Tag Archives: Sacramento Street

Crime

Breaking: Police activity in South Berkeley

Berkeley police cruisers (file), April 2013. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Update, 12 p.m. The Berkeley Police Department has confirmed that officers responded to the 1500 block of Alcatraz Avenue shortly after 8 p.m. “on a report of a suspect threatening a woman while brandishing a gun,” said Berkeley Police Capt. Erik Upson via email.

After arriving, police learned the man might have fled into a nearby apartment. Police “contained” the apartment and several neighbors were evacuated as police tried to communicate with him.

Officers on scene ultimately determined he had left the area prior to their arrival. Upson said the the case remains under investigation.

Upson also confirmed, in response to a question from a Berkeleyside reader, that police had been dispatched to the same area earlier in the evening on a related case. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Driver charged in vehicular manslaughter of Berkeley man is ‘legally blind’

Joseph Luft. Courtesy: Luft family
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Update, Aug. 7: The Alameda County district attorney’s office has increased the vehicular manslaughter charge against Robert Gilchrist to a felony, according to court papers dated Aug. 7. See the complaint here. Authorities say Gilchrist struck and killed a 98-year-old pedestrian while driving in Berkeley in April.

Original story, Aug. 4: The driver charged with killing a 98-year-old former psychology professor on his daily walk in Berkeley in April had no license and told police he is “legally blind,” according to court papers that became available last week.

Robert Jack Gilchrist, 56, was charged by the Alameda County district attorney’s office July 31 with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and driving without a license, also a misdemeanor.

Vehicular manslaughter involves driving “in an unlawful manner, but without gross negligence,” according to court papers.

Authorities say Gilchrist, of Oakland, hit the 98-year-old Berkeley man as he walked in a crosswalk on Sacramento Street at Bancroft Way on April 4. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Update: Shooting sends Berkeley man to hospital

Image: Google maps
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One person in South Berkeley was sent to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg Sunday night, according to unconfirmed police scanner recordings.

According to scanner traffic, several callers reported the sound of numerous gunshots near Sacramento Street and Alcatraz Avenue shortly before 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

A caller told police one person, with a gunshot wound to the leg, was located at a house in the 3200 block of Sacramento, between Harmon Street and Alcatraz. … Continue reading »

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Car strikes and kills 98-year-old pedestrian in Berkeley

Joseph Luft. Courtesy: Luft family
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A 98-year-old man was struck by a car Friday afternoon while crossing the intersection of Bancroft Way and Sacramento Street. He later died of his injuries.

Berkeley police said the man was struck around 12:23 p.m.

He was conscious and talking when police arrived, but he died at the hospital around 6 p.m., according to Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats.

The Alameda County coroner’s office identified him as Joseph Luft of Berkeley.

The driver is cooperating with police, Coats said in a press release. It does not appear that drugs or alcohol were factors in the collision, she said.

Luft, a psychologist, was the creator of the Johari Window, a technique he and Harry Ingrahm invented in 1955 to help people better understand their relationship with others. He taught at San Francisco State University for more than 20 years.

The Luft family released a statement Saturday stating that Joseph Luft was a World War II veteran, “a proud father of four and beloved local figure,” who had taken a daily walk for more than 50 years. … Continue reading »

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Sacramento Street clean-up efforts continue in Berkeley

A photo simulation of Creekwood, a new restaurant in development on Sacramento Street. Image: The Kastrop Group, Inc.
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A push to clean up and improve Sacramento Street, driven by Berkeley city staff as well as local residents and merchants, continues to gain momentum.

Last week, staff from the city’s Office of Economic Development met with community members to provide an update about public safety, commercial growth and beautification efforts that are part of the city’s plan to address some of the neighborhood’s chronic problems. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

SB P&M
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SOUTH BERKELEY PRODUCE AND MEAT Nagi Homran has just opened this new grocery and meat store at 3120 Sacramento St. (at 67th) — in the space where Recycle Bicycle used to be before it closed last year. The shop specializes in Middle Eastern foods, including Halal meats. Homran said it’s his first store in Berkeley and he chose the location as he lives in the neighborhood. The shop has two storefronts, so there is a lot of space for the well-stocked shelves. Opening hours are 8 a.m to 8 p.m. Tel: 510-705-1733. (Read more on Berkeleyside about recent business activity on Sacramento Street.) … Continue reading »

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First shipping container ‘village’ headed to Berkeley

Green11 could help revitalize Sacramento Street and bring six new businesses to Berkeley. Image: Timbre Architecture
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An innovative new shopping development, made entirely of shipping containers, is in the works for Berkeley’s Sacramento Street, which has seen a spate of growth already this year.

Bettina Limaco created Green11: The Refill Place in 2010 to provide an alternative to single-use plastic containers. She plans to open a new store in a shipping container at 3017 Sacramento, north of Tyler Street, along with a distribution center in a second container. Customers will be able to bring their own containers into the shop to refill them with a range of environmentally and health conscious products, from shampoo and dish soap to laundry detergent. Limaco, 41, already has two outposts in San Francisco, where she lives.

Limaco and her husband, Marco Pietschmann, and their 3-year-old son, plan to move to Berkeley when they open the new branch.  They intend to live in a house on the same lot, and Limaco plans to rent out space in “Green11 Village” to perhaps five small food businesses or retailers. A publicly accessible roof deck is planned on the second story. She aims to keep it local, she said, with independent businesses as tenants rather than corporate chains.

Limaco, who grew up in the Bay Area and the Philippines, came out of the corporate world to launch Green11. Previously, she said, she worked in finance for Gillette, in Boston, and later Clorox, in Oakland. Those experiences gave her an awareness of the economics of the industry. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s Sacramento Street corridor on the rise

Berkeley city staff are taking aim at a South Berkeley neighborhood that has struggled economically in recent years by teaming up with residents, as well as business and property owners, to make improvements hoped to make a difference in the near-term along Sacramento Street.

Last week, some 30 people attended a meeting at San Pablo Park to review possible changes and collect community feedback for efforts that are underway. Among attendees were the city’s director of public works, Andrew Clough; director of parks and recreation, Scott Ferris; public works engineer Ahsan Kazmi; Jim Hynes, assistant to the city manager; and Berkeley Police Capt. Erik Upson.

(One attendee, Zach Franklin, created the video above to tell the stories behind several local businesses and institutions around Sacramento Street and Ashby Avenue.) … Continue reading »

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Duo to open Creekwood restaurant in South Berkeley

A photo simulation of Creekwood, a new restaurant in development on Sacramento Street. Image: The Kastrop Group, Inc.
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Two lifelong friends have teamed up to renovate a former bike shop in South Berkeley to create a new neighborhood restaurant in an area that’s undergone a revival this year.

Creekwood Café & Catering — still at least six months from opening — is the brainchild of Greg Poulios and Mark Louie. Both are 44-year-old California natives who met as pre-school students in Oakland. They stayed friends through high school and college, then later worked at the same restaurant in San Francisco. Their lives continued to be interwoven in the decades since.

“We’ve always talked about doing something of our own,” said Poulios. “We were looking around and we finally found the spot.” … Continue reading »

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Calling all artists: Chances to make your mark in Berkeley

Artist Misako Miki designed this utility box at Durant and Shattuck avenues. Photo: Streets Alive!
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Two local organizations have put out separate calls seeking artists to participate in projects underway in collaboration with the city of Berkeley.

One of the projects, with a focus on sprucing up utility boxes, is spearheaded by the Earth Island Institute’s Streets Alive! effort, and the other comes from Expressions, a local art gallery that’s organizing a January 2014 show about homelessness.

Brighten the streetscape

Streets Alive! is looking for local artists to design six utility boxes in South Berkeley — on Sacramento and Adeline streets — and on Telegraph Avenue near UC Berkeley.

The call for artists outlines thematic suggestions for each box, along with its proposed general location: Sacramento Street (sustainability); Adeline Street in the Lorin District (arts and theatre; the farmers market; food and eats; and diverse cultures); and Telegraph Avenue (“Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow on Telegraph Avenue”).

Streets Alive! welcomes artists “of most art mediums,” including painters, photographers, mixed-media artists and graphic designers. Artists are asked to submit three to five work samples and complete an application. Portfolios will be accepted, via email or postmarked, through Nov. 15.

Any artist from Alameda County is eligible, though “strong preference” will be given to Berkeley-based artists. Artists whose designs are selected will receive a stipend of $300 to $400 for the creation of a final design; all rights of use and ownership will be turned over to the city of Berkeley and the Earth Island Institute in the end. … Continue reading »

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Sacramento Street mural honors history, brightens area

The mural focuses on history and community. Photo: Sofia Zander
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Community members who live near the corner of Sacramento Street and Ashby Avenue have taken beautification into their own hands by creating a large mural to celebrate two neighborhood civil rights leaders, and cover the front of a property that has been vacant for decades.

The two men honored on the mural are William Byron Rumford, the first African American elected to public office in Northern California and the legislator who introduced the 1963 Fair Housing Bill (also known as the Rumford Fair Housing Bill); and Burl Toler Sr., who played football professionally and was the first African American official in the NFL. … Continue reading »

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Partners to open Take 5 Café as new Berkeley hub

Tkae 5
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Glynis Fairley and Karen Rosen are hoping to create a new coffee destination in an underserved Berkeley neighborhood with the opening next month of Take 5 Café at 3132 Sacramento St.

The motivation is straightforward: the couple live nearby on Woolsey Street and want a place to go themselves. “We often ask ourselves, why isn’t there a social gathering place here, somewhere to meet other neighbors?” said Rosen. “We’d go to a local hangout, so hopefully others will too.”

Take 5 (which we tipped in Bites), is currently being built out and aims to be open before the end of August. It is near the intersection with 67th Street, just a few doors north of the recently opened Moxy Beer Garden. … Continue reading »

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Urban planning

South Berkeley neighbors ask city for help to improve

About 30 South Berkeley residents came together Wednesday to ask the city for help to make several changes in the neighborhood. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Several dozen South Berkeley residents and city staffers came together Tuesday night to brainstorm about how to make three key changes in the neighborhood.

Residents, who met at MVMNT Studio at 2973 Sacramento St., asked the city to help lead the charge to calm traffic and fix stormwater drainage problems at California and Julia streets, and address a blighted building on Sacramento that many said they feel is keeping the local commercial district from flourishing. … Continue reading »

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