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News

The Berkeley Wire: 09.30.16

Berkeley mayoral candidates square off at forum (East Bay Times)
Astronaut Scott Kelly shares space experiences with students (KGO)
Berkeley woman killed crossing the street in Richmond (Patch)
Sheared fire hydrant spews water in South Berkeley (Daily Cal)
Commuter ferry service approved from Berkeley to San Francisco (East Bay Times)

Berkeleyside publishes many articles every day. To see all our stories in chronological order, and read ones you may have missed, check out our All the News grid.

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Update: Berkeley church says 3-alarm fire caused by roof work, crews still on scene, streets closed

Fire on Channing at the First Congregational Church. Photo: Ted Friedman
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Update, 5 p.m. Authorities say 94 children and 14 staffers were evacuated during Friday’s three-alarm fire at the First Congregational Church on Channing Way in Berkeley.

The fire was declared under control at 3:20 p.m. but had not been extinguished, Berkeley Fire Chief Gil Dong said during a 4 p.m. briefing. Firefighters were still working to put out hotspots.

He said crews would remain on scene throughout the evening and into tomorrow.

Scroll down for photographs of the fire shared by many community members.

Dong said the cause of the fire remains unknown and the investigation could not be carried out until the conditions are safe. He said Channing Way and Durant Avenue will be blocked off tomorrow, and could affect traffic for the scheduled Cal football game.

Dong said authorities are concerned about potential collapses, particularly in the chimney.  … Continue reading »

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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

Pop-Up and California Sunday Magazine bring the Golden State Record to the Greek Theatre on Friday Sept. 30. Photo: Pop-Up
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THE GOLDEN STATE RECORD Pop-Up Magazine, California Sunday Magazine and Noise Pop present The Golden State Record at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley Friday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. The show, inspired in part by The Golden Record, launched into deep space by NASA and Carl Sagan in 1977, celebrates and explores the sounds, ideas, and culture of California and the West today. Described as a “first-of-its-kind music and storytelling event,” the lineup includes musicians Shamir, Lil B, Thao Nguyen and the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, and performers including Janna Levin, Jace Clayton andJon Mooallem. More information and tickets ($52 and $60).  … Continue reading »

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Crime

Richmond police chase ends in Berkeley with crash, arrest

A car crashed on the basketball court at Strawberry Creek Park during a police chase Thursday. Photo: Citizen reporter
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Update, 1:25 a.m. Authorities have just confirmed this incident began in Richmond at around 10:35 p.m.

“Richmond PD officers were attempting to stop a vehicle. The suspect vehicle turned onto a dead end street and made an abrupt u-turn. The suspect vehicle then rammed her car into a marked RPD patrol car and fled,” Lt. Felix Tan, RPD spokesman, told Berkeleyside.

Police pursued the car into Berkeley where the chase ended at Bonar and Bancroft. All three occupants were taken into custody and no weapons were found. Tan said the officer was not injured but the patrol car had moderate damage.

Tan also said the driver was an adult female, and she was the only one booked on suspicion of the assault on the officer. He said RPD does not generally release the names of individuals who are arrested.

Update, 11:55 p.m. BPD tells us this is a Richmond case; no further information was available. Berkeleyside will attempt to learn more.

Update, 11:44 p.m. The neighborhood tipster tells Berkeleyside at least one of the people detained after the chase lives on the block.

He said he heard what sounded like loud reports during the pursuit: “If there wasn’t gunfire, then someone was setting off a lot of fireworks in the last 30 seconds of the chase. It was a very loud and distinct POP POP POP POP POP POP POP really quickly before everyone got out of their cars.” … Continue reading »

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 09.29.16

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First responders, students question stats showing rise in alcohol abuse at UC Berkeley

Paramedics load a patient into an ambulance during a response to an alcohol poisoning call at Freeborn Hall in the Unit 1 dorms at the University of California, in Berkeley, on Sunday, August 23. The call came in as a possible alcohol poisoning case involving a 19-year-old female in the bathroom of Freeborn Hall. Photo: David Yee
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Despite official statistics suggesting 2016 was a banner year for alcohol abuse during the first weeks of the UC Berkeley school year, anecdotes from first responders and student leaders suggest otherwise.

In early September, the state bureau of Alcohol and Beverage Control released figures for the first two weekends of the school year that indicated alcohol-related incidents spiked 110% this year, compared with 2004 when the ABC bureau first started collecting data. And this year’s total of 551 incidents is up 30% from 2015.

The stats are based on a collaboration between the Berkeley Police Department, ABC and other law-enforcement agencies that is funded through a grant. The annual effort began in 2004.

Unlike previous years, where new records appear in certain citation categories such as ‘open container violations’ or ‘minors in possession of alcohol,’ 2016 set records across the board. For example, in 2016 law enforcement handed out 36 citations for ‘furnishing alcohol to minors,’ beating the 2006 record of 32.

The UC Police reported a slight uptick in hospital transports to 15, from 11 in August. But September, at least through Sept. 21, declined to 16 from 19 in 2015, according to Sergeant Sabrina Reich.

The Berkeley Police Department acknowledged that the increase was likely due to the number of officers involved. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Sentencing postponed again in Berkeley murder; convicted accomplice disputes identity of killer

Carroll, at right, seen here with brothers Jermaine and Charles Davis, both of whom have since been killed in fatal shootings. Photo: Coleon Carroll/FB
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The attorney for a 27-year-old man found guilty earlier this year of a 2010 murder in Berkeley has filed a motion for retrial and plans to bring in new testimony from a convicted accomplice in the case to dispute her client’s guilt.

Coleon Carroll entered a no contest plea for voluntary manslaughter in February after authorities identified him as the getaway driver in the murder of Gary Ferguson Jr. and the attempted murder of Larry Belle as they talked on Sacramento Street in South Berkeley one morning about six years ago.

An Alameda County Superior Court jury found Brandon Wallace of Pittsburg guilty in March of being a shooter in that murder. The guilty verdict means he could spend more than 50 years in prison.

Read complete coverage of the case.

But Wallace’s sentencing has been delayed repeatedly since his conviction for murder, attempted murder and unlawful possession of a firearm March 21. A prior sentencing hearing was postponed because Wallace’s father was reportedly working out of state and wanted to attend.

Thursday, the hearing was postponed again, and it now won’t take place before Dec. 1.

Defense attorney Bonnie Narby told Judge Jon Rolefson she plans to bring in Carroll to say it was actually another man — his deceased cousin Jermaine Davis — who was at the shooting scene. (Davis and Wallace both had dreadlocks at the time of the murder.) Narby argued during Wallace’s trial that he was in another city during the Berkeley murder and was not the man responsible for it.

Authorities have said Wallace was shot accidentally by an accomplice during Ferguson’s murder, which they said was evident on surveillance footage of the killing. And his blood was found soaked into the front seat of the getaway vehicle. … Continue reading »

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Downtown Berkeley food scene picks up pace

Downtown Berkeley: ranked number one for walkability in new survey. Photo: Sharon Hahn Darlin
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“Visit Berkeley. Come for the culture, stay for the food,” reads a large blue sign as you exit the Downtown Berkeley BART station. And, with the food revitalization currently underway in downtown Berkeley, this sign rings true. Over the course of the past few months, a slew of new restaurants have joined classics like Gather, La Note, PIQ, Revival and Angeline’s (just to name a few) among the ranks of downtown Berkeley’s go-to spots.

To help get you up to speed, we’ve compiled a list of recently opened and soon-to-open restaurants in the neighborhood. Whether you are a sweet-toothed doughnut connoisseur or a vegan salad aficionado, there is a new restaurant for you to try. Hear of anything else in the works? Let us know in the comments.

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From Brazil to Berkeley and back: Ian Faquini’s journey

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Ian Faquini’s Brazilian identity was never in doubt. Born in the nation’s futuristic capital Brasilia, he moved with his parents to Berkeley just in time to finish second grade, and grew up speaking Portuguese at home. But it wasn’t until the revered Brazilian guitarist/composer Guinga took him under his wing that Faquini immersed himself in the music of his homeland. In recent years he’s emerged as one of the most gifted young guitarists and songwriters working in Brazilian music, and he celebrates the release of his debut album Metal na Madeira (Ridgeway Records) with Rio de Janiero-based vocalist Paula Santoro 8 p.m. Friday at the California Jazz Conservatory.

Even before he discovered Guinga, Faquini was obsessed with music. Interested in different instruments as a child, he found his soulmate when he got an acoustic guitar for his 11th birthday. “It was impossible for me not to practice,” says Faquini, who just turned 26. “My mom would say, haven’t you been playing too much? I had a band in middle school and would make them have six-to-eight hour rehearsals.” … Continue reading »

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 09.28.16

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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: Heidi Sachs

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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News

The Berkeley Wire: 09.27.16

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UC Berkeley mascot Oski celebrates 75th birthday

Oski contemplates how to blow out the candle and eat his cupcake with a mouth that doesn’t open. (UC Berkeley photo by Brittany Hosea-Small)
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By Berkeley News / Gretchen Kell

With his trademark cardigan, white gloves, high-stepping gait and goofy grin, Oski, UC Berkeley’s mascot, was created in 1941 to embody a perpetual college sophomore – growing in wisdom, but not yet grown up.

This week, Oski turns 75, but remains more sophomoric than geriatric. Busier than ever with some 300 events a year and his own Twitter handle, Facebook page and Lair of the Golden Bear camp, the furry-headed, mischievous icon isn’t about to retire, or act his age, anytime soon.

“Oski has a wide-eyed, childlike view of Cal, as if he’s thinking, ‘I can’t believe I’m here,’ and that’s Oski every day,” says Mal Pacheco, a Cal Athletics volunteer adviser to the campus’s Oski Committee. “He personifies Cal spirit, and as long as Cal is Cal, Oski’s going to be that Cal spirit.”

Oski’s milestone birthday, Tuesday, Sept. 27, will be celebrated in a belated, but bear-sized, way. Events include a Homecoming 2016 pep rally on Sproul Plaza at noon on Friday, Sept. 30; apublic lecture immediately after that, at 1:15 p.m., called “Oski Bear and the Struggles of Being a 75th-Year Sophomore;” an Oski hat giveaway on Saturday, Oct. 1, atHomecoming headquarters before the Cal vs. Utah game; a ticketed Bear Affair Tailgate BBQ; and a special tribute on the football field. … Continue reading »

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