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The Berkeleyside team in November 2015. L to r: Kate Williams, Tracey Taylor, Frances Dinkelspiel, Lance Knobel, Wendy Cohen and Emilie Raguso. Photo: Pete Rosos

About Berkeleyside

Berkeleyside is Berkeley, California’s independently owned local news site.

Launched in 2009, Berkeleyside was founded by three veteran journalists: Lance Knobel, Tracey Taylor and Frances Dinkelspiel.

Berkeleyside is a local newspaper without the paper. It reports the news and covers the extraordinary diversity of people, issues, events, food and environment in this city whose impact reaches far beyond the Bay Area.


A pioneer in the field of online local journalism, Berkeleyside benefits from its large community of engaged readers. Berkeleyside averages 213,000 unique visitors a month, and 670,000 pageviews a month.

Berkeleyside was the winner of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Northern California Excellence in Journalism Award for Community Journalism in both 2013 and 2014. In 2015, we won Best Local Twitter Account in the East Bay from the East Bay Express.

Read our stories, follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.


Contact us or contribute

Send tips and press releases to

If you would like to report an error, contribute to Berkeleyside, or have ideas to share, please email

To submit an op-ed to the Opinionator section, email [Berkeleyside welcomes submissions of op-ed articles. We ask that we are given first refusal to publish. Topics should be Berkeley-related, local authors are preferred, and we don’t publish anonymous pieces. Email submissions to The recommended length is 500-800 words. Please include your name and a one-line bio that includes full, relevant disclosures. Berkeleyside will publish op-ed pieces at its discretion.

To submit an obituary — which we publish at no cost — email with text and at least one photograph.

Email Berkeleyside staff individually:

Lance Knobel:
Tracey Taylor:
Frances Dinkelspiel:
Emilie Raguso:
Wendy Cohen:

Berkeleyside telephone: 510-671-0380 (If we are not available immediately, please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible.)

Berkeleyside address: Berkeleyside LLC, P.O. Box 5232, Berkeley, CA 94705



We want Berkeleyside to reflect the passionate, diverse voices of Berkeley, but we also want it to remain a place of civility and respect for other people. Guidelines for comments are simple: Be relevant, be courteous and argue with issues not people.

Read our full Comments Policy.



Berkeleyside is proud to have editorial partnerships with:


Who we are

Lance Knobel (co-founder) is an international consultant and professional writer. In 1999-2000 he was director of the Programme of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos. He was also editor-in-chief and managing director of World Link, the magazine of the World Economic Forum. He was an adviser in Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Strategy Unit in London. His journalism credentials include being editor-in-chief of Management Today, the leading business magazine in Britain, and founder and editor of Designers’ Journal in Britain. He has published four books on architecture and design. His blog, Davos Newbies, has been running since 1999. Email:

Wendy-Cohen-304x360Wendy Cohen (partner and advertising director) has been Berkeleyside’s advertising director since October 2010. She has an extensive background in magazine publishing and media sales. Email:



Frances Dinkelspiel (co-founder) is a professional journalist and author. Her book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, published in November 2008, was a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller. Frances is a former staff reporter for the Syracuse Newspapers and the San Jose Mercury News. Her freelance work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, People Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Miami Herald, the Detroit Free Press and San Francisco Magazine. Email:


Tracey Taylor (co-founder) is a professional freelance writer and editor.
Her writing has been published in The New York Times, the Financial Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. Her articles include business stories, features on food, homes and architecture, as well as profiles and interviews. Tracey has worked as an editor for various business-to-business magazines and at the Financial Times, as well as for private clients, including non-profits and authors. She has edited two books — and worked as a professional blogger. Email:


Emilie Raguso (senior reporter, community engagement chief) joined the Berkeleyside team in October 2012. Prior to that, she launched and ran community news site Albany Patch in Albany, Calif. Her stories have been featured on the New York Times website, Salon and NPR, and in the East Bay Express. Emilie was a crime reporter for The Modesto Bee after getting her master’s in journalism from UC Berkeley in 2006. She has lived primarily in the East Bay since 2004. Read morePhone: 510-459-8325. Email:


Kate Williams Kate Williams (NOSH editor)  has been writing about food since 2009. After spending two years developing recipes for cookbooks at America’s Test Kitchen, she moved to Berkeley and began work as a freelance writer and recipe consultant. She started writing for NOSH at its launch, in 2012. In addition, her writing has appeared on Serious EatsSF Weekly, Bay Area Bites, and The Cook’s Cook. Kate officially joined the NOSH team as an editor in 2015.




Film reel (stock photo)John Seal is Berkeleyside’s film critic. A movie connoisseur with a penchant for natty hats who lives in Oakland, John writes a weekly film recommendation column at Box Office Prophets, as well as a column in The Phantom of the Movie’s Videoscope, an old-fashioned paper magazine, published quarterly. He also writes regular film reviews for IMDB, which can be read here.


Andrew Gilbert writes a weekly music column for Berkeleyside. Andy, who was born and raised in Los Angeles, covers a wide range of musical cultures, from Brazil and Mali to India and Ireland. A Berkeley-based freelancer, he contributes features on jazz and international music to numerous publications, including the San Jose Mercury News, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times and Los Angeles Times. His column covering the Bay Area dance scene, Dance Card, runs monthly in the Contra Costa Times. And his CD reviews air regularly on KQED’s “California Report.” Email:


Nancy Rubin is a Berkeleyside contributing photographer. Nancy is a long-time Berkeley area resident who moved here from her native Los Angeles to attend UC Berkeley, a family tradition begun in 1929. She taught for 25 years at Berkeley High School, then worked at Drake High in Marin County. Nancy authored the book Ask Me If I Care: Voices from an American High School. Since retiring in 2002, Nancy has travelled extensively, honing her photography skills. She specializes in candid shots, capturing people being themselves and the emotions of the moment.


Emily MendelEmily S. Mendel reviews Berkeley’s vibrant theater scene for Berkeleyside. As a native New Yorker (although now a 37-year East Bay resident), Emily grew up loving and studying theater, from Off Off to On Broadway, as her multi-volume Playbill collection attests. Ending her 30-year law practice has given Emily the time to indulge in her love of the arts and travel. In addition to Berkeleyside, she is also a regular contributor to in the areas of art, film, television and travel.


Ted Friedman Ted Friedman, B.S. Journalism, 1961, University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana was kicked out of photo-journalism in 1959. “Turn in your Speed Graphex,” the award-winning photographer/professor demanded. He developed his shot-from-the-Southside photos at the Berkeley Daily Planet. He uses his M.A. in Creative Writing from SF State, 1967, to practice “creative journalism” at Berkeley Reporter.


Mary Flaherty

Mary Flaherty is a freelance reporter who has lived in the Berkeley area for 20 years. She earned a master’s degree in journalism from UC Berkeley, and has reported for several local papers and copyedited for the San Francisco Chronicle.




Alix WallAlix Wall appeared in her hometown paper in Riverside, California as “Chef of the Week” when she was 15 years old, and in high school, she founded “The Bon Appetit Club.” After working as a journalist for many years, Alix became a certified natural foods chef from Bauman College in Berkeley in 2007. While she continues to cook healthy, organic meals for busy families, she is also a contributing editor of j. weekly, the Bay Area’s Jewish newspaper, in which she has a monthly food column and writes other features. Her food writing can also be found on KQED’s Bay Area Bites, SFoodie, and The Jew & the Carrot. In addition to food, she loves writing about how couples met and fell in love, which she does for the San Francisco Chronicle’s Style section and j. weekly.

Anna MindessAnna Mindess writes passionately about the connection between food and culture. She is  a frequent contributor to Oakland Magazine and KQED Bay Area Bites. She also works as a sign language interpreter and is the author of a book comparing Deaf and hearing cultures. She marries her two interests by leading tasting tours in ASL through Edible Excursions. Follow Anna’s adventures on her blog, East Bay Ethnic Eats.


risa nyeRisa Nye is a Bay Area native. She was born in San Francisco and grew up in the East Bay. She spent many happy years on the UC Berkeley campus, both as a student and as an employee. She has worked in hospitals and high schools. Five years ago, she left the world of counseling to pursue an MFA in creative nonfiction. She has found her special niche at Berkeleyside: writing about the local cocktail scene as Ms Barstool. Her writing has also appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Monthly, Hipocampus Magazine, and at


pete_rososPete Rosos has been a regular contributor to Berkeleyside since 2012 and has worked as a freelance photographer for well over a decade. He shoots mainly digital, but still has a use for, and love of, film (especially B/W). Pete’s interest in photography grew while working as a photographer’s assistant at Fairlight Media Pool in Hamburg, Germany (1998-1999). He then went on to attend and graduate from Speos Photographic Institute in Paris, France (1999-2000). Previous professional experiences include freelance work shooting for Kapital
Clothing Design in Japan (2002-2005), promotional work for Acta Non Verba, an Oakland based non-profit (2014), and editorial images for San Francisco Magazine (2015). His work has been shown at The Black Box Gallery in Portland, Oregon, The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado, and The Perfect Exposure Gallery in Los Angeles, California.

Delency ParhamDelency Parham is a graduate from the University of Idaho where he played football and majored in journalism. He graduated from Berkeley High in 2010, which is where he discovered his passion for writing. He lives in Berkeley.

  • Valenta

    I like the new look, it’s friendly and easy to access! Great job!

  • Tracey Taylor

    Valenta — thanks for the feedback. You were probably the first reader to see the new design given the speed of your response! We will be unveiling the look “officially” on Monday, with a post explaining our thinking. Thanks again for your support.

  • Dick Shouse

    What happened to the “events calendar”?

  • Lance Knobel

    We’re working on an improved events calendar. I hope to have it up in the next week. Sorry for the interruption.

  • Rob Cunningham

    Just came across your website, thanks to a linked article over on First impression is really good. Sharp, easy-to-navigate design. While I haven’t read all the content yet, glad to see your coverage of schools and institutions and local issues beyond just the hot topics and controversial items that consume the attention of other agenda-driven media outlets in their coverage of Berkeley. As the original editor of the Berkeley Daily Planet, I wish your endeavor success. May you and the community engage in thoughtful, reasonable, important discussions in ways that we sought to do a decade ago with the early crew of the BDP.

  • Kelly Cash

    Hi Wonderful Berkeley-side,

    There is a brouhaha brewing with cyclists vs. “Death Trap Inaction” re: the lousy safety on Tunnel Road, especially where it meets up with the Highway 13 on ramp. City officials have been lobbied politely and with good ideas but there is no help because the area is on the border between Oakland and Berkeley, and also under CalTrans jurisdiction. It is a tragedy waiting to happen, and reminiscent of the borderlands paralysis that occurred at the beginning of the Oakland fire.

    “Friend” Stephen Swan for more details!

    Viva Berkeley-side!

  • Tina Zhu

    I love this website. I came across it as I was google-ing “Berkeley Street Art,” and since then, I’ve been checking back almost every day! It’s a great way to find out what’s happening in Berkeley. Are you taking any interns?

  • Jennifer

    Could you please change your Facebook posts to open Berkeleyside in a new window? Almost every other publication does this – NY Times, NPR, etc. Because I now browse Facebook on a secure connection, it won’t let me load your page because it would require switching to a non-secure (http) connection and it can’t do that within the FB referral. Also, even when I wasn’t using a secure connection on FB, it was very irritating to lose where I was on FB just to look at your story; after reading your story I had to reload FB and scroll to get back to where I was. Now, more and more people will start using FB with a secure connection and they won’t be able to load your pages. I had to open a new window and type in your URL just to get to the story you promoted on FB. I don’t think that’s what you want… most people won’t go to that much trouble.

  • Lance Knobel

    Jennifer: thanks for your comment. Some other publications have their links open in new windows because they don’t want to “lose” the reader. Web usability studies show that opening new windows lowers usability, so we don’t do it (see, for example, the respected analysis by Jakob Nielsen: Most people seem to prefer our approach, and most native-to-the-web sites follow our practice.

    If the secure connection prevents you from going back you can right-click any link (ours or any other webpage) and open a new window or tab.

  • lifelongberkeleyan

    If there is web term for ‘free press’ I don’t know it, but is exactly that.

    It’s our first free press in a long time and currently the only one devoted solely to Berkeley.

    Berkeleyside forgive us our demanding natures and impossible expectations (so out of whack with most of our own levels of performance).

    Note: “free press” is a political term, not financial one. If readers have any interest in the products or services, click through the ads. The advertisers are the one who’ve “put their money where their mouth is” in supporting this nobel effort.

  • Dan Donovan

    Please consider listing our Facebook group page for Claremont and Elmwood neighborhood kids of the 50’s and 60’s,, on your list of Berkeley sites. Thanks.

  • Tracey Taylor

    Rob Cunningham: A belated thank you for your kind words.

  • Tracey Taylor

    Dan Donovan: Done!

  • Leyla Momeny


    I am a friend of Ann Strong’s. As you know, her son Toby was recently killed. A friend and I are organizing a benefit concert–at El Rio in San Francisco in April–to raise money for a college fund for Toby’s two boys.

    I have also created a blog/paypal account for individuals who would like to donate for the college/savings fund:

    Would you please consider posting this info on Berkeleyside? I know that the articles about Toby received a lot of compassion and concern. This would be a nice opportunity for people to help!

    Best Wishes,
    Leyla Momeny
    Special Education Teacher
    James Lick Middle School
    San Francisco

  • Hilary Hoynes


    Remember me, Miller Avenue in Berkeley?

    I somehow was a late adopter of Berkeleyside, but I have become a HUGE fan in a short period of time. The look of the website is easy on the eyes and beautiful, the writing is great, and the coverage is amazing. Thanks!

    A couple of suggestions:

    — how about an events calendar?
    — how about a “what is going in here?” [empty retail space]. I was thinking the other day about “Why isn’t there a Sports Basement in Berkeley.” Found your story from fall 2010.
    — what about linking to some BHS Jacket stories? There is some really good stuff there

    Thanks it. Hope all is well.