Tag Archives: Aquatic Park

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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Kayak theft puts Berkeley youth program in jeopardy

Students from Berkeley's Longfellow Middle School learn to kayak on a Berkeley Boosters camp. Photo: Berkeley Boosters
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The theft of twelve ocean kayaks from a storage trailer in Aquatic Park has put a summer  program for Berkeley youth in jeopardy.

The kayaks, which are owned by the California Police Activities League (CalPAL), were located in a parking lot owned by the City of Berkeley but leased to the Berkeley Water Ski Club.

The crime was discovered on April 13 when Oakland Police notified CalPAL that life jackets with the CalPAL insignia had been found in an Oakland dumpster. Staff from Berkeley Boosters, which runs youth water sports camps throughout the year for Berkeley youth, went to Aquatic Park and found the trailer and kayaks missing.

Cheryl La Rosa Longo, Executive Director of Berkeley Boosters, said the theft appeared to be planned rather than opportunistic. “The kayaks are stored in a remote and inaccessible part of the park. You need to open a gate and pass by a sign that reads ‘Private Property’ to get there,” she said. “The kayaks are locked but it looks like someone hitched their car to the trailer and drove away.” … Continue reading »

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Pacific Flyway Survey comes to Berkeley’s Aquatic Park

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By Chris Hammond

At Berkeley’s Aquatic Park, Mike Perlmutter bent over his bird-watching telescope, intent on finding more of the birds he’s seen in years past. The traffic on highway 580/80 roared behind him. A freight train pulling empty container cars clickity-clacked on the other side of the park. In between were the birds, all of them are year-rounders like great egrets, coots and ducks. There were no migratory shorebirds yet.

Volunteer bird watchers and scientists combed the sandy San Francisco Bay marshes for shorebirds at high tide Tuesday morning. Perhaps 350,000 of the spindly legged, long-distance travelers were counted in northern and central California as they fattened themselves on crabs, worms and muscles in the flats and rocky shoreline.

“This is as many birds as we get in winter,” said Julian Wood, who works for PRBO Conservation Science, the group leading the Pacific Flyway Shorebird Survey. He said that tracking the birds is no easy feat. “It’s hard to get numbers for migrating shorebirds. The ones we see breed in Alaska and winter here.” … Continue reading »

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Aquatic Park pitches for Berkeley Lab 2nd campus tonight

Yesterday, Golden Gate Fields had its turn in the spotlight at a public meeting held by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab to discuss that location as one of the six possibles on its shortlist for its second campus. Richmond, Alameda and Oakland have all had their chance to shine, and Monday August 8th will see a pitch by Wareham Development for a Berkeley/Emeryville site.

Tonight Aquatic Park West, the only site that is 100% in Berkeley, will be presenting its case.

The site is co-owned by Michael and Steven Goldin and the Jones Family. The Goldins would act as partners to Forest City, the developers of the 12.5 acre site off Bolivar Drive. As it has done at all the meetings, the Lab will talk about its requirements — UC Berkeley’s Professor Jay Keasling is among those who will be on the platform today — and members of the public will be invited to share their views. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley sites for Lab’s second campus in the spotlight

Michael Goldin, a developer of the Aquatic Park West site, stands in front of the view the lab would have if it located there. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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As the Berkeley Lab rolls into town this week to hold three public meetings about a second campus, there has been a lot of speculation about which community will be the best cheerleader. The bar has already been set high: Richmond had drummers and dancers perform at its meeting, Oakland put forward its mayor, and Alameda had a packed house.

But a curious thing happened in each community meeting. Instead of the cities wooing the Lab, the Lab … Continue reading »

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Three Berkeley sites being considered for Lawrence Berkeley Lab second campus

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The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has selected six sites in six East Bay cities as the possible location of a second campus, Berkeleyside has learned.

Three of the six sites are either in Berkeley or partly in Berkeley, according to knowledgeable sources who asked not to be named. They are:

  • The Richmond Field Station. The University of California already owns this land, and it is presumed to be the front runner for the second campus.
  • Golden Gate Fields — This 30-acre parcel sits mainly in Albany, although a section also sits in Berkeley.
  • The Goldin brothers/Jones family parcel off of Bolivar Drive near Aquatic Park in Berkeley. This 12.5 acre parcel is the site of the old American Soils property.
  • A 64 acre parcel known as the Brooklyn Basin along Oakland’s waterfront.
  • A portion of the old Alameda Naval Air Station in Alameda. The city has offered this land for free to the lab as a way to quick-start development of the old base.
  • Wareham Development’s sites straddling Berkeley and Emeryville.

The lab received 21 proposals from eight cities interested in having the second campus. They included multiple sites in Berkeley, including the old Marchant Building, about four proposals in Oakland, one in Walnut Creek, one in Dublin, and a number in Richmond. … Continue reading »

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How did Berkeley do on those 2010 resolutions?

People's Park: there has been no progress this year on xxx. Photo: djwudi/Flickr creative commons.
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A year ago, we suggested 10 resolutions for 2010 for Berkeley (we’ll have our 2011 resolutions tomorrow). How did our city do?

We went back to look at those 10 resolutions and scored them 0 for no movement (or backward movement), a ½ point for some improvement and a full 1 point for true progress. We have to say that, even with the most generous grading possible, we can only give ourselves a score of four out of 10.

Here … Continue reading »

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