Breaking: Downtown Berkeley BART closed due to fatality

Downtown Berkeley BART at around xx tonight. Photo: Mori TYager

MacArthur BART station at around 7:15pm tonight after Downtown Berkeley BART station was closed due a person under the train. Photo: Mori Yagi

Update, 9:40pm: Downtown Berkeley BART station remains closed due to a person who went under a train shortly before 7pm tonight and was pronounced dead. Trains are running through the station but not stopping. BART says to expect 15-20 minute delays. Embarcadero station in SF is also closed due a person under a train.

Update, 9pm: BART reports that there is a station closure at Embarcadero in San Francisco on the Daly City line due to “a major medical emergency.”

Update, 7:50pm: BART said that BART police and Berkeley Fire Department personnel were attending to “a person under a train” at the Downtown Berkeley station. In a recorded message, BART Communications confirmed that the station would continue to be closed “until the investigation was complete.”

The report of a person under a train came in just before 7pm, the message said. The station was closed at 7pm, and authorities confirmed at 7:15pm that the person was deceased.

Passengers should expect 15-minute delays on the Richmond line in the Fremont direction.

Update, 7:38pm: Lt Steve Coontz of the BART Police confirmed that there was a fatality at the Downtown Berkeley BART station and that the station is closed until further notice.

Lt. Coontz said trains are running through the station on some tracks but not stopping. “There are major delays,” he said at around 7:40pm.

Original story: Downtown Berkeley BART is closed in the Fremont, Richmond and Millbrae directions due to a major medical emergency, according to BART.

Just before 7pm, BART issued an advisory saying there was a 15-minute delay at Downtown Berkeley on the Richmond Line in the Richmond direction due to “a problem currently being investigated.”

Travelers reported on Twitter that the station was evacuated.

At around 7:15pm, Mori Yagi reported via Twitter that BART was “single-tracking trains between Richmond and MacArthur on Platform 4.”

This incident is the third involving a person under a train in Berkeley this month. On Nov. 8 a man lay down on the track-way as a train arrived at the North Berkeley BART station. When authorities found him, he was conscious and transported to the Highland hospital for moderate injuries. The following day, a distraught man tried to jump in front of a train at the North Berkeley BART station at approximately 9:30 p.m. The man was being pulled off the tracks by a passer-by.

BART police also pulled a woman off the tracks at Richmond station this morning at around 8am. She was taken to a hospital for evaluation, according to CBS.

Accident closes Tunnel Road in Southside Berkeley

Update, 8:50pm: Berkeley Police report that Tunnel Road is now open. In response to questions from Berkeleyside, Officer Stephanie Polizziani said: “Roads are clear and open.  I don’t have any other details other that it was a collision, minor injuries.”

Original story: Separately, Tunnel Road has been closed to traffic in both directions due to a vehicle accident near Oak Ridge Road. Two separate witnesses reported talking to police at around 6:00 p.m. who said the road would continue to be blocked for an hour or so.

Police have closed Tunnel Road in Berkeley after an accident on Tunnel Road

Police closed a stretch of Tunnel Road in Berkeley after an accident there on Tuesday Nov. 25, 2014. Photo: Laura Lorenz

We will update this story as we gather new information.

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The Berkeley Wire: 11.25.14

Moon crescent over Emeryville by Ira Serkes. Photo taken Nov. 23, 2014

Moon crescent over Emeryville by Ira Serkes. Photo taken Nov. 23, 2014

Have a Coke and a frown (US News)
Apartments near BART are affordable, but hard to find (Inside Bay Area)
Lytro chairman to take post as Berkeley professor in 2015 (Re/code)
Artisans set to open studios for holiday season (CoCo Times)
A sweet overview of Berkeley’s candy shops (Eating Berkeley)
Former Berkeley shooting suspect killed in Oakland (Daily Cal)

Berkeleyside publishes thousands of stories a year on the goings-on in Berkeley. We need your financial support to help us continue to produce great stories about the city. It’s easy to become a supporter: Just click here.

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Time-lapse video: A Berkeley school gets new classrooms

The new portables are on Washington’s annex campus on McKinley St., across from the school’s main campus

The new portables are on Washington’s annex campus on McKinley St., across from the school’s main campus

Over the summer, Washington Elementary School in Berkeley got a new set of portable classrooms. The new classrooms replaced a group of portables which dated back to the 1960s, even though they were installed originally as a temporary measure. The new ones come from Berkeley High School. They were removed from there in order to complete the high school’s $46 million new construction project.

The decision to replace very old portables with seven less-old portables on Washington’s annex campus on McKinley St., across from the school’s main campus, was not popular with many Washington parents who say an underlying problem not being addressed by the district is overcrowding at the elementary school.

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Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Nov. 13-19

Selected calls for service to the Berkeley Police, via (Scroll down for maps of robberies, burglaries, auto burglaries and auto thefts.) Click the map for the full list. See the map key here.
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This is an overview of recent crime in Berkeley, exclusively compiled by Berkeleyside, and based on reports to the Berkeley Police Department unless otherwise noted. The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate.

From Nov. 13-19, there were reports of 14 burglaries31 auto break-ins or thefts from vehiclesfive stolen vehicles and 18 disturbances, according to Six robberies11 assaults or batteries, no weapon-related calls and no sexual assaults were reported. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department included a robbery, two stolen vehicles and a weapon-related call. These numbers are subject to change. Click the links above for the latest numbers.

Please do not hesitate to share photos, videos and tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at or on Facebook or Twitter; let us know up front 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.

Thursday, Nov. 13

Police responded to four disturbances: at 5:20 a.m. in the 2700 block of Seventh Street; at 6:38 a.m. in the 2500 block of Regent Street; at 11:23 a.m. at University Avenue and Fifth Street; and at 3:35 p.m. in the 2600 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

There were five home burglaries: at 7:50 a.m. in the 1700 block of Blake Street; at 8 a.m. in the 2100 block of Sacramento Street; at 8 a.m. in the 1400 block of Hopkins Street; at 10:40 a.m. in the 700 block of San Luis Road; and at 2 p.m. in the 1500 block of Hearst Avenue.

There was a robbery at 1:45 p.m. in the 2100 block of Shattuck Avenue. … Continue reading »

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Decades-old mural could derail Berkeley apartment project

Patrick Kennedy is hoping to build at 70-unit building at 2539 Telegraph Ave., but is concerned that a mural on the property will be landmarked, making the project unfeasible. Photo: Panoramic Interests
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After deciding the former Center for Independent Living building at 2539 Telegraph Ave. should not be a landmark, Berkeley’s Landmarks Preservation Commission is pondering whether a faded and weathered mural in the property’s back parking lot deserves that recognition — a move developer Patrick Kennedy says could kill his plans to build an apartment complex on the site.

The landmark designation of the mural might also mean that the Center for Independent Living (CIL) would lose the $3 million it would get for the sale of its building, a loss that could impact programming and the organization’s future, according to Stuart S. James, its executive director.

“The mural in its current crumbling condition means little to us,” James wrote in a letter he sent to all the members of the Berkeley City Council. The “issue … could adversely affect the future of our organization.” … Continue reading »

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Spiced pear sandwich cakes: Luscious and laid back

Spiced pear sandwich cakes (11)
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There’s an air of looming formality in autumn. Sandals and shorts disappear into the backs of our closets. Clinking glasses and winter rituals are close on the horizon. Playing in a pile of colored leaves feels invigorating but elusive. So as a small act of rebellion against the buttoned-up-ness that winter will soon bring, I decided to join together two of fall’s most scrumptious ingredients — pears and cloves — in a deliciously relaxed form. … Continue reading »

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The Berkeley Wire: 11.24.14

Morning light, Berkeley Marina. Photo: Steve Gumina

Morning light, Berkeley Marina. Photo: Steve Gumina

Gordon Wozniak prepares to leave council post after 12 years (Daily Cal)
Election 2014: How Berkeley voted in 15th Assembly District race (Daily Planet)
Open UC movement occupies Wheeler Hall for five days (Daily Cal)
New mushroom discovered on UC Berkeley campus (Phys Org)
5 volunteering opportunities in Berkeley (Daily Cal)
First person: People’s Park protest scores win against Cal (Berkeley Reporter)
UC students plan walkout Monday to protest tuition hikes (SF Chronicle)

Berkeleyside publishes thousands of stories a year on the goings-on in Berkeley. We need your financial support to help us continue to produce great stories about the city. It’s easy to become a supporter: Justclick here.

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Police report possible mountain lion sighting in Berkeley

Mountain lion by princecody:CC
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UC Berkeley Police have issued an alert about a possible mountain lion sighting on Berkeley Lab property.

The department said it received a report from a Lab employee who said they had seen a mountain lion near Building 90 on Thursday Nov. 20.

Over the weekend, workers also found a small deer carcass that may have been killed by a mountain lion, UCPD said in a press release. The carcass was located on a foot trail near Parking Lot D. … Continue reading »

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‘Pizza delivery’ police nab armed robbers in Berkeley

Authorities say the robbers used a stolen credit card to order pizza, which tipped police to their location, and ultimately led to their arrest and the recovery of a handgun. Photo: Kris Vera-Phillips
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Police officers pretending to be pizza deliverers captured three people linked to an armed robbery early Monday morning in North Berkeley.

Authorities say the robbers used a stolen credit card to order pizza, which tipped police to their location, and ultimately led to their arrest and the recovery of a handgun.

According to Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police spokesman, the robbery took place just after 1 a.m. when two people with a gun robbed a pedestrian of his backpack at Acton and Delaware streets near the North Berkeley BART station. … Continue reading »

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Students march through Berkeley to protest tuition hikes

UC tuition protests. Photo: Siciliana Trevino
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Several hundred UC Berkeley students staged a walkout Monday, Nov. 24, to protest proposed tuition increases across the UC system.

As part of the walkout, a group around 200-strong took the protest to the streets of downtown Berkeley, starting at Civic Center Park and walking up Center Street toward the campus at around 1 p.m.

Police had stopped traffic at the corner of Center and Shattuck Avenue, and traffic was disrupted by the demonstration, said Siciliana Trevino who was on the scene and shot the video below.

The University of California’s Board of Regents voted Nov. 20 to authorize systemwide tuition increases of up to 5% per year through 2019-20 over the objections of Gov. Jerry Brown, who offered to increase state funding by 4% per year over the next two years only if tuition was frozen at the current rate.  … Continue reading »

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Chefs, Chez Panisse alums, enjoy sourcing by barter

Russell Moore
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When Russell Moore and Allison Hopelain say their produce at Camino Restaurant is locally grown, not many diners realize how literally they mean it.

While many of the vegetables and fruit used at the popular Oakland restaurant come from local farmers markets, some of the herbs and produce on Camino’s plates and in its cocktails are grown just half a mile away, in a garden by a couple who don’t farm for a living, but do it as a hobby. Their payment: eating regularly at the restaurant.

And, while it is unusual for Tim Drew and Christine Hwang to grow what Moore asks them to — both in the nature of the relationship and in its scope — for many East Bay residents the barter system seems to be alive and well. A side benefit? The goodwill that ensues from an exchange without money, and the friendships it forges. … Continue reading »

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How Quirky is Berkeley? The city’s hidden murals

Osha Newmann mural, Trinity Methodist Church; photo John Storey
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Murals are usually front and center, loud and clear, impossible to miss. In my systematic wandering of Berkeley, I have come across several hidden murals. Murals in and of themselves are quirky, and the fact that a mural is not easily seen makes it even more quirky.

In addition to the previously published Jane Norling mural that was originally painted in San Francisco and now can be seen if you peek over her Berkeley fence, I have found three (or four, depending how you count) hidden murals.

The first, “Winds of Change,” appears on what used to be the eastern wall of the Co-Op Credit Union on University Avenue. The Consumers Cooperative of Berkeley, which we knew simply as the Co-Op, operated from 1939 until 1988. In its prime, it was the largest cooperative of its kind in the United States or Canada. The University Avenue store was opened in 1937 by the Berkeley Buyers’ Club, an organization founded by members of the Upton Sinclair-inspired End Poverty in California. The Co-Op closed in 1988 as a result of financial and internal governance disputes. … Continue reading »

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The Berkeley Wire: 11.21.14

Berkeley Marine, evening. Photo, taken on Nov. 19, 2014, by Louis Benainous

Berkeley Marina, evening. Photo, taken on Nov. 19, 2014, by Louis Benainous

Day 3: Cal students continue protests against tuition hikes (KTVU)
To find a sense of place in Jewish history, keep moving (J Weekly)
At Tilden Park, newt rules take affect (Mercury News)
Cal spirit: the road toward the Big Game (Daily Clog)
School board members approve recess restriction (Daily Cal)
Possible new fuel additive at Berkeley pumps: guilt (CoCo Times)
A Berkeley shopping district is born (SFGate)
All the things that are quirky in Berkeley (The New Yorker)

Berkeleyside publishes thousands of stories a year on the goings-on in Berkeley. We need your financial support to help us continue to produce great stories about the city. It’s easy to become a supporter: sign up as a member

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Bites: Iron Pan, The Branch Line, La Marcha, more

Gather Restaurant is celebrating its fifth birthday with a special menu that will benefit . Photo- Gather
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Openings, closings…

ÑORA SPANISH CUISINE TO BERKELEY A popular pop-up and catering operation featuring Spanish food looks like it’s aiming to open a new shop in Berkeley at San Pablo and University avenues. The folks behind Ñora Spanish Cuisine, which has previously popped up at La Peña Cultural Center for special events, are seeking an on-sale beer and wine license in the former Tomo’s Japanese location at 2026 San Pablo under the name of La Marcha. (Tomo’s closed earlier this year.) Sergio Monleon and Emily Sarlatte are listed as La Marcha’s officers, as per the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, or ABC. Berkeleyside will find out more and report back. La Marcha is set to open at 2026 San Pablo Ave., in Berkeley. Connect with Ñora on Facebook and on its website.Continue reading »

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