Tag Archives: Berkeley Youth Alternatives
Two weeks after two multiple shootings rattled south-west Berkeley residents, more than a hundred neighbors gathered in the gym at Berkeley Youth Alternatives on Bonar Street on Monday evening, just a few yards away from the first shooting, to discuss possible causes, as well as preventive measures.
According to the police, none of the men shot on the nights of March 2 and March 4 were local. They simply liked to hang out on the 2200 block of Bonar and on the 2100 block of 7th Street. Both incidents, which do not appear to be connected, are still being investigated, according to Berkeley Police Lt. Dave Frankel who addressed the meeting. BPD does not believe they are gang-related and, Frankel added, not all the victims are “being cooperative”. … Continue reading »
Tomorrow, Bay Area Green Tours co-hosts a food field trip spotlighting some of the best of Berkeley’s alternative food systems. It’s part of the 15th Annual Community Food Security Coalition Conference, which runs today through Tuesday in Oakland. The Community Food Security Coalition is a national nonprofit dedicated to creating a food movement that is healthy, sustainable, and just.
The national conference draws sustainable food advocates, anti-hunger experts, and food policy wonks from around the country. The Food Sovereignty tour, which is open to the public (though now sold out), introduces participants to community food gardens, farmers’ markets, school food, and alternative food businesses in this town, which, of course, is well known for its food-forward agenda. … Continue reading »
Update, 6:34pm: An earlier version of this story erroneously reported that the city had withdrawn funding this year for the garden program which is closing. The funding was in fact for the BYA’s landscaping program. In addition, Calworks funded BYA’s Steps to Success Program in 2010, not the garden program as reported. We apologize for the confusion.
The Berkeley Youth Alternatives garden program is scheduled to close at winter’s end after 18 years in operation, and Kim Allen, the program’s manager, will leave at the end of the month after 4.5 years in the position.
Allen said the program has been tight on funds for at least the past year. “Berkeley Youth Alternatives as a whole has been affected by state and local budget cuts, and we have lost foundation support too,” she said. The garden program has been funded largely by private grant monies for a few years and these have run dry, while other grants have not come through, she added.
Berkeleyside reported in July that the program was in trouble but it received a temporary reprieve over the summer. … Continue reading »
Berkeley Youth Alternatives provides minimum-wage positions for roughly 15 young people, aged 14-18, who work during the school year and over the summer maintaining two city parks: Strawberry Creek Park and Grove Street Park. The landscaping program is one of many run by BYA. The youth also work on BYA’s own community garden on Bancroft Way between West and Bonar. The program employs three staff, two full-time, and one part-time, according to BYA’s Executive Assistant Vivian McBride.
In an effort to cut costs, the city last month recommended eliminating the program, which costs $57,000 and is funded by Berkeley’s general fund. Despite petitions from the organization and supporters, BYA was given notice in June that the program would no longer be funded.
It doesn’t get more locavore than this. On Sunday February 20, Berkeley restaurant eVe is partnering with the Berkeley Youth Alternatives garden to serve the first in a series of family-style “dirt dinners”.
All the ingredients for the dirt dinners will be sourced straight from Berkeley soil, many from the Youth Alternative garden itself. As Berkeleyside’s food writer Sarah Henry says: ”I love the idea of dirt dinners, communal, casual eats, that support local community farmers.”
The menu … Continue reading »
For four years Kim Allen has served as garden program manager for Berkeley Youth Alternatives (BYA), which provides a minimum-wage, internship program for socio-economically challenged adolescents ages 14 to 18. Some come to the garden through word-of-mouth from family or friends, others as part of mandated community service.
During the school year Allen’s youth garden crew, typically a group of six to eight, work and learn alongside her in two community garden plots in West Berkeley. There’s the half-acre Bancroft Community Garden, which the BYA shares with two dozen community gardeners on Bancroft Way, and the smaller Community Orchard garden on land the nonprofit owns on Bonar Street. The fruit tree garden includes many heirloom varieties, donated by Trees of Antiquity – among them citrus, apples, and pluots. The Bancroft Garden boasts typical farmers’ market fare.
In the summer, BYA offers an eight-week program for a dozen youth, who put in about 20 hours a week. The organization runs a small Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) during peak harvest season. It sells flowers and whatever is in abundance in the garden to Bill Briscoe, who owns The Bread Workshop. Briscoe puts surplus fava beans, sunchokes, garlic, and other vegetables to good use in his in-house soups. BYA youth harvest about two to four boxes of produce a week for The Ecology Center’s Farm Fresh Choice program, which serves low-income residents. Every other week the garden provides perishables for a local food bank pick-up point. … Continue reading »
He started as a dishwasher, went on to work as a short-order cook in a steakhouse, then did stints in five-star restaurants around the Bay Area and attended culinary school. In 1989, he decided to open a wholesale bakery serving mostly restaurant clients.