Tag Archives: East Bay Regional Park District
Recent rains have cleared toxic algae from several East Bay lakes, including Tilden’s Lake Anza, East Bay Regional Park District officials have announced.
That means, unless the algae returns, some popular swimming spots will re-open come April.
“Thanks to heavy rains from El Niño, toxic blue-green algae has cleared from Quarry Lakes in Fremont, Lake Temescal in Oakland and Lake Anza in Berkeley,” park officials announced Thursday. “These popular swim destinations were all closed … due to toxic algae blooms, and we’re thrilled to report that the algae has cleared.”
Lake Anza in Tilden Regional Park closed in September, following the earlier closures of Quarry and Temescal lakes. Carolyn Jones, park district spokeswoman, said the lakes first tested clear for the algae about a month ago, in December, but workers continued to test the waters to make sure no toxins were present.
“They’ve been super cautious,” she said. “Let’s hope that this is it for the algae.” … Continue reading »
An Oakland man has been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the fatal shooting in 2014 of 21-year-old Damarco J. Thomas.
On Saturday, police arrested Keivon Burnette on a warrant in Oakland at 9:25 a.m. after working on the case for more than a year, said Carolyn Jones, East Bay Regional Park District spokeswoman.
Jones said authorities believe the shooting happened when a group from Oakland tried to rob a group from Stockton during what was supposed to be a marijuana sale in the Seabreeze parking lot Oct. 28, 2014. Members of both groups were armed, Jones said. … Continue reading »
The brown lawns are the least of it. The effects of the current California-wide drought go deeper than the roots of the grass and will continue several years after lawns turn green again.
Many of the impacts are very evident in Berkeley and the surrounding area. Trees are dying at a higher rate. The creeks are low and might be dry if it weren’t for leaky pipes. And if this winter brings heavy rains, damage to the stressed trees and creek banks could be significant.
One of the most obvious signs of the drought is the early fall color on many trees around town. Tony Wolcott, a master arborist, recently retired as Albany’s Urban Forester, said that the early leaf drop in the fall is a normal reaction to drought.
“It doesn’t mean the tree is dying,” Wolcott said. “It’s not a great thing, but it is a way of surviving,” he said.
But not all the trees will rebound. Wolcott said he’s noticed flowering cherries and flowering plums showing a lot of stress. So are the camphors, which line many streets in Berkeley.
“A lot of the camphors in town are old, but are dying more quickly because of the drought,” he said. Even redwoods are looking stressed, dropping a lot of needles, he said. … Continue reading »
A live oak tree that fell onto a power line on Golf Course Road in Tilden Sunday prompted a power outage across the park and caused a crash that sent a cyclist to the hospital.
The tree toppled from 50 feet up a cliff onto Golf Course Road, around 200 yards south of the entrance to the golf course, at around 11 a.m., according to Carolyn Jones, spokeswoman for the East Bay Regional Park District.
The tree fell onto a power line which in turn knocked down a power pole. A cyclist on the road collided with the power line. Jones said she understood the cyclist was unable to stop in time. He was taken away by ambulance but, according to park staff, seemed to be OK, Jones said.
Berkeley’s Tilden Park reports that it reduced water usage in May — the most recent bill available — by 40% compared to the same period in 2013. The regional park in the Berkeley Hills has been watering its lawns less and less over the past several years, said Park Supervisor Sergio Huerta.
“I’m really proud of what we’ve been able to do, thanks to the creativity of staff,” said Huerta. Huerta was speaking for all of the park grounds except the golf course, which is on a separate water meter. The golf course reports that it has taken one-fifth of the greenways off irrigation — and it’s showing all along the edges.
Throughout the rest of Tilden Park, Huerta said, the lawns have been divided into four categories for watering: reduced, minimal, sporadic and zero. Lawns getting no water this year include the large picnic area called Padre on South Park Drive and the group campsites, Gillespie near the south end of the park, and Wildcat View near the north end. … Continue reading »
The East Bay Regional Park District has just closed Lake Anza, in Tilden Regional Park, to swimming due to high levels of toxic algae, which can be fatal for dogs.
Park District spokeswoman Carolyn Jones said signs are going up now around the lake to alert visitors about the closure.
“Park District officials are very sorry to have to close Lake Anza,” she said. “It’s a beautiful time of year and a popular place to go swimming, but public health is the most important thing.”
Jones said park staffers test all the district’s lakes regularly, and discovered Thursday that toxic blue-green algae levels at Lake Anza were too high. They will now send samples to the EPA for further testing. Results for those tests should be in next week. … 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 »
At least five fire companies responded to a vegetation fire that broke out before sunrise in the Berkeley-Oakland hills Sunday.
According to Avery Webb, interim fire chief of the Berkeley Fire Department, its communications center received a report of a vegetation fire west of the Tilden Park Steam Train at 5:45 a.m. Sunday.
Berkeley Fire responded, along with fire companies from Oakland, Moraga/Orinda, East Bay Regional Parks, and Cal Fire. … Continue reading »
A man in his late 60s killed himself in the Tilden Little Farm parking lot on Friday afternoon after leaving a note about his intentions in his El Cerrito home.
East Bay Regional Park District spokeswoman Carolyn Jones said the man, who was born in 1948, appears to have shot himself as he sat in his Subaru station wagon in the parking lot around 2:15 p.m.
Jones said no one heard the gunshot, but that a family reported the incident at 2:30 p.m. after seeing the man, who appeared to be deceased, in his vehicle.
The man was lying in the front seat, with the seat reclined, and had received a single gunshot wound to the head. The gun was found on his chest when authorities responded.
Jones said the man had been reported missing out of El Cerrito. Authorities found a suicide note at his home during the investigation.
The Berkeley Fire Department declared the man dead at 3:10 p.m. … 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 »
The death of a Berkeley woman whose body was found floating in the water near a Richmond park last week is now believed to be suspicious, and police are investigating.
A park user at the Point Isabel Regional Shoreline found the body of Katherine Gravett at about 12:35 p.m. Thursday, July 2, said Carolyn Jones, East Bay Regional Park District spokeswoman.
Gravett’s body was found in a rocky area of the water behind an East Bay Municipal Utility District treatment plant at the park.
The 30-year-old was identified Wednesday as a transient from Berkeley who was originally from Fremont.
An autopsy was performed Sunday by the Contra Costa County coroner’s office.
Jones said the coroner found no water in Gravett’s lungs. There was, however, trauma to her head and marks on her neck. … Continue reading »
Op-ed: Christmas Fantasy at Tilden Park is less spectacular, but 103-merry go round is in better shape
“They ruined Christmas!” starts Mike K. of Berkeley’s Yelp review of Tilden Regional Park Merry-Go-Round posted on Dec. 11.
That is how I was feeling when my children and I headed up to see Christmas Fantasy this weekend. While my daughter warned me that her friends were whispering on the playground at school that it was “lame” this year, I couldn’t forgo tradition. It was not the same, but it also not the same owners.
For the past decade, hundreds … Continue reading »
Authorities conducted a warrant search in South Berkeley early Thursday that was connected to a fatal shooting last week at the Seabreeze Market.
The Berkeley Police Department put out a notice Thursday evening about the operation after receiving “several inquiries” from community members about the disturbance.
According to the statement, the operation — which had been organized and carried out by the East Bay Regional Park District Police Department — took place in the 1500 block of Harmon Street early Thursday morning.
The Seabreeze is in Berkeley but is located within Park District boundaries near University Avenue and Interstate 80, en route to the Berkeley marina. Last week’s fatal shooting took place Tuesday, Oct. 28 shortly before 8 p.m.
According to a local resident who asked to remain anonymous due to safety concerns, Thursday’s operation began shortly before 5 a.m.
“It started with 4 flash bangs in succession … then a slight pause, then one more flash bang,” he wrote, adding that he was “woken up by the noise.” (A video of those flash bangs follows.) … Continue reading »