Author Archives: Emilie Raguso

Crime

Man lured to Berkeley with sneaker ad robbed, carjacked

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Police arrested four males from Berkeley and Richmond last week after linking them to a carjacking and robbery in May.

Authorities said the group lured a 20-year-old Rodeo man into Berkeley with an advertisement for a pair of sneakers.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said the victim met up with the group at 8:45 p.m. May 6 in the 1500 block of Harmon Street in South Berkeley.

Three males approached the Rodeo man while he was in his vehicle. One of them asked if he was there to buy shoes, Coats said.

They talked about the price of the shoes for a few minutes. When the Rodeo man went to get the money to pay for the shoes, the group tried to lure him down a driveway, Coats said.  … Continue reading »

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Bites: Bay Grape, Building 43, Communitē Table, more

Bay Grape has opened in Oakland. Photo: Bay Grape Wine Shop
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BAY GRAPE: NOW OPEN IN OAKLAND Stevie Stacionis and Josiah Baldivino share the news that their Grand Avenue wine shop, Bay Grape, is finally open in Oakland, as of Monday. The husband-and-wife team describe the business as a “wine shop focused on community,” and “a physical gathering spot dedicated to building and preserving relationships with and between our guests.” Wine bottles are sold to-go, or can be enjoyed on-site for the retail price and a $5 corkage fee. Classes and tastings are slated to start in September, with a grand opening party scheduled for Sept. 6 from 5-9 p.m. Bay Grape is open at 376 Grand Ave. in Oakland. Connect with Bay Grape on its website, Facebook and Twitter.
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Crime

Berkeley mother, daughter charged with physical and financial abuse of elderly relative

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A Berkeley mother and daughter are facing two felony counts in Alameda County Superior Court after authorities say, over the course of three years, they stole from a nearly 80-year-old relative to pay their bills, and almost killed the woman by failing to keep up with her health needs.

Renee Jackson, 54, and her 25-year-old daughter Chanay Jackson were charged last week by the Alameda County district attorney’s office with elder abuse that endangered the health of Erma Jean Jackson, Renee’s mother, and theft and embezzlement from an elder or dependent adult exceeding $950. Authorities said the abuse took place between August 2011 and August 2014.

According to court papers, Renee Jackson, a phone operator, was her mother’s official caregiver, while Chanay was in charge of her grandmother’s finances. Both women had access to Erma Jean’s checking account.

The case initially came to the attention of authorities when Adult Protective Services began to receive reports of physical and financial abuse or neglect, Berkeley Police Detective Alexander McDougall wrote in court documents. As of December 2012, there had been at least five reports involving the family. … Continue reading »

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Crime

2 men arrested in Berkeley after punching, robbing teens

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Two men attacked a 15-year-old boy and robbed him before being arrested by Berkeley police early Saturday morning, authorities said Tuesday.

The robbery took place shortly before 3 a.m. at Channing Way and Dana Street two blocks south of the UC Berkeley campus.

The teenager flagged down a Berkeley Police officer and said he had been walking with two male friends, ages 16 and 17, at Telegraph Avenue and Channing when two men approached them, the University of California Police Department said in a prepared statement. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeleyside Blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Aug. 14-20

Selected calls for service to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. (Scroll down for maps of burglaries, auto burglaries and auto thefts.) Click the map for the full list. See the map key here.
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This is a partial list of recent crime in Berkeley, compiled by Berkeleyside, and based on reports to the Berkeley Police Department unless otherwise noted.

The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate. From Aug. 14-20, there were reports of 11 burglaries29 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles and 11 stolen vehicles, according to CrimeMapping.comThree robberies12 assaults, domestic violence incidents or batteries and no sexual assaults were reported. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department included one burglary and one sexual assault . These numbers are subject to change. Click the previous links for the most current information.

We always appreciate photographs and tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at tips@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook or Twitter; please let us know up front if you prefer to be anonymous.

Thursday, Aug. 14

A business was burglarized at 1:54 a.m. in the 2600 block of San Pablo Avenue.

A vehicle was reported stolen at 5 p.m. in the 700 block of Hilldale Avenue.

Police responded to a felony assault or battery at 5:51 p.m. in the 1500 block of Alcatraz Avenue.

Police arrested 27-year-old Edward Elsea in the 2400 block of Telegraph Avenue just after 7 p.m. on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sale, selling marijuana and furnishing marijuana to a minor. He remains in custody and is scheduled for a preliminary examination Aug. 29. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s Sundays on Telegraph photo contest winners announced; fun continues through September

Sundays on Telegraph, July 2014. Photo: Edfil Dulay
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Sundays on Telegraph is going strong on Telegraph Avenue, and Berkeleyside is excited to announced the winners of the event’s first photo contest, which wrapped up in July.

Mayor Tom Bates‘ office launched the photo contest earlier this summer, in collaboration with Berkeleyside, to award the shooters who captured the best images of the event so far this year. The street festival, which started last year, closes Telegraph to vehicle traffic on Sundays from July through September.

Street performers of all stripes are part of the annual event, from the bubble man to live music to board games, jugglers and many other entertainers. … Continue reading »

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$750K grant may bring big changes to South Berkeley

The Adeline Street planning project is picking up steam. Image: Google maps
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The city of Berkeley is hoping to dramatically rethink many elements of South Berkeley, thanks to a $750,000 planning grant it received from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in May.

South Shattuck Avenue and nearly 1 mile of Adeline Street in South Berkeley might see more affordable housing, pedestrian- and bike-friendly neighborhoods, more park areas, a new theater, mass transit improvements, and more.

Those are just some of the ideas that have been proposed so far. Before any plan is adopted, officials will hold community meetings and do other outreach to gather ideas from residents, businesses and local groups and institutions. The grant will also permit Berkeley to do an environmental study, the city said earlier this year. (That study would “allow streamlined CEQA review for future projects on Adeline and south Shattuck Avenue,” according to project materials.) … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeleyside Blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Aug. 7-13

Selected calls for service to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. (Scroll down for maps of burglaries, auto burglaries and auto thefts.) Click the map for the full list. See the map key here.
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This is a partial list of recent crime in Berkeley, compiled by Berkeleyside, and based on reports to the Berkeley Police Department unless otherwise noted.

The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate. From Aug. 7-13, there were reports to the Berkeley Police Department of 18 burglaries25 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles and seven stolen vehicles, according to CrimeMapping.comThree robberies14 assaults, domestic violence incidents or batteries and two sexual assaults were reported. There was also one arrest after an attempted homicide. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department included six burglaries and three vehicle thefts. These numbers are subject to change. Click the previous links for the most current information.

We always appreciate photographs and tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at tips@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook or Twitter; please let us know up front if you prefer to be anonymous.

Thursday, Aug. 7

Police arrested three Oakland teenagers after the armed robbery of a Cal student at midnight in the 2600 block of Parker Street. Read more on Berkeleyside.

BART reported a warrant arrest at the downtown Berkeley BART station Aug. 7 at 12:19 a.m. A records check on someone who was detained on suspicion of disturbing patrons near the ticket machines revealed an outstanding no-bail arrest warrant out of Alameda County for violation of community supervision, police said. The subject was placed under arrest for the warrant. (This item first appeared last week in Berkeleyside’s crime blotter.)

Three home burglaries took place: at 5:30 p.m. in the 900 block of Shattuck Avenue; at 5:30 p.m. in the 1300 block of Tomlee Drive; and at 10 p.m. in the 2500 block of Benvenue Avenue. … Continue reading »

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New Berkeley Spats owners hope for fall opening

Nathan George at Spats. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Walking into Shattuck Avenue Spats in downtown Berkeley, it’s hard to believe it’s been out of operation since 2009. Tables and chairs are still in place, there’s liquor behind the bar. The quirky decor — complete with, among many other touches, taxidermy trophies and a Greco-Roman-styled mannequin woman — appears to be free of dust and ready to entertain once again.

It looks like all it might take is the flip of a switch to get the business running and, with a new team of owners having recently bought the building where Spats operated for decades, the bar may be poised to open again this fall.

Nathan George, a local developer who describes his approach as “Berkeley building Berkeley,” is one partner of about a dozen people who bought 1974 Shattuck Ave. with the goal of reopening Spats under its old name. The team is also exploring, longer term, the possibility of housing on the property. … Continue reading »

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Crime

1 sent to hospital with head trauma after Berkeley fight

A fight near Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley on Saturday morning sent one person to the hospital. Photo: A citizen reporter
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A fight broke out in Berkeley in the early morning hours of Saturday, Aug. 16, sending a 20-year-old Richmond man to the hospital with head trauma, authorities said.

Berkeley Police Lt. Dave Frankel said the incident began at about 2:10 a.m. at Channing Way and Telegraph Avenue.

“Words were exchanged, a fight started and one guy was severely beaten and kicked by the group,” he said via email. … Continue reading »

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Police

Police report 2 arrests, 1 fire, property damage during Michael Brown protest in Berkeley

Protestors chanting about police brutality and the death of Michael Brown marched through Berkeley for several hours Friday night. Photo: A citizen reporter
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Berkeleyside has received reports of a protest moving through the streets of Berkeley, around the UC Berkeley campus and downtown, related to the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old who was fatally shot by police in Missouri last Saturday.

Berkeleyside will seek information from the Berkeley Police Department and update this story when it becomes available. (Scroll down for live updates.)

Watch recorded footage from the protests through Aug. 16 at 12:30 a.m., below, via a participant of the demonstration who identifies himself on Ustream as Treboros, “a citizen journalist in SF East Bay.”

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Old pipe breaks, closes Grant Street in Berkeley; 40 customers without water

Bancroft Way at Grant Street at 11 a.m. after a water main break. Photo: Kelly Dorsey
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Dozens of central Berkeley residents around Grant Street and Bancroft Way have been dealing with a water main break since Friday morning.

Grant has been closed from Allston Way to Bancroft as crews work to fix the problem. Some lanes may be reopened as the work continues.

East Bay Municipal Utility District spokeswoman Abby Figueroa said customers called to report water in the street and lower-than-normal water pressure at 11 a.m. … Continue reading »

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Lawsuit filed over Berkeley ‘soda tax’ ballot

No city has yet been successful in passing a sugar-sweetened beverages tax. Will Berkeley be first? Photo: Mike Mozart
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Two men have filed a lawsuit against the city of Berkeley and the Berkeley City Council asking for changes to adopted ballot language related to the so-called “soda tax” set to come before voters in November.

The sugar-sweetened beverage tax would levy a 1 cent-per-fluid-ounce general tax on distributors of “sugary drinks” and the bulk syrup used to sweeten them. If successful, Berkeley could be the first city in the nation to pass such a tax, though San Francisco has also taken up the fight.

Lawsuit proponents argue that the ballot language adopted by council in July, as well as the city attorney’s analysis of the issue, are “false, misleading, and illegally biased,” and have asked an Alameda County Superior Court judge to force the city to adjust them before they are sent to voters this fall.

Josh Daniels, Berkeley School Board president and co-chair of the Healthy Child Initiative — the community group lobbying in support of the new tax — described the lawsuit as a “bullying tactic.” He said it’s the latest move by the No Berkeley Beverage Tax team to try to sway voters, in addition to a push poll and focus group meetings that were held with local residents earlier this summer. … Continue reading »

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