The Berkeley Wire: 09.30.16

Berkeley mayoral candidates square off at forum (East Bay Times)
Astronaut Scott Kelly shares space experiences with students (KGO)
Berkeley woman killed crossing the street in Richmond (Patch)
Sheared fire hydrant spews water in South Berkeley (Daily Cal)
Commuter ferry service approved from Berkeley to San Francisco (East Bay Times)

Berkeleyside publishes many articles every day. To see all our stories in chronological order, and read ones you may have missed, check out our All the News grid.

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Update: Berkeley church says 3-alarm fire caused by roof work, crews still on scene, streets closed

Fire on Channing at the First Congregational Church. Photo: Ted Friedman
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Update, 5 p.m. Authorities say 94 children and 14 staffers were evacuated during Friday’s three-alarm fire at the First Congregational Church on Channing Way in Berkeley.

The fire was declared under control at 3:20 p.m. but had not been extinguished, Berkeley Fire Chief Gil Dong said during a 4 p.m. briefing. Firefighters were still working to put out hotspots.

He said crews would remain on scene throughout the evening and into tomorrow.

Scroll down for photographs of the fire shared by many community members.

Dong said the cause of the fire remains unknown and the investigation could not be carried out until the conditions are safe. He said Channing Way and Durant Avenue will be blocked off tomorrow, and could affect traffic for the scheduled Cal football game.

Dong said authorities are concerned about potential collapses, particularly in the chimney.  … Continue reading »

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Bites: Public Market update, Banh Mi Joint, more

Assorted poke bowls from Fish Face Poke Bar. Photo: Fish Face Poke/Facebook
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Openings, closings

NEW PUBLIC MARKET TENANTS Emeryville’s Public Market is still adding new tenants, and has announced two more this week: Joining a lineup that includes Shiba Ramen and Koja Kitchen will be Fish Face Poke Bar and The Periodic Table. Fish Face is the second location for the Sacramento-based rice bowl restaurant from restaurateur Billy Ngo. (Ngo also owns Kru, a sushi restaurant.) Like other poke spots, Fish Face allows customers to build their own bowls of rice and seafood, with a choice of protein, sauce, and additional toppings like macadamia nuts, daikon sprouts and masago roe. The Periodic Table is a beer and sake bar from the owners of Shiba Ramen, and it will, in fact, be located in the stall right next door to the ramen shop. Shiba co-owner Jake Freed hopes that the new project will bring a more vibrant nightlife to the area. Freed says his hopes to open by the middle of next year; no word on a projected opening date for Fish Face. Meanwhile, Mayo & MustardWe Sushi and Oui Oui Macaron are still under construction, but they appear very close to finishing. Full-service restaurant Granja Eatery, from Peruvian chef Carlos Altamirano, is also still in the works, and construction has begun on New Seasons, a Portland, OR-based grocery store headed to the complex. Public Market Emeryville is at 5959 Shellmound St., Emeryville. Connect with the market on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.Continue reading »

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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

Pop-Up and California Sunday Magazine bring the Golden State Record to the Greek Theatre on Friday Sept. 30. Photo: Pop-Up
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THE GOLDEN STATE RECORD Pop-Up Magazine, California Sunday Magazine and Noise Pop present The Golden State Record at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley Friday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. The show, inspired in part by The Golden Record, launched into deep space by NASA and Carl Sagan in 1977, celebrates and explores the sounds, ideas, and culture of California and the West today. Described as a “first-of-its-kind music and storytelling event,” the lineup includes musicians Shamir, Lil B, Thao Nguyen and the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, and performers including Janna Levin, Jace Clayton andJon Mooallem. More information and tickets ($52 and $60).  … Continue reading »


Richmond police chase ends in Berkeley with crash, arrest

A car crashed on the basketball court at Strawberry Creek Park during a police chase Thursday. Photo: Citizen reporter
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Update, 1:25 a.m. Authorities have just confirmed this incident began in Richmond at around 10:35 p.m.

“Richmond PD officers were attempting to stop a vehicle. The suspect vehicle turned onto a dead end street and made an abrupt u-turn. The suspect vehicle then rammed her car into a marked RPD patrol car and fled,” Lt. Felix Tan, RPD spokesman, told Berkeleyside.

Police pursued the car into Berkeley where the chase ended at Bonar and Bancroft. All three occupants were taken into custody and no weapons were found. Tan said the officer was not injured but the patrol car had moderate damage.

Tan also said the driver was an adult female, and she was the only one booked on suspicion of the assault on the officer. He said RPD does not generally release the names of individuals who are arrested.

Update, 11:55 p.m. BPD tells us this is a Richmond case; no further information was available. Berkeleyside will attempt to learn more.

Update, 11:44 p.m. The neighborhood tipster tells Berkeleyside at least one of the people detained after the chase lives on the block.

He said he heard what sounded like loud reports during the pursuit: “If there wasn’t gunfire, then someone was setting off a lot of fireworks in the last 30 seconds of the chase. It was a very loud and distinct POP POP POP POP POP POP POP really quickly before everyone got out of their cars.” … Continue reading »

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The Berkeley Wire: 09.29.16

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First responders, students question stats showing rise in alcohol abuse at UC Berkeley

Paramedics load a patient into an ambulance during a response to an alcohol poisoning call at Freeborn Hall in the Unit 1 dorms at the University of California, in Berkeley, on Sunday, August 23. The call came in as a possible alcohol poisoning case involving a 19-year-old female in the bathroom of Freeborn Hall. Photo: David Yee
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Despite official statistics suggesting 2016 was a banner year for alcohol abuse during the first weeks of the UC Berkeley school year, anecdotes from first responders and student leaders suggest otherwise.

In early September, the state bureau of Alcohol and Beverage Control released figures for the first two weekends of the school year that indicated alcohol-related incidents spiked 110% this year, compared with 2004 when the ABC bureau first started collecting data. And this year’s total of 551 incidents is up 30% from 2015.

The stats are based on a collaboration between the Berkeley Police Department, ABC and other law-enforcement agencies that is funded through a grant. The annual effort began in 2004.

Unlike previous years, where new records appear in certain citation categories such as ‘open container violations’ or ‘minors in possession of alcohol,’ 2016 set records across the board. For example, in 2016 law enforcement handed out 36 citations for ‘furnishing alcohol to minors,’ beating the 2006 record of 32.

The UC Police reported a slight uptick in hospital transports to 15, from 11 in August. But September, at least through Sept. 21, declined to 16 from 19 in 2015, according to Sergeant Sabrina Reich.

The Berkeley Police Department acknowledged that the increase was likely due to the number of officers involved. … Continue reading »

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Sentencing postponed again in Berkeley murder; convicted accomplice disputes identity of killer

Carroll, at right, seen here with brothers Jermaine and Charles Davis, both of whom have since been killed in fatal shootings. Photo: Coleon Carroll/FB
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The attorney for a 27-year-old man found guilty earlier this year of a 2010 murder in Berkeley has filed a motion for retrial and plans to bring in new testimony from a convicted accomplice in the case to dispute her client’s guilt.

Coleon Carroll entered a no contest plea for voluntary manslaughter in February after authorities identified him as the getaway driver in the murder of Gary Ferguson Jr. and the attempted murder of Larry Belle as they talked on Sacramento Street in South Berkeley one morning about six years ago.

An Alameda County Superior Court jury found Brandon Wallace of Pittsburg guilty in March of being a shooter in that murder. The guilty verdict means he could spend more than 50 years in prison.

Read complete coverage of the case.

But Wallace’s sentencing has been delayed repeatedly since his conviction for murder, attempted murder and unlawful possession of a firearm March 21. A prior sentencing hearing was postponed because Wallace’s father was reportedly working out of state and wanted to attend.

Thursday, the hearing was postponed again, and it now won’t take place before Dec. 1.

Defense attorney Bonnie Narby told Judge Jon Rolefson she plans to bring in Carroll to say it was actually another man — his deceased cousin Jermaine Davis — who was at the shooting scene. (Davis and Wallace both had dreadlocks at the time of the murder.) Narby argued during Wallace’s trial that he was in another city during the Berkeley murder and was not the man responsible for it.

Authorities have said Wallace was shot accidentally by an accomplice during Ferguson’s murder, which they said was evident on surveillance footage of the killing. And his blood was found soaked into the front seat of the getaway vehicle. … Continue reading »

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Downtown Berkeley food scene picks up pace

Downtown Berkeley: ranked number one for walkability in new survey. Photo: Sharon Hahn Darlin
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“Visit Berkeley. Come for the culture, stay for the food,” reads a large blue sign as you exit the Downtown Berkeley BART station. And, with the food revitalization currently underway in downtown Berkeley, this sign rings true. Over the course of the past few months, a slew of new restaurants have joined classics like Gather, La Note, PIQ, Revival and Angeline’s (just to name a few) among the ranks of downtown Berkeley’s go-to spots.

To help get you up to speed, we’ve compiled a list of recently opened and soon-to-open restaurants in the neighborhood. Whether you are a sweet-toothed doughnut connoisseur or a vegan salad aficionado, there is a new restaurant for you to try. Hear of anything else in the works? Let us know in the comments.

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From Brazil to Berkeley and back: Ian Faquini’s journey

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Ian Faquini’s Brazilian identity was never in doubt. Born in the nation’s futuristic capital Brasilia, he moved with his parents to Berkeley just in time to finish second grade, and grew up speaking Portuguese at home. But it wasn’t until the revered Brazilian guitarist/composer Guinga took him under his wing that Faquini immersed himself in the music of his homeland. In recent years he’s emerged as one of the most gifted young guitarists and songwriters working in Brazilian music, and he celebrates the release of his debut album Metal na Madeira (Ridgeway Records) with Rio de Janiero-based vocalist Paula Santoro 8 p.m. Friday at the California Jazz Conservatory.

Even before he discovered Guinga, Faquini was obsessed with music. Interested in different instruments as a child, he found his soulmate when he got an acoustic guitar for his 11th birthday. “It was impossible for me not to practice,” says Faquini, who just turned 26. “My mom would say, haven’t you been playing too much? I had a band in middle school and would make them have six-to-eight hour rehearsals.” … Continue reading »


The Berkeley Wire: 09.28.16

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Caterer Olivia Colt finds ‘saving grace’ in the kitchen

Salt & Honey owner Olivia Colt (center) on  KTVU this month. Photo: Courtesy of Salt & Honey
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From an early age, Olivia Colt showed signs of a fighter’s mentality.

Whether it was explaining that her Dominican culture was as legitimate as the dominant Mexican culture in her hometown of San Diego, or filling out an application to get into a Catholic high school so she could be the first in her family to graduate college, Colt was not going to take no for an answer.

It’s not surprising, since the matriarchs in her family are all driven people. After her grandmother immigrated to New York in the 1960s, she didn’t rest until almost all of her family members were here.

“They really wanted us to have the American dream,” said Colt. “When my mom was divorcing my dad, she figured out how to buy a house on her own. She grew up adjacent to the projects in the Bronx, and wanted her kids to have a better life than she had. [She and my grandmother] instilled in me a drive and work ethic like no other, where failure is not an option. Any success, you celebrate it.”

It’s that mentality that has allowed Colt, 33, to operate Salt & Honey, a thriving catering business in Berkeley, despite the fact that she has a life-threatening illness, one that requires her to receive all-day treatments at the UC San Francisco hospital twice a month and often requires her to be at home for days afterward. … Continue reading »

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Update: ‘Family march’ set for Thursday is canceled

Family March for Safe Streets route. Image: FMSS
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Update, Sept. 29, 9:45 a.m. The family march has been canceled due to a conflict with another event and some community pushback about the focus of the march. (The organizer has asked the community to attend the other event instead.) See the organizer’s statement about the cancelation in the comments at the bottom of this story.

Original post, Sept. 28: Two local mothers were spurred into action this week to organize a “family march” in South Berkeley after several incidents of gun violence in the neighborhood, one of which killed a 19-year-old man.

The “Family March for Safe Streets” is set to take place Thursday, Sept. 29, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Participants can meet at Sweet Adeline Bakeshop, 3350 Adeline St., beginning at 5 p.m. There will be free glow-stick necklaces for the first 50 children, and free glow-bracelets for the next 100.

Despite tonsillitis, South Berkeley resident and co-organizer Heather Zadig spoke before the Berkeley City Council during public comment for items not on the agenda on Tuesday night to alert the community to the march. The event, which is “not a protest,” is meant to help bring the community together and raise awareness about the recent shootings.

“They’re awful. They’re frequent,” she said to council, and said a number of local parents are concerned. “We’re moving our kids’ bedrooms away from the front of the street because there are sirens going by and waking them up in terror every night.” … Continue reading »

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At Brower Center, 2 artists drive home climate change

CHRIS MEYER/ MIDWEST VISION PHOTOGRAPHY -- Edward Morris (left) and Susannah Sayler with the Canary Project.
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On Friday night at the David Brower Center in downtown Berkeley, Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris were awarded the center’s eighth annual Art/Act Award for their environmental activist work known as The Canary Project.

At the Q&A that capped the evening, the Brooklyn-based husband and wife team sat in directors’ chairs and fielded questions from a dispersed crowd of about 40.

“I don’t think any of us really believe in climate change,” Morris declared to the audience.

The well-dressed Berkeley crowd sat silently in a room made with bamboo-paneled walls and 100% non-toxic recycled post-consumer red carpet. No audible gasps surfaced.

Seeing is believing, Morris explained, and the trouble with climate change is: we can’t see it. We can only observe its wreckage — charcoal forests, melted glaciers and flooded towns. The Canary Project’s aim is to traumatize its audience into a visceral belief in the reality of that change, to bridge the gap between knowing and feeling.

“With art you can make those piercings,” Morris said. “Art has this capacity to make space for belief and belief can make a space for change.” … Continue reading »

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