Crime

Berkeley police respond to bank robbery downtown

Berkeley police cruiser. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Police are investigating a bank robbery Wednesday morning. Photo: Emilie Raguso

A man who threatened to have a gun robbed a downtown Berkeley bank Wednesday morning, according to authorities.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said the department is investigating a robbery at Chase Bank, at 2390 Shattuck Ave., near Channing Way. 

Coats said the call about the robbery came in at about 10:05 a.m. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley balcony passed inspection before collapse

A balcony at Library Gardens in downtown Berkeley collapsed Tuesday, killing six. Photo: Emily Dugdale
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The fifth-floor Berkeley balcony that collapsed June 16, sending six people in their 20s to their deaths, was inspected less than a year before the accident and found to be structurally sound.

The Aug. 15, 2014, inspection report attesting to that was included in a slew of documents that Greystar, the management company for Library Gardens at 2020 Kittredge St., released in recent days to the city of Berkeley. The documents also include the record of a Sept. 30, 2014, visual inspection of unit 405, the two-bedroom apartment where the balcony collapsed. In that instance, two employees found that the window seals in the unit were “good,” but that the apartment was lacking a carbon-monoxide alarm, and one fire alarm was beeping. … Continue reading »

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Big Screen Berkeley: ‘The Third Man’ — The perfect film?

The Third Man courtesy of Studiocanal 05
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There are very, very few films I consider ‘perfect’ —  if perfection can ever truly be achieved in the field of cinema. Any discussion of ‘perfect films’, however, surely must include The Third Man (1949), a suspense classic coming to Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas for a short run beginning Friday, July 3 in a newly remastered print.

Directed by Carol Reed, The Third Man stars Joseph Cotten as Holly Martins, an American traveling to Austria for a job offered him by old friend Harry Lime. Arriving in Vienna, Martins is told that Lime has been killed in a horrific traffic accident — but the truth of the matter is that Lime has staged his own ‘death’ in order to escape responsibility for selling deadly black-market penicillin.

Reed’s film magnificently blends suspense and noir sensibilities, as Holly pursues Harry’s ghost until a third act ‘reveal’ in which Lime finally steps into the spotlight. That he’s played by Orson Welles somehow seems oh so appropriate: scarred, rejected, and hated by the studio system, Welles’ was about to embark upon a life in the cinema shadows. His demeanor in The Third Man suggests he was well aware of the fact. … Continue reading »

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Where in Berkeley?

Where in Berkeley?

Where in Berkeley

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

Photo: Jude Berman.

Send your submissions for “Where in Berkeley?” to tips@berkeleyside.com. The more obscure the better — just as long as the photos are taken in Berkeley. Thanks in advance.

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The Berkeley Wire: 06.30.15

Doe and Bancroft. Photo: Ned Fielden

Doe and Bancroft. Photo: Ned Fielden

New BAM/PFA to open in downtown Berkeley in January (UCB News)
Cal sued for allegedly failing to respond properly to sexual assault complaints (LA Times)
Community groups plan rally for homeless (Daily Cal)
Don Reed shatters stereotypes at the DMV (Express)
Berkeley balcony passed inspection last year, records show (Irish Times)
Tevye and Fiddler on the Roof end Berkeley Playhouse season (V Media)

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Government

The lowdown: Berkeley council on street behavior, Campanile view, budget, Berkeley Barb, more

Photo by Melati Citrawireja
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Tuesday night’s Berkeley City Council meeting begins at 6 p.m., June 30, with a closed session on labor negotiations related to the Police Department, and the appointment of a new city manager later this year. Also at 6 p.m., advocates for the homeless are set to rally outside Old City Hall against a proposal related to street behavior coming up later in the night. At its regular 7 p.m. meeting, council is set to consider new rates for its sewer service, an appeal related to the view of San Francisco Bay from Campanile Way, the adoption of the biennial budget, and a set of new laws its advocates say could curb problematic street behavior. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, June 11-17

Selected calls to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. Scroll down for detailed maps. Click the map above for the list. See the map key here.
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This overview of recent crime in Berkeley is based on reports to the Berkeley Police unless otherwise noted. Please share photos, videos and tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at crime@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook or Twitter; let us know if you prefer to be anonymous. Don’t assume someone else will alert us — we value your eyes and ears, and you may be the only one to get in touch. We very much want to know about issues of neighborhood concern and rely on our readers to help us stay informed.

From June 11-17, there were reports of nine robberies14 burglaries12 assaults or batteries, one weapon-involved call and no sexual assaults, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 20 stolen vehicles14 disturbances and 39 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. Significant incidents reported by the University of California Police Department (UCPD) included two burglaries. These numbers are subject to change. Click the links for the latest numbers. The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate; incidents that took place during a range of time are listed by the beginning of that time period.

Thursday, June 11

The BART police received a report of a bike theft at Ashby BART between 9:10 p.m. Wednesday and 12:30 a.m. Thursday. The BMX bicycle had been secured with a cable lock.

There were two disturbance calls, at 12:55 a.m. in the 1200 block of University Avenue, and at 7 a.m. in the 3000 block of Adeline Street.

UCPD responded to a burglary at 7:42 a.m. at North Gate Hall.

Two vehicles were stolen, at 4 p.m. in the 2000 block of Carleton Street, and at 7 p.m. in the 1300 block of Bonita Avenue.

There was a home burglary at 9 p.m. in the 1200 block of University.  … Continue reading »

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Berkeley council to hear Campanile Way landmark appeal

taowrigh
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The group of Berkeley residents that lost a petition to the Landmarks Preservation Commission to landmark the view from Campanile Way is now appealing that decision before the City Council tonight. The group, led by former LPC commissioner Steven Finacom, is concerned that a development at 2211 Harold Way would mar what they argue is a historic view.

Read more about what’s coming up at tonight’s council meeting.

The LPC voted 5-3, with one abstention, against landmarking the path and its view, though nearly everyone at the meeting agreed that the view is fantastic. The commissioners were divided about how much the 18-story development would impact the view. Even if the petition had passed, some commissioners argued, UC Berkeley is not governed by local ordinances and would not be legally required to pay attention to the ruling. … Continue reading »

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City to consider ordinances restricting street behavior

Since Measure S failed in 2012, many say Berkeley's homeless population has only grown. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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On Tuesday, the Berkeley City Council is slated to vote on proposed laws that would make it illegal to solicit anyone at a parking meter, lie in or on top of a city-owned planter, spread out bedding on the sidewalks between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., and urinate or defecate in a public place.

The proposed laws, depending on who is talking about them, will either address problematic street behavior downtown and make it a more pleasant place to visit, or further criminalize the homeless.

Read more about what’s coming up at tonight’s council meeting.

In March, council voted 6-3 to approve a proposal by Councilwoman Linda Maio to clarify laws related to street behavior often associated with the city’s homeless population. The four ordinances on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting are a result of that proposal.

“These ordinances are not about trying to solve homelessness,” Maio said. “They’re about basic, socially acceptable rules and behaviors.”

Continue reading »

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Library Gardens builder seeks to stop DA from examining Berkeley balcony without it being present

A balcony at Library Gardens in downtown Berkeley collapsed Tuesday, killing six. Photo: David Yee
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Segue Construction, the company that oversaw the building of Library Gardens, scene of an accident that killed six earlier this month, plans to ask a judge today to prohibit the Alameda County district attorney’s office from examining the balcony that sheared off the fifth floor June 16 unless one of its representatives is present.

In a three-paragraph press release, Pleasanton-based Segue pledged to cooperate with the DA’s investigation into the cause of the collapse that killed six students and injured seven others. But the company plans to seek a temporary restraining order “to ensure no evidence related to this tragic accident is altered, inspected, tested, or destroyed without allowing Segue to observe and participate in that process,” the company said.

Read complete balcony collapse coverage on Berkeleyside.

Teresa Drenick, a spokeswoman for the DA’s office, said early Tuesday that she could not comment yet on the news. She was not even sure that the DA’s office had been served any papers yet. … Continue reading »

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Detroit: Unpredictable, dark comedy shines at the Aurora

Kenny, Mary, Sharon, and Ben (l-r, Patrick Kelly Jones*, Amy Resnick*, Luisa Frasconi, Jeff Garrett*) have a wild backyard barbeque in Aurora’s Bay Area Premiere of Detroit
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The fiery dark comedy, Detroit, written by Lisa D’Amour, richly deserves the Obie Award it won in 2013 for the Best New American Play. When it first opened in Chicago at the Steppenwolf Theatre in 2010, the U.S. was floundering through the sudden and severe recession that turned people’s lives inside out. Detroit adroitly captures those angst-filled times and weightier concerns, yet has plenty of humor and satire that lessens the pall. It is also an exploration into the dream or mirage of the American middle class life.

Mary (Amy Resnick (Body Awareness, Collapse) and Ben (Jeff Garrett, QED, Berkeley City Club, Assassins, Shotgun) live in a post-World War II close-in suburb near an unnamed city. Mary is a paralegal, but is more interested in shopping online than doing her work. Ben has been laid off from his job as a bank loan officer, but has big plans to start an online site to help those in debt. And he surfs motivational websites. Perhaps he still has a shot at the American Dream. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, State Senator Loni Hancock, challenge us to save as much water as them

Mayor Tom Bate's new water conservation challenge hopes to raise awareness about California's serious drought. Photo: Steve Johnson
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Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates has announced a city-wide water-conservation challenge with the chance for Berkeley residents to win “fame, appreciation, and a free lunch,” the latter with him and his wife, State Senator Loni Hancock.

Bates and Hancock issued the “Bates-Hancock Water Conservation Challenge,” on June 29. The contest pits Berkeleyan against Berkeleyan in a race to see who can reduce their water usage the most in a 2-month billing cycle.

Mayor Bates and Hancock disclosed their own personal water bill which demonstrated that they have reduced their water usage by 68.1% year-on-year in the latest billing period (April 10-June 9) — which equates to 37 gallons per day on average in comparison with 116 gallons in 2013. … Continue reading »

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Breaking: Manchester United – San Jose Earthquakes game moved from Berkeley to San Jose

Wayne Rooney of Manchester United and Stephen Quinn of Hull City
Barclays Premier League 2014/15 Hull City v Manchester United KC Stadium, West Park, Hull, United Kingdom - 24 May 2015

 (Rex Features via AP Images)
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UPDATE, 9:25 p.m.:  The July 21 Manchester United vs. San Jose Earthquakes game will be played at Avaya Stadium in San Jose rather than Cal Memorial Stadium, according to Wesley Mallette, Associate AD, Strategic Communications for Cal Athletics. Mallette confirmed UC Berkeley was informed today about the decision, made by Relevent Sports, organizers of the tournament. “We were informed that the change in venue was made in order to better meet Manchester United’s travel and logistical requirements,” he said in a statement Monday night. People who bought tickets to the original game will be issued a full refund and should expect their refund within 5-7 days, Mallette said, adding that specific details about refunds will be issued Tuesday. “We have been informed by the promoter that those who purchased tickets for the match in Berkeley will be eligible for a special pre-sale opportunity to purchase seats before they go on sale to the general public.”

ORIGINAL STORY: The Guinness International Champions Cup soccer game between English Premiership club Manchester United and local MLS team San Jose Earthquakes that was due to be played at Cal Memorial Stadium in Berkeley on Tuesday, July 21 will not be played in Berkeley, according to a staffer in the Berkeley City Manager’s office. The source said the decision was taken Monday. … Continue reading »

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The Berkeley Wire: 06.29.15

Peet's Coffee and Tea at Telegraph and Dwight by Paul Sullivan. Photo taken April 15, 2015

Peet’s Coffee and Tea at Telegraph and Dwight by Paul Sullivan. Photo taken April 15, 2015

Berkeley balcony had “unusual slope” before collapse (SF Chronicle)
State board investigates contractor in wake of balcony collapse (KQED)
Inequality persists in Berkeley high school graduation rates (Onyx Express)
Former UC students announce Title IX lawsuit (Mercury News)
Claims filed on behalf of protesters at December marches (IBA)
Poetry Flash faces uncertain future because of rent increase (LA Times)
Council reappoints library trustees at heart of naming dispute (IBA)

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