Take your dog to dinner: It’s now legal (within limits)

Bill and Sandra Weber, and their dog Annie, enjoy lunch on Picante's pet-friendly patio. Photo: Natalie Orenstein
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California is catching up with France: dogs will be allowed on restaurant patios and in other outdoor dining areas when a new law goes into effect January 1.

The change may be unnoticeable in Berkeley, where many restaurants have allowed dogs to join diners outdoors for years. The little-known prohibition was rarely enforced.

“We don’t get a lot of complaints, maybe three to five a year, so we would respond to those to enforce the state law if it was violated,” said Manuel Ramirez, director of Berkeley’s Environmental Health Division. … Continue reading »

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Cyclist dies after North Berkeley crash with car

Kurt Wehner. Photo: Facebook
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Local cyclist Kurt Wehner died Monday after being involved in a crash with a vehicle in North Berkeley on Sunday morning.

Berkeley resident Wehner, 62, died Monday at Highland Hospital in Oakland at 4 p.m., according to the Alameda County coroner’s office. No cause of death has been listed, pending an autopsy that will likely be performed Tuesday.

Writing on Facebook on Monday evening, John Lutterman of Anchorage, Alaska, identified Wehner as his cousin. Lutterman said Wehner had been disconnected from life support Monday and had died.

“Kurt, and his brother Todd, turned me on to serious biking when I was a kid,” he wrote. “I’ll miss Kurt’s endlessly good-natured Heyoka spirit. Reliving many poignant, but also lots of crazy and funny memories of Kurt tonight.” … Continue reading »

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The Berkeley Wire: 09.22.14

Waiting, by Richard Friedman. Taken on Sept. 14, 2014

Waiting, by Richard Friedman. Taken on Sept. 14, 2014

510 Families: The Berkeley parenting blog (Your Berkeley)
Free Speech Movement activists reflect on its achievement (SF Chronicle)
First person: I got free Berkeley pot (Berkeley Reporter)
Cal/Osha fines Cal $26,000 in death of custodian (SF Chronicle)
Berkeley Lab hires three developmentally disabled employees (Daily Cal)
Writer J. California Cooper dies at 82 (Ebony)
Council incumbent faces two challengers (Tribune)
Free workshops offer advice on reducing energy use (CoCo Times)
PACE has returned to Berkeley, its birthplace (Clean Techica)
New athletic team breaks barrier for the disabled (UCB News)

Get the latest Berkeley news in your inbox with Berkeleyside’s free Daily Briefing. And make sure to bookmark Berkeleyside’s pages on Facebook and Twitter. You don’t need an account on those sites to view important information.

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18-year-old arrested in stabbing of 72-year-old woman

Image: Google Maps
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A teenager from Richmond was arrested after a stabbing in Berkeley on Friday afternoon that left a 72-year-old woman in critical condition.

The Oakland woman remained in a local hospital for treatment as of Monday, according to a police statement released just after 2 p.m.

Friday, police arrested 18-year-old Kamau Berlin near the scene of the attack, but his name was not released until Monday.

Police were called to the intersection of Russell and Otis streets at 4:30 p.m. Friday for a report of a disturbance, according to a prepared statement from police. Police were told a woman was yelling for help.  … Continue reading »

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Berkeley, Albany disaster prep day comes Oct. 18

Berkeley CERT training, May 2013. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Berkeley’s annual disaster preparedness event is coming up next month with activities to teach residents how to handle kids and pets in an emergency, as well as general skills.

The 2014 event is scheduled for Oct. 18, from 9-11 a.m. It can be customized for any schedule, with exercises that take anywhere from 5 minutes to the whole two hours. It’s a self-directed exercise, which means you can perform the activities in your home or business, or with an organized neighborhood group. … Continue reading »

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Beverage companies donate $800K to fight soda tax

The PAC against a soda tax in Berkeley has poured $800,000 into the No on Measure D campaign. Will Berkeley be first? Photo: Mike Mozart
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The political arm of the American Beverage Association donated $500,000 on Sept. 16 to fight a proposed tax on sugary beverages in Berkeley, bringing to $800,000 the amount of money it has poured into the No on Measure D campaign.

The contribution, which appears to be the single largest in Berkeley history, will be used to print materials, mail campaign flyers, send campaign workers door-to-door, and pay for advertisements in newspapers and on websites. (Full disclosure: Berkeleyside has a number of No on D ads on its site, as well as a Yes on D ad.) … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: Taxing soda, like we do cigarettes, makes sense

Berkeley will vote on Measure D, the so-called Soda Tax, in November. Photo: Vox Efx
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Mansour Id-Deen, President of the Berkeley chapter of the NAACP, says his family has a life-threatening crisis with diabetes as a result of too many sugar sweetened beverages, and that this an all to common situation in this country.

In an op-ed published on Berkeleyside, Id-Deen argues that we are facing an urgent and preventable health crisis and action is needed now.

“Nationally, one in three of our children are projected to get Type 2 diabetes in their lifetimes, a figure that rises to one in two among African-American and Latino people,” he writes. “Additionally, in Berkeley, African-Americans are four times more likely to have been diagnosed with diabetes and fourteen times more likely to be hospitalized.”

Id-Deen supports Measure D, the so-called soda tax on Berkeley’s November ballot, because, he says, it takes this fight to its source.  … Continue reading »

Events mark 50th anniversary of Free Speech Movement

An iconic image from the Free Speech Movement, which erupted on the Berkeley campus 50 years ago. Photo: UC Berkeley Libraries
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Oct. 1 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement, a protest that only lasted for three months but set the stage for the turbulent 1960s.

On that day, thousands of UC Berkeley students surrounded a police car parked near Sproul Plaza. A young man named Jack Weinberg was inside. He had been arrested for distributing political material on university grounds despite rules that forbade it.

Many of the students who spontaneously surrounded the police car had been involved – or had been watching – the Civil Rights movement emerge. They were outraged by the injustices of the Jim Crow south. They had protested when the House Un-American Activities Committee held hearings in San Francisco. They had been furious when Clark Kerr, the president of the UC system, had declared that it was illegal to hand out political pamphlets on university grounds. … Continue reading »

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Bicyclist suffers life-threatening injuries after colliding with car at the intersection of Spruce and Eunice

A cyclist was struck by a car Sunday morning at the intersection of Spruce and Eunice. Photo: Larry Kudsk
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A bicyclist pedaling on Spruce near Eunice was seriously injured this morning when the bicyclist and a car collided, according to Berkeley police.

The accident happened at at 8:15 a.m. and the bicyclist suffered life-threatening injuries, according to police. He or she was transported to the hospital.

The Fatal Accident Investigation Team is on the scene. The driver and witnesses are cooperating with investigators. Police have not said which party was at fault in the accident.

The police department is … Continue reading »

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6 Berkeley stories that made headlines this week

The colony has donated seven hyenas to the Oakland Zoo, where the animals live in a wooded ravine and enjoy splashing in water. Photo: Oakland Zoo
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1. Suspect arrested in attempted homicide of woman in her 70s
2. Spotted hyena colony at Cal to close after 30 years
3. Accused murderer set free when witness skips court
4. Suit settled over new Elmwood restaurant
5. Street warned about rampant Godzilla
6. Richmond man dies after motorcycle crash

John Adams, Carl Bass, Shashi Buluswar, Jeff Chang, Brian Christian, Mina Girgis, Nate Lewis, Daphne Miller, Matías Tarnopolsky: a … Continue reading »


Breaking: Berkeley police arrest suspect in homicide attempt of woman in 70s

Image: Google Maps
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A woman in her 70s was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries after an assault by a man who was arrested by police Friday, authorities said.

Police were called to the intersection of Russell and Otis streets at 4:30 p.m. for a report of a disturbance, according to a prepared statement released by police.

Police were told a woman was yelling for help. They arrived within minutes and saw a man flee on foot who matched the description provided by callers. … Continue reading »

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The Berkeley Wire: 09.19.14

Fall is here. Photo: Daniel Parks

Fall is here. Photo: Daniel Parks

Berkeley’s Maria Echaveste nominated to become ambassador to Mexico (UCB)
UC Berkeley mechanical engineering alumna receives MacArthur grant (Daily Cal)
Ledger’s Liquor sells one of the most popular beers you’ve never heard of (Marketplace)
Healthcare inequality plagues UC Berkeley (Daily Cal)
Peking Express set to close doors soon (Daily Cal)

Get the latest Berkeley news in your inbox with Berkeleyside’s free Daily Briefing. And make sure to bookmark Berkeleyside’s pages on Facebook and Twitter. You don’t need an account on those sites to view important information.

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The It List: Five things to do this weekend in Berkeley

Coastal cleanup day is Saturday Sept. 20 -- a chance to help keep our local coastal areas beautiful. Photo: Clean Water Program
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COASTAL CLEAN UP DAY On Saturday Sept. 20 citizens throughout Alameda County will join volunteers worldwide for the 29th annual Coastal Cleanup Day. Last year the international event drew close to 650,000 participants in 92 countries, who picked up more than 12.3 million pounds of trash, according to the Ocean Conservancy. To help Alameda County residents find an event near them, the Clean Water Program Alameda County has compiled a list of local creek and shoreline cleanup events organized by its member cities and agencies. Visit Clean Water Program online for details of how to get involved.  Continue reading »

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