Tag Archives: Solano Avenue
With 12-year District 5 Councilman Laurie Capitelli setting his sights on the mayor’s seat, Sophie Hahn and Stephen Murphy have gone head to head this election season to convince the community who will lead North Berkeley best.
Hahn is a former attorney and small businesswoman who was appointed to the city’s Zoning Adjustments Board more than six years ago by Berkeley Councilman Kriss Worthington. She’s fiercely analytic and is known on the board for her comprehensive feedback. It will be Hahn’s third time running for the District 5 seat, having lost to Capitelli in 2012 with about 46% of the vote, short about 700 ballots.
Murphy, also an attorney, is a family justice advocate with the Alameda County Family Justice Center, which offers help to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Capitelli appointed Murphy to the Planning Commission and also the Commission on the Status of Women (of which Hahn was formerly a member, though they didn’t serve at the same time).
Hahn has a higher profile in the community due to her prior council runs, and her work on the zoning board and other community efforts. Her critics, she notes, have called her obstructionist, which she believes to be a gross mischaracterization. She says she has approved more than 2,500 units of housing during her time on the zoning board.
But she has also voted against or chosen not to support projects that did not meet her standards. In April, as one example, she abstained from a vote on a 107-unit project downtown that had no public speakers in opposition because she felt it should, under the law, have one additional affordable housing unit. (The project was still approved.)
She was also one of the authors, with Councilman Jesse Arreguín, who is running for mayor, of the failed 2014 Measure R campaign, which sought to strengthen regulations around green building and labor. Its critics said it would have halted development because it would have made building in Berkeley too expensive. (Hahn disagrees.) It was rejected by a 74% vote and failed in nearly every precinct. Murphy says he ran the ground campaign to oppose that measure. … Continue reading »
It wasn’t a conspiracy, and it wasn’t by design. There were no portable toilets at the Solano Stroll on Sunday due to “a simple error,” event organizer Allen Cain of the Solano Avenue Association told Berkeleyside this week.
Exactly whose error is a matter of dispute. Cain said he emailed in the toilet order months before the huge annual event. The alleged service provider says no order was received.
Cain, who has spearheaded the Solano Stroll for nearly a decade, said he makes all the arrangements the prior April — five months in advance — to ensure he has all the rental supplies he needs. The toilets are usually set up Saturday, the day before the Stroll, to avoid vandalism to the units or to the properties around them.
(Berkeleyside first reported on the missing toilets Monday.)
Saturday, Cain said he was on the avenue at 5 a.m. to mark off the street with chalk, to prepare for the event, before traffic got in the way. Around 11 a.m. or noon, he said, he started wondering where the toilets were. He wasn’t too worried, though, because they sometimes don’t show up until 8 or 9 p.m.
“At about 3-4 o’clock, we start to get a little nervous,” he said Tuesday night. Organizers tried to call the rental service to find out what was going on. But Cain said they could only reach an answering service. The answering service said it had two numbers for United Site Services, the rental company Cain said he ordered the toilets from. But both numbers went to voicemail, and that voicemail was full. … Continue reading »
“I’ve come to the conclusion that at the Solano Stroll, if you don’t see the essence of Berkeley, you’re not paying attention,” wrote Daniel McPartlan to Berkeleyside when sharing with us some wonderful photographs he took at this year’s Stroll, which took place on Sunday. Of course, the Solano Stroll includes Albany too, but we hear what he’s saying. Meanwhile, Berkeleyside contributing photographer Nancy Rubin commented on submitting her amazing portfolio, “I feel the Stroll represents the best of Berkeley — such good feelings, such diversity — of both humans and animals.”
People turned out in droves to the 42nd annual Stroll, despite the vain attempts by the sun to shed any warmth on events, and the unfortunate absence of portable toilets at this year’s event (we’ve asked the Solano Stroll Association for more on this and will update the story when we hear back).
[Update, 4:15 p.m. Allen Cain tells Berkeleyside he submitted his request well in advance, noting, “We go out of our way to provide facilities.” He said there was only an answering service for United Site Services picking up the phone Sunday, and the service could not provide any information. “If they had just told us that they lost the order, we could’ve navigated something but they kept us hanging,” he said.]
The parade was as impressive as always, and this year local election candidates were out in force. And there was a near-constant stream of visitors to the Berkeleyside/Nosh booth and the onsite team — Wendy Cohen, Bethany Del Lima, Kate Williams, Emilie Raguso, Debbie McKeen and Tracey Taylor — were delighted to meet everyone and hear your positive feedback. We will draw the winners of our two raffle prizes — a basket-full of East Bay food and drink goodies and a copy of Kenji López-Alt’s The Food Lab book — shortly.
Meanwhile enjoy the Stroll photographs published here — and thank you for sharing them with us.
It’s that time of year again, and the East Bay’s biggest street festival is coming Sunday with the 42nd annual Solano Stroll.
You can find the Berkeleyside team in our usual spot, between Pegasus Books and iScream, where northbound Colusa Avenue hits Solano Avenue. We hope you’ll come by to say hello.
This year, Berkeleyside’s Nosh site will be our booth’s focus. To that end, we’ll be raffling off a big basket of East Bay food and wine, as well as a copy of “The Food Lab” by J. Kenji López-Alt (don’t miss him at our Uncharted festival, coming in October).
This year’s Stroll is set to feature over 500 vendors including 50 entertainers, 50 food booths, 150 government and non-profit agencies, 150 juried hand-crafters, a 75-entry parade, mechanical rides and much more, organizers say. (The parade begins at 10 a.m.) The expected estimated attendance is 250,000.
We invite readers to share Solano Stroll photos with us by tagging #Berkeleyside on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also add photos to our Flickr group or simply email them to email@example.com. (We always love seeing your photographs of any interesting sights around Berkeley.) … Continue reading »
Longtime Berkeley resident Lu Charlotte passed away peacefully in her home on The Alameda Aug. 9, 2016. She was 92.
Lu was born Lucille Charlotte Stein on Sept. 15, 1923, in Adams, Massachusetts. A bright and energetic student, she graduated from Adams High School in 1941 as class valedictorian. She subsequently attended Smith College, Massachusetts State College (now the University of Massachusetts) in Amherst, and the University of Maryland, where she studied under noted sociologist C. Wright Mills.
After graduating … Continue reading »
WILLIAM STOUT CLOSES/RELOCATES Architectural bookstore William Stout has closed its Berkeley store, at 1605 Solano Ave., and is merging the business with its publishing arm on the Richmond waterfront. Owner Bill Stout told Berkeleyside the North Berkeley store never really met his expectations. “Moving means we can consolidate our inventory and service our mail-order customers quicker,” he said. Stout, whose flagship store has operated on Montgomery Street in San Francisco for more than 40 years, opened the Berkeley store in fall 2010. At the time, Bill Stout said he chose Berkeley because of the store’s publishing collaboration with UC Berkeley, and because he saw the Solano district as being “a more vibrant residential neighborhood than where we are now.” Stout also homed in on Berkeley because he believed there were more bibliophiles in the East Bay. “In San Francisco an interest in books is dying,” he said in 2010. Stout is hopeful that this latest decision”should be a good move.” William Stout‘s East Bay outpost is now at 1328 South 51st St., Richmond. … Continue reading »
[This story is sponsored by Grove Salon. Visit Grove Salon’s website for more information.]
Once people discover Grove Salon on Solano Avenue, they often don’t want to leave — literally.
“It’s not uncommon for clients to ask if they can stay longer even after their service is complete,” says Christina Lameraner, who opened the stylish salon and blow-dry bar last year with her husband, Chris Speer.
“They say it’s because of how much they enjoy the experience of being in such a vibrant, yet peaceful space and the genuine and warm service they receive,” she adds.
As one client put it: “Christina has created an oasis on Solano.” … Continue reading »
NEW: GALLERY OF FINE ARTS Yves Mozelsio has just opened YJM Photography and Gallery of Fine Arts at 1865 Solano Ave. (a few doors west of the Oaks Theater in the former KNA Copy Center). Monday was the first day for the gallery which, Mozelsio says, he opened as a way to provide people with an alternative to online shopping, as well as a space for him to continue practicing his photography (a third of the space is devoted to his photography studio). The gallery has a lovely turn-of-the-century style décor, with Mozelsio’s personal collection of European paintings (dating from 1850-1950) on the walls. The gallery sells paintings by local artists and Mozelsio himself, sculptures by Mozelsio’s uncle, and 11 Queen Anne-style cases of jewelry, mostly silver, crafted by local jewelers. “This is a dream space for me,” said Mozelsio shortly after he made his first sale of a bracelet to his first customer. He said he hoped he has created a feel-good environment for people to enjoy, surrounded by wonderful art. He is happy to hear from local artists who might want to collaborate. Connect with YJM Photography on Facebook. … Continue reading »
Berkeley business owners say a new proposed minimum wage hike will quite simply drive them out of business and, in the process, destroy the unique flavor of shopping districts such as the Elmwood, Telegraph Avenue, downtown and Fourth Street.
At the same time, given that the city is at the forefront of progressive politics on so many issues, many merchants fear they will appear politically incorrect for opposing a higher minimum wage.
“A living wage is a great and lofty goal, but the business community feels very, very intimidated,” said Ky J. Boyd, proprietor of the Rialto Cinemas Elmwood. “People feel they will be retaliated against. Somebody’s got to stand up and speak out about this.”
The current minimum wage in Berkeley, which took effect Oct. 1, 2015, is $11 per hour. Last year, the Berkeley City Council voted to increase the minimum wage annually to $12.53 by October 2016, but the city’s Labor Commission is calling for a higher wage than that (annual increases up to $19, to take effect in 2020) and has called for local enhancements to California’s new paid sick leave amendment.
Council will hold a special meeting to discuss proposed changes to the minimum wage and sick leave policy Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. at Longfellow Middle School Auditorium, at 1500 Derby St. … Continue reading »
Police have arrested a 22-year-old San Pablo man in connection with a robbery at Pharmaca on Solano Avenue in late August, and say they believe he is linked to another Berkeley robbery two days later.
In response to a request from Berkeleyside, police confirmed the arrest of Covan VanHook in connection with the Aug. 29 robbery at Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, at Solano and Ensenada avenues.
Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said another agency arrested VanHook in Contra Costa County on Sept. 3 in connection with a different case.
In the Pharmaca incident, a man entered the North Berkeley business with a gun and demanded prescription medication from the pharmacist, Coats said previously. The robber “jumped over the counter with a gun pointed at the employees and told them to fill his backpack,” according to unconfirmed scanner traffic. … Continue reading »
The weather was perfect — not too hot, not too cold — and the Berkeley-Albany institution that is the Solano Stroll was a tremendous affair for the 41st straight year.
Billed as “one mile of free family fun,” the event saw a great big parade and tens of thousands of people ambling along Solano Avenue in North Berkeley and Albany, enjoying entertainment, conversations at the many booths, shopping at the dozens of retailers on the street, and great food and drink.
Many people stopped by the Berkeleyside booth to say hello and chat — it was a pleasure to see you. Enjoy these wonderful photos by our contributing photographer Nancy Rubin. (And view the full album.) … Continue reading »
SOLANO STROLL The forecast is for a break in the heatwave this weekend, so it should be pleasant to amble down Solano Avenue with tens of thousands of others on Sunday at the annual Solano Stroll. As always, Berkeleyside is a media sponsor of the Stroll, and we’ll be there with our booth — conveniently located in front of iScream ice-cream shop at 1819 Solano Ave. Come by and say hello! In addition to Berkeleyside, you can enjoy the parade (which kicks it all off at 10 a.m.), plenty of live music, mechanical rides, juried hand-crafters, food and drink, and hundreds of local organizations in over 1 mile of free family fun. Sunday, Sept. 13, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. … Continue reading »
Police are investigating a robbery at gunpoint at a Solano Avenue pharmacy over the weekend.
The robbery took place at 5:10 p.m. Saturday at Pharmaca at 1744 Solano Ave., at Ensenada Avenue.
The robber “jumped over the counter with a gun pointed at the employees and told them to fill his backpack,” according to unconfirmed scanner traffic. … Continue reading »