Daily Archives: May 23, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 05.23.12

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Police chief: ‘Not some kind of preferential treatment’

Meehan portrait
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Embattled Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan said Wednesday that having 10 police officers search for his son’s stolen iPhone on January 11 was not “some kind of preferential treatment,” but is something the department “would do for anybody in the city.”

“This is being cast as some kind of preferential treatment, but it was not,” said Meehan in a telephone interview. “It is not unusual for us to respond to a live track of stolen property with the resources we have available. We have done it in other cases. In this case, my son was the victim of a crime at the high school. My personal phone was linked to his and was able to track it. I showed that to a detective-sergeant and said ‘what can we do with this?’ He said we can work cases like this. He took his team to track the signal and they weren’t able to find anybody.”

The reason so many officers investigated the theft so quickly was because it was a crime in progress, said Meehan. … Continue reading »

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Investment group puts Claremont Resort up for sale

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The Claremont Resort and Spa, whose gleaming white presence is a defining feature of the East Bay Hills, is for sale once again.

Paulson & Co., a New York based hedge fund, and Winthrop Realty Trust have put the $279-room hotel on the market for $80 million, according to a report by Bloomberg News.

The Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix is also for sale for $250 million. The Paulson–led investor groups seized control of the Claremont and four other luxury hotels from Morgan Stanley’s real estate funds and put them into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February 2011. The sales are an attempt to bring the properties out of bankruptcy, according to Bloomberg.

Around lunchtime on Wednesday men in dark business suits were wandering around the Claremont’s gym, contrasting sharply with people sweating in their spandex and shorts. … Continue reading »

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Op-Ed: Time to consolidate the dual immersion program

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Berkeley’s Two-Way Immersion (TWI) program, which was developed primarily to increase the academic achievement of English Learners, is one of the crown jewels of Berkeley’s public school system. The TWI program has been a success, but the fact that it is dispersed across three schools has stifled its potential, argue three authors in an Opinionator column published today. Read why they think a consolidated TWI school would solve many of the most pressing problems with the current implementation of TWI.

Berkeleyside welcomes submissions … Continue reading »

Time to consolidate Berkeley’s dual immersion programs

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One of the crown jewels of Berkeley’s public school system is the District’s Two-Way Immersion (TWI) program, also called “dual immersion,” which was developed primarily to increase the academic achievement of English Learners.

The basic idea is that first teaching English Learners in their native language promotes long-term academic achievement and confidence, as well as English proficiency. In Berkeley, it was implemented in the late 1990s as a way to support native Spanish speakers’ academic achievement, boost their test scores, … Continue reading »

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Berkeley man charged with manslaughter in fatal crash

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The 24-year old man who crashed a car into a traffic circle in Berkeley on May 18, killing his 22-year old girlfriend and seriously injuring her 6-year old son, has been charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and a series of other felony counts.

Police said Jose Lumbreras of Berkeley had a blood alcohol count of .219, or two and a half times the legal limit, at the time of the 1:15 am accident on California Street near Allston Way. Lumbreras allegedly was driving his Cadillac around 64 mph on the residential street when he crashed the car into the traffic circle. It went airborne, and collided with a tree. There were no skid marks at the scene, which suggests Lumbreras did not brake, said Sgt. Mary Kusmiss of the Berkeley Police Department.

Lumbreras remains in the hospital with serious injuries but was arrested there Tuesday, according to police. … 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, 12:12 pm: Lynn got the right answer. It’s a garage door on Poplar at Rock Lane. Congratulations, Lynn, on being this week’s winner!

Photo: Nina Hodgson.

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