Tag Archives: Earth Island Institute

Rare burrowing owl found dead in West Berkeley park

This dead owl was found Sunday in a Berkeley park. Photo: Urban Bird Foundation
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A rare burrowing owl was found dead recently at Berkeley’s Cesar Chavez Park, raising some concern in the community.

Local resident Heidi Sachs saw the dead bird on a bench during her run at the Berkeley Marina on Sunday and shared the news with Berkeleyside.

“Really sad for me to think about,” she said, adding, “a passer-by mentioned a puncture wound on the owl’s head.”

On Friday, Earth Island Institute’s nonprofit Urban Bird Foundation released a statement about the discovery of the dead owl. The group said it received a report about the carcass Thursday night.

According to the Urban Bird Foundation, the bird was placed on a bench and puncture wounds could be seen on its body. But the group said it did not recover the carcass itself to verify those reports.

Carolyn Jones, a spokeswoman for the East Bay Regional Park District, said it is hard to know exactly where the bird was killed, but noted it could have died on EBRPD property, at Cesar Chavez Park, or nearby. Its cause of death, however, remains a mystery.

“The owl could have been killed by a feral cat, another raptor (hawks will go after burrowing owls, for example), or another predator,” Jones said by email. “Feral cats are a problem at several East Bay parks.” … Continue reading »

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Vandals target artists’ work on Berkeley utility boxes

Utility boxes at Shattuck and Kittredge before the vandalism (left) and after (right)
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Two utility boxes in downtown Berkeley, decorated by artists as part of the city’s Streets Alive initiative, were vandalized over the weekend.

One of the boxes, on Allston and Shattuck, whose artwork was unveiled a year ago this month, had two sides almost completely ripped off. The letters “FLIGO” were also inscribed at the top of the box, on the east-facing side, according to Christina Monzer, Restorations Project Associate at Streets Alive. The design, titled “Redwood,” is by artist Ryan Kerrigan who is known for his rock poster art. It is sponsored by the Earth Island Institute.

The other vandalized box was recently installed at Kittredge and Shattuck outside of Peet’s coffee shop, which sponsored the artwork. Two panels were removed from the box. The artwork, titled “Cup to Cup,” was created by Amelia McCrea, Jamine Hain, Alaytra Johnson, and Lilian Zakki Manahl of Berkeley’s YMCA-PG&E Teen Center, and unveiled on Oct. 2.

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Berkeley honors David Brower’s environmental legacy

David Brower. Photo by G. Paul Bishop 1978
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When Kenneth Brower was finishing up his freshman year at UC Berkeley, his father – the famed environmentalist David Brower – recruited him to work on a project: a book featuring stunning photos of the Big Sur coast entwined with the poetry of Robinson Jeffers.

Never mind that Kenneth Brower, born and raised in the hills of Berkeley, was still in his teens. Never mind he had never edited anything before. The younger Brower moved into the home of famed photographer Ansel Adams in Carmel and started to make forays into the studios of other celebrated photographers.

The result was Not Man Apart and when it was published in 1965 it became one of the most popular of the large-format nature coffee table books that the elder Brower produced. Kenneth Brower went to work on or edit 14 books in the series, including one on the Galapagos Islands during his sophomore year at Cal, before launching his own career as a noted nonfiction writer.

2012 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of David Brower, widely considered to be one of the greatest environmental activists of his time, and second only to John Muir in calling attention to the critical need to preserve America’s wilderness areas. … Continue reading »

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City project will transform utility boxes with vibrant art

A painted utility box in Palo Alto
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There are 60 different utility boxes in downtown Berkeley and they are all gray. But not for long.

A new civic art project has plans to transform these dull, bleak and utilitarian boxes, which are owned either by the city or by PG&E,  into a kalidescope of color and art.

Called the “60 Boxes Project,” the idea is to pair patrons with artists who will paint the boxes or make a design that can be transferred to large polymer stickers and be affixed to the boxes.

“We’ve had a very very positive response to this project,” said Elyce Klein, who is coordinating sponsorships for the group, a collaboration between the Earth Island Institute‘s Streets Alive! program and Berkeley’s Civic Arts Commission.  “The quality of artwork on the boxes will be very high.”

A wide range of sponsors have already pledged their support for the initiative, including Berkeley High School, Peet’s Coffee, the Downtown Berkeley Association, numerous private schools, businesses, individuals, public officials, and non-profit organizations — even the city’s Mayor, Tom Bates.

Now the 60 Boxes Projects is putting out a call for artists to participate. They must fill out a form and submit examples from their portfolio. Each sponsor will get to choose their own artist. The theme is “sustainability.” … Continue reading »

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Coming soon: A 3-story mural painted by city’s youth

Aambr and Jane Painting
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It will also be one of the city’s largest murals. Work has been ongoing on the three-story piece –which is on an interior stairway that faces MLK Way at the Teen Center —  for weeks.

The mural is an initiative of The True Colors Mural Project, a Berkeley City College class, and was designed with Berkeley teens from the Teen Center’s AMP council. The project was lead by Juana Alicia Arazia and her assistant Cece Carpio and is sponsored by Berkeley City College and Earth Island Institute.

This artwork is described as depicting “a world that faces environmental, social and moral challenges, while expressing the dreams and hopes of a young generation as they prepare to become the future leaders and guardians of this planet.” … Continue reading »

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Food and farming: Double header this Thursday

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Berkeleysiders interested in food and farming may find themselves torn between two edible events being held downtown — or bouncing between both this Thursday.

The Earth Island Institute and VegNews Magazine host a hot-topic debate: “Can You Be a ‘Good Environmentalist’ and Still Eat Meat?” In one corner, Nicolette Hahn Niman, a Marin rancher and author of Righteous Porkchop, who believes there is an ecologically sustainable way to eat animals. Niman’s … Continue reading »

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Berkeley beautification: Transforming the utilitarian

Utility box Berkeley
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Following our coverage of the mosaic-covered bollards on Ashby and Fulton, the person behind their metamorphosis, Lisa Bullwinkel, got in touch to let us know of a great way for people to get involved with a beautifying project for our fair city. She writes:

Attention local businesses and artists:
There are 60 utility boxes within the Downtown Berkeley Area. All of them are grey. [Ed: As shown in photo, top left. The other two … Continue reading »

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Berkeley group hopes Oscar stops dolphin slaughter

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Berkeley’s Earth Island Institute, the group behind the Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove, is hoping the Oscar will draw increased attention to the slaughter of dolphins in Japan.

The Cove, will open in Japan next month, tells the story of a cove in Taijicho, a town in southeastern Japan where thousands of dolphins are herded each year and stabbed to death.

“People are calling in from around the world saying we hope this sends a signal to the … Continue reading »

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