Daily Archives: June 27, 2011


The Berkeley Wire: 06.27.11

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Ashby BART no credit info / do not use?

Update, 4:15 p.m. According to Jim Allison, deputy chief communications director at BART, the fatality at Ashby BART station was in all likelihood a suicide. “Everything the BART police told me points to a suicide,” he told Berkeleyside. “Witnesses said a woman was on the trackway at the end of the station and she didn’t do anything to get out of the way of the northbound train as it entered the station.”


A woman was struck and killed by a train at Ashby BART in Berkeley at 12:47 p.m. today, causing the closure of the station until around 3 p.m. and major delays, according to reports in the media.

BART spokesman Jim Allison said the circumstances of the death are under investigation. Suicide is being considered.

There have been “major delays” on the San Francisco-Richmond and Fremont-Richmond lines because trains are being single-tracked through the station, which has been closed, Allison said.

We will have updates as and when more information is made available.

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Everything you wanted to know about Berkeley, on KQED

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On Thursday, Berkeleyside’s Frances Dinkelspiel was interviewed by Jon Brooks, Editor of KQED’s News Fix, about Berkeley — the biggest issues facing the city, its financial health and business climate, food culture and outsize influence nationwide.

Dinkelspiel also spoke about Berkeleyside, and in particular its diverse and engaged readership.

“One of the most interesting things as a journalist,” Dinkelspiel said, “is the back and forth on the Berkeleyside site. It’s definitely a two-way communication. For every article we … Continue reading »

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Photo essay: Juneteenth celebration in South Berkeley

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Berkeley’s annual Juneteenth celebration took place on Sunday in the five-block Alcatraz-Adeline corridor. Communities nationwide have adopted Juneteenth as an occasion to celebrate African American culture and traditions, and as an opportunity to acknowledge contributions African Americans have made to the fabric of America.

The day commemorates June 19th, 1865 when news reached Galveston, Texas of the signing by President Lincoln of the Emancipation Proclamation which freed slaves from southern states in rebellion against the United States during the Civil War. On that day, “slaves flooded the streets, rejoicing in their newly discovered freedom. The sweet smell of barbecue smoke filled the air! Dancing feet pounded the ground and voices sung out”.

Sunday’s Berkeley celebrations included also music, dancing and food, local vendor stalls, as well as outsize slides and skip rope competitions for the many children and kids at heart who attended.

Nancy Rubin was there to document the event with her wonderful photographs.

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Student voices are missing from gun safety report

One of the inner courtyards at Berkeley High
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Some significant voices are missing in the 11-page report the Ad Hoc Safety Committee prepared on how to reduce guns in Berkeley high schools: that of the students.

While two Berkeley High students sat on the committee — at least until the end of the academic year — efforts to find out and understand why students brought guns into school did not go far.

Susan Craig, the director of student services for the Berkeley Unified School District, interviewed almost all of the six Berkeley students who were caught with guns and asked them why they brought weapons on campus. None of them were particularly forthcoming about their reasons, she told the safety committee.

The district also enlisted the aid of Pastor Michael McBride of BOCA, a faith-based  action committee, to hold focus groups with students to discuss guns on campus. While those conversations happened, McBride did not provide a summary of those discussions to the committee, despite repeated phone calls asking for the information by Craig and Superintendent Bill Huyett.

McBride was not paid for his efforts, but in late May the school district approved a  $15,0000 contract with Lifelines to Healing, an anti-violence mentoring program promoted by BOCA. (Note 7/1/11: McBride said BOCA will not benefit financially from this contract and is in fact, donating $10,000 to the overall project.)

A survey conducted by the safety consultant Al Bahn of Edu-Safe Associates only garnered one student response. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley councilmembers celebrate Gay Pride Day

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City of Berkeley councilmembers Kriss Worthington and Jesse Arreguin took part in Sunday’s Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco, riding in an open-top Mini with Worthington’s Legal Aide Alejandro Soto-Vigil at the wheel. The party also included Soto-Vigil’s son Checho, Kriss’s partner Marty Spence and city employee Lynn Riordon.

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Paul Thomas Anderson shoots new movie in Berkeley

Night time film location shooting at the Hillside School at the top of Cedar is a tent city! Movies in Berkeley? Shoot continues through sat. night I hear.
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This weekend, Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will be Blood, Magnolia) was shooting scenes for his latest movie in Berkeley — as residents close to the old Hillside School on Le Roy Avenue have been all too aware.

The movie, tentatively entitled The Master, has a star-studded cast, including Amy Adams, Joaquin Phoenix, Laura Dern and Philip Seymour-Hoffman (who was spotted at The Claremont Hotel by Berkeleyside on Saturday evening). (See also paparazzi shots of Amy Adams Fiona Dourif in costume at Celebrity Gossip.)

Dozens of trucks and a plethora of location equipment were moved onto the grounds of the former elementary school, and filming has been ongoing since Friday, including under powerful klieg lights after sunset.

“I live up near the top of Cedar and tonight we had hugely bright lights shining right into our windows emanating from Hillside School,” Berkeleysider Molly Fraker wrote us on Friday. “So I took the dog to investigate… turns out that Paul Thomas Anderson is filming a ‘major motion picture’ tonight inside the school building (a classic structure)… Amy Adams and Joaquin Phoenix — I’d say that’s notable!” … Continue reading »

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