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Meet the artists behind “Alt-Left” exhibit at Berkeley Art Center

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“Sequester” by Michael Kerbow.

The Berkeley Art Center, 1275 Walnut St. in Live Oak Park,  is hosting “Alt-Left: Local Treasures Artists in Conversation” from 4 to 6 p.m. May 20. The center is celebrating its establishment 50 years ago.

“Join the artists along with exhibition curator DeWitt Cheng for a fascinating conversation about left-leaning surrealism and art-making in the Trump era.

“DeWitt Cheng is an artist, collector, freelance art writer, educator, and curator based in San Francisco. His articles have appeared in such publications as Artweek, Art Ltd., Artillery, ArtNews, East Bay Express, East Bay Monthly, Sculpture, San Jose Metro, Stanford Daily, Artslant.com, ArBusiness.com, and VisualArtSource.com.”

Admission is $10 or free for center members.

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A 2017 painting by Mark Bryan on exhibit at the Berkeley Art Center.

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Berkeley: Moe’s Books explains why it will be closed on Feb. 17

People gather in front of Moe’s Books on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley Sunday 4/20/97 during a memorial block party for bookstore owner Moe Moskowitz who died April 1, 1997 at the age of 75. (WEST COUNTY TIMES/EDDIE LEDESMA) wmoe

Moe’s Books on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley posted the following announcement on its Facebook page to explain why it will be closed on Feb. 17:

 

Dear Friends
Many of you know that a general strike has been planned for February 17th as a way of resisting the Trump administration. Our immediate reaction was to support this action in spirit, but it is difficult for a small business to forfeit even one day’s income. Still, after discussing this with the staff we have decided that we will close the store for the day. We do understand that not everyone can join the strike, but we urge you to spend some time on February 17th thinking about the state of the country, and that you consider resisting this regime in your own way.
Thank you
The management and staff at Moe’s Books
#radicalbookselling

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TBT: BART Richmond line begins service Jan. 29, 1973

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A color view of the El Cerrito Plaza station before the opening of the Richmond line in
January 1973. (Photo courtesy El Cerrito Chamber of Commerce).

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BART rolls into the El Cerrito Plaza station on the first (and rainy) day of service on the
Richmond line on Jan. 29, 1973.

The Richmond line of the BART system began operation 44 years ago this week, on Jan. 29, 1973.  The first portion of the system, Oakland to Fremont, opened on Sept. 11, 1972, and other legs were rolled out in succession, with the Richmond-Fremont line being the second. (Concord followed in May 1973.)

BART ran along the Santa Fe Railroad right of way through Albany and El Cerrito and Santa Fe service continued until 1979, meaning a double dose of train watching or disruptive noise, depending on your point of view.

Abandonment by Santa Fe of the right of way led to the creation of the Ohlone Greenway, cited by BART as an early example of cooperative development of the communities it would be serving: “BART’s widely-known ‘linear park,’ for example, was constructed under the aerial right-of-way through Albany and El Cerrito to demonstrate how function could combine with aesthetics to enhance community environments.”

The story of the transit district’s rather unlikely road to reality is told in the new book “BART: The Dramatic History of the Bay Area Rapid Transit System,” authored by retired transit district spokesman Michael C. Healy and published by Heyday Books of Berkeley.

Here are some views of the opening of the Richmond line and the development along the way.

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Groundbreaking for the downtown Berkeley station in 1966.

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Elevated track under construction in Albany in 1968.

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Excavation on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley in 1969.

Officials conduct a tree planting at the future Del Norte station in El Cerrito along what would become the Ohlone Greenway in 1969.

Officials conduct a tree planting at the future Del Norte station in El Cerrito along what would become the Ohlone Greenway in 1969.

 

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Passengers at the Richmond station await the arrival of the first train in January 1973.

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The inaugural train on the line arrives at the Richmond BART station.

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Richmond-bound train arrives at the El Cerrito Plaza in the rain on the first day of service.

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A postcard view of the downtown Berkeley station from 1974. The station is now undergoing
extensive remodeling.

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BART under construction in Albany in 1968.

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TBT: Vintage and current views of the Heinz Building in Berkeley

The H.J. Heinz Co. Factory at 2900 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley has been called “Berkeley’s most elegant industrial building” by the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association. The building was constructed in 1927-28 and it operated as a factory until Heinz relocated operations in 1956. A good description and history of the building is available on the BAHA website.

The building has since had other tenants and now is a retail and office center. The building was given city landmark status in 1986 and it is also listed in the California State Historic Resources Inventory.

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A 1940s view looking north of The Heinz Building at San Pablo and Ashby avenues.

 

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The same view today.

 

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Looking south in 1945 at the Heinz Building from San Pablo at Heinz Avenue. Note the two
lines of streetcar tracks. Update and correction: John Stashik, our resident rail expert,
points out that these are not streetcar tracks. “Those tracks in the photo on San Pablo Avenue
were Shipyard Railway tracks. Streetcar service ended in the 1930s north of Ashby. So the
tracks needed to be replaced for the Shipyard service from 1942-45 on San Pablo north of
Ashby and on Grayson Street.”

 

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The same view today, with the tracks long removed and a median and left turn lane added.

heinz building 1966 ad

A 1966 Berkeley Gazette ad for the Packaging Company of California, housed in the 
Heniz Building.