The Berkeley Wire: 02.25.15

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Berkeley council refers community policing package to city manager

Berkeley City Council, Jan. 27, 2015. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to ask the city manager to assess a long list of issues related to community-police relations and bring back a report on potential associated costs and related efforts that are already underway.

The broad package includes everything from changes in the way police handle the handcuffing and searches of people they stop to more training for police in racial sensitivity.

No action will be taken until the city manager’s office brings back the report, which is expected to take a significant amount of time.

“This is an enormous to-do list for the staff,” said Councilman Laurie Capitelli. “This is not weeks and weeks of work. This is months and months and months of work.” … Continue reading »

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Update: Pedestrian hit by van in West Berkeley

Image: Google maps
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Update, Feb. 26, 1:30 p.m. Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats released a bit more information by email about Thursday’s crash. She said, based on the preliminary investigation, the driver was northbound on San Pablo Avenue and, as he turned left onto Allston Way, struck the pedestrian in the crosswalk.

Coats said the pedestrian was still in the hospital when she last checked, but had been able to speak with traffic investigators.

The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with the police, Coats said. Neither drugs nor alcohol appeared to be a factor in the crash.

Coats said the driver was a 26-year-old homeless man. The pedestrian was a 63-year-old Hayward man. … Continue reading »

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Opening today: Tupper & Reed, a classic cocktail bar

Tupper & Reed opens tonight in Downtown Berkeley. Photo: Brian Sheehy
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The East Bay is becoming quite the drinking destination. With West Berkeley’s booming craft beer scene and Uptown Oakland’s growing nightlife scene, it feels like we are quickly catching up with San Francisco. More proof if it were needed: downtown Berkeley is now home to Tupper & Reed, the latest project from SF’s Future Bars team.

The long-awaited bar opens its doors tonight at 6 p.m. at 2271 Shattuck Ave. (at Bancroft). Tupper & Reed is modeled on the Future Bars‘ SF flagship, Bourbon & Branch, a speakeasy-style bar. It will boast a menu of 70 cocktails and hundreds of spirits, said co-owner Brian Sheehy, featuring classic drinks, twists on those classics and a number of cocktails created exclusively for the bar. In addition, Sheehy said, it will serve a small selection of beer and wine for “people who insist on not drinking cocktails.” … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Feb. 12-18

Selected calls to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. Scroll down for detailed maps. Click the map above for the list. See the map key here.
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This overview of recent crime in Berkeley is based on reports to the Berkeley Police unless otherwise noted. Please don’t hesitate to share photos, videos or tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at tips@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook or Twitter; let us know if you prefer to be anonymous. Don’t assume someone else will alert us — we value your eyes and ears, and you may be the only one to get in touch. We very much want to know about issues of neighborhood concern.

From Feb. 12-18, there were reports of four robberies26 burglaries18 assaults or batteries, two weapon-involved calls and three sexual assaults, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 11 stolen vehicles19 disturbances and 28 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department (UCPD) included five reports of vandalism. These numbers are subject to change. Click the links for the latest numbers. The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate.

Thursday, Feb. 12

There were two home burglaries, at 1:30 a.m. in the 2700 block of Durant Avenue, and at 7:25 a.m. in the 800 block of Cedar Street.

There was a commercial burglary at 5 a.m. in the 2500 block of San Pablo Avenue.

A vehicle was stolen at 5 a.m. in the 3000 block of Mabel Street.

There was a robbery at 10:45 a.m. in the 1000 block of University Avenue.

According to the BART police, a thief stole a $400 silver Dahon Mariner B7 foldable bicycle that had been secured with cable and U locks at the North Berkeley BART station between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

There were three disturbance calls: at 3:38 p.m. in the 2300 block of McKinley Avenue; at 5:15 p.m. in the 2300 block of Telegraph Avenue; and at 10:15 p.m. in the 1000 block of University Avenue.

According to the BART police, a thief grabbed an iPhone 6 from a woman’s hand while she was on a Fremont-bound train approaching the Ashby BART station at about 6:15 p.m. The suspect fled the station in an unknown direction. … Continue reading »

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Black Repertory Group’s Langston Hughes production ‘Mulatto’ aligns with the theater’s longstanding mission

Sean Vaughn Scott and Carla Hardiman thank the audience after the Black Repertory Group's production of Mulatto. Photo by Phil James
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By Phil James

The Black Repertory Group, a community theater initiative based in Berkeley, is currently halfway into its production run of Langston Hughes’ Mulatto: A Play for the Deep South, a play about a black mother and her children torn apart by her uncivil union with a Georgia plantation owner.

The play is one of many significant works by Hughes who, among other things, was a pioneer of black literature and a leader of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. Set in 1935, Mulatto focuses on Cora, the mistress of an abusive plantation owner in the Jim Crow-era South. With mixed-race children, Cora’s children must deal with the reality of having a “neither-nor” identity — that is, being neither fully black nor fully white.

But for Sean Vaughn Scott, the owner and artistic director of the Black Repertory Group, the production is about far more than educational entertainment. Far from being a leisurely side-project, the play brings together a diverse tapestry of actors old and young who use performance as a way to mend personal and social problems. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Honda hopes to take over Any Mountain space

Berkeley Honda is hoping to take over 2777 Shattuck Ave.,the space now occupied by Any Mountain. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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Berkeley Honda, which was displaced from its home at 2600 Shattuck Ave. in November, is making plans to move down the street into the building now occupied by Any Mountain, at 2777 Shattuck. Any Mountain has yet to find a new location in the city.

If Berkeley approves the auto dealership’s application, it would end a seven-year odyssey for one of Berkeley’s largest generators of sales tax. The dealership learned in 2008 that it had to leave its home of 40 years on Shattuck Avenue to make way for a mixed-use development called Parker Place. The dealership attempted to move to other locales in Berkeley, only to see them fall through. It is now renting temporary space at 2627 Shattuck Ave.

“It’s going to be Honda’s latest showroom design,” said Tim Beinke, the dealer/operator who owns the business with his father, Steve. “We have a lot of new products coming out. We have plug-in cars and a list of smaller vehicles.” … Continue reading »

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The barber’s dog, it turns out, has another friend

Fella, the neglected dog, on a lot behind a fence in Oakland. Photo: Leslie Smith
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This is Part 2 in a three-part series. Read Part 1.

Leslie Smith volunteers at the Berkeley Animal Shelter. One day she stumbles upon a dog who, as she describes it, is filthy, smelly, and appeared to be neglected. Smith takes pity on the sorry-looking dog. She identifies its owner as the barber whose shop is on the lot where Fella, the dog, spends his days. She begins visiting Fella, bringing him toys. But, when she asks if she can walk him occasionally, she is turned down. Read the final part of the story tomorrow. Read more about the shelter in past Berkeleyside coverage.

By Leslie Smith

The barber’s dog has fleas.

This is a recent development and the situation has begun to impact our time together. We used to while away the lunch hour playing a game. (I toss a treat through the fence. He sniffs around earnestly to find it. Repeat.) These days, he’s only good for a few tosses before he goes back to biting at his hind legs. Or wriggling on his back against the gritty cement.

When he’s close enough for me to assist, I reach in and scratch that flea-infested dermis. I doubt a veterinarian would say that’s the healthiest approach for him in the long run, but I’m desperate for the barber’s dog to know some relief.  … Continue reading »

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Where in Berkeley?

Where in Berkeley?

WIB

Know where this is? Take a guess and let us know in the Comments below.

Photo: Sandy Friedland.

Send your submissions for “Where in Berkeley?” to tips@berkeleyside.com. The more obscure the better — just as long as the photos are taken in Berkeley. Thanks in advance.

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The Berkeley Wire: 02.24.15

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Kaffa Ethiopian Restaurant. Photo: Kate Williams
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NEW: KAFFA ETHIOPIAN CUISINE Kaffa, the popular Ethiopian vendor who sells vegan food at the South Berkeley farmers market, now has a brick-and-mortar restaurant on Sacramento Street. Open Tuesday to Sunday, Kaffa has a short menu, selling nothing but a large, medium and small plate, and a side dish called sambusa. But in the very short time it has been open, Kaffa and its owner have received high marks on Yelp: “It’s as if you’re sitting down in her kitchen and she cooks you up a meal,” says Elli N. describing the experience of eating there. Kaffa Ethiopian Restaurant is at 2987 Sacramento St. (at Ashby Avenue).Continue reading »

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Big Screen Berkeley: ‘Gett, The Trial of Viviane Amsalem’

gett-the-trial-of-viviane-amsalem-e1418606094325
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Regular readers may recall my late 2014 review of Volker Schlöndorff’s Diplomacy. As stagy as that film was, however, it’s been outdone by Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (opening at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas on Friday, Feb. 27). How stagy is Gett? So stagy it could just as accurately be entitled Two Rooms and a Hallway – but don’t let that put you off.

Viviane (the magnificent Ronit Elkabetz, carrying herself with the dignified aplomb of an Eleanor Bron or Irene Papas) is an Israeli woman seeking a divorce from her deeply religious husband Elisha (Casino Royale’s Simon Abkarian). Unfortunately for her, there’s no such thing as civil marriage or divorce in Israel, and their separation must be approved and legalized by a rabbinical court.

Though Iranian law is still heavily weighted in favor of men, even the Islamic Republic has civil divorce courts. Not so Israel, however, where men still hold all the cards. In Viviane’s case – and despite copious evidence of incompatibility with hubby – proceedings quickly grind to a halt when Elisha stubbornly refuses to grant her her freedom. … Continue reading »

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Thalassa space becoming music venue, beer garden

Site of new music venue and beer garden. Photo: Kate Williams
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The former Thalassa space in downtown Berkeley is not going to sit empty for long. The popular pool hall shut down last fall after losing its lease on the building, moved up the hill to Telegraph and Durant, and re-opened as Berkeley Public.

Now the enormous former pool hall, which is located at 2367 Shattuck Avenue between Channing and Durant, is being reconfigured as a craft beer garden and live music venue, says Alex Popov, who is spearheading the effort. Popov is a familiar name in the Berkeley food and drink scene; he founded Smart Alec’s in 1996 and Pappy’s Grill in 2012, and is running Liquid Entertainment, the company in charge of the music venue project.

The entirety of the venue, whose name has not been finalized, is huge — 12,000 square feet in total — and will be able to host special food and drink events in addition to concerts. Popov says that they will make use of the two large store-front entrances, one on Shattuck and one on Durant, which allow the venue to have a separate entrance for both the music and restaurant areas. … Continue reading »

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