Author Archives: Linda Hemmila

In Berkeley, a campaign against graffiti, waged solo

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Once upon a time, Jane Tierney went to art school, but now she tackles art of a different nature.

Tierney is a one-woman graffiti fighting army. She regularly cleans fences and buildings around the Thousand Oaks neighborhood in Berkeley where she lives, and also patrols the shops and mailboxes in the retail corridor of Solano Avenue looking for graffiti and tags to remove.

Once a week, Tierney, who is the president of the Thousand Oaks Neighborhood Association, loads up her supplies and walks her neighborhood. Armed with spray paint and cleaners, she’s on the look-out for graffiti and tags which, she says, have escalated in the area over the past few years.

“I started collecting different colors of paint and cleaners — the kind that you have to wear gloves to use. They smell really awful. Sometimes I have get businesses to close their doors while I’m working,” Tierney said. … Continue reading »

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Friends set out to help renovator save her historic home

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Jane Powell is the bungalow queen. A master restorer, she has helped dozens of East Bay homeowners bring their vintage homes back to life with wit and style.

Now Powell, who bought her first bungalow in Berkeley in 1987 and has renovated and lived in many more since then, faces the possibility of losing her current home — her beloved “Bunga-Mansion,” the historic Jesse Matteson House in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood.

A group of Powell’s friends is determined to prevent this happening and is holding a fundraising party on Sunday February 12th, 2:00-5:00 pm, at the landmarked house to help out. The Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association is supporting the effort and helping to promote it. … Continue reading »

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New parking signs after neighborhood action

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New parking signs have arrived in a Berkeley neighborhood that has been the focus of discontent and confusion over parking restrictions over the past few months — but not everyone thinks they are an improvement on the previous signage.

In early January, we reported on efforts by residents and workers in the area surrounding Trader Joe’s in downtown Berkeley to help drivers avoid parking citations. Handmade signs warning of what they saw as poorly signalled restrictions were erected on private properties and on trees and lamposts in the neighborhood.

Neighbors also voiced complaints that a local towing company was taking advantage of the confusion by swooping in to tow cars whose drivers had misunderstood the parking regulations.

The new signs show a large “P” with a cross through it and they detail both the time period when parking is not permitted on a particular side of the street, and the exceptions. … Continue reading »

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