In one of his first acts as mayor, Jesse Arreguín is proposing to overhaul the way Berkeley addresses homelessness, including rescinding the law restricting people to only occupying a small section of the sidewalk.
At age 70, most people are looking forward to retiring, traveling, or enjoying a slower pace of life. When Frances Townes reached that milestone, she founded the Berkeley Ecumenical Chaplaincy to the Homeless and opened a new chapter in what continues to be a life of activism and advocacy for people who are homeless in Berkeley.
SHOTGUN’S BLAST FESTIVAL Berkeley’s Shotgun Players have launched a new festival, BLAST, with the goal of “exploding the limits of possibility in theater.” The intention is for BLAST to be an annual celebration of difference — a month-long festival of new ideas and visions. “BLAST aims to explode the boundaries of the stage with performances by local and national theater artists. We think life is dynamic, changing, ephemeral, strange, and beautiful. Theater should be too,” says the theater. On Saturday and Sunday you can see My Mind is Like an Open Meadow, by Portland’s Hand2Mouth ensemble. A mixture of lighting, pre-recorded voice, music, dance and scenery, the piece is based on one year’s worth of recordings Erin Leddy made of her fascinating grandmother, actress Sarah Braveman (watch the trailer). BLAST runs through March 6 at the Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby Ave. Free parking in the Ashby BART parking. Tickets: $15 advance/$20 door. Blast Pack tickets available for multiple performances. See full program at Shotgun Players’ website. (more…)
After months of deliberating and design tweaks, last Thursday youth and community members put the final touches on plans for a new parklet alongside Alchemy Collective Café on Ellis Street and Alcatraz Avenue in South Berkeley.
Berkeley’s homeless population will now have more places to take shelter from the inclement weather after city officials directed extra funds to extend and expand shelter and outreach services.
The Berkeley City Council meeting ended abruptly Tuesday night after officials could not agree to extend deliberations until midnight.
An estimated 60 members of faith groups gathered at the Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza Thursday night to protest proposed new laws that they claimed would “criminalize the homeless.” Prayers and speeches were followed by a small number of the protesters lying down to spend the night sleeping in the plaza.
A group representing more than 40 Berkeley religious congregations will gather tonight to show its support for the city’s homeless population in the wake of proposed new laws that they say would criminalize the homeless, as well as an incident, caught on video, in which a downtown “ambassador” assaulted a homeless man last month.
Two new lively mosaics — one in warm reds and yellows, the other in cool blues and greens — greet passers-by on either end of the Ashby border of Malcolm X Elementary School.
KITE FESTIVAL The 29th annual Berkeley Kite Fest will take place Saturday and Sunday in César Chavez Park. The free festival will feature kite making and flying lessons, as well as food and craft activities. A traditional Japanese kite-flying team will also be there to showcase their technique. The festival begins at 10 a.m. each day and continues until 6 p.m. Parking in the Berkeley Marina will cost $15. Parking space is limited and the Berkeley Police Department encourages you to take public transit to the event. (more…)
YOUTH SPIRIT ARTWORKS Youth Spirit Artworks is moving a few doors down to a new, bigger location in the Lorin District at 1740 Alcatraz Ave. on Oct 1. Executive Director Sally Hindman said the new spot will be shared with a startup company, but that there will still be a great deal more space for the group’s participants. Youth Spirit is a nonprofit that helps homeless and low-income youth from around the Bay Area get involved in crafting studio art and selling it through an enterprise program called the Art Cart. The organization will host a grand opening for its new location in early November. Individuals interested to learn more about the program’s work can drop by for the unveiling of a new mural painted by the center’s youth at Alcatraz and Sacramento Street this Saturday, Sept. 28, from noon to 2 p.m.
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