Updated: Up to 50 in Berkeley Displaced by Morning Apartment Building Fire

By Scott Morris/Dan McMenamin (BCN)
Tuesday March 06, 2012 - 08:47:00 AM

As many as 50 people have been evacuated from a Berkeley apartment building that burned for nearly four hours early this morning and four buildings surrounding it, a deputy fire chief said.

Two walls of the building at 2227 Dwight Way were evaluated as unsafe and at risk of collapse by a structural engineer this afternoon, Berkeley Deputy Fire Chief Gil Dong said.

Residents of four adjacent buildings will remain displaced until crews can come in tomorrow to resolve the structural issues, as officials fear that a collapse could damage the surrounding buildings, Dong said. -more-

Press Release: City of Berkeley Issues Summary of 2227 Dwight Fire

From Mary Kay Clunies-Ross, Public Information Officer for the City of Berkeley
Thursday March 08, 2012 - 11:29:00 AM

On Thursday, March 8 at about 4:15 a.m., a fire was reported at 2227 Dwight. It was a 2 alarm fire and was ultimately contained at about 8 a.m. Because there was still some smoldering, fire crews monitored the building for the rest of the day. -more-

Updated: Berkeley Fire Now Controlled

By Dan McMenamin (BCN)
Thursday March 08, 2012 - 08:52:00 AM

A two-alarm fire at an apartment building in Berkeley was controlled this morning after burning for nearly four hours, a deputy fire chief said.

The fire was reported at 4:13 a.m. at 2227 Dwight Way, a six-unit building located a few blocks from the University of California at Berkeley campus, Berkeley Deputy Fire Chief Gil Dong said.

The roof of the building collapsed, making it difficult for firefighters to access various hot spots that remain from the blaze, Dong said. The fire was under control at 8:05 a.m., he said. -more-

Flash: Two Alarm Fire Burning in Berkeley's South Campus Neighborhood

By Dan McMenamin (BCN)
Thursday March 08, 2012 - 08:43:00 AM

View Larger Map

A two-alarm fire is burning at an apartment building in Berkeley this morning, a deputy fire chief said.

The fire was reported at 4:13 a.m. at the building at 2227 Dwight Way, a six-unit building located a few blocks from the University of California at Berkeley campus, Berkeley Deputy Fire Chief Gil Dong said. -more-

New: Berkeley’s Aquatic Park (Photo Essay)

By Louis Cuneo and Marcia Poole
Wednesday March 07, 2012 - 11:18:00 AM
Covered Pier in fog at Berkeley's Aquatic Park

Editor's Note: Current proposals for developing the area around Aquatic Park in the draft revision of the West Berkeley Plan threaten views and wildlife. This photo essay by two Berkeley artists highlights what's at risk.

Berkeley’s Aquatic Park , an unmanicured, still environment filled with wildlife and accessible to all, sits directly to the east side of busy Interstate 80 and yet gives the feeling of being a wildlife sanctuary. The park, built in 1935 as part of a WPA project, serves today as a wetlands preserve as well as a lovely place for individuals and families to refresh themselves on nature’s beauty.

A convergence of species takes place here. The park is home to many resident and migrating birds, a shelter for animals and a preserve for fish (no fishing permitted). Birds, the last of the few truly free species on earth, take shelter to feed and rest here.

Louis Cuneo and Marcia Poole created these digital prints. Cuneo took the photographs and Poole edited them in such a way that one takes a second, deeper look at the images. She printed them on archival watercolor rag paper with archival inks. Their collaborative work captures a series of moments — the intersections of time and space — in the Japanese tradition of Haiga, the visual form of Haiku. -more-

Berkeley Mayor's Office Chief of Staff Still Has Her Old Job

By Zelda Bronstein
Tuesday March 06, 2012 - 08:50:00 AM

Last night I attended Berkeleyside’s latest Start-up Forum at the Freight and Salvage. The event yielded one piece of news: panelist Judith Iglehart, Mayor Bates’ new chief of staff, who’s being paid $90,000 (plus benefits) in that position, revealed that she's still working at her old job; she’s still Vice President for International Chapter Development and Operations at Keiretsu Forum. The Keiretsu website describes the organization as “the world’s’ largest angel investor network with…twenty-one chapters on three continents.”

Reminding us that “we’re living in a global economy,” Iglehart reeled off the cities around the world that she’s visited for Keiretsu—Barcelona, Istanbul, and then I lost track—and ended by noting that she was about to return to Istanbul. She responded to several questions by stating that she didn’t know the answer, observing that she’d been in the mayor’s office for only two months. I wondered how much of that time she’d spent jetting off to exotic destinations for Keiretsu. I also wondered why it hasn’t occurred to her or her new boss that paying a public employee $90,000 to do a full-time job part-time is problematic. -more-

City to Hear Public Comment This Week on Two Development Plans for Berkeley (News Analysis)

By Toni Mester
Monday March 05, 2012 - 11:08:00 AM
The dotted lines show two versions of building heights proposed for the Aquatic Park area under the draft West Berkeley Plan.

Public hearings on the Downtown Plan and West Berkeley Project, two development plans that envision significant increases in building heights and mass as well as housing density, begin Tuesday night at the City Council meeting with a public hearing on the Downtown Plan. The meeting starts at 7 PM at City Hall with the public hearing scheduled as the first item on the action calendar. The hearing will be followed by certification of the EIR and adoption of the Downtown Area Plan (DAP 2012) and the first reading of changes to the zoning ordinance and maps. -more-

Press Release: Six Men Shot in Two West Berkeley Incidents over the Weekend

From Sergeant Mary C. Kusmiss, BPD Public Information Officer
Monday March 05, 2012 - 03:53:00 PM

The Berkeley Police Department on Monday provided information on two shooting incidents over the weekend in West Berkeley with a total of six injuries: -more-

Berkeley's Students Stung by Tough Times, and They Want You to Know

By Ted Friedman
Friday March 02, 2012 - 01:16:00 PM
Occupy Cal and Occupy Oakland in their first team-up ten days ago. the smoke at the base of the campanile is all smoke, no fire.

If cuts could sting, there was lots of pain in Berkeley, Thursday, as Occupy Oakland teamed up with Occupy Cal for a march from Cal to downtown Oakland to protest cuts in services, classes, and increased tuition. Our students want you to know. -more-

Calling for a Halt

By Carol Denney
Tuesday March 06, 2012 - 08:47:00 AM

On Monday, March 5th, 2012, the City of Berkeley’s Peace and Justice Commission unanimously affirmed a resolution to encourage the Berkeley City Council to express concern over the University of California’s bulldozing of the community garden in the west end of People’s Park on December 28th, 2011, and to halt any further construction or alteration of the park until the People's Park Community Advisory Board has been included in the planning process. -more-

Magnitude 4.0 Quake This Morning Followed by Second Smaller Quake

By Bay City News
Monday March 05, 2012 - 10:54:00 AM

A 4.0 magnitude earthquake centered in the East Bay shook the Bay Area early this morning, followed by a second magnitude 2.0 quake about 30 minutes later, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. -more-

Flash: Earthquake This Morning Felt in Berkeley Was 4.0

Monday March 05, 2012 - 05:46:00 AM

Yes, that was an earthquake. A 4.0 earthquake in the Richmond-El Cerrito Hills struck about 5:30 this morning.
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Berkeley Student Injured in Frat House Fall Still in Critical Condition

By Bay City News
Friday March 02, 2012 - 08:20:00 AM

A University of California at Berkeley freshman who fell two stories from the side of a fraternity building and suffered severe head trauma Saturday night remains hospitalized in critical condition, a Berkeley police spokeswoman said Thursday. -more-

Fire on UC Berkeley Campus Forces Evacuation

By Bay City News
Thursday March 01, 2012 - 05:35:00 PM

A small fire at the University of California at Berkeley this morning forced the evacuation of Etcheverry Hall, fire officials said. -more-

Bay Area Campuses, Including U.C. Berkeley, Participate in National Day of Action for Public Education

By Scott Morris (BCN)
Wednesday February 29, 2012 - 03:33:00 PM

Bay Area students are gathering today to protest rising tuition costs and state budget cuts to public education in a wave of demonstrations at U.C. Berkeley and other campuses up and down California. -more-

Press Release: UC Berkeley Faculty Join “99 Mile March” to Sacramento

From Eric Hayes, U.C. Faculty Association Staff
Wednesday February 29, 2012 - 12:55:00 PM

Approximately two dozen UC Berkeley faculty will join the “99 Mile March for Education and Social Justice” on Friday, March 2nd. The march departs Oakland on Thursday, March 1st, and will arrive in Sacramento on Monday March 5th for a rally on behalf of public education at the State Capitol Building. -more-

Berkeley School Safety Officer Charged with Identity Theft

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Tuesday February 28, 2012 - 12:55:00 PM

A Berkeley High School safety officer has been charged with one count of felony identity theft for allegedly stealing bank account information from a special education teacher and using it to pay his utility bills.

William "Billy" Keys Jr., 41, was arraigned in Alameda County Superior Court on Friday and is scheduled to return to court Monday to enter a plea. He is free on $10,000 bail.

Keys, who graduated from Berkeley High and has worked for the school for about 20 years, was arrested Thursday after he allegedly admitted to Berkeley police Officer Darren Rafferty that the account numbers that he used to pay his bills were not his own. -more-