Tag Archives: Berkeley Hills
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 »
By Kate Darby Rauch and Emilie Raguso
So read two differing Change.org petitions on AT&T proposals to build new cell antennas on power poles in the Berkeley Hills.
Applications for 12 AT&T cell nodes are winding their way through the city’s permitting process, with no final decisions yet. (See the map below for the proposed site locations and applications.)
All the proposed sites are on existing power lines, intended for what’s called a Distributed Antenna System (DAS), which uses more, smaller antennas to cover an area, rather than one larger, macro tower.
“A DAS also allows for more widespread coverage because several sites can be deployed to more effectively cover an area of varied topography and elevation. That makes it a good match for hilly areas,” said Alex Krasov, AT&T public affairs manager. … Continue reading »
Update, 6:10 p.m. Lt. Alex Yao of the University of California Police Department said Grizzly Peak Boulevard has been re-opened to traffic. The victim has been identified as an adult male who was not affiliated with UC Berkeley. The Alameda County coroner’s office said information about the victim’s identity would need to come from police. Further details were not available Sunday night.
Original post, 2:53 p.m. Police are investigating the death of one person who was reportedly shot early Sunday morning on Grizzly Peak Boulevard between Centennial Drive and South Park Drive.
Earlier Sunday, the road was closed to through traffic as police continued their investigation and, as of about 2:40 p.m. it remained closed, police said. … Continue reading »
A fire in an in-law unit in the Berkeley hills this week resulted in about $30,000 worth of damage, and its cause remains under investigation, authorities said Wednesday.
Firefighters were on the scene in less than 10 minutes, but it took some time to locate and then reach the fire.
“Callers reported a strong smell of smoke; they didn’t have an immediate location,” said Webb. … Continue reading »
Berkeley Police detectives have arrested three West Sacramento residents in connection with an interrupted burglary in the Berkeley hills in December during which thieves ran over a local resident.
Authorities announced the arrests Tuesday night at a special session before the City Council related to the Berkeley Police Department’s 2012 crime report. They provided additional detail Wednesday in a written statement.
According to the statement, a man walking his dog on Dec. 11 returned home to the 300 block of Senior Avenue around 3:15 p.m.
He “saw an unfamiliar car parked in the driveway of his house, occupied by a female sitting in the driver seat. At the same time, the resident heard noises coming from inside his house.” … Continue reading »
The fire today that saw two stories of a Berkeley hills home extensively damaged, and a huge plume of black smoke visible for miles, was caused by a portable heater setting alight a bed mattress, according to the Berkeley Fire Department.
Interim Deputy Fire Chief Avery Webb said a mattress caught fire in a dormer room at the top of the house and the blaze spread to the second story below.
Webb estimated the damage to the home was valued at $800,000. … Continue reading »
Update, 9:09 p.m. Firefighters say a portable heater caused the residential fire on Keith Avenue. Read about it on Berkeleyside.
Update, 2:10 p.m. According to emergency scanner traffic, the incident was determined to be under control as of just after 2 p.m. Berkeleyside will update this post as more information becomes available.
Original post, 12:42 p.m. Berkeley Fire crews are working to put out a fire in a north Berkeley home in the hills that began just before noon, authorities said.
Firefighters responded to the 1100 block of Keith Avenue at 11:47 a.m. for a report of a structure fire, said Interim Fire Chief Gil Dong. … Continue reading »