Bookstore moving into old Black Oak Books in N. Berkeley

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After five years of sitting empty marked with a “For Lease” sign, the former Black Oak Books on Shattuck Avenue in North Berkeley will soon open its doors as a new business.

And that business is: a bookstore.

Books Inc., a Bay Area business that says it is “the west’s oldest independent bookseller,” will open in the former Black Oak sometime in early 2015, said owner Michael Tucker.

At the same time, Books Inc. will shutter its Berkeley store at 1760 Fourth St., essentially moving from one local spot to another, which Tucker hopes will boost Berkeley sales.

“The biggest issue we have on Fourth, beyond the fact it’s a little too small for us… is we just couldn’t get people to come in. We couldn’t get people to think of it as their neighborhood bookstore,” Tucker said. … Continue reading »

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Op-eds on Measure D, overcrowding in Berkeley schools

Cragmont Elementary School: overcrowding is an issue
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Measure D, the so-called soda tax measure which will be on the Berkeley ballot in November, continues to prompt heated debate in our community, and big spending by the constituents that oppose the tax. It’s not surprising: what happens in Berkeley could prove pivotal for the country at large.

Berkeleyside’s Opinionator section has recently welcomed two new op-eds on the subject: one, by Eric Gorovitz, a Berkeley resident, BUSD parent, and Type II diabetic, argues in favor of the measure. The other, by Baylen J. Linnekin, the executive director of Keep Food Legal Foundation, says the tax is the wrong formula, regardless of its ideology.

Read all Berkeleyside’s coverage on the controversial soda tax.Continue reading »

Crime

Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Oct. 2-8

Selected calls for service to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. (Scroll down for maps of robberies, burglaries, auto burglaries and auto thefts.) Click the map for the full list. See the map key here.
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This is a partial list of recent crime in Berkeley, compiled by Berkeleyside, and based on reports to the Berkeley Police Department unless otherwise noted. The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate.

From Oct. 2-8, there were reports of 25 burglaries33 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles and eight stolen vehicles, according to CrimeMapping.comSeven robberies27 assaults, domestic violence incidents or batteries and two sexual assaults were reported. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department included a weapon-related call, a sex crime and a reports of vandalism. These numbers are subject to change. Click the links above for the latest numbers.

We always appreciate photographs and tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at tips@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook or Twitter; please let us know up front if you prefer to be anonymous.

Thursday, Oct. 2

There was a robbery at 7:05 a.m. in the 2100 block of Shattuck Avenue.

There were three home burglaries: at 10:40 a.m. in the 1800 block of Virginia Street; at noon in the 2100 block of Kittredge Street; and at 1 p.m. in the 1300 block of Virginia. Police arrested Ryan Carrihill, 41, in connection with the incident in the 1300 block of Virginia, on suspicion of burglary and assault with a deadly weapon.

Police responded to three disturbance calls: at 11 a.m. at Sacramento Street and Ashby Avenue; at 9:22 p.m. at Ninth Street and University Avenue; and at 11:20 p.m. in the 2300 block of Haste Street.

A vehicle was stolen at 7:30 p.m. in the 1600 block of Berkeley Way.

A man told the BART Police that his $450 green Windsor Tourist bicycle was stolen while it was cable locked to the bike racks at the Ashby BART station between 5:15 p.m. and 9:50 p.m. … Continue reading »

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To improve the food system, start with the words

Russell Moore (second from left), owner of Camino restaurant in Oakland, at Monterey Fish Market at Pier 33 in San Francisco, with owner Paul Johnson (second from right). Image by Douglas Gayeton, published in his new book LOCAL. Click image to enlarge it
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Douglas Gayeton spent five years working on his new book LOCAL: The New Face of Food and Farming in America, a collection of beautiful information artworks accompanied by short essays chronicling the constituents of our country’s sustainable food system. The writer and photographer traveled all over the country, and he says he always knew almost immediately when a photo shoot wasn’t going to work out. If he was approaching a group of animals with a rancher, for instance, and they all began to walk away from them, he knew the gig was a bust.

“There are certain principles of animal husbandry, and if the animals demonstrate with their behavior they believe they have something to fear, it tells you a lot about the relationship,” Gayeton said.

Similarly, if he couldn’t spot a single weed in a field of produce, Gayeton would move on to the next project. “Everything is about the practice,” he said. “The farmer has been using pesticides. It’s not humanly possible to get rid of every weed.” … Continue reading »

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Police

Berkeley police rule cyclist responsible for fatal crash

Kurt Wehner. Photo via Facebook
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Authorities have found a 62-year-old Berkeley cyclist at fault for the crash with a vehicle that ultimately took his life about three weeks ago.

In response to repeated inquiries from Berkeleyside, police said Tuesday that Kurt Wehner rode through a stop sign and crashed into a 2008 Volkswagen in a North Berkeley intersection Sept. 21 shortly after 8 a.m. at Spruce and Eunice streets.

Wehner, a longtime Berkeley resident, died the following day at Highland Hospital.

Berkeley police investigators said Tuesday in a prepared statement that Wehner had been riding his mountain-style bike south on Spruce toward Eunice, where there was a posted stop sign for southbound traffic.

“Just prior the bicyclist was passing vehicles on the wrong side of the roadway at an unsafe speed in violation of the posted 25 mph speed limit,” police wrote.

The Volkswagen — driven by a 63-year-old Berkeley resident whose name has not been released — had stopped on Eunice facing east. The driver had proceeded into the intersection when, police say, Wehner crashed into the vehicle.  … Continue reading »

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Where in Berkeley?

Where in Berkeley?

wib

Know where this is? Take a guess and let us know in the Comments.

Photo: Matt Nichols.

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 10.14.14

Morning shadows by Quinn Dombrowski

Morning shadows. Photo: Quinn Dombrowski

Chancellor Dirks addresses student-athletes at fireside chat (Daily Cal)
Redwood Gardens seniors protest management of housing complex (Daily Cal)
Berkeley City College hits the big 40 (BCC Voice)
Allston Way construction lengthy, expensive, but worthwhile (BHS Jacket)
Big soda is outspending opposition 10-to-1 to fight soda tax (The Nation)
Column: Free Speech threat 50 years later (USA Today)
Simple, creative Halloween costumes (510 Families)

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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After community tip, police arrest SF woman tied to violent Berkeley assault

Alleged assailant. Image still: Berkeley Police
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A community member who saw a video of a violent, unprovoked assault in Berkeley in September helped tip off authorities to the assailant’s identity, which led to her arrest, police said Tuesday.

Last week, the Berkeley Police Department asked for the community’s help to find a woman with an overloaded shopping cart who had — for no apparent reason — forcefully shoved an 85-year-old pedestrian to the ground as she walked in downtown Berkeley with a relative on Sept. 23. The woman suffered serious injuries and was taken to the hospital as a result.

As part of its outreach, the department released a security video showing the assault. (A Berkeleyside post of that video has been viewed nearly 4,500 times on YouTube. Other media sources also made it available.)  … Continue reading »

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Three essential kitchen tools for the home cook

What basic, inexpensive kitchen tools should all home cooks have to hand? Hugh Groman has the answer. Continue reading »

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A ‘Swan Lake’ inspired by an English Royal love triangle

Joined by Berkeley Symphony and conductor Nicolette Fraillon, The Australian Ballet makes its Bay Area premiere at Cal Performances with Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake (choreography: Graeme Murphy), Thursday–Sunday, October 16–19, 2014 in Zellerbach Hall. 

PHOTOS: Jeff Busby
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If ballet is a matrix, Swan Lake is the matriarch of all matrixes.

Structured to follow rules of expression, manipulated according to form and line, the classic equation of good-versus-evil equals tragic ecstasy premiered as a four act ballet in 1877. Since then, choreographers have torqued the score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and the ballet’s synopsis in countless ways, although classical ballet audiences are generally most familiar with an 1895 version staged for the Imperial Russian Ballet by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov.

Twenty-first century film buffs may have migrated to 2010’s Black Swan, a movie starring Natalie Portman. Regardless of the medium, Swan Lake is largely a physical battle involving honor, love, betrayal and mortality.

Enter choreographer Graeme Murphy and the Australian Ballet, making their first Bay Area appearance since 1971 with five performances of Swan Lake at Cal Performances’ Zellerbach Hall on Oct. 16-19. Murphy’s rendition, created for the Australian Ballet’s 40th anniversary in 2002, will feature the Berkeley Symphony with guest conductor Nicolette Fraillon, Music Director & Chief Conductor of The Australian Ballet. … Continue reading »

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Noose at Berkeley High raised concerns over past suicide

Noose at BHS. Photo: anonymous
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Berkeley High administrators considered whether a noose found hanging in a tree earlier this month might have been in some way related to the suicide in February of a 21-year-old man on the BHS campus, according to Berkeley Unified Assistant Superintendent Pasquale Scuderi.

On Oct. 1 at around 2 p.m., a thin rope tied in the form of a noose was found in a tree on the campus green at Berkeley High School.

Berkeley police were called to investigate the incident, and worked with school safety officers.

Eight days after the discovery, on Oct. 9., Berkeley High Vice Principal Jorge Melgoza sent an email to the BHS community detailing what actions the school was taking in the wake of the noose’s discovery.

Melgoza described the noose as an “act of hate” and said it was “a clear and stark reminder that racism is alive and well in this country.”

Administrators also wondered whether the noose might be in some way related to the suicide on Feb. 17 on the campus of Michael B. Hamilton, who was not affiliated with the school, according to Scuderi, who, until last year, was principal of Berkeley High. … Continue reading »

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 10.13.14

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Police search for 2 after dorm room robbery in Berkeley

Clark Kerr Campus. Photo: UC Berkeley
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Police are looking for two young men they say convinced a UC Berkeley student in his dorm room to make a call for them, then stole his phone while threatening to have a gun.

According to police, the robbery took place early Sunday, just before 12:20 a.m.

Police said the student was in his room at the Clark Kerr Campus of UC Berkeley, at 2601 Warring St., when he heard loud knocking on the door of his suite.

He opened the door and found two young strangers outside, the University of California Police Department wrote in a prepared statement. They asked the student to make a call for them on his phone. … Continue reading »

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