TBS Today, July 5

Here's hoping everyone had a great Fourth. We fully unplugged for several days, and that was much needed. Now comes the catch-up.

Readers asked us today about a gunfire investigation underway on Eighth Street near Channing Way.

No one appears to have been hurt but six vehicles were hit last night and the investigation is ongoing.

July Fourth gunfire damages 6 vehicles in West Berkeley
A resident called Berkeley police around 6:40 a.m. Wednesday after finding bullet holes in a vehicle near Eighth Street and Channing Way.

That brings us to 12 shootings in Berkeley this year, three of which have left people wounded. None have been fatal.

Four of the non-injury shootings took place within a block of Eighth and Channing.

One reader described the neighborhood as a "hotspot."

"Luckily the folks doing the shooting seem to have bad aim and are only hitting cars, not houses or people," he wrote. "The neighborhood has been active in pushing the Council, thru Terry Taplin, for cameras, etc. That message seems to have finally gotten thru. Terry has been a real hero to keep on it."

Berkeley gunfire map: Shootings and gunfire in 2023
As of July 5, Berkeley has had 12 shootings in 2023, including one on the freeway. Three people had been wounded. None were fatal.

Today we're also working on a story about BPD efforts to bring automated license plate readers (ALPRs) to Berkeley.

The City Council may consider the item toward the end of the month.

This week, on Thursday night, the Office of the Director of Police Accountability — that's the office that staffs the Police Accountability Board — will hold a Zoom session from 6-7:30 p.m. to share info on and get public input about the idea of ALPRs in Berkeley.

We'll share the details Thursday before the meeting on the gist of the proposal slated to go before council. Some of the details are still being hammered out.

We also heard today from reader Shirley Kirsten about a worker who fell off a roof in North Berkeley and was taken to a local trauma center. We're hoping to find out more from BFD and have inquiries in.

Berkeley firefighters transported a patient in the 1600 block of Hopkins Street to the hospital after he reportedly fell off a roof while working, July 5, 2023. Shirley Kirsten

We also wanted to note an unfortunate change on Twitter since we last wrote.

As of last week, Twitter was forcing people to log in to see tweets. Many people, including journalists, were quite unhappy about it.

It's unclear whether this change was just temporary or will be permanent, but clearly this has become a bit fraught. (We just checked and are able to view tweets even when we aren't logged in.)

We'll look for better ways to share key information when the need arises.

That said, we do often put breaking news and other important information there, so we hope reason prevails. Twitter was designed as a public town square and it can definitely function that way when it works properly.

Dropping a test tweet today into the newsletter: Some cool photographs from this week's ladder training by BFD. We can see it and hope you can too.


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