Bites: Sprouts to Oakland, water restrictions, more

Sprouts Market. Photo: Sprouts
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Openings, closings…

SPROUTS MARKET HEADED TO OAKLAND While protests continue over a potential Sprouts Farmers Market in University Village in Albany (near the contested Gill Tract research field), the grocery store has quietly revealed plans for a location at 3001 Broadway, at the bottom of Pill Hill, in Oakland. Sprouts’ ABC license is pending, and its retail brokerage firm, Lockehouse, has put together a development plan for the space. The development looks like it will also include additional retail tenants. The proposal emphasizes the higher incomes of potential customers living in the Oakland Hills and Lakeshore neighborhoods, as well as the convenience to both the Alta Bates and Kaiser buildings. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as the project develops. Oakland’s Sprouts Farmers Market will be at 3001 Broadway (at 30th Street), Oakland.Continue reading »

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Events

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

The solar calendar installation at César Chávez Park has been the target of recurring vandalism over the past few months. Photo: Chris Benton
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SPRING EQUINOX AT CESAR CHAVEZ PARK  Gather this evening at the Chavez Memorial Solar Calendar to celebrate the official arrival of spring. The event, led by Lori Lambertson of the Exploratorium Teacher Institute, will include a discussion about the “reasons for the seasons,” the Chavez virtue of HOPE, and other global spring equinox celebrations. Dress warmly: the weather is part of the experience. Friday, March 20, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., sunset is at 7:15 p.m. Cesar Chavez Park, 11 Spinnaker Way, Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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Big Screen Berkeley: ‘Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine’

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It would be churlish indeed to say something negative about the deeply personal Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine, a new documentary opening at Rialto Cinemas Elmwood on Friday, March 20. Directed by Michele Josue, a close school friend of Shepard’s, it’s a criticism-proof film that makes up in emotional punch what it lacks in cinematic chops.

Matthew Shepard was, of course, a young Wyomingite murdered one 1998 night by a pair of pub crawlers. Josue takes a traditional chronological, biographical approach to telling Shepard’s story – not surprising, as she’s a neophyte filmmaker with no professional training.

The diminutive Shepard spent much of his short life on the move. After a stable childhood in Laramie, Matthew moved first to Saudi Arabia (where his father worked for an oil company), then to a swanky boarding school in Lugano, Switzerland. He spent time in Italy, Japan and Morocco, went to North Carolina for college, and lived briefly in Denver before returning to the ironically named Equality State. … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley to cut down trees in People’s Park for safety

The People's Park.
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UC Berkeley plans to remove an estimated 29 trees in People’s Park and prune and stabilize others next week, during the university’s spring break, as part of what it describes as necessary safety and maintenance work.

The decision was taken after consultation with an arborist who identified a significant number of trees as being potentially hazardous, according to Christine Shaff, director of communications in UC Berkeley’s Real Estate office. Some trees in the park, which is Cal property, have been identified as in poor health or potentially hazardous and need to be removed, the university said, while others will be preserved with thinning or with support systems.

The issue came to light at Tuesday night’s Berkeley City Council meeting when one member of the public suggested UC Berkeley was going to remove all the trees in the park, as well as its permanent stage. The speaker, who did not identify himself, said he had been alerted to the proposed work by the Berkeley campus student government group, the ASUC, and he called for people to resist the move. He declared next week to be “People’s Park Defense Week”: “It is going to be a hardcore Occupy. It is going to be the battle for People’s Park,” he said. “It’s going to be like December all over again.” … Continue reading »

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David Wessel: Musical scientist/scientific musician

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In a town known for spawning visionary organizations that insistently hew to a singular path, the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies may be the most Berkeley institution of them all. And that’s because it reflects the polymathic curiosity and probing intelligence of the late founder and director David Wessel, who died suddenly last October at the age of 72. Known by its initialism CNMAT (pronounced senn-mat), it’s a multi-disciplinary research center tucked within Cal’s Department of Music where musicians, composers and leading researchers in physics, mathematics, electrical engineering, psychology, computer science, cognitive science explore the creative interaction between music and technology.

On 4-7 p.m. Sunday, several hundred of Wessel’s friends, family and colleagues from around the world will gather at the Berkeley City Club for a series of improvisation-driven performances, a fitting celebration of his legacy. Among the artists involved are violist Nils Bultmann, Berkeley guitarist John Schott and Matthew Wright on electronics, and vocalist Thomas Buckner, saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, Earl Howard on synthesizer, and percussionists George Marsh and Jennifer Wilsey.

“We’ll have several of his closest collaborators on stage performing,” said composer and CNMAT Director Edmund Campion, who Wessel brought to CNMAT in 1996 (he became co-director in 2008). “It could go on for days with all the musicians who will be there, so we had to put some limits on it.”

While the celebration is far more geared toward musical tributes than spoken reminiscing, Campion says that there will be no shortage of text, including abstracts from the hundreds of research projects to which Wessel contributed, “an incredible legacy of published papers, at a rate and amount that’s pretty mind boggling.” … Continue reading »

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CHP seeks driver who fled after Berkeley crash injures 5

A crash on I-80 earlier this week sent five people to the hospital. Photo: Don Melandry
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The California Highway Patrol is looking for a driver who caused a crash on the freeway in Berkeley earlier this week that overturned his vehicle and sent three children and two adults to the hospital.

According to Deputy Berkeley Fire Chief Avery Webb, three vehicles were significantly damaged in the four-car collision. Westbound Interstate 80 was shut down for 10-15 minutes during the initial emergency response.

The crash took place Wednesday at 1:20 p.m., said Oakland CHP spokesman Officer Sean Wilkenfeld. A caller reported a collision on westbound Interstate 80 at University Avenue in Berkeley.

Wilkenfeld said the suspect’s 2015 Jeep Patriot, a rental car, rear ended a 1996 Honda Accord driven by a 32-year-old Oakland woman, causing the Jeep to overturn. There were three children — ages 2, 4 and 11 — in the Honda. They were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The Honda’s driver also was taken by ambulance to the hospital for treatment. … Continue reading »

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The Berkeley Wire: 03.19.15

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A Berkeley note to Wall Street Journal thief gets results

The original note posted by Richard Nagler addressed to the paper thief. Photo: Marty Schiffenbauer
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After we published the story of a novel note to a newspaper thief earlier today, things began to fall into place.

We now know that the note, signed “Richard” and placed outside Skylight & Sun on Blake Street in Berkeley, was written by the owner of that business, Richard Nagler, who also happens to be an accomplished photographer whose work has been featured on Berkeleyside.

Nagler tells us the carefully crafted note — which has drawn widespread admiration from both passers-by on Blake and those who saw it on Berkeleyside — has, in fact, had an impact.

Nagler’s copy of the Wall Street Journal has been on his doorstep ever since the thief read the note.

How do we know he read the note? Because, just as Nagler’s surveillance video captured the thief taking the newspaper ever since he installed it March 9, it also caught him looking at the note.

“The perp read the note carefully (we have him on video) but I’m afraid he has yet to take me up on my proposal,” said Nagler on Thursday — referring to his offer to let the man take the paper and read it, on condition he returned it in “a relatively crisp state with no coffee stains.”

“I have gotten the WSJ every day since the note went up,” Nagler said.

It turns out Nagler hasn’t been seeing much of his subscription copy of the Wall Street Journal for more than a decade — yes, that long. … Continue reading »

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Non-profits

Bay Nature: Restitches our connection to natural world

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No matter how grand the “internet of things” becomes, all the digital wizardry in the world will never rival the unsurpassable majesty of nature.

Applied to the Bay Area, this global truth spears the soul four times a year as it arrives in the unassuming vehicle of the quarterly magazine Bay Nature.

Marking the 15th anniversary of a publication dedicated to the natural world of the San Francisco Bay Area, the magazine, whose offices are in Berkeley, has flowered into 53 consecutive editions, an informational website, “Bay Nature on the Air” videos, and free naturalist-led hikes.

At the helm of the independent nonprofit organization, Bay Nature Institute, sits publisher and editor David Loeb. Or rather, Loeb hikes, animal-watches, kayaks, cycles and otherwise explores water, land and sea while searching for the next story, the next gorgeous photograph. … Continue reading »

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Community

Dead birds, 2 animal legs, wash up on Berkeley beach

This headless chicken and other animals and animal parts washed up Thursday on a Berkeley beach. Photo: Susi Jensen
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A woman on a walk along the beach in Berkeley with her dog on Thursday came across two decapitated chickens, two skinned mammal legs with cloven hooves, and several dead shorebirds.

Susi Jensen, a Berkeley writer, said it isn’t unusual to see a dead carcass on the beach. But she described the number and kind of animal parts she saw Thursday morning as “unexpected.”

“The shoreline is imperfect, but we enjoy it for what it is,” she said. “This time it was a little grosser than normal.”

Jensen was walking her golden retriever, Luna, on the beach along the San Francisco Bay Trail. The trail runs along West Frontage Road between University and Ashby avenues in Berkeley and continues into Emeryville.  … Continue reading »

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Monte Cristo, closed briefly by fire, to re-open today

Taqueria Monte Cristo was closed briefly Wednesday by a fire on the roof. Photo: Chris Draper
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A popular Mexican restaurant on University Avenue was closed briefly by a small fire Wednesday afternoon, but the business is set to re-open today around lunchtime.

The Berkeley Fire Department initially was dispatched for a report of a kitchen fire at Taqueria Monte Cristo just after 4:30 p.m., said Avery Webb, Berkeley’s deputy fire chief.

Four engines, a ladder truck, an ambulance and a battalion chief were dispatched to the scene, at 1446 University (between Sacramento and Acton streets).

Webb said responding firefighters found no fire in the kitchen, but found smoke coming from the roof, where contractors had been using a torch to apply building materials.

Upon investigation, firefighters learned that filters in the ventilation system had caught on fire while the roofers worked. They then used dry chemical extinguishers to put out the flames, and set the filters aside.

“But it started smoldering again,” said Webb. “The ventilation system drew smoke and dry chemicals into the restaurant.” … Continue reading »

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‘To the man who has been taking my Wall Street Journal’

The original note posted by Richard Nagler addressed to the paper thief. Photo: Marty Schiffenbauer
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Late last year Berkeleyside published a story on “Berkeley signs” — the notes, sometimes handwritten, which Berkeley residents are apt to post asking fellow residents, often most politely, to do something — or, more likely, to stop doing something.

As the writer of the story pointed out, here in Berkeley, when we scold our neighbors, we add a little extra flourish.

Reader Marty Schiffenbauer shared the photograph above which he took a few days ago. The notice was posted in front of Skylight & Sun at 2019 Blake St. As Schiffenbauer puts it: “Definitely very Berkeley!” … Continue reading »

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The Berkeley Wire: 03.18.15

Mid-century modern at the magic hour by Film&PhotoArchivist. Photo taken March 11, 2105

Mid-century modern at the magic hour by Film&PhotoArchivist. Photo taken March 11, 2105

Berkeley man charged with special circumstances for security guard’s death (CoCo Times)
Guy Fieri not speaking at UC Berkeley commencement (SF Chronicle)
Police warn of recent spate of van, truck thefts (Inside Bay Area)
Council screens video of exploding oil trains (IBA)

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