In Berkeley: A bamboo tree to make your wishes come true

The bamboo wishing trees on Delaware Street in Berkeley. Photo: Eve Kushner

The bamboo wishing trees on Delaware Street in Berkeley. All photos: Eve Kushner

There’s something rather special going on at 2022 Delaware St., just west of Shattuck Avenue, in central Berkeley. Reader Eve Kushner alerted us to a cluster of bamboo plants that grow in pots along the sidewalk that have sprouted dozens and dozens of handwritten wishes.

Kushner said the family that owns the house with the bamboo trees encourages people to write their wishes on what look like large, old-fashioned price tags, and to hang them from the bamboo for all to see and read.

“Most of the wishes are sincere, heartfelt, and touching,” said Kushner. “Lots of wishes for world peace, and the odd one for a pizza with all the toppings!”

We asked Kushner if she could share some photographs of this special Berkeley place. … Continue reading »

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 08.20.14

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Berkeley zoning ballot language heading to court

Downtown-resized
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Berkeley City Councilman Jesse Arreguín filed a lawsuit against Berkeley on Wednesday seeking to overturn ballot language that will be used to describe a downtown zoning initiative.

Arreguín wants an Alameda County Superior Court judge to take up the matter immediately, since final ballot language for the November 2014 election is due Sept. 2. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

The front of Welcome Stranger in San Francisco. The menswear shop is opening another store at xxxx Ashby Ave. in Berkeley's Elmwood neighborhood. Photo: Welcome Stranger
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WELCOME STRANGER A new menswear store with a distinctive buffalo signage is opening in the Elmwood at 2633 Ashby Ave., next door to the Dailey Method in the old Wright’s Garage building. Welcome Stranger SF already has a store on Gough Street in San Francisco, as its name suggests. The store’s wares are described as “upscale, rugged men’s apparel and goods,” and include brands like APC jeans, Barbour jackets, Rag & Bone T-shirts, and Battenwear board shorts. Welcome Stranger also sells its own brand of shirts, chinos and waxed jackets. A member of the construction crew working on the build-out said the store was expected to open this week. … Continue reading »

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Erik Tarloff’s ‘All Our Yesterdays’ is grounded in Berkeley

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What has Erik Tarloff got that I haven’t got? After all, we’re both, let’s say, not getting any younger; both long-time Berkeley residents; both Jewish; and both writers. OK, scratch that last one: we’re not in the same league.

Tarloff has written numerous TV scripts for M*A*S*H, All in the Family, The Bob Newhart Show and many others. One of his best-selling novels, The Man Who Wrote the Book, was cited as a memorable book of the year by The New York Times.

If his latest book is any indication, he has an active vocabulary that includes such words as gnomic, cathexis, moue, and termagant. And he’s married to Laura D’Andrea Tyson, who is even more famous than he is. Considering all this, he must have something going for him, right?

Well, yes, of course — and Tarloff proves it all over again in his latest novel, All Our Yesterdays, a brilliant chronicle of life among the chosen few in Berkeley over the past four decades.

Shifting from first-person accounts of relationships on and around the UC Berkeley campus from 1968 into the 70s, to third-person treatments largely set in the present, Tarloff spins a fascinating tale of six friends whose lives together embody the experience of a generation in this wonderfully insular community: a clinical psychologist in private practice (one of the town’s thousands of therapists), a prominent left-leaning lawyer who is also a wine snob; a rock critic and social commentator who writes books about the deeper meaning of popular culture; a brilliant professor of English literature; and a charming revolutionary activist who identifies closely with the IRA, having gone so far as to sport an Irish accent. … Continue reading »

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Where in Berkeley?

Where in Berkeley?

wib 8.20.14

Know where this is? Take a guess and let us know in the Comments.

Photo: Scott Sparling.

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 08.19.14

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Uncharted Berkeley Ideas Festival: What’s it all about?

Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas is coming to downtown Berkeley on Oct. 24-25.

You may have heard about Uncharted, either recently, or last year, when the inaugural festival was held to much acclaim.

But what is an ideas festival? What happens there? Why should you come? Check out the snappy video above which was created to answer those questions, and more. … Continue reading »

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$750K grant may bring big changes to South Berkeley

The Adeline Street planning project is picking up steam. Image: Google maps
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The city of Berkeley is hoping to dramatically rethink many elements of south Berkeley, thanks to a $750,000 planning grant it received from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in May.

South Shattuck Avenue and nearly 1 mile of Adeline Street in South Berkeley might see more affordable housing, pedestrian- and bike-friendly neighborhoods, more park areas, a new theater, mass transit improvements, and more.

Those are just some of the ideas that have been proposed so far. Before any plan is adopted, officials will hold community meetings and do other outreach to gather ideas from residents, businesses and local groups and institutions. The grant will also permit Berkeley to do an environmental study, the city said earlier this year. (That study would “allow streamlined CEQA review for future projects on Adeline and south Shattuck Avenue,” according to project materials.) … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeleyside Blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Aug. 7-13

Selected calls for service to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. (Scroll down for maps of burglaries, auto burglaries and auto thefts.) Click the map for the full list. See the map key here.
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This is a partial list of recent crime in Berkeley, compiled by Berkeleyside, and based on reports to the Berkeley Police Department unless otherwise noted.

The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate. From Aug. 7-13, there were reports to the Berkeley Police Department of 18 burglaries25 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles and seven stolen vehicles, according to CrimeMapping.comThree robberies14 assaults, domestic violence incidents or batteries and two sexual assaults were reported. There was also one arrest after an attempted homicide. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department included six burglaries and three vehicle thefts. These numbers are subject to change. Click the previous links for the most current information.

We always appreciate photographs and tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at tips@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook or Twitter; please let us know up front if you prefer to be anonymous.

Thursday, Aug. 7

Police arrested three Oakland teenagers after the armed robbery of a Cal student at midnight in the 2600 block of Parker Street. Read more on Berkeleyside.

BART reported a warrant arrest at the downtown Berkeley BART station Aug. 7 at 12:19 a.m. A records check on someone who was detained on suspicion of disturbing patrons near the ticket machines revealed an outstanding no-bail arrest warrant out of Alameda County for violation of community supervision, police said. The subject was placed under arrest for the warrant. (This item first appeared last week in Berkeleyside’s crime blotter.)

Three home burglaries took place: at 5:30 p.m. in the 900 block of Shattuck Avenue; at 5:30 p.m. in the 1300 block of Tomlee Drive; and at 10 p.m. in the 2500 block of Benvenue Avenue. … Continue reading »

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1 year after devastating fire, 3 events planned for Berkeley Tuolumne Family Camp

A photograph taken at the site of the Berkeley Tuolumne Family Camp on Aug. 28, three days after the Rim Fire swept through it. Photo: U.S. Forest Service
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The Friends of Berkeley Tuolumne Camp group is holding three fundraising events, starting on Friday August 22, to mark the first anniversary of the Rim Fire which effectively destroyed the much-loved, city-run family summer camp.

On Aug. 25, 2013, the largest recorded wildfire in the Sierra Nevada burned 92 of the Tuolumne camp’s 111 structures, including all of its main buildings.

The Friends of Berkeley Tuolumne Camp, the non-profit organization that supports and serves the campers of Berkeley’s Camp Tuolumne, says the goal of the events is “to bring together the families of Camp Tuolumne and to keep their camp spirit alive and well as we work together to rebuild Camp Tuolumne.” … Continue reading »

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 08.18.14

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New Berkeley Spats owners hope for fall opening

Nathan George at Spats. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Walking into Shattuck Avenue Spats in downtown Berkeley, it’s hard to believe it’s been out of operation since 2009. Tables and chairs are still in place, there’s liquor behind the bar. The quirky decor — complete with, among many other touches, taxidermy trophies and a Greco-Roman-styled mannequin woman — appears to be free of dust and ready to entertain once again.

It looks like all it might take is the flip of a switch to get the business running and, with a new team of owners having recently bought the building where Spats operated for decades, the bar may be poised to open again this fall.

Nathan George, a local developer who describes his approach as “Berkeley building Berkeley,” is one partner of about a dozen people who bought 1974 Shattuck Ave. with the goal of reopening Spats under its old name. The team is also exploring, longer term, the possibility of housing on the property. … Continue reading »

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Police

Berkeley man, 60, falls to his death from Grizzly Peak Blvd

Grizzly Peak Blvd near Signpost 14. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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Update, 1:20 p.m.: The victim has been identified by the Alameda County Coroner’s Bureau as Donald Terrence Odwyer, 60, of Berkeley. UCPD Lt. Marc DeCoulode said witnesses saw Odwyer walking then falling on Grizzly Peak Blvd Sunday. They called emergency services at 8:24 p.m. Moraga and Orinda Fire Department responded. UCPD arrived on scene at 9:45 p.m. after jurisdiction was established. The incident happened on UC Berkeley property. Odwyer was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Original story: A 60-year-old Berkeley man died after falling from a look-out spot on Grizzly Peak Boulevard on the evening of Sunday, Aug. 17, according to UC Berkeley Police. … Continue reading »

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