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 Berkeley Wire: 09.26.14

Treat by jar ()

Treat. Photo: jar ()

Janaki Bakhle, UC Berkeley’s new “first lady” (Daily Cal)
Labor commissioner finds Berkeley contractor guilty of worker retaliation (Daily Cal)
New Cal lighting can sniff our stinky dorm rooms (CBS Local)
Officials urge removal of eucalyptus trees from East Bay hills (ABC7)
Cal releases report on student athletes grad rates (Fresno Bee)
Mark Morris’ Achilles heel shows in dance program in Berkeley (Mercury News)

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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 »


Op-eds cover Measure D, Measure F, UC and fossil fuels

Berkeley will vote on Measure D, the so-called Soda Tax, in November. Photo: Vox Efx
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Anyone would think there was an election coming up, the number of  op-eds that are being submitted to Berkeleyside these days!

Today our Opinionator section welcomes two op-eds on Measure D, the so-called soda tax measure. One is by Jill Herschman, the other by Dan McDunn, both of whom are members of the community with children in Berkeley Unified schools. Both are against the measure. (Scroll through Opinionator to find we have also published several op-eds that urge people to vote yes.)

Meanwhile, Berkeley Councilman Gordon Wozniak encourages us to support Measure F to “care and repair” Berkeley’s parks.

And a former UC student writes about why she believes UC should divest itself of its fossil fuel investments. … Continue reading »

A kosher harvest at Covenant Winery in Berkeley

Jeff Morgan, the co-owner and wine maker at Covenant Winery
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Jeff Morgan couldn’t keep his hands off the grapes

The gleaming purple clusters were heaped in crates in the parking lot of Covenant, his new winery in Berkeley. Morgan, a saxophonist and writer turned award-winning winemaker, had just brought the fruit down from Sonoma. As he wrapped the straps that had tied the crates onto the flatbed truck, he kept plucking grapes. A smile spread across his face every time he popped one in his mouth,

“These are really good,” said Morgan, a man with abundant kinetic energy and a laugh to go with it. “I am very excited about these grapes. I have never made wine with them before.”

The Grenache grapes were beautiful. They had only been picked about two or three hours earlier from the 700-acre Kunde Vineyard and they glistened in the sun, plump and juicy and without a hint of shrivel. … Continue reading »

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How Quirky is Berkeley? Mark Bulwinkle’s steel artworks

"Quirky Berkeley"
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For more than 40 years, Mark Bulwinkle has lived life on his own terms, doing what he wants to do every day with a unique artistic vision, a welder’s torch, and a Yankee work ethic. His art, especially his cut-steel sculptures, add a genius quirkiness to Berkeley.

Bulwinkle grew up in a house on the Boston Post Road in Weston, Massachusetts. Weston is the wealthiest suburb of Boston and has the highest per capita income in Massachusetts. When Bulwinkle was young, Weston had one of the highest ranked public school systems in Massachusetts.

Next stop for Bulwinkle was the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned a BFA in 1968. Pittsburgh impressed Bulwinkle — something about that steel. He describes being in Pittsburgh after a bucolic childhood in Massachusetts as like being on Mars. He then earned a Masters in Fine Arts at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1972, focusing on printmaking. He liked San Francisco. He describes it as appearing to a boy from Weston, Massachusetts as “the thirteenth moon of Pluto.” … Continue reading »

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The Berkeley Wire: 09.25.14

Spotlight on the Bay. Photo: Kathy

Spotlight on the Bay. Photo: Kathy

UC Berkeley economics professor Lloyd Ulman dies at 94 (Daily Cal)
Soda tax fight in Berkeley, SF, could have nationwide implications (California Healthline)
Berkeley celebrates 50th anniversary of free speech movement (KQED)
UC Berkeley and the making of Yosemite (UCB)
New semester means new anti-Israel protest at Cal (J-Weekly)

Get the latest Berkeley news in your inbox with Berkeleyside’s free Daily Briefing. And make sure to bookmark Berkeleyside’s pages on Facebook and Twitter. You don’t need an account on those sites to view important information.

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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 www.berkeleyideas.com. Full schedule and venue details, as well as speaker biographies, are also listed there. … Continue reading »

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New beer garden, retail planned on Spenger’s block

An artist's rendering of "Fourth & Spenger" at 1901 Fourth St. Image: Abrams/Millikan
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Citing the need to revitalize a business that’s been on the decline for decades, a developer is seeking to make major changes to the West Berkeley block where Spenger’s Fish Grotto has operated since 1933.

Berkeley’s Abrams/Millikan, an architecture and design firm, has big plans for the Fourth Street property, which include the creation of a new beer garden, and the addition of retail shops, office space and parking. The existing restaurant use will remain, but on a smaller scale.

The city’s Design Review Committee took a look at those plans last week, but Abrams/Millkan — working with San Francisco-based Jamestown Properties — held a community meeting in June to provide an overview of the project. According to developers, about 20 people attended, and seven people signed a petition in support of the project, which is called “Fourth & Spenger.” The project was submitted to the city by Elliott Abrams later that month.

Read more about development in Berkeley.

In total, developers plan to add just 10,000 square feet of structure to the property. But some existing buildings on the block are set to be demolished and replaced with new uses, including about 3,500 feet for the beer garden and adjacent patio, nearly 18,000 square feet of new retail shops — on the corners of both Fourth and Fifth streets at Hearst Avenue — and 1,900 square feet for a new fish market next to the restaurant. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s Andy Samberg gives back with a burger

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Thanks to comedian Andy Samberg, a Berkeley native, every time Umami Burger sells its new creation, The Samberger, Berkeley’s Center for Early Intervention on Deafness (CEID) will get a dollar.

The new Samberger comes with Chicago-style hotdog toppings: peppers, roasted tomatoes, dill pickles, a kombu relish, roasted garlic aioli, poppy seeds and yellow mustard. It sells for $13 and can be enjoyed in the East Bay at Oakland’s Umani restaurant at 2100 Franklin St.

The Saturday Night Live and Brooklyn Nine-Nine star, who apparently has no connection to Chicago other than liking its hotdogs, pointed out in a press release that the burger “has literally nothing to do with me. But it tasted really good so we went with it.” … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: Why the 2014 Measure R is not “true green”

Downtown Berkeley, May 2014. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Henry Siegel is the founding principal at local architecture firm Siegel & Strain. His firm was involved in the construction of the LEED-Platinum Brower Center in downtown Berkeley and he has worked on the development of the LEED standards themselves.

In an op-ed piece published in Berkeleyside’s Opinionator section, Siegel argues that the proposed Measure R will make downtown less green, despite what its proponents argue. The “fixes” will “unfix” the Downtown Area Plan ratified by voters in another Measure R in 2010, he writes.

By requiring most tall buildings to be LEED Platinum instead of the now-required LEED Gold, fewer buildings will be constructed, said Siegel. … Continue reading »

Berkeley concert marks free speech movement’s birthday

Jo McDonald
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As a brief catalytic blast of energy, the Free Speech Movement achieved its primary goals so quickly that it didn’t have much time to inspire enduring songs and anthems. But music played an important role in those heady fall months of 1964, when students forced UC Berkeley’s administration to drop campus restrictions on political speech. Saturday’s concert at Ashkenaz celebrates the 50th anniversary of the FSM, while connecting the musical threads between the FSM and earlier progressive struggles.

See other events to mark the anniversary of the free speech movement

Hosted by Lynne Hollander, an FSM founder and the widow of movement icon Mario Savio, the evening opens with a song circle led by singer-songwriter-activist Hali Hammer, followed by brief sets by Country Joe McDonald and Nancy Schimmel, a veteran of the folk and women’s music scenes who sees many connections between the FSM and today’s Occupy movements. She’s likely to sing “Billy Boy,” a song by her mother, Malvina Reynolds, about the 1960 San Francisco protests over the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings, an FSM forerunner. … Continue reading »

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