ARTIS COFFEE ROASTERS Artis Coffee Roasters, a new coffee shop (pictured top), which also sells coffee beans roasted to order, opens tomorrow, Saturday Dec. 7 at 1717B Fourth St. in Berkeley. The clean, modern space, designed by Berkeley architects Kahn Associates, encompasses a counter, fronted by bins of fresh green coffee beans, a seating area, and walls of shelves with all manner of coffee accoutrements for sale — from gleaming espresso machines to French presses and measuring spoons. What makes the place different from, say, Peet’s down the street, is that customers can have their beans roasted for them in one of Artis’ Roast Master machines. Roasting takes about six minutes, according to co-founder James Gutierrez, and, with guidance from the barristas, he said, customers can achieve their perfect roast over time. The three founders conceived of the idea for the shop in business school in Boston where they won a business competition for the plan. That gave them the seed money to launch Artis (Latin for “craft”), and they chose Berkeley, Gutierrez said, because they recognized Berkeleyans’ appreciation for local, handmade products. The partners want their first store to become part of the neighborhood and community before they think about possibly scaling to other cities like San Francisco, Gutierrez said. … Continue reading »
LET IT SNOW The annual snow day in the Gourmet Ghetto will be held on Sunday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the parking lot at 1673 Shattuck Ave. The Snow Queen will listen to holiday wishes, there will be decorated live ponies to ride, and you can make holiday crafts like greeting cards and (slightly late) dreidels. Hot cider and chewy cookies are provided by Andronico’s. Boots and mittens or gloves recommended. (If it rains, the event is postponed for a week.) … Continue reading »
Berkeley has been selected as one of 33 cities worldwide in the first group of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Resilient Cities network.
The designation is for cities that, according to Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin, “have demonstrated a dedicated commitment to building their own capacities to prepare for, withstand, and bounce back rapidly from shocks and stresses.”
One-third of the inaugural group are U.S. cities — including San Francisco, Oakland and Alameda — with the other 22 distributed around the world.
The Rockefeller Foundation will now provide Berkeley and the other cities with at least two years of funding for a full-time chief resilience officer. According to City Manager Christine Daniel, the chief resilience officer will coordinate implementation of the draft Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, advancement of local climate adaptation strategies, and other efforts related to disaster preparedness and response. … Continue reading »
I’m ever smitten by the festive flavor and creamy decadence of egg nog. I wait all year for it to come back to me in the form of frozen yogurt, steaming lattes, and even cake. I love the way it pairs perfectly with my favorite spice — magical nutmeg — and how it reminds me of the cool, sweet milkshakes I sometimes sipped in my younger days.
But when the holidays come, I rarely indulge in egg nog. Efforts at self-discipline notwithstanding, I tend to guzzle my drinks instead of sipping them, and after a drop too many of egg nog, I feel stuffed and sorry. But if the nog comes in the form of dessert — one that can’t disappear with the tilt of a glass — I tend to slow down, to savor it. And with all its sweet richness, egg nog simply seems at home in a format that can be sliced, bitten and washed down with hot coffee.
For my latest creation, I transformed egg nog into a pudding-y custard, slathered it with spiced whipped cream, and paired it with an almond-flecked gingersnap crust. Here’s the recipe: … Continue reading »
For the past two months, there has been no construction at the site of the new Safeway store at College and Claremont avenues on the Oakland-Berkeley border.
The Pleasanton-based company halted work on the project after Oakland stopped processing its building permit. Oakland took that step because Safeway had violated its 2012 agreement with neighborhood groups to discuss major design changes before submitting a permit application to the city. … Continue reading »
In 2001, Michael Li took Engineering 110, Venture Design: The Startup Company, at UC Berkeley. As part of the course, Li wrote a business plan for a new company. Today, Kabam, the mobile gaming company Li founded with two other Cal grads, and the university unveiled a 15-year, $18 million agreement for naming rights to the field at California Memorial Stadium.
“This is a great Cal story,” said athletic director Sandy Barbour. “It’s an opportunity for us to form a unique academic and athletic partnership. We’ve hit a home run here.”
According to Barbour, the deal is the largest in the country for college field naming rights. The University of Maryland sold naming rights for the field at its Byrd Stadium to Chevy Chase Bank for $20 million, but that was over 25 years.
“I can’t imagine a closer tie for a CEO with the alma mater he loves,” said co-founder and CEO Kevin Chou, who majored in business at UC Berkeley and graduated in 2002. … Continue reading »
Berkeley residents could see a 25% hike in their garbage pick-up fees as the city struggles to find a way to bridge the gap between the cost of pick-up services and the income they generate.
In a special session Tuesday night, staff explained that the Refuse Fund, used to cover pick-up fees, is slated to run at an annual $2-3 million deficit over the next five years, leading the city to consider boosting pick-up fees.
As a result, residents who use the most common trash container, which holds 32 gallons, would go from paying about $30 a month to about $37. And those costs would continue to rise annually by 3% beginning in fiscal year 2016 as part of the city’s efforts to adopt a “sustainable rate structure” that could keep pace with rising costs.
Those increases, staff explained to council, would lead to a $5 million surplus in the Refuse Fund by fiscal year 2019, allowing the city to consider ways to update its outdated transfer station, which city manager Christine Daniel described Tuesday night as “not remotely close to industry standards.” … Continue reading »
Frederick Wiseman, interviewed by Berkeleyside this week, has been steadily making documentaries about institutions since his 1967 Titicut Follies took viewers inside a Massachusetts hospital for the criminally insane. His subjects have ranged from a high school to basic training to meatpacking plants to ballet in Paris. In the fall of 2010, Wiseman and two collaborators — a cameraman and an assistant — arrived on the UC Berkeley campus to subject the university to the same treatment.
Wiseman had written to then-Chancellor Robert Birgeneau to see if the university was receptive to the project. After lunch with Birgeneau and Provost George Breslauer, Wiseman received the go-ahead for the project. The only thing he wasn’t allowed to film was tenure discussions. Wiseman, in turn, said the university could have 48 hours after he filmed anything to request it not be included. In the event, virtually nothing was affected, according to Wiseman. … Continue reading »
Smoking cigarettes will no longer be allowed inside the units of multi-family housing developments in Berkeley, effective May 2014, after a unanimous vote by the Berkeley City Council on Tuesday night.
The council decision, once it’s adopted on second reading, would prohibit tobacco smoke inside all residential buildings that have more than one unit, and in all common areas of those buildings as well.
After considering the issue twice earlier this year, the council voted, on first reading, to approve the new ordinance, which puts forward enforcement guidelines that officials hope will protect the rights of both non-smoking neighbors as well as residents who receive complaints. … Continue reading »
In Andalusia’s Jerez de la Frontera, where impromptu gatherings often burst into extended flamenco sessions, the holidays offer numerous opportunities for celebrating the season. In another sign of Bay Area Flamenco’s steadily expanding footprint, the decade-old organization presents its first ever Zambomba Gitana, an evening of dance and music Friday at Brava Theater in San Francisco and Saturday at La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley.
The show features a cast of Gypsy flamenco artists from Jerez, including Jose Gálvez, El Pele de los Reyes, María Bermúdez, Angelita Agujetas, Kina Méndez, Antonio de Jerez and Luis de la Tota. More than a concert, the gathering is designed to capture the energy and spirit of the zambomba, a celebration by the Gypsy community that transforms traditional Spanish carols, or villancicos, into slow burning bulerias, a flamenco form strongly identified with the region.
“There are all different ways a zambomba can happen,” says Nina Menendez, Bay Area Flamenco’s founder and artistic director (and an accomplished flamenco vocalist herself). “It emerged as a celebration at home, where people live in these buildings with rooms arrayed around a central courtyard. Families often live together in these buildings, and everyone comes out to courtyard, chips in for nice meal, lights a bonfire, and sit around and have a jam sessions on these flamenco-ized holiday carols.” … Continue reading »
New route to stop sale of Berkeley post office (WSJ)
Cal alum wins prestigious Rhodes scholarship (Daily Cal)
Sit/Lie committee violated election law (East Bay Express)
Berkeley Rep’s ‘Tristan’ mesmerizes despite excesses (MarinScope)
Doughnut Dolly plans expansion to Gilman Street (East Bay Express)
Berkeley rental units will soon be smoke-free (BANG)
Bargain Bites: Lama Bean’s eclectic diner food in Berkeley (Chronicle)
Berkeley: Scientific collaboration seeks ultimate battery (BANG)
Berkeley artisans open studios for holidays (Contra Costa Times)
I have to admit I didn’t expect to be writing about another Rwanda documentary this year, but here we are. After being featured in cycling epic Rising from Ashes in a September review, the central African nation returns to the Big Screen Berkeley spotlight only three months later, this time in the form of Sweet Dreams, a locally grown feature opening Friday, December 6th at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas.
Produced and directed by siblings Lisa and Rob Fruchtman – she, a resident of Berkeley and Academy Award winner for her editing work on The Right Stuff (1983); he, a Sundance Best Director winner for Sister Helen (2002); each a veteran of Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1979) – Sweet Dreams offers another perspective on Rwandan efforts to recover from the genocide of 1994. This time, bicycles are nowhere in evidence, here replaced by traditional drums and decidedly non-traditional ice cream scoops. … Continue reading »