Daily Archives: April 4, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 04.04.12

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Berkeley victim’s brother fought suspect after the killing

Police on the scene of the March 29 homicide on Sacramento Street. Photo: A citizen reporter
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It has emerged that the brother of 24-year old Devin Lee Whitmire of Berkeley, who was murdered in south Berkeley on March 29, was with the victim on the night of the killing and he fought with the suspect in the case, 19-year-old Randall Oscar Alston, also of Berkeley, after the slaying and immediately preceding Alston’s arrest.

Alston was due to be arraigned today in Alameda County Superior Court.

Court documents show that Whitmire and his brother were on the sidewalk outside Bob’s Liquors and Deli at Sacramento and Oregon streets when they were approached by Alston and a second suspect. Whitmire’s brother knew Alston and acknowledged him. Alston responded by acknowledging Whitmire’s brother. Whitmire’s brother then saw Alston and the second suspect approach Whitmire and saw the second suspect displaying a handgun. … Continue reading »

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Op-Ed: A Berkeley field of dreams close to reality… after 15 years

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After 15 long years, student athletes at Berkeley High should soon have a baseball field and B-Tech students will have a basketball court while the San Pablo Park neighborhood will regain full use of their park. This triple play has come about because BUSD should soon break ground on what will be known as the Moellering Field at Derby and MLK.

In our recently launched Opinionator section, Stephanie Allan, member of Friends of the Derby Street Park & Field, writes about why a project that seemed a … Continue reading »

Pedestrian released from hospital after Berkeley collision

Screen shot 2012-04-04 at 1.30.41 PM
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Update, 6:25 pm: The pedestrian who was involved in an accident on Marin and Colusa has been released from the hospital and is doing well, according to authorities. The preliminary collision investigation by BPD revealed that a senior female resident of Albany driving her car eastbound on Marin Avenue was making a southbound turn onto Colusa Avenue. A senior Berkeley male pedestrian was walking across Colusa from the southwest to the southeast in the crosswalk (thus eastbound in the crosswalk) when he was struck by the car.

Original story: A collision between a car and a male pedestrian at the intersection of Colusa and Marin avenues in Berkeley on Tuesday night has left the pedestrian in serious condition in hospital. … Continue reading »

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A Berkeley field of dreams close to reality… after 15 years

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After more than 15 years, student athletes at Berkeley High will finally have a baseball field and B-Tech students will have a basketball court while the San Pablo Park neighborhood will regain full use of their park. This triple play has come about because it appears the last bureaucratic hurdle has been cleared and the Berkeley Unified School District can start construction of the field at Derby and MLK.

A project that seemed a no-brainer was mired for years in controversy, opposition and, occasionally, hysteria. Now the field will break ground — barring any of the last minute snags that have plagued it — in late May. As with any long-running saga in Berkeley, there are heroes and villains. However, I want to focus on some of the heroes as the field finally became a way to bring people together, always one of its purposes.

A bit of history first, though. BHS baseball players had no home field and were forced to practice at San Pablo Park, which limited use of that space for the neighborhood. In 1997, baseball coach and history teacher Tim Moellering began his effort to get a regulation baseball diamond built at Derby Street. Superintendent Jack McLaughlin supported the idea and, in 1998, the proposal came before a joint session of the City Council and School Board. The reason for a City-BUSD partnership was that Derby street, between Milvia and MLK, needed to be closed in order to create the regulation sized field. … Continue reading »


Newly cleaned up downtown hopes to attract more retail

Tree well downtown by Nancy Rubin
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On Tuesday, downtown Berkeley was born anew. Billed as a fresh start, the heart of the city was relaunched to a capacity crowd in the ballroom of the Hotel Shattuck Plaza on Allston Way.

For the past three months, the Downtown Berkeley Association has been overseeing an ambitious clean-up operation in the center of the city and yesterday’s event was convened to present the results.

Anyone who has been downtown recently won’t fail to have noticed that the place is sparkling. Streets have been power-washed, often in the middle of the night, unsticking countless pieces of gum in the process, 8,500 lbs of trash have been removed, light poles, postal boxes and fire hydrants have been given a new lick of paint and fresh landscaping has appeared. Tree wells now overflow with blooms and 179 flower baskets hang from aloft. … Continue reading »

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Book explores importance of Berkeley painter David Park

David Park: Males Nudes at the Water, 1957
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In the 1950s, the San Francisco Bay Area was an epicenter for new thinking and artistic exploration. At the center of this explosion was the painter David Park, whose bold colors and everyday subjects helped usher in a new modernism. In search of a form beyond the then-popular Abstract Expressionism, Park, who tragically died in 1960 at 49, started the Bay Area Figurative Movement.

For more than 20 years San Francisco writer Nancy Boas has been tracking Park’s life. The result is the new David Park: A Painter’s Life, just released by UC Press. Boas interviewed 125 people for the biography, including many of Park’s friends and contemporaries, including the artists Richard Diebenkorn and Elmer Bischoff.

“Richard Diebenkorn was most anxious that I get it right,” said Boas, who is also the author of The Society of Six: California Colorists. “He spoke carefully. He revised and corrected himself, as he does in his painting. I could feel the reverence he had for Park and the deep friendship they had.” … 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, 9:20am: It didn’t take long for heliodon to identify these as the gas lines at 9th Street and Grayson Street. Congratulatios, heliodon, on being this week’s winner!

Photo: Neil Mishalov.

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