Tag Archives: Aquatic Park

BFD responds to machinery fire in West Berkeley

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Many locals spotted the significant plume of smoke caused by a fire in a West Berkeley paint booth Monday morning. Continue reading »

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Major office/R&D campus proposed near Aquatic Park

The Jones family, which owns this 9-acre parcel fronting Aquatic Park, is asking Berkeley for a Master Use Permit to develop a life science "campus" of four to six buildings. Photo: Joe DeCredico
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The family that has owned a two-block-long swath of land along Aquatic Park since 1979 is asking the city of Berkeley for a Master Use Permit to construct “a premier life science research and development campus” along the waterfront.

Jason Jones, who owns the land with his father, Charles, wants to transform the 8.67-acre parcel, which is bordered by Bolivar Drive to the west, Addison Street to the north, Union Pacific Railroad Tracks (aka Third Street) to the east, and Bancroft to the south, into a cluster of four to six buildings that will hold light industrial manufacturing, research and development space, offices and stores, according to documents submitted to the city.

There will be a community meeting about the project, known as Aquatic Park Campus, on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Frances Albrier Community Center Auditorium, 200 Park St. The official addresses for the proposed MUP are 600 Addison St., 91 Bolivar Dr., and 2222 Third St.

The complex would cover 475,000 square feet of land and would include “an urban-style mini-plaza” at the corner of Addison Street and Bolivar Drive to provide “a gateway experience to the project,” according to documents. There would be a 300,000 square foot parking structure, a 2,500-square-foot manufacturing building, (a mitigation for a plant that was torn down about three years ago so Jones could do an environmental clean-up of the land). As a community benefit, the project would also widen Bolivar Street and add paths, sidewalks, landscaping, bike paths, and parking, according to Joe DeCredico, the land use planning consultant for the project. … Continue reading »

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2 arrested after West Berkeley carjacking, robbery

The pedestrian and bicycle overpass at the north end of Aquatic Park in Berkeley. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Police arrested two men early Monday morning after they reportedly brandished knives and carjacked a motorist in Berkeley’s Aquatic Park.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said authorities received a call at 3:10 a.m. Monday alerting them of the incident.

The victim, a man from Hayward, “reported that two suspects brandished knives at him and demanded his property. They also stole his vehicle,” Coats said.

Officers spotted the vehicle as they were responding to the scene, in the northern part of park, and tried to stop it. The driver fled from police with what Coats described as “a wanton disregard for public safety.” … Continue reading »

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First time observed: Hundreds of monarch butterflies cluster in Berkeley’s Aquatic Park


CAPTION: Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) in an ash tree in Aquatic Park. Photo: Elaine Miller Bond [LINK: www.elainemillerbond.com]]
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In late October, Berkeleyside received a tip that thousands of tiny fish were jumping in the waters of Aquatic Park.

Less than three weeks later, we received another “scoop” about the park that throngs of monarch butterflies were clustering in the trees.

I’d seen groups of monarchs in well-known gathering places, called “roosts” or “bivouacs,” in Pacific Grove and Santa Cruz. But I’d never heard of such a spectacle in Berkeley.

So I rushed the next morning to Aquatic Park, to the trees just east of the 14th hole of the disc-golf course, the site where the butterflies had purportedly been spotted. … Continue reading »

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Making a splash: Fish jumping in Berkeley’s Aquatic Park

Not a flying fish: This is a topsmelt, a common fish in our coastal estuaries. Photo: Elaine Miller Bond
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Dark clouds gathered last Tuesday morning, and many of us hoped for a storm. Yet, the not-so-still waters at Berkeley’s Aquatic Park didn’t roil from raindrops; they bubbled from thousands of small jumping fish.

According to Dr. Peter Moyle, Distinguished Professor Emeritus with the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology at UC Davis, these little silver fish were juvenile topsmelt (Atheriopsis affinis). Full-size topsmelt can be as long as 14.5 inches. … Continue reading »

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Aduro Biotech leases entire West Berkeley building

Wareham Development has rebuilt a historic building at 740 Heinz Avenue as part of its Aquatic Park Center, an 18-acre biotech campus in West Berkeley.
Photo: Wareham Development
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By Lisa Tsering

A biotech company that did the largest IPO in Berkeley history has leased an entire West Berkeley warehouse and will move its labs and offices there by 2016, helping to bolster the city’s reputation as a world-class life-sciences hub.

Aduro Biotech Inc., led by UC Berkeley biochemist Stephen T. Isaacs, specializes in creating drugs designed to strengthen the immune system to fight off cancer. It works on some of the toughest-to-fight tumors, such as pancreatic cancer and mesothelioma.

The company went public in April, raising $119 million in Berkeley’s largest ever initial public offering. It currently employs around 80 people in a smaller space on Bancroft Way. … Continue reading »

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Man found dead in Berkeley’s Aquatic Park identified; birdwatchers discovered his body

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The man found deceased in the southern end of Aquatic Park on Sunday Nov. 30 has been identified as Gary Baker.

An Alameda County Coroner spokeswoman said Baker was 51. The cause of his death is unknown, pending investigation, she said. She did not know his former place of residence.

Berkeley Police Officer Byron White said said the death was “unattended,” and the incident is being investigated as suspicious.

An Oakland resident discovered Baker in the park on Sunday afternoon and reported it to the police who received a call at 4:12 p.m.

The resident, who asked not to be named, was birdwatching around the park with her wife and a friend and they headed to the southernmost of the park’s three lakes as their last stop. … Continue reading »

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Police: Man found dead in Berkeley’s Aquatic Park

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The body of a man was found Sunday afternoon in South Aquatic Park in Berkeley.

Berkeley police said it is too soon to determine whether foul play is involved. The incident is being investigated as a suspicious death.

Read the update on this story.

Berkeley police responded Sunday, Nov. 30, to a call at 4:12 p.m. to check on the welfare of a man reportedly lying on his back, motionless, to the south side of Aquatic Park, according to a Nixle alert put out by the Berkeley Police Department at around 7 p.m. Sunday. … Continue reading »

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Police arrest man after ‘violent attack’ in West Berkeley

Image: Google Maps
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Police arrested a 41-year-old man after he struggled with a Berkeley Police officer, tried to take his gun and jumped into the lagoon at Aquatic Park when the officer tried to detain him, authorities said Monday.

The officer received minor injuries during the altercation, and required medical treatment, said Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police spokesman.

Police initially received a call Monday at 10:30 a.m. about a man on Bolivar Drive, between Bancroft Way and Addison Street, who was trying to set a fire with some type of liquid. A caller told police the man was on his or her roof, and was pouring some type of liquid into the street and lighting it on fire, authorities said. … Continue reading »

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Bike rentals and much more planned for Aquatic Park

Street Level Cycles, or Watershed Workshops, is a non-profit that uses use vocational education to promote youth development.
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A popular bike shop and community bike repair space in West Berkeley’s Aquatic Park won approval recently from the city’s zoning board to expand its buzzing operation into new digs and bring bike rentals, and much more, to the park.

A new space for Waterside Workshops at 90 Bolivar Drive will give Street Level Cycles the space to offer low-cost bicycle rentals, more youth education, longer community hours and a community meeting space, as well as — possibly — a small indoor coffee bar. The organization currently has a café with outdoor-only seating.

“We see the building as a jump‐off point for community recreation that will make the park more accessible for all Berkeley residents, regardless of income level,” according to the group’s applicant statement. … Continue reading »

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Youth Musical Theater plans new West Berkeley home

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UPDATE, March 27: The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the move by the Youth Musical Theater Company to two buildings at West Berkeley’s Aquatic Park. Jennifer Boesing, the company’s artistic director, said she was “brimming with excitement.” Writing to the company’s community via email she said: “With the generous sponsorship of Berkeley-based Sogno Design Group and the Parks and Recreation Department, we will be renovating our new home over the spring and summer, with our 2014-2015 season programming and rehearsals beginning there in the fall. The result will be the creation of an exciting and vital artistic hub that serves YTMC and the larger Berkeley community.”

ORIGINAL STORY: A 10-year-old musical theater company serving local youth is one step closer to creating its first permanent home in West Berkeley’s Aquatic Park.

The Youth Musical Theater Company won preliminary approval Thursday night from Berkeley’s Zoning Adjustments Board to create a new base for its operations on Bolivar Drive at the southern end of Aquatic Park. … Continue reading »

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Commission, public discuss priorities for Berkeley’s parks

Strawberry Creek Park. Photo: City of Berkeley
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The Berkeley Parks and Waterfront Commission met Wednesday night at the James Kenney Community Center to hold a public forum on parks in West Berkeley and the Marina. The meeting is the first of three that will address how to improve Berkeley’s city parks and meet residential needs.

Roughly 25 residents attended the meeting — a strong showing for a commission meeting — and spent nearly two hours testifying about the condition of about a half dozen parks and facilities. The focus was on the Berkeley Marina, Strawberry Creek Park, Aquatic Park and the West Campus Swim Center.

Berkeley is holding these meetings because budget and staff reductions are forcing the city to prioritize its park resources, said Commissioner Jim McGrath. McGrath pointed out that there are 30 fewer staff positions in the city’s Parks Department than there were 11 years ago, and $40 million worth of backlogged maintenance and repair projects. … Continue reading »

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Cruise ship visits Berkeley waterfront

Cruise ship
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In a proof-of-concept demonstration early Monday morning, an 800-foot cruise ship berthed briefly in the North Sailing Basin, the body of water east of Cesar Chavez Park in the Berkeley Marina.

“This had to be done at high tide, naturally,” explained Capt. Fidley Grating in a press conference Monday. “But it does demonstrate that it’s feasible. We will be able to bring the ships into Berkeley’s Aquatic Park without any major dredging operations.”

The demonstration, conducted on the north side of the marina, is part of a plan that has been taking shape over the last year to bring new commercial, residential and technology-oriented lab and office space to West Berkeley, but without the cumbersome and time-consuming zoning and use permit process. … Continue reading »

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