Search Results for: Berkeley


The Berkeley Wire: 02.09.16

February flowers by Quinn Dombrowski, taken Feb. 9, 2016

February flowers by Quinn Dombrowski, taken Feb. 9, 2016

Ken Light’s collection recaptures sights of the sixties (California)
Longtime school spokesman Mark Coplan to run for city council (CoCo Times)
Three UC Berkeley faculty members elected to National Academy of Engineering (UCB News)
Babette: Artful food in the new Bampfa (Bay Area Bites)
A little known ‘Barber’ gets a rare revival (SF Gate)
President Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, asked to honor speaker’s boycott at Cal (Indy Media)
DNA-editing company goes public while nasty patent fight continues (BuzzFeed)
Take in Antoinette’s unbeatable view, interiors (SF Eater)

Berkeleyside published its 11,000th article on Feb. 5th. Do you think we have made a difference in alerting the community to what is happening? If so, please support our site by making an automated monthly donation. 

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The lowdown: Berkeley council on minimum wage, ballot measures, homelessness, street paving, more

Old City Hall. Photo by Melati Citrawireja
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Election season is already heating up, with a special session tonight, before the regular Berkeley City Council meeting, on possible ballot measures for November. Then, at the regular Feb. 9 meeting: the latest minimum wage proposal; a zoning permit appeal for a project approved on Blake Street; the paving plan update; a proposal to restrict parking in the Berkeley Hills; several items related to homelessness and housing; and a living wage for city employees. Could be a long night, with 16 items on the action calendar alone. Scroll down to see how to follow live meeting coverage and participate from afar. … Continue reading »

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Community helps plan new South Berkeley parklet

YSA mural. Photo: Kathleen Costanza
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After months of deliberating and design tweaks, last Thursday youth and community members put the final touches on plans for a new parklet alongside Alchemy Collective Café on Ellis Street and Alcatraz Avenue in South Berkeley.

Gathering in Youth Spirit Artworks, an arts and job training program that serves homeless and low-income youth, the meeting was the last of four community meetings and two workshops which hashed out a number of neighborhood concerns. The group plans to submit the parklet designs and apply for a city permit in the coming weeks.

Read more about the story of Berkeley’s parklets.

“We want the parklet to show what the South Berkeley community can produce,” said 17-year-old Rayven Wilson, one of several Youth Spirit Artworks youth leaders who took part in the planning process. Wilson said that, for YSA youth, the most important aspects of the parklet’s design was that it was colorful, versatile, and that it tied into the mural behind it that depicts South Berkeley community members and musicians.

“We want it to look like us,” she said. … Continue reading »

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2-alarm fire strikes Berkeley home by animal hospital

There's a house fire on Haste in Berkeley between Shattuck and Ellsworth. Photo: mburkhartsmeyer
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Authorities are responding to a house fire on Haste Street in Berkeley, between Fulton Street and Shattuck Avenue.

The Berkeley Police Department has closed the road between Ellsworth Street and Shattuck and is asking people to avoid the area.

Scroll down for dramatic photos and video from the scene, and updates.

Berkeleyside began getting reports about the fire at 11:22 a.m. We have called the Fire Department and will update this post when additional information becomes available.

Update, 11:53 a.m. Interim Deputy Fire Chief Donna McCracken said the fire, in the 2100 block of Haste, is still in progress and has been upgraded to a second-alarm assignment.

No one was reported to be in the building, a single-family home, when the fire broke out, she said. Firefighters were dispatched at 11:15 a.m.

McCracken noted that there is a veterinary hospital next door: “We’re working with them to make sure conditions in their building stay safe.”

Haste is closed between Fulton and Shattuck, and Fulton is closed up to Channing Way.

Update, 4:30 p.m. McCracken said the home appeared to be unoccupied at the time of the fire, which was declared under control at 12:20 p.m. No injuries to firefighters or civilians were reported.  … Continue reading »

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Authors of new book on ADHD come to Berkeley to debunk myths, provide advice

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Hinshaw and Ellison explain the brain chemistry that causes ADHD, how a parent can get a diagnosis, and why it’s important to diagnose ADHD early. They take an impassionate approach to the question of taking drugs, but also discuss other approaches to controlling it, such as counseling and exercise – all in an easy to understand Q&A format.

The dedication gives a hint at the sense of humor that also pervades the book:”We dedicate [the book] to anyone who has ever wondered whether the occasional joy of spontaneity are worth the annual costs of replacing lost sunglasses, keys, and cell phones, and to everyone willing to make the effort to understand, appreciate, and occasionally forgive the blessings and challenges of neurodiversity.”

Hinshaw and Ellison will be talking about the book and ADHD at Books Inc. at 1491 Shattuck Ave. on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m.

Berkeleyside: Isn’t ADHD just an excuse for bad parenting, lazy, bratty kids, and pill-poppers?

Hinshaw and Ellison: This is a prevalent myth — and one we spend a lot of time debunking in our book, in interviews, and in our public talks. Despite the skepticism and the stereotypes, substantial research has shown that ADHD is a strongly hereditary neurodevelopmental disorder. The quality of one’s parenting doesn’t create ADHD — although it can influence a child’s development — and children with this condition are not lazy but instead handicapped in their capacity to focus attention and keep still.  … Continue reading »

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Berkeley worker co-op resolution could usher in equitable economic development

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Berkeley has the potential to become the first city in the nation to adopt an ordinance giving worker-owned businesses preference in city contracting and procurement.

On Tuesday, Feb. 9, Berkeley City Councilmember Jesse Arreguín (District 4) will introduce a resolution to draft the ordinance, which could also provide tax incentives and educational resources to worker cooperatives.

Arreguín hopes to broaden support in the East Bay for the development of cooperative businesses owned and controlled by workers. Last September, the Oakland … Continue reading »

Ibsen redux: ‘Little Erik’ at Berkeley’s Aurora Theatre

Joie (l. Marilee Talkington*) and Freddie (r. Joe Estlack*) discuss their dysfunctional lives in the World Premiere of Little Erik. Photo: David Allen
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Little Eyolf, one of Henrik Ibsen’s lesser plays, has been updated and up-ended by writer and director Mark Jackson in the Aurora Theatre’s world premiere production of Little Erik. In re-writing Ibsen’s 1894 plot into a superficially contemporary story about a hard-driving executive wife, a mercurial wannabe novelist husband and a disregarded disabled child, Jackson seems to be on the right track until the latter half of the one-act, 80-minute drama, where all goes awry, as the writing departs spectacularly from Ibsen’s original plot and veers into surprisingly shoddy melodrama.

The eponymous Little Erik (talented Jack Wittmayer) was injured as a baby when he fell off a kitchen table while his parents were making love on the floor. Thus begins the guilt, tension and anger that adds pressure to the couple’s already strained relationship. … Continue reading »

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The Berkeley Wire: 02.08.16

Bird nibbling blossom by Mohan Ajmani, taken on Feb. 7, 2015

Bird nibbling blossom by Mohan Ajmani, taken on Feb. 7, 2015

Cal band performed at Super Bowl halftime show with Beyonce, Bruno Mars (NBC)
Jury hands down guilty verdict in 2013 downtown Berkeley attempted homicide (CoCo Times)
Sophomore advances in Jeopardy college contest (UC Berkeley News)
The world’s most dedicated all-natural perfumer (T Magazine)
Berkeley police assist in Super Bowl patrols (48 Hills)
Cal routs Stanford 76-61 in Pac-12 hoops (Daily Democrat)
Amy Dencler: Getting to know the new Chez Panisse chef (Inside Scoop)

Berkeleyside published its 11,000th article on Feb. 5th. Do you think we have made a difference in alerting the community to what is happening? If so, please support our site by making an automated monthly donation. 

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Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Jan. 21-27

Selected calls to the Berkeley Police, via Scroll down for detailed maps. Click the map above for the list. See the map key here.
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This overview of recent crime in Berkeley is based on reports to the Berkeley Police unless otherwise noted. Share photos, videos and tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at or on Facebook or TwitterDon’t assume someone else will alert us. We want to know about issues of concern and rely on readers to help us stay informed.

From Jan. 21-27, there were reports of six robberies20 burglaries18 assaults or batteriesfour weapon-involved calls and one sexual assault, according to There were also 19 stolen vehicles21 disturbances and 46 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. A sex crime, and a burglary were reported to the University of California Police Department (UCPD). The following items represent a sampling of calls; incidents that took place during a range of time are listed unless otherwise noted by the beginning of that time period. Arrested individuals listed in this blotter are presumed innocent.

Thursday, Jan. 21

Two vehicles were stolen, at midnight in the 1900 block of Haste Street, and at 9 a.m. in the 2200 block of Blake Street.

Police responded to a business in the 3000 block of Adeline Street at about 3:20 p.m. after getting a call about someone “chasing two males with a machete,” said Officer Jennifer Coats, BPD spokeswoman, in response to a question from Berkeleyside. Officers determined that the males had tried to steal something from the store. “When the store owner demanded his property back, the two aggressively approached the owner. He grabbed the machete in order to protect himself and chased the two suspects out of the store.”

There was a home burglary at 4 p.m. in the 1400 block of Hawthorne Terrace.

Police were able to disarm a 19-year-old Berkeley man with a knife after responding to a report of a disturbance near Addison and 10th streets at about 5:05 p.m. Said Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats, the initial call indicated a vehicle may have been shot. Witnesses directed officers to a man who may have been involved, and he was seen walking behind a home in the 1000 block of Allston Way: “As the officers attempted to locate the subject, they saw him walking towards them holding a knife in his hand, with the blade displayed. Officers gave him orders to drop the knife, he refused several times, saying he wasn’t going back to jail. The officers continued to talk with the subject and eventually convinced him to put down the knife.” Coats said officers saw that the teen appeared to be having a medical problem and were able to get him to the ground and call for help from the Berkeley Fire Department. The man was taken to the hospital for evaluation and treatment. … Continue reading »

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Draymond Green serves coffee at Berkeley Peet’s

Photo: Lance Knobel
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Warriors basketball star Draymond Green came to Berkeley today to serve up coffee at Peet’s on Shattuck Avenue, and the line was already stretching down the block long before his arrival at around 1:45 p.m. A TV helicopter hovered overhead to catch footage of the event.

The line from Shattuck extended onto Kittredge almost to the Touchless car wash at Oxford. Traffic in the area appeared slow, according to Google Maps.

Follow our live tweets from inside Peet’s!

Berkeleyside’s Lance Knobel reports that it was a “mob scene” outside 2255 Shattuck before Green’s arrival at around 1:45 p.m. His shift behind the counter was slated to begin at 1:30 p.m. and run through to 3 p.m.

Green is helping promote the release of Peet’s limited edition “Warriors Grounds” blend. Peet’s will donate 5% of each purchase of “Warriors Grounds”, up to $10,000, to the Warriors Community Foundation.
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Update: Man dies after being struck by train in Berkeley

Authorities are responding to West Berkeley for a report of a person who was hit by a train. Image: Google Maps
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Update, Feb. 9, 1:50 p.m. A representative from the Alameda County coroner’s office confirmed that the man who died has been identified, but next of kin has not been notified, so the name is not yet available for public release.

Update, Feb. 8, 3:30 p.m. An Amtrak representative said there were no injuries to the train’s 101 passengers or crew.

Update, 1:50 p.m. Union Pacific spokesman Francisco Castillo confirmed that the train struck a man near Bancroft and Fourth Street shortly before noon. Castillo described the pedestrian as “an adult male trespasser” who was trying to cross the tracks when he was hit. The train was going approximately 20-30 mph. The incident is under investigation.

“The safety message here is that pedestrians, bicycles and cars need to be very aware of the hazards associated with trains and should never be on the train tracks or attempt to cross one without following the proper signs,” Castillo said by email. He said Amtrak might have additional information.

Update, 1:05 p.m. According to the Berkeley Fire Department, a man has died after being hit by a southbound Amtrak train near Bancroft Way and Second Street in West Berkeley. He was declared dead at the scene by fire personnel, said Donna McCracken, Berkeley’s interim deputy fire chief. The incident is now under investigation by railroad authorities.

Original 12:54 p.m. Authorities are responding to West Berkeley following a report that a person was struck by a Union Pacific train between Allston Way and Bancroft Way. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley train crossing closed after car tires punctured

Train crossroad at Gilman closed on Feb. 7 after protruding metal was puncturing car tires. Photo: Nick Fylstra
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The train crossing at Gilman in Berkeley was closed Sunday night after a number of cars passing over the tracks ended up with punctured tires, according to authorities. It remained closed to cars Monday morning.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Lt. Alyson Hart said that at around 8 p.m. Sunday the police received a call that there was something on the railroad tracks at Gilman that was puncturing tires. The police responded and found two large pieces of metal that were sticking up between the tracks.

“They looked like support bars that run perpendicular between the tracks,” she said. The pieces of metal punctured the tires of several vehicles. “We shut down the intersection to avoid further damage,” she said. … Continue reading »

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Authors’ Dinner raises funds for Berkeley Public Library

BPLF 2016 Authors Dinner.  Photo: Richard Friedman
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On Saturday night, the Berkeley Public Library Foundation hosted its 14th annual Authors’ Dinner, a fundraiser which this year will help remodel parts of the Central Library, especially for the use of teenagers.

Hundreds of guests mingled with 32 local authors who were honored at the event, which is always one of Berkeley’s most popular social occasions. Attendees proudly recite their library card numbers and bid for silent auction items to raise money for their favorite local public institution.

Read more stories and op-eds on the Berkeley Public Library.

The honorary chair was Frances Dinkelspiel, co-founder of Berkeleyside, whose bestselling book, Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California, was published in 2015. … Continue reading »

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