A 6-year-old boy has died from injuries he suffered in a car crash in Berkeley 11 days ago that also killed his mother and injured her boyfriend, police said today. -more-
Press Release: Boy, Passenger in Solo Car Collision at California Street and Allston Way, Passes Away on May 25, 2012
The Alameda County Coroner’s Office called the City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) on Friday night, May 25, 2012 to advise us that Xavier Chevez, born 4/14/06, of Berkeley, died at about 6:30 p.m. that evening. The boy’s autopsy is pending. When the BPD investigators receive the results of the autopsy, they will take the information to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office (BA) for her review and consideration of added and/or amended charges in the case. -more-
Richmond, one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s poorest cities, had been betting on casinos to boost a lagging local economy plagued by a decayed urban center and high unemployment. The developers, who recruited landless Native America bands to front their plans, promised jobs for the jobless and cash for the city’s revenue-starved coffers. [Getting a tribal affiliation is critical, since Vegas-style gambling is illegal in California unless it's on land claimed as a tribal reservation, which falls under federal jurisdiction.]
The first proposal called for a billion-dollar-plus Vegas style resort directly on the waters of the Bay near the foot of the Richmond San Rafael Bridge, a major traffic artery connecting Marin County to the East Bay.
There’d be Sin City-style showrooms, a major hotel complex, high-roller tables, gourmet eateries, an exclusive condo development, and more — and all of it “green.”
But Berkeley developer Jim Levine, who made his pile on hazardous waste cleanups [including part of the Richmond site where UC Berkeley hopes to build a massive second campus of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory] was dealt a death blow when the Bureau of Indian Affairs determined that the Guidiville Rancheria band of Pomos had no historic connection with the site — a basic requirement for restoring a landless tribe to a new reservation.
Now the same fate has befallen the second project, put forward by Florida casino developer Alan Ginsburg, who also heads North American Sports Management. -more-
The long-established Council of Neighborhood Associations and other neighborhood groups filed suit in Alameda County Court last week against the City of Berkeley’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for its new Downtown Area Plan (DAP). The suit alleges that the City has made numerous changes since it last reviewed the DAP, in 2009, but has not analyzed their effects, as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). In particular, the suit charges that the City has proposed a new zoning ordinance, cynically called the “Green Pathway”, which makes it quicker and easier for developers to demolish older buildings, even if they are attractive and historically important. -more-
I've just received the Spring issue of "Berkeley Bookmark," a newsletter of the Berkeley Public Library. It's jam-packed with items of interest for book lovers. Foremost is the announcement of the Friends' Annual Luncheon, to be held Wednesday, June 20, noon, at the Northbrae Community Church, 941 The Alameda, Berkeley. Special Guest will be Ann Thomas, owner of Pegasus Bookstores, speaking on "Thirty Years of Bookselling in Berkeley." Other items to be discussed will include Elections to the Friends' Board of Directors, Financial Update, Service Awards for Library Staff -- Library Director, Donna Corbeil, and Library Foundation Capital Campaign Update. Please bring a brown bag lunch. Beverages, fruit and tasty desserts will be provided. RSVP by Friday, June 15 (510) 981-6152 and bring a friend! -more-
Mario Savio's civil rights work as a university student in the Freedom Summer Project of 1964 in Mississippi led to his involvement as a leader of the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley during 1964-1965. His brilliant rhetoric inspired thousands of students who demanded the administration lift the ban of on-campus political activities and acknowledge the students' right to free speech and academic freedom. Standing on the steps of Sproul Hall, Mario spoke to these students: "There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part...you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus and you've got to make it stop." -more-
Robert George Chacona, beloved retired Berkeley Public Schools music teacher, died on April 21, 2012 surrounded by his loved ones. Bob's deepest joys in life were teaching music, playing his trumpet, spending time with his family/friends and talking about "the good ol' days".
Bob was preceded in death by his wife, Jan, but remained very close to her family over the years. He leaves to mourn his beloved daughter Margretha, son-in-law Maurice, granddaughters Angela and Tatlin, and great-grandson Robert; his companion Joan Natkin, her son Ben, and daughter Jessica (Blair) and their children. Bob was a gentle loving person who was deeply loved and will be greatly missed.
A service will be held at 2:00 pm on June 2, 2012, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 2300 Bancroft Way, Berkeley. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in memory of Bob be remitted to The James Fund (sponsored by the Retired Teachers Association of the Berkeley Unified School District) and mailed c/o Barnetta Robinson, 288 Whitmore St #120. Oakland CA 94611. -more-