Tag Archives: North Berkeley

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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Berkeley neighbors mourn loss of their ‘gathering’ tree

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A fresh hole in the middle of the street. Sadness. Disappointment. Anger. Such is the story of a small street in far north Berkeley.

On Thursday Feb. 20, city workers removed an injured Coast Live Oak from Menlo Place in the city’s Thousand Oaks district, between Colusa Avenue and the Alameda. The tree, at least five decades old, and probably more, grew from the center of the street near the intersection with Santa Rosa Avenue, with traffic navigating around it.

Or trying to.

After a truck hit the tree in December, severing a major limb, city officials deemed it too sick and weak for salvation, and a public hazard. This, in spite of an impassioned campaign by neighbors to save the oak. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Oaks Theater efforts stall in negotiations

A local group spearheaded by Councilman Laurie Capitelli hopes to turn the Oaks Theater into a community arts space. Photo: Oaks Theater Consortium
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[Editor's note: This story was updated at 1:15 p.m. with additional information from Councilman Laurie Capitelli.]

A local consortium’s attempts to come to an agreement to use North Berkeley’s Oaks Theater on Solano Avenue and convert it into a community arts performance space have thus far been unsuccessful, reports Councilman Laurie Capitelli, who has spearheaded those efforts.

Capitelli provided an update to his constituents via email Friday. He thanked those who had expressed support for the venture, which kicked off last fall.

Last year, Capitelli, along with the Youth Musical Theater Company, formed a task force — the Oaks Theater Consortium — to spearhead the campaign to renovate the auditorium to remove the wall that separates the two theaters, take out several hundred seats from the balcony, and rebuild the main stage as a single performance space. The idea would be to bring together a group of anchor tenants from a range of arts organizations, and also potentially to offer simulcast viewings of special events like the Academy Awards or the Super Bowl, as well as host film festivals or smaller symposiums or panels. … Continue reading »

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Opponents of proposed Walgreens hope for zoning change

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UPDATE, 01.17.14: About 50 people showed up to the Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday and about half of them expressed their concerns about the proposed Walgreens on Solano Avenue. The commission discussed the issues but did not reach any conclusions. It asked Berkeley senior planner Alex Amoroso to come back to the commission having done further research. In particular, the commission wants direction of the definition of the word ‘drugstore,’ and questioned whether stores like Walgreens can be classified as department stores. It has not been decided when the issue will come back to the commission.

ORIGINAL STORY: Local residents who oppose a new Walgreens planned on the current site of a gas station at 1830 Solano Ave. (at Colusa) in Berkeley are hoping a potential new zoning amendment might derail the drugstore chain’s plans.

The city’s Planning Commission tonight will review a proposed 2011 zoning ordinance that would limit the number of new or expanded drugstores to within 1,000 feet of each other. The City Council had asked the commission to provide direction on the issue, and the proposal for a new Walgreens on Solano has brought the issue to the front burner. The commission could support the proposal as written, recommend revisions or changes, or decide against a recommendation, leaving the status quo.  … Continue reading »

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Off the Grid aims for new North Berkeley digs

Off the Grid took place in the Gourmet Ghetto from June 2011 through December 2012. Photo: Art Poskanzer
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The popular food truck event Off the Grid may be headed back to North Berkeley if a deal pending between the organization and BART is successful, officials announced Monday.

According to a statement released by Councilwoman Linda Maio’s office Monday, “An agreement with BART is developing to have food trucks at the North Berkeley BART called ‘Off the Grid.’” … Continue reading »

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Last chance: Oaks Theater survey; sketches revealed

Visions of how Solano Avenue's Oaks Theater could one day look. Illustration: Miguel Lievano
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The possible transformation into a performance space of the shuttered Oaks Theater on Solano Avenue remains uncertain, but the final word on the deal could come sometime in November, according to several people involved with the transaction.

In the meantime, local real estate agent and council member Laurie Capitelli has been raising awareness, surveying the public and drumming up pledges of financial support to the tune of more than $120,000. … Continue reading »

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Deadly cyanide poison found buried under Berkeley home

Cyanide jar, Aug. 9, 2013. Photo: Eden Teller
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Pest control workers on Friday excavated three old containers under a North Berkeley home, one of which was labeled “deadly poison,” authorities said.

The exterminators were doing termite work under a home near Colusa Avenue and Thousand Oaks Boulevard on Friday afternoon when they came across the vessels buried in the soil, said Acting Deputy Fire Chief Avery Webb.

“There’s no telling how long they had been down there in the dirt,” said Webb. “They dug up the jars and they were intact. They weren’t leaking.” … Continue reading »

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The Alameda in Berkeley to be put on ‘road diet’

The Alameda is set to go on a "road diet". Photo: Office of Transportation.
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Starting Aug. 12 for approximately two weeks, The Alameda from Hopkins Street to Solano Avenue will be put on a “road diet.” It will be restriped from four lanes to three, with outside lanes for traffic, a center lane for left-hand turns, and dedicated bike lanes for cyclists and right turns.

Once complete, The Alameda will have a cross section similar to Marin Avenue. The work extends from Solano to just south of Hopkins and involves grinding out existing lane markings, laying out the new marking locations on the asphalt (cat tracking), city approval of the layout, and installation of permanent thermoplastic markings.

The Alameda will remain open to traffic with localized lane closures and shifts as the work proceed, but parking along this stretch will be prohibited during construction. Officials say there may be traffic delays but no road closures. … Continue reading »

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Nosh on the town: Stella Nonna in Berkeley

Korean-fried-chicken wings starter at Stella Nonna, Berkeley ($9.50). Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Come along with Nosh as we explore East Bay restaurants in photographs. This week we focus on Stella Nonna, at 1407 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley. (Click to see the dinner menu.) The great space, memorable flavors and friendly service made this a place we’d love to visit again. If you’ve tried the spots we feature, please let us know about your experience in the comments below. (Photos by Emilie Raguso.) … Continue reading »

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Waters: Response to fire is why I live in Berkeley

Alice Waters, Chez Panisse, June 20, 2013
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Alice Waters admits there have been times — many times in fact — when she and her team have considered relocating Chez Panisse.

“We have thought about moving,” she said on Thursday last week, as, all around her, cooks and carpenters, contractors and chefs made final preparations for two sold-out fundraising dinners that were to take place at Chez Panisse the next day. The iconic restaurant, which re-opens to the public today after being closed for reconstruction following a serious fire in March, is in a building that was originally designed as a home and, with its various nooks and crannies and rabbit-warren-like layout, is hardly conducive to housing a world-class restaurant.

On every significant Chez Panisse anniversary, Waters has discussed with her staff whether to move somewhere else, she said.

“We were going to do it when we were 20, then 30, because it can be such a struggle here. We dreamed about having a large space, like they have at Camino,” she said referring to the Oakland restaurant co-owned by Chez Panisse alum Russell Moore, “with a big old fire, a place for teaching and room for interns to gather.” … Continue reading »

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Man dies outside North Berkeley CVS

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Update, June 13: The man who died was identified by the coroner’s office as 56-year-old Paul McComas of Oakland.

Original post, June 12: A man who appeared to be homeless died in North Berkeley on Tuesday afternoon, authorities reported Wednesday.

A reader alerted Berkeleyside to the death, at Shattuck Avenue and Rose Street, via Twitter on Tuesday.

Berkeley Police officer Jamie Perkins said there was nothing suspicious about the man’s death. His name has not been released pending family notification, according to the Alameda County coroner’s office.  … Continue reading »

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Tuesday afternoon, police arrested a man and recovered a stolen vehicle in North Berkeley, and the activity left many parents wanting to know more about the incident, which was near Cragmont Elementary School, at Spruce Street and Marin Avenue.

One parent posed the question to Berkeleyside, noting at about 4 p.m. that “the area around Cragmont School/Marin/Euclid was crawling with police (cars, marked and un-, motorcycle, crime unit van) about an hour ago. I live near Easter Steps on Cragmont and there were many clustered at entrances there. I counted at least a dozen units of various types. No sirens or helicopters. Be good to know what went down.” … Continue reading »

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South Berkeley fire displaces Deakin Street residents

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Berkeley Fire crews responded to two fires on Sunday afternoon, which caused more than $200,000 in damage to homes in North and South Berkeley and displaced two people, authorities said Monday. The causes of both fires remain under investigation.

At 3 p.m. Sunday, officials received word of a structure fire in the 800 block of Shattuck Avenue in North Berkeley, said Avery Webb, acting deputy fire chief. … Continue reading »

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