Category Archives: Kids
The Berkeley City Council has taken steps to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products within 500 feet of schools, including menthol cigarettes, popular as a sweet-smoke with a slight tingle; flavored roll-your-own tobacco, which comes in such tastes as mint, black cherry and vanilla; and cigars.
Berkeley’s menthol move came the week before the launch of major statewide public health campaign on the marketing and availability of tobacco products and junk food.
“The tobacco industry continues to find cheap, new ways to entice our youth. Flavored products that appeal to youth are often marketed just a few blocks from schools,” said Dr. Janet Berreman, director of Berkeley’s public health division. … Continue reading »
Tilden Park’s cherished antique merry-go-round will continue spinning — but possibly in a different direction.
For the first time in 21 years, the East Bay Regional Parks District could, at its March 18 board meeting, approve new management and operation of the Tilden merry-go-round. This could spell the end of the merry-go-round’s Christmas Fantasy tradition, a month-long holiday extravaganza the current operators began 16 years ago.
Terri Oyarzùn and her family have managed and operated the 103-year-old carousel and its crew of colorful wooden animals since the previous operators retired in 1993. When her second 10-year contract expired last year, and EBRPD put the merry-go-round out to bid, Oyarzùn was among three potential operators who submitted proposals, but hers was not ultimately selected. … Continue reading »
This time of year is always hard for the Berkeley High class of 1974 boys basketball team.
“A Valentine’s day doesn’t go by without me thinking about those 15 guys I played with,” said Kenny Walter, former guard.
Forty years ago in February, 17-year-old Greg Brown, the leading scorer on the team, died from sudden cardiac arrest in the middle of a game.
It was in honor of Brown — and the installation of seven automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at Berkeley High that might have been able to save the athlete’s life — that members of the ’74 team gathered together on the court once again, during the varsity boys victorious Feb. 7 game against San Leandro High. … Continue reading »
Dora Sorell, a Holocaust survivor, spoke to more than 400 students at Berkeley High School on Thursday.
Berkeley High teacher/librarian Ellie Goldstein-Erickson facilitated two assemblies with the 90+-year-old Sorell, who has visited the school before. She said she comes back because, “It is important that young people know what happened so long ago, and those who already know should not forget. I worry about that.” … Continue reading »
A citywide initiative proponents hope will close the achievement gap in Berkeley public schools appears to be working, though significant disparities remain, according to data presented Tuesday night in a special session before the Berkeley City Council and School Board.
The 2020 Vision for Berkeley’s Children and Youth — called “2020 Vision” for short — is a broad collaboration dating back, in its earliest form, to 2008, and is designed to chip away at the achievement gap among racial groups in Berkeley schools by the year 2020.
According to organizers, African-American and Hispanic students consistently perform “significantly below their peers on state and district standardized tests and other measures that predict academic success, such as chronic absence, truancy, suspension, and dropout rates. By some measures, the disparity in the academic performance of Berkeley students along race lines, commonly known as the ‘achievement gap,’ is one of the widest reported in California.” … Continue reading »
The cooking component of Berkeley schools’ highly regarded cooking and gardening program may soon be eliminated for financial reasons, and the future of the entire program in middle and high schools is also at risk.
The Berkeley Unified School District board was scheduled to hear details of the proposal in a presentation titled ‘Re-envisioning the Cooking and Gardening Program’ at its regular meeting this evening. However the item has been postponed to a future, as yet undefined date, according to director of the cooking and program, Jezra Thompson.
Under the proposal, cooking classes would be eliminated for the 2014-15 academic year. The focus of the program would then center on gardening for pre-kindergarten through third grades. Gardening programs for middle school and high school students would be eliminated.
A major reduction in funds has prompted the need to re-evaluate the program and jobs will also be lost as a result. … Continue reading »
Camp sessions will run June 21-July 7, July 11-20 and July 25-Aug. 4. The length of stay will be flexible, just like it has been at Tuolumne Camp. Registration begins Feb. 12 for residents and Feb. 19 for non-residents. Rates and more information are expected to be available this week at the city’s recreation department website or by phone, 510-981-5150.
Echo Lake Camp is located just off Highway 50, a few miles south of Lake Tahoe, and about a three-hour drive from Berkeley. The camp’s elevation is 7,400 feet, nearly 4,000 feet higher than Tuolumne Camp (and colder at night). It sits alongside the Pacific Crest Trail and the Tahoe Rim Trail near the El Dorado National Forest. The camp “boasts incredible views,” according to a city press release. … Continue reading »
A fifth grader at John Muir Elementary School in Berkeley was honored in his classroom yesterday by the Berkeley police for his “eagle eye and his quick, decisive response” in helping search teams find a missing senior citizen with dementia last week.
Sixty-one-year-old Monte Winterhalter went missing from a house on Tunnel Road near Domingo Avenue in Berkeley on the morning of Tuesday Jan. 14. He had only recently moved to the area and suffers from dementia. Winterhalter was found in the evening of the same day by Brandon Coleman and his mother, Niema Coleman, who spotted him in the area of Broadway and Monroe Street in Oakland. … Continue reading »
Just weeks after an agender student was set on fire in Oakland while riding an AC Transit bus, the Berkeley Unified School District has adopted new policies to protect those who are transgender, gender fluid, or do not identify as male or female.
The school board adopted the new policies, which will go into effect immediately, by a 5-0 vote at its meeting on Wednesday Dec. 11.
The new rules will allow people born into one sex but who identify with another to use whatever bathroom or locker room they prefer. They can join the athletic team of their choice and dress however they want. They can use whatever pronoun they prefer to refer to themselves. … Continue reading »
When the new West Branch of the Berkeley Public Library opens on Saturday Dec. 14, officials hope that it not only becomes a place for people to take out books, but a community center that allows people to collaborate and build their businesses.
The new 9,300 square foot, $7.5 million structure at 1125 University Ave. (at San Pablo) — first net-zero library in California – will have the largest community meeting room in the branch system. It can hold up to 100 people and it can be configured for video conferences and computer coding, as well as for meetings. There are numerous electrical outlets near the tables to accommodate laptops (which are also available for use) and a long counter that faces out onto the small garden holding a newly planted cork oak tree.
“It’s really not a traditional community reading room but an extension of the library,” said Library Director Donna Corbeil as she pointed to the glass wall that separates the meeting room from the rest of the building. … Continue reading »
By Varya Simpson
In many people’s minds, Berkeley is synonymous with alternative lifestyles. So it should not be surprising that Berkeley currently is home to 17 yoga studios with a wide array of classes to choose from.
Originally, hatha yoga was only one part of a complex system of self-discipline in India, which lead to union with the divine. Over the last 20 years, it has achieved mainstream world-wide popularity as a healthy and accessible form of exercise. Berkeley has, once again, kept up with the times. … Continue reading »
So many new students have unexpectedly enrolled for kindergarten for the 2013-2014 school year that the Berkeley Unified School District has to add three new kindergarten classrooms.
BUSD has seen steady growth in enrollment in recent years and had projected for larger numbers of kindergarten students, but an additional 66 students unexpectedly signed up, according to a letter sent out this week and signed by Superintendent Donald Evans and Neil Smith, assistant superintendent for educational services. … Continue reading »
THE FICKLE BAG The handbag and accessory store The Fickle Bag has shut its doors at 1885 Solano Ave. A note on the store’s website announcing the closure of the 3-year-old business does not provide details regarding why it closed. However, owner Jua Park also operates a Fickle Bag location in the San Francisco International Airport, which will remain open. (Hat tip: Jane Tierney)
IT’S THE CHILDREN Also recently closed is the boutique children’s clothing store, It’s The Children, near the Vine Street Peet’s at 1506 Walnut St. According to the North Shattuck Association, the owner was originally hoping to relocate the business, but ultimately closed instead. The reason for closure is unknown, as the owner didn’t notify the neighborhood business organization, but low-level foot traffic on Walnut combined with the success of nearby Kid Dynamo may have come into play. (Hat tip: Doug Ng) … Continue reading »