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Why are there helicopters over Berkeley? … and other questions Berkeleyside answers every day

A news helicopter flew over the Gill Tract Wednesday. Photo: Ira Serkes
A news helicopter over the East Bay. Photo: Ira Serkes

Where’s that smoke coming from? Why are there helicopters over Berkeley? Why are there cop cars tearing down my street? These are just a few of the types of questions Berkeleyside is asked all the time, sometimes several all at once in a day.

Take just this week — our tiny team reported on a significant fire next door to a veterinary hospital; the pursuit of a dangerous, armed suspect that ended in a dramatic arrest in a Berkeley park; and an assault with a bat that left a man with serious injuries after readers got in touch wanting to know what was going on.

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We know you appreciate knowing what’s going on in your city. As Dorothy Hearst put it on Twitter Wednesday:


“Thx @berkeleyside 4 the excellent reporting. I knew where 2 go 4 info when I saw helicopter in the sky this morn.”

Also on Twitter, Alissa Greenberg said:

“Excitement in Berkeley this morning! As usual, @berkeleyside on the case, doing excellent local reporting.”

Meg Schwarzman
Meg Schwarzman and family

We don’t just jump on breaking news, of course. This month, we also published a follow-up story on Megan Schwarzman who was seriously injured while cycling in Berkeley on Feb. 2. The article was shared more than 2,100 times and reached over 172,000 people on Facebook. Reporter Emilie Raguso was thanked for her “excellent, thorough and compassionate reporting.”

To be sustainable, Berkeleyside requires support from a number of different sources, including you, our community of readers.

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We thank you in advance and look forward to continuing to jump on the news for you!

The Berkeleyside team: Wendy Cohen, Frances Dinkelspiel, Lance Knobel, Kate Williams, Emilie Raguso, Bethany Del Lima and Tracey Taylor.