TBS Today, Jan. 24

Today we wanted to focus on a recent silver lining: How a Berkeley artist turned a dark moment into a brighter one earlier this month when the gelato shop where he used to work was vandalized.

Word of the vandalism, at downtown Berkeley's Almare Gelato in BART plaza, spread quickly online, with many people offering support to the longtime local business.

Yano Rivera, who worked at the gelato shop for seven years and still visits often to catch up with the owners and make his morning coffee with their espresso machine, wanted to give more than cheering words to his former bosses.

Here's what he did.

Berkeley artist paints mural after gelato shop vandalism
“It can be rough at the BART plaza. When their window got smashed, I felt compelled to do something,” Yano Rivera said.

Less uplifting: Berkeley police are investigating a spate of robberies in recent days where victims have been pepper-sprayed, authorities report.

The series appears to have begun last week Thursday night, when Berkeley police responded to three reports of robbery via pepper spray in less than an hour.

It didn't end there.

Berkeley police investigate pepper-spray robbery spree
The series appears to have begun Thursday night, when police responded to three reports of robbery via pepper spray in less than an hour.

We spent last night at City Council hearing about the latest on Berkeley's plans for reimagining policing.

It was a long night, but it was rather refreshing to see Berkeley officials spend a night entirely focused on aspects of public safety. It doesn't happen often.

We posted live updates on X throughout the night and we have a story forthcoming.

One highlight, Mayor Jesse Arreguín is trying to revive a Tom Bates-era regional collaboration to address public safety. Stay tuned for updates on that.

Council also voted to move forward with a gun violence prevention program, similar to Ceasefire. There's still a lot of work to do.

Staff says the goal is a 10% decrease in Berkeley shootings over time. We'll have more on that soon.

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