berkeley Chamber created this honor to celebrate innovative entrepreneurs based in Berkeley, and Monday evening’s event promises, it says, “accomplished speakers, inspirational videos and a chance to meet the business leaders who are making Berkeley known for transformational enterprises.” Award recipients this year are: Steve Isaacs, Chairman, President and CEO, Aduro Biotech; Danielle Applestone, CEO, Other Machine Company; Emilie Mazzacurati, Founder and CEO, Four Twenty Seven Climate Solutions. The keynote speaker is Michael Witherell, Director, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, and there’ll be hors d’oeuvres and wine and it runs 5-7pm at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 2025 Addison Street. Tickets are $50. Get details. … Continue reading »


UC Police report 2nd rape in student residence in 5 days

UCPD badge
Print Friendly

No further details were made available. UCPD’s Criminal Investigation Bureau is investigating the crime.

There have been several reported rapes and sexual assaults of female UC Berkeley students since Cal started its new semester.

A rape was also reported to have happened the night after the latest one, also at a Cal residence hall. UCPD sent out the alert about that one on Sept. 15. The victim, a 19-year-old female student, was allegedly raped on Sunday Sept. 11 by a male acquaintance who was also a student and a resident of campus housing, UCPD said.  … Continue reading »

Tagged , , ,

Mark Bittman to speak at Berkeley ideas festival

Print Friendly

Mark Bittman, one of America’s most incisive writers about food, has joined the lineup at the fourth annual Uncharted Festival of Ideas in Berkeley.

Uncharted, a production of Berkeleyside, features some of the world’s edgiest thinkers and creative performers. It takes place over two days in downtown Berkeley. This year’s festival is on Friday Oct. 14 and Saturday Oct. 15.

Bittman, formerly a columnist at the New York Times and the author of several bestselling cookbooks, was also a distinguished visiting fellow at the Berkeley Food Institute at UC Berkeley. He devotes his time to writing, teaching and food movement strategy, and has a new book out: How to Bake Everything.

Read more about Mark Bittman on Berkeleyside.

For those interested in food and food issues, the Uncharted festival also includes a workshop hosted by James Beard award-winning writer Kenji López-Alt, author of The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science; as well as an interactive Chocolate Lab hosted by Brad Kintzer, Chief Chocolate Maker at TCHO. See full program. … Continue reading »

Tagged ,

UC Berkeley police arrest suspect in sexual assault case

UCPD badge
Print Friendly

The University of California Police Department has arrested a suspect in a rape reported at a university residence hall in Berkeley over the weekend.

According to an alert released by UCPD on Thursday morning, the department got a report Monday of a rape Sunday night at a UC Berkeley residential hall.

The victim, a 19-year-old female student, was sexually assaulted by a male acquaintance who is also a student and a resident of campus housing, UCPD said.

An investigation led to the arrest Wednesday of 25-year-old Sardar Sikandar Wali Zia Khan on suspicion of two felony charges.

Two Cal students also reported being victims of sexual assault at Berkeley’s Greek Theatre on Saturday night. A total of three sexual assaults were reported at Diplo’s ‘Mad Decent Block Party. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , ,