OJAI NORTH! MUSIC FESTIVAL Ojai North! is an eclectic festival of music and dance created by choreographer and music director Mark Morris. Offering a wide range of style and influences, the four-day festival runs through Friday at UC Berkeley’s Hertz Hall or on the Faculty Glade. The Friday program is especially intriguing, with a 5 p.m. musical performance by Lou Harrison and a 10 p.m. free outdoor performance on the Faculty Glade. Read our feature story on Mark Morris at Ojai North! More details at Cal Performances Online.
‘THIS IS HOW IT GOES’ AT THE AURORA The last play of the Aurora Theatre’s 21st season, This Is How It Goes has its Bay Area premiere Friday night at 8 p.m. Directed by Tom Ross and written by Neil Labute, This Is How It Goes is an edgy, comedic drama that grapples with issues of race, love, betrayal and relationships. Disclaimer: intended for mature audiences only. Aurora Theatre Company, 2081 Addison Street.
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As a musician, Berkeley’s Hilary Perkins may be a late bloomer, but she’s on the cusp of earning a well-deserved spot on the national stage. A singer-songwriter steeped in bluegrass, country and old-time songs, she performs and records as Nell Robinson, a moniker adopted in honor of her Alabama-raised grandmother. In just a few years, she’s released three critically hailed albums and patiently honed an arresting musical production exploring the stateside costs of American military engagements.
Perkins returns to Freight & Salvage on Saturday with the latest incarnation of the show, formerly known as Soldier Stories and now rechristened as The Rose Of No Man’s Land, with a glittering cast of collaborators including Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, John Doe, Maxine Hong Kingston, and guitarist Jim Nunally (Perkins’ steady musical partner). Perkins is donating proceeds from the concert to support hiring a full-time chaplain for the Berkeley Food and Housing Project. … Continue reading »
Debbie Dean has been named as the new Principal at Berkeley’s Willard Middle School. Dean replaces Robert Ithurburn who is leaving to take up a new post.
The decision was announced at the BUSD Board meeting on Wednesday night.
Dean has been Assistant Principal at Redwood Middle School in Napa for the past five years. Before that, she was an assistant principal and school social worker in the Oakland Unified School District. She lives in Berkeley and is the parent of a student at Thousand Oaks Elementary School
In a statement read by BUSD Board Chair Karen Hemphill at the board meeting, Dean was described as being “well organized” and bringing “a wealth of administrative, teaching and cultural experiences.” She “communicates well with a wide range of individuals, listens carefully, possesses an innovative mind, assumes responsibility, demonstrates a high level of energy, possesses a willingness to learn, is very approachable and knows the secondary education territory, particularly middle school, well. … Continue reading »
What happens when you shake, stir and allow to mingle a music-savvy choreographer (Mark Morris), two earth-and-occasionally-ear-shattering composers (John Cowell, Igor Stravinsky), a marvelously matched foursome (American String Quartet) and a nimble jazz/pop/avant-garde trio (The Bad Plus)?
You get a mixed drink — and that’s exactly what Cal Performances’ Ojai North! 2013 festival served up on Wednesday night at Hertz Hall. Ojai North! continues through June 15.
The performance came amid a day saturated with sound and sights: a red fish blue fish concert in the campus’s faculty glade preceded; a screening of Salomé with live accompaniment followed. Poised on the first-day precipice of Northern California’s strong-arm extension of Southern California’s annual Ojai Valley music festival, much mention was made of Morris’s position as Music Director. The appointment pivots each year: Morris is the first choreographer to assume the role. … Continue reading »
Every once in a while I’ll taste a wine that makes me think, “Who made this? I want to know more.” I had that reaction when I tried the 2009 Roussane from Berkeley’s Broc Cellars. When I found out it was a skin-fermented Roussanne, something I’d never heard of, I had to find out who was making this wine and why. I mean, skin-fermented Roussanne? Who does that?
Chris Brockway does. He’s a man with a clear vision — a point of view when it comes to making wine— a trait he admires in other winemakers. I don’t think he quite recognizes that quality in himself, but that’s what drives him and his winemaking.
Brockway is a Nebraska boy, born and raised in Omaha, who became interested in wine and dreamed of moving to California. When he finally got up the nerve, he drove west and enrolled at the University of California, Davis. Because UC Davis didn’t have a working winery at the time (in the late 1990s), he transferred to Fresno State University. … Continue reading »
The Berkeley City Council has delayed discussion on opening a fourth medical cannabis dispensary since the current federal attitude toward dispensaries has made it all but impossible to site them in Berkeley.
At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, City Councilman Darryl Moore made a motion to table consideration of a measure to establish rules for opening a new dispensary. Mayor Tom Bates seconded the motion and suggested the item return at an October meeting. The delay means that Berkeley could lose from $51,000 to $860,000 in anticipated taxes.
But in the current climate, there is no way a fourth dispensary could open, Bates said in an interview on Thursday. While Berkeley laws prohibit dispensaries opening within 600 feet of any K-12 school, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag has indicated preschools should be included in that prohibition, said Bates. Haag recently filed a lawsuit against the landlord of Berkeley Patients Group, indicating that the dispensary’s new location at 2366 San Pablo Ave. was too close to two preschools. … Continue reading »
This Friday, nearly 800 students from Berkeley High will attend their graduation ceremony at the historic Hearst Greek Theatre. But with equal fanfare, they’ll be joined by 62 seniors from Berkeley Technology Academy (B-Tech). Compared to the many hundreds from BHS, that might not sound like a lot, but consider this: two years ago, only seven B-Tech students graduated.
B-Tech provides a continuation high school diploma program for students who have either involuntarily been placed because of violations of Education Code 48900 or have chosen to be placed there because they are falling behind in academic credits at BHS. Many of the students are economically disadvantaged, nearly a third are homeless, and many have direct experience of violence and incarceration in their community. It’s a small school, with enrollment around 150, many of them in their senior year. The 62 B-Tech graduates this year are part of a class of 73 seniors.
“I want all 73 seniors graduating,” said Sheila Quintana, principal of B-Tech since July, 2011. … Continue reading »
Over the years I’ve reviewed more than my fair share of ‘right-on’ left-wing documentaries, so it’s only fair that every now and then I spend a little time with one from across the tracks. Of course, Pandora’s Promise (opening at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas on Friday, June 14) relies almost exclusively on liberal talking heads to make its conservative point—so perhaps I’m cheating ever so slightly.
It takes some major cojones to make a pro-nuclear power film only two years after the Fukushima Daiichi disaster, but that’s precisely what director Robert Stone (whose excellent Radio Bikini earned an Oscar nomination in 1988) has done. A love letter to atomic energy, Pandora’s Promise will provoke considerable controversy in tree-hugging circles. … Continue reading »
Update: 6/13 at 1:20 p.m. Berkeley police said in a press release that ” the occupants of two separate cars, a dark colored Honda and a dark colored BMW got into some sort of verbal dispute at the gas station at Ashby and 7th. The BMW pulled out and the Honda followed it. Preliminarily, it appears that an occupant or occupants of the Honda shot at the BMW. Both cars fled the area prior to BPD arrival. As per protocol, BPD alerted the area hospitals to call BPD if any victims of gunshot wounds arrived. No victim or victim(s) have come forward. Officers found one bullet strike on a building at 7th and Ashby as well as a parked truck.”
Original story: Berkeley Police are investigating a drive-by shooting Wednesday night that shattered the glass in several windows in the Wells Fargo building at Potter and Seventh streets, near Ashby Avenue.
Berkeleyside readers reported a “huge police presence” on Potter, and said the street was closed between Seventh and Ninth streets while police combed the area for evidence. One reader said six to eight squad cars were posted on the Seventh Street end of the block and at the 76 gas station across Potter from Wells Fargo. More cruisers were stationed on the Ninth Street end of the block: “It looked like the crime scene van in the middle of the blocked part of Potter Street.” … Continue reading »
Update, June 13: The man who died was identified by the coroner’s office as 56-year-old Paul McComas of Oakland.
Original post, June 12: A man who appeared to be homeless died in North Berkeley on Tuesday afternoon, authorities reported Wednesday.
A reader alerted Berkeleyside to the death, at Shattuck Avenue and Rose Street, via Twitter on Tuesday.
Berkeley Police officer Jamie Perkins said there was nothing suspicious about the man’s death. His name has not been released pending family notification, according to the Alameda County coroner’s office. … Continue reading »
The Berkeley City Council held a special meeting Tuesday night to discuss proposed changes to parking pricing in three of the city’s business districts.
The temporary changes are part of a new pilot program, called goBerkeley, designed to link metered parking pricing to supply and demand, and free up spaces for customers downtown, on Telegraph Avenue and in the Elmwood District.
The council has yet to vote on proposed changes, which would use a range of approaches to free up one to two spaces per block in the affected areas. Strategies include a “progressive” rate, to make parking more expensive the longer a driver parks; a “peak period” approach, which would result in more expensive rates when demand is highest; and “premium vs. value” areas, which would offer higher rates in more convenient spots and lower rates in areas, such as parking garages, that are further away. … Continue reading »
Tagged Berkeley City Council, Downtown Berkeley, goBerkeley, Gordon Wozniak, Kriss Worthington, Linda Maio, Parking in Berkeley, Southside, Susan Wengraf, Telegraph Avenue, The Elmwood