Tag Archives: Ecology Center

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg donates $85,000 to support Berkeley’s proposed soda tax

Michael Bloomberg
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Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who fought unsuccessfully to establish a cap on the size of soda portions sold in that city, has donated $85,000 to the Yes on Measure D campaign.

His contribution – the largest the soda tax advocates have gotten to date – is one of three significant donations made by national groups in recent days, according to Josh Daniels, the co-chair of the campaign. The American Heart Association recently gave $23,000 and the Center for Science in the Public Interest kicked in $15,000. … Continue reading »

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Bites: Rosamunde Sausage and Plum expand, more

Rosamunde Sausage & Grill will open in Oakland's Temescal. Photo: Rosamunde
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Openings, closings…

SAUSAGE GRILL TO TEMESCAL Rosamunde Sausage Grill is set to open in the old Good Bellies Café space at 4659 Telegraph Ave. It’s the second East Bay location for the sausage and craft beer purveyor, which is also at Swan’s Marketplace in Old Oakland. Inside Scoop SF reports that owner Josh Margolis thinks Temescal’s restaurant row, with all its buzz, is “a great place to be.” It’s the fifth Rosamunde location — others are in San Francisco and Brooklyn. Rosamunde Sausage Grill will be at 4659 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. Connect with Rosamunde on Facebook and Twitter.

UME IS NO MORE It’s only been the blink of an eye, but Oakland’s Ume, next door to Plum Bar, both part of the Daniel Patterson Group empire, has been shuttered. It will re-open as an expanded Plum Bar & Restaurant, according to the Bay Area News Group. Plum became Japanese-centric Ume — Japanese for “plum” —  just four months ago, while Plum Bar next door continued as was. The newly configured spot will offer a seasonal menu of “Americana flavors,” including biscuit sandwiches, Plum Bar burgers, and soft-serve desserts from the Malted, a hit at San Francisco’s Alta CA, another Patterson eatery. A Patterson Group rep told Inside Scoop SF that Ume was “always meant to be a pop-up to see if that format/style worked for the neighborhood,” and that ultimately it was decided “that expanding Plum Bar made the most sense for the community.” Plum Bar is at 2216 Broadway (near 22nd Street) in Oakland. Connect with Plum Bar on Facebook and Twitter.Continue reading »

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

Shrek The Musical continues at Berkeley Playhouse through Aug. x. photo Ken Levin
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SHREK THE MUSICAL Shrek the Musical continues at Berkeley Playhouse through Aug. 3, including several performances on Saturday July 12 and Sunday July 13. This “silly, modern-day fairytale,” described as “a visual adventure” and “highly entertaining” by local reviewers, tells the story of everyone’s favorite ogre who goes on a life-changing adventure. Joined by a wise-cracking donkey, this unlikely hero fights a fearsome dragon, rescues a feisty princess and learns that friendship and love aren’t only found in fairy tales. The large adult and youth cast is directed and choreographed by Matthew McCoy with music direction by Rachel Robinson. Visit Berkeley Playhouse for dates and times, including several “pay what you can” performances. … Continue reading »

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City lauds 29 ‘energy smart’ businesses in Berkeley

Local businesses that are taking steps to track and reduce greenhouse gas emissions were recognized Thursday night. Photo: Mark Coplan
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The city of Berkeley recognized more than two dozen local businesses Thursday night for their efforts to track and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions as part of the second annual Energy Smart Awards program.

Commercial buildings make up approximately 52% of Berkeley’s overall emissions, making reductions “an essential step for Berkeley as a whole to achieve the goals of the Climate Action Plan,” according to a statement released Friday by the city.

The plan was created by the city in 2006 and sets a target of a 33% reduction in emissions by 2020, followed by an 80% reduction by 2050. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley greenhouse gas emissions down 8% since 2000

This graphic by the city of Berkeley illustrates Climate Action Plan successes and outlines what still needs to happen moving forward.
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The city of Berkeley has reduced community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 8% since 2000 despite a 10% increase in population, the city announced in an annual report mailed last week to residents and businesses throughout the city.

The mailing is the most comprehensive public report produced by the city to date on its progress toward Climate Action Plan goals established in 2006. The city has set a target of a 33% reduction in emissions by 2020, and an 80% reduction by 2050.

The latest annual report, centered around the theme of sustainability, is “a way to look at a broad swath of what city government work is,” said city spokesman Matthai Chakko, “how departments all come together, even if they seem to be working separately, toward a common goal.” … Continue reading »

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Planting in the sky: Berkeley’s secret rooftop gardens

The Berkeley animal shelter's roof garden as of fall 2012. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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There’s a secret green side to Berkeley, one that is not visible from the sidewalk.

They are Berkeley’s roof gardens — oases of calm amidst a city of concrete. Some were created to provide food, others to make buildings more energy-friendly. Whatever the reason, they remain mostly unseen.

Over the past few weeks, Berkeleyside has located several living roofs around Berkeley. Of course, journalists can’t fly, so we likely did not find every rooftop garden. By contacting architects, squinting at Google Maps, and combing through past exposés on green living, we found four living roofs scattered around the city. If you know of any roofs that we missed, please let us know in the comments. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley to collect more plastics in curbside collections

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The Ecology Center announced today that it will now collect more types of plastic items, expanding its curbside collection and processing to handle things like dairy tubs, tupperware, vitamin bottles, plastic cups and trays.

“It’s sort of been a long time coming,” said Martin Bourque, executive director of the Ecology Center, which has managed Berkeley’s recycling for 40 years.

Currently, the center’s weekly curbside pickup accepts only those plastic products indicated with a No. 1 or No. 2 triangle, and, among those, only narrow-neck designs like disposable water bottles and milk jugs. Bourque said this is because containers with different designs, like yogurt cups, have different chemical compositions and must be processed separately.

“The plastics that we’re adding are plastics that some people put in anyway, so we’ve been sorting them out and selling them instead of sending them to the landfill,” he said.

Wide-neck No. 1 and No. 2 containers will now be accepted in the blue curbside carts, along with some No. 4 and No. 5 items. Read the center’s tips for reducing plastic consumption, which includes an explanation of the numbering system. … Continue reading »

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Bites: What’s new in East Bay food, XXIII

A16 photo
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Openings…

A16 ROCKRIDGE All things going well, A16 Rockridge, the sister restaurant to A16 in San Francisco, will open May 30 in the old Hudson/Garibaldi space at 5356 College Ave. This is the third restauraunt for co-owners Victoria Libin and Shelley Lindgren (also the wine director), who, along with A16 in the Marina, run Michelin-starred SPQR in the Fillmore district. Chef Rocky Maselli, formerly chef-owner of Osteria Sfizo, a modern Italian restaurant in Eugene, Ore., is running the kitchen. Expect his dishes to be influenced by the cuisine of the coastal regions surrounding Italy’s A16 highway. (On the opening menu: selection of crudo, including Somerset oysters and Fort Bragg sea urchin; roasted calamari with lovage salsa verde, lemon and fried corona beans; Montanara Rockridge pizza with lightly fried dough, smoky tomato sauce, burrata and basil; salsiccia e vongole; crispy fried lamb sweetbreads with peas and marsala, and pork polpettone with egg, spring onion, and roasted baby carrots.) In preparation for his new role, Maselli recently went to Naples to earn his pizzaiolo certification, and travelled along the A16 highway researching recipes. Drinks will focus on Southern Italian wines and Italian-inspired cocktails. Think “rustic charm” for the décor which was designed in collaboration with Cass Calder Smith of CCS Architecture. A16 will also offer that rare thing for the East Bay: late-night dining. For details, follow A16 Rockridge on Facebook, or at on Twitter at @A16Rockridge. … Continue reading »

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Bites: What’s new in East Bay food, XXII

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Openings, closings

SISTA SANDWICH New in town: start-up Sista Sandwich, which provides grab-and-go gourmet gluten free sandwiches in Berkeley. Laura Tucker, who founded the company with her sister Sharon Pearlstein, says Sista is one of the few companies to be filling this niche and, so far, business is good.  “Our 100% gluten free sandwiches are made in Oakland and sold in Berkeley,” she says. The idea for Sista Sandwich came in the fall of 2011 while the pair were sitting in a cafe discussing how they would love to start a food related business of their own. While at the cafe Laura, who had been on a gluten free diet for two years already, realized that there was nothing for her to eat, other than yogurt, chips and packs of nuts. The Sista Sandwiches can be found at Berkeley Bowl, in two cafés on the UC Berkeley campus, at the new Café La Renaissance (see below) as well as a couple of small Berkeley markets. … Continue reading »

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

CircusOz_08_Credit_RobBlackburn
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CircusOz_08_Credit_RobBlackburnROOS IN THE TOP PADDOCK Australia’s Circus Oz returns to Cal Performances Friday, Saturday and Sunday for what’s described as “their renowned brand of collective mayhem.” “Stunt-jumping acrobats contest physics, fearless aerial artists laugh at gravity, slapstick knockabouts descend into chaos, and live onstage musicians rock the house.” The matinee performance on Saturday has special Family Fare series pricing. At Zellerbach Hall on Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets available from Cal Performances.

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Shattuck Avenue goes car-free for 17 blocks on Sunday

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More than a mile of Berkeley’s Shattuck Avenue will be open to pedestrians, cyclists, roller-skaters, dancers, and kids on Sunday Oct. 14 — but not cars — as the city holds its first Sunday Streets event from 11 am through 4 pm.

Seventeen blocks, from Rose to Haste streets, will also be a hive of activities as merchants, musicians and community organizations take the opportunity to engage with and perform for local residents. The offerings run the gamut from free free bike repairs courtesy of Mikes Bikes, Missing Link Cooperative and the Bike Station, to street soccer games, free yoga classes, belly dancing, hands-on science activities for kids, and a performance by the UC Berkeley Gospel Choir.

The idea of Sunday Streets, or Open Streets as they are also known, originated in Bogatá, Colombia and has spread around the world, including to San Francisco where it has been a regular occurrence in different neighborhoods for a couple of years. … Continue reading »

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The farmers’ market moves to Lorin district

Shoppers at the Tuesday Farmers' Market. Photo: Nancy Rubin
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The Tuesday Berkeley Farmers’ Market moved to its new location at Adeline and 63rd Street in the Lorin District yesterday and the new spot drew the market’s biggest crowd of the year, according to Ben Feldman, the market manager for the Ecology Center.

While 2,000 to 2,500 people generally come to the Tuesday market during the summer months, hourly counts on July 10 indicated that numbers were higher than that, he said. And the crowd appeared more ethnically diverse, too.

“Our customer counts indicated that this was the busiest market all year,” said Feldman. “It certainly seemed that our turnout for the market yesterday was a more diverse crowd. We had a lot of new faces that our vendors didn’t recognize. We had a lot of our old standbys, too, like people from restaurants.”  … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Tuesday farmers’ market moving to Lorin District

Berkeley's Tuesday farmers' market in its current Derby Street location. Photos: Courtesy Ecology Center
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Some say change is as good as a holiday. Others counter that most resist change. But here’s what everyone can agree on: change comes, regardless.

And so it is that the Ecology Center’s Farmers’ Market on Tuesdays is set to move to a new location. The first formalized farmers’ market in the city, which has called Derby Street at MLK Way in South Berkeley home for 25 years, is slated to relocate come July 10 to the parking bay at Adeline and 63rd Streets in the Lorin District. The market will run, as it does now, from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 6:30 p.m. (It’s a half hour earlier, to accommodate a church service on the site.)

The Ecology Center views the switch to a new spot in South Berkeley as part of an overall plan to increase access to farm-fresh food to areas that lack a major grocery store, though the shift also comes because the Berkeley Unified School District will be converting the adjacent playing field at the markets’ current location into a regulation-size baseball field. … Continue reading »

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