There was no doubt which of our stories this week proved most popular. Perhaps because local news of late has been so grim, readers pounced on the wonderfully uplifting report by Elaine Miller Bond of river otters making a rare appearance in Tilden Park this winter. The photos, by Jen Joynt (above), were deemed by all to be stunning.

Another nature story, the hatching of owl chicks on the Claremont Canyon trail, caught people’s attention — as did our photo preview of the refurbished North Branch library, which reopens today; our report on a newly cleaned-up downtown; and our scoop on a collision Tuesday night on Marin Avenue and Colusa which injured a pedestrian, mercifully not as seriously as was first feared.

Berkeleyside covered these stories and much more this week. We know from the hundreds of comments and feedback we get directly that many of you are deeply engaged with Berkeleyside. If you want to help Berkeleyside thrive, please consider supporting us and local, independent journalism by becoming a subscriber.

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...