Berkeley and the East Bay was blanketed on Friday afternoon with smoke and the distinct smell of burning. Fortunately for locals, the smoke and smell came from a large grass fire in Suisun City, in Solano County. Dry weather and high winds, however, kept fire danger high in Berkeley. Barbecues grills and cooking stoves were restricted during tailgating before today’s football came between Cal and Washington State.
Theft of copper wire triggered a power outage on the UC Berkeley campus on Monday, which was then exacerbated by an explosion in an underground steam tunnel near California Hall which badly impaired the university’s power grid. Five people received minor injuries from the explosion, with one of them taken to the hospital. Investigations into the theft that triggered the outage are continuing.
The call by the Berkeley Police Association last week to allow officers to carry Tasers was answered by some city political figures saying that more research is needed before Berkeley changes its policies. Stun guns were in the news in Berkeley in another way this week: Two women were charged with using a stun gun to commit two robberies in September.
Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas will be held in downtown Berkeley on Oct. 25-26. It will be two days of extraordinary conversations, engaging interactive sessions, and a great party. To attend the inaugural Uncharted, either apply for a scholarship or register for your tickets now.