Tag Archives: West Berkeley

After latest shooting, neighbors talk public safety

The corner of Delaware and San Pablo, the site of three shootings in recent years. Photo: Emily Dugdale.
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“How much is too much?”

The question lingered in the air as folding chairs were put away following what was described as an “action plan” meeting Saturday convened by Berkeley Councilwoman Linda Maio held at the Adult School in West Berkeley. Long-time residents joined young families, as well as a representative from the Berkeley Police Department, to discuss potential neighborhood changes following the March 15 shooting of a 28-year-old man on the corner of Delaware and San Pablo Avenue outside of Bing’s Liquors.

“I know you feel the same way I do,” Maio told an agitated crowd of approximately 40 neighbors who shared accounts of witnessing substance abuse, public defection and “sleaze” centered on a small strip of bustling San Pablo Avenue. “This is not new,” she said.

March’s incident marks the third shooting in the area in as many years. In February 2013, Zontee Jones, 34, was shot in broad daylight on Delaware Street and San Pablo Avenue. Six months later, on the other side of San Pablo at Delaware, Dustin Bynum, 24, was shot at close range in front of Bing’s Liquors. … Continue reading »

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Suspected DUI motorist crashes into Berkeley marina

Car into Berkeley Marina. Photo: Nancy Schimmelman
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Authorities worked to beat the tide Sunday to remove a vehicle that crashed Saturday night into the Berkeley Marina and began leaking fluids into the water.

Berkeley Police Lt. Andrew Rateaver said crews responded to the marina after a vehicle left the roadway, where University Avenue and Marina Boulevard split, shortly before midnight.

Scroll down for updates and dramatic photos.

Officers threw emergency flotation devices into the water to help the driver, a passenger and a citizen responder get off the fully submerged vehicle, he said.

All three were taken to the hospital for treatment but were expected to survive. … Continue reading »

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Police: Berkeley double stabbing was unprovoked

Police were called to the 1000 block of University Avenue, near 10th Street, for a double stabbing early Tuesday. Image: Google Maps
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The 33-year-old Berkeley man arrested after a double stabbing in a University Avenue apartment earlier this week told authorities he “should have killed everyone there,” according to court papers.

Tristan Chaix was arrested at the scene, near University and 10th Street, and charged Thursday by the Alameda County district attorney’s office with two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon identified as a knife. He was on probation at the time of the attack for assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury following a September 2015 conviction.

According to court papers, Chaix was in a home on University “when unprovoked he went into the kitchen” and got three kitchen knives, then “began to attack the people inside that apartment.”

He stabbed two men before the victims managed “to knock the knives out of his hands,” police wrote. Two of the four people in the apartment were taken to the hospital for medical treatment.

“Chaix stated at the scene he should have killed everyone there,” according to police. Victims told police that, had they not been able to disarm Chaix “they would have been murdered.” … Continue reading »

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Man charged in Berkeley shooting faces 3rd strike

Ali Griffin. Photo: American Sex Offenders
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Update, March 31: Councilwoman Linda Maio’s office has organized a meeting Saturday, April 2, at the Berkeley Adult School to discuss the violence: “The third shooting in just a few years at San Pablo and Delaware is a third too many. It is time for more concerted action.” See the meeting flier.

Original story, March 24: The Berkeley man who surrendered to police last week after a shooting outside Bing’s liquor store has been charged with assault with a gun and is set to enter a plea Friday.

Ali Griffin, 40, is being held with a bail of $480,000 at Santa Rita Jail.

According to court papers, he was at Bing’s last week Tuesday, March 15, when he got into an argument with two other men.

“Griffin punched one of the men and brandished a firearm,” police wrote, then began to leave the area. One of the men followed him “from a distance” on Delaware Street.

Police said Griffin then fired one round at the man and hit him in the back.

Griffin fled to his home on 10th Street, authorities said. Police recovered a casing at the scene.

According to court papers, a witness identified Griffin as the man with the gun, and video shows the altercation that preceded the shooting. Police recovered a handgun and ammunition at Griffin’s home during the service of a search warrant. … Continue reading »

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Man arrested after double stabbing in West Berkeley

Police were called to the 1000 block of University Avenue, near 10th Street, for a double stabbing early Tuesday. Image: Google Maps
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A man authorities said appeared to be under the influence of alcohol is reported to have stabbed two acquaintances at a West Berkeley home early Tuesday morning, but they are expected to survive.

Both victims were taken to the hospital with what appeared to be knife wounds. The man was also taken to the hospital for evaluation, authorities said, before he was arrested.

Berkeley Police Sgt. Angela Hawk said the victims’ injuries did not appear to be life-threatening. Few details were available due to the early stage of the investigation, but she said it appeared the man and his victims knew each other. His name was not yet available as of about 4 a.m.

Shortly before 1:40 a.m police were called about the stabbing at a second-floor unit in the 1000 block of University Avenue, west of San Pablo Avenue near 10th Street. … Continue reading »

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Man, 40, turns himself in after Berkeley shooting

Berkeley police detectives arrive on the the scene of a shooting at Delaware Street and San Pablo Avenue, in Berkeley, on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. Photo: David Yee ©2016
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Update, March 31: Councilwoman Linda Maio’s office has organized a meeting Saturday, April 2, at the Berkeley Adult School to discuss the violence: “The third shooting in just a few years at San Pablo and Delaware is a third too many. It is time for more concerted action.” See the meeting flier.

Original story, March 16: A 40-year-old man walked into the Berkeley Police Department on Wednesday and turned himself in following a shooting on San Pablo Avenue on Tuesday morning that left a 28-year-old man in critical condition.

Authorities had sought a search warrant Tuesday in connection with their investigation following the shooting outside Bing’s liquor store, on Delaware Street and San Pablo, at about 11:30 a.m. They later sought a Ramey warrant — an arrest warrant signed by a judge rather than the district attorney’s office — in connection with their suspect in the case.

Police announced the arrest shortly after 5 p.m. in a Nixle alert. Authorities said the man went into the police department just before 12:45 p.m. and surrendered.

According to Alameda County sheriff’s department records online, the man has been identified as 40-year-old Ali Griffin, a copy consultant. … Continue reading »

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Update: Man arrested after Berkeley shooting

A police officer guides a family back home as police continue to search for a gunman in the area, in Berkeley, on Tuesday, March 25, 2016. Photo: David Yee
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Update, March 31: Councilwoman Linda Maio’s office has organized a meeting Saturday, April 2, at the Berkeley Adult School to discuss the violence: “The third shooting in just a few years at San Pablo and Delaware is a third too many. It is time for more concerted action.” See the meeting flier.

Original story, March 15: Berkeley police have responded to a shooting on Delaware Street and San Pablo Avenue with one confirmed victim, authorities report.

Around 11:30 a.m., police got numerous calls about shots fired in that location, said Sgt. Andrew Frankel, Berkeley Police spokesman.

Scroll down for live updates.

First responders found one man injured at the scene. His condition was unknown as of publication time.

The suspect was last seen westbound on Delaware.  … Continue reading »

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Critics question impacts of ‘Spenger’s parking lot’ project on Berkeley Fourth Street, Ohlone heritage

A rendering of what 1900 Fourth St. may one day look like. Image: TCA Architects
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Berkeley community and zoning board members had a chance Thursday to weigh in on what the environmental impact report for a large mixed-use project planned for 1900 Fourth St. should focus on.

The “Spenger’s parking lot” project has been in the works for years, with efforts ramping up in 2014 when project reps said they found no evidence at the site of a Native American shellmound created in West Berkeley by the Ohlone Indians.

Members of the public who came to share their views about the project March 10 with the city’s Zoning Adjustments Board said they were not convinced by that assertion. Some said the land where the parking lot is now should be purchased by the city and turned into a park to honor the history and culture of the Ohlone. The property at 1900 Fourth is a city landmark, dating back to 2000, within the potential boundaries of the West Berkeley shellmound. The exact location of the shellmound is unknown and has been a matter of much debate.

Other speakers Thursday questioned the scale of the project, and how it will fit in with the surrounding neighborhood, as well as traffic impacts, air quality and liquefaction. The lot is bordered by Fourth Street, Hearst Avenue, University Avenue and the railroad tracks running east of Interstate 80.

A sprawling complex is planned at 1900 Fourth, across from the historic Spenger’s restaurant, set to reach up to 5 stories, with 135 apartments and a 372-space parking garage open to both residents and the public. The project’s approximately 207,600 square feet are slated to include about 33,000 square feet of retail and restaurant uses. The property is owned by Ruegg and Ellsworth, a real estate group that co-owns the parking lot with the Spenger family, which sold its Fresh Fish Grotto years ago. Robert Ellsworth, a Berkeley native, is co-owner of Ruegg and Ellsworth. The developer of the project is BHV CenterStreet Properties based in Danville.

(A video “fly through” of the project, created by the architect and set to music, appears below.) … Continue reading »

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BPD: Driver in stalled RV escaped to safety before train hit

Photo: Citizen reporter
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Authorities responded to West Berkeley on Thursday evening after an Amtrak train struck an RV that had stalled on the tracks near Bancroft Way and Fourth Street.

One person, who was able to get out of the RV before it was hit by the train, was taken to the hospital with serious injuries after being struck by debris from the crash, police said.

Scroll to the bottom to see photos of the RV on Friday.

Reports about the crash began coming into Berkeleyside at 6:12 p.m. One reader on Twitter described “Multiple police cars flying west on University.” Another described “Lots of action on Bancroft and Fourth,” including the Berkeley Police and Fire departments.

Police confirmed on Twitter at 6:35 p.m. that a train had struck a vehicle.  … Continue reading »

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Man injured after being struck by train on Berkeley tracks

A man was transported to Highland Hospital after being struck by an Amtrak train on Feb. 23, 2016. Photo: Ariel Nava
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An eastbound Amtrak train struck a man who was on the train tracks near West Berkeley’s Gilman crossing Tuesday morning at around 9:30 a.m., according to Union Pacific spokesman Francisco Castillo.

The man, who Castillo described as “trespassing,” was injured and transported to Highland Hospital in Oakland. His condition was unknown.

The Gilman intersection was closed for about one hour, causing traffic diversions, and the incident is under investigation, Castillo said. … Continue reading »

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Days are numbered for giant Berkeley dirt pile

The East Bay Regional Park District has plans for the large dirt pile in Berkeley's McLaughlin Eastshore State Park. Photo: Michael Short
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A 10-year-old, 53-foot pile of dirt in Berkeley’s McLaughlin Eastshore State Park is set to be lowered by 15 feet and spread around the parkland as part of renovations to improve the area.

The East Bay Regional Park District is slated to start work on the project this week. The dirt will be spread between the Seabreeze Market and Brickyard Cove.

“Trails, a picnic area, debris removal, native plant seeding and shoreline restoration are part of the long-term plan,” EBRPD said in a prepared statement. “In all, the Park District plans to move more than 100,000 cubic yards of dirt.” … Continue reading »

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With ‘Young Lives Matter,’ Berkeley dads hope to shape the future through lessons of the past

Garland Albert Sr. at the 2015 Berkeley High all-class picnic. Photo: 
Tonya Anderson-Pouncey
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To understand the significance of a second chance, sometimes one must squander the first. Many people make mistakes and are never given the opportunity to fix them. Instead, they must live with the consequences of their actions. Some who are blessed with the chance to make things right spend as much time as possible trying to keep others from following in their footsteps.

There is no better example of this than Berkeley’s own Garland Albert Sr. who, after living a life filled with crime, violence and drugs, has devoted much of the past 20 years to working to keep the youth of Berkeley from following the same path to self destruction he took. As a board member of Young Lives Matter, a recently formed group that hopes to provide constructive outlets for youth, Albert and the organization want to be a positive force in Berkeley for many years to come. The group is holding a Black History Month celebration this Sunday; scroll down for details.

Albert, who is 50, was born and raised in Berkeley. He grew up on Ashby Avenue near San Pablo Avenue though he moved to Richmond, with his grandmother and step-granddad, for junior high and part of high school. By 15, he was back in West Berkeley in the waterfront neighborhood and on Bonar. He describes his childhood homes — with his parents, Alisha and Gary, and later his grandparents — as ones filled with love and respect. So how did he end up on a troubled path?

“It’s something I ask myself all the time,” said Albert. “My parents did a great job of instilling morals and values into me. Along the way, I just got lost.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley pier unlikely to re-open before 2018

The Berkeley pier was shuttered indefinitely on July 22, 2105 after Berkeley officials determined it was structurally unsound. Photo: Dorothy Brown
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It’s going to cost so much to repair Berkeley’s historic fishing pier that the city can’t even afford to study the issue until mid-2017 at the soonest.

That’s according to a brief report released last week by Dee Williams-Ridley, Berkeley’s interim city manager.

Williams-Ridley told the Berkeley City Council in the Feb. 9 memo that the city had hoped to have a consultant “investigate possible methods to repair portions of the pier and the potential costs, but the needed scope and cost associated with the work has escalated beyond the limits” of the approved budget.

Williams told council the analysis itself is likely to cost between $150,000 and $200,000, and said that allocation won’t be considered until the budget cycles for 2017-18 and the following year.

Scroll to the bottom of this story for a brief update from the city.

“The pier is a beloved asset to the entire region, and staff will continue to research grant opportunities with the hope of finding funding to repair the pier,” she wrote. … Continue reading »

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