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. (more…)
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.
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!
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. (more…)
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.
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. (more…)
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.
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.
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).