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Cover | Ellen Heck

Elizabeth on her Laptop (Woodcut, drypoint and aquatint print on Somerset velvet paper, 2009, 15”x22”). Artist Ellen Heck created this work as the first in a series of 10 images in her print portfolio, Plus a Century. The title references the etchings of Impressionist artist Mary Cassatt, known for her images of women and mothers with children. Heck’s prints respond to Cassatt’s compositions with contrasting views of contemporary women. As part of Kala Art Institute’s 35th anniversary celebration, Heck’s work is featured in On View: New Work from Kala, May 1–Aug. 15, at the new gallery at 2990 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley—part of Kala’s expanded facility. For info: (510) 549-2977 or



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student art contest



2009 Issue:

Table of Contents

|  Watershed Moments
On most weekends, dedicated East Bay volunteers—like the hardy crew at Oakland’s Beaconsfield Canyon—grapple with stubborn underbrush as they remove invasive plants and replant natives, exerting themselves to unclog creeks and recreate natural havens for city dwellers. They also work to free streams from underground pipes, so that our small waterways flow unimpeded and visible to all. While we have a long local history of active stream-restoration groups—Strawberry, Codornices, and Sausal creeks are all beneficiaries of their efforts—today’s volunteers are also working hard to educate school children and the community in ecoliteracy.  By Lauri Puchall

SHOP TALK | Neighborhood Shops & Such
This month’s Shop Talk offers the latest on local shops, getaways, and services: Ifshin Violins, StressCare, Harbin Hot Springs, and Castello di Amorosa. Shop Talk alternates monthly with Bay Tripping.  By Gina Gotsill and Autumn Stephens.

UP FRONT | A Measure of Change
After 30 years of conducting new and classic masterpieces from the podium of the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, Music Director Kent Nagano steps down this month. Portugal’s Joana Carneiro, who instantly connected with the orchestra while conducting here for the first time, will take his place.  Jason Victor Serinus

EAST BAY LIFE | Baby Steps
Tiny premature babies—some as small as one pound—and their overwhelmed parents receive soothing care at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Berkeley. One of the first family-centered nurseries in the country, the preemie unit welcomes parents day and night, helping them to connect with their fragile newborns until the infants are strong enough to go home.  By Rachel Trachten

REAL FOOD | Sweets Sculptor
If pastry artist Paul Masse’s apron is not decorated with abstract splatters of chocolate by the end of his typical 14-hour workday, something must be awry. Our writer rises before dawn to chronicle a fast-paced, fragrant Wednesday in the kitchen of Masse’s Pastries in Berkeley, detailing everything from blood-orange mousse cake to mango glaze.   By Anna Mindess

The overwhelming choices in the world of shades, curtains, and blinds can make anyone want to, ahem, draw the drapes and go back to bed. But a little prep work, like noting your domestic decor and what kind of windows you have, can make the dreaded window covering shopping trip a snap.  By Kate Madden Yee

The Kilduff File |  Nell Minow
Like the drive-in movie critic Joe Bob Briggs, Nell Minow gives parents a heads-up about bare breasts and gratuitous violence in movies. But she also notes instances of substance abuse, positive messages about diversity, and meaningful life lessons in recent releases for kids. By Paul Kilduff


Editor’s Note


Be East Bay: Go, Meet, Shift, Create, Read
A short section of cool things to try, hot things to read and interesting people to meet in the East Bay.

Critic’s Choice

Shop Talk

Boutique Bazaar

Food for Thought

Dining Guide

Marketplace: Home & Garden

Marketplace: Personal & Creative Services

Kartoon Korner


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