Category Archives: UC Berkeley

Berkeley: The 50th anniversary of 50 years ago

Telegraph Avenue from Durant to Haste. Photo courtesy Tom Stetler
Print Friendly

David and Paula Stetler live in Wilmington, North Carolina, as does their son Tom Stetler. David and Paula lived in Berkeley in the early 1960s. David earned his Phd. in botany from the University of California in 1967. Paula graduated from Mills College in 1963 and worked in a laboratory at the university. Their gifted-amateur photographs, currently being unearthed by son Tom, show the ridiculous and sublime of their Berkeley days.

The photo above is a goldmine for students of Telegraph Avenue— traffic flowing both ways, Joe’s Ranch Burgers, the Sather Gate Book Shop, the Bank of America with windows, Layton’s, Larry Blake’s, Robbie’s Hoffbrau, King Pin Donuts on the corner of Channing, and the Berkeley Inn.

Their time in Berkeley coincided with Ludwig’s time in his fountain, and they have three photos showing Ludwig. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , ,

UCPD arrests man in bathroom recording case

Joseph Barbir. Photo: UCPD
Print Friendly

The University of California Police Department has announced the arrest of a former Cal employee they say recorded more than 100 people, including two minors, in a restroom earlier this year.

UCPD detectives arrested Joseph Barbir, 49, on Thursday “after a lengthy and thorough investigation” that linked him to “more than two dozen counts of invasion of privacy with a covert camera. At least two of the victims were minors,” police said in a prepared statement.

On May 8, a “covert camera” was discovered in a restroom inside the Unit I residence hall central building at 2650 Durant Ave.

According to police, Barbir “used signs to redirect unsuspecting victims to that restroom in April and early May. It was determined that more than 100 persons were covertly recorded in the restroom.”

According to UCPD records posted online, police picked up Barbir in Castro Valley, where he lives, on a $145,000 misdemeanor warrant at 7:10 p.m. Thursday. He was taken to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , ,

Small fire knocks out UC Berkeley’s computers, WiFi

Earl Warren Hall, where the datacenter fire occurred on Friday night. Photo: Google Streetview
Print Friendly

A small fire at the UC Berkeley datacenter in Earl Warren Hall on Hearst Avenue on Friday knocked out the campus’ entire computer network from 7 p.m. An overheated server apparently sparked the fire, which in turn triggered the center’s fire suppression system. The Berkeley Fire Department responded to the fire, evacuated the building and ensured that the fire was controlled. No injuries were reported.

“Since the fire shortly after 7 p.m., we’ve been all hands on deck with folks working around the clock,” said university spokesman Roqua Montez. Speaking at 10:20 a.m. on Saturday morning, Montez said the datacenter is back up and storage is mostly back up.

Applications, including CalNet — which enables the university’s many websites — are still down. “We don’t have a timetable for that yet,” Montez said. The university’s WiFi is also still down. … Continue reading »


Alcohol at Cal: Authorities report record arrests, tickets

Paramedics load a patient into an ambulance during a response to an alcohol poisoning call at Freeborn Hall in the Unit 1 dorms at the University of California, in Berkeley, on Sunday, August 23. The call came in as a possible alcohol poisoning case involving a 19-year-old female in the bathroom of Freeborn Hall. Photo: David Yee
Print Friendly

An annual enforcement effort targeting drinking at UC Berkeley as the semester kicks off has netted a record number of arrests and citations related to alcohol use around campus, but the calls for medical service for heavily intoxicated students have been on the decline, authorities reported this week.

The Berkeley Police Department tallied 423 arrests and citations over the first two weekends of the school year, from Aug. 21-23 and Aug. 27-29, around campus and in the Southside neighborhood.

The operation was a collaboration between the Berkeley Police Department and the state Alcoholic Beverage Control agency, which funds the effort through a grant. The annual effort dates back to 2004, and has netted 3,400 arrests and citations over that time related to possession of open containers in public, minors in possession of alcohol, furnishing alcohol to a minor, minors in possession of fake IDs and public intoxication.

The numbers have fluctuated over the years, from a low of 179 in 2006 to a high this year of 423, which was a 29% increase in overall arrests and citations over the prior year. This year was the first to show more than 400 arrests and citations.

Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police spokesman, said officers saw record numbers of minors in possession of alcohol (133 citations), as well as minors in possession of fake IDs (80 citations). Open container violations (180) were the second highest recorded since 2004.

White said the number of fake IDs confiscated was particularly notable. In many past years, several dozen of these IDs were confiscated. That number jumped to 44 in 2011, rose the following year to 78, dropped a bit the next two years, then hit its peak, at 80, this year. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Police arrest man after bathroom peeping report

Richard Anderson. Photo: UCPD
Print Friendly

The University of California Police Department has arrested a 71-year-old man authorities say was using a cell phone to record another man in a bathroom stall on the UC Berkeley campus over the weekend.

Authorities said Richard C. Anderson used a drill to make a hole in a bathroom stall wall Sunday in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union building on campus.

According to a statement released Tuesday, Sept. 8, UCPD officers responded to a report at 4:50 p.m. Sunday of someone who was videotaping a man using a restroom on the lower level of the student union.

The 49-year-old man told police he had gone into the bathroom stall, then “noticed someone reaching underneath the stall holding a smart phone.”

He “yelled and left the restroom,” according to the police statement, then told an employee in the building about the incident.  … Continue reading »

Tagged , , ,

Police: Man groped kids at Strawberry Canyon Pool

Photo: UCPD
Print Friendly

The University of California Police Department is looking for a man reported to have groped several children while they were swimming in Strawberry Canyon Pool on Thursday.

According to a UCPD notice released Friday at about 10:50 a.m., the reports came in Thursday at about 5:45 p.m.

Police say the man “swam up to each victim, grabbed their leg and/or buttocks then swam away. It is possible that there are additional victims.”

Police said the man grabbed several girls, ages 9 to 13, while they were swimming.  … Continue reading »

Tagged , ,

UC Gill Tract Farm blooms amidst controversy

Melanie Charles, Mark Jones and Julia Raskin pick weeds at the Gill Tract farm on a recent Tuesday night. Photo: Kathleen Costanza.
Print Friendly

On a Sunday in early August, about 20 volunteers milled around the UC Gill Tract Community Farm, plucking weeds, harvesting tomatoes and weighing buckets brimming with leafy kale.

“What are we supposed to do with aphids again?” said Vivek Nath, a first-time volunteer, as he bent over to pick broccolini.

“They’re the little green bugs, you take off the pieces with a lot of them,” replied fellow volunteer Allen Barth. “Chickens like to eat ‘em.”

A collaborative project between UC Berkeley and the public, the UC Gill Tract Community Farm is a year-and-a-half old urban farm that has sprouted up on land embroiled in years-long controversy. Open six days a week, people can harvest organic produce in exchange for help weeding, watering or planting. On Sundays, volunteers set up a farm stand where all the food is free or offered for a donation. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , ,

Students think outside the box to build better birdhouses

Doris Chang drills holes in her nesting box. Photo: Tracy Bugni
Print Friendly

By Kathleen Maclay

Sawdust, the smell of success.

As this year’s month long embARC Summer Design Academy at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design neared its end, the fabrication lab filled with the buzzing of band saws and drill presses, the tap-tapping of nail guns and the rhythmic scratch of sandpaper.

Some 40 high school students, 21 girls and 19 boys ages 15 to 19, from the United States and 11 other countries worked their way from the design studio into a room full of tools many may never had heard of before. And they swooped enthusiastically into the worlds of landscape architecture, architecture, retail planning and design on behalf of an unusual client.

“They’ve been designing for a client,” acknowledged fabrication shop lead Elizabeth Thorp, “and that client happens to be a bird.” Well, two birds, actually.  … Continue reading »

Tagged , ,

On Berkeley time? He keeps Campanile’s clocks ticking

Art Simmons has been keeping the Campanile clocks going for the past 20 years. (UC Berkeley photo by Anne Brice)
Print Friendly

By Anne Brice/UC Berkeley News

The Campanile clock tower is the campus’s North Star. At 100 years old and 307 feet tall, it’s a landmark everyone knows and trusts. But what happens when the clocks stop? There’s only one person to call: Art Simmons.

“Everybody in Berkeley watches those clocks,” says Simmons. “Not just the people on campus. So when the clocks stop, the whole city knows about it and it doesn’t look good.”

Read more stories about the UC Berkeley Campanile and Campanile Way

Simmons started working at Berkeley as an electrician 20 years ago. Because the person who took care of the clocks had just retired, Simmons inherited them as his responsibility. “I had no choice, it was in my zone,” he says. “They said, ‘It’s your baby, keep it going.’ So it was a lot of pressure to keep those clocks running and keep them running right.” … Continue reading »

Tagged , ,

UC Berkeley police lay ‘bait’ for bike thieves on campus

bike reflection by pete rosos
Print Friendly

For over seven months, the UC Berkeley police have been surreptitiously planting bicycles equipped with tracking technology throughout campus in hopes of catching bike thieves.

The Bait Bike Program was kept confidential during the spring semester, but UCPD announced earlier this month that 31 arrests have been made since the initiative quietly went live in January. Reported bike thefts are down 45%, the department said in a press release.

“The word was starting to get out a little bit so we figured we would go ahead and let the community know we are trying to do something to impact the theft of bicycles,” said UCPD Lieutenant Marc DeCoulode. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Lower Sproul restaurants, bar opening this fall

Photo: Equator Coffee
Print Friendly

Cal’s Lower Sproul Plaza is scheduled to re-open in the fall after two years of construction with a new selection of food, coffee and drink purveyors, all of which will be open to the public. The choice will include a burger joint, a salad and sandwich spot, a pizza place and a Mexican restaurant.

The Lower Sproul Plaza Redevelopment program, construction for which began in early 2013, replaces the old, seismically unsound Eshleman Hall with a 50% larger (though shorter) building. It will house the MLK Jr. Student Union which has been upgraded with the addition of a new space on the sides facing Lower Sproul and Bancroft Way, among other renovations.

The new food options will include four restaurants on the plaza level, two coffee shops and a Bear’s Lair Bar and Kitchen at the west end of Eshleman. The dining commons in MLK will have a small stage for student performances and DJs. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Council declines to overturn LPC vote on Campanile Way

Print Friendly

Amid a raucous meeting that ran past 1 a.m., the Berkeley City Council essentially dismissed an appeal that sought to have the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission reconsider an earlier decision not to grant protected status to Campanile Way.

Three council members — Max Anderson, Jesse Arreguín and Kriss Worthington — voted in favor of the appeal, with Mayor Tom Bates opposed and the rest of the council abstaining. The vote came after an hour of public comment and discussion by the council.

The application to landmark Campanile Way came as plans for an 18-story multi-use building at 2211 Harold Way are working their way through Berkeley’s entitlements process. The development was the crux of nearly every public comment at the meeting: Residents and students alike argued that the development would mar the view from Campanile Way, which looks over the San Francisco Bay toward the Golden Gate Bridge.

Since the hearing April 2 before the landmarks commission, Harold Way developers have reworked the building massing so it would intrude even less into the view, said project representative Mark Rhoades. He emphasized Tuesday that this change was due to feedback from the city’s Design Review Committee, and was not a response to the petition for landmark status. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Berkeley council to hear Campanile Way landmark appeal

Print Friendly

The group of Berkeley residents that lost a petition to the Landmarks Preservation Commission to landmark the view from Campanile Way is now appealing that decision before the City Council tonight. The group, led by former LPC Commissioner Steven Finacom, is concerned that a development at 2211 Harold Way would mar what they argue is a historic view.

Read more about what’s coming up at tonight’s council meeting.

The LPC voted 5-3, with one abstention, against landmarking the path and its view, though nearly everyone at the meeting agreed that the view is fantastic. The commissioners were divided about how much the 18-story development would impact the view. Even if the petition had passed, some commissioners argued, UC Berkeley is not governed by local ordinances and would not be legally required to pay attention to the ruling. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , ,