Category Archives: Berkeleyside

Uncharted Berkeley Festival of Ideas 2015: The best yet

Meklit Hadero performs at Uncharted 2015. Photo: Pete Rosos
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The third annual Uncharted Berkeley Festival of Ideas closed Saturday after two days of engaging and compelling conversations that ran the gamut from the inadequacies of the criminal justice system — outlined in no uncertain terms by Judge Alex Kozinski — to the flaws in our education system, articulated by extraordinary 18-year-old reformer Adora Svitak, the perils of Vladimir Putin, who writer Masha Gessen described bluntly as “a thug,” and the dangers of over-treatment in the healthcare system, articulated all too clearly by activist and author Shannon Brownlee.

The festival, held in downtown Berkeley and on the Cal campus, was far from being one long downer, however. For what emerged from nearly all the sessions and discussions, on and off the stage, was a call to action of sorts: to get uncomfortable and to fight back. Or, as Krissy Eliot interpreted it in her excellent report for California Magazine of the festival’s first day, “Screw the system” — let’s dismantle and then reconstruct some of those systems to create a fairer society.

And perhaps that, ultimately, is what an ideas festival is all about: people coming together with a diverse range of experiences and perspectives to wrestle with the pressing issues of the day and then to begin to look for creative ways to make progress. And what more fitting place for that to happen than in Berkeley? … Continue reading »

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Third annual Uncharted Festival of Ideas opens Friday in downtown Berkeley

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The third annual Uncharted Ideas Festival opens Friday morning in downtown Berkeley.

The program is, we think, the best yet. But, as the festival’s organizers, we concede we are biased. Read what the Bay Area News GroupSFWeekly,, California Magazine, and J-Weekly have written about the festival for a more impartial perspectives.

Recently added speakers and sessions include the San Francisco Chronicle’s urban design critic John King, Ethio-American singer-songwriter Meklit, and bestselling cookbook author Alice Medrich. (See the full program and schedule.)

Those who have registered simply need to pick up their badges and goody bags at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse at 2020 Addison St., starting from 8 a.m. on Friday Oct. 16 or Saturday Oct. 17 (coffee and snacks courtesy of Whole Foods will be on hand to help the more blurry-eyed among us!).

If you haven’t got a ticket there’s still time to buy one now; or if you favor spontaneity, show up on Friday or Saturday morning and you can register at the door. … Continue reading »

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‘2 for 1’ ticket offer extended for Uncharted Ideas Festival

Among the speakers confirmed for Uncharted are Elñora Tena Webb, Nicholas Dirks, Alice Dreger, Doug Solomon, Anna Lappé and Shannon Brownlee
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This year’s Uncharted Ideas Festival in Berkeley, Oct. 16-17, is gearing up to be the best yet. Newly confirmed speakers include UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, bestselling author Anna Lappé, also founder of the Small Planet Institute, Alex Kozinski, the most outspoken judge on the Federal bench, Ethan Nadelmann, the nation’s point man for drug policy reform efforts, and historian and sex researcher Alice Dreger.

And coming to the two-day festival — with its packed program of conversations, live-music performances, interactive workshops and opening night party — is more achievable than ever. The “2 for the price of 1” ticket offer which we launched a month ago has proved so popular we have decided to extend it until Sunday Sept. 20. This special offer means you can attend Uncharted with a friend for just $86 a day each (the regular ticket price is $345 for two days). Other Early-Bird tickets include single and one-day tickets.

Reserve your “2 for 1” tickets now — there’s a limited number of them!

Austin has SXSW. Aspen has its ideas festival. The Bay Area has Uncharted. … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyside would like your feedback: Take our survey

Photo: Daniel Parks
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Berkeleyside aims to please. In an effort to better understand how we can serve you, our readers, we would love to know a little about you and about what you think. What information is important to you? Do you want more news? If so, which areas interest you the most? The arts, crime, education, business, food and restaurants, real estate?

Please take a few minutes to complete our readership survey. You can do so by clicking this link:

Take the … Continue reading »

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New speakers confirmed for Uncharted Ideas Festival

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The list of speakers and performers for the upcoming Uncharted Berkeley Festival of Ideas on Oct. 16-17 continues to grow. (A limited number of “2 for the price of 1” tickets are still available through Aug. 30.)

Berkeleyside is thrilled to announce our latest additions to the festival line-up:

Timothy Caulfield, author of “Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong about Everything?”

Socio-political comedian W. Kamau Bell

Laura Tyson, economics adviser to presidents Clinton and Obama

Alex Kozinski, most outspoken judge on the federal bench

Shannon Brownlee, expert on healthcare overtreatment … Continue reading »

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Announcing Uncharted Berkeley Festival of Ideas 2015

Adam Mansbach and Jeff Chang in conversation at Uncharted 2014. Photo: Pete Rosos
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Austin has SXSW. Aspen has its Ideas Festival. The Bay Area has Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas, an interactive, eye-opening two days of discussions, debate, workshops, and good food, beer and wine — Friday Oct. 16 and Saturday Oct. 17, 9am-5pm, in downtown Berkeley’s historic Arts District.

“On full display at Uncharted was this incredible ethos of innovation, curiosity and abhorrence for the status quo.” – UC Chancellor Nicholas Dirks

Chris Anderson, Kamau Bell, Laura Tyson, Brad DeLong, and Masha Gessen are among the 2015 festival headliners. With two months to go, Uncharted is still busy solidifying an exhilarating line-up. For updates on participants, bookmark the Uncharted 2015 website.

For a limited time, we’re offering 2 for the price of 1 tickets and a Super Early Bird Rate. You can register now!Continue reading »

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What would you pay 33 cents a day for?

The suspicious package (on the left) in North Berkeley has been rendered safe. Photo: Devin Taylor-McDonald
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Conventional wisdom has it that summer is a slow news time.

Not so in Berkeley!

It’s been one thing after another this month — and Berkeleyside has kept delivering you the news, usually before anyone else, and often exclusively.

We need your help to continue to write these important local stories. (If you already support us, we salute you!)

A $10 monthly contribution comes out to just 33 cents a day! Is Berkeleyside worth 33 cents a day to you?

Here are just a handful of the more than 40 stories we reported in the past two weeks:

– Protesters get naked to save trees (you can imagine what that did to our readership numbers!)
– The sudden closure of the municipal pier (we broke the news, and also published a lovely photographic ‘ode’ to it) … Continue reading »

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Photos: At our Open Office, a chance to meet, catch up

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Thank you to all of you who came to Berkeleyside’s latest Open Office on Wednesday evening at WeWork Berkeley, where Berkeleyside has its HQ. It was lovely to see so many of our talented contributors there — including Nancy Rubin who took all the photographs published here — as well as many loyal readers and members.

(If you spot someone in the photos who hasn’t been identified in the caption, let us know and we’ll update it.)

Until the next time! … Continue reading »


Reminder: Berkeleyside Open Office, July 15 at WeWork

WeWork Berkeley Fifth Floor Lounge
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On Wednesday July 15, Berkeleyside will hold an “Open Office” — a chance for you to meet the small core Berkeleyside team and some of our regular contributors in an informal way — to grab a beer, shoot the breeze and generally have a nice evening.

Come to give us feedback, tips, suggest story ideas, offer your services, or simply to say hello.

The Open Office will take place Wednesday, July 15, from 5-7 p.m. at WeWork in downtown Berkeley where Berkeleyside has its HQ. … Continue reading »

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Announcing: Berkeleyside Open Office, July 15 at WeWork

WeWork 5th
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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 »

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Berkeleyside is hiring: Advertising Sales Associate

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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

Berkeleyside LLC publishes the Berkeley news site Berkeleyside; East Bay food site NOSH; as well as two e-newsletters: the Berkeleyside Daily Briefing and NOSH Weekly.

Berkeleyside also organizes events, most significantly Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas, that this year takes place on Oct. 16-17 in downtown Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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Did you hear the news? If so, you probably heard it here

Berkeley Technology Academy. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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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 »

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