Tag Archives: Telegraph Avenue

Group proposes lighted arch over Telegraph Avenue

Telegraph arch
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A coalition of city and campus groups is proposing to erect a decorative lighted archway on Telegraph Avenue to better define the shopping district.

The arch, which would be erected near Dwight Way, would serve to “emphasize and celebrate the four blocks of Telegraph between Dwight and Bancroft that distinguish it from Oakland’s Temescal and Berkeley’s Downtown,” according to an encroachment request letter submitted to the city. Students standing at the soon-to-be remodeled Lower Sproul Plaza would be able to look down the street and see the arch, and those at Dwight could look north to the campus, creating a visual connection between the University and the Avenue. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley settles case with blighted Telegraph lot owner

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The city of Berkeley and Ken Sarachan have settled a lawsuit over his empty lot at 2501 Haste St. on the corner of Telegraph Avenue, clearing the way for the construction of a a six-story, mixed-use, Moorish, palace-like structure inspired by Italian hill towns, Tibetan forts and the rock-cut architecture of Petra in Jordan.

Under the settlement, Berkeley agreed to drop its lawsuit to force Sarachan to pay $640,000 in liens or have the city sell the lot at auction. In exchange, Sarachan agreed to meet specific deadlines to pursue and build something on the lot that has been vacant for more than 20 years. … Continue reading »

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City parking garage fees up downtown, down on Telegraph

The Telegraph Channing garage will be free for the first hour beginning Dec. 2. Image: Google Maps
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Tuesday night, the Berkeley City Council voted to change parking rates in three city-owned garages, downtown and near the Cal campus, as part of its goBerkeley effort to change driver behavior and make it easier for visitors to find street parking.

The multi-pronged campaign has been underway since earlier this year, and has included the promotion of alternative modes of transportation — via the distribution of car-sharing memberships and free transit passes — as well as adjustments to parking meter rates and time limits downtown, south of the UC Berkeley campus and in the Elmwood.

The pilot program aims to reduce pollution, congestion and drivers circling for a spot by using what’s known as demand-responsive pricing, which sets parking rates based on a supply-and-demand philosophy. The most convenient spots tend to be the most expensive and are available for shorter amounts of time, while spots further away, which are in less demand, are cheaper and can be used for longer periods. … Continue reading »

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At a glance: Black Spring Coffee Company in Oakland

Black Spring Coffee Company opened in Oakland earlier this month. Photographs courtesy of Our Oakland.
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One of the latest places to open on Telegraph is Black Spring Coffee Company on the edge of Pill Hill. Continue reading »

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Metered parking changes launch Tuesday in Berkeley

The city-sponsored goBerkeley campaign is based on the concept of demand-responsive pricing. Image: City of Berkeley
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After months of outreach and planning, new parking meter rules designed to change business-as-usual in three commercial districts in Berkeley go into effect Tuesday, Oct. 15.

The changes, under the moniker goBerkeley, are designed to make it easier for drivers to find parking spaces in three of the city’s busiest commercial areas, and to cut down on pollution associated with circling to find a spot. The city says it hopes goBerkeley will make it easier for visitors “to dine, shop and enjoy the arts in three of the City’s most vibrant districts,” according to a statement released by officials last week.

The goBerkeley model is based on the concept of “demand-responsive” pricing, so that prices reflect demand in several congested areas around town. The hope is to free up one or two spaces per block, by raising or adjusting the pricing in a way that will encourage some of the people currently filling spaces to move a bit farther away or use alternative modes of transportation. The city has been studying current parking demand, and plans to analyze how the changes affect behavior.

“If it does what we hope it will – increase parking while decreasing pollution and traffic – the impact is huge,” said city spokesman Matthai Chakko.  … Continue reading »

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Berkeley café owner recounts tip jar robbery with gun

Cafe Mediterraneum on Telegraph Avenue. Image: Google Maps
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A local coffee shop owner on Telegraph Avenue fought back after three teens with a gun tried to rob him in late September. The Alameda County district attorney’s office charged the young men with robbery this week.

According to court documents, Jeremiah Lee, Willie Smith and Markeise Prince — all three of Oakland — were loitering inside Caffé Mediterraneum, at 2475 Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley, when Prince grabbed cash from the tip jar and tried to run away just before 11:40 p.m. on Sept. 28.

The café owner, 61-year-old Craig Becker, confronted Prince and tackled him, wrote police. A struggle ensued, and Lee began to punch Becker to try to free Prince, authorities said. … Continue reading »

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

Homespun Fare. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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HOMESPUN FARE The husband-and-wife team behind I Squared have re-opened under a new moniker, Homespun Fare (pictured above). They opened quietly Sept. 6 at 5403 College Ave. in Oakland. The menu features starters ($6-$10) such as polenta fries and steamed black mussels, and mains ($9-$16) such as oven roasted salmon, a grilled pork chop and lamb shank. There’s also a cabbage wrap that can be made vegan or with ground lamb, and polenta lasagna. The restaurant has no online presence at this point — neither a Facebook page nor a Yelp review — so curious diners will just have to take the plunge on their own.

LEMAT ETHIOPIAN Exclusively on Nosh, we have a report of a brand new Ethiopian spot coming to the Lorin District in South Berkeley. Lemat Ethiopian Restaurant and Café, 3212 Adeline St., is a casual, family-owned eatery that will offer a variety of vegetable and some meat dishes. Dishes will include thick stews, called wat, and grilled sautéed meats (tibs) along with vegetables served on injera. Co-owner Gezahegn “GZ” Mengistu told Nosh he’s planning to offer all-you-can-eat vegan dishes on Wednesdays, Fridays and during Lent in the spring. Lemat’s decor will feature Ethiopian traditional displays. And the restaurant plans to offer a daily coffee ceremony during lunch hours in a traditional backyard seating area designed for this purpose. Owners Mengistu and Ejigayehu “EJ” Berhanu, his wife, are living in Switzerland with their two sons, but plan to return to the Bay Area next year to launch their new venture. The restaurant is expected to open in July 2014. … Continue reading »

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Calling all artists: Chances to make your mark in Berkeley

Artist Misako Miki designed this utility box at Durant and Shattuck avenues. Photo: Streets Alive!
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Two local organizations have put out separate calls seeking artists to participate in projects underway in collaboration with the city of Berkeley.

One of the projects, with a focus on sprucing up utility boxes, is spearheaded by the Earth Island Institute’s Streets Alive! effort, and the other comes from Expressions, a local art gallery that’s organizing a January 2014 show about homelessness.

Brighten the streetscape

Streets Alive! is looking for local artists to design six utility boxes in South Berkeley — on Sacramento and Adeline streets — and on Telegraph Avenue near UC Berkeley.

The call for artists outlines thematic suggestions for each box, along with its proposed general location: Sacramento Street (sustainability); Adeline Street in the Lorin District (arts and theatre; the farmers market; food and eats; and diverse cultures); and Telegraph Avenue (“Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow on Telegraph Avenue”).

Streets Alive! welcomes artists “of most art mediums,” including painters, photographers, mixed-media artists and graphic designers. Artists are asked to submit three to five work samples and complete an application. Portfolios will be accepted, via email or postmarked, through Nov. 15.

Any artist from Alameda County is eligible, though “strong preference” will be given to Berkeley-based artists. Artists whose designs are selected will receive a stipend of $300 to $400 for the creation of a final design; all rights of use and ownership will be turned over to the city of Berkeley and the Earth Island Institute in the end. … Continue reading »

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Local business

Telegraph Channing Mall merchants ask city for relief

Telegraph Channing Sather Gate mall merchants, Sept. 17, 2013, City Council. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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More than a dozen merchants from the city-owned Telegraph Channing Mall came before the Berkeley City Council on Tuesday night to ask for management improvements and financial help following a surprise property tax bill that was delivered to them last month.

The 14-shop mall sits at the base of the city-owned Telegraph Channing (formerly “Sather Gate”) Parking Garage just west of Telegraph Avenue between Durant Avenue and Channing Way. The 16,000-square-foot retail space netted about $200,000 for the city last year, despite two vacancies, and one unit that was rented to the library at a discounted rate, according to the staff report prepared for Tuesday’s meeting.

In July, the council requested a report on the mall’s finances and, more recently, the city has been investigating the possibility of hiring a private management firm to take over mall operations.

Merchants speaking before the council, along with several council members, said it would be better for the city to keep the management in-house and invest more to improve the mall, which one official described as a “dismal, dark, dingy plane” that “smells like urine a lot” and “smells like other things a lot.” Neighbors and merchants said the mall is neighborhood-serving, and offers a range of businesses that are hard to find nearby, such as shoe repair, picture framing, copies and mail services and more. … Continue reading »

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The It List: 5 things to do in Berkeley this weekend

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ART SHOW The Berkeley Art Center will hold its opening reception for its latest show, New Media Combinations. The show features a mix of traditional media and digital technologies that have been “merged to create new frameworks for contemporary artists interested in exploring a realm of infinite combinations.” Participating artists include Kim Anno, Rebeca Bolinger, Lia Cook, Don Farnsworth, Bella Feldman, Rupert Garcia, Talia Greene, Jeannie O’Connor and Elizabeth Sher. The free (donations accepted) event takes place Friday, Sept. 6, from 6-8 p.m. at 1275 Walnut St. … Continue reading »

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Police investigate armed rape in People’s Park

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A man with a gun raped a female victim in People’s Park over the weekend, police said Tuesday.

Sunday between 10 p.m. and midnight, the man approached the female in the park, forcefully moved her to another location in the park, and pointed a firearm at her before sexually assaulting her.

Police said the victim, whose age was not available, knew the man from prior contacts, and reported the assault Monday. The man was described as Filipino, in his early 30s, and approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall with a medium build. He had short black hair and dark-colored eyes.

The University of California Police Department sent out an alert Tuesday morning about the incident.

Lt. Eric Tejada, of the University of California Police Department, said Tuesday afternoon via email that this type of sexual assault, in which the assailant uses a firearm, is “not common at all.”

“I don’t remember one like this in recent history,” he said. … Continue reading »

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Nosh Talk: Jason Kwon, Chef, Joshu-ya Brasserie

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Nosh Talk is a regular Q&A with an East Bay chef, restaurateur or food artisan, published on Berkeleyside Nosh, in which we snoop for inside intelligence…

What is always in your refrigerator?
Kimchi and brie – the true signature of a Korean-American chef.

What do you cook up for a late night snack?
Ever since opening The Bleecker Bistro, I’ve become a little obsessed with eggs. Bacon, eggs and cheese is usually the go-to dish. It’s terrible for the body, but when you are a little inebriated, being healthy is the last thing on your mind.

Where/what do you eat on your day off?
I work seven days a week, but on the rare occasion that I do dine out, it’s usually Gary Danko or Boulevard. Those cooks know what’s up. Alice Waters does a pretty damn good job as well! … Continue reading »

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goBerkeley parking rules get final public review (for now)

How parking rate changes work: Block A is full while nearby Block B has plenty of spaces. If one vehicle is sensitive to the rate and moves from Block A to Block B, there is availability on both blocks. Image: goBerkeley
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The final recommendations for a new program aimed to curb carbon emissions and improve the “parking experience” in three commercial districts around town were presented in several community meetings this month.

goBerkeley is a three-year pilot program designed to reduce emissions and parking congestion; as part of the program, the city will adjust its parking rates in three business districts — the downtown, the Telegraph area south of campus, and the Elmwood. The changes are slated to go into effect in October, and to last for at least a year.

“It’s truly a pilot,” Willa Ng, the city’s project manager for the goBerkeley campaign, told a small group that assembled Monday evening in Berkeley’s central library to hear about the plans. ”Let’s see what happens. And if it doesn’t work, it can go away.”
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