Tag Archives: West Berkeley

Crime

‘Not guilty’ pleas entered in Berkeley hatchet killing

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 couple accused of stabbing a West Berkeley man to death with a hatchet earlier this year entered not guilty pleas in court Monday.

Kneitawnye Trishawn Sessoms, 41, and Michael Diggs, 28, were charged with killing 54-year-old Sylvan Fuselier in February in his home in the 1100 block of Addison Street.

According to court papers, police found Fuselier deceased at noon on Feb. 28 after being called to do a welfare check. He appeared to have been stabbed with several sharp instruments. … Continue reading »

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Bauman College grads boost local food community

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On Berkeley’s University Avenue, between Ninth and 10th streets, there is a small oasis of calm amid the honking cars and dollar stores. Tucked between the two imposing Premier Cru buildings is the Berkeley campus of Bauman College, a holistic nutrition and culinary school. It has sat quietly in this space since 2011 when it made the move from a small building on Grayson Street.

Both the college’s natural chef and nutrition consultant programs are certificate programs, and graduates are able to work as chefs and health educators in restaurants, hospitals or as consultants for small businesses. Other graduates go on to work as private nutrition consultants or private chefs.

Chances are good there’s a Bauman grad working nearby; they’ve spread across the Bay Area into myriad fields.
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Maker-artist space to open in old Odwalla spot

John Henry in blue, Jacques Janson in red. Photo: Natalie Orenstein
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In a few months, dozens of artists and makers will set up shop in the currently vacant warehouse at 1150 Sixth Street, which used to house Odwalla’s distribution center.

MWS Studios, a cluster of artist studios for rent, is the brainchild of Jacques Janson, a recovering corporate financier, and John Henry, a real-estate developer who helped build a similar artist community in Oakland.

“It seems like there’s a shortage of spaces for artists to go make things,” said Janson, who lives in Sonoma.

Artists will be able to rent the studio spaces, which vary in size, on a month-by-month basis initially. The building license will allow up to 10% of the nearly 10,000 square foot site to serve as retail space, so some artists will be able to convert their studios into storefronts or galleries. … Continue reading »

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Police: West Berkeley fire caused by hashish operation

One man was taken to the hospital for treatment after a fire in West Berkeley on Tuesday night. Photo: Jef Poskanzer
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A small fire at a West Berkeley business on Tuesday evening, which sent one man to a burn center for treatment, appears to have been caused by a hashish production operation, police said Wednesday.

Very little information was available from authorities, but Officer Jennifer Coats, Berkeley Police spokeswoman, said via email that officers responding to the fire Tuesday discovered an illegal marijuana grow and hashish production operation on-site. … Continue reading »

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Fire

Breaking: Man injured in Berkeley fire on Gilman Street

One man was taken to the hospital for treatment after a fire in West Berkeley on Tuesday night. Photo: Jef Poskanzer
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A small rooftop fire in West Berkeley on Tuesday night sent one man to a San Francisco burn center for treatment, authorities said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but Deputy Fire Chief Avery Webb said a caller reported flames showing from the roof of 841 Gilman St. at 6:45 p.m.

A single-alarm assignment, including four engines, a truck and an ambulance, was dispatched. Firefighters arriving to the Royal Robbins Clothing store said there were no more active flames on the roof when they got to the scene, though they did see smoke and some embers. … Continue reading »

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Mosswood whiskey aims for West Berkeley move

Jake Chevedden and Therese Agnew hope to move their Mosswood Distillers operation to Berkeley. Photo: Mosswood
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A San Francisco-based whiskey business hopes to open in West Berkeley this summer.

Mosswood Distillers, run by Therese Agnew and Jake Chevedden, is currently based on Treasure Island. But their month-to-month rental agreement has made it hard to plan for the future, said Chevedden, which prompted the desire to move.

Chevedden said the couple is still waiting for the green light from the state licensing department but, if successful, hopes to move their operation to West Berkeley by July.

The company specializes in aging and blending whiskey — sourced from other distilleries — “to create new and unique flavor profiles,” according to the company website. … Continue reading »

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Bayer invites public comment on new building proposal

Bayer is considering the construction of a new building on the former Colgate soap factory site in West Berkeley. Image: Bayer
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Bayer HealthCare will hold an open house Thursday evening to ask for public comment on a new 80,000-square-foot building the company is considering constructing in West Berkeley.

The new 3-story facility, near Grayson and Seventh streets, would house testing operations — on an existing parking area and empty lot — “for various raw materials and final product” related to Bayer’s recombinant hemophilia treatments, said Bayer spokeswoman Trina Ostrander.

Bayer’s Berkeley facility is the pharmaceutical giant’s international headquarters for biotechnology development.

Ostrander cautioned that the proposal, currently, is just that, as it awaits approval from the company’s governing board in Germany, as well as the green light from local and state agencies. The board in Germany is, minimally, several months away from making a decision on the project.  … Continue reading »

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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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