Daily Archives: December 28, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 12.28.12

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32 robberies in recent 30-day stretch in Berkeley

Source: CrimeMapping.com and the Berkeley Police Department
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The past month has seen an uptick in robberies in Berkeley, with reports as of Dec. 24 at their highest level since August, according to the most recent data available from the Berkeley Police Department.

There have been 32 robberies in Berkeley over the most recent 30-day period available, from Nov. 25 through Dec. 24; numbers typically have hovered in the low 20s over similar recent time periods. (See the chart below for more detail.)

Last week, there were seven robberies over a five-day period. And it wasn’t the only time in December that this happened. Police say it’s much too soon to know whether the increase indicates a statistically significant jump, but offered to provide more context in January. … Continue reading »

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Fire chief retires after 27 years, with many ‘firsts’

Debra Pryor
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Looking back on her nearly three decades at the Berkeley Fire Department, Chief Debra Pryor said her philosophy has been to tune out her detractors, take the support that’s been offered to her, and keep the spotlight focused on her team, rather than on herself.

Pryor, 51, retires Friday, Dec. 28, from the Berkeley Fire Department. Deputy Chief Gil Dong will serve as interim chief on a temporary basis.

She’s been a trailblazer in her field, as the nation’s second black female fire chief. In Berkeley, she was the city’s first female firefighter, paramedic and paramedic supervisor, and the first woman to hold the titles of lieutenant, captain, assistant chief, deputy chief and fire chief.

Pryor said it’s an aspect of her work that, frankly, she doesn’t think much about. She describes her job as “managing my resources to get all the things accomplished that need to be accomplished.”

“I would much rather shine the light on others than myself,” she added. “It keeps me humble.” … Continue reading »

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The most important stories in Berkeley in 2012

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Berkeley in 2012 was filled with drama — a contested election, a failed nomination for a new school superintendent, a few missteps by the Chief of Police, and major changes at the University of California, among other events. Here’s a recap of the issues that had the deepest impact on Berkeley, plus a few fun ones thrown in.

City Government

The year got off to a tragic start with the untimely death of 37-year-old City Clerk Deanna Despain. She fell down the stairs of her Oakland home on Jan. 8. Her husband discovered her body when he returned from a late-night meeting. Their daughter was soundly asleep upstairs. Since then, Mark Numainville has been filling in as acting city clerk. In May, after serving as interim city manager for six months, the City Council appointed Christine Daniel permanently to the job. She replaced Phil Kamlarz, who had held the city’s top job for eight years. … Continue reading »

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