Daily Archives: May 29, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 05.29.12

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Poll: Police Chief’s reputation tarnished, not department

Meehan portrait
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Recent actions by Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan have damaged his standing, but the department’s reputation has not been overly tarnished and there is not strong demand for Meehan to apologize. These are the main findings of our “Berkeley Police Chief” Reader Poll, which we launched on Friday and kept open over the Memorial Day weekend.

We had 301 respondents to the poll, which was designed to take the pulse of the community rather than be scientific. Many of you qualified your votes with comments.

Sixty percent of you felt the January incident in which Meehan sanctioned sending ten officers to Oakland to look for his teenage son’s stolen iPhone, and the March incident in which he sent an officer to a reporter’s home in the middle of the night to correct a story, had sullied the Chief’s reputation. Only 38% felt the department’s reputation had been damaged as a result, however. Although a number of readers called on the Chief to resign, many felt there was a clear distinction between the boss and the rank and file. “It is possible to be very proud of BPD and at the same time very embarrassed of Meehan,” wrote Berkeleyan in the comments. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Bread Bakery
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WHERE IS MY BAGUETTE?  The Bread Garden, which opened its doors at 2912 Domingo Avenue in November 1973, is shutting up shop. Its owner, David Morris, is finally making good on his threat to move the bakery elsewhere. He plans to open a new bakery in Paso Robles, in an old building that housed another bakery from 1923 to 1973. “One statistic sums it up,” said Morris. “When I opened the bakery in 1973 I was bakery #8 in Berkeley. The last time I counted there were 38 bakeries in Berkeley. The market isn’t any bigger than it was in 1973. There is intense competition for the bakery dollar.” Morris said he plans to close the Claremont neighborhood bakery, home to the 19th-century baguette, cheese rolls, cinnamon swirl bread, and pizza bread, among other things, by July 1.

FURNITURE CLOSE-DOWN After 27 years at 1914 Fifth Street, right behind Spenger’s, the family-owned Zentrum Furniture is shutting down its Berkeley operations. The lease is up and owner Bill Stewart is moving the store to Dublin where he is hoping the business conditions are better. Everything in the store is 20% to 60% off, said Stewart, who plans to close the doors for the final time at the end of July. … Continue reading »

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Big Screen Berkeley: A Cat in Paris

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Which is the real Paris — the one seen in last week’s grimy child abuse epic Polisse, or the one depicted in A Cat in Paris (Une vie de chat), a delightful Academy Award-nominated animated feature opening this coming Friday, June 1, at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas? My money’s on the former, but the latter is definitely the City of Light as we imagine — or hope — it might be.

Directed by Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol, A Cat in Paris relates the tale of Dino, a pampered pet who lives a double life. By day, Dino is the loyal companion of mute youngster Zoe, who collects the dead lizards he brings her in an old sardine can. At night, however, Dino lets his hair down and accompanies Nico (Matthew Modine), a cat burglar who specializes in stealing valuable jewelry from under the sleeping (and sleepwalking) noses of wealthy Parisians. … Continue reading »

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6-year-old boy dies of injuries from drunk driving accident

Xavier Chevez died of his injuries on May 25
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The 6-year-old boy who was in a car that hit a traffic roundabout at 64 miles per hour and rammed into a tree died of his injuries on Friday.

Xavier Chevez died at 6:30 p.m. at Children’s Hospital in Oakland, according to the Alameda County Coroner’s office. He had lingered seven days after the May 18 accident, but was in a coma on life support with minimal brain function.

His mother, Milanca Alicia Lopez, a UC Berkeley student who was planning to attend graduate school at UCLA this fall, died at the scene.

The driver, Jose Lumbreras, 24, of Berkeley, has been charged with drunk driving and gross vehicular manslaughter. More charges may be coming. Prosecutors said he had a blood alcohol level of 0.219%, which is more than twice the legal limit of 0.08%. … Continue reading »

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Lifelong Medical Care gets $1.1 million federal grant

Back Row: Ester Parker (LifeLong Over 60 Patient),William Posey(LifeLong Over 60 Patient),  David Sayen,Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Regional Administrator (Region IX), Mayor Tom Bates (Berkeley)  First Row: Yomi Wrong, Executive Director, Center for Independent Living, Johnnie Mae Poindexter(LifeLong Over 60 Patient), Rep. Barbara Lee (D), Marty Lynch, CEO, LifeLong Medical Care, Herb Schultz US Regional Director, Health and Human Services (Region IX), Gladys Rivera (LifeLong Over 60 Patient), Ricardo Ruiz(LifeLong Over 60 Patient)     Photo: Lifelong/Auintard
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It was all smiles on Friday at Lifelong Medical Care’s Over 60 Health Center.

Dozens of dignitaries, doctors, patients and administrators gathered to celebrate the award of a $1.1 million federal grant to the 36-year old clinic. The funds will be used to hire 60 peer educators to work with 3,200 elderly over three years to better manage their health care. The aim is to get the older patients to be proactive about their health so they don’t take unnecessary trips to the emergency room.

The 60 peers will lead group classes for disabled patients and do one on one counseling. They will train adults to adopt more healthy lifestyles and encourage them to work with a group of nurses to more closely manage their own health care, according to a press release issued by Lifelong. The Center for Independent Living is a partner in the project. … Continue reading »

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Op-Ed: Invest in people, close opportunity gap, says Save our pools

Willard veg garden
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When school breaks up for summer, Berkeley 5th grade teacher Maggie Knutson would like to see her students embracing adventure, reading books… and swimming. In an Opionator column published this morning, Knutson argues for the resurrection of Willard Pool, the only pool in South Berkeley, and one that could serve a young diverse population with very limited access to water safety, fitness and healthy social development. As the City Council meets tonight to consider the most recent community survey on the issue, … Continue reading »


Save our pools: Invest in people, close the opportunity gap

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When the last bell rings and school is out for the summer, I want my fifth graders to be reading, having adventures, and… doing cannonballs. Swimming is good, clean fun — and pools offer water safety, fitness, healthy social development (removed from phones, television and video games) and a sense of community.

Prior to 2010, there were four operational city pools serving four different communities in Berkeley. King pool in north Berkeley, West Campus pool in west Berkeley, the warm … Continue reading »

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