Author Archives: Tracey Taylor

Drugs tossed from car during CHP pursuit through Berkeley

Photo: Chandler Fitzsimmons
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According to CHP, at around 2.30 a.m., CHP units attempted to stop an Acura Integra for speeding. The car was traveling eastbound on I-80 near Gilman Street. After the Acura failed to stop after taking the Gilman Street exit, CHP began to pursue the car.

“The pursuit went through city streets in Berkeley until the suspect eventually re-entered the freeway from Ashby Avenue and headed westbound on I-80,” CHP said in a release issued around 8:15 a.m.

“During the pursuit, multiple objects were thrown out of the Acura which were later recovered and contained drugs.” … Continue reading »

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Community raises more than $31,000 so far for Berkeley teacher hit by stray bullet

Claire Dugan
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fundraising campaign set up to help a Berkeley elementary school teacher who was critically injured in Richmond on Saturday after being hit by a stray bullet, has so far raised more than $31,000 for her and her partner.

On Jan. 2, Berkeley resident Claire Dugan, a teacher at Cragmont Elementary School, was randomly shot while driving on Cutting Boulevard near 22nd Street a little after 6 p.m., according to Lt. Felix Tan of the Richmond Police Department. Dugan took a bullet in the face and neck, then both she and her partner Lori Dooner were injured in a subsequent collision.

Visit the GoFundMe campaign page for Claire Dugan and Lori Dooner.

The fundraising site explains that the couple, who have a teenage son, need help with medical bills and living expenses “while they recover and fight to overcome the horrific violence that was inflicted on them.” … Continue reading »

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Defendant in 2015 Berkeley murder case headed to trial

Christian Sheppard featured
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After hearing sometimes chilling testimony from three witnesses at a preliminary hearing Tuesday in Alameda County Superior Court, Judge Trina Thompson ordered Anthony Durant to stand trial in the October 2015 killing of Christian Sheppard, Berkeley’s only recorded homicide last year.

Sheppard, 24, the father of two young daughters, was fatally shot on the night of Oct. 6 behind the apartment complex at 1611 Russell St. in South Berkeley. He had been playing dice with Durant, then 24, who was charged with murder and unlawful firearm activity after emptying 16 rounds from a semiautomatic handgun into Sheppard’s body. Durant then fled the crime scene and dumped the gun in a nearby yard, according to police. He was arrested Oct. 7 and remains in custody on a no-bail hold.

Read more about 2015’s only Berkeley homicide and about the man who was killed.

Both Sheppard and Durant attended Berkeley schools, had known each other since childhood and grew up in the same South Berkeley neighborhood. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Totally Rad Gallery: opened on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley. Photo: Totally Rad Gallery
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TOTALLY RAD ART GALLERY A new art gallery has opened on San Pablo Avenue in the old Leslie’s Ceramics building. Totally Rad, run by Amber Mueller, is dedicated to exhibiting contemporary works by emerging local and national artists. On Jan. 9, 6-9 p.m., there will be an opening reception for the gallery’s new exhibition, “Daft Affect: “Dear Volunteers” showing work by Tra Bouscaren and John Schlesinger. Totally Rad Gallery is at 1212 San Pablo Ave. ( at Harrison St.). Connect with the gallery through its website and on Facebook.  … Continue reading »

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Ippudo NY to open ramen brasserie in Berkeley

Chesapeake Tonkotsu Ramen, a dish served at Ippudo in the East Village. The restaurant group is opening its first West Coast spot in downtown Berkeley. Photo: Ippudo NY
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Ippudo, which describes itself as a “Japanese ramen noodle brasserie” is to open its first West Coast restaurant in downtown Berkeley.

The global restaurant chain has signed a lease at 2011 Shattuck Ave. (at University), in the street-level retail space that will also soon be home to Berkeley’s first Blue Bottle Coffee shop.

Originating in Japan, Ippudo has restaurants across Asia and Australia, as well one in London and two in Manhattan. It was founded in 1985 by Shigemi Kawahara with, according to its website, an emphasis on Tonkotsu (pork-based) ramen and a wood-centric interior design. … Continue reading »

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10 Berkeley animal stories you didn’t want to miss in 2015

March 31. Chicks approximately 18 days old. Photo: Elaine Miller Bond
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Berkeleyside reports many animal stories every year, and 2015 was no exception. Sometimes they are strange, such as the day in January when two boars’ heads popped up around town, or the night in June when a squirrel caused a massive power outage. Sometimes they are sad, like the time a couple hung up the body of a deer to make a point about off-leash dogs.

But, more often than not, they are heart-lifting and beautiful. This applies to all the wonderful stories created for us by wildlife photographer Elaine Miller Bond. In 2015, Miller Bond told us about the release of a golden eagle, a hummingbirds’ nest, jumping fish, and glorious clusters of monarch butterflies (a post that was shared more than 21,000 times on Facebook).

And the three-part tale, plus epilogue, by Leslie Smith, about the rescue of a neglected dog, dubbed the “barber’s dog,” was surely one of the most captivating stories of the year.

Below, we bring you 10 of our most widely read 2015 animal-related stories, presented in chronological order. … Continue reading »

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Best East Bay dishes and drinks of 2015, Part 2

Dishes ready to be served at Longbranch Saloon, where xxx had his favorite bite of 2015. Photo: Longbranch
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Tuesday we brought you the best taste sensations local chefs such as Sho Kamio of Iyasare, Tanya Holland and Romney Steele had experienced in the East Bay in 2015. In today’s second part, we learn what Nosh editors, two writers, a rapper, as well as a number of food and drink makers enjoyed this year. We’d love to hear what tickled your taste-buds in 2015  — share your choices in the comments.

Alex Tweet, Head Brewer, Fieldwork Brewing Company

Best bite of 2015: Grilled Niman Ranch pork loin, toasted farro and roasted cauliflower salad, grilled broccolini, oyster shooters and a can of Hamm’s Lager at Longbranch Saloon.

Can’t wait for this in 2016: Whatever Jay Porter (of The Half Orange and Salsipuedes) has up his sleeve next. … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyside

Listen up: Berkeleyside launches its first podcast series

Pastor Michael McBride in conversation with KQED's Joshua Johnson at Uncharted 2015. Listen to their conversation on the Uncharted:Berkeley podcast. Photo: Pete Rosos
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Berkeleyside is thrilled to be making available to our readers, for free, the first five of what we hope will be many fascinating podcasts — just in time for holiday downtime listening (or when you want to tune out the in-laws!).

Today we are launching the first five episodes of the Uncharted:Berkeley podcast series which together comprise the fascinating conversations that took place at the Uncharted Berkeley Festival of Ideas in October. The festival is produced annually by Berkeleyside. We will release more episodes early in the new year.

Next year we will also re-release some wonderful podcasts from Berkeleyside’s archive, including the “Three Michaels of Berkeley” (Michael Chabon, Michael Lewis and Michael Pollan in a highly entertaining one-time-only conversation); and the fabulous collection of podcasts created by veteran broadcaster John Rieger, commissioned by Berkeleyside in 2011 and 2012 and as relevant and funny today as they ever were. Look forward to “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens,” “Rules of the Road for Berkeley Cyclists,” and “Berkeley: A Bumper Stickery Kind of Town.” … Continue reading »

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Alcohol, fall from height likely contributed to Berkeley fraternity death

A young man was found dead Saturday at Pi Kappa Phi. Image: Google Maps
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The Berkeley Police Department has released the identity of the young man who was found dead at the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity house on Channing Way on Dec. 19. They also revealed that he likely fell from a “significant” height before his death, and that alcohol appears to have been a contributing factor.

The deceased was Jeffrey Thomas Engler, 22, from San Leandro. Engler, who was enrolled at Laney College, and had formerly attended UC Berkeley, was a member of Pi Kappa Phi, but did not live at the fraternity, according to a statement released by BPD at around 4:15 p.m. Monday. Engler was at the house attending a small holiday party, they said.

The release continues: “Based on the preliminary investigation it appears he fell from a significant height prior to his death. There are no indications of foul play, and alcohol appears to have played a factor in his death. The cause of death will be determined by the Alameda County Coroner’s Bureau.” The police investigation is ongoing. … Continue reading »

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Sunset settles into Oakland, test kitchen on the way

Sunset Oakland office. Photo: Spencer Toy
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The Sunset publishing group has moved into its new Jack London Square offices, having relocated from its home of 64 years in Menlo Park, and the venerable magazine is gearing up to unveiling its test kitchen, wine cellar and photo studios in spring 2016.

Nosh reported in June that Sunset would move its headquarters to Oakland after its parent company, Time Inc., sold Sunset’s seven-acre Cliff May-designed Menlo Park campus to Embarcadero Capital Partners, a San Francisco real-estate investment and management company, for a reported $78 million.

The magazine’s new offices, at 55 Harrison St., were designed by San Francisco architects RMW, and comprise 20,000 square-feet on the second floor of a mixed-use building which will include the Water Street Market, an artisan food marketplace being developed by Carlin Company, the team behind San Francisco’s Ferry Building Marketplace and Napa’s Oxbow Public Market. … Continue reading »

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That’s right America, in Berkeley deer use crosswalks!

A still from Daniel McPartlan's video showing deer using a crosswalk on Grizzly Peak.
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Daniel McPartlan has visual proof that Berkeley deer are law-abiding deer, who follow the rules of the road.

While driving along Grizzly Peak Boulevard on his scooter after dark on Dec. 17, McPartlan witnessed not one, but three deer use a crosswalk to get from one side of the road to the other. He posted the footage that his on-board video camera shot of the incident to Twitter the following day, with the comment, “That’s right America, Berkeley deer use crosswalks.” (We liked that so much we stole it for our headline.) Watch the video, below. … Continue reading »

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Scoop: Blue Bottle Coffee coming to Berkeley

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Blue Bottle Coffee is set to open its first Berkeley outpost in the street-level retail space of co-working offices WeWork at 2011 Shattuck Ave. (at University).

The news was confirmed by one of the building’s owners, Jordan Caspari of Soma Capital Partners.

Caspari said Blue Bottle would be going into the corner space, and added he was “very excited” about the opening next year.

A high-end ramen restaurant is expected to sign the lease for the other part of the retail space next week, Caspari said. Nosh will have details as soon as it is a done deal.

“We think the two tenants will have great synergies with WeWork,” Caspari said. … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyside readers raise nearly $3,000 for food bank

Kelsey Itämeri  Spats Holiday Party 2015. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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Thanks to the generosity of the Berkeleyside community, our Advertising Director Wendy Cohen delivered just short of $3,000 to the Alameda County Community Food Bank on Friday morning.

The funds were raised at the Berkeleyside holiday party at Spats on Thursday night, through the tips left for the “amateur-hour” Berkeleyside bartenders, aided by a wonderful team of guests, as well as the sale of raffle tickets. We are grateful for how accommodating patrons were as we all figured out how to pour the perfect G&T or, even, how to mix up a martini!

We are happy the Berkeleyside community could help the Alameda County Community Food Bank, which is a stellar organization: It distributes more than 2 million pounds of food each month and serves an astonishing one in five Alameda County residents — yes, you read that right: one in five. According to the food bank, one in three children in Alameda Count faces the threat of hunger.

Even though the holidays are when people tend to think about helping nonprofits like the food bank, it’s good to remember that it needs volunteers and donations throughout the year. … Continue reading »

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