Berkeley skyline. Photo: D.H. Parks

It was a busy year in Berkeley, what with various Occupy movements, gun violence at the high school, restaurants opening and closing, and more. How closely did you pay attention? Here is a quiz to test your news savvy. The answers are after the jump.

1) Phil Kamlarz retired Nov. 30, 2011 after working for the city for 36 years, the last eight as city manager with a salary of $242,580. How much unpaid vacation and sick leave pay did he take with him?

2) Which celebration of the 40th birthday of Chez Panisse did not cost $2,000 a person?

a) The Roman Jewish meal prepared by former Chez Panisse chef Christopher Lee, featuring Los Angeles celebrity chef Nancy Silverton and distinguished cookbook author Joan Nathan. Daniel Ellseberg was a guest. At the home of Danny and Hilary Goldston.
b) A pig roast in the Bernardo Lopez-designed garden of bestselling author Michael Pollan and his wife, the painter Judith Belzer. The pitmaster was Jack Hitt. Samin Nosrat, late of Eccolo and recently of the pop up market in Oakland, also assisted.
c) The  Alabama Shrimp Boil at Alice Waters’ Berkeley home, featuring James Beard-winning cook Scott Peacock. Waters’ daughter, Fanny Singer, after whom Waters named her café on San Pablo Avenue, assisted.

3) CVS and Walgreen’s are duking it out in Berkeley to see which pharmacy chain can capture the most market share. Currently Walgreen’s, with five stores, is winning. CVS only has three stores in Berkeley but is eagerly eyeing some new real estate. Which site is the next most likely location for a CVS store?

a) The old Andronico’s site on University Avenue.
b) The old Andronico’s site on Telegraph Avenue
c) The old bingo parlor site on San Pablo Avenue near Gilman

4)Which one of the following statements did UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau not say after police hits students in a Nov. 9 confrontation at the Occupy Cal protest?

a) “It is unfortunate that some protesters chose to obstruct the police by linking arms and forming a human chain to prevent the police from gaining access to the tents. This is not non-violent civil disobedience.”
b) “I sincerely apologize for the events of November 9 at UC Berkeley and extend my sympathies to any of you who suffered an injury during these protests.”
c) “As chancellor, I take full responsibility for these events and will do my very best to ensure that this does not happen again.”


1)  The answer is c. Phil Kamlarz retired with $147,439  in unused sick leave and vacation benefits. His annual pension is $249,420.

2) The answer is b. The party at Michael Pollan and Judith Belzer’s house was $1,000 a ticket, while the other parties cost $2000 a ticket.

3) The answer is b: the old Andronico’s site on Telegraph. The owner of the site had been negotiating with CVS even before the grocery chain shut down that store. However, the other sites have also been mentioned as possible locations for CVS stores.

4)  Trick question. Birgeneau said all of the statements. He was in Asia during the Nov. 9 clash and initially blamed the violence on the protestors. But when a video showing UC police dragging a female professor by her hair went viral, prompting widespread criticism and numerous articles about the aggressive tactics of the police, Birgeneau stepped back and reexamined his conclusions. He determined that something did go awry. He apologized and appointed an independent committee to look into accusations of police brutality.

Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, published in November...