Author Archives: Tracey Taylor

Uncharted: Whistling Vivaldi, a Memorial Stadium party

View from the University Club where the Uncharted Party will take place on the evening of October 24, 2014. Photo: UCB
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What can you expect at Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas, hosted by Berkeleyside? Here’s a taste:

  • Claude Steele will explain why an African American man whistling Vivaldi confounds white fear
  • Nobel laureate Randy Schekman will discuss what medicine is likely to conquer (and what it won’t solve any time soon)
  • Brown Sugar Kitchen’s Tanya Holland has lots to say about how female restaurateurs are treated compared to their male counterparts
  • Douglas Gayeton and Laura Howard-Gayeton will have you rolling up your sleeves to co-create some art on sustainability
  • Pulitzer Prize winner John Adams will no doubt share his views on the furore surrounding the Met’s production of his opera, “The Death of Klinghoffer”
  • Mina Girgis will dazzle us with his audacious Nile Project, bridging cultures and politics, and
  • Adam Mansbach might tell us why his next book is called You Have to F***ing Eat!

The two-day Uncharted festival takes place on Friday Oct. 24 and Saturday Oct. 25 at the Berkeley Rep and the Freight & Salvage in downtown Berkeley, with a cocktail party on the Friday evening at the University Club on top of the Cal Memorial Stadium (pictured, top).

The special Uncharted early-bird price – $100 less than 2013 – expires next week, so now’s the moment to grab your tickets. … Continue reading »

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Photos: Rally on UC Berkeley campus marks 50th anniversary of the birth of the Free Speech Movement

The Free Speech Movement rally held at UC Berkeley on Oct. 1, 2014. Photo: Ted Friedman
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Oct. 1 marked the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement, a protest that lasted for three months but set the stage for the turbulent 1960s.

On that day, thousands of UC Berkeley students protested on the Cal campus, surrounding a police car parked near Sproul Plaza. Jack Weinberg was inside the car and stayed inside it for 32 hours, having been arrested for distributing political material on university grounds despite rules that forbade it.

A graduate student, Mario Savio, climbed on top of the police car at one point and demanded Weinberg’s release. He also spoke out against the university’s restrictions against handing out political material. That impromptu speech catapulted him into the leadership of what would come to be known as the Free Speech Movement.

Read more, and enjoy these photos taken by Ted Friedman at the rally held 50 years later at the same spot at UC Berkeley when FSM veterans — including Weinberg and Savio’s wife, Lynne Hollander Savio — joined current students to mark the movement’s golden anniversary. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s minimum wage is $10 starting today, Oct. 1

Minimum wage rally in May 2014 in Berkeley. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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Starting today, Oct. 1, a new minimum wage goes into effect in Berkeley with a citywide rate of $10 an hour. This is a dollar higher than the state’s minimum and puts Berkeley among the American cities that have a local minimum wage that exceeds state and federal minimums.

The move is the first step in a three-stage plan that sees today’s hike to $10, followed by increases annually for two years after that: on Oct. 1, 2015, to $11; and on Oct. 1, 2016, to $12.53. This last rate will match the amount expected in Oakland under a ballot measure in that city likely to pass in November. The Berkeley plan received final approval in an unanimous council vote June 24.

Read Berkeleyside’s coverage to date of what led to the minimum wage raise.

“[The] boost to $10 is an important milestone in our efforts to improve the conditions and rights of low-wage workers in Berkeley,” said Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates. … Continue reading »

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Queerly Berkeley: New LGBTQA group hosts first event

Queerly Berkeley
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The concept was born when a group of gay and lesbian Berkeleyans came together to figure out a way to build community and serve the broader community. According to John Caner, CEO of the Downtown Berkeley Association, and one of the founders: “There seemed to be a dearth of opportunities for LGBTQ friends and colleagues to come together for social and non-political purposes. We thought it would be inspiring to gather for a philanthropic purpose, bigger than ourselves.”

The group is throwing its first event on Sunday Oct. 5 — a fundraiser for The Pacific Center on Telegraph Avenue, the oldest LGBTQ center in the Bay Area and third oldest in the U.S. … Continue reading »

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8 Berkeley stories that made headlines this week

Berkeley Police dispatch center. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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1. Always on call: Inside the Berkeley police dispatch center
2. It’s grape harvest time for Covenant, a kosher winery new to West Berkeley
3. Berkeley boy Andy Samberg gives back with a burger
4. Teen charged with the stabbing of 72-year old woman in Berkeley
5. Police ticket pedestrians for downtown traffic violations
6. Take your dog to dinner: It’s now legal (within limits)
7. Cyclist dies after North Berkeley crash with carContinue reading »

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

Sedge Thomson and the three Michaels
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WEST COAST LIVE West Coast Live, the two-hour variety show hosted by the estimable Sedge Thomson, is coming live this Saturday from the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in downtown Berkeley. The line-up is superb. (And we’re not just saying that because Berkeleyside is one of the guests!) Investigative journalist Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation and Reefer Madness, Command and Control), will be there, as will Malcolm Margolin, founder of Berkeley’s Heyday Press, and A. Scott Berg, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Wilson, the acclaimed biography of the 28th President of the United States, and the Ethiopian-born, San Francisco-based singer Meklit and her band. Tickets to watch the show are $15 ($13 seniors, $5 youth) — or listen at 10am on KALW 91.7. … Continue reading »


Announcing: The Uncharted Ideas Festival 2014 program

Uncharted 2013-3
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Berkeleyside is excited to reveal the program for the second annual Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas. The festival takes place on Friday Oct. 24 and Saturday Oct. 25 at the Berkeley Rep and the Freight & Salvage in downtown Berkeley, with a cocktail party in the middle at the University Club on top of the Cal Memorial Stadium. You may already have heard about some of the incredible speakers festival-goers will get the chance to meet. Today we announce the full program and schedule. Tickets for the two days are available early-bird rate of $290 ($100 less than 2013 prices) until Oct. 6 at Full schedule and venue details, as well as speaker biographies, are also listed there. … Continue reading »

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Police ticket pedestrians for downtown traffic violations

Police conduct pedestrian stops for violations at Shattuck and Center in downtown Berkeley on Sept. 23, 2014. Photo: Eric Panzer
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On Monday, Berkeley police were stopping and ticketing pedestrians at Shattuck Avenue and Center Street in downtown Berkeley for, among other violations, crossing against the lights or crossing the street after the alert light had stopped blinking.

The stops were part of what BPD’s Traffic Bureau calls an education enforcement project that is happening all this week in the downtown area. Officers will be enforcing other violations in relation to vehicle and bicycle safety, BPD said in a release.

“The ultimate goal of the projects is to foster greater overall traffic and pedestrian safety,” the department wrote. … Continue reading »

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

Coastal cleanup day is Saturday Sept. 20 -- a chance to help keep our local coastal areas beautiful. Photo: Clean Water Program
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COASTAL CLEAN UP DAY On Saturday Sept. 20 citizens throughout Alameda County will join volunteers worldwide for the 29th annual Coastal Cleanup Day. Last year the international event drew close to 650,000 participants in 92 countries, who picked up more than 12.3 million pounds of trash, according to the Ocean Conservancy. To help Alameda County residents find an event near them, the Clean Water Program Alameda County has compiled a list of local creek and shoreline cleanup events organized by its member cities and agencies. Visit Clean Water Program online for details of how to get involved.  Continue reading »

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Bites: CREAM, B-Dama, See’s Candies, Eat Real Fest

Eat Real
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Openings, closings…

B-DAMA OPENING NEXT WEEK We hear from the manager of Swan’s Market in Old Oakland that B-Dama will have the soft opening of its new restaurant there next week. Japanese restaurant B-Dama’s original location is on Piedmont Avenue. Swan’s Market in Old Oakland now has a wealth of eating options to choose from. According to its website, restaurant tenants include Breads of IndiaCoobi Yogurt & WrapsCosechaThe Cook and Her FarmerMiss Ollie’sPeriscope CellarsRosamunde Sausage Grill, Sincere Seafood and Taylor’s Sausages. Connect with B-Dama on Facebook.

NEW CREAM (PHILZ?) LOCATIONS CREAM, the hot spot for good-value ice cream sandwiches, is looking at opening a new shop on the Oakland-Berkeley border in one of the retail spaces created by the new Safeway project currently under construction at College and Claremont avenues. According to Inside Scoop SF which first reported the news, Philz Coffee may also snap up one of the street-front spaces. CREAM’s Telegraph Avenue store in Berkeley is a Cal student staple, and the chain has been in expansion mode with seven new franchise and corporate locations around the Bay Area, most recently in the Mission. CREAM co-owner Gus Shamieh told Inside Scoop that Philz Coffee was also considering one of the Safeway spaces. The Berkeley coffee chain recently opened its second location at the emerging Gilman district shopping hub. … Continue reading »

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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 »


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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