Category Archives: Local business

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Waterside Workshops is a community bicycle sop and youth education program  oeprating since 2007.  Photo: Waterside Workshop
Print Friendly

WATERSIDE WORKSHOPS The West Berkeley community bike store and education center is opening a new bike repair shop and has a newly renovated rental shop. It will hold a Grand Opening to showcase both on Saturday, May 30, 12-6 p.m. at 84 and 90 Bolivar Drive. The event will also serve as a bike drive: bring a bike to donate and receive a gift card from Waterside Workshops’ list of sponsors. Waterside Workshops began offering wooden boat building and bike mechanics classes for local youth in 2007, and expanded to include a bicycle store and rental facility in the following years.”The creation of Waterside Workshops served a two-fold purpose, addressing the need for vocational training as a part of a healthy community and revitalizing a highly under-used urban park,” the organization states on their webpage. The weekly Public Shop event where mechanics assist attendees in fixing their own bikes, will take place in the new building at 90 Bolivar Drive. Retail sales and bike rentals will continue to operate from the old site at 84 Bolivar Drive (between Addison and Bancroft). Visit the Waterside Workshops website and connect with them on Facebook.Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , ,

Berkeley looks to limit electronic and flavored cigarettes

Local merchants came out Tuesday night to ask council to reconsider proposed legislation to limit tobacco sales. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Print Friendly

After hearing emotional pleas from many local retailers, the Berkeley City Council voted Tuesday night to limit the scope of proposed legislation regarding nicotine product sales, at least for now.

Council voted 8-1 in favor of a new ordinance that would prohibit the sale of flavored cigarettes, cartridges for electronic cigarettes, and e-cigarettes pre-loaded with cartridges within 1,000 feet of Berkeley schools and parks. Mayor Tom Bates suggested the compromise, and Councilman Kriss Worthington was the lone vote in opposition to it.

Approximately 10 merchants told council that the staff recommendation — to ban tobacco sales within 1,000 feet of schools and parks — would have put them out of business, impacting not only them and their families, but also their employees. According to the city, there are 84 licensed tobacco retailers within Berkeley; all but 11 of them would have had to stop selling tobacco under the staff proposal.  … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Council to consider broad limits on tobacco sales

A menthol-flavored electronic cigarette. Berkeley City Council is taking steps to prevent youth being exposed to menthol and flavored cigarettes. Photo: Lindsay Fox
Print Friendly

Update, May 13: Council approved a pared-down proposal Tuesday night focused on electronic and flavored cigarettes. See the Berkeleyside update.

Original story, May 12: The Berkeley City Council is set to adopt, on first reading, a severe nicotine sales restriction law during Tuesday night’s meeting that would limit sales of tobacco products and electronic cigarettes around local schools and parks.

Under the new law, most of the city would effectively become off-limits for tobacco and e-cigarette sales.

The new ordinance would go into effect Jan 1, 2016, and would prohibit the sale of tobacco products within 1,000 feet of schools and public parks. Businesses would be allowed a grace period of one to two years to “minimize economic hardship” and comply with the new regulations. Businesses that violate the new law could be categorized as a “public nuisance.”

The original proposed buffer zone of 500 feet, as well as the inclusion of churches, day care centers, and other public spaces, was previously considered and rejected by council. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , ,

Neighbors outline demands for Adeline Corridor grant

About 100 South Berkeley residents gathered Saturday to discuss community demands for a plan to revitalize the area. Photo: Natalie Orenstein
Print Friendly

About 100 neighbors gathered Saturday morning at the South Berkeley Community Church to work on a document outlining their hopes for the city’s revitalization of the Adeline Corridor.

It was the second meeting of Friends of Adeline, a community group created after the city was awarded a $750,000 planning grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission last year. At a public information session hosted by the city in January, many residents said they were concerned the project would threaten the diversity and history of the neighborhood.

With the encouragement of Councilman Max Anderson, neighbors convened for the first time in April to begin to draft a “manifesto” to present to the city and MIG, the Berkeley-based project consultant that will oversee the grant.

“We are a resident-led group here,” said Chris Schildt, who facilitated Saturday’s meeting with planning commissioner and Berkeley native Ben Bartlett. “I think it’s important to recognize that, while the city is creating this process for us, we need to make sure that we know, and as a collective voice can say, what neighbors want.” … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Berkeley council says affordable housing, union labor should be priority community benefits

Speakers at the May 5, 2105 city council meeting on community benefits could pick up a number of signs that represented their point of view. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
Print Friendly

The Berkeley City Council took its first steps Tuesday to prioritize which community benefits it will require from developers, and affordable housing and local union jobs were the top priorities.

Council members said other priorities could include ensuring that businesses impacted by the 18-story apartment building proposed at 2211 Harold Way, particularly Habitot Children’s Museum — which says it will have to relocate — receive some sort of remuneration. They also want a better understanding of the profits developers stand to make so the city can recapture some of the increased value that comes from up-zoning land to allow for taller buildings downtown.

The council discussion came after close to 90 residents talked for three hours about their concerns and hopes for three tall buildings now proposed downtown. They include the Harold Way project, an 18-story hotel proposed at 2129 Shattuck Ave. at Center Street, and a 120-foot-high condo complex, L’Argent, proposed at Shattuck Avenue and Berkeley Way. UC Berkeley is also planning to build a 120-foot building on Berkeley Way but, as a government entity, local zoning laws do not apply. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

11 groups vie to open Berkeley’s 4th cannabis dispensary

Amoeba Music. Photo: Tom Dalzell
Print Friendly

The owner of Amoeba Music, former managers of the largest cannabis dispensary in Oakland, a current Berkeley medical cannabis commissioner, and a group that has filed numerous lawsuits against the city, have all applied to open the fourth dispensary in Berkeley.

Most of the 11 applicants want to locate their dispensaries along Berkeley’s main arterials, including San Pablo Avenue, University Avenue, Shattuck Avenue, and Telegraph Avenue. All are not-for-profit entities that vow to give back to the community in many ways.

The applicants predicted a range of incomes, saying their dispensaries would gross from a low of about $1.2 million to a high of $4.6 million in their first year of operation. In their third year, the applicants predicted the dispensaries would bring in from $2.1 million to $9.5 million. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Last days at Scrapbook Territory which closed on Sunday May 3, 2015. Photo: Scrapbook Territory
Print Friendly

SCRAPBOOK TERRITORY CLOSES  Arts and crafts supply store Scrapbook Territory on Fourth Street has closed after 12 years. Its last day was Sunday May 3. The store’s owners explained why they were shuttering on their Facebook page: “Well, I wish it weren’t so,” they wrote, “but our sales are below 50% of what they once were. Combine that with the number of scrapbooking companies that have gone out of business, and it’s just too hard to maintain a 4,000 sq ft store.” Before they closed for good, the store attracted crowds with a 50%-off sale and discounts across the board. Fans posted on Facebook about how sad they were to see the place go. Best scrapbook store ever! You will be missed,” wrote Jeth Gold. Scrapbook Territory was at 1717A Fourth St., Berkeley.Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Forty Acres’ new cannabis site is illegal says Berkeley

Forty Acres Ashby Avenue. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
Print Friendly

Three months after the city council ordered the Forty Acres Medical Marijuana Growers Collective to shut its doors at 1820-1828 San Pablo Ave. because it was a public nuisance, the medical marijuana organization has relocated to 1510 Ashby Ave. – and is once again operating illegally, according to city officials.

Chris Smith, the co-founder of Forty Acres, opened up the Chris Smith House of Compassion/Forty Acres (he uses both names) on April 11 at his home on Ashby Avenue near Sacramento Street. Berkeley ordered Smith to shut operations on April 16. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , ,

Berkeley celebrates as Bookstore Day goes national

Pegasus Downtown, as well as its two other stores, will participate in California Bookstore Day on May 2. Photo: Pegasus Books.
Print Friendly

By Michael Berry

After years of dwindling sales and gloomy news, some independent bookstores in Berkeley – as well as around the Bay Area and across the nation – are bouncing back and are again in a celebratory mood.

Saturday May 2 marks both the return of California Bookstore Day and the first national Independent Bookstore Day. For book lovers, the day brings opportunities to meet authors, purchase exclusive merchandise, and participate in all manner of readings, signings and literary parties.

Four hundred stores across the nation will participate this year. In California, 93 stores plan to participate, including many in Berkeley. The first National Independent Bookstore Day is sponsored in part by Penguin Random House and The American Booksellers Association. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , ,

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Marvel and Co. reopened in April and now carries dresses and shirts from Dosa, a designer line.
Print Friendly

MARVEL AND COMPANY Marvel and Company, which reopened this month after a makeover, sells an array of high-end, vintage home decor items, linen, and collectible trinkets from around the world. But the main feature of the store is the clothes from Dosa, a Los Angeles-based designer line. Handmade from cotton, linen, and silk from India, the skirts, dresses, and shirts are priced between $200 and $500. Owner Marsha Guerrero said she strove to build a quaint atmosphere reminiscent of a Wes Anderson movie when she renovated an old massage parlor to create the store. The store is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. or by appointment. Marvel and Company is at 1443 University Ave. (between Sacramento and Acton streets).Continue reading »

Tagged , , , ,

‘Fight for 15′ protesters march in Berkeley, Oakland

Fight for 15 marchers. Photo: Ted Friedman
Print Friendly

Update, 6:27 p.m. The intersection is now open, according to the Berkeley Police Department.

Update, 6 p.m. As per the Berkeley Police Department, “The intersection of University and Shattuck is closed due to a demonstration. It is unknown when the intersection will reopen.”

Original post, 5:01 p.m. As supporters of increasing the minimum wage to $15 marched through Berkeley late Wednesday afternoon, authorities warned of traffic and delays in the area, and helicopters hovered overhead to capture the action.

“Due to a protest march along Bancroft Way, Shattuck Avenue, University Avenue, and Martin Luther King Jr. Way/Milvia Street, there will be delays and possible detours in the downtown Berkeley area tonight, April 15,” according to an email alert sent by AC Transit at 4:46 p.m. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Bayer invests $100M in new testing facility in Berkeley

Bayer
Print Friendly

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 »

Tagged , , ,

LeConte residents express concern about Berkeley Honda’s move to site of Any Mountain store

A photo of a preliminary rendering of 2777 Shattuck Ave. prepared by Trachtenberg Architects
Print Friendly

More than 50 residents of the LeConte neighborhood turned up for a meeting Wednesday night to hear about Berkeley Honda’s plans to move into the historic Shattuck Avenue building now housing Any Mountain.

While numerous people at the raucous – and sometimes unruly – meeting said they support the family-owned Berkeley Honda, they said it should not move to its proposed location at 2777 Shattuck Ave. between Stuart and Ward streets.

Neighbors expressed concern about too many cars, congestion, the safety of children walking to Willard Middle School and Le Conte Elementary School, and how the presence of a service garage could bring down property values. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,