Category Archives: Berkeleyside

Join Berkeleyside, guests, Dec. 15 at Spats for holiday drinks to benefit Alameda Food Bank, BOSS

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For the second year running, Berkeleyside is hosting holiday drinks at Spats in downtown Berkeley — Thursday, Dec. 15, 6-9 p.m.   to bring our community together and raise money for the Alameda County Community Food Bank. (We’re also collecting new socks for BOSS — see below for details.)

Berkeleyside team members, along with some special guests, will be behind the cash bar serving drinks. All tips from the evening — as well as proceeds from a raffle with enticing prizes — will go to the Food Bank.

Last year, we raised nearly $3,000 for the Food Bank — and we hope we can do as well, or better, this year.

See who’s coming on the Holiday Party event page!

Raffle prizes include tickets to a UC Theatre show; California Revels tickets; hair product and services from Ketér Salon; wine and wine tasting from Urbano Cellars; a $250 certificate from The Crucible toward class enrollment; two Aurora Theatre tickets for a play from its 2016/17 season; gift certificates from Moe’s BooksPhil’s Sliders and Caviar. … Continue reading »

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A new goal, as readers step up to invest in Berkeleyside

Berkeley by Joe Parks
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Berkeleyside is trying something that has never been tried before by a news organization: asking our readers to become shareholders to ensure a robust future for our award-winning local news site.

On Nov. 3 we announced a direct public offering to raise $800,000 in capital to invest in Berkeleyside. In just over three weeks, we have raised over $260,000 from over 62 investors.

Now we’ve set ourselves — and our community — a challenge: to get half way there and raise $400,000 by Dec. 31. 

Visit to learn more and invest.

Supporting independent journalism is more important than ever. Berkeleyside will continue to bear witness and hold the powerful accountable during these uncertain times, and keep you informed about everything that’s going on in the city. In the past few weeks alone, Berkeleyside’s tiny team reported 167 stories on the Berkeley elections; unveiled serious mail delivery problems in the city, and the need for a new bike lane after a near-fatal accident. We also told you about the deer that jumped into the King pool during a kids’ swimming lesson, the plight of the monarch butterflies, and the coming together of hundreds of people in the “greatest little city in America” after the election for a sunrise unity gathering. … Continue reading »


If there’s a time to support journalism, it’s now

Berkeley High students at an election protest on Wednesday Nov. 9, 2016. Photo: Berkeleyside contributing photographer Pete Rosos
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The president-elect has shown he has no respect for the press and its role to bear witness and hold the powerful accountable. He banned major news outlets, including Univision and the Washington Post, from his events and called the media “lying,” “disgusting” and “rigged.”

Without the press, we would know very little about Donald Trump. Without a local press, a community knows little about what is happening in the city’s corridors of power, is unaware of the machinations of the local economy, crime trends or community happenings. In the past months, Berkeleyside published 159 stories about the local election.

Berkeleyside is trying something that has never been tried before: asking our readers to become our shareholders. The only requirement is being a California resident. As a founding investor, you will help ensure your award-winning local source of news for Berkeley thrives long term.

Visit to learn more and invest.

If there’s a place that understands the importance of a free press, it’s Berkeley. After just a few weeks, we are already over a quarter of the way to reaching our capital-raising goal of $800,000. If just 600 of our readers invest in the next six weeks at the minimum $1,000 level, we will reach our goal by year-end. … Continue reading »


An invitation to our readers: Invest in Berkeleyside, help ensure the future of an independent press in Berkeley

Berkeleyside team (clockwise from back left): Frances Dinkelspiel, Debbie McKeen, Emilie Raguso, Kate Williams, Wendy Cohen, Lance Knobel and Tracey Taylor. Photo: Sarah Gerber
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Seven years after three veteran journalists launched independent news site Berkeleyside, we are embarking on an exciting new step in our development. In a pioneering move, we are inviting our readers to become shareholders in Berkeleyside through a direct public offering.

Our goal is to raise $800,000 to invest in Berkeleyside so we can build on and improve how we serve Berkeley and the East Bay. The funds will enable us to hire a second full-time reporter, invest in more in-depth journalism, redesign Berkeleyside to be a responsive, mobile-friendly site, and expand our sales and marketing efforts. We want to deliver more 24/7, award-winning journalism, provide a dynamic community forum, and bring people together at world-class events. In just a few weeks, and before a formal announcement, we have already raised more than $160,000. Your investment will allow Berkeleyside to grow and thrive long term.

Learn more about Berkeleyside and its direct public offering at

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Berkeleyside wins SPJ journalism award for comprehensive homelessness coverage

Homeless person sleeps on Berkeley street. Photo: Ted Friedman
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Earlier this year, Berkeleyside joined more than 80 other media organizations in the Bay Area to publish a day of stories focused on homelessness in our midst.

Monday, that coverage was recognized by the NorCal chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists as part of its 31st Annual Excellence in Journalism Awards.

Berkeleyside’s Frances Dinkelspiel and Emilie Raguso won in the explanatory journalism category, in the small division for print media outlets, “for their comprehensive coverage of homelessness in Berkeley using data and effective storytelling to identify problems, seek answers and analyze proposed solutions.”

Dinkelspiel and Raguso created eight in-depth stories that ran sequentially June 29 over a period of about seven hours as part of the San Francisco Homeless Project.

The SF Homeless Project to which Berkeleyside contributed also took home the contest’s Public Service Award: “Participating media organizations collaborated to publish and broadcast during one week in June more than 300 stories about various aspects of homelessness and efforts to address them. The SF Homeless Project is a sign of a new era in journalism in which news outlets join their forces to fight for a better society,” wrote the judges. A follow-up day of coverage is being planned for December. … Continue reading »

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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? 11 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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