Tag Archives: North Berkeley

La Farine on Solano in Berkeley closes abruptly

The La Farine bakery at 1820 Solano Avenue abruptly closed on Tuesday after failing to negotiate a new lease with its landlord. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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The La Farine bakery at 1820 Solano Ave. in North Berkeley abruptly shut its doors Tuesday, July 1, after failing to reach a lease agreement after a protracted battle with its landlords.

A telephone message on the company’s phone line says the store had to shut abruptly because it could not renew its lease, but that it hopes to relocate somewhere else on Solano Avenue.

“We are very very sad to leave,” said Jeff Dodge, the owner of La Farine for the last 17 years. “Plain speaking, we don’t have a lease, and when you can’t work something out with your landlord, you have to go.” … Continue reading »

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Crime

BART Police arrest juvenile in robbery series

Image: Google Maps
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Police have arrested a juvenile near the North Berkeley BART station in connection with three robberies at gunpoint that took place over eight days in June, authorities said in a statement Friday afternoon.

Police said each of the incidents took place at about the same time and location, with victims reporting a similar person responsible.

Thursday, after the most recent incident, BART reached out to the Berkeley Police Department to collaborate to find the culprit.  … Continue reading »

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Crime

Alleged Berkeley Hills robber headed to court

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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 »

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Berkeley’s first 2 parklets to open this fall

An artist's conception of the new parklet in front of Philz Coffee and Guerilla Cafe. Photo courtesy of the North Shattuck Association.
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Sometime in the early fall, coffee-sippers and pizza-eaters may find themselves sitting outside at one of Berkeley’s two new parklets.

If all things go to plan, the first one is set to open in front of the Cheese Board Collective at 1520 Shattuck Ave. in the city’s Gourmet Ghetto, according to the North Shattuck Association’s Executive Director Heather Hensley. A second parklet will open in front of Philz Coffee at 1600 Shattuck, and at Guerilla Café (1620 Shattuck) soon after. They will be maintained by the adjacent businesses but will be open to non-customers too.

No bigger than a few parking spaces, these miniature urban parks are extensions of the existing sidewalk and provide additional seating and green space for pedestrians. … Continue reading »

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Potential Walgreens lawsuit brews as Berkeley officials tackle new drugstore ordinance

A rendering of the proposed Walgreens on Solano Avenue in Berkeley, a work in progress, and a project may be impacted by a proposed new zoning decision. Image: courtesy Agree Realty Corporation
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The city of Berkeley will have a new tool to halt the proliferation of large drugstores around town if a law to create buffer zones between them is approved by officials later this month.

Tuesday night, the Berkeley City Council discussed the details of the new law, which would create a definition for drugstores and establish a 1,000-foot buffer zone between them.

The law, as proposed, would apply to drugstores larger than 5,000 square feet, and would be in effect in most “neighborhood commercial” zones in Berkeley except along Adeline Street and San Pablo Avenue. (Downtown, West Berkeley, part of Euclid Avenue, and University and Telegraph avenues would not be affected.)

Council consideration of the drugstore issue dates back to 2011, when officials asked the city Planning Commission to investigate how Berkeley might stop the spread of drugstores throughout town by creating buffer zones between them.

But it was a proposal last fall by Walgreens, which hopes to open in North Berkeley on Solano Avenue on the site of a 76 gas station at 1830 Solano, that brought the issue back into the public eye. … Continue reading »

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Fire

Berkeley parking enforcement vehicle catches fire

A parking enforcement vehicle caught fire in North Berkeley on Friday morning (cropped). Photo: Shan Carter
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As much as everyone uniformly dreads the meter maid, vandals were not responsible for a fire Friday morning in North Berkeley that reportedly destroyed a parking enforcement vehicle.

Flames from the conflagration were large enough to set a tree on fire, which would have threatened a nearby apartment building at Walnut and Cedar streets, authorities said.

Deputy Berkeley Fire Chief Avery Webb said a parking enforcement officer had been driving the vehicle up in the Berkeley Hills and was not far from Shattuck Avenue, at about 9:10 a.m., when she smelled smoke.

“The operator was driving the vehicle, smelled smoke and stopped,” he said. “When they opened the compartment in the back, it was on fire.” … Continue reading »

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Man arrested after DUI car crash, hit and run in Berkeley

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A driver who crashed into several parked vehicles in North Berkeley, then fled the scene as his car burned, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and hit and run just after 9:30 Saturday morning, authorities said.

Authorities identified the driver as Geoffrey Cronin, 42, of Berkeley. Cronin was arrested last year in connection with a knife assault and police chase in Berkeley in August.

Saturday, March 29, at 8:16 a.m., Berkeley officers responded to Walnut and Cedar streets after a caller reported an injury accident involving the driver and a parked vehicle, said Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats, via email. … Continue reading »

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Lightning strikes Berkeley tree, sends wood chunks flying

Split tree
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A giant redwood tree in North Berkeley was struck by lightning at around 1:15 p.m. today and “exploded” sending chunks of wood flying in all directions, according to authorities.

Several windows and skylights in nearby homes were broken out, but there were no reported injuries, according to Berkeley Deputy Fire Chief Avery Webb who estimated the redwood, which is at the intersection of Holly Street and Buena Avenue, had been reduced in size from 70 ft to about 25 ft.

Listen to today’s thunder in this recording, made at around 1:15 p.m., shared with us by Will Galloway:

 

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Berkeley home with personality, built for famed geologist

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Idiosyncratic and lovely. Both words describe the recently listed home at 1555 La Vereda Road in North Berkeley.

The three-bedroom house with separate cottage, which is priced at $1,095,000, was built for — and in part by — the renowned geologist Andrew Cowper Lawson in the 1930s.

Lawson was a traveler, art collector and enthusiastic builder. He had already had one distinctive home designed for him when he decided to have his next one built right behind it. Bernard Maybeck created the now landmarked “Pompeian villa” on La Loma Avenue for Lawson in 1907. … Continue reading »

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Police search for man with possible rifle in Berkeley park

Codornices. Photo: scarlatti2004
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Berkeley Police conducted an extensive search in the Codornices Park area this morning after receiving a call about a man walking in the park, carrying what looked like a rifle.

According to Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Stephanie Polizziani, BPD received a call at approximately 9:15 a.m. of a report of “a male walking in Codornices Park with what appeared to be a long gun slung on his back.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley to consider restricting large drugstores, future of proposed Solano Ave. Walgreens store in the balance

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Berkeley is set to consider whether to limit the number of larger drugstores in the city, at least in certain neighborhoods, which may put a halt to disputed plans by Walgreens to open a new store on upper Solano Avenue.

The issue will be discussed at the city’s Planning Commission meeting Wednesday, March 19.

If the commission, a citizen’s group that advises the Berkeley City Council, approves drugstore zoning recommendations proposed by city staff, it will move Berkeley closer to legally prohibiting the proposed new Walgreens — a project that set in motion the city’s renewed examination of chain drugstore locations. … Continue reading »

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Missing at-risk woman reunited with family in Berkeley

Frances Green. Image: BPD
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A woman who went missing from the North Berkeley Senior Center on Friday, whose whereabouts were unknown for approximately seven hours, was reunited with her family Friday night after being spotted by an observant passer-by who was on her way home from work, authorities said.

Seventy-year-old Frances Green, who has Stage 4 Alzheimer’s, walked out of the senior center, at 1901 Hearst Ave., and disappeared just before 1 p.m. Friday.

Authorities were alerted to her absence and began keeping watch for her around Berkeley. Police printed fliers with information about Green and distributed them to nearby agencies, and informed community members in the area what to watch out for.

When Green remained missing despite initial efforts, the Berkeley Police Department also sent out an alert via the California Highway Patrol’s “Silver” network — similar to the Amber alert system but for seniors — and activated an alert network connected to the medical response system.

Some residents in the area were also notified by phone via the city’s emergency notification network, BENS. Several tips about possible sightings of Green came in to dispatchers, as well as calls from residents who were annoyed or confused about what the notification meant, and whether it was authentic.

In addition to those efforts, police called in four search dogs from the volunteer Alameda County Search and Rescue team to help try to find Green. Many of her family members responded to the area too, walking nearby Berkeley streets to try to find Green throughout the evening. … Continue reading »

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Police

Update: Missing at-risk woman found in Berkeley

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Original story, 7:20 p.m. Police are asking for the community’s help to find an at-risk woman missing out of Berkeley since early afternoon Friday.

Frances Green, 70, has stage 4 Alzheimer’s and has been missing since about 12:55 p.m. when she walked out of the North Berkeley Senior Center.

Green is described as a light-complexioned Hispanic woman with a medium build, short gray cropped hair and brown eyes.

She was last seen wearing a camel-colored fleece jacket, black pants and navy blue shoes. She was not wearing her glasses, according to police. … Continue reading »

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