Berkeley: Center appeals for clues on 20th anniversary of 16-year-old’s disappearance


Friday, Aug. 28, is the 20th anniversary of the disappearance of Peter McColl from Berkeley and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is issuing a an appeal for clues and assistance, along with an age-progressed image of what he might look like today.

Peter’s photo is shown age-progressed to 30 years. He was last seen leaving his home to go to a bookstore. He may no longer be in California. Peter has 20/400 vision and needs contacts or eyeglasses for distance vision. He has slight scarring near the tip of his right little finger. He may use the nickname Rainbow. He plays guitar.

Information can be called in anonymously to the center at 800-843-5678 or the Berkeley Police Department at 510-981-5900.


El Cerrito Democratic Club hosting talk on cannabis reform on Aug. 25

The El Cerrito Democratic Club will host a talk by Sean Donahoe on “Cannabis Policy Reform in California” at its meeting at 6 p.m. Aug. 25 at 545 Ashbury Ave. in El Cerrito.

Donahoe is a cannabis policy reform advocate and owner of Operative Campaigns LLC.

Donahoe is an Oakland resident who co-founded the California Cannabis Industry Association in early 2013 after years of political consulting. He “is regularly in the Capitol or traveling around the state, speaking with activists and electeds while organizing this industry with an activist mindset. In addition to his work with CCIA, he helped write the United Food and Commercial Workers national organizing plan for the cannabis industry, served on the executive board of the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform, created several political action committees, and advised several local ballot measure committees last year. He currently serves on the City of Oakland’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission and has a monthly political article in Culture magazine.”

The meeting is open to the public.
The meeting starts with a 6 p.m. social time, followed by club announcements before the talk by Donahoe at 6:30 p.m.


UPDATED: El Cerrito hillside grass fire quickly contained — vegetation maintenance made a difference, official says


Neighbors look on as crews from the El Cerrito and Richmond fire departments knock down a small grass fire that broke out behind houses on Seaview Place in El Cerrito. Photo by Steve Crawford.

The El Cerrito and Richmond fire departments quickly extinguished a grass fire at 7:40 p.m. today on the hillside to the rear of houses on Sea View Place at Moeser Lane.
Steve Crawford, who took this photo, said it “only burned a patch about 100-150 feet across.”

A resident of the area tweeted, “Five minutes after the #MoeserFire is out, I hear more illegal fireworks going off. Really? Let’s protect our dry hills, folks!”

Here is the report on the fire from El Cerrito Battalion Chief Michael Pigoni:

Tonight at approximately 7:40 pm, E71, E64, E66, E65, T64, B71 and B64 (E72 was committed to a medical) were dispatched to a vegetation fire behind the houses in the 7400 block of Seaview Place off Navellier. A full structure response was sent based on the reports the fire was near the houses.

B71 arrived on scene first and could view the fire to the north of Seaview Place on the PG&E right-away. The extent of the fire was not totally visible from Navellier Street, but it appeared to be burning slow and not threatening the homes. B71 established Seaview Place IC and assigned E71 to Seaview Place to find access through the houses and establish a line on the upper portion of the fire and evaluate conditions. Initially E64 was assigned to make access through the gate to the PG&E right-away and stretch a hose lay up to the bottom of the fire. E65 actually arrived at the gate first, cut the lock and made access up the dirt road to the head of the fire that was slowly backing down the hill. They initiated fire attack with a pre-connected 1-1/2” hose line. E71 was able to made access with another 1-1/2” hose line from Seaview Place. E66 was assigned to assisted E71 and E64 was assigned to assist E65. T64 was cancelled on scene.

Captain 71 reported the fire was contained and that they could handle with E65. E66 gave E71 their water and then both E66 and E64 returned to service. The fire was contained to approximately a 50’ x 100’ area under the high voltage lines in mowed grass. FPO 7130 was in the area and was requested to start investigating the origin of the area. He spoke with the residents and the person that tried to extinguish the fire and then searched the area thoroughly but was unable to locate any source of the fire. He will return in the morning to look again in the daylight.

The cool evening and mowed grass contributed to the slow fire spread.


UPDATED El Cerrito: Air evacuation of injured bicyclist by CalStar helicopter from Cerrito Vista Park


A 25-year-old man riding a bicycle on the Ohlone Greenway received “moderate” injuries just after 6 p.m. this evening when he crossed Lincoln Street and was struck by a pickup truck that was unable to stop in time, an El Cerrito Fire Department official said.
The bicyclist was treated by fire Battalion 71 and then taken to Cerrito Vista Park, where the CalStar helicopter was summoned and flew him to John Muir Medical Center, said Battalion Chief Larry Carr.
The cyclist was not wearing a helmet, he said. The driver remained at the scene.
Carr said the injuries were such that treatment at a trauma center was justified, and that the lack of a hospital in West Contra Costa after the closure of Doctors Medical Center was not a factor in the decision.

Photos are by El Cerrito resident Steve Crawford.




El Cerrito police seek owner of springer spaniel


The El Cerrito Police Department issued the following announcement Tuesday about a dog that was dropped off at the station:

An Older Springer Spaniel female was turned into the El Cerrito Police Department this afternoon. The dog was turned over to Contra Costa Animal Services and taken to the animal shelter in Pinole. Please contact Animal Services in Pinole at 510-374-3966 for more information.


Crash closes El Cerrito CVS store

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El Cerrito police and fire crews were called to the CVS store at the Moeser Lane shopping center this afternoon when a BMW X5 SUV went over the curb into outside racks of plants for sale and through the store’s plate glass window about 1 p.m.
A store employee said there weren’t any injuries from the crash, “except maybe mentally.”
Another employee who was working at the checkout stand said she first thought it was an earthquake.
The crash forced the store to close for business this afternoon.
Accidents of this type are not uncommon at the store. Employees said there have been at least seven crashes of this type over the years.

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