Judith Doner Berne

Rockridge's Restaurant Row Broadens Its Footprint

Saturday, January 10, 2015

If 2013 was the banner year for the opening of new restaurants along College Avenue in Rockridge - 10, count them, 10 - 2014 might be characterized as the year of planned expansions, completed remodeling and increased hours.

New: Just one new restaurant, opened as High Peaks Kitchen at the southern end of College, moved seamlessly into the digs of what was Currylicious, improving the outdoor patio and serving up better Indian food, by way of Tibet. Tsultrim Dorjee told me that he and his fellow owners are Tibetan exiles who grew up in India.

It Sometimes Takes a 'Village' to Keep Seniors in Their Homes

Friday, December 12, 2014

If anyone has a handle on the ever-growing Village Movement, aimed at helping older adults to age in their homes and neighborhoods, it's my neighbor Janis Brewer.

Brewer, a management consultant specializing in non-profit agencies, has aided a slew of villages who hire her independently. These range from the Ashby and North Oakland Villages, which serve Rockridge, to locations in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Petaluma, even two in Arizona. (See overview of the Village Movement on page 7.)

Neighborhood Go-getter Sets Her Sights on Keeping Beloved Children's Theatre Group on Stage

Sunday, November 9, 2014

"I hadn't been in a show since third grade," confides Nancy Morton, the recently elected board president of the long-running East Bay Children's Theatre (EBCT).

But last year, she came full circle, making her adult debut as a townsperson in EBCT's production of "Jack and the Beanstalk and the Giant, and the Goose, and the Really-Truly-Uly Rotten Day" in front of third graders plus other pre-K to 5th-grade students. "I only had a few lines," Morton is quick to tell me.

One Woman's Battle Against Gun Violence In Oakland

Friday, October 3, 2014

We all read about the senseless killings of three small children in the gun violence that rocked Oakland in 2011.

But when Carlos Nava, 3, was killed in his stroller, Hiram Lawrence Jr., 23 months, in his father's arms and Gabriel Martinez, 5, in front of his daddy's taco stand, one Rockridge mother and grandmother acted.

Paula Hawthorn's thinking went something like this: "I have to do something. I'm retired. I first should do research because I know how to do research."

New Rockridge Resident Cooks Up Local Food Tour

Thursday, July 10, 2014

When you stop and think about it, it makes perfect sense - a Rockridge Heritage and Walking Food Tour.

But it took a newcomer to make it happen.

Lauren Herpich and her husband Chris, who met on Match.com, moved here from Chicago a year and a half ago - a few months after they were married (a destination wedding in Napa). As they got on the plane to return to Chicago, they asked themselves, why?

Soon they were headed west, but unlike many young people, they didn't start out living in San Francisco and then head for the East Bay.

Helping Needy Babies Earns Lisa Klein Oakland's Mother of the Year Award

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Rockridge resident and Oakland's 2014 Mother of the Year Lisa Klein was home with a new baby when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005.

"It was on CNN all the time," she says. "I kept searching for something I could do. I'm not a doctor; I couldn't be deployed."

While viewing the New Orleans' Craig's List, she saw that an area church was pleading, "We need everything - aspirin, baby clothes, blankets" for the displaced victims camped out on their lawn.

Local Memoir Writer Adds Dimension to Book Club Discussion

Saturday, April 5, 2014

As a relatively new resident of Rockridge, I am definitely a Judy-come-lately to the 14-year-old book club on my street.

Every book club has a story behind its founding, but this one began and held its first meeting in a car. Four neighbors - Norma Bedford, Kathy Herman, Stephanie Lee and Christine Osborne - for a time carpooled each day to San Francisco.

Local Masonic Lodge Master Digs Deep to Uncover Its Past

Saturday, March 8, 2014

When the all but forgotten gravesite of a two-time Oakland mayor is re-dedicated at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 29 in Mountain View Cemetery, David A. Forsyth will have completed his quest.

The Rockridge resident, who incidentally is my backyard neighbor, is the current Master (think president) of Oakland Durant Rockridge Lodge 188 F.&A.M. (Free and Accepted Masons). Founded in 1917, the Lodge is located in the award-winning landmark building on the west side of College between Kales Avenue and Taft Street. The building was constructed in the 1920s by the Lodge.

Long-time Rockridge resident wants you to know: College Avenue didn't happen by accident

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Annette Floystrup likens College Avenue in Rockridge to the little engine that could.

In that tale, a small engine encounters obstacles along the way but finds a way to pull a long train over a high mountain, maintaining the mantra "I think I can, I think I can."

Floystrup, who was five years old when her family moved to Rockridge from Denmark in 1955, has watched and participated in the Avenue's uphill battle to stay on track.

New College Avenue Restaurants Opening at Record Pace Challenge Columnist's Goal

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Last year, after eating my way up College Avenue from Broadway to the BART station, my 2013 New Year's resolution was to do the same from BART to the Berkeley border - thereby conquering Rockridge's Restaurant Row.

And last year, I also suggested that it would be easier since "fewer restaurants await us and, yes, we have already been to several."

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