The Berkeley Wire: 05.26.16

Fawn and mother in the backyard in Berkeley. Photo, taken on May 20, 2016, by Mohan Ajmani

Fawn and mother in the backyard in Berkeley. Photo, taken on May 20, 2016, by Mohan Ajmani

Op-ed: Tuning out the Berkeley bubble (Daily Cal)
The Lonely Island trio goes pop (Slate)
A doctorate in dates: Persian heritage inspires growing business to take root (J-Weekly)
Berkeley Festival & Exhibition adds film series (SF Chronicle)

Get the latest Berkeley news in your inbox with Berkeleyside’s free Daily Briefing. And make sure to bookmark Berkeleyside’s pages on Facebook and Twitter. You don’t need an account on those sites to view important information.

Print Friendly
Tagged
Crime

Crime log: Narcotics operation, community session about shooting, checkpoint arrests, ‘Click it or Ticket’

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.
Print Friendly

This overview of recent crime in Berkeley is based on reports to the Berkeley Police unless otherwise noted. Share photos, videos and tips by emailing crime@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook and TwitterDon’t assume someone else will alert us. We rely on readers to help us stay informed.

SNAPSHOT From May 5-11, there were reports of 10 robberies19 burglariesseven assaults or batteriesseven weapon-involved calls and three sexual assaults, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also five stolen vehicles18 disturbances and 24 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. An assault and a vehicle theft were reported on CrimeMapping to the University of California Police Department (UCPD). Arrested or charged individuals are presumed innocent. Find our May 5-11 round-up below.

Recent public safety news

POLICE ACTIVITY THURSDAY If you spotted police activity Thursday morning, May 26, in the 900 block of Carleton Street in West Berkeley, authorities say it was part of an ongoing narcotics investigation conducted by the Berkeley Police Department’s Special Investigations Bureau. Detectives were still at the scene at around 9:45 a.m. conducting an active investigation, according to BPD. A reader reporting seeing officers “wearing protective vests” who “had two men in handcuffs already, and seemed to be going in the back entrance” at Juan’s Place. Berkeleyside has asked for additional information from BPD.

COMMUNITY MEETING ABOUT SHOOTING Next week, Councilman Darryl Moore is holding a community meeting to discuss last week’s shooting at San Pablo Park. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 1, from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Frances Albrier Community Center in San Pablo Park, 2800 Park St. The meeting has been arranged to allow residents to “to discuss the shooting and what the city is doing to avoid any future incidents. As this is an active investigation, the Berkeley Police Department may be unable to share certain details in order to protect their investigation, but they will share what information they are able.” The victim remained in critical condition as of the last report from BPD. No arrests had been made, but police have been providing additional patrols around the park since the shooting. Read more on Berkeleyside. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , ,

Eight East Bay companies sourcing great tea

Flowering tea from Numi. Photo: Numi Tea/Facebook
Print Friendly

A cup of tea is more than dried leaves and hot water. It is a social experience, an afternoon escape, a ceremonial ritual, a reason to take a break. For centuries cultures across the world have been cultivating and consuming herbal remedies, spicy chais, delicate infusions and sacred simmered brews. May marks the first harvest in many of these places, making it a prime time to check in on the first fruits of the year.

Though it may be more convenient, a $4 box of teabags is often no more affordable (and certainly not nearly as high-quality) as purchasing loose leaf from a local tea purveyor, and the East Bay is rife with excellent options. From tearooms that offer table service to online retailers that produce pouches of California-grown flowers, you’re sure to find something to sip on. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

24/7 ballot drop box now available in downtown Berkeley

ballot box
Print Friendly

A new ballot drop-off box has been installed in downtown for the first time. The initiative was spearheaded by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters, which has put similar boxes in other cities.

The secure box is for “those who want to save a stamp on their absentee ballot, hand it in themselves, or wait until election day to finish it,” according to the City of Berkeley.

All Alameda County voters can use the box to deliver their votes. No postage is necessary for ballots placed in the drop box.

The ballot box in front of the Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Building at 2180 Milvia Street, a block away from BART, and is available 24 hours a day. The city said it will be in service for every election, including the June 7 Presidential primary.

The Alameda County Registrar of Voters will retrieve Vote-by-Mail ballots daily, ending with a final collection at 8:00 pm on Election Night on Nov. 8.

The vote by mail period opened on May 9 and closes at 8 p.m. on June 7. The Registrar of Voters has an online map of other drop-off boxes elsewhere in the county.

Previously, the only way to hand in a ballot in Berkeley was during office hours. Berkeley City Clerk Mark Numainville said voting by mail is steadily increasing locally, which would explain why the Registrar is rolling out more drop boxes. … Continue reading »

Tagged
Crime

Williams decides not to testify; defense rests

Rene C. Davidson Courthouse. Photo: Melati Citrawireja
Print Friendly

After suddenly announcing Wednesday that convicted murderer Darnell Williams Jr. would testify on his own behalf, the defense team backtracked Thursday morning with the brief announcement that it would instead rest its case.

The disappointment in the courtroom was palpable, as relatives and supporters of Williams’ two murder victims, along with other attorneys and interested spectators, had come to court to hear what he had to say.

At least some members of the jury appeared miffed they had made the trip to court for nothing.

“I knew your sucka ass weren’t going to get up there,” the sister of Anthony Medearis III — one of Williams’ two victims — yelled at him as she left the courtroom. Court staff told her she could not return for the remainder of the trial.  … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Raising voices for 50 years with the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra

Berkeley Community Chorus in rehearsal. Photo: Kelly Sullivan
Print Friendly

The competition for Berkeley’s most Berkeley organization is stiff, but you’ll be hard pressed to find an institution that embodies the city’s best impulses more fully than the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra. Radically egalitarian, creatively ambitious, and committed to offering free performances, the BCCO brings together some 220 singers, many of whom have little or no musical training.

The choir concludes its milestone 50th season next weekend with performances of Benjamin Britten’s “War Requiem” at Hertz Hall at 8 p.m. on June 3, and 4 p.m. on June 4. A massive undertaking that involves a chamber orchestra and a full orchestra, the San Francisco Girls Chorus, an organ, three conductors, and three vocal soloists (baritone Efrain Solis, tenor Brian Thorsett, and soprano Carrie Hennessey), this production of staging the canonical work is the culmination of more than two years of planning. … Continue reading »

Tagged

Quirky Berkeley: Melissa Mork’s sheetmetal origami

metal
Print Friendly

Melissa Mork is the fourth generation of the Mork family to work in the sheet-metal business started by her great grandfather, Walter Mork, a patriarch of Berkeley’s early 20th-century Finnish community. She grew up around the shop. Her father taught her about sheet metal, theory and skills.  And then she took it away from HVAC and functional fabrication into art. … Continue reading »

Tagged

The Berkeley Wire: 05.25.16

Print Friendly
Tagged

Big Screen Berkeley: ‘A Monster with a Thousand Heads’, ‘The Idol’

A Monster
Print Friendly

Chances are that if you’re an adult living within the borders of the United States, you’ve probably scared your children and/or your foreign friends with terrifying tales of the iniquities of the American healthcare ‘system’. Billing errors, denial of service, drugs mysteriously excluded from your insurance company’s formulary, illogical co-pays… there are oh so many things that can and do go wrong in our wonderful laissez faire world of non-universal medical care.

Color me surprised, then, to learn that getting care can be a struggle in other industrialized nations, too. A Monster with a Thousand Heads (Un monstruo de mil cabezas, opening at Rialto Cinemas Elmwood on Friday, May 27) details the extreme measures one Mexican woman takes to circumvent bureaucracy and get urgent treatment for a critically ill family member.

First, a little background: Mexico has provided its citizens with universal healthcare since 2012. Private health insurance, however, remains an option for those who prefer it and can afford it. … Continue reading »

Tagged
Crime

Breaking: Convicted murderer says he’ll take the stand

Darnell Williams Jr. mugshot. Photo: ACSO
Print Friendly

Minutes after a forensic psychologist described the extensive and longstanding impulse-control problems exhibited by convicted murderer Darnell Williams Jr., he suddenly announced through his attorneys that he plans to take the stand in his own defense.

His attorneys said it wasn’t the first time they had discussed the subject, but were not expecting the announcement Wednesday, just as they were about to rest their case in the “penalty phase” of the trial.

At the end of testimony, the Alameda County jury that found Williams guilty earlier this month of two murders will make a sentencing recommendation to Judge Jeffrey Horner: either the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The two-person defense team had just completed questioning the woman they said would be their final witness — forensic psychologist Gretchen White — when the attorneys and judge said they needed to have a brief discussion out of the presence of the jury.

Read complete coverage of the case.

The judge had already told jurors they would be excused until Tuesday morning, when attorneys would present their closing statements. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Sponsored post

Artificial intelligence is here: who is it going to benefit?

Jerry Kaplan
Print Friendly

2016 BABF logoThis article is brought to you by the Bay Area Book Festival.

Tempus Fugit. Cui Bono?

Fifty years ago, we could not have imagined phones that communicated without wires. Ten years ago, driverless cars were something out of a science-fiction novel — not on assembly lines. Artificial intelligence has already arrived — hello, Siri and GPS — but has only just begun the trajectory that promises to change our personal and work lives radically. How will it affect you? And—cui bono—whom will these technological advances benefit?

Jerry Kaplan, one of the world’s leading Artificial Intelligence (AI) experts, is concerned about the potential for AI to cause social disruption by deepening the divide between the privileged and the poor. “The robots are coming,” says Kaplan, “but whether they will be working on behalf of society or a small cadre of the super-rich is very much in doubt. The coming wave of automation raises the specter of a world where the one-percenters have it all, while everyone else struggles to survive.” … Continue reading »

Crime

Convicted killer: ‘I been in the streets since I was 9’

Darnell Williams Jr. mugshot. Photo: ACSO
Print Friendly

Despite knowing he would be arrested as a result, the father of a convicted murderer came to court Tuesday to ask for mercy for his son, who could face the death penalty after being found guilty earlier this month of gunning down two people, including a child, in 2013.

Darnell Williams Sr., 49, told the Alameda County jury charged with recommending a sentence for his son that he had not been a good father. He was locked up more than a dozen times, was in a prison gang called the Black Guerrilla Family, and has been addicted to drugs, including crack cocaine. He dropped out of high school after 10th grade.

The elder Williams, who is currently on parole, said he wanted to share “anything I can say that could save my son. I’m here to see and apologize to my son… for not being a good dad. And I was a drug addict and I stayed in prison.”

He said he missed his son’s birth because he was “on drugs real bad,” and regretted missing his son’s life and his football games.

“I never wanted [him] to be nothing like me,” he said.

The elder Williams said he expected to be taken into custody — on a warrant for a parole violation — after his testimony. He was on the stand for less than 15 minutes. After he stepped down, he looked at his son and mouthed the words, “Love you, man.” Officers from the district attorney’s office took the elder Williams into custody outside the courtroom after he hugged his brother, who had testified earlier in the day. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Where in Berkeley?

Where in Berkeley?

WIB

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

Photo: Andrew Johnson.

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.

Print Friendly
Tagged

The Berkeley Wire: 05.24.16

Photo: Scott McGlashan

Photo: Scott McGlashan

Taco Bell’s beer and taco bid in Berkeley (BANG)
A Look Back: Important moment in city history largely forgotten (East Bay Times)
Berkeley Police warn about cellphone thieves seeking good deeds (Patch)
Oakland 8-year-old’s shooting death could yield first county death penalty in years (East Bay Times)
Berkeley Council moves to address shelter crisis (East Bay Times) 

Get the latest Berkeley news in your inbox with Berkeleyside’s free Daily Briefing. And make sure to bookmark Berkeleyside’s pages on Facebook and Twitter. You don’t need an account on those sites to view important information.

Print Friendly
Tagged