Category Archives: Berkeleyside
Every so often, Berkeleyside likes to throw its doors open and hold an “Open Office” — a chance for the small Berkeleyside team to meet readers in an informal way — to grab a beer, shoot the breeze and generally have a nice evening. Whether we choose to discuss the vagaries of the city’s permitting procedures, the latest squirrel-gate episode or ideas for future Berkeleyside stories, is up to you!
It’s been a while since our last Open Office — it seems news gathering is a pretty time-consuming business — so we’re happy to announce that our next one will take place Wednesday, July 15, from 5-7 p.m. at WeWork in downtown Berkeley where Berkeleyside has its HQ. … Continue reading »
Launched in 2009 by three veteran journalists, Berkeleyside is widely regarded as being one of the best, most dynamic independent local news sites in the country
Did you hear that Shakespeare & Co., Berkeley’s oldest operating bookstore, closed down? Did you also hear that Oscar’s – a much-loved downtown burger joint – is shuttering after 65 years in the city?
If you were reading Berkeleyside, you did.
This week, Berkeleyside also published an in-depth investigation into serious concerns about Berkeley Technology Academy, Berkeley’s second — often overlooked — high school. Senior Reporter Emilie Raguso spent months reporting the story to paint as full and balanced a picture as she could of a school which one insider describes as “a powder keg waiting to explode.”
We need your help to continue to write these important local stories. (If you already support us, we salute you!)
There was also news about the mentally ill man who killed Peter Cukor in front of his North Berkeley home in 2012; a look at how sky-high rents and Airbnb rentals are impacting the Berkeley housing market; and news that the city’s school district is getting tough on illegal enrollment. … Continue reading »
In the past few weeks, many Berkeleyside readers have enjoyed a front-row seat as one local resident took a novel approach to resolving the years-long theft of his Wall Street Journal. The story gained national attention but we’re proud to say: You heard it here first.
After Berkeleyside’s initial report about the newspaper theft, Richard Nagler, who penned the note and stuck it to the gate of his store, kept us posted regarding several updates. Most recently, the Wall Street Journal left its own note to Nagler to offer him an iPad to compensate him for his losses over the years.
Now, in what we believe will likely be the story’s final installment, Nagler shared with Berkeleyside his latest missive, which he posted on the gate outside his South Berkeley skylight business.
In it, Nagler offers one final coda to his story, and also encourages his fellow Berkeleyans to support Berkeleyside by signing up for a membership as a monthly subscriber. We at Berkeleyside hope you will appreciate his note, which appears below in full. We also appreciate Nagler’s — and everyone else’s — support, which we know comes to us in many forms. … Continue reading »
Today at 6 a.m. several thousand people received the new Nosh Weekly in their inboxes. (See it here.)
This free email newsletter, just launched last fall, is sent out every Thursday, and highlights the best food coverage from Berkeleyside’s sister site, Nosh.
Nosh covers the East Bay, not just Berkeley. So you’ll hear of new restaurant, café and bakery openings in places like Oakland, Albany, Alameda and Kensington, as well as Berkeley neighborhoods like the Gourmet Ghetto and the Elmwood. Nosh Weekly also brings you recipes for scrumptious treats (like Moriah VanVleet’s rosewater cupcakes with meringue brulée frosting — perfect for Valentine’s Day), interviews with pioneering food artisans and chefs, and news from the food front lines, be it related to the soda tax, school cooking programs or allegations of racism.
Nosh Weekly is one of two e-newsletters delivered by Berkeleyside. The other is the Berkeleyside Daily Briefing, which is well established and much loved, and lands every day just after 5 p.m. (See it here.) The Daily Briefing has become essential reading for thousands of people who want to keep on top of what is happening in Berkeley. The email highlights, in summary form, all the stories published by Berkeleyside on a particular day. … Continue reading »
In the five years since we launched Berkeleyside, our stories have drawn more than 100,000 comments (109,310 at time of writing), and the vast majority have been a compelling part of the conversation we want to encourage in Berkeley about critical issues. Comments often offer thoughtful opinions and can provide valuable new information that deepens other readers’ understanding of a story.
The new year seems a good time to remind readers of our comments policy, particularly as we’re only a few months past the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement. We truly want to keep our comments section as open and free as we can manage, while balancing that desire with our hope for this to be a civil forum where differing voices feel they can be heard.
For the most part, we are very proud of the level of discussion among Berkeleyside readers, and thank all of you for your efforts, insights and participation. We do, however, still get comments on the site that challenge our attempts at moderation. Most comments require an editor’s approval before they appear online, though it’s worth noting that readers who take the time to create an account, and establish a track record of respectful behavior, may be granted immediate, automated approval. … Continue reading »
For five years we’ve been making New Year’s resolutions on Berkeleyside, putting down markers for 10 things we’d like to see in the year ahead for our city. Let us know in the comments what your hopes and expectations are for 2015. After our 10 for 2015, we review how our 2014 resolutions fared.
1. Turn the soda tax into something concrete
It would be too easy to take a breather after the clamorous, successful campaign for Measure D, Berkeley’s nation-leading soda tax. But now the legislation has to be shown to work, producing funds for nutrition and health programs on a rapid schedule. Applications for the Panel of Experts, which will advise the City Council on how to spend tax proceeds, are due on Jan. 17. Dithering will be seized upon by the soda industry. … Continue reading »
With New Year’s Eve nearly upon us, the Berkeleyside team wanted to wish all of our readers a safe and happy new year.
And what a year it’s been. We hit the 1 million pageviews milestone following recent protests in Berkeley, and won an Excellence in Journalism award from the local chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists for the second year running.
We held our second annual Uncharted ideas festival, and launched a new discussion series called The B-Side, where speakers debated the implications of Berkeley’s downtown initiative and whether the city has lost its cool.
As we noted yesterday in our final 2014 request for reader support, we published more than 1,900 original stories this year. Throughout the year, our website had nearly 6 million unique visitors and nearly 7.5 million pageviews. Compare that to the prior year, where we saw about 4.4 million uniques and nearly 5.5 million pageviews, and you can understand how excited we our about our work, our growth and our service to the community. … Continue reading »
There’s no question that Berkeley’s recent protests and the November 2014 election were among the most significant — and most read — news in the community this past year, but other articles were huge hits with readers as well. In this round-up, we look at which other stories drew the most attention solely by the numbers.
The natural world
Our story about 31-year-old Emily Davis, who was struck by lightning in South Berkeley but lived to describe her experience, was among the most read Berkeley stories of 2014. Following close behind, our Bay Area storm blog from December kept readers informed and engaged for hours as we provided the latest updates and shared photos and videos from the community.
Other nature-related items of interest: the blooming of a rare Puya raimondii plant at the UC Botanical Garden; a look into the proliferation of crows in Berkeley; and the closure of a spotted hyena colony. (See more animal-related stories on Berkeleyside.) … Continue reading »
There was no shortage of news in Berkeley in 2014, but a few issues stood out, and they informed Berkeleyside’s list of the most important stories of the year.
So much has happened in Berkeley in 2014 — from elections that brought us a pioneering soda tax, a new minimum wage, and a woman struck by lightning, to the protests and riots that consumed the city this month.
Berkeleyside’s small team and its roster of trusty regular contributors covered it all — the highbrow, the lowbrow, school issues, urban development, music, movies, crime, the vagaries of the weather, as well as the quirky and the plain fun.
How much would you have know about what went on if it wasn’t for Berkeleyside?
Berkeleyside’s coverage of the Berkeley protests since Dec. 6, as well as the recent rainstorms, has pushed monthly pageviews — a common metric for websites — to 1,171,831. In the past 30 days, we had 327,683 unique visitors.
By comparison, one year ago over the same period we served 475,000 pageviews to 141,000 unique visitors. Last month, before the protests, 214,000 unique users accessed 681,000 pages. … Continue reading »
Every year Berkeleyside puts together a list of the best books the editors have read. We generally ask local authors and literary-minded folk to contribute their picks. This year we decided to mimic the format used by The Guardian newspaper in Britain, and that meant asking everyone to limit their selections to two books apiece – a difficult task, we found. Here, then, is our selection of the Best Books of 2014.
Elizabeth Rosner: “Two books leap ahead of the herd”
Two books leap ahead of the herd when I think about outstanding reading experiences this year.
The first is Karen Joy Fowler’s acclaimed novel, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, with its astonishingly original approach to the subject of familial love. Months after finishing the book, I can still recall the sensation of holding my breath while I turned the pages, hopeful and terrified and amused and devastated. This story broke my heart and blew my mind. In a very different but equally momentous way, I found myself profoundly affected by cover designer Peter Mendelsund’s book What We See When We Read. He offers an inspired “phenomenological” study of something that we readers both do and do not quite know about what is happening inside our brains, using examples from many of my favorite writers (Woolf, Tolstoy, Joyce, Kafka, and plenty of others). It’s a thrillingly visual and imaginative window into the mysterious and rapturous activity we call reading. … Continue reading »