Daily Archives: June 20, 2012

Berkeley police have cordoned off Acton Street near Oregon to search for evidence in connection with a shooting that happened around 5 pm, according to the police scanner, and Berkeleyside tipsters.

Alameda County Sheriff’s deputies are talking to a man who went to Highland Hospital with possible gunshot wounds, according to the scanner. Berkeley police are on their way to talk to the patient, who may have been involved in the incident.

One south Berkeley resident reported she heard about seven shots being fired shortly after 5 pm. Police said on the scanner that someone who may be a suspect sped off in a blue GMC Yukon. … Continue reading »

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 06.20.12

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Family of murdered man files claim against Berkeley

Peter and Andrea Cukor. Photo: Matthew Sumner
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The family of Peter Cukor, killed outside his Berkeley hills home on February 18, took steps Wednesday to sue the city of Berkeley for wrongful death.

R. Lewis Van Blois, the Cukor family attorney, filed a claim against Berkeley and its police department for wrongful death and severe emotional distress. The city has 45 days to respond to the claim. After that a lawsuit can be filed.

The claim includes new details about the attack that 23-year old Daniel DeWitt allegedly made against Cukor around 8:45 pm on February 18.

Peter Cukor and his wife Andrea returned to their home at 2 Park Gate around 8:40 pm where they encountered Dewitt inside their garage, according to the claim. Cukor told Dewitt to leave, but the 23-year old responded that he lived there, he was looking for Zoey, and a psychic told him he could find her if he entered the house. Dewitt eventually left, but returned a short time later and entered a gate that led to a patio at the front of the house. Cukor told him to leave a second time. … Continue reading »

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Police

Mutual aid agreements crawl to implementation

Police Chief Michael Meehan
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Last November, the Berkeley City Council approved a range of mutual aid agreements between the Berkeley Police Department and other agencies. But five of the proposed agreements — with the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center (NCRIC), the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), the UCPD, criminal intelligence, and jail operations — were held for consideration until February. Last night, revisions to the five agreements were considered both in a three-hour special work session of the Council and in a special Council meeting.

At the end, all five were passed to the city manager to draw up plans for implementing the agreements, which the Council will consider in September.

The lengthy path for the agreements stems from concerns by councilmembers, the Police Review Commission, and outspoken members of the public about the kinds of information being shared with other agencies, and whether sufficient safeguards were in place to protect civil liberties.  … Continue reading »

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News

Catalytic converter thefts on rise in Berkeley, nationwide

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Hilary Goldman had a similar experience a while back when her pickup truck, which was parked on Berkeley Way, disappeared. After putting in a police report the car was eventually found — but its catalytic converter was gone. Goldman filed a claim with her insurance company and it was replaced. Shortly after that incident, Goldman’s neighbor had the converter taken from his truck too, although in that case the truck was not stolen.

Catalytic converters are a target for thieves because they contain precious metals — including platinum, palladium and rhodium. In addition, their external location makes them relatively easy to steal.

The Berkeley Police Department reports that there has been pattern of theft of catalytic converters throughout the city. … Continue reading »

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Report: Berkeley Patients Group earned $15m in 2009

As Berkeley Patients Group prepared to shut its doors on May 1, it advertised its delivery services on a sign behind the reception desk. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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Berkeley Patients Group took in $15 million and paid its top executives $911,000 in 2009, while only donating $18,083 to charities, according to a story released Wednesday by California Watch.

Etienne Fontan earned $357,529, Tim Schick earned $290,765, and Debby Goldsberry earned $263,299 in 2009, part of $3.3 million spent on labor costs, according to story. The medical cannabis dispensary, which operated at 2747 San Pablo Avenue until May, when the federal government forced it to close, spent $151,789 on security in 2009 and distributed $253,433 to marijuana advocacy organizations, according to California Watch. It made about a 40% profit on its products.

BPG officials had told the Oakland Tribune in 2009 that it donated about $300,000 a year to charities. … Continue reading »

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‘Five Broken Cameras': A ‘best documentary of the year’?

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In Five Broken Cameras (opening at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas on Friday, June 22) you’ll see overzealous security forces hurling tear gas canisters at civilians, fences being torn down, protesters throwing rocks, and a courageous camera operator recording it all for posterity. It’s not, however, the latest livestream from “Oscar Grant Plaza,” but a remarkable documentary culled from the video archives of a Palestinian “citizen journalist” who’s been filming in the Occupied Territories since 2005.

A self-described falah (peasant), Emad Burnat was born and raised in the West Bank village of Bil’in. A free spirit who preferred roaming nearby hills to picking olives with his father, Burnat acquired a new appreciation for Olea europaea after Israeli surveyors and bulldozers arrived to clear trees and prepare the way for the construction of the West Bank Wall.

Acquiring his first camera shortly after the birth of his fourth son in 2005, Burnat initially used his new toy to film village parties and family events. That same year, however, residents of Bil’in began marching each week to protest the construction of the Wall and the loss of their land to hastily built apartment complexes for ultra-orthodox Jewish settlers. Burnat and his camera were soon tagging along. … Continue reading »

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