Tag Archives: Ecology Center
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 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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
ROOS 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.
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 »
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 »
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 »
For the past three years Sarah Nelson has run free cooking classes for low-income families under three different names. While working as a special projects coordinator for the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market she brought the program then known as Operation Frontline to the Bay Area.
That effort, a national initiative sponsored by the nonprofit Share our Strength, changed its name to the more apt Cooking Matters in October 2010. Last August, when Nelson left the farmers’ market, she took the cooking class concept with her and now heads up the non-profit organization Three Squares, which is holding a fundraising brunch at UC Berkeley’s Pauley Ballroom this Sunday.
Name changes aside, the core concept of this program remains the same: six weeks of cooking instruction that focuses on kitchen skills, fresh foods, and meal planning for those in need. Three Squares is a lean operation: in addition to Nelson, 31, the staff includes three AmeriCorps members and relies on 400 volunteers to teach about 15 classes a week in the Bay Area, typically two each week in Berkeley. … Continue reading »
Berkeley residents are some of the best recyclers in Alameda County, according to a new report by StopWaste.org. The report covers the years 1995-2010 and shows that Berkeleyans divert 76% of their waste away from landfills and towards recycling, composting and re-use.
“The City Council set a goal of 75% diversion by 2010, and our community has met that challenge,” said Interim City Manager Christine Daniel. “The City has steadily expanded our recycling programs since 1995, and Berkeley residents have taken full advantage of them.”
Albany was the top scorer in the county with an 83% diversion rate in 2010, and Berkeley was also beaten by Emeryville and Union City which both achieved 77%. Piedmont came in bottom with a lowly 59%, while Oakland scores a more respectable 65%. … Continue reading »
The pain in Gordon Loncz’s mouth one Friday afternoon in February was intense. A tooth was so tender that touching it sent spasms through his mouth. The filling had fallen out, leaving Loncz’s root exposed.
It had been three years since Loncz had seen the dentist; his last cleaning had been in 2009 before the state of California cut Medi-Cal funding for dental work. But Loncz, a disabled senior who lives in north Berkeley, knew he had to take action. And he knew where to turn: the dental clinic at LifeLong Medical Care.
For the last 36 years, LifeLong Medical Care has been providing high-quality medical, dental, and other services to Berkeley’s most vulnerable residents. Started by the Gray Panthers as the Over 60 Health Clinic in 1976, LifeLong has now grown into nine different facilities around the Bay Area, with most centered in northern Alameda County. … Continue reading »