Daily Archives: March 28, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 03.28.12

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Berkeley named one of nation’s best walking cities

Walking in the rain Pete Rosos
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Berkeley placed fifth in a Best Walking Cities ranking compiled by Walk Score and published on Prevention.com.

Scoring an impressive 81.6 points, Berkeley is reportedly a city where nearly 15% of its commuters walk to and from their jobs.

The article also cited the “Everyone Walks in Berkeley” city program which encourages residents to walk—whether to school, work, or simply to take the dog out for a stroll — on the first Wednesday of every month.

Berkeley was beaten to the top by Cambridge, MA, at number one, New York, NY, Jersey City, NJ, and San Francisco. … Continue reading »

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No known injuries in Monday shooting on Russell

Police at the corner of Russell and Sacramento on Monday, investigating the shooting. Photo: ilovemytank
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At about 1:00 p.m. on Monday, Berkeley police responded to the area of Russell and Sacramento to investigate community calls of “loud reports”.

Officers learned that a group of male adults were standing on the sidewalk in front of an address in the 1500 block of Russell Street, according to the BPD. There was a verbal exchange between a male pedestrian and the group of men. A member of the group shot a pistol before fleeing the area.

Officers did a preliminary investigation and found shell casings in the area. Officer did not locate any blood or evidence of injury and no victims have come forward related to this incident. Detectives of the BPD Homicide Detail are conducting the follow-up investigation. BPD has not made any arrests. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley police officers promoted in public ceremony

Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan promotes Amber Phillips to sergeant. Jeffrey Chu is promoted to sergeant, Edward Spiller is promoted to lieutenant, and Andrew Greenwood is promoted to captain. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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Four officers from the Berkeley Police Department were promoted in a ceremony at Berkeley Repertory Theater on Tuesday, only the second time officers have ever been promoted in public.

Four former police chiefs, a number of city officials, off-duty cops, and dozens of friends and family gathered at the theater to watch as two officers became sergeants, one sergeant became a lieutenant, and a lieutenant became a captain.

“As August Vollmer (Berkeley’s first police chief and a pioneer in the field) once said, ‘it is by developing people that we make progress in our society,” Police Chief Michael Meehan said in his remarks to the crowd. “What was true then is true now.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley-based Annie’s ‘pops’ 83% on NYSE debut

Annie's logo
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Annie’s, the maker of organic mac and cheese and bunny-shaped crackers, among other products, had the most successful initial public offering of the year today. The company priced its shares at $19 yesterday, but popped — as market watchers like to say — to $31 when the New York Stock Exchange opened this morning. Shares later rose to over $36 before settling just below $35 a half hour before the market close.

Annie’s moved its … Continue reading »

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Berkeley school district cuts to tackle $3M deficit

BUSD Superintendent Bill Huyett:
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Berkeley school district Superintendent Bill Huyett published an open letter yesterday outlining the BUSD budget for the next school year. Specifically he addressed the district’s need to find savings to make up for a $3 million deficit.

Below is the letter which precedes a public budget forum to be held Thursday March 29 at 5:30pm at the City Council chambers.

Dear Berkeley Schools Community Members,

For yet another year I am writing to you about significant cuts to Berkeley Unified and all California public schools. The Governor’s proposed reductions for the next school year, coupled with the loss of $1.7 million in federal stimulus funds and our increasing costs, leave us with a structural deficit of $3.0 million. This figure may increase depending on factors like enrollment and certain reimbursements, which are yet to be finalized. … Continue reading »

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Police used internal database to get reporter’s address

Chief Michael Meehan at a police promotion ceremony on March 27. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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When Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan wanted to find out how to contact  Oakland Tribune reporter Doug Oakley to get him to change a story he had written, he directed a sergeant to look for an address on a police database.

The early morning search by Sgt. Mary Kusmiss on March 9 revealed reporter Doug Oakley’s phone number, but not his address, according to documents released by the city of Berkeley on Tuesday in response to a public records request made by Berkeleyside and other media.

“Comm Ctr did research *s me. He has been a RP/victim All 843XXXX I am heading home Let me know if I can help further Mary,” Sgt. Kusmiss wrote to Meehan at 12:26 am on March 9. … Continue reading »

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Where in Berkeley?

Where in Berkeley?

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

Update, 10:28am: Scott got it first. This is the fence outside Gather restaurant which is part of the Brower Center in downtown Berkeley. Congratulations, Scott, on being this week’s winner!

Photo: K. Lenihan.

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