Category Archives: UC Berkeley

Soccer mania hits Berkeley, as do crowds, traffic

Around 62,000 people watched Inter Milan beat Real Madrid at Memorial Stadium on Saturday. Photo: Julia Flynn Siler
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Soccer mania hit Berkeley on Saturday when Real Madrid played Inter Milan at Cal Memorial Stadium, in a game that drew more than 62,000 spectators. Inter Milan and Real Madrid tied 1-1. Then, after regulation time, Inter Milan won 3-2 in a penalty shootout.

The game practically paralyzed the streets of Berkeley as fans tried to make their way to the stadium. Traffic came to a standstill all over town on major arteries like College, Claremont, Ashby and University avenues. … Continue reading »

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Traffic delays in Berkeley expected with soccer game

Photo: Courtesy of Real Madrid
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Berkeley police are warning residents to expect road closures, traffic, and major delays on Saturday when two international teams play a soccer match at Cal’s Memorial Stadium.

Real Madrid will play Inter Milan in a 3 p.m. game. The teams are playing in the Guinness International Champions Cup, which brings eight great European squads for a round of so-called friendly matches in the U.S. Organizers expect to sell out the 60,000-seat stadium for the match, which will also be broadcast on television. … Continue reading »

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With big soccer game approaching, UC Berkeley addresses impacts from Memorial Stadium

Cal's Memorial Stadium has a a capacity of over 60,000 and regularly draws large crowds to the area. Photo: John Morgan
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Representatives from the city of Berkeley and Cal invited residents near Memorial Stadium to discuss the impact of upcoming events — including the July 26 International Champions Cup soccer game — on the neigborhood. Fire safety, public intoxication, illegal parking and what to do in case of a significant disaster were among concerns raised by attendees.

Christine Shaff, communications director for facilities services, moderated the meeting Wednesday night, which featured members of the Berkeley Police Department, UC Berkeley Police Department, Berkeley Fire Department, Cal Athletics and the city manager’s office. Councilman Gordon Wozniak was also in attendance. … Continue reading »

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Cal Athletic director Sandy Barbour to step down in July

Current athletic director Sandy Barbour, Chancellor Nicholas Dirks and designated interim athletic director Michael Williams sit down for a press conference on Barbour's transition. Photo: Drew Jaffe
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UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks announced Friday that Sandy Barbour, the university’s athletics director, plans to step down from her post in mid-July.

“After numerous discussions with Sandy, we came to the conclusion that the time was right for her to pursue a different set of professional interests, which she has long harbored and which we have spoken about for several months,” Dirks said during a press conference Friday afternoon.

Dirks and Barbour cited a combination of organizational and personal interests as the motivation for her decision to leave. Michael Williams ’82, a former student athlete at the university and current vice chair of the Berkeley Foundation, will serve as the interim director in Barbour’s absence. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Police seek info, suspect after sexual assault

There have been 58 sexual assaults reported in Berkeley since January 1. Image: CrimeMapping.com
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The Berkeley Police Department is looking for a man reported to have sexually assaulted a woman in her 30s early Sunday morning not far from the UC Berkeley campus.

According to a notice released by the department Wednesday evening, the assault took place just after 2 a.m. Sunday.

The woman told police she had been walking alone on a side street west of the 2300 block of Telegraph Avenue, just south of the University of California at Berkeley campus, when she was attacked from behind by an unknown man. … Continue reading »

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Photos: Departing Cal students leave debris piles behind

A heap of trash near Prospect St. Photo: Jasper Burget
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Around this time each year, thousands of UC Berkeley students move out of their accommodations and head for home. And each year they leave behind a colossal mess. Walking through the area south of campus near Piedmont Avenue, which hosts a number of fraternities, sororities and other student housing, the evidence of the exodus is everywhere. Discarded belongings line the sidewalks. Couches and mattresses are especially common, but other items included a television and a teddy bear. Also present are heaps of debris whose original form can be difficult to identify. Even when students make an effort to place everything in appropriate receptacles, the contents inevitably overflow.

Before all Cal students are labeled slobs, it should be noted that there were also numerous signs of attempts to clean up. U-Haul trucks lined the streets and students were hard at work packing belongings into car trunks and trash into dumpsters. The city and university have also taken steps to minimize the mess. … Continue reading »

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Once in a lifetime chance to see plant bloom in Berkeley

The rare Puya raimondii begins to bloom at the UC Botanical Garden 
PHOTO: UC Botanical Garden
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A rare Puya raimondii plant is beginning to bloom at Berkeley’s UC Botanical Garden, a sight that you may only have one opportunity to see — unless you find yourself in the right place at the right time in the Bolivian Andes.

“It’s a once in a lifetime thing,” said Paul Licht, director of the UC Botanical Garden. That’s true in more ways than one, as the Puya raimondii dies after flowering. It will be decades until one blooms again in Berkeley.

The endangered plant, nicknamed “the Queen of the Andes,” is beginning to bloom in a process that can produce 30,000 flowers on a 15-foot stalk above the already large plant. In the wild, the plants only bloom when they are 80-100 years old. This one is only 24 years old, making it the youngest of the three plants that have ever flowered in a botanical garden. … Continue reading »

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Police arrest 3 after People’s Park drug deal

People's Park. Photo: Mario Antonio Pena Zapatería/Flickr
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Two men have pled guilty and a third is set to appear in court next week after police say they sold drugs to a teenage girl at People’s Park earlier this month.

According to court papers, undercover University of California police officers watched the girl meet up in the park with 43-year-old Marty Rickard at about 2 p.m. on May 8. Rickard introduced the girl to 26-year-old Justin Martin of Oakland.

The trio then walked over to a van parked at Dwight Way and Regent Street, where officers said the girl gave $20 to Martin, who gave it to a man sitting in the van’s driver’s seat, who was later identified as 54-year-old Gregory Pilling of El Cerrito. … Continue reading »

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Salvaged trees to be used in Berkeley’s new art museum

BAM:PFA 2
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Seven Canary Island pine trees that were cut down in order to allow construction of the new Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive in downtown Berkeley were salvaged and will be used for several interior elements of the new museum, its director, Lawrence Rinder, revealed last week.

At a May 12 presentation made at Berkeley’s Skydeck, which afforded birds’-eye views of the site of the emerging museum on Center Street and Oxford, Rinder said Paul Discoe, a highly regarded wood craftsman known for designing Larry Ellison’s Japanese-style Woodside home, as well as Berkeley’s Ippuku restaurant, will use the pines, along with other reclaimed wood, to design elements such as the museum store, the admissions desk and seating. The trees used to be on Oxford Street, clustered near the corner of Addison.

“The wood is curing in a mill in Oakland right now,” Rinder said, adding that he was thrilled Discoe would be contributing the warm quality of his work to the museum.

Rinder brought the new museum into focus in other ways, with more details of its build-out and events leading up to its scheduled opening in January 2016. … Continue reading »

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Disabled athletes among beneficiaries of UC Berkeley fund

BORP's existing Youth Wheelchair Basketball program. The award will help them offer such programs to Cal students and other community members. Photo: BORP
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A program that offers competitive sports to Cal students with disabilities, and another one that places Cal students at Berkeley High as study group leaders, were among several recently awarded grants by a UC Berkeley fund.

The Chancellor’s Community Partnership Fund, that aims to strengthen the campus’ support of the Berkeley community, is this year awarding $202,264 to 11 projects focused on education, arts, math and sciences, economic development, and community safety.

“The fund builds bridges by connecting the campus and the community through research, public service and engaged scholarship — and we all benefit,” said Chancellor Nicholas Dirks in a statement. “It is with great pride that I support all of the work we do to strengthen relationships and partnerships with our local Berkeley community.”Continue reading »

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Real Madrid to play Inter Milan on grass (!) at UC Berkeley

Real Madrid star player Cristiano Ronaldo likes pointing to himself. Photo: RealMadrid.com
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Real Madrid and Inter Milan will meet in the first-ever international soccer match at Cal Memorial Stadium on July 26.

For fans of what the rest of the world calls football, the chance to see two of the most storied teams in the game on — for this game only — natural grass at Memorial Stadium should prove a treat. The teams are playing in the confected International Champions Cup, which brings eight great European squads for a round of so-called friendly matches in the U.S.  … Continue reading »

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Strawberry Creek turns orange due to food dye spillage

Creek
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Berkeley’s Strawberry Creek was running bright orange today, but residents can rest assured there was nothing toxic in the water.

The creek was discolored on Sunday morning when a food-grade dye was inadvertently washed into a storm drain at the northeast corner of the UC Berkeley campus, according to Claire Holmes, a spokeswoman for the university. The dye had been used by a student group as part of a Holi festival event on Saturday, she said. … Continue reading »

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Man arrested after attempted Berkeley homicide with baseball bat following Cal frat house fight

Image: Google maps
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Police arrested a 23-year-old Oakland man over the weekend in Berkeley after he reportedly struck two males over the head with a baseball bat, causing what authorities described as “significant injuries.”

Sunday, at 1:25 a.m., the Berkeley Police Department responded to a report of an assault with a deadly weapon in the 2700 block of Durant Avenue, near College Avenue, just south of the UC Berkeley campus.

Witnesses reported two groups of people in a verbal argument in the rear parking lot of a fraternity, said Officer Jennifer Coats, Berkeley Police spokeswoman, in response to a request from Berkeleyside. … Continue reading »

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