Tag Archives: West Berkeley

New craft brewery, restaurant slated for Berkeley

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A large craft brewery capable of producing over 310,000 gallons of beer a year is set to open in West Berkeley, assuming the owners secure final planning permissions. The plan also calls for a restaurant and barrel-aging facility.

Far West Brewing already has a permit from Berkeley to manufacture beer at the 10,212-square-foot industrial building at 1150 Sixth St. (at Harrison).

In its application to the city for restaurant and retail operation permits, Far West, which was formed specifically to open this business, said it would brew six year-round beers, limited release beers, and a series of barrel-aged sour beers and American wild ales. … Continue reading »

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Gang violence, drug use, graffiti spark renewed push to clean up West Berkeley park

City maintenance workers have been cutting back and clearing out brush as part of an effort to clean up Strawberry Creek Park. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Stepped up police patrols, trimmed-back bushes and increased efforts to clean up graffiti around Strawberry Creek Park are among a slew of recent steps by the city following two troubling incidents in March, including a drive-by shooting nearby and the violent robbery of a Berkeley middle school student.

Community members around the West Berkeley park have been asking for help from the city to make changes. They cite frequent problems in the area related in part to its use as a hang-out by youth — including many who reportedly have gang ties. Drug sales and the smoking of marijuana at all hours are said to be regular sights. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley warehouse fire started accidentally; Wooden Duck not insured for content loss

The remains of the Import Tile warehouse that burned on April 12. Photo: Evelyn Larsen
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The fire that erupted in a West Berkeley warehouse on Saturday, seriously damaging or destroying numerous businesses, started accidentally, according to fire officials.

“There didn’t seem to be any indication this was a malicious fire,” said Berkeley Fire Department Deputy Chief Avery Webb. “The investigation is ongoing but they have ruled out a malicious origin.” … Continue reading »

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After a West Berkeley blaze, praise for the firefighters

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Eric Gellerman, owner of The Wooden Duck furniture store, says he has nothing but thanks for the firefighters who fought the blaze that engulfed a building on Second Street in West Berkeley on Saturday night.

The store’s warehouse is “a total loss,” he said Sunday. However, The Wooden Duck’s showroom and store, which fronts Eastshore Highway, was saved. Gellerman said it turned out that the wall between the store and the warehouse was 3 to 4 feet thick and held the flames at bay.

“Even the firefighters were amazed,” he said Sunday, while he and others mopped up water at the scene. “Apparently there were three ‘old-timers’ from Fire Station 7 in the Berkeley Hills to whom we owe a debt of gratitude,” he said. … Continue reading »

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West Berkeley fire causes $5 million in damage, destroys 20 artisan businesses

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The huge fire that ripped through a building on Second Street in West Berkeley on Saturday night not only affected well-known businesses like Import Tile and The Wooden Duck, but destroyed the livelihood of more than 20 artisans.

The business condominium at 1802 Second St. that was destroyed was home to a collective of small artisans and craft builders who shared a woodworking shop, a metal fabrication shop, computer-controlled machinery and large work areas, according to Joshua Goldberg, who put together the space in 2005. He is also the owner of Joshua Tree Furniture, which was completely destroyed by the five-alarm fire.

“I am sort of overwhelmed with grief right now,” Goldberg said Sunday morning. “It’s 20 people’s livelihoods.” … Continue reading »

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Local business

4 Berkeley businesses, including Wooden Duck, Import Tile damaged in 5-alarm warehouse fire

The fire on Saturday night Photo: Davoud Kermaninejad
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This breaking news story was updated as more information became available. Watch this feed on Twitter — no account needed — for live updates. Frances Dinkelspiel, of Berkeleyside, reported from the scene. Scroll down for a video of the fire taken by freeway travelers. We posted an update Sunday, April 13, shortly before noon.

Update, April 13, 12:10 p.m.: The Wooden Duck reports via Facebook that it will be closed Sunday but “hopefully reopening tomorrow. Our San Rafael store will be open 12-5. Thanks again for all your thoughts and prayers as we push through this rough road. We will release more information about our reopening as soon as possible.”

Update, April 13, 12:33 a.m.: The Wooden Duck reports that it was not destroyed in Saturday night’s 5-alarm fire, as some media have reported, although Joshua Tree Furniture was destroyed, as well as a warehouse for Import Tile. No injuries were reported. The Wooden Duck posted the following message on Berkeleyside.

The fire that we experienced tonight was in our BACK WAREHOUSE not in the store and factory buildings. The store building was untouched and we’re not sure if the factory building sustained damaged from fire or water as we couldn’t go into it tonight. … Continue reading »

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Crime

4 with Berkeley ties held to answer in alleged murder plot

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Four men with Berkeley ties have been held to answer by an Alameda County Superior Court judge on charges that they conspired to murder two rivals last fall.

The alleged victims in the investigation grew up in West Berkeley, according to court testimony. At least one of them attended Berkeley High, according to his Facebook profile.

The preliminary hearing against 27-year-old Joseph Carroll Jr., 36-year-old Emando Roos, 28-year-old Travon Wilson and 28-year-old Joseph Connors wrapped up Wednesday after more than a month of intermittent testimony and legal arguments.

According to authorities, who recorded phone calls among the men as part of an Oakland Police wiretap investigation last fall, the intended targets of the alleged murder plot had disrespected Carroll and two of his relatives in YouTube videos and photographs on Instagram. … Continue reading »

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Caltrans fence forces homeless to find new camp

The people who used to sleep under the Gilman/I-80 underpass are trying to adjust to their new cramped sleeping situation. Photo: Natalie Orenstein
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Responding to complaints that the homeless people who camped under the Gilman/I-80 underpass were engaged in criminal activity, Caltrans has fenced off the area — pushing the encampment onto a narrow strip nearby.

Caltrans installed the fencing between Feb. 10 and March 6 at the request of the Berkeley Police Department, “in order to help curtail criminal activity in the area,” said Caltrans spokesman Robert Haus via email.

“We have had complaints regarding criminal activity associated with the encampment down there,” said police spokeswoman officer Jennifer Coats via email. “We have reached out to those camping in the area through members of our Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), Area Coordinators, and Mobile Crisis workers.” … Continue reading »

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Police arrest man after ‘violent attack’ in West Berkeley

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Police arrested a 41-year-old man after he struggled with a Berkeley Police officer, tried to take his gun and jumped into the lagoon at Aquatic Park when the officer tried to detain him, authorities said Monday.

The officer received minor injuries during the altercation, and required medical treatment, said Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police spokesman.

Police initially received a call Monday at 10:30 a.m. about a man on Bolivar Drive, between Bancroft Way and Addison Street, who was trying to set a fire with some type of liquid. A caller told police the man was on his or her roof, and was pouring some type of liquid into the street and lighting it on fire, authorities said. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Police use gift cards, surveillance to track robber

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March 5 at 9:35 p.m., three men with a gun approached a woman on her way home in the 1500 block of Eighth Street and took her bag, police said.

Berkeley Police officers investigated, and found surveillance footage taken 20 minutes after the robbery showing a teenage girl at Target buying eight Visa gift cards with a credit card stolen during the robbery. Surveillance images also show a gold sedan in the parking lot. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Breaking: Charges filed against 2 in Berkeley homicide

The man police believe was Berkeley's first homicide victim of 2014 lived in this building on Addison Street. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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The Berkeley Police Department has arrested two people in the city’s only homicide so far this year, authorities said Wednesday.

Police have arrested Berkeley couple Kneitawnye Trishawn Sessoms, 40, and Michael Diggs, 28. Sessoms was arrested Monday, March 31, at 7 p.m., according to the Alameda County sheriff’s department. Diggs has been in custody since March 12 when he was picked up for a parole violation, according to the sheriff’s department.

The Alameda County district attorney’s office has filed murder charges against Sessoms and Diggs for the killing of 54-year-old Sylvan Fuselier in February, police said. Police discovered Fuselier’s body in his apartment in the 1100 block of Addison Street after getting called to check on him after concerns were reported about his whereabouts. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Alleged murder plot hearing set to end this week

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Update, April 1, 4 p.m. Judge Vernon Nakahara scheduled a decision in the matter for April 9 at 4 p.m.

Original story, April 1: A hearing to determine whether the prosecution has made its case against four men alleged to have conspired to kill a man who posted disrespectful videos and pictures online is set to wrap up in Alameda County Superior Court this week.

Tuesday morning, closing arguments are scheduled to begin at the René C. Davidson Courthouse in downtown Oakland in the case against 27-year-old Joseph Carroll Jr.; Emando Roos, 36; Travon Wilson, 28; and Joseph Connors, 28. All four men, along with two alleged victims identified in the investigation, grew up in Berkeley, according to testimony last week.

Alameda County deputy district attorney Luis Marin has argued that Carroll tried to coordinate two acts of violence against one of the intended victims in Oakland last September. Carroll was in Texas at the time of the alleged attack plans, but authorities had tapped his phone lines as part of a high-profile murder investigation involving an 8-year-old girl who was gunned down at a sleepover last July.

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Crime

Teen punched during robbery by Berkeley gang members

Police have described the area of Bonar Street and Allston Way as a "high gang area." Image: Google maps
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Two men have been charged in the robbery of a 14-year-old boy in West Berkeley earlier this month in what police described as a “high gang area,” according to court papers.

According to police, the 14-year-old boy was near Bonar Street and Allston Way when two men and a juvenile male approached him in a Chevrolet Blazer on March 10.

A passenger in the vehicle, identified as Arturo Avalos of Berkeley, got out of the SUV and approached the boy saying, “Give me your phone or I am going to punch you in your face.” … Continue reading »

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