Berkeley, CA

TGIF in the East Bay: City Council certifies EIR for A's ballpark, driver crashes into UC Berkeley sorority house

Refugio Garcia
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Dozens displaced after truck collides with UC Berkeley sorority house

Dozens were displaced after a service truck crashed into a UC Berkeley sorority house, forcing the occupants to evacuate, KTVU reports.

Those living at the Alpha Phi sorority house behind the university’s Memorial Stadium were only allowed to reenter the structure to retrieve personal items following a notice posted at the apartment building by Berkeley's Building and Safety inspectors.

A UC Berkeley employee was behind the wheel during the crash that produced structural damage to a bedroom and a second floor bathroom.

The building’s electrical and steam heating systems were also damaged in the crash.

A total of 62 students were displaced due to the damage produced in the crash, according to university officials. The displaced students have since moved to the Graduate Hotel where they’re receiving housing, food and counseling.

"If you're sleeping and a vehicle runs into your house or the place you stay, it's quite jarring and traumatic," said Berkeley Police Officer Bryon White, adding that the driver in the crash "Essentially lost control of his vehicle. Perhaps he had some kind of medical emergency," she said. "He was evaluated by medical staff. He was alert and aware. We were able to talk to him. Alcohol and drugs are not suspected."

Repairs to the apartment building are expected to be completed Friday with inspections to be carried out before tenants are allowed to return. The driver in the crash has not been identified. Officials say they don't suspect drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash.

Oakland City Council certifies Environmental Impact Report for A’s Howard Terminal ballpark
(Photo: Oakland Athletics)

The Oakland City Council voted 6-2 Thursday to certify the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Oakland A’s proposed new waterfront ballpark at Oakland’s Howard Terminal, East Bay Times reports.

The certification of the EIR is required under California state law to ensure that the city has performed its due diligence in mitigating the possible environmental impacts caused by such a large project, such as impacts on air quality, pollution, traffic and noise in the area.

The 3,500-page document has drawn many questions and comments from the public, government agencies and community groups since it was published last year.

Some members of the community present at Thursday’s city council meeting questioned if the report thoroughly addressed the potential issues surrounding the large mixed-use development while proponents of the project touted the potential benefits of the waterfront development such as additional jobs and economic growth in the area.

The project includes plans for 3,000 new housing units, 1.5 million square feet of office space, 270,000 square feet of retail space, along with other features such as hotels and parks.

“Tonight’s action is more than a milestone, it’s a giant leap forward in our shared mission to create a regional destination that gives back our waterfront to the public connects a new vibrant neighborhood to our downtown, and provides tens of thousands of good union jobs for our residents and it does it all while keeping our beloved A’s rooted in Oakland,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf following Thursday’s vote.

The A’s organization has vowed to move the franchise to a different market if an agreement couldn’t be reached between the A’s and Oakland. Thursday’s vote comes weeks after panning commissioners gave the project their stamp of approval.

“I think the staff heard the message and needs to understand the message that there’s a lot of work to be done,” said Dan Kalb, Councilmember for District 1. “We need to hold ourselves to a high standard to make sure we don’t add to emissions and that people who live nearby — West Oakland and downtown — remain a priority.”

However, District 2 representative Nikki Fortunato Bas reminded her colleagues following Thursday’s vote that the council will still be needed to sign off on future approvals for the project.

“For me to approve the final project when it comes to us, I have to see it deliver the community benefits and that it makes fiscal sense,” Fortunato Bas said.

Living legend Paul McCartney is heading to Oakland in May
(Demetrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Former member of the Beatles and musical icon Paul McCartney is heading to the Oakland Arena this May as part of his 13-city tour across the United States, East Bay Times reports.

McCartney will perform in Oakland on May 6 before heading to Inglewood on May 13 to perform at SoFi Stadium.

Tickets to see McCartney go on sale Feb. 25 at 10 a.m. Advanced ticket sales will be available for American Express card holders at 10 a.m. Feb. 22 to 10 p.m. Feb. 24.

This is McCartney’s first tour since the conclusion of a 12-country trek that included nearly 40 performances in 2019.

“I said at the end of the last tour that I’d see you next time. I said I was going to get back to you,” McCartney said in the press release. “Well, I got back!”

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