Author Archives: Tracey Taylor

Police: Possible BB gun used in Berkeley students’ assault

I-House. Photo- UC Berkeley
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UC Berkeley Police reported that a man began shooting at a group of UC Berkeley students early Monday morning. The weapon may have been a pellet or BB gun, police said. Nobody was seriously hurt, but one victim sustained a minor injury and was treated at a local emergency room.

According to UCPD, the assault happened at about 12:22 a.m. at International House, at the intersection of Piedmont Avenue and Bancroft Way. Eight Cal students were standing and sitting on the steps outside International House, also known as I-House, when they noticed a man standing across the street holding what appeared to be a gun. It was later determined to be possibly a pellet or BB gun.

The suspect started shooting the gun towards I-House and the students ran inside.

Witnesses who spoke to the police reported that there may have been a second male suspect who was letting off fireworks.

One victim was taken to the hospital to be treated for a minor injury. … Continue reading »

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Local church offers sanctuary to those facing deportation

Sanctuary flags at University Lutheran Chapel in Berkeley on July 13, 2016. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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A Berkeley church on Wednesday announced it would provide sanctuary to local residents seeking refuge from deportation, and it unveiled a newly created apartment designed for that purpose.

University Lutheran Chapel of Berkeley (ULC), at 2425 College Ave. (at Haste), held a press conference and ritual blessing to launch the initiative, which is supported by more than a dozen local congregations and was orchestrated in partnership with the East Bay Interfaith Immigration Coalition.

The City of Berkeley also supports the move. Last month it passed a resolution of support for sanctuary to refugees and migrants. It was put forward by Councilman Kriss Worthington, who attended Wednesday’s event.

“Today is a day of victory for compassion and a day of victory for courage. Most importantly, it is a victory for common sense,” Worthington said, addressing the roughly 100-strong group that gathered for the announcement. It included, along with members of the press, several congregational leaders from around the Bay Area. Worthington condemned what he said was the “unprecedented level” of raids on migrants. “It’s a deportation dragnet that is scooping up and deporting people unceremoniously, and often illegally,” he said. “Berkeley is saying: ‘enough is enough.'” … Continue reading »

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

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BERKELEY JUNETEENTH FESTIVAL Family entertainment is the focus of the annual Berkeley Juneteenth Festival which this year takes place Sunday, June 19, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The RD Bonds main stage will be showcasing the best of the African-American experience: upcoming acts in African drumming, jazz, blues, neo-soul, gospel, rhythm and blues, and reggae. The Lothario Lotho stage will feature specialty performances like dance, spoken word, fashion, and community performers. Alameda County health agencies will be on hand to offer informational workshops and health screenings. There’s a two-on-two basketball tournament; historical exhibits; art for children; and of course, delicious food. Pick up a copy of Vision Magazine when you’re there — a Berkeley Juneteenth souvenir publication featuring highlights about the performers and artists, and stories pertinent to the community. For more details visit the Juneteenth website. … Continue reading »

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UberEATS launches in East Bay, joins crowded field

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UberEATS launched its food delivery service in the East Bay this week, having started in San Francisco three months ago.

The app-based service, which offers free food delivery from restaurants in Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, Piedmont and Emeryville, joins a relatively crowded field. Competitors operating in the East Bay include Caviar, DoorDash, Munchery, PostMates and Eat24.

Restaurants listed on UberEATS include Duende, Calavera, Zachary’s Pizza, Doughnut Dolly’s, Rosamunde Sausage Grill and Trattoria La Siciliana. … Continue reading »

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Police: Missing 84-year-old Dorothy Ewing has been found

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Update, 8:40 p.m.: Good news: Dorothy Ewing has been located. According to a Nixle alert issued by BPD at around 7:45 p.m., Ewing was found at about 6 p.m. Monday evening in downtown Oakland. The Berkeley Police Department said it would like to thank the public for its assistance in locating her.

Original story: Berkeley Police are asking for the community’s help in locating a missing “at-risk” woman. BPD issued a Nixle alert about the case at 4 p.m. Monday.

Dorothy … Continue reading »

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Photos: Hundreds gather at ‘Cal Stands With Orlando’ vigil

Staff from Berkeley Lab were among the participants in a vigil to show solidarity with the victim of the Orlando mass shooting. Photo: Kelly Owen
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An estimated 300 people gathered at noon on Sproul Plaza on the UC Berkeley campus Monday to demonstrate their support for the victims and families of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, which has so far claimed the lives of some 50 people.

The flags at the entrance to the campus were flying at half-staff. Participants listened to speakers — including Na’ilah Nasir, Vice Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion at UC Berkeley and Billy Curtis, Director of the university’s Gender Equity Resource Center — and were asked to join hands and sing “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” together.  … Continue reading »

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Residents ask: Why the recent power outages in Berkeley?

Customers at Tap Haus watch the Warriors game on televisions powered by generators during the second power outage to hit the Southside area in three days, in Berkeley, on Thursday, June 2, 2016. Photo: David Yee ©2016
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When the power went out during the first half of a Warriors game on June 2, it was the last straw for many Berkeley residents. “Roving blackouts or just Berkeley living?” posted Jeff Terry on Twitter. Also on Twitter, Kelsey Waxman wrote: “#poweroutage in Berkeley for 2nd time this week. @PGE4Me what is going? Electricity was more reliable in rural #Uganda.”

“I’m really curious why this is happening,” emailed a reader to Berkeleyside. “PG&E hasn’t given any substantive explanation other than ‘underground wiring issues’… as the power losses continue to affect thousands of Berkeley residents, explanations for them should be given.”

“Isn’t the frequency of these things getting a little spooky?” asked another reader, also in an email.

Read past power outage coverage on Berkeleyside.

The June 2 outage, which affected 4,100 PG&E customers at its peak, was caused by an underground equipment failure at University and Bonita avenues, according to PG&E spokeswoman Tamar Sarkissian. It followed close on the heels of another outage two days earlier, on May 31, which affected more than 10,000 customers downtown and in Southeast Berkeley, and was also, according to Sarkissian, caused by an underground equipment failure. Why the equipment failed in both cases was still under investigation when this story went to press. … Continue reading »

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City begins first phase of Rose Garden trellis restoration

Rose Garden. Photo: Colleen Neff
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The trellis at Berkeley’s storied Rose Garden is to be rebuilt, and on Monday afternoon a small event was held to mark the  ‘groundbreaking’ for Phase 1 of the Rose Garden Trellis Restoration Project.

This phase consists of the documentation and demolition of the existing trellis; the salvage of existing wood members; the reconstruction of the center portion of the trellis; pathway accessibility upgrades; and lighting and safety upgrades, according to the city, and is estimated to cost $391,620. It is being underwritten by the Measure F parks tax, the General Fund, and the East Bay Regional Parks District (Measure WW).

Read the city’s plan for the Rose Garden trellis restoration.

The second phase of the restoration would be to complete the trellis reconstruction and accessibility upgrades, and is tentatively scheduled for 2018, dependent on raising the necessary funds. … Continue reading »

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Green Party’s Jill Stein joins Berkeley Post Office rally

Rally at the downtown Berkeley Post Office on Friday June 3. Photo: Ted Friedman
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US Presidential Green Party candidate Jill Stein took part in a rally at the downtown Berkeley Post Office Friday whose broad stated aim was to “let voters and the Department of Justice know how to keep the public sector viable.”

The US Post Office wants to sell the Allston Way post office, but has met resistance from the city and some Berkeley residents. In the latest salvo — in a battle that dates back four years to 2012 when the intended sale was announced — the DoJ warned the city of Berkeley that a lawsuit could be coming over the city’s “interference” with USPS plans to sell the building.

Read more about the fight surrounding the downtown Berkeley post office.

Friday’s rally, which was organized by the Green Party and the Berkeley Post Office Defenders group and attended by around 50 people, aimed to raise awareness of “public resources facing privatization by high-profit corporations;” to defend union jobs; to encourage the “wise use of common space; to allow access to the so-called Berkeley Post Office Community Garden established by protesters who camped outside the building for months before they were evicted; to promote postal banking; and to take action faced with “corporate control of government and media.” … Continue reading »

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BFD responds to machinery fire in West Berkeley

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Many locals spotted the significant plume of smoke caused by a fire in a West Berkeley paint booth Monday morning. Continue reading »

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Berkeley teachers, school, honored for science teaching

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Community Resources for Science, a Berkeley-based education nonprofit that works with local schools “to bring hands-on into the classroom,” last week honored several Berkeley elementary school teachers, as well as an entire Berkeley school, for excellent science teaching.

The honorees this year were Bethany Laurie at Jefferson Elementary; Debra Hill at Malcolm X Elementary; Carrie Peters and Kristine Fowler, both at Berkeley Arts Magnet; Noelle Sedor at Oxford Elementary; and Suzanne Ingley at Rosa Parks Elementary. Cragmont Elementary was honored as a whole school for excellent science education.

The CRS Science Super Star Challenge, which in its fifth year, is designed to “inspire, support, and honor teachers who bring excellent science learning experiences to their students.” … Continue reading »

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Bites: Novel Brewing, Stay Gold Deli, dinners, more

Novel Brewing: Opening its doors Saturday at xxx
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Openings, closings…

NOVEL BREWING As reported back in October, Novel Brewing is opening up in North Oakland.  Owners Brian and Teresa Koloszyc say the goal is to throw open the doors to the new tasting room on Love Our Neighborhood DaySaturday, June 411am-4pm.  There will be a limited selection of beers on tap, “just enough to wet your whistle.” After Saturday, the brewery will continue to be open Saturdays, noon to 10pm, and Sundays, noon to 8pm. Additional hours will be added as they ramp up to full speed. Or as the couple put it: “The fermenters are full and the yeast is happy! Beer cometh!” Novel Brewing is at 6510 San Pablo Ave. (at 65th Street), Oakland. Connect with the brewery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.Continue reading »

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Fire department praises Berkeley High mass casualty drill

Mass casualty drill at Berkeley High School on June 1, 2016. Photo: BUSD/Mark Coplan
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A mass casualty incident drill that took place at Berkeley High Wednesday, and in which students participated, was deemed a great success and earned praise from the Berkeley Fire Department. “In many respects we could not have achieved the same level of training without this opportunity and it strengthens the readiness of responders in our community,” BFD wrote to the school after the exercise was finished.

The drill, which began at 1:30 p.m., allowed Berkeley Fire Department recruits and Berkeley High fire-science students to practice responding to a situation in which there were a range of injuries, from cuts and bruises to casualties. One of the school’s student clubs, the Emergency Response Teens (ERT), also participated in the event which simulated the aftermath of a roof collapse in the Donahue Gym.

Thirty drama students took part, several of whom had makeup applied that simulated injuries. They were also asked to “act out their injuries” in an effort to “confuse and challenge” the firefighter recruits. … Continue reading »

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