Tag Archives: Berkeleyside

Berkeleyside

Help us keep comments on Berkeleyside civil

Photo: THOR
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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 »

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Berkeleyside

Berkeleyside wishes you a happy, safe new year

The Berkeleyside team, from left: Tracey Taylor, Frances Dinkelspiel, Wendy Cohen, Emilie Raguso and Lance Knobel.
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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.

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 »

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By the numbers: Top Berkeley stories of 2014

A six-alarm fire burned through a West Berkeley warehouse Saturday, April 12. One of the businesses involved was furniture store Wooden Duck. Photo: David Yee
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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.

In March, a tree struck by lightning, causing an explosion of wood, was also a huge draw for readers, as was our post on the magnitude-6 earthquake that shook things up in August.

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 »

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Berkeleyside

Chip in to Berkeleyside for even better coverage in 2015

Berkeley protests. Photo Tyurin Alexander
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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?

We need your support to continue reporting on the stories that matter in this city. Advertising revenue, while welcome, isn’t enough to cover our expenses. … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyside

Berkeleyside hits a milestone: 1 million pageviews

Berkeley protests, Alcatraz and Telegraph Photo- Tyurin Alexander
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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 »

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Today: Students stage walkout at Berkeley High

Berkeley High students are walking out in solidarity with the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Photo: Aidan Grundy-Reiner
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Berkeley High School students are expected to stage a “peaceful walkout” today, Dec. 10, at 2:30 p.m.

A message about the event went out over the Berkeley High email list just after 1:30 p.m.

According to the note, from Principal Kristin Glenchur, the administration is aware of the demonstration and will not allow students who walk out of class to come back to campus, or to make up work they miss.

“Their plan is to leave class immediately after fifth period and walk out to Civic Center Plaza where they have organized speakers,” she wrote. “They intend to march after school up to the Cal Campus. Given the last several nights of protests, it is possible the gathering could include a large number of non-students.”

Another group plans to meet at the Cal campus at 4 p.m. to watch a live-stream of a Michael Brown-related tribunal in Ferguson, Missouri, and then plans to march.

Berkeleyside will be at the student march, and will post updates on Twitter. View them here. (A Twitter account is not needed to view the page.) Continue reading »

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Op-ed: 5 myths about East Bay #BlackLivesMatter protests

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I’m a longtime Berkeley resident who has attended two of the last five nights of protests and have been following reportage and readers’ comments on Berkeleyside. There are five areas of misunderstanding I’d like to try to clarify:

1. The protestors have articulated no demands

Numerous demands have been made by the national movement that has now seen waves of protests not only in the East Bay, but in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York, Atlanta, Chicago, … Continue reading »

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2 officials demand investigation into police tear gas use in Berkeley protest Saturday

City Council members Jesse Arreguín and Kriss Worthington told a crowd of protesters yesterday that they want an investigation into the use of tear gas by police. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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Hours after Berkeley’s police chief defended his department’s decision to use tear gas on protesters on Telegraph Avenue on Saturday, Dec. 6, two Berkeley City Council members called for an investigation into what they said were police excesses.

Kriss Worthington and Jesse Arreguín made that call on the steps of Old City Hall shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday. Normally, the two would have been inside the building for the regular council meeting, but Mayor Tom Bates had canceled the meeting earlier in the day, expressing concern that it would be swamped with hundreds or thousands of protesters. Bates said he plans to reschedule the meeting soon.

Speaking through a megaphone to a crowd of more than 200 people that had gathered as part of the fourth night of protest against police killings of and violence against black men, Worthington said Berkeley police had used their batons Saturday to hit students, members of the clergy, journalists and others.

“I am embarrassed that Berkeley police would attack our constituents,” he said. “We will demand an investigation. … We will demand reforms of the way the police operate in the entire city of Berkeley.” … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: Talking about violence is not a distraction — The Berkeley protests for Ferguson

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I marched again last night, Dec. 7, in Berkeley with my protest partner Sharon Fennema, and over 1,000 other committed, passionate, and almost entirely nonviolent people. It was astounding to see that there were more people gathered on December 7, 2014 than there had been the night before when protesters were violently attacked by police. As can happen, but doesn’t always, in response to state-sponsored attacks, a movement galvanized and grew; it did not weaken.

Protesters’ commitment to nonviolence and … Continue reading »

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Day Four: Berkeley protesters breach freeway again

Protesters against police brutality march down Center Street, toward the police station in Berkeley, on Tuesday, December 9, 2014. Tuesday was the fourth night in a row that demonstrators took to the streets in Berkeley to protest the recent decisions by grand juries in Ferguson, Mo., and New York City to not indict white police officers in the deaths of two unarmed black men. Photo: David Yee
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See all of Berkeleyside’s Berkeley protest coverage.  Refresh this page for updates to the live blog.

Update, Dec. 10, 4 p.m. The California Highway Patrol said it had to use force against demonstrators in Oakland late Tuesday night after a mostly peaceful protest for a short time took a violent turn. According to the CHP, “For most of the night, the demonstrators remained largely peaceful.”

But, shortly before 9:20 p.m., a large group of people breached a fence and went onto Highway 24 at 40th Street in Oakland, adjacent to the MacArthur BART station just east of Martin Luther King Jr. Way. In many places, officers guarded vehicular freeway access points throughout the night, but some protesters found another way to achieve their goal. The CHP said demonstrators forced drivers on the freeway “to take evasive action” to avoid hitting them.

“After approximately 23 minutes, CHP personnel were able to clear the freeway, however, some of the demonstrators turned violent, hurling rocks, projectiles, and incendiary devices at CHP personnel. Faced with the threat of physical harm, and in order to protect the motoring public stopped on the freeway, CHP personnel employed less than lethal force to subdue the crowd and effect the necessary arrests,” according to the CHP.  … Continue reading »

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City of Berkeley calls invite-only press conference just for TV news

From left: Berkeley Police Chief Mike Meehan, Mayor Tom Bates, Councilman Max Anderson, and Fire Chief Gil Dong. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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By Emilie Raguso and Frances Dinkelspiel

The city of Berkeley has called a press conference for media Tuesday afternoon, but only invited reporters from television stations to attend it, sources tell Berkeleyside.

The city manager and her spokesman have been unavailable Tuesday to respond to questions about the event. Police have been unable to respond since Sunday to a series of questions Berkeleyside has submitted about the use of force Saturday night.

Charles Burress, spokesman for Mayor Tom Bates, said Tuesday afternoon that there had been “no intent of secrecy” when the meeting was planned. It is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9, at City Hall. … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyside

Did you appreciate Berkeleyside’s protest coverage? Then please support us

Photo, taken on Sunday Dec. 7, 2014 in Berkeley, by Pete Rosos
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Last night, Berkeleyside reporter Emilie Raguso spent ten hours on the ground reporting minute-to-minute on the riots that consumed downtown Berkeley. She didn’t stop to eat or take a bathroom break. She was swatted at with a baton by a police officer, nearly hit by flying glass bottles, and was threatened by rioting activists.

The Berkeleyside team also live-blogged last night’s protests until the early hours, just as we did the previous night. More than 80,000 people turned to Berkeleyside.com to find out what was happening. Our Facebook posts reached 52,900 people, and there are more than 650 comments on our two protest stories — and counting.

Please support Berkeleyside by becoming a member now.

On Monday morning, Raguso was interviewed by Michael Krasny on KQED Forum, and local and national media, including CNN and Reuters, came calling asking for interviews and to reproduce our photos and videos.

At Berkeleyside, we care little about the media around the country that want to pick off our reporting. We do care deeply about providing timely and accurate information to the Berkeley community. There are more protests slated for tonight and Tuesday night. And we’ll be on the case. And we’ll continue to be on the case long after national interest has moved to other stories.  … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyside

Support Berkeleyside on ‘Giving Tuesday’ and receive a free Berkeleyside 2015 calendar

Berkeleyside calendar 2015 with photo by Ira Serkes
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Week in, week out, Berkeleyside provides breaking news, investigative stories and feature articles to the Berkeley community.

We need you to help us continue to provide that coverage.

On this #GivingTuesday we hope you will consider how valuable Berkeleyside is to you, and that you will support us by becoming a Berkeleyside Member.

At the time of writing Berkeleyside counts 401 members who have supported us in the past 12 months. We have set a goal of achieving 500 members by Dec. 31! Will you join the club to help us meet that goal? … Continue reading »

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