Category Archives: Berkeleyside

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

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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 BillMoyers.com; 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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Berkeleyside

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

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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Berkeleyside

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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Berkeleyside

Listen up: Berkeleyside launches its first podcast series

Pastor Michael McBride in conversation with KQED's Joshua Johnson at Uncharted 2015. Listen to their conversation on the Uncharted:Berkeley podcast. Photo: Pete Rosos
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Berkeleyside is thrilled to be making available to our readers, for free, the first five of what we hope will be many fascinating podcasts — just in time for holiday downtime listening (or when you want to tune out the in-laws!).

Today we are launching the first five episodes of the Uncharted:Berkeley podcast series which together comprise the fascinating conversations that took place at the Uncharted Berkeley Festival of Ideas in October. The festival is produced annually by Berkeleyside. We will release more episodes early in the new year.

Next year we will also re-release some wonderful podcasts from Berkeleyside’s archive, including the “Three Michaels of Berkeley” (Michael Chabon, Michael Lewis and Michael Pollan in a highly entertaining one-time-only conversation); and the fabulous collection of podcasts created by veteran broadcaster John Rieger, commissioned by Berkeleyside in 2011 and 2012 and as relevant and funny today as they ever were. Look forward to “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens,” “Rules of the Road for Berkeley Cyclists,” and “Berkeley: A Bumper Stickery Kind of Town.” … Continue reading »

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Community

We need you to help us improve Berkeleyside comments

Photo: THOR
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As news organizations around the country continue to grapple with the tenor of their comments sections, we at Berkeleyside are turning to you, our readers, to help us increase the civility and relevance of the vital community voices on our site.

We’re holding a giveaway to encourage readers to stick with a single online identity. And, beginning Jan. 1, we will no longer allow guest comments.

A $50 gift certificate to Sweet Adeline Bakeshop goes to one lucky reader!

Though it is separate from our news coverage, we believe the comments section provides valuable insights into how community members think about issues of importance in Berkeley. While we do hear from readers who say they are put off by the tone of certain commenters, others tell us they find the comments section entertaining, engaging and much more focused than those on other news sites. We think it can be even better.

People have so many different ways of communicating, and a wide range of comfort levels as far as tone, so we know there are bound to be a variety of responses to reader posts. We want to create a place where a broad swath of the community feels comfortable sharing their views, which we hope can be done with respect and positive intention. But we can’t do it without your help. … Continue reading »

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Reminder: Berkeleyside Holiday Party, Thursday, Dec. 17

Spats
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All tips from the evening — as well as proceeds from a raffle with enticing prizes — will go to the Alameda County Community Food Bank.

The raffle prizes include: two tickets to see Alvin Ailey American Dancer Theater at Cal Performances; a $50 gift certificate for brunch at Penrose; two certificates from Keter Salon for a haircut or color treatment; a $50 gift certificate for Sports Basement; a $50 gift certificate for YJM Gallery of Fine Arts; two $25 certificates from Caviar; as well as more from PIQ, Hotel Shattuck Plaza and Grove Salon.

Let us know you’re coming to the Holiday Party.

Berkeleyside staff will be behind the cash bar, together with Spats employees and a number of “celebrity guest” bartenders from the Berkeley community. … Continue reading »

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Join Berkeleyside for holiday drinks, benefit the Alameda County Community Food Bank

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There seems to be no slowing of news in Berkeley as we head into the holiday season, but Berkeleyside is carving out 6-9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 17, to hold a holiday get-together for our readers and friends at Spats on Shattuck Avenue.

But it’s not just about enjoying ourselves. All tips from the evening — as well as proceeds from a raffle with enticing prizes — will go to the Alameda County Community Food Bank.

Berkeleyside staff will be behind the cash bar (together with Spats employees who know what they’re doing, phew), dispensing holiday cheer. We’ll also be joined by a number of “celebrity guest” bartenders from the Berkeley community.

Let us know you’re coming on the Holiday Party event page!

The Alameda County Community Food Bank distributes more than 2 million pounds of food each month and serves an astonishing one in five Alameda County residents — yes, you read that right: one in five. According to the food bank, one in three children in Alameda Count faces the threat of hunger. … Continue reading »

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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

Uncharted
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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, Occupy.com, 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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