Author Archives: Berkeleyside Editors

Church services held for balcony collapse victims

People comfort each other at a vigil at St. Columba Catholic Church in Oakland, on Friday, June 19, 2015, for the victims of Tuesday's balcony collapse in Berkeley. Photo: David Yee ©2015
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By Tracey Taylor and Francesca Paris

The Consul General of Ireland coordinated a church service Friday evening in collaboration with a local priest to remember four of the young college students who lost their lives as a result of a balcony collapse on June 16 in Berkeley.

The service was held at Saint Columba Catholic Church on San Pablo Avenue in Oakland, just south of the Berkeley border. It was presided over by Father Aidan McAleenan, who has been working tirelessly over the past few days to provide support for the families of the six students who died, as well as the seven who were injured in the accident.

Read complete balcony collapse coverage on Berkeleyside.

Friday’s service was for the families and friends of Eimear Walsh, Eoghan Culligan, Niccolai Schuster and Lorcán Miller. Services for the other two victims, cousins Ashley Donohoe and Olivia Burke, were being held Saturday in Sonoma County, where Donohoe lived and attended college. … Continue reading »

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The Berkeley Wire: 06.19.15

June morning light. Photo: Carter Tomassi

June morning light. Photo: Carter Tomassi

Heartbreak in Berkeley (The hue you make me feel)
Berkeley police respond again to PRC on December protests (Mercury)
Rising Bear disaster shakes things up (UCB News)
Social media campaigns launched to help balcony victims (Mercury)
UC black students hold vigil for Charleston victims (Daily Cal)
UC Berkeley lecturer John Shoptaw releases first poetry collection (Daily Cal)
Managers to inspect units at Berkeley apartment building after deadly collapse (LA Times)
2nd town hall on public health brings community participants (Daily Cal)
Balcony design solid but flaws may have allowed dry rot (SF Chronicle)
Berkeley tragedy: The six who died have become ‘the children of Ireland’ (Irish Times)
Quiz: Which independent bookstore are you? (Daily Clog)
Student overcomes drug-ravaged home, absent parents to graduate from Cal (CBS)
Hancock adjourns state senate in memory of 6 who died (Loni Hancock)
Stars announced for Berkeley Rep’s production of Amelie (Broadway World)
Two students injured in Berkeley expected to make full recovery (Irish Times)
Berkeley Police respond to review panel on December protests (BANG)
Experts: Berkeley balcony should not have collapsed if built to designs (CoCo Times)
Sonoma State student among the dead in Berkeley balcony collapse (USA Today)
Black Student Union at Cal holds vigil for Charleston victims (Daily Cal)

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As students recover in hospitals, support grows for survivors and victims of Berkeley balcony collapse

A note and flowers left in memory of the victims of a deadly balcony collapse at the Library Gardens Apartments lie on the sidewalk on Kittredge Street, near Miliva Street, in Berkeley, on Wednesday, June 17, 2015. Six people died and seven were seriously injured in the early Tuesday morning accident. Photo: David Yee ©2015
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By Francesca Paris and Eden Teller

As the bodies of the Irish students killed in the recent balcony collapse accident in Berkeley were being prepared for repatriation back to Ireland, the seven students injured in the accident continued to recover in several Bay Area hospitals.

Aoife Beary, Clodagh Cogley, Sean Fahey, Conor Flynn, Jack Halpin, Niall Murray and Hannah Waters are being treated at Highland Hospital in Oakland, Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley and John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek for injuries sustained when they plummeted from the fifth-floor balcony that snapped off the Library Gardens apartment building at 2020 Kittredge St.

Read complete balcony collapse coverage on Berkeleyside.

The victims were celebrating Beary’s 21st birthday when the accident happened at around 12:40 a.m. Tuesday.

Father Aidan McAleenan, an Irish pastor at Oakland’s Saint Columba Catholic Church, has been providing support for the families of the victims and has visited the injured students in the hospital. … Continue reading »

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 06.18.15

A moment of silence by Sylvia Rubin. Photo taken June 17, 2015

A moment of silence by Sylvia Rubin. Photo taken June 17, 2015

Berkeley landlords plan coalition to challenge rent board (CoCo Times)
Professor finds he is lead character in “The Savage Professor” (California)
Berkeley man to perform at College World Series (Daily Cal)
Lawyers go zen with few objections (WSJ)
Campus builds new pool in Tang lot (UCB News)

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City posts documents from balcony collapse property

Remnants of beams from removed balconies show contrast between the condition of the wood from the collapsed balcony and the balcony it fell upon at the Library Gardens Apartments, in Berkeley, on Thursday, June 18, 2015. Six people died and seven were seriously injured in the early Tuesday morning accident. Photo: David Yee ©2015
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By Emilie Raguso and Frances Dinkelspiel

Two days after a deadly balcony collapse in downtown Berkeley killed six and injured seven others, city officials have released a slew of planning documents related to the apartment complex where the tragedy took place.

The city of Berkeley has been doing its own investigation into what went wrong at 2020 Kittredge St., where a fifth floor balcony broke off a top-floor unit at Library Gardens, an apartment building that was completed less than a decade ago. That inquiry most likely won’t be completed in the next few days, said Matthai Chakko, city spokesman. Building officials are examining the plans for Library Gardens, how those plans were executed and what has happened since the building was completed, he said.

“What were the factors that went into the failure?” said Chakko. “We don’t know what happened at what point that led to failure.”

Read complete balcony collapse coverage on Berkeleyside.

Experts who have reviewed photographs and documents from the accident have said wood rot appears likely to have played a significant role in the collapse. Segue Construction Inc., the company that built Library Gardens, has been sued multiple times in recent years in relation to problems with waterproofing and the resulting property damage.

As part of the city of Berkeley’s investigation, officials have been working to make planning documents related to the Kittredge Street property accessible to those who are interested. … Continue reading »

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At park vigil, cathedral mass, people gather to remember victims of Berkeley balcony collapse

Vigil. Photo: Stephen Hughes/Instagram
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By Emily Dugdale and Tracey Taylor

On Wednesday evening, friends, family members and others who simply wanted to show their respect gathered in a park in Berkeley and a cathedral in Oakland to mourn the deaths of six young students who died after a balcony collapsed at Berkeley’s Library Gardens apartment building in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

At the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, Reverend Jay Matthews, rector of the cathedral, led an hour-long service that included a homily by Father Aidan McAleenan, an Irish pastor at the Saint Columba Catholic Church in Oakland.

Read complete balcony collapse coverage on Berkeleyside.

Guests filed slowly into the large cathedral, dipping their fingers into the holy water and crossing themselves with eyes cast down. Most sat quietly, or hugged fellow churchgoers, both Irish and American, as they reflected on the tragedy that unfolded early Tuesday morning. … Continue reading »

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The Berkeley Wire: 06.17.15

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Six who died in Berkeley: Young students in their prime

From upper left, clockwise: Eimear Walsh, Olivia Burke, Ashley Donohoe, Lorcán Miller, Eoghan Culligan and Nick Schuster. Photos via Facebook
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By Tracey Taylor and Francesca Paris

The six victims of a balcony collapse, at the Library Gardens apartment building at 2020 Kittredge St. in downtown Berkeley early Tuesday, were all young — five aged 21 and one aged 22 — and in the midst of pursuing college careers.

The students have been identified as Ashley Donohoe, 22, from Rohnert Park; and Olivia Burke, Eimear Walsh, Eoghan Culligan, Nick Schuster and Lorcán Miller, all 21 years old and from Ireland.

Read complete Berkeleyside coverage of the balcony collapse.

The Irish Times released the names of those who were injured in the accident: “The names of the injured Irish students, aged between 20 and 22, have been confirmed as Clodagh Cogley, Hannah Waters, Niall Murray, Sean Fahey, Jack Halpin, Conor Flynn and Aoife Beary.”

The Irish Times reported that Beary was sharing the Berkeley apartment with Walsh and Burke, and that Donohoe was a cousin of Burke.  … Continue reading »

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Six people killed in Berkeley balcony collapse identified

A balcony at Library Gardens in downtown Berkeley collapsed Tuesday, killing six. Photo: Emily Dugdale
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By Tracey Taylor and Emilie Raguso

Update, 4:40 p.m. According to the city of Berkeley, Philip Grant, the Consul General of Ireland to the Western United States, will have a wreath-laying ceremony at 5 p.m. near the site of the balcony collapse.

The city expects its investigation into what caused the collapse to take several days: “As part of the City’s investigation of the incident, the City will be retaining possession of the collapsed materials. Building and Safety staff have been on scene since early Tuesday morning, shortly after the collapse. Once the damaged materials are removed from the building, they will be taken to a City facility and will remain under City control.”

City staff members have taken other steps, as well, to document the scene and the damage. Inspectors have already been inside the unit, and have “completed an up-close, aerial investigation using cranes to examine the damage,” the city reported just after 4:30 p.m. At that time, the city also released property records related to the building where the accident took place.

Update, 3:30 p.m. At around 3:15 p.m., crews in downtown Berkeley used a crane to remove the fifth-floor balcony at Library Gardens, which fell in the early hours of Tuesday, killing six people.

ORIGINAL STORY: The six people who died early Tuesday morning after a balcony collapsed in downtown Berkeley have been identified as Ashley Donohoe, 22, from Rohnert Park; and Olivia Burke, Eimear Walsh, Eoghan Culligan, Niccolai Schuster and Lorcán Miller, all 21 years old and from Ireland.

See complete coverage of the balcony collapse.

At a press conference that started at around 1:15 p.m., Philip Grant, Consul General of Ireland to Western United States, said: “Our hearts are breaking but it is so good to know that so many people stand with us.”

Listen to an audio recording of the press conference below. … Continue reading »

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News

The Berkeley Wire: 06.15.15

Setting up the Blue Heron flower booth at the Berkeley Farmers Market by Sylvia Rubin. Photo taken June 13, 2015

Setting up the Blue Heron flower booth at the Berkeley Farmers Market by Sylvia Rubin. Photo taken June 13, 2015

Proposed credit for downtown developers draws criticism (CoCo Times)
The best under-the-radar places to eat in downtown Berkeley (San Francisco)
Oral history team looks for Rosie-the-Riveter stories (UCB News)
Where to fill your sweet tooth in Berkeley (Eating Berkeley)
City planners hold pop-up event for planning on Adeline Corridor (Daily Cal)
Solly Fulp will lead new program to bring revenue to UC Berkeley (Daily Cal)
CHP officers talk man out of jumping off freeway overpass (CoCo Times)

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Berkeleyside

Berkeleyside is hiring: Advertising Sales Associate

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Launched in 2009 by three veteran journalists, Berkeleyside is widely regarded as being one of the best, most dynamic independent local news sites in the country

Berkeleyside LLC publishes the Berkeley news site Berkeleyside; East Bay food site NOSH; as well as two e-newsletters: the Berkeleyside Daily Briefing and NOSH Weekly.

Berkeleyside also organizes events, most significantly Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas, that this year takes place on Oct. 16-17 in downtown Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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The Berkeley Wire: 06.12.15

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Stumped, along the upper Selby Trail by jngai58. Photo taken on Feb. 1, 2105

San Pablo-Gilman is a shopper’s paradise (SFGate)
Berkeley approves EIR for Telegraph Avenue project (CoCo Times)
Michigan scholar Jeffrey MacKie-Mason named University Librarian (UCB News)
First-ever Bay Area Books Festival delights (Daily Cal)
Police acknowledge mistakes in handling of Black Lives Matter protests (IBA)
Wheeler Hall to undergo green renovations (Daily Cal)
Berkeley landlords form political action committee (Daily Planet)
What do you pair with a Reuben? (Edible East Bay)
Video: Goats gone wild by the Greek Theater (NBC)

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The Berkeley Wire: 06.11.15

View from the top of Memorial Stadium by Ira Serkes. Photo taken June 5, 2015

View from the top of Memorial Stadium by Ira Serkes. Photo taken June 5, 2015

Art group Will Brown adds green glow to 70s installation (SFGate)
Cal writing instructor Cal Tollefson dies at 66 (Daily Cal)
Real Vocal string quartet at Freight & Salvage (SFGate)
Bowles Hall, UC Berkeley’s oldest, to be run by alumni (SFGate)
When cancer strikes twice (California)
Council restores funds for community’s homeless, youth services (Daily Cal)

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