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A 2nd grader meets a giant millipede at the Insect Discovery Lab.
Adina Nystrom
A 2nd grader meets a giant millipede at the Insect Discovery Lab.
 

News

Updated: Police Identify Man Shot by Police

By Bay City News
Sunday January 30, 2011 - 09:57:00 PM

A 39-year-old man who was fatally shot by Oakland police on Saturday morning was carrying a replica rifle, police said.  

Officers responded to a report of an armed man harassing a resident in the 5500 block of Taft Avenue at about 9:35 a.m., Oakland police spokeswoman Holly Joshi said.  

Arriving officers reported that the suspect, later identified as Oakland resident Matthew Cicelski, appeared to be armed with an assault rifle when he ran from police and forced his way into a home, Joshi said.  

Occupants of the home managed to get out and told police that Cicelski was carrying a gun, Joshi said. Cicelski subsequently came out of the home and stood on the front porch with what was later determined to be a replica assault rifle aimed at officers outside.  

Police opened fire and Cicelski was killed, Joshi said.  

Independent investigations are being conducted by the Alameda County District Attorney's Office and the Oakland Police Department Internal Affairs Division.  

Anyone with information about the case is urged to contact Oakland police at (510) 238-3821.


Updated: Man with Fake Gun Shot and Killed by Police in Oakland's Rockridge Neighborhood

By Bay City News and Berkeley Daily Planet
Saturday January 29, 2011 - 04:11:00 PM

A man brandishing "a very real looking replica firearm" was shot and killed by officers this morning in Oakland, according to Oakland Police spokeswoman Holly Joshi. 

She said that the Oakland Police Department received a call at about 9:35 a.m. that a man was armed in the 5500 block of Taft Avenue in Oakland's Rockridge neighborhood, Joshi said. When officers arrived he appeared to be armed with a real weapon, she said. 

The man didn't comply [with police orders] and police shot and killed him, she said.


Ten People Charged for Alleged Prostitution Ring
but No Arrests in Berkeley Raid

By Bay City News Service and Berkeley Daily Planet
Friday January 28, 2011 - 10:30:00 AM

Ten people have been charged with conspiracy, pimping, pandering and human trafficking for allegedly running a prostitution ring in three counties, a spokeswoman for the Alameda County District Attorney's Office said today.

The charges stem from a year-long, multi-agency investigation that culminated last week with search and arrest warrants being carried out at 10 locations in Alameda, Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties on Thursday to break up the alleged ring.

One such search was conducted in Berkeley, in an apartment building at 713 Essex Way in Berkeley. Essex Way is a short private street in a new complex between Fourth Street and the old railroad station which is now the home of Brennan’s restaurant. The former Brennan’s building was demolished to make way for the new project.

According to Captain Darryl McAllister of the Hayward Police, not enough evidence was recovered in the Berkeley raid to provide probable cause for arrests here. 

Berkeley Police spokesperson Sgt. Mary Kusmiss declined to comment on the operation, referring Planet inquiries to Captain McAllister in Hayward. 

The law enforcement operation resulted in the recovery of 10 women who were provided with support services.  

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley said investigators believe that the people who operated the ring brought in dozens of women from Taiwan and China to the U.S., placed them on the prostitution circuit and cycled them through Bay Area brothels.  

The investigation began when a Hayward police patrol officer looked into neighborhood complaints of suspected prostitution at a local residence.  

Hayward officers eventually uncovered evidence supporting the complaints, and an undercover investigation established that the home was a clandestine brothel and part of a larger ring of similar brothels, O'Malley said.  

District Attorney spokeswoman Teresa Drenick identified the defendants as Nu Trinh, Ping Fen Wu, Mei Chien Wu, Larry Cordeiro, Li Hun Chiu, Wen Yan Gold, Jennifer Michelle Keahilihau, Di Sun, Curt Mieczkowski and Kuanshun Cheng. They are all charged in Alameda County Superior Court.  

Sun, 43, attempted to slice her wrist with a thin razor blade before her scheduled court appearance at the Hayward Hall of Justice on Thursday, Alameda County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. J.D. Nelson said. She was in a holding area at the time, he said.  

Nelson said authorities don't believe that Sun was trying to kill herself because her wounds were only superficial. Instead, authorities believe Sun just didn't want to appear in court, he said.  

Sun was treated by paramedics at the courthouse and then taken to St. Rose Hospital in Hayward, Nelson said.  

She was later taken to the John George Psychiatric Pavilion in San Leandro for a psychiatric evaluation but has since been returned to the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, where she is being held in lieu of $200,000 bail, according to Nelson. She is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 25.  

The agencies who participated in the law enforcement action were the Alameda County District Attorney's Office; the police departments in Hayward, Oakland, Berkeley, Sunnyvale, Newark, Danville and San Jose; the sheriff's offices in Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties; the California Department of Justice; the Federal Bureau of Investigations; the Internal Revenue Service; and the U.S. Attorney's Office.  

The suspects could face federal charges in addition to the local charges because federal agencies were part of the investigation. 

 


Egypt: Classic Failures of American Foreign Policy (Commentary)

By H. Scott Prosterman
Saturday January 29, 2011 - 11:13:00 AM

When I spent the Summer of 1980 in Cairo the Middle East, it was a time of heady optimism in the immediate aftermath of the Camp David accords. One of the maxims at the time was a comparison of the Egyptian and Palestinian people. It was said that both the Palestinians and Egyptians were poor, but whereas the Palestinians were miserable, the Egyptians were relatively happy. Not so anymore. 

It is the season of revolution in the Middle East, and it’s long-overdue, in part because of misplaced American Foreign Policy priorities since the Korean War. What began as a little spat between a police officer and a street vendor led to self-immolation by the vendor, and a full scale revolution in Tunisia. The anti-dictatorship fervor soon spread to Egypt. The demonstrations in Cairo this week were unimaginable 30 years ago, even 5 years ago. What changed all that? Facebook and other internet dynamics are given most of the credit. But dissatisfaction with economic stagnation and political repression has been stewing for years. The reign of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt has been a 30-year run of corruption and brutal repression, with tacit American approval, and a LOT of financial support. 

Street life in Cairo during Sadat’s reign had a patented charm to it. Late model cars competed with pedicabs, donkey-carts and livestock transportation for space on Cairo’s crowded roads. You could buy great bread for a few piasters (virtual pennies), a good meal for under $1, and a faluka ride on the Nile for less. One could hop in a cab and have a beer at the Café Riche, where Nasser plotted the last Egyptian Revolution, or buy hashish behind the Al-Azhar mosque for a great price. Everywhere this gringo went, he was greeted by cries of “Welcome in Egypt; you are welcome in Egypt.”  

Americans have always been welcome in Cairo; even during Nasser’s anti-Western reign. The people always loved our dollars and culture, and most people desperately want to leave Egypt and come to America. I enjoyed the comforts of several Cairo homes and wonderful meals with people (men) who had befriended me, with the faint hope that I would sponsor them to come to America. My assurances that I was no big shot and had no influence at the American Embassy didn’t matter to them. False hope was better than none. 

While life in Cairo appeared charming and easy going, it was also very much a police state, with either a policeman or army regular on almost every street corner. Despite the charm and hospitality, Cairo has always brimmed and simmered with an underlying discontent. When Anwar Sadat was assassinated by one of his officers in 1981, Mubarak was seen as a caretaker, whose reign was to be temporary. 30 years later, it’s finally coming apart at the seams. Jamal Khashoggi is a Saudi journalist with Alwaleed, a 24-hour news channel. He noted in a story for the Washington Post, "There were reasons for people to get angry 10 years ago, 20 years ago, and now it is here." He added "the Arab world has been seeking renaissance for the last hundred years," but that it has been thwarted by corrupt authoritarian regimes. 

Revolutions can make for strange bedfellows. The Society of Muslim Brothers (Al-Akhwan al-Muslimun) has been the most visible and effective opposition party in Egypt, since long before Mubarak assumed power in 1981. Though they are officially outlawed, they are “tolerated” for the sake of not inciting a full-scale revolt. Part of the American motivation for unconditionally supporting Mubarak’s notoriously repressive regime, has been the fear of an Islamic uprising, similar to Iran. Now the Muslim Brotherhood is allied with the secular middle-class in their wish to overthrow the government. This leaves the inevitable question of who will fill the power vacuum if Mubarak is deposed, and how. Whenever a revolution occurs, the question becomes, “What next?” 

Ironically, this week’s news has also brought serious discussions of an “Islamic Reformation.” The Muslim Brotherhood would NOT be behind any such thing, so any hope of a working coalition between the pro-Western secular community and the rigidly fundamentalist Brotherhood, would be tenuous. Indeed, the Brotherhood’s greatest ally and asset is the deep poverty that besets Cairo. Since their founding in the 1940’s, the Brotherhood has given hope, refuge and charity to poor people. Cairo is a city of 18 million people, crammed into an area designed to accommodate about 7 million. The “happiness” that characterized most impoverished Egyptians 30 years ago has long since dissipated. 

Unfortunately, the Obama Administration has failed to support any liberalization of Egypt, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is particularly culpable. She literally turned the other way when Mubarak rigged the national election in November 2010. America has talked big about promoting democracy in the Middle East, but continued to enable the Egyptian government and military with $1.55 billion per year. Obama and Clinton have rightfully pressed Israel to improve their human rights record, but been mostly silent about Mubarak’s crimes. However, Obama and Clinton are merely the caretakers of a bankrupt American policy that has had us supporting brutal dictatorships in many parts of the world. Why is this? It comes down to International Relations 101: “Q: What are the determinants of American Foreign Policy? A: The interests of the American multi-national corporations.” There is no other right answer or explanation for this short-sighted policy. The West learned nothing from its losses in Iran in 1979, and has continued to repeat the same mistakes in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. There’s a long list too. 

Another popular maxim in academic-diplomatic circles of the 1980’s was that, “The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” The corruption of Palestinian leadership led to many. Since Camp David, the United States has missed one opportunity after another to bring stability to Egypt and peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The biggest mistake? Giving too much money to both Israeli and Egypt with no terms of accountability. 

When Mubarak either abdicates or dies, the power vacuum question is uncertain and scary. Will Egypt hold fair and free elections? Or will a military government take hold? For 30 years, Mubarak has ruled by intimidation and the presence of a brutal and intimidating police force. Now they are outnumbered, with more protesters and protest sights than can be accounted for. And there is much to rebel against. A form of martial law has been in effect since Sadat’s assassination in 1981. This “emergency law” allows for arrest and detention without cause or trial. The pretext for this is to prevent “terrorism”, which is loosely defined. As an example of government brutality, Egyptian police beat mourners who came to claim the bodies of their loved ones at a school fire in 2005. 

My time in Cairo was a wonderful, beautiful education experience, with the usual misadventures that a graduate student encounters on his first trip abroad. Cairo was a beautiful montage of Egyptian, Arab, French, British and American-flavored Western culture. Remnants of Cairo’s colonial history are everywhere. While part of the city strived to be in the 20th Century, one could visit neighborhoods where life has stood still since the 18th or 15th Century. Or even the 9th Century behind the walls of the Old City. For the past 30 years, most Egyptians have worked and pined for better lives. The government, meanwhile, has been downright medieval, with government-sanctioned brutality that would make Quinton Tarantino squirm. 

Doing business with the government in Cairo is an exercise in maddening bureaucracy. On three different days, I went to a central government office to try to have my visa renewed. Each time, I went away frustrated by the literal byzantine confusion and chaos. I quit worrying about my expired visa when advised by Egyptians and American students that it really didn’t matter. “Ma-alesh,” I was told repeatedly; meaning “it doesn’t matter,” and it never did. I learned this: The Egyptian bureaucracy is the world’s worst, because they’ve had 5000 years to get it wrong and compound the confusion. The people accept that and do business accordingly. 

The Egyptian Museum just off Tahrir Square is one of the most fascinating museums in the world, by all accounts. It contains treasures and antiquities that date to 5,000 years ago, including the inner tomb of King Tut. (I managed to take a picture of it and not get arrested. I also climbed one of the Great Pyramids of Giza without consequence. It was a charmed trip.) The Egyptian people recognize the importance and value of their history, as evidenced by the “human shield” created around the National Museum to prevent looting. That may be the happiest story on the day of conflict, pain and grief. 

The riots in Egypt have shown some peculiar dynamics and shifting alliances. Whereas the police have been notoriously brutal in recent days, including stopping ambulances carrying wounded, and beating the drivers and EMT workers, the recently dispatched military has assumed a more gentle tone. Egyptian citizens actually welcomed the military presence after days of police brutalities, and invited them to join the revolution. The police are professionally trained thugs; most of the military is made of reluctant conscripts, who are still viewed as national heroes for their work in 1973. After a pitched battle in Alexandria yesterday, the rioters and troops shared handshakes, hugs, water bottles and compared battle wounds. Has the aftermath of a riot ever assumed the atmosphere of a high-school football game between neighborhood rivals? Only in Egypt, and this represents a ray of hope. 


H. Scott Prosterman is a writer and editor in Berkeley, and holds a M.A. from the University of Michigan in Middle Eastern Studies. 


New: Celebrating Stew Albert
(December 4, 1939 – January 30, 2006)

By Gar Smith
Friday January 28, 2011 - 04:49:00 PM

Stewart Edward "Stew" Albert was a Brooklyn-born, Berkeley-bred anti-war political activist, poet and publisher in the 1960s. Stew made the trek to San Francisco in 1965 and, within days of running into poet Allen Ginsberg at the City Lights Bookstore, he was working with the Vietnam Day Committee. (The VDC went on to host a historic Teach-In on the Berkeley campus with speeches from Norman Mailer and Ken Kesey and songs by Phil Ochs). It was in Berkeley that Stew met Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman — and joined them in co-founding the Youth International Party (aka the “Yippies”). 

Stew was to be found in the midst of all the major Yippie pranks, from tossing money off the New York Stock Exchange balcony to the attempted “Exorcism of the Pentagon” and the Yippies’ 1968 Presidential campaign that saw a pig nominated to serve as the country’s Commander-in-Chief. Stew was busted outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention while covering the event for the Berkeley Barb (the country’s first “underground” newspaper) and named as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the Chicago Seven case. When the unpaid staff of the Barb went out on strike, Stew became editor of the rival Berkeley Tribe, which soon had a circulation of 53,000 copies. 

In 1970, Stew ran for Alameda Country Sheriff and came in second. Back in his outlaw mode, it was Stew who abetted an international fugitive when he arranged for Eldridge Cleaver to offer a Tunisian sanctuary to Timothy Leary after the latter’s escape from a California prison. In the early 1970s, Stew and his wife, Judy Gumbo Albert, successfully sued the FBI for planting an illegal wiretap in their home and won a $20,000 settlement. Two FBI supervisors were subsequently fired for the crime. 

In 1984, Stew and Judy co-edited The Sixties Papers: Documents of a Rebellious Decade, a compendium of writings from the Civil Rights Movement, Students for a Democratic Society, the anti-war movement, the counterculture, and the women's movement. In 2006, two days before he died of liver cancer, Stew posted one final, rebellious declaration on his blog: "My politics haven't changed." His memoir, Who the Hell is Stew Albert?, is available from Red Hen Press

For more on Stew’s life, see Richard Brenneman’s 2006 memorial in the Berkeley Daily Planet: http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2006-02-03/article/23349?headline=Stew-Albert-Activist-1939-2006-By-RICHARD-BRENNEMAN&status=301 

Judy Gumbo Remembers Her Partner, Stew 

Stew’s wife and partner, Judy Gumbo Albert, is completing a book called Yippie Girl — an insider’s memoir of love and friendship among the Yippies and other romantic revolutionaries of the late 1960s. You can contact her at: www.yippiegirl.com. Judy recently posted a collection of unpublished poems in her husband’s memory, along with this message to friends and colleagues: 

I can't believe Stew's been gone for five years, but it's true. This Sunday, January 30, 2011, is the fifth anniversary of his passing. In our house we celebrated Stew's birthday as if it was a national holiday. Stew wrote a lot of political poems. He also wrote family poems to Jessica and me. I’d cry every time he'd give me one. To commemorate his life, I put these never-before-published poems up on my website. Here's the link: 

http://yippiegirl.com/love-poems-of-stew-albert.html 

— Judy Gumbo Albert 

 

 

Some Poems from Stew Albert 

 

(April 25, 2003) 

Seig Howdy 

Fascism, 

not just mad Marxist-Lenninist scientists 

using the name in fear and loathing. 

 

Ordinary liberals and libertarians 

looking over their shoulders 

nervously describing secret courts and prisons 

torturous no Constitution terms of confinement. 

 

Of a punishing bullying government 

propaganda media thugs scandalizing 

even the mildest critics in Bush Town. 

 

Of fixed and future elections 

billion dollar brain washing extravaganzas 

once called political campaigns. 

 

The conquest of Iraq 

signals an ultra right-wing conquest of America. 

Powell shuffles or is purged. 

Along with all those gay gun control Dixie Chick pro-choice Republicans. 

 

Every one always knew it could happen here. 

Not by violence 

but by money and the manipulation of minds. 

 

Emperor George has one last task before he’s untouchable. 

Convince millions of Americans 

that the economy tanked in the toilet 

because liberals opposed giving billionaires 

everyone’s spare change. 

 

He sells that one 

and the goose step 

becomes compulsory morning exercise. 

 

 

(May 1, 1997) 

It Was 20 Years Ago – Today 

Marriage May Day May Day

20 years later and our merger outlasts the red holiday of utopian desire. 

We have our secret celebration, our own love 

a private nation of family sandwiches, a daughter, a cat, stuffed utopian animals, trips, questions, peaceful pleasures. 

 

Marriage May Day May Day 

So much has been lost. 

Man overboard. May Day May Day 

 

We found each other 20 years ago on a glistening afternoon 

a hillside of memories and unforgotten friends. 

Amidst chaos and cowardice, remembering, creating out of love and friendship 

a soulful union of hope. 

 

 

(May 1, 2003) 

May Pole 

Happy May Day Comrades 

It’s my wedding anniversary. 

I met Judy in 1968 on the Berkeley campus. 

It was Stop the Draft Week and she was new in town. 

 

We married on May 1, 1977. 

Our marriage outlasted our movement. 

 

Oh Comrades, 

If only our communal consciousness and idealistic wisdom 

had been as enduring as the love of a man and a woman. 

I thought I could count on you, Comrades 

but you got absorbed into the great American vacuum cleaner 

of lost memory. 

 

Judy makes it possible 

to hope that Dubya will walk naked and ashamed. 

 

If we could stick together bound by love, irony and kindness, 

then anything good must still be possible. 

 

 

(May 1, 2005) 

Yes You May Day 

May Day is Married Day 

‘cause Comrade Judy and I got married 28 years ago 

on this ancient red-letter day. 

She was eight months pregnant 

under a sun shining Woodstock wedding of tie-dye chuppa 

with friends and family cheering 

Bill Kunstler cracking jokes 

secret police skulking for underground Abbie 

by blocking roads and reading licenses. 

 

Loving lovers always be trumping lying liars 

that’s the story till now. 

Except last year was spent in chemotherapeutic hell 

accompanied by Dubya’s stealing a second term. 

 

A very bad year for good people. 

 

But roses are budding, the garden awakens, the struggle renews, 

the senior marrieds now ride off into western sunset 

for bright month of legendary beauty. 

Everybody must get renewed by love. 

(June 5, 2002) 

Jessica is 25

I was the first to see you 25 years ago, 

I told Judy moments after you began the journey 

“She has the eyes.” 

Penetrating power that looks at you and knows. 

 

On your 25th birthday 

those same eyes, undiminished and stronger 

still look intensely. 

Know that you are loved, cherished, respected beyond measure. 

 

A sweet warrior celebrates a new chapter. 

She is strong. She is ready. 

 

(December 4, 2002) 

Yippie Café *

Let me raise a cup to my fallen pals 

The empty chairs and tables 

At the Yippie Café 

To Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman, Phil Ochs and all the others. 

 

In dreams they come for me. 

And say they love me, miss me, want me. 

OK, someday I’ll be coming 

But not just yet. 

 

I’ve got a few more poems up my sleeve 

And a few more Bushies to burn. 

 

* “Stew wrote this poem on his 63rd birthday…. I put it on his memorial card.” — Judy.


Updated: Berkeley People's Park Protest
Ends in Stabbing:Big University Police Operation

By Ted Friedman
Friday January 28, 2011 - 08:46:00 AM
Xamuel
Xamuel

The People's Park tree-sit protest ended at 3:30 a.m. Friday morning after a stabbing in the occupied tree and a massive U.C. Police Department show of force.

The protest was three months old at the time of death.

Before the six hour stand off was over, there had been in addition to the stabbing, a cordoning off of the Northwest corner of the park, and a police build-up that at times involved ten officers, two support vehicles, a utility truck, a fire engine, an ambulance, and as many as six squad cars. 

Allegedly drunk, and troubled by the 90 day People's Park tree-sit which he claimed was bringing too many police to the park, a man described as in his early twenties climbed Midnight Matt's 40 foot cedar in the park where a scuffle occurred. 

The intruder "attacked my home," Matt said; "I had to defend myself" with the knife. 

Matt said he did not know the intruder nor had he had previous contact with him or his three friends. 

U.C. police say Midnight Matt, 53, the tree-sitter, stabbed his unwelcome guest in the hand. Police say the intruder's injury was "bad enough" to require a trip to Alta Bates emergency room. 

The intruder, proclaiming he'd had enough of the tree-sit protest, fell from the upper branches to lower ones and then to the ground after he was allegedly assaulted. "The Blood's on your hands," he yelled on the way down. According to Matt, the intruder thought some of his blood had landed on the tree-sitter's protest banner. 

Three of the intruder's supporters fled the scene. 

Matt says he only grazed the acrobatic intruder's hand. Zachary Running Wolf Brown 47, the People's Park tree-sit organizer, says that he later saw the intruder in the park with a towel wrapped around his hand and that the emergency room story was a hoax to justify busting Matt from his loft. 

In a blazing spotlit haze shining through the trees, the crime scene glowed with significance and U.C. police, after what was then a four hour stand-off with Matt, surrounded his cedar aiming what appeared to be a rifle at him. 

By 3:30 a.m., the number of officers had dwindled and it appeared that Matt was staying—at least—the night. Having a rifle aimed at him did not sway him from remaining. Attempts to argue him down failed. When this reporter asked him if he would co-operate with police entreaties to descend he replied, "I don't know." Student passersby said they admired his courage and were dismayed that anyone would attack him in his tree. 

But when a hoard of police and a utility truck with a crane and bucket swarmed the site hours later, Matt co-operated, first by getting into the bucket voluntarily and transferring himself from the bucket to a steep ladder according to Lt. Andrew Tucker, UCPD's spokesman for the park. Lt. Tucker praised Matt's cooperation. 

"We are aware of the role of protest at U.C. Berkeley," Lt. Tucker said, "but I'm not sure this was a useful or effective protest." 

"When we sort this all out, we'll determine the charges," Lt. Tucker said. "We had to get him down because he assaulted someone with a knife." Matt, known among followers of the protest as a no nonsense guy, freely admitted to Tucker, Tucker said, that Matt had used his knife for self-protection. 

Lt.Tucker says, Matt could be charged with attempted murder after the UCPD investigation is complete. Matt left the site peacefully, in custody, in a UCPD squad car. 

The flashing light was off. 

Running Wolf, reached for comment—he had been ordered out of the park by police in the first hour of the incident—said he had placed a call to Tony Serra the well known San Francisco civil liberties attorney who represented protesters at the Memorial Stadium protest, 2006-2008. 

Running Wolf noted that during the 4 p.m. Thursday free meal in the park, some park regulars, who had threatened him previously, began throwing stuff at him after threatening for days to end the tree-sit protest, one stating: "I'm going to go up and end this." 

Running Wolf added that these counter protesters smelled of alcohol. By 9 p.m., they were apparently ready to make good their threats. 

As of Friday morning, Matt was awaiting a cell assignment at the Alameda County Sheriff's Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. According to a booking officer at the jail, he is being held without bail for attempted murder as well as two outstanding warrants for failure to appear before the court in two vehicle violations.  

As to whether the protest would resume after its riggings, banners, and other gear were hauled off unceremoniously, Running Wolf said, "That depends on the community." Asked to explain which community he meant, he replied. "I'd rather not say." 

When asked whether UCPD will guard against a re-instituted protest, Lt. Tucker stated that "we can't guard every tree in the park 24 hours a day." 

 


Ted Friedman has covered the tree-sit protest for the Planet.


Berkeley Council Gets Staff Sunshine Draft

By Charlotte Perry-Houts
Thursday January 27, 2011 - 12:13:00 PM

The Berkeley City Council returned to the now ten-year-old Open Government debate on Tuesday evening. Deputy City Manager Chris Daniel presented the staff’s ordinance draft, which addressed some, but not all, of the open government issues which have been raised by citizens in the last decade. A more comprehensive citizen-drafted Sunshine Ordinance has qualified by initiative petition for the November election ballot. 

Councilmembers Worthington and Arreguin each passed out a list of proposed amendments to the staff’s ordinance, Worthington commenting that the ordinance doesn't address many of the key issues that citizens and councilmembers have been pushing for. With a very packed agenda for February 8th, the issue was held over until February 15th so that staff could comment on Arreguin's and Worthington's proposed amendments and a longer discussion could be held. 

Council honored RISE (Responsibility, Integrity, Strength, and Empowerment), a Berkeley High youth program that has produced a movie, “The Next Step,” which will be showing on February 21st from 11am-2pm at the Freight & Salvage for free. Council also honored Gary Lapow, a children's musician, by declaring January 25, 2011 Gary Lapow day, and honored Mark Gorrell, a long-time Berkeley environmental leader, teacher, and architect. 

The Consent Calendar was passed unanimously, except for no votes from Councilmembers Worthington and Arreguin on item number 10, regarding the banning of roosters. Item 10 recommends to the Citizens’ Humane Commission amending the Berkeley Municipal Code to include the banning of roosters in residential zones. 

The issue of the Affordable Housing Impact Fee was held over for the Consent Calendar of the February 8th meeting.


City Council Considers West Berkeley Plan Changes at Work Session and Public Hearing

By Charlotte Perry-Houts
Thursday January 27, 2011 - 12:11:00 PM

Tuesday night's work session and public hearing at the Berkeley City Council went into the details and concerns regarding West Berkeley. City planning staff have been working on restructuring West Berkeley for the last three years, as an update to the last West Berkeley Plan, which was drafted in 1985 and went into effect in 1998. 

The Council heard from the city staff regarding the details of the plan they proposed, which aims to increase employment, provide affordable space for artists and artisans, and attract manufacturing jobs to an area that has seen a significant decrease in employment in the last ten years. Since 2001, West Berkeley has seen a 40% drop in manufacturing jobs. Bayer provides 1600 of the remaining 3,345 manufacturing jobs in the area. In 2008, 800 artists were operating in West Berkeley. 

Much of the plan is geared toward attracting research and development businesses to the area, including attempts to make it easier to reuse and expand existing buildings and to issue Master Use Permits for the development of larger areas. Another stated goal is to provide protected spaces to be used for R&D, arts and crafts, contracting, building services, and warehouse non-store retail purposes. Currently, “protected spaces” are for manufacturing, wholesale, warehousing, and material recovery. Master Use Permits, which would issued to owners of four acres or more, or of smaller whole square blocks, at the discretion of the Zoning Adjustments Board, would allow owners to lease space to people and businesses who are using the space for varying purposes, with some limitations, without having to repeatedly obtain use permits. 

The plan includes incentives for developers to use space for job training, affordable space for artists and artisans, and development of a “more robust non-auto oriented transportation system.” Developers who offer the city any of these three benefits would receive in return the ability to increase building height from 45 to 75 feet and to have an increased floor area ratio. 

Members of the public, especially residents of West Berkeley, expressed concern about the possibility of a wall of 75-foot buildings blocking views of the Bay and causing other problems. One commentator pointed out the importance of maintaining a safe emergency evacuation route to the highway by maintaining a low level of traffic in the area. 

Much of the plan seems centered around the possibility of development by the bio-tech industry, especially development by the University of California, with some speculation that the proposed second campus of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory may be located in West Berkeley. 

The public hearing will be continued at the February 8th council meeting.


Berkeley Cannabis Commissioner Applies for Albany Dispensary Permit

By Becky O'Malley
Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 03:00:00 PM

A story in the Albany Patch online newspaper reports that Mark Rhoades, the former Berkeley Planning Director, has applied for a permit to open a marijuana dispensary in Albany. Rhoades was listed as a voting member of Berkeley's previous Medical Cannabis Commission in the minutes of the commission's November 2010 meeting, although the Berkeley City Clerk's office was unable to confirm his membership in the current commission, which replaced the former one after the November election.  

He is a partner of developer Ali Kashani in the Citycentric development company, and Kashani is also listed as a partner in the Albany dispensary venture. A third partner listed on the Albany application, according to the Patch, is Deborah Goldsberry of Oakland, who works at the Berkeley Patients Group, which has a dispensary at 2747 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley, and which has been regulated by the Berkeley Cannabis Commission.


What Business Wants from Berkeley:
The Berkeleyside Business Forum

By Steven Finacom
Tuesday January 25, 2011 - 05:05:00 PM
Mayor Tom Bates, who made a cameo appearance at the beginning of the forum, chatted in the lobby with John Gordon, local commercial property owner and real estate broker whose signs are on many downtown Berkeley buildings.
Steven Finacom
Mayor Tom Bates, who made a cameo appearance at the beginning of the forum, chatted in the lobby with John Gordon, local commercial property owner and real estate broker whose signs are on many downtown Berkeley buildings.
Chris Anderson of <u>Wired</u>, Carl Bass of AutoDesk, and moderator Lance Knobel, formed the first panel discussing business issues.
Steven Finacom
Chris Anderson of Wired, Carl Bass of AutoDesk, and moderator Lance Knobel, formed the first panel discussing business issues.
Restaurateur Amanda West answered a question next to City of Berkeley Economic Development director Michael Caplan during the second panel.
Steven Finacom
Restaurateur Amanda West answered a question next to City of Berkeley Economic Development director Michael Caplan during the second panel.

[Editor’s note: This is an experiment. This article is much longer than the ordinary Internet offering, but it’s worth the time it takes to read it, since what business interests(and the local officials who support them) want Berkeley to become is important to everyone who lives here. We’d like to get comments on the role of business in Berkeley from our readers, which we’ll post online as they come in. Send your email comments to forum@berkeleydailyplanet.com.]

On Monday the Berkeleyside website hosted a forum on local business at the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse in downtown Berkeley.

About 200 people attended by my count, comprising an audience heavy with business people, Berkeleyside readers, developers, some City staff and officials, and a noticeable contingent of University administrators and staff.

The event was, by turns, a lively discussion of innovation and business financing on a regional and global scale, a confrontation between a frustrated merchant and a City Councilmember, a litany of attacks by political and business leaders on unnamed Others who allegedly oppose all change in Berkeley, an exploration of small business concerns from “street behavior” to parking and Internet competition, and a tent revival meeting preaching the gospel of changing city zoning rules and planning policies to promote development, particularly in West Berkeley and downtown. 

The purpose of the forum according to the organizers? “Open up the discourse for the key issues of business in Berkeley”, Lance Knobel, one of the founders of Berkeleyside, said. “We hope that tonight’s discussion can be as vigorous and civil as the comments we get” on the website. 

Knobel served as the on-stage moderator. “It would be very easy to spend two hours moaning,” he cautioned, but the forum should try to “drive towards ideas for what we can change constructively.” 

“I want everyone here to feel they’re participants” he added. “Everyone has a tremendous amount to contribute to this.” 

Just as Knobel began the event I counted the crowd--about 180 people in the room at that moment, including the presenters. A few more came in late, and a few left, as the event went on. 

“Around 200” is my ballpark estimate of the attendance, at least for those who came in and sat down and listened to the bulk of the event; I’m not sure how many, if any, remained in the lobby. I did not see the sign-up sheet totals at the door. 

Knobel began by thanking Freight and Salvage for hosting the event, and inviting Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates to make some introductory remarks. 

“This is such a great venue!” Bates said of the Freight and Salvage. He noted that the chairs the audience was sitting in were manufactured in Berkeley, and described visiting the plant where they are fabricated. 

He talked about “how happy I am this is happening, and I’d like to thank Lance and Cityside for making this available.” As some audience members murmured he corrected himself—“BERKELEYside”—but later, concluding his remarks, said “Thank you for having us, Cityside!” 

“We’ve got a lot of problems and zoning and permitting and stuff”, Bates said. But “[Councilmember] Laurie Capitelli and the whole City Council and I are dedicated to finding ways we can break through that stuff”, and make Berkeley an easier place to do business. 

Knobel then introduced the first part of the program, an onstage discussion involving him, Carl Bass the CEO of Autodesk, and Chris Anderson, Wired magazine editor-in-chief. They bantered back and forth, Anderson more animated, Bass more reserved and reflective, Knobel lobbing leading questions and commentary. 

Knobel started off asking about the general state of the economy. “I can see a slow, steady improvement” said Bass. “It’s definitely getting better. (But) having a recovery without job creation is almost an impossibility” and job creation isn’t happening yet. 

“Berkeley seems to lack businesses like yours” Knobel said. “Do you have a sense of why AutoDesk isn’t in Berkeley?” Both Bass and Anderson said they lived in Berkeley 

“I think I may have found the only other place in the world that’s as business unfriendly (as Berkeley) and that’s Marin County”, Bass answered to laughter. He added that while much of the AutoDesk operation is in San Rafael, he has also been moving staff to San Francisco which “despite its reputation has actually been a great place.” 

“It’s a shame that Berkeley isn’t easier to do business in”, he concluded. 

Knobel turned to Anderson. “What creates these conditions for these people that everyone courts?” he asked. How does a community create a critical mass of businesses of a certain type? 

Anderson first answered with the personal, saying his family chose to live in Berkeley for the good schools and location. He noted he’s a writer and there’s a critical mass of writers locally. “Berkeley’s a fantastic place for ideas.” But “when I started companies we chose not to start them in Berkeley…There were no companies like ours that we could follow” locally. 

“When we got here, that whole Emeryville/Berkeley decision had been made”, he said. 

So you’re talking about “effective clusters” of certain types of enterprises or businesses? Knobel asked. “For the lack of them it’s hard to attract them?” 

Yes, said Anderson. “For the writers’ cluster, that requires coffee shops, that was established” already in Berkeley he said, to audience laughter. “The manufacturing cluster was not established” for his type of business. 

Knobel asked Anderson to explain a mechanical device he had brought with him, lying on a chair on the stage. Anderson said he runs a robotics company, and the contraption was a robotic helicopter. 

“Some day the sky will be dark with these things”, he joked. “This is the military industrial complex as perverted by the Berkeley philosophy.” 

That led Anderson to a riff on “tinkering” and inventing. “This is the 21st century cottage industry”, he said. “These are the garages of the world, slightly industrialized.” 

“It’s a big movement” Bass agreed. “There are thousands of people who are doing it, who are modeling it.” “It’s a huge movement”. Bass added “It’s mostly being empowered by digital technology.” “This would seem like a perfect spot” for that sort of business. 

“The idea of a bottom up, Maker-type movement that becomes industry”, Knobel summarized. 

“How do you get from the garage to serious job creation?” Anderson wondered out loud, and then explained his philosophy: 

“I create ideas in Berkeley but the employment is wherever it’s appropriate.” He said his company creates concepts and prototypes locally, but for small-scale manufacturing they have a plant in San Diego, and for larger scale production they go across the border into Mexico where labor is cheaper. 

Anderson called for innovative incubation spaces in Berkeley, like the TechShop model in San Francisco. “I think we need a TechShop here, something like a hacker space.” “Just one of these here in Berkeley would provide that inspiration and example.” 

“We need the infrastructure and the clarity about the purpose” said Bass. “Sometimes Berkeley is just illegible.” 

He offered an analogy, his experience dealing with City of Berkeley agencies on removing an in-law unit from his house. One department, he said, told him the unit was built without permits so it couldn’t be used as housing. Another, he said, told him it was a housing unit that couldn’t be removed from the housing stock. 

“You need this legibility”, he concluded and a place where “there’s an intentional effort to create the infrastructure.” “It becomes clear this is a place where it’s believed in.” 

“It only takes one or two” innovative companies or spaces, Anderson reiterated. “I think we have an opportunity to right a wrong.” Stanford had developed Silicon Valley, he said. Biotechnology went to San Francisco. Neither became strongly established in Berkeley, although the University of California had just as much technological and intellectual expertise, he said. 

“High tech manufacturing, prototyped in smart places of the world” is an opportunity, he said. “All it takes is a couple of spin offs (from institutions like UC) that decide to stay here and you have this path.” 

Knobel opened up the discussion to audience questions and comments. The first speaker, identifying himself as Michael, said that he had worked for several years with the University of California, “one of the premier research institutions in the world, and they don’t do anything with it.” 

“There’s no room in this town for manufacturing”, he also said. “There is no place to put plants; where are you going to put ‘em?” he asked. “But Berkeley can be an idea leader.” 

Bass said that new ways of working should be taken into account. “You can do the things in the appropriate place. I do creation, it’s perfect to do here”; but “all of us work with virtual teams halfway around the world.” 

Anderson turned the question back to Mayor Bates. He described a small business he might want to set up, requiring a space “no larger than this stage” to create prototypes and devices on a small scale. 

“Technically, it’s manufacturing. If I came to your departments, what would they say?” he asked. 

“They would say, ‘Go to Emeryville’”, Bates quickly replied, to laughter. “Just kidding”, he added. 

“We are now thinking about reprogramming the entire West Berkeley”, Bates went on in a more serious vein. “What you’ve described here is exactly what we want.” 

“The problem is we have a lot of people who are rooted back in the 70s, the 60s, who want large manufacturing.” “We have to make these changes, we’re dedicated to make these changes.” “This is exactly what we want to do.” 

“They want manufacturing, they don’t want the office part”, Bates characterized opponents of his West Berkeley plan. He described a visit to the Bayer plant in West Berkeley where staff told him they were managing a manufacturing process on the other side of the country. “We have to get a whole different mind set. Our future I believe is just as you’ve described it.” 

The forum turned back to audience comments. The first was from Doris Moskowitz, current owner of Moe’s Books. “It’s hard to still be here” in business she said. 

She talked about the Telegraph Avenue street vendors. “I don’t want to offend any craftspeople”, she said but “most of the people are completely burned out.” She contrasted that with her excitement at visiting a lively Maker’s Fair on the San Francisco Peninsula and suggested that sort of event should come to Berkeley. 

“There’s absolutely no reason having a minor Maker’s Fair couldn’t be here”, said Anderson. 

The next questioner identified himself as Reese Cohen, a “community organizer involved in housing.” He noted that Berkeley does have a “collaborative hacker space”, Ace Monster Toys, and said “It seems like in Berkeley we’ve gotten better ground work now.” He talked about issues with getting venture capital funds and observed, “We have an opportunity here to be the advent of a ‘slow money’ movement…not a place where your building will be gigantic.” 

“It’s a fantastic time to be an entrepreneur”, Anderson comment. “This model we’re describing with the company (his robotic helicopter) does not require VC [venture capital].” “You don’t need it. Credit cards are sufficient.” 

The next audience member, whose name I missed, disagreed, saying that venture capital is needed in Berkeley. He suggested “a Berkeley university angel fund”, and observed, “There’s a lot of rich people in Berkeley” who could invest in local businesses. 

Anderson drew back a bit on the credit card comment, but pointed out there are other ways of business financing that don’t require large amounts of traditional venture capital, including Kickstarter, a website “fueled by the alpha consumers” where people can contribute small amounts to fund business proposals; many small contributions make up substantial start-up funding. 

“It’s an incredible time for start-ups”, Bass agreed, saying that creative start-ups don’t need to be defined by money. They can keep costs low by “outsourcing manufacturing to China and Vietnam.” 

Mike (?) Cohen, the next audience member to speak, identified himself as working for UC Berkeley’s intellectual property office, and took issue with the earlier audience comment that UC did little to translate knowledge into business. “A great deal of UC Berkeley and (Lawrence Berkeley National) Lab research has been commercialized”, he contended. 

“What’s happening here (in Berkeley) is innovation drain”, he said. More business development “can happen here, the question here we have to figure out is how to make it happen more.” 

“The great research institutes of the world seem well suited for invention”, Bass said, but not for innovation. 

“The innovation is happening”, Cohen said. “The question is, is the commercialization happening?” Yes, he answered his own question, but primarily in places like Silicon Valley and San Francisco. 

 

He described the Berkeley Startup Cluster, as a collaborative group that’s “a construct that we’re overlaying over commercial space (in downtown) adjacent to the campus.” “There’s venture capital all over the campus”, Cohen added, mentioning the Haas School of Business. “But they’re not so visible elsewhere in Berkeley.” 

Nobel asked the two panelists “what lessons can Berkeley learn?” “What do you target for manufacturing? Ideation? Short term production?” Are other Bay Area locations a model for Berkeley? 

“The whole ambition of creating another Silicon Valley is silly”, said Anderson, calling that area a “monoculture”. “Silicon Valley is a great place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there, unless you can afford to live in Woodside.” And most people who work in the high tech industry can’t afford Woodside, he noted. 

However, he added, “The idea of a parallel structure between Berkeley and Richmond seems really enticing.” Berkeley, in that model, would supply the ideas and the technical start-ups and manufacturing requiring more space and a less expensive workforce than in Berkeley could be found nearby in areas like Richmond, benefiting both communities. 

“What is manufacturing?” Bass asked. In his view much business development in the future will remain small and customized. “The real important definition is what is the actual businesses need”, he stressed. “And is it something that can be supplied?” 

Bass described his own outpost in West Berkeley. “I have a small workshop, it sits across from two big warehouses that store wine, and a sake factory. I have to think, what ideas could be generated in that space?” 

“This idea of what manufacturing is changes”, he added. Much manufacturing in the future may be done on the molecular or cellular level, not requiring large physical spaces. 

Knobel thanked Bass and Anderson for their discussion, and both were warmly applauded by most of the audience. 

A new panel took the stage. Knobel introduced them: Dick Fletcher of OneCalifornia Bank, the chief loan officer standing in for Kat Taylor, bank founder, who couldn’t attend; Amy Thomas, owner of Pegasus Books; Michael Caplan, head of Economic Development for the City of Berkeley; Amanda West, who created, and recently closed, a restaurant in downtown Berkeley; and Councilmember Laurie Capitelli who, Knobel said “has recently been particularly active in trying to change some of the rules” governing business in Berkeley. 

“It’s a nice, interesting, diverse group”, Knobel said. 

Caplan spoke first. “I really appreciate the forum you’ve created on Berkeleyside,” he said to Knobel. “A conversation that I am hearing, and City policy makers can hear.” 

“Zoning in Berkeley is complicated, it’s an artifact of many years of zoning changes,” he said. “What’s happened over many years is the (limited) level of discretion that exists in the City has made it difficult to get the businesses we all want.” 

Knobel next asked Amanda – what her experience was opening a business in Berkeley? Did she run into frustrations and problems with the City? 

“Our business was a feel good, fresh food restaurant”, she explained. “When looking for our first location we looked throughout the Bay Area”, and chose Berkeley. “We actually didn’t have a lot of challenges in opening the restaurant…the process wasn’t that complicated for us.” 

“Everything was on schedule”, she said. “It was PG & E that slowed us down, not the City of Berkeley.” 

Her business did encounter problems, however, after opening. Parking and “parking management” were two, plus “the lack of retail and the decline of retail” in the downtown, to provide more of a customer base and “some of the inappropriate street behavior.” 

Knobel next turned to Amy Thomas of Pegasus Books. “You’ve survived on Shattuck through all of these changes,” he said. “Are things changing?” 

She answered with an anecdote about an 1895 booksellers meeting at which business people were complaining about problems she recognized in bookselling today. “There is an element of cyclicalness to it.” 

“It seems quaint that I spent the last years fighting chain stores. That’s not the problem any more”, she said. Employee health care planning and costs are “a nightmare, expensive”, for businesses like hers. She engages in advocacy and “a lot of what we do is anti-censorship.” 

She talked about “a real mighty battle with the Internet”, where sales tax isn’t charged, “that puts us at a huge, competitive, disadvantage”, and complimented the recent work of State Assemblymember Nancy Skinner who has proposed taxing on-line sales in California. 

Knobel turned to Fletcher next. “What do you hear about the (business) climate when businesses are coming to you” for loans?” he asked. 

Fletcher said OneCalifornia Bank was founded three years ago, and specializes in loans from about $50,000 to “a couple of million”. “This has been a particularly touchy and trying time for any type of business”, he said. “It’s our impression that the supply of capital is getting better. But, the proof is in the pudding.” 

“One of the things we’re particularly conscious of on Berkeleyside” is local businesses closing, Knobel said. “There haven’t been a lot of good stories about things opening and changing.” “Can rules change that dynamic?” he asked Capitelli. 

Yes, said Capitelli. Eighteen months ago, he said, the City Council changed rules for food services in downtown and several new restaurants and food establishments have opened on University Avenue, he said. “Yes, rules do make a difference.” 

Capitelli, who represents District 5 in North Central Berkeley, said he had driven along Solano Avenue and counted vacancies. The Albany stretch of the street had three vacancies, he said; the Berkeley stretch had 11 vacant storefronts. 

“It’s a complicated issue”, he said. “I hope with economic development and the (City) planning staff we’ll move forward.” 

“One of the things one hears over and over again is a sense that the business community has a relatively weak voice compared to people who want to stop things from changing” Knobel said. “How are we going to change that dynamic?” 

“Most of us in that district [District 5] believe we’ve died and gone to Heaven”, Capitelli answered. “We don’t go downtown that much”, and because he and his neighbors have such a good life, many wonder why anything should be changed. “So there’s a real resistance to change.” 

“What I’ve seen at a minimum is benign neglect for our small business community”, he said. People want small local businesses, but don’t want them to grow so successful that they draw in lots of outsiders as customers, he said. “We want them to be just the scale that we want.” 

“If we want our Elmwoods, if we want our North Shattucks, if we want our Solano Avenue to be successful, we have to support them”, he concluded. 

Doris Moskowitz called out from the audience, “Can you support Telegraph, too?” to applause. 

Capitelli explained that he didn’t go to Telegraph Avenue much, citing an experience he and his wife had years ago when they were “accosted twice” on a short walk from a parking space to Cody’s Books. 

But “I can’t move Moe’s” Moskowitz said. “I can’t leave. I’m shackled to f—king People’s Park.” She said she also had a business in the Elmwood, and City attention to the two districts—Telegraph, and Elmwood—was quite different. 

For example, she said, merchants in the Elmwood felt ten minutes was too long a wait for police, while Amoeba Records on Telegraph staff confronted a thief that very night, but couldn’t get Berkeley Police to arrive for 40 minutes. 

“The services are being unequally spread in the City”, Moskowitz concluded. “You’re taking care of your district, and you’re not taking care of us.” “I’m frustrated and upset and I really need your help,” she said, to audience applause. 

“The mark of a successful business in Berkeley is having more beggars and panhandlers in front of it” Amy Thomas said from the podium. 

Amanda West returned to the parking issue. “Occasionally people need to park, need to drive,” she said, but the downtown parking situation was not helpful. 

“There’s lots of things that are artifacts of old policies”, Caplan said. “What really exciting to me about this forum is that there’s a new generation of leadership.” 

Capitelli agreed. “We’re about to shift into a new period where we’re going to be tackling the policy issues”, he said. He encouraged people to come to City Council meetings and lobby. 

John Caner, head of the downtown Berkeley Association, next approached the microphone from the audience. “This is a tremendous event”, he said. He talked about “the idea of a vibrant economic community” and ‘creating a downtown living room” where people go to do things as well as shop. 

“A lot of us travel all over the world and say, why can’t downtown Berkeley be like the European cities we visit?” he asked. 

Caner called for a “sit / lie” ordinance in Berkeley, “and do it in a compassionate way.” People should have to sit on a bench if they want to sit outdoors downtown, he said, rather than on the sidewalk. “That’s a reasonable thing to do.” 

“We have to listen to Doris (Moskowitz)” he added. 

“I want to respond to Doris”, Capitelli interjected. “Telegraph Avenue is the third rail of Berkeley politics…it’s almost going to have to be my generation that dies off before we can do anything.” 

“One of the things I have stood for on the Council is that the people on the street need services…but if they don’t want help, and their behavior is not tolerable, they’re either going to have to change their behavior or go someplace else.” 

“Telegraph is a pretty dismal, grim, place,” he concluded, commenting that he had ventured there and walked down a couple of blocks of the street recently. 

An audience member rose to say that the issue of neighborhood parking should be addressed. He talked about the Star Market on Claremont, and said employees there get over $1,000 in tickets a month, while residents with street parking permits drive away during the day and leave neighborhood street parking spaces empty that could be used by employees. “Include neighborhood employees as neighbors” to get permit parking, he said, to some applause. 

Another audience member, who said he owned Northside Travel, said that Euclid Avenue had recently seen several new businesses but there was no available parking after meters shut down for the day. “As a citizen of Berkeley I’m really upset, you build those big box apartment boxes and they have ground floor retail, and there’s no parking”, he said. 

downtown is going to lose several businesses on University Avenue, he added, “because (the) Ace Hardware (building) will be torn down and rebuilt as a high rise box and we’re going to lose a business and have no parking there” for the new residents, he said. 

(Note: the developers who have purchased much of the block on which Ace Hardware stands have said they plan to add several floors of housing on top of the current Ace building, and remove the two brown shingle houses in the rear and build infill housing there. They have stated that the retail businesses, including Ace, on the entire block face of University Avenue between Shattuck and Walnut, will need to relocate, at least temporarily, while every building there is renovated or expanded.) 

There is downtown parking, but it’s not effectively managed, Amanda West interjected. 

An audience member, Mark McLeod, talked about the Buy Local Berkeley effort and the “creation of good, local, community.” “The public figures in the City have a responsibility to rally the population to provide that support” for local businesses, he said. 

Elise Kahn came to the microphone and talked about efforts to improve downtown, including a plan to decoratively paint 60 utility boxes and encouraged businesses to sponsor them. 

She also called on the City’s leadership to finally fund the restoration and operation of the fountain in Civic Center Park, which has been dry. “The City is just not getting it together as a beautiful civic space”, she concluded. 

Amy Thomas, picking up on the theme of the downtown utility box sponsorship, said “Businesses in our town are asked all day, every day, for things. We’re really trying to build community. It’s hard to do that if people are going to keep buying online.” 

“The challenge…is to reconnect commercial districts as places for people to go for more than just buying things,” Caplan said. “We have more of an endowment of beautiful pedestrian-oriented shopping districts than any community in the East Bay”, he added. 

“The City is committed to maintaining baseline services in all those districts that are self-assessing” in terms of creating business improvement districts, he said. 

Polly Armstrong, former City Councilmember, took the microphone and introduced herself as one of the new heads of the Chamber of Commerce. 

“This is not your father’s Chamber of Commerce!” she proclaimed. “I knew what it was like in the rent-is-theft era and we’re not there anymore!” 

She called for “a rezoning of all of West Berkeley”, and asserted, “There is tons of dead space in West Berkeley. Hundreds of thousands of square feet that have been kept under wraps by people who don’t want to change.” 

She exhorted attendees to show up at the City Council meeting January 25 when West Berkeley re-zoning was on the agenda. “You don’t have to know a lot” to attend and make a comment to the Council, she said. 

The next speaker, Terry Mandel, said, “A large number of people have turned out tonight and thus far we’ve had free and civil discourse.” 

But in regard to attending City Council meetings, “many of us have no energy, time, patience and capacity to walk into a room where we may be there for six hours with people screaming their heads off.” 

“I’m one of those people that want to be back in the 20th century”, Jane Stillwater, the next speaker, wryly observed. “Berkeley is such a creative place, if somehow we can foster that creativity.” 

The Mayor’s chief of staff, Julie Sinai, spoke next. “I want to remind folks that the downtown Plan went through five years of debate and dialogue” she said. Last year Measure R, the Mayor’s proposal for downtown development, passed on the local ballot with at least 54% approval in every precinct, she said. 

“The population of Berkeley wants to see economic change. The downtown was a first sign. When you look at the Council meetings, the folks who show up are the ones who are opposed.” 

“Even if you can just come (to Council) and when the Mayor says, stand up” it would help, she said. 

“It’s not that everybody is all right or all wrong”, she said. But “we have a lot of support in this community and we need to galvanize it.” 

Marc Weinstein from Amoeba Records spoke next. “I’m the only business sitting at the corner of Telegraph and Haste”, he said. One corner storefront is vacant, and the other two corners are occupied by vacant properties—the old Berkeley Inn lot, and the former Cody’s Books building—owned by the same large property owner on Telegraph. 

“The City is afraid” to act on the Berkeley Inn site, he asserted. “There are no plans to do anything with any of these places.” 

He said that the City has had “such a mishmash of approaches to dealing with Telegraph”, and that City departments and staff took contradictory positions and policies on Telegraph issues. 

Ira Serkes, the next speaker, returned to the theme of Council participation. “It’s been years since I went to a City Council meeting and I hated it”, he said. Why couldn’t the City take advantage of technology so people could stay home, but still send in comments on Council matters in real time?, he asked. 

Council meetings are “streamed live” Capitelli said, but there’s no mechanism for on-line feedback. However, “you don’t have to stick around for six hours”, he said. People can come to a meeting, make a statement, and leave. 

“How many people would attend City Council from their home?” Serkes persisted, asking the audience; several raised their hands. Sykes said it would be inexpensive to set up a system, using Skype or other on-line technology, to allow people to make comments at Council meetings from home. 

Developer Chris Hudson, whose company built the “Trader Joe’s” building, came to the microphone. “I want to thank the very few City Councilmembers I’ve seen here tonight”, he said. “Sometimes leadership means leaving the Council Chamber and coming to hear a conversation.” 

A woman who identified herself as a West Berkeley resident spoke last, saying “I just found out tonight that there’s going to be a City Council meeting (on) West Berkeley that I didn’t know about”, she said. She urged the City to connect with active local neighborhood listservs to alert residents to policy proposals. “In West Berkeley, people would like to have jobs”, she added. 

After she spoke, Knobel wrapped up the meeting, asking each of the final panelists to quickly name one thing “to do to improve the situation in Berkeley?” 

“The attention to provide a stable and secure atmosphere for the workers, owners, and the people who patronize the businesses”, banker Dick Fletcher said. 

Bookseller Amy Thomas said she hoped to “have my customer community more aware of the decisions they make” that affect local businesses, such as buying on the Internet. 

“Progress on the West Berkeley Plan”, Caplan said. It’s “really our opportunity for something transformational.” 

“Creative uses of the empty storefronts that we have”, Amanda West said, but “without bringing in more restaurants that are cannibalizing each other.” 

“We all need education”, Capitelli said. He mused about “the demand for stuff” and said that many people were pulled towards on-line purchases because they’re cheaper. 

“Berkeleyside is a locally owned, locally managed business”, Knobel concluded. “We care deeply about what happens in our community.” “This has been a great start.” 

He finished with a plea for support for the website “as readers, advertisers, donors.” “Local journalism is in a pre-Cambrian age on the web and we’re trying to figure out what life forms will arise”, he concluded.


Parents and Teachers Organize Celebration of Science at Berkeley Elementary School

By Sarah Whitcher Kansa
Tuesday January 25, 2011 - 01:08:00 PM
A Kindergartener meets a giant millipede at the Insect Discovery Lab.
Sarah Kansa
A Kindergartener meets a giant millipede at the Insect Discovery Lab.
A 2nd grader meets a giant millipede at the Insect Discovery Lab.
Adina Nystrom
A 2nd grader meets a giant millipede at the Insect Discovery Lab.
A team of fifth graders show off their experiment making musical instruments out of carrots.
Melissa Haddick
A team of fifth graders show off their experiment making musical instruments out of carrots.
Parents and students try out a medieval catapult.
Adina Nystrom
Parents and students try out a medieval catapult.
A group of Kindergarteners and 2nd graders make new “friends” the Insect Discovery Lab.
Lynne Yee
A group of Kindergarteners and 2nd graders make new “friends” the Insect Discovery Lab.
A 1st grader gets up close and personal at the Insect Discovery Lab.
Sarah Kansa
A 1st grader gets up close and personal at the Insect Discovery Lab.
Two 2nd graders explore animal pelts and skulls with a volunteer from the Oakland Museum of California.
Melissa Haddick
Two 2nd graders explore animal pelts and skulls with a volunteer from the Oakland Museum of California.
K-5 student posters and hands-on exhibits draw hundreds to the annual Thousand Oaks Elementary School Science Fair.
Sarah Kansa
K-5 student posters and hands-on exhibits draw hundreds to the annual Thousand Oaks Elementary School Science Fair.

Over 300 people gathered at Thousand Oaks Elementary School last Friday evening for the school’s 8th annual Science Fair. Posters describing student experiments filled the cafeteria with displays that covered topics ranging from nutrition, to plant physiology, electro-chemistry, psychology, and even “kindergarten archaeology.” Proud students led parents around the room, joined up with friends to select goodies from the potluck dinner table, and went from table to table reading, touching, listening, and discovering. Displays ranged from posters with photos and a few descriptive words written in a kindergarten hand to large, interactive projects by teams of 5th graders. 

The Thousand Oaks Science Fair, which takes place every January, is a collaborative effort among T.O. parents and teaching staff. The event plays a major role in engaging T.O.’s diverse student population in the wonders of scientific exploration. The fair is non-competitive and features both student exhibits and demonstrations from outside exhibitors, students and families. The event had a fun carnival atmosphere, as kids ran from exhibit to exhibit, nibbling on snacks, laughing, and trying hands-on demonstrations of different scientific principles under the supervision of parents. 

In previous years, the Science Fair has featured 80-90 science exhibits by individual students, teams of students and classrooms. This year, the fair displayed a total of 100 science projects. In addition, each classroom conducted a hands-on experiment, and then demonstrated or displayed the project at the Fair. By combining individual student projects, classroom projects, and extensive involvement by volunteers, the Science Fair organizers work to give students opportunities to participate and learn. At least 330 students—over 70% of the school’s population—participated as exhibitors and/or spectators in Friday’s event. 

In addition to the students’ exhibits, highlights of Friday’s event included demonstrations and hands-on experiments from the Oakland Museum of California (http://museumca.org/), SaveNature.org’s Insect Discovery Lab (http://www.savenature.org/content/IDL), and a wide range of activities run by parent volunteers including a catapult built with original specifications from medieval times, a taste buds test, and making musical instruments out of carrots. 

 

The annual Science Fair is one of the most popular community events of the year for Thousand Oaks, second only to the school’s year-end carnival (held in early June). According to co-organizers science teacher, Jon Bindloss, and parent Amy Billstrom, success of the Fair stems from close parent ties and cooperation between parents and teachers. Over the past few years, the co-organizers have prioritized getting parents involved in classroom and individual science projects in the weeks leading up to the Fair. Over time, the event has become highly anticipated and one for which individual student and classroom participation is expected. 

 

PTA board members see the Science Fair as an integral part of Thousand Oaks Elementary School’s science curriculum and community involvement. While the state of California faces continual funding shortfalls in education, the Thousand Oaks PTA has helped raise additional community donations to supplement funding from the Berkeley Public Education Foundation (http://www.bpef-online.org/) to support the Fair. 

 


Jack La Lanne – A Berkeley (not Oakland) Original

By Steven Finacom
Tuesday January 25, 2011 - 12:32:00 PM
Jack La Lanne in the Fall, 1934 about four years after his fitness revelations.
Olla Podrida, the Berkeley High School yearbook
Jack La Lanne in the Fall, 1934 about four years after his fitness revelations.
2430 Spaulding Street in 2009; this was the La Lanne family home in
              the 1930s.
Hal Reynolds
2430 Spaulding Street in 2009; this was the La Lanne family home in the 1930s.
The seven Bragg lecture titles, as presented in an October 6, 1930 Tribune advertisement.
The seven Bragg lecture titles, as presented in an October 6, 1930 Tribune advertisement.
Oakland Tribune advertisement, October 12, 1930, for a Paul Bragg
              series of lectures.
Oakland Tribune advertisement, October 12, 1930, for a Paul Bragg series of lectures.

Sunday, January 23, 2011, new stories began to appear about the death that day of famed fitness guru Jack La Lanne at age 96. But some of them contained one striking error—apparently based on a mistaken AP wire service account, in which La Lanne was described as coming from “his native Oakland.”

While he started his fitness business in Oakland in the 1930s, La Lanne actually lived as a teenager in Berkeley on Spaulding Avenue, west of Downtown, attended Berkeley High School, and began his weight training and fitness regime in the back rooms of the Downtown Berkeley YMCA on Allston Way and Milvia and his own backyard and Berkeley parks.  

He was one of Berkeley’s most notable home-grown national figures of the 20th century, right up there in terms of public visibility with another Berkeley native of similar vintage, David Brower. Both changed the way people thought about, and acted in, important aspects of their lives. 

La Lanne died from respiratory failure Sunday at his home in Morro Bay, California. He had hoped to survive to 100, living proof of his theories and practice of better eating, exercise, and fitness as the way to a long, healthy, life.  

Anyone old enough to have watched television in the 1960s or 70s will remember the trim, energetic, La Lanne and his TV show which brought simple exercise techniques and fitness advice into millions of American homes. 

Although his life was recounted in numerous interviews and articles over the years, his local story was well told by Berkeley resident Hal Reynolds who interviewed him in 2008 and wrote about La Lanne in an article for the Berkeley Historical Society newsletter.  

Reynolds is part of the McGee Spaulding Hardy Historical Interest Group, a dedicated cadre of neighbors and volunteers working to research and document the heritage of their neighborhood west of Downtown and south of University Avenue. 

La Lanne was born in San Francisco in 1914, the son of French émigrés. His family lived on a Bakersfield ranch, but returned to the Bay Area in 1928 after that property went into bankruptcy. They moved to a one-story house that still stands at 2430 Spaulding Avenue, on a wide, quiet, block of bungalows between Sacramento Street and Downtown Berkeley. 

“According to La Lanne (Reynolds wrote) he was a scrawny, sugar-addicted, unhealthy kid with boils and pimples and an uncontrollable temper. He says he tried to kill his brother Norman twice…” and also set the house on fire. 

“In 1928, at age 15, his mother took him to hear health advocate Paul C. Bragg at the Oakland City Women’s Club. His mother had heard about Bragg from Mrs. Joy, a neighbor on Spaulding. Bragg was originally from Indiana but had established health centers in Los Angeles beginning in 1926. He advocated using deep breathing, water fasts, organic foods, drinking distilled water, and exercise as methods of promoting health and prolonging the life span. In 1929 he began a series of health lectures in various cities, including Oakland”, Reynolds writes. 

A few years ago I tried to track down more information on the Bragg lectures, and finally found an advertisement placed in local newspapers for one set in October 1930. It’s not clear if there were 1928 or 1929 lectures in Oakland, although there may well have been. 

I’m not sure about the discrepancy between 1929—La Lanne’s recollection—and 1930. Perhaps there was an earlier set of lectures, or perhaps decades later he was one year off in remembering the date. (Bragg would return to Oakland in March, 1934 to give a similar series of inspirational talks, and was still at it in 1959, when he came back to Oakland for yet another series of lectures on the same themes.) 

In any case, Bragg gave seven evening lectures in 1930, all at the Women’s City Club Theater at 1428 Alice Street. They ran, with a Wednesday break, from Friday, October 10 through Friday, October 17, including a Sunday talk.  

The topics were, in order “How to Banish Disease and Live 100 years: Cancer healed Nature’s Way”; “Constipation—the Curse of Mankind Today”; “Perfect Eyesight Without Glasses”; “The Secret of Vitality—Breathing”; “Why We Are A Nation of Physical Wrecks”; “How to Build Your Body Back to Health”; and“The Truth About Your Sexual Problem.” 

Which one did the young La Lanne attend? I’ve never seen an account that specified. But we can make an educated guess. It’s likely it was not the lecture on “Your Sexual Problem” since La Lanne recalled his mother as a strict Seventh Day Adventist quite stern about sexual morality. Talks specifically on constipation, better breathing, and perfect eyesight also seem off the mark to inspire a youth to lifetime physical fitness, as does a theme of healing cancer.  

That leaves “Why We are A Nation of Physical Wrecks” (October 14) and “How To Build Your Body Back to Health” (October 16). Both sound plausibly inspirational in relation to La Lanne’s story. At the latter talk, Bragg was promised to “appear in athletic costume and exhibit his magnificent physique.” 

La Lanne told interviewers that, arriving late, he had to sit on the stage in the crowded theater and was mortified when Bragg pointed him out to the audience of 3,000, and called him a “walking garbage can.” Bragg then, however, more kindly took the boy backstage after the formal lecture and talked to him one-on-one about fitness. 

The lesson took. La Lanne prayed that night at home to change his habits, and did. He reformed, swore off sweets and unhealthy foods, and began working out.  

Reynolds writes he went to the Downtown Berkeley “Y”, and “there he became an avid swimmer and trained with weights.” He found two men working out in a back room, who kept weights in a locked box. “When he asked them if he could use their weights, they laughed at him and said ‘Kid, you can’t even lift those weights.’ So he challenged them both to a wrestling match with the bet that if he could beat them, they would give him a key to the box. After he beat them both, they gave him a key and he used their weights until he was able to buy his own.” 

At Berkeley High School, then as now across the street from the Y, La Lanne played quarterback on the football-team for two years but then suffered a leg injury. He graduated in 1935. His yearbook photo, included by Reynolds in his article, shows a tie-wearing young man, broadly grinning, in a diverse array of classmates. The row of five pictures includes three white boys—last names of Krausch, Lalanne (sic) and Lathrop—a Japanese-American boy, and an African-American girl. 

In one account I remember reading a few years back, La Lanne told an interviewer “I had to take my lunch alone to the football field to eat so no one would see me eat my raw veggies, whole bread, raisins and nuts. You don’t know the crap I went through.”  

An amusing story today, since that description reads like standard lunch fare for the stereotypical Berkeley child of the 21st century. Today, the Berkeley child a MacDonald’s meal might have to hide behind the bleachers. 

La Lanne also told Reynolds in their interview that he remembered the names of two of his school girlfriends and “he admits that he’s always been ‘girl-happy’ and that he wanted to have a good body in order to attract girls.” (La Lanne would later marry, and Elaine, his wife of 52 years survives him.) 

The youthful La Lanne set up a fitness regime and gymnasium in his Spaulding Street back yard, also trained at San Pablo Park where he met and learned from African-American athletes and, by the late 1930s, was ready to take his message beyond Berkeley. 

“By 1936 he had established La Lanne’s Physical Culture Studio on 15th and Broadway in Oakland…a place which many call the first modern health club” Reynolds writes. Reynolds found a city directory ad for 1938 describing the program as “Body Building, Weight Correction, Self Defense, also Complete Massage Service.”  

The studio moved a couple of times, remaining in Oakland. La Lanne’s father died in the 1930s but he continued living with his mother on Spaulding Street until 1940, when they moved to Shattuck Avenue in North Oakland. 

After a stint in the Navy during World War II he moved to Southern California, opened a gym and became a personal fitness trainer. In 1951 he was hired by KGO-TV in San Francisco to do a “half hour program of exercises and health advice”, Reynolds writes.  

In 1959 it became a national program, and stayed on the air until 1985. Berkeley’s Jack La Lanne became a household name, branched out into selling his own brand of juicer, opened a chain of health spas, and kept his name in the news through stunts like swimming between Fisherman’s Wharf and Alcatraz, handcuffed and towing a boat. 

In the 21st century the gracefully aged, and still vigorous, La Lanne was honored by Berkeley High School, then the Downtown Y, and the State of California. In 2008 he was inducted into the California Hall of Fame, with a citation that read, in part: 

“He went on to establish the first modern health and fitness club, to develop new weight lifting machines and fitness devices, and to become a TV star on one of the longest lasting TV programs ever. He turned his activities into commercial success by establishing a chain of fitness centers, and by marketing a juicer and a powdered breakfast substitute; and he performed a series of incredible feats of strength and stamina. La Lanne became one of Berkeley’s most famous former residents, a health and fitness guru who has motivated millions to improve their lives.” 

And there you have it. Jack La Lanne, Berkeley native, despite the Associated Press, has passed away. “Guess he couldn't live forever. What a character!” Hal Reynolds told me this week. 

(My thanks to Hal Reynolds for permission to quote extensively from his fine article. I should also note that San Francisco Chronicle writer, Matthai Kurvila, a Berkeley resident, and Demian Bulwa got the Berkeley connection right in a January 24, 2011, story on La Lanne.)


Food Bank Finds More Hunger in Alameda County

By Lydia Gans
Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 04:04:00 PM

The holiday season is over and the good people who donated food and clothes and toys and money and who volunteered with soup kitchens to prepare and serve festive a dinner for the poor and hungry have gone back to their usual routines. Until the next holiday season brings out the public conscience, the poor and hungry continue their daily struggle to feed themselves and their families. 

Food insecurity – “limited or inadequate ability to obtain nutritionally adequate and safe foods; the inability to acquire those foods in a socially acceptable way” is rampant in the less developed countries, but it is increasingly occurring here. For people who are homeless it is a factor in their daily lives. Their stories illustrate what it means. “Flower” is vegetarian. She stays at the winter shelter on the army base and in other shelters during the summer months. Most shelters offer at least one meal, but few are vegetarian. Anne Marie has her meals at the churches but it's almost a full time occupation just keeping track of the various days and times and places the meals are served. Yukon, who lives in his vehicle, goes to church meals when he can but he's taking a computer class which meets at meal times so he has to buy food, but junk food is pretty much all that's available. A look at food outlets in Alameda county finds 53% are fast food restaurants, 30% convenience stores, 13% supermarkets, only 4% are produce stores or farmers markets. Richard dumpster dives, has been for doing it for years, he says. He also forages for plants in the wild – he has become knowledgeable about good edibles that grow in our hills. 

It's not only homeless people confronting food insecurity. Allison Pratt, Director of Policy and Services at the Alameda County Community Food Bank has the numbers. The Food Bank supplies food to 275 member agencies which either serve meals or distribute bags of groceries. Every four years they do an extensive, in-depth survey of their clients. In 2010 they found the food bank was serving 49,000 people a week compared to 40,000 in the previous survey. And compared to an average of 1 in 8 served nationwide through a network of food bank agencies, Alameda county serves 1 in 6. Pratt points out that “... given the increase in demand the agencies that receive food are having to stretch those resources longer so they have longer lines. Lots of agencies don't want to turn people away so the bag of food gets smaller and people come back more often.” 

The effects of food insecurity extend beyond the individuals actually facing hunger. Almost half the food bank clients are children and teens. It is known that a hungry child does poorly in school. More than that, numerous studies have found that inadequate nutrition has a lasting impact on the psychological and physical health of growing children. Ultimately as adults they will need more medical and social services, putting a drain on public resources. The survey found that “25% of households with children report that their child was hungry at least once during the past year and they couldn't afford enough food.” 

The current economic crisis is spreading the problem of hunger beyond families that are totally destitute. Forty-two percent of the households served by the food bank have at least one person who is employed yet they do not have enough money to buy all the food they need. Average size of households has increased from 2.6 to 3.4 members since the last survey. Client households with 6 or more members jumped from 2.5% to 12.8%. That represents a striking demographic change. Seniors too, are feeling the pain. Sixty-seven percent of client households with seniors are experiencing food insecurity. 

The food bank clients get meals and grocery bags from the member agencies. A person in need can call the help line 1-800-877-3663 or 1-800-877-FOOD, Monday-Friday, 9 A.M to 4 P.M. and get a same day referral to get food in their neighborhood. The need continues to increase. Pratt reports that emergency food referrals have doubled between 2007 and 2009 and increased by another 12% in 2010. 

The federal food stamp program offers some help. The food bank helps people work through the application process but most clients receiving food stamps find the benefits provide for only about half their needs. She says “400 to 500 people a month are calling us for the first time. A lot of times these are people who have never reached out for help of any kind, people who have sold their very last stick of furniture before reaching out for help.” 

Clearly local and volunteer programs cannot fill the need. Massive government input is needed. The food bank has a strong advocacy program to try to make this happen. Their report concludes with the statement decrying “the existence of poverty and hunger in the wealthiest nation ... It is increasingly unfeasible to place the burden of eradicating hunger only on those who have the resources and the will for philanthropy. … It is the responsibility of every level of government..” 


Opinion

Editorials

Tough Love for Berkeley Libraries
and How to Handle It

By Becky O'Malley
Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 10:56:00 AM

Some Berkeleyans care a lot about their libraries. Probably, most Berkeleyans care a lot about their libraries in principle, but some care even more and care more consistently. In the latter group, in the last few years, there’s been a tug of war between those who have ideas and plans for improvements in the name of progress, and those who aren’t so sure that all change is really progress. They’re all good people. 

Last week we ran an article about the use of voter-approved bond funds to buy a “book van” to be used while the branch libraries were undergoing improvement, written by a local writer who’s made no secret of his belief that the law restricts the use of such funds to long-term capital improvements, not to be used for short-term operating or equipment expenses. 

This is similar to the discussion about whether bond funds can be used to demolish two of the four branch libraries when the ballot measure which was voted on didn’t mention demolition (or bookmobiles.) The legal controversy over the demolitions has moved into the courts now, and it will be interesting to see how it’s decided. The bookmobile question, as far as we know, has until now escaped legal scrutiny except by the lawyers in the Berkeley City Attorney’s office who advise the Board of Library Trustees (BOLT) behind the scenes. 

According to its page on the city’s website, BOLT is “the only appointed administrative Board in the City. Members of the Board are appointed for four year terms by the City Council as a whole; one member of the Board must also be a member of the City Council.” It’s a very powerful body with many employees, administering a big budget coming from the city’s general funds and additional special funds of various sorts, but most Berkeley citizens have little idea of what goes on there. 

Two volunteer civic groups support Berkeley public libraries. One, the Berkeley Public Library Foundation says on its web site that “the mission of the Berkeley Public Library Foundation (BPLF) is to support our community's knowledge and learning by enhancing library facilities, programs, and services. “ Further down the site, it says: “The Berkeley Public Library Foundation is launching a campaign to raise much-needed funds for the Claremont, North, West, and South Branch/Tool Lending branches. 

It continues: “In Fall 2008, Berkeley voters passed Measure FF, which commits $26 million to renovate, expand, and make seismic and access improvements, ensuring that the four neighborhood branch libraries continue to serve the needs of the community now and long into the future. By law, however, bond funds may not be used to fund furniture, fixtures and equipment. [No cite for this legal opinion…and not necessarily applicable to bookmobiles, of course.] . . .We are raising funds to equip and furnish the interiors—to pay for the computers, tables and chairs, furniture and equipment that are so essential to creating the libraries we want and that our community deserves.” 

And there’s a another group as well: “The Friends of the Berkeley Public Library is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to support and expand the educational, cultural, and outreach programs of the Library. The Friends work with library staff to build collections and to stimulate community interest in the Library.” 

All in all, there’s a lot of love for libraries in Berkeley, and a bit of Tough Love too. That would be SuperBOLD, Berkeleyans Organizing for Library Defense, which has an opinion commentary in this issue (and many in previous issues) regarding its criticisms of how BOLT operates, and also Concerned Library Users, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit challenging the use of bond funds for demolition, and the Library Users Association, some but not all of whose members live in Berkeley. 

After last week’s article about the bookmobile appeared, I got a couple of angry letters, not for publication, from old friends, both civic activists who have devoted many years of unpaid service to the Library, who thought it was grossly inappropriate for the Planet to publish it. One referred scathingly to “the out-of-town lawsuit about the demolitions” as justification for the quoted library administrator’s evasive responses to the writer’s questions. He suggested that we should instead be reporting on the millions of dollars UC has spent building temporary quarters for its athletic programs. The other was so outraged that she cancelled her (free) subscription to the Planet’s email updates. 

I offered both of them as much space as they wanted to express their opinions online, but so far both have declined. Nevertheless, their letters raise some important points which deserve answers. 

Here’s a cleaned-up version of what I told them: 

First, I'd love to have someone volunteer to cover the bottomless pit of scandal re UC's athletic finances, in Strawberry Canyon and elsewhere. We’re mostly dependent on volunteer reporters these days, though you may remember we expended lots of time and money on UC's sins in the past. But so far no one has offered. 

Second, the reason it looked like the library director was stonewalling in the bookmobile story is because she WAS stonewalling. The writer submitted a perfectly reasonable list of questions couched in ordinary language about matters which ought to be in public discussion, and she chose to reply with legalistic bureaucratic mumbojumbo. He didn't make a California Public Records Act request, and yet she responded as if he had. This is what makes the public suspicious, and it undermines support for the library. 

Perhaps she was ill-advised by some lawyer--it's been known to happen. Since my Bar card is thirty years out of date I can't judge that. 

Re outside agitators: I know the lawsuit is not "out-of-town" because the quoted spokesperson for Concerned Library Users is a near neighbor of mine and she bends my ear about it every time she catches me on College Avenue. (She also told me she supports the bookmobile.) 

I also know that Peter Warfield, frequent spokesperson for the Library Users Association, lives in San Francisco, but he as well as many Berkeleyans are part of a general crusade throughout the Bay Area and elsewhere against changes to libraries which are perceived as "pro-technology" and "anti-book". (See Nicholson Baker's superb book on this general topic.) I agree with some of their points, disagree with others, but it's important to hear them out. 

And both Berkeley and the rest of the world are well-supplied with people, including me, who just don't like to see buildings which can be re-used torn down, period. Perhaps even regardless of architectural significance, on environmental grounds alone: the greenest building is the one which already exists. Again, you don't have to agree with them, but they have a legitimate point of view which deserves an airing. That's where many libary critics are coming from these days, in Berkeley, in San Francisco and elsewhere. 

As far as which funding pocket the book van came out of, that's a legitimate question too, in the minds of the local equivalents of "deficit hawks". Many of them believe that bond funds should only be used for long-term capital improvements, that short-lived purchases like vans should come out of operating funds, and I think that's what the writer of the article said. 

Finally, anyone who cares about the library should be aware that its governance has, since I've been paying attention, frequently fallen beneath the standard of disclosure that I expect as a journalist. I'm not sure why that should be the case, but little attention seems to be paid by the library’s board and especially by staff to "the public's right to know". I spent far too many hours in the 7 years I was on the Landmarks Preservation Commission reviewing library plans of various sorts that turned out never to happen the way they were described to the LPC. 

Nevertheless, in our eight years on this job we have always offered spokespeople for whatever is the Library's current official position as much opinion space in the Planet as they choose to use, though oddly enough that’s turned out to be very little. We now, out of necessity, have a policy of allowing engaged citizens to report news of events from their own point of view, as long as they disclose their opinion, which the writer of the bookmobile article has always scrupulously done. 

I hate to sound, once again, like an old-time liberal, but the best remedy for speech you don't like is more speech. If you disagree with what you read here, have at it, and we’ll happily publish what you think. 

And as long as additional funding from the public, whether in the form of taxes, bonds, or voluntary contributions, is needed by Berkeley libraries (which looks like a permanent state of affairs) critics should be dealt with respectfully and patiently, if at all possible. My elementary school teacher used to require us to say “thank you” when we were criticized—an old-fashioned idea, but it still has merit. Remember, they wouldn’t bother to criticize you if they didn’t love you. Really. 

 

 


The Editor's Back Fence

Check Out These Links

Tuesday January 25, 2011 - 01:19:00 PM

Our readers have sent us great links this week: 

Reader Victor Herbert has contributed these links, with his comments: 

 

"Judith Scherr is up to her good standards with the excellent "Berkeley Cabbies Take on City Hall" in theEBExpress:

http://www.eastbayexpress.com/ebx/berkeley-cabbies-take-on-city-hall/Content?oid=2372934

 

The Daily Californian had 2 good items this week: 



http://www.dailycal.org/article/111514/city_s_mental_health_program_in_need_of_reform_due


http://www.dailycal.org/article/111569/city_looks_to_draw_new_businesses "
Cyril Drame points out this link, very timely in view of proposals to re-zone West Berkeley for the benefit of global capitalism:  

http://comment.rsablogs.org.uk/2010/06/28/rsa-animate-crisis-capitalism/  

 


Cartoons

Cartoon Page: Odd Bodkins, BOUNCE

Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 04:11:00 PM

 

Dan O'Neill

 

 

Joseph Young

 


Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 04:12:00 PM

A peep at 2011:  

There was a decline in the world's hungry and malnourished for the first time in 15 years. To be sure, vast numbers of people are still hungry, but it's a glimmer of hope.  

Economic outlook: Forecasters predict healthy growth in 2011 and fewer unemployed. The New Start Treaty with its comprehensive measure for monitoring nuclear weapons will make the world safer. The United States plans to remove troops from Iraq this year and perhaps begin to draw down forces in Afghanistan. 

lternative energy is gaining a foothold. Renewable sources of energy (solar and wind) are abundant and everywhere. As if computers are not fast enough Intel is working on laser emitting chips, which among other things, will allow you to download a feature-length movie in a few seconds. 

There are so many creative and wonderful things in the offing. 

Ron Lowe 

* * * 

Palestine Papers 

Al Jazeera starting publishing stories related to its trove of more than 1,600 memos, diplomatic cables, and notes from the past decade of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The so called "Palestine papers" (http://english.aljazeera.net/palestinepapers) show Palestinians humiliating themselves by offering enormous concessions in private with the Israelis willing to concede little or nothing. For example, the Palestinian Authority offered to concede almost all of East Jerusalem, an historic concession for which Israel offered nothing in return. The papers show Israeli was intransigent in public and intransigent in private. This raises the question as to why Israel should concede anything when the Palestinians were willing to concede much. When the Palestinians people and the world see what the Palestinian negotiators were willing to concede, there should be an outcry forcing Palestine to give up the peace process and seek international recognition of a Palestinian state with the 1967 borders. 

So far only some of the documents have been released. We will have to wait and see what the remaining documents reveal. 

Ralph E. Stone  

* * * 

This Island Park 

Wendy Schlesinger is correct. The Park cannot be an island unto itself, the homeless people and drug abusers in the Park need services (mental health, housing, etc), and the Park needs volunteers. Regarding the plants, the Park is supposed to be a community garden. It's not just supposed to be me by my lonesome. I would love to relinquish yardage to enthusiastic people to grow their own organic food, herbs and fresh flowers. It would be amazing if a local viticulturalist took care of the grape vine (I don't know squat about grape vines), or if someone who knew about fruit trees assisted in keeping them healthy. People's Park is a substantial place, and there could be so much more food grown in it if people joined in. The park needs manure for fertilizer, and it needs more dirt to combat errosion. The park needs to be cleaner; the onsluaght of chemical laden cigarette butts threatens the quality of the soil. 

Regarding the people, it is not enough that they live out their lives as marginalized cast-aways. Everyone has potential. It is insulting to the youth in the Park to think that they cannot be reached, and cannot be guided. The people in the park are stuck, because there is no boat to help them off the island and onto the mainland. Police officers are not guidence counsolers, and jail isn't an internship program. There are no social workers in the Park, there are no rehab programs in the park, there are no job trainers there to recruit and educate the youth. As it stands now, people are feeding off each other's chemical depenencies, each other's hopelessness and rage. It creates a place in which other community members feel uncomfortable to go. However, these social services cost money, and we need to demand that the funds be made available by putting pressure on those in power. 

This past November's election saw a lot of talk regarding People's Park, but it appears that it was just campaign rhetoric. I'm out there pulling weeds and planting new plants because I need a place to grow food, and because I want to contribute to the community by beautifying the park. Wendy is right; there isn't a lot of work that can be done up in a tree. If people are going to improve the park, then they must have their feet firmly planted on the soil. Socialism requires volunteerism not escapism. Socialism requires a willingness to work. 

Nathan Pitts 

* * * 

BP and the Oil Spill 

The BP oil spill could be one of the worst environmental disasters in our nation's history. 

The coast is home to fishing communities and is a haven for wildlife. What will become of them if we cannot contain this spill? Almost all of all the marine species in the Gulf depend on coastal estuaries at some point in their lives, and most of these estuaries are in Louisiana and are threatened by an oil spill that could last months. 

It is obvious that drilling isn't as safe as we've been led to believe. Eleven people are missing. And now BP is unable to stem the flow of oil and is calling for US government help. 

Not only is there not enough oil available off of our coasts to satisfy our fossil oil addiction, the risks to people living on our coasts and the wildlife who depend on our waters are too high. It simply is not possible to drill our way to energy independence, and misguided attempts are proving nothing less than deadly. 

I hope that we learn from this tragedy. Our senators need to get serious about cleaner alternatives and pass a clean energy bill. It's past time to stop putting oil company profits ahead of real energy reform. 

Keiko Martinez 


New: Behind The Coup At KPFA

By Matthew Hallinan
Thursday January 27, 2011 - 12:35:00 PM

In early November, the Executive Director of Pacifica, Arlene Englehardt seized all power at KPFA, firing the talented hosts of the station’s most popular locally produced program, and replacing it with one of her own choosing. She acted without consulting the Interim General Manager of the station or the Local Station Board (LSB). She didn’t ask to meet with the staff of the station or with the union that represents them. In her rush to fire the hosts of The Morning Show, she violated the terms of the union contract, trampled on KPFA's democratic system of local control, and created wide discontent and disillusionment among the listeners. 

Why would she do this? Why would she take such extraordinary measures and act in such an autocratic fashion? She said it was all about finances. The station was in a cash flow crisis and needed to make drastic cuts. She said had no choice but to do this. 

Was there no other choice? A few months earlier, KPFA's local management, working with the unionized staff, had produced a budget proposal that showed the books could be balanced without making programmatic cuts. This budget was approved by the LSB and forwarded to Pacifica. it involved a number of proposals for reducing the one-way flow of funds to Pacifica – which now absorbs 24% of listener contributions to KPFA. Pacifica made a choice at that point - it rejected that budget without even discussing it with the local KPFA folks. 

Then there is the issue of choosing which programs to cut. If finances were the only consideration, why would Pacifica choose to cut the program that raises the most money during the station's fund drives? Again, Pacifica made a choice - and it was a choice they did not want to discuss. 

In December, Ms. Englehardt went before the Berkeley City Council to oppose a resolution that was being considered by the Council. The resolution called on the Pacifica Executive Director to negotiate with the CWA union about the firing process and to enter into mediation with those in the station and on the LSB who are unhappy about the changes she instituted. Ms. Englehardt stated before the Council that Pacifica was opposed to both negotiations and mediation. In other words, Pacifica refuses to sit down and talk with the local folks who disagree with its decisions. Ms. Englehardt says she had no choice: but yet she refuses to listen to any options proposed by others. 

Is it really all about money? Ms. Englehardt assures us that the firing of Brian Edwards-Tiekert and Aimee Allison was not a political maneuver, but was based entirely on financial considerations. The SaveKPFA majority on the LSB took her at her word, and called on listeners to pledge the necessary funds to finance the return of the show. Within a short period, the listeners produced $60,000 in pledges - sufficient to cover the costs of the show for the rest of the year. Ms. Englehardt refused to consider that proposal. That is another choice she made. 

However, Ms Englehardt is not in this all alone. Anyone who is closely involved with the politics of KPFA knows there is a circle of vocal support for Ms Englehardt’s choices and for Pacifica's power grab. Indeed, Richard Phelps, a member of the 'Independent' faction on KPFA’s local station board, responded to SaveKPFA's effort to raise pledges by filing a lawsuit against those on the board that supported the pledge campaign. The lawsuit is absurd and will be thrown out. However, it costs the SaveKPFA LSB members money for legal defense and requires an expenditure of time and effort. It is a blatant attempt to intimidate and harass those who are resisting Pacifica's take over and working to bring the Morning Show back. 

Why would Phelps and the other 'Independents' on the board support Pacifica's seizure of power and its dismantling of our democratic system of local governance? Turn the question around. Why would Pacifica want to come in and take over KPFA? The sad truth is that the 'Independents' are not 'supporting' Pacifica – the 'Independents' are Pacifica. They are part of a coalition that currently holds a majority of seats on the Pacifica National Board (PNB). KPFA is not being taken over by some distant, impersonal, Pacifica bureaucracy. It is being taken over by a narrow, authoritarian-minded coalition of individuals and groups who have taken over the PNB. The so-called 'Independents' are an integral part of that coalition. 

This coalition gained a majority on the PNB about two years ago. Before then, the PNB did not meddle in the affairs of the local stations. Until this coalition took control of the PNB, our local 'Independents' had touted the powers of local station boards, championing their rights to make policy and to decide programming issues. They railed against 'top-down, corporate models of governance' and talked of 'community control' of the station. That was before they realized they were not going to get a majority of the seats on KPFA’s LSB. Sadly, however, their allies throughout the Pacifica system had more success in taking over local station boards than they did. And as a result, they were able to get control over the PNB. 

Once power had shifted at Pacifica, the ‘Independents’ realized that their best chance for controlling the station was through the PNB, not the LSB. And these folks were quick to jump on the new train. Indeed, our local 'Independents' had an epiphany. They now decided that local station boards should have no power: they are simply 'standing committees' of the PNB and can be over-ruled on every issue by Pacifica. 

However, taking over Pacifica and taking over KPFA is not exactly the same thing. The 'Independents' knew that the KPFA community would not relinquish all its rights without a fight. That’s why they started with a coup – a blow. 

And Arlene Engelhardt's seizure of power was indeed a real coup. The firing of Brian Edwards-Tiekert was purely political. These folks began their power grab by seeking to get rid of the most forceful opponent they had among the paid staff. They followed this up with an attempt to reverse the results of the staff elections in which SaveKPFA had won a close victory. Court action was necessary to prevent Pacifica from succeeding in this. 

They are now attempting to reverse SaveKPFA's majority on the LSB. There is an effort underway to remove Dan Seigel, one of our strongest voices. Dan, it should be noted, received the highest number of listener votes in the 2008 LSB election. Claiming that his informal advisory relationship to Mayor Jean Quan amounts to an appointment to a political office, the PNB voted last week, without any due process – indeed, without even contacting Dan - to remove him from his seat on the board. Once again, we will be forced to go to court to keep them from reversing the will of the voters. 

There is too much at stake here to allow these people to succeed. They would turn the station into a forum for only one narrow slice of the left spectrum. They have taken the formal reins of power are currently mobilizing all their forces to consolidate their hold over the station. This could spell the death of KPFA as a voice of Northern California’s diverse progressive community. However, we the listeners and supporters of KPFA in the Bay Area are force to be reckoned with. We are not about to allow the station we have built and made part of lives to be stolen away. 

 

 

 

 

 


Will Library’s Bamboozle Undermine the Nuclear Free Berkeley Act?

By Gene Bernardi
Tuesday January 25, 2011 - 12:35:00 PM

An overwhelming majority of Berkeley citizens in a 1986 election approved the Nuclear Free Berkeley Act (NFBA). The Peace and Justice (P&J) Commission was established at that time to monitor the enforcement of the Act. The law states the City “shall grant no contract to any person or business which knowingly engages in work for Nuclear Weapons, unless the city council makes a specific determination that no reasonable alternative exists…”. Most of the proposed contracts that have come before the P&J Commission are with the University of California (UC) which manages the Nuclear Weapons labs. In the case of UC there is almost always, if not always, a finding of “no reasonable alternative.” 

The question now is: Will the Berkeley Public Library (BPL) and the City Manager abide by the City Council’s decision to waive the NFBA for just two years, rather than the three years requested by the Library? 

History 

On January 27, 2009, the Berkeley City Council was under pressure from a huge crowd of anti-nuclear public commenters demanding the Council honor the Nuclear Free Berkeley (NFBA) by denying a waiver of the Act requested by the Berkeley Public Library (BPL). 

The Peace and Justice (P&J) Commission had shortly before held a hearing on the Library’s waiver request and voted 7-2 to recommend denial by the City Council. 

The Library Director justified the NFBA waiver request, stating that the Checkpoint check-out Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system (installation of which was completed just a few years previous) was deteriorating and that, because it is a proprietary system, it could only be maintained by 3M, a company designated by Checkpoint. 

The problem: 3M declined to sign the statement required of all City contractors that states the company is not, and does not intend to be, involved in Nuclear Weapons work or the Nuclear Fuel Cycle. 

Bamboozle 

At the suggestion of a recently retired Library Trustee, the Council waived the NFBA for two years, rather than allowing the three year contract requested by the BPL. The two years is either up on January 27, 2011 or March 14, 2011, March 15, 2009 being the date the contract was signed with 3M. 

What’s the bamboozle? The bamboozle is that, although the contract states that it will end on March 14, 2011, there is an added phrase: “The City Manager of the City may extend the term of this contract by giving written notice”. Furthermore, the contract indicates that the annual amount for maintenance is $56,305, yet the total amount of the contract is exactly three times that amount, $168,915. Why did they include enough for three years of maintenance, when the City Council approved a waiver of the NFBA for just two years, not three? 

More History 

In the Fall of 2010, BPL signed a contract with Bibliotheca, a non-nuclear company, for a new RFID checkout system. On November 8, 2010, the P&J Commission wrote to Library Director Donna Corbeil requesting that it be informed of the “schedule for installation of the new RFID system, and final and complete termination of the 3M contract, such that the Library will be in compliance with the NFBA waiver deadline of two years”. 

Library Director Corbeil’s November 23, 2010 response letter to P&J does not provide any RFID installation schedule. It does state that “on November 18, 2010, 3M representatives were notified … that the Library has elected to allow contract # 7890 with 3M to terminate on the agreed date of Monday, March 14, 2011. Consequently, the Library will not be exercising its contractual option to extend service”. 

Current Upshot 

What’s the concern, then? The concern is that the Library has provided no information to the P&J Commission, and has not made information public, as to whether the installation of the new RFID tags in the Library’s thousands of books and other media has even begun. But, even if it has, how can it be completed by March 14, 2011? The Checkpoint RFID system took about one year to install and involved using librarians, aides, and temporary employees, the latter at a cost of over $65,000. 

What is the Library going to do if the new RFID system is not fully installed in the South and West branches -- those scheduled for demolition -- and in the Central Library, by March 14, 2011? (Claremont and North are due to be closed for renovation in March, 2011.) 

It appears BPL has three ways to go. We suggest the third. 

1. Continue the old deteriorating dysfunctional Checkpoint RFID system without a maintenance contract while waiting for the new RFID system to be fully installed. This would undoubtedly result in a security gap for Library materials. 

2. Mock the City Council’s action, and mock the Nuclear Free Berkeley Act representing the community’s wishes, by exercising the option to extend the 3M contract (an option that should never have been included). 

3. Cancel the contract with Bibliotheca -- it has an escape clause -- and install a bar code checkout system which would merely require placing metal strips in those books which do not already have them, instead of having to replace RFID tags in each and every book and all other Library materials. 

A bar code checkout system would be the honorable and most cost-effective way to go. Shouldn’t we be concerned about cost in the current economy, especially in the face of cuts which must be made because of the reduction of State funds to local agencies? 


Gene Bernardi is a member of the steering committee of SuperBOLD, Berkeleyans Organizing for Library Defense. 

 

 

 

 


Petroleum Impregnated Lofty Sand Castles of the Middle East

By Rizwan A. Rahmani
Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 02:39:00 PM

“I arrived at length at Cairo, mother of cities and seat of Pharaoh the tyrant, mistress of broad regions and fruitful lands, boundless in multitude of buildings, peerless in beauty and splendor, the meeting-place of comer and goer, the halting-place of feeble and mighty, whose throngs surge as the waves of the sea, and can scarce be contained in her for all her size and capacity." This is a synopsis of what Ibn Battuta the great Moroccan traveler wrote of Cairo when he arrived there in year 1326. Although it is still a very important city in Arab world, it has lost some of that splendor through the ages. 

I have been to the Middle East several times since the early seventies, mainly the United Arab Emirates and briefly Oman, and had the opportunity to see its metamorphosis into a modern metropolis. Unfortunately, its ostentatiously dazzling facade of western style skylines is only skin deep. When I first arrived in Arabia 38 years ago, I was just a boy, and it was a completely different Arabia in terms of exterior and infrastructure. Much of that has changed: in its current iteration, I wouldn’t recognize the Dubai of today compared to its earlier humble footprint, with quaint traditional wooden schooner (dhow) lined port, and the old bazaar (suq), which served it well in older times. But the gulf infamously came into its own under the Qawasims and others as ‘Pirate Coast’ during various stages of Ottoman and European influence in the region ending with the British. After a truce, the British agreed to a peaceful coexistence in exchange for protecting the region from other Europeans, free flow of goods, and a cessation of ship raids, hence their original name: Trucial States. Since 1971 a modern truce has been at play between U.A.E and the world of late, a devil’s bargain with consumers, money launderers, and sun-seekers: come shop, stay, and enjoy our gold-gilded air-conditioned playground—we will give you the modernized Arabia of your dreams at the expense of political freedom, worker rights, totalitarianism, and second class treatment of the immigrants. But will this truce hold? 

The ports in the Persian Gulf, and especially Omani ports, have been active for millennia when the region was a major maritime trade route and pearl producer: the peninsula did brisk trade with the Indian subcontinent, Persia, Iraq, east Africa and Southeast Asia. Before Dubai, Oman and Yemen may have been an even grander trading hub, when frankincense and myrrh was all the rage, followed by silk, fabric, and exotic spices as produits du jour. Yemen was the centre of several major empires before the rise of Islam, as one of the most influential powers in the region. All that changed during the 60s and 70s, when Yemen’s neighbors found black gold of the cheap variety (easily extractable) and the appetite for gasoline rose meteorically in the west. Suddenly, by geographic good fortune a mid point, Dubai found itself in the middle of all this new activity: it is literally a jet age Constantinople—in actuality more of a desert caravanserai with well lit, glitzy, and dazzling duty free shops catering to the consumerist appetite of VAT-stricken Europeans and sub-continent citizenry where certain things aren’t as readily available. But unlike Constantinople, it is situated in a rather hostile and arid land with little or no major source of potable water for hundreds of miles—its natural resources are some oil, sea, and well over 300 days of blistering sun. 

During the late sixties and early seventies my father worked in Oman - then still a de facto British colony despite the fact that Oman was considered a sovereign nation. When we travelled from Muscat (the capital) to the town where my father was assigned as the chief physician of the region, we encountered a sizable British army presence en route. The roads were still unpaved and rugged; the only vehicles seen on the road were four wheel drive Land Rovers. There were times when the vehicles were partially submerged in water traversing through a mountainous pass. The journey took several days as it was just too arduous to endure in one sitting. 

The aging Sultan of Oman was a shrewd man, and despite alliances he kept the British under a hawk-like watch. He wouldn’t let them exploit its oil reserves to the extent they wanted. But he was soon deposed in a convenient bloodless coup that involved his son and his ally: the British. It was a short news item on the BBC international service: I still remember hearing the news along with my brothers and father with our ears glued to the transistor radio. Once the son of the Sultan (Qaboos) took over Oman under the aegis of the British benevolence, the oil fields were exploited en masse and Oman changed rapidly, though it still lagged behind its neighbors: especially Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai, with their ample reserves of oil. I remember seeing BP’s ubiquitous logo sprouting all over the country during that time. 

We traveled through the Trucial States (not yet U.A.E.) from Oman on unpaved roads: by the time we arrived in Dubai, we were parched and seared from the desert heat and coughed sand and dust-laced phlegm. Dubai, while small, was even then a trading hub of the region. Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai were already on their infrastructure-centered renaissance—superficial in nature, development centered on newly paved roads and lights to line them, ghostly with a complete absence of any tenements alongside. While some of the trees were appropriately enough date palms (though even date palm requires some water), many others were surrealistically out of place in the arid desert, being grown forcibly with ample irrigation. When I visited Saudi Arabia, it too was experiencing a similar boom with the help of its beneficiary: ARAMCO (Arabian-American Oil Company). During the night I could see dozens of oil wells pre-burning and utterly wasting perfectly usable source of energy so that the oil beneath could be drawn out of ground safely. 

The differences between Dubai and Constantinople run deeper than my glib remarks belie. Constantinople (modern day Istanbul) has millennia of heritage and lineage in its cistern-lined belly, Byzantine monuments, Topkapi Palace, and Arabesque architecture. It is historically one of the most rich and fascinating cities of the world. Istanbul is one of the oldest surviving metropolises, which has been and remains a major center of art and crafts, with a long tradition as a trade hub in both directions. It has been a crucial crossroads for learning and culture since antiquity. Some of its architectural monuments are timeless and older than most buildings of ancient Arabia with some exceptions. Let’s not also forget that it was the seat of the eastern Roman Empire, and remains to this day the home of the Eastern Orthodox Church’s patriarch much to the dismay of my Greek friends. After the British and French scheme divvyed up much of the Ottoman Empire among them, Mustafa Kemal Pasha (Ataturk) and his militia defeated the European allies in the war of independence, annulling the previous treaty and demanding sovereignty over Anatolia (Turkey). The allies were forced into a new treaty at Lausanne (Switzerland), and today Istanbul is still a thriving modern metropolis, wrought out of its ancient history. 

In contrast, the frenzy-paced ornamental renaissance of the Arabian oil kingdoms is mainly focused on redecorating their escapist cityscapes with tall buildings, snazzy architecture, lavish malls, and outlandish theme parks. And some of the cosmetic overhaul is heavily debt-financed, reminding me of my father’s colleagues from Pakistan living in U.A.E who would try to outdo the Jones’ with plush looking living rooms financed beyond their means just for bragging rights. Of all these economies, Dubai maybe the paragon example of this phenomenon (Dubai is part of U.A.E but in actuality the seven emirates are city states with autonomous regimes with Abu Dhabi as the big dog). 

Although before the formation of OPEC, the lion share of oil wealth was collected by the foreign oil companies. The Arabian Peninsula is now getting better revenue terms since then. Whether it is U.A.E or Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, these counties have been blessed with tremendous wealth owing mostly to their oil riches for the last 50 years or so—yet most of these monies have been only used for extravagant skyscrapers, grand palaces, decadent restaurants, opulent hotels, stipends for its citizen to buy their loyalty, and superfluous projects: little or nothing has been spent on industrialization, higher education, agriculture, and research (which requires a good educational system). No expansion or enrichment of universities, work incentive for the natives, women’s right, or social support for the workforce. While I was there, seeking a good education in U.A.E. was akin to a quest for truffle. We studied home with a tutor and took our University of London high school board exam at the British consulate in Dubai. While getting an education in U.A.E has gotten better, the improvement even after 35 years is still marginal at best. 

Again by contrast, Singapore, with its geographically convenient location, has achieved a similar feat in shipping and port efficiency, with cargo ships travelling from the Far East and westwards, and has made itself an appealing destination for tourists, especially to people from down under and New Zealand. But Singapore didn’t stop there: on top of building an advance infrastructure, it has been building its manufacturing base, educations system, and hi-tech research labs where some of the newest innovations are taking place. In terms of size and nation state status, it not dissimilar from some of the Arabian emirates and sheikhdoms who had/have a lot more petro-dollars at hand to fuel the economic furnace of development. While Singapore is not quite the utopian nation it claims to be in its propaganda-laden state sponsored tours, culturally it is still a lot more liberal than most Arabian nations. 

Dubai and to some extent Abu Dhabi (though Dubai’s oil revenue is a small percentage of it income) have overbuilt and overleveraged their assets, and now find themselves in an unenviable economic pickle. The man-made Palm Island occupancy rate is hauntingly low. The maître d’ at Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant is nearly out of a job. Most of the condominiums have lost value, and shopping is not as brisk as it used to be in the early 2000s. Dubai World had defaulted on it loans and had be bailed out by its big brother, Abu Dhabi. Dubai is a good place to launder money for the Russian mafia, and a decadent playing ground for some of the rich sheikhs and princes who are flush with cold cash to warm the pockets of these establishment owners, dabbling in activities their own countries will not allow. Will these anachronistic ruling class patrons be enough to carry this Xanadu into the next century? The current events in Tunisia should be alarming to some of these emirates. When Juan Carlos willfully retreated into the ceremonial shadows and gave way to parliamentary democracy in Spain after a brief stint at monarchy, he knew that the Spain’s royalist era probably ended when Franco rose to power. 

Dubai is still insisting to be the touchdown place for airlines travelling from Europe to the Far East and the subcontinent, despite the fact that modern planes are fully capable of doing these journeys in one leg. The scarcity of water and the finite oil reserve concerns aside, will the lure of shopping for goods sans VAT be compelling enough for the long haul? Will the Northern European heliophiles flock for the winter, even though it is culturally a much closed society? Will dual rules of morality—one for the tourists in five star hotels and another for the poor immigrants—prevail? Monaco is a great playground for the rich and famous, but it is certainly not an economic powerhouse or center of innovation. 

The Trucial States thrived because of their autonomous existence mostly due to Oman’s age old tradition of seafaring and ship building. The father of the current Sheikh played his cards right and realized that little oil reserve and the old port lined with dhows would not carry Dubai into the next century, so he built the largest modern port in the region, and made Dubai a prime trade hub. Rather than taking this accomplishment to the next level by developing other areas of the country, his son is taking a page out of Monaco and Las Vegas’ playbook—betting that “if you build it, they will come”. Castles of sand are ephemerally beautiful, but lacking deep foundations and reinforcements, they are at the mercy of the next big wave. Without meaningful societal, educational, and industrial progress, the winds of change and new international playgrounds may deal a similar fate to Dubai.


What the University Must Do Now
To Stop the People's Park Tree-Sit
From Busting U.C.'s Budget

By Ted Friedman
Tuesday January 25, 2011 - 04:20:00 PM

When the last tree-sit protester descended from his oak at the U.C. Memorial Stadium oak grove in 2008 after the longest urban tree-sit in America, the university had spent nearly a half million dollars for security, extra policing, and incidentals.  

And those were fat economic times. 

But in the wake of $637.1 million dollars worth of U.C. budget cuts, and an additional proposed 500 million cut for 2011, cancelled sports programs, cancelled classes, and massive layoffs, the university can ill afford unnecessary bills. 

Yet Oak Grove 2, a low-key tree-sit presently accelerating in People's Park, could be the straw that breaks the camel's purse. 

While presently a small action (by design, says its organizer), there are signs of expansion. Supporting funds, which fell off in the worst of winter, have resumed. More support people have come forward. Wider leafletting has begun. 

False spring or not, spring-like weather may heat the passions of protesters. 

After breaking the 10 P.M. park curfew for four months --if sleeping atop a 40-foot cedar can be counted--the protesters last week demanded an end to the park curfew. That's not all they're demanding. 

Re-naming the park Muwekma (western people's) Park and calling for recognition of the Ohlone Indian tribe's "rightful" claim to ownership of the park, Zachary Running 

Wolf Brown, 47, founder of the Oak Grove protest is progressing towards another record-setting protest. Oak Grove 1 lasted more than two years. 

The strategies from Oak Grove 1 seem to be repeating in People's Park. If only someone would come forward with proof that Native American remains lie beneath the park, the Oak Grove comparison would be complete. 

Oak Grove 2, began as a protest against George Beier's district 7 city council campaign calls to change People's Park. If Beier's rhetoric seemed to echo the "findings" of a 2008 university commissioned planning study, it might be because he was on the university committee that commissioned it. 

Less than a week before the city council elections, Midnight Matt, 53, a veteran of Oak Grove 1, went up a cedar tree to protest Beier's proposals. 

Beier lost, but the protest grows. Nor has the university changed the park, as protestors feared. 

A university people's park spokesman has ignored this reporters' repeated questions on the university's plans for the park except to repeat the mantra of its planning study: "we want the park to be a clean and welcoming place." 

Tree sitting is unwelcome. But other than to bust one sitter on an outstanding court warrant when he descended his tree while under surveillance, police are taking a hands off attitude. Running Wolf says they harass tree-sitters and rip off the sitter's property. 

Although the university liberally funded a marketing firm's planning study, it clearly cannot now afford the changes the study recommended. Funding for the park 

has been reduced, according to park workers. 

In perhaps a bitter aftermath to Beier's failed campaign, the park is neither clean nor welcoming--to use the planning study's words. All the "problems" listed in the study persist, and may have worsened. 

What can the university do as it finds itself on the verge of yet another bureaucratic blunder? Cede the park to the Ohlones--to Running Wolf? Running Wolf, an elder in the Blackfeet tribe, a graduate of Berkeley High School and former mayoral candidate, modestly declines to take possession of the park. He also declines to negotiate with the university. 

"I'll negotiate with them, when they hand over the park," he vows. 

Action on District 7 councilman's Kriss Worthington's campaign proposal to return the park to the city, the park's former overseer, to be administered by the East Bay Regional Park District is at least a long way off, if not languishing. Perhaps responsibility for the park has become a liability. 

The Berkeley-East Bay Regional Park idea is not popular with Running Wolf, who favors a governing park council composed of park activists, founders, and regular park users. 

According to the university's nine month planning study based on "interviews, workshops, and public forums," active park users--the study's term--believe the park "belongs to the people, and will resist attempts at change." 

Perhaps. But could not all sides accept some version of the following speculative proposal: 

End the 10p park curfew immediately. This avoids a costly showdown with protesters as well as insuring that park users do not sleep on nearby neighborhood walks. 

Appoint a coalition of park activists, park users, and park founders along with the university (advisory) to administer the park. There would be budget savings, and perhaps "the people" are best equipped to address problem peers in the park. A possible theme: "Respect the Park to Keep it Ours."  

As a prelude to community-based management, restore the free clothes box. Everyone wants to look their best. The university's continuing removal of clothes boxes has been a sore point with park users since 2006. This would restore goodwill. 

Install acacia trees to replace those removed. Removal of the trees spawned protests in 2008. This good-will gesture might signal an end to pointless feuding between town and gown. 

Cede plant and tree maintenance to community gardeners. Such gardeners created an oasis (complete with a magnificent palm tree) from a field of mud. Besides, every time university gardeners tend plants and trees in the park, activists complain. Ceding such maintenance to an already active core of volunteer community gardeners would end the hassles. 

Sponsor an academic conference to explore the role of Native Americans in and around campus, including People's Park, and, if warranted, install a monument (financed by private donations) to Native Americans in the park after an open competition for its design. This would redress decades of Cal native american student grievances going back to the sixties.  

These are merely my own ideas, based on my previous reports in the Planet, my reading of the university planning study, and interviewing activists and some U.C. park workers. 

 

Are these proposals fanciful? Not according to the university's own planning study which muses, "…the park can, however, form an identity around humanistic values, responsible citizenship, environmental stewardship, and open dialogue so that at risk populations are not excluded from the park." 

 


Ted Friedman lives a half block from People's Park. This is his fourth piece on the park.


A Personal Perspective on the Berkeley Business Forum

By Jane Stillwater
Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 04:20:00 PM

On January 24, 2011, our local Berkeleyside blog [sic] sponsored a very informative forum on the subject of small businesses -- and I went to it. The first panel consisted of Carl Bass, CEO of AutoDesk, and Chris Anderson, editor of Wired magazine. Bass spoke on the many advantages that Berkeley has to offer anyone who might be considering starting up a tech-oriented small business here. "You have access to the global supply chain, labor, assets, IT, creativity and ideas. Stanford gave birth to Silicon Valley. UC Berkeley, one of the top research universities in the world, could also give birth to something on that scale of innovation."  

It was nice to be gently reminded that we have all kinds of smart people living here in Berkeley, that we have a top-drawer university to draw on, that we have all the Right Stuff.  

Then Anderson spoke with regard to the wonders of Berkeley's tech start-up possibilities. "This is a great time for small enterprises," he said, illustrating his convictions with examples from his own inventiveness and those from the new Maker Movement, which is driven by small-business entrepreneurs working out of the basements and garages of America. 

Both Anderson and Bass live here in Berkeley and both men pounded home their main point several times -- that Berkeley is a real idea-creating town and that we should take that reality and run with it. Listening to them, I got all enthusiastic about the future of Berkeley even in these difficult economic times. 

Then another panel was formed and various local business people also spoke on the possibilities of making Berkeley an even more exciting place to live, work and create.  

And then somehow the forum got hijacked by people from the audience who seemed to only want to talk about making Berkeley safe for developers. Been there, done that. No thanks. Let's go back to listening to Anderson and Bass!  

I would have preferred it if audience members would have stopped dissing the homeless on Telegraph and the slow permit process and the roadblocks to paving over paradise -- and instead started trying to figure out how to harness Berkeley's legendary creativity, our "Think outside the Box" abilities, all those 36,000 eager UC students who flow through our town, our great primary schools, our compassion-before-greed POV, our writers, our artists, our filmmakers.... I get worn out just THINKING about Berkeley's wonderfulness! 

This forum was important to me because it got me to thinking about my hometown and its future and what wonderful things can and should be happening here next. Plus they served free pizza at the forum, always a plus.p>


Columns

Dispatches From The Edge: Latin America: The Empire Strikes Back

By Conn Hallinan
Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 02:55:00 PM

For the past decade, American policy vis-à-vis Latin America has been relatively low-key, partly because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and partly because the region has seen an unprecedented growth in economic power and political independence. But, with Republicans taking over the House of Representatives, that is about to change, and, while the Southern Cone no longer stands to attention when Washington snaps its fingers, an aggressive and right wing Congress is capable of causing considerable mischief. 

Rep. Lleana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fl), a long-time hawk on Cuba and leftist regimes in Venezuela and Bolivia, is the new chair of the powerful House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the rightist Rep. Connie Mack (D-Fl) heads up the House subcommittee on Western Hemisphere affairs. Ros-Lethinen is already preparing hearings aimed at Venezuela and Bolivia, and Mack will try to put the former on the State Department’s list of countries sponsoring terrorism. 

Ros-Lehtinen plans to target Venezuela’s supposed ties to Middle East terrorist groups and Iran’s nuclear weapons program, and to push for economic sanctions against Venezuela’s state-owned oil company and banks. “It will be good for congressional subcommittees to start talking about [President of Venezuela Hugo] Chavez, about [President of Bolivia Evo] Morales, about issues that have not been talked about,” she told the Miami Herald

The new chairs of the House Intelligence Committee and Judiciary Committee have also signaled they intend to weigh in on establishing a more hawkish line on Latin America. 

Unfortunately, it is the Obama administration that created an opening for the Republicans. While the White House came in pledging to improve relations with Latin America, Washington has ended up supporting a coup in Honduras, strengthening the U.S. military’s presence in the region, and ignoring growing criticism of its failed war on drugs. 

Recent disclosures by Wikileaks reveal the Obama administration was well aware that the June 2009 Honduran coup against President Manuel Zelaya was illegal; nonetheless, it intervened to help keep the coup forces in power. Other cables demonstrate an on-going American hostility to the Morales regime in Bolivia and Washington’s sympathy with secessionist forces in that country’s rich eastern provinces. 

Many Latin Americans initially had high hopes the Obama administration would bring a new approach to its relations with the region, but some say they have seen little difference from the Bush Administration. “The truth is that nothing has changed and I view that with sadness,” says former Brazilian president Luiz Lula da Silva. But things may go from bad to worse if the White House is passive in the face of a sharp rightward turn by Congress. 

The Latin America of 2011 is not the same place it was a generation ago. Economic growth has outstripped the U.S. and Europe, progressive and left governments have lifted 38 million people out of poverty, cut extreme poverty by 70 percent, and increased literacy. The region has also increased its south-south relations with countries like China, South Africa and India. China is now Brazil’s number one trading partner. An economic alliance—Mercosur—has knitted the region together economically, and the U.S.-dominated Organization of American States (OAS) finds itself eclipsed by the newly formed Union of South American Nations. 

But many countries in Latin America are still riven by wealth disparities, ethnic divides, and powerful ties between local oligarchies and the region’s curse: powerful and undemocratic police and militaries. One such military pulled off the Honduran coup, and police came within a whisker of overthrowing Ecuador’s progressive president, Rafael Correa, in 2010. 

One 2007 Wikileaks cable titled “A Southern Cone perspective on countering Chavez and reasserting U.S. leadership,” pointed out “Southern Cone militaries remain key institutions in their respective countries and important allies for the U.S.” The author of the cable, then ambassador to Chile, Craig Kelly, is currently principle Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. Kelly strongly recommended increasing aid to Latin American militaries to help them “modernize.” 

In many cases, rightists in Latin America share an agenda with right-wing forces in the U.S. For instance, Republicans played a key role in supporting the Honduran coup and continue to strengthen those ties. In a recent trip to Honduras, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Ca)—a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee—brought together U.S. business leaders and Honduran officials to discuss American investment. Honduras was suspended from the OAS, and only a handful of Latin American governments recognize the new president, Porfirio Lobo. 

It was the Obama Administration, however, who recognized the government established by the coup, and remains silent in the face of what Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch calls widespread human rights violations by the Lobos regime, including the unsolved murder of at least 18 opponents. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is lobbying hard to have Honduras re-admitted to the OAS. 

A quick survey of Republican targets suggests troubled waters ahead. 

Chavez has won two elections and is enormously popular. He has cut poverty, tripled social spending, doubled university enrollment, and extended health care to most of the poor. A U.S. engineered coup seems unlikely. But a “supporter of terrorism” designation would cause considerable difficulties with international financing and foreign investment. Sanctions on oil and banking would also disrupt the Venezuelan economy, in the long run creating conditions favorable to a possible coup. 

While it is hard to imagine what else the U.S. could do to Cuba, Congress may try to choke off investment in Cuba’s growing oil and gas industries. Companies are already jumping through hoops to avoid getting around the current embargo. The Spanish oil company Repsol and Italy’s Eni SpA recently built an offshore oil rig in China to dodge the blockade. 

“It is ridiculous that Repsol, a Spanish oil company, is paying an Italian firm to build an oil rig in China that will be used next year to explore for oil 50 miles from Florida,” Sarah Stephens, director of the Center for Democracy in the Americas told the Financial Times. If the Republicans have their way, sanctions will be applied to those oil companies. 

Ecuador’s Correa beat back a recent right-wing coup, largely because of his 67 percent approval rating. He has doubled spending on health care, increased social spending, and stiffed an illegitimate $3.2 billion foreign debt. But he has a tense relationship with indigenous movements, which accuse him of trying to marginalize them. While those groups did not support the coup, neither did they rally to the government’s support. Those divisions could be easily exploited to destabilize the government. 

In the case of Bolivia, the Wikileak released cables, according to Latin American journalist and author Benjamin Dangl, “lays bare an embassy that is biased against Evo Morales’ government, underestimates the sophistication of the governing party’s grassroots base, and is out of touch with the political reality of the country.” 

The cables indicate the U.S. is relying on information from extreme right wing and violent secessionist groups in Eastern Bolivia, groups that receive financing and training from the National Endowment for Democracy and USAID. Both groups have close ties to American intelligence organizations. Given Brazil’s strong opposition to any attempt to break up Bolivia, it is not clear a succession movement would succeed. But would Brazil—or Argentina, Uruguay or Paraguay—actually intervene? 

Paraguayis also a country deeply divided between left and right, with a progressive president who warned last year that a coup by the country’s powerful military was a possibility. 

The Obama administration’s acceptance of the Honduran coup sent a chill throughout Latin America, and certainly emboldened those who see tanks and caudillos as an answer to the region’s surge of progressive politics and independent foreign policy. The recent effort by Turkey and Brazil to broker a compromise with Iran over its nuclear program did not go down well in Washington. Neither have efforts to chart an independent course on the Middle East by nations in the region. Several countries have formally recognized a Palestinian state, and Peru will host an Arab-Latin America summit Feb. 16. 

Latin America is no longer an appendage to the colossus of the north, but its growing independence is fragile, as the coups in Honduras and Ecuador suggest. The chasm between rich and poor is being closed, but it is still substantial. The economies in the region are growing at a respectable 6 percent, but, because they are relatively small, they can be more easily derailed by internal and external crises. Even as its power wanes, the U.S. is still the world’s largest economy with the world’s largest military. This, plus anti-democratic forces in Latin America, is fertile ground for mischief, particularly if there is not strong resistance on the U.S. home front. 


Read Conn Hallinan’s writings at dispatchesfromtheedgeblog.wordpress.com 

 

 

 

 


Wild Neighbors: Four-letter Birds

By Joe Eaton
Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 02:49:00 PM
GREG for short: great egret at Palo Alto Baylands
Don DeBold
GREG for short: great egret at Palo Alto Baylands

The language of birding has crossed a cultural divide. Readers may have noticed the increased use of the four-letter banding codes designated by the American Ornithologists’ Union in communication among birders, especially on birding listserves. Now, for the first time, they’re in a field guide. 

I’ve seen an advance copy of The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds, due out in March from Princeton University Press. Without getting into the merits of the book itself, it’s sufficient to note here that an AOU code is given for each species covered. What’s more, the codes are used in the text in discussions of similar or related species: the gyrfalcon, or GYRF, is “like a huge PEFA but more NOGO-like in some ways.” That would be peregrine falcon and northern goshawk to the uninitiated. 

Birders have been using abbreviations for a long time, of course: TV for turkey vulture (now officially TUVU, which sounds like a small country in Central Asia.) That was part of the folk culture, along with nicknames like “butterbutt” for yellow-rumped warbler. 

The AOU codes were originally intended for bird banders, but their use has become more widespread in recent years. I suspect there’s an age differential: people who text and twitter are likely more comfortable with PEFAs and NOGOs. 

I don’t know if there has been any attempt to standardize the formation of the codes. For a fortunate few birds, the unmodified four-letter name becomes the code: SORA, RUFF (a Eurasian sandpiper), and, since Hawai’ian species are included, IIWI (one of the drepanine honeycreepers). For some reason, SMEW (a kind of merganser) is not on the official list, although it has occurred in North America as a vagrant. 

Otherwise, the code is either an abbreviation of the bird’s name (WILL for willet, KILL for killdeer) or, more commonly, a combination of portions of the noun and its modifier (PEregrine FAlcon becomes PEFA). Sometimes the result is pronounceable. Often, though, it’s something only fluent speakers of Klingon could manage. 

Code names sometimes converge with brand names and/or corporate acronyms (LEGO for lesser goldfinch), personal names (HUGO for Hudsonian godwit, GREG for great egret, ARLO for Arctic loon, BETH for Bendire’s thrasher), or random words (FLOW for flammulated owl, HOME for hooded merganser, GLIB for glossy ibis, LARB for lark bunting; larb, you may recall, is a tasty Thai salad involving minced chicken or duck.) Others are just a clash of consonants (NSHR for northern shrike, RTTR for red-tailed tropicbird, SPSK for South Polar skua). 

Sometimes you think you see a pattern: eastern towhee is EATO, 

spotted towhee is SPTO, green-tailed towhee is GTTO. So far, so good. But then California towhee is not CATO, like the stern Roman who was always going on about Carthage, but CALT—most likely to avoid confusion with canyon towhee (CANT). 

Consistent or not, the AOU codes are likely to work their way into our vocabularies. We’ll look at a mixed batch of egrets and think, “Two GREGs and twelve SNEGs,” SNEG being snowy egret. And hawkwatchers will not have to struggle to blurt out “ferruginous hawk” before the raptor is out of sight. It’s much easier to say “FEHA.” 


The Public Eye: Show Us the Jobs: Obama’s State-of-the-Union Challenge

By Bob Burnett
Tuesday January 25, 2011 - 12:57:00 PM

On Tuesday, January 25th, President Obama will give the annual state-of-the-union address to Congress and the American people. Since the disastrous mid-term elections, Obama’s popularity has surged. The President should use this opportunity to tell Americans his strategy for dealing with the US jobs crisis. 

 

Article II, Section 3 of the US Constitution mandates the State-of-the-Union (SOTU) report. In recent years it’s consisted of a glib assessment of the nation’s condition – last year Obama reported, “Our union is strong” – and the Administration’s legislative agenda, most often a laundry list that bears little resemblance to what that session of Congress accomplishes. Typically the SOTU speech is a snoozer, although in 2002 and 2003, President Bush used the occasion to marshal support for an attack on Iraq. 

 

In last years’ SOTU speech, President Obama argued that his Administration had saved the US economy; he claimed the worst of the recession was over, but confessed the problem of creating jobs was daunting. He requested job-creation legislation much of which passed. He also asked for healthcare and financial reform legislation they became law. Nonetheless, the speech wasn’t effective because the President came across as professorial. 

 

Obama should view 2011’s SOTU as an opportunity to win support for his job-creation agenda. In many ways the occasion mirrors the situation he was presented with on Wednesday, January 12th, at the Tucson memorial service for the shooting victims. He exceeded the nation’s expectations by taking what could have been the occasion for a pro forma speech and instead giving a moving address that lifted up Americans and put the tragic events in perspective. 

 

The Tucson speech succeeded because the President adopted a personal tone. He focused on the death of nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green, observing that Christina saw the political process “through the eyes of a child, undimmed by the cynicism or vitriol that we adults all too often just take for granted. I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it. All of us - we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children's expectations.” 

 

President Obama should learn from his Tucson speech and make the SOTU address simple and personal. The President will be standing in front of the 112th session of Congress, where the House of Representatives is controlled by a raucous Republican majority. His speech could well set the tone of the next two years. Obama needs to take command of the bully pulpit. 

 

After pro forma comments about the need for civility and recognition of our Armed Forces personnel, President Obama should make two points. 

 

The first is that the actions of the Obama Administration have stabilized the economy; they’ve kept banks from collapsing and economic conditions from going into free fall. The US is coming out of “the Great Recession” and that’s good news that Obama and Democrats, in general, should take credit for. (The President would do well to give Americans a few concrete examples of how 2009’s Recovery and Reinvestment Act has saved the jobs of average folks.) 

 

The second point the President should make is that the US cannot be satisfied with this recovery because we are mired in a jobs slump, where the unemployment rate is 9.1 percent. That’s what Obama should focus on for the remainder of his speech: US Gross Domestic Product is up; our corporate profits are up; but our unemployment rate lags behind those of Britain, China, Germany, Japan, and Russia. For most Americans the recession is over but there are 14.5 million workers who cannot find decent jobs. 

 

While the President might want to suggest a few job-related legislative initiatives, what is paramount is that he establish a compelling theme such as Let’s make America work for everyone and follow it with a forceful reiteration of a basic premise: Everyone in America who wants a job should be able to find one

 

Obama should throw down the gauntlet and say to Congress We’ve stabilized the economy. Now we need to work together to create more jobs. 

 

To make this point the President should use gripping examples, as he did in Tucson with the story of Christina Green. He should sprinkle his SOTU remarks with the stories of the unemployed. Whenever Obama proposes a specific job-creation initiative, he should amplify the content by showing how it would help a jobless American worker. 

 

What the President doesn’t say in the SOTU is as important as what he says. He shouldn’t refer to the deficit or the “results” of his Deficit Reduction Commission. And Obama must avoid being professorial or garrulous. He should hammer on one theme: Washington needs to solve the jobs crisis. Americans will understand this and expect Congress to cooperate with Obama. It will both shift the burden of job-creation initiatives onto the Republican-controlled House and address America’s number one problem. 

 

President Obama should seize upon the 2011 State-of-the-Union address as a singular opportunity. 


Bob Burnett is a Berkeley writer. He can be reached at bobburnett@comcast.net


Eclectic Rant: Why Did Baby Doc Duvalier Return to Haiti?

By Ralph E. Stone
Tuesday January 25, 2011 - 01:21:00 PM

Like a bad penny, Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier arrived in Haiti on January 16, 2011. No one seems to know why Baby Doc returned and what effect, if any, his return will have on the country. 

Let's look back a bit at Haiti's tragic history. We cannot just blame last year's earthquake, the subsequent cholera epidemic, and hurricane for all the death and destruction in Haiti. Blame François "Papa Doc" Duvalier and Baby Doc -- the Duvalier dictatorships -- for looting the nation for 29 years. The Duvaliers put an estimated 80 percent of world aid into their own pockets with the complicity of the U.S. government who wanted the Duvaliers and their militia, Tonton Macoutes, as compliant allies. The Duvaliers' death squads murdered as many as 60,000 opponents of the regime. What the Duvaliers didn't steal, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) finished off through its "austerity" plans. The austerity plan meant cutting government services. 

In 1991, five years after Baby Doc fled, Haitians elected a priest, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who resisted the IMF's austerity dictates. Within months, the military, with a wink and a nod from George HW Bush, deposed him. In 2004, after Aristide was re-elected President, he was kidnapped and removed again, with a wink and nod from George W. Bush. He is now in exile in South Africa.  

Recently, Aristide sent out a letter saying he was ready to return to Haiti. His return is a principal demand of his Fanmi Lavalas party, which has been blocked from partipating in elections. 

Haiti was once the wealthiest in the hemisphere. Haiti's wealth was in slaves. Then the slaves rebelled and Haiti has been paying for it ever since.  

From 1825 to 1947, France forced Haiti to pay an annual fee to reimburse the profits lost by French slaveholders caused by their slaves' successful uprising. Rather than enslave individual Haitians, France simply enslaved the entire nation by forcing Haiti to pay an annual fee to reimburse the profits lost by French slaveholders caused by their slaves' successful uprising. Then Haiti had to pay France 90 million gold francs in order for it to recognize Haiti's independence.  

Haiti is now the poorest nation in the western hemisphere. It owes global creditors $1 billion, which it will never be able to pay. There is a movement to convince nations to cancel these debts so that every possible future dollar goes towards rebuilding a stronger Haiti, rather than servicing old international debts.  

Now, we have the return of Baby Doc to Haiti. A Haitian judge will now decide whether Baby Doc should be tried for corruption, embezzlement, torture, arbitrary imprisonment, crimes against humanity, and other allegations. 

I cannot believe, however, that Baby Doc would voluntarily return to Haiti without negotiating a deal for amnesty or leniency beforehand. Reportedly, there is still some nostalgia for the good old bad days of the Duvalier dictatorships.  

And how will Baby Doc’s return and the possible return of Aristide effect Haiti's presidential election? U.S. Representative Maxine Waters (D. CA) has called upon the government of Haiti “to set aside the flawed November 28th [presidential] elections and organize new elections that will be free, fair and accessible to all Haitian voters.” The Organization of American States (OAS) has now proposed a new round of voting between musician Michel "Sweet Micky" Martelly and the former first lady Mirlande Manigat, the two top vote getters according to OAS tallies. But before the OAS report, provisional results showed Martelly first and Jude Celestin, the governing party candidate, second. Martelly's supporters rioted in many cities. If Martelly is chosen to be in the runoff with Manigat, Celestin supporters will probably riot. The two runoff candidates will ultimately be chosen by Haiti's election officials. Baby Doc arrives in the midst of this volitile situation. Coincidence? 

It should be noted that the next Haitian president will preside over a fortune in pledged reconstruction funds, and the international community should be striving to ensure that a democratically elected, legitimate Haitian government is put in place to make sure those funds are properly spent. I am sure Baby Doc would love to help spend those funds. 

Why did Baby Doc return to Haiti? And what if Aristide returns? Only time will tell. But Haiti and the world should be concerned. 


On Mental Illness: A Mile in the Shoes of a Mentally Ill Person

By Jack Bragen
Tuesday January 25, 2011 - 01:04:00 PM

One of the primary goals of this column is to provide for the general public some idea of what it is like to be a mentally ill person. Since people in the mainstream often seem to denigrate the mentally ill, I believe they ought to realize how hard it is to be one of us. Additionally, the public ought to realize that we are essentially the same as “normal“ people, only we struggle with brain illnesses that are not always under our control. The adage, "you should not judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes," is applicable to the attitudes people have toward mentally ill persons. Indeed, you should be asking; what do the shoes feel like of a schizophrenic person, a clinically depressed person or someone with bipolar as they try to coexist in society, and even try to hold a job alongside people in society at large? What follows could give you some idea of those shoes... 

Partly, you are looking at fright. The symptoms of mental illness are frightening, especially because the afflicted person doesn’t always know what is happening, or why their world seems to have turned upside down. In psychosis, a badly afflicted person is living in an internally generated, false reality which has taken over the mind. Subjectively, this seems as if the entire world around oneself has gone crazy. When a person is psychotic, it may seem to him or her that the rest of the world is insane and that oneself is still normal. This can be a frightening experience. In the case of bipolar, an afflicted person may experience extreme depression or extremely high energy, with no explanation for the cause of either mood. These moods are often accompanied by irrationality. The bipolar person’s speech and behavior are sometimes upsetting to others. The afflicted person may be clueless that something is wrong, or may be aware of their chaos but, like a person riding an endless merry-go-round, can do nothing to stop it. In the case of depression, the vision of the world is skewed, and the world seems to become a hopeless, awful nightmare in which everything is intended to go wrong. The consequences of the symptoms are additionally terrifying. It is not uncommon for a mentally ill person to get jail time for minor infractions that take place when the person has lost all common sense. Some mental hospitals are terrifying. (However, due to the patient’s rights movement, there have been numerous reforms to the mental health treatment system over the past thirty years.) 

After terror and chaos, for a mentally ill person, comes medication. Medication seems to be a savior as it often brings back some parts of normality. However, the side effects of medication can cause tremendous suffering, both physical and psychological. The “drugged out” sensation that comes with some medications has the patient seeking massive amounts of coffee and cigarettes to get some relief. The consumer’s muscles become stiff; limbs become difficult to move; the consumer becomes lethargic. Drowsiness is common; a mental health consumer may sleep twelve hours or more. Dry mouth has a person carrying a soft drink at all times. (Dry mouth in combination with lack of self-care can result in rotted out teeth.) Don’t get me wrong: I think medication is great, or at least, useful. However, for the first couple years of taking medication the side effects can be a massive source of suffering. At some point, one hopefully gets used to being medicated, and eventually, the side effects, upon being ignored, may retreat to the background of consciousness. {Additionally, medications often cause health problems such as obesity, hypertension and diabetes, and this is its own entire subject for a column.} 

When the mental health consumer begins to make progress in his or her life, there remain areas in which it is hard to walk a mile in our shoes. One of these is the attempt at employment. Working can be anxiety producing if one‘s filter incorporates low-level paranoia. Keeping one‘s disability “private“ at a job can be a source of anxiety. If open about this disability, if not fired as a result, the mentally ill person may get made cute, or on the other hand, may get treated as a scapegoat (blamed for things that are not the person‘s fault.) The mentally ill person may be presumed computer illiterate, or may be presumed unable to bake a cake from a cake mix without supervision. Not working can be a cause of humiliation, since it is often necessary, in that case, to get assistance from family. The need for ongoing financial help as an adult can poison one’s relationships with parents. And it is also an opportunity for family members to chime in as if a superior who is bestowing advice about how to succeed in the world. That wouldn’t be happening if the limiting disease were cancer or being an amputee. 

In short, it takes a brave person to try walking a mile in the shoes of a mentally ill person, and these shoes are not easily worn. 

Please feel free to send me your comments or stories at bragenkjack@yahoo.com. I can not give medical or other advice in this column or apart from it.


Senior Power:“Life can be beautiful even when it’s not so easy.”

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Tuesday January 25, 2011 - 01:25:00 PM

Remember that daytime soap, Life Can Be Beautiful? It was billed as "an inspiring message of faith drawn from life." Broadcast on NBC and CBS radio from 1938 to 1954, it remained a leading drama through the 1940s, sponsored by Procter & Gamble and Spic and Span. Carol Conrad, aka Chichi, was a teen on the run until Papa David Solomon, owner of the Slightly Read Bookshop, gave her a home. She continued to live in the back room of the bookstore while romancing crippled law student Stephen Hamilton. 

“Life can be beautiful even when it’s not so easy,” declares a guest at the Four Seasons Lodge, reflecting on life after Auschwitz. Living well and long is the best revenge on Hitler, writes a reviewer of Four Seasons Lodge, a 2008 documentary. The Lodge is a summer bungalow colony located in the Catskill Mountains off route 17 in Ellenville, New York. (Life after Auschwitz is the collective title of archival material located in the CBC digital archives.) 

We are able to watch and listen as the senior citizens of Four Seasons Lodge spend the summer of 2006. After many together, it could be their last. The colony is for sale; part of their summer is devoted to negotiations regarding its and their future. Some guests may not live long enough to see another summer even if the colony survives. 

The perennial guests arrive on a rain-soaked afternoon and huddle together under makeshift umbrellas. They gather, swap hellos and settle into vacation mode. They play poker, dance into the night and swap stories. No one is discussing the past, only what’s on the agenda. But the shared tragedy is never far from their thoughts. Most are in their 80s. Many years ago they survived the Nazi concentration camps. “This is always behind your head,” says one. 

The people at the Four Seasons Lodge left the wreckage of Nazi-occupied Poland and arrived in the United States. Most are of Polish descent. These annual summer retreats to the Lodge in the Catskills have served as their escape from anti-Semitism and from the isolation they felt as immigrants. As the director prods them for memories or theories about why they survived when others succumbed, some cooperate eagerly, while others balk or change the subject. 

There is no narrative accompanying the film. Life unfolds, revealed gradually by the lodgers themselves. They are Holocaust survivors, but they rarely act the part. Most of the Lodge guests refuse to act their age. And rarely do they wallow in self pity. The past still haunts them, and one guest prefers not to discuss it. Living well is their preferred revenge. It is their senior power. 

Four Seasons Lodge was journalist Andrew Jacobs’ first experience as writer-director. He learned of the colony while a reporter for the New York Times. The first twenty of the film’s 101 minutes have been criticized as slow, but they are essential. A casual shot of the guests playing cards captures their tattooed forearms reaching out. Documentalist Albert (Grey Gardens) Maysles participated in the filming. 

These senior citizens are worth getting to know. They are lively and sometimes comical. Rarely is there a cross word for one another. A few must tend to their loved ones, whose poor health demands constant attention. Ninety one year-old Aaron Adelman suffers from multiple health complications and is hospitalized at one point during the film. They face these tasks with determination and love, never cursing their fate or asking why God decided to leave them with these duties. They understand just how lucky they are to be alive, and they act accordingly. 

Four Seasons Lodge may bring to your mind, as it did to mine, Roman Polanski’s 2002 motion picture, The Pianist. It is based on the autobiographical recounting of how Wladyslaw Szpilman (born in Poland, 1911-2000) survived the Holocaust. Szpilman was a Jewish-Polish pianist, composer, and memoirist. He watched as his family was shipped off to Nazi labor camps. He managed to escape and lived for years in the ruins of Warsaw, hiding from the Nazis. The DVD Polanski's own story of survival during WWII, as well as clips of Wladyslaw Szpilman playing the piano. 

READ! 

 

"Sicker Quicker, Broke Faster: Seniors' Fate If Health Law Is Repealed,” by Marilyn Moon (Center for American Progress via New America Media, Jan. 19, 2011). 

 

Last week (Jan. 13) a regulation to provide Medicare coverage for advance care planning counseling—that is, offer reimbursement to doctors for time spent talking to patients about end-of-life care—was abandoned… for the second time. "Antichoice at the End of Life," by Ann Neumann (Nation, January 2011). 

 


Arts & Events

Stage-East Bay Through February 6

Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 05:48:00 PM

ASHBY STAGE  

"Shotgun Players present Of The Earth," through Jan. 30, 8 p.m. Thu.-Sat.; 5 p.m. Sun.; 7 p.m. Wed. Written and directed by Jon Tracy. $17-$60. (510) 841-6500, www.shotgunplayers.org. 

1901 Ashby Ave., Berkeley. < 

 

EAST BAY IMPROV  

"Tired of the Same Old Song and Dance?" ongoing. 8 p.m. East Bay Improv actors perform spontaneous, impulsive and hilarious comedy on the first Saturday of every month. $8.  

Pinole Community Playhouse, 601 Tennent Ave., Pinole. (510) 964-0571, www.eastbayimprov.com.<


Stage-San Francisco Through February 6

Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 05:48:00 PM

BEACH BLANKET BABYLON This long-running musical follows Snow White as she sings and dances her way around the world in search of her prince. Along the way she encounters many of the personalities in today's headlines, including Nancy Pelosi, Condoleezza Rice, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harry Potter, Tiger Woods, Oprah Winfrey, Britney Spears, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Hillary Clinton, George and Laura Bush, Michael Jackson, Martha Stewart, Tom Cruise, Angelina, characters from Brokeback Mountain and Paris Hilton. Persons under 21 are not admitted to evening performances, but are welcome to Sunday matinees. 

"Steve Silver's Beach Blanket Babylon," ongoing. 8 p.m. Wed. - Thurs.; 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. Fri. - Sat.; 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sun.  

$25-$134. Club Fugazi, 678 Beach Blanket Babylon Blvd. (formerly Green Street), San Francisco. (415) 421-4222, www.beachblanketbabylon.com.

 

CHANCELLOR HOTEL UNION SQUARE  

"Eccentrics of San Francisco's Barbary Coast," ongoing. 8 p.m. Fri. -Sat. Audiences gather for a 90-minute show abounding with local anecdotes and lore presented by captivating and consummate conjurers and taletellers. $30.  

433 Powell St., San Francisco. (877) 784-6835, www.chancellorhotel.com.

 

CLIMATE THEATRE  

"The Clown Cabaret at the Climate," ongoing. 7 and 9 p.m. First Monday of the month. Hailed as San Francisco's hottest ticket in clowning, this show blends rising stars with seasoned professionals on the Climate Theater's intimate stage. $10-$15.  

285 Ninth St., Second Floor, San Francisco. www.climatetheater.com.

 

KIMO'S BAR  

"Fauxgirls," ongoing. 10 p.m. Every third Saturday. Drag cabaret revue features San Francisco's finest female impersonators. Free. (415) 695-1239, www.fauxgirls.com. 

1351 Polk St., San Francisco. (415) 885-4535, www.kimosbarsf.com.

 

THE MARSH  

"The Mock Cafe," ongoing. 10 p.m. Saturdays. Stand-up comedy performances. $7.  

"The Monday Night Marsh," ongoing. 8 p.m. Mondays. An ongoing series of works-in-progress. $7.  

1062 Valencia St., San Francisco. (415) 826-5750, www.themarsh.org.

 

PIER 29 SPIEGELTENT  

"Teatro Zinzanni," through March 6, 6 p.m. Wed.-Sat.; 5 p.m. Sun. Teatro Zinzanni presents a new production, "License To Kiss II, A Sweet Conspiracy,'' offering a blend of European cabaret, circus arts, music, comedy and more. $117-$145.  

Embarcadero at Battery Street, San Francisco. (415) 438-2668, www.zinzanni.org.

 

PIER 39 A pier filled with shops, restaurants, theaters and entertainment of all sorts from sea lions to street performers.  

"SAN FRANCISCO CAROUSEL" -- The Pier's two-tiered, San Francisco-themed carousel with hand-crafted ponies that rock and move up and down and tubs that spin. In addition, carousel has hand-painted pictures of San Francisco scenes like the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown and Coit Tower. $3 per ride. "FREQUENT FLYERS'' -- A bungee trampoline where people can safely jump and flip over 20 feet in the air thanks to the help of bungee cords and a harness. Jumpers must weigh at least 30 pounds and not more than 230 pounds. $10 per session. (415) 981-6300.  

"RIPTIDE ARCADE" -- A 6,000-square-foot, surfer-themed arcade offering the Bay area's only 10-gun, Old West-style shooting gallery and 100 cuttingedge video games, virtual reality units and popular novelty games. Included are the "Dance Dance Revolution'' game, driving and roller coaster simulators, the "Global VR Vortex'' virtual reality machine, "Star Wars Trilogy,'' "Jurassic Park,'' "Rush 2049,'' and classics such as "Pac Man'' and "Galaga.'' Games are operated by 25-cent tokens and range in price from 25 cents to $1.50. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; through Feb. 26: Sunday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (415) 981-6300.  

"TURBO RIDE" -- Three simulated rides where the hydraulic seats move in synchronization with events on a giant screen are available at the Turbo Ride complex. The 12-minute-long rides in 3-D and 4-D are: "Dino Island II''; "Haunted Mine Ride,'' and "Extreme Log Ride.'' $12 general for one ride; $8 seniors and children ages 3 to 12 for one ride; $15 general for two rides; $11 seniors and children ages 3 to 12 for two rides; $18 general for multi-rides; $14 seniors and children ages 3 to 12 for multi-rides. (415) 392-8872.  

STUDIO 39 MAGIC CARPET RIDES -- A comedy action adventure utilizing special effects to created a personalized movie with visitors as the "stars'' flying above San Francisco. The Magic Carpet Ride is free. No reservations required. Ride is approximately five minutes. Personalized videos will be available for $30 for one: $10 for each additional tape. (415) 397-3939. SEA LIONS -- California sea lions, nicknamed "Sea Lebrities,'' "hauled out'' on Pier 39's K-Dock shortly after the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake and by January of 1990 had taken over the docks. Due to a plentiful supply of herring and a protected environment, the population has grown and now reaches as many as 900 during the winter months. Weather permitting, free educational talks are provided by Marine Mammal Center volunteers on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Free. (415) 705-5500. 

"Tony n' Tina's Wedding," ongoing. The original interactive comedy hit where audience members play the roles of "invited guests'' at a fun-filled wedding ceremony. The popular dinner comedy performs at Swiss Louis Italian Restaurant. Thursday-Saturday, 7 p.m.; Matinees: Thursday and Saturday, noon. $88.50-$115.50. (888) 775-6777, www.pier39shows.com. 

Free. 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; certain attractions and shops have differing hours. The Embarcadero and Beach Street, San Francisco. (415) 623-5300, (800) SEADIVE, www.pier39.com.

 

SHELTON THEATER  

"Shopping! The Musical," by Morris Bobrow, ongoing. A quick-paced musical about those obsessed with buying things. Friday-Saturday, 8 p.m. $27-$29. (800) 838-3006, www.shoppingthemusical.com. 

Big City Improv, ongoing. 10 p.m. Fridays. $20. (510) 595-5597, www.bigcityimprov.com. 

533 Sutter St., San Francisco. (415) 433-1227, www.sheltontheater.com or www.sheltontheater.com.

 

THE STUD  

"Trannyshack," ongoing. A drag cabaret show that incorporates popular music, dance, props and outrageous humor into a stage show. Hosted by Heklina. Tuesday, midnight. $7. (415) 252-7883, www.heklina.com/. 

399 Ninth St., San Francisco. < 

 

THRILLPEDDLERS HYPNODROME  

"Pearls Over Shanghai," ongoing. 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat.; 7 p.m. Sun. See San Francisco's longest running Cockettes musical, running through Dec. 19. $30-$35.  

575 10th Street, San Francisco. www.thrillpeddlers.com/.< 

 

WAR MEMORIAL OPERA HOUSE  

San Francisco Ballet: Giselle, Jan. 29 through Feb. 13, Performances vary; see website for complete schedule. Composed by Adolphe Adam. Choreography by Helgi Tomasson. $48-$150.  

301 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco. (415) 865-2000.<


Professional Dance Through February 6

Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 05:47:00 PM

CASTRO VALLEY CENTER FOR THE ARTS  

Company C Contemporary Ballet, Jan. 29 through Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m. Sat.; 3 p.m. Sun. Program includes "Indoor Fireworks,'' by Charles Anderson and Benjamin Bowman, and "Ominous Rumblings of Discontent,'' by Maurice Causey. $15-$27.  

19501 Redwood Road, Castro Valley. < 

 

INTERNATIONAL HOUSE, BERKELEY  

The Sausan Egyptian Dance Company, Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m. Program includes "A Tribute To Egyptian Musicians,'' and "Al Afra Al Saeed.'' $10-$20. (510) 642-9460, www.sausanacademy.com. 

2299 Piedmont Ave., Berkeley. < 

 

LESHER CENTER FOR THE ARTS  

"Smuin Ballet: Oh, Inverted World," Feb. 4 through Feb. 5, 8 p.m. Fri.; 2 and 8 p.m. Sat. Choreography by Trey McIntyre; music by The Shins. $49-$59. www.smuinballet.org. 

1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. (925) 943-7469, www.lesherartscenter.com.

 

COUNTERPULSE  

"2nd Sundays," ongoing. 2-4 p.m. Sun. Sept. 12: Philein Wang, ZiRu Tiger Productions, Tammy Cheney, Lenora Lee. Free.  

1310 Mission St., San Francisco. (415) 626-2060, www.counterpulse.org.

 

ODC THEATER  

Courage Group, Feb. 3 through Feb. 6, 8 p.m. Program includes "The Dance of Listening,'' with choreography by Todd Courage. $25. (415) 863-9834, www.couragegroup.org. 

3153 17th St., San Francisco. (415) 863-9834, www.odctheater.org.

 

PENA PACHAMAMA  

"Flamenco Thursdays" with Carola Zertuche, ongoing. 8:30 p.m. Thursdays Music and dance with performers of traditional flamenco. $10.  

Brisas de Espana Ballet Flamenco, ongoing. 6:15 and 7:15 p.m. Sun. $10-$15.  

For ages 21 and older. 1630 Powell St., San Francisco. (415) 646-0018, www.penapachamama.com.

 

PIER 29 SPIEGELTENT  

"Teatro Zinzanni," through March 6, 6 p.m. Wed.-Sat.; 5 p.m. Sun. Teatro Zinzanni presents a new production, "License To Kiss II, A Sweet Conspiracy,'' offering a blend of European cabaret, circus arts, music, comedy and more. $117-$145.  

Embarcadero at Battery Street, San Francisco. (415) 438-2668, www.zinzanni.org.

 

WAR MEMORIAL OPERA HOUSE  

San Francisco Ballet: Giselle, Jan. 29 through Feb. 13, Performances vary; see website for complete schedule. Composed by Adolphe Adam. Choreography by Helgi Tomasson. $48-$150.  

301 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco. (415) 865-2000.< 

 

YERBA BUENA CENTER FOR THE ARTS THEATER  

Jess Curtis/Gravity, Feb. 3 through Feb. 6, 8 p.m. Program includes "Dances For Non/Fictional Bodies,'' with choreography by Jess Curtis. $20-$25.  

700 Howard St., San Francisco. (415) 978-2787, www.ybca.org.<


Readings-East Bay Through February 6

Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 05:47:00 PM

BOOKS INC., ALAMEDA  

Oliver Chin, Jan. 29, 2 p.m. "Year of the Rabbit.''  

Free. Readings at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 1344 Park St., Alameda. (510) 522-2226, www.booksinc.net.

 

DIESEL, A BOOKSTORE  

Risa Kaparo, Jan. 30, 3 p.m. "Awaken.''  

5433 College Avenue, Oakland. (510) 653-9965.< 

 

EASTWIND BOOKS  

Nicole Kwan, Jan. 29, 3 p.m. "The Dragon and the Crown.''  

2066 University Ave., Berkeley. (510) 548-2350.< 

 

MRS. DALLOWAY'S  

Abby Wasserman, Jan. 28, 7 p.m. "Mary Tuthill Lindheim: Art &Inspiration.''  

2904 College Avenue, Berkeley. (510) 704-8222, www.mrsdalloways.com.

 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY  

Victor Villasenor, Jan. 28, 6 p.m. "Rain of Gold, Macho and Crazy Loco Love.'' Event takes place at the MLK Student Union on campus.  

2600 Bancroft Way, Berkeley. <


Classical Music-San Francisco Through February 6

Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 05:38:00 PM

AUDIUM  

"Audium 9," ongoing. 8:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat. An exploration of the spatial dimension of music in a unique environment of 176 speakers. $15.  

$15. 8:30 p.m. 1616 Bush St., San Francisco. (415) 771-1616, www.audium.com.

 

DAVIES SYMPHONY HALL  

San Francisco Symphony, through Jan. 28, 8 p.m. Wed.; 6:30 p.m. Fri. Works by Dukas and Prokofiev. Conducted by David Robertson. $15-$135.  

San Francisco Symphony, Jan. 29, 4 p.m. A Chinese New Year concert and celebration. Conducted by Carolyn Kuan. $25-$65.  

Paul Jacobs, Jan. 30, 6 p.m. Works by Elgar, Sweelinck, Bach and Durufle. $20-$30.  

San Francisco Symphony, Feb. 2 through Feb. 5, 8 p.m. Wed., Fri.-Sat.; 2 p.m. Thu. Works by Beethoven. Conducted by Marek Janowski. $15-$150.  

201 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco. (415) 864-6000, www.sfsymphony.org.

 

HERBST THEATRE  

Till Fellner, Feb. 2, 8 p.m. Works by Haydn, Schumann, and Liszt. Piano by Till Fellner. $35-$60.  

401 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco. (415) 392-4400, www.cityboxoffice.com.

 

LEGION OF HONOR MUSEUM DOCENT TOUR PROGRAMS -- Tours of the permanent collections and special exhibitions are offered Tuesday through Sunday. Non-English language tours (Italian, French, Spanish and Russian) are available on different Saturdays of the month at 11:30 a.m. Free with regular museum admission. (415) 750-3638.  

ONGOING CHILDREN'S PROGRAM --  

"Doing and Viewing Art," ongoing. For ages 7 to 12. Docent-led tours of current exhibitions are followed by studio workshops taught by professional artists/teachers. Students learn about art by seeing and making it. Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to noon; call to confirm class. Free with museum admission. (415) 750-3658. 

ORGAN CONCERTS -- ongoing. 4 p.m. A weekly concert of organ music on the Legion's restored 1924 Skinner organ. Saturday and Sunday in the Rodin Gallery. Free with museum admission. (415) 750-3624. 

$6-$10; free for children ages 12 and under; free for all visitors on Tuesdays. Tuesday-Sunday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Lincoln Park, 34th Avenue and Clement Street, San Francisco. (415) 750-3600, (415) 750-3636, www.legionofhonor.org.

 

OLD FIRST CHURCH  

Ann Moss and Steven Bailey, Jan. 28, 8 p.m. Works by Heggie, O'Malley, Wade and more.  

Roy Oakley, Jan Bures, Carol Rice and William Corbett-Jones, Jan. 30, 4 p.m. Works by Brahms, Schubert and Beethoven.  

The Adorno Ensemble, Feb. 1, 8 p.m. Works by Erick Lindsay.  

Wooden Fish Ensemble, Feb. 6, 4 p.m. Works by Young-ja Lee.  

$14-$17; children 12 and under free. 1751 Sacramento Street, San Francisco. (415) 474-1608, www.oldfirstconcerts.org.

 

OLD ST. MARY'S CATHEDRAL  

Lauren Cony and Sarah Holzman, Feb. 1, 12:30 p.m. Works for piano and flute by Bach, Barber, Ibert and Copland.  

$5 donation requested. 660 California St., San Francisco. www.oldsaintmarys.org/.< 

 

ST. MARK'S LUTHERAN CHURCH  

Voices of Music -- Concerto Barocco, Jan. 30, 4 p.m. Works by Corelli, Vivaldi and Bach. $10-$28. www.sfems.org. 

1111 O'Farrell St., San Francisco. (415) 928-7770, www.stmarks-sf.org.< 

 

WAR MEMORIAL OPERA HOUSE  

San Francisco Ballet: Giselle, Jan. 29 through Feb. 13, Performances vary; see website for complete schedule. Composed by Adolphe Adam. Choreography by Helgi Tomasson. $48-$150.  

301 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco. (415) 865-2000.<


Classical Music-East Bay Through February 6

Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 05:37:00 PM

FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF LIVERMORE  

Daniel Glover, Feb. 5, 7:30 p.m. Works by Franz Liszt and Schumann. $25.  

Fourth and L streets, Livermore. < 

 

FREIGHT AND SALVAGE  

San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Jan. 31, 8 p.m. Works by Mozart, conducted by Benjamin Simon. $8.50-$9.50.  

Music starts at 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 2020 Addison St., Berkeley. (510) 548-1761, www.freightandsalvage.org.

 

HERTZ HALL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY  

Young Musicians Program, Feb. 2, 12:15 p.m. Works from the 18th through 21st centuries. Free.  

Eco Ensemble, Feb. 6, 8 p.m. Works by local composers, David Milnes conducts. $5-$15.  

Bancroft Way and College Ave., Berkeley. (510) 642-4864, www.music.berkeley.edu.

 

ST. JOHN'S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH  

Voices of Music -- Concerto Barocco, Jan. 29, 7:30 p.m. Works by Vivaldi, Bach and more. $10-$28. (510) 528-1725, www.sfems.org. 

"Chamber Music Sundaes," Jan. 30, 3 p.m. Works by Bach. $20-$25.  

2727 College Ave., Berkeley. (510) 845-6830, www.stjohnsberkeley.org.<


Popmusic-East Bay Through February 6

Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 05:46:00 PM

924 GILMAN ST. All ages welcome. 

Three Bad Jacks, Moonshine, Dirty Filthy Mugs, Brass Hysteria, Feb. 4, 7 p.m. $10.  

Scream, Deathtoll, Oppressed Logic, Visual Discrimination, The Need, Guantanamo Dogpile, Feb. 5, 7 p.m. $10.  

$5 unless otherwise noted. Shows start Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 5 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 924 Gilman St., Berkeley. (510) 525-9926, www.924gilman.org.

 

ALBATROSS PUB  

Whiskey Brothers, ongoing. 9 p.m. First and third Wed. Free.  

BEEP, Michael Coleman Jazz Trio, Feb. 5, 9:30 p.m. $3.  

Free unless otherwise noted. Shows begin Wednesday, 9 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 1822 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. (510) 843-2473, www.albatrosspub.com.

 

ARMANDO'S  

Steve Erquiaga, Frank Martin & Friends, Jan. 28, 8 p.m. $10.  

Rusty, Jan. 29, 8 p.m. $15.  

Dan Hicks & Bayside Jazz, Jan. 30, 4 p.m. $25.  

Lucero, Feb. 2, 8:30 p.m. $20.  

Ray Obiedo & Friends, Feb. 3, 8 p.m. $10.  

The Craig Horton Blues Band, Feb. 4, 8 p.m. $10.  

Redwing, Feb. 5, 8 p.m. $10.  

707 Marina Vista Ave., Martinez. (925) 228-6985, www.armandosmartinez.com.

 

ASHKENAZ  

Steve Lucky & The Rhumba Bums, Jan. 28, 9 p.m. East Coast Swing dance lesson at 8 p.m. $10-$13.  

Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, Jan. 29, 9 p.m. Cajun/Zydeco dance lesson at 8 p.m. $12-$15.  

Flamenco Open Stage, Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m. $10.  

Gerry Tenney & California Klezmer, Jan. 30, 3 p.m. $4-$6.  

Tom Rigney & Flambeau, Feb. 1, 8:30 p.m. Cajun/Zydeco dance lesson at 8 p.m. $10.  

Balkan Folkdance, Feb. 2, 8 p.m. Balkan dance lessons at 7 p.m. $7.  

The Dead Guise, Feb. 3, 9:30 p.m. $10.  

Rosemond Jolissaint, Sophis & Kalbass Kreyol, Jacques Wilkens, Africombo, Maestro JT & Afro-Rhythm, Feb. 4, 8:30 p.m. $10-$13.  

Clear Conscience, Bellyfull, Feb. 6, 8:30 p.m.  

1317 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. (510) 525-5054, www.ashkenaz.com.

 

BECKETT'S IRISH PUB  

Cradled Duende, Jan. 28.  

Free. Shows at 10 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 2271 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 647-1790, www.beckettsirishpub.com.

 

BLAKE'S ON TELEGRAPH  

Trainface, Floozy, Silkscrew, Jan. 29, 9 p.m.  

One After Another, Two Left Feet, Gavilan, Feb. 4, 9 p.m.  

For ages 18 and older unless otherwise noted. Music begins at 9:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 2367 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley. (510) 848-0886, www.blakesontelegraph.com.

 

CHOUINARD VINEYARDS AND WINERY The winery features an exhibit of stone craft and baskets honoring the rich culture of the Ohlone Indians. Palomares Canyon was a summer home to the Ohlone Indians. The exhibit also includes historical photos and artifacts that document more recent colorful inhabitants to the canyon."Music at Chouinard," ongoing. 4:30-8:30 p.m. on select Sundays June-August. The rest of the year features live music in the tasting room on the second Sunday of each month. Enjoy the best of Bay Area artists at Chouinard. Bring your own gourmet picnic (no outside alcoholic beverages). Wines are available for tasting and sales. $40 per car. 

Free. Tasting Room: Saturdays-Sundays, noon-5 p.m. 33853 Palomares Road, Castro Valley. (510) 582-9900, www.chouinard.com.

 

FOX THEATER  

Ween, Jan. 28, 8 p.m. $35.  

1807 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. (510) 452-0438, www.thefoxoakland.com.

 

FREIGHT AND SALVAGE  

"Freight Open Mic," ongoing. Tuesdays. $4.50-$5.50.  

Girlyman, Jan. 28, 8 p.m. $28.50-$30.50.  

Lou & Peter Berryman, Jan. 29, 8 p.m. $20.50-$22.50.  

The Bobs, Jan. 30, 8 p.m. $28.50-$30.50.  

Loudon Wainwright III, Feb. 2, 8 p.m. $30.50-$32.50.  

Battlefield Band, Jim Malcolm, Feb. 3, 8 p.m. $22.50-$24.50.  

"Arhoolie Records 50th Anniversary Celebration," Feb. 4 through Feb. 6, 8 p.m. Featuring Peter Rowan, Country Joe McDonald, Taj Mahal, Ry Cooder and more. $75.50-$85.50.  

Music starts at 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 2020 Addison St., Berkeley. (510) 548-1761, www.freightandsalvage.org.

 

JAZZSCHOOL  

Grupo Falso Baiano, Jan. 28, 8 p.m. $12.  

Laurie Antonioli and the American Dreams Band, Jan. 29, 8 p.m. $15.  

UC Jazz Faculty Group, Jan. 30, 4:30 p.m. $12.  

Patrick Wolff Trio and Sextet, Feb. 5, 8 p.m. $12.  

The Vnote Ensemble, Feb. 6, 4:30 p.m. $12.  

Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 4:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 2087 Addison St., Berkeley. (510) 845-5373, www.jazzschool.com.

 

JUPITER  

"Americana Unplugged," ongoing. 5 p.m. Sundays. A weekly bluegrass and Americana series.  

"Jazzschool Tuesdays," ongoing. 8 p.m. Tuesdays. Featuring the ensembles from the Berkeley Jazzschool. www.jazzschool.com. 

cvDUB, Jan. 28, 8 p.m.  

Nathan Clevenger Group, Jan. 29, 8 p.m.  

8 p.m. 2181 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 843-8277, www.jupiterbeer.com.

 

KIMBALL'S CARNIVAL  

"Monday Blues Legends Night," ongoing. 8 p.m.-midnight. Enjoy live blues music every Monday night. Presented by the Bay Area Blues Society and Lothario Lotho Company. $5 donation. (510) 836-2227, www.bayareabluessociety.net. 

522 2nd St., Jack London Square, Oakland. < 

 

LA PENA CULTURAL CENTER  

"Los Amiguitos Saturday Morning Children's Show," Feb. 5, 10:30 a.m. Featuring Ira Levin. $4-$5.  

Free unless otherwise noted. 3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 849-2568, www.lapena.org.

 

THE NEW PARISH  

Little Wings, Kath Bloom, Jeffrey Mason, Levi Strom, Feb. 2, 9 p.m. $8.  

Glimpse Trio, Angels of Vice, Cast Iron Crow, Feb. 3, 9 p.m. $8-$10.  

Le Heat, The Hottub Djs, Amp, Feb. 4, Call for opening time. Free before 11 p.m.; $5 after 11 p.m.  

Zigaboo Modeliste, Feb. 5, 9:30 p.m. $10-$15.  

"Exodus! A Bob Marley Birthday Celebration," Feb. 6, Call for opening time. Featuring DJ Polo, DJ Toks and Hen Roc. Free before 9 p.m.; $10 after 9 p.m.  

579 18th St., Oakland. (510) 444-7474, www.thenewparish.com.

 

PARAMOUNT THEATRE  

Sarah McLachlan, Feb. 6, 8 p.m. $39.50-$55.  

2025 Broadway, Oakland. (510) 465-6400, (415) 421-8497, www.paramounttheatre.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

 

ROUND TABLE PIZZA  

East Bay Banjo Club, ongoing. 7:30-9:30 p.m. Tuesdays. Free.  

1938 Oak Park Blvd., Pleasant Hill. (925) 930-9004.< 

 

SHATTUCK DOWN LOW For ages 21 and older. 

"King of King's," ongoing. 9 p.m. Sun. $10.  

"Live Salsa," ongoing. Wednesdays. An evening of dancing to the music of a live salsa band. Salsa dance lessons from 8-9:30 p.m. $5-$10.  

"Thirsty Thursdays," ongoing. 9 p.m. Thursdays. Featuring DJ Vickity Slick and Franky Fresh. Free.  

The Grease Traps, Bulk, DJ Riddm, Jan. 28, 9 p.m. $5-$7.  

"Non Stop Bhangra presents Family Vibes," Jan. 29, 9 p.m. $10.  

La Evolucion, Feb. 2, 9 p.m. Salsa dance lessons at 8:30 p.m. $10.  

Forest Floor, John Barnacle, Spooky Flowers, Caldecott, Mitchell Thomas, Feb. 4, 9 p.m. $5.  

2284 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 548-1159, www.shattuckdownlow.com.

 

STARRY PLOUGH PUB  

The Starry Irish Music Session led by Shay Black, ongoing. Sundays, 8 p.m. Sliding scale.  

Tempest, Pandemonaeon, Nine Pound Shadow, Jan. 28, 8 p.m. $15.  

Rough Waters, Pockit, Beatific, Jan. 29, 9 p.m. $8.  

Creak, Goldenboy, Granville, Feb. 3, 9 p.m. $8.  

Sonny Pete, Collisionville, Spidermeow, Sweet Chariot, Feb. 4, 9 p.m. $8.  

Bye Bye Blackbirds, Headslide, The Parties, Feb. 5, 9 p.m. $8.  

For ages 21 and over unless otherwise noted. Sunday and Wednesday, 8 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday, 9:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 841-2082, www.starryploughpub.com.

 

UPTOWN NIGHTCLUB  

Cabaret Perilous, Jan. 28, 9 p.m. $10.  

Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys, Red Meat, The Honeybees, Jan. 29, 9 p.m. $12. 

Beaks Plinth, Vulcanus 68, Tiberious, Organs of QWERTY, Feb. 2, 9 p.m.  

Free.  

Grass Widow, Human Baggage, Death Sentence: Panda!, Bam! Bam!, Feb. 4, 9 p.m. Free.  

The Swingin' Utters, La Plebe, Complaints, Feb. 5, 9 p.m. $15.  

1928 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. (510) 451-8100, www.uptownnightclub.com.

 

YOSHI'S  

Bobby Hutcherson Quartet, through Jan. 28, 8 and 10 p.m. $16-$24.  

Lizz Wright, Jan. 29, 8 and 10 p.m. $24.  

Ledward Kaapana, Nathan Aweau, Dennis Kamakahi, Jan. 30, 5 and 7 p.m. $20-$25.  

The Oster/Welker Jazz Alliance, Jan. 31, 8 p.m. $12.  

Mary Jenson, Mads Tolling, Jose Neto, Feb. 1, 8 p.m. $12.  

"The Tony Williams Lifetime Tribute Band," Feb. 2 through Feb. 5, 8 and 10 p.m. Featuring Jack Bruce, Vernon Reid, John Medeski, Cindy Blackman. $35.  

Kahil El'Zabar's Heritage Ensemble, Feb. 6, 7 p.m. $20.  

Shows are Monday through Saturday, 8 and 10 p.m.; Sunday, 2 and 7 p.m., unless otherwise noted. 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland. (510) 238-9200, www.yoshis.com.<


Eye from the Aisle: STRANGE TRAVEL SUGGESTIONS takes you for a lovely trip without leaving the Berkeley Marsh station

By John A. McMullen II
Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 11:27:00 AM
Jeff Greenwald
Dwayne Newton
Jeff Greenwald

Used to be, people painted pictures with words. The verbal description of a place is a staple in literature and travel books. In an age of streaming video, in STRANGE TRAVEL SUGGESTIONS at Berkeley’s THE MARSH, Jeff Greenwald transports you with his imagery as he paints the scene anew. In an age where the imagination needs do little work, it was a pleasure to use the mind’s eye to view the sights he lyrically describes. 

I must admit initially that it was like flipping the remote to the Comedy channel and getting the Travel network. I went with expectations of theatricality, multiple characters, big laughs and poignant plot twists. Those qualities and format seem to be the meat and potatoes of monologists these days.  

But that turned out to be a good thing, because I got a whimsically touching and artistic travelogue from a master raconteur. And no slides! 

There is a difference between a traveler and a tourist which he sorts out for us. Greenwald has made his life from traveling and telling about it. I think that service is ancient. It makes you want to travel.  

So here’s how the evening goes: 

Greenwald calls up an audience member to spin a colorful wheel. He chats with him or her for a moment about his or her travels, then gives out a little box of Belgian chocolates as a thank-you. 

The wheel has that hypnotic spiral on it, with 30 icons worthy of the Rosicrucians. Greenwald provides a Rosetta Stone dropout leaflet in the program identifying what these icons stand for, e.g., a delta for “Meeting the Buddha,” a theta for “Friends Like These,” an udjat eye for “The Kindness of Strangers.” The story he tells is cued by the topic. 

From the subject the wheel lands on, he spins a story that takes us by turns on his travels to the Himalayas in search of a reincarnated female saint, to LA and Tom Cruise’s party for MI-1, and to Iran for the last total eclipse of the 20th Century.  

Greenwald has written books you may know: “Shopping for Buddhas,” and “Size of the World,” and co-founded The Ethical Traveler, a human rights and environmentally conscious alliance of “freelance ambassadors” worldwide. 

All Jeff’s stories are personal and have a spiritual and ironic twist to them that is subtly touching. Once the spinning of the story begins there is never a hesitation and his droll tales just flow right out of him. It seems improvisational and is the sort of show you can go back to countless times for it seems he has a bottomless cracker barrel of stories. 

There is a little Saturday morning NPR tone to the show in its laid back fashion, in his introductions, and his banter with the guest spinners. It’s really perfect for the Berkeley and Bay Area crowd. 

(NB: I should disclose that I volunteered to spin the wheel. There’s not much I won’t do for chocolate.) 

The Marsh Berkeley - Cabaret 

2120 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 

Thursday and Friday at 8 pm; Saturday at 5 pm through Feb. 26 

http://www.themarsh.org/Jeff_Greenwald.html 800-838-3006 

John A. McMullen II, MA, MFA, SFBATCC, ATCA, likes having lots of letters after his name. Elizabeth Dunne edits. Comments to eyefromtheaisle@gmail.com


Eye from the Aisle: Actor’s Ensemble of Berkeley Heartbreak House Disappoints

By John A. McMullen II
Tuesday January 25, 2011 - 03:33:00 PM
Stanley Spenger, Taylor Diffenderfer, Michele Delattre
Anna Kaminska
Stanley Spenger, Taylor Diffenderfer, Michele Delattre

First produced in 1920, Heartbreak House is about cultured, leisured Europe before the First World War when crowned heads ruled and before “Bolshevik” was a common word. 

In the play’s preface, Shaw explains that he was writing a prequel to that dire post-war world order: “…our utter enervation…in that overheated drawing room atmosphere was delivering the world over to the control of ignorant and soulless cunning and energy, with the frightful consequences which have now overtaken it.” Seems as applicable to our circumstances now as then. 

However, none of that connective commentary on world affairs as revealed in the microcosm of the drawing room comes across in this production, at least not in the first act. 

The cast is uneven in abilities, which always takes its toll. Though there is no dialect coach, the ensemble by and large has reasonable British accents with jarring exceptions. However, it is played as a Comedy of Manners with too much accent on the Manners and not enough on the Comedy. The comedy should come through the characters with much internal grinning at the witty dialogue and ironic circumstances Shaw concocts.  

The costuming is excellent, but it is difficult to figure out what’s going on. It suffers from a slow start and a slow pace of line-delivery throughout. 

This is regrettable because director Robert Estes has assembled a cast of good actors, but has not led them to ensemble and energy and to the telling of a story.  

The placement of the furniture paints a pretty picture but impedes traffic and offers little motivation to move around. The lighting downstage in front of the proscenium is appropriately bright, but falls dim mid-stage where most of the activity occurs. 

Shaw peoples Heartbreak House with his usual cast of characters: an inventor of weapons of mass destruction, a revolutionary, a naïve and lovely ingénue, a sadder but wiser women, a captain of industry, and a womanizing rotter who would be at home in a Wilde play. 

When the lovely young thing confesses her love of an older man to the witty and wise wife, only to have that man enter and be introduced as the wife’s husband, everyone—including the womanizing rotter husband---takes it in stride with little surprise. Admittedly, showing modern attitudes of the bohemian upper class is a goal, but none of the three characters in the triangle react with any surprise. This lack of reactivity is a major failing in the individual performances generally. 

After an inconveniently long wait in queue for tickets, the play then lasts 2:45 with two intermissions. This is a lot to ask of the modern audience even for a blockbuster movie or a play with compelling acting and plotting. It was too much to ask of this critic who slipped out after act one. 

Actors Ensemble of Berkeley  

Live Oak Theatre 1301 Shattuck Avenue (at Berryman) in North Berkeley 

Plays Fri, Sat thru Feb. 19 at 8 p.m., Sun Mat Feb 13 at 2 p.m. 

www.aeofberkeley.org or 510-649-5999 

Written by George Bernard Shaw, directed by Robert Estes, costumes by William Curry, set by Jerome Solberg, and lighting by Alecks Rundell. 

WITH:Michele Delattre,Taylor Diffenderfer, Amaka Izuchi, Keith Jefferds, Brian McManus, Joseph O'Loughlin, Lynn Sotos, Stanley Spenger, Matthew Surrence, and Jeff Trescott. 


Tours And Activities-East Bay Through February 28

Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 05:49:00 PM

ARDENWOOD HISTORIC FARM ongoing. Ardenwood farm is a working farm that dates back to the time of the Patterson Ranch, a 19th-century estate with a mansion and Victorian Gardens. Today, the farm still practices farming techniques from the 1870s. Unless otherwise noted, programs are free with regular admission.  

ONGOING PROGRAMS --  

"Blacksmithing," Thursday, Friday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Watch a blacksmith turn iron into useful tools.  

"Horse-Drawn Train," Thursday, Friday and Sunday. A 20-minute ride departs from Ardenwood Station and Deer Park.  

"Animal Feeding," Thursday-Sunday, 3-4 p.m. Help slop the hogs, check the henhouse for eggs and bring hay to the livestock.  

"Victorian Flower Arranging," Thursday, 10:15-11:30 a.m. Watch as Ardenwood docents create floral works of art for display in the Patterson House.  

$1-$5; free children under age 4. Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont. (510) 796-0199, (510) 796-0663, www.ebparks.org.

 

BAY AREA RAIL TRAILS ongoing. A network of trails converted from unused railway corridors and developed by the Rails to Trails Conservancy.  

BLACK DIAMOND MINES REGIONAL PRESERVE RAILROAD BED TRAIL -- ongoing. This easy one mile long rail trail on Mount Diablo leads to many historic sites within the preserve. Suitable for walking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Accessible year round but may be muddy during the rainy season. Enter from the Park Entrance Station parking lot on the East side of Somersville Road, Antioch.  

IRON HORSE REGIONAL TRAIL -- ongoing. The paved trail has grown into a 23 mile path between Concord and San Ramon with a link into Dublin. The trail runs from the north end of Monument Boulevard at Mohr Lane, east to Interstate 680, in Concord through Walnut Creek to just south of Village Green Park in San Ramon. It will eventually extend from Suisun Bay to Pleasanton and has been nominated as a Community Millennium Trail under the U.S. Millennium Trails program. A smooth shaded trail suitable for walkers, cyclists, skaters and strollers. It is also wheelchair accessible. Difficulty: easy to moderate in small chunks; hard if taken as a whole.  

LAFAYETTE/MORAGA REGIONAL TRAIL -- ongoing. A 7.65 mile paved trail converted from the Sacramento Northern Rail line. This 20-year old trail goes along Las Trampas Creek and parallels St. Mary's Road. Suitable for walkers, equestrians, and cyclists. Runs from Olympic Boulevard and Pleasant Hill Road in Lafayette to Moraga. The trail can be used year round.  

OHLONE GREENWAY -- ongoing. A 3.75-mile paved trail converted from the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railway. Suitable for walkers, strollers and skaters. It is also wheelchair accessible. The trail runs under elevated BART tracks from Conlon and Key Streets in El Cerrito to Virginia and Acton Streets in Berkeley.  

SHEPHERD CANYON TRAIL -- ongoing. An easy 3-mile paved trail converted from the Sacramento Northern Rail Line. The tree-lined trail is gently sloping and generally follows Shepherd Canyon Road. Suitable for walkers and cyclists. It is also wheelchair accessible. Begins in Montclair Village behind McCaulou's Department Store on Medau Place and ends at Paso Robles Drive, Oakland. Useable year round. 

Free. (415) 397-2220, www.traillink.com.

 

BAY AREA RIDGE TRAIL ongoing. The Bay Area Ridge Trail, when completed, will be a 400-mile regional trail system that will form a loop around the entire San Francisco Bay region, linking 75 public parks and open spaces to thousands of people and hundreds of communities. Hikes on portions of the trail are available through the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council. Call for meeting sites. ALAMEDA COUNTY -- "Lake Chabot Bike Rides." These rides are for strong beginners and intermediates to build skill, strength and endurance at a non hammerhead pace. No one will be dropped. Reservations required. Distance: 14 miles. Elevation gain: 1,000 feet. Difficulty: beginner to intermediate. Pace: moderate. Meeting place: Lake Chabot Road at the main entrance to the park. Thursday, 6:15 a.m. (510) 468-3582.  

ALAMEDA-CONTRA COSTA COUNTY -- "Tilden and Wildcat Bike Rides." A vigorous ride through Tilden and Wildcat Canyon regional parks. Reservations required. Distance: 15 miles. Elevation gain: 2,000 feet. Difficulty: intermediate. Pace: fast. Meeting place: in front of the North Berkeley BART Station. Wednesday, 5:30 p.m. (510) 849-9650. 

Free. (415) 561-2595, www.ridgetrail.org.

 

BERKELEY CITY CLUB TOURS Guided tours through Berkeley's City Club, a landmark building designed by architect Julia Morgan, designer of Hearst Castle."Aquatics class," ongoing. 4 p.m.-5 p.m. Mon., Wed., and Fri. The BCC pool is open to the public for classes that teach how movement in the water can help improve strength, balance, coordination and endurance. $8-$10. 

Free. The last Sunday of the month on the hour between 11 a.m.-1 p.m. 2315 Durant Ave., Berkeley. (510) 848-7800, www.berkeleycityclub.com.

 

BLACK PANTHER LEGACY TOUR ongoing. A bus tour of 18 sites significant in the history of the Black Panther Party, conducted by the Huey P. Newton Foundation. By reservation only. 

$25. West Oakland Branch Library, 1801 Adeline St., Oakland. (510) 884-4860, www.blackpanthertours.com.

 

BUILD-A-BEAR WORKSHOP ongoing. An interactive place where children, and adults, can learn how a stuffed animal is made, then choose an animal pattern from the offering of bears, elephants, dogs and rabbits; stuff the chosen animal; dress it; and create a birth certificate. Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

$10-$25; clothing and accessories extra. Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sundays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Broadway Plaza, 1248 Broadway, Walnut Creek. (925) 946-4697, www.buildabear.com.

 

CALIFORNIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY  

HISTORY WALKABOUTS -- ongoing. A series of walking tours that explore the history, lore and architecture of California with veteran tour guide Gary Holloway. Walks are given on specific weekends. There is a different meeting place for each weekend and walks take place rain or shine so dress for the weather. Reservations and prepayment required. Meeting place will be given with confirmation of tour reservation. Call for details.  

678 Mission St., San Francisco. (415) 357-1848, www.californiahistoricalsociety.org.

 

CAMRON-STANFORD HOUSE ongoing. The Camron-Stanford House, an 1876 Italianate-style home that was at one time the Oakland Public Museum, has been restored and furnished with appropriate period furnishings by the Camron-Stanford House Preservation Association. It is the last Victorian house on Lake Merritt's shore. Call ahead to confirm tours and hours. 

$3-$5; free children ages 11 and under when accompanied by a paying adult; free the first Sunday of the month. Third Wednesday of the month, 1-5 p.m. 1418 Lakeside Drive at 14th Street, Oakland. (510) 444-1876, www.cshouse.org.

 

CASA PERALTA ongoing. Once the home of descendants of the 19th-century Spanish soldier and Alameda County landowner Don Luis Maria Peralta, the 1821 adobe was remodeled in 1926 as a grand Spanish villa, using some of the original bricks. The casa features a beautiful Moorish exterior design and hand painted tiles imported from Spain, some of which tell the story of Don Quixote. The interior is furnished in 1920s decor. The house will be decorated for the holidays during the month of December. Call ahead to confirm hours. 

Free but donations accepted. Friday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 384 Estudillo Ave., San Leandro. (510) 577-3474, (510) 577-3491, www.ci.sanleandro. ca.us/sllibrarycasaperalta.html.< 

 

CHABOT SPACE AND SCIENCE CENTER State-of-the-art facility unifying science education activities around astronomy. Enjoy interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, indoor stargazing, outdoor telescope viewing and films. 

ASK JEEVES PLANETARIUM -- ongoing. The planetarium features one of the most advanced star projectors in the world. A daily planetarium show is included with general admission. Call for current show schedule.  

"Astronaut," ongoing. What does it take to be part of the exploration of space? Experience a rocket launch from inside the body of an astronaut. Explore the amazing worlds of inner and outer space, from floating around the International Space Station to maneuvering through microscopic regions of the human body. Narrated by Ewan McGregor. 25 min. 

"Two Small Pieces of glass," ongoing. Celebrating the International Year of Astronomy, this show examines the history of the telescope, beginning 400 years ago, with Galileo's discoveries. 

"Dawn of the Space Age," ongoing. Starting with the launch of Sputnik, this show covers important Russian space history as well as the American Gemini, Apollo and Shuttle programs. Be transported to the International Space Station, the X-prize winning private space ship and on to future Mars exploration. 

"Tales Of The Maya Skies," ongoing. A full-dome planetarium show that explores the cosmology of the ancient Maya, along with their culture and their contributions to astronomy. 

"Space NOW!", ongoing. Each week, this real-time ride through constellations, stars, and planets will reflect current happenings in our sky. Space NOW! will also tie in activities going on throughout the center. This is Chabot's first daytime guided tour of the universe. 

"Sonic Vision," ongoing. Friday-Saturday, 9:15 p.m. This show uses the latest digital technology to illuminate the planetarium with colorful computer-generated imagery set to today's popular music, including Radiohead, U2, David Bowie, Coldplay, Moby and more. 

CHALLENGER LEARNING CENTER -- ongoing. "Escape from the Red Planet,'' a cooperative venture for families and groups of up to 14 people, age 8 and up. The scenario on this one hour mission: You are the crew of a shuttle to Mars that has been severely damaged in a crash landing. Your replacement crew is gone, the worst dust storm ever recorded on Mars approaches, and air, food, and water are extremely low. The mission: get the shuttle working again and into orbit before the dust storm hits. Reservations required. Children age 8-12 must be accompanied by an adult; not appropriate for children under age 8. $12-$15; Does not include general admission to the Center. Reservations: (510) 336-7421."Destination Universe," ongoing. Take a journey from our Sun to the farthest reaches of the cosmos. 

"Bill Nye's climate lab," ongoing. Features Emmy-award-winning Bill Nye the Climate Guy as commander of the Clean Energy Space Station, and invites visitors on an urgent mission to thwart climate change. 

"One giant leap: a moon odyssey," ongoing. For all astronaut wannabees -take a simulated Moon-walk, try on a space helmet, climb into a Mercury capsule and land a lunar module in this hands-on exhibit that explores the legends and science fiction about the Moon. 

"Tales of the Maya Skies," ongoing. A companion exhibit for the planetarium show which features the scientific achievements and cosmology of the Maya. All content is bilingual in English and Spanish. 

"Dinner, Movie and the Universe," ongoing. Every Friday and Saturday evening. Enjoy a bistro-style dinner, then cozy up for a film in the 70-foot MegaDome theater and end the evening with a telescope viewing. Call to purchase general admission tickets and to make dinner reservations. (510) 336-7373. 

"Chabot Observatories: A View to the Stars," ongoing. This new permanent exhibit honors the 123-year history of Chabot and its telescopes. The observatory is one of the oldest public observatories in the United States. The exhibit covers the three different sites of the observatory over its history as well as how its historic telescopes continue to be operated today. Included are informative graphic panels, multimedia kiosks, interactive computer programs, hands-on stations, and historic artifacts. 

"Beyond Blastoff," ongoing. Get a glimpse into the life of an astronaut and experience the mixture of exhilaration, adventure, and confinement that is living and working in space. 

"Valentine's day love missions," Feb. 12 through Feb. 13, 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Celebrate with your valentine on a simulated space mission to the Red Planet. The package includes an all access pass to Chabot, savory treats, fizzy Martian beverages, and a souvenir of your trip. $85 per couple. 

TIEN MEGADOME SCIENCE THEATER -- ongoing. A 70-foot dome-screen auditorium. Show times subject to change. Call for current show schedule. Price with paid general admission is $6-$7. Theater only: $7-$8. (510) 336-7373, www.ticketweb.com. 

"Mysteries of Egypt," ongoing. Experience the magic and majesty of Egypt as never before. Soar over the great pyramids of Giza, cross the Valley of the Kings, and descend into the shadowy chambers of the sacred tomb of King Tutankhamen. Suitable for families. 

"Dinosaurs Alive," ongoing. A global adventure of science and discovery, featuring the earliest dinosaurs of the Triassic Period to the monsters of the Cretaceous, "reincarnated" life-sized for the giant screen. Audiences will journey with some of the world's preeminent paleontologists as they uncover evidence that the descendents of dinosaurs still walk (or fly) among us. From the exotic, trackless expanses and sand dunes of Mongolia's Gobi Desert to the dramatic sandstone buttes of New Mexico, the film will follow American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) paleontologists as they explore some of the greatest dinosaur finds in history. 

Center Admission: $14.95; $10.95 children 3-12; free children under 3; $3 discount for seniors and students. Telescope viewing only: free. Wednesday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Also open on Tuesdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m. after June 29. 10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland. (510) 336-7300, www.chabotspace.org.

 

CHOUINARD VINEYARDS AND WINERY The winery features an exhibit of stone craft and baskets honoring the rich culture of the Ohlone Indians. Palomares Canyon was a summer home to the Ohlone Indians. The exhibit also includes historical photos and artifacts that document more recent colorful inhabitants to the canyon."Music at Chouinard," ongoing. 4:30-8:30 p.m. on select Sundays June-August. The rest of the year features live music in the tasting room on the second Sunday of each month. Enjoy the best of Bay Area artists at Chouinard. Bring your own gourmet picnic (no outside alcoholic beverages). Wines are available for tasting and sales. $40 per car. 

Free. Tasting Room: Saturdays-Sundays, noon-5 p.m. 33853 Palomares Road, Castro Valley. (510) 582-9900, www.chouinard.com.

 

CLOSE TO HOME: EXPLORING NATURE'S TREASURES IN THE EAST BAY -- A yearlong program of monthly talks and Saturday outings about the natural history of the East Bay. In this hands-on program learn about the plants, wildlife and watershed of the East Bay's incredibly rich and dynamic bioregion. The 11 Saturday outings will take place in either Alameda or Contra Costa counties. The 10 talks at the Montclair Presbyterian Church will be on the Monday prior to the Saturday outing. A notebook of relevant readings and resources for each outing is available to all participants for an additional $30 per person. The program is co-sponsored by the Oakland Museum of California, BayNature Magazine and Earthlight Magazine. Fee for the year covers all outings, talks, site fees, orientation and a party."Nature's Beauty," Feb. 7. John Muir Laws, author and illustrator, discusses the relationship harmonies of plants and animals. 

"Wildlife Hike," Feb. 12, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Enjoy a 4.2 mile hike with naturalist Jessica Sheppard. 

$375 per person for yearlong participation; $30 additional for binder with written materials. Montclair Presbyterian Church, 5701 Thornhill Drive, Oakland. (510) 655-6658, (510) 601-5715, www.close-to-home.org.< 

 

DEAN LESHER REGIONAL CENTER FOR THE ARTS TOUR ongoing. A behind-the-scenes tour of this multi-million dollar arts facility. Tours last for one hour and include walks on both the Hofmann and Lesher stages, a look at the Hofmann fly-loft, the dressing rooms, the Green Room and an amble down the Center's opulent spiral staircase. Reservations required. Call for tour dates and times. 

$5 per person. 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. (925) 295-1400, www.dlrca.org.

 

DUNSMUIR HOUSE AND GARDENS HISTORIC ESTATE ongoing. Nestled in the Oakland hills, the 50-acre Dunsmuir House and Gardens estate includes the 37-room Neoclassical Revival Dunsmuir Mansion, built by coal and lumber baron Alexander Dunsmuir for his bride. Restored outbuildings set amid landscaped gardens surround the mansion.  

ESTATE GROUNDS -- ongoing. Self-Guided Grounds Tours are available yearround. The 50 acres of gardens and grounds at the mansion are open to the public for walking Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Booklets and maps of the grounds are available at the Dinkelspiel House. Free.  

GUIDED TOURS -- Docent-led tours are available on the first Sunday of each month at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. (except for July) and Wednesdays at 11 a.m. $5 adults, $4 seniors and juniors (11-16), children 11 and under free. 

Dunsmuir House and Gardens, 2960 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland. (510) 615-5555, www.dunsmuir.org.

 

EAST BAY FARMERS MARKETS  

ALAMEDA COUNTY --  

PLEASANTON SATURDAY CERTIFIED FARMERS MARKETS -- ongoing. A chance to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, baked goods and more. Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (800) 949-FARM. West Angela and Main Streets, Pleasanton.  

ALAMEDA CERTIFIED FARMERS MARKET -- ongoing. A chance to buy local organic produce, baked goods and flowers. Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Taylor Avenue and Webster Street, Alameda. (800) 949-FARM. 

"Oakland Claremont Ave Sunday CFM," ongoing. Sunday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. 5300 Claremont Ave. (DMV parking lot), Oakland. (510) 745-7100. 

SAN LEANDRO BAYFAIR MALL CERTIFIED FARMERS MARKET, ongoing. A chance to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, baked goods and more. Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Bayfair Mall, Fairmont Drive and 14th Street, San Leandro. (800) 806-FARM. 

HAYWARD CERTIFIED FARMERS MARKETS -- ongoing. A chance to buy local organic produce and baked goods.  

Hayward: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. At Main and B streets.  

Hayward Kaiser: Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. At Hesperian Boulevard and W. Tenneyson Road. Main and B Streets, Hayward. (800) 897-FARM. 

UNION CITY CERTIFIED FARMERS MARKETS -- ongoing. A chance to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, baked goods and more.  

Kaiser Market: Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. At 3553 Whipple Road. (800) 949-FARM.  

Old Alvarado Market: May-November: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. At Ceasar Chavez Park, Watkins and Smith streets. (800) 949-FARM. Union City.  

BERKELEY CERTIFIED FARMERS MARKETS -- ongoing. A chance to buy local organic produce, baked goods and flowers. The three markets operate rain or shine.  

Tuesday Market: April-October: Tuesdays, 2-7 p.m.; November-March: Tuesdays, 2-6 p.m. At Derby Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way.  

Thursday Organic Market: Thursdays, 3-7 p.m. At Shattuck Avenue and Cedar Street.  

Saturday Market: Saturdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. At Center Street at Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Shattuck Avenue & Rose Street, Berkeley. (510) 548-3333. 

Fremont Centerville Certified Farmers Market, ongoing. A chance to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, baked goods and more. Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Bonde Way and Fremont Boulevard, Fremont. (510) 796-0102. 

OAKLAND CERTIFIED FARMERS MARKETS -- ongoing. A chance to buy local organic produce and baked goods.  

East Oakland Market: May-November: Fridays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. At 73rd Avenue and International Boulevard. (510) 638-1742.  

East Oakland Senior Center Market: Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. At 9255 Edes Avenue. (510) 562-8989.  

Sunday Fruitvale Market: Sundays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. At 34th Avenue and 12th Street. (510) 535-6929.  

Thursday Fruitvale Market: June-November: Thursday, 2-7 p.m. At 34th Avenue and 12th Street. (510) 535-6929.  

Grand Lake Market: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. At Splash Pad Park, Grand Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard. (800) 897-FARM.  

Jack London Square Market: May-October: Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. At Broadway and Embarcadero. (800) 949-FARM or www.jacklondonsquare.com.  

Kaiser Market: Fridays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. At Howe Street between MacArthur Boulevard and 40th Street. (800) 949-FARM.  

Mandela Market: Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. At Fifth Street and Mandela Parkway. (510) 776-4178.  

Millsmont Market: May-October: Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. At MacArthur Boulevard at Seminary Avenue. (510) 238-9306.  

Montclair Market: Sundays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. At La Salle and Moraga avenues. (510) 745-7100.  

Old Oakland Market: Fridays, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. At Ninth Street and Broadway. (510) 745-7100.  

Temescal Market: Sundays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. At DMV Parking Lot, 5300 Claremont Ave. (510) 745-7100. Oakland.  

FREMONT CERTIFIED FARMERS MARKETS -- ongoing. A chance to buy local organic produce, baked goods and flowers.  

Irvington Market: Sundays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. At Bay Street and Fremont Boulevard.  

Kaiser Market: Thursdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. At 39400 Paseo Padre Parkway.  

Nummi Market: May-November: Fridays, 2-6 p.m. At Grimmer and Fremont boulevards. (510) 796-0102. Fremont Boulevard and Bay Street, Fremont. (800) 897-FARM. 

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY --  

EL CERRITO CERTIFIED FARMERS MARKET -- ongoing. A chance to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, baked goods and more.  

Tuesday Market: Tuesdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.  

Saturday Market: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. El Cerrito Plaza, San Pablo and Fairmont Avenues., El Cerrito. (925) 279-1760. 

"Walnut Creek Kaiser CFM," ongoing. Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.  

1425 S. Main St., Walnut Creek.  

"Kensington CFM," ongoing. Sundays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.  

303 Arlington Ave., Kensington. (510) 525-6155. 

CONCORD TUESDAY AND THURSDAY FARMERS MARKETS -- ongoing. A chance to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, baked goods and more.  

Tuesday Market: Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.  

Thursday Market: May-October. Thursdays, 4-8 p.m. Todo Santos Park, Willow Pass Road at Grant Street, Concord. (800) 949-FARM. 

RICHMOND CERTIFIED FARMERS MARKET -- ongoing. A chance to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, baked goods and more. Fridays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Civic Center Plaza Drive and McDonald Avenue, Richmond. (510) 758-2336. 

WALNUT CREEK CERTIFIED FARMERS MARKETS -- ongoing. A chance to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, baked goods and more.  

Sunday Market: Sundays, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. At North Broadway and Lincoln Avenue. 925-431-8351.  

Rossmoor Market: May-October: Fridays, 9 a.m.-noon. At Golden Rain Valley Road and Tice Valley Boulevard. 800-806-FARM. Broadway and Lincoln Avenue, Walnut Creek.  

MARTINEZ CERTIFIED FARMERS MARKETS -- ongoing. A chance to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, baked goods and more.  

Thursday Market: May-November. Thursdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. At Court and Main Streets. (800) 949-FARM.  

Sunday Market: May-September. Sundays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. At Main and Castro Streets. (925) 431-8361.  

Kaiser Market: Thursdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. At 200 Muir Road. (800) 949-FARM. Martinez.  

Free. www.cafarmersmarkets.com.

 

EUGENE O'NEILL NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE ongoing. Closed on New Year's Day. Visit Eugene O'Neill's famous Tao House and its tranquil grounds. Phone reservations required for a ranger-led, twoand-a-half-hour tour. Tours are given Wednesday through Sunday at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Please note: The National Park Service provides a free shuttle van for transportation to Tao House. Access via private vehicle is not available. 

Free but reservations required. Wednesday-Sunday. 1000 Kuss Road, Danville. (925) 838-0249, www.nps.gov/euon.< 

 

FENTONS CREAMERY Fenton's Creamery, founded in 1894, offers "backstage" tours that show how ice cream is made, how flavors are created, and all that goes into their famous sundaes. The history of Fenton's is also covered. Tours last 20-30 minutes (including samples). Children must be 6 years and accompanied by an adult. 

"Arctic Tour," ongoing. 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. daily, except Sundays. This backstage 20-30 minute tour shows how Fenton's handmade ice cream is made and flavored. As well, the tour will give some history about this venerable ice cream parlor, a 100-year-old staple for families with a desire for ice cream sundaes and sodas. Tour participants can taste ice cream at its various stages, step into the minus 25 degree blast freezers, and receive a soda jerk's hat. Minimum of eight people for a tour, maximum of 12-- larger groups are welcome, but will be split into multiple tours. No children under age 5. Reservations required.  

For those who wish to have ice cream after the tour, the following prices apply:  

Arctic tour plus kid's dish of ice cream, $6.95 plus tax and tip.  

Arctic tour plus kid's sundae, $7.50 plus tax and tip.  

Arctic tour plus kid's lunch and kid's sundae, $11.95 plus tax and tip.  

Arctic tour plus kid's lunch and sundae bar, $15.95 plus tax and tip. $3.95. (510) 658-8500. 

4226 Piedmont Ave., Oakland. (510) 658-7000, www.fentonscreamery.com.

 

FIFTY-PLUS ADVENTURE WALKS AND RUNS ongoing. The walks and runs are 3-mile round-trips, lasting about one hour on the trail. All levels of ability are welcome. The walks are brisk, however, and may include some uphill terrain. Events are held rain or shine and on all holidays except Christmas and the Fifty-Plus Annual Fitness Weekend. Call for dates, times and details. 

Free. (650) 323-6160, www.50plus.org.

 

FOREST HOME FARMS ongoing. The 16-acre former farm of the Boone family is now a municipal historic park in San Ramon. It is located at the base of the East Bay Hills and is divided into two parts by Oak Creek. The Boone House is a 22-room Dutch colonial that has been remodeled several times since it was built in 1900. Also on the property are a barn built in the period from 1850 to 1860; the Victorian-style David Glass House, dating from the late 1860s to early 1870s; a storage structure for farm equipment and automobiles; and a walnut processing plant. 

Free unless otherwise noted. Public tours available by appointment. 19953 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon. (925) 973-3281, www.ci.sanramon. ca.us/parks/boone.htm.< 

 

GOLDEN GATE LIVE STEAMERS ongoing. Small locomotives, meticulously scaled to size, run along a half mile of track in Tilden Regional Park. The small trains are owned and maintained by a non-profit group of railroad buffs that offer rides. Come out for the monthly family run and barbeque at the track, offered on the fourth Sunday of the month.  

Free. Trains run Sunday, noon-5 p.m.; Rides: Sunday, noon-3 p.m., weather permitting. Grizzly Peak Boulevard and Lomas Cantadas Drive at the south end of Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley. (510) 486-0623, www.ggls.org.

 

GOLDEN STATE MODEL RAILROAD MUSEUM -- ongoing. The museum, which is handicapped accessible, features extensive displays of operating model railroads constructed and operated by the East Bay Model Engineers Society. Covering some 10,000 square feet, steam and modern diesel-powered freight and passenger trains operate in O, HO and N scales on separate layouts as well as narrow gauge and trolley lines. Of special interest is the Tehachapi Pass and Loop on the N-scale layout showing how the multiple engine trains traverse the gorges and tunnels, passing over themselves to gain altitude to cross Tehachapi Summit just east of Bakersfield. The layouts include such famous railroad landmarks as Niles Canyon, Donner Pass and the Oakland Mole where transcontinental passengers were ferried across San Francisco Bay from their arriving trains. VIEW THE LAYOUTS ONLY ON WEDNESDAYS AND SATURDAYS; WATCH TRAINS RUN ON THE LAYOUTS ON SUNDAYS. 

$2-$4 Sunday, $9 family ticket; free on Wednesday and Saturday. April-November: Saturday-Sunday, noon-5 p.m.; Wednesday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. December: layouts are operational on weekends. Miller-Knox Regional Shoreline, 900-A Dornan Dr., Point Richmond. (510) 234-4884, www.gsmrm.org.

 

GONDOLA SERVIZIO ongoing. "Gondola Servizio.'' Weather permitting. Take a ride around Lake Merritt in a real Venetian gondola rowed by a Venetian-style gondolier. The boats of Gondola Servizio were built by hand in Venice. Each gondola seats up to six people and reservations are required.  

Marco Polo: Bring a picnic lunch and/or a beverage to enjoy on this 30 minute private gondola tour. $40 per couple, $10 for each additional person.  

Casanova: A 50-minute private gondola tour,$65 per couple, $10 for each additional person.  

Promessi Sposi: For photo or film shoots. Perfect for engagement photos, family portraits, or any other occasion. $225 per hour for the first couple; $10 per additional person.  

Group Tours: $150 per hour for groups of 13 people or more. Multiple mini tours are given within the hour to accommodate a group of any size. Call for more details. 

September-May: Wednesday-Sunday, 5 p.m.-midnight; June-August: Daily, by appointment. Lake Merritt Sailboat House, 568 Bellevue Ave., Oakland. (866) 737-8494, (866) 737-8494, www.gondolaservizio.com.

 

GREENBELT ALLIANCE OUTINGS A series of hikes, bike rides and events sponsored by Greenbelt Alliance, the Bay Area's non-profit land conservation and urban planning organization. Call for meeting places. Reservations required for all trips.  

ALAMEDA COUNTY --  

"Self-Guided Urban Outing: Berkeley," ongoing. This interactive smart growth walking tour of central Berkeley examines some of the exciting projects that help alleviate the housing shortage in the city as well as amenities important to making a livable community. The walk, which includes the GAIA Cultural Center, Allston Oak Court, The Berkeley Bike Station, University Terrace and Strawberry Creek Park, takes between an hour-and-ahalf to two hours at a leisurely pace. Download the itinerary which gives specific directions by entering www.greeenbelt.org and clicking on "get involved'' and then "urban outings.'' Drop down and click on Berkeley. Free. 

"Berkeley waterfalls and walkways," Feb. 13, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Visit the relatively unknown waterfalls and cascades of the Berkeley hills. 

Free unless otherwise noted. (415) 255-3233, www.greenbelt.org.

 

JOHN MUIR NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE The site preserves the 1882 Muir House, a 17-room Victorian mansion where naturalist John Muir lived from 1890 to his death in 1914. It was here that Muir wrote about preserving America's wilderness and helped create the national parks idea for the United States. The house is situated on a hill overlooking the City of Martinez and surrounded by nine acres of vineyards and orchards. Take a self-guided tour of this well-known Scottish naturalist's home. Also part of the site is the historic Martinez Adobe and Mount Wanda. Public Tours of the John Muir House, ongoing. Begin with an eight-minute park film and then take the tour. The film runs every 15 minutes throughout the day. Wednesday through Friday, 2 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.  

MOUNT WANDA -- The mountain consists of 325 acres of grass and oak woodland historically owned by the Muir family. It offers a nature trail and several fire trails for hiking. Open daily, sunrise to sunset. 

JOHN MUIR HOUSE, ongoing. Tours of this well-known Scottish naturalist's home are available. The house, built in 1882, is a 14-room Victorian home situated on a hill overlooking the city of Martinez and surrounded by nine acres of vineyards and orchards. It was here that Muir wrote about preserving America's wilderness and helped create the national parks idea for the United States. The park also includes the historic Vicente Martinez Adobe, built in 1849. An eight-minute film about Muir and the site is shown every 15 minutes throughout the day at the Visitor Center. Self guided tours of the Muir home, the surrounding orchards, and the Martinez Adobe: Wednesday-Sunday, 1 a.m.-5 p.m. Public tours or the first floor of the Muir home: Wednesday-Friday, 2 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Reservations not required except for large groups.  

$3 general; free children ages 16 and under. Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 4202 Alhambra Ave., Martinez. (925) 228-8860, www.nps.gov/jomu.< 

 

LAWRENCE BERKELEY NATIONAL LABORATORY ongoing. Scientists and engineers guide visitors through the research areas of the laboratory, demonstrating emerging technology and discussing the research's current and potential applications. A Berkeley lab tour usually lasts two and a half hours and includes visits to several research areas. Popular tour sites include the Advanced Light Source, The National Center for Electron Microscopy, the 88-Inch Cyclotron, The Advanced Lighting Laboratory and The Human Genome Laboratory. Reservations required at least two weeks in advance of tour. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Photography is permitted. Due to heightened security after Sept. 11, 2001, tour participants will be asked for photo identification and citizenship information. Tours are periodically available by special request. For reservations call (925) 424-4175, or register online. 

Free. 10 a.m. University of California, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley. (925) 424-4175, www.lbl.gov.

 

LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY ongoing. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory offer two different tours of its facilities.  

Livermore Main Site Tours are scheduled on most Tuesdays, 8:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m. Highlights of the three hour tour are visits to the National Ignition Facility, National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center, and Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry. All tours begin at the Lab's Discovery Center, located at the intersection of Greeneville Road and Eastgate Drive in Livermore. Visitors must be U.S. citizens and 18 years or older. Twoweek advance reservations required. Tours are available for non-U.S. citizens with 60 to 90 days advance reservation.  

Site 300 is the Laboratory's 7,000 acre non-nuclear explosive test facility in the Altamont Hills southwest of Tracy. Tours may include Western vantage points for observation of the site, an external view of the Contained Firing Facility, and environmental remediation facilities and wetlands. Tours are conducted on an as-requested basis. Visitors must be U.S. citizens and 18 years or older. Two-week advance reservations required. Tours are available for non-U.S. citizens with 60 to 90 days advance reservation. 

NATIONAL LABORATORY DISCOVERY CENTER -- ongoing. 1-4 p.m. Tues. - Fri.; 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Saturdays. The Center is a window into the Laboratory where visitors can experience a broad-based display of the scientific technology developed at the Laboratory as well as highlights of the Lab's research and history in such areas as defense, homeland security, the environment, cancer and new energy sources.  

There is no citizenship limitation or age limit for visiting the Discovery Center. Call ahead to confirm the Center is open. Located off Greenville Road on Eastgate Drive, just outside the Laboratory's East Gate. Free. (925) 423-3272. 

Free. 7000 East Ave., Livermore. (925) 424-4175, www.llnl.gov.

 

LINDSAY WILDLIFE MUSEUM This is the oldest and largest wildlife rehabilitation center in America, taking in 6,000 injured and orphaned animals yearly and returning 40 percent of them to the wild. The museum offers a wide range of educational programs using non-releasable wild animals to teach children and adults respect for the balance of nature. The museum includes a state-of-the art wildlife hospital which features a permanent exhibit, titled "Living with Nature,'' which houses 75 non-releasable wild animals in learning environments; a 5,000-square-foot Wildlife Hospital complete with treatment rooms, intensive care, quarantine and laboratory facilities; a 1-acre Nature Garden featuring the region's native landscaping and wildlife; and an "Especially For Children'' exhibit.  

WILDLIFE HOSPITAL -- September-March: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hospital is open daily including holidays to receive injured and orphaned animals. There is no charge for treatment of native wild animals and there are no public viewing areas in the hospital.$5-$7; free children under age 2. June 16-Sept. 15: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sun.; Sept. 16-June 15: noon.-5 p.m. Wed.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek. (925) 935-1978, www.wildlife-museum.org.< 

 

MOUNT DIABLO SUMMIT MUSEUM ongoing. The museum is located in a historic stone building atop Mt. Diablo's highest peak and features ongoing exhibits that chronicle the history of the mountain. An instructional video examines the geological forces that created the mountain and panel displays describe the Native American history of the region. A diorama provides an overview of the mountain's ecosystems. Telescopes are mounted on the Observation Deck so visitors can enjoy one of the finest views in the world. 

Museum: free; Park entrance fee: $5-$6 per vehicle. Daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Park hours: daily, 8 a.m.-sunset. Oak Grove Road or North Gate Road, Walnut Creek. (925) 837-6119, (925) 837-6119, www.mdia.org/museum.htm.< 

 

MOUNTAIN VIEW CEMETERY WALKING TOURS Take a three-hour, docent-led walking tour of this cemetery, designed by renowned architect Fredrich Law Olmsted, where many historical figures, both local and national, are buried. 

Special Events,  

"Black history month tour," Feb. 26, 10 a.m. Visit the gravesites and hear stories of some African American community leaders and residents who lived that history. Free. 

Free. Second and fourth Saturdays of the month, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. 5000 Piedmont Ave., Oakland. (510) 658-2588, www.mountainviewcemetery.org.

 

NILES DEPOT MUSEUM ongoing. The Niles Depot, built in 1904 to replace a depot that had occupied the site since 1869, served as a passenger station until the 1950s and as a freight station until the 1960s. It was moved to its current location in 1982 and houses a small railroad library plus railroad artifacts. The Tri-City Society of Model Engineers operates HO and N scale model railroad layouts at the depot. The model trains run when the museum is open. 

Free but donations requested. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sundays 36997 Mission Blvd., Fremont. (510) 797-4449, www.nilesdepot.org.

 

NIMITZ WALK ongoing. A level, paved walk originally constructed when the army was considering putting a missile site in the hills above Berkeley. Near Inspiration Point; from San Pablo Dam Road turn west onto Wildcat Canyon Road in Orinda. The entrance to the walk, and a parking lot, is at the top of the ridge. This is an easy hike for people of all ages and especially ideal for the very old, the very young, and the disabled. Bicycles and roller blades are allowed. 

Free. Daily, sunrise-sunset. Tilden Park, near Inspiration Point, Berkeley Hills. (510) 525-2233, www.ebparks.org.

 

OAKLAND ARTISAN MARKETPLACE ongoing. www.oaklandartisanmarketplace.org/. A weekly market featuring the fine arts and crafts created by local artists. Included will be handmade jewelry, sculptures, ceramics, paintings and drawings, photography, dolls, floral arrangements, clothing, soaps, and greeting cards. The three weekly markets are at different sites in Oakland. 

Free. (510) 238-4948.< 

 

OAKLAND CASTING CLUB MEETINGS ongoing. The Oakland Casting Club and Department of Parks and Recreation present free fly-casting clinics in this monthly meeting. Experts of the club will be on hand to offer tips and training techniques for youths and adults. Everything from basic casting to advanced techniques will be taught. Beginners or experienced anglers welcome. No registration or appointment necessary, but please e-mail ahead (and include relative skill level) to give notice of your participation, if possible.  

Meetings are held at McCrea Park, located at Carson Street and Aliso Avenue (just off Hwy. 13), Oakland. 

Third Saturday of the month March-July. Oakland. www.oaklandcastingclub.org.

 

OAKLAND ZOO The zoo includes a Children's Petting Zoo, the Skyride, a miniature train, a carousel, picnic grounds and a gift shop as well as the animals in site specific exhibits, which allow them to roam freely. Included are "The African Savanna,'' with its two huge mixed-animal aviaries and 11 African Savanna exhibits; the Mahali Pa Tembo (Place of the Elephant), with giraffes, chimpanzees and more than 330 other animals from around the world; "Simba Pori,'' Swahili for "Lion Country,'' a spacious 1.5-acre habitat offering both a savanna and woodland setting for African lions; "Footprints from the Past,'' an anthropology exhibit showcasing four million years of human evolution and an actual "footpath'' of the first hominids to emerge from the African savanna; "Sun Bear Exhibit,'' a stateof-the-art space the zoo has developed for its two sun bears; and Siamang Island, a state-of-the-art, barrier-free area that emulates the gibbons' native tropical rain forest habitat. Also see the Malayan Fruit Bats from the Lubee Bat Conservancy in Florida that are now roosting in trees at the zoo. In addition there are special exhibits and events monthly. "Valley Children's Zoo," ongoing. The three-acre attraction offers a completely interactive experience for both children and adults. The exhibits include lemurs, giant fruit bats, otters, reptiles, insects and more. Daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

"Endangered Species," ongoing. An exhibit of photographs about the most endangered animals on the Earth and what can be done to save them. At the Education Center. Open daily during zoo hours. ONGOING EVENTS --  

"Valley Children's Zoo," ongoing. Daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The three-acre attraction will offer a completely interactive experience for both children and adults. The exhibits include lemurs, giant fruit bats, otters, reptiles, insects and more. Free with regular Zoo admission.  

"Wildlife Theater," ongoing. Saturday, 11:45 a.m.; Sunday, 1:45 p.m. On Saturday mornings listen to a story and meet a live animal. On Sunday afternoon meet live animals and learn cool facts about them. Meet in the Lobby of the Zoo's Maddie's Center for Science and Environmental Education. Free with regular Zoo admission. (510) 632-9525, ext. 142."For the love of primates," Feb. 14, 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Enjoy Rhythmic Village, the premiere Afro-fusion performance ensemble and interactive music experience. There will be a silent auction. All proceeds support Budongo Snare Removal Project in Uganda. $20 suggested donation. 

$7.50-11; free children under age 2; $6 parking fee. Daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Knowland Park, 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland. (510) 632-9525, www.oaklandzoo.org.

 

OLD MISSION SAN JOSE ongoing. Take a self-guided tour of the Mission, a replica of the original mission church that was one of a chain of California missions begun by Father Junipero Serra in 1769. Mission San Jose was founded in 1797. The mission chain stretches from San Diego to San Rafael. The tour includes the church, grounds, an adobe building and historic memorabilia. 

$2-$3. Daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Closed New Years, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. 43300 Mission Blvd., Fremont. (510) 657-1797, www.missionsanjose.org.

 

PARAMOUNT THEATRE TOUR ongoing. The historic Paramount Theatre is a restored art deco masterpiece from the movie palace era. The two-hour tour covers areas not usually accessible to the public. Cameras are allowed. Children must be at least 10 years old and accompanied by adult chaperones. 

$5. First and third Saturday of the month, 10 a.m. Meet at the 21st Street Box Office Entrance, 2025 Broadway, Oakland. (510) 465-6400, (510) 893-2300, www.paramounttheatre.com.

 

PARDEE HOME MUSEUM ongoing. The historic Pardee Mansion, a three-story Italianate villa built in 1868, was home to three generations of the Pardee family who were instrumental in the civic and cultural development of California and Oakland. The home includes the house, grounds, water tower and barn. Reservations recommended. Group tours may be arranged between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tues.-Sun.  

Private Tours and Teas: Take a private tour followed by tea in the Pardee family dining room (available for 4-12 persons).  

Tour with light tea: $12 per person  

Tour with high tea: $25 per person.  

High tea without tour: $20 per person. 

$5-$25; free children ages 12 and under. House Tours: 10:30 a.m. every Wednesday and second Saturday of each month; 2 p.m. the second Sunday or each month. 672 11th St., Oakland. (510) 444-2187, www.pardeehome.org.

 

PIXIELAND AMUSEMENT PARK ongoing. This amusement park for children features pixie-sized rides such as a dragon roller coaster, swirling tea cups, a carousel, red baron airplanes, an antique car ride and a miniature train among other attractions sure to please the little ones. Classic carnival-style food and souvenirs round out the experience. Admission to the park is free; ride tickets are $1.25 each or 10 tickets for $10; Day wrist band for unlimited rides, $25. Specials and season passes are also available. 

Dec. 1-12 2010: 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Closed Dec. 13-Jan. 8. 2740 E. Olivera Road, Concord. (925) 689-8841, www.pixieland.com.

 

PREWETT FAMILY WATERPARK ongoing. There are pools and water slides for all ages, from the Tad Pool for toddlers to Boulder cove for older swimmers. In addition to fun pools and slides there are fitness pools for lessons and exercise, lawns for relaxing, locker rooms, community room and kitchen. Lap lanes are open year round. Food and beverages are not permitted in the park. Picnic tables are available outside the park. 

$4-$11. Sunday through Friday: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturdays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; closed Aug.23-27, 30-31. 4701 Lone Tree Way, Antioch. (925) 776-3070, www.ci.antioch.ca.us/CitySvcs/Prewett.< 

 

RUTH BANCROFT GARDEN One of America's finest private gardens, the Ruth Bancroft Garden displays 2,000 specimens from around the world that thrive in an arid climate. Included are African and Mexican succulents, New World cacti, Australian and Chilean trees, and shrubs from California. 

DOCENT TOUR SCHEDULE -- ongoing. 10 a.m. Saturdays. Docent-led tours last approximately an hour and a half. Plant sales follow the tour. By reservation only. $7; free children under age 12.  

SELF-GUIDED TOURS -- ongoing. 9:30 a.m.-noon Mon. - Thurs.; 9:30 a.m. Fri.; 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sat.; 5 p.m. Sunday. Self-guided tours last two hours. No reservations required for weekday tours; reservations required for Friday and Saturday tours. Plant sales follow the tours. $7; free children under age 12.  

Gardens open only for tours and special events listed on the garden's telephone information line. 1500 Bancroft Road, Walnut Creek. (925) 210-9663, www.ruthbancroftgarden.org.

 

SHADELANDS RANCH HISTORICAL MUSEUM ongoing. Built by Walnut Creek pioneer Hiram Penniman, this 1903 redwoodframed house is a showcase for numerous historical artifacts, many of which belonged to the Pennimans. It also houses a rich archive of Contra Costa and Walnut Creek history in its collections of old newspapers, photographs and government records. 

$1-$3; free-children under age 6. Wednesday and Sunday, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.; Closed in January. 2660 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek. (925) 935-7871, www.ci.walnut-creek.ca.us.< 

 

SULPHUR CREEK NATURE CENTER A wildlife rehabilitation and education facility where injured and orphaned local wild creatures are rehabilitated and released when possible. There is also a lending library of animals such as guinea pigs, rats, mice and more. The lending fee is $8 per week. "Toddler Time," ongoing. Learn about animals by listening to stories and exploring. Themes vary by month. Call for schedule. $7 per family.  

"Day on the Green Animal Presentations," ongoing. Meet an assortment of wild and domestic animals. Wildlife volunteers will present a different animal each day from possums to snakes, tortoises to hawks. Saturday and Sunday, 2:30 p.m. 

CHILDREN'S EVENTS -- ongoing.  

Free. Park: Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Discovery Center: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Animal Lending Library: Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Wildlife Rehabilitation Center: daily, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 1801 D St., Hayward. (510) 881-6747, www.haywardrec.org/sulphur_creek.html.< 

 

USS HORNET MUSEUM ongoing. Come aboard this World War II aircraft carrier that has been converted into a floating museum. The Hornet, launched in 1943, is 899 feet long and 27 stories high. During World War II she was never hit by an enemy strike or plane and holds the Navy record for number of enemy planes shot down in a week. In 1969 the Hornet recovered the Apollo 11 space capsule containing the first men to walk on the moon, and later recovered Apollo 12. In 1991 the Hornet was designated a National Historic Landmark and is now docked at the same pier she sailed from in 1944. Today, visitors can tour the massive ship, view World War II-era warplanes and experience a simulated aircraft launch from the carrier's deck. Exhibits are being added on an ongoing basis. Allow two to three hours for a visit. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to climb steep stairs or ladders. Dress in layers as the ship can be cold. Arrive no later than 2 p.m. to sign up for the engine room and other docent-led tours. Children under age 12 are not allowed in the Engine Room or the Combat Information Center. "Limited Access Day," ongoing. Due to ship maintenance, tours of the navigation bridge and the engine room are not available. Tuesdays.  

"Flight Deck Fun," ongoing. A former Landing Signal Officer will show children how to bring in a fighter plane for a landing on the deck then let them try the signals themselves. Times vary. Free with regular Museum admission.  

"Protestant Divine Services," ongoing. Hornet chaplain John Berger conducts church services aboard The Hornet in the Wardroom Lounge. Everyone is welcome and refreshments are served immediately following the service. Sundays, 11 a.m.Closed on New Year's Day. 

"Family Day," ongoing. Discounted admission for families of four with a further discount for additional family members. Access to some of the areas may be limited due to ship maintenance. Every Tuesday. $20 for family of four; $5 for each additional family member. 

"History Mystery After Hours Tour," ongoing. 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Explore the USS Hornet after hours and learn the history of this ship while it is illuminated in red lights used for "night ops." Also, hear stories about the ships' legendary haunts. Reservations required. (510) 521-8448 X282. 

"Flashlight Tour," ongoing. 8:30 a.m. Receive a special tour of areas aboard the ship that have not yet been opened to the public or that have limited access during the day. $30-$35 per person. 

$6-$14; free children age 4 and under with a paying adult. Daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Pier 3 (enter on Atlantic Avenue), Alameda Point, Alameda. (510) 521-8448, www.uss-hornet.org.< 

 

WATERWORLD CALIFORNA ongoing. ` 

$19.95-$31.95 General Admission; Season pass: $39.99-$59.99. Park closes in October and reopens in May. 1950 Waterworld Parkway,, Concord. (925) 609-1364, www.waterworldcalifornia.com.<


Outdoors-East Bay Through February 6

Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 05:46:00 PM

ARDENWOOD HISTORIC FARM Ardenwood farm is a working farm that dates back to the time of the Patterson Ranch, a 19th-century estate with a mansion and Victorian Gardens. Today, the farm still practices farming techniques from the 1870s. Unless otherwise noted, programs are free with regular admission.  

ONGOING PROGRAMS --  

"Blacksmithing," Thursday, Friday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Watch a blacksmith turn iron into useful tools.  

"Horse-Drawn Train," Thursday, Friday and Sunday. A 20-minute ride departs from Ardenwood Station and Deer Park.  

"Animal Feeding," Thursday-Sunday, 3-4 p.m. Help slop the hogs, check the henhouse for eggs and bring hay to the livestock.  

"Victorian Flower Arranging," Thursday, 10:15-11:30 a.m. Watch as Ardenwood docents create floral works of art for display in the Patterson House. "Horse-Drawn Train Rides," ongoing. Thursday, Friday and Sunday, 10:15 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Meet Jigs or Tucker the Belgian Draft horses that pull Ardenwood's train. Check the daily schedule and meet the train at Ardenwood Station or Deer Park. 

"Country Kitchen Cookin'," ongoing. Sundays, 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Enjoy the flavor of the past with treats cooked on Ardenwood's wood burning stove. Sample food grown on the farm and discover the history of your favorite oldtime snacks. 

"Animal Feeding," ongoing. Thursday-Sunday, 3 p.m. Feed the pigs, check for eggs and bring hay to the livestock. 

"Toddler Time," ongoing. Tuesdays, 11-11:30 a.m. Bring the tiny tots out for an exciting morning at the farm. Meet and learn all about a new animal friend through stories, chores and fun.  

"Potato Harvesting," ongoing. Learn the spectacular history of this New World native as you dig with your spade and help find the spuds. 

$1-$5; free children under age 4. Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont. (510) 796-0199, (510) 796-0663, www.ebparks.org.

 

BAY AREA RAIL TRAILS ongoing. A network of trails converted from unused railway corridors and developed by the Rails to Trails Conservancy.  

BLACK DIAMOND MINES REGIONAL PRESERVE RAILROAD BED TRAIL -- ongoing. This easy one mile long rail trail on Mount Diablo leads to many historic sites within the preserve. Suitable for walking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Accessible year round but may be muddy during the rainy season. Enter from the Park Entrance Station parking lot on the East side of Somersville Road, Antioch.  

IRON HORSE REGIONAL TRAIL -- ongoing. The paved trail has grown into a 23 mile path between Concord and San Ramon with a link into Dublin. The trail runs from the north end of Monument Boulevard at Mohr Lane, east to Interstate 680, in Concord through Walnut Creek to just south of Village Green Park in San Ramon. It will eventually extend from Suisun Bay to Pleasanton and has been nominated as a Community Millennium Trail under the U.S. Millennium Trails program. A smooth shaded trail suitable for walkers, cyclists, skaters and strollers. It is also wheelchair accessible. Difficulty: easy to moderate in small chunks; hard if taken as a whole.  

LAFAYETTE/MORAGA REGIONAL TRAIL -- ongoing. A 7.65 mile paved trail converted from the Sacramento Northern Rail line. This 20-year old trail goes along Las Trampas Creek and parallels St. Mary's Road. Suitable for walkers, equestrians, and cyclists. Runs from Olympic Boulevard and Pleasant Hill Road in Lafayette to Moraga. The trail can be used year round.  

OHLONE GREENWAY -- ongoing. A 3.75-mile paved trail converted from the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railway. Suitable for walkers, strollers and skaters. It is also wheelchair accessible. The trail runs under elevated BART tracks from Conlon and Key Streets in El Cerrito to Virginia and Acton Streets in Berkeley.  

SHEPHERD CANYON TRAIL -- ongoing. An easy 3-mile paved trail converted from the Sacramento Northern Rail Line. The tree-lined trail is gently sloping and generally follows Shepherd Canyon Road. Suitable for walkers and cyclists. It is also wheelchair accessible. Begins in Montclair Village behind McCaulou's Department Store on Medau Place and ends at Paso Robles Drive, Oakland. Useable year round. 

Free. (415) 397-2220, www.traillink.com.

 

BAY AREA RIDGE TRAIL ongoing. The Bay Area Ridge Trail, when completed, will be a 400-mile regional trail system that will form a loop around the entire San Francisco Bay region, linking 75 public parks and open spaces to thousands of people and hundreds of communities. Hikes on portions of the trail are available through the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council. Call for meeting sites. ALAMEDA COUNTY -- "Lake Chabot Bike Rides." These rides are for strong beginners and intermediates to build skill, strength and endurance at a non hammerhead pace. No one will be dropped. Reservations required. Distance: 14 miles. Elevation gain: 1,000 feet. Difficulty: beginner to intermediate. Pace: moderate. Meeting place: Lake Chabot Road at the main entrance to the park. Thursday, 6:15 a.m. (510) 468-3582.  

ALAMEDA-CONTRA COSTA COUNTY -- "Tilden and Wildcat Bike Rides." A vigorous ride through Tilden and Wildcat Canyon regional parks. Reservations required. Distance: 15 miles. Elevation gain: 2,000 feet. Difficulty: intermediate. Pace: fast. Meeting place: in front of the North Berkeley BART Station. Wednesday, 5:30 p.m. (510) 849-9650. 

Free. (415) 561-2595, www.ridgetrail.org.

 

BICYCLE TRAILS COUNCIL OF THE EAST BAY ongoing. The Council sponsors trail work days, Youth Bike Adventure Rides, and Group Rides as well as Mountain Bike Basics classes which cover training and handling skills. "Weekly Wednesday Ride at Lake Chabot," ongoing. Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. A 13- to 20-mile ride exploring the trails around Lake Chabot, with 1,500 to 2,000 feet of climbing. Meet at 6:15 p.m. in the parking lot across from the public safety offices at Lake Chabot in Castro Valley. Reservations requested. (510) 727-0613.  

"Weekly Wednesday 'Outer' East Bay Ride," ongoing. Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. Ride some of the outer East Bay parks each week, such as Wild Cat Canyon, Briones, Mount Diablo, Tilden and Joaquin Miller-Redwood. Meeting place and ride location vary. Reservations required. (510) 888-9757. 

Free. (510) 466-5123, www.btceb.org.

 

BOTANIC GARDEN Intersection of Wildcat Canyon Road and South Park Drive, Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley. www.ebparks.org.

 

CRAB COVE VISITOR CENTER At Crab Cove, you can see live underwater creatures and go into the San Francisco Bay from land. You can also travel back in time to Alameda's part. The goal is to increase understanding of the environmental importance of San Francisco Bay and the ocean ecosystem. Crab Cove's Indoor Aquarium and Exhibit Lab is one of the largest indoor aquariums in the East Bay."Sea Siblings," ongoing. Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Explore the natural world and take part in a theme related craft. Designed for the 3-5 year old learner. Registration is required. $4. (888) 327-2757. 

"Catch of the Day," ongoing. Sundays, 2-3 p.m. Drop by to find out more about the Bay and its wildlife through guided exploration and hands-on fun. 

"Sea Squirts," ongoing. 10-11:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Discover the wonders of nature with your little one. Registration is required. $6-$8. 

Free unless otherwise noted; parking fee may be charged. 1252 McKay Ave., Alameda. (510) 521-6887, www.ebparks.org.

 

DUNSMUIR HOUSE AND GARDENS HISTORIC ESTATE ongoing. Nestled in the Oakland hills, the 50-acre Dunsmuir House and Gardens estate includes the 37-room Neoclassical Revival Dunsmuir Mansion, built by coal and lumber baron Alexander Dunsmuir for his bride. Restored outbuildings set amid landscaped gardens surround the mansion.  

ESTATE GROUNDS -- ongoing. Self-Guided Grounds Tours are available yearround. The 50 acres of gardens and grounds at the mansion are open to the public for walking Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Booklets and maps of the grounds are available at the Dinkelspiel House. Free.  

GUIDED TOURS -- Docent-led tours are available on the first Sunday of each month at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. (except for July) and Wednesdays at 11 a.m. $5 adults, $4 seniors and juniors (11-16), children 11 and under free. 

Dunsmuir House and Gardens, 2960 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland. (510) 615-5555, www.dunsmuir.org.

 

FIFTY-PLUS ADVENTURE WALKS AND RUNS ongoing. The walks and runs are 3-mile round-trips, lasting about one hour on the trail. All levels of ability are welcome. The walks are brisk, however, and may include some uphill terrain. Events are held rain or shine and on all holidays except Christmas and the Fifty-Plus Annual Fitness Weekend. Call for dates, times and details. 

Free. (650) 323-6160, www.50plus.org.

 

FOREST HOME FARMS ongoing. The 16-acre former farm of the Boone family is now a municipal historic park in San Ramon. It is located at the base of the East Bay Hills and is divided into two parts by Oak Creek. The Boone House is a 22-room Dutch colonial that has been remodeled several times since it was built in 1900. Also on the property are a barn built in the period from 1850 to 1860; the Victorian-style David Glass House, dating from the late 1860s to early 1870s; a storage structure for farm equipment and automobiles; and a walnut processing plant. 

Free unless otherwise noted. Public tours available by appointment. 19953 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon. (925) 973-3281, www.ci.sanramon. ca.us/parks/boone.htm.< 

 

GARIN AND DRY CREEK PIONEER REGIONAL PARKS ongoing. Independent nature study is encouraged here, and guided interpretive programs are available through the Coyote Hills Regional Park Visitor Center in Fremont. The Garin Barn Visitor Center is open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In late summer, the Garin Apple Festival celebrates Garin's apple orchards. The parks also allow picnicking, hiking, horseback riding and fishing. 

Free; $5 parking fee per vehicle; $2 per dog. Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. 1320 Garin Ave., Hayward. (510) 562-PARK, (510) 795-9385, www.ebparks.org/parks/garin.htm.< 

 

GREENBELT ALLIANCE OUTINGS A series of hikes, bike rides and events sponsored by Greenbelt Alliance, the Bay Area's non-profit land conservation and urban planning organization. Call for meeting places. Reservations required for all trips.  

ALAMEDA COUNTY --  

"Self-Guided Urban Outing: Berkeley," ongoing. This interactive smart growth walking tour of central Berkeley examines some of the exciting projects that help alleviate the housing shortage in the city as well as amenities important to making a livable community. The walk, which includes the GAIA Cultural Center, Allston Oak Court, The Berkeley Bike Station, University Terrace and Strawberry Creek Park, takes between an hour-and-ahalf to two hours at a leisurely pace. Download the itinerary which gives specific directions by entering www.greeenbelt.org and clicking on "get involved'' and then "urban outings.'' Drop down and click on Berkeley. Free. 

Free unless otherwise noted. (415) 255-3233, www.greenbelt.org.

 

HAYWARD REGIONAL SHORELINE With 1,682 acres of salt, fresh and brackish water marshes, seasonal wetlands and the approximately three-mile San Lorenzo Trail, the Hayward Shoreline restoration project is one of the largest of its kind on the West Coast, comprising 400 acres of marshland. Part of the East Bay Regional Park District.Free. Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. 3010 W. Winton Ave., Hayward. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org/parks/hayward.htm.< 

 

HAYWARD SHORELINE INTERPRETIVE CENTER Perched on stilts above a salt marsh, the Center offers an introduction to the San Francisco Bay-Estuary. It features exhibits, programs and activities designed to inspire a sense of appreciation, respect and stewardship for the Bay, its inhabitants and the services they provide. The Habitat Room offers a preview of what may be seen outside. The 80-gallon Bay Tank contains some of the fish that live in the Bay's open waters, and the Channel Tank represents habitats formed by the maze of sloughs and creeks that snake through the marsh. The main room of the Center features rotating exhibits about area history, plants and wildlife. Part of the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District. "Exploring Nature," ongoing. An exhibit of Shawn Gould's illustrations featuring images of the natural world."Waterfowl of the Freshwater Marsh," ongoing. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Join an expert birder to go "behind the gates'' to areas of the marsh that are not open to the public. 

"Weekend Weed Warriors," ongoing. 1-4 p.m. Help the shoreline to eliminate the non-native plants that threaten its diversity. Ages 12 and older. Registration required. 

"Nature Detectives," ongoing. 11 a.m.-noon. An introduction and exploration of the world of Black-Crowned Night-Herons. Ages 3-5 and their caregivers. Registration required. 

Free. Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 4901 Breakwater Ave., Hayward. (510) 670-7270, www.hard.dst.ca.us/hayshore.html.< 

 

JOHN MUIR NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE The site preserves the 1882 Muir House, a 17-room Victorian mansion where naturalist John Muir lived from 1890 to his death in 1914. It was here that Muir wrote about preserving America's wilderness and helped create the national parks idea for the United States. The house is situated on a hill overlooking the City of Martinez and surrounded by nine acres of vineyards and orchards. Take a self-guided tour of this well-known Scottish naturalist's home. Also part of the site is the historic Martinez Adobe and Mount Wanda. Public Tours of the John Muir House, ongoing. Begin with an eight-minute park film and then take the tour. The film runs every 15 minutes throughout the day. Wednesday through Friday, 2 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.  

MOUNT WANDA -- The mountain consists of 325 acres of grass and oak woodland historically owned by the Muir family. It offers a nature trail and several fire trails for hiking. Open daily, sunrise to sunset. 

JOHN MUIR HOUSE, ongoing. Tours of this well-known Scottish naturalist's home are available. The house, built in 1882, is a 14-room Victorian home situated on a hill overlooking the city of Martinez and surrounded by nine acres of vineyards and orchards. It was here that Muir wrote about preserving America's wilderness and helped create the national parks idea for the United States. The park also includes the historic Vicente Martinez Adobe, built in 1849. An eight-minute film about Muir and the site is shown every 15 minutes throughout the day at the Visitor Center. Self guided tours of the Muir home, the surrounding orchards, and the Martinez Adobe: Wednesday-Sunday, 1 a.m.-5 p.m. Public tours or the first floor of the Muir home: Wednesday-Friday, 2 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Reservations not required except for large groups.  

$3 general; free children ages 16 and under. Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 4202 Alhambra Ave., Martinez. (925) 228-8860, www.nps.gov/jomu.< 

 

KENNEDY GROVE REGIONAL RECREATION AREA ongoing. The 95-acre park contains picnic areas, horseshoe pits and volleyball courts among its grove of aromatic eucalyptus trees.  

$5 parking; $2 per dog except guide/service dogs Through September: daily, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. San Pablo Dam Road, El Sobrante. (510) 223-7840, www.ebparks.org.

 

LAKE CHABOT REGIONAL PARK ongoing. The 315-acre lake offers year-round recreation. Services include canoe and boat rental, horseshoe pits, hiking, bicycling, picnicking and seasonal tours aboard the Chabot Queen. For boat rentals, call (510) 247-2526. 

Free unless noted otherwise; $5 parking; $2 per dog except guide/service dogs. Daily, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. 17930 Lake Chabot Road, Castro Valley. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org.

 

LINDSAY WILDLIFE MUSEUM This is the oldest and largest wildlife rehabilitation center in America, taking in 6,000 injured and orphaned animals yearly and returning 40 percent of them to the wild. The museum offers a wide range of educational programs using non-releasable wild animals to teach children and adults respect for the balance of nature. The museum includes a state-of-the art wildlife hospital which features a permanent exhibit, titled "Living with Nature,'' which houses 75 non-releasable wild animals in learning environments; a 5,000-square-foot Wildlife Hospital complete with treatment rooms, intensive care, quarantine and laboratory facilities; a 1-acre Nature Garden featuring the region's native landscaping and wildlife; and an "Especially For Children'' exhibit.  

WILDLIFE HOSPITAL -- September-March: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hospital is open daily including holidays to receive injured and orphaned animals. There is no charge for treatment of native wild animals and there are no public viewing areas in the hospital.SPECIAL EVENTS -- ongoing.  

$5-$7; free children under age 2. June 16-Sept. 15: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sun.; Sept. 16-June 15: noon.-5 p.m. Wed.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek. (925) 935-1978, www.wildlife-museum.org.< 

 

LIVERMORE AREA RECREATION AND PARK DISTRICT ongoing.  

4444 East Ave., Livermore. (925) 373-5700, www.larpd.dst.ca.us/.< 

 

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. SHORELINE ongoing. This 1,200-acre park situated near Oakland International Airport offers picnic areas with barbecues and a boat launch ramp. Swimming is not allowed. The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Grove, a group of trees surrounding a grassy glade, is at the intersection of Doolittle Drive and Swan Way. The area also includes the 50-acre Arrowhead Marsh (part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network) and a Roger Berry sculpture titled "Duplex Cone,'' which traces the summer and winter solstice paths of the sun through the sky. 

Free. Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., unless otherwise posted Doolittle Drive and Swan Way, Oakland. (510) 562-PARK, Picnic reservations: (510) 636-1684, www.ebayparks.org.

 

MILLER-KNOX REGIONAL SHORELINE ongoing. A 295-acre shoreline picnic area with a secluded cove and swimming beach, and a hilltop offering panoramic views of the north Bay Area. 

Free. Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., unless otherwise posted. 900 Dornan Dr., Richmond. (510) 562-PARK, Picnic Reservations: (510) 636-1684, www.ebparks.org.

 

MOUNT DIABLO STATE PARK ongoing. The 3,849-foot summit of Mount Diablo offers great views of the Bay Area and an extensive trail system. Visitors to the park can hike, bike, ride on horseback and camp. Notable park attractions include: The Fire Interpretive Trail, Rock City, Boy Scout Rocks and Sentinel Rock, Fossil Ridge, Deer Flat, Mitchell Canyon Staging Area, Diablo Valley Overlook, the Summit Visitor Center (open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), the Art Gallery, the Observation Deck and the Mitchell Canyon Interpretive Center. 

Free. $6 per vehicle park-entrance fee; $5 for seniors. Daily, 8 a.m. to sunset. Mount Diablo Scenic Boulevard, from the Diablo Road exit off Interstate Highway 680, Danville. (925) 837-2525, www.mdia.org or www.parks.ca.gov.

 

PLEASANTON RIDGE REGIONAL PARK ongoing. This 3,163-acre parkland is on the oak-covered ridge overlooking Pleasanton and the Livermore Valley from the west. A multi-purpose trail system accommodates hikers, equestrians and bicyclists. 

Free. Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Foothill Road, Pleasanton. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org.

 

POINT PINOLE REGIONAL SHORELINE ongoing. The 2,315-acre parkland bordering Pinole, Richmond and San Pablo offers views of Mount Tamalpais, the Marin shoreline and San Pablo Bay. There are trails through meadows and woods, and along the bluffs and beaches of San Pablo Bay. Visitors can hike, ride bikes or take the park's shuttle bus to reach the 1,250-foot fishing pier at Point Pinole. 

$5 per vehicle; $4 per trailered vehicle; $2 per dog (guide/service dogs free). Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., unless otherwise posted. Giant Highway, Richmond. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org.

 

PREWETT FAMILY WATERPARK ongoing. There are pools and water slides for all ages, from the Tad Pool for toddlers to Boulder cove for older swimmers. In addition to fun pools and slides there are fitness pools for lessons and exercise, lawns for relaxing, locker rooms, community room and kitchen. Lap lanes are open year round. Food and beverages are not permitted in the park. Picnic tables are available outside the park. 

$4-$11. Sunday through Friday: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturdays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; closed Aug.23-27, 30-31. 4701 Lone Tree Way, Antioch. (925) 776-3070, www.ci.antioch.ca.us/CitySvcs/Prewett.< 

 

QUARRY LAKES REGIONAL RECREATION AREA ongoing. The park includes three lakes sculpted from former quarry ponds. The largest, Horseshoe Lake, offers boating and fishing, with a swim beach that will open in the spring. Rainbow Lake is for fishing only, and the third lake, Lago Los Osos, is set aside for wildlife habitat. In addition, there are hiking and bicycling trails that connect to the Alameda Creek Regional Trail. The park includes three lakes sculpted from former quarry ponds. The largest, Horseshoe Lake, offers boating and fishing, with a swim beach that will open in the spring. Rainbow Lake is for fishing only, and the third lake, Lago Los Osos, is set aside for wildlife habitat. In addition there are hiking and bicycling trails that connect to the Alameda Creek Regional Trail. 

$5 parking; $2 per dog except guide/service dogs; boat launch fees; Park District fishing access permit fee of $3. Through Labor Day: daily, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sept. 6 through Sept. 30, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. 2100 Isherwood Way,, between Paseo Padre Parkway and Osprey Drive,, Fremont. (510) 795-4883, Picnic reservations:: (510) 562-2267, www.ebparks.org.

 

REI CONCORD A series of lectures on hikes and outdoor equipment. 

"Climbing the Indoor Wall," ongoing. Saturdays, noon-4 p.m.; Wednesdays, 6-8:30 p.m. $5.  

"Free Bicycle Classes," ongoing. 2:30-3 p.m. Sundays. Learn how to remove a wheel, fix a flat and more.  

Events are free and begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 1975 Diamond Blvd., Concord. (925) 825-9400.< 

 

REI FREMONT A series of lectures on hikes and outdoor equipment. 

"Climb the Indoor Pinnacle," ongoing. 1-6 p.m. Saturdays. $5.  

Events are free and begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 43962 Fremont Blvd., Fremont. (510) 651-0305.< 

 

ROBERT SIBLEY VOLCANIC REGIONAL PRESERVE ongoing. East Bay residents have several volcanoes in their backyard. This park contains Round Top, one of the highest peaks in the Oakland Hills. 

Free. Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. 6800 Skyline Blvd., Oakland. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org.

 

RUTH BANCROFT GARDEN One of America's finest private gardens, the Ruth Bancroft Garden displays 2,000 specimens from around the world that thrive in an arid climate. Included are African and Mexican succulents, New World cacti, Australian and Chilean trees, and shrubs from California. 

DOCENT TOUR SCHEDULE -- ongoing. 10 a.m. Saturdays. Docent-led tours last approximately an hour and a half. Plant sales follow the tour. By reservation only. $7; free children under age 12.  

SELF-GUIDED TOURS -- ongoing. 9:30 a.m.-noon Mon. - Thurs.; 9:30 a.m. Fri.; 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sat.; 5 p.m. Sunday. Self-guided tours last two hours. No reservations required for weekday tours; reservations required for Friday and Saturday tours. Plant sales follow the tours. $7; free children under age 12.  

Gardens open only for tours and special events listed on the garden's telephone information line. 1500 Bancroft Road, Walnut Creek. (925) 210-9663, www.ruthbancroftgarden.org.

 

SHADOW CLIFFS REGIONAL RECREATION AREA ongoing. The 296-acre park includes an 80-acre lake and a four-flume waterslide, with picnic grounds and a swimming beach. Water slide fees and hours: (925) 829-6230. 

$6 per vehicle; $2 per dog except guide and service dogs. May 1 through Labor Day: daily, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; shortened hours for fall and winter. Stanley Boulevard, one mile from downtown, Pleasanton. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org.

 

SULPHUR CREEK NATURE CENTER A wildlife rehabilitation and education facility where injured and orphaned local wild creatures are rehabilitated and released when possible. There is also a lending library of animals such as guinea pigs, rats, mice and more. The lending fee is $8 per week. "Toddler Time," ongoing. Learn about animals by listening to stories and exploring. Themes vary by month. Call for schedule. $7 per family.  

"Day on the Green Animal Presentations," ongoing. Meet an assortment of wild and domestic animals. Wildlife volunteers will present a different animal each day from possums to snakes, tortoises to hawks. Saturday and Sunday, 2:30 p.m. 

CHILDREN'S EVENTS -- ongoing.  

Free. Park: Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Discovery Center: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Animal Lending Library: Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Wildlife Rehabilitation Center: daily, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 1801 D St., Hayward. (510) 881-6747, www.haywardrec.org/sulphur_creek.html.< 

 

SUNOL REGIONAL WILDERNESS This park is full of scenic and natural wonders. You can hike the Ohlone Wilderness trail or Little Yosemite. There are bedrock mortars that were used by Native Americans, who were Sunol's first inhabitants."Sunol Sunday Hike," ongoing. Sundays, 1:30-3 p.m. A natural history walk in the wilderness. 

"Sunol Sunday Hike," ongoing. Sundays, 1:30-3 p.m. A natural history walk in Sunol Regional Wilderness. 

Free unless otherwise noted; $5 parking; $2 dog fee. Geary Road off Calaveras Road, six miles south of Interstate Highway 680, Sunol. (510) 652-PARK, www.ebparks.org.<


Museums-San Francisco Through February 6

Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 05:45:00 PM

ASIAN ART MUSEUM OF SAN FRANCISCO The Asian Art Museum-Chon-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture recently unveiled its new building in San Francisco's Civic Center. The building, the former San Francisco Public Library, has been completely retrofitted and rebuilt to house San Francisco's significant collection of Asian treasures. The museum offers complimentary audio tours of the museum's collection galleries. "In a New Light," ongoing. There are some 2,500 works displayed in the museum's new galleries. They cover all the major cultures of Asia and include Indian stone sculptures, intricately carved Chinese jades, Korean paintings, Tibetan thanksgas, Cambodian Buddhas, Islamic manuscripts and Japanese basketry and kimonos.  

ONGOING FAMILY PROGRAMS --  

Storytelling, Sundays and the first Saturday of every month, 1 p.m. This event is for children of all ages to enjoy a re-telling of Asian myths and folktales in the galleries. Meet at the Information Desk on the Ground Floor. Free with general admission.  

"Target Tuesday Family Program," first Tuesday of every month. Free with general admission.  

"Family Art Encounter," first Saturday of every month, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Drop in to make art related to the museum's collection. Children must be accompanied by an adult. In the Education Studios. Free with admission.  

DOCENT-LED ART TOURS -- The museum's docents offer two types of tours: a general introduction to the museum's collection and a highlight tour of specific areas of the collection. Free with museum admission.  

ARCHITECTURAL GUIDES -- Tuesday through Sunday at noon and 2:30 p.m., Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Learn about the former Main Library's transformation into the Asian Art Museum on this 40-minute tour. Free with museum admission.  

RESOURCE CENTER -- Tuesday through Sunday, 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Watch a video, or learn more about Asian art with slide packets, activity kits and books. Free with museum admission.Free with general admission unless otherwise noted.  

$7-$12; free children under age 12; $5 Thursday after 5 p.m.; free to all first Sunday of each month. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. 200 Larkin St., San Francisco. (415) 581-3500, www.asianart.org.

 

BEAT MUSEUM Formerly located on the California coast in Monterey, the Beat Museum now sits in historic North Beach. The Museum uses letters, magazines, pictures, first editions and more to explore the lives of leading beat figures such as Jack Kerouac, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady and many others. A gift shop and bookstore are open to the public free of charge."North Beach Walking Tour,", ongoing. A 90-minute walking tour of North Beach with Beat Museum curator Jerry Cimimo. See the bars, coffeehouses, homes, and other Beat-related highlights of North Beach. Call for info. $15.$4-$5. Monday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. CLOSED MONDAY. 540 Broadway, San Francisco. (800) KER-OUAC, www.kerouac.com.

 

CABLE CAR MUSEUM The museum is located in the historic Cable Car Barn and Powerhouse. Visitors can see the actual cable winding machinery, grips, track, cable and brakes, as well as three historic cable cars, photo displays and mechanical artifacts. The best way to get to this museum is by cable car; street parking is practically non-existent.Free. April 1-Sept. 30: daily, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 1-March 31, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 1201 Mason St., San Francisco. (415) 474-1887, www.cablecarmuseum.org.

 

CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES  

"Nightlife," ongoing. 6 p.m. Thursdays. Every Thursday night, the Academy transforms into a lively venue filled with provocative science, music, mingling and cocktails, as visitors get a chance to explore the museum.  

"Where the Land Meets the Sea," ongoing. Exhibition features sculpture by Maya Lin.  

BENJAMIN DEAN LECTURE SERIES -- ongoing.  

$14.95-$24.95. Daily, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. (415) 379-8000, www.calacademy.org.

 

CALIFORNIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY  

HISTORY WALKABOUTS -- ongoing. A series of monthly walking tours that explore the history, lore and architecture of California with veteran tour guide Gary Holloway. Walks take place rain or shine so dress for the weather. Reservations and prepayment required. Meeting place will be given with confirmation of tour reservation. Tour price includes admission to the Museum.  

MUSEUM -- ongoing. The museum's permanent collection is made up of the Fine Arts Collection, consisting of 5,000 works of art that represent the history of California from pre-Gold Rush days to the early decade of the 20th century; and The Photography Collection, containing nearly a halfmillion images in an array of photographic formats documenting the history of California in both the 19th and 20th centuries. The Library and Research Collection contain material relating to the history of California and the West from early exploration time to the present including texts, maps, and manuscripts.  

"Landscape and Vision: Early California Painters from the Collections of the California Historical Society," open-ended. An exhibit of oil paintings including a large number of early landscapes of California, from the museum's collection.  

"Think California," through Feb. 5, Wed.-Sat. noon-4:30 p.m. An exhibition highlighting the colorful history of California through the institution's remarkable collection of artwork, artifacts and ephemera. Themes include: Coming to California, Scenic Splendors, Earthquakes, Floods and Volcanoes, and more. $1-$3; members are always free. 

"Think California," through Feb. 5. Exhibition features artworks, artifacts and ephemera exploring California's colorful history.  

$1-$3; free children under age 5. Wednesday-Saturday, noon-4:30 p.m. 678 Mission St., San Francisco. (415) 357-1848 X229, www.californiahistoricalsociety.org.

 

CHINESE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA The CHSA Museum and Learning Center features a permanent exhibition, "The Chinese of America: Toward a More Perfect Union'' in its Main Gallery, and works by Chinese-American visual artists in its Rotating Galleries. "Leaders of the Band," ongoing. An exhibition of the history and development of the Cathay Club Marching Band, the first Chinese American band formed in 1911.$1-$3; free children ages 5 and under; free for all visitors first Thursday of every month. Tuesday-Friday, noon-5 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, noon-4 p.m. 965 Clay St., San Francisco. (415) 391-1188, www.chsa.org.

 

DE YOUNG MUSEUM The art museum has now reopened in a new facility designed by Swiss architecture firm Herzog and de Meuron and Fong and Chan Architects in San Francisco. It features significant collections of American art from the 17th through the 20th centuries; modern and contemporary art; art from Central and South America, the Pacific and Africa; and an important and diverse collection of textiles. 

"Van Gough, Gauguin, Cezanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musee d'Orsay," ongoing. Exhibit open through Jan. 18, 2011.  

LECTURES AND SYMPOSIA -- ongoing.  

"Pat Steir: After Hokusai, after Hiroshige," through Jan. 30. Exhibition shows the continued influence of the Japanese print on Western artists into the late twentieth century.  

$6-$10; free for children ages 12 and under; free for all visitors the first Tuesday of every month. Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday-Sunday, 9:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m.; Friday, 9:30 a.m.-8:45 p.m. Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco. (415) 863-3330, www.deyoungmuseum.org.

 

GLBT HISTORICAL SOCIETY AND MUSEUM The museum is a project of the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) Historical Society.EXHIBITS -- ongoing.  

$2-$4. Tuesday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. 657 Mission St., Suite 300, San Francisco. (415) 777-5455, www.glbthistory.org.

 

INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM OF WOMEN 101 Howard Street, Suite 480, San Francisco. (415) 543-4669, www.imow.org/home/index.< 

 

LEGION OF HONOR MUSEUM DOCENT TOUR PROGRAMS -- Tours of the permanent collections and special exhibitions are offered Tuesday through Sunday. Non-English language tours (Italian, French, Spanish and Russian) are available on different Saturdays of the month at 11:30 a.m. Free with regular museum admission. (415) 750-3638.  

ONGOING CHILDREN'S PROGRAM --  

"Doing and Viewing Art," ongoing. For ages 7 to 12. Docent-led tours of current exhibitions are followed by studio workshops taught by professional artists/teachers. Students learn about art by seeing and making it. Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to noon; call to confirm class. Free with museum admission. (415) 750-3658. 

ORGAN CONCERTS -- ongoing. 4 p.m. A weekly concert of organ music on the Legion's restored 1924 Skinner organ. Saturday and Sunday in the Rodin Gallery. Free with museum admission. (415) 750-3624. 

$6-$10; free for children ages 12 and under; free for all visitors on Tuesdays. Tuesday-Sunday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Lincoln Park, 34th Avenue and Clement Street, San Francisco. (415) 750-3600, (415) 750-3636, www.legionofhonor.org.

 

MARKET STREET RAILWAY MUSEUM ongoing. The museum will permanently display a variety of artifacts telling the story of San Francisco's transportation history, including dash signs, fare boxes, a famed Wiley "birdcage'' traffic signal and more. 

Free. Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 77 Steuart St., San Francisco. (415) 956-0472, www.streetcar.org.

 

MEXICAN MUSEUM ongoing.  

THE MEXICAN MUSEUM GALLERIES AT FORT MASON CENTER ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED --  

The Mexican Museum holds a unique collection of 12,000 objects representing thousands of years of Mexican history and culture within the Americas. The permanent collection, the Museum's most important asset and resource, includes five collecting areas: Pre-Conquest, Colonial, Popular, Modern and Contemporary Mexican and Latino, and Chicano Art. The Museum also has a collection of rare books and a growing collection of Latin American art. 

Fort Mason Center, Building D, Buchanan Street and Marina Boulevard, San Francisco. (415) 202-9700, www.mexicanmuseum.org.

 

MUSEO ITALOAMERICANO ongoing. The museum, dedicated to the exhibition of art works by Italian and Italian-American artists, has a small permanent collection of paintings, sculptures, photographs and works on paper by such renowned artists as Beniamino Buffano, Sandro Chia, Giorgio de Chirico and Arnaldo Pomodoro.  

DOCENT TOURS -- Wednesdays, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Free. 

$2-$3; free children under age 12; free to all first Wednesday of the month. Wednesday-Sunday, noon -4 p.m.; first Wednesday of the month, noon-7 p.m. Fort Mason Center, Building C, Buchanan Street and Marina Boulevard, San Francisco. (415) 673-2200, www.museoitaloamericano.org.

 

MUSEUM OF ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS AT SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY Free. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Humanities Building, Room 510, SFSU, Font Boulevard and Tapia Drive, San Francisco. (415) 405-0599, www.sfsu.edu/~museumst/.< 

 

MUSEUM OF PERFORMANCE AND DESIGN Free. Wednesday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Veterans Building, 401 Van Ness Avenue at McAllister, 4th Floor, San Francisco. (415) 255-4800, www.mpdsf.org.

 

MUSEUM OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA A new museum exploring and celebrating the influence of the African Diaspora on global art and culture through interactive, permanent and changing exhibits and special programs. The museum occupies the first three floors of the new St. Regis Hotel at Third and Mission streets.  

PERMANENT EXHIBITS --  

"Celebrations: Rituals and Ceremonies," "Music of the Diaspora,'' "Culinary Traditions,'' 'Adornment,'' "Slavery Passages,'' and "The Freedom Theater.''"Urban Kidz Film Series," ongoing. Noon-3 p.m. An offshoot of the San Francisco Black Film Festival, featuring a striking assemblage of short and feature films designed to spark the imaginations of the 5-to-12-year-old set. $10 adults; children free. (415) 771-9271.$5-$8; free children age 12 and under. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m.; CLOSED MARCH 13 THROUGH MARCH 21. 685 Mission St., San Francisco. (415) 358-7200, www.moadsf.org.

 

NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM LIBRARY (THE J. PORTER SHAW MARITIME LIBRARY) ongoing. Closed on federal holidays. The library, part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, focuses on sail and steam ships on the West Coast and the Pacific Basin from 1520 to the present. The museum library holdings include a premiere collection of maritime history: books, magazines, oral histories, ships' plans and the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park's 250,000 photographs. 

Free. By appointment only, Monday-Friday, 1-4 p.m., and the third Saturday of each month 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Fort Mason Center, Building E, Third Floor, Buchanan Street and Marina Boulevard, San Francisco. (415) 560-7080, (415) 560-7030, www.nps.gov/safr.< 

 

PACIFIC HERITAGE MUSEUM ongoing. The museum presents rotating exhibits highlighting historical, artistic, cultural and economic achievements from both sides of the Pacific Rim. The museum features a permanent display documenting the history and significance of the Branch Mint and Subtreasury buildings. 

Free. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 608 Commercial St., San Francisco. (415) 399-1124.< 

 

RANDALL MUSEUM "Earthquake Exhibit," ongoing. Learn about plate tectonics. Make a small quake by jumping on the floor to make a "floor quake'' that registers on the seismometer in the lobby. See the basement seismometer that registers quakes around the world. Walk through a full-size earthquake refugee shack that was used to house San Franciscans after the 1906 earthquake that destroyed so many homes.  

"Creativity and Discovery Hand in Hand," ongoing. A photography exhibit that gives visitors a look into the wide variety of programs the Museum offers in the way of classes, workshops, school field trips, and special interest clubs.  

"Toddler Treehouse," ongoing. Toddlers may comfortably climb the carpeted "treehouse'' and make a myriad of discoveries, from the roots to the limbs.  

"Live Animal Exhibit," ongoing. Visit with more than 100 creatures including small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, raptors and small birds, insects, spiders and tide pool creatures. "Saturdays Are Special at the Museum," ongoing. Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A series of drop-in ceramics and art and science workshops. All ages are welcome, though an adult must accompany children under age 8. $3 per child, $5 per parent-child combination.  

"Bufano Sculpture Tours," first and third Saturdays of the month, 10:15 a.m. A tour of the giant animal sculptures of Beniamino Bufano. The sculptures were carved out of stone in the 1930s and include a giant cat and a mother bear nursing her cubs.  

"Animal Room," ongoing. Visit some of the animals that live at the museum, including reptiles, raptors, tide pool creatures and small mammals.  

"Meet the Animals" Saturdays, 11:15 a.m. to noon. See the Randall's animals close-up and in person.  

"Animal Feeding," Saturdays, noon. Watch the animals take their meals.  

"Golden Gate Model Railroad Exhibit," Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

DROP-IN ART AND SCIENCE WORKSHOPS -- ongoing. 1-4 p.m. $3-$5. "Third Friday Birders," ongoing. 8 a.m. The hike through Corona Heights Park allows participants to enjoy the early morning views and learn more about the feathered inhabitants of the area. Children aged 10 and older if accompanied by adult. 

"Meet the Animals," ongoing. Saturdays, 11:15 a.m. Learn about the animals that live at the Randall Museum. 

"Film Series for Teenagers," ongoing. Fridays, 7 p.m. 

"Meet the Animals," ongoing. 11:15 a.m.-noon. 

"Drop-in Family Ceramics Workshop," ongoing. Saturday, 10:15-11:15 a.m. $5. 

"Golden Gate Model Railroad Exhibit," ongoing. Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 

"Drop-in Family Ceramics Workshop," ongoing. Saturday, 1:15-2:15 p.m. 

"Animal Feeding," ongoing. Saturday, noon. 

Free. All ages welcome; an adult must accompany children under age 8. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; CLOSED ON CHRISTMAS. 199 Museum Way, San Francisco. (415) 554-9600, www.randallmuseum.org.

 

SAN FRANCISCO CABLE CAR MUSEUM ongoing. The museum is located in the historic Cable Car Barn and Powerhouse. Visitors can see the actual cable winding machinery, grips, track, cable and brakes, as well as three historic cable cars, photo displays and mechanical artifacts. The best way to get to this museum is by cable car; street parking is practically non-existent. 

Free. October 1-March 31: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Daily; Closed on New Year's Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving and Christmas. 1201 Mason St., San Francisco. (415) 474-1887, www.cablecarmuseum.com.

 

SAN FRANCISCO MARITIME NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK One of only a few "floating'' national parks, the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park includes four national landmark ships, a maritime museum, a maritime library and a World-War-II submarine named the USS Pampanito.  

HYDE STREET PIER -- Demonstrations, ship tours, programs, music and special events offered throughout the day. Check ticket booth for schedule. At the foot of Hyde Street, Hyde and Jefferson streets.  

Entering the Pier is free but there is a fee to board the ships.  

HISTORIC SHIPS AT THE HYDE STREET PIER -- The historic ships at the Pier are the 1886 square-rigger "Balclutha,'' the 1890 steam ferryboat "Eureka,'' the 1895 schooner "C.A. Thayer'' (not available at this time due to restoration), the 1891 scow schooner "Alma,'' the 1907 steam tug "Hercules,'' and the 1914 "Eppleton Hall,'' a paddlewheel tug.  

"Balclutha." This historic ship, a three-mast square-rigger, has undergone extensive repairs and preservation work. She now contains more original materials and fittings than any other historic merchant square-rigger in the United States. The Balclutha is a designated National Historic Landmark. At Hyde Street Pier.  

"Eureka." Explore this 1890 ferryboat with a 40-foot walking-beam engine. The boat once carried passengers and autos across the San Francisco Bay. At Hyde Street Pier. Daily, call for times of boat tour.  

"C.A. Thayer." A three-mast schooner used in the lumber and cod fishing trades. At Hyde Street Pier.  

"Alma." Between 1850 and the early 1900s, the best highways around the San Francisco Bay area were the waterways and the delivery trucks and tractortrailer rigs of the time were the flat-bottomed scow schooners. Able to navigate the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta region's shallow creeks, sloughs and channels, the scows' sturdy hulls could rest safely and securely on the bottom providing a flat, stable platform for loading and unloading. Made of inexpensive Douglas fir, scow's designs were so simple they could be built by eye or without plans.  

"Hercules." Tugs in the early part of the 20th century towed barges, sailing ships and log rafts between Pacific ports. Because prevailing north/west winds generally made travel up the coast by sail both difficult and circuitous, tugs often towed large sailing vessels to points north of San Francisco. In 1916 Hercules towed the C.A. Thayer to Port Townsend, Wash., taking six days to make the trip. At the end of the sail era, the Hercules was acquired by the Western Pacific Railroad Company and shuttled railroad car barges back and forth across San Francisco Bay until 1962.  

"Eppleton Hall." Built in England, the steam side-wheeler plied the Wear and Tyne rivers of Northeast England. Designed to tow ocean-going colliers (coal-carrying sail vessels) the tugs saved transit time getting the sail vessels upriver to load. The side-wheelers were also used to tow newly built ships out to sea. From 1969 to 1979, the Eppleton Hall served as a private yacht. She was modified for an epic steam via the Panama Canal to San Francisco, passing through the Golden Gate in March of 1970.  

HISTORIC SHIP AT FISHERMAN'S WHARF --  

"USS Pampanito." This World-War-II-era submarine is berthed at Fisherman's Wharf. The submarine celebrated her 50th anniversary in November of 1993 and is perhaps best known for her participation in a "wolf pack'' attack on a convoy of enemy ships during World War II. The entrance fee includes a taped audio tour that describes what life on this submarine was like. At Pier 45, near foot of Taylor Street. Monday through Thursday, Sunday and holidays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. $9 general; $5 seniors, $4 active duty military, $4 youth ages 6 to 12; free children under age 6. (415) 775-1943. "Historic Ship Volunteer Work Party," Saturday, 9 a.m. Become part of an effort to preserve four of the park's nautical treasures. Work on a different ship each Saturday. Bring work clothes, work shoes and lunch. Call for meeting place. (415) 332-8409.  

Unless noted otherwise, events take place on the Hyde Street Pier, located at the foot of Hyde Street on Jefferson Street.Current Exhibits at the Visitor Center:  

"What's Your Pleasure? Recreational Boats of California's Past," openended. This exhibit includes 1940s Sacramento Hydroplanes, a Russian River launch from the 19th century, classic wooden motor launches and motor boats, and other smaller crafts.  

"Hydroplanes and Racing Boats," open-ended. A small exhibit showcasing 1930s racing engines and hydroplane boats.  

"Frisco Bound," an exhibition about immigration to San Francisco, clipper ships, and the Gold Rush era.  

"Hyde Street Ship Models," an exhibit of models of the historic ships at the Hyde Street Pier.  

"Discovery Room," a preview of the Maritime Library where visitors can look up documents and photographs.  

(415) 447-5000."Adventures at Sea: Life Aboard a 19th century Sailing Ship," ongoing. Daily, 2:15 p.m.-3 p.m. Take a guided tour of the sailing ship Balclutha and learn about the hardships and awards of the sailors show fought for survival during the treacherous Cape Horn passage. Vessel admission. 

"Historic Waterfront Walking Tour," ongoing. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Park Rangerled, hour long tour of San Francisco's northern waterfront. Tour takes place on various days throughout December; see website for full details. Free. 

"Chantey Sing," ongoing. 8 p.m.-12 a.m. Monthly sing-a-long aboard a historic ship. Bring a mug for hot apple cider served from the ship's galley. Free; reservations required. Reservation line: (415) 561-7171. 

"HERCULES Engineering Tour," Feb. 6, 3-3:45 p.m. Explore the major engineering spaces and learn about steam engine technology and its effects on the working environment of the marine steam engineer. $5; under 16 free. 

VISITOR CENTER -- ongoing. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Daily  

Entering the Pier is free but there is a fee to board the ships. The fee allows access to all ships and is good for seven days. $5; free children under age 16. May 28-Sept. 30: daily, 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Oct. 1-May 27: Daily, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Foot of Hyde Street, San Francisco. (415) 561-7100, www.nps.gov.

 

SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF CRAFT AND DESIGN A museum celebrating and promoting the art of contemporary craft and design. The museum showcases diverse exhibitions from regional, national and international artists, working in mediums such as wood, clay, fiber, metal and glass.TEMPORARILY CLOSED.  

$2-$4; free youths under age 18. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 550 Sutter St., San Francisco. (415) 773-0303, www.sfmcd.org.

 

SAN FRANCISCO PERFORMING ARTS LIBRARY AND MUSEUM ongoing. "Dance in California: 150 Years of Innovation," ongoing. This permanent exhibit traces the history and artistic range of modern dance in California, with photographs and documents highlighting the achievements of Lola Montez, Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis, Martha Graham, the Christensen brothers, the Peters Wright School, the company of Lester Horton, Anna Halprin and Lucas Hoving.  

"Maestro! Photographic Portraits by Tom Zimberoff," ongoing. This permanent exhibit is a comprehensive study of a generation of national and international conductors. In Gallery 5.  

"San Francisco 1900: On Stage," ongoing. In Gallery 4.  

"San Francisco in Song," ongoing. In Gallery 3. 

Free. Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, 1-5 p.m. San Francisco War Memorial Veteran's Building, 401 Van Ness Ave., Fourth Floor, San Francisco. (415) 255-4800, www.sfpalm.org.

 

SEYMOUR PIONEER MUSEUM ongoing. The museum, owned by The Society of California Pioneers, houses a permanent research library, art gallery and history museum. Exhibits include a photography collection documenting California history. 

$1-$3. Wednesday-Friday and the first Saturday of the month, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Society of California Pioneers, 300 Fourth St., San Francisco. (415) 957-1859, www.californiapioneers.org.

 

TREGANZA ANTHROPOLOGY MUSEUM AT SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY ongoing. The museum, founded in 1968, houses collections of archaeological and ethnographic specimens from Africa, Oceania, Asia, and North America as well as small collections from Central and South America. There are also collections of photographs, tapes and phonograph records from Africa and Europe. In addition, there is an archive of field notes and other materials associated with the collections. The museum also houses the Hohenthal Gallery that is used for traveling exhibits as well as exhibits mounted by students and faculty. 

Free. Museum office: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-noon and 1 p.m.-4 p.m.; Hohenthal Gallery, SCI 388: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Science Building, SFSU, 1600 Holloway Ave., San Francisco. (415) 338-2467, www.sfsu.edu/~treganza/.< 

 

ZEUM Zeum is a technology and arts museum for children and families featuring exhibits and workshops that cover a variety of fascinating subjects.$8-$10. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday. 221 Fourth St., San Francisco. (415) 820-3220, www.zeum.org.<


Kids-East Bay Through February 6

Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 05:44:00 PM

ARDENWOOD HISTORIC FARM Ardenwood farm is a working farm that dates back to the time of the Patterson Ranch, a 19th-century estate with a mansion and Victorian Gardens. Today, the farm still practices farming techniques from the 1870s. Unless otherwise noted, programs are free with regular admission.  

ONGOING PROGRAMS --  

"Blacksmithing," Thursday, Friday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Watch a blacksmith turn iron into useful tools.  

"Horse-Drawn Train," Thursday, Friday and Sunday. A 20-minute ride departs from Ardenwood Station and Deer Park.  

"Animal Feeding," Thursday-Sunday, 3-4 p.m. Help slop the hogs, check the henhouse for eggs and bring hay to the livestock.  

"Victorian Flower Arranging," Thursday, 10:15-11:30 a.m. Watch as Ardenwood docents create floral works of art for display in the Patterson House. "Potato Harvesting," ongoing. Learn the spectacular history of this New World native as you dig with your spade and help find the spuds. 

"Toddler Time," ongoing. Tuesdays, 11-11:30 a.m. Bring the tiny tots out for an exciting morning at the farm. Meet and learn all about a new animal friend through stories, chores and fun.  

"Horse-Drawn Train Rides," ongoing. Thursday, Friday and Sunday, 10:15 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Meet Jigs or Tucker the Belgian Draft horses that pull Ardenwood's train. Check the daily schedule and meet the train at Ardenwood Station or Deer Park. 

"Country Kitchen Cookin'," ongoing. Sundays, 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Enjoy the flavor of the past with treats cooked on Ardenwood's wood burning stove. Sample food grown on the farm and discover the history of your favorite oldtime snacks. 

"Animal Feeding," ongoing. Thursday-Sunday, 3 p.m. Feed the pigs, check for eggs and bring hay to the livestock. 

$1-$5; free children under age 4. Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont. (510) 796-0199, (510) 796-0663, www.ebparks.org.

 

ASHKENAZ  

Gerry Tenney & California Klezmer, Jan. 30, 3 p.m. $4-$6.  

1317 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. (510) 525-5054, www.ashkenaz.com.

 

BAY POINT LIBRARY  

"Monthly Craft Night," ongoing. 4-5 p.m. Last Friday of every month. Each month features a different themed craft.  

Riverview Middle School, 205 Pacifica Ave., Pittsburg. (925) 458-9597.< 

 

BLACKHAWK MUSEUM ongoing.  

AUTOMOTIVE MUSEUM -- The museum's permanent exhibition of internationally renowned automobiles dated from 1897 to the 1980s. The cars are displayed as works of art with room to walk completely around each car to admire the workmanship. On long-term loan from the Smithsonian Institution is a Long Steam Tricycle; an 1893-94 Duryea, the first Duryea built by the Duryea brothers; and a 1948 Tucker, number 39 of the 51 Tuckers built, which is a Model 48 "Torpedo'' four-door sedan. "International Automotive Treasures," ongoing. An ever-changing exhibit featuring over 90 automobiles.  

"A Journey on Common Ground," ongoing. An exhibit of moving photographs, video and art objects from around the world exploring the causes of disability and the efforts of the Wheelchair Foundation to provide a wheelchair for every person in need who cannot afford one. Free Public Tours, Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. Docent-led guided tours of the museum's exhibitions. 

$5-$8; free for children ages 6 and under. Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 3700 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Danville. (925) 736-2280, (925) 736-2277, www.blackhawkmuseum.org.

 

BUILD-A-BEAR WORKSHOP ongoing. An interactive place where children, and adults, can learn how a stuffed animal is made, then choose an animal pattern from the offering of bears, elephants, dogs and rabbits; stuff the chosen animal; dress it; and create a birth certificate. Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

$10-$25; clothing and accessories extra. Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sundays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Broadway Plaza, 1248 Broadway, Walnut Creek. (925) 946-4697, www.buildabear.com.

 

CHABOT SPACE AND SCIENCE CENTER State-of-the-art facility unifying science education activities around astronomy. Enjoy interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, indoor stargazing, outdoor telescope viewing and films. 

ASK JEEVES PLANETARIUM -- ongoing. The planetarium features one of the most advanced star projectors in the world. A daily planetarium show is included with general admission. Call for current show schedule.  

"Astronaut," ongoing. What does it take to be part of the exploration of space? Experience a rocket launch from inside the body of an astronaut. Explore the amazing worlds of inner and outer space, from floating around the International Space Station to maneuvering through microscopic regions of the human body. Narrated by Ewan McGregor. 25 min. 

"Space NOW!", ongoing. Each week, this real-time ride through constellations, stars, and planets will reflect current happenings in our sky. Space NOW! will also tie in activities going on throughout the center. This is Chabot's first daytime guided tour of the universe. 

"Sonic Vision," ongoing. Friday-Saturday, 9:15 p.m. This show uses the latest digital technology to illuminate the planetarium with colorful computer-generated imagery set to today's popular music, including Radiohead, U2, David Bowie, Coldplay, Moby and more. 

"Dawn of the Space Age," ongoing. Starting with the launch of Sputnik, this show covers important Russian space history as well as the American Gemini, Apollo and Shuttle programs. Be transported to the International Space Station, the X-prize winning private space ship and on to future Mars exploration. 

"Two Small Pieces of glass," ongoing. Celebrating the International Year of Astronomy, this show examines the history of the telescope, beginning 400 years ago, with Galileo's discoveries. 

"Tales Of The Maya Skies," ongoing. A full-dome planetarium show that explores the cosmology of the ancient Maya, along with their culture and their contributions to astronomy."Beyond Blastoff," ongoing. Get a glimpse into the life of an astronaut and experience the mixture of exhilaration, adventure, and confinement that is living and working in space. 

"Chabot Observatories: A View to the Stars," ongoing. This new permanent exhibit honors the 123-year history of Chabot and its telescopes. The observatory is one of the oldest public observatories in the United States. The exhibit covers the three different sites of the observatory over its history as well as how its historic telescopes continue to be operated today. Included are informative graphic panels, multimedia kiosks, interactive computer programs, hands-on stations, and historic artifacts. 

"Dinner, Movie and the Universe," ongoing. Every Friday and Saturday evening. Enjoy a bistro-style dinner, then cozy up for a film in the 70-foot MegaDome theater and end the evening with a telescope viewing. Call to purchase general admission tickets and to make dinner reservations. (510) 336-7373. 

"Tales of the Maya Skies," ongoing. A companion exhibit for the planetarium show which features the scientific achievements and cosmology of the Maya. All content is bilingual in English and Spanish. 

"Bill Nye's climate lab," ongoing. Features Emmy-award-winning Bill Nye the Climate Guy as commander of the Clean Energy Space Station, and invites visitors on an urgent mission to thwart climate change. 

"Destination Universe," ongoing. Take a journey from our Sun to the farthest reaches of the cosmos. 

"One giant leap: a moon odyssey," ongoing. For all astronaut wannabees -take a simulated Moon-walk, try on a space helmet, climb into a Mercury capsule and land a lunar module in this hands-on exhibit that explores the legends and science fiction about the Moon. 

TIEN MEGADOME SCIENCE THEATER -- ongoing. A 70-foot dome-screen auditorium. Show times subject to change. Call for current show schedule. Price with paid general admission is $6-$7. Theater only: $7-$8. (510) 336-7373, www.ticketweb.com. 

"Mysteries of Egypt," ongoing. Experience the magic and majesty of Egypt as never before. Soar over the great pyramids of Giza, cross the Valley of the Kings, and descend into the shadowy chambers of the sacred tomb of King Tutankhamen. Suitable for families. 

"Dinosaurs Alive," ongoing. A global adventure of science and discovery, featuring the earliest dinosaurs of the Triassic Period to the monsters of the Cretaceous, "reincarnated" life-sized for the giant screen. Audiences will journey with some of the world's preeminent paleontologists as they uncover evidence that the descendents of dinosaurs still walk (or fly) among us. From the exotic, trackless expanses and sand dunes of Mongolia's Gobi Desert to the dramatic sandstone buttes of New Mexico, the film will follow American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) paleontologists as they explore some of the greatest dinosaur finds in history. 

Center Admission: $14.95; $10.95 children 3-12; free children under 3; $3 discount for seniors and students. Telescope viewing only: free. Wednesday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Also open on Tuesdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m. after June 29. 10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland. (510) 336-7300, www.chabotspace.org.

 

CHILDREN'S FAIRYLAND A fairy tale theme park featuring more than 30 colorful fantasy sets. Designed especially for children ages 10 and under, there are gentle rides, a train, the "Peter Rabbit Village,'' puppet shows, story-telling and lots of slides and animals. Admission price includes unlimited rides, special shows, guest entertainers and puppet shows.  

OLD WEST JUNCTION -- Children's Fairyland's newest attraction is a Wild West-themed town sized just for children, with a livery stable, bank, jail and a water tower slide.  

PUPPET SHOWS -- Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. All shows are at the Open Storybook Theatre. Free with regular Fairyland admission.  

ARTS AND CRAFTS CENTER -- Activities on Saturday and Sunday, noon to 3 p.m.  

ANIMAL OF THE DAY -- Saturday and Sunday, 1-1:20 p.m. at the Humpty Dumpty Wall. Learn about one of Fairyland's animal friends."Animal of the Day!" ongoing. Saturdays and Sundays, 1-1:20 p.m. Come up close and learn about Fairyland's creatures. 

"Arts and Crafts," ongoing. Noon-3 p.m. Event features arts and crafts projects for children and their families. $6. 

$6; free for children under age 1; $2 for a Magic Key. No adult admitted without a child and no child admitted without an adult. Summer (June through Labor Day): Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Fall and Spring: Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Winter: Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. CLOSED DEC. 25-JAN. 4. 699 Bellevue Ave., Oakland. (510) 452-2259, www.fairyland.org.

 

CRAB COVE VISITOR CENTER At Crab Cove, you can see live underwater creatures and go into the San Francisco Bay from land. You can also travel back in time to Alameda's part. The goal is to increase understanding of the environmental importance of San Francisco Bay and the ocean ecosystem. Crab Cove's Indoor Aquarium and Exhibit Lab is one of the largest indoor aquariums in the East Bay."Sea Squirts," ongoing. 10-11:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Discover the wonders of nature with your little one. Registration is required. $6-$8. 

"Sea Siblings," ongoing. Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Explore the natural world and take part in a theme related craft. Designed for the 3-5 year old learner. Registration is required. $4. (888) 327-2757. 

"Catch of the Day," ongoing. Sundays, 2-3 p.m. Drop by to find out more about the Bay and its wildlife through guided exploration and hands-on fun. 

Free unless otherwise noted; parking fee may be charged. 1252 McKay Ave., Alameda. (510) 521-6887, www.ebparks.org.

 

DUNSMUIR HOUSE AND GARDENS HISTORIC ESTATE ongoing. Nestled in the Oakland hills, the 50-acre Dunsmuir House and Gardens estate includes the 37-room Neoclassical Revival Dunsmuir Mansion, built by coal and lumber baron Alexander Dunsmuir for his bride. Restored outbuildings set amid landscaped gardens surround the mansion.  

ESTATE GROUNDS -- ongoing. Self-Guided Grounds Tours are available yearround. The 50 acres of gardens and grounds at the mansion are open to the public for walking Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Booklets and maps of the grounds are available at the Dinkelspiel House. Free.  

GUIDED TOURS -- Docent-led tours are available on the first Sunday of each month at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. (except for July) and Wednesdays at 11 a.m. $5 adults, $4 seniors and juniors (11-16), children 11 and under free. 

Dunsmuir House and Gardens, 2960 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland. (510) 615-5555, www.dunsmuir.org.

 

FOREST HOME FARMS ongoing. The 16-acre former farm of the Boone family is now a municipal historic park in San Ramon. It is located at the base of the East Bay Hills and is divided into two parts by Oak Creek. The Boone House is a 22-room Dutch colonial that has been remodeled several times since it was built in 1900. Also on the property are a barn built in the period from 1850 to 1860; the Victorian-style David Glass House, dating from the late 1860s to early 1870s; a storage structure for farm equipment and automobiles; and a walnut processing plant. 

Free unless otherwise noted. Public tours available by appointment. 19953 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon. (925) 973-3281, www.ci.sanramon. ca.us/parks/boone.htm.< 

 

HABITOT CHILDREN'S MUSEUM A museum especially for children ages 7 and under. Highlights include "WaterWorks,'' an area with some unusual water toys, an Infant Tree for babies, a garden especially for toddlers, a child-scale grocery store and cafe, and a costume shop and stage for junior thespians. The museum also features a toy lending library. "Waterworks." A water play gallery with rivers, a pumping station and a water table, designed to teach about water.  

"Little Town Grocery and Cafe." Designed to create the ambience of shopping in a grocery store and eating in a restaurant.  

"Infant-Toddler Garden." A picket fence gated indoor area, which includes a carrot patch with wooden carrots to be harvested, a pretend pond and a butterfly mobile to introduce youngsters to the concept of food, gardening and agriculture.  

"Dramatic Arts Stage." Settings, backdrops and costumes coincide with seasonal events and holidays. Children can exercise their dramatic flair here.  

"Wiggle Wall." The floor-to-ceiling "underground'' tunnels give children a worm's eye view of the world. The tunnels are laced with net covered openings and giant optic lenses.$6-$7. Wednesday and Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Closed Sunday-Tuesday. 2065 Kittredge St., Berkeley. (510) 647-1111, www.habitot.org.

 

HALL OF HEALTH ongoing. A community health-education museum and science center promoting wellness and individual responsibility for health. There are hands-on exhibits that teach about the workings of the human body, the value of a healthy diet and exercise, and the destructive effects of smoking and drug abuse. "Kids on the Block'' puppet shows, which use puppets from diverse cultures to teach about and promote acceptance of conditions such as cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, leukemia, blindness, arthritis and spina bifida, are available by request for community events and groups visiting the Hall on Saturdays. "This Is Your Heart!" ongoing. An interactive exhibit on heart health.  

"Good Nutrition," ongoing. This exhibit includes models for making balanced meals and an Exercycle for calculating how calories are burned.  

"Draw Your Own Insides," ongoing. Human-shaped chalkboards and models with removable organs allow visitors to explore the inside of their bodies.  

"Your Cellular Self and Cancer Prevention," ongoing. An exhibit on understanding how cells become cancerous and how to detect and prevent cancer. 

Suggested $3 donation; free for children under age 3. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 2230 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 549-1564, www.hallofhealth.org.

 

HAYWARD SHORELINE INTERPRETIVE CENTER Perched on stilts above a salt marsh, the Center offers an introduction to the San Francisco Bay-Estuary. It features exhibits, programs and activities designed to inspire a sense of appreciation, respect and stewardship for the Bay, its inhabitants and the services they provide. The Habitat Room offers a preview of what may be seen outside. The 80-gallon Bay Tank contains some of the fish that live in the Bay's open waters, and the Channel Tank represents habitats formed by the maze of sloughs and creeks that snake through the marsh. The main room of the Center features rotating exhibits about area history, plants and wildlife. Part of the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District. "Exploring Nature," ongoing. An exhibit of Shawn Gould's illustrations featuring images of the natural world."Waterfowl of the Freshwater Marsh," ongoing. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Join an expert birder to go "behind the gates'' to areas of the marsh that are not open to the public. 

"Nature Detectives," ongoing. 11 a.m.-noon. An introduction and exploration of the world of Black-Crowned Night-Herons. Ages 3-5 and their caregivers. Registration required. 

"Weekend Weed Warriors," ongoing. 1-4 p.m. Help the shoreline to eliminate the non-native plants that threaten its diversity. Ages 12 and older. Registration required. 

Free. Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 4901 Breakwater Ave., Hayward. (510) 670-7270, www.hard.dst.ca.us/hayshore.html.< 

 

JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER OF THE EAST BAY  

"Shabbat Celebration for Young Children," ongoing. Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-noon. Join other families with young children to sharethis weekly Jewish holiday of joy and renewal.  

1414 Walnut St., Berkeley. (510) 848-0237, www.jcceastbay.org/.< 

 

JUNIOR CENTER OF ART AND SCIENCE ongoing. A center dedicated to encouraging children's active wonder and creative response through artistic and scientific exploration of their natural urban environment. The center's classes, workshops, exhibits and events integrate art and science. Three educational exhibits are mounted in the "Children's Gallery'' each year. A docent-led tour, demonstrations, hands-on activities and art projects are available to school groups throughout the year.  

"Jake's Discovery Garden," ongoing. Jake's Discovery Garden is a new interactive studio exhibit designed for preschool-aged children and their adult caregivers that teaches young visitors about the natural environments found in their backyards, playgrounds and neighborhoods.Free; programs and special exhibits have a fee. September through May: Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June through August: Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 558 Bellevue Ave., Oakland. (510) 839-5777, www.juniorcenter.org.

 

LA PENA CULTURAL CENTER  

"Los Amiguitos Saturday Morning Children's Show," Feb. 5, 10:30 a.m. Featuring Ira Levin. $4-$5.  

Free unless otherwise noted. 3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 849-2568, www.lapena.org.

 

LAKE CHABOT REGIONAL PARK ongoing. The 315-acre lake offers year-round recreation. Services include canoe and boat rental, horseshoe pits, hiking, bicycling, picnicking and seasonal tours aboard the Chabot Queen. For boat rentals, call (510) 247-2526. 

Free unless noted otherwise; $5 parking; $2 per dog except guide/service dogs. Daily, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. 17930 Lake Chabot Road, Castro Valley. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org.

 

LAWRENCE HALL OF SCIENCE "NanoZone," ongoing. Discover the science of the super-small: nanotechnology. Through hands-on activities and games, explore this microworld and the scientific discoveries made in this area.  

"Forces That Shape the Bay," ongoing. A science park that shows and explains why the San Francisco Bay is the way it is, with information on water, erosion, plate tectonics and mountain building. You can ride earthquake simulators, set erosion in motion and look far out into the bay with a powerful telescope from 1,100 feet above sea level. The center of the exhibit is a waterfall that demonstrates how water flows from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Bay. Visitors can control where the water goes. There are also hands-on erosion tables, and a 40-foot-long, 6-foothigh, rock compression wall.  

"Real Astronomy Experience," ongoing. A new exhibit-in-development allowing visitors to use the tools that real astronomers use. Aim a telescope at a virtual sky and operate a remote-controlled telescope to measure a planet.  

"Biology Lab," ongoing. In the renovated Biology Lab visitors may hold and observe gentle animals. Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.  

"The Idea Lab," ongoing. Experiment with some of the basics of math, science and technology through hands-on activities and demonstrations of magnets, spinning and flying, puzzles and nanotechnology.  

"Math Around the World," ongoing. Play some of the world's most popular math games, such as Hex, Kalah, Game Sticks and Shongo Networks.  

"Math Rules," ongoing. Use simple and colorful objects to complete interesting challenges in math through predicting, sorting, comparing, weighing and counting.  

HOLT PLANETARIUM ongoing. Shows on Saturdays and Sundays. Programs recommended for ages 6 and up unless otherwise noted. $2.50-$3 in addition to general admission.  

$6-$12; free children ages 2 and under. Daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. University of California, Centennial Drive, Berkeley. (510) 642-5132, www.lawrencehallofscience.org.

 

LINDSAY WILDLIFE MUSEUM This is the oldest and largest wildlife rehabilitation center in America, taking in 6,000 injured and orphaned animals yearly and returning 40 percent of them to the wild. The museum offers a wide range of educational programs using non-releasable wild animals to teach children and adults respect for the balance of nature. The museum includes a state-of-the art wildlife hospital which features a permanent exhibit, titled "Living with Nature,'' which houses 75 non-releasable wild animals in learning environments; a 5,000-square-foot Wildlife Hospital complete with treatment rooms, intensive care, quarantine and laboratory facilities; a 1-acre Nature Garden featuring the region's native landscaping and wildlife; and an "Especially For Children'' exhibit.  

WILDLIFE HOSPITAL -- September-March: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hospital is open daily including holidays to receive injured and orphaned animals. There is no charge for treatment of native wild animals and there are no public viewing areas in the hospital.$5-$7; free children under age 2. June 16-Sept. 15: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sun.; Sept. 16-June 15: noon.-5 p.m. Wed.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek. (925) 935-1978, www.wildlife-museum.org.< 

 

MICHAAN'S AUCTIONS  

"Bay Area International Children's Film Festival," Jan. 29 through Jan. 30, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. An exciting array of culturally diverse cinema by, for and about children. Screenings take place at the restored Art Deco Theater at the venue. $8-$15. www.baicff.com. 

2700 Saratoga St., Alameda. < 

 

MUSEUM OF CHILDREN'S ART A museum of art for and by children, with activities for children to participate in making their own art.  

ART CAMPS -- Hands-on activities and engaging curriculum for children of different ages, led by professional artists and staff. $60 per day.  

CLASSES -- A Sunday series of classes for children ages 8 to 12, led by Mocha artists. Sundays, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.  

OPEN STUDIOS -- Drop-in art play activities with new themes each week.  

"Big Studio." Guided art projects for children age 6 and older with a Mocha artist. Tuesday through Friday, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. $5.  

"Little Studio." A hands-on experience that lets young artists age 18 months to 5 years see, touch and manipulate a variety of media. Children can get messy. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $5.  

"Family Weekend Studios." Drop-in art activities for the whole family. All ages welcome. Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. $5 per child.  

FAMILY EXTRAVAGANZAS -- Special weekend workshops for the entire family.  

"Sunday Workshops with Illustrators," Sundays, 1 p.m. See the artwork and meet the artists who create children's book illustrations. Free."Saturday Stories," ongoing. 1 p.m. For children ages 2-5. Free."Saturday Stories," ongoing. 1 p.m. For ages 2-5. Free. 

Free gallery admission. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, noon-5 p.m. 538 Ninth St., Oakland. (510) 465-8770, www.mocha.org.

 

PIXIELAND AMUSEMENT PARK ongoing. This amusement park for children features pixie-sized rides such as a dragon roller coaster, swirling tea cups, a carousel, red baron airplanes, an antique car ride and a miniature train among other attractions sure to please the little ones. Classic carnival-style food and souvenirs round out the experience. Admission to the park is free; ride tickets are $1.25 each or 10 tickets for $10; Day wrist band for unlimited rides, $25. Specials and season passes are also available. 

Dec. 1-12 2010: 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Closed Dec. 13-Jan. 8. 2740 E. Olivera Road, Concord. (925) 689-8841, www.pixieland.com.

 

POINT PINOLE REGIONAL SHORELINE ongoing. The 2,315-acre parkland bordering Pinole, Richmond and San Pablo offers views of Mount Tamalpais, the Marin shoreline and San Pablo Bay. There are trails through meadows and woods, and along the bluffs and beaches of San Pablo Bay. Visitors can hike, ride bikes or take the park's shuttle bus to reach the 1,250-foot fishing pier at Point Pinole. 

$5 per vehicle; $4 per trailered vehicle; $2 per dog (guide/service dogs free). Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., unless otherwise posted. Giant Highway, Richmond. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org.

 

PREWETT FAMILY WATERPARK ongoing. There are pools and water slides for all ages, from the Tad Pool for toddlers to Boulder cove for older swimmers. In addition to fun pools and slides there are fitness pools for lessons and exercise, lawns for relaxing, locker rooms, community room and kitchen. Lap lanes are open year round. Food and beverages are not permitted in the park. Picnic tables are available outside the park. 

$4-$11. Sunday through Friday: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturdays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; closed Aug.23-27, 30-31. 4701 Lone Tree Way, Antioch. (925) 776-3070, www.ci.antioch.ca.us/CitySvcs/Prewett.< 

 

ROBERT SIBLEY VOLCANIC REGIONAL PRESERVE ongoing. East Bay residents have several volcanoes in their backyard. This park contains Round Top, one of the highest peaks in the Oakland Hills. 

Free. Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. 6800 Skyline Blvd., Oakland. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org.

 

SHADOW CLIFFS REGIONAL RECREATION AREA ongoing. The 296-acre park includes an 80-acre lake and a four-flume waterslide, with picnic grounds and a swimming beach. Water slide fees and hours: (925) 829-6230. 

$6 per vehicle; $2 per dog except guide and service dogs. May 1 through Labor Day: daily, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; shortened hours for fall and winter. Stanley Boulevard, one mile from downtown, Pleasanton. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org.

 

SULPHUR CREEK NATURE CENTER A wildlife rehabilitation and education facility where injured and orphaned local wild creatures are rehabilitated and released when possible. There is also a lending library of animals such as guinea pigs, rats, mice and more. The lending fee is $8 per week. "Toddler Time," ongoing. Learn about animals by listening to stories and exploring. Themes vary by month. Call for schedule. $7 per family.  

"Day on the Green Animal Presentations," ongoing. Meet an assortment of wild and domestic animals. Wildlife volunteers will present a different animal each day from possums to snakes, tortoises to hawks. Saturday and Sunday, 2:30 p.m. 

CHILDREN'S EVENTS -- ongoing.  

Free. Park: Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Discovery Center: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Animal Lending Library: Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Wildlife Rehabilitation Center: daily, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 1801 D St., Hayward. (510) 881-6747, www.haywardrec.org/sulphur_creek.html.< 

 

USS HORNET MUSEUM Come aboard this World War II aircraft carrier that has been converted into a floating museum. The Hornet, launched in 1943, is 899 feet long and 27 stories high. During World War II she was never hit by an enemy strike or plane and holds the Navy record for number of enemy planes shot down in a week. In 1969 the Hornet recovered the Apollo 11 space capsule containing the first men to walk on the moon, and later recovered Apollo 12. In 1991 the Hornet was designated a National Historic Landmark and is now docked at the same pier she sailed from in 1944. Today, visitors can tour the massive ship, view World War II-era warplanes and experience a simulated aircraft launch from the carrier's deck. Exhibits are being added on an ongoing basis. Allow two to three hours for a visit. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to climb steep stairs or ladders. Dress in layers as the ship can be cold. Arrive no later than 2 p.m. to sign up for the engine room and other docent-led tours. Children under age 12 are not allowed in the Engine Room or the Combat Information Center. "Limited Access Day," ongoing. Due to ship maintenance, tours of the navigation bridge and the engine room are not available. Tuesdays.  

"Flight Deck Fun," ongoing. A former Landing Signal Officer will show children how to bring in a fighter plane for a landing on the deck then let them try the signals themselves. Times vary. Free with regular Museum admission.  

"Protestant Divine Services," ongoing. Hornet chaplain John Berger conducts church services aboard The Hornet in the Wardroom Lounge. Everyone is welcome and refreshments are served immediately following the service. Sundays, 11 a.m.Closed on New Year's Day. 

"Family Day," ongoing. Discounted admission for families of four with a further discount for additional family members. Access to some of the areas may be limited due to ship maintenance. Every Tuesday. $20 for family of four; $5 for each additional family member. 

"History Mystery After Hours Tour," ongoing. 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Explore the USS Hornet after hours and learn the history of this ship while it is illuminated in red lights used for "night ops." Also, hear stories about the ships' legendary haunts. Reservations required. (510) 521-8448 X282. 

"Flashlight Tour," ongoing. 8:30 a.m. Receive a special tour of areas aboard the ship that have not yet been opened to the public or that have limited access during the day. $30-$35 per person. 

$6-$14; free children age 4 and under with a paying adult. Daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Pier 3 (enter on Atlantic Avenue), Alameda Point, Alameda. (510) 521-8448, www.uss-hornet.org.< 

 

WATERWORLD CALIFORNA ongoing. ` 

$19.95-$31.95 General Admission; Season pass: $39.99-$59.99. Park closes in October and reopens in May. 1950 Waterworld Parkway,, Concord. (925) 609-1364, www.waterworldcalifornia.com.<


Museums-East Bay Through February 6

Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 05:44:00 PM

AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM AND LIBRARY AT OAKLAND ongoing. The Oakland Public Library's museum is designed to discover, preserve, interpret and share the cultural and historical experiences of African Americans in California and the West. In addition, a three-panel mural is on permanent display. 

Free. Tuesday-Saturday, noon-5:30 p.m. 659 14th St., Oakland. (510) 637-0200, www.oaklandlibrary.org.

 

ALAMEDA MUSEUM ongoing. The museum offers permanent displays of Alameda history, the only rotating gallery showcasing local Alameda artists and student artwork, as well as souvenirs, books and videos about the rich history of the Island City. 

Free. Wednesday-Friday and Sunday, 1-4 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 2324 Alameda Ave., Alameda. (510) 521-1233, www.alamedamuseum.org.

 

BADE MUSEUM AT THE PACIFIC SCHOOL OF RELIGION The museum's collections include the Tell en-Nasbeh Collection, consisting of artifacts excavated from Tell en-Nasbeh in Palestine in 1926 and 1935 by William Badh, and the Howell Bible Collection, featuring approximately 300 rare books (primarily Bibles) dating from the 15th through the 18th centuries. 

"Tell en-Nasbeh," ongoing. This exhibit is the "heart and soul" of the Bade Museum. It displays a wealth of finds from the excavations at Tell en-Nasbeh, Palestine whose objects span from the Early Bronze Age (3100-2200 BC) through the Iron Age (1200-586 BC) and into the Roman and Hellenistic periods. Highlights of the exhibit include "Tools of the Trade" featuring real archaeological tools used by Badh and his team, an oil lamp typology, a Second Temple period (586 BC-70 AD) limestone ossuary, and a selection of painted Greek pottery.  

"William Frederic Bade: Theologian, Naturalist, and Archaeologist," ongoing. This exhibit highlights one of PSR's premier educators and innovative scholars. The collection of material on display was chosen with the hopes of representing the truly dynamic and multifaceted character of William F. Badh. He was a family man, a dedicated teacher, a loving friend, and an innovative and passionate archaeologist.  

Free. Tuesday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Holbrook Hall, Pacific School of Religion, 1798 Scenic Ave., Berkeley. (510) 848-0528, www.bade.psr.edu/bade.< 

 

BERKELEY ART MUSEUM AND PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE  

"Thom Faulders: BAMscape," through Nov. 30. This commissioned work, a hybrid of sculpture, furniture, and stage, is the new centerpiece of Gallery B, BAM's expansive central atrium. It is part of a new vision of the gallery as a space for interaction, performance, and improvised experiences.  

2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley. < 

 

BLACKHAWK MUSEUM ongoing.  

AUTOMOTIVE MUSEUM -- The museum's permanent exhibition of internationally renowned automobiles dated from 1897 to the 1980s. The cars are displayed as works of art with room to walk completely around each car to admire the workmanship. On long-term loan from the Smithsonian Institution is a Long Steam Tricycle; an 1893-94 Duryea, the first Duryea built by the Duryea brothers; and a 1948 Tucker, number 39 of the 51 Tuckers built, which is a Model 48 "Torpedo'' four-door sedan. "International Automotive Treasures," ongoing. An ever-changing exhibit featuring over 90 automobiles.  

"A Journey on Common Ground," ongoing. An exhibit of moving photographs, video and art objects from around the world exploring the causes of disability and the efforts of the Wheelchair Foundation to provide a wheelchair for every person in need who cannot afford one. Free Public Tours, Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. Docent-led guided tours of the museum's exhibitions. 

$5-$8; free for children ages 6 and under. Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 3700 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Danville. (925) 736-2280, (925) 736-2277, www.blackhawkmuseum.org.

 

CALIFORNIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY  

HISTORY WALKABOUTS -- ongoing. A series of walking tours that explore the history, lore and architecture of California with veteran tour guide Gary Holloway. Walks are given on specific weekends. There is a different meeting place for each weekend and walks take place rain or shine so dress for the weather. Reservations and prepayment required. Meeting place will be given with confirmation of tour reservation. Call for details.  

678 Mission St., San Francisco. (415) 357-1848, www.californiahistoricalsociety.org.

 

CHABOT SPACE AND SCIENCE CENTER State-of-the-art facility unifying science education activities around astronomy. Enjoy interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, indoor stargazing, outdoor telescope viewing and films. 

"Beyond Blastoff: Surviving in Space," ongoing. An interactive exhibit that allows you to immerse yourself into the life of an astronaut to experience the mixture of exhilaration, adventure and confinement that is living and working in space.  

"Chabot Observatories: A View to the Stars," ongoing. Explore the history of the Chabot observatories and how its historic telescopes are used today. Daytime visitors can virtually operate a telescope, experiment with mirrors and lenses to understand how telescopes create images of distant objects and travel through more than a century of Chabot's history via multimedia kiosks, historical images and artifact displays. "Live Daytime Planetarium Show," ongoing. Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Ride through real-time constellations, stars and planets with Chabot's full-dome digital projection system. 

"Galaxy Explorers Hands-On Fun," ongoing. Saturday, noon-4 p.m. The Galaxy Explorers lead a variety of fun, hands-on activities, such as examining real spacesuits, creating galaxy flipbooks, learning about telescopes, minerals and skulls and making your own comet. Free with general admission. 

"Daytime Telescope Viewing," ongoing. Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. View the sun, the moon and the planets through the telescopes during the day. Free with general admission. 

Center Admission: $14.95; $10.95 children 3-12; free children under 3; $3 discount for seniors and students. Telescope viewing only: free. Wednesday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Also open on Tuesdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m. after June 29. 10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland. (510) 336-7300, www.chabotspace.org.

 

HABITOT CHILDREN'S MUSEUM A museum especially for children ages 7 and under. Highlights include "WaterWorks,'' an area with some unusual water toys, an Infant Tree for babies, a garden especially for toddlers, a child-scale grocery store and cafe, and a costume shop and stage for junior thespians. The museum also features a toy lending library. "Waterworks." A water play gallery with rivers, a pumping station and a water table, designed to teach about water.  

"Little Town Grocery and Cafe." Designed to create the ambience of shopping in a grocery store and eating in a restaurant.  

"Infant-Toddler Garden." A picket fence gated indoor area, which includes a carrot patch with wooden carrots to be harvested, a pretend pond and a butterfly mobile to introduce youngsters to the concept of food, gardening and agriculture.  

"Dramatic Arts Stage." Settings, backdrops and costumes coincide with seasonal events and holidays. Children can exercise their dramatic flair here.  

"Wiggle Wall." The floor-to-ceiling "underground'' tunnels give children a worm's eye view of the world. The tunnels are laced with net covered openings and giant optic lenses. 

"Architects at Play," ongoing. This hands-on, construction-based miniexhibit provides children with the opportunity to create free-form structures, from skyscrapers to bridges, using KEVA planks. $6-$7. Wednesday and Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Closed Sunday-Tuesday. 2065 Kittredge St., Berkeley. (510) 647-1111, www.habitot.org.

 

HALL OF HEALTH ongoing. A community health-education museum and science center promoting wellness and individual responsibility for health. There are hands-on exhibits that teach about the workings of the human body, the value of a healthy diet and exercise, and the destructive effects of smoking and drug abuse. "Kids on the Block'' puppet shows, which use puppets from diverse cultures to teach about and promote acceptance of conditions such as cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, leukemia, blindness, arthritis and spina bifida, are available by request for community events and groups visiting the Hall on Saturdays. "This Is Your Heart!" ongoing. An interactive exhibit on heart health.  

"Good Nutrition," ongoing. This exhibit includes models for making balanced meals and an Exercycle for calculating how calories are burned.  

"Draw Your Own Insides," ongoing. Human-shaped chalkboards and models with removable organs allow visitors to explore the inside of their bodies.  

"Your Cellular Self and Cancer Prevention," ongoing. An exhibit on understanding how cells become cancerous and how to detect and prevent cancer. 

Suggested $3 donation; free for children under age 3. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 2230 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 549-1564, www.hallofhealth.org.

 

HAYWARD AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY MUSEUM The museum is located in a former post office and displays memorabilia of early Hayward and southern Alameda County. Some of the features include a restored 1923 Seagrave fire engine and a hand pumper from the Hayward Fire Department, founded in 1865; a Hayward Police Department exhibit; information on city founder William Hayward; and pictures of the old Hayward Hotel. The museum also alternates three exhibits per year, including a Christmas Toys exhibit and a 1950s lifestyle exhibit.50 cents-$1. Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 22701 Main St., Hayward. (510) 581-0223, www.haywardareahistory.org.

 

JUDAH L. MAGNES MUSEUM The museum's permanent collection includes objects of Jewish importance including ceremonial art, film and video, folk art and fine art, paintings, sculptures and prints by contemporary and historical artists. 

"Projections," ongoing. Multimedia works from the museum's extensive collections of archival, documentary and experimental films. Located at 2911 Russell Street. $4-$6; free for children under age 12. Sunday-Wednesday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. CLOSED APRIL 3-4 AND 9-10; MAY 23-24 AND 28; JULY 4; SEPT. 3, 13 AND 27; OCT. 4; NOV. 22; DEC. 24-25 AND 31. 2911 Russell St., Berkeley. (510) 549-6950, www.magnes.org.

 

LAWRENCE HALL OF SCIENCE "NanoZone," ongoing. Discover the science of the super-small: nanotechnology. Through hands-on activities and games, explore this microworld and the scientific discoveries made in this area.  

"Forces That Shape the Bay," ongoing. A science park that shows and explains why the San Francisco Bay is the way it is, with information on water, erosion, plate tectonics and mountain building. You can ride earthquake simulators, set erosion in motion and look far out into the bay with a powerful telescope from 1,100 feet above sea level. The center of the exhibit is a waterfall that demonstrates how water flows from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Bay. Visitors can control where the water goes. There are also hands-on erosion tables, and a 40-foot-long, 6-foothigh, rock compression wall.  

"Real Astronomy Experience," ongoing. A new exhibit-in-development allowing visitors to use the tools that real astronomers use. Aim a telescope at a virtual sky and operate a remote-controlled telescope to measure a planet.  

"Biology Lab," ongoing. In the renovated Biology Lab visitors may hold and observe gentle animals. Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.  

"The Idea Lab," ongoing. Experiment with some of the basics of math, science and technology through hands-on activities and demonstrations of magnets, spinning and flying, puzzles and nanotechnology.  

"Math Around the World," ongoing. Play some of the world's most popular math games, such as Hex, Kalah, Game Sticks and Shongo Networks.  

"Math Rules," ongoing. Use simple and colorful objects to complete interesting challenges in math through predicting, sorting, comparing, weighing and counting.  

"Animal Discovery Room,,' ongoing. 1:30-4 p.m. Visitors of all ages can hold and touch gentle animals, learn about their behavior and habitats and play with self-guided activities and specimen models.  

"Forces That Shape the Bay," ongoing. This science park shows and explains why the San Francisco Bay is the way it is, with information on water, erosion, plate tectonics and mountain building.  

"Ingenuity in Action," ongoing. Summer 2010. Enjoy the best of the Ingenuity Lab. Engage your creative brain and use a variety of materials to design, build and test your own innovations.  

"Kapla," ongoing. Play with simple, versatile building blocks that can be used to build very large, high and stable structures.  

"KidsLab," ongoing. This multisensory play area includes larger-than-life blocks, a crawl-through kaleidoscope, the Gravity wall, a puppet theater and a reading area.  

"NanoZone," ongoing. Discover the science of nanotechnology through handson activities and games.  

"Planetarium," ongoing. Explore the skies in this interactive planetarium.  

"Science on a Sphere," ongoing. Catch an out-of-this-world experience with an animated globe. See hurricanes form, tsunamis sweep across the oceans and city lights glow around the planet. $6-$12; free children ages 2 and under. Daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. University of California, Centennial Drive, Berkeley. (510) 642-5132, www.lawrencehallofscience.org.

 

LINDSAY WILDLIFE MUSEUM This is the oldest and largest wildlife rehabilitation center in America, taking in 6,000 injured and orphaned animals yearly and returning 40 percent of them to the wild. The museum offers a wide range of educational programs using non-releasable wild animals to teach children and adults respect for the balance of nature. The museum includes a state-of-the art wildlife hospital which features a permanent exhibit, titled "Living with Nature,'' which houses 75 non-releasable wild animals in learning environments; a 5,000-square-foot Wildlife Hospital complete with treatment rooms, intensive care, quarantine and laboratory facilities; a 1-acre Nature Garden featuring the region's native landscaping and wildlife; and an "Especially For Children'' exhibit.  

WILDLIFE HOSPITAL -- September-March: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hospital is open daily including holidays to receive injured and orphaned animals. There is no charge for treatment of native wild animals and there are no public viewing areas in the hospital.SPECIAL EVENTS -- ongoing.  

$5-$7; free children under age 2. June 16-Sept. 15: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sun.; Sept. 16-June 15: noon.-5 p.m. Wed.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek. (925) 935-1978, www.wildlife-museum.org.< 

 

MEYERS HOUSE AND GARDEN MUSEUM The Meyers House, erected in 1897, is an example of Colonial Revival, an architectural style popular around the turn of the century. Designed by Henry H. Meyers,the house was built by his father, Jacob Meyers, at a cost of $4000.00.$3. Fourth Saturday of every month. 2021 Alameda Ave., Alameda. (510) 521-1247, www.alamedamuseum.org/meyers.html.< 

 

MUSEUM OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN TECHNOLOGY SCIENCE VILLAGE ongoing. A science museum with an African-American focus promoting science education and awareness for the underrepresented. The science village chronicles the technical achievements of people of African descent from ancient ties to present. There are computer classes at the Internet Cafi, science education activities and seminars. There is also a resource library with a collection of books, periodicals and videotapes. 

$4-$6. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, noon-6 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.-6 p.m. 630 20th St., Oakland. (510) 893-6426, www.ncalifblackengineers.org.

 

MUSEUM OF CHILDREN'S ART A museum of art for and by children, with activities for children to participate in making their own art.  

ART CAMPS -- Hands-on activities and engaging curriculum for children of different ages, led by professional artists and staff. $60 per day.  

CLASSES -- A Sunday series of classes for children ages 8 to 12, led by Mocha artists. Sundays, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.  

OPEN STUDIOS -- Drop-in art play activities with new themes each week.  

"Big Studio." Guided art projects for children age 6 and older with a Mocha artist. Tuesday through Friday, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. $5.  

"Little Studio." A hands-on experience that lets young artists age 18 months to 5 years see, touch and manipulate a variety of media. Children can get messy. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $5.  

"Family Weekend Studios." Drop-in art activities for the whole family. All ages welcome. Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. $5 per child.  

FAMILY EXTRAVAGANZAS -- Special weekend workshops for the entire family.  

"Sunday Workshops with Illustrators," Sundays, 1 p.m. See the artwork and meet the artists who create children's book illustrations. Free."Saturday Stories," ongoing. 1 p.m. For children ages 2-5. Free. 

Free gallery admission. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, noon-5 p.m. 538 Ninth St., Oakland. (510) 465-8770, www.mocha.org.

 

MUSEUM OF THE SAN RAMON VALLEY The museum features local artifacts, pictures, flags and drawings commemorating the valley's history. It also houses a historical narrative frieze. In addition to a permanent exhibit on the valley's history, the museum sponsors revolving exhibits and several guided tours. The restored railroad depot that houses the museum was built on the San Ramon Branch Line of the Southern Pacific Railroad 108 years ago.Free. August: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. The Depot, West Prospect and Railroad avenues, Danville. (925) 837-3750, www.museumsrv.org.

 

MUSEUM ON MAIN STREET Located in a former town hall building, this museum is a piece of local history. It has a photo and document archive, collection of artifacts, local history publications for purchase, and a history library. It is supported by the Amador-Livermore Valley Historical Society.$2. Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.; CLOSED DEC. 23-JAN. 8. 603 Main St., Pleasanton. (925) 462-2766, www.museumonmain.org.

 

OAKLAND MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA "Art a la Carte," Wednesdays, 12:30 p.m. Art docents offer a variety of specialized tours focusing on one aspect of the museum's permanent collection. Free with museum admission.  

"Online Museum," Thursdays, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Explore the museum's collection on videodisks in the History Department Library.  

Docent Gallery Tours, Saturday and Sunday, 1:30 p.m. 

"Explore our New Gallery," through Dec. 2. The new Gallery of California Art showcases more than 800 works from OMCA's collection-one of the largest and most comprehensive holdings of California art in the world.  

"Gallery of California History," through Dec. 2. This new gallery is based on the theme of Coming to California.  

$5-$8; free for children ages 5 and under; free to all on the second Sunday of the month. Special events are free with museum admission unless noted otherwise. Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m.; first Friday of the month, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. 1000 Oak St., Oakland. (510) 238-2200, www.museumca.org.

 

PARDEE HOME MUSEUM ongoing. The historic Pardee Mansion, a three-story Italianate villa built in 1868, was home to three generations of the Pardee family who were instrumental in the civic and cultural development of California and Oakland. The home includes the house, grounds, water tower and barn. Reservations recommended. Group tours may be arranged between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tues.-Sun.  

Private Tours and Teas: Take a private tour followed by tea in the Pardee family dining room (available for 4-12 persons).  

Tour with light tea: $12 per person  

Tour with high tea: $25 per person.  

High tea without tour: $20 per person. 

$5-$25; free children ages 12 and under. House Tours: 10:30 a.m. every Wednesday and second Saturday of each month; 2 p.m. the second Sunday or each month. 672 11th St., Oakland. (510) 444-2187, www.pardeehome.org.

 

SAN LEANDRO HISTORY MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY ongoing. The museum showcases local and regional history and serves as a centerpiece for community cultural activity. There are exhibits on Ohlone settlements, farms of early settlers, and contributions of Portuguese and other immigrants. There will also be exhibits of the city's agricultural past and the industrial development of the 19th century. "Yema/Po Archeological Site at Lake Chabot," ongoing. An exhibit highlighting artifacts uncovered from a work camp of Chinese laborers, featuring photomurals, cutouts and historical photographs. 

Free. Thursday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 320 West Estudillo Ave., San Leandro. (510) 577-3990, www.ci.sanleandro. ca.us/sllibrarymuseum.html.< 

 

SHADELANDS RANCH HISTORICAL MUSEUM Built by Walnut Creek pioneer Hiram Penniman, this 1903 redwood-framed house is a showcase for numerous historical artifacts, many of which belonged to the Pennimans. It also houses a rich archive of Contra Costa and Walnut Creek history in its collections of old newspapers, photographs and government records.$1-$3; free-children under age 6. Wednesday and Sunday, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.; Closed in January. 2660 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek. (925) 935-7871, www.ci.walnut-creek.ca.us.< 

 

SMITH MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY AT CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, HAYWARD The museum houses significant collections of archaeological and ethnographic specimens from Africa, Asia and North America and small collections from Central and South America. The museum offers opportunities and materials for student research and internships in archaeology and ethnology.Free. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Meiklejohn Hall, Fourth Floor, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd., Hayward. (510) 885-3104, (510) 885-7414, www.isis.csuhayward.edu/cesmith/acesmith.html.< 

 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY HEARST MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY ongoing. "Native California Cultures," ongoing. This is an exhibit of some 500 artifacts from the museum's California collections, the largest and most comprehensive collections in the world devoted to California Indian cultures. The exhibit includes a section about Ishi, the famous Indian who lived and worked with the museum, Yana tribal baskets and a 17-foot Yurok canoe carved from a single redwood.  

"Recent Acquisitions," ongoing. The collection includes Yoruba masks and carvings from Africa, early-20th-century Taiwanese hand puppets, textiles from the Americas and 19th- and 20th-century Tibetan artifacts.  

"From the Maker's Hand: Selections from the Permanent Collection," ongoing. This exhibit explores human ingenuity in the living and historical cultures of China, Africa, Egypt, Peru, North America and the Meditteranean. 

$1-$4; free for children ages 12 and under; free to all on Thursdays. Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sunday, noon-4:30 p.m. 103 Kroeber Hall, Bancroft Way and College Avenue, Berkeley. (510) 643-7648, www.hearstmuseum.berkeley.edu.

 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY MUSEUM OF PALEONTOLOGY ongoing. "Tyrannosaurus Rex," ongoing. A 20-foot-tall, 40-foot-long replica of the fearsome dinosaur. The replica is made from casts of bones of the most complete T. Rex skeleton yet excavated. When unearthed in Montana, the bones were all lying in place with only a small piece of the tailbone missing.  

"Pteranodon," ongoing. A suspended skeleton of a flying reptile with a wingspan of 22 to 23 feet. The Pteranodon lived at the same time as the dinosaurs.  

"California Fossils Exhibit," ongoing. An exhibit of some of the fossils that have been excavated in California. 

Free. During semester sessions, hours generally are: Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.-10 p.m. Hours vary during summer and holidays. Lobby, 1101 Valley Life Sciences Building, #4780, University of California, Berkeley. (510) 642-1821, www.ucmp.berkeley.edu.

 

USS HORNET MUSEUM Come aboard this World War II aircraft carrier that has been converted into a floating museum. The Hornet, launched in 1943, is 899 feet long and 27 stories high. During World War II she was never hit by an enemy strike or plane and holds the Navy record for number of enemy planes shot down in a week. In 1969 the Hornet recovered the Apollo 11 space capsule containing the first men to walk on the moon, and later recovered Apollo 12. In 1991 the Hornet was designated a National Historic Landmark and is now docked at the same pier she sailed from in 1944. Today, visitors can tour the massive ship, view World War II-era warplanes and experience a simulated aircraft launch from the carrier's deck. Exhibits are being added on an ongoing basis. Allow two to three hours for a visit. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to climb steep stairs or ladders. Dress in layers as the ship can be cold. Arrive no later than 2 p.m. to sign up for the engine room and other docent-led tours. Children under age 12 are not allowed in the Engine Room or the Combat Information Center. "Limited Access Day," ongoing. Due to ship maintenance, tours of the navigation bridge and the engine room are not available. Tuesdays.  

"Flight Deck Fun," ongoing. A former Landing Signal Officer will show children how to bring in a fighter plane for a landing on the deck then let them try the signals themselves. Times vary. Free with regular Museum admission.  

"Protestant Divine Services," ongoing. Hornet chaplain John Berger conducts church services aboard The Hornet in the Wardroom Lounge. Everyone is welcome and refreshments are served immediately following the service. Sundays, 11 a.m.Closed on New Year's Day. 

"Family Day," ongoing. Discounted admission for families of four with a further discount for additional family members. Access to some of the areas may be limited due to ship maintenance. Every Tuesday. $20 for family of four; $5 for each additional family member. 

"History Mystery After Hours Tour," ongoing. 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Explore the USS Hornet after hours and learn the history of this ship while it is illuminated in red lights used for "night ops." Also, hear stories about the ships' legendary haunts. Reservations required. (510) 521-8448 X282. 

"Flashlight Tour," ongoing. 8:30 a.m. Receive a special tour of areas aboard the ship that have not yet been opened to the public or that have limited access during the day. $30-$35 per person. 

$6-$14; free children age 4 and under with a paying adult. Daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Pier 3 (enter on Atlantic Avenue), Alameda Point, Alameda. (510) 521-8448, www.uss-hornet.org.<


Highlights-East Bay Through February 6

Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 05:42:00 PM

924 GILMAN ST. All ages welcome. 

Scream, Deathtoll, Oppressed Logic, Visual Discrimination, The Need, Guantanamo Dogpile, Feb. 5, 7 p.m. $10.  

$5 unless otherwise noted. Shows start Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 5 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 924 Gilman St., Berkeley. (510) 525-9926, www.924gilman.org.

 

ARMANDO'S  

Dan Hicks & Bayside Jazz, Jan. 30, 4 p.m. $25.  

Lucero, Feb. 2, 8:30 p.m. $20.  

707 Marina Vista Ave., Martinez. (925) 228-6985, www.armandosmartinez.com.

 

ASHKENAZ  

Steve Lucky & The Rhumba Bums, Jan. 28, 9 p.m. East Coast Swing dance lesson at 8 p.m. $10-$13.  

1317 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. (510) 525-5054, www.ashkenaz.com.

 

FOX THEATER  

Ween, Jan. 28, 8 p.m. $35.  

1807 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. (510) 452-0438, www.thefoxoakland.com.

 

FREIGHT AND SALVAGE  

The Bobs, Jan. 30, 8 p.m. $28.50-$30.50.  

Loudon Wainwright III, Feb. 2, 8 p.m. $30.50-$32.50.  

"Arhoolie Records 50th Anniversary Celebration," Feb. 4 through Feb. 6, 8 p.m. Featuring Peter Rowan, Country Joe McDonald, Taj Mahal, Ry Cooder and more. $75.50-$85.50.  

Music starts at 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 2020 Addison St., Berkeley. (510) 548-1761, www.freightandsalvage.org.

 

LESHER CENTER FOR THE ARTS  

"Smuin Ballet: Oh, Inverted World," Feb. 4 through Feb. 5, 8 p.m. Fri.; 2 and 8 p.m. Sat. Choreography by Trey McIntyre; music by The Shins. $49-$59. www.smuinballet.org. 

1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. (925) 943-7469, www.lesherartscenter.com.

 

MICHAAN'S AUCTIONS  

"Bay Area International Children's Film Festival," Jan. 29 through Jan. 30, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. An exciting array of culturally diverse cinema by, for and about children. Screenings take place at the restored Art Deco Theater at the venue. $8-$15. www.baicff.com. 

2700 Saratoga St., Alameda. < 

 

THE NEW PARISH  

Zigaboo Modeliste, Feb. 5, 9:30 p.m. $10-$15.  

579 18th St., Oakland. (510) 444-7474, www.thenewparish.com.

 

OAKLAND-ALAMEDA COUNTY COLISEUM  

Monster Energy Supercross, Jan. 29, 7 p.m. The world's most prestigious, indoor off-road motorcycle championships comes to the Bay Area for a night of racing. $22-$82.50.  

7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland. www.coliseum.com.

 

PARAMOUNT THEATRE  

Sarah McLachlan, Feb. 6, 8 p.m. $39.50-$55.  

2025 Broadway, Oakland. (510) 465-6400, (415) 421-8497, www.paramounttheatre.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

 

TOMMY T'S COMEDY AND STEAKHOUSE  

Steve O (From "Jackass''), through Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m. Thu.; 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Fri.; 7 and 9:30 p.m. Sat.; 7 p.m. Sun. $25-$35.  

5104 Hopyard Road, Pleasanton. (925) 227-1800, www.tommyts.com.

 

UPTOWN NIGHTCLUB  

Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys, Red Meat, The Honeybees, Jan. 29, 9 p.m. $12. 

The Swingin' Utters, La Plebe, Complaints, Feb. 5, 9 p.m. $15.  

1928 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. (510) 451-8100, www.uptownnightclub.com.

 

WHEELER AUDITIORIUM AT THE UNIVERISTY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY  

"Fred Korematsu Day," Jan. 30, 1-5 p.m. A day to honor the civil rights icon with a reception, film screenings, and a keynote address from Rev. Jesse Jackson. $5-4100. (510) 642-9988, www.tickets.berkeley.edu. 

UC Berkeley campus, Berkeley. < 

 

YOSHI'S  

Bobby Hutcherson Quartet, through Jan. 28, 8 and 10 p.m. $16-$24.  

"The Tony Williams Lifetime Tribute Band," Feb. 2 through Feb. 5, 8 and 10 p.m. Featuring Jack Bruce, Vernon Reid, John Medeski, Cindy Blackman. $35.  

Shows are Monday through Saturday, 8 and 10 p.m.; Sunday, 2 and 7 p.m., unless otherwise noted. 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland. (510) 238-9200, www.yoshis.com.

 

ZELLERBACH HALL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY  

Kodo, Feb. 4, 8 p.m. High energy drummers and performers from Japan are visiting the Bay Area and celebrating their 30th anniversary. $22-$52.  

UC Berkeley campus, Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley. (510) 642-9988.<


Exhibits-San Francisco Through February 6

Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 05:40:00 PM

"SUN SPHERES," -- ongoing. "Sun Spheres'' is a trio of mosaic sculptures by artist Laurel True at the intersection of Ocean and Granada Avenues in the OMI District of San Francisco. 

(415) 252-2551, www.sfartscommission.org/pubart.< 

 

EVENING GALLERY WALKS These monthly evening gallery walks or "crawls'' are a way to learn about art for the casual viewer without the intimidation of visiting a gallery with no one else around. Generally the galleries are filled on the "walk'' evenings with people drinking wine and talking. Gallery owners are happy to answer questions about the art on view. The important thing to remember is that it is free to gaze and drink. 

"First Thursday," ongoing. 5:30-8 p.m. Generally some 20 galleries participate in this monthly evening of open galleries. Many are located around Union Square. Some of the galleries that participate on a regular basis are Pasquale Iannetti Gallery, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, and Hackett-Freedman Gallery, all on Sutter Street; Meyerovich Gallery and Dolby Chadwick Gallery on Post Street; and Rena Bransten Gallery and Stephen Wirtz Gallery on Geary Street. Sponsored by the San Francisco Art Dealers Association. First Thursday of the month. Free.  

San Francisco. < 

 

HOTEL DES ARTS The boutique 51-room art hotel in Union Square features an art gallery by Start SOMA. 

"Painted Rooms," ongoing. An exhibit of painted rooms in the hotel by emerging artists.  

Free. Daily, 8 a.m.-11 p.m. 447 Bush St., San Francisco. (415) 956-4322, www.sfhoteldesarts.com.

 

JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER OF SAN FRANCISCO  

"The Digital Liberation of G-d," ongoing. A permanent interactive media installation created by New York-based artist Helene Aylon, which examines the influences of patriarchal attitudes upon Jewish traditions and sacred texts.  

Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. 3200 California St., San Francisco. (415) 292-1200, Box Office: (415) 292-1233, www.jccsf.org.

 

SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY, BAYVIEW-ANNA E. WADEN BRANCH  

"Bayview's Historical Footprints," ongoing. A permanent photographic exhibition celebrating the diverse history of Bayview Hunters Point featuring multimedia oral histories from community elders.  

Free. Monday, Tuesday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Wednesday, 1 p.m.-8 p.m.; Thursday, 1 p.m.-7 p.m.; Friday, 1 p.m.-6 p.m. 5075 Third St., San Francisco. (415) 355-5757, www.sfpl.org.

 

SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY, MAIN BRANCH  

"Digging Deep: Underneath San Francisco Public Library," ongoing. Exhibition collects archaeological remains from the Gold Rush-era cemetery and the ruins of old City Hall destroyed in the 1906 earthquake.  

Free. Monday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Tuesday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday, noon-6 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m. 100 Larkin St., San Francisco. (415) 557-4400, www.sfpl.org.<


General-East Bay Through February 6

Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 05:40:00 PM

ASHKENAZ  

"I Like My Bike Night," ongoing. 9 p.m. First Fridays of the month. This monthly series brings bicycle innovators, enthusiasts, artists and organizations together under one roof, as well as encourages regular Ashkenaz show-goers to leave their cars in the driveway and arrive at the venue by bicycle instead. $8-$25.  

1317 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. (510) 525-5054, www.ashkenaz.com.

 

AUCTIONS BY THE BAY  

"ArtiFacts: A Lecture Series for Collectors," ongoing. 3 p.m. First Sundays of the month Guest curators, scholars and conservation experts from throughout the Bay Area discuss the art of collecting. First Sunday of every month, 3 p.m. $7; includes a preview of the monthly estate auction which takes place the following day at 10am.  

Auctions by the Bay Theater-Auction House, 2700 Saratoga St., Alameda. (510) 835-6187, www.auctionsbythebay.com.

 

BAY AREA FREE BOOK EXCHANGE  

"Free Books," ongoing. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat. - Sun. Donate your unwanted books and receive new titles for free.  

10520 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito. (510) 526-1941, www.bayareafreebookexchange.com.

 

CALIFORNIA GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY AND LIBRARY  

"California Genealogical Society and Library Free First Saturday," ongoing. 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Event takes place on the first Saturday of every month, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Trace and compile your family history at this month's open house event. Free. www.calgensoc.org. 

2201 Broadway, Suite LL2, Oakland. (510) 663-1358.< 

 

CALIFORNIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY  

HISTORY WALKABOUTS -- ongoing. A series of walking tours that explore the history, lore and architecture of California with veteran tour guide Gary Holloway. Walks are given on specific weekends. There is a different meeting place for each weekend and walks take place rain or shine so dress for the weather. Reservations and prepayment required. Meeting place will be given with confirmation of tour reservation. Call for details.  

678 Mission St., San Francisco. (415) 357-1848, www.californiahistoricalsociety.org.

 

CALIFORNIA MAGIC THEATER  

"Dinner Theater Magic Show," ongoing. 7:30 p.m. Fri - Sat. Enter the joyous and bewildering world of illusion while chowing down on a home cooked meal. Each weekend features different professional magicians. Recommended for ages 13 and older. $54-$64 includes meal.  

729 Castro St., Martinez. (925) 374-0056, www.calmagic.com.

 

CHABOT SPACE AND SCIENCE CENTER State-of-the-art facility unifying science education activities around astronomy. Enjoy interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, indoor stargazing, outdoor telescope viewing and films. 

ASK JEEVES PLANETARIUM -- ongoing. The planetarium features one of the most advanced star projectors in the world. A daily planetarium show is included with general admission. Call for current show schedule.  

"Two Small Pieces of glass," ongoing. Celebrating the International Year of Astronomy, this show examines the history of the telescope, beginning 400 years ago, with Galileo's discoveries. 

"Space NOW!", ongoing. Each week, this real-time ride through constellations, stars, and planets will reflect current happenings in our sky. Space NOW! will also tie in activities going on throughout the center. This is Chabot's first daytime guided tour of the universe. 

"Astronaut," ongoing. What does it take to be part of the exploration of space? Experience a rocket launch from inside the body of an astronaut. Explore the amazing worlds of inner and outer space, from floating around the International Space Station to maneuvering through microscopic regions of the human body. Narrated by Ewan McGregor. 25 min. 

"Tales Of The Maya Skies," ongoing. A full-dome planetarium show that explores the cosmology of the ancient Maya, along with their culture and their contributions to astronomy. 

"Sonic Vision," ongoing. Friday-Saturday, 9:15 p.m. This show uses the latest digital technology to illuminate the planetarium with colorful computer-generated imagery set to today's popular music, including Radiohead, U2, David Bowie, Coldplay, Moby and more. 

"Dawn of the Space Age," ongoing. Starting with the launch of Sputnik, this show covers important Russian space history as well as the American Gemini, Apollo and Shuttle programs. Be transported to the International Space Station, the X-prize winning private space ship and on to future Mars exploration. 

CHALLENGER LEARNING CENTER -- ongoing. "Escape from the Red Planet,'' a cooperative venture for families and groups of up to 14 people, age 8 and up. The scenario on this one hour mission: You are the crew of a shuttle to Mars that has been severely damaged in a crash landing. Your replacement crew is gone, the worst dust storm ever recorded on Mars approaches, and air, food, and water are extremely low. The mission: get the shuttle working again and into orbit before the dust storm hits. Reservations required. Children age 8-12 must be accompanied by an adult; not appropriate for children under age 8. $12-$15; Does not include general admission to the Center. Reservations: (510) 336-7421."Beyond Blastoff," ongoing. Get a glimpse into the life of an astronaut and experience the mixture of exhilaration, adventure, and confinement that is living and working in space. 

"Tales of the Maya Skies," ongoing. A companion exhibit for the planetarium show which features the scientific achievements and cosmology of the Maya. All content is bilingual in English and Spanish. 

"One giant leap: a moon odyssey," ongoing. For all astronaut wannabees -take a simulated Moon-walk, try on a space helmet, climb into a Mercury capsule and land a lunar module in this hands-on exhibit that explores the legends and science fiction about the Moon. 

"Chabot Observatories: A View to the Stars," ongoing. This new permanent exhibit honors the 123-year history of Chabot and its telescopes. The observatory is one of the oldest public observatories in the United States. The exhibit covers the three different sites of the observatory over its history as well as how its historic telescopes continue to be operated today. Included are informative graphic panels, multimedia kiosks, interactive computer programs, hands-on stations, and historic artifacts. 

"Dinner, Movie and the Universe," ongoing. Every Friday and Saturday evening. Enjoy a bistro-style dinner, then cozy up for a film in the 70-foot MegaDome theater and end the evening with a telescope viewing. Call to purchase general admission tickets and to make dinner reservations. (510) 336-7373. 

"Destination Universe," ongoing. Take a journey from our Sun to the farthest reaches of the cosmos. 

"Bill Nye's climate lab," ongoing. Features Emmy-award-winning Bill Nye the Climate Guy as commander of the Clean Energy Space Station, and invites visitors on an urgent mission to thwart climate change. 

TIEN MEGADOME SCIENCE THEATER -- ongoing. A 70-foot dome-screen auditorium. Show times subject to change. Call for current show schedule. Price with paid general admission is $6-$7. Theater only: $7-$8. (510) 336-7373, www.ticketweb.com. 

"Mysteries of Egypt," ongoing. Experience the magic and majesty of Egypt as never before. Soar over the great pyramids of Giza, cross the Valley of the Kings, and descend into the shadowy chambers of the sacred tomb of King Tutankhamen. Suitable for families. 

"Dinosaurs Alive," ongoing. A global adventure of science and discovery, featuring the earliest dinosaurs of the Triassic Period to the monsters of the Cretaceous, "reincarnated" life-sized for the giant screen. Audiences will journey with some of the world's preeminent paleontologists as they uncover evidence that the descendents of dinosaurs still walk (or fly) among us. From the exotic, trackless expanses and sand dunes of Mongolia's Gobi Desert to the dramatic sandstone buttes of New Mexico, the film will follow American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) paleontologists as they explore some of the greatest dinosaur finds in history. 

Center Admission: $14.95; $10.95 children 3-12; free children under 3; $3 discount for seniors and students. Telescope viewing only: free. Wednesday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Also open on Tuesdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m. after June 29. 10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland. (510) 336-7300, www.chabotspace.org.

 

DUNSMUIR HOUSE AND GARDENS HISTORIC ESTATE ongoing. Nestled in the Oakland hills, the 50-acre Dunsmuir House and Gardens estate includes the 37-room Neoclassical Revival Dunsmuir Mansion, built by coal and lumber baron Alexander Dunsmuir for his bride. Restored outbuildings set amid landscaped gardens surround the mansion.  

ESTATE GROUNDS -- ongoing. Self-Guided Grounds Tours are available yearround. The 50 acres of gardens and grounds at the mansion are open to the public for walking Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Booklets and maps of the grounds are available at the Dinkelspiel House. Free.  

GUIDED TOURS -- Docent-led tours are available on the first Sunday of each month at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. (except for July) and Wednesdays at 11 a.m. $5 adults, $4 seniors and juniors (11-16), children 11 and under free. 

Dunsmuir House and Gardens, 2960 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland. (510) 615-5555, www.dunsmuir.org.

 

LAWRENCE HALL OF SCIENCE "NanoZone," ongoing. Discover the science of the super-small: nanotechnology. Through hands-on activities and games, explore this microworld and the scientific discoveries made in this area.  

"Forces That Shape the Bay," ongoing. A science park that shows and explains why the San Francisco Bay is the way it is, with information on water, erosion, plate tectonics and mountain building. You can ride earthquake simulators, set erosion in motion and look far out into the bay with a powerful telescope from 1,100 feet above sea level. The center of the exhibit is a waterfall that demonstrates how water flows from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Bay. Visitors can control where the water goes. There are also hands-on erosion tables, and a 40-foot-long, 6-foothigh, rock compression wall.  

"Real Astronomy Experience," ongoing. A new exhibit-in-development allowing visitors to use the tools that real astronomers use. Aim a telescope at a virtual sky and operate a remote-controlled telescope to measure a planet.  

"Biology Lab," ongoing. In the renovated Biology Lab visitors may hold and observe gentle animals. Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.  

"The Idea Lab," ongoing. Experiment with some of the basics of math, science and technology through hands-on activities and demonstrations of magnets, spinning and flying, puzzles and nanotechnology.  

"Math Around the World," ongoing. Play some of the world's most popular math games, such as Hex, Kalah, Game Sticks and Shongo Networks.  

"Math Rules," ongoing. Use simple and colorful objects to complete interesting challenges in math through predicting, sorting, comparing, weighing and counting.  

HOLT PLANETARIUM ongoing. Shows on Saturdays and Sundays. Programs recommended for ages 6 and up unless otherwise noted. $2.50-$3 in addition to general admission.  

$6-$12; free children ages 2 and under. Daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. University of California, Centennial Drive, Berkeley. (510) 642-5132, www.lawrencehallofscience.org.

 

MICHAAN'S AUCTIONS  

"Bay Area International Children's Film Festival," Jan. 29 through Jan. 30, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. An exciting array of culturally diverse cinema by, for and about children. Screenings take place at the restored Art Deco Theater at the venue. $8-$15. www.baicff.com. 

2700 Saratoga St., Alameda. < 

 

OAKLAND-ALAMEDA COUNTY COLISEUM  

Monster Energy Supercross, Jan. 29, 7 p.m. The world's most prestigious, indoor off-road motorcycle championships comes to the Bay Area for a night of racing. $22-$82.50.  

7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland. www.coliseum.com.

 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE ongoing. Exploring cinema from the Bay Area and cultures around the world, the Pacific Film Archive offers daily film screenings, including rare and rediscovered prints of movie classics; new and historic works by world famous directors; restored silent films with live musical accompaniment; retrospectives; and new and experimental works. Check Web site for a full schedule of films.  

"First Impressions: Free First Thursdays," first Thursday of every month. Special tours and movie presentations. Admission is free. 

Single feature: $5-$8; Double feature: $9-$12 general. PFA Theater, 2575 Bancroft Way, Berkeley. (510) 642-5249, www.bampfa.berkeley.edu.

 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY, MORRISON LIBRARY  

"Lunch Poems," ongoing. 12:10-12:50 p.m. First Thursdays of each month  

2600 Bancroft Way, Berkeley. (510) 642-3671.< 

 

USS HORNET MUSEUM Come aboard this World War II aircraft carrier that has been converted into a floating museum. The Hornet, launched in 1943, is 899 feet long and 27 stories high. During World War II she was never hit by an enemy strike or plane and holds the Navy record for number of enemy planes shot down in a week. In 1969 the Hornet recovered the Apollo 11 space capsule containing the first men to walk on the moon, and later recovered Apollo 12. In 1991 the Hornet was designated a National Historic Landmark and is now docked at the same pier she sailed from in 1944. Today, visitors can tour the massive ship, view World War II-era warplanes and experience a simulated aircraft launch from the carrier's deck. Exhibits are being added on an ongoing basis. Allow two to three hours for a visit. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to climb steep stairs or ladders. Dress in layers as the ship can be cold. Arrive no later than 2 p.m. to sign up for the engine room and other docent-led tours. Children under age 12 are not allowed in the Engine Room or the Combat Information Center. "Limited Access Day," ongoing. Due to ship maintenance, tours of the navigation bridge and the engine room are not available. Tuesdays.  

"Flight Deck Fun," ongoing. A former Landing Signal Officer will show children how to bring in a fighter plane for a landing on the deck then let them try the signals themselves. Times vary. Free with regular Museum admission.  

"Protestant Divine Services," ongoing. Hornet chaplain John Berger conducts church services aboard The Hornet in the Wardroom Lounge. Everyone is welcome and refreshments are served immediately following the service. Sundays, 11 a.m.Closed on New Year's Day. 

"Family Day," ongoing. Discounted admission for families of four with a further discount for additional family members. Access to some of the areas may be limited due to ship maintenance. Every Tuesday. $20 for family of four; $5 for each additional family member. 

"History Mystery After Hours Tour," ongoing. 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Explore the USS Hornet after hours and learn the history of this ship while it is illuminated in red lights used for "night ops." Also, hear stories about the ships' legendary haunts. Reservations required. (510) 521-8448 X282. 

"Flashlight Tour," ongoing. 8:30 a.m. Receive a special tour of areas aboard the ship that have not yet been opened to the public or that have limited access during the day. $30-$35 per person. 

$6-$14; free children age 4 and under with a paying adult. Daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Pier 3 (enter on Atlantic Avenue), Alameda Point, Alameda. (510) 521-8448, www.uss-hornet.org.< 

 

WHEELER AUDITIORIUM AT THE UNIVERISTY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY  

"Fred Korematsu Day," Jan. 30, 1-5 p.m. A day to honor the civil rights icon with a reception, film screenings, and a keynote address from Rev. Jesse Jackson. $5-4100. (510) 642-9988, www.tickets.berkeley.edu. 

UC Berkeley campus, Berkeley. < 

 

ZELLERBACH HALL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY  

Kodo, Feb. 4, 8 p.m. High energy drummers and performers from Japan are visiting the Bay Area and celebrating their 30th anniversary. $22-$52.  

UC Berkeley campus, Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley. (510) 642-9988.<


Exhibits-East Bay Through February 6

Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 05:39:00 PM

CARMEN FLORES RECREATION CENTER  

"El Corazon de la Communidad: The Heart of the Community", ongoing. Painted by Joaquin Alejandro Newman, this mural installation consists of four 11-foot panels that mix ancient Meso-American and contemporary imagery to pay homage to local activists Carmen Flores and Josie de la Cruz.  

Free unless otherwise noted. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. 1637 Fruitvale Ave., Oakland. (510) 535-5631.< 

 

LAWRENCE HALL OF SCIENCE "NanoZone," ongoing. Discover the science of the super-small: nanotechnology. Through hands-on activities and games, explore this microworld and the scientific discoveries made in this area.  

"Forces That Shape the Bay," ongoing. A science park that shows and explains why the San Francisco Bay is the way it is, with information on water, erosion, plate tectonics and mountain building. You can ride earthquake simulators, set erosion in motion and look far out into the bay with a powerful telescope from 1,100 feet above sea level. The center of the exhibit is a waterfall that demonstrates how water flows from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Bay. Visitors can control where the water goes. There are also hands-on erosion tables, and a 40-foot-long, 6-foothigh, rock compression wall.  

"Real Astronomy Experience," ongoing. A new exhibit-in-development allowing visitors to use the tools that real astronomers use. Aim a telescope at a virtual sky and operate a remote-controlled telescope to measure a planet.  

"Biology Lab," ongoing. In the renovated Biology Lab visitors may hold and observe gentle animals. Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.  

"The Idea Lab," ongoing. Experiment with some of the basics of math, science and technology through hands-on activities and demonstrations of magnets, spinning and flying, puzzles and nanotechnology.  

"Math Around the World," ongoing. Play some of the world's most popular math games, such as Hex, Kalah, Game Sticks and Shongo Networks.  

"Math Rules," ongoing. Use simple and colorful objects to complete interesting challenges in math through predicting, sorting, comparing, weighing and counting.  

"Kapla," ongoing. The hands-on exhibit features thousands of versatile building blocks that can be used to build very large, high and stable structures and models of bridges, buildings, animals or anything else your mind can conceive.  

$6-$12; free children ages 2 and under. Daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. University of California, Centennial Drive, Berkeley. (510) 642-5132, www.lawrencehallofscience.org.

 

LINDSAY WILDLIFE MUSEUM This is the oldest and largest wildlife rehabilitation center in America, taking in 6,000 injured and orphaned animals yearly and returning 40 percent of them to the wild. The museum offers a wide range of educational programs using non-releasable wild animals to teach children and adults respect for the balance of nature. The museum includes a state-of-the art wildlife hospital which features a permanent exhibit, titled "Living with Nature,'' which houses 75 non-releasable wild animals in learning environments; a 5,000-square-foot Wildlife Hospital complete with treatment rooms, intensive care, quarantine and laboratory facilities; a 1-acre Nature Garden featuring the region's native landscaping and wildlife; and an "Especially For Children'' exhibit.  

WILDLIFE HOSPITAL -- September-March: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hospital is open daily including holidays to receive injured and orphaned animals. There is no charge for treatment of native wild animals and there are no public viewing areas in the hospital.SPECIAL EVENTS -- ongoing.  

$5-$7; free children under age 2. June 16-Sept. 15: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sun.; Sept. 16-June 15: noon.-5 p.m. Wed.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek. (925) 935-1978, www.wildlife-museum.org.< 

 

OAKLAND ASIAN CULTURAL CENTER  

"Oakland's 19th-Century San Pablo Avenue Chinatown," ongoing. A permanent exhibit of new findings about the rediscovered Chinatown on San Pablo Avenue. The exhibit aims to inform visitors about the upcoming archaeological work planned to explore the lives of early Chinese pioneers in the 1860s.  

Free. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Pacific Renaissance Plaza, 388 Ninth St., Suite 290, Oakland. (510) 637-0455, www.oacc.cc.

 

OAKLAND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT  

"Going Away, Coming Home," ongoing. A 160-foot public art installation by Mills College art professor Hung Liu. Liu hand painted 80 red-crowned cranes onto 65 panels of glass that were then fired, tempered and paired with background panes that depict views of a satellite photograph, ranging from the western United States to the Asia Pacific Area. Terminal 2.  

Free. Daily, 24 hours, unless otherwise noted. Oakland International Airport, 1 Airport Drive, Oakland. (510) 563-3300, www.flyoakland.com.<


Dance-East Bay Through February 6

Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 05:39:00 PM

ASHKENAZ  

Steve Lucky & The Rhumba Bums, Jan. 28, 9 p.m. East Coast Swing dance lesson at 8 p.m. $10-$13.  

Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, Jan. 29, 9 p.m. Cajun/Zydeco dance lesson at 8 p.m. $12-$15.  

Flamenco Open Stage, Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m. $10.  

Tom Rigney & Flambeau, Feb. 1, 8:30 p.m. Cajun/Zydeco dance lesson at 8 p.m. $10.  

1317 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. (510) 525-5054, www.ashkenaz.com.

 

ELKS LODGE, ALAMEDA  

"All You Can Dance Sunday Socials," ongoing. Sunday, 4-6 p.m. Marilyn Bowe and Robert Henneg presents monthly socials with ballroom, swing, Latin and rock & roll themes. www.dancewithme.info. 

2255 Santa Clara Ave., Alameda. (510) 864-2256.< 

 

SHATTUCK DOWN LOW For ages 21 and older. 

"King of King's," ongoing. 9 p.m. Sun. $10.  

"Live Salsa," ongoing. Wednesdays. An evening of dancing to the music of a live salsa band. Salsa dance lessons from 8-9:30 p.m. $5-$10.  

La Evolucion, Feb. 2, 9 p.m. Salsa dance lessons at 8:30 p.m. $10.  

2284 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 548-1159, www.shattuckdownlow.com.

 

SOLAD DANCE CENTER  

"Persian Dance," ongoing. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:30 and 10 p.m. Rosa Rojas offers traditional dance classes. $10.  

Citrus Marketplace, 2260 Oak Grove Rd., Walnut Creek. (925) 938-3300.< 

 

STARRY PLOUGH PUB  

"Ceili and Dance," ongoing. Traditional Irish music and dance. The evening begins with a dance lesson at 7 p.m. followed by music at 9 p.m. Mondays, 7 p.m. Free.  

For ages 21 and over unless otherwise noted. Sunday and Wednesday, 8 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday, 9:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 841-2082, www.starryploughpub.com.<