Berkeleyside

Top Berkeley news, crime, books, food and films of 2013

Sunset by Joe Parks

Sunset by Joe Parks

Over the past couple weeks, Berkeleyside has been rounding up the top stories of 2013 related to breaking and developing news, crime, food, books and film. We also posted our annual resolutions for the year, and assessed the progress from last year’s list. We’ve collected them here for those who may have missed them during the holidays. These posts, which include links to more in-depth coverage, will help readers be informed about the biggest Berkeley happenings of the year as we enter 2014.

The most important stories of 2013

Photo taken Sept. 2 at the site of the Berkeley Tuolumne Family Camp. Courtesy: City of Berkeley

Courtesy: City of Berkeley

From the transformation of the city’s downtown to the fire that destroyed Berkeley Tuolumne Camp, Berkeley faced changes in 2013 that will affect it for years to come. The city also had a restaurant boom, and got four gleaming new libraries. Cal, too, experienced rejuvenation, with a new chancellor, a new UC president, and a lengthy documentary that looked closely at campus life and history. Medical marijuana, too, remained a contentious topic, as the city struggled to oversee business operations related to its sale. Read more here.

Top 2013 stories in Berkeley: Newsy quirky and plain fun

Downed trees in Berkeley. Photo: Pete Rosos

Photo: Pete Rosos

Berkeley’s most-read stories ran the gamut, from breaking news — like the Cal explosion, high winds, strange smells in the air and earthquakes — to close looks at the new Berkeley animal shelter, the Gilman Street intersection and a mistake by city staff that led to the release of 11,000 social security numbers belonging to municipal employees. Whimsical reader questions about an infestation of small bugs in the air and the proliferation of inspirational Post-its around town also sparked great reader interest. Read more here.

Biggest Berkeley crime stories of 2013

Berkeley High police cruiser. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Photo: Emilie Raguso

Though overall crime within the city limits stayed mostly flat, robberies and burglaries were up in 2013. We covered the city’s four homicides, several homicides outside Berkeley that affected residents, the high-profile shooting at Ashkenaz and so much more. We analyzed crime statistics and provided behind-the-scenes looks at how the Berkeley Police Department works. And we delved into court files to find out important details about many local arrests, which allowed us to report much more information than is available elsewhere.  Read more here.

Hot East Bay restaurants and food news

Venga Paella, Oakland. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Photo: Emilie Raguso

Berkeley and Oakland had a wave of high-profile restaurant openings, some of which made Rockridge the go-to spot to find new bites. Berkeley too is buzzing with a range of new pizza and burger offerings, and new Greek, Japanese and creole-fusion eateries to explore, among many others. And did you know Berkeley has the East Bay’s first hot sauce shop? It wasn’t all good news, as spots like O Chamé and Caffe Venezia, as well as Miss Pearl’s and Disco Volante closed. Read more here.

Best books and films of 2013, and then some

Photo: Berkeleyside

We love books at Berkeleyside, whether in traditional format or as e-books. Several members of our team, with some input from a special guest, shared their favorite books of the year (not all were published in 2013, but they were our best reads). See their individual picks, and find short lists of the best fiction and nonfiction of the year. We also round up a list of Berkeley bookstores to make it easy to shop local. We also featured a list of 18 books about Berkeley, and John Seal shared his selections for the best films of 2013.

Resolutions for 2014, and a scorecard from our 2013 resolutions

Photo: DH Parks

Berkeleyside has an established tradition of clearing the decks on New Year’s Day and offering up 10 resolutions for what we’d like to see in Berkeley in the coming year. Elections, Telegraph Avenue, neighborhood improvement and a city that’s more attractive to a younger generation are just some topics featured on the list. In the interest of gauging progress, we also review how our 2013 resolutions fared. Read more here.

Join Berkeleyside in 2014

The Berkeleyside team at the conclusion of its recent Uncharted festival. From left: Lance Knobel, Frances Dinkelspiel, Siciliana Trevino, Wendy Cohen, Tracey Taylor and Emilie Raguso. Photo: Pete Rosos

Photo: Pete Rosos

Advertising only covers about half of Berkeleyside’s costs. To make up the rest, we need your Membership support. You can chip in as little as $5 a month – less than a quarter a day – to Berkeleyside and become a Member. Just click here to get to our Membership page. (And if you’re already a Member, thank you!) Thank you for reading Berkeleyside and we look forward to your continued support in what promises to be a fascinating 2014 in Berkeley. Join here.

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