Tag Archives: Berkeley Hills
A car that caught fire Friday morning in the Berkeley Hills caused enough smoke to be visible from around the city and to cause concern.
The Berkeley Fire Department received a 911 call about the fire at 10:20 a.m., according to Deputy Fire Chief Donna McCracken. The car was in the area of the Lawrence Hall of Science and BFD dispatched ALCO Engine 19 from the Berkeley Lab, in line with its automatic mutual aid agreement with that fire crew.
The ALCO crew tackled the fire but, around two hours later, it had to return to the car as there was more smoke, according to McCracken. … Continue reading »
A state agency has fined the city of Berkeley nearly $100,000 after a worker was crushed by his garbage truck in the Berkeley Hills in January, according to a recently concluded report obtained by Berkeleyside on Tuesday.
Johnny Tolliver Sr., 52, was working as part of a two-person team collecting trash when their truck lost its brakes and rolled, pinning Tolliver against a utility pole in January, according to preliminary reports. Although Tolliver was conscious and talking at the scene, at 90 Parnassus Road, he died later that day at Highland Hospital of his injuries. He had worked for the city for more than 25 years.
Scroll down to see the city response.
Tolliver was “fatally crushed” as he tried to stop his truck from rolling down the hill on Parnassus, according to the June report from the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or Cal/OSHA.
The agency, which is charged with investigating workplace safety issues and on-the-job fatalities, found the city responsible for three accident-related penalties categorized as “serious.” Each carries a fine of $22,500. Three other general penalties categorized as “serious” carry fines of more than $8,400 each, and a fourth serious violation has a listed fine of more than $5,000, according to the June 22 report. … Continue reading »
Tilden’s Little Farm is a must-see stop for every family, particularly during summer. The East Bay Regional Park District recently shared this video, by filmmaker Kevin Kunze, which features a six-day-old calf. (The calf is about three weeks’ old now).
Use your cursor in the video below to “travel” though the Little Farm at Tilden Park. … Continue reading »
A large truck hauling sand in the North Berkeley Hills overturned Thursday afternoon, and bystanders had to extricate the driver, who was taken to the hospital, authorities said.
Deputy Fire Chief Donna McCracken said the truck had been hauling sand while driving down Glendale Avenue when it “lost its brakes” around 1:30 p.m.
In an emergency maneuver, the driver steered up onto a private driveway at La Loma Avenue to stop the vehicle.
McCracken said the truck struck a parked car and retaining wall, causing damage, before it rolled onto its side. … Continue reading »
[Note: The family of Johnny Tolliver Sr. has released a statement about his death. Scroll to the bottom of this story to read it, along with additional updates.]
The city of Berkeley worker who was pinned by a garbage truck in the Berkeley Hills on Monday has died of his injuries.
Johnny Tolliver Sr., who had worked for Berkeley for 25 years, died Monday, according to Matthai Chakko, a city spokesman. He was 52.
“This is obviously an incredibly sad day for the staff involved and the city as a whole,” said Chakko. “We want to be a support to his family and his co-workers.”
Berkeley has lowered its flags to half-staff in Tolliver’s honor, he said.
Tolliver’s death while on duty may be the first for a city worker who is not a police officer or firefighter, or at least the first in a long, long time, said Chakko. … Continue reading »
Update, Jan. 12, 11 a.m. The worker, identified as Johnny Tolliver, has died. Tolliver, who had worked for Berkeley for 25 years. The city lowered its flags to half-staff in his honor Tuesday. Read more on Berkeleyside.
Original story, 2:43 p.m. A city worker was taken to the hospital after a municipal garbage truck may have pinned him against a tree in the Berkeley Hills on Monday afternoon when its brakes went out, according to preliminary reports.
City spokesman Matthai Chakko said Monday at about 2 p.m. that the incident remains under investigation, and that he could only confirm that a worker was taken to the hospital. Chakko was not able to provide any additional details.
Berkeleyside reviewed scanner audio recordings to find out more. The information that follows is unconfirmed. This story will be updated if the city provides additional information.
The Berkeley Fire Department was dispatched early Monday afternoon to 90 Parnassus Road for a report of an individual who was initially pinned in place by what was later determined to be a city of Berkeley garbage truck. … Continue reading »
Eucalyptus trees are magnificent and picturesque, but they are inherently dangerous and invasive, depriving native plants of the chance to thrive wherever they grow.
In some cases, exotic plants can co-exist with natives, but, in the case of blue gum eucalyptus, this is not the case. The species has evolved in the extraordinarily harsh, dry climate of Australia to grow and spread quickly to then be burned to ashes in catastrophic wildfires.
According to Jared Farmer, in his recent book … Continue reading »
An estimated 50-75 people took part in a staged protest today at a eucalyptus grove on the UC Berkeley campus, many of them stripping naked in doing so, to make clear their opposition to a proposed FEMA-funded tree-clearing program in the East Bay hills.
The event was orchestrated by the Tree Spirit Project whose mission is “to raise awareness of the critical role trees play in our lives, both globally and personally.” Jack Gescheidt, who founded the project, does this partly by taking fine-art photographs of people, often naked, communing with trees and nature.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency in March allocated $5.7 million to the California Office of Emergency Services to remove eucalyptus trees as part of fire hazard abatement in Claremont Canyon — scene of a devastating wildfire in 1991 — and other nearby areas, such as Tilden Park and Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve. The funds will be distributed to UC Berkeley, the city of Oakland, and the East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD). … Continue reading »
A neighborhood group has sued the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) following its decision to fund fire mitigation efforts in the East Bay hills.
Earlier this month, FEMA announced its decision to grant $5.67 million to the California Office of Emergency Services, which will distribute the funds to UC Berkeley, the city of Oakland, and the East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD) to remove tens of thousands of eucalyptus trees in the fire-prone hills. Immediately after, the Hills Conservation Network (HCN) filed a lawsuit against FEMA in federal court.
The HCN, a small group whose members live in Claremont Canyon, one of the areas covered by the grants, objects to the plan to “clearcut” the hills’ eucalyptus trees. … Continue reading »
The long-running saga of philanthropist and Lotus founder Mitch Kapor’s attempt to build a new home in North Berkeley landed at the California Supreme Court in Los Angeles on Tuesday this week.
At the Dec. 2 hearing, the Court heard arguments on whether the rules that exempt most proposed single-family homes from undergoing an environmental impact report (EIR) should apply to the proposal by Kapor, and his wife Freada Kapor Klein, to build a new home with a 10-car garage at 2707 Rose St.
According to Bob Egelko, the Chronicle’s courts reporter, at the one-hour hearing Susan Brandt-Hawley, a lawyer for the Berkeley Hillside Preservation group, re-iterated arguments that have been presented to Berkeley’s Zoning Adjustments Board (which originally approved the project in January 2010), and the Alameda County Superior Court, which subsequently denied an appeal on the case.
Brandt-Hawley said that building a “huge home” in a “landslide zone,” which will also require extensive work to widen the roadway, should amount to unusual circumstances requiring environmental review. She cited testimony by the group’s expert witness, engineer Lawrence Karp. … Continue reading »
A felon authorities say is responsible for the armed robbery of a 77-year-old woman in her North Berkeley Hills home in March is headed to court next week to face two felony charges.
According to the Alameda County district attorney’s office, Johnathan Troy Lee robbed the woman March 24. The 22-year-old is facing first-degree residential robbery and burglary charges.
According to the Berkeley Police Department, Lee and another male entered the woman’s house, in the 1100 block of Park Hills Road shortly after 2 p.m. They were able to get inside through the home’s front door, which was unlocked. … Continue reading »
Authorities shut down roads and evacuated some residents in the area of the 100 block of Tunnel Road on Wednesday afternoon after a report of a suspicious package.
Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said “some homes” were evacuated and the department’s bomb squad was called in to investigate.
A resident told Berkeleyside that her family was told to evacuate at 3 p.m. … Continue reading »