Students, faculty and staff at Maybeck High School donned skirts on Friday in support of Sasha Fleishman, an agender student who was set on fire on an AC Transit bus on Monday
Students, faculty and staff at Maybeck High School donned skirts Friday in support of Sasha Fleischman, an agender student who was set on fire on an AC Transit bus Monday. Photo: Charlie Casey

One of the most disturbing stories this week concerned Sasha Fleischman, a Maybeck High School senior whose skirt was set on fire while the teen was dozing on an AC Transit bus. Fleischman is agender and does not identify as either male or female, and this may have been what prompted 16-year-old Richard Thomas to undertake the attack. Authorities said Thomas told police he was homophobic. He has been charged with a hate crime, aggravated mayhem and felony assault. Friday, students and staff at Fleischman’s school wore skirts to express their support for the victim.

The news that a group is proposing to erect a lighted arch on Telegraph Avenue near Dwight Way also drew numerous comments.

Readers also had a lot to say about a San Francisco entrepreneur’s plan to set up a shipping container on Sacramento Street and convert it into a “village” like shopping center.

In food news, there was general joy that Off The Grid may return to north Berkeley in the first part of 2014, this time setting up a Sunday evening event in the parking lot of the North Berkeley BART station. Our story on Caffe Strada on Bancroft Avenue, home to the world’s first Biancha Mocha, was also very popular.

The news of the demise of another Berkeley landmark also drew many readers: Serendipity Books, one of the world’s greatest used bookstores, is holding a liquidation sale. It starts today and will continue on most weekends through Dec. 15.

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Berkeleyside staff

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