Category Archives: Berkeleyside

Berkeleyside

Berkeleyside introduces dedicated obituaries page

Saul Zaentz, whose obituary is included in Berkeleyside's new special obituaries section. Photo:
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Berkeleyside’s primary mission is to cover the news in Berkeley, but we also take seriously our role in building and fostering community. To that end, we have always been honored to publish obituaries, to commemorate the lives of Berkeleyans.

Recently we remembered much-loved members of the community such as Saul ZaentzMarty Rabkin, and Henrik Bull. The two most recently published obituaries are for Faith Geer and Gertrude Khuner.

Because of the value of remembering community members, we have now created a special section on Berkeleyside for obituaries. You can reach it easily by clicking the orange “Obituaries” slug at the top of the Berkeleyside homepage. … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyside

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

Sunset by Joe Parks
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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. … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyside

Berkeley resolutions for 2014 – and how 2013 went

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New years bring new hopes, for cities as well as for each of us individually. Berkeleyside has an established tradition of clearing the decks on New Year’s Day and offering up ten resolutions for what we’d like to see in Berkeley in the coming year. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. In the interest of gauging progress, we also review how our 2013 resolutions fared.

1. An interesting election year

Too often, there’s little mystery in local elections. In Berkeley in particular, incumbents seem to have significant advantage, with challengers regularly frustrated. But this year’s local elections will guarantee some change: on the City Council, incumbent Gordon Wozniak will not run for re-election, and in the State Assembly, Nancy Skinner is termed out. On top of that, redistricting (subject to a possible referendum challenge) could change things for Kriss Worthington in student super-majority District 7. Jesse Arreguín and Linda Maio, in districts 4 and 1, are also up for reelection, and there are three contested school board seats.   … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyside

Top 2013 stories in Berkeley: Newsy, quirky and plain fun

Emergency personnel respond to an explosion and fire on the UC Berkeley on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. Photo: David Yee
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As 2013 draws to a close, we are reminded of what an event-packed year it was in Berkeley, California — although you might not know it if you weren’t reading Berkeleyside!

We already brought you what we considered the most important stories of 2013. Below, our selection of the stories that had grabbed attention for other reasons. Let us know in the Comments if we missed some of your favorites.

Biggest breaking news stories

Explosion on Cal campus prompts mass evacuation

On Monday Sept. 30 a power outage and subsequent explosion rocked the UC Berkeley campus and sent one student to the hospital. Berkeleyside provided a live blog of updates throughout the night, and continuing coverage in the following days. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Biggest Berkeley crime stories of 2013

Relatives and friends of Anthony Medearis Jr. mourned at the site of his shooting on Thursday night. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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This year, Berkeleyside stepped up its crime coverage, with a new weekly police blotter designed to offer the most in-depth look at available crime statistics from the Berkeley Police Department. We covered the city’s most serious crimes, such as homicides, robberies and shootings, and scoured the arrest logs daily to locate significant incidents. We delved into court files to find out important details about many local arrests, which allowed us to report much more information than is readily available from police, and attended numerous court hearings to follow the most notable incidents through the judicial process. We’ll continue deepening local crime coverage in 2014 but, for now, here’s a round-up of the most significant crimes that impacted Berkeley in 2013. … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyside

The most important Berkeley stories of 2013

Spring storms over Berkeley. Photo: D.H. Parks
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2013 was a significant year for Berkeley residents, and not only because of what happened inside the city’s boundaries. This was the year the Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional and declined to consider the repeal of Prop 8 — two rulings that opened the way for gays to marry one another. (Two Berkeley women, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier were the plaintiffs in the latter suit.) 2013 was also the year that sign-ups began for Affordable Health Care Act and that Congress let unemployment benefits lapse for millions, and sliced food stamp benefits. Berkeley residents were affected by all those developments. The new eastern span of the Bay Bridge opened and BART workers went on a disabling strike — twice.

But there were a number of developments unique to Berkeley that will change the shape of the city for years to come. Here are Berkeleyside’s selections for the most important stories of the year. … Continue reading »

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Big Screen Berkeley’s best films of 2013

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What lessons did I learn from cinema in 2013? First and foremost, that Somali pirates are very, very dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. From mainstream Hollywood’s Captain Phillips (an extremely well-made Pentagon recruitment film) to little Denmark’s A Hijacking and beyond to South Africa’s Oscar-nominated Live Action Short Subject Asad (which ultimately lost, of course, to the worst of the category’s five nominees), there was no shortage of heavily armed East Africans and bearded, pasty faced merchant seamen this year. Meanwhile, here at Big Screen Berkeley, gritty 21st century realism took a back seat to a silent, black and white retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. So without further ado: your humble scribe’s favorite 15 films of 2013.  … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyside

Chip in to Berkeleyside for 2014

Holiday Lights
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The Berkeleyside team would like to wish you very happy holidays — and also remind our readers that you can chip in to help independent local news. We’ve delivered you a lot of news in 2013 on Berkeleyside, but we want you to help us do even more in 2014.

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 … Continue reading »

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The List: 18 books about Berkeley for Berkeley lovers

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It’s the holiday season and a slew of “Best Books of 2013″ lists have come out, including one from Berkeleyside editors. But do you want to go beyond what everyone else is buying and reading and give something different? How about gifting a novel set in Berkeley, or one focusing on Berkeley history? That would bring a smile to anyone who lives or has lived here.

The following is a list of ten non-fiction and eight fiction books that feature Berkeley prominently. Of course it is not exhaustive, and we include links at the bottom to other lists of books about Berkeley. (We welcome your additional suggestions in the Comments.) Thanks to history professor and author Charles Wollenberg, and the staffs of the Berkeley Public Library and California magazine for their suggestions. These are ordered by publication date. … Continue reading »

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The best books of 2013, as chosen by Berkeleyside editors

Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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We love books at Berkeleyside, whether in traditional format or as e-books. At the end of 2013, and as a possible spur to your holiday book buying, here are our favorite books of the year (not all were published in 2013, but they were our best reads).

Lance Knobel

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Berkeleyside wins Excellence in Journalism award

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
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The Society of Professional Journalists’ Northern California chapter has awarded Berkeleyside its Excellence in Journalism award for community journalism. The award was made for Berkeleyside’s coverage of the Berkeley schools’ superintendent search and for stories about the proposed sale of the downtown post office.

“Too often, local issues of significant importance to relatively small audiences go ignored by the media, because the interest isn’t wide enough to merit coverage for a regional audience,” said Jeremy Smith, editor and producer at the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, one of the judges. “Berkeleyside’s laser­like focus on issues important to Berkeley residents and parents should serve as a model for hyperlocal websites nationwide.”  … Continue reading »

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Highlights and insights from inaugural Uncharted, Storified

Uncharted: The Berkeley Ideas Festival brought hundreds of local residents together to hear new ideas, discuss them and learn better ways to come up with their own. Photo: Pete Rosos
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Friday morning, Uncharted, Berkeley’s first ideas festival brought hundreds of attendees into downtown Berkeley to delve into a wide range of topics, from technology and politics to modern-day feminism and the psychology of the rich.

Whether you attended the festival and want to review the highlights to help you process the two-day event, or if you weren’t able to join us and want to see what you missed, the following Storify should do the trick. We’ll be publishing a photo gallery from Uncharted tomorrow. Read more on Berkeleyside about Uncharted, or connect on Facebook and Twitter. Stay tuned for updates about next year’s program by signing up for our Uncharted email newsletter.

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Berkeleyside

Commenting on Berkeleyside: A new approach

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Recently, in a New York Times Magazine article about online commenting, writer Michael Erard suggested comments might be “the most obnoxious development of the Web, the wild back alleys where people sound their acid yawps.”

Last month, YouTube took decisive action to clean up its much maligned comments section with an overhaul that uses several factors to determine which posts float to the top of the conversation.

Three weeks ago, Popular Science took what many saw as the drastic step of shutting down its Comment section altogether, explaining that comments can be “bad for science.”

Starting next week, the Sacramento Bee will temporarily drop commenting from its website. “Too many so-called trolls are using the comments to be mean, obscene or just plain rude. Too many readers are turned off by the tone and skipping comments altogether,” wrote Executive Editor Joyce Terhaar. The newspaper is using the hiatus to encourage readers to give them feedback about commenting while they review their system.

What this tells us is that many online media operations are wrestling with how to handle comments sections and the problems they can trigger. … Continue reading »

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