Author Archives: Tracey Taylor

Architecture

11 Berkeley projects recognized for design excellence

Eureka! restaurant. Photo: AB Design Studio Inc.
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Berkeley Design Advocates, a volunteer group of architects and urban planners, showcase the best contemporary design in Berkeley — as well as the best restoration of the city’s historical buildings — with their bi-annual awards.

For 2015, the group has selected the buildings and projects they consider contribute to Berkeley both aesthetically and in terms of civic engagement.

This year the awards fall into three categories: Restoration and Re-use, New Construction/Civic Institutions, and Food and Drink. A total of eleven buildings were recognized, and DBA also gave out a special award for Successful Urban Intervention.

The award winners are listed below, with caption excerpts from the Berkeley Design Advocates award write-ups. Read full details, including the names of the developers and architects, in the Berkeley Design Advocates awards brochure. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley student suspended after stabbing other student

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A Berkeley High School student was suspended after stabbing a fellow student in the back Thursday. The incident happened off campus during the lunch period. The BHS senior who was injured sustained a non-life-threatening knife wound, and was in stable condition with his family Thursday afternoon, according to an email put out by BHS Principal Kristin Glenchur at around 5 p.m.

Glenchur issued the first of two emails to the Berkeley High community just before 3 p.m. She said the incident happened near Milvia Street and University Avenue. Initially it was thought the perpetrator was not affiliated with Berkeley High but, in her second email, around two hours later, Glenchur said authorities had identified a BHS student “as the person who had the knife.”

“The altercation appears to have been personal and not random,” she wrote. … Continue reading »

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Wall Street Journal joins the fun after a thoughtful note to a Berkeley thief goes viral

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The Wall Street Journal couldn’t resist joining in the fun after it read about a note written by local businessman and photographer Richard Nagler to a thief who had deprived him — on and off for ten years — of his subscription to the newspaper.

Yesterday, two people, working on behalf of the Journal, posted two notes outside Nagler’s Skylight & Sun store, in the same place as Nagler’s now celebrated note to the newspaper thief. (See the notes below.)

Both notes are signed by Gerard Baker, editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal. One is addressed to Nagler and offers him a free iPad with the WSJ app “to make up for your loss.” The other is addressed to “the Berkeley man who took Richard Nagler’s paper over so many years,” and it offers him a subscription to the paper for $12 for the first twelve weeks. (He simply needs to click on wsj.com/subscribedontsteal). … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley police detain man after reported hammer attack

Berkeley Police on scene at Oregon Street where they detained a man who was allegedly involved in a hammer attack. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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Berkeley police detained a man after he was allegedly involved in an assault using a hammer Tuesday afternoon at around 4 p.m. in Central Berkeley.

Because the suspect fled from the original scene, officers set up a perimeter that stretched from Telegraph Avenue between Stuart and Oregon streets to Regent Street, according to BPD spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats.

Willard Middle School on Stuart Street was put on lockdown for a short time during the incident. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Getaround
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GETAROUND LAUNCHES IN BERKELEY  Car-sharing service Getaround, described as Airbnb for cars, has just launched in Berkeley. A peer-to-peer car sharing company based in San Francisco, Getaround says it has been building up a community in Berkeley for the past few weeks and has had a great response. “We have close to 100 owners sharing their cars in Berkeley and Oakland and close to 10,000 renters,” said spokeswoman Hailley Griffis. Like Airbnb, Getaround works through its app: if you’re looking to use a car, you search for one nearby, enter your license and credit card numbers, and, once you’ve found it, book and unlock the car with your phone. (The car key will be waiting for you in the visor.) Sign-up is free, with no monthly or annual fees and all rentals include insurance and 24/7 roadside assistance. Typical charges might be $5.50 an hour for a 2008 Smart Car, $7 an hour for a 2014 Toyota Prius, or $20 an hour for a 2012 Model S Tesla. Cars are vetted before being accepted into the service, and renters can rate cars (the ability for car owners to rate renters is coming, said Griffis). Getaround says car owners make an average of $500/month sharing their car, and that the service will result in fewer cars on Berkeley streets, as studies have shown that each shared car takes 10-13 cars off the road. Visit Getaround’s website for details. Connect with them on Facebook.Continue reading »

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Photos: With some rain comes a rainbow over Berkeley

Rainbow at the Marina by Claudia Rice
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The sun peeked through the clouds early this morning creating a dramatic rainbow that appeared to plunge into the bay, perhaps leaving its treasure there?

At least four readers thought it was precious enough to photograph, and they shared their images with us before 8 a.m. (After this post was published, several more readers sent us their rainbow photos and we have added them to the collection.) … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley to cut down trees in People’s Park for safety

The People's Park.
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UC Berkeley plans to remove an estimated 29 trees in People’s Park and prune and stabilize others next week, during the university’s spring break, as part of what it describes as necessary safety and maintenance work.

The decision was taken after consultation with an arborist who identified a significant number of trees as being potentially hazardous, according to Christine Shaff, director of communications in UC Berkeley’s Real Estate office. Some trees in the park, which is Cal property, have been identified as in poor health or potentially hazardous and need to be removed, the university said, while others will be preserved with thinning or with support systems.

The issue came to light at Tuesday night’s Berkeley City Council meeting when one member of the public suggested UC Berkeley was going to remove all the trees in the park, as well as its permanent stage. The speaker, who did not identify himself, said he had been alerted to the proposed work by the Berkeley campus student government group, the ASUC, and he called for people to resist the move. He declared next week to be “People’s Park Defense Week”: “It is going to be a hardcore Occupy. It is going to be the battle for People’s Park,” he said. “It’s going to be like December all over again.” … Continue reading »

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A Berkeley note to Wall Street Journal thief gets results

The original note posted by Richard Nagler addressed to the paper thief. Photo: Marty Schiffenbauer
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After we published the story of a novel note to a newspaper thief earlier today, things began to fall into place.

We now know that the note, signed “Richard” and placed outside Skylight & Sun on Blake Street in Berkeley, was written by the owner of that business, Richard Nagler, who also happens to be an accomplished photographer whose work has been featured on Berkeleyside.

Nagler tells us the carefully crafted note — which has drawn widespread admiration from both passers-by on Blake and those who saw it on Berkeleyside — has, in fact, had an impact.

Nagler’s copy of the Wall Street Journal has been on his doorstep ever since the thief read the note.

How do we know he read the note? Because, just as Nagler’s surveillance video captured the thief taking the newspaper ever since he installed it March 9, it also caught him looking at the note.

“The perp read the note carefully (we have him on video) but I’m afraid he has yet to take me up on my proposal,” said Nagler on Thursday — referring to his offer to let the man take the paper and read it, on condition he returned it in “a relatively crisp state with no coffee stains.”

“I have gotten the WSJ every day since the note went up,” Nagler said.

It turns out Nagler hasn’t been seeing much of his subscription copy of the Wall Street Journal for more than a decade — yes, that long. … Continue reading »

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‘To the man who has been taking my Wall Street Journal’

The original note posted by Richard Nagler addressed to the paper thief. Photo: Marty Schiffenbauer
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Late last year Berkeleyside published a story on “Berkeley signs” — the notes, sometimes handwritten, which Berkeley residents are apt to post asking fellow residents, often most politely, to do something — or, more likely, to stop doing something.

As the writer of the story pointed out, here in Berkeley, when we scold our neighbors, we add a little extra flourish.

Reader Marty Schiffenbauer shared the photograph above which he took a few days ago. The notice was posted in front of Skylight & Sun at 2019 Blake St. As Schiffenbauer puts it: “Definitely very Berkeley!” … Continue reading »

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Caldecott Tunnel bore re-opens after car collision, fire

Caldecott tunnel fire 3.16.15. Photo: CHP
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The eastbound, right-hand bore of the Caldecott Tunnel re-opened at around 11:15 this morning after being investigated for damage following a collision and subsequent vehicle fire that forced its closure.

The accident, which happened around 6:45 a.m. in heavy commuting traffic, prompted authorities to evacuate several dozen drivers by foot and caused significant traffic back-ups in the surrounding area.

CHP was already on the scene of an earlier traffic accident at 6:20 a.m., which had occurred on eastbound SR-24 inside the Caldecott tunnel, when they heard about a second incident. “Officers had cleared that collision and were on the Fish Ranch Road off-ramp when a citizen stopped to report an additional collision had occurred inside the tunnel,” CHP reported in a press release at 10:20 a.m. … Continue reading »

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At community forum in Berkeley, W. Kamau Bell and Elmwood Café launch ‘implicit bias’ training initiative

Kamau Bell Elmwood Cafe forum Photo: Pete Rosos
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At a community forum held in the wake of a well-publicized accusation of racism at a Berkeley café, a new initiative was announced to help train local businesses in handling implicit bias.

An estimated 300 people turned up to Willard Middle School Friday night to take part in the public discussion prompted by the incident which happened when comedian W. Kamau Bell and his wife, Melissa Hudson Bell, were at the Elmwood Café on Jan. 26 this year.

The comedian, who is African-American, made public on his blog how he was asked to leave the café on College Avenue while he was talking to his wife and her friends, who are all white, at an outdoor table.

After he read Bell’s blog post, Michael Pearce, the owner of the Elmwood Café and a social justice activist, reached out to the Bells and they agreed a public conversation would be a way to turn a negative experience into a teaching opportunity. Their goal was to achieve a broader understanding of racial issues, in particular the implicit bias that can explain micro-aggressions inflicted on people of color. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley set to require surveillance video at liquor stores

Bing's Liquor
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Two young men were shot and killed near Bing’s Liquors store on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley in 2013. The homicides contributed to a recommendation this week that liquor stores in certain commercial areas of the city install or upgrade their surveillance systems within the next six months.

In the report that was given a first approval by the Berkeley City Council on Tuesday, police identified the areas of concern as downtown, University Avenue, Telegraph Avenue, San Pablo Avenue, north Shattuck Avenue, and Shattuck and Adeline.

Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan, who submitted the recommendation, said many liquor stores in the city already have video surveillance cameras. However they are not always maintained and there are inconsistencies in the type of systems used. He said a typical case might see the son at a family-owned business being the only one who knows how to operate the camera.

The new ordinance would see police officers help all the relevant liquor stores get compatible digital equipment that is in working order, he said, speaking at a special session in which the police presented their 2014 Crime Report.  … Continue reading »

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BART Police tower in North Berkeley prompts questions

Photo: Heidi Sachs
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When a slightly wonky-looking tower with a look-out cab on the top recently appeared in the parking lot of the North Berkeley BART station, local residents started asking questions. What was it for? How did anyone get into that cab anyway? Was it about to fall over?

It all began when Heidi Sachs sent us the above photo which we posted on Berkeleyside’s Facebook page. It prompted some enlightening comments.

We also checked in with BART who gave us the lowdown: the tower is called a SkyWatch trailer. … Continue reading »

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