Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

A `Night Out’ of a different sort

By kbender
Monday, August 4th, 2008 at 9:52 am in Uncategorized.

Tomorrow night it is expected that more than 35 million people nationwide will leave the lonely glare of their television sets and walk outside and meet their neighbors.

Tuesday is the 25th anniversary of National Night Out. The idea is to get people, police, community groups, businesses, elected officials and civic groups to come to block parties and events in an effort to “meet and greet”  and heighten crime, drug and prevention awareness. That type of thing is always needed, but 2008 has been a particularly bloody year in Berkeley and Oakland, with eight homicides already this year in Berkeley and 81 in Oakland to date.

The idea is to also strengthen neighborhood spirit and police and community partnerships. Again, always needed.

Events in Berkeley will run from 6:30-9:00 p.m. with the bulk of events getting going around 7:00 p.m. Last year’s National Night Out celebration involved community members, city, town and county employees and staff, law enforcement agencies, fire personnel, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood groups and local officials from more than 10,000 communities in all 50 states and U.S. territories.
“National Night Out is truly a feel good” event,” said Sgt. Mary Kusmiss in Berkeley. “It began as a crime and drug prevention event, but has evolved into an overall celebration of community.” 

Already in Berkeley, 48 groups have registered to host gatherings throughout Berkeley. The Berkeley Fire Department will have several engines travelling between events while the Berkeley Police Department will have bike, motorcycle, community services staff, detectives and command staff, including Chief Douglas Hambleton, out at various events. Oakland hopes to have about 400 events city-wide.
In Berkeley, here are the neighborhoods who are hosting events:
 

 

www.cityofberkeley.info/police
Come out and join em. Your TV will be there when you get back.

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One Response to “A `Night Out’ of a different sort”

  1. richard schwartz Says:

    Richard Schwartz, Historian, Writer

    Re: The Mouth of Strawberry Canyon and Indian Burials

    The purpose of this letter is to disseminate information to any concerned parties so that decisions on the future of the mouth of Strawberry Canyon can be discussed freely and made with as much information as possible. Facts and discussions usually produce better decisions. This letter hopes to help as part of that process. Normally there is no public dissemination of information on burial sites, but as the parties and media have already announced many times that there are burials in the mouth of Strawberry Canyon, there is no loss of protection to these sites and the public discussion in this situation seems a positive community process. The burials mentioned in these news articles are stated to have been removed at the time of discovery.

    NOTE: The Mouth of Strawberry Canyon encompasses the general area of Memorial Stadium and continues west, including the Faculty Glade. If there are burials under the stadium (whether one or six or whatever) and there are other burials just to the west, including Faculty Glade, then the area would logically, in my opinion, be considered one large burial ground (as UC Professor Spier had stated in 1925 when he spoke of 13 burials found in the district).
    Imagine removing the roads and structures and you see that the distance from the Stadium to the Faculty Glade is only about 1.25 blocks. If this were a burial ground and/or campsite, then these dimensions would be quite within reason as one site. If burials are under the stadium and Faculty Glade (they are under both and Professor Spier said in between as well) it does not matter where the clusters are, the whole site is a burial ground, I believe.

    Newspaper Exerts About the Mouth of Strawberry Canyon site:

    Oakland Tribune August 4, 1907

    Following the discovery of the skeleton of a prehistoric Indian on the campus…by the Faculty Club, came the find today of the bones of an infant Indian, within a few yards of where the adult skeleton was discovered.
    The boney framwork of the infant was also well preserved and found lying embedded in the shell layer west of the first discovery.
    “The thickness of this shell deposit,” says Dr. Merriam, “indicates the occupation of this site as a dwelling place through a period amounting to many years. How long a time has elapsed since the site was occupied can only be conjectured, though some evidence is found in the fact that large tree roots have grown through the skeletons.”

    Oakland Tribune July 11, 1913??(15?) (illegible year date)

    The pedigree of the university campus has been traced by Professor T. T. Waterman of the department of anthropology of the university, who says that the Faculty Club glade was once an Indian camp ground.
    “Centuries before the white men trod the Berkeley Hills,” he says, “there were villages of red men on the present university campus. With acorn-bearing oaks, buckeyes and plenty of running water, the site was ideal.”
    Until 30 years ago, he says, Strawberry Creek was full of rising water the year around. Trout abounded in the creek, and there was an abundance of deer in the near-by hills. One wing of the Faculty Club has been built over an Indian cemetery.
    Waterman gives credit for the original research and investigation work in this region to Max Uhle, who published the results of his investigations, concluding that human life in this region dated back 3000 to 5000 years. The civilization of the ancient inhabitants of Berkeley was superior to that of the Indians discovered from the evidence unearthed in burial mounds.

    Berkeley Daily Gazette, January 13, 1923, p.5

    “A skeleton of an Indian believed to have belonged to the Costan tribe in the eighteen century was unearthed yesterday afternoon on the site of the stadium in Strawberry canyon, by a workman digging about two feet underneath the surface of the ground.
    According to Professors A. L. Kroeber and R. H. Lowie, two of the countries leading anthropologists, the bones belonged to an Indian of the small group of 100 to 50 of the Costannoan tribe which at one time lived in the canyon, and subsisted on shell fish from the bay and acorns from the canyon oaks…About twelve years ago workmen laying a waterpipe in Faculty glade found the skeleton of an Indian woman and child whom are thought to have belonged to this same Berkeley or Strawberry canyon tribe of Costano Indians.”

    Californian, July 17, 1923

    Prof. Kroeber is quoted after a skeleton was found in the stadium. “It is not likely that any large Indian burial ground will be unearthed, as the excavation for the stadium progresses, but it is probable that a number of other skeletons will be discovered near where this first one was found.”
    Some read it as predicting no more burials would be found. (More were found). I read it as more burials will be found at the same depth as the first but not at deeper levels. Prof. Spier indeed reported more burials after.
    This site has never been mapped or dated. All the burials found so far were only revealed during construction.
    The Stadium and oak grove are within the burial ground site. It is not known where the remaining burials are.

    Oakland Tribune, June 20, 1925

    Faculty Glade at the University of California, believed by scientists to be an old Indian Burial ground, has yielded up in fragments the skeleton of an old man of the Mongoloid type.
    The skeleton was unearthed yesterday by workmen who were digging foundations for an extension to the men’s faculty club. Leslie Spier, associate professor of anthropology … evidently the remains of an old man…
    This is the latest of many skeletons that have been found in Faculty Glade, along Strawberry Creek, and under the site of the memorial stadium [underline mine], according to Dr. Spier. Anthorpologists believe the little valley to have been an old Indian burial ground, almost a dozen skeletons from this district have been placed in the University Museum of Anthropology in San Francisco, where this last find will be sent.
    The excavations for the original piers of the faculty club missed the skeleton by about three inches.

    On June 25, 1925,Professor Spier was interviewed “This is the latest of many skeletons that have been found in Faculty Glade, along Strawberry Creek, and under the site of the memorial stadium… Anthropologists believe the little valley to have been an old Indian burial ground, almost a dozen skeletons from this district have been placed in the University Museum of Anthropology in San Francisco, where this last find will be sent. “
    ” The Faculty Club is on the site of an old Indian burial ground. DURING EXCAVATION FOR THE STADIUM, similar finds were made, and altogether about a dozen skeletons from this district have been placed in the University Museum of Anthropology in San Francisco. The latest skeleton is now in the Anthropology building on the campus, awaiting shipment to the museum.”
    Professors were quoted as saying the whole area was a burial ground (Faculty Glade to Memorial Stadium).

    Daily Cal 6/20/1925 “Faculty Glade Burying Ground of Extinct Tribe, Says Visiting Scientist-
    The Skeleton of an Indian, a member of the local state capital group, extinct since the days of the California gold rush, has been unearthed in the excavation for a new extension to the Men’s Faculty club. Leslie Spier, associate professor of anthropology, University of Washington, who was notified of the find by workmen, dug up the remains. They were found partly beneath the north wall of the North dining room, at a depth of two or three feet below the original surface, lying partially in an undisturbed packet of shells. The body was flexed, and lay with head to the north.
    This is the latest of many skeletons found in the vicinity of Strawberry creek, according to Dr. Spier, and it is believed by anthropologists that the Faculty club is on the site of an old Indian burial ground. During excavations for the stadium, similar finds [NOTE IT SAYS “FINDS” NOT “FIND”] were made, and altogether about a dozen skeletons from this district have been placed in the University Museum of Anthropology in San Francisco.
    The latest skeleton is now in the Anthropology building in the campus awaiting shipment to the museum.
    The frame evidently that of an old man,” said Dr. Spier, “ since the teeth were well worn. They are distinctly Mongoloid. The remains were in fragments only. The skull was accidental crushed by the workmen, and the teeth were the best preserved parts of the man. They were shovel shaped, with deep enfolding.
    The excavations for the original part of the Faculty club missed the body by about three inches.”

    Berkeley Daily Gazette October 19, 1929

    Emma Wilkes, Berkeley school teacher and resident of Berkeley since the 1870s.
    Interviewed. (found by Jerry Sulliger, Berkeley)
    . “Along the east shore of our bay 12 shell mounds have been found, one of which was near the mouth of Strawberry Canyon that rises where the present University of California Memorial Stadium is located. These mounds were the accumulation of ramp debris of the Indians and the burial place of their dead.”

    Site Considerations:

    ***The extent and dimensions or age of the site(s) is unknown and have never been studied. The site has never been dated. Burials were only uncovered as they were found due to construction projects.

    ***We don’t know enough about it to lose it. If this site is destroyed, once it is lost, there is never a chance to reclaim the cultural and environmental information that it contains. Thousands of years of history, which we could give to our children and utilize, should be protected. There is no other record for this site we could ever have.
    And what about the rights of the Ohlone to protect their graves?
    ***100 years ago the scientists did not even conceive of the questions we could ask and answer about sites through new scientific techniques. The same will be true twenty years from now. We should not destroy this site.
    ***The site gives a cultural depth and experience to the community that is valuable and unique. It is commonly American that we do not value so many of these cultural sites. This is not an isolated burial and has the earmarks of a large and important site with much to offer us on many levels. Yet many say it is in the way of progress. We could value these sites as cultural treasures from another world. Rome does not tear down the coliseum due to development pressures. England does not build condos where Stonehenge once stood. I believe this site is worthy of our study, our interest, and our respect and protection.

    Statements by UC Professors and one Berkeley schoolteacher, resident since the 1870s:

    Merriam
    1907-FACULTY CLUB “The thickness of this shell deposit indicates the occupation of this site as a dwelling place through a period amounting to many years. How long a time has elapsed since the site was occupied can only be conjectured, though some evidence is found in the fact that large tree roots have grown through the skeletons.”

    T. T. Waterman
    1913? UC CAMPUS “Faculty Club glade was once an Indian camping ground.
    Centuries before ….there were villages of red men on the present university campus

    Leslie Spier
    1925 OT- Faculty Glade believed by scientists to be an old Indian Burial ground
    This is the latest of many skeletons that have been found in Faculty Glade, along Strawberry Creek, and under the site of the memorial stadium, according to Dr. Spier. Anthorpologists believe the little valley to have been an old Indian burial ground, almost a dozen skeletons from this district have been placed in the University Museum of Anthropology in San Francisco, where this last find will be sent.

    1925 Berk Courier- 2-3 feet below the surface…lying partially in an undisturbed pocket of shells.,,,,,,,,Faculty Club is on the site of an old Indian burial ground. DURING EXCAVATION FOR THE STADIUM, similar finds were made, and altogether about a dozen skeletons from this district have been placed in the University Museum of Anthropology in San Francisco. The latest skeleton is now in the Anthropology building on the campus, awaiting shipment to the museum.

    Francis A. Riddell
    1955 said, “undoubtedly she was a resident of one of the villages that once dotted Strawberry Canyon.” (found by Jerry Sulliger, Berkeley)

    12 Spier says 12 shipped to UMA, SF said in 1925
    1 one old man @ Faculty Club, found in 1925
    2 adult and infant in 1907
    2 lower down Strawberry

    This site, the burials at the mouth of Strawberry Creek, has never been mapped. We don’t know the parameters of the site or its age. All the burials found so far were only revealed during construction. Logic would state the high probability of other concentrations of burials in between the known ones in this small one and one-quarter block area at the mouth of Strawberry Canyon. To be clear- the one and one quarter block area has UC professors between 1907 and 1955 stating the whole mouth of the canyon was a burial site and that many burials were found over the district and not just one under the stadium and the rest in Faculty Glade.
    Professor Spier at UC Berkeley in 1925, the man who was examining the finds,
    spoke of sending over a dozen skeletons to the University Museum (then in San Francisco) from this site. The burial site is the whole mouth of the canyon. This puts the oak grove within the burial ground site. I urge you to speak with many other archeologists and the Ohlones themselves to get more information and opinions so that your reading public and officials can make informed, unbiased decisions based on the facts available.
    One recent article stated the stadium site was too steep for a village. I have recorded large sites in Berkeley that are steeper than the UC site. There are often habitable level steps within a steep area. The archeological record IN BERKELEY confirms this is a common site terrain and the proximity to Strawberry Creek, which was said to have, ran all year, firewood, acorns, strawberries, and other resources make this a most desirable place for habitation.

    Richard Schwartz, Berkeley, July 24, 2008

    Richard Schwartz
    http://www.RichardSchwartz.info

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