Author Archives: Tracey Taylor

Ferguson decision prompts thoughts written in chalk at Berkeley elementary school

Chalk writing outside Malcolm X School in Berkeley. Photo: Ben Hardy
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The Ferguson-related protests that have consumed Oakland for the past two nights, and spread to Emeryville last night, have not, so far, directly affected Berkeley, although BPD has been on alert and has called for mutual aid in case it was needed.

That’s not to say many in Berkeley weren’t thinking about the decision announced Monday not to indict the police officer who killed 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Missouri.

Someone, or perhaps several people, maybe children, took time to write their thoughts down with chalk in front of the recently installed mosaic walls at Malcolm X Elementary School in Berkeley.

Ben Hardy was on his way to work Wednesday morning when he noticed the writing. He took the photos shown here. Among the sentiments expressed: “Black Lives Matter,” “Don’t Hurt or Kill Anyone,” and “We Stand with Ferguson.” … Continue reading »

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Downtown Berkeley BART reopens after fatality

MacArthur BART station at around 7:15 p.m. after the downtown Berkeley BART station was closed due to a person under a train. Photo: Mori Yagi
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Update, Dec. 5: The person who died after being struck by a train at the downtown Berkeley BART station was Selam Sekuar, according to the Daily Cal. Sekuar, a UC Berkeley freshman and international student from Ethiopia, was 19. Read more about Sekuar.

Original story:

Update, 10:24 p.m.: The downtown Berkeley BART station reopened at 10:10 p.m. Tuesday. A BART spokesperson said service is running normally on the Richmond line although there would be “residual delays.”

To recap: BART received a report at 6:47 p.m. of a person under a train. At 7 p.m., BART confirmed that was the case. At around 7:15 p.m. BART confirmed the person had died. The station was closed from 7-10:10 p.m. while the case was investigated.

Update, 9:40 p.m.: The downtown Berkeley BART station remains closed due to a person who went under a train shortly before 7 p.m. and was pronounced dead. Trains are running through the station but not stopping. BART says to expect 15-20 minute delays. Embarcadero station in San Francisco is also closed due a person under a train. … Continue reading »

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Time-lapse video: A Berkeley school gets new classrooms

The new portables are on Washington’s annex campus on McKinley St., across from the school’s main campus
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Over the summer, Washington Elementary School in Berkeley got a new set of portable classrooms. The new classrooms replaced a group of portables which dated back to the 1960s, even though they were installed originally as a temporary measure. The new ones come from Berkeley High School. They were removed from there in order to complete the high school’s $46 million new construction project.

The decision to replace very old portables with seven less-old portables on Washington’s annex campus on McKinley St., across from the school’s main campus, was not popular with many Washington parents who say an underlying problem not being addressed by the district is overcrowding at the elementary school. … Continue reading »

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Police report possible mountain lion sighting in Berkeley

Mountain lion by princecody:CC
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UC Berkeley Police have issued an alert about a possible mountain lion sighting on Berkeley Lab property.

The department said it received a report from a Lab employee who said they had seen a mountain lion near Building 90 on Thursday Nov. 20.

Over the weekend, workers also found a small deer carcass that may have been killed by a mountain lion, UCPD said in a press release. The carcass was located on a foot trail near Parking Lot D. … Continue reading »

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Students march through Berkeley to protest tuition hikes

UC tuition protests. Photo: Siciliana Trevino
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Several hundred UC Berkeley students staged a walkout Monday, Nov. 24, to protest proposed tuition increases across the UC system.

As part of the walkout, a group around 200-strong took the protest to the streets of downtown Berkeley, starting at Civic Center Park and walking up Center Street toward the campus at around 1 p.m.

Police had stopped traffic at the corner of Center and Shattuck Avenue, and traffic was disrupted by the demonstration, said Siciliana Trevino who was on the scene and shot the video below.

The University of California’s Board of Regents voted Nov. 20 to authorize systemwide tuition increases of up to 5% per year through 2019-20 over the objections of Gov. Jerry Brown, who offered to increase state funding by 4% per year over the next two years only if tuition was frozen at the current rate.  … Continue reading »

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Bites: Iron Pan, The Branch Line, La Marcha, more

Gather Restaurant is celebrating its fifth birthday with a special menu that will benefit . Photo- Gather
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Openings, closings…

ÑORA SPANISH CUISINE TO BERKELEY A popular pop-up and catering operation featuring Spanish food looks like it’s aiming to open a new shop in Berkeley at San Pablo and University avenues. The folks behind Ñora Spanish Cuisine, which has previously popped up at La Peña Cultural Center for special events, are seeking an on-sale beer and wine license in the former Tomo’s Japanese location at 2026 San Pablo under the name of La Marcha. (Tomo’s closed earlier this year.) Sergio Monleon and Emily Sarlatte are listed as La Marcha’s officers, as per the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, or ABC. Berkeleyside will find out more and report back. La Marcha is set to open at 2026 San Pablo Ave., in Berkeley. Connect with Ñora on Facebook and on its website.Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

85C Bakery Cafe opening in San Diego
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LONGBRANCH SALOON San Pablo Avenue’s Longbranch is now open, according to tipster Amanda Fox. The restaurant, which took over the old Sea Salt location, describes itself as a “New American Restaurant/Gastro Pub.” It serves a range of comfort-food-style dishes and has an extensive list of beers, whiskeys and cocktails. Some dishes have a distinctly British-sounding spin, including potted pork trotter, the goat cheese and leek tart, and bangers and mash. Also on the menu: toasted farro and roasted cauliflower salad, pan-seared black cod and bone-in ribeye with béarnaise sauce. Longbranch is located at 2512 San Pablo Ave. (at Dwight Way) in Berkeley. Connect with the business on Facebook.Continue reading »

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‘Occupy The Farm’ tells tale of local food activism

Occupy the Farm protestors on the Gill Tract. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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A newly released film, Occupy The Farm, tells the story of the occupation by activists of a piece of UC Berkeley-owned land in Albany, which began in April 2012 and continued on and off for nearly a year.

The protesters planted carrot, broccoli and corn seedlings on the 77-acre Gill Tract and questioned the stewardship of what they described as publicly owned urban farmland. UC Berkeley sent in police and issued a lawsuit before the activists eventually left. … Continue reading »

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Community

Andy Samberg, Lonely Island, return to Berkeley High

Lonely Island pose next to the utility box painted with their portrait outside Berkeley High School on xxx. Photo: Mark Coplan/BUSD
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Berkeley High alumni Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer (aka, comedy group The Lonely Island) returned to Berkeley High School a week ago Sunday to shoot footage for a project that aims to chronicle their lives in Berkeley.

The three TV personalities, who met at Willard Middle School and moved on to Berkeley High in the 1990s, worked together on Saturday Night Live for eight years.

After they left SNL, Samberg made several movies and is currently starring in the award-winning show Brooklyn Nine-Nine, now in its second season. … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyside

Independent news site Berkeleyside recognized for journalism excellence for the second year running

Team at Uncharted close up Photo Pete Rosos
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At an awards ceremony last night at the San Francisco City Club, the organization announced Berkeleyside as the winner of the Community Journalism (print/text) category in its 2014 Excellence in Journalism Awards.

The judges said they chose Berkeleyside for the “range, depth and innovation reflected in its coverage of Berkeley.”

“The site provides residents with news as it is happening, plus comprehensive, timely stories about important issues in the community,” they said.

Four stories published by Berkeleyside were cited as exemplifying what the judges described as Berkeleyside’s “laser focus on one community”:

When last year’s Rim Fire near Yosemite first threatened, and finally destroyed, Berkeley’s beloved Tuolumne camp, Berkeleyside was posting updates and photos as soon as information became available… “the site provided more detailed information about the fate of the camp than was available in other media,” wrote SPJ NorCal. Read that coverage, written by Tracey Taylor and others.Continue reading »

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Berkeley elections: Kriss Worthington retains District 7; nail-biting race continues in District 8

Counting ballots at the Alameda County Registrar of Voters in November 2014. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Election day may be nearly a week behind us, but votes are still being counted and the results of some Berkeley races are still being determined, including District 8 where Lori Droste is currently very narrowly ahead for that council seat.

Absentee ballots are still being processed and will likely continue through the week. The latest counts are posted to the Alameda County registrar of voters website around 5 p.m. daily. Under state law, Alameda County has until Dec. 2 to certify its election results.

Berkeleyside is keeping results updated daily on our main Election 2014 results post, and will continue do so so until all races have officially ended.

In District 7, incumbent Kriss Worthington has kept his seat on the council after Sean Barry, who was the only candidate running against him, conceded the race.

“I’d like to congratulate Kriss Worthington and thank my supporters. The outcome is clear even if the final tally is not,” Barry said today. … Continue reading »

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Events

Photos: Berkeley Half Marathon draws over 5,700 runners

Berkeley Half Marathon 2014-1 Photo William Newton
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More than 5,700 people participated in the second annual Berkeley Half Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 9. It was described by at least one observer as a mellow affair with a positive Berkeley vibe, as residents came out to support the participants, shouting things like, “welcome to the neighborhood!” as the runners darted past.

The woman’s half marathon was won by Berkeley resident Anna Bretan, 29, with a time of 1:16:12. Bretan, who is a nurse and mother of three, also won the 2013 Berkeley Half Marathon, and the 2013 and 2014 San Francisco Marathon.

The men’s half marathon was won by J.P. Slater, 23, of Pasadena with a time of 1:08:39. Slater, who graduated from UC Berkeley in May where he ran for both the cross-country and track-and-field teams, also won the 2013 Berkeley Half Marathon. … Continue reading »

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Bites: Stateside Bakery, The Growlers’ Arms, more

Stateside
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Openings, closings…

STATESIDE BAKERY Kate McEachern, founder of the popular Cupkates trucks (there are two of them), has just opened Stateside Bakery in the minuscule (as in 400 square feet) space next to the new Starbucks on Telegraph Avenue at Ashby, opposite Whole Foods in Berkeley. Stateside offers “all the childhood classics re-imagined with wholesome ingredients,” McEachern said — those desserts that can only be found stateside, from brands like Hostess and Little Debbie. The inspiration for her first brick-and-mortar spot, she said, came from her brother who recently had a child and was ruminating on how great it would be to be able to have his offspring experience the sweet treats he grew up with —but without all the additives and sub-par ingredients. “I thought, ‘I could make those — how hard can it be?'” said McEachern. Stateside opened very quietly this week — McEachern wanted to iron out any kinks before word got out — but at least one young customer is already a fan. Longfellow sixth grader Beatrix Shelton was on her way to Starbucks to do her homework when she was waylaid by one of Stateside’s Nutella-Stuffed Chocolate-Chip Cookies with Maldon Sea Salt. (We understand the homework was put on the back burner!) Also on the menu at the little shop: Madagascar vanilla Twinkies, housemade Oreos, oatmeal cream pies, and strawberry Pop-Tarts. McEachern said the space is so tiny it was destined to be an ATM vestibule. She and her team of four did all the build-out and navigated Berkeley’s permitting process themselves. McEachern reassured us that the two CupKates trucks will keep on rolling — they serve seven counties currently. Stateside Bakery is at 3001 Telegraph Ave., Suite E. Hours: Wed.-Sat. 11-6, Sund. 11-4, closed Monday and Tuesday. Connect with Stateside Bakery on Facebook.Continue reading »

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