Search Results for: Berkeley


The Berkeley Wire: 11.24.15

Getting ready for Thanksgiving by Pete Rosos. Photo taken at La Farine Bakery on Nov. 23, 2015

Getting ready for Thanksgiving by Pete Rosos. Photo taken at La Farine Bakery on Nov. 23, 2015

Facebook yanks a UC Berkeley “white student union page” (SF Chronicle)
Chancellor Dirks issues statement on “white student union” page (Daily Cal)
Woman injured in UC Berkeley explosion sues, demands answers (KTVU)
Three new AAAs fellows named from Cal (UCB News)
Thousands of community members race, relax at 3rd annual half marathon (Daily Cal)

Follow Berkeleyside on Twitter and on Facebook where we often break news. Email us at Would you like the latest Berkeley news sent to your email inbox once a day? Click here to subscribe to Berkeleyside’s free Daily Briefing.

Print Friendly

Broken elevator strands disabled Berkeley tenants

The Acton Courtyard elevator has been broken since Nov. 13. Image: Google Maps
Print Friendly

A broken elevator at a Berkeley apartment building owned by Equity Residential has left numerous tenants with mobility issues in the lurch this holiday season, and building management has been slow to handle the problem, residents report.

The single elevator at The Acton Courtyard, at 1370 University Ave. (at Acton Street), broke down 11 days ago, Nov. 13, after months on the fritz, tenants say. At least six tenants in the building have mobility impairments. The broken elevator has left them “trapped in their apartments or stranded outside of them,” according to a Nov. 20 letter sent to Equity by Disability Rights Advocates.

“This means that they have either been completely shut off from the outside world or completely stranded within it—unable to cook, unable to access their clothing or other possessions, and denied the basic comforts of their homes,” according to Disability Rights Advocates, a Berkeley-based nonprofit and nationally recognized legal center focused on disability rights.

The letter was written on behalf of tenants Dominika Bednarska and her partner Perlita Payne, who have lived in the building for more than three years, along with other unnamed residents. Bednarska uses a scooter to get around, and Payne has chronic knee pain that makes climbing stairs difficult. The couple live on the fifth floor at The Courtyard, and have been in a hotel since the Nov. 13 elevator breakdown. Equity is covering the hotel costs, but tenants say the company has not taken the problem seriously enough.  … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , ,

Oakland man arrested in slaying of Antonio Ramos, Berkeley High grad, mural painter

Antonio Ramos painting the mural on West Street in Oakland before he was gunned down. Photo: Ramos family
Print Friendly

A 20-year-old Oakland man was arraigned in court Tuesday on charges that he killed 27-year-old Antonio Ramos while he was painting a community mural.

Marquise R. Holloway has been charged with murder and multiple counts of robbery in connection with the Sept. 27 slaying, according to the Oakland Police Department. U.S. marshals arrested Holloway in Stockton on Nov. 20, but his name was not released until today.

Holloway admitted to police that he shot Ramos, but said it was not intentional, according to court documents.

“Holloway admitted to shooting at the victim on 29 Sept 15 but stated it was an accident,” according to court documents. “Holloway denied any involvement in the robbery.”

The slaying of Ramos, a 2006 Berkeley High graduate who also attended Berkeley City College, shocked the Bay Area as he was peacefully painting a community mural on West Street in Oakland underneath Interstate 580 when he was gunned down. There were other people working on the 4,000-square-foot mural at the time – although they were a few hundred feet away – and none of them heard a loud altercation or saw a fight. Other witnesses, however, said they saw Ramos arguing with another man. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , ,

Op-ed: An open letter to Berkeley on homelessness: You are being scammed by the City Council

Print Friendly

Do storage lockers magically appear on Tom Bates’ order? Do angels from on high descend with public restrooms on Linda Maio’s wish? Is it common for shower facilities to construct themselves from piping and tile without human intervention?

If you answered “yes” to these questions then you’ve entered the mindset of the Berkeley City Council majority — who last week voted to criminalize homeless people’s behavior while invoking the humanitarian fairy to do what they claim they want to … Continue reading »

Tagged , ,

$20K a month for Berkeley house? Skyrocketing rental prices draw crowd to housing affordability ‘teach-in’

About 180 people attended a "teach-in" about Berkeley housing affordability crisis on Sunday. Photo: Kathleen Costanza
Print Friendly

About 180 people packed into Berkeley Arts Festival, a performance space in Downtown Berkeley, on Sunday to hear housing experts and advocates discuss the city’s housing affordability crisis and what can be done to make Berkeley a more affordable place to live.

Audience members lined the walls, balcony and sat on the floor for the “teach-in,” organized by the Ad Hoc Committee for a Progressive Berkeley in conjunction with eight other advocacy and tenants’ rights organizations.

Housing experts say there’s a rental affordability crisis across the country, and the Bay Area continues to be one of the most extreme cases in the nation. In 2014, median rent in Berkeley reached just under $1,300 for a one-bedroom or studio apartment. (The national median rent for a one-bedroom or studio is $796, according to the American Community Survey.) And Zillow, an online real estate database, currently estimates the median rent for all units and homes in Berkeley is $3,584.
Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Unflinching and timely: ‘Disgraced’ at Berkeley Rep

Bernard White (Amir) and Nisi Sturgis (Emily) in Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced at Berkeley Rep.

Photo by Liz Lauren
Print Friendly

The exceptional and intense Pulitzer prize-winning drama, Disgraced, is a timely and unflinching exposition into the power and perils of race and ethnicity in America. Talented novelist (American Dervish) and playwright Ayad Akhtar elegantly communicates these multifaceted concepts using only four main characters, whose lives change over the course of a social dinner.

Amir Kapoor (Bernard White), a Pakistani American corporate lawyer, is hoping to make partner at his predominantly Jewish New York law firm. He claims to be Indian (and therefore Hindu), hoping to hide his less acceptable Muslim background. After all, he has rejected his religion, calling the Koran, “one very long hate mail letter to humanity.”

Living a sophisticated American life is far more significant to Amir than looking backwards at his religion and race. But, as much as he wants to escape his heritage, like a dark enveloping shadow, it hauntingly reappears. As my mother was fond of saying, “If you try to escape your background, people will be glad to remind you of it.” … Continue reading »

Tagged , , ,

Op-ed: Berkeley’s ancient ruins — A photo essay

Willard pool
Print Friendly

On July 1, 2014, the recently retired Director of Public Works, Andrew Clough, gave a somber presentation to City Council on the condition of facilities in Berkeley.

The information report accompanying his presentation stated the following:

“During the past 25 years, the City has deferred maintenance on many City buildings, decreasing the value of the assets and diminishing the utility of the buildings for City programs.”

The report went on to state (in bold):

 “To reiterate: at the current funding levels maintenance, … Continue reading »

Tagged , ,

The Berkeley Wire: 11.23.15

Sunset Bay Walk. Photo, taken on Nov. 21, 2015, by Kathy

Sunset Bay Walk. Photo, taken Nov. 21, 2015, by Kathy

Berkeley’s homeless feel squeezed as neighbors clamp down (SF Chronicle)
Homeless community sets up ‘permanent’ camp on lawn of Old City Hall (Daily Cal)
Cal football falls to Stanford in 118th Big Game (Daily Cal)
Janet Rudolph wins mystery award for her contributions to the genre (Mystery Fanfare)
Dozens displaced after Berkeley apartment fire (NBC)
Sneak peek at new Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive (UCB News)

Want to keep up-to-date on all the food, drink and restaurant news in the East Bay? Subscribe to NOSH Weekly, the free weekly email packed with delicious news. Simply sign up here.

Print Friendly

Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates has surgery following injury

Mayor Tom Bates. Photo- Frances Dinkelspiel
Print Friendly

The mayor of Berkeley, Tom Bates, had surgery Sunday following a sports-related injury sustained Saturday.

The mayor fractured his hip while playing basketball with his grandson, according to Charles Burress, the mayor’s communications director. The mayor had surgery Sunday, “which went very well,” Burress said. “He began physical therapy today and expects to return home tomorrow,” Burress said via email Monday.

Mayor Bates had been scheduled to hand out the medals to the winners of the third annual Berkeley Half Marathon which took place Sunday. Vice Mayor Linda Maio stepped in to fulfill the role. … Continue reading »

Tagged ,

Berkeley’s 72-hour parking limit is outdated, discriminatory and needs to go

Print Friendly

It felt great to return to Berkeley recently after two weeks in Brazil without robberies, accidents, or mishaps. But when we arrived just blocks from our home, we were greeted with an unsavory welcome: our cars had vanished from the North Berkeley street where we parked them.

They hadn’t been stolen. They had been towed. Why? A neighbor, upset that her “usual spot” on a city street was occupied by an unknown car, called the police. Just like that, we … Continue reading »

Tagged , ,

‘Unconstitutional police attacks’ in December Berkeley protests spur civil rights lawsuit

Lawyers Rachel Lederman and James Chanin (left) and plaintiffs xx, xx, xx and xx during the Monday press conference. Photo: Lance Knobel
Print Friendly

Eleven demonstrators and journalists have filed a civil rights complaint against the city of Berkeley, the city of Hayward, former Berkeley City Manager Christine Daniel, Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan, and 13 other named police officers in federal court seeking changes in how Berkeley polices demonstrations and damages for what they term “unconstitutional police attacks” during the Black Lives Matter protests on Dec. 6, 2014.

“The Berkeley police treated all the demonstrators as if they were violent and lawless,” James Chanin, a Berkeley-based civil rights attorney representing the plaintiffs, said at a press conference in front of Berkeley Police headquarters Monday morning. “The results were predictable, and that is why we’re here today. Non-violent protesters were injured, massive amounts of gas were used on non-violent protesters as well as people who had little if anything to do with the demonstrations, and those who did commit property damage got away while non-violent, innocent people were injured and/or prevented from exercising their First Amendment rights.”

Moni Law, a Berkeley Rent Board counselor, is one of the plaintiffs. Law said she was clubbed in the back from behind by a Berkeley police officer when she was urging other demonstrators to step back from the police line. At the press conference, Law described herself as a “reluctant plaintiff.”

“I want my own police department to protect and to serve,” Law said. “Let’s keep our city free of violence, and that includes police violence.”

Read past Berkeleyside coverage of the Berkeley protests.

Rachel Lederman, co-counsel for the plaintiffs and head of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, said it was “somewhat surprising” that Berkeley police had received the most complaints and reports during the protests last December, even though there were demonstrations in Oakland and San Francisco, as well as other Bay Area cities.  … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

First time observed: Hundreds of monarch butterflies cluster in Berkeley’s Aquatic Park


CAPTION: Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) in an ash tree in Aquatic Park. Photo: Elaine Miller Bond [LINK:]]
Print Friendly

In late October, Berkeleyside received a tip that thousands of tiny fish were jumping in the waters of Aquatic Park.

Less than three weeks later, we received another “scoop” about the park that throngs of monarch butterflies were clustering in the trees.

I’d seen groups of monarchs in well-known gathering places, called “roosts” or “bivouacs,” in Pacific Grove and Santa Cruz. But I’d never heard of such a spectacle in Berkeley.

So I rushed the next morning to Aquatic Park, to the trees just east of the 14th hole of the disc-golf course, the site where the butterflies had purportedly been spotted. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Good showing for Berkeley in city’s third Half Marathon

One of the top five finishers in the Berkeley Half Marathon 2015. Photo: Ted Friedman
Print Friendly

On Sunday, Anna Bretan of Berkeley took first place in the women’s race of the 2015 Berkeley Half Marathon for the third consecutive year. Bretan, whose time was 1:18:34, has also finished first in the San Francisco Marathon for the past three consecutive years.

There was also a Berkeley connection for Oakland resident Sam Robinson, who placed first in the men’s race, with a time of 1:12:22. Robinson is a student at UC Berkeley, finishing his Ph.D. in history.

And Holly McIlvaine, also of of Berkeley, took second place in the women’s half marathon with a time of 1:21:12. (See full results on the Berkeley Half Marathon’s website.)Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , ,