Author Archives: Tracey Taylor
The Berkeley Unified School Board on Wednesday night made it plain it will do what it can to ensure Berkeley schools’ nationally recognized cooking and gardening program survives. The program faces federal funding cuts worth $1.9 million annually.
While a final decision and a vote on a budgeting model will likely come at the BUSD Board’s next meeting on May 22, the board members gave their tacit approval to a rescue package proposed by a superintendent’s advisory committee set up six months ago. The committee was tasked with identifying funding options, both short- and long-term, through donor and corporate giving campaigns, as well as public-private partnerships. … Continue reading »
A Berkeley man is in critical condition after being struck by a car while walking on University Avenue just west of San Pablo Avenue on Tuesday night, authorities said.
“We received multiple 911 calls at approximately 8:23 p.m.,” said Berkeley Police spokeswoman officer Jennifer Coats, via email at about 11:20 p.m. The man was taken by the Berkeley Fire Department to a local hospital, where he was listed in critical condition. … Continue reading »
Caitlin Freeman’s new book, Modern Art Desserts, is the culmination of her work making whimsical, clever, delicious treats at the Blue Bottle Café at SFMOMA. In the book, Caitlin, a self-taught baker and former owner of Miette pastry shop, details not just the creative process behind each artistic treat; she also provides engaging insights into her life and her approach to her craft.
When Berkeleyside NOSH caught up with Caitlin recently, we found her to be in a reflective mood.
Your career path and life almost feel like a series of serendipitous encounters — with people you end up becoming partners with in business, meeting your husband James Freeman at the Farmers Market, your “epiphany” about creating art desserts while at SFMOMA. Do you think you’ve been blessed in that way, or is there more of a gameplan than is apparent?
I was just thinking about this today; feeling like so much of my life has been these amazing encounters and chance events. On one hand makes me feel like kind of a loser, like maybe I haven’t worked hard to make things happen for myself. But then I realized that what I’ve done is to throw myself into projects with absolute and complete intensity and with no abandon, and then to work my tail off to execute things well. So, I guess I’ve been lucky and my world has certainly been about serendipitous encounters, but I’ve also willed my life into being what I want it to be. I guess it’s a pretty lucky combination of being in the right places at the right time and following up with my extreme Type A behavior! … Continue reading »
On Thursday, May 2, officials say two sixth grade girls, who were waiting to be picked up from King Middle School, were approached by a man who asked them to help him retrieve an item from his car. The case is being treated as a possible attempted abduction.
On Friday, King Principal Janet Levenson sent an email and a recorded message via phone-tree to the King community in which she outlined what happened: “Yesterday at 3:00pm two 6th grade girls were waiting to be picked up at Berryman and Josephine,” she wrote in the email. “A man approached them saying that his keys had fallen into his car and his hand was too big to retrieve them. He pointed to the car which had the door open and was a couple of cars up the street. One girl started to go help him but her friend realized the potential danger and convinced her that they should run into the garden for help. The mom arrived almost immediately but the man was no longer there.He was described as a white male, 5’10″, thin build, brown hair and eyes, and driving a silver 4-door vehicle with no trunk (possibly a small SUV). Please be aware of who is driving around campus and remind your students to wait in front of the school.”
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Banks White remembers vividly the summer just over four years ago when he took up his post as executive chef at FIVE, the Hotel Shattuck Plaza’s restaurant on Allston Way in downtown Berkeley. American Idiot was playing at the Berkeley Rep, Barack Obama was not long installed as president — “there was a real buzz in the city,” he said last week, after it was revealed White would be leaving the restaurant and Berkeley.
The Texan — whose resumé includes stints at the Auberge du Soleil and étoile at Domaine Chandon in Napa, and Leftbank Brasserie in Larkspur — is heading to Harlem where he will helm the kitchen of an as-yet-to-be named restaurant. Berkeleyside chatted with White on Friday about his time in the city and his plans going forward.
Tell us about opening FIVE in Berkeley
It’s been a great journey. I’ve called Berkeley my home for six years now. But when FIVE opened in the summer of ’09 downtown Berkeley was very different. We were pretty much the only kids on the block [for casual style fine dining]. Venus was there, but Downtown had just closed, and it was pre-Gather and Comal. (Hotel Shattuck’s Scott Howard, whom White at met at Leftbank, invited White to help launch the restaurant and oversee menu design, as well as kitchen installation and recipe testing.) … Continue reading »
On Saturday, around 200 people descended on People’s Park in Berkeley for the 17th annual Hip Hop in the Park festival.
Organizers, Students for Hip Hop, a UC Berkeley group, said this year’s list of performers was one of the most diverse to date.
“Detroit’s best kept secret,” rapper Elzhi, a former member of Slum Village, was the headliner. Other performers on the line-up included MC Aisha Fukushima, Mik Nawooj, Hoodini, Rico Pabon, Nu Dekades, and producer G-Jones. The festival featured graffiti art, dancing, and DJ-ing.
… Continue reading »
The Berkeley Police are seeking the community’s help following the arrest of a suspect for indecent exposure involving two students at Berkeley High School, both juveniles.
Investigators believe there may have been additional unreported incidents and are asking that any other possible victims come forward to report the incidents, according to a statement released by BPD on Friday May 3.
The statement continues:
“On April 23, at approximately 3:53 p.m, BPD officers were called to the area of Bancroft Way and California Street following a report from two Berkeley High students who had encountered a man masturbating in his vehicle. The suspect stopped his vehicle directly in front of the victims and exposed himself. Officers searched the area and detained a man fitting the suspect’s description three blocks from the scene of the crime. This suspect was arrested and charged with indecent exposure and a probation violation. … Continue reading »
In her newly published book Backyard Roots, Lori Eanes profiles urban farmers. Thirty-five city farmers to be precise, in northern California — including Oakland and Berkeley — Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, all of whom share their secrets to growing food, raising animals and building community in backyards, on rooftops and in parking strips.
Berkeleyside asked the San Francisco-based photographer to tell us about who she met and some of the most interesting stories she uncovered.
What led you to write this book?
It began as a personal photo project back in 2010. Urban farms were becoming popular and it was an excuse to meet the people who were getting goats and chickens and turning their city backyards into barnyards. Also, I think goats are funny. … Continue reading »
HIVE A new coffee shop called Hive (“the place to bee”) should be open within a month in Oakland’s Dimond district at 2139 MacArthur Blvd. Calanit Kamala, who is opening the spot with Bree Dezort, says they will be serving Highwire coffee and Starter Bakery pastries, as well house-made sandwiches and salads. ”We are going to have honey cake as one of our specials, as well as completely vegan honey-lavender-coconut granita,” she adds. Follow Hive on its Facebook page for details of opening day. … Continue reading »
Update, 8:25 a.m.: Oakland Fire Department is responding to a vegetation fire near Gravatt Drive in the hills near the south Berkeley border. Two Berkeley engines were called out to help but were subsequently canceled, according to Berkeley Interim Deputy Fire Chief Avery Webb.
Original story: Even though the air smells smoky this morning and there is a red flag warning up for the hills, there had been no reported fires in Berkeley as of around 8:30 a.m. today.
Berkeley Interim Deputy Fire Chief Avery Webb told Berkeleyside that the smell is coming from smoke drifting down from the fires in wine country.
Wildfires, fed by hot weather and strong winds, burned 200 acres in Sonoma and Napa counties on Wednesday. … Continue reading »
“It’s been a long hard road. Standing here today I feel both relief and excitement,” Lawrence Rinder, Director of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive said, speaking on Tuesday in the shell of a building that will one day be a gleaming new cultural center in the heart of downtown Berkeley.
Building work has begun in earnest on converting the Art Moderne former UC Berkeley printing plant on Center St. into a strikingly contemporary museum designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Plant Construction, who have worked on many museums, including the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, were selected as lead contractors. The parking lot on Addison adjacent to the 1939 building has been largely demolished. Soon, major excavation work will begin, according to David Vogel, project director at EHDD Architecture, who are the appointed executing architects on the project. He spoke at a media preview held in the boarded up building on Tuesday morning this week. … Continue reading »
Chez Panisse said it is planning to reopen on Monday June 10, three months after a fire damaged the front section of the famous restaurant in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto.
Cristina Mueller, who works in owner Alice Waters’ office, said the restaurant is in the throes of rebuilding work. The restaurant is not taking reservations yet, but will let customers know via its website when it is begins to do so. Both the café and the restaurant will reopen at the same time.
Mueller said a crane had earlier today lowered a large steel frame into the restaurant for structural support, and that a new foundation was poured last week for the portion of the restaurant that was damaged by the fire, believed to have been sparked by an electrical fault. … Continue reading »
The American Institute of Architecture San Francisco announced the winners of its annual Design Awards on Friday and two Berkeley names made the grade.
The renovation of Berkeley’s North Branch Library on The Alameda, by San Francisco firm Architectural Resources Group and Tom Eliot Fisch, earned a Merit Award for Historic Preservation. “This publicly funded project preserved, expanded, and updated the City of Berkeley’s beloved 1936 North Branch Library on The Alameda,” AIA SF wrote in its award list. “The $4.5 million, LEED Silver project included rehabilitation of 5,700 sq ft of historic spaces and a new 3,900 sq ft addition and was completed in 2012.”
It was the second architecture award for the North Branch Library this month. It was also one of nine Berkeley buildings recognized for representing the best recent design work in Berkeley by Berkeley Design Advocates in early April. … Continue reading »