Tag Archives: Berkeley Unified School District

Bites: Antoinette, Temescal Brewing, Belotti, more

Antoinette_Dining Area-9747
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Openings, closings…

ANTOINETTE BRASSERIE AT CLAREMONT NOW OPEN Last week, we gave you an update on Antoinette, the new brasserie at the Claremont Hotel. The French restaurant, overseen by Michelin-starred Dominique Crenn, with Justin Mauz as executive chef, opened Tuesday. Eater SF has a photo gallery of the revamped former Paragon restaurant and bar. And Inside Scoop has the opening-night menu which leans traditional French — with foie gras and wine-based sauces much in evidence — and pricey. Among the starters: Warm Broccoli Velouté with Sea Urchin and Blood Orange ($18); Sweetbreads with Foie Gras, Dates, Baby Chicory, and Banyuls ($23); and Basil-fed Escargot with Champagne and Hazelnut Chartreuse ($18). Entrées include Coq au Vin with Pinot Noir Braise and Maitake ($29); Schmitz Ranch Prime Strip Steak with Celeriac Dauphinoise and Sauce Bordelaise ($60); Whole Roasted Monkfish Tail with Bouillabaisse, Cous Cous and Vadouven (serves 2-3, $95); and a whole Liberty Farms Rotisserie Duck with Abalone Mushroom, Foie Gras, Chou Rouge and Châteauneuf-du-Pape (serves 3-4, $200). A spokeswoman for the Fairmont Group, owners of the Claremont, said Thursday the team was reworking the menu, so what you see here might change. (The hotel’s other restaurant, the Meritage, offers a more down-to-earth dinner menu.) … Continue reading »

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Council approves $1.5M to fight soda consumption

Two high-school students on their lunch break carry food and drink out of the McDonald’s on University Avenue in Berkeley. Photo, taken on Monday Oct. 20, 2014, by Gael McKeon
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Officials voted Tuesday night to step up the fight against sugary drinks in Berkeley by boosting public health staffing, helping pay for school nutrition programs and funding grants to help limit the impacts of, and access to, sugar-sweetened beverages.

The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously to allocate $1.5 million from the general fund in the coming fiscal year to those efforts. The vote was in response to a request from a citizen board, the “Sugar Sweetened Beverage Products Panel of Experts,” which has been working since last May to come up with recommendations to guide the city following the successful passage of Measure D, a 1-cent-per-ounce tax on drinks with added sweeteners such as sodas, and energy and coffee drinks.

Berkeley was lauded as the first city in the nation to pass a tax on sugary drinks. The measure was approved with 75% of the vote in November 2014.

Read complete Berkeleyside coverage of the soda tax.

Since tax collection began last May, the city has brought more than $1.2 million into the general fund, staff said Tuesday night. Council members said they want to do their best to align any spending plans with tax revenues, though all the money is technically part of the general fund. … Continue reading »

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Schools

Berkeley School Board primer: Campus racism, Thousand Oaks portables, help for ‘high-need’ students

BUSD held a town hall in December about how to address racism on campus. Photo: Mark Coplan/BUSD
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The Berkeley schools Board of Education meets tonight, Jan. 13. On the agenda: The superintendent will share his plan to address racism on campus, the board may vote to call off plans for portables at Thousand Oaks, and there will be an overview about the types of intervention help and support the district’s high-need students receive.

Plan to address racism on campus

There’s one item on the action calendar, which is a follow-up to a Berkeley Unified School District town hall meeting in early December focused on racial threats last fall directed toward black students and staff at Berkeley High. The meeting was a collaboration between the district and community group Parents of Children of African Descent (PCAD).

According to the agenda item, “That meeting generated a rich array of input from the community that resulted in suggestions and requests for commitments from the District to better safeguard the physical, emotional, and educational interests of our African-American students.” 

Two days after the town hall, the Berkeley High School Black Student Union presented to the board a “list of demands designed to address the issue of racism on campus.” … Continue reading »

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Community raises more than $31,000 so far for Berkeley teacher hit by stray bullet

Claire Dugan
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fundraising campaign set up to help a Berkeley elementary school teacher who was critically injured in Richmond on Saturday after being hit by a stray bullet, has so far raised more than $31,000 for her and her partner.

On Jan. 2, Berkeley resident Claire Dugan, a teacher at Cragmont Elementary School, was randomly shot while driving on Cutting Boulevard near 22nd Street a little after 6 p.m., according to Lt. Felix Tan of the Richmond Police Department. Dugan took a bullet in the face and neck, then both she and her partner Lori Dooner were injured in a subsequent collision.

Visit the GoFundMe campaign page for Claire Dugan and Lori Dooner.

The fundraising site explains that the couple, who have a teenage son, need help with medical bills and living expenses “while they recover and fight to overcome the horrific violence that was inflicted on them.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley school teacher shot in the face in Richmond

The car of the elementary school teacher who was shot in the face in Richmond on Saturday. Photo: Rodney Alamo Brown
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A 52-year-old elementary school teacher who was injured by a stray bullet in Richmond on Jan. 2 remains in the hospital in critical condition, according to police.

The woman, who teaches fourth grade at Berkeley’s Cragmont Elementary School, was shot in the face Saturday night as she was driving on Cutting Boulevard near 22nd Street a little after 6 p.m., according to Lt. Felix Tan of the Richmond Police Department. The woman was knocked unconscious by the shot and crashed her car, according to Winifred Hess, a friend. The teacher’s car crashed into another car, injuring a female passenger, said Hess.

“The victim was driving her vehicle with her partner on Cutting Boulevard when she was caught in gunfire between two individuals,” said Tan. “Unfortunately, she was in the middle of it. She was completely innocent.”

The teacher, who lives in Berkeley, is in critical condition, said Tan. However, she appears to be slowly improving, said Hess, who recently spoke to the teacher’s son and to her former husband.

“It’s getting hopeful,” said Hess. “She is able to respond.”

The teacher was on her way to pick up her teenage son when the shooting occurred, said Hess. … Continue reading »

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Sports

Elisha Davis: Determined to be great, on and off the court

Elisha Davis, a Berkeley High alum, is succeeding on the court and off. Photo: Sun Devil Athletics
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For a college student athlete, there is no season more important than your senior year. It’s the year when everything could soon be coming to an end: the long practices, the extra work on weekends, the countless hours in the library. For many, it is a bittersweet reality.

For Arizona State Sun Devil and Berkeley High graduate Elisha Davis, senior year is an opportunity to live out dreams she has worked for since she was a child. Through her hard work and dedication, Davis has become an honor roll student with WNBA potential. She enters this season with pro aspirations and graduation right around the corner.

Davis, who graduated from Berkeley High in 2012, was introduced to basketball at the age of 6 by her father, and has been in love with the game ever since.

“My first love was really football,” said the 21-year-old Oakland native. “My dad wouldn’t let me play because I was a girl. So he gave me a basketball and basically told me to stay off the football field.” … Continue reading »

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Schools

Berkeley School Board to get student residency update

There are about 300 students at Berkeley High who live outside the city but have received permits to attend BHS. Photo: Mark Coplan/BUSD
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After approving a new admissions and enrollment policy in June aimed to curtail the illegal enrollment of out-of-district students, the Berkeley School Board is set to receive a report at tonight’s meeting that sums up district efforts this year related to residency and inter-district permits.

According to the staff report prepared for the Nov. 4, board meeting, the Berkeley Unified School District has enrolled 9,880 students for the 2015-16 year. That includes 1,525 students who enrolled in the district for the first time and had to comply with the new rules.

The new board policy requires students seeking admission to BUSD to provide three “proofs of residency” and a declaration form stating that Berkeley is the family’s home district.

Earlier this year, the new policy required the families of all fifth-graders to prove their residency before being allowed to register for middle school, according to the district. This school year, eighth-graders will have to comply with the district’s admission policy before being allowed to register for classes at Berkeley High, according tonight’s staff report. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley police use license plate reader in kidnapping attempt investigations

A trailer with a license plate reader has been set up at Willard Middle School. Photo: Citizen reporter
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Authorities have set up a trailer with “license plate technology” at Willard Middle School to help with an investigation into five child abduction attempts in Berkeley since September.

An astute Berkeleyside reader noticed the trailer outside Willard last Friday and commented about it using the screen name “careful what you ask for.”

The reader, who shared the photograph that accompanies this story, drew a red arrow pointing at a small box mounted on the trailer, and identified it as a license-plate-reading (LPR) camera. The trailer is white, and also includes a 25 mph speed limit sign and an LED reminder for motorists that says “slow.”

Another reader noticed the trailer, which has a line of orange cones in front of it, and wondered about it on Twitter on Tuesday: “Why in the world did the city put this in the loading zone in front of Willard?”

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats confirmed Thursday that the trailer “does have LPR technology on it.”Continue reading »

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Schools

Berkeley School Board primer: Impact fees, class sizes, intervention efforts and the achievement gap

The Berkeley Unified School District Board of Education. Photo: Mark Coplan/BUSD
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The Berkeley schools Board of Education meets tonight, Oct. 28. On the action calendar is a proposal to look at how to collect mitigation fees from developers. The discussion items will focus on an intervention program focused on K-8 students who experience learning and behavioral challenges, and the district’s efforts to narrow the achievement gap between white and African American students. There’s also an information item on class sizes.

The regular meeting is set to begin by 7:30 p.m. Public comment is limited to 30 minutes, with a 3-minute limit per speaker. Public comment takes place at the beginning and end of the meeting, rather than in response to each item. See the full agenda packet here. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley Police announce 2 more child abduction attempts; new vehicle description

Willard Middle School. Photo: Nancy Rubin
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Authorities have released an updated vehicle description and more information about five child abduction attempts in Berkeley over the past month, including two that had not previously been reported.

Berkeley Police Officer Byron White, a department spokesman, said investigators believe the most recent incident, on Sunday evening, involved a black full-size cargo van, without side or back windows. A man described as Hispanic, 20 to 30 years old, with dark hair and a mustache, tried to convince three girls to get into his van at about 6:10 p.m.

In the initial report about that incident, police said they believed the involved vehicle was an older model, dark green or blue mini-van with tinted windows. After additional interviews with witnesses and victims, authorities have updated the description, said White.

White said police have learned about another attempt that day, in the same location about 15 minutes prior, involving a middle-school-aged girl. The vehicle and suspect description were the same as reported by the trio a short time later.

The other three incidents all took place Sept. 18 as children walked to Willard Middle School, at 2425 Stuart St., between Telegraph Avenue and Regent Street, between 8 and 8:30 a.m. … Continue reading »

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Schools

BUSD: Another attempted child abduction in Berkeley

Image: Google maps
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The Berkeley Unified School District is alerting the community to an attempted abduction of three girls Sunday on College Avenue.

According to a notice released Monday morning by the school district, the girls were walking on College Avenue and Webster Street at about 6:10 p.m. when a man near a van yelled at them to get inside.

“The girls started to run away and the suspect started following them on foot,” according to BUSD. “The girls started to scream and the suspect got back in his van and drove away south on College Avenue.”

The man was described as Hispanic, 20 to 30 years old, with dark hair and a mustache. He was driving an older model, dark green or blue mini-van with tinted windows. … Continue reading »

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School Board considers name change at Le Conte

LeConte Elementary School. Le Conte. Photo: Nancy Rubin
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Berkeley school officials are considering changing the name of Le Conte Elementary after community members raised concerns about its namesake, Joseph Le Conte, a deeply respected UC Berkeley faculty member and a passionate conservationist who helped found the Sierra Club.

Le Conte was also, however, a slave owner and staunch supporter of the Confederacy who held views that, from a modern perspective, no longer reflect Berkeley values.

“When I did some research on Le Conte and found out that he was an unabashed, devout racist,” said School Board Member Ty Alper at a board meeting in August, “it made me really uncomfortable that we have a school named after him.”

School board members said they believe it is important that district facilities are named after people who symbolize equity and equality. The board met Aug. 26 and agreed, in concept, to work toward changing the name of Le Conte Elementary, though more discussion will take place before the official vote. The board is planning to reshape its overall naming policy, then come back to look at specific sites. … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: School board — Take action now on developer fees

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State law allows school districts to collect fees from new residential and commercial development projects to mitigate their impact on school facilities. New construction and new residents mean new students and new classroom space requirements. Most school districts in the state collect these fees. Berkeley does not.

Berkeley is losing out on money that is desperately needed to house its ballooning student population. Since 1998, approximately $10 billion dollars have been collected by various school districts throughout California from developer fees, according to a recent report by the Legislative Analyst Office (LAO). In addition to state funding and local bonds, the LAO calls developer fees one of the three legs holding up the stool of school construction funding. Without these fees and with state funding drying up, we are teetering on a one-legged stool in Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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