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As death toll from Oakland fire rises to 33, 6 with Berkeley ties reported missing

At least five people with Berkeley ties have been reported missing after Friday's deadly fire in Oakland.
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Update, 6:15 p.m. The city of Oakland has released the first six names of those killed during the Ghost Ship warehouse party. They are Oakland residents Cash Askew, 22, David Clines, 35, Travis Hough, 35, and Donna Kellogg, 32; Brandon Chase Wittenauer, 32, of Hayward; Nick Gomez-Hall, 25, of Coronado; and Sara Hoda, 30, of Walnut Creek.

Clines and Gomez-Hall had Berkeley ties and further information about them appears below.

Kellogg worked at Berkeley’s Highwire Coffee Roasters and was well-known to many in the community. She was a barista at Highwire’s coffee trailer on Solano Avenue’s Flowerland nursery. Said one community member, “She made a lot of people their coffee and will be deeply missed by customers, coworkers and friends.”

Highwire has asked for privacy during “the very difficult process of absorbing the horror of what has happened and let us grieve.”

Original story, 3:58 p.m. Two friends from UC Berkeley, two UC Berkeley alumni and one staff member from a West Berkeley publishing house are among the dozens reported dead or missing after the three-alarm fire that tore through an Oakland warehouse during a party at an artist collective late Friday night. … Continue reading »

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Crime

UC Berkeley student fights off sexual predator

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A female UC Berkeley student managed to fend off a stranger who tried to rape her as she walked home from the downtown Berkeley BART station, authorities report.

The student is being treated for injuries at a local hospital following the sexual battery, the University of California Police Department reported Saturday.

The sexual battery took place Sunday, Nov. 27, at about 10:30 p.m. UCPD said the exact location has not been determined.

“The victim fought back and managed to get away from the suspect,” UCPD reported. The agency described the incident as sexual assault with the intent to rape.

The assailant was described as a white man in his mid-30s, 6 feet 2 and 220 pounds, with a muscular build, short light brown hair, and “short stubble” facial hair. He was wearing a black baseball cap with a flat bill and “SF” in white stitching, a white T-shirt under a black-and-red-colored flannel shirt, dark jeans and dark shoes.

UCPD was advised about the attack Friday, Dec. 2, by a campus security authority — individuals who are federally mandated to report certain types of crimes they witness or are told about.
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Man dies after being struck by train on Berkeley tracks

A man died on Saturday Dec. 3, after being struck by a train at Addison Street and the train track, according to Berkeley Police. Image: Google Maps
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A train struck and killed a man in Berkeley on Saturday at 3:15 p.m., according to Berkeley police. Traffic in the area was delayed as a result.

The train fatally struck a man near Addison Street, according to Lt. Alyson Hart of the Berkeley Police Department.

Police issued two Nixle alerts about the incident. The first, at 3:32 p.m., advised people to avoid the railroad crossing at Addison Street near the tracks due to “traffic congestion.” The second, at 3:47 p.m., advised motorists to avoid the area due to a “collision investigation.”

Lt. Hart said Union Pacific was conducting the investigation into the collision.

Earlier this month a pedestrian died after a collision with a train in Albany. The fatality happened about 7:55 a.m. on Monday Nov. 21 on the tracks in the area of Cleveland and Washington avenues, according to the East Bay Times. … Continue reading »

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 12.02.16

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Rare burrowing owl found dead in West Berkeley park

This dead owl was found Sunday in a Berkeley park. Photo: Urban Bird Foundation
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A rare burrowing owl was found dead recently at Berkeley’s Cesar Chavez Park, raising some concern in the community.

Local resident Heidi Sachs saw the dead bird on a bench during her run at the Berkeley Marina on Sunday and shared the news with Berkeleyside.

“Really sad for me to think about,” she said, adding, “a passer-by mentioned a puncture wound on the owl’s head.”

On Friday, Earth Island Institute’s nonprofit Urban Bird Foundation released a statement about the discovery of the dead owl. The group said it received a report about the carcass Thursday night.

According to the Urban Bird Foundation, the bird was placed on a bench and puncture wounds could be seen on its body. But the group said it did not recover the carcass itself to verify those reports.

Carolyn Jones, a spokeswoman for the East Bay Regional Park District, said it is hard to know exactly where the bird was killed, but noted it could have died on EBRPD property, at Cesar Chavez Park, or nearby. Its cause of death, however, remains a mystery.

“The owl could have been killed by a feral cat, another raptor (hawks will go after burrowing owls, for example), or another predator,” Jones said by email. “Feral cats are a problem at several East Bay parks.” … Continue reading »

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Photos: Goodbye to Berkeley’s iconic Caffe Med

Last day at Caffe Med. Photo: Ted Friedman
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A crowd turned out Thursday evening for the send-off of Caffe Med, the storied Telegraph Avenue café that has seen more than its share of city history, is referred to as the “home of the latte,” and — famously — was featured in the movie The Graduate.

After six decades on Telegraph, Caffe Mediterraneum to use its full name, is now closed. Longtime owner Craig Becker has transferred the lease to a group of restaurateurs.

Read more about Caffe Med on Berkeleyside.

Becker spoke at Thursday’s event, which doubled as the Telegraph Avenue Business District’s holiday party, as did Berkeley’s newly sworn-in mayor, Jesse Arreguín.

Becker plans to hand over the keys to the café, which is at 2475 Telegraph, on Jan. 1 and, after an extensive renovation, the café is expected to reopen some time next year. It is not known whether the name, or any other aspect of the place, will be retained.

Contributing photographer Ted Friedman, a regular at Caffe Med, took the photographs published here. … Continue reading »

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Schools

Two Berkeley High students hospitalized after eating marijuana edibles

Berkeley High School. Photo: Nancy Rubin
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Two Berkeley High School students were taken to the hospital yesterday after eating marijuana edibles on campus. Both are reported to be fine.

According to BHS principal Sam Pasarow, six students were found to have eaten the products. In a statement to the Berkeley High community, he wrote, “We take this incident and all incidents involving controlled substances on our campus seriously. This investigation is ongoing at this time and does involve cooperation with local law enforcement.”

Pasarow said parents should remind students to never accept food from other students without knowing their origin. “Edible products are particularly dangerous as they can include a range of substances and unclear dosages and drug potency,” he wrote. … Continue reading »

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 12.01.16

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Berkeley’s new mayor, new council members are sworn in

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A large and enthusiastic crowd gathered at Berkeley’s Old City Hall Thursday morning at 10 a.m. to watch Jesse Arreguín and three new council members — Cheryl Davila (District 2), Ben Bartlett (District 3) and Sophie Hahn (District 5) — be sworn in to office.

Berkeleyside recorded some of the event using Facebook Live (unfortunately the feed cut out before Ben Bartlett and Sophie Hahn were sworn in, and the quality of the video was fairly poor due to poor internet connectivity at Old City Hall). Watch the video below.

Those in the audience for the event, which lasted about 15 minutes, included former Berkeley mayors Shirley Dean and Gus Newport, current council members Linda Maio, Lori Droste and Kriss Worthington, former councilman Max Anderson, former mayor of Oakland Elihu Harris, and Berkeley acting police chief Andrew Greenwood.

City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley presided over the event and the swearing-in was conducted by City Clerk Mark Numainville. … Continue reading »

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 11.30.16

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Berkeleyside

A new goal, as readers step up to invest in Berkeleyside

Berkeley by Joe Parks
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Berkeleyside is trying something that has never been tried before by a news organization: asking our readers to become shareholders to ensure a robust future for our award-winning local news site.

On Nov. 3 we announced a direct public offering to raise $800,000 in capital to invest in Berkeleyside. In just over three weeks, we have raised over $260,000 from over 62 investors.

Now we’ve set ourselves — and our community — a challenge: to get half way there and raise $400,000 by Dec. 31. 

Visit invest.berkeleyside.com to learn more and invest.

Supporting independent journalism is more important than ever. Berkeleyside will continue to bear witness and hold the powerful accountable during these uncertain times, and keep you informed about everything that’s going on in the city. In the past few weeks alone, Berkeleyside’s tiny team reported 167 stories on the Berkeley elections; unveiled serious mail delivery problems in the city, and the need for a new bike lane after a near-fatal accident. We also told you about the deer that jumped into the King pool during a kids’ swimming lesson, the plight of the monarch butterflies, and the coming together of hundreds of people in the “greatest little city in America” after the election for a sunrise unity gathering. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley native Cierra Ford fatally shot in Georgia

Ford at her graduation from Contra Costa College
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A young man from Berkeley is trying to raise money to bring home his little sister’s body for burial after she was killed Friday in Georgia where she was attending college.

The day after Thanksgiving, around 3 a.m., 25-year-old Cierra Ford was fatally shot in her home in Sandy Springs, a suburb north of Atlanta, according to news reports. A 21-year-old man with her in the home also was shot and was reported to be in critical but stable condition at the hospital. Police said robbery may have been the motive. No arrests have been made. 

Ford graduated from Berkeley High in 2009, then went on to get her associate’s degree from Contra Costa Community College.

Her brother Clarence — a master’s student at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy — wrote that his sister “excelled academically earning A’s and B’s which allowed her to apply and receive multiple scholarships” while attending community college.

She later transferred to Clark Atlanta University, a historically black university in Atlanta, where she was majoring in communications. … Continue reading »

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Where in Berkeley?

Where in Berkeley?

WIB

Know where this is? Take a guess and let us know in the Comments, below.

Photo: Don Melandry / Photographer.

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

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