Author Archives: Tracey Taylor

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

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PUBLIC HEALTH BLOCK PARTY The city hopes to address “health inequities and improve outcomes” at its public health block party on Saturday, 10am-2pm near the entrance to the Frances Albrier Community Center, 2800 Park St. in South Berkeley. Come receive information and resources, such as screenings for blood pressure, glucose, bone density, and Hepatitis C. People can also get assistance with applications for Covered California, the state health insurance exchange created by the Affordable Care Act that provides federally subsidized rates. Not only that, there is free food, courtesy of Acme Bread and Phat Beets Produce, and delicious smoothies created by a “Smoothie Bike,” as well as a Kid Zone and free haircuts courtesy of stylists from South Berkeley barber shop DnD Cuts. … Continue reading »

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Fire at Giovanni’s restaurant causes $100K damage

Firefighters use a ladder to access the roof of Giovanni's restaurant at 2420 Shattuck Ave. today after a fire broke out around 6 a.m. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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A fire that broke out early this morning at Giovanni’s restaurant in downtown Berkeley caused an estimated $100,000 worth of damage, according to Berkeley Fire Department’s Deputy Chief Avery Webb.

The fire department had to open up walls, as well as the roof of the building at 2420 Shattuck Ave., as the fire was concentrated in concealed spaces, Webb said.

The southbound section of Shattuck Avenue between Channing and Haste was closed for about one and a half hours while the first-alarm fire was being tackled. … Continue reading »

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In Berkeley the Blue Glove Crew clean up — at speed

Karen Nierlich shows trash she cleared from a storm drain's grate.
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It all started with a desire to lose weight. Six years ago, Allen Cain, Executive Director of the Solano Avenue Association and Solano Stroll, decided as a New Year’s resolution to shed some pounds, set an example for his daughter, and help tidy up the North Berkeley street at the heart of his organization. How would he do this? With regular power walks/trash pick-up expeditions.

Cain spent roughly three years walking, at a feverish pace, up and then back down Solano, cleaning up en route. Eventually others joined him and, thus, the Blue Glove Crew was born.

Berkeleyside contributing photographer Pete Rosos joined the crew for several of their walks recently, and created the photo essay published here. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Police catch 2 armed robbery suspects after high-speed chase through Berkeley, Emeryville

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The high-speed chase ended in Emeryville, near Powell Street Plaza, where the two suspects were eventually apprehended, according to Officer Jennifer Coats, spokeswoman for the Berkeley Police Department.

Coats said the armed robbery happened at Arch and Virginia streets one block north of the UC Berkeley campus at 8:42 p.m. Coats said it was most likely a pedestrian robbery, although she wanted to confirm that.

A police officer saw two suspects fleeing in a vehicle and, when the officer tried to pull the car over, the suspects fled and evaded the police, according to Coats.

After several police cars had pursued the suspects for awhile, the suspect’s vehicle became disabled near the I-80 off-ramp near Powell Street, Coats said. … Continue reading »

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Photos: Cal Day draws thousands to UC Berkeley campus

Cal Day 2015. Photo: Nancy Rubin
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The UC Berkeley campus was teeming with life and a host of free celebratory events on Saturday for the annual Cal Day. At its core, Cal Day is for newly admitted students, but a majority of the activities are designed to appeal to the broader community. Among the highlights this year were performances by San Francisco-based vertical dance company Bandaloop who helped mark the centennial of the Campanile by, literally, jumping off its roof. (See Cal Day’s full program.)

And, like any Cal event, there was a bit of politics on offer. Members of the Black Student Union blocked Sather Gate in the morning to protest the university environment for Black students. The BSU redirected visitors as a way of pressuring Cal Chancellor Nicholas Dirks to respond to ten demands it submitted three months ago.

Contributing photographer Nancy Rubin captured the day for us. … Continue reading »

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Most expensive home for sale in Berkeley is private oasis

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The newly listed five-bedroom home on Tanglewood Road in Berkeley’s Claremont neighborhood has the distinction of being the most expensive home currently for sale in Berkeley (we don’t count the $21 million home for sale also in Berkeley’s 94705 zip code, as it is technically in Oakland).

While it is priced at $4.25 million, it is also worth knowing that the home’s owners spent around $2.5 million totally rebuilding the house after they bought it 13 years ago — a two-year process which has resulted in a stunning spot, one that has served the family of six who have dwelt there very well.

In fact, it was the 17-year-old son of the family, one of four children, who, on first seeing the original property at 25 Tanglewood, designed by noted local architect Hans Ostwald, exclaimed, “I don’t deserve to live in a house like this!” … Continue reading »

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Bayer invests $100M in new testing facility in Berkeley

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Bayer HealthCare on Wednesday announced an investment of $100 million to build a new product testing facility at the company’s 45-acre manufacturing site in West Berkeley. The funds will support the pharmaceutical company’s next generation of hemophilia A therapies.

Bayer said the investment represented its continued commitment to the Bay Area, which is its U.S. headquarters for research, development and biotech manufacturing.

“Building upon our legacy in hemophilia A, we are delighted to continue Bayer’s leadership in working to bring treatment options to patients around the world,” said Joerg Heidrich, a senior vice president and site head for Bayer in Berkeley, in a prepared statement. … Continue reading »

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New film will tell the story of salvaged Moe’s Books film

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First there was the remarkable salvaging from the city dump of a reel of film shot at Berkeley’s venerable bookstore Moe’s in 1965. Then the discovery that the film was shot by none other than Academy Award nominee and Bladerunner screenwriter David Peoples. Result: one happy bookstore owner, Doris Moscowitz, who has been able to relive some of the glory days of the store founded by her father, Moe. And one great story, in two parts, that was reported by Berkeleyside.

Now local film producer (and former Berkeleyside staffer) Siciliana Trevino has set out to make a short film of her own about the whole, compelling tale. Last week, Trevino launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the $8,500 that will enable her to finish shooting (she’s already done two of the three days she needs), and get the film through editing and post-production.

“It’s such a sweet, romantic story,” Trevino said recently, talking about what inspired her to take on the project. “It took throwing the film away for Doris to see it. It shows us how objects are the source of memories, how they are imbued with meaning but not necessarily valuable.” … Continue reading »

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Tangy tastes: Book highlights versatility of yogurt

Warm chickpeas with toasted pita. Photo: Reprinted with permission from Yogurt, by Janet Fletcher, copyright © 2015, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
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Janet Fletcher is probably best known as a supreme connoisseur of cheese. A longtime contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle, she is the author or co-author of more than two dozen books, including Cheese & Wine, Cheese & Beer, and The Cheese Course. Her weekly email newsletter, Planet Cheese, is read by cheese enthusiasts internationally, she is a member of the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers, and she teaches cooking and cheese-appreciation classes around the country. But with her new book, Yogurt: Sweet and Savory Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, which comes out tomorrow, Fletcher has turned her attention to another increasingly popular milk-based food. We caught up with the Napa resident to ask about her possible change of allegiance.

You’re known as the cheese guru — why the switch to yogurt?

I haven’t switched! There’s room for both in my life — every day, in fact. I have been a yogurt eater since I was a teenager; I took it to school almost every day, frozen, in my lunchbox. I started making it as an adult and have picked up the pace in recent years because you save so much money making your own yogurt. Even so, I’m as lazy as the next person and I buy a lot of yogurt, too. I wrote Yogurt because I noticed the proliferation of brands and styles at the supermarket and saw a lot of people standing in front of that vast wall of yogurt, not knowing how to choose. I wanted to steer people to some of the better choices and also encourage them to make yogurt at home so they can control what’s in it. … Continue reading »

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

Smuin Ballet dancers Sarah Nyfield and Robert Moore in Garrett Ammon's Serenade for Strings part of Smuin Ballet's UNTAMED Dance Series 
in the 2014-2015 season. 

Photo credit: Keith Sutter
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UC-Chorus-webcrx-sp-2015_5.5x7.5SMUIN BALLET/UC ALUMNI CHORUS ONE NIGHT ONLY There’s a treat in store on Saturday when Berkeleyans have the chance to see the UC Alumni Chorus performing Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana along with dancers from one of the country’s top-tier dance companies, Smuin Ballet. The program features three top Bay Area soloists: soprano Shawnette Sulker, tenor Brian Staufenbiel, and baritone Eugene Brancoveneau. Bawdy, irreverent and satirical, Orff’s Carmina Burana is a piece for all the senses. Based on 24 poems from the medieval collection of the same name, it is among the most often programmed and popular choral works of our time. The performance will be conducted by Dr. Mark Sumner, Director of the U.C. Choral Ensembles. Also on the program are choruses from Carl Orff’s Catulli Carmina, Carmina Burana’s rarely performed companion piece, and Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo’s Dark Night of the Soul. Carmina Burana is at the Berkeley Community Theater, 1930 Allston Way, Saturday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets sold by section: Silver $40, Bronze $30 at www.brownpapertickets.com. UC Berkeley Student discount tickets available online. For more information visit: www.ucac.ne. … Continue reading »

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Faith groups to sleep on street to support city’s homeless

BART and the city of Berkeley plan to overall the downtown Berkeley plaza. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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A group representing more than 40 Berkeley religious congregations will gather tonight to show its support for the city’s homeless population in the wake of proposed new laws that they say would criminalize the homeless, as well as an incident, caught on video, in which a downtown “ambassador”  assaulted a homeless man last month.

Some participants plan to sleep overnight on BART Plaza alongside homeless people. The “Interfaith Actions in Solidarity with Homeless People” protest includes the blessing of a meal and an interfaith service. The event starts at 5 p.m. at BART Plaza at the intersection of Shattuck Avenue and Center Street.

“We are deeply concerned at the way the city is handling the homeless,” said Sally Hindman, Executive Director of Youth Spirit Artworks, a Quaker, and one of the organizers of the protest. “This is not in the spirit of [Berkeley’s] traditions. We are one of the richest countries in the world and it’s appalling that we have dozens of people sleeping in doorways.” … Continue reading »

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Architecture

11 Berkeley projects recognized for design excellence

Eureka! restaurant. Photo: AB Design Studio Inc.
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Berkeley Design Advocates, a volunteer group of architects and urban planners, showcase the best contemporary design in Berkeley — as well as the best restoration of the city’s historical buildings — with their bi-annual awards.

For 2015, the group has selected the buildings and projects they consider contribute to Berkeley both aesthetically and in terms of civic engagement.

This year the awards fall into three categories: Restoration and Re-use, New Construction/Civic Institutions, and Food and Drink. A total of eleven buildings were recognized, and DBA also gave out a special award for Successful Urban Intervention.

The award winners are listed below, with caption excerpts from the Berkeley Design Advocates award write-ups. Read full details, including the names of the developers and architects, in the Berkeley Design Advocates awards brochure. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley student suspended after stabbing other student

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Update, April 13, 3:30 p.m. According to Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats, police arrested a 17-year-old male from Richmond on the evening of the stabbing on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

Original story, March 26, 6:57 p.m. A Berkeley High School student was suspended after stabbing a fellow student in the back Thursday. The incident happened off campus during the lunch period. The BHS senior who was injured sustained a non-life-threatening knife wound, and was in stable condition with his family Thursday afternoon, according to an email put out by BHS Principal Kristin Glenchur at around 5 p.m.

Glenchur issued the first of two emails to the Berkeley High community just before 3 p.m. She said the incident happened near Milvia Street and University Avenue. Initially it was thought the perpetrator was not affiliated with Berkeley High but, in her second email, around two hours later, Glenchur said authorities had identified a BHS student “as the person who had the knife.”

“The altercation appears to have been personal and not random,” she wrote. … Continue reading »

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