After home invasion, Berkeley resident says: Lock up

Berkeley Police cruiser. Photo: Emilie Raguso

A Berkeley Police cruiser (file photo). Photo: Emilie Raguso

A Berkeley resident surprised at home by several intruders Friday afternoon reminds the community to lock up over the holiday weekend.

The woman was home in the 100 block of Hillcrest Road in the Claremont neighborhood when the burglars came inside. She shared the news with neighbors over a local Yahoo email list.

“Our house was broken into around 3:10 this afternoon while I was home,” she wrote. “The intruders got spooked when our dogs barked and they realized I was there.” … Continue reading »

Print Friendly
Tagged , , , ,

The Berkeley Wire: 05.22.15

Berkeley Arts Center, Live Oak Park, Berkeley, Calif. By Carter Tomassi

Berkeley Arts Center, Live Oak Park, Berkeley, Calif. By Carter Tomassi

Barnidge: If Berkeley customers don’t pay soda tax, does it exist? (CoCo Times)
Several AC Transit bus stops removed, relocated (Daily Cal)
Library to redesign teen room (BHS Jacket)
BHS teaching staff lacks diversity; BUSD to emphasize recruitment (BHS Jacket)
Students design and build a bridge in Botanical Gardens (UCB News)
NYT gives Berkeley author Muon Van’s children’s book glowing review (NYT)

Follow Berkeleyside on Twitter and on Facebook where we often break news. Email us at Would you like the latest Berkeley news sent to your email inbox once a day? Click here to subscribe to Berkeleyside’s free Daily Briefing.

Print Friendly

From hawks to Berlin to Salinger to neurosurgery to sci-fi: 6 great reads to start off your summer

Print Friendly

It’s not quite June gloom outside, and May gloom doesn’t have the same ring. While the weather isn’t cooperating, Memorial Day marks the unofficial beginning of the summer. To usher in a season of more relaxation (if you’re lucky) the Berkeleyside editors (Frances, Tracey and Lance) have some book suggestions.

“Golden State,” Stephanie Kegan

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

Man charged with ‘rape by use of drugs’ in Berkeley

There have been 30 sex crimes reported to the Berkeley Police Department this year. Source:
Print Friendly

A Vallejo man has been charged with rape by use of drugs after a coworker said he had sex with her when she blacked out after celebrating her birthday in Berkeley earlier this month.

The Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Paris Kapree Anderson, 28, on Monday with rape by use of drugs in connection with the incident May 10.

According to court papers, Anderson admitted during a phone call to having sex with the woman on the side of the road in the back of his car after the birthday celebration.

The incident was listed as having taken place at 9 p.m. in the 2600 block of Telegraph Avenue, between Carleton and Parker streets.

Police wrote that Anderson described the woman, during the phone call, as “so drunk that he had to carry her out of the bar.” He also said during the call, according to police, “that she was too drunk to move from the back seat into the front seat after having sex.” … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , ,

Berkeley authorities respond to fire near Ashby, I-80

Photo: Kester Allen
Print Friendly

Update, 4:20 p.m. Berkeley Fire Department Battalion Chief Paul Cavagnaro said the fire in Berkeley on Friday was confined to a 20-by-20-foot area of “pretty thick brush” in the midst of numerous homeless encampments where Bay Street goes over Ashby Avenue near the freeway.

Firefighters were dispatched to the area at 1:16 p.m., and Cavagnaro said the fire was likely out by around 1:30 p.m. There were no injuries.

Cavagnaro said that, despite an initial report that it may have been arson, no one witnessed anyone set anything on fire. He said many homeless people live in the area on both sides of the freeway, but that it’s difficult to estimate how many because the camps are “joined together.”

“We’re not sure how many people are living in the bushes,” he said.

Update, 3:55 p.m. Berkeley Police Lt. Alyson Hart said the fire was limited to property damage at two homeless camps. She said the fire may have been either arson or an accident, and that no one is in custody. Berkeleyside will follow up with the Berkeley Fire Department for additional information.

Original story, 1:50 p.m. Berkeley authorities are responding to a fire near Ashby Avenue and Interstate 80, which is backing up traffic in the area.

Community members in West Berkeley reported the smell of smoke and the sound of loud firetrucks just before 1:30 p.m. near Ashby and Ninth Street. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Bites: Anvil Brewing to open in West Berkeley, more

Far West Brewing plans to open a craft brewery, barrel-aging facility and restaurant in North West Berkeley. Photo: Quinn Dombrowski
Print Friendly

Openings, closings…

ANOTHER BREWERY HEADED TO WEST BERKELEY Anvil Brewing will be joining the quickly growing community of West Berkeley beer breweries next spring. Co-owner and longtime home brewer Sean Wells is opening the brewery at 912 Gilman with another seasoned home brewer, Tim Sellmeyer. The pair is planning to serve a mix of small-batch, handcrafted brews, including both Belgian and American styles. Sellmeyer has a couple of award-winning beers that will likely grace the tap, like a nectarine wheat and a chile-based beer. Both Wells and Sellmeyer work as animal surgeons and plan to continue working in that capacity even as the brewery opens; they will likely hire a third brewer to join the team as they get closer to opening. We’ll keep you posted on their progress. Other West Berkeley beer destinations include Trumer Pils Brauerei, Pyramid Brewery & Alehouse, Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room, The Rare Barrel and Fieldwork Brewing Company. Check out Nosh’s drinking map for the full run-down.) Anvil Brewing will be at 912 Gilman St. (between Seventh and Eighth streets), Berkeley. Connect with Anvil on Facebook.Continue reading »

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

Parents, students rally for more inclusive Berkeley schools

PCAD ralley outside BUSD board meeting 5/20/15 Photo by Melati Citrawireja
Print Friendly

Parents, students and community members held a rally at this week’s Berkeley Unified School District Board of Education meeting to urge board members to provide a more inclusive district for students of color and with disabilities.

Announced by the faith-based activist group Berkeley Organizing Congregations for Action (BOCA), the rally was led by education groups Parents of Children of African Descent (PCAD) and Allies in Special Education. An estimated 25 people gathered before the meeting began at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 20.

Participants, both young and old, claimed BUSD has long “walked the walk” on inclusion but now needs to take action. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,
Real estate

New Berkeley Humane shelter plans approved

Project renderings of the proposed Berkeley Humane building on Ninth Street. Image: Noll & Tam Architects
Print Friendly

Berkeley Humane won approval last week to construct a new facility on Ninth Street, and the organization is hoping to get the community involved to help make the project a reality.

The city’s Zoning Adjustments Board approved the permit for the new building May 14 to allow demolition of the agency’s existing facility and future construction of a new 2-story, 13,211-square-foot replacement building at the same location, 2700 Ninth St. in West Berkeley. The permit was approved on consent, and neither board members nor members of the public discussed the project during the meeting.

The approval comes five years after a deadly fire destroyed most of the existing building, killing 15 cats. Since reopening in 2011, the nonprofit — officially named the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society Inc. — has operated out of only a small portion of the salvaged building. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , ,

How Quirky is Berkeley? Marcia Donahue’s amazing world

Marcia Donahue garden. Photo: John Storey
Print Friendly

Marcia Donahue has lived at 3017 Wheeler St. for 37 years. She has gardened there for 37 years, exquisitely and creatively, favoring lush and jungle-like plantings that change with the changing sunlight of the day. She has created art there for 37 years. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , ,

The Berkeley Wire: 05.21.15

Print Friendly

The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

This weekend is your last chance to see Theatre First's production of Glenngary Glen Ross at Live Oak Theatre. Photo: Theater First
Print Friendly

GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS This weekend is your last chance to see Theatre First’s production of Glengarry Glen Ross at Live Oak Theatre, as its run has its final day on Sunday. David Mamet’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy about working-class real-estate salesmen trying to eke out a living in the fast-paced economy of the 1980s and claim their piece of the American Dream became an instant classic of American theatre and is regarded as one of the playwright’s best plays. For details and to buy tickets, visit Theatre First’s website or phone 510-981 8150. … Continue reading »

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

Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, May 7-13

Selected calls to the Berkeley Police, via 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. Please don’t hesitate to share photos, videos or tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at 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.

From May 7-13, there were reports of six robberies18 burglaries11 assaults or batteries, no weapon-involved calls and one sexual assault, according to There were also seven stolen vehicles10 disturbances and 26 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. There were no significant reported incidents from the University of California Police Department (UCPD). 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, May 7

There were three disturbance calls: at 1:57 a.m. at Grant Street and Allston Way; at 6:20 a.m. at Milvia Street and Bancroft Way; and at 12:37 p.m. in the 2100 block of Shattuck Avenue.

There were two commercial burglaries, at 3:54 a.m. in the 1100 block of Virginia Street, and at 4 p.m. in the 2400 block of Webster Street.

There was a robbery at 5:30 a.m. at Acton and Delaware streets.

There was a home burglary at 8 a.m. at an unlisted location.

A community member was walking her dog in the 700 block of Spruce Street at 12:30 p.m. when a female deer became aggressive and charged her, ultimately kicking her and knocking her to the ground, said Officer Jennifer Coats, Berkeley Police spokeswoman. The woman reported minor injuries but did not need to be taken to the hospital.

A vehicle was stolen at 3 p.m. in the 1700 block of Virginia.

A woman told the BART Police her $320 Big Shot bicycle was stolen while secured with a U-lock at the bicycle racks at Ashby Station between 6:15 a.m. and about 6 p.m.
Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , ,

Berkeley launches public meetings on health inequalities

Age Adjusted Diabetes Hospitalization Rates by Zipcode in Berkeley. Graphic: Berkeley's 2013 Health Status Report
Print Friendly

Berkeley is gearing up for a series of town hall meetings about the state of public health in the city to allow community members to share their thoughts and concerns regarding the improvement of city-wide health priorities.

The discussions are envisioned as a collaboration between Berkeley’s Public Health Division and the community in a “shared effort” to realign public health resources to communities with the greatest needs.

Berkeley released a Health Status Report in 2013 that outlined issues of health inequities between different socioeconomic and racial/ethnic groups in the city, prompting a report to the Berkeley City Council recommending that the health division prioritize work to diminish these disparities. It was the city’s first health status update since 2007.

“One of the challenges that we give to ourselves is how can we be sure that even though we’re small, we’re doing the very best that we can to address the health issues in Berkeley that are of top concern to the community, and to us,” said Dr. Janet Berreman, Berkeley’s director of public health.  … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , ,

A jazz convergence with Hafez Modirzadeh

Hafez Modirzadeh by Walter Wagner
Print Friendly

Conversations with Hafez Modirzadeh often swerve in unexpected directions. The Iranian-American saxophonist/composer is a confidant of jazz legends like Ornette Coleman and a mentor to cutting edge stars like Vijay Iyer. Always looking to expand his conceptual framework, he’s created an enthralling body of music that encompasses classical modes from Persian, Arabic and Turkish music and beyond. A longtime professor of music at San Francisco State where he’s the co-director of Jazz and World Music Studies, Modirzadeh plays an extremely rare East Bay concert 8 p.m. Friday at the California Jazz Conservatory with pianist Mark Levine, bassist John Wiitala and drummer Akira Tana.

Catching up with Modirzadeh recently by phone from his home in San Jose he was eager to discuss his recent Fulbright-funded sojourn to Turkey, but first he wanted to talk about last week’s front page New York Times story about an 11-year-old piano prodigy from Jakarta.

Reading the profile and watching the video, Modirzadeh recalled a premonition about “varieties of intonation eventually coming from our youth to advance consciousness through sound. There’s something about where he’s from, a clear inspiration from gamelan, the shimmer in the beat between the instruments. That’s a key element in a lot of the music I’ve been trying to develop, and I believe that shimmering resonance is at hand, and with it comes our humanity’s resolution!” … Continue reading »

Tagged ,