Tag Archives: West Berkeley


Dwight Way fire may have caused $1M in damage

Firefighters climbed onto the roof to fight a two-alarm fire on Dwight Way, near Telegraph Avenue, on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015. Photo: David Yee
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A fire in Berkeley’s Southside neighborhood on Sunday may have caused $1 million in damage, authorities said this week.

The fire, at 2449 Dwight Way in the Chandler apartment building, appears to have started in a fourth-floor unit on the west side of the building, then spread to the attic. Acting Berkeley Fire Chief Avery Webb said the fire appears likely to have been accidental, based on the preliminary investigation. The investigation is, however, ongoing.

About 30 people were displaced as a result of the fire, either staying with supporters or receiving help from the Red Cross for temporary housing. A representative from the Red Cross said Wednesday it is assisting 26 people, and that the agency is still working to determine the short- and long-term needs of those individuals.

One person had to be carried out of the building by firefighters and was treated at a hospital, but was released Sunday evening. In addition, two cats are reported to have perished in the Dwight Way fire. A third cat was rescued by firefighters and survived the blaze. … Continue reading »

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Update: Bullet strikes car of family on I-80

Photo: Chandler Fitzsimmons
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A family of three driving on Interstate 80 on Tuesday night was surprised when a bullet struck their vehicle, shattering a window and injuring a woman who was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said.

Inside the vehicle were a woman in her 60s, a woman in her 30s and an 8-year-old child.

Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police spokesman, said BPD and the California Highway Patrol are investigating the incident, which took place in West Berkeley on eastbound I-80 between the Ashby Avenue and University Avenue off-ramps.
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Broken elevator strands disabled Berkeley tenants

The Acton Courtyard elevator has been broken since Nov. 13. Image: Google Maps
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A broken elevator at a Berkeley apartment building owned by Equity Residential has left numerous tenants with mobility issues in the lurch this holiday season, and building management has been slow to handle the problem, residents report.

The single elevator at The Acton Courtyard, at 1370 University Ave. (at Acton Street), broke down 11 days ago, Nov. 13, after months on the fritz, tenants say. At least six tenants in the building have mobility impairments. The broken elevator has left them “trapped in their apartments or stranded outside of them,” according to a Nov. 20 letter sent to Equity by Disability Rights Advocates.

“This means that they have either been completely shut off from the outside world or completely stranded within it—unable to cook, unable to access their clothing or other possessions, and denied the basic comforts of their homes,” according to Disability Rights Advocates, a Berkeley-based nonprofit and nationally recognized legal center focused on disability rights.

The letter was written on behalf of tenants Dominika Bednarska and her partner Perlita Payne, who have lived in the building for more than three years, along with other unnamed residents. Bednarska uses a scooter to get around, and Payne has chronic knee pain that makes climbing stairs difficult. The couple live on the fifth floor at The Courtyard, and have been in a hotel since the Nov. 13 elevator breakdown. Equity is covering the hotel costs, but tenants say the company has not taken the problem seriously enough.  … Continue reading »

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First time observed: Hundreds of monarch butterflies cluster in Berkeley’s Aquatic Park


CAPTION: Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) in an ash tree in Aquatic Park. Photo: Elaine Miller Bond [LINK: www.elainemillerbond.com]]
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In late October, Berkeleyside received a tip that thousands of tiny fish were jumping in the waters of Aquatic Park.

Less than three weeks later, we received another “scoop” about the park that throngs of monarch butterflies were clustering in the trees.

I’d seen groups of monarchs in well-known gathering places, called “roosts” or “bivouacs,” in Pacific Grove and Santa Cruz. But I’d never heard of such a spectacle in Berkeley.

So I rushed the next morning to Aquatic Park, to the trees just east of the 14th hole of the disc-golf course, the site where the butterflies had purportedly been spotted. … Continue reading »

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Two fires hit West Berkeley and Southside

Firefighters transfer a victim to a gurney during a two-alarm fire on Dwight Way, near Telegraph Avenue. Photo: David Yee
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By Frances Dinkelspiel and Emilie Raguso

Update: Nov. 23, 8:55 a.m. About 30 people were displaced from their apartments Sunday night after a fire ripped through the Chandler apartment complex at 2449 Dwight Way.

The fire was one of two that struck Berkeley within 15 minutes, prompting the Berkeley Fire Department to call in mutual aid from Oakland, Albany, El Cerrito and the Alameda County Fire Department, according to Avery Webb, Berkeley’s interim fire chief.

Both fires went to two alarms – something that Webb said he had never remembered happening before.

“We were stretched pretty thin trying to manage both incidents at the same time,” said Webb. “To have two second-alarm fires at the same time is extremely rare. It’s pretty unusual.” … Continue reading »

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Teen in critical condition after group attack in Berkeley

Police responded to an altercation Sunday on Ashby. Image: Google maps
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Update, Nov. 19, 1:27 p.m. The Alameda County district attorney’s office has not filed charges in this case, and spokeswoman Teresa Drenick says it remains under investigation by the Berkeley Police Department. Said Officer Byron White, police ultimately released Emauj Roos, Aaron Meredith and Caleb Williams “without complaint”: “As a result of further investigation into the case, we did not find sufficient evidence to hold three of the adult arrestees.” The other teenager, 18-year-old Berkeley High School student Danari Williams, was released after the DA’s office declined to pursue charges at this time.

Original post, Nov. 18, 9 a.m. After being assaulted by a group of teenage males in South Berkeley over the weekend, a 16-year-old boy is in critical but stable condition this week, authorities said.

Police released additional details Tuesday in response to a request for an update about the case from Berkeleyside.

Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police spokesman, said officers responded shortly after 5 p.m. Sunday to multiple calls “about a group of men attacking a man” on the ground in the 1200 block of Ashby Avenue, near Mabel Street.

The incident followed a related altercation about 15 minutes prior near San Pablo Park, at Park and Ward streets.

Officers were nearby and arrived quickly to find an unconscious 16-year-old male on the pavement near Ashby and Mabel.

Medical personnel attended to the teen, who had what appeared to be major blunt force trauma to the head, while other officers spotted the group believed to be linked to the attack walking on Heinz Street toward San Pablo Avenue. … Continue reading »

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Male sustains serious head injury after fight; 6 arrested

Police responded to an altercation Sunday on Ashby. Image: Google maps
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Update, Nov. 19, 1:27 p.m. The Alameda County district attorney’s office has not filed charges in this case, and spokeswoman Teresa Drenick says it remains under investigation by the Berkeley Police Department. Said Officer Byron White, police ultimately released Emauj Roos, Aaron Meredith and Caleb Williams “without complaint”: “As a result of further investigation into the case, we did not find sufficient evidence to hold three of the adult arrestees.” The other teenager, 18-year-old Berkeley High School student Danari Williams, was released after the DA’s office declined to pursue charges at this time. See the updated story.

Original story, Nov. 15, 9:54 p.m. Police have taken six people into custody after a report of a fight in South Berkeley that sent a male to the hospital with what appears to be a major head injury, authorities said.

Police Sgt. Todd Sabins said officers received a call just after 5 p.m. Sunday about an altercation involving a group of younger males and one male victim that escalated into a fight in the 1200 block of Ashby Avenue, near Mabel Street.

The victim received “somewhat major blunt force trauma to the head,” said Sabins, and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Officers responded quickly, after receiving reports of 8-9 males leaving the scene, and ultimately were able to detain six of them. … Continue reading »

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Police arrest 2 after Bonar music video shoot

The corner of Bonar Street and Allston Way in Berkeley, as seen in the "Hot Boi Weez Mob Nigga" video.
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[Editor’s Note: This story was updated after publication to include a comment from Berkeley rap musician Hotboi Weez.]

Police arrested two men on suspicion of firearm-related violations during a music video shoot on Bonar Street in West Berkeley over the weekend.

At about 3:30 p.m. Saturday, police received several calls about a group of 10 who were “posing around a vehicle with guns” in the 2200 block of Bonar Street, police said.

Upon arrival, officers discovered the group was filming a music video,” said Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police spokesman. “During the detention, officers discovered two firearms and a replica firearm with an altered orange tip. Additional investigation into the group revealed an additional handgun as well as a quantity of cocaine, alprazolam, marijuana, and cash.”

Police confiscated the footage and camera equipment being used to film the video, according to scanner reports. … Continue reading »

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Anvil Brewing taking shape in West Berkeley

Test batches of beer in progress at the future Anvil Brewing site. Photo: Sean Wells
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The newest West Berkeley brewery will likely open in spring 2016 on Gilman Street.

Anvil Brewing, a small craft brewery started by home brewers Sean Wells and Tim Sellmeyer, is beginning construction on the brewery site in the coming days. (We broke the news on the brewery, to be located at 912 Gilman St., in May.)

Wells told NOSH this week that Anvil has plans for a two-phase build-out that will include not only a 762 square-foot tasting room, but an adjacent quick-service restaurant as well. Berkeley’s Zoning Adjustments Board approved Anvil’s use permit for both phases during its Oct. 22 meeting.

Wells says that there is not much improvement work necessary for the brewery and tasting room, so construction will move quickly. They will likely begin work on restaurant, which will be located at 916 Gilman St., later in 2016. … Continue reading »

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Making a splash: Fish jumping in Berkeley’s Aquatic Park

Not a flying fish: This is a topsmelt, a common fish in our coastal estuaries. Photo: Elaine Miller Bond
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Dark clouds gathered last Tuesday morning, and many of us hoped for a storm. Yet, the not-so-still waters at Berkeley’s Aquatic Park didn’t roil from raindrops; they bubbled from thousands of small jumping fish.

According to Dr. Peter Moyle, Distinguished Professor Emeritus with the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology at UC Davis, these little silver fish were juvenile topsmelt (Atheriopsis affinis). Full-size topsmelt can be as long as 14.5 inches. … Continue reading »

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Man shot during robbery at Berkeley hydroponic shop

Image: Google maps
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A man was shot during a robbery at a West Berkeley business Saturday afternoon, authorities have reported.

The incident took place just before 4:30 p.m. at 1655 Fifth St., at E.C. Hydro, a hydroponic and garden supply shop that has been open since 1989.

“We received a call from an individual who reported being shot during a robbery which occurred inside a commercial business or warehouse,” said Berkeley Police Capt. Andrew Greenwood.

The man suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was taken by the Berkeley Fire Department to a local hospital for treatment. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley man arrested after dog theft, carjacking

The animal shelter's grand opening celebration takes place at 1 Bolivar Drive on Saturday. Scroll to the bottom of the story for details. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Police have arrested a man they say carjacked a driver in West Berkeley after breaking into the municipal animal shelter last week to steal a dog he’d been turned down from adopting.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said 36-year-old Joseph Kristian Black broke into the Dona Spring Animal Shelter last Tuesday, Oct. 21, and stole a dog he had unsuccessfully tried to adopt.

Coats said Black, a Berkeley resident, smashed a window at the shelter at 6:25 p.m. and was able to get into the building, at 1 Bolivar Dr. north of Addison Street.

“He then pried open a kennel and stole a dog that was under the care of the shelter,” she said. … Continue reading »

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Motorcycle rider injured in collision on I-80 in Berkeley

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At approximately 6:20 a.m., Oakland CHP units responded to a collision on the westbound lanes of I-80 west of University, according to Officer Sean Wilkenfeld, spokesman for CHP Oakland.

Upon arrival, officers found a Harley Davidson motorcycle and a Honda Civic that had been involved in a traffic collision. The rider of the motorcycle, a 39-year-old man from Richmond, sustained major (non-life-threatening) injuries and was taken by ambulance to Highland Hospital, Wilkenfeld said in a statement.

The CHP’s preliminary investigation revealed that the motorcyclist rear-ended the Honda Civic, causing him to be ejected. Two lanes were closed temporarily to conduct the investigation, but have since been re-opened. … Continue reading »

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