Tag Archives: North Berkeley

Man suspected of carjacking crashes into house; flees towards oncoming train

A suspected carjacker crashed this stolen car into a house on Sixth Street, then fled on foot to the railroad tracks, where he was arrested. Photo: Berkeley Police
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Berkeley police have arrested a man who allegedly carjacked a car from the North Berkeley BART station, raced through Berkeley, crashed the car into a house in the 1500 block of Sixth St. near Jones Street and tried to escape onto the train tracks while a train approached.

One Berkeley police officer was injured when the suspect got into a fight with police, according to Lt. Andrew Rateaver. The suspect was also taken to the hospital, although it is unclear … Continue reading »

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Ask Berkeleyside: Why no toilets at the Solano Stroll?

Solano Stroll 2016. Photo: Steve Crawford
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It wasn’t a conspiracy, and it wasn’t by design. There were no portable toilets at the Solano Stroll on Sunday due to “a simple error,” event organizer Allen Cain of the Solano Avenue Association told Berkeleyside this week.

Exactly whose error is a matter of dispute. Cain said he emailed in the toilet order months before the huge annual event. The alleged service provider says no order was received. 

Cain, who has spearheaded the Solano Stroll for nearly a decade, said he makes all the arrangements the prior April — five months in advance — to ensure he has all the rental supplies he needs. The toilets are usually set up Saturday, the day before the Stroll, to avoid vandalism to the units or to the properties around them.

(Berkeleyside first reported on the missing toilets Monday.)

Saturday, Cain said he was on the avenue at 5 a.m. to mark off the street with chalk, to prepare for the event, before traffic got in the way. Around 11 a.m. or noon, he said, he started wondering where the toilets were. He wasn’t too worried, though, because they sometimes don’t show up until 8 or 9 p.m.

“At about 3-4 o’clock, we start to get a little nervous,” he said Tuesday night. Organizers tried to call the rental service to find out what was going on. But Cain said they could only reach an answering service. The answering service said it had two numbers for United Site Services, the rental company Cain said he ordered the toilets from. But both numbers went to voicemail, and that voicemail was full. … Continue reading »

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Photo Gallery: The 42nd Berkeley-Albany Solano Stroll

Solano Stroll 2016. Photo: Nancy Rubin
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“I’ve come to the conclusion that at the Solano Stroll, if you don’t see the essence of Berkeley, you’re not paying attention,” wrote Daniel McPartlan to Berkeleyside when sharing with us some wonderful photographs he took at this year’s Stroll, which took place on Sunday. Of course, the Solano Stroll includes Albany too, but we hear what he’s saying. Meanwhile, Berkeleyside contributing photographer Nancy Rubin commented on submitting her amazing portfolio, “I feel the Stroll represents the best of Berkeley — such good feelings, such diversity — of both humans and animals.”

People turned out in droves to the 42nd annual Stroll, despite the vain attempts by the sun to shed any warmth on events, and the unfortunate absence of portable toilets at this year’s event (we’ve asked the Solano Stroll Association for more on this and will update the story when we hear back).

[Update, 4:15 p.m. Allen Cain tells Berkeleyside he submitted his request well in advance, noting, “We go out of our way to provide facilities.” He said there was only an answering service for United Site Services picking up the phone Sunday, and the service could not provide any information. “If they had just told us that they lost the order, we could’ve navigated something but they kept us hanging,” he said.]

The parade was as impressive as always, and this year local election candidates were out in force. And there was a near-constant stream of visitors to the Berkeleyside/Nosh booth and the onsite team — Wendy Cohen, Bethany Del Lima, Kate Williams, Emilie Raguso, Debbie McKeen and Tracey Taylor — were delighted to meet everyone and hear your positive feedback. We will draw the winners of our two raffle prizes — a basket-full of East Bay food and drink goodies and a copy of Kenji López-Alt’s The Food Lab book — shortly.

Meanwhile enjoy the Stroll photographs published here — and thank you for sharing them with us.

See more photos of the Solano Stroll by Nancy Rubin.

See more photos of the Solano Stroll by Daniel McPartlan. … Continue reading »

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Visit Berkeleyside, Nosh at the Solano Stroll

Solano Stroll 2015. Photo: Nancy Rubin
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It’s that time of year again, and the East Bay’s biggest street festival is coming Sunday with the 42nd annual Solano Stroll.

You can find the Berkeleyside team in our usual spot, between Pegasus Books and iScream, where northbound Colusa Avenue hits Solano Avenue. We hope you’ll come by to say hello.

This year, Berkeleyside’s Nosh site will be our booth’s focus. To that end, we’ll be raffling off a big basket of East Bay food and wine, as well as a copy of “The Food Lab” by J. Kenji López-Alt (don’t miss him at our Uncharted festival, coming in October).

This year’s Stroll is set to feature over 500 vendors including 50 entertainers, 50 food booths, 150 government and non-profit agencies, 150 juried hand-crafters, a 75-entry parade, mechanical rides and much more, organizers say. (The parade begins at 10 a.m.) The expected estimated attendance is 250,000.

We invite readers to share Solano Stroll photos with us by tagging #Berkeleyside on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also add photos to our Flickr group or simply email them to tips@berkeleyside.com. (We always love seeing your photographs of any interesting sights around Berkeley.) … Continue reading »

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Pacific School of Religion to build 265-unit senior center

An overview of the senior housing planned for Pacific School of Religion's campus. Rendering: Solomon Cordwell Buenz
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The Pacific School of Religion is teaming up with an Illinois-based non-profit builder to construct 265 apartments for seniors on Holy Hill in Berkeley.

Mather LifeWays will build a “continuing care” facility that features apartments, a memory care unit, and nursing facilities for people at the end of their lives, according to Mary Leary, the president of the company, which is based in Evanston. The bulk of the units would be in five-to-six story buildings on PSR’s main campus along Scenic Avenue, with two six-unit buildings on Le Conte Avenue, she said. The units fronting Virginia Street would be three-stories high and constructed in a Mediterranean style to better blend into the neighborhood, she said.

The Mather in Berkeley, as the complex will be called, would be the first facility of its kind in Berkeley, and one that is sorely needed, said Leary. About 25% of Berkeley property owners are older than 55 , she said. Many professors from PSR, other schools affiliated with the Graduate Theological Union, and UC Berkeley move out of Berkeley after they retire because there are no senior centers to move into, said David Vásquez-Levy, president of the Pacific School of Religion.

“Almost none of our emeritus professors can stay in Berkeley,” said Vásquez-Levy. “That’s the case for a lot of our faculty in all our institutions. We are losing the opportunity to retain knowledge.”

The project would also return land to the tax rolls that is now tax exempt because it is used for religious purposes. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley police action on San Pablo after brawl

Photo: Libby Lee-Egan
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Berkeley police responded to San Pablo Avenue and Cedar Street for a disturbance shortly before noon Saturday.

Berkeley Police Lt. Andrew Rateaver said units are responding to multiple reports of two or three people fighting in the 1700 block of San Pablo.

“Reports from my officers on scene indicate that the fight migrated into the street and was violent,” he said. Officers and Berkeley Fire Department paramedics were on the scene shortly before noon and the investigation is underway.

Libby Lee-Egan told Berkeleyside on Twitter that there was a “street brawl” at San Pablo and Cedar that was blocking traffic at about 11:40 a.m. The fight started in front of the Berkeley Adult School and employees from Enterprise Rent-A-Car tried to break it up, she said.  … Continue reading »

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Petition to fire Berkeley teacher garners 500 signatures

yvette felarci featured
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A petition to oust a Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School teacher who was involved with a counter-protest against a white supremacist group in Sacramento has gathered more than 500 signatures

The middle school teacher’s involvement at the protest prompted threats of violence against students at King.

Yvette Felarca — the middle school teacher and a member of the group By Any Means Necessary, which says it’s “building a new civil rights movement” — was filmed in Sacramento on June 26 taunting and hitting a neo-Nazi attending a rally led by the Traditionalist Worker Party, a white nationalist extremist group. The violent altercation made headlines across the U.S. after seven people were stabbed and 10 hospitalized during the pandemonium.

Robert Jacobsen, a former student at King Middle School, launched a petition drive on Change.org after learning about Felarca’s involvement in the Sacramento altercation. The petition demands that the Berkeley Unified School District fire Felarca. It argues that citizens of the U.S., regardless of their political views have the right to free speech. Felarca’s interference with those rights are grounds for dismissal, according to the petition. Continue reading »

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Crime

Robber punches woman in North Berkeley, takes bag

There have been more than 145 robberies reported to the Berkeley Police Department this year. Source: CrimeMapping
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A 52-year-old Berkeley woman who was walking alone near the Gourmet Ghetto was attacked and robbed Sunday in broad daylight.

The woman was walking at 12:35 p.m. near Henry and Vine streets when a man came up to her, punched and kicked her, and pulled her black backpack away from her, said Berkeley Police Lt. Kevin Schofield, a department spokesman.

The woman sustained minor injuries during the robbery.  … Continue reading »

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Crime

Authorities: DNA and fingerprints match 2008 Berkeley sex assaults where rapist broke in with knife, gun

Image via Facebook
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A 24-year-old Berkeley man has been charged with four felonies linked to the sexual assaults of at least three female victims in the summer of 2008.

Police say Johnny Dunbar — then 16 — confronted all three victims in their homes while wielding a knife or gun. Berkeleyside was the first to report the arrest after seeing Dunbar listed in custody. The ages of the victims were not released.

In the first incident, on June 21, 2008, the victim reported her home had been burglarized. She later told police a knife-wielding man had raped her. Police found a palm print on the windowsill where the burglar had forced his way inside, according to court papers.

Less than three weeks later, July 8, the victim was in her home “when she was confronted by a suspect with a gun.” He forced her to orally copulate him, then raped her. DNA from that scene matched evidence from the first incident. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Police: Fingerprints link Berkeley man, 24, to 2008 sexual assault series with at least 3 victims

Police arrested 24-year-old Johnny Dunbar on Wednesday in the 1300 block of Delaware Street. Image: Google Maps
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Fingerprints collected after a traffic-related misdemeanor warrant arrest in March helped police zero in on the man they say is responsible for a series of sexual assaults in Berkeley in 2008.

Details about those assaults remain scant, but the Berkeley Police Department arrested 24-year-old Johnny Dunbar at his home in the 1300 block of Delaware Street on Wednesday on suspicion of two counts of rape, one count of oral copulation and one count of attempted oral copulation. The case involved at least three victims, police said.

See the update, with additional information about the crimes.

According to Lt. Kevin Schofield, a Berkeley Police spokesman, the department investigated a sexual assault series in 2008 that, in addition to the three victims, also involved several peeping or prowling incidents.

Despite a large amount of diligent work and undercover operations we were not able to capture the suspect,” he said, in a prepared statement. “We did obtain fingerprints at one of the crime scenes before the series stopped.” Continue reading »

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UPDATE: Berkeley water won’t be fixed until after 10 p.m.; 650 customers have no service

EBMUD is at work in Berkeley after a water main break. Photo: Citizen reporter
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Update, 3:30 p.m. North Berkeley water repairs are taking longer than planned and won’t be working again until after 10 p.m. Friday, EBMUD has announced. Full restoration may even last into early Saturday morning, according to an advisory released just after 3 p.m.

This water service outage has been extended to multiple residential blocks in the Berkeley hills, including Euclid Avenue, Marin Avenue, Arlington Avenue and other surrounding streets. Approximately 650 customers are without water service,” according to the statement. The pipe that broke was 63 years old. 

In addition to the challenging steep terrain in the vicinity of the broken main and the need for deep excavation, this is a busy residential area. Crews have been onsite continuously for more than 24 hours to isolate this broken transmission main and reroute water to serve the affected areas. Water storage and pressure in the area have been impacted. After a complicated hillside excavation, crews are now repairing the pipeline.”Continue reading »

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Transportation

EBMUD responding to North Berkeley water main break

EBMUD is at work in Berkeley after a water main break. Photo: Citizen reporter
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The East Bay Municipal Utility District is responding to North Berkeley due to a water main break Thursday.

According to EBMUD spokeswoman Tracie Morales-Noisy, a 16-inch steel main broke Thursday at Euclid and Marin avenues.

She said she was still trying to get information about when the break happened, how many customers had been impacted and when repairs might be complete.

Shortly before 2 p.m., Morales-Noisy told Berkeleyside that the agency is still trying to assess the situation.

“Before we do any repairs, they need to … have the utilities marked before they do any type of digging,” she said.  … Continue reading »

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Kapor abandons plans to build North Berkeley mansion

New-pic-of-Kapor-house
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After waging a six-year legal battle over the right to build a mansion and 10-car garage in the Berkeley hills, Lotus Development Corp. founder Mitch Kapor and his wife Freada Kapor-Klein have put their property on the market.

The lot at 2707 Rose St. went up for sale June 27 and was listed at $1.5 million, according to the real estate website Redfin.

The Kapors were not available to comment by publication time.

The legal battle began when the Berkeley Hillside Preservation Group, sued the city over the need to conduct an environmental impact report (EIR) of the Kapors’ building plans on the Rose Street property.

In general, single-family homes are exempt from conducting state-mandated impact reports but the Hillside Preservation Group argued that the proposed structure was exceptionally large and in an area that was susceptible to landslides. In order to build the mansion, the road would also have to be widened. Together, the group argued, the plans would generate an impact to the environment, and thus required a review. … Continue reading »

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