Councilmember Susan Wengraf
Action Notice Update

September 20, 2020
Dear Friends and Neighbors,

==Last Tuesday night, I introduced a resolution to the Berkeley City Council to immediately address the danger of fireworks and other bad behaviors on Grizzly Peak Blvd. I called for a collaborative approach of all agencies and jurisdictions involved in the Grizzly Peak lookouts. The item was passed unanimously by the Berkeley City Council.

==On Wednesday, the following day, I received an email asking me to attend a meeting on Thursday, hosted by Oakland City Administrator, Joe DeVries. When I logged on to the meeting, I was astonished. In attendance were representatives from East Bay Regional Parks, Oakland Police, Oakland Fire, Berkeley Police, UC Police, Oakland Councilmember Dan Kalb, Lisa Jacobs, Laurie McWhorter, and me.

==Why was I astonished? Because within 48 hours of my resolution passing, and after talking directly with representatives of several of the jurisdictions involved, all the major players were at the table, cooperating, discussing the problem, proposing a short-term plan and some long-term solutions.

==For your information, I am including a summary of the action that was taken on Friday night, written by the Oakland Assistant Fire Marshall. A similar operation took place on Saturday night.

==I am also including an advisory message from the Kensington Police Department about illegal fireworks in the Grizzly Peak Area.

==The group will continue to meet on a regular basis for the foreseeable future.

==Thank you to all the residents who informed us of their concerns about this very dangerous situation. Your voices were heard and as a result, effective action is being taken.
==Please be safe and take care,
Action Update On Grizzly Peak Fireworks
Subject: Re: Grizzly Peak Security Checks with Local LE Partners
I am very pleased to report that last nights multi agency operation on Grizzly Peak Blvd was a huge success. With officers from the Oakland Police, Berkeley Police, Orinda Police, East Bay Regional Parks Police and the University of California at Berkeley Police Departments present, we contacted well over 200 vehicles between Friday @ 21:30 and 02:00 this morning.

Our first contact sweep through the area of operations located and informed a vast amount of people as all overlook turnouts had numerous vehicles parked in violation of the posted “no stopping 9pm to 6am” signage. The live band performing was advised their performance adjacent to the roadway was creating a traffic and fire hazard due to the large crowd gathered in the adjacent turnouts. They understood, and fully cooperated in ceasing their activities. Those civilians present and contacted throughout the night were educated about the new restricted parking and use hours, informed of behaviors and actions which were potentially a fire threat and asked to promptly leave the area.

All understood and many actually thanked our Police Officers for keeping them safe and our cities safe by enforcing the rules.

We saw an increase in traffic attempting to utilize the various turnouts again around 23:00 and at 01:00. OPD and UCB Officers posted at Grizzly Peak Blvd. / Claremont Ave / Fish Ranch Road politely contacted drivers at the 4 way stop informing them of the restricted posted parking hours on Grizzly Peak while the Fire Prevention Bureau, EBRP PD and later Orinda Police Officers continued ongoing mobile patrols and contacts. Our partners from Berkeley City Police made contacts and patrols from the Centennial Drive / Grizzly Peak Blvd intersection.

Many area residents traveling to their homes were contacted. They all expressed how much they appreciated our collective efforts to keep them safe with an increased presence which reduced the illicit activities that had the potential for igniting a fire event.

There were no illegal fire works discharged during the operation, no bonfires lit and those who were observed smoking outside their vehicles were educated as to the dangers and complied with directives to extinguish their cigarettes inside their vehicles.

I must state that the professionalism and courtesy that these officers displayed on a very long night was outstanding and I truly appreciate their assistance.

On behalf of Fire Chief Drayton, Deputy Chief Luby and Fire Marshal Arriola, please extend my gratitude and thanks to our partner agencies and their Officers.

Those fires that didn’t happen last night in the East Bay Hills, well that’s in part because of all of us! Well done indeed.

I look forward to tonight’s continuance of this multi agency operation at 21:30 hours.
Additional Action Confirmation
On September 16th, 2020, Chief Schuld and Officer Harms met with officials from Oakland Police Department, Oakland Fire Department, Berkeley Police Department, UC Berkeley Police Department, and the Berkeley Fire Department regarding recent concerns of illegal fireworks in the Grizzly Peak area.

Multiple citizens have seen and heard fireworks in several locations along Grizzly Peak Boulevard. Each Agency recognizes the urgency in putting a stop to the illegal activities as some residents reflected on the Oakland Hills fire in 1991 that caused catastrophic damage. There is “No Stopping 9:00 PM-6:00 AM” on turnouts along Grizzly Peak Boulevard per Fire Code authority OMC 15.12.0304909.4.1. Nightly Patrols will be conducted 7 days a week.

If you see any illegal fireworks in the area, please contact your local police department.
Emergency Notifications
==AC Alert will be Berkeley's primary emergency alerting system for the public. It is one of the tools the City of Berkeley uses to communicate emergency information and instructions to the community. AC Alert can send:
  • Voice alerts to phones
  • SMS text messages
  • Email
  • TTY/TDD messages
   Listed AT&T "land lines" are automatically included to receive voice messages from AC Alert for emergency warnings. Community members must sign up to receive voice or text alerts on cell phones, VoIP phones, unlisted phones, TTY/TDDs or through email.

   If you want to receive emergency alerts and updates, sign up for AC Alert.
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CALL 311
Susan Wengraf
Berkeley City Council District 6
(510) 981-7160