Search Results for: Berkeley

John King: Keeping downtown Berkeley’s design distinctive is a tall order

BAM:PFA. Photo- Paul Chinn, The Chronicle
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By John King / San Francisco Chronicle

A walk through downtown Berkeley reveals a treasure of pre-World War II architecture, different styles and materials blending together in comfortable structures that were built for their time but seem to grow in stature with each passing decade.

The newer buildings? Not so much. And the ones on deck — one as tall as anything now there — could be even less satisfying.

The problem isn’t the scale of what’s proposed, or the architectural mishmash in the mix. It’s the way that a confusing process encourages checklists over creativity, while opponents would rather fight to stop nearly all change, rather than find ways to make that change enrich downtown’s sense of place.

Nearly 20 projects are now in the works in the area roughly bounded by Berkeley Way on the north, Dwight Way on the south, UC Berkeley on the east and the Civic Center on the west. … Continue reading »

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New billiards club headed to downtown Berkeley

Draw Billiards Club will be at 64 Shattuck Sq. Photo: Berkeley ZAB
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It looks like downtown Berkeley is going to have a pool hall again.

Paul Revenaugh, the former owner of The Sunny Side Café, and his business partner Jason Kung, have just had use permits approved for their newest project: Draw Billiard Club in the Roos Brothers building on Shattuck Square.

Draw Billiard Club will take over the ground-level restaurant space that formerly housed Morgan’s Café, as well as the 7,896-square-foot basement below. The street-level space will serve as a lounge with food and drink. The basement will comprise approximately 15 pool tables, plus additional bar and restaurant seating.

Draw Billiard Club will be the first dedicated billiards venue in downtown Berkeley since the closure of Thalassa last fall. (Thalassa owner Doug Miller opened a new pool hall, The Tap Haus, on Durant Avenue this May.) … Continue reading »

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Pharmaca in North Berkeley held up at gunpoint

Berkeley Police cruiser, Officer Jennifer Coats. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Police are investigating a robbery at gunpoint at a Solano Avenue pharmacy over the weekend.

The robbery took place at 5:10 p.m. Saturday at Pharmaca at 1744 Solano Ave., at Ensenada Avenue.

According to Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats, a man entered the North Berkeley business with a gun and demanded prescription medication from the pharmacist.

The robber “jumped over the counter with a gun pointed at the employees and told them to fill his backpack,” according to unconfirmed scanner traffic. … Continue reading »

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Big Screen Berkeley: ‘The Second Mother’

Second Mother
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In real life, the well-to-do have servants to help them count their money, weigh gold bullion, and keep the other servants in line. In the movies, the rich also have domestic help – but in films like The Servant (1963) and La Nana (The Maid, 2009), the ‘help’ quite often turns out to as much hindrance as anything else. Such is also the case in Que Horas Ela Volta? (The Second Mother), a Brazilian drama (albeit, with faint comedic overtones) opening at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas on Friday, Sept. 4.

Val (Regina Casé) serves as the live-in maid for trend-setting São Paulo stylist Bárbara (Karine Teles). While Bárbara is the one getting the television interviews and magazine spreads, her low-key husband Dr. Carlos (Lourenço Mutarelli) is the real power behind the throne, having inherited an impressive sum from his late father. What Carlos wants, he gets – sometimes much to Bárbara’s chagrin. … Continue reading »

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The Berkeley Wire: 09.02.15

Moon over Berkeley by Seaangel12. Photo taken Aug. 28, 2015

Moon over Berkeley by Seaangel12. Photo taken Aug. 28, 2015

Is Berkeley’s new soda tax failing? (Civil Eats)
Noir classico in Berkeley (Express)
Where to get your Cal Game Day on (Express)
Canadian photographer’s stunning pictures at Brower Center (7×7)
Sexual assault at UC Berkeley campus (KRON)
New owner to seek to convert retail to student housing near campus (SF Business Times)
“Exceptional Expositions” shines on two fabulous world fairs (UCB News)
FDA approves digital stethoscope created by Skydeck-backed start-up (UCB News)
Solano Stroll ready to roll (Daily Democrat News)
This preschool is for robots (Bloomberg News)

If you like the variety of news on Berkeleyside, you will like the variety of voices we present at Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas. Early bird tickets with early bird prices are on sale now for the festival in downtown Berkeley on Oct. 16-17. Click here to see the list of speakers.  

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City Council seeks to move meetings to West Berkeley

The BUSD Headquarters on Bonar Street. Photo: Kaia Diringer
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The Berkeley City Council, set to resume its meetings later this month after summer recess, is exploring a potential move to West Berkeley to the Berkeley Unified School District’s meeting room on Bonar Street.

Last week, the School Board considered the request, and voted to hold a town hall meeting Tuesday, Sept. 15, to allow community members to give feedback about the proposal.

Council has been looking for a new meeting space since 2011. Its current meeting space at Old City Hall, the Maudelle Shirek Building at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, is lacking in a variety of ways.

According to a June 23 staff report, “The physical condition of the building is very dilapidated and poses significant dangers. The capacity of the hall is not adequate to accommodate the public on nights when there is significant interest in agenda items. In addition, the safety of the elevator is precarious, the toilet facilities are not adequate and the sound system makes hearing the meetings very challenging for both the council and the public.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s 16 schools welcome students back for new year, Pasarow starts as principal at BHS

New BHS principal Sam Pasarow meets with parents. Photo: Mark Coplan
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More than 9,000 students returned to Berkeley’s 11 elementary, three middle and two high schools schools today. Detailed enrollments will be announced by the school district in the coming weeks, but spokesman Mark Coplan said that district administrators believe the total will be very close to forecast.

The major change in the district is the arrival of Sam Pasarow as the new principal at Berkeley High. Pasarow, formerly principal of Edna Brewer Middle School in Oakland Unified School District, started at Berkeley High on July 1, succeeding interim principal Kristen Glenchur.

“He is a taskmaster. He will get things done,” said Superintendent Donald Evans, describing Pasarow to parents at a public meeting on Thursday last week. Evans pointed out that Berkeley High ranked in the nation’s top 200 high schools. “His job is to get Berkeley High into the top 100.”  … 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, below.

Photo: Andria Lo.

Send your submissions for “Where in Berkeley?” to The more obscure the better —  just as long as the photos are taken in Berkeley. Thanks in advance.

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The Berkeley Wire: 09.01.15

Warm, windy sunset at Cesar Chavez Park. Photo taken by Fred Rowe on Aug. 28, 2105

Warm, windy sunset at Cesar Chavez Park. Photo taken by Fred Rowe on Aug. 28, 2105

Theater group puts on drought-focused performance (Daily Cal)
MasterCard program provides scholarships to UC Berkeley for African students (Daily Cal)
Cal coach Sonny Dykes feeling at home in Berkeley (SF Chronicle)
Cal launches Saudi-funded online Philanthropy University (SF Business Times)

If you like the variety of news on Berkeleyside, you will like the variety of voices we present at Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas. Early bird tickets with early bird prices are on sale now for the festival in downtown Berkeley on Oct. 16-17. Click here to see the list of speakers.  

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Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Aug. 13-19

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. Please share photos, videos and tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at or on Facebook or Twitter; let us know if you prefer to be anonymous. Don’t assume someone else will alert us — you may be the only one to get in touch. We very much want to know about issues of neighborhood concern and rely on our readers to help us stay informed.

From Aug. 13-19, there were reports of three robberies20 burglaries13 assaults or batteries, one weapon-involved call and three sexual assaults, according to There were also 13 stolen vehicles16 disturbances and 26 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. A burglary was reported by the University of California Police Department (UCPD). These numbers are subject to change. Click the links for the latest numbers. The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate; incidents that took place during a range of time are listed by the beginning of that time period.

Thursday, Aug. 13

Five vehicles were stolen: at midnight in the 2500 block of Ellsworth Street; at 3 p.m. in the 2400 block of Stuart Street and also at Ninth and Harrison streets; at 5 p.m. in the 2700 block of Ridge Road; and at 11:30 p.m. in the 1300 block of Sixth Street.

There were four disturbances: at 1:21 a.m. in the 1300 block of Hearst Street; at 6:15 a.m. at Grant Street and University Avenue; at 10:20 a.m. in the 1700 block of 62nd Street; and at 6 p.m. in the 2400 block of Telegraph Avenue.

There were two felony assaults or batteries, at 2 a.m. at Channing Way and Telegraph, and at 2:45 p.m. at Alcatraz Avenue and Dover Street.

There were three home burglaries: at 9 a.m. in the 1700 block of Blake Street; at 10:10 a.m. in the 1200 block of Ordway Street; and at noon in the 1000 block of Spruce Street.

Police arrested 42-year-old Rodney Collins on suspicion of various violations including felony drug possession. He remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $200,000, and is scheduled for further pretrial Sept. 3.
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Berkeleyside would like your feedback: Take our survey

Photo: Daniel Parks
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Berkeleyside aims to please. In an effort to better understand how we can serve you, our readers, we would love to know a little about you and about what you think. What information is important to you? Do you want more news? If so, which areas interest you the most? The arts, crime, education, business, food and restaurants, real estate?

Please take a few minutes to complete our readership survey. You can do so by clicking this link:

Take the … Continue reading »

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Alert: UC Berkeley student with measles rode public transportation

Electron microscope image of the virus responsible for measles (paramyxoviridae)
Photographer: Alain Grillet
Copyright Sanofi Pasteur
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Berkeley officials have put out an alert that a UC Berkeley student diagnosed with measles rode public transportation and was active in the community before he was put in isolation.

The student, who was not identified, was infectious from Aug. 24 to Aug. 29., according to a city press release. On Monday Aug. 24 he took the AC Transit line 25 around 3:30 p.m. and returned on the same line around 5:30 p.m. He also spent time in his dorm and around the UC campus before his tell-tale rash developed. … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: Give Berkeley police tools they need to do the job

Police search Sacramento Street, near Dwight Way, for an armed robber who robbed a laundromat, in Berkeley, on Monday, July 27, 2015. Photo: David Yee
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In July, Berkeley police officers came under scrutiny, not least by many people writing in Berkeleyside’s comments section, for what was seen by some as a heavy-handed response to an armed suspect who robbed a laundromat in South Berkeley and attacked an older resident near Sacramento Street. The department’s use of an armored vehicle was the focus of the criticism.

In an op-ed published on Berkeleyside, Chris Stines, president of the Berkeley Police Association, says the borrowed vehicle used in the operation had a single purpose: preventing bullets from killing or severely injuring Berkeley residents.

Stines argues that the vehicle, as well as other tools such as search helicopters, a canine unit and drones should be directly available to the Berkeley Police Department. “While well-intentioned, several city council decisions over the past several decades have had the effect of tying the hands of the police in volatile operations, and are overdue for a fresh look,” he writes. “Dogs, helicopters and drones are not intended for everyday policing. But with the potential for harm to the public, we want to have as many resources at our disposal as we can and as quickly as we can.” … Continue reading »