Tag Archives: North Berkeley

Petition to fire Berkeley teacher garners 500 signatures

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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

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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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News

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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News

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

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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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Anonymous email threatens students at Berkeley school after Sacramento rally tied to local teacher

A police cruiser was parked outside Martin Luther King. Jr. Middle School on Monday. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Local and federal authorities investigated threats Monday targeting youth at a North Berkeley middle school by a group that demanded the termination of a teacher who protested against a neo-Nazi rally in Sacramento over the weekend.

The rally Sunday made national headlines due to violent clashes between the white supremacists who took out a permit to rally at the state capitol and the counter-protesters who showed up to confront them. According to some news reports, members of the counter-protest appear to have initiated the violence. The LA Times reported that seven people were stabbed and 10 hospitalized.

Read Berkeleyside’s July update.

One of the people who took responsibility for helping organize the counter-protest was Yvette Felarca, a teacher at North Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, at 1781 Rose St. Felarca is an organizer with the activist group By Any Means Necessary, which helped lead a series of Black Lives Matter protests in Berkeley in December 2014.

Parents of day campers were told Monday morning that one of the counter-protesters from Sacramento had been linked to the Berkeley school where the camps were located. The public outing had prompted an influx of emails to the principal demanding that the teacher be fired. … Continue reading »

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Large truck overturns in Berkeley Hills; driver extricated

A truck overturned Thursday on Glendale in Berkeley. Photo: Courtesy of Battalion Chief Paul Cavagnaro
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A large truck hauling sand in the North Berkeley Hills overturned Thursday afternoon, and bystanders had to extricate the driver, who was taken to the hospital, authorities said.

Deputy Fire Chief Donna McCracken said the truck had been hauling sand while driving down Glendale Avenue when it “lost its brakes” around 1:30 p.m.

In an emergency maneuver, the driver steered up onto a private driveway at La Loma Avenue to stop the vehicle.

McCracken said the truck struck a parked car and retaining wall, causing damage, before it rolled onto its side.  … Continue reading »

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Crime

Man arrested in Berkeley tied to Oakland killing, found with alleged murder weapon

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A 21-year-old man from Pittsburg who was arrested in Berkeley on Wednesday with a gun authorities say was used to kill a young woman in Oakland earlier that day has been charged with murder.

Berkeley officers arrested Darion Brown at 10:30 a.m. June 8 after being called to 1201 The Alameda for a report of a man who was “acting aggressive” toward Chevron gas station customers, according to court papers.

The caller told police the man was not allowing customers to leave and “things were ‘escalating.'”

A Berkeley officer who arrived on the scene spoke to Brown and, based on his demeanor and actions, the officer wrote, detained Brown for a mental health evaluation.

Brown had no ID on him, but he said police could look in his backpack for it, according to court documents.

Inside the bag, the officer said he found an unloaded pistol that had been reported stolen. Brown was arrested in connection with carrying the concealed weapon, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and possession of stolen property. … Continue reading »

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Guacamole 61 opens in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto

Guacamole 61. Photo: Nancy Rubin
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By Nancy Rubin

Bay Area native Willy Perez (Berkeley High, class of 1995) knows two things well: cars and food. Summoning inspiration from his love of restoring vintage cars, specifically his 1961 Chevy Impala convertible, Perez began to picture a place that expressed the loyalty of true vintage car culture mixed with the essence of his mother’s savory Mexican spices he knew growing up.

Thus was born the idea of Guacamole 61, whose name was, of course, inspired by his beloved car. The diminutive take-out restaurant opened this week at Epicurious Garden in North Berkeley. It took over the space from the short-lived Herb n’ Chicken, which itself was preceded by Source Mini. It’s not the first time the kitchen has served up Mexican dishes: Picoso Taqueria occupied the spot before Flavor Mediterranean Food, which was itself replaced by Source Mini.

It’s not the first Berkeley restaurant venture for Perez, either. He was one of the group, along with Artemio Maldonado and Dwight Ferron — all former Cheese Board alums  — that opened Sliver in January 2013, the popular pizza destination on Center Street in downtown Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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Saul’s Deli is for sale, but there’s no need to panic

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When news broke on Thursday that the owners of Saul’s Deli were hoping to find a buyer for the 30-year-old North Berkeley restaurant, disappointment and shock hit social media channels in equal measure.

“Nooooooooooo,” exclaimed Jayson Elliott on Berkeleyside’s Facebook post about the news, which has reached over 42,000 people.

“Ahhhh,” wrote Pam Herman Bush simply.

“Can I make an offer for just The Pastrami?” joked David Handler.

And Anne-Marie Dumaresq admitted to a significant transgression: “My husband and I have avoided going because I’m a vegetarian, but lately, I’ve sinned a little bit here and there. I keep having this craving for a pastrami on rye (I’m licking my lips while I type) with mustard and a big pickle and I’ve always said, ‘If I’m gonna have it, we have to go to Saul’s!’ How long have we got??”

But Peter Levitt, who has co-owned the deli at 1475 Shattuck Ave. with Karen Adelman since 1996, urged the Berkeley populace not to panic. While the pair are looking for someone to take over the business eventually, they are not in a rush to sell, and they are not going anywhere, he told Berkeleyside.

Or put another way: “Perk up! Like barnacles it’s hard to pry us away,” he wrote on the Berkeleyside Facebook post about the hunt for a new owner, first reported by J-Weekly. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Man arrested after fleeing police, hit-and-run crash

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A man who injured another driver during a hit-and-run crash in a rental car while trying to evade Berkeley police was arrested Tuesday morning after officers found him hiding on a roof, authorities said.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said police were called to the 2700 block of Ridge Road at 8:30 a.m. for a report of a man who was sleeping in his vehicle.

According to scanner traffic reviewed by Berkeleyside, someone spotted the man in a white sedan in the parking garage on the block. He was unresponsive but appeared to be breathing. Police sent an officer to check on the man to see if he was all right.

“As the officer contacted him, he provided a false number,” said Coats. “He suddenly started up the vehicle and fled.”

The officer did not pursue the vehicle. According to scanner recordings, police identified it as an Enterprise rental car that left the scene at a high rate of speed.

Within minutes, police got a report of an injury hit-and-run collision near Cedar Street and Euclid Avenue. Coats said that crash involved the vehicle of the man contacted on Ridge. … Continue reading »

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