Local news you may have missed over winter break

Amanda Ramirez/Senior Staff

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Jan. 2:

UC Berkeley students arrived on campus after winter break in mid-January to find that the popular eatery Sliver Pizzeria had returned to Downtown Berkeley.

After leaving Center Street in Downtown Berkeley in December 2017, Sliver returned to the Downtown area almost a year after opening its Telegraph Avenue location in January 2018. It has now set up shop at 2174 Shattuck Ave., where it opened its doors earlier this month — right next to the Downtown Berkeley BART station.

Sliver joins a number of popular restaurants in Downtown, a core dining area of Berkeley. According to Katie Gracias, manager-in-training at the Telegraph location, one benefit of the new location is its proximity to Berkeley City College and Berkeley High School, allowing students to stay in Downtown Berkeley for lunch.

Beyond the advantages of the location, the Shattuck restaurant will also offer new daily pizza varieties.

The new location marks the opening of a third Sliver Pizzeria in the East Bay. Another is located a few blocks away from campus on Telegraph Ave. and the third in Rockridge.

— Sophia Brown-Heidenreich

 

Jan. 5:

Berkeley Unified School District, or BUSD, board President Judy Appel and her wife Alison Bernstein were struck by a vehicle just after midnight and brought to a local hospital after sustaining critical injuries.

The couple was crossing Martin Luther King Jr. Way when they were hit by a northbound vehicle. The cause of the collision was later determined to be a failure to “yield the right of way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk,” said Berkeley Police Department spokesperson Officer Byron White in an email. Both Appel and Bernstein remain in the hospital and are still listed in critical condition as of Jan. 15.

Appel and Bernstein are prominent Berkeley residents. Appel is a longtime BUSD board member and began her latest term as BUSD president in December. Bernstein is an attorney with the state public defender’s office and was a member of the Police Review Commission for several years.

Several online support networks were created by community members after the collision. Jessica Behrens, a longtime friend of the couple, created a GoFundMe to help cover their medical expenses — the page has raised $11,001 in 17 days.

— Amanda Bradford

 

Jan. 10:

Berkeley Unified School District, or BUSD, Superintendent Donald Evans announced in a letter Jan. 10 that he plans to retire, effective July 31. Before serving BUSD for six years, Evans was the superintendent of Hayward Unified School District.

Evans’ colleagues and students noted his biggest contributions to BUSD, particularly the creation of the “Universal 9th Grade” program at Berkeley High School, which gives freshmen more time to decide which small learning community they want to join.

Evans will also be remembered for upholding “high expectations” for students, his board, staff and community, in addition to serving as a mentor for students.

The BUSD board will decide the next steps in finding a new superintendent soon, according to BUSD board Clerk Ty Alper. Because Evans will remain superintendent for the rest of the academic year, Alper said there is “plenty of time” for a transition.

Alexandra Casey

 

Jan. 15:

UCPD arrested six encampment members who were protesting maintenance work in People’s Park, which included the removal of “diseased or damaged” trees, according to a UC Berkeley press release.

The maintenance project, which included the removal of five trees at the park, is unrelated to campus housing plans and has taken place on “more than a dozen campus sites.” The project unfolded similarly to last month’s maintenance, which included the removal of 38 trees and generated criticism from some community members.

Of those arrested, four were confirmed as Bay Area residents and one as a visitor from Seattle. James Cartmill, Richard Dellantonio, Peter Lorentzen, Michelle Lot and Jesse Timms were arrested on suspicion of “unlawful camping and storage of items” and curfew violation on UC property. Campus sophomore Vincent Catheline was arrested solely on suspicion of “unlawful camping and storage of items.”

The clearing process will continue every evening going forward to enforce a law prohibiting overnight camping, according to the press release.

These people are homeless, and they are either sleeping on the sidewalk or sleeping under trees. (The campus) took their homes from them,” said former City Council candidate and People’s Park activist Aidan Hill. “The people of People’s Park love UC Berkeley; they just want to go home.”

— Sabrina Dong

 

Jan. 17:

The UC Board of Regents ended its two-year student adviser pilot program amid controversy and debate at its monthly meeting.

The student adviser role, a position that provides the board with student input on university issues including sexual assault policy, tuition and basic needs, began as a pilot program in January 2016. The pilot program has since seen two students fill the role, including current student adviser and UC Berkeley undergraduate Edward Huang.

Discussion regarding the issue began when Regent Richard Sherman wrote a letter to the board recommending the “sunsetting” of the pilot program. Sherman’s letter garnered support from board members including Student Regent Devon Graves and chair George Kieffer but also generated backlash from students including Huang and ASUC President Alexander Wilfert.

People opposed to the sunsetting of the pilot program pointed out a potential loss of student representation, especially from the undergraduate community. Proponents of the program’s termination, however, argued that students can still play formal roles at board meetings through the Student Advocates to the Regents and Student Observers programs.

— Amber Tang

Contact the Daily Californian News Staff at [email protected] .