Berkeley student suspended after stabbing other student

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A Berkeley High student stabbed another Berkeley High student in the back during lunch break off campus today in downtown Berkeley. Photo: Tracey Taylor

A Berkeley High School student was suspended after stabbing a fellow student in the back Thursday. The incident happened off campus during the lunch period. The BHS senior who was injured sustained a non-life-threatening knife wound, and was in stable condition with his family Thursday afternoon, according to an email put out by BHS Principal Kristin Glenchur at around 5 p.m.

Glenchur issued the first of two emails to the Berkeley High community just before 3 p.m. She said the incident happened near Milvia Street and University Avenue. Initially it was thought the perpetrator was not affiliated with Berkeley High but, in her second email, around two hours later, Glenchur said authorities had identified a BHS student “as the person who had the knife.”

“The altercation appears to have been personal and not random,” she wrote. … Continue reading »

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The Berkeley Wire: 03.26.15

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Crime

Berkeley police arrest man wanted after brutal attack on his mother

Randy Francis. Photo: Stockton Police
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Police officers arrested a man found in a stolen truck at the Berkeley marina who authorities say tried to kill his 86-year-old mother in Stockton earlier this month in a brutal assault.

Police have been looking for the man since the March 14 attack, which left the woman unresponsive. Doctors said initially she was not expected to survive, according to media reports.

According to a statement released Thursday by Officer Joseph Silva, spokesman for the Stockton Police Department, Berkeley officers found Randy Francis in a stolen 2004 Chevrolet Silverado pickup Thursday morning. Police said he stole that truck when he fled the scene of the Stockton attack.

Thursday morning, Berkeley officers impounded the truck and took 55-year-old Francis into custody without incident.

According to Silva, Francis had been wanted by police in connection with the March 14 attempted homicide of his mother, which occurred at her home in the 7300 block of North Pacific Avenue in Stockton. … Continue reading »

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Thursday: Groundbreaking for new Dwight Way project

From left: Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, architect Richard Christiani, Dan Deibel, president of Olympic Residential Group, and Downtown Berkeley Association CEO John Caner. Photo: Ted Friedman
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A 99-unit, 6-story building planned in downtown Berkeley is kicking off construction in earnest with a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday afternoon.

Demolition began last summer at 2121 Dwight Way, at Shattuck Avenue. Since then, the project has changed hands and promises a wide range of amenities to renters, such as high-quality kitchens, pet-friendly features, shuffleboard and “the latest Wi-Fi technology” in a communal lounge. There’s also 5,100 square feet of ground floor retail space “suited for a café and neighborhood-serving specialties.”

San Carlos-based Olympic Residential Group bought the property — where furniture shop Modernaire used to be located — in February. (Modernaire moved to 1621 San Pablo Ave.) The project is scheduled to be complete by summer 2016.

Read more about real estate in Berkeley.

Olympic described the units as “Class-A luxury apartment homes,” and said in a statement released Wednesday the project, set to reach 63 feet in height, is aimed at “an eclectic mix of young professionals attracted to the transit-oriented location, empty nesters, University faculty, and UC Berkeley students looking for a high quality housing option near the campus.”  … Continue reading »

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Video: Downtown Berkeley worker assaults homeless man

Downtown Berkeley ambassador assault. Image: Bryan Hamilton
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A Downtown Berkeley Association ambassador assaulted a homeless man Friday evening behind CVS in what appears to be a violent incident that was captured on video. That homeless man and an associate were arrested by the Berkeley Police Department before the video came to light. After reviewing the video this week, police asked the district attorney’s office to take another look at the case.

The ambassador involved, whose name has not been released, will be fired Thursday, said Downtown Berkeley Association CEO John Caner. A second ambassador, who did not intervene to stop the apparent assault, will be suspended. The video, which appears below, contains graphic language and violence that some viewers may find disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.

Lance Gorée, operations manager for the DBA, and the manager of the ambassador program for contractor Block by Block, said he received a report of the physical contact last week, but the severity of the incident was not made clear until he and Caner saw the video Thursday morning.

“I was called within the hour of it happening,” Gorée said. “I always get called right away. They didn’t fully represent what happened.”

“It’s clearly totally unacceptable,” said Caner. “We apologize to (the victim) and to the community. This is clearly so out of the realm of acceptable behavior and totally contrary to all of the training provided to ambassadors.”

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At first Bay Area Book Festival, a temple made of books

the rendition of the installation as built around the dormant foundation in Civic Center Park
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Berkeley, it’s been said, is a book town. But never before has it had an actual temple made of books.

Rising in Civic Center Park this June will be a public art installation made out of 50,000 books. The walls and ceiling will be constructed from books, the circular ceiling will be alive as pages of intact books strung upside down from guy-wire flutter in the wind like prayer flags. The walls of shelves will be permeable, the entire structure evanescent — because the purpose of this library-temple is for the books to be given away.

This installation will be one of the centerpieces of the first annual Bay Area Book Festival being held in downtown Berkeley all day Saturday and Sunday, June 6-7, 2015. The festival will bring more than 225 authors to speak on indoor stages. Downtown streets will fill with 150 literary exhibitors, a Children’s Arena, a Teen Stage, a Cooking Stage, a chalk street art contest, food trucks, and more. … Continue reading »

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How Quirky was Berkeley? Politics as Theater

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Berkeley was a crucible for New Left politics in the 1960s and 1970s. Often forgotten when we speak of the Free Speech Movement, the Vietnam Day Committee, People’s Park, and anti-war/anti-imperialism movements, are the several New Left ventures into electoral politics, three of which introduced an element of theater not typically seen in political campaigns.

The first radical venture into electoral politics was the most serious – Robert Scheer’s 1966 primary challenge of Rep.Jeffrey Cohelan, a pro-war Johnson liberal who had served in the House since 1959. Scheer campaigned on the war, poverty, and a new style of politics. … Continue reading »

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 03.25.15

Live Oak Park Leaf by KeLens. Photo taken on Sept. 30, 2015

Live Oak Park Leaf by KeLens. Photo taken on Sept. 30, 2015

An eviction nightmare at Oregon Park Senior Apartments (Express)
Love national parks? Thank UC Berkeley (UCB News)
Berkeley, A Look Back: Too much rain was issue 75 years ago (CoCo Times)
Best places to eat alone around Berkeley (Eating Berkeley)
Quantum of Solace: The Berkeley Rose Garden (Daily Clog)
UC Berkeley first university to house a center for Bangladesh center (UCB News)
Miriam Klein Stahl, illustrator of Rad American Women (City Lights Books)

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Officials to relax rules for Berkeley ‘granny flats’

An accessory dwelling unit on Virginia Street. Photo: Karen Chapple
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Berkeley officials voted unanimously Tuesday night to streamline the process for homeowners who want to add secondary units — sometimes called in-law units or granny flats — to their properties.

Supporters of the draft plan say it is a sustainable approach to increasing density and will allow more local residents to age in place by cutting down on the bureaucratic hurdles tied to the construction of additions, while also making those projects cheaper.

The proposal, from Mayor Tom Bates, would allow homeowners who follow certain standards to build the units “by right,” meaning they would not need to apply for an administrative use permit prior to construction. Those permits can be costly and take a long time to make their way through the approval process. Building plans would still require review by city staff, but public hearings and neighborhood feedback would be off the table. … Continue reading »

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The Campanile at 100: The woman of the tower

Tthe Campanile and the Golden Gate Bridge across the bay, seen from the hills east of campus. Photo: UC Berkeley
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By Gretchen Kell

The Campanile is the most distinctive building of the Berkeley skyline. It turns 100 this year and in honor of its anniversary, UC Berkeley has been holding special events. Gretchen Kell, who writes for UC’s NewsService, interviewed the woman at the top of the tower.

If you’ve ever taken an elevator ride in the Jane K. Sather Campanile, you’ve probably met Lilyanne Clark. “I spend four hours in the elevator a day,” she says, matter-of-factly, “and on busy days, I can make 10 to 15 round trips an hour.” That’s up to 60 round trips daily. It’s a question she thinks she’s answered nearly as many times.

There are other questions Clark prefers to answer. Having worked at the Campanile since 1993, she enjoys sharing her colorful experiences as the tower’s keeper and as a Visitor Services staffer who helps show the public this iconic Bay Area treasure. Last year, more than 100,000 people took a tour, and the crowds grow annually. … Continue reading »

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Wall Street Journal joins the fun after a thoughtful note to a Berkeley thief goes viral

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The Wall Street Journal couldn’t resist joining in the fun after it read about a note written by local businessman and photographer Richard Nagler to a thief who had deprived him — on and off for ten years — of his subscription to the newspaper.

Yesterday, two people, working on behalf of the Journal, posted two notes outside Nagler’s Skylight & Sun store, in the same place as Nagler’s now celebrated note to the newspaper thief. (See the notes below.)

Both notes are signed by Gerard Baker, editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal. One is addressed to Nagler and offers him a free iPad with the WSJ app “to make up for your loss.” The other is addressed to “the Berkeley man who took Richard Nagler’s paper over so many years,” and it offers him a subscription to the paper for $12 for the first twelve weeks. (He simply needs to click on wsj.com/subscribedontsteal). … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley police detain man after reported hammer attack

Berkeley Police on scene at Oregon Street where they detained a man who was allegedly involved in a hammer attack. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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Berkeley police detained a man after he was allegedly involved in an assault using a hammer Tuesday afternoon at around 4 p.m. in Central Berkeley.

Because the suspect fled from the original scene, officers set up a perimeter that stretched from Telegraph Avenue between Stuart and Oregon streets to Regent Street, according to BPD spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats.

Willard Middle School on Stuart Street was put on lockdown for a short time during the incident. … Continue reading »

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Where in Berkeley?

Where in Berkeley?

 Photo: Andrea Carroll

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

Photo: Andrea Carroll.

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: 03.24.15

Sunrise over the Seabreeze Market by Steve Kirby. Photo taken March 24, 2015

Sunrise over the Seabreeze Market by Steve Kirby. Photo taken March 24, 2015

Director of Lawrence Berkeley Lab to step down (Daily Cal)
Sutter Health to pay fine for Alta Bates safety violation (SF Chronicle)
Berkeley could have $16 minimum wage by 2017 (IBA)
Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin turns pro (Coloradoan)
UC Berkeley is a leader in fastest graduation rates (Money)
The secret to Berkeley’s economic success (Market Watch)

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