Tag Archives: Ohlone Park


Op-Ed: City must step up to restore Ohlone Park mural

Ohlone mural by Bill Newton
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Twenty years ago, the late Dona Spring, a City Council member, asked me to find an American Indian artist to paint a mural on the BART vent building in Ohlone Park. The building was a graffiti-covered eyesore, crying out for public art. The city, having recently changed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day, wanted to honor the Ohlones, who are native to this land.

In 1995, Jean LaMarr, a California Indian who lives in Susanville, painted the mural, incorporating images of Ohlones, including family photographs. Descendants of the original Bay Area residents expressed to her their fear that these images would be defaced. The annual application of anti-graffiti varnish covering the mural was intended to respond to that concern. Graffiti continues to deface the mural nonetheless, especially on the north side, which cannot be seen from the street. … Continue reading »

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Op-Ed: City seizing chairs in Ohlone Park is nanny state run amok

Ohlone Dog Park
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Ohlone Dog Park is the only fenced facility where dogs can run free in Berkeley. Park users spontaneously provided chairs at their own expense for years until the City got rid of them, allegedly for safety reasons. This is the nanny state run amok. We want out chairs back. Continue reading »


North Berkeley sees rash of armed robberies

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Matt Raimi was sitting in Ohlone Park at 11.30 in the morning on the Thursday before Thanksgiving chatting on his cell phone with a cabinet maker about a possible kitchen remodel when he felt something nudge him in the side. He looked up and saw a young man who demanded that Raimi hang up and give him the iPhone. The man — black, aged between 16 and 20 and about 5’7″, according to Raimi — had a semi-concealed gun in his pocket and was pointing it straight at him.

Raimi gave up his phone and wallet — the laptop bag at his feet was rejected after he explained it was empty. In fact, Raimi had just dropped off his computer at the shop to be repaired. Nobody witnessed the incident and the perpetrator has not yet been found.

Raimi, who runs an urban planning business close to Ohlone Park, is only one of several Berkeley residents to have been a victim of armed robbery in the north Berkeley area in the past few weeks. According to Berkeley Police Officer Casimiro Pierantoni,  six armed robberies have taken place in North Berkeley since November 11. Writing in his community newsletter Officer Pierantoni said the robberies were concentrated in the residential area around the North Berkeley BART station.

District 1 Councilmember Linda Maio, who distributed safety alert flyers to residents in her area after the crime wave, was reported as saying she believed the North Berkeley BART station might be entry point for criminals trying to take advantage of the affluent North Berkeley community. … Continue reading »

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