Category Archives: Berkeleyside


Update: Berkeleyside comments, Twitter account back after widespread internet attack

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UPDATE, 1:55pm: Both Twitter and our comments are back in action.

ORIGINAL STORY: The major attack Friday that has caused big websites to go down — including Netflix, the New York Times, The Guardian, Spotify and Reddit — has affected Berkeleyside too.

Our Twitter account is unavailable, as Twitter is one of the sites that has shut down. Our comments are not functioning as they operate on the Disqus platform which also appears to have been affected by the outage.

The New York Times reported that many large websites were inaccessible to some East Coast users Friday morning and to people across the country by the early afternoon after Dyn, a company that serves as an internet switchboard, came under attack. … Continue reading »


Berkeleyside’s 4th annual Uncharted Berkeley Festival of Ideas: Fighting the good fight

Mark Bittman talks with UC Berkeley's Jill Bakehorn. Photo: Kelly Sullivan
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Sitting down on the stage of the Berkeley Rep Roda theater to talk with Autodesk distinguished researcher Andrew Hessel about the synthetic genome project in the first session of the fourth annual Uncharted Festival of Ideas, Quentin Hardy, deputy technology editor of The New York Times, said, “Uncharted is our humble attempt to make America smart again.” It was a joke, but it resonated throughout the two-day festival.

The Republican candidate for the president was not actually name-checked that often during the festival, but the reasons for his rise and his impact — what speaker Aaron James, author of Assholes: A Theory of Donald Trump, described as “American-born fascism” — both in this country and globally, underscored much of the discussion this year.

View photo galleries of the Uncharted 2016 festival: day one and day two.

Uncharted curator Lance Knobel, co-founder of Berkeleyside which produces the festival, deliberately avoids planning the program with a theme in mind, preferring that themes emerge organically. And if there was one that rose to the top this year it was that there is a silver lining to Trump’s ascendency: the fight to ensure he doesn’t enter the White House has brought issues and campaigns that were dormant back on the table. Positive change can be spurred by hatred, negativity and fear-mongering.

Scroll down for ways to connect with Uncharted and to see photos of the 2016 festival. See a gallery of day one photos and day two photos. … Continue reading »


Bittman, Krasny, Ensler: Uncharted Ideas program out now

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The full program for Berkeleyside’s Uncharted Festival of Ideas, on Friday Oct. 14 and Saturday Oct. 15, is now out.

Among the many conversations that will take place: KQED Forum’s Michael Krasny will talk about Jewish humor with author and Berkeleyside co-founder Frances Dinkelspiel; food writer Mark Bittman will discuss food and baking myths with UC Berkeley’s Jill Bakehorn; and Corey Fields, faculty affiliate at the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford will be in conversation with media innovator Peter Leyden about issues raised in Fields’ forthcoming book, Black Elephant in the Room: The Unexpected Politics of African American Republicans. Saturday afternoon will see a special extended conversation on politics and gender between Kevin Powell and Eve Ensler. (Uncharted is offering 100 special $10 tickets to students for this Saturday afternoon program. To find out more, email … Continue reading »


Love Berkeleyside? 10 ways you can help us right now

There are lots of ways to help Berkeleyside. Here are our top 10. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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If you’re a fan of Berkeleyside’s local news coverage, there are plenty of ways to help support us. And most of them don’t involve a penny. Here’s a handy list.

SEND US TIPS Our small team relies on the community’s eyes and ears to know what’s happening in your neighborhoods. We want to hear from you! Email general tips to If you have public safety news, write to our special crime line at

GET OUR EMAILS We have three main email options to choose from: Daily headlines of all our stories, a weekly round-up of our best food news, and — hot off the presses — a breaking news alert service. Our emails are always free and you can unsubscribe anytime. Sign up here.

SHARE PHOTOS We love seeing what you’re seeing around town. Send photographs to the email addresses above. If you’re on Flickr, add images to our Berkeleyside Flickr group. If you’re on Instagram, tag #Berkeleyside when you want us to see your photos. We might feature them and will always credit you.

SHARE OUR WORK We need your help to grow. Share our stories on social media and with your neighborhood groups and other networks if you find them valuable. Buttons at the bottom of each story help share in the way you prefer. You can also “like” our stories on Facebook and retweet them on Twitter. Small efforts like this help amplify our work. … Continue reading »


TCHO chocolate lab; climate-change deep dive in Berkeley

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TCHO’s Chief Chocolate Maker Brad Kintzer is to host a special chocolate lab at Berkeleyside’s Uncharted Festival of Ideas, on Friday Oct. 14. Kintzer, who studied botany and has spent months working on cacao plantations throughout Latin America, will provide an insider’s perspective on how cocoa is sourced and offer enlightening chocolate tastings.

Also on the program at the two-day Uncharted festival, which is back in downtown Berkeley for its fourth year, are conversations with Michael Krasny, Mark Bittman, Sujatha Baliga and Aminatou Sow. Kevin Powell and Eve Ensler will be on stage together on Saturday Oct 15 in a session titled, ‘Violence or love? Rape culture, race, and building social movements.’ See full program.

End-of-summer 30%+ discounted Uncharted tickets end midnight Friday Sept. 23.

This year also sees the festival’s first deep-dive session on climate change, in partnership with the College of Natural Resources at UC Berkeley. As part of CNR’s first ever Big Ideas @CNR competition, John Battles will discuss how and why many ecosystems are suffering from loss of resilience, and Dennis Baldocchi will address the water-food-people nexus: how climate change threatens California’s ability to sustain its population and its economy. The pair will be joined by Steve Bumgardner (aka Yosemite Steve) one of the world’s great natural-history filmmakers, who will provide a visual insight into working in the High Sierra. … Continue reading »

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KALW airs Berkeley conversations on Uncharted Radio Hour

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Uncharted, a production of Berkeleyside, features some of the world’s edgiest thinkers and creative performers. It takes place over two days in downtown Berkeley. This year’s festival is on Friday Oct. 14 and Saturday Oct. 15.

On this week’s Uncharted Radio Hour, we hear from Shannon Brownlee, a national leader in highlighting the scope and consequences of overuse in healthcare. Brownlee argues that millions of people in the U.S. are being harmed — and are even dying — by having unnecessary health interventions. She explores many of these issues in her book, Overtreated — Why too much Medicine is Making us Sicker and PoorerBrownlee was in conversation with former KQED Health Editor Lisa Aliferis.

See Program and get tickets for the 2016 Uncharted Festival on Oct. 14-15

Also on Thursday’s Uncharted Radio Hour: Alice Dreger, an historian of medicine and science, a sex researcher and a writer. Her most recent book is Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science. Dreger made headlines in 2015 when she resigned from her position at Northwestern University for what she said was a lack of academic independence. Dreger sat down with Lance Knobel, co-founder of Berkeleyside and Uncharted’s program curator, at the 2015 Uncharted Festival for a conversation that ran the gamut from sex through science and back again.Continue reading »

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Michael Krasny to talk Jewish humor at Berkeley festival

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Michael Krasny, host of the award-winning KQED Forum program, will join the Uncharted Berkeley Festival of Ideas line-up next month to talk about his forthcoming book, Let There Be Laughter: A Treasury of Great Jewish Humor and What It All Means. It is the third book for Krasny, who, as well as being a broadcaster, is a scholar and Professor of English and American Literature.

Krasny will be in conversation with Berkeleyside Co-Founder Frances Dinkelspiel, author of two bestselling books: Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, and Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California, which comes out in paperback next month.

The news coincides with the release of the Uncharted Festival schedule. Discounted tickets (over 30% off) for the festival — for one day or two days— are available through Friday Sept. 23.

Other festival speakers include NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen, who will talk with veteran White House reporter Kathy Kiely about the media’s role during a national election; Eve Ensler, creator of The Vagina Monologues, who will be in conversation with writer and political, cultural, literary and hip-hop voice, Kevin Powell; and Google’s Aminatou Sow, founder of Tech LadyMafia and co-host of the Call Your Girlfriend podcast. See speaker/performer list. … Continue reading »


Eve Ensler to speak at Uncharted Festival of Ideas in Berkeley — Early-bird tickets end Aug. 25

eve ensler featured
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Playwright, performer, feminist and activist Eve Ensler will be joining the speaker lineup at the 2016 Uncharted Festival of Ideas in Berkeley, which is produced by Berkeleyside.

Early-bird ticket prices to this year’s festival, on Oct. 14-15 in Berkeley, end Thursday, Aug. 25 at midnight.

Early-bird tickets end Thursday Aug. 25 at midnight.

Ensler, probably most well-known for her iconic work The Vagina Monologues, will be in conversation with writer Kevin Powell, one of the most acclaimed political, cultural, literary and hip-hop voices in America today, and author of The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood.

Other speakers this year include Jay Rosen who teaches journalism at New York University and is an incisive critic of the national press and its coverage of politics; Kathy Kieley, a veteran White House correspondent and commissioning editor for; Iranian American comedian Zahra Noorbakhsh; and Kenji López-Alt, James Beard Award-winning author of The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science. Kenji will host a hands-on workshop called ‘The Steak Myth;’ and Andrew Hessel, who is leading the nascent synthetic genome project. Other workshops and musical and dance performances will be announced in September. See more confirmed speakers on the Uncharted website. … Continue reading »

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New podcasts released: Masha Gessen, Alice Dreger, more

Masha Gessen at Uncharted Ideas Festival in 2015. Listen to her conversation with Lance Knobel on the podcast. Photo: Pete Rosos
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Looking for something good to listen to when driving, working out, walking the dog, or simply lounging on the couch?

Berkeleyside has just released five more podcasts of the conversations that took place at Uncharted 2015.

Every October, Berkeleyside’s annual Uncharted Berkeley Festival of Ideas draws together diverse thinkers and artists from around the country for conversations and performances that provoke, entertain and challenge our ‘thinking as usual.’

Listen to Berkeleyside podcasts and subscribe on iTunes or directly on our podcast page.

Here are the episodes released so far (with links to iTunes — go to our podcasting page or use the podcast feed for your podcasting app): … Continue reading »

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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
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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.

We need your help to provide you with answers. Support us by becoming a Berkeleyside member!

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.”

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Berkeleyside wishes you a happy, safe 2016

The Berkeleyside team wishes you a happy new year. From left: Kate Williams, Tracey Taylor, Frances Dinkelspiel, Lance Knobel, Wendy Cohen and Emilie Raguso. Photo: Pete Rosos
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With New Year’s Eve nearly upon us, the Berkeleyside team wanted to wish all of our readers a safe and happy new year.

The year just ending has been busy for Berkeleyside. We published 1,902 stories (and counting), had more than 2.3 million unique visitors and 8.4 million pageviews (up 27% and 12% from 2014). We held our third annual Uncharted ideas festival and have just issued a number of podcasts using some of the conversations from Uncharted. Look out for … Continue reading »

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The biggest Berkeley stories of 2015

Irish Consul General Philip Grant praised the first responders for their compassion. Photo: David Yee
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2015 was an eventful year. Six young people died when a balcony on a relatively new building broke off. Race was a huge topic, from the controversy surrounding Kamau Bell’s treatment at the Elmwood Café to a racist threat made on a Berkeley High School computer, to a peaceful protest walkout by hundreds of students.

Berkeley approved the first new tall building in its downtown in more than 40 years. It also passed new laws to restrict the behavior of homeless people. The housing and rental markets went crazy, leaving many to wonder: Who can afford to live in Berkeley? Not least as the median price of a home in Berkeley breached the $1 million mark.

But there were some lighter moments too, such as the business owner whose Wall Street Journal was stolen every morning, and our report on naked tree-hugging protesters.

Here is a selection of the top stories of the year. Some were chosen because they drew the most readers and others because they reverberated deeply in city life. … Continue reading »

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Help us to keep bringing you the Berkeley news in 2016

Marin Fountain in the rain. Photo, taken on Dec. 20, 2015, by Daniel Parks
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As we wind down for the holidays and draw close to the end of 2015, Berkeleyside would like to wish all our readers a happy and peaceful few days of relaxation.

We would also like to remind our readers that everything you read on Berkeleyside, every story we report, every Facebook post and Twitter alert, be it breaking news or a heartwarming tale, is brought to you for free.

 Become a Berkeleyside member now and you’ll be entered to win one of four $75 gift certificates to eat at Comal or The Advocate!

If you value the service Berkeleyside provides you as an independently run, local news business, we ask you to support us by becoming a member, or increasing your current contribution as an existing member. … Continue reading »

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