Tag Archives: West Berkeley

Police investigate gunshots in West Berkeley

Police cordoned off an area in West Berkeley to investigate gunshots on Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016. Photo: Guillaume Pierre
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Berkeley Police are investigating evidence of gunfire in the middle of the afternoon Tuesday in the area of Seventh Street and Channing Way.

According to BPD’s  Sgt. Andrew Frankel, at 2:46 p.m. police dispatch received multiple reports of shots heard and/or fired “somewhere in the area of Seventh Street and University.”

Once on scene the police found that a sedan parked on the 2400 block of Seventh Street had been hit gunfire.

There were no reported injuries associated with the shooting and it remains unclear what the motive was, Frankel said by email. … Continue reading »

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Man dies after being struck by train on Berkeley tracks

A man died on Saturday Dec. 3, after being struck by a train at Addison Street and the train track, according to Berkeley Police. Image: Google Maps
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A train struck and killed a man in Berkeley on Saturday at 3:15 p.m., according to Berkeley police. Traffic in the area was delayed as a result.

The train fatally struck a man near Addison Street, according to Lt. Alyson Hart of the Berkeley Police Department.

Police issued two Nixle alerts about the incident. The first, at 3:32 p.m., advised people to avoid the railroad crossing at Addison Street near the tracks due to “traffic congestion.” The second, at 3:47 p.m., advised motorists to avoid the area due to a “collision investigation.”

Lt. Hart said Union Pacific was conducting the investigation into the collision.

Earlier this month a pedestrian died after a collision with a train in Albany. The fatality happened about 7:55 a.m. on Monday Nov. 21 on the tracks in the area of Cleveland and Washington avenues, according to the East Bay Times. … Continue reading »

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Rare burrowing owl found dead in West Berkeley park

This dead owl was found Sunday in a Berkeley park. Photo: Urban Bird Foundation
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A rare burrowing owl was found dead recently at Berkeley’s Cesar Chavez Park, raising some concern in the community.

Local resident Heidi Sachs saw the dead bird on a bench during her run at the Berkeley Marina on Sunday and shared the news with Berkeleyside.

“Really sad for me to think about,” she said, adding, “a passer-by mentioned a puncture wound on the owl’s head.”

On Friday, Earth Island Institute’s nonprofit Urban Bird Foundation released a statement about the discovery of the dead owl. The group said it received a report about the carcass Thursday night.

According to the Urban Bird Foundation, the bird was placed on a bench and puncture wounds could be seen on its body. But the group said it did not recover the carcass itself to verify those reports.

Carolyn Jones, a spokeswoman for the East Bay Regional Park District, said it is hard to know exactly where the bird was killed, but noted it could have died on EBRPD property, at Cesar Chavez Park, or nearby. Its cause of death, however, remains a mystery.

“The owl could have been killed by a feral cat, another raptor (hawks will go after burrowing owls, for example), or another predator,” Jones said by email. “Feral cats are a problem at several East Bay parks.” … Continue reading »

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At Premier Cru auction, a peek into major wine fraud

The interior of Premier Cru's retail store. Dan Clar Auctioneers will sell off the contents of the Berkeley business on Saturday. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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John Fox, the former owner of the wine store Premier Cru, who has pleaded guilty to wire fraud, certainly lived the high life.

When he entered a guilty plea in federal court in August, Fox admitted he had stolen at least $20 million from his clients over the years by selling ‘phantom wine.’ He also admitted he spent $5 million of his clients’ money on race cars, nice homes, golf-course memberships, a college education for his daughter, and $900,000 on young women he met online.

Now, the contents of the Premier Cru office and warehouse at 1011 University Ave. are set to be auctioned off on Saturday, and they reveal other luxuries the 66-year-old man indulged in. The auction, which starts at 11 a.m., will also provide the public a chance to peek at parts of Fox’s lifestyle. Previews are Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

 Read the back story about Premier Cru on Berkeleyside.

The former wine merchant had a full-size workout room connected to his spacious office, complete with a treadmill, rowing machine, bicycle, weight machines and free weights. Fox also had a ProTee golf-simulator, worth thousands of dollars, that allowed him to practice his swing while looking at a wide screen and imagining he was on a world-renowned golf courses. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Apple store hit again by group of thieves; customers and staff express concern

The Berkeley Apple store. Photo: TJ Gehling
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For the third time in nine days, thieves ran into the Berkeley Apple store on Fourth Street and made off with stolen electronics, authorities report.

Several local residents — including one woman who was inside the store when it was hit — got in touch with Berkeleyside this week to report the latest incident, which happened Wednesday at about 11 a.m.

Berkeley Police Sgt. Andrew Frankel said four to six people in their late teens or early 20s ran into the shop at 1823 Fourth St., grabbed what they could and ran out. According to community reports, they “snatched up” all the electronics on nearly a dozen tables in the store.

One local resident told Berkeleyside on Thursday, “My wife and I were just at the Apple Store and noticed the first two rows of tables were clear. An employee said they had been robbed again yesterday.”

Technically speaking, the recent Apple store incidents are considered grand theft, not robbery, which involves force or fear. But there has been significant concern at the shop and in the surrounding neighborhood due to the recent incidents.

In a report on community social network Nextdoor, another local resident said she had spoken with a Berkeley Apple store employee about the recent crimes who told her he is afraid for his safety but that employees have been instructed by Apple not to talk about it. He told her there had been six thefts at the shop within the past few months, including the three in the past week or so. … Continue reading »

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Breaking: 2 injured in shooting at Berkeley park

Police are on the scene after a shooting at the Strawberry Creek Park basketball courts. Photo: Citizen reporter
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Update, 4:56 p.m. BPD clarified that one of the victims turned up at the North Berkeley BART station and was then taken to the hospital. None of the injuries appeared, according to the preliminary investigation, to be life-threatening. No arrests have been made.

Original story, 3:24 p.m. Two people have been injured in a shooting at Strawberry Creek Park in Berkeley, authorities report.

According to a witness at the scene, the gunfire took place at about 3:10 p.m. at the park’s basketball courts.

He said 15-20 high-school-aged kids got into a fight. Three gunshots were fired and everyone scattered.

“Someone screamed that they were hit, but no one is left on the scene,” he said. Berkeleyside is not releasing his name due to safety concerns. … Continue reading »

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Thieves target Berkeley Apple store twice this week

The Berkeley Apple store. Photo: TJ Gehling
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A group of thieves stole an estimated 50 electronic devices from the Berkeley Apple store Tuesday night, and the store was hit again Thursday afternoon around 3 p.m., with a smaller group taking an estimated 20 devices, authorities report.

Limited information was available because the reports are not yet complete, but the Berkeley Police Department was alerted just after 8 p.m. Tuesday that a group of eight males in their late teens or early 20s ran into the Fourth Street Apple shop and stole numerous items. (The shop closes at 8 p.m.)

The store is located at 1823 Fourth St. in Berkeley’s popular Fourth Street shopping district.

Thursday afternoon, while Berkeleyside was on the phone with BPD shortly after 3 p.m., another report came in about a group of four people who had just gone into the store and stolen an estimated 20 devices, according to preliminary information.

Berkeley Police spokesman Sgt. Andrew Frankel said the incidents are considered grand theft, which is a felony.  … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: Why Laurie Capitelli shouldn’t be mayor, why Jessie Arreguín should: Equity & jobs

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West Berkeley Artisans and Industrial Companies (WEBAIC) urges you not to support Laurie Capitelli for mayor because of his central role in a destructive, multi-year, anti-equity effort to force out West Berkeley companies and their thousands of productive middle-wage jobs. Vote for Jesse Arreguín, who has been a consistently strong supporter of West Berkeley’s sustainable industrial maker and arts ecosystem and the thousands of good, family-wage jobs it provides.

The effort to displace West Berkeley’s thousands of good jobs for … Continue reading »

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Man pepper-sprayed after punching, biting police officers

Image: Google Maps
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A police call in Berkeley to a domestic dispute led to a man being pepper-sprayed and arrested after punching a police sergeant twice in the face and biting another officer in the arm, authorities said this week.

The woman involved in the dispute also struggled with police during the man’s arrest, and she too was taken into custody, police said.

Officers were called to the 1200 block of Ashby Avenue, near San Pablo Avenue, sometime before 10:25 p.m. Friday for a report of a domestic dispute, said Sgt. Andrew Frankel, spokesman for the Berkeley Police Department.

When they got there, officers determined the dispute had been verbal in nature, Frankel said. No crime had occurred. As officers mediated, the woman left the apartment.

But the man “was not satisfied with the officer’s response,” Frankel said, in a written statement. That “prompted him to call 911 over ten times to yell and vent his frustration. He was told by dispatch that he was improperly using the 911 emergency system, but continued calling.” … Continue reading »

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Election 2016: Who is Cheryl Davila?

Photo: Courtesy of Cheryl Davila
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Name: Cheryl Davila

Age: 60

Job: Full charge bookkeeper

What office are you are running for? Berkeley City Council, District 2

What is the main reason you are running? Our community needs diverse, ethical folks with integrity and honesty to step up and become public servants. I have been active in District 2 for thirty-five years, and I have seen how dysfunction at City Hall has meant that the voices of my neighbors have been absent from city decision making. I have experience working effectively within city government, serving as commissioner on the Human Welfare and Community Action Commission since 2009. I believe in neighborhood-friendly demilitarized policing, neighborhood assemblies, innovative ecological practices, and beautification without gentrification. I am responsive, accountable, and principled. My door will always be open.

Why are you qualified for the position? I am deeply committed to the needs of the neighborhoods of West Berkeley. My husband and I have lived in District 2 for thirty five years. I’ve raised our two wonderful children here, organizing with other Berkeley public school parents on the PTA while earning a degree with honors and working as a office manager. We are renters, and have seen first-hand the impact of gentrification and displacement, and the need for truly affordable housing programs that meet the needs of our friends and community members. In 2009, I joined Berkeley’s Human Welfare and Community Action Commission, where I’ve had the privilege of advising the Council on issues of human welfare and overseeing the Community Action Program for the past seven years. … Continue reading »

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Election 2016: Who is Darryl Moore?

Photo: Courtesy of Darryl Moore
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Name: Darryl Moore

Age: 55

Job: Senior management analyst for the Oakland Housing Authority: Administer project-based section 8 vouchers, as well as HUD guidelines, policies, and regulations, manage reasonable accommodation request, and manage the budget for the section 8 program

What office are you are running for? Berkeley City Council, District 2

What is the main reason you are running? I cut my teeth in Berkeley politics working as a legislative aide to Councilmember Kriss Worthington. After witnessing firsthand the tremendous impact that a Councilmember can have on its community, I felt that I could put my Masters in Public Policy that I earned from the University of Chicago to good use. Affordable housing, public safety, our public infrastructure, open space. Virtually all aspects of resident’s quality of life are affected by city policies. I felt that, as a Councilmember, I could shape so many aspects of my community and to make it the best that it can be.

Why are you qualified for the position? I graduated with honors from UC Santa Cruz with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 1984, and went on to earn my Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago in 1986. … Continue reading »

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Election 2016: Who is Nanci Armstrong-Temple?

Photo: Courtesy of Nanci Armstrong-Temple
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Name: Nanci Armstrong-Temple

Age: 41

Job: Social entrepreneur, mom, teacher

What office are you are running for? Berkeley City Council, District 2

What is the main reason you are running? As a community organizer in Berkeley, I have seen our streets and parks be neglected, our police out of control, and our elected officials largely unaccountable to the people they have promised to serve. I also see citizens who love Berkeley deeply, who look for ways to make the world a more just and equitable place, and who believe that Berkeley exists to be on the cutting edge of progressive social programs. It’s time to bring that Berkeley back again.

Why are you qualified for the position? As the daughter of community activists who ran a non profit in South Central Los Angeles which was led and directed by those who were most impacted by state violence, I have a unique perspective not found by any other candidate. As a social entrepreneur I understand how to identify and solve community problems, and as a small business owner I also know how difficult it is to make ends meet. And as an activist who has a history in helping to direct social movements that hold officials accountable, I will always serve the people. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley says goodbye to its giant pile of dirt

Looking south from the I-80 bike bridge, new grading and hydroseeding of the The Brickyard are now complete. Photo: Jim Rosenau
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The giant pile of dirt on Berkeley’s shoreline is no more. After about a decade as a storage yard for soil, ‘the brickyard,’ 31 prominent acres of McLaughlin Eastshore State Park just west of the I-80 bike bridge, was recently regraded and planted. The area will likely reopen next spring after the plantings take hold.

For at least the past decade soil in mounds up to 50-foot high were stored at the site by a private contractor. When that lease expired, 100,000 cubic yards of soil were shifted and the level was lowered as much as 15 feet. The perimeter was raised to prepare for sea level rise. Like most of the 1,854 acres of the park, Berkeley’s portion, including all its shoreline and The Meadow, consists of bay fill. Little of the original pre-industrial age shoreline remains nearby. … Continue reading »

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